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per to extend to him, he had been fair, open and suitable manner, forward to abuse. It was impossible than Mr. Pitt. This was the genufor parliament to submit to to open ine sentiment of his heart, or he an attack upon their declared len- would not have uttered it ; and no timents, and they were called upon inan, he flattered himself, could to relift it in the most peremptory charge him with having pursued a manner. Such being apparently conduct in that house that was not the sense of the house of commons, direct and sincere. Mr. Fox expressed his most carnett Mr. Marsham called to the rehope, that the minisier would in fu- collection of members the origin ture pay more respect to the opic of the militia, and the manner in nion of the legislature, and not at- which its services had been received tempt to force an obnoxious mea- at the conclusion of the late war, sure upon the country. The mo- and of the war that had preceded it. tion of Mr. Pitt was withdrawn, In the year 1957; a body of Hanoand an address to the sovereign was verians and Hessians were brought voted, requesting him to order into this kingdom for its internal an estimate to be presented to the security. Their introduction, at once house relatively to the fortifications. impolitic and unconftitutional, ex. At length on the seventh of June, cired considerable odium. Englisha. the fum of 59,780l. was voted for men revolted at the unmerited idea the cntire completion of the new of their not boing capable of dea works already begun at Partsmouth fending themselves and their coun. and Plymouth.
try; and it was upon this occasion A measure of some consequence, that the militia was instituted. So and which engaged a considerable agreeable did the circumttance prove degree of the attention of parlia. to that house, that in the course of ment during the present session, was one fession they countenanced, re'a bill that was introduced for cognised and established the scheme amending and reducing all the laws as a national meafure ; and such relatively to the militia, into one were the benefits which the country act of parliament. The outline of derived from the militia, that at this bill had been the work of a the conclusion of the war, the officommittee, chosen by the officers, cers who had served in it received who had served in the militia dur. the special thanks of the king, and ing the last war, of which the pre- of that house. After the peace of fident had been Mr. Charles Mar- Paris, the militia was called out, Nam, who was deputed upon this embodied and trained once a year; occafion to present the bill, and a circumstance, from which the conduct it in its progress through kingdom had derived the most effen; the house of cominons. He ac- tial advantage. It was well known cordingly moved for leave for its that the hostilities between Great introduction on the thirty-first of Britain and France had taken place January. He prefaced his motion in a manner extremely fudden and with some compliments to the mie unerpected, in the middle of March nister. He declared, that he did 1778. The militia were in confe. not believe that a miniiter could quence called out ; and it was poslibly be found, who would re. remarkable, that they were encampceive a proposal for improving the ed as early in that year, as in any condition of the militia in a more one year during the war. The
practicability of this could only be the friends of the measure, and the imputed to the discipline and habits house in general, with his sentiments of duty, in which the militia had upon the subject. The interval of constantly been exercised. How peace was undoubtedly the fittest different had been the conduct of moment for them to unite in endeagovernment at the end of the latt war? vouring to put the great and con, Notwithstanding that they had acted ftitutional defence of the kingdom in the most commendable manner, upon a respectable footing ; and, and though many gentlemen had much as he professed to be the dedicated their whole attention to friend of oeconomy, he was not so the service, it was not thought that much the Nave of his opinion, as to the militia deserved the thanks of with by any means to lessen the adtheir country. He meant not to vantages, which the country had give offence, and perhaps he had ever derived from fo falutary an used too harsh an exprellion : but establishment. How far the means the fact was, that no thanks had been suggested for attaining to defirable given to the militia by the crown, a purpose, might be thought the no thanks had been voted by that beit means that could be adopted, house, and for three years together was a matter, which would regularthey had never been once called ly fall under discullion when the bill into exercise.
fhould be brought before the house. Mr. Marsham stated, that the If it should appear possible to prepoint, upon which himself and the serve the militia on a respectable persons with whom he had acted footing, without putting the public laid the most considerable stress, to the heavy expence of calling was that of calling out and em- them out every year, he owned, he bodying the militia once every Mould be glad to adopt whatever year. Another material object they method might be suggeited for that proposed to themselves, was to purpose. Waiting for the pleafure change the duration of the service of hearing the future ample, judifrom three, which had hitherto cious, and impartial investigation been its specified term, to five years. of the subject, he should content Various objections were commonly himself at present with offering to made to the militia, its great ex. the mover of the bill and his re. pence to the kingdom, the prejudice spectable colleagues in the business, it did to the recruiting service of his warınest and most sincere acthe arıny, and the heavy burthen knowledgements. which it entailed upon individuals. Mr. Marsham appeared to be not The alteration which he proposed, a little mortified with the lentia was calculated to encounter all these ments Mr. Pite had exprefled, and objections. It would occasion less immediately declared, that the call. expence in clothing and other are ing out the militia every year was ticles; it would interfere less with in his opinion to indispensibly ne. the recruiting service; and, as the ceffary, that, if the minister had dedrawing would less frequently oc- termined to oppose it, he should cur, individuals would find the scarcely think it worth his while to provision of substitutes less bur- bring the subject forward to the thensome.
decision of the house. In the subMr. Pitt thought proper to em- fequent week he took an opportubrace this occasion of acquainting nity of repeating these sentiments,
and observing to the house, that the the authority of the whole legifla. gentlemen with whom the measure ture a matter of insignificance. had been concerted had thought it This important subject was re right that no farther fiep should be vived two days later on the eighth taken in the business, since it was of February, upon occasion of the the opinion of many, if not all of usual motion from the secretary at them, that it was better to have no war, that the house should resolvo militia at all, than to have it upon itself into a committee of supply, any other footing than that which for the purpose of taking the army had been propoled.
estimates into consideration. Mr, Mr. Pitt complained, that Mr. Minchin opposed this inotion, beMarsa, in refufing to pursue the cause he could not consent to a business of the militia, was desert. vote for the army, when the militia ing a duty to which he was indis. had been so much neglected. The pensibly bound, and that the pro- militia were the interior guardians ceeding was a manœuvre to inark of the country, and must of course him out as a perfon, by whose means attract the jealousy of all who felt the public were to be deprived of a laudable anxiety for its welfare, the advantages that would result He very much apprehended, at least froin the proposed bill. A matter, it had been infinuated without that excited fome further contro- doors, that the militia was to be yerty between these two gentlemen, abolished, and a proportionable sprang from an observation of Mr. number of standing troops subii, Marsham, that the proceedings that tuted in its place. He could not had been pursued would not pass hear such
report without over another year without fome ma- alarm, nor could he consent, that Terial change, since a positive act of any measures should be taken in re, parliament was at that time in full lation to the army, till ministers force, by which it was expressly had communicated to the house ordered that the militia should be their intentions in relation to this called out every year. Mr. Pitt
' more interesting object. answered, that nothing could be The vote of the army was opmore abfurd than the idea of fixing posed on other grounds than that blame up in this account on any taken by Mr. Minchin. It was particular description of persons, observed by Mr. Sheridan, that it since it was well known, that it had been the constant usage in all rested with the house of commons, former sessions to vote the estimates to provide the means of embodying of the navy previously to those of the militia, by voting the money the army; and as the strength of for that purpole ; and that, when our marine was to be the index of this proceeding was not adopted, what sort of an army might be nethe act of parliament in question cetiary, the infringement of the was of courie a mere dormant sta- usual practice was highly reprehen. fute. Mr. Martham could not ad- fible. Farther can this the speakmit this dcétrine, and observed that er had observed to administration, nothing could be more unconstitu- when the day for roring the army tional, than to attribute to that estimates had first been mentioned, house a rig?t of difpenfing with that it had been usual to allow a che law of the land, and of rendering week to elapse between the day of
presenting presenting and that of voting the his place was fupplied by Mr. Pye, eitimates, whereas in the present member for Berkshire. In the com. cale, only five days were allowed. mittee on the roth of March it But ministry appeared refolute to was observed by Mr. Pitt, that he push forward, in defiance of the ad- had made every enquiry in his monition of the speaker, and of the power upon the subject, from gene conitant practice of the house. Mr, tlemen much better qualified to Sheridan remarked, that Mr. Pitt judge of it than himself, and had had thought proper to impute found that it was the general opi. blame to Mr. Marliam, who, he nion that the militia ough, to be faid, ought not to have shrunk from called out every year. The only his intention of bringing in the mode therefore, that suggelled it. bill for regulating the militia, be self to him, by which to obtain cause he, a single individual, had de- that compliance with economy, of clared, that he had nor made up his which he conceived they mould nemind with regard to one of its pro- yer lote light, was by moving as visions. Mr. Sheridan was of the an amendment, that the whole fame opinion, and he hoped, not- number oi incn should be ballotted with standing what had palied, that for and enrolled, but that only two the bill would fill be introduced; thirds of them frould be actually since, whatever were its fate, it employed. The saving, which would be attended wh this good would result from this provision in confequence, that it would bring the two articles of clothing and the subject fairly under discussion, of pay, he calculated at about that it would open the eyes of the 40,000l. The amendment was op public, and enable them to ascere pored by Mr. Marsham and Mr. iain who were, and who were not Sheridan; but it was carried in the the friends of the militia, as well as first inítance without a divition, and whether any defign had been co upon the report the numbers apccired of annihilating the institu- peared, ayes 49, noes 13. The idca tion.
of the annual embodying the miliThe motion of adjournment was tia in any manner was opposed by supported with contiderable earnest- Mr. Rolle and Mr. Jolliffe. By nets by lord North, Mr. Fox and the former it observed, Mr. Courtenay. The supply was that this practice had been found however voted, and on the fol- prejudicial to the morals of the peolowing day several precedents were ple, that it gave them habits of discovered by Mr. Steele, tending d bauchery and idirncis, and that to justify the conduci of administra- they always became much worse tion, and to show, that both the n embers of society than they were Speaker and the members in oppo- beiore. The latter opposed the sition had been miitaken in their mea'ure merely upon the ground ideas respecting the practice of the of aconomy He did not believe house.
tha: there was one man out of that The bill for the regulation of the hour, who did not think that the militia was not given up in the militia night be rendered as uteful house of commons in consequence by the muiter of a day, as by the of Mr. Narihan's having declined cicrcife of a month; and he afiertto take the le d, which he had ori. ei', thai, when they had been britenginally propo.cú to have done, and campos upon Coxbeata, they exhi
bited an appearance the most irre. of them were to be trained and ex. gular and undisciplined; though ercised. The latter of these nobleby the end of the summer they men fuggested an amendinent to the were a tolerable army, and became attention of the house, which he equal to foine of the established conceived likely to be productive of corps.
the most beneficial consequences The militia bilt did not pass with- without making any addition to the out debate in the house of lords. national expence. Ballot, faid he, 'The house being in a committee on one and twenty thousand militia, the subject, on the nineteenth of and instead of five let the term of June, the establishment in ge their service be fix years. At the neral was spoken of with the highest end of three years, as had been applause, by the duke of Manchef. hitherto the practice, ballot one ter and lord viscount Townshend. and twenty thousand more. Of this The latter of thele, who had been number, call out, train and exerthe original mover of the establish- cise only seven thousand every ment in the house of commons year. Let this be cione in rotation, thirty years before, enlarged con- till the whole amount of two and liderably upon the subject. He forty thousand men has been disspoke of the militia of France, of ciplined. Thus you will have douSpain, of the king of Pruília, and ble the number of soldiers that are of the emperor, and showed how afforded by Mr. Pitt's plan, to be much inferior was Great Britain to called out upon any emergency, any of these powers in this import and that of a description of force ant article. He treated with con. the most defirable to be preserved, tempt the saving, that was to be and which was the beit defence not made in consequence of Mr. Pirt's only of the country but of the conamendment. He spoke with warmth ftitution. No specific objection was of the zeal, that had been displayed urged to lord Stanhope's proposal by the late earl of Chatham in be. but by the duke of Richmond, who Half of the militia, and he loudly observed, that it was now too late in condemned the penuriousness of the session to debate the principle of administration with regard to this the bill, and that, if it were altered invaluable establishment, while the in that house, the confequence erection of Somerset House, the might be, that it would be totally additions to the Admiralty, and the loit. Earl Stanhope treated this buildings for the ordnance engroll objection with great contempt. The ed so much of the public expendi- bill, in his opinion, was of very ture. Office must be accommodated great importance. The amendand gratified at all events: a per- ment that he had proposed was in. manent national provision can al controvertible by reafon, and was ways fuffer amputation. The duke only to be set alide by observing o! Mancheiter, and lord viscount that it was too late to enter into its Mahon, who had lately succeeded merits. It was truly unwite and to the title of earl Stanhope ypon ridiculous to pass a bill which we the death of his father, were pointed are told is abfurd, and fuperfede all in their condemnation of the un- debate upon it by saying that it neceffry expence, which would be may be amended next year.
The incurred by enrolling the whole motion of lord Stanhope was reof the militia when only two thirds jected without a division.