« ForrigeFortsæt »
civil offices, your committee cannot but entertain an opinion that, consistently, as they trust, with this important object, it will be practicable to make the new means of reward which it is proposed to grant to the Crown less extensive, and, at the same time, to place the power of conferring those rewards under limitations more restrictive than had been provided by the regulations of that bill.
Retaining the list and classification of offices according to that bill, your committee are of opinion, that it would be expedient either to limit the total sum, which should in no case be exceeded, or to proceed, in another mode, towards attaining the same object:
1st. By limiting the number of pensions which could be granted, and in operation at any one time in each class. 2dly. By providing that the power of granting such pensions should be called progressively into operation at stated intervals, affording a reasonable probability, that at least an equal saving will have been effected by . the falling in of the salaries or emoluments of some of the offices to be regulated or abolished, instead of commencing at once upon the vacancy of the first of such offices as might exceed 2,000/. a year, or at any one given period. 2dly. That the provision of the bill which would have made it lawful for his Majesty, when any pei son should have served in more than one of the four classes, to grant such pension as is annexed to the highest c'ass in which he may have been employed (without any reference to the duration of his service in that class) should be so far amended as to require from
any such person a certain period of service in the higher class.
With reference to these principles of modification, your committee submit, that the number of pensions in each of the four classes should be limited as follows:
1st Class—First Lord of the Treasury, First Lord of the Admiralty, Three Secretaries of State, Chancellor of the Exchequer—six pensions of 3,000/.
2d Class—Chief Secretary for Ireland, Secretary at War—three pensions of 2000/.
N. B. The Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland was included in this class in the Bill of 1S13.
3d Class—Two Secretaries of the Treasury, Principal Secretary of the Admiralty—6 pensions of 1,500/.
4th class—Under Secretaries of State, Clerk of the Ordnance— 6 pensions of 1,000/.
That the Crown should have the power of granting one pension in each of these classes, except the second, at the end of two years from the adoption of this system by the legislature, and so in succession at intervals of two years, until the expiration of twelve years, when it shall be lawful to the Crown to grant the whole number of pensions proposed in each class. With respect to the second class, it is proposed that the power should not commence till the expiration of four years, so as to come into complete operation at the same period of twelve years, ast in the three ether classes.
Your committee conceive that
the offices of the President of the
Board of Control, and Secretary
to that Board, come within the
description description of effective, civil, and political offices, so &r as to entitle them to be considered in any general system intended to be laid down with regard to such offices; but they leave it to the wisdom of the House to determine whether, as their salaries are entirely drawn from another quarter, and not from public revenue, these offices ought to be included in the provisions of any bill which may be framed upon the recommendations contained in this report, or to form the subject of some other legislative measure.
The regulations of the bill, with respect to length of service in each of the four classes, your committee are of opinion might be amended in the following manner:—
1st Class—not less than two years' service in one or more of the offices of that class: 2d and 3d classes—either live years' service in one of the offices of that class, or three years in that ('lass, and not less than five years in some of the offices of the other classes, so as to make, in that case, at least eight years' service; but in the whole 4th class, at least ten years' service.
The only further alteration which it has occurred to your committee to recommend in limitation of the regulations of the bill, is, that the pensions of each class should, in all cases, be limited to the smaller sum specified in the bill, viz. 3,000/. for the first class; 2.000'. for the second; 1,500/. for the third; aftd 1,000/. for the fourth; without any progressive increase depending upon length of service; and that one half of such pension should abate
upon the grantee being appointed to any civil office or employment under the Crown of equal or greater amount.
It has occurred to your committee, that circumstances might possibly arise, though of occasional and rare occurrence, in which it might be highly expedient for the Crown to possess the power of granting one pension in the first class, without reference to any specific period of service in the person to whom it might be granted; and although there might be no actual vacancy in the class. They therefore submit to theHouse, whether it might not be expedient to grant such a power, subject to any regulations in the mode of exercising it which may be thought necessary, and subject also to a provision that any such grant should be held to besupernumerary; so that, upon any subsequent vacancy arising in the first class, it should not be filled up, except in favour of the person holding such extraordinary pension; who from that time would be considered as forming one of the limited list of six.
Although it may be objected to the limited number proposed by your committee for each class, that circumstances may arise in which, from the whole number of pensions in any of the classes having been previously granted, the crown might for a time be debaried from remunerating a person, who, by long and meritorious services, might be entitled to such a reward; such an inconvenience, they apprehend, could only exist for a short time; and on the other hand, your committee are of opinion that, without some such limita
tion, the saving, which they contemplate ns one of the inducements fur substituting this mode of recompensing public service, for that which is now at the disposal of the crown, might be ultimately disappointed. March 28, 1817.
SECOND RFPORT FROM THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.
[Ordered by the House of Commons
to be printed, March 29, 1817-] The Select Committee, appointed to inquire into, and state, the income and expenditure of the United Kingdom for the year ended the 5th of January, 1817. and also to consider and state the probable income and expenditure (so far as the same can now be estimated) for the years ending the 5th of January 1818, and the 5th of January, 1819, respectively, and to report the same, together with their observations thereupon from time to time, and also to consider what further measures may be adopted for the relief of the country from any part of the said expenditure, without detriment to the public interest, have proceeded to investigate the principal establishments of the country, beginning with the army.
In this department the first object that presents itself is the numerical amount of force.
Your committee are deeply sensible of the extreme difficulty of ascertaining the precise point at which our military establishments should be fixed, on account of political considerations, and others of a still more delicate nature, which must necessarily involve
themselves in the question. la taking into consideration the peace establishments of the country, it must be remembered, that if on the one hand they are proposed to be kept in a state of complete preparation, with a view of affording entire security to the nation both at home and abroad, the continued expense must bear so heavily upon the resources of the country, as to preclude all hope of relief from the burdens of taxation, and the load of debt incurred during a long series of protracted hostilities: on the other hand, if they should be reduced too low, the temporary gain in point of economy might be more than counterbalanced by the hazardous situation in which this kingdom, together with its numerous and distant dependencies, might eventually be placed upon the breitking out of an unforeseen or sudden war; for which such a state of deficient military preparation might possibly offer no small temptation.
It is rather, therefore, for the executive government, acting on their responsibility, to propose, and for the wisdom of the House to judge of, a matter of this high importance, than for your committee to offer an opinion; but they observe, in the mean time, with satisfaction, that upon a comparison between the estimates of the two last years, and those for the present year, much will appear to have been effected in the way of reduction, both as to numbers and as to expense; and they entertain a confident hope, that such further reductions will continue to be made, as may be found consistent with all the true Interests
of the country, neither erring on the side of absolute confidence on the long duration of peace, nor giving way to unwarrantable apprehensions of danger and aggression.
And your committee further submit, that as the duration and magnitude of the astonishing exertions made by this kingdom during the late war must mainly be attributed to the pecuniary resources then brought into operation, which could never be more justly deemed the sinews of war than during the whole course of that eventful contest; so these can be renovated and strengthened in no other way than by retrenchment and economy during the opportunity afforded by a return of peace.
At the same time, this most important consideration must always be kept in view—that if our military establishments should once be suffered to fall below the standard of efficiency and discipline, to which they are now raised by great exertions founded on experience, it will not be possible to restore them again to the same height without great waste of time, however urgently their best services may be required.
P. 1, in the Estimates.
The first of the returns compares the numerical force maintained in the year 1816, with that intended to be maintained in 1817; both as to the difference of actual establishments in those two years, and of the force on account of which a charge is incurred by the public, distinguished from the force in France and in India.
The second gives the comparison of the total numbers in the years 1814 and 1817
The third shews the comparative expense in the years 1816" and 1817> and also the expense incurred in the year 1815. The reduction of that great establishment which the war had occasioned was begun in 1816, and has been carried considerably further in the present estimates; the difference amounts to no less a sum than 1,738,496/. upon the net balance; although several charges, such as half pay, the Compassionate List, and other allowances of a similar kind, are necessarily augmented by the termination of the war, and a diminution of the numbers maintained on active service.
Besides the mere numerical reduction, a principle of economy has heen applied to the cavalry, by a diminution of the number of horses kept for the service of each regiment, to the extent of 20 in each troop; in the last year there were only ten men dismounted in each troop, and that number is now doubled, by which a considerable charge is saved, without too far breaking down the efficiency of the regiments.
The particulars of the charge of a regiment of infantry in the years 1792 and 1817 are annexed, for the purpose of showing the general establishment of each separate regiment which prevailed at that period, compared with the present; and also for giving- at one view the relative charge of maintaining the same numerical force, in the two periods, which bears the proportion of very nearly
Y two two to three; being 2*5,094/. in 1792, and 331,974?. in 1S17, Tor 8,000 infantry.
A comparison is also given of the expense of regimenting a force of 8,000 infantry into hattalions of 400 rank and file each (the establishment existing in l?*^), and into battalions of SOO itmk and file each 5 by which judicious arrangement an annual saving of 74,326/. as well as a more efficient staff, by the present mode of forming this amount of fore* On the same number, is secured to the public.
The pay of the army, with regard to rank and fife, has been exactly doiibled since 1792, with additional allowances after seven years of service; but the augmentation of pay and daily allowance has been made upon a much lower scale to the officers; and the colonel stands upon the Same footing as in 1792.
In the cavalry no addition has been uiade to the pay of any rank superior to that of lieutenant, which has been increased from 8*. 3d. to 9* per day; the dragoon soldiers, whose daily pay was 8</. in 1792, now receive is. 3tf. with the addition of Id. after ten years, and 2d. after seventeen years of service.
The rate of agency remains precisely the same as in 179*2 for corps of infantry; for corps of cavalry, the rate of agency appears to have been reduced one-fourth, from the'25th of July, 180D. It is remarkable, that no augmentation has ever 'been made to the allowances for clothing and appointments of cither cavalry or infuhtrv. Tlic rates of off-reckon
ings were first fixed in the reign of Queen Anne, and they remain the same at the present day 5 hut, in consequence Of the great increase in the price of leather during the early part of the late war, an allowance of 15 per cent, upon the off-reckonings was granted to colonels of cavalry regiments from July, 1799, after deducting therefrom 17. 16s. per annum for every man wanting to complete the foil establishment. This allowance has been issued every two years, upon a memorial from the respective colonels, showing that no diminution had taken place in the price of appointments, with the exception of two years, from the 25th day of December, 1803, to the 24th day of December, 1805, for which the Colonels did not claim it.
The difference which appears in the present and in former estimates, between the expenses of clothing some regiments of equal numbers, is occasioned by some of them being upon the British and Some upon the Irish establishment, which, for a cavalry regiment of 461 rank and file, amounts, upon the British establishment, to 2,845/., and upon the Irish (in Irish currency) to 3,500/., or 3,230/. British. This is stated to be a very old regulation, in which no alteration has been made of late years.
[Here follows the comparison alluded to; by which it appears that in 1816 the total number, in the abstract, of the estimates, omitting the coips ordered for reduction in 1816, and the corps for service in India and in France, but including 21,401 officers and men in foreign