said, that to the Motion he was about to make for a return relative to the savings on the Civil List he could not have conceived that any objection would have been raised; but he understood that his noble Friend opposite (the Marquess of Lansdowne) intended to oppose it. He had not thought that any serious objections could have been raised on the ground that it was interfering with the revenue of the Crown, and he certainly had not done so with any view of entering upon any indiscreet examination of what had been done with regard to the Civil List appropriated to the Crown; but he conceived that Parliament had a right to see how any savings which had taken place had been effected. His noble Friend (the Marquess of Lansdowne) shook his head, but there was nothing in it. He meant there was nothing in the shake. He held in his hand a paper which had been presented to Parliament, being the revenue returns for the year ending the 5th of April, 1850, which showed that a saving had been effected in the expenditure of the Civil List during the last year to the amount of 38,719l. 4s. 2d. This surely could not be considered a secret when these savings had been stated in a return furnished by the Treasury. This was merely the last year's saving; all he wanted to know was how much of the amount had been effected in consumable articles used in the Lord Steward's, in the Lord Chamberlain's, and in the Master of the Horse's departments, and how much had been obtained from pensions, salaries, and allowances. He wanted to see how much had been saved in each department, and how much from salaries. They had the total amount, and he could not conceive why they should not 686 have details. He could state a sound reason on his own part why he called for these further returns. Previous to voting the Civil List for this reign, estimates were laid before Parliament in 1837 explaining the principles on which the Government had framed the Civil List for the present reign. Estimates were given, under various heads, of so much being required for the Lord Steward's, the Lord Chamberlain's and the Master of the Horse's departments, and so much as allowance for salaries and pensions. He therefore required an explanation under which head the savings had been effected. It had become known that in consequence of the death of Sir Thomas Marrable, and the appointment of Mr. Hill to the Board of Green Cloth, there was a saving to the amount of 2,927l. This therefore had been effected out of a vote which had been granted for a specific purpose. If they voted a certain number of thousands a year for the support of the dignity of the Crown for each department, they ought to know what the expenditure was in the Lord Steward's, the Lord Chamberlain's, and the Master of the Horse's departments. The Sovereign had no right to abolish offices—or, rather, the advisers of the Crown had no right to take money given for one purpose, and apply it to another. He begged to remind the House that in 1837 or 1838 he had stated two grounds why he thought it was the duty of Parliament to fix a period to which they should limit the Civil List then to be granted. During all the discussions when they were fixing the amount of the expenditure of the three great departments of the Court, and of salaries and pensions paid out of the Civil List, he had remarked that they could not possibly foresee whether in future time the amounts they were about to vote would be found too much or too little. It was equally impossible for them to tell whether, probably for a period of half a century, they were about to vote too much or too little. If it was too little, the Parliament would have to give an increase or to pay off debts contracted on the Civil List. If it was too much, which was very possible, and he had stated several reasons why he thought this would be the case, it was a strong ground why provision should not be made. He had strongly maintained one reason for thinking so, namely, that the prices of articles of consumption would not continue high. He then said, be did not believe that the law which tended to keep up the price of the first necessary of life— 687 bread—he meant the corn laws, would he long continued. He had expressed his assurance that the law must be repealed, and he had asked what would he the effect on the prices of all the articles of general consumption. He had also asserted that the consequence of such repeal would he that they could not properly appropriate the amount that would be required in each of these departments with the existing state of facts before them. As he had foreseen, the corn laws had been repealed, and savings to the amount of 38,000l. had been effected in the expenditure of the Civil List in one year. He took credit for not having agreed at the time with the sums fixed for each, for the whole of a reign, for these several departments. Many objections, however, were taken against making the Civil List temporary, and he was induced to content himself with protesting against the course taken. There was also another reason which he had urged, it was—that he wished that they should know what were the revenues of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster. He found the revenue of the duchy of Cornwall for the year 1848 was 67,000l. M. This was under a management than which one more expensive never existed. It appeared that for every 2l. collected from the revenues of the duchy, 1l. 5s. was paid to defray the expenses of the department. It was impossible that any noble Lord would allow anything of the kind to occur in the management of his estate, or for a moment sanction a charge of between 60 and 70 per cent on the gross revenue to defray the expenses of the stewards and agents and other managers of his property. In 1848, not less than 7,000l. was paid out to defray the charges connected with the Prince of Wales, the auspicious young prince being only seven years old. In the following year the whole amount drawn for the alleged service of His Royal Highness was considerably greater, amounting to not less than 29,000l. It was quite impossible that that House could believe that the expense of his education, the charge for maintenance, or any other necessary expenditure for him, could amount to so much; such, however, was the sum received by the Crown out of the revenues of the duchy for the alleged maintenance of the Prince of Wales. It appeared, also, that a saving had been effected in the duchy of Lancaster of not less than 12,000l., and this was to be added to the 38,000l. saved in the Civil List; and altogether he found 688 the sums received by the Privy Purse from these various sources amounted to about 140,000l. But it was a great mistake to suppose that the Privy Purse was unencumbered. He did not mean to say that that debt had been increased by the present Sovereign, but there were arrears due from charges placed on it by former Sovereigns. The late William IV. had charged it with about 28,000l. He (Lord Brougham) never could allude to that beneficent monarch without expressing his admiration of his excellent temper and his kindness of disposition, which perhaps had induced him to bestow grants on those who had served with him, or who, in his estimation, had rendered service to the State. It was not in conformity with the genius of the constitution that the Sovereign of this country should have the means of acquiring wealth, but that he should be dependent on Parliament. If the Sovereign and the Parliament went on with amicable feelings and with a good understanding, the latter would be ample, liberal, nay, even generous in its grants for the support of the dignity of the Crown. He had been many years a Minister of the Crown, and he had never doubted for one moment that such would always be the result of a mutual good feeling existing. There had been no means hitherto of a Sovereign amassing wealth from savings from the Civil List, and indeed the Sovereign had not the moans of disposing of any property belonging to the Crown till Mr. Pitt passed a measure on the subject, in 1799, enabling certain grants to be made out of the landed property of the Crown. The law, however, clearly was, that if an estate descended to the Crown by gift, devise, or other means, it could not be settled as any estate belonging to a private person. It was held not as a devise of private property, but was considered to be Crown property, and was held by the Crown in trust as public property. The ground for the measure of Mr. Pitt was, that George III. wished to devise some land to his favourite daughter, the Princess Amelia, and that was the first time for a very long period that the Crown was enabled to separate a portion of land from Crown property, or the property of the Sovereign separate from that of the Crown was recognised. He had formerly broached the subject as to the alleged too high salary paid to high judicial and other functionaries, and to diplomatists who represented the Crown at foreign Courts. It was very much the custom at that period 689 of the year to postpone any subject likely to give rise to much discussion to an early period of the next Session. It was most painful for him to postpone the consideration of the subject, but he would then give notice that at an early period of the next Session he would bring the whole question under the notice of the House, and press for a division upon it. He merely wished, on the present occasion, to move for a return showing how much of the 38,000l. saved from the Civil List was saved in the departments of the Privy Purse, and in the offices of the Steward, the Chamberlain, and the Master of the Horse.
Then the Order of the Day for moving an humble Address to Her Majesty, for the Amount of the Savings in the Civil List Revenues since the beginning of 1838; distinguishing the Classes and the Years; and for the Lords to be Summoned; read, and discharged. Then it was moved—That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, for a Return of how much of the 38,000l. and upwards, Savings on the Civil List for the Tear ending 5th April, 1850, arises from the Salaries, Pensions, and Allowances.
§ The MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
said, that his noble and learned Friend had given notice of a Motion to which he had certainly felt that the very strongest objection should be made; and he was bound to state that even the modification of that Motion which had been proposed, was, in his opinion, open to very grave objections, considering the situation in which that House stood with respect to the Crown. With respect to the savings of which the noble and learned Lord spoke, he was informed that the view of his noble and learned Friend was founded on mistake, and that the money was merely so much money not issued. He must, however, fairly state to his noble and learned Friend his invincible repugnance to the production of the smallest, the most minute, or the most trifling account in the Civil List, founded as that Civil List was upon a solemn engagement and contract between the Crown on the one hand, and Parliament on the other. So long as that contract subsisted, he should deem it his duty to object to the production of any accounts connected in any way with that Civil List. Well, knowing that his noble and learned Friend would disclaim any interference with that contract, yet knowing at the same time—what his noble and learned Friend must be well acquainted with—the temper of these times, 690 and feeling sure that if Parliament began by asking for information, that information, if granted, might be followed up in a spirit far different from that which actuated his noble and learned Friend, he would oppose himself to any concession from which it might be argued that the whole question of the settlement of the Civil List might be reviewed, for the sake of showing that some paltry gain might accrue to the public in the distribution of the expenses of the Crown, leaving altogether out of sight a question of the greatest importance, namely, the independence of the administration of that fund, which the deliberations of Parliament had assigned to the Sovereign for the maintenance of that royal rank and dignity which became the head of the State; but which would cease to be dignity, if the administration of that fund were liable every year, and on every occasion, to be sifted and examined. He begged of the House to consider that the establishment of a Civil List at the commencement of each reign had become, by usage, something like constitutional law; but, at all events, the arrangement had been sanctioned by long usage, Parliament having obtained from the Crown the revenues of the Crown, and having given in exchange a certain fixed sum to maintain its dignity. This was a practice which had obtained for the reigns of three or four successive Sovereigns, and the only alteration which had been made in the original arrangement was one which presented a still greater bar to the inquiry for which his noble and learned Friend had asked, inasmuch as those parts of the Civil List which peculiarly appertained to the honour and dignity of the Crown were separated from the other portions of it, which were left subject to the review of Parliament. The 9th clause of the Act by which the Civil List was regulated expressly provided that savings in particular classes of the Civil List should be applicable to the wants of others. The advent of another Sovereign, the necessity for more horses, or a larger expenditure in the kitchen one year than another, would make a difference in the different classes, and the savings in one department were transferred to departments to which those savings had not been specifically appropriated. Parliament had nothing whatever to do with the subject. He agreed entirely, that if at any time—though fortunately such a thing was not likely to occur during the present reign—the Crown were to come to Parliament for 691 assistance to the Civil List, Parliament, before granting such assistance, would have a right to be informed whether there had been any undue expenditure in the different classes. But to the honour of the Crown he might justly say, that though during the half century preceding the present reign no less than nine applications had been made for assistance to the Civil List, since the present Sovereign had ascended the throne, now upwards of thirteen years, no such application had been made, and he was confident that no prospect existed of such an application ever being made. The greatest inconvenience would be felt, and indeed the greatest indecorum would be manifested—as much as if the affairs of any private gentleman were inquired into—if they were to examine in that House, or in the other House of Parliament, or out of doors, whether there had been a horse too much kept in this department, or a dinner too much or too little given in that department, the real question being whether the honour and dignity of the Crown had been generally maintained. He would not ask their Lordships whether this object had been attained in the present reign. He believed it was admitted on all hands that the expenditure of the Civil List had been regulated in accordance with the spirit of the country, with the honour and dignity of the Crown, and with a liberal distribution of public and private charity. Beyond that he did not know that the public could desire anything; and he would put it to his noble and learned Friend whether his Motion could answer any other purpose than that of satisfying mere curiosity? On these grounds he must oppose the Motion of his noble and learned Friend.
explained, that in framing his Motion he had desired to exclude all indecorous inquiry. He merely wished to know whether the same number of offices for which Parliament had voted the money was kept up with the same amount of pay.
§ The DUKE OF WELLINGTON
observed, that his noble and learned Friend seemed to have overlooked the enactment which provided that none of those classes of the Civil List which were allotted to the dignity and sustentation of the Crown could be made the subject of inquiry in regard to the transfer of means from one to another. He did not know whether the same statement was made in settling the Civil List of Her Majesty as was made in set- 692 thing the Civil List of the last Sovereign; but he perfectly recollected Earl Spencer, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, declaring that no inquiry could be made into the expenditure of these classes, and that such inquiry was inconsistent with the dignity and honour of the Crown. That statement was in precise conformity with the principle that there should be no inquiry. He concurred in all that had been stated of the personal generosity of the Sovereign. Having been cognisant of the formation of the Civil List during the last two reigns, he had objected that sufficient provision was not made for the demands on the bounty of the Crown. He had occasion to know with what generosity Her Majesty had acted in the case of those who had been bereaved through misfortunes in war; and he could not avoid mentioning that circumstance, having on the occasions he had mentioned, in voting the Civil List, objected that sufficient provision was not made for such benevolent purposes.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
said, that as an individual employed under Lord Spencer, in the preparation of the Civil List of King William IV., and also as having acted as Chancellor of the Exchequer in preparing the Civil List of Her present Majesty, he trusted that their Lordships would feel that he was only discharging a duty which he owed to the House in making a few observations. He regretted that the Motion should have been made, and also that the questions and conversation which had preceded it should have taken place, because it would go forth with all the sanction that could be given to it by the high authority of his noble and learned Friend. A precedent of greater danger to the constitution of this country, and one more foreign to previous precedents in the history of England, never could take place, than the opening of this question. He did not mean to say that Parliament had not ever been called on to review the Civil List, but that was when there were exceedings and debts. The public ought not to be misled by the notion that the land revenues of the Crown were all that was surrendered in exchange for a Civil List. The Crown surrendered its hereditary revenues as well; and it had been often argued that the amount surrendered by the Crown was infinitely greater than the amount given by Parliament. Up to the reign of George IV., the sums at the disposal of the Sovereign far exceeded the amount provided for by the present Civil List. The whole of the droits of the 693 Admiralty, the revenues of Hanover, and the four-and-a-half per cent duties were in the possession of the Crown. An alteration was made by the Government of the noble Duke (the Duke of Wellington). There was then tendered a large surrender of the hereditary revenues of the Crown. The Committee, however, of 1831, to whom this matter was referred, confined themselves in their inquiries into the second class—to the salaries of the Officers of State, not thinking it consistent with the respect due to His Majesty to scrutinise the details of his domestic household. He would now proceed to the Civil List of Her present Majesty. In Her Majesty's communication to Parliament in 1837, She said—"Desirous that the expenditure in this and in every other department of the Government should be kept within due limits, I feel confident that you will gladly make adequate provision for the support of the honour and dignity of the Crown." Their Lordships, however, must bear in mind that Her Majesty was placed in a different position from any of Her predecessors in respect of revenue. The revenues of Hanover had ceased to be the possession of the Crown; no private fortune had been bequeathed to Her, and the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall (which George IV. enjoyed during the whole of his reign), were only Her's until the birth of a Prince of Wales. Upon that occasion he (Lord Monteagle), as the organ of the Government, had made use of the following observations:—We wish to make such arrangements as will carry us through this reign, which we hope may be as long as happy, without appeals to Parliament, contractions of debts, and those circumstances which have led in former times to so much jealousy and suspicion on the part of the people, and have not been without prejudicial effects to royalty. But as we hope the reign to be long, it behoves us to consider it with care, and to weigh well the steps we take, because I admit that when the step is taken, I shall be ready to plead it in bar of any proposal to reconsider the Civil List, unless the Crown were placed in a position to require it.That was the expression of the opinion of Lord Melbourne's Cabinet. Parliament then settled Her Majesty's Civil List at a less amount than that enjoyed by Her predecessors; and upon that occasion the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham) himself declared that the arrangement ought not to be revised by Parliament unless the Crown applied for additional sums. Even now the noble and learned Lord admitted that the settlement made at Her 694 Majesty's accession was binding as a bargain; and yet he proposed to inquire into it, to examine witnesses, and to put all sorts of questions to them. This was blowing hot and cold. If the settlement of the Civil List was really a bargain between the Crown and the people, no one was entitled to ask any questions about it. If the settlement was not such a bargain, let the noble and learned Lord say so at once, and propose that it should be reconsidered. This was the first time it had ever been proposed to inquire into the expenditure of the Civil List when the Crown was not in debt, and no application was made to Parliament for an additional grant to the Sovereign. Was it even rumoured that the Crown was in debt? Their Lordships would bear in mind that the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall had now passed away from the Crown, and that Her Majesty had a smaller Civil List than She bad in 1837. Having had the honour to serve under two successive Sovereigns, he was happy to state that no persons ever felt greater alarm at the idea of incurring debt, or a firmer determination to live independently within the income assigned to them, than the late King and Her present Majesty. When his late Majesty was about to go into his new palace, he expressed to him (Lord Monteagle) his fear lest he might be obliged to incur additional expenditure, saying—"I never asked Parliament to pay a single debt for me, and, so help me God! I never will." Her present Majesty was equally cautious of incurring debt, and yet it could not be imputed to Her that She was deficient in acts of generosity or charity. Her present Majesty had also been obliged to incur extraordinary expenses by Her progresses to Ireland and Scotland; but, nevertheless, She had avoided making any application to Parliament for an additional grant. The noble Lord then contended that Parliament had no right to inquire into particular savings that might be effected in the expenditure of the Civil List, because it was provided by Act of Parliament that all such savings should belong to the Crown, and concluded by apologising for having said so much.
would have excused his noble Friend for saying ten times as much, if what he had said had only been accurate. His noble Friend had, however, informed the House that he was once a Chancellor of the Exchequer, and had bragged of having framed the Civil List, 695 and of having been an under-workman in that transaction, but had in his address made blunders which he (Lord Brougham), in his ignorance—for he was never either a Chancellor of the Exchequer or a Secretary to the Treasury, and was, at the time the noble Lord had referred to, only one of his masters—would not have commited. The noble Lord had said that the money voted by Parliament was voted for the Civil List, and not for the items of which it was composed. He had heard of metaphysicians, Jesuits, refiners, over-refiners, hair-splitters, wire-drawers, and wire-drawn arguments, but he certainly had never before heard a more wire-drawn, evanescent, subtle distinction than that drawn by the noble Lord. Parliament voted a certain sum of money for supporting the dignity of the Crown, upon estimates which were laid before it, containing the most minute details of all the expenses, salaries, and allowances of all the officers, down to the grooms, postilions, coachmen, footmen, running-footmen, servants in livery and servants out of livery, as well as maids of honour, bedchamber women. Lord Chamberlain, Lord Steward, and Master of the Horse; all these items were fully set out, and although the House did not vote separate sums for each of those individuals, male and female, still the whole was summed up, and it was upon the faith of those estimates that the total amount was voted. His noble Friend had argued as though the sum total were unconnected with the details of the sum; he might as well have argued that because 2 and 4 are 6, and 4 are 10, and 2 are 12, that therefore the number 12 had nothing to do with the 2's which went to make up the number. His noble Friend had "jumped about and turned about" with that singular evolution, agility, and nimbleness which would have done honour to the representative upon any stage of "Jim Crow," and boldly declared that none of those twos, or fours, or sixes, went to make up the total of twelve. It was far from his (Lord Brougham's) wish to curtail anything of the dignity of the Crown. God forbid that such a national calamity should ever occur as that of the loss of the services of a Lord Chamberlain!—God forbid that either the country or the Crown should ever be deprived of the services of a Lord Steward!—and God forbid also that they should ever be deprived of the services of the Master of the Horses! and if the noble Lord who filled that important post were present on 696 this occasion, he should feel, if possible, a still greater pleasure in saying, God forbid that the country or the Crown should for an instant lose the services of that illustrious trio! He hoped that the Crown would long maintain that accession of dignity which their valuable and important services conferred upon it. There was nothing in his Motion which could for a moment lead to the supposition that the country or the Crown would ever be deprived of the services of the Lord Chamberlain, be bereaved of the valuable assistance of a Lord Steward, or that they should ever have occasion to go forlorn for the want of a Master of the Horse. His noble Friend had said that the object of the Motion was merely the gratification of an idle curiosity. It was no such thing. He wished to be satisfied that there had been no diminution in the salaries, and that the same persons were still employed, and the same salaries still given to them as entered in the estimates upon which the vote for the Civil List was granted. If there was to be no check of this kind, his noble Friend opposite (the Marquess of Westminster) might, perhaps, be called upon, for instance, to serve without any salary at all, and then—or, if he did not so choose to serve without his salary—let their Lordships consider the alternative—that office might be laid down altogether, contrary to the estimates, upon the faith of which the vote had been granted. But he had been told that this was a question of extreme delicacy, and one which ought not to be asked. His esteemed Whig friends had certainly changed very greatly since he had the pleasure of seeing them in the House of Commons; for in that House he had over and over again moved for returns connected with the revenues of the Crown, and had always upon those occasions received their faithful and valuable support. He had at length, after great difficulty, succeeded in extorting and extracting from Lord Liverpool an account of the droits of the Admiralty, which then formed part of the revenues of the Crown. He was now told, however, that it was indelicate, that he ought to let well alone, and wait for such an inquiry until the Sovereign was in debt; that the stream of monarchy was flowing smoothly, unshaken, and unruffled, and that if they erected their dam, or made their dike before the tempest came on, some great catastrophe would take place. This was nearly the same language which had been held on the 697 previous occasions to which he had referred. But, notwithstanding these opinions, upwards of 3,000,000l. of the revenue derived from the Admiralty droits were given up by Parliament just before the battle of Trafalgar, and returns were now constantly laid before the House respecting the duchy of Cornwall, the hereditary revenues of Scotland, and other sources of revenue of the Crown. He commenced his Motions on these subjects in 1812; and, after Lord Castlereagh's death, he at length extorted from Lord Liverpool's Government a detailed statement of the appropriation of the droits of the Admiralty.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
begged to assure his noble and learned Friend that he was not mistaken in what he had previously stated. When the Civil List was settled, it was distinctly provided that all savings which might be made in salaries, other than those of the great officers of State, should go to the Crown. When his noble and learned Friend made his Motion about the droits of the Admiralty, the Crown was in debt.
§ The MARQUESS of BREADALBANE
stated, that at the time of the settlement of the Civil List it was provided that no new appointment should be made, nor any alteration in the salaries of the officers should take place without the sanction of the Lords of the Treasury. Many of the expenses which were formerly borne by Parliament were defrayed by Her Majesty out of the Civil List; and the public ought to know that Her Majesty voluntarily gave up 12,000l. of her revenue for income tax for the good of the country. The manner in which the noble and learned Lord had brought forward his Motion, had been, in his opinion, deserving of the censure of that House and of the country; and he believed that people out of doors would entertain the same opinion on the subject.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.