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representations which have passed between were a smaller number of men employed in the admiralty and Navy Boards, and be the king's yards on the 1st March, 1805, tween those boards and the commissioners than on the 1st March, 1804; the number or other officers of the Dock-yards, respecting at the latter period being 9336, whereas these ships; also of all representations from those employed at the commencement of their commanders, respecting their unfit- the present month amounted only to 3213, ness to perform the services of ships of war." being 123 less than the establishment at the If this last motion should be refused, as being same period last year. His next motion too general, he should have no objection to would be for "A List of his maj.'s ships omit any part of it, or to make any altera- which have been ordered to be repaired in tion in it that the noble viscount at the head the merchants' yard since 1st June, 1904." of the admiralty should require or suggest. He would next move for "A List of ships The letters which he was principally anxious of war ordered to be built or contracted for to obtain, were those from the commanders from the above period, up to the present of the Hindostan and the Hyaena, two ships time, specifying the dates of such orders or which had been taken into the service. One contracts, and the rate at which such conof those he understood to be an old West tracts have been made." If the workmen Indiaman, whose back had been broken, in the king's yards were properly classed, which was reported not fit for service, and there would be no occasion to build in the which, notwithstanding that representation, merchants' yards. In the former he underhad been purchased at an expence of some-stood that at present a 74-gun ship could be thing above 7,0001.-His next motion would built for 211. per ton; whereas, if he was be for "An Account of the expence of rightly informed, the contracts lately enarming of these ships, specifying the num-tered into with the merchant-builders a ber, nature, and calibre of the guns, which mounted to the enormous sum of 361. per they were reported to be capable of carrying ton. Let the house and the country conwhen they were purchased, and of any alte-trast the difference between those expences, rations which have been since made." This and then they would be enabled to form an he understood would be conceded to him. idea of the provident management of the His next motion would be for "Copies of persons by whom the naval administration all representations which have been made of the country was at present conducted.— by the commanders of these ships on the He would next move for "An Account subject of their guns." As it was possible of the sums paid by the Navy Board, and to some objections might be urged against the whom, for the Repair of the following Ships granting of this, he would not, if it should in the Merchants' Yards, in the years exbe refused, persevere in pressing it.-His pressed against their names, viz. Boston, next motion would be for "An Account Maidstone, 1783; Southampton, Niger, of the number of artificers and labourers, Lizard, Pearl, 1784; Carysfort, 1785; who have discharged themselves from his Lowestoffe, 1786; Boston, 1791; Retrimaj.'s Dock-yards at Deptford and Wool-bution, L'Amiable, Tartar, Success, Ariwich, in each month, since 1st June, 1804, adne, 1792; Magicienne, Dedalus, Androspecifying their several classes, age, and mache, Flora, Fury, Bull-dog, 1793. The time of service." Neither this, nor the fol- repairs of these 20 ships, he was informed, lowing, would, he believed, be refused. had cost 298,8841. when they might have "The number of shipwrights borne in all been built in the royal yards for a sum not the Yards, on the 1st of March, 1805."-amounting to half that sum. His last moWhen those two last motions should be complied with, he had strong reasons for supposing that it would appear to the satisfac fion of every noble lord who heard him, that fewer shipwrights were borne in the king's yards at the commencement of the present month, than at the corresponding period last year.. His lordship here stated the number of men who had been discharged from the different yards at various times by the late Board of Admiralty, some of whom were superannuated, and others dismissed for misconduct. He contended that there
tion would be for, "An Account of the sums for which ships of the same size and force might have been built at the same period, according to the contract prices then paid to the merchant-builders." It was not his intention to say any thing at that time upon the comparative merits of the late and present naval administrations. He meant nothing personal to the. noble lord at the head of that department; his object was to institute an enquiry, the result of which he thought would be beneficial to the country, into one of the most important parts of its
expenditure. However, he could not avoid resort to the facilities for repairing it, affordobserving, that he thought the noble earled by the merchants' yards. Upon the pronear him (St. Vincent) who was lately at priety of that measure, he challenged discusthe head of that department, was particu- sion, and would be happy to meet the noble larly qualified, from his professional know-lord when the subject should be fairly ledge, to discover the abuses which were brought before the house. As to the calpractised in it. When he was first placed culations with which the house had been enat the head of that board, he set about en-tertained, it would be premature in him to quiring into those abuses with an honest and discuss them then; when they should be reardent zeal, and having discovered that the gularly before their lordships, he would most enormous abuses were committed in it, have an opportunity of inquiring into them, he set about, with a resolution as laudable, and making deductions from them by no the correction and the future prevention of means favourable to the conclusions drawn them. For that purpose he proposed the by the noble lord. If he were to be denoappointment of a commission which had al- minated a culprit, because he had contractready rendered the most important services ed for the building of ships in the private to the country, and for the dissolution of yards, he would only say, that he had offendwhich he could discover no one sufficient ed in common with almost every board of motive, unless the strange determination admiralty, except the last, that had ever exshould have been adopted of perpetuating isted in the country. The principle upon those abuses, which it had so industriously which they did so was one of the most powerdeveloped, and the possible recurrence of ful, it was one of strong necessity. It would which it had suggested the means of pre- not be possible to keep up the navy of this venting. The country, however, which was country in time of war, to maintain it with sensible of the services of the Commissioners that formidable and commanding aspect of Naval Enquiry, would not suffer itself to be which it ought to preserve, without having deprived of the advantages of those disco- recourse to building in the merchants' yards. veries and improvements which they had It was possible, that some new system might made and suggested; they would not, in so have been established, some notable discoimportant a branch of their defence and ex-very, superceding the wisdom of all former penditure as the naval department, forego the benefits that might be expected, from a more correct and economical administration of the immense sums that were so freely contributed for maintaining it. He would trespass no longer upon their lordships' time, but move the first resolution.
admiralty boards, might have been made, but neither he, nor those with whom he had acted, thought that the honour, the advantage, or the security of the country would be consulted by a rash departure from the system which had been so long and so benefi cially acted upon. He would, at the same time, frankly acknowledge, that he did not think that the merchants" yards were to be built in out of choice; they were employed
Lord Melville said, he had no objection to the motion made by the noble lord. It would not be necessary for him to trouble their lordships at much length upon the pre-from necessity in time of war, because the sent occasion; whatever he had to say would royal yards were not sufficient to meet the come more regularly when the papers, which exigencies of the service. Whenever the it was the object of the noble lord's motion comparative expence of building in the to obtain, should be made the foundation of king's and the merchants' yards should fairly some specific resolutions. He would not become the subject of consideration, he shrink from the discussion. There was one would not decline entering upon the compoint, however, upon which he would, even parison. As to what the noble lord had adat the present stage of the proceedings, de-vanced respecting the increase of the price clare himself. If there were any blame ap-in building ships of war; and the inferences plicable to the repairing of ships in the mer- to the disadvantage of the present naval adchant's yards, that blame, he begged it to be ministration, which he supposed he meant to understood, he would distinctly take upon draw from the comparative rates of prices he himself. He would acknowledge, that he had moved for, he would ask, was there one had advised and recommended that the of their lordships who could expect to build king's ships should be repaired in the mer- a house now for the same sum it would have chants' yards; and for this reason, because cost 50 or even 20 years ago? The noble he thought in the state in which our navy lord, he understood, meant to bring forward was, it could not be kept up without having the question, and it was to be the principal
object of his motion on another day, whether it would be advisable to continue or abandon entirely the practice of building in private yards. That would be a fair mode of bringing it to issue, and one upon which he would have no reluctance to meet the noble lord. For the services in his professional capacity of the noble person in his eye (earl St. Vincent) he had all the respect they deserved; but it was not new in the history of this country that, under the administration of nayal lords, the navy had more than once been in danger of mouldering, and had well nigh gone to pieces. He had only to call the attention of their lordships to the naval administration of lord Sandwich, a person regularly bred to the profession, and yet, with the exception of one, the navy fell more into decay under the management of that board, of which he had been at the head, than when it was presided by persons, neither whose habits nor education were professional. When, he would ask, had the navy been most flourish ing? was it not at those periods when it had been superintended by a noble earl in his eye (Spencer), and another noble earl (Chatham) whom he did not see in his place? Under whose management of the naval department, were the victories of ear! Howe, earl St. Vincent, lord Duncan, and lord Nelson, gained? He had no objection that as full an enquiry as possible should be instituted into the conduct of the late and present admiralty boards, but he did not intend that the question should be decided upon the documents moved for by the noble lord. He would also bring forward some documents, tending to illustrate the former invariable practice of the board of admiralty, upon most of the points touched on by the noble lord. It was not his intention to object to any of the material documents moved for by the noble lord; there were, however, some of the papers which he did not think would be prudent to have produced. He would, therefore, wish that part of the second Resolution beginning at the words " also of all representations," to the conclusion,-should be omitted, and that the whole of the 4th [IRISH COUNTY ELECTIONS.] Colonel resolution should be expunged. He did not Bagwell called the attention of the house to think, being copies of letters from com- the subject of which he had given notice. manders of ships, that they were extremely It was for leave to bring in a bill to amend important in the consideration of the great an act of the 35th of his majesty for regulatquestion it was the object of the noble lording the election of persons to serve in parto bring forward. He was aware that of ficers, as it had been observed, were often in love with their ships, but the progress of the passion here was different from what obtain
ed in all other cases; it was seldom very warm at the beginning. At the commencement of a Spanish war, for instance, an enterprising officer would wish for a better sailer than the ship in which it had been thought proper by his superiors to place him. However, if the noble lord could produce letters complaining of the sailing of ships constructed in the merchants' yards, he could assure him that he could produce as many complaining of the sailing of ships constructed in the king's yards. As to the observations of officers respecting the fitness of ships for the service, they were, in his opinion, some of the worst criterions to judge by. If vessels were objected to, let them be surveyed by proper persons, and let not the capricious dislike of an officer be urged as an argument against either taking into or continuing a ship in the service. He did not see the necessity of making out the long list the noble lord moved for of ships, some of which were built when lord Keppel was at the head of the admiralty. He had no objection to concede to all the motions of the noble lord, except the latter part of the second, and the whole of the fourth-Thè motions were then put, with the necessary exceptions, and granted.—Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Thursday, March 14. [MINUTES.] A message from the lords. announced, that they had agreed to the Pleasure Horse duty, and some private bills, Mr. J. Fitzgerald moved, that there be laid before the house, an account of the charges outstanding on the surplus of the consolidated fund of Ireland, and of the sums paid thereon, up to the 5th Jan. 1805. He also moved for an account of the sums of money advanced by the commissioners of the navy in Ireland; the amount of the unfunded debt of the navy; a return of the balances of arrears, specifying the times of payment of the same; and a return of the payments stated to be due, but not payable, till after the 5th Jan. 1805; all of which were agreed to.
liament, so far as relates to freeholds of 201. a year in Ireland. He declined entering into the detail. The object was to regulate the mode in which the freeholder was to ob
tain his certificate by which he was entitled | rious and weighty importance, and relative to vote at an election for the county; a sub-to which something decisive ought to take ject liable to great and enormous abuses, ac-place before the end of the session. The cording to the present practice. Having stated the outline of his plan, he concluded with moving," that leave be given to bring in a bill to amend the said act, so far as relates to freeholds under the value of 201.Agreed to.
[KNARESBOROUGH ELECTION.]-Lord W. Russell moved the order of the day, for taking into consideration the special report of the committee of the late election for the borough of Knaresborough, which being read, he moved, that the house do concur in the first resolution. He said there was no occasion for his making any comments upon facts, which were sufficiently proved in the evidence before the committee, and since submitted to the house. Upon mature consideration, it was his opinion, and that of the committee, that, as the delinquents had not been parties before them, and consequently had not been heard in their own defence, instead of bringing them to the bar of the house, and hearing the whole of the evidence de novo, it would be much more desirable to move, as he then did, "that the following delinquents, viz. J. M. Allen, R. Dewes, T. Abbott, W. Whitehead, Anne Howeton, W. Allison, and S. Henlock, be prosecuted by the Attorney General."
Mr. Rose expressed his perfect satisfaction in this procedure, and the more so, as, if the allegations against one of the delinquents, J. M. Allen, an attorney, were true, the noble lord who presided in the court of king's bench had the power to strike him off the rolls; for though country attorneys had the means of rendering themselves useful and respectable, they were often the pests of the neighbourhood in which they lived.
The Master of the Rolls said, that though he was not forward in countenancing prosecutions on the part of the attorney general by order of that house, yet he must approve of the present, as the tumult did not appear to be accidental, but of a premeditated and studied nature. He, however, should like to know whether any other prosecution had been commenced against these parties? The several motions were then agreed to. -Adjourned.
noble lord seemed to refer to cases of a similar nature with that now pending with respect to the proceedings in the instance of Judge Fox. With a reference to the principle he had in contemplation, he acquainted their lordships, that he should, on Tuesday next, bring forward three propositions for the consideration of the house, in the shape of motions, nearly to the following effect: Ist. That a committee be appointed to search for precedents of cases of a member of that house bringing forward, in his place, accusations or charges against an individual, either upon his own authority, upon hearing, or upon the authority or informa tion of others, &c. 2d. For an inquiry into precedents of the modes of proceeding adopted in that house in cases of charges made against individuals, otherwise than matters of record, or by petitions presented to that house; and, 3d. For an examination into precedents respecting complaints exhibited against any of his majesty's judges previous to the act of W. III. &c.-His lordship then moved, that the lords be summoned for Tuesday next.
Lord Grenville expressed his opinion, that a question arising out of the intended motion first described by the noble lord, should be referred to the consideration of the twelve judges.
Lord Auckland replied, that a question of the kind had been nearly decided in a case that occurred in the year 1663.—The question being put, the lords were ordered to be summoned for Tuesday next.
[MUTINY BILL.]-The order of the day being read, for the commitment of this bill, the different clauses and provisions of the bill were agreed to by the committee, until that which contains the provisions for compelling the administration of oaths to witnesses, on regimental courts martial, was arrived at; when
The Marquis of Buckingham rose and expressed his disapprobation of that part of the clause, as well in point of policy, as in the view of military regulation. He thought the old and uniform practice, with respect to regimental courts martial, should be continued. In the course of his long experi ence, he had never heard a single complaint made, or one objection urged against it. The soldiers very seldom appealed from the decision of the regimental to the general courts, martial; and, in the few instances
where appeals were made, the sentences of
Earl Camden, in general terms, defended the clause as it then stood in the bill. conceived the provision by no means liable to the objections entertained by the noble marquis. He thought it would add a degree of solemnity to the proceedings at such courts martial, and obviously give a greater security for the correctness of the testimony given by witnesses.
of the members of such courts martial, who were generally inclined, whenever it coul be done with the least regard to propriety to a lenient mode of proceeding, would be the more shackled, in consequence of the proposed alteration.
Lord Hawkesbury agreed with what was stated by the noble marquis and the royal duke, with respect to the general conduct of regimental courts martial. He had every reason to believe, that, as much of what was correct, humane, fair, and honourable, prevailed in these tribunals, as in any other whatever. He was free to admit, no absolute necessity existed for the alteration; yet he felt it would involve such advantages, as should induce its adoption. He referred principally to the check and controul it would establish as to improper evidence on the part of persons not military; with many of whom, an unfounded degree of prejudice and clamour obtained, with respect to the character and profession of a soldier. It established some degree of security as to evidence of that kind, and would give an air of proper solemnity to the whole of the proceedings in regimental courts martial.
The Duke of Clarence observed, he agreed with every thing that had fallen from a very near relation of his, as to the clause in question. He cordially agreed with the sentiments of the noble marquis, in the present instance, particularly in the propriety of appointing a superintending officer to attend at the regimental courts martial, for the purposes mentioned, and he seemed to think. the paymaster would be a proper person for the purpose. Though he highly respected every thing that fell from the noble secretary of state, yet, in the case before them, he disagreed with him in every thing be observed, save one point, which was, that no necessity existed for the proposed alteration; and he appealed to the reverend bench, whether, as christian prelates, they could approve a measure, tending to the multiplication of oaths?
Lord Mulgrave defended the clause at some length, and with much ability. He differed from a royal duke, for whose character and opinions he had the most profound respect, in his idea, that the alteration would tend to a system of increased seve
The Duke of Cumberland expressed his coincidence in the opinions of the noble marquis, on the present occasion; and, after what had fallen from him, a few words from himself would suffice. First, he should observe, that, in the course of his own experience, and as the result of his inquiries from able and intelligent officers, he never heard a single objection to the long-established mode observed in regimental courts martial; then why adopt a measure which must in-rity; on the contrary, he thought, by produce the belief, that the former practice was complained of? Secondly, he objected to the alteration, as more likely to tend to an increased severity, instead of a more lenient system; inasmuch as the discretionary power
viding additional securities for the correctness of the proceedings, it must have an opposite effect. With regard to the appeal made by another illustrious personage, to the rev. beach, if it went for any thing, it