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But in consequence of this proceeding, in the year 1701, it was expressly forcprized and excepted' out of these revenues, and never otherwise disposed of again by Parliament. Therefore, the Parliament first took it unlawfully from the Colonies, and applied it as they did the other hereditary revenues, wthout any one ever entertaining the idea of its being a fund under the separate controul of the Crown. Then Parliament and the Crown, finding the mother country had no sort of right to it, gave it up to the Colonies. But by a strange accident it never found its way there, and has ever since been usurped by the Crown, independent both of Parliament and the Colonies.

This fund, then, if there be justice in Parliament, and law in Westminster-Hall, must ere long be rescued from its present perversion, and cease to afford the materials of corrupt influence. But we also deem the rest of these separate funds nost fit to be taken, upon compensation, if necessary, from the Crown, and appropriated by Parliament to the public service. If this be done, our author's proposal to prevent grants and pensions to Members of Parliament, can only apply to the old pension fund of 90,0001. a year. Now, he knows too well the existing law of Parliament to be ignorant that, at present, no person can sit in the House of Commons who holds a pension during pleasure. Therefore, to this class of grants, by far the most dangerous in the view of influence, his remarks have no application. Does he then mean to exclude from all Royal bounty persons who have ever sat in Parliament? No one can accuse him of so visionary a project, and indeed a project so useless in any practical view. He must, therefore, confine his plan to persons holding pensions for life; and we hesitate about excluding them. They are quite independent, except from the ties of gratitude; and we hardly think that any considerable gain would be made to the cause of liberty by their exclusion. We observe that Mr Bennet has given notice of a bill on this subject; but, as at present advised, we hardly see the necessity of such a measure. To strike at grants to the relations and connexions of Members, is manifestly chimerical in the highest degree; and the enactment of the proposed disqualification, would only drive the bounty of the Crown into that channel.

Our author next broaches a most important subject--the Abuses in the Collection of the Revenue, which make it subservient to the grand purposes of Parliamentary influence. He points to one instance in the front rank of this department, and where reform is as easy as it is safethe Receiverships of Land-tax,

I the Distributors of Stamps There are, at least, one Receiver and one Distributor in each county and they have, for mere sinecure places, salaries from five and six hundred, to, three, four, and nearly five thousand a year. To have the benefit of the deposites, country bankers, in every town in England, would gladly execute, without salaries, the only actual duties of these placemen, those performed by their deputies; and beside cutting off so much patronage, now bestowed on connexions, domestic and political, of Members of Parliament, a clear saving would be effected to the public of 300,000l. a year. As for the immense patronage of the Customs and Excise, all that the author proposes,

is a strict adherence to the rule laid down, or rather. recommended, in the Finance Reports of 1799, namely, that succession by gradation and seniority should be rigorously attended to. At present, he observes, instead of this system being pursued, which has been found to answer so perfectly with the East-India Company, we find, in every commercial town of any importance, the Customhouse absolutely overrun with persons wholly destitute of all experience or capacity for their employment, and who are placed there only because their friends support the Member for that or some other town, and he supports the Minister.

The question of a Place bill is very satisfactorily handled in the next portion of this pamphlet; and we entirely agree with all the author's positions, excepting the remarks on pensions for life, which we haye already considered. He likens them to the parish relief, which disqualifies voters at elections, and calls these pensioners State Paupers--an ingenious, but not a very solid view of the question; first

, because in truth paupers are not generally disqualified, but only in towns—in counties they are allowed to vote; secondly, because the ground of this disqualification is the legal presumption arising from it, that the pauper is a person of mean and dependent circumstances, who hardly can have a will of his own; and, thirdly, because it would be manifestly unjust to exclude such pensioners as our Admirals and Generals and retired Judges, who have, by their professional services, earned those annuities, and equally impossible to draw the line between such service and political service; for example, that of the Godolphins and Chathams. In all the rest of his remarks on this important head, we agree; and they merit deep atention in these times.

• And now I come to our seventy-six members of the House of Commons, who divide the sum of 156,0001. per annum.—Here we have, happily, precedents taken from the best of times before our. eyes,-precedents such as must satisfy the most timid, the most apa prehensive of innovation, that there is nothing to alarni them in the reform to be propose it. In the act of Parliament which passed in the reign of Queer ind which settled the Crown of this realm

on our present Royal Family after the death of Queen Anne without issue, it was enacted, that after the Hanoverian family should come to the throne, no person who held any office under the Crown, or who enjoved any pension during pleasure under the Crown, should be capable of sitting as a member in the House of Commons. Some three or four vears afterwards, this subject was reconsidered ; and in another act of Queen Anne, which created the regency in the event of that Queen's death, and the absence of the Hanoverian successor, th• former disqualifying enactment as to places was repealed, and in its room was substituted this provision, viz. that from the passing of such act of Regency, all persons holding particular places under the Crown therein specified, should be incapable of becoming mem. bers of the House of Commons; that all pensioners during pleasure should be also excluded ; that all members holding any other places whatsoever not therein specified, should vacate their seats as mem, bers. upon their acceptance of such places. but that they should be eligibie again at the pleasure of their constituents: and furthermore it was enacted, that if any new offices should be created after the passing of that Act, all persons ho ding such offices should be incapable of sitting as members of the House of Commons.

· Thus passed this Bill of Reform, and it is the law at the present day. It had for its author the Prime Minister, Lord Godolphin the Chancellor Lord Cowper—and it had the support of Lord Somers--three as honest, able, and disinterested public men as this or any other country ever saw. Our present Chancellor, Lord

is

very fond of saying he is always anxious to act as he thinks Lord Somers would have done in similar situations: and nothing can do more honour to himself, or more justice to the memory of Lord Somers, than this sentiment. The question, then, which I put to Lord Eldon, and to every man in England, is this If Lord Godolphin, Lord Cowper, and Lord Somers, with all their experience, and with their known attachment to the Hanover succession at that time, when the title of the Hanover family to the throne was more than disputed by a most powerful party in the State--when the East India Company and Bank of England were in their infancy, and the National Debt, in comparison, a trifle—if those great men then thought that the power of the Crown in the House of Commons was too great, and that it ought to be regulated and reduced, as it was by their bill of reform. to what extent may we not imagine their regulation and reduction to have gone, had they lived in times when, by the collection of the taxes alone, the amount of four millions of money annually was at the disposal of the members of the House of Commons, when all such other powers of English and Indian inAnence, as are before enumerated, have centered in the hands of that body, and are by them claimed and used as their own undoubted property? It is with this bill of Lord Godolphin's then, this Act of Reform, that we must now go to work. We are no wild theorists in attempting to apply the principle of these great authorities, and a

Eldon

pp. 25-27.

their act of Parliament, to our own times and our present condition.'

That all holders of sinecures should be disqualified, is another proposition on which we hesitate, as on that regarding pensioners for life; but, of the gross impropriety of the measures pursued for increasing the numbers of placemen who can sit in Parliament, who can doubt ? How marked a contrast does the conduct of the great authors of the Revolution present to the policy of late times in this respect! Our author shows how Mr Pitt and Lord Melville acted in the teeth of Lord Godolphin's and Mr Burke's Reform Bills; and he instances the office of Third Secretary of State, all the branches of which are new in the eye of the law, and ought to be disqualified--but all are permitted to sit in Parliament. He also gives the striking example of the Board of Controul, in which four new and lucrative offices were at once created, and their holders allowed to sit in the House of Commons, notwithstanding the salutary statute of Anne. The following remarks on this department merit attention.

"The same act which created this new establishment, repealed Lord Godolphin's act as far as related to the new places. By Lord Godolphin's bill, no new placeman was ever to become a member of the House of Commons : by this bill of Lord Melville's, no less than four new placemen were qualified to become members all at once. So much for the change in the Constitution ; and now for the change in the character of the House of Commons, as exhibited by their conduct towards this new establishment. Although this government for India was announced originally under the agreeable form of being purely gratuitous, yet in 1793 or 4, as we have seen, the late Lord Melville begun his system of providing for four members of Parliament out of it (himself included); in 1812, the present Lord Melville being president of the same establishment, and his father having obtained from the East India Company a pension of 20001. per annum for his lady, the present Lord, I say, brought a bill into Parliament, for raising his own salary from 2000l. per annum to 50001.

, and the same was enacted accordingly; and upon the conclusion of this connexion between Lord Melville's family and the Company, in 1813, the East India Company made the present Lord Melville a gift in hard money of no less a sum than 20,0001. Now, I should like to know what would have been said in Lord Godolphin's time I wonder what Lord Somers would have said to a minister of the Crown taking a present of 20,000/. from the East India Company! We know that the Earl of Danby was impeached, in those days, by the House of Commons, for taking 50001. from the East India Company. Why did not the Bank of England give 20,0001. to Mr Pitt, in return for all the services he rendered that corporation ? The one case is just as defensible as the other ; and yet when this

grant of 20,000l. was brought before the House of Commons by Mo Creevey in 1814, and by Lord Milton in 1815, it was considered as one of those questions called, in their own modern phraseology, personal questions—that is to say, an attack upon the profits or plunder belonging to Parliament men--and, as such, immediately resented and rejected. If the Company thus openly and shamefully gives away 20,0001. of its funds to a minister of the Crown, need one ask what it does with its patronage? Who then will say, with these facts in his recollection, that the Constitution is not changed—that the character of the House of Commons is not altered? But let us go on, After all, there is no Board of Controul for the government of India ; nor was there ever a single one since the passing of the act which made it! The whole of the business is transacted solely by the president, whose duty, or whose office it is to read and to alter, if he chuses, all the Company's political despatches to India : and this he does, without any the least connexion with the Board whatsoever; so that the other members of the Board, as they are called, are not only introduced into the House of Commons, to the great injury of the Constitution, and in direct violation of Lord Godolphin's bill, but they are brought in under false pretences as holding offices, whereas they hold now nothing but the name and their salaries. And for this reason it is we have a right to exact from the candidates, for our support, a pledge to use their utmost efforts, that no other than the President of the India government shall in future be allowed to be a member of the House of Commons. It is scarcely necessary again to observe here, that although these officers are paid by the India Company, they are nooned by the Crown. It is, however, necessary to state, that in addition to the two junior Commissioners having nothing in fact to do with the affairs of India, neither the President, nor they, from modern experience, have any occasion to be in the House of Commons, as, since the passing of the last act of agreement with the Company in 1813, the name of India has never been introduced into the House of Commons but once, and, on that occasion, only for a vote of thanks to Lord Hastings.' pp. 35–38.

He next proposes the exclusion of all Welsh Judges and Masters in Chancery, which seems almost a corollary from the principle of excluding the twelve Judges.—They are neither fit for the place, nor is the place fit for them. They are injured both in their politick and judicial capacity--making worse judges, without becoming good members of Parliament.

Our acute and well informed author has, however, strangely omitted one fraud on Lord Godolphin's Bill most successfully practised almost ever since its enactment.

Places directly appointed by the Crown are alone comprehended in practice within its operation. Thus, a Lord of the Treasury with 15001., or of the Admiralty with 12001., must vacate on his appointment, bccause he derives it immediately from the Crown-but the Se

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