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the debt of his Royal Highness certainly made part of the delrx'ration of the House. He owned there was a point on which he could not help touching, as being extremely applicable W this cafe. He thought he might look for some resources upon this occasion from his Majesty. It might be said, he should give any thing very considerable; this was a point into which, The could not enter until his Majesty had notified his royal disposition to give something. He most egregiouily mistook the dispositions of the -Public, if something of this nature would not be very well received by them. He did not fay that the whole six hundred thousand pounds should be paid by hi3 Majesty; but he would say, because he felt, that it was a litde unseemly, that at a time of such general calamity, his Majesty should be the only person in the kingdom who did not contribute a single farthing towards the discharge of the incumbrances of the Prince of Wales. This, he could not help repeating, was unseemly. He hoped his Majesty would be better advised upon this subject. A glorious opportunity offered itself for the displa: of royal munificence, and handsome conduct upon such an occasion as this would do more' even for the constitution than the most vigorous exertion of the arm of power. It wns with this view that he had contended, and sorry he was that lie had contended unsuccessfully, against the additional one hundred thousand pounds a year to the income of his Majesty himself during the continuance of the American war, because, when all the subjects of his Majesty felt so muck duiing that war, he thought that his Majesty would do well to ihew them a lesson of frugality and economy. If this principle was correct, and the application of it just at that time, Jiow much more so was it at present, when the question is, "How much are the burdens to be laid upon the Public to
relieve the Prince of Wales from debt?" 11% would fay
again, it was unfortunate that some person had not advised his Majesty to lead the way upon this occasion, and to shew the public an example of liberality, and convince them that he felt himself the necessity there was of indulging a generous temper. .When this subject should come to be discussed, happy mould lie be if the House, by a gracious communication, should be given to understand that the Illustrious Personage to whom he al'udtd, intended to take, some stiare of the contingent burden which might be felt from this. He trusted also that the whole of the additional income of his Royal Highness, together with the Dutchy of Cornwall, would be appropriated solely to the liquidation os the debts. According to the calculation of an Hon. Gentleman (Mr. Curwen), jt v/ould take ten years even then to discharge them. But he stil! adhered to his original idea of making a very different di'-pofiat n of the Dutchy of Cornwall from what had been proposed by the minister. According to his idea of the thing, the Public would have a considerable advantage by the sale or the Dutchy of Cornwall, in a pecuniary sense, as likewise from the diminution of the patronage of the Crown, already much tco extensive; and it would also place many Gentlemen, now interested there, iiT a situation less dependent than they were ac present. And further, it would relieve his Royal Highness himself from that dependence on the Crown, and whoever should be the minister of the day, a tiling in itself extremely desirable as well for the Heir Apparent of the Throne as for the interests of the Public ; for a Prince ought to be an opulent and independent nobleman, before he Oiould become a wife, virtuous, and illustrious monarch; and in proportion to the elevation of his rank, must a state of dependence be painful to his feelings, and dangerous to the Public. He now came to the point in which the House was more immediately concerned, the guarantee of the debt. It wa$ true the House was not to pay one shilling, and it had both the revenue a^id, the means of payment in its own hands; but there were some, cojuingencies. notvyithstanding. The lives of Princes are as precarious as the lives of other men ; and if the life of the Prince stiould not last so long as the time of limitation for the payment of the debts, there would certainly be a contingent risk. This risk is more or, less then, as the period of limitation for the payment of the debts is shortened or extended. By the sale os tlie Dutchy, therefore, the period for the payment would be shorter, and the risk, be consequently less. The risk also to the Illustrious Personage alluded to would not then be the same as now.
He concluded by supposing that the House, in voting for. the present motion, would do no more than for private persons aud families, when a guarantee is made in the fame way. That is, he conceived every Member who voted for the instruction would be as much at liberty as ever to vote hereafter upon the ;*o,arantee, exclusively considered, as he thought proper.';
Mr. Aiiflruther, in explanation, took notice of the two parts of the present proposition before the House j one being a provision against the contracting of debts iu future, the other for the payment of those already contracted. The sum had~beea: already voted, and therefore no Gentleman, by agreeing to the motion before the House, would add-to the burden os his constituents a single shilling. There must be some degree of contingent risk to the Public, but as it was only iu, the event of the demise, both of his Majesty and of his Royal Highness,
before Before the period of the final adjustment of the debt, the contingent rrlk W.is reduced to a degree of minuteness that was hardly worth consideration. With respect to the Dutchy of Cornwall, he did not pretend to soy, that Parliament had not file power to order it to be fold ; they certainly had that power, for they had the power of making what regulations they thought sit, with regard to the maintenance of the Royal, Family; but he must, beg leave to obserre, that the Dutchy of Cornwall was no: the absolute property of the Prince of Wales ; for if the Prince of Wales were to die to-day, the Dutchy of Cornwall would vest in his Royal Highness the Duke of York to-morrow, and the House would have as good a right to order the estate of any individual to be sold as this estate. (A cry of No, No ! from various parts of the House.) Mr. Anstruthcr persisted in his declaration, and observed, that thus the next in succession would be deprived of his right by the sale of the estate. There had also been a good deal of misapprehension as to the value of this estate ; two-thirds of it were not rent out of land, but a duty on tin in the county of Cornwall, and the other part consisted of a dry unimproveable rent; and therefore those who talked about what the Dutchy of Cornwall would produce, talked without real knowledge of the matter. Every account he had heard or seen upon this subject was very much exaggerated, and therefore he thought it necessary to explain this. With respect to his Ma-, jelly contributing, he wistied to soy nothing ; Gentlemen spoke upon that subject as if they had a great deal of knowledge of it; all he could soy was, that he did not know that his Majesty had the means—in short, he knew nothing of the matter. He, as a Member of Parliament, wished to consider what was sit for Parliament to do, and not tp call.upon his Majesty to exer-. dse his bounty. He was sure that his Royal Highness, by his condescension, would endear himself in the affection of the Public: And he desired to follow the example of the Prince, in his endeavours to conciliate the public opinion and affection, ■ Air. -Biijlard opposed the principle of Parliament interfering at all with the debts of the Prince. He thought the precedent would be a dangerous one; and he thought also that Parliament were not empowered to do this by our constitution. He said, no iruvn could feel more anxious than he did to alleviate the situation of the Prince, and to put him in. possession of all the splendour due to his rank; but the question was, whether, under all the circumstances, he could do that consistently with his duty to his constituents, * Gentlemen, in speaking of the liquidation of the Prince's debts, seemed to think that Parliament was bound in duty to
pay them. That it might be a proper question for Parliament to take into consideration, he would not deny; but that they1 were called upon, either by their duty to their constituents of to the King, absolutely, to provide a fund for the payment of those debts, was a proposition to which he would never give his assent. It had been said, that the sum to be annually allowed to the Prince had been already voted, and that this motion did not tend to lay any other burden upon the people; but he considered this as a delusion arising from the complicated state of the question; and he was apprehensive that the House might be led on to measures, the probable consequences of which they did not foresee. The two questions^ of the income to be allowed to the Princej and the discharging of the debts, had, in his opinion, very improperly been mixed; the consequence of which was, that many Gentlemen voted* on the fame side of the question, though with totally opposite views: For instance, some of the Gentlemen who voted for allowing the Prince the larger sum, did it upon the principle1 that one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds was not too much to support the proper dignity os his Royal Highness's situation-, while other Gentlemen, who also concurred irt voting for the larger sum, thought sixty thousand pounds a year a sufficient income for him, and wished that the remainder should go to the discharge of Jjis debts. In order to avoid this confusion, the proper way would have been to have brought the subject of the debts'distinctiy befcrc-Parlinment; and having once come to a clear decision upon that point, there would have been no difficulty about the rest. He did not at all approve of this mode of fettering the Prince ', he thought it would even have been better to leave it to the Prince, to apportion what part of his income he pleased to the payment of his debts; he should therefore give his vote against the motion.
Mr. Whhbrcad said, he should also vote against the motion. He did not agree with those Gentlemen who contended that this motion would not, if agreed to, tend to increase the burdens of the people; oil the contrary, it seemed to him to tend to that object, because, t>y that.House taking Upon itself to make these regulations for the liquidation of those debts', they were taking the first step towards pledging themselves for the payment of them contingently; because, if this measure were adopted, there could be no doubt but that the House must guarantee the payment. But there was another way, in which the Public would be burdened, in order to discharge those debts. Many of the Gentlemen who voted for allowing the Prince the larger sum, did it upon the principle that a por
• • tiort tion of it was to go to the payment of the dehts; wherea^, if they had not existed, a much smaller sum might have been voted. It was an imposition therefore upon the House, and upon the people, to say that the Public was not to a certain degree burdened for the payment of the debts. In his opinion, the proper way would have been for ministers to have applied to Parliament for a fit income to be given to the Prince, without taking any notice whatever of the debts, but to have let his Highness act himself upon that subject. Something had been said about the Crown assisting in the discharge of the debts; he did not hesitate to say distinctly, that the Crown was bound to come forward upon this occasion, because, during the minority of his Royal Highnefr, the whole of the income of the Dutchy of Cornwall was received by his Majesty. It had also been said, th.it it could not be expected that his Majesty should pay the debts of the Prince of WuL's out of his savings from the revenue of Hanover. H;" was of a contrary opinion; and thought that the people of Hanover were as much interested in the fate of the heir to the Electorate, as the people of England were in that of the heir to the Crown. Gentlemen had said, that it was necessary for his Royal Highness to keep up a considerable degree of splendour; this was a proposition which he should totally deny—the people, under the present circumstances, did not look for splendour, and he believed they would be better pleased to see it suspended for a time.
Mr. Hawhins Bvoivne considered the question as already decided by an almost unanimous voice. He lamented the necessity there was for an application to Parliament; but the duty which war. owed to the constitution was a paramount consideration. The assistance should be granted not only sorhij Royal Highness's fake, but for the general good, which was involved in the character and situation of a Prince of Wales, as Heir Apparent to the Crown j and he hoped and was of opinion, that from the judicious arrangement which was now about to be made in the appropriation of that part of the establistiment which was proposed for his Royal Highness, no suture occasion would arise of a similar application to Parliament. . Mr. Lambton thought that the question was, whether thtf House would or would , not take any notice of the debts of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales? and upon that point he confessed, that although his Royal Highness had been indiscreet in contracting them, they ought to be t:iken into consideration by Parliament. H ■ really thought that the tranquillity of this country required that we should make the present sacrifice.