« PreviousContinue »
mount to 1,6201. which is paid out system of frict economy in the adof the public funds.
ministration of the public revenue, From the account of the contin. which the legiNature has, by the gent expences of this office, they act, determined to be necessary. were 1691, 175, 7d. paid.also by By “ strict economy,” we apprethe public; so that the gross ex- hend, is not meant such as either pence of this office to the public, derogates from the honour and dig. was 1,792, 4s. 7d. ; the net pro- nity of the-crown, or abridges the duce to the officers, was 1,4781.75. servant of the public of the due re
That the total amount of the ex. ward of his induitry and abilities; pences attending the receiving and we mean an economy that steers iftuing of the public money at the between extreme parlimony on the receipt of his majesty's Exchequer, one hand, and profusion on the may appear at one view, we subjoin, other; that is confiftent with justice in the appendix, an account of the as well as prudence; that gives to totals of the gross and net receipt all their full due, and to none more; by the officers and clerks in each of that supports every useful and nethese branches of the Exchequer, cefiary establishment, but cuts off with the deductions paid thereout and reduces every superfluous and during the year 1780. From whence redundant expence. Some regu. it appears, the gross fum received lations, built upon the principle of by all of them, in salaries, fees, and æconomy thus defined, have for gratuities, was 82,5191. 165. 6.d.; their objects the offices, the offiand the net fum 75,8631. 195. 31d. cers, and their emoluments. The sum of 51,7511. 185.51d. was An office of the highest antiquity, paid by the public; 8,008). 5d. that has subsisted for ages under its out of the civil list; 22,9291. 155. present form; that has the receipt 3d. by individuals; and 3,8671. and custody of the public treasure, 125, 5d. for taxes.
upon the due administration of Such is the state of the salaries, which depends the national credit fees, and gratuities; and such the and safety of the realm; an ofice of authority under which they are paid such a description is entitled to the and received in these offices. But utmost respect, and alterations in the act enjoins us a ítill farther its establishment Tould be we}l duty; it commands us " to report weighed, and proposed with causuch regulations, as, in our judg- tion and diffidence: but, as ment, shall appear expedient to be change in the manners, customs, established, in order that the duties, and, above all, in the finances of taxes, and monies, granted, receiv- this nation, since the origin of this ed, and appropriated for the public office, together with peculiar cir. service.of this kingdom, may here- cumstances of the tines, may ren. after be received and issued in the der regulations necessary, we have manner the most beneficial and ad- judged it a part of our duty to vantageous to the public.” examine into the receipt of the
Regulations to this end have, in Exchequer, with a view to an e. the progress of this enquiry, offered conomical reform. themselves to our judgment; re- The office of the chamberlaips gulations tending to introduce that of the Exchequer, however im
portant in ancient times, is, at this It is undoubtedly true, that the
pells, were to attend the office of
any other office in the Exchequer. VOL. XXVIII.
Seeing, therefore, no utility ac. be discontinued, as expensive and cruing to the public from the office unnecessary; and that every prinof the chamberlains, beyond the cipal officer Mould procure all arlabour of a single clerk, but, on the ticles requisite for his own departcontrary, à considerable charge in. ment, and for that purpose be paid curred annually, in supporting two by the public an annual allowance chamberlains, and a tally-cutter, proportioned to the wants of his three finécures, at the expence, in office; a method now practised in the year 1780, of 1,4121. 25. 1od.; the paymaster-general's and in vaand the whole office at the expence rious other offices. of 3,0641.98.6d.; we are of opinion, The teller's is one office, at the that public prudence requires the head of which are placed four offifuppression of this office, and the cers, independent of each other, substitution of another kind of re- each presiding over his own diftinct ceipt in the place of the tally. division, but none of them contri
The chief, if not the only, present buting to the execution of any part duty of the usher, is to supply the of the business. It is expedient, Treasury and Exchequer with sta- that in an office of this importance, tionary and turnery ware, and a fome person of rank and refponfivariety of other articles, and the bility should prefide, to superinExchequer with coals, and to pro- tend, direct, and controal, the exvide workmen for certain repairs; ecution, with an appointment adehe is, as it were, a factor to these of. quate to his consequence and ftafices for particular neceffaries; on tion in the official scale, leaving to all which he has a profit. The a- subordinate officers and ministers mount of the four liberates, which the laborious detail of the execu. contained all the articles provided tion; but nc advantage is derived by him, with the bills for repairs in to the public from placing four inthe year 1780, was 14,4401.35.6d.; operative officers at the head of this out of which the profits to the usher one office. were 5,2521. 85. 4d.: so that, fup- Judging then, as we most do, posing all these articles could have solely by the rule of public frugabeen purchased, and the repairs lity, and fuppofing the nation to done, ascheap without the interven- stand in need of every practicable tion of the usher (and no reason retrenchment, and consequently to appears why they might not) the require the reduction of every usepublic paid 14,4401. 3s. 6d. for less and expensive office, we are led what was really worth but 9,1871. necessarily to conclude, that, as the 155. 20.; that is, near forty per public service receives no alistance cent, more than they would have or advantage from the labours of paid, had no such office existed as the tellers, and the public treasure that of the usher.
will find a considerable increase As whatever is wanted for public from their emoluments, the pubufe, should be purchased at the first lic interest requires their number "hand, and at as cheap a rate as may should be reduced. be, we think it neceffary for the Whatever reasons there may be public intereft, that the office of for continuing these, and other ofthe usher of the Exchequer should fices mentioned above ; whether drawn from policy or expedience; arising out of different funds. Of as a resource for the reward of ser- the inferior clerks, several pay vices, in preference to pensions; or over, either the whole or portions from justice, for continuing them of their salaries, or fees, to increase during the lives of the present pof the profits of otherclerks; all which sesfors only, in favour of the rights is contrary to that fimplicity and of private property; or whether it regularity that ought to be obwould be proper to change them served in every office, and may be again from offices for life io offices easily corrected by a regulation we during pleasure; all there are topics shall hereafter propose. not within the limits of our com- The Fees are either fums paid for miffion, but for the discussion of transacting particular kinds of ofthe legislature; whose deliberations ficial business, or a poundage; the comprehend arguments drawn from first sort of fees fall, in many cases, every source. But, in whatever very heavy opon individuals: in hape they may be permitted to some cases they fall upon the pub. continue, every reason of prudence lic: it would be much for the bedemands the reduction of their nefit of both, as well as for the ho. emoluments, from an excess to a nour of government, that all per. reasonable limited standard., fons employed in the public fer
There are likewise in this office vice, and who must of necessity have of the tellers, four officers, under recourse to offices for instructions, the denomination of second clerks, inftrumento, and other official bu. who are merely nominal, without finess, effential to the execution of attendance, without business, care, their employments, should be furor trouble; but they have fees, and nished with all necessary materials, to no inconsiderable amount. In and have their business done in evethe year 1780, the total of them ry office, without fee or reward: was 5,5181. 85. 4d. and were ci- the regulation hereinafter suggest. ther paid to, or to the use of, the ed will, if adopted, be attended persons named to these offices, or with this good effect. increased the profits of the tellers The poundage is the most fruit. themselves. Whatever pretensions ful source of fees to most of the sua superior officer may have to an perior, and to some of the inferior exemprion from duty and service, officers; it is a payment, after some a finecure is repugnant to the idea certain rate in the pound, upon the of the condition of a clerk in office; sum received, or issued, or conand therefore we are of opinion, tained in some official instrument that common sense requires the made out in the office, and delifuppression of the ofhces of the vered to the person applying. second clerks to the tellers.
In ancient times, when the trans. We have ranged the emoluments action was an actual delivery of moofthese offices under the heads of Sa- ney, and that money consisted of laries, Fees, and Gratuities. From coin of various denominations and our examination into the state of value, and poslibly clipt, or of the Salaries, many of them appear doubtful weight, the trouble and to be made up of a variety, and attention of the person employed fometimes of very small payments, in the receipt or payment in
creased with the sum; and there. Other alteration, most sensibly felt,
improvements of the age have taken Besides this facility in conduct- away the foundation upon which. ing money transactions, a course of this species of reward was built, it years has introduced, and very ra- is but reasonable the superstructure pidly within these few years, ana should fall with it; and, on the