Imatges de pÓgina
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militia was not an army defcribed by its numbers, but its nature, and its excellent principle was deftroyed by this meature. After the whole body had been reduced by furnishing recruits to the army, there might remain numbers equal to the original plan spread through the various corps, original, fupplementary, and volunteers; but the militia could not be re-compofed by adding to its remains any number drawn from any other corps. They were not fworn in for the fame fervice; the officers were not qualified by the fame indifpenfable property; and the two laft corps had no existence beyond the war, confequently could not complete the militia, which continued to exift in peace. These feveral bodies of men may be added and fpliced together, during their mutual existence, into an heterogeneous compound, and may form, for a time, a miferable regiment of freds and patches, no longer feeling themselves the champions of their country referved for the laft stake, but degraded to the state of a drill to the army, and burdenfome to those whom they were raised to defend. This perversion of the militia once carried into execution, irrecoverably destroyed it-the legiflature could not, with all its omnipotence, restore it-the fame confidence could never be revived. Unprofeffional gentlemen could not be expected to labour in the formation of regiments which they were not to command in the hour of danger they must remember that their zeal and labour had been rewarded by the transfer of its object to another, and that those who directed military arrangements held the conftitutional fyftem of the militia in averfion, fought every opportunity of depreffing its ardour, aid reducing it to a ftanding army.

The authors of the bill, deeming it neceffary to gain the approbation of officers by any means, had introduced a claufe as difgraceful to the propofers as to the perfons acceding to it; a claufe which enabled the king to continue, during pleasure, the pay of thofe officers who were rendered ufelefs by the deprivation of the men: it was a flagitious bribe, held out to render them corrupt inftruments of the feduction of their foldiers; it was a difhonourable military penfion to reconcile felf-intereft to a bad measure, by placing commanders without fervice in a better pecuniary fituation than thofe who retained the labour and expence of their vocations. Government had thought fit to fubvert a militia which had been the pride of the country, and of little burden to the public purfe, and that in the midst of an alarming war, at a moment when 50 fail of the line were in Breft harbour, fit for fea, and which a little change in our continental fucceffes would render again formidable to our coaft. Should the danger revive, and domeftic defence again be neceffary, the bad policy of this measure would be felt to its full effect.

The earl of Hardwicke admitted, that the bill was liable to much objection, and contained many things grievous and painful to militia officers; but that the propriety of enlarging the offenfive force of the country induced him to give it fupport, much as he deplored the neceflity.

Lord Grenville thought it would be peculiarly hard, if the militia officers fhould be permitted to keep on the defenfive a force fo adequate to act with effect on the offenfive, for the attainment too of our general welfare, and the fecurity of our dearest interefts. It was no breach of faith with refpect to officers, landholders,

or

or farmers, to convert this conftitutional defence of the country into a difpofable military force; it was, in reality, only converting it to the promotion of their happinefs and fafety, He would allow, it was not intended that it fhould act within the kingdom; but the vigorous co operation which our external efforts received from it, ultimately tended to our advantage and glory as a nation, and confequently to the effential benefit of landholders, farmers, &c.

Many ftatements had been made refpecting the expedition to Holland. If we were to be influenced by circumftances devoid of doubt, and not by idle fpeculations, what inference might we draw from the events which had already occurred? Was it no proof in our favour, that the Dutch withed the refloration of their antient government, when the failors of the fleet, forming a confiderable body of them, feized the first opportunity of returning to that order of things under which they were once fo happy and flourithing? When we confidered the infults they had experienced from

the wanton tyranny of the French; the annihilation of their commerce, from the destructive policy of their allies; the degradation of their pride, and the plunder of their property, could we hesitate to decide whether they wifhed emancipation?

His lordthip concluded with obferving, that we had uniformly evinced our fincerity in withing to re-establish their happinefs and independence; that we had even offered, during the negotiation with France, to restore the Dutch their most valuable poffeffions, provided France confented to leave them in the enjoyment of their rights; and that the object of the bill was to establifh, on a permanent basis, the real interefts of this country.

The houfe divided: contents 26, non-contents 3.

After the paffing of this bill, ard making fome arrangements for the neceffary fapplies, (which will be noticed in the next chapter,) both houfes of parliament concluded a fhort felbon, as it may be called, on the 12th of October, and adjourned to the 21st of January 1800.

THE

HE next meafure of confequence (after paffing the militia reduction bil) to which the attention of parliament was called by

CHA P. II.

Finances of the Year 1800. Committee of Supply. Mr. Tierney's Obfervations on Army Eflimates. Third Reading of the Exchequer Bills Bill. Navy Eftimates. Mr. Tierney's Obfervations. Subfidy to the Emperor. Army Extraordinaries. The Budget. Supply. Ways and Means. Taxes. Debates on the Ways and Means. The Minifter's Defence. Debate on the confolidated Fund for July 1800. Refolutions agreed to. Renewal of the Bank Charter. Mr. Tierney's Objections to it. ther Foreign Subfidies fhould be fent in Specie Regulations in the Income Tax. The Bill withdrawn, and a new Bill brought in. Debates on the third Reailing of the Amendments on the Income Tax. Mr. Tierney's Motioni for a Repeal of the Income Tax. India Budget.

Bill for the D. bates whe

minifters was the important business of the fuppies.

On the fecond-of October the chancellor of the exchequer moved the

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the order of the day for the houfe to refolve itself into a committee of the whole houfe to confider of a fupply to be granted to his majefty; which being agreed to, and the feveral estimates prefented by the chancellor of the exchequer, the fecretary at war, Mr. Wallace, &c. being referred to the faid committee, the houfe refolved itfelf into a committee accordingly.

in lefs than forty days. The reafon, however, of affembling them in fourteen days appeared in his majefty's gracious fpeech delivered from the throne; it was to enable his majefly without delay to avail himself of the yoluntary fervices of the militia; upon that meafure parliament had a bill before it, and it was a measure which he saw no difpofition to oppofe. Gentlemen might fay, that it would be ufelefs to vote for a bill to increase the force of the army, without voting a fupply, for that an army is of no ufe unless there be money to fupport it. That he knew; but he objected to the manner in which this was done, and the more especially fince his majetty had declared from the throne," that the ample fupplies which had been granted to him in the courfe of the last feffion would enable him, without further aid, to continue his exertions to the clofe of the prefent year," But then it was ftated as a matter of convenience to the members, for the members themselves to provide for an early part of the enfuing year, by which they were promifed, if they voted a certain portion of the fupply now, they would not be called upon again until they had a comfortable recefs. Now, having adverted to his majefty's fpeech, he was naturally led to take notice of fome deficiencies which were likely to arife in the fupplies for last year. He believed there would be 400,000l. in the navy: that the minifter might think a trifle, although in former days it might be thought a confiderable fum: the diftilleries in Scotland were stopped; that would occafion another deficiency. The income tax had been taken at the lowest to produce 7,500,000l. whereas he believed it would not actually produce above 6,000,cool. This was a point which the

The fecretary at war faid that the estimates he had the honour to lay before the committee confifted of the expences of the army for two months under the heads of guards and garrifons; and eftimates of the militia, and of the fencible cavalry. In confidering the head of guards and garrifons, it would occur to the committee that much of the expence for barracks included the fubfiftence of the men, which must have been provided for if they had not been kept there. He then moved that a number of land forces amounting to 90,000 effective men be employed for two months, &c. for the year 1800.

Mr. Tierney faid, he did not rife to oppose this motion on its own grounds; what he objected to was, the idea of voting any fupply at all at this moment, and under the circumstances which brought the members of the houfe together. He felt it a duty upon him as a member of parliament, to proteft againft voting any fupply at this time; and he would briefly ftate why he was of that opinion. By a late act of parliament his majefty could call them together in fourteen days. To their being fo affembled he had no objection; on the contrary, he thought that every thinking man muft fee the neceffity of their being fo called together, and that much public inconvenience might be felt, if his majefty had not the power of affembling parliament

the minifter muft know, at least within 100,000l. Poffibly the land and malt now to be voted might be made to cover this deficiency. M. Pitt faid, he fhould fall hort of his duty if he did not exprefs fome furpife at the obfervations he had just heard. The honourable gentleman would not find one word in his majefty's fpeech from the throne which went to reftrain par. liarment from entering upon the very bufinefs against which the honourable gentleman entered his proteft. He should be forry to ufe any improper words; but af er what he had heard he could not help faying, that the only prefumptuous conduct that he obferved upon this occafion was that of the honourable gentleman himself, who oppofed his individual opinion to the conduct of the house of commons, and that opinion having a tendency to fetter the inherent power of parliament; and really this was the whole of the honourable gentle

was

man's conftitutional defence of the ufage of the house of commons. The proceeding before the house was a meafure growing out of the prefent war, and out of the very point on which parliament affe nbled; the object was to transfer a confiderable number out of the militia into the army, which could not be done without an augmenta tion of the army estimates: whether that was a right or a wrong measure in itfeif he was not now arguing, nor was the honourable gentleman difputing; but this was nothing more than a neceffary meafare arising out of that plan, a plan which his maj-fty had recommended from the throne, which parlia ment had adopted, and to which the honourable gentleman himself did not objeA.

Mr. Tierney explained. The queftion was then put and carried. The o her refolutions were put and carried, viz.

For defraying the charges of the above number of men for two months

The malt, mum, cyder and perry duty bill, on the 9th of October, was read a third time and paffed.

Mr. Bragge move, on the fame day, the third reading of the bill for continuing the duties as a land tax on all penfions, places, &c. alfo on

£.

} 5:0.596

16,618

92,635

232,998

For maintaining forces in the plantations, &c.

For defraying charges of corps of cavalry in Great Britain, &c.
For defraying the charges of embodied militia, and a royal
corps of miners in Cornwall, &c.

For defraying the charges of the increafe of the rate of fub-
fiftence to inn keepers an i victuallers, &c.
For defraying the charges for barracks, &c.
For the charge of ordnance of land fervice
For the ordinaries of the navy
For extraordinaries of ditto

40,000

120.000

230,000

121,510

115,625

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bills would become payable, and whether they did not interfere with the arrears of 1799? They would alfo, in his opinion, exceed in fome measure the fupply already granted by parliament.

Mr. Pitt contended, that the amount of the said bills did not exceed what was already voted for the fervices of the beginning of the year 1800. They were only to make good the amount of the ways and means already agreed to for the months of January and February 1800. After fome further explanation, the bill was read a third time and paffed.

On the 12th of February, the house having refolved itself into a committee of fupply, Mr. Wallace moved, that the navy, army, ordnance, &c. eftimates be referred to the faid committee; which being agreed to, Mr. Wallace rofe to call the attention of the house to certain regulations which had been adopted in the departments of the admiralty and the victualling-office, at the fuggeftion and recommendation of the Committee of finance. Thefe new regulations produced the difference that might be obferved in the eftimates for the enfuing year in the departments to which he alluded. There would indeed be found an increase in these estimates rather than a diminution; but when the nature of that increase was duly attended to, it would appear that the increafe of expence was apparent rather than real; and it would be temporary, not permanent. The total increase of the establishment in time of war would amount to 8,2997. This in time of peace it was propofed to reduce to 3,6171. and when a peace, folid and fecure, was restored (and that alone was the peace which the real friends of the country would look for) a confiderable diminution

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would take place in the number of clerks. He would now proceed to the augmentation that had been adopted in the victualling-office, and there alfo the expence was not fo real as apparent. In this department the amount of the old eftablifhment was 26,3891. that of the new establishment would be 48, 1997. upon which a difference of 21,810. would arife; that would be amply compenfated to the public by the abolition of fees and other expences, which would amount to about 31,000l.

He then concluded by moving, "that the sum of 685,4291. 135. 11d. be granted to his majefty for the ordinaries of the navy for eleven lunar months, beginning the 26th of February 1800."

Mr. Harrison thought that a longer notice fhould have been given previous to the difcuffion of a matter fo complicated. He faw no neceffity, for example, to increafe the falaries of the lords of the admiralty because that of the fecretary of the admiralty was augmented. Scarcely any other office could come in competition with his. He hoped that when a peace would permit this establishment to be reduced, minifters would bear in mind that no extraordinary number of clerks fhould be kept em→ ployed.

Mr. Burdon, as a member of the committee of finance, declared, that upon due investigation it ap peared to the committee, that fuch increase of falary was but just, and that as fuch they recommended it to the attention of government.

Mr. Tierney, in explanation, obferved, that it was worthy of remark, that the fecretary of the admiralty had 4000l. a-year, while the falary of the first lord of the admiralty was not above 30col. Mr.

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