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DURING THE SIXTH SessioN OF THE FOURTH PARLIA
WENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN
HOUSE OF COMMONS
THURSDAY, MAY 7.
REGENT'S CANAL BILL. ON N the question for taking the Report of the Regent's
Canal Bill into consideration, Mr. Creevey thought the Report which the Surveyor of the Crown Lands (Lord Glenbervie) ought to have presented within thirty days after the commencement of the present session of Parliament, should be produced previously to taking the Report of this Bill into consideration. Her (Lord Glenbervie) was a subscriber to a great extent in the proposed Canal, and Mr. Nash, who had designed and was to carry through the improvements in Mary-le-bone Park, was also a share-holder to a great amount in the Canal. He should therefore move as an amendment, that the Report be taken into consideration this day fortnight,
Mr. Brougham bad always hitherto avoided taking any part in private bills, having but too often witnessed the means which were put in practice in carrying them through the House. He could not, bowever, allow the present Bill to pass without expressing his disapprobation of it. Its object was to break in upon a large and salubrious space of ground, of the utmost consequence to the health and comfort of the inhabitants of this great metropolis. An attempt had been formerly made to build in Hyde Park, but it excited an opposition which in the end proved successful. He VOL. III.-1812.
hoped the same success would attend the opposition to the present measure, which was nearly of the same nature. Mary-le-bone Park was the only place in the neighbourhood of the metropolis which had the appearance of the country, and no one who had a regard for the lower orders, and had witnessed the enjoyment and satisfaction which they displayed there on a Sunday, would wish to see them deprived of what was so essential both to their health and pleasure. What with the new barracks, which would take up a great extent of ground, the canal, the different places for loading and unloading on its banks, and the new villas, called by the modern fashionable name of quingettes, not one-tenth part of the ground of this Park'would remain open to the people. He could not therefore look this Bill with indifference. He would stand up in behalf of the poor inhabitants of the metropolis against the rich inhabitants, who wished to sacrifice their poorer neighbours to their own convenience.
Mr. Pole Carew wished the honourable and learned gen. tleman who spoke last had attended to what had passed in the Committee, when he would have found there was really nothing in his objection. He would ask, if the water in Hyde Park at all obstructed the openness of the place? The Surveyor General's Report could have no effect at all upon the measure The House divided, Ayes
The House having gone into a Committee of Supply, the following sums were voted :-to the First Fruits in Ireland, 10,0001.; to Commissioners of Wide Streets in Dublin, 16,1651. ; to pay off the 6,000,000 of Exchequer Bills of last year, 5,303,0001. ; to other Exchequer Bills, 1,383,0001.; Interest on Exchequer Bills, 1,700,0001.; to pay off Annuities, 40,6001.
tellERSHIPS OF THE EXCHEQUER. Mr. Creerey rose, pursuant to his notice, to submit to the House certain resolutions respecting those offices now held by the Marquis of Buckinghamshire, and Earl Cam. den; held not as the reward of any services which they had performed, but in consideration of services performed by their respective fathers. He could not but regard them as great and intolerable grievances, and he should endea your to induce the House to enter upon some mode of redressing them. With respect to the origin of the grant, he had nothing to say; but it was the present effect of that grant, and the indefinite amount of salary (arising from the distresses of the country) which it produced to the persons holding the offices in question, that he wished to call the attention of Parliament. The fees, out of wbich their salary arose, were fees payable to them upon money issned out of the Ex: chequer for different purposes. They bad, for example, seven shillings per cent. upon money paid for the ordinary services of the army; three shillings and ninepence per cent. for the extraordinary services; 21. 10s. per cent. upon money issued for pensions ; 21 per cent. for secret service money; and one shilling per cent. upon money issued for the navy. During the American war ihe office was held by the same persons as now hold it, and their fees amounted, according to the Report of the Commissioners of Public Accounts, to 70001. a year each; and by the same Report it appeared, that in time of peace it then amounted only to 25001. a year. But such was the increased expenditure in the arıny and navy, during the late and present war, that it appeared by the Report of the Committee of Public Expenditure, in 1808, their fees had risen to the enormous amount of 23,0001. a year
each; and if it was recollected how much our war ex pences had been enlarged ever since that period, the House would concur with him in believing that now their salary was even greater than that by several thousands. He would, indeed, venture to state, without fear of contradiction, that those public officers now received the interest of one million sterling! They each of them received a sum annually, which exceeded the united pensions granted for great and meritorious services to Lord Nelson, Lord Wellington, Lord Duncan, Lord Hutchinson, and Lord St. Vincent! He bad often beard, in opposition to any interference with regard to these offices, and he had no doubt he
should hear it again, that the property of them was as sacred as any grant from the Crown. Tbat, however, he denied; for when the Crown bestowed any office, as long as it remained an office, the state possessed an undoubted right to exercise its controul over that office. He should like, indeed, to bear the right of the Earl of Buckinghamshire and of Lord Camden seriously maintained : he should like to hear their counsel support, at the bar of that House, their lordships' right to live upon the ruin of their country—(Hear!) -He was happy to find his opinion of that subject supported by the 11th and 18th Report of the Commissioners of Public Accounts, to which he had alluded, and brief extracts from which he would read to the House. The bonourable Member here read two extracts confirming the principles which he had laid down. -Here, then, he continued, their authority completely supported his opinion, that offices were not in the nature of estates granted by the Crown, but that they were indisputably under the controul and power of Parliament. In fact, every session offered proof of the fact; in every session bills were passed, which vielated that sacred right, as it was called--that freehold right in the property of the taxes of the country. In all loans and subsidies to foreign princes, it was violated, for the fees which belonged to the Tellers of the Exchcquer were always excluded. Mr. Burke's Bill also for limiting the amonnt of secret service money to 109,0001. a year, violated that presumed right : for they derived their largest poundage from the issue of secret service money, and they might have said, when that measure was proposed, “ if you diminish the amount of secret service money, you will deprive us of the means of thriving; you cannot do this: our right is sacred, and must not be violated.” Such might have
been, at that period, the language and remonstrance of the Tellerships of the Exchequer, it, as was contended, their rights in the office were not to be touched by the authority of Parliament. In submitting to the consideration of the House the Resolutions which he held in his hand, bis object was to comprise in them the history and origin of the office in question, the opinion of the Commissioners of Public Accounts, and sucb incontrovertible facts with regard to the fees, as might lead the House to propose a reduction of them. He did not call upon the House, indeed, to state what would be their precise amount so reduced, but to make them more conformable to the emoluments of similar offices, and more suite