begged leave to call the attention of their Lordships, and more particularly of his noble Friends opposite, the Members of her Majesty's Government, to a subject which he considered of so much importance, that if he should not find the attention of Government particularly directed to it, he should feel it his duty to bring it formally before the House in a very few days. He felt very strongly the course which the Crown had been advised to take; he felt it 8 as a friend to justice and he must be permitted to add, as a friend to the monarchical constitution of this country. By the sixth section of the 2nd of the Queen, it was provided, that certain portions of the public funds should be at the disposal of the Crown, for the reward of meritorious public services, as set forth in the preamble to that act. Those who had read the most able despatches and letters of his noble Friend, the gallant Duke opposite, and there was as much in that invaluable collection to inform the statesman as the soldier, would find in many of them most honourable mention made of the late Sir Robert Kennedy, a man than whom, for probity and purity of character, in addition to his long and efficient public services, none stood higher, if, indeed, any in the same branch stood as high. That lamented gentleman had long been at the head of the Commissariat Department in the Peninsula, and his great services, and strict integrity in the discharge of his duties, were further illustrated by the fact that he died poor. Dying, then, in that poverty, so honourable to him, a poverty far more illustrious in the judgment of reflecting minds, than wealth which was dazzling only to the eyes, it would be easily imagined that his family upon whom his honour was reflected, were also poor. But he (Lord Brougham) was enabled to gather from a return which had been made to the other House of Parliament, that those two ladies had obtained out of the fund, set apart to reward those who had meritoriously served their country, the sum of 50l. a-year each. This, he presumed, was the measure of the estimate in which the eminent services of their father was held. He would not say a word of the list of pensions by which this pittance of 100l. a-year between those two ladies was surrounded, and by which the limited sum was exhausted, if he got an assurance from his noble Friends opposite that the attention of the Government would be immediately directed to the subject. If he did not get that assurance, he now gave notice that he would bring the matter more fully to the notice of their Lordships in a few days. He would, however, now read the entry in the return to which he had alluded—setting forth the grounds on which the pension of 50l. a-year each had been set apart toElizabeth Devereux Kennedy, and Anne Maria Kennedy, daughters of Sir Robert Kennedy, late Commissary-general, in con- 9 sideration of his long and arduous service of thirty-eight years, in various parts of the continent of Europe, during which he was ship-wrecked and taken prisoner; and the uniform accuracy with which the immense amount of money passing through his hands was accounted for.This return was made amongst a list of pensions between the 20th of June, 1840, and June, 1841. He would not offer further comment on the subject at present.
§ The Duke of Wellington
said, he begged to offer to his noble and learned Friend his sincere thanks for having brought this subject under his notice. He could state, from his own knowledge of the fact, that there was no individual whom he had known, whose services deserved better of his country, than the late Sir Robert Kennedy. His services were performed through a long period of years, and at the end of that time, he most accurately accounted for the immense sums which had passed through his hands—a sum which he was almost afraid to name, but it was not less than 54,000,000l. or 55,000,000l., and his accounts had passed to the most perfect satisfaction of the audit-office, and of the Treasury. He felt ashamed, and deeply regretted, that he had not adverted to this subject; but he assured the noble and learned Lord that he should give his immediate attention to it, with the view of seeing whether something could not be done for those ladies more worthy of the country, and. of the services which their late respected father had rendered to it.
said, that this assurance on the part of the noble Duke was perfectly satisfactory, and would save him the necessity of again adverting to it.
§ The Duke of Wellington
regretted, that the noble and learned Lord had not made him acquainted with the fact sooner.
said, that it was only a few minutes before he entered the House in the morning, that he had seen the return in question.
§ Subject dropped.