« AnteriorContinuar »
steam-engine more than they had occasion tifically was loudly called for, where gen. to pay for an inferior article. He had sent Congreve might superintend their exerto Mr. Bramah that they might have the cise; this had been also supplied. These best they could be furnished with, as he statements he conceived were a sufficient thought the best would ultimately prove to justification of the expences incurred, and be the cheapest. The laboratory had been he thought the conduct of lord Chatham formed when the establishment at Wool- entitled to the highest praise for acting in wich did not amount to one-third of what so systematic a manner. The buildings of it now is. A considerable sum had been which he had spoken, he contended were laid out for the improvement of it, and he necessary. In making them, the board of hoped still more would be so expended. ordnance had done their duty. If in the He wished the hon. gent. who had express. course of the work any extravagance could ed himself as being so much shocked at be proved, let the bolt of vengeance fall the expence, to go over Woolwich War- where it might, and punish the offence as ren and look at the laboratory, carriage- it ought to be punished. He would next yard, &c. When the war broke out, on exa- speak of the Martello Towers. They were mining the ship ordnance, there were found erected at a time when much was said 7000 guns which had not been re-proved. both in and out of that House of the dane The powder being so much stronger than ger of invasion. It was thought necessary formerly (he meant the cylinder powder), to build those Towers under such circum. he thought it was necessary they should stancez. Now it was impossible for the be re-proved, and fortunately it was for enemy to invade us, gentlemen might the service that his suggestions were at- decry that policy, but at that time a diftended to, as nearly one-fourth of their ferent sentiment prevailed throughout the nnmber did not stand the shock, but country. When the expence attending burst with such violence,) as materially their erection was spoken of, the circumto injure the buildings which stood near stances under which they were raised the old proving hut, and some of the ought to be remembered. They were fragments passing over the wharf, were not to be erected at leisure. If they were near falling on the hulk. This circum- not erected by the following June, it was stance shewed the necessity of fixing on a thought the enemy might come and render spot for proving the cannon at a greater their labour useless. He had recomdistance from the buildings, though the mended it to lord Chatham to send for fitting up of a new place was necessarily gen. Twiss on the subject, who gave it as attended with some expence. Another his opinion, that it was impossible to build very considerable expence was incurred them but by contract. A Mr. Hobson, by the building of a new academy. That who had built the London docks with great this was necessary no one doubted, a con- | ability, was named as a person fit to contagious fever having broke out in the old duct the undertaking. Mr. Hobson, howone, in consequence of the crouded state ever, would not undertake to do them, as - of the cadets. That however, was not the the uncertainty of the expence was such cause of its being erected, lord Chatham that he thought no man could in justice had seen the necessity of it before, and to his family enter into such a contract. the building was at that time in progress, It was then thought the only way left to when the fever breaking out appeared like them, was to employ workmen to be superan argument sent down from heaven in intended by Mr. Hobson, allowing him a its favour. That building he supposed per centage, under the observation of gen: cost more than 150,0001. The barrack Twiss. Even this offer Mr. Hobson des establishment it had been found necessary clined accepting till he (Mr. W. Pole) to enlarge, as there were only accommoda. called upon him as an Englishman to aid tions for 5,000 men, when 24,000 were to his country in her extremity. The right be provided for. Similar reasons ren- hon. gent. concluded by stating in detait dered the enlarging of the hospital neces. the difficulty they had to encounter in sary. Our field train, consisting of 600 erecting the Martello Towers. pieces of cannon, exceeding by six times General Tarleton said he had great reawbat England ever possessed before, it son to find fault with the estimates, not was necessary to erect buildings to pre- only as being very extravagant, but at serve them from the weather, which was the same time most extraordinary; for done at a great expense. A proper place while some things appeared to be wonfor instructing the artillery more scien- derfully overcharged, others seemed to be
as much the contrary. The hon. gent. this country should now take place. who spoke last, bad, since he left the ord- Why, then, were they called on to vote nance department, been employed as se- away so large a sum of the public monen cretary to the admiralty, and in that capa- for fortifications, which must be wilful city he had stated that 70 vessels had waste, if no invasion was to be apprebeen provided for the ordnance service in hended? He objected particularly to the the Expedition to the Scheldt last summer. word “contingencies," which appeared If that were the case, how the whole ex- so often in every page of the estimates. pence of that Expedition could only He did not understand what was meant amount to 800,0001. was to bim astonish- by the term. There were contingencies at ing. He should bave thought, as he knew Quebec, and contingencies at Curaçoa, that vessels for the transport of ordnance and yet those at the one place might be stores were the most expensive of any, very different from those at the other, those vessels would of ihemselves have As the money had actually been expended, amounted to balf that sum.
it was easy to say how that had been demned the whole system as the most done, and in fact it ought to be fairly and absurb and extravagant he had ever heard clearly ascertained, He condemned the of. He censured our most important de- establishment at Weedenbeck, as a most pôt of stores being placed at Woolwich, extravagant one; and throughout the which was so near the sea; and thought whole he said that every article concluded that for fear the metropolis should ever be with current services' and contingencies.' taken by the enemy, a very great depôt The House had a right to know, and they should be formed at Nottingham, where ought to insist on knowing, what those it would be attended with many advan- lumping charges for current services' and tages.
'contingencies' were; the whole amounted Sir Mark Wood defended the erection to 109,0001. and before he voted such a of the Martello towers, and thought it was sum he was entitled to know how it was to the duty of government to prepare for the be expended. There were many articles of storm before it burst on their heads. great magnitude, with contingencies' in
Mr. Wardle said that these Martello every one, that were altogether unextowers were all constructed for the purpose plained, for which reason he should vote of being defended by two guns, but by
in favour of the motion to report progress. some strange blunder they could only Mr. W. Pole expressed bis surprise that
He should not have said any the hon. gent. who had just sat down, thing more on the subject, but the hon. should, with all his acuteness and activity gent. had told the House, that invasion (and he thought him the most active memwas a bugbear, and yet they were now ber of that House he had ever seen), bave called upon to vote a sum of 100,0001. for sat so many years in it, and not have found those towers. In one place where he had out that in all that time, and for years been, there was a line of coast of at least before, the ordnance estimates had always șix miles totally without any defence of been made up in the same form, and yet the kind, though the hon. gent. said the neither the hon. gent. For any other had coast was studded with these towers, ever before on that account found fault Mr. Parnell was not prepared to vote
with them. If the accounts were pro. for the estimates, because he thought them duced, they would be extremely volumiin many instances most extravagant. Another objection he had to doing it, was, Mr. Whitbrend said, if he had not before that when he looked at the House (which observed the inaccuracy of those charges, was very thin indeed) he could not think it was the more necessary he should enthat so large a sum as 4,000,0001. of the deavour to have it corrected now that he people's money should be voted away by had discovered it. The hon. gent. had so few of their representatives, and with not, however, explained what he wanted so little investigation. He should there. to know, viz. what was meant by current fore, move, as an amendment, that the services and contingencies.” He had chairman do report progress, and ask leave talked of an account, which would be to sit again.
volumious if producent. Then there was Mr. W. Smith seconded the amendment such an account in existence, and he (Mr.
M. Whitbread observed, that the hon. Whitbread) desired to have it. gent. (Mr. W. Pole) bad said that it was Mr. Bunkce, under ali the ciucumstances morally impossible that an invasion of of the discussion, thought it would be best
HOUSE OF LORDS.
to adjourn the further consideration of the pushing his observations farther on that estimates to the time proposed.
particular point. He could not better The House was ordered to be cleared shew the opinions held in former periods for a division ; but none took place, the in this country, on this unconstitutional Resolution having been agreed to. practice, than by reminding their lord
Mr. Curwen opposed, and Sir John Se- ships of what they would all recollect to bright spoke in support of the Resolutions, have been the language of a Speaker of and after some further conversation the the House of Commons, in addressing the House divided
throne on the introduction and keeping up In favour of the Resolutions 53 of foreign troops in England. His lordAgainst them
42 ship then alluded to the well-known case
of the Dutch guards, in the reign of WilMajority
11 liam III, and other cases of latter occurLeave was then given to bring in a bill rence. The foreign soldiers who had been in pursuance of the Resolutions.
within some years past brought into this kingdom, were understood, at first, to consist of emigrants and others, who were
only stationed here, as on their passage, Friday, March 16.
or, for other immediately pressing reasons, [FOREIGN Troops on British Pay.)- but, by no means, as a species of permaLord King rose in pursuance of his lord- nent establishment incorporated into, and ship's notice on the preceding night, to making a part of the regular military move for the production of various papers forces of Great Britain. Their number connected with the important subject of had, notwithstanding, been very greatly Foreign Troops now in ihis country, or in augmented, from Hanover, and from British pay. This subject was one which other parts of Germany; and this his lordship considered to be of great con- very serious increase in their amount cerstitutional' importance. It had always tainly called for some notice and exabeen so considered by the people of this mination on the part of their lordships. country, though very recently too little He also had found that they possessed notice had been taken of the practice certain advantages not enjoyed by the of taking foreign troops into the Bri: British soldier, such as a limitation of their tish service. If, however, the same views services to particular parts of the world, of the constitution existed, it must still be the true state of which it was one object, viewed in a serious light by every thinking of his motion to ascertain. The footing person. Within a very few years past on which they were placed with respect ihe number of such troops had much in to pay was another object, as he should creased ; and it appeared by the army desire to know why they should receive returns laid before the House, that the ex- much superior pay than they had been pence of them amounted to a million used to, and why they were placed on a sterling, a sum surely sufficient to require footing with our military establishment some consideration. His lordship meant (the most costly in Europe) if they were to say nothing by way of reflection on bound to perform less service than the conduct and character of these foreign our own army. His lordship concluded troops, but yet, however well they might by moving for several papers, containing have behaved, he thought that nobody Accounts of the number of foreign troops would attempt to say they were equal to in British pay, of the number of them our own native British soldiers. Yet it employed in this country, of the nature could not escape the recollection of noble and of the extent of the services for lords, that these persons were, almost all which they were engaged, and of the of them, not only foreigners, but the na- particulars of their pay and establishtural born subjects of countries now under ments, &c. &c. the dominion of our enemy. He could The Earl of Liverpool rose and said, that not think that a military force of such a he should not trouble the House with composition, with the temptations that any remarks on what had fallen from might naturally be thrown in their way, the noble lord who had just sat down, as were fit to be entrusted with the defence he had no sort of objection to the produce of this country, or of any of our most im- tion of any of the papers required by the portant military stations at home or abroad. noble lord's motions. The production of But he should refrain at present from the papers was then agreed to. VOL. XVI.
[ORDNANCE ESTIMATES.] Mr. Lush- ternal defence of the country. These ington brought up the Report of the Com- works were really too extensive, and mittee of Supply on the Ordnance Esti- ought to be limited. The system had mates. On the motion that the Resolu- been taken up he apprehended too precitions be agreed to,
pitately, on the sudden alarm of invasion, Mr. Bunkes rose to urge, what in prin. which in the end was found not to be jusciple had been frequently enforced as well tified. But independent of their inutility, by himself as by other gentlemen on for- much unnecessary expence bad been inmer occasions. The charge of the ord curred from the hurry in which the works nance department was a branch of the were constructed in the winter and spring public expenditure which had increased
seasons. By applying, therefore, the exof late more rapidly than any other part perience of the past to the regulation of of it. There was a greater expence and the future expenditure under this head, less economy or good inanagement in this, much expence would be avoided ; and than in any other of the departments
. He this brought him to observe, that his chief had reason to believe, that the estimates complaint upon the whole was, that, acwere now placed upon a better footing cording to the system pursued of late than formerly; and when he considered years, the government was understood as the diminution which had taken place a government of departments, without any since last year, he was ready to give his controuling power to superintend and diright hon. friends full credit for that di- rect the whole. Of this, the speech of minution. But he was still of opinion, the hon. member opposite, on a former that a very considerable reduction might night, was an illustration. Each departyet be made in these estimates, not less, ment wished to make itself as perfect, and perhaps, than a sixth or a fifth of the to embrace as many advantages, as poswhole expenditure. It was not his inten- sible; and, in their ambition to outstrip tion to take up the time of the House by every other department, no expence was going through the different items, though considered. The language was, “ don't he must observe that many questions had mind expence, care not about the pounds been put upon various heads on the last or the shillings, but make the department night, which had not been satisfactorily or perfect.” When parliament, therefore, indeed at all answered. The sums voted found the government, in its different des for the increase of fortifications at New-partments, without any ethicient controul, foundland he had a particular objection it became its duty to act, not only as a to. Such modes of defence were directly watch
the conduct of these different contrary to the principles upon which this departments, but in some instances as an country maintained its colonial posses-ally or auxiliary force, in support of what sions. He had a similar objection to the may be right in their respective arrange, expenditure of money for a similar pur- ments. Committees of that House had pose in our West India islands. The dis- often protected ministers in this way stance of these settlements rendered it against the weight of the departments of more difficult to establish efficient checks their own government. In illustration of on the application of sums voted for such his observation, he might advert to the arpurposes; and this was therefore an ex
rangement made in a former session with penditure which it most particularly be the Bank ; an arrangement which, though hoved parliament to curtail. The delence beneficial for the public to a certain deof colonies by fortified places was disad- gree, had not been carried to the extent vantageous to powers having the command recommended by the Committee of Fiat sea, as this country happily had, and nance, of which Committee he had then could only be beneficial to a country cir- been chairman. No minister, however cumstanced as France is, because it might strong in power could have carried that enable such a power to hold its insular arrangement into effect, if not supported possessions by means of strong fortresses, by the weight and authority of such a in defiance of our superior fleets. It was Committee. For his own part he had no his firm and conscientious opinion, that a doubt but very considerable reductions considerable reduction might also be made might be made in these estimates. As to with respect to dratt horses and drivers, the mode of preparing these estimates, it Another item, in which as it appeared to was his opinion that they ought to be him a considerable saving might be made, drawn up as fully as possible, with all the was under the head of Works for the in- sums necessary to be voted, specified
under the precise beads of service to which I tion by a repetition of what he had althey were to be applied. In this respect ready urged in the Committee of Supply he had greatly to complain of the sloven!you the subject of these Orduance estimanner in which ihe estimates were mates, to which he was compelled by the usually prepared, so that even in the statements of the hon. gent. who had just smallest estimates the sums and the ser- sat down. Ile would, however, endeavices were not always fairly represented. vour as much as possible to abstain from He admitted, however, that the estimates doing so in what he had then to address to were in this instance better in that respect the House. His hon. friend (Mr. Bankes), than formerly. But he was surprised not had said that one sixth of the expences to find an estimate or provision for the ex- night be saved. In this account, it was pence known to be every day incurred in clear that a million and a haif had been the building going on at the ordnance of- saved ; and if his hon. friend knew of any fice. The hon. gent. then went somewhat thing that could effect a saving to the into the detail of the items, complaining amount of a sixth, he certainly ought to at the same time of the heavy expence in- have pointed out in what way it could be curred last year, for erecting a powder done. The master general, and all those mill; and also that so large a sum
under him in the ordnance department, 000,0001. should have been voted last ses. would listen to him, and feel themselves sion for saltpetre, when no such sum could obliged by his communications. His hon. possibly have been necessary. He then friend, however, had not condescended to observed, that as that House wished to point out one single item in which a savgive every publicity to their accounts, it ing could be made; which he thought would be desirable that all the items of was not fair or candid as he should have expenditure should be distinctly stated expected from his hon. friend. With reunder their proper heads. Though the spect to what had fallen from his hon. estimates had been presented this year in friend on the subject of the martello an improved state, he was still of opinion towers, having said so much on that that further improvements might and head on a former night, he should content ought to be made: because whether the himself with now observing, that gentleexpenditure was to be large or small, it men should recollect the time when those ought to be fairly stated. In that case martello towers were undertaken, and they should better be able to ascertain ordered to be built, was, when there was how far the sums voted under each head a great alarm raised as to this country fell short of, or exceeded, the services for being immediately invaded, and the gowhich they might be granted. It was in vernment were looked to in a very anxious that point of view that the estimates should manner, to provide the best and speediest be looked at, first by the executive go- means of defence. It was not fair, there vernment, and afterwards by that House, fore, to come now and say as his hon: for the purpose of establishing an effectual friend had done, that if government had controul over the lavish expenditure of proceeded deliberately they might have the public money, which departments, done the business much cheaper; for if when left without any such check, were ministers had at that time proceeded delibut too apt to run into. By this course berately, there would have been a great they would be able to see how many outcry against them for being inattentive things, thought necessary by the depari- and dead to the dangers which then ments, the public service could do with threatened the country. He could not out; and in the hour of danger they would agree with his hon. friend, that the orde be stronger, through the money saved, nance department was under the controul than they could be by the effect of an ex- of the first lord of the treasury. He pera penditure, on many occasions wanton and ceived his hon. friend, by the shake of his generally useless. No efforts therefore head, disagreed with him in that posishould be left untried to raise our revenue tion; and another hon. friend of his near to our expenditure, as, until we should him, who was a great financier, by a sibring our expences down to an amount milar shake of his head, signified that he commensurate with our revenue, we could also differed with him on that point; still wever consider the country in a state of he must, much as he respected the opicomplete security.
nions of his hon. friends, persist in his Mr. W. Pole began by apologising to own. He allowed, that when he had, as the House for trespassing upon its aiten- first clerk of the board of ordnance, made