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The Civil List.
£25,000 out of the Droits of Admiralty, it accounts for that loyal clamour which we hear so incessantly in parliament, of this fund being the private property of the king.” For other applications of the Admiralty Droits we must refer to the " BLACK Book," especially to the manner the Rev. Mr. Daniels, author of “ Field Sports,” a broker in evidence, became entitled to £5000 out of this fund. *
The second considerable branch of revenue, at the disposal of Ministers, is the Four and a Half per cent. Leeward Island Duties. This fund produces from fifty to sixty thousand pounds, a-year, and consists of a tax of 44 per cent. imposed on produce in the island of Barbadoes and Leeward Isles. It was created by a colonial law of Barbadoes, nearly two hundred years ago, and, by the terms of the act, was to be applied to the erection of public buildings, the repair of courts, and other colonial purposes. In -the reign of Charles II. it was seized by the courtiers, and continued to be abused till the reign of Queen Anne ; when, on a representation of the abuses of the fund, it was formally renounced by the queen and parliament in favour of the island of Barbadoes, and the original purposes of the act creating it. It has again fallen into abuse: the natural children of the Royal Dukes, the members of both Houses of Parliament, their relatives and connexions, having got almost entire possession of the fund. :: The parties in the smuggling transaction just related are inscribed here. The gallant Sir Home is lately dead, but his pension of £500 survives, being, a reversion payable to his widow. Mr. Long's pension of £1500 is dated February, 1801, consequently, the right honourable gentleman has received £31,500 principal money from the 44 per cent. fund. He is a lay-pluralist, filling several places; but all appear insufficient to reward his public services without providing his widow a pension of £750, payable on his death.
Many other names, not ! unknown to fame,' are found on this fund. The famous pension to the executors' of Edmund Burke is paid out of the 41 per cent. duties. Nearly the first names on the list are Mary and Maria Hunn, the mother and sister of Mr. Canning, whose public services are well known and duly appreciated'; but the public services of Mrs. Hunn and her daughter, Maria Hunn, are not so clearly understood. It may be remembered that the motion of Mr. Brougham, last session, to rescue the West India duty from ministerial grasp, was strenuously opposed by Mr. Canning, and, apparently, with good reason: the right honourable gentle
* See Document No. IV.
The Civil List.
man observing, with his accustomed modesty, that there never was a time when public men were so free from all imputation of pecuniary taint.'
One name on this fund, the Guide to Electors observes, should never be forgotten; it is general CRAUFORD. The way in which this officer entitled himself to £1200 a-year for life is deserving of attention. Every body remembers the fatal expedition to Walcheren, when forty thousand men were suffered to perish in that pestilential climate, owing to the incapacity of Lord Castlereagh and the duplicity of Mr. Canning. When this business became matter of discussion in the House of Commons; when it was made apparent to every man in England that it was to the squabbles and ignorance of these men that this great national calamity was to be attributed ; it was, nevertheless, resolved, by a majority of two hundred and seventy-five, to negative the censure which was moved by Lord Porchester (now Lord Carnarvon) against ministers on that occasion. But the triumphs of ministers did not stop here. A vote of approbation of the ministers was absolutely moved and adopted by a majority of two hundred and fifty-five. The member who had the effrontery to move this vote of approbation was general CRAUFORD. But this officer bad a further claim on ministerial gratitude: he had recently become connected by marriage with the duke of Newcastle ; he represented and commanded the parliamentary interest of that nobleman; he had eight votes to give to ministers on 'any occasion.
The following items are inserted as they stand in the Parliamentary
Special Warrant,.... 1650 5 6” This is pretty well. Of the public services rendered to the planters of Barbadoes by lady Augusta De Ameland we are uninformed; all we know respecting her ladyship is, that she was formerly wife to the duke of Sussex : her father receives a pension out of this fund, and her mother, the countess of Dunmore, is a pensioned lady.
Passing over Mrs. Jesse Dillon, lady Louisa and lady Anna Maria Dawson, Miss Betty Cooper, George, Amelia, and Augustus De Curt, Sophia Baroness De Clifford, Lady Harriet Erskine, and sundry other foreign names, we come to the following inscription :
“ George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount Keith, Sir John Leach, and Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, in trust for Sophia, Mary, Elizabeth, Augusta, and Amelia, Fitz-Clarence, 9th September, 1818, £2,500.”
The Civil List.
These are the children of the Duke of Clarence, by the late Mrs. Jordan. A Thomas Jordan is also down for a pension.
Passing over Miss Fanny Morgan, Mrs. Ricketts, and several others, we shall rest on Richard Wharton, esq. £500. Richard Wharton, Esq. has also a pension of £643 on the Civil List, dated 28th December, 1813. He was M.P. for Durham in the last parliament, and, in the general election, supported by all the clergy and tax-eaters, he made an unsuccessful attempt to oppose the return of Mr. Lambton for the county. In the list of this ' gentleman's public services is a pamphlet, either in defence of the Manchester Magistrates, or to show (we forget which) that parliamentary reform could do no good.
There are some pensions charged on this fund not yet become payable. Of this class is the memorable provision for Lady Grenville, of £1500 per annum for life, in the event of her surviving Lord Grenville. Since Lady Grenville obtained this grant she has succeeded to the great possessions of her brother, Lord Camelford. Lord Grenville holds a sinecure of £4000 out of the taxes, as - Auditor of the Exchequer. His eldest brother, the late Marquis of Buckingham, besides his great estates, held the enormous sinecure of the Tellership of the Exchequer, worth, latterly,
£30,000 per annum. Lord Braybrooke and Lord Carysfort, who married sisters of Lord Grenville, hold, each of them, through the interest of the family, sinecures that are worth some thousands a-year ; and yet, after all, the devoted planters of Barbadoes are to be mortgaged for, £1500 more for life. Really one cannot help admiring the wisdom of ministers in calling the Grenvilles to their assistance, there is no family on whose services they have so just a claim, for they are completely bound up in the system in all its parts; and at a moment when it is endangered, when retrenchment is demanded from all parts, it is right that the Grenvilles, above all men, should stand forward to its support. *
The Scotch Hereditary Revenue forms a third fund at the uncontrolled disposal of ministers. It yields annually about £100,000, and accrues from rent, customs, excise, fines, forfeitures, and other sources. One half the produce is paid in pensions, the remainder in donations to the Episcopal Clergy, and other objects, apparently of no public utility. In no part of the United Kingdom is loyalty so well paid as in Scotland, for in no part are there such ample funds to reward devotion to ministers. The annual value of places and pensions shared among Scotch Freeholders and Burgli
* See Document No. V.
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mongers is estimated at £1,750,000, equal to half the rental of Scotland, The Scotch 'pensions which, at the commencement of the late reign. amounted only to 19, in the year 1797 had swelled to 185, and, in 1808, to 351, two-thirds of these pensions being granted to females.
A fourth source of royal income is the Gibraltar Duties. It is provided by the original charter, granted to this place, by Queen Anne, in 1704, that, for the augmentation of trade, no duty or imposition shall be imposed upon any vessel trading or touching at the port; and that the goods and chattels of the inhabitants should enjoy an immunity from taxation. In violation of these chartered privileges various taxes were levied during the whole of the late reign, and part of the proceeds paid into the privy purse. These taxes were imposed without the authority of parliament, merely by the fiat of the governor; and some recent impositions appear,-a tax on liberty of conscience. Mr. Hume stated* that a capitation tax of ten dollars each had been imposed on all Roman Catholics and Jews, to commence from January, 1818. Taxes had also been imposed on licences to sell spirits, fishing-boats, lighters, and billiard-tables. The collector of these illegal imposts resides in Lincoln's Inn, and executes his duty by deputy. ". There are other funds at the disposal of the Crown, but of their nature and extent we have no precise information. The most important are the the Crown Lands; an immense mass of property forming the ancient patrimony of the sovereign, consisting of woods, forests, chases, and crown lands, and houses let out at rents. There are sixty-nine forests and thirteen chases. The crown-lands and messuages leased out are at very low rents, and, it is calculated, when the leases fall in, they will produce a clear rental of £200,000. The woods, forests, and chases, it is thought, may be brought to produce £200,000 more, forming an aggregate revenue of £400,000. This sum alone, it might be supposed, would be sufficient to support the crow
own in dignity and splendour, without a shilling being exacted for the maintenance of a Civil List.
We shall conclude our enumeration of the Hereditary Revenues, and the objects to which they have been applied, with a few general observations on the whole of the preceding statement.
First.-The present income of the Civil List is to an unprecedented amount, and ought to form the first object of economical reduction.
Secondly.-The income of the Civil List, as settled by the act of last session, is formed on the basis of the extravagant expenditure during the
• Commons' Debates, May 4,
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first years of the Regency; when, from profusion in the household, and other departments, the outgoings exceeded, þy more than a quarter of a million, the outgoings in the seven last years of the government of George III. Thirdly.-
That, allowing for the alteration inmoney, and the transfer to other funds of charges heretofore paid out of the Civil List, the real income of George III. exceeds that of his predecessor at least seventy-five per cent.
Fourthly. That the total income of the Royal Family, accruing from the Civil List allowance, pensions out of the Consolidated Fund, the Hereditary Revenues, and annual grants for Civil List Contingencies, is more than two millions annually. * Fifthly.—That this immense income forms the proper subject for reduction; and that to reduce the salaries of the inferior servants of government, while this charge remains uninvestigated, appears futile and unjust, and does not evince a sincere desire in Ministers to relieve public distress by effectual retrenchment.
Sixthly.—There is a large mass of floating revenue, accruing from the ancient income of Scotland, colonial duties, escheats in cases of illegitimacy, quit rents in the colonies, sale of lands, and other sources, producing, in the last reign, more than twelve millions, * which is neither applied directly to defray the charges of the Civil List, nor to any public object, but forms a constant fund in the hands of ministers, that may be applied by them to reward, by pensions and gratuities, such members of parliament as vote uniformly in their favour.
Seventhly. That the vote of last session which continued this fund to Ministers, and which made no reduction in the Civil List Allowance, on account of the alteration in money, and the removal of charges to other funds, was the most improvident that could be imagined, though it was such an one as might be expected from a body of men directly interested in the abuse and profusion they supported.
Lastly.—The whole subject of the crown revenues calls loudly for revision and inquiry; no branch of the public expenditure presenting such a mass of incongruity, abuse, and profusion. There is nothing either simple, dignified, or economical, in the present arrangement. A Civil List is voted by the House of Commons; of which part is given to the king as pocketmoney by his ministers, that is, his servants; part is expended in supporting the household ; part in defraying the salaries of the lords of the treasury, and in paying a part of the salaries of the judges and speaker of the House
* See Document No. VIII, for total amount of Hereditary Revenucs.