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There was one other topic the General thought of gre Importance: he should, however, only touch it, because, he was right, it would be taken up by gentlemen much 1110 able to treat it. He meant, that the measure of selling tl vacant commissions, was perfectly unconstitutional, in tl light of railing money independently of Parliament. Vi were blessed with a King, in whose hands the constitutic was safe; nor did he mean, though he opposed the prefer Ministers, to insinuate they had designs against it; but was in good times, when there was no cause for suspicioi that the House ought to be cautious of innovation; and r saw no reason, why a wicked Minister hereafter might no upon this precedent, advise a sale of military rank, by bre vet, to any extent.
After resting some time upon this subject, the Gener: concluded with saying, that in what he had laid before th House, he had been actuated by a feeling which he should b ashamed not to possess; but he hoped he had spoken withou disrespect or incivility to any man. He did not know whe ther he was to address that profession to the present or th absent. It was the misfortune of the army, and of the na tion, to have 110 visible military adviser of the Crown. Th honourable Secretary, it was true, stood forth a voluntee the last year, to answer for the conduct of the military de partment: it was a gallant undertaking, and gallantly tin honourable Secretary had gone through it in the present in stance. He would, nevertheless,'advise the honourable Secretary, (and it was no unfriendly counsel) upon the nexi augmentation, to call in other assistance. If there was to bt no Commander in Chief, there was yet a Board of War—: most respectable Board of General Officers, not one of whom, excepting tlie unworthy individual then speaking, was not qualified to give sound and sufficient opinion in the greatest points of the military establishment. That Board was frequently summoned; it was frequently employed to consider of hats and'halberts, and other very necessary but small objects of the service; but it could not pass without observation, that when a consideration of the magnitude of a levy of fitteen thousand men was in question, a Board of War-Office clerks seemed to have been thought the more proper council. He instanced a noble Duke at the head of the Ordnance, who, with all his knowledge and weight in his department, had not disdained to call in such council. He recommended to the honourable Secretary to follow the example, and pronounced, that for want of it, the first measure of the independent companies had been founded in wanton prodiga!ity> t!ie last in disgraceful parsimony.
The Seerftary at JVtir declared that he was far from aflent- Secretary ing to the supposed justice of the idea, that to consult the at War. hvd of General Officers on every occasion, could not be rapper; and he apprehended that to put the command of 'i'irmy into commission, which such perpetual consultants must absolutely effect, would prove as unconstitutional ti sny point which the honourable General had alledged •^inst the mode of levying the independent companies. The War Office had never used the language imputed to it by the haoarable General. Officers, on applying there, had ne'er been told, "Bring us the money." But the uniform 'ingTiage was, ** The Public wants men, and wants them
- immediately. If you can give us such assurances as we can
- rely on, that you have the means of raising the number "forwhich you are willing to engage, within a limited ;l time, you will do an essential service to your country; i: bsx we request, that you will undertake nothing which
ycu are not certain ot being able to execute." Such had been the language of the War Office. No question was ailed, with a view to giving rank to one officer in preference t:>another; and if the honourable General knew of any in— tur.ee of such partiality, he requested him to state it. With fifard to the terms of the letters of service having been dis. jtnsed with in particular instances, by passing 'men above •he age prescribed, he had heard of no example of this kind, Ktdid it fall within his department to observe it. This he cat, that the officer under whose inspection the men were to pals, (Colonel Fox) was an officer, of whom, without riming him, he might be allowed to fay, that one in whom confidence might be more properlv reposed, could not have keen appointed. Under that officer's inspection, he did not Wieve that any such irregularity had taken place, much less dat it had been allowed partially, or as a matter of favour toan? individual. The sale of the commissions, which had irtn so much insisted on, were not taken out of the common coin se, which hi conceived to be a full and complete iaswerto all which had been said against it. The whole, then, amounted To this, that the recruiting of the old regi^ts went on so slowly, as made it evident that the neces1-ry number of men could not be obtained within the time Quired, and Government had recurred to raising indepen-*nt companies as the least expensive, and the molt effectual remedy.
This, he said, they had done with no view to increasing pifron.i.Te; for, the companies, as fast as they were raised, *treto be attached to old regiments, and to be employed as :^ recruiting companies of the regiments on actual service.
He was ready to bear testimony to the gallantry and the pul lie spirit of the noble Lord (Rawdon) whom the honourah General had mentioned as offering to raise a regiment; bi the Committee would recollect, that the noble Lord stipL lated for the appointment of all the officers; and he coul not fee what difference it made to the Public, whether tl Colonel of a regiment, or the Crown, nominated the ol steers.
Geneial General Burgoyne disavowed having glanced, in the mo! Burgojnc remote degree, at any failure in the conduct of Colone Fox in'pMftng recruits. He spoke of Colonel Fox in tJi highest terms of praise, and explained, that in the instanc to which he had alluded of enlisting invalids, the men hat not come under the inspect ion of Colonel Fox.
The right honourable Secretary, the General said, must recollect, that the officers of the regiment which Lord Rawdon offered to raise, were all, except one, to be taken from the half pay, without being raised to any higher rank than they held before; so that the half-pay list would have been relieved in the first instance, and no addition made to it when the regiment was reduced. It was singular, that the Board of General Officers should be consulted on trifling alterations of arms and cloathing, and yet be considered as unfit to advise on the best mode of recruiting the army. Certain, however, he was, that if they were to be consulted, the raising of independent companies, on the principle of the last, would prove a measure upon which, least of all others, they could bestow their encomiums. Lord Lord Fielding remarked that, in his opinion, the two most Fielding, adviseable modes of recruiting the army, on an emergency, were, first, by appointing an ad litional Field Officer to each regiment. It was well known that the Colonel was, in general, scarcely more than the proprietor of a regiment, and had very little to do with the command of it; and, on actual service, one or both of its Field Officers was often at a distance from it. The appointment of a third Field Officer would, therefore, prove a general advantage; and by this alone, with the several promotions to which it would make an opening, a very considerable number of recruits might be expeditioufly obtained. The second mode was that adoped by William Duke of Cumberland, a great, though not always a victorious General, of adding :i second battalion to old regiments.
Having had, he observed, the honour of raising a company in the late war, which, as well as the regiment to which it belonged, was complete, he could, from his own experience,
*firn», that men were expeditioufly obtained by raising new ttgiinents.
Coior.cl Tarlnm remarked, that it was evident, from the Colonel He arguments which had been urged on that fide of" the Tarlcton. Hea:e, and the little answer which had been given from the ether, that the mode adopted was an improper mode of raising men for His Majesty's army. The measure stated by iu right honourable friend, at the end ot ibe war, as a fit peace establishment, was what would have best suited the fiances and general situation of the country. It had been contended at that time, by the honourable gentlemen now on the other side, that it was proper to reduce the army to a ferkton in point of strength, without reducing their num\m. This system had been in consequence adopted ; but it luJ of late been departed from, and a mode pursued in its tread, which was pregnant with mischief to the service, and dsrgeroas to the constitution of the country. There was Cd Commander in Chief, who might be responsible to the country; whence no encouragement was given to the old raiments to recruit their former vigour; but, according to the novel system adopted at the War Office, independent ts~ipanies were to be raised, and this was holden out as tlie ferii and most expeditious way of obtaining recruits for the 'irtnv. If, instead of young officers, the Colonels of the eM regiments had been called upon, would they not have fcken the most effectual means for ensuring success to the jibbe service? Would they have been forgetful of all the rotation and glory they had formerly acquired in the army? Another eflential point to be observed was, that the different aarching regiments had been named from thedifFe:ent counters England, and would not those counties have been forward in furnishing recruits to their own regiments, than to rhecrimps of brokers in commissions? By holding out patior>g»to voung men at the commencement of the service, the War Oslice had occasioned great profusion and unnecessary fipence. The other fids of the House had asserted one ritr.5, and that side had asserted another. 1 be other side of the House now declared that the independent companies were 4?signed to -have been incorporated into the old regiments. Bs:, from reason and calculation, the ColonrI flattered himfeii that h? could haye proved, that if this country had been
(aTo'ved in a war, those corps would have remained as ini*p*nden: companie*, and would have grratly extended the 1 yi'.ronage of His Majesty's Ministers. He reprobated the Erasure- .i< one of the frightful features of that conduct which !-»! ended in an obnoxious convention. He asked, if twenty J=;[.eas a man were tobegiven at the commencement of a war,
where were we to find men, and at what price, some yea after it had continued? He observed, that they collected 11 opinions and reasonings of their ancestors from history; b>i by personal observation, they were able to speculate and er quire into the character of their contemporaries: and vvlie the experience of a few years fliould have drawn aside t3' veil which had been artfully placed between the conventio and the Public; when posterity (he had almost said tnoder posterity) fliould have an opportunity of sifting, and examir 5ng to the bottom, a measure founded in ignorance and de fended by mystery, thev would condemn it on every prin ciple of justice and true policy. The few thousand pound incurred by the measure then under consideration, was on I • the advance guard of expence; the main body would sooi follow: and he must beg leave to ask, what compensation; little whale oil or whalebone could possibly prove, for tly enormous expenditure of three or four millions sterling. Col. Fitz- Colonel F/tzpatrick considered the resolution then moved patrick. aS t|le fu|]est confirmation of his own opinion on the subject and his own opinion was well known to the Committee.— With regard to what h id been urged concerning the neceffit j for a Commander in Chief, and of there being at all times some one man in a situation responsible for the conduct oi the army, and of all military affairs, he W.ts fully convinced of it, and could only lament, that the rights of the army were entrusted to civil hands, because whenever that was the cafe, without meaning to reflect upon the p esent, more than any other War Office, he was satisfied that injury and injustice must prove the unavoidable result to the profession. Colonel Colonel Simcoe declared, that it was impossible for him to Simccc nave listened to the just and liberal remarks of the honourable General (Burgoyne), without rising to add his feeble testi'mony to all which he had advanced concerning Lord Rawdon, and to do the noble Lord the justice to fay, that, to his knowledge, he possessed every virtue which could ornament a soldier and a gentleman. He wa? not aware that Lord Rawdon's off;r had been o.n such terms as were stated, but he believed that all the officers, his brother alone excepted, who was an officer of great merit in the service, were proposed to be taken ftom the half-pav list. Colonel Simcoe discussed the usual modes of recruiting, which he said were twofold; one by wav of regimental recruiting, the other by fclving rank to such men as spirit and fortune, as would take it upon condition of raising a certain number of men. With regard to the first, the officers upon that duty were obliged to refuse all but such men as would answer a particular description, because they could not stand the risque of having