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dress which had been submitted to
The address was agreed to, in both
vow and put an end to those prac
The speech of the honourable member was answered by Mr Sinclair, who observed, that the ad.
Custody of the King's person, vested by bill in the Duke of York.-Message from the Prince Regent.-Windsor Establishment.-Reductions proposed in consequence of the demise of the Queen.-Lord Castlereagh moves for a Committee to examine and report on the expenses of the establishment.Debate on the Report of the Committee.-Resolutions founded on the Report of the Select Committee.--Sir A. Hope's motion for continuing the six equerries. The bill passed the House of Lords.
THE death of the Queen having rendered it necessary to enter into new arrangements for the custody of the King's person, the Earl of Liverpool, on the 25th of January, introduced into the House of Lords a bill for vesting this important trust in his Royal Highness the Duke of York. In principle this bill coincided with that which had, eight years ago, been laid down by their Lordships when called upon to make a similar provision, viz. that the care of his Majesty's person should be entrusted to one individual, and that that individual should not be the person placed at the head of the government. At the same time, although the trust proposed to be vested in the hands of his Royal Highness was, as heretofore, undivided, the bill made provision, that the management of that trust should, as in the case of the Queen, be subject to the advice of a Council; and it farther decreed the reappointment of the Council which had acted under the former bill. In introducing this bill Lord Liverpool
VOL. XII. PART 1.
stated his conviction that, if personal feelings were to have any weight in facilitating the proposed arrangement, and he saw no reason why they should not, an additional motive might be assigned for the mode of conferring this important office; and that was, that if his Majesty were in a condition to inform them in whose hands he would desire this trust to be placed, it was certain that he would assign it to the illustrious individual named in the bill. On the second reading of the bill, Lord Holland, although he expressed his willingness to recognise the principle adopted by Parliament, that the custody of the King's person should be separated from the executive government, still felt himself called upon to state that the bill involved another principle, the establishment of an imperium in imperio, by investing the custos persona with an extensive patronage, which appeared to him to require some explanation. To this Lord Liverpool answered, that the question of the extent of the establishment was not at
present before their Lordships; but he had no difficulty in saying that it was under consideration, and would soon form the subject of a distinct proposition in another place. Reductions were certainly contemplated, and the proposition which was to be submitted would be founded on the principle of reduction; but as to the details of that reduction, they had no connection whatever with the present bill, which went simply to provide for the proper custody of the King's person. Lord Holland could not agree to this view of the matter, and still held that the question, whether the whole patronage of the Windsor establishment ought to be vested in the individual to whom the care of the King's person had been assigned, should still remain open for consideration; and that it was irregular, before their Lordships were informed what the nature of the establishment was to be, to determine that, great or small, the whole patronage should be vested in one individual. This, however, Lord Liverpool maintained to be an erroneous view of the subject; as the establishment could not in any case extend beyond that which was already in existence, and if the Noble Lord had no objection to the individual named in the bill having a certain patronage, he already knew the utmost extent to which that patronage could be carried.
When the House had resolved itself into a Committee on the bill, Lord Holland re-urged, at considerable length his former objections, and concluded by moving, that the clause giving the power of appoint ment and removal to the Duke of York be left out, with the view of its being introduced in another bill, fixing the extent of the Windsor establishment. This motion being put and negatived, and the Marquis of
Camden appointed to supply the vacancy in the Council, occasioned by the death of Lord Chief-Justice Ellenborough, the bill, with its amendments, was agreed to, and ordered to be reported.
On the 4th of February, Lord Castlereagh brought down to the Commons a message from the Prince Regent, which the speaker read, to the following effect:
"G. P. R.-His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting for and on behalf of his Majesty, is graciously pleased to announce to your honourable house, that the L. 58,000, appropriated to the maintenance of the establishment, and to the support of the honour and dignity of the Crown, having, by the lamented demise of the Queen, become applicable to the general services of the civil list, the Prince Regent places this sum at the disposal of Parliament; at the same time he submits to the consideration of the House of Commons, the claims of several persons, which he leaves to the justice and liberality of Parliament; these claims are founded on the serviees of persons who were connected with her Majesty's department: and the House will not fail to grant them such allowances as are usual on occasions of similar affliction."
An address of thanks to the Prince Regent for his gracious communication having been moved, and agreed to, Lord Castlereagh rose and stated, that the House having already conveyed to the throne their sorrow for the death of her Majesty, were now to take into their consideration the measures which necessarily grew out of that severe loss. The measures which appeared to arise from that lamented event were of two kinds: the first regarded the care of his Majesty's person; the second
was an inquiry whether any changes had become necessary in the Windsor establishment. As to the first, they knew that a bill had been brought into that House from the Lords, and that it had been laid on their table for the second reading, confiding the sacred trust of taking care of the Royal person, according to the principles recognised in 1812. The second branch naturally required more investigation on the part of the House. The subject was brought be fore them in two points of view: first, The income granted to the Queen in 1812, which formed the subject of the Royal message; and, second, The L. 100,000 granted to the King for life for his establishment. It was his view on the subject, that it should be referred to a Committee of the whole House. But as there were many details in the subject, and as the House should have information as to all those details, he would that night move for a Committee to be appointed as former Committees had been appointed. The business of this Committee would be to report what was the nature of the votes, what the nature of the proceedings, to come before the House. He had to ask no new grant to the Crown, whatever might be the report of the Committee. On the contrary, he had the more gratifying task of applying for power to make reductions of former grants, and power to make those reductions available to general purposes. It was, therefore, the intention of his Royal Highness to of fer to the House the L. 100,000 granted to his Majesty for life, the savings in which were accounted for and applicable to general purposes; and the L. 58,000 granted to the Queen, with the view of rendering it available for the revenue. In their proceedings on this occasion, according to precedent, as far as precedent could be found to direct, they had
adopted for their guide the opinion of Parliament. Acting upon those rules, they now placed, by order of his Royal Highness, the L. 100,000, and the L. 58,000, at the disposal of the House. The entire sum, then, to be disposed of was L. 158,000. In order to make the subject quite intelligible, it might be fit to divide it into two branches; the first respected the Windsor establishment, to which L. 100,000 had hitherto been devoted, and the second the income of her late Majesty, amounting to L. 58.0 0. In addition to these, the House would, no doubt, be aware that L. 10,000 had been allowed to the Queen for certain extraordinary expenses, which the present custos would be under the necessity of incurring, which, there fore, it would be proper to continue to the Duke of York; his Royal Highness would be intrusted with considerable powers, and in order to ascertain that those under him fully discharged their duties, his presence, at a distance from his residence, would often be necessary. In short, every reason that had induced Parliament to grant that sum to the Queen, operated to warrant the House in giving it also to the Duke of York. Upon the whole sum of L. 158,000, the amount saved to the publie was L. 108,000: subject, however, to such charges as the House might enable the Prince Regent to incur, for the purpose of providing for the servants of her late Majesty who had been thrown out of employment: those allowances would not exceed L. 25,000, so that the entire amount of reduction at present would be L. 83,000; and as soon as the annuities to the ancient domestics had fallen in, it would ascend to L. 108,000. With respect to the L. 100,000 hitherto allowed for the Windsor establishment, that would in future be re
duced to L. 50,000, and the saving would of course be carried to the account of the civil list. During the life of the Queen, any question of economy relating to the Windsor establishment, merely resolved itself into a consideration whether a few of the state servants should be removed; and by such an interference on the part of Parliament, a saving of only about L. 6,000 could have been accomplished. His Lordship felt that some explanation was due to the House and to the country, why he was prepared now to recommend a reduction which he should have opposed at any earlier period; why the Windsor establishment should now be placed upon a narrower basis than at the time when the Regency was first under consideration, and when the hope was indulged that his Majesty, by the restoration of his health, would be enabled, at no very distant period, to resume the reins of government. The object had been in the first instance to take care, that should his Majesty fortunately awake from his affliction, he might find himself surrounded by those individuals and by that state to which he had previous ly been accustomed. The whole subject was, however, now open to the revision of Parliament, whose duty it became to draw the line between what was due to public economy, and that sacred veneration which the inhabitants of the empire could never cease to feel for the person, character, and government of their sovereign. The act of 1812 had made it imperative upon the Queen to maintain all the offices, both at Windsor and London; and in case of vacancies, to fill them up. The question, however, now presented itself in a different point of view, and it was therefore proposed to abolish the offices of Vice-Cham
berlain, Master of the Robes, the four Lords and the four Grooms of the Bedchamber, whose salaries amounted to L. 5,993 per annum. He did not apprehend that it would be disputed that it was fit that there should be an individual of high rank and responsibility at Windsor to act under the directions of the Duke of York as custos; he therefore had to propose the continuance of the Groom of the Stole, who had so long administered the household during the life of the Queen: the situation of Colonel Stevenson ought also to be kept up; and the six Equerries, the oldest servants of his Majesty, and who had always been required at Windsor, ought also to be preserved round the person of their sovereign. The salaries of the various attendants amounted to 17 or L. 18,000, and into the mode in which the rest of the L. 50,000 was expended, it was not necessary nor fit to enter on the present occasion, as the various details would be furnished before the Committee. As to the L. 58,000, the income of her late Majesty, he had in truth nothing more to state but that it was a saving to the civil list which the crown might at its pleasure apply to its own purposes. In truth the Prince Regent, by his own power, might order such allowances as he thought fit to the late Queen's domestics; but his Royal Highness was convinced that their well-founded claims could not be left in safer hands than those of the House of Commons. There was however a material distinction in the precedents, between providing for the servants of a Queen consort and of a King, on the demise of either: in the former case, the salaries of the various domestics had been uniformly continued for their lives, but in the latter case no such indemnity had been