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was detained to take his trial for a misdemeanor, of which he was convicted upon the fullest evidence, and sentenced to two years imprisonment. The facts of the case were, that this infant was forced up the chimney on the shoulder of a larger boy, and afterwards violently pulled down again by the leg, and dashed against a marble hearth; his leg was thus broken, and he died a few hours after; on his body and knees were found sores, arising from wounds of a much older date. But it is not only the ill-treatment which the regular apprentices suffer from the cruel conduct of some masters that your committee are anxious to comment on; it appears that in order to evade the penalty of the act of parliament, some of these masters frequently hire young lads as journeymen who have not been apprenticed to chimney-sweepers; these are children who have no parents, and who are enticed away from the different workhouses of the Metropolis.
Having thus shortly detailed the leading facts of the evidence which has been given before them, of the miseries which the unfortunate class of beings who are sold to this trade experience, your committee have with great anxiety examined various persons, as to the possibility of performing by the aid of machinery what is now done by the labour of the climbing boys the result of their inquiries is, that though there may be some difference of opinion as to the extent to which machinery is here applicable, yet the lowest calcula tion of practical and experienced persons, master chimney-sweepers
themselves, who have been brought up in the trade, establishes the fact, that of the chimneys in the metropolis three-fourths may be as well, as cleanly, and as cheaply swept by mechanical means as by the present method; and the remaining part being, on the very greatest calculation, one fourth of the whole number, with alterations that may easily and cheaply be made, can be swept also without the employment of the climbing boy. Mr. Bevans, an architect much conversant with buildings in the Metropolis, has no doubt that 95 out of 100 can be swept by the machines that are at present in use; and he has also no doubt that, supposing there was to be a legislative enactment that no chimney should be swept by the means of climbing boys, that easy substitutes could be found that would sweep every chimney that now exists. He adds, that though there may be difficulties in cleaning an horizontal flue, from the quantity of soot, yet it is equally bad for the boys as for the machine; because the boy, as he comes down, has an accumulation of soot about him, which stops up the circulation of air necessary to support life. that it is evident, in all those chimneys where, under their present construction, the machine cannot be used, the hazard of loss of life to the boy who sweeps them, is most imminent.
Some of these flues are stated not to be above seven inches square; and one of the witnesses, who relates this fact to the Committee, informs them, that he himself had been often in hazard of his life; and that he has frequently swept
a long narrow flue in Goldsmith's Hall, in which he was shut up six hours before his work was finished. Upon a review then of the evidence of the evils necessarily belonging to this trade, as well as of the remedies which have been suggested, First, in the substitution of mechanical means, thus superseding the necessity of employing children in this painful and degrading trade; and, secondly, in allowing the system to continue in the main as it is, with only those amendments to the existing law, that may attempt to remedy the present practice ;-your Committee are decidedly of opinion, that no parliamentary regulations can attain this desirable end; that as long as master chimney-sweepers are permitted to employ climbing boys, the natural result of that permission will be the continuance of those miseries which the legislature has sought, but which it has failed to put an end to; they therefore recommend, that the use of climbing boys should be prohibited altogether; and that the age at which the apprenticeship should commence should be extended from eight to fourteen, putting this trade upon the same footing as others which take apprentices at that age; and, finally, your committee have come to the following resolution :
Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to move for leave to bring in a bill for preventing the further use of climbing boys in sweeping of chimneys.
23d June, 1817.
FIRST REPORT FROM THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.
The Select Committee appointed to inquire into, and state, the income and expenditure of the United Kingdom, for the year ended the 5th of January, 1817; and also to consider and state the probable income and expenditure, (so far as the same can now be estimated) for the years ending the 5th of January, 1818, and the 5th of January, 1819, respectively; and to report the same, together with their observations thereupon, from time to time, to the House, and also to consider what further measures may be adopted for the relief of the country from any part of the said expenditure, without detriment to the public interest;
Having had under their consideration the state of various offices in the United Kingdom, which are commonly, though incorrectly, known under the general denomination of sinecures, conceive that they cannot better discharge the duty imposed upon them by the latter part of the order of reference, than by bringing under the early notice of the House, the annual charge incurred by the continuance of offices, either wholly useless, or the salaries of which appear disproportionate to their actual duties; and of the system, which they submit, as fit to be substituted in their stead.
The subject is by no means new to the house, having been brought under discussion at various times within the last ten years, and particularly in the session of 1812, when it was made the foundation
of a bill, which having passed the House, was carried to the House of Lords on the 17th of June, and in the session of 1913, when the same bill was carried to the House of Lords on the 5th of April.
The classification of the several offices, and some of the provisions of that bill, are followed and referred to in the course of this report, as the most convenient mode of conducting the inquiry relating to them.
The object of your committee was to ascertain, first, what offices may be reduced or regulated (after the expiration of the existing interests) without detriment to the public service. Secondly, under what regulations such of those offices as it may be deemed proper to continue ought to be administered after the expiration of the existing interests. Thirdly, as it is obvious, that whenever such regulations and reductions as are contemplated by your committee shall be carried into effect, the means of rewarding meritorious public service will be in great measure taken from the Crown, your committee deem it indispensable that provision should be made for enabling the Crown, under proper regulations and restrictions, to afford a reasonable recompense for the faithful discharge of high and effective civil offices.
OFFICES IN ENGLAND.
The view which your committee have taken of the two offices of Chief Justice in Eyre, North and South of Trent, is, that they may be abolished without detriment to the public service, and the emoluments thereof become a future saving to the public; regard be
ing had in these, as well as in every other office which forms the subject of this report, to the existing interests.
In the Exchequer, reasons of a like nature exist for dealing in the same manner with the offices of Auditor of the Exchequer, Clerk of the Pells,
Four Tellers of the Exchequer; so that, whenever vacancies shall occur in any of them, the salary payable to the principal in such office shall cease, and become & saving to the public.
Warden of the Cinque Ports, Governor of the Isle of Wight: The same rule applies to these two offices, so that the salaries payable at the Exchequer, or out of any public funds, may cease, and become a future saving to the public.
Commissary General of Musters. -This office may be abolished without inconvenience to the public service.
Joint Paymaster-General.-The office of one of the Joint Paymasters may also be abolished, being wholly inefficient and useless, with regard to all business connected with the army; but it must be recollected, that an effective and very important situation, without salary, has been frequently held, and is now held, by one of the Joint Paymasters; for the discharge of which your committee do not consider the salary of 2,000l. at present attached to the office of second paymaster, as more than adequate; but they submit to the House, that it will be more consistent with the system which they wish to introduce, that the Vice-President of the Board of Trade should receive a salary as
such, than be paid indirectly as one of the Joint Paymasters-General.
One Deputy Paymaster-General. -The office of Paymaster-General being recommended to he executed by one person, it follows, of course, that one deputy in the of fice will be sufficient; and that the salary now received by the second deputy should be saved.
There are no longer any Deputy-Paymasters abroad acting by deputy; and the duties of all the Deputy-Paymasters themselves, during peace, are transferred to the commissariat.
The office of Paymaster of Marines is now discharged in person, under regulations adopted in 1813, without any deputy allowed, or paid by the public; but as some further inquiries may be necessary before your committee can finally report upon it, they defer their observations until the estimates for the Navy shall come before them, with which this office is immediately connected.
Upon the office of Paymaster of Widows' Pensions, although no strong objections occur to your committee against uniting it with the foregoing office, yet so long as it continues at the low scale of expense at which it is now fixed, it does not seem expedient to recommend any alteration for the purpose of effecting a saving, which would, if any, be very inconsiderable. The annual charge is no more than 680l. and ample security is taken, amounting to 20,000l. for the money in charge, and for the punctual payment of nearly 70,000l. in very small sums, to 2,200 widows, scattered over every part of the United King
dom, and many of them resident abroad. It must be further observed, that though the salary of this office, having been formerly paid out of the produce of old stores, is now annually voted in the naval estimates, yet the appointment is not vested in the Crown, but in the governors of this charity.
Law Clerk in the Secretary of State's Office.-It appearing that no duties whatever are annexed to this office, your committee recommend that it should be altogether abolished.
Collector and Transmitter of State Papers.-The same observation applies as to the last office.
The inconsiderable offices of Principal Housekeeper and Warehousekeeper in the Excise Office, Established Messenger in the War Office, and some others, included in the table of the bill of 1812 and 1813, were at that time held as sinecures with regard to these, it is sufficient to lay down as a rule, that no person in future should be allowed to hold any inferior office of this description, without performing the duty in person; and where no duty is attached (as in the case of Cartaker to his Majesty) all such nominal offices should be suppressed.
The offices of Joint PostmasterGeneral in England and Ireland do not appear to your committee to come under the general description of those which form the subject of this report. They are, therefore, not prepared at present to suggest to the House any alteration in this mode of conducting this important department of the public service. If, on the one
hand, they are strongly of opinion that it would be inexpedient to place this branch of the public revenue under the direction of a board, with a constitution similar to that of other revenue boards, as recommended by the finance committee of 1797, in their seventh report; on the other hand, they are by no means prepared to state an opinion, that the management of the revenue of the Postoffice, amounting in England to a gross receipt of 2,116,0871. and involving an expenditure of 593,620l. and amounting in Ireland to a gross receipt of 230,000l. and involving an expenditure of 148,000l., together with the complicated concerns by which this department is connected with the convenience of the community, and the commercial interests of the empire, can, without disadvantage, be permanently confided to one individual.
Your committee have learnt with satisfaction, that, by the last indenture of the Mint, the office of Clerk of the Irons has been merged in that of superintendent of the machinery, which is a very necessary and effective office; and that it is provided by the same indenture, that the office of Comptroller of the Mint should, at the termination of the present existing interest, be executed in person by the present deputy, at the salary which he now receives, thereby effecting a saving of the salary and emoluments of the principal. The office of Warden of the Mint, it is understood, will, in like manner, be discontinued ; as well as every other office in this department which comes within the principle of regulation or abo.
lition, which it is the object of your committee to extend to all offices of this description.
Clerk of the Parliaments.Your committee recommend that this office should be abolished, and that the fees, if continued, should be appropriated towards defraying the sessional expenses of the House of Lords.
Four Clerks of the Signet, and Four Clerks of the Privy Seal.— Your committee are not aware of any detriment which can accrue to the public service from discontinuing these offices, the duty of which is executed by deputy.
Comptroller General of Accounts, Excise, and InspectorGeneral.-These offices being connected with the collection and management of the revenue, and having no efficient duties, ought of course to be abolished.
Register to Commissioner of Excise, Inspector-General of Coffee and Tea, &c. and all other offices, whether enumerated in the table to the bill of 1813, or not, the duties of which are connected with the collection and receipt of the public revenue, ought, in the opinion of your committee, to be abolished, so far as the salaries of those offices are payable to individuals who do not execute in person the efficient duties of such offices.
Keeper of the Great Seal.— Your committee recommend, that this office should be preserved ; but the salary regulated, so as not to exceed 2000l. per annum.
Keeper of the Privy Seal.-In recommending that this office should be continued, a salary of