HC Deb 14 December 1803 vol 1 cc333-4
Mr. Secretary Yorke

thought it right, before gentlemen separated for the recess, to put the House in possession of an accurate return of the; Army of Reserve, the number raised, the number rejected, those that had deserted, those that died, those that were effective, and those deficient.—In making this statement there would be room to admire the exertions the counties had made, though of late those exertions had rather fallen off. The exertion was at first so great, that within six weeks no less a number than 26,740 men were raised. The total number raised on the 21st Nov. the latest day to which the returns were made up, was 26,607 in England and Wales. Of these 642 had been rejected, 70 were dead, 777 had deserted, 25,500 were effective, and a deficiency of 8,000 still remained to be made up by England and Wales. In Scotland the number raised was 5,500. In Ireland it was upwards of 6,000. Still a considerable deficiency remained; yet putting it out of the question, whether this was the best mode of raising a defensive force, it must be allowed that it had supplied in a very short time a great number of men. This return, therefore, was thought useful, in order to stimulate the counties to complete their numbers; and he should move, that by the time the House should meet again, another return should be made, by which it would be seen in what proportion the quotas of the different counties were complete or imperfect. He concluded with moving, that there be laid before the House an account of the number of men raised for the royal army of reserve, distinguishing the counties, those who had been rejected, those who died, those who were effective and present, together with the numbers due, including casualties.—Ordered.