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departure from the practice of Parliament; and that being the disposition which he felt, he should not detain the House with going into minute details. He wished, however, before he sat down, to explain some circumstances that had been alluded to, and which, in justice to the individuals connected with them, should not be left under that weight of prejudice which might attach to them, from the manner in which they had been mentioned. Fifteen thousand pounds appeared to the name of the earl of Aberdeen, for the expenses of his mission; but it should be remembered that that sum was subject to a very severe tax from the rate of exchange, which reduced it to not more than 10 or 11,000l. He had no allowance from the Civil List; he did not go out as an ambassador, but upon a public mission, the expenses of which were to be defrayed, but no direct emolument was derived by him from it. That 11,000l. included also the expenses of all the persons attached to his mission. The embassy to Lisbon had been again alluded to, and in the same tone which, he understood, had been applied to it in his absence. The right hon. gentleman had said, that the expenditure of this country was augmented by that embassy; but if he would only refer to the accounts in his (lord Castlereagh's) office, he would find that the expense of an inferior agent at Lisbon had been nearly double. With respect to the propriety of an ambassador, he thought there could be no doubt. The Court of Lisbon had had an ambassador here for the last three years; and it was due to the friendship which this country felt towards Portugal, and after the calamities which had attended the Prince Regent, that he should be met on his return, and be congratulated by a British ambassador. When that arrangement was made, it was in the full expectation, and indeed persuasion, that the Prince Regent's return to Europe would immediately take placean event which, for political reasons, even this country must be naturally anxious to accomplish with the least possible delay. The appointment was one which certainly could have been no object for the right hon. gentleman to accept, if domestic circumstances (the sickness of his son) had not rendered it necessary for him to go to that country; and that being the case, it was natural for Governinent to wish to take the advantage of the circumstance, and propose to him an embassy, which
under other circumstances he would probably not have accepted. With regard to the employment of general officers upon foreign missions, the noble lord contended that no augmented expenditure was incurred by coupling the military with the diplomatic character, while great service to the country, especially during the campaign of last year, was derived from it. An hon. gentleman had alluded to the expenses at the Court of Madrid. They were, indeed, of a magnitude which might be expected to draw the attention of Parliament to them: and he had felt it his duty to enter into a full explanation upon that subject, with the person who now resided at Madrid, who had expressed his anxiety to concur in any measure for limiting that branch of expenditure to a fixed and reduced amount, desirous as he (sir Henry Wellesley) was to incur any sacrifices rather than remain subject to the sort of obloquy which it had been unjustly attempted to cast upon him. It would be seen, however, when the committee inspected the accounts, that what might strictly be called the personal expenditure of our ambassador at Madrid, did not exceed 14,000l. a year. With respect to the whole expenditure of the Foreign Department, it was to be remem, bered there was not a court in Europe now at which we had not a minister, and the extraordinaries under that head were necessarily larger in the first creating those appointments, because then the expenses of the outfit were incurred. His earnest wish however, was, that the House would take the extraordinaries of the Foreign Department out of the Civil List altogether, and let them be the subject of annual estimate. Upon the whole, he did not see why they should change the course of proceeding hitherto adopted, by giving to the committee unusual powers; powers, in fact, to institute a species of inquiry, whose only object would be to render expense odious, and not to control it; he therefore felt it his duty to adhere to the ancient parliamentary practice.
Mr. Whitbread said, that the arguments of the noble lord were as much against the appointment of any committee, as against a committee with such powers as had been recommended by his right hon. friend in his motion; and he must really think that if his right hon. friend had failed to convince the House that night of the necessity of such a committee, there was no reason to hope it would ever
be granted at any future period. With out investing the committee with those powers which the motion contemplated, its labours would be as nugatory as those five successive ones had proved, from whose reports no benefits had resulted. The House were told that the committee might, if they thought proper, instruct their Chairman to move the House for any papers they might think necessary. What a childish hope was this to hold out to the House of Commons! When the Chancellor of the Exchequer had appointed his committee, they were to have powers to ask, if they thought proper, for the production of those papers. Who could doubt that there would be no want of delicate guardians of the Crown in this committee? The accounts that the committee were to receive of the expenditure of the Crown must be purely spontaneous on the part of the Crown. The noble lord had throughout the course of his speech talked of the delicacy which was due to the Crown, as if the Crown was the only party. He had mentioned that the Crown had formerly an hereditary revenue; but as for Parliament, the noble lord appeared to conceive its functions quite inconvenient, unless when they were employed in passing complimentary addresses to the Prince Regent for the wisdom of his ministers, or voting the sums of money necessary for the wars which the noble lord contemplated. As to this hereditary revenue, the noble lord appeared to go back with pleasure to the glorious times (as he conceived them) which preceded the Revolution. In those times, however, the sovereigns out of this hereditary revenue defrayed a great part of the expenses of the state. The noble lord might also go back to the glorious times of Charles the 2nd, when not only the expenditure of the hereditary revenue was not inquired into, but when the pen sion that that sovereign received from France was not inquired into also. But since the period of the Revolution, when was it that Parliament did not inquire into the expenditure of the Crown? The noble lord had only talked about sovereigns about the Prince Regent, and the Emperor of Austria. He had appeared to have entirely forgotten who it was that supplied the expenditure of the Civil List, both to the Prince Regent and to the Emperor of Austria. It was the people who paid those civil lists, and this was a circumstance which the noble lord appeared to (VOL. XXX.)
have entirely forgotten. As to the proposition that the expense was always found to exceed the estimate, he must observe, that much to the honour of the Lord Steward, the expense in his department did not exceed the estimate. The expenses in the Park, which were estimated at 15,000l. did in fact amount to 40,0001. A more shameful waste of the public money, or a greater disgrace to this coun try, he had seldom witnessed, than the scene of drunkenness and riot which prevailed in the parks for a week, and which had cost the nation 40,000l. A right hon. gentleman, the surveyor of the woods and forests (Mr. Huskisson), who had been formerly a great economist, and who had represented that the nation must be ruined, if prodigal expenditure was not checked, had now completely changed his sentiments, and had that night become the advocate of every species of expense. He now ridiculed the idea of controlling the expenditure of the Crown, and asked who would be a King, or a Prince Regent, if they could not be allowed to spend 5,000l. on a green-house, or 1,000l. on horses, without an investigation before the House of Commons? In mentioning this 1,000l. about horses, an anecdote occurred to him, which he hoped was not true. It was said that an illustrious foreigner, prince Platoff, had made a present to the Prince Regent of a horse that had carried him through the late successful campaigns. It might naturally be supposed that such a horse, as a remembrance of the donor, would have been kept with the most extraordinary care, that it would have a separate groom to attend it, that it would have been pampered, and suffered to pass the remainder of its life in a sort of riotous felicity. He had heard, however, and was very sorry to hear it, that this animal was now employed in drawing a dung-cart at Hampton-court, (a laugh.) When the passion for giving 1,000l. for horses was spoken so lightly of, he could not avoid thinking of what he had heard had been the fate of prince Platoff's horse. The expenses at Windsor also certainly deserved a most minute examination. It appeared that here there was a most profuse and lavish expenditure. Unless the committee were authorized to call for persons and papers, it was not to be expected that documents from evidence would come spontaneously before them, to show where the waste of the public money lay. Large sums of money (2 T)
He recommended economy in every branch of the public expenditure, and thought that the expenses should be in proportion to the means of the country.
were voted for purposes to which they were never applied. A large sum was annually given for travelling expenses to our gracious Queen, whose journies were merely from Windsor to London and from Sir Thomas Acland said, he should vote London to Windsor, except, indeed, one for the motion, on the ground that a pretty to Brighton, and that was paid for sepa- general feeling existed throughout the rately. A large sum was also given for country, that on this particular subject horses, which she never used. As to the there was a greater waste and extravaembassy to Lisbon, he would call upon gance than necessary, and that in this the gentlemen on the other side, to answer particular quarter there was a habit of bona fide, and upon their honours, whe- expense, not conducive to the true splenther, if those domestic circumstances had dour of the Crown, nor calculated to adnot made it desirable for Mr. Canning to vance the real honour of the country. In go to Lisbon, they would have appointed such a case, when such a feeling existed any ambassador to that court? If they on the part of the people, that House could say they would have done so, then ought not to be found wanting in their the question was disposed of: but if they duty to those whom they were bound to could not say, upon their honours, that, protect. If ever there was a time in which independent of Mr. Canning's conve- the discharge of this duty was more loudly nience, they thought an ambassador ne- called for than at another, it was the precessary at Lisbon, and intended to send sent; first, as an expression of gratitude one, then it was evident that this transac- for the manner in which the House had tion had been properly described, as a been seconded by the people during job for the benefit of Mr. Canning at the twenty years of arduous contest; and seexpense of the country. He was not sur-condly, because it was considered not imprised at the manner that the noble lord possible but that the Government of the floundered over this part of the case, as country might in a short time be comthis appointment had taken place in his pelled again to draw very deeply indeed absence. When the noble lord professed upon her exertions. If this last necessity such excessive delicacy for the Crown, he should occur, he trusted that every man would wish that he had also some compas. would cheerfully come forward to lend sion for the people of this country. If his aid, and no one should be found more proper consideration was shown to them, ready to support the interests and the and it could be proved that the expendi- honour of the country than himself; but ture was justifiable, the gratitude and at- this would be done with more alacrity, if tachment of the people would amply repay the people saw that on an inquiry like this consideration. that now proposed, the most efficient way was taken of arriving at the truth. He did not blame any one. He would treat every body with all due delicacy. He would, instead of curtailing the splendour of the Crown, do every thing to add to that splendour; and he was persuaded that the most substantial mode of effecting this, would be to institute a bond fide investigation.
Mr. Bathurst defended the appointment of Mr. Canning, and contended, that if the revenues of the Crown had been suffered to remain as in the time of Charles 2, they would be more considerable than they were at present. He was clearly of opinion, that no farther advantage could accrue from a vivâ voce examination of witnesses than would be derived from the production of the documents promised by the noble lord. He would not agree to open the door to so general a mode of inquiry as that proposed by the hon. gen
Mr. Tierney, in reply, ridiculed all the arguments which had been urged by the opponents of his motion, to show that the House could have a good inquiry without sending for the persons and papers from whom alone the requisite information could be obtained.
Mr. William Smith supported the motion.
Neville, hon. R.
Shelley, sir T.
Cavendish, lord G.
Lyttelton, hon. W.
foreign court, struck him as utterly inconsistent with the practice of the British Government, and decidedly hostile to the principles of our constitution.
The Earl of Liverpool declined to enter at present into the subject alluded to by the noble lord, but observed that any minister was warranted in acting upon the instructions of his Sovereign, and that it was notoriously not unusual to give directions, and grant powers to a foreign minister to conduct and conclude the most
HOUSE OF LORDS.
GENOA.] Earl Grey moved for several papers respecting Genoa, to the production of which he understood that there was no objection.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that he felt no objection to the production of the papers moved for by the noble earl, many of which it was intended to have laid before the House with the other papers on the table upon this subject, had they been in preparation.
Earl Grey observed, that from some of the documents on the table, a very extraordinary power appeared to have been granted, or at least exercised, by an individual minister (alluding, as we understood, to lord Castlereagh), and at this power he felt the more surprised, because the transfer of the powers of the Execu tive Government to any minister, at a
important transaction; such a practice, no doubt, might, to a certain extent, be deemed a transfer of the powers of the Executive Government.
Earl Grey admitted the propriety and practice stated by the noble Secretary upon any contingency or expected event, but declared that he had never heard, and he denied the propriety of investing any minister with a discretionary power to exercise the authority of the Executive Government upon any event that might arise, however unexpected, and such authority appeared to him to have been exercised by the minister alluded to. The motion was agreed to.
CONGRESS AT VIENNA.] Marquis Wellesley thought that it would be much more consistent with the dignity of that House, as well as with the magnitude and importance of the subject, that ministers, instead of waiting for questions from that side of the House, should come forward and present, for the satisfaction of their lordships, a general exposition of all the circumstances connected with the great transaction at Vienna, in which they had been so long engaged, together with the papers necessary to illustrate that transaction. He wished to know whether ministers intended to lay such an exposition before the House, and when it was likely to be brought forward, or whether they proposed to wait until the negociations in which they were engaged had terminated, or a treaty had been concluded? Such an exposition he thought highly desirable, in order that at such a crisis as the present, that House, the country, and the world might know what system ministers and the Allies had evinced a disposition to support-that before the British Parliament had concluded the dreadful pledge of war, it should be seen whether they were supporting the same principles for which the British nation had been struggling for twenty-five
years, or for any other system-whether | noble earl himself had; however, recogfor a system of general justice and per- nized the principle, that some points were manent peace, or for a system of gross so prominent that they ought to be injustice likely to lead to perpetual hos- brought forward without delay. He had tility; whether the arrangements in the produced papers relative to one or two of contemplation of the Allies were calcu- the branches before the completion of the lated to put an end to the calamities which whole; and unquestionably some parti. had so long afflicted mankind, or to pro- culars were of such vast importance, and duce still greater evils. On these grounds so loudly demanded a prompt attention, the noble lord thought that the exposition that they must be considered an excepalluded to was due to the character and tion to the general rule. Admitting, then, interest of our own Government, and to the advantage of having the whole arthe common cause of the Allies. rangements in their view before they attempted to form a decisive opinion on any one branch, he should be much disposed to wait till the conclusion, before he entered upon the discussion of any particular
The Earl of Liverpool declared, that it was the anxious wish of his Majesty's ministers to lay before Parliament, as soon as circumstances permitted, a full exposition of their conduct in the great transac-part, unless, indeed, the period should be tion alluded to by the noble marquis, so long protracted as to make it imposwhatever might be the result of that trans-sible to wait for that of which it would be action. Two branches of that transaction, impossible to say when it might terminate: the negociations respecting which were but at the same time exceptions must be completed, had already been brought made as to certain prominent points, and under the consideration of that House, one of these points which demanded inand he assured their lordships that as soon stant attention was the arrangements with as the other arrangements were definitively respect to Saxony. settled they would be submitted to the justice, the dignity, the honour of the It was due to the judgment of the Legislature. But until country, that this should be brought under those arrangements were concluded, and their lordships consideration. pending a negociation, attended, especially matter appeared at present, we had taken at present, with embarrassing circum- the judgment-seat, and pronounced sen. stances, he trusted their lordships must tence upon the head of a venerable legifeel that he could not be authorized in timate Sovereign of an ancient family, of entering into the question stated by the whom, whatever might have been his noble marquis-that he would not be war- errors, it might be said that few had ranted in presenting the House with par- adopted a more wise and beneficent system tial views, or premature information. But of government than he had done with rewhen the case should be complete, he could gard to his own subjects. A cabinet mideclare for himself and his colleagues, nister acting for the Government had been that it would afford them the greatest sent out, and it appeared from certain insatisfaction to lay the fullest information formation which had been received, that before the House, and he had no doubt of we had really taken the judgment-seat, being able in due time to satisfy their and avowedly proceeded against a legitilordships that his Majesty's Government mate Sovereign on penal principles! But had not supported any system inconsistent though we had thus taken the judgmentwith justice, or with those principles which seat, even supposing it were to administer had been recognised by the greatest justice, it could not be said that it was to statesmen this country had ever known. transaction which, for the honour of the administer justice in mercy. This was a nation, must not be allowed to rest any longer in silence. The attention of their lordships and the country must be called to it, and that without a moment's unne cessary delay. that he now wished to communicate his It was for these reasons intention of submitting a proposition to their lordships on that head, at no distant period, when he should perhaps move for some further information connected with that particular point.
Marquis Wellesley said, that the noble earl had admitted the necessity of having a complete view of the whole arrangement before any one branch of it could be with advantage discussed, and before an accurate and just opinion could be formed respecting it: but then the whole was not completed, and he supposed he must wait for that period for which the noble earl professed to be so anxious, before he could expect any thing like a general view of the arrangements. The