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the Honourable Gentleman had alluded, as marking the humiliation and distress of the country, was one which he hoped to see universal, although he could not expect the Honourable Gentleman or his friends to participate in it. He could not expect them to carry about a begging-box to collect contributions for the defence and safety of the country. So far from the supposed distress of the times being an argument against the proposed remuneration, he entertained not a doubt but that the poorest person who had subscribed would double, nay triple their subscription, fooner than such worthy characters should go without that reward they had so well earned. He did not think it necessary to say morc; he hoped he had explained to the Committee the ground on which the annuity was given; that it was given not as a reward, but to enable them to support their rank. It was given to both on the same principle, and he doubted not the measure would meet the approbation of the Committee.
Mr. Nicholls was of opinion, that in the present situation of the country, pecuniary rewards ought not to be granted ; but, however, if the House were of a different opinion, and thought it right that pecuniary gratifications should be granted to those two eminent commanders, then he should contend, that the gratification should be the same. In the present instance, the pension to be granted to Lord St. Vincent, was by no means equal to the pension to be granted to Lord Duncan, though the words in the grant were the same in both cases. Lord St. Vincent was an elderly man, and had no children, and therefore a grant of a pension to him and the two next heirs male of his body, could not be equal in value to the same grant to Lord Duncan who had children. Upon this ground, if the House thought their services equal, he thought their remuneration should be so, and with this impression he should move, as an amendment to the motion, that if Lord St. Vincent should die without heirs male of his body, that then the pension should be granted to his executors and administrators for the term of thirty-one years.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that the reason for granting the annuity, being to enable the person on whom it descended to support it, the moment the title was extinct, there was no further necessity for continuing the annuity; he therefore objccted to the motion.
Mr. Nicholls denied that it was given merely to support the title. It was a reward for services which the country thought proper to bestow, and he contended it ought to be bestowed with impartiality, which was not the case under the prefent circumstances.
Sir Francis Biring regretted that this motion, as far as it related to Lord St. Vincent, had not becn made at an earlier period; but still it was better lie than never. With refpect w the two great naval characters who had been alluded to, their services deferved the most distingui med rewards their country could bestow. He thoild nt cater into any nice disquisi ion up in the exact proportion of public rewards ; but he agreed in this principle, that where any dignity was conferred upon z man, he thould have the means of supporting it. He should therefore give his assent to the motion ; ftill, however, expressing his regret that the motion with respect to Earl St. Vincent had not been sooner proposed.
Mr. Dundas said, perhaps he ought not to take notice of what had fallen from an Honourable and Lcarned Gentleman who commenced this discussion. He was astonished that the Honourable Gentleman's mind could suggest, or his tongue utter, such an idea, as that the attention of the House was called to Lord Duncan, because he was related to a person in Administration. Didihe Honourable Gentleman mean to perfist in that declaration? Did he really believe that that was the reason why the attention of the public should be turned upon him? If that was the Honourable Gentleman's opinion, he believed he was the only man in the kingdom who thought so. It was true that he was related to Lord Duncan, that Noble Lord being married to a very near and dear relation of his. He had known him ever since he was of an age to know any body, and could bear ample testimony to his character. But there was one circumstance which he particularly wished to mention, which was, that it would have been the greatest poffible injury to Lord Duncan if this provision had not been made. It was to be recollected, that the services of Lord Duncan did not begin with the great and glorious victory he had obtained-his conduct, long previous to it, had entitled him to the gratitude of his country. But every man who knew Lord Duncan, knew, that although his kill and abilities were always known and admired, he never had the command of a fleet till he was appointed to the command of the North Sea fleet. He never had the command even of two ships, or had a broad pendant flying. Under these circumstances, he had not the means of adding much to his private fortune. In the tedious cruize which continued for many months previous to his victory over the Dutch Aleet, the merit of Lord Duncan was conspicuous : and in the same manner as the conduct of Lord St. Vincent, previous to his Victory, gained the attention of his Majesty, fo did that of Lord Duncan. He was the correlpondent of Lord Duncan on that occasion; for, having re
ceived an intimation, probably from the First Lord of the Admiralty, that some mark of royal favour was about to be conferred upon him, he wrote to him (Mr. Dundas) Itating, that he Thould receive any mark of his Majesty's favour with great respect and gratitude, but begged it might not be of such a nature as to increase his expences : because he had three sons and five daughters, and therefore wished not to have his expenditure increated. When the Noble Lord returned after his victory, his Majesty had, unsolicited, and unknown to him, conferred upon him a peerage. Under these circumstances, he wished to ask, whether the country would not stand disgraced if something was not done to enable him to maintain his family? With respect to Lord St. Vincent, if the Honourable Gentleman supposed that any thing was intended against him, it was a moft erroneous supposition. He knew that the Noble Lord himself was of a very different opinion. He could say more, that the circumstances which led to the message respecting Lord St. Vincent, were not known twenty-four hours be. fore the message was delivered. He begged the Honourable Gentleman not to suppose that he was the only friend of Lord St. Vincent ? ---There were others who loved and admired him, and would protect his honour.
Mr. Plomer was anxious that the Committee in agreeing to the resolutions before them would be unanimous. But while commanders in chief received the rewards juftly due to their merits, he thought those second in command were also entitled to the bounty of their country. Every man who heard him, would, he was sure, concur in any poor eulogium he could bestow on the Admiral who was second in command, on the celcbrated inth of October laft. Sir Richard Onslow had on that day signalized himself by a conduct truly British, and a heroism, that would add lustre to any character. And as it had pleased his Majesty to raise him, unasked and unsolicited, to the rank of baroner, he thought some provision ought to be made for him suitable to the title. It had been stated by Mr. Dundas, among the reasons why Lord Duncan was particularly entitled to a pension, that he had a large family, and it was for a similar reason Mr. Plomer wished the House to remunerate Sir Richard Onslow, who had seven children, been forty years in the service, and was not in circumstances to support the title.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that upon a former day he had stated how painful it was to oppose any proposition for liberal rewards to men who had performed eminent services. But it was his duty to remind the House of the line which had always been followed. In the first place, it had been an inva
riable rule never to enter into discussion upon such subjects but from the recommendation of the Throne. In the next place, the remuneration had always been confined to thecommanders in chief. If the House were to go beyond that rule, the Honourable Gentleman must see how far they would be carried. Befides, he would not contend that the dignity of a baronct required so much to support it as the dignity of the peerage. GentleInen also would recollect, that there were not wanting many instances of officers, second in command, who had distinguished themselves in a very fignal manner. Many had arrived at the same dignity as that conferred upon the gentleman alluded to. Many had attained even a higher rank, but no pecuniary remuneration had been bestowed upon any. Nay, there were not wanting instances of commanders in chief, who had highly distinguished themselves ; who had been advanced to the peerage, but had obtained no pecuniary recompence:--one had been advanced, first to an Irish, and then to an English peerage ; another had been raised to an Irish peerage, but neither had received any pecuniary provision. Gentlemen finally would recollect that it was impossible in the present Comınittee to go beyond the recommendation proposed from the Throne. The inconvenience therefore of drawing into precedent the case of Sir Richard Onslow would, he was persuaded, be felt equally by the Honourable Gentleman and the Committee, and must at once suggest the propriety of not bringing forward any propofition on the fubject at present.
Mr. Plomer was extremely unwilling to disturb the unanimity of the House upon the present occasion. He knew that it was necessary to have a recommendation from the Throne : but as the grant was a Parliamentary one, he did not conceive it improper to make those obfervations which he had suggested to the Committee.
Sir W'. Dolben rose with very different sentiments from those expressed by the two Learned Gentlemen. The motion had his perfect and cordial concurrence ; and he only lamented that the House could not go to the extent desired. The Committee were granting provisions for three lives, but life was uncertain : a few years inight pass away, and those lives be no more. The peerage might then come to a peer who would have no property to support it: he lamented, therefore, that the provisions for the maintenance of it were not permanent, and he wished that it should be granted in perpetuity. This might be done without a perpetual burden on the country, in this mode : three thousand pounds a-year might be granted for twenty or twentyone years, instead of two thousand. Two thousand pounds, however, should only be paid yearly to the Noble Lords, and
the remaining thousand might be put into commission, in the same manner as the fund for paving off the national dett; and so accumulate by compound intereft, till a sufficient capital was created to purchase a perpetual provision of two thousand pounds a-year.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that if it were the sense of the House to provide a perpetuity for the pecrages in question, they had better grant it at once. But it was understood, that though Lord Duncan had not now an estate fufficient for the support of the peerage, yet that he was in pofleffion of an estate, or an inheritance, which might hereafter around to a permanent provision for the rank to which he had been raised.
Sir W. Dolben said, he was perfe&tly satisfied with the ex planation ; but now he was upon his legs, he wished the principle he had laid down to pervade the whole peerage ; and that when the King conferred the honour of the peerzge, some method should be found out by fome fund established to provide 2 or zoool. a-year for the support of the dignity.
The amendment proposed by Mr. Nicholls was negatived, and the original motions palied nem. c9nl.
On the motion of the Master of the Rolls, the Rev. Charles Moss, Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's, was detired to preach before the House on the 7th of Marchi, the day appointed for the General Fast, Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, Feb. 15. The Supplementary Militia Bill, and two other Bills were received from the Commons. Adjourned. :
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, Feb. 15. Two Petitions from the Clock and Watchmaker of Liverpool and Edinburgh were prelented, praying for a repeal of the Clock and Watch Act. Ordered to be referred to the Committee appointed to take the former petition against the said act into contideration.
The Report of the Committee of the whole House, upon the two Mellages from his Majesty, respecting Earl St. Vincent and Lord Duncar, was brought up, and bills ordered to be brought in upon the Refolutions of the Committee.
SUPP. EMENTARY MILITIA. Upon the question for the third reading of the Supplementary Militia Bill ;