Imatges de pÓgina

came under the denomination of Guards and Garrisons, including the whole of the home army, or troops in Great Britain, as also the troops in Guernsey and Jersey, and likewise a force, which indeed was peculiar to this year--a number of regiments ferving in Ireland, and now remaining there. Should it be continued, Ireland might hereafter be called upon to contribute a part towards bearing that burden, and so far dimnish the sum at present necessary to be provided for in the present estimates.

An augmentation had also taken place in the regiments of dragoons, which brought on an additional expence of 65cool. Another of 39,000l. took place in consequence of the encrease of the companies of Foot Guards from 100 to 120 men, and of other troops.

Another encrease of expence was that of the establishment of a number of regimental paymasters; this was a plan adopted after much consideration, and he believed it would pro, duced' much advantage to the public. He believed allo it was generally approved, inasmuch as it simplified the mode of payment, and prevented delay; it was calculated also to avoid the evils which some persons imagined (perhaps chimerically) attended on the old mode of making up army accounts, and filenced those who were disposed to raise clamours upon the fcore of long arrears. The expence attending this establish. ment, he stated at 27,0col. per annum, a sum, when com pared with the probable uiility of the office, would be allowe;s ed to square with true economy,

Another charge was owing to a provision made for the Supplementary Militia, because that subject came only para tially before Parliament last year.

Another article was one that was quite new; he meant the Scots Militia. There was a further charge incurred by the increase of that Fencible Infantry.

There was also an additional charge in consequence of the encrease of the staff at home ; of which the committee would easily sec the neceflity from the number of troops employed at home, and wisely so employed, when it was considered in what manner we were threatened by the enemy.

There was another additional charge on account of the al. lowance that was made to the inn-keepers; and another on account of the volunteer corps, which were not provided for lai vear.

There was an additional charge also of about 100,cool. on account of barracks.


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Another head of charges which he had to bring forward was entirely new, and it was proposed that it should be permanent: it was an increase of about 12,000l. appropriated to the enlarging of Widows' pensions; a description of persons whom he conceived to be such as the committee would be glad to protect, as far as they could, with due regard to public economy. Great care had been taken to keep this within the bounds of moderation : in no instance was it higher than 30l. and in some it was so low as rol. a year.

An additional fum of money was also to be employed to the fervice of Jamaica. But against all these encreased charges he had to state a diminution, occasioned by the fav. ings that took place in the foreign corps, the reduction in the provisional cavalry, and by there being no charge made for ihe repair of Scotch roads and bridges, which usually came under the army estimates.

There was another article which had been applied in the laft eftimate ; this was an allowance for the expences attende ing the office from which the accounts then before the House

had come.

These were all the articles he had to enumerate to the committee, as constituting the difference between the estimates of this and the last year, and which amounted to something more than a million, as he had already stated ; and here he might have concluded all he had to say, except moving the resolutions; but that what had passed before a committee, and what had excited some public attention, did demand of him some observations; he meant the large fees that were taken in some of the departments of his office. A committee had reported against a continuance of them; and the whole had been collected and thrown into a mass, whereby a fund was created, and out of it a new division was made, and the falaries of the different clerks regulated. He at that time took the liberty of doubting the wisdom of that policy; he doubted whether it would produce, in the sequel, much saving to the public. Experience had been so far from removing his opinion upon that matter, that it had tended to confirn it. That indeed the new plan will in time produce the reverse of saving to the public. It was true that many respectable Gentlemen, and indeed the committee who inves. tigated the matter, were of a different opinion: but he begged leave to say, that some of these opinions were formed upon misapprehension of facts. They thought that these enormous profits (for so some of them were) Thould be calVOL. 1, 1798.



culated as producing what they did upon the average, than which nothing could be more erroneous. So much so, that these fees, in this very year, although, God knows, we are far enough from a peace establishment, he believed would not be adequate to the expence at which the committee, 'by its new plan, calculated the expence of the office of the Secretary at War. It was seriously doubted whether these fees would be equal to the expence of the office. He did not state these things from any personal motives, for, in reality, the fees objected to in some parts of his office, were points in which he had not the smallest concern; nor should be have thought himself justified by making any changes without the authority of the committee to which he had alluded. · He had nothing now to add, and therefore he should proceed to move the different resolutions, unless some gentleman fhould express a desire for further explanation.

Mr. Tierney faid, that whatever he might hereafter think his duty directed him to say, he should not oppose voting upon the estimates now; but although he said this, yet he could not help adding, that he was not a little mortified by the speech of the Secretary at War. He could have conceived, that the advantages of our victories and our triumphs would have been immediately felt in the diminution of our expences: whereas it appeared that some of them were in creasing. The public had a right to say, that the Secretary at War had deluded them; for, last year, the danger of inyasion operated upon the public mind, and much of the expence was incurred to provide against that calamity. Now the skill and valour of our gallant officers, and the steadiness of our men, had removed all fear with regard to invafion; and yet ministers held out no hope of any retrenchment, even in vseless offices. He thould not vote upon any of the resolutions of that night, nor thould he deliver, in detail, his fenriments upon them, as he withed to reserve himself until he had iaken time to consider more fully on the matter, and had an opportunity of conversing with others who were capable of giving him information. There would be no inconvenience from this mode, for he apprehended the resolutions would remain for two or three days. He rose then merely to take notice of the speech of the Secretary at War, only as far as it regarded the subject of æconomy. That was a question upon which there was but little variety of opinion. He was sure there was not a: man who heard him, who did not think there ought to be the severest æconomy in every :: !umu


lire, Nov, 30.]. WOODFALL'S PARLIAMENTARY REPORTS." *; 83 part of the state. With regard to the office of the Secretary at War, it appeared there were fees there which he himself had admitted to be enormous. He meant no reproach upon any individual whatever , at the same time he must say that these things must have been long foreseen, and might and ought to have been provided fon. But what was the cale now? The gentlemen who had reaped the advantages of these enormous fees were to have an additional allowance, because the fees of last year had not been equal to the expence calculated by the committee, and allowed upon the new arrangement. He did not mean to infinuate that the Secretary at War was interested in any of these fees; on the contrary, he believed his motives to be pure and honourable in all such particulars. But it appeared that a further fum would be wanted to make up desiciencies in office; &c. and this after a full consideration of the matter, and a report made by a comi mittee of financer. He really thought that this was matter worthy of very grave confideration. He thought the publie had been deluded, in a great meafure, upon this matter, for so it certainly appeared from the speech of the Secretary at War that night. He said this with the more confidence, be cause he was convinced of the absolute neceffity of rigid economy in every department of the state that can bear iti But while he said this, he was one of the last men in this conntry that would wish, by an ill-judged notion of saving

damp the ardour of the people of this country. He wished not only that their force fhould be respectable, but that they might be made to stand ini a proud and menacing attitude against the enemy. He would add, although by fo doing he hazarded fome reproach out of doors, that it was not in the salaries of public offices that he wished to see a general reduction, for he was persuaded, that, with a few exceptions, they were not over-paid, considering all the circumstances of things at present."

The Secretary at War said a few words in explanation, and could not agree with Mr. Tierney with regard to the effect of the fees. He did not see how, without injustice, any of the gentlemen who had received the large fees alluded to, could be called upon to return them. The expence of the establishment did not consift in giving salaries to those who fees, but to those who had too little before. It would be impoflible for him to state before hand whether this eftablish ment would be an economical one or not, on account of the fluctuating nature of the fees, which were not permanent. M2


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He had no difficulty in saying, that many persons in the office were underpaid, and that it was necessary to raise their salaries.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, he was inclined never to oppose oeconomy while it was consistent with the due performance of public duty; but he would not lose sight of the the sentiment which was so properly expressed by the hon. Gentleman opposite to him (Mr. Tierney.) That hon. Gen. sleman had said, that this country should be put in a powerful and menacing, attitude towards the enemy. But then he said that we had not the full advantage of our successes fuccefles which were felt and enjoyed by this country, while every other nation in the world beheld with astonishment and admiration the repeated exertions which produced them. It leemed that we were to forego every idea of an invasion of this country, and therefore we had an opportunity of attending to minute economy. He hoped the committee would not be so unmanly as to give way to that idea : he said “unmanly,” for he knew of nothing more unmaniy than to catch at success, and to neglect all future exertion as unnecessary. Undoubtedly nothing could excel-indeed hitherto nothing had equalled, the splendour of our successes : they would indeed in former times, and under former circumstances, have terminated any contest; but what successes, what triumphs, what glory of her enemy could affect the disposition of that nation whose rulers count as nothing the intereft, the treasure, or even the blood of their subjects. Therefore,

vith the best wishes for economy, he could not indulge a hope of carrying it further than it could be accompanied by prudence. We had to deal, we have to deal yet, with an enerny of whose character it may at least be said, they are not limited by a rule of law, or justice, or prudence, or by any of the maxims which are supposed to govern, or to have at any time governed, the policy of those states which are called regulated monarchies, for they had hitherto been totally uncontrouled by remorse, compunaion, prudence, or humanity. They have shewn a readinefs to hazard their own existence for the bare chance of destroying this country, or indeed of overturning the liberty of other nations. But, because they are at present discomfited in their scheine at the Nile, and because that expedition has turned out to be a disaster, and has reduced them to a temporary confusion, yet they might not have given up all ideas of invasion on this country; and hould they entertain such a thought, how wild and chime

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