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this side (Mr. Windham), which must in its natural tendency have considerably added to the eligibility of the situation of a soldier's life; and he now proposes to pervert the character and habits of the British people at large. If such a system is to be carried into execution, if the poisoned cup is to be coolly administered to the lips of English men, it is fit that it should be furnished by the same person that could have viewed with coldness the scenes which have been witnessed in Ireland. (Hear!) A delicate word may sometimes be used to express a cruel or a barbarous action, and in this light, the delicate term discipline may be used to convey an idea of lacerating men's backs; of tearing, by means of the scourge, the live flesh off men's bones. This is by some called flog. ging; but, if the noble lord through delicacy calls this discipline, I have now only to wish that he may keep bis delicate hands off the backs of Englishmen. (licar !).
The Secretary at War entered into a strong defence of the discipline of the army, and maintained, that but a limited number received corporal punishunent, and that was chicly to be ascribed to the practice of drinking to excess, which has become too prevalent in this country. He had supported the training act, and he had stood almost singly in maintaining, that the volunteer body was not that sort of force which could be depended on for the defence of the country. He knew, however, that the force raised under the training act was by no means perfect ; he knew also that the local militia could not by any means be equal to regular soldiers, wbo were accustomed to discipline by long habit and strictness of command. Six weeks also, he admitted, was the time that was generally thought necessary for preparing a man for the ranks. But in all these things, gentlemen knew, there must frequently be something of a compromise. Twenty-eight days were thought sufficient, and he now supported that proposition as the best that he could oblain.
The Ilonourable Frederick Robinson regretted that he had heard the comparison that had been made between the French and English armies, and asserted that the stick was much more frequeatly used in the French than in the English army. (No, repeated by several gentlemen on the other side.) He had been well informed so, and believed that such a practice did prevail (Vo). Well, then, at
least he would venture to say, that the punishment of death was much more frequent.
Mr. C. W. Wynne supported the measure, as believing that it must be productive of a much better system than the present volunteer establishment.
Mr. W. Smith denied, from the best authority, that the stick was made use of in the French army, as a mode of punishment. At the saine time, though he knew it was by no means general, he could maintain that such a mode of enforcing discipline was practised here (No). Gentlemen may cry No, but I was eye-witness of the fact. He mentioned it with a hope that its being publicly noticed might lead to the correction of so gross an error, such a breach of the military constitution.
General M. Mathew said that he would bring the officer to a court martial who wonld presume to use any man under his command in the manner that had been alluded to.
Mr. M. A. Taylor was of opinion, that it would be improper to liave the local militia on a different footing in point of discipline from the regular militia..
Admiral Harvey observed, that both soldiers and sailors in the French service were flogged with a cat-of-ninetails.
Sir James Hall rising to support the bill, begged to have it understood that he was not inclined to do so from any love which he bore to the measure itself, nor from any expectation that the great inconveniences to which it would expose the country, would be compensated by any . adequate addition to our internal strength ; but as lead. ing to the measure proposed by his noble relation the earl of Selkirk, to which it bore a considerable resemo blance in point of form, though very different in spirit, and tendency. The difference between the two systems, depended principally upon one practical circumstance, by the alteration of which one of these systems might be converted into the other; namely, the circumstance of raising the men required by a ballot upon all persons from 18 to 35, as proposed by the noble lord; or, on the other hand, by calling out all the young men who in each successive year attained the age of 18, as proposed by his noble friend. Ile had concurred with some of his friends in endeavouring to obtain that alteration in the committee, but without success. In the course of that discussi09;
however, the noble lord by whom this measufe has been brought forward, admitted with great cardour, that the characteristic feature of lord Selkirk's plan, by which the youngest persons of the community were exclusively called out in the first instance, was superior to his own, in the abstract bint he was induced to abandon that ad vantage, and to adhere to the plan proposed, as best calcnlated to maintain the establishment produced by the volunteer system, to repair the breaches made in that force by the decay of the spirit which first raised it, and to fill up the blanks occasioned by its original failure in particular occasions. The honourable member express. ed his conviction that the volunteer system was admirably calculated to do away all internal discontent and commotion, and that in this way it had saved the country from the utmost danger; but that the slight degree of military discipline required for this purpose was totally unequal to what our present situation required, threatened as we were by the most tremendous military force. The at. tachment of the noble lord to the volunteer system, now decayed and superannuated, might be harmless in como mon times, but it was ruinous at present, by consuming the precious time which circumstances allowed for preparation. The danger to which we were exposed, arose not only from the force opposed to us, but still more from our situation at home; from the strange apathy, the idle confidence, which pervaded this country; an apathy, an idle confidence, no where so conspicuous or so astonish! ing as within these walls. A situation never occurred in history more noble, more conspicuous, than that in which the house stood. The bulwarks of humanity were battered down ; they stood alone in the breach, an awfol responsibility lay upon them; but they bad a gallant nation at their back ready to follow every spirited lead, with the more alacrity as it was spirited; but if they were careless and sluggish with regard to such an essential object, what could be expected from the people? This carelessness seemed to arise, not from want of spirit or activity, but from the contemplation of a calamity against which we saw no remedy, and from which we shrunk as from the contemplation of death. ' The plan before us offered no refuge from this desperate vicw; but that such a refuge was furnished by the plan of his noble friend, which, by raising this country to the dignity of an armed nation,
afforied the means, not only of extricating us from our "present difficulties, but also of transınitting the constitution unimpaired to our posterity. As no better could be done, he was induced now' o support the plan proposed by the noble lord, which by its practical applicatioi, and chiefly by its lefects, might be the means of bringing the plan of bis noble relation into notice.
General Sir James Stewart supported the measure, and maintained that any private soldier could obtain redress by an application to his royal bigliness the cominander in chief.
Mr. Williain Simith did not mean to impute y thing in the least improper to his royal highness, neither did he mean to say that the prac'ice was general.
The question then being called for, the house dividel, and the numbers were: Ayes
78 The bill was then passes and ordered to the lor Is.
The sugar distillation bill was ordered to be read a third time on Monday.
The house went into a committee of supply, in which Mr. Foster proposed several resolutions expressive of the expediency of imposing additional duties on the importation of foreign spirits into Ireland, and of levying new duties on Irish spirits exported into England. The resolutions were agreed to, and the report ordered to be received to-morrow.
Several orders remaining on the list were then disposed of, and the house adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
MONDAY, JUNE 13.
Lord IIawkesbury observed, that seeing by the Votes of the bouse of commons, that a mčasure was in prorress there, relative to the claims of Mr Palmer, he thought it right to propose to institute an inquiry in their lo dships' house in the mean time respecting hose claims. He therefore moved to anpoin a committee to inquire into the nae ; VOL. III.--1808.
fuse of the agreement entered into by government with Nir Palmer respecting the improvement of the post-.ffice, and he causes of the suspension of Mr. Palmer from the comptrolership of the post-ofice. Ordered.
A committee was appointed accordingly, and ordered to meet to-morrow, and to report from time to time.
Lord Hawkesbury presented the usual message from his majesty for a vote of credit, whicb, on his for ship's motion, was ordered to be taken into consideration iomorrow, and the lords to be summoned.
SICILIAN TREATY. Lord Hawkesbury moved the order of the day, for taking into consideration his majes'y's message, respecting the treaty concluded with his Sicilian majesty, which he had the honour of laying before the house on Saturday last. The ohject of the motion with which he should c na clude, 'would be to induce the house to concur in making good the stipulations by which his majesty was bound in that treaty; and to bring their lordships to acquiesce in tbat motion, only a very few obscrvations, be thought, would be necessary. The present treaty was in substance the same as that concluded and approved by former allministrations ; but is what was proper and expedient two years since, miglit not be proper and expedient at the present momen', he should not rest liis molion merely on that ground, but obser e further, that as the circuinstances between the two countries remained nearly the same as at that period, the expediency of pursuing the same line of conduct must also most probably remain. The sum stipulated to be granted was the suine, viz. 300,0001, for which reciprocal services were to be performed. Their lordships would no doubt recollect the circumstances out of which our connection with Sicily arose, and they would therefore be sensible of the fidelity and generosity with which the country must feel itself bound, strictly to adhere to its different sti; ulations. His lordship concluded with moving an address to his majesty, assuring his ma
jesty of their cordial concurrence in the object of his majesty's gracions communication.
Lord Holland did not mean to find fault with the treaty, although probably its policy or impolicy might at the
present moment, in a great measure, depend upon circumstances, of which that bouse could not be mforined,