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consideration on the 25th. When they | Four arguments he understood to be were agreed to, with an amendment allow- brought forward in favour of the army. ing members to make excuses previous The first was, that great trust ought to to the call.
be put in the officers. In answer to this
he would say, that however much he reDebate on Mr. M. A. Taylor's Motion spected the character of British officers, respecting Barracks.] Feb. 22. Mr. M. A. and no man did more, yet he could not Taylor rose and said, he was aware help entertaining a jealousy that their that scarce any motions could gentle- being so very much dependant on the men on his side of the House make, to crown might render them too much atwhich the epithets of factious and seditious tached to it. He was himself constitumight not, and had not been indiscrimi- tionally attached to the crown as much nately applied; he would not, however, as any man. But as officers were not now 'embark in a discussion of this kind. only dependant on the crown with respect In what he was now going to say, he to promotion, but were liable to be discould not be called the advocate of France, missed from the service by its bare fiat,withhe should be in truth the advocate of Engo out being allowed a trial by court-martial, lishmen. The question was precisely which right of the crown had been lately this, whether in the very heart and body exercised on account of bare speculative of the country, a large standing army opinions alone, it was but a fair concluwas to be kept up, and in a way totally sion to draw, from the nature of man, that unusual, as well as highly alarming? He they may probably be too much attached should not think it necessary to go into to the crown : and even, whatever there any argument, as to standing armies in might be in this, he would go much fargeneral. It must, however, be admitted, ther, and would say plainly, that he would that in no free country could a large trust no man. It was said, in the second standing army be kept up, without dan- place, that the mutiny bill was passed ger to liberty. History afforded innumera- every year, and he was glad of it. Durble instances of states being modelled by ing the continuance of war, it would surearmies ; in this country, the same army ly be far from his wish, that any alterawhich raised Cromwell to the Protector- tions should be made in that act; but he ate, restored Charles the 2nd. Those hoped, on the return of peace, it would distinguished characters who led the globe accurately revised and amended, for it rious revolution, thought it necessary to appeared to him to have been very hastiestablish, by the declaration of rights, ly and incorrectly penned; which opithat no standing army should be kept up nion judge Blackstone had strongly exwithout consent of parliament; and, were pressed. In the third place it was said, the case otherwise, the doors of this that the army was only voted for a year: House might as well be shut up; it was but how did these voles pass now? Fornot, however, without much difficulty, that merly the secretary at war, on bringing they got William 3d. to disband his forces. forward the vote of the army, thought it With regard to the peace establishment always necessary to make a speech of in this country, it had continued nearly some length, stating the particular grounds the same during the present reign; but which rendered the vote necessary; but, it had increased much since the time of now, it generally passed altogether as a queen Anne: it now amounted to 18,000 matter of course. The fourth argument, men, which appeared to him much too with respect to the army, related to the large, and it would be still much more question now before the House. In alarming, if the proposition he was about truth, the connexion between the soldier to make should not be agreed to. He had and the citizen had been the reason why great fears too, that this was not all the a standing army had been permitted to peace establishment which was intended exist in this kingdom. Mr. Taylor here to be kept up; for he observed, in a cir- alluded to the opinions of Mr. Harley cular letter from the secretary at war to and Mr. Pulteney, who expressed, in the the officers who had been appointed to strongest possible language, their ideas of raise independent companies, that these the danger that must arise to the constiofficers were ordered to go on and com- tution and to liberty, from quartering solpleat their companies, which seemed to diers in barracks,and dissolving or lessening give much reason for apprehending an in their connexion with the body of the people. ereased peace establishment.
But those two great men might perhaps be considered to have been patriots like has evinced, that no walls are high enough himself, and of course be little regarded. to keep out opinions. Officers, however, He would beg leave, therefore, to appeal may perhaps say, that, in barracks betto Mr. Pelham, against whom the same ter discipline can be preserved: much raobjection could not possibly lie, if the ther would he wish to see the army placed title of patriot was to be appropriated to on constitutional ground; were it even atthose alone, in opposition to the govern- tended with a little relaxation, from the ment of the day : and Mr. Pelham's opi- most rigid discipline : but, in point of nion, which he read to the House, was fact, are not the army out of barracks, not less decisive on this subject. These well disciplined? But these arguments, were surely good authorities. He would however strong, were neither the only mention another opinion given by lord ones on his side of the question, nor were Gage in 1749, which went a great deal | they those which, in this case, pressed farther than he meant to carry the argu- most forcibly upon his mind. For the ment. Speaking against the augmenta- whole system of ministers showed an evition of the troops, lord Gage said that dent preconcerted design to curb and one thing (meaning the quartering sol- overawe the people by the bayonet and diers in barracks, and cutting off their the sword, instcad of applying, if necessaconnexion with the people ) he considered ry, the wholesome correction of the laws as of all others the most fatal, and that it of England; and this, in his conscience, would give the finishing stroke to liberty, he believed to be their intention. Bar“ If this,” said lord Gage, “ should ever racks are said to have done no hurt hibe attempted, it would become the duty therto ; but they have been only erected of the people to draw their swords, as the in seaports, and he believed in some last effort for liberty, and never to sheath places about London and Westminster. them, till they had brought the authors and So far indeed as his information went, it contrivers of the measure to condign pu- led him to believe, that the discipline of nishment. He could not pass over
soldiers in barracks, was worse than when another writer, famous for his sound judg- out of barracks. At Chatham, where ment, as well as for his candour and hu- he occasionally went, he understood that manity, in treating of military subjects, no farther back than about three weeks he meant judge Blackstone, who says that since, the soldiers there had behaved so “ the soldiers should live intermixed with riotously and improperly that the comthe people; no separate camp, no bar- manding officer, on a representation from racks, no inland fortresses should be al- the inhabitants, had found it necessary to lowed."
forbid them the use of side arms. Mr. In the argument which he was now Taylor confessed he was much alarmed; maintaining, he had on his side the an- but he was told that there is no danger, cient and rooted prejudices of the people because the right hon. gentleman opposite as well as the reason of the thing itself, to him was a constitutional minister, and and all the weight of the high authorities he had certainly made many elaborate dehe had mentioned. What did he meet clarations on the beauties of the constitu. opposed to these ? Nothing, but a set oftion. He could not, however, help connew-fangled opinions. First, it is alleged sidering the maxim to be equally just in that it is a great hardship on inn-keepers politics as in religion, that “by their to quarter soldiers on them. He believed deeds you shall know them.” If he saw it might, and that they thought it so; but the excise laws extended, could he help for what reason? Because the price paid thinking it a little degradation from the for hay and straw has not been raised for cause of general liberty ? Since the vote many years. If part of the large sums of that House some years ago,
66 That expended on building barracks, were ap- the influence of the crown had increased, plied towards a reasonable increase of the is increasing, and ought to be diminished," price paid for hay and straw, the inn- that influence had alarmingly increased: keepers would be glad to have them. we were now going altogether from li2dly, Barracks are said to be necessary, berty : we had engaged in a war for the to keep the minds of the soldiers, at the support of despotism: men had been dis. present moment, from being prejudiced missed from the service of the crown, on and poisoned: but the experience of ages account of abstract speculative opinions :
associations had been formed on the most * See Vol. 11, p. 934.
dangerous and unlawful principles, and
for the worst purposes. We were going The Secretary at War said, that at the from the standard of the constitution to time that jealousy had been shown in the standard of the crown. If we went to this country of a standing force, there church to perform the sacred duties of had prevailed a much greater alarm than religion, we heard a canting priest talk at present of the consequences with which ing of passive obedience and divine right. such a force might be attended. If there Doctrines thus preached by a supple cler- was now any cause for jealousy, the gy, might, be enforced by a complaisant House had to consider whether it was army, and thus the liberties of England sanctioned by any want of care or wisdom might be destroyed through the want of on their part. There were one or two that salutary jealousy which made the peo- expressions which had fallen from the ple, in former times, adverse to a standing hon. gentleman, to which he must advert, army, and still more so to a system of and which respected a body of men, barrack building, which would'estrange whom he must always honour, and to the soldiers from the subjects, and make whose character he considered himself as the former look upon the latter as enemies. bound upon every occasion to do justice.
He was not inclined to enter into any | These were the officers of the army, whom argument with respect to the king's right the hon. gentleman had described as more in virtue of his prerogative, of erecting immediately dependant upon the crown, barracks; but, before proceeding to erect to which they looked for their promotion. them, it was undoubtedly the duty of mi- But why were they to be considered exnisters to have informed the House of clusively in this light? Did not officers their intention to do so, and of the reasons of the navy look to the crown for promowhich induced them to think it a measure tion? Did not gentlemen of the law either prudent or necessary. It had been likewise look for promotion to the same the uniform desire of the right hon. gen- quarter? Why, then, were officers of tleman (Mr. Pitt) to lower the spirit of the army to be represented as more im. inquiry in that House ; all he thought pro- mediately dependant upon the crown, a per to ask of them was, to pay for what reproach which he must consideras was already done ; but they must not in- equally illiberal and unfounded. The quire the reason for which it was done. hon. gentleman had said, that he spoke In the present instance, the ground in to the prejudices and jealousies of the tended for the purpose was purchased, and British nation: this certainly was the the barracks erected in summer, and the case ; he spoke to the prejudices and jearight hon. gentleman endeavoured to lousies of former times, but not to prejusmuggle them through the House. This dices and jealousies which now existed. appeared to him to be a great constitu- The measure which had been adopted of tional question : and he thought it highly erecting barracks was necessary to the sedangerous, that barracks should be erect- curity of the kingdom. He regretted, that ed entirely at the pleasure of the crown. of late years in several instances the civil He concluded with moving, “ That the power had not been able to exercise its uniform and persevering opposition given authority without calling in the aid of the by our ancestors to every attempt to erect military. This was particularly the case barracks in this country, was founded at the present time. It was necessary, upon a just understanding of the true therefore, to have the soldiers so disposed principles of our free and excellent con- of, that they could speedily be called toge. stitution, and that this opposition has ther, and be ready to act with most effect. been justified and supported by high poli- After all, what had by the hon. gentleman tical and legal authority, whose recorded sometimes been called barracks and someopinion is, " That in time of peace the times fortresses, were in a great many • soldier should live intermixed with the places only stables for putting up the
people, that no separate camp, no bar- horses. Those places in which troops
racks, no inland fortresses, should be had been stationed, so far from feeling the " allowed; and that a circulation should alarm and jealousy which had been de• be thus kept up between the army and scribed by the hon. gentleman, were, on ' the people, and the citizen and the the contrary, actuated by very different
soldier be intimately connected toge- sentiments, and had expressed themselves (ther.'"*
highly satisfied with this salutary precau
tion, and the provision which was thereby * Blackstone's Commentaries, 414.
made for their tranquillity and security.
Mr. Minchin saw no danger in the mea- | thought fit to advise his majesty to do so. sure which had been so much objected to | It was their system to act in a manner inby the hon. mover. He thought it, on dependent of that House, and to render the contrary, attended with many advan- its function as nominal as possible. This tages. And first it relieved a certain de- step was part of that system. Another scription of men from a grievous tax, part of the same system was, that of the which, during last war, had been so very measure now under consideration, the oppressive, that several publicans had building of barracks; this might be called given up their licences. It was likewise a sort of punishment, and he feared the a measure very favourable to the exact soldiers would see and feel in that manner. observance of discipline; for though sol. The building of the barracks ought to diers were at stated hours obliged to re- have been submitted, and the whole plan tire to their quarters, yet when they were of it laid before the House, because as quartered in a public house, this regula- the money was to come out of the tion could not be enforced; for when the pockets of their constituents, the memo officers went to bed, the soldiers might bers of that House were the only persons take the opportunity to leave their quar- fit to judge of the propriety or improters, and might be engaged in riots or priety of the measure ; and they were the mischiefs, which there were no means of only persons who had, by the constitution discovering or preventing. But this could a right to decide upon the subject. But not occur in barracks, which were equally ministers had no respect for the consticonducive to the health and morals of the tution in this respect; they undertook troops lodged in them. In public houses to do any thing they pleased, and afterthe soldiers were continually exposed to wards came to parliament to call upon the temptation of expending that pay them to pay the expense of it.Thus far which might procure them solid nourish- he had spoken of the mode, and objected ment, for liquors, equally pernicious to to it; he had still more objection to the their constitution and morals. With re- measure itself. As to the point taken nospect to the utility of barracks, he refer- tice of in the opening of this subject by red to the example of Ireland, where they his hon. friend, that the officers of the had been always in use, and where so much army being more connected with the were their beneficial effects experienced, crown, were therefore more jealously to that those towns where they were not be regarded. On this point he differed, erected, even made application for them. from his hon. friend; for he was sure, that
Major Maitland said, that he waited if the crown did but act properly with patiently for some time to hear the two them, there never would be any occahon. gentlemen who had defended the sion to say any thing against the public system of barracks, because he had a cu- principles of the army. If the contrary riosity to hear on what ground it was that should be the case, and the hour should a plan so new could be supported. But af- come when military merit should be toter all that he had heard, he was more at tally disregarded, and the army should a loss to form an opinion than he was be- feel that impression, and know by experifore he had heard them. If the measure ence that government attended to private itself was offensive, the mode by which interest in the disposition of all its prothat measure was to be carried on was motions in the army (as of late there was not less so. It was a system which was too much reason to complain), dreadful dangerous in itself, for it compelled all its indeed would be the situation of the objects to look to the king only, instead country. If it should be once felt as a of looking to all the three branches of the general principle, that those who had bled legislature. How did they apply this ob- in the field, and endured all the hardships servation ? Was not his majesty to have of a military life for years were to be the direction of all his army? Most cer- neglected, and that others were to be adtainly he was: but this was not the whole vanced who had no military merit, for no of the case ; for it was well known to the reason assigned, but forwell understood reaHouse, that last session his majesty had sons, which it was not convenient to avow, allowed an additional sum of money for then he would say that this country might the payment of the army, without con- be in danger. With regard to the mutiny sulting that House. This, under the qua- bill, on which the whole of the military lification he had given already, he said, authority of this country, depended, he was irregular, however ministers had must allow that it imposed some degree of slavery on the soldiers, but not an iota | and why should the hon. gentleman enmore than was absolutely requisite for the ter into the discussion of the subject bepurposes of military discipline.--As to fore the House were at all acquainted the argument, that the situation of this with the extent of these barracks? The country was such, as to justify the civil hon, mover had said, in order to give coofficers to call in the assistance of the mi- lour to his observation, that the building litary, nay, that such assistance had been of barracks, as it was now to be carried often wanted, this was of a piece with the on, was a new system, and that the docother part of the conduct of ministers; for trine of its necessity in this country was they had already endeavoured to spread new; whereas the plan of building barsham alarms throughout every part of the racks had been known, and barracks had kingdom, of sedition, insurrections, and been erected many years ago. This was rebellions ; and this they did, that they not the first time when the discussion of might with the greater ease plunge this barrack building had taken place; and it country into a war; but he called upon had on these occasions been invariably dethe officers of the crown to state any of termined, that his majesty had the unthese seditions, or disposition to rebellion, questionable right of taking it upon himin this country, or the necessity there was self; and he believed there was not an infor calling forth the alarm of the people stance in which it had been necessary to at large upon the subject.-With respect come to that House for its previous apto our having our military in barracks, he probation. His lordship then said, that granted, that if ministers could state any in his opinion, it was no objection, in such necessity, the measure ought to be a country as this, that a thing of this sort adopted, because there were, in certain was new; for there was no country, in his cases, some advantages to be derived opinion, which could be stationary in its from that mode of keeping the military in politics. But he did not admit, that, in readiness; but we must likewise remem- point of fact, this was a deviation in pober the disadvantages to which that mode licy from the ancient system of this counsubjected us, and therefore, before parlia- try; besides, if other countries changed ment should sanction the measure, great their system of policy, it was necessary attention should be paid to it. As to the that Great Britain should do the same. point of mere discipline, he did not think As to the situation of this country in the that barracks were necessary; he was, in- time of king William, and the difficulty deed, of a contrary opinion; and the idea that prince had to keep up his army, of taking the army away from the mass owing to the jealousy the people of this of the people, for the sake of improving country had against standing armies, the their health and morals, he could not ac. House would recollect, that then all the cede to. Indeed, no man could pay too monarchs of Europe were desirous to high a compliment to the character of the emulate Louis 14th in keeping up large British army; he believed that in truth standing armies, and, that king William they were superior to any other upon was a foreign prince, and therefore it was earth ; and why? Because they stood natural that there should have been a deupon a different footing from all other sol- gree of jealousy, under such circumdiers in the world; because they were stances, at that time. A great part of deeply interested in the country for which the same policy and jealousy prevailed in they were enlisted; because not one of the time of the two first prinees of the them was a soldier merely, but united the present family, and yet without a consitwo characters of citizen and soldier. But derable standing army the people of this if they were to be put into barracks, that country must have fallen. If barracks would tend to take away from them the were not to be erected, what would be the most valuable part of their character, that situation of the large manufacturing of citizen. He concluded with giving his towns ? If dragoons were not collected hearty assent to the motion.
easily, did the House imagine that the Lord Beauchamp observed, that it ap- mischief that might be intended to be peared rather extraordinary to him that done by rioters could be avoided. I the the present occasion should be taken to military were quartered in different public object to barracks, at a time when there houses at a distance from each other, and was nothing before the House to lead to if measures to prevent riots were not taken that inquiry. They had not any estimate in a very early stage of them, they might upon the table relative to the expense, become too strong to be prevented at all? [VOL. XXX.]