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committee, were referred to their consideration.
House of Commons, July 3.The house having resolved itself into a committee of supply, Mr. R. Ward stated, that the navy estimates were, with very little variation, the same as the last estimates; he had, therefore, nothing more to do than to move the same resolutions; which were put and carried.-As to the army estimates, it was calculated by the secretary of war, that the sum which had already been proposed, would cover all the additional expence on this head for the part of the year now to come. No estimate, therefore, had become necessary.-A treaty had been entered into, in the current year, with the king of Sweden, for subsidizing a certain number of Swedish troops, to be employed on a particular service. This rested on the basis of a former treaty: the only difference being, that in stead of 14,000 men, for which the former treaty stipulated, the present treaty made an addition of 4,000 men, making, in the whole, 18,000. It has been above noticed, that the sum of £80,000 had been advanced by the late administration, for the relief of the king of Prussia. In addition to this sum, the present ministers had made a farther addition of £100,000, and assistance in arms, ammunition, &c. to the amount of £200,000. These sums, namely, that which would be necessary for fulfilling the subsidiary engagement to the king of Sweden, and the £300,000 advanced to the king of Prussia, were, in consequence of a message from his majesty, July 28, made good by a vote of the house of commons. -August 1, a vote of credit was
agreed to, of £4,500,000 for Great Britain, and £500,000 for Ire land; being, in al', £700,000 more than that proposed by lord Henry Petty. Of these sums, £800,000 was appropriated for making up last year's subsidies to foreign powers.
House of Commons, July 22.Lord Castlereagh, in pursuance of notice given, rose to propose, he said, a measure of great energy, which would put the country to much inconvenience, but which was rendered indispensable by the cir. cumstances of the times, and the measures of the late administration. The country, since the events of last winter and spring in Poland, was in a situation still more dan gerous and alarming than before. No voluntary, or other local force, was adequate to the wants of the country. A regular and efficient force must be substituted. The new military plan he had to propose, in general, was to increase the regular army from the militia, and to supply the deficiencies occasioned by so great a transfer from the militia regiments to the regular army, by supplementary militia. By this plan, 38,000, at least, would be added to the gross military force of the country, and 28,000 to the regular army. He, therefore, intended to move for leave to bring in two bills: one for transferring a portion of the militia to the line; and another for raising a great number of men for the militia. And it would be unquestionably advisable to give to the militia enlisting in the line, the option of a limited or unlimited term of service: of course, with an increased bounty to the latter; that those who were not so sensible of the R 3
charms of a limited term of service as the late secretary at war, might be enabled to make their election accordingly. He did not, how. ever, mean to make this a part of the general measure, but would submit it in a separate clause. Long and animated debates en sued, at different times; but every argument of weight, on either side, had been even repeatedly, and to satiety, urged in the discussions that had already taken place, on the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the different modes of recruiting and reinforcing the army. Suffice it, therefore, to say, that leave was given..to bring in the bills moved for: which, together with the separate clause, on the 5th of August, were read a third time and passed.
House of Commons, July 9.Sir Arthur Wellesley, in pursuance of his notice, rose to move for leave to bring in a bill for the suppression of insurrection in Ireland, and to prevent the disturbance of the peace in that country. The house would remember, that the circumstances, which preceded and attended the suppression of the late rebellion in Ireland, had rendered stronger measures than the established laws afforded, necessary in that country. An act was there fore passed by the Irish parliament, in the year 1796, to prevent unlawful assemblies, and to authorize the lord-lieutenant, on a report of the magistrates, to proclaim any county where disturbances existed. That law required all persons in such counties, to keep within their dwellings between the hours of sunsetting and sun-rising; and gave to the magistrates the power of sending persons, who should be found to
offend against it, on-board his majesty's navy. The act had provided effectually for the suppression of the insurrection, as appeared from the acknowledgement of the leaders of that insurrection, before a committee of the Irish parliament. But, though such a law might be neces sary, it was the duty of that house to guard against the abuse of the power's which it gave. The bill he proposed to bring in, contained the same provisions as the Insurrec. tion act, with respect to the power of the lord-lieutenant to proc aim disturbed counties, and the authority of the magistrates to arrest persons who should be found out of their dwellins between sunsetting and sun rising; but, in order to prevent hardships to the subjects, the bill required that per sons so arrested should be tried at the quarter-sessions by the magis. trates and assistant barristers, assisted by a king's counsel, a ser jeant specially sent down for that purpose. Besides this bill, he meant to move for leave to bring in an. other, to prevent improper persons from keeping arms, by obliging all persons to register their arms, and authorizing the magistrates to search for arms. These bills had been prepared by his predecessor, and the only difference was, that the bill of his predecessor gave a negative to the king's counsel or serjeant, which he proposed to take from him, as it appeared to him, that such a negative would render the measure nugatory. He meant, however, to substitute a clause, which should, in case of any difference between the serjeant and the bench, suspend the execution of the decision of the magistrates, till the serjeant should have reported the matter to the
lord-lieutenant. Leave was given to bring in these bills; which, through the usual stages, though not without a good deal of opposition, were passed into laws. The expediency, and indeed necessity of them, was admitted by Mr. Grat
House of Commons, July 7.Lord Cochrane, after a suitable introduction, moved, that "a com. mittee should be appointed, to in. quire and report what places, sala. ries, and emoluments derived from the public, were held by members of pe-liament, their wives, or other de.ndents, or others in trust for them, in possession or reversion, throughout the whole of his ma. jesty's dominions." This motion was seconded by Mr. Cochrane Johnstone, and supported by Mr. Curwen, Mr. John Smith, Mr. Lethridge, Mr. Lyttleton, sir J. Sebright, Mr. William Smith, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Calcraft, and lord Henry Petly. Mr. Banks thought it invidious and improper to convey to the public, an insinuation that members of parliament were influenced by considerations of private advantage, for themselves or their dependants. It was most essential that, at this critical period, the character of the house of commons should not be degraded or depreciated. On the whole, however desirous to afford information to the public, he could not consent to the noble lord's motion in its present form. Mr. Whitbread, concurring in principle with the noble lord who had brought forward the motion, was of opinion, that if the motion were referred to the committee of finance, with an instruction to inquire into, and report upon the matter contained in it,
the report would probably be of a most useful description. Agreeably to this idea, the chancellor of the exchequer proposed that the motion should run as follows: "That there should be an instruction to the committee of public expenditure, to procure a list of all places, pensions, &c. specifying by whom they were held, with the exception of the army and navy, and offices below £200 a year in the revenue; and cause this list to be laid on the table." The house divided on lord Cochrane's motion:
Mr. Perceval then moved his amendment. Mr. Whitbread observed, that it was unquestionably lord Cochrane's meaning, that there should be exhibited during the present session of parliament, a list of all the members of that house, holding sinecure offices, places, &c. under government, and in that way liable to have their conduct influ enced. If such a return should not be made, the house would disgrace itself. Those who respected the house at present, would suspect that all was not right; and those who already suspected it, would have their suspicions confirmed. Mr. Sheridan also observed that the amend ment proposed by the chancellor of the exchequer, which went to ex. hibit a list of all sinecure placemen and pensioners whatever, was nothing but an evasion of lord Cochrane's motion. It was to overwhelm the inquiry, and to suffocate and strangle the object which the noble lord had in view. After some further debate among other members, the house divided, when Mr. Perceval's motion was carried by a great majority. R 4
House of Lords, August 4.-On the order of the day being read for the second reading of the bill for preventing the granting of offices in reversion, it was supported by the earls of Grosvenor, Lauderdale, and Selkirk, and the lords Holland and Boringdon. Lord Boringdon expressed his regret at differing from many noble lords with whom he usu. ally acted; but when he considered that this bill had been supported by ministers, had passed the other house, and been received with nearly an unanimous consent, and also the circumstances of the present moment, he thought it his duty to vote for it. On the other hand, by lord Arden and the lord viscount Melville. The house having divided, on a motion for reading the bill a second time, that day three months, there appeared, Contents
The bill was therefore lost.-But in the house of commons, August 10, Mr. Bankes, after many prefatory
observations, moved, "That an humble address should be presented to his majesty, praying that he would be pleased not to grant any office in reversion, until six weeks after the meeting of the next session of parliament;" adding, by way of notice, that early in that session, he would move for leave to bring in a bill, similar to the one which had been lost, that the house of commons, at least, might have an opportunity of unequivocally shewing its own opinion. After a good deal of conversation, the question was put on Mr. Bankes's motion, which was carried, nem, con. And it was ordered, that the address should be presented to his majesty, by such members of that house as were also members of his majesty's most honourable privy council.
House of Lords, August 14.-A speech was delivered by the lord chancellor, in his majesty's name, to both houses of parliament, which was prorogued to Thursday, the 24th of September.
*See State Papers, p. 725.
The Year 1807 characterized by a calamitous Extension of the War. -War with Denmark.-The Circumstances in which it originated, and the military and naval Measures by which it was commenced. -Attempt to preserve Peace and Amity between Great Britain and Denmark by Negotiation.-Expedition under the Command of Lord Cathcart and Admiral Gambier.-Its Progress and Result.-Reflections.
the events the it was thrown. the con
year 1807, the mind is forcibly impressed by a very general, and, as it should at first sight appear, a very calamitous extension of the war in which our country has been for so many years, almost uninter. ruptedly, engaged. We call this extension apparently calamitous, because, although we see powers hitherto neutral, and some of them the allies of Great Britain, reversing their respective relations, and engaging in hostilities against her; yet, on a slight view of the means of annoyance possessed by those powers, and on reference to what has actually happened, it will be seen also, that in reluctantly sub mitting themselves to the dictates of the French ruler, they have forced upon us contests for the most part bloodless, in which the pen rather than the sword has been the arbiter of our differences. Austria, Russia, the Ottoman Porte, Prussia, and Denmark, have, in the present year, been added to the already formidable host of our enemies, and it cannot escape observation, with what indifference so large an ac. cession of hostile agency was received by the British public, and we may also add, by the government into whose balance the weight
sideration above alluded to, may be taken as a sufficient reason for their indifference on both sides. The rupture with the four first of these powers, was not indeed passed over without discussion or animadversion in the British public, or in the Bri tish senate. The circumstance at. tending particularly the commence. ment of the war with Turkey, necessarily occasioned long and animated debates. Still, however, it is true, that the excitement of the national sensibility, was chiefly reserved for the Danish war: a cir. cumstance highly creditable to the national feelings and character, as it must be recollected, that Denmark was, with one exception, the weakest of our new adversaries, and that it was from hostilities against her only, that Great Britain derived those advantages by which she succeeded in counteracting the designs of the more powerful of them. A nation thus scrupulous as to its own means of action, and which employs so large a portion of its political capacity in scrutinizing those acts by which it is itself most benefited, may lay claim with some degree of confidence to its share of political and moral justice. Few instances, indeed, have occurred, in which the