Imatges de pÓgina
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have been assigned, as those Reasons are apparent from the Anno 8. Geo. 11. present Circumitances of Europe, I cannot see how such a Presumption can be made : But fuppose this were really the Design of some Gentlemen in this House, will not every other Gentleman be at Liberty to oppose that Design when the Peace is restored ? May not every Gentleman, who shall :hen have the Honour to be a Member of this House, propose as great a Reduction as he pleases ? Is it not as easy to propose the Reduction of 17,000 as of 7000 ? And when we are so happy a6 to have an opportunity to make a Reluction, the Question will then come properly to be argued, what Number of Land-Forces is necessary to be kept up in his Nation in Time of Peace ? Upon that Question, I hope is great a Number will be reduced, without any regard to

he Addition now made, as the Safety of the Nation can idmit of; for I shall join with the honourable Gentlemen -n Opinion, that we ought never to keep up a greater Num

her than is absolutely necessary for the Safety of the Nation, ind the Support of his Majesty's Government ; and whoeter is against keeping up that Number, shall always be look

d on by me as a Person disaffected to both. c. • Before I conclude, Sir, I must take Notice that from :his Debate it appears to me, that the Gentlemen employed in the Administration of our Affairs are always in the most icklish Situation. If they propose to make Provisions against Dangers, by which Provisions the People must be put o an Expence, they then are charged with raising imaginary Dangers, in order from thence to take an Opportunity to -oad the People with new Taxes : And their Misfortune is, hat the more careful they have been in time past, the Arument grows every Day stronger against them ; because People begin at last to believe, that the Dangers which were lever felt were imaginary, tho' in Reality they were prerented only by the Provisions that were made against them. However, many People may come at last to be confirmed in his erroneous Opinion, by which the Minifters may be aç aft refused those Provisions that are actually necessary ; and f, by such Refusal, any signal Misfortune should befal the Nation, the Ministers would be sure to be loaded with he Blame of it, tho' they had done all that was in their Power to warn us of the Danger,

I cannot really comprehend, Sir, what sort of Informaon it is that Gentlemen want upon this Occasion ; would hey have his Majesty send to tell us, that there is a bloody Var carried on by France, Spain and Sardinia against the Emperor ? Surely they do not expect that his Majesty should end us a particular Message, in order to acquaint us with a Piece of News that is known to the whole World ! Pro VOL. IV.

bably

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Anno S.Geo. 11. bably his Majesty has not yet discovered, whether any of

the Parties engaged in War have any farther Views than
what they publickly avow ; this I say may not probably
have been yet discovered, because no Plan of an Agreement
has yet been offered to the Parties concerned : Or perhaps
his Majesty has already discovered, that some of the Parties
concerned' have some secret and ambitious Views, which
will oblige him to declare very soon againft them. In the
first Case, his Majesty can give us no farther Informacion
than what he has already given ; but fuppose the last to be
the Case, ought his Majesty, either by Message or other-
wise, to disclofe to us the Secrets he has discovered, or the
Resolutions he has taken upon such Discovery? Would not
such a Message be an open and a publick Declaration of
War? And will any Gentleman say, that it would be wise
in his Majesty, or in those who have the Honour to ad.
vise him, to make any such publick Declaration, before he
has made all the necessary Preparation, and is just ready to
enter upon Action ? In short, let us put the Cafe what Way
we will, it is impossible we can have, or ought to have,
any farther Information than what every Gentleman with
out Doors, as well as within, fully knows from the Cir-
cumstances Europe is in at present. And as these are, in
my Opinion, more than fufficient for inducing every Man,
who regards the Safety of his Country, to agree to the
Augmentation now proposed, I shall very little regard what
may be thought of the Wifdom or the Integrity of this
House ; for I am very fure, every Man whose good Opinioni
is worth desiring, will

, from our agreeing to this Question, 1 be convinced of both."

Mr Howe.

Some Members, who agreed to the Neceflity of an Aug. mentation of our Forces, thought it more eligible to hire foreign Troops than increase the Number of our Army at Home: And in Support of this Proposal, Mr John Howe stood up, and spoke as follows:

Sir, 'It is with great Diffidence and Confusion, that I fand up to speak on this Occasion: I think it one of more Difficulty, a more critical Conjuncture, than ever I knew under the Consideration of this House. I cannot, Sir, but with the greatest Reluctancy think of adding to the heavy Burthen my Country already labours under ; and yet it would be the greatest Concern imaginable to me, if through an ill-tim'd Piece of good Husbandry, I should fuffer the Na. tion to be involv'd in Calamities, which some Expences might have prevented. In this Streight I should be glad to zive no Opinion ; but yet must now offer fuch as occurs to

me.

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me. Peace is the greatest Advantage that can be desired by Anno 8. Geo. 11: a free and trading Nation : Any Expencé which will contribute to continue that Blessing to us, will be Money well employed ; and what is now proposed to us, I see in the Light of a Measure for Peace : The Increase of our Forces in geReral appears to me, to be with an Intention, not to make, but to prevent War. We are now in the rightest Situation poffible : We take on us the Part of Mediators, not of Principals or Parties in the War : May our good Offices be effectual ? All I can do to make them fo, I am fure I with : God send they may be so ? But we must put ourselves into a Condition to be a Weight in whichever Scale we may throw ourselves ; for bare Reasons, Persuafivés alone, will, I fear, have little Effect. But if the stronger Party is made fensible, that if it refuses to come into reafonable Terms, it will not long continue the fronger Party, our Mediation will be more regarded ; and a Minister will be best hearkened to, whose Equipages, instead of a great Number of fine Footmen, consists of a large Body of good Troops: I am therefore, Sir, free to declare for arming ourselves, convinced that an unarmed Mediation must proven an unsuccessful one. But, Sir, as the shewing what a contrary Measure would produce, does best illustrate Things, let us consider what would be the natural Effects of our dedining to make any warlike Preparations. Would it not be declaring to the French that they may go on and conquer ! That they may place upon the Imperial Throne a Prince of the House of Bourbon ! That England is not DOW, as formerly, apprehensive of the Increase of the Power of France This would certainly be the Conclusion the French would naturally draw from our not arming : A Conclusion no Englishman surely would give them an Opportunity to make. Warlike Preparations will, I hope, conduce to making Peace ; and if they fail of making Peace, they will enable us to make War: The Expence will neither way be loft. A noble Lord was pleased to say, that the Prosperity of this Nation depended on the Peace and Tranquility of our Neighbours ; I join with him in Opinion ; at least fo far that it may be difturbed by their Want of Tranquility : But surely then we ought not to repine at any Expence to procure that Peace and Tranquility to them, upon which our own Prosperity is thought to depend. Some Gentlemen seem to apprehend, that arming will engage us in War, without the Dutch ; far from it ; for if it should fail of its desired Success, we are ftill at Liberty to act as we think beft: But upon that Article, I think it most proper to be filent at present. We may, as the Country People exprefs it, when the Time comes, do like our Neighbours.

But

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Anno 8. Geo. 11. But now, Sir, as I have given my Consent to the Increase 1734-35.

of Forces in general, I must likewise declare, that for the Method, now propo!ed, of increasing them, by raising more national Troops, I can by no Means approve of it. After which it will be expected of me to say in what Manner I would have them increased ; for to oppose a Measure, and propose no other in its Place, is certainly very unjuftifiable. On this Occasion therefore, I am not shy of declaring that the warlike Preparation I mean, is by making Contracts with foreign Princes for their Troops, in case we call for them. To this Method there is no objection but the unavoidable Expence ; and yet the Expence of national Troops is ftill greater : Even the disbanding of national Troops does not free ús from the Expence of them ; their Half Pay remains ; and 'tis remarkable, that Half-Pay Officers, tho' they hardly live, they never die. But other objections arise to national Troops ; the Burthen they are otherwise, and the Danger from them is likewife greater ; not that I look on them, as another noble Lord does, as a Standing Army; for it is not to be supposed, that this can be the Number to be kept up: That is not my Objection ; but I object to the Increase of national Forces, as a Method in no Circumstance so easy or safe, as the engaging foreign Ones. Arming in general I think absolutely receitary; and were there no other Method, I would consent to this. Our House indeed is not on Fire, but our Neighbours is in a Flame; I therefore approve the increasing of our Forces in general, and only oppose the Method now proposed of raising national Ones, as there is a more eafy and more con

venient one of doing it, by engaging foreign Troops. Mr Eindsay. To this Speech of Mr Howe's it was replied by Mr Lind

say, · That by the Augmentation proposed, it was not intended to add new Officers, but only so many private Men to each Company ; so that when Peace was rettored, the Augmentation then made could be reduced, without leaving any Charge upon the Nation : That in a Time of such publick Danger it was necessary to augment our Forces within the Kingdom, and therefore any small Inconveniencies that might from thence arise must be borne with: That by increafing our own Troops no Money was carried out of the Kingdom : That it would add to the Number of our trained Soldiers, which, if any futare Danger should arife, would be an Advantage to the Nation : That by a Man's becoming a Soldier his Labour and Industry was not quite loft, for many of them were as industrious after listing as ever they had been before : That old and infirm Soldiers muft always of course be dismissed, and new Recruits raised in their Stead, tho' no Augmentation were ever made.

Ms

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Mr Erskine.

Mr John Drummond, in Support of the Motion for the Anno 8. Ceo. II. Augmentation, took Notice of the Number of Forces the Dutch had on Foot, and their Disposition to act in Concert Mr J. Drummond. with Great Britain. Then Mr Robert Dundass stood up, Mr Dundals. and spoke against the Augmentation, and mention'd the bad Purposes for wnich the Forces were employ'd, and init unc'd the drawing up of the Regiment in the Abbey Clofe at Edinburgh, to over-awe the Election of the Scots Peers, or over-awe the Elections of Commoners ; and to induce such Places as were conceiv'd to wish for Troops, to vo:e tor Courtiers, or otherwise to have the Troops remov'd from them.'

To this Mr Duncan Forbes * answer'd, “That the Drawing Mr D. Forbes. up the Troops in the Abbey Close was an ordinary Muiter or Exercise of Arms; and the Abbey Close an ordinary Place for such Mufters; and that there was great Need of armed Force in Scotland; without which the notorious Inclination there to Smuggling and Cheating the Revenue, and to mutiny and resist the Execution of legal Process, could not be quell'd ; and concluded with disapproving the Proposal for hiring Foreign Troops.' Hereupon Mr James Erskine stood up and said,

Sir, • I am loth to take up the Time of the House, now it is fo late, but as the Affair of the Troops at the Election of the Sixteen Scots Peers has been misrepresented ; and as I am fully acquainted with the Truth of that Transaction, I hope the House will indulge me.

• I believe no Member of this, or any other former Parliament, has ever asserted that a Standing Army was confiftent with our Conftitution, or even attempt to deny but it is dangerous to our Rights and Liberties. A Standing Army has been kept up, it is true, from Year to Year, and sometimes augmented, by pretending the Exigencies of the Times; bat such Exigencies, that the same, or other such, may to the World's End be pretended : So that if the same mean and low Spirit continues in Britain, a Standing Army is for ever to be the oppression of this once flourishing liland. Thele Arguments are indeed too general to be dwelt on, when the Question is not, Whether to have an Army ; but, Whether to augment it ? Since it seems granted on all Sides, that we must have an Army for this Year ; that Britain moft for one Year longer submit to that Badge and great Mean of Slavery : But if it is so dangerous to have any, it is ftill more dangerous to add to it; and if Exigencies requir’d such an Army as we had last year, yet it behoves us to see the Exigencies, that requir'd fo large an Addition as 8000 more, before we ought to consent to it.

6 The

• Lars Advocate fox Arctland,

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