Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

council who received, in full payment for other service, to civil offior pensions for diplomatic ser- ces of full pay, and making the one vices, in the gross annual amount, abate in like manner with the 126,176l., or an individual aver- other ; and thirdly, the House age of 4,3471. The account, then, would be enabled to ascertain stood thus :- There were sixty- why, under similar circumstances, nine privy councillors, ministers, sinecures and other allowances or members, of that and the other should not abate, as well as half House, receiving public money, and full-pay, when the individuals of whom forty-seven were peers, obtained higher civil employments. who received 378,8401. a year, or

He never would consent that eco8,0691. each, and twenty-two nomy should be set to work upon were members of the House of the smaller and dependent salaCommons, receiving 90,8491., or ries, while the greater officers, 4,1301. a year each. There were who, in most instances, were pertwenty-nine other individuals like sons of large property, escaped wise receiving pensions and allow scot-free : there was neither reaances, who were not now members

son nor justice in such a course. of parliament, but who had been so, There is,” said he, “a clerk of when these emoluments and offices the Customs, for instance, super. had been obtained by them. In annuated with an allowance of this analysis there was no doubt 7501., and yet made agent for some inaccuracy, because, framed Ceylon, with a salary of 1,2001. as it was by an unofficial process, a year. This is objectionable ; it could not be deemed authentic; but when I find lord Cathcart still, he believed it as nearly holding a pension of 2,0001. a accurate as any document could year, together with a sinecure of be made out from such materials. vice-admiral of Scotland, worth Butif its accuracy were denied, --if from 2,0001. to 3,0001. a year, he were told he had mis-stated facts, with all his military allowances --then bis answer was, grant this as a general officer and colonel motion and prove the error to the of a regiment, I cannot touch public satisfaction. He would state the Custom-house clerk's salary frankly and fairly what his objects and emoluments, until I can were. First of all, the production first bring down lord Cathcart's. of the information which he sought Then I find the name of an army would be of great use in enabling accountant, with 1,2001. a year the House to contrast the real ser of civil emoluments, together vices rendered by public servants with his half-pay as a retired with the actual amount of money commissary; this I object to as paid in return, and then calmly unsound in principle, and unjust and deliberately, to do equal jus- to the public. But then, how can I tice to all, by seeing what reduc- touch it, while I see the vice-adtions could be made consistently miral sitting opposite (sir George with the due performance of the Cockburn), enjoying, in his civil public service : secondly, a ques- employment as a Lord of the Adtion had been lately mooted with miralty, 1,0001. a year, with his the view of applying the rule of house and other domestic advanmerging half-pay, when the pos- tages; his full pay as a major-genesessor was receiving a higher pay, ral of Marines; and, by special

warrant, likewise receiving his ar would fully answer the object in rears of half-pay in the navy for view. They did not object to three years, 3,0001., or 1,0001. a give the information wanted, but year from that source. And yet to give it in the particular form in this is done by special warrant which it was asked. The Chanfor a lord of the Admiralty and cellor of the Exchequer said, that vice-admiral, while I can read the whole difference between them an official order, signed “John was, that whilst the hon. baronet Wilson Croker, by order of the desired that the emoluments of lords of the Admiralty,' which en- the members of the Privy Council, joins an oath to be taken by every as a body, should be laid before unhappy half-pay lieutenant and the House, he (the chancellor of subaltern officer, upon going to re the Exchequer) knew no prececeive his pay, to the effect follow- dent of the members of the Privy ing:-“I do solemnly swear, that I Council, as such, being called on am not in holy orders—that I have for a return of their emoluments not had from (blank day) to (blank to the House. Thus to bring them day) any employment, civil or mi. forward, as privy councillors, belitary, under his majesty or the fore parliament, was not treating colonies, or in any place beyond the council of the sovereign, nor sea, or under any other govern- the members of the highest judicial ment, &c.” This is the oath which court in the realm, and as such the juniors must take, while the entitled to respect, with proper special exemptions are made for decorum. It was bringing them their superiors. Is this as

as it forward in an invidious point of should be ? Why should this view; and, therefore, it was not oath be taken by the poor half- expedient to depart from precepay lieutenant, and not by the dent in order to hold them up to vice-admiral, who was besides a

scorn.

The Privy Council conlord of the Admiralty, and major- sisted of the first judges of the general of Marines? The vice- land ; yet they were brought in president of the Board of Trade, for their share of that obloquy whose case was argued the other which attached to sinecurists, night upon the impossibility of his and to swell the mass of emolubeing treasurer of the Navy,—such ments. In the next place, the were his redundant labours,- Privy Council contained men nevertheless had 6001. a year in who were receiving the rewards another office. But again, I say, of many years' service rendered to how can I complain of this small their country, the fruits of which sum for a working-officer, when I were recorded on the page of our find that lord Melville, as First history; yet these men were likeLord of the Admiralty, has 5,0001. wise to be forced forward as oba year (a salary augmented, too, jects of obloquy, and to be held up during the war prices), besides as receiving the public money unholding a large sinecure of 3,1501. worthily. Instead of the return, a year, as keeper of the Privy therefore, required by the member Seal of Scotland ?"

for Cumberland, he proposed the Government met the motion by following as an amendment upon proposing a return of a more limit- the motion :-“ That an humble ed kind, but which, they said, address be presented to his majes

ty, praying that his majesty willing too much. He asked a rebe pleased to direct that there be turn of the emoluments of 169 Jaid before this House an account persons, and he was offered an acof all salaries, profits, pay, fees, count of those of 2,000 persons. and emoluments, whether civil or This was something like giving a military, held and enjoyed by person who asked for a glass of public officers, from the 5th of wine, a glass diluted with a bottle January, 1829, to the 5th of Ja

of water.

Suppose that he asked nuary, 1830, the amount of which his land-agent for a return of shall not exceed (the sum he left the number of his household serblank, but he proposed to insert vants, and he gave him a return, 2,0001.), specifying, with each including, not only the housename, the total amount received hold servants, but husbandry serby each individual, and distin- vants, huntsmen, &c.: he would guishing the various sources from look upon such a proceeding with which the same is derived." He suspicion, and immediately disafterwards consented to insert the

miss his agent. words all “ persons " instead of General Grosvenor told sir public officers. Even when thus James, that he was the last man extended, it was objected to, as who should have made such a monot meeting the end in view. tion, as he had stated in the beginSeveral members expressed their ning of the session, that he differopinion, that the motion oughted from ministers only in one to be agreed to, though it were point, viz. the currency question. only to correct the popular errors Sir James answered, that he had which had gone abroad as to the then differed from them only on uses madeofthe public money in the that point; but they were not way now in question. Statements now at the beginning of the seswere circulated, unfounded, but sion. During the session he had vulgarly believed, that the taxes watched the conduct of ministers, were squandered on the aristocra- and had now a very different cy, and not in rewarding service; opinion. On the division, the and the affectation of mystery and amendment was carried by 231 concealment would only add to the against 147.-It was plain that mischief - Mr. Portman, one of the Whigs were becoming disconthe members for Dorsetshire, said, tented at not receiving, in a parhe had himself laboured under the ticipation of office, the reward of error of supposing that persons in that support which they never alhigh office received great emolu- lowed ministers to forget: and ments; but he found, on investi- sir James Graham who, in the zation, that he was mistaken. The life-time of a high minded tory return, if granted, would remove father, had condescended to beany impression of a similar nature come a dependent of the whig from the public mind.

aristocracy, was the mouth-piece Sir James Graham himself ob- through which they announced jected to the amendment, as give their claims.

CHA P. III.

Committee appointed by both Houses on the East India Company's

Charter--Letter of the president of the Board of Control regarding the Indian Judges-Debate on proposal to alter the Currency and restore Small Notes--The Budget Bill for repealing the duty on beer, and throwing open the beer trade.

EFORE the meeting of par- posed, not to take the responsibi

[ocr errors]

mercantile

part

of the community stance, any measure of its own, had been much engaged with the but had promised, at the end of manner in which the trade be- the last session, that, in the pretween this country and the East sent, a committee should be apIndies should be arranged, on the pointed tomake the inquiries which approaching expiry of the Com- ought to precede any arrangepany's charter. Public opinion ment affecting interests so varied had set it down, that the monopo- and so important. ly of this corporation imposed a On the 9th of February, lord most mischievous restraint on the Ellenborough in the House of trade of the country, without any Lords, and Mr. Secretary Peel in reasonable cause, or counterba- the House of Commons, moved lancing advantage; and at a time the appointment of this select when the universal voice spoke of committee. In doing so, they nothing but distress, when every carefully abstained from stating crude expedient and untried nos- any opinion which ministers might trum were viewed with favour, the have formed on the subject, or evil report, in which exclusive pri- whether they had laid out for themvileges of that nature always stand, selves any intended plan of prowas naturally exaggerated and in- ceeding. Government, they said, flamed. One large portion of the was entirely free from all preconcommunity wished to have the re ceived impressions; it approached newal of the charter refused in the inquiry with an unbiassedmind, toto, to any extent, or under anxious to give and to receive all any modification; another profess. the information which was desired themselves willing to be satisfied able and could be attained. Mr. with reducing the Company to the Peel said, that he had no plan to level of ordinary merchants in submit for the future government matters of trade, leaving to them of India-no opinion of ministers their territorial possessions. The to state as to the renewal or moCompany had remained prudently dification of the charter. He was silent as to what it might be incli- to propose a committee to examine ned to concede, or what it would the question in all its bearings, struggle to maintain. The go- leaving the details for future convernment had determined, where sideration, when that committee such powerful interests were op- should have formed its opinion

Some members had proposed two modes in which that government or three committees, to be occu affected the people over whom it pied each of them with a particu- ruled, and how far any alteration lar branch of the subject-one, for might affect the influence of the instance, with the finance of India, Crown. The present form of go-another with its commerce,

vernment extended over many another with the trade to China. millions of people; it had existed Such a mode of proceeding would, for a great number of years; and, he thought, be inexpedient, and although he was not prepared to lead to confusion. The subjects say that another form of governof inquiry were so closely con- ment might not be devised, from nected, and the evidence on one which equal benefits would flow, would tend so much to elucidate sufficient was known of the preanother, that it was better all sent system to induce them to should be submitted to the same pause before they rashly interfered body. He would, therefore, pro- with it. With respect to the pose only one committee; and Company's commercial concerns, he proposed it with the plain and the documents which would be honest view of having a full, per- presented to the committee would fect, and unreserved investigation contain full information, of which, into the affairs of the East India at present, he would only say, that Company. Every document con a reference to these returns would, nected with the trade, the com he was sure, convince any unpremerce, and finance, of India would judiced man, that the sanguine be laid before it. He proposed expectations of great benefits, this committee, not for the pur- which some supposed would arise pose of ratifying any engage- from throwing the trade entirely ment previously existing between open, ought not to be entertained. the government and the Company. But by far the most interesting No such engagement, open or se- objects involved in the inquiry cret, express or implied, existed. were the welfare and happiness of The ministers were free agents; the Indian population placed unand, in any future proceeding, they der our government. He had would have to be guided by the

census which made our result of the inquiry. As the whole native subjects in India amount to subject, therefore, was open to in- ninety millions. Looking at the vestigation, the House would feel immense extent of territory which the immense importance of the in that country belonged to Great inquiry about to be instituted. It Britain—the vast population there would bear in mind that higher subject to our sway-the great objects were involved than the revolution by which they had come mere extension of trade, They under our dominion—the immense would have to consider the whole distance at which they were recharacter of the government, rul- moved from our shores—and the ing over an immense extent of wonderful difference that prevailed territory, wielding a powerful between the language and usages force, and administering a revenue of the natives and ours--the mind of very great extent. They were was almost lost in amazement : bound to consider the various and whatever might be the wish Vol. LXXII.

[F]

seen

a

« VorigeDoorgaan »