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Danced by Sigr. VESTRIs, at the Opera House, London. .
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Feb. 1.] The House entered into the Committee of Supply.
The Rt. Hon. Mr. Mason in the Chair.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that it is the opinion of this Committee, that 12,200 men are necessary to be retained in this kingdom for its defence.—All which were severally agreed to. The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought it proper to declare, that the additional number he meant to propose, varied from that of last year. However, he should make it appear, that the augmentaticn would not exceed more than by three the number of men allotted for foreign strvice by the contract of 1769, and that there would be gained a very considerable encrease of men, without a proportionate expenditute of the public money. The reason of the augmentation was, that the number of troops at present in pay had been found insufficient for the protečtion of the British colonies, and he observed, that so long as it was possible England had forborne to augment her forces; but it had been determined in Great Britain to augment the number of companies in each regiment from eight to ten. This plan was adopted here. And gentlemen, he hoped, would be pleased to observe, that it was on an unavoidable circumstance. It was a matter of necessity, and not of choice in the present government of this country. Now of this was admited to be a tact, and that every attention had been paid to reconomy in the management of the busines —that is-it the force of the country would experience a considerable encreate without a proportionate expence, he trusted it would meet with general approbation. However, if gentlemen wished to enter into the detail of the business, for his part, he was perto ctly willing and ready.
The Rt. Hon. Mr. Grattan thought it high 1x, necessary that a matter of this nature should be fully flated. ”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer resumed, and informed, that the whole of the encrease in faet, would be five hundred men. Bul this encreate would be made up out of 146 men, that had been deficient in the estimate, as it ought to be under the original compact of 1769–and 360 men more would be added to the army. He then went into a statement, by which it appeared, that by the system, 5 men additional would be placed on each regiment of horse, and on the twentyone regiments of foot—that the six regiments abroad would be augmented 54 each, in order to bring them up to the present number of the respective regiments. Another alteration, he said, was intended, under the present system, which would be highly beneficial to this country. It was formerly the custom to allow two men in each company in the musters, and to convert the pay allowed for them to regimental purposes -that is, the nation paid for the service of two men in each company, which two men had no existence whatever. The obječt now was to have them effective, as in England—he deficiency would be made good, which was no less than 424 out of the whole—and we should have the 11, ooc, men complete, without any additional charge upon the nation, emitting the casualties of deaths and desertion. This mode of proceeding he contended, was beneficial to the country in a high degree—for it was certainly better to reserve the limited number of forces allotted for the defence of the country, than to devise or invent new schemes for its protection.
[To be continued.]