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situated, however highly rented. In seve- Mr. Alderman Sawbridge made his annual ral parishes of London and Westminster, motion, That leave be given to bring in a the houses were burthened by the land. Bill for shortening the Duration of Partax, poor-rates, window-tax, pavement, liaments. No debate took place. The lights, watch, &c. to the amount of 8s. in question was called for, and the House the pound, and upwards; and it so hap- | divided : : pened, that the parties most heavily burthened were the least able to bear it. The
Mr. Ald. Sawbridge · -} 32 wine-tax was opposed only with regard to Yeas
Mr. Baldwyn - - - -S the Oporto, as it affected the commercial alliance subsisting between Portugal and
Mr. Penton - - - -] us, and might produce a tax there on the
NOS | Mr. George Onslow. . 00 importation of British manufactures.
So it passed in the negative. The Resolutions were agreed to.
Debate in the Commons on the State of Mr. Gilbert's Motion for a Tax of One- the Navy.] The House went into a comFourth on the Incomes of Placemen and mittee on the State of the Nation; in Pensioners.] Mr. Gilbert then moved, which. “ That the better to enable his Majesty to Mr. Fox mgved, “ That the present state vindicate the honour and dignity of his of the royal navy for the defence of Great crown, and the dominions thereto belong. Britain and Ireland, is inadequate to the ing, in the present exigency of affairs, | dangerous crisis of public affairs." there be granted to his Majesty one fourth Mr. Temple Luttrell began with an apopart of the net annual income upon the logy for the length of time during which salaries, fees, and perquisites of all offices he must trouble the committee; but preunder the crown (except those held by sumed he should stand excused, when it the Speaker of the House of Commons, the was considered that the several official Chancellor or Commissioners of the Great papers now in review, had been, almost Seal, the Judges, ministers to foreign parts, every one of them, ordered by the House
commission officers in the army and navy, on his requisition, after reiterated charges . and all others which do not produce a clear during the present and two preceding income of 2001. per annum to the person sessions, of venality, profusion, and fraud or persons enjoying the same and also of in the present ministers for the Admiralty; all anpuities, pensions, stipends, or other and which charges he was now to mainyearly payments issuing out of the exche- tain and make good, from official and unquer, or any branch of his Majesty's reve- / controvertible proof. Hehad been greatly nues, after deducting all fees, taxes, and flattered, by finding that the sense of the other out-goings charged thereon by autho- other House had gone along with him, in rity of parliament; to commence from 25th calling for copies of the same accounts; March, 1778, and to continue for one year, but he had reason to be still further satisand during the continuance of the Ame- / fied to find these very testimonials prerican war.” [The words in Italics were cisely correspond with the state and conadded by way of Amendment.] The dition of the royal feet, as he had descommittee divided upon this motion : cribed it before Christmas last. But Ayes 100; Noes 82.
though he was sufficiently used to the
confidence of the Admiralty-gentlemen, March 10. The Resolutions of yesterday not to be much astonished at their barewere reported, and all agreed to except faced denial of the only authentic vouchers Mr. Gilbert's motion, upon which the for their conduct and expenditure, as had House divided.
been forcibly demonstrated by an hon. adTellers.
miral in his eye (admiral Keppel); yet
that the majority of the House should be v. Mr. Gilbert YEAS 3 Mr. Baker . - -
- • -1 141 the dudes of such fallacy, or wilfully shut
their eyes and ears, and become accomS Sir Henry Hoghton
plices in the guilt, yet he could scarce Sir Grey Cooper - ...) suspect they would go so profligate a So it passed in the negative.
length, to abet any wicked minister what
ever. An hon. gentleman (admiral PalMr. Sawbridge's Motion for shortening liser) had alleged that there were two dis. the Duration of Parliament.] March 11. tinct classes of 74 gun ships; that those of
the larger construction, and heavier weight | dition; and if it were not for an imposing of cannon, have a fixed complement of ostentatious parade of pendants at Spita 650 men, according to the last establish- head, and the advantage of conferring a ment; and instanced the Valiant as of the multitude of professional favours, the nolatter class, which he boldly asserted to be ble earl at the head of the Admiralty would manned with her complete war-comple- do well to turn over the seamen from one ment. Now he defied the hon. gentle. third of the men of war now in commisman to point out, excepting the Valiant, sion, that the remainder might be of a proone ship of 74 guns in the whole navy, per force. The hon. member who so ably which was allowed 650 men complement; opened this debate (Mr. Fox) has justly and he would read the number actually stated that the numbers borne aboard the borne and mustered on board the said ship 105 sail before mentioned for the protecfrom the last office accounts, and shew the tion of these islands, did not, in November accuracy of the hon. member's represen- last, exceed 25,550; in America 15,365, tation. Mr. Luttrell here read from the being 82 sail : in Jamaica 3,168, being 23 weekly returns, the number actually borne, sail; and on all other stations and services mustered, and victualled; and the foriner collectively, that is, the Leeward islands, amounted to 539 only, and the latter to Newfoundland, East Indies, Mediterra509.] It appears, by the returns of the nean, together with two ships on discoroyal navy, for the defence of Great Bri-veries (and a very few of an inferior detain and Ireland, that at the end of last scription, not included in any return on November there were, yachts, cutters, and your table) amounting to two men of war armed merchantmen included, in all 105 of 60 guns, three of 50, 11 frigates, and sail, among which we reckon 45 sail of the 14 or 15 sloops or armed vessels; if every line of battle, and of them 25 carry 74 one of them had a full war complement on guns; of which 25, not more than two or board, they could not reckon 4,500 men, three muster within 50 men of the reduced making a total of seamen in November war-complement, nor within 100 of their 1777, to fall short of 48,583, including proper war-complement: for I contend, marines aboard, and serving ashore, superthat less than 650 will not be found suffi. numeraries, and every person whatsoever cient for ships of that class, according to nominally in the pay of this country. It is the modern construction and size of ord. evident, from the same circumstantial renance. The size of a 74 gun ship, on the turns, that the whole of the victualled in improved scale, is from 200 to 400 tons the royal navy, throughout the universe, more than at the commencement of the including supernumeraries and marines, last war; and with the number I propose, could not exceed 47,407. Yet, by an offithe sea-officers opposite to me will under. cial paper, delivered in before the last restand, that, in case of the necessity to cess, the numbers borne in September quarter the crew at the starboard and lar. last, previously to the very large additional board tiers, both at one time, as may pos- supply of hands, from stripping your ausibly occur in passing land-batteries, or tumpal fleets of merchant ships, are made engaging amidst an enemy's fleet, not to come up to 55,000, and the victualled more than seven private men can be al- to 51,715; which must be a most daring lowed to a 32 pounder, Lord Anson, in and atrocious imposition upon parliament the last war, found 650 men absolutely ne- and the public. However, Sir, I admit cessary for the complement of the 74 gun that such imposition is not without a preships, that they might never go into action cedent; for we are used to deceit of this with fewer than 600: as a considerable nature of late years, on a like andual deficiency must always be allowed for cap. motion, which has been customary ever tains' servants, and the servants of other since the year 1750, when it was first apofficers, widows-men, sick on shore, or ab- proved of and admitted, to shew us, as was sent on the duty of the ship in the room then expressed, the savings or exceedings of pressed men, &c. I have not selected on the allowance of 4l. per month each the 74 gun ships as in a worse state than man, voted for the service of the year; a the rest of the ships in commission ; though striking example of a similar piece of inithe 25 sail have not within 3,300 of their quity, and from the same delinquents, reduced complement, nor within 4,500 of may be seen on your Journals in the the proper complement for war. The se spring of 1772, when an account was given cond and fourth rates are still more defecto parliament of the number of seamen tive, and the 64 gun ships in the same con- and marines actually borne aboard the royal pavy during the preceding year, at , nary estimate was 3,222,1671. and the exa medium of the several months, and spe- traordinary 1,916,4981, making together cified to be under 32,000; yet, within a 5,138,6651. (over and above naval ordifew pages of that very account on your nance); and of which sum, the building, Journals, you meet with a charge on the rebuilding, and repairing, and the preservnation of near 2 millions sterling; being, ing your ships out of commission, and if you allow for deaths and desertions, the extra stores, came to near 2,350,0001. In full pay of 40,000 men at 4l. per month the last eight years (comprehending the each man : consequently, there is a com- grants of parliament for 1778) which takes plete embezzlement of above 480,0001.) in the whole of the earl of Sandwich's maThe truth is, that, in 1771, at a medium of ritime administration, the ordinary of the the months, the number of seamen and navy has amounted to 3,232,6931. and the marines in the actual pay of the public, extraordinary to 3,239,3791. being in the fell short of 28,000 mep; which proves whole 6,472,0721. of which, building, rethat we were defrauded of more than building, and repairs, preserving ships out 600,0001. in that year, upon this one article of commission, and extra stores, come to of expenditure, accounted for in the sea about 3,500,000l. exclusive of ordnance, department; an earnest of the present first and sundry large sums, charged in the aclord's integrity at his entrance into the count of the annual navy-debt for foreign naval direction. In November last, the timber, freights, various naval stores, and numbers actually mustered upon all the exclusive of the considerable cost to the returns throughout the globe, and which nation, for replenishing the stores, &c. constitute the real force of your navy, consumed by fire in the dock-yard of were fewer than 44,500; and if you set off Portsmouth. So that the expence to the desertion, &c. against those who may be public, on the ordinary and extraordinary sick in hospitals, or absent with permission, estimates of the navy, has, within the eight or on the service of the ship, you will find years of lord Sandwich's wise and honest the 41. per month each man, allowed by management of the marine-boards, more the nation, to be applicable but to few | than doubled the 8 years of the last most more than the numbers actually on the glorious war; against the charges of which muster-roll.
war to the British empire, so much has Let us now take under consideration the been repeatedly urged by the enemies to monies of late years granted by parliament, that illustrious statesman, and successful upon the ordinary and extraordinary esti- minister, the earl of Chatham. mates of the navy, delivered in by the Of these sums granted by parliament Navy-office to the Board of Admiralty, since January 1771, it appears evidently and by them adopted and presented in from the official papers, that 2,560,0001. detail, in compliance of an order of this allowed for the building, repairing, and House; with the several articles requisite storing particular ships of war, named and to be provided for specifically represented reported by the navy-board, and expedient therein. During the 8 years of last war, that to have been repaired, and sometimes said is, from the commencement of the naval to be actually taken in hand, has not been operations, early in 1755, to 1762, inclu- applied to the uses approved of by this sive, the ordinary of the navy amounted in House, and for which uses alone it could the total to 1,890,0001. and the extraordi- be understood to be voted. “ But," say naries to 1,500,0001. being on both esti- the gentlemen on the opposite benches, mates 3,390,0001. (independent of navy “ If the money was not applied to the speordnance); and of this sum, the charge cific articles for which it was granted, still of building, rebuilding, and repairs, toge- it has been duly laid out for other national ther with the preserving the men of war in purposes." Why, then, has parliament ordinary, with extra stores, came to about been denied the proper vouchers for the 1,760,0001. Let us now take the eight real expenditure of so enormous a sum? years immediately following the peace; Why, Sir, when I took the liberty, a few when in a high naval appointment the fleet days since, to move for an account of the might necessarily from the waste and de- application of that sum, so unwarrantably struction of your very extensive naval diverted into other channels, was I deoperations during the war, become in the feated in my purpose, by that usual cloak utmost want of being improved and re- to the peculation and infamy of ministers, established. . Sir, in those eight years the previous question ? (from 1763 to 1770, inclusive) the ordi 1 If gentlemen will please to take the trouble of examining the nature and ori- sioner of the Board of Admiralty, it was gin of these extraordinary estimates of the again brought within the compass of navy, they must be convinced that it has 100,0001.; after 1763, it from time to time always been the intention of the Coin very considerably increased; but during nions, and the indispensable obligation of the present noble earl's administration government, to have the money given (even previously to the breaking out of the thereon expended towards the object for American civil war) it fell not much short, which ministers specifically required it. communibus annis, of 400,0001. and is now Annual allowances of this kind have been augmented to so extravagant a height as continued regularly for about 28 years. 488,6951. Previously to 1750, an article in the gross / The charges in the state of the navy was usually inserted in the state of the debt, on the long list of sundries heretofore navy-debt, for building, rebuilding, repair accounted for under wear and tear, and ing ships and docks, &c. when the vigilant properly within the disbursements of 46 eye of parliament observing those demands per month, are a heavy additional burthen unreasonably to accumulate, required that on the subject, and render the profligate a satisfactory detail should be thencefor- dissipation of the public revenue still more ward produced of the several men of war glaring and notorious. By an estimate necessary to be undertaken, and the work delivered to parliament of the probable really meant to be done. Therefore an expence of the naval department for 1772, address was presented to the King for the it is computed that the wages of seamen proper officers to bring in an account of and marines, taking officers into the reck. what might be requisite on these heads of oning, will demand, one with another, 1l. building, repairs, &c. for the current year. 10s. per month ; victualling 19s. per The charges to this country on the several month ; there must consequently remain articles must of course be stated on a con- 11. 11s. per month for wear and tear, &c. jectural and unprecise valuation; for, till which, on 40,000 men provided for last the work be completed, it were impossible year, comes to 80,6001.; and on the to ascertain the exact expence of every 60,000 men for 1778 will not fall much ship built or repaired. But there is no short of 1,209,0001. ; which ought to suppower ever left by the legislature, nor in- ply hospitals, rigging, stores, and all other tended to be left, for ministers at their op. contingencies, for the naval service, at the tion to change the application of the public fullest demand, excepting ordnance, which money, to other and very different services, is a distinct branch of business, and sepawithout expressly having recourse again to rately provided for. The navy debt is so the approbation and consent of this House. modelled and manufactured, that I cannot So unconstitutional, so daring and dan- but consider it as a mockery of all numegerous a licence, setting both law and de- rical investigation; for, upon consulting cency at defiance, and unknown to former with very able accomptants, both commergovernments, was reserved for the present cial and professional, they agree but in one despotic rulers over an abused and a too point, which is, that ministers have the patient people. Early in the last century, particulars of the navy-debt thus contriv. we find that the refitting of 8 ships of war ed, for perplexity's sake, only to envelope for the narrow seas cost 5,7611. 10s. and in utter darkness the true appropriation of to completely repair 12 men of war with the immense sums they extort thereupon hulls, masts, and yards, came to but 8,0001. from the public. I shall just observe, in This appears by the extraordinary charge the gross, that the navy debt, at this day, given into parliament for the years 1625, amourts to as much as at the close of the 1626, and 1627, wherein the names of the last war, about three millions and a half. It several ships are specified. The extraor- increases two millions every year of the dinary of the navy 50 years ago (or articles American war. When the noble lord in usually comprised under that denomina- the blue ribbon came to the head of tbe tion) were from 40,000 to 60,0001. Till Treasury, January 1770, the whole arrear the beginning of the late war, the money | due was but 1,070,0001. annually expended for the extra services But, Sir, having now shewn at what an of the fleet rarely exceeded 100,0001. Dur- enormous charge your navy has stood since ing the continuance of that war, it never 1771, when lord Sandwich came to pre. went in any one year higher than 200,0001. side at the Admiralty, it will be proper that and peace being concluded in 1763, when I proceed to consider, whether your fleet Mr. George Grenville was first commis- has or has not been improved under his
management. When a very amiable and I of lord Hawke's time. It were to be renowned naval commander, (lord Hawke) wished that lord Sandwich had followed came to the head of that department, in the example of his predecessor, in repair1766, he found 61 ships of the line fit for ing such men of war only as would anservice, of which 19 were in commission, swer the labour and expence. We have and 42 in ordinary, and 14 were upon the now a nominal list of above 100 sail of the stocks : that noble lord, during the four line, of which fifty are in commission. years of his naval administration, launched And what is the state of these men of war? 14 ships of the line of battle, repaired 21, The preamble to the report from the Adand left 15 upon the stocks. Lord Sand- miralty relative to the store of timber in wich, in seven years (from January 1771, hand and contracted for sets forth, that to December 1777) has built and rebuilt his Majesty's ships in general launched in 21 of the line, and repaired 31. Fifteen the course of the last war, having been are now building ; but there are not near constructed with extraordinary dispatch, so many men of war in a condition to stand and with green wood, a very rapid decay the seas, nor to perform service, in case of had been the consequence; adding, that a foreign war, as when lord Hawke went the ships built immediately following the out of office. The length of time that war, were but little better than the others : those men of war have been in employ, and, indeed, this is demonstrable from the which were considered by lord Hawke to repeated repairs those ships have already remain in a sound state, and the slender had, that were launched from the stocks repairs, they have since required, prove after the year 1763, and which, though
were not mistaken in their various reports out to sea, have been more than once reto the Admiralty respecting such ships; paired, at a very large expence. Now, Sir, but that they were as serviceable and as of more than 100 sail of the line, how perfect as lord Hawke understood them to many were built in the last war, and have be. It has been more than once suggest therefore a positive sentence of condemnaed in another place, either through gross tion thus officially passed upon them? No error, or a more reprehensible motive, that less than one half: and of the remainder, lord Sandwich had broken up 40 sail of the several are reported, in your last extraorline of battle since he came into power. dinary estimate, to want material repair. Of the 40 sail of the line alluded to, 28 But it may be affirmed, that of those were so far from being on admiral Hawke's ships constructed last war, a great many list of ships in good condition, that they have undergone a thorough amendment, were not even on lord Egmont's list, whom and are now in good order. Sir, I am admiral Hawke succeeded. They had sorry to find, that so many as 18 of the long been sentenced to be either broken line have been worked upon and patched up, or cut down to a lower rate ; seven out with the very worst kind of wood that can of the 40 were French or Spanish prizes, be used for such purposes, namely, oak
ful situation ; eight of the 40 were actually general imported into your dock-yards (as employed abroad or on home-duty, when well that of Rostock, and the several other lord Hawke resigned, and the remaining ports of the Baltic, as from Bremen on the ship, the Africa, was shamefully sold for river Wesel) is of a bad quality, and has 800l. three years ago, though she might but little spine or rosin. The worst timfor 5,0001. have been made in the King's ber of all is that from Stetin; as it has yard one of the best ships of 64 guns of every bad quality attending the rest, and the whole royal pavy, and far preferable to is, besides, singularly spungy and porous ; many of her class, which have been re- and though it has been often remonstrated paired by the noble earl, at the charge of against in the strongest terms, by some of above 20,0001. each.
the most experienced and honest shipThe present board has possessed pecu- builders in the royal yards; yet it is still a culiar advantages in carrying on that line favourite wood with the reigning Admiralty of business which respects the building and Board, and the contractors for supplying it repairing of capital ships of war. They are much cherished, to the ruin of your have had the use of the large bason at fleet, and endangering the health of your Portsmouth, and all the docks have been seamen, who are frequently set afloat in open ; whereas that bason, and the two their hammocks, from the water soaking largest docks, were shut nearly the whole in, over-head, through the planks. The (VOL. XIX. ]