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forces, might eventually tend to the overthrow of that proud usurper and his misplaced power. At all events, it would be the means of securing our independence for ages to come, by letting the world see what an army of Britons could do in defence of their country and their inestimable constirution, and in cl altising the insolence of an invader.
The Secretary at War bestowed some compliments on Mr. Pitt for the brilliancy of his speech ; but expreffed some difference of'opinion with respect to fortifications.' · Mr. Courtenay said, it appeared that the principles now advance l had been long ago in contemplarion, but that nothing had been done in pursuance of them. A General of great talents had approved of fortifications, but the right hon. Gentleman (the Secretary at War) had ridiculed the idea, at least so far as respected London. He did not mean that we should have fortifications like the walls of Troy, but that they should be confined to particular positions. When the Duke of Brunswick was marching to Paris, the people of that city were employed for ien days in throwing up redoubts. li had been adiniited that field redoubis had been resorted to, when the danger was not so preiling. If so, that was the reason why we thould now use them. He wished to know whether the skeleton regiments were io be filled
filled up immediately from the army of reserve (Mr. Adding on answered across the iable" Clearly"). “If fothen,"continued Mr. Courtenay, “ Parliament has done ils duty. It has raised the machinery; I wish now to see it pofleffed of animation ; I wish to set it in that state in which I could say,
Spiritus intus alii, totamque infufà per artus,
“ Mens agitat molen et magne se corpore miscet.” Mr. Courtenay concluded with recommending a council of war, to be composed of Marquis Cornwallis, and other officers of great experience.
Captain Harvey said, that every officer with whom he was acquainted, was of opinion, that considering the different poris from which it would be necessary for the enemy to send their armament, it was imposible that such concert could exift, as that 50,000 men could be embarked, come over, and be disembarked in twelve hours, as the hon. Genilemon (Col. Craufurd) seemed to think might be done.
Colonel llond said, he was la ely at a meeting of the county of Surry, at which a very able plan for the defence of the city of London was submitted. After expresling his apVOL. IV. 1802- ê
probation of the army of reserve, he recommended the example of Queen Elizabeth, one of whose first alls was, when threatened with invasion, to appoint a council of war. . Such an establishment must be particularly useful now, when we have such officers as Marquis Cornwallis, Lord Howe, Earl Suffolk, Earl Moira, and several other eminent characters, tó compose it, With respect to fortifications, it would be foolish, he thought, to commence them now, unless we were certain of being able to finish them within a given time.
Mr. Windham said he had but little to add upon general topics in addition to the military details of the hon. Gentleman (Colonel Craufurd), enforced as they had been with so much brilliancy and eloquence. That vigorous and impal- . fioned eloquence of his right hon. Friend he hoped would contribute to produce in the country that cool, steady, and sober courage which was necessary in the present state of affairs He was rather surprised to find that Gentlemen on the ministerial bench were disposed to receive the opinions of the hon. Gentleman who spoke first with rather something of dillide; but of those npinions, disagreeable as they were, he was willing to share the odium. They had produced the mult falutary effects, both in the country and upon the country, in rousing the people to a sense of danger, and the Go. vernment to the necessity of exertion. He fill was of opi. nion hat a military council ought to be formed, nor did he think that such an opinion implied reflection upon any one. But even if it did imply any reflection, and if he thought the thing necessary for the public safety, he should have no hesi. tation to press the adoption of it on Ministers. But in fact it did imply no reflection on any one, far less on the illustrious person who had been alluded 10. It surely was no reflection to say that one man could not embrace the whole details of commander in the field and all the objects of deliberation which might fall under the confideration of a council. There was ample room, therefore, as there was in the circumstances of our situation, a strong call for the establilhment of a milio sary council. It was not to say that there was an officer in the Quarter-master-general's deparıment to whom the confideration of plans of defence, and of warlike operations, &c. was particularly entrusted. But this was not the work of one
He knew something of the officer in that department from report, and much more from reputation, and he was convinced that no man would discharge more ably or zealoully ihe duties of his station. He was glad that officer was
so employed, among other things, because it was a triumph over that vulgàr jealousy of foreigners which this nation was but too apt to indulge. He hoped that we would employ the services of able and enlightened foreign officers-and when could they be more properly employed than in the present war, which was common in its object' to every nation in Europe that regarded its independence? Yes, to return from this digreffion, he must repeat, that the confideration of military operations was more than one man could properly undertake. We had inany officers of distinguished merit, perhaps too old for active service, but fully able to suggest and to consider the suggestions that might be made for the conduct of operations. We had Lord Grey, Lord Howe, Lord Corn. wallis, and others whose services now were not employed. Were such a council established, men of active minds would be more willing to lay their views before them, than before any one man, whose abilities or whose diligence they mighc diltrust. With respect to fortifications, he thould not detain the House with any remarks, as his general views had been so ably enforced. He could not help expressing a hope, however, that the hints of the gallant officer who had spoken would have the effect to turn the attention of Ministers to the matier, and that not unwillingly, as they would not disdain to avail themselves of his views, as they had done of similar suggestions which they at first seemed to undervalue. But if many things, at first neglected, were afterwards acknowledged fit to be done, Ministers in adopting the fuggestion confessed their own omnissions. There was a story of two French colonels, between whom there was thought, by their regiment, to be a very great difference from the use of the allons and the allez. Ministers seemed to have a favourite tense, and it was the future. When any thing was mentioned as desirable, they always said it would be considered, it was doing. They never said it had been done. But sure, if, by their condu&, ihey had admitted that the measures of defence now adopted were necessary, why did they not adopt them sooner? Was the danger in which they were founded newly discovered? How many months is it since Ministers saw that the country was menaced with ihreats of invasion? Yet, after all, the measures reforted ro, however, are such as cannot be brought to perfection for a long period, though the danger is admitted to have long existed? Can there be a Itronger censure of their conduct? When a worthy magictrate of London was that evening descanting on the riling 402
fpirit of the people, now impressed with the danger with which they were threatened, the sentiments were loudly cheered by Ministers. But do they forget that it is not long fince they heard, rather with disapprobation, sentiments caleulated to rouse that very spirit ? Why did not Ministers endeavour to awaken the country sooner to those feelings in which they now exult? If there were any fortificasionsnecessary to be erected; why did it happen that every thing was yet to be done in this way? It was admitted, by the preparations carried on- for defence, that it was possible a landing might be effected, and where the magniwde of the evil, if the enemy should succeed, was so great, no chance which wisdom and prudence might cut off ought to be left open, He concluded with exprefsing a hope, that in fuperintending the execution of this bill, Ministers would take cate that, in the mode of training, attention should be given chiefly to what is useful. If it was attempted to begin the training under this bill with all the minutiæ of drilling, it would be productive of little good effect.
General Tarleton said, the army which the country had, aided by the irregular force which might be called forth, would be in a condition to repel any invasion that could be made. We Tould soon possefs a military force most adapted to the war which it would be neceffaiy to carry on in case the enemy should land. Speaking of cavalry, he said that it was proper to consider how it could act in case of invation. In Suffolk, cavalry could act with the utmost effect; and though not to the same extent, yet in Essex, in Kent, and in Sussex it could act in particular situations, but not with the saine effc&t. With respect to increafing the army by drafting the militia, he thought, independent of other difficulies, that it would be incxpedient to change the system of the army as such a critical moment by fich an operation. L'nless the French were to attempt to invade us now, he conceived it impoflible, when the equinox arrived, that, with the veifels and boars they must employ, they could embark and sail with any degree of concert. He then proceeded to consider the question of fortifications. He showed that fortifications in the proper sense required long time to play and execute, so that it could not be obje&cdio Ministers that they were not carrying on fortifications; he thought they could be of little use, though such prodigious lites could be found as would extend from Yarmouth to the Downs, and from the Downs to Porismouth, He diú vui think that in such a war as we
fhould have to carry on here, lines would be the way to oppose the enemy. We must go out and attack thein, not wait to defend lines. From his military reading he found that lines rarely were defended with success. We onght to have what military men called a manoeuvring army; such an army as the French would find ready to attack ihem on every point -an army wat soon would make them repent of their rash atlempi.
Colonel Crawfurd laid, he never dreamt of any such thing as fortifying only one point from Yarmouth to Porismouth, or throwing up such lines as the hon. General had spoken of.
Mr. Pilt equally coinplained of being misunderstood. He had spoke of itations capable of retarding the enemy, net of lines in which our army was to allow itself to be belieged.
General Maitland said, that had he caught the Speaker's eye sooner, he might bave troubled the Houle at some length, but most of what he intended to obferve was anticipated. There were a few remarks, however, which he wished to make. With respect to fortifications, he was of opinion that their field works might; in some circumstances, be of great utility; and he withed that it thould be known how the fact stood as to this point. He thought this the more necefiary, as there were misunderstandings on similar points both in and out of doors. For instance, it was said that some important provisions in the ariny of reserve bill had never been thought of vill a speech of the right hon. Genileman oppolice (Mr. Windham, we believe) was delivered; whercas The provisions in question ha:l actually been prepared before that speech was utiered. He wished lie country to know 190, that wherever the officers commanding districis reported to Government that field works were neceflary, as Government had directed an inspection to be made, then such works, were either made or making. He thought it very iniproper that it Mould go out to the world that Ministers were lo ineri, so incapable, so negligent, that they never took any fteps for the defence of the country, till Rimulated by speeches in Parliament, when they had in every instance anticipated the recommendation of such ficeches. Respecting the army of reserve, he said, that the original battalions of regiments would he filled with the best men, the second battalions with the second best, and the reserve battalions with the worst.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that there was no no velty to himn in the speech of the hon. Gentleman who opened this debale (Col. Craufurd), as most of his view's were cona