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therefore becomes necessary to inquire what / of offices executed by deputy, why are they these regislations and that practice were. continued if they are unnecessary; and if By the act of 4th William and Mary, the they are necessary, why should they not be barons of the Exchequer were directed to executed at the charge which is found suf inquire what were the antient and legal ficient for the deputy? Why is the state to fees. Those fees were reported and vested We burthened with immense salaries to unby law in the officers. But notwithstanding employed principals, who do nothing but the title hy usage, and the investment by bear the name of the office? In the 26,0001. law, an alteration was made in 1702: In Talluded to, no service whatever is done. In that year great exertions being required, the thirty reports of the Comunittee of Fithe sum which was raised for the public nance, there are several other instances of of service, 1,600,0001. was considered so great tices of the same kind, but I do not think it neas to render it proper to look to some re- cessary to trouble the house with detailing duction upon the Exchequer fees, and in any more than the principal branches, in consideration of the largeness of the sum a which the propriety of reform is obvions. reduction was made. In 1744, on the My motion will embrace every branch of the sanie principle, the supplies being larger Public Expenditure. The powers I prothan at any former period, 6,600,0001. pose to give to the committee are the same being raised for the general service of the as those granted to the coinmittee of 1797. year, besides 2,200,0001. for the army, it The Pension List was not referred to the was agreed by the officers of the Exchequer committee of that time, neither would I to reduce the fees one-third. The law and have it expressly referred to the committee the practice of the Exchequer ought to be now proposed; but my motion will be to more a bar to the reduction of the fees framed in such a manner that the commita now, than they were then; and certainly tee will be enabled to attend to that branch the vast increase in the amount of the of Expenditure, as well as to every other. public expences, and every other reason, I shall conclude with moving That a make much more strongly in favour of the committee be appointed to consider of reduction at this monient. My motion will what saving can be made by the reduce embrace all offices and all places, and all \ ' tion of useless Places, Sivecure Offices, incomes deprived from the state. There is · Exorbitant Fees, and every other retrenchone department in particular to which the ment that can be made in the expenditure inquiry I recommend will apply with par of the public money.' ticular effect. I meari that of the Courts of Lord Folkestone said, that he had the Justice. In the Report of the Committee honour to second the motion. of Finance, sinecure offices to the amount Lord Henry Petty rose and observed, of 26,5007. in thiar department, are pointed that it gave him the highest satisfaction, out as admitting of total reduction. The that whatever difference of opinión tnight conmittee, in pointing out the propriety exist between himself and the hon. gent. of this reduction, and the proper mode as to the words of the inotion, yet beof carrying it into effect, quote the opinión tween himn and the hon. gent and not only of lord Hale, saying, that timely amend that, but between the hon. gent. and all his ment did much good, and prevented majesty's 'ministers, there was a perfect much evil, particularly in things connected coincidence of sentiment upon the grounds with the general weal; but that the re of the present notion. · For if there was form onght not to be made abruptly, any thing upon which it might be expectnor all at once ; but gradually, with as cd that all should concur, it was this, that much attention as possible to the rights of the strictest economy should be preserved individuals. I do not find that any thing in the management of the public money, has been done upon this Report, or that and that all places, offices, and pensions, any part of its recommendations has been should be reduced to the smallest charge, carried into execution. Ten years have consistent with the proper administration of elapsed, since the Committee in its 27th the affairs of the nation. Therefore any meareport, pointed out as worthy of considera- sure which had that object in view canre tion, whether these offices should be abo- recommended by a strong similarity and lished as they became vacant, and yet so union of sentiment amongst ' his majesty's thing has beěn- done in compliance with ministers, as well as amongst others. But that recommendation, Lord Hale says if he had the satisfaction to concur with Vol. VIII,

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, 10, 1807.--Sinecure Places and Pensione. (703 the hon. gent., if so far an union of senti- vants by means of large pensions, than by ment prevailed, he hoped that there would sinecure places. But when these places also be an union of sentiment upon another were conisdered as connected with the hisposition, essential to the welfare and stabi- tory of the country, and with the different lity of government, which was this, that in branches of the Constitution from their first every country there ought to be rewards origin, it was unquestionably desirable to prefor services performed; that it was not tit. serve and countinue them. He was therefore ting that ineans should be wanting of not disposed to count nuch upon any regranting adequate remuneration for gene duction that could now be made in Sinecure ral services, and that such rewards onglit Places and Pensions, if it was deterinined to form part of the establishment of all not to reduce them below what the publie well-regulated governments. The only dignity and public service required them to point, then, to be considered was, liow far be kept up to. Perlaps the manner in these rewards existed in the mauner they which the prerogative of the crown was exought, for though places ought to exist for ercised in bestowing such othices, might not the purpose above-mentioned, yet it was bein every instance satisfactory. But the imright that they should be limited, and they proper use of the prerogative in these inconfined to their proper object, and that stances, was no reason why the power of they should not La allowed to run to excess, using it better should be altogether done either through abuse or neglect. That away. If there were improprieties in the such excess did formely exist; especially conduct of the judges, that was no reason with regard to sinecure places, a point to why the administration of justice should be which the bon. gent. had particularly adver- stopped. If there were improprieties in ted, lre was perfectly aware. But he beg- the conduct of those at the head of the ged leave to remind ilie house, tbat during military department, that was no reason à course of 20 years it had been a constant why tlie country should be left without an object to reduce and confine such places army. In the degree then in which such within their proper limits. Such was the places were necessary to reward public serobject of the commission of accounts esta- vices, these places ought to be maintainblished at the close of the American war, ed. Why then, what had been the result when there was so great and so just a pub- of all the squires on this subject ? He lic clamour on this subject, a commission might state generally, first, that all sinecure which had in the inost able runner dis- places in the customis. bad been abolisbcharged the duties entrusted to it. In the ed. Such also had been the case with readministration which succeeded, and con- gard to the exeise.. With regard to the eluded the peace of 1783, an administra- great offices of state, some had been abefion of which a neur and dear comesion lislied, and a certaio chamberlainship in of his (his father, then lord Slielburne) the exchequer, and all the offees, with formed a part, this object was not lost sight the exception of a very few, had been ot, and the plan was laid for an inquiry, regulated by commutations being agreed which was carried into effect sone time af- upon, instead of fees, which were liable to ter. It was not lost sight of during the a perpetual increase with the inerease of administration of Mr. Pitt, a connittee the public expenditure. The profits of having been appointed in 1786, and then the tellers and the auditors were thus limanother in 1796, over which the right hon. ited. For the purpose of being perfectly gent who now filled the chair (Mr. Abbot) had correct in what he had stated with regard to presided with so rauch credit to himself and the abolition of sinecure offices in the cusso much advantage to the country. Thus it toms, he ought to have observed, that one had been the constant study, for a length of place of this nature, that of collector outtime, to reduce the public expenditure with wards, belonging by patent to a certain šespect to offices, as far as it could be done noble duke (Manchester) had been reserved. consistently with the reservation of certain The fact was then, that sinecare places places of reward for the public servants. If to a certain number were necessary to be the country bad been in the situation of retajured in order to reward those who one laying down, for the first time, the had given their time, and industry, and their commencement of a system of expenditure, talents to the public service, in offices it night perhaps be more wise to confer re- which did not afford an adequate remune wards on the higher classes of public ser-lation, and to afford them a proper support

in their retirement. But he could not quit , been done with respect to England. But as this part of the subject, without alluding to Ireland, he admitted that niuch as yet to the principles which bad been admitted remained to be done. But it would be reduring the progress of Mr. Burke's bill. collected that a committee had been apk The principles then admitted were, that pointed 3 years ago, on the motion of the those who held offices by grant from the right hon. gent. who then held the office of crown, had as strong a title to them, as any chancolor of the exchequer for Ireland, proprietor of land had to his landed estate, the object of which was to inquire into the and that to destroy the one title would be mode of collecting the revenue in Iroas great au invasion of property as to de- land; and although he (Lord H. Petty) was stroy the other. The reform could apply then on the opposition side of the House, only with respect to the future holders, and yet he took an opportunity of expressing in that view it had been applied in every his perfeet approbation of that measure, practicable instance. But where othices and of promising all the support which he were granted in reversion it could not be could give. That commission was now aeapplied. The reform must remain suspend- tually sitting in Dublim, and its reports were ed till the reversion should have expired. on the table of the house; and the house There were two principal otlices granted in must have seen with satisfaction that his reversion. One was that of Register of right hon. friend (sir John Newport) had the Admiralty Court, granted to lord bronght in a bill to abolish no less than Arden, with the reversion to a member of 38 offices, in pursuance of the suggestions that house (Mr. Perceval). The other was in these reports. Every one who knew bis that of the clerk of the parliament, held right hon. friend, or the noble lord at the by a right bon. gent. (Mr. Rose) over the head of the finance department of that way, the reversion to his son. But when country, or the noble duke who was at the these reversions expired, he hoped that mea- head of the governinent there, would feel sures would be taken to regulate these of satisfied that all useful suggestions would fices also. So much with regard to offices be taken up by them, and immediately in England, where a good deal had been acted upon. Why, then, great progress done, except in the law offices, which form- had been made here also. The only point ed the subject of the 27th report of the com- of difficulty was the practice of granting missioners of accounts. It was true that offices in reversion, which he highly disapthere were a great number of law offices proved of, especially in the case of offices which had been stated by them to be un- where the fees were liable to increase with necessary, and which might be subject to the increase of the expenditure, as this was ameliorations; though they had stated, at in some measure entailing abuses. He knew the same time, that these being perquisites it would be said that ministers were uno' of the officers, the lord chancel- friendly to offices in reversion, and would lor and the lord chief justice, they ought wish to abolish them because they could not to be deprived of the patrouage and not get them for themselves. To those who the means of providing for their families were of this opinion he would say, that which they afforded, without a material in they might discover a more obvious method crease of their salaries. It was true that by whieh ministers might secure such ad. the salaries of the judges had since that vantages, if they were so disposed, and that time been augmented, but he did not was by making other offices reversionary, know whether the salaries of the lord But he had the satisfaction to state, that chancellor and lord chief justice had been since the present ministry had come into raised, so as to compensate for a loss of power no offices had been granted in rever, this sort, and yet it was obvious that the sion. They had abstained from this pract augmentation of their salaries ought to have tice, having in contemplation the means by been particularly attended to, in case of which reforms might be accomplished here their being deprived of these places and also, and an end put to the iniquitous effects wis patronage. However, this was a case, that resulted from such a mode of proceed. which had certainly been less attended to ing. Things, then, beiug in this state, there than others, and therefore, with respect to remained little to be done except with rethis the hon. gent's motion came recommend spect to the courts of law the offices of ed by all the authority that could be deriv- which formed the subject of the 27th reed from this report. A great deal theu had port. He was not aware that any sinecure

of this description had been created since ment to promote that important object by that report bad been made. But that other every means in their power

. The noble more loose abuses had not taken place he lord concluded by proposing an alteration was not prepared to deny, knowing as he in the motion, so that, as amended, it stood did the tendency to abuse which existed thus, • That a select committee be appointwhere the expenditure was so large as ited to examine and consider what regulawas in this country. All, therefore, that tions and checks have been established, in the government could do was, to use every order to controul the several branches of effort to prevent the growth of such abuses; the public expenditure in Great Britain auri and to check them where they existed. It Ireland, and brow far the same Jave bera had accordingly given an instruction to the effectual; and what further measures can auditors of accounts to observe such abuses, be adopted for reducing any part of the and to report upon them from time to time said expenditure, or diminishing the amount to the treasury. He would read the words of salaries and emoluments without deiriof the warrant in which this instruction was ment to the public service; and that they conveyed. Here the noble lord read the do report the same, with their observations words, which contained an instruction to the thereupon to the house." auditors to attend to and report specially Mr. Wilberforce thought the liberality upon ali abuses and frauds committed at and candour manifested by his noble friend home or abroad. This was part of a war- who had just sat down, particularly entitled rant under whiel the auditors acted, and him to the thanks of the country. But at by this means he hoped that a strong and the same time he must say, that this noble permanent check upon abuses would be friend's opinion as to the necessity of sub established. Why, then, it appeared that stiinting pensions for the established sinegreat progress had been made in destroy- cures, struck him with surprise. If the consjog offices, and that there was a disposition mittee so properly moved for, should be apfu the government to prevent the unneces- pointed with the impression which such an sary renewal of them. But though little opinion, from so high an authority, was semained to be done, yet he did not con- calculated to produce, be confessed that tend that that little onglit to remain undone. his good wishes towards that appointment He had no objection, therefore, to the ap- would be considerably abated. No prinpointment of a committee which should ciple would be snore jujurmus in its operafinish a business in which so great a pro- tion, according to his judgment, than that gress liad already been made, lle was of of voting to each public officer a certain opinion, that with a slight alteration in the remuneration for his services, instead of words, the motion deserved the assent of the leaving these sinecures to be applied to house, and that a committee should be ap- such purposes, for wbich ouły they could pointed to inquire into what had been done, be allowed to exist. He disapproved of and what remained further to be done the system of voting pensions, because fie towards the accomplishment of this great very inuch feared that under that system object. Whatever 'inight be the merits of the amount of reward would depend too former commissioners, it would be recol- much on mjuisterial influence or popular - Jected that they were fallible, and that in clamour, or might be too much caleulated the best institutions there would be some to induce the one or irritate the other. He failure. He expected from this examina- wished rather that the sinecures night retion, that a foundation would be laid for main for those to dispose of, who were tinally eradicating great abuses in the ma- best qualified to appreciate the merits to pagement of the public money, and that which they ought to be granted, and there the most material benefit would accrue with was more likelihood that they would be

regard to the system of public economy. groperly granted. That talents dovoted to Therefore le not only agreed in the princi- the service of the state were by any means ple of this mation, but also approved of the so well rewarded as the same talents would policy of appointing such committees, at be in any of the liberal professions, either different successive periods, to examine into of the chureli, medicine, or the bar, he was the real state of the public expenditure. fully prepared to deny. He meant of He trusted he had satisfied the house that course pecuniary reward; but that was not -all due attention had been paid to economy, the object of public men, for their great aud there was a disposition in the govern- and generous minds must look to views of a higher nature, and be actuated by motives shewed the alacrity with which they were of a noble character. Indeed, it was for ready to receive a proposition of economy tlie credit of the country to mention that from any quarter of the house, which must there were many who had giving up the encourage every man to suggest to them the most lucrative professions, to follow the means which might serve to carry their course to which these lofty motives were acknowledged principles into effect. With, calculated to lead; therefore such men were however, this concurrent wish of all to purentitled to the liberal consideration of par- sue economy with every practicable indusliament and the country, when there should try, he deprecated the application of it to be no longer occasion for their services, and the purpose of producing any reduction of when they should happen, from their cir- the salaries allowed to our public officers, -cunstances to require such liberality. Men who so far from being over-paid, were many who had long occupied, and ably acted in, of them he was prepared to say, with regard the high uilices of the state, should not be to money, very much under-paid. Consiallowed to fall from the connectious and dering their situation, connections, names, rank to which they had been accustomed, and talents, the remuneration was, he had in consequence of the illiberality of those almost said, quite too little. . In rewarding whom they had served. Such a thing would such men, parliament should ever bear in be degrading to the character of the coun- mind fidelity towards the people, and libetry, and he trusted it would never be allow- rality towards the officers, both which tended to occur. Of the principle avowed in ing to the same point, must urge them to his noble friend's speech he most sincerely provide that the character of the one should approved; he the more rejoiced to hear the not be degraded, by allowing the comfort principle stated, because from the know- and interest of the other to be neglected. ledge he had of his noble friend's disposi- Lord H. Petty rose to explain a point tion, he was perfectly contident that it would upou which he had been evidently, without ·be acted upon. He was fully persuaded any intention, misinterpreted by his bon. that liis noble friend was well disposed friend. In his observations with respect to rigidly to apply the principle of economy the comparative propriety of pensions and as any minister could be. At the same that sinecures, he was in fact but endeavouring he mentioned this, he could not omit stat- to answer an argument; which appeared to ing, that which migiit be unknown, that his himn. likely to arise in the disscusion. But noble friend's predecessor (Mr. Pitt) carried he expressed no opinion. His argument the principle of economy as far as was was merely speculative upon the question, . practicable, never over-looking any oppor- whether if we were about to constitute a tunity of retrenchment, or of the abolition new system, it would not be better to inof useless places. Indeed he knew that bis vest, not that house, as his hou. friend seemlate right hon. friend had, without ever ed to think, but the crown, mentioning a word about it in that house, of granting pensions as rewards to meritoriabolished between 30 and 40 places in the ous public officers, than to create nominal customs and excise, to which his noble offices for the purpose of such rewards. friend had alluded in the course of his But those offices being already in existence, speech, although his right hon. friend was at rendered tlie case different, and their conthe time pressed by many of his friends and tinuance was connected with the honour of connections, to grant those places to others. the crown, and with the interests and good But no, his late rigut hon. friend preferred faith of the country. It was however, the the principle of economy to the gratification duty of that house to take care that such of his friends, and the merit of that great a system was not carried to any unjustifimau was, that he did such meritorious things able excess, by the appointment, from time without having it ever known to the world to time, of such committees as that which Like the man of Ross, he " did good by was now moved for. The noble lord con** stealth, and blushed to find it fame.” cluded with moving an amendment to bis The hon. member conceived that motions motion, that Ireland should be included in like that before the house should not be at the inquiry. all considered as acts of opposition to mi- Mr. Wilberforce professed his unwilling nisters. From the conduct of his nobleness to mis-state any sentiment of his noble friend this evening, it was evident that mi- friend's, and that he was quite satisfied with nisters themselves did not so consider them. his explanation, Og the contrary, their caydour clearly

with the power

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