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the crown had been exhausted. refusal of the other House to He concluded with moving as an institute an inquiry on the subamendment to the preamble of ject, he had no hope of persuadthe bill, that instead of the words, ing their lordships to such a mea" And whereas it is highly expedient, that the ordinary reve- On the motion for the third nues of his Majesty's civil list reading, June 13, Earl Grosvenor should be made adequate to the made an attempt to obtain an inordinary charges thereon; and quiry by moving a postponement that several of the charges which of the reading, which was negahave heretofore been borne upon tived, and the bill was read and the civil list revenues, should in passed. future be made a charge upon, The closest contest between and be defrayed out of the the ministry and opposition, on a consolidated fund of Great Bri- subject connected with finance, tain, or otherwise provided for,” took place at a debate in the there should be inserted, the House of Commons, on May 7th. words, “. And whereas it is highly Lord Althorp rose, pursuant to expedient, that the expenditure notice, to submit to the House a of the civil list should not ex- motion on the subject of the inceed the revenues of the same, crease or diminution in the numand that the several remaining ber or amount of the salaries and charges which have heretofore emoluments of different public been borne upon the civil list ex- offices. He saidl, that being conpenditure, or have been made vinced that retrenchment good by applications of the droits practicable, and finding that noof the crown, should in future be thing had been done, he had made a charge on the consoli- thought proper to bring the quesdated fund of Great Britain ; or tion before the House, that he that the amount of such expen- might not be supposed to have diture not provided for by par- made his former remarks on this liament, if a sum exceeding the topic unadvisedly; and the obrevenue arising from the droits ject of his intended motion was, of the crown, or other resources, for a committee to exainine and should every year be submitted consider the increase or diminuto parliament."
tion of salaries of office since the The debate consequent upon year 1798, and to report what this motion, in which several measures might be adopted for speakers on both sides took part, further reductions, without detriwas terminated by a division, in ment to the public service. His which there appeared, For the reasons for urging this motion amendment 116, Against it 230 ; were, that frequent inquiries into Majority 114.
the public expenditure had been The civil list bill received its productive of great advantage by second reading in the House of repressing abuses; of which he Lords on June 6th, after a short gave some instances. In 1806 a discussion, the Marquis of Lans- committee had been appointed, down remarking, that after the which had almost exhausted thet
subject of sinecures and rever- in the higher departments had sions, but had not inquired into been touched-no, not one branch the state of many offices, which of any high family, nor any memhad therefore been unexamined ber of that House, had had his for nearly twenty years. Not- emoluments in the slightest dewithstanding the pledge which gree reduced. had been given on the subject of In the rest of the debate, which economy, no one step had been was much too copious to admit taken to put it into practice. of an abstract, the leading topics The only argument which he an- were those above touched upon, ticipated against his motion was, namely, the disposition shewn, that a commission of inquiry had and the progress made, towards been appointed by the treasury, economical measures by the miconsisting of his noble friend, nistry, and the grounds for exLord Binning, and two right hon. pecting such future results, under gentlemen ; but for various rea- that management, as the public sons, which he stated, he thought might have reason to be satisfied it not entitled to the confidence with. Several of the speeches of the House. He concluded with were marked with personality and moving, “ That a select com- recrimination ; and the keen sarmittee be appointed, to examine casms of Mr. Tierney against and consider what increase or di- Lord Castlereagb, terminated with minution has taken place, since a warning, that if he should perthe year 1798, in the number or sist in following the system which the amount of the salaries and he declared a resolution to puremoluments of different public sue, he would raise a storm of offices; and from time to time, resentment which he would find with all convenient dispatch, to it impossible to allay. report what further measures can After Lord Althorp had ended be adopted for diminishing the his reply by saying, that the quesamount of such salaries and emo- tion appeared to him to lie in a luments, without detriment to very narrow compass—whether the public service."
the inquiry should be conducted The Chancellor of the Exchequer by the treasury, or by a comentered into a train of argument, mittee of the whole House, a dito prove that the business was vision took place, which gave the already placed in better hands ; nuinbers, For the motion 126 ; and stated facts to controvert the Against it 169; Majority 43. charge against the ministers, of An important financial measure having done nothing to redeein which took place in this session their pledge respecting economy. of parliament, was the consoli
Lord Milton, in reply to the dation of the English and Irish last speaker, who had referred to exchequiers. a reduction of 400,0001. in the On May 20th, Mr. Vezey Fitznaval department, said, it should gerald, Chancellor of the Exchebe recollected, that all this re- quer in Ireland, having moved, duction applied to underlings in that the House should resolve office; for the salary of no one itself into a committee of the whole House, on the serenth ar- The right hon. gentleman then ticle of the Act of Union, and began a luminous detail of partithat the accounts which had been culars relative to the revenues of presented relative to the revenues Ireland, and its comparison of of Ireland, together with the re- those of Great Britain, which port of the committee of finance, cannot be abridged; and he conshould be referred to it, entered cluded, amidst those cheers from into an explanatiou of the matter both sides of the House, which in question.
he had on other occasions expeHesaid, that when the contribu- rienced, with moving the three tion of Great Britain and Ireland following resolutions : towards the expenditure of the "1. That it is the opinion of United Kingdom, was fixed in this committee, that the 'values the proportion of fifteen parts for of the respective debts of Great the former, and two for the latter, Britnin and Ireland, estimated acthe arrangement was made for cording to the provisions of the twenty years from the time of acts of union, have been, at a the union, at the end of which, period subsequent to those acts, the joint charges were to be de- in the same proportion to each frayed in such a proportion as other (within one-hundredth part the united parliament should deem of the said value) with the respecreasonable, upon a comparison of tive contributions of each country the average value of the exports respectively, towards the annual and imports of the respective expenditure of the united kingcountries, or of the principal ar- dom'; and that the respective cirticles of consumption in both. cumstances of the two countries Another scale of estimate was will henceforth admit of their contemplated in the act, namely contributing indiscriminately, by a general tax, if such should equal taxes imposed upon the have been imposed, on the same same articles upon cach, to the descriptions of income in both future expenditure of the united countries. At the end of such kingdom; subject only to such period, and proceeding on these particular exemptions or abatedata, parliament was empowered ments in Ireland and in Scotland, to revise the scale of contribu- as circumstances may appear from tion, unless it should in the time to time to demand ; and that intermediate time have declar, it was no longer necessary to reed, what under certain con- gulate the contribution of the two tingencies only it could declare, countries, according to any spethat, with certain exemptions, cific proportion, or according to the expenditure of the empire the rules prescribed by the acts should be defrayed indiscriminate- of union, with respect to such ly by equal taxes imposed on the proportions. like articles in both parts of the “2. That it is the opinion of this united kingdom. Whether that committee, that it is expedient, contingency has arisen, and whe- that all expenses henceforth to be ther the necessity for exercising incurred, together with the inthe power conferred has arisen terest and charges of all debts also, he was now to show, hitherto contracted, shall be so
defrayed indiscriminately by equal the public revenue having been taxes, to be imposed on the same brought into the House of Comarticles in each country; and that mons on June 10th, the Ilouse from time to tiine, as circum- went into a committee upon it. stances may require, such taxes Sir H. Parnell objected to the should be imposed and applied provision which created two new accordingly, subject only to such lords of the treasury, whose exemptions and abatements in places were mere sinecures. Ano. Ireland and Scotland, as circum. ther officer was to be appointed stances may appear to demand. by the name of the vice-treasurer,
“ 3. That it is the opinion of who was to be allowed to sit in this committee, that such legisla- parliament, though the object of tive measures should be adopted, his appointment was, that there as may be necessary to carry into should always be a treasury officer further effect the purposes of the residing in Ireland, authorized to said acts of union, by consoli. issue money. dating the public revenues of The Chancellor of the Exchequer Great Britain and Ireland into defended these appointments, and one fund, and applying the same spoke of the salary to be allotted to the general services of the to the vice-treasurer, which he united kingdom."
thought could not be less than Mr. Bankes said, that he could 3,5001. a year. not be very friendly to a proposi. After some observations on this tion, the ultimate effect of which and other appointments of the must be to throw almost the bill, it passed through the comwhole burden of the late war on mittee. Great Britain; and alluded to The committee having been rethe various predictions he had sumed on the 14th, Sir John Newmade of the inevitable defalca- port asked, if the ministers pertions which would arise in the sisted in the intention of creating, Irish revenue. The remedy pro- in addition to the place of Irish posed was most extraordinary, vice-treasurer, that of a deputy and perhaps the only one that vice-treasurer. Being answered could be resorted to; but let it in the affirmative, he said, this be understood, that for some was creating a sinecure of 3,500l. years to come, Ireland must de- a year; and declared it one of the pend solely on loans for the whole most shameless jobs that ever expenses of the peace establish- came before parliament. ment.
The Chancellor of the Erchequer Several other members entered reminded the hon. baronet, ihat into the discussion; and upon the in consequence of the present whole, a very unfavourable view measure, out of six parliament was given of the financial state of offices, three only weré retained. Ireland, in which taxation was Mr. Ponsonby spoke with great said to have been carried to its severity against the appointments, ne plus ultra. In conclusion, the and mored, that the sum of 2,0001. resolutions were agreed to. be substituted instead of 3,5001. A bill for the consolidation of as the salary of the vice-treasurer.
After a warm debate on the Thellouse dividing, the amendsubject, the House divided, when ment was rejected by 149 against the amendment was negatived by 111. The bill was then read and 108 against 66.
passed. Mr. Ponsonby next moved, that The passage of this bill through the clause rendering the vice- the House of Lords afforded notreasurer eligible to parliament thing that it is materiał to should be left out. This amend- record. ment was also rejected by 107 The subject of the silver curvotes against 57.
rency of this kingdom was brought The report of the bill being before parliament on May 3d, by brought up on the 17th, on the a petition presented to the House question, that the blank for the of Commons, by Mr. Grenfell, vice-treasurer's salary be filled up from certain traders in the pawith the words 3,5001. Mr. Pon- rishes of Shoreditch, Spital-fields, sonby said, that he should not and the vicinity, praying for a depart from what he had before new coinage. Its substance was moved ; and repeated his motion, to state the great inconvenience that 2,000). be inserted. The and embarrassment which they division gave a remarkable proof had long been suffering from the of the effect of persisting to bring imperfect state of the silver cur. before the public cye, a ineasure rency, especially the shillings and against which there are objec- sixpences, of which very few aptions which it is diflicult to ob- peared to have been the legal viate; for Mr. Ponsonby's amend- coin of the realnı, but bore the ment was carried by 100 to 98. mark of counterfeits; to wbich The majority, though so incon- had lately been added a vast insiderable, was received with loud flux of French coin, the value of and long cheering:
which was more than 20 per On the motion, Junc 20th, tliat cent. below that of the coins for the bill be read a third time, Mr. which they passed, yet of more Bankes objected to the creation of intrinsic value than that of the a new sinecure office, by which counterfeits above-mentioned; the the public were to pay the charge consequence of which substitution of both principal and deputy; must eventually be highly injuand he inoved the insertion of rious to mechanics and tradesthe words, “ other than the de- men residing in manufacturing puty aforesaid," the effect of districts. which would be to throw the The hon. gentleman in offering payment of the deputy upon the this petition, made some obserprincipal. It was remarked on vations on the present silver curthe other side, that this affected: rency; in reply to which, Mr. the question of the vicc-trea - Wellesley Pole acknowledged their surer's sitting in parliament, since forte, and that the petitioners now that his salary was reluced had just cause of complaint, and to 2,0001., it was not to be sup- said, that the subject was now i posed, that any one would pay a under consideration by his Madeputy out of it, and do his duty jesty's ministers. in parliament.
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