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could go, and what bounds should be fixed charge of the period since 1812, he would to the royal expenditure. In the time of first consider the two years, and then sepaMr. Pitt an estimate was accordingly pro-rately consider the three quarters from duced, which stated that 979,000l. in April 1814, up to January 1815. In addition to the relief afforded the Civil these two first years, up to the 5th April List, by taking 83,000l. from it to other 1814, the excess of the charge amounted departments, would prevent the necessity to 118,000l. The first excess which he of any farther recurrence to Parliament. had mentioned was 58,000l., next came He begged the attention of the House to the excess above that of 125,000l., then that estimate, because it had been the the further excess of 123,000l., and at last, fashion of late to contend for having it set in the new æra, and in the two first years aside. It had been said it was good for of it, an annual excess of 118,000l. Next nothing, as it was not equal to the average came the last three-quarters, up to the 5th expenditure of the seven years before. of January last. The whole two years Did they believe that Mr. Pitt would and three-quarters charge was 3,792,000l. bring forward an estimate, which on the At the rate of the estimate it would have face of it was a mere nullity? He would been 3,032,000l. From that sum however do Mr. Pitt the justice to say, that he be it would be proper to deduct certain sums, lieved he would not have produced this which were not expenses which could estimate if he had not felt a reasonable be supposed likely to occur again. He expectation that by some new regulation would make, as a fair allowance for this, of the household such a saving might be 220,000l.; for this expense, from all that expected, as would make it applicable to appeared on the accounts' now before the the purpose for which it was intended. House, amounted to 180,000l. and 40,000l., This showed the necessity of examining being together 220,000l. After making persons, to know why this estimate could this deduction there was left an excess of not answer the purpose; because it was of 531,000l. over the two years and threeonly the estimate and charge which they quarters, making the excess from 1812 no had before them, but how that estimate less than 196,000l. per annum. Now, fell short of the charge they were in the this was taking the subject in the way dark, and must be so till the appointment most favourable to those who were adof a committee, with the powers in ques- vocates for a great expenditure. But tion, on what grounds it so fell short. It there were others who thought that the would be a mere waste of time to appoint estimate of 1804 was perfectly sufficient; a committee, except they gave them such and when this estimate was taken, the exa power. In 1804 the estimate which cess was no less than 321,000l.; so that Parliament thought fit to sanction was after deducting the extraordinary ex979,000l., and the Civil List went on with- penses occasioned by the visit of the Emout Parliament having an opportunity of peror of Russia and the King of Prussia, knowing whether there was any excedent there was still an excess of 321,000l. This in consequence of the sums derived from excess of 321,000l. must be paid by the the droits of Admiralty, till 1812, when nation. In a time of war this excess the subject came before Parliament, and might be attended with no great trouble, it then turned out that the estimate was because it might be covered by sums not worth any thing. So that it appeared drawn from the droits of Admiralty. But to be considered, that if a debt was in- in a time of peace, if the scale of expencurred in one year, that debt was to serve diture were to be adhered to, it would be for a justification of all subsequent debts. found necessary to call for additional The expenditure of the seven years, end- sacrifices from the people, to cover this ing 1811, was 1,102,000l. leaving a new excess of 321,000l. excess of 123,000l. The next estimate produced was in 1812-he called it an estimate, though it was not such in reality, because it had all the effect of one. The average expenditure of the seven preceding years was taken, being 1,102,000l., with a power of exceeding to the amount of 10,000l., being 124,000l. above the estimate of 1804.
In entering upon a consideration of the
This was as strong a case as could be stated to justify the calling persons before a committee, to inquire from them how the expenditure had arisen. There had already been five committees appointed to inquire into the Civil List expenditure, all desirous of doing what could be done for remedying this evil. But till a com. mittee should have it in their power to examine persons as to the interior of the
household, it was impossible that their labours could be attended with any good effect. In proposing an inquiry into the interior of the household, he did not wish it for any impertinent purposes, or the sake of hearing unpleasant tales, but in order to see fairly on what sum the Court could actually be maintained without coming to Parliament for additional sums of money. He was acting as the best friend of his royal highness the Prince Regent, because nothing created such a soreness out of doors, as the seeing continual applications for 3 or 400,000l. to Parliament. This was the greatest possible eye-sore to them; and the preventing this was one of the greatest advantages of having a Civil List. He saw otherwise no advantage in having a Civil List. The Civil List was appointed for the purpose of setting apart such an annual sum for the Crown as would be sufficient for its expenditure, without exposing it to discussions like that which, with pain to himself, he was now under the necessity of bringing forward. If it were not for this good effect, as far as economy was concerned, it would be better set aside, and the sums voted article by article. But for the comfort of the Crown, this would be one of the most cruel steps which could be taken. Once for all, let the House settle this point-what would be a sufficient establishment for the Crown. He wished to see a proper sum fixed for keeping up the splendour of the monarchy of England. But the present was such a merciless extravagance as had never occurred in the history of this country before.
the management sincerely desirous of a
In examining the accounts before the House, it was not his intention to travel through all the figures: the committee to be appointed would have power to do this, and they would be all sifted up stairs. It was not his wish to enter into any details in the great branches in
What he had hitherto stated, referred to the period before April 1814. He would now proceed to notice the state of the account for the three last quarters, up to January, 1815, of which, for the sake of clearness in the calculations, he would reckon only upon two, and doubling the sum they supplied, it would of consequence be the expense of a whole year, supposing the last half to be continued upon the same scale as the first. Accord
which there was the greatest excedent-ing to this mode of calculation it would the third class, relating to ambassadors, appear that there would be an exceeding the fourth class, relating to the Household, of no less than 101,000l. upon a view of and the class of occasional payments. As the various departments. Such a stateto the fourth class, he considered it his ment, he imagined, was sufficient to show duty to observe that in the Lord Steward's that an inquiry, although somewhat exdepartment a laudable anxiety had been traordinary in its powers, was necessary. shown to reduce the expenditure, and no- He conceived that if his motion rested thing proved better what could be done merely upon this declaration, he had made when it was seriously gone about. In out a strong case. He was willing to 1813 and 1814 the charges in this de- allow that a part of this surplus might be partment were considerably less than in accounted for, and that another part con1810 and 1811, from a person coming to sisted sums that ought not to be charged.
upon the Civil List, but there would still remain a very large amount, which ought to be investigated.
could not be expected to resist [Hear, hear! and laughter]. What cause had been assigned for this appointment? It was said that it was necessary that an am
The third class respected Ambassadors. In the discussion of the Army Extraordi-bassador should be named to congratulate the Prince Regent of Portugal on his return from the Brazils. To this it was replied, that it would have been better to wait until his Royal Highness arrived— unless, indeed, it were necessary to allow our Minister there time to prepare his speech for the important occasion. It turned out, however, that the Prince Regent never came. And did not this whole transaction give gentlemen an itching desire to make immediate inquiry? The country had no satisfactory intelligence to convince it that it had been the design of the Prince Regent of Portugal to return, although, to keep up the pretence, a ship had been fitted out to bring him home, at a charge of 40,000l. The mere fitting up of the cabin cost 6,000l.
naries, something had been observed upon this head; and appeals had been made to the feelings, regarding the arduous and heavy expenses of Foreign Ministers. Those appeals were then effectual, and Ministers knew that they were likely to be so; he had not been uninfluenced by them, but this very fact showed that the House was not the proper place to make such inquiries. It was not to be accomplished in one evening-it required calm, cool, and long deliberation. He did not mean for a moment to hint, that any of our Envoys had made charges that had not been incurred; but it could not be doubted, that when they were allowed to draw for unlimited sums, our diplomatic agents were not, and could not, in the nature of things, be so careful as if they were restricted, and knew that if they expended beyond a certain amount they would find at least some difficulty in obtaining a reimbursement. It was not to be wondered that the charges were so heavy, if our Foreign Ministers were to be the only travellers on the Continent who disregarded all expenses, and who threw about the public money on both sides, and gave double entertainments for the sake of keeping up the precedence of Great Britain. Among the items in this division was 15,000l. for lord Aberdeen; how it had been expended, he could not even form a conjecture. To say the least of it, there had been, a very loose expen- Such a profuse and unwarrantable exditure. It ought not to be forgotten that penditure was not to be paralleled in the in this class was to be included the cele-history of any Court of Europe. The subrated Embassy to Lisbon [Hear, hear !].perficial view of the state of the Civil List, The very moment when the country was that was allowed by Ministers, bore strong so reduced, and the charges upon the marks of improper conduct. He did not Civil List were so enormous, it had been say positively that it did exist, but it was thought proper to exalt a mere Envoyship the duty of the House to remove the iminto an Embassy, by which a new annual putation. It was not merely a question of burthen of 14,000l. was imposed upon the money, but of patronage; it was a quesnation. Why this singular step had been tion which regarded the influence of the resolved upon, was a question well deserv- Crown in Parliament, how far this Civil ing inquiry. Inquiry upon this point List had been applied to legitimate and would be more proper in the absence of constitutional purposes [Hear, hear!]. the subject of it, since if the right hon. The country could not fail to view the gentleman (Mr. Canning) who had under- application of this money with jealousy, taken the arduous duty of Ambassador at and it would require a Committee permathe Court of Lisbon were now present, he nently and satisfactorily to settle how the (Mr. Tierney) would hardly think it right expenditure should in future be regulated. to call him to account, since the tempta- It became the Court not to be too extravation held out was such as flesh and blood gant, and the House not to be parsimoni
As to the Ambassadors we had employed on the Continent, why was it necessary to appoint individuals who would be doubly chargeable, as Generals and as Ambassa dors?-Formerly if we sent out military men, they were Colonels and LieutenantColonels. It was replied, that Ministers wanted information; but why procure it at such an enormous expense? The Generals and their staffs had been of no possible use to the cause. What good had been done by lord Cathcart or any of our other high military officers? The Allies would not give sixpence for a hundred such Generals. They wanted no Generals; they had enough of their own.
What had been the conduct of Parliament upon this subject? had it dealt out the public money with too sparing a hand? In 1812, 100,000l. was voted for the outfit of the Regency. In 1814, a debt that had been incurred, notwithstanding that liberality, to the extent of 118,000l. was paid by Parliament, and in the course of the last year 100,000l. more had been advanced. What was the return now made for this liberality? That for the last three quarters the House was called upon to pay an exceeding of 427,000l. Such was the return-would the House bear it, or if the House consented, would the country submit to it? Was it to be expected that any man in the nation would ever again submit to the property tax, or to any other tax, while such wanton expenditure existed in the Court? Perhaps Ministers could not remedy the evil there was very likely something in the Court that controlled them, but he hoped that the House of Commons was yet sufficiently uninfluenced to insist upon inquiry.
The Windsor establishment was most extraordinary, and he had always thought that a great reduction might be made in it. The King in his infirm state was allowed no less than 160,000l. The Queen obtained 68,000l. and the four princesses, independently of annuities, 16,000l. which, including the duchy of Lancaster, the whole sum was no less than 255,000l. a year. In the Lord Steward's department the charge at Windsor was no less than 70,000l. Either the Prince Regent spent too little, which no man would contend, or he spent too much, which few men would deny; but if the expenses of the household of his Royal Highness were to be measured by those of his infirm parent, who, notwithstanding his blindness, was a charge upon the country of 255,000l. it could not be denied that the court of the Prince Regent was most economical. The charge in the Lord Chamberlain's department on the Windsor establishment was 3,000l.; in the department of the Master of the Horse 9,000l., which included a charge for 30 saddle horses for the use of his Majesty, and 28 carriage horses, although the King never went out of the castle gates. It was impossible that it could be so expended; and if the money were devoted to pay annuities to old servants, why was it not so stated? Why was not lord St. Helens, with the other lords in waiting, allowed to retire upon a (VOL. XXX. )
pension? Let it be so set forth in the accounts, and the House would know how to proceed. In 1812 (for what reason Mr. Tierney said he could not divine) the Queen received a grant of 10,000l., and the excuse was, that her Majesty would be put to great additional expense for travelling; but the utmost extent of her journies were, now and then, from Windsor to London and back again. That, however, was a new æra, and a most productive æra in some quarters:→→→ 146,000l. had been voted at the commencement of it, and for what reason had never to this day been explained. The money had, however, been granted by Parliament with unprecedented liberality, and the return made by Royalty was equally unprecedented.
It would be said, no doubt, that in making these remarks, he was not acting wisely or prudently for his own interests. Perhaps were he to listen to the suggestions of his friends, instead of the sugges tions of his duty, he should have refrained. Whatever might be the consequences, he begged to take the risk upon himself, and wished to involve no others in any supposed obloquy attaching to the line of conduct he pursued. Of this he was convinced, that there was no thinking man in the country, who was at liberty to have an opinion, that would not agree with him in the necessity of a thorough investigation. He acted in this case from a strong sense of public duty, and meant, without giving offence, to fulfil that duty. The argument in reply to this motion would probably be, that it was a matter of great indelicacy to examine persons with regard to the private expenditure of the Crown, and it would be urged that it had not been the practice-that there was no precedent on the Journals of the House, But where would ministers find a precedent for such an enormous expenditure as was now the subject of complaint? If the royal family thought fit to exercise all their powers of expenditure, the Commons would lose all claim to public estimation if they did not exercise all their powers of control. The House and the country had placed great confidence in the Crown, and they had a right to expect that that confidence should be reciprocal. It seemed scarcely credible, but the fact was, as appeared by the documents upon the table, that no less a sum than 928,000l. was consumed by the Royal family; and in receiving it they in
curred a debt which was easily discharged by meeting the generosity of Parliament with a full and free disclosure. It was obvious either that there was some person who gave bad advice to the Prince Regent, or at least some person who abstained from giving good advice: for it was impossible not to believe that his Royal Highness was kept in the dark upon these subjects. It was the duty of ministers to remonstrate strongly against this extravagant system, which, more or less, pervaded every department of the country. He gave ministers credit for separating the management of the erection of royal buildings from the office of the Lord Chamberlain as he had done for every thing where he could: but there remained behind, the interior fitting-up of palaces; and he desired the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look at the charge for glasses, and plate, and fitting-up of rooms one day, and altering them the next. He did not assert that corruption existed any where; but great negligence had been unquestionably shown, and if the investigation were allowed, many defects might be remedied; such as the delivery of wine, &c. to domestics, which was a source of much abuse, and the abolition of which had already been recommended. The object of his motion was not so much to make exposures as to prevent abuses, and to fix a fair estimate of expense that should in future govern the disbursements of the Civil List. The right hon. gentleman concluded by moving, "That a select committee be appointed to take into consideration the account presented to the House upon the 20th of March last by Mr. Arbuthnot, by the command of his royal highness the Prince Regent, relating to his Majesty's Civil List, and to examine the said account, and report the same as it shall appear to them, together with their observations thereupon, to the House: and that the said committee have power to send for persons, papers, and records."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that if the right hon. gentleman had omitted the latter clause of his motion, he should willingly have given it his approbation; in truth it was but anticipating his own intention upon the subject of the Civil List. The right hon. member had admitted that the proposal was extraordinary in its nature, and that it was giving powers to a committee never before granted upon the subject of the immediate
revenues of the Crown. In the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer no suffi. cient case to warrant a determination so novel, had been made out by the right hon. gentleman, and by taking too narrow a view of the accounts upon the table he had presented them in a fallacious point of view, and had consequently drawn unfair conclusions. He admitted that it was extremely fit that the Crown should be protected against continual discussions upon this delicate subject; he agreed also that the public ought to be protected from the prodigality of the royal advisers; but he hoped that no man would, on the other hand, deny that the splendour and dignity of the Crown ought to be sup- ́ ported. He argued that justice had not been done to the labours of former committees; much light had been thrown upon the subject of the Civil List, and advantage had been taken of the many useful hints thrown out by them; as much and as satisfactory information had been laid before them as could be derived from the vivâ voce examinations, for which the right hon. gentleman was The alteration in the department of the so anxious. Lord Chamberlain, that had met with the approbation of the right hon. gentleman, had been occasioned not by any minute inquiries by parole evidence before the commissioners, but principally in consequence of the suggestions of the noble ford himself, who held that office, and who had almost proposed the separation of the inspection of royal erections from his other duties. In order to put the whole subject in a clear point of view, and to vindicate the Civil List from the obloquy which for some years had been thrown upon it, the Chancellor of the Exchequer felt it necessary to take a short review of the state of the accounts. He then went over the statements made by Mr. Tierney from the year 1797 to 1811, showing the gradual augmentation upon the Civil List. The increase only amounted to 15 per quer contended, only kept pace with the cent.; which, the Chancellor of the Excheadvance in the other departments, and such as was to be expected from the circumstances of the times. charge, however, was directed against the The main expenditure since 1811, which, it was contended, was still more extravagant. It appeared that on the average of 1812, 1813, to April 1814, the expense was 1,330,000l.; but it should be recollected that Parliament in that period had thrown