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Proceedings in Parliament respecting the Regency.—Difficulty relative
to Issues of Money.- Regent's Speech, and Debates thereon.-City Address to the Regent.-He declines a Provision for his Household. THE great concern which
the present incapacity of the So-cupied the attention of par- vereign; the second, of the comliament, and excited the public petency of the two houses of pare interest, at the commencement of liament to supply that incapacity; this year, was the supplying of and the third, that the proper that deficiency in the executive mode of doing it would be by bill. branch of the government which of these, the 1st passed unanithe continued mental indisposition mously; the 2nd with the single of his Majesty had created. After negative of Sir Francis Burdett; repeated adjournments of parlia- but on the 3rd, Mr. Ponsonby ment by the ministers, in hopes moved an amendment, That an of a favourable turn in the King's address should be presented to the malady, it appeared no longer pos- Prince of Wales, praying him to sible to avoid the measure of forme take upon himself the office of ing a regency; and the chancellor Regent. On this motion a division of the exchequer, Mr. Perceral, took place, in which the amenda on December 20th, moved in the ment was rejected, the votes for it bouse of commons three resolu- being 157, against it 269, majotions, copied from those of Mr. rity for the minister 112. In the Pitt on the like occurrence in house of lords the same resolu1788-9; the first, declarative of tions were proposed, and carried Vol. LIII.
after a similar amendment had the entire royal power should be been moved on the third, and re- conferred upon him without any jected ; the division being, Con- restrictions. In this debate the tents 74, Not-contents 100; ma. same ground was gone over again jority 26. The arguments em- as on the occurrence in Mr. Pitt's ployed in these debates were in ministry, with the same result, the general so similar to those resorted amendment being negatived by to by the different parties on the 224 against 200, but the smallformer occasion, that it is unne- ness of the majority indicated that cessary to recapitulate them. It the ministers began to totter in is only observable that the princi. their seats. The views of the two ple then maintained by Mr. Fox parties at this period are easily unand others of the opposition, that derstood. The opposition contemthe Prince of Wales, as heir-ap- plated the establishment of the parent, succeeded of course to the Regency as the conclusion of the regency on such an emergency as present administration, the memthe present, seems in this instance bers of which were avowedly des. to have been abandoned.
titute of the prince's confidence; A conference between the two they therefore naturally wished to houses was appointed for the 31st, put into his hands as much power after which the assent of the lords as possible, and resisted every reto the resolutions was announced striction which would operate as a to the commons; and on that day, limitation of that influence and auMr. Perceval, at the conclusion of thority to which they expected to a long speech, moved five separate succeed. The ministry, on the propositions as the basis of an in other hand, borne up by the prostended bill for regulating the office pect of the King's speedy recovery, of Regent. Of these, the first ap- an event which his physicians repointed his Royal Highness the presented as little less than certain, Prince of Wales, Regent, under were chiefly intent upon the means certain restrictions and limitations; for facilitating his resumption of by the second he was restrained the regal office, and in the mean from conferring the rank of peer- time retaining a portion of the inage for a time to be determined; fluence attached to the possession by the third, from granting offices of court favour. It was therefore in reversion, or places or pensions their policy on one hand to restrict for a longer term than during the the Regent in the distribution of royal pleasure; the fourth made his graces, and on the other, to regulations respecting the King's establish a counterpoise to the auprivate property, and the fifth re- thority necessarily conferred upon lated to his household, vesting the him, in the household appointmanagement of it in the Queen. ments, left at the disposal of the The krst stand made by the oppo- Queen. sition was against the leading pro- At the very beginning of the position, " That the Regent should year a difficulty resulting from the be laid under certain restrictions;" suspension of the royal authority the Honourable Mr. Lambe mov- occurred, which the ministers had ing an amendment upon it, * That not foreseen. It was stated to the