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It is, therefore, no ill-grounded estimation to say, that
as not one person in seven is represented, at least fourteen millions of
taxes out of the seventeen millions, are paid by the unrepresented part;
for although copyholds and leaseholds are assessed to the land-tax, the
holders are unrepresented. Should then a general demur take place as to
the obligation of paying taxes, on the ground of not being represented,
it is not the Representatives of Rotten Boroughs, nor Special Juries,
that can decide the question. This is one of the possible cases that
ought to be foreseen, in order to prevent the inconveniencies that might
arise to numerous individuals, by provoking it.

I confess I have no idea of petitioning for rights. Whatever the rights
of people are, they have a right to them, and none have a right either
to withhold them, or to grant them. Government ought to be established
on such principles of justice as to exclude the occasion of all such
applications, for wherever they appear they are virtually accusations.

I wish that Mr. Grey, since he has embarked in the business, would take
the whole of it into consideration. He will then see that the right of
reforming the state of the Representation does not reside in Parliament,
and that the only motion he could consistently make would be, that
Parliament should _recommend_ the election of a convention of the
people, because all pay taxes. But whether Parliament recommended it
or not, the right of the nation would neither be lessened nor increased
thereby.

As to Petitions from the unrepresented part, they ought not to be looked
for. As well might it be expected that Manchester, Sheffield, &c.
should petition the rotten Boroughs, as that they should petition the
Representatives of those Boroughs. Those two towns alone pay far more
taxes than all the rotten Boroughs put together, and it is scarcely to
be expected they should pay their court either to the Boroughs, or the
Borough-mongers.

It ought also to be observed, that what is called Parliament, is
composed of two houses that have always declared against the right of
each other to interfere in any matter that related to the circumstances
of either, particularly that of election. A reform, therefore, in the
representation cannot, on the ground they have individually taken,
become the subject of an act of Parliament, because such a mode would
include the interference, against which the Commons on their part have
protested; but must, as well on the ground of formality, as on that of
right, proceed from a National Convention.

Let Mr. Grey, or any other man, sit down and endeavour to put his
thoughts together, for the purpose of drawing up an application to
Parliament for a reform of Parliament, and he will soon convince himself
of the folly of the attempt. He will find that he cannot get on; that
he cannot make his thoughts join, so as to produce any effect; for,
whatever formality of words he may use, they will unavoidably include
two ideas directly opposed to each other; the one in setting forth
the reasons, the other in praying for relief, and the two, when placed
together, would stand thus: "_The Representation in Parliament is so
very corrupt, that we can no longer confide in it,--and, therefore,
confiding in the justice and wisdom of Parliament, we pray_," &c, &c.

The heavy manner in which every former proposed application to
Parliament has dragged, sufficiently shews, that though the nation might
not exactly see the awkwardness of the measure, it could not clearly see
its way, by those means. To this also may be added another remark, which
is, that the worse Parliament is, the less will be the inclination to
petition it. This indifference, viewed as it ought to be, is one of the
strongest censures the public express. It is as if they were to say to
them, "Ye are not worth reforming."

Let any man examine the Court-Kalendar of Placemen in both Houses, and
the manner in which the Civil List operates, and he will be at no loss
to account for this indifference and want of confidence on one side, nor
of the opposition to reforms on the other.

Who would have supposed that Mr. Burke, holding forth as he formerly
did against secret influence, and corrupt majorities, should become
a concealed Pensioner? I will now state the case, not for the little
purpose of exposing Mr. Burke, but to shew the inconsistency of any
application to a body of men, more than half of whom, as far as the
nation can at present know, may be in the same case with himself.

Towards the end of Lord North's administration, Mr. Burke brought a bill
into Parliament, generally known by Mr. Burke's Reform Bill; in which,
among other things, it is enacted, "That no pension exceeding the sum
of three hundred pounds a year, shall be granted to any one person,
and that the whole amount of the pensions granted in one year shall not
exceed six hundred pounds; a list of which, together with the _names
of the persons_ to whom the same are granted, shall be laid before
Parliament in twenty days after the beginning of each session, until
the whole pension list shall be reduced to ninety thousand pounds." A
provisory clause is afterwards added, "That it shall be lawful for the
First Commissioner of the Treasury, to return into the Exchequer any
pension or annuity, _without a name_, on his making oath that such
pension or annuity is not directly or indirectly for the benefit, use,
or behoof of any Member of the House of Commons."

But soon after that administration ended, and the party Mr. Burke acted
with came into power, it appears from the circumstances I am going to
relate, that Mr. Burke became himself a Pensioner in disguise; in a
similar manner as if a pension had been granted in the name of John
Nokes, to be privately paid to and enjoyed by Tom Stiles. The name of
Edmund Burke does not appear in the original transaction: but after the
pension was obtained, Mr. Burke wanted to make the most of it at once,
by selling or mortgaging it; and the gentleman in whose name the pension
stands, applied to one of the public offices for that purpose. This
unfortunately brought forth the name of _Edmund Burke_, as the real
Pensioner of 1,500L. per annum.(1) When men trumpet forth what they call
the blessings of the Constitution, it ought to be known what sort of
blessings they allude to.

As to the Civil List of a million a year, it is not to be supposed that
any one man can eat, drink, or consume the whole upon himself. The case
is, that above half the sum is annually apportioned among Courtiers,
and Court Members, of both Houses, in places and offices, altogether
insignificant and perfectly useless as to every purpose of civil,
rational, and manly government. For instance,

Of what use in the science and system of Government is what is called
a Lord Chamberlain, a Master and Mistress of the Robes, a Master of the
Horse, a Master of the Hawks, and one hundred other such things? Laws
derive no additional force, nor additional excellence from such mummery.

In the disbursements of the Civil List for the year 1786, (which may be
seen in Sir John Sinclair's History of the Revenue,) are four separate
charges for this mummery office of Chamberlain:

[Illustration: table110]

From this sample the rest may be guessed at. As to the Master of the
Hawks, (there are no hawks kept, and if there were, it is no reason the
people should pay the expence of feeding them, many of whom are put to
it to get bread for their children,) his salary is 1,372L. 10s.

1 See note at the end of this chapter.--_Editor._

And besides a list of items of this kind, sufficient to fill a quire of
paper, the Pension lists alone are 107,404L. 13s. 4d. which is a greater
sum than all the expences of the federal Government in America amount
to.

Among the items, there are two I had no expectation of finding, and
which, in this day of enquiry after Civil List influence, ought to be
exposed. The one is an annual payment of one thousand seven hundred
pounds to the Dissenting Ministers in England, and the other, eight
hundred pounds to those of Ireland.

This is the fact; and the distribution, as I am informed, is as follows:
The whole sum of 1,700L. is paid to one person, a Dissenting Minister
in London, who divides it among eight others, and those eight among such
others as they please. The Lay-body of the Dissenters, and many of their
principal Ministers, have long considered it as dishonourable, and have
endeavoured to prevent it, but still it continues to be secretly paid;
and as the world has sometimes seen very fulsome Addresses from parts of
that body, it may naturally be supposed that the receivers, like Bishops
and other Court-Clergy, are not idle in promoting them. How the money is
distributed in Ireland, I know not.

To recount all the secret history of the Civil List, is not the
intention of this publication. It is sufficient, in this place, to
expose its general character, and the mass of influence it keeps alive.
It will necessarily become one of the objects of reform; and therefore
enough is said to shew that, under its operation, no application to
Parliament can be expected to succeed, nor can consistently be made.

Such reforms will not be promoted by the Party that is in possession of
those places, nor by the Opposition who are waiting for them; and as
to a _mere reform_, in the state of the Representation, the idea that
another Parliament, differently elected from the present, but still a
third component part of the same system, and subject to the controul of
the other two parts, will abolish those abuses, is altogether delusion;
because it is not only impracticable on the ground of formality, but is
unwisely exposing another set of men to the same corruptions that have
tainted the present.

Were all the objects that require reform accomplishable by a mere reform
in the state of the Representation, the persons who compose the present
Parliament might, with rather more propriety, be asked to abolish all
the abuses themselves, than be applied to as the more instruments of
doing it by a future Parliament.



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