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nion, which, though not a popular Burke, and Mr. William Young,
Votes of Supply. Fortifications. Nozofoundland. Affairs of India. Debts
of the Nabob of Arcot.
T HE business of the supplies giments with full companies. The
1 of the year was brought for- last propolition was Itrenuously sup. ward in its usual routine. On the ported by colonel Fitzpatrick, The second of February a resolution was ordinary of the navy was voted on moved for 18,coo seamen. The the twenty-eighth of February. army estimates, which were moved Upon this occalion Mr. Huslev ani. on the fifteenth, were taken at madverted upon several of the fums 18,053 men. Upon this occafion in the estimates, and particularly the business of the four reduced re- upon a charge of 16,000l. for build. giments was resumed froin the last ing a houle in one of the docksession, and the question was agi. yards for a commissioner. He said, tated respecting the superior eligi. he hoped that Mr. Charles Brett, bility of maintaining a greater num- who had on several occafions shewn ber of regiments with fewer private himself an eneiny to works of mere men, or an inferior number of re- ostentation and parade, would, now
that he was in office, join with him ber for the county of Devon, that in reprobating such an application the report of the committee of lupe of the public money, at a time ply on the ordnance estimate Thaula when ceconomy was extremely ne- be rccommitted. On this occasion, cessary.
captain James Luttrel of the navy, But the business that excited more surveyor general of the office of attention than any other depart- ordnance, entered into a circum. ment of supply was that of the ord. stantial defence of the project of the narce. Very confiderable and ex. duke of Richmond. He remarked, pensive fortificativns had been planne that the importance of the question rd by the duke of Richmond, the claimed for it the most serious and master general, so early as the year deliberate discussion. The national 1782. The design of this syitem treasury had been greatly exhausted was extremely different from any by the late unfortunate war, and mode of fortifications that had been ceconomy in every department of previoully adopted in this country, administration was highly expediand was the result of the experi- ent. But to neglect the most effenence and the alarins of the combined tial preparations for the future safe. war. An adequate degree of atten- ty of the kingdom, would be to ation does not seem to have been paid dopt a ruinous, impolitic, and deio the subject till it was somewhat sponding parfimony, not justified by advanced in its execution, and it any public disaster, or any fatal neHas fuffered to pass as a matter of ceffity. He was adverse to a genecourse. But as the sum of 50,00nl. ral system of defending the kingdom 3.5 annually moved for, in order by fortifications. It would be only to carry on thele works, the busi- furnishing an advantage to an inness gradually engaged the thoughts vading enemy. The destruction of and reflection of many members of a country town could never decide the house of commons, considerthe fate of a war ; but the demoliable both in their numbers and ia tion of the principal docks and natheir importance. The business was val stores of the kingdom would brought forward on the twenty- strike at the very root of our pecu. third of February, and was per- liar defence; and it must be of the mitted to receive the sanction of the utmost importance to guard against house in its usual forins, under the such a blow. To protect our dock idea that it should be fuggefied ac yards etfectually, it became necefgain for reconfideration. In the fary that a moderate force should be interval it was moved by Mr. Holdt- able to repel an enemy, till the Worth, member for Dartmouth, that strength of the country could be there should be laid before the house collected ; and this could only be an account of the expences already effected by fortifications. Veteran incurred in the business of fortifica. troops only could be opposed to vetion at Plyinouch, Portsmouth, Gofterans in the open field; and supeport, Chatham, Dover, and Sheer- rior number in an invading enemy ness, together with a report of the must probably succecd. But withprobable expence of completing the in forts, militia, seamen, and alfortifications of Plymouth and Portra mot any ftout spirited fellow might mouth.
be as useful as the most experienced On the fourteenth of March it foldier. There was only a certain was moved by Mr. Bastard, mem- limited time that any fortification
could hold out against the regular ap- be, the necessary consequence. proaches of an army, unleis nature France and Spain had an increating afforded it any fingular advantage, coinmerce, a more numerous fleet, such as those of the rock of Gibraltar. improved finances, and a populaThere could therefore be no risque tion that would supply every want that an enemy, even in pofleffion of both by land and by sea. The the propoled fortifications, could Dutch navy was likely to be far hold them for a contiderable time more numerous than in the last war, against the collected force of this and a combination of naval trength country. But the possession for against us was much more probable twenty-four hours of a situation than any acquitition of aliance in from which the dock, stores, and our favour. Thus circuinitanced shipping might be affailed with red- he wished the navy to be an active hot Thot and shells, would be a fatal force. He hoped never again to see blow to the navy. .
it employed merely for the purpose Beside these indirect advantages of defence. Offensive war was best Mr. Luttrel observed, that the im- suited to the genius of the nation, mediate benefit to the fleets of this and the only one that could termicountry were great and decisive. nate with honour, advantage, and The system under discussion would glory to Britain. remove the alarms and apprchen- Mr. Courtenay, in reply to Mr. fions which had cramped the em- Luttrel, telt himself called upon to ployment of our navy in the pre- declare, that, in what he should say ceding war. Inferior in number of upon the subject, he was actuated Thips to our enemies, Great Britain by no pique or personal resentment would be still more inferior, it against the duke of Richmond. He French troops in any situation were could not deny that he had perie fuffered to block up our ships in vcring indullry, and was potTefled their ports, and thus virtually act of some abilities; but it was rather as an increale of the naval force unfortunate for this country that with which we had to contend. The his pallion for engineering had bro. proposed works were necessary to ken out at lo late a period of his justify the occasional absence of the life, When an old man fell in love, channel ficet, when convoys and there was nothing, however ridicuother extemporary efforts required lous, that he would not propose, its attention. Mr. Luttrel alluded and nothing, however preposterous, to the situation of this country to which he would not accede, to when lord Howe failed to the relief accomplish the gratification of his of Gibraltar. The whole of the paffion. Mr. Courtenay remarked Dutch navy was left at liberty for upon the circumstance of the ma. near three months, either to annoyster general having reduced his our coast and our trade, or to co- plans to a smaller scale. The rever a landing of French troops, if duction itself had not been a little the enemy had ineditated such an expensive, since it had been 'made expedition. He denied that any by pulling down large works, in new acquisition of force was likely the erection of which large sums of to afford us any superiority in a fumoney had been consumed, to place ture war. The loss of Ainerica had others in their stead. For himself circumscribed the extent of our he was of opinion, that if the old cominerçe, and fewer seamen must works, projected by general Con.
way, pay, were put in repair, it would through the other military corps for answer every effential purpose for the extenfion of science, not to be the protection of the dock-yard. harrassed with new and ditrefling But be that as it would, he was arrangements. Colonel Barré concompletely facisfied, that the lines trasted the character of the present of fortification under consideration, master general of the ordnance with were by no means calculated to an those of his predecessors in office, fwer the purposes for which they and particularly lord Townshend. were intended.
No man had sought for service, and Captain Macbride, general Bur- courted it in every corner of the goyne, and colonel Barré, followed world more ardently, nor had any Mr. Courtenay on the same lide of man come out of office with cleaner the question. The colonel began hands, or a more unimpeachable inwith complimenting the country tegrity. What were the armies the gentlemen on the high honour they duke of Richmond had cominand. had done themselves by the part ed? Where had he led on the Brithey had acted in this businets. tinh troops to conflict and to vicHe reprobrated the doctrine that tory? He recommended to adminis Mr. Luttrel held, that we could stration the example of queen Elinot, in case of a new war, make zabeth, wben this country was greater efforts at sea. He infilled threatened with an invasion. upon the radical defect which ad- Though she had a Raleigh in her hered to the combined fleet of two service, and other great and distinpowers, naturally odious to each o- guished officers, the trusted not to ther. Was there a man that would the advice of any one of them. She hesitate to make his election be. convened a meeting of the most ex. tueen the fleet of a fingle power of perienced of her naval and military one hundred fail, and a ficet thus fervants, and profited by their col. · situated of one hundred and twenty lected wisdon. Colonel Barré truft
fail? He tiated circumitances which ed in the integrity of the miniiter. made it wife in France to have re. He said that the right honourable course jo fortification, at the fame gentleman was fortifying where he time that it wauld be madness in us. ought to fortify, and deserved the He animadverted upon the projects thanks of his country for the exerof ceconomy of the duke of kich- tions in which he was employed. mond. He styled the corps of en- He was fortifying the empire by gineers a body of men unprotected, rooting out the abusez of office, by neglected, opprefled. He itated that scouring the channel of our worit the emoluments of their officers foe, the contraband dealer. These were fewer, and their necessary pri- were true fortifications; upon these vare establifhments more expensive the country must depend, and they than those of any other officers. were built on a firm bafis. To point the economy of govern- Mr. Pitt animadverted with sevemert at the corps of engineers and rity upon the personal attack of coartillery, was an ill-advised mca- lonel Barré on the duke of Richsure. These were the only parts mond, and defended his character of the army founded in science, and with confiderable' warinth. The professionally learned. They ought duke he said was not deftitute of extherefore to be encouraged as much perience, and had lived in babits of as possible, and to be distributed confidence with the first military
chacharacters of the present age. It of commons, for confining for a liwas well known that he had made mited time the trade between the the subject of engincering his parti. United States of America and the cular study ; and nothing appeared isand of Newfoundland, to bread, to hiin more certain, than that, if four, and live ftock, to be inportthe principles of the duke of Rich- ed in British ships, furnished with a mond had not precluded him from licence from this country. A diffi. taking any appointinent in the late culty was started upon the subject, war, he would before now have and urged with particular warmila commanded armies, and probably and perseverance by Mr. Eden. led them to the most memorable The bill was considered by him ás victories. Mr. Pitt however coin destructive of the navigation laws cided in the idea that it would be of this country. He observed, that adviseable for a more solemn and the great principle of these laws general opinion to be taken on the was, that foreign produce could not subject of the fortifications than be imported into the British colonies 'that of the board of ordnance. He without being previously landed in said that there had been 50,000l. this kingdom. The present bill algranted last year for the purpose of sumed and was founded upon a printhe fortifications, which had not ciple which was untrue. It preyet been touched, and which he tended to confine, at the same time ihould be extremely willing should that it laid open, the trade of the be. retained till the subject had re- einpire. He remarked, that howceived a deliberate and final deci- ever inapplicable the navigation fion. This proposal was accepted laws of this country might be con. as a compromise by the member's ceived to be, to abitracted theories who had opposed all farther pro. of commerce, they were from pecugress in the system of fortification. liar circumstances become effential
Early in the year 1784, the set- to this country. Mr. Eden depre. tlers of Newfoundland had experi- cated the idea of acting in any deenced a great scarcity of provisions. gree from passion or party zeal. At the period, when their necessities The objection that he urged was in were the most urgent, several ver. timately connected with the best in. fels, laden with the species of mer- tereits of this country; and in a chandise of which they stood most matter of this sort he was not with: in need, arrived from the United out hopes of a general support. The States of America. Admiral Camp. bill was opposed upon a different bel, the governor, had been much ground by Mr. Brooke Watson. He at a loss for the mode of conduct it observed, that Canada and Nova became him to adopt in this situa. Scotia, and the traders of this coun: tion, as it was doubtful how far try, were competent to supply the any subject of commerce might be isand of Newfoundland with every legally imported, though in British thing that could be obtained from bottoins, from an independent state, the States of America; and he treat. into the colonies of England. To cd the bill as a matter of partialinremedy this defect, a bill, which dulgence to the merchants of Dartwas underltood to have been drawn mouth and Poole. He called upon up by Mr. Charles Jenkinson, and the house to hear evidence, which which was brought forward by Mr. he was ready to produce in support Pitt, was introduced into the house of what he alerted. The ideas of