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“That no person who has an office, or place of proso, under the king, or receives a pension from the

“ crown, shall be capable ot serving as a member of the House of Commons.”

Act, 12 and 13, Wil

liam III, commonly called the Act of Settlement, that is to say, the act by which the crown was taken from the family of Stuart, and settled upon the family of Hanover. - , - 4

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97] - – SUMMIARY OF POLITICS. PRoceedi NG's 1N PARLIAMENT (continued from page 84). I. Lord Cochrane's Motion ; especting Places, Pensions, &c. II. Pretions Privilege.—III. Irish Insurrection Bost. —IV. Lord Cochranes Motion respecting the Nory. V. Poor.Laws.-VI. If esta.inster Election.—On the 7th of this month Lord Cochrane made a motion, in the House of Commons, for the appointment of a committee to inquire into, and to ascertain, the number and amount of the emolument, of all places, offices, posts, sinecures, pensions, and fees, enjoyed by members of the present House of Commons, or their wives, children," and other relations, and also of all reversions held by them, or quy of them, of such places, &c. &c. and of every thing whatever, yielding profit to them, either directly or indirectly, and arising from taxes, or impositions of any soft, upon the people.—My motto, which contains one of the most in

portant of the conditions, upon which the

crowu of England was taken from the family of Stuart and settled upon the family of Isanover, has been before selected by me; and, indeed, it ought, in one way or another, to be kept continually before the eyes ot the nation. Upon the principles of this constitutional law, Lord Cochrane seeins to have founded a very excchent motion. As if he had said: “I hear much taik about the constitution ; whether I go upon the hus“ tings, into the courts of justice, or into “ this House, I hear perpetually recur the ** word constitution, the invaluable consti“ tution, and I hear myself called upon to ** make sacrifices for the constitution, to “ give all my money if wanted, nay, to dic ** for the sake of the constitution. It was “ quite natural, therefore, that I should en** deavour to ascertain what this constitution ** was, or, at the least, to obtain some dis** tinct idea of it. I looked back into the “ history of the cashiering of the tyrant “ James, and, in the laws, which were “ passed in consequence of that event, I “ found a description of the constitution, if “ a descrip;ion of it be any where to be “ found. The causes of the cashiering are

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“ there stated, and the rules by which the “ nation is to be governed in future aré plainly laid down. Amongst these rules, the most important one of all appears to me to be, that which relates to the preventing of the House of Commons from becoming a mere tool in the hands of the king's ministers, or servants; and which rule positively provides, that no member of the House of Commons shall hold any place or pension under the crown. I find, however, to my great regret, that, in a few years after this constitutional law was enacted, it was, as far as related to this excellent rule, repealed; that is to say, that a House of Commons, whom the law forbade to hold places and pensions under the crown, a House of Cormons, chosen under a law which forbade thern to pocket the money of their constituents, passed a law to enable themselves to pocket as much of that modey as they could prevaii upon the minister of the day to let them take. But, the constitutional principle remains unshaken by ouch alteration of the law; and, at a rooment when cwery man, of whatever party, is ready to declare that the nation is reduced to a state of great political perii, it seems to me necessary to inquire, to what extent this partaking of the pablic money ty' the guardians of the putlie tourse” has prevailed, or does now prevail."—Nothing, surely, could be more reasonable thau, this; and now let us hear what was said upcn. the subject, taking the report of the debate as we find it in the news-papers.--—“ lord, “ Cochrane said, he was influenced by no other motive than that of an anxious wish to discharge a great public duty. If his motion was acceded to, the result would prove, whether there was any possibility. of making those who had lived and grown rich upon the public money, feel for the extraordinary burdens under which the people laboured. The late plan of finance had proved that as much as could have been exacted had been drawn from the people, and that it was not possible to ‘ draw more : ingenuity had *** it

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“self in devising new sources of taxation. “The people knew all this. If he was asked, how he could so judge of the public “ sentiment, he in answer should appeal to “ the universal sentiment without doors; the variety of publications; the language “ held upon the hustings throughout the “ empire during the late election; the lan“guage made use of in the different adver“ tisements from the successful candidates to their constituents, and if all these together did not enable a man to form a just estimate of public opinion, he did not “ know what could do so; nor was it to be “ fog ten, the different shameless notices thut appeared in the different papers concerning the sale of seats in a certain as“sembly. At the same time he wished it “ to be understood, that nothing was farther “ from his intention, than to complain of the “ allowances made to the efficient poblic “ officers; so far from thinking those allow“ ances as extravagant, he thought them “ rather under than over what they should “ be. As to his motives, Gentlemen might “ be disposed to question them. He re“ membered a member of that house being “ accused of Jacobinism, because he ex“ pressed these sentiments which he (lord “C.) entirely concurred in.” The motion itself concluded his lordship's speech, and a very puzzling motion it appears to have been. None of the ministers rose against it in the teeth; but, just as I had foreseen and foretold, a person precisely calculated for the thing, Mr. Bankes, got up and objected to it upon the ground of want of precedent. But, let us hear him, and with great attention too. His words are well-worthy of being heard and treasured up.–" He thought the information desir“ed by the noble lord desirable in many “ respects; but it would be neither practi“ cable nor proper to pass the order in its “ present shape. There was no precedent “ of such an order on the Journals, though “ the house had frequently thought it right “ to interpose and check the excessive or “ improper distribution of salaries, pensions, “ and emoluments, derived from the public. * So extensive a field of inquiry could hardly “ be reduced to any of the known rules “ adopted by committees of the house. “ The places held by members of Parliament “ were besides known, and the pension list “ was either regularly laid on the table every session, or might be on the motion “ of any member. The , committee in “ which he had the honour to preside (the Committee of Finance) had ordered the ‘ pension list to be laid before it, and

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would proceed to examine the circum“ stances connected with it in the next “ session. It was invidious and improper to convey to the public an insinuation, that members of parliament trere influenced by considerations of private advantage for themselves or their dependents. He knew no ground, for casting at the present time an imputation never cast at any former time. For it was most essential, that at “ this critical period, the character of the honse of commons should not be degraded or depreciated. It was also unfair, as well “ as impolitic and unpatriotic, to depreciate the resources of the country, as the noble “ lord had done, by stating that we were “ on the verge of bankruptcy. Though sensible of the difficulties of the times, “ and of the relief arising from the judicious “ suspension of taxation, every man of judgement, who considered the situation “of the country, would allow there were ample resources to meet the difficulties that we had to encounter. He did not sce “ how the advertisements, for the purchase and sale of seats, in a certain assembly. should be construed into an argument of the general corruption of members of parliament. He agreed with the noble lord, that the public servants, and particularly those of the higher classes, were rather “ under than over paid. There was only “ one species of pensions, which it was necessary to inquire particularly into. “ Within the three last years the several public departments had got into the “ practice of granting pensions withi:; then“selves, without complying with the pro“ visions of Mr. Burke's Act that all pen“ sions should be from the Exchequer only. “ Some of the public departments had with“ drawn themselves even from the controul of the Treasury in this respect. On the whole, however anxious for enquiry, and desirous to afford the public information, he could not consent to pass the noble lord's motion in its present shape.” As to the general pension list being laid before parliament, I will speak of that by-and-by. The rest of what Mr. Bankes said I shall leave without comment, and it will, doubtless, produce that effect, which every thing coming from a member, so exalted in point of character and public services as to be reckoned amongst those who are thought, of for the peerage, must naturally produce—Mr. Curwen said, “ that he had hoped the noble lord's motion “ would have passed without a dissenting “ voice. He had hoped some measures “would be taken to put an end to the dis

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“graceful scenes that had formed a subject

of such discreditable crimination and recrimination a few nights since. It was no objection that there was no precedent, the unprecedented state of the thing was a stronger ground for the investigation. When the exigency of the times was such as to require the exertion of every arm, the want of precedent was not to be pleaded in bar to the satisfaction due to the public “mind. The Finance Committee had an extensive range of inquiry before it, and ought not to suffer a day to elapse without reporting semething. The practice of granting pensions without the coutroul of the Treasury or the Exchequer, was a stronger ground of inquiry. When it was recorded on the Journals, that seats in the house were lought and sold like bullocks in Smithfield market (Mr. Horne “Tooke's petition), it was too much to find fault with the noble lord for adverting to newspaper advertisements.” This last sentence was a pretty good answer to Mr. Bankes's complaint about throwing out insinnations calculated to depreciate the ch: "acter of the House ! Mr. Tooke's is far from an insinuation. Mr. Curwen expressed, for what reason I know not, his approvation of the manner in which Sir Francis Burdett was elected, though he disapproved of Sir Francis's subsequent address to the electors of Westminster, without, however, imputing any thing more than a want of judgement to him. Whereupon I, as one of the subscribers to that unparralleled election, shall only observe, that my opinion of that event and of the address of Sir Francis is no more changed by what Mr. Curwen said, than my opinion of the character of the Honourable House could be by any insinuations that Lord Cochrane could throw out against it— Mr. Whitbread followed Mr. Curwen, and he too wished the inquiry to be referred to the Committee of Finance, that committee the appointment of which, as now new-moddled, this same Mr. Whitbread had strenuously opposed This was the countnistee, loaded with a year's labours at least, to whom Mr. Whitbread proposed to leave this all important inquiry 1–Snap, at your word ' Mr. Perceval closed with this immediately, and said, “ that no opposition would be made “ to the motion, if the noble mover would “ assent to a modification, such as was “suggested from the other side. It was “ his wish to give all possible information. “To call for a return of all those connected “ with members of parliament would be to lead to an endless list of persons, from

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which no practical result could be derived.

“Officers in the army

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and navy, for instance, and on the half pay, would be included. If the matter was referred to the committee, it might inquire not only into the pensions held by members of parliament, which would be distinguished by the names, but into all pensions, ly whomsoever held. The lists of pensions and places might be had from the different departments; but, if the inquiry of the committee was deemed satisfactory, he saw no objection to it. He thought the motion ought to be extended in some “ respects, and narrowed in others, in “ order to give it a useful and not an unnecessary range. The crown being allowed the power of granting pensions to a certain amount, it would be competent to inquire before the report of the committee, as well as after, whether the pension list ought to be reduced. The house having fixed the amount to ‘ be granted, he questioned whether it “ would be right to canvass the propriety of every individual grant. He nioved, ‘ in the way of amendment, that the “ matter should be referred to tie Finance “ Committee,” of which, as the reader will recollect, Messrs. Leycester, I'yder, I’. Carew, H. Addington and others are members. Lord Ossulston spoke in favour of the original motion.—Mr. J. Smith stated a fact truly astonishing, namely, that, “amongst his numerous constituents, “ an opinion certainly prevailed, that the “ House of Commons was not so independent as it ought to be " Indeed! Astonishing ! This is a case, if one belonged to the popish party, to call vehementiy for holy-water. Mr. J. Smith added, that, seeing how greatly the dangers of the country had been increased by the receit events upon the continent, he thought the power of the crown ought not to be dininished ; and, as there was under discussion no branch of that power, except that of granting places and pensions, he must, of course, have regårded this species of power as well adapted to the resisting of Napoleon's armies, Well! if this be the opinion, let it be tried, say I'

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might have the appearance of a desire to prevent in?’,iry it was highly gratisying to him, and must be so to the noise lord (Cochraue), to see that his motion was received with general army, olation, and that there appeared to be scarcely any difference, except as to the FGR.M. He thought the mode proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer the most proper, but differed from him as to the grants by the crown, which might be examined, though not malignantly nor invidiously. With regard to the salaries of public men, he thought that here, too, a prudent parsimony ought to prevail, for it ought to be costsidered that they were paid not only by their salaries, but by the distinction they enjoyed, and the opportunity of transmitting their names to posterity as faithful and able servants of the public. Yet he thought that they ought to have pensions upou retirement, upon the same principle, that officers in the co my and navy have half-pay. He was convinced that nothing was better calculated than openness and fair dealing, to make public men and parliament stand well in public opinion, and he was GLAD that this motion had been made, as it would end to secure that object. But there was a danger of hunting too eagerly after popularity. The circumstance that rendered popular governments more capable of great exertions than others, was the affection of the people to their institutions, and their consequent willingness to bear the public burthens. It was, therefore, of the last importance that the house of cominons should stand well with the considerate part of the community, particularly with the middle classes, which formed the most valuable part of it. IF an idea had gone forth that there was a great deal of corruption in that house, it was desirable that the public should be satisfied that there was a great deal more independence in it than was imagined. This motion came rather suddenly, and he was desirous to adjourn the debate for two or three days, to consider about the most proper mode of attaining the object in view (a cry of no, no J. He doubted whether it ought to be referred to the Committee of Finance or to a separate Committee. The Committee of Finance had cortainly a great des, of business already, and wood proloy bring suns into the polic service that were at present lost to the state. But too point deserved “ consideration.” Considesation' What consolic, ation was wouted upon the su ject : l

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received money out of that parse. What consideration, therefore, was wanted to determine, whether he should have this information in a day or two, or whether he should wait a year or two for it 2 Yes, it was, as Mr. Wilberforce says, a subject of regret, that any thing should have been said, which might have the oppearance of a desire to prevent inquiry; for, as lie afterwards declared (very sincerely, I dare say), he must have been exceedingly g/ad that this motion had been made. Before I proceed with the debate, I intost notice Mr. Wilberforce's curious doctrine relative to pensions granted to retiring place men, upon the same principle that half pay is granted to officers in the army and navy 1 Comparisons sometimes serve to make truth more apparent ; but, is this a comparison of that sout? What similarity is there between the case of a captain in the army, who has served abroad and at home, up to that rank, and who has booght his commission, perhaps, whose full pay is a bare subsistence for one man ; and that of a nyan who has been receiving a large salary, in comfort and safety at home 2 Jn the navy men must enter at so. early an age as to render it quite improbable, that, when they are grown up, they should be able to return to private life, and there acquire the means of living ; and, as to both army and navy, these are professions. which can be followed no where but under the government; so that, if an officer of either sercice loses his employment in that service, he loses his only means of existence. But, is this the case with placemen They can, at any time, become what they were before ; and, in general, all they have received, in the way of salary, is so much of clear gains. What hinders Mr. Huskisson, for instance, to set u

apothecary Have the large sums whic

Mr. Canning has received, in his several offices, disqualified him for again editing a newspaper? What should prevent Mr. Rose from getting as good a living as he got before he was in office Observe, too, that the uff pay of officers in the army and navy is not given to then for life and without condoions. They are liable to be called on again, at on hour's warting, not only to come to. their regiments, but to go abroad, to face the enciny's sword or the dangers of climate. Nothing more needs be said to show to the olicers of the army and the navy the nature of Air. Wilberforce's compariseñ. They will motion had been carried, Mr. Sheridan him

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not want rinuch to enable them to form a just opinion of it. In truth, I am half inclined to believe, that this comparison must have arisen from an erroneous chain of reasoning upon that part of Sir Francis Burdett's address, wherein he speaks of “ the “Regiment;” but, I much question, whether even the Baronet himself, though wellacquainted with the establishtinent, ever dreamt that it would openly speak of its list of half-pay 1 This specch of Mr. Wilberforce was most valuable. It gave us the true picture. It was one of those matters, that he was speaking upon, that was clearly understood by the people. After him coase Mr. Sheridan, who observed, “ that the noble loid very wisely had not “ prefaced his motion with much argu“ ment, because (it he comprehended him “rightly) his object was not so much to “ diminish the public expenditure, as to as“certain the degree of influence which the “crown possessed in that house. As to “the mode proposed by the right bon. the “chancellor of the exchequer, it appeared to him to be a most roundabout way to go “ into the general investigation of the sub“ject, to obtain a list of all the places, “pensions, &c. enjoyed by different indi“viduals, and from that list to select the “ names of the members of that house who participated in them. Why not the indi“vidual list called for by the noble lord “Every gentleman seemed to be tender upon this subject; but the only way to con“vince the public that its suspicions were “ unfounded, was not to mask the matter, “ but to show at once what part of the “hotose received these emoluments, and “what part did not. In his opinion it was “much better that government should ex“pend fifty, aye, a hundred and fifty mil. “ lions of rooney annually in the ge:eral “ service of the country, than that they “should expend £50,000 in the house.of commons. He objected to any alteration “ in the noble lord's unotion. If the re“ suit of the prodzction of the list for “ which the noble lord had moved, should “ be to astonish those who were not dis“ posed to think very favourably of the “house of commons, it would be most “fortunate: but if of the contrary, it “ should be found that there were an in“ credible number of members who either “ directly or indirectly derived advantages “ from sources not the most pure, that was “ a fact which ought to be known to the “ people. At any rate let not the question ‘ be blinked.” This was a good speech, and the better, because, if Lord Cochrane's

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not,” he said, “ trouble the house long. The noble lord's proposition was, that a jist of the members who were directly or indirectly under the influence of ministers, should be laid on the table. If there were persons who had their patrimony out of the public money, it was proper that they should he known. There we e some who could foot have their J1A flRAGE SE/TLE 11 ENTS without pensions, reversions, &c. &c. The hon. gentleman opposite (Mr Hoshissony, had a grant, which, from its nature, ceased when he came into office. This was only 1000 !. and his office brought him 4000 !. he could not therefore hesitate in his choice between them. But if he was not mistaken, the hou gentieman had a sinecure place too, which he enjoyed along with the office, and indeed. in casting his eye along the Treasury Bench, it was difficult to find one who had not some great emo/ument of this nature. It oright to be seen on which side of the ilouse the greatest portion of indepeu. dence existed, and the list ought to be jaid on the table unmited with baser mat/or Mr. G. Rose, with grewt warmth, said, that the extent of his rewards for his public services were well known to the public. He challenged inquiry, and wished that the terms of the present motion might be rendered as satisfactory as possible.”—-One of the evils of Hving the country, is, that one is prevented

from being an eye-witness of the generous warmth of George Rose ! Aye, indeed, enous: in all conscience of his rewards are well-known to the public. Of his half

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fay," as well as his full pay, we have

quite sufficient knowledge; but, Mr. Wilbertorge, George's half-pay goes on at the same time with his full pay. Thus your comparison does not hold, plausible as it might, for a moment, have been amongst your “middle classes of society.” Wei

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