against the East-India Directors, and the Company at large, he insisted that the hon. gentleman was much mistaken. The East-India Company’s affairs were managed at least as well before as since government, not parliament, interfered; the latter being only an engine employed by the former to create a new source of patronage, and increase the influence of the crown. The Company, before parliament meddled with their affairs, acquired a great empire; it was well if the policy and wisdom that had been this night so highly extolled, would not, as it had commenced in injustice and oppression, be consequential of great mischief, and end in a total loss of that part of the British empire. But supposing that the mode of proceeding in Leadenhall-street was precisely what the hon. gentleman would represent it; supposing it was all disorder in i...hi street, and corruption there and elsewhere, he should have thought the hon. gentleman would be the last in that House to have mentioned it. It was neither more nor less than criminating himself, not only individually, but as the head and oracle of a party. He had the sagacity to discover the sentiments of a majority, in Leadenhall-street as well as in Westminster. He had always the prudence, he believed, to vote in a majority. He had seen him attend regularly in Leadenhall-street at all the courts and ballots, to vote with his long train of dependents, clerks, and partizans; so that if the East-India Company had mismanaged their affairs, the hon. gentleman should have been charitable and tender mouthed, when he recollected, that he himself was one of the prime instruments in causing those miscarriages he now so loudly lamented, and unfairly attributed to others. The governor replied likewise to many of the explanations given by the noble lord on the Treasury-bench; and in particular to two articles; the secret service, and the privy purse. The former he observed amounted to 600,000l. and the latter to 300,000l. which was, he contended, enormous, and unprecedented in any former account during a like period. Governor Pownall rose next, but the House grew clamorous for the question. If the House will indulge me, he said, with their patience, I will not detain them five minutes. As on the late application to parliament for payment of |. King’s debts, in 1769, I voted against the paying of them without account; and as I shall now give my vote for the payment of the


present debt, as well as for the enlarging. of the King's income, I should be glad to give the reasons on which I found my conduct. When the Message came to the House in 1769, and a motion was made thereupon to vote the sum said to be in arrear, without one article of account, gentlemen of the highest authority with me called for the accounts, and asserted, that as the 800,000l., per annum, which had been granted at the beginning of the reign, was, to their certain knowledge, not only adequate, but amply so, it was impossible such arrears could have been incurred, if there had not been some strange mismanagement, or some very reprehensible misapplications, which must appear if the accounts were laid before us: the accounts, however, were refused, and the question for the motion was put ; I thereupon voted against it. The year after this, the accounts were laid before parliament, and though they were referred to a committee, no observations arose upon them, nor was any motion made in reprehension of them. I from that moment, therefore, considered the expences as irreprehensible and unavoidable. É. the present application, the accounts are laid before us, and are now upon the table; they are in form and substance, article for article, similar to those laid before the House in 1770. Those were not censured. I must on the same ground think the expences contained in these accounts unavoidable; I can, therefore, find in my own reasoning, no ground of objection, and as I have heard no other reason from the debate, I shall give my vote for the payment of them. The expence of the late king's funeral; the coronation and marriage of his present Majesty; the marriage of his sister, as well as various extraordinary expences always incurred at the accession, were stated as reasons for the exceeding of the King’s expences in that period. , No such extraordinary expences have arisen or been incurred in the late period; yet it appears, that it has not been possible to confine the expences within the income. I have not heard any specific charge of reprehension"made against the expences as they stand in the accounts before us; I must, therefore, suppose them irreprehensible and unavoidably incurred, and that, therefore, the present income is not sufficient and equal to the present ordinary expences of the crown.

The first Resolution was then agreed to. The second Resolution being read,


Sir James Lowther moved an amend. | his Majesty's generosity: but that he was ment, by inserting the words, “ and for strongly impressed with the insufficiency the different branches of the royal family," of the present allowance of 20,0001. a immediately after the words, “ for the year; a sum which in these times he found better support of his Majesty's house- occasion to spend out of his own estates, hold.” He stated the situation of the two without a single article of ostentation or royal dukes; the one banished, and exhi- superfluity: how pitiful a sum, therefore, biting to the world a neglected, distressed when given for the support of the king's prince of England; drawing pity and com- own brothers! That he was well inclined passion from foreigners, rather than re- to pay his Majesty's debts, but not the spect and attention due to the rank he debts of his ministers; that he would wil. must ever hold, however persecuted, that lingly contribute his share, when taxed of being brother to the king of Great Bri- for the purposes of adding to the happitain. The other prince had travelled ness and real honour of his Majesty : but under similar disadvantages, and was now that it was the article of unaccounted reduced to a state of economy, becoming, hundreds of thousands in concealed exindeed, his necessity and small income, penditure, that alone kept his sovereign but very ill suited to the rank he holds in poor, his family shamefully distressed and this country, and to the respect he merits exposed, and which endangered the confor a virtuous and exemplary conduct. stitutional freedom of the subject, by an Sir James expressed the warmest affection undue influence over their representatives. and attachment to his sovereign,' and The Amendment was seconded by sir wished only to put it in bis Majesty's E. Astley : but upon lord North's and the power to accomplish those gracious acts Speaker's representing, that an Amend. towards his royal brothers, which would 'ment moved to a report was unparliamenreflect the highest honour to his Majesty tary, it was agreed to refer the consideraand this country ; that ministers had tion to a future day. stated the increased price of every neces The House then divided on the second sary of life, as a reason for the debt con- Resolution. tracted by the houshold ; that, therefore,

Tellers. if the dearness of the times was sensibly

SLord Lisburne felt with his Majesty's income, how much


•. - 231

s Sir Grey Cooper - ..$ 231 more so must it be, even to a degree of distress, in the small and insufficient in

SLord John Cavendish


-7 comes of the two royal dukes ; that if mi

OBS { Mr. Fox .....$' nisters mean to appropriate the enormous So it was resolved in the affirmative. sums now granted, for the real splendor and dignity of the crown, and not for se. Debate in the Lords on the Arrears of cret services, they must allow, that his the Civil List.] April 16. The order of Majesty is now in a situation to make the day being read, for taking into consi. better provision for his royal brothers; deration his Majesty's Message of the 9th that he made no doubt but it was his Ma- instant, jesty's gracious intentions so to do, when- The Earl of Derby, after expatiating ever it should be in his power ; and that on the many and singular virtues of his ministers dare not deprive him of the Majesty, his æconomy, frugality, sobriety, means, if we inserted the words proposed, wisdom ; his love of constitutional liberty, as it would point out, that the sense of the and of his country; his affection for his House coincided with that of his Majesty people ; the bigh obligations they owed to and the people of England, namely, the so just, wise, merciful, and magnanimous necessity of making some further provi. a prince; stated the grounds of his motion, sion for the royal dukes; that in all coun. which, he ventured to predict, would be tries except this, it appeared that the received with that degree of duty, revepeople, who loved their princes, never suf. rence, gratitude and respect, to which the fered them to be distressed, and could august personage, who was to be the submuch less endure the painful idea of their ject of it, was so eminently entitled. His being forced into banishment from the Majesty was no less conspicuous for his wretched state of their finances, and suf- political than his private virtues. He was fering in their health from inquietude of deserving of every grateful distinction, mind : that he did not mean to specify which his personal situation demanded, any particular sum ; that might be left to and which it was in the power of that

House to bestow. The subject matter to throne. It was a consequence of his ele. be taken into consideration, would neces- vated situation, to conduct his public and sarily come to be considered in two dif- private expences upon a larger and more ferent points of view ; namely, the dis- liberal scale; indeed, custom had in some charge of the present debts, incurred by ) measure rendered it a duty; consequently the excess of expenditure of the Civil their lordships must expect, and the public List, and the making a suitable provision well knew, that there must be some profufor the time to come, in order to render sion; it was consequent of his situation, it such applications as the present, in future was unavoidable. He asked, which of totally unnecessary. Whatever objections their lordships, if they had a son, would might be made to the latter, he presumed, wish to limit him to an income short of there was not a single lord present, whose his necessary expences ? When the con. generous feelings for his sovereign would sequence would be, repeated applications pot point out the necessity of paying the to discharge the deficiencies created by the debt already incurred : and make him scantiness of that income, when the very anxious to free his Majesty from those very deficiencies were known to be partly embarrassments he must suffer, in not incurred, at least considerably augmented, having it in his power to pay off the de- by the manner of contracting the debt. mands of his houshold. He observed, that | This his lordship applied equally to both their lordships could never think of refus- objects; recommending to the consideration ing so reasonable a request; they must of the House, the paying off the debt already feel too sensibly, not to perceive the ne- ( incurred, and the augmentation proposed, cessity of freeing their sovereign from in order to prevent such applications in those embarrassments, though they had future: in both cases, it would be both proceeded from a proper want of economy; generous and prudent to act liberally, and much less, when it was known that they would be preventive of all further anxiety were caused merely by all the convenien. to either party. Besides those general cies, as well as luxuries of life, being en-grounds, his lordship stated the justice of hanced in their value. He appealed to the application. He observed, that the the candour of the House, and the indivi- late King had 800,0001. per annum at his dual knowledge of their lordships, if the accession, now exactly 50 years ago, setexpences of living were not immensely tled on him; that he had certain duties increased, within a very few years; and if appropriated to raise that sum, which by their incomes were not proportionably that appropriation became his property ; raised, by the increased value of their that parliament engaged, in case the duties estates. Shall the sovereign, then, be the did not produce the 800,0001. to make up only person, within the circuit of this wide the deficiency : that the duties were found extended empire, who shall be doomed to to be considerably more, but that out of a suffer under the inconvenience of such a paternal tenderness to his people, his prerise; and yet be confined to a revenue sent Majesty, on his accession, had genewhich was deemed only a proper support rously given up those duties to parliament, of the lustre and dignity of the crown half and relinquished his right to the surplus, a century ago? He was certain, there was for the stated fixed income of 800,0001. not a noble lord present, who wished or That by the accounts it appeared, that the desired any such thing." He said, that duties had produced, on an average of the rules of economy in private life, however | 16 years of his Majesty's reign, an overplausibly made, were by no means rigidly plus of 120,000l. per annum, which, taken applicable to the conduct of a prince. He together for 16 years, amounted to nearly could not, without tarnishing the lustre of 2,300,000/. whereas the expenditure withhis crown, and disgracing the splendour in the same period, including the 513,0001. of his situation, descend into an examina- granted in 1769, and the sum of 618,0001. tion of the minutiæ of his expences; be now desired, amounted but to a little more could not keep a narrow account of shilo | than 1,100,0001. or an excess of about lings and sixpences; it would be mean and 70,0001, and consequently left a profit to paltry, and much beneath the dignity, and the public, of nearly 1,200,0001, should totally foreign to the more important objects the motion he intended to make meet with which were supposed always to be the pro- their lordships' approbation. His lordper business of a crowned liead, and were ship then moved, "That an humble Adknown peculiarly to demand and employ dress be presented to his Majesty, to rethe attention of the Sovereign now on the turn the thanks of this House, for his [ YOL. XIX. ]


Majesty's most gracious Message, by | resentment and contempt. However flatwhich his Majesty has been pleased to in- tering such offers might appear to an form this House of the exceedings of the ambitious mind, eager to grasp at arexpences of his Majesty's houshold and bitrary sway, they failed to make the civil government, beyond the revenue set- least impression on a breast full of tled on his Majesty for defraying the equity, and those just sentiments of posame ; and to assure his Majesty, of the licy, which wisdom, founded in virtue, is grateful sense this House entertains of his always known to inspire. His Majesty Majesty's well-founded reliance on the has ever shewn a disposition to be more loyal and affectionate attachment of this jealous of the rights and privileges of parHouse to his Majesty's person and govern- liament, than of his own; he has proved ment; and that, fully convinced of the it in many instances; and I doubt not, tender and disinterested attachment which but it has made a suitable impression his Majesty has shewn through the whole upon your lordships. This is the most course of his reign, to the care and welfare valuable obligation a monarch can confer, of his faithful people, this House will and deserves every mark of gratitude most readily concur in enabling his Ma- which we can, consistently with the injesty to discharge the debts which occa- terest and ability of the nation, pay in resion his Majesty's present difficulties, and turn.-His lordship next went into the in making some further provision for the particular consideration of the latter part better support of his Majesty's houshold, of the address, relative to the augmentaand the honour and dignity of the crown." tion. He said, that a similar application

Lord Onslow knew his inability to add was made in 1769, which on the best any strength to the arguments so forcibly grounds was agreed to; that on an inurged by the noble mover. There were, spection of the accounts, it then appeared, however, some circumstances slightly that the debt was incurred every year, mentioned, or passed over, which he though the greatest exertions had been would take leave to remind their lord. made, by those who presided over the seships of, and which would further evince veral branches, to reduce it, so as to keep the propriety of the address. It was evi the expenditure within the grant; but that dent, if his Majesty had retained his he after sixteen years experience, it was found reditary revenues, he would have no oc. totally impracticable. If a reform reduced casion to apply to parliament; on the the expences in some instances, they incontrary, he would now be in possession creased in others; so that the total expen. of a considerable surplus. He dwelt on | diture was pretty nearly equal. It would the advanced price both of the luxuries be urged probably, that it would be proand necessaries of life, and observed, that per to discharge the civil list debt, but while the payment of the debt already in- not to comply with the proposed augmencurred admitted no argument, making a tation. That, he insisted, would be doing suitable provision for the numerous royal things by halves; it would be worse; it family now growing up, became equally would be doing next to nothing; it would apparent. His lordship launched into put the sovereign and his ministers to the encomiums on the personal and political very disagreeable necessity of future ap. virtues of the sovereign. His Majesty plications to parliament; it would be, in had, since his accession, been the uniform short, making a nominal provision for the asserter of the rights of his people and support of the crown, which experience parliament; and that that consideration had shewn to be totally inadequate. To alone, was sufficient to interest parliament avoid all those inconveniencies, he had no in relieving his Majesty from his present doubt but their lordships would cheerfully difficulties. Had his Majesty been fond agree to the address in all its parts, parof establishing his own greatness on the ticularly when they found it to be reason. ruins of the constitution, he had sufficient able. The propriety of the request was temptation held out to him, by the con- supported by experience; it was founded duct of the Americans, who endeavoured in equity, because it gave nothing more by every means in their power, to detach than what his Majesty would have been in him from the other two branches of the possession of, had not he relinquished the legislature. What has been "his conduct ? | civil list duties; finally, it would have the He has not only rejected those offers, but effect of making the sovereign easy in his he has declared his disapprobation of domestic concerns; and of precluding any them by the most decisive marks of pretence for similar applications.

The Marquis of Rockingham opened his speech with expressions of the warmest personal attachment to his sovereign, and the purest zeal and best wishes for the prosperity and dignity of his government, which, in his opinion, he could not more fully manifest, than by pointing out his true interest, and consequently not concurring in the present measure, which, in every point of view he had hitherto contemplated it in, he was most certain, was contrary, thereto; it was treachery at once against the King and the people, and a most shameless sacrifice of their respective interests. As he had opposed a measure of a similar nature in 1769, so he should the present, but on much stronger grounds. He never imagined, however, that paying the King's debts in 1769 would have been urged as an argument for paying them in 1777, if he had not this day .# it so much relied upon in debate. The contrary was the fair deduction; if it was wrong to pay them then, it was more so now to repeat it; but though the necessity of paying the King's debts should supersede every collateral consideration, respecting the manner in which they were contracted, still the augmentation expected of the civil list revenue was a matter entirely new. The one became in some measure inevitable, from the rank of the debtor, and the nature of the debt; but why, because a debt was improperly incurred in the first instance, a provision should be made not only for such an improper mode of expenditure in future, by applying a stated income for that purpose, but even granting a sum considerably larger than the excess, was more than he could possibly pretend to account for. In his opinion, the ministers who had fabricated this message, and who had rendered such a measure necessary, instead of being listened to, or gratified, merited the contempt and indignation of that House; and the more so, when the present critical situation of affairs was considered, a situation which they, and they only had been instrumental in causing, or had rather been the authors of. He repeated, that if the effect of the vote moved this day, was meant as a gift, it was a most treacherous one, and a very unsuitable return of gratitude for those very transcendent virtues which he was as willing to confess his sovereign possessed, as those who appeared most zealous in extolling them.

His lordship then proceeded to shew, that the idea of an hereditary revenue was

entirely ill-founded; and though it were true, every deduction drawn from it was fallacious. The matter was as follows: the late king, on his accession, had a grant of 800,000l. a year; and had certain duties appropriated for the payment of it; and in case the duties fell short, the deficiency was to be made good by parliament; but it was never understood, that parliament was pledged to the crown for more than 800,000l. nor that the crown was entitled to the excess of the duties, had any excess arose. The consequence of this agreement proved the real understanding of the parties; for the king was twenty years upon the throne before he made any application to parliament; and when he did come, it was to , desire that parliament would perform what they stood engaged for. It was found, that the duties appropriated for the support of the civil list did not amount to 800,000l., the king therefore desired, in 1747, the sum of 450,000l. the amount of the deficiency. In the first instance, then, it was plain, that the king only demanded what he had a right to demand; and the other part of the transaction shewed clearly, that the appropriated duties were never looked upon to belong to the crown, during that reign, farther than as they stood engaged for the payment of the 800,000l. for by the increase of some of the duties, it being discovered that the whole, including the 450,000l. granted in 1747, upon an average, amounted from 1747 to the king’s demise, to 808,000l. the surplus of 8,000l. was retained, and the sum of 115,000l. paid over in part of the first aids, in the first year of his present Majesty's reign. He was not an old member, but he recollected very well, and he presumed so did several other noble lords present, that the above was a faithful representation of the fact, as stated by a noble person some years deceased, (the duke of Newcastle)

who was immediately concerned in the

transaction. The reasoning, therefore,

that his Majesty relinquished any thing

to which he had a right, or that the re

venues appropriated to the payment of the civil list were hereditary, was equally ill

founded and absurd. His Majesty gave or lost nothing by taking a specific sum;

he could, in justice, desire no more nor

less: the only difference it made, was

merely a matter of convenience. He was

paid in specie, without discount, risk,

trouble, or loss; whereas the payment of some of the duties was held back for six,

« ElőzőTovább »