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shilling in the pound was laid upon land, give as great a price in a county where the whole was raised on some estates the tax was collected to the full extent, as agreeably to the old assessment, and some where it did not pay perhaps above half to the new, by which estates in general or a third of the real value? certainly not : were most unfairly and unequally taxed. the burden on the land was always estiAs an instance of this, he declared, that mated and allowed for out of the full purhe had one estate in Middlesex, of 1801. chase. . yearly value, for which he paid no more Colonel Barré. I rise to trouble the than 161. a year land-tax; and another committee with a few sentiments on the estate in Bedfordshire, for which he paid question of the day. Not a single country 501. yearly, though the rental of both were gentleman has risen to speak of peace, or nearly equal. This great difference to complain of war. Their supineness, or arose from the one estate paying to the their acquiescence, deserves the severest rate of the old assessment, and the other reprehension. If they are blind to the to the new : he would, therefore, move as distresses of their country, they ought to an amendment to the vote for the present be awakened; if they are ignorant, they year's supply, and as an equal, fair, and ought to be informed; if indolent, they ought impartial mode of taxing the landed pro- be aroused. In a few words, I will shew perty of the kingdom, that the Bill should them the magnitude of the present calapass for 3s. in the pound, to be raised on mitous war, the effects it has produced, every estate agreeably to the old assess ard the expectations we are led to enter. ment, and that a new assessment be made tain of it. No less a sum than 13 million throughout the kingdom for the additional of money was voted by this House for the shilling.
service of the war for last year; a sum The Chairman observed, that the mo- equal to any ever necessary, ever requesttion before the House was not about the ed, ever granted for the service of any mode of assessing, but whether 4s. and no foreign war from the Conquest up to this more shall be the land-tax for the ensuing day, excepting alone, the grants for the year.
four last years of the late war with the Mr. Baker said, the hon. member's ob- House of Bourbon, and the grants for one servation was worthy of the attention of single year more, 1711, in the reign of the committee; it was not against the pro- queen Anne, when a very large sum of posed resolution, but against the mode of the national debt was paid off, and many assessing. His intentions were, plainly, considerable public services performed. when the tax demanded an additional shil. This year we have already voted more than ling, that a sum of money should be raised 3 million for the navy.' On Wednesday on the lands under-rated, till the assess. we shall vote 3 million more for the army ; ments were equal throughout the kingdom, and in due course, the other votes will pass and the deficiency, if any should remain, for a sum equal to that of last year. Such to be fairly and proportionably levied on are the effects of this American war. Let all the lands in the kingdom. For his us view the expectations; are we, by conpart, he should go farther, for whether the quest, to be relieved from this immense land-tax were laid at above or under 38., burden of taxation? No; there is no conhe was of opinion, that justice would never quest aimed at; we wish not to subdue be done, till an equitable mode of rating the Americans for the purpose of drawing all property subject to the land-tax was a revenue from the country: our adminis. adopted.
trators say that is not the object of the Lord Ongley said, the fact was true, but contest; they own that the Americans will the conclusion called for a further expla- | not be able to bring a revenue into our nation. Those who derived titles from Exchequer. We mean alone, it seems, to their ancestors, were most certainly bound reduce them to obedience, for the sake of by their acts; and such as purchased gave national honour. We exercise every a price proportioned to the mode which effort of warlike oppression against them, prevailed in the country or place where because they will not crouch at our feet, the lands or estate lay. The hon, member and make the first submission. This is a who spoke first furnished him with an ar- | war of punctilio, not of profit; and we gument against what he advanced; for if may fairly conclude, that even after its he was to purchase in either of the shires adjustment, we shall be nearly as much mentioned, he should be glad to know taxed to prevent, as we are now to main. from that gentleman, whether he would tain war. It has of old been the custom
of this House to enquire for, and to require such papers as were i. of consequence. On this day, in particular, it was usual of old to call for particular accounts of the arrears of the land-tax; of the net receipts, of the names of the receivers; of what part they had paid into the Exchequer, and of what part was remaining in their hands. But of late, I am sorry to say it, we have made no such requisitions. Necessary as they are to the security of our constituents, we have either neglected or not dared to do it. Such requisition, however, shall be made. If no worthier person rises to demand them, I will whenever the Speaker resumes the chair; and in the mean time shall with sorrow repeat, that no country gentleman has risen this day to ask or to wish for peace. Lord Ongley went into a relation of the motion made the first day of the session for a cessation of hostilities. He laughed at its absurdity, and said, should any such measure be adopted, it would most certainly be imputed to a consciousness of our inability to support the war, or of the injustice of its commencement; and he hoped no gentleman would wish for either. He observed, that the country gentlemen had been called upon by the last hon. gentleman who spoke, and who had taken such pains to exaggerate the expence of the American war, and compare it with that of former wars. This, in his opinion, was wide of the question, and proved nothing. We were contending for a right, which if relinquished in the manner wished by those who opposed the present measure, would most certainly terminate in the loss of America, and end in the ruin of this country. The hon. gentleman took it for granted, that though we should establish the right, all expectations of revenue were no more. To persist therefore, is only to contend for a point of honour; to fight for a punctilio, without the least prospect of profit. I beg leave to differ from him: I contend a right established, and not meant to be exercised, is no right. We are heavily taxed ourselves, and it is but reasonable that when we shall compel the colonies to return to their duty, they should contribute in common with the rest of their fellow subjects, in support of that government whose protection they will equally partake of The hon. gentleman says, that a war with France and Spain is inevitable. I doubt it much, if for no other reason, but because we are so well prepared to defeat £heir designs. But granting every thing
that may be advanced on that supposition; in such an event the worst that can then happen, will be to withdraw our troops and fleets from North America, and attack our foreign enemies. Sir Herbert Mackworth minutely elucidated the motives which gave rise to the American war, enumerated the still stronger motives for its progress, and expatiated on the conduct of those members whose opposition to the present measures had irritated the Americans. He was convinced there was not a member but wished for peace with America; but then, how was peace to be obtained It has been said, by persuasion; but by what arguments can you persuade people who say, “we will kill you, or you shall '. us;” in such a case we are entirely on the defensive. . Government have left every opening for a conciliation. What more can be done o Terms of peace would be gladly accepted, and as far as consistent we met them, but what can be said of those people who enlarge a breach of loyalty; as such undoubtedly was the fact. It is well known, that America waited with the utmost impatience for every argument made use of here by her advocates, and with eagerness embraced every suggestion started in her favour: to this, and to this above every thing, was owing the proclaiming independency, as they were taught to believe that they had the sanction of men who could defend, by argument, the cause they believed they could defend by the sword. I cannot enough express the horror I feel in thinking that any man of humanity should urge the unsheathing of the sword, and still more am I shocked to find any one so unfeeling as to aggravate the arm which holds it. He concluded with observing, that it was America continued the war with us, because were they to return to their duty, England would receive them with open arms. Sir George Savile said, he rose from . the desire of speaking a few words, perhaps for the last time on the subject of the American war. He thought himself well intitled to speak on this day. He was member for a body of freeholders, possessed of a large tract of landed property, and when he gave his vote for the supply called for, he appointed a large sum to government; it was his business, therefore, to enquire into the purposes for which it was intended; it was his duty to examine the uses to which it would be ap
plied. He said, we were determined to would have any bad effect; but on the persist in a war with America; it had contrary, if it did not succeed altogether, been called a just war, a necessary war ; | whether it would not create many friends and the hon. gentleman who spoke before to the government of this country? He him had gone over the grounds of its concluded, by informing the House, that commencement, the equity of its con- on Tuesday next he should move, “ That tinuance, and the necessity of our perse: a committee be formed, to take into consi, verance in terms of the highest aggrava- | deration the State of the Nation." tion, Four several motives, says he, have The Resolution was then agreed to.' been mentioned, for the commencement, progress, continuance and perseverance of Debate on the Duke of Richmond's Mo. the war: 1. It was begun on purpose, tion for an Enquiry into the State of the " to quell a puny insurrection :" 2. It was Nation. 7 Dec. 2. The Duke of Rich. proceeded in " to subdue a dangerous re- mond. My lords; I am happy to have bellion;" 3. It was continued, “ to defend given notice on Friday last, of the motion ourselves”-positively from the motive of with which I intended to trouble your lordse defendendo from the fear, that if we ships to day; because it proves my wish do not kill them, they will us. And 4. It that the State of the Nation might be conmust be persevered in from a motive the sidered, independent of any events that most strange, perhaps, that ever entered might befall our arms. I have on a forinto the thoughts of a rational people. mer occasion said, that whatever those He would give the whole committee, he events might be, they must equally contrisaid, two guesses, and the chairman three, bute to make us desire an end of the preand be bound that they would not guess it sent ruinous war. Should the most bril. right. It was indeed a laughable, a ludicrous liant successes attend us, should American motive-it must be persevered in, adds / resistance be annihilated, we must still bo he, “ to gain their confidence.” We are sorry to see Englishmen under the edge to beat them, it seems, in order to con- of the sword, and governed by a military ciliate them! Such are the romantic rea- power. But no such event is possible, sons assigned for this war; from the con- Should disgrace, therefore, take place, it clusion of which, no benefit was to be ex-would only confirm what has been so often pected, nor revenue arise; and yet upon foretold here, that a reduction of America which there had been more money ex. by force of arms is impossible. Or pended than would have served to have should the operations be chequered by purchased, taken in, cleared, inclosed, failures and undecisive successes, altermanured, cultivated, sown, and planted all nately, our affairs will then be in the worst the waste lands in Britain more than condition, as we shall be tempted to furwould have turned all the heaths, hills, ther trials, which will exhaust us still and wastes into gardens; and from the more, and from the nature of things cancultivation of which, nay, if they had not prosper in the present undertaking, been all sown with barley, from the malt- I am told that news is arrived. Till it is tax alone, a greater revenue would have made public, I cannot comment upon it, been drawn, than all the taxation that But be it good, bad, or indifferent, it
can ever be gathered from the wide con- ought not to prevent your lordships from . tinent of America. Such were the mo- entering seriously into the enquiry I mean tives, and such the effects of this war; s to propose an enquiry into the state of and for this we were called upon to grant the nation, I am sure your lordships canthe present supply,
not say that such an enquiry is unnecesMr, For observed he would let slip no sary. When a civil war rages with unopportunity of speaking his sentiments on common violence, and has rent the empire the present measures : he therefore beg asunder: when the whole force of the ged to propose two queries: 1. Whether kingdom, and all we can hire, are unable after two years fruitless war, administra- to restore quiet ; when we are adding tion had given the slightest reason to that enormously to a debt already enormous, House, to satisfy them that there was a and there is no prospect of a happy issue, probability of putting an end to the un- it cannot be said that no enquiry is neceshappy contest? 2. Whether a declaration sary, because all goes on smoothly and from administration, informing the Ame. well. That a most unnatural civil war ricans that it was not their wishi to violate does exist, that we are expending treasures their chạrters, or rob them of their liberties, of men and money, and that we seem farther than ever from the situation we left, | fices may or may not be properly and are what every one must acknowledge. safely disclosed; consistently with the inDoes it not, then, become the nation to terest of the nation, and the safety of inenquire, in the most solemn manner possi-dividuals. If the noble duke entertains ble, how we came into this situation ? For such an intention, I shall most certainly what we are contending? What the con- resist any proposition tending that way. test cost us? And what prospect there is It would be imprudent and impolitic, and of a happy end? We have certainly had would be directly contrary to his grace's very little information, and it must be al- avowed object, that of promoting the publowed that wisdorn, especially in times of | lic welfare. difficulty, requires us to proceed upon a The Duke of Richmond. By no means: thorough knowledge of every circum- I do not wish for any improper or danger. stance that may lead us to judge rightly. ous information ; and to avoid a possibiWe must first be sure that our cause is lity of even the appearance of any thing just, then enquire into our means, the like- of the kind, the motions I intend to sublihood of success, the degree to which it mit to your lordships shall all have a re. may be pursued, and whether that degree trospective view ; they will be framed so of success is worth the certain loss and as to call forth matter already known to great risk to which we expose ourselves our enemies; matter known to perhaps in the pursuit? In times like these, the every other person, who may have made nation has a right to be informed of the it his business to discover it, but to both true state of its affairs, and parliament be- | Houses of Parliament. They will chiefly ing the regular and authentic channel of be directed to two points; to the state of such information, it is the duty of parlia- our army and navy; and the expences of ment to give it. An enquiry into the the war previous to the first of August state of the nation is very extensive; it last. I shall first move for the Returns of includes every thing. I hope therefore the several military corps and marines that every one of your lordships in the serving on shore, which have suffered by least used to business, will lend his assist- death, wounds, captivity, sickness, or deance in prosecuting those branches that sertion, from the commencement of 1774, may appear most important. One object to the 1st August, 1777, in America. 2. may strike one, and another another. The A list of ships and armed vessels, and the enquiry will be open to all. But as it may number of men who suffered, as in the be expected I should in some degree point former motion, by death, wounds, cap. out for what purpose I paarticularly move livity, sickness, and desertion.-3. The it, I shall, without excluding myself from last returns from the hospitals of the sick, any other subject, or from what shall arise wounded, and dead.-4. A list of the from the materials laid before us, readily ships and armed vessels employed as conexplain what I have principally in view. voys.-5. An account of his Majesty's It is, to state to the nation what this war, ships of war, which have been employed so far as it has gone, has already cost us | since the passing of the Prohibition Act, in blood and treasure; to enquire into the as cruisers, for the protection of this kingconduct of it, and the measures taken for dom and Ireland; the station of such restoring peace. For these purposes I ships, and how long ordered to continue shall move that several accounts and pa. on such cruizes : with the times of their pers be laid before the House; and that going to sea, and returning into port, so there may be time to weigh them, I shall far as relates to such ships as are actually not move that the day for going into this returned into port.-6. The last accounts consideration be before the holidays; nor of the state of the army in this kingdom, yet immediately after, lest there should not -7. The state of the army. in Ireland. be time to prepare any other papers which 8. The state of the army in America, may then seem necessary. I therefore distinguishing the number of British and move your lordships, to resolve that this foreign troops. The motions were all House will take into consideration the agreed to. State of the Nation on Monday the 2d of
The Earl of Chatham rose and said: February next.
The Earl of Suffolk. I presume the no My lords ; I most cheerfully testify ble duke does not mean to infringe upon my approbation of the motions now made the right which the King's servants have, by the noble duke; and am firmly perof judging of what in their respective of suaded, that they have originated in the
most exalted motives: nor am I less pleased with the very candid reception they have met with from your lordships. I think they will draw forth a great mass of useful information; but as to those respecting the state of our military strength, there appears something yet wanting to render them complete. Nothing has been offered which may lead to inform us of the actual state of the garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca, those two very important fortresses, which have hitherto enabled us to maintain our superiority in the Mediterranean, and one of them (Gibraltar) situated on the very continent of Spain, the best proof of our naval power, and the only solid check on that of the House of Bourbon; yet those two important fortresses are left to chance and the pacific dispositions of France and Spain, as the only protection; we hold them but by sufferance. I know them to be in a defenceless state. None of your lordships are ignorant that we lost Mahon at the commencement of the last war. It was indeed a fatal disaster, as it exposed the trade and commerce of the Mediterranean to the ravages of our inveterate and then powerful enemies. My lords, such was the light the acquisition of that fortress was looked upon when it was first taken, that the duke of Marlborough, who was no great penman, but who employed a secretary to draw up his dispatches, in answer to the letter from the able general and consummate statesman who conquered it (the father of my noble relation now in my eye, earl Stanhope) trusted the dispatch to the secretary, but added a postscript in his own hand-writing, where he recommended particularly to the victorious general, by no means to neglect putting that fortress in the best possible state of defence, and to garrison it with natives, and not foreigners, When I had the honour, soon after it fell into the hands of the French, to be called into the councils of the late king, I never lost sight of that circumstance. Gibraltar still remained in our hands; and the war in Germany, which parliament thought fit to engage in, and bind themselves to, before I came into office; though we were carrying on the most extensive operations in America; though the coast of Africa, and the West India islands, required a suitable force to protect them ; and though these kingdoms called for a proportionate army, not only to act defensively, but offensively on the spasts of our enemies; notwithstanding all
those pressing services, my lords, having the counsel of that great man constantly in view, it determined me, that whatever demands, or how much soever such troops might be wanting elsewhere, that Gibraltar should never want a full and adequate defence. I never had, my lords, less than eight battalions to defend it. I think a battalion was then about 800 strong. So that, my lords, I affirm, that Gibraltar was never trusted to a garrison of less than 6,000 men. My lords, this force was, as it were, locked up in that fortress during the whole of the late war; nor could any appearance of the most urgent necessity induce me to weaken it. My lords, I know that the very weak and defenceless state of these islands does not seem to admit of any troops being spared from the home defence; but, my lords, give me leave to say, that whatever reluctance or disgust there may have appeared in several veteran and able generals to the service, where the tomahawk and scalping-knife were to be the warlike instruments employed as the engines of destruction, I am convinced there are many, some of whom I have in my eye, [supposed to mean lords Townshend and Amherst] who would with ardour and alacrity accept of any command, where the true honour, interest, and safety of their country were concerned. My lords, the moment is arrived when this spirit should be exerted. Gibraltar is garrisoned by Hanoverians. I am told, if any accident should happen to the present commanding officer there, that the care of the fortress, and the command of the troops, would devolve on a foreigner. I do not recollect his name, but this is my information ; and if I do not hear it contradicted, I must take it for granted. I am well authorised to say, my lords, that such is the present defenceless state of Gibraltar, that there is not a second relief in case of an attack; not men sufficient to man the works, while those fatigued with service and watching go to refresh, eat, or sleep; though Germany and the wilds of America have been ransacked for the purpose. My lords, we should not want men in a good cause; and nothing ought to be left untried to procure them. I remember, soon after the period I shall take the liberty to foil. lordships of, after an unnatural rebellion had been extinguished in the northern part of this island, men not fighting for liberty, or the constitution of their country, but professedly to annis