Imatges de pÓgina

the act, all ministers had chosen to the government of the country was exercise that responsibility in a dif. in future to be carried on, or of the ferent

way from that which the no- policy by which it would be directed. ble earl now avowed. According to He was not apprized of any power the statement, which he had in his by which the existing civil list could hand, of what occurred on the ac- be applied to the purpose of a new cession of Queen Anne, of George I., reign. It appeared to him very George II., and George III., in ge- strange that Parliament should be neral only a few days had passed, dissolved before any provision was and in no instance had many weeks made on so important a subject. He elapsed, before Parliament proceeded was satisfied that there was some to the consideration. Parliament reason for all this beyond what had assembled on the 8th of March, on been assigned, and that no minister the accession of Queen Anne, and on would adopt such a proceeding for the 9th proceeded to the considera- his mere amusement. The noble lord tion of the civil list. The accession talked of the inconvenience which of George I. took place on the 1st of would be produced by keeping the August, and Parliament took the country in its present state with restate of the civil list into consi- ference to an approaching general deration on the 5th. George II. election, and appeared to think the ascended the throne on June 11, beginning of May an excellent time 1727, and on July 11th the consider- for entering upon public business. ation of the civil list took place. In He had always been taught to believe the case of his late Majesty, who the exact contrary, and his experience succeeded to the throne on the 25th confirmed this belief. At such of October, 1760, the civil list was period of the year it was vain to brought before Parliament on the expect a full attendance, and public 5th of November. Thus all prece- business would become a dead letter. dents were against the noble earl, But the noble lord had even found and he had assigned no sufficient out that it was convenient to have reason for departing from the estab- an election at the same time that the lished course.

assizes were holding; and was it In the Commons, Mr Tierney ob- possible then to doubt that he must served :-In all former cases of ex- have some reasons, of which the altation to the throne, it had been House at present knew nothing ? judged proper to bring down a very He was aware, however, that all opdifferent kind of message from the position was useless, and that it was Sovereign, and to make some com- impossible to secure attention. The munication to Parliament indicative heads of honourable members were of his Majesty's feelings and inten- now all in the country, and filled tions, and of the general policy to be with cockades, music, and returning adopted under a new reign. What, officers. He was contending, howhowever, was the amount of the ever, for a constitutional principle, communication which the House had that the Crown ought to have no reactually received ? They were dryly venue independent of Parliament. told, that it was deemed convenient Lord Castlereagh vehemently deto postpone all public business, and nied the allegation of ministers hathat they therefore were to be turned ving any intention or motive beyond about their business. No view was what they had openly avowed. Mr afforded of the principle upon which Brougham, however, after decla

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ring his acquiescence in any mea- their meeting at this moment intersure which increased the frequency fere with the country gentlemen's of elections, roundly asserted :-No Christmas ? No such thing. It was man could doubt what the real rea- a singular fact, that they had asson was, not for dissolving Parlia- sembled at the very time which ment, but for postponing the consi- ministers themselves designated for deration of the civil list. There was the transaction of public business. not a gentleman in the House who Here they were met, according to would not laugh at him, if he doubt- law, with a much longer period beed that the short account of the mat. fore them than the transaction of the ter, instead of going over the prolix public business, in its regular course, statement of the noble lord, was required. He was very far from merely this that it was deemed disputing the power and prerogatives more convenient not to broach that of the Crown, if it even dissolved question in the present Parliament, one Parliament this week, and anbut to discuss it in the new; because other the week following. At the it was a more handy thing for mini- same time, he entirely agreed with sters to propose it in the Parliament ' his learned friend, that ministers about to be formed, rather than to were as much responsible for the submit it to, and have it considered advice they gave to the Crown on in that Parliament which was on this, as for that which they offered on its death-bed, and could not, at the any other subject. utmost, exist longer than a few Notwithstanding the warmth of months.

these debates, no attempt was made Mr Macdonald, on the other hand, to divide either House against the insisted, that such an uninterrupted motion, which went to present an series of precedents ought not to be address to his Majesty, approving of passed over without some special the intention expressed in his mesTeason assigned. Why was it that sage to call a new Parliament, and now, for the first time, it was not engaging to make such arrangements formally notified to Parliament that as might be necessary for carrying the civil list had expired? Could it on the public business till the session be supposed, in this instance, that should commence. the House would not most cordially Ministers now proceeded, without assent to any arrangement with the delay, to bring forward the arrangeCrown ?-that they would not at ments which they judged necessary once agree to make such a provision for the above purpose. Several votes as would be honourable for the peo- of money were therefore proposed, ple to grant, and worthy of the of which the most important was Crown to receive? There could be one of £200,000 for the discharge of but one other reason for not bringing pensions, annuities, and other paythe subject forward. It was not ments, which would have been connected with economy; but was chargeable on the consolidated fund this—that probably there might be and civil list, if the demise of his something in the views and inten- late Majesty had not taken place. tions of ministers that would not This gave occasion to introduce a stand the test when a general election subject already felt to be of extreme was approaching. Had the Parlia- delicacy, though no one yet foresaw ment met at an uncommon or incon- theportentous issues to which it would renient period of the year? Did lead. Mr Hume had already broached the question, and observed with deri- embarrassment in consequence of the sion, that ministers, amid their os- event which had occurred. tentatious professions of attachment Mr Tierney regretted that the to the House of Brunswick, had subject had been introduced, but never made the slightest allusion to conceived it necessarily arose from that illustrous person who now held the omission of the Queen's name in the name and dignity of Queen. It the church service. He would not was not his intention to find fault grant to a person labouring under a with the exercise of any power be- heavy cloud of suspicion any portion longing to his Majesty for regulating of public money until that suspicion the forms of the Church in the per- was removed. He could not suppress formance of divine service, although his conviction that somebody had it was certain that very considerable been scandalously ill used-either difference of opinion was entertained the King had been betrayed, or the upon that point, and that the late Queen had been insulted. He would order had occasioned much surprise. not consult any feelings, nor yield to He understood a proposition was to

any supposed deli cy, which would be submitted in the committee for a impose silence upon him after what vote of credit to the amount of one had taken place. It was time to fourth of the civil list. This, how. speak out openly and honestly. He, ever, he apprehended would not suf

as well as many others, had certainfice to provide an adequate establish- ly heard rumours extremely injurious ment for the Queen, whose former to the Queen's character-rumours allowance, as Princess of Wales, had which, if true, he had no hesitation ceased at the moment of his late Ma- in saying, proved her unworthy to jesty's death. Was she then, the sit upon the British throne. But it Queen of this country, to be left was impossible for him to act upon wandering in beggary through fo- rumour, upon what might be mere reign lands, or would not Parliament idle calumny; this would be deemed rather make a provision for her sup- gross injustice in the case of the port in a manner suitable to her rank humblest individual. It was, howand station ? He submitted, there ever, asserted, that a commission had fore, to his Majesty's ministers, whe- been sent out for the purpose of col. ther it would not be right to propose lecting evidence on this subject. a distinct allowance, and must con. Was that true? and if so, did the tend that they were bound both in noble lord imagine, that, with such justice and honour to disclose to the evidence in his pocket, he was not House all their views upon this sub- bound to produce it to Parliament ject.

before he applied for a vote of moLord Castlereagh, while he de. ney to the person whom it affected? clared his readiness to communicate If the rumours to which he alluded any information which could be use- had any foundation, it was the duty ful, conceived that he would best of Parliament to take some steps in consult the feelings of the House order to rescue his Majesty from the and of the public, by declining to go degradation of sharing his throne into any detail on this topic. He with such a partner. If they were only gave assurance, that the high false, there could be as little doubt person in question would experience that it was their duty to maintain no additional difficulty or personal her Majesty in all her rights and


hic money.

dignities. He now called upon them in either of condolence or congratulathe name of justice, and in the name tion were presented to her. As little of the English monarchy, to give could she be affected by the noble Parliament some information, and lord preferring to call her a high to submit the whole case to its in- personage, rather than to describe quiry. He pledged himself most so- her by the title to which she had lemnly, that, if a case should be made succeeded. Mr B. therefore conout against the Queen, he would se- ceived there was nothing to prevent cond whatever measure might be re- the advance of money to her Majesty quisite to set his Majesty's mind at upon the civil list, even though her restaShould no case, on the con- name should not be introduced. He trary, be made out, it might and must, at the same time, state dismust be considered as a misfortune, tinctly, that he was wholly unacthat parties so connected, and in so quainted with any grounds of suspielevated a station, could not live to- cion. He refused his ears to all gether; yet this, as navoidable, such rumours; as long as she was must be borne. The Queen of this the King's consort, he knew and country, however, she must then be should treat her only in the characconsidered ; and out of the mouths ter of Queen-consort. He was wholly of the gentlemen opposite must that ignorant of any inquiries that had name proceed before he would con- been instituted; he listened not to sent to vote one shilling of the pub- their reported results ; nor would he

suffer his mind to receive any sinister This speech of Mr Tierney in- impressions. But if a charge should volved admissions which were ex- ever be brought forward, he would ceedingly inconvenient and disagree. deal with it as became an honest able to the friends of her Majesty, member of Parliament; and he would Mr Brougham, whom his situation endeavour to do justice between the rendered her natural defender, rose, parties most concerned; though, God stating, that he differed entirely from knew, they were not the only parties his right honourable friend in the that were concerned. Until that view which he had taken of this un- moment, big with importance, with fortunate subject; and it was quite unspeakable importance to the parnew to him to learn that any Parlia- ties, with an importance of which mentary recognition, and much less those who were ignorant of the case any mode of speaking in Parliament, could form no conception-until, he or that any ceremonial of the church repeated, that moment should arrive, was at all essential to make out the his lips were sealed. The House title of a Queen, or to vindicate the might, however, in justice, recollect rights appertaining to that character. -in justice to her whose character According to his understanding of had been so freely dealt with on one the constitution, she who was the side, and whose name even had been wedded wife of a King regnant, was suppressed on the other, and without eo ipso, Queen-consort ; and her forming any premature opinion, claim to that title was as indisputable that, throughout the whole period of as that of the King himself. It was her past tribulation, she had never not the less so because she was been slow either to meet or to repel prayed for in no liturgy; or because accusation. It was not, therefore, too her name appeared in no order of much to give credit to her now, for Council ; or because no addresses having the same alacrity in underrespective

taking, and the same facility in of the House, although her political making good, her defence. Never situation may be changed.-But Mr was there a question in which tem- Tierney retorted : She has ceased to per and moderation were so indispen. be Princess of Wales; there is no such sable ; the voice of party ought to person. How, then, I ask, can this be extinct: for no man could calcu- resolution grant an annuity to an inlate the consequences which might dividual not originally in the contemfollow.

plation of Parliament? I know the Notwithstanding this, when the right honourable gentleman must not vote came under discussion, Mr Tier- mention the word Queen. I am quite ney demanded how, under this vote, aware of that. I should be


glad provision could bemadeforthe Queen. to hear the right honourable gentleThe Chancellor of the Exchequer man use the word, and I should be observed :- If the demise of his late still better pleased if I could get him Majesty had not taken place, an an- to record it on the journals. nuity, under the act of Parliament, The two honourable members thus would have been payable as to the continued to reassert their Princess of Wales; and the resolu. positions, while Mr Hume urged: tion now before the House will un- What reason is there, I wish to know, doubtedly empower the Treasury for not stating specifically, that the still to continue that payment to the annuity formerly granted to the Prin. individual.

cess of Wales shall in future be paid Mr Tierney.- In the first place, I to her Majesty the Queen ? By such totally deny the power to grant this a statement the objection of the right annuity; because the grant depend- honourable gentleman will at once be ed on the life of the King. It stood obviated. Mr Lushington endeavouron a particular footing ; it had refer- ed to shew, that this, in point of form, ence to the continuance of the King's would render necessary the insertion life, and was not attached to the par- of the names of all the other persons ticular person whose rank would be concerned ; and after all this skiraffected by that event. Besides, who mishing, no opposition was finally is to receive this annuity? There is made to the vote. now no such person as the Princess On another ground, these votes of Wales. If they intended to grant were the subject of a pretty serious to her Majesty that which had previ- discussion in the Upper House. Lord ously been conferred on the Princess Lauderdale contended, (February 24) of Wales, words to that effect ought that the granting of sums by the Comto be introduced; and if the right mons, which could not be approprihonourable gentleman advances one ated, nor consequently come before penny, under the authority of that re- their Lordships during the present solution, for the service adverted to, Parliament, was a manifest breach of he will be guilty of a great offence their privileges; and, unless noticed against the House of Commons. The in some shape or other, would form Chancellor, however, insisted in re- a most pernicious precedent. He perply: An alteration of station can- fectly well knew, that when sums not divest the individual of a local and were voted in a committee of supply, personal interest in the grant; and it was the practice to apply certain therefore the annuity will be payable portions of the money so voted to parto the individual, under the authority ticular purposes; but then, this was

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