Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

with deference as well as with attention. He trusted there were some, of whom he did not hesitate to profess himself of the number, who think that they do not deviate from the path of constitutional consistency, by presuming to judge for themselves, without stooping to complete subjugation to party influence. Sir Henry Parnell wished to know from some one minister of the crown, why, upon this occasion of calling the attention of Parliament by the Speech from the throne, the situation of the Catholics of Ireland had been, as usual, wholly omitted. It was to no purpose to treat the Catholic guestion as one of no importance: it had for the last eighteen years been by far the most imo one that had come beore parliament, and would so continue to be. No one could deny that the Catholics had just cause to complain of the manner in which the engagements made to them at the time of the Union

had been violated, and the various pretexts by which the settlement of their question had been avoided. This was a question which, of all others, ought not to be left to time and chance; for the exclusion of millions of his majesty's subjects from their constitutional rights ought to be justified by some sound and visible principle of public policy, or it became an act of flagrant injustice to continue it. Mr. Tierney said, that it was. not his intention to oppose the motion of an address, or to detain the House with observations. of his own, after the very able speech which had been delivered by his honourable friend behind him. His object in now rising was merely to observe, that by consenting to the address, he did not bar É. from all possibility of entering, at a future period, on the subjects alluded to in the Speech. The Address was then agreed to without opposition,

CHAP. Commons.

CHAPTER II.

Discussions respecting the person to whose care the trust of his Majesty's person should be committed; carried on by the Lords and

N January 25th, the Earl of Liverpool having moved the order of the day relative to the speech of the Lords Commissioners, and the death of the Queen, mentioned their purpose to commit the care of his Majesty's erson to that individual to whom it was most proper the trust should be consigned ; and this o he did not doubt would e found in his royal Highness the Duke of York. It was his intention, therefore, to introduce a bill for placing the eustody of the King's person in the hands of the Duke of York, subjeet to the assistance of a council. A bill for this purpose was then read a first time, and ordered to be printed. On the 26th of January, when the second reading of the bill was ordered, Lord Holland took notice of what he termed an imfo in imperio, which would e established in the person of the Duke of York, with respect to all the offices on the establishment which it was intended to confer upon him. The Earl of Liverpool, in iving an explanation of the noble ord’s query, said, that if the appointment made by the bill appeared proper, the conclusion to be drawn would be, that all the

[ocr errors]

patronage, be it more or less, which belonged to the office, ought to be vested in the individual named in the bill. But in fact it was intended that the establishment should undergo a reduction, upon which principle the bill would be founded; but as to the details of that reduction, they had no connection with the present bill ; which would come first before the other House, and in the usual course of business would be brought under the consideration of their lordships. Some further diseussion then took place, in which lord Holland said, that he could not accede to the principle so broadly laid down by the noble secretary of state, that all the patronage of the establishment ought to be vested in the person to whom the care of the king's person was intrusted. The bill was then read a second time. At the third reading of the bill, Jan. 27th, Lord Holland said, that he wished it to be distinctly understood, that he did not object to vesting the care and custody of the king's person in the duke of York, whom he undoubtedly thought from his station, his high character, and the relation in which he stood to his majesty, |

majesty, to be the fittest person who could be chosen for that high trust; but he still thought that the bill was, by the clause relative to the Windsor establishment, made inconsistent, and that to render it an intelligent piece of legislation, it was absolutely necessary that the clause should be struck out. Their lordships' would recollect that it was not the first time the noble earl had changed an opinion, after intimating that opinion in that House. And the gave some examples of such a change. On a former occasion, when he (lord Holland) thought the Windsor establishment much too large for any purposes of comfort to our afflicted monarch, lords of the bed-chamber started up to say, that they who had stuck by the king in his prosperity, would not desert him in his adversity; and that they would not take awa

one iota from the splendor j. surrounded their sovereign. What security was there now, that lords of the bed-chamber might not again start up, to declare that they would not take away any of the splendor which surrounded the monarch? Surely it became

the House to pause before they

sanctioned an establishment, without knowing of what that establishment was to consist. The Earl of Liverpool observed, that their lordships were now only proceeding to legislate on a part of the subject upon which no difference of opinion existed. They were all agreed as to the propriety of establishing the custody of the king's person in one of the royal family, and also, that the duke of York should be the person appointed.

They were further agreed in vesting in him the establishment to be settled upon him in consei. of such appointment. A ifference of opinion might arise with respect to the amount of the establishment; but the best way of proceeding would be to appoint the duke of York in the first instance, and to leave the other subject for a future occasion. The noble lord had objected against giving to the duke of York the patronage of the establishment, when they did not know to what it was to be reduced. But the question was, whether they would refuse to the duke being custos persona, the privileges that belonged to the character in which they were agreed that he should be placed. Lord Holland said, that he did not join issue with the noble earl. In one word, his objection was this; that if they agreed to the clause in its present shape, without any qualification, they would allow a principle of larger extent than the noble lord would himself, upon reflection, be willin to recognize. Having thus .# his opinion, he would not give their lordships the trouble of dividing. The amendment was then negatived. The earl of Liverpool having now to propose filling up the blank left by the death of lord Ellenborough, moved the appointment of marquis Camden. Lord Holland concurred most heartily in the motion, and said he was the fittest person that could be selected. The bill then went through the committee. On the 4th of February, a message message was sent by the Priuce Regent to the House of Commons, apprising them, that the sum of 58,000l. per annum, which was appropriated to the maintenance of the establishment, and to the support of the honor and dignity of her late majesty, having become disposable by his Royal Highness for the general purposes of the civil list, the Prince Regent places this sum at the disposal .# parliament: he thinks it at the same time incumbent upon him to state, that there exist certain claims upon a part of this saving which he recommends to the justice and liberality of the House of Commons, being founded on the faithful services of the persons who form the separate establishment of her late majesty, and are limited to these services. The Prince Regent is satisfied that he may confidently rely on the loyal attachment of the House of Commons to enable him, upon the reduction of that establishment, to grant to the several individuals belonging to it such allowances as it has been usual for the crown to bestow on former occasions, when the royal family has been visited with a similar affliction. Lord Castlereagh then moved an address of thanks to his Royal Highness for his message, assuring him that the House would proceed to take the same into their immediate consideration. The motion was agreed to. Lord Castlereagh then again rose, and after a due notice of the bill brought down from the House of Lords, the effect of which was, to nominate the duke of York custos of the king's

person, he adverted to the second part of the question, which it would be necessary for him to be fuller in opening. (Lord Castlereagh). The sums which parliament had now to dispose of were 100,000l. which had been appropriated to the Windsor establishment; 58,000/. out of the civil list, which had been appropriated to the maintenance of the queen; and 10,000l. which had been granted to her majesty, to defray the additional expense to which she had been subject in the discharge of her duty as custos of the king’s person. This last sum he would propose should be continued to his royal highness the duke of York as custos. Out of the remaining 158,000l., the House would wish to know what would be the saving. It was proposed that 50,000l. should be appropriated to the support of the Windsor establishment. The saving therefore would be 50,000l. on this establishment, and 58,000l. on that of the queen, but this last sum would be burthened with the salaries to the servants of her late majesty. These salaries were about 25,000l. so that the immediate saving on the two establishments, which were to be continued to the servants during their life, was 83,000l. After the best consideration which the Prince Regent's ministers had given to the subject, they did not think that they should do their duty, if they left a less sum for the Windsor establishment

than 50,000l. a year. It should be mentioned, that Lord C. soon after the commencement of his speech, declared his intention to be, to: 6. he meant eventually to refer the whole subject to a committee of the whole House; but as there were considerations of detail which could not conveniently be discussed in that manner, he intended on that night to nominate a select committee to which the estimates might be referred, leaving them to report it to the House. His lordship, on the conclusion of his speech, moved the names of the members of whom the committee should be constituted, which seem to have been fairly divided among the different parties in the House. Their number was 21. Mr. Long Wellesley, after some remarks on the state of his majesty, who, he thought, ought to enjoy all the personal splendor which was due to royalty, said that he had one or two questions to put to the noble lord. He had said, that the same salary which had been given to the queen, should now be given to the duke of York, for the care of the royal person. He did not conceive why this should be the case. He remembered the cause assigned for a sum of 10,000l. to be given to her majesty, as a remuneration for certain extra expenses which she might incur; but now, without the assignment of any similar cause, the same sum was to be allowed to the duke of York. He wished therefore to know, and he thought the country should know, why different reasons should be assigned in 1812, and in 1819 for the same act. If the sum was to be given to the royal duke as custos personae, let it be so stated, but let it not be understood as given

for any other purpose. He wished also to know, from the noble lord, whether if this situation were to be given to the duke of York, it was intended to continue him in the high situation which at present he holds as commanderin-chief. He was as ready as an man to admit the services whic the duke of York had rendered to the army; but he confessed that he himself did not think that he should be performing the duty he owed as a member of that House, if he did not state, that in the present situation of the country, and at a time when a constitutional jealousy ought to be exercised with respect to the powers which might become vested in the individual who held the chief command in the army, he was jealous of the principle which would confide two such important trusts in one hand. Lord Castlereagh said, that as the extra sum given to her ma-. jesty was intended as a remuneration for her habits of life being altered by becoming custos personae, so the same principle was followed up by bestowing the same sum of 10,000l. on the duke of York. With regard to the other observation respecting the royal duke holding two such important trusts, he was not aware of any thing which should prevent his . highness as commander-in-chief of the army, from accepting the care of his royal father’s person; and he was certain that he could not convey more melancholy tidings to the House and the country, than that it should be thought necessary to remove his royal highness from a situation in which he had gained so

« ZurückWeiter »