HC Deb 08 March 1850 vol 109 cc542-613

Question again proposed—"That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."


, after presenting a petition from Liverpool, signed by 3,000 persons, in favour of financial reform, said: Sir, the reason why I submit this Motion to the House to-day is that I am anxious, before we commence voting public money, that we should have an opportunity of taking a general review of the financial state of the country, with a view to devise means, if possible, for a large reduction of the expenditure. I know no other way by which to bring this general review before the House, for ours is a peculiar mode of dealing with the finances of the country. This House never has brought before it, as is the case in other countries, the whole expenditure with a view to take a general review of it. We have the estimates in detail after the Government has decided what those estimates shall be. The House goes through the empty form of sanctioning those estimates, and one of the reasons why we are generally inclined to approve those estimates is that any refusal to approve them is assumed to be a want of confidence in the Executive, and therefore it is tantamount to their removal. Now I think we ought to have the opportunity of discussing this question apart from such considerations. I do not bring forward this Motion in a hostile spirit. I have not framed my Motion in the terms of an address to the Queen, but I have moved a resolution that we ought to take steps to return to the expenditure of 1835. I was misunderstood by the House on a former occasion, for it is a systematic course to misrepresent any movement of this kind. I do not wish to be misrepresented, as meditating an immediate return to the expenditure of 1835. I have framed my Motion in precisely the same words as last year. I then moved for a reduction with all practicable speed. I move the same now. I do not say that you can return to the expenditure of 1835 in one year or two, but I assume that in the present state of the country, in the present state of our domestic affairs and of our foreign relations, there are no obstacles to a gradual return to the expenditure of 1835, provided the Executive Government have the sanction of the House for such a course. And, mark me, if events should happen to change the circumstances of the country, there is no reason why you should not next year reverse the decision that you might come to in this. I only ask you to consider now whether, in the state of our foreign and domestic relations, you are not entitled to expect from the Government that they should return to the expenditure of 1835. I am anxious to bring forward this Motion on another ground. We have Intimations in this House that there are to be Motions made for a reduction of taxation. Now I hold it to be self-evident that you can have no large reduction of taxation unless you have a corresponding reduction of expenditure. I know there are certain parties who think you may shift the burden from one shoulder to another, and thereby give relief to the country. I know there are many who look with very considerable scorn at those who merely take the vulgar view which I do, that you must reduce expenditure in order to reduce taxation. They say "those are vulgar politicians. More good is to be done by a review of taxation, and a remodelling of taxation." Now, I say once for all I have no faith in such a theory. I know of no means of reducing taxation by removing the burdens from one to another—I know of no means of relieving all except by inducing taxation; and I defy you to lay your hands upon any party in the country who is now willing to bear additional taxation. And therefore when you propose to modify taxation you will find as much resistance from those on whom you are going to put the taxes as you will receive support from those who are to be relieved. Then we come to this point, are you anxious to give relief from taxes which press upon industry? I do not confine myself to the excise duties, but I tell hon. Members—those who are anxious to have the malt tax or the hop duty removed—that it can only be done by such a measure as that which I now propose; and before we are brought to vote on the Motion of the hon. Member for the East Riding, I am anxious that we should come to a decision whether we will make such a reduction of expenditure as will warrant that withdrawal of taxation. I have moved on a former occasion that we should return to the expenditure of 1835. I do not take the expenditure of 1835 in an arbitrary spirit. I feel anxious, in common with other hon. Gentlemen, for a reduction of expenditure. I look about to see what is the cause of the increase of expenditure. I ask when the increase begins, and in the course of these inquiries, on turning to the first point at which the increase begins, I go back to the year 1835, but I do it only in order to refer to one point as a resting-place. And I am doing nothing new. This has been treated as though I was for the first time taking this course. It is a course that was taken by the Whigs. For a quarter of a century they always referred to the expenditure of 1792. My hon. Friend the Member for Montrose will bear me out in the statement that from the close of the war to the passing of the Reform Bill, constant reference was made to the expenditure of 1792, not only by the Whigs but by the Tories. I am therefore not taking any new course in the plan that I pursue, and I am not entitled to be pooh-poohed by the very men who have followed that same course. I do not ask hon. Gentlemen to go back to the expenditure of 1835 because a certain expenditure was then incurred; but what I ask you is, whether there is a necessity, after all that has taken place since 1835, to expend more? And I call upon the Government to show the grounds that exist to prevent a return to the expenditure of 1835. When I speak of 1835, I am quite prepared to take an average of 1835, 1836, and 1837. Now, with the permission of the House, I will read—and I beg hon. Gentlemen to bear with me while I read—a few figures, and that they will discard altogether any feeling of prejudice on other questions. I ask them to go into this as a matter of business, with a desire to consult the interest of those who send them to Parliament, who I believe, on this question, feel precisely the same as my constituents do. I will read the particulars of the heads of expenditure for the year ending the 5th of January, 1836, and the 5th of January, 1850. The interest of the funded and unfunded debt was, for the year ending 5th January, 1836, 28,514,000l.; and for the year ending 5th January, 1840, 28,323,000l.; so that the interest of the debt in the latter year was nearly 200,000l. less than in 1836.

Year ending 5th Jan. 1836. Year ending 5th Jan. 1850.
Interest on Debt £28,514,000 28,323,000
Army 6,406,000 6,549,000
Navy 4,099,000 6,942,000
Ordnance 1,151,000 2,332,000
Civil expenditure of all kinds 4,225,000 6,702,000
Total 44,395,000 50,848,000
When I brought forward my Motion last year, taking the finance accounts of 1848, I stated that the increase of expenditure was nearly 10,000,000l. as compared with 1835; but the finance accounts of last year as compared with the previous year, show a reduction of 3,344,000l. You have, therefore, at the present time to deal with the expenditure last year of 50,848,000l., as against an expenditure in 1835 of 44,395,000l., leaving an excess in 1850 of 6,453,000l. And, bear in mind, I take the last year's expenditure from the finance accounts; I am not dealing with the estimates of the present year. By the Army and Ordnance Estimates of this year, so far as they are laid before us, I see there is a considerable further reduction; I believe I may assume that it will be nearly or quite a million; and that will bring the excess at the end of this year over 1835, to something like 5½ millions. Well, that is encouraging, and so far satisfactory; and it ought to be encouragement for us to pursue the same course in this House, by pressing a similar line of policy on the Executive. For I venture to say, that if these efforts had not been made in the House, and by those gentlemen in Liverpool who have been somewhat censured—I mean the Financial Reform Association—I very much question if these reductions would have been made; I question if they could have been made; because we all know that there is an amount of resistance, in certain quarters, to the Executive Government—an amount of solicitude and pressure, such as we have been delayed by tonight, in the speech about brevets—which, unless the Executive are backed by the stern resolution of this House, and the determined efforts of the country, it is impossible for them to resist. Assuming, then, that there is an excess of 6,500,000 in the expenditure of last year over 1835, how do I propose to reduce that excess, so as to return to the 44,395,000l. which we spent in 1835? Without assuming the functions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or making myself responsible for the details, I will just intimate one process by which this reduction may be effected. I propose to take gradually 5,823,000l. from the amount expended last year in the Army, I Navy, and Ordnance; already nearly 1,000,000l. is taken off; but I wish to be understood as dealing always with the excess of 6,500,000l., not taking the estimates of the present year into account at all—I would take 5,823,000l. from the amount expended last year, by gradually reducing the Army, Navy, and Ordnance by that amount. That would leave 10,000,000l. as the expenditure for our armaments; and I beg hon. Gentlemen to remember that amount of 10,000,000l. that I may not hear repeated what was stated last year, namely, that I was dealing with this subject in the spirit of a Quaker, and proposing to leave us utterly defenceless. I would do this gradually. The remaining 630,000l. I propose to take from the civil expenditure, from the cost of collection, and to gain it from the better management of the Woods and Forests. To begin with the civil expenditure. The expenditure for all branches of the civil service last year was 6,702,000l.; in 1835, it was 4,225,000l. Of the seven items under this head, I begin with the civil list, which stands at 396,000l., against 510,000l. in 1835. On this, as the amount appropriated to the service of Her Majesty, I have not one word to offer. The amount settled upon the Queen on Her accession to the Crown having been as an equivalent for hereditary revenues surrendered to the country, in my opinion, gives the Sovereign as good a title to that amount during Her lifetime as many of our ancient nobility possess to their estates. Therefore, let me not be understood, after such a plain avowal of my conviction, to utter a syllable differing from that which any one has ever heard me, either in this House or out of it. There is a general impression throughout the country that the Queen has an exorbitant income, because this amount of 396,000l. is applied to Her civil list; but the country ought to know that the Queen herself has only 60,000l. a year placed at Her disposal. The rest goes in the expenditure of different departments of Her Majesty's household, and for maintaining the state and dignity of the Throne. If I remarked at all upon this expenditure, it would be upon some of those points. There are items in that expenditure which I think might, with great advantage to the Crown, be transferred to other purposes. Take the case of the Master of the Buck Hounds. I believe that establishment costs 6,000l. or 7,000l. a year. It is really an absurdity. Let that sum be applied to the maintenance of one of the Queen's Judges. I do not see why it should not be sufficient to maintain the Lord Chief Justice. I think that would be quite as conducive to the Queen's honour and dignity as if it were voted for the service of the buck hounds; and I very much question whether it would not be more satisfactory to Her Majesty herself. But I am quite sure that that kind of expenditure does not contribute in the result to the honour and dignity of the Sovereign; and if, as we all know, the Queen does live in the affections of Her people, it is not attributable to such idle pageants as the buck hounds, but rather to those quiet, domestic virtues which peep out from the retirement of Osborne. However, I never dwelt upon this as an amount that would largely contribute to the relief of the country; and I pass on to the next item. This is, 464,000l. annuities and pensions for civil, naval, military, and judicial services, charged by various Acts of Parliament on the Consolidated Fund. In 1835, this item was 524,000l. It consists of pensions and annuities; it would be obviously very invidious to point out particular names; and I do not propose to touch them. They have been granted by Acts of Parliament; parties have made their arrangements expectant on those pensions and emoluments being theirs for life; and theirs they shall be, for anything I will do to disturb them. But I think hon. Gentlemen on the other side will agree with me, that it is essential to guard against the repetition of these pensions and emoluments in future. There are a number which, I am sure, could not be repeated in our day, and never will be repeated. But it will require vigilant guardianship from this House and the country, if we are to profit by the demise of these annuitants. Casting your eyes over them, you will see that, necessarily, from the age of the recipients of these pensions, there will be a very considerable, and probably a speedy, diminution in the burden borne under this head. The largest annuity has lapsed within the last six months. Everybody, then, will agree that it is not unreasonable to expect a considerable annual amount dropping in from these pensions and annuities, and that a considerable reduction may be made under this head. I come next to salaries and allowances. These come under a different category altogether. Hon. Gentlemen looking over our finance accounts of last year will find one feature very prominent—the number of Commissionerships. I think we have too many commissions. I should very much prefer to a commission one well-paid responsible functionary. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why, whilst you give to the Home Minister and the Foreign Minister such powers as they have in this country, you should not give to some one individual of good character and good talent the most responsible Commissionership you have to give. You would have the business better done by employing one man than a dozen; it would be not only better done, but cheaper done. Therefore, under this head of salaries and allowances, I hope we may have boards turned into individuals. I think it was Jeremy Bentham who said, "a board is a screen," and it was a very good pun. I come next to diplomatic salaries and pensions. Three, I think, we have a rich harvest field indeed. The total charge for one year is 172,595l. Your Ambassador to Prance has 10,000l. a year; that is his direct personal salary. The Ambassador to Austria has 9,900l. I will give an instance or two of what the united States pay for these services. If I were comparing the expense of a Monarch with that of the elective chief of a Republic, I admit that the analogy would not hold; but when you come to the question of the representatives of a great Empire, and find the Ministers of England and America, living in the same city, subjected very much to the same necessary expenses—I do not speak of the unnecessary expenses—you may fairly establish a comparison between them. Our Ambassador to Paris gets 10,000l. a year; the American Ambassador gets 2,000l. Our Ambassador to Austria gets 9,900l.; the American Minister, 1,000l. Our Turkish Ambassador gets 6,500l.; the American Minister, 1,300l. Our Envoy to Russia gets 6,600l.; the American, 2,000l.; and so on. Many of these little diplomatic appointments ought to be suppressed altogether. For instance, Hanover, with 3,400l. for a Minister; Bavaria, with 4,000l. What earthly ground can there be for keeping a Minister at Munich? There are many hon. Gentlemen who do not like to hold the language in public which I do; but they all say this in private; they all know these appointments are purely ridiculous, that there is nothing for the parties to do. After looking over this diplomatic list, my firm belief is, we ought to reduce the expense one-half, and then we should be paying twice as much as the Americans pay for the same services. I come next to courts of justice, the cost of which for the year ending 5th January last was 1,105,000l. In the year ending 5th January, 1836, it was 430,000l., an increase of nearly 700,000l. As hon. Gentlemen know, that mainly arises from the insertion of a charge of 551,000l. for the Irish constabulary force. Though that item, I suppose, must remain, on looking over the list, we shall find a great deal to do. The salaries of our judges were raised owing to the special circumstances of the time. I am one who think it would be very had economy to pay judges too low, lest they should resort to the practice, which has been used elsewhere, of paying themselves; but I think there is great room for reduction in those salaries in future, when I find such sums as 7,000l. and 8,000l. a year as the current emoluments of those officers. The enormous salaries paid in Ireland are wholly disproportionate to the resources and position of that country. To find a judge in Ireland receiving 8,000l. a year, and to know that in the United States the highest judicial functionary that exists in the world—the one who has more responsible functions than any existing judge, the judge of the supreme court at Washington—who, besides settling all international disputes between the several States in the Union, interprets, without appeal, along with his colleagues, the constitution of the United States—that this officer receives only 1,200l. a year, and that some of the most eminent men of the age have filled that chair—I say it is an anomaly and an unjustifiable fact that you have judges in a country like Ireland receiving 8,000l. a year. Here is an item of 398,000l. spent last year, against 274,000l. in 1835, for miscellaneous charges on the Consolidated Fund. Of this item upwards of 60,000l. is for commissioners in Ireland. Surely these are not to last for ever; and some might be managed at a little less expense. Some of the items cannot be avoided—the interest on the Sinking Fund in the Russian and the Greek loans, those cannot be touched; but we ought to use the pruning-book on these commissions in Ireland. I pass on to the greatest item of all—miscellaneous charges and annual grants of Parliament, 3,911,000l., against 2,144,000l. in 1835. Under this head come all our public grants, all the salaries and expenses of the public departments, and all our colonial and consular establishments. The very words I have read indicate the excessive amount of expenditure involved under this head. First, "public works." Why, the House we are in, or rather that we hope to get into, is a scandal to us. I had no voice in the selection of the form and style of architecture of the New Houses of Parliament, or probably I might have erred as well as the rest; but it seems to me from the beginning to have been a most melancholy blunder. If you had been determined to adopt the most expensive style, and had sought for means of lavishing the public money so as the result should never be seen, known, or appreciated, you could not have done worse than adopt this florid Gothic style. And I must say that the whole expense of our establishment, our whole proceedings, printing, and everything else, from the uppermost pinnacle of the New House, down to the sweepings of this floor, the whole of the proceedings and business of the Houses of Parliament are characterised by probably as much disgraceful waste and extravagance as any branch of the public service. And I think we ought to mend that before we set about to mend other things. I do not go into the details to criticise them; and I will tell you why. I have proposed that there shall be a saving of 650,000l. upon the several items to which I have referred; and I have no doubt that the hon. Member for Oxfordshire, from the views he entertains as to the necessity of reductions in the salaries of public servants, and the cutting down of our establishments generally, will guarantee me a larger saving than that in the course of a few years, and will admit that it is very easy to see our way to a great reduction in the 6,500,000l. of civil expenditure, coupled with the 4,800,000l. the cost of collection, together upwards of 11,000,000l. sterling; and that I am not assuming an impossibility when I say that from that amount you may save in no very distant period 650,000l. Without dwelling on that point, I will pass on to that which, as the largest item, deserves the most consideration—the cost of our armaments. Last year, when I had the honour of submitting this Motion to the House, I began by detailing the different and successive increases that had been made to our military and naval establishments. I showed that from 1836 down to 1848, you had a continual succession of increases of your military and naval establishments, to meet certain special exigencies, such as the Oregon dispute—the Maine Boundary dispute—the M'Leod dispute—the Tahiti affair—the Syrian business; and that when the exigencies which had given rise to the increase of your establishments had passed away, the expenditure, which had been increased to meet those exigencies, had never been reduced again. But we come to the discussion of this subject now with the additional advantage of another year's experience. We are another year further removed from that great crisis in the affairs of Europe, which everybody had expected was to lead to certain calamitous consequences in the form of international war. Now, if there be one consoling feature in the picture, one drop to sweeten the cup of gall that has overspread Europe during the last two or three years, it is this—that we have elicited from all that turmoil and convulsion the fact that there is not a disposition on the part of the great bulk of the people of any nation to pass their frontiers to make war upon a neighbouring nation: I speak of the people as distinct from their Governments; because we were always told before, that when Louis Philippe should die, the French people were so inclined for war, that they would break their prison bars and ravage Europe more like wild beasts than human creatures. Well, we have seen them with the reins in their own hands, and we have seen no disposition on their part to carry war into their neighbours' territories. I do not want you to assume that the Millennium has come, and that there will never be another international war; I do not ask you totally to dismantle your ships and leave your ports defenceless; but what I contend is, that the experience of the twelvemonth since I last had the honour of addressing you on this subject has been rather confirmatory than otherwise of the views I then expressed with reference to the safety of a gradual reduction of our armaments. I alluded last year to another point, on which I frankly said the whole chance of a considerable reduction of our Army must depend—the state of our colonial relations. Since then a most important event has occurred: the Prime Minister of the Crown has adopted the very language I held—I do not say from me—but he has used the same language with reference to the self-government of the colonies which I have ever used. The noble Lord goes the full length that I go on that subject; nay, I confess he has agreeably surprised me in one of the provisions of his constitution for Australia and the Cape, where he allows them complete and absolute control over the form of their own constitution. I think that is perfectly right; and I am delighted to see the noble Lord going to that extremest of extreme lengths in the direction of self-government. What does he propose to do? To give to those colonies the right of forming their own constitutions, levying their own taxes, fixing their own tariffs, disposing of their own waste lands. You have talked and dreamt of vast continents in our colonial possessions which the English people have been told belonged to them, and were to yield them aid and assistance in bearing their burdens and maintaining their position amongst nations; but you have now given up those vast continents to the people who live there. I think that is perfectly right; but look at the consequence. You cannot afterwards, even by an Act of the Imperial Legislature, give 160 acres of land, as the American Government does, to deserving citizens—nor even a single acre to the most deserving veteran in his country's service. I complain not of that; but what I ask, in reference to the question I am now bringing before you, is this: Does the noble Lord intend to stop there? Are we to give to the colonies as complete an independence, nay, more independence, than the States of the American Union possess, since they cannot dispose of an acre of waste land, and have not the power to touch their tariff—shall we give to our colonies that full measure of self-government, and shall the people of this country be called upon, by the same Prime Minister who does all this for the colonies, to pay the whole expense of the military police that occupies those colonies? I come before you on this ocasion, with reference to the maintenance of our Army, under totally different circumstances I maintain that it is utterly impossible for any Minister—any Minister with a head upon his shoulders—after declaring what we have heard declared with reference to Australia, to the Cape, to New Zealand, and to Canada—to contemplate the permanent charge upon the taxpayers of this country of maintaining a military police in those colonies; for it is but a military police. It is not an army kept up to defend those countries from foreign attack. No; we charge ourselves with defending them in case of war; but we keep up military establishments 10,000 miles off, and send periodical reliefs at an enormous expense, to serve as a police for a people better able than the mass of people in this country to pay for their own. And how inconsistent is this course with what we hear stated when our own country is spoken of. When an extension of the franchise in England is proposed, and anybody ventures to quote the example of America, he is instantly answered with this remark, "Yes, they have there hound-less plains of fertile land on which to fall back. They are not cooped up in the narrow streets and crowded cities of England. Place England in the same position, with the Mississippi valley at her hack, and you may give Englishmen the same institutions as the Americans." But you do place our own people in the same position in Canada, in New Zealand, in Australia, and the Cape; and yet you do not apply the same principle, and tell them to preserve their own peace; but you call upon the people of this country, who have to maintain their own police, and to keep their own great cities in order, to maintain establishments, necessary for preserving order in these scattered, and thinly-peopled, and favoured communities. In assuming that you may make a considerable reduction in the expenditure for your armaments, I have assumed a gradual withdrawing of your armies from those colonies to which I have referred. Do not let me he answered by pointing to our arsenals at Malta and Gibraltar, or by a reference to Ceylon or Jamaica, or any of those colonies where the aboriginal or the African race predominates. But confining myself, for the present, to those countries where the English race can become indigenous and where it preponderates—and I make no exception of New Zealand—where the population are being civilised, I say you cannot maintain the charge you now place upon this country of paying for the military establishments in those places. For what is the object? Is it that the sole connexion between England and the colonies should be the expense of maintaining those establishments? I know no other motive, except it be to preserve the patronage; and it will be for this House, if it fairly represents the people of this country, to say that the only reason for persisting in this anomaly, being that of maintaining patronage in Downing Street, is not a good reason for taxing the people of this country. So far with reference to the means for gradually reducing your Army, by withdrawing the forces from the colonies. In addition to the forces kept in the colonies, there are the reliefs necessary at home, in order that those forces may have their appointed times at home, and the number always on the ocean going and coming for relief—together not much short of 20,000 men. That gives the means for a considerable future reduction in the Army. But I maintain that, since 1835, you are in a different position with respect to the Army that you require at home. First, with reference to the means of transport. Why, you forget that since the opening of railroads has linked the extremities of the kingdom together, the same amount of troops gives you a vastly increased power. I have here a very interesting evidence on that subject. General Gordon, Quartermaster-General, stated in his evidence before the Committee on Railways in 1844— I should say that this mode of railway conveyance has enabled the Army (comparatively to the demands made upon it a very small one) to do the work of a very large one; you send a battalion of 1,000 men from London to Manchester in nine hours; that same battalion marching would take seventeen days; and they arrive at the end of nine hours just as fresh, or nearly so, as when they started. What have individuals done in consequence of railroads? They have adapted their circumstances so as to profit by this quick communication. Men of business, for instance, habitually keep smaller stocks of goods, because they can sooner renew their supplies. Last year, in the Committee on the Ordnance Estimates, we applied the same principle. We found that enormous stores were kept in London, and also scattered over several parts of the country; and we recommended the Government to avail itself of the facilities of the railways, as private individuals do, and keep smaller stocks in store and fewer establishments. They have promised to conform to that recommendation. I want them to understand the principle, and to go a little further in its application. Let them also avail themselves of the ready communication which exists to do the same amount of work in cases of need with a smaller number of troops. Even assuming that unhappy position, which I am loth to do, that your soldiers here are to be considered an instrument for keeping order—for I cling to the opinion which was always held and expressed by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on that front bench thirty years ago, that this is a constitutional and civil country, and ought not to rely on military force at all, but—admitting the unhappy position that the bayonet is necessary for the preservation of order, I say that one bayonet now is capable of doing more than two could do in 1835; for there was then no railway communication between our large towns; the London and Birmingham Railway was not made; the only important line then open was the one between Liverpool and Manchester. But this is not the only means which I see for a prospective reduction of our Army. Since 1835 you have very largely increased your forces in other ways. For instance, you have 14,800 out-pensioners enrolled; you have 9,200 dockyard men enrolled in battalions, and drilled to use both large and small arms; you have 2,800 or 3,000 of the county constabulary. Here is an increase of 27,000 armed men, to which may be added 5,000 for the increase of the constabulary in Ireland since 1835. That was an increase of 32,000 since 1835, and it formed an additional ground why there should be a gradual reduction in our armed force. Now take the case of Ireland. Ireland has been always the unhappy excuse for keeping up a large army at home. Ireland is now tranquil, and by passing good measures for her, and giving her a representative system and institutions like our own, you would do more than twelve regiments to keep the peace there. Ireland was never before so free from political excitement and organisation as she is at present. She is now brought within a day's journey of London, and I trust that she will not be treated in future in any respect like a conquered province. You have 25,000 troops in Ireland—that was the amount last year, according to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War; you had an increase of 5,000 to 7,000, in the constabulary; you had an increase of 5,000 pensioners. You have altogether in Ireland an armed force of 40,000 to 42,000 men at the present time; but in 1833 you had not more than 23,000 or 24,000 of all ranks. I say, therefore, that Ireland affords the means of a considerable gradual reduction in the Army. But it is not in the mere reduction of the forces that I wish to see economy. On technical points I do not wish to give any opinions of my own, but I can vouch for the fact, that the organisation of our Army is the most expensive and extravagant in Europe, more especially as regards the number of its officers. What possibility of reduction exists so long as you maintain its present organisation? Last year you turned out a number of disorderly and drunken men who had subjected themselves to punishment; but I complain that you have not reduced the officers as well as the men. This year the very same process is going on. You propose to reduce 1,800 rank and file, but I can see no corresponding reduction in the number of officers. I hoped to see the withdrawal of a major or one or two captains, but I find their number is just as great now as it was before. Independently of the reduction in the number of men, you might effect considerable economy by a different organisation of the Army. It does not require a military man to know that. In your cavalry regiments, in particular, a change is required, because they are the laughing-stock of Europe. I asked a distinguished military man, at present in London, who occupied a high grade in the service of Austria, and acquired some celebrity in the war in Hungary, to look over the army estimates with me and to see how differently they manage these things with us and in Austria. I believe the Austrian system does not differ much from that of France and Prussia. Well, when I showed him the estimates and told him how we managed, he laughed outright at the force of our cavalry regiments and the number of officers. The organisation of the Austrian regiments is this:—The light cavalry of Austria, comprising lancers, hussars, and light horse, have in time of peace 8 squadrons of 180 men each, or 1,440 men; and in war, each squadron has about 200 men. Each regiment has I colonel, I lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 8 captains of first rank, 8 captains of second rank, 16 lieutenants of first rank, 16 lieutenants of second rank; total, 52. The dragoons and cuirassiers are organised in the same manner as the light cavalry, with the exception that there are only 6 squadrons and but I colonel and I major. This gave one officer for every 28 men. Now in the English guards there are 32 officers to 351 men, or one officer to every 11 men. In the cavalry regiments of the line there are 27 officers in a regiment of 328 men, or one officer to every 12 men. The result to which we came was this, that if you put two English regiments into one, with only half the present number of officers, you would have still 20 per cent more officers in an English regiment than in an Austrian one, I recommend the Government to alter this system, if it were only to take away the justification which the members of the Liverpool Financial Reform Association had when they said that our Army was kept up for the purposes of the aristocracy. Until you remove these facts, no person in the entire country will believe that these forces are organised with an eye to the best interests of the mass of the people. If you want to show that you bonâ fide desire to reduce the number of our forces, amalgamate the regiments—retain the number of bayonets if you will, but do not keep so many officers. But whilst you reduce the men, the really effective portion of the forces, and retain the officers, the most expensive, the country will say that you keep up your Army for the benefit of the aristocracy. I do not pretend to any technical knowledge myself on this subject, but I am prepared to give the name of my informant to any gentleman who desires it. Now, with regard to the Navy, it has increased to a very large extent since 1835. The great increase of expenditure has been for the Navy. It has increased from 4,099,000l. to 6,942,000l. Now, I say there is nothing in the state of affairs in Europe which should deter us from contemplating a gradual reduction in our marine forces. And here, again, I have to complain that the organisation of our Navy is formed, not with regard to the interests of the commerce of the country, but has been made subservient to high patronage, because, if you compare it with the navy of the united States—and no person will say that we would do wrong in comparing ourselves with the United States in marine matters—you will find that the United States have only one line-of-battle ship at sea; but wherever their commerce is extended—and it extends over every ocean and sea—you will find small vessels of war. Thus they make their navy answer that purpose which a navy should answer in time of peace—that of a police force for their mercantile marine. But we keep an enormous number of line-of-battle ship at sea, which are not of the least use as a police or safeguard of commerce. As to the idea of their looking after pirates, for instance, you might as well think of getting field batteries to run after pickpockets in the courts and alleys of London. But although we wanted small ships of war, we did not possess them, because the Navy as organised at present, offered more ready preferment to the higher classes. But there are reasons for reducing the Navy now which did not exist in 1835, for we have now, independently of the royal ships, a new power which is available as a reserve force, in the steam vessels which we use for the purpose of Post-office communication. Last year I sat upon a Committee which inquired into the practicability of using all our steam vessels—all our merchant steam vessels—as a means of national defence. We stated in our report that it was practicable to call into use an immense amount of steam power which may be made available in case of necessity. We stated that 108 steamers of 400 tons burden and upwards, of which there were 35 of more than 1,000 tons, could be made available for national defence at a few weeks' notice, and that there were 700 or 800 vessels altogether, on every one of which some kind of armament could be placed in case of necessity. In six weeks time the larger vessels could be fitted as war steamers, and a large weight of guns could be placed on board of them, in case of any sudden emergency or hostility. My hon. Friend the Member for the Orkney Islands, who very much promoted that Committee, will tell you what amount of mercantile steam force yon may be able to call to give assistance. Nothing of all this existed in 1835; and therefore I say you have here the means of saving the current expenditure of the Navy. In the present state of The Navy, as of the Army, I see reasons why you may diminish your expenditure. I do not think your fleet in the Mediterranean is of any use or credit to you at the present moment. I think those great line-of-battle ships now in the port of the Piraeus would be much better employed if laid up in ordinary or on the stocks; because as long as you keep in commission, in time of peace, these enormous armaments, you will find a disposition, either on the part of the Government, or of the Foreign Secretary, or of the Admiralty, to employ them in some way or other, in order to have an excuse for renewing the estimates at the year's end. How differently the Government of the United States acted! They acted in a manner which ought to be a lesson to us. They never armed themselves to the teeth in time of peace in order to frighten foreign Governments, for they knew that foreign Governments would give them credit for the latent strength which they possessed, and that they would never be encroached upon whilst they had such power in reserve. Our policy, on the contrary, has been founded on the supposition that foreign Governments would not give us credit for strength unless we kept a great number of line-of-battle ships afloat. I would recommend you to adopt quite a different policy—reduce your armament—diminish your taxation, and thus you will increase the prosperity, comfort, independence, and happiness of your people. You will thus more assimilate their condition to that of the people of the United States, who are more prosperous mainly because they are less taxed. Do this, and you will do much more towards the defences of the country than by expending money for line-of-battle ships and steam vessels of war; for I maintain, that by converting your iron and steel into ploughshares and spinning-jennies, you will add more real strength to the country—when the necessity arrives—than by turning them into bayonets and cannon. Every day's experience more and more illustrated the maxim, that money formed the sinews of war, and that those who were encumbered with large arrears like France and Austria, were in a position to be bullied by countries which had not one-tenth of their force in preparation in actual ships and regiments of the line, but which had an easy exchequer and a margin in taxation, which valuable resources could be drawn on when the necessity arose. When I say this, I am not to be told that I am urging a disarmament, for what I ask is a matter of opinion, the expediency of spending 10,000,000l. on your armaments instead of 15,000,000l., as you proposed to expend next year. I now come to another department—the Ordnance. It is impossible for any man to look into the Ordnance Estimates without feeling satisfied that a great deal might be saved by a better and more economical management in that department. It had been said in answer to my argument for reduction last year, that the stock and stores in hand had been allowed to run too low in 1835. I have heard it alleged against the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ripon—to whom I always gave credit for his management of the Admiralty in 1835—that he left the department in such a state that much more money had to be expended afterwards in procuring stores for the Navy. I can only say that we found it necessary in the Committee on the Ordnance to remonstrate with the Government for keeping too many stores; and the same reproach applied to the Navy for the waste which took place in that establishment. The Committee which sat on the Navy and Ordnance say, that you may save 15 per cent in the amount of stores, that you will get them better manufactured, and have less waste by keeping a less quantity, whilst you will not be obliged to sell 400,000l. or 500,000l. worth of old stores, as you have done heretofore, at a loss, I will undertake to say, of not less than from 50 to 75 per cent. I am now going to speak on a technical point with regard to the Ordnance force, but I do not do so on my own authority. You have very much increased your artillery as well as the sappers and miners, and the engineers. Now a professional gentleman has told me that a great saving might be effected if a large number of the artillery corps, who were now maintained here doing comparatively nothing, were employed to garrison our fortresses abroad, instead of employing troops of the line for that purpose. By this means, I am told, the men could be kept in practice in places which were appropriated for it, and could be withdrawn from places where they had no room to manœuvre. I know nothing on this point myself, but I mention it as having been stated to me on some authority. I calculated that a great reduction may be made in the Ordnance department in respect of stores, and what I may call the civil department of the Ordnance. I believe all parts of the service are themselves dissatisfied with the Ordnance, and everybody looks this year for a considerable re-modification of that establishment. I therefore come to this conclusion. There are general and special grounds why we may hope within the course of a few years to see a large reduction in our Army, Navy, and Ordnance establishments, without the least danger to the peace or security of the country. Did hon. Gentlemen consider what 10,000,000l. is? Did they consider that it was twice as much as was expended by the United States before the Mexican war? It is more than the whole expenditure of Prussia. The whole expenditure of the Prussian Government did not amount to so much as I propose to leave for the Army, Navy, and Ordnance. I ask hon. Gentlemen to put alongside of the danger—if any danger there be—of being left with only 10,000,000l. for the expenses of their military establishments, the inconvenience, the risk, and even the danger of leaning on taxation as it is now. For I do not consider this country lightly taxed. Some one in the City has written a pamphlet to show that this country was lightly taxed. The way in which he proceeded to do this was by comparing the expenditure now with what it was during the last three years of the war, and then he argued, that because our expenditure now was not more in proportion to our wealth, we were not heavily taxed. It may be true that we are not more heavily taxed now in proportion to our wealth than before; but what I contend is, that wealth does not pay the taxes, and if it did pay the taxes, you would not have a rich man in the City writing to show that it was lightly taxed. Why, about 35,000,000l. or 36,000,000l. is raised in this country from consumable articles. Thou this, of course, is a most inconvenient tax. I say inconvenient; and whatever you do, and however you do it, not many years can pass without an alteration of this system, and the abolition of many of those taxes which now press on the industry and manufactures of the country. Another doctrine was lately enunciated, that we were nut to have a remission of taxation, even if we were to effect a surplus by the reduction of expenditure, but that any surplus that existed should be applied to the reduction of the national debt. I am for the payment of that debt, but you cannot do it by setting aside 2,000,000l. to pay 800,000,000l. Some grander scheme must be propounded before any Minister could pay such a national debt as ours with a surplus of two millions. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth began a new system in 1842, by giving relief to commerce, and substituting, to a small extent, direct for indirect taxation. Probably it is not put in the shape most desirable, but in that which is most practicable. But, at all events, I hope you will not part with it. I confess I should like to see the tax on property raised to 10 per cent. But the right hon. Baronet had commenced a new system in 1842, and the impulse which he gave to the commercial industry of the country created an era in its history which was never known before, and the Government now in power could not contemplate to lose altogether the merit which they may acquire by following a policy which had been immensely advantageous to the country. If you wish to pay off the national debt, you must do so by converting it into terminable annuities, and at the same time reducing the taxation which impeded and crippled industry and manufactures. I should have no objection to increase the tax on property to 10 per cent, in order to give the Government the power of remitting taxation, and taking away the impediments to the progress of business, such as affected paper makers, printers, or any others. But the Government cannot do that, I know. They can, however, do that which I propose, namely, reduce the expenditure to the standard of 1835; that will give them a surplus for the present, besides a growing surplus arising from the relief which will be afforded to industry, in the course of time you would have a surplus of 10,000,000l. Is not that important? Divide it into two. With one-half convert a portion of the national debt into terminable annuities; with the other half take away the taxes on soap, hops, paper, and the like. Is it not better to trust to the increased comforts which this would confer on the population as the element of your security than in those armaments on which you spend so much money? This proposition I make is for the purpose of enabling you to take that course. The proposition I make ought to be considered rather as a vote of confidence than of a want of confidence in the Government; for if the House will only allow them, I am sure the Government will be glad to adopt the resolutions I propose. But there is a party in this country who resist every change and every improvement. They do not appear here in public, but they work covertly, and they require to be counteracted if this House desires to accomplish what I propose. I ask you, then, as you value the interest of those who sent you here, not to regard this as a party question, not to go into a particular lobby, because it is I who make this proposition, but to deal with it fairly and bonâ fide on its merits, and I trust in favour of the resolutions I offer for the acceptance of the House.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "the net Expenditure of the Government for the year 1835 (Parliamentary Paper, No. 260, 1847), amounted to 44,422,000l.; that the net Expenditure for the year ended the 5th day of January, 1850 (Parliamentary Paper, No. 1,1850), amounted to 50,853,000l.; the increase of upwards of 6,000,000l. having been caused principally by successive augmentations of our warlike establishments, and outlays for defensive armaments. 'That no foreign danger, or necessary cost of the Civil Government, or indispensable disbursements for the services in our Dependencies abroad, warrant the continuance of this increase of Expenditure. 'That the Taxes required to meet the present Expenditure impede the operations of agricultuture and manufactures, and diminish the funds for the employment of labour in all branches of productive industry, thereby tending to produce pauperism and crime, and adding to the local and general burdens of the people. 'That, to diminish these evils, it is expedient that this House take steps to reduce the annual Expenditure, with all practicable speed, to an amount not exceeding the sum which, within the last fifteen years, has been proved to be sufficient for the maintenance of the security, honour, and dignity of the Nation,'

—instead thereof.


said, the hon. Gentleman had concluded his address by asking the House to consider his Motion not in any party spirit. He (Mr. Labouchere) heartily concurred with the hon. Gentleman in that request. If the hon. Gentleman had only proceeded, before the House considered the estimates of this year, to lay before them his own views upon a great variety of topics, he (Mr. Labouchere) should be far from saying he had not taken a wise and useful course; because, he knew the intelligence and research of the hon. Gentleman were such, that upon any subject to which he had addressed his attention his advice would be of service to the House. But the hon. Gentleman had gone far beyond that, and asked the House to agree to specific resolutions, which it would be his (Mr. Labouchere's) duty to urge upon the House the propriety of not acceding to. Unless they were prepared to affirm a proposition in direct contradiction with the facts, and to make a pledge of a most impolitic description, which they might be unable to adhere to with safety, or retreat from with consistency and honour, he confidently appealed to them, whatever their opinions might be upon particular parts of the hon. Gentleman's system, in accordance with their duty to the public, and those principles of economy which ought to be foremost in their minds, to reject the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. The Motion of the hon. Gentleman this year was a repetition of the Motion he made last year. He again pledged the House to revert to the expenditure of 1835, and ascribed the increase of the expenditure of this year as compared with that of 1835 principally to successive augmentations in our warlike establishments. He (Mr. Labouchere) should endeavour to show, in the first place, that the statement was incorrect; and, in the next place, that the pledge would be impolitic and unadvisable. But there was a remarkable difference between the hon. Gentleman's Motion this year, and that of last year, and to which the hon. Gentleman had not made even a passing allusion. That difference was most important. In his Motion this year the hon. Gentleman said that the increase between the expenditure of the two years which he compared amounted to 6,000,000l. In his Motion of last year, he said the difference was 10,000,000l.; and yet, notwithstanding that difference, his hon. Friend still went on using the words "successive augmentations," and asked the House to apply that same expression to the expenditure of this year which he asked them to apply to the expenditure of last year. He heartily hoped that if his hon. Friend renewed this Motion year after year, he would have again to alter year after year in the same way this particular part of it. He would endeavour to meet this question fairly, not going into small details, but addressing himself to the great points to which the hon. Gentleman had adverted; and he thought he should be able conclusively to show that, consistently with the facts, it was impossible to agree to the assertion contained in the resolutions of the hon. Gentleman. He said the statement of the hon. Gentleman was incorrect. The statement in the resolution was— The increase of upwards of 6,000,000l. having been caused principally by successive augmentations of our warlike establishments, and outlays for defensive armaments. In the first place, he thought he could show that, when they came to sift the accounts, the real increase of our warlike establishments was not the greater part of 6,000,000l., but, in point of fact, amounted in round numbers only to 2,365,000l. He had in his hand a statement of the comparative expenditure of 1833 and that of 1849. It was this:— Debt, 1835, 28,514,610l.; 1849, 28,323,961l.; decrease, 190,649l. Charges on Consolidated Fund, 1835, 2,082,817l.; 1849, 2,794,892l.; increase, 712,075l. Army, 1835, 6,406,142l.; 1849, 6,549,108l;.; increase, 142,966l. Navy, 1835, 4,099,429l.; 1849, 6,942,397l.; increase, 2,842,968l. Ordnance, 1835, 1,151,914l.; 1849, 2,332,031l.; increase, 1,180,117l. Miscellaneous, 1835, 2,144,144,345l.; 1849, 3,911,231l.; increase, 1,766,886l.; total increase, 6,454,363l. Of this increase a considerable proportion appeared under the heads of Army, Navy, and Ordnance, viz. 4,166,051l. In order, however, to form a just comparison between the expenditure of the two years for these services, deductions must be made from the expenditure of 1849, viz.:—1. The excesses over the estimates of former years, which, though voted in 1849, were not applicable to the service of that year, 642,632l.; 2. The appropriations in aid, arising from the sale of old stores, &c., which were applied in diminution of the expenditure of 1835, but under arrangements of recent years were paid into the Exchequer—these amounted, in 1849, to 421,036 l.; 3. The Post Office packet service, which formerly was partly defrayed out of the Post Office revenue, but formed a charge on the naval estimates in 1849, 737,200l—total, 1,800,868l. (the vote for the packet service in 1849 was 750,000l.; in 1835, 12,800l.—737,200l.) If the House would add up those figures, they would find that the real increase for our warlike establishments in 1849, as coin pared with that of 1835, was only 2,365,183l. He would next proceed to the statement of the hon. Gentleman, that that augmentation, whatever it was, had been successive. He thought he could show that that was a most incorrect expression, and that it was impossible for the House, with a regard to the truth of the facts, to adopt it. Since 1848, instead of there having been a successive augmentation of that part of the expenditure, there had been a successive decrease. Last year his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose absence he particularly deplored on this occasion, for he would have made the statement it was now his (Mr. Labouchere's) duty to make, with far more knowledge and ability than he possessed, on the occasion of the hon. Gentleman's Motion, stated that the following reductions had been made, namely, in the Navy, 730,850l.; Army, 378,624l.; Ordnance, 337,873l.; amounting altogether to 1,447,347l. And the House would observe from the estimates, that in the Army, Navy, and Ordnance, of this year, there was a diminution upon those of last year of no less than 424,000l.; and if it were not for the accidental cause of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty being obliged to devote this year 100,000l. as head money for the expense of capturing pirates, he would have succeeded in reducing the naval estimates to the amount of 500,000l. As it was, the reduction in that branch was 424,005l.; in the Army, 122,814l.; in the Ordnance, 194,184l.; making altogether a reduction of 745,003l. He contended that the House could not, thou, consistently with the fact, assert that since 1835 up to the present time there had been successive augmentations of our naval and military service. On the contrary, it was proved to demonstration that although that might have been true in 1848, our expenditure had since taken a different course. As to the Army, he had shown that the expenditure had been successively diminished for the last three years. He bad an account of the number of men voted for the Army for the last five years, He found that in 1845–6, the number voted was 100,000; in 1846–7, 108,000; 1848–9, 113,000; 1849–50, 103,000; 1850–1, 99,128; so that, since 1848, there had been a decrease in the effective service amounting to 13,872. In connexion with this subject, he would also advert to a point to which their attention was directed last year in reference to the Navy Estimates—he alluded to the objectionable practice in former years of having more men borne on the Navy than were voted by the House. In the present year his right hon. Friend had entirely put a stop to that practice—not a single man was borne on the Navy that was not voted by the House. He found that the number of seamen voted last year was 26,000. On the 30th of November, 1849, the number borne on the Navy was 25,776, being 224 seamen and 321 marines, in all 545 less than the number voted. But although he bad thus thought it right to correct what be considered to be a misconception, and consequently a misstatement of the hon. Gentleman with regard to these points, it could not be denied that of late years there had been a very considerable increase of our naval and military expenditure. The attention of the House had been called to the causes of that increase. In the first place, it had been caused by works of defence of great value, which entailed very heavy charges on this country, though of a temporary nature. He meant especially the works of defence of our various dockyards, and at Malta and Gibraltar. He believed that those works were undertaken from a strong sense of their absolute necessity on the part of those who were best able to judge upon the subject, and that the money thus spent, so far from being wasted, was advantageously expended. At the same time, he might remark that this was a source of expenditure which in its nature was only temporary, and would entirely cease as soon as the works, considered essential for the object by competent authorities, were completed. Another great cause of this additional expenditure, since 1835, had been from the necessity of creating establishments for steam-vessels. The necessity of putting our steam fleet on an efficient footing was quite obvious, and an expense for that purpose, greater than it would be subsequently, had been incurred, and, as he believed, necessarily and justly incurred. The third cause of the increased military expenditure was undoubtedly one to which the hon. Gentle-man adverted. Before he sat down, he should feel it necessary to refer more at length to the charge for affording protection to our increased colonial possessions since 1835. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth, in the very able speech he addressed to the House in 1845, when a Minister of the Crown, went very fully into the subject; and, after stating that the number of our colonies had increased from thirty-two to forty-five, went into the reasons and necessity of the increase of that part of our expenditure. But still the greater part of the difference of 6,000,000l. to which the hon. Gentleman adverted, remained to be accounted for. The smaller part only could be justly traced to the military establishments. The greater part would be found in the civil expenditure; and he would now address himself to the causes of that increase. That arose from charges on the Consolidated Fund, which amounted to 712,000l., and from an increase in the various branches of the civil service, comprised in the annual estimates, amounting to 1,766,000l., making a total of 2,478,000l., which was a larger increase than that of the naval and military expenditure. That increase for civil purposes might be classed under three general heads:—First, those charges which, in a great measure, had, at various times, and for various purposes, been forced on the Government by that House, acted upon, doubtlessly, by the demands and opinions of their constituents. In the next place, charges proceeding from unforeseen calamities; and, thirdly, charges now defrayed by Parliament which were formerly defrayed from other sources; and which, therefore, ought not to be charged as an increase on the expenditure of the country. Under the first head were the following: Harbours of refuge (new charge), 141,000l.; payments in aid of county-rates, 148,000l.; expenses connected with the poor-laws,198,000l.; Parliamentary and other printing, 82,000l.—which he quite agreed with his hon. Friend was a most monstrous and extravagant charge; but he was afraid it would be very difficult for the Government, unless they received more general support from that House than they had hitherto done, effectually to check it; for prison discipline and convict service, about 400,000l.; education, including colleges in Ireland, 225,000l.; Registrar General, Tithe and Copyhold Commissioners, &c., 71,000l.; British Museum buildings and establishment, 40,000l.; New Houses of Parliament, 45,000l. He now came to the second class, those charges which, as he said, were owing to unforeseen calamities, and the first he would mention arose from the unforeseen calamity of the burning of the old Houses of Parliament, which had led to great expenses for the new Houses of Parliament. The other charge under the same head was 163,000l. for the distress in Ireland. He now came to the third class of expenses—he meant those that were now provided by Votes of Parliament, but which were formerly defrayed from other sources: House of Commons and Government-offices fees, brought in aid of estimate in 1835, now paid into Consolidated Fund, about 100,000l.; postage consequent upon the abolition of official franking, 44,000l.; constabulary police of Ireland, 570,000l.; police of London and Dublin (increase), 40,000l. Besides these, there are—charges for Hong Kong, New Zealand, and other new colonies, 70,000l.; increase in consular establishments in China and other parts of the world consequent upon the extension of British trade, 53,000l. These charges, without going into further details, would account for the aggregate increase in the civil expenditure, which had taken place to the extent above stated, notwithstanding reductions which had been from time to time effected in various establishments. He thought he had now shown that the statement which the hon. Gentleman invited the House to concur with him in making—that the increase of expenditure since 1835 was mainly owing to the increase of our military establishment was incorrect, and that it was equally incorrect to say that it had been going on from 1835 to that moment. He would now proceed to a more important part of the Motion of the hon. Gentleman, namely, the pledge he called upon the House to make, that it would speedily revert to the scale of 1835. The hon. Gentleman had laboured much to prove to the House, that, in reality, they would do no more by adopting his resolutions than say they had every desire to revert to that scale of expenditure; but they did not mean to do it for two or three years if that was necessary; but he (Mr. Labouchere) held, that for the House to make a pledge of that description was altogether unparliamentary. He should be as glad as his hon. Friend could be to see that House able to reduce the burdens of the country and our military establishments to such a degree as not to be higher than in 1835, but he would not be dealing frankly with the House or the country if he expressed his own sanguine opinion, that, taking the chances of human affairs into consideration, we could reasonably expect, within a short period, to reduce our expenditure generally, and our military expenditure especially, within those limits. He, therefore was unwilling to concur in a pledge he might not be able to redeem. But he conceded too much to the hon. Gentleman when he said by this Motion he merely asked the House to reduce the naval and military expenditure of the country to the scale of 1835, because, in point of fact, the resolutions, if carried, pledged the House to a reduction of the naval and military expenditure a great deal below what it was in 1835, or to a reversal of the benefit of a great many of the proceedings which had been adopted in the civil service. The terms of the resolution required that the House should pledge itself to a reduction of 6,000,000l. in the naval and military expenditure; but he (Mr. Labouchere) had shown that the real increase in that portion of our expenditure, comparing last year with 1835, was only 2,360,000l. The resolution, if assented to, would in fact, therefore, require a reduction in the naval and military establishments to the extent of no less than 3,640,000l. below what they were in the latter year. If, however, the meaning of the proposition was, that all the heads of expenditure should be reduced to the same nominal amount as they showed in 1835, it would still require a virtual reduction of 1,800,000l. in the naval and military services below the expenditure of 1835; and to make up the amount of reduction required by the hon. Gentleman, it would be necessary to revert to the former scale of civil expenditure, and to deprive the country of the advantage of many of those measures which a liberal consideration of the requirements of the country had induced Parliament to sanction. The hon. Gentleman said he had conversed with a Hungarian general, who laughed at our skeleton regiments, with so many officers to the men, and compared them with the Austrian system. He (Mr. Labouchere) suspected that the Hungarian general laughed, not at so many officers as at so few soldiers in those regiments. The truth was, that system was adopted for the purpose of economy. Our object was, to maintain our Army on the smallest possible scale compatible with the possibility of extending it at any time we might be called upon to do so; and he hold that true economy was to maintain our regiments in such a state that officers might be always ready and men might be easily found. But what was the Austrian army as compared with ours? It numbered more, he believed, at that moment than 400,000 men. Nations that had their military establishments upon such a scale could afford to have their regiments full of soldiers ready for war at any time, and, consequently, need not trouble themselves to have those skeleton regiments which on our more economical system we thought it the right course to adopt. When the hon. Gentleman told them the true policy of the country was not to have enormous naval or military establishments, but to have a well-filled exchequer and a contented and prosperous people, and that that was the way to make this country great and respected, he agreed with the hon. Gentleman that those were the true elements of power which the British nation and British Ministers ought to keep in view; but the hon. Gentleman's speech convinced him that the hon. Gentleman would not disagree with him when he said this was a question of degree. The question was not whether we should have naval or military establishments at all, but whether our establishments were excessive. He contended they were not. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman that all practical economy should be exercised with regard to them; but it would not be deserving of the respectable and sacred name of economy to pare down those establishments and make them inefficient. Our true policy was, not to keep overgrown establishments, but to keep them in a state respectable and susceptible of extension when circumstances might require it. The hon. Member called upon the House to declare that henceforward we should withdraw the military protection which we had hitherto afforded to the colonies of the British empire. Now, he (Mr. Labouchere) hoped the House would not misunderstand what he was going to say upon this subject. It was not his intention to deny that it was the duty of the Government and of the House to watch narrowly the colonial branch of the expenditure of the empire, and to reduce it within the narrowest limits; and he was able to show that the Government had not neglected its duty in this respect. As a general principle, he was prepared to admit that the colonies might fairly be expected to defray the expense of all that related to their internal police. It formerly was the practice—previously to the French Revolution—for the British colonies to defray the greater part of the expense incurred by the mother country in providing for their defence, and he was not prepared to say that that principle might not be again prudently and cautiously carried into effect to some extent; but nothing was more to be deprecated than a hasty and inconsiderate recognition of a principle as applicable to our colonial possessions scattered all over the world, which disaffected men—and there were such in some portions of our colonial empire—might misrepresent for the purpose of exciting ill-feeling between the colonies and the mother country. It was not surprising that the hon. Member adverted to the colonial part of the question, because the military defence of the colonies formed a large item of expenditure. He spoke of military defences alone, because he believed that the colonies caused no addition to the naval expenditure; but, on the contrary, that the circumstance of the British colonies being scattered over the whole world, enabled us to employ fewer ships for the protection of our trade than would otherwise be necessary. The military expenditure for the colonies, including the pay of troops, cost of transport, cost of barracks, and a large proportion of the dead weight of the Army was considerable, and it doubtless was desirable to reduce it gradually to the lowest point consistent with the exigencies of the public service. The principle of reduction had already been acted upon vigorously and efficiently, but at the same time considerately and cautiously. It would be most unwise to pass a sweeping resolution, and attempt to apply it to all the colonies. It would be necessary to consider separately in that House the circumstances of each colony. Putting aside Malta and Gibraltar, which were rather military stations than colonial possessions, and taking only what were strictly colonies, the House would observe that, as regarded the necessity for military defence, some were placed in a position widely differing from that of others. Australia was not exposed to foreign attacks or dangers arising from aborigines, and, except in one part, was able to protect itself against the evils consequent on a convict population. Australia, then, must be dealt with differently from Canada, which had a foreign frontier of great extent, or New Zealand with its large aboriginal population. Acting on the principle of effecting reductions cautiously, and seizing on every opportunity which occurred of inviting the colonies to take upon themselves charges which they could justly be called upon to defray, a reduction of expenditure to some extent had already taken place. On the 1st April, 1847, the troops at the Cape were upwards of 5,365; on the 1st of January, 1850, they amounted to little more than 4,108. The Government had been enabled to effect this reduction by the establishment of a Kafir police, which obviated the necessity for employing troops on the Kafir territory. When the Cape obtained representative government, it might fairly be expected to bear a considerable portion of the expense incurred for barracks and troops in that colony. On the 1st of April, 1847, there were 6,400 troops in Canada, and now there were only 4,300. In Canada, also a principle had been enforced which had long been acted upon in this country. It being found that the barracks in Montreal were untenable, it was proposed to remove the troops to another part of the colony where commodious barracks existed; but the inhabitants of Montreal wished, for local reasons, that the troops should remain there; and the Government, acting on the occasion just as it would have acted in England under similar circumstances, said, that if the presence of the troops was required for local and not national reasons, the people of Montreal must provide them with barrack accommodation. That arrangement had been adopted, and the consequence was, a saving to the Government of about 30,000l. These circumstances were adverted to by him for the purpose of showing that the Government omitted no opportunity of reducing the colonial military expenditure. Two regiments had been withdrawn from the West Indies in the course of the last three years, and the number of troops had also been considerably reduced in Australia. Then again the legislature of Sydney had been called upon to undertake the charge of the barrack department; and he believed that the same principle had been carried out in every Australian colony except Van Diemen's Land, where the presence of troops was rendered necessary by the large amount of convict population sent there for the convenience of the mother country. It wag now his intention to advert to the observations which had fallen from the hon. Member relative to what he called the great naval establishment of this country. The hon. Member pointed to America. "See," said he, "how she protects her commerce in every part of the world," and he invited us to follow her example as regarded the Navy. It was not his (Mr. Labouchere's) intention to assert that a great fleet was necessary for the protection of the commerce of this country, or for the protection of the country itself. He believed that the system pursued of having only a very moderate fleet afloat, and keeping the dockyards in a condition to augment it at any moment, was the most politic and the most economical as regarded naval expenditure; but he could not concur with the hon. Member in thinking that it would be wise to leave the country utterly defenceless, without the power of equipping or exercising a fleet. It was of great importance that we should have the means of occasionally collecting together a squadron of eight or ten ships, in the management of which officers acquired the experience that could only he obtained by acting together. The hon. Member told them to look to America; but it was also necessary to look to other quarters. It was gratifying to know, that we at present maintained relations of the most amicable character with the great maritime and military Powers of the Continent, and that there was as little probability now as had prevailed during several past years of the peace of Europe being disturbed; but, on the other hand, when we looked to the great fleets which Russia and France could send out at a moment, he could not consent to deprive this country altogether of the power of equipping and sending to sea a respectable fleet when the national interests required it. The possession of that power, far from increasing the chances of war, was the best security for peace. It was the possession of that power during the last three eventful years, when intestine wars and convulsions had been rife on the Continent of Europe, which had enabled this country, not only to preserve peace at home, but to exercise great influence abroad. Yes, during that period England had furnished the example of a loyal and prosperous people, rallying round their ancient institutions, and whilst the revolutionary surges roared around her, she not only remained unharmed herself, but was a safeguard to other nations. If the principle propounded by the hon. Member came to be acted upon, England must descend from the proud position which she now occupied. We were not far from the Baltic and the Black Sea—we were surrounded by powerful nations, able to equip fleets and raise armies, and under these circumstances it would be a suicidal act to adopt a policy which would deprive us of the means of defence. He had now disposed of the two main propositions comprised in the hon. Member's resolutions; there were other points in them, but they were corollaries, and not calculated to give rise to much dispute. For instance, it was stated that— the taxes required to meet the present expenditure, impede the operations of agriculture and manufactures, and diminish the funds for the employment of labour in all branches of productive industry," &c.— which, of course, no one would deny. But, in comparing the system of taxation which prevailed in 1835 with that existing in 1850, the hon. Member must surely concur with him in rejoicing that important changes had been made, which had permanently benefited all classes of the community. In the interval between the two periods, a large amount of taxation had been repealed, whilst another portion had been transferred from the industrial classes to the property of the country; and, finally, duties had been remitted which were intended to benefit one class at the expense of others, and particularly of the industrial part of the community. He held in his hand a document bearing upon this subject, which did not come from the Vote Office, but was published by the hon. Member for Bodmin. It was a chart intended to illustrate the commerce, industry, and revenue of the country by means of lines, which resembled in their undulations the Andes or the Appenines. There were two features of this chart which he regarded with satisfaction, and which were calculated to furnish instruction. Looking at the line which described the expenditure of the country, he found that in 1813, 1814, and 1815, it rose to a tremendous height; but that since that period it had gradually and regularly declined. It was true that the line had been creeping up a little since 1835, but it reached a turning point in 1848, and now it was again going downhill. Other lines indicated the prosperity of the trade and commerce of the country, as exhibited by the increase of exports and imports. These proofs of the prosperity of the country had gone on increasing almost uninterruptedly from 1812. It was most gratifying to observe these proofs of the increasing prosperity of trade and commerce concurrently with diminished taxation and reduced expenditure. Without entering into any dispute with the hon. Member as to whether this country was more heavily taxed than other nations, he would at once admit that no larger amount of taxation should be drawn from the people than was absolutely necessary for maintaining the real interests and honour of the country; but at the same time it was necessary that we should not hastily adopt a system of false economy, which would ultimately lead to extravagance and waste. He hoped that the Government and Parliament would continue, as they had done, to reduce the expenditure, and, consequently, lighten the burdens of the country; but he trusted that the time would never come, when, for the sake of a fleeting popularity, the advisors of the Crown would so far forget the sacred duty they owed to their Sovereign and the people, as to recommend reductions which they did not conscientiously think could be safely effected. The hon. Member for the West Riding had alluded to the expenses of the judicial establishment; and he (Mr. Labouchere) would not undertake to say that economy might not be pushed further in that direction. At the same time, when the hon. Member held up America as an example in this respect, it was necessary to remind him how totally different the circumstances of the two countries were. There was nothing of which the people of England were more justly proud than of the character and conduct of their Judges. The effect produced by the unsullied character of the judicial bench could hardly be estimated by any more money value. What man of enlarged views would set any paltry saving that might be effected by curtailing the salaries of the Judges, against the inestimable advantages which the Bench conferred on society by conciliating the good will of the people towards the Government, and inspiring them with respect for the law? It was indeed a wretched economy which would incur the risk of depriving us of these inestimable advantages. Care ought to be taken that the Judges were paid sufficiently well to induce counsel who were the ornaments of the Bar to accept office. He (Mr. Labouchere) had been in the United States, against which country he had no prejudice; and he saw with delight the progress that great people were making in prosperity. But he was not an indiscriminate admirer of the institutions of the United States. There were many things in which this country had the advantage; and he preferred the footing on which our judicial establishments were placed. The hon. Member said a chief justice was paid 1,200l. a year, in the United States. Yes; but how did they treat a chief justice? On attaining the age of sixty, they turned him off the bench without a pension or anything. He recollected seeing a gentleman who had been a judge, but had ceased to be so, having passed his 60th year, and who had been obliged to go back to the bar, where he was earning a great deal more than he was paid as a judge. That was an illustration of the total difference in the position of judges here and in the United States. He trusted it would not be supposed that he was not as intent as any Member of the House in enforcing a proper economy, when he rose in opposition to the resolution; but believing as he did that the resolution was plainly inconsistent with the facts of the case—that the pledge which the hon. Member invited the House to take was an imprudent one—that were they to adopt it, they would probably be placed in a position in which the Government could not carry it out consistently with their sense of duty to that House, and from which they could not retreat with honour—he therefore asked the House to negative the proposition of the hon. Gentleman. He hoped they would not be deterred from doing so by the fear of their conduct being misinterpreted by their constituents and the country. He was satisfied the people of this country, however desirous of economy, were too sagacious and intelligent to be misled by the mere name of economy, unless the measure to which it might be applied were brought forward in a practical shape; and he therefore confidently asked the House to proceed with the estimates of the year. The course pursued by foreign Governments in presenting the whole expenditure in a lump, had been held up for imitation; but he could not imagine a more arbitrary or improper mode of dealing with the House of Commons. The course always adopted by the Governments of this country was far more just and legitimate, giving the House much more control over the expenditure. He trusted, therefore, that the House would negative the resolution which the considerations he had stated showed to be most inexpedient, and proceed with the Estimates.


declared he would give his support to the resolutions of the hon. Member for the West Riding, nor did he conceive that by so doing he was pledging himself to any reduction of the effective force of the Army and Navy. There was ample room for reduction without at all impairing the efficiency of either service. He saw nothing which bound him to follow the example of America in the payment of her judges, nor in any way to cripple the energies of the State. It was because he could not deny the propositions affirmed in these resolutions, that he felt bound to vote for them. He regretted that he was, upon this occasion, going to take a course different from that which would probably be pursued by those with whom he usually acted; but the hon. Member for the West Riding had so completely made out his case that he would not feel himself justified in withholding his support from him. The difference in the amount of expenditure between 1835 and 1849 was not contradicted. Here was the statement of the hon. Gentleman:— That the net expenditure of the Government for the year 1835 (Parliamentary Paper, No. 260, 1847), amounted to 44,422,000l.; that the net expenditure for the year ended the 5th day of January, 1850 (Parliamentary Paper, No. 1,1850), amounted to 50,853,000l.; the increase of upwards of 6,000,000l. having been caused principally by successive augmentations of our warlike establishments, and outlays for defensive armaments; that no foreign danger, or necessary cost of the civil government, or indispensable disbursements for the services in our dependencies abroad, warrant the continuance of this increase of expenditure. The resolution did not state that the expenditure had been wholly in the Army and Navy, but principally; and upon this point the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade was incorrect. It was undeniably true that a very large increase of expenditure had taken place since 1835, and it was also to be remembered that in 1835 the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth was at the head of the Government, and that right hon. Baronet would be the last man in the country to come down to that House with estimates which were insufficient to maintain the security and dignity of the country. But the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had passed over many of the allegations of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding. He had not said a word, for instance, about the salary of 10,000l. a year to our Ambassador at Paris. He came to another resolution, which he could not see how any Government could deny— That the taxes required to meet the present expenditure impede the operations of agriculture and manufactures, and diminish the funds for the employment of labour in all branches of productive industry, thereby tending to produce pauperism and crime, and adding to the local and general burdens of the people. Nor could he see how any Member of that House could refuse his consent to this proposition— That, to diminish these evils, it is expedient that this House take steps to reduce the annual expenditure, with all practicable speed, to an amount not exceeding the sum which, within the last fifteen years, has been proved to be sufficient for the maintenance of the security, honour, and dignity of the nation. He did not care what quarter of the House such propositions came from; approving as he did of the principles they embodied, he would feel bound to support them. Our expenditure had enormously and speedily increased, and he thought it would be highly proper on the part of the House of Commons to declare that it would return with all practicable speed to the adoption of the estimates of 1835. The right hon. Gentleman said there was general prosperity, although one interest was depressed, and he attributed that prosperity to the taxation which had been taken off. But it was that very change in the principle of taxation which made the burden fall so heavily on a large portion of our own people—it was that change which caused its inequality and its gross injustice. His belief was that if the Government persisted in imposing the present amount of taxation, and in keeping up the same extent of expenditure, the people of England would protest against it, and would, perhaps, cause a much greater reduction of expenditure than the hon. Member for the West Riding proposed—a reduction which might not be consistent with the safety and honour of the country. What had been the effect of their taking off the duty on foreign corn? Did they think they got it cheaper than they would have done had there been a small fixed duty on it? No, not a shilling; for the price of foreign corn was not regulated by the price it sold at in the foreign market, but by what it would fetch here. The only effect of taking off the duty was to let foreign produce into competition with our own produce in our own markets with-paying any share of our taxation. Lay on a small fixed duty, the price abroad would fall to nearly the same extent, a very considerable revenue would be raised, and taxes immediately pressing upon the landed interest might be taken off. He was prepared to support the Motion of the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire for the abolition of the malt tax. [An Hon. MEMBER: Why, that amounts to 5,000,000l.] He did not care if it were 6,000,000l. He would vote for its repeal, because it was a most unjust and a most injurious tax. The salaries of the Judges had been alluded to. The right hon. Gentleman lauded the Judges, and every one must concur in that eulogy; but at the same time the altered value of money must be taken into account, and if the same sum would purchase twice as much, he did not see why the great functionaries of the State should be doubly paid, whilst many of their fellow subjects were suffering great distress. There was no use in evading the question. If the present state of things were to be continued, the salaries of Judges, Ministers, public officers of all sorts, and of hangers-on of the Government, must be cut down. One word as to the "hard bargain" mentioned by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon a short time ago. The right hon. Baronet then said, that he (Mr. Spooner) would cheer what he was going to say upon the Currency Bill of 1819. The right hon. Baronet had prophesied rightly. He did cheer it—most heartily cheer it—and was delighted to see the right hon. Baronet return to his first love. He would do his right hon. Friend the justice to say that he did warn the country at that time as to what would be the consequences of the Currency Bill; and he, too (Mr. Spooner), though not in Parliament then, told large meetings of farmers and others that the corn law was a delusion, and that the sliding scale would slide from under their feet. That to the repeal of the money law of 1819 it was that they ought to look for relief from the evil under which they were suffering. He felt persuaded that large reductions might be made without injuring the permanent strength and stability of the Army and Navy. He believed that a great reformation ought to be made in the dockyards, and that there were great abuses going on there. He believed that the Ordnance, which had one office in Pall Mall and another at the Tower, might be economised; that the Admiralty expenditure might be curtailed; and that considerable retrenchment might be made in the salaries of the Lords of the Treasury. Mr. Canning said, he wanted to know of what use were the Lords of the Treasury, except to make a House, to keep a House, and to cheer the Minister when he was wrong.


said, that it was his opinion that, as they had lowered the prices of food in the country, so they ought to lower their establishments. The speech which had been made by his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding, and which included most important considerations, had not been answered by the statements which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. Whatever might be the opinion on either side of the House, as to the resolutions brought forward by his hon. Friend, they ought, at any rate, to be agreed on the facts of the case and he trusted that they would direct their attention to the statement that had been made by the right hon. Gentleman, because he challenged the facts as stated by his hon. Friend, and said that the increase of expenditure, instead of being 6,000,000l., was only 2,365,000l. Now, he (Mr. Hume) would affirm that the figures of his hon. Friend were right, and that those of the right hon. Gentleman were wrong. He, for the purpose of proving the correctness of the position which he had taken, would just take the Parliamentary papers, and he found that in the year 1835, the expenditure amounted to 44,422,000l., and he found that in this year it amounted to 50,853,000l., showing that the increase, instead of being only two millions, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman, came very nearly to six millions, as was stated by his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding. This increase had been caused by their holding such expensive establishments as their Army and Navy to their present extravagant extent. He held in his hand a return, which was prepared by Mr. Baring, and this was the result:—In the year 1835 the expense of maintaining their military establishments, meaning the Army, Navy, and Ordnance, amounted to 11,627,000l.; for the succeeding years it increased successively million by million until last year, when it amounted to 20,000,000l., showing an increase of nearly 10,000,000l. There were other items which made up the difference, which appeared by the resolution of his hon. Friend. The net expenses of the Army, Navy, and Ordnance, in the year 1847 amounted to 16,864,000l., in the year 1848 to 18,502,000l., and in 1849 to 17,645,000l. This showed on the average of the three years an increase that it was not possible to deny. What did the right hon. Gentleman do? He denied that there was an increase, because there was a reduction within the last two years; but he did not deny that there was a rapid increase from the year 1835 until it amounted to 6,000,000l. The denial of the right hon. Gentleman was a perfect quibble, and he did not properly meet such an important Statement, because this large increase in the expenditure of the country was owing to the increase in the Army and Navy. His hon. Friend had been most candid and fair in everything that he had laid before the House. He stated, that there was an increase in the various civil departments—he mentioned the police and several others—but he did not go into details, because his principal ground was on the military and naval establishments. So far from the first resolution being contrary to fact, and so far from the House being warranted in rejecting it as being incorrect, he would call on the House to give their support to it because the allegations contained in it were correct, and because the statements made were in accordance with the returns which had been made officially. It was his wish to have the second part of that resolution answered. It stated that no foreign danger, or necessary cost of the civil government, or indispensable disbursements for the services of our dependencies abroad, warranted the continuance of the increase of expenditure. He wished that they had heard from the right hon. President of the Board of Trade some explanation, some answer. If there was no answer given, what would he (Mr. Hume) say? Why, he would remind them that from the year 1832 to the year 1838 the establishments of the Army, Navy, and Ordnance, ranged from 11,500,000l. to 12,500,000l. If, as the hon. Gentleman who last spoke had said, the right hon. Member for Tamworth, and the Government who were with him, were able to conduct the affairs of this country, to afford protection to our colonies, to defend our honour abroad, and to maintain peace at home, his hon. Friend was justified in saying, "Tell us now, where is there any foreign danger, where is there anything extraordinary that requires that we should keep up our present large establishments." Why not return to those which were sufficiently extensive to maintain the peace and tranquillity of the country, and to support our honour as complete as it has been within the last six years? As regarded the second resolution, was there one hon. Gentleman that could at all deny that the taxes were so heavy that all classes of the community were desirous of being relieved from them? The low prices had reduced the incomes on the part of everybody; and was it right that they should still maintain those expensive establishments, and a heavy amount of taxation, while the means of maintaining them were reduced? He now would ask them what confidence could be placed in any pledge from the Treasury bench? Was it not admitted that but for the refusal of this House to give money, the expenditure would go on increasingly? Until the increase in the income tax was refused, they had not a shilling of reduction in the expenditure; then the estimates were withdrawn, and new and amended ones made out, and they were actually forced by the vote of this House to take credit to themselves for having done it willingly. If they were desirous to take off the pressure of taxation, they should vote for the resolution. And he could not, anxious as he was to maintain public faith, vote for a reduction of taxation, if they were not prepared to lessen the expenditure, and thus enable them to do so. It was with that view that the proposition was made. He would ask, was not the expenditure beyond the wants of the nation, and whether a lower and less expensive establishment would answer all the purposes which they require either for defence or for security, and whether they were not perfectly safe in pledging themselves to the following proposition, which was the last one. The hon. Gentleman then read the last paragraph, and continued to say that nothing should be done hastily, but it should be done speedily. [Laughter.] He was quite consistent in what he had said: they had a saying "the more haste, the less speed." Any hon. Gentleman that voted against this paragraph could not be sincere in his desire to reduce the expensive establishments of the country, because it was impossible that he could come forward to support a reduction of the taxation, and not pledge himself to reduce the evils which gave rise to taxation. Now he would take the Army, and he would observe that every- body who had attended to the expenses of the Army, knew that the number of men they voted regulated the aggregate amount of the expense not only of the Army, but of the Ordnance. In the year 1835, the number of men voted for the service was 81,319; in the year 1836 it was 81,219. Now, he would ask whether they were not now perfectly right in calling upon the Government to recede to that establishment which was sufficient for all purposes at that time? In 1843 the number voted was 100,846, in 1848 it was 115,847, and yet it was denied that there was any increase. In the year 1850 the number voted was 99,127, which showed an increase over that of 1835 of 17,809. It was impossible to deny that there was a progressive increase, and nobody could say that they would be doing wrong in going back to the system which was adopted in the year 1835. The number of men voted to the Navy in 1835 was 26,041, in 1843, 40,229, and in 1847, 44,969, being an increase of 18,928 over that in 1835. And yet they were told that there was no progressive increase. He wanted to ask the House could there be any reason assigned why so large an increase had been made. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade said that the increase had been sanctioned by the House. That was just what he (Mr. Hume) complained of; and it was a very bad House for so doing, and he hoped that the time was not far distant when they would be convinced of their error, and when it would be admitted that taxation had been carried to its utmost, and should now be reduced, and they should take the opportunity of pledging themselves to reduce it as soon as possible. In whatever point of view they looked at it there was no satisfactory reason why these establishments should be kept up in their present extravagant way. He would now make use of a document which was very instructive. It showed the increase in the expenses of maintaining the number of men on the staff of the Army abroad and at home. The staff abroad, in 1835, cost 58,640l. In the year 1850 it cost 97,602l. The staff at home cost, in 1835, 59,382l., in 1850, 67,314l., showing an increase of 46,494l. These were what the Government called symptoms of economy. Unless it could be shown that there was any special danger, or any special circumstances now in existence that did not exist in 1834, 1835, and 1836, they should reduce their expenditure to the old amount. He would not undertake to inform the Government what the exact number of men in the Army and Navy ought to be, but he might refer to the opinion of four Committees, who stated that though it was the province of the Government to decide what the number of troops and seamen ought to be, they could not help referring the Government back to the period when the expense was less, and when every service of the country was performed with safety and honour. He would say, without pretending to be a judge, that 81,000 men in the Army, and 26,000 men in the Navy, were quite sufficient for the year to which he had alluded; was it not fair to ask them to pledge themselves that they would return to these amounts, unless it could be shown that some special ground existed why the present amount should be maintained? This was the whole of what his hon. Friend had brought forward, and he could not add anything to what he had stated. He would venture to state, that if hon. Gentlemen were desirous of such a reduction, they would agree to a resolution to enable her Majesty's Government to know what was the feeling of the country on this matter; and he was sure they would do so if they wished to carry out the desires of their constituents. He hoped they would pledge the Government to bring back the expenditure from its present wasteful state, to that in which it existed in a time of perfect security, and under a Government in which they had every reason to place confidence. He addressed the House on this matter as seriously as he ever did on any matter, and he asked them to begin by stating decidedly, by their votes, that they were prepared to take steps as speedily as possible to reduce all unnecessary expenditure, and to bring the country to that state and condition when their establishments were less expensive and sufficiently effective. His hon. Friend did not allude to the very heavy charge that was made for pensions. Hon. Members were not aware of the ineffective expenditure of this country. The amount now considered necessary for that purpose amounted nearly to that which the Army and Navy cost in the year 1792. The reports which had been made by Committees both in 1807, and in 1817, recommended reductions in the expense as fast as possible, and as much as the circumstances of the country would allow. It was also recommended in 1810 that the system of pensions should be altered. Notwithstanding all these recommendations, an enormous amount of money was devoted to that purpose. The hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House, had alluded to the Admiralty; but he (Mr. Hume) did not so much blame them. They had very arduous duties to perform; and one of those duties was to take care that the pensions of those who retired from office were strictly conformable to law. But, notwithstanding all their care, the pensions were as large this year as when Lord Castlereagh proposed that they should be reduced. He would ask the House, before they rejected this proposition, if they wished to reduce taxation, to be just, and to take off this vast expenditure to enable them to make the reduction; and to exhibit to the country a desire to do their best to promote its interests.


was understood to say that he would not have taken any part in the debate had it not been for one assertion boldly hazarded by the hon. Member for Montrose. That hon. Gentleman ventured to affirm that no person having a sincere desire to effect a reduction in the expenditure and taxation of the country, could do otherwise than vote for the propositions of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding. As he (Mr. Herries) was one of those who was sincerely desirous to aid in the attempt to reduce the expenditure of the country in every way in which a reduction could be reasonably made, he thought it right to say that he could with equal sincerity object to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. He was of opinion that the Motion of the hon. Member opposite did not carry with it any proof of sincerity in the course which it professed to pursue. He did not think that this was the proper time and place for proceeding by a general and abstract proposition. And if the hon. Member for the West Riding was really as sincere as he professed to be, he could hardly have adopted a line better calculated to defeat his purpose than that of interposing an Amendment to prevent the House from going into Committee, where the object he said he had at heart could be so much better attained. It appeared to him that this was a Motion put forward rather as a blind to conceal the hon. Member's real intentions. Why should they go back now to the year of 1835? They knew that there were very great augmentations made in the expenditure of the country since then; but to state that fact, without any other comment upon it, was only calculated to mislead. The course taken by the hon. Gentleman opposite was one which by no means tended to the public good, inasmuch as it was not the proper mode to induce public men to devote their attention to practicable reductions. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, who replied to the hon. Member's propositions, had dissected the 6,000,000l. of asserted augmentation in the military departments. From his statement, which was no doubt most correct, it appeared that 2,300,000l. only of this could properly be considered as an increase in reference to the military and naval establishments. By the Amendment of the hon. Member for the West Riding, he (Mr. Herries) was, however, invited to affirm that these had been the principal causes of the augmentation of this 6,000,000l. He could not agree to that proposition. He was also called on to declare— that no foreign danger, or necessary cost of the civil Government, or indispensable disbursements for the services in our dependencies abroad, warrant the continuance of this increase of expenditure. He was certainly disposed to assent to the mere proposition, that there existed at the present time no immediate appearance of danger of foreign war; but he could not concur in affirming a statement which would imply a belief that the condition of this country and Europe was one of perfect and unusual security. He was, on the contrary, much more disposed to believe that the state of things throughout Europe at the present time was not sufficient to warrant a reduction in the military and naval establishments of the country. No doubt there never was a time in which this country could more truly be said to be in a state of actual peace with all the world—with the exception of those doings in the Archipelago, from which, little as we un-understood them at present, we could hardly anticipate any serious consequences. But looking to the state of Europe, and looking to what was going on on every side, he thought it was impossible they could say that this was a time of particular quiet, or that there was such a prospect of apparent tranquillity abroad as should induce them to reduce their warlike establishments. The third proposition was this:— That the taxes required to meet the present expenditure impede the operations of agriculture and manufactures, and diminish the funds for the employment of labour in all branches of productive industry, thereby tending to produce pauperism and crime, and adding to the local and general burdens of the people. To this he gave his entire assent. But what occasion there was for them to affirm those truths on the present occasion, he was yet to learn. It was a matter of more serious consideration to determine whether or not those taxes bore too severely on the agricultural or manufacturing interests, and in what degree the pressure of them affected the great questions on which the public feeling and opinion were so much divided at this moment. This, however, he did not consider a fair subject for discussion at the present moment, notwithstanding his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire had introduced it into the speech which he had made upon the present Motion. He did not think it was fair to draw the House into a discussion now on that most difficult and interesting question. But the real point of the proposed Amendment was in the last resolution:— That to diminish these evils it is expedient that this House take steps to reduce the annual expenditure, with all practicable speed, to an amount not exceeding the sum which, within the last fifteen years, has been proved to be sufficient for the maintenance of the security, honour, and dignity of the nation. He would not affirm that proposition, for it had not been proved to be so. In 1835 the estimates were greatly reduced. In the subsequent year they were augmented. In the year succeeding they were again augmented, and, in fact, had since, as had been stated, undergone successive augmentations. Well, he would ask, how did those facts prove that they were sufficient in 1835? It had always followed, whenever they attempted to make reductions greater than the honour or safety of the country warranted, there followed an immediate return to a much higher expenditure than it originally was. Of this we had ample experience in the earlier financial career of the Member for Montrose, when, by his exertions, aided by the factious Whigs of those days, the estimates were reduced so low that it put the country to a vast expense to replace the defences of the country on a reasonable and safe footing. He hoped that the House, instead of agreeing to the sweeping impracticable propositions put forward by the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, would go into Committee, when they could honestly consider every item, with the view of reducing the expenditure of the country to the lowest possible amount warranted by the existing state of things. This would have been the legitimate course for the hon. Member for the West Riding to pursue; instead of which he moved a series of resolutions that meant nothing and would do nothing. For these reasons, having a sincere desire to go as far as his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire, in the way of reduction, he would support the original Motion for going into Committee. He was, indeed, somewhat surprised to hear his hon. Friend declare that although he would support the Motion of the Member for the West Riding, he would nevertheless resist any attempt to diminish the effective strength of our Army or Navy. Why, the very next vote, if we went into Committee, would put that declaration to the test, and then we should see his hon. Friend, after voting now, that the military establishments were too great to the extent of 6,000,000l. a year, refusing immediately afterwards to agree in any diminution of them. He hoped that the House would agree with the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War for the consideration of the Estimates, and thereby give a negative to the proposition of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. He hoped that they would go into Committee with a desire to reduce in every possible way the estimates that were to be proposed. He was confident that by so doing they would be much better able to effect their object than by assenting to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman opposite.


said, he found that the right hon. Gentleman who had just resumed his seat on this Motion, was of much the same mind as he was in last year, and he must say that he thought he had taken a far less satisfactory view of his hon. Friend's proposition than was taken by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. The latter hon. Gentleman did not fall into the error of refining overmuch on the words of the Motion—he did not hypercriticise; but he took the whole broad meaning of the proposition in the sense in which it would be taken by the public; and, being an advocate for the repeal of excessive taxes, he was perfectly consistent in the course he was taking in supporting the proposition of his hon. Friend. There was no mode of submitting the view of his hon. Friend but that which he had taken. If he were to take the advice of the right hon. Member for Stamford, and defer the proposal for economy until the estimates themselves came before the Committee, that particular items might be discussed, it would be impossible to propound the general views of reducing the number of odious, tyrannical taxes which were now pressing on the industry of the country; it would be impossible to submit his general policy, when details were under inquiry; and he thought his hon. Friend the Member for the West gliding had acted wisely. He (Mr. M. Gibson) voted for this proposition mainly on the ground that he was most desirous to see the policy which the right hon. Member for Tamworth propounded in 1842, viz., the removal of those taxes which impeded production, which limited the field for the employment of labour, which prevented the progress and improvement of particular fabrics and manufactures, and did far more harm to the general interests of the public than they could possibly do good by any amount of revenue. It was for that object that he (Mr. M. Gibson) was anxious to scrutinise public expenditure, that he might be enabled, with due regard to the public creditor, to repeal these taxes. He had put the taxes on one scale, and large armaments in the other, and he asked himself what is the present course to be taken in reference to the welfare of the population? On the one hand, was he to support taxes which might limit the field of employment, increase pauperism, increase crime, and prevent the progress of knowledge? Was he to do all these things, or to have large defensive armaments, to protect them against some imaginary contingent evil which was said to be impending over them? Or, on the other hand, was he to weigh the probability of these foreign dangers, and was he to consider whether it would not be more rational to remove these taxes, and give that relief to industry which would accrue from their removal? Having done that, with a desire conscientiously to take the course which was best for the general interests of the community, he had come to consider how they might reduce the warlike armament, and might apply the surplus to the repeal of those taxes which were pressing down industry, and increasing pauperism and crime. The right hon. President of the Board of Trade did not fairly represent the hon. Member for the West Riding; he said he would not follow the advice of the hon. Gentleman, and abandon the defences of the country; he would not leave England entirely unprotected, without a navy and an army. Nobody had asked them to disarm entirely; they had asked them to consider whether there was that probability of any danger which could prevent fair and reasonable deductions in their defensive armament. He thought his hon. Friend had brought forward his Motion in a proper form, by fixing upon a particular time when our general expenditure was at a less amount than it was at present, and calling upon the Executive Government to explain why the increase since a particular time should become a permanent addition to our national expenditure. It was not sufficient for Government to account for temporary increases from temporary causes; what they were asked was, what was the reason we were to have a permanent increase of the expenditure of England nearly six millions over what it was in 1835? It was for the Government to show that the protection and defences in 1835 was inadequate. If the defences were adequate in 1835, it was for them to show that subsequent circumstances had arisen since 1835, which called for increased expenditure. It was not enough to talk of Oregon, Macleod, and the question of Don Pacifico. These were matters that called for temporary and special efforts, but could not be urged for the permanent increase of the expenditure; and it was in that spirit alone that his hon. Friend submitted his Motion to the House. Were the defences in 1835 adequate to the safety of the country, or were they not? The right hon. Member for Stamford seemed to hint that they were inadequate, and he (Mr. M. Gibson) had frequently heard it said that the dockyards in 1835 were left in a state of destitution; that the Navy could not have been supplied with any material, if required to be equipped against an enemy; and that very hasty and considerable reductions had been made in the materials of naval warfare. He took the trouble to inform himself, by the inquiries that had taken place before Committees of the House as to the real facts of this case. This report had been very sedulously spread throughout the country, but he was afraid by people who had much greater zeal for swelling out their particular department than they had zeal for the safety of our finances. But he knew the importance of the statement, and therefore he went into the matter whether the principal articles in 1835, as compared with the present time, were in this neglected state. And what did he find? That of the principal article—namely, timber, in this year of destitution there were in the dock-yards 59,671 loads of timber, and in 1848 there were 56,048 loads of timber. In another important article—namely, dock deals, averaging forty feet in length, there were 32,145 in 1834, and 22,311 in 1848. With regard to this particular article, the Secretary of the Admiralty was asked by the right hon. Member for Ripon, was not that a most important article? and the answer he made was, "A most important article. I do not think the importance of it can be overrated." The stock of that article was one-third more than at present. In hemp—second in importance to timber—there were 7,221 tons in 1834, the year of destitution; and in 1848 there were 5,067 tons, or one-third more in 1834 than in 1848. Of tar there was 15,250 barrels in 1834, and only 8,977 barrels in 1848: double what it was at present. Canvass and copper bolts; about the same at the two periods. Fitted rigging—an article of primary importance—was 52 sets in 1834; 47 in 1848. Hauls of yarn, of great importance, numbered 5,584 in 1834, and 3,554 in 1848. There was no article of more importance than chain cables, and in that he found also a great difference, there being 857 in 1834, and 645 in 1848. In 1834, there were 170 lower masts, in 1848 only 160. In 1834 there were 327 top-masts; in 1848, 228 top-masts. In 1834 there were 52 bowsprits; in 1848, 54. He had gone through the principal articles employed in men-of-war, and he found that in this period of destitution there was a greater amount of those important articles than in 1848. The evidence given before Committees of that House completely put an end to those reports on which they were called to base their legislation. One of the strongest points in the arguments against his hon. Friend's proposition was, that the defences of 1835 were inadequate for the safety of the country, and that was the reason for the subsequent increase of expenditure. The Government must excuse him for reminding them what would have been their position at the present moment if they had followed the policy they indicated in 1848. They came to that House in 1848 2,000,000l. behind-hand—a deficiency, certainly, not of their creating, and arising out of circumstances over which they had no control; and with the ordinary expenditure exceeding the revenue, they proposed to increase that expenditure. So that had they pursued that policy, they would now, instead of a surplus of 2,000,000l., have to deal with a deficiency of more than 2,000,000l. Could they, then, blame the reform party for scrutinising the increase of expenditure to its then amount? On the contrary, he believed that the Government had been materially strengthened, and placed in a much more enviable position, by their having done so, than any Whig Government of former times; for by following a system of retrenchment they found themselves with a surplus instead of a deficit. With regard to the Army, he thought it was open to any Gentleman to question the policy of maintaining the present scale on which it was kept up, and that before the Speaker left the chair, was the proper occasion for submitting such a question of general policy as the reduction of our military forces. At the peace of 1816, the noble Lord at the head of the Government foresaw that unless great efforts were made, the habit of having large military forces for war purposes would become so engrafted on the country, that in time of peace they would still be maintained. On the 26th of February, 1816, the noble Lord said— Among the many reasons that had been urged for the enormous peace establishments, the most absurd appeared to him to be the assertion that it was necessary for our own security, in order to avoid the speedy renewal of hostilities. The House could not fail to recollect that for the last twelve years Ministers had been soothing the impatient country by stating that the war was continued to prevent the necessity of an armed peace, and yet now they ventured to tell the people that, after all their sacrifices, they had gained nothing, for still an armed peace was all that had been acquired: thus then the case stood—we had undertaken a war to procure peace and a diminution of taxation; and we had concluded a war only to perpetuate the burthens for which war had been the only excuse. To show that the amount then contemplated was nothing extraordinary compared with our present one, he would quote the words of Lord Grenville, who said on February 14 in the same year— If any thing could add to the astonishment and horror which he felt when he heard of such an intention, it was this, that an army of 50,000 men was to be kept up in the United Kingdom. When that should be proposed, he trusted that time and opportunity would be given to discuss the proposition. He trusted that it was not in the course of one night, or one debate, that their Lordships were to be persuaded so far to abandon the maxims and policy of their ancestors, as to cast away the hope of the blessing of peace and freedom. For his own part, feeling as he did every year still less and less desire to share in the debates and labours of that House, yet, if such a measure as this were really to be brought forward, there was no eexrtion of which he was capable that should be spared to prevent so great a misfortune. Just in the same manner as the war which ended in 1815 caused the subsequent establishment of what the noble Lord so forcibly called an armed peace, so every little military effort since had left a permanent addition behind it. As the onus probandi lay on the Government to show the necessity of this increased expenditure, his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding was perfectly justified in asking now for some rational ground for continuing as a permanent charge the additional sum of 6,000,000l., which was mainly caused by our naval and military forces. It was true that our colonial policy had been cited as a reason for increasing our Army. No doubt we had added fresh colonies to our empire, but that was not an answer to his hon. Friend's proposition, namely, that it was not reasonable that these colonies, instead of being a source of strength, should be a source of weakness to us, by drawing upon our resources and our Army. His hon. Friend did not deny the fact that our colonies had increased since 1835, but he asked the House to decide whether it was fitting that the people of this country should be taxed in order to support colonies which were able to support themselves. The amount of force sent, after all, to those particular colonies was quite inadequate to prevent the invasion of an enemy, or the interference of a foreign Power, either with their property or liberty; while it was not the kind of force adapted for the purposes of a police, or the internal regulations of those colonies. Therefore, neither on the one hand nor on the other was it reasonable that they should, in this useless manner, give a supply of troops to the colonies. They were told it was for the protection of trade. Now, whenever there was any interference with foreign countries by our fleet or forces, he was sure to receive letters from his constituents, calling upon him to urge the Government to desist, for inasmuch as it was upon their interests and trade the injury would fall. When, for instance, they found a British fleet in the Mediterranean, threatening an armed interference in Greece, under the direction of Admiral Parker, they knew and felt it would be impossible for such interference to take place without affecting their interests, and forthwith they wrote to him on the subject. Surely it was too much to say, then, that it was in order to protect their trade and their interests that this increased expenditure was incurred. The American flag went just as unmolested as the English flag into every port in the Mediterranean. When the Secretary of the Admiralty was asked to explain the purpose of this Mediterranean fleet, his only answer was, that it was there for political reasons, into which it was not within the province of the Committee to inquire. Thus they had nothing more than vague surmises or political reasons not to be investigated for this parade of armaments in those seas. No Minister of the Crown or ex-Minister ever ventured to elucidate the matter. He did not know what was the present amount of the Mediterranean fleet; but in 1848 we had thirty-one ships there, and 8,000 men. Such a display as that necessarily excited a belief that we had an intention to invade some country, or at least to interfere in the internal affairs of some country. When the people saw so large a fleet, and all this army of armaments, it must be evident to them that it was not for the purposes of protecting trade, but for some political object; so that, instead of its being any guarantee for peace, it amounted to a constant manœuvring and a parade of our arms in various quarters of the world, calculated to provoke hostility, excite jealousy, alienate and estrange, rather than promote, intimate and friendly relations. We fancied that the Chinese war, which had caused the increase of our fleet in those seas, had opened fresh markets for this country. But what was the fact? Why that our exports to China and Hong Kong were gradually declining every year, and would, he believed, soon go back to what they were before the interference. Thus would we have placed ourselves in this position by our Chinese policy—that we would have to maintain a large fleet in those seas without any corresponding advantage to this country. He regretted to say that that House readily listened to a proposition from the Government involving a war with China; but if asked to reduce the tea duties, the answer was, that it was impossible—the state of the revenue would not admit of it. And yet he ventured to assert, that no intelligent man in the trade would say, that he would not prefer a reduction of the tea duties to keeping up a large naval force in the China seas. On the contrary, that he would infinitely prefer a larger consumption of tea, at reduced prices, by which his trade would be extended, than trust to the efficacy and chance of extending it by the power of the cannon and the sword. With respect to India, they were told, that if we increased our army there it was of no consequence, it was the East India Company that paid. True; but it did not follow that our estimates were not in consequence swelled by accounts for half-pay and non-effective service. It had been asserted that our acquisition of the Punjab would open fresh markets for our manufactures. He doubted whether after those wars we should have as good a trade as we would have had without them. He doubted if the military ardour displayed by such engagements was not too often influenced by a large amount of prize money, aud that but for that we should have had less of these frontier wars. Yet were they advanced as reasons why we should maintain a large military force. The great difficulty to be contended with in the reduction of our naval, military, and ordnance establishments, was the excessive zeal which the members of these professions had for their respective callings. He did not blame them. He would not say it proceeded from interested motives. It might, he knew, arise out of an honourable desire to see those professions increased to the greatest amount and degree of efficiency. But that was not the point of view in which that House could regard the question. On that subject he would quote the opinions of Sir H. Parnell, who said— Secondly, as to the practicability of retrenchment, the zeal with which all existing expenses are defended, shows a considerable difficulty in the way of proving it. Each public department stands prepared to give the most confident reasons why it is absolutely necessary to keep up the scale of its expenditure to the exact point at which it now is. Every kind of sophism, insinuation, and assertion is worked up with vast ingenuity into a case to resist any attempt at effective retrenchment; and not only Government and Parliament, but also the public, suffer themselves, in this way, to have their judgment influenced rather by the personal authority of official men, who are always endeavouring to keep their respective services in the highest possible state of equipment and show, than by those principles of a sound system of finance, which require that that portion of the public expense which is incurred for military preparation and protection should be regulated by the quantity and measure of the danger to be guarded against. That excellent passage exactly expressed the views which his hon. Friend had submitted to the House—namely, that they should be guided by a sound system of finance, which required that that portion of the public expense which was incurred for military preparation and protection should be regulated by the quantity and measure of the danger to be guarded against. As for any unforeseen danger of collision with a foreign Power, he thought such a thing quite out of the question. When they considered the power of the press, the spread of commercial intercourse amongst nations, the interests that must counteract any feelings of hostility or jealousy that might arise between those nations where no very extensive trade existed, he thought it was impossible to suppose that any active hostility could take place without long and ample preparation, and a vast deal of public notoriety and consideration. It was not probable that trifling events, such as the Spanish marriages, could now bring great nations into a state of hostility. He believed we would not again see the time when hostile armaments would be used, at least in Europe, for the sole and express purpose of conquest. That was a practice which only belonged to past ages, and he did not think it would be wise, in considering the amount of naval and military force necessary for the protection of the country, to put forward such a practice on the grounds of their policy. He believed that his hon. Friend was correct in his figures. They had nothing to guide them but Parliamentary documents—nothing but those means of information which were open to every other hon. Member. And looking at the returns for 1847, 1848, and 1849, he found it there stated, that the whole naval, military, and ordnance expenditure for the year ending 5th of January, 1850, was 17,645,000l. Now, seeing that it was only something more than 11,000,000l. in 1835, he could not understand by what process of reasoning it was contrived to make out that there was not an increase in our expenditure for these establishments almost amounting to 6,000,000l. Why were we to spend more by six millions in 1849 than we were spending in 1834? In asking the House to affirm the principle of the reduction of the public expenditure to what it had been in 1835, there was no pretence whatever for saying that his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding was willing to leave the country defenceless. What ground was there for saying that the country would be left defenceless, when the hon. Gentleman was prepared to allow so large a sum as 10,000,000l. sterling per annum for naval and military services? That sum was more than double the amount of the whole government, including both the naval and military expenses, of the United States of America. Here the larger sum was to be allowed solely for the expenses of the Army and Navy of this country. The proposer or supporters of the Motion now before the House were not, therefore, to be charged with any indifference for the security or defence of England, or any disregard for the interests of the public creditor. They claimed, as the ground for submitting the Motion to the House, an earnest desire for the best interests of the country, and so to frame our establishments that they might correspond with the wants and wishes of the community at largo. Now, as regarded the Navy, he hoped that evening to hear some Minister explain what was the meaning of the policy of reducing the number of men while there was no reduction in the number of officers. It was an undoubted fact, that some of our ships were insufficiently manned, while there was a much greater number of officers than were required for the service. He should like to know what was the advantage of keeping upon the lists a greater number of officers than could by possibility be required for the services to be performed. Was there any Gentleman in the House who would get up and say that that was good policy—that it was wise to maintain a larger number of officers than could be required for the work to be done? He believed there was not one Gentleman in the House who would attempt to maintain the wisdom of such a proceeding. If no one would say a word in support of it, why should those Gentlemen vote in support of the principle of maintaining a greater number of officers than was necessary? It had been stated, over and over again, by distinguished officers of the Navy, that the number of officers was greatly disproportioned to the number of men employed in that service. The result was injurious, in the long run, to the officers themselves, for when the work to be performed by them, came to be divided amongst so many, it was found that there was nothing like enough to provide sufficient employment to entitle each officer to emoluments suitable to his profession. The principle of employing an unnecessary number of officers in the Navy, was, in point of fact, adverse to their own interests, while it was one of the reasons why the sums of money paid for what was called "ineffective services" were so large. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire, who took up this question, said he was for maintaining the effective service of the Army and Navy, but he was not in favour of spending money to the extent to which it was lately spent in keeping up what was called the "ineffective service." With regard to the old story about the admirals, it was hardly necessary to repeat it. There were about 150 admirals, while there was work only for about a dozen!—no one proposed that they should be diminished, although it was never denied there was no work for more than about a dozen. The right hon. Member for Ripon put a question upon this very subject some time ago to the then Member for Sheffield, who was at the time Secretary to the Admiralty. The question was— upon what principle the number was limited to 150 admirals, seeing that there was not work for more than a dozen"? What was the answer of the Secretary to the Admiralty?— That he did not know exactly the principle upon which the number was so limited—that he did not know the mode of doing it —or something of that sort. He (Mr. Gibson) must not presume to say so, but it might be inferred, he thought, from the terms of the question that the right hon. Gentleman who put it thought there ought to have been some reason given for fixing the number of admirals at 150, when only a dozen were required. There was some limit, certainly, and some such rules also applied to captains and others with respect to their promotion. In many instances the rules were departed from, but the people of the country found themselves maintaining a large number of officers, whose services were not requisite for any public purposes. He did not believe such a principle could be approved of; but by some mysterious influence it was suffered to continue. He would not say what that mysterious influence was—he would not use the word spoil, or say that the House had an interest in keeping up the expenditure; but this he would say, that, if it continued to be kept up, the public would give the House credit for acting from interested motives. If the public perceived that year after year a larger number of officers than were necessary were supported by the Government, although there was not a Member even of the House of Commons who could get up in his place and say that such a number was necessary, he thought it behoved the House to consider the question as a most serious and important one. He appealed to agricultural Gentlemen on the opposite benches to turn their attention to the question in a proper spirit. They might not approve of his anti-military views; but really they were not anti-military, for he had not the slightest wish to disparage any of the officers in Her Majesty's service—he believed they had all the virtues and infirmities of other men; and in all he now said, he was merely contending for a principle, and advocating what he thought a sound principle. In that spirit he appealed to hon. Gentlemen connected with the agricultural interests, and asked them not to turn their backs upon a Motion of such importance as that under their consideration. Surely, now that the corn laws had been disposed of, the agricultural interests were not adverse to those of the public at large. For his own part, he could not understand upon what principle it was that the mere possession of land could make a man feel bound or disposed to support those enormously extravagant establishments. He would undertake to say that the share of the spoil any landowner might get in the course of his life, would never recompense him for the burden cast upon his property by those expensive establishments. He, therefore, called upon hon. Gentlemen representing the agricultural districts, for the sake of their own properties, as well as for the general interests of the country, to give their aid now to put down all needless places, and all extravagant salaries and unnecessary works and establishments. In other places they promised to do this. They proclaimed their intentions to their constituencies and their supporters, but now they had an opportunity to give effect to their promises by voting in support of the present Motion. The diminution of the public expenditure was the only means to obtain the repeal of the malt and hop duties, which pressed severely upon agriculturists. If hon. Gentlemen opposite were sincere in the expression of their desire to have those taxes removed, they would support the present Motion. Could it be supposed that the Government would repeal those duties while the public expenditure was undiminished? No: he defied them to do so. Hon. Gentlemen opposite should, therefore, support the Motion, that the sum suggested should be gradually struck off with prudence and caution. It would be conferring a benefit, not only upon their own interests, but a benefit of great importance upon the country at large. [Cries of"Divide, divide!"] He had only a few words more to say, and should apologise for trespassing so long upon the attention of the House. He wished to observe, that he could see no reason why hon. Gentlemen opposite—the agricultural party—should not support the Motion of his hon. Friend. If it was a mere claptrap Motion, brought forward with the view of obtaining the support of hon. Gentlemen opposite, it would not have been framed as it had been—all reference to the naval and military defences of the country would have been left out, and the Motion would have been shaped somewhat in this form—"That, in consequence of the altered state of circumstances arising from the removal of the corn laws, the reduction of the public expenditure, salaries, &c., paid by the public had become necessary." It was not a clap-trap Motion, and it was, therefore, framed to express the opinions of those who originated and supported it. They knew that unless hon. Gentlemen opposite joined in reducing the public expenses, and would consider the question so as not to disguise from their own minds the absolute necessity of dealing with the armaments, it would be impossible for the House to effect a material reduction, although it was most essential to the interest and well-being of every branch of the country.


said, when he heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose, and the very able and temperate speech of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire—when he heard each of those Gentlemen go over and over again into a minute detail of every branch of the public service, and grappling with no particular subject—the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down having mixed up details of pauperism and crime, and placed them in juxtaposition with questions relating to the public credit—he confessed he was compelled to ask the question, what did this Motion mean? And when he found (for they were not to vote upon the speeches of hon. Members) that by the terms of the Motion the House was called upon to affirm that which was not correct, namely, that there had been an increase of 6,000,000l. in the expenditure for our naval and military establishments, he could not assent to such a Motion. No doubt 4,000,00l. out of the 6,000,000l. did relate to the naval and military expenditure; but they were speaking of the whole expenditure, and it was not true in terms to say that the principal part of the whole increase was caused by augmentations in those services. The last part, the operative part of the Motion, was still more objectionable, for it pledged the House to go back to the exact expenditure, neither more nor less, of 1835, whether or not it was fitting or convenient in respect to the present state of the country. Was that the real Motion? Was it not rather a Motion made with the anticipation that there was no chance of carrying it? Why was this Motion brought forward? To enable certain Gentlemen to go about the country and say, "See, in consequence of our resolution, how the Government are reducing the taxes. We will propose a Motion which we know we cannot carry, because it is proposed in terms to which no person will assent; but we have it as a constant stock purse for agitation, and derive great public benefits from it." That was the A B C of this Motion. Had it not been made a great means of agitation out of doors, and was it not proposed in exactly the same terms as last Session? If that were so, was it really intended to bring down the expenditure? He did not believe that it had any such motive. If the House refused to vote a tax, the Government would take care to reduce the expenditure. That was the practical way of effecting a reduction of taxation. There was not one single branch of the public expenditure into which hon. Gentlemen who supported the Motion had not gone into detail, but upon which the terms of the Motion prevented the House from giving any opinion. The speeches of hon. Gentlemen were well enough, but when they came to look at the direct terms of the Motion, they would find that it pledged the House to go back to the expenditure of 1835, neither more nor less. But the right hon. Member for Manchester gave a curious illustration of the subject of naval stores, for he compared our present stores with those of what he called a year of destitution, and to prove that 1835 was a year of destitution, he compared its stores with those of 1834. Well, it appeared to him as a natural consequence that if there was an excess of stores in 1834, there would in 1835 be a reduction.


said, that he had given the first vote proposed in 1834, and that there was a still further reduction proposed in 1835.


And very natural it should be so. A prudent Minister, finding his warehouses full in 1834, would not go on purchasing stores. That explained why, in 1835, the estimates for stores was so low. Then the right hon. Member admitted there had been a decrease in the number of men, and everybody knew that the natural effect of that was an increase in the stores, as there was not the same use for them. Without giving any opinion as to the prudence of those reductions, they would most triumphantly confute all that the right hon. Gentleman had said with respect to stores. But was that all? The Mover of the Motion and the hon. Member for Montrose asked the House to go back to 1835; but in their speeches they said they would be content with the average of three years. What did they mean? Were they sincere in asking to go back to 1835; and if they really wished to pledge the House to that, what did they mean by saying they would take the average of three years? That average made the expenditure 1,000,000l. more than 1835. This Motion, in fact, was like all other general Motions of the kind, which only expressed the views of particular parties, without having any definite object. He could see how it might be very convenient for those Gentlemen who sat on the benches behind those usually occupied by the Ministers to bring a Motion forward which would give no real inconvenience to their friends who sat before them. If they wanted actually to reduce the public burdens, the course to have taken would have been to make a specific Motion, on which, if a majority agreed, some tax would be got rid of, and the Government would soon reduce the expenditure to meet it. Last year he (Mr. Henley) had brought forward a Motion of the practical nature which he had described. He should renew that Motion. That (unlike this) was a Motion which ought to be practically grappled with. Whether Members liked it or disliked it, they could at all events express an opinion upon it—and, if carried, it would reduce the expenditure. He was sorry the Motion was couched in terms which prevent him from voting for it.


Sir, the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last but one concluded his speech with a pathetic appeal to those connected with the agricultural interest to vote in favour of this Motion; but I cannot say that the right hon. Gentleman paid them a very high compliment; because he urged that they were not likely to derive so much advantage from the continuance of the burdens to which they were subjected, as from the share they might claim in the proposed reduction of expenditure. Sir, I own I do not think the compliment was a very high one; and I doubt very much whether the plea used will prove so effective as that cajolery of the ladies, of which we heard so much in the debate of last night. With regard to the question before the House, I must say that, agreeing with the hon. Member for Oxfordshire, and others who have spoken in this debate, I think the hon. Member for the West Riding has made a most judicious speech in support of a very injudicious Motion. The Motion begins by calling upon this House to affirm that the increase of 6,000,000l. since 1835 has been caused principally by successive outlays for defensive armies. It does not say in terms that the successive augmentation has continued to the present day; but any one reading the Motion would conceive that if the House of Commons affirmed the Motion, there had been that successive augmentation. The fact is, however, as my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said last year, that there was a reduction of 1,400,000l. in the military establishments of last year; and in the proposed estimates of this year there is a reduction of 700,000l., making in the two years a reduction of 2,100,000l. I say, therefore, it is not fair to talk of successive augmentations, and not admit that the Government has made reductions in these establishments. But then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester says the Government is bound to show how this increase of 6,000,000l. has arisen. Sir, I should have thought that the speech of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade had shown to a very great extent how this increase of 6,000,000l. has arisen, partly in the civil establishments, partly in taking charges which were local charges on the Consolidated Fund, and partly in increase in the military establishments. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester either did not listen to my right hon. Friend, or he requires some further explanation on the subject. With respect to the increased amount on account of military establishments, which, according to the hon. Member for Oxfordshire, was upwards of 4,000,000l., there is a great reduction to be made. There are the excesses for establishments of former years, amounting to 642,000l., appropriations in aid, which, in 1835, were deducted from the expenditure. There is then the item for Post-office packet service, which is an increase over the expenditure of 1834, to no less a sum than 737,000l. I beg the attention of the House to those particular items. The right hon. Member for Manchester says that all this is an increase in our establishments. Now, a portion of this sum of 737,000l. used formerly to be defrayed out of the revenue of the Post-office; and it never came before the House of Commons at all. That course was frequently objected to by the Hon. Member for Montrose, who, at that time, as at others, said that the whole expense of the country ought to come before the view of the House; and that if you have a sum taken out of the revenue, that sum should be placed in the estimates and voted in the House. Sir, as a matter of principle, that is a fair claim, and different Governments have endeavoured to comply with the request. But what do we see as the consequence? No sooner is it done than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester gets up and says there is an enormous increase in our expenditure. But, in point of fact, the expense to the country is the same, although the mode of voting is more regular. Now, Sir, this observation of the right hon. Gentleman applies not only to this charge but to many other charges in the shape of increase since 1835. No doubt there has been an increase of expense in the packet service since 1835; but the object with which that expense was incurred—whether wise or not is not now in argument—was to facilitate trade, and the communication between this country and its colonies, as also with foreign countries. So that it is altogether a misrepresentation to say that this increase has been on account of our military establishments, when it has been incurred for the purpose of facilitating our commerce and communication with other countries. These various sums reduce the whole amount of increase in our military establishments in 1849, as compared with 1835, to 2,365,000l. With regard, again, to the Army, which is the first of those questions which we should propose to enter on to-night. The Army has had increased duties to perform since 1835. I will not at this moment enter into the important question whether or no it is wise to defend our colonies; but it is certain that the Army has been called upon to perform various duties of that kind, and that in every duty they have had to perform, whether against the enemy in the field, or in exhibiting temper and good conduct at home, they have preserved all that energy and good conduct which have always distinguished them. But the whole amount of increase since 1835, on account of the Army, has been only 111,000l.; and that amount, considering the increase in the empire, and the situations in which it has been placed, is assuredly no extravagant or extraordinary increase. With regard to another of the sums with respect to which it is stated that an increase has occurred, and which has taken place, it is contended, on account of the aristocracy, and to facilitate private patronage—I mean the pensions of soldiers—formerly, the soldier was only entitled to receive his pension at the end of the year. By an arrangement effected by Lord Chatham, there was a deduction of 5l. per cent in these pensions, but there is now a different arrangement, and as a matter of fairness, not of right, the whole of that deduction has been taken off, amounting to no less than 50,000l. a year. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester also wishes to know why there is not a diminution made in the number of regiments and officers? That, Sir, I think, is a matter of detail which my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War will explain; but thus much I may say, that there were many second battalions raised a few years ago which were now to be, or recently had been, reduced. It might be true that they had not gotten rid of the expense of all the officers; but as vacancies occurred ill other regiments, those officers would fill them Up, and so the cost to the country be gradually lightened. If we pass to the Navy, we certainly see a great increase in the expenditure on account of it. But that, again, is a subject Requiring very full consideration when it comes before us. If, however, the hon. Member for the West Riding has any rational reduction to propose in these estimates, let him propose them at the proper time. I, Sir, do not mean to find any fault, although the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester seemed to think that we should, with the estimates of 1835. I voted for those estimates when out of office. Some of them I concurred in moving when I was in office, and I see no reason to find fault with them in the circumstances of that year. But this I know, Sir, that after those estimates had been reduced, there was a constant pressure out of doors and in this House to increase them. And I remember that when my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, then Secretary to the Admiralty, showed the increase which was afterwards made, he was able to defend himself on the ground that the Government had not sufficiently increased the Navy, or made sufficient provision for that noble branch of the service for the defence of the country. If that was the case. Sir, I do not think successive Governments have been so much to blame for increasing the naval expenditure of the country. Again, whatever advantage this country may derive by means of steam must be participated in by other countries; and it is absolutely necessary that we should have a steam navy to cope with a force of the same kind which an enemy might bring against us. I think it impossible that the steam navy could be set on foot without a large increase of expenditure. I think it impossible that it could be set on foot without some errors in the commencement of so new an enterprise. I do not think it a subject of regret that we should have a steam navy so very efficient, and so well calculated to form a defence for the country. In the ordnance, again, no doubt we have made a considerable increase; but we stated at the time the reasons of that increase; we stated that the artillery and engineering forces required a longer apprenticeship to science than the cavalry and infantry, and that it was desirable that a force which could not be so easily made perfect should not be allowed to fall too low. I believe that principle is a sound one. It is one which has been confirmed in this House, and I do not think that any person whose opinion on the subject is worth listening to would recommend a reduction in those departments. With regard, however, to one part of our naval expenditure, there has been a practice which prevailed for many years, and upon which my late lamented friend Lord Auckland began a reform which my right hon. Friend last year carried into complete effect, by not having a greater number of men borne than is voted by the House of Commons. Now, before I turn to the civil expenditure, I will just look at the proposal of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding, as be stated it to the House. He proposed that 5,800,000l. should be reduced from the military estimates, and 600,000l. from the civil estimates. That was the result, no doubt, of very great deliberation on his part, and he, of course, must have considered in what manner these estimates were to be reduced, and how the service of the country could be efficiently performed. But there is one thing that he has entirely lost sight of. He said, "I will give you 10,000,000l. for the purposes of the military services, and no one can complain that I grudge you the means of defence for the country." But it so happens that these estimates are divided into effective and non-effective services, and with regard to a great portion of them, namely, almost the whole of the non-effective, you are bound either by law or by good faith not to diminish these sums. It is impossible that Parliament, with any regard to honesty or to its own credit, can touch the sums voted to these men. But these heads amount in the present year to no less than 3,784,000l., and the sums voted for the effective service amount to no more than 10,518,000l.; and on that sum the hon. Gentleman proposes to reduce no less than 5,800,000l. I should like to know what the hon. Member for North Warwickshire means to do in respect to these non-effective charges. Unless the hon. Member is bound to nothing more than a general resolution—unless he has a plan of his own, he is bound to reduce to such an extent the naval and military forces of the country, that I really do not know how any one can possibly say that an effective force for the defence of the country can be kept up. I should like to hear the hon. Member's particulars? Does he mean to reduce 30,000 or 40,000 men in the Army? Is it 10,000 or 20,000 men in the Navy that he means to propose to have reduced?—because without some such reductions as these it is quite impossible that 5,800,000l. can be reduced. However, other hon. Gentlemen may say that it is certainly not a reduction of the naval and military means of the country that is to be proposed, but that no doubt the civil services will afford the means of that reduction. But I must again ask, whether or not it is advisable, without looking at these several items, to say that you will go back to the estimates of 1835? With regard to many of these subjects, public opinion has been such that the Government going with that opinion have proposed a very large increase of expense. There has been a very great increase on the subject of education, I believe not less than 180,000l. or 200,000l. Now, do hon. Gentlemen who do not go to these extreme lengths about reducing the military expenditure, propose to cut off that increase? There has been another very considerable sum, amounting altogether to 570,000l., all of which has been increased for the constabulary force in Ireland, and other expenses of a similar nature. Why, that was proposed—a great part of it—by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth, when he proposed the repeal of the corn laws, and when he put that which had hitherto been a local charge—a charge mainly affecting the landed interest, upon the Consolidated Fund. Now, does the hon. Gentleman mean to transfer that back again from the Consolidated Fund to the local rates? Does he intend to reverse the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, and instead of transferring a large sum from the local rates to the Consolidated Fund, do they mean again to tranfer these large sums from the Consolidated Fund back to the local rates? I should like to know if any of those Gentlemen who voted for the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire are going to vote for this Motion, which is a direct contradiction of the other. [Mr. M. GIBSON: Hear, hear!] The right hon. Gentleman cheers that sentiment. I certainly voted against the Motion of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, for giving 2,000,000l. to the real property of the country by placing local charges on the Consolidated Fund; but I certainly cannot agree to the repeal of that Act of 1846, to which, I think, we are bound in honour to adhere. Well, then, the sum of 6,000,000l. is indeed very much reduced. With regard to upwards of 2,000,000l. of it, it consists of charges that were formerly taken in diminution of votes, or that were on the public revenue, or that were in some other way not an actual increase of expenditure. That accounts for nearly 2,000,000l. There is another portion which has increased in the civil expenses, which I know is a portion that this House will hardly wish to diminish. But if hon. Gentlemen do wish to diminish them, on the occasion of the Miscellaneous Estimates being brought forward, every one of these votes not on the Consolidated Fund may come under the revision of this House; and at that time hon. Gentlemen may propose their Motions for reductions. There remains, therefore, but a small part of the 6,000,000l. on which reduction can fairly be made; and I put it to the House whether it will agree to a general resolution that seems to pledge us to a reduction of 6,000,000l., when perhaps by refusing to grant money that would be requisite for the public service, and not agreeing to votes which the Government should think necessary, it might be afterwards found that 2,000,000l. was the utmost that could be reduced in the expenditure. But then the hon. Member for the West Riding has a most convenient proviso with respect to this Motion. There seems to be on the face of it somewhat of imprudence, in saying that whatever may be the state of the country—whatever the danger that may arise in three months, or a year, or two years, that you will fix beforehand what will be your exact expenditure on the military forces of the country. But, then, the hon. Gentleman says, "Oh, yes! but in the case of any circumstances requiring extra military preparations, of course this resolution will be neglected, and a larger sum will be readily voted." But if this is really to be the case, I cannot see the use of the resolution at all. If the House is to retain its discretion after the resolution is passed, why should it not keep its discretion as it is now? Why not retain the power to say, "There is an increase of expenditure absolutely necessary for the safety of the State; we are not fettered by any resolution, and therefore shall at once proceed to vote the amount?" Really, if it were not that the hon. Gentleman can't be accused of views of that kind, one might suppose that the hon. Gentleman was open to the accusation sometimes made against Members of this House, believed to be ambitious of office, namely, that they wish to escape while in office from the votes they have given before; because, with this proviso, if the hon. Gentleman were to become Chancellor of the Exchequer the very next month, he might rise and say, "that the circumstances of the country were quite changed; there is no longer either a necessity or justification for the resolution I formerly proposed, and I must ask the House for exactly the same votes as were granted to previous Governments." But without accusing the hon. Gentleman of anything of that kind, I think he has rather committed himself by some of the speeches he has made in the country, in which he said— the expenditure has increased 10,000,000l. since 1835; it is a most profligate expenditure, and it is kept up for the promotion of the sons of the aristocracy, who ought to be otherwise provided for, and we are bound to refuse it any longer. The hon. Gentleman has frightened himself and the country very much with that declaration. He has not taken the pains to look into these items; he had not found out that many of these charges were charges that have been on the revenue—that many of them were for the increase of education, and other votes for science and art, which he, as well as others, would have been ready to assent to. And having so done, he finds himself committed to bring before this House the consideration of this subject. I think it would have been much better if he had made a more practical proposition, after a careful examination of all these different estimates, and had somewhat retracted the accusation that 12,000,000l. were spent in this profligate way, and especially that the officers of the Army and Navy were guilty of the mean practices that he charged them with. Well, Sir, having said this, I however wish to say also what I think is really due to the hon. Member, that I believe his calling the attention of the country to the general expenditure of the nation has been productive of very useful results, by enabling the Government to make reductions which otherwise it might have found itself unable to effect; and I don't mean to deprive the hon. Gentleman of any credit that may be due to him in this respect. But, Sir, when I say this, I must altogether protest against the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester. I will not follow the right hon. Gentleman through his views with regard to Greece or China; but he laid down, as it were, as an axiom, that if any injury were done to a British subject in any part of the globe, the proper course for a Minister to take is not to resent that injury, but to disarm altogether, and propose some reduction in the tea duties, or some other tax, and to leave British subjects altogether without protection. [Mr. M. GIBSON intimated his dissent.] The right hon. Gentleman says that this does not imply his meaning; but he must recollect the old saying, Nec arma sine stipendiis, nec stipendia sine tributis. And how, again, British subjects are to obtain redress, unless we maintain a sufficient force to sustain our claims, I really cannot imagine. I doubt whether any Minister of this country, if he were obliged to say, "We don't mean to resort to force in any case, and we have not the means of resorting to force," would be likely to obtain that redress for injuries offered to British subjects abroad, which I must tell the right hon. Gentleman they demand, and demand, too, in no very soft terms; because, in that very case of China, when the British merchants were obliged to pay two millions, and threatened with imprisonment and durance, they were not slow in transmitting complaints to this country; and the friends of the British merchants at home were not slow in making representations that some redress ought to be obtained. But really we have been told to-night that as we have low prices we must have low establishments; and, indeed, it appears that some think we must have low views as well—that we are in every case where injury may be done to our commerce by any interruption of our amicable relations with foreign Powers—and such an interruption in any case I sincerely regret, because I well know how mischievous it is—but we are told we must comply with every demand that the Governments of those countries may think it necessary to make, while redress has been asked for and refused. Sir, we have had no Government in this country that has adopted that principle, no statesman who has ever swayed the destinies of this empire since the Revolution—not even that most pacific of Ministers, Sir Robert Walpole—believed that when British subjects were injured, and had a right to ask for redress, that that redress should be enforced, if necessary, even by recourse to arms. It would be quite a new policy in this country for a Minister to pursue any other course. Sir, with regard to this Motion, I believe the House will not interpose a resolution of this kind, to prevent going into Committee of Supply. The hon. Member for the West Riding, who brought forward this Motion, is fond, I believe, of political predictions—predictions which are not always justified by the event, and some of those predictions he lately made in a speech delivered in the country. I read that speech with some attention, and I found that in one part of it the hon. Gentleman says— Oh, the Government will not adopt our proposals for reduction. They will reject all real economy. Some apparent diminution may be made, but anything of the sort will be followed by a subsequent increase. In another part of his speech, the hon. Gentleman told his auditory— You will see that Government in course of time will go back to the estimates of 1835. They will reduce the estimates to that scale, but they will not do so when we bring forward our Motion, because if so we should be Ministers in their place. Well now, but these two predictions seem so opposed—they are so contradictory in themselves, that it would appear as if one of them must come right. But I can assure the House that we shall not, in the first place, refuse to make reductions. We have been making reductions since 1848. I stated that, in our military estimates alone, in the course of two years, we effected a reduction of 2,000,000l. As to offices—in the course of last week alone, two offices fell vacant which will not be filled up, and another office I propose to reduce next week, in point of salary. Whenever occasions happen—whenever we find that an office can be reduced, or that the salary is excessive, we shall be ready to seize these opportunities of retrenchment. As to the second prediction of the hon. Gentleman, that we mean, although we will not profess it, to go back to the scale of 1835, why I must say—[Mr. COBDEN: Will the noble Lord tell me when I made the speech to which he is referring?] The speech—I read it in a newspaper, but I will have the newspaper looked for, and bring it down to the House, and read it. I assure the hon. Gentleman that I paid great attention to his speech. However, I was going on to say that, not denying but that the estimate of 1835 might have been upon the proper scale for that particular year, we do not think, for various reasons, some of which I have stated, that there has been any undue increase in the naval and ordnance estimates; and as for the general estimates, it is evident, from the facts which I have stated, that it is impossible, in respect to them, that we can go hack to the scale of 1835 without an undue reduction of our military and naval forces, and the refusal of many votes for the promotion of education and other useful purposes—a course which it would be most inexpedient to adopt. We therefore do not propose to go back to the estimates of 1835. We shall be ready, whenever opportunity serves, to make reductions, but we will not, for the sake of popularity, or for any other purpose, pretend to make reductions which we think would be most injurious to the interests of the empire. The House of Commons, of course, has its duty to perform, and that duty would not be performed by affirming the resolution of to-night. Whenever the Minister of the Crown brings forward estimates, it ought to be the duty of the House to weigh and consider these estimates, and to vote them, not according to a previous and general resolution, but according to the wants of the different services of the country, and their general view of what the interests of the country require. Such is the obligation which rests on the House of Commons. There is also an obligation resting on us to bring forward no extravagant and excessive estimates. But there is also an equal obligation upon us not to reduce the estimates below the point which we think necessary for the maintenance of The honour, the dignity, and the safety of The empire.


said, that he should not support the party of the hon. Member for the West Riding, or the party of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, thinking that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, and not having the slightest confidence in either. He was curious to know how far the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth would go in supporting the man of unadorned eloquence; but as he had no confidence in either of the contending parties—as he believed that they were all rogues and jobbers together—he therefore thought The best thing he could do was to take up his hat and take his leave.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 272; Noes 89: Majority 183.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, Sir T. N. Brooke, Lord
Acland, Sir T. D. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Adair, R. A. S. Bunbury, E. H.
Anson, hon. Col. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Archdall, Capt. M. Burroughs, H. N.
Armstrong, Sir A. Busfield, W.
Armstrong, R. B. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Arundel and Surrey Earl of Campbell, hon. W. F.
Cardwell, E.
Ashley, Lord Carew, W. H P.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Carter, J. B.
Baring, H. B. Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Baring, T. Cavendish, W. G.
Baring, hon. F. Charteris, hon. F.
Barnard, E. G. Chatterton, Col.
Barrington, Visct. Chichester, Lord J. L.
Bateson, T. Childers, J. W.
Bellew, R. M. Christy, S.
Beresford, W. Clements, hon. C. S.
Berkeley, Adm. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Clive, hon. R. H.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Clive, H. B.
Bernal, R. Cobbold, J. C.
Birch, Sir T. B. Cocks, T. S.
Blackall, S. W. Cole, hon. H. A.
Blair, S. Colville, C. R.
Blandford, Marq. of Compton, H. C.
Boldero, H. G. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Bowles, Adm. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Boyle, hon. Col. Cubitt, W.
Bramston, T. W. Curteis, H. M.
Brand, T. Dalrymple, Capt.
Bremridge, R. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Briscoe, M. Deedes, W.
Broadley, H. Denison, E.
Brocklehurst, J. Denison, J. E.
Brockman, E. D. Dodd, G.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Jermyn, Earl
Douro, Marq. of Jervis, Sir J.
Drummond, H. H. Jocelyn, Visct.
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Johnstone, Sir J.
Dundas, Adm. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Dundas, G. Jones, Capt.
Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D. Kildare, Marq. of
Dunne, Col. Knox, Col.
Du Pre, C. G. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Ebrington, Visct. Langston, J. H.
Edwards, H. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Lemon, Sir C.
Enfield, Visct. Lewis, G. C.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Lewisham, Visct.
Euston, Earl of Lindsey, hon. Col.
Evans, W. Littleton, hon. E. R.
Farrer, J. Loch, J.
Ferguson, Col. Locke, J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Lockhart, W.
Filmer, Sir E. Mackenzie, W. F.
Foley, J. H. H. Mackie, J.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Mahon, The O'Gorman
Forster, M. Mahon, Visct.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Manners, Lord J.
Fox, S. W. L. Marshall, W.
Freestun, Col. Martin, C W.
French, F. Masterman, J.
Fuller, A. E. Matheson, Col.
Glyn, G. C. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Goddard, A. L. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Gordon, Adm. Melgund, Visct.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Miles, P. W. S.
Grace, O. D. J. Milnes, R. M.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Monsell, W.
Grenfell, C. P. Morgan, O.
Grenfell, C. W. Morison, Sir W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Mulgrave, Earl of
Grey, R. W. Mundy, W.
Grogan, E. Muntz, G. F.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Mure, Col.
Grosvenor, Earl Naas, Lord
Guernsey, Lord Newdegate, C. N.
Guest, Sir J. Newry & Morne, Visct.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Norreys, Lord
Halsey, T. P. Ogle, S. C. H.
Hamilton, G. A. Ord, W.
Harcourt, G. G. Oswald, A.
Hatchell, J. Owen, Sir J.
Hawes, B. Packe, C. W.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Paget, Lord C.
Heald, J. Paget, Lord G.
Heathcote, G. J. Palmer, R.
Heneage, E. Palmerston, Visct.
Henley, J. W. Parker, J.
Herbert, H A. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Peel, F.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Pelham, hon. D. A.
Heywood, J. Pinney, W.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Plowden, W. H. C.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Plumptre, J. P.
Hobhouse, T. B. Portal, M.
Hodgson, W. N. Power, N.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Price, Sir R.
Hollond, R. Prime, R.
Hood, Sir A. Pusey, P.
Hope, A. Rawdon, Col.
Hornby, J. Reid, Col.
Hotham, Lord Repton, G. J. W.
Howard, Lord E. Ricardo, O.
Howard, hon. C W. G. Rice, F. R.
Howard, hon. E. G. G. Rich, H.
Howard, P. H. Robartes, T. J. A.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Romilly, Col.
Romilly, Sir J. Tennent, R. J.
Rumbold, C. E. Thesiger, Sir F.
Russell, Lord J. Thompson, Adm.
Russell, hon. E. S. Towneley, J.
Russell, F. C. H. Townley, R. G.
Rutherfurd, A. Townshend, Capt.
Scrope, G. P. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Seymour, Lord Turner, G. J.
Shell, rt. hon. R. L. Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
Shelburne, Earl of Vane, Lord H.
Simeon, J. Verney, Sir H.
Slaney, R. A. Vesey, hon. T.
Smith, J. A. Waddington, H. S.
Smollet, A. Wall, C. B.
Somerset, Capt. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. Watkins, Col. L.
Sotheron, T. H. S. Wellesley, Lord C.
Spearman, H. J. West, F. R.
Stafford, A. Westhead, J. P. B.
Stanford, J. F. Williamson, Sir H.
Stanley, hon. E. H. Wilson, J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wilson, M.
Stanton, W. H. Wodehouse, E.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wrightson, W. B.
Stuart, H. Wyvill, M.
Sturt, H. G. TELLERS.
Talbot, J. H. Tufnell, H.
Taylor, T. E. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Adair, H. E. Kershaw, J.
Aglionby, H. A. King, hon. P. J. L.
Alcock, T. Lacy, H. C.
Anderson, A. Lennard, T. B.
Baillie, H. J. Lushington, C.
Bennet, P. Meagher, T.
Blake, M. J. Mangles, R. D.
Blewitt, R. J. Marshall, J. G.
Bright, J. Martin, J.
Brotherton, J. Milner, W. M. E.
Brown, W. Milton, Visct.
Cayley, E. S. Morris, D.
Clay, J. Mowatt, F.
Clifford, H. M. Mullings, J. R.
Coles, H. B. Nugent, Lord
Currie, R. O'Flaherty, A.
Devereux, J. T. Osborne, R.
Dick, Q. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Duncan, Visct. Peto, S. M.
Duncan, G. Pigott, F.
Ellis, J. Pilkington, J.
Evelyn, W. J. Rendlesham, Lord
Ewart, W. Reynolds, J.
Fagan, W. Ricardo, J. L.
Fergus, J. Salwey, Col.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Sidney, Ald.
Fordyce, A. D. Smith, J. B.
Fox, W. J. Spooner, R.
Frewen, C. H. Stanley, E.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Strickland, Sir G.
Greene, J. Stuart, Lord J.
Hall, Sir B. Sullivan, M.
Hardcastle, J. A. Tancred, H. W.
Harris, R. Thicknesse, R. A.
Hastie, A. Thompson, Col.
Hastie, A. Thompson, G.
Henry, A. Thornely, T.
Heyworth, L. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Hope, H. T. Trelawny, J. S.
Humphery, Ald. Wakley, T.
Hutt, W. Walmsley, Sir J.
Keating, R. Wawn, J. T.
Willcox, B. M. Wyld, J.
Williams, J. TELLERS.
Willoughby, Sir H. Cobden, R.
Wood, W. P. Hume, J.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Supply considered in Committee.