Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

to day were inconsistent with the stable maxims and principles of any country, and rendered it impossible to depend upon any expectations which might afterwards be conceived of them; whereas, by adhering to some steady and permanent military system, this country, considering the spirit that now actuated it, would be enabled to keep up an army of transcendent excellence.

Mr. Giles was speaking on the necessity that there appeared to him to be of the bill expressing more clearly whether the Supplementary Militia bill was or was not repealed. The present measure was a partial repeal of the Additional Force act, which was itself a repeal of the act for calling out the Supplementary Militia.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the most regular way for the hon. gent. to have proceeded, would be either to introduce any additional clauses he might think necessary, or else to move an altęration in the preamble of the bill. He, however, had no hesitation in admiting, that the act of the last sessi on had put an end to the Supplementary Militia, and that his majesty had not now the power

General Tarleton thought it was rather an inconsistency to call upon all the talents of the country to put the army on a proper footing, and at the same time to deny that there was any necessity for the present measure. In the third year of a war, like the present, of the most formidable description ever known, it was rather extraordinary to hear gentlemen speak as if it were a mere guerre de pots de chambre, as an illustrious character had deno- of calling them out If the whole number minated one of the petty civil wars of that were now expected to volunteer should France. The effect of having a large dis-join the regulars, such an accession, toposeable force would be to change the gether with the ordinary recruiting, would nature of the war from defensive to of make them unnecessary. On the reading fensive, to free the country from the ap- of the first clause of the bill, prehension of becoming itself the scene of war, a calamity which every man who was acquainted with war and the scenes that accompanied it, would wish to remove far from any place he had an affection for. This measure, if it was disagreeable to the militia colonels, was brought upon them by themselves. If they had agreed to the interchange of the services of the militia between the different kingdoms of the empire, the services of the English militia in Ireland would have set free 20,000 regular troops, hitherto locked up in that country. The militia-men, as he had convinced himself by a very close inspection, were highly disciplined, and wanted but to be accustomed a little to the regular service, to make them as good soldiers as any in it.

Sir W. Elford made a few observations, in answer to what fell from the hon. gent. who spoke last but one. When a measure of this sort was originally proposed in

Mr. Yorke felt it necessary to repeat the observations he had thrown out on a for mer evening. He wished that a proportion of those who should volunteer from the militia, might be added to the royal marines, and he did not wish that any of them should be allowed to volunteer for either the foot guards or the cavalry. The principle of the bill was to increase our disposable army, and he could not consider either the cavalry or the foot guards as equally disposable with the regiments of the line. He allowed that the guards were a very fine body of men, but it had not been the custom to employ them in colonial service, like the marching regiments; besides, their number was now nearly complete. He also thought that a proportion of them would be well employed in the royal artillery. He therefore moved as an amendment to the clause, that, instead of the words" his majesty's regular forces," should be inserted the following,

and marines."

1779, the army had not gone to Holland." the regiments of the line, royal artillery, A second application had been made to parliament for relief to that army, and it had been granted. The hon. gent.'s argument then, so far as it depended upon the expedition to Holland, fell to the ground. The house then divided on the speaker's leaving the chair,

Ayes
Nors

Majority

On the re-admission of strangers into the gallery,

113

49

64

The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not at all object to a proportion of the volunteers going into the royal marines, but he thought it would be better to leave a discre tionary power in his majesty to settle what that proportion should be. He also agreed with the right hon. gent. respecting the cavalry, and admitted that the power of

sending them into that description of force (wise." Sir James Pulteney, Lord Tem should be very sparingly used; but he ple, General Norton, and Colonel Standid not wish that it should be excluded ley, were for giving the militia officers the altogether. Neither did he wish that power of selecting. General Tarleton many of them should enter the guards, thought it of much more consequence that although he must remark, that in all the the best men should be sent to the disrecent wars the guards had very much disposable force, than that they should stay tinguished themselves. They had not only in the militia regiments. The Chancellor fought in Flanders, Germany, and lately of the Exchequer expected that when the in Egypt; but in a former war they had legislature had once pronounced their opibeen sent to North America. He therefore nion on the subject there would be an hoconsidered them completely as disposable nourable emulation among the militia offitroops; he then, in compliance with the cers, to send good and efficient soldiers to suggestions of the right hon. gent. agreed, the regular army. This clause was then that the words " Battalions of Royal Ar-agreed to, as was another, which provided tillery and Marine," should be added after that if a sufficient number did not volunthe words "Regular Forces," in the clause. teer out of the half set apart by the militia The clause as so amended was agreed to.officer, the deficiency should be made good On the clause for allowing the militia out of the remaining part of the regiment, officers to select the men they wished to On the clause which mentioned general keep in the regiment; service for life;

Mr. Yorke could not agree to this clause. He neither wished to make the militia inefficient by taking all their best men from them, nor did he think it right that only the worst should be sent to join the disposable force. What appeared to hin a proper medium, would be to allow a certain proportion only, suppose a third or a fourth, of the flank companies and front rank men to enter into the regular service. Should more of them volunteer, he thought it would best be determined by ballot, who should be accepted; he thought it would be an extreme hardship to tell a brave soldier, who was desirous of honour, You must not volunteer or get the bounty, because you are a good soldier and a credit to the regiment, but such a man may volunteer, because he has been inattentive to his military duties, and is rather a disgrace to the regiment. For these reasons he could not agree to the clause as it stood.

General Fitzpatrick rose, and moved as an amendment, that the term should be for 5 years, or until 6 months after a definitive treaty of peace. He grounded his argu, ment, not only on general reasons, but on the conduct of government to the militia in a similar case, in the year 1799.-This motion produced a very long and desultory conversation, in which lord Temple, Sir James Pulteney, general Norton, colonel Stanley, general Tarleton, and sir W. W, Wynne, took a share.

Mr. For said that he was a friend to the clause that provided for the service being limited, instead of being for life, because it was founded on principles of justice, and agreeable to the spirit of the constitution of this country, and not repugnant to any military principle whatever; and when he should have an opportunity of giving a vote upon such a question, he should never give it for enlisting men for life; yet he wished his right hon. friend on this occasion not to take the sense of the house, because as this was a limited and partial question, ma

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he bad introduced this clause for the purpose of meeting, as far as possible, the senti-uy might be against this particular clause ments of the militia officers, and was con-under all the circumstances of the case, vinced, that in whatever mode a consider who might approve of the principle, and able number of the militia could be brought adopt it on another, and what might appear to volunteer, they would still be a most to them a more fit occasion; and he did valuable accession to the regular army. wish that the majority against such a prin He wished to give a discretionary power ciple should be greater in appearance than to the militia officers to make the selection reality. He hoped his right hon. friend, as they thought proper, he did not wish than whom nobody was more capable, them to part only with their worst men. would take some opportunity of bringing He concluded by moving as an amendment, this subject before parliament, and he that after the word "chuse," should be hoped that as it was a point on which m

added these words, "by ballot or other-litary opinions were divided, as he now

would be injurious to the service, aud no advantage to the public. Government would take care, that as few abuses as possible should take place in the practice of enlisting.

heard, the question would be fully considered by parliament, since we were almost, if not altogether, the only power in Europe which supported its military esta blishment by enlisting men for life, and we were the very last that ought to adopt Mr. Ellison thought there ought to be such a system, because it was wholly re-some security against the recruiting serpugnant to the true principles of the con-jeants tampering with men. stitution of this country, on which its glory. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the and consequently its real interest was best security against that was, that both founded. the labour and the money would be lost, if The Chancellor of the Exchequer ob-any thing of that nature took place, beserved on the general question which had cause unless he was fairly enlisted, he could been just alluded to: and remarked that never be attested. the opinions of military men were much Sir W. W. Wynne said, that without such divided on the subject of enlisting soldiers a clause as this in the act of parliament, for a term of years, instead of for life. there could be no security whatever against Many military characters of the first esti-mal-practices in this respect. They could mation thought it would be attended with not depend on the orders of the executive consequences highly injurious to the ser-government in such cases. The militia vice. They also thought it impracticable ought to be protected against that most during war. He did not now argue the dangerous animal, a recruiting serjeant. point, but merely mentioned it, as a mat- Mr. Bankes expressed an intention to ofter of great and serious difficulty at any fer a material amendment in the bill in time, and so doubtful in policy, that he another stage. The committee went should feel himself under the necessity through the bill, and the house being reof opposing such a measure whenever sumed, the report was received immebrought forward. No analogy could be diately, and was ordered to be taken into drawn from the practice of foreign coun- further consideration to-morrow, and the tries; none of them were under circum-bill with the amendments, was ordered to stances similar to this. be printed.-Adjourned.'

Mr. For said, that as to its being a measure which could not be adopted in time of war, nothing was more easy than to include in it a provision that none of the men should be discharged during war; and indeed this very thing was done in one of the bills brought in last war by the right hon. gent. himself; but that was of little importance, for the right hon. gent, had no respect for his own bills.

[ocr errors]

HOUSE OF LORDS.

Friday, March 29.

[UNIVERSITIES ADVOWSON BILL.] The order being read for their lordships going into a committee on the bill, to repeal so much of the act of the 9th of Geo. II. as went to restrain colleges in the Universi ties of Oxford and Cambridge from purchasing the advowson of livings;

J

The Duke of Norfolk rose to oppose the proceedings. He thought adequate reasons should be given to induce the legis lature to depart from a regulation which the wisdom of their ancestors thought a salutary provision. Their lordships would

1

General Fitzpatrick observed, that in the clause he had offered, he copied the very words to be found in one of the bills of the chancellor of the exchequer last war; but, however, he should follow the advice of his hon. friend, and withdraw the clause. Earl Temple proposed a clause, subject-recollect that the act which the present ing every person, who shall unfairly enlist bill went to repeal, in one of its most imany man out of the militia, to a penalty of portant provisions, took place principally 201. or in default of payment, to imprison at the instance of that great and good mament, not exceeding three months, nor less gistrate and minister, lord Hardwicke. If than six weeks. the measure was a wise and salutary provision then, why, he would ask, was it now unwise and injurious?

The Bishop of Oxford contended generally for the injurious tendency of the restraint, under the circumstances in which

1

The Chancellor of the Exchequer opposed it, on the ground that it might give birth to hardships upon serjeants, and other recruiting officers, for having offered money to a man in a public house, &c. which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the members of the universities now stood. Ja variety of important topics, on many of The present proportion of livings was by which questions might arise. It may be no means adequate to the ends of the insti- matter of discussion, whether the income tution. It did not exceed a moiety of of livings should be augmented from the the number of the members, and at least estates and other resources of the univer he thought the number of livings should be sities; or whether, and how far the number rendered equal to the number of indivi- of livings may, with reference to the imduals to be provided for, and which may portant objects they all had in view, be be done by means of the bill. The law, increased. The result of his own expeas it at present stood, operated in an in- rience on part of the subject was, that, convenient, and, in some respects, a very under the present limitation, the number injurious manner. The measure in ques- of livings was too small; in what proportion would, he thought, contribute to im-tion and in what manner these should be prove the discipline of the universities, increased, was matter for serious consiand materially to promote the interests of deration. learning. His lordship also alluded to the Lord Auckland confessed, that in his preill effects of the present slow successions sent view of the subject, he was, generally to the livings. With respect to the provi-speaking, favourably disposed towards the sions of the bill, he should have some bill, as he was to every thing that proceedamendments to propose; but seemed to ed from the reverend prelate who introsay they were not such as would materially duced it: however, he thought some dealter them. gree of information on the subject necesLord Sidmouth was of opinion that some sary, as at present they were totally in the farther time should be allowed noble lords dark as to the means which the universities to inform themselves, and to make up their now possessed of remunerating their memminds upon a measure of such peculiar im-bers, as to the number and value of the portance. The restraint, undoubtedly, livings in their disposal, or other resources was, as the noble duke observed, sanction- for that purpose. He should, therefore, ed by that great authority, lord chancellor suggest the expediency of the information Hardwicke. What he heard from the rev. such as he alluded to. prelate did not make up his mind as to the necessity of a legislative provision, at least, to the full extent of the present bill. Admitting the succession to livings, under the restraint, may be too slow, they may also, on the other hand, be too quick; nor did he conceive, that the interests of learning would be materially benefited education; to which the present bill went by the alteration; as, through it, mem- to afford a boon; one which the legislature bers might be taken from the university at of the country should not grant with a nig. too early a period, and before their lite-gardly hand. He was impressed with the rary acquirements had attained the neces- conviction that the bill would produce the sary degree of weight and solidity. Neither most salutary and desirable effects;* and, could he see how the discipline of the uni- adverting to what had fallen from noble -versities would be ameliorated by the pre-lords on the score of modification, he hoped sent bill. With respect to the proportion that principle would not be too far acted of livings, on which much stress had been upon. laid, an increase of that, suppose two thirds, of the number of persons, may be a proper subject for discussion. All he would propose at present was a little deJay in the progress of the bill, in order to afford time for maturely considering the subject.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The Bishop of Oxford replied at some length, and enlarged upon and enforced the leading topics which he before urgêd in favour of the bill; which, however, he had not the smallest wish to hurry through the house. He would appeal to their lordships as to the great importance of

Lord Sidmouth, in explanation, indicated his attachment to the genuine interests of learning; and observed, that his idea was, that were the limitation taken away, the succession to livings, in some instances, might be too rapid. He concluded by proposing, that the committee on the bill be deferred till Tuesday next...

The Duke of Norfolk explained, that he was not against all alteration of the present system. He was too well aware of the importance of education; but he

2

entirely coincided with a noble baron in important reforms which had been propohis idea, that some information should be sed, and which were begun to be acted laid before the house, as to the propor- upon, should be carried gradually into tion, number, and value of the livings. execution, for he would admit they could He contended for the necessity of some not be at once, he had the best authority information on the subject, with which idea for asserting, that the navy might be kept he was so far impressed, as to propose, in up without resorting to the private yards, order to allow full me to collect it, tha the committee on the bill should be postponed until Thursday the 2d of May.

but that a considerable annual addition might be made to it. Unfortunately for the country, the persons who had the superLord Redesdule argued for the propriety intendance of the naval department at preof having information upon the subject, to sent, seemed to have come into office enable the house to form a just decision upon the specific pledge of wholly reversupon the subject, and to pursue the right line ing the system of their predecessors. of discrimination. He agreed with the noble Economy and arrangement in the king's an learned lord on the woolsack as to the yards, the great objects of that noble lord, different important questions which the who lately presided at the admiralty, were subject involved. He was aware of the either slighted or neglected by those who difficulties which, in some points of view, succeeded him, and the important reforms existed, as with respect to procuring sa- which he had suggested, which he had tisfactory information; but what the house partially executed, and which he would would have principally to consider was the have completely effected as soon as peace general policy of the measure, and to what should be restored, appeared to have been extent it might be expedient to authorise totally abandoned. As a fitte opportunity the conveyance of livings from private would arise for discussing that important patronage to that of the universities, and subject in all its considerations, he would the proper ratio, as far as such was prac- not enter upon it at present, but having ticable, to be established with respect to stated the general grounds upon which he the successions. After some farther ex-brought forward his motions, proceeded planatory conversation, the committee on to read the whole of them to their lordthe bill was adjourned till Thursday next, ships. The motions with which he would and the lords ordered to be summoned trouble their lordships were, first, for "A for that day. list of ships which have been fitted, or refitted, between the 8th March 1803, and the 15th May 1804, shewing when each was taken in hand, and when completed." To this he presumed there would be no objection, as it was one of the motions made by the noble viscount at the head of the admiralty, with the addition of the

[STATE OF THE NAVY.] The order of the day having been read,

Earl Darnley rose, and expressed his regret that the motions which he was about to submit to their lordships, had not been brought forward by an illustrious duke, who was so much better qualified to give effect to them. The task, however, period during which the ships were refithaving fallen upon him, he would endea-ted.-His next motion would be for " A vour to explain the reasons for which he list of such ships as have been docked was induced to move for a variety of pa- between the 8th March 1803, and 15th pers necessary, in his opinion, to elucidate May 1804, specifying the time when dockthe important question, which would be ed and undocked." This was the same shortly submitted to their lordships, and made by his lordship, with the addition of in doing which, he would occupy as little the period. He would uext move for “ A of their time as possible. He was anxious list of his majesty's ships on commission, to have it understood, that in bringing for- which were built in the merchants' yards, ward the business, he was actuated by no specifying the time when launched, their motive of a personal nature towards the cost, and the sums which have since been noble viscount on the head of the naval de-expended on them, and at what periods." partment. No, his motives were of a more It would appear from this account, that in honourable character. They sprung from general the ships constructed in the merhis anxiety to promote and maintain that chants' yards were obliged to be repaired establishment, upon which the safety, the within the short period of four years after honour, and the very existence of the they were launched.-His next motion country depended. If the essential and would be for "A list of his majesty's L

VOL. IV.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »