not ultimately be destructive of the monarch 2 When the two courts were constituted, a factious opposition from the queen's court might be experienced by the ministers of the regent, who were the proper ministers of the crown.” Mr Perceval made a most satisfactory reply, to which it is impossible to do justice, otherwise than by selecting some of the most prominent passages. “ The question before the house,” he said, “ was, Whether or not the objections to the bill were of such a description, that it was their duty not to proceed with it without that detailed enquiry which had been so strongly recommended ? The honourable gentlemen had pointed out several items in the papers, into which they wished that some enquiry might be made before they could acknowledge the necessity of agreeing to the grants in the bill. If, on a view of the expences of the household, and of the charges likely to be brought upon it, it should satisfactorily appear that no more was asked for than what was indispensable, no enquiry would then be deemed necessary; but should any jealousy exist, in the house, with respect to particular points, it would then become a question, Whether that enquiry ought not rather to take place hereafter, than be allowed to interrupt the important business before the house 2 Although, on a general view of the civil list, it might appear that no greater sum was required than what was sufficient to defray the expences of the household, there might be some points requiring subsequent detailed information.” In reply to an observation which had been made on that branch of the civil list which relates to diplomatic missions, Mr Perceval observed, “ much had also been said of the grants to foreign ministers. The right honourable gentle

man who opened the debate, had said, generally, that a great number of those sums ought to be explained, but had not stated any particular item. The honourable gentleman, however, who had last spoken, had particularized several sums, which appeared to him objectionable on the face of them, and required explanation. The first thing which seemed to strike the honourable gentleman with surprise on this subject was, that when the number of missions at different courts were lessened, the expences should be increased. The house would observe, however, that there was no increase in the salaries. On the contrary, in the salaries there was a considerable diminution. But the honourable gentleman and the house ought to know, (and in saying this he went a great way towards giving the explanation required), that in the state in which things were on the continent, it would not be wise, in many cases, to send missions on an established salary. The duration of those missions was not likely to be long. In preference, therefore, it was advisable to send special missions; but the expences of these missions were defrayed in a very different manner from the others. The honourable gentleman declared, that an explanation on this subject was due to Marquis Wellesley, who, by a misconception, he stated, had received the expences, described in the papers, over and above his salary. No such thing. The noble marquis had not received a farthing of salary on account of his mission to Cadiz. He had not received a farthing as a remuneration for his services. But the honourable gentleman characterised the expences as large, and seemed to think they were disproportioned to the length of the service by which they had been incurred. Now, it was very evident, that the expences of a person

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going to any place in the character of an ambassador for a short time, must be much greater in proportion than the expences of a person going in the character of an ambassador for a long period. The honourable gentleman also declared, that a debt .# explanation was due to Sir Sydney Smith. The house had already heard an explanation on that subject, and amply sufficient it was. They had heard that the money which he had received was in return for expences incurred many years ago. “Oh then,” said the honourable gentleman, “the country ought sooner to have discharged this obligation.” But let it be recollected at what a distance these services were performed—in Egypt and on the coast of Syria; what a difficulty there existed to procure vouchers of the expences; how frequently Sir Sydney Smith was absent from the country, and consequently interrupted in the arrangement of the accounts ; how anxious he naturally was that there should be every possible degree of exactitude on the subject; and it would not appear surprising that some delay had taken place. If, however, more explanation was thought necessary, he had no objection to the production of the details from the different of. fices; but he was confident it would not be found in these details that any sum had been given to Sir Sidney Smith as a remuneration for his services. All that had been given was merely a remuneration for his expenditure. Let the honourable gentle"man consider the nature of Sir Sidney Smith's services; the character of the

people with whom he had to deal, and

the effectual way in which he dischar

ged the trust reposed in him, and he

did not think i. he himself would

deem the sum stated to be greater

than, under all the circumstances of

case, it was proper to expend. If,

on showing that 7000l. was paid to Sir Sidney Smith for his services when employed, half in a military and half in a diplomatic character, in Egypt and Syria, the honourable gentleman intimated that he did not think it an extravagant sum; on what principle could he say that there was due to Sir Sidney Smith’s honour and character any explanation, but simply a statement on what ground the expences were incurred 2 Parliament being employed, under the recommendation of the speech from the throne, in making a provision for his majesty's house... the honourable gentleman suddenly interrupted them in the midst of the business: ‘Oh, oh,’ says he, * here is an item of 7000l. to Sir Sidney Smith; I do not think the sum excessive; I do not want any explanation for our own satisfaction, but, for the purpose of clearing the honour, and character of Sir Sidney Smith, pray, suspend all your proceedings, and arrest the progress of the bill at present under the consideration of the house.” The observations of the honourable gentleman on the expences to foreign ministers were all general, except those which related to Sir Sidney Smith, the Marquis Wellesley, Mr Arbuthnot, and Sir Arthur Paget.” Mr Perceval further said, “ he trusted, that whatever might be due to any other party, he had not left the character of Sir Sidney Smith exposed to any cloud or stain; and therefore the fine figure which the honourable gentleman so eloquently introduced of the debt of explanation due to Sir Sidney Smith on this occasion, might serve to wind up a magnificent period in the honourable gentleman’s speech, but had no relation whatever to the subject before the house. The same remark was equally applicable to what the honourable gentleman had said of his right honourable friend near him (Mr Arbuthnot.) . The sum paid to his right honourable friend was distinctly and simply a return for the expences and losses which he had incurred during the mission on which he had been sent. Before any jealousy was allowed to exist on these subjects, at least justice ought to be done to those who were connected with them. Did the honourable gentleman conceive it possible, that the affairs of a great nation, such as England, could be successfully carried on in such missions as he had described, if the individuals employed in those missions found themselves actually ruined in the discharge of the important trust reposed in them 2 Let the house consider the manner in which Mr Arbuthnot’s mission terminated ; he was obliged to make a precipitate retreat. The hostility of the court at which he was a resident rendered it necessary for him to do so. He was compelled to leave every thing behind him. Not a single article of the charge was there that had not undergone the strictest scrutiny by the treasury, and all that really was paid over to Mr Arbuthnot, was merely a fair return for the losses which he had inevitably sustained. When this occurrence took place, he and his right honourable friend were perfect strangers to each other. Mr Arbuthnot was not then secretary to the treasury; so that it could not be suspected that any undue influence existed favourable to his right honourable friend, but unjust to the public. These observations would serve as an answer to all remarks on missions abruptly terminated. . It was but just that the individuals who suffered should successfully apply to the country for redress. If, however, any further scrutiny on the subject were thought necessary, let it be entered into, but let not the progress of the

bill before the house be impeded by a circumstance so little connected with it. Another objection,” continued Mr Perceval, “made to the measure by the right honourable gentleman, related to the manner in which the funds granted to his royal highness, the Prince Regent were left at his disposal. In the first place, he could not agree with the right honourable gentleman, that parliament were making final arrangements as for the Prince’s coming to the throne. They were only making arrangements for the better management of the household during his majesty's indisposition; not a #: as for the Prince’s coming to the throne. It would not be dealing fairly with the house to say there was complete and utter despair of the king’s resuming the royal authority; nothing existed to justify so dark and gloomy a view of the subject. If, therefore, parliament kept in mind the possibility of his majesty’s recovery, they must also keep in mind the possibility of the regent’s return to the situation of Prince of Wales. How, therefore, would they be justified, under such circumstances, in breaking down his exchequer revenue 2 It had been asked, If it was intended to constitute two privy purses? Certainly, it was intended to give his royal highness the Prince Regent a privy purse. To this the right honourable gentleman had no objection. Then as to the charges incurred during the present reign, it surely would not be right to encumber the regent with them, nor with the expences of the medical men, which the unhappy state of his majesty rendered it necessary should be about his person. All these charges would come with propriety out of the 60,000l. allotted to his majesty for such purposes. There was one point of the new arrangement, however, on which both the right honourable and honourable gentlemen had thought fit to lay great stress. It was that part of the establishment which was reserved to attend on his majesty’s person, and which was to be under the controul of her majesty. There were various objections to this part of the proposition. The first was to the extent of the establishment so reserved. It might be recollected, that on a former occasion he had stated it to be his opinion that the house would not do well if they provided in this respect, as if his majesty must remain in the unhappy state in which he was at present placed; and that they ought to consider the possibility of his regaining complete consciousness, even should he newer be enabled to resume the reins of government. But he was accused of not having put questions on this subject to the physicians. There was no reason for putting them. They had distinctly stated that there were intervals in which he was capable of en

, joying the society of his family.—

(“Not since July,” from the opposition benches.)—That was true; but there was no reason to conclude that the thing was impossible; and when cases of a similar description were considered, it appeared that it was not less probable since that period that his majesty should recover the consciousness to which he alluded, than that before that period he should have recovered the power of being able to exercise the royal authority. If, therefore, the house at all took this circumstance into consideration, they must determine that something like the dignity of a king should surround his majesty, and surely that which was proposed was not too much for such a purpose. But the principal objection, it seemed, lay to this establishment being placed under the controul of the queen. The honourable gentleman af. WOL. V. PART I.

fected to perceive in that circumstance symptoms of a continuance of that most determined and settled distrust of his royal highness the Prince Regent, which, according to him, had pervaded the whole of the propositions which he had thought proper, on a former occasion, to submit to the adoption of parliament. Now, really, if the honourable gentlemen opposite could find out any motive by which the most despicable and most foolish of men could possibly be induced, under the present circumstances, to evince a deep and marked disrespect towards, and distrust of, his royal highness the Prince Regent, he . them to enjoy their discovery. For his part, he was not conscious of any feeling in his own mind so absurd. But let the house see what those who were so tenderly anxious about the Prince Regent’s feelings and character proposed. They contended, that because his royal highness was worthy of confidence, (in which he cordially concurred with them,) that therefore the whole controul of his royal father’s household should be left in his hands. They thought this would conduce to his ease and comfort. For his part, he could not conceive a more invidious situation than that in which such an arrangement would place the Prince Regent, nor could he imagine any thing more revolting to his royal highness’s feelings. The honourable gentleman opposite acknowledged that the care of his majesty’s person ought to be entrusted to the queen. If, therefore, any distrust of his royal highness existed, here was distrust of the blackest kind. But, surely, if it was right that the person of his majesty should be placed under the care of the queen, it was also right that the attendants of his majesty should be placed under her majesty’s controul; and he was persuaded that nothing could be more grateful to B

his royal highness’s feelings than that it should be thus arranged. The right honourable gentleman, however, seemed to think that he (the Chancellor of

the Exchequer) and those with whom

he had the honour to act, had no means of knowing the sentiments of his royal highness, because of the restrictions under which he was placed. But he would ask the house whether, if his royal highness really thought that his ministers were insulting and degrading him, there was any thing in these restrictions, so soon about to expire, which would so restrain him in the exercise of the royal functions as to induce his royal highness not to withdraw the sanction of his authority from such servants But if it were supposed that ministers were ignorant of the prince's pleasure, at least it ought not to be supposed that they would be so absurd as to propose anything to parliament # offensive to his royal highness. The house ought rather to believe that the subject had been submitted to the mature consideration of his royal highness; that his royal .. ness had been advised to adopt the plan which had been submitted to parliament; and that that advice had been accepted. No one could suppose for a moment that his royal highness was not as free to change his ministers, or that he did not possess as much authority in his councils, as if those restrictions which were so soon to terminate, had already expired. With regard to the situation in which his royal highness would have been placed, had the controul over his majesty’s person, and the invidious task of doling out such a portion of the civil list as he thought proper, been committed to him, he had no hesitation in saying, that the situation in which the bill before the house would place his royal highness, manifested a much more delicate attention to his character and feelings. Had the

other course been pursued, had it been proposed by him to transfer the whole controul to his royal highness, then he should have been told (and told with infinite justice) that it was casting an invidious task upon his royal highness, and laying by in order to have a future opportunity of insinuating that the royal father had been neglected by the royal son. What evils did not the honourable gentleman affect to see in this proposed establishment What patronage Four lords of the bedchamber 1 and all the pages | Then so many seats in parliament 1 and that was the retreat he had prepared for himself This had been called a new court. As individuals surrounding the monarch, they were unquestionably a court. But there was nothing new in this. When his royal highness the Prince of Wales arrived at that period of life when an establishment became necessary for him, an establishment was formed, and parliament entertained no apprehensions of the influence which his court would occasion. Surely the constitution of England was not so nicely balanced that four lords of the bedchamber could overturn it, even with the addition of all the pages. He could not conceive that, either in or out of the house, there could exist on the one hand any rational apprehension as to evils which the co-operation of the two courts might be the means of occasioning; or, on the other hand, any rational apprehension of the inconveniences which the hostility of the two courts might be calculated to promote.”—After some farther discussion in the future stages of these measures, in which there was nothing of novelty or interest, the plan originally proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer received in all points the sanction of parliament. Whoever reflects with candour and impartiality on this important measure in all its bearings,

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