« PreviousContinue »
it is probable that, in his tricks, dealing of Mr. Alexander Daviso he would have been less daring. : we refer our readers to the report
In the first place, he charged, in the commissioners.---The wealth th point of measure, as a retailer, not this man accumulated at the expen making the allowance always made of the public, must have been il by wholesale dealers, of one chaldron mense; nor was he at any pains in twenty : 80 that, supposing his shade it from the public eye, bu prices to have been fair, he thus on the contrary, seemed desirous gained one twentieth part more, display it by the utmost splendour al than would have been done by a magnificence*. In short, he seemn fair wholesale dealer. This, how. destined to rouse the attention ever, was a trile, compared with government to the conduct of th what follows. It appears, from a servants, and the agents of its se comparative view of the prices which rants. Davison paid, and those which he Lord Archibald Hamilton, w charged to the government, (and had given notice, in the house which were paid to him for a course commons, of a motion which of 'nine years,) that the average of intended to bring forward respecti the price charged to the public, was the third report of the commissione eighty-one shillings per chaldron ; of military inquiry, on the 2d and the average of the price paid February, called the attention of t by Davison, sixty-one shillings per house to this subject. He had i chaldron ; making a difference of tended to have moved, that the twenty-five in the hundred. To torney-general should be instruct this sum, again, must be added, the to take the necessary measures one chaldron in twenty, which Da. ascertaining and securing, by d vison ought to have given in, as the course of law, such sums as shou wholesalers do, amounting to five be due to the public from Mr. Ale pounds in the hundred more: thus ander Davison, in consequence making a gain of thirty pounds in the transactions disclosed in / every hundred. Farther still, Da. third report of the commissioners vison was bound to make the de. military inquiry. But he had sin liveries in the most favourable sea. learnt that the business was sons; instead of which, he made the hands of the treasury, wi almost the whole of them in winter, whose proceedings he was u when coals were dearest, though he willing, especially after some cor had bought them at the seasons when munication he had had with his n coals were cheapest ; and that too, ble friend (lord H. Petty), to i through the most shameful and cul. terfere. He thought it his dut pable inattention, if not the conni. however, to state the view wi vance of general Delancey, with which he had taken up the subjec the public money. For many other He had considered that, the repo instances, and the most accurate having been made, it was far fra details concerning the fraudulent being creditable that it should ha
• He was a pnrehaser of the most valuable pictures, as well as of estates, and in the habit of giving grand and splendid entertainments not only to the nobilit but to the Prince of Wales, and others of the Princes.
been supposed to remain so long on tory. The commissioners, how. the table unnoticed ; and also that ever, by the direction of the trea. it would have been more desireable sury, had called for the cash-account, for the house to have instituted some and directions had been given, and process against Mr. Alexander measures taken for the recovury oi Davison, than that it should have the sums due. been done by the treasury. Nor Mr. Robson, Feb. 18, moved bad ke yet wholly relinquished that for certain papers relative to abuses opinion, though by his commanica. in the barrack department. Four tions with his noble friend, it had years had elapsed since he had first been rery much weakened.
recommended and pressed an in. Lord H. Petty took the present quiry into the expenditure of that opportunity of explaining to the department; and since that period, house the proceedings of the treasury six millions had been granted for that with regard to the matter in question, service in Great Britain and two which he was not surprized to find millions for Ireland. If his sug. bad attracted the notice of his noble gestions had been acted upon, there friend, and of the house in general. would have been a saving of two The commissioners of barrack ac. millions for the public, out of the counts had, very properly, com. sums paid for the hire of buildings, municated to the lords of the trea. the repairs of buildings, and the rent sury their opinion, that it was very of temporary barracks. As an in. necessary that Mr. Davison should stance of the abuses in the above produce his cash account with the articles, he mentioned a collusion barrack-master-general. Mr. Da. between a Mr. Page who had bctisoe, after delays which he endea. come barrack-master, and a Mr. voured to excuse, declared his rea. Green, a lawyer at Winchester, diness to give such information as stated in the second report of mili. to his cash account, as he could tary inquiry.* In proof of the gice; but stated at the same time, utility of producing the papers to be that bis cash-account was so mixed moved for, he stated that last year with other accounts, that it was im. he had confined his inquiry to one possible he could give a clear parish or districtin the Isle of Wight, tica of it. It was not competent and that in this place he had since for lord II. P. to say, in the pre- found that the rents of the temporary Sfat stage of the business, whether barracks were reduced to one half. there was any evidence on which to Parns hired for that purpose, and found a criminal prosecution : but rated at €.2,200, were now lower. f it should, the attorney and solicie ed to £.1,100 by means of the mo. tor generals would be instructed by tion he had formerly made on that the lords of the treasury to institute subject. proceedings upon it. Mr. Davison Lord Howick declared in a very had written to the lords of the trea earnest manner, and wished Mr. Fry, stating, that he would pro. Robson to be assured, that if his éace, in his own defence, an ac. motion could possibly have been carnt which would prove satisfac. complied with, without interfering • Vide Appendix to the Chronicle.
uith the commissioners already ap- enabled to attend to that branch pointed, no one could be more expenditure, as well as to ever ready than he would have been to other. He concluded with moring support such inquiries.-- Mr. Rob. 66 That a committee be appointed son's motion being put from the consider of what saying could ! chair, was Degatived, without a divi. made by the reduction of usele bion.--Mr. Robson then stated, inat places, sinecure offices, exorbita he should on a future day submit 2 fees, and every other retrenchmer motion to the house, that would reach that could be made in the expend the barrack departments on foreign ture of the public money." -- Lor stations: and he hoped that the Folkstone, rose and said, that ! charer's abroad, for instance, in the had the honour to second the me Island of Sicily*, would uutturn out tion. to be such as formerly existed in Lord H. Petty sail, that whateve the Island of Corsica.
difference of opinion there might en A committee of finance had been ist between himself and the honou appointed in 1797, for investigating able gentleman as to the word public establishments, and sifting there was a perfect coincidence official abuses, as a ground work for sentiment upon the grounds of all retrenchments in the national ex present motion, between the ho penditure. For the same end, nourable gentleman, and not on
Mr. Biddulph, February 10th, himself, but all his majesty's min moved, in the hour of commons, the sters. In this they all concurred appointment of a similar committee. that the strictest ceconomy should u Great advantages would result from observed in the management of th an attentive perusal of the valuable public money; and that all place! documents of the former committee; offices, and pensions, should be se The light which their labour and in duced to the sinallest charse, con dustry had thrown on the subject; sistent with the proper administra and finally from the eventual good tion of the affairs of the nation which the application of that infor. But if an union of sentiment pre ination, assisted by the result of the vailed so far, he hoped there woul intermediate time and circumstances also be an union of sentiment upg must in any future inquiry produce. another position, essential to th His motion would embrace every welfare and stability of government branch of the public' expenditure. which was this, that in every coun The powers he proposed to give to try there ought to be rewards fa the committee, were the same as services performed; and that suc those granted to the committee of rewards should form part of th 1797. The pension-list was not establishment of all well-regulate referred to the committee of that governments. The only point the time, neither would he have' it exto be considered was, how far place pressly referred to the committee and pensions were proper, and i how proposed. But his motion, he what instances they had been allow gaid, would te frames in such a ed to run to excess, either throug manner that the committee would be abuse or neglect. That such exce:
· * Where the commander-in-chief of our firrces was general Fax.
M formerly exist, he was perfectly satisfaction in the sentiments ex. Luare : bat he begged leave to re. pressed by the chancellor of the ex, nind the bouse, that during a course chequer. The sentiments of lord H. of twenty years, it had been a con. Petty, and the other ministers, on stant object to reduce and confine the propriety and necessity of æco. such places within their proper nomy, were also highly applauded by bal. From an historical view Ir. Fawkes (in a maiden speech), of the kind of reform, from the com. Mr. Ellison, and Mr. Calvert. The mision faccounts established in the amendment was then agreed to, and atinis ration, in which a near the comınittee nominated, to whom sad deur connexion of his (karl of were referred the reports of the Seburue) bure a part, to the pre- committee of finance, and the com, pat period, he concluded that great missioners of accounts, and other
igre had be maile in destroy. reports of a similar nature. ise orices, and that there was a dis. The present age, that is, the last
uition in the government to pre. century, with what has passed and at the uuecessary renewal of is passing of tlus, may be caller the
age of tirance. If a traveller from But though little remained to some distant country, aitogether he door, we did not contend that unacquained with our banks and that 'itte should remain undone. paper-credit, had put the question, Hrva os opinion, tha with a slight what the house of commons were Horatio in the words, the motion about, when they were so busily Nu seped the assent of the house. employed for so long a time, in the Il-proposed an alteration by which consideration of plans of finance; Emotion, as amended, stood thus: and been told that they were crea. ** That a select committee be ap. ting money; he would doubtless have Diated to examine and consider imagined that they were engaged in
* regulations and checks had the business of coinage. The con. fron established in order to controul ventional value of gold and silver, to several branches of the public had been abstracted from these so. *Ipenditure in Great Britain and lid metals, and transferred to paper, Land, and how far the same had stamped with a promise; so that mo. den effectual; and what further ney had come to be an operation of Deres could be adopted for redu. the mind, an act of faith not a sub.
32 any part of the said expendi. stantial or material, but a metaphy, tre, or diminishing the amount of sical sort of thing, and so easily mul. salaries and emoluments, without tiplied, that bank-notes in this coun. turiment to the public service; and try alınost exceeded calculation. Sat they should report the same, And in the beginning of A. D. 1797, 75 their observations thereupon, so great was the demand on the bank 9 house.
of England for payment of its notes Mr. Biddulph very readily acqui. in specie, that the intervention of exced in the amendment; between government was found to be neces.
hack and the motion he had made, sary for the preservation of public 1.here was so little of substantial dif. credit.* ference; and declared his sincere This past accumulation of circu.
lating • Vide Vol. XXXIX, 1797, History of Europe, p. 178.
lating capital tended no doubt to money, on an average proportion rouse and enliven every branch of wages to necessaries for some ye industry and species of adventure, back, than new inundations of bi and thereby contributed to the ge- metaphysical and metal money i neral wealth or clear retenue of the stroyed the balance. The number nation. But, it is not to be disgui. those who depended on relief from th sed, that it had a most pernicious parishes, bad increased to an alar influence on the condition of the ing degree. And the increase in 1 great mass of the poor labouring poors-rates was an enormous ad people. Taxes on taxes without tion to the enormous taxes paid end, for payment of the inte government. The reduced state rest of loans on loans, gave birth to the common people was observal such a profusion of those paper-signs to every one, and to those who ha of wealth, as occasioned also a rapid pened to return to London, or a decrease in its value. While idle other place, after an absence capitalists and stock-jobbers rolled twenty or thirty years, extrem in wealth, the lot of the lower clas. striking. A very great number ses of the people became harder and what are called tea-gardens, in karder. The price of provisions and vicinity of the metropolis, were all necessaries became higher and serted. The voice of joy and gla higher: that is, the value of money Dess was less heard in the villag became less and less. This fall in And even among those who were i the value of money was rapid, but inclined to give vent to their feelin the rise in the price of labour, par. in murmurs and complaints, ther: w ticularly agricultural labour, the an air of patient and sad resignatic most valuable of any, and which — These were among the evils flo employs so great a proportion of ing from the funding system, or tl the population of the country, was of shifting off on the shoulders very slow.* And no sooner was it posterity the hurthen of the da raised, if indeed it ever was raised, which burthen, however, would, to a level with the depreciation of many instances, have been less,
* We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of wo but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes, the masters can h out much longer than the labourers or workmen. A landlord, a farmer, a mast manufacturer, or merchant, though they did not employ a single labourer or wo man, could, generally, live a year or two upon the stocks which they have alrer acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a mor and scarcely any a year, without cmployment. In the long-run the workman n be as necessary to his master as bis innster is to him: but the necessity is not immediate --we rarely hear, it has bech said, of the combinations of masters, thou frequently of those of workmen. But, whoeverimagines on this account, that m ters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are ways and every where in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combinat is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master amo his neigbbours and equals. We seldoin indeed hear of his combination, beca it is the usual, and one may say the natural state of things, which nobody bears of.-Smith's WEALTH of Nations, book i.