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with independent nations, and giving them an equal trade to our own colonies. Here too the novelty of this great, but arduous and critical improvement of system, would make you conceive that the anxious solicitude of the noble lord in the blue ribbon, would have wholly destroyed the plan of summer recreation of that board, by references to examine, compare, and digest matters for parliamentYou would imagine, that Irish commissioners of customs and English commissioners of customs, and commissioners of excise, that merchants and manufacturers of ev. ery denomination, had daily crowded their outer rooms. Nil horum. The perpetual virtual adjournment, and the unbroken sitting vacation of that board, was no more disturbed by the Irish than by the plantation commerce, or any other commerce. The same matter made a large part of the business which occupied the house for two sessions before ; and as our ministers were not then mellowed by the mild, emollient, and engaging blandishments of our dear sister, into all the tenderness of unqualified surrender, the bounds and limits of a restrained benefit naturally required much detailed management and positive regulation. But neither the qualified propositions which were received, nor those other qualified propositions which were rejected by ministers, were the least concern of theirs, or were they ever thought of in the business.
It is therefore, Sir, on the opinion of parliament, on the opinion of the ministers, and even on their own opinion of their inutility, that I shall propose to you to suppress the beard of trade and plantations ; and to recommit all its business to the council from whence it was very improvidently taken ; and which business, (whatever it might be) was much better done, and without any expence; and indeed where in effect it may all come at last. Almost all that deserves the name of business there, is the reference of the plantation acts, to the opinion of gentlemen of the law. But all this may be done, as the Irish business of the same nature has always been done, by the council, and with a reference to the attorney and solicitor general.
There are some regulations in the household, relative to the officers of the yeomen of the guards, and the officers and band of gentlemen pensioners, which I shall likewise
submit to your consideration, for the purpose of regulating establishments, which at present are much abused.
I have now finished all, that for the present I shall trouble you with on the plan of reduction. I mean next to propose to you the plan of arrangement, by which I mean to appropriate and fix the civil list money to its several services according to their nature; for I am thoroughly sensible, that if a discretion, wholly arbitrary, can be exercised over the civil list revenue, although the most effectual methods may be taken to prevent the inferiour departments from exceeding their bounds, the plan of reformation will still be left very imperfect. It will not, in my opinion, be safe to permit an entirely arbitrary discretion even in the first lord of the treasury himself; it will not be safe to leave with him a power of diverting the publick money from its proper objects, of paying it in an irregular course, or of inverting perhaps the order of time, dictated by the proportion of value, which ought to regulate his application of payment to service.
I am sensible too, that the very operation of a plan of economy which tends to exonerate the civil list of expensive establishments, may in some sort defeat the capital end we have in view, the independence of parliament ; and that in removing the publick and ostensible means of influence, we may increase the fund of private corruption. I have thought of some methods to prevent an abuse of surplus cash under discretionary application; I mean the heads of secret service, special service, various payments, and the like ; which I hope, will answer, and which in due time I shall lay before you. Where I am unable to limit the quantity of the sums to be applied, by reason of the uncertain quantity of the service, I endeavour to confine it to its line ; to secure an indefinite application to the definite service to which it belongs ; not to stop the progress of expence in its line, but to confine it to that line in which it professes to move.
But that part of my plan, Sir, upon which I principally rest, that, on which I rely for the purpose of binding up, and securing the whole, is to establish a fixed and invariable order in all its payments, which it shall not be permitted to the first lord of the treasury, upon any pretence whatsoever,
to depart from. I therefore divide the civil list payment into nine classes, putting each class forward according to the importance or justice of the demand, and to the inability of the persons entitled to enforce their pretensions; that is, to put
those first who have the most efficient offices, or claim the justest debts; and, at the same time, from the character of that description of men, from the retiredness, or the remoteness of their situation, or from their want of weight and power to enforce their pretensions, or from their being entirely subject to the power of a minister, without any reciprocal power of aweing, ought to be the most considered, and are the most likely to be neglected; all these I place in the highest classes : I place in the lowest those whose functions are of the least importance, but whose persons or rank are often of the greatest power and influence.
In the first class I place the judges, as of the first importance. It is the publick justice that holds the community together ; the ease, therefore, and independence of the judges, ought to supersede all other considerations, and they ought to be the very last to feel the necessities of the state, or to be obliged either to court or bully a minister for their right : they ought to be as weak solicitors on their own demands, as strenuous assertors of the rights and liberties of others. The judges are, or ought to be, of a reserved and retired character, and wholly unconnected with the political world.
In the second class I place the foreign ministers. The judges are the links of our connections with one another ; the foreign ministers are the links of our connection with other nations. They are not upon
spot to demand payinent, and are therefore the most likely to be, as in fact they have sometimes been, entirely neglected, to the great disgrace, and perhaps the great detriment of the nation.
In the third class, I would bring all the tradesmen who supply the crown by contract, or otherwise.
In the fourth class, I place all the domestick servants of the king, and all persons in efficient offices, whose salaries do not exceed two hundred pounds a year.
In the fifth, upon account of honour, which ought to give place to nothing but charity and rigid justice, I would place
the pensions and allowances of his majesty's royal family, comprehending of course the queen, together with the stated allowance of the privy purse.
In the sixth class, I place those efficient offices of duty, whose salaries may exceed the sum of two hundred pounds a year.
In the seventh class, that mixed mass the whole pension list.
In the eighth, the offices of honour about the king.
In the ninth, and the last of all, the salaries and pensions of the first lord of the treasury himself, the chancellor of the exchequer, and the other commissioners of the treasury.
If by any possible mismanagement of that part of the revenue which is left at discretion, or by any other mode of prodigality, cash should be deficient for the payment of the lowest classes, I propose, that the amount of those salaries where the deficiency may happen to fall, shall not be carried as debt to the account of the succeeding year, but that it shall be entirely lapsed, sunk, and lost ; so that government will be enabled to start in the race of every new year, wholly unloaded, fresh in wind and in vigour. Hereafter, no civil list debt can ever come upon the publick. And those who do not consider this as saving, because it is not a certain sum, do not ground their calculations of the future on their experience of the past.
I know of no mode of preserving the effectual execution of any duty, but to make it the direct interest of the executive officer that it shall be faithfully performed. Assuming, then, that the present vast allowance to the civil list is perfectlý adequate to all its purposes, if there should be any failure, it must be from the mismanagement or neglect of the first commissioner of the treasury; since, upon the proposed plan, there can be no expence of any consequence, which he is not himself previously to authorize and finally to control. It is therefore just, as well as politick, that the loss should attach upon the delinquency.
If the failure from the delinquency should be very considerable, it will fall on the class directly above the first lord of the treasury, as well as upon himself and his board. It will fall, as it ought to fall, upon offices of no primary im
portance in the state; but then it will fall upon persons, whom it will be a matter of no siight importance for a minister to provoke—it will fall upon persons of the first rank and consequence in the kingdom; upon those who are nearest to the king, and frequently have a more interiour credit with him than the minister himself. It will fall upon masters of the horse, upon lord chamberlains, upon lord stewards, upon grooms of the stole, and lords of the bed chamber. The household troops form an army, who will be ready to mutiny for want of pay, and whose mutiny will be really dreadful to a commander in chief. A rebellion of the thirteen lords of the bedchamber would be far more terrible to a minister, and would probably affect his power more to the quick, than a revolt of thirteen colonies. What an uproar such an event would create at court! What petitions and committees, and associations, would it not produce ! Bless me! what a clattering of white sticks and yellow sticks would be about his head—what a storm of gold keys would fly about the ears of the minister-what a shower of Georges, and Thistles, and medals, and collars of S.S. would assail him at his first entrance into the antichamber, after an insolvent Christmas quarter. A tumult which could not be appeased by all the harmony of the new year's ode. Rebellion it is certain there would be ; and rebellion may not now indeed be so critical an event to those who engage in it, since its price is so correctly ascertained at just a thousand pound.
Sir, this classing, in my opinion, is a serious and solid security for the performance of a minister's duty. Lord Coke says, that the staff was put into the treasurer's hand to enable him to support himself when there was no money in the exchequer, and to beat away importunate solicitors. The method, which I propose, would hinder him from the necessity of such a broken staff to lean on, or such a miserable weapon for repulsing the demands of worthless suitors, who, the noble lord in the blue ribbon knows, will bear many hard blows on the head, and many other indignities, before they are driven from the treasury. In this plan, he is furnished with an answer to all their importunity; an answer far more conclusive, than if he had knocked them down with his staff—“Sir, (or my Lord), you are calling for my