HC Deb 30 July 1845 vol 82 cc1261-3

On the Question that the sum of 50,000l. be granted to complete the sum of 100,000l., for Civil Contingencies,

Mr. Williams

thought that this sum ought not to be taken in one vote, but that it should be divided into several votes. Upon one portion of the Vote he should take the sense of the Committee—namely, on that relating to the expenditure which had taken place in excursions made on board of Her Majesty's ships of war by certain bishops connected with our dependencies. He also objected to the charge of 25l. for conveying the Prince of Prussia from Greenwich to Ostend; as well as to that of 1,200l. for such of the Episcopal clergy in Scotland as were most in need of assistance. He thought that these clergymen ought to be maintained by their own congregations, in the same way as the members of the Free Church maintained their pastors. He should move that the Vote be for 47,899l. 10s. 1d.

Sir C. Napier

presumed, that the bishops to whom the hon. Gentleman had alluded, had made these excursions in the performance of their duty; and an allowance ought to be made for their expenses, unless they went about for their own amusement. There was, however, one item which he thought objectionable—namely, 60l. for a passage from Gibraltar to Cadiz. Now, this must have been a shabby bishop, for he must have been living aboard ship all the time, instead of going ashore at Cadiz, where there were plenty of hotels. It was impossible that the expenses of the mere passage could have amounted to that sum. He should like to have some explanation of an item of 810l. for the travelling expenses of various Sovereigns and Royal personages, during their sojourn in England in the last year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

quite agreed in the principle laid down by the hon. Member for Coventry and the hon. and gallant Officer, that the Colonial bishops ought to pay for all excursions made for the purposes of recreation out of their own pockets; but the excursion in question did not come within that description. The journey to Lisbon of the Bishop of Gibraltar was rendered necessary, in order that a new church and a burying ground should be consecrated. The charges of entertaining passengers of the rank of bishops, who dined at the captain's table, were fixed at a fair and at the same time a moderate sum, so as to remunerate the officer; but not to enable him to gain anything. As to the question put by the gallant Officer respecting the travelling expenses of the Royal Personages who had visited this country in the course of last year, he must state that it was customary for a Sovereign to defray all charges of guests whilst in his or her dominions; and he was quite sure the gallant Officer would not wish to see the Queen of England placed in a different position in this respect to that of other crowned heads.

Captain Pechell

observed a sum charged for the entertainment of Queen Pomare and her Consort when she took shelter on board of the Cormorant, whilst stationed at Tahiti. He wished to know from whom it was that Queen Pomare sought the protection and shelter afforded by the Cormorant?

Sir G. Cockburn

said, that Queen Pomare sought a refuge aboard of the Cormorant, when her island and capital were taken possession of by the French.

Mr. Hindley

was glad to see the sum referred to by the hon. and gallant Member, on the Votes, as it showed that some sympathy existed in England towards the Queen of Tahiti.

The Committee divided on the Question, that 47,899l. 10s. 1d. be granted:—Ayes 11; Noes 68: Majority 57.

Original Question agreed to.