§ The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE
moved the Order of the Day for bringing up the Report on the Annuity Bill for Viscount Hardinge and Lord Gough. He thought it his duty to call their Lordships' attention to the report, with the view of inducing their Lordships to restore these Bills to the form in which they were originally framed when they were introduced into that House. In doing so, he could not sufficiently express his regret that it should be his misfortune, on the first occasion he had to address their Lordships from that place, to do so for the purpose of inducing their Lordships to adopt a course of proceeding which in appearance, however unjustly — but in appearance—might (after he himself had recently pronounced in the strongest terms the sense of gratitude which he felt to be due to Viscount Hardinge and Lord Gough for their eminent services) be held to place a lower value on the great services of those distinguished individuals — not than Her Majesty's late Government did; for he was only about to propose to restore the Bill to the form in which they introduced it—not than the other House of Parliament did; for that was the form adopted by the other House of Parliament, and it was sent up in that state to their Lordships—but a lower value in appearance than that which was placed upon them by a great number of their Lordships in that House, including a number of noble Friends of his, who, when this Bill was in Committee before their Lordships, had induced their Lordships to adopt an Amendment, which was the immediate subject for their Lordships' consideration on this occasion. Whatever might be the sense which he entertained of those services, he felt that their Lordships had a duty to perform towards the public. He felt also that their Lordships had a policy to adhere to with reference to the other House of Parliament; and both on the principles of duty and of policy, he was bound to recommend their Lordships to restore to the report the words which were omitted. In doing so, he begged to recall their Lordships' attention to the grounds upon which the provision intended to be made by this Bill was proposed; and in stating that to be the 1139 ground, he was only stating that which he himself long before this question arose before their Lordships in this particular case, had stated to be his opinion, as the ground on which a provision of this nature was made, namely, the distinct ground that it was not made as a pecuniary recompense, or made to mete or dole out a particular amount of money for the services rendered; but that it arose out of the knowledge that Her Majesty had been pleased to confer certain dignities on eminent individuals who might derive certain pecuniary rewards from professional emoluments; but when placed in that House it was the duty of that House, as it was the duty of the other House of Parliament, to place them in a situation corresponding with the dignity which, with the approbation of the Legislature of the country, it had pleased the Sovereign to confer upon them. He was proud to state, looking to the substance of this Bill—the particular wording of it he was not bound to explain—but, looking to the substance of this Bill, he was proud to say that it did confer that amount of provision on those distinguished persons as it was originally introduced to their Lordships, as from the general sense entertained upon this subject, and from Parliamentary precedents presenting the most distinguished examples, was adequate to enable them to maintain a rank so high as that which had been conferred upon them. In various cases to which he had referred upon this subject, it appeared that a provision inferior to that which was proposed by this Bill, had been awarded by Parliament. In the case, to which he was compelled to allude, of a noble Duke a Member of that House, when he was created a Viscount for the distinguished services rendered by him in Spain, at the battle of Talavera, and during his subsequent services in that campaign, it was thought expedient by Parliament to vote to him a pension or annuity of 2,000l. a year. When, subsequently, for additional services two or three years afterwards, he was in the progress of his glorious career created an Earl, an additional 2,000l. was voted to him, making both together less than the sum voted by the present Bill, as originally introduced, as an annuity for Viscount Hardinge. There were other examples which he might quote; but he did not think it necessary to proceed beyond that, as it was the most remarkable to which he could allude; but he would say generally that upon no occasion, however remarkable 1140 —for no services, however splendid, had a provision been annexed to the dignity of the Peerage, whether conferred in the first instance, or consisting of promotion in the Peerage, larger in amount than the sum which was by this Bill, as first introduced, awarded to Viscount Hardinge; and a provision to the amount of 3,000l. a year was provided by the same Bill for Lord Gough. He confessed he was under the impression if this Bill had been introduced, providing that this amount of—he would not call it remuneration — but that this amount of provision should be granted to enable these noble individuals to maintain the dignity of the Peerage; neither in that or the other House of Parliament anything like an objection would have been stated, either as to the deficiency of the amount, or to the mode in which it was brought before Parliament. But it was owing to the circumstances that in the provision now proposed, the name of the East India Company had been introduced, because the provisions made in the Bill were made in a certain degree conditional on the continuance of annuities granted by the East India Company, the objection was raised; and certain noble Lords thought they ought to have left entirely out of their consideration the provision made by the East India Company. But he (the Marquess of Lansdowne) must say he thought that feeling had arisen from a total misapprehension of what the East India Company was; for the East India Company, acting in that way and in that capacity, could be viewed only as part of the State. The dominions of Her Majesty in the East were, in fact, governed by a double sovereignty, but composing only one sovereignty altogether—the East India Company only acted under the Sovereign of this country. It acted under the authority of the Sovereign of this country, and was not permitted to act except under that authority; and when they considered the amount of this provision, they could not consider it otherwise than as made by the sovereign authority of this country, composed of that Sovereign, who had a reversionary interest in the government of India, and the East India Company, which had the temporary government of the country. And how could the simple fact of the power of the Sovereign of this country having been delegated to any person, form any ground of difference in any provision to be annexed to any dignity for services performed in that country? An annuity had been given 1141 to Sir John Colborne (Lord Seaton) for services performed in Canada: now, suppose the country had been placed under the government of the North West Company for ten, twenty, or thirty years, did any person think that therefore the North West Company had also a right to provide for him; and could it be said that the amount of compensation should be double, to enable Sir John Colborne to maintain his dignity in that House? The view which he had submitted to the House had been the view constantly taken by Parliament on the subject; and whenever the East India Company, acting by the permission—and it could only act by the permission—of the Crown, and when authorized by the Board of Control, acting for the Crown, had been empowered to grant pensions or rewards, that House had constantly considered those rewards as making part of the rewards of the State; and almost in every instance where the East India Company had made a provision, the Parliament had made no provision at all. He had reports of numerous instances of that kind, including the distinguished name of the Marquess of Cornwallis, of whom he could speak with the most unfeigned respect, having known him early in life, and the late Lord Wellesley. Parliament had undoubtedly recognised the services of those eminent men; but though they felt they were entitled to the gratitude of the Legislature, they forbore to vote one shilling to those individuals, because the Company, which represented the Sovereign, had voted large sums of money for that purpose. The only way in which this Bill differed from other Bills was, that in addition to the provision made by the East India Company for Lords Hardinge and Gough, to the extent of 5,000l. in one case, and 2,000l. in the other case, it provided that if the East India Company should cease to exist, and the authority of Parliament should supervene, the 5,000l. and 2,000l. a year shall accrue due under the circumstances in the Bill stated. What distinguished this case was, that not only a large provision was made by the East India Company, but Parliament protected the parties intended to be benefited and to be supported in that dignity against any contingent disadvantage that might arise to them from having received that provision from a temporary body, the existence of which could not be guaranteed beyond a certain period. He thought the provision he had stated, as introduced by Her Ma- 1142 jesty's late Government, was ample enough for the purpose intended; but even if any noble Lord in that House entertained a different opinion, and thought that a larger sum should be given for the support of a particular dignity than had been given at any former period, he submitted to their Lordships to consider the policy and discretion of entering upon the subject and engaging in a controversy with the other House of Parliament, which had at all times claimed the peculiar right of voting the public money. That House would, certainly on this occasion, as far as could be anticipated, and as far as he was enabled to state what he know to be the opinion of leading individuals at both sides of the House, not adopt this amended Bill if it were sent down by their Lordships, but would either do that which their Lordships would most of all deprecate, namely, pass no Bill at all, or send up another Bill containing the provision which their Lordships had omitted. He did say that of all points on which it was the least expedient for that House to enter into a difference of opinion, not only with Her Majesty's late Government, but with the present Government and the other House of Parliament, both concurring in opinion on this subject, it was the case of a vote of money to be raised upon the people of the country. If they sent down that Bill containing this Amendment, or rather with this clause omitted, they would, in fact, be sending down a money plan, proposed by them to be adopted by the other House. The consequences would be, that it would end not only in the rejection of the proposition, but lead to an increase of jealousy on the part of the other House in reference to such questions. The assertion of peculiar privileges by the other House had sometimes been carried so far as almost to deprive their Lordships of a voice in the settlement of great questions of policy; yet he never had any doubt as to the propriety of the privilege which reserved to the representatives of the people the power of determining to what amount the public should be taxed, and to what amount those taxes should be appropriated for specific purposes. Before he sat down, he had a task to perform, which was a duty far more pleasing to him than to have submitted any of the arguments he had ventured to lay before their Lordships to induce them to reject the Amendment. On that day, before he came down to the House, he had received a letter from a dis- 1143 tinguished lady—no less distinguished by being connected by marriage with the eminent person who was the subject of this communication (Viscount Hardinge), than by her own descent from a great family. He had received a letter from that lady—Lady Emily Hardinge, now Viscountess Hardinge, saying she thought it right to communicate to him (the Marquess of Lansdowne), and to authorize him to repeat that communication where he pleased, that she and the family of Viscount Hardinge, having considered the state of this case, felt a deep anxiety that upon this subject there should be no difference of opinion, and, above all, they were anxious that a difference of opinion should not arise upon pecuniary grounds; and they desired distinctly to state, as representing Lord Hardinge, that they felt confident that would be his feeling; and on his behalf they declared they were perfectly satisfied with the amount of the provision made, and with the manner in which the provision was made by the Bill introduced into that House. Their Lordships would recollect that this communication proceeded from a lady, who was the grand-daughter of the first Lord Camden, the most constitutional lawyer that this country ever produced, and who, for his services to the public and to the Constitution, at a time when Lord Chancellors were not provided for on their retirement as at present, received in acknowledgment for his great services a large reward from the Crown, consisting of a per centage on the Exchequer; and they should recollect that the same lady was also the niece of the second Lord Camden, who had the magnanimity—(when it was found that that reward in its proportions far exceeded the amount which had been contemplated at the time it had been conferred)—had the magnanimity to relinquish all or the greater part of that reward, and to repay it into the public Exchequer. He said, when they recollected these circumstances, they could not be surprised that that lady, so connected and descended, should have made a communication which did her so great honour, and was of so disinterested a character. He felt it his duty to ask their Lordships to rescind their former vote. He should be the last to impugn the honourable and generous motives which induced their Lordships to adopt that vote; but he trusted their Lordships would concur with him in the course he proposed, so that the measure should be adopted by the Legislature with the unanimous concurrence of the Crown, 1144 of the other House of Parliament, of their Lordships, and with the assent of the whole community.
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
declared that in opposing the Motion, he had not the slightest intention of throwing any difficulty in the way of the noble Marquess and his Colleagues: his opinion remained as it had been six weeks ago, and he did not intend to alter his vote on the subject. The noble Marquess stated that Lady Hardinge had written to him, hoping the question would not come before the House. If he (the Duke of Richmond) had proposed this clause (No. 3) from any desire to give any private individual a larger annuity, or to assist Lord or Lady Hardinge, then indeed he might have withdrawn it in consequence of that letter. But he took it as a matter of public principle. He believed there was no man without or within the walls of Parliament who would not admit that the country owed a deep debt of gratitude to its armies. Their troops underwent greater privations than any in the world; they were longer absent from their native land; they were quartered in very bad barracks; they had always distinguished themselves by their good discipline, bravery, and perseverance, when the enemies of their country were brought before them. He regarded this annuity as a reward to the army; and he would ask their Lordships if there were many prizes in the lottery of a soldier's life? When the subject was discussed in another place, it was said such rewards should not be given to soldiers, because, forsooth, civilians did not get so much. He could not place in the same scale the services of persons residing in Downing-street, and of those who, by their firmness when commanding abroad, maintained the honour and the interests of their country. Had Lords Gough and Hardinge failed, the British Empire in India would have been shaken to its centre. Then the noble Marquess stated that these grants were for maintaining the dignity conferred by the Crown. The preamble of the Bill contradicted that statement; and the very provision which was made proved that it was a reward for military service. The noble Marquess had referred to the grants which were given when the noble and gallant Duke (the Duke of Wellington) was made a Viscount and an Earl. But was any deduction made from the noble Duke's grants when he received grants from other and Foreign Powers? If the grants to the noble Duke had been quadrupled, the debt 1145 of gratitude which his country owed him would not be paid. Yet it would have been paltry economy to take into account the grants from other quarters. Lords Hardinge and Gough had done their duty well; and now, because the East India Company agreed with Parliament that they had done their duty well, Parliament was to make a paltry saving, by suspending the annuities it proposed to grant, so long as those bestowed by the East India Company were received. He, for one, was glad to find that the soldiers and officers in India were to receive medals; but, at the same time, he could not but express his deep regret that the veterans in the late war should have been, by comparison, degraded—no, not degraded, for that they could not be—but neglected, in having similar honours withheld from them. A memorial, signed by many of them, and sent to the Government recently, had not received the slightest notice—it had not even been acknowledged. On this subject, however, he would not say more on the present occasion. He was very sorry that the late Government should have acted as they had upon the question now under consideration; and it caused him still greater sorrow to find that the present Government should have adopted the same course as their predecessors. And of all men in the world he was the most surprised to find that course advocated and defended by the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Lansdowne), who, when he (the Duke of Richmond) divided their Lordships, six weeks ago, on this question, being unable to make up his mind one way or the other, walked behind the woolsack, and did not vote at all. His noble Friend the Postmaster General voted with him and supported him on the last occasion: and it was to be hoped that though six entire weeks had since elapsed he would see the propriety of pursuing the same course this evening. He likewise ventured to express a hope that his noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty would also vote on the present occasion as he had on the former; and nothing could afford him greater pleasure than to see his noble and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster also voting with him, instead of walking behind the woolsack. No dangerous precedent would be established by pursuing a manly and generous course of conduct in respect to this question. It should not be forgotten that the victories which Lords Hardinge and Gough had achieved closed a great campaign, and brought a formida- 1146 ble warfare to a successful issue. Their achievements were not limited to one general action in the course of a series of hostilities. No, the last battle in which they were engaged with such credit to themselves, and so much glory to their country, was, so to speak, a Waterloo struggle; for it finally asserted the supremacy of our arms, and brought to a glorious consummation a vexatious and harassing warfare, which at one time wore so dangerous an aspect that it was thought that all the energies of this country would be severely taxed to retain our empire and authority in India. If their Lordships should be of opinion that the sums proposed to be granted were too large, they ought to return their money to the East India Company. If their Lordships were to support the proposition of the noble Marquess opposite, the consequences would be indeed most injurious. The East India Company had granted pensions to Lords Gough and Hardinge because they had rendered services which eminently deserved their gratitude; but never again would they come forward to grant similar rewards on future similar occasions, if they were to find that in conferring marks of favour on men whom they esteemed and respected, they in point of fact were not doing any service to those individuals, but were merely saving the Exchequer of this country. Most fervently did he hope that their Lordships would not act a part open to so serious an objection. He trusted that they would not consent to take this present from the East India Company, but that they would grant the sums proposed; and if they did so, the well-known liberality of the Company might, perhaps, justify the expectation that the sums which they had originally intended to bestow on Lords Hardinge and Gough, they (the Company) would now confer on the widows and orphans of the soldiers and officers who fell in India, many of whom, he grieved to say, were in a state of great poverty, occasioned by their having lost their natural protectors—those to whom they had been in the habit of looking up for sustenance and support. By voting these sums out of the Consolidated Fund, and by telling the East India Company that their Lordships would not permit them to bestow these sums on Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough, they would in all probability be enabling the Company to give the money to those who wanted it quite as much. Finally, he hoped that their Lordships 1147 would act on this subject in a manner worthy of their own character and position, by doing an act of justice to Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough, not so much in consideration of their individual merits, great though they were, as for the sake of the profession to which they belonged, and of which they were on all hands admitted to be such distinguished ornaments.
§ The EARL of RIPON
said, he was anxious to say a few words explanatory of the grounds on which he was resolved to adhere to the opinion which he had expressed on this subject when it was last under their Lordships' consideration—an opinion which was in strict accordance with that which had just been enunciated by his noble Friend the President of the Council. If he thought that in taking the course which he had adopted in the original framing of this Bill, and the course which he was now prepared to adopt (the effect of which would be to limit the amount of the grant proposed to be given to Lords Hardinge and Gough), he had been guilty of any act of injustice to those distinguished men, or to the army of which they were admitted by all to be such illustrious ornaments, he would be ashamed to stand up in that House and advocate his opinions in the presence of their Lordships; but he did not believe that any injustice would be inflicted, and the course which he was taking was one which he found himself impelled to by a sense of public duty. In cases of this description it was not a very easy matter to decide the precise amount which ought to be granted by Parliament, either by way of pecuniary reward for great services rendered, or for the purpose of maintaining the honour and dignity of the Peerage; but he begged of their Lordships not to lose sight of this important fact, that the effect of the proposition which the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) had on a former occasion succeeded in inducing them to adopt, would be to give to Lord Hardinge a much larger sum than had ever been given on any former occasion in circumstances at all analogous. In the case of the noble Duke on the cross benches, indeed, a sum exceeding 8,000l. had been granted; but on no other occasion had anything like so large a sum been conferred. In the case of Lord Nelson the sum granted was 5,000l., and in that of Lord St. Vincent 3,000l. These distinguished men received a Peerage at the end of the war in 1815, and at the recommendation of the Crown annuities were 1148 conferred on them, not for their own lives, but for the benefit of their descendants, and in these cases the utmost given was 2,000l. a year. It was their Lordships' duty to consider how far it was consistent with prudence, sound judgment, and a judicious policy to propose a deviation from the general rule, either for diminution or increase, in a case like the present. No doubt it was a painful duty to exercise, when it was remembered that the feelings of gratitude and admiration of the other House of Parliament were so strong, that they would go to the utmost limit of generosity; but those who were Members of a Government were responsible for the sum that was proposed, and they were bound to take into consideration matters which very probably would not strike so forcibly other persons not similarly circumstanced. Now, the House must be aware that there was no precedent whatever of any grant to a person in his capacity of Governor General of India. The excellent services of Lord Hardinge, long before he assumed that high and arduous office, were well known and deservedly esteemed; but nevertheless they had not fallen within the limits which Parliament prescribed to itself in awarding pensions, and consequently he did not receive one. As Governor General he was the servant of the East India Company, though it was quite true that he could not have become such without the consent of the Crown. The Company had over and over again, and in instances almost too tedious to enumerate, conferred on their Governors—as well Governors General as Governors of Presidencies—pecuniary rewards in cases in which Parliament had given no reward whatever. In the case of Lord Macartney, that distinguished individual obtained from the East India Company 1,500l. a year for life, and a Peerage from the Crown, but no pension from Parliament. So, too, in the case of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Cornwallis got 5,000l. a year from the Company, but not one farthing from the Crown. Lord Hobart obtained 1,500l. a year from the Company when he came home from the Government of Madras, but nothing from the Crown. The Marquess of Wellesley also was allowed 5,000l. a year from the Company, but received nothing from the Crown. On the death of the first Lord Cornwallis the East India Company gave to his son an additional sum of 40,000l., under the supposition that such a gift was necessary for him in order to maintain 1149 worthily the dignity he held; but neither to father nor to son did the Crown give anything. Lord Hastings received 60,000l. from the Company, but nothing from the Crown, though he had been advanced a step in the Peerage in consideration of his distinguished services. The son of Lord Hastings received on the death of his father 20,000l. from the Company, but nothing from the Crown. The Marquess Wellesley, in the year 1837, was voted by the Company an additional sum of 20,000l., in consideration of his unexampled services; but it was the exclusive act of the Company. All these sums were given by the Company to mark their high sense of the services rendered by these distinguished individuals as Governors General. But then the circumstances under which they were given, and the relation in which the British Government stood to the East India Company, ought not to be lost sight of. As long as the East India Company was a mere commercial body, in the enjoyment of a great monopoly, it might be said with justice that these sums were advanced out of their own proper moneys; but as things now stood, these votes were taken from the revenue of the country, from the revenue of the State at large. Under the recent Acts of the Legislature the East India Company might be regarded as merely farming the revenue of India under certain restrictions: they administered the Government there in a particular form and mode required by an Act of Parliament; but when that Act expired, as it would in eight or ten years, the Company, unless it were renewed, would possess no control whatever over that revenue. Yet, as this grant was a permanent one, it would in fact be continued afterwards out of revenues which would then have become the revenues of the State. Thus, to vote that money out of the revenues of the Company would be virtually to vote 8,000l. a year out of the revenues of the State. It would have been undoubtedly very generous and very satisfactory to have voted that sum to Lord Hardinge; but, at the same time, it would have been a much larger sum than was ever voted to a Governor General before, and the Government would, in all probability, have been severely taken to task for such a departure from precedent. The noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) had predicted that one evil consequence would result from the adoption of the course recommended by the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Lans 1150 downe), namely, that the Company would not be disposed to treat their Governors in a generous and liberal manner on any future occasion. He confessed that for his part he did not participate in any such apprehension; and indeed he must say he thought that great injustice was done to the East India Company by the supposition that in a matter of this kind they could be influenced by motives so paltry and unworthy as those which were imputed to them. Besides, he considered the contingency altogether impossible, when he remembered the peculiar circumstances by which the present case was characterized. Their Lordships should bear in mind that the Court of Directors and the Court of Proprietors were all along fully cognizant of the course which Government were taking in this matter; but, notwithstanding, they voted 5,000l. to Lord Hardinge, and 3,000l. to Lord Gough, in both cases unanimously. From this fact he had a right to infer that the Company did not feel that Government, in the course they had pursued, had been actuated by any miserable motive of economy urging them to squander the funds of the Company, in order that a saving might be effected to the national Exchequer. Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, and bearing former precedents in mind, the Government had not thought it right to intercept the liberality of the Court of Directors; but they did think that it was their duty—a painful one, no doubt, but still their duty—to consider whether it was right or reasonable, or wise or judicious, to propose that a larger sum should be accorded to Lord Hardinge for the maintenance of his dignity than that which the East India Company had it in contemplation to confer, namely, 5,000l. The noble Lord again declared his warm concurrence in the course that had been pursued in respect to this question by the late and present Governments, and concluded by expressing a hope that their Lordships would perceive the propriety of adopting views similar to those propounded by the noble Marquess the President of the Council.
said, that he had attentively considered this subject within the last few weeks, and his first inclination, and that to which he still adhered, was, that the vote which was come to about three weeks since should be reconsidered, the more particularly as there appeared to be an impression that it was in some sense the result of accident or haste. He was 1151 happy, therefore, to find that an opportunity for further discussion on it had arisen, for the question was one which he admitted demanded, and ought to receive, the maturest consideration. He had taken no part in the former discussion. He now approached the question, having had the benefit of the lights which had been thrown upon it both by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) opposite and the noble Earl (Earl Ripon) who had just sat down; and in justice to the question, and in the spirit of perfect candour to these noble Lords he was bound to apprize their Lordships that his opinion was in favour of the vote which his noble Friend near him (the Duke of Richmond) was about to give, and against the Amendment which had been moved by the noble Marquess. The proposed pensions were given, or intended to be given, not for the mere purpose of maintaining the dignity of the Peerage, but as just rewards of great and illustrious services. It was thus they were to be viewed. From the days of the Duke of Marlborough to the time of the noble Duke on the cross benches (the Duke of Wellington)—who exceeded Marlborough in the glory of his feats of arms as surely as he was posterior to him in point of date (and in no other respect did he come after that great man)—from that age to the present all the generals who had contributed to the glory and power of England had received such grants from Parliament, without the slightest regard to what their personal property might be, or what the amount of their private means of supporting the dignity of the Peerage. In fact, this was a point which never had been taken into consideration in such matters, and never ought to enter into the question. The consequence of an opposite doctrine would be that when a Peerage was conferred on a distinguished military man, the first thing to be taken into consideration was whether or not he had a private fortune; and if it should turn out that he had some property at his command, that he was not without means, no pension at all was to be given. Lord Nelson received from the Sicilian Crown a grant of land. The title of Duke of Bronte which was conferred on him was accompanied by a grant of territorial possession, which to the present day yielded a revenue to his family; but this fact was never taken into consideration when a sum of money was given to him, and a pension of 4,000l. a year. He totally dissented from the description of the relation between the British 1152 Government and the East India Company with which the noble Earl (Earl Ripon) had favoured their Lordships, when he told them that the East India Company was a branch of the Government, and that it was the Government under another name and under another form which made the grants to Sir Henry Hardinge and Sir Hugh Gough. He totally denied this statement, and took an entirely different view of the case. It was quite true, as had been asserted, that the Company could not vote a sum without the consent of the Crown; but this did not constitute the money which they did vote Government money or the money of the State, merely because it was given with the Crown's consent. The resources of the Company did not belong to any particular corporator of the Company in his capacity of an individual corporator; but they belonged to the Company at large, in their aggregate capacity; and it was idle to say that it was not their money that was voted. It could not be called Government money or money of the State, for it did not come out of the Consolidated Fund, but rather out of the coffers, out of the separate revenue, of a section of their fellow subjects, to wit, the corporation known as the East India Company. The argument that Lord Hardinge was rewarded by the Company, not for his services in the field, but for his civil services as Governor General, appeared to him to cut in favour of his (Lord Brougham's) views of the question. Grant it that the Company rewarded him for the wisdom of his councils and the soundness of his policy—let their Lordships reward him for the splendid achievements on the Sutlej and in the Punjaub. It was hard to limit any amount of reward to be given to a military man under such circumstances, and the more so when he heard the question asked was not 5,000l. a year sufficient for Lord Hardinge? He could tell their Lordships that he had seen annuities of 2,000l. a year, and red ribbons, and Peerages, and all manner of distinctions, given to men whose services, when they came to be considered and analysed by after ages (if indeed their names would ever pierce to after ages), were so insignificant, that they would cause men to hold up their hands in amazement that so little as was now proposed as rewards for the real services and important victories in question should have been given, while so much had been given in requital for actions which, when compared with the actions of Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough, sank into ab- 1153 solute nothing. If he wanted any additional reason for giving an ample—most ample—remuneration to Sir Henry Hardinge and Sir Hugh Gough, he found it in the contrasts rather than in the comparisons which he was unwillingly, indeed very reluctantly, compelled to institute. And now one word on the constitutional question. He agreed entirely with his noble Friend the President of the Council, that they ought to leave undisputed, and above all, uninterfered with, on their part, the peculiar privileges of the representatives of the people. It was their privilege to originate Money Bills. They (the House of Lords) never dreamt of doing so. But it was equally their privilege and their right, when Money Bills come to them from the other House, to consider free and unfettered what reception they should give to those Bills. They (the Lords) could not alter this Bill, he was told, because, if it went back to the Commons, altered in any respect, it would be sure to be flung out. When he said that they (the Lords) ought prudently, circumspectly, abstinently, to respect the privileges of the Commons, what right had he to believe that the Commons would be wanting in similar prudence, similar circumspection, similar abstinence towards the undoubted privileges of the Lords? Had they any reason to believe that the Commons, because they (the Lords) differed with them on one part of the Bill, would therefore reject the Bill altogether, because of their Amendment? But, even if they (the Commons) were to do so, they had only, according to the strictest letter of their privileges, to bring in another Bill in accordance with that Amendment? If he were told they would not do so, his answer was an obvious one—though one most painful to give; for it was assuming that the House of Commons, while admitting, as they must admit, the full right of the Upper House to discuss every Bill that was sent to them, would, the moment they (the Lords) differed with them on any one particular, allow the Bill to drop. What was this but saying that the Lords had no right to be consulted? It would be much better to say at once that the Lords had no privileges whatever—that they had no right whatever—that they had no authority whatever, even to touch a Money Bill — that the Commons alone had the power to discuss such Bills—and that the Lords, forsooth, were only to be allowed the office of registering the edicts of the Com- 1154 mons. He (Lord Brougham) wished he could abstain from addressing their Lordships in reference to that most affecting passage in the noble Lord's eloquent speech, in which he told them of the disinterested, the highly generous conduct, of a noble lady to whose letter he referred. He could not account for the difference in men's feelings and views on such subjects; but he confessed that the effect of that letter was to operate upon his feelings in the very opposite direction to that in which it seemed to have operated on the feelings of his noble Friend, for he (Lord Brougham) would say, "the more generous you prove, the more just we shall be to you; the more your liberality and disinterestedness shows itself, the more largely you shall share our bounty;" but he did not reckon this a bounty, he regarded it as a mere debt of justice. He could, with his noble Friend—although he might not so well express it as he had done—but he could well believe that such generosity had been shown by the grand-daughter of Lord Camden, and by the niece of the late Marquess, whose generosity to this country—for it was no justice—it was hardly justice to his family—whose splendid munificence to this country was remembered by the thousands and tens of thousands which he gave up to the public, when they were as much a part and parcel of his own private funds as the rent of his farms or the cash at his banker's. That noble person had descended to the grave with, he had always thought, very inadequate marks of the gratitude of this country; for his was an act of generosity to which, if they ransacked history from the earliest ages to the present day, they would find nothing like a parallel. Grateful as he was to that noble Lord, therefore, and honouring as he ever must do his memory, he could well imagine that the same generosity which guided that act of his life had descended in the collateral branch of the family, and adorned the noble lady to whose letter his noble Friend had made reference. But he must say, that towards the individual, and towards the illustrious house to which she belonged, that letter had produced an effect diametrically opposed to that which would lead him to avail himself of the high-minded scruples which it so delicately expressed.
§ The DUKE of WELLINGTON
, who spoke from the cross benches: My Lords, although the Administration which introduced this measure into Parliament no longer sits in Her Majesty's Councils, yet, 1155 as I had a seat in Her Majesty's Councils at the time of its introduction, and concurred in the measure, I beg to submit to your Lordships a few considerations on the subject. I beg your Lordships to recollect that this is a Money Bill, sent up here from the House of Commons, founded, as all grants of money must be, by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, upon a Message from the Crown. I beg my noble and learned Friend who spoke last to observe the exactness of the words of the Message, and of the preamble of the Bill. Her Majesty states Her desire in that Message to make provision for my Lord Hardinge, whom She had created a Peer, in reward of his great services. These very words are introduced into the preamble of the Bill; it comes, therefore, to the same thing; it is a provision made by Parliament for the maintenance of this dignity, conferred upon an officer in requital of his services by Her Majesty. It is thus treated by Her Majesty in Her Message, and the same words are inserted in the preamble of the Bill. Then, my Lords, the House of Commons adopt the measure on the suggestion of the Crown; it is a Standing Order of the House that no grant of money should be made for any service excepting on the suggestion of the Crown. And what did this House do? The House of Commons, at the suggestion of the Crown and its servants, has passed a Bill conferring a certain provision upon this officer, granted, it is stated, for the support of the dignity to which the Crown has raised him. This House—having this Bill before it, and it being an understood arrangement in the business of supply between the two Houses that this House should not alter a money grant in a Bill of Supply—this House does that which I believe the noble and learned Lord who spoke last cannot produce a single instance of the House of Lords having done, and proceeds to increase the grant made by the other House. Now I must say this is a course which I do not think it would be for the credit of this House to adopt; because if adhered to, it must follow that the Bill will be rejected; and at this time, and in the present state of circumstances, it is very desirable that it should not be lost. That is the position in which the question stands constitutionally, and to this point I beg particularly to draw your Lordships' attention. Certainly, I feel as much as any of your Lordships feel, the magnitude of the services these officers have per- 1156 formed; and I was most delighted to find that Her Majesty thought proper to reward those officers with the dignity of the Peerage, and that this reward was received throughout the country with acclamation; for I am sure there is not an individual in the country who does not feel that these rewards were well deserved. I also think it right that ample provision should be made for those officers, to enable them to maintain the dignity to which they had been admitted by Her Majesty's gracious favour. But, my Lords, the servants of the Crown have serious duties to perform in the consideration of all these matters; they have precedents to consider. They have to consider, also, and to look forward to the consequences of establishing a precedent which it may be inconvenient to future Governments to follow. Now, my noble and learned Friend has adverted to the case of Lord Nelson and others—he has adverted also to my own case, but that has nothing to do with the matter. With respect to Lord Nelson's case, I venture to say that it would have been most unjust towards Lord Nelson, or any man under similar circumstances, to have taken into consideration the supposed value of his foreign estate, in considering the means of enabling a gallant officer who is created a Member of your Lordships' House to support the dignity of the rank to which the Crown, in gracious acceptance of his services, had raised him. In that case, my Lords, that was not taken into consideration; but I can tell my noble and learned Friend and the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) that I know instances in which the point was considered. I positively know the fact, and the case of recommending a provision has been decided upon that point alone. I will not mention the names, because I do not choose to have the private concerns of individuals discussed, as they would be, for weeks and months afterwards; but I can give my noble and learned Friend the names privately, if he chooses. [Lord BROUGHAM: No, no.] I know an instance of a noble Lord than whose services during the late war there were none more glorious or more distinguished; that noble Lord was, like others, elevated to the dignity of the Peerage by the Sovereign of the day, in testimony of his great services, and the gracious acceptance of them by the Sovereign. It was supposed that he was a man endowed with a fortune to enable him to support the dignity of his station without the usual 1157 grant made on such an occasion to officers who, in the presence of the enemy, have gained that honour. It was supposed that he had sufficient property to enable him to support the dignity, and he was consequently not recommended for a grant. But it was afterwards found that he was not so endowed, and had not a fortune sufficient to support the dignity; he was then recommended for the usual grant, and received it. I know another instance of a noble Lord, who was likewise recommended for his great, honourable, and glorious services to the Peerage; he was created a Peer, and happened to have a fortune adequate to enable him to support the dignity of the Peerage. No grant was recommended to be made to him, nor did he ever receive it: the Peerage is now held by the family; but no grant was made. I can give my noble Friend the name of that noble Lord likewise. These are two cases positively in point, where the principle was laid down that has been acted upon in this case, and on which the present Government is also disposed to act. Now, I say, it is important for the army—it is important for those who are likely to be candidates for this honour by their great and glorious services, that it should not be made a matter of controversy, a matter of doubt, a matter of difficulty, on account of the enormous expenses occasioned by this precedent—it is important that this reward should be kept within reasonable bounds; and, under these circumstances, my Lords, I warn you of the vote you are about to give, as affecting the situation of officers in the army. I beg you not, by a course of this description, to make it so expensive as that future Governments, in taking into consideration the grounds on which they are to act when in office, may find it impossible to grant such honours and provisions in future. Let us look a little at this case of 5,000l. a year granted to Lord Hardinge, and 2,000l. a year to Lord Gough, as granted by the East India Company. I have already shown you that the Government do inquire into the fact whether the officers so raised on account of their services have the means of maintaining their dignity. The Government had to propose this provision for those two noble Lords. My noble Friend the President of the Board of Control finds that the East India Company intend, out of the funds at their disposal, to grant 5,000l. a year for life to one, and 2,000l. a year for life to the other, pro- 1158 vided that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to give Her consent to those grants. Therefore the servants of the Crown could not do otherwise than take notice that this provision for the lives of those officers had been made. I do not know whether they came out of one fund or the other; but the late Government had advised the Sovereign to give Her consent to those grants—the Company could not make the grant without the consent of the Crown—my noble Friend gave his consent, and Government had a knowledge of this grant at the moment when it decided on this arrangement, and advised Her Majesty to send the Message to Parliament recommending the grant of these pensions; and, having that knowledge, the Government could not do otherwise than take these grants into their consideration. That being so, it was fit that the circumstances should be provided for in the Act of Parliament; and, accordingly, they are provided for in the Bill as it came from the Commons. Under these circumstances, I say, Government could not do otherwise than take the steps they have done; and I earnestly entreat your Lordships, both for the sake of the army, and for the sake of the interests of those gallant officers' families—for it is very important to them that the question should be settled in this Parliament—I earnestly entreat your Lordships to agree to the Motion of my noble Friend.
The MARQUESS of CLANRICARDE
said, that if the noble Earl (the Earl of Ripon) had made the speech on the former occasion, when the Amendment of the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Richmond) was carried, which he had made that night, he (the Marquess of Clanricarde) certainly should have voted for the Bill, as he should that night, and not for the Amendment. The ground on which he had supported that Amendment was, that whereas the East India Company had granted certain rewards, the Government came forward in what then seemed, as it was called, a shabby manner, to save its own resources. He was not then aware of the law, that the East India Company had not the power of making the grant without the leave of the Crown; but since then he had informed himself on the whole matter, and he must say, that having done so, he thought the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham) entirely wrong in holding that this money was the property of the East India Corporation, or that, if it was saved 1159 to them, it would benefit individuals at the expense of the country. The result of the Amendment, if carried, would be to throw out the Bill, and thus cause serious inconvenience to the families of the two gallant officers concerned; for it was impossible to suppose that the House of Commons would allow their Lordships to increase a money grant. There was nothing in the circumstances to justify so unusual an interference.
§ The EARL of GALLOWAY
had also been taken unawares by the proceedings on this measure. However, he had not voted on the former occasion; but feeling himself now much better acquainted with the subject, and seeing also that the late Government adhered to their opinions upon it, and the present Government equally adopted those opinions, he should vote with the noble Marquess.
The EARL of WICKLOW
said, that though he was about to vote in opposition to the vote he had given on the former occasion, he could not, he thought, be accused of factious or party motives. The argument that had weighed with him on the former occasion was, that a vote from the funds of the East India Company would in future be an injury to the individual to whom it was granted, by being made the pretext for the Government to give him less; but after the explanations which had been given, his opinion was altered; and if he had supposed for a moment that he was endangering these annuities by his vote, he would not have given it on the former occasion. Now, however, it was not satisfactorily clear that the Crown would sanction, or the Government or the House of Commons agree to the introduction of another Bill, if their Lordships adhered to the Amendment of the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond), and thereby caused this Bill to be thrown out in the other House. It would not, therefore, he thought, be judicious in their Lordships to adhere to an Amendment which would either have the effect of depriving these noble persons of the incomes intended for them by the House of Commons, or would create an inconvenient precedent for an increase of the sums proposed to be granted in such cases. It had been stated by the noble Marquess, and corroborated by the noble Duke (the Duke of Wellington) on the cross bench, that these grants of money were not the rewards of services rendered, but for the purpose of maintaining the dignity which 1160 had been conferred. Now, that was a very important argument in debating this question. He had lately—but he was not prepared to assert the fact—seen it stated in the public prints, that, since these Bills had been before Parliament, Lord Gough had succeeded to a property of the annual value of 4,000l. or 6,000l.; and, should this prove to be true, they might discover that the dignity could be maintained without any grant whatever. For these reasons, he would recommend their Lordships, to adhere to the original Motion.
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
wished to deny an allegation which had been made, that he had spoken disrespectively of Lord Hardinge. Such had not been his intention; he merely expressed an opinion of the impropriety and the impolicy of the Governor General of India appearing as second in command to the Commander in Chief. He might also state, that nothing could be more unfounded than the assertion that he had been influenced in the course which, on this question, he had taken, by party or political feeling: on this, as he trusted on every other occasion, he had done what he considered to be his duty.
§ After a few words from the EARL of GALLOWAY,
§ On Question, "to agree to the said Amendment," House divided:—Content 18; Not Content 47: Majority 29.
§ Resolved in the Negative.
|List of the CONTENTS.|
|Duke of Beaufort||Marquess of Salisbury|
|Earl of Cardigan||Earl of Denbigh|
|Lord Brougham||Lord Southampton|
§ House adjourned.