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were both so much concerned, as to reject the motion with contempt. If we gave money, we should give it spontaneously, and not be bullied out of it. The Hessians were now maintaining a ministerial war in America. Honour, dignity, even decency was to be sacrificed to this favourite measure. Hesse availed themselves of the glorious golden ". and extorted the sum now demanded; or, he presumed, threatened to withdraw their troops. He laughed at the dignity and honour of the nation, and the good faith observed by it towards its allies; and concluded with predicting, that the king of Prussia would again renew and press his claims relative to the arrears of subsidy due since the late war; and, in his opinion, was much better entitled to be gratified, than the landgrave of Hesse, though he did not mean to consider the justice of his Majesty’s claim in any other than a comparative view. The Resolutions were then agreed to. The Speaker having resumed the chair, as soon as the first Resolution was read, Sir Henry Hoghton said, that no person would be readier to support the good faith of the nation than himself; but he could never consent to the granting a sum of money, which exactly resembled a foreign tribute, extorted from us on account of the distracted situation of our public af. fairs. He was certain, that no example of such a requisition was known in the annals of parliament, that a debt should be demanded at the end of 14 years; and that at such a critical season, that, he presumed, those who made it imagined that it could not, nor would not be denied. For his part, however ready he was to give strength and vigour to government, he should do all in his power to disappoint so ungenerous an expectation; and as he spoke, he should most certainly vote against it. He could not help expressing some degree of indignation at an attempt, which bore every appearance of endeavouring to impose on the nation by means the most unprecedented and unjustifiable. Mr. Cornwall said the affair had been totally misunderstood in the committee. The demand was represented as a dormant claim, now revived, though suffered to sleep for 14 years; that it was rejected by the commissioners appointed to liquidate the German demands, during the admimistration of Mr. Grenville; and that, in its present shape it wanted that degree of authenticity, which it ought to have, to
entitle it to the attention of that House. He should say a word or two on each of those heads. As to the staleness of the demand, the contrary was manifest, for it was included in the gross sum which came before the commissioners, but not thinking themselves authorized, the matter, so far as it concerned them, was postponed, not rejected. Applications were then made through an official channel, where it was answered, that until Mr. Bishop's accounts, who had the superintendancy of all the hospitals, were received, nothing could be done. When those accounts were passed, the foreign hospitals made a É. of them. They were accordingly reerred to the auditor of the imprest, where being audited and passed, they were referred back to the Treasury board. So the affair stood in 1773 or 1774, when the last steps were taken in this matter. Other business of greater importance, or accident, prevented anything more being done, till the treaties with Hesse were entered into ; and from that time till the account was ultimately examined and approved of, nothing particular passed on the occasion. The discharging the demand made no part of any public or private stipulation. When the Treasury board received that degree of satisfaction, and those regular official documents it always requires, administration for the first time determined to bring the matter into that House. The claim, then, being neither a stale nor dormant one, he could with justice say, that it was never rejected. The reason why the commissioners declined having anything to do with it, was this: Mr. Bishop's accounts, in which those of the foreign hospitals were included, not being passed in the official forms, it was impossible for them to determine on the affair of foreign hospitals, without directly taking upon them to decide on Mr. Bishop's accounts, which was clearly out of their province. And as to the last objection, that the accounts were neither clear nor properly vouched, if even true, it did not remain to be now discussed. If they were improperly passed, that might be a subject very proper for the House to examine into, as applying to the conduct of the officers; but, as against the claim, it availed nothing. The demand was made in time; it was regularly examined, and officially passed; and consequently, as between this country and the landgrave of Hesse, it had every sanction which the law or constitution could give it. Sir George Howard observed, however
ingenious the hon. gentleman's arguments to the humiliating situation of being dicmight be, they were nevertheless far from tated to, and bullied, by every petty prince bringing home conviction to his mind. He on the German continent, into the most well remembered, that when he was in mortifying and disgraceful concessions. Germany, frequent applications were made This, he said, with numerous others of the to him on the subject, but he could never same ten lency, were the blessed fruits of be prevailed upon to give his countenance | endeavouring to reduce our subjects in to what he all along had reason to believe America to a state of the most wretched was conducted in a very suspicious, is not slavery. fraudulent, manner. He recollected havo Mr. Cornwall said, when the matter first ing several conversations with Bishop, came to his knowledge, he retained some which, with what he learned himself, were doubts whether it could be entertained, the causes why he entertained the disap- or be properly brought before parliament; probation he now expressed; nor could he but when, upon further enquiry, he dissee how the passing of Bishop's accounts covered the true state of the transaction, totally precluded the commissioners from as he had represented it, the noble lord entering into any enquiry into the justice who moved the resolution in the committee, of the demand, but by resorting to the as well as himself, were vf opinion, that true cause, which was, that the claim was the money might have been paid without really and truly rejected : or that if it had bringing it into parliament, or previously been pressed at the time, it would have procuring its consent, as an out-standing been found to be unsupported by truth or arrear, regularly vouched, audited, and justice. In every light, therefore, he con- passed. sidered the claim, and from the mode of Mr. Burke was extremely jocular on the bringing it forward, he had still more rea- hon. gentleman who spoke last. The hon. son to think it cught not to be complied gentleman, said he, first had his doubts, or with.
rather was of opinion, that the application Mr. Baldwin opposed the receiving the should have been rejected; and I think report, chiefly on account of the staleness with great justice. His doubts, however, of the demand. The debt, on which the on further enquiry, began to vanish, and demand was founded, was contracted 16 at length running from one extreme to the years ago. A regular demand was made; other, his mind suddenly became so encommissioners were appointed to decide lightened, that he thought the noble lord whether it was or was not a just one; the might pay the demand without even so issue of their enquiries was a positive re- much as consulting this House, but only jection.
inform us he had paid it. This, I confess, Mr. Booth said, the present was a claim is a most extraordinary alteration of senti. he could never consent to; and the mode ment. I should be glad to know from the of bringing it forward, so late in the season, hon. gentleman the ground of his doubts, and when so many of the representatives when they began to vanish, and what it is of the people were absent, not expecting that at length wrought this mighty change. such an after-clap, rendered the affair still Did the hon. gentleman's doubts proceed more disagreeable.
from his opinion that the claim was absoSir Grey Cooper insisted, that nothing lutely rejected by the very commission un. could be more clear than the accounts, der which he acted ? If they did, what nor nothing more satisfactory than the new lights has he since received ? I will manner in which they were vouched and appeal to himself if he has a single word passed. That whatever reluctance some of information now, more than he bad then. gentlemen might have to the staleness, If this be the case, how is it possible to ac. there did not a single objection subsist count for this sudden illumination of his against the justice of the demand ; and as mind, but by supposing that he looks for. for its being of so long a standing, when ward to the possible consequences of a reit was considered that it could not have fusal, and sanctifies the means by the end, been otherwise, that objection must share that of keeping the landgrave in good the same fate, aş proceeding entirely from temper. But there is something still more necessity.
unaccountable in the hon. gentleman's Mr. T. Townshend contended, that the conduct in another particular, than even present sum, if voted, would be in fact an any thing I have yet mentioned; that is, additional subsidy; and lamented those though he and the noble lord are both fatal measures which had thus reduced us perfectly satisfied that the money demanded
might be issued officially, as an arrear due to the subjects of the landgrave, or rather the landgrave himself; yet out of a kind of deference, or condescension, or modesty, or whatever his and the noble lord’s friends may interpret it to be, his lordship, I presume, by the advice, or at least with the approbation of his hon. friend, comes to parliament. As he first doubted, was afterwards satisfied, and was finally convinced, does the hon. gentleman begin to doubt again He certainly does, or he must confess himself guilty of great imprudence and possibly injustice; for suppose the resolution should not be agreed to, though the hon. gentleman is convinced that the claim is just, and the money safely issued by the board at which he sits, the claim would be, nevertheless, for ever reprobated, and the claimant unjustly deprived of his demand. The House divided; Ayes 50; Noes 42.
Debate in the Commons on Sir James Lowther’s Motion for an Address relative to the Income of the Royal Brothers.] May 9. Sir James Lowther moved, “That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to express the just sense this House entertains of his Majesty's regard for the lasting welfare and happiness of his people; and, as this House cannot omit any opportunity of shewing their zealand regard for his Majesty's honour, and the prosperity of his family, humbly to beseech his Majesty, that, in consideration of the high rank and dignity of their royal highnesses the dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland, he would be 'graciously pleased to make some addition to their annual income, out of the revenues cheerfully granted his Majesty for the expences of the civil government, and better supporting the honour and dignity of the crown; and to assure his Majesty, that this House will enable his Majesty, effectually to perform the same, as nothing will more conduce to the strengthening of his Majesty's government, than honourably supporting the dignity of the different #. of the royal family.” He began with warm encomiums on the many public and private virtues of the two princes; and observed, what a disgrace if reproach it was to the nation, to permit their royal highnesses to live in a state much below that maintained by several private gentlemen; a circumstance extremely unbecoming the dignity of personages of their rank; that nothing could ** stronger appearance of
national disgrace, than to have the first prince of the blood, the sovereign's next brother, a fugitive, or a kind of pensionary at Rome, not from any extravagance of his own, but merely from the extreme scantiness of his income, which was known to be inferior to that of several private gentlemen in both kingdoms; nay, he believed inferior to the regular receipts and profits of many persons concerned in trade and commerce. The peculiar hardships and sufferings of the royal brothers became still more exaggerated, and were rendered more irksome and mortifying, when they were contrasted with the enormous sums granted for the support of the dignity and splendour of the crown, while both were tarnished and disgraced, and the money thus generously given employed in purposes of corruption, and squandered away on the most worthless, to a degree of profusion, unknown to any civilized state in Europe. The royal duke, now at Rome for the reason now assigned, is in the line of succession to the crown, and has had a child born in that capital, and living, who may possibly sit on the throne of these realms. I will allow that such an event is not very probable; but it is sufficient for my purpose to contend, that it may happen. What, then, would be the consequence 2. But that you must of course be governed by a prince not only born, but educated at Rome. He flattered himself that he had been uniform in the whole course of his parliamentary conduct; that he liked to speak his sentiments freely and openly; for that truth being his object, he always pursued it to the best of his knowledge. He was liable to error and mistake, but he liked candour and steadiness of conduct so well in others, that he should endeavour to practise it himself. He ad. mired it even in a warm opponent, a person whose political sentiments were known to be so directly opposite to his ; the person he meant was the right hon. gentleman on the floor, (Mr. Rigby) who, he observed, since he first knew him, always spoke without reserve, and seldomchanged his party or his opinions. He said, he was furnished with a strong argument in support of the present motion, by the very persons who constituted the constant majorities of that House. They must agree with him, because they maintained it in debate, on a former occasion, that the necessaries of life were greatly enhanced in their value; that the prevailing fashion of the times, was to live in an increased state
of luxury, elegance, and splendour; that concerning the disposal of what was his such an inevitable increase of expenditure own property, as much as that possessed call ed for a suitable increase of income; by any member of that House. In another that at no time within his memory, nor light too, it was more proper to let the that of any member then present, was the King, after he had been for some time in income of the royal dukes sufficient to the possession of his newly augmented re. main tain their rank, nor at all adequate to venue, judge whether he could with prothe most moderate and measured economy; priety, by accidental savings, increase the and that the parallel held throughout, for incomes of his royal brothers. On the if the increase of the Civil List revenue whole, if the present motion was to have was necessary for the splendour and dig. any effect, in his opinion it would be that nity of the crown, a suitable support for of increasing parliamentary grants, and the those who were so nearly related to it, I public burdens already become enormous. formed a part of that very dignity and Governor Johnstone contended, that splendour. None could say that either there was nothing improper or upseasonwere maintained, if the King's brothers able in the motion ; that the average exwere doomed to suffer a kind of banish- penditure of the crown, for the last eight ment, in a state of poverty and obscurity, years, was full 20,0001. per annum under because they were not enabled by the the Civil List revenue; that the minister crown or the nation to live according to promised very considerable savings in all their rank in their native country. He the departments; and that, consequently, finally observed, that the application now it was fair to contend, that the motion was made to the throne was by no means un- ! both reasonable and seasonable ; and as to precedented; that such addresses had the propriety of the terms in which it was been frequent, and succeeded in more in-conceived, they were the same as those stances than one; particularly in respect made use of by the late celebrated Mr. of the late prince of Wales, father of his / Pulteney, on a similar occasion. present Majesty, and the two royal bro. Mr. Rigby opposed the motion in the thers, who are the objects of the motion. most strenuous terms. He said, he had as
Sir Edward Astley seconded the motion, high a respect for the royal dukes as any observing, that the argument of similarity individual in that House, but, in his opi. and relation, so judiciously urged by his nion, the motion would, if carried, have a hon. friend, were unanswerable. The most ludicrous, or rather ridiculous effect; gentlemen on the other side must agree it would be granting a sum of money to fully to it in all its parts. The expences his Majesty for his own particular purof living are increased; the means of sup- poses, and in the same breath almost de. port must keep pace with it, say those siring him to apply it to different purposes. gentlemen. The dignity and splendour It was mere child's play, giving a thing in of the crown, from these circumstances, one instant, and demanding it ihe next, in call for such an augmentation. Is not order to bestow it on another. He then this every thing that the warmest friends turned with vehemence towards the chair, of the motion would wish to urge in its and arraigned the conduct of the Speaker support ; unless at the same time they will with great acrimony. He said, that though have the hardiness to contend, that the our burdens were heavy, and our expences royal dukes stand in a different predica- immense, our situation had been grossly ment from every other person in the king- misrepresented in a place, and in the predom; and hazard still a greater paradox, sence of those, where nothing but truth by saying, that the necessities and the should be heard. That the sentiments dehumble, unprincely situations of the royal clared at the bar of the other House to be brothers, bear no affinity to the splendour those of this, were never so much as of the crown, or the dignity of the nation ? thought of here; that the Commons of
Sir J. G. Griffin, after objecting to the this kingdom knew better; that for one, propriety of the motion, and urging the i he totally disclaimed them; and he was difficulty of discussing a subject of so deli. certain that a very great majority of that cate a complexion, involving in it the King House did so too. He trusted, that before and his royal brothers, proposed the pre- the House rose, it would be proved whether vious question.
the House thought with the Chair, or with Sir George Howard said, it was much him, whose sentiments, he said, were dimore decent to let the King exercise his rectly contrary to those delivered in the own discretion, than to dictate to him name of that House at the bar of the
House of Lords, on Wednesday last. then resumed his argument, and observed, that that heroic prince, the late duke of Cumberland, though his royal father’s peculiar favourite, had no more than 15,000l. per annum, till after the battle of Culloden, when his income was augmented, for his very eminent public services; not out of the Civil List revenue, but immediately by the bounty of parliament, who settled an annuity of 25,000l. on him for life. He repaid the compliments paid him by the hon. gentleman who made the motion; and hoped he should always persevere in the same steady line of conduct to the end. Whether he acted right or not, he was conscious he always intended it. As to the comparative income of the two royal dukes, to that of several lords in this kingdom, he allowed, with him, that it was considerably less than several. There were many rich lords, and many rich commoners. Would the hon. gentleman, for instance, wish;that his Majesty should augment the royal dukes' income, so as to be equal to the estate possessed by the hon. gentleman himself? If he would, then most certainly he must allow, that such an augmentation would lay a ground for another application to parliament from the throne.
Mr. For said, he thought the motion was right, proper, and seasonable; right, that those who were so nearly allied to the crown should have part of the public munificence, intended to promote everything which might add to its splendour and dig. nity; proper, because no persons were more competent to judge of the disposal of money than those who granted it; and seasonable, because no time could be better to urge the crown on such a subject, than when the sense of its own necessities, and the generous conduct of parliament, might promise to make a favourable and grateful impression. He dwelt on the increased price of provisions, and the comparative value of money now, and during even the last reign; and observed, that though this argument was much relied on in support of the augmentation of the Civil List revenue, it applied much stronger in the present case, because the increased value of the necessaries and conveniencies of life had a much stronger comparative o: he believed, in the proportion of full three to one, on an income almost totally expended in those uses, than on a revenue, the greater part of which was issued in round sums, with which neither the splendour, dignity, nor immediate ex
He pences of the crown were at all concerned :
this he instanced in the several heads of salaries, pensions, secret service money, anbassadors, &c. He then stated several general reasons in support of the motion, such as the increase of salary to the judges, the overplus between the real expenditure for the eight last years, and the necessity there was to enable the royal dukes to support their high rank, both as peers of the first order, and as being so nearly allied to the throne. He said, it had been always the policy of this country, to make a suitable provision for the different branches of the royal family; it rendered them independent of ministers; and bound them by interest and sentiment to preserve that constitution under which they enjoyed such pre-eminent and solid advantages. On the other hand, a royal family, in narrow and dependent circumstances, are compelled to look up to the throne for protection and support; and from the very nature of their situation, are liable to become the instruments of the crown in forging chains for their country. This, he was certain, was at present entirely out of the case; the King was as averse to employing them in effecting purposes so far from his heart, as they would be to comply with them, had he entertained sentiments of a different kind. He concluded by observing, that there were many public and private reasons for wishing to see every branch of the royal family happy and easy in their domestic circumstances. Mr. Wilkes said, he stood up in his place, as an individual, to avow that the bounty of parliament exceeded, by several thousand pounds, the accounts delivered in ; and he hoped that a proper addition, in consideration of that surplus over what the King’s wants were stated to be, might be made to the income of the royal dukes. Full of these sentiments, he should most heartily concur in the motion. The previous question was then put, and the House divided. The Noes went forth: