§ The House resolved itself into a Committee.
§ On the third clause, that an annual sum of 385,000l. be granted to her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund, &c,
§ Mr. Hume
would shortly state his objections to the vote. He did not think it was in accordance with the principle on which the House had acted with reference to other establishments. It was founded on the civil list as settled in 1816, one of the most extravagant periods of modern times. We had endeavoured to reduce the other establishments, and to render 1161 them conformable to the present prices, and why should not the royal household be reduced? He had expected that, in order to consult the credit of the Crown, the real dignity of which could be consulted only by the adoption of such a course, her Majesty's Ministers would have proposed some reduction in the expenses of the royal household. He did hope that the time had arrived when they should be allowed to return to the quiet and less expensive times that existed before the commencement of the French war. This was the feeling that animated the Members of the present administration when, in the year 1817, they pressed upon the then existing Government the appointment of the Finance Committee, which Committee, in its first report, recommended that all the establishments of the state should, with as little delay as possible, be reduced to the same scale as that upon which they existed in the year 1792. What was the result of the report? A very considerable reduction of almost all the war establishments. This took place under a Tory Administration. But what did the present Government do? They did not allow the House to institute any comparison between the present time and the year 1792, but demanded that the civil list should be fixed upon the same expensive scale as that of George 4th. The hon. Gentleman then quoted extracts from a number of Treasury minutes, and from the Reports of Select Committees appointed under different Administrations from 1816 to 1831, for the purpose of showing the strong and unanimous opinion which prevailed on all sides, and with all parties, that all the establishments of the country should be reduced to the same scale as in 1792. True to the opinion expressed, most of the establishments, with the exception of that of the civil list, had been materially reduced. But whilst the other establishments had been diminished to the extent of 94,000l. a-year, it was absolutely proposed that the amount of the new civil list should be increased by no less a sum than 10,000l. a-year. What cause was there for this? He did not object to the first item upon the civil list—the sum allotted to the privy purse. He was not disposed to interfere with a sum which for upwards of half a century had been provided for this branch of the royal expenditure, The second class of items com- 1162 prehended the salaries of the great officers of state, those of the officers and menial servants of the royal household, and the superannuation and retired allowances payable to persons of the latter class. These were the items to which he objected, as having been made extravagantly, as having been carried up to the high pitch of war prices, and as never having been reduced; whilst it was notorious that the pay and emoluments of almost all the officers in all the other establishments had been materially diminished. It was the duty of the House to avail itself or' this opportunity to begin the work of reduction as regarded the salaries of officers deriving their pay from the civil list. This would become apparent when he mentioned that the expenses of the Lord Chamberlain's office now amounted to 66,000l., whilst in the reign of George 3rd they amounted only to 48,000l.; that the expenses of the Lord Steward's office now amounted to 36,000l., whilst in the reign of George 3rd they amounted only to 29,000l.; that the expenses of the office of Master of the Horse amounted now to 20,600l., whilst in the reign of George 3rd they amounted only to 12,700l. Thus it would be seen that in three offices only there was an excess of 31,000l. as compared with the year 1792. What ground was there to justify this large increase? The same observation applied to many other offices connected with the civil list. In the Committee up stairs he had called for a return of the number of clerks employed, and the amount of the salaries paid to each of them. A return was made in consequence of his motion, but it was so extremely imperfect as to be far from satisfactory. He contended, therefore, that the House ought not now to agree to the Report of a Committee which Committee had not been furnished with adequate information to enable it to come to proper conclusions. It seemed that the pay of the yeomen of the guard, mere officers of state, amounted to upwards of 33,000l. What necessity was there for such a charge as that? The menial servants were necessary no doubt; but their salaries did not amount to more than one-third of the sum paid to the yeomen of the guard. But the most preposterous, the most outrageous thing of all was, that the expense of keeping the accounts of the civil list amounted to 10,000l. a-year. The annual expense of the establishment of clerks and paymaster 1163 in the Lord Chamberlain's office amounted to 3,110l., and the mere expense of keeping the accounts in that of the Lord Steward to 4,728l. Thus it appeared that a sum of nearly 10,000l. was annually expended for the mere purpose of keeping accounts—accounts which, he would venture to say, would be much better kept by officers of a different description for less than one-third of the amount. He objected, too, to the super annuations and retired allowances, many of which ought to be reduced. But there were two offices against which he had most strongly protested in the Committee, and which he certainly hoped the Throne would abolish: he meant the offices of the governor and constable of Windsor Castle, whose salary was 1,120l. a-year, and the lieutenant-governor, whose emoluments amounted to 173l. a-year. These offices were both of them perfect sinecures, and ought to be expunged from the list as brought under the consideration of the House as totally indefensible. Then, again, there was the Master of the Buckhounds, with a salary of 1,700l. a-year. Such an office, in such times, could not be defended—it ought to be abolished. The pressure of taxation upon the general comforts of the people was not sufficiently considered. The new civil list had been prepared in such a way as to bring upon the Queen all the odium of maintaining a large, expensive, and unnecessary establishment—such an establishment as existed only under that most profuse and extravagant of monarchs, George 4th. It was not dealing fairly with the country that Parliament should now be called upon to keep up establishments at an expense that could not be justified by war prices. This was not his opinion only—it was the opinion of the last five Committees which had sat upon the subject of the civil list. He held in his hand extracts from the reports of five several civil list Committees. That of 1802, when the civil list was for the first time brought under particular examination, reported that on the average of the six years prior to the war the expenditure was kept within the average limits of the estimates, and never had exceeded them; but that it was solely during the last three years, from the year 1792, any excess had taken place, and that had arisen in consequence of the increased price of provisions and other articles of consumption. But in making that statement, and sanc- 1164 tioning the increase of the allowances, the Committee held out a hope that the public would perceive a reduction in them when the prices of provisions were reduced. In 1812 the Committee stated the same thing, and called on the House to make some attempt to return to the old scale of allowances. In short all the Committees expressed themselves to the same effect. He would ask then why, since everything was comparatively low in price at present, and the causes for the increased allowances, which were perfectly intelligible at the time, but which now no longer existed—why Should the Government not attend to the recommendations made by those Committees? The country had now been at peace for upwards of twenty years, and yet no attempt was made on the part of the Government to act upon their recommendation, and to restore the civil list to what it was in 1792. It was time, therefore, that the House should take the matter into its own hands, and with that feeling he should conclude by moving that the amount of the present resolution be diminished by the sum of 50,000l.; that was to say, that it be reduced from 385,000l. to 335,000l.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
rose to defend the resolution as adopted in the Committee. He begged to remind the hon. Member for Kilkenny, that when he compared the establishments of 1792 with the establishments at the present time, he was endeavouring to institute a comparison between two periods which had but little in common with each other. Since the period to which the hon. Member was so much in the habit of referring, a very great and a very beneficial change had been effected in every one of those departments of which the hon. Member most complained. In earlier times, the mere official salaries that were paid constituted but a very small portion of the emoluments actually received. In earlier times, as the hon. Member for Kilkenny well knew, there was a vast amount of fees, of perquisites, and of other emoluments, which did not find their way into the estimates in the shape of salary, but which were nevertheless included in the charges of the several departments. In consequence of suggestions frequently urged upon the House since the year 1812, and especially by the hon. Member for Kilkenny himself, a commission of inquiry was appointed to look into the whole of the fees of the household, with the view of amending the 1165 system. The commission prosecuted its inquiry with considerable success, and the result of it was, that the system had been more or less amended. The object that the Government now had in view was to carry the amendment still further; and as far as possible to got rid of fees altogether. But suppose that the proposition of the hon. Member for Kilkenny were adopted, and that a return were immediately made to the charges that existed upon the civil list in the year 1792, what would be the result of it? He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) must inform the hon. Member for Kilkenny that the effect of carrying his plan into execution, and of adopting the scale of salaries that existed in the royal household in 1792, would be in many instances to increase the emoluments of officers instead of reducing them. The result of the hon. Member's plan would be to give too much in some instances, and too little in others. But the hon. Member, he knew, would not be satisfied with the generality of this assertion—he would require some details. He would endeavour to supply such details as he thought would convince the hon. Member that his propositions, if carried into effect, would not accomplish the object he had in view. He would first take the great officers of State. Though when the last civil list was under the consideration of the House, he grounded a heavy complaint upon that head—the hon. Member had now entirely excluded the fact that the Committee of the present year had very materially reduced the amount of salaries paid to the high officers of State. The Lord Steward was now appointed to receive a smaller amount of salary than in 1792; so also was the Treasurer of the Household, and so also was the Comptroller of the Household. He stated that to show that the estimate of 1792 was not applicable to the present time, even for the purpose of economy. The salaries of the clerks and accountants of which the hon. Member complained so much were, many of them, less now than in 1792. Those who in 1792 received annual salaries of 560l. a-year, now received no more than 260l. a-year. He might mention many other instances in which similar reductions had been effected. In the Lord Steward's department alone the reductions amounted to several thousands a-year. The salary of the Master of the Horse, it was true, had been somewhat increased; but why? Because formerly there were attached to this office allowances 1166 of horses and of forage, besides many valuable perquisites of horses and carriages, which were now excluded. Formerly the officer who surveyed and condemned horses and carriages as too old or too much worn for the royal service was the very officer who, upon his own part, was entitled to receive the property he had himself condemned as his own perquisites. That was a system which former Governments as well as the present Government thought ought not to be continued, and it was consequently abolished. But the result of it was, that the fixed salary of the Master of the Horse had been somewhat increased. But his objection to the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Kilkenny did not rest only upon the grounds he had stated. Would any Gentleman whose recollection extended to the year 1792, pretend to say that he could now keep up his own private establishment at the same rate of expenditure as before the commencement of the war? Compare the amount of tradesmen's bills in 1792 with those of the present time. In 1792, the charge for butchers' meat was 5d. a pound; in the present year it was 8d. In 1792 the price of butter was 1s.; in the present year it was 1s. 6d. In 1792, the price of oil was 5s. per gallon; in the present year it was 7s. 6d. So that when the hon. Member talked of reduced prices as compared with 1792, he must observe that the reduction did not apply to the items which ordinarily came within the range of tradesmens bills. If the captain of the yeomen of the guard now received some increase of pay, it was because he had been deprived of perquisites to which he was formerly entitled. The same observation applied to the captain of the gentlemen pensioners. It was true that their duties related only to matters of State; but as the appointments of the yeomen were reserved as rewards for old soldiers, they were offices which he thought no one would wish to see abolished. Then the hon. Member complained of the retired allowances. These allowances would be gradually diminished; but it was absolutely necessary that some of them should continue. There was not a family in the kingdom which did not make provision for its old retainers—it was impossible that the Crown should not have some also. The Committee had recommended the abolition of all sinecures: in this he concurred, and in respect to the offices of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of the Castle of 1167 Windsor, there was a recommendation in the report that upon a vacancy one of those offices should be suppressed, and one only should be filled up. If there were —but which he did not think there was— but if there were, as the hon. Gentleman seemed to imagine, the possibility of introducing further economy in the civil list, he hoped it might be, as it certainly ought to be, introduced. But the Committee should remember that they were fixing a civil list for a reign which all hoped would be long; they ought, therefore to fix it upon a principle which would not lead to debt on the part of the Sovereign, or to future applications to Parliament for aid to the civil list. Looking forward to a protracted reign, he considered it was the wisest and best economy on the part of Parliament to make such an arrangement in the outset as would prevent the possibility of debt. The hon. Gentleman had compared past times with the present! but to what did the policy of past times lead? It led to the contracting of debts on the part of the Sovereign, and to the payment of large sum's by the country in aid of the civil list. And here he might be permitted to say, that in what fell from him on a former occasion, it was far from his intention to cast any reflection upon the monarchs of former times. Quite the contrary; it would have been inconsistent with his argument to have done so. He cast the amount of debt incurred in former times not so much on the character of the Sovereign as on the imperfection of the arrangement made in the establishment of the civil list. As to the standard of 1792, it was impossible that that could be made applicable to the circumstances of the present day. If, however, future savings could be effected it was just and right they should be; but upon the chance of a contingent saving it would be unwise to cut down the civil list so low as to force the Monarch to incur debts in order to sustain the dignity of the Crown, and then to be under the necessity of applying to Parliament to pay them. The hon. Gentleman had complained that adequate information had not been furnished to the Select Committee on the subject of the civil list; but he begged to say, that the explanation which had been afforded by the present Government had been much more full than had ever been given by any Government on any former occasion. Under these circumstance?, he thought he might humbly entreat the Committee to agree to the vote.
§ Mr. Hawes
was not prepared to say that his hen. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, had made out a case for so large an amount of reduction as he bad proposed; but, while saying this, he was compelled to declare, that he conceived that the present civil list was larger than that which was granted in the last reign. The right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, indicated his dissent from that proposition. He would shortly state the grounds on which he believed it to be perfectly correct. The amount of the civil list, in the last reign, was 510,000l., from this was to be deducted 50,000l. granted for the Queen's privy purse, thus reducing the civil list of the late King to 460,000l. The estimated expenditure of the present Sovereign, as laid before the Select Committee, was 470,000l. obviously making an increase as compared with the last civil list of 10,000l. But it would be said, that while in one department of the Queen's establishment there was an increase, in another department there was a decrease. In the ladies' department the increase occurred, while in the gentlemen's department the decrease took place. The increase and decrease, however, nearly balanced each other, still leaving the present civil list 10,000l. greater than the last. The last civil list, again, was 10,000l. more than the one preceding, while in referring to the debates on the civil list of George the 4th, even the amount of that list was considered to be unnecessarily extravagant. It was not his wish to observe a too rigid economy in the Parliamentary provision for the Crown. Let it be proved to him that the sums proposed were necessary, and he should be ready to concede them. But he was bound to say, that in the Select Committee, of which he was a Member, he was perfectly helpless, for he had no means of ascertaining what were the proper sums required for the suitable maintenance of the dignity of the Crown. It was not possible, therefore, for him to have proposed, in that Committee, a reduction of any of the sums mentioned to be necessary. This was necessarily the case; for even, if the Committee had had the power to send for persons, paper, and records, in order to go into the examination of the bills of the household, it would still have been impossible to come to any conclusion as to the proper amount to be granted. The Select Committee were, 1169 therefore, bound to place their reliance upon the representations of the Minister; but, although he was as one of that Committee so bound, yet, unless the Minister made out a case, he was not bound to grant 10,000l. more on the present civil list than was granted in the last reign. This was one point which he wished the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider. The second point to which he would advert was, the large amount received by the Crown from intestates' estates. In a case in which he was personally interested, out of 140,000l. received by the Crown from an intestate's estate, no less than 70,000l. was actually applied towards the furnishing and embellishing of the palace (as it was called) at Brighton. Knowing this fact, he had a right to inquire how it was intended that sums of money coming from such a source, into the hands of the Crown, were in future to be dealt with. From intestates' estates alone, an additional 10,000l. a-year accrued to the Crown; therefore, according to his view of the case, the present civil list actually amounted to 20,000l. more than the last. To this, he was by no means disposed to agree; and he should, therefore, after the amendment of his hon. Friend was disposed of, propose a reduction of the vote to the amount of 10,000l.
Mr. F. Baring
said, that the observations of his hon. Friend had been made in a tone and temper which entitled them to every attention. The calculations, however, which he had referred to were not quite fair, and would tend very much to mislead the Committee, if they adopted the figures quoted by him. His hon. Friend wished the House and the public to understand that the proposed civil list was larger in amount than the civil list of his late Majesty. His hon. Friend said there was now no Queen Consort, and therefore 50,000l. ought to be deducted from the amount of the last civil list in order to make a fair comparison between it and the amount now proposed. But if his hon. Friend wished to make a fair comparison between the proposed civil list and the civil list of the late reign, he should compare those items which were in the list of the last reign with those of a similar description in the present list. His hon. Friend did not act quite fairly, when he told the Committee that they ought to deduct 50,000l. from the amount of the late civil list when estimating what ought 1170 to be the present civil list, because there was now no Queen Consort, and yet to complain that 10,000l. should be added to the present civil list, because the Sovereign happened to be a Queen and not a King. The 10,000l. was added for the establishment of ladies. He (Mr. F. Baring) need not argue, that an establishment of ladies was absolutely necessary in consequence of the Sovereign being a Queen. His hon. Friend had lost sight of this, and he had likewise put aside the question of pensions. Did his hon. Friend mean to tell him (Mr. F. Baring) that, by any calculation he could make, the power of giving 1,200l. a-year in pensions would ever amount to 75,000l. a-year, which was the extent of the power that existed in the late reign. It must be remembered, when discussing this question, that his late Majesty was King of Hanover as well as King of England. And although the revenues of Hanover were mainly appropriated to the benefit of that country, yet it was fair to presume that some part of those revenues were available to the support of the dignity of the King of England as well as that of the King of Hanover. These were sources of revenue which her present Majesty did not enjoy; were she in possession of them, she no doubt would derive a greater amount of revenue than she would now do from the present proposition. His hon. Friend had said, that the amount of the former civil list was very large, and on too high a scale, and that considerable reductions might have been made in it if it had been under the supervision of Parliament; but his hon. Friend ought to recollect that he was speaking of a civil list of a very different description from what existed now. The civil list he was Alien speaking of was not confined to supporting the dignity of the Crown, but included a large part of the public expenditure, such as the salaries of the Judges and other public officers. When his hon. Friend stated, therefore, that a large reduction might be made if the former civil list had been placed under the supervision of Parliament, he must have been unaware of this fact. If they looked to that expenditure which had been transferred from the old civil list to the present estimates laid before Parliament, and placed under the supervision of Parliament, they would find that a very considerable reduction had been made in the annual expenditure on account of 1171 those estimates. He thought it fair to his right hon. Friend, who was then absent to "explain this point. His hon. Friend had said, that the property of intestates which fell to the Crown was appropriated by the Crown to its own purposes; and upon this point, his hon. Friend required a distinct explanation, in order to guide his vote this night. Now, he should have thought that his hon. Friend would have been well aware that William 4th gave up that part among the other hereditary revenues of the Crown. He would find in page 15 of the return laid before the Select Committee, of which he was a Member, a return under the head of escheats of 46,600l., which, in the course of the last reign, was actually carried to the account of the public service. He wished, however, not to be misunderstood. It was not the habit of the Crown to take possession of intestates' property for its own purposes. The principle on which the Crown acted was this: if there were any claimants to the property of the intestate, the Crown disposed of it just as the party himself would probably have done if he had made a will. He (Mr. F. Baring) was perfectly well aware of the case to which his hon. Friend, the Member for Lambeth, had referred. It was a case where there existed very great doubt as to the right of the party claiming to be allied to the intestate. He never could prove his case—he had failed twice before a court of law. The Crown, therefore, very naturally refused to give the property to such party. His hon. Friend had complained that the Select Committee had not examined all the details of the items constituting the civil list, and that, therefore, the Committee had no means of deciding what ought to be their amount. But what did his hon. Friend expect to do with regard to the civil list? His hon. Friend said, that it was extravagant compared to the civil list of the reign of George 4th, which was a very expensive reign; but was that the fact? Did not the Committee take this course? Did they not observe the expenditure, under the different heads, in the reign of William 4th? They all knew, that when his late Majesty presided over this empire the dignity of the Crown was maintained in decent splendour— that there was that noble hospitality upheld which was worthy the sovereign of a great empire; but they knew, also, at the same time that there was no extravagant 1172 or profuse expenditure on the part of the Crown; and that his late Majesty might have this praise added to his other praises, that when he left the Crown to his successor he did not leave to the country one sixpence of debt. What, then, could they, in common sense, have as a better standard by which to compare the present scale of the civil list than the civil list of the late reign. His hon. Friend had talked of going back to the principles of 1792; but in how many cases was his hon. Friend prepared to do this? In all matters, save in the article of money, no one was more ready to ridicule the "wisdom of our ancestors" than his hon. Friend. They were, however, now arguing in the year 1837, and not 1792. Did his hon. Friend apply the principle of his argument to his own private affairs? Did he pay the same rate of wages to his servants now that was paid in 1792? Every Gentleman knew from his own experience that they could not bring down the expenditure of the present day to the standard of 1792. Was it to be expected, when shopkeepers, farmers, merchants, and country squires lived in a very different style and adopted essentially different habits from the style and habits which prevailed in 1792, when what at that period were considered luxuries were now regarded as common necessaries, and were more remarked when absent than when present—when this gradual alteration in the habits of life took place among all classes of the people, was it possible to expect that the Crown—that the head of the empire—should remain unaffected by the general change, and its dignity continue to be supported on a scale of expenditure which was adapted to a state of circumstances of altogether a different nature.
§ Mr. Grote
observed, that there were two points in the speech of the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Portsmouth, which seemed to require special notice. One was the rise in the price of articles of provisions since 1792, and, from the tenor of the hon. Gentleman's observations, it would seem fortunate that a civil list had not been proposed of double the present amount, for such was the only inference which could be drawn from those remarks. In the next place he must remark on the extreme inutility of the Committee, of which he and the hon. Secretary for the Treasury were Members. If the civil list 1173 of the late monarch were to be handed down to the present sovereign without alteration, why did not the Government do that on its own responsibility. Taking, however, a different view from the hon.; Member of the fitness and amount of the proposed civil list, he should vote for the reduction recommended by the hon. Member for Kilkenny, and he conceived it a proper and reasonable proposal. He thought that during the present discussion it had been forgotten that this was the first civil list which had been brought forward since the Reform Act, and that, as a necessary result of that improvement, the people expected and had a right to expect greater economy and more strictness in the administration of the public money. On these grounds, therefore, that the public had expected, not only that no increase would take place in the amount of the civil list, but that they had anticipated a great reduction, though he was not prepared to point out where this reduction ought to fall, yet he was prepared to say that the whole amount might be lessened by 50,000l. He would most willingly support not only every thing which could add to the comfort and elegance but also to the dignity and splendour of the sovereign, but he did not think that the suggested reduction would detract from any of these. If he went through the details of the list it would be difficult to say which item was the least necessary, still he was of opinion that they might easily get rid of much of the antiquated paraphernalia without any diminution of comfort or dignity to her Majesty, and he believed with a positive addition to her comfort. Before he sat down he must enter a strong protest against the doctrine laid down by the! noble Lord, the Member for Stroud, that the respect which the House entertained for the sovereign was to be measured by its willingness to grant money for the use of the Crown. He would maintain the direct contrary, and assert that the best friends to the maintenance of the respectability of the Crown were those who were most anxious that it should not appear in the light of an odious and unnecessary burden on the shoulders of the people. In this point of view, above all others, he was persuaded that economy was the most consistent with the comfort and dignity of the sovereign, and he should vote for the hon. Member for Kilkenny.
§ Captain Pechell
said, that the hon. Member for Kilkenny had omitted to notice the fact, that whilst the fees in the Lord Chamberlain's department were done away with, the fees in the office of the Lord Steward were to be still left in existence. He thought that it was high time that her Majesty's tradesmen should be relieved from the payment of the present enormous fees for procuring their warrants. There was another point to which he wished to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it related to the department of the Master of the Horse. As all the Queen's pages were now presented with commissions in the Guards after a certain period of service, he suggested that commissions in the navy should also be held out as an inducement and reward for good conduct. His late Majesty William 4th had introduced naval men in many situations previously occupied exclusively by military men; and as there were four pages connected with the Master of the Horse's department, he suggested that two of these should be chosen from persons fit to have commissions in the navy. And if the right hon. Gentleman should meet with any difficulties in procuring fit persons from among the midshipmen, he might possibly be able to furnish him in a few years with a candidate for the office.
§ Mr. C. Buller, though he could not entirely go along with the hon. Member for Kilkenny, would go so far as to say that it appeared to him that the proposed civil list was constituted on a scale wholly unsuited to the age. The hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for the Treasury had said that they ought not to carry back their ideas of the necessary expenses of a Sovereign to past times, and in this he was disposed to agree; and what he complained of and found fault with in the proposers of the present civil list was, that they did carry back their ideas to past times, by giving to the monarch an establishment entirely unsuited to modern notions of necessity or dignity. They had taken their ideas of luxury and magnificence from an age long passed; and to justify the splendid establishment they proposed, they had gone back, as it appeared to him, to an almost antediluvian period. In former times undoubtedly many of the greater nobility had performed menial offices in the establishments of the sovereign and of persons of high degree. He 1175 believed that it was Burke who had stated that an Earl of Warwick had been clerk of the kitchen to one monarch, and that, one Earl of Gloucester had occupied a similar situation under an Archbishop of Canterbury; but why was it now necessary that they should go back to the period when these menial offices were performed by noblemen and gentlemen? Why was it necessary that the Queen's furniture should be superintended by a nobleman under the title of Lord Chamberlain, with a salary of 2,000l. a-year? Why were the expenses of the table now to be regulated by another nobleman designated the Lord Steward? Why was the situation of manager of the royal stud, under the designation of Master of the Horse, to be filled by another nobleman with a salary of 2,500l. a-year? He saw no occasion for this, and he should vote for a reduction equal in amount to that suggested by his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth. He would abolish the offices of Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, Master of the Horse, Mistress of the Robes, Master of the Buck Hounds, and Constable and Keeper of the Round Tower, the yearly salaries of which amounted together to 10,000l., exactly the same sum as his hon. Friend had recommended to strike off the vote. By the reduction which he then proposed, he wished not in any manner to affect the dignity or comfort of the Sovereign, he would leave her surrounded with the lords and ladies of her Bedchamber, as persons who were valuable, and to the amount of whose salaries he did not object; but he would do away with the great sinecures which were never given to the personal friends of the Sovereign—which were disposed of by the Ministry of the day, being changed with them, and which were only so many offices at the disposal of Ministers for their friends and dependents. He thought that the dignity of the Crown was not consulted in the present arrangement, and that the large amount would only cause increased embarrassment and discomfort. After the disposal, therefore, of the motion of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, he should support a proposal that the total amount should be 375,000l. instead of 385,000l.
§ Lord John Russell
rose only to take the opportunity of contradicting the mistake into which the hon. Member for Liskeard had fallen; he was entirely in error in supposing that the great officers attending 1176 the Court to whom he had alluded were in the enjoyment of sinecures; they had duties to perform, and he (Lord J. Russell) could not imagine that a sovereign could hold a court and maintain sufficient dignity without them. He thought that hon. Members would be rather surprised if when the Speaker of that House reached the royal palace, they should find only two footmen to show them the way. These noblemen had, therefore, duties to discharge and they did perform them. In reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Lambeth, he did not mean to say that if any amendments had been proposed to her Majesty she would not have acceded to them, he felt no doubt but that she would have cheerfully received and accorded to any proposal which might be made; but he did hope that the hon. Members would not place any difficulties in the way of the Sovereign; and he could conceive no more painful duties which could be imposed on her Majesty's Ministers than to ask her to withdraw what were considered unjust and unreasonable demands; and, that the House would not make any nice calculations or objections to the grant of the same amount as had been enjoyed by other Sovereigns.
§ Mr. Kemble
had been returned as a Conservative, and he should be sorry in the most remote degree to detract from the comfort or the dignity of the Crown; but he thought that he should be best acting up to his character as a Conservative by supporting a due and proper regard for economy in that House. He could not conscientiously vote, for the motion of the hon. Member for Kilkenny and support a reduction to the amount of 50,000l. because he had not heard sufficient reasons advanced for so large a reduction. The House had appointed a Committee to investigate the subject, and not having given power to that Committee to send for persons, papers and documents, he thought that the House was bound to take the statement of the confidential advisers of the Crown, which had been laid before them. Now Ministers had told them that the amount granted for the civil list during the last reign had been sufficient to maintain the dignity and splendour of the Crown, and to uphold a proper degree of hospitality, having a due regard for economy; and he had not heard any reason advanced why the House should make to 1177 this sufficient grant an additional 10,000l. a-year, except the statement made by the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury, that there was this difference, that we had now a Queen instead of a King, and that there was no Queen consort. By a reference to the papers it appeared that the only difference in the expenditure occasioned by the circumstance of the reigning sovereign being a Queen was 2,000l. a year. Such was the fact, for whilst the number of ladies in the household had been increased, there was a reduction in the number of males; the increased expenditure on former accounts was only 2,000/., and the saving ought to be 10,000l. Here then was an increase of 8,000l., for which no ground had, in his opinion, been stated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, indeed, had referred to the saving of 50,000l., a year in consequence of our not having a Queen consort, but it was highly probable that her Majesty would soon have a husband and they should recollect that to support his dignity a much larger sum than the 50,000l. now saved would be required. The House had been told that the establishment of William 4th was fully adequate to the dignity and the splendour of the Crown; and yet, without any sufficient reason assigned, an increase of more than 8,000l. had been recommended by a Government professing amongst their leading principles a great attachment to economy. Although he could not vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, he would support a reduction to the amount of 10,000l.
§ Mr. Harvey
thought, that he should have no great difficulty in inducing the hon. Member for Surrey to vote for the reduction of the proposed sum by an amount considerably larger than he had stated. Was the House disposed to throw away the lights of experience. It was no speculation as to the amount of the expences of the royal household. The report of the Civil List Committee, imperfect as it was in many respects, yet was sufficiently full to give some clue to the amount. At page 11 of the report there was a summary of the aggregate money received by the Crown during the six years of William the Fourth's reign. The total received during this period was 3,060,000l., and after providing to the utmost for the grants in the reign, and which remained unpaid, there was a 1178 surplus of 22,750l. carried to the privy purse, exclusive of the 60,000l. a year granted for that purse; after deducting the 3,045,091l. paid out of the total money received, there still remained an additional surplus unappropriated of 14,909l. Add this to the sum of 22,750l. carried to the privy purse, and there would be found an excess of 37,659l. during the whole six years, being 6,000l. a year more than the Crown could spend even under the old provision made by the monarch's support, and yet the House was called upon to increase this sum. In addition to all this, there was a proposal in the present civil list of giving 8,040l. of unappropriated monies, being in fact, a proposed expenditure of upwards of 14,000l. a year more than had been proved by a six years' experience to be necessary. He took it, then, that the hon. Member was willing that a diminution of 16,000l. should take place; but in what way did the House get at the revenues of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, which were shut out from their control, practically, by the course which had been adopted by the Government? It was not denied that the actual income arising from the duchies was very little short of 50,000l., and the hon. Member for Kilkenny would, therefore, have been justified in adding the sum of 16,000l. to that of 50,000l. which he suggested. He knew the effect produced by rumours both in and out of the House, and he would rather vote on a division in favour of a reduction of the amount by 10,000l., if the hon. Member for Surrey would move it—and he would rather hope in that feeling of Conservative contrition, that hon. Member would set an example —than he would vote with a small minority in favour of the reduction by 50,000l. If the hon. Member would move this he would set an example, and it would be received by the country with gratitude —as a sort of Christmas-box. It would be a boon, indeed, that it should be proposed by an hon. Member on that side of the House; and if he would only move that the amount should be reduced to 375,000Ml., it would be better than to divide with a small minority in favour of the hon. Member for Kilkenny. If however, the hon. Member for Kilkenny, should persevere in dividing the House on the course which he had suggested he should vote with him; but at the same time he hoped that the hon. Member for Surrey would not be 1179 terrified from moving that the amount should be decreased to 375,000l.
§ Mr. Kemble
I never said I would move the House on the subject; and I will ask the hon. Member what he means by Conservative contrition. I only expressed my regret that I should be obliged to vote with the other side of the House under certain circumstances; but I deny that I expressed any Conservative contrition; but on the contrary, I glory in the principles which I profess.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that he felt it his duty to state that the excess of the revenue was appropriated to purposes with which he thought the Committee would entirely agree. The balance had been appropriated to the payment of the funeral expenses of his late Majesty. He would offer one word with regard to the observations made by the hon. Member for Surrey. He said that there was an excess in the present civil list over that which was before agreed to, and that there was a surplus of 10,000l. He should wish, in order to satisfy that hon. Gentleman and the House, to refer to what had occurred on a former occasion. On the late civil list being brought forward, a sum larger than that now contemplated was carried in the House (the sum being, he believed, ll,000l. to meet contingencies. The proposition was made by the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge, and it was assented to by Lord Spencer, and actually voted, but by some mistake the sum was not inserted in the bill. It was not proposed now to vote that sum as unappropriated, but he thought it better to take the small sum of 8,000l, appropriated, in looking forward to a long reign. But to refer to the vote carried on the motion of the hon. Member for Aberdeen, that substituted an annual grant for new pensions, not exceeding 1,200l. for the maximum sum of 75,000l. which was originally the amount. This was not his (the Chancellor of the Exchequer's) proposition, and therefore whatever benefit might arise to the public, and which would appear on the statement he was about to put forth, was to be attributed to the labours of the much maligned Committee. He had supported it, but he was happy to attribute it originally to the motion of the hon. Member for Aberdeen. He was talking of a saving of 10,000l. and in reference to it he had had a calculation made by an officer of Government most experienced in such 1180 matters. On the authority of Mr. Finlayson, he was enabled to state what would be the result of this arrangement. Taking the highest value of an annual sum of 1,200l. during a progressive accumulation for twenty years, he would add the decreased pensions charged on the consolidated fund to the increased pensions arising from the sum proposed. The charge for pensions upon the civil list, which was now 72,970l. would in twenty years be reduced to 20,043l. The increased charge for the progressive accumulation of 1,200l. during the same period, namely, for twenty years, would be 21,179l., making in the whole the sum of 41,222l. which would show a saving under the head of pensions of 33,778l. With respect to the average of lives taken, he had to observe, that they were taken under the lowest average, and Mr. Finlayson had told him, that there was no insurance company in London which would not take these calculations as the basis of an arrangement. He must repeat, that it was important to have an unappropriated sum to meet contingencies. The hon. Member for Aberdeen knew very well, that unexpected expenses sometimes fell upon the Crown. Those expenses must be defrayed out of some fund, and it was in order to avoid a recurrence to Parliament that the present vote was now proposed.
§ Mr. Clay
observed, that from the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it appeared, that the sum to be voted for unappropriated money was 8,000l. Now let it be distinctly understood, that that sum was in addition, and was not to be drawn upon unless necessity arose. Upon that understanding he would not object to vote for it.
Mr. F. Baring
said, it was quite true that a reduction had been made in the salaries of the higher offices to the amount of 8,000l., compared with the amount received in the time of William 4th, and it was equally true that the saving being made, it was carried to the unappropriated balance. On the other hand, the Queen was placed in a position by which an increased expense would be incurred to the extent of 10,000l.
§ Mr. Hume, in reply, said, that the House seemed to be satisfied that the sum which had been granted for the last seven years should be continued. He would tell them that they were now taxed to the 1181 amount of fifty millions, while before the taxation was sixteen millions, and yet it was proposed to raise the civil list.
§ The House divided on Mr. Hume's amendment:—Ayes 19; Noes 199: Majority 180.
|List of the AYES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Martin, J.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Brotherton, J.||Morris, D.|
|Duncombe, T.||Philips, M.|
|Fielden, J.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Finch, F.||Wakley, T.|
|Godson, R.||Warburton, H.|
|Harvey, D. W.||Williams, W.|
|Jervis, S.||Hume, J.|
|Leader, J. T.||Grote, G.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||De Horsey, S. H.|
|Acland, T. D.||Dick, Q.|
|A'Court, Captain||D'Israeli, B.|
|Adam, Sir C.||Divett, E.|
|Alsager, Captain||Douglas, Sir C. E.|
|Anson, hon. Colonel||Duckworth, S.|
|Ashley, Lord||Duff, J.|
|Baines, E.||Duke, Sir J.|
|Baker, E.||Dundas, F.|
|Barnard, E. G.||East, J. B.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Easthope, J.|
|Beamish, F. B.||Eaton, R. J.|
|Belfast, Earl of||Ebrington, Viscount|
|Bellew, R. M.||Eliot, Lord|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Ellice, Captain A.|
|Berkeley, hon. H.||Ellis, J.|
|Blair, J.||Etwall, R.|
|Borthwick, P.||Fazakerley, J. N.|
|Bowes, J.||Fergusson, Sir R. A.|
|Bridgeman, H.||Fergusson, rt. hn. R. C.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Fitzalan, Lord|
|Broadley, H.||Fitzroy, Lord C.|
|Bryan, G.||Fitzroy, hon. H.|
|Buller, E.||Fleetwood, P. H.|
|Bulwer, E. L.||Forbes, W.|
|Callaghan, D.||Forester, hon. G.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Freshfield, J. W.|
|Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.||Gaskell, Jas. Milnes|
|Cantilupe, Viscount||Gibson, J.|
|Carnac, Sir J. R.||Gibson, T.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Gladstone, W. E.|
|Chalmers, P.||Gordon, R.|
|Chandos, Marquis of||Gore, O. J, R.|
|Chaplin, Colonel||Goring, H. D.|
|Chetwynd, Major||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Clay, W.||Greenaway, C.|
|Clive, E. B.||Grey, Sir G.|
|Courtenay, P.||Grimsditch, T.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Hall, B.|
|Craig, W. G.||*Hallyburton, hn. D. G.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A.||Hardinge, rt. hon. Sir H.|
|D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.||Hastie, A.|
|Hawes, B.||Pinney, W.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Polhill, F.|
|Hay, Sir A. L.||Ponsonby, hon, J.|
|Hayter, W. G.||Price, Sir R.|
|Henniker, Lord||Protheroe, E.|
|*Hinde, J. H.||Pryme, G.|
|Hobhonse, right hon. Sir J.||Ramsay, Lord|
|Reddington, T. N.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Rice, right hon. T. S.|
|Hodgson, F.||Rich, Henry|
|Hodgson, R.||Richards, Richard|
|Hogg, J. W.||Rickford, W.|
|Holland, R.||Rolfe, Sir R. M.|
|Holmes, W.||Rose, right hon. Sir G.|
|Hope, G. W.||Round, C. G.|
|Hoskins, K.||Rumbold, C. E.|
|Howard, P. H.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Howick, Viscount||Salwey, Colonel|
|Hughes, W. B.||Sandon, Visct.|
|Humphrey, J.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Hutton, R.||Seymour, Lord|
|Ingham, R.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Sheppard, T.|
|James, Sir W. C.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Kemble, Henry||Smith, J. A.|
|Kirk, P.||Smith, hon. R.|
|Knight, H. G.||Smith, R. V.|
|Labouchere, rt. hn. H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Lambton, H.||Steuart, R.|
|*Langdale, hon. C.||Stewart, J.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Stewart, J.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Lennox, Lord George||Strangways, hon. J.|
|Lennox, Lord Arthur||Strutt, E.|
|Lincoln, Earl of||Style, Sir C.|
|Lockhart, A. M.||Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.|
|Lushington, C.||Surrey, Earl of|
|Lynch, A. H.||Talfourd, Sergeant|
|Mackenzie, T.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Macleod, R.||Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.|
|Macnamara, Major||Tollemache, F.|
|Marshall, William||Townley, R. G.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Tracy, H. H.|
|Murray, rt. hn. J. A.||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Muskett, G.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|O'Brien, W.||Tufnell, H.|
|O'Connell, M. J.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Whalley, Sir S.|
|Ossulston, Lord||While, A.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Wilberforce, William|
|Paget, F.||Wilshere, W.|
|Palmer, C.||Wood, C.|
|Palmer, R.||Wood, T.|
|Palmerston, Viscount||Worsley, Lord|
|Parker, J.||Yates, J.A.|
|Parker, R. T.||Young, G. F.|
|Peel, right hon. Sir R.||Baring, F. T.|
|Phillpotts, John||Stanley, E. J.|
§ The Committee then divided on the amendment moved by Mr. Hawes, that the sum be 375,000l.:—Ayes 41; Noes 173: Majority 132.
§ The following names added to the Ayes on the first division, make up the Ayes on the second.
|Baines, E.||O'Brien, W.S.|
|Blair, J.||Parker, R. T.|
|Buller, C.||Phillpotts, J.|
|Chalmers, P.||Rickford, W.|
|Dick, Q.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Duke, Sir J.||Strutt, E.|
|Forbes, W.||Talfourd, Serjeant|
|Goring, H. D.||Tollemache, F. J.|
|Hall, B.||Whalley, Sir S.|
|Marshall, W.||Hawes, B.|
§ The four Members, with asterisks prefixed to their names appear not to have voted on the second division.
§ The clauses and schedules were agreed to.
§ Mr. Townley Parker
wished to know, whether the Government intended to retain the office of the Master of the Horse, and that branch of the royal establishment? He asked this question in consequence of the sale by her Majesty's Ministers of the splendid stud belonging to his late Majesty, at Hampton Court, a proceeding which, in his mind, inflicted the greatest disgrace on the country.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
begged to inform the hon. Member, that the sale of the royal stud was not the act of her Majesty's Ministers, but of the executors of the late Sovereign, the stud being the private property of his Majesty.