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progress of the enemy, if he should advance so far. But supposing London itself to be reduced, he still wished the counirs towards the sources of the Severn, the Trent, and the Mersey, here the last battles would be to be 'fought, to be strengihened, and he recommended to parti. cular attention, the posts of Gloucester, Worcester, and Tewkesbury. No country could be defended without fortresses. It was by means of her fortresses that France was enabled nit only to repel invasion, but to achieve conquests. The length of time that Branau was retained by Buona parie, and liis prohibition of the erection of 45 new fortresses on the Austrian, frontiers, after the peace of Presburgh, sufficiently shewed the sense of that great master of the art of war, on the subject of fortification. It was owing to the state of the fortifications, that of all the Prussian provinces, Silesia alone was able to hold out to the end of the war. It was owing to the want of forti. fied places that Russia was compelled to make peace after the battle of Tilsit. After all these examples, was the fate of this country to be so far endangered, as not to take precautions so essential? A system of fortified places may not coincide with the jealousy of the British nation with respect to its liberties. But the circumstances of the times must overcome their jealousies, as they did the jea. Jousy of a standing army, once so obnoxious. He recommended these ideas to consideration, and hoped that no labour or expence would be spared to insure the safety of the country.
Lord Castlereagh agreed with his right honourable friend, that the circumstances of the country were not such as to admit his majes'y's ministers reposing in a fal. lacions security, but rather that they were such as to render ecessary every possible precaution against any sud, den danger with which the country might be threatened. Still however he was unwilling that the country should be dissatisfied with what had been done, or that the enemy should believe we were in a state of greater weakness than what we really were. However extensive the resources of a country, it was impossible that any one should start from a system in some degree abhorrent to fortified defence, to that description of defence which was only at present used in cou iries to which it had long been fami: fiar. Whatever the country now possessed of fortifi. çation, had been slowly and recently acquired. - His
right honourable friend knew how long even the ordinance establishment stood before the present war, and it was a matter of surprise that it had so soon reached the standard at which it had now'arrived ; 'a circumstance which suf. ficiently manifested the vigorous effects that had been made. But comparatively high as the ordnance estab, lishment now stood, still it was very inadequate suddenly to give the country an extensive system of fortification, if such were demanded. It could not be the work of a day; it ought not to be capriciously adopted. It must be the result of long continued exertion ; it should proceed only upon a mature consideration of the necessity of "the measure. If upon that mature consideration the le.
gislature should deem it expedient, materially and im. médiately to increase the fortifications of ihe country, the executive government would be bound to attend to that opinion. The utmost exertions had been made at Chal. bam, at Dover, and along the course of the Medway, to put the covering stations in the most complete state of defence, as well as along the whole coast. No part of the coast of France, was by any means in the state of defence, in which our coast froin Portsmouth to the Thames had been put. The French batteries on their coast had · been constructed, not to prevent invasion, for to that they - were inadequate, but to defend their trade. As to the other part of our coast, measures had been taken to complete the defence of it. When lord Chatham left the ordnance, the plans were completed for that undertaking. Wij hout imputing any blame to the late adminis, tration, he should only state that those plans had not been acted upon. During the present session the necessary sums had been voted for the purpose, and the plans would be immediately carried into execution. On the coast of Ireland, and particularly at Cork and Bantry
bay, a great deal had been done to increase the means of • fortified defence. Lord Chathamn had also taken into
consideration the internal fortified defence of Ireland, and on his retiring from office, left in his bureau a plan for that purpose. That plan was now actiag upon. With respect to fortifying the interior of this country, it was a much larger question, and he was sure his right honourable friend would admit, that the fortification of the coast
was of more pressing importance. lle only trusted that < his right honourable friend would not believe that, bea
cause no such idea bad hitherto been prosecuted, the country was at all to be considered in a defenculess state. With respect to the force to which the bill before the house immediaely applied, he had great hopes that it might be made conveniently useful, as a complete substitute for the volunteers, but he could not think with bis right honourable friend, that it could ever be made equal to the regular militia. This appeared to bim to be physically impossible, nor did it appear to him at all advisable to absorb the regular militia into the regulat army, unless another force should be provided to supply its place, which he did not conceive to be practicable.
Mr. Hindham did not think that the local militia, with the addition of the fortifications recommended by the right honourable gentleman, would be commensurate to the danger of the country, into the details of which he would not then enter. A greater question, however, tha this of internal fortification, or one of more important tendency, it was impossible to conceive. There was no point in which the opinions were so opposite. It was not a local engineering question, but one which embraced in it the whole system of our warfare. He entered into a defence of the training bill, and deprecated the sudden subversion of the military system of one administration by the administration that succeeded it. By the measures pursued by the noble lord, he had reduced the security in an alarming degree. He was apprehensive, that should it be deemed advisable to adopt a more extensive system of fortification, the noble lord would mistake expence for force.
After a few observations from Mr. Herbert, the ten. dency of which we could not collect, the bill was read a third time and passed.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave notice that he would on Thursday next submit a motion to the house, the subject of which would be to found a separate bill upon the resolution respecting Mr. Palmer's claim.
In answer to a question from Mr. Whitbread, we un. derstood the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say, that he would also move the appropriation bill on Thursday.
- Mr. Windbam gave notice of a motion for the next session, probably when the mutiny act should be before the house, the object of which would be the protection of soldiers who had entered for Limited service, in consi
sequence of the regulations of the year before last. His proposition would be, to prevent such soldiers from cons senting to extend their service for life, until the expis ration of the engagement which they had already cona ttacted. · The Chancellor of the Exchequer having moved the third reading of the curates bill, a long discussion took place, in which all the former arguments for and against the bill were again repeated. The bill was opposed by Mr. Barkam, Lord Milton, Mr. Tierney, Mr. Wind ham, Mr. Dickenson, Dr. Lawrence, and Mr. Whitbread.
The following gentlemen strenuously supported the. measure : Mr. D. Browne, Mr. Stephen, Mr. M. Sutton. A division then took place : Ayes
Majority 53 The bill was read a third time. Whilst strangers were excluded another division took place on a clause by way of rider, moved by Lord Porchester: For the clause
7 Against it
54 The bill was then passed. The other orders of the day were disposed of, and the house adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21. The Scotch local militia bill, the curates bill, and some other public and private bills, were brought up from the commons, and read a first time.
Oli the first reading of the curates bill,
Lord Lauderdale rose and said, that he was determined to oppose the bill in all its stages. It was a bill whické went to give the bishops an increase of discretionary power, which power they were known already to have abused, so that ihe present bill would only tend to enable them to extend that abuse in proportion as their power was extended
The Bishop of London moved that the bill be printed. In a day or two, perhaps on Thursday, he should appoint a day for the second reading of the bill. He should, at present, offer no observations upon what had just fallen from a noble earl, as abundant opportunities would occur of arguing the merits of the bill in its future stages.
The bills on the table were then forwarded in their tea spective stages.
LOCAL MILITIA. On the motion that this bill do pass,
The Earl of Selkirk renewed his objection to the measure. He wished it to be confined to ihe age betwcen 18 and 19; and thus it would have the effect of training, the whole body of the youth of Great Britain to the use of arms. He was anxious the bill should be freed from the inconvenience and difficulties under wbich other mea. sures of this nature were known by experience to be liable. Above all, he wished to abolish ibe ballot; with that view he should move an amendment, to omit in the preamble of the bill the words “ balloted and.”
• Earl Stanhope supported the motion. He was desirous the bill should rest on the principle of the militia act, not on the principle of the modern acts. He wished it to approach in its nature to the old
posse comitatus of that great man king Alfred : that was the true ground on which to build on a large scale the means of defending the country against invasion, ihe danger of which was more real than many people were disposed to imagine. Such was the kind of force most likely to make a solid and secure opposition to an invasion ; not your large standing armies. Austria, Prusssia, and Italy, and all the old governments, which fell like ninepins before the attack of the French, bad such armies; but they were not such a force as he thought should and might now be organized in this country, and on which alone it must rely for its defence and security.
Lord Hawkesbury observed, that the principle of the old posse comitatus was excellent in theory, but like most. things which were very specious in theory, it was most inconvenient and insuflicient in practice. What the state of the country now called for was, a force permanent in tinie of peace and of war ; and which, by providing such permanent means of defence to co-operate with the al.