Skip to main content

Defence Of The Country

Volume 3: debated on Thursday 21 February 1805

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

in rising to submit to the house the motion of which he had given notice on the first day of the session, could not forbear calling the attention of gentlemen to the numerous postponements that had taken place with respect to it, none of which, excepting the last, had originated with himself. The only delay that was chargeable to him was rendered desirable and necessary by many considerations. The motion he was about to offer was almost precisely the same as that offered by his hon. friend on the bench above (Mr. Fox), on the 23d of June last; The terms of it were, that it should be referred to a committee, to review the several acts passed in the two last sessions for the defence of the country, and to consider of such further measures as might be necessary to make that defence more complete. He saw many gentlemen on the other side of the house who had thought it most necessary to review the system of defence in the last session. He would ask those gentlemen, how they could think such a review necessary then, and not think it full as necessary now? He desired them to take the account as it stood then, and to consider in what respect the balance had been changed. It was necessary, to alter the state of the case, that some change should have taken place, either that the enemy's means of annoying us should have decreased, or that our "relative strength should have increased more than theirs. It was necessary also, that this diminution of our danger should not be a temporary cessation, but that the cause of apprehension should have entirely passed away. In his opinion, no material change had taken place. It was true some addition had been made to our force, but if even a greater addition had been made that would not be sufficient. The general: state of our military establishment was what it would be necessary to inquire into, and what had been done under the late defence act, to give us those improvements which were so generally allowed to be wanting before. Those who had voted for a Committee of Inquiry on this subject before, and one in particular who had gone further than all the rest (the present Chancellor of the Exchequer), were, he thought, particularly called upon to support his motion. He should feel extreme surprise if they should resist it, and was at a loss to think what reason they could possibly offer for such a resistance, except, indeed, they were prepared to confess they were wrong in their opinions at that time; that the measures they arraigned at that time had merits which they did not then see; and that the measures they recommended had deficiencies of which they were not aware. Was the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, prepared to say, that the whole of the additions made to our military establishment were made by his present colleagues, whom he then opposed; was he prepared to say, that the measures he then declared bad were now good, and that the men he then censured as incapable, were now most capable? Was he prepared to say to those men, "your measures have been such, that if I had then the opinion of them which I have now, I would not have voted for the enquiry? Was he prepared to allow that every thing which had been done, and which was now available, was done by them? He was, indeed, himself prepared to allow, that the noble lord and his associates bad done much more than had been done since; but, as his opinion was not changed as to the positive defects of what they had done, he still continued of opinion that the inquiry was necessary; and he thought those who voted for it on the former occasion, could not do otherwise than support his motion now. If it was meant to be argued, that men were procured by the measures ultimately adopted by the late administration, and then in progress, he had never denied that the system of raising men for rank would procure men. He was ready to allow the force of family influence in Ireland and Scotland, but he contended that the principle of a system of recruiting by influence was injurious. It was not to be denied that the presumptive heir to an estate might raise money on an annuity, but such would be ruinous to him. The measure of recruiting for rank was one which he always objected to, not that he denied its power of raising men, but that he thought it a most pernicious mode of obtaining them. Thus the ballot obtained men of necessity, and a considerable force, almost all that had been obtained to meet the extraordinary exigency,. had been supplied by it, under the direction of the late ministers, so that whatever obligations the right hon. gent. opposite owed to it, he was indebted for to them; yet, whatever it had produced, could not reconcile him to the principle, any more than if the parish bill itself had produced men. He therefore saw nothing to diminish the necessity of enquiry. Alt the former objections to the state of our military establishment were still in full force; and he knew not how, after the failure of the measure proposed as a remedy, any member who voted for inquiry then, could avoid voting for it now. This, however, was a mere argumentum ad homines; for though a large part of the house, notwithstanding it was a, minority then, had supported that proposition, he should not think it necessary on that ground alone, that they should support him. Men should be determined always by the evidence before them; many of the measures thus instituted had by this time been brought to trial; some might have justified themselves by their success; others had been decidedly condemned by their failure. The very circumstance of a Spanish war changed the situation of the country. But that was not all. It might have been said by the late ministers and their adherents, that the regiments raising in England and Scotland promised to be successful; that some of their other measures also had procured men, and that the army of reserve though suspended, had been amply successful, and might again be revived, and that a further trial of all their measures would prove the efficacy of them. To those who voted for inquiry against those ministers, he would submit a broad question as to the necessity of enquiring now. Whether the present state of this country, (not meaning by the present state the bare condition of the moment, but as far as the view could reach,) was not a consideration of more vital importance than had ever been before kuown? Whether an army was not necessary, not merely to enable this country to rank among the nations, not only to preserve her power, her distant colonies, and the other sources of her consideration, but even to preserve herself from year to year? Whether our situation was not like that of the feudal times, when a man was obliged to sleep with Ins sword under his pillow, and when he was under the necessity of keeping his armour by him even while at the plough? All that we saw around us abroad, all the domestic occurrences that had taken place here, all the military discussions that had taken place in that house, the result of which had been the turning out of the last ministers and the coming in of the present, which had turned our chancellors of the exchequer, and our attornies and solicitors general into colonels and generals, and which had rendered all the men in the country military, all this proved the extraordinary and imperious necessity for a great and permanent military force. The next question was, whether we had, or were soon likely to have such an army, as was necessary for an immediate exigency? The third question would be, whether our military system was commodious and well constructed, so as to answer the public exigencies in the best manner; so as to yield the best possible force, or a force in some measure adequate to the expence and exertions of the country? Fourthly, supposing it answered all these requisites, had it that facility of recruiting so as that it could exist long and support itself without any new or extraordinary aid? Could these questions be answered, unless the state "of the country was different from that which he described it; unless we could soon have an establishment adequate to the exigency; unless the description of the force was good and in proportion to the expence we had been at, and the exertions we had made; unless it could be recruited and kept up so as to secure it from decay? Unless perfect and complete satisfaction could be given on all these points, there was a positive and undiminished necessity for the inquiry. We were told of the force of the volunteers, the militia, the army of reserve, and the regulars. One great objection to such a military establishment was its variety. It was not that there were light troops, and heavy troops, troops of the line, and troops on horseback, infantry on foot, or volunteers in carts; they might all have their particular services. What he objected to was their being on different establishments. Variety in nature might be very pleasing, but he did not think that was altogether the case in military establishments. If the volunteer system was good, why had we not all volunteers? If the army of reserve was good, why not make our whole force an army of reserve? But, perhaps, it might be said, they were for home service, and that it was necessary to have one sort of troops for one service, and one sort for another, like the man who had a great hole for his great cat, and a little hole for his little cat. He thought it better, before he proceeded, to examine the constitution of those four different armies; how far they were consistent with economy; how far they gave the greatest and best force; how far they interfered with each other; how far they counteracted the. general means i of recruiting; and how far they were the basis of a permanent force, First, as to the volunteers: this was a. head of defence which had already undergone so much discussion, that he wished he could pass over it without saying any thing now, But he could not help saying, that all his former opinions were confirmed by the additional experience he had had since be expressed them. They were further confirmed by the testimonies of the best authorities; and here he hoped it would be hardly necessary for him to say, that he meant not the slightest reflection on those who composed the volunteer corps, who were ready to do any thing that was pointed out to them;. who had taken great trouble to do what they were directed to do, under this system, and if they had not done what was best, it was not their faults. The volunteer system had many defects in every view, political, civil, and military. If the volunteers were designed to answer a sudden emergency, it was a misfortune that they were not left to accomplish their natural purpose in their natural state. He could not help thinking that some things had already taken place, which might be considered as indices of what would probably take place in consequence of the prolonged existence of the volunteer system. The country had not yet seen the volunteers, either under the circumstances of a general election, or a general scarcity With respect to the second point, that was by far of more consequence. He considered the volunteer system as altering the civil character of the people of the country. As to the civil character, he apprehended a general effect on the manners and habits of men, such as would be much to be lamented. It tended to disturb the general relations of civil life, to fill those who belonged to it with vain and extravagant pretensions, to bring down the high and to exalt the low. Though he was far from wishing for a revival of those aristocratic notions which induced men of high rank to look down on others with disdain, yet he was a friend to that respect which belonged to persons in the several ranks and gradations of life. History had a story of a prince who had a man to go before him, to remind him that be was a man, lest he should forget he was one; and many political writers thought it a great advantage in our constitution, that our popular elections brought the great occasionally to sue to the humble, But extreme distinctions were not the vice of the present time. The vice was, if any thing, the other way. The toe of the peasant came too near the heel of the courtier. When committees of volunteers had the power of giving votes of praise and censure to those of the highest ranks, he thought a door was opened for much injury to society in a quarter where it was least apprehended. There was not a people in the world dis- posed to shew more respect to the superior classes than the people of England; he meant a dignified respect, having nothing slavish in it, a homage to imputed virtues. If these virtues were not equal to the credit given them, the fault was in those who were supposed to possess them, and the respect that was shewn on the belief of their existence, was not less honourable to those who paid it hen. as to the effect of the volunteer force on the army; he did not think it could be the object of any considerable degree of confidence. If some battalions were equal to regular soldiers, and others were not so, it would be impossible to know when they were to be depended upon and when they were not. It was like those books of travels in which truth and falsehood were so-mixed, it was impossible to distinguish what was true. To those who argued that the volunteers were better materials of defence, disciplined as they were, he answered so was a pistol a more effectual weapon than a bludgeon, but if the lock was out of order and the powder bad, the bludgeon was unquestionably better. It was; absurd to suppose, that putting men in red coats and grenadiers caps, was sufficient to make an army. We were told every day of the volunteers being so well trained, of their dressing, marching, exercising, manœuvring, and looking in every respect like regular soldiers; but that was not enough to make them regular soldiers. Nothing was more like a man than a picture; yet it was not a man. He had heard of a celebrated painter who painted grapes so well, that the birds came and pecked them, but they found they were not grapes. It was not the right way to judge of things by appearances. So to judge was to view with the eye of a child, that mistook painted devils for real ones. It was impossible to make an army out of a painted army, or what merely looked like an army. It was not men that made an army, but discipline. Discipline was the very life and soul of an army. You might as well suppose, that flour and eggs and butter and plums, would make a plum-pudding, as that men alone would make an army. The action of the fire and water was necessary to make, the excellent production to which he had alluded; just so the action of discipline and subordination was necessary to the constitution of an army. He had read in a well-known weekly publication (Political Register, Vol. 7. p. 193) a. letter which the writer had done him the honour to address to him from Edinburgh abounding in true philosophy and plain sense, professing to be a summary of those opinions which himself and others, his friends, entertained on the subject of our national defence; but the letter stated these matters in a style superior to what he could aspire at compassing. He thought it worthy the perusal of every gentleman who heard him. If the volunteer force had, in the first instance, been only intended as a manifestation of the public feeling, that service had already been performed. A system built on zeal alone, was not built for perpetuity. It was like a fine theatrical position, which could not be preserved beyond a certain moment, and if the curtain did not drop, the arms must fall. The men would fall back into their natural station. By bounties and threats an effort may be made to draw them forth into battalions. The government may shake their parchments at them to drive them back again into these battalions, as it had done at first to drive them forward. A bill may be passed to render the volunteers more voluntary, and to make them permanent they may be constituted into a little militia. It was said, in accounting for the thinness of the musters, that those who absented themselves from drill had learned all that was necessary. Those who were most diligent, being of course soonest perfected, if they absented themselves as soon as complete, those who remained, in their absence must be a mere aukward squad; and when all were completed, there would be none in attendance. There were certainly some-things, such as swimming, which if once, learned were never forgot; military discipline was not of that number, it required continued exercise to preserve it. From these considerations, he could not agree that the volunteer system had done any great good; or that it was calculated to do any; but least of all, that it was to be looked up to as a part of our military establishment. Next as to the Militia, which he would describe in two words, by allowing that it was as good a force as it could possibly be, and that it went far beyond the designs and expectations that were formed of it at its institution. It had attained the highest perfection it could possibly reach, but the vicious principle of the ballot on which it was founded, had the most pernicious effects on the means of supplying our general military system. There were but two ways of supplying an army, by voluntary services and by compulsion. The armies of most other countries, he believed, in some measure, of all, were how supplied be compulsion. France recruited her armies by conscription, he believed, not to the exclusion of volunteers; old France, he believed, recruited entirely by volunteer service; Russia recruited by compulsion; so did Sweden; Denmark in a great degree; Prussia altogether; and Austria chiefly by means not very remote from these; Britain raised its forces by volunteers alone, with the exception, of the train bands. The consideration of a bounty of one guinea, or a guinea and a half, could not have presented any inducement. The inducement was the state and condition of a soldier, and the bounty served only to wet the bargain. Here the right hon. gent. traced the history of the militia, from its institution in 1756, from the impulse of shame, at having Hessians and Hanoverians brought into the country to defend it. This was considered as a cheap force which would lie by in time of peace, and go to grass till it was wanted. Thus, being a force of a mixed description, it lost the advantages of both those between which it was intended as a mean. Our foreign and our home defence were intimately connected. The loss of its greatness would be to this country equivalent to the loss of its existence, for when it ceased to be great it would cease to be at all. There could be therefore no question of the legitimacy of the right of calling for and enforcing personal service, if there was a necessity of calling for it. It was not necessary, however, to have recourse to compulsion, and it was not legitimate as we could do without it. There were other measures more constitutional and more consistent with our former practice, which there was still room to hope might be successful. Such was the system that had existed before the ballot had been introduced, a poison that had of late spread so widely and been so destructive. This poison had long lain dormant. There was a spirit in the lower orders of the people, which would not for a time suffer the ballot to be enforced. From 1756 to 1774, the beginning of the American war, the ballot had never once been enforced, but in this period there was certainly included nine years of peace, from 1763 to 1774. At that time, there was no system of substitution, no bounties, growing out of it. From that time the increase of bounties commenced. The govt. was before the only bidder in the recruiting market, and the recruit took the condition of a soldier, with a guinea to make it a wet bargain. Then the limit of time and of space in the obligation to find a substitute in one's own district, when the price was increased to govt. all over the country, in so much that ten guineas were given in the American war. Then a remedy was adopted similar to that which our farriers applied to horses legs, till the Veterinary College taught us better, giving temporary relief, but causing the complaint to relapse with increased force. Thus our state farriers, when the amount of the militia rendered the regular recruiting so dear, expected to relieve us by giving us more militia. In 1772 officers were threatened to be dismissed the service if they gave so much as two guineas bounty. In 1782,after its vast rise in the American war, it was again reduced to 3½, and the whole of that was not given in money. In the following war, when the militia was formed as it were into a regular army, and few served, who were not substitutes, the bounties became enormously high. Then came the pernicious system of raising men for rank, by which men who were only cornets, and even men who had never been in the army, were made colonels. In raising men the bounties had been brought to such an excess that it was necessary to threaten with dismissal those who gave more than 15 guineas. Then the Scotch and Irish militia were instituted and the latter was carried to the amount of 28,000. Next came the supplementary militia, and afterwards the provisional cavalry. This last was a thing of so short a duration, that it had slipped his memory at first, but it had left effects not to be forgotten. It passed over the country like a blight. It was like a hustle at a fair, which one got through in a moment, and did not think of it afterwards, till he found he had lost his watch. It was a pleasant conceit, to make every man ride another man's horse, till at length, when the men and horses were all brought together, no man knew how to mount, and so they all separated. From the effects of all these proceedings, the bounty was raised to 60 or 70, or even 80 guineas, and there was no reliance for an adequate and permanent supply after all. Then the establishment of the militia and army of reserve to the amount of 140,000 men, entirely choked the regular and ordinary sources. It was an hon. colonel who was now absent, (Colonel Craufurd), and other gentlemen at that side of the house, who had given its beneficial qualities to this Army of Reserve. Act, so that whatever effect it had came from that side of the house, and he at his friends might say, like critic Dennis, "that is my thunder." Thus he had traced the mischief down from the American war. The ballot was a principle which must of necessity exhaust itself, and it must have been exhausted where a measure which was calculated to produce 50,000 men, could by no possibility be made to produce more than 37,000. Applying it further was like giving physic to a man whose stomach would not hold it, and who immediately vomited it off. The ministers who had acted upon it till it stopped, were not, however to be blamed. They had only tried a known and established principle as far as it could go,. Having made the peace of Amiens, having suffered Bonaparte to overrun the Continent, and having made war when this' country could be nothing but a besieged island, that minister had recourse to this measure as the bow of Ulysses, which he made such use of that Adam Bell, and the other celebrated archers of old, were nothing to him. At length the force was so spent, that nothing more could be done, and as soon as this great archer fired the arrow, it fell at his feet. The friends of the noble lord (Sidmouth), t however, cried victoria. They did not consider it, in the language of the turf, as a race won by a neck, though it seemed it was neck or nothing with him. The rider was thrown, and the horse came in. The noble lord called upon the clerk of the course to give judgment for him; but the person who held the stakes was called upon to give them into his hands; and having in the mean time been given into other hands, with a view to a different system, the noble lord now demanded them back, and was not satisfied to have them by halves.—Here the right hon. gent, gave many forcible illustrations of the absurdity of recruiting the army by the circuitous means of the army of reserve. The army of reserve supplied many recruits, because it absorbed all the men of the country, and, the additional bounties induced men to go the circuitous route into the army. To praise it on this account was just the same as if, because all the members of the house came into it through the lobby, it should be said, what a wonderful place this lobby is, which supplies the house with all its members. It was a kind of turnpike where soldiers did not pay, but were paid for passing through it. A man would be thought rather foolish not to go into the lobby first, by which he was able to get a double bounty before he became a regular soldier. He hoped to hear no more of the good effects of this lobby. The whole system was encumbered and weighed down with a complication of machinery. The existing bill was a sort of great digester, supplied with almost innumerable small capillary tubes, one running to every parish in the kingdom. Why not have a large straight pipe, making a direct communication at once, and free from the confusion of useless intricacies? But then he should be told, oh, there is no invention, no contrivance in all that! It was much easier, in those gentlemen's eyes, to take a circuitous mode of filling the great machine, than to throw all the materials into it at once, in a straight forward way. Gentlemen had talked about the bill not being oppressive; the oppression was not upon the recruit, but it was pretty heavy upon the parish. The parish was to do the work, after the old saying: "fire burn stick, stick beat dog," and so on. The parish officers over whom the parish had no controul, were to raise the men or levy the money from the parish; but that could no more have the effect of finding the men, than one could make the horse drink though he should take him to the water. It was, however, now given up. It was like a man of whom nobody spoke well, and of whom therefore it was unnecessary to speak ill. It was like harlequin's horse, which had but one fault, and that was, that it was dead. It, was perhaps, unnecessary to follow it further, unless, indeed, the humane society may not have yet done with it, and the right lion. gent. opposite may hope to revive it by some process. If, however, the right hon. gent, would content himself with saying merely that it deserved to be revived, he would be satisfied. It was said the present measure (the additional force act), had not been successful, because the parish officers did not understand it so as to proceed to enforce it immediately. If it lay six weeks in their hands before they could understand it, much could not be expected from their sense of their duty under it. The bill passed on the 23d of June, and nothing was heard of it till the 13th of Aug. and then when it was supposed to be ready to go off like a spinning jenny, like the machinery of a thousand looms, not a sound was heard; it was altum silentium. In- stead of all this, you went about as quietly as ever, and people in their disappointment were every where enquiring, "where's the new parish bill?" Wonderful, indeed, were the effects of this parish bill, that was to work with such unprecedented local efficacy, and which had produced, allowing for casualties and desertions, the astonishing number of 665 men! Yet this was the system which was immediately to produce all we wanted, and to afford a continued and full supply to 60 battalions. In what situation was the country, when the ballot failed altogether, and when no hope could be entertained of the measures brought forward to replace it? It was not only a present supply that we wanted, but the means of constantly keeping up that supply; 5000 men was the whole number obtained by the staff recruiting. The rest was obtained from sources reprobated, not as unproductive, but as unfit to have recourse to, as exhausting the permanent, hope like the savage who cut down the tree to get at the fruit. To pursue this system further, was to act like a man living on credit, and going on smoothly for a while, but who was obliged to shut his door as soon as the bills came in for payment. When were we to go back to the ballot? the gentleman who had tried it last had stuck to it while it could produce any thing; and now it was like a fallen minister, in company with whom nobody wished to be seen. The present measure had gone far beyond the ballot, except that the parish officers were not compelled to act, as it was not determined how we should proceed. They could not get the men, and ministers were afraid to take the money. It may perhaps be resolved to take it from two or three parishes, to quicken the others, by whipping them, just as the captain of a ship compelled the dropsical man to mount the mast, saying his complaint was but arising from indolence, till the fall of the poor man into the sea convinced him of the truth of his sickness by the loss of his life. Another complaint against this mode of recruiting was, that while it professed to keep the bounty below 201. the crimps who were generally employed, had the. 141. allowed by government, in addition to the 20l. making altogether 34l. for every man. Thus ingenuity came at length in aid of the parish officers, and obtained some men at an increased bounty. He therefore considered the experiment as haying completely failed; and here he might say, what he was sure the house would be glad to hear, that his task was nearly at an end. He had shewn, that as a means of improving cur military system, this measure was abortive. In nine months an increase of 11,000 had beep made. In the same period the losses at home and abroad amounted to 16,000. Both these making 27,000 ought, and must have been supplied by other means, if these had not been resorted to. And if, on the whole, the increase had been equal to both these 15 or 16,000, it would have been for the consumption alone, all the rest would be derived from foreign sources. Thus it appeared, that only 5000 men had been gained for the general service in the first instance, and the remainder of the increase by measures which the hon. gent. had reprobated, so that only one-third of the increase had been supplied by the means that had been employed. Some small addition had been made to the cavalry, but when it was considered how favourite a service that was, the supply was by no means such as it ought to be under proper encouragement. If the troops employed on colonial service, which were all set fast to answer the local demands, and could not be detached, except, perhaps, en small expeditions, for no man could suppose that the troops in garrison at Gibraltar, &c. would be safely employed in that way, all the regular infantry we had to dispose of, amounted only to 53,000 men; and, indeed, if we took off the amount of foreigners, we should find it to be only 47,000 British infantry. This was all we had for any important and unexpected demand whatever, whether it were at home, or for any effort in any great continental operation that might be undertaken. As for the Foreign troops, it was, doubtless, very proper to have them in our pay; but one could not help being struck a little with the character of these foreign troops. Soldiers of this description were generally supposed to be for general and unlimited service, ready to go any where. But a greater part of them were Canadian Fencibies, and New Brunswick fencibles. The house would, however, think it odd that in these foreign corps were included 4 or 5,000 native troops of Ceylon, armed, he supposed, with bows and arrows, From what he had stated, it would be evident, that something more than the present measures was necessary to fill the' vast vacancy in the army, and after having shewn what were our military prospects, he was satisfied that every body would agree in the necessity of resorting to the wisdom parliament, for that something that was necessary to be done. In saying that it would be right to resort to the wisdom of parliament, no man, of course, could be supposed to mean his own wisdom; but the more he felt himself incapable, and the more he looked to others, as more competent to point out the measures that ought to be adopted, the more necessary it was to resort to the wisdom of parliament, and of the nation. As, however, in the event of his motion being agreed to, he should feel it his duty to submit his sentiments on the subject in the committee which it was his intention to propose, he thought it would not be altogether out of place to stats summarily the particular objects to which his observations would apply. And here he begged to disclaim all systems, his object being only to remove the obstructions which at present interfered with the regular supply of the army, and to restore our military establishment to the old way of recruiting it. He had already shewn from experience the ruinous effects of the system of ballot, that had first created, and afterwards continued, the difficulties in keeping up the numbers of the army; and he was confident that the fault was with the government. Wherever difficulties and impediments were felt in any branch of the public service, it was a priori to be inferred, that the fault lay with the government. He was aware, however, that no minister could, as had been boasted by Pompey the Great, raiset in army by stamping his foot on the floor. The creation of an army would be a work of time. He was not, however, one of those who were apt to run into the opinion, that every thing that was wrong must result from the fault of government. The question might be divided into two parts, with respect to an army within our power to have, and out of our power to have. For any purpose that we wanted, he was happy to think, that an army was completely in our own power. An army-might undoubtedly be carried too far, as well as neglected too much, and not carried far enough; but what was there to hinder us, with our population, from making a proper army? What was to prevent us from turning a certain proportion of our population towards the military profession, as well as towards any other of the professions, or any particular trade? Why could not the army be made to feel that it was equally worth their while to go to that profession, as to go to a trade? Make it an object with men to enter into the profession, and enough will be induced to join it, Suppose any new manufacture of great importance, some great cotton manufacture for instance, suddenly sprung up and flourished; some other trades and manufactures were probably at first hurt by its prosperity; but these things found their own level. There was a new means of subsistence discovered. Mr. Mai thus had not, indeed, discovered any new principle, for the principle was obvious before; but he had pursued it with great perspicuity and truth. The demand will have its relation to the supply. For instance, if shoes took twice their quantity of materials, if men had four legs instead of two, or even supposing they had as many legs as a caterpillar, shoes must still be worn; what was there then in the trade of a soldier so exceedingly forbidding and revolting to the people of this country? A soldier was not quite sure of a very long life, but his occupation was more healthy than most others. People were found everyday to go down into damp, unhealthy mines in Cornwall and Derbyshire; we had painters, and other tradesmen following unhealthy pursuits; nothing was wanting but to put the soldier's trade upon a proper level. The army had great attractions to the young and ardent and high-spirited. Notwithstanding all seeming disadvantages, there was an invincible attachment to a military life to be found, by no means uncommon. But when he spoke of the trade, he might also speak of the trader. The military life was the trade; the trader was the government. Could not this great trader do as much as other traders do, to put this particular trade on as high a ground at least as any other of the profitable pursuits of mankind? Could government fear any competition on such a subject? They could grant privileges, they could bestow immunities, they could confer distinctions. We know very well that in some other countries the force of certain religious opinions have been such as would either entirely prevent or else impair the formation of an army. Thus, in some parts of Asia there were people that could not be brought to military pursuits. So the numerous body of Quakers (could not be persuaded to throw off their religious opi- nions on this point. We find no such prejudices operating generally among us; but would any body say, that we were become so unmartial and so effeminate as to be past the age of military glory, in the history of this country? Why were our ships manned without fear of storms, or wrecks, or enemies? If we had not an army it was entirely our own fault. Ministers had sometimes laid the fault of bad systems upon the heads of their predecessors; but what excuse of this kind could be made where a minister had been his own predecessor?—Now, the first thing he should propose, would unquestionably be to clear away all the obstructions that stood in the way of getting an army. To the system of ballot he certainly objected, though he would not at once do it totally away in the case of the militia. He had been misrepresented as the enemy of the militia, which he had never been. He did not like to see it extended too far beyond the original object, and clogging the regular army. He considered the manner in which the militia was broken in upon some years back, as the most injurious mode of meddling with that establishment, and as one which could only be justified by an immediate emergency. Some gentlemen who held commissions in the militia, fancied they had the militia under the protection of the chancellor of exchequer; but he would tell them, that they had put their lamb under the butcher's protection; and, if they pleased, he would tell the militia colonels how long it would be safe. It would be safe just as long as they themselves had power and numbers enough in parliament to protect it. —The right hon. gent. then dwelt at considerable length on the improper profusion of military honours. Military distinctions, he said, were scattered about over the land, with a profuse and in discriminating liberality. He here again referred to the letter from Edinburgh, addressed to him, and published, which contained some excellent observations on this head, written too, in a part of the island, where he had good reason to believe the volunteers were the most perfect. It was odd, that while all other, characteristic honours are sparingly diffused and cherily kept, and whils they sustained their importance by their rarity they should be so profuse and unbounded in their relations to a profession which, is most particular about its honour and its glory and which seeks, 'the bubble reputation, e'en in the cannon's mouth. Why should there be this strange, and seemingly unaccountable difference? Did gentlemen imagine that the estimation of any other honour would long hold its place if treated with any thing like such indifference? Independently of the impolicy of thus making common the military rank, he would put it to the feelings of gentlemen, whether it was treating military men with any degree of fairness, to lessen the value of that which formed the most grateful reward of a soldier's ambition, and enabled him to support the greatest variety of fatigue and danger? From the very nature of man, such a conduct must have an ill effect. By taking away the importance of the military distinction, all the -association of glorious and animating ideas connected with it were likely to be lost, and the public as well as the individual deference attached to it must soon disappear. Many other distinctions might be mere nullities. A man might be advanced to the peerage without any Claim to merit. Certainly the possession of a title of that nature did not imply any: but the military distinction was of intrinsic value, particularly because it implied intrinsic merit. If, said the right hon. gent. you destroy the peculiarity of the symbol, you take away the fairest portion of its value. If you, by your indiscriminate use of a distinction, take from the soldier the fruit of what he has earned by a life of military activity and the arduous exertions of a long and well-fought field, you must, beyond calculation, destroy the spirit of an army, and that high-minded ardour of military life, which has so justly been called the "cheap defence of nations." Now, sir, in this, as in other matter, I say, go back to simplicity in your theory and practice. Get rid of the incumbrances and obstructions of your system. Clear away all the brush-wood, and brambles, and moss, and ivy, and let the tree have the full benefit of the air and the light of heaven.—That was what it wanted to invigorate its growth, and without that it could not prosper. We required an army for our defence, not a thing decked out in gaudy trappings that was merely an army to look at. To acquire such an army, nobody could say that much was not to be done, and nobody would say that much ought not to be done. In order to attain these objects, and to procure men, he would propose, as the most essential improvement, an alteration in the time of service. That improvement adopt- ed, there were various other regulations which he would take occasion to submit, and particularly one with respect to the condition of the inferior officers of the army, whose pay was at present extremely inadequate. This was a point that, in a country like ours, where money was in a great degree the criterion of consequence, was highly deserving the attention of the house. It was notoriously impossible for military officers of inferior rank to subsist upon their present allowance. How, then, could the military character sustain itself and be held in proper estimation, if military men were driven, as too many of them unfortunately were, to all the shifts consequent upon poverty; if they were, as was frequently the case, driven from the army altogether, to perish in a jail? That such consequences must have a most injurious effect upon the army, he thought could not be doubted for a moment; and the causes of the evil must be removed, before an efficient army could be had. If it was desired to raise and maintain an army, it was peculiarly necessary to raise the pay of the inferior officers, so as to enable them to maintain themselves like gentlemen. How galling must it be to them, to see themselves surrounded with holiday soldiers, who could afford all the enjoyments of life, and who outshine them in military splendor.—The next improvement he would recommend would be a formal, solid, and absolute renunciation of the practice of drafting. This practice he had ever deemed improper and mischievous, and a great aggravation of the other evils which existed in the military system. By abolishing the draft, and changing the term of service, he sincerely believed that two of the most serious objections which the people felt against enlisting into the regular army would be done away. If this mode of recruiting was adopted, he thought the country would never want real soldiers, and therefore would not be reduced to the necessity of placing much dependance on any other. He would also suggest some regulations relative to our force in the West India Islands. The horror felt respecting that service would be set aside in part by the abolition of the draft, and of course one of the great obstructions to recruiting would be removed. It was well known that, among the common people and the soldiery, nothing excited more dread than the idea of a draft to the West Indies; for it was not the men going to share danger with their officers, but going without their officers, and the mischief was to that place. which they deemed "the bourne from whence no traveller returns." —Into a detail of the regulations which he thought necessary with respect to our West India service he did not feel it proper to enter. He should merely say, that such European troops as it might be expedient to send to those colonies, he would not send without a gradual preparation for the climate. This preparation to take place by transferring the men in a sort of succession from one spot more congenial to the constitutions of Europeans to one less so. For instance, he would first send them to the island of Bermudas, or the Bahamas, and having remained there some time, they might be safely conveyed in rotation to those islands where the climate was wanner. The advantage of this arrangement, as the house must conceive, would be to fit the men to endure that climate, which had been heretofore so great a drain on our population. This drain he always understood to be aggravated by the practices to which the drafts generally resorted on their arrival in the islands. If they did not suffer from the common effects of the climate, they either fell victims to despair, or got into habits of intoxication which speedily produced their death. This furnished another reason for the abolition of drafting, and the adoption of the plan of preparation lie had sketched to the house.—Another head of reform which the right hon. gent. strongly felt it his duty to bring forward, would be the abolition pf corporal punishment, unless for acknowledged and specified crimes. Such punishments, he agreed with the correspondent he before alluded to, were by much too frequent and, too severe in the army. There were many means of correcting a soldier without resorting to them. Any offence that shame, fine, or imprisonment was adequate to punish, ought not to be the subject of corporal punishment. So much severity as was known to prevail was the more to be deplored, because it, was not necessary to the preservation of discipline. Discipline, if it be properly managed, will, like a machine well contrived and set together, move on with the less force. It is generally owing to some great fault in the original structure, or some great mismanagement and unsteadiness, in those to whom the machine of discipline is committed, that these excessive severities are at all had recourse to. The reform which was so desirable on this point could not, he was aware, be effected, without a material change in the construction and conduct of courts martial. They must be more solemn in their proceedings, more deliberate in their investigations, something must be contrived to intervene in all cases between, passion and its effects; some check on summary punishment must be provided; it must be settled that no corporal punishment shall take place, no sentence of that nature shall be executed, without previously submitting the proceedings of the court martial to the review of the commander in chief. This last provision would, he was persuaded, have prodigious effect, particularly if combined with, a specific description of the crimes for which a soldier should be subject to corporal punishment. To such a description he could not conceive that any objection could be made. Certainly on the score of justice and humanity, it was much fairer that such a description should be promulgated, for the government of both officer and soldier, than that the latter should be left entirely to the mercy of whatever conception of crime the former might happen to entertain. He cared not how voluminous, this description of crimes might be, all he wanted was, that the soldier might know what was really to be deemed criminal. The penal code of this country, although death was almost in every line, did not terrify the great mass of the people, because it referred to such crimes as no proper man would commit; nor would a precise description of the crimes to which corporal punishment should attach in the army, have the effect of preventing men from entering into or remaining in it; but quite the contrary.—The soldier will not be afraid of that which no good soldier will deserve: but it would certainly be a considerable alleviation to a soldier's mind to be always able to say, "If I go to parade with a button off my coat, or happen to be a minute or two too late, I shall not be in danger of being tried by a court martial, or of suffering any immediate punishment that is degrading to the feelings and spirit of a soldier." It was in these small intermediate points of duty, that were of but little consequence in themselves comparatively speaking, that he thought punishments might be modified, and alleviated, with the greatest and happiest effect.—He then adverted to certain, in- centives, which he thought might be applied with considerable propriety and effect, in stimulating soldiers to a keener and more active sense of their duty. The profession of a soldier was such as exposed him to the most imminent danger, and he who had any apprehension of that, was not fit for the profession, nor should ever think of entering into it. He allowed, that, circumstanced as this country now is, it is impossible to increase the pay of the army; in that respect, we had unfortunately arrived at the ne plus ultra. But was there nothing else, he asked, could be found worthy to be substituted as an equivalent to an additional 5d. or 6d. a day? was there no such thing as contriving to put by part of the bounty, to be paid on the expiration of the service, instead of the beginning, as a stimulus to the valuable and true soldier, and to operate as a reward to his family, in case any accident should happen to him. The bounty, he said, generally acted both ways, and he feared there was not above one man in eight, or at most in seven, that really deserved it. But there were other things, which operated as incentives, as powerfully, or perhaps more so, than money. Suppose we should give him a right to vote in particular cases, or even suppose we should go still further, and allow him to kill game, for instance, as a stimulus to be a true soldier, and thereby deserve preferment; suppose a serjeaut should be allowed to kill game? This would be no unprecedented method of holding forth inducements independent of pay. In France the soldier was always, during the ancient govt. entitled to a particular row in the theatre. Was it not to be supposed, he asked, that such grants or remunerations as those he had mentioned, would operate in this country as they had done in others, and not only be a means of drawing men into the army, but of making them good and attentive to their duty, while, they were in it? For his own part, he could not entertain the most distant doubt of it.—It now remained only for him to touch as briefly as possible on the several objections which might, perhaps, be made to these different alterations and points of reform, which he had taken the liberty to suggest to the house, as applicable to the present state of the forces, and the peculiar circumstances of the country at the present moment. One of those was that this change will require time, and that at present we have none to spare. This was an old argument, he said, but it weighed very little with him. In order to act as we ought to do, we must boldly look our situation in the face. If bad measures were allowed to go on because the time was too pressing to consider of their removal, the time would at length become pressing, because the measures were bad. We should be found, according to this argument, to be in the same situation with the hare that is hard pressed by the greyhound; she must go on because she has not time to turn, and yet in turning lies her only safety, for if she persists in going forward, she is sure to fall a sacrifice. Such, said the right hon. gent, will precisely be the situation of this country, if we blindly and obstinately persist in pursuing the same measures as have led us into our present unfortunate circumstances. Can any one, he asked, pretend to flatter himself that the danger we had to dread is over, and has passed away? Me cautioned the house to beware how they suffered themselves to be deluded by such an idea. If, therefore, that should be allowed, and it should be granted that it was still hanging over us, then he contended, there was no time like the present; we had not a moment to lose, and, our greatest safety lay in looking the danger boldly in the face, and endeavouring to avert it by an immediate adoption of measures different to those which had been proved to be so imbecile in themselves, and so totally contrary to the ends and purposes for which they had originally been intended.—The right hon. gent, again repeated his opinion, that without changing the term of military service, the army would never become so efficient as was to be wished. It was the general sentiment, the growing feeling of the country, that to enlist for a term of years would be far preferable to the present unlimited period of enlistment. Against adopting this plan, indeed, he had never heard any rational objection. He had heard something of authority, but nothing at all of argument. No argument could, he contended, be drawn against this project from the limited experiment which was alleged to have been made. In order to ascertain the efficacy of this plan, it must at once be rendered general. There were some things which ought to. be proceeded in progressively; one iron might be hot while the other was cold; but the plan he now proposed was not at that description it must not be executed slowly or partially, it must be promptly and universally set in motion, or it was one of those things in which the fire would go out, and the iron grow cold. If in addition to this change, that of abolishing the draft were acceded to, he should entertain the best prospect of the speedy advancement of the army. On the abolition of the draft, he would advise the grafting of another regulation, namely, that men who after serving the first term, suppose seven years, would agree to enlist again, should have some marked additional privilege. To those who observed that the limitation of time he mentioned would have an injurious effect on discipline, he should only think it necessary to say, that as a soldier was liable to punishment if he committed a fault only the moment before his time of service expired, he could not conceive that such an effect was possible. If, however, suclvan effect were likely to arise, how happened it to our Army of Reserve and our Militia? It was to be observed, too, that very good discipline prevailed in the armies of Austria and Prussia, among whom enlistment for a term of years was universal. By what contrivance then could men be seduced? By what artifice could they be duped to attend to the notion that this term of enlistment would induce desertion? A contrary consequence was, in his judgment, to be looked for; but if a man should desert, let him be obliged to serve for two of the ordinary terms, or during his life. From some officers who had travelled in Germany, he understood that it was extremely difficult to persuade the soldiery to desert, because, as they said, the term of their enlistment was soon to expire. Why should not a. similar reflection produce a similar unwillingness to desert among the soldiers of this country, if the same plan of enlistment were adopted? The parish bill, he was persuaded, would have gone on better, if this term of enlistment had been promulgated, because the influence of the gentry would have been more cheerfully employed to induce men to enlist, if they had been aware that the men were only to serve for a limited time.—That reasons could be urged against the propriety of considering of some means to augment our regular army, which was the object of his motion, he was and a loss to imagine. It was confessed, that all the ordinary means of recruiting were at a stop, and that the parish bill had failed. With this confession before the house, how could, resistance to the motion he had to submit be justified? He recommended the adoption of a few plain principles, which must tend to increase the consequence and comforts, and of course the numbers of the army. Several expedients had been tried, and all, including the parish bill, had notoriously failed. He trusted that all gentlemen who had these failures in their recollection, would join with him in endeavouring to devise the means of rescuing the army from that ill-judged and mischievous system in which it was involved by those who had had the management of it for the last 30 years. Now that necessity so imperiously called for the revision of this system, he hoped that it would not be objected to.—With respect to the foreign corps in our service, in the present state of the country he approved of the existence of that body, and if we could combine with it a strong disposable force of our own troops, he thought we should not be obliged long to withdraw ourselves from the continent, nor to shut ourselves up like a, tortoise in its shell. This shutting ourselves up so long, he considered one of our greatest misfortunes. He hoped we should hear no more of the fantastical doctrine that "we were a people too honest for continental connections." We had appeared to withdraw ourselves so much from even the feelings of the continent, that Europe might fairly say, that while we were engaged in our commercial pursuits and in collecting wealth, we were offering them money to fight for us. As he considered the state of our army to be that which had placed us in that situation, and that the increase and improvement of our army could alone bring us out of it, and that no time was to be lost in struggling to effect our release, he felt it his duty to move, "That it be referred to a, committee to revise the several acts passed during the two last sessions of parliament, for the Defence of the Country, and to consider of such other measures as may be necessary to make that defence more complete and permanent." On the question, being put,

said, however be might differ from the arguments and sentiments; that had been stated by his right hon. friend, he did not differ with him as to the grounds upon which he proposed the motion that had been just submitted to the house. In adverting to those arguments, he should abstain from having recourse to those common places which his right hon. friend had deprecated; as he should not be disposed to dispute the propriety of the measure he proposed for a parliamentary inquiry, if the case existed which he supposed, either that government had not done any thing, or very little for the defence of the country, and the improvement of its military means. In those principles he agreed; he only differed in the application. Before he should proceed, however, it was necessary to set himself light with his right hon. friend, because of the indignation and astonishment which he supposed him prepared to feel, on finding any person declare himself an advocate for the bill of last session. He was prepared to justify that measure, though he should not contend that it had succeeded to the full extent that had been expected; but this was not the proper time to pronounce to what degree it had failed. He begged to remind his right hon. friend that the bill had two objects, one to raise a large present force, and the other to become the source of a permanent supply for the army. This latter object had not yet been tried, and until that should be done, it could not be fairly decided that the measure had failed. The latter object was by much the most important one, and that which had induced many gentlemen. who felt dissatisfied with some of the details of the measure, to agree to it. That part of it which related to the permanent force had not yet been tried, the measure having had its operation hitherto confined to raising the immediate force, and filling up those vacancies which previously existed. What then did he infer from this? That they should try the merits of the measure, not from its effect in the first case, but on its success with respect to the more important object. The operation of the bill commenced with filling up existing vacancies in districts that had been before ex-exhausted of means by the army of reserve and the militia, and, because it had not succeeded in such districts, he contended that it was not fair to conclude that it had failed in its diffusive operation all over the kingdom. He did not insist on this as a conclusive argument, but he looked upon it as a sufficient one against those who dwelt on the total and general failure of the measure. It had been urged that it neither had succeeded in filling up the va- cancies, not in procuring a permanent supply for the army; but he should refer gentlemen to the effect of the measure which this had succeeded, and in whose place it stood, he meant the army of reserve, and they would find that it had yielded 10,000 men this year for the army. Did that prove that the hope of a supply from such a measure was visionary, and ought to be abandoned? Were there not other reasons also to shew that it ought not to be given up? When they looked to the circumstances of the country, exhausted of men by the army of reserve and the supplementary militia, there could be no surprise felt at this measure not having had immediate and complete success. There was another difficulty to its operation which had arisen from the opposition that had been made to the measure last session, and the report that an effort would be made to obtain the repeal of it early in the present. These circumstances had thrown a damp in a great measure on the zeal that would have been exerted in carrying provisions into effect, which might afterwards turn out to be nugatory. But it was not alone in this general principle that exertions were slackened, but experience also concurred to the same end. In execution of the army of reserve act, penalties had been incurred for deficiencies which had not been levied, and the parishes might have had an expectation of escaping in the same manner. Here there was an example of penalties incurred and not exacted, and the expectation of the repeal of the measure, though he could not allow the expectation to have been just; and he would ask any man, whether, with such expectations, there had been a fair chance for obtaining that exercise of zeal, of local influence, and personal exertion, whether the measure had had a fair trial, and whether the country did not require the defeat of the motion submitted that night, in order to give the measure a fair and impartial trial? Another reason his right hon. friend had assigned in support of his motion, was founded on the variety of opinions that had been stated in the different discussions on this subject in that house. Undoubtedly the public looked with considerable interest to the discussions in that house, and to the opinions urged in them, and to none with more respect than to those of his right hon. friend. But it was rather curious to make the number of va rious opinions and various measures that had originated in that house, an argument for repealing this measure, in order to shew that they had come to some steady and consistent system at last. If the measure were even less unexceptionable than it really is, and not as likely to answer the end for which it was intended as he maintained it was, he insisted, that instead of repealing it, it ought to have a fair trial, and not precipitately, or prematurely, receive its condemnation. With respect to the merits of the bill, it appeared to him calculated to produce an effect which his right hon. friend had frequently dwelt on during last session, and had that night more particularly and directly adverted to. Let the army alone, said his right hon. friend, and it will get on. His right hon. friend would not deny that this measure had the merit of doing away the high bounties, of doing away the competition, especially as since the failure of the unhappy parish officers the men had been recruited by the regular officers of the crown. But his right hon. friend was hot to be satisfied with any mode of recruiting, unless it was conducted all in one way and for one description of force, for until he had reached nearly the end of his speech, the only inference that could be drawn from all the preceding points of it, was, that he would allow of no species of force but regulars. In the close of his speech however, he seemed to have kept one remnant for the militia. Had he not found to what purpose his right hon. friend had turned this concession by the appeal he bad made to the feelings of the militia colonels, he should have given him credit for an honourable and praiseworthy attachment to that constitutional force. Mad his right hon. friend recommended the extinction of the militia force, he could not have had the opportunity for his powerful appeal to the militia colonels; but in proposing to continue the militia on its original establishment of 40,000, and to raise that number still by the ballot, he seemed by his appeal to the colonels to have made his statement from his conclusions, not his conclusions from his statement. As to the argument of his right hon. friend, with respect to the policy of such a mixed force as that proposed to be raised by the bill, it appeared weak in principle, inconclusive in reasoning, and dangerous in tendency. If on the conclusion of war, our regular force were to be reduced to the peace establishment, which alone the constitution of this free country could have sanctioned, he would ask his right hon. friend, how we were, on the breaking out of a fresh war, to raise such a force, as he was sure his right hon. friend would be as anxious to have as any other member of that house, a force capable of being employed with effect for the annoyance of the enemy? What alternative was there to chuse, but whether a large standing army should be kept up, or a force of the description of that proposed to be raised by this bill? Neither the country nor the house would consent to the former; and in proof of this, he could refer to those arguments that had been so frequently repeated in that house, of the danger of having the liberties and the constitution of the country subverted, by having a large standing army at the disposal of government. There was no alternative, therefore, but to obtain a force that might take the place of the army without offence to the constitution. Of such a force there were two descriptions: the militia, of which we had the experience of half a century, or such a force as should be limited in service like the militia, but being officered by regular officers should approach more nearly to the quality of regulars, and be a nursery for the supply of the army. He agreed that the militia ought not to be carried beyond a certain extent, not because it could not be kept up to that extent, but because it was ascertained, that it could not be maintained in that extent consistently with the principles of its original institution. If you vary from the original mode with respect to officers, you may vary still more, so as to render the force more perfect, and to bring it nearer to the discipline and condition of a regular force, which would be the same as a standing army.—But his right hon. friend, after stating his objections to the bill, had proceeded to detail fairly the alterations and the improvements in the military system, which he proposed to submit to the committee. His leading principle of objection was to the variety of force on foot; but he could not himself-see on the face of it what objection there could be to variety. If a pure monarchy were to exist in any country with a population purely agricultural, unmixed with commercial pursuits, there would be no difficulty in obtaining a large army, augmentable and, reducible in a short pe- riod. But the same does not take place in a country where manufactures and commerce have made extensive progress. Did it follow, he asked, that if we should not get the whole number we wanted in the way most desirable, that we should throw the remainder away as dross or useless? Did it follow, that because the whole number could not be procured of that description for which his right hon. friend had a great fondness and anxiety, that we should not march such a proportion of our population who might enter into the disposable force, whose absence would not be felt nor lamented, and leave the protection of their districts to those who remained in the more limited force. If the militia could be carried to the extent necessary, then his right hon. friend would obtain his object. But they had tried the militia, and had found it impossible to keep it to the extent to which it had been carried, consistently with the principles of its institution. Was there any thing absurd, surprising, or mischievous, in the arrangement for employing men whose occupations prevented them from engaging in the disposable force at home, and thereby setting free so much of the disposable force to be employed abroad? A great objection to this levy was, that it professed to raise the men first for limited service, and afterwards to leave them free to enter into the regulars. But if he understood right what his right hon. friend had urged, when the army of reserve act was under consideration, he had recommended to allow the men to enlist from it into the line. For himself he could not discover what the absurdity was in supposing that the men would be induced to enter for unlimited service in the first instance; and that afterwards, from the force of acquired habits, the influence of example, and attachment to their officers, they might be induced to take the second step. His right hon. friend had argued, that a limitation of time would operate as a strong temptation to them to enter even for general service, but was- not there equal reason to suppose, that a limitation of place would also operate as a temptation? He could not conceive why the first limitation should act as a direct temptation, and the other in the inverse ratio. If either was to have any effect, both combined must have a greater, for it could not be supposed that both together should fail when one was irresistible. With respect to the limitation of the time of service, there were many different opinions; and he should not venture to hazard any, though he could not but admit, that it was a subject which would be productive of many difficulties in the detail in the committee. Any body might see that a great variety of difficulties would occur. If the change were to be made in time of war, and the condition to be extended to all at present serving, would not the offer be a boon to one, whilst it would be a mischief or a punishment to another? But should they begin from the present moment, how were they to proceed? were the new levies to be in corporated with the old battalions? what a source of disquietude, heart burnings, and dissatisfaction? were they to be disposed of in separate battalions? then they would come to the present bill, and do that precisely which it professed.—He bad no hesitation in saying that the idea of a colonial army met his approbation, without exception even of the black corps. But any body who looked to the population of the colonies must perceive that it was impossible there to supply the army, and it would therefore be necessary to recruit in Europe. Mark the consequences of restricting the army from service in her colonies. Would the other powers of Europe follow the example? Supposing the army of St. Domingo to attack Jamaica, would it be wise to tie up the disposable force of this country in Europe, and suffer one of the most valuable of its possessions to be destroyed? As to the other parts of his right hon. friend's speech, without any intention of disrespect to him, he did not think them of much importance. Among the suggestions of his right hon. friend there were some, which among an enthusiastic and romantic people, might be very well received; but he would put it to the candour of his right hon. friend, whether if instead of the bill of last session it had been proposed by ministers, as an encouragement to enlisting, that soldiers, should have a box at the play, or serjeants should be allowed to shoot partridges, that right hon. gent, would have been inclined to treat the proposition as serious. If there was any thing like a contrary disposition on the part of ministers not to manifest a readiness to do every thing in their power for the national defence, or if there was any thing imminently dangerous in our situation, that called for the committee moved for by his right hon. friend, then, indeed, there would be some I which we at present stood, and compared ground for acceding to it: but the case it with that of last year, to refrain from was quite otherwise. Perhaps it might be for the satisfaction of the house to slate a view of the whole military force of the country. The total of disposable force on the 1st of Jan. 1804, was 143,251; on the 1st of Jan. 1805, 154,660; the whole of our limited force on the former date, 27,890, on the latter, 20,747. Deducting the limited force, which was included in the former aggregates, the whole of the disposable force was, on the 1st of Jan. 1804, 115,000; on the 1st of Jan. 1805, 135,000, making an increase of disposable force of from 18,000 to 20,000 men. The quantity I procured by recruiting was from 24 to 26,000; and 15,000 since the operation of the present bill. The total of between 11 and 12,000 increase, is not only in the unlimited force, but in the destination of the army at home. This circumstance was sufficient shew the bill had not been idle and nugatory. Thus, 12,000 men were now ready to be ordered in any direction, in addition to the force provided; besides this, we had the essential improvement in the volunteers, which he could not agree to consider unconnected with the question on the extent of the military power of the country: their number now ascended to 300,000 men, who have stood the test of time, who have resisted the temptations to ease and indolence; and 160,000 of this vast body have been reported fit for service. He did not mean they were adequate to contend with the troops of Prussia or Austria, but that they were competent to the defence of such districts of the island as should be committed to their protection. Could we with such a force have any room for the gloomy representations frequently made? Could more be expected from the nature and extent of the population of the country? If we wish for a criterion by which to estimate the military force of the country, let us look to the state of the different powers on the continent, let us look particularly to France, which, with a population of 35 millions, had an army not exceeding at any time 5 or 600,000 men, while in G. Britain, which contained but 15 millions, the regular force amounted to three hundred thousand men, besides those to v whom the domestic defence was entrusted, as also 70,000 militia, and 300,000 volunteers. It was impossible for any men who fairly examined the situation in which we at present stood, and compared it with that at last year, to refrain from allowing that it was greatly improved. Could such a man be found, he would ask him, was it nothing to have added, as we had clone, to the strength of those fleets whose peculiar province it was to protect us from the execution of the menaces of the invader? Was it nothing to have succeeded so completely in the blockade of the enemy's flotilla, that instead of venturing on the ocean to attack us, it was with difficulty that it could be slily moved along the coast from one part to another? What would the enemy have said, had we acted in the manner they hare done? Had we in the first instance, prepared an extensive armament for the express and avowed purpose of invading their shores, then allowed it to be insulted at least, if not injured, by the assaults of hostile squadrons, and concluded by sending a flag of truce to the very parties to whom we had denounced destruction. With what exultation would they have then exclaimed, "such were your threats, and such has been your execution!" With regard to many of the suggestions which his right hon. friend had thrown out relative to the improvement of the state of the army, he had only to lament, and this he did with the utmost sincerity, that he had not the advantage of official situation to put them into practice; he was convinced that government would hear with attention, and adopt with anxiety any of those suggestions, the propriety of which was obvious. He must repeat what be had said on the measure, which was the object of his right hon. friend's motion. The principle of that measure could not be said to have failed, for only the first part. of it had been put into execution, the last yet remained to be executed. The two parts were perfectly distinct; the on was comparatively torpid and insensible; the other active and vigorous. It would; be a strange, and surely a very contradictory mode of proving to the country the stability of our councils, to abandon a plan to which we had not yet given a fair trial; this would rather be an was nothing of fluctuation and uncertainty: If what he had asserted was tree, if there was nothing in the present situation of out affairs that of could justify in us either precipitation or despondency, but if, on the contray, the measure under consideration contained it the seeds of a permanent system, which would ultimately put us in possession of a disposable force greater than any one we had yet had at our command, he then thought his right hon. friend had not made but a case sufficiently strong to induce the house to go into the committee lie required.

rose to explain. He did not mean to imply the army should be excused from the service in the West Indies; he intended only to intimate that much of the peril of that duty might be avoided by some salutary regulations.

rose in reply, and animadverting on the assertion of the right hon. gent. who spoke last, that no care was made out to justify the house in adopting the motion of his right hon. friend, proceeded to shew, that a case was made out, and that it required attention only to the documents before parliament, to put that case in a clear and strong light, and which no declamation or sophistry could overshadow and obscure. If, said the hon. baronet, in December 1803, parliament voted a very considerable augmentation of military force, under a general sense of the danger and exigencies of the country, and the necessity of going far beyond an army suited merely to defence; if that vote has not been given effect; if a total failure of increasing our infantry of the line has occurred; and if even the British regular infantry have decreased in numbers from Jan. 1804 to Jan. 1805, surely such failure, to be attributed only to the inefficiency of the measures adopted by parliament, or to neglect or incapacity of executive ministers to give their measures effect, constitutes a case for enquiry, and for going into a committee (as proposed) for a revision of the laws passed with a view to military levies, and of the exertions and measures adopted by ministers for the like purpose.—By the returns on the table, the total army, exclusive of militia, was in Jan. 1804, 143,251 men. Under strong impressions of; the nature and magnitude of the contest in which we were engaged, and with a view to active warfare, and offensive operations, loudly called for by every statesman, nay, by every man in the country who had a sense of the, true interests, honour, or Very safety of the British dominion, parliament in Dec. 9, 1803, voted an army of 191,099 men, being an addition of 47,848 men to the then effective force.—Under law as such as have passed, measures such as have been adopted, and ministers such as have succeeded, has the augmentation voted been acquired? Have the views and injunctions of parliament been accomplished? and if not, is there not a case for revision and enquiry? The right hon. gent. on the other side of the. house, has stated an increase of army within the year of 11,409 men. This is admitted, (but subject to observation on what that increase, consists of and whence it has arisen); but taking it as stated, it leaves a deficit in the augmentation voted in Dec. 1803, for the year 1804, of no less than 36,339 men. The total of army in Jan. 1804 was 143,251; the total in Jan. 1805, 154,660, being an increase of 11,409 men. But in this period, (comprized in the above totals,)

The cavalry from17117are21223and
have increased4046
The artillery from7661are8517and
have incensed898
The foreign troops13890are21208and
have increased7318
Making an increase in above services of12261
exceeding the total increase of army and therefore leaving to account of decrease in British infantry to such amount of 852 men, notwithstanding 105S infantry raised for rank, and 4297 raised in Scotland and Ireland on similar, or even worse and more destructive terms of levy, and so much is in further proof of a total failure of proper measures for recruiting the line.—Looking to establishing the fact of this failure, as ground for a committee of revision and inquiry, he would further observe, that whilst the cavalry encreased only 4046;. 4658 cavalry were in the same period raised for rank; strongly implying that even this favourite branch of service could not sustain its number by ordinary recruiting. But, says the right hon. gent, we have had nearly 7000 men from the army of reserve enlist for general service, and taking these with the 11,000 augmented, we have 18,000 men, disposable force more than we had last year. In this the fallacy is obvious and to be detected, by merely recurring to the nature of the services recruited. Among the foreign troops are 5,401 native Ceylon troops a disposable force? Are 1,018 Canadians and Halifax fencibles a. disposable force? In fact, 6,818 enlisted from limited, for general service, is the only addition, and looking to Great Britain and Ireland for a disposable force, as here only it can be looked for, our disposable infantry of all description is 53,6ll; perhaps not more than required, on eventual and possible attack, in G. Britain, Ireland, Guernsey, and Jersey, as a regular army to give example to, lead, and conduct, the mass of new levies, militia, and volunteers, throughout the country, has the vote, then, of Dec. 1803, been in any way accomplished? And should we not inquire why it has not been accomplished? Or is the sense of danger past, and the opinion of parliament altered? Certainly not. Late as Jan. 1805 the house has voted for 1805, an army of 22S.234, being (the effective army at the time 154,600) an augmentation of 73,634, doubling in number the existing deficiency. Shall we, for this great and necessary augmentation, depend wholly on measures that have failed, and even without inquiry into how or why they have failed? Or can we trust this additional force bill, so completely as it has been proved inefficient? The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer has, indeed, suggested the further measure of applying to the British militia for 22,586 volunteers, reducing the militia establishment for England to 40,000; for Scotland, to 8000. But, supposing all these volunteers to be acquired, our disciplined defensive force is so much lessened, and what is gained, cannot be called wholly a disposable force; whilst the numbers, if taken on the most sanguine muster, are but a small part indeed of the augmentation voted, under the expressed opinions of the necessary force for adventuring in the war, voted by parliament, according to the sentiments regarding that extent of army, and a disposable force, as delivered by every man who can be called a statesman, on whatever side of the house. Surely the total failure of accomplishment hitherto, and little promise from the same, measures, therefore in future, constitute the strongest case for inquiry and revision of what has been done, what not done, and consideration of what should be done. —The hon. baronet concluded with some observations on the state and condition of our army in the West Indies, and from a scene he had been witness to himself, particularly approved the suggestion of his right hon. friend the mover, for abolishing the draft from militia regiments in the West Indies, which left those who had weathered the climate, forlorn and hope- less to a constant exile, and successive experiment of its fatalities. —The house then, divided, when there appeared,
For Mr. Windham's motion,96
Against it,242
Majority against the motion,146

List of the Minority.

Adair, R.Hurst, R.
Althorpe, LordHutchinsou, H. C H.
Andover, ViscountJohnstone, George
Bagenel, WalterKinnaird, Hon. C.
Bampfylde, Sir C.Ladbrooke, Robert
Barclay, GeorgeLatouche, J.
Barclay, Sir RobertLawley, Sir R.
Barham, J. F.Laurence, French
Benyon, H.Lloyd, J. M.
Berkeley, Hon. G.C.Maddocks, W. A.
Best, W. D.Milner, Sir W.
Bouverie, Hon. E.Moore, P.
Brogden, J.Morpeth, Lord
Byng, GeorgeMorris, Edward
Calcraft, JohnMostyn, Sir T.
Calvert, J.Newport, Sir John
Cavendish, Lord G.North, Dudley
Cavendish, W.Osborne, Lord F. G.
Caulfield, Hon. H.Ord, Wm.
Chapman, CharlesOssulston, Lord
Cooke, BryanPalmer, John
Combe, H. C.Paxton, Sir R.
Creevey, ThomasPierce, J.
Daley, D. BowesPelhain, Hon. C. A.
Dundas, C.Petty, Lord Henry
Dundas, Hon. C. L.Plumer, William.
Dundas, Hon. G. L.Poyntz, Wm. S.
Dundas, Hon. L.Raine, Jonathan
Ebrington, LordRussell, Lord Wm.
Elliot, Wm.Shelly, T.
Fitzgerald, Hon. J.Scudamore, John
Fane, J.Sheridan, K. B.
Fellowos, RobertShum, G.
Folkes, Sir M.Smith, Wm.
Folkestone, LordStanley, Lord
Foley, Hon. A.St. John, Hon. St. A.
Foley T.Symonds T. P.
Fox, Hon. C. J.Tarleton, B.
Francis, PhilipTemple, Earl
Fuller, J.Tyrrwhitt, Thos.
Geary, Sir William.Walpole, Hon. G.
Giles, D.Western, C. C.
Grenfell, PascoeWhitbread, S.
Grey, Hon. CharlesWindham, Rt. Hon. W.
Hamilton, Lord A.Wynn, Sir W.
Hippesley, Sir J. C.Wynn, C.
Holland, Henry, jun.Ward, Hon. J. W.
Howard, HenryWilliams, Owen
Hughes, Win. LewisYoung, Sir W.