HC Deb 23 March 1831 vol 3 cc840-2
Mr. C. W. Wynn

. moved that the House resolve itself into a Committee of Supply.

Mr. Goulburn

objected to taking the Army and Navy Estimates, unless there existed an urgent necessity on a day not usually devoted to business.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

said, the half-pay would become due next week, and must be provided for.

Sir R. Peel

had no particular objection to the votes being proceeded with, if necessary, on a Wednesday; his complaint was, that due notice had not been given. It was not till four o'clock that morning that the bringing on of the estimates had been fixed, and it did appear a little precipitate to press a discussion within a few hours of Members being apprised by the votes of the intention of Ministers. However, if the House desired to proceed, he was content to go into Committee.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

said, that he would have given earlier notice, but that he was afraid that the adjourned debate on the Reform Bill might have been carried on.

The House then went into Committee.

On the Motion for granting 19,975l. for the Military Asylum,

Mr. Hume

objected to the vote on principle. It was encouraging a population which the Government was also anxious to get rid of by emigration. He submitted that the grant should be annually diminished.

Lord Althorp

agreed with the hon. Member in principle, but thought that the Military Orphan Asylum was not calculated to increase the population.

Sir M. W. Ridley

thought the hon. member for Middlesex was quite wrong.

Sir Henry Hardinge

always had, and always would support the grant. He knew no other means of providing for the children of soldiers who died abroad. He wished to ask the right hon. Secretary for Ireland, when the Irish Reform Bill would be ready.

Mr. Stanley

said, that he would lay it on the Table of the House to-morrow, and be ready to enter then, or at any other time that might be deemed more convenient, into an explanation of its details.

Vote agreed to.

The next Resolution was, "That a sum not exceeding 239,803l. 19s. 8d. be granted for paying the expense of the volunteer Corps for 1831."

Mr. O'Connell

asked, whether this in- cluded the charge for the Irish volunteer corps? and being answered in the affirmative, objected to going into that vote in the absence of so many hon. members who intended to oppose the Irish grant.

Mr. Stanley

had no objection to postpone that part of the vote.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

admitted, that it would be more correct to take the vote for the volunteers of the whole United Kingdom together, and the proposed vote in its pre- sent form was accordingly postponed.

The next Resolution was, "That a sum not exceeding 135,000l. be granted to his Majesty for defraying the charges for Generals not Colonels of regiments, for the year 1831."

Mr. Hume

protested against this vote, on the ground of extravagance, but declined taking the sense of the Committee on the question, on account of the scanty attendance of Members.

Vote agreed to, as were the following Votes. "95,300l. for defraying the charges for unattached Officers, for the year 1831." "697,800l. for half-pay and military allowances to reduced and retired officers for 1831." "91,300l. for half-pay and reduced allowances to Officers in foreign parts, and pensions to wounded foreign Officers, and also pensions to their widows for 1831." "27,174l. for retired Officers of the local Militia, and Militia pensions for 1831." "147,778l. for defraying the pensions to Officers' Widows for 1831." "180,619l. for allowances for the Compassionate list, the Royal bounty, and pensions to wounded Officers."

On the Resolution granting 1,335,986l. for the Pensioners of Chelsea and Kil-mainham Hospitals,

Mr. Hunt

said, that he thought this was a very large sum to be given in this manner in pensions, for if there happened to be in any village a man peculiarly drunken and dissolute, that man was a pensioner. What, he would ask, was the reason of this? Why, because that pensioner enjoyed a large daily pay without the necessity of working for it.

Sir H. Hardinge

was much surprised to hear the hon. Member, who pretended to be, and who perhaps really was, a friend of the lower classes, take such an opportunity to depreciate the character of the lower classes of the military. The men whom he described in such terms were persons who had served their country for a great number of years in every part of the world, and who enjoyed what he would take leave to call a just remuneration for past labours and services, and perhaps for wounds and loss of limbs; and he believed that, without exception, they were as sober and as industrious, considering the previous habits of a military life, as any class in the kingdom.

Mr. C. W. Wynn

thought the body alluded to, for the most part, as respectable as any other members of the community

Resolution agreed to.

A Vote of "53,369l. for Superannuations in the public departments" was agreed to, as was a vote of 32,000l. for Exchequer fees, and Army services.