referred to the subject of places in reversion, to which he had called their lordships' attention on a former occasion. An order had been made some time ago, for a return of the offices of this nature held under the Crown, but that order had never been completely complied with. It was his wish that all places held in reversion, whether directly under the Crown or not, should be abolished; but as there was some difference of opinion respecting the latter description, he should not at present propose any thing respecting them. If he did not learn from the noble earl that effectual measures were to be taken for the abolition of the offices still held in reversion, he should propose a bill embracing that object, but which would not affect any interests the judges might have in offices connected with the courts. It would, however, be satisfactory to him to be informed that any proceedings on his part would be unnecessary.
The Earl of Liverpool
wished, in the first place, to remind the noble earl, that, in fact, all offices held in reversion under the Crown were already either entirely abolished, or so regulated as to remove the objections to which they were formerly 1061 liable. This was the case with respect to the offices of auditors and tellers of the exchequer, clerk of the pells, &c. The only exception which he was aware of was the office of clerk of their lordships' house; and with regard to that office, he had already stated his opinion, that it ought to be subject to prospective regulation. He did not, therefore, comprehend to what offices the noble earl could allude. There was, indeed, one office which had been granted in reversion, but he did not suppose that the noble earl referred to it, namely the rangership of Bagshot-park, which was held by the duke of Gloucester, and the reversion of which had been granted to the duchess. Such a grant as this could not be liable to the objections which had generally been urged against reversions. It was one of those arrangements by which the conveniency and dignity of the royal family were consulted. There were still another kind of reversions, but he could as little suppose that the noble earl objected to them. These were the small pensions which were given to the widows and daughters of officers. In some instances, such pensions were granted with reversion to the survivor. It surely could not be the noble earl's intention to propose any alteration in the mode of granting these pensions; for it was evident that very great inconvenience would arise from any regulation which might oblige the Crown to forego a practice which was, in fact, the mere exercise of charity towards a class of persons who had just claims on the gratitude of the country.
admitted that the noble earl's explanation was in a great measure satisfactory. He did not mean to interfere with the reversions to which the noble earl had, in the last instance, referred. What he wished to prevent was, the giving in reversion offices which became mere sinecures. If the noble earl meant to say that no offices of that kind were to be given in reversion, he would agree to refrain from making any proposition on the subject.
The Marquis of Lansdowne
asked, whether any measures had been taken for carrying into effect the act by which certain offices had been abolished? There were also in the reports which had been made to parliament several offices pointed out asproper objects of abolition or regulation, particularly in Ireland. It was proposed that arrangements should be made for re- 1062 gulating all these offices, and for giving remuneration to those who actually performed the duties of these offices, and he wished to know what measures had been adopted by his majesty's ministers in this respéct.
The Earl of Liverpool
said, that all the offices in England had been already regulated. With respect to Ireland, he could not at that moment precisely say to what extent the regulations had been carried.