HL Deb 06 June 1828 vol 19 cc1100-16
The Duke of Wellington

, in moving the second reading of the Pensions Act Amendment Bill, said, he would state to their lordships the grounds which induced him to be a party to the introduction of this measure, and those upon which he recommended it to their lordships' approbation. Mr. Canning, whose qualifications and abilities were well known to the country, entered his majesty's service in the year 1796, and, after having filled several important situations in the government of this country, died in the year 1827, holding, at the time, the office of chancellor of the Exchequer, and first lord of the Treasury. It was well-known that the salaries of officers, and particularly of high officers, in this country, were inadequate to defray the expenses into which they who filled those offices were obliged to enter. That might be good policy: it might be right, with a view to economy, that that should be the case; but it was quite clear, that when a person like Mr. Cunning, with but a small fortune, came to be called upon to perform the duties of one of those high offices, he must either perform them inadequately, or live in a manner unfit for a person holding a high office to live in, or fall upon some other means besides the emolument of his office for supporting its dignity. That was the case with that right hon. gentleman: he was obliged to expend those funds which were destined for the support of his family. He thought he might aver, that if Mr. Canning, instead of entering into the public service, had adhered to the profession for which he was educated, and for which he was so well qualified, there could, be no doubt that he would have risen to eminence in that profession, and would have left his family in a state of affluence. He might likewise mention to their lordships, that Mr. Canning was, in the year 1821, appointed by the East-India Company to fill the high office of Governor-general of India, and that he was on the point of sailing to take possession of that office, when he was called upon by his majesty to fill the situation of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in consequence of the death of the marquis of Londonderry. If Mr. Canning had been allowed to proceed to India on that occasion, in all probability, by the present time, he would have been on his return to this country, in possession of such a competency for his family, as would have rendered all anxiety on that subject unnecessary. Shortly after Mr. Canning had entered his majesty's service on that occasion, his majesty, feeling that Mr. Canning had given up the profits of that high office, thought proper to confer on him one of those pensions, which his majesty was enabled to confer, by the act which it was the object of the present bill to amend.—He must say, and he believed he was almost the only person, if not the only one, who was able to make the assertion on his own knowledge, that that act of grace, on the part of his majesty, was totally and entirely unsolicited by Mr. Canning. That right hon. gentleman, however, in consequence of never having been out of office, from the period when that pension was granted, had never, according to the provisions of the act of parliament, received any part of the emoluments of that pension. He was consequently exposed to all the expenses attending the representation of the office of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and obliged to defray those expenses from the salary of that office, and from funds derived from private sources. Under these circumstances, Mr. Canning found he could but ill afford to make that representation which his office required, and his family were in a condition by no means affluent, or such as they ought to be, considering their rank and situation. —He would also call their lordships' attention to the alteration which this act made in the prerogative of the Crown, and, consequently, in the situation in which Mr. Canning's family were placed. In all probability, if that act had never been passed by parliament, the same grace and favour which had induced his majesty to confer on Mr. Canning one of those pensions which his majesty was enabled to confer by that act, would have induced his majesty to confer on Mr. Canning a sinecure office; and, if Mr. Canning had been in possession of a sinecure office, he would have had an income equal to the support of the dignity of his office. That, however, was not the only view which might be taken of the effect of that act. When Mr. Canning died, it was well known that he possessed the confidence and favour of his sovereign; and no man who knew his majesty could doubt that if his majesty had possessed the power at that moment, he would have alleviated the afflictions of Mr. Canning's family, as far as they could have been alleviated, by granting to the son the sinecure office held by the father, or have made some other arrangement for providing for his family.—Under these circumstances, therefore, he asked their lordships to impower him to amend that act, in order to enable his majesty to do that which he would have done, if that act had never passed. He therefore hoped that their lordships' would allow the bill to be read a second time.

Lord Dacre

said, that if the proposition had been to vote a sum of money, he should not have offered any opposition to it. For, though he had, on very few occasions, while Mr. Canning was living, concurred with him, yet no man was more sensible than he was of the great talents, and vast acquirements of that right hon. gentleman. He had been opposed to that right hon. gentleman, on almost all questions of economical reform: he had met in him a most decided enemy to those constitutional principles which he (lord Dacre) had supported; and he had found him on all occasions, the active supporter of every proposition, which went to curtail the privileges of the people; but he must, however, say, that much as he was opposed to the right hon. gentleman, that would not have boon sufficient to make him oppose the bill. The noble duke had stated the grounds on which he should oppose the bill. The bill was, to amend an act, which, after long and repeated discussion, had been passed, to put an end to the power of granting reversionary offices, at a time when those who possessed the situation lately held by the right hon. gentleman, thought they had a just claim to enjoy them. The question now was, whether the bill, by which it was proposed to amend the 57th of his late majesty, which had been resolved on after long and serious debates, should pass; by which that act would be amended and repealed, which was introduced to prevent any future minister from establishing a claim to a reversionary place, while in the service of his majesty. To this he could not consent. The enactments of that act expressed, that it was of the highest importance to introduce some substitute for providing for those who held the high offices of the state, instead of providing for them by reversionary grants. Under the provisions of that act, the number of pensions granted was to be limited to six, in the course of twelve years. At present, there were only five of these pensions to be disposed of, and only one was loose and supernumerary. If it were considered, that, under this bill, one of those pensions was fixed on the life of a young gentleman, it served to throw a greater burthen on the country, by the age of the person to whom the interest was given, than was contemplated by those under whose auspices the act was introduced. Their lordships would see that either they were curtailing, by that act, the power of the Crown, or withdrawing from those who had a fair claim to the possession of such a pension, for the services they had performed. The persons next claiming such a pension would find, that one of those which, by the regulations of the act of the 57th Geo. 3rd., they might expect, was occupied by a very young life interest, and, by such an appropriation, there was a greater probability that there would be a pension less to give, than if it had been bestowed on a person who had filled a high office of the state.—He had stated thus much, in order to shew what were the conclusions to which parliament, after an arduous discussion, had arrived. The bill was intended to enable his majesty to provide by pensions for those who formerly had the power of providing for themselves by certain offices. It was certainly true, that Mr. Canning had never enjoyed the pension which had been conferred on him; but why was this? Because, after receiving it, he had been invariably in possession of an office with higher emoluments than the pension he might retire on. The pension was not to add to his salary while he held office, but to be a retiring half-pay. There was another part of the bill which struck him with some astonishment. He knew nothing of the private circumstances of Mr. Canning's family, but this he knew, that ministers had thought fit, to raise one of the family to the peerage. If the circumstances of the right hon. gentleman's family were such as their lordships had been led to conclude, he certainly thought that ministers should have taken care that such vote should have been applied to the maintenance of the dignity of the peerage. But the pension was not granted on the life of the eldest, but on that of the younger son, and was to be placed in the hands of trustees. He regretted that a precedent like this should be established; and could not but lament, that the noble duke had not distinctly asked for a vote of money. Admitting as he did, the great talents of the right hon. gentleman, though he differed from him in almost all questions of political economy, had the bill been merely to give a sum of money, he would not have voted against it. Such a measure would, he thought, have been more consistent with the dignity of the Crown, and more agreeable to the feelings of the individuals who were to receive it. He conceived it would be better to withdraw the bill, and bring forward such a measure as he proposed.

The Marquis of Londonderry

said, he believed, that even his enemies would not suppose that he was animated by any feelings of political hostility or rancour; and he was sure his friends would not suppose that he acted from any such feelings. It would be in the recollection of their lordships, that during the last session, there was no person who took a more prominent part against the policy of the right hon. gentleman than he did. He disapproved of his arrangements, both as to our domestic and foreign policy; and he had expressed his opposition before their lordships. He would never allow of the phrase, that he had "called anew world into existence." He had opposed the lamentable treaty of the 6th of July. He had opposed the policy which had led, unfortunately, the Russian armies across the Pruth, and perhaps across the Danube, and which might lead to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Had it not been for the policy of that right hon. gentleman, the Russians would not have been encouraged to press forward; but he had made what s only a sentiment in him, but was life and death to the Russians, the basis of a treaty; and had he not urged forward the Russians, they would, probably, have fol- lowed the policy of the emperor Alexander on that question, and have remained at rest. Being opposed to both the domestic and foreign policy of that right hon. gentleman, if the noble duke had proposed the grant as an acknowledgment of the policy of the deceased, he should have been obliged to oppose the motion. He could not have heard any person stand up in that House and praise the proceedings of the right hon. gentleman. He was glad, therefore, to hear the noble duke ask the consent of their lordships, on the ground that the salary of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was inadequate to his office; that he had been prevented from going to India, and that his family was not provided for. He did not mean to speak of making up what that family had lost; he could feel for that loss as a man should feel. He was glad, therefore, that the noble duke had placed the vote on these grounds, so that he for one, was not prepared to oppose it. There are individuals around me (continued the noble marquis), who have received pensions for their services. Several noble lords have received pensions for diplomatic services. I, however, am one of those individuals to whom the late right hon. gentleman, out of personal hostility, did not choose to award the same pension, though I have the same claim as other noble lords [hear, hear!]. I will not, however, because the right hon. gentleman refused me a pension to which my services were entitled, refuse a pension to his family, being very sensible that his great talents and long services entitled him to it. These are my reasons for supporting the measure, and I give the vote with greater pleasure, in consequence of what has occurred within these few days. I was glad to see certain gentlemen, the friends of the late right hon. gentleman, retire from his majesty's councils. There was certainly a political incubus pressing on the cabinet, and I rejoice, that it has been repressed. Now that the noble duke has the materials of his government constituted equally and uniform, all will be well. I trust, that now the principle of the government will be stable, and that our commercial and agricultural interests will be steadily pursued, without any of those divergencies or those aimings after visionary projects, which had lately distinguished our councils.

The Earl of Dudley

said, that after the speech of the noble duke, which had stated in so fair, so convincing, and so satisfactory, a manner, the present question, it would have been unnecessary for him to have said one word, had it not been for the statement of the noble marquis. That statement was calculated to convey an imputation on the memory of his late right hon. friend, which it was impossible for him to hear without contradicting. The noble marquis had said, that many persons had received pensions for political services, but that he, the noble marquis, had been refused his from political feeling, by Mr. Canning. Their lordships must be aware, that when it was a question of motive, no man was able to dive into the human heart, and to say what was, or was not, the feeling which prevailed there: it was impossible for him to disprove the imputation; but he would appeal, not only to the friends of that right hon. gentleman, not only to all indifferent persons, but to every political enemy which that gentleman had —with one single exception—and he would ask them, whether they thought Mr. Cunning so base in feeling, as to do so base an action in so base a manner? That that right hon. gentleman, like other men of warm feelings, was capable of strong resentments, he had no doubt. He might have felt resentment towards the noble marquis; but, if that right hon. gentleman had wished to show him any mark of his resentment, he would have done it in another shape than by the refusal of a pension. What mark of resentment could it have been, to refuse a pension of 2,000l. a year to a noble lord possessing vast estates? He hoped their lordships would allow him to refer to what passed in their lordships' House last year. How did the refusal of the pension stand? An application for a pension was made by the noble marquis to Mr. Canning, at that time presiding over the Foreign Department. What was the result? Mr. Canning, instead of refusing the pension, with that delicacy of feeling which belonged to him, thinking, probably, the noble lord's not a proper case for a pension, but not choosing to take the responsibility of deciding upon himself, referred the application to a friend of the noble lord's brother, to a nobleman who, if he had any leaning at all, might be supposed to have it on the side of the noble marquis. He would not mention the shape in which the noble earl gave an answer to that application. He had no wish to twit the noble marquis on the terms which the noble earl had used: but the refusal was not Mr. Canning's, but lord Liverpool's. With what justice, then—with what fairness—he had almost said with what decency—were we to be told, with respect to an individual who, whatever faults he had, had never, in the whole course of his life, given the slightest cause for an imputation of one paltry action, that he had shown his resentment in so unworthy a manner? Faults he had; but no man was without them: and he could not sit silently and hear such a monstrous imputation cast on the memory of his right hon. friend. He would state the reason for which he believed—for he was not very conversant with the subject—the pension had been refused. The fact stood thus: —There was a certain sum which the Crown disposed of in pensions. The Crown was not, however, enabled to grant pensions to every man who had served a certain time. It was nominally enabled to do so until the pensions were exhausted; the whole amount of which did not exceed 40,000l. Then, it certainly was not unfair, in granting a pension, to look at all the circumstances of the case; because it was quite evident that, by granting pensions to men of large fortune, the Crown would be prevented from giving pensions to others equally deserving, and much more in need of them. The noble marquis's income seemed to be very large, and that he took to be the clear and obvious ground, why he had not received a pension. That circumstance was, however, no disparagement to the noble marquis's services.—With respect to the manner in which the present bill had been brought forward, he could not, as a friend to Mr. Canning, help offering the noble duke his thanks for the manner in which he had introduced the measure. He did not mean to say, that the mode in which it was proposed to be clone, met his views in every respect, or that the sum to be granted was at all commensurate to the eminent services of the illustrious deceased. As it was, he was satisfied that this grant was only an act of justice, and a well-deserved tribute to the great services which had been discharged by an eminent public servant. Impressed as he was with a deep sense of the merits of Mr. Canning, he was aware, at the same time, that there were many persons who did not agree with Mr. Canning in the course of his political life; and he was ready to concede, that if this measure in volved a recognition of Mr. Canning's political principles, they would have good reason to object to it. But he would say, that this measure was founded upon different grounds: it was founded upon the great talents, and the unwearied zeal, which Mr. Canning had displayed in the service of the public for a number of years. It was given to the family of Mr. Canning, because, while living, his official salary was inadequate to the support of his official station, and he had been in consequence obliged to draw upon his private fortune.

Lord Goderich

said, that while he had the honour of a seat in his Majesty's cabinet, this subject had been discussed, and he had then declared his decided opinion, that it was the duty of government to submit to parliament a proposition of this description. He conceived that the measure was justifiable, not merely on account of the splendid talents and great services of the eminent individual in question, but on the general principle, that if parliament chose to deprive the Crown of the power of conferring rewards upon the family of an individual who had held an important station under the Crown, and who had discharged the duties of that office with ability and zeal, it became the indispensable duty of parliament to bestow those rewards which the Crown had not the power to confer. It was always maintained, however, that though it was fit that parliament should deprive the Crown of that power, it was also equally fit that parliament should be called upon to fill up the deficiency, whenever a case arose which called for its generous interference. He could not, therefore, see any force in the objection of a noble lord to this bill, on the ground that it was an amendment upon an act which had obtained the sanction of parliament. It had been well observed by his noble friend who had spoken last, that this was the discharge of a debt of justice, rather than an act of liberality; and that was a sufficient answer to the objections of the noble lord. There was one observation which had fallen from the noble marquis with which he had been much struck. The noble marquis had said, that the pension which he had asked from the government, had been refused to him at the instance of Mr. Canning, and upon personal grounds. He should not weaken the effect of what had fallen from his noble friend (lord Dudley) by entering into a refutation of that charge, but he happened to know that Mr. Canning had nothing to do with the refusing of that pension. It was the act of lord Liverpool, and of lord Liverpool alone. He happened to be with lord Liverpool at the time when he received the letter of the noble marquis, applying for the pension. Lord Liverpool showed the letter to him and said, "This is a thing which it will be impossible to grant." The noble marquis founded his claim to the pension upon public services. Lord Liverpool distinctly said he had no right to it upon such grounds; and he certainly agreed with lord Liverpool in that opinion. He had stated enough, he conceived, to show that his noble friend was mistaken in supposing that Mr. Canning had any thing to do with the refusal of that pension.

Lord Seaford

said:—My lords; if I eould consider the grant proposed to be made to Mr. Canning's family by the present bill, as affording in any degree a measure, either of his public services or of the estimation in which they arc held by the country, I must confess I could not but consider it to be very inadequate. There are, however, I am aware, circumstances by which similar grants are necessarily limited, and which have regulated and controlled the course of the government on the present occasion; considerations which, being quite independent either of the merits of the individual, or of the feelings of the country, render the present grant in no degree a correct criterion of either. And though I should have preferred that this grant had been regulated in the manner suggested by the noble lord, (Dacre) though I regret that it is not in its nature—that of a mere annuity on a single life; or in the amount of that annuity, more nearly commensurate with Mr. Canning's eminent services,—or more suitable to the liberality of a great and generous nation; I will not offer any objection to the present bill, but am content to accede to it, on the grounds proposed by the noble duke, who has introduced the measure with a fairness and candour, for which, as a friend of Mr. Canning, I feel bound to express my acknowledgments.

The noble duke has proposed this grant, if I understood him correctly, simply and generally as a tribute to the memory of an eminent statesman, whose splendid talents and whose life have been devoted to the service of his country, in the highest offices of the state. A proposition so general would, I should have hoped, have had the advantage of avoiding all opposition. It is, indeed, so general as to afford latitude for almost every possible degree of favourable opinion or feeling. If it does not satisfy the wishes, it justifies, at least, the votes of Mr. Canning's warmest friends and admirers; and, avoiding, as it does, any implied disavowal of opposite political opinions, it affords scope for the indulgence (where they exist) of the generous feelings of even a political antagonist. The proposition is also so clear and so simple in its nature, and it rests upon grounds so universally felt and acknowledged, that it has the further advantage of not requiring much argument for its support

There are, however, some circumstances which, though they bear only indirectly upon the case, and have been, in some degree, touched upon by the noble duke, yet constitute so powerful an appeal to the justice and honourable feelings of your lordships, that I cannot refrain from pressing them further upon your lordships' notice. Mr. Canning, early in life, was deprived of his legitimate inheritance; but he acquired by marriage, a fortune fully sufficient for independence and respectability in private life. At his death that fortune was found to have been considerably impaired. It was not injured by waste or extravagance. No man was less expensive in his tastes or habits than Mr. Canning. When out of office his establishment was small and unostentatious, and regulated with order and economy. But, during a considerable portion of his life, he held high official situations, which imposed upon him the necessity of an increase of expense and of establishment, for which his official salary did not supply the means

The noble duke has justly observed that the high offices of the state are greatly underpaid. It has, in consequence, been very generally the practice, for persons filling those situations to hold at the same time some other office of considerable emolument. Mr. Pitt, in addition to the offices of First Lord of the Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer, held that of warden of the cinque ports. Mr. Pitt was a single man, not more expensive in his habits than Mr. Canning; yet Mr. Pitt died very considerably in debt. I have often heard this fact, (as your lord ships must), cited, and justly, to his honour, as a proof of his disinterestedness; but I never knew it made matter of reproach as a proof of his extravagance. It was, in fact the natural and necessary consequence of the inadequacy of his official salary to the expenses which his official station imposed upon him. At the death of Mr. Pitt, the office of warden of the cinque ports was given to lord Liverpool, which he has held in addition to the other high offices which he filled during the last twenty years of his political life. Lord Grenville, who succeeded Mr. Pitt as First Lord of the Treasury, held at the same time the patent place of auditor of the Exchequer. The duties of this office being considered to be inconsistent with those of the First Lord of the Treasury, an act of parliament was passed for the purpose of enabling lord Grenville to continue to receive the salary of the auditorship of the Exchequer; the duties being altogether performed by deputy, at the same time that he held the office of First Lord of the Treasury. On the breaking-up of lord Grenville's administration, when Mr. Perceval was appointed to the office of chancellor of the Exchequer, it was thought right to grant to him, in addition, the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster.

I will not take up the time of your lordships, by going through a long enumeration of similar cases; but I may venture to assert, that it has rarely happened, except in the case of individuals possessing very ample private fortunes, that the persons filling the high offices of state have not had the advantantage of also holding sonic other place of emolument. I do not cite these examples in praise or in blame, but merely in comparison, and for the purpose of shewing that Mr. Canning had not the same advantage which many persons in a similar situation did enjoy. The consequence was, that the insufficiency of his official salary, which was necessarily to be supplied out of his own income, not only absorbed the whole of that income, but compelled him to encroach considerably on the capital of his private fortune. An opportunity, however, of repairing this injury was offered as the noble duke has stated, by Mr. Canning's nomination to be Governor General of India. Had he gone to India, he would, previous to the period at which he was cut off, have accomplished this object, and might have bequeathed the means of affluence and independence to his family. These were reasons which might naturally and properly render a man of nice and delicate feelings, and which did render Mr. Canning most extremely anxious to repair the injury which had been done to the inheritance of his children. India also presented to him other attractions, high station, great power, and the example of fame and honours as well as fortune acquired by his predecessors, of whom many are now sitting among your lordships. But when these prospects were about to be realized, Mr. Canning was unexpectedly called upon to fill a station at home; higher, undoubtedly, and more important, and more gratifying to his ambition, but, on the other hand, necessarily involving the aggravation of that injury to his fortune which he was properly so anxious to repair. The station which he was about to fill in India, and that which was offered to him at home, presented a conflict of public and private duties. A tempting career was open to his ambition in each, but Europe was the greater theatre,—the part he was called upon to act more brilliant, and the service to his country more important. On the other hand, in a consideration of private duties, the scale preponderated decidedly in favour of India. His decision was not made without a struggle, but a sense of public duty prevailed

It has not been unusual for public men, when they have been called upon to make pecuniary sacrifices, on accepting high political situations, to stipulate for some provision for themselves and their families in compensation for those sacrifices. The sacrifice made by Mr. Canning, on giving up India, was fully equal to that of those professional prospects which it has been usual thus to compensate; but Mr. Canning made no stipulation. My lords, there arc sacrifices for which a high-minded man may, and properly, not choose to ask for a compensation; but there are those also which similar feelings equally forbid to be accepted without return. Such I conceive to be the case between Mr. Canning and his country; and though no claim has been preferred by his family on this score, though this bill is brought in on other and distinct grounds, it is not the less true, that a debt of honour has been incurred by the country. My lords, how was this felt in the highest quarter? Almost immediately after Mr. Canning's appointment to the Foreign Department, his Sovereign spontaneously, as has been stated by the noble duke, and unexpectedly by Mr. Canning as I know— and with a graciousness in the manner of doing the thing, which doubly enhances the value of an act of liberality—conferred upon him one of those pensions which had been placed at the disposal of the Crown upon the surrender of those sinecure offices which had been usually appropriated to the remuneration of eminent public services. But the king could only grant this pension to Mr. Canning for his life, and upon his retirement from office. By his premature death the generous purpose of his sovereign was frustrated, and parliament are now called upon to enable the Crown to carry that purpose into effect, by granting the same pension to one of Mr. Canning's sons. My lords, I conceive that parliament owe it to their own honour and to the honour of their country, not to refuse their concurrence to the acquittal of the debts which I have stated thus to have been incurred, and I cannot believe but that the consideration, that by this proposed grant this debt will not remain altogether unacquitted, will operate upon your lordships' minds as a powerful auxiliary motive in support of it

My lords, I would here have closed all with which I should have troubled your lordships, but for the observations which have been made by the noble marquis. The noble marquis has found fault generally, and almost without any exception, with the political principles and policy of Mr. Canning. There is, I must confess, a difficulty in replying to these objections, arising out of their generality. If I were to undertake a detailed defence of the whole of Mr. Canning's political life and principles, or to enter into the discussion of the merits of the Greek treaty, to which the noble marquis had specifically pointed his objections, it would be to trespass far more largely upon your lordships' indulgence than on this occasion I should feel justified in doing. With respect to those observations of the noble marquis which are of a personal nature, I shall not do Mr. Canning's memory the injustice of weakening, by any thing which I could say, the impression which must have been made upon your lordships' minds by the able, eloquent, and powerful reply, which has been given to that part of the noble marquis's speech by my noble friend near me. I shall, therefore, content myself with appealing from the disapprobation of the noble marquis, to the approbation of his sovereign and of parliament, confirmed and justified by the approbation of his country—to that approbation not withdrawn while he lived—to the grief which was expressed at his death—to the regret which has been felt for his loss—and which every day's experience has confirmed and encreased. Further, I appeal to the esteem and admiration which are coupled with his name in every foreign country. I cite and attach peculiar importance to the estimation in which Mr. Canning's name is held abroad, because the peculiar and ruling principle of his whole policy renders that testimony particularly valuable. I cannot better illustrate my meaning than by quoting the opinion of a person of no mean authority—a foreigner, influenced by feelings of the strongest prejudice, and of prejudice which rendered this testimony perhaps the most valuable that could be adduced. Your lordships probably have seen a character of Mr. Canning which appeared in the American newspapers, and which is supposed to have been written by Mr. President Adams. I will take the liberty of reading a short extract—

"With all our admiration of the mental "powers of Mr. Canning, whether, as "inherited from nature, or carried to "their highest pitch by the discipline of business and study; whether we marked "their efforts when brought to the most "momentous trials, or only gazed at them when they dazzled in lighter ones, "truth compels us to state, that he was "never the political friend of this country. "He was a Briton, through and through "—British in his feelings—British "in his aims —British in all his policy "and projects. It made no difference "whether the lever that was to raise "them was fixed at home or abroad, for "he was always and equally British. "The influence, the grandeur, the dominion "of Britain, were the dream of "his boyhood; to establish them all over" the globe, even in the remote region, "where the waters of Columbia flow in" solitude, formed the intense efforts of his "riper years. For this he valued power" —and for this he used it.

My lords, the American President was right. Mr. Canning was a Briton through and through—British in all his feelings-British in all his policy and projects, To establish the grandeur and influence of Britain, was the dream of his boyhood—the effort of his riper years, and let me add the successful effort. To have acted constantly under the influence of this ruling principle, and at the same time to have won the admiration, and command the esteem, of every foreign country, was the triumph of patriotism and ability, and completed the character of a consummate statesman. My lords, I am content, in Mr. Canning's justification, to go to a verdict of his country upon this testimony, in opposition to that of the noble marquis.

The Earl of Morley

said, that, having been an intimate friend of the late Mr. Canning, he was anxious to bear his testimony in addition to that of his noble friend, to the public-spirited motives which induced Mr. Canning to relinquish the appointment to the government of India. He happened to have in his possession a document amply confirmatory of the sentiments expressed by his noble friend on that subject. In a private letter, written 30th September, 1822, at the period when he had given up the appointment of Governor-general of India, Mr. Canning, after stating his reasons for doing so, and for accepting of the office of Secretary for Foreign Affairs says—"I take no joy, and I feel none. I have sacrificed my interests, my wishes, and I believe my happiness; but I hope I have done my duty."

Earl Grosvenor

said, that the act to which the noble duke had alluded was passed under a strong impression, on the part of parliament and the country, that sinecure places were of a mischievous nature. But the noble duke called upon them not to amend that act, but to make an addition to it; for the clause in question was an addition and not an amendment: its object was to authorise the Crown to do an act which it could not do under the existing law. The act which this bill proposed to amend, gave to the Crown the power to grant pensions to certain persons for public services rendered to the country, after their removal from office, and during the remainder of their lives. Now, a pension of that description could not last very long; but the one proposed by the noble duke might last for half a century. A noble lord had said, that this pension should be granted out of the consolidated fund; and he would prefer that mode of proceeding. He wished to consider this question solely in a constitutional point of view. Their lordships were aware, that his majesty had been advised, and was well-advised, to ennoble the family of Mr. Canning, by the grant of a peerage. Now, he would contend, that when a peerage was granted to any individual who had not sufficient means to support it, such means should be given to him along with the peerage. If it were otherwise, titles might be conferred, not in perpetuity, but for life; and a profligate ministry might, upon some profligate occasion, create twenty or thirty votes in that House, by conferring so many peerages for life. If it had been right to confer a peerage upon the family of Mr. Canning, he would say, that parliament, instead of voting a miserable 3,000l. a year, should vote some adequate sum to support that dignity. The noble lord instanced the cases of lord Nelson and the duke of Wellington, in which parliament had voted money to support the titles which had been conferred in those instances. They had been told, that the fortune of Mr. Canning had been impaired, and that this 3,000l. a year was to be granted to make up for that loss: and certainly, in that view of the question, he was ready to admit that they were called upon to vote it. He would vote for this grant upon public grounds, because Mr. Canning had impaired his fortune in the public service. He supported this grant on account of the zeal, the industry, and the talents which Mr. Canning had exhibited in the service of the country. He should have preferred that this grant had been attached to the peerage conferred upon the Canning family; but, under the circumstances of the case, he should give it his support.

The bill was read a second time.