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fagion on this point, for he would be sorry ihat afeeling, so lille respect.ble as to be offend d without a cause, thould belong to the militia. But he dillenied entirely from the propriery of laying it down as a rule of conduct to say or do nothing without first considering whether it is likely to give satisfaction. If he was to call to the recollection of the House an Administration, but the word recollection could not with propriety be applied to what was present (a laugh); if he was to describe an Administration which had acted on this system, the Houle would easily discern the consequences of it. The Administration which he alluded 10, considered always not what ought to be done, but what could be done with fatisfaction ; what would give fatisfaction to the country gentlemen; what would give fa:isfaction to the militia Officers; what would give fatisfa&ion to the fubfcribers at Lloyd's, and the holders of omnium-a laugh;. To this spirit the country was indebied, first, for the boon of peace, and the many of her blettings of the fame kind that followed in its erain ; and if we looked for the consequences of ii, we thould find them in our present fiuarion, 10 which
With relpect to the inatter before, the House, it was like many others, to which one was induced to join his aflent, because he could not dillunt without disapproving. He had no objection 10 a vote of thanks. It was here in some instances, as in public places, where one joined in the applause, because he could make no other noise which would nor have the effect of cenfure-la laugh). Bint if he'were to speak as a volunteer, he thould say, "for Gd's sale, keep your ihanks till we have done something to defcrve them.” It should be confidered, that the volunteer corps were but just formed, and that many had chosen volunteer lervice 10 avoid compulsory fervice. It should be recollected, that at other times we had had volunteers, who had come forward without any influence or compulsion, and had no ibuught was entertained of bestowing on them in the first initai.ce a vote like that now proposed. All that the clouse of Coinmons had to give to the most distinguished services by f«a and land was its thanks; and when volunteer corps were 10 receive those thanks for coming forward at such a crisis, with a fervice which ihey would otherwise be compelled 10 sender, he feared that this, which was hitherio justly considered as the highest and most valuable testimony of the most transcendent merit, and the most eminent service, would become less valuable. He thould think it ine proper time to rote the thanks of the House when they had expelled Bonaparte, or even now he should think it right to thank the Irith volunteers, for suppressing the rebellion; and when the House was called upon for such a vole, he thought there thould at least have been some direction from his Majesty. Here he thould leave this subject ; but there was another on which he thould say a few words, and here he thould lay the ground for this privilege under the prohibition of the hon. Gentleman who introduced the motion before the House. The hon. Gen:leinan's with went to deprive the House of its most valuable functions when no one was allowed to speak, no one could hear; and when no one was allowed to illumine, no one could be enlightened. This doctrine was saiher new, and in his opinion was not very wise. He wished the hon. Gentleman had been in the House when his hon. Friend (Mr. Fox) had to properly excried his abilities on a subject somewhat related to this on a former night. In a cabinet composed of military men, miliary discusions were yet necessary to be gone into: what was the case in the cabi. nei was also the case here ; and though he was not a military man, he would not surrender the right which he had as a Member of Parliament, to offer his sentiments, which, while they were urged with modesty, would, he hoped, always contain something useful; but least of all would he consent 10 deprive the House of the advantage of hearing the oblervations and arguments of those experienced military Gentlemen who were beft able to give Parliament an accurate view of the danger of the country, and at the same time to point the measures best calculated for its defence and security. He thought that great discretionary powers, when properly maJaged, may be of service; but, when the use made of the power that already existed was erroneous, he could not think it right to lodge ftill greater powers in the same hands. He condemned the principle of having recourse 10 volunteer corps instead of calling forth volunteer service in other modes. From the cost of training which these corps received, there was an opportunity of judging of the inanner in which they would be brought into action. The companies would be collected into regimenis, and the regiments formed into brigades. He did not think they would be good for any thing in that way; neither did he think, thas any judicious vfficer would accept of them. It was not true i hat numbers always made strengil, neither could that other comfortable faying, that it they did no good they could do no harm, be applied in
this instance. They would incumber the movements, obstruct the roads, and consume the provisions (a laugh), and which should also be a main consideration, they would be a great depository of panic, if, as was not unlikely, they once caught it. Under all these disadvantages, any skilful and judicious officer, instead of acceping their fervices, would rather say, place them at a distance. Such an officer would con Gder them as a wrestler would regard heavy garments, and say, let me have clear ground, free from any incumbrance: an armed population, when it was once trained, would furnish out of it corps more generally useful, and whose services and co-operation the best officers would think defirable. He regarded as the most effential inftrument of defence a force like this, potlessed of all the characteristics ef a loose light infantry; quick in loading and firing. When the population of the couniry was thus trained, every where that the enemy moved, an host would hang on him, and fol. Jow him like a swarm of insects, for ever buzzing in his ears, for ever teasing, harassing, and annoying him. If, combined with this force, we had the advantage of fortifications, the utility of which had been so strongly enforced by the hon. Gentleman behind him (Colonel Crawfurd), and large armies, for large armies we should have, the fate of the country would not depend on one or two pitched battles ; but it would be one continued warfare, in which every inch of ground would be disputed both in advance and in retreat. This was his opinion as to the proper modis of executing the measure of general armament. If the i lea liad been taken up which he fuggested, a large force would by this time have been half trained, and nearly ready to be applied to the services for which it may be thought adviseable. There were some measures in which a great progress may be made at the very commencement, and others in which no progress could be made for a long time. This measure of general armament was one of the latter description, in which, though much had been done in Parliament, no progress was yet made in fact. It was like a July brewing, which, with the delay of fermenting, drawing off, and balving, would not be fit to drink till Christmas. His Majesty's Ministers were fond of clatter, and they thought that the machinery he recommended would do nothing, because it was filent. He considered it a very great absurdity to suppose, that what was known to every man in England was unknown to the Goverpment of France, he meant the actual state of preparation in which we were. As to the vole of thanks which the hon. Gentleman proposed, he had to observe, that the hon. Genileman had given up what he so much inlisted on at filt, the execution of the compulsory part of the measure of gene: al defence, and that he was now gone into the o: her exirene and was entirely for volunteers. Against that prin. ciple, as it was now ačied upoi, he begged leave 10 enter his proielt. On ihe mere question of 'he vote of thanks he haul nothing to fav, and therefore ihonid do no more than to prifs most lesiously ihe confideration of providing this force with arms; for without a proper attention to the ituie in which it was as to arms, no eff ciual aid could be expected from is. He confeffer he did not like the manner in which his hon. Friend (Colonel Craufurd) had been sneered at when he preilid his point the o!her night. He therefore chose to take it up, and to press it again. When the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sherdian) prelied for unanimity, he laid the foundation for a truce; and when he said this was the lait day of the Seilion, he wilhed Gentlemen to abitain from all sefererce to former differences of opinion, all charges against Minia ters, and all party sentiments, and to abliain from urging these topics till ihe next meeting. He could not hielp thinking that the right hon. Gentleman was a little too para ricular in enumerating the points with respect to which he wished this abstinence to be observed:
Hæc commemoratio eft quasi exprobratio. (1 laugh.) He thould say a word on that subject, by way of coniraiting what the hon. Gentleman now faid with the manner in which he had aited on foriner occasions. Parlia. ment was differenı from that class of men, where it was said that the doctrine should be attended to, without regarding the practice. Bui he would allow the hon. Gentleinan the benefit of The maxiin He thought he reinembered times of difficully throughout the courfe of the last ten or twelve years, in which he allowed nothing that he could call wrong to go by without cenfure, and without maintaining that ii might fairly be attacked. The hon. Gentleman was not remiss in arraigning all measures, and in railing every species of oppoLion. The hon. Gentleman withed for unanimity, and in one sense he would have it. If unanimity was meant to apply to the defence of the country, there could be no doubt ihat this unanimiiy existed. He should wish to know what part of his conduct had embarraised the public service, or
given ground for the charge of factious opposition; and when he and those Gentleinen who generally fat near him, were charged with such things, he wished the instances to be ciled. He had the fauisfaction to think that most of those measures on which he and his honourable friends took an active part, were rendered more perfect in their paflige towards the House, and that he and his honourable Friends contributed to ihe i:nprovement. He also disclaimed the charge of factious opposition. He had not opposed all things indiscriminately. He had never once opposed a tax bill, though he knew Gentle:nen in another opposition, who, during the courte of ten years, never suffered a tax bill to : pass without comment. If it was his object, or that of his friends, to give a factious oppofition, he thould be forry they were such horrid bunglers as not to execute the design berler, by taking advantage of many opportunities of annoyance which they had fotfered to go by. Now, when all were unanimous in the defence of the country, and every thing concerned with it, because every man had his all at stake, and that brought the neceility of that unanimily home, he thould be sorry to dillent from that unanimity, but that by' this he consented to seal his approbation of whatever Minilters had done, or that he surrendered his right to censure and arraign them, he positively denied. It was a bad thing to have a government in which the country could not confide: if it was true that the present Government was such, the i couniry thould know is. If it was untsue, the altempt to establish the belief would give room for the refutation, and those who attempted 10 give currency to the falsehood ought not to be pardoned; but if irue, he would say again, that ihe eyes of the country ought not to be lliut to it. It was worse than all to have a weak Government and to confide in it, for then the counlry leaned on a broken reed, which would certainly let it down. When a government regulated itself by public opinion, the proper way to correct it was, lo apply the correction through the public opinion to which it looked up so much. He denied the principle, that because a governiment was under difficulties, it was therefore to be the more relied on. The increafe of danger naturally created unanimity. The rebellion in Ireland had created a unanimity of this kind, and a French invasion would create it ftill more. He, therefore, proteiled against an unanimity which would go in preclude the right of censure; and when this was the last day of discullion, and there would be no other Vol. IV. 1802-3.