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dict me, when I assert, that Ireland will be Mr. Rennie's plan, owing to some infor. the stepping-stone to the invasion of Eng. mality were, he understood, never yet land, and not England to the invasion of examined into. It might be questioned Ireland ? Then, Sir, would it not be a wise whether the improvement was equal to the measure, to apply this vote to a naval es- expence, which although estimated at tablishment in Bantry bay, would it not 1,100,0001. would in the end probably conciliate the affections of the people, and amount to two millions; and it might also would it not shew that you were deter- now be doubted from the opinions delimined to treat them with confidence, and vered, whether this work would bring afford them the best protection against about any relaxation in the blockading the common enemy? Sir, I will only de- system. He was glad, however, that tain the House to say, that although I do something was likely to be done; nothing not think the Breakwater will by any being so bad as indecision; yet before means answer to the effect of the calcula- going too far it might be advisable to ention upon your table : yet the right hon. quire farther into the practicability of the gentleman has every credit for bringing measure. forward any proposition to improve our Sir Charles Pole held the objection of a road-steads. I am sorry to differ as to the fleet getting out of Brest before it was posextent of advantage, and in some respects sible to get out of the Breakwater perfectly as to the mode of proceeding; but on the nugatory. He lamented that the work great principle of improving our naval es- was not begun in 1806. tablishments, I certainly concur. With Lord Cochrane imputed the supposed nerespect to what fell from the right hon. cessity for this Breakwater to the usage of gentleman on the subject of Cherbourg, I making men of war take in their masts, can only say, that while I had the honour &c. in open roadsteads, instead of going of commanding that blockade, in the ab- into harbour for that purpose ; a practice sence of a most experienced and gallant which occasioned the greatest discontent officer, captain Malcolm, I saw with asto. in the navy, as it prevented the sailors nishment the activity with which the from ever getting on shore. Under the enemy was building his line of battle existing circumstances of the country, he ships, completing the works about his thought every expence not absolutely nebason, and the Breakwater which formed cessary ought to be avoided, but, if he his roadstead.
might be permitted to do so, he would Captain Beresford thought the Break- move as an amendment to the question bewater would not injure Plymouth Sound; fore the House, “ That towards the conand that if it should only hold four or five struction of this Breakwater, a duty of 50 sail it was worth the expence. The enemy per cent. be levied on all Sinecures, which could not get out of Brest with a south the committees of parliament had declared wind.
ought to be abolished, and a duty of 20 Sir Joseph Yorke spoke in favour of the per cent. on all other sinecures.” measure ; and hoped that the hon. and The Speaker observed, that it was not gallant officer (sir H. Popham) would not competent to the noble lord to make such press the question of opposing a committee an amendment. All that the House could of naval officers. He should have no he do was, directly to assent to or dissent sitation of running into the Breakwater in from the motion for agreeing to the resoa gale of wind, for which, in his opinion, lution. his right hon. relation (Mr. Yorke) would Lord Cochrane said, that the money long live in the recollection of the navy. which, according to his proposition, might
Sir R. Bickerton approved of the mea- be raised from the holders of revenue sure.
offices, would be much better employed in Mr. Herbert, of Kerry, said, that sir dropping stones into Plymouth Sound, Samuel Bentham had asserted his having than in giving Burgundy, Champagne, and seen his plan carried into execution in fo- dances to the ladies of London. reign parts. Had this been enquired into? Mr. Baring thought the proposed naval
Mr. Whitbread bad the highest respect arsenal at Northfleet more necessary than for Mr. Rennie as a civil engineer; but at the Breakwater in Plymouth Sound. the same time he thought any thing com. Mr. Yorke said, the Breakwater would ing from sir Samuel Bentham, civil engi- in a very few years, by the saving it would neer of the navy, was deserving of great occasion, more than repay its expence, consideration, some of whose objections to He thought that both the arsenal at North
fleet and the present work were necessary; / and he would not have had to complain of and that we had not yet done enough. so mischievous a system. The next point Mr. Bentham was not, as had been stated, on whicb he would touch, though not imcivil engineer of the navy, and had at pre-mediately coming under the cognizance of sent suficient occupation in his own de- the noble Secretary opposite, was certainly partment. The sum wanted at present connected with the situation of the illuswas merely to enable the necessary pre- trious Commander in Chief. He alluded parations to be made; and no pains would to a report which had been spread, that be spared to get information with respect orders had been issued to the recruiting to the carrying the plan into execution. serjeants of certain regiments not lo enlist
The resolution was then put and agreed Irishmen, while foreigners were admitted to.
without scruple. Why this exclusion should prevail, he knew not. It had been
said, indeed, that the Irish were addicted HOUSE OF LORDS,
to desertion. He gave no credit to this Wednesday, March 18.
calumny; for he knew there were MUTINY BILL.] The order of the day braver, more generous, or more faithful being read, for the House to go into a Com- soldiers than those of Ireland. They remittee on the above Bill,
ceived any kindness done to them with Earl Grosvenor rose and said, it would gratitude; they repaid it with unvarying depend very much on the answers he affection; and if they ever did desert, it should receive from the noble Secretary arose from severity of treatment. He exof State for the War Department, wbether pected an answer from the noble Secretary, he would assent to the Bill then going whether such orders had ever been in exinto the committee, or move that the order istence, and, if they had, whether they should now be discharged, that it might were now annulled --He next came to the be renewable for a future day. There establishment of schools for the education were some very important points, con of the military, a measure, which reflected nected with the military exertions of the infinite honour on the illustrious individual country, on which he wished to receive at the head of the army, as shewing an information ; and he would state to the earnest desire to call the attention of the House what he had bimself heard, and soldiery to their best interests. With rewhich, if true, was highly deserving of spect to the system which had been their lordships' most serious consideration. adopted, he wished to make one or two He had learned that the practice bad remarks. In the first place, he understood lately obtained footing in the army, of that those military schools were founded transferring large bodies of persons, sen- the principles of the established religion tenced to imprisonment on board the hulks, of the country. To that there certainly to be attached to regular regiments. To could be no objection. He had also been the proceeding which had heretofore pre- informed, that the mode of instruction invailed, he meant not to object. No good troduced in those schools, was the same as reason could be assigned against the intro- that made use of at Madras. Neither, he duction of a few persons into the army, thought, could any fault be found with who felt sincere contrition for their impro- that proceeding. But a very strange feelper conduct. To prevent them would be ing appeared to bave gone abroad on this an offence against humanity, for it was subject. Many persons imagined, from a only giving to those, whose errors were paragraph in ihe Address of the Society venial, and who saw them in their true who espoused the Madras method of edu, light, an opportunity to retrieve their cha, cation, that those schools were not only to racter, and to improve themselves in so- be founded on the principles of the esta. ciety, if they were recommended as worthy blished religion, but that Dr. Bell's system, of that favour; and, without such a re- as at present developed, should alone be commendation, no secondary considera- permitted, and that no alteration whatever tion should induce government to commute should be allowed. If any improvement, their punishment for service in the army: however excellent, were proposed by Mr. But, had they been always thus introduced Lancaster, or by any other individual, it in small bodies, that dissatisfaction wbich was to be rejected ; although tending to forwas felt in particular regiments, which ward the great plan of national education. beheld them entering the service, as it That such an opinion prevailed, absurd as were, in armies, would never have existed, it was, be felt perfectly convinced ; and he
stated it only for this reason, that the or to oppose and discourage it, as had principle which many persons considered | been done :--He would now sbortly adthose schools as established on, and wbich vert to a subject, which bad occasioned feeling was calculated to do much mis. very general anxiety, he alluded to the chief, might be officially disproved. The practice of corporal punishment, which, noble earl next adverted to the compulsion for the last century, had been carried to which had been used to force the attend such an extent in the British service. He ance of the soldiery at those schools. Un. confessed, while he was in the command doubtedly, by the law, they might be of a militia regiment, such exhibitions compelled, by their commanding officers, were disgusting and shocking to bis feel- . to atiend to their military duties, but that ings, and he did all in bis power to prelaw, in his opinion, could scarcely be con- vent its frequent occurrence. It was a sidered more powerful in compelling them practice condemned by many most reto attend school, than it would be to force spectable persons who had written on them to learn to dance, or to become military subjects; and, in the last year, a masters of any other acquirement, not ne- clause had been introduced in the Mutiny cessarily connected with their regular Bill, by which an option was given to duties. But as the education which the courts martial either to inflict corporal soldier was likely to receive, must be ex. punishment, as the term was generally tremely useful to him in every situation of understood, or imprisonment. He knew life, he thought all disgustat attending mili- not how far that well-intended clause bad tary schools would gradually subside, and, occasioned a relaxation of the more severe therefore, no enactment appeared to him punishment. To ascertain that fact, it necessary on the subject.-His lordship was in vain 10 enquire how far it bad been then called the attention of the House to a acted on in general courts martial. Withsubject which, at the present moment, out the noble Secretary informed the House was extremely important-he meant the what effect the clause bad on regimental mode of recruiting for the army. He la courts martial, they must remain ignorant mented, most deeply, that the system of the effect occasioned by the clause. which had been formed, in 1806, by a This, however, he believed, that situations great statesman, the late Mr. Windham, might exist, where, to take away, entirely, was not pursued. If the House looked to the power of inflicting exemplary punishthe enlistment in the year he had men- ment, would be attended with very bad tioned, and compared it with the returns consequences. But he supposed that the in the present, the falling off in the latter, system would, at length, be so generally if they took away from the account the scouted by the army, as to render any numbers who had been drafted from the specific enactment unnecessary. - The militia, would be found lamentable indeed; noble earl finally called the attention of and the more so, as, by the volunteering the House to the excessive enlistment of system, the militia, the constitutional force foreigners in the English army, and the of the country, was likely to be ruined. placing of foreign officers in the command He would ask the noble Secretary, what of British troops. On this subject, he was course he intended to pursue? Whether sure their lordships felt a considerable de be intended totally to discountenance that gree of constitutional jealousy. In that system, which his predecessor in office statement, he was sure, even the noble (lord Castlereagb) declared he would not lord on the woolsack would concur. The discourage, but which, in reality, he had act of 1804 allowed 10,000 foreign troops discouraged ? After the short trial that in the country; by that of 1806, the num. system had had, which led to very great ber was increased to 16,000, and, beyond advantages, that noble lord professed, that that, none were permitted. Now, he would he would not do it away altogether; he maintain, that those who had incorporated would not completely discourage it. But any of those troops with the native force, it was impossible not to feel, that the or placed foreign officers at the head of strong opinions expressed by that poble British troops, had acted illegally, and lord on the subject, must have had a were liable to punishment. He would powerful effect throughout the country; contest that point with any learned lord, an effect hostile to that system to which even the noble lord on the woolsack. He be was known not to be friendly. He knew the laws were perplexed, but they demanded of the noble Secretary whether ought to be made so plain and clear, that he intended to revive the system of 1806, every person could understand them; and,
therefore, there could be no presumption to enlist Irishmen. Surely he must have in his advocating an opinion founded on a known, that the people of that country particular statute, although contrary to formed the great strength and stamina of that of the learned lord. His lordship the British army, and to imagine that an concluded by hoping that the noble Secre- order, such as the noble earl had spoken tary would return satisfactory answers to of, could ever have been issued from the inquiries he had made.
head-quarters, was really ridiculous. With The Earl of Liverpool did not feel it respect to those which were termed fanecessary to go at length into the different vourite regiments, every person must know, topics which had been touched upon by that their commander could not be prevents the noble earl, several of which were not ed from refusing some individuals, and reat all connected with the Bill then before ceiving others; and they certainly had a the House. If, for instance, any improper right to look minutely into the characters of latitude had been taken, either in sending those whom they enlisted. As to what the persons to the army, who had been im- noble earl had said on the subject of eduprisoned on board the hulks, or in enlist- cation, it appeared to him to apply rather ing foreigners, they were substantive and to diocesan than to military schools. But, distinct questions, which must be argued on it was bis firm belief, that if any improvetheir own grounds, and ought not to ope- ment in those schools were suggested, it rate as an interruption to the present Bill. would be carried into effect. The noble With respect to the transferring of con- earl had expressed his regret, that the victs, he would state, that the hulks had, system of a much-lamented friend of his for a considerable time, been placed under had not been followed up. He certainly the superintending direction of one of the thought with his noble friend (lord Castlemost intelligent magistrates in this coun- reagh,) that that system was most preju. try. The system adopted by Mr. Gra. dicial to the recruiting service; and, in ham, and his exertions, had produced the answer to what the noble earl had asserted, happiest effects; and, when that magis. he would observe, that, under the present trate saw that an offender was penitent system, the army was more numerous, and for his former crimes, he certified the fact, better disciplined, than it ever had been. and the reformed prisoner was allowed, in As to the drafting from the militia, from some cases, to enter the army. Without which the noble carl foretold such evils, such a recommendation, it was never per- he believed, and he was borne out by mitted. The number who were thus many experienced officers, that it would brought back to society, might now pro- have a directly contrary tendency. Albably be greater than formerly; but though, in the last year, many bloody this he attributed to the excellent system battles and sieges had taken place, which at present on board the hulks, which necessarily induced a great loss of troops, tended to ameliorate the morals of the yet, on looking to the returns, the British prisoners. But, taking the number thus army would be found stronger now by incorporated with the army, in the most 10,000 men, than it was at the commence. extended view, it would be found very ment of the year, notwithstanding all trifling. Perhaps, indeed, too great a those losses. He, therefore, had a right to number had been sent to some particular infer, that, by adhering to the system regiments. If such were the case, which had produced such results, it would certainly to be lamented, and ought to answer the most sanguine hopes of the have been avoided. Sure he was, how country. On the subject of corporal puever, that where crimes were committed nishment he coincided with the noble earl, through indiscretion, or were occasioned who seemed to think, that however much by misfortune, and the perpetrators of it was to be deplored, it could not be done them having become penitent, were desir- away altogether. In the last session, a ous of returning to society, it would be new clause had been introduced in the most cruel to refuse them an opportunity; Mutiny Bill, leaving it optional with and, he wonld also observe, that many of courts-martial to intlict imprisonment or the persons who were thus sent to the the usual punishment; but, an adequate army, from their bodily strength, and provision had not been made to carry that their hardihood of constitution, were emi. intention into effect, as no authority was nently adapted for a military life. He given to confine offenders in the county was surprised to hear the assertion of the gaols, which rendered it very difficult, in noble carl, that orders had been given not many situations, to exercise that discre, tionary power. There was also a defect and that the distress approaches so nearly in the Bill of last session, as no power was to actual starvation, that they think it given to deduct part of the offender's pay, would be highly imprudent any longer to while suffering' imprisonment; without delay communicating their situation to the which power, he was convinced, imprison House : and that immense numbers of the ment would do more harm than good. industrious manufacturers in their neighThe Bill on the table, however, had been bourhood, are reduced to the necessity of altered, to meet both those cases. The de- working for less than one fourth of what linquent was now liable to imprisonment they would previous to the commencement in the county gaol, and only a certain of the war with France, whilst the necessum was allowed for his subsistence.- saries of life are, since that period, nearly Much bad been said on the subject of en-doubled in price; and that they are conlisting foreigners. Parliament had de vinced, by sad and dear-bought expecided, that, in the present state of affairs, rience, that the expensive war in which part of the force of the country should be this country has been so long engaged, is composed of persons of that description ; the immediate cause of the distresses they and, when they contemplated the exertions now labour under; and that the continuwhich had been made by the enemy with ance of this war, and most of its concomi. the natives of foreign states; when they tant evils, are attributable to the imperfect considered that France could not have representation of the people in the House; done what she had done, without foreign and it is the humble opinion of the Petiers—the House would not deny, that we tioners, that if the House consisted of realso had a right to repel her ambition, by presentatives of the people only, it would making use of similar assistance. The not, for any doubtful prospect of benefit to noble earl, though he made the assertion, our allies, consent to expose the people of had not adduced a single instance of a this country to the certain misery, ruin foreign officer being placed at the head of and starvation, which the continuance of British troops. At all events, these ques- the war must bring upon them; and that, tions were not at all comprised in the Bill though the Petitioners have, on many oce before them, and therefore ought not to casions, been proud to express their loyprevent the committal of the Bill.
alty and patriotism, and their willingness Earl Grosvenor was sorry
that the to sacrifice their lives, if necessary, in desystem of the year 1806, was not only to fence of their invaluable constitution; yet be discouraged, but, as he gathered from they cannot help shrinking from the horthe noble lord, was to be annihilated. rible form in which death now seems to The noble lord, in what had dropped from await them and their helpless families, him on the subject, had by no means ex- upalleviated by any circumstances of plained what he had asserted as to foreign glory or of advantage to their beloved . troops. He did not conceive himself country; and praying, that the House bound to adduce any instance of foreign will take into its serious consideration the officers commanding British troops; but privations and sufferings of his Majesty's this be would say, that if a single foreigner loyal subjects in their populous district, had been placed in such a situation, these and will devise some speedy means of rewho appointed him had acted illegally. lieving them; and further, that the House
The Bill then went through a Com- will, by all the means in its power, endeamittee, and was reported without an vour to bring about the so much wished amendment.
for Reform in the Representation of the people: and will also recommend to his
royal highness the Prince Regent, that no HOUSE OF COMMONS.
means be left untried which are likely to Wednesday, March 18.
restore to his Majesty's loyal and longPetitION FROM BOLTON RELATIVE TO suffering people the blessings of peace.”) PARLIAMENTARY REFORM, &c.] Mr. Ordered to lie upon the table. Whitbread presented a Petition from the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood NATIONAL EXPENDITURE.) Mr. Baring of Bolton-in-the-Moors, assembled pur- said, that be rose for the purpose of move suant to public advertisement, setting forth, ing for an Account of the total amount of
“ That many of the Petitioners are, in money raised for the public service, in consequence of the depressed state of each year, from 1790 to 1811, by taxes, trade, in a situation of extreme distress, or by increan of the National Debt; and