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ever unnecessary or profuse, is to be sup-lain dormant. Surely, then, his royal plied without reluctance. In every point highress has waited sufficiently long the of view the practice is mischievous. I justice of the House; and, it is to be shall suppose circumstances which it will hoped it will now be speedily and finally be seen never existed in this reign. If settled. I should not be prone to encoupolitics were, as in the reigns of king rage claims of this pature, if they were William and queen Anne, perhaps I might not justly founded ; but I am perfectly say of George Ist and George 2nd, the convinced, that every shilling of the revemost serious consequences might be felt nues of the duchy of Cornwall due to the from this practice. "If the prince wanted prince of Wales (as having been applied money, not for purposes adverse to the either to the uses of the public, or of the interests of the country, but for purposes king's civil list), ought to be paid him by in which the country is not concerned, the nation. might he not go between Tories and Whigs Mr. Pitt said:- After the claim adto see who would give most? And might vanced on the part of his royal highness, not political men barter the public money and stated with so much propriety and for royal favour? If the debts of the ability by the hon. gentleman, I do think prince are to be paid, the case is the same. it becomes the justice of the House to He readily allows his affairs to be involved, put the subject in the way of inquiry, in in the prospect of parliamentary assist-order that the point may be finally ascerance; and a minister is selected, not from tained. I should be guilty of drawing the his capacity, not from his esteem with House into a premature discussion, if I the public, not even from personal favour; were now to state my opinion upon the the only criterion of merit is compliance subject. I also acquiesce in the present and profusion. As this is injurious to the motion; but, until the House has had an constitution, so is it injurious to the prince opportunity of ascertaining the cause of himself. The crown becomes dependent the deficiency of the civil list, it would upon parliament. No one will suspect be premature to enter into the merits of me of a wish to make the crown inde, the question. While I agree with the pendent; but this sort of dependance is hon. gentleman, that the grant for life of highly unworthy of it. The prince is the civil list, is comparatively the best, I tempted into expense, and, to extricate cannot agree in his conclusion, that para himself, may be forced to practices un- liament, by providing at the beginning of becoming his station. On the first view every reign a civil list for life, thereby of the subject, I am against discharging precludes itself from granting such furthese debts with the public money. That ther sums as a change of circumstances it may not appear proper to put them in may require. a course of liquidation, like those of the Mr. Nicholls thought, that all the reveprince of Wales, I by no means affirm. nues of the duchy of Cornwall ought to This will be better discussed upon the have been accumulated during the minoreport. If you should at once clear them rity of the prince, and paid over to him off, you would do the greatest injustice when he came of age. In an act passed to the prince of Wales. There is no rea, in the 8th year of his present majesty, son why there should be one rule for the intituled, “ An Act to enable his Majesty son, and another for the father. His ma- to make grants of Lands Parcel of the jesty expressed the most perfect satisfac. Duchy of Cornwall,” the prince is stated tion with the provision that had been made to be the proprietor of the duchy of Cornfor him; and if, through the negligence wall. It was necessary that leases and of his servants, his expenses have exceeded grants should be made of the possessions it, the same plan should be adopted which of the duchy, and the king is enabled by met with the approbation of the House on the act to make grants of the lands; there a similar occasion. I hope, then, the hon. was no clause in the act giving to the member who bas mentioned the subject of king the money arising from those sales ; the prince's claims, will take an early op. there was not even an estate vested in the portunity of bringing it forward. I take king for the purposes of the trust, but a shame to myself, that, in 1783, when I bare naked power unaccompanied with an was a member of the administration, I did interest. What colour, then, could there Dot bring it forward. From the day his be for considering the money arising from royal bighness attained his twenty-first these grants, as money belonging to the year, to the present hour, the subject has king? It certainly belonged to him whose lands were granted ; yet the ministers for of his right, was more strongly called on the time being had seized this
to see that the money which had been rebelonging to the king. The argument, ceived on the sale of these lands should that the prince's revenues, during his be paid over to the prince. minority, were applicable to his mainte- The motion was then agreed to, and a nance, could by no possibility be of force committee appointed. in this case. If the revenues annually arising from the prince's lands were appli- Feb. 22. Mr. Manners Sutton said, cable to his maintenance, it could not be that having called the attention of the thought reasonable that the lands them. House on a former occasion to the claims selves should be sold, and the money of the prince of Wales, to the revenues of arising from those sales applied to his the duchy of Cornwall, he wished now to maintenance. Even if the money arising inform them, that while it was the desire from those grants, during his minority, of the prince that the subject should be had been accumulated and paid to the thoroughly investigated, he was authorised prince on his coming of age, it would be by his royal highness to intimate to the but a poor compensation for the loss he House, that he should deter bringing forhad sustained from the grants which had ward the subject, until after the question been made under this act. The lands of relative to his majesty's civil list should the duchy of Cornwall were in general be determined. He hoped therefore that leased only for thirty-one years. If no gentlemen would abstain, in the course of leases had been made during the minority the discussion of that question, from mak. of the prince, many of the leases would ing any allusion to the claims of his royal have been expired when he attained the highness. age of twenty-one. No lease could possibly have had more than ten years to Debate in the Commons on the Army run. The prince, by the grant of new Estimates.] March 3. The House having leases, might perhaps have raised a sum resolved itself into a committee of supply, exceeding that which had been named by to which the army estimates were referred, the learned gentleman. The money re- The Secretary at War said, that the ceived for these leases, even had it been estimates were for sixty-one days, and reaccumulated and paid to the prince, was lated to some of the most pressing and a poor compensation. But, in fact, none important, but not to all the services. of it had ever reached the prince; it had They were calculated exactly on the same been seized by the ministers, and applied to scale with the estimates of last year. He the purposes of the civil list. Parliament then moved, “ That a number of land was bound to see that this money was forces, including 7,175 invalids, not exforthcoming for the use of the prince. It ceeding 61,176 men, be employed in Great was not quite correct to say that no claim Britain, the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, had ever been made by the prince. A &c. from the 25th of March to the 24th petition of right had been presented by of May next.” the prince to the late chancellor ; that pe- Mr. Elliot said, he could not consider tition of right had not been sent to any the motion as a mere matter of course, as court of justice to be examined ; and this he should do if the country was actually was an additional reason why the claim in a state of war; and therefore, though should be inquired into by parliament. he strongly approved of the principle of Former parliaments had protected the keeping up a large force, yet he could property of the prince of Wales. In the not assent to the motion, without stating fifth of Hen. 4th the Commons petitioned the motives which influenced his conduct. the king, that measures might be taken to It had always been the custom for this revoke certain grants made by Richard country, when she was regulating the 2nd of lands parcel of the duchy of Corn-degree of force which it was proper for her wall, which grants had been confirmed by to keep on foot, to pay a due regard to the Henry 4th. In consequence of this ap- situation and disposition of the continental plication from the House, a writ of scire powers, and to proportion her preparafacias was brought in chancery, in the tions to the state of other nations. It king's name, and the grants revoked. In was on this principle that he felt the the present case, parliament, which, by strongest conviction of the necessity of passing the act enabling the king to make keeping up the large force which had grants of the lands, had deprived the prince been proposed. He was the more confirmed in this opinion, when he took into out, as he believed, any communication his consideration that strange and alarming of the specific object of that expedition. succession of events which had occurred We had seen the chief consul of France since the signature of the preliminaries of go to Lyons, and, without any communipeace. Before he proceeded further, cation to any of the powers of Europe, however, he would anticipate some of the declare that there was not one person in arguments which he foresaw would be all the states which compose the Cisalpine used against him, and endeavour to take republic, fit to be intrusted with the gooff a kind of proscription which existed vernment of that country, and that, thereagainst him, because he had the mis- fore, he would take it upon himself. He fortune to differ from the majority of the was, he confessed, seriously alarmed at House, and from his majesty's ministers, this mode of reasoning which the chief on the subject of the preliminary treaty. consul had adopted ; because, if we subWhile, however, he submitted to the col-mitted to this incroachment, it was imlective wisdom of the House, he had no possible to say that he might not, at a hesitation in declaring, that his sentiments future period, apply it to this counwith regard to that treaty remained un- try, and graciously condescend to take us altered, and that every day's experience under his protection. The chief consul had more and more confirmed him in the then returned to Paris, after having made opinion which he had originally formed. himself president of the Italian republic, He thought then, and he thought now, annexed all that rich country to France, that when the noble lord (Hawkesbury) | and converted it into cantonments for put his signature to the preliminaries, he French troops. But this was not all, he put his hand to an instrument fraught had also acquired the whole of the island with danger and humiliation to this coun. of Elba: that island was, by the treaty try-to an instrument from which posterity of Luneville, to be annexed to the duchy would date the decline of this country of Tuscany; and immediately after he Parliament, however, had thought other- stipulated for the possession of Porto wise ; and, as he had before stated, he Ferrajo. Another point to which he submitted to their judgment. But al. must call the attention of the House was, though the House had given its sanction that France had, by another treaty, acto those preliminary articles, it was not quired a very considerable territory on bound to adhere to the opinion it had ex- the banks of the Mississippi, and the pressed, if all the circumstances upon means of supplying her West India islands which that opinion was given had been independent of this country. He did since that time completely changed. One not mean now, to ask in what situation of the circumstances to which he alluded we stood with relation to the president of was, the extraordinary scene which had the Italian republic, whether it was peace lately been played in Italy. Many per or war; but he could not help entering sons were induced to approve of the pre- his protest against that act of fraud, amJiminaries, from a hope that the govern- bition, and insolence. But he did hope ment of France would in future act with the noble lord would explain to the commoderation, and endeavour to consolidate mittee, how it happened, that when we the power which she had acquired. They were discussing the preliminaries of peace, thought, that although the Cisalpine re- we thought we were giving Porto Ferrajo public was in a considerable degree under to Tuscany, when, in fact, we were the influence of France, she might by giving it to France; and how it happened, degrees acquire a sort of independence, that when we were giving back to France and form a sort of barrier between France her West India possessions, we did not and Italy. But subsequent events had know that she had acquired possessions in completely undeceived those who enter that quarter which would render her cotained such hopes, and had shown them, lonies much more advantageous to her ? that they were ignorant of that furious lust He did, however, believe that ministers of power which actuated the government were, at that time, themselves ignorant of France. If that government had of these circumstances. If, however, stopped in her career for a moment, it instead of treating with France in the was only to take breath, that she might name of her allies, we had treated with renew it with redoubled vigour. We had those allies conjointly with her, it was seen an immense force sail from the ports impossible but we must have known the of France, Spain, and Holland, with relation in which she stood to other coun
tries. If ministers had not taken the ne- the advantages of war, nor enjoy the
Ministers, therefore, merited applause for ment entered into, and to invalidate the having suffered them to sail. He saw no preliminaries. Every thing has happened ground of alarm. There was no reason which, politically and truly speaking, to question either the vigilance of our should destroy the contract. Every government, or the pacific disposition of thing has so happened, that none who the first consul. Did not every popular voted for the preliminaries in this House declaration on the part of France antici. are bound to support them. The foundapate the blessings of peace? What, then, tion on which they then gave their sufwas our duty ? Not to encourage suspi- frages is actually destroyed; and the crecion, proclaim jealousies, and sound alarm dit which they gave to the enemy for throughout the country. Whatever might good faith and sincerity is no longer to be be the result of the negotiation, Great found. There are, Sir, three descriptions Britain would be prepared to meet the of events which must be seriously con. French at sea in any quarter of the world. sidered, in order to feel the force of this The public had no cause for anxiety in observation. First, events that have toconsequence of the delay in the present tally changed the basis and nature of the negotiations.
preliminaries: secondly, events that have Mr. Windham said: Sir; when my changed the respective condition and state hon. friend comes forward, and asks for of the two countries; and thirdly, those that information which he conceives ne- which in fact belong to both, and which cessary to satisfy the public mind, I do show the nature of the disposition and not think I am going too far in saying, temper of the opposite party. The noble that the promised explanation of the noble lord distinctly stated three considerations Jord will come rather too late. It will, I in which the preliminaries might be taken fear, prove little consolation for the coun---the time, the terms, and the tone or the try to learn the motives by which minis- temper in which they were concluded. ters may have been actuated, when it shall As to the time and the terms, they are have felt the dangerous effects resulting gone by; and as to the tone, allow me to from those motives. In admitting the say a few words—I agree that it is a matter responsibility of ministers, I also feel that of the highest moment; for as the spirit a great responsibility is weighing on my at all times is better than the letter, parown mind, from the silence which I have ticularly in political transactions, the temheld so long; and I find much difficulty per of the enemy becomes a question of in excusing myself for having so long re- the greatest importance. But it he unexmained silent on a question in which the pectedly assumes new power, and acquires dearest interests of the country are in. new dominion beyond all reason and provolved. I indulged myself in the hope bability, it must be evident that no conthat ministers would have been the first fidence can be placed in his professions. to bave brought forward the topics on But we are told, the more reliance we which my hon. friend has touched; and have upon his tone, the safer and the more their not doing it, tends to confirm any secure we shall be; and, taking this as a distrust which I may have entertained. rule of argument, we may go on to witIf I take the language held out in the ness the aggrandizement and consolidation debates on the signing of the preliminaries of his empire, because these are no proofs of peace, and compare it with what has of the want of sincerity. When we see been since effected, I shall find no satis- instances every day of his redoubled factory grounds for me to banish my ap- vigour, of his over-straining ambition, prehensions. It would, indeed, appear shall we subscribe to this doctrine, and that little has been done since that period. give our assent to his moderation? If I feel, in common with others, the great ministers will raise their heads from their evils resulting from suspense. Yet even dispatches, and read the great dispatch of these evils, and this state of suspense, are the enemy, plain and legible as it is in not sufficient to justify gentlemen in call- every part of the globe, they will see uning for explanations from his majesty's doubted proofs of his rooted determinaministers. Reasons, however, of a more tion to turn all events to his advantage powerful nature are not wanting. Has against the interests of this country. If nothing happened since the signing of the any thing like a correct idea of a prelimipreliminaries to sanction inquiry ? Every nary treaty can be formed, I should say, thing has happened which must be ac. that it is that state in which both parties counted sufficient to set aside the engage should have stood still. It presents to the [VOL. XXXVI.)