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Mr. Davenport having moved, on business, while such an inquiry the 16th of March, " that the pe- was going on? Sir C. Burrell titions complaining of distress in moved as an amendment, that the various classes of the community, petitions should be referred to a be referred to a committee of the select committee; but this propowhole House, with a view to in- sal was still more vehemently require into, and report upon the sisted, Mr. Peel declaring, that the causes of that distress, and the motion for a committee of the remedy thereof." The debate was whole House was the better of the continued, by adjournment, on the two. There all members were on 18th, 19th, and 22nd, but to detail a fair equality, and the public was the arguments and the views of the acquainted with all that was going speakers, would be tiresome re- But if a select committee petition. They were the same were appointed, it was quite imthat had been used in the House possible, with such a subject before of Lords,-used by a greater num- it, that it could make a report durber of persons, and presented, there- ing either this or the following sesfore, under a greater number of sion. All the opponents of the momodifications. The motion was tion took it for granted that the ulsupported on the admitted fact of timate views of its supporters were the prevailing distress-the duty directed towards the restoration of of the House to give relief, if possi- a paper currency, or, at least, a ble—the necessity, for that purpose, modification of the metallic curof ascertaining the causes of the evil, rency, and that to grant the moand the necessity of inquiry to get at tion would be received by the these causes.- On the other hand, public as an announcement that it was denied that the distress bore some such thing was intended ; the general character that was and the great majority of members ascribed to it. Even if it did, to seemed to be of opinion, that, even enter into so wide an inquiry was if errors had been, in some degree, useless, without some specific reme- committed, to undo now what had dy being pointed at; but either been done, would occasion more none was pointed out, or if it harm than good. If there were was, it was bad, such as an altera- any particular measures, it was tion in the currency, or it could be said, which members thought better attained by a special motion would be beneficial, let them be on that particular subject, such as a brought forward, and each be disreduction of taxation. Great objec- cussed on its own merits. In such tions were taken, too, to the form a shape the subject would assume of the proposed inquiry. There a manageable form ; but by launchwas no subject of any difficulty, ing into an investigation which inwith which parliament had ever cluded every thing, the House had to deal, but would necessarily would only cause fruitless anxiety come before this committee; and and excitement, and awaken hopes how could the whole House deal which were doomed to disappointwith such an investigation. What inent ere they were formed. would become of the other public
Debate on Sir James Graham's Motion for reducing the Salaries of
Public Officers Resolutions of the same tendency moved by Government--Motion for Reducing the Civil and Military Establishments - Reductions proposed by Government-Attempts made to reduce the Army still further“-Speech of Mr. Hume-Debate on Mr. P. Thomson's Motion for a Committee to revise the whole System of Taxation-Motion for reducing certain Pensions in the Navy Estimates, carried against Ministers-- Debate on Sir James Graham's Motion to disallow the Salary of the Treasurer of the Navy
- Motion for Abolishing the Office of Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance-Debate on the Emoluments received by Members of the Privy-Council.
IHROUGHOUT the discus- living had increased ; therefore, as
commenced, both the members who and we had returned to cash payhad opposed the government, and ments, the salaries ought to be dimost of those who sided with the minished. In bringing out his ministry, had insisted largely on case, he stated, that the Bank Rethe necessity of reducing taxation, striction Act of 1797 had produced and curtailing the public expen- two very different effects-a dediture. Ministers had declared preciation of the currency, and a themselves willing to adopt every rise of prices. That this rise of practicable saving : any backward- prices had been the reason for ness in that respect was a dispo- granting increased salaries, was sition in which the Whigs could proved by the admissions of every not afford to support them; and minister who had had occasion to yet they found themselves under deal with the subject. Lord Sidthe necessity of resisting various mouth, when he asked, in 1802, an individual propositions, which were increase of the civil list, said brought forward as measures of “When gentlemen refer to their proper and necessary retrenchment. experience of the increased value
On the 12th of February, sir Jas. of every article in the course of Graham, one of the members for the last two or three years, and Cumberland, who acquired for him, when they reflect on all the cirself some reputation as a speaker cumstances of the times, I am sure during the present session, moved the excess of the civil list, which for a reduction of all the salaries renders an addition to it necessary, paid to official persons. The foun- will be readily accounted for." dation of his motion was this, In 1804, a fresh debt was accumutlat, subsequently to the Bank Re- lated on the civil list; and when striction Act, all salaries had been Mr. Pitt, who was then prime increased, because the expense of minister, called for a grant of mo
ney to make up the deficiency. clear. There stood on the JourHis language clearly showed that nals of that House, a resolution the alteration which he then moved which was meant to negative this for was considered of a temporary latter fact, and asserting, at a time nature, and was to terminate on when the guinea was worth 28s., the return of peace. He said, “No that a pound note and a shilling gentleman who reflected on the were equal to a guinea ; but, in the very considerable rise that had very next year, that Parliament had taken place in the price of every confessed its blunder, by passing article of domestic accommodation, an Act which declared it to be a could be surprised that his majesty misdemeanor in any person to give had not confined his expenses un- more then 21s. for a guinea. der that head (the household), All this was now altered. The within limits that had been mark- Act of 1819 had restored, to a very ed out so long since.” Here Mr. great extent, the value of money. Pitt clearly assigned the reason for Ministers had then stated, that the making an additional grant ; name- alteration would not produce a difly, the depreciated value of money, ference of more than three per cent. which was at that time forty or But what was the fact ? Why, it fifty per cent, and the increased had caused a variation of twentyprice of provisions. Mr. Perceval, five per cent; and Mr. Baring in 1809, applied to Parliament for had told them, that the variation an increase of salary to the judges; would be from twenty-five to thirty and from his statement, the House per cent., but never below twentymight learn the extent of depreci- five percent. The other hon. memation at that period. He called for ber for Callington ( Mr. Attwood) an addition of 1,000l. per annum had calculated, that the difference, to the salary of each of the puisne which would be effected in the vajudges, and an increase to the Welch lue of the currency by the measure judges of 300l.a year, on the express of 1819, would be still higher. ground of the increase in the price The operation of such a change, of provisions. At that time, wheat in fact, was two-fold. It added to was 94s. the quarter, and gold was the weight of all fixed payments, 41. 108. 91. per ounce; but judge while it lowered wages and the ing from the price, not of one com- price of provisions. Hence the mimodity, but of all commodities, it serable state to which the people of was manifest that a very great rise this country were now reduced, in their value had then taken place. and the necessity of rigid, unsparIt was of importance to mark the ing economy-inviolable, inflexible opinion of those different minis- justice; and, in that system of ecoters, who, one after the other, nomy, one great source of retrenchshowed that the principle on which ment must be, the reduction of the they proceeded, in calling for an in- salaries of those who had their crease of salaries, was the high hands in the public purse. Justice price of provisions, and the depre- required it. High prices, and no
, ciation of the currency. The fact thing else, produced by a depreciof the high price of provisions dur- ated currency, had brought them ing the war, and of the depreci- high salaries; low prices, produced ation of the currency, were equally by curing that depreciation, must VOL. LXXII.
bring them low salaries; and such tic returns, 16, 267, and their salawould be the principle of the resolu- ries amounted to 1,374,561l., givtions which he was about to propose. ing an average salary of 841. a year
From this rule, however, he to each individual. In 1827, the meant to exclude the privy purse, number of persons employed had and the royal establishment, for increased to 22,912, and their sathese stood upon arrangements en
laries to 2,788,0001., the average tered into at the beginning of the salary being 1211. Thus it appearreign, and which, he conceived, ed that there had been an addition could not be violated. Neither of one-third to the number of em. would he interfere with the regu- ployés, and an increase of fifty per lar pay of the navy, which had cent on their salaries in 1827, as been fixed in 1798, when prices did compared with 1797. The prenot materially vary from those of cious metals were the nominal, but the present day; or of the army, bread corn was the real standard of into which our soldiers had entered value. In 1810 wheat was 105$. for a term of years, at a stipulated the quarter; at present it was 558. rate. But he intended to include So that in the former year, which military officers holding civil situa- was the more expensive period, it tions, such as colonial governments, would have taken 500,000 quarbecause, in many cases, their sala- ters of corn to pay what it would ries had been augmented without now require 1,000,000 quarters to sufficient reason, and because, some pay-it was not fair that the serof these officers being removable at vants of the Crown should receive pleasure, their allowances might double salaries, and pay half prices. now be altered without difficulty, He concluded by moving a resoluThe salary of the lieutenant-go- tion to the effect, “That whereas, vernor of New Brunswick had subsequently to the Act of the 37th been raised from 1,0001. to 1,5001. George 3rd, by which a suspension per annum within the period in of cash payments was effected, large question. The salary of the go- augmentations had taken place in vernor of Nova Scotia had been the salaries and
in raised from 1,0001. to 2,0001.; that civil and military employments, on of the bishop of Nova Scotia had account of the diminished value of been raised from 7001. to 1,0001. a money, and whereas the alleged year. The salary of the gover- reason for such augmentations had nor of Prince Edward's Island had ceased to operate in consequence of been raised from 8001. to 1,0001. ; the passing of the 59th George and that of the governor of New- 3rd, which restored a metallic foundland, from 500l. to 1,000l. standard of value, resolved, that in In Port Jackson, the salary of the go- order to relieve the country from vernor was also doubled, having been its excessive load of taxation, it originally 1,0001., and being now was expedient to revise our present 2,000l. a year.
The salary of the system of expenditure, in respect governor of Sierra Leone had also of all such augmentations, for the been raised from 1,0001. to 2,0001. purpose of making every possible per annum. The number of per- reduction that could be effected sons employed in the civil service without violation of good faith, or in 1797, was, according to authen- detriment to public justice.”
Mr. Dawson, the Secretary of the boards of Excise in Scotland the Treasury, opposed the motion, and Ireland, and the boards of not so much on its own merits, as Stamps in both those countries had on the ground, that government been abolished. Of all these difhad already done all that as yet ferent boards, the number of comhad been possible in the way of missioners had been fifty-nine : reduction, and felt a sincere desire they were now reduced to twentyto carry the spirit of economy to eight. This had been done with every practicable extent. Almost no other desire than to diminish every recommendation and princi. the public expenditure: for that ple of reduction suggested in the purpose, thirty-one commissionerreports of committees, or by com- ships, with salaries of from 1,0001. missions of inquiry, had been car- to 1,4001. a-year, had been aboried into effect to a very great ex
lished. tent. Practical retrenchment, as But the motion now before the far as possible, and an abolition of House, it was said, concerned the sinecures and reversions, had been rate at which the public servants recommended by a committee that still retained should be paid, not sat in 1797 ; and these recom- the number of them which might mendations were acted on as far as be necessary for the public service. was found possible. Though the Even in this point of view, howwardenship of the Cinque Ports ever, it was nothing new, and gohad been allowed to exist, the vernment had already made consalary formerly attached to it had siderable progress in the very course ceased. The offices of governor of to which sir James Graham pointthe Isle of Wight, and of the ed. In 1821 an address had been two Chief Justices in Eyre, and the moved for reductions in the public clerkship of the rolls in Ireland expenditure, founded on the inand in England, had been abolished. crease of salaries since 1797. That The office of Auditor of the Exche- proposition had embraced, with a quer in the former country had also very few exceptions, every thing ceased. The same place in Eng- which was now sought to be atland would be abolished as soon as tained. In
consequence a vacancy occurrel, and the salary vernment had been desirous to (4,0001. a-year) would be saved to adopt the scale of 1797, and the country. Twenty-three other though that object had not been offices had been abolished since 1807, fully accomplished, yet, looking at making, in all, thiry-two sine- the difference in the extent of pubcure and reversionary places that lic business now, and in 1797, he had ceased since the recommend thought the House would see that ation of the committee. The office salaries liad been brought as nearly of Comptroller of barracks had been as possible to the rate of the latter transferred to the Ordnance des
The rules laid down by the partment, that of the Commissioner Treasury with respect to all future of the Transport-board, to the Navy- offices were to the following effect, victualling-board, and that of Com- viz. :—That every office should be missary-in-chief to the Treasury. restored, with respect to numbers The office of Store-keeper general and emoluments, to the standard had been abolished. The board of of 1797, unless in cases where Custoins in Scotland and Ireland, there should be some adequate
of it, go