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1 fraud, and delusion; if it is looked upon only as an artful cabal of tyrants, united for plunder and oppression; then must such a government, instead of being a cheap and simple institution, be a complex and expensive establishment-strong, not in the people, but in its means of corruption, delusion, and intimidation.
The English government seems in the latter predicament. It has long ceased to possess the respect and confidence of the people, and it has governed by over-awing the weak, deluding the ignorant, and corrupting the baser part of the community. The latter-its power of corruption—its means of rewarding its adherents by the spoil of the people, is the - great lever by which it operates. This power, its connexion and influence, as exhibited in our church-establishment, the administration of justice, and what more particularly belongs to government, it is the object of this work to develope.
Many persons still seem to expect retrenchment under such a system. A'fallacious hope! To retrench is to weaken; its policy is to spend, not to save, There are, no doubt, scores, nay thousands, of offices, useless indeed to the people, but invaluable to their rulers. The greater the sinecure, the greater its importance; and the very reason urged by the people for its abolition, is the strongest argument for its continuance by their oppressors. Could government only reward its servants in proportion to their deserts, what inducement would there be to enter into its service? Who would incur the odium of such employment? How could it obtain adherents ? How could it have zealous supporters in every part of the empire, and carry on an execrable system, which has trampled on the rights, and is incompatible with the happiness of the people
Ministers, weak and contemptible, are yet too wise to depend on their wisdom and justice; they depend on force and corruption; on the bayonets of the military, and the expenditure of 60 millions of money. These form the right and left hand, the master principles of the system. The support they cannot bribe they will intimidate. Their principles have been clearly manifested during the present Session of Parliament. - Let us for a moment look at their efforts to maintain a large military establishment, and to avoid any reduction in the public expenditure.
The cheap, natural, and most effective defence of this country is certainly the navy; but ministers think otherwise. With them the army, and not the naty, is a primary object.
Of 16 millions, the estimated expense of the army and navy, upwards of 10 millions is for the army alone. In the third Report of the Finance Committee, a saving of £14,000 is recommended by the reduction of the Naval Asylum, where 1000 orphan children are fed, clothed, and educated: but the Military Asylum, which costs the public £36,000 a year is to be kept up! Again, the Military College, at Sandhurst, costs more than £25,000 a year, and for what? why, there are 30 masters to teach 320 scholars, and this establishment bas given to the public service about 20 cadets a year, which is an expense of more than £ 1000 each !
Now, why this lavish expenditure on the army ?--why its preference to the navy? Plainly this,-ministers are not apprehensive of foreign aggression, but of domestic resistance; their black and iron system is not endangered from without, but within ; it is the people, not France or Ainerica, of whom they are afraid, and whom they are preparing to resist. Let us pass on to the subject of retrenchment.
The Finance-Committee could suggest no practicable saving in the army-estimates. A Correspondent, in “ The Times,” May 10, shows clearly, in a statement wbich has not been contradicted, that £250,000 might be saved to the public in that department alone, principally in the Commander-in-Chief's office, and the military establishments which have been, mentioned. The Ordnance department swallows nearly £1,200,000 of the public money, £34,000 of which sum is expended in pensions, &c. Can any one believe there could be no reduclion in this branch? Mr. Tierney, no niggardly politician, asserted that one million might be saved by economy in the public expenditure. But why not reduce the salaries of the persons employed in the public offices ? There are betwixt 3 and 4000 persons of this description; their incomes have increased from 20 to 30 per cent. within the last twenty years; why not reduce them to their former amount? The Board of Excise has offered to collect the customs at an expense of 5 instead of 13 per cent. which they now cost, and thus save the public half a million a year. Will this proposition be acceded to ? No! Why? because it would lessen the patronage of ministers ; it would abolish a whole host of placemen, of comptrollers, of commissioners and of collectors almost innumerable. Then, again, there are 64 commissioners appointed to collect the revenue; there are commissioners to audit the public accounts; there are receivers of taxes, receivers of assessed taxes, and distributors of stamps. Many of these have incomes of £5000, and none
less than £700 a year. The duties of some are wholly dis. charged by depuiy; and of others, they have merely to affix their signature for the monies they receive. All these are either wholly or nearly useless to the public; under a good government they would either be entirely abolished or greatly reduced; but then they are necessary under a system like ours, which has only such things to depend on for support.
It would be easy to point out other branches of lavish expenditure, were it possible to believe that retrenchment was either the policy or wish of ministers. After the appointment of the two lay lords of the Admiralty, their most bigoted admirers must be convinced that they will not make the smallest sacrifice to the necessities of the country, that they will not give up a single office which they have the power to retain. The grant to the Duke of York is another measure of the same character. Language does not afford terms sufficiently strong to do justice to that transaction. From his different appointments, probably, the Duke does not receive less than £100,000 per annum ;--and when we reflect on the unparalleled sufferings of the people, to wring from them £10,000 more, for an office for which a brute would blush to receive a reward, we say, language cannot describe the atrocious transaction.
Instead of lightening the burdens of the people by retrenchment, THREE MILLIONS of additional taxes are to be imposed to supply the waste of government; and upon whom are they to be levied ? Not upon the clergy, the fundholders, nor the landbolders ;-no! upon none of these, but upon the useful classes, upon those classes we are now addressing. But it is upon the working classes that the fresh burdens fall with the most merciless weight. Instead of relieving them from the salt-tax, the duties on leather, soap, and candles ; they are loaded with new imposts still more oppressive, and pursued through the whole circle of their enjoyments-beer-clothingtea-tobacco-nothing has escaped the rapacity of their oppressors.
This is the only answer the people have to their petitions and sufferings. The resources of a system, that breathes nothing but inhumanity, injustice, and extravagance, and which exists in opposition to the wishes and interests of the people, it is the object of this work to expose.
“ That no person who has an office or place of profit under the King, or receives a pension from the Crown, shall be capable of serving as a Member of the House of Commons." --Act of Settlement, 12 and 13 William III.
“ It should always be remembered, that every eighteen pounds a year, paid to any Placenian or Pensioner, withdraws from the public the means of giving active employment to one individual, as the head of a family, thus depriving five persons of sustenance from the fruits of honest industry and active labour, and rendering them paupers."'-Rickard Preston, Esq. M.P. and a supporter of the Pitt-System.
LOOK at the motto! Look at the motto! It is no matter that the clause in the Act which placed the present family on the throne is repealed, the invaluable, constitutional, and fundamental principle still remains. In framing that enactment our forefathers wisely foresaw that no man could serve two masters; that a servant of the
On Places, Sinecures, Pensions, and Reversions.
crown could not at the same time be a faithful servant of the people: and that a Member of Parliament ought not to be allowed to spend the money which he is expressly deputed to save. It belongs to a subsequent part of this work to treat of the salaries and pensions of Members of the present Parliament; but there is a fact connected with this subject, for which the public is indebted to a motion of the gallant Cochrane, to which we cannot forbear adverting, and which will show the extent of the violation of the principle on which we are commenting. The fact to which we allude is in the Supplementary Report of the Committee of Expenditure, in May, 1809, where it is shown that seventy-six Members of the then Parliament, received in salaries and pensions, free from all deduction, £164,003.
Having adverted to this great constitutional principle, we shall now, conformably to our plan, give an introductory essay on Places and Pensions.
From changes in the mode of managing the revenue, and in the administration of justice, and partly from the union of the three kingdoms, there is a considerable number of offices to which no duties whatever are attached, and of which the holders, without either employment or responsibility, have only to receive the salaries and emoluments. Of this description is the Chief-Justiceship in Eyre, north of Trent, held by Mr. Villiers, with a salary of £2250; the Keeper of the Signet in Ireland, beld by Lord Colchester, with a salary of £1500; the office of Lord Justice-General in Scotland, held for many years by persons not brought up even to the profession of law.
Next to offices of this cast, are those of which the salaries are vastly disproportioned to the employment, and of which the duties are discharged wholly by deputy. This forms a very numerous class. As specimens of Sinecures of this character we may mention the Auditorship of the Exchequer, held by Lord Grenville, with a salary of £4000; the Registrarship of the Admiralty, held by Lord Arden, with a salary of £10,000; the Clerkship of the Pells, held by a son of Lord Sidmouth, with a salary of £3000; and the Tellerships of the Exchequer. Many offices in the Courts of Justice belong to this head, and we may also add a host of Commissioners for the collection