Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

commencement of hostilities, of would be graciously pleased to a threatening armament? It was give directions, that the lords decided in favour of the ministry, commissioners of the Admiralty but by a majority considerably may be reduced to such a number less than their usual numbers. as the exigencies of the public Lord Milton's motion was de service may actually require." feated by 169 to 114.

This motion being evidently,

as the hon. baronet acknowledged, MOTION RESPECTING THE LORDS

a trial of strength between the OF THE ADMIRALTY.

parties, it was argued chiefly upOn February 25th Sir Mutthew on that ground ; the ministers and W. Ridley rose to move an address their friends strongly resisting to the Prince Regent, requesting any further attempts to limit the him to remove such of the lords power of the crown; whilst it commissioners of the Admiralty as was still considered as abundantly could be spared without detriment too high in the nation at large, by to the public service. After some the advocates for independence observations respecting the former The previous question being put, conduct of government, when the House divided, when a majothey were prodigal in their pro. rity appeared for the ministers of mises of economy, and as prodigal 308 to 152. in their waste of the public money, he said that he did not expect

MOTION ON THE PUBLIC INCOME much from the measure he now

AND EXPENDITURE. proposed, but it would be laying Lord Custlereagh, on February the foundation of a system of re- 7th, began his motion by causing duction by which the undue in the clerk of the House of Commons fluence of the ministers might be to read such part of the speech of abridged. He then went through the Prince Regent as was particua cursory view of the formation larly addressed to that House, and and progress of the navy-board; which referred to the distress conand having attempted to shew that sequent upon the war, and his the present number of six lori!s of own confident expectation that it the Admiralty was much beyond no distant period the native energy the wants of the office now that of the country would enable it to the number of seamen was re- surniount its difficulties duced from 140,000 to 19,000, he The time, said Lord C. was concluded with the following mo. now come, when the House ought tion: “That an humble address to consider what would be a probe presented to his royal highness per pernianent system for a peace the Prince Regent, to represent establishment; and he trusted to his royal highness, that his that gentlemen would bring to the Majesty's faithful Commons, re- subject that combination of firmlying upon the gracious disposition ness and wisdom which they so of his royal highness to make eminently exhibited in the course every reduction in our cstablish- of that arduous contest in which ments which the safety of the em- Great Britain had been so long pire and sound policy allow, hum. involved. The House would go bly pray, that his Royal Highness along with hiın when he laid down

as

as an incontrovertible maxim, that the number of the government no country, especially one so much troops in India to be reduced from involved in debt, could consider 20,000 to 17,000. In the estiits prosperity in time of peace es- mates there would appear a sum tablished on a firm foundation, of 220,000l. to be provided for on unless its expenditure was reduced account of regiments which had not only to the level, but below not yet returned from abroad, but the level, of its revenue.

were on their way home, and in It was not his intention to go a course of reduction. The whole minutely through the several heads of the army estimates, with of expenditure in the different certain contingent expenses, and branches of our establishments that of the militia, would amount for the present year ; but he was to 7,050,000l.; to which the comdesirous to state, that in order to missariat in Great Britain will add prevent the House from being 500,000). The barrack establishfettered by the votes which it ment has been reduced from might be necessary to call for, 178,000 to 70 or 80,000. The they would not be required to fur- army extraordinaries for this year nish sums for more than some will be 1,300,000l. Total charge months, so that the public service for the army 9,230,000). For the might be carried on in the mean navy, the House had last year time. To this circumstance, after voted 33,000 men, of which, as some general observations, his 10,000 were in the progress of relordship now proceeded.

duction, it was understood that He first requested the attention only 23,000 would be the permaof the House to the subject of the nent establishment for the prearmy expenditure. The number sent year. But upon further conof the land forces during the last sideration, it has been determined year, (excluding those in France that a larger reduction was pracand India, which were otherwise ticable, and 19,000 men have provided for) was 99,000 men, been proposed as the vote of the namely 53,000 for the home ser present year. The reduction of vice, and 46,000 for the foreign the wear and tear, ship-building, establishment. This was to be and other expenses, would, of reduced in the present year by course, be very considerable. On 18,000; that at home by 5000, the whole, the aggregate of charges, and that in the colonies, &c. by comprehending all the various 13,000: and thus the comparison branches of the public service, will between the two years would stand stand thus : from 99,000 to 81,016. The total Army ......... £ 7,050,000 number for which a vote had been Commissariat and taken in the former year was Barracks .

880,000 150,000 men; and the total num- Extraordinaries 1,300,000 ber for this year would be pro- Ordinance....... 1,946,000 posed at only 123,000. The reason Navy .......... 6,397,000 for this was, that by the conven- Miscellaneous. ... 1,500,000 tion with France the number of our troops there was to be reduced Gross total of charge 18,373,000 from 30,000 men to 25,000; and

ce.....

This was the sum which his times, he begged that they would Majesty's ministers would pro- always separate the charges which pose to the House for the service were wholly unconnected with the of the present year ; but it would service of the present year. be unfair to themselves not to de- The right hon. member then sire them to distinguish between passed an eulogium on the Prince those items which might be more Regent, who had resigned to the durable, from those which, al. public about a fifth of his whole though voted for the present year, receipts, namely, fifty thousand would in all probability not again pounds; and he stated that the recur. For the army, for ex- public servants of the crown were ample, the sum of 220,000), was also anxious to offer their assistfor the purpose of defraying the ance by contributing what the expense of regiments all which property-tax, had it been conwere actually in a progress of tinued, would have taken from reduction. The extraordinaries, them. In conclusion, he proposed as well as could be anticipated, the formation of a select commitwould be reduced by 300,0001. tee to inquire into and state the and the ordinance by 50,000l. In income and expenditure of the the navy, he had stated, that united kingdom for the year ended 500,0001, of the sum proposed to the 5th of January, 1817; and be voted was for the liquidation of also to consider and state the a transport debt. These several probable income and expenditure items added together would amount (so far as the same can now be to 1,070,0001. which would dis estimated) for the years ending minish the future charge of the the 5th of January, 1818, and the year to the same value.

5th of January, 1819, respectively; There was another view of the and to report the same, together subject which he was desirous that with their observations thereupon, the House should take--that be to the House; and also to contween charges which were for sider what further measures may services that had been performed, be adopted for the relief of the and charges for services still to be country from any part of the said performed. He had already stated expenditure, without detriment to that the army estimates contained the public interest." a sum of 2,551,0001, for services Mr. Brand said, that with rethat had actually been performed. spect to the first part of the noble If charges of the same kind were lord's motion he had nothing at separated from the navy estimates, present to observe; but as to the they would amount to 1,271,000l. second part, he thought that Those in the ordnance service when, at such a conjuncture as were 223,000l. ; and the three the present, the House was about services put together would a. to inquire what reductions ought mount to 4,045,0001. When the to take place in the public expenHouse was therefore occupied in diture, placemen and persons contemplating the great existing holding sinecure-offices ought not charge of the army and navy, to be on the committee. He should compared with those of former therefore move as an amendment,

“ That “That the select committee to be had therefore repeatedly supported appointed, should inquire into the propositions brought forward what reductions since the year by his friend the member for Corfe 1798 had taken | lace in the salaries Castle (Mr. Bankes). The system and emoluments of the different was peculiarly liable to the charge persons holding public offices, and of favouritism; and another strong to consider what farther measures objection to it was its being grantmight be instituted for further re- ed in reversion, which alw:ys apducing the expenditure of the peared to him a great abuse. It country.”

mighi be objected, that no great The Speaker having suggested savings would result to the public to Mr. B. that it would be neces- from the abolition of those offices. sary for him first to move, by way The present savings indeed could of amendment, that the second not be much, because it was nepart of the noble lord's notion cessary that good faith should be should be omitted, be shaped his kept with those who had vested motion accordingly.

interests; but in the course of a After a considerable muniber of few years a material benefit would members had given their opinions, be effected. When the committee Mr. Brand's notion was put, and reconimended that certain offices was negatived by 210 to 117. should no longer be suffered to

exist, it was necessary that they REPORT OF FINANCE COMMITTEE. should point out some other mode

The names of the members of by which his Majesty could rethe cominittee was at length ap. ward meritorious services. Wit! pointed, when they stood as iol- this view a system was recomlows: Lord Castlereagh, Mr. mended, which, under certain reBankes, Mr. Tierney, the Chan- strictions, would answer every cellor of the Exchequer, Lord purpose. He alluded to the grantBinning, Mr. Bootle Wilbraham, ing of pensions for services perSir John Newport, Mr. Peele, formed, the time during which Mr. Hart Davis, Sir George Clerk, individuals had occupied their Mr. Frankland Lewis, Mr. Hus- offices being one of the criteria by hinson, Mr. Tremaine, Mr. Nic which the crown was to be guided cholson Calvert, Mr. Davies Gil- in rewarding the exertions of pubbert, Mr. Cartright, Mr. Holford, lic officers. If the committee Mr. E. Littleton, Lord Clive, Mr. agreed to the motion with which Gooch, Sir T. Ackland.

he should conclude, namely, On May 5th, the first report of “That the chairman should be the Finance Committee, relating directed to apply to the House for to the Abolition of Sinecures, be- leave to bring in certain bills for ing laid before the House, Mr. carrying into effect the recomDaries Gilbert rose to address the mendations contained in the recommittee. He began with ob port," they would then have the cerving that he had uniformly con- subject introduced to them in a sidered the existence of sinecwre more detailed shape. After some places as a great blot and blemish further explanations, he moved n the system of this countiy, and "That the chairman be directed

to

to move for leave to bring in a by which the noble lord supported bill to abolish the offices of the the measure. Its recommendaWardens, Chief Justices, and Jus- tions were, that it did not in the tices in Eyre, north and south of slightest degree affect the ir:fluTrent."

ence of the crown; that it efLord Castlereagh began by say. fected no economy; but that it was ing, that although on a former adapted to the cure of the poisonoccasion he had stated his objec- ed public mind. To the noble tions to the principle and object lord, therefore, he must confine of a measure somewhat similar to his congratulations; and he was the present, he was now willing the more decidedly of his opinion, to give his support to that laid when he recollected the purposes before them. The power of the for which the committee had been crown, he admitted, had inci eased appointed. At the first part of the since the war began; but on the session the noble lord hurried return of peace, though they forward, so that he superseded could not be restored to the state the chancellor of the exchequer ; in which they were left before and at length came an investiga1792, it had been more than pro- tion of the difficulties and re. portionally reduced. The patron- sources of the country. For three age of the crown was by no means months, excepting three days, excessive ; for which reason he had the committee been occupied would support the present mea. with this subject, and the result sure, because it did not bear upon of their long and painful investigathe influence of the crown. His tion was this report. They had been lordship then went into a severe going over the ground that other criticism upon Mr. Bankes's hill, committees had trod before them, which he charged with tending to and recommending paltry savings augment the burthens of the instead of executing the business country, and with seeming to before them. After a number of countenance the delusion which remarks, partly serious and partly had spread through the people, sarcastical, respecting what had who regarded sinecures as the and what had not been done by chief eriis of the nation. Motives, the committee, Mr. G. concluded however, had grown up which by saying, that with respect to induced him to favour the abo- the present motion, he certainly lition of sinecures. It was very would not oppose it: it was to desirable to correct the false ex- him a matter of perfect indifpectations which had been che- ference, and as such he was perrished, and the present measure suaded it wvuld be felt by the would bave that effect. It would people, whose delusion, according not, indeed, be a great saving; to the noble lord, it was destined but sinecures being bad in princi- to remove. ple, it would operate as a cure to the Several other members spoke in impression which had gone abroad. the debate, which assumed much

Mr. J. P. Grant said that he of personal attack. Mr. Gilbert's ciuld not congratulate the House resolution being at length agreed or the country upon the reasons to, he moved various other reso

Jutions

« AnteriorContinuar »