HC Deb 06 March 1866 vol 181 cc1630-1

(Mr. Dodson, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Grey.)

Bill considered in Committee.


said, that the alteration which had been made for the purpose of making the annuity inalienable was much more important than it might at first seem to be. The House might declare the inalienability by a Bill; but he doubted whether they had power, by leaving the discretion with the Crown, to dispense with an existing law. As a matter of policy and general law it might be desirable to make allowances to the Royal Family inalienable in the same way that the pay of an officer was considered inalienable, it being granted to maintain a particular position. His objection in this ease was not so much to the principle as to the mode in which it was proposed to give effect to it. He did not think that a matter of this kind should be left to domestic arrangement between Her Majesty and the Prince.


agreed that the words which were introduced when the Bill was committed pro formâ were not devoid of importance; but they did not alter the intention of the Bill, nor he believed of the House, when it sanctioned the previous stages; because the question whether the annuity was to be inalienable was raised on earlier occasions, and he had stated his belief that the Bill as it stood would have the effect of rendering the annuity inalienable. That was an answer given in good faith but with insufficient knowledge, and the effect of the clauses of the Bill, and his impression at the time, was that the grant to trustees would practically have that effect. On finding that that was not the case, his course was to introduce words into the Bill for the purpose of giving effect to what he believed to be a sound principle of policy, and so to fulfil an engagement with the House. He did not understand his hon. Friend to dissent substantially from the policy of the enactment. Although, undoubtedly, contrary to the general practice and spirit of the law of England, as his hon. Friend was aware that these were cases of grants made to enable persons to sustain a public position where, with a view to the propriety of the case and the prevention of further demands, the character and inalienability was attached to those grants. So that the objection narrowed itself to this—that by the form of words adopted in the Bill the character of inalienability would, in the last resort, depend on the discretion of the Crown. That mode of proceeding was adopted as on the whole more deferential towards the Sovereign, and which, while manifesting the intention of Parliament, was quite sufficient to remove any invidious character which his hon. Friend thought might attach to it, if regarded as a purely domestic arrangement.


thanked the right hon. Gentleman for his very satisfactory explanation.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time To-morrow.