Slike strani

for any invidious purpose. It is in order administration contemptible? No! No! to excite in us the spirit of a noble emula. He is conscious, that the sense of mankind tion-Let the nations make war upon is so clear and decided in favour of ecoeach other (since we must make war) 'not nomy, and of the weight and value of its with a low and vulgar malignity, but by a resources, that he turns himself to every competition of virtues. This is the only species of fraud and artifice, to obtain the way by which both parties can gain by mere reputation of it. Men do not affect war. The French have imitated us; let a conduct that tends to their discredit. us, through them, imitate ourselves ; our. Let us, then, get the better of M. Neckar selves in our better and happier days. If in his own way–Let us do in reality what public frugality, under whatever men, or he does only in pretence.—Let us turn his in whatever mode of government, is na- French tinsel into English gold. Is then tional strength, it is a strength which our the mere opinion and appearance of frugaenemies are in possession of before us. lity and good management of such use to

Sir, I am well aware, that the state and France, and is the substance to be so misthe result of the French economy which I chievous to England ? Is the very conhave laid before you, are even now lightly stitution of nature so altered by a sea of treated by some, who ought never to speak | 20 miles, that æconomy should give power but from information. Pains have not been on the continent, and that profusion should

spared to represent them as impositions on give it here? For God's sake let not this | the public. "Let me tell you, Šir, that the be the only fashion of France which we

creation of a navy, and a two years refuse to copy. 1 war without taxing, are a very singular

To the last kind of necessity, the despecies of imposture. But be it so. For sires of the people, I have but a very few what end does Neckar carry on this delu- words to say. The ministers seem to consion? Is it to lower the estimation of the test this point; and affect to doubt, whecrown be serves, and to render his own ther the people do really desire a plan of

Louis, &c.—Having reflected, that, without for the purpose of introducing all the improveessential alterations in the direction of the ex- ments of every kind, which the business is capences of our bousbold, we should hardly be pable of; and shall render an exact account of able to establish a permanent improvement in their operations both to the minister of our the conducting of them, we have begun by re- houshold, and that of finances, for the better ducing the great number of coffers and treasu- introducing in this establishment every alteraries to one only. We bave, by our edict of tion which sball be found useful, and to the tbis day, united all the offices of our house execution of which there yet remains every bold with the casual revenues; and now, to obstacle ; that they may thus be immediately render the plan we have prescribed to ourselves known and removed, and that our general admore complete, we bave thought proper to ministration beiwg thus drawn into one common suppress the offices of comptroller-general of office, may receive all the lights necessary for our houshold, and of the money-chamber ; accomplishing the plan we have approved. We

that of the lieutenant-comptroller-general of keep our bigh and chief officers in the bonour! the furniture belonging to the crown; the of- able situation of receiving our orders imme

fices of lieutenants and comptrollers.general of diately from us, transmitting them, and watchour stables, those of lieutenants and comp- ing that they are put into execution.-But trollers-general of the plate, the houshold they being called out on our service in our proamusements, and affairs of our chamber; the vinces and arınies, and not having time to spare Iwo offices of comptrollers-general to the in inspecting the particulars of finance and queen’s houshold, our dearest wite and compa- economy, which require contipual assiduity nion; and we will that all these offices shall be and watchfulness, we imagine they will bepaid in ready money after their liquidation. bold, without pain, this part of our adminisAt the same time we have thougbt proper to tration separated from their noble offices near establish a general office for the expences of our person ; and we have too much expeour houshold, which shall be composed of two rienced their zeal and attachment not to be conmagistrates taken from our chainber of ac- vinced that they will eagerly second the gecounts, aod five commissioners-general wbich neral plan for the establishment of regularity shall be thrown out by this arrangement, and in our finances, and to prove more and more to who, io upiting their different knowledge, will our faithful subjects, how much it is our debe very capable of conducting, with spirit and sire to avoid having recourse to pew taxes, till uniformity, the whole expences of our house- we have estimated all the resources arising bold. This office is to be immediately em- from this system of order and economy. ployed in a full examination of every part of • For these causes, &c.' it, in order to produce the greatest perspicuity, This edict consists of 16 articles.

ceconomy in the civil government. Sir, which, above all the rest, distinguishes a this is too ridiculous. It is impossible wise government from an administration that they should not desire it. It is im- weak and improvident, it is this :-" well possible that a prodigality which draws its to know the best tine and manner of resources from their indigence, should be yielding, what it is impossible to keep."pleasing to them. Little factions of pen- There have been, Sir, and there are, many sioners, and their dependents, may talk who choose to chicane with their situation, another language. But the voice of na- rather than be instructed by it. Those ture is against them; and it will be heard. gentlemen argue against every desire of The people of England will not, they can reformation, upon the principles of a crinot, take it kindly, that representatives minal prosecution. It is enough for them should refuse to their constituents, what to justify their adherence to a pernicious an absolute sovereign voluntarily offers to system, that it is not of their contrivance; his subjects. The expression of the peti- that it is an inheritance of absurdity, detion is, that “ before any new burthens rived to them from their ancestors; that are laid upon this country, effectual mea- they can make out a long and unbroken sures be taken by this House, to enquire pedigree of mismanagers that have gone into, and correct, the gross abuses in the before them. They are proud of the anexpenditure of public money."

tiquity of their house; and they defend This has been treated by the noble their errors, as if they were defending lord in the blue ribbon, as a wild factious their inlieritance: afraid of derogating language. It happens, however, that the from their nobility; and carefully avoiding people in their address to us, use almost a sort of blot in their scutcheon, which word for word the same terms as the king they think would degrade them for ever. of France uses in addressing himself to his It was thus that the unfortunate Charles people, and it differs only, as it falls short the 1st defended himself on the practice of the French king's idea of what is due of the Stuart who went before him, and to his subjects.“ To convince,” says he, of all the Tudors; his partizans might bave “our faithful subjects of the desire we gone to the Plantagenets.—They might entertain not to recur to new impositions, have found bad examples enough, both until we have first exhausted all the re- abroad and at home, that could have sources which order and economy can shewn an ancient and illustrious descent. possibly supply,” &c. &c.

But there is a time, when men will not These desires of the people of England, suffer bad things because their ancestors which come far short of the voluntary have suffered worse, There is a time, concessions of the king of France, are when the hoary head of inveterate abuse moderate indeed. They only contend that will neither draw reverence nor obtain prowe should interweave some æconomy with tection. If the noble lord in the blue the taxes with which we have chosen to ribbon pleads “ Not guilty,” to the charges begin the war. They request, not that brought against the present system of pubyou should rely upon ceconomy exclu- lic economy, it is not possible to give a sively, but that you should give it rank fair verdict by which he will not stand acand precedence, in the order of the ways quitted. But pleading is not our present and means of this single session.

business. His plea or his traverse may be But if it were possible, that the desires allowed as an answer to a charge when a of our constituents, desires which are at charge is made. But if he puts himself in once so natural, and so very much tem- the way to obstruct reformation, then the pered and subdued, should have no weight faults of his office instantly become his with a House of Commons, which has its own. Instead of a public officer in an eye elsewhere; I would turn my eyes to abusive department, whose province is an the very quarter to which theirs are di. object to be regulated, he becomes a crirected. I would reason this matter with minal who is to be punished. I do most the House, on the mere policy of the seriously put it to administration, to consiquestion; and I would undertake to prove, der the wisdom of a timely reform. Early that an early dereliction of abuse, is the reformations are amicable arrangements direct interest of government; of govern- with a friend in power; late reformations ment taken abstractedly from its duties, are terms imposed upon a conquered and considered merely as a system intend- enemy: early reformations are made in ing its own conservation.

cool blood ; late reformations are made If there is any one eminent criterion, under a state of inflammation. In that

state of things the people behold in go-, frustrate their attainment of what they 'vernment nothing that is respectable. have an undoubted right to expect. We

They see the abuse, and they will see are under infinite obligations to our connothing else. They fall into the temper stituents, who have raised us to so distin. of a furious populace provoked at the dis- guished a trust, and have imparted such a order of a house of ill fame; they never degree of sanctity to common characters. attempt to correct or regulate ; they go to We ought to walk before them with pu

work by the shortest way.—They abate rity, plainness, and integrity of heart; with = the nuisance, they pull down the house. filial love, and not with slavish fear, which

This is my opinion with regard to the is always a low and tricking thing. For = true interest of government. But as it is my own part, in what I have meditated

the interest of government that reforma- upon that subject, I cannot indeed take tion should be early, it is the interest of upon me to say I have the honour to follow the people that it should be temperate. It the sense of the people. The truth is, I is their interest, because a temperate re- met it on the way, while I was pursuing form is permanent; and because it has a their interest according to my own ideas. principle of growth. Whenever we im- 1 am happy beyond expression to find that prove, it is right to leave room for a fur- my intentions have so far coincided with ther improvement. It is right to consider, theirs, that I have not had cause to be in to look about us, to examine the effect of the least scrupulous to sign their petition, what we have done. Then we can proceed conceiving it to express my own opinions, with confidence, because we can proceed as nearly as general terms can express the with intelligence. Whereas in hot refor- object of particular arrangements. mations, in what men, more zealous than I am therefore satisfied to act as a fair considerate, call making clear work, the mediator between government and the whole is generally so crude, so harsh, so people, endeavouring to form a plan which indigested ; mixed with so much impru- should have both an early and a temperate dence, and so much injustice ; so contrary operation. I mean, that it should be subto the whole course of human nature, and stantial; that it should be systematic. human institutions, that the very people That it should rather strike at the first who are most eager for it, are among the cause of prodigality and corrupt influence, first to grow disgusted at what they have than attempt to follow them in all their done. Then some part of the abdicated effects. grievance is recalled from its exile in order It was to fulfil the first of these objects to become a corrective of the correction. (the proposal of something substantial) Then the abuse assumes all the credit and that I found myself obliged at the outset, popularity of a reform. The very idea of to reject a plan proposed by an honourable purity and disinterestedness in politics falls and attentive member of parliament, (Mr. into 'disrepute, and is considered as a Gilbert) with very good intentions on his vision of hot and inexperienced men; and part, about a year or two ago. Sir, the thus disorders become incurable, not by plan I speak of was the tax of 25 per cent. the virulence of their own quality, but by moved upon places and pensions during the unapt and violent nature of the reme- the continuance of the American war.*dies. A great part therefore, of my idea Nothing, Sir, could have met my ideas of reform, is meant to operate gradually ; more than such a tax if it was considered some benefits will come at a nearer, some as a practical satire on that war, and as a at a more remote period. We must no penalty upon those who led us into it; but more make haste to be rich by parsimony, in any other view it appeared to me very than by intemperate acquisition.

liable to objections. I considered the In my opinion, it is our duty when we scheme as neither substantial, nor perma.; have the desires of the people before us, nent, nor systematical, nor likely to be a to pursue them, not in the spirit of literal corrective of evil influence. I have alobedience, which may militate with their ways thought employments a very proper very principle, much less to treat them subject of regulation, but a very ill-chosen with a peevish and contentious litigation, subject for å tax. An equal tax upon as if we were adverse parties in a suit. It property is reasonable; because the object would, Sir, be most dishonourable for a is of the same quality throughout. The faithful representative of the Commons, to species is the same, it differs only in its take advantage of any inartificial expression of the people's wishes, in order to

* See Yol. 19, P 873.

quantity ; but a tax upon salaries is totally | merit, for an indemnity to the idle and the of a different nature ; there can be no worthless. But I shall say no more upon equality, and consequently no justice, in this topic, because (whatever may be given taxing them by the hundred in the gross. out to the contrary) I know that the noble

We have, Sir, on our establishment, lord in the blue ribbon perfectly agrees several offices which perform real service with me in these sentiments. -We have also places that provide large After all that I have said on this subrewards for no service at all. We have ject, I am so sensible, that it is our duty stations which are made for the public de- to try every thing which may contribute corum; made for preserving the grace and to the relief of the nation, that. I do not majesty of a great people-we have like attempt wholly to reprobate the idea even wise expensive formalities, which tend of a tax. Whenever, Sir, the incumbrance rather to the disgrace than the ornament of useless office (which lies no less a dead of the state and the court. This, Sir, is weight upon the service of the state, than the real condition of our establishments. upon its revenues) shall be removed ;To fall with the same severity on objects when the remaining offices shall be classed so perfectly dissimilar, is the very reverse according to the just proportion of their of a reformation. I mean a reformation rewards and services, so as to admit the framed, as all serious things ought to be, application of an equal rule to their taxain number, weight and measure.-Sup- tion; when the discretionary power over pose, for instance, that two men receive a the civil list cash shall be so regulated, salary of 800l. a year each. In the office that a minister shall no longer have the of one there is nothing at all to be done; means of repaying with a private, what is in the other, the occupier is oppressed by taken by a public hand—if after all these its duties.-Strike off 25 per cent. from preliminary regulations, it should be these two offices, you take from one man thought that a tax on places is an object 2001. which in justice he ought to have, worthy of the public attention, I shall be and you give in effect to the other 600l. very ready to lend my hand to a reduction which he ought not to receive. The public of their emoluments. robs the former, and the latter robs the Having thus, Sir, not so much absolutepublic; and this mode of mutual robbery ly rejected, as postponed, the plan of a is the only way in which the office and the taxation of office,-my next business was public can make up their accounts. to find something which might be really

But the balance in settling the account substantial and effectual. I am quite of this double injustice, is much against clear, that if we do not go to the very the state. The result is short. You pur- origin and first ruling cause of grievances, chase a saving of 2001. by a profusion of we do nothing. What does it signify to six. Besides, Sir, whilst you leave a sup- turn abuses out of one door, if we are to ply of unsecured money behind, wholly at let them in at another? What does it sigthe discretion of ministers, they make up nify to promote economy upon a measure, the tax to such places as they wish to fa- and to suffer it to be subverted in the vour, or in such new places as they may principle ? Our ministers are far from choose to create. Thus the civil list be- being wholly to blame for the present ill comes oppressed with debt; and the pub- order which prevails. Whilst institutions lic is obliged to repay, and to repay with directly repugnant to good management an heavy interest, what it has taken by an are suffered to remain, no effectual or lastinjudicious tax. Such has been the effect ing reform can be introduced. of the taxes hitherto laid on pensions and I therefore thought it necessary, as soon employments, and it is no encouragement as I conceived thoughts of submitting to to recur again to the same expedient. you some plan of reform, to take a coin.

In effect, such a scheme is not calcu- prehensive view of the state of this counlated to produce, but to prevent, reforma- try; to make a sort of survey of its juristion.

it holds out a shadow of present dictions, its estates, and its establishments. gain to a greedy and necessitous public, Something, in every one of them, seemed to divert their attention from those abuses, to me to stand in the way of all economy which in reality are the great causes of in their administration, and prevented their wants. It is a composition to stay every possibility of methodizing the sysenquiry; it is a fine paid by mismanage- tem. But being, as I ought to be, doubtment, for the renewal of its lease. What ful of myself, I was resolved not to prois worse, it is a fine paid by industry and ceed in an arbitrary manner, in any par


ticular which tended to change the settled knowledge, can never say what it is that state of things, or in any degree to affect he can spend, or what it is that he can the fortune or situation, the interest or the importance, of any individual. By an 5thly, That it is proper to establish an arbitrary proceeding, I mean one con- invariable order in all payments: which ducted by the private opinions, tastes, or will prevent partiality; which will give feelings, of the man who attempts to re- preference to services, not according to gulate. These private measures are not the importunity of the demandant, but the standards of the exchequer, nor balances rank and order of their utility or their of the sanctuary General principles can- justice. not be debauched or corrupted by interest 6thly, That it is right to reduce every or caprice ; and by those principles I was establishment, and every part of an estabresolved to work.

lishment (as nearly as possible) to cerSir, before I proceed further, I will lay tainty, the life of all order and good mathese principles fairly before you, that af- nagement. terwards you may be in a condition to 7thly, That all subordinate treasuries, judge whether every object of regulation, as the nurseries of mismanagement, and as I propose it, comes fairly under its rule. as naturally drawing to themselves as

This will exceedingly shorten all discuss much money as they can, keeping it as sion between us, if we are perfectly in long as they can, and accounting for it as earnest in establishing a system of good late as they can, ought to be dissolved. management. I therefore lay down to They have a tendency to perplex and dismyself seven fundamental rules; they tract the public accounts, and to excite a might indeed be reduced to two or three suspicion of government even beyond the simple masinis, but they would be too ge- extent of their abuse. neral, and their application to the several Under the authority and with the heads of the business before us, would not guidance of those principles, I proceed ; be so distinct and visible. I conceive wishing that nothing in any establishment then,

may be changed, where I am not able to 1st, That all jurisdictions which furnish make a strong, direct, and solid applicamote matter of expence, more temptation tion of those principles, or of some one of to oppression, or more means and instru- them. An economical constitution is a ments of corrupt influence, than advantage necessary basis for an economical admito justice or political administration, ought nistration. to be abolished.

First, with regard to the sovereign ju2ndly, That all public estates which are risdictions, I must observe, Sir, that whomore subservient to the purposes of vex. ever takes a view of this kingdom in a ing, overawing, and influencing those who cursory manner, will imagine, that he behold under them, and to the expence of holds a solid, compacted, uniform system perception and management, than of be of monarchy; in which all inferior jurisnefit to the revenue, ought, upon every dictions are but as rays diverging from principle, both of revenue and of freedom, one centre. But on examining it more to be disposed of.

nearly, you find much eccentricity and 3dly, That all offices which bring more confusion. It is not a monarchy in strictcharge than proportional advantage to the ness. But, as in the Saxon times this state ; that all offices which may be en- country was an heptarchy, it is now a grafted on others, uniting and simplifying strange sort of pentarchy. It is divided their duties, ought, in the first case, to be into five several distinct principalities, betaken away; and in the second, to be sides the supreme. There is indeed this consolidated.

difference from the Saxon times, that as 4thly, That all such offices ought to be in the itinerant exhi tions of the stage, abolished, as obstruct the prospect of the for want of a complete company, they are general superintendant of finance; which obliged to throw a variety of parts on their destroy his superintendency, which dis- chief performer; so our sovereign condeable him from foreseeing and providing scends himself to act, not only the prinfor charges as they may occur ; from pre- cipal but all the subordinate parts in the venting expence in its origin, checking it play. He condescends to dissipate the in its progress, or securing its application royal character, and to trifle with those to its proper purposes. A minister under light subordinate lacquered sceptres in whom expences can be made without his those hands that sustain the ball repre. [VOL. XXI.]


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