Page images

ouş to this country. But if he was successful in crushing the present ebullitions of the Spaniards, and obtained possession of both Spain and Portugal, he would be truly dangerous indeed to this country, as he could with more facility from those countries attack us on the side of Ire. land. He hoped, therefore, that ministers would seriously weigh those circumstances, and be prepared for the event, and could not refrain from expressing his anxious wish that something could be done, by which they could obtain the militia of Ireland for the defence of this part of the United Kingdom, by giving Ireland an equivalent defence in return.

The Earl of Moira had obseryed with regret, that the volunteers bad been undervalued, and that they were said to be badly disciplined; but in that part of the island where he had particular opportunities of knowing what the volunteers were, he was so convinced of their effi. ciency, that he would cbeerfully head them against any force that could be opposed to them by invasion. It was true that they could not be expected to be so well disciplined, or so good, as veteran troops that had been frequently in the field, but there was no comparison to be made between them, and those intended to be raised by the present bill, as he considered the former infinitely su. perior in every respect. A runour had prevailed that although the volunteers in Scotland might be good, yet those in the south part of the island were not so well dis. ciplined; but suppose for the sake of argument, that it was so, although he did not know it to be true, did it follow that they could not be rendered so efficient if pro, per measures were to be pursued ? He had no doubt that it would be so, but unfortunately no steps were taken to

the patriotic spirit among the volunteers ; on the contrary, they had been for some reason or another cried down. But however that may have been, he preferred the volunteers infinitely to the cold services to be expecte ed from the local militia, although he would not oppose lhe committal of the bill.

Lord Hawkesbury, explained, that he did not throw any reflections on the volunteers.

Lord Holland was not averse to the principle of the bill, as far as it proposed a substitution for the volunteers, which he did not approve of as a means of defence ; and


keep up

although the noble secretary of stisle would not allow that he meant it as a substitution for the volunteers, yet the plan as he stated it, as well as the nature of the bill, went to produce that effect. But although he approved of the principle, yet the manner of carrying it on did not meet his approbation ; for he could have wished it had been assimilated more nearly to the ancient militia, or that his right honourable fried's training act had been carried forward, which, although liable to some objections, might have been rendered far more beneficial and advantageous to the country. Enrolment was far preferable to compulsory means, such as were to be resorted to by the bill, as it was not to be expected, that the men procured by the latter, world act with such energy against an invading enemy, when under the consideration that they were impelled to serve. The noble lord said, he approv. ed of the observations that had fallen from a noble lord on the cross bench, as relative to Spain and Ireland ; and that although a gleam of hope held out the idea that the glorious struggle of the Spaniar:Is would ultimately prove successful as to them, yet it did not follow of con, sequence that France would not still be forinidable; and if she still should remain so, it behoved ministers to con ciliate the Irish, without which, all their schemes of de. fence in this country were illusory.

Viscount Sidmouth approved generally of the measure, although he could have wished that his noble friend's plan had been adopted, of calling out those by enrolment between the age of 18 and 21, instead of having recourse . to ballot. The standing army, with the navy, amounted now to about 500,000 men, and formed a greater number for the military power of the country, than what was produced by any other nation, when compared to the male population. But if it would be unwise to increase the standing army under these circumstances, he would consider it equally unwise to do so, even if it was practicable ; for he thought we had a sufficient standing anny, and that such a principle of defence as that proposed by the present bill, was amply sufficient for the security of the country. In regard to what had fallen from the noble lord that had just sat down, on the 'observations that had been made by his noble friend, he could assure that noble lord that they did not at all regard the question

lately agitated with respect to Ireland, but merely alluded to the most efficient way of providing for the defence of the United Kingdom.

The Marquis of Buckingham supported the bill in general, but objected to that clause which subjected the lo cal militia to the mutiny act. He stated his intention of proposing in the committee, an amendment to that clause, by which it should be provided, that po sentence of a court martial for inflicting corporal punishment should be carried into effect, until submitted to his majesty, or to the commander in chief.

Lord Mulgrave defended the bill from the attack of the noble baron, who had spoke last but two. With respect to the clause to which the noble baron bad ascribed such a selfish character, be observed that it merely went to prevent insurances, which had ever been found most mischievous to the individuals who engaged in them. As to wbat the noble marquis had stated on the operation of ile mutiny bill, it must be evident to the house that it was indispensable to preserve a due subordination : if the ranks of the local militia were filled from the lowest classes of society, such a check would be absolutely ne. cessary; if they consisted in a great weasure of indivi. duals of a superior description, their conduct would be such as to render any exercise of the provisions of the bill superfluous.

The Lord Chancellor adverted to what had been said on tbe subject of insurance, and requested noble lords to inquire what had taken place in their own families in these cases. They woulu find that frequently those of their servants who had not insured were balloted, while those who had insured, escaped. From this circumstance it might fairly be inferred, that the insurers had some influence in the arrangement of the business.

After various explanations from Lords Holland, Sid. mouth, Binghain, and Mulgrave, the house resolved itself it comn ittee.

The diferent clauses of the bill underwent a discussion. Eventually they were all agreed to, and the house having resumcı', the report was ordered to be received on Mono day. Aajourned.


PRIDAY, JUNE 17. Sir John Sinclair brought up the report of the broadwheel waggon committee, which was ordered to be printed.

Mr. Jenkinson obtained leave to bring in a bill to indemnify certain persons for carrying into effect the act of last session, respecting the Tower Hamlets : it was then brought in and read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.

A message from the lords acquainted the house, that their lordships had agreed to the load bill, the Irish revenue regulation bill, and the pauper lunatics bill.

The Irish spirits duties bill, and the Irish malt duties bill, were severally read a third time and passed.

The Woolwich water-works bill being sent down from the lords, with certain amendments, to which they'desired the concurrence of the commons, the said amendments were ordered to be read a second time this day three months; but on the suggestion of the Speaker,

Mr. Stirling obtained leave to bring in a bill to the pure port of the said amendments.

The Chatham lines bill was read a third time and passed.

The copyright bill was read a second time, and order. ed to be oommitted on Wednesday next.

The Welch coal duty bill was read a seoond time, and committed for to-morrow.

The Irish customs bill was read a third time, passed,and ordered to the lords.

The Scotch local militia bill was ordered to be read a third time on Monday.

Mr. Wharton obtained leave to bring in a bill to per• mit the importation of Italian thrown silk.

The American colonial grain bill was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.

The southern whale tishery bill was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow; as was also the painted and stained silks manufacture bill.

The report of the subdivisions clerks bill was received, and ordered to be printed ; as was also the report of the

[ocr errors]

Cape of Good Hope trade bill, and the bill ordered to be fead a third time to-morrow and then engrossed.

The report of the expiring laws bilt was received, and the bill ordered to be read a third time to-morrow.

Mr. Stirling brought in the Woolwich water-works bill, which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.

The land-tax commissioners bill was read a third time, and passed.

The warehousing export bill was read a second time, and committed for to-morrow.

Sir William Curtis, seeing a right honourable gentleman in liis place (the chancellor of the exchequer for Ireland); rose to ask if it was the intention of that riglit honourable gentleman to bring in a bill for allowing a bounty on the exportation of English beef, as in the last yeat a bill had passed for allowing a bounty on the exportation of Irish beef. He wished to know if it was intended to bring in a bill to continue the act of the last year?

Mr. Foster replied that there was no bounty on the exportation of Irish beef, but a drawback on the duty o salt. He admitted there was a bounty on that of linen.

The assessed taxes bill was committed for Tuesday next.

Mr. Wardel gave notice that be would, on Thursday next, make a motion on the subject of army clothing.

The spirits regulation bill was ordered to be read a third time on Monday.

The ale licence bill, the prize captures bill, the prize goods bill, and the post-horse farming duty bill, were sea verally read a third time and passed.

The coffee customs and the coffee excise bills were re. ported, and ordered to be read a third time on Monday next.

The stamp duties bill was reported, and ordered to be read a third time on Monday next.

Tlie Brazil postage bill was committed for to-morrow. The Westminster buildings improvement bill was brought in by Mr. Long, read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.

Mr. Rose brought in the thrown silk bill, which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to Worrow.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »