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Grant for the Duchess of Kent.
an Act was passed in 1851,' by which the Department of Woods and Forests,—constituted by an Act of the year 1810,4 – was separated from the Department of Public Works, with which in 1832 it had by an Act of Parliament been combined. The pension list to which it has been seen that Her Majesty has consented to confine herself is now regulated in conformity with a resolution of the House of Commons of February 18, 1834, which would restrict the grant of pensions to such
persons as bave just claims on the royal beneficence, or who, by their personal services to the Crown, by the performance of duties to the public, or by their useful discoveries in science, and attainments in litera• ture and the arts, have merited the gracious considera• tion of their Sovereign, and the gratitude of their country.'
When, on the Queen's accession, the Government proposed a grant of 30,0001. a year to the Duchess of Kent, Lord Brougham denounced the amount as extravagant; and Mr. Torrens, in his “Life of Lord Melbourne, records the curious incident that Lord Brougham designated the Duchess as “the QueenMother.' Lord Melbourne corrected him by interjaculating the Mother of the Queen. «Stung at being caught ' in a blunder, and glad of an excuse for assailing his
courtly foe, Brougham fiercely rejoined, saying, among other things, “ the tongue of my noble friend is so 66 well hung, and so well attuned to courtly airs, that I
“ cannot compete with him for the prize which he is 6“ now so eagerly struggling to win. Not being given to
ilt and 15 Vict. cap. 41. ? 50 Geo. III. cap. 65. * 2 and 3 Will. IV. cap. 1.
6“ glozing and flattering, I may say that the Duchess 6 6 of Kent (whether to be called Queen-Mother or 6“ Mother of the Queen) is nearly connected with the « « Throne; and a plain man like myself, having no • 5 motive but to do my duty, may be permitted to 66 surmise that any additional provision for her might 6“ possibly come from the Civil List which you have 666 so lavishly voted.”! Mr. Torrens adds that the Premier repelled this attack by reminding the House of a not unimportant difference between the Queen dowager, and a Princess who had never worn the Crown. • What was meant by attributing to him a tongue well • hung, he could not tell; but one more skilful in egre• gious flattery than that of the noble and learned lord • he had never known.''
It is perhaps worth noticing as a matter of constitutional formality, that on the 6th of June, 1838, Mr. Gillon moved in the House of Commons that an humble
address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that she • would take into her gracious consideration the parlia'mentary allowance hitherto and at present enjoyed by • His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, as compared
with those enjoyed by the other members of the Royal • Family, with a view to recommend some addition to "it. Mr. Gillon stated that the Duke's income was 6,0001. less than that provided for other members of his family similarly circumstanced; and that His Royal Highness was at the head of seventy scientific and literary bodies and charitable institutions. Lord John Russell, Home Secretary in Lord Melbourne's Government, opposed the motion, on the ground that it could
"Life of Lord Melbourne, vol. ii, p. 246.
Grant for the Duke of Connaught.
only originate in a message from the Sovereign. Sir Robert Peel took the same view of the question, and, on a division, the previous question was carried by 98 against 48, the motion being therefore lost.
On the marriage of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, the third son of the Queen, in the course of the consideration by the House of Commons of the Royal message with reference to making provision for bis establishment, the whole principle and modern practice which regulates the relations of Parliament to the Sovereign in respect of his personal expenditure were incidentally examined and discussed. Inasmuch as the Government of the day,-led in the House of Commons by Sir Stafford Northcote, Chancellor of the Exchequer, -and Mr. Gladstone, who was for some years Prime Minister in the previous Government, which was now in Opposition, were entirely at one on all points susceptible of controversy, there is no doubt that this discussion will supply the materials of the basis upon which all future similar arrangements will be founded, or from which they will proceed as a fresh starting-point. It is therefore worth while to recall the more essential parts of the debate in some detail.
On the motion that the Speaker leave the chair in order that the House_should, in Committee, consider the Royal message with reference to the proposed 'marriage of His Royal Highness the Duke of Con.naught, Sir Charles Dilke rose to move as an amendiment, " That the consideration of Her Majesty's most « « gracious message be deferred until there be laid be6" fore this House a return showing the Princes and 66 Princesses of the Blood Royal, being members of 6“ the Royal Family of England, but excluding the • " Sovereign for the time being, and Queens consort 6 6 or dowager, from the accession of His most Gracious "“ Majesty King William III. to the present time, « « specifying with regard to such of them as succeeded "" to the Throne the date of such accession, and with 65 regard to such of them as contracted marriages with «« the consent of the Sovereign for the time being, the 6 « date of each marriage, and also showing separately, 6" with regard to every Prince or Princess, the several 6 « applications (if any) made to Parliament for grants • " or confirmation of grants out of the public revenues, 66 and the results of such applications, adding in each "" case a copy of the Royal message by which such ap66 plication was made."
In the course of his speech in reply, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
The House must bear in mind that in all these • matters there has been, as bas been frequently stated,
something in the nature of a bargain between the • Crown and the Parliament, by which the Crown suró rendered various hereditary revenues and Crown Lands • to the public service, in exchange receiving the fixed
sums which have been granted; and undoubtedly, • upon comparison of what the Crown might have re“ceived and the amount it did receive, it is not the • Crown, but the nation which has been the gainer. • That is shown by an interesting return, known to o many members, moved for at the commencement of “the present reign. At that time Sir Robert Inglis * moved for a return showing what would be the result
between 1762 and 1837, and it was found that the 'amount of the hereditary revenues which passed to the • nation was 116,000,0001., whereas the amount of the The Royal Income.
• Civil List during the same period was 69,000,0001.,
showing 47,000,0001. going to the nation at that time. • Since then, undoubtedly, the public revenues from • Crown Lands have largely increased.'
Mr. Gladstone, in the course of his remarks, observed :
. If Her Majesty were, in her own personal capacity, among the great proprietors of the Kingdom, I should be the last person to deny that the House ought to be cognizant of the amounts proceeding from sources of that character before it made an addition to the burdens of the people for the support of the Royal Family. • But, although we have no formal and definite infor'mation upon that subject, we know perfectly well that neither of these statements is based on fact. Whatever ground you may take upon this measure, I defy 'any one to say that any adequate provision is made for members of the Royal Family by means of any separate emoluments attaching to them professionally or otherwise, or to say that it is possible for Her • Majesty to make even the meanest and most limited provision for them out of the means which she possesses. Therefore, however good this information might be, it does not really bear upon the question . before the House, which has to perform on the present occasion one of its most delicate and difficult duties. All the circumstances have been radically altered since the accession of William IV. When that Sovereign ascended the throne, entirely new principles were adopted with regard to Royal expenditure, and adopted, as I think, in a way which tended very greatly to “the advantage of the public. Before that time large sums of money had been placed in the hands of the