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which he had maintained relative to some of individual in that House, had declared that the new regulations which were intended to he had not obtained fufficient information be adopted, he owned, embarraffed and relative to the particulars of the plan projecleggered him confiderably. He, 'in parti- ted, so as to give it his immediate concurcular, had declared, that he had formed a rence, was the Hon. Gentleman to abandon decided opinion with respect to the propriety it altogether, or to deprive lum, as well as of calling out the militia every year. This others, who might entertain fimilar doubts, regulation, however, he considered not only of having the matter fully debated, and by in consequence of his own investigations of public discussion of forming a decided judge the subject, but also in consequence of the ment on the point. He was persuaded opinion of others, founded in military ex

that the Hon. Gentleman would, on review, perience, to be fo essential to the plan pro- see the fallucy of his argument, and instead posed, and so neceffary to the discipline and of arraigning him for opponing a measure

refpectable maintenance of the militia, that of supposed general utility, allow him at least 1 could on

no account wliatsoever be the ordinary means of acquiring knou ledge difperred with. If, therefore, there was a with regard to it. total difference of opinjon, here the matter The particular point on which he had not might as well be dropped, and, on this account, made up his mind, and on which others as it was a question with him whether he should well as he himself had entertained their proceed farther in the business The Itatutes doubts, and wished for information, respec& present enjoined the annual discipline of ted the public finance. It was, no doubt, the milicia, though there was no formal act his opinion, that the militia, if called ef parliament citablishing a fund for the de- out annually, would be better disciplin. traying the expence which must necessarily ed than if-called out only onee in five be incurred, by calling them out yearly. It years.--

But
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point of would, therefore, surely be better to allow doubt with him, whether the expence (and maters to remain as they were, than to the expence must be considerable) attending hazard, by an attempt to amend, the 'total the regulation, if adopted, would not ex. destruction of an important regulation, which ceed its utility; and whether the money ap2 present had at least the thadow of an propriated to this end, might not, in many exiitence. He wished for these reasons to other ways, be better and more wisely apbe poflefled of the Right Hon. Gentleman's plied for the purpose of strengthening the clear and decided opinion on this important general defence of the country. In all mat. ad essential point, before he should form ters of finance, with regard to every object e resolution whether he thould proceed in of plausible and speculative utility, to the exethe business or not.

cution of which the expenditure of the public The Chancellor of the Exchequer could money was neceffary, it became him to act, Det help expreling fome surprize, as well not with precipitancy, but with caution. To a fome regret, on account of the sentiments arraign bim of being unfriendly to a scheme, shich the very respectable member had because he was anxious that its principle adopted with regard to bis conduct relative thoukl be investigated and discussed, or to by his proposed reform of the militia laws. decline bringing it forward, because he had He was aware that there was at present no not the folly to approve of it without exaquestion before the House, and that this mination, was a species of reasoning, and a pent therefore was not furmally under dif- mode of conduct which he felt difficult to cotin; but he hoped the House would in- reconcile with the well known under dolge him so far as to allow him to vindicate standing of the patriotic gentleman. But ata

procedure to the Hon. Gentleman, who Atracted from these confiderations, he was he knew was at all times devoted to the iu- apprised that several members had frequently terests of the public, and to whom he entertained their doubts on other grounds re. feckoned himself peculiarly indebted on the specting the expediency of the intended meapresent occasion, for the zeal and industry he sure. They wishes as well as he did, that had employed in putting on a better footing the point might be diiculled ; and he hoped wler he should always consider to be the the Hon. Gentleman would not deprive them beft conftitutional defence of the nation. of an opportunity of obtaining every inforThe Hon. Gentleman feemed inclined to re- mation in their power previous to their linquith all farther prosecution of his plan, forming decided opinions on the subject. becaníc on a former occafion he had allierted M. Marthim did not consider the Right that he was not sufficiently well acquainted Hon. Gentleman's reserve of opinion, with with all its circumftances to declare how far respect to a port of so much consequence, I thould meet with his support. Such was as a thing of light congrn. The icfcrve of the Hon. Gentleman's argument.

But was which he complained, was not that of an 6 far, was it conclusive? Because he, an inividual, but of the minister of the country.

The regu

In this view it was formidable.

Mr. Pitt said he Mould detain the House lation in question he confidered as of the but a few minutes—it was for the purgreatest consequence. Several Militia Offi. pose of giving notice, that he should, as foun cers, with whom he had conversed, declared as the ettimates and accounts could be gone it to be lo. He could not therefore think, ready, lay before Parliament the state of the by the projection of any new scheme, of ha. Finances of this country. The public, he zarding its being abolished altogether. He knew, expected it with impuience, and called the attention of the Right Hon. ( en- therefore he should endeavour to satisfy them tleman to what he had already stated,

The

as soon as possible. Before this could be annual muster of the militia was at present done, there were several accounts to be proprescribed by statute. No money indeed was duced, which had been moved for, but which appropriated for accruing expences. The were not yet made up. When there were House of Commons held the purse of the produced, he should be able to state, in one nation ; but he should think it an encroach- point of view, what the actual Itate of our ment on the authority of the whole legiflative finances was, and bow far we should be able body, were they to refuse granting money for to atlift the Swking Fund, an object from the purpose of carrying into execution an act which there were high expectations. This of parliament. He hoped, therefore, the Atatement of our finances was to be formel Right Hon. Gentleman would not confider bis from a number of distinct accounts, which argument in that irrational light in which he accounts would be in a inor time produced. had described it.

--Alter having stated the state of the finances, Mr. Minchio rose; but the Speaker obser- he meant to refer the confideration of Na ving that there was no motion before the whole to a select Commiuee, the enquiry of House, he sat down.

which would take up but a little time before Immediately after Mr. Minchin had fat they made their report, alter which he should down, a motion was made—«That this move for the account to be printed. He Houle do now adjoum."--This called up mentioned this matter to satisiy the imnatience

Lord Surrey, who expreiled his surprize of the House on this important lubject. at finding, that though business of importance

FEB. 8. was dzily expected, the House adjourned

ARME ESTIMATES. every day between three and four o'clock.

The order of the day being real for going If the Right Hon. Gentleman at the head of into a Committee of the whole House, for his Majesty's councils, was too much em

taking into consideration the army estimates; ployed to turn his thoughts to every branch

The Secretary at War rore and moved, of the public business, he ought to rest satise that the Speaker do now leave the chair. fied with his great office of Chancellor of the

Mr. Minchin rose to oppose the motion, Exchequer, and not to retain also that of

on the ground that he could not, with his Prime Minister. It was to be lamented, he ideas of consistency, vote for the army elli

. laid, that though the House of Commons held

mates, while the militia, the natural and the purse of the nation, and consequently a

conftitutional defence of the country, food very important rank in the constitution, there was in that House only one single Cabinet nomy in the pitiful saving of the expence ;

as it then did. It was absurd to talk of tecu. Minister, though the House of Lords had

in bis opinion the public money could not be the happiness of poliesling five or fix Cabinet applied more properly, and a few thoulands Ministers. Every thing considered, he was. might be the means of saving millions afterof opinion that the Commons ought to have

wards. He would however consent to with at least one Secretary of State for a Member, draw his oppofition, if the Chancellor of the and not be left with so great a disproportion Exchequer would be explicit enough to deof confidential ministers as it experienced at

clare his intention with regard to the militia, present.

on those points on which he had faid No notice having been taken by the mi- in a former debate that he had not nifter, or any one else, of Lord Surrey's ob- yet made up his mind or if the Right servations, the question of adjournment was Hon. Gentleman should not then be prepared put and carried.

on that lubject, that he would agree to fuch

a reduction of the standing army, as wonid Mr. Duncombe presented a petition from employ one third of the militia for the duty the Shopkeepers of York, praying that the of guards and garrisons in Great Britain. Act imposing a Tax on Retail Shops might Mr. Steel observed, that as the discussion of be repealed.

the subject of the militia would probably ocLord Mahon presented a Petition to the cupy a considerable portion of the time of the fame effect from the Shopkeepers of Wy- House, and that it might not come on till the combe in Bucks, as did another Member end of the session, it was rather a new ground from the Shopkvepers of Durbanis

of argument for the Hon. Member to allign as a

FEB. 7.

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reason why he would not vote for the army ettimates should have been on the table mere ettimales. His Right Hon. friend (Mr. Pict) than a weck; dod was not that day Lbe lehad laid nothing that could juttify such a venth from Thursday lat? The spirit of the dolaraul00. Though he did not pledge him- rule certainly was, thift the Houfe ihveld 105, jell to support the bill which was pro- be taken by surprise, and surely no man posed to be introduced, that was no proof could say that such was the intention. mat he meant to oppose it, and therefore He then adverted to the buuncis of the he did not see that upon that ground the militia, and repeated what he had laid ou a Hon. Member ought to oppose the mo. former day on that luhject. He did not feel won for the Speaker's lsaving the chair. himself preiumptuous enough to take thie

Mr. Machin tajd a few words in expla- lead on that bulinels, but he would listen 0010101 of his argument: he did not mean that with all the altcution he was matter of to ite confideration of the army estimates the arguments of those who were better fuuld be postponed till the whole business judges than himielf. He felt himself under of the militia was gone through; lie only the greatest obligations to those gentlemen Withed the Minister to declare whether it who had investigated and digested the plan Was his intention to support it or not. for the future regulation of the milicia, but Mr. Pitz was filent.

he desired to retain his opinion till the matter Lord North rose and observed, that how- came before the House. He profeiled himeter the question before the House might be self to be a friend to the militing and he he. madered with rezard to the business of that lieved he was warranted in laying that he is daj, yet it had some weight with him as be. its hereditary friend. He courelled he was ing a dangerous precedent. In his opinion it anxious to make this uuderitood, as soms was a point of order of infinite consequence, gentlemen had been attiduous to impress the and unless there was some trong reason af. Houte with a belief that he was an enemy to fiziied for breaking through the usual practice the milita, and they had no other ground for of the House in fimilar cases, he would op- this than that he had presumed to doubt of puie the motion. His Lordship then explain the propriety of mustering them annualed what had been the general usage when he ly. Was in office, which was, that while the ar- Mr. Fox begged leave to trouble the House Dry eitimates were upon the table, the ordi- with only a very few words on the subject of nity of the navy was voted before they the present convertation. A mintter ought Were taken into consideration.

to have been alhamed, as he should uodoubtThe Secretary at War faid he did not ex- edly in that capacity, to have declared, that pect his mution to buive been opposed on the his mind was not made up on a point that grounds which had been urged. He was not affected the conititncional defence of the an enemy to rules, nor did he with tu trenh kingdom. It was an eisential part of that çan the customary forms of the House. He public and oftenfible butinels which belonged begged, however, to inform thole gentlemen to the high situation occupied by the Riglit who had taken up the argument with to Hon. Gentleman. much warmth, that the estimates had then been Mr. Pye role in the midst of the debate, a week on the table. They were laid before when the Militia Bill that had been irtendthe House on Thursday lalt, and though Sa. ed to have been brought in by Mr. Martham turday and Sunday were not fitting days, yet was the topic of discussion, and declared, Disy were very good days for reading papers. if it would attord fatisfaction to the Houle, Hc therefore hoped the House was latisfied he would bring in the bill. that he had no intentions of taking them by Mr. Role faid, he should only beg that the surprize. .

clerk might read the precedent, which had The Chancellor of the Exchequer express been so often called for by the gentlemen on sed his surprize at the arguments which had the other side of the House. It was taken been urged by the gentlemen on the other from a period when the noble Lord was fide of the House; they seemed to be the ef- Chancellor of the Exchequer. It thewed funts of a vigorous opposition. A noble that in the year 1774, the supplies were Lord had complained but a few days ago of voted only four days after the ettimates were the great delay of public buínels, and of the on the table. {rievous baruthip of the House rising at four Mr. Grenville hoped what had just hapo'dock. There was then a full Houte, and pened would teach the gentlemen on the {entemen, he believed, were fully prepared other side of the House, to be less confident on the subject to come before them. With in their assertions, as the precedent now, proTegard to the point of form, the noble Lord duced clearly proved, that no such order as who had spoken laft, had begged the questi- bad been contended for had in fact any excu he had not affigned any reason why the istence.

Several 2786."

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Several other members spoke, but the words for the information of the House. It House became clamorous for a vote, and the was in the recollection of gentlemen, that a gallery was cleared. The question pafíed, plan of fortification having been fubmitted to however, without a division.

them last year, a sum of 50,000l. had been The House then went into a Committee of voted in the committee of fupply towards Supply, and Mr. Gilbert having taken the carrying the plan into execution : but it apo chair,

pearing afterwards to be a matter of doubt with The Secretary at War moved the following many very respectable members, whether such resolutions :

system of fortifying the dock-yards ought to “ That 17,638 men be granted to his be adopted or not, the effect of the vote was Majesty for guards and garrisous for the year suspended, and the money was not laid out.

The ordnance estimate for the current year That 647,005). he granied for main- was for 300,00ol but thould it appear to taining the fanie.”

the House, that the fortifications ought not 66 That 6,3581. be granted for the diffe. to be carried on, then they would vote this rence of pay between the British and Irith year only 250,000l. and direct that the eftablishments, of fix regimients of foot be- 50,000l. voted Jalt year, but not expended, jonging to, and paid by the latter, serving Thould be applied to the use of the ordnance ; out of Ireland in the Plantations, &c. &c." and thus, by the votes of this year and of the

* 6.4091. for the pay of General and laft, the sum of 300,000l. wanted for the Staff Others in Great Britain."

current service of the ordnance would be " 24,3781. for defraying the charge of completed. On the difference of opinion that ball-pay to reduced or superannuated offi- had taken place relative to the fyftem of fore

tifications laid before Parliament, his Majesty " 8,2 30. for the pay necessary to be ad- was pleased to appoint a board vi general and waiced to the troops lerving in the East- naval officers, to take that fubject into confIudies."

deration. They had it in instruction to take “ 9,3201, for allowances to the Paymafter- a view of the dock.yards, and enquire whe, General, and the Secretary at War, for ex- ther it was posible so to cover them by fea, chequer fees and pouadage.”

by a judicious disposal of a naval force, as to • 11,4991. for pensions to widows of put them in a state of perfect security. Whecommiffioned officers."

ther, if that could not be done, they mights The question was put severally on the dif- be ro protected by the encamping of lande ferent resolutions, and carried without a word forces, as to be completely secure against al. of debate.

tacks. Or, finally, whether they could be The chairman then left the chair of the effectually covered both by naval and land committee.

forces, without fortifications. They were Fus. 10.

then to enquire, should they deem fortificaReceived and read a Petition from Wor- tions absolutely necessary, whether the plan ceiter agunft the shop-tax.

proposed by the Master-general of the Orde Mr. Gilbert brought up the report from nance, was such as would give perfect secuthe Committee of Supply of the army, which rity to the dock-yards; and, lastly, whether was agreed to unanimously.

the estimate of the expence was the most Captain Littrell presented the Ordnance reasonable that could be looked for. Iu obeEntimates for the current year.

dience to their instructions, these gentlemen The Chancellor of the Exchequer, stand. had examined the yards and places adjacent, ing at the bar, informed the House, that he and had given it as their decided opinion that had it in command from his Majesty, to lay they could not be sufficiently secured without before them the opinion of the land and sea fortifications ; that the old works, even if officers appointed to take into consideration finished, would prove insufficient for their a plan for fortifying the dock.yards at Ports. defence; and that the plan of the noble Duke mouth and Plymouth. He accordingly delic at the head of the Ordnance, was such as vered the opinion in writing, and an order promised complete security to the dock-yards, was made that it should lie on the table. and could be defended by the smallest num.

Mr. Courtenay faid, he hoped that the ber of men. With respect to the estimate of Minister wonld have no objection to the the expence, they had taken the opinivos of printing of these papers ; he therefore moved committees of engineers on the spot, and fubthat they shouli be printed.

mitted them afterwards to the confideration The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, of the board of engineers at the Tower ; ad that fo far from having any fuch objection, he the result of their determination was, that rose to second the motion. As he was then the estimate was the most reasonable and mo. upon his less, he bessed leave to lay a few derate that could be expected. He did not

mcan

mean to say, that the general and naval offi- order to our finances ; but not more fo than cers employed in this affair, had been unani. in protecting those dock -yards, the seeds of mous in every point ; there certainly was a our navy, and consequently of our nationaf difference of opinion on some few points ; prosperity. He should not, therefore, be less and those who diffented from the majority ready to fortify them, though the surplus in the Fere as able and as respectable officers as Exchequer fell Mort of 500,00el. nor more 25 of those that composed it; but their reso- ready if it should be found to exceed laton upon the general plan was unanimous, 800,cool. ad decidedly not only in favour of the opinion The question for printing the ordiance efthat fortifications were absolutely necessary cimales was puc. for the defence of the dock-yards, but that Mr. Courtenay, finding the Chancellor of the ordnance plan adopted by the Master- the Exchequer would not consent to the progeneral was the best that could be devised. duction of the Report of the General and Naval

Gen. Burgoyne rose, and said, he hoped Officers, said he wished to move for a paper, that Mr. Pitt would not have any objection which he believed the Right Hon. Gentleman to a motion for an address to his Majesty, would readily consent to produce; and that that he would be graciously pleased to order that was, a copy of the commission and instrucfach parts of the report might he laid before the tions to those officers how to proceed in House as might be made public without dan. their enquiries There was one fact which get to the State. He faid he would make it he withed to have officially authenticated : Ic Thuriday next, declaring, at the same time, was this - The Board or Officers had been inDat he would leave it entirely to the discre- fticuted for the particular purpose of ention of the servants of the Crown to lay be- quiring into the conduct of the Master-Genefore the House such extracts, and no others, ral of the Ordnance, whose office was in 2 by them should be thought communicable, fact put into commillion. Now, it would fibonut injury to the public.

appear very extraordinary, if the very person The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, whose conduct and planwere the actualsubjects that he could nct bring himself to believe that of enquiry, hould not only be appointed a memthe House would consent to call for the pro- ber of the board, but even constituted the predation of papers that might be attended with fident, and consequently velted with a calting arming consequences to the public. voice in points whers his own conduct and cha

Mr. Dempster oblerved, that without due racter were at stake. He then moved an information on the fubject, he could not f'ay Addrefs to the King for the commission unto be should vote on the question of the der the authority of which the land and sea fortifications. Understanding nothing of the officers had fac. military or naval art, he believed he should The Chancellor of the Exchequer declinat derive from the production of the re- ing a debate on the question this day, as it port the information he wanted. The in

would anticipate that of Thursday next, conkrmation by which alone he could be enabled tented himself merely with moving the order to form an opinion respecting the fortifica- of the day, in order to get rid of Mr. Courlacons, be expected from the Committee, of tenay's mution. what the Right Hon. Gentleman had given The question was now called for, and caretice lome days ago, that was to enquire ried for the order of the day, so that Mr. to the state of our finances. Should the Courtenary's motion was lent. Sarpius in the Treasury be found to be very great, The Houle then refolued itself into a Comthan he might be induced to vote that some part mittee of Supply; when Mr. Brett, one of of a fhiuld be appropriated to the erection of the Lords of the Aumiialty, moved that just Forks to cover the dock-yards : But he had the me number of leamea that had been much rather lee it applied, particularly should voted last year (18,000) be granted to his be imald, in extinguishing some part of the Majelly, for the service of the preand debt; that we might at laft efta.

and that 41. per man per buah fuch order in our finances, as would month be granted to maintain them.-tuable us to meet another war, whenever The motion palled without a word of de#th wid have that calamity to encounter. bate ; and the House having been resumed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer differed adjourned. So far from the Hon. Gentleman who spoke belowe duim, that be did not think the pro). prey or impropriety of erecting fortifica bons round our duck-yards, depended at all

John Maddocks, Esq. took the oaths and as the quartum of surplus that hould be his feat for Westbury. sound in the Exchequer. He agreed, indeed, A petition fimm Alton was presented aflat our existence depended on rettoring gainst the shop tax.

MILITIA

fent year ;

Feb, 13.

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