HC Deb 22 May 1848 vol 98 cc1251-2

MR. MACGREGOR, moved— That there be laid before this House, a Return of the services of the undermentioned persons, who receive the following sums from the Penny Post Office revenue, being deducted therefrom in its progress to the Exchequer, and stating the names of the Heirs of his Grace the Duke of Schomberg:—

His Grace the Duke of Marlborough £ 4,000
His Grace the Duke of Grafton 3,407 10
The Heirs of his Grace the Duke of Schomberg 2,900 0
£ 10,307 10
being the amount of the gross postages on 2,473,800 letters, and of net postages, deducting the expense, of 7,321,400 letters.

LORD J. RUSSELL scarcely thought the Treasury, or any other public department, could be called on to give an account of the services of the Duke of Marlborough, or of the Duke of Schomberg. There was a book called Coxe's Life of the Duke of Marlborough, and several histories of the reign of Queen Anne, in which the services of the Duke of Marlborough, for which he received a certain pension from the hereditary revenues of the Crown, were stated in detail. As to the services of the Duke of Schomberg, they were known to any one who had read the history of the period. The Duke of Schomberg, to whom the money was paid in the first instance, was well known; and if the hon. Member wished to know the names of his heirs, he (Lord J. Russell) believed they could be procured for him. These sums were paid out of the hereditary revenues of the Crown. When the House of Commons took these hereditary revenues, and gave the Crown a fixed sum in return, the House of course took upon itself all the burdens which fell upon the revenues as well. He did not see how they could well avoid those burdens, or rid themselves of the obligations then incurred. He hoped the House would not consent to the Motion.

MR. MACGREGOR said, he regretted exceedingly that the noble Lord should have so far trifled with the taxation of the country, as to have opposed his proposition in such a way. He had brought on this question altogether as one which bore on the profuse expenditure of the public revenues. He did not want to know to what Duke of Marlborough the money had been paid at first, but for what services the pension was paid to the Duke now living. If a former Parliament had been so corrupt as to grant this pension in perpetuity, the present Parliament had a right to inquire for what the money had been granted. The pension was passed in 1723, and since that time 600,000l. had been paid to the family, which at simple interest was more than a million sterling. If the noble Lord treated the taxation of the country so lightly, Her Majesty's subjects would take a different view of it, and hold him to account for his conduct.

Motion withdrawn.