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Crown, and by the confidence of the proposed to select as members of his House of Commons. But, sir, after Administration, the subject of the the vote of last night, I do not think household arrangements at the palace we are entitled to say, that upon very naturally came under discussion. The great and important affairs, upon which appointments to the offices of the Government was obliged to come to a Queen's household had taken place decision, we have had such support under the late administration, and the and such confidence in this House as chief places were held by ladies conwould enable us sufficiently to carry on nected more closely than usual with the the public affairs."
administration that appointed them. On this admitted want of confidence One lady, for instance, was the wife and inability to conduct public affairs, of the late Colonial Secretary and the Ministry resigned.
former Viceroy of Ireland ; two others The Queen having sent for Lord were sisters of another Cabinet minisMelbourne, that nobleman, “on Wed. ter ; others were nearly connected nesday morning last, tendered to her by relationship with different indivi. Majesty advice as to whom she ought to duals of the Ministry which Sir Roapply to, and the course which her Ma. bert Peel was about to succeed. That jesty ought to take.” In other words, delicacy and a sense of propriety feeling that the formation of a Conser would have dictated the retirement of vative administration was the only those ladies, thus closely connected advisable or practicable step in the with the former Government, was so existing state of the country, he ad obvious, that it did not oceur to Sir vised her to apply to the Duke of Robert Peel that any question as to Wellington, who again suggested to their dismissal would arise. It is imthe Queen that Sir Robert Peel was portant, however, to observe that, bethe person best qualified to undertake fore introducing the subject to the the task of forming an administration, Queen's notice, he announced to his the main difficulties of which would friends on Wednesday night, at his lie in the House of Commons. At that own house, the exact course which he interview, we have the assurance of meant to propose for her Majesty's the Duke of Wellington that nothing approbation : passed inconsistent with the principle, " I said to those who were intended that the person intrusted with the to be my future colleagues, with respect formation of a new administration to all the subordinate appointmentsshould be untrammelled in all points, meaning every appointment below the either in regard to the conduct to be rank of a lady of the bedchamber-I pursued in the formation of an admi. said to them I should submit to her nistration, or in respect to the princi. Majesty no change whatever with reples which ought to be adhered to as spect to those. With respect to the to the mode in which the royal house- superior class, I stated to them that hold ought to be managed.
those ladies who held such offices, and At the interview which took place who were in immediate connexion with between her Majesty and Sir Robert our political opponents, would probaPeel on Wednesday morning, when bly relieve us from any difficulty by he undertook the task of forming a relinquishing their offices. But I stated new administration, the Queen, while at the same time that I did think it she expressed her regret at parting of great importance, as conveying with the Administration which had an indication of her Majesty's entire quitted office, interposed no obstacle support and confidence, that certain of any kind to the execution of the offices in the household of the higher task thus committed to Sir Robert rank should be subject to some change. Peel. This important commission was I did expressly, with respect to the intrusted to him on the usual “ con- higher offices, namely, the ladies of stitutional principles," without any the bedchamber, state, that there were limitation being then proposed as to some instances in which, from the the appointments connected with the absence of any strong party or political household.
connexion, I thought it would be wholly In the communications which took unnecessary to propose such a change." place in the course of Wednesday in the correctness of this statement, between Sir Robert Peel and some of Sir Robert Peel appealed to the rethose confidential friends whom he collections of Sir James Graham, Mr Goulburn, Lord Stanley, and Sir Majesty's household, not stating to Henry Hardinge, in whose presence what extent he would exercise that he thus re-announced his intentions. power--not stating how many, or
When Sir Robert Peel proceeded whom, it was his intention to propose on Thursday to submit to her Majesty to remove-but asking the power of the names of certain persons who were dismissing the ladies of the household, to form part of his proposed Adminis- and leaving unquestionably upon her tration, an obstacle unexpectedly oc- Majesty's mind a very strong imprescurred on the very point as to which, sion that it was intended to employ from his erroneously attributing to that power to a very great extent-to others his own delicacy of feeling, he such an extent, certainly, as to remove had not anticipated that any difficulty all the ladies of the bedchamber, as could arise. The impressions of Sir well as some of those filling an inferior Robert Peel as to the nature of the situation in the household." That the proposal made by him to the Queen, impression thus formed by her Mawith regard to the formation of the jesty was an erroneous one, and that household, are conveyed in his letter Sir Robert Peel never did propose, or of 10th May, addressed to her Majes, mean to propose, the dismissal of all ty, resigning into her hands the com- the ladies of the bedchamber, and far mission to form a government, in less of any of those filling inferior which he recapitulates his view of offices, which is otherwise plain from what had taken place on Thursday. the announcement of his intentions on The substance of that letter will be Wednesday night to his intended col. afterwards quoted. In the mean time, leagues, is distinctly admitted by Lord it may be noticed merely, that Sir Melbourne; for he proceeds:-"Such, Robert Peel disclaims having pro. my Lords, was the impression on her posed, or thought of proposing, the Majesty's mind-an impression which, removal from any offices under the from what has since transpired, is evirank of ladies of the bedchamber; dently erroneous. No doubt such an while even as to these, following out impression was a mistaken one. The the view which he had already an- Right Honourable Baronet has disnounced, that it was only in the case 'tinctly stated that he had no such ina of those ladies who were closely re- tention, and there cannot be the slightlated to his political opponents that est doubt upon the point." Upon this any change would be necessary, he impression, however, thus communidid not propose a general removal, cated by her Majesty, and now admitbut only that “ some changes " should ted to be erroneous, Lord Melbourne be made in that department.
proceeded to act. Conceiving, as he The impression on the mind of her says, the question to be one too imMajesty is stated to have been differ- portant for himself alone to decide, he ent from that of Sir Robert Peel. immediately summoned his colleagues; From the explanation of Lord John and the result of their consultation Russell, it is not easy to gather what was, that they “ advised her Majesty her Majesty understood to be the na- to return to the Right Honourable ture of Sir Robert's proposal ; whe- Baronet the following letter:"ther it embraced a total or only a
Buckingham Palace, May 10, 1839. partial change in the appointments “ The Queen having considered the proof the ladies of the bedchamber posal made to her yesterday by Sir Robert From the later explanations, however, Peel, to remove the ladies of her bedcham.. of Lord Melbourne, which were evi. ber, cannot consent to adopt a course which dently intended as supplementary to she conceives to be contrary to usage, and those of Lord John Russell, and as which is repugnant to her feelings." filling up any deficiencies in the state. ment of his colleague in the House of
In answer to this communication,
Sir Robert Peel respectfully resigned Commons, we are informed that,
into her Majesty's hands the authority being summoned by the Queen on Thursday, he was given to under
to form a ministry. In his letter he stand by her Majesty, that, at the
thus explains what he had meant to close of the audience of that day,
propose, and what he conceived he "the Right Honourable Baronet made
had proposed to her Majesty the day a proposal that he should have the before :power of dismissing the ladies of her “ In the interview with which your Ma.
jesty honoured Sir Robert Peel yesterday present Ministry; for the position now morning, after he had submitted to your Ma- taken by them, and the advice tenderjesty the names of those whom he proposed to ed by them to her Majesty, was, that recommend to your Majesty for the princi- even as thus limited, her Majesty pal executive appointments, he mentioned to ought not to concede the point, and your Majesty his earnest wish to be enabled, that no change
that no change of any kind in the with your Majesty's sanction, so to constitute female appointments connected with your Majesty's household, that your Majesty's the household, could reasonably have confidential servants might have the advantage been demanded by Sir Robert Peel. of a public demonstration of your Majesty's Her Majesty's confidential servants. full support and confidence ; and that at the
among whom, be it observed, were same time, as far as possible consistently with
Lord Normanby and Lord Morpeththat demonstration, each individual appoint
the wife of the one and the sisters of ment in the household should be entirely ac
the other being the three ladies ceptable to your Majesty's personal feelings.
« On your Majesty's expressing a desire against whosecontinuance in the housethat the Earl of Liverpool should hold an hold the proposition of Sir R. Peel office in the household, Sir Robert Peel was probably directed—after consultrequested your Majesty's permission at once ing Sir Robert Peel's letter of the to offer to Lord Liverpool the office of Lord 10th at a meeting of the Cabinet, Steward, or any other which he might prefer. came to the conclusion which they have
o Sir Robert Peel then observed, that recorded in a minute, that while the he should have every wish to apply a simi- great offices of court and situations of lar principle to the chief appointments the household should be included in which are filled by the ladies of your Ma. the political arrangements consequent jesty's houschold; upon which your Majesty upon a change of administration, was pleased to remark, that you must they are not of opinion that a simi. reserve the whole of these appointments, lar principle should be applied or exand that it was your Majesty's pleasure tended to the offices held by ladies in that the whole should continue as at pre- her Majesty's household.” And that sent, without any change.
this principle was held broadly, and "The Duke of Wellington, in the inter
in reference equally to the slightest view to which your Majesty subsequently
change as to a total one, appears still admitted him, understood also that this was your Majesty's determination, and con- more distinctly from the observations curred with Sir Robert Peel in opinion of Lord Melbourne: “ We so entirely that, considering the great difficulties of agree with her Majesty that it is inthe present crisis, and the expediency of expedient to apply the principle that making every effort in the first instance to the ladies of her Majesty's household conduct the public business of the country should be removed, that all or any part with the aid of the present Parliament, it of them should be removed, in conse. was essential to the success of the com- quence of changes in the administramission with which your Majesty had tion, that we have come to the deterhonoured Sir Robert Peel, that he should mination to support her Majesty on have that public proof of your Majesty's the present occasion.” entire support and confidence, which Such then is the footing on which would be afforded by the permission to the administration have resumed of. make some changes in that part of your fice; the approbation of the principle, Majesty's household, which your Majesty that no change of any kind among the resolved on maintaining without any ladies of her Majesty's household, change."
however closely connected with the Thus, on Friday, all doubt as to the members of the former Administra. extent of the demand made by Sir tion, was to be permitted. They have Robert Peel was at an end. It could made this principle their own, and no longer be pretended that he stipu. have taken on themselves, as Lord lated for a general removal of all the John Russell expresses it, the constiladies of the bedchamber. His mean- tutional responsibility of advising the ing, as explained by himself, was evi- Queen to act upon it. They resume dent: He asked only the removal of office admittedly on no ground of a those, who, from their close connec- restoration of public confidence, but tion with the displaced Ministry, he on the ground that an unusual and imhad expected voluntarily to resign proper demand was made by Sir Ro. their offices. This was, accordingly, bert Peel, with which they, the parties the meaning put upon his letter by the who were to benefit by that resistance, advised her Majesty not to comply. our own upon these transactions, or For this resolution to resume the con. on the constitutional principle induct of affairs, which they have ad- volved in them, let us listen for a few mitted they were incapable of con- minutes to the footing on which Sir ducting with advantage to the coun- Robert Peel, in his explanation to the try, they claim the credit of the House of Commons, has rested the highest gallantry. It is represented vindication of his conduct in declining, by the noble Premier almost as an act in such circumstances, to proceed with of heroic devotion on the part of him. the commission intrusted to him. Let self and his colleagues :
any man divest himself ever so little “ I will not use the harsh expression of political prejudice, and ask his own that I resigned my office because I was understanding, whether the appeal abandoned by my supporters; but be- thus made to it can possibly be recause there had, as I conceived, arisen sisted :amongst my supporters that amount « Sir, I did decline to undertake of difference in opinion which led me the duty of forming an administrato suppose that I could no longer with tion on the understanding that the honour to myself, or advantage to the whole of these appointments should, country, conduct the affairs of govern. without exception, be continued. But ment; and I now, my Lords, frankly I did so on public principles, and from declare that I resume office unequivo- a sincere belief that it was impossible cally and solely for this reason that for me to encounter the difficulties by I will not abandon my Sovereign in a which I was encompassed in attemptsituation of difficulty and distress, and ing to conduct public affairs, unless I especially when a demand is made had the fullest and most unequivocal upon her Majesty with which I think proof that I possessed the confidence she ought not to comply."
of her Majesty. It appeared to me But while the Melbourne Ministry that there never was a period when profess to support the Queen's resolu. the demonstration of that entire contion, or rather to justify their own fidence was more absolutely necessary advice, that no change whatever for a minister. The duties of the should be permitted to be made in the office of a prime minister are, I conoffices held by ladies in the household, ceive, the most arduous and the most it deserves observation, that even after important that any human being can the letter of Sir Robert Peel of Fri. be called on to discharge. It is the day, explaining the limited nature of greatest trust, almost without excephis own expectations, the followers of tion, in the civilized world, which can the Melbourne Ministry throughout be devolved upon any individual. Sir, the country raised a universal cry that I was ready to undertake the performSir Robert Peel had demanded an en- ance of those duties ; but could I look tire removal of the whole ladies con- around me at the present condition of nected with the Court, without refer- public affairs—could I look around ence to their political position, and me, and not see that it was my absowithout regard to the personal predi- lute duty to this country, and above all lections and early friendships of her to her Majesty, to require that every Majesty. The utmost violence of the aid that could be given me should be public press, or of private agitators, given ? What were the questions has been directed against Sir Robert which would immediately press for Peel, on the footing that he had so my consideration ? The state of acted-a supposition which must have India - the state of Jamaica - the been countenanced by the Ministry, state of Canada_would all require my or at least was never contradicted by immediate consideration; and with them; although, whatever might have respect to some of them, perhaps, the been their original impressions, as to proposal of legislative measures. Sir, which we are extremely sceptical, they I considered the internal state of this must have been perfectly aware, from country _I saw insurrection in the the letter of Friday, that no such pro- provinces-I saw the letter of the position had been made, and that the noble lord opposite (Lord John Rusquestion at issue must be debated on sell) inviting the respectable part of very different and much more dispu- the population of this country to form table ground.
themselves into armed societies for Before offering any comments of resisting outrage. In addition to the
ordinary duties devolving upon a prime confess to you, without reserve and minister, there are therefore circum- without hesitation, that it appeared stances which render that position at to me that if the chief offices of the the present moment peculiarly onerous Queen's household were to be held by and arduous. Sir, I had a strong im. the immediate relatives of those mipression that it was my duty to make nisters whom I displaced the relaevery effort to conduct public affairs tives of my rivals for political power through the intervention of the pre. -it did appear to me that I never sent Parliament. I did not think it could impress the country with the was desirable to follow the course taken conviction that I, as a minister, was in 1834, and commence the government possessed of the entire confidence by a dissolution. After the frequent of my Sovereign. Sir, let me dissolutions that have taken place, take that particular question on which and the balanced state of parties, it my chief difficulty would arise. Who was my deep conviction that it was can conceal from himself that my my duty to make every effort in the difficulties were not Canada -- that first instance to conduct public affairs my difficulties were not Jamaicathrough the intervention of the present that my difficulties were Ireland ? Parliament. But what is my condi. I admit it, sir, fully. But what were tion in the present Parliament? I the facts ? I, undertaking to be a should begin the government in a mis minister of the crown, and wishing to nority. I did not shrink from the con. carry on public affairs through the sciousness of such a state of things. intervention of the present House of But, if I were insensible to the im- Commons, in order that I might exportance of the crisis-to the difficul. empt the country from the agitation ties that I or any minister must have and possibly the peril of a dissolution to contend with could I overlook - I, upon that very question of Irethis important fact, that in the House land, should have begun in a minority of Commons I should not commence of upwards of twenty. A majority of commanding a majority ? Sir, if then twenty-two had decided in favour of I began the administration of public the policy of the Irish government. affairs without the confidence of the The chief members of the Irish goHouse of Commons, could I ask for vernment, whose policy was so ap. less than that I should bave the de proved of, were thie Marquis of Normonstration of the entire and unquali- manby, and the noble lord opposite, fied confidence of my sovereign? Her the member for Yorkshire. The two Majesty's ministers retired on the chief offices in the household are held question of Jamaica, being in a majo- by the sister of the noble lord, and by rity of five. I should have had to un- the wife of the noble marquis. Let dertake the settlement of the Jamaica me not for a moment be supposed to question being in a minority of five, say a word not fraught with respect and that minority consisting of ten towards those two ladies, who cast a gentlemen on whose support I could lustre on the society in which they not calculate probably on any other move, less by their rank than by their question which I should have occasion virtues ; but still they stand in the to bring before the House. The first situation of the nearest relatives of two conflict I should have to fight would members of the government whose have been on the election of a Speaker. policy was approved by this House. On the very first day that I took my Now, I ask any man in the House seat as minister of this great country whether it is possible that I could and member of the House of Com. safely undertake the conduct of an mons, I should have to risk, perhaps, administration and the management the fate of government, or the ques- of the Irish affairs in this house, contion of dissolution, upon the choice of senting previously that the whole of a Speaker. Sir, I say that all these the ladies now forming the household considerations impressed me with the of her Majesty should continue in clearest conviction that it would be those situations ? Sir, the policy of a public duty on my part-an indispen- these things depends not upon prece. sable public duty which I owe to the dent-not upon what has been done in Queen-to seek for every possible de- former times; it mainly depends upon monstration that I possessed her Ma- a consideration of the present crisis. jesty's entire confidence. And I do The household has now assumed a