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unsolicited advice from another quarter. For the sinking fund he would not take He was told by lord Loughboroguh, both away any gentleman's sinecure place, but in words and in writing, that the plan sa appoint a committee as trustees, in whom voured too much of the advice given to might be placed the revenues of useless M. Egalité, and he could guess from what offices, which, after the death of the prequarter it came. These plans were soon sent holders, and as they sell, should be after given up. By the plan now pro- gradually applied to extinguish the prinposed, the Prince had not the grace of cipal. When they should be all paid off, suggesting either the retrenchments, or it would be of service to our posterity, the checks upon his future conduct. His who would look back with exultation and past misconduct was exhibited in the gratitude for our arrangement, and with harshest point of view; he was set in a wonder that such places ever existed. gilded pillory; sent to do public penance For his part, he was a staunch friend to in an embroidered sheet. He was left in the British constitution, but was no friend possession of too much income to exempt to its abuses. There was one class who him from envy, and, too little to exempt loved the constitution, but did not love him from scorn. Το
pay the debts, some- its abuses; a second class loved it with thing ought to be given by the king. all its abuses ; and there was a third class There were debts due to honest trades. large interested party, amongst which men, to which no exception could be he placed his majesty's ministers, who taken. There were on the establishment loved it for nothing else but its abuses. gentlemen of honour, whose salaries were But let that House, the best part of the fourteen quarters in arrear; and to some constitution, consider its own honour and of them it must be a great inconvenience character; let all parties, as well those not to be paid. The debts ought there who were gorged with sinecure offices, as fore to be divided into two parts, and those who had none, have a contest who those of the descriptions above-mentioned shall be most eager to destroy them. discharged immediately. Carlton House Let us, by such a measure as he now being made the property of the public called for, build the ease and dignity of for ever, the public ought to pay the ex- the Prince on the ruins of idleness and pense of rebuilding it. This would re- corruption, and not upon the toil of the duce the debts to 500,0001. To pay industrious poor, who may think their the interest of this at 5 per cent. would loaf decreased by the payment of his inrequire 25,0001. For this he did not cumbrances. He concluded by moving mean to apply to the civil list, which an amendment, by inserting, after the might now be almost considered as iden• words “ consolidated fund,” these words, tified with the consolidated fund. In the “ provided it shall appear to this House, last reign, the sum appropriated to the upon due ñvestigation of the subject, privy purse was 36,0001, a year. In the that the means of paying the said annuity, beginning of the present, it was 48,0001. or part thereof, or of his Royal Highnes's In 1777, when the debts of the civil list debts, cannot be derived either from his were paid and 100,0001. a year added to majesty's civil list, or from the suppresit, the privy purse was made 60,0001., and sion of sinecure offices and useless places the queen received 50,0001. for her esta- now paid by the public.” blishment, all their majesties houses and Mr. Secretary Dundas said, the hon. villas were now finished, and they had no gentleman had informed the House, that expenses to incur in the way of para- in 1787, when the debts of his Royal phernalia. The first and most natural Highness were paid off, the promise feeling of a parent would be, to make which had been given to the House did some sacrifice to retrieve the imprudence not, in point of fact, come from the Prince, of a son.
He should therefore expect but had been given by ministers against 10,000l. a year from his majesty's privy his consent. To this positive assertion he purse, and 5,0001. a year from the queen's had but one short answer to make—the establishment; for the remaining 10,0001. message was read over to his Royal Higha year, he would look to those places and ness before it was delivered in parliament, sinecures, which peither added dignity to and no objection was stated to it. He was the crown, nor were calculated to afford sure it would not be said that his Royal it support. He would just instance the Highness was unacquainted with the force place of teller of the exchequer, which of the English language, and therefore it produced between 18 and 20,0001. a year. was to him a matter of great surprise that
his Royal Highness should be ignorant of | reject the proposal, he would appeal only its contents. The object which ministers to their taste; it was a kind of proposi. had in contemplation was, to effect the tion which could not properly be argued. discharge of the Prince's debts with as Her majesty had 50,0001. a year allowed little burden and risk as possible to the her for her own expenses and for those public. The plan proposed, in his opinion, of the princesses, and yet 5,0001. was to attained this end. “ According to the mode be picked out of her majesty's private suggested by the chancellor of the exche- purse for a purpose, and in what manner quer, the public were only responsible the hon. gentleman could best suggest, contingently upon the Prince's demise ; As to the other part of the hon. gentleof course, some degree of risk was run by i man's plan, when he talked of converting the public ; but he wished the House to all useless offices to the purpose of defraycompare the risk on the one hand with ing the Prince's debts, and called that the advantage on the other. From the not taking it out of the pockets of the circumstance of the public guaranteeing public, he professed he could not underthe payment of the debts in case of his stand how it was so. If these were places Royal Highness's death, the creditors had of no use, abolish them; but what then ? been induced to accede to this plan of Did not the money so saved revert to the payment: this was a considerable point public purse ? and was it not as much gained, and the risk was certainly small. taking money from the pockets of the But instead of having the public security, public otherwise to apply it, as any other the hon.gentleman wished to substitute that mode could be? As to the other parts of of the civil list. Now the civillist was never the hon. gentleman's speech, he thought considered as good security as the public. them of such a nature as best to be passed But if at present the public did not approve over in silence; he should not therefore of the civil list as a security, how much less attempt to reply to them. so must they consider it, if the civil list was Mr. Bankes said, he wished to give a voted annually? This was a proposition direct negative to the original motion, that went so far beyond even the wildest but could not agree in the amendment. plan of reform, that he could not suppose He would vote, as he had formerly done, the hon. gentleman was serious. The against so large an income being given to civil list was granted to the crown, in the Prince. He thought the creditors of lieu of the landed property it formerly the present day were very different from possessed ; and this change was considered the creditors of 1787; then they were as a favourable one to the constitution. ignorant of the Prince's situation, but But the House would recollect, that the after the Message delivered to parliament, sum voted for the civil list was distributed those who gave him credit ought to take under various heads of service, and under the risk. the control of different officers; and he Mr. For said, he could not agree to the would venture to assert, that the annual amendment moved by his hon. friend, amount of the civil list was not more than He thought with the right hon. secretary, adequate to the purposes to which it was that it was better to give the civil list to applied. But it had been asserted that the king for life, than annually. But he his majesty ought to contribute something could not agree with him, that the king to the payment of the Prince's debts. should not come forward upon this occaHe thought the hon. gentleman had not sion, because the debts were contracted considered this point with his usual ac- without his knowledge, and out of the power curacy, or he would never have pressed of his control. For if this reason apthis argument, for it was clear that his plied to the king, it surely more forcibly majesty was less called upon to provide applied to the public. The Prince ought for his eldest son than any other part of not to be accused of breach of promise. his family, because the Prince was consi- He did not believe that he had got into dered, in some degree, as the property of this dilemma intentionally ; but ministers the public. Why should his majesty be were much to blame for the bad advice called upon to discharge any of those in- they had given both to his majesty and to cumbrances which he could not prevent the Prince. It must always be an unpleabeing contracted ? With respect to taking sant thing to lay new burthens on the a part of the queen's private purse to pay people for the royal family. What had the Prince's debt, he would not ap- happened in a former reign had shown peal to the judgment of the House to the impolicy of such steps; and they
must be particularly obnoxious at present.
Tellers. If the king had had honest ministers
Mr. Jenkinson about him, they would have advised him YEAS
153 to have come forward. He thought the
Mr. Canning new advisers of the Prince had not in
29 creased his popularity; and he believed, 2 Colonel Maitland. that his own wish and inclination three years ago was, to have retrenched his June 8. The House having resolved expenses, in order to get into some pro- itself into a committee on the Prince of bable train of paying his debts : but it was Wales's debts, Mr. Pitt moved, " That suspected ; and he, for one, was now cer- provision be made for the appropriation tain of it, that very different advice had of an annual sum of 65,0001. out of the been given to him; and that the example consolidated fund, towards the liquidation of M. Egalité was held out as a warning, of such part of the debts now owing by that, to take any steps such as were pro- the Prince of Wales, as may remain unposed, would be dangerous to the cause paid, in the event of the decease of his of monarchy. He thought his hon. friend Royal Highness.” The resolution being had done well in proposing that the civil agreed to, Mr. Pitt next moved, “ That list should contribute towards the payment it be an instruction to the comunittee of of the debts.
the whole House, to whom the bill for Mr. Anstruther said, that giving the enabling his majesty to settle an annuity Prince a large income without paying his on his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, debts, was putting him in a worse situa- during the life of his majesty, and of the tion than he now was ; because with a life of his said Royal Highness ; for make larger income, there might be greater in- ing provision for the payment of any debts ducement to give credit, and more to be that may be due from his Royal Highness, made by execution in failure of payments. out of his revenues: for preventing the
Mr. Grey thought the proposition for contracting of the like debts in future; the payment of the debts should meet and for regulating the mode of expenditure with a direct negative. It was the only of the said revenues, is committed, That method to prevent future applications of a they have power to make provision in the similar nature. If he were to admit the said bill pursuant to the said resolution.” propriety of discharging the debts, he General Smith said, that he was conshould argue, that it would much better vinced the Prince of Wales was as fairly be fixed on the civil list.
entitled to the profits of the duchy of After some further conversation, Mr. Cornwall, as any other minor would be to Sheridan's amendment was withdrawn. the income of his estate in similar circum. The main question being then put, the stances. He was of opinion, that a clause House divided :
ought to be inserted in the bill, to enable
the commissioners to inquire also into the Tellers.
claims of his Royal Highness, and that
the sums found owing to him, should be YEAS
S Mr. Anstruther
148 placed opposite to his debts. He believed,
that the revenues of Cornwall, during the
minority of the Prince would nearly cover Noes
the whole of the Prince's debts, or at least
be found to come within 100,0001, of their Mr. Sheridan then moved, “ That a amount. proposition having been made to this Mr. Lambton was of opinion that there House, in consequence of a Message from ought to be a special clause inserted in the his Majesty, for a further increase of in- act, appointing commissioners to examine come to his royal highness the Prince of the Prince's accounts, and state the sums Wales, this House think it their duty to that he would be entitled to, during his consider how far that object may be ob- minority, out of the revenues of the duchy tained, without any additional burthen to of Cornwall
. the public, by the reduction of useless Sir M. W. Ridley said, that the revenue places and unnecessary expenses." Mr. of the duchy during the ininority must Pitt thereupon moved, “ That the House have been applied either to the privy do now adjourn." Upon which the House purse, or to the other purposes of the civil i divided :
list. In either case, it was a debt to the [ VOL. XXXII.]
Prince from his majesty, or from the pub- " That it be an instruction to the said lic. As a debt due to him it belonged committee, that they have power to make undoubtedly to his creditors. He thought provision in the said bill, for appropriatit was a claim which well deserved to be ing a certain part of his majesty's civil inquired into, as the result might tend to list revenues towards the liquidation of rescue the Prince from the odium artfully the debts of his Royal Highness the attempted to be thrown upon him on ac- Prince of Wales, in case of the event of count of the extent of his debts.
the death of his Royal Highness before Mr. Pitt did not conceive the duchy the demise of the crown.” On this the connected in any manner with the question House divided : before the House. That House had al.
Tellers. ready discharged the incumbrances of the civil list three times. In 1787, they had Yeas
S Mr. Whitbread
58 discharged the Prince's debts, besides
Mr. Lambton voting a sum towards finishing Carlton NOES
S Mr. Edw. J. Eliot
96 House. If parliament, on those occasions,
Mr. John Smyth had conceived that the Prince was entitled The order of the day was then read for to the revenues of the duchy during going into a Committee on the Prince of his minority, was it to be supposed that Wales's Annuity Bill. The question bethey would not have resorted to that, as a ing put, That the Speaker do now leave fund for the discharge of the incumbrances the Chair, he had just enumerated ?
Mr. Whitbread opposed the motion. Mr. Sumner suggested the possibility He said, that by the provisions which this of the creditors of the dukes of York bill contained, 'ministers proposed to deand Clarence making a claim upon the grade and disgrace the Prince under the Prince for the sum for which his Royal pretence of providing for his dignity and Highness was joint security,
splendor. Mr. Sheridan said, that this was a mate- Mr. Lambton did not think his Royal rial circumstance. The debts of the dukes Highness disgraced or degraded. He had of York and Clarence, it had been said, reason to know that the Prince entirely were in a train of liquidation, and there assented to the principle of the bill, and fore were not included in the account of approved generally of the restrictions ; as the Prince's debts. But though they were without them, he might be again exposed not included in the account, the House to the same inconveniences. did not mean to extinguish the security Mr. For said, that if he voted for the which the creditors of their Royal High Speaker's leaving the chair, he ought to nesses possessed ; and, besides, it ought state the ground upon which he did so; to be remembered, that the death of either for he confessed there were doubts and of the dukes was not an improbable event. difficulties in this business. Much of this In that case, the creditors would certainly bill, he confessed, he considered as procome on the Prince.
per. He thought that making up the inMr. Pitt said, that the debts of the come of the Prince 125,0001. a year, was royal dukes were now put into such a proper; he thought it becoming the dignity state of liquidation, that their creditors and the wisdom of parliament. The proviwould not be likely to come upon the heir sion for preventing his Royal Highness apparent.
from incurring any debt in future, had also The Committee divided : Yeas, 93 ; his complete approbation. But what apNoes, 68. The Resolutions of the Com-peared to him objectionable was, that by mittee being reported, it was ordered, on this bill they gave to his Royal Highness the motion of Mr. Anstruther, “ That that which they did not give him the mait be an instruction to the said committee, nagement of. The whole matter, he feared, that they have power to make provision would be under the management of the miin the said bill, for appropriating a cer- nister. It was placing the Prince in a state tain yearly sum out of the revenues arising of dependance on the king's treasury, from the duchy of Cornwall, towards the which was, in other words, subjecting him liquidation of the debts of his said Royal to the power of the minister. He was disHighness, during such term as his ma- satisfied with regard to the regulation rejesty, or as his Royal Highness, may specting Carlton-house.
The property continue to be interested in the revenues there was added to the debts of the Prince. of the said duchy." Mr. Fox then moved, To whom should the furniture there be
long? To the Prince who had paid for jurious to himself. His honour was also it, certainly. And yet they were to be the honour of the nation. He hoped made heir looms : so that parliament might his Royal Highness was incapable of say to the Prince - You have furnished agreeing to such shameful restrictions, Carlton-house more expensively than you and consenting to such indignities as were ought to have done, but we shall have it." offered to him in this bill. If he did agree This was a little unfair with regard to the to them, he could only say it reminded him Prince: it was very unfair with regard to of a passage in the work of a great poet, the creditors; because the furniture, if “ Is such a man fit to reign?” nor should this provision was not in the bill, would he be sorry, in such a case, to add the rest be moveable assets, subject to the pay of the passage. The bill was altogether ment of the debts; and perhaps this an heterogeneous mass, a variegated would operate to the prejudice of those tissue, a hodge-podge of absurdity. very creditors who had provided this fur- The question being put, that the piture. Now, if he voted for the Speaker speaker do now leave the chair, the House leaving the chair, it must be under an un- divided : derstanding that these difficulties should
Tellers. be removed. As to the duchy of Corn. wall, he was exceedingly anxious that it YEAS
157 should be wholly sold. He confessed
Mr. Adams there would be some difficulty in ascer
36 taining precisely the value of the interest
Mr. Whitbread which his Royal Highness had in that The House having resolved itself into duchy, because it was not a life estate the committee, Mr. Anstruther moved, that he had in it, it was only while he con
" That the blank in the clause for granttinued Prince of Wales ; but in any event, ing his Royal Highness an additional althe sale would produce more than it would lowance, be filled up with the words, produce to his Royal Highness in its pre- 65,0001.” Mr. Wilberforce moved, " That sent state. He thought it would produce instead of 65,0001. the sum of 10,0001. be 600,0001. The sum to be appropriated inserted.” out of that for his debts, instead of 13,0001. The Speaker said, he had always been a year, would amount to 30,000l. If this for the larger sum, because he thought it was called bargaining with the Prince, barely adequate to the situation in which and therefore unworthy of the House of the Prince was placed, and not equal to Commons, he should answer, that it was a what his grandfather had enjoyed, when perfectly constitutional proceeding, and the difference of expense between the that this country never had better security two periods was taken into consideration. for its liberty than when it made these He lamented the circumstance of his kind of bargains with its Princes. He Royal Highness's incumbrances, but he should wish that something of this kind equally differed with those who wished to should be moved, and he had rather that swell the burthen which the public was any other
person should move it than him to sustain, and those who wished not to self. If no other person did move it, per- deduct any part of the income for the haps he might; this, however, he did not payment of debts. After the gracious pledge himself to do.
communication which the House had reMr. Sheridan thought himself bound cently received from his Royal Highness, to negative the motion, because no an. he thought they had every reason to swer had been given to the question, place a reliance on an avowal that must whether the Prince's debts could be paid give them so much satisfaction-a comby any other means than that of raising munication equally brilliant and constitumoney on the people of this country? He tional upon the part of his Royal Highwas convinced they might do themselves ness, and particularly to be admired when credit, do the king credit
, and the Prince the principle upon which it came to them of Wales credit, if they would consent to was considered, namely, the principle sell the duchy of Cornwall, and also the that the public opinion in this country Crown lands. An hon. friend of his had must always operate on the sentiments of said, that the Prince agreed to these re- persons even the most exalted in birth and strictions. But whatever the Prince might situation, and would always have its due choose to do, that House should take weight. care that he did not agree to any thing in- The committee divided : For the larger
sum, 141; For the smaller 38.