« PreviousContinue »
now advert to the arrangements, under which we propose to place the new Civil List. I know, Sir, that on this point there is a great variety of opinions, and I remember that a noble Lord opposite, early in the opening of the Session, expressed a hope that the Civil List now to be presented to the public, would be confined merely to the personal expenses of the Monarch. I, however, after much deliberation, and after weighing maturely all matters connected with the question, must say, that it appears to me not expedient to separate the private and personal expenses of the Monarch from those incurred in his capacity of chief of the Government of the State. First, it is difficult to draw the precise line between the charges incurred by the Monarch in his individual capacity, and those incurred in his public capacity as the person administering the Government of the country; and if it were possible, I do not see that it would be advisable so to separate them, as long as the Civil List can be regulated in such manner as to present a fair, full, and distinct view of the expenditure. I cannot see the particular use of separating these two branches of the Civil List; I do not, therefore propose to withdraw from the Civil List all those charges which have hitherto been considered as belonging to penditure. I have one of the classes of Me to the Civil List, Jgtes to the diffiBt of reiuunerawhose salaries Civil
the head of the been anxious to objections now namelv, that
with a view to form particular funds, is very inconvenient: there is something not very easy to apprehend in the payment, on the one hand, to a particular officer of a very considerable salary, and, on the other, in taking from that officer, at the time of making the payment, a considerable sum to be applied to future and other purposes. I propose, therefore, that all charges and deductions from all salaries shall be omitted in the statement, and that the salaries shall be stated at the precise amount, so that the Civil List shall shew to the public what is the actual amount applicable to the particular services to which the several payments are made. I have stated that I propose to transfer to the Civil List the payment of those salaries the larger portion of which is now chargeable on that branch of the expenditure; and I also propose to transfer to other funds those salaries, only small portions of which are now paid out of the Civil List. The first of the latter class is the salaries of the Judges. But a small portion of these salaries is now paid from the Civil List, the larger portion being paid from the Consolidated Fund. These salaries I therefore propose to transfer entirely to the Consolidated Fund; and if there was any choice from which fund those salaries should be paid, I should think that it would be freest from objection that the emoluments of these officers should be derived from a fund the least liable to the control of the Crown. I propose the same thing with reference to the Speaker of the House of Commons—I may say, with reference to all the other payments of salaries standing on the same footing. In the same way there are certain charges, of which by far the greater amount is defrayed >y annual votes of this House, but some •onion of which is also taken from the Sivil List. These I propose to withdraw uitirely from the Civil List, for the pur|k of adding them to the several funds urn which the greater portion of their mount is now paid. These three several lorts of payments will amount to 166,000/. jfcich I shall withdraw from the vote I Bmd to ask as the vote for the Civil Litt. »l»ch are the*principles of the arrangements Kcb I submit to the House as the ^ndation of the plan of the new Civil but perhaps the House will pardon ff I go a little more into into
il cl Lut shall I
will be ten in number. The first class will consist of his Majesty's privy purse, and of her Majesty's establishment. This class, instead of being 60,000/., as under the late King, will now amount to 110,000/., a sum which was always charged so long ago as before the reign of George 1st.; the difference between the present and the last Civil List being altogether occasioned as I have already stated by the presence of her Majesty the Queen. The second head or class of expenditure is that of the salary of the great officers of the household—of the household establishment—and of the officers connected therewith. This makes up a sum of about 140,546/.; and that sum will comprise salaries which before were to be found under other heads. Among these are the gentlemen pensioners, and certain officers of ceremony, which appear to me better placed here than elsewhere. Under this head there will be observed some' reduction of amount from that which was stated for similar charges in the former reign. With respect to the household itself, the third head of the expenditure, there will not be any actual reduction of expenditure—I mean in the bills of the tradesmen who supply his Majesty. I know that the hon. member for Middlesex will say that there ought to be some reduction in that respect, having regard to the present value of provisions, which is- much less than when the last Civil List was framed. I acknowledge that there has been a decrease in the price of provisions, and in all the necessary articles of life, since the last Civil List was agreed to; but while I admit that to be the fact, I must at the same time remind the hon. Member, that some increase is necessary on account of her Majesty. I have, therefore, in addition to the expenditure of his Majesty, brought in, under this head, that of the Queen; and I think that if the bills now paid are carefully compared with those formerly charged, there will be found to have been an actual reduction, although that reduction is not at once apparent, on account of the cause of increased expenditure to which I have already referred. The amount of this class of expenditure will be 210,500/., a sum which exhibits an apparent increase on the former Civil List, but which, in reality, is less, since the present estimate includes the expense of Messengers, and other items of the Civil Department, which I have thought it more convenient to place here,
instead of letting them remain under other heads of expenditure. The fourth class consists of the Royal Bounties, Charities, and Special Service Money,and these come more nearly within what are properly called the particular expenditure of the Crown. The amount here is the same as before, 22,250/. The fifth class consists of the pensions on the Civil List. This item was fixed by Mr. Burke at a sum of 95,000/., but in the present Civil List it will amount to no more than 74,200/., the difference between the two being those charges which are deducted from the Civil last, and carried to other heads of expenditure, on the principle I have already mentioned. The sixth class comprises the expenses of Foreign Missions and Ministers of State. I have stated, that in weighing the different arguments for excluding these charges from the Civil List of the Crown, my feelings have preponderated in favour of retaining them under this head of expenditure, and I therefore present them to the House as part of the expense of the Civil List; and whatever opinions may be entertained 6n this point, I have no doubt that, with respect to the amount required for this head of expenditure, the House will be satisfied with the sum which is now proposed for the payment of this particular service. Under the former arrangements of the Civil List, the third class, with which the sixth class now corresponds, comprised not only the expense of Foreign Missions, but also the salaries of a portion of the present Consular Establishment; and the House will also recollect, that in addition to those who were then Ministers nt Foreign Courts, with salaries, we have been latterly called on for -additional Ministers to the new States of South America, and that these Ministers were, of course, not provided for in the Civil List of 1820. This class of public servants, with which we have now to deal, comprises the representatives of the King in all parts of the world, but does not comprise the Consular establishments, for reasons which I will presently state. In the former Session of Parliament, when the question of Diplomatic Expenditure was under consideration, I stated, that endeavours were making by the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Department to bring the present expenditure for twenty-five ministers,—the increase in our Diplomatic Establishments having been rendered necessary by the
change in the circumstances and conditions of several States both in Europe and America,—within the amount which was provided for eighteen Foreign Ministers. This class will show, that what I then stated to be under consideration, has been now done. In every foreign mission (with, at least, only two exceptions) a great reduction of expense will be found to have taken place. The amount is now stated at 140,000/., which was 165,000/. in the preceding year; and that year itself exhibited a diminished expense, as compared with the sums required for preceding years; and when the detail of these estimates has been examined, I think that the House will agree with me that the Government has been disposed to bring down these charges as low as was compatible with the rank of the individual employed, and the nature of the service he was engaged in. If, in examining these items, persons will inform themselves of what are the emoluments of other Ministers resident at the same Courts, they will find, though there are many circumstances which necessarily render our Ministers more expensive than other foreign ministers at the same place, and though Englishmen are more disposed to travel and visit foreign countries than men of other nations, yet their charges are not superior, nor, in some instances, even equal to those of other Ambassadors. I have said, that there are two exceptions to the great reductions we have made. The first of these is Paris; the other Petersburgh. They are stations where a great expenditure is required beyond that demanded at any other Court, so that we do not propose to withdraw from those Ambassadors the emoluments which they now enjoy. The reductionsof which I have spoken cannot, indeed, be immediately accomplished, so that the diminution of expenditure will not come into full operation till the 1st of January in the ensuing year. The reduction of salaries, however, is not the only economy which we have effected. It will appear that the extraordinary charges, which are a great source of diplomatic expenditure, are now about to be brought within very narrow limits. Take the question of outfit, for instance, which in formerCivil Lists was stated at 76,000/., and which is now estimated only at 47,000/. The expense of half outfit is also reduced from 50,000/. to 30,000/. On other charges there are likewise deductions, as in the cases of
absence on account of private affairs, and in the allowances for conveyance of baggage, which are now reduced within very narrow limits. The details of what I have stated will be found in the papers I have laid on the Table—papers which show that we have, in fact, adopted that economy which this House desired, and which the Government promised. With respect to the payments to be made in future on account of the Consular Department, I propose that a considerable alteration shall take place. A sum of 30,000/. was formerly paid for the expenses of the Consular establishment out of the Civil List, and 60,000/. from a vote of Parliament: I propose that, in future, Parliament shall provide all the expenses of the Consular establishment by an annual vote. One of the reasons for my proposing this is, the change in the regulations of that establishment which may at any time take place. A change in our Consular regulations was recommended to Parliament, not only by merchants, but by hon. Members, who had no especial interest in the recommendation, and who were actuated by no feeling but a desire for the good of the country. That change led to a great increase of expenditure in the Consular department, and it appeared to the noble Lord at the head of that department, that that expenditure should be brought within our more limited means, and that it would be advisable to make its amount an item of the charges that were annually to be submitted to the vote of the Parliament. The total amount of this class of Civil expenditure is now stated at 186,000/. for the charges of Ministers on service, and for the pensions of retired Ministers, including all the Consuls formerly residing at foreign Courts, together with those new Consuls now appointed to Greece and South America. The seventh class consists of the small charges on the Hereditary Revenues of the Crown, which always have been defrayed out of the Civil List, on which humorous remarks have sometimes been made in Parliament, but which are still necessary to be maintained. These charges amounted to 13,700/. The eighth class relates to the salaries of the great Officers of State, who are now paid out of the Civil List. Among these are the Lord Chancellor, the Lord President of the Council, the Lord Privy Seal, the Commissioners of the Treasury, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In this class is to be included that portion of the salaries of Public Officers, which is now payable out of the Civil List of Ireland, and out of the Consolidated Fund, so that the effect of this arrangement will be, that all these salaries can at once be seen from these papers. This class will form an item of 24,000/. The ninth class is the Civil List of Ireland. That Civil List amounted to 207,000/. in the reign of his late Majesty; but it is now reduced to 125,000/., and even part of that consists of charges for offices, the duration of which is limited lo the lives of the present occupants and my plan embraces a proposal that will effect a further reduction from 50,000/. to 40,000/. With respect to the last class—the Civil List for Scotland—I do not think it will be found liable to any objections. It chiefly consists of a provision, for the hereditary Officers of State in that kingdom, for the support of the Universities there, and for the payment of the Professors at those Universities—charges which have always been borne by the Civil List of Scotland, and which are so moderate in their amount, that I am confident, when they come to be examined by the House, every one will be convinced of our disposition to reduce the expenditure within the narrowest Limits. This class amounts to a sum of 51,000/. The Civil List, on the arrangement thus proposed, will amount to 960,000/. of which an accurate estimate will be found in the papers 1 now lay on the Table. It is quite obvious that in submitting an estimate of this nature, it is impossible not to leave an opening for some future contingency; and, adopting as a principle that which was acted on in 1820, I shall propose to take a vote for a sum above the estimate, in order to meet these contingencies. I shall, however, only increase the vote so far above the estimate as will be necessary to preserve the Civil List from debt. In proposing, therefore, the sum of 970,000/. I shall propose a small excess, which is not more than necessary, because the Crown, having now surrendered the Droits of the Crown, and the Droits of the Admiralty, has withdrawn from itself the means which were before at its disposal, and it is not therefore unreasonable that a small additional vote should be given to meet those contingencies, which, in the best state of the Civil List, must be liable to occur, and which, during the late reign, rendered
a provision of this sort absolutely necessarv. I have thus gone through the statement of
the Civil List, which I am now about to submit to the approbation of the House; and I think I have shewn that a considerable saving has been effected under the new arrangement. I may, perhaps, be permitted to state more in detail what that saving is. In the first place, there is an immediate saving of 138,900/., and then there is a contingent saving- of 162,0001., and moreover it should be borne in mind that the Civil List has provided for charges I which exceed, by the sum of 100,000/., those which were to be defrayed out of the J Civil List of the former reign; yet have we been able to reduce the whole sum to the extent I have stated, at a time when, from particular circumstances, the Civil List is burthened with additional charges to the amount of 100,000/. I cannot doubt that the House will be satisfied with this statement. I know that there is no disposition in this House, or in the countn to refuse what is necessary to maintain the dignity and splendor of the Crown. I know, indeed, that the proper splendor of the Crown is ende ared to every clasi of the people. If this is the case, whatever may be the character of the Monarch on the Throne, 1 am sure that that sentiment is now more than ever warmly felt by the whole people of England, when both the Monarch and his Consort possess all the characteristics which can endear them to the hearts of their subjects, and when the people unite, as they have done, in the strongest expression of attachment to the Sovereign, whose conduct, whether examined in the relations of domestic lifei or in his public character, deservedly recommends him to the best affections of the people. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving, "That for the support and maintenance of his Majesty'* Household, and the honour and dignity of the Crown, there be granted to hu Majesty the annual sum of 970,000/. during his Majesty's life, and that the said Revenue shall be made payable out of the Consolidated Fund." The right hon. Gentleman observed, before he sat down, that he did not mean to press for a vote that evening.
Lord Althorp said, that he could not vote on this question without making a few observations on the statement of l"e right hon. Gentleman. In remarking upon this proposed provision for the Ciw List of his Majesty, it was not necessary to follow the right hon. Gentleman into the minute details of his plan. Indeed, it would be impossible for him or others to do so immediately after hearing the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. The subject into which he had entered was too extensive to be at once disposed of. He did not think it possible for that House, or a committee of the whole House, to go sufficiently into detail on this subject, to be able to satisfy either the public or themselves. He was of opinion, that it was absolutely necessary that those minute details into which the right hon. Gentleman had gone, should be examined in a Select Committee. He was convinced, that if the House attempted to examine the details of the right hon. Gentleman's plan, as they were now stated, it would be found that the Members could not clearly understand them, and could come to no satisfactory result. The right hon. Gentleman's plan, instead of being a simplified statement of the demands upon the Civil List; was a statement more complicated than ever. The right hon. Gentleman had added to the difficulty by his plan of borrowing from one fund to pay to another, for the purpose of lessening or increasing, according to circumstances, the amount of the Civil List. As far as he had been able to follow the plan of the right hon. Gentleman, he had not been able to approve of it in any degree. It would be difficult for the country to understand what the House voted if Members should consent to the vote in the form in which it was proposed, the right hon. Gentleman had placed in it so many items of expenditure which did not in the least belong to the dignity, comfort, or splendor of the Crown. What was the consequence of this? Why, that if the Civil List was voted in the manner now proposed, the House would appear to be giving to the Crown 970,000/., when, in point of fact, all that the Crown would receive would be found to be comprised in the three first of the classes into which the right hon. Gentleman had divided the whole scheme. He should be inclined to say, that the Civil List of the Crown should extend only to those branches of expenditure which related to the Monarch himself. He could not conceive what addition it was to the splendor, dignity or comfort of his Majesty, to have money paid to him for the mere purpose of
being paid out again, for matters which did not appertain to his Majesty personally, but to the diplomatic service of the country. He did not know why the expenses of Ambassadors, like the charges for Consuls, should not be annually brought under the view of Parliament, in order that Parliament might know that the Ministers really practised the economy that was demanded of them. One inconvenience among the rest, that would arise from the adoption of the right hon. Gentleman's plan, was, that if the change he proposed took place, the House would be in a great state of confusion, part of the supplies of expenditure being taken from the Civil List, and part from the annual votes of the year. In like manner he must say, he could notunderstand why the great Public Officers, the Lords of the Treasury, and the other Officers of State, who had been named together with the right hon. Gentleman himself, should be charged upon the Civil List, when their salaries might as well be paid with other branches of expenditure by an annual vote of that House. It appeared to him that the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman was one which, instead of giving a clear account of the items in the Civil List for the present reign, continued all that confusion which had previously existed, with the exception only of a few trifling Amendments. As the vote on this question was not to be taken to-night, he would not detain the House further than by repeating, that he could not approve of the plan now brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman.
Sir H. Parnell addressed the House in support of the observations of the noble Lord who had just resumed his seaU He was compelled however to acknowledge that like the noble Lord he felt the greatest difficulty in following the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. The saving he mentioned was very trifling, and the House ought to recollect that the estimate of the Civil List for 1820, which had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, was founded on that made in 1815, which was monstrously extravagant. The expenditure of the country was then aU together too large; and prices were much higher than at present. It seemed to him impossible for the House to come to a decision on the merits of the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, without having a further inquiry than it