HC Deb 09 December 1803 vol 1 cc157-234
The Secretary at War

(Mr. Bragge) moved the order of the day that the House do resolve itself into a Committee of Supply, and that the Estimates presented by him on a former day be referred thereto.—The House having accordingly resolved itself into a Committee, Mr. Hobhouse in the chair:

The Secretary at War

rose, and observed, that notwithstanding the magnitude and importance of the subject to which the estimates now under consideration referred, he should not feel it necessary for him to take up much of the time of the Committee in adverting to the different items, or explaining the nature and grounds of the different estimates to which it was his duty to direct their attention. It would be altogether needless to dwell upon the particulars, because the estimates voted last session, comprehended nearly the whole of those now produced, and gentlemen having been familiar with the nature and extent of the former, it was the less incumbent on him to occupy much of their time in his statement and explanation of the latter. He was bound, however, to acquaint the Committee, that the estimates now before them did riot comprehend the whole military establishment of the year, because, from the nature and extent of the different services included in it, and the possible variation which might arise from a possible alteration of the circumstances and state of the country, the whole could not with accuracy be ascertained, so as to be produced to Parliament in the shape of an unquestionable document. He could assure them, nevertheless that whatever estimates were not, or could not, be laid before the House in the present instance, should be submitted to the consideration of Parliament, at a more advanced period of the session, when they could be made up with sufficient accuracy. The estimates now before the Committee were classed under ten heads, namely—

Numbers. £. s. d.
1. Guards, Garrisons, &c. 129,039
For Great Britain 3,115,456 9 9
For Ireland 1,161,168 2 11
Total 4,276,624 12 8
2. Forces in the Plantations, &c. 38,630 1,174,509 16 6
3. India Forces for Great Britain 22,897 545,628 4 2
4. Troops and Companies for recruting do. for Great Britain 533 29,859 14 9
5. Recruiting & Contingencies for Gt. Britain. 180,000 0 0
6. General and Staff Officers, with a state of the particulars of charges 154,647 3 10
7. Embodied Militia and Fencible Infantry for Great Britain. 109,947 2,150,965 10 6
For Ireland 640,657 17 0
Total 2,791,623 7 6
8. Clothing for Great Britain. 215,793 14 6
9. Contingencies for Great Britain for England 50,000 0 0
For Ireland 11,129 7 0
Total 61,129 7 0
10. Volunteer Corps for Great Britain 730,000 0 0
For Ireland. 1,390,567 13 11
Total 2,020,567 13 11
For Great Britain 301,046 8,346,860 14 0
For Ireland 3,103,523 0 10
Deduct for India Forces 22,897 545,628 4 2
Total for Great Britain 278,149 780,232 9 10
Grand Total 10,904,755 10 0
To each of these it would not be necessary for him to advert particularly; and he should, therefore, confine his observations to those items which, in exceeding the correspondent items in the estimates submitted last session to Parliament, seemed to claim a more minute explanation. The first item, therefore, to which he felt it his duly to call the attention of the Committee, related to the force proposed to be voted for guards and garrisons in the United Kingdom. It would be in the recollection of the House, that the number voted for that service last session, partly in an early part of it, and partly in the month of June, amounted in the whole to 108,901 men. The force now proposed to be voted for that service amounted to 167,669, between which, and the number voted last year, the Committee would perceive there was a difference of 53,768. But the major part of that difference would be made up by the army of reserve, which amounted to 39,467 men. This force was distributed either in augmentation of the old battalions, or in forming eighteen second battalions of 1000 men each, or in sixteen battalions of reserve, consisting of about 750 each. This statement would be sufficient to give the Committee a clear idea of the augmentation, which was proposed to be made to the regular military establishment The Life Guards were to be augmented by 12,456, the twenty-four Regiments of Dragoons were to be augmented by a proportion, which, in the whole, would amount to 4272 men; and the sixteen Regiments of Foot Guards were to have an augmentation, net exceeding 2000 men in the whole, making an augmentation of about eighteen thousand. This was the only addition that was proposed to be now made to the regular army, with the exception of a small addition of 320 or 230 men to some of the old regiments of the line, and an inconsiderable addition that was to be made to some garrison battalions and fencible regiments, which would not in the whole amount to any material augmentation.—The next head to which it was his duty to call the attention of the Committee, was certainly a large one, he meant the general staff establishment. But when the situation of the country and the circumstances of the essential services rendered by that department, were considered, he trusted ii would not appear excessive. The sum at which this service was estimated, was 154,647 1. a sum though large, not extravagant, when it was recollected, that so many brigade officers were found necessary to train the volunteer force of the, country. The embodied militia for G. Britain and Ireland, amounted to 109,947. The Reserve Army of Ireland amounted to 9970 men, of which 7055 were, to be attached to the old regiments by small additions of 220 and 230 to each battalion. The diffrence between, that number and the whole force, he allowed, would volunteer into the line. The only addition proposed this year was about 1827 to the dragoon guards on that establishment. The only other head to which he found it necessary to advert particularly related to the Volunteers. He should consider them under two heads, first for G. Britain, next for Ireland. Any calculation under the head of G. Britain, would necessarily be loose and subject to much unavoidable inaccuracy, as it must necessarily depend on so many circumstances, and be regulated by the actual exigency of the country. He did not pretend, therefore, to submit an exact and accurate estimate of the expense under this head, though it was calculated as nearly as possible on the presumed extent, to which the service of the year might require it to be carried. For the Volunteer Corps, he estimated that a sum of 790,000l. would be necessary, from the 25th of Dec. 1803, to the 25th of Dec. 1804; but it was here necessary for him to, state, that, as the clothing had been provided for in the expenditure for the present year, that item made no part of the estimate. The estimate had been calculated for the number to which the Volunteer Corps were supposed to amount, but by the account which had been this day presented to the House, it Appeared that the actual number far exceeded the supposed strength of the volunteer force. By this account, it appeared, that the Volunteer Corps of G. Britain amounted to 379,943 men. The estimates of the expences of such a body, must necessarily be complex and difficult to be ascertained exactly, as the different rates of pay, according to the different periods of the year at which they came forward, should be taken into the account, as well as the nature of the service, whether permanent, or only for exercise, on which they may be employed. The sum, therefore, at which the estimate was taken, would not appear large, when it was recollected that the number for which it was calculated, was only 320,000. Of the Volunteer force 45,314 served without pay; 42,500 infantry, and 2,500 cavalry. Great part of the clothing had been voted in June, and therefore was not in the estimate: but the allowance of 1s. per day, for 20 days service, for the purpose of training, to such as should accept pay, was estimated at 190,000l.—Agency Officers, and Field Officers, in consequence of the alteration that in each respect had been found necessary in the original regulations, which had been made in June, required an additional expense, which did not, however, exceed 20,000l. This, he was aware, was a loose and rough estimate of the expense that would be necessary, but he was persuaded that it was rather under than over what the service would require. With regard to Ireland, the state of that country required that the estimates should be higher than in proportion for G. Britain, as well as to provide for services performed, as for those which may hereafter be necessary. The calculation of the numbers of the Volunteers raised in England was under the actual amount; but the estimate for Ireland exceeded the known amount, which was taken at 70,000, but presumed capable of being raised, if the situation of the country should require it, to 80,000l. There was also a considerable difference in the estimate for the two countries, which was unavoidably to be calculated in proportion to the time the volunteers should be called out on actual service. He supposed that the whole of the Irish volunteers would be out four months in the year.—But though the allowance under this head would be larger than the estimate for English corps, he thought, it right to state, that, except in case of invasion, when they should necessarily be employed on actual service, the Irish volunteers received no pay when merely out for exercising, nor when on duty, unless the men should be actually and efficiently present at muster on their parade. He had stated the present volunteer force of Ireland to be 70,000. The estimate, however, had been made, on a supposition that the number could, and would be considerably increased; and he had stated enough, he thought, to shew that the calculation was not excessive. He had now stated all additions proposed to be made to the estimates of last year. He had yet to observe, that there was no estimate respecting a part of the military establishment, which it had been usual to include in the Army Estimates he meant the foreign corps employed in the service of this country, some of which had already been provided for; and others were now raising in different pans of Europe. The Horse, he trusted, would excuse him for not stating precisely the amount of the expence of this branch of the service, from the uncertainty of the extent to which it might be carried, and good policy would dictate the carrying it as far as circumstances would allow. Though he could not now lay before the committee the account, he should certainly do so after the recess, and particularly as his Majesty would have to resort to Parliament for the exercise of his prerogative. There was another branch of die military establishment which was usually submitted amongst the other estimates; he bad it not in his power to lay before the committee in the present instance, and which he was the more induced to advert to from the question which had been put to him on the subject, on a former night by an hon. Admiral, he alluded to the Barrack department. This department had been unavoidably, from the nature of the situation of the country, carried to a much greater extent than on any former occasion. The expence, however, was not so much incurred for regular barracks, as in providing winter cantonments for the forces on the coast. It was impossible yet to procure such returns as would enable him to lay an accurate estimate before the House, and he was convinced, that the expence would not be deemed improperly incurred, when the House would be aware, that the whole effective force of the country was at present covered by barracks. He should use all possible diligence in making out the account, and though he was not competent at present to bring it forward, he was prepared to give any gentleman who might be desirous of information on the subject, every satisfaction in his power, either with respect to the department itself, or to the contracts which had been entered into respecting it, or any other point to which enquiry might be directed. He should be sorry that forms should preclude any gentleman from seeking information, and he would be happy to communicate any in his power. He had now stated the grounds upon which he should move a vote of the Estimates, which was a subject intimately connected with the most important interests of the empire. He trusted the House would be sensible of the advantage of improving, by every possible means, the disposition which prevailed in the country. Not only the Parliament had called for the exertion of every energy of the country, but the people had manifested an eagerness in the cause, and a desire to employ every energy they possessed, even before they were called. He had thought it his duty thus to state in a plain manner, and he hoped he had succeeded in making himself clearly understood, the nature of the Estimates which he proposed to move. He should now therefore move, the first Resolution.—On the question being put,

Mr. Windham

began by adverting to the manner in which the business had been opened by the hon. Secretary, which, he said, though very proper at any ordinary time, and though possibly very proper then, was so different from the view which he felt himself compelled to take of the subject, that his observation, he feared, would appear very little to arise out of the statements which the House had just heard. His view of the subject went to the general de- fence of the country both present and to come. Under that notion, the difficulty was to know where to begin, or how to confine the discussion within such bounds as he should wish to prescribe to it. It was impossible, in the course of such an inquiry, not to bring forward many points that must bear hard upon the hon. gent. opposite. He could not arraign the measures of the time without arraigning the conduct of those, by whom these measures were planned; nor could he suffer his mind to be so engrossed and absorbed, as seemed to be the case with many, by the mere business of defence, as to lose ail thought about the conduct and character of those to whom the national affairs were entrusted. This, though in some respects a secondary consideration, inasmuch as it must be founded on proofs to be derived from an examination of their conduct, was, nevertheless, a very important and necessary one, was connected with every part of the subject, and might serve, perhaps, as well as any that could be chosen, to present the subject in that point of view, in which it was most important to consider it. His own general opinion on this head, he could not better describe, than in some lines which gentlemen might have seen on Inn windows and shutters, where the writer, speaking of the faults of men and women, and allowing that many faults belong to men, concludes, most injuriously and ungallantly, Poor women have but two; There's nothing good they say, and nothing right they do. These lines, however bad the poetry, and however false the sentiment, in its original application, were, he was sorry to say, perfectly descriptive of his opinion of his Majesty's present ministers. That he might not seem to say this at random, without foundation or proof, he would beg only to take a short view of their conduct, as applicable to the actual stale of things. If he were to proceed strictly in this inquiry, though by no means unjustly, he should take up their conduct from the moment of the Treaty of Amiens. It was from that period, according to the opinion of many at the time, according to their own opinion, as declared since, that measures of precaution and defence ought to have, begun. They who had declared, that from the moment of the signature of that treaty, the conduct of the enemy was a continued series of violence, insult, and aggression; they whose partisans had told us, that he must be 'nature's fool,' and not the hon. gentleman's, who could ever believe in the durability of that treaty; they certainly could refuse to accept the Treaty of Amiens, as the period from which the defence of the country ought to have been a subject never absent from their minds. But as he did not wish to deal hardly with the hon. gentlemen, as it would be mean and niggardly to be sparing of concessions where the materials of charge existed in such abundance, he would be content to date his examination from a much more recent period, and to leave out all the intervening space between the Treaty of Amiens, and the Bill of March, the day on which his Majesty's message was brought to Parliament. He would suppose it to have been perfectly right, that from the moment peace was made, no matter with what circumstances, you were to proceed according to the established rule in such eases, were to reduce your army, dismantle your fleet, dispose of all your stock and implements of war, sell off gun-boats for little more than the value of the old iron, refuse for five guineas men whom you would be happy now to get back for fifty; discharge others, whom you could not get back at all. All this he would conclude to be right, and that, without the observance of these accustomed forms, ministers would never have been able to persuade the country, or to satisfy themselves, that the peace which they had made was a real peace, and not a mere make-believe. He would consider their conduct only during the period subsequent to the 8th of Mach. The establishments of the country were then happily brought to the standard at which it was proposed they should remain; all the reductions had been completed; no subsequent alteration had taken place; a vote in parliament might have passed, but nothing more: all the means of defence were as much to be re-collected as if the country had never been at war. Giving ministers full credit for the completely defenceless state in which the country then was, he would proceed to consider, what the change was which they had since effected, and what the means which they had possessed for that purpose; so that by a comparison of the means possessed, and the work done, a judgment might be formed-as to the degree of blame or merit ascribable to their conduct. And here he would wish to adopt a method, such as was often employed on other subjects, where, when the quantum of objects could not be ascertained with exactness, means were resorted to for assigning at least a maximum or minimum? He had heard, where in the case of exorbitant election charges, in a bill for cockades for instance, the candidate had offered to pay for all the ribands that could be proved to have been in the shop for the last six months; or where the charge was for liquor, instead of attempting to calculate the number of drinkers, and the average quantity they might severally have drank, he had proposed not only to pay for all that had been in the cellar within a certain time, but to gauge the House, and to give credit for all that could have been contained in it, supposing it to have been one entire cistern of liquor from the cellar to the garret. He would pursue a course somewhat similar in estimating the merit of the exertions of the hon. gentlemen. Instead of saying 'so much ought to have been done in recruiting, so much in completing the militia, so much in procuring defence in other ways,' he would rather beg the House to take a general view of the means possessed by the country, of the manner in which ministers had the dispasal of these means, of the time they have had to employ them, and comparing the whole with the result, to determine in their own minds, whether the affairs of the country, in this most critical concern of its defence, had or had not been placed in proper hands. Let the several heads of comparison, as he had enumerated them, be considered more in detail. The means of the country, in its first and greatest article, the basis of all the rest, was a population of fifteen millions: the time, as he had agreed to take it, from the 8th of March, was nine months, three quarters of a year. The wealth of the country was, he must confidently say, for this purpose unlimited. There was nothing that the country was not willing to do in the way of personal service, or to contribute in the way of money. It was long, indeed, before the hon. gent. thought fit to call upon them. Whether it was that they feared 10 alarm the holders of omnium, according to their own original account, or whether they distrusted the zeal of the country, according to the explanation given of their intentions, in their second edition, when they had had the assistance of a learned commentator (Mr. Sheridan); whichever of these was the case with respect to them, the result of the fact was, that the country was no sooner told of its danger, and summoned to rouse in its defence, than it obeyed the call with an alacrity which the hon. gentlemen have since confessed themselves to have been unprepared for. 'They did not call spirits from the vasty deep,' which refused to answer to their bidding. On the contrary, the hon. gent. had no sooner began to try for this zeal, had hardly begun to sink this well, before the national feeling rose so fast upon them, that they found themselves in danger of being over whelmed by it, and begged for God's sake to be pulled up again. They no sooner turned this cock than it spurted in their faces. They had nothing to plead, therefore, on the score, that the country did not second their efforts, that it withheld its assistance, that it kept back its milk, as it were: the country was ready to yield its resources to any amount for which they would have declared it necessary to call for them. So far as to the means which they possessed: but were the means employed inconsiderable, or not abundantly sufficient to prove the improvident management of those who had the administration of them? I he money expended for the army of reserve alone, and that too in mere bounties, could not be estimated at less than,£l,000,000. For the volunteers, the hon. gent, had just said, that the estimate for the ensuing year must be,£700,000; and, therefore, for the year now closed, in which, if some articles were less, others were considerably greater, could not, he conceived, be less than £1,000,000. This, as the sum advanced by government to that object; to which, if he was to add, as undoubtedly he must add, the part contributed by individuals, he certainly should be within the mark, when he stated the whole expense incurred for volunteers at not less than £2,000,000. Here then was a sum of at least £3,000,000 expended in little more than the mere creation of a force; and that in a way, for the greater part of it, infinitely more oppressive than if raised by a general tax. What then, they were to ask, was the force created? And upon this occasion the statement of the hon. gent, had something very grand and imposing, perfectly in the stile of many statements, which were heard in that House. The safety of the country was provided for, it might be said, by a vast mass of armed force amounting to not less than 500,000 men. He was tar from sure that the numbers might not even exceed these limits. But, of course, it was not to be supposed, that they were to take this statement merely as it stood in words, without inquiring a little, what this mass this fabrick consisted of: how much of it was of solid masonry, part of the whole standing force of the country; how much was of a later date and less regular construction; how much might be composed of materials still more recently collected, and more hastily put together, and be liable, in consequence, to various cracks and settlements; and what portion of it was mere lath and plaster, not distinguishable, perhaps, by the eye, and seeming to be a continuation of the same front, but no more the same with it, in reality, than one of the new temporary barracks, of which they might expect to hear so much soon, was to be considered as a building of the same sort with St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey. It would be found, upon examination, and when this great building came to be regularly surveyed, that a very small part indeed; was regular army; that a large portion of it was militia; that another less considerable part was army of reserve; but that three-fourths of the whole was the more levy in mass, moulded into the form, and known under the title, of volunteer corps. This is not what would have been understood, at least without explanation, in a report of the force of France, or Austria, or Prussia, or any other military power. Of the two first descriptions of force here enumerated, it was not necessary to say much. The regular army was what they had always known the regular army to be, and never more, than during the whole of the period of the late war. The militia had long been Wrought to a high degree of excellence, and was at that time, perhaps, in as great perfection as it was possible for troops to attain, of whom neither officers nor men could have had the benefit of actual service. Of the army of reserve the character must be for some time continually changing, according to their progress in training, and according to the manner in which the men were disposed of, either as selected, and incorporated into old battalions; making however, a very incommodious mixture of men serving upon different tenures; or as put together in battalions by themselves. But in neither way could they be considered, for some time at least, as fit to be classed with the regular troops; nor would it be possible at any time for those so to class them, who refused to admit to the description of a soldier, any man whose engagement of service did not extend to term of life. It would be curious indeed, if those who resisted most pertinaciously, and at the hazard even of having no army, every attempt to change the service of the line from life to term of years, should now find out that soldiers serving both for term of years, and for service within the realm only, were entitled to reckon as part of the regular army. Cut a great portion of these were, for the present, good for no service either without or within the realm. They were men newly collected together with their pockets full of money, or who had only emptied them by a continued course of intoxication, and had not yet got their grass flesh off, had not got the beer out of their bellies, which they had been swilling for weeks, many of them at the rate of o guineas a man. As for those who were left behind in what were called the reserved battalions, they, for the most part, were so left behind and reserved, because no one thought it worth his while to take them, and were of a sort which no time or drilling could ever render serviceable; time indeed, being with many of them the last thing they wanted, as the very objection to be urged was, that they were already past the age of service. The last and most important, certainly the most extensive head of force, was that which Comprised the great body of inhabitants to whom arms had been given or promised, the general collection of the volunteer corps. In speaking of these bodies, it was as well perhaps to attempt, though he knew the attempt must be vain, to obviate the misrepresentation, which he was aware, was lying in wait to seize upon every word he should say, (Hush'd in grim repose expects his evening prey,) by observing, that what he had to condemn in these institutions was not the individuals, but the system. That in speaking of a body of 400,000 men, he certainly did not mean to say that they were all useless, or worthless, or of a character he knew not what, that was to make them run away at the sight of an enemy. He certainly should not be inclined to say this of any 400,000 men, taken at random from among the inhabitants of this country, and must necessarily be less inclined to say so, of a body which from the manner of its being combined, must contain a greater proportion of the zeal, spirit, and patriotism of the country, than any other of equal numbers taken without rule or selection. To impute therefore to any one a purpose of censuring the volunteers individually, was too childish to be deserving of notice. As little could he intend to say, that the body of volunteers, as at present constituted, were of no use: 400,000 men with arms in their hands, and consisting for the most part of persons within certain ages, could not be so combined, as not to be capable of being useful. All that he meant to say was, that these corps must be for ever unsuited to the sort of service on which it was intended to employ them; and that the methods pursued with them were calculated to render them as little useful as it was possible for such an assemblage of men to be. The idea was, as had been long foreseen, and long deprecated, to combine these into companies, regiments, and brigades, and to endeavour to make regular soldiers of them. He was of opinion that you never could make regular soldiers of them; and that the attempt to do so was founded in every respect upon false views, both of the nature of those corps and of the military service in general. He grounded this opinion upon circumstances, certainly having nothing injurious in them to the characters of persons acting in volunteer corps. It was no reproach to any one, that he was of an age, or size, or state of health, that did not admit of his performing the duties of a soldier: that he was the father of a family, and could not be spared from the care and superintendance of those who looked to him at every moment as their protector and guide: that he was engaged in a business which he could not leave without ruin, and without ruin to those who depended on him for their support. There was no reproach in all this; but there was a great deal in it, which must prevent corps, consisting for the most part of men so circumstanced, from either performing for any length of time the duties of soldiers employed on service, or from acquiring the expertness and habits by which those duties must be performed. These were truths which would not probably, be much disputed. All the world would agree, that to talk of giving to citizens and householders, ('to resident inhabitants paying scot and lot') to men engaged in professions and callings, who were compelled to live on one spot, were tied down by the care of families, who rejected military controul, were serving without pay, were officered in a great measure by persons of their own description if not of their own choosing,—that to talk of giving to such men the character and qualities of regular soldiers, was the greatest of all absurdities. Yet this which every one would agree in, which no one would be hardy enough to deny, was the utmost that had ever been said, in disparagement, as it was called, of the volunteers. All the rest was a mere military question, by which the volunteers were not at all affected. Once admit that collections of men such as he had just described, were not capable of being formed into regular regiments, that is to say, regiments possessing the properties which were looked for in troops of the line, and it then became a question, to be decided on general military principles, and in which the volunteers were no longer concerned, how far corps of a certain acknowledged inferiority ought to be employed in certain services, or to be placed in certain situations. And here a great mistake seemed to prevail of supposing, that whatever possessed in itself a certain degree of force or strength, must by its addition to any thing of the same description, produce a degree of force more than would be found in either of the parts separately: that strength added to strength would always produce strength. But this was evidently not so. If the addition supposed was not judiciously made, weakness, instead of strength, might be the consequence. No one could doubt that a regiment of four or five hundred men, volunteers or others, must possess some power of annoying an enemy. But was it sure that your line would be strengthened, and your general power of annoying and de-defeating the enemy be increased by such addition? He would take an example from a profession with which the House and he were, in general, probably less acquainted than they were even with military affairs, but which might happen to be more familiar to them in this particular view. What was the reason that in naval actions, frigates and even fifty gun ships were not suffered to make part of the line? Was it, that fifty gun ships or even frigates were of no force? That their balls did not hit hard? That some of (heir guns were not even heavier than a part of those which formed the battery of a ship of the line? By no means. It was, he must conclude, because a line of battle at sea was a species of machine, so constructed, as to require a certain proportionate strength in all its parts, the failure of any one of which would draw after it the failure of all the rest. The same was the case with an army. There also was a line, and which, as might be collected from the very expression of 'regiments of the line,' could be formed only of troops trained to a certain degree of discipline and regularity. To form it otherwise, to put into the line corps which, from want of experience or instruction, might not maintain the part of the action allotted to them, would not only be to endanger the whole by that particular failure, but might in a thousand other ways, embarrass the operations of an army, and defeat the plans of a commander. Manœuvres must be calculated upon supposed qualifications in the troops and officers, who are to execute them. What must be the situation of a general, if when directing the execution of any pressing service—a hill, suppose, to be occupied, a post to be main- tained, a wood to be defended, a redoubt to be stormed—in a crisis which left no leisure or deliberation or inquiry he must be comparing the characters of the different corps under his command, and be exposed, at last, to the uncertainties of troops, whose composition was unknown, whose conduct in a days of action was to be tried for the first time, and who, in the mode of service now proposed for them, might involve in their defeat or miscarriage, the discomfiture of the whole army. These were not objections to volunteers in general: so far from it, that he, on the contrary, had always contended for them, to a far greater extent, though on a far less expensive footing than that on which they were now established. His objections went only to volunteers, moulded into the forms, and destined for the sort of service which government had now assigned them. It was government which had given them this most false direction; which by dressing them in red coats had betrayed, at once, the character in which they meant to consider them, and the use they meant to put them to,—a use for which they could never be made fit. This was the point on which he wished to insist. Ocher objections to the present system he should not no v dwell upon; nor consider what might be the future danger arising to the state from bodies of armed men, subject to no regular authority, governed by committees and sub-committees, and having more the character of debating societies than of schools of military discipline. He was considering them merely as part of the defence of the country against a foreign enemy, and in this view he must recall to the attention of the House: first, the immense reduction to be made in our force, when, out of five or six hundred thousand, four were understood not to be soldiers, but only armed inhabitants; and next, when these armed inhabitants were prepared and fashioned in a manner so little judicious, as in the plan now pursued. When to this was added, that by the exemptions given, contrary to the intentions of ministry, and by the mere effect of haste and oversight, numbers had latterly flocked into these corps, as a refuge from other service, and that so large a portion of the active population of the country was thereby-locked up, and withdrawn from the service either of the army of reserve or militia, (the regular recruiting was out of the question); he would leave to the House to judge what credit was to ho given to the hon. gentlemen on this head of the account. The whole return, the whole force produced by the hon. gentlemen, after three millions expended, and with the command of an unlimited credit, was 1st. 400,000 volunteers, such as he had described, and whose formation operated, as he had described, in respect to the other services; 2dly, a militia, excellent in its kind, but incomplete, and rendered more difficult to be completed by the effect of the measure above referred to; 3dly, twenty, or six and twenty thousand army of reserve; and 4thly and lastly, an addition, (as he should have said) of 5,00O, or (as he now understood from the hon. gentlemen) of 7,000 men to the regular army! This was all that the hon. gentlemen had produced at the end of nine months, and as the fruit of all their labour and travail. This was all that the nation had got, in return for its large contributions, its ready sacrifices, its heavy expense, both of patience and money, five thousand men to the regular army, five pints of reasonably good soup, was the whole that these state-cooks had been able to produce after all their simmerings and boilings, all the hams and chickens, and pounds of beef, which they had melted down, and the bills which they had run up in consequence at the different shops.—Thus far he had gene in considering what a great philosopher of old would have called the living instruments of our defence. The inanimate instruments must not be overlooked, though he should say but little to all the objects which that class would comprize, such as works, fortresses, preparations by sea and land, every thing that wisdom and foresight could provide or could arrange, towards making the approach of an enemy difficult, or giving force and efficacy to the action of those who were preparing to resist him. In all this he feared a dreadful deficiency. Much as might be wanting in living means, the want of judgment and ability in the application of those means, the want of a presiding mind either to create resources, or to turn to account those already existing, he feared was not less considerable. He would not attempt to enter into a criticism either upon the general distribution of the forces, which so far as it was built upon a system of concentration, or of collecting the force into great masses for the protection of vital parts, he certainly approved, nor would he offer any opinion as to the considerable works going on at Chelmsford and Chatham, having in fact, no opinion to offer. He would touch upon one point only of that sort, and that not so much with a view of stating what he thought ought to be done, as of remarking on what was done, and upon the dreadful weakness and inconclusiveness of many of those reasonings, which governed the conduct of the country, in points where its very existence was at stake. From the northernmost point on the coast of Suffolk, where the protection might be supposed to cease from the shipping at Yarmouth, to a part of the coast of Essex, where a naval defence of another kind might be supposed to begin; (and where he hoped it had at length begun, though, very late in the year it certainly had not made its appearance), there was a line of coast accessible in most weathers, and certainly very commodious for the landing of an enemy in such vessels as those in which they were expected to come. Upon this line he should unquestionably, think it highly advantageous if a defence were provided, formed by the construction of what were known to our officers under the name of Martello Towers, a species of edifice so called from a memorable instance of one at Martello in Corsica; where by s tower of this sort, garrisoned by some ten or half dozen men, and mounted with about two guns, a ship of the line of ours and a frigate, were, during the last war, completely foiled and driven off, though they were able to approach within a quarter of a mile of the object, and though the captain, a most approved officer, would not withdraw from the contest while there was a hope left, nor till he had lost an immense number of his men, and had had his ship twice set on fire. No one would pretend to say, that towers of this sort would not produce a great effect upon an enemy, whoever he might be, that came within the reach of their guns. That they would stop the disembarkation of infantry, he was not prepared to say. On the contrary, he was of opinion that they would not. Great as the loss might be, the enemy, if determined, would still accomplish his object. But would the same be the case with artillery and horses? And would not the slaughter be immense, and the delay most important, were it possible that under such a file a disembarkation of that sort could after all take place? The objection, therefore, to such defences must resolve itself into the consideration of expense, or into that of the force which it would lock up, and the means which would be furnished to the enemy, should the fortresses in question finally fail into his hands. As to the latter objection, he had clearly stated, what the contents of such towers were, and what the loss would be to those from whom they should be taken, viz. a dozen men at the utmost, and a cou- ple of guns. The value to the enemy would be none; for the guns would never be transportable; and, certainly not the towers; and neither would be of any use to him where they were. But their uselessness to the enemy it was unnecessary to prove, as it was hardly possible that they should fall into his hands. It was of the nature of these small fortresses (quite the reverse of what was the case with redoubts) that they were equally impregnable to cannon and to musquetry, and could not be taken but by such means as the enemy would neither have time nor inclination to employ. The whole question, therefore, was a question of expense: and what would that expense be, incurred once for all, compared with the maintenance of such a living force, (supposing even that we had the force, and could spare it for that purpose,) as would give to any tract of coast the same security which would be derived from the defence in question? Considering the simplicity of the construction of these towers, the little interior fitting they would require, the rude materials of which they might be composed, (the stones made use of for paving London, might serve for the most expensive part,) the facility with which materials would be conveyed for buildings necessarily situated on the edge of the coast, and in its most accessible parts, it is difficult to conceive, that 1000l. a piece must not be an ample allowance. And thus for a sum of 3O.00Ol., and with a force of 300 men, thirty miles of coast, in parts the most vulnerable, would be put in a state of security far greater at least than any which they could enjoy without the aid of such precautionary measures. But let the House consider what happened without this. To supply the place of these despised towers, the coast was lined with sea fencibles, armed with pikes, a weapon which had been said, if he recollected right, in some of the circular official papers, to be capable of great effect in the hands of a Briton, fighting for every thing that was dear to him. He wished the House to reflect, what would be the situation of these pikemen, at Aldbo-rough for instance, one of the places, where there was a corps of that sort, and which was situated on the part of the coast to which he had been alluding. Here was a straight shore with deep water, and a beach, on which in moderate weather vessels might run with confidence, without even shortening sail: and in these circumstances it was supposed, that when vessels should thus arrive, containing each a hundred soldiers, and carrying a four-and-twenty pounder on its bow, men were to stand on the shore with their pikes, and push them off! Was this the idea of a bold Briton? or was it the idea of master Fribble? "Begone, fellow," You might as well suppose, that the enemy was to be kept off by bodkins or knitting-needles. It was certainly not by a force of this sort, that the coast could be defended. The great argument, indeed, was, that it could not be defended at all, and that therefore no defence should be attempted. And here he wished to recall the attention of the House to that sort of loose, vague, inconsiderate style of reasoning, to which he had before alluded, and to which, it was melancholy to think, the very life and being of the state was sometimes entrusted. When a proposal was made, for securing a part of the coast by works, as happened in the case of an hon. friend behind him (Colonel Cranford) the answer universally made was, that you could not fortify every part of the coast; and thence it was meant to be inferred, that it was useless to fortify any. But what was the sort of reasoning that could lead to this as a conclusion? In many cases, he was ready to allow, that an argument to that effect would be just. If the question was of shutting mice out of a pantry, the conclusion would be correct, that to stop up one hole was useless, while any other was suffered to remain open. The strength of a chain, according to an old observation, was the strength of the weakest link. To fortify those above it was useless: to add to the strength of those below it might be injurious, as well as useless; because, without adding to the general strength, you might add something to the weight. But were any one to apply that same reasoning to a chain in a figurative sense, to a chain of posts, nothing could be more false and inconclusive. It is not here as in the other case, that the force applied acted through every part. The force acted only on the part to which it was applied; and if that part happened to be the strongest, would be resisted with the power of the strongest. It was true, that if the enemy knew your weak point, and could be sure of carrying his attack there, all that he was arguing against, must be admitted. But would any one maintain, that such was the fact? Was this, what they heard on other occasions? When the danger of invasion was in discussion, how were those laughed to scorn, who seemed to reason upon the idea, that the enemy, once embarked, could say either where he should, or where he should not, touch the land? How much of our confidence was founded, and justly founded, on the uncertainty which belongs to all the enemy's operations, and in the impossibility of his fixing with certainty the point in which his descent must be made? Yet here the tables were suddenly turned and to attempt to secure any part of the coast, while another was left unguarded, was treated as trifling and childish; because the enemy would be sure to chuse what was weakest, and must be able to guide his armament with perfect precision to the part, whatever it was, that he should chase. He urged this topic, with a view to expose the sort of reasoning, which was admitted often into concerns of the greatest importance, and might prevail possibly at the present moment in questions more critical and more certain, than that which he had brought forward respecting the coast of Suffolk. There was, in fact, no security any where with persons so wholly unsuited, to the arduous crisis in which they had to act, as the hon. gentlemen. In every part of their system little considerations were mixing themselves with great, so as to spoil the effect of the whole, and prevent its working truly in any of its operations. This was eminently the case in the pecuniary part, where a wild profusion was so combined with a mean parsimony, that it was like the conduct of a man, who in giving a great entertainment with all the dainties of the season, peas at a guinea a quart, should disgrace the whole by a scarcity of clean glasses, or by a coarse and ill-washed tablecloth. With this must be coupled, as it possibly arose out of it, an extraordinary passion for machinery, into which the hon. gents, had been led, partly, as it appeared, by the hope of working cheaper, and partly by that common error, of supposing that, a great machine must be calculated to produce a great effect. Their machines were much like that which Hogarth represents, where the wedge, the lever, the axis in paritrochio, all the mechanical powers were introduced for the purpose of drawing a cork, an operation which a waiter or butler would perform more effectually, as well as more expeditiously, by a little instrument from his pocket called a cork-screw. It was of the nature of all machinery, that in proportion as the parts were complicated, the movement was likely to be slow; not to mention that if any part should happen to be misplaced, or wanting, or ill-adjusted, the whole must be at a stand. This was very much the case with some of the machines of the hon. gentlemen. In order to keep their expenses out of sight, and to throw as much as possible upon individuals without the intervention of Parliament, they had set up their grand system of lord lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, lieutenants of division, inspectors of divisions, superintendants of parishes, &c. &c. persons very proper to be appointed, and to be held in readiness, but very improper for much of the work on which they wore employed, namely, that of getting the country into a state of military defence. Of all the instruments to work with for such a purpose, the worst, surely, that could be devised, was that of a deputy lieutenant's meeting. Every one had heard, frequently, and almost proverbially, of the slow progress of official business. But at what rate must that business proceed, which had for its office a canary? Which, instead of clerks with salaries, amenable to superiors, compellable to a certain attendance, acted by country gentlemen, subject to no authority, who were bound by no especial duty, who might attend as much or as little as they liked, and who might feel possibly that they conferred a favour every time that they attended at all? Offices, too, in which government business was transacted, were open commonly every day, and for many hours each day. But what must be the condition or that office, whose days of attendance were one in a week, and whose office-hours were about three in each of those days? This office was likewise a corresponding office: but what must be the activity of that correspondence, where between the letter and its answer there must be an interval always of a week? He took no notice here of the manner in which at such meetings business must necessarily be conducted, where few possibly had given much attention to the object in question, where no one had any right to prescribe to the rest, where many would come more to talk of their own private business or to meet those they were in quest of, than to promote the object in question, where most were impatient to be gone, where all had voices, and, what was possibly not the least evil, where every one had a right to declare that voice at as great length as he thought proper He would not better illustrate the effects of the system which had thrown business into this course, than by stating what had happened upon the subject of signals. It might have been thought, that the arranging a system of signals, as it must have been among the earliest and most pressing objects of attention, that which, in some sort, was to give effect to every thing else, was the one also which would have been most easily accomplished, and most speedily carried into effect. The mode that had been adopted, was, too, of the most simple kind. A line of stations was f6 be established along the coast, placed under the direction of persons appointed by the Admiralty, and qualified to collect and to convey, by means of the Admiralty sig- nals, such more detailed intelligence as was necessary for officers appearing off the coast, or commanding at the naval stations; while from this, as from a circumference, other lines were drawn inland, for the mere purpose of giving alarm, or for communicating a few of the more simple results of what had been observed upon the coast. Any one would suppose that this was a work, which would not take long in completing; considering that it was of that sort, which might be going on in ail places at once, so that the time necessary for the whole would be no more than what had been required for the latest of the parts; and that in three weeks or a month from the first alarm, that is, from the 8th of March, however much our means of resistance might have been wanting, we should at least not have been liable to see the enemy amongst us without notice of his approach. And so it would have been with any set of persons, who would have done things in a plain way: who would have been content "to draw a cork with a corkscrew." But not so, the savers of money, and the lovers of machinery. By seeking to divide the expense of these signals with the counties, and throwing the business, in consequence, into the train which he had described, the result was (the House would hear it with astonishment) that in some of the maritime counties, immediately exposed to the enemy, and where the attack was most expected, the system of signals, even in those parts of it, which were most essential, and on which the whole depended, was not completed to that very hour. It would naturally be inquired, how this could happen and the explanation might be given, by stating only what had taken place in the county to which he belonged. When the deputy-lieutenants signified to the lieutenant of division, that stations must be prepared for the reception of the naval officers: the lieutenant of division did not care to stir in the business, till he knew whether the sums which ho should advance, would be repaid to him by the deputy lieutenants. The deputy lieutenants on the other hand, were a little shy of engaging for this money, till they should know, whether they could make it good from the county: and, on the part of the county, it was quickly replied, that the lieutenants would look in vain for repayment there: for that the sums in question were no article for a county-rate, and in no county-rate should they be admitted. Here the matter hung for some time, and here it might have hung still longer, if the Deputy Lieutenants, weary of this slow return of correspondence, and impatient of further delay in a matter so important and urgent, had not received to take the risk upon themselves, and to direct the completion of the work, trusting that government would see them finally repaid. This government had engaged to do so; and the county of Norfolk might by that time, perhaps, be in possession of its signals. But by whose fault had it happened, that it was not in possession of them sooner? It must fairly be said, not by the fault of any one. The striking feature of the case was, that with so great a delay and such a succession of persons, no one could be found to whom the delay was imputable. The Lieutenant of Division could not be blamed, for not being willing to advance his money, till he knew by whom he was to be repaid. The Deputy Lieutenants might well have been justified, had they persisted in refusing to the last, to take upon themselves an expense, which they had no means of recovering from the county. The county was well warranted in insisting that their charge was one, which was incurred for the general safety, and which ought to be defrayed by a general tax. The Admiralty were not to blame for delaying to send officers, and commence the expenses of their establishment, till they should know that houses were ready to receive them. But this successive justification of all the parties concerned in the measure, was the most complete condemnation of the system to which it belonged. What must that system of proceedings be, in which, when every party under it had done his dnty, nine months could elapse, before the maritime counties were furnished with their establishment of signals? With this example be might safely close his account of the conduct of the hon. gents, as persons fit to direct the energies, and call out the resources of the country, at the present moment. The instance itself, as a circumstance in the situation of the country, was how of no great importance; as it might be hoped, that by this time, or at least in about a month more, the evil was, or would be, at an end, and the maritime counties be prepared with their signals. But it was not so with the state of the army, and of the military force of the country. Here was not only a great misconduct, but a great national evil and danger, present arid future. The hon. gentlemen had not only not provided an army, but had brought things to a state, in which, without some great change, it was impossible that an army should be provided. The army of reserve, the only channel of recruiting not yet dry, would soon, possibly, be dry likewise. It had yielded 7000 men: it was doubtful how many more it had to yield. Whatever it gave to the army, was so much in diminution of its own numbers.—How much might continue to ooze in from it, in its decreased and decreasing state, was very uncertain; not to mention the dreadful expense and ruinous example of those successive enrolments—this double bounty. At all events the supply, in this way, had necessarily a termination. It was an artificial, not a natural cascade. As a supply, it must at last run out. When recruits should have entered from this army, equal to the original numbers, the measure was at an end. The array of reserve, therefore, could not be looked upon as a permanent mode of recruiting and reinforcing the army; and, in the mean while, by this and their other measures, ministers had laid the foundation of such difficulties, as would render it nearly impossible that any such mode should be devised in future. The probability was, that after yielding to the army a few more thousands, so much would just remain of the army of reserve, as would be sufficient to preserve the example of this anomalous force, and to make recruiting impossible by contributing, with the militia, to continue the high rate of bounties. In aid of all these mischiefs came the effect of the volunteer system, which, as the hon. gentlemen had managed it, whether by design or by mistake, locked up 400,000 men of the active population of the country. What a blow was here! He was tempted to call out to the hon. gentleman, as the Roman Emperor did to his General, Redde mihi, Vare, legiones. Seventy thousand men and more, withdrawn from the supply of the army of reserve, by the militia; and 400,000 men withdrawn from both militia and army of reserve by the volunteers; and the army of reserve, the only source for recruiting the army; with what sort of men, and at what rate of recruiting, was the army likely to be supplied? All this, as a future consideration, the hon. gentlemen thought nothing of.—They had got, or thought they had got (they had in fact got no such thing), what was sufficient for present defence; and, beyond that, they never thought of looking. Defence was their utmost horizon. All beyond was clouds and darkness. But to those, who did not wish to bound their views merely by that consideration, who thought that if the country was to exist after the present dangers, it was of some consequence to consider what that existence was to be: to such persons it would be a matter of anxiety to know, how the country was to proceed without the use of a disposable force, and if such a force should appear necessary or desirable, in what manner it was to be obtained. His ideas upon this subject had long since been declared, and he had not been able, by any subsequent reflexion or inquiry, to get beyond the notions which he had at first formed. His opinion had been, and was, that, as a first step, there should be an universal abolition of the system of substitution. That all commutation for personal service (as commutation there must be), should be made by fixed fine, so as lo render government tile only recruiter in the market without competition from militia, army of reserve, or any other service. That to meet, and co-operate with the effects of the advantage thus given, service, in the army, should be changed from life to terra of years; drafting should be formally abolished; means possibly devised to render service in the West-Indies less frequently necessary; and some other subordinate regulations adopted, calculated to give to the profession of a soldier advantages and attractions, additional to those, not inconsiderable ones, which it already had. With these things done, he was of opinion, that the condition of the country was not so changed, either as to the wealth or inclinations of the lower orders of its inhabitants, as to make it impossible, that, upon a greatly increased population, the army should be recruited as in former times. He was by no means sure, that if these methods had been adopted, at the time when they were first suggested (and still more if they had been adopted at a period somewhat earlier) the army would not have been recruited, and the general defence of the country increased, even at this moment, far beyond what it had been by the boasted measure of the army of reserve. That it would be so in the end, there could not be the smallest doubt. In a comparison of these measures, the same distinction must be observed, as gentlemen, accustomed to planting, knew how to make between a sown and a planted tree: though the latter would have the advantage at the beginning, and it might be, for some few years, it was known which would outstrip the other at the long run.—But should the danger at any moment be such, as not to wait the gradual progress of recruiting, however successful; or should the general success of recruiting, even in the new circumstances proposed, be less than he was willing to imagine, it would be then open to have recourse to compulsory mea- sures; but measures so chosen, (that is to say, of which the abolition of substitution should make part), as to become a powerful stimulus to recruiting, instead of presenting any impediment to it. He was as little a friend to compulsory measures, where they could be avoided, as any other gentleman: but he would not court popularity, nor discredit his own judgement by decrying them as unconstitutional. He had shewn, on a former occasion, together with several of his hon. friends; that so far from objecting factiously to any measure of government, or lying in wait to raise a cry against the hon. gentlemen, he was more ready than the hon. gentlemen had seemed to be, to brave that cry, in support of any measure of the soil alluded to, which the circumstances of the times might render necessary.—These were his ideas of the measures to be adopted, for creating that first and most indispensable requisite in the present state of he world, as well for the sake of immediate safety, as with a view to the future condition of the empire,—a regular and disposable military force. Instead of this, the hon. gentlemen seemed by their measures to be looking to any other force, rather than that of a regular army, the augmentation to which was as yet, by their own account, only 7OOO men; while by their general conduct they had brought the country to a state, in which, at the end of nine months, a line of cruizers, or (according to the expression of an old poet, whom he did not dare to quote in the original) "a single plank of wood," was all that protected the country, he would not say, from the "grave," but from evils and dangers, of a magnitude not to be described.

Mr. Secretary Yorke.

—Sir; after the very long, and certainly very entertaining speech, which you have just heard, I fear mat I shall neither merit, nor be able to obtain from you and the House, that patience and that a tension, which I shall have ample occasion for, in replying to the attacks that the right. hon. gentleman has made on me, and on most of the measures of the present administration. The hon. gent, has quoted a passage of very indifferent poetry, to prove that mere is "nothing good we say, and nothing wise we do;" but, in my opinion of the country, and of tins House, the present government, if may judge from the experience of the last session of Parliament, or the actual feelings of the people, has little to apprehend from he opposition of the right hon. gentleman, or the application of what he has quoted. During that session, it must be admitted that we heard many excellent opposition speeches (and I should be sorry that the right hon. gent, were deprived of the opportunity of amusing and instructing the House;) but then we had to set off against them some good ministerial votes, the cordial and zealous support of a very great majority of this House. The right hon. gent, has begun by condemning the constitution of the army, considering it as the whole of a military system; and has enforced, with all the eloquence and ingenuity that he is master of, the necessity of a total alteration in it: for considering, he says, the power, the means, and the, intentions of France, it is absolutely incumbent on us to effect an entire change in our military system. I need scarcely repeat to the right hon. gent., that peculiarly constituted as the army of this empire is, there is no power, save and except the omnipotence of Parliament, that can operate those changes he so forcibly recommends. The sanction of the legislature must precede the improvements, (if improvements they are) that the right hon. gent, advises. I have no objection to taking the whole of our military system under general consideration, provided that the right hon. gent, will have the prudence to omit the minute details; for, I trust, that every one who hears me will allow, that a Committee of this House is not the best or the fittest place to go into an accurate examination of the merits or defects of such a complicated system. The right; hon. gent, has found much cause for disapprobation, in the defenceless and vulnerable state in which some part of the coast has been suffered to remain. In reply to this, I will frankly admit, that it is not in as good a state of defence as it might have been, considering our means and the spirit of the people; but still I shall contend, that it is fully sufficient for the protection of the country, and capable of affording a very serious resistance so any probable effort f the enemy. The right hon. gent has been particularly severe in his condemnation of two measures of the government, which took place immediately after the signing of the peace of Amiens, the disbanding of the army, and the disarming and dismantling of the navy. I must, Sir, most solemnly protest against the view which the right hon. gent has taken of those measures, for the true state of the facts will nor justify the inferences he has endeavoured to draw from them. At no period of our history was there ever, at the conclusion of a peace, an establishment both naval and military, maintained, that would support any comparison with that voted and sanctioned by this House, subsequent to the ratification of the defini- tive treaty. Exclusive of that which tock place in the cavalry, in which I admit it was considerable, the diminution in the rest of our force, the infantry, I mean., was very trifling indeed; not more than 7000 men out of the whole of our regular army The rest of those disbanded were troops whose services were limited, partly consisting of second battalions, who volunteered from the militia, whose time were within a year of expiration, and whose services, for that short time, government, for very cogent and prudential reasons, deemed it adviseable to dispense with. With regard to the numerical enumeration of our force, I can meet the right hon. gent., not only with pleasure but with absolute confidence on that head. I will stale, for the information of that right hon. gent., and for the satisfaction of this House, that our regular force has been nearly doubled since last session of Parliament. Instead of 60,000 we have now an effective regular force of 120,000 men. In this number I certainly mean to include the army of reserve, which has been incorporated with the regular army, and which, for every military purpose, is as effective as any regulars, although perhaps, according to a phrase of the right hon. gentleman's, "they have not yet got the grass out of them." In answer to the right hon. gent's objections to the battalions of reserve, I will allow, that although they may not be as good as the others, still I will maintain, that such is the general practice in all, or most, of the great military services of Europe. There is scarcely one of them in which the practice does not prevail of establishing reserved battalions, or battalions of depot. Such a part of a military system is not unattended with great utility; it is equal to many and very important services, for undertaking garrison duty for instance, and by that means relieving the troops of the line, and adding to the disposable force of the country As to the militia, I assert that they are as good as ever. Their number amounts to above 70 000 in England, and to 14,000 in Scotland. They have been inspected and seen under arms by a number of general officers, and they have extorted the applause and approbation of every person of military eminence who has seen them. The volunteers, as I before stated, amount to upwards of 379,000, among which there are 340,000 infantry, with a proportion, and certainly no inconsiderable one, of 17,000 officers. The rest of the volunteer force is made up of cavalry and artillery; and it is this numerous body of men, disciplined almost as well as any equal body of men could be in the time that the right hon. gent. is pleased to consider as not an effective force. Although, Sir, they may not at the outset be capable of meeting a regular army in line of battle, a circumstance, by the bye, not much to be apprehended, or expected in a country like this, yet there are many possible contingencies in which they may be eminently useful. By acting on the flanks and rear of the enemy; by making demonstrations; by contributing, with their numbers, to increase to the eye of the enemy, the magnitude of our regular force; on these and similar occasions, they will not prove, as the right hon. gent. has said, an ineffective force, but a formidable and highly efficient one: and whenever the actual struggle comes, whenever they are to contend for their country and their homes, for every thing that is dear to their feelings and to their honour, I am confident that they will all be found to do their duty, and that many them will enter into the line. As to the right hon. gentleman's objection to their clothing, I must allow that it is a matter of regret, that they have not all adhered to the national colour, and principally because as the departure from it may occasion some confusion. I even am tempted to wish, that they had all adopted the regulation clothing, although that is not of so very much importance, as it is impossible, when acting in large bodies, that an enemy could distinguish the difference at a few hundred yards distance. The right hon. gent., as he conceives, has made a still more serious objection against ministers, for he asserts, that the volunteer system at first made no part of their means of defence. Sir, in reply to this, I will only recal to this House an act which passed in the year 1802, in which, among others, there were express provisions, not only for continuing the old volunteers, but even for accepting new otters. Sir, it must be in the recollection of gentlemen, that such an act was before this House, and that it created no discussion. It was in vain that I wished to call the attention of the House to the whole of our military and volunteer system. The provisions and principles of that bill passed through the House, with little comment, and as little attention. Surely, if there had been any thing vicious in that system, it should have been resisted in limine. The General Defence Act, as it is entitled, did not embrace the volunteer system, nor was it meant to supersede it, The proposition for exonerating the parishes, if volunteers should offer to a certain extent, was made with the unanimous concurrence of this House. The whole nation rose as one man, and it was from that cause that the idea of parochial companies was laid aside. Was such au impetuous and gallant disposition on the part of the people, to be rejected by us? Were we to say to them, we won't accept your services, we will resort to our compulsory means? Sir, I need not suggest to the right hon. gent, how culpable, I should almost say, how criminal, government would have been, if they had not availed themselves of the spirit of the people, which we have never endeavoured to repress, as the hon. gent, has charged us with, but which, on the contrary, we have done every thing to promote. As to the state of the arsenals, though that appertains more immediately to the ordnance department, I will assert, that they never were more abundantly provided. Upwards of 400,000 stand of arms have been distributed, and it was the question of arms, and the question of exemptions, which first compelled the government to the determination of restricting the extent of the volunteer-system. I lament, that I possess not the ability to reply to the whole of the ingenious speech, which the right hon. gent, has delivered. With regard to his observation about a directing mind, I, for my own part, will admit, that I am not fortunate enough to possess all the talent that the right hon. gent does; but I will not yield to him, or any man, in die disposition to serve the country with zeal, and, trust, with effect. We, Sir, will do right, if we can, and while we do so, we will expect the support of the country. With regard to the principle of fortifying, although that is the exclusive province of the Board of Ordnance, yet I shall make a few observations on that branch of our military system. I entirely coincide with the idea, that security is our best economy; and I will candidly allow, that in my opinion, that part of our system has been too much neglected; and it is on that account, that the plan which was submitted to Parliament, so far back as the year 1786, had not been adopted. Not that I think, consisting as die population of this country does of a brave and gallant race of men, surrounded by the sea, and encircled by a navy the most numerous, enterprizing, and well-appointed of any in the world, that we have any occasion to resort to a very extensive plan of that species of defence. As to the Martello towers, which the right hon. gent, has recommended so strongly, and the advantages of which he has illustrated so clearly by an instance which I shall not attempt to dispute, I will say that their establishment depends upon the opinion of military officers and, if adviseable, most certainly should be adopted, wherever they are practicable. To the objections which the right hon. gent has made to the particular mode of employing the Sea Fencibles, I will observe, that it is intended that some farther arrangements, with respect to that branch of the national defence should be made in tills session. Constituted as they are, even at this moment, they are eminently useful. They are competent to the manning of the gun-boats, and in that capacity, I am convinced, would be more than a match for any force of the same kind that France could send against us. Indeed, I think I shout not say too much, if I hazarded the assertion that they would be able to beat all its boasted flotillas. The right hon. gent. has said much about adopting a compulsory system of recruiting the army, by a novel and rather extraordinary mode of putting an end to the volunteer system. I do not know, at least I have not made up my mind to say, whether the kind of compulsion the right hon. gent, recommends, be strictly constitutional or not. I know that it is within the omnipotence of Parliament to ordain it; but I much doubt that the army could ever be efficiently recruiting by adopting the system of fining, and employing the revenue drawn therefrom in the manner the right hon. gent, has suggested. Much less do I approve of the practice resorted to on former occasions, I mean; that of allowing individuals to raise regiments. The bad effects of that system have been felt from experience, and it has not been thought adviseable to recur to it again. I think there is but one more of the right hon. gentleman's suggestions, which it is necessary for me to advert to, and that is, the recommendation of enlisting for a certain term, of years. To this there is one insuperable objection, and that is, that it could not be done without disorganizing the whole of our military system; for it mast be extended to the whole of the army, or it would inevitably produce jealousies and dissatisfaction, that might prove fatal to that strict discipline and prompt obedience and alacrity, without which an army is nothing. I am aware that such a practice prevailed in the Austrian service, and I know that it was one of the greatest defects in it. Let any man only consider the consequence that would attend the adoption of such a system, particularly if a number of troops were ordered abroad, whose period of service was nearly expired, and who possibly might have a claim to be discharged before they could arrive half way to the place of their desti- nation. I am sure when the right hon. gent, reflects a little upon what he has thus recommended, he will have good sense enough to perceive the utter impracticability of it, and candour enough to acknowledge it. I have thus, as far as I am able, replied to every observation of the right hon. gent, which I have conceived to be material. I regret that I have been obliged to trespass so long upon the patience of gentlemen, and that they have been so ill repaid for the attention they have afforded me.

Mr. Pitt.

—It is not my intention at present, Sir, to follow the example of my right hon. friend, (Mr. Windham) in taking that detailed and comprehensive view of the subject before the Committee; neither is it my intention to go into any retrospective discussion of the measures of government, nor to inquire whether the extraordinary means with which they were entrusted before the last prorogation of parliament, have been exercised with sufficient vigour and ability. Considering the danger with which the country was threatened as not yet past, convinced that the crisis still impends, and that still we have further efforts to exert, and further precautions to adopt, in order to enable us to meet it, I am anxious to direct your attention only to such points as are peculiarly urgent, and on which delay would be inconvenient, if not dangerous; and to suggest prospectively, the consideration of those objects which are immediately connected with the public security. I am still less inclined at present to examine all the questions that might be included in the resolutions presented to the Committee, opening a wide field of discussion of the conduct of government and the state of our defence. I wish to confine myself particularly to what is more directly before us—the nature, the amount, and the proposed management of the military force of the country. I am the more anxious to do this, as I have the misfortune to differ fundamentally from my right hon. friend, with regard to what should be the nature of that force to which we ought to look as a permanent source of safety throughout the whole of this contest, however long may be its duration. No man thinks more highly than I do of the importance of a regular military force, or of the regular force of this country. No man is more convinced that the excellence of regular military forces is unattainable in the same degree by any species of force which can be employed; but, in the last session of Parliament, I professed an opinion, which I still maintain, that there are other kinds of force to which, as subsidiary to the regular force, and as composing a safe and efficient system of national defence, it is wise and proper to resort. Parliament itself, by sanctioning and regulating the volunteer system, adopted this principle; and if in the execution of that system, government have adhered to the policy which Parliament approved, and to the provisions it enacted, they must stand acquitted of all blame. On that subject, however, other parts of their conduct may be liable to censure. I was formerly, and still am of opinion, that to a regular army alone, however superior, however excellent, that to the regular army, even aided by the militia, we ought not solely to trust; but that in a moment so eventful, in a crisis so fall of danger, in a contest so singular in its character, and which perhaps maybe tedious in its duration, we ought to superadd to the regular army some permanent system of national defence, either to a certain degree compulsory, or formed upon the voluntary zeal and patriotism of the country itself. This ought to be resorted to as the grand source of domestic security. The army must be the rallying point; the army must furnish example, must afford instruction, must give us the principles on which that national system of defence must be formed, and by which the volunteer forces of this country, though, in a military view inferior to a regular army, would, fighting on their own soil, for every thing dear to individuals and important to a state, be invincible. Looking at the nature and probable turns of the contest in which we are engaged, I wish to see that system of defence employed, not merely for domestic security, but so matured and regulated, as not only to carry the volunteer corps to as high a degree of perfection as such bodies can be carried, but also to enable us to use the regular army in its full extent, in any way which circumstances might point out as eligible, either for annoying the enemy where they are assailable by our separate efforts, or on a large scale, should a prospect open for contributing to the deliverance of Europe from the oppression under which it groans, and for the reduction of that ambitions power, by which the peace of the world is disturbed.—Contemplating all these great and important objects, I cannot but rejoice that the volunteer system has been formed. I see nothing to complain of government for the extent to which it has been carried; neither do I complain that it has fallen short of what we could wish or expect. I wish only that in the provisions which were enacted, with regard to its extent, the numbers had been allotted with some relation to the local posi- tion and peculiar danger of the different parts of the country; I only wish that when it was fixed generally, that the volunteer force might be six times the number of the militia, a greater proportion had been assigned, or a facility had been reserved, of increasing it in the maritime counties; or in those most vulnerable and most exposed to the first attacks of the enemy. I am sorry that a different distribution was not adopted with reference to the grand object of resisting and repelling the attempt of invasion, in the first moment it should be made. I am confirmed by the opinions of much better judges than I can pretend to be of such a matter, that a much smaller force would be sufficient to harass or defeat the enemy on their first landing, than a much larger force, after they bad-landed and recovered from the effects of their voyage. Both, therefore, with regard to the economy of money, but with regard to a much more important economy—that of lives, it would have been desirable that the number of volunteers should have been increased and encouraged in proportion to the proximity to the coast, and to those points which are most liable to attacks. Such a distribution as to the means of defence would be more effectual, and much more desirable, on account of the object. Although the force as now allotted, might and would, when put in motion, be adequate to defeat the enemy's attempt, yet it would be painful to think that any progress should be made in the invasion of this country, and if the volunteers from the more distant parts should at last arrive to take their share in the victory, yet the greater the force that could immediately be brought to act, the sooner would the enemy be subdued, and the less should we have to regret the loss and the disgrace of our enemy fixing himself in the heart of our territory. But, on the other hand, wishing that no effort should be unemployed, that no means of safety should be neglected, I am desirous that while we make provision for meeting the enemy the moment be touches the British soil, prepared to repel him from our shores, to charge him. as soon as he ascends the beach, we ought likewise to be ready, in case of necessity, to meet him with fresh armies, to overpower him with fresh armies, and even if it should be requisite, to bring army after army against' him till he was finally discomfited. I, therefore, do not condemn the volunteer system, in the interior, in the utmost extent to which it has been carried: all I mean to say is, that it was calculated to be of great utility s and might have admitted a greater extension in those districts on which must fall the first struggle for the independence of the country.—Having said so much on the volunteer system in general, I come now to consider by what means it may be rendered not merely a nominal force, not a pompous display to alarm the enemy with the multitude we can draw out against them, not merely a number of men upon paper, but an efficient and permanent force, always improving, always approaching nearer to the perfection 6f a regular military establishment.—As far as can perceive from the estimates submitted 10 the House, and from the opening of the hon. gent., no provision is made for introducing any improvement into the volunteer system, or from securing greater benefits from it than we now obtain, or even for maintaining and securing those we already enjoy. Yet, with as much enthusiastic ardour for the volunteer institution, with as much admiration of the spirit and patriotism from which it sprung, as any man can boast, I must say that from all that I have seen, and all that I have heard from those most capable of observing and of judging, it does not appear to me that we should be doing justice to ourselves, that we should wisely and effectually avail ourselves of the means of safety within our reach, if we hesitated or delayed to render the volunteer system, what it is susceptible of being made, a system of solid, permanent defence, a source of great and extensive national energy.—Upon this part of the subject, I am afraid I must totally disagree with my right hon. friend. So far am from thinking that there has been any fault in endeavouring to introduce too much system into the volunteer institution, and to bring it near to the discipline and qualifications of a regular of my; that I think too little has been done to promote what I consider a most desirable object. I cannot agree with him, that the men who compose the volunteer corps Would be most usefully employed as a mass. If that were the case, all that Would be necessary would be enrolment, arras, and previous appointment of leaders. Even these, combined with the spirit and zeal of the brave people of this country might be ultimately sufficient to ensure us victory, but they would conquer amidst greater disadvantages, and at a greater expense. It was the object of the legislature, in the measures adopted last session for the public defence, to assist and to regulate the spirit and zeal of the country, and by the help and system of discipline and instruction to enable a smaller number to do that which a much larger number would hardly effect without them to enable them finally to prevail over' the assault of a foreign invader, with less ex- penditure of their own lives, and with less peril to the country.—From what I have observed, and from what I have heard of the state of the discipline of the Volunteers, I am more and more convinced, that in order to bring them to any considerable degree of discipline, they must be assembled it bodies, and that if they continue in companies they will make, but little comparative progress. It seems desirable, therefore, that, wherever it can be done, they should be formed into battalions. When that cannot be done, they ought to be formed and brought together into as numerous connected bodies as circumstances will permit, so as to have the benefit of inspection and discipline. It appears to me extremely desirable, therefore, that every battalion of volunteer should, in addition to its own officers, have the assistance of two officers of the service, one a. field officer and one an adjutant, to assist in the instruction and discipline of the corps. These officers should be considered as belonging to the army, and should in every respect enjoy their rank, pay, and other advantages, as it they were actually serving in the army. The expense of this arrangement would be considerable; But from what I know of the great superiority which a battalion, with the benefit of such officers, has over one trained under their own officers without such assistance, though with the utmost zeal and diligence, I am satisfied that the expense would be abundantly compensated by the perfection which the corps would attain. I do not know what the expense of allowing two officers of the description I have mentioned would be. At present I see no provision made for such an object. Neither do I know what proportion there is between the volunteer corps formed prior to the 3d Aug. and subsequent to that period; nor how many adjutants are allowed agreeably to the regulations now existing upon the subject. I should imagine, however, upon a conjectural view of the matter, that the whole expense of a field officer and adjutant for every battalion Would not exceed 160,000 or 180,000l. a year. Now this expense surely is trifling in comparison with rendering 350,000 an efficient and improving force. If the expenditure of such a sum were to contribute so materially to the efficiency of the volunteer force, no gentleman could hesitate to purchase, at so cheap a rate, this permanent and solid source of public security.—I confess, however, that though I consider this arrangement as of the first importance to the discipline and perfection of the volunteer corps, some farther regulations will be necessary, in order to obtain the fall benefit we desire. Even all the service which experienced officers could render, would be inadequate, if the number of days which the volunteers are by law required to drill, were to continue so limited as it is at present. I understand that the number of volunteers existing previous to the 3d Aug. is 40,000. Where pay is allowed to those accepted and embodied, since that period, it is allowed only for 20 days. All are agreed that this is not sufficient. Even government seem to be aware of this, for the condition of which one adjutant is allowed, is that the corps shall drill 84 days. But, surely, it is unreasonable to expect that these corps, which are to receive pay only for 20 days, shall drill 84, in order to entitle themselves to the advantages of an adjutant. Probably it would be right that some change in particulars should take place, and that the number of days in a year required for drill should be from 40 to 50 or perhaps 60 the first year, and 40 after. These, however, are points of detail to be afterwards considered, and do not affect the general principle of the measure I have thought it my duty to suggest to the committee.—If then it were deemed adviseable, as I have proposed, to increase the number of days for drill, and to allow pay for that additional number, 30 or 40 shillings more for each man would be required. The whole expense for officers and for additional pay, on the principles above stated, would probably not exceed 500,000l. per annum; out if it had the effect to render your volunteers an efficient force, and to form them into a subsidiary army, constantly improving in discipline, I am satisfied that it would be found the cheapest part of our military establishment.—If it should be necessary to detach the regular army on any foreign service, if the enemy were to effect a landing in Ireland, and should a large proportion of the regular army be required to expel them from that part of the empire, we could, without putting too much to hazard, rely on the discipline as well as courage of a national force so constituted. That it may be necessary to send a large proportion of the army on such service, we may judge by the experience we have had how near the enemy, notwithstanding the vigilance and the superiority of oar fleets, were effecting a landing in Ireland: and it is our duty to be prepared not only to guard against such accidents, but to avail ourselves of any favourable opportunity of turning our arms to the annoyance of the foe. No man relies more on the valour of Englishmen than I do, or estimates more highly what it is able to per- form; but respectable as the volunteers are, I should consider it rash and hazardous to trust solely to their exertions, constituted as they now are, should any emergency arise to oblige us to detach a great part of the regular army. I believe, however, that there is scarce a man who does not concur in thinking, that if any favourable opportunity were to arrive of carrying the war to the continent, if any prospect were to appear of rousing the spirit and supporting the exertions of those states that now bend abject submission to the despotism of France; if we could rekindle any hope of effecting the deliverance of Europe from the yoke under which it groans; in such objects the army of this country might be most usefully employed; in such undertakings it might gloriously co-operate. Circumstances may arise in which, perhaps, we might aid in various continental operations. Perhaps our arms might be instrumental in delivering his Majesty's electoral dominions from the grinding dominion of France; perhaps they might concur in wresting Holland from the same yoke, and might replace that system of Europe, at least in many points essential to our own safety, which the enemy has overthrown. Is it not of the utmost importance then, to prepare to act with vigonr and with effect, when these or similar opportunities present themselves? And if we have the means in our power of establishing system adequate to domestic security, and calculated to enable us to exert our strength in offensive operations, every man must admit that 500,000l. is a small expense compared with such signal advantages.—I own, therefore, that if these ideas are agreeable to the sense of the committee, I should rejoice to see them speedily carried into execution, that we may the sooner reap the fruits of them. We have now gone through that part of the year, in which the danger of an attack on our own shores was most likely to take place; and when the ports of Holland are locked by the season, there seems to be less probability of the attempt of invasion being made upon England for some months. We should not, however, act as if the danger were wholly blown over, and the attempt wholly abandoned. We should in this interval diligently apply ourselves to complete our means of defence, so that in the spring we may command every speices of security, which the resources of the country are calculated to afford. If it be the opinion of the House, that officers should be assigned to the different volunteer battalions, the sooner it is done the better, that they may have time to form acquaintance with the officers with whom they would have to act, and the men they would have to command, before the season for military operation returns I should wish, therefore, that even this night, at least before the recess, the House should pass a vote for carrying this object into effect, I am the more urgent for this, because it appears to be the only object connected with the Estimates that rails for oar immediate attention. Other points may be reserved for future discussion, but if Parliament separates without making provision for the expenses which the objects I have pointed out will require, there will be no opportunity of making up for the time which must thus be lost in carrying the plan into execution.—But even in addition to this improvement on the volunteer system, it will necessary, in order to give it due effect, that it should be accompanied with some new regulations of detail, the purpose of which will be to keep up the number of the volunteers to their full amount, to ensure punctuality of attendance, to promote steadiness, attention, and soldierly habits, and, though without putting the corps under martial law, provide for that obedience and discipline requisite to form the military character. Looking forward, as I am afraid we must, to the long duration of the present contest, it is of the utmost importance to prepare a system of defence, which will be commensurate to the necessity of our situation, and adequate to every purpose, both of defensive and offensive war. We have already seen what exertions, what sacrifices, the people of this country are ready to make, tinder the guidance of parliament, under the impulse of zeal for its honour and independence, under a sense of the danger wish which the are threatened. This zeal and this spirit, prompting such generous and unanimous efforts, may perhaps induce the enemy to abandon the project which he has presumptuously conceived and rashly proclaimed perhaps, after viewing us on every side after reconnoitring our position, he may be forced virtually to admit that we are unassailable. Perhaps, he may apparently abandon his designs; but we must not suffer ourselves to be lulled into a fatal security. We must not relax our efforts, or intermit Oar preparations, while any measure of wise precaution remains to be adopted. We must take care that the enemy shall not do, by surprize, what he finds he cannot do when he has given us warning. Indeed we are not to expect that after the force of the country has been let down, the enemy will always be so confident and so indiscreet as to give us ten months previous notice of the attack which he meditates. If, upon the apparent abandonment of the project of invasion, the people of this country were to indulge themselves in congratulation on their escape, there is some danger that the spirit which has I proved our safety would subside, and these efforts be relaxed. The volunteer system might thus moulder away. It is necessary, therefore, to give it that consistency and vigour which will keep it alive when the pressure which first produced it has subsided. Thus, even were the enemy suddenly to resume his design, we should be round prepared to meet and to defeat the enterprize.—It is the duty of the House, therefore, to devise means for attaining this end. The House, thinking for the people and providing for their welfare, will adopt suitable measures, to give permanent system to this measure of defence, instead of trusting that the pint of the people will supersede the duties of the government. Let us be or: our guard that no temporary or apparent abandonment of the meditated attack shall induce us to disarm. It would be advisable, that whenever the volunteers become too few in any district, the compulsory act of last session for calling out and disciplining the people, should be put in force. Care must be taken likewise that the volunteers shall fulfil the intention of the legislature in their efficiency as well as number. Regulations must be established by summary fines to secure attendance, and provisions made for enforcing discipline and inducing military habits. Exemptions should not be allowed but where these conditions are complied with, and no person should be allowed to withdraw from a corps without permission of the commander, or without finding a substitute of proper military age. These points I merely hint at, as they are matters of detail that may be afterwards discussed, and are less pressing than those to which I have. particularly called the immediate attention of the Committee. If I am right, however, in my general ideas respecting the allowance of officers to volunteer corps, the execution of this measure admits of no delay. I am strongly inclined, therefore, to move a resolution for granting 500,000l for this object.—Before I sit down, I wish to say a few words respecting the exemptions to which volunteers are entitled. It appears that what is understood to be the law on this subject is not what the legislature intended. As the law stands, however, no exemption is allowed unless the person claiming it produces a certificate that he has attended 24 drills previous to the 21st of Sept. But there are many who have attended twice that number of drills without having such a certificate, and therefore would be subject to the ballot. If any doubt remains as to the exemptions, it is hut right that the legislature should pass an act clearing it up, that those who were influenced by the prospect of exemptions, which they conceived were held out to them, may not have cause to complain that they were deceived by the ambiguity of the acts of parliament. There is another point. The law says, that to entitle to exemption the volunteers claiming it must have been exercised with arms; yet in some places it was impossible to procure arms; nor am I surprised at it, considering the great and sudden demand for supplying the Army of Reserve and the great number of volunteers throughout the country. Yet, in such cases, it surely would be unreasonable to refuse the exemption when the claimants had actually learnt many very important, and perhaps some of the most tedious parts of discipline without arms. It surely would be hard, then, that people in this situation should be liable, to the ballot during the Christmas holidays, when by the spirit of the Acts of Parliament, they ought perhaps, in preference to others, to be exempted.—These few observations I have thought it ray duty to submit to the Committee, feeling a most anxious wish to avoid every topic that could interfere with the consideration of what is necessary to the public defence, and at ill same time desirous to direct your attention to those points most essential to it. The subject of the Sea Fencibles has been alluded to, and I think has been misunderstood by my Right Hon. Friend. Upon this head I may be allowed to speak with sense confidence, as, from local situation. I have bad an opportunity of examining it with care, if the sea fencibles were composed of men liable to serve in the navy, the objections to it would be well founded; but this is not the case. They are composed of seafaring men, it is true, but chiefly pilots and others, obliged, not merely by their own pursuits, but by their importance to the commercial interests of their country, to remain at the places of their residence. These men are intended to man the boats which have been prepared for the defence of the coast, and only armed with pikes in situations where they could not act with any other weapons. Indeed, I wish that the Admiralty had displayed more diligence in preparing those vessels which the sea fencibles were intended to man. This species of force will, I am confident, be found of the utmost utility in case of any attempt to invade our shores, and will evince the same superiority over the flotillas of France, which the other branches of our navy have evinced over the maritime force of the enemy; and when brought to trial will neither disappoint the hopes, nor lower the character of the country.

Mr. Secretary Yorke

observed, that the right hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt) had urged the necessity of voting more money than was now proposed for the service of the volunteers, in order to make them, as he advised, more perfect, by means of the addition of a field officer and an adjutant; and he had stated his conviction, that this 'would have a very good effect. He wished with the right hon. gent, that this important force should be made as complete as the nature of it was capable, consistently at the same time with necessary economy. But he could not I help observing on that subject, that time would be necessary to consider this matter before it should be adopted. In all the corps adjutants were allowed pay; but it could not be contended that they should be allowed pay for the whole year, if they had to attend only 84 days, as stated by the right hon. gent., and government should not rashly run into this sort of expense. The last act of Parliament made upon this subject provides, that the volunteer corps should be subject to such regulations as his Majesty should think fit to make, and the compulsory clause in the act for calling out the mass, might be referred to as occasion should require. He observed, that although 20 days pay was to be allowed to those who had been trained for 20 days, yet they were not to be allowed it unless they had been trained and exercised on the Sunday preceding. And most of the volunteer corps had been exercised 40 and 50 days, and many of them much more. Now, all the volunteer corps had not only adjutants upon their establishment, but they were entitled to pay, yet they were not entitled to pay until called out; and upon the principle of economy, he did not think that government would be justified in granting them permanent pay, unless their attention to the station was permanent. It could not be expected that they should receive pay for the whole year, for 84 days, any more than for 40 or for 20 days. He thought, however, that what was stated by the right hon. gent. deserved great consideration. He said he wished to be careful of incurring great expense: he did not say it was an expense that ought not to be incurred, although the price was stated to be 500,000l. It certainly was not absolutely necessary to be voted to-night, because the present resolution proposed to the Committee, if adopted as it stood, would not preclude the other from being adopted afterwards; for it might be voted at anytime, as a sum of money on account of the volunteer service, and that, if necessary, might be very easily granted; but (hat would be improper now, not only because it was not clear that the plan was eligible, although he did not say it was not, but also because the expense of the volunteer corps, as it stands at present, is not yet well ascertained; for these reasons he should hope that the right hon. gent, would not persist in this plan for the present. With regard to the advice of the right hon. gent, with respect to the maritime counties, that they should have a larger proportion of volunteers than the inland counties, it had been already adopted, he did not know whether to the full extent or in exact proportion that they ought to be in each particular instance, but certainly to a very considerable extent. In Devonshire, for instance, there were not less than 12,000, exclusive of Plymouth and the Dock. The same might be said of Portsmouth. As to Kent, there was a difference of opinion; it appeared, however, that from 10 to 11,000 had been raised there, beside those of the Cinque Ports, some of which were in Sussex, as the Committee knew, but in all they amounted to 5,000 men; so that the volunteers in the county of Kent were not less than 15,000 men. This, he apprehended, would show the Committee that the maritime counties in the South of the island had been allowed to raise volunteers, in a manner suitable to the distinction stated by the right hon. gent. So again in the counties of Cumberland and Durham, and those that extended to that part of the coast, there was a greater number of volunteers raised than in other counties; not that the inland counties were scanty, but the maritime counties were abundant in the number of volunteers.—Now, on the subject of exemptions, it was a subject on which he should not enter into detail: there had been doubts entertained, and these doubts arose out of the act of Parliament; some of which doubts, he could not help saying, were occasioned by those who had not read the bill. Some of these points he had stated.—However, if these doubts were so considerable as he apprehended them to be, it would be proper, even before the recess, that a bill should be brought in to remove those doubts. He then proceeded to explain what he understood to be the operation of the army of reserve, as it bore on the subject alluded to, by those who hail already spoken, and then repeated, that as he understood a considerable number of gentlemen wished to have the matter of exemp- tion of the volunteer corps better explained titan it is at present, he should propose to bring in a bill for that purpose, and observed, that he should propose it before the recess; for he thought it essential to remove doubts upon that subject.

Mr. Windham

explained what he meant in that part of his speech which adverted to sea fencibles, to refer only to the places in which they were to be employed; all he wanted was, that they should be employed in proper places, and for proper purposes.

Mr. T. Grenville

was surprised that his right hon. friend and relation (Mr. Pitt) had thought it was only expedient at this time, to take a prospective view of public affairs; he considered the present as the natural and fit occasion, not only for examining the military arrangements which government proposed prospectively to adopt, but also for examining what use ministers had made of those powers, which, in a former session, were entrusted to them by Parliament. He did not think any thing said by the right hon. gent, opposite to him (Mr. Yorke) such an answer to the objection of his right hon. friend as to have called on him, or any other of those who embraced his sentiments, to make any observations on the present occasion, had it not been from what fell from his right hon. relation (Mr. Pitt). With every wish to agree in any opinion expressed by that right hon. relative, he could not bring his mind to concur in the sentiments which had fallen from him that night. He thought his right hon. friend had taken a contracted view of the subject. No evidence was before the House of the volunteers being at all in a state of becoming effective. How then could it be argued, that they could ever become so completely effective as to prove a substitute for our regular army? It was not, perhaps, common to give an account to the House of the amount of the regular army. It was easy, however, for any gentleman, comparing the statement of the Sec. of State with the other known branches of our military establishment, to know what that force actually was. The whole was stated by the Sec. at War to amount to 120,000. By subtracting the militia we could at once see the amount of our regular force. The militia was 70,000, which being deducted from the whole regular force, as stated by gentlemen themselves, there remained 50,000. In this number, it was necessary to observe, the army of reserve was comprehended. Was it possible, then, to conceive that such was the force of the regular army of this country?—But he did not wish to stand on any small ground of objection. It was known pretty well what was the state of our regular force in March last, at the commencement of hostilities. The inadequate state of our military preparation, he at that time thought a charge of a serious nature against government. But, if it was then regarded as a crime, that the regular force of this country only amounted to 20 or 25,000, what were we to think of the energy or exertion of that government, which, in the space of eight months, during which every nerve ought to have been stretched to render our situation more suitable to the danger which threatened us, had increased that force only from 8 to 10,000 men; and who had, in the mean-time, been compelling every man to enter into a military service of a different nature, to the destruction of that service, which it was their bounden duty to encourage and support. He had heard from his right hon. relation, that doubts were entertained as to the exemption from the army of reserve in favour of volunteers, and he was still more surprised to hear from a right hon. gent, in administration, that such exemption actually existed. He knew that, in the part of the country with which he was best acquainted, the greater part of the volunteers had been enrolled under the express explanation that they were liable to the ballots under the existing acts. It was only represented to them, that as every person must serve, it might be more agreeable to them to serve in their own particular district, or in any particular corps, than to be drafted into the general levy. This exemption was the very cause of the deficiency of the army of reserve; it seemed, therefore, rather remarkable that it should be conferred on persons enrolled under the express understanding that they were not to be entitled to it. Thus were we destroying our regular establishment, and putting the death-blow to that force which had lately gained such laurels to themselves and to their country! While we pretended to be inviting continental alliances, we were depriving ourselves of the means of profiting by them. The army of reserve he could not view as equal to the militia. They were subject to be drafted into other corps, and therefore their officers could never feel that military pride in them which was indispensable in an effective force. The discouragements, too, which the extraordinary bounties given in the army of reserve must have thrown on the recruiting for the regulars, was beyond calculation; and the army of reserve being raised by such immense bounties, must interfere with the recruiting in the regular army; and, besides this, he conceived the army of reserve and those of the regulars to be a very improper mixture, for this reason, that one man who had received a bounty of 8l. or 10l. and who was bound to go to any part of the world, and to continue in the service for life, would have another by his side who had received 50l. bounty, and who was not bound to go out of this island, nor to continue his services longer than the present war. The one of these would naturally laugh at the other. With regard to the act for regulating volunteers, it was so defective, that many very cruel hardships were fell by volunteers. He stated the case of some volunteers who had exercised sixteen days without arms. The lord lieutenant advised them not to train any more until they had arms; for that otherwise they would lose the benefit of the act, which required that they should have been trained with arms for a part of this time. They accordingly desisted for the four days waiting for arms, but they got none. In the mean-time, they were ballotted in for the militia, and when they claimed their exemption as volunteers, they could not be exempted: thus they lost their exemptions, not by any act of their own, but by the act of government. This shewed the absolute necessity of revising this act. Mr. Grenville concluded by observing, that if government do not take some means to place the regular army of the country upon an effective system, instead of applying themselves to the increase of the volunteer force, much as he respected those corps, yet he must feel the House would not do its duty if it rested contented with a force merely to assist a regular army at home.

Lord Castlereagh.

—I perfectly concur in the opinion, with which the right hon. gent, who spoke last (Mr. Grenville) has opened his speech; "that the present is the natural and fit occasion, not only for examining the military arrangement, which government proposes prospectively to adopt, but also for examining what use ministers have made of those powers which, in a former session, were entrusted to them by Parliament;" nor should I be disposed to complain that another right hon. gent. (Mr. Windham) should have questioned upon the present occasion the policy of that system of measures, to which the sanction of Parliament was formerly given, did not the review which he has taken of that system, appear to me not so much calculated to guide our policy hereafter, as most unjustly to depreciate and disparage the various efforts, which the country has made for its security, and to deny to all, except the troops enlisted for general service, the share of merit and value which fairly belongs to them in a military point of view.—In examining the use government ha made of the powers vested in them by Parliament, I am perfectly prepared to admit, that more ample means were never afforded to any former ministers; that no former occasion called for equal exertions; and, that in no period of our history had the government a people more willing to answer every call upon their exertions, or one more eager to make every sacrifice for the public safety I think it is but fair, that the conduct of government should be tried, as the right hon. gent. has proposed, with reference to the time they have had to act, to the means afforded them, and to the temper of the country, under which those means were to be employed. But, before I state shortly to the Committee what the King's ministers have accomplished for the defence of the country since Parliament last separated, I am anxious to rescue the military system, then decided upon, from two imputations, which the right hon. gent. (Mr. Windham) appears to me very unjustly to have thrown? upon it.—The first is, "that the measure of the army of reserve and the high bounties resulting therefrom, have essentially crippled, if not destroyed, the recruiting of men for general service," in considering which, the right hon. gent, recurs to his former suggestion of ballotting men for general service, denying to persons so ballotted the option of serving by substitutes. I am not disposed at present to argue the expediency of a measure of such extreme rigour. I wish only now to state what has been the effect upon the recruiting service of that measure, which he so much condemns. It appears, that out of 35,000men, already raised for the army of reserve, 7,500 have entered for general service. It is to be observed, that this number has entered in a period of less than two months, the enlisting Slaving commenced only in the beginning of Oct. and having been suspended, with a view to the better discipline of this force, since the 1st. Dec. The hon. gent, will therefore find, that this measure, which he describes as so fatal to the recruiting service, has in the short space of two months produced nearly as many men for general service as had been obtained in the preceding year, by the ordinary mode of recruiting, even at that period, when neither the militia nor the army of reserve were in progress.—The right hon. gen. very naturally conceives, that the high bounty must have altogether suspended the ordinary mode of recruiting; but here again experience is pre- ferable to theory, and we find, that although the number of recruits so raised has been of late diminished, as I understand, about one-third, yet it has by no means had the effect, at least not in the extent which has been attributed to it by the right hon. gent, of injuring the ordinary recruiting service.—The next material objection urged against the system, is with respect to the volunteers. After depreciating the efficiency of that important branch of our public force, and giving the preference to an armed peasantry, unorganised and undisciplined, it is said, that the present force is not only bed in itself, but that it locks up a large proportion of our military population, and deprives us of their services for many more useful purposes.—This objection I must positively deny. The exemptions granted to the volunteers, without doubt, make the ballot both for the militia and the army of reserve fall more severely upon persons not enrolled in these corps; and as we know that, in point of fact, few ballotted men ever serve in person, it certainly operates as an increase of tax upon those who are not thus enrolled; but in what shape can this be said to lock up any part of our population, so as to interfere with their becoming regular soldiers? Is there any thing to prevent a man serving in a volunteer corps from entering into the militia, or the regular army? Is it not, on the contrary, an ascertained fact, that any description of military service ripens and prepares the feelings of men for one more extended? It must then appear evident, that however it may shift the question of expense, in providing substitutes, from one class of the community to another, yet, so far from narrowing the amount of substitutes to be procured, it has the directly contrary effect, inasmuch as it cannot fail to infuse a military spirit into many men, whose minds would never otherwise have received the same direction.—Having, I trust, removed the main objections that have been urged against the system itself, I wish to state to the Committee what has been the result of it, as administered by his Majesty's minsters, and to afford them a general outline of the means of defence that have already been provided, under the heads of army, navy, and ordnance.—In stating the present military force, it appears most satisfactory, to combine the whole number, of every description, at present subsisting in Great-Britain and Ireland. The gross force naturally divides itself into troops on permanent pay, and those liable to service in the event of invasion. Of the first description there are at present in Great-Britain and in the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, 130,000 men; and in Ireland, 50,000 men, making in the whole 180,000 rank and file. The right hon. gent. who spoke last (Mr. Grenville) seems to have been impressed with an idea that, of this force, but a very small proportion was disposeable for general service, and he attempted to prove to the committee, that we had not the means, if a favourable opportunity presented it; self for offensive operations, of furnishing? an adequate force for that purport:. To prove this, he supposed the militia quite complete, and deducting the whole number to which that force may by law be carried, he thereby diminishes the real amount of the disposeable force.—I can, however, have no objection to state distinctly the actual composition of the 180,000 rank and file, of which the army of the United Kingdom at home at present consists. The effective rank and file of the militia in Great-Britain and Ireland amount to 84,000 men; the regular force to 96,000,'of which 27,000 are for limited service, and 69,000 at this moment disposeable for general service, in whatever proportion circumstances may render it prudent so to apply them.—The next great feature of our military strength is the volunteer force, of which there are at present in Great-Britain, accepted and arrayed, 340,000 men, and in Ireland 70,000, making a total of 410,000 rank and file in the United Kingdom, to which must be added, as connected with our defence on shore, though also applicable to service afloat, the sea fencibles, exceeding 25,000 men he gross force of rank and file, at present on foot, is therefore as follows: army in the field 180,000; volunteers 410,000; sea fencibles 25,000; total rank and file 615,000, adding thereto officers, non-commissioned officers and drummers. The gross force in Great-Britain and Ireland (exclusive of various other auxiliary means of defence) amounts to not less than 700,000 men, and with respect to the more regular part of this army, namely, that which is kept constantly in the field, it may be considered as applicable, without any deduction, to meet the enemy, as it will be relieved by the other descriptions of force from those detailed services which in general occasion so serious a deduction from the fighting men of an army, whilst the efficiency of the volunteer corps is such as may fully qualify them, if the occasion should require it, not only to co operate, in their due proportion, with the regular army, but to be brought into the line immediately opposed to the enemy.—I am aware it may be said, that but a proportion of this force is at present armed. Whatever delicacy may usually belong to subjects of this nature, I feel no disposition, and see no reason why I should conceal from the country, in this or in any other respect, its true situation. Of the force in Ireland, consisting of 120,000 men, the whole is armed, and means are provided for arming, without delay, a still greater number of volunteers. Of the 495,000 men at present in Great-Britain, there are armed as follow?: Army in the field 130,000, volunteers 220,000, sea fencibles 25,000–375,000. Remaining to be armed with muskets 120,000–495,000.—Of the latter, however, a very considerable number are at this moment provisionally armed with pikes, nearly 80,000 having been already issued from the ordnance. It is further to be remarked, that although the distribution of arms has been, in the first instance, directed, so as to complete the corps of the metropolis, and the counties on the coast, there has been issued, at the same time, such a proportion of arms to the corps of the interior, as was deemed sufficient for the purposes of immediate instruction, and arrangements have been made, which will enable the government to arm from the larger depôts of arms still unissued, and which are daily augmenting, whatever proportion of this force it may be found expedient, under any emergency, to assemble for service.—Such is the present state of our army; that of our navy is not less calculated to inspire confidence, and to ensure the public safety, as far as security can be accomplished by naval means. Without entering into a minute detail of the several classes of ships, of which that navy is at this moment composed, enough lo state to the Committee, that the number of ships of war at present amounts to 469, and that in aid of the regular navy, and for the purposes of coast defence, an armed flotilla, to the extent of 800 craft of all descriptions, is nearly completed, and further surveys are in progress for extending that number.—It must be gratifying to perceive the voluntary exertions of the country displayed not less strongly in the naval than in the land defence, and although the exertions of other portions of the community, too numerous to admit of specification, are equally to be admired, it is impossible not to allude to the dis- tinguished example which has been given upon the present occasion by the East-India company, and the corporation of the Trinity House: no armed ships have been furnished for the public service by the former, and 10 frigates have been manned by the latter for the defence of the Thames, which, in aid of its other ample naval defences, may be considered as rendering that important part of our frontier, absolutely impenetrable.—When the committee reflect on the naval means which the country at this moment possesses, and when they compare (hem with any means of annoyance which the enemy can command, although it can never induce them to trust the protection of the country exclusively to that description of force, which must depend in some degree upon an uncertain element for its means of acting, yet they must feel that they have every thing to hope, as the enemy have every thing to dread, from the exertions of our navy.—It would be injustice not to notice, with the praise that belongs to it, the distinguished share which the ordnance department has borne in the execution of the present armament. In the habits of providing for a military system upon a scale altogether dissimilar to that upon which the wisdom of Parliament has thought it expedient at present to act, the ordnance has been prepared to meet, almost at the outset of the war, the unparalleled demands that have been made upon it. Since the commencement of hostilities, there have been issued by the ordnance 312,000 muskets, 16,000 pistols, and 77,000 pikes, reserving in store such an amount of arms, as, in the event of a campaign, may be sufficient to meet the waste on service of so extended an army, whilst measures have been taken, which will enable it, at no distant period, completely to arm the whole of the volunteers.—The field train, which was fully adequate in the last war to the force then employed, is, in Great-Britain alone, already increased from 346 to 648 pieces of ordnance, completely appointed, and brigaded under experienced officers. The horses attached to the same have been increased from 3,300 to 5,900, and the drivers from 1,400 to 3,000. The quantity of moveable ammunition with each gun has also been nearly doubled. The made-up ammunition for small arms, both distributed and in store, has been increased even in a greater degree, and the general provision of stores in all the other branches is equally abundant. Corresponding exertions have been made for the service of Ireland.—I have thus detailed to the Committee the actual state of defence, in which the country has been placed, during the first seven months of the war. Looking to the aggregate, in army, navy, and ordnance, I venture to put it to the feelings of the Committee, whether his Majesty's ministers have slept upon their post or failed in their duty to the public. I am not disposed to contrast what has been done with the result of any former exertions made in any former war, for I am perfectly ready to admit that the exigency is as unexampled as the facilities of every description which the government has experienced from the nation; but I am desirous of putting it fairly to the Committee (admitting the extent of our resources, and the disposition to place them at the disposal of government, which perhaps never existed in an equal degree at any former period) whether they have not been called forth with diligence, with rapidity, and with effect. I may, without presumption, speak with the less reserve upon this subject, as the department entrusted to my care, although it subjects me to an equal share of responsibility with the rest of my colleagues, entitles me certainly to no participation in the praise which belongs to the successful execution of these measures. I have therefore felt myself called upon, in justice towards the persons who preside, at this important crisis,' over the great military departments of the King's government, to state what I have done, and thereby to discharge a debt of gratitude, which I owe to them, in common with the country.—Having said thus much on the past military system and measures of the King's government, I should not satisfy either my own feelings or discharge the duty which I owe to the public, if I did not express those sentiments with respect to the future, which are deeply impressed on my own mind; and, first, as to the improvement of the force now in existence, and in particular, of the volunteers. Although unprepared at this moment to express any opinion upon the detailed suggestions, which have fallen from my right hon. friend (Mr Pitt) vet I have no hesitation in concurring with him as a general principle, in the expediency of improving, as far as may be consistent with a reasonable attention to economy, the discipline and efficiency of these corps. I also concur entirely with my right hon. friend in opinion, that it is not the apparent abandonment by the enemy of their menaces of invasion, or even the failure of any attempt which they may make upon our coast, which should induce us to relax in the vigilance and exertions, to which alone, in tunes like these, the safety of the country can in prudence be entrusted. Were even a peace, of that description, which in wisdom we ought to conclude, within our immediate reach (and that such a peace may yet be very remote, who will be so so sanguine as to deny?) we have seen enough of the temper and spirit of the councils which pervade the rest of Europe; we have had such experience of the age in which we live, as can leave us no alternative in true wisdom, but to place the security of these realms, in peace as in war, upon such a basis of internal strength, as shall for ever lay the question of invasion at rest. To such a system alone can we look for the preservation of peace itself, The liberties which have descended to us from our ancestors, and the unexampled and accumulating prosperity which has crowned our own labours and industry, whilst they furnish us with the most ample means of providing for the public safety, have already drawn, and will continue to draw upon us the jealousy and malignity of the enemy. Feelings of this nature can only be met and controuled by demonstrating to him, that our strength, whether in peace or in war, is such, as to render his views hopeless He may then perhaps learn to respect what he cannot hope to destroy, He may be the more disposed to leave us at peace, when he is taught how little he can effect in war. Whatever may be the exertions, and whatever may be the sacrifices connected with such a course of policy, these the sound sense and persevering character of the British nation will, I am confident, prepare them chearfully to encounter. They will, for their own tranquillity, as well as for their own safety, determine to be no less distinguished in arms, than in commerce and in freedom. The public safety must henceforward be confide to the manly energies of the country; and we may then hope that the British oak will continue to flourish for ages to come, a proud monument, that as a nation we have had the virtue to defend those blessings, which under the favour of Providence we so eminently enjoy.

Mr. Fox.

—I do not rise, Sir, to enter into a discussion of all the points that have this night been touched upon in the course of the debate; they are all, no doubt, of high importance, and deserve a distinct and full consideration. But I shall now abstain, as much as possible, from every topic that is not necessarily connected with the subject more immediately before the Committee. I shall first, however, make a few observations on the gloomy presages, the melancholy descriptions with which the noble lord who just sat down, has thought proper to conclude his speech. The noble lord has stated, that, in his opinion, the present war is likely to have a lone continuance, and every body knows how much of the wishes and designs of men enter into the composition of their opinions; however, he has argued, as if the expenditure of the country mast be increased, just in proportion to the degree of prosperity which it may at any time enjoy, and, that our prosperity renders it necessary for us to become a military nation; in a word, that the present military arrangements are to be permanent, and that they are to "grow with our growth and strengthen without strength," with all the expense and incumbrances that accompany them. Of this, according to the noble lord, our prosperity is the cause; if so then, our prosperity is productive of a great misfortune; but, I shall not dwell longer on this singular opinion, farther than to say, that it holds out a very afflicting prospect to the country. A right hon. gent. under the gallery (Mr. Piti) has stated, that we should not mix any other consideration with the business of this night, and that we are not to advert to the past, but 10 take care for the future, and vote the supply, without adverting to the use that has been made of former grants for a similar purpose. But I am not of the same opinion with that right hon. gent. that a retrospect of the past does not form as properly the subject for examination on this day, as any speculation upon or provision for the futures indeed, I do not see how the latter is to be justly considered, if we put out of oar view all recollection of the former. If we determine to forget the past we literally determine not to profit; by experience; but, as I said before, shall nut take the right hon. gentleman's advice. The noble lord has reviewed the conduct of his colleague, since the last session, but I shall go farther back. I shall refer to the proceedings of ministers at the time the measures which have been commented upon this evening were proposed, and discussed. The right hon. gentlemen say this night, in reply to the arguments of the right hon. gent, on the same bench with me (Mr, Windham), with which arguments most perfectly concur, that their system was at the period I allude to approved of by Parliament. But even so, is that a fit objection to the disapprobation now expressed of that system. Since that system originated, the House has had the advantage of experience to judge of its nature and effects, and is that experience in its favour? How shall we form any fair opinion of it but from that experience; and yet the right hon. gent, under the gallery (Mr. Pitt) would, if his opposition to any retrospect were attended to, entirely preclude us from consulting that criterion. In ail points of legislation, it is our obvious duty to consider the mode in which the laws are to be executed; but, in the point which relates to the system now under discussion, this manner of execution is the principal tiling. We have heard that the machinery of this system was bad, and certainly, in my opinion, nothing could be worse, except the views which induced the proposition of it. And shall it then be said, that although the machinery has been found, from universal experience, to be so very exceptionable, the system is still to go on, truly, because Parliament, in the course of last session, approved of it; but the period which bas since elapsed, has proved that it is not calculated to promote the object ministers profess to have in view, namely, the vigorous prosecution of the war. These remarks I mean principally to apply to the system of the volunteers, which forms the most prominent feature in the present debate, and the question with respect to which has been put on very fair grounds by the right hon. gent, on the same bench with me, (Mr. Windham) and with all whose sentiments on the subject I entirely agree. That right hon. gent, stated, that he considered that in the present crisis the defence of the country would be better consulted, and the attack of the enemy better provided for, by the increase of our regular land force, than by the embodying of so many volunteers. He also stated, that the volunteers were rather so many men with-held from our effective force, than so many added to it. He did not, however, say any such thing as that which was ascribed to him by the noble lord, that the regulars were the only army which he would recommend to be raised in the present situation of affairs, but that the description of troops he would propose to be added to the regular army, would be very different from that which the volunteer system had collected. That the patriotic feeling and the martial ardour which the volunteers have manifested entitled them to the highest praise, no man could doubt; but the sentiment of the right hon gent, and mine also is, that this ardour might be much better directed and much better employed in another way. How differently, however, does this right hon. gent, and the right hon. gent, under the gallery (Mr. Pitt) consider this institution, and the manner in which it may and ought to be used for the public safety. Though the views of both are distinct, yet both agree in thinking the volunteers, according to their present constitution, exceedingly imperfect. The right hon. gent, on the same bench with me does not deny that, even as they now stand, they may be useful, but maintains that a greater degree of utility might be derived from the same men under a different system; that they are not an adequate substitute for the regular army, nor lit to act with them. The right hon. gent, under the gallery considers the volunteers as laying the foundation of a future military association, upon which the country might be able to rely for its defence, in case it should become advisable, in the course of the war, to send all our disposable force out of the country. What men who, according to the letter of the act, are only required to submit to twenty days discipline in the course of the year, in order to exempt them from being ballotted for the militia, and to shelter them from regular service and martial law, to be reckoned upon as likely to become, in any reasonable time, qualified to supply the place of a regular army, and to have the safety of the country committed to their protection! Really I do not fully understand the meaning of the right hon. gent, on this point. It seems to be his view, that the volunteers are hereafter to be converted into something like a disposable regular force. Such a thing is not within the contemplation of the bill upon which the volunteer system is grounded. I certainly do not so understand it; and I am fully sure that the members of the volunteer associations do not by any means so understand it. I should wish to know the sentiments of his Majesty's ministers upon this question. Last session it was understood that the volunteers were to be drilled only on Sundays, in order that the progress of their discipline should not interfere with their respective avocations. This is a collateral circumstance, but is yet material to the point in view; because, if it were the object of the framers of the bill to make the volunteers, within any reasonable time, convertible into an efficient force, they undoubtedly would, as they ought, to have prescribed that much more time should be devoted to the learning of military discipline; in fact, that no time should be lost. But, according to the original principle of the bill, the volunteers were not in any case to go into the army, that is, to enter into the regular regiments as regular soldiers. I agree with the right hon. gent, under the gallery, that the volunteers should be allowed pay for such days as they are called upon to attend drill, for it would be extremely unfair to admit the idea, that industrious men of family should be expected, from patriotism, to devote so much of their time to military service for the public good, without any pecuniary compensation; although I cannot, comprehend clearly, and where I can comprehend cannot approve, the other remarks he made upon the subject. I should be glad, indeed, to hear in what light those remarks are regarded by ministers, by whom the generality of the observations of the right hon. gent, on the same bench with me (Air. Windbam) seem to be quite misconceived; and I am the more anxious that those observations should be clearly represented, as they happen to be so expressive of the opinions that I myself hold. The right hon. gent. did notsay, as the noble lord stated and argued upon, that the volunteers formed a force that was locked up from the public use; but that many of those who might have composed the necessary increase of the regular army were locked up in the institution; and so they are, by the exemptions which volunteers enjoyed from being ballotted for the militia or the army of reserve. This was the complaint of the right hon. gent, and it is mine Another right hon. gent, on the same bench with me (Mr. T. Grenville) has observed, that no recruits are likely to enter into the army from the volunteer corps. It does not appear to me desirable that such a thing should be sought for. I hope it can never be in the contemplation of any man to use any compulsion for such purpose, towards those who have entered into volunteer corps, under the express understanding which the bill contains. The honour of the country, and the character of the legislature, forbid it. I trust that in no event will an attempt be made to seduce the volunteers to enlist, because such an attempt would be a violation of the terms upon which they became volunteers: and I am pretty sure that no man has entered into those associations, under the idea that he was at any time to be transferred to a regular regiment; and, from the rank in life which she generality of the volunteers hold, any effort to recruit the army from among them would be attended with very inconsiderable success, if any. Indeed, I do not at all like the idea, as it is inconsistent with the nature of the engagements as they understood it upon entering into the volunteer corps. Whatever I may think of the insti- tution, I wish the members of it to be treated with the utmost respect and attention, as I most sincerely applaud the zeal by which they are actuated; but I can never persuade myself to believe that they are ever likely to answer the expectations of the right hon. gent, under the gallery, even if they were to be drilled 50 days in the year, as the right hon. gent, desired. In what time, I would ask, considering the ordinary habits of the volunteer corps, would they be capable of filling the place which the right hon. gent, would assign them? Certainly not in the next year or the following. Would it be prudent to place the safety of the country under the protection, at any time of war, of a body of volunteers not subject to martial law, nor inured to military discipline? If the rumour of invasion, which, by the by, I never thought so likely to be attempted, and if attempted not so practicable as most people seem to imagine, were to blow over, would the right hon. gent, under the gallery, or any other gentleman, venture to advise the sending of our regular army on any foreign expedition, and depend entirely on the volunteers for our safety against any attack of the enemy on our coast? If in such a case invasion should be actually undertaken, there would, I think, be serious ground for apprehension and alarm. From these considerations I deduce an opinion correspondent to that of the right hon. gent, on the same bench with me, that the machinery of the volunteer system is bad; and that the present system is never likely to produce such a force, even with the aid of that right hon. gentletleman's (Mr. Pitt) utmost ability, as he professes to entertain a hope of. I am persuaded that the volunteers will not answer to act with the regular army in the field of battle, opposed to the enemy's troops, as they are at present constructed, nor to form the ground work of such a force as the right hon. gent, under the gallery has alluded to. I should have no objection to a general armament of the people under any circumstances when the country was in danger. But the volunteers, in the light which I view them, cannot be considered as an arming of the people. If they are to be so considered they are in numbers quite too weak; but if they are to be regarded as the foundation of a future army, as the right hon. gent, under the gallery has hinted, they are too large. For the latter purpose 400,000 men would be too much, and for the former one million of men would not be very considerable. Therefore, in either case, the volunteer system is unsuitable. It struck me, as somewhat strange, in the noble lord's description of the forces of the country, that he never stated the precise amount of the regular army, as contradistinguished to the militia. Why this was not told, I cannot say; but no doubt it was not, because they were so numerous that they could not be counted. The volunteers seemed to be the favourite subject of the noble lord's description, enumeration, and praise. No doubt the volunteers themselves are justly entitled to applause; but I must say, that the character of the country is not advanced by the frequent repetition of such applause. What, was the House to feel so much elated as if it were matter of wonder that when the country was declared in danger, the people of England were emulous to step forward and defend their homes against a French invader? In such a crisis they had stood forth as was to be expected, and in such numbers that ministers thought proper to resist their increase, and yet they were not likely to afford all the utility of which, other-Wise constituted, they would have been capable; what a melancholy reflection!——Among the other objections of the right hon. gent, on the same bench with me, is that which "e professed to the manner of the Volunteer clothing, an objection of which I also approve; and by those who have commented upon it, I think it has been put on a very wrong footing. I do not like giving men red coats merely to give them the appearance of soldiers, without the material ingredients necessary to form such characters. When I hear ministers talking of the propriety of dressing the volunteers in military uniforms, I ask, do they mean merely that the French troops should take them for soldiers? As masked batteries are used in war, perhaps you mean to fight the French in masquerade? or do you mean to hold out the volunteers as mere targets to be tired at? You might make use of them in various other ways, but you destroy their utility by attempting to make them soldiers. No man will think me apt to favour any system opposite to civil liberty; but yet I cannot help saying, that nothing appears to me more absurd than the idea of making men effective soldiers for the resistance or attack of an effective regular army, without martial law or military discipline. By this project of the volunteers you send men to impede the movements of your regular force, which men might be employed most usefully to annoy the enemy in various ways, to protect the villages, in fact, by other means to defend the invaded against the invader; but the battle in the field with the troops of the invader must be fought by your regular army; and victory to our arms, in such a contest will, I hope and trust, ever be the result. The prospect of victory to us, indeed, is strengthened by the various advantages which always present themselves to the invaded country. Upon these advantages, independently of the gallantry of our regular troops, I we reckon with just grounds of confidence, if we could look to the active assistance of an armed peasantry; but where are they to be found—they are absorbed in the volunteers! What I would wish is, to see all men in their proper places, the soldier in the army, the peasant in the country, and the people throughout in that situation where they could be employed each in his proper department.—It may be observed, that it is inconsistent in me, who last year approved of the reduction of the regular army, now to call for its increase; but the times, it is to be recollected, are somewhat different; we were last year at peace, and whether I may be considered "nature's fool," or the Chancellor of the Exchequer's, I certainly did I think that peace would continue; and at the commencement of the war, I stated very fully the reasons why, I thought it might with proper management, and ought to be preserved; but if I was "nature's fool" in thinking the peace of Amiens likely to continue, the Chancellor of the Exchequer certainly took a great deal of pains, gave many flattering descriptions, and used all the arguments in his power to confirm me in my folly. Under the influence, therefore, of that folly, I recommended the decrease of our armed force at the commencement of the last sessions.—With the hope expressed by the right hon. gent, under the gallery, I heartily join, that we shall not long confine ourselves to mere defensive war; that so soon as circumstances favour the project, we shall proceed upon vigorous offensive war; that we shall not always limit our glory to the mere security of our own country; and that we shall not suffer ourselves, according to the old observation, to "be swallowed up in the channel." But what description of offensive operations does the light hon. gent. deem practicable with the present construction of our armed force? If ever the invasion of Ireland were attempted by the enemy, and that they actually landed a considerable force, would he feel it safe to send any material proportion of our regular army to that country, leaving England to the defence of the Volunteers? I for myself should deprecate any such idea. I beg to be understood distinctly as meaning no disrespect whatever, in what I have observed, to the individuals who compose the Volunteer Corps, who are deserving, I am confident, of all the regard I feel for their motives. I nevertheless think, that no abilities can possibly turn the Volunteer Corps into a regular army. Now we recommend another mode: augment your regular army. In other cases, when men are compelled to do something in haste, they don't reason like our Ministers. When you want something done in a hurry, you don't set about teaching the whole art or science. If you wanted to take a servant with you abroad, and would teach him a few words of a foreign language, that he might know how to order your supper, or take care of your horses, or enquire his way—suppose it was the Latin language—would you give him two or three ordinary words, such as bread, beer, &c. or send him to Eton to learn his propria qua maribus? Those who know me, know that I have a very great respect for the study of Grammar, and that is certainly the way to make a man a scholar, though not to teach him readily to do a few necessary things. Now, what are you doing? What is the first thing for a soldier? Why to aim and fire. But you are tutoring men into all the punctilios of the parade, making them hold up their bodies and turn out their toes, all proper enough when there is time for it. Remember, that if the Volunteers are wanted in Dec. or Jan. so they were in Aug. or Sept. But, in September, when we were told to expect the French, how many of them had never fired a gun (the case with great numbers of the English peasantry, &c.) and still fewer knew how to clean it, and to take care of it? That was your case then. But if Ministers were so miserably ill prepared in Aug. last, I confess I am obliged to suspect they now are proportionably so. You have been teaching the Volunteers a variety of matters that some of the best writers on military affairs (Marshal Saxe for example) consider as trifles—evolutions which had better be avoided in action. We say the Volunteers compose a main part of our national defence, and that they consist of the greater part of the young and active men. Now I want this description of persons for two other purposes; first for the regular army, and secondly for the armed nation, not for a sort of half army, that you are to put on the top of a hill, to frighten the enemy if he should dare to land. An hon. friend of mine (Mr. Sheridan) at a late public meeting, did me the honour to compliment me as being a private in one of these Corps. No doubt his motive was kind in toasting my name as a private in the Chertsey Corps; but I am obliged to decline the honour he intended me, for this plain reason, that I never was a private in that Corps; nor will I become one in any Corps, because I will not undertake a situation, the duties of which I am not competent to perform; my age disqualifies me for it; I could not endure the fatigues of a soldier"s life; though, I must confess, I have seen many gentlemen worse looking than myself, parading in the utmost pomp of military array. It may be said that the influence of example ought to be considered, and probably, from that consideration, most of his Majesty's Ministers have become Volunteers. But, what kind of example are they likely to give? Why, if the French should invade this country, they would immediately desert; for they must either desert their offices or the Volunteer Corps, and it is easy to judge what choice thy would make. No doubt they would, previous to their desertion, apologise to the Corps they might belong to, that a necessary attendance at their ministerial duties obliged them to depart. And what would be the effect of such apologies on the different Corps? Why this, that it would be a precedent to justify the desertion of every other Volunteer, who could assign any plausible reason of pressing business, &c. I see no good example, nor any public spirit in such things. This vaunted influence of example, however, is quite of a piece with the theatrical, ostentatious foppery of the Volunteer system, which seems only fit for nothing but to be put on the top of a hill to be looked at.—It is quite a different kind of thing when a gentleman puts himself at the head of any Corps, where he can be of use. For instance, the right hon. gent, who opened the debate (Mr. Windham), is, I find, a Volunteer Officer in his own county, where, from local circumstances, he probably may be of more use than any other person, or in any other way.—As to the affair of the exemptions, it is the crudest thing I ever heard of. I thought I could see a great deal of regret in the. Sec. of State's speech on that point. But his reason is truly curious. He says, 'Why did not you all tell me of it? It's all your own fault. You were all placed here to watch me, and you said nothing.' A great number of Volunteers, as has been observed, were enrolled without any exemption whatever. There were several parishes, where people entered into subscriptions to provide for the Army of Reserve. Substitutes have risen to an enormous price, frequently to £50. Parishes cannot get them. Poor men, who never were Volunteers, who cannot afford it, are too old, or perhaps infirm, insure; by and by, comes another ballot, till the parish pays off its whole debt, as the case is in many parishes in the county where I live.—As to the arms: the ordnance, it is said, had as many as could be expected. I am not quite of that opinion; it might have been so in former times, but in a modern view of the business, I say, with the foresight Ministers say they had of the designs of the enemy, it ought to have been better stored. They concluded their peace would not last; we, who were "Nature's fools" and mere idiots, could not know that. But did they provide for war? My credulity must be greater than they thought it, before I can bring myself to believe it. But did they think of a war with France without the threat of attempting an invasion? It seems hardly possible. It was, therefore, necessary to guard against it. I say that, in such case, they must have seen the necessity of providing more than 300,000 muskets. Why they should seem so disposed to boast of the state of the country, I don't know, unless it be that they are themselves really surprised at their own exertions. They have been quite astonished; and, looking round on one another, 'Oh,' say they, 'who could have thought it? We never could have imagined that we were capable of such exertions.' Of the country it was impossible for them to think meanly: nor do I see why any man should be surprised or astonished to see Englishmen coming forward manfully to defend themselves. What they might think of themselves is another matter: if they foresaw the danger, there could be no impediment to foreseeing the want of arms. I do hope, that some things have lately happened to render that danger less. I say, that if Admiral Cornwallis could, during the week Parliament met, lay off Brest with his fleet, and effectually blockade that port, he has materially lessened the danger, and has gained laurels as great at most as ever were gained by a victory. The utmost degree of praise is due to that gallant Commander for his skill and bravery in this most important affair, which I think of the highest consequence to the Country. I certainly however by no means say, that on that account we ought to relax at all in our defensive preparations. But here perhaps I may be biassed. Always thinking an invasion attended with many difficulties, and particularly under these circumstances, but deeming it equally necessary to be fully on our guard against it; I say, I may be biassed, but I can't help saving, go on in your preparations, but let them be such as may be most speedily convened into the means of offensive warfare, and if I gave an additional vote to night, it should be to the regular army.—Now, Sir, having stated my difficulties as to the converting the. Volunteer Corps into a foundation for the regular army, I wish to say a word as to their duration, more particularly as the Noble Lord spoke of them as not being intended for temporary purposes. Now suppose, whether justly or unjustly, the war should become, in any respect, unpopular, if you should exact from the Volunteers nothing but what is perfectly compatible with their other necessary pursuits of life, they will go on very well; but I think, that on the petty pay allowed them, should certain circumstances, unforeseen at present, arise, I the keeping of them up, on their present footing, may not be impossible, but I will say improbable. The Noble Lord talked of making us a military nation. I do not see the matter exactly in the same light with him; but I have no objection to see the nation more military in its character even in time of peace, so far as that every class of persons should be better skilled in the use of arms; peasants, artizans, and commercial men, &c. This would be of considerable advantage to the country. But we are asked, how else are the people to be employed in the public service? Why, the Sec. at War says, he is not a military man. Modesty is a good quality. But I humbly think, that at a time when the country is threatened with a formidable invasion, and we are raising such immense forces to oppose it, the Sec. at War should be somewhat of a military man. But he refers to General Officers. Every General Officer, I think, will tell him, that the best way of arming the people, is by training them to their proper uses.—I cannot help repeating the opinion which I gave last session, and upon which a motion was ineffectually made in this House; namely, that there I should be a responsible military authority, to which the Parliament and the people might look for the whole conduct of the army department. I have great personal respect for H. R. H. the Commander in Chief, but I am persuaded, from my personal knowledge of his character, that he would not be pleased with the flattery, that he is himself capable of the very difficult task of governing this department. It requires, above all, that the responsibility should be clear and positive. I may be allowed to say, that there is an obstacle in his high birth to the responsibility which belongs to his situation. There is a delicacy in questioning the measures of a personage of his illustrious rank, which deters men in general from the duty of calling him to account. It is not too much to say, that all the arrangements of the mili tary system for the last summer have been unsteady, vascillating and capricious. Early in the summer a staff was appointed, which, to say no worse of it, gave considerable surprize to military men. Generals were appointed to the command of districts, who no doubt had just pretensions to employment, but men were disposed to enquire why others of the greatest experience, gallantry and distinction were omitted! Names were missed that, in a situation of the country so critical, ought, in the public opinion, to have been the first thougt of. Thus it was conceived that Lord Cornwallis was not so old as to be overlooked; and surely my noble friend, Earl Moira, was not so destitute of activity, zeal, energy, and experience as to be left unemployed. And yet, in the first instance, his name was not to be found. A general promotion, however took place, and this altered the arrangement;—Lord Hutchinson, who had been employed at first, was now put off the staff, and Earl Moira was most properly appointed to the chief command in Scotland—an appointment which gave me the highest satisfaction, as it must do to every one who truly regarded the defence of the country; but why, if the noble earl was proper to be trusted with a great military station in Oct. was he overlooked in May? It was answered to all this, that it was the King's prerogative to change his Generals, and that he might change them every day. Most true it is his prerogative, but his ministers are responsible for the exercise of this prerogative capriciously. The country have a right to the employment of the best talents and experience that the army can supply, and the characters of officers are an essential part of the public strength. Men are not to be changed by caprice. Where nothing has happened to alter the circumstances, it betrays a levity inconsistent with the character of a strong and efficient government to change, take officers up, and put them down without a reason assigned, or an argument of any kind.—Every part of the service has been left to chance. Even in raising the Army of Reserve, there was the same want of attention. After men had paid £40 or £50 to find a substitute for the Army of Reserve, and the substitute had marched to the appointed rendezvous, he found no one there to receive him. This had happened in many instances, and the substitutes net knowing what to do with themselves or their money, had deserted in post chaises and four. Was there ever an admistration so trusted, so supported—so left with almost? uncontrolled power as the present—with the spirit of the country raised to the highest enthusiasm—with no party differences to mo- lest them—with the Lords Lieutenants of the Counties all eager to second their views; and yet what had they done with all this power? Had it not been the chief employment of those Lords Lieutenants to comprehend the instructions they had received—the explanation of the explanations had occupied almost all their time; and not merely in regard to their signals in Norfolk, but to all their system there had been such a system of confusion, contradiction and vascillation as to make it impossible for the proper officers to understand what they were to do. I am speaking now of their military system, not of their boasted income act, of which we shall hear enough hereafter.—Now I am speaking on the general subject of ministerial changes and confusion, I am led to mention a circumstance respecting a near relation of mine (General Fox), concerning whom the conduct of government has been such as I cannot comprehend. He was sent, after the commencement of the war, to a very high and important command (in Ireland); an appointment at which I felt much more of anxiety than of pleasure, notwithstanding the knowledge I had of his character. A disturbance broke out in Dublin on the 23d of July, in which Lord Kilwarden was murdered. It excited universal astonishment, and in a few days: he was no longer commander in chief. I may be told, indeed, that his departure thence proceeded from his own request: but from all I have been able to learn upon the subject, a wish on the part of the civil government of Ireland was expressed, that he should be recalled. After this, there was no man of spirit but would say, "I will no longer stay in your way, since you wish my removal." When becomes over here, he is immediately entrusted with the high and honourable command of a district near the metropolis, a clear proof that ministers did not think ill of his conduct. But why then was he recalled? Because, it seems, it was the wish of the Irish civil government. I say, that this circumstance happening so very soon after the 23d of July, who would not feel themselves justified in saving that it was in consequence of misconduct? Did both parties, the civil power and the commander in chief, act perfectly well? How? By getting intelligence? By following up that intelligence? Was it true that the Lord Lieut, instructed the commander in chief, and then withdrew to the Phoenix-Park, a few hours before Lord Kilwarden was murdered? Nothing that I can see but a surprize, a total and complete surprize, can justify the Irish government in that affair, or they must be a sort of accomplices in the murder of Lord Kilwarden. It ought to be publicly known, that whatever intimation was given to the commander in chief, was given with an idea that it was not to be relied upon. Not even the Lord Mayor knew any thing of it: and, when it is alledged (pitiful excuse!) with great formality, that the superintendant magistrate of the city of Dublin was informed of it, pray was he directed to communicate it to the Lord Major? If he was, he did not execute his orders. Was there any one civil magistrate active on the occasion? And yet it was afterwards insinuated that blame lay where there was not the smallest reason to lay it, and the Lord Lieut, wishes for a new appointment of the commander-ship in chief. I have heard of other and very different reasons. The press in Ireland, though not so much enslaved as at Fans, is, I believe, not so unshackled as it is here, and is not very likely to convey to the world that which is thought to be disagreeable at the Castle. Well, Sir; from this press, a paragraph has made Us appearance, slating, "that the Commander in Chief was the brother to Mr. Charles Fox, of the English House of Commons, that he was first cousin to the Duke of Leinster, and, of course, was related to the late Lord Edward Fitzgerald." This, Sir, was a strange offence, if, indeed, it was an offence at all. No man of Gen. Fox's rank has, I believe, mixed less, at any time, in the politics of the day. What could be the true cause of his recal, I know not; for I, who am no judge of military matters, must, setting aside feelings of relationship, consider him to be a good officer, after his recent appointment. What, then, was it that induced the Lord Lieut, and his Majesty's ministers to act with such unexampled, such unaccountable caprice? I say there must have been some scandalous inattention at the Castle. Strange conduct! They are actuated only by the dread of giving alarm. From morning till night they do not seem afraid of riot and murder, but of giving alarm. I, for my part, wish the citizens of Dublin had been alarmed, and then there might have been some safety. But why all this fear of alarm? Why, but because there was a charm which they feared would be broken. Why, but because the friends of government had been crying out here last spring—"All's safe! All's well!" and then were afraid of the idea of danger. "This will spoil all our story, and we shall never be believed again. If the danger goes off we are safe. There has been no alarm; if danger breaks out we must run the risk; but we will take our chance for it"—There is another subject of a still higher nature, on which I feel it my duty to say a few words; I mean, the situation of the Heir Apparent of the Crown. Last session, we understood, he had made very handsome offers of his services to government. Not only were they then not accepted, but nothing since, it appears, has been done to soothe his mind, or carry into effect his liberal and honourable offer. I shall hear, that this matter is dependent on the. prerogative of the Crown. Who questions it? But are we to understand from that, that the King's will is every thing, and the public opinion nothing? This may be very good doctrine, but I must say lam too old to learn it. I should think this a subject on which I may claim a right to observe, because I consider the active services of the Prince of Wales of great importance in our present situation, for exciting the spirit of the country, and, therefore, is being a material part of the public defence. I hope, and indeed am inclined to think, that there is as much loyally in this country as there ever was at any former period. To all loyal persons, must it not be grateful to see the Heir Apparent actively employed in the contest, and sharing, with the public at large, in the danger and in the glory of defending the country? That danger, notwithstanding my confidence in our success, may God forbid! But are you to be justified in omitting to use such material means? He has been long in the army. It was natural for him to say—"My situation in society is such, that rank is an inferior consideration; whether I am colonel or general, is of little importance." But at present, is not the case quite different? "If France lands her armies on our shores, all your other brothers in the army shall have a high command; but you, under the colour of saving you from danger, shall be deprived of any glorious opportunity." Look at his situation! At the head of the regiment he commands—but who thinks that to be colonel of a regiment of light horse, is a situation, in times like these, fit for the Prince of Wales? I can easily imagine, that such is the frame of some men's minds, that they could reconcile themselves to the idea of shutting him up like an Eastern Monarch; but I am sure his mere colonelcy is what no man here will say is a situation becoming him. I cannot enter into motives. I am sure the consequences will be honourable to the Prince of Wales, and not so to those who have advised his Majesty to refuse his offer, They may by such advice Kike away from him an opportunity of rendering himself popular, and becoming one of the most beloved princes in our history Why this is not desirable, I really cannot understand. We, however, have a right to state to ministers our opinions upon a subject, to which we may think the interests of the public are deeply concerned, and which certainly involves topics peculiarly grateful to the feelings of the Prince of Wales.—lI hope, Sir, that this d bate will have a good effect upon the public mind; and that they will see the Parliament disposed to look that ministers do justice to their energies, and to the burthens they chearfully bear: for their voluntary expenses are as real a burthen as their taxes. I hope the people will see that we are ready to do what is owing to their love of freedom, their public spirit, and their zeal and bravery in the public cause.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer.

—I join with my noble friend (Lord Castlereagh) in the necessity of this country redoubling her energies, in consequence of the envy and immoderate ambition of the enemy with whom we are now seriously contending. It is unquestionably true, that it is a melancholy consideration, that our present necessity is created not by our wealth and our freedom, but by the envy and hatred that wealth and that freedom have excited in the breast of our enemy. The hon. gent, who spoke last, I was happy to hear express his strong conviction of the necessity of putting forth all the energies of this great country. I have now risen, Sir, chiefly to make a few remarks on his wish to know what was the view government have of the character of our numerous and patriotic volunteers. One right hon. gent. dislikes to see them in regimentals; he wishes them not to look like soldiers, and to wear no uniforms. Another right hon. gent, wishes to see them approximated much nearer to regular soldiers. My opinion, Sir, inclines much more to the latter right hon. gentleman's suggestion. I do wish to maintain that force in its strength, and render it available to all the great purposes for which it was instituted. But I wish it to be considered, that upon the present system on which our volunteer strength has grown up and flourished, there is such a hearty and universal cooperation and affection among the various corps, that it might be very unwise to try any sudden changes. The hon. gent, who spoke last says, we should increase: he regular force, and that my noble friend, in his statements, has blended the accounts of the forces in England and Ireland. I am confident that there is no wish in government to conceal any information on this important subject. I am very willing to relieve the minds of any persons who want to be satisfied upon it. I believe I state accurately, when I say, that the whole regular force is 69,000 men, of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, disposable to any part of the world; which added to the militia, make up 180,000 men, exclusive of 27,000 of the army of reserve, not yet incorporated with the line, and 410.000 volunteers. I hope, after this statement, I shall not hear again, that we have totally destroyed the regular army; but I am ready to concur in expressing an earnest wish, that this great force should be augmented; and I have the satisfaction to see, that the system has succeeded in augmenting the regular force, in a more effectual way, than at any time previously, except by the offers of the militia last war. In ten weeks 7.500 had volunteered for general service; and, notwithstanding the interruption of recruiting, the diminution of number was but a third: in ail, not more than 1,500 for the whole year. What I regret exceedingly is, that gentlemen should have; so much under-rated the volunteers, as fit only to protect villages and carry previsions; and as being taught matters not conducive to the species of utility within their reach. I have a great opinion of the authority of that hon. gent. and of the right hon. gent. on the same bench; but in military matters, I think I must prefer those of Lord Moira, whom the hon. gent. has so deservedly praised, now commander in chief in Scotland, who, addressing the Edinburgh volunteers, says, he would head them confidently against any foe; and of Lord Cathcart, the present commander in chief in Ireland. Nothing requires greater caution or mere delicacy than the adoption of any new system in regard to the volunteers I deprecate any attempts that may destroy that unanimity and cordiality that at present happily subsist among all ranks. I am afraid to draw the string too tight. Another hon. gent (Mr. Grenville) thinks we should have had ten times the number of volunteers. Now, of the male population from 18 to 60, I apprehend one-fourth to be actually under arms. It is true, when the bill was first brought in, nothing was said about the limitation, but afterwards a number was stated, much below the present number of volunteers, namely, three fourths of the first class—And I now, Sir, have ministers done their duty to the public? I readily grant, that no administration ever received more cordial support from the public, in all measures calcu- lated to promote the public welfare; and we should indeed be without excuse, were we deserving of the censures we have received—The, right hon gent. has referred to the Treaty of Amiens, and says, then we ought to have made out our plan for keeping up the army. Whenever I hear the assertion of our reducing the army made, I must contradict it None but a body of 7,000, partly invalids, were reduced; but of all the regular infantry of the country only 3,000. I aver that, subsequently to that treaty, I thought that peace would last, but that its duration would be entirely dependent on our strong establishment, and the consciousness of our own security. The right hon. gent. spoke of our "thread" of naval defence; but surely the observation of the hon. member opposite to me, confutes that remark by his praise of the fleet off Brest.—Mr. Addington, after several remarks, noticed the project of a responsible military council. Many respectable persons wished for such an establishment when it was first proposed, who have now almost generaly changed their sentiment It would la the foundation of weakness, and destroy ail hope of distinction, all just and generous responsibility, which H. R. H the Duke of York charges on himself, and would produce distraction and imbecillity.—But there was another subject of still greater delicacy, to which the hon. gent, referred; that of the first subject of the realm not being in a situation which he thought due to his exalted rank, and which H. R. H. himself desires. When this subject was before mentioned, I stated that no authority short of his Majesty's commands, or the joint authority of this House, should compel me to say one word on that subject. Since that, nothing has intervened. But I really cannot account for the silence of the hon. gent, on this subject, last war. Nothing, however shall make me change, but what I have described.—As to the charges of vacillation and confusion, they are utterly on-founded. With respect to the gallant officer alluded to, late commander in chief in Ireland, I see no complaint against General Fox: the best proof of which is, his subsequent appointment. Sir R. Abercrombie returned, it is true, from Ireland, but that left no discredit on that brave general. Nothing but ignorance of the subject could indace gentleman of he hon. member's Candour and sagacity, to attach any blame to the Irish civil or military government. All he incolpations of persons in either department, I aver, are unfounded, and if enquiry can be made it will redound to their honour.—Mr. Addington concluded with expressing his hope, that the proposition, of which notice had been given, might not be pressed. He was sure the proposition came from one who was a sincere friend to the volunteer system, and he felt the force of many remarks which had been made. As to the exemptions, a right hon. friend of his would bring in a bill on that subject.

Mr. Fox.

—With respect to the impenetrable silence of the right hon. gent. unless on condition of his Majesty's command, it might be well, perhaps, if he had extended that discretion to the case of Ireland also. He is asked, if the government of Ireland did not express a wish for the recall of the commander in chief. He does not say, I never knew of such a wish, but "I see no complaint against General Fox." This is no answer whatever, and the right hon. gent, had better have wrapped himself up in state silence, than have made any such reply. To evade is next to saying nothing. He is silent as to the Prince of Wales; as to the affairs of Ireland he evades the question. How is it possible the Lord Lieut., I again repeat, could at such a moment wish the recall of the commander in chief, and not cast a censure on him? It could not be. I assert that government here, when they knew the disposition and opinion of the government of Ireland, did not take proper means to investigate the cause of their wish, and ascertain where the blame, in fact, existed. In such a state of the case it is trifling to say no censure is implied. It is not consistent with common sense to exact martial law and suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, for a riot so contemptible, as the rising of the 23d of July was now represented. In the nature of things, it cannot be that ministers are sincere on that point; and, if the rising be once serious, blame must attach somewhere.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer.

—I can only repeat on that subject what was said upon it by a right hon. friend near me, (Mr. Yorke) when the debate relative to those, bills took place. If the right hon. gent, did not then chose to attend in his place, he has no right now to call on the subject pending another discussion.

Mr. Secretary Yorke

—"Sir; the unprovoked way in which the right hon. gent. (Mr. Fox) has thought proper to attack a noble relative of mine, and the unusual terms of asperity be has used, makes it necessary for me to say a few words. Upon the subject of Ireland, I say, let every one come forward and explain what he knows: then, "Fiat justitia ruat Cœlum," If the right hon. gent, means, in the exculpation of the commander in chief, to attach blame to the civil government of Ireland, then must I oppose his object. The facts of the case are nearly as follows. No information was in possession of the government of Ireland of any intention of a rising being near, till the explosion of the powder mill on the 18th of July. Of this event intelligence was sent in a letter to the commander in chief. He had left Dublin on a military tour, and did not receive it till his return on the 20th. Next day. the 21st, a gentleman waited on government to say, from certain appearances among his mm, he conjectured a rising would take place the next day. On the 22d he came again, saying, all appearances of commotion had since subsided, and that he thought he was wrong in his ideas yesterday, tie returned on the 23d, and declared his conviction that now in earnest it was about to break out. Other circumstances and intelligence concurring, the government of Ireland was convinced of the fact. The Lord Lieutenant, who was at the Phoenix Park, was sent for, and, calling on the commander in chief, they came to the castle in his coach together. Here the officers of state were assembled, and the communication was made by the respective officers in the presence of the commander in chief and Lord Lieutenant. The opinion, as to a rise that day, and the grounds of them, were thought not to be of importance, and it is justice to say, government did not know of the depot or intended rising in other parts of Ireland. It certainly was not thought serious; but who would not have thought, on this statement, that the commander in chief would have taken every necessary precaution? I will ask you, if, on this intelligence, known equally to both, it was not more the office of the commander in chief to warn his officers than the Lord Lieutenant? Without exciting alarm he might at evening parade have told the officers and men not to stay from quarters that night. If he did not, surely it was not the fault of the Lord Lieutenant. So, if ammunition was wanted, that was not the fault of the Lord Lieutenant. It was with the commandant of the place as it would be here in London or any other town. As well might Gen. Fox be said to be an accomplice in the death of Col. Brown, for not warning that officer, though only 500 yards from his own house, of the rising, as the civil government of Ireland be called accomplices in the murder of Lord Kilwarden, because they had not taken precautions they did not deem necessary. It is known, I was very glad on the appointment of the late commander in chief, and always thought highly of him. After the events of the 23d of July, I believe the government of Ireland did not make any official application for the removal of the commander in chief; but a coolness took place between the Lord Lieutenant and him, which shewed that a longer continuation together would not be proper. In fact, after absenting himself some days from the castle, the commander in chief gave in his resignation. I will not however disguise, that the Lord Lieut, did think, under all circumstances, that either himself or the commander in chief should withdraw.

Mr. Fox.

—In no sense can my observations be considered as an unprovoked attack, as the consideration of the character of general officers arises naturally out of the subject now before the House, and I always thought it right to go into those points. I have some reasons to think, that the government of Ireland was well attached to the commander in chief, and that between him and the Lord Lieut, a perfect good-will subsisted, previous to the events of the 23d. After that period a coolness arose between them; the abuses which took place, might have arisen from certain rumours, traceable to the castle. As to one, I can say, he conceived the other had spoken of him in a way which he did not deserve, and that he had not been informed, as it was intimated, of the intended rising on the 23d. If he had been so informed, was it not natural the lord mayor would have been told? It is impossible it could be otherwise. I repeat again, that the government of Ireland must have been surprised, or they were accomplices in the death of Lord Kilwarden. In the same situation, I equally should have said the same of the commander in chief. The question is, whether that officer had communicated to him any sufficient ground of alarm, to authorize him to take measures of precaution, and, in particular, to apprize Col. Brown of the risk. What, if it can proved that the Lord Lieut, gave him orders not to alarm any one! And, as to the steps taken by him, what, if his lordship sent to express his surprise, and said, I suppose, by what you are doing, you must act on some information unknown to me! The letter sent to the commander in chief was not received; so the Lord Lieut, had more ground than he to conceive the extent of the danger. On the existence of a coolness, which compelled the government here to choose between the Lord Lieut, and commander in chief, they did, as was natural, determine for the former; but what I complain of is, that they never instituted any inquiry into the cause of that coolness. It was, however, obvious to common observation, that two such persons could not originate a misuuder- standing on light grounds. This should have been done; they should not have been like the Lord Lieut., fearful of giving alarm; but, inquiring into the cause of the coolness, they should, if they found his lordship's insinuation groundless, have given him a reprimand.

Admiral Berkeley.

—I am sure the right non. gent. (Mr. Yorke) is above all wish of being misunderstood. Does he mean to say, that the commander in chief of Ireland knew and was apprised of the intended rising on the 23d of July.

Mr. Secretary York

—I meant to say, that the commander in chief had every opportunity of knowing the information disclosed at the Castle, on the morning of the 23d, that the Lord Lieutenant had.

Mr. Corry.

—As I have been in Dublin since the unfortunate events of the 23d of July, it may be expected I should say something on this subject, upon which I made it my business when there 10 make a minute inquiry. The civil government were apprised of an intended rising on the 23d of July. This clearly appears. Inconsequence they warned the civil magistrates, at the head of which was the superintendant of Dublin. The mistake is, that officer is unknown here. The lord mayor of Dublin is not like the lord mayor of London. It is not he, but the superintendent who has the charge of the peace. He was informed of the rising, and actually armed, and called out an additional number of peace officers; from this, it is clear, the government of Ireland we re not surprized, and that they look every step which would be thought essential. The interview at the castle, between the commander in chief and the Lord Lieutenant could be proved. The details of the intelligence were then laid before them, and the civil government had certainly a right to conclude, that the commander in chief hail taken every military precaution which the circumstances would warrant. Whether he did or not, or what those precautions might be, I am not prepared to say, as, in fact, made no inquiry on those subjects. That the conspiracy existed, and that to a dangerous degree, I conceive to be the foundation of the late bills, for continuing martial law and suspending the operation of the Habeas Corpus Act. With this object, the late insurrection is unconnected. That was, in truth, contemptible. On the com vision of these two circumstances, the former insurrection and present conspiracy, depends all the difference of opinion now and lately expressed; whereas, in fact, there is no inconsistency, no contradiction. The insurrection was contemptible; the conspi- racy is dangerous. Nothing in what I have here said, I trust, will be construed to the disadvantage of the commander in chief, relative to whose conduct I had no means of inquiry, and never have formed any opinion concerning it

Lord de Blaquiere.

—I cannot admit, Sir, that the insurrection on the 23d of July was a matter to be lightly treated. It was, in my opinion, a rank and dangerous rebellion. The castle of Dublin was certainly surprised. A plan was on foot to stop the mail coaches, and if that had taken place, the whole country would have risen. Under these circumstances, I think inquiry should be instituted, for heavy blame, must attach somewhere.

The Hon. C. Hely Hutchinson.

—Sir; upon a question of national defence, and at a moment critical as the present, I feel it to be my duty, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, to trouble you with a very few observations. I give ministers full credit for the exertions they have made in caliing forth the strength of the country by tire volunteer associations, undoubtedly a force highly constitutional, and although not new in theory, has now, for the first time, been thus extensively adopted. Notwithstanding the firm reliance I place on the zeal and loyalty of the volunteer force, which I doubt not, will in the hour of attack be found highly service able, and solicitous to encounter every danger, I cannot at the same time but lament, that ministers have not deemed it advisable to decrease that species of force, and in a very considerable degree to augment the troops of the line; but, upon this topic, I purposely refrain at this late hour from enlarging, particularly as it has been already so ably and fully discussed. My principal, indeed sole object for troubling you at this moment, is in consequence of a subject which has been introduced by an hon. member (Mr. Fox) who has lately spoken. Upon it I have long had a decided opinion. I consider it a subject of great public moment, and I feel that in times like the present, to hesitate to deliver such an opinion, would be to shrink from the discharge of my public duty.—Such is the nature of the contest in which we are involved, so awfully critical the present state of things, so inveterate our foe, so various and formidable his resources, and so unceasing his machinations to destroy us, that it has been found necessary that his Majesty should avail himself of the appearance in arms of almost every description of his subjects; and so serious does his Majesty-deem the meditated attack, that he has been graciously pleased to gratify and animate his faithful subjects, by declaring his royal intention, in the event of invasion, of putting himself at the head of his troops, determined in person to defend the constitution, the laws, the religion, and the liberties of his united empire. At such a crisis, the Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the crown, the person most interested in the event of this straggle, naturally anxious to share in the danger and the glory of the day, solicits to be placed in a situation, where, by his presence, he may contribute lo collect thousands round the royal standard; and evince, by his firmness and zeal, the ardour with which he would support the throne of his Sovereign arid Father; but in this his ardent hope, and first expectation, he finds himself disappointed! And yet, Sir, we have been but this moment informed by a right hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt), that we must not suffer ourselves to be lulled into a state of security, or to consider this any other than a contest likely to be most durable; and he has even gone so far as to suggest the propriety of our resolving to fashion ourselves into a military nation. With the din of war constantly assailing the ear, and the cry of universal armament being incessant, that the Illustrious Personage alluded to, the most interested, should be the only one prevented from occupying his proper station, appals one with astonishment!!!—Sir; I have ever admired, as the surest foundation of the liberties of these countries, as the most valued right of the subject, and as the most glorious characteristic of the monarchy, that maxim of our constitution, which asserts that the King can do no wrong; the prerogative of the crown, (for the wisest purposes) most extensive, seems only to be limited, where it is possible that in its operation it can affect the welfare of the. community; the King, as sole executive, and only fountain of honour and of mercy, beholds these his prerogatives up holden by the unqualified approbation of his people. But, Sir, the same spirit of legislation which declared that the prerogative of the crown could not operate to the injury of the subject, has also wisely attached an awful responsibility upon ministers for the fit execution of that prerogative; and, among the various duties incumbent on the members of this House, that of not suffering this responsibility to be evaded, imperiously demands their most watchful attention. I am decidedly of opinion, that the illustrious personage in question, being at this moment appointed to an ostensible command, would bring great additional strength to the public cause, and that ministers in neglecting to advise his Majesty to this moasure, are highly censurable.—I cannot conclude without de- claring, that I give my most unqualified support to' the vote now proposed, as I have done to every measure deemed necessary to strengthen and support his Majesty in the present arduous and necessary contest in which he is engaged, and in which I rejoice to perceive he has already received the cordial co-operation of every description of his subjects.

Mr. Pitt and the Chanceller of the Exchequer

respectively spoke in explanation, relative to some points which had been discussed in an early part of the debate—Mr. Windham and the Chancellor of the Exchequer also spoke, severally in explanation.—Mr. Pitt, in further explanation observed, that a sufficient number of field officers for the purposes he had mentioned with respect to volunteer corps could without difficulty be obtained. He did not mean persons who should hold that rank at the time of their coming to those corps; there were a number of persons of the rank of captains, of a certain number of years standing, who would be fully competent to the purpose, and would make very respectable field officers.—The questions were then put, on the different resolutions moved by the Sec. at War, as well as those moved by the Sec. of die Ordnance Department, all of which were severally agreed to by the Committee. The House then resumed, and the report was ordered to be received on Monday.—The Committee of Ways and Means, and the other orders of the day were then deferred till Monday, and at 3 o'clock the House adjourned.