« ForrigeFortsæt »
he never could consent to such a grant | made to the incomes of all the royal as this. He disliked these attempts to princes, except in the instance of the make the monarchy too expensive for the duke of York's larger income, which had means of the nation, and to provoke com- been settled long before ; and no disparisons between its cost, and that of the tinctive allowance had been required for forms of governments in other countries. the heir presumptive. Indeed, so far as Like his hon. friend, he preferred the the duke of York was concerned, the atmanlier course of meeting the motion tempt to create a precedent for a higher with a direct negative, than calling for income for an heir presumptive must further time to make up his mind upon totally fail; for, at the time when these the vote which he ought to give. allowances were fixed, his royal highness
Mr. Brougham expressed his regret at was not the heir presumptive, the then being obliged to concur in the view taken prince of Wales, his elder-brother, occuof this question by his noble friend, and pying that high station ; nor
was the the other hon. friends who had preceded duke of York so elevated, until after the him. No man could be more willing lamented death of the princess Charlotte, than he was, to lend his humble assist- when no claim of larger income was made ance to every measure which was calcu- in his behalf. The increased income of lated to support, on a just and splendid the duke of York was, therefore, not scale, the state and dignity of the royal estimated by his rank as heir presumpfamily; and if any case of exigency could tive, he not being so at the time, but was be made out to justify the present claim, framed in the year 1792, upon his márhe should have no hesitation to assent to it. riage, and with reference to the scale of But, had ministers attempted to press a case his then necessarily increased establishof exigency? No. The question rested ment. The duke of York received his plainly on this simple statement that increased allowance in 1792, undoubtedly the melancholy event of the demise of the not because he stood in a different reladuke of York had imposed upon the duke tion, as a member of the royal family, of Clarence, as a consequence, the neces- from his younger brothers--not because sity of incurring a greater expenditure, in he was heir presumptive, for he held not maintaining his rank, than he had been that seniority—but solely on account of previously called upon to incur. Where his marriage settlement. This was capawas the proof of this necessity? Where ble of demonstration, by a reference to had it been shown, that his royal highness the discussions upon the subject in the had any estate or dignity necessarily to year 1792, and also in 1806.—It was, support as heir presumptive, which he then, he thought, quite clear that there had not equally to maintain in the life was, in fact, no superior scale of income time of his brother? If it could be shown established, or even recognized by precethat his royal highness's present income dent, for an heir presumptive, as contrawas insufficient for his proper and becom- distinguished from the other younger ing scale of living, and that it was fit and princes of the royal family. Very differreasonable it should be increased now ent, indeed, was the condition of the heir that he had become heir presumptive, apparent. In his case there was clearly, then the case would be different; but the legally, and justly, a superior claim; for chancellor of the Exchequer had made he was called upon to maintain a higher out no such case: he had not even at- and a more responsible station.
The tempted to state it: his claim was there- king and queen, the queen consort, the fore groundless, and must be considered heir apparent, and princess royal, were as untenable. He had said, indeed, that severally distinguished by law from all on former occasions of settling the in- other members of the royal family. It come of the royal family, regard had been was fit, then, when the law raised them had by parliament to the consideration, to marked places of superior privilege and whether or not the prince of the blood dignity, that parliament should give effect was in the immediate succession to the to the constitutional principle of such throne. That assertion was incorrect; selection, by enabling them suitably to for no such distinction had been marked maintain their higher privileges. But no out on the occasions alluded to. Cer- such distinction prevailed as to the heir tainly, none had been taken in 1806, presumptive. He was not called on to when the 6,0001. additional had been support more state than any other junior
branch of the royal family. He was not sourcesma crisis when distress pervaded called on to undergo any extraordinary all ranks of the community, and imperaexpenditure to support his rank; and the tively called upon the representatives of only question, then, ought to be, was he the people to save the last shilling they sufficiently provided for already? It was could retain of the public expenditure ?-surely for those who called now, for the first With reference to the illustrious individual time, for this increase, to make out a case, for whom this grant, though unasked by showing in what the difference consisted in him, was intended, he entirely agreed in the situation of the heir presumptive from the respectful sentiments which had been that which he had previously enjoyed as a expressed towards him. But this was a member of the royal family, and how far question in which, undoubtedly, personal it involved an increase of expenditure ? considerations ought not to be mixed. Viewing the question, therefore, in this True it was, that the duke and duchess of light, it was with great regret that he found Clarence had the least possible reason to himself compelled to call for further time, deprecate the consideration with reference to inquire more maturely into the new cir- to persons ; for they could, at least, upon cumstances in which the heir presumptive public and private grounds, from the unawas supposed to be placed. Something nimous and unequivocal testimony borne had been said of the manner in which the to their character by those who had the grant of 1792 had been conferred ; and best opportunities from personal interthe hon. colonel had urged, that if it were course of knowing it, meet the application not wrong at the former time, it could not of any such personal allusion. Neverthebe improper now. All he should say in less, he repeated, that he deprecated perreply to that argument was this—that very sonal allusion here, for it was foreign to possibly it might have been right in 1792, the present question. The House was now and yet that it was a precedent which it called upon to regulate his royal highness's ould be wropg to follow now.
income upon an increased scale, because one of those who thought, that if the times of his being heir presumptive to the throne. had been as bad in 1792 as they were at There was no reference either to recogpresent, probably the large grant would nized public station, or private character, not have been voted at all; but, whether but a mere assumption of rank. There it was right or wrong, it was no part of was, in fact, no argument whatever to call their present business to inquire, for it for the additional grant. It was, thereclearly failed to furnish a precedent. They fore, with deep regret, that he felt himself were now called upon to add 9,0001. à called upon, by a sense of public duty, to year to the income of a member of the oppose the motion, having heard nothing royal family, at a time of unexampled that could justify him in giving it the sancpublic distress. The hon. colonel had tion of his vote. told them, that this addition would not Mr. Secretary Peel admitted, that there impose a new burthen upon the country ; was no subject so unpleasant as one like but it was a fallacy to say they would not this, which referred to circumstances somesave this 9,0001. a year, and therefore what of a personal nature, and particularly to that extent relieve the public bur- when they applied to the condition of the thens, by retaining the benefit of the royal family. When he was called upon income which had just fallen in by the to justify the proposed grant, he felt the death of the duke of York. The hon. difficulty, if not the impossibility, of colonel asserted, that the country did not demonstrating that 9,0001. a year was the look very
close at these matters, and was sum that ought to be added to the income sure they would have preferred continuing of the present heir presumptive to the to pay the larger income, rather than throne. Indeed, if the case admitted of endure the calamity of his royal highness's so precise a calculation, the details were death. He .concurred with him in this of such a nature, that rather than enter appreciation of the public feeling; and it minutely into them for the purpose of was just and right it should be so: but, demonstration, he would prefer leaving because this saving of income did, in the every gentleman who heard him to draw course of nature, fall in, was it to be the line of estimate in his own mind, and squandered at such a crisis as this, when apply his computation to the amount now the national finances disclosed a deficit of called for. The question was, he thought, so many millions over and above its re- really this. Was an addition of 3,0001. a year to the income of his royal highness tended, that the precedent of the duke of
year to his consort, since he had become because he did not stand, at the time of heir presumptive, a reasonable claim or its arrangement, in the situation of heir prenot?" That, and that only, was the consumptive. Perhaps, arguing the point with sideration into which he had hoped the the precise definition of an abstract quesHouse would have entered. He admitted tion of dry law, that might be true ; but, that the present was a time when the im- practically, the case was different, and in position of any considerable expenditure point of fact, even supposing that the ought, as much as possible, to be avoided. duke of York's larger income did not He likewise admitted, that even the ex- accrue to him as heir presumptive, the pense of the decent splendor of royalty precedent à fortiori applied stronger in itself ought to be closely examined, and favour of the duke of Clarence; for in the not be permitted to run into excess; still former it appeared that, though not standhe would say, that the circumstances of ing in the first degree, that income had the country were not such as to preclude been deemed necessary to support the the adoption of this grant, provided it were royal duke in his marriage establishment. reasonably proportioned to the expenditure He must beg leave to correct the hon, and which the heir presumptive was called learned gentleman in his assertion, that upon, from his high station, to incur. He when the duke of York's income was fixed, repelled the odious charge which the hon. and even in the subsequent arrangements member for Aberdeen had presumed to respecting the establishments of the memcast upon himself and his colleagues, that bers of the royal family, the proximity of they were influenced, in bringing forward his late royal highness to the succession this proposition, by a desire to curry favour to the throne, compared with that of his with the personage next in degree to the younger brothers, had not been taken into reigning monarch, and contrasted that the consideration. Mr. Pitt had expressly unworthy charge with the more candid said—“Do not think that this grant is an inadmission of the hon. and learned gentle- justice to, or hardship upon, the rest of the man opposite, that the real question had royal family.” It was proposed to vote so no reference whatever to personal con- much to the duke of York, and so much siderations, and that he met it upon a to the duchess, making 33,0001. for the sense of public duty alone. He gave that duke, and 4,0001. for the duchess. А hon. and learned gentleman full credit for judgment upon this question must be being influenced by such a motive; and, formed upon the united considerations of was it too much for him to claim in return many circumstances which, as he had for his majesty's ministers, that they had before observed, it was painful to touch recommended this application--upon their upon. Many of them singly might be of own responsibility, and certainly not ad- little importance, but he contended, that vised to do so by the duke of Clarence, the aggregate of them were of considerfrom public considerations alone? He able weight; and, in discussing this subject, could assure the House, that the motion he could not dismiss from his mind, that proceeded from better motives than any when this 37,0001. was granted to the desire to recommend themselves to the duke and duchess of York, the duke was grace and favour of the heir presumptive. in possession of other property arising, it He was ready, then, to put the question was true, from other sources and from on the ground called for by the hon. and other quarters. The income of the duke learned gentleman, and to say, that he of York was nearly 50,0001. a year: it was, honestly believed there would be that he believed, as near as possible, 49,0001. amount of additional expenditure, in the Now, the income of the duke and duchess establishment of his royal highness the of Clarence, who stood in precisely the duke of Clarence, consequent upon his same situation with the duke and duchess being placed in the situation of heir pre- of York, would not, in the event of this sumptive to the throne. He, likewise grant being carried, exceed 38,0001. What believed, that in that very situation, he the hon. and learned gentleman had said would be exposed to claims of private about the law recognizing only the heir benevolence, which, upon grounds of public apparent to the throne, and passing over importance, it was desirable he should be heirs presumptive, was perfectly true. He in a condition to satisfy; but, it was con- was quite as well aware of this fact as the hon, and learned gentleman was ; but why I willingly. But he ought at the same time did the law not recognize heirs presump- to recollect, that the committee which sat tive, and why had the House invariably then, and still sat, at the London tavern, considered them? Could there be any were decidedly of opinion, that no such other reason, except that their claims to measure ought to be adopted. They dethe throne were equally well founded with precated, indeed, any such exertion of the those of heirs apparent? In this case, royal prerogative, as likely to become a were not the claims of the heir presumptive, pernicious precedent; and declared their in all human probability, as well founded conviction, that it was much better that as those of any heir apparent could possibly the funds should be supplied by private be? As to the case of the princess subscription than by public aid. These Charlotte, it must be recollected, that that were the only considerations which had princess was neither heir apparent nor heir influenced him in the advice he then gave, presumptive; and yet her situation induced and in the course he had followed ; and that House to allow greater resources for he could not but regret, that the hon. the maintenance of her rank and station. member, in the opposition which he thought He must therefore say, that he did not proper to give to the present motion, had think this grant of 9,0001. at all too much. chosen to mix up topics which had no If the hon. member for Aberdeen had possible connection with the question; and, thought proper to exaggerate all the cir- instead of following the steps of the hon. cumstances connected with this matter, and learned member and the noble lord, and say that these 9,0001. would furnish who preceded him, and whose opposition bread for many needy and distressed per- and whose protest were founded upon sons, he would answer “ So would every public grounds, had attached to the quesother grant.” And would there not, in all tion arguments and accusations which borprobability, be found distressed objects, dered very strongly upon invidiousness. upon whom such sums could be bestowed ? Mr. Abercromby said, that, in his opiWas not the honour and dignity of the nion, this proposition ought to be consiCrown to be considered, as well as the dered on public grounds. The plain and distresses of individuals ? And yet every simple question was this: The duke and grant to the Crown and to the royal family duchess of Clarence had an income of might be met by the hon. gentleman with about 30,0001. a-year; and he was to precisely the same argument. That hon. ask himself, whether, in the present situagentleman had expressed his astonishment, tion of the country, he should be jusand represented it as disgraceful, that his tified in voting an additional grant of majesty had, by his advice, called in the aid 9,0001. a-year. If any reason had been of charitable individuals to the relief of the assigned for this increase, he should have distresses of the country. Of the relief thus been most willing to have listened to it, obtained, that hon. gentleman, by the bye, and if it had been a satisfactory one, to knew so little, as to call it 6,0001. He have allowed its full force; but, in the abbelieved that nearly 50,0001. had been raised. sence of all reason, either satisfactory or So far, too, was he from considering that the unsatisfactory, and having a public duty advice he had given to his majesty reflected to perform, he should refuse his assent to any disgrace upon him, or upon the the proposition. The chancellor of the government, that, if the same circumstances Exchequer had repeatedly used the exwere unhappily to require the same pression “proximity to the
the throne." remedy, he would not hesitate for a moment This expression he could not understand. to recommend it. So far, indeed, from Was there any reason why the duke of considering that the means which had been Clarence should enter more into public thus adopted, either with respect to the life now than he had done before ? He distress in Ireland, or the more recent would say, that if a prince wished to estaafflictions of this country, were derogatory blish himself in the affections of those who to the character of the government, he would, in all probability, at some future was prepared to contend, that they bore a time, become his subjects, he would effect very different character. Did not the hon. that object in a far better manner by leadmember know, that if it had been thought ing a quiet and retired life, and that he expedient to apply 100,0001., or any other might learn a lesson from the consequences sum, to the distresses of the manufacturing which had resulted from other heirs appadistricts, it might have been had most rent deviating from that line of conduct.
A time more unfavourable than the pre- | be put upon the country in its present dissent could not have been pitched on for tressed state. the introduction of such a measure. He was Mr. Calcraft observed, that it had been convinced that he was about to give an honest agreed by every gentleman, who had and conscientious vote, and that by that vote spoken on the subject, that this was a he showed himself a better courtier than very painful topic. If, however, it had the right hon. gentleman opposite; because been so painful to every one who had adby that vote he established more strongly dressed the committee, it was doubly so the honour and dignity of the Crown. to himself, because in that discussion, he The vote he was about to give would prove must reluctantly differ from those with him to be a far better courtier than the whom he generally agreed. He should, right hon. gentleman who had introduced therefore, proceed to state shortly the this proposition; for it was a vote which, grounds upon which he concurred in the so far from weakening the affections of motion of the chancellor of the Exchequer. the country for the monarchy and all con- And, in the first place, he must declare nected with it, would strengthen its claims that he dissented from his hon, and learnupon the people. As to what had been ed friends upon that point, which was a said about the case of the duke of York, point of opinion only; namely, that a it was impossible to make that case in any prince of the blood can change his situamanner bear
the present. The situa- tion from that of a younger branch of the tion of the late duke of York, in 1792, was royal family, to that of heir presumptive to shortly this; his father was then on the the throne, without being involved in a throne ; his brother was prince of Wales; great additional expenditure. and he himself was neither heir apparent nor clearly of opinion that he could not. Into heir presumptive. If the case of his late the details of that increased expenditure, royal highness was to furnish the argument he would not now attempt to enter ; but, upon which the present proposal was to if he conscientiously thought that such in rest—and the House, upon this question, creased expense would be incurred by the was to be governed by precedent, - illustrious person in question, he should that was a precedent which fell short, as not be an honest man, if he did not vote regarded the subject matter of the pro- accordingly. But he did think so, and, posed vote : for, if the case of his late therefore, he should, most unquestionably, royal highness was to be taken as a pre- concur in this vote. He had another reacedent at all, then the House ought to go son for doing so. He could not dismiss one step further in this grant to assimilate all consideration of precedent on this ocit; but that that further step should be casion. He could not but remember, taken, no one had any desire. But the that when the late duke of York, whose truth was, the present case did not at all death was so universally deplored, stood follow the other. The words “proximity in the same situation as the duke of to the Crown” might have found their way Clarence stood in now, he had an infinitely into such former grant; but what was the larger income than his royal highness true meaning of the word “ proximity” in would possess, even with the addition of such a situation, certainly did not now ap- the grant now in question. Nor could he pear. It was a word of so vague a significa- forget, that the late princess Charlotte-tion, and conveyed to his mind, so in- who did not stand at the time in the same definite an idea, that, in viewing the pre- near relation to the Crown, but was merely sent question, he entirely discarded it from daughter of the regent, with, undoubtedly, his mind. Then, again, as to the case the probability of succession to the Throne of the princess Charlotte of Wales—that in her favour--had an income allotted her was one, likewise, essentially different from of 50,0001. per annum. Why, then, not this. Her father was Regent at the time, only had that which they were now called with every probability of actually succeeding upon to do, been done in those other cases to the throne; and she, herself, stood in already; but he must be allowed to rethe situation of heiress presumptive to the mark, that, in the present instance, it throne. This being so, her case could not ought to be done. Not only were the
reprebe considered an extension of the principle cedents for the proceeding, but he must upon which the present grant was asked contend that they would pass a slight for. At all events, he was quite satisfied upon the duke of Clarence, under present that this additional burthen pught not to circumstances, if they did not raise his in,