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He also moved
“ That a return of the different volunteer corps be laid before the House, in order that they may be handed down to posterity, by being entered on the journals.”
General Gascoyne seconded the motion, and observed, that great exertions had been made by the town which he had the honour of representing, though the service of one particular corps, which he thought peculiarly entitled io consideration, had not been accepted. He therefore hoped the motion would pass without a diffenting voice. There was one thing only which he conceived objectionable in the conftitution of the volunteer corps, and unfortunately it was an evil which was every day running to a greater extent. was that men of rank and fortune, and abilities, enrolled themselves as privates in a great number of corps. When he heard of Members of the other House entering themselves as privates in the Lawyers' corps, and some in this House, too, he meant the Master of the Rolls (a laugh); he confeffed he felt much regret. For when the preservation of law and order was one of the objects for which we were at war, he thought it right that the diftinétion of ranks, which made so effential a part of that order, should be kept up. A promiscuous enrolment of persons of this kind was also disada vantageous in a military point of view ; for there were many duties annexed to the situation of a private soldier, which they neither could perform, nor could be expected to perform, and he wilhed no man to enter ihe ranks who was not capable of doing all the duties of a soldier, and in a situation to be commanded to do all those duties if occasion required. He wished also to observe, that the number of men now in arms amounted to 300,000, independent of many offers which had not yet been accepted from difficulties of form, which were very easy to be got over, the principal difficulty being, that the offer was for limited sirvice; and that being almost universally obvialed, as soon as it was underftood to be a difficully, by withdrawing the offers, in order to renew them for more extended service. There was also another misconception, which prevailed to a considerable extent, and which interfered with the objects of the volunteer service; it was, that those corps, whose offers had originally been accepted for limited service, were not fojecto the exertion of the prerogative, so as to be called, if occafion should require, to service more extended. When there dif
ficulties and misconceptions were removed, he conceived, that with such a force as we had, and with thar force daily increaling, is would be very wrong to confine our fyftern of warfare to the defensive. It was the common praciice of the great Generals and military heroes, celebratıd in history, wlien their terri.ory was invaded or menaced, to carry the feat of war into the enemy's country. He trofted, therefore, that when the spirit which prevailed every where in the country, was matured, and rendered steady by discipline, ro glorious an impulse would not be suffered to waite viself, without reaping that harvest of glory, to which it was entilled; and as he feared the enemy would not give it the opportunity of gathering the laurels of which it was so desirous on British ground, inat opportunity shoukil at least be afforded on the enemy's thore. He was the more desirous to impress This confideration on his Majesty's Ministers, as those prepararions, which were only anticipation when he first preffed it, were now advanced, and every day approached nearer to completion. This country was the more called upon for such an attempi, as our fleet afforded us what may not be improperly called a draw-bridge to the Continent. He believed ihat such a system of warfare, if it were even only held out as a threat to the enemy, would have a good effect in teaching him to respect us more, and 10 presume less on himklf. It would also have a good effect in thewing the powers of Europe how differently we were circumstanced with respect to the ineans of annoying our enemy, from what that enemy r presented. He wished every person, from the peer to the labourer, to adopt a military character, under the circumstances fuited to their respective situations; and he wilhed this attention to the diversity of situation the more, as he was aware here was no deficiency of spirit in any Tillation. He would here say one word of a corps of Gen11:men, which he understood was to be formed, though he was not yet aware whether their services were to be accepted or not. He wilhed the Genilemen who proposed to enter this corps, lo contider how much more effectually they would promote the service, by entering in their proper flacions into other corps. The very difference of trealment, as a colledive corps, which ihey would have in the service, wien each would be attended by a servant to take care of him, would excite discontent in the other corps serving with them. He wilhed that consideralions of this kind were attended 10, though they were not of any great comparative Vol. IV. 1802-3.
importance. He was sure, that if the spirit that pervaded all ranks was properly directed, we should be very soon in that state, in which we should have nothing to fear from the enemy, and he would have much to fear from us. The motion bad his cordial assent.
Mr. Chapman, after disclaiming any intention of disturbing the unanimity de fired on the motion of Mr. Sheridan, ad. verted to the case of the Officers in the East-india Com. pay's service now in England, who having been alluded to bby the Secretary at War, as a resource to aflift in disciplining the army of reserve, had offered their services in the most gallant manner. To these offers, however, he understood no answer had been returned. Such conduct he considered neither right nor handsome towards men who had frequently met the French in the field, were at the storming of Seringapztam, and at other enterprises equally bold and daring; that there could be no doubt of their doing honour to any service on which they might be employed; but, that from the itate of suspence in which they were kept, they were precluded from coming forward in any other line. Mr. Chapman then declared that he could not accept his dismissal without expressing an earnest hope, that after the generous and laudable exertions of the volunteers, added to those of the other gal. lant troops in the service of their country, should have placed it in a state of perfect security against hostile attacks, means would be found of annoying the enemy. That these were abundant he had not a doubt; and, wiih che permission of the House, he would venture to suggest a quarter whence some of them might be derived. Mr. Chapman then proceeded to state, that in the east a population of fifty millions yielded obedience to the mild fway of the sceptre of our benevolent fovereign. That this population added to that of our own islands, was not inferior to the number of the host which trembles under the coercive rod of the Consul of France. That he meant not to aver that our fellow subjects in the cast were physically equal in energy or bodily streng:h to the hardy sons of more northern regions. Nor would he propose to bring them to combat in these climates. But it was a justice due to them to declare them capable of a very high degree of military discipline, to poffefs great personal bravery, and to have manifefted a fidelity to our cause in difficulties unexampled. That his Majelty poffelled dominions fixuated in climates similar in many parts to their own. He alluded to the West Indies. That in these he
was of opinion, that a large part of the force entertained either for offensive or defenlive operations, if raised for the express purpose, and under due precautions, might be advantageously drawn froin our poffeffions in the east. That this force would be found the best adapted to the service. That it would prove alike capable of refitting the vertical fun of the day, and the pernicious damp of the night. That by becoming a counferpoise to the negro population, it would afford security to the planters against their insurrections, and scour the moun. tains when they might retire to them. That were there troops encouraged to take their families with them to the islands, aided also by other means that might be adopted of peopling thein in part from the east, he had no hesitation in fondly expecting, that, in the process of time, they would produce a race of orderly, industrious freemen, both to culfivate and to defend them ; and, in the end, do away the necellity of having farther recourse to the odious and atrocious practice of the flave-trade. Mr. Chapman further stated, that on the shores of the Mediterraneann castern troops, disciplined by British officers, and having the paths of honour and glory pointed out to them by British valour, and animated by British example, would be found equal to any service required of them. And were it neceflary, in our own defence, to follow the example set us by the Chief Consul, in seizing the stations friendly or useful to his opponents, these troops would be found adequate 10 occupy and to maintain them.
Lord Caftlereagh, in answer to his hon. Friend, who had spoken last, said, it was frue, that the Officers in the EastIndia Company had, with that zeal which distinguifhed them on all occasions, rendered their services : he was sure allo, that whether those services were accepted or not, they would wait the result of the consideration, and the decision of the authority to which they had submitted them. The offers were transmitied in the only inander in which they could be transmitted regularly, first by the respective Officers to the Court of Directors, and by ihe Court of Directors to the Commander in Chief ; and he had seen letters acknowledging, in the most handsome terms, the receipt of the offers. He was not aware of the answer that was to be given. He believed that there was an impediment to the acceptance of the offers of the superior Officers, from the number of regiments in the army of reserve being not greater than could be officered out of the line, from which it was certainly right
that the Oficers should in the first instance be taken. One word he would offer, in explanation of what was nothing more than a misunderstanding of ihe letter of his noble Friend (Lord Hobart). There could be no doubt that the acting volunteers were not liable to be called on to be trained and disciplined in the proportion to be raised in the first initarce of the force under ihe general defence act. It was evidenily the intention of the noble Lord's letter, as well as of the act, that the force firt called forth should be composed of volunteers.' The act fixed the number of volunteers, 10 entiile any person to a suspension of the compulsory.clauses, at threefourths of the first class described in the general defence act, and since that a power of suspending the execution of those compulsory claules was given in calis when fix times the amount of the original miliiia came forward. The compulsory clauses may be enforced if a greater number Mould be deemer necessary at any fu'ure periud.
Mr. Wi dbam wished it were in his power to gratify the bunourable Genilemin who introduced ihe motion before the House, in conforming to the with he had expressed, that no discussion should arile on this measure. The honourable Gentleman had indeed thewn more earneftness in making his wish than attention and fidelity in pursuing it; for while he deprecated discullion, he continued to throw out so many things to provoke ii, ihat it was impossible his with could be complied with. If the honourable Gentleinan, which would be perfectly consistent with his former misconcep:ions and misrepresentations, imagined that lie was going to oppose the vote, he was entirely mistaken. It was among the fancies of ihe hon. Gentleinan that he had spoken with dif. paragement of the militia and the volunteer corps. With respect to the volunteer corps, he had not a doubt of their zeal and spirit ; and he was fatisfied that in the day of trial they would serve their country in every way becoming Englishmen. He had said nothing to give offence to the miliiia. The whole amount of what he had la d was, that with all the zeal and spirit which he always allowed them, they did not poftels chose qualities of soldiers which it was imposible to pe tels without having been in action. He had been told that what he had said har given great dissatisfaction to lhe rnilivia. If he had said no more than this, and he beJieved he had noi, he had only done his duiy, which he would always to the best of his opinion, whether it excited disfatisfaction or not. He hoped, however, there was no dislzris