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shend's questions, read what he called, a short return of the provincial corps, from which it appeared, that the whole number of provincial effectives in the British service were eight thousand and ninety one, and that to two thousand eight hundred and forty one rank and file, there were but one hundred and three officers. His Lordship said, that the forming them into battalions was a business transacted wholly by the Commander in Chief in America : that in that point Sir Henry Clinton acted at his discretion; but that he had ever made it a rule to incorporate one corps with another in-proportion as each grew thin, and to manage the matter so as was likely to put the public to the least expence.
General Burgoyne begged to know if 8000, or thereabouts, Gen. Bura was the number of the effective provincials, what was their gogne. whole eftablishment
Lord George Germain said, he did not know that there was Lord Gerge any regular establishment, at leaft he had no regular account Germain.
. of it, and the reason he supposed was, because the number in service depended upon events. Perhaps there might be in kis office fomne papers, ftating what number of provincials the commander in chief might wish to have on an establishment; but he had risen before, merely to answer what the honourable gentleman had said, relative to there being an unusual proportion of officers to rank and file in the provincial corps ; this he could however inform the House, that the public paid only for effective men, and that as soon as they enlisted, they were put into the provincial regiments, not into our regular army, and returns were from time to time fent over by Sir Henry Clinton. i General Burgoyne not appearing satisfied with this answer,
Sir George Howard rose, and said, he had that day seen an Sir Geó. officer just returned from America, with whom he had a good Howard deal of conversation relative to the provincial troops, and the officer had told him, that it was Sir Henry Clinton's wish to form them into battalions of 530 each.
The order of the day was read, and the House then refolved itself into a committee of supply, Mr. Ord in the chair.
The Secretary at War began with stating the amount of the The Sacres number of men, and expence of the army, which had been taryer Wat. agreed to last year, for the service of the year 1780, under the several diftinct heads of troops for guards and garrisons, (including the home staff) pay of the same, army employed in
plantation service, militia, their cloathing, foreign troops, and their pay; after going through these, the Secretary at War faid, that he should propose to the committee a considerable reduction, and a small augmentation, so that upon the whole, the expence would be less to the public than it had been laft year. "The reduction he meant was this, to reduce such regiments to fifty-six as were nominally feventy-six, but in which there were not more than fifty-fix men; to reduce other regiments to seventy-fix which had now no more effece tive men in them, and to let those only stand at one hundred, in which there now were more than foventy-fix: by this means he proved, that upon the whole, there would be a reduction of 10,000 men, and a saving of 103,5211. but with the augmentation that he should propose, which would confift only of two battalions, the reduction would amount to about 8900 men. He proposed that 39,000 and odd men, be voted for guards and garrisons ; 63,000 and odd, for plantation service ; militia 43,000 and odd; and foreign troops, employed by virtue of treaties between his Majesty and the German princes, the fame as last year; only, at somewhat an encreased expeoce, in consequence of a claim having been made this year for the charge of a corps of Heffian chasseurs
, formerly employed, but not before paid for. He took notice of the Saratoga business, and produced the last return of the army captured there; by which it appeared, that there now remained about 760 effectives who were prisoners, and that with the sick, those absent on furlough, &c. &c. there might be in all about 1700. He said, he had taken no notice of this army in the estimates, because, at present, he thought it better not. Every possible endeavour had been used by treaty to procure their enlargement, but in vain ; he was convinced, therefore, that Congress never would give them up under the convention of Saratoga. He also stated, that another faving of expence would arise from the employment of two major generals, in the lieu of two lieutenant generals, and from the faving of a year's pay, and went very much at large into a detail of the various causes which governed each alteration, ftating that the chief reason for his wishing to have the regular troops reduced, was the great difficulty of recruiting the old regiments, in proportion to the great case with which the new levies were raised; and this he accounted for by an act now in force, which obliged him to keep up the militia to the great number of 43,000, and, by alluding to other mat
ters which stood in the way of the recruiting service for the army. The only augmentation he had to propose, came to him through Lord Amherst; and that was, an augmentation of 500 men to each of the regiments commanded by Colonel Humberfton and Colonel Fullarton, neither of whom were to get any additional rank for raising the men. The intended augmentation of the regiment commanded by the latter, was, he knew, already more than complete. Of the augmentation of the regiment commanded by Colonel Humberston, he had not yet heard. In the course of his speech, he mentioned the act he had proposed two years ago, and said, it had ftruck him at the time, that such an act would essentially contribute to the recruiting tervice of the army ; experience had proved, kowever, that though it operated materially to the benefit of other services, it had not much affifted the army. In confequence of that act, the navy got men more easily, and militia substitutes were to be procured at half their former price, but the army got only a few, and those the worst men; he therefore should drop all thoughts of reviving that part of the act which carried in it a compulfion with respect to the army, being now convinced, that no force would aid the recruiting of the old regiments. He lamented that our army in general had decreased fo rapidly in the course of the laft two years ; but he accounted for it by reininding the House, that the natúre of the war had been changed; and it having been thought adviseable to employ a great number of forces in the southern provinces of America (the climate of which was not near lo healthy as that of the more northern provinces) and in the West Indies, great nunbers had fallen martyrs : but then it was to be considered, that both these measures were unavoid ably neceffary and had proved greatly successful; the last accounts from Georgia and Carolina had been extremely to the credit of his Majesty's officers and army, and in the West Indies, though France and Spain had sent thither such vaft armaments, we had fo effectually defended our islands, that our combined enemies had not only not atchieved any enterprize, but had not even attempted any. Nor was the fickness in our armies a misfortune peculiar to Great Britain ; the armies of France and Spain experienced the same fatality; the Spanish fickness, indeed, according to all report, raged with a violence scarcely poffible to be conceived. After speak. ing to other matters, he said he would, for form fake, move the first estimate ; but that he should be ready to answer any
questions relative to the estimates on the table, or to give any explanation gentlemen might desire. He then moved, “ that 39,000 men be employed in the service of Great Britain for the year 1781."
The question having been read by the chairman, Col. Barre. Colonel Barre rose and observed, that on his reference to
the estimates of the last year, and the estimates now proposed, he found that they differed extremely; that it appeared, if he had taken down the amounts exactly, that instead of a saving by the present estimates, the public were called upon for more men and more money than had been asked last year. For instance, the estimates for guards and garrisons presented laft year was but 35,000 men, whereas now almoft sooo more were asked. He was aware that the right honourable gentleman had made his references to the full number voted laft year, comprehending as well the amount of the estimates first proposed in the committee of supply, as the augmentations proposed by the right honourable gentleman after Chriftmas; whereas his account of the number voted last year was taken solely from the estimates, and that he thought the faireft way ; because now he supposed the right honourable gentleman would come to the House on a future day, and ask for an augmentation of some kind or other, and therefore till the extent of that augmentation was known, it was impoffible to fay whether the number to be voted this year would be more or less than had been voted last year, and the only fair comparison that could be made was, between the estiinates of one year, and the estimates of another. He wished therefore to know, what the augmentation was likely to be which was to
be applied for hereafter. . Ms. Jenkina
Mr. Jenkinson, secretary at war, said, the hon. gentleman was strictly founded in supposing that he had formed the account, which he had recited, of the number of men for the army expence, &c. of last year, by uniting the augmentation with the numbers, &c. first voted by estimate. That in a war of the nature of the present, carried on at a vast distance from the capital, it was impoflible to make an exact estimate of what could only be known to be necessary, from a knowledge of events which had not yet reached home. Last year the augmentation was asked for, in consequence of the requifitions of the commanders abroad, and the plans of his Majesty's ministers ; this year the saine matters must govern any fimilar requisitions which he might have to make.
The right honourable T. Townshend said, he saw it was the Rt. Hon. design to injure the regular army, merely to benefit two fa- 1. Iwm
fhend. vourite regiments. He meant not to give any personal offence, and was aware of the danger of talking about these two regiments; but in spite of that danger, in spite of all that had been done, and all that could be threatened, he should perfevere in his duty, and speak his mind freely in that House. He now rose, not to dwell much upon the two regiments to which he had alluded, but he must take that opportunity to declare, that the manner of recruiting them was scandalous to the laft degree, any person almoft in any condition was taken-boys too young, and men too old, for the service. Some things he had seen dressed up in regimentals, and called soldiers, who did not weigh as much as their arms and accoutrements. A new mode of levying the recruits was adopted; men were coinmitted to the regiments. The practice was common. In the newspapers of that day there was a story of an usher to a school, who had robbed the boys of 30l, he was taken before a magiftrate, examined, and his punishment was, a commitment to one of the new regiments, into which he was compelled to enter. He declared, he had lately had an opportunity of seeing the recruits of one of these regiments, and had gone through their quarters, and the greatest part of the recruits he law, were London recruits, men to be met with at Charing-Cross, men purchased of the common London crimps ! The arguipent therefore, that recruits could not be got for the old regiments, fell to the ground. These recruits that he had seen would have entered chearfully into an old regiment, if the levy money for a new one had not been greater; it was therefore the continued new levies, and nothing else, that hurt the recruiting service. Besides, how scandalously injurious was it to the feelings of old officers, to be sending out men as colonels, who had never been in the army before, or who had been in very inferior situations. The last year, a colonel had gone out to take the superior command of a brave and gallant veteran, under whom the new colonel had formerly served as a matross. How hard too had been the fate of Colonel Campbell? Now, indeed, it might be thought that he should not complain, because that officer had got promotion, but then he had been put over the heads of thirty-nine lieutenant-colonels. The right honourable gentleman, in justification of the augmentation of the two regiinents commanded by Colonel Fullarton and Colonel Humberston had said, those gentlemen were