HC Deb 16 February 1830 vol 22 cc535-6
Sir H. Hardinge

presented, by command of his Majesty, the Army Estimates. He moved that they be printed. And gave notice that on Friday next he should propose Resolutions on them in a Committee of Supply.

Mr. Hume

wished to put a question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reference to something that fell from him last night, and which seemed to have been misapprehended. The Committee of Supply stood postponed till to-morrow (Wednesday), and it had been understood that the right hon. Gentleman intended to state the reductions which Ministers were prepared to make in our establishments upon that occasion. He now wished to know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would go into the subject of these retrenchments on Wednesday, or on a future evening;—he should persevere in resisting Supply, till the nature of the relief to be afforded to the country was stated.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he should be obliged to move for a Committee to-morrow evening, in order to found a vote of Ways and Means thereon; but it was not his intention to go into the subject referred to on that occasion. When his gallant friend moved the Army Estimates on Friday, he (Mr. Goulburn) would then state the reductions which Ministers proposed to make upon all the Estimates of the year.

Mr. Hume

put it to the gallant Secretary at War whether the House ought to be called on to vote any part of the Estimates on Friday, when in all probability Members would only have seen them on the morning of that day. He should wish for a day or two to consider them, particularly as reductions were talked of.

Sir H. Hardinge

said, the hon. Member should have a printed copy of the Army Estimates in his possession to-morrow evening, or early on Thursday morning.

Mr. R. Gordon

wished to know whether the House would be put in possession of the number of military officers who held civil situations, including those on full pay as well as half-pay.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

replied that he had no intention of bringing forward such a return, but it was competent to the hon. Member to move for the information required if he pleased.

Mr. Gordon

.—Has the right hon. Gentleman any objection to such a Motion?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

intimated that he should be prepared with an answer when he saw what was the hon. Member's Motion.

Sir F. Burdett

said, if reductions of such a nature as was understood last night were to be brought forward, the House would require some little time to consider them. He believed he was rather obscure in what he stated last night on the subject of the Motion of his hon. friend the Member for Montrose; and there was one point in respect of which he wished to set himself right with the House and his hon. friend. He should be sorry to have it supposed that he had desired in any degree to depreciate the value of the Motion which his hon. friend had brought forward so ably, though he thought that there were other measures of equal or even greater importance which would relieve the depression which was, unfortunately, so prevalent.

Lord J. Russell

hoped, that when the right hon. Gentleman stated, on Friday, the reductions to be made in the Estimates, he would also state what relief was to be afforded to the country in the amount of taxation.

Sir H. Hardinge

said, no man was more conversant with the details of the Army Estimates than the hon. Member for Montrose; and therefore he would take the liberty of stating that the only difference in the Estimates of this year, as compared with preceding years, would consist in some items of diminished expenditure, and probably a reduction in the amount of force. Under such circumstances, if the Estimates were placed in the hands of the hon. Member to-morrow evening, he would have the whole of Thursday and Friday to consider them. He hoped this would not be inconsistent with entering into the subject in a Committee of Supply on Friday evening, particularly as the Committee had already been delayed a few days by impediments which prevented the introduction of the Estimates so soon as he had expected.

Mr. Maberly

wished to ask the gallant officer if it were decent to press the Estimates forward in that manner? The House required a longer period of examination than had been proposed.

Estimates ordered to be printed.