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His grace then entered into a detail of cessary to fix the establishment at 12,000 the army now in Great Britain. He said men; and at the latter, when part of the

the returns on the table made the amount troops were drawn from that kingdom, to · to be 15,600. Out of this number, the serve in other parts of the British empire,

officers commissioned and non-commis- the Irish parliament consented to an augsioned amounted to 1,230. The staff, in- mentation of 3,300, on condition, and in cluding surgeons, surgeons' mates, &c. consequence of a royal message, delivered, 577;, the invalids 2,200, who were unfit as he believed, by the noble lord last alfor field service; the cavalry, consisting of luded to, that 12,000 men should be kept the horse and grenadier guards, and the within the kingdom, for its defence in time blues, 400 ; the dragoons, consisting of of peace. He observed, that the Irish dragoon guards, &c. 1,400; which being parliament had, upon application from severally deducted from the total, would hence, sent 4,000 men to serve in America, leave the rank and file to amount to about which, with the deficiencies consequent on 10,600. If it was further considered that the difficulty of obtaining recruits, and London would call for a part of this force; other circumstances, had reduced the efthat the three great fortresses, which were fective force in that kingdom, as he had the keys of this kingdom, would require before observed, to 4,800, with muskets on men for garrisons, (supposed to mean their shoulders. Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham,] and His grace then took a general view of that garrisons would be wanting for other the state of the military, both voted for places of strength, though not of such im- | home desence, and elsewhere. He said, portance; he could not possibly see, in that the troops for guards, garrisons, &c. the case of a sudden attack from France, were 2,000 short; and that there was a or any other power, that we had any force deficiency, upon the whole of the army we could possibly spare to meet our ene- voted for the garrisons of Gibraltar and mies in the field. It is true, our militia, if Minorca, and for the defence of Great properly trained to the use of arms, might Britain, of upwards of 5,600 men. Whence be rendered serviceable. But, he meant he drew this conclusion, that out of the now to speak of troops fit for actual ser- first recruits enlisted, this deficiency must vice, ready to meet a veteran, numerous, be made up. And even then, as to the and powerful enemy. He did not mean home defence, it would be no more than a to take off from the merit of the national peace establishment; 17,000 men were militia. He recollected how useful they necessary for that defence in time of peace; proved during the late war, and doubted he would, therefore, submit to their lordnot but they might be rendered so again ; ships, whether in so precarious and danbut the question was not now, how useful gerous a state of things, foreign and dothey were capable of being made. The mestic, it would be at all prudent to part point their lordships were most specially with any of the old corps, when even it to consider was, what state of defence we was known that they were so much short were now in? The immediate application, of what parliament and the nation judged then, he insisted to press on their lord- they ought to be in times of tranquillity. ships, from the present state of the army His grace then moved the following Rein this kingdom, was, to shew, in case of solution:

ters, that it would be extremely improper sideration the continuance of the arma. and dangerous to send any of the old ments in the ports of France and Spain, corps out of the kingdom.

of which his Majesty was pleased to inform His grace next took a view of the state parliament in a Speech from the throne at of the garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca, the opening of this session; and also taking and of the army in Ireland. The former, into consideration that a very large part he insisted, were not defended by more of our naval and land forces are on the than half their war complement; nor the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and latter, by half what had been deemed ne- therefore not applicable to the defence of cessary for its defence, both by the Dis. this kingdom upon any emergency: and banding Act, passed in the reign of Wil- that the forces in Great Britain, Ireland, liam 3, and an act of its own parliament, Gibraltar, and Minorca, are at this time passed during the lieutenancy of a noble less in number by 5,673 men than the lord over the way (viscount Townshend.) establishment has been in times of tranAt the former period, it was thought ne- quillity and peace; is of opinion, that no [VOL. XIX. ]

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course at the mercy of foreign powers. If, in the course of the enquiry, it should come out, that the first was totally impracticable, though no other impediment, more than had hitherto obstructed the execution, should arise; if the interference of foreign powers, as to the second contingency, should break the thread of the measures pursued for the last three years; in either of these events, it would follow, that the plan was impracticable. Out of both those considerations, another would most certainly arise, not directly connected, though originating from the American war; that was, the opportunity it would give our rivals in power and greatness to avail themselves of the weak state of the home defence; and from the circumstance of our fleets and armies being on the other side the Atlantic, meditate some blow which might endanger the safety, if not strike at the very existence of this country. The greater part of the remises here stated was in proof on their !. table, particularly relative to the impracticability of conquest, and the weak state of our internal defence; and he presumed, the just suspicions we had a right to entertain of the conduct of the House of Bourbon, would not seem illfounded, when that very construction was given from the highest, as well as most authentic authority. It was the language of administration in one of their most solemn acts. The very construction now made was delivered from the throne. The words of the King's Speech were, “that his Majesty had ordered a considerable augmentation of his naval force, on account of the armaments still continued to be carried on, in the ports of France and Spain.” He would now proceed to apply the reasoning to the facts. He would, from the papers on the table, satisfy their lordships that, after three unsuccessful campaigns, nothing had been effected towards the conquest of America. He would shew, that we had employed, during that period, the whole of our strength to no purpose; that our greatest exertions this year would fall considerably short of the two preceding; that we should not of course be able to effect, with a smaller army, what we were not able to do with a greater: and that, too, against an army considerably strengthened by numbers, improved by discipline, and rendered confident by success. That the last assertion was incontrovertible, though we almost

stripped this country to the last man; that supposing, for argument sake, our force in America, without calling any more troops from the home defence, would be equal to what it was on the opening of the last campaign; yet, the passage in the speech alluded to, holding out strong suspicions of hostile intentions from France and Spain, pointed out the necessity of procúring a suitable defence for these kingdoms. His grace then proceeded to explain to their lordships his particular plan. The returns of the present state of the armies in America would shew the numbers of effective men serving there at the conclusion of the last campaign; and what would be ready to take the field early in the next; on which this plain question would arise; What additional forces could be spared, either to recruit the losses already sustained, or augment the whole army; so as from what has happened, to give a rational prospect of success in the ensuing campaign? This would involve in it another question, which could only be ano by administration. What treaties, or if any, with foreign powers ? If there are any, will the troops taken into our pay make up the deficiencies: or are they to be made up out of the old corps in the kingdom, or the new ones, now levying? If it should come out that there was no aid to be expected from the continent, then of course either the troops within the kingdom, or the new levies, must be sent to make up the deficiency caused by the last campaign; or finally, the measure of Ame. rican coercion must be totally abandoned. Ministers declared the contrary; the war against our subjects in the colonies was intended to be pursued with all possible vigour. The inference was then evident, that some one or other, or all the methods mentioned, must be adopted. He hardly believed that foreign aid was much to be relied upon. He less expected that raw, undisciplined troops, could effect what veteran troops were unequal to. Consequently, the deficiency and losses which the army in America sustained in the course of last year, were to be supplied from the old corps ; , which conclusion fairly imported, that naked and defenceless as we are, it was intended to renderous more so, by stripping us of our old To point out the necessity of rathe to, *. diminishing o Resolution he m would be more partico'

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His grace then entered into a detail of cessariettesthe army now in Great Britain. He said men; anorue-the returns on the table made the amount troops wer.-to be 15,600. Out of this number, the sentinar-r officers commissioned and non-commis: the Irishman. sioned amounted to 1,230. The staff, in mentation cluding surgeons, surgeons' mates, &c. consequent. -577; the invalids 2,200, who were unfit as he ho for field service; the cavalry, consisting of luded to o the horse and grenadier guards, and the visio." blues, 400; the dragoons, consisting of of * † dragoon guards, &c., 1,400; which being parliamen. 1- severally deducted from the total, wouis. leave the rank and file to amount to of 10,600. If it was further considered that the ***- -London would call for a part of this force. mile so- that the three great fortresses, which were o circum--the keys of this kingdom, would require bes * . men for garrisons, [supposed to i. oPortsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham land † that garrisons would be wanting for a * - - - places of strength, though not of suchi. suit - portance; he could not possibly see .*.*.*the case of a sudden attack from Fo the to . or any other power, that we had any so ...” --we could possibly spare to meet of . oncer; or

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tradict them. The inon the passage in the hrone was no less eviund, then, the opposike’s motion arose, was possibly account for. aid, if the Resolution uld amount to a public at we were unable fare war in America, or this country over the be an actual declarathat we were neither elves, or chastise our and of course would tion to the different use of Bourbon, to atinvasion of this king

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onal means of defence; h a disclosure would defeating our claims and as shewing the how unequal we were

o them to return to r of securing ourselves of our rival neighbours. er, that the affairs of the the desperate situation ed to be held out to the The resources of the : its spirit was corren; there remained one m) who disapproved of enting to render, Ament of this country. He and wisely from those different opinion; and if illy decided upon as netinued against America, menced in our own dehe trusted, equal to the war, and of carrying it on well conducted, and thus | not doubt but the effect le most sanguine expeceal friends of their counit might, in every point he present motion, he was the d in its impropriety; it iblic confession of our na; as such, he would never barrass government in the nor make a public confession e, should be concealed from Though he objected to the proved of submitting to parfact which could promise to r information. }. to it. The calculations of

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part of the Old Corps, which are left in clined to think, that if nothing else, our Great Britain, Ireland, Gibraltar, or Mi- state of preparation was no bad pledge of norca, can be spared for any distant ser- natural security. The truth was, that we vice, without leaving this kingdom and its had repeated assurances from the courts immediate dependencies in a most perilous, of Versailles and Madrid, of their pacific weak, and defenceless condition, thereby intentions; but as armaments were going inviting a foreign war, and exposing the forward in their ports, it was thought pronation to insult and calamity.”

per by his Majesty to recommend to his The Earl of Suffolk said there was great parliament, to put our navy in a respectaimpolicy in exposing to rival powers the ble state of defence. And it was impossiweakness of our home defence; and there ble, in the course of our political events, was great impropriety in parliament inter solely to rely on assurances. The nature fering to restrain the exercise of the crown, and extent of dependence which ought to in the controul of the military force of the be put on the disposition of foreign courts kingdom. He contended, that the effect varied with circumstances; sometimes of the Resolution, if agreed to, would be they created an alarm; sometimes they tying up the King's hands from pursuing deserved more credit than at others; somethose very objects which had been recom- times they contradicted themselves, within mended by parliament. It was the inhe a short period; and again gave the most rent prerogative of the crown, to have the satisfactory explanations. Yet supposing raising, directing, and employing of the that every thing suspected should be reamilitary force of the kingdom; to restrain lized; he thought it extremely imprudent that exercise, or regulate it, would be in to invite a war, by either telling our rivals fact to suspend it. He said, it was not on in power or greatness, that we were unthe army the defence of this kingdom de prepared to meet an enemy. The motion pended. The navy was our surest and tended to prove the first; his grace's ar. best bulwark. Our feets were hitherto | guidents went to prove the second. If we irresistible; our navy was at present in had not men suf.cient to defend us, they the most respectable condicion; and when ought and must be procured: buthe trusted that part of the enquiry came before their that was not the case: a very short time would lordships, he had every reason to expect enable administration to provide every that the state of the navy would surpass thing for our home defence in the worst every thing wbich had been predicted of event; and every thing necessary for car. it. The present numbers of our army, rying on the measures to induce our rebel. which had been stated by the noble duke, lious subjects in America to return to their proved nothing. Were they inferior to duty, upon reasonable terms of concilia. what they were the three preceding years ? tion; and as to the stripping this country Most certainly not. The noble duke sup- of all the old corps, it was never in the posed what was far from being certain. contemplation of ministers. It might be He supposed that rival powers entertained thought proper to send some; but it was hostile intentions against us. So it had never intended to send all. On the whole, been said on former occasions repeatedly; there was no particular reason to believe, but nothing had yet happened to justify that foreign powers had any intention to those assertions. As to the resources we break with us; if they had, he had every had in men, little.could at present be said reason to be satisfied, we were fully preon that subject. When the time came pared ; and if the general interests of the to propose any measure of that kind, would empire required it, he had no doubt but be the proper season to discuss it. The that we had resources fully sufficient to poble duke had drawn an inference from a resist the most powerful attacks of our passage in the King's speech, extremely | enemies. unjustifiable. He supposed, that the rear Lord Dudley said, he was surprized son his Majesty recommended an augmen that the sole defence of the nation was tation of the navy in his Speech from the supposed, by the noble mover, to depend throne, was because armaments being upon our military force within the kingcontinued in the ports of France and Spain, | dom. For his part, he had, from his earthat those powers meditated some sudden liest days, been taught to securely rest on and decisive blow against this country. other resources of strength, in such an Now taking the present flourishing state | eventual calamity as an attack or invasion of the navy, and the conduct of France of a foreign enemy. To suppose that an and Spain into consideration, he was in invasion from France was a matter in con

templation, was a most extraordinary supposition, and must be accompanied by another still more improbable, which was, that it might be effected without administration having any previous knowledge of such intention. The truth was, that there was not the most distant appearance of any such design; that though there had, experience had fully confirmed the impracticability of such an attempt; for there was no instance in the annals of this country, in which an invasion had succeeded, while we continued masters of the sea. . If, however, any sudden necessity should arise for augmenting our land force, it was well known, that our militia, as they roved on a former occasion, during the te war, would be of the most signal service. Besides, in the possible case, supposed by the noble duke, every man, it might be presumed, would arm in defence of his country. He recollected, when the plan of the militia was first struck out, it was proposed to raise 63,000 men. It was afterwards thought proper to raise but half that number; but in case of a foreign invasion, when every thing dear and valuable was to be contended for, it was reasonable to expect, that .*. member of the community would come forth, the nobleman from his palace, the landed gentlemen, the great body of manufacturers, and labourers, would all unite to repel the attacks of the daring invader: in fine, the spirit of the nation would be its best security in the day of distress, should that ever arrive ; and as to the +tesolution, he thought it would be extremely improper at the present crisis; it could be productive of no good, and might possibly suggest ideas to our natural enemies, which they would otherwise never have entertained; on these grounds, he should give it his most hearty negative. The Duke of Manchester said, that the militia was not in the respectable state af. firmed by the noble lord; that when, during the last war, the militia proved so very useful, they were then upon entirely a different footing. Substitutes were not admitted; the proper gradations in rank were carefully adhered to ; the body of the people were satisfied of the justice and necessity of the war, and the superior obligation of doing every act on their part dictated by that necessity. His grace spoke to several other parts of the question, and observed, that not a single solid objection had been made to it: the facts were before the House; no man offered to

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controvert or contradict them. The inference drawn from the passage in the speech from the throne was no less evident; on what ground, then, the opposition to the noble duke’s motion arose, was more than he could possibly account for. Lord Lyttelton said, if the itesolution was agreed to, it would amount to a public acknowledgment, that we were unable farther to prosecute the war in America, or assert the rights of this country over the colonies. It would be an actual declaration, on our part, that we were neither able to defend ourselves, or chastise our rebellious subjects; and of course would be a direct invitation to the different branches of the House of Bourbon, to attempt an immediate invasion of this kingdom. He condemned the impolicy of developing our national means of defence; observing, that such a disclosure would operate both as to defeating our claims over the colonies, and as shewing the people of America how unequal we were to the task of obliging them to return to their obedience; or of securing ourselves against the designs of our rival neighbours. He trusted, however, that the affairs of the nation were not in the desperate situation they were attempted to be held out to the public this night. The resources of the nation were great : its spirit was correspondent to them; there remained one man (lord Chatham) who disapproved of rendering, or consenting to render, America yet independent of this country. . He dissented greatly and wisely from those who entertained a different opinion; and if war should be finally decided upon as necessary to be continued against America, or should be commenced in our own defence, he was still, he trusted, equal to the conducting that war, and of carrying it on with success. So well conducted, and thus supported, he did not doubt but the effect would answer the most sanguine expectations of the real friends of their country. Be that as it might, in every point he had viewed the present motion, he was the more confirmed in its impropriety; it would be a public confession of our national weakness; as such, he would never consent to embarrass government in the first instance; nor make a public confession of what, if true, should be concealed from our enemies. Though he objected to the motion, he approved of submitting to parliament every fact which could promise to convey proper information. Parliament were entitled to it. The calculations of

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