« PreviousContinue »
departure from the practice of Parlia- | under other circumstances he would proment; and that being the disposition bably not have accepted. With regard which he felt, he should not detain the to the employment of general officers House with going into minute details. upon foreign missions, the noble lord con. He wished, however, before he sat down, tended that no augmented expenditure to explain some circumstances that had was incorred by coupling the military been alluded to, and which, in justice to with the diplomatic character, while great the individuals connected with them, service to the country, especially during should not be left under that weight of the campaign of last year, was derived prejudice which might attach to them, from it. An hon. gentleman had alluded from the manner in which they had been to the expenses at the Court of Madrid. mentioned. Fifteen thousand pounds ap- They were, indeed, of a magnitude wliich peared to the name of the earl of Aber might be expected to draw the attention deen, for the expenses of his mission; of Parliament to them: and he bad felt it but it should be remembered that that his duty to enter into a full explanation sum was subject to a very severe tax from upon that subject, with the person who the rate of exchange, which reduced it now resided at Madrid, who had expressed to not more than 10 or 11,0001. He his anxiety to concur in any measure had no allowance from the Civil List; for limiting that branch of expenditure to he did not go out as an ambassador, but a fixed and reduced amount, desirous as upon a public mission, the expenses of he (sir Henry Wellesley) was to incur which were to be defrayed, but no direct any sacrifices rather than remain subject emolument was derived by him from it. to the sort of obloquy which it had been That 11,000l. included also the expenses unjustly attempted to cast upon him. It of all the persons attached to his mission. would be seen, however, when the comThe embassy to Lisbon had been again mittee inspected the accounts, that what alluded to, and in the same tone which might strictly be called the personal ex. he understood, had been applied to it in penditure of our ambassador at Madrid, his absence. The right hon. gentleman did not exceed 14,0001. a year. With had said, that the expenditure of this respect to the whole expenditure of the country was augmented by that embassy ; Foreign Department, it was to be remem, but if he would only refer to the accounts bered there was not a court in Europe in his (lord Castlereagh’s) office, he would now at wbich we had not a minister, and find that the expense of an inserior agent the extraordinaries under that head were at Lisbon had been nearly double. With necessarily larger in the first creating respect to the propriety of an ambassador, those appointments, because then the exhe thought there could be no doubt. The penses of the outfit were incurred. His Court of Lisbon had had an ambassador earnest wish however, was, that the House here for the last three years ; and it was would take the extraordinaries of the due to the friendship which this country Foreign Department out of the Civil List felt towards Portugal, and after the cala- altogether, and let them be the subject of mities which had attended the Prince Re- annual estimate. Upon the whole, he gent, that he should be met on his return, did not see why they should change the and be congratulated by a British ambas- course of proceeding hitherto adopted, by sador. When that arrangement was made, giving to the committee unusual powers; it was in the full expectation, and indeed powers, in fact, to institute a species of persuasion, that the Prince Regent's return inquiry, whose only object would be to to Europe would immediately take place- render expense odious, and not to control an event which, for political reasons, even it; he therefore felt it his duty to adhere this country must be naturally anxious to to the ancient parliamentary practice. accomplish with the least possible delay. Mr. Whitbread said, that the arguments The appointment was one which certainly of the noble lord were as much against could have been no object for the right the appointment of any committee, as hon. gentleman to accept, if domestic cir- against a committee with such powers as cumstances (the sickness of his son) had had been recommended by his right bon. not rendered it necessary for him to go to friend in his motion; and he must really that country, and that being the case, it think that if his right hon. friend had was natural for Governinent to wish to failed to convince the House that night take the advantage of the circumstance, of the necessity of such a committee, and propose to him an embassy, which there was no reason to hope it would ever be granted at any future period. With have entirely forgotten. As to the proa out investing the commiitee with those position that the expense was always found powers which the motion contemplated, to exceed the estimate, be must observe, its labours would be as nugatory as those that much to the honour of the Lord five successive ones had proved, from Steward, the expense in his department whose reports no benefits had resulted. did not exceed the estimate. The expenses The House were told that the committee in the Park, which were estimated at might, if they thought proper, instruct 15,000l. did in fact amount to 40,0001. their Chairman to move the House for a more shameful waste of the public any papers they might think necessary. money, or a greater disgrace to this coun. What a childish hope was this to hold out try, he had seldom witnessed, ihan the to the House of Commons ! When the scene of drunkenness and riot which preChancellor of the Exchequer had ap- vailed in the parks for a week, and which pointed his committee, they were to have had cost the nation 40,000l. A right hon. powers to ask, if they thought proper, for gentleman, the surveyor of the woods and ihe production of those papers. Who forests (Mr. Huskisson), who had been could doubt that there would be no want formerly a great economist
, and who had of delicate guardians of the Crown in this represented that the nation must be committee The accounts that the com- ruined, if prodigal expenditure was not mittee were to receive of the expenditure checked, had now completely changed his of the Crown must be purely spontaneous sentiments, and had that night become on the part of the Crown. The noble the advocate of every species of expense. lord bad througbout the course of his He now ridiculed the idea of controlling speech talked of the delicacy which was the expenditure of the Crown, and asked due to the Crown, as if the Crown was the who would be a King, or a Prince Regent, only party. He had mentioned that the if they could not be allowed to spend Crown had formerly an hereditary re- 5,000l. on a green-house, or 1,0001. on venue ; but as for Parliament, the noble horses, without an investigation before the lord appeared to conceive its functions House of Commons ? In mentioning this quite inconvenient, unless when they 1,0001. about horses, an anecdote occurred were employed in passing complimentary to him, which he hoped was not true. It addresses to the Prince Regent for the was said that an illustrious foreigner, wisdom of his ministers, or voting the prince Platoff, had made a present to the sums of money necessary for the wars Prince Regent of a horse that had carried which the noble lord contemplated. As him through the late successful camto this hereditary revenue, the noble lord paigns. It might naturally be supposed appeared to go back with pleasure to the ihat such a horse, as a remembrance of glorious times (as he conceived then) | the donor, would have been kept with which preceded the Revolution. In those the most extraordinary care, that it would times, however, the sovereigns out of this have a separate groom to attend it, that it hereditary revenue defrayed a great part would have been pampered, and suffered of the expenses of the state. The noble to pass the remainder of its life in a sort lord might also go back to the glorious of riotous felicity. He had heard, howtimes of Charles the end, when not only ever, and was very sorry to hear it, that the expenditure of the hereditary revenue this animal was now employed in drawwas not inquired into, but when the pen ing a dung.cart at Hampton-court, (a sion that ibat sovereign received from laugh.) When the passion for giving France was not inquired into also. But 1,0001. for horses was spoken so lightly of, since the period of the Revolution, when he could not avoid thinking of what he was it that Parliament did not inquire into had heard had been the fate of prince the expenditure of the Crown? The noble Platoff's horse. The expenses at Windsor lord had only talked about sovereigns--also certainly deserved a most minute about the Prince Regent, and the Emperor examination. It appeared that here there of Austria. He had appeared to have en. was a inost profuse and lavish expenditirely forgotten who it was that supplied ture. Unless the committee were authothe expenditure of the Civil List, both to rized to call for
papers, the Prince Regent and to the Emperor of not to be expected that documents from Austria. It was the people who paid evidence would come spontaneously bethose civil lists, and this was a circum-fore them, to show where the waste of the stance which the noble lord appeared to public money lay. Large sums of money (VOL. XXX.)
were voted for purposes to which they | He recommended economy in every were never applied. A large sum was branch of the public expenditure, and annually given for travelling expenses to thought that the expenses should be in our gracious Queen, whose journies were proportion to the means of the country. 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 spleniber, 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 bave 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 Ms. 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 bad' 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 Mr. Bathurst defended the appointment was taken of arriving at the truth. He of Mr. Canning, and contended, that if did not blame any one. He would treat the revenues of the Crown bad been suf. every body with all due delicacy. He fered to remain as in the time of Charles 2, would, instead of curtailing the splendour they would be more considerable than of the Crown, do every thing to add to they were at present. He was clearly of that splendour; and he was persuaded that opinion, that no farther advantage could the most substantial mode of effecting this, accrue from a divâ voce examination of would be lo institute a bona fide investigawitnesses than would be derived from the tion. production of the documents promised by
The House then divided on the Amendthe noble lord. He would not agree to ment-Yeas, 127; Noes, 94: Majority, open the door to so general a mode of 33. The amended motion was then agreed inquiry as that proposed by the hon. gen. to, and a committee appointed. tleman. Mr. Tierney, in reply, ridiculed all the
List of the Minority. arguments which had been urged by the Abercrombie, hon. J. Barnard, lord opponents of bis motion, to show that the Atkins, ald.
Baring, sir T. House could have a good inquiry without Astell, W. Baring, Alex. sending for the persons and
Althorpe, lord from
Geo. papers whom alone the requisite information could Brand, hon. T.
Acland, sir T.
Burrell, Walter be obtained.
Butler, hon. J.
Butler, hon, C. · Mr. William Smith supported the motion. Burrell, hon. P. Bastard, E,
foreign court, struck bim as utterly inconBabington, T. Monck, sir C.
sistent with the practice of the British Bankes, H. Moore, P.
Government, and decidedly hostile to the Barham, F.
Milton, lord Butterworth, J. Mackintosh, sir J.
principles of our constitution. Barclay, C. Methuen, P.C.
The Earl of Liverpool declined to enter Calcraft, J. Montgomery, sir H.
at present into the subject alluded to by Calvert, C. North, D.
the noble lord, but observed that any Calvert, N. Newman, R.
minister was warranted in acting upon Cavendish, lord G. Neville, hon. R. the instructions of his Sovereign, and that Cavendish, C. Osborne, lord F.
it was notoriously not unusual to give diCavendish, H. Proby, lord
rections, and grant powers to a foreiga Douglas, hon. F.S. N. Paulett, hon. W. Dundas, Charles
minister to conduct and conclude the most Philips, G. Dickenson, W. Ponsonby, rt. hon. G. important transaction; such a practice, Duncannon, lord Piggott, sir A.
no doubt, might, to a certain extent, be Dundas, hon. L. Pierse, H.
deemed a transfer of the powers of the Elliot, rt. hon. W. Prittie, hon. F. Executive Government. Ellison, Cuthbert Protheroe, E.
Earl Grey admitted the propriety and Fremantle, W. H. Ramsden, J.
practice stated by the noble Secretary Fergusson, sir R. Romilly, sir S.
upon any contingency or expected event, Fane, John Ridley, sir M.
but declared that he had never heard, and Grant, J. P.
he denied the propriety of investing any Guise, sir W. Smith, R.
minister with a discretionary power to Hammersley, H. Stanley, lord
exercise the authority of the Executive Hornby, E.
Shelley, sir T. Government upon any event that might Horner, F.
Tierney, rt. hon. G. arise, however unexpected, and such auHoworth, H. Tavistock, lord
thority appeared to him to have been Idle, c. Whitbread, S.
exercised by the minister alluded to. Lemon, sir W. Western, C. c.
The motion was agreed to.
Congress At VIENNA.] Marquis Welo
lesky thought that it would be much more Lyttelton, hon. W. Warre, J.
consistent with the dignity of that House, Leader, W. Wright, A.
as well as with the magnitude and imLatouche, R.
portance of the subject, that ministers, Lubbock, J. W. Gordon, R.
instead of waiting for questions from that Littleton, E. J. Hamilton, lord A.
side of the House, should come forward Martin, J.
and present, for the satisfaction of their HOUSE OF LORDS.
lordships, a general exposition of all the
circumstances connected with the great Monday, April 17.
transaction at Vienna, in which they had Genoa.] Earl Grey moved for several been so long engaged, together with the papers respecting Genoa, to the production papers necessary to illustrate that transof which he understood that there was no action. He wished to know whether objection
ministers intended to lay such an exposiThe Earl of Liverpool said, that he felt tion before the House, and when it was no objection to the production of the pa- likely to be brought forward, or whether pers moved for by the noble earl, many they proposed to wait until the negociaof which it was intended to have laid be- tions in which they were engaged had fore the House with the other papers on terminated, or a treaty had been conthe table upon this subject, had they been cluded ? Such an exposition he thought in preparation,
highly desirable, in order that at sue! Earl Grey observed, that from some of crisis as the present, that House, the the documents on the table, a very extra- country, and the world might know what ordinary power appeared to have been system ministers and the Allies had granted, or at least exercised, by an indi- evinced a disposition to support-hat bevidual minister (alluding, as we under fore the British Parliament had concluded stood, lo lord Castlereagh), and at this the dreadful pledge of war, it should be power he felt the more surprised, because seen whether they were supporting the the transfer of the powers of the Exeeu. same principles for which the British na. live Government to any mioixer, at a tion 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 wbicb 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 atThe Earl of Liverpool declared, that it templed to form a decisive opinion on any was the anxious wish of his Majesty's one branch, be should be much disposed ministers to lay before Parliament, as soon to wait till the conclusion, before he enas circumstances permitted, a full exposi-tered upon the discussion of any particular tion 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. It was due to the settled they would be submitted to the justice, the dignity, the honour of the judgment of the Legislature. But until country, that this should be brought under those arrangements were concluded, and their lordships consideration. As the 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 bave 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 iban be had done with rewhen the case should be complete, he could gard to his own subjects. A cabinet mi. declare for himself and his colleagues, nister acting for the Government bad 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 bad really taken the judgment-seat, being able in due time to satisfy their and avowedly proceeded against a legitiJordships 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. administer justice in mercy. This was a
Marquis Wellesley said, that the noble transaction which, for the honour of the earl had admitted the necessity of having nation, must not be allowed to rest any a complete view of the whole arrange- longer in silence. The attention of their ment before any one branch of it could lordships and the country must be called be with advantage discussed, and before to it, and that without a moment's unne• an accurate and just opinion could be cessary delay. It was for these reasons formed respecting it: but then the whole that he now wished to communicate his was not completed, and he supposed he intention of submitting a proposition to must wait for that period for which the their lordships on that head, at no distant noble earl professed to be so anxious, be period, when he should perhaps move for fore he could expect any thing like a some further information connected with general view of the arrangements. The that particular point.