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proper for the dignity and mean nothing else than to create a se. comfort of his father. Mr Ponsonby cret and a dangerous influence ; to perhaps forgot that the deficiency in the oppose the splendour, the influence, civil list, although a very proper sub. and intrigue of her majesty's court to ject in other circumstances for the con- the legitimate authority of the Prince sideration of parliament, had no imme. Regent's. The minister, in short, by diate connection with the measure then placing grooms of the bed.chamber, proposed to the house. He forgot also, masters of the robes, and equerries, at when he objected to the household the disposal of the queen, must cerestablishment, that his majesty, al- tainly have intended to subvert the though severely afflicted, was still the constitution !
Mr Tierney condeking of England, and could not, in de- scended to make some observations, cency even,
be entirely stripped of dig- which were not very worthy of the nity and splendour; and he must have occasion. “ His objection," he said, forgotten also, what was at that mo. was, that splendid personages were ment in evidence before the committee, to be placed round his majesty, at the that, since his lamented indisposition, same time that the queen also had his majesty had been in the habit of splendid personages attached to her communicating with his family and his household. Why could not one masministers; that he had shewn himself ter of the robes and one treasurer competent to all the
of ordi- serve for both? It was not well to let nary intercourse, and feelingly alive to it go out to the country, that in his his unfortunate condition. In circum. majesty's present state a master of the stances such as these, which might robes was necessary to take care of still recur, even if a sense of decorum his dress.” had not opposed all miserable plans These objections having been overof economy, the feelings of humanity ruled, a bill was brought in to make would have exclaimed against them. provision for the better support of his Had the suggestion of Mr Ponsonby, majesty's household, and for the care which was enforced by many of his of his majesty's real and personal profriends, “ that it should be left to the perty during the continuance of his heir-apparent to decide upon what was indisposition. Mr Tierney renewed proper for the dignity and comfort of his attack. He contended, that as his majesty,” been adopted by parlia- the civil list had been maturely ar, ment, his royal highness must have ranged in the year 1804, and as there been placed in a situation very dis- had, from that year downward, been tressing to his delicacy.
a regular excess in the departments of Other objections were made to the the lord steward, the lord chamberproposed plan by Mr Tierney. It lain, &c. an account should be laid was a most alarming thing, in his opi. before parliament, shewing the amount nion, that two courts should be created; of the charges and the reasons of the that the Prince Regent, exercising the excess. This proposal was readily acroyal functions, should have a splen- ceded to; but when the accounts did court, while the queen should al. were produced, Mr Tierney expressed so have her court, to the support of his dissatisfaction with them ; and, in which the enormous sum of 100,0001. conjunction with other members of was to be applied ! What object could the house, renewed his opposition to the ministers have in view by a pro- the bill. He began, by paying some seeding so extraordinary? they could merited compliments to the character
of the Prince Regent. Alluding to priety of which there could be no the act of the preceding year, by doubt, his royal father, in the condiwhich, his royal highness had been tion to which he was reduced, could called to the regency, Mr Tierney re- certainly have no occasion for such a marked, “ that the restrictions con- purse ; that the privy purse belongtained in that act were uch as the ed to the office, not to the person of Prince of Wales felt were not only the king ; that, instead of leaving to painful, but injurious and insulting to the uncontrolled disposal of the prince the character of his royal highness. an annual sum of 70,0001., parliament Since the passing of that act up to ought at once to interpose and pay the present moment, his royal high. the debts which his royal highness had ness had conducted himself in such a contracted; and that it would be much manner, as not only to call forth the more creditable to the house to enter admiration of the country, but also on a thorough revisal of the civil list, to remove any suspicion, (if any and establish it upon a footing suit, had suspicion lurking in his mind at able to the dignity of the crown, and the time the act passed), that his fu. the generosity of the nation, than to ture conduct would not be regula- add to a revenue, which had been found ted in the same manner. The whole inadequate to the purposes to which it of his royal highness's conduct had was destined. The right honourable been directed by attention to the com- gentleman then proceeded in a strain of forts of his royal father, and had on argument, calculated to sow distrust all occasions done credit to himself, betwixt the princeand the ministers, for and would refute any insinuations to whom his royal highness had by this the contrary: There was nothing in time indicated a predilection. “If they his royal highness's past conduct that did not enter at present upon a full arcould lead him to à suspicion, that rangement,” said he, “every year they if he was clothed with full powers went on they would be continually exhe would abuse those powers." Mr posed to a fresh discussion on the subTierney, however, contended, that the ject of the civil list. It was true, they measure before the house, was one of were told, that the average excess had great financial but still greater political been hitherto discharged out of the importance ; that, although the Prince droits of admiralty and the excess of Regent was now to be permanently the Scotch revenue, and that if the ex. invested with the royal authority, and penditure of his royal highness should to enjoy the revenues of the sovereign, exceed that average excess, it would he was still left in possession of part be necessary to come to parliament. of a revenue which belonged to him What was this, he would ask, but an only as Prince of Wales, and which indirect statement, that an addition ought now to fall into the exchequer; was to be made to the civil list to the that the result of the arrangement amount of this
average excedent, would be such as to place at the dis- while in the outset he was to be curposal of his royal highness a civil-list tailed of 50,0001. enjoyed by his fa. revenue exceeding that which his roy- ther? The fact was, that this was a al father had enjoyed by 20,0001. a- plan to keep the Prince Regent alyear; that a part of this large fund ways in restraint, always under the was to be placed beyond the controul necessity of applying for something of parliament ; that if the prince were from ministers, for which, no doubt, to have a privy purse, as to the pro. he was to give something to ministers
Their conduct appeared ment had increased, it was said, at a pehere in the most artful light. He riod when the country seemed to have wanted, therefore, to see the prince no opportunity of sending out diploentirely free from ministers. During matists ; and some minute objections, the whole of the last reign, animosi, which it were useless to recapitulate, ties had taken place respecting the were made to the various items of paying off the debts contracted by the charge. If the house should pass the civil list. Why, then, would not the bill, it must, without information, reminister at once come down, and ask cognise the necessity of an excess in from the house, he would not say a the expenditure above the revenue of lavish grant, but such a bum as they the civil list to the amount of 124,0001. ought to grant? Was it the way that annually. The provision for paying the civil list ought to be provided for the prince's debts was described as at the commencement of a reign, to highly irregular. No application of tell the house that the excedent of this kind ought to have been made to 124,000l. was to be paid out of the parliament in any other shape than droits of admiralty and Scotch reve. that of a message from the prince. nue ? Every thing in this business was Mr Whitbread summed left unexplained, and the house was guments of opposition, and concluded left completely involved in doubts and with the following piece of declamaperplexities. Throughout the whole tion, which may afford a tolerably bill, there was an apparent distrust of fair specimen of his eloquence. “This his royal highness, while every thing bill,” said he, “ teemed with influwas calculated to appear like very ence : Under it three commissioners great kindness to him. In place of were appointed to take care of his the 100,0001. taken from the civil list, majesty's property; these gentlemen 70,0001. were to be given him, for were to take an oath of secrecy, so which he was to be under no controul. that the parliament could know nothing But this was one side of the picture of their proceedings ; to the queen, only, and it was proper also to look at who was not their mistress, to the the other. Here, then, was a settled prince, who was not their master, they distrust manifested respecting the in- were bound to explain all their acts ; tentions of his royal highness; he was but they must conceal every thing considered by them as incapable and from the Commons' House of Parliaa unfit to be trusted with the manage- ment, who ought to be acquainted ment of his father's servants; the fa- with every farthing expended. He ther was placed under the controul, conceived it right, in an argument of not of his son, but of others. The this kin to put extreme cases ; and distrust entertained of the Prince Re- he would ask, as had been done by an gent was the real reason for all this honourable baronet (Sir F. Burdett), conduct."
whom he did not then see in his place, Mr Tierney took the lead in these suppose this money was laid out in the discussions on the part of opposition; purchase of Cornish boroughs, supbut objections of a different kind were pose it was expended in procuring started by other members. Complaints seats in that house, for the benefit of were made of the obscurity of that part the real and personal estate of the of the civil-list accounts which was king, though, in a narrow view, he comprehended under the head of di- might benefit by it, still, being deplomacy. The charge in this depart- structive of the constitution, must it
not ultimately be destructive of the man who opened the debate, had said, monarch ? When the two courts were generally, that a great number of constituted, a factious opposition from those sums ought to be explained, but the queen's court might be experi- had not stated any particular item. enced by the ministers of the regent, The honourable, gentleman, however, who were the proper ministers of the who had last spoken, had particulari.
zed several sums, which appeared to Mr Perceval made a most satisfac- him objectionable on the face of them, tory reply, to which it is impossible and required explanation. The first to do justice, otherwise than by select- thing which seemed to strike the hoing some of the most prominent pas- nourable gentleman with surprise on sages. “ The question before the this subject was, that when the numhouse,” he said, “ was, Whether or ber of missions at different courts not the objections to the bill were of were lessened, the
should be such a description, that it was their increased. The house would observe, duty not to proceed with it without however, that there was no increase that detailed enquiry which had been in the salaries. On the contrary, in so strongly recommended? The ho. the salaries there was a considerable nourable gentlemen had pointed out diminution. But the honourable several items in the papers, into which tleman and the house ought to know, they wished that some enquiry might (and in saying this he went a great be made before they could acknow- way towards giving the explanation ledge the necessity of agreeing to the required), that in the state in which grants in the bill. If, on a view of things were on the continent, it would the
expences of the household, and of not be wise, in many cases, to send the charges likely to be brought up- missions on an established salary. The on it, it should satisfactorily appear duration of those missions was not that no more was asked for than what likely to be long. In preference, was indispensable, no enquiry would therefore, it was advisable to send spethen be deemed necessary; but should cial missions ; but the expences of any jealousy exist in the house, with these missions were defrayed in a very respect to particular points, it would different manner from the others. then become a question, Whether that The honourable gentleman declared, enquiry ought not rather to take place that an explanation on this subject hereafter, than be allowed to inter- was due to Marquis Wellesley, who, rupt the important business before the by a misconception, he stated, had rehouse? Although, on a general view ceived the expences, described in the of the civil list, it might appear that papers, over and above his salary. No ng greater sum was required than such thing. The noble marquis had what was sufficient to defray the ex- not received a farthing of salary on pences of the household, there might account of his mission to Cadiz. He be some points requiring subsequent had not received a farthing as a remu. detailed information.” In reply to neration for his services. But the ho. an observation which had been made nourable gentleman characterised the on that branch of the civil list which expences as large, and seemed to think relates to diplomatic missions, Mr they were disproportioned to the Perceval observed, “ much had also length of the service by which they been said of the grants to foreign mi. had been incurred. Now, it was very nisters. The right honourable gentle- evident, that the expences of a person going to any place in the character of on showing that 70001. was paid to an ambassador for a short time, must Sir Sidney Smith for his services when be much greater in proportion than employed, half in a military and half the expences of a person going in the in a diplomatic character, in Egypt character of an ambassador for a long and Syria, the honourable gentleman period. The honourable, gentleman intimated that he did not think it an also declared, that a debt of explana. extravagant sum; on what principle tion was due to Sir Sydney Smith. could he say that there was due to Sir The house had already heard an ex- Sidney Smith's honour and character planation on that subject, and amply any explanation, but simply a state. sufficient it was. They had heard ment on what ground the expences that the money which he had received were incurred ? Parliament being em. was in return for expences incurred ployed, under the recommendation of many years ago.
Oh then,' said the the speech from the throne, in making honourable gentleman, the country a provision for his majesty's houseought sooner to have discharged this hold, the honourable gentleman sudobligation.' But let it be recollected denly interrupted them in the midst at what a distance these services were of the business : « Oh, oh,' says he, performed-in Egypt and on the coast here is an item of 70001. to Sir Sid. of Syria ; what a difficulty there ex- ney Smith; I do not think the sam isted to procure
vouchers of the ex. excessive ; I do not want any explapences ; how frequently Sir Sydney nation for our own satisfaction, but, Smith was absent from the country, for the purpose of clearing the hoand consequently interrupted in the nour and character of Sir Sidney arrangement of the accounts ; how Smith, pray, suspend all your proanxious he naturally was that there ceedings, and arrest the progress
of should be every possible degree of ex. the bill at present under the consideactitude on the subject; and it would ration of the house. The observanot appear surprising that some delay tions of the honourable gentleman on had taken place. If, however, more the expences to foreign ministers were explanation was thought necessary, all general, except those which related he had no objection to the production to Sir Sidney Smith, the Marquis of the details from the different of. Wellesley, Mr Arbuthnot, and Sir fices; but he was confident it would Arthur Paget.” Mr Perceval furnot be found in these details that any ther said, “ he trusted, that what. sum had been given to Sir Sidney ever might be due to any other
party, Smith as a remuneration for his ser. he had not left the character of Sir vices. All that had been given was Sidney Smith exposed to any cloud merely a remuneration for his expen- or stain ; and therefore the fine figure diture. Let the honourable gentle which the honourable gentleman so man consider the nature of Sir Sidney eloquently introduced of the debt of Smith's services ; the character of the explanation due to Sir Sidney Smith people with whom he had to deal, and on this occasion, might serve to wind the effectual way in which he dischar. up a magnificent period in the honour. ged the trust reposed in him, and he able gentleman's speech, but had no did not think that he himself would relation whatever to the subject before deem the sum stated to be greater the house. The same remark was than, under all the circumstances of equally applicable to what the hothe case, it was proper to expend. If, nourable gentleman had said of his