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was now an actual deficiency of the peaceestablishment 6,000. . I think, Sir, it appears from this it would be madness to part with any more of our army. As to the new levies, I do not now consider whether the levying them without the approbation of parliament, be legal and constitutional ; that will be to be considered another day; but I speak on a supposition of their being levied. And if they are, I should hope it is not intended, that the safety of this country is to be left to their defence.
On the whole, Sir, it appears to me that if gentlemen are not blind, they will see that the war is impracticable, and that no good will come from force only ; that the lives that have been lost, and the treasures that have been wasted, have been wasted to no purpose; that it is high time we should look to our own situation, and not leave ourselves defenceless upon an idea of strengthening the army in America, when, after all, it will be less strong than it was last year, which produced nothing decisive, or in the least degree tending to complete conquest.
§. Fox concluded with moving, “That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give orders, that no more of the Old Corps be sent out of the kingdom.”
To the great surprise of every body without doors, who had seen so full a House drawn down to attend the result of an enquiry of so much expectation, no debate ensued, nor was the smallest reply made to Mr. Fox’s speech. In this singular situation the question was called for, and the Committee divided : For Mr. Fox’s motion 165; Against it 259.
Montagu, hon. J.
Debate in the Commons on Clothing the New Levies raised without Consent of Parliament.] Feb. 4. In the Committee of Supply, lord Barrington moved, That 286,632l. 14s. 6d. be granted for the clothing the newly raised forces. Sir Philip Jennings Clerke said, if he was as well convinced of the necessity and good policy of continuing the American war, as the most zealous friend to administration appeared to be, he would not sit there and consent to measures to carry it on, which he thought were totally subversive of the fundamental principles of the constitution. He had been ever taught to think, that freedom and a security of property were blessings which an English. man enjoyed in a much greater degree than the inhabitants of any other country. He, therefore, could never persuade himself to think, there was a power in the crown to raise an army in this country, to any extent it pleased, without the previous assent of parliament. That power which could raise a thousand, might raise an hundred thousand; and then that liberty which we so much boast of, which was obtained by the blood of our ancestors, which we wish to transmit to our posterity, becomes at once a name only, a phantom, and an empty shadow; for whenever a bad king ascended the throne, it would be in his power to take it away from us. He thanked God we had a good King, we were in no danger at present; but it was our duty to guard against evils, which might arise hereafter. He referred to the preamble of the Mutiny Act, which says, that the King shall not raise an army in time of peace. He left the House to decide, whether this was war or not. He thought himself, a revolt of the colonies 3,000 miles distant, could hardly be called a war here. He knew, he should be told, that no danger could be incurred to the stocks from such a power being in the hands of the crown; for though the King might raise an army, the parliament must pay them; without which assistance they could not have any effect. That being admitted, he thought a very dangerous method had now been adopted, by encouraging private subscription, to be disposed of according to the direction of the crown; by which means an army might be raised and paid, and the parliament deprived of the controuling power, which was the #. security of the liberty of the subject. n the present case, with the help of those quick subscriptions, a large Scotch army might have marched to Derby, without parliament being acquainted that such an
army existed in the kingdom. He said, the species of army was liable to great exceptions in a constitutional light; it was too national: 9 or 10,000 men, all of any one country, was very exceptionable. He wished to avoid national reflections, but he thought too great a partiality was shewn to the people of Scotland. The noble lord (North) had said, will you punish the children of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation ? By no means. But he could not think that those who on former occasions, had shewn no good-will to this country, were of all others the most fit to be trusted. He was ever averse to punishments, but could distinguish between very uncommon benefits which were now conferred on them, and punishments, when he considered the appointment in a military view, it appeared to him an imposition on the public, and an injury to the army. Rank has been given to officers in a most unprecedented manner; gentlemen have been appointed to command regiments with the rank of colonel, who never were in the service before, to the great discouragement of all the officers in the army. If it was necessary to give such advantages, there were many young people of noble families in this country, who had with great zeal and spirit engaged in the service, who had suffered hardships and inconveniences, and risked their lives in a foreign country. He thought they had at least as good a title to such preference, as those who had obtained it; and he could not help saying, he wished they had been so considered, as those who were most interested in the state, were most likely to take proper care of it. If the army wanted an augmentation, the most ceconomical as well as useful method to do it, was to augment your old corps. The companies which now consist of only 55, ought to be increased to 100, as was done in the last war; by which means you added only one subaltern officer, and consequentl made little addition to the half-pay list. It was not necsesary for any man to be an officer to discover that 300 men, added to an established corps, will much sooner be made good soldiers, than a number of raw undisciplined men together, all unacquainted with arms. He could not help observing, that there was one gentleman who had a . regiment given him, who was taken from the Swedish service, and never was in our army. . He knew not what his pretensions were, but he knew such an appointment must give great dissatisfaction, and be a
great injury to every officer now in the and the rank of general in it; consequently service, who was under the rank of colo- he must have a regiment, or nothing. nel. If ten new regiments were to have Mr. Dunning began with explaining the been raised, it would have been justice to common law, as it stood before any mer. have offered them to the 10 oldest lieutenant. cenary soldiers were raised, and kept up in colonels in the army. He would venture time of peace, unless such as were obliged to say, that they would any of them not to perform certain services arising from the only have gladly embraced the offer of nature of their tenures, and coneluded raising regiments on the terms now given with the Mutiny Act; in the course of to the present gentlemen, but have given which investigation, he proved that there several thousand pounds each for the op- was not the most faint colour of constituportunity : for the appointment of the tional or statute law, nor even of usurped officers to a whole regiment now given prerogative, for making levies without the them, is worth a very large sum of money, consent, and during the sitting of parlia. if the commissions are sold, and he did not ment. expect many presents would be made. Sir George Yonge was sorry to find, that He could make, he said, many more ob- a greater trust had been put of late years jections, but he had troubled the House in Scotch soldiers and Scotch statesmen too long already; he would only therefore, than in English. before he sat down, enter hisprotest against The Attorney General rested his argu-. every part of the appointment.
ments on precedents. He particularly Lord Barrington said, after administra- dwelt on the subscriptions set on foot in tion had heard of the disaster which hap- | 1745; and several others of a similar napened, to the army under general Bur-ture, during the late war. He said, the goyne, they turned their thoughts to the Bill of Rights law spoke for itself, and was devising the most speedy and effectual conditional; and the Mutiny Act was remeans for augmenting our forces, prepa gulating, not restrictive. If it was not, it ratory to the next campaign; and an offer would be the most dangerous law that ever having been made by several respectable was enacted; for it must be construed so individuals, without any application on the | as to tie up the King's hands, let the exipart of ministers, it was thought prudent gencies of the times, or the necessities of to accept of those offers. Manchester, the state be what it may. and some other trading towns took an Mr. Fox contended, that the indubitable early part, as well as some noblemen and consequence of legalizing private donagentlemen from the northern parts of the tions for raising of troops, must certainly kingdom; the highlands in particular dis- justify the maintaining them, on grounds tinguished itself, where his lordship par. equally cogent; for who could draw a ticularly observed, the women are more line, or how was it possible to know whefruitful than the soil. He said, there could ther the money was for the purposes it be no occasion for reminding the House, I was pretended to be employed? In such that several regiments, independent, com a case, it would be in the power of a bad panies, and corps, were raised there the king and a bad parliament to lay out the late war, when two great ministers pre- money thus raised as they might think sided in this country. One in this House, proper, till the mischief was so effectually and one in the other. That great man, completed as to he beyond remedy. lord Hardwicke, then assisted in the coun: Mr. V'an entertained the House with a çils of this country, and he highly approved | long comparison between Britain and of procuring men from that part of the Rome, America and Carthage, and conkingdom; and if a contrary opinion had cluded with asserting, that whatever opprevailed, he was satisfied, that our armies position might be individually without, could never have been recruited, nor our ihey were, as a party, rank ideots within successes been so great or decisive, if it doors. He compared some of their leaders were not for the great resources drawn to Hannibal, and predicted their fate to from that country. As to the allusion be similar to that famous general's, who made by the hon. gentleman, of the co-vowed the destruction of Rome, and who lonel who had served in Sweden; le pre. I fell in the impious attempt. sumed he pointed to Mr. M-Kenzie. com- The Solicitor General contended, that monly called lord M-Cleod, (son to the contributions really voluntary, were legal. late lord Cromartie, one of the rebel lords). Mr. Byng was always ready to give He had a regiment in the Swedish service, every merit to the two learned gentlemen, who endeavoured to prove the legality of colonels, but had no regiments ; particu. the measure; but when they forgot their larly, when the person thus distinguished, profession so far as to attempt to explain never bore arms in this kingdom, but away not only the import, but to contra- against the lawful sovereign, and in order dict the letter of an unrepealed act of par. to overturn the constitution. liament, their authority, with him, how. Mr. Henry Dundas told the House, ever respectable it might appear to others, that the officer mentioned to have been was at end. He presumed, after sixteen brought from the Swedish service, was years experience, but more particularly lord M-Cleod, who was a son of lord Cromade visible on the present occasion, it martie, who was ordered to be beheaded would be no longer doubted, that the peo- after the last rebellion; that this young ple born on the other side of the Tweed man was also in the rebellion, being only had a preference shewn to them, both in 18 years old ; that he had been pardoned, civil and military preferment, but more but losing his estate, was obliged to live especially in the latter. He observed | abroad ever since. great zeal had been imputed to those who | The Committee divided : Ayes 223 ; had subscribed; but he begged leave to Noes 130. differ as to the conclusion. He doubted not the fact, that the subscriptions were Feb. 5. The Report of the Committee carried on with great zeal, but what kind was moved to be brought up. of zeal ? A zeal for obtaining favours of Mr. Popham opposed the bringing it up, . various kinds. One gentleman or person contending, that the manner in which the of distinction, subscribed in expectation of troops had been raised, was unconstitue future notice from the governing powers. / tional and illegal. Another had a commission in view for a Mr. Turner declared, that his life and son, a friend, or a dependent. Then, as fortune slould ever be devoted to his Mafor the whole tribe of contractors, &c. it jesty's person and government, because he might be easily guessed what their zeal thought it impossible that a prince of the proceeded from. If one man subscribes House of Hanover should ever become 2001., and by that obtains a company, he hostile to liberty, or violate the laws and will pocket 6001. If a merchant or rich constitution in any shape whatever. manufacturer subscribes a like sum, and Mr. Rous thought the subscriptions illegets in return a contract, or any other gal, but that the rebellion ought to be douceur to ten times the amount, then quelled by any means whatever ; he should surely it will not be said that he makes an therefore vote for the supply of the levies, unprofitable bargain. This is the public though raised against law. spirit of the subscription; the real object Mr. Wallace said, that though it was of which is, a job. He said, if a person against law for the King to levy money, was to converse with the gentlemen out yet it was perfectly consonant to law for out doors, who constitute the present ma. his Majesty to get money levied for him. jority, they breathe nothing but sentiments Lord F. Campbell maintained, that the of peace and conciliation; but as soon as principles of his family were always those ever they are embodied within these walls, of Whiggism; and he thought subscriptions they call out for war, coercion, and un- for quelling the American rebellion perconditional submission. - He concluded fectly consistent with Whiggish principles. with observing, that all was public spirit Mr. Moysey declared himself satisfied in debate ; but he did not hear that a sin- of the legality of such subscriptions, being, gle placeman in these times of exigency as they were, purely voluntary. He said, and public calamity, had given up the that lord Coke's opinion was clearly in emoluments of his place or office, in order their favour, as appears by his reading to lighten the burdens of his country. upon the statute of Richard 3, where he
Mr. T. Townshend was severe on the makes the distinction between voluntary partiality shewn to the Scotch in every and involuntary contributions, in his chapthing, and condemned the singular impro. ter of Benevolences, which had not been priety of calling upon an officer in a fo- taken notice of. That the commission reign service, and contrary to every rule authorized by the statute of Charles 2, so of the profession, putting him over the much relied on by the other side, was heads of so deserving a body of men as compulsory in its nature, as appears by the lieutenant-colonels of the army, and the proceedings under such commissions those gentlemen who bore the rank of in the time of Charles 1, and in particular [VOL. XIX.)
by the description given of them by sir John Elliot, in his famous Petition to the king from the Gatehouse in 1626*; that the terms of the Act of the 13th of Charles 2,+ prove compulsion, for the words, “supply hereby granted,” are irreconcileable to any other construction, and are of themselves decisive of the question; for if the money thereby raised was purely spontaneous on the part of the people, the Commons in parliament, in such case, granted nothing; nor was the King sure of receiving a single farthing under such act of parliament.
Governor Johnstone contended for the illegality of the subscription; expatiated on the injustice the old officers must sustain, by having so many young ones put over their heads; and said that in the
“Wee your Majesties most loyal and obedient subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, taking into consideration }. Majesty’s great and important occasions or a speedy supply of monies, which can noe waies be so reddyly raised as by a free and voluntary present to your Majesty from those who are able and willing to aide your Majesty in this suddaine exigency, as a testimony of their affections to your Majesty, and in ease of the poorer sort of your subjects, doe therefore beseech your Majesty, that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the King's unost excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that your Majesty may issue out such and so many several commissions under your Majesty's Great Seal of England, into the several counties, cities, towns corporate, and all other places in England and Wales, and town of Berwick upon Tweed, directed to such persons as your Majesty shall think fit, for the receiving of such subscriptions as your Majesty's good subjects shall voluntarily offer for supply of your Majesty’s pressing occasions; and likewise to issue such other commissions to such other persons as your Majesty shall think fitt, for collecting and receiving the monies so subscribed, the acquittances of which respective receivers, or of any one of them, are immediately to be made, and given without any fee, upon payment made, and shall be an absolute discharge for the sume so described; and in ease such subscriptions' shall, upon any occasion, be returned into the court of Exchequer,
same proportion as the new levies were raised, the recruiting service, as to the old regiments, must be prejudiced. He particularly lamented, that so vast a proportion of these new levies were to be raised in Scotland, because the country must be stripped of its most useful hands for agriculture and commerce. Lord North contended, that the present subscriptions were no more than had been practised in all times of public emergency, particularly in 1745, and in 1759, in Mr. Pitt’s administration, when the new levies were raised by private subscription; and the subscribers, instead of being treated as violators of the law, were publicly and solemnly thanked by the then minister, lord Chatham, and applauded by the public. He averred, that no influence whatever had been used, but that the offers all
or any other place, the payment thereof shall be likewise returned together with the same, provided that no process shall issue out of the exchequer against any person so subscribing but within two years next after the passing of this act. And for the better execution of the said service, the said commissioners of the counties, citties, townes corporate, and all other places aforesaid respectively, shall, and are hereby enjoined, with all convenient speed, after the issuing out and receite of the said respective commissions, to meet together at the most usual and common place of meeting, within each of the said countys, cities, towns corporate, and all other places; and the said commissioners, or so many of them as shall be present at the said first general meeting, or the major part of them, may, by them, by their consents and agreements, sever themselves into hundreds, rapes, wapentakes, wardes, and other places within their respective limitts, in such manner and forme as to them shall seeme expedient; and shall likewise, from tyme to tyme, give notice of the respective tymes and places of their meetings; to the end that any persons, bodies politic or corporate, may, if they please, resort to them, and make such offers or present to your Majesty as their own hearts shall prompt them to. “Provided alwaies, that no person, not being a Peere of this realme, shall, in such offer or present to your Majestie, exceed the sume of 200l. nor any Peere of this realme the sume of 400l. Provided also, that no commissions, to be issued out by virtue of this act, shall be of force, or continue, as to the receiving of any monies, or subscriptions for monies, after the feast of St. John the Baptist, which shall be in the year of our Lord 1662. And bee it hereby declared, that no commissions or aides of this nature cau be issued out, or levied, but by authority of parliament; that this act, and the supply hereby granted, shall not be drawne into example for the tyme to come.”