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pact of all societies, that the Government had a right to call upon the whole, or any part of its fubjects, for common de. fence against a common enemy, in return for the protection they enjoyed under that Government. It was already the case with scamen, and was equally justifiable towards any other class of subjects, when public danger required it."
Lord Hobart observed, that when the noble Lord filled the office of Minister for the foreign department, during the late war, he had his support, and should have had it as long as ihe war continued, and he had a seat in that House. He also thanked ihe noble Lord'for his readiness to take a share in the unpopularity of a measure, to which he trusted there would be no occasion to resort. But he could have wished, chat she noble Lord, and many others, who had taken the trouble to give that condemnation which he had anticipated to the measure of defence he proposed, would have been so good to purpose to go back with the noble Lord to the topic of the
en luggest fome better in its place. It was not:his Treaty of Amiens.. . With refpe&t to the disbanding of the militial it was done, as of course, by the conclusion of the war. He was ready to acknowledge that the occasion for re='embodying them fo speedily followed their disbandment, thar:it: hd been impracticable to complete them fo foon as could be withed. However, upon this ground, no just blamo could aliach 10 his Majesty's Ministers; for they had issued orders: as (peedily as was possible, to the Lords Lieutenants in their respective counties, to proceed with as much expedi. tion'as pullible, in ballót and enroll the new militia ; and iha: this was not effected for expeditiously as it ought, was owing to some negli ence in that quanter; The resulrof which, he was free to acknowledge, had been, that the ballot for the militia and she recruiting for the line came so close together, that the one very materially impeded the other. The noble Lord had with great severity arraigned the conduct, and under-sàted ihe talents of his Majesty's pre!ent Ministers; but : ir mofi not be forgotten, that even the noble Lord, with all his abilities. was not exempt from misfortunes when he was in power, and ibat the continent, was lost in that very period whewhe was at the head of foreign affairs.
The Duke of Richmond advivied, that as Lord Lieutenant of ihe county of Suflex, he had received the noble Secretary of Sia'e's letter in autumn last to summon his militia lo be forinwirn 'ballotted for; and the delay in bringing them forward was not imputable to Ministers nor to Lord Lieutenants, but
to the act of Parliament itself, which rendered it necessary to summon so many meetings to call for lifts to be produced, and to take all the necessary steps previous 10 forming the regiments.
Lord Grenville again rose, and said there was no point of view in which he desired more to have his conduct considered, than in contrast with the conduct of his Majesty's present Ministers, and more pariicularly with respect to the continient, where, during the whole of the war, that part of British territory was preserved which his Majesty's present Ministers had lost and abandoned within one Thort month.
Lord Hobart again rose, and said, the noble Lord had no right to charge him with a loss, which he well knew could not be avoided. - Lord Sheffield concluded the debate by saying, that in voling for the address, he wilhed not to be supposed to agree that the plan of detence proposed was the best that could be selected; on the contrary, it appeared to him inadequate as to the objed, and inexpedient as to the means; and if the ballot was to take place without any exemptions, the moft oppressive, provoking, and expensive that could have been chosen. He considered that if the proposition passed into a law, upwards of 112,000 men, for whoin there had been a ballot, would be called out within three months; and if 'the number should ever be complete, which he much doubted, ihat the wives and families of those 112,000 men muft all fall on their parishes.
Ai length the quesion was put, and the address agreed to.
CLERGY FARMING AND RESIDENCE BILL. The House resolved itself into a Commitiee again on this bill.
The Lord Chancellor then moved a variety of insertions: and omissions of a verbal nature, and introduced several new clauses in different parts of the billi
All his amendments were agreed to, and the report was immediately received, and the bill ordered to be printed.
Mr. Alexander and others then brought up three more bills from the Commons, which were presented, and read a first time.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
MONDAY, JUNE 20. , ,
DEFENCE OF THE NATION, The Secretary at War faid, In calling the attention of the Houfe to his Majefty's message, I thall begin by ftating that it bas two main objects; fitt, to make an effectual provifion for the defence and security of the united kingdom;' and fecondly, to set at liberty a large dispotable force for offensive operations; and in the pretent conjuncture of af. fairs, I do not hesitate to say, that it is the bounden duly of Parliament to contribute every thing in their power to those important objects. The first object is to provide more ef. fectually for the defence and security of the united kingdom, and considering this object with reference to our actual state of defence, naval and military, and with reference to the means of attack and annoyance which the enemy puffesses, and the various points to be guarded, in viewing ibeir forces in this compound sense, I cannot help expressing ny conviction, that a large additional force is neceffary. In faying this, I beg to be understood to speak with reference to the extraordinary times in which we live, and with reference to that extraordinary character who is become the mafter-mover of the revolutionary machine so long directed to the destruction of the British empire." In other times and other circumstances, when we might be menaced with ordinary dangers, I do not hesitate to express my opinion, that with only the force which we have actually on foot, joined with our naval power, we should be entided to look with contenipt on all the means of annoying us that our enemies could make use of." In other times, with a force nearly amounting to. 140,000 nien in Great Britain and Ireland (for so much it will amount to when the supplementary militia shall have been raised), and that force combined with our powerful navy, I think we thould have been entitled to look with conteinpt on the impotent prepara-. tions of the enemy, which would scarcely have dared to quit their ports, from the certainty of being either sent to the bottom of the sea, or dashed in pieces should they reach our. Thores, by the cannon and arms of the brave : men whom they would there find ready and eager to receive them. Without over-rating the danger of the present times, I believe it possible that some of the enemy may reach England or Ireland ; but if they do, I have no doubt that thie lame fate eventually awaits them; and therefore when
our security is fo avowedly threatened, and when offers of assistance towards effe&ing a descent are made by many of the provinces of France, I cannot but smile at the audacity which dictates the design, and lament the abject folly and weaknels which proposes to contribute to its fuccefs. I have no doubt that the passage of the enemy to this country, with all the means of effecting it which they can bring together, will be regarded by all the generals of the French army (and even by those who have so lately and so earnestly folicited the honour of accompanying the Firft Consul in the vefsel which is to bear to the shores of this country the det. rinies and the vengeance of France) as equally hazardous and tremendous as the passage of the Styx itself,
Stabant orantes primi transmittere cursum,
Alligat et novies Styx interfusa coercet. These vefsels, it is said, are to convey to this cuuntry the vengeance and the destiny of France. What may be the destiny of France I know not, that refls with the Almighty Disposer of Events, but I hope it may be such as to be productive of liberty and happiness to the unhappy people of krance itself, and of tranquillity to the rest of Europe, the repose of which has suffered so much disturbance from the convulsions of that country and their consequences. As to tlie other part of the cargo, the vengeance of France, or rather the desire of the First Conful to be revenged of this country for counteracting his inordinate designs, that is fufficiently certain and indubitable.
The designs of this singular character against the vital interests, the independence, and even the existence of our nation, appear to be too clearly developed, and too diftinctly ascertained. It is evident that nothing less than the ablolute degradation and destruction of the British power and dignity is now meditated; and that, as it feems to me, upon no rational or statesmanlike principle or plan of action that is conceivable. The views as well as the means appear to be suggested by the feelings of a wounded pride, and by the workings of a Mind more abforbed in the selfish contemplation of personal and false glory, than in any rational fchemes for the re-establishment and folid advantage of the nation at the head of which fortune has placed it.
“ Vajtus animus, immoderata, incredibilia, nimis alta semper
cupiebar." But althcugh the ruling mind and directing faculty of the enemy may be said to be of this irregular and extraordinary description, it is not on that account the less necessary to be most carefully prepared against the irregular, but violenc and decisive paroxysms of its rage and fury. If whole armies and feets are to be fuccefsively facrificed, in order at last to obtain the precarious chance of throwing a few thousand men upon our shores, there to, introduce confusion, and bloodshed, and fire, and rapine, and desolation into this land, so long and so happily exempted from such miserieswhen, I say, such enterprizes are denounced to us from high authority, it surely becomes the bounden duty of the ftate to leave nothing to chance, but to provide most seriously and efficaciously against every possible contingency. Upon this ground, therefore, it appears expedient to take the necessary measures without delay, for immediately levy. ing, assembling, and equipping a large force, in addition to the army now in the field; in order that it may be ready to support such points as occasion may require. And, upon consultation with the best military opinions it is confidered, that an army of reserve of 50,000 men, (40,000 for Great Britain and 10,000 for Ireland) in addition to what is at present on foot (which may be calculated, exclusive of India, at 110,000 regulars, and 90,000 militia) will not only give the most complete security and protection to the united kingdom, under the blessing of Providence, but enable his Majesty to employ a much larger proportion of his regular and veteran force, for offensive operations againft
This brings me to the confideration of the second object of his Majesty's message, which is at least as important as the first; and this will lead to an explanation of the species and fyftem of referve force, which it is the intention of his Majesty's Ministers to propose in the present conjuncture.
The policy and even the necessity of providing for the largest possible augmentation of our difpotable and move. able force, at the Tame time when we are providing effectually for the defence of Great Britain and Ireland, is fufficiently obvious. It would be absurd to fuppose, that Par- liament would act upon this occasion on any other principle. Perhaps our system, as a system, and notwithstanding