The Monarchist 1.0
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[+] HONOURING OUR PATRON, SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, VICTOR OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES

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[+] HONOURING OUR HERO, LORD NELSON, ON THE BICENTENNIAL OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR (1805 - 2005)

[+] HONOURING OUR SONS, THE QUEEN'S COMMONWEALTH SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE 'WAR ON TERROR'

[+] HONOURING OUR VETS ON THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIA CROSS (1856 - 2006)

Saturday, November 04, 2006
Benjamin Disraeli on the Cost of Sovereignty:

The Loyalty Series (a continuing thread ...)

Gentlemen, there is yet one other remark that I would make upon our monarchy, though had it not been for recent circumstances, I should have refrained from doing so. An attack has recently been made upon the Throne on account of the costliness of the institution. Gentlemen, I shall not dwell upon the fact that if the people of England appreciate the monarchy, as I believe they do, it would be painful to them that their royal and representative family should not be maintained with becoming dignity, or fill in the public eye a position inferior to some of the nobles of the land. Nor will I insist upon what is unquestionably the fact, that the revenues of the crown estates, on which our sovereign might live with as much right as the Duke of Bedford, or the Duke of Northumberland, has to his estates, are now paid into the public exchequer. All this, upon the present occasion, I am not going to insist upon. What I now say is this: that there is no sovereignty of any first-rate State which costs so little to the people as the sovereignty of England. I will not compare our civil list with those of European empires, because it is known that in amount they treble and quadruple it; but I will compare it with the cost of sovereignty in a Republic, and that a Republic with which you are intimately acquainted—the Republic of the United States of America.

Gentlemen, there is no analogy between the position of our sovereign, Queen Victoria, and that of the president of the United States. The president of the United States is not the sovereign of the United States. There is a very near analogy between the position of the president of the United States and that of the prime minister of England, and both are paid at much the same rate—the income of a second-class professional man. The sovereign of the United States is the people; and I will now show you what the sovereignty of the United States costs. Gentlemen, you are aware of the Constitution of the United States. There are thirty-seven independent States, each with a sovereign Legislature. Besides these, there is a Confederation of States to conduct their external affairs, which consists of the House of Representatives and a Senate. There are two hundred and eighty-five members of the House of Representatives, and—there are seventy-four members of the Senate, making altogether three hundred and fifty-nine members of Congress. Now each member of Congress receives 1,000l. sterling per annum. In addition to this he receives an allowance called “mileage,” which varies according to the distance which he travels, but the aggregate cost of which is about 30,000l. per annum. That makes 389,000l., almost the exact amount of our civil list.

But this, gentlemen, will allow you to make only a very imperfect estimate of the cost of sovereignty in the United States. Every member of every Legislature in the thirty-seven States is also paid. There are, I believe, 5,010 members of State Legislatures, who receive about $350 per annum each. As some of the returns are imperfect, the average which I have given of expenditure may be rather high, and therefore I have not counted the mileage, which is also universally allowed. Five thousand and ten members of State Legislatures at $350 each make $1,753,500, or 350,700l. sterling a year. So you see, gentlemen, that the immediate expenditure for the sovereignty of the United States is between 700,000l. and 800,000l. a year. Gentlemen, I have not time to pursue this interesting theme, otherwise I could show that you have still but imperfectly ascertained the cost of sovereignty in a Republic.

nb: Delivered in Manchester in April, 1872, during a widespread discussion, precipitated by Sir Charles Dilke’s speech at Newcastle in the previous November denouncing the cost of royalty.

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