HC Deb 13 April 1809 vol 14 cc23-4

The order of the day for the further consideration of the report of the Local Militia bill having been read, the bill was recommitted on the motion of lord Castlereagh, for the purpose of introducing several amendments, which he felt it necessary to propose in various provisions of the bill—In reply to a suggestion made by sir Thomas Turton, relative to a particular amendment, lord Castlereagh stated, that it was his intention in this stage of the measure to propose the several amendments which occurred to him as necessary, after which he would move to have the bill re-printed, and should then be happy to hear and attend to any suggestion or amendment, which the hon. baronet, or any other hon. member, might have to propose.—Much desultory conversation then took place upon each clause and amendment, as the committee proceeded through the bill. The period for completing the local militia was extended to January next, and the bounty to volunteers raised from one to two guineas. The rank of the officers of the local militia, was fixed next after the rank of officers of the original militia, and rank for rank above that of officers of yeomanry cavalry, whose rank was to follow that of officers of local militia, as the rank of the latter came next after that of the original militia. This arrangement was objected to, as insulting to yeomanry officers, by sir Thomas Turton; but his objection was over-ruled, as was also a suggestion of Mr. Dundas, that the yeomanry and local militia officers should take rank from the date of their commissions, whereby volunteer officers who should transfer their services to the local militia, would take rank from the date of their commission as volunteer officers.—On the clause to authorise lord lieutenants, upon representation to government in certain cases, to order regiments of local militia from the county for which they may have been raised, into an adjacent one to be trained, lord Castlereagh felt it necessary to explain the ground upon which this clause rested, in order to remove a misapprehension which had taken place respecting it. The sole object of the clause was to consult the convenience of the men. In many counties there were no great towns large enough to afford quarters for the local militia of the counties, in which cases it was thought desirable that there should be a power to march the regiments to be trained into an adjacent, county. There were other cases in which the regiments would have to march 25 or 31 miles within their own counties, to a town capable of affording them proper quarter, whilst by being sent into the adjoining counties, they would have but a inarch of five or six miles to convenient accommodation during their period of training. It was solely, therefore, to remedy the unavoidable inconvenience that would result in such cases from training the regiments of local militia in their proper counties, and to promote the accommodation of the men themselves, that this clause had been introduced.—After a few words from Mr. Cues and sir T. Turton, this explanation was considered satisfactory, and the clause agreed to.—Lord Castlereagh then brought up a number of clauses which were agreed to without opposition.—The bill then went through the committee, the report was received, and ordered to be taken into further consideration on Monday next.