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would be better with one set of ministers than another, for he looked PART I. upon it that all ministers would be anxious, on cases of what they con. ceived emergency, to appropriate it to the public use. He thought, therefore, the whole thing a delusion upon the public, and on that account he would never support a tax to maintain it.
The evil of the national debt ought to be met. It was an evil which almost any sacrifice would not be too great to get rid of. It destroyed the equilibrium of prices, occasioned many persons to emigrate to other countries, in order to avoid the burden of taxation which it entailed, and hung like a millstone round the exertion and industry of the country. He therefore, never would give a vote in support of any tax which went to continue a sinking fund; for if that fund were to amount to eight millions, ministers would on any emergency give the same account of it as they did at present. The delusion of it was seen long ago by all those who were acquainted with the subject; and it would have been but fair and sound policy to have exposed it long ago.
Mr. Brougham said, (June 8, 1819) “How stood the circumstances with respect to this fund ? In 1786, it amounted to one million, and an addition of 200,0001. was made soon after. In 1792, it was increased by so much of each loan, as gave assurance that at the end of 45 years such loan would be expunged by the gradual operation of the sinking fund. This pledge continued to 1802, when new arrangements were made by Lord Sidmouth, that did not much postpone the term of payment. The operation of 1813, was to accelerate the liquidation of the debt, towards the close of the period pledged for that purpose, and the fund was then reduced to 15,000,0001. instead of 21,000,0001. to which it had accumu. lated. The fund holder was then told that repayment would go on at an accelerated rate from a certain term, and now came the plan by which all this was bid adieu to, and the sinking fund reduced to 5,000,0001. Did not this place the public credit on a different footing ? and was it not, to all intents and purposes, a breach of faith?
“Lord Holland stated, in a speech sometime since, that the royal family of England, that is to say, the maintenance of the mere state of the crown, cost the country one million two hundred thousand pounds ! or nearly one-fourth of the whole assessed taxes of the kingdom.” (Bell's Weekly Messenger, May 18, 1819.)
“Mr. Tierney stated, (April 5, 1818,) that his majesty's privy purse amounted to sixty thousand pounds. A privy purse of sixty thousand pounds, in the present state of his majesty! (Hear, hear.] Out of this sum he admitted that the allowance to the physicians had to be paid; but on the most liberal allowance to them, this would not amount to eighteen thousand pounds a year. There was also received out of the dutchy of Lancaster ten thousand pounds. So that here was seventy thousand pounds that her majesty had, without there being a necessity of rendering an account for any part of it. With the deduction of an allowance to the physicians, and a few pensions, this was a fund for accumulation for somebody. Her majesty's establishment amounted to one hundred thousand pounds a year. These two sums together made one hundred and seventy thousand pounds. But besides this, her majesty was allowed for her Windsor establishment fifty-eight thousand pounds, and an additional allowance of one thousand pounds a year for what was called travelling expenses; and the allowance for the two princesses was twenty-six thousand pounds, making the total of the Windsor establishments amount to no less a sum than two hundred and sixty-four thousand pounds per annum. [Hear, hear!]
“Mr. Brougham considered, (1817,) that the amount of the pension list in 1809, a year when the four and a half per cent fell extremely short, was two hundred and twe thousand pounds. Upon that list were to be found the names of those who had rendered no service;
PART I. persons who belonged to families not more distinguished for their anti
quity and rank than for their wealth and splendour, and whose only title to their pensions, he presumed, was their invariable support of the ministers of the crown, whoever those ministers might be.”
“ The sinecure vacated by the death of the Earl of Buckingham. shire had been worse than useless ; it had served as a screen to the most shocking abuses, and the most abominable frauds.” (Lord Lansdowne, May, 1816.)
“Sir H. Parnell said, (July 13, 1819,) in *stating the increase of the civil list, it ought to have been stated to have increased from 900,0001. to 1,030,0001."
“Mr. Calcraft expressed his obligations to the honourable baronet for bringing forward his resolutions, and trusted that he would not be deterred from future inquiries by the criticisms which every man who talked of economy was exposed to, from the bench opposite him. The main resolutions had not been grappled with by the right honourable getleman (Mr. Long,) that the revenue was collected at the enormous expense of 5,500,0001. Had be shown that it was collected at less ? This was the key to the popularity and consequence of the present administration. So long as they had these 5,500,0001, to distribute, so long would they hear, from those who received it, of their popularity."
"The credit of the custom house tables (said Mr. Brougbam, in his speech of June 16, 1812,) would be but small, after the account of them which appears in evidence. But the evidence sufficiently ex. plains on which side of the scale the error is likely to lie. There is, it would seem, a fellow feeling between the gentlemen at the custom house, and their honoured masters at the board of trade; so that when the latter wish to make blazing statements of national prosperity, the former are ready to find the fact. The managing clerk of one of the greatest mercantile houses in the city, tells you that he has known packages entered at 5001. which were not worth 501.—that those sums are entered at random, and cannot be at all relied upon. Other wit. nesses, particularly from Liverpool, confirm the same fact ; and I know, as does my right hon. friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was present, that the head of the same respectable house, a few days ago mentioned at an official conference with him, an instance of his own clerks being desired at the Custom House, to make a double entry of an article for export. After such facts as these, I say it is in vain 10 talk of Custom House returns, even if they were contradicted in no re. spect by other evidence.”
The consumers of tea, said Mr. Ellice, (June 18, 1819,) paid not only 5,500,0001. to government, but 2,000,0001. to the monopoly of the East India company
Civil Contingencies Bill- March 19, 1819–31911. for expense of fur. niture for one room in the Royal Yatcht-13,300l. expences of grand duke Nicholas. 22,5001. for snuiff boxes to foreign ministers. 10,8971. for fees and presents to German Barons, &c.
Mr. Tierney said, (1819,) that the amount of pensions for England and Scotland, independently of those founded on parliamentary grants, was 250,0001.
LOOSE EXTRACTS FROM ENGLISH JOURNALS. “ After the bodies of the criminals, Chennel and Chalcraft, had been cut down, they were received into the waggon, which conveyed them to the place of execution, and extended on the elevated stage which had been constructed in the vehicle. The procession of officers, con.
stables, &c. was then re-formed, and the remains of the murderers were PART I. conveyed in slow and awful silence through the town of Godalming, un. til they arrived at the house of the late Mr. Chennel. Here the procession balted, and the bodies of Chennel and Chalcraft were removed from the waggon into the kitchen of the house, one of them being placed on the very spot where the housekeeper, Elizabeth Wilson, was found murdered. After this the surgeon proceeded to perform the first offices of dissection, and the bodies in this state were left to the gaze of thousands, who throughout the day eagerly rushed in to view them. (Bell's Weekly Messenger, 1818.)
“The country assizes,” said the London Courier of April 4, 1817
now just terminated, have presented a list of criminals quite unparalleled for magnitude in the history of this country. At no former period have they amounted to more than a fourth or a third part of their present number. From fifteen to fifty capital convictions have taken place in almost every county. At Lancaster assizes forty-six persons received sentence of death. In October last it was proved in a court of law, that a club of conspirators (Halters) at Manchester, perjured themselves by wholesale, to the amount of one hundred and thirty at a time ; and now it is just proved that a knot of assassins can be as easily hired in England, as in Italy. Three hundred of Messrs. Bodin's workmen, at Loughborough, baving conspired against their employers about wages, subscribed a fund, and hired, at five pounds each man, a squad of assassins well skilled in the art of house burning, and murder, who destroyed their master's premises in revenge."
Revolt in Winchester College.-“We are happy to state, that tranquil. lity has been restored at Winchester College, that the business of the school has been resumed with order, and that the young gentlemen have since shown perfect resignation to the will of their able teachers. About ten of the gentlemen commoners have been allowed to resign. There were only six (out of 230) who did not join in the revolt, the two senior and four other college prefects. (Bell's Weekly Messenger, May 18, 1818.)
We are happy to announce that prosecutions have been brought against a number of grocers for the manufacture and sale of a perni. cious substitute for tea, composed of the leaves of the black and white thorn, boiled, dried on copper plates, and coloured with logwood, ver. digrease, and Dutch pink. The facts were proved at great length, and verdicts found in the Court of Exchequer, on Saturday, against no fewer than ten dealers in the metropolis, for this fraud. Several of them submitted to conviction without resistance, and thus the important fact is established, that this deleterious mixture is imposed on the fair trader.
There are other articles of human consumption, equally exposed to similar frauds. Porter and ale, it has frequently been proved, have been mixed with drugs of the most pernicious quality. Port wine, as it is called, and especiaily that sold at very low prices, it is known, has been manufactured from sloe juice, British brandy, and logwood. Gin, in order that it may have the grip, or have the appearance of being particularly strong, is known to be adulterated with a decoction of long pepper, or a small quantity of aquafortis. Bread, from public convic. tions, is known to have been made of a mixture of flour, ground stone, chalk, and pulverized bones. Milk to have been adulterated with whitening and water. Sugar to have been mixed with sand. Pepper with fuller's earth and other earths. Mustard, with cheap pungent seeds. Tobacco, with various common British herbs. There is scarce an article of ordinary consumption, which is not rendered destructive by the infamous and fraudulent practices of interested persons. (Bell's Weekly Messenger, May 13, 1818.)
“The practice of adulterating flour with bones becomes more com
PART I. mon. The price of pulverized bones, has accordingly, advanced within
these few years from ten pence a bushel, to eighteen pence to the first purchasers. The collection of bones, is, in fact, pursued as a regular trade in the metropolis. Fine pulverized clay is also mixed with the prime necessary of life. (Literary Panorama, July 19, 1819.)
“ The contraband trade of Great Britain is estimated at about fifteen millions sterling a year, by which the revenue is annually defrauded of about two millions."
“December 1, 1818. Lord Ranelagh indicted, convicted and fined fifty pounds for extorting money (for the use of his servants) from three young men who took shelter on his grounds on the banks of the Thames in a thunder storm.”
“Dec. 3, 1818. A British naval officer connected with the dock yard at Chatham, is condemned (at St. Omer's) to five years labour in chains for uttering forged bank of England notes in the neighbourhood of St. Omer, Dunkirk and Calais."
“Feb. 26, 1819. Bartholomew Broughton, an officer in His Majesty's navy, was brought before Mr. Alderman Cox, as sitting alderman, charged with felony in stealing bank notes and other property at the White Horse, Fetter Lane, and the Swan with two necks, Lads Lane, where he had at different times slept.”
“Old Bailey, 26th Feb. 1819. Edward Lawrence Colman, late purser in His Majesty's navy, was convicted on an indictment for embezzling his employers money-Mess, Lewis and Company, Oxenden street.”
“March 18, 1819. A naval court martial was held a few days ago on board His Majesty's ship Northumberland, at Chatham, for the trial of capt. W. E. Wright, of the navy, for smuggling. He was convicted and sentenced to be dismissed the service."
(The foregoing cases, it will be observed, occurred within a few months of each other. They are collected by a casual reader, and are probably not all, of the same nature, that took place during the same time.)
“ June, 1819. The Earl of Morton having lately occasion to call on Mr. Geo. Moncrieff, manager of the Union Canal Company in Edinburgh, gave him the lie. A boxing match ensued, and blue eyes and bloody noses were the results on both sides. Lord Morton was high commissioner of the general assembly which sat only a few weeks ago."
“Dec. 1818. It is a fact that Chief Justice Abbott, (the Lord Chief Justice of England) lately threatened to adjourn the court of King's bench, because tullow candles had been produced, instead of was lights.”
" It is also a fact, that the late Justice Gould, when on the circuit, once threatened to remove the Essex Assizes from Chelmsford to Col. chester, because no good small beer could be found infthe former town."
“In a debate which took place in the House of Commons, April 2, 1819, on the circumstances attending the arrest of general Gourgand, sir George Cockburn threw out an accusation, whilst speaking in his place, against Góurgaud, by relating what he had heard from him at St. Helena, in the hasty and unguarded moments of private conversation. “The general,” said sir George Cockburn,“ stated to me that he had great reason to complain of that scoundrel Bertrand, for so these persons were in the habit of speaking of each other."