« ПредишнаНапред »
GENERAL COMPARISON OF DEBTS AND ASSETS. Increase of debts in India - - 2,201,207 Decrease of debts at home - - ... 48,797 -- w Net increase of debts - 2,242,410 Increase of assets in India - - 1,258,818 Increase of assets at home - - 637,833 - 1,896,651 Deduct net decrease of balance in favour at China . and St. Helena - - - 927,121 - Net increase of assets - 960,530 Deducted from the net increase of debts, showed the state of the whole concern in a worse point of view than at the conclusion of the last year, in the sum of - 1,272,880
Having gone through all the statements with equal perspicuity and patience, he observed that nothing could be more gratifying
than the view thus exhibited of the actual prosperity and future prospects of our East-India settle-
ments, which were now infinitely superior to what they had ever been before, or to what belonged to any other country on the face of the globe. Whether we looked to its revenue, its commerce, the value of lands, its population, or its peaceful government, it must present an object of envy to every other nation in the world. The noble marquis at the head of that government had an opportunity of carrying into effect the system of judicature adopted by the marquis Cornwallis; and from the reports of the different governors, given in as a statistical view of the whole country, a plan was now effected which had been much improved by the exertions of sir George Barlowe. The judicature of the courts was now equal to that of the other settlements, and the same system was extended to most of the jaghires and circars.
Means were taken to ascertain the value of the other more remote English possessions, and the same system pervaded them all, which had their courts and judges in the same regularity as those of Bengal. The Polygars were a very warlike and interesting people : they lived under a kind of feudal system, which rendered them at the same time both martial and idle. This was increased by their treaty to keep 23,000 men for the service of the company; but this of late had been very advantageously remitted for the sum of 71,000l. per annum in money.— The most material part was the situation of the Carnatic, which had undergone, a considerable change; but as this was not a time to enter into the merits of the treaty which annexed a part of the nabob's possessions to ours, he would confine himself to that part of the subject which bore more immediately upon the question, in the financial operations of the measure. By the arrangement made, the met revenue derived by the company this year, after the payment for the collection and Militia Training Bill.—Militia ()ficers' Bill.—Irish Militia Bounty Bill.— Debates on the Increase of the Prince of Wales's Establishment.
other cxpenses, was 1,091,000l., of which however one-fifth was paid to the nabob; which, with the payments to his creditors, would amount to 628,000l., leaving to the company a clear profit of 228,000l. By this the nabob possessed much more than he could realise by his own imperfect system of revenue; for of the immense sums wrenched from the inhabitants by continued and successive extortions, descending from the prince to the meanest soldier, only a very small sum came into the public coffers. By the late treaty, the nabob, instead of paying a subsidy to the company, for undertaking his defence and that of his territories, which relieved him from keeping a standing army that was a terror to his subjects and himself, ceded a part of his territory as an indemnification to the company. This cession consisted of about half his territory, the revenues of which, by the meritorious exertions of Mr. Wellesley, had been improved from 1,500,000l. to 2,770,000l. The nabob at the same time was the richest sovereign in India, having a clear revenue of upwards of a million sterling solely applicable to his own use, and to the comforts of his family.
to fly from his capital, and take
refuge under the protection of the company, near Bombay, where he still remained. The connexion between him and the company made it expedient to af. ford him the protection he sought for ; and on that communication being made to Halkar, he appeared satisfied to submit the dispute to the English government. As this, however, could not be entirely relied upon, he had further to mention, that an army, to support the interference of the company, was assembled and prepared upon the coast; but would not; in all probability, be driven to any military operations; and at all events would be attended with little expense, and would not affect the general results of the peace establishment. He then concluded, by movin resolutions in conformity with his statement, which were agreed to.
HE only other questions of importance which were agitated in parliament previous to the great event which we shall have
presently to record, and which will be the subject of the succeeding chapter, were some improvements which were adopted in the
'militia system, both in this country and in Ireland, and a proposal for enlarging the civil-list establishment of his royal highness the prince of Wales. On the 11th of February the secretary at war rose, in pursuance of a notice, to make a motion for leave to bring in a bill to alter the time for training the militia from twenty-one days to twenty-eight days in each year. He thought it necessary, upon this occasion, to state the reason why he proposed this alteration. When the militia was first formed into a regular system, in the early part of the reign of Charles the Second, it was enacted that the militia should be exercised four times a year in companies, and once in battalions; that is to say, two days each time they were exercised in companies, and four days when they were exercised in battalions. As the art of war was not then brought to the degree of perfection to which it has since attained, this was thought sufficient time to train the men. The militia was at that time about 60,000 men. That system was continued from that time till the latter end of the o of his late majesty, when a plan was introduced by a noble lord (the marquis cf Townshend), which was the foundation of the present mode of managing the militia. By the act which was then passed, the militia were crqered to be assembled twice in each year, to be exercised for fourteen days each time, or once for twenty-eight days. This system was found perfectly well calculated to answer the purpose for which it was intended; and during the American war the militia were found ready and fit for service. After the conclusion of the Arncrican war, when the coun
try was exhausted by so long and expensive a contest, for two or three years the militia were suffered to remain without any new arrangement, and in a kind of state of uncertainty—they were not even called out to exercise. It was then thought necessary to re-consider the subject, and to make some alteration; but as economy was then an object peculiarly to be desired, the following alteration was then proposed: the whole of the militia, amounting to 31,000 men, were not to be called out every year, but only two-thirds of them, the other third receiving neither pay nor clothing. In this situation the subject remained till the breaking out of the late war, when other ão took place. On the restoration of peace, ministers thought it right to put it on a good footing, and to unite the laws into one system, in order that theymight be more clear and distinct. The militia was then augmented to 40,000 men; and it was ordered that they should be exercised once in the course of each year. But as this bill incurred a considerable expense beyond that which was incurred before, it was thought, if they were exercised for twenty-one days each year, it would be sufficient; and that a considerable saving would be effected by such a reduction of the time. It had, however, been thought since, by persons the best enabled to form a judgement on the subject, that, in points of this kind, economy ought not solely to be looked to, and that it would be necessary to exer. cise the militia for twenty-eight days. He should therefore propose to bring in a bill to make an alteration to that effect; and he was happy to state, that it would not be attended with any considerable rable expense, in consequence of the economical arrangements which had been introduced. The expense under the present plan was about 200,000l. a year. The additional expense which would be incurred by the adoption of the alteration he then proposed, would not exceed 18,000l. a year. He concluded with moving for leave to bring in a bill to increase the period for which the militia were to be called out to exercise, from twenty-one to twenty-eight days each year-—Leave was given. Upon the third reading of the bill, on the 25th of February, general Tarleton rose, not, he said, to oppose the bill in that stage, nor to object to the training of the militia for twenty-eight days instead
of twenty-one, as had been usual;
but to express his sentiments upon that which he conceived would be the probable operation of the bill. It was by no means his idea to undervalue the services of the militia; but he begged to put it to the consideration of the secretary at war, and of his majesty’s other ministers, whether, circumstanced as this country now stood, in the presence of a rival power, with 500,000 troops, the best disciplined, armed, and appointed, in all respects, of all Europe, and possessed of every port on the shores opposite our coast, from whence we should have most cause to apprehend danger in case of renovated hostilities—whether such a force as 40,000 militia, with the expectation of 20,000 more to be raised occasionally, and only drawn out for discipline one month in a year, was the kind of force on which we could rely. There was also another consideration, highly worthy notice; it was, that the re
cruiting service for the line was most materially injured by the expectation of a militia ballot, as many of those men who would otherwise readily enlist in the line had kept back for the purpose of offering themselves as substitutes; the consequences of which were, the best months in the year for recruiting service had passed over, 2S ..". from many officers of experience, with very bad sucCeSS. The hon. gentleman concluded by saying, that, if his majesty’s ministers did not think proper to adopt some measure on this subject, he should feel it his duty, on a future day, to bring forward a question upon it. The secretary at war considered the arguments of the honourable o and ill-timed. With respect to any of those impediments which the honourable general apprehended to the recruiting service, from the ballots yet to take place, he could inform him those for Scotland and England would be completed very shortly; and in less than a month the whole,
amounting to 50,000 men, would
be ready to take the field, fully clothed, armed, and accoutred. With respect to the foreign forces. to which the honourable member alluded, his statement as to the number rather exceeded the fact. He would allow their number, however, to be about 400,000. The honourable member too had talked highly of their discipline, arms, and appointments; but he would venture to assert, that, if ever our troops should meet them front to front, they would show no inferiority in their discipline, arms, appointment, and bravery, to any troops in the world.
General General Tarleton said a few words in reply, and observed, that the situation of this country, in any contemplation of conflict with an enemy whose population was sixty millions, and which must be
allowed to be a warlike people, must peop
certainly excite serious apprehension. The bill was then read a third time, passed, and ordered to the lords.-Adjourned. It was likewise discussed in the house of peers, and passed on the 4th of March. On the 22d of March the secretary at war moved the order of the day, for going into a committee on a bill for more effectually providing officers for the militia service, and the house resolved accordingly. The secretary at war proposed some amendments, which, he said, rather went to supply the defects of technical phraseology, than to create any alteration in the bill as it now stood. Mr. Bastard, colonel Mitford, and several other members, objected to that clause of the bill in articular which enabled the lords#. of counties to recoinmend half-pay officers, not duly qualified in point of property, to commissions in the militia, so high as the rank of captain; and their arguments were pretty much the same with those of lord Folkstone on a former night, upon this subject; namely, that such appointments were subversive of the original constitution of the militia, and would deter gentlemen of rank and property from entering the militia service, the commands in which were originally intended, by the fundamental and constitutional principle of the militia, to be given to them exclusively.
Mr. Fuller rose with much warmth, and said, by the acts of the last parliament the militia service was insulted. He was sure that there were enough of gentlemen of spirit and property in the country who would cheerfully come forward to officer the militia, . provided they were not to have. obtruded upon them persons with whom it was unfit for them to as
sociate. The chancellor of the exchequer denied that any act of the last session could be fairly construed as insulting or disrespectful to the militia service. It was a corps of whose value and advantages his majesty’s government was highly sensible; and though some steps were adopted in respect to the militia which were in a great degree contrary to the original institution of that corps, they were resorted to from imperious necessity, and not from choice. He was as sensible as any gentleman of the importance of officering the militia entirely with the young gentlemen of property in the country, if it were practicable; but he begged leave to observe, that although when the militia was originally instituted it was extremely popular with the gentry, and commands therein embraced with the greatest avidity, yet the institution of late years seemed to have lost its novelty, a very principal inducement; so that, from the circumstances which took place during the last war, government were obliged to resort to the measures taken, or they could never have been able to officer the militia. It was extremely desirable, certainly, to give preference to gentlemen of property; but if they would not come forward, was the militia to remain