Imatges de pÓgina

revision a were submitted to examination and report, the plan would lead to comparatively little good. That course would be perfectly satisfactory, and would greatly save the time of the House. Upon the whole, he congratulated the House upon the progress that had been achieved. They now saw a beginning made towards placing in the hands of Parliament a complete control over the expenditure of the country, and he hoped that in a year or two hence the same system would be extended and perfected.

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as they could make such a matter of fiscal arrangement. The Bill, however, was not intended to alter the actual course of the public disbursements, although it altered the machinery of the public accounts. He now alluded to the matter of provincial payments towards the expenses of collecting the revenue out of funds which were locally collected. They did not propose to make any change in that respect. For example, under one authority or another, the Collector of the Customs at Liverpool at present defrayed, out of the revenue he collected there, both MR. GLYN begged to express his acthe expenses of the Customs' establish- knowledgments to the Chancellor of the ment and other public expenses, such as Exchequer for the introduction of this half-pay, pensions, &c., before it arrived in measure. He had always been surprised London; and they did not propose to alter that a matter which seemed so simple and the system, as it would be both an incon- easy had in previous years been so strongly venience and a retrograde step instead of resisted by the Treasury; and he had advancing, if they had the money after it been only surprised-as long as he had was collected transmitted to head quarters, been in Parliament-that the subject in order that it might then be retransmitted to which it related had ever been a disto the provinces. The intention of the puted question. As the right hon. Genarrangement was this-that, although the tleman had undertaken these duties in disbursement would take place locally, as adjusting the fiscal arrangements of the it did now, it would be subject to exactly country, would he allow him (Mr. Glyn) to the same system of account. The account point out another step that might be taken would be made up precisely as it was for with great public advantage? They had all other voted services. He might com- heard a great deal, and perhaps too much pare it with the great number of services, lately, respecting the state of the public the expenses of which were necessarily de- balances in the Bank of England; and frayed in the Colonies by the Commissariat the fallacy which had so generally prevailed before Exchequer credits had been issued as to the large advances which were supfor them; those services were still just as posed to be made to the Government had much the subjects of vote in that House turned out to be almost nothing, and hardly as if they had been defrayed by Exchequer worthy of any comment whatever. It apgrants, but the principle of account was peared to him that for several years past applied to them. With this general exex- the financial policy of the Government had planation he trusted the Bill would obtain always been to have a surplus revenue over the approbation of the House. the expenditure, in order that at no period should there be any necessity for large advances from the Bank. But the possibility of any advance being required could only arise from the want of adjustment between the receipts and expenditure of the country. Previous to the year 1844 or 1845, the periodical payments of the public revenue were two in a year; but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Goulbourn) then introduced a change by spreading the payments over four periods in the year. Still that was not so great an alteration as the amounts of the Government required; and if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer could only manage to throw the payments more equally over the year, so as to make them tally with the receipts, nothing could be more calculated

MR. HUME said, the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman was for the present extremely satisfactory; and he was glad to find that the present Government had yielded to the opinions expressed by the House, that the whole revenue ought to be paid into the Exchequer. He trusted that next year the House would be able to revise all the complicated accounts placed upon the Consolidated Fund. He differed from the right hon. Gentleman as to the Crown lands. He thought that by agreement with Her Majesty they were as much placed under the control of the public as the Post Office or the Customs. As for the pensions, the sooner they were cleared away the better. He would suggest that these accounts be referred to a Select Committee of the House, for unless they

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

to relieve the circulation of the country, or | pensions could be granted beyond the to prevent all the chances of pressure upon amount of 1,2001. a year voted to Her the Bank; this would be one of the most Majesty for that purpose. important steps that had ever been taken to ensure the financial prosperity of the country.

MR. W. WILLIAMS considered that the measure now introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was one of the most important financial reforms ever submitted to Parliament. It had frequently been brought forward before, but it had always been opposed by the Government until the right hon. Gentleman acceded to office. This Bill contained fifty-seven items, most of which related to Government departments; and hitherto the expenditure in them had been entirely without the sanction or even the cognisance of the House. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to apprehend that these estimates might occupy too much of the time of the House; but he thought that that difficulty had been much overrated; for he had no doubt that the estimates would be prepared with such care that they would leave no room for fault to be found with them. He hoped he had understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the provincial expenditure would come into the accounts like the rest; only that the money would not be required to be sent to London and then sent back again? [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER intimated assent]. Now he was quite satisfied on that score. For the first time in the history of Parliament the House would have a control over the whole expenditure with the exception of the interest on the debt and some other charges, which amounted to about 2,500,000l. a year. He most cordially thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the important step he had taken, and trusted that he would proceed still further in the path of fiscal reform.

MR. HADFIELD suggested that all pensions and sinecures in the Ecclesiastical Courts, the salaries in the Court of Queen's Bench, the expenses connected with the Regium Donum and the Ecclesiastical Commission should be brought under the revision of the House.

MR. HUME said, it might be some satisfaction to the country to know that that House had resolved to put an end to all sinecure and useless offices connected with the army and every other department of the State excepting the Church. If the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hadfield) would look to the Report of the Select Committee upon sinecures, he would find that no

Mr. KIRK considered that the Regium Donum which had been alluded to was one of the most advantageous payments that could be made from the public funds.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, said the question of equalising the time of payments and receipts of the Exchequer, as suggested by the hon. Member for Kendal (Mr. Glyn) was a subject of the greatest importance, and was occupying his attention.

Clause agreed to, as were the remaining clauses.

House resumed; Bill reported without Amendments.


VISCOUNT PALMERSTON, in moving for leave to bring in a Bill to render more effectual the police in counties and boroughs in England and Wales, said that the details of the Bill could be seen at a future stage, and that it was unnecessary for him now to dwell upon the advantages arising both to counties and the country from an efficient police. The Bill proposed that in every county a Board should be established under which the police were to be placed; the Bill also provided for more effectual police arrangements in boroughs.

MR. MASSEY said, that if the noble Lord intended to make a police force compulsory in counties, he should oppose such a measure to the utmost of his power.

MR. DEEDES was glad that the present measure had been introduced by the Government, as he considered the whole of the question required looking into. Although he did not agree with those who considered a compulsory police requisite for all counties, yet he would examine the present Bill with every desire to do the best for the interest of the counties and the country.

SIR G. PECHELL objected to any arrangement for the amalgamation of the police of counties and large towns which would interfere with the free action of town councils and other corporate bodies.

MR. FLOYER said, the noble Lord had not told them how the Board of which he spoke was to be composed. If it was to consist of any other than magistrates, it would interfere with the authority of the latter over their own officers. He thought the Bill of last year relating to convicts, and which rendered a larger police force

necessary, gave counties a claim for a certain portion, at least, of the police expenses being defrayed from other sources than the county rate.

MR. THORNELY hoped the Bill would not interfere with town councils in the management of their police.

LORD DUDLEY STUART hoped the Government was not going to extend the provisions of this Bill to the whole of the country. It was desirable that nothing should be done to impair the system of local government.

SIR BENJAMIN HALL supported the Bill, believing it to be right to make the establishment of a police force compulsory, and to amalgamate the police in boroughs and counties. He was sure the Bill would be hailed with satisfaction by the country. MR. MICHELL said, that the people in the western part of the country would receive this Bill with very great dissatisfaction, if a portion of the expenses were not paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON was aware that this was a subject of great difficulty as well as importance, and one on which considerable difference of opinion was to be expected. No doubt, the best police, if they simply looked to its efficiency as a preventive force, would be a police raised on the principle of the Irish, or the metropolitan police, acting under the orders of Government, and uniform in its organisation and in the principle of its operation; but he attached great importance to the principle of local self-government. He thought it was quite impossible to overrate the great national importance of employing the persons connected with the different districts of the country in administering the affairs of those districts, so far as it He should be very was possible to do so. sorry on that ground to place the police of the country under a separate government and control, like that of London. At the same time he thought there should be an inspection in the different localities, in order to secure something like uniformity of system; because if a different system prevailed between the police of one county and of another, there could not be that efficiency which it was essential to produce. What he therefore proposed was, with respect to counties, that the board should consist, not of the magistrates of counties, as at present, but that there should be an election of a certain limited number of magistrates, by whom the duties would be more efficiently performed. With regard Mr. Floyer

to the boroughs, what he proposed was, that the smaller boroughs, the population of which did not exceed a certain amount, should be so far amalgamated with the counties that the magistrates or mayors of the boroughs should be members of the county board, and that the police of the county and of the borough should be so far combined as that the borough should have their share of the county police, and the county police should have their share of the police of the borough. He should leave the larger towns as they now were, with a police board, composed of the magistrates of the town. He thought the House would see that there was a reason for this; for, though the larger towns might be able to afford an establishment adequate to their wants, yet the smaller towns might not, and therefore he allowed them to participate with the counties. It was quite true, as the hon. Member (Mr. Floyer) had said, that owing to the change in the system of punishments by which convicts were no longer sent out to the colonies as transports for a limited period of years, a greater reason existed for rendering the police more efficient. The measure which he now proposed he hoped would accomplish that object. He should be ready to attend to any suggestions which hon. Members might offer, whose local knowledge must necessarily be greater than his own.

Leave given; Bill ordered to be brought in by Viscount Palmerston and Mr. FitzRoy.

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into different departments-one to lodge the Army, another to clothe the Army, a third to feed the Army, a fourth to furnish arms, and so on. Somewhat later a Commission was appointed, of which Earl Grey, who was then Secretary of War, was the head, and of which, also, I had the honour of being a Member, and that Commission was of opinion-at least, Earl Grey suggested, and the Members of the Commission concurred in the recommendationthat there should be greater concentration of departments, and that the Secretary at War should exercise many of the functions which are now discharged by the Secretary of State. The plan which I have first mentioned did not meet with the approbation, if I recollect right, of Earl Grey, who was then at the head of the Government; at all events it certainly was not persevered in any further. The second plan was laid before the Duke of Wellington, who stated to Lord Melbourne

Ject which engage the attention of the
House-the one is the question of giving
more immediate vigour and efficiency to
the War Department, and the other relates
to the arrangements to be made respecting
the administration of all the various depart-
ments connected with military affairs.
Now, Sir, with regard to the first point,
namely, the more efficient administration
of military affairs in time of war-it is, I
think, to be collected from the general
feeling, and it is the opinion of her Majes-
ty's Government, that a Minister having
the charge of the Colonial Department
bearing in mind the manner in which the
business of that department has increased
since the last war-is both physically and
morally unable to give to the affairs of the
War Department that great amount of
attention, time, and labour which those
affairs in time of war absolutely require.
It is, therefore, the opinion of Her Majes-
ty's Government that the affairs of the
War Department, instead of being united-who was then the First Minister of the
to the administration of the Colonies, as Crown-such grave and, I think, such
they at present are, should be separated reasonable objections to the placing in the
from it. The next question regards the hands of the Secretary at War a control
administration of the various departments which properly belonged to one of Her
which are connected with military affairs. Majesty's Secretaries of State, that that
The House is aware that these departments plan likewise was not proceeded with.
are several in number, and it is aware, like- Sir, under these circumstances, Her Ma-
wise, that one of the principal Secretaries of jesty's Government are of opinion that the
State as Secretary of State for the War De- best thing to be done for the present
partment, takes the Queen's pleasure with would be to confine ourselves to the
respect to the amount of forces to be kept change of making a separate Secretary of
up for the year-takes the Queen's plea- State for the War Department, confiding
sure, also, with regard to any considerable to him a superintendence over all those
augmentation to be made, and generally matters which fall under the administra-
takes from Her Majesty those directions by tion of military affairs in time of war.
which the military affairs of this country Having been a Member of both Commis-
are regulated. The Secretary at War sions, I have no hesitation in saying that
administers the financial affairs of the I was not at all satisfied, after hearing the
Army; the Board of Ordnance has, in the objections of Earl Grey and the Duke of
first place, the management of the artillery Wellington, that either of the proposed
and the engineers, but it has likewise various plans would have ensured the efficient and
other duties to perform which from time to complete working of all the various de-
time have been added to it. The Compartments connected with military affairs
missariat is a department by itself, and in this country. But a Secretary of State
its duties are well known; and there are would have these departments under his
various other departments which are more immediate superintendence. He would
or less concerned in, and connected with, have the control of the whole of them, and
the military affairs of the country. Now, could say from time to time what im-
Sir, in the year 1831-32 there was a Com- provements ought to be introduced, and
mittee of the Government appointed, of could either introduce these improvements
which the Duke of Richmond was the singly, or prepare some plan to be after-
head, and of which I had the honour of wards submitted to the consideration of
being a Member, and that Committee was the Government as a more general reform
of opinion that there should be a General of the various military departments. This,
Board, which should have the civil affairs I think, is all that it would be advisable
of the Army under its control, but divided at the present moment to attempt. To

introduce greater changes to derange | It certainly appears that there are defects, and put into a state of confusion all those which have been pointed out by my hon. various departments at a time when we Friend the Member for Montrose, and by have but lately entered into a war-would, others, in the other House of Parliament, in my opinion, be a very rash and dan- as well as in this House, and no doubt gerous undertaking. I have been told, very considerable improvements can be with respect to the most beneficial change made. There is one change, however, which was made by my right hon. Friend which I must say I do not think we can the present First Lord of the Admiralty, consider in the light of an improvement. when he abolished the Navy Board more I mean the proposal that the patronage than twenty years ago, that it took up- which is now vested in the Commander in wards of two years before that change was Chief, and which is administered by him completely carried into effect so as to en- without reference to political considerasure the harmonious working of the new tions, should be taken from him and given system. If that be so, it is obvious you to a political officer. I do not think such cannot adopt in the first instance an entire a change would be likely to give satisfacplan, without the risk of producing, pro- tion to the public. It seems to me far bably, a great deal more confusion than at better that patronage should continue to the present time, more particularly, is to be exercised, as for a long series of years be wished for, and you would fail to en- it has been and is now exercised, having sure that harmony and unity which are so regard to the benefit of the Army, totally much desired. There are certain princi- apart from any considerations of which ples which I think should guide us with party is in power or in opposition. These respect to this subject. It is easy to say, are the only remarks which I have to make "Unite the various departments.' But on this subject. It will not be necessary while there is the greatest benefit in hav- to have recourse to Parliament for any Bill ing one head which can control depart- to separate the Departments of War and ments and branches of the same kind of the Colonies. That can be effected nearly service, there very often will be very great in the same manner as the Home Departdisadvantage in uniting in one department ment was separated from that of War and what ought to be divided amongst several. the Colonies. There will be, of course, The progress which has been made in some increased expenses; but the estasociety in general has been a progress blishment now found to be sufficient for made, not by uniting, but by separating both departments will be nearly sufficient different mechanical arts and manufac- for them when separated. An Estimate tures which in early times were united to- will be proposed for defraying the charges gether. Is it not the same with regard to of the Secretary of State for the War Dethe immediate subject under our notice? partment; and the Secretary of State for If we were to desire the infantry to do the the War Department, having his undivided work of the cavalry, and the cavalry to attention given to the affairs of that debe as complete as the artillery, that, evi- partient-never more important than at dently, instead of improvement, would the present moment, or requiring more rather produce disorganisation, and pre- vigour and decision-will be able to serve vent the efficient working of those different his country in the manner it deserves. branches. At the same time, everybody sees that it is unfit that the commander of the cavalry should have a separate command, or that the commander of the artillery should have his own mode of conducting operations, and that it is desirable all should be under one head and one commander. With respect to certain things, unity is desirable. With respect to others, separation is the best way of attaining that end. It appears, therefore, to the Government better to allow the Secretary of State, who is to be placed at the head of this department, to consider from time to time what is the best arrangement, and how improvements can be best carried out. Lord J. Russell

MR. HUME said, he was glad to find Her Majesty's Government had made a beginning, but he hoped they would lay on the table some more definite statement of what this plan was. He was one who agreed with the noble Lord in thinking that individuals should be placed in a situation to perform separate duties, but united at the same time under one command. He never contemplated altering the powers of the Commander in Chief with respect to patronage, for he believed that the more political considerations were kept out of view in the promotions of the Army the better. What he desired to see was one head-a Member of Her Majesty's Govern

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