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verted to the disproportionate in- there were, Contents, 39; Notcrease of foreign expenditure in contents, 115; majority against consequence of the course of ex the motion, 76. change.
Connected with the preceding Earl Grey, in a long speech, discussion in subject, as relating to supported the statements and rea a part of the conduct of the war, soning of the marquis, and de- was an inquiry into the naval ad viated to other charges against the ministration, particularly with reministry.
ference to the war in which the The Earl of Liverpool said, that country is involved with the United of all the motions which he had States of America. heard in that house, the present On May 14th, the order of the rested on the slightest grounds, nor day being read in the House of did he ever hear a case for in- Lords, the Earl of Darnley rose to quiry more weakly made out. He call the attention of their lordships asserted that the campaign, instead to our naval disasters. He had of being a failure, was the most hoped that during the interval bebrilliant achieved by the British tween giving his notice and bringarms during a century. He asked ing forward his motion, something what would have satisfied us in would have occurred to compenJanuary 1812, as the result of the sate the past disasters; but, on the impending campaign? and was it contrary, another unfortunate event not more successful than could had been reported, attended with have been expected by the most circumstances still more melansanguine? He then adverted to choly than the former ones. He the particulars which had before alluded to the action between the been touched upon; and added, British sloop of war Peacock, and that the great object to which they the American brig Hornet, of equal had been looking was, that the force. He should not now enter whole force of Spain should be upon any question concerning the placed under the command of one course or policy of the war, but it individual, who should be the Bri could not be disputed that ininistish chief commander, which had ters must have been long aware been accomplished by the events that war, sooner or later, must of this campaign. He denied the take place. This being the case, possibility of sending out the force how were we prepared to meet it? required by the noble lord at the With respect to Canada, the events time when he stated it to be there had greatly added to our minecessary; and affirmed that we litary reputation, but they were had upon the Peninsula a larger events entirely unexpected. It was, force than could ever have been however, with regard to our naval expected, and that a greater would force that he should confine his only have been an incumbrance, inquiries. It appeared that from unless the means of supplying it April to July in the last year,
there were at hand; and that they were were on the Halifax station, under Dot, was no fault of the ministers. adm. Sawyer, exclusive of smaller
The Earl of Darnley spoke in vessels, one ship of the line and favour of the motion; after which five frigates. That such a force a division took place, in which only should have been stationed
there, when a timely reinforce- action, were circumstances surely ment might have achieved the deserving of inquiry. His lordship most important objects, loudly then called the attention of the called for inquiry. He was well house to the manner in which informed that with five ships of the our trade had been left exposed to line, 17 frigates, and an adequate the depredations of the enemy; number of smaller vessels, on that and he strongly reprobated the li. station, the whole coast of the çences given by government for the United States might have been importation of American cotton, blockaded. It had been said that thereby favouring their commerce à sufficient force could not be to the detriment of our colonies. spared for that purpose ; but by He then touched upon the missending to sea vessels which were management in our dock-yards ; lying useless, and taking one ship and upon the whole he contended from each of the blockading squa that a case had been made out drons, this might have been effect. loudly demanding investigation. ed. It might be asserted that the He concluded by moving, “That a force already on the Halifax sta- select committee be appointed to tion was equal to that of the Ame- inquire into the circumstances of rican navy; but it had long been the war with the United States, a matter of notoriety, that the and more particularly into the American frigates were greatly su state, conduct, and management perior to ours in size and weight of our naval affairs, as connected of metal. If the war was inevi. with it. table, it was very extraordinary The motion was seconded by that government did not give or earl Stanhope. ders for the construction of vessels Lord Melville then rose and said, able to cope with our antagonists. that though the conduct, and not It would only be necessary to refer the grounds of the war to dates to prove the criminal neg matter now to be considered,
yet ligence of ministers. War was de- there was one circumstance conclared on the 18th of June, and it nected with the declaration of it was not till October 13th that let. on which it was necessary to say a ters of marque and reprisal were
few words. Although the governissued; and more than two months ment of the United States had for longer elapsed before the Chesa some time before been in such a peake and Delaware were declared frame of mind as ultimately led to to be blockaded. Certain other hostilities, yet a general opinion ports were declared to be block prevailed that the revocation of the aded on the 13th of March last, orders in council would have pacia but Rhode Island and Newport fied it. He protested against the remained open, and in the last the noble earl's proposition, that it was American frigate was refitted that the duty of ministers always to took the Macedonian. In all the have kept there'a 'fleet sufficient to unfortunate cases, the cause was blockade all the parts in America. the same; the superior height of There were other important the enemy, and their greater weight branches of the service to which of metal, by which our ships were their attention was called, and our crippled and dismasted early in the force on other stations was no more
than sufficient,the blockading force part was his reference to the conin many places being less than the trivances of Mr. Fulton for blowing force blockaded. He had never up ships under water, whose of met with a naval officer who en- fers, he said, bad been rejected by tertained the opinion of the noble Bonaparte, but had been accepted mover respecting the possibility of by Mr. Pitt and lord Melville, completely blockading the Ame- who after his failure at Boulogne, rican ports. As to what he had made a compromise with him for said relative to the ships which had a considerable sum, with which he been opposed to the Americans, went to America. Earl S. said, he lord M. observed, that we were had given a plan to the admiralty not to alter the classes of ships in for preventing the effect of his inthe British navy merely because ventions, which he thought of a there were three American ships formidable nature. of unusual dimensions. All naval The Earl of Galloway entered officers agreed in the opinion that into some professional remarks reit was not proper to multiply the specting the naval disasters of the classes of vessels; and it was far American war, which he attributed better to send out 74's than to set very much to the power of the about building ships only fit to enemy to man their few large fricope with the American navy. gates with prime sailors; whereas the The advice to diminish the num- great demand for men in our navy ber of small vessels was one in had rendered it necessary to admit which no experienced person could a large proportion of an inferior concur, since these were peculiarly class. He touched upon the pro. requisite to protect our trade against pensity of our seamen to desert, the enemy's privateers. The ba- which he thought might be best lance of capture was so far from obviated by an increase of petty being in favour of the Americans, officers made from the best among that it was the reverse. With re- them, and by more liberal remuspect to not sooner issuing letters neration. He was also of opinion, of marque, the delay was for the in opposition to lord Melville, purpose of knowing the reception that ships of precisely the same given by the Americans to our pro- kind with those of the Americans posals of accommodation. As to should be built, in order to contend the charge of mismanagement in with them. He asserted that he the dock-yards, measures had been should have approved of the motaken to remedy defects. Some of tion had its objects been, not cenour ships, it was true, had under- sure, but inquiry. gone a rapid decay, through haste Earl Grey began with adverting in the building ; but it was neces to the contract of the admiralty sary that our exertions should keep with Mr. Fulton, and the compace with those of the enemy. promise which he himself had neFor all these reasons he should gociated, in the conviction that give his vote against the motion. his invention would not prove of
Earl Stanhope made a speech the smallest utility. He confessed, chiefly relative to his own plans however, that such was his disfor the improvement of naval ar- like to this mode of warfare, that chitecture. The most remarkable he had passed many uneasy nights
from the idea of its practicability. Lord Grenville said, that the docHe then made a number of remarks trine advanced by lord Galloway, relative to the expediency of an that inquiry implied censure, inquiry on the present occasion, would lead to the abdication of alí not only on account of our naval the functions of parliament ; for disasters, but the whole manage- no inquiry could be instituted, in ment of the American war. He that case, without incurring the dwelt particularly on the neglect guilt of condemning the parties in protecting the trade of the West unheard. He recapitulated some Indies and of the coast of South of the charges against ministry America, and on the superiority of which had been already urged by force which the Americans had the supporters of the motion. been suffered to construct on the After the earl of Liverpool had Canadian lakes.
spoken in defence of the ministers, Earl Bathurst defended the con- and the noble mover had briefly duct of ministers upon similar replied, the House divided, for the grounds with those taken by lord motion, 59; against it, 125. MaMelville.
Mr. Vansittart's new Plan of Finance.-Bill for abolishing Sinecure
HE prodigious increase of the House one which belonged more
public expenditure, and the immediately to the extensive sysdiminution of several sources of tem with which he wished to comrevenue, in consequence of the bine them. It would involve the war, had occasioned a general opi-' repeal of so much of the sinking nion, towards the close of the last fund act of 1802 as directs that session of parliament, that some the whole sinking fund then exnew financial measures were be. isling shall continue to accumulate come necessary; and the order of at compound interest till the total the day standing on March 3, for redemption of the whole funded the House of Commons to resolve debt then remaining unredeemed. itself into a committee of the whole The right hon. gentleman then House to consider of the finances made some remarks on the bad of Great Britain, the Chancellor of effects that would arise from an the Exchequer (Mr. Vansittart) accumulation of the sinking fund rose to open the subject. He first to 30 or 40 millions, which would adverted to two measures which he be the case on adhering to this had formerly mentioned; the adop. plan, and from its sudden reduction of some more efficacious plan tion when the effect was produced. for the redemption of the land-tax, He showed that the fund had aland the provision of an increased ready redeemed 240 millions, the proportion of sinking fund for so sum of the whole debt at the much of the loan of each year as time when it was established, bemight exceed the sum applicable sides which, the public had paid to the redemption of the debt. With upwards of 200 millions in war respect to the former, he chiefly taxes; whence he inferred that it relied upon a simplification of the had now a claim for some relief. mode of the redemption of the This might be given without the land-tax, and freeing it from trou- smallest infringement of the problesome formalities. As to the visions of the act of 1792, the latter, he meant to recommend terms of which were, that provithat the proportion of increase in sion should be made for the rethe sinking fund should be one payment of all debts subsequently half of the interest of the excess contracted, within 45 years from in the loan. In addition to these their creation. He then proceeded measures he should propose to the to explain how this might be done,