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narrow compass indeed; it was little colonies appeared to him very extramore than å police office, and there ordinary. 'He thought the nation enwere two under-secretaries to manage titled at least to an inquiry into this it. By abolishing this office, there subject.—Mr Wilberforce declared, would be a saving of L.12,000 a year. that from all he knew and heard, the

Mr Goulburn contended that the office alluded to was overloaded with business of the colonies had so much business, and the home department increased, as to render a separate office equally so. It was, in his opinion, es. indispensable. It was difficult to give sentially necessary that the superinany statement on the subject which tendance of our colonial concerns might not be open to ridicule; but, in should constitute the business of the 14 years from 1768 to 1782, the num. distinct, efficient, and dignified gober of pages filled in the books of entry vernment. for twelve colonies were 3189. In an On a division, the large majority of equal period, from 1802 to 1816, the 190 to 87 appeared against the motioa pages of entry for the same colonies of Mr Tierney. were 6098. The business in the home On the 6th of May another grand office was also greatly increased, and attack was made (by Mr Lambton) on he might say the same of all the of the subject of the expences incurred in fices. He believed one reason was, the Mr Canning's mission to Lisbon. He diffusion of education and intelligence; should confine himself to state facts, every person could now address repre- and it was not his intention to implie sentations to the offices by letter, and cate a particular individual, but to these were very numerous. The abo. make out such a case as would render lition of the slave trade formed the it manifest, that his Majesty's minisbusiness of one whole office; and in the ters had been guilty of lavishing away anxiety and vigilance necessary for the the public money. It was on all hands due enforcement of this object, ample acknowledged, that, after the war, the room was found for talents and indus- mission to Lisbon was reduced to a try. There was also the care of legis- mere job, which would be, if possible, lating for each particular colony. To more fully exposed, if the House had all of them, English laws and English the papers on its table. The honour. principles were to be recommended, able member entered into a statement yet in such a manner as not to clash of the motives which induced the serwith local feelings and prejudices. To vants of the crown to send the present watch the times and opportunities, to member for Liverpool to Lisbon, and select the

proper modes and instru- he read two letters from Lord Strang. ments for effecting these improvements, ford to the Secretary of State, intirequired the vigilant exercise of consi. mating it was the intention of the derable powers. He could not think Prince Regent of Portugal to return so ill of the country as that it would to Europe ; but it turned out to be sacrifice the welfare of the colonies, the fact, that his Royal Highness in and the happiness of thousands, for a dulged no such design. The plain saving of L.12,000.-Mr Ponsonby statement of the case was, that it was did not see how, when one office had found necessary, for political purposes, conducted the business, both of war to nominate this honourable gentlemau and the colonies, the same establish. to that station, and to accommodate ment should be

necessary

for the colo- him with an annual stipend of L.14,000 nies alone. The idea of the secretary a-year. He succeeded a deserving pub. of state being the legislator for the lic officer, (Mr Sydenham,) who had

1

only a salary of L.5000, and continued three months of awful preparation, to at Lisbon, till he received L.18,000 find so strong a phalanx opposed to of the public money, for doing nothing. him, and so many of the leaders of that

Lord Castlereagh agreed, that if phalanx hanging back without stating the case could be made out satisfac. manfully what the charges were they torily which had been so boldly and had to impute to him, was peculiar inbroadly stated by the honourable gen. deed. He then entered into a statetleman, he and his colleagues must fall ment of the expences of various other not only under the displeasure of the ambassadors, particularly that of Lord House, but be exposed to the repro- Charles Stewart, who had expende bation of the whole country. He con- ed from April 1813, to April 1814, tended that the expence of the mission L31,200. He next went into an exwas greatly overstated, it being only planation of the mission immediately L.8200 a year, and in truth, the ac- connected with himself. Having protual expence was not more than had ceeded to Lisbon, under the restriction been granted by the House for the of L.6000 per annum allowance, with employment of a minister of the se- out knowing how far that sum would cond order. This government acted go, but with a desire to try—this, under the view that the Prince Regent with an allowance of a further sum, would return to his European domi. made the whole sum nominally L.8200, nions. The return of his Royal High. and this sum he intended should be suf. ness was of much importance, and was ficient for all his purposes. But he urged as far as decency would allow, found there were deductions at home, by his Majesty's ministers ; so that it amounting to 28 per cent. so that would have been unpardonable on their he was compelled to forego the line part, had they not taken the steps ne. he had chalked out for himself. The cessary under such a contingency. The total amount of the allowances was strong objection urged by the Prince L.11,700. His agent had received one Regent of Portugal against returning quarter's allowance of the L.6000, to Europe was, the unsettled state of which he directed should be returned the continent; when, therefore, the to the treasury, without any previous peace of Paris took place in 1814, the knowledge that his mission would form expectation of his Majesty's govern- the subject of parliamentary inquiry. ment, that the court of Portugalwould The right hon. gentleman observed, return to Lisbon, was very much that he was open to all the imputations strengthened, and a squadron was sent which gentlemen might cast upon him, to the Brazils to convey him home. in respect to his eagerness for office, Ministers certainly flattered themselves and to his having acted under his noble with the expectation that the Prince friend; but as to pecuniary matters, he of Portugal would return; if they had stood upon a rock from which all they deceived themselves, they might be could say would not remove him. Mr blameable for want of foresight, but C. condemned the personalities which not criminal.-Sir F. Burdett contend. were used in debate, which tended to ed, that the appointment was consider. degrade and debase the debates in pared out of doors a most scandalous job; liaments, and placed them on a footing and varnish it as ministers would, an with the harangues in Palace-yard. He inch thick, it was a scandalous pecu- defended himself from the imputation lation on the public purse.

of having accepted office under his Mr Canning said, after one year of noble friend, and asked the House if menace hanging over his head, and the reconciliation of private enmities

ought to be the ground of public ac for Mr Herries was merely justice. cusation.

Mr Herries was first appointed secreLord Milton declared, that he con tary to him (the Chancellor of the Ex. sidered it his duty to vote against the chequer) when a Lord of the Treamotion of his honourable friend Mr sury; and afterwards he was appointed Lambton; although he could not agree private secretary to Mr Percival, a place that the parties concerned in the ap of great trust; and such as had invaripointment of this embassy were entirely ably led to great preferment. In 1808, free from blame.

Mr Herries was appointed a compThe House now divided, when the troller of army accounts, with a salary previous question was carried by a ma of L.1500 for life ; this certainly he jority of 270 to 96.

gave up, and in 1811 succeeded CoOn the 8th of May, Mr Bennet lonel Gordon as Commissary-General. brought forward a motion on the sub In this situation he continued till ject of Mr Herries's appointment to a 1816, when an arrangement was made situation in the Civil List. He took a in the Commissariat, by which a sum review of Mr Herries's public life, and of L.11,000 was saved annually to the enumerated his several public appoint- public. The right hon, gentleman ments. Mr Herries was first appoint then proceeded to contend, that in reed to a public situation in 1798, when tiring under such circumstances as he he was appointed to a situation in the did, Mr Herries was entitled to his Treasury. He was afterwards ap- half-pay as Commissary-General ; and pointed secretary to the Chancellor of with respect to his appointment of the Exchequer, afterwards Commis Auditor of the Civil List, parliament sary-General and Comptroller of Ac had decreed that there should be such counts; and to these he had various an officer; if Mr Herries had not been other situations and emoluments added. appointed, some other person must; The hon. gentleman then proceeded and no man, from his talents, knowa to enumerate the services of Mr Her. ledge of business, and extensive conries, which amounted to five years' nections, was so well suited to the siservice in the Treasnry, and thirteen tuation as Mr Herries was. years' attendance on the Chancellor of Mr Tierney had no personal feel. the Exchequer as secretary, and forings towards Mr Herries, but was as these arduous services he was rewarded ready as the Chancellor of the Exchewith an income of L.2700, a sum quer could be to acknowledge his permore than double what would be given sonal services ; but, allowing them to to a General who should have fought their fullest extent, the question was, the battles of his country for 20 or 25 whether he had not been more than years. The bon. gentleman concluded paid by his appointment of L.2700 by moving a resolution, declaring that a-year? Mr Percival appointed Mr the House considered the allowing Mr Herries to a situation of L.1500 aHerries to retire with the half of his year, as Auditor of Accounts ; and in salary of L.2700 a-year, and allow. doing that, no doubt, Mr Percival ing him afterwards to take an office of thought he had rewarded that gentleL.1500 a-year, was a great waste of man's services.

"After a few words from Lord Cas. 'The Chancellor of the Exchequer tlereagh, to which Mr Bennet replied, was fully persuaded, that when the the motion was negatived by a majoHouse had heard what he had to urge, rity of 93 to 42. they would think what had been done

the public money.

CHAPTER VI.

POOR LAWS.PUBLIC DISTRESS.

General Observations on the Poor Laws Remedies suggested.--Mr Curwen's Motion-Committee appointed--ReportDebate upon it.—Mr Brougham's Motion on the Distresses of the Country.—Mr Vansittart's Plan for the Relief of the Labouring Classes.

In this era of public distress, the at. presented to parliament on the different tention of the public was mainly di- branches of political economy. Yet rected to the devising remedies for the we cannot help thinking that there is various ills with which the nation was a tendency to spin out these investi

. beset. Among these, none struck re. gations to too great a length, and to flecting men, and particularly landed exhaust upon them that zeal, and those proprietors, with such alarm and dis- efforts, which might have led to the may as the enormous increase of the fulfilment of the object for which the poor rates, now risen to eight millions, inquiry was instituted. These are and threatening farther and

speedyaug- carried on from year to year, till all mentacion. Notwithstanding, 'how. the first enthusiasm has evaporated

, ever, the most anxious endeavours of and till the subject has begun to pall parliament, stimulated at once by pa- both on the House and the public

. triotism and self-interest, no remedy, At last, it is declared, that the utmost or even palliative, appears yet to have efforts of parliament having been embeen discovered. We cannot boast of ployed for years without any result, having made any profound researches the evil may fairly be considered as beinto this subject ; nevertheless, in the yond the reach of remedy,—when, in course of observation and inquiry, some fact, nothing has been even attempted reflections have occurred, which we beyond the collecting and printing do not exactly recollect to have met these voluminous masses of evidence. with elsewhere; and as the subject is Such, perhaps, has been somewhat the 80 important, and one on which the process followed, with regard to the nation is still involved in such deep very important subject of the present perplexity, hints from any quarter may chapter. It has been overlaid by the not be wholly unacceptable.

very mass of the materials thus colThere are few channels by which lected; the mind of the legislator has a greater mass of valuable information been puzzled by confused and contra. has been collected, than by the reports dictory materials, and rendered inca

pable of devising any distinct and paupers. The cause lies in the poverty feasible plan for the attainment of the of the district, which has prevented it object. 'Yet we are inclined to think, from being reached by the modern that the truth does not lie at any very agriculturalimprovementsandarrangeunfathomable depth; that a few simplements. It is situated on that somewhat principles, applied to the obvious facts elevated and bleak table land, which of the case, may afford all the materials fills the greater part of the space benecessary for attaining an accurate tween Edinburgh and Glasgow. The view of it.

land is parcelled among small proOne circumstance, which appears prietors, and equally small tenants, to us to have materially impeded the both of whom cultivate with their own adoption of any remedial measure as hands the spot which they inherit or to these laws, is the loud call made by rent. Both consider themselves as of their opponents fora total repeal. This a superior class to common labourers, is a step upon which, in the present and would think it a disgrace to allow state of society, it seems impossible to their relations to become dependent venture; and, indeed, some doubts may upon public charity. In the whole exist as to its absolute expediency. presbytery of Linlithgow, of which Perhaps, even, it may be questioned this district forms part, assessments if there be such a total absence of right are known in one parish only, though as is maintained by modern politicians. this presbytery be situated in the close The casuists have decided, that the vicinity of the great cities of Edinman who can by no other means ob. burgh and Glasgow, where poor rates tain food to keep him from starving, have been long established. Even in is justified in seizing it by force : may those richer tracts, where estates and not this, then, constitute some sort of farms were on a much greater scale, natural right? May it not be too much the hinds, as they were called, were to leave the bare existence of a great anciently on a different footing from

body of the community dependent mere hired servants. They considered i upon casual charity? We are, indeed, themselves almost as bound to the

very willing to believe, that the volun- glebe, or rather the glebe as bound tary charity of Britons, should it be- to them, from which their ejectment come the sole dependence of the poor, would have been contrary to the usages would not be wanting. Yet, it may and established principles of society. be observed, that Ireland and Italy, After a life spent in the place, they two countries in which no poor rates expected, upon continuing to renexist, are peculiarly remarked for the der such services as their strength afmisery of the lower orders, and for a forded, to collect a subsistence, in some system of extensive and degrading shape or other, from the soil which mendicity. Even as to Scotland, while they had spent their lives in cultivawe are fully disposed to claim for it ting. At present, in all these districts, the praise of superior management, we the farmer is a merchant, with a large still doubt whether the former entire capital invested in his employment, exemption from these burdens be not who turns every part of his produce to connected with peculiar circumstances account, exacto work for whatever is in the state of society and occupancy. paid, and whenever a servant can no At the present moment, we know a longer perform his usual functions, parish, ai the distance of only thirty turns him off, and hires another. Thus, miles from Edinburgh, in which there in the low country of Scotland, the are not only no poor rates, but no agricultural labourers have generally

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