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them on farther injustice; and it will add to the discordant principles and heterogeneous composition of militia, tending to confound its principles, and ultimately to eitablish a prerogative army by ballot, which is the great object of Government. One further objection weighs with me, that if I did not disapprove of the reciprocity of service of the militia of the two countries, as unconstitutional and disad. vantageous to both countries, I should think that at this time, when a heavier storm seems to obscure the hemisphere of Ireland, it was not fit to remove from thence troops the most interested in its defence. And the additional milia tia to be raised in that country of 10,000 men, to replace the 10,000 to be brought here, is a proof (given by those who urge the bill) that Ireland cannot spare the troops now offering their service. For thele reasons I shall give my vote against the admission of the offered militia, without meana ing to depreciate the generosity of the offer.
Lord Auckland expressed his surprise, that the opposition to the bill should chiefly originate from those noble Peers who had repeatedly objected to his Majesty's Ministers, that they had not in readiness for the defence and safety of the country a force of a disposable nature sufficiently large. The opposition was therefore the more extraordinary, as, while they blamed Ministers for not having increased the disposable force, thev denied to them, in the same breath, the power of that kind of force, by refusing their aflent to a bill, professedly directed to the accomplishment of an object admitted on all hands to be fo wise and falutary. No man could deny the wisdom and policy of immediately augmenting the disposable force of this country, more particuJarly when he looked at the wretched state of the Continent. Yet out of that wretched ftate fome hopes were naturally excited. It was not in the nature of men or of things, that the war could last for any long time, and in that opinion he was justified by the answers given by the representatives of - the different powers to the official communication made to them of the late lying correspondence and the fabricated plot. It was impossible that a Government which was foundeci in regicide, which was raised and exalted by blood and poison, and which was supported by midnight murders and aft ffinations, should long continue to be guided by a hand 1tained with the blood of innocent and royal victims. As to the benetits likely to result from the bill before their Lordihips, there could be but one opinion. From their se. VOL. II. 1803-+.
fidence here the Irish militia would acquire improvements and habits of industry, which could not fail to be productive of real advantages, when they returned to their own country ; and as to any diminution of the militia in Ire. land, by a transfer of ten thousand to England, he thought that could form no ground of opposition to the bill, since it was well known such was the attachment of the people of that country to the Noblemen and Gentlemen, that ihe number would be replaced in a very short time by a new levy.
Lord Harrowby thought the bill objectionable, because it went to deprive Ireland of what the most wanted for her own protection, a strong efficient force; while the principle of reciprocity, with regard to the services of both militias, went for nothing in the present case as to the disposable force; for by substituting ten thousand men for the same number taken away, there was no increase whatever.
The Marquis of Sligo praised the conduct of the English militia in Ireland, and was convinced that the principle of reciprocal service would contribute in a very eminent degree to the improvement and consolidation of the union.
The Duke of Montrose, as an enemy to the deliberations of all armed bodies, professed himself inimical to the bill.
Lord Westmoreland entered into a variety of considerations and comparisons to thew the important benefits which the measure was likely to produce, in the security and welfare of the empire at large. When he looked at the present bill, which went to enable his Majesty to accept the voluntary offers of service made by part of the Iridh militia, he confessed he could not separate it from the bill by which the fame miliria was to be augmented. In this connected point of view it could not be denied, that a disposable force was given 10 Government both in this country and in Ireland, and he Thould therefore vote for the bill.
Lord Darnley opposed the bill.
The Earl of Egremont, although he had not for a confide. rable time had occasion to address their Lordships, yet conceived the present measure so novel, and so obje&tionable on many accounts, that he thought it his duty to make a public avowal of his disapprobation of it.
Lord Grenville blamed Ministers for not submitting, in a fair and manly mode, to the consideration of Parliament, the principle of reciprocity between the militia establishments of both countries, if such was their intention, when they first
countenanced the present measure. But they were not, perhaps, aware that the question had been in some measure als ready decided. By the articles of the union with Scotland, it was determined, after great deliberation, that the militia of England and of that country should be confined, in respect to their services, to the countries by which they were severally paid. His Lord thip defended the meeting of the militia colonels at the Thatched house, and challenged any noble Lord to point out why, or where, it was unconstitutional for a number of officers, all of them, without scarcely an exception, either Peers of Parliament, or Members of another House, to assemble and express their opinion on a subject which most materially concerned them. His Lordship expressed his most decided dissent to the bill.
Lord Hawkesbury supported the ineasure, and found fault with the resolutions entered into by the officers who sub. scribed their names to them. He considered it as a very great error in them, to speak as leniently as he could of their conduct, to have assembled in an official and military capacity, and to have published the result of their deliberations at that meeting.
Lord Romney condemned the measure, and vindicated the conduct of the meeting at the Thatched-house, of which he had the honour to be one.
Lords Hawkesbury and Fitzwilliam explained, the latter of whom being called to order by the Lord Chancellor, sat down.
The question being put on the second reading, the House divided : Contents,
Majority 29 Lord Hawkifoury said, at that late hour he would not move for the second reading of the other bill before their Lordships, ibe Irish militia augmentation bill, but confine himself 10 moving, that the bill, now read a second time, should be commited for the next day.
Lord Grenville had infinitely greater objections to the se, cond bill, than to the one just read, and would state those objections at some length the next day. He agreed with the noble Baron, that it was then too late to enter upon the dis : cussion of it. Adjourned at eleven o'clock.
3 Y 2
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19. A ballot was to have taken place for a Committee to try and determine the merits of ihe Ilchester election ; but owing to there being only 75 members present at four o'clock, the ballot could not proceed, and therefore the House asjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20.
IRISH MILITIA. The order of the day, for the second reading of the Irish militia augmentation bill, having been read,
Lord Hobart stated, that it was not his intention to enter much upon the merits of the measure recommended and 10 be provided for by the bill for the augmentation of the Irish militia, which he intended to move should be now read a second rime. The question had, in a great measure, been dirposed of by the arguments that had been urged the preceding night, and he would only trouble the House with a few of those which he conceived to be most material. It had been much objected to the measure, when under discussion in another place, that it would not add to the disposable force of the country. From this he must beg leave to dissent; for, although certainly the 10,000 Irish militia that were to be raised, were not of that description of force that would be subject to be sent upon ordinary military service, yer shey inight be considered, 10 a ceriain extent, as a disposable force, inasmuch as they might enable his Majesty to detach an, equal number of the regular force wherever it may be Decellary. With respect to any opposition that the bill may mect with, although it was in all respects of the same precise renor with a fimilar measure brought forward by the lale Administration, he could not expect, on that account, that it would be found less objectionable, particularly by a noble Lord on an opposite bench. He could perceive a fixed disposition in that noble Lord to decry those measures of the present Government, which bore the greatest affinity to the measures of that Government in which he filed a distinguished place. Although that noble Lord had formerly sanctioned limilar mealures, and supported them
with all his acknowledged ability, yet the very circumstance of their being introduced by the present Ministers, was suffi. cient to induce him to condemn them as absurd, puerile, and inefficient. It would be for the noble Lord to establish his consistency, but he professed he could not discover upon what principle of that kind the noble Lord could now reprobate those measures he but a very few years ago approved. He wished noble Lords to understand that measures are now pursuing to augment the disposable force to the amount of 25,000 more than at present; consequeurly it would be seen that Givernment are not inattentive to their duty. The noble Lord adverted to the observations which had been made the preceding evening, respecting the correspondence carried on by a noble Lord (Redesdale) in Ireland, and observed that he never before that evening had conceived that private correlpondence ought to be made the subject of public avowal or disavowal on ihe pari of Government. He then moved the second reading of the bill.
Eari Spencer professed that his objection to this measure did not originate in any opinion which he might have formed on the letters alluded to by the noble Secretary of State. With respeit to the principle of the measure, he must condemn it altogether. It is impoliric at the present moment to take so large a portion of the force as 10,000 from the defence of Ireland.
' He must also contend, that it is impolitic and unwise to make such an addi:ion for limited service only. We ought to add to our disposable force, and therefore, instead of increasing the militia of Ireland, at the rate of four guineas per man bounty, he would advise Ministers to give even the bouniy, of ten guineas for an equal number for general service. The noble Earl was happy to congratulate the House upon what they had just heard from the noble Secretary of State, namely, that it is in contemplation to augment the disposable force; but he could not help obferv. ing, that the whole of the measures of the present Adminiltration were calculated to thwart and cross each other. He concluded with giving his decided negative to the motion for the second reading.
Loid Greyville would not enter into any length of discurrion on that day, as many noble Lords bélide himself were much fatigued from i he length which the debate of the preceding evening had taken; he wilhed is, however, to be unde stood, that it was not because his opinions were changed. He thould take another opportunity of discussing the mea