« ZurückWeiter »
were not intitled to exemption, more especially as the limitation had been extended to the 22d of June, instead of the 16th, which was originally proposed. He did not see there. fore any ground that could be urged for the exemption of those who had not been enrolled previous to the 22d of June. The zeal of the hon. Baroner for the corps under bis commind did him great honour, but he was sure he would not wish to extend exemptions in a way that would be productive of great inconvenience. He could not believe that any persons entered into volunteer corps to save themselves from ihe effect of this ballot ; on the contrary, he was sure that the same spirit which led them to make an offer of their perfunal service, would induce them to contribute in every other way to the railing of a force ncceffary for the security of the kingdom. If the House were to go on and give way to all the applications which might be made, and to keep adding, one by one, to the catalogue of exemptions, they would narrow the means of obtaining a large regular and tained force. He did not mean that the eltablishment of such a force would render the volunteers unnecessary, but they would be necessary to form a point round which the others niighi rally. He hoped that offers of volunteer fere vice would come in 10 a very great extent.
He hoped they would now be invited to offer their services, and in obeying that call, he was sure they would be actuated by that feeling which must govern the breast of every Englilhinan, and not by any view to exemption. There was not a inan in the kingdom less inclined io undervalue the services of the volun. teeis ihan he was; they were, under Providence, some time ago, the great instrument of the salvation of this country.. A large proportion of volunteers, with less of regular military torce, would be sufficient 10 guard against internal danger, but to meet a foreign enemy they must necessarily act with a large trained army. He was inclined to hope that if any exemptions were to be given in future, it would not be till after the general ballot was over. It might then be advisable to exempi them from the ballots upon a smaller scale, which would be necessary to fill up deficiencies; and even thar exempiion he hoped would not be given without an en. gagement more strict than those which were now entered. into, and that ihe period of their service should be defined; not that he supposed any man would withdraw himself from tbe volunteers while his services were necessary, but he thought it would be proper to provide that persons who had
offered their services should not be allowed to withdraw them, except upon change of residence, sickness, or some other good cause. It was upon these grounds, and seeing that exeinptions were spreading, that he thought it necessary to inake these observations. With regard to the case stared by his hon. relation (Mr. Wynne) he thought those corps to whose offers of service no anlivet had been returned, should not now be held to those offers, but that they should be at liberty to make their offer again.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he perfe&tly concur. red in the propriety of what had fallen from his right hoa. Friend. He was of opinion that those corps alluded to should not be held to their former offers of service, that an opportunity should be given to them to renew those offers if they thought proper, but without the smallest imputation upon them if they hould not think it right to renew their offers.
A thort conversation then took place respecting the exact terms upon which exemption was granted to volunteer corps. : The Secretary at War said, the exemptions were as fol. lows: First, with regard to the corps; that they extended to those corps whose services had been regularly accepted by his Majesty before the 22d of June ; with regard to indiví. duals, he proposed that they should extend to those who had offered their services, and had been accepted and actually in, solled before the 22d of June, which was agreed to.
The Secretary at War took an opportunity of giving norice, that he would very soon move for leave to bring in a bill to make some regulations respeding volunteer and yeomanry corps, and for the purpose of billeting them, &c.
Mr. Sturges faid, he did not think that those who offered their services in case of invasion were intitled to exemption, because in case of invasoon the King could by law command the services of every man.
The Secritary at War proposed to insert the words, Inc vasion, or appearance of Invasion.'. He also observed, that although he was sure, in case of invasion, the volunteers would be anxious to be led forward to meet the enemy, yet it would be sufficient if those, particularly in large towns, would form the garrisons of those towns, because if the volunteers were marched out, it would be necessary to re-place them with other troops. General Tarlison Said, the volunteers would be of the most effential service in the way alluded to by the Secretary at - War, because it would enable, his Majesty to employ
the whole of the regular and militia force against the enemy.
The Secretary at War observed, that it was necessary to mark distinály that the men raised by virtue of this act, and drafted into any of the old regiments, should not be sent out of the limits of the service prescribed by the act, unless they chose to volunteer. He therefore proposed ani amendment, to the effect that his Majesty should be empowered to draft them into any existing regiinents appointed to serve within the prescribed limits.
Col. Criufurd urged the necessity of filling up the regi- . ments of the line.
The Secretary at War observed, that these men could only be placed in regiments whose services were limited to Great Britain and Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey.
Mr. Sheridan objected to any question being put to men thus disposed of, as to whether they were willing to volunteer for general service.
Mr. Pitt said, it was necessary that it should be distinctly understood that whillt any regiments remained, of which any of the persons enrolled under this act for limited service form. ed a part, those regiments could not be sent upon general serpice. He wilhed, however, that in case his Majesty wanted any of those regiments for general service, chat his Majesty might have the option of either taking out from such regiments
, the regular soldiers, and placing them in another, or taking out the new levies. Perhaps it was better to complete our home defence, in, preference to have ing any foreign force, and if so it would be perhaps better to fill up all the regiments of the line, even at the risk of chaining them down to limited service for a certain time. He was justified in supposing that measures would Thortly be brought forward for the better recruiting of the regular service, Recruiting was not necessarily impeded by the continuance of a ballot, as experience had shewn, and particularly with respect to the guards and the cavalry, the latter of which he did not think was at the present moment proportionably adeo quate to the number of our infantry. He had the most fanguine hopes that by thus augmenting our force, the foun. dation would be laid for the most vigorous efforts abroad, by which he hoped, after repelling the immediale atrempts of the enemy, that we should make that return which the presumprion of that enemy deserved. In reference 10
what he had at first mentioned, he wished an amendment to 'be made to enable bis Majesty to remove the men raised under this act from one regiinent or battalion to another.
The Chancellor of the Exche quer stated, that measures had been taken within the last twenty-four hours, for the more effe&tually recruiting the two branches of the army alluded to by his right bon. Friend, namely the guards and the cavalry, and that the recruiting for general service was now going on with more success than for many months past.
After some observations from Colonel Craufurd, Mr. Frankland, General Tarleton, Dr. Laurence, and General Gascoyne,
Mr. Sheridan repeated his objection to any question being pui to persons enrolled under this act, as to whether they were willing to enlist for general service.
Mr. Pilt, on the contrary, thought it would be the best way to have fixed days of muster, on which the commanding officer ihould propose, at the head of the regiment, that those who Were willing to volunteer for general service should come for. ward,
The amendment proposed by the Secretary at War, as well as an amendment proposed by Mr. Pitt, was then agreed to.
On the subject of enabling the men to be raised under this bill to enlist into the line, a long conversation took place, which was supported by Mr. Pitt, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Sturges, Gen. Gascoyne, Mr. Bragge, the Secretary at War, and many other Members.--Colonel Wellesley wished the clause to express the royal regiment of artillery, which produced a very Jong conversation between the above hon. Gentlemen and many others, which terminated on the Chancellor of the Exchequer intimating a with that his Majesty's power to accept the voluntary services of these men might remain unfeta tered by any specific words, that the liberty of enlisting into his Majesty's service in the line should be general, and that there should be a perfect understanding, that the leave of enlifting under the bill should extend to that of going into the royal regiment of artillery.
The hon. Captain Cochrane advised the House to be very careful not to overlook the marines, a body of men without whose aid it was impoflible for this country to exist in fecu-, rity, and he wished ihe number of men constituting that part of our force to be much encreased. Vol. IV. 1802-3.
tary at War.
Several clauses were brought up by the Secretary at War, providing for the mode of raising men in the Cinque Ports, and Tower Hamlets, and for various other purposes, which were all agreed to ; after which the Committee went through the bill. The report was received immediately.
The Secretary at War observed, that after the long and minute consideration this bill had received, and after the cona vidion of the House had been expressed, as indeed the country felt that dispatch was an esencial part of the plan, the House would, he hoped, think it proper to agree at once 10 all the amendments made to the bill in the Committee, and order that the bill be engrossed.
The amendments were agreed to, and it was ordered that the bill be read a third time the next day, if then engrossed.
The further consideration of the Scots additional army bill was deferred till the next day, on the motion of the Secre
The order of the day being read for the House to go into a Committee of Supply, Mr. I. H. Browne moved, that the third report of the Committee upon the survey of the Scotch Highlands should be referred to the said Committee. Ordered, and the House resolved itself into a Committee.
Mr. I H. Browne then said, that after the long, arduous, and important discussion which had already occupied the attention of the House, he should not trespass tediously or unnecessarily upon their patience, but thould as thortly as pollible call their attention to the objects of the motion he intended to have the honour of submitting to the Committee ; for however important the object of preparation for public defence, and the most important he would allow it was, yet it lhould not fuper sede the necessity of attention to the internal improvements of the country; especially those improvements which had the strongest tendency to cultivate and preserve the strength, the resources, and wealih of the country. Already had the House voted to his Majesty's disposal a sum of 20,000l. for the purpose of opening roads and erecting bridges in the Highlands of Scotland, and thereby facilitating the intercourse, improve ing the agriculture, aiding the filheries, and opening the inlets for improvements in the manufactures, commerce, and wealth of that important part of the United Kingdom from which this empire derived so much of its strength, and from whence so many invincible regiments were from time to time drawn for