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I hdiament for this special, temporary purpose: by some, Satan, after their discharge, had the privilege of fatting up tjloinany town or city, without being a freeman, or hnng an apprenticeship; by others, they were exempted fkn burdensome parish offices, and serving in the militia; jht the greatest encouragement of all, one founded upon ialtice, humanity, and every other principle of found policy, LW*> enlist for a term of years, or to the end of the war. .NLnj other encouragements of former times might have ten tried. What an example was given, in a war within toe remembrance of many men present, of persons of high tink, property, and influence, taking old corps under their patronage, attending the recruiting drum in person, and fiHingup the ranks with the true stuff for an army! Not the refuse of these streets, but the yeomanry of the country, faring upon principle, upon spirit, and upon attachment.— Why was not this spirit calhd for? While these meant were negfecled, Office had no right to say men were not to be bad. Would the Minister say, men were not to be had for tie old regiments upon an exigency like the last? If so, Waid he justify the having formed the present peace establishment exactly upon, the model of the last, viz. that of retiming officers sufficient for fifteen thousand men more than > tke peace complement? Knowing, from late experience, lint they could not be raised by ordinary modes, but thinking it enough to satisfy the House that the Secretary at War might be depended upon for a constancy in the measure to .fhich be was wedded, and that he would be ready again to effect the levy, by adding three hundred officers to those al•Hdy supernumerary, at the expence to the nation of above t»o hundred thousand pounds.
The General next proceeded to consider the levy of the independent companies, upon military principle. VV hat was Aecriterion of an officer's pretensions?—Money. At the opening of a war, with a half-pay list that would fill a vor taste; with regiments abounding" \Vith officers of merit; *''b. a complaint (for such, however unjustly, had been tirown out) of want of alacrity in the recruiting sc vice; fora spur to military spirit, a plan comes forth for destroying every claim of seniority, for suppressing every idea of emulation, except in expence; and money, money, is held •J' as the only possible spring of a soldier's promotion.—» "hat had been tlie natural consequence? I.er gentlemen ihe paper upon the table: they would find the offers *f sbout an hundred and forty Lieutenants had be<*n accepted "tailing companies; about forty had retracted. They would lYi- oldest. Lie ten :ts fir. for service in the military list, 2 are are of the year 1775; of which we shall only find amon these Captains, two; —from thence ter 1778, there ai three;—of 1779, there is one:—from thence to 1785, thei are fifty-two; making in the whole, fifty eight.
From this ltatement, perhaps some attention to seniorit' might be pleaded; but mark the sequel. Of Lieutenants from the year 1785, making above fourscore in number twelve are so young as 1788, two years before the levy; fix teen so young as 1789, one year before the levy; and elever t(o young as the year 1790, consequently not six months before the levy. Add, linsigns of the Guards, and Cornets ol Dragoons, seven, and it became demonstration, that nearly an hundred officers were put over the heads of all the Lieutenants in the army older than 1785. Would the House know to what number those Lieutenants amounted—without counting invalids, artillery, engineers, marines, or half pay, they amount to no less than five hundred and sixty-six. Wrfat a superceffion! and upon what an avowed principle! These had money; those had only services
The next thing to advert to, was th« estimate of the expence, a very different one from that which the Secretary at War had stated, yet one not to be contradicted.
Levy money of each company, at 3I. 3s.
a man, 99 men rank and file Half pay of Captain, Lieutenant, and
Ensign, at about Ics. a day, valued at
10 years purchase
One hundred companies
Additional levy-men of al. cs. for three
companies, raised by Captains on half
Deduct the value of the ha's pay of the
Total expence os the levy
But to admit, for the fake of argument, even the calculations of th Secretary at War himself, in point of expence, Were no offers made to Government more economical than
cren rkose? The Secretary at War will not deny the propeilof a Nobleman, as eminent in his military capacity, as awry other point of character that adorns public and priralife, and ought to create attention and lefpect in Gomsment. He meant Lord Rawdon. The proposal from tiat noble Lord was, to raise a regiment, without levy most!, or other expence to Government, and to take very nearly, if not the whole, of the officers from the half pay. The objects of the noble Lord dishonour to his heart. After the object of serving the Public at an exigency, by a levy, awn true military principle, was that of restoring to effective; !irrice the officers of his late regiment, reduced at the peace, sen of tried and confirmed merit, whom he could no otherwife iffi,t. The non commission officers, and great part of the private men of the fame regiment, equally attached to the nobleLord, were ready, in the north of Ireland, to flock to th;ir old colours. The regiment would have been immediately complete, without any future increase to the half Mi without danger or impediment to the recruiting service B England. Let the Houle reflect upon what possible principle such a proposal could lie rejected; let them then compart the measure that took place instead of it. One circumstance of it, and a very paradoxical one, has not been observed 8i»a, viz. that the contract, so injurious to the Public, was fttHt fame time so hard upon the contractors, that above forty of them relinquished the undertaking soon after the wfet, and many of those who continued, had to complain cfpartiality and injustice. The time given to the Captains kthe levy was three months; and upon condition ot their respective companies be.ng completed, and approved, within "atspice, they became entitled to twenty months off reckonlags tor cloathing, &c. The heavy contingent expences of w levy accrued at the outset, viz. hiring drummers, risers, *i several other necessary persons of the recruiting trade, JiJ conveying them to their several stations; making up J'dets, and other articles of what is called flop-cloathing, all this the Captains undertook, upon the faith of bring wemnifiedby the receipt of the off reckonings. The recruiting was stopt in one month; and from all present appeart!VCK, the loss of preparation in all the companies, not suffiw"'!.v advanced in numbers to come within the new legation fur being accepted, will fall upon the Captains.
In regard to partiality and favour in the raising men, the ^Mtal slid be fhoul I he happy, if the honourable secretary ^"I''resme many of the stories that weiein circulation. He Mould mention such circumstancesonly as he co jld assert to be % the letter of service, "no man was to be enlisted 'Ur'Jer five feet five inches high; nor under sixteen vears of ''•I.XXIX. E '" age> "age, nor above thirty." Many gentlemen who r.dhei strictly to these orders, were the dupes pf their obedien the more encouraged, or the better informed, (from whei their information came he did not pretend to fay) certaii broke through all restrictions, but particularly that refpd ing thirty years of age. The General affirmed he would 1 dertake to prove there were Captains who were permitted enlist invalids; invalids actually belonging to compai upon garrison duty, and who had necessarily been disch.irg from the army as unfit for service.
The General next adverted to the case of the fuhnltenj Why were the Lieutenants and Ensigns who spiritedly, n dustriously, and honourably, had completed their quota, 1 be turned over to the pitiful indemnification of selling th| men to the Captains? Why had they not the commissioi to which, by the contract, they had a right? It was to sal appearances, this miserable money traffic was substituted; I keep down the half pay, at the expence of justice.
I he General said he should forbear to dwell upon tli scene with which the execution os the contracts ended. 1 was a race between crimps, salesmen of flesh, drivers ofhu man cattle, speculators, and jobbers; a disgrace to the army and a reproach to the State.
The General hoped that nothing he had said would b< construed to convey the smallest reflection upon the officers concerned; he knew some of great merit; he was not informed of demerit in any. The grievance upon senior osficerr, and the practices he had stated in recruiting, were theevjJs of the plan, and not imputable to the contractors. On the pontrary, many of them, subalterns in particular, were most undeservedly sustVrers.
The General then called the attention cf the House particularly to the unprecedented measure which had been adopted, under the colour of laving, viz. that of selling the military patronage of the Crown. The honourable Secretary had avowed, that the prior commissions of officers who succeeded to rank in these independent companies were to he fold, and the money brought to the public account; and applause to Ministers was expected, no doubt, not only in point of economy, but also of disinterestedness, in relinquishing so much patronage as the gift of these commissions would have left in their hands. Such a pat onage, he owned, would have been enormous; the money traffic he had already stated was abominable; but all the evil resulting, or that could have resulted, from one or the other, was trivial, and as nothing, when compared ro the precedent of setting vacant commissions up to sale, for the benefit of the Crown or of the Public. It was alike subversive of military and constitutional iitationai principle. The minds of British officers (continued the General) have hitherto been directed by one great iniaobls fy stem uniting with general martial ardor, the !c? of their country, and a nice sensibility of private hosm. This principle carried them through the hard viciffiof military life ; the consciousness of having never fwervsi from this principle, brought comfort to the evening of lhatdays, under broken constitutions, and broken fortunes. When Ministers check, or divert, or cease to encourage th'19 principle, they know not what they do. It is the true tie •y which a nation can hold its military servants; to counteact it, is a want of policy, as well as of sentiment; but *lut shall we say of measures that go farther than the mere tffflniction of this principle; that go to substitute in its place the meanest, the most vulgar, and the most sordid of human piffions—rmney—money, the criterion of military pretenicns! Money, the price of the King's grace and protection' Wtbave seen the War Office degraded to a Broker's stiop. ^ere this traffic to continue, the desks of the office would ^: better silled from Exchange Alley, than by the worthy ^•tkraen who now sit there. In this traffic, what chance *!1 stand the younger sons of the best families in the king4m>, which are the true supply for officering an army?— flhat will be their prospect in competition with the sons of "■Broker, a Contractor, ora fortunate keeper of a lottery «ice • What less chance still will there be for another class wwluable candidates for commissions—the ions of such of:ars as 1 just now alluded to; men who have spent their ^ years and their paternal fortunes in the service; veteans> who have been used to reason upon honest confidence '"at their zeal would be repaid by the protection of Government to their offspring; with honest pride that their hoys ■ ;ii Wood and education to deserve it. Commissions to men l'this description are debts of justice from the State; but wtat would be the answer upon this new system 5 Where is ?°W money? Commissions! they are funk in the new
*Jysand means—in the Stock Exchange of Whitehall. •
Qnewould plead, his father lost a limb at such a'battle; another, his father had an eye beat out at such a siege. Why, "the clerks would laugh in their faces; legs and arms bear Po pnee, they would be told ;—we cannot bate you a guiteifot awholechnrnel house of old family bones; we have '"d an hundred independent companies; they have cost the "Kiotifrom two to two hundred and fifty thousand pounds; *tol'iiows how many more may be wanted! We must have
"tt-ofsor the Mouse of Commons; where is your money} J
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