HC Deb 12 May 1817 vol 36 cc516-31

The House having resolved itself into a Committee of Supply, to which the Army Estimates end the Second Report from the Finance Committee werereferred,

Lord Palmerston

said, that in rising to call upon the House to vote the supplies for the army for the whole of the year, he did not feel himself bound to follow the arrangement which had been hitherto usual in describing the different classes of force which it was proposed to maintain. He should therefore, thinking it the most consonant and perspicuous mode, divide the whole of the establishment for which he now intended to call upon the House to provide, into four classes. Under the first class, he included the whole active military force employed within the kingdom, that was to say, the regiments of the line, the staff, the volunteers and yeomanry, and the public offices. Under the second class he included the active force employed out of the kingdom, including the troops in France and in India. The third class comprehended that description who were remunerated for past services, such as the half-pay, Chelsea pensioners, &c. The fourth class was composed of that part of the establishment which it was intended to reduce in the course of the present year, but for which some supply would be required, as the reduction was not yet completed. The labours of the finance committee made it unnecessary for him to trespass at such length on the time of the House as he might otherwise have felt himself bound to do. The general and comprehensive statement in the Second Report of that committee would enable gentlemen to satisfy themselves on many points. To the comparative statement in the 26th and 27th pages of that Report he particularly referred. It would there be seen that on the total amount of force for this year, as compared with that for the preceding year, there was a diminution of 1,738,496l. But in that statement was included a charge of 57,180l., for the disembodied militia, which he did not take into the account in what he had now to submit to the committee. There would, therefore, by making an allowance for this, be on the whole force of tin's year, as compared with the last, a decrease amounting in round numbers to 1,800,000l. By referring to the 23rd page of the same report it would be found, taking the more narrow view, and taking only that part of the army which was an actual charge on the revenue of the country, that there was a diminution in the number of men for the service of this year as compared with the preceding, of 35,899, rank and file, or (including officers), 40,226. In addition to this, however, he had to state to the committee, that orders had been recently sent to the Mediterranean for the return of the 2nd battalion of the 14th regiment, which was to be reduced as soon as it reached this country. Taking the reduction of that battalion into account, there would be a reduction on this branch of the force of 36,000 rank and file, or 42,000, including officers and men, compared with the numbers of last year. If the aggregate of the military establishment, including the force in France, was taken, and allowance was made for the 2nd battalion of the 14th regiment of foot, now on their way home to be reduced, there was, on the whole, a reduction of 55,343 rank and file, or 61,910 including officers from the amount of the force last year. By this reduction in the number of men, there would be a reduction in the amount of the supplies for this year to the extent of 1,800,000l. Whether the extent of this reduction would give satisfaction to all, he would not venture to say; but at least he was sure that to a majority of the House it would appear satisfactory. At least it showed, that in the interval between the last session of parliament and the present, his majesty's ministers had not been inattentive to the sufferings of the nation, but had lent all their efforts to make such reductions in the military establishment as would materially reduce the public expenditure, and thus not only sooth the feelings, but alleviate the distresses of the people. Reductions such as those which he had mentioned could not be easily or quickly made. It was not a glance of the eye, or a stroke of the pen, that was sufficient to effect them. When the nature and extent of our military establishments was considered; when it was remembered that they were scattered through our settlements in every quarter of the world, if would be allowed that it required the most laborious and patient examination on the part of his majesty's government to enable them to submit to the House the reductions which he had mentioned. Let it only be considered what had been done since the latter end of the year 1814 (the earliest moment when it was possible to commence the work of retrenchment) and the beginning of the present. The total amount of our military force which had been disbanded within that time was 221,794, including the militia. Exclusively of the militia, the numbers were 139,239. Besides these general reductions, the government had not been inattentive to the principles of economy, wherever the interests of the service would admit of their application. In the cavalry each troop had been reduced from 75 to 55 in men, and to 35 in the number of horses. The effect of that arrangement was, that a reduction of 2,600 men had taken place, making a saving in expense of 79,000l. In the foot-guards considerable reductions had also taken place. In the miscellaneous charges a reduction of 337,000l. had been made, and a reduction of 60,000l. in the levy money. In the recruiting establishments eight depots were reduced, and six districts, four in this country and two in Ireland. Five detachment paymasters were also reduced. By these and some minor reductions, a saving in the recruiting service alone had been effected to the amount of 131,000l. In the staff, at home and abroad, a diminution of 90,426l. had taken place, as compared with the votes of last year. Two hundred and fifty-seven staff officers had been reduced. In the public departments, the least reduction that had taken place, was in the office of the commander-in-chief, being not more than 20,000l. With regard to that office he might observe, that a new source of increased business had originated from the very reductions that had taken place. The number of officers who were reduced upon half pay, hut who still hoped to return to active service, caused an infinite variety of applications to be made to the commander-in-chief, stating their past services, and founding upon them their claims to future employment. He was sure the House would sympathise with what he might call the distresses of many of those most deserving individuals, and would not wish to deprive the commander-in-chief of the means of, at least answering their applications, by which they would be satisfied, that though their solicitations could not be immediately granted, they were not wholly overlooked. In the pay-office also, the business had necessarily increased. The noble lord next went into a statement of the labours of his own office, and observed that they had been materially augmented, partly from the diffusion of education, for he received each week from 900 to 1,000 letters, from persons of the lowest rank in life, containing inquiries after private soldiers, whether alive or dead, if dead what effects they died possessed of, &c. Me knew it was difficult, by any specific proof to show the exact amount of duty which any particular office demanded; but when he mentioned that during the year ending the 31st of last March, letters had been sent off from his office amounting to 105,910, he apprehended the House would not consider that the labour was trifling. He had, however, effected some reductions, rather in anticipation of less business than in consequence of its actual diminution. In the adjutant-general's office there was a saving of 3,197l. and in the commissary-general's 1,714l. In medicines and hospital expenses there was a diminution of 33,000l. In the volunteer establishments there was a diminution of 3,447l. as compared with the votes of last year.—With respect to the troops in France, the House were aware, that the vote for that service was taken merely pro formâ, upon the suggestion of an hon. gentleman opposite; but no part of the charge would actually fall upon the public. In the charges incurred for the maintenance of the military college, a diminution to the amount of 5,664l. had taken place. The gallant general at the head of that establishment, was the first to set an example of reduction. When the list of salaries, &c. was submitted to him for his opinion, as to the utmost practicable retrenchment he immediately drew his pen through the 500l. per annum allowed him for table money. Such an act of disinterestedness was highly honourable to that gallant officer, but could surprise no one acquainted with his character [hear, hear!]. He accompanied it, however, with the remark, that though his private means enabled him to to make the sacrifice, it would be unjust to expect the same from any successor not possessing those means; as it would be impossible for a person filling that high station, to maintain it with due dignity and effect, without such an allowance for his table expenses. With respect to the army pay and attached allowances of general officers, an arrangement had been concluded upon that subject pursuant to the recommendation of the finance committee. The estimate of this year, for foreign corps, was less than the votes of last year by 237,000l. In widows pensions there had been, from obvious causes, an increase of 5,085l. In the royal military asylum there was a diminution this year of 6,951l. In the compassionate list, allowances of his majesty's bounty, and pensions to officers for wounds, there was an apparent increase of 99,000l; but in reality, the increase did not amount to more than 9,000l. He would take that opportunity of stating what it was the intention of government to adopt with regard to pensions granted to wounded or disabled officers, in consequence of the recommendation of the committee. According to the present arrangement the pension increased in proportion as the rank of the officer increased, in cases where it was granted for severe wounds, the loss of a limb, &c. Where the wounds were not so severe, the rate of pension remained fixed according to the original rank. In future, however, all pensions so bestowed, would continue according to the rank in which the wound was received. In the local militia there was a diminution of expense amounting to 70,500l.; but in the superannuation allowances there had been an increase of 7,602l. In the exchequer fees there was a diminution of 92,8655l. the necessary consequence of the general reduction which had taken place in the aggregate amount of the votes proposed. The whole amount for the service of the present year was 6,682,318l, 9s. 7d. but of that 2,888,000l. had arisen from services wholly unconnected with the actual charges for the effective military force. They belonged to past services, so that the real charge for the army proposed to be maintained was scarcely more than 3,794,000l. Now, when they considered what had been the charge for our military establishments in former periods, when the pay of the soldier, and all the various allowances were double their present rate, such a sum could not fairly be regarded as excessive, considering the extensive range of our colonial possessions. He should say nothing more at present, but merely move the first Resolution, "That a number of land forces not exceeding 121,035 men (including the forces stationed in France), and also 15,585 men proposed to be disbanded, and 1,863 men proposed to be transferred to the Indian establishment in the year 1817; but exclusive of the men belonging to the regiments now employed in the territorial possessions of the East India Company, or ordered from thence to Great Britain, commissioned and non-commissioned officers included, be maintained for the service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from the 25th of June 1817, to the 24th of December following."

Mr. Calcraft

thought the force proposed much too large for the circumstances of the country. With respect to the Report of the finance committee, as he did not become a member of that committee until after the Second Report was drawn up, he did not hold himself responsible for any part of that Report; and he could not help observing, as to that Report, that it was very extraordinary that establishments should be voted, or their amount determined, before the statement of the probable income of the year was laid before the House. In 1792, all the services now to be performed, were performed by 40,000 less than the number now required excluding the force in France. He did not mean to say that the establishment of 1792 was capable of performing the services now required. But ministers were at least bound to show the reason for so prodigious an increase. With respect to the colonies, he could not help observing, with satisfaction, that the numbers tallied completely with those he himself had proposed as sufficient last year; though he was then told that no reduction could be made. In more than five or six instances the present numbers tallied with what he had then proposed; so that ministers had adopted the opinions of himself and his friends; but, on this occasion, he must say, they were a full year in arrear of their duty, as they ought to have made those very deductions a year ago. No doubt next year they would find, that what they think impossible now, can be done then. For the considerable reductions that had already been made, the country was, in his opinion, indebted to the firmness of the House in refusing the income tax, and the war malt tax, and also to the debates on the army establishment. If it had not been for the discussions that had taken place, though apparently disregarded at the time, he was convinced that we should not have seen the reduced establishments of the present day, but which as taken altogether at 140,000 men, he stiil thought too high. The gentlemen opposite ought to explain why this force is necessary. There were 17,000 yeomanry cavalry in addition to this large force, merely for the service of Great Britain. In 1792 a force of 12,000 men was found amply sufficient. How came it that the country was in so different a state now as to require such an addition? It was known that the grievances of the people arose very much from the burthens of taxation; and if this amount of force was to be kept up, it must be seen that it would be impossible to diminish these burthens. Now, if gentlemen thought that a large military establishment was better than to relieve the public from their burthens, he must beg leave to say that he totally differed from them. Believing, however, that still farther reductions were in progress, he should not go into minute details at present; but there were one or two topics which he could not help touching on. The first was, the subject of foreign half-pay. Many foreign officers who received half-pay were now in Hanover on full pay and in actual service. He thought this a most improvident regulation, and one which ought to be corrected. Another topic was the half-pay officers reduced before the 24th of June, 1814. Their case was extremely hard, as being limited to the old rates of half-pay; and thus a partiality or preference was shown to foreign officers who had served in our army. It did not appear to him that the reductions had been sufficiently extensive in the public departments connected with the array. He did not think that of the commander-in-chief likely to be sufficiently reduced; but he would press upon ministers the necessity of reducing every department, to the lowest possible rate that was at all compatible with the business they had to transact. If he saw any chance of being supported, he would move for a considerable reduction in the present established force. He hoped the noble lord would yet give some explanation of the necessity of maintaining so large a force.

Mr. Lyttelton

recommended strongly to the attention of his majesty's government, the propriety of relieving the numerous class of half-pay officers from the obligation of the affidavit, by which they were unable to receive half-pay, and at the same time hold any civil or other military allowance. There might have been some reason formerly, but its injustice at present was not only obvious, but bore with great severity on that valuable class. A trifling addition to their income by the holding of a small office to the amount of 50l. or 100l. a year, would have the effect of rescuing many of them from penury, and could not increase the burthens of the country.

General Walpole

thought the establishment for the colonies too high, particularly when he compared the number of troops maintained in Jamaica and the other West India islands in 1792 and at the present period.

Mr. Warre

animadverted on the unnecessary increase of the life-guards and blues, troops employed only for splendour and parade. The staff of the colonies he likewise thought too expensive. In 1792 the charges for the staff in Jamaica was only 864l.; in the present estimates they amounted to 4,816l. The total charge for the staff appointments of the colonies in 1792 was only 17,000l., now it was 74,000l. He allowed that we had made great additions to our colonies, but our establishments were disproportioned to the augmentation of our empire. With respect to the Compassionate List Fund, so well applied in diffusing relief to such a number of claimants, he was disposed to think that the noble lord, in taking 3,000l. for future demands, might have extended the grant.

Lord Palmerston

was surprised that the hon. gentleman who spoke first did not give ministers some credit for reducing the establishments to their present scale, especially as he seemed to think that they had proceeded on his recommendation. The hon. gentleman had objected to the half-pay given to foreign corps, who might still be employed in another service on full pay; but foreign troops employed in our pay, when disbanded, could not be called back like our own half-pay officers. They enjoyed their half-pay rather as a reward for past services than as a retaining fee for future. With regard to prohibiting half-pay officers from enjoying other places of emolument, he would say nothing at present, but that the government would take the subject into consideration. In the mean time, he did not think the regulation so groundless as it had been stated. The establishment of the life-guards and blues was complained of as being too high; if they were to be kept up at all, they must he kept up in a state of efficiency. Instances had occurred since the meeting of parliament in which they had been extremely useful. With regard to the increase of the colonial staff, it might be explained from the change of system that of late had taken place, rather than from any extravagance on the part of government. The addition to the charge for the compassionate list would be sufficient, though he allowed the full merits of this establishment.

Sir R. Fergusson

rose to call the attention of government to the subject of the relief of troops in the West Indies. He allowed that much good had resulted from the system already acted upon, of relieving whole regiments or companies at once, and not detaining them, as formerly, in one place, filling up their casualties by draughting from other regiments. The contrary custom had for a long time prevailed. He knew of four companies of the artillery corps who had remained in Jamaica, the first 27 years, another 21, and another 15 years. They went out without the hope of returning. They suffered under the most overwhelming despair; they viewed themselves as victims of destruction, and in consequence surrendered themselves up to every kind of irregularity and debauchery: their crimes increased with their miseries, and their punishments with their crimes. Their punishments were greater than those of any other troops. Thank God, the discipline of our army had improved, and the necessity of punishment had of late diminished; but there could be no discipline, and punishment would fail of producing any effect, where the situation of the persons was hopeless, and where reformation or good conduct could be of no avail. Such was the situation of the troops to whom he alluded. At Fort Charles, in Jamaica, surrounded on three sides by the sea, and on one side by a marsh, the garrison was in such a state of insubordination, that 300 men received 54,000 lashes in the course of two years. The necessity for this arose from despair. Relieve the troops at regular and stated intervals; let them enjoy the certainty that they would not be required to spend all their lives in an unhealthy climate, and discipline would produce the same effects there as at home. Instead of this, the men were driven to desperation by seeing their friends fall around them. He was sure that the commander-in-chief, had this service been under him, would have taken steps to remedy the evil. They were relieved, but were relieved by troops who had the same dreary prospects before them. The terror of being sent to the West Indies was sometimes, he heard, hung over refractory and unmanageable individuals.

General Phipps

thought the gallant general should at least have given some notice of his intended attack on his noble relation, the master-general of the ordnance. With respect to the removal of those companies from the West Indies, he assured the House the removal had taken place.

Sir R. Fergusson

denied that any attack on the master-general of the ordnance was either made or intended. The facts were only stated with a reference to future attention. They could not apply to the present master-general, as they adverted to the proceedings of years past, when his noble relation had no connexion with the ordnance.

Mr. Ponsonby

coincided with his gallant friend, that nothing like attack was intended; it was the system that was reprobated; and surely twenty-seven years was a long period for the continuance of such an abuse without any check until the present time.

Lord Nugent

said, that, after what had already passed, it was with the deepest and most unaffected pain (arising from circumstances immaterial certainly to the House), that he felt himself called upon to vindicate his vote. He should do so in a very few words indeed.—But not being able to discover any difference whatever in the principle of the establishment now-proposed, and very little indeed in the amount of it from the establishment of last year, against which he had cordially and strenuously voted, he could not but give his firm and decided opposition to the recommendation of the noble lord.—The noble lord had said, that these estimates have been reduced to the lowest possible scale consistent with the public safety. He trusted the noble lord would not suppose that he meant it in anyway offensively or disrespectfully to him, if he said that he could not trust that assurance. He could not trust that assurance, because the same assurance had been last year given, on the same subject, and from the same quarter,—an assurance which, not a fortnight after it was made, was abandoned and disproved by the very persons who made it. The estimates, which had been then recommended as being reduced to the lowest possible scale consistent with the public safety, were afterwards withdrawn from the committee to be reduced, were reduced, were again brought forward, and yet these reduced estimates, in their second shape, met with precisely the same support, and were still recommended as of the precise amount in every way calculated to provide for the public safety. It was for this reason he could not, on this point trust the assurance of the noble lord. The expense of the proposed peace establishment, appeared to him the last and lowest ground on which such a proposition could be opposed. Indeed, he was far from thinking that the patronage and influence, great, enormous, though they be, thereby thrown into the hands of the government, and perpetuated, formed by any means the head and front of the objections, one naturally feels to a peace army of so tremendous an amount. For my own part, said the noble lord, I own that I fear, first and mainly, the actual armed force of 120,000 soldiers in time of peace, in the pay of the king, and at the disposal of an administration, whose motives I distrust, and whose principles I have uniformly disclaimed. This was his fear, considerably increased certainly by the finding that, by dint of an uninterrupted war of twenty-five years, the existence of a large army is not only reconciled and rendered familiar to our habits, but is, by reason of the number of commissions borne in it, identified with the domestic interests and views of a large majority of the families of England. He was aware that to such a pass was public feeling arrived on this point, that the old fashioned jealousy which our forefathers entertained of a standing army in time of peace, is now regarded as but little more than the theme of common place declamation. He was heartily sorry it was so,—but, inasmuch as it is so, in so much did he think it the bounden duty of every man, who feels rightly and jealously for our free constitution, and for the general cause of public liberty, to at least remind his countrymen of that spirit which once was felt, of those doctrines which once were held sacred, to which we owe that constitution and that freedom, and, without which, they would soon be left altogether naked and defenceless, in the face of their most powerful enemies. He looked to the history of the world, and found, in no country, and in no times, an instance in which a free government had ever long survived the introduction of a disproportionately large military establishment in time of peace,—nay more,—he found no instance in which a free government had ever been finally overthrown, or popular freedom permanently subdued, by any other agency than that of a standing army. These were his opinions, these his sentiments, which, whatever pain they might have cost him in the expression, he could neither abjure nor disguise. In conformity to them, he must give, as far as one cordial vote could go, his decided and eager opposition to these estimates—[Hear, hear!].

Mr. Curwen

wished the House to consider, even supposing there might be danger to the public service in reducing the military establishments, whether the greater danger would not be found in voting such a force as our financial resources were unable to support. For his own part, he could not take upon himself to decide what our establishments ought to be, until the financial means of the country were fully before the House.

Sir W. Burroughs

entered into a comparison of the amount of troops maintained in our various colonies in 1792, contrasting them with the present amount, and contending that the number now proposed was far beyond what necessity required.

Mr. Goulburn

regretted that the last speaker had been so recent a member of the House as not to have heard what was said on the subject of the colonial establishments last session, when the necessity of the forces there was clearly made out, and acknowledged by the gentlemen opposite. He justified the present colonial armies, as necessary to preserve tranquil-lity. So far from ministers being blamed for proposing excessive establishments, he thought they were rather open to blame for risking something, in order to satisfy the general cry for economy and retrenchment. The hon. baronet seemed not to be aware that the 140,000 men included the large garrisons for India.

Sir W. Burroughs

observed, that if 20,000 effective Europeans were sufficient, with the native troops, to preserve the tranquillity of that immense empire, and population, it was a proof of the mildness of the government and the attachment of the inhabitants. But could as much be said of this Country? Were the people here so attached to the government, and could the illustrious personage at the head of it be said to be enthroned in their hearts? If loyalty and attachment pervaded every part of the country, where was the necessity for such an enormous standing army? He believed that the ungrounded apprehensions of ministers had induced them to maintain an army beyond what the country required. He hoped they would see their error, and endeavour to rule by the affections of the people, and not by the sword.

Lord Castlereagh

protested against the mode the hon. baronet had adopted of throwing the gross amount of all the descriptions of force together, including yeomanry, and the army in France, and commenting upon them as if they were all maintained at the expense of England.—The gentlemen opposite, he observed, were not disposed to impeach the estimate.—Certainly the government of India was entitled to all the praise of the hon. baronet; for a more mild and liberal government did not exist. But the people there were attached to the government; for they had not been corrupted by the pernicious and disorganising principles of the French revolution. The noble lord referred to the different forces, and observed that, instead of having 140,000 men for the British empire, we had only 80,000, which number, though voted by parliament, always fell short of the amount. With respect to the colonial garrisons abroad, they were only a fraction beyond what they were in 1792, exclusive of the number necessary for the six new colonies we had acquired. When it was remembered that since 1792 we had become possessed of Malta, the Ionian Isles, the Cape of Good Hope, and many other possessions, the force set apart for the colonies could not be thought too great. The only point on which a question could arise, was on the number of troops kept up in England and Ireland. Of the men proposed to be voted for England, when the 3,000 allowed for reliefs were deducted, and other circumstances were taken into consideration, the number of really effective men would not exceed 16,000. He admitted the country must, in a great measure, rely on the yeomanry for safety, but these were not fitted for every day duty, as they could not be called out, without putting the individuals composing it to considerable inconvenience, and they could not be expected to serve in the docks, or in other places where the presence of troops was constantly necessary. The situation of the country was much altered since 1792: at that time the country had abandoned all system, in its army. Our army had in fact been made since that period. He did not mean to say that the British army had not always been distinguished for its gallant conduct in the field, but it was since 1792 that the machine had been put in motion, such as it now appeared, regulated as it was by its illustrious commander-in-chief, whose unremitting labours had brought it to a state of unexampled perfection. The question now was, should we have an army, or should we not? If we had an army, we must have a staff to manage it. The staff proposed to be kept up, was not at all too great, if, in some instances, it had not been left imperfect.

Mr. Calcraft

said, that he would move a reduction of the estimates on the bringing up of the report.

Mr. Brougham

contended, that with a yeomanry force in the united kingdom amounting to 35,000 men, the estimates might be brought much lower than they were at present. In addition to the yeomanry, there were magistrates, constables, and the posse cumitatus to secure the peace—and were not these sufficient for the purpose? Must every thing be done by soldiers? Why was the country to be told that the army must be doubled, because the yeomanry and soldiers could only be trusted? Was this the result of that triumph, in consequence of which they had carried up addresses of congratulation? Was this the consequence of the great big boasts they had heard of the peaceful conquests of the noble lord at the congress? Whatever might be said of the additional force required to defend our new colonial acquisitions, no good reason could be shown why nearly 86,000 men should be voted in 1817 to perform those duties which in 1792 it was thought required no more than 4,400. Was it because the discipline of our army had been so much improved, as he rejoiced to say it had been, that double the number of men were necessary to perform a particular service than were formerly called for? The state of profound domestic peace in which the country was at present, did not justify the call made for a great military force. Before the army was increased he wished the House to take into their consideration the present situation of the country, with respect to the dangers to be apprehended from the designs of the disaffected. He would call upon the right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr. H. Addington), in the plenitude of his disposition to feel alarm, to point out from an annual register, a parliamentary debate, or an old file of newspapers, any period at which the country had enjoyed a more perfect state of repose. At the late assizes at Pomfret, there had not been one prosecution for sedition. At Manchester, Preston, and Liverpool, out of 400 persons brought to trial, there was but one person tried, for uttering seditious words, and this was such a case, that the magistrates could only say the accused had spoken foolishly in his cups, and they had ordered him to be liberated on his own recognizance. At Norwich, which had been denounced by name in one of the reports, an inquiry had been made by the grand jury into the seditious associations there in existence, and the result was a unanimous declaration, that nothing of the kind could be traced. There had been no disturbances in any part of the country since those of Spa-fields and Manchester, and under these circumstances he called on the House not to consent to a military force being kept up, whose numbers should double that which was found sufficient in 1792. If there were danger, which he denied that there was, let additional constables be sworn in—let the posse comitatus be called out—let civil means be resorted to, in order to secure the public peace. Let Englishmen have recourse to the constitution of their country in time of danger, if they wish to prove themselves worthy of such a constitution. For Ireland, it was said, a smaller force could not be kept up than had been proposed last year, and which it was admitted on all hands was necessary. He, however, wished to know what had been done to remove the discontents of Ireland since that period? He contended, that by making the proposed concessions in matters of religion, much of the force now required for Ireland might be spared. If to concede the Catholic claims would tranquillize that country, it was to him wholly incomprehensible, that those in the administration who held this opinion should court the association and fellowship of others who opposed it, and suffer themselves to be triumphed over by those who would not be permitted to remain in their places twenty-four hours, if they were in the same way to oppose the amount of the estimates now before the House. These things were inexplicable to those who were not versed in political intrigue and cabinet arrangements. However, he sincerely agreed with his noble friend (lord Nugent), as to the policy of ruling in the hearts of the people rather than lording it over them by military force; and he congratulated him on sentiments as much above all despotic views and illiberal prejudices as a truly noble mind was above those who looked only to shuffling and Sneaking after place.

Mr. J. P. Grant

gave notice of his intention to move for limiting the period of these estimates upon the report being brought up.

The several resolutions were agreed to.