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out the estimates of that department for Mr. Huskisson said, his bon. friend had the current year, he laid them before the taken such particular notice of an unfor-first lord of the treasury, for his attention tunate shake of his head, that he could not and observation, and was ready to answer avoid saying a few words on the present his inquiries as to any of the articles occasion. It was not his intention to therein contained; but yet he did not have repeated what he had said on a forthink that the first lord of the treasury had mer night; but as he had been alluded to, any controul over those estimates. His he must again say, that if we did not look 'hon. friend had found fault with the charge to some permanent establishment that of current expenses and contingencies ; might be adequate to the expences of the but he had, in common with many other war, this country would be in a very awk: gentlemen, fallen into a mistake. He had ward predicament, and in considerable on a former night observed the same embarrassment. He should be as glad a thing of an hon. gent. opposite (Mr. any one to hear of a peace; but as he Whitbread), who, notwithstanding his had reason to fear the war would be very acuteness, and his being one of the most long, we must, he thought, look to some active members of that House he had ever system; we must see what we can expend seen, had fallen also into the same mis- in one year, and how that can be done to take. He would convince his hon. friend the greatest advantage. He, for one, had of his error. The Ordnance estimates had the greatest confidence in the resources of always been made up in this way, and the country, but we must see in what perfor this reason. He would, for instance, manent scale of expence we can carry on take the estimates for the island of Pe the war with effect, and provide adequate merara at 4,0001. Yet, when the issues resources. As he was called on by his , came to be made, it was found that they right hon. friend who spoke last, to shew, amounted to 6,0001. the additional 2,0001. more than by a shake of liis head, that was therefore added under the head of there was a controul over the expenditure current expences and contingencies, and of the ordnance, he could only say, that when the estimate was made next year, ever since he had known the treasury, it the current expences and contingencies had been so held; and if that principle would be put down at 0,0001. the contin had always been adhered to, it would gencies having exceeded the estimates. I have saved great sums to the public, parIt was easy, however, to account for gen. ticularly in barracks. His right hon. tlemen being liable to fall into such miso friend liad said, that his hon. friend oppo. takes. When they got an army estimate site (Mr. Bankés) had found fault with the in their hands, each of them fancied him- extravagance of the expenditure, and had self a general; when they got an ord- not pointed out one single item in which nance estimate, each of them thought there could be a saving, whereas the conhimself a great engineer; and when a trary was the case.
His hon. friend opponavy estimate came into their possession, site had particularly pointed out a great each of them became, in his own mind, a saving which might be made in district gallant and experienced admiral; and horses; and in several articles under the thus, without knowing any thing of these head of expenses for the defence of the several professions, without having been country; in which he agreed altogether bred to any one of them, they set them. with his hon. friend opposite, that very selves down as competent judges, and considerable savings might be made. preferred their own opinions on those Mr. Whitbread adverted to the high subjects to those of men who have studied, tone in which the right hon. gent. oppoperhaps for years, to attain a thorough site (Mr. W. Pole) had talked of the inknowledge of those branches of nayal and competence of members to understand the military science to which they were bred, accounts; and he contended, that, though and which one would suppose might ena- neither an engineer nor a general officer, ble them to form tolerably correct esti- yet as a member of parliament he must mates in these several branches of the be allowed to know something of the ordservice. Having said thus much, he did nance accounts; and though there might not think it necessary to trouble the House be circumstances connected with them of further. As to the financial opinions of which official men alone could be aware, his hon. friend near him, further occasions the House had a right to full and explicit would occur in which he should have an explanation upon these points. When he , opportunity of combating them.
talked of keeping things secret from the
enemy, did he think that Buonaparte was tions, he could not believe that any gensuch a dupe as our ministers were, to tleman would be found indisposed to give what was called secret intelligence? Did | effect to pledges so solemnly and so fre'he think he would have undertaken an quently repeated. That economy was expedition against such a place as Ant- l in the existing circumstances of the counwerp without having a plan of it? If he try indispensably necessary could not, he had known of many things which minis- thought, be disputed by the most sceptiters were about, he would have laughed cal. That it was necessary, appeared to at them, as he had done since. But it him perfectly obvious no less from the was impossible to commence the erection peculiar situation of this country than of such works without the thing being from the general state of Europe and of known; and it was in vain to expect se
the world, and particularly from the crecy, merely by keeping the head of operations of the enemy, which seemed parliament in a sack. 'He then stated, directly and distinctly pointed at our ihat be perfectly coincided in what had financial prosperity. But, independently been said by the hon. general near him of these considerations, the known wishes (Tarleton) whose authority was supported and wants of the people were alone sulfby many other eminent military charac- cient to cali the aitention of the House to ters. The military canal too, which had this subject. If no recommendations had been constructed at so great an expence, ever been offered from the throne, if no was considered as highly ridiculous. He pledges had ever been made by that objected also to the idle expence of build- House, it was impossible that any candid ing magnificent houses for storekeepers, man who looked at the amount of the clerks, &c. and expressed his conviction public revenue, and at the manner in that these things would never be properly which it was disposed of, could hesitate managed till the accounts were regulated about the propriety of taking effectual as a private individual would regulate his steps to controul the public expenditure. own affairs. Private morality was strictly - When it was known, that the whole of applicable to general politics as well as the burthen arising out of sinecures private economy to the public expendi- amounted to no less than 1,500,000l. per ture. Why were not these buildings annum, could any one question that proerected by contract, which would shew priety? He did not mean to state that the the expence at once, instead of giving a entire of this expenditure ought to be per centage to the builder on the sum is done away ; for he was willing to accede sued, which was a premium on fraud ? to the propriety of making good the seveThe Report was then agreed to. ral sums voted by parliament; that the
allowances, for instance, to the younger branches of the royal family were neither
exceptionable nor unnecessary; but the Monday, March 19.
amount of the expenditure under these [Third Report or the FINANCE Com. heads respectively, furnished an addiMITTEE.] Upon the motion of Mr. H. tional argument why economy, so uniMartin the House resolved into a com- versally admitted to be necessary, should mittee to take into consideration the Third be more particularly attended to in other Report of the Finance Committee, Mr. respects. In fact, wherever that economy D. Giddy in the chair.
was practicable it ought to be promptly Mr. Martin then rose and said, that, in and effectually enforced, and there was, rising to perform the duty which he had he believed, scarcely a department of the assùmed to himself, he felt a considerable state in which its enforcement was not degree of satisfaction from knowing that loudly called for by the nature and extent there was no objection to be made to the of our public expenditure. principle of the propositions which he observed, with regard to the duchy of meant to submit. "It would, indeed, in his Lancaster, that although it yielded only judgment, be impossible to justify any ob- 4,0001. a year to the public treasury, it jection to a proceeding which had nothing afforded 40,000l. to the pockets of indivibut public economy in view. Since so duals; and a similar observation was, he many speeches from the throne had re- feared, applicable in a certain degree, to commended economy, since so many ad- several other branches of the public revedresses from that House had expressed an Let the Committee recollect the entire acquiescence in those recommenda- sums raised in the way of fees and per,
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
quisites upon the produce of the public strength to their opinion, and all be protaxation, and how much these fees in posed by his Resolutions was distinctly and creased with the increase of our taxes, directly to pledge the House to act upon and then the grounds of his apprehension that opinion. would be easily understood.
Having thus stated his disposition to Although he had regretted the delay accede to any suggestion from Mr. Bankes, which had taken place in bringing this the hon. gent. expressed, his bappiness question under discussion, lie was that that hon. member was again invested disposed to consider that delay as by no with the power of prosecuting and rendermeans injurious to his object; for full time ing effective his laudable solicitude for had been thus allowed for examining the the promotion of public economy. That question in all its bearings, and an oppor- much had been done to economize the tunity had been offered for hearing the public expenditure, and to introduce restateinent of an hon. gent. (Mr. Huskisson) form into the public offices, he was ready respecting our finances, which statement, now, as on a former occasion, to admit. if it did not alarm, was certainly calcu- But he regretted that, notwithstanding the lated to attract the most serious attention Report of the Finance Committee in 1790, of the House, from the known acquaint and the public animadversions which had ance of that hon. gent., with the best been repeatedly made upon the subject, sources of information upon that subject. not a step towards reform had been taken It must now, therefore, be evident, that in any of the law offices. On the conthe closest examination of our expenditure trary, every sinecure office had conshould take place; that every degree of tinued to be filled up again and again, regularity in its administration and re- from a succession of 'reversionary grants. trenchment in its application should be Thus the Report of the Finance Committee established. To his mind, indeed, it fur- of 1796 was utterly disregarded. Such nished matter of astonishment that some disregard might have been tolerated before of those retrenchments had not been long the salaries of the judges were advanced. since made, which had been often and But when that advance took place, it long since recommended. By the Report ought, in his opinion, to have been stipu. of the Committee of Finance in 1795, the lated with the julges, that they should abolition of two ofices, namely, the give up part of their patronage. The treasurership of the ordnance, and the Report of 1796 sanctioned this opinion; paymastership of the marines, was par- for it proposed that the patronage so given ticularly recommended, and yet those up should be disposed of in the ordinary offices had still existed, until ihe justice way, and the produce applied to a fund, of the opinion of that Conimittee had from which the judges who retired should become glaring to the country. Even derive their pensions. Such an arrangenow, indeed, those ofiices were tolerated, ment ought, in fact, to have been pronotwithstanding the notoriety of the evi- vided for in the act granting the increase dence that they were totally unnecessary of the salaries of the judges. Had that for any public purpose, and led only to been the case, he believed that a fund the greatest abuse.
might have been formed, sufficient not As to the Resolutions which he meant only for pensions to judges on their retireto propose, the honourable gentleman ment, but even to defray a considerable begged it to be understood, that he was part of the salaries of the acting judges. not tenacious of any forms which might The necessity of reform in the disposition create a difference of opinion among those of offices in the several law departments, who agreed in the main principle ; his was in fact notorious to all those who had object being to embody the suggestions any knowledge of the subject. The cirof the Commitiee of Finance, he was not cumstances connected with the appointat all wedded to forms, but would be willment of the chief clerk of the king's ing, with the utmost readiness, to attend bench, contributed to prove it. In this to any proposition from the worthy chair- office there had been in fact but five vaman of that Committee, (Mr. Bankes) to cancies since the restoration of Charles the whom he had before alluded. The sug- Second. Nothing appeared to him more gestions of this Committee were entitled to disgraceful to a great country, or more inpeculiar attention. In fact, every day consistent with the dignity of the judicial that had elapsed since their Report had offices, than that any judge should derire been laid before the House, served to give profit from fees or perquisites. While he
Expence of Army
4,000 Expence of Navy... £.6,782,284 Expence of Navy Es. including 1,50).000. for paying tinates
presented It same
19,578,467 Unrakel Debt.
Navy as bs Resolu.
7,221, 167 Exchequr Bills un.
Outstanding Deder Fire heart of
mands as by sathe Land Taxes, Malt
1,586,581 Taxes, &c. Mustly COD Sisting of an ani ticiption of Land and Malt '1 axes, &c. 9,502,174 Exchequer bills...... # 40,827,200
# 8,000,000 1 to be funded in tbe 5 per cents.
of these sums 15,000,000!. are charred on the Aids of the
English - ................ 281
215 Patents of Peerage in England since 1781), 15.
Ditto Ireland since 1780, 197.
Ditto Ireland since 1780, 51.
Tecommended the reform he had described, he begged it to be understood, that it was quite foreign to his wish to interfere with the legitimate patronage, or fair emoluments of the judges. Indeed it was his opinion, that the arrangement he proposed would in effect add to their respectability, while it would not diminish their salaries. He would be sorry that his intention on such an occasion should
8,357 TO be misunderstood or misinterpreted in any degree.
Adverting to the late pamphlet of a right hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Rose) he expressed his astonishment at the position which that right hon. gent. had laid Jown, that the influence of the crown had not been increased since the adoption of Mr. Dunning's celebrated Resolution, " That the influence of the crown had increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished.” Such a position, indeed, was calculated to excite universal surprise. But there was scarcely a man of common observation in the country who did not know and could not prove the contrary.
He From this statement he should leave would ask any man to look at the enor- it to the House and the public to decide mous increase of our army and nary as to the accuracy of the right hon. gent.'s since the passing of Mr. Dunning's Re- assertion. For was it possible that any solution-at the several new offices create 1 mau of common sense could subscribe to ed, since that period, and the pensions the opinion that such an augmentation of granted, since the adoption of Mr. Burke's revenue, such a variety of appointments bill, in violation of its spirit, and to would not operate directly to increase the state what he thought of the right hon influence of the crown? But it seemed the ourable gentleman's extraordinary as- right bon. gent. in his calculation had sertion. He would challenge the right quite forgotten the new sources of influence hon. gentleman at any time to a discuss created by the barrack department, the sion of the grounds upon which he pre- transport office, and the board of contended to rest that assertion. But the troul, especially the latter, the junior most effectual refutation of the right hon. members of which had, he understood, gent. would appear from a simple state- no other trouble assigned to them than that ment of our comparative receipts and ex- of receiving their salaries. It was, howpenditure at the period Mr.' Dunning's ever, convenient for the right hon. gent. Resolution was adopted, and at the present to forget these and other points also which day, with a Report of the grants and pro- could not at all square with his favourite motions which had taken place within doctrine as to the influence of the crown. that interval. Here the hon. gent. read After referring to the Report presented the following statement :
to the House of the number of civil offices in the country, and expressing a wish that a report of a similar nature should be annually laid before parliament, the bon. member proceeded to animadvert upon the object and application of the four and a half per cent. duties, Those duties were, he observed, originally levied for the purpose of keeping up and im
proving our fortresses in the colonies, and Majors ............. 764 by no means with a view to be subject to
the private dispensation of the crown. But, LOSO yet, those duties had been made the
1780. Public Funded Debt on sth January ..., 144,083,414 Interest & Manage
on 5th January .... 731,552,112
160 Colonels ......
24 Lieut.-Generals........... 80 Major Generals
4186 lacluding si Militia and
means of advancing that influence which it became the peculiar duty of parliament the right hon. gent. would maintain to to devote its attention io that object. have been for years back wholly unim- From the temper manisested of late by proved. It was not difficult to divine the the House, there was every reason to augur cause of the right hon. gent's anxiety, to well for the cause of economy. Through disseminate his statement through the coun- the exertions that must result from a contry before the discussion of this subject tinuance of that temper he had no doubt took place. But the doctrine of the right that considerable savings would be made hon. gent. could make no stand. It was in the several departments of the public in fact totally unfounded.
expenditure, and the smallest savings He wished, however, in the observations, should be estimated; for even such sarwhich he felt it his duty to make with reings, if economy were extended, might, in spect to pensions, not to be understood as the aggregate amount to something conby any means disposed to object to the siderable. The country had expected grant of a liberal provision and an ample the attention of parliament to be directed reward from the public purse to merito- to this sybject, and therefore it must calrious public servants. But he would ever culate, that as the report under considecontent against all grants of pensions ration had lain two years before that under the siga manual, as an illegitimate House, it would now come to some satisexercise of the prerogative. He also ob- factory decision upon it. He was sorry jected to the practice of granting pensions that it had remained so long on the table out of the salaries of public offices, for he without any decision being come to upon maintained, that the crown ought to it, because, from that circumstance, the have no power to grant pensions con- interest it had originally excited, and trary to the spirit and provisions of which it still in an equal degree deserved, Mr. Burke's bill, which prescribed that seemed, from the attendance of members, the whole of the pension list should not to have somewhat abated. exceed 90,0001. a year. If in any case With respect to the Amendments proit were deemed just to make any addi- posed he was willing to adopt the first tional grant, let it not be done by such and second Resolutions of the Chansubterfuges as he had alluded to—let not cellor of the Exchequer, as there was the provisions of Mr.Burke's bill be evaded in reality little difference between them --but let the case be brought fairly and and his own, but the third Resolution of constitutionally before parliament, which the right hon. gent. seemed to recognize never was and which never would be, he a principle which he (Mr. Martin) felt it trusted, inattentive to any claim of justice. his duty to oppose, namely, that some Whilst upon this topic he felt, that he offices should still continue to be matters could not impress too strongly upon the of patronage. There were he understood Committee the necessity of investigating some resolutions to be proposed by an hon. this question, and of making some provi- friend of his (Mr. Bankes) which he should sion against the practice he deprecated, have no objection to, as far as he was made which practice involved a wanton addition acquaintedwith their nature and substance. to the public burthens and an evasion of The eighth Resolution of the Chancellor of the law, while it gave scope to favouritism the Exchequer went to limit the pension list and unjustly extended the influence of to foreign ministers to 2,000l. a year, he the crown. Recurring to Mr. Burke's knew that many pensions had been lately bill he animadverted forcibly upon the granted for very short services, and would excess beyond its provision which had of wish to see some distinction established, by late taken place in the pension list. It which those, who had served long and sucwas his wish that the whole of this business cessfully, should be distinguished from should be brought annually under the those of a contrary description. As to the inspection of parliament. The grantees, interference of parliament upon such ocin all cases, of pensions, ought to be made casions, it was no new thing, in proof of known, in order that the amount of their which the hon. member quoted the case pensions might be compared with the na- of the receipts of the auditors of imprest ture of their services. It was by frequent accounts having been reduced from revision in these cases that parliament 13,000l. to 7,000l. a year, and also of a would be most likely to ascertain what motion of a similar tendency, with regard retrenchment was prácticable ; and under to the tellers of the exchequer, having, the present circumstances of the country been lost in 1780, only by a majority of