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Mr. Sheridan rose to explain. He said, that a British army kept up in time of peace was certainly a great evil; but a French army hovering round our coasts was a still #. His honourable friend ad said, that the seizure of Switzerland was no reason for increasing our military establishment. To that he would answer in the words of Demosthenes; who, when he was urging the Athenians to declare war against Philip, told them, that that ambitious monarch was over-running and seizing upon every small state immediately within his reach, with the view of ultimately making himself master of Athens and its territory. Mr. Windham combated the arments of Mr. Fox in favour of ow establishments. The whole question was, he said, which, in case of invasion, would be the best means of defending the country— the troops or the money? Twenty thousand men were far better than any equivalent sum of money in our pockets for such a purpose. Money, or money's worth, was the question. He preferred the latter. The chancellor of the exchequer said he should not act fairly by the committee, if he did not candidly state, that since the conclusion of the definitive treaty, circumstances had occurred that furnished additional arguments for increasing the establishment of our army. Taking then into consideration the necessity of having a larger establishment than that which existed at former periods, and adverting to the arguments furnished by the extension of the dominion of France, and the circumstances that had occurred within the last four or five months; he could not help declaring to the committee, it was a duty imposed on him, to recommend

the force which had been moved for ; and he should think he betrayed his duty, if he were instrumental to the adoption of a less. As to the finances of the country, he had the satisfaction of stating, that such was the flourishing state of the revenue, that it had been more productive for the last two or three quarters than ever it had been known to be, and afforded ample means of providing for that increased *ś which was under the consideration of the committee. He vindicated the pro|. large establishment, which ad been affirmed to be unconstitutional, on the ground of its necessity only. He then adverted to his royal highness the commander in chief, whom he highly commended for his arrangements relative to the army establishment. In the selection of officers for regiments, his royal highness had not adopted the former course, of giving commissions to new candidates who offered themselves, but he had made choice of those who were on the half-pay list. The effect of this judicious system was, saving the country nearly a million a-year. In the conclusion of his speech, the chancellor of the exchequer totally disclaimed the insinuation that Mr. Pitt at all actuated the measures of government. The secretary at war rose in explanation of what had been advanced by a noble lord, relative to the army having been reduced. He asserted, and his noble friend could vouch for the fact, that there had been no reduction whatever of the British infantry. That there had been a reduction of the cavalry, he admitted; but there had been no reduction of the infantry, except with respect to invalids, and those who had been en

gaged gaged for limited services.—The motion was finally put, and carried without a division. The report was taken into consideration on the 9th of December, when Mr. T. Grenville expressed his dissatisfaction with the explanations given by ministers, relative to the necessity of the force voted, and the designed employment of that force. Lord Hawkesbury denied that 5. had not given sufficient ocuments for requiring so large an establishment as the present; and insisted that every information had been given that was necessary. He vindicated the conduct of ministers from the charge of their not having fully discovered the general system of government. e also defended the system of continental alliances at some length; commending, at the same time, the undeviating fidelity of Austria. Let us, said he, avoid the abuse of the principle, but let us not abandon the principle itself. He defended the proposed establishment on principles already stated, and spoke a few words on the subject of the animadversions on ministers. Sir Francis Burdett agreed with Mr. Grenville, that when, in answer to the objections which had been urged to that unprecedented military establishment, ministers stated that the unprecedented situation of the country called for it; they ought to have brought down some communication throne, as to the nature of that situation. He however noticed the inconsistency of such objections, as coming from such a quarter—from one who had acted with the late administration. roDr. Lawrence, in a speech of considerable length, condemned the

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system upon which ministers acted; particularly in reducing the navy so much since the peace, and proposing to keep up a large standing army, though the former force was our natural defence, and the latter was ever an object of constitutional jealousy. The doctor expressed an anxious desire to have an explanation of what ideas were meant to be attached to national insults and hostile aggression." He then examined, in detail, the several cases of complaint against France: —the German indemnities—Switzerland—Holland. After dwelling at length on these topics, he called the attention of the house to the treatment which captain D’Auvergne had experienced in Paris, in consequence of orders issued by the French government. What he meant to state, he did not pretend to state on authority. He was compelled to speak on the grounds of public motoriety, when he mentioned that this respectable officer, even under the protection of a British commission and a regular passport, had been arrested, thrown into a dungeon, and subjected to interrogatories of the most insulting kind. Such was the account given by public report; and he would ask whether any thing could be reckoned an attack on our mational honour, if such an outrage did not come under that description? There was another topic on which he descanted at some length. He took occasion to allude to a prosecution then instituted against a foreigner (Mr. Peltier, author of L'Ambigu) for a supposed libel on the French government. . He did not mean to give any opinion against the propriety of such a prosecution, but was very pointed on articles which had appeared in the French official journal, containing

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unbecoming allusions, and very indecent reflections cn the character of our sovereign. . . The chancellor of the exchequer vindicated himself and sriends from the charge, that they had compromised the dignity, and tarnished the honour, of the empire—which seemed to be urged constantly as the systematic opinion of the learned member (Dr. Lawrence) and his friends, on every occasion. He denied that the stipulations for indemnity to the prince of Orange had been abandoned, in the treaty of Amiens. He then noticed the prosecution commenced against the publisher of a libel against the first consul of France. Though the British government were certainly not responsible for the publication which contained that libel; he conceived the first consul was entitled, by the justice of the country, to reparation as well as every other person in such a case. The honourable gentleman next adverted to the affair of captain D’Auvergne. The conduct which took place towards that $.” under the police of France, surely could not implicate the government of this country. The moment his situation was made known to his majesty’s minister at Paris, a demand was immediately made to the French government for his release, which was instantly obtained. Mr. Fox, in very spirited terms, alluded to the representation given by Dr. Lawrence, of the treatment which had been experienced by a British officer, from the French government. Admitting this representation to be correct, and allowing that a remonstrance had been made on the subject by ministers, without obtaining satisfaction; he had not the smallest hesitation in saying, agreeably to the ideas of

national honour he had often had occasion to express, that he should reckon this an insult of such magnitude, as to form a very legitimate ground of renewing hostilities. If captain D'Auvergne had been actually arrested without the smallest pretext, thrown into a dungeon, and subjected to insulting interrogatories, as had been described; or, if the French government refused to give satisfaction to the honour of the country, wounded in the person of a British officer; this. would, in his opinion, be a ten thousand times more justifiable ground of war, than any thing drawn from the conduct of France in the system of German indemnities, in the invasion of Switzerland, or any other act of usurpation on the continent. Lord Castlereagh’s opinion differed from the two extremes which had appeared in the debate. He thought that Mr. Fox under-rated the danger of the country; and that Mr. Windham over-rated it. The honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox), thought that our military establishment might be lower, since the navy of this country was so much superior to the rest of Europe. He did not think that, a mode of defence on which the country ought entirely to rely. To show that an invasion might take place, o; the superiority of our navy, he instanced the arrival of the French expedition in Bantry bay, when the landing was prevented only by a storm. He blamed the practice of deprecating continental alliances. He did not think that any of the transactions of the French government, since the treaty of Amiens, should form a ground of war.— With regard to the situation of the prince of Orange, an indemnity had been assigned to him in the German empire, by the general plan. Captain D'Auvergne was a rivate traveller in France; and if e were set at liberty upon the application of his majesty's ministers, redress was given. The occasions of irritation between governments would be multiplied, if the transactions of the police were to be regarded in the light his honourable friend wished they should be. This case was very different from that which occurred at Lisbon. There the insult was given to British officers in the execution of their duty. The reparation required in the latter instance was necessarily very different from the former. Several other members spoke on this occasion. Mr. Banks opposed the measure. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Calcraft each said a few words; and the following gentlemen spoke in favour of the establishment.: generals Maitland and Tarleton, Mr. Archdale, Sir Eyre Coote, Sir James Pulteney, and Mr. I. H. Browne. The report was also agreed to. In a committee of supply, on the 10th of December, the chancellor of the exchequer rose, and entered into a view of the financial situation of the country. Before he entered into those statements of which he had given notice, he was desirous of laying before the committee the grounds upon which he requested their attention to two points:—1st, he had apprised the house of his intention to propose that the sum of four millions be voted as the growing produce of the consolidated fund;—2d, he had also stated it as his intention to enter into a view of the financial situation of the country, as far as it

could be described and stated at the present period of the year. As to 5. first of these points, he observed, that in consequence of the rapid increase of the revenue, and of our having a larger sum in the exchequer than that for which credit had been taken, government was unable to apply that redundancy to the public service, without the authority of that house, In the last session of parliament he took credit for the sum of 4,500,000l. as the growing produce of the consolidated fund to the 5th of April 1803. On the 5th of October 1802, only two quarters from the 5th of April, the sum of 3,800,000l. was actually realised: if, therefore, he had abstained from demanding, as soon as possible, the authority of the house for applying to the public service this surplus, the effect would have been that that surn would have lain dead in the exchequer.— The reason for the second part of the notice he had given was, that as the house had already voted a large part of the supplies of the year, it could not but be material and desirable to them to have such information laid before them as would enable them to know the ways and means by which such supplies were to be raised. It was on these grounds that he submitted to the consideration of the committee, before the recess, the resolution founded upon the growing produce of the consolidated fund, and the statement of the financial situation of the country, as far as it was in his power at pre

Sent. Before he adverted to the supplies of the present year, and to the ways and means of raising those supplies, he must ask perD 4 mission mission of the committee to advert to the financial measures of the year 1802. It would be recollected, that in the last session of parliament arrangements were made for an additional capital of 97,000,000l., 56,000,000l. of which was the amount of the sum for which the income tax had been mortgaged : the amount of the loan was to be added, and the exchequer bills funded at the commencement of the last session, making the whole a capital of 97,000,000l. For that sum an interest of 3,100,000l. was to be provided. But the taxes proposed for that purpose were confidently expected to produce much beyond the interest of that addition to the funded debt. Those expectations were much more than fulfilled. He stated that the produce of the taxes proposed last year would not be less than 4,000,000l. In the first quarter in which they were productive—he meant here to speak only of the malt and beer tax, and tax on shipping—the produce was 920,000l. , In that quarter no proportion was received of the tax upon houses and windows, the amount of which he stated at 1,000,000l. He might therefore fairly add the sum of 250,000l., the fourth part of that million, to the amount already received upon the beer and o tax; thus making the receipt of the whole quarter 1,170,000l. On a former day, he had stated that the effect of the provision, made for the public service last year, was to enable government to reduce the outstanding debt, and to take out of the market eighteen millions. That sum had been redeemed in the course of the year. It also afforded him considerable

satisfaction to state that the

of the last year, with the exception of the credit taken for army extraordinaries, would be found sufficient to provide for all the services of the year. He was sorry to say that there would be an excess on the sum voted for army extraordinaries, amounting to a million; but this excess was to be accounted for from the continuance of the army on foreign stations: yet the whole amount of the army extraordinaries was not more half what it had been of late years; and the system of economy introduced into the naval department, and the reduction of the navy debt from nine millions to four millions and a half, might be fairly set off against that excess in the army. The unfunded debt at the commencement of last session was 37,377,360l. It was now, not taking into the account the exchequer bills authorised to be issued, 19,580,000l., including the 4,500,000l. as the amount of the navy debt. When he stated this as the amount of the navy debt, he did not pretend to be quite accurate ; it was made up from positive accounts to Michaelmas, and was carried on upon estimates to Christmas. The unfunded debt consisted of fifteen millions in exchequer bills, 900,000l. land and malt, and the three mil

lions for which no interest was .

paid, being the advance made by the bank for the renewal of its charter. Thus the money market had not been embarrassed to that amount. In the year 1793 the ex

chequer bills outstanding were

9,478,000l., they were now under twelve millions. There was at present no deficiency upon the land and malt, which was not defrayed by the outstanding arrears. *:


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