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“ It would be presumptuous in me to attempt to enquire of Your Majesty the reasons of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent for this harsh proceeding, of which His Royal Highness can alone be the judge. I am unconscious of offence; and, in that reflection, I must endeavour to find consolation for all the mortifications I experience ; even for this, the last, the most unexpected, and the most severe; the prohibition given to me alone, to appear before Your Majesty, to offer my congratulation upon the happy termination of those calamities with which Europe has been so long afflicted, in the presence of the illustrious personages who will, in all probability, be assembled at Your Majesty's court, with whom I am so closely connected by birth and marriage.
“ I beseech Your Majesty to do me an act of justice, to which, in the present circumstances, Your Majesty is the only person competent, by acquainting those illustrious strangers with the motives of personal consideration towards Your Majesty, which alone induce me to abstain from the exercise of my right to appear before Your Majesty ; and that I do now, as I have done at all times, defy the malice of my enemies to fix upon me the shadow of any one imputation which could render me unworthy of their society or regard.
“ Your Majesty will, I am sure, not be displeased that I should relieve myself from a suspicion of disrespect towards Your Majesty, by making public the cause of my absence from court, at a time when the duties of my station would otherwise peculiarly demand my attendance.
“ I have the honor to be, Your Majesty's most obedient daughter-in-law and servant,
- CAROLINE P." “ Connaught-House, May 24. 1814.
The Queen to the Princess of Wales.
“ Windsor Castle, May 25. 1814. “ The Queen has received, this afternoon, the Princess of Wales's letter of yesterday, in reply to the communication which she was desired by the Prince Regent to make to her; and she is sensible of the disposition expressed by Her Royal Highness not to discuss with her topics which must be painful to both.
- The Queen considers it incumbent upon her to send a copy of the Princess of Wales's letter to the Prince Regent; and Her Majesty could have felt no hesitation in communicating to the illustrious Strangers who may possibly be present at her court, the circumstances which will prevent the Princess of Wales from appearing there, if Her Royal Highness had not rendered a compliance with her wish to this effect unnecessary, by intimating her intention of making public the cause of her absence.
" CHARLOTTE, R."
The Answer of the Princess of Wales to the Queen. “ The Princess of Wales has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a note from the Queen, dated yesterday; and begs permission to return her best thanks to Her Majesty, for her gracious condescension, in the willingness expressed by Her Majesty, to have communicated to the illustrious Strangers who will, in all probability, be present at Her Majesty's court, the reasons which have induced her Royal Highness not to be present.
“ Such communication, as it appears to her Royal Highness, cannot be the less necessary on account of any publicity which it may be in the power of her Royal Highness to give to her motives; and the Princess of Wales, therefore, entreats the active good offices of Her Majesty, upon an occasion wherein the Princess of Wales feels it so essential to her that she should not be misunderstood. “Connaught-place, May 26.
The Queen to the Princess of Wales. “ The Queen cannot omit to acknowledge the receipt of the Princess of Wales's note of yesterday, although it does not appear to Her Majesty to require any other reply than that conveyed to her Royal Highness's preceding letter.
" CHARLOTTE, R.”
In consequence of these letters, Mr. Methuen moved, that an address be presented to the Prince Regent, praying, that he would acquaint the House by whose advice his Royal Highness was induced to form the “ fixed and unalterable determination, never to meet her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, upon any occasion, either in private or public," together with the reasons submitted to the Prince, on which such advice was founded. It was objected, that the motion was informal, and that the House could not interfere in such a case, and the motion was accordingly withdrawn.
On the 23d, Mr. Methuen moved, “ That the House should, on the 28th, take into consideration the correspondence communicated to the Speaker by the Princess of Wales.” He entered into a statement of the financial situation of her Royal Highness; when she married, she had her allowance of 17,0001. a-year from the Prince, besides 50001. from the Exchequer. In 1800, the Prince informed her, that he could only allow her 12,0001. a-year; in 1809, he undertook to pay her debts, amounting to 49,0001., and to restore her original allowance of 17,0001., so that she had 50001. less now, than when she resided at Carlton House. Lord Castlereagh stated, that at the time of the separation, the Prince had an income of 120,0001., which, by the property tax, was lessened to 108,0001., of that, he devoted 40,000l. annually to pay his debts. He allowed the Princess 17,0001., reducing thereby his income to 51,0001. The debts of the Princess, instead of being 49,0001. were in reality 80,0001., to defray which, the Prince set apart 10,0001. annually ; reducing his income still further to 41,0001., which, with 13,0001., the revenue of the duchy of Cornwall, was 'the whole sum on which he lived. He opposed the motion, but declared that he would, on a future day, be authorized to give the consent of the Crown to such a reasonable addition to the income of the Princess as should seem to meet the sense of Parliament. The object of the motion was supported by Mr. Tierney, Mr. Whitbread, and
Mr. GRATTAN, who said that he approved of the object of the motion of the honourable gentleman, because that object was, by an exertion of the ordinary power of the House, practically to repel the calumnies thrown on her Royal Highness. This object was to be effected, not by l'estoring her to her dignities, but by increasing the means of maintaining her establishment. But the object of the noble lord was the same, provided it could be done in a manner respectful to the Prince Regent. It was proper that the Princess of Wales should be supported by Parliament, and amply provided for by Parliament, but not in such a manner as to give her a victory over her husband. As the noble lord had in view the same object, not perhaps as the Princess of Wales had, but as the Parliament ought to have, he was glad to accede to his suggestion, and to suffer the motion of the honourable gentleman to be withdrawn; because, if the honourable gentleman persisted in his motion, and failed, he would injure the cause he espoused; and if he succeeded, he would do no more than the ministers consented
The dispute was about the manner, and the manner of the honourable gentleman would fail, whilst that of the noble lord would succeed. He could not therefore but prefer the manner of the noble lord. The case was this: papers had been communicated to the Speaker, and by him to the House, containing a correspondence, which stated that the Prince Regent would not enter any company where the Princess should happen to be. What did this prove? An entire separation in mind; as what had been said by the noble lord, proved a complete separation by instrument between the Prince Regent and his wife. By Parliament, what course was to be taken, if they were to enter into the quarrel ? (which certainly should never be done but in the last instance). To attempt to oblige his Royal Highness to take back his wife, would be unjustifiable; to interfere to procure her admission to the Queen's drawing rooms, was a power which it might be doubted whether or no it was within the province of the House, it being a matter not strictly political, but comparatively trivial. How, then, could the House act, but by pro
viding for the lady; by declaring, that as she was not admitted to share in the establishment of her husband, Parliament would give her one of her own. This he thought the best possible way of proceeding for the interest of the wife, the feelings of the husband, and the dignity of the House.
After some remarks from Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. Stuart Wortley, and Mr. Whitbread ; Mr. Methuen, in consequence of the assurance given by Lord Castlereagh, withdrew his motion.
On the 4th of July, the House went into a committee on the documents on the table, respecting the Princess. Lord Castlereagh stated, that if the committee deemed it expedient to make an addition to the allowance of the Princess, he was authorised to say, that it would receive the recommendation of the Crown. He accordingly moved, “That His Majesty be enabled to grant 50,0001. a year, out of the consolidated fund, for the maintenance of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.”
The resolution was unanimously agreed to. A copy of the resolution was sent by Lord Castlereagh to Her Royal Highness. On which, the Princess addressed a letter to the Speaker, desiring him to acquaint the House, that it was not her wish to add any addition to the burdens of the people, beyond what her situation would require ; and hoped the House would reconsider its resolution, and limit the income to 35,0001. a year. The resolution was accordingly amended, and agreed to. A bill was introduced to carry it into effect, which ultimately passed ; by which the sum of 35,0001. a year, was granted to Her Royal Highness, for the joint lives of Her Royal Highness and His Majesty.
IRISH SPIRIT INTERCOURSE.
June 24th, 1814. BY the sixth article of union, Ireland was enabled to import her
spirits into England, which, in quality, were much superior to the English or the Scotch. The strength of the English being. only seven above proof, and that of the Irish being twenty
Several acts were, however, introduced, to suspend the importation from both countries, for limited periods of time. By the act of 1809, cap. 105. the importation of spirits between the two countries was totally suspended. By that of 1811, cap. 121. no Irish spirits were allowed to be exported into Great Britain, except such as were warehoused, and the strength ascertained by the proper officers of excise. The effect of these several statutes was, that since the passing of the act of union, the produce of the Irish distilleries was almost shut out of tlie English market ; and the benefit intended to be secured to Ireland, by the act of union, was frustrated. On the 1st of June, Sir George Clarke presented a petition from certain Scotch distillers, praying the continuance of the suspension of the intercourse of spirits between Great Britain and Ireland. A similar petition was presented by General Gascoigne from the distillers of Liverpool; and it was moved, “ that they be referred to a committee.”
The petition was opposed by Mr. Shaw, Mr. Wm. Fitzgerald, and Sir John Newport. They contended, the petition prayed to establish a permanent infringement of the act of union. By the terms of that treaty, the Irish spirits could be imported into the English market, at a price inferior to the spirits manufactured in Great Britain. That was an advantage which was secured to Ireland by the union, and of which she ought not to be deprived. The petitions were supported by Mr. W. Smith, Mr. W. Dundas, and Mr. Western.
On the 20th, the House went into a committee on the spirit intercourse bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he intended to propose a temporary act, nearly the same as that of 1811. Mr. Huskisson said, that until some regulation was adopted to tax Irish spirits, as spirits were taxed in Great Britain, not according to the quantity, but the strength, the Irish manufacturer would have too great an advantage over the English. Sir J. Newport affirmed, that a suspension was a direct violation of the articles of union. It was at the request of the English distillers, the spirit warehousing act was passed ; and under some pretence or other, the suspension act had been kept in force since 1806. He affirmed, that Mr. Pitt declared that the act of union was framed, in this respect, in order to give an advantage to Ireland. Mr. Ponsonby and Mr. W. Fitzgerald spoke in favour of the Irish distillers. Mr. Finlay, Mr. W. Smith, and Mr. Phil. lips spoke in favour of the British distillers.
On this day (24th), the Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, " that the House do go into a committee on the bill.” It was opposed by Mr. Western, Mr. W. Smith, Mr. Brand, Mr. Marryat, Mr. Mellish, Mr. J. P. Grant, and Mr. Finlay. They contended that the bill gave an undue advantage to the Irish distiller. The English distiller paid a duty of 9s. 4d. a gallon, independent of the duty on malt; and if he went to the Irish market, he would have the Irish duty to pay in addition.
Mr. GRATTAN supported the bill; the operation of which would merely be, to carry the union, in this respect, more completely into effect. Parliament had no right to alter that act, every clause of which was binding on the country and on the legislature. It was similar to a covenant between two parties, one of whom was dead; and on every principle of justice and honour, the living party ought to adhere scrupulously to that engagement which the other was not in existence to defend.
Parliament could not break any article of