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in a word upon mere hearsay. The honourable Genileman is no doubt a conscientious man, he certainly lo considers and describes himself, and we cannot give him any credit at all if we do not believe him to be so; and I would appeal to his conscientiousness whether he does think shat any court of justice, and this House is now called upon to act in ihai capacity, would pronounce sentence in any cale upon evidence of the nalure of that upon which he seems to rely? I lay that There is no court that would attend to, much less believe such affertions. If the hon. Gentleman has any charge to urge against the noble Lord against whom the motion before the House appears to be pointed, I say, let the evidence be brought forward; but don't let accusations be inf. nuated or sent abroad, unsupporied by any witnefles whatever, unjustified by any fact, and excused only by a loose Italement that such and such officers, whom no one ventures to name, are much in the habit of speaking ill of the conduct of the Adiniralty, and of the character of its principal director. The hon. Genıle. man, however, has told us, that he entertains a very sincere respect for this noble Lord; and really here I must remark, that I never heard of any public character for whom men are more forward to profess respect, nor one that is so much re. fpected, and yet so much aspersed. The grounds of the re. fpe&t are, however, notorious, while those of the aspersion are not even pretended to rest upon any thing inore than hearsay evidence, which is surely not sufficient to induce this House to acquiesce in a motion that has no other object in view, than to convey an imputation upon one of the most gallant and meritorious characters this country has ever produced. For such a purpose I will never give my vote. I will not therefore consent to the grant of a lingle flip of pa. per, however plausible che preience for demanding it, that may lead to an inquiiy for which there exilts no necessity whalever ; to enter into which would imply a suspicion for which there is not the fhadow of excuse, and import an ac. cusation for which there is not the Nighiest ground. I would ask the right hon. Mover of this propofiiion, what are the reasons, for he certainly has not faled any, which have pro. voked him to alter his sentiments with respect to the noble Lord who was the subject of such warm panegyric, upon the first accession of the present Ministers to offices and who, I would be curious to know, does the right hon. Gentleman think inore adequate to the high ftation he hils; whom would he recommend to succeed hiin? If she righi hon. Gen


ileman did pronounce the splendid panegyric to which I have alluded upon this noble Lord, upon light grounds, he was certainly very censurable, for he was, as it were, giving a false character, and that of a great public servant; but it was well known that those grounds were not ligil--they, refted upon the highest public Tervices, and were fupported by the warm and unanimous applauses of the country. Why then has the right hon. Gentleman, and the hon. Genfleman who spoke last, changed their opinions? Why have they aliered their sentiments of the noble Lord? Has any thing occurred since io induce or justify the change? I challenge thern to take the most minute retrospect of the conduct of that noble Lord since his appointment to the presidency of the Admirally :'I call upon them to retrace all his steps, and to point out one reason why he has forfeited their confidence; I mean such a reason as this House would recognise as suffiçient to justify ihe proposed inquiry. What faas have they in their power to produce? I am fatisfied they have none, and therefore I 'will relilt the proposition; and this is the first instance in which it has happened that I have felt it my dury to oppose a motion for inquiry. Indeed, on every such morion heretofore that I recollect, particularly during the administration of the right hon. Genileman by whom the preSeni morion was fubmined to the House, ample grounds were laid to demand inquiry; but in this instance I am of opipion that she demand is unsupported, not merely by common sense, but coinmon decency. I do not intend to attribuie improper motives to the right hon. Mover; but I beg to ask him, what good can he accomplish by the production of papers refpe&ling ihe late of our navy in a former war? What are his views? Does he mean to institute a comparifon between Lord St. Vincent and Lord Spencer; to ascertain which of the two is better qualified to manage our naval concerns? I cannot see the purpose of such a contrast. It cannot send to any good object. Indeed I am confident that if a stranger were 10 observe the whole of this proceeding, he would not hesilate to pronounce that it could be only actualed by factious and parly motives. This I am the more Atrongly inclined to believe from the statements of the gallant officer (Sir Edward Pellew), which were quite a satisfactory reply to all ihe arguinenis that have been advanced this evening, and a full refuation of the calumnies that have been for some time back propagated relative to the condition of our Davy. In that speech, which applied as forcibly to the heast


as the understanding, the hou. Baronet manifested not only that sincerity and frankness which is the general characteristic of the profession of which he forms so bright an ornament, and which never fails to interest any man capable of feeling, but also a considerable share of acuteness and judg-, ment: he made some very pertinent remarks upon the na, ture of those gun-boais which seem to be such favouriles of the right honourable Gentleman who brought forward this motion, but of which the hon. Baronet don't appear ai all to approve ; and, from my own observation, I certainly am disposed to agree with that 'hon. Baronet, who is much more competent to judge upon the subject than the right 'hon. Gentleman or any other statesman. I am not surprised that these gun-boats, should be treated with so much contempt by naval men. I have happened to see something of them myfelf, by accident, in the course of the last war, on ihe South coast, and they really appeared 10 me to be quite unfit to render any material service in the way of aitack or defence; indeed some of them were incapable of firing a Thot. It is known that out of the i 20 gun-boats which the right hon. Gentleman had in commission at the close of the last war, there were scarcely any retained as at all useful, and that 62 of them, which were purchased from contractors, were inuch the worst. Enough has been said by the hon. · Baronet of the kind of vessels which contractors generally built: and without referring to the ships of the line, of which the honourable Baronet has taken notice, in proof of the badness of their materials and the inferiority of their workmaníhip, I shall only remark on these gun-boats. I do not, indeed, like to dwell on the misconduct of inferior officers in any department. I do not wish to hear of such persons in this House; we should always look to the heads of those départnients as the persons answerable to us. The Navy Board may be suspected of having played into the hands of the contractors during the last war; and perhaps, to that was owing the great inferiority of the right hon. Gentleman's gun-boats-an inferiority which was certainly very glaring, for out of the 120, 87 were fold, after advertisement, for almost nothing ; Tome which could not be disposed of were retained, and fix were sent to Jersey, which were found so utterly useless, that Captain D'Auvergne knew not what to do with them., He, however, sent five of them home some time after, and was obliged to send some of his best cruisers to tow them fafely. Yet this is the kind of force which the right hon. Gentleman would


recommend ia preference to any other to defend our coait. It reminds ine of an anecdote of the right hon. Gentleman's Adminitiation, when three men of war were sent to this country from Portugal, which was our ally; those ships were found to be incapable of giving us any assistance, but, on the contrary, were to little sea-worthy, that it was deterinined to send theni home, and it became absolutely necessary to dispatch one of our frigates with them as a convoy. Such shipping would of course be rather an incumbrance to us; and the gun boats, to which the right hon, Gentleman is fo partial, would, from all that I have heard abroad, which is corroborated by the hon, Baronet this night, be rather injurious on the score of expence, and the number of men they would necessarily require, than likely to be ferviceable.-An hon. Admiral on the lower bench (Admiral Berkeley) has, in the course of a very extraordinary speech, stated that he had delivered in a plan to the Admiralty, which, if acted upon, muft effectually, secure our own coatt, and completely destroy the flotilla of the enemy. The gallant Admiral has detailed to the House fome parts of this plan; but he has not told us whether it was the production of his own brain or that of some other person, and doubta less it would be, from the specimen he has given us, a strong proof of his own gallantry to own it (a laugh). Without pretending to much nautical knowledge, one might, I think, question the correctness of the hon. Admiral's ideas upon this project, for the practicability of making use of gun boats to annoy the flotillas on the French coast is denied by every intelligent naval officer ; but whatever is their use in the shoals along that coast, they surely are incapable of any degree of utility, comparable to that which may be derived from large thipping upoa our own coast. Wherever the lat, ter can be employed, the former must be comparatively useless. It is notorious that, all along from Pevenley to Dungcnefs, a man of war can anchor close in shore, such is the depth of water. This, therefore, is the description of force upon which I would place my confidence either for attack or defence. As to the former, who can entertain a doubt that, if the French gun boats should venture out, and the Nightest breeze should arise, that Captain Markham, whom I mention not as a Member of Parliament, for that I know would be irregular, but as a naval officer, that Sir Edward Pellow, Sir Thomas Trowbridge, or in fact any officer known in our naval records, would, with a single 74, Thoot through and fiuk a crowd of that

contemptible contemptible craft? With respect to the number of seamen and marines now employed, it has been stated by the right hon. Gentleman on the Treasury bench, that there are 98,000, which is only 2000 short of the whole amount voted. But the honourable Gentleman who spuke lait is still dissatisfied. He says that there ought to be more mėn. He does not seem to recollect that the vote of the House limited the Admiralty ; and that it was at the time that vote was made the hun. Gentleman's objections would have been most timely and proper. That was the period to consider the amount of the force necessary to maintain the war. 'The Admiralty had thought 100,000 men sufficient, and it appeared that they were right notwithstanding the hon. Gentleman's disapprobation. They had, and it was not the least of their merit, collected this vast force in the space of twelve months, notwithstanding the riùmber of our other descriptions of force, and with. out interrupting the active employment of our population in the various avocations of commerce, manufactures, and agriculture. To the observations of the right honourable Gentleman, on the propriety of building ships in the merchants' dock yards, I trust enough has been said by the hon. Baronet (Sir Edward Pellew), at whose presence this night the House has reason to rejoice, to convince the right hon. Gentleman of his error, and also to shew bim that his partiality to gun boats is not quite fo judicious as he imagined. After what the hon. Baronet has urged on this point, I should hope the right hon. Gentleman will no longer attempt to maintain his argument, unless he be influenced by such magnanimity that he would not wilh to oppose the French gun boats by any but their own matches. (A laugh.) I have heard a right-lon. Gentleman on the lower bench (Mr. Windhain) often deplore that “ the age of chivalry was gone;" but surely that complaint can no longer be repeated if the riglit hon. Mover of llie proposition before the Housc shall continue to manifest a wish rather to oppose gun boats to those of the French, than to see a crowd of them run down by an English 74. This would be something like the feeling which I am sure would influence the right hon. Gentleman on the lower bench, if, in passing through the ftreet, he thould happen to see two men engaged of unequal fize and strength. The riglit honourable Gentleman would immediately intereft himself for the weaker party, and call into action ihat science for which he is so diftinguished, to release, and perhaps to avenge, bim. (A laugh.) To be

serious :

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