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place previous to the discussion in the Committee of the preceding day, was also negatived.
The original resolutions were then put and carried, and a bill ordered to be brought in, ir> pursuance of the same.
In a Committee on the Foot Relief Bill, a division was moved on one of the clauses, when, there not being forty Members prcfcnt, the House of course adjourned till Monday,
HOUSE OF LORDS. Monday, May 18. Heard counsel on a Scotch appeal, Chalmers versus Rosar Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS. Monday, May 18. The Call of the House was deferred to Thursday se'unighf, Agreed to go into a Committee of Ways and Means, aud of Supply, on Wednesday next.
A new writ was ordered for the Borough of Shoreham.
ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE TO SOLDIERS.
General Marine! rose to make the motion, of which he had on a former day given notice, relative to certain ailowances granted by his Majesty to the army now serving in Great Britain, without the consent of Parliament. He claimed the candour and indulgence of the House, as the question was of the greatest constitutional importance, and he lamented that a Right Hon. Gentleman, the Secretary at War, was not in his place to give the necessary explanation. What he had to urge he was aware was not likely to conciliate the favour of the Right Hon. Gentleman opposite, nor could it be agreeable to any os his Majesty's ministers, for it implicated them in common with an illustrious Personage, for whom he had the greatest respect, in a suspicion of negligence or criminality. Of late the astonishing increase in the pay os the soldiers had become au alarming and dangerous precedent, not so much indeed from the quantity of money granted as the manner of jt. There is an abuse of words, which, from long habits, forms an abuse of things; and so it was in the present instance. It was the language of that House, and indeed it is the common language of the day, to call the army " His Majesty's army;" and so far as the money passes through the hands of his ministers, and the soldiers are subject to his command and discipline, it is his Majesty's army, but in the general fense it is the arm,y of the nation, fn fact, it is dependent on the Parliament for its existence j for if the Parliament were at any time to refuse the supplies for its support, it could, no longer be embodied. By taxes on the people at large the money is raised for its support, and a regular account is obliged annually to be given to Parliament by his Majesty's ministers of the mode in which the money grauted fer its support has been expended. It so happens that this law, which-is so essential in the constitution, for'the prosperity and 'safety of the nation, has been twice violated in a shameful degree, in 1792, an extra allowance for bread had been allowed to the army serving in Great Britain ; first of three halfpence, and soon thereafter of another additional penny; amounting, together, to twopence halfpenny per day. Tor meat an extra allowance had been made of whatever that article of provision might exceed sourpence halfpenny per pound. This would amount, on the lowest average, to three halfpence per pound. But in order to calculate the just and full amount of these extras, it would be necessary to ascertain the number of men in arms, in the pay of Government in this island. He supposed he was ■greatly under the mark when he stated the army at one hundred thousand men; but this he should take at a very moderate average, unless he should be set right by some os his Majesty's ministers, who, from their official situation, might possess the means of exactly knowing the truth. After a short pause, as I have no answer, said the General, 11hall suppose that the -army, at a medium, consists of one hundred thousand men, which, at the extra allowance for bread and sundries for 1792, was 379,6001. This sum was granted by his Majesty without the consent of Parliament. A new allowance, without the consent of Parliament, was granted for 1795, for the following items^
Jor bread - - - £151,840
for meat, of which it is impossible to make any precise or
definite estimate - - - - 227,76a
Half of this, though originally granted without consent of Parliament, had been ratified by its subsequent approbation. The new allowance, lately granted without the consent os Parliament, by itself amounted to 379,6001.
General Macleod did not say, nor did he think, that the extra allowance to the soldiers was more than the exigency of the times demanded: In a time of great general scarcity, every considerate man must wish that some allowance of this nature Æbould be given to the privates in the army. It was not the
L 1 2 measure
measure itself therefore, but the mode of carrying it into effect» that he condemned ; and that on the plain and obvious principle, that it was not constitutional for the executive branch of government to grant money for the support of the army, without the knowledge and consent of Parliament. He had made the British constitution his particular study from his earliest years; and if his understanding did not wholly misguide him, the support of the array depended altogether on monies granted by Parliament. Its very existence from year to year depended on the breath of Parliament that passed the Mutiny Act. The name of his Royal Highness* the commander in chief, had been abused to an unconstitutional purpose. Why did not some of the ministers tell his Highness, that the measure in question was unconstitutional? A simple mandate from the Secretary at War—scarcely so much—an order by a clerk in the Waroffice, countersigned indeed, afterwards, by the Secretary at War, had laid a burden on the people of this country of near a million sterling! This burden was laid, not in the recess, but during the sitting of Parliament, as if a studied insult had been intended, or at least a precedent sought to be established, by which ministry might at any time take the money of the people without the consent of their representatives. It was the fame thing, General Macleod infilled, whether an extra allowance were made in money or in provisions; with this difference, that if a discretionary power were granted to the officer, of laying out that extra allowance, the soldier cannot be persuaded that he is not cheated. Again, if the officer were to watch strictly, and take care that nothing but the coarsest pieces of meat should be given to the soldier?, as directed by Government, he would subject himself to a most invidious task: Nor would a soldier willingly forego in better times, when provisions were cheaper, an extra allowance granted at ajiy time.
The mode in which the extraordinary allowances in question had been granted to the army, had a natural tendency to impress the army with conviction, and the corresponding sentinn nta, that they depended for every comfort and douceur, not "ii the virtue and patriotism of fellow-subjects, their representatives in Parliament, but on the royal bounty. It would answer every patriotic, humane, and salutary purpose better, that tod. or a shilling a day should be extended to the men, by a vote of Parliament. Some handsome addition to the pay os the sddier was loudly demanded by the increased price os all necessaries, or, In other words, the gradual and rapid depreciation in the value of money. When the pay of the soldiery was fust regularly fixed in the time us Oliver Cromwell,
at; at lead in the beginning of the reign of Charles II. it was fixed on the average of what a journeyman, in any common trade, might gain, communlbus annis et Las, throughout Britain. These things considered, no Gentleman would grudge an addition to the pay of the army; but let this addition be madjs in a constitutional manner. By the present unconstitutional mode that has been adopted, three great disadvantages or grievances are incurred: First, the people pay an additional tar. Secondly, the price of provisions is enhanced, by the certainty the butchers have, that the soldiers have no other interest than to pay any price that is demanded ; and thus too a distinction and rivalry is established between the army and men in civil stations, as in the cafe of barracks, but which, in all cafes, ought to be av oided. Thirdly, what was worst of all, it was by such strides of the execurive power over the popular andaristocratical barriers of the constitution, as in Spain, the French; monarchy, Sweden, Denmark, and almost every country in Europe, that ths people fell, helpless, though often voluntary slaves into ;he hands of courts.
General Macleod put the following as a cafe equally possible and important: Suppose his Majesty very honourably should amass a large sum by savings from his Electorate of Hanover, or legacies from his Royal and Noble relations in Germany, -would the House of Commons, would the people of England permit that this sum mould be expended in raising new troops, or in donations to those already on foot in Britain? Should indefinite supplies be granted without consent of Parliament to the heads of armies, farewell to freedom. It Would be x glorious attainment, and most salutary to the constitution, if the additional allowance to the army could be suspended, if but for one half hour, until it should be confirmed and sanctionid by the voice of Parliament. For one precedent, good, perhaps, in certain circumstances, led to another, till an accumulation of mixed precedents gave way to the establishment of a tad principle.
Omnia cnlm exempla mala h botiis initiis ortasutit.—Jul. Cses. apud Sallust. Bell. Catal.
The General therefore moved,
"That the House do resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, *• take into consideration certain c;i cular orders, issued on the 18th day of .April lalt, by his Royal Highness Field Marshal the Duke of York, to the CJeneral OfEc-rs conimnnding districts; also circular orders of fame datef Ant from the War Office; and olio, other circular orders sent from the War Office, dated Aprilaoth, all respecting allowances lately granted by his Ma. jesty to the army, without the advice or consult of Parliament."
As he did not mean to take the House by surprise, he read the motions, which, should the motion then proposed be carried, he should hare the honour to make in the Committee:
*' tst. Resolved, That it u> the opinion os this House, that it is contrary tothe principles cftlie British constitution, in liisMajcsty's ministers, to admisc liin. to augment, under the terrr.s oi gratuity, additional allowances, or any other denomination whatever, the roy of the military forces serving within this kingdom, without previously consulting Piiliamrut, then sitting, •rwithom submitting such augmentation to the consideration of Parliament, if ft mould have been nccetT.ury during a recess, as loon after the meeting of Parliament as circumstances fan admit.
"id. That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, setting forth, that by papers officially bid before this House, it appears that his Majesty has lately granted certain allowances of money or provisions to the troops fciving in Great Britain; that doubts and jealousies had arisen thereon; praying his Majesty to order to be laid befoie this House t!ie reasons and <aufes of such grant, that h may be duly considered by Pailiament; and alluring his Majesty, that his faithful Commons are ready to make every necessary provision for the army in a constitutional manner."
Mr. Courtenay seconded the motion. He considered the conduct of his Majesty's ministers as inimical to the constitution aud liberties of Great liritain, and warranting an impeachment. As his Hon. Friend the Secretary at War was not in his place, he was inclined to believe that the measure had not been sanctioned by his approbation; and although from his official situation he was perhaps compelled in a certain degree to submit, he supposed his Hon. Friend considered it as derogatory from his constitutional integrity. He could not, however, avoid one conclusion from his absence, which was, that there was a mutual good understanding in cafes of this fort, between the Hon. Secretary and his Right Hon. Friend for, as upon a former day, when the Right Hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Pitt) was absent upon a question in which he was more materially concerned, his Hon. Friend (Mr. Windham) had undertaken, with a pretended incapacity, to justify his conduct, and assert his cause; so now he suspected the Right Hon. Gentleman opposite would rise with a pompous and artful extenuation of his Hon. Friend, professing at the fame time his ignorance of the affair, and his inability to vindicate his friend so properly and effectually as might have been the cafe if the Hon. Secretary had himself attended.
Recurring again to the subject before him, he descanted at length on the abuse of power by this additional allowance to the army, and illustrated his argument by a quotation from, the luminous Gibbon, upon die imperial donatives of the Romans,