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to princes, than himself. He was con- ARMY ESTIMATES.] The House havfident, therefore, that his support of this ing resolved itself into a Committee of resolution would be attributed solely to Supply, to which the Army Estimates that abstract view of its reasonableness were referred, and propriety, which he most conscienti- Lord Palmerston said, that the estiously entertained ; and, entertaining, had mates of the present year differed very avowed—a duty which he did not hesitate little, either in the number of men or the to perform, although its execution placed amount of the expenditure, from those of
, him under the painful necessity of re- last year; but, as there were some variacording his dissent, on this occasion, from tions in the details, it might be necessary some of those hon. friends in that House for him to explain them shortly to the with whom he was in the habit, upon
House. The total number of men in the almost all other occasions, of voting. estimate of last year was eighty-six thouMr. Ridley Colborné deplored the sand, seven hundred and sixty-four. The
, present opposition to the grant, and de- number of the present year was eighty-six clared that, whatever might have been thousand, eight hundred and three, making
, the opinion of the honourable members at an increase of thirty-nine men, for the first, such continued and obstinate resist- service of the present year. The charge ance would make the offer of the money for the last year was 6,602,1351. The come as ungraciously from the House, as charge for the present year was 6,601,9481. its acceptance must be rendered painful The noble lord, after enumerating several to the illustrious individual for whom it minor changes and charges, in a very low was intended.
tone, observed, that there was a saving Lord Leveson Gower did not think it from a reduction in the Levy-money to necessary to trouble the House with any 51. 4s.; but that the expense of the staff explanation of his reasons for supporting was increased 15,0001., from the nature the grant after the question had been so of the armament sent to Portugal. In fairly and ably stated by the knight of the War-office there would be found a Kerry. In every expression which had reduction of 5,0001., and several of the fallen from that right hon. gentleman he unsettled accounts, as he anticipated last most fully concurred; but he wished to year, had been arranged. The noble lord say a few words upon the line of argument spoke in such a hurried and suppressed taken by the hon. member for Aberdeen. tone, that it was almost impossible to hear That" hon. member had endeavoured to what he said. As far as we could undertake the course which he thought best stand the noble lord, he observed, that the calculated to enlist upon his side the pas- third class of the estimates included the sions of the people, and to make the grant expenses of the civil departments, or public of any sum to the duke of Clarence a offices, connected with the army : these matter of obloquy in the eyes
of a great amounted to 111,6551. 7s. ld. The fourth portion of the distressed. There was, charge was that of medicines, and surgical however, no period at which the hon. materials for the land forces, together with member might not be able to find the certain hospital contingencies, which, in same reasons for opposing any, even a the whole, amounted to 13,9101. 14s. 6d. necessary, matter of public expenditure; for England, and 3,8671. for Ireland. In and if it might be objected to such an ar- both, 17,7771. 14s. 6d. The expenses of gument, that the present grant was an the Royal Military College were estimated unnecessary piece of expenditure, then he at 13,2291. 3s. 7d. He would now state would answer, that the very same would that the amount of the pay of general be said of the most necessary.
The officers was 148,2261. 7s. 6d. which showsame argument might be applied in the ed a diminution upon the estimates of last same manner to even the accumulation of year of 8631. The whole pay of retired large private fortunes ; but he conceived officers was 118,0001., and the half-pay that such appeals to the passions instead and military allowances to reduced and of the reasons of men were not to be retired officers was 770,0441. 12s.6d. justified upon any sound principles of The charge for in-pensioners of Chelsea policy.
Hospital was 33,7261. 19s. 4d., which was Mr. Hume's Amendment was negatived, a diminution upon the estimate of last and leave was then given to bring in the year of 9401. The out-pensions of Chelsea bill.
Hospital would amount, in the present year, to 1,312,9171. 10s. 11d., which was might involve the waste of 1,0001. a-year; an increase of 27,0001. upon the estimate or the job of appointing a second postof the preceding year. This arose from master-general, which might cost about the disbanding of certain troops, otherwise 2,0001. a-year; or even a vote of an adthere would have been a saving of 23,0001. ditional allowance to a prince of the blood But the addition made to the Chelsea royal—then, indeed, he saw a race between pensions was not the only cause of the gentlemen in their efforts to oppose minisincrease of the present estimates over those ters. This appeared to be deemed by them of last year. There was, besides, a small sufficient to patch up their reputations excess, arising from a new class of pen- for leaving their posts when questions of sions. The total of the estimate for the vital importance, like the present, were to Military Asylum was 28,0461. 17s., which be settled. This might, perhaps, succeed showed an increase over the estimate of for them within the walls of that House ; last year of 2,5001. This did not arise but it would not serve their purpose out from
any additional establishment, or from of doors. There the mode of estimating any permanent charge whatever. It was parliamentary conduct was different. On found necessary, this year, to make an all occasions he had done his utmost to addition to the building. The expense reduce the public expenditure within reayas, therefore, merely temporary, and sonable and honest bounds. With respect could not be taken as any precedent of an to the grant to the duke of Clarence, he item in a future estimate. The account felt that he had given his vote consciof Widows' Pensions amounted to entiously. Before the Committee came to 135,8681. 16s. 8d., which was a diminu- its decision upon the question submitted tion, when compared with that of 1826, to it, he would wish to draw the attention of 6,171l. The Compassionate List for the of members to the extravagance of the present year amounted to 193,0631.13.9d., scale of the public expenditure, and to which showed an increase over that of the the excess of the present estimates over last year. The Exchequer fees remained those of preceding years. To whatever the same. The expenses of the Veteran period he referred, the comparison would Battalions were 86,8031., being an increase be to the disadvantage of ministers. He of 23,4971., and a diminution of 23,6701. would not travel so far back as the year over the expenses
year 1826. The 1792, that epoch to which hon. gentlemen balance was, consequently, 1741. in favour were so fond of referring, and to which of the present year. The noble lord then they could so often refer with strict promoved, " That a number of Land Forces, priety--in illustrating the extravagant not exceeding eighty-seven thousand, eight career of government. He would content hundred and fifty-nine inen (exclusive of himself with a retrospect to a period when the men belonging to the Regiments em- the House of Commons contained most ployed in the Territorial Possessions of the of the gentlemen who sat in the present East india Company), Commissioned and parliament. He would refer to the year Non-commissioned Officers included, be 1822, and would draw a comparison bemaintained for the service of the United tween the public expenses then, and the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, amount of them at the present moment. from the 25th Dec. 1826, to the 24th The comparison would surprise those who Dec. 1827, inclusive.”
were not in parliament at the former Colonel Davies said, that considering period. The four great branches of exthe importance of the question under dis-penditure to which he would call the atcussion, he regretted that the tone in which tention of the House were—the Army, the noble lord had spoken, and the noise Navy, Ordnance, and the Miscellaneous made by hon. gentlemen in leaving the Service. The amount of these was House, had rendered it hardly possible for 14,606,0001, in the year 1822. For the him to hear what the noble lord had said. year ending the 5th Jan., 1827, the same He would confess, that it was with no little four branches of service amounted to surprise that he viewed the conduct of 19,344,0001., being an increase of those gentlemen by whom he was generally 4,738,6001. He would only ask those surrounded. When the question before gentlemen who were so loud in their prothe House merely concerned a common fessions of public spirit, to have the goodjob, such as the unnecessary appointment ness to do their duty when these estimates of a junior lord of the Admiralty, which were voted. If they would but attend in
their places, the country might be richer | The present system was, therefore, eviby nearly five millions per annum. He dently better than that which formerly objected strongly to many of the items in existed. With reference to the organizathe present estimates. There was a charge tion of the army, so far from the present of 60,0001. for levy money of fifteen plan of recruiting having impaired that thousand men. The usual number of organization, or in any respect diminished rank and file in the army was seventy-four its efficiency, it had eminently tended to thousand, five hundred. Therefore, fifteen raise the force in every point of service. thousand men were one fifth of the whole The strength of a battalion of the line on army. Although the duration of a soldier's foreign service was six hundred men. life, from the casualties of battle, foreign Formerly, a regiment consisted of ten service, and hard duty, was not equal to companies or eight; all of which went on that of a civilian, he could assert, that it service, leaving only the skeleton of one
a was a great deal more, upon an average, company to recruit. Each regiment now than five years. Never was there so ex- consisted of ten companies, six of which travagant a demand made upon this head were sent on service, the remaining four of expenditure. In 1823, the number of companies being left at home to recruit. recruits raised was only eleven thousand. These companies disciplined the young He observed in the estimates a charge of soldiers, and sent them from time to time 28,000l. for raising only four companies. to the battalions abroad. It was a literal Each recruit must, therefore, have cost fact, that when a comparison had been the country no less than 201. before he made between regiments consisting of the could be reckoned fit for service. He be- same number of men, those which had lieved that the newly adopted system of re-only six companies abroad, and recruited cruiting by whole companies, tended much under the present system, were found to to destroy the efficiency of the army, and be stronger and more efficient than the many whom he had consulted upon the regiments with ten companies, upon the subject concurred with him in the opinion. former system of recruiting. The reason
Lord Palmerston said, that the gallant was evident: the four companies at home member was mistaken with respect to the were a better engine for recruiting and number of recruits. Of the fifteen thou- keeping up the undisturbed organization sand men, four thousand were to supply and numbers of the regiment, than the an additional force, and the number in- skeleton companies which were formerly tended to answer the wear and casualties used for raising men. The garrison's of the service was only eleven thousand abroad were much more effective now Taking deaths, desertions, and discharges, than formerly. The new recruiting sysinto consideration, it would be by no tem had, however, another material object
more than would probably be in view. When a whole regiment went wanted. With reference to the system abroad, if officers became unable to conof recruiting, as far as his experience tinue in active service, they were sent went, he could positively assert that the home on leave. This indulgence was, of present system was eminently adapted to course, limited ; and when their leave exensure the efficiency of the service. In pired, if the state of their health prevented the first place, by the present system of their returning to their regiments, and rerecruiting, there was no longer a multi- assuming active duties, they were of netude of officers that used to be detached cessity compelled to retire on half-pay. from their regiments, wasting their time, Upon the present system, the officer came to the loss and disadvantage of the public home, not merely upon leave of absence. Instead of nine hundred officers so de- If his health did oblige him to quit active tached by the old practice, there were duty, he did not come home upon leave now not even one hundred. By the pre- of absence, nor were his services lost to sent system, no regiment could detach the public. He joined his dépôt, and more than one officer at a time, and no there performed that comparatively easy officer so detached could be absent from duty which the state of his health perhis regiment more than two years. The mitted. Dépôts, which consisted of raw absent officer was not allowed to have recruits, could not certainly be so available under bis command a single man belong- as entire regiments; but they did perform ing to his own regiment; so that the a share of duty, and of a description neregiment was left efficient and complete. I cessary to the service.
Mr. Hume said, he would leave it to military establishments got down to sixtythe comprehension of military men, how eight thousand eight hundred and three regiments of six hundred men could be men. A sinking fund was provided, more efficient than regiments of eight which, it was said, would, at the end of hundred. From what he heard, a very ten years, reduce eighty millions. Almost different account could be given of this every body who heard him must remember subject. Leaving such paradoxes, he the confidence with which ministers spoke would ask, was it economical to have of the reduction of the debt to that fifty field officers, two hundred and four amount. It was considered as nothing captains, four hundred and eight subal- short of faction to dispute their calculaterns and staff officers employed recruit- tions, or to doubt their sincerity. They ing? Ministers were in the habit of talk- asserted, and repeated the assertion, that ing of the preference of one system over every establishment of the army should another; they compared them in their be kept down to the scale which the pedifferent points, and vaunted of the supe- tition to the Crown had induced them to riority of recent plans. The only point adopt. What had been the result ? In which they never took into consideration five years, instead of a reduction by this was, what appeared to him to be the most sinking fund, of thirty-five or forty milessential to consider ; namely, the ex- lions, every shilling of that sinking fund pense. Improvements, however obvious, was wanted for the current expenses, and might be acquired at too great a cost. the country, at this moment, was more in By the present practice, the War Depart- debt. After this pledge of ministers, they ment left a staff at home, with a few com- had contrived to bring the army to eightypanies, to recruit; and, as far as he could six, instead of sixty-six, thousand. There learn, the expense of the system was well had been an unnecessary and wanton indeserving of attention. So far from being crease of twenty thousand men, after economical, it was most extravagant. ministers had pretended to sympathize in
The question being then put upon the the sufferings of the people, and had resolution, "That eighty-seven thousand pledged themselves that every possible three hundred and fifty-nine men be pro- attention should be given to economy. vided for the Military Service in the pre- As to the estimates before the House,
they were a mere farce : they were of no Mr. Hume said, that he, for one, ob- value whatever: they were merely waste jected in the strongest manner to the paper ; they did not bind ministers, they great amount of the army. He objected did not bind the noble lord, as to what to it in a constitutional sense; he objected number of men should be kept up, or as to it in point of expense; and because he to what expense should be incurred. He did not think it necessary to the exigen- held in his hand a return, by which the cies of the country. He knew that he House would see how useless it was to was not solitary in entertaining these ob- vote an estimate of 6,401,0001.,--the jections. As the House had pledged itself amount of the estimate of last year, when to support the expedition to Portugal, to the scale of disbursements was 8,000,0001., put matters to rights there, he did not being an increase of 1,600,0001. What mean, at the present moment, to do more could be the use of voting this estimate than to protest against the number of our or that estimate, when, without the auforces. He would, however, beg leave to thority of parliament, ministers exceeded state to the House, that when parliament the vote to the extent which he had had recently petitioned the Crown to stated ? Independently of other circumreduce the public establishments, the stances, let the House consider where the answer from the Crown was, that all pos- government could find money to continue sible economy should be observed, with a in such a course, unless they resorted to view to recruit the finances and to pay off the expedient of raising loans. Did it a portion of the public debt. To this not behove the government, in this period ministers had made the Crown pledge of peace, to husband the resources of the itself to the country. Now, it was cu- country? Was not this the honest policy rious to see whether ministers had so far of a government in a period of peace ? regarded the honour of the Crown as to How much more did it behove them to do act up to this pledge. When that public so in a country in which every interest promise was given to the country, the I was labouring under the most dreadful
distress? He had had the curiosity that that, by the paper which he held in his day to examine the estimates and expenses hand, it appeared that the difference was of the government of the United States of only 1,300,0001. America. Their civil, military, and naval Mr. Hume wished to know the precise establishments were not more than the sums. civil list and the expenses of the royal Mr. V. Fitzgerald stated, that the family of England. The whole legisla- amount of the Army, Navy, Ordnance, tive, judicial, and civil departments of the and Miscellancous services in 1822 was United States did not cost more than 16,680,0001., and of the same services in 200,0001. above the civil list of England the last year 17,941,0001.; being a differand the cost of the royal family. Thus, ence of only 1,300,0001. the American Civil establishments cost Mr. Hume observed, that he held in 196,946l.; Miscellaneous, 150,0001.; Di- his hand a paper, in which a different acplomatic, 55,0001. ; Military, including count was given of the matter. It was fortifications, 1,160,0001.; Navy, including signed J. Č. Herries, and gave an acthe expense of building, &c., 645,0001. count of the revenue and expenditure of For our establishments, the charge was no the year ending 1st January, 1827 ; by less than 19,000,0001., being 8,297,0001. which it appeared that the expenditure for for the Army; Ordnance, 1,869,0001.; the Army, Navy, Ordnance, and MiscelNavy,
6,540,0001.; Miscellaneous, | laneous services, was 19,344,1871. 2,566,0001.: making, with the civil list, Mr. Herries begged to say, that, though 21,000,0001. And all this was done by the papers were perfectly correct, yet the America for little more than 2,000,0001. conclusions drawn from them by the hon. It was thus that that country was husband member were totally incorrect. He thought ing her resources, whilst we were impro- that such a deduction as that made by the vidently expending ours. Sixteen millions hon. member would not have been again sterling was the whole of her national brought forward, after the explanation debt; being not one year's amount of the which his right hon. friend, the chancelcost of our army, navy, and civil esta- lor of the Exchequer, had given the other blishments. When ministers talked of night upon the subject. He had made a ' the honour and dignity of the country, he clear distinction between the annual estiwould remind them, that if they ruined mates voted by parliament for the Army, its finances, which they were doing as Navy, Ordnance, &c., and the sums actueffectually as they could do, they were, in ally expended within any particular pefact, ruining the honour and dignity riod. It was well known, that, at the end which they were pretending to support. of the year 1825, there was a severe presEngland was exceeding her income by sure on the country; and that, in consefour millions and a half a year. Ministers quence, there were heavy demands for had got rid of the whole of the surplus money on the Treasury for the payment of revenue; and they were now pressing the Exchequer bills. Under those circumHouse to vote the estimates, without the stances, the issues had not been made for least discretion, and without having any the Army and Navy, and the current paygeneral view of the state of the country. ments were delayed, so that thus the deThe country was more straitened in her mands, which were payable in December, finances than at the conclusion of the 1825, were postponed, in order that the war. He hoped the House would pause Exchequer, at such a crisis, might be kept before it
its sanction to so large an as full as possible. The consequence was, establishment; and he would therefore that many payments which properly bepropose as an amendment, that sixty-seven longed to 1825 fell within the year 1826, thousand three hundred and fifty-nine indicating a large apparent expenditure in men be substituted instead of eighty-seven that year. Had matters gone on in the thousand three hundred and fifty-nine usual way, the postponement might have
gone on to a certain extent, so as not to Mr. V. Fitzgerald denied the assertion increase the apparent amount of the payof the gallant colonel opposite, that the ments; but an armament became necesexpenditure of the Army, Navy, Ordnance, sary; and it was well known, that when and Miscellaneous estimates was between troops were sent abroad it was usual to four and five millions more in the last pay them in advance. Thus an operation year than in the year 1822, Instead of l of an opposite nature took place; and, VOL, XVI,