« AnteriorContinuar »
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 emploved at the commencement of their commanders, respecting their unfit the present month amounted only to 3215, 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 ihe 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 Hyæna, 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 under
, had 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 lit 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 ex be 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 cach month, since 1st June, 1804, adne, 1792; Magicienne, Dedalus, Androspecifying their sereral 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 299,8841. 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 com- tion would be for, “ An Account of the plied with, he had strong reasons for sup- sums for which ships of the same size and posing that it would appear to the satisfac. force might have been built at the same pe. tion of every, noble lord who heard him, riod, according to the contract prices then that fewer shipwrights were borne in the paid to the merchant-builders.” It was not king's yards at the commencement of the his intention to say any thing at that time present month, than at the corresponding upon the comparative merits of the late and period last year. His lordship here stated present naval administrations. He meant the numberof men who had been discharged nothing personal to the noble lord at the from the different yards at various times by head of that department; his object was to the late Board of Admiralty, some of whom institute an enquiry, the result of which he were superannuated, and others dismissed thought would be beneficial to the country, for misconduct. He contended that there 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 earl ed 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 enal 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 susficient 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 ahuses, 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 admiralty boards, might have been made, the benefits that might be expected, from a but neither he, nor those with whom he had more correct and economical administration acted, thought that the honour, the advanof the immense sums that were so freelycon- tage, or the security of the country would be tributed for maintaining it. He would tres- consulted by a rash departure from the syspass no longer upon their lordships' time, tem which had been so long and so benefibut move the first resolution.
cially acted upon. He would, at the same Lord Melville said, he had no objection to time, frankly acknowledge, that he did not the motion made by the noble lord. It think that the merchants' yards were to be would not be necessary for him to trouble built in out of choice; they were employed 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, devanced 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 be 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, whe. sed in all other cases; it was seldom very ther it would be advisable to continue or warm at the beginning. At the commenceabandon entirely the practice of building in ment of a Spanish war, for instance, an enprivate yards. "That would be a fair mode terprising ofhcer would wish for a better of bringing it to issue, and one upon which sailer than the ship in which it had been he would have no reluctance to meet the thought proper by his superiors to place him. noble lord. For the services in his profes. However, if the noble lord could produce sional capacity of the noble person in his letters complaining of the sailing of ships eye (earl St. Vincent) he had all the respect constructed in the merchants' yards, he could they deserved; but it was not new in the assure him that he could produce as many history of this country that, under the ad. complaining of the sailing of ships constructministration of naval lords, the navy had ed in the king's yards. As to the observa. more than once been in danger of moulder- tions of officers respecting the fitness of ships ing, and had well nigh gone to pieces. He for the service, they were, in his opinion, had only to call the attention of their lord- some of the worst criterions to judge by. If ships to the naval administration of lord vessels were objected to, let them be surSandwich, a. person regularly bred to the veyed by proper persons, and let not the profession, and yet, with the exception of capricious dislike of an officer be urged one, the navy fell more into decay under as an argument against either taking into or the management of that board, of which he continuing a ship in the service. He did had been at the head, than when it was pre- not see the necessity of making out the long sided by persons, neither whose habits nor list the noble lord moved for of ships, some education were professional. When, he of which were built when lord Keppel was would ask, had the navy been most flourish at the head of the admiralty. He had no ing? was it not at those periods when it had objection to concede to all the motions of been superintended by a noble earl in his the noble lord, except the latter part of the eye (Spencer), and another noble earl (Chat. second, and the whole of the fourth-The ham) whom he did not see in his place? motions were then put, with the necessary Under whose management of the naval de exceptions, and granted.-Adjourned. partment, were the victories of earl Howe, carl St. Vincent, lord Duncan, and lord Nelson, gained? He had no objection that as
Thursday, March 14. full an enquiry as possible should be institut- [MINUTES.] A message from the lords ed into the conduct of the late and present announced, that they had agreed to the Pleaadmiralty boards, but he did not intend that sure Horse duty, and some private bills, the question should be decided upon the do- Mr. J. Fitzgeralú moved, that there be cuments moved for by the noble lord. He laid before the house, an account of the would also bring forward some documents, charges outstanding on the surplus of the tending to illustrate the former invariable consolidated fund of Ireland, and of the sums practice of the board of admiralty, upon paid thereon, up to the 5th Jan. 1805. He most of the points touched on by the noble also moved for an account of the sums of lord. It was not his intention to object to money advanced by the commissioners of any of the material documents moved for by the navy in Ireland; the amount of the uns the noble lord; there were, however, some funded debt of the navy; a return of the of the papers which he did not think would balances of arrears, specifying the times of be prudent to have produced. He would, payment of the same; and a return of the therefore, wish that part of the second Re-payinents stated to be due, but not payable, solution beginning at the words “ also of all till after the 5th Jan. 1805; all of whichi representations,” to the conclusion, -should were agreed to. be omitted, and that the whole of the 4th (IRISH COUNTY ELECTIONS.] Colonel resolution should be expungei. He did not Bugarell 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. liament, so far as relates to freeholds of 201. ficers, as it had been observed, were often in a year in Ireland. He declined entering inlove with their ships, but the progress of the to the detail
. The object was to regulate Püssion here was different from what obtain the mode in which the freeholder was to ob
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
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 noble lord seemed to refer to cases of a sistated the outline of his plan, he concluded milar nature with that now pending with rewith moving, “ that leave be given to bring spect to the proceedings in the instance of in a bill to amend the said act, so far as re- Judge Fox. With a reference to the prin lates to freeholds under the value of 20.-ciple he had in contemplation, he acquaintAgreed 16.
ed their lordships, that he should, on Tues. [KNAR ESBOROUGH Election.)-Lord day next, bring forward three propositions W. Russell moved the order of the day, for for the consideration of the house, in the taking into consideration the special report shape of motions, nearly to the following of the committee of the late election for the effect: Ist. That a committee be appointed borough of Knaresborough, which being to search for precedents of cases of a memread, he moved, that the house do concur in ber of that house bringing forward, in his the first resolution. He said there was no place, accusations or charges against an india occasion for his making any comments upon vidual
, either upon his own authority, upon facts, which weré sufficiently proved in the hearing, or upon the authority or informaevidence before the committee, and since tion of others, &c. 2d. For an inquiry into submitted to the house. Upon mature con- precedents of the modes of proceeding sideration, it was his opinion, and that of the adopted in that house in cases of charges committee, that, as the delinquents had not made against individuals, otherwise than been parties before them, and consequently matters of record, or by petitions presented had not been heard in their own defence, to that house; and, 3d. For an examination instead of bringing them to the bar of the into precedents respecting coinplaints exhihouse, and hearing the whole of the evidence bited against any of his majesty's judges prede novo, it would be much more desirable to vious to the act of W. III. &c.-His lordmove, as he then did, " that the following ship then moved, that the lords be sumdelinquents, viz. J. M. Allen, R. Dewes, moned for Tuesday next. T. Abbott, W. Whitehead, Anne Howe. Lord Grenrille expressed his opinion, that ton, W. Allison, and S. Henlock, be prose- a question arising out of the intended mocuted by the Attorney General.”
tion first described by the noble lord, should Mr. Rose expressed his perfect satisfaction be referred to the consideration vs the twelve in this procedure, and the more so, as, if the judges. allegations against one of the delinquents, J. Lord Auckland replied, that a question of M. Allen, an attorney, were true, the noble the kind had been nearly decided in a case lord who presided in the court of king's that occurred in the year 1663.-The quesbench had the power to strike him off the tion being put, the lords were ordered to be Tolls; for though country attorneys had the summoned for Tuesday next. imeans of rendering themselves useful and [MUTINY BILL.)– The order of the day respectable, they were often the pests of the being read, for the commitment of this bili, neighbourhood in which they lived. the different clauses and provisions of the
The Master of the Rolls said, that though bill were agreed to by the committee, until he was not forward in countenancing prose- that which
contains the provisions for comcutions on the part of the attorney general pelling the administration of oaths to witby order of that house, yet he must approve nesses, on regimental courts martial, was of the present, as the tumult did not appear arrived at; when to be accidental, but of a premeditated and The Marquis of Buckingham rose and exstudied nature. He, however, should like pressed his disapprobation of that part of to know whether any other prosecution had the clarise, as well in point of policy, as in been commenced against these parties - the view of military regulation. He thought The several motions were then agreed to. the old and uniform practice, with respect -Adjourned.
to regimental courts martial, should be continued. In the course of his long experi
ence, he had never heard a single complaint Friday, March 15.
made, or one objection urged against it. (CONDUCT OF JUDGE Fox.)– Lord Auck- The soldiers very seldom appealed from the land called the attention of their lordships to decision of the regimental to the general a topic which he conceived to be of very se courts martial; and, in the few instances
HOUSE OF LORDS.
where appeals were made, the sentences of of the members of such courts martial, who the regimental coiirts martial were not only were generally inclined, whenever it could confirmed by the superior court, but the be done with the least regard to propriety, punishment greatly increased; and he never to a lenient mode of proceeding, would be knew an instance of their decisions heing re- the more shackled, in consequence of the "versed, or any kind of slur or stigma thrown proposed alteration. upon them by the general courts.
Lord Hawkesbury agreed with what was tertained another onjection to the clause; stated by the noble marquis and the royal no provision was made for the attendance of duke, with respect to the general conduct of a proper person or officer upon these courts regimental courts martial. He had every martial, where the evidence was now pro- reason to believe, that, as much of what was posed to be taken upon oath, to take an ac- correct, humane, fair, and honourable, precount of the testimony so given. He allud- vailed in these tribunals, as in any other ed to a person empowered as the deputy whatever. He was free to admit, no absojudge advocates, to take an account of the lute necessity exisied for the alteration; yet proceedings, and to transmit them to the he felt it would involve such advantages, as proper officer; such a regulation was the should induce its adoption. He referred more called for, as the wiinesses were liable principally to the check and controul it to the pains and penalties of perjury, and would establish as to improper evidence on without it accusations of that kind must be the part of persons not military; with many made from the loose and vague recollections of whom, an unfounded degree of prejudice of the persons present. He objected to the and clamour obtained, with respect io the proposed arrangement, on grounds of wis character and profession of a soldier. It dom and policy. The course hitherto pur- established some degree of security as to evisued ought not to be departed from; but if dence of that kind, and would give an air of the new regulation was deemed an improve proper solemnity to the whole of the proment, such a precaution as he had suggested ceedings in regimental courts martial. ought at least to be adopted. He assured The Duke of Clarence observed, he their lordships he came forward on the pre- agreed with every thing that had fallen from sent occasion, merely from a sense of duty, a very near relation of his, as to the clause and from his zeal for the well-being of the in question. He cordially agreed with the army, and the general good of the service. sentiments of the noble marquis,
preConstituted as the clause then was, he must sent instance, particularly in the propriety oppose it.
of appointing a superintending officer to at. Earl Camden, in general terms, defended tend at the regimental courts martial, for the the clause as it then stood in the bill. He purposes mentioned, and he seemed to think conceived the provision by no means liable the paymaster would be a proper person for to the objections entertained by the noble the purpose. Though he highly respected marquis. He thought it would add a degree every thing that fell from the noble secreof solemoity to the proceedings at such tary of state, yet, in the case before them, courts martial, and obviously give a greater he disagreed with him in every thing he obsecurity for the correctness of the testimony served, save one point, which was, that no given by witnesses.
necessity existed for the proposed alteraThe Duke of Cumberland expressed his tion; and he appealed to thcreverend bench, coincidence in the opinions of the noble whether, as christian prelates, they could apmarquis, on the present occasion; and, after prove a measure, tending to the multiplicawhat had fallen from him, a few words from tion of oaths ? himself would suffice. First, he should oli. Lord Mulgruve defended the clause at "serve, that, in the course of his own experi- some length, and with much ability. He ence, and as the result of his inquiries from differed from a royal duke, for whose chaable and intelligent officers, he never heard racter and opinions he had the most proa single objection to the long-established found respect, in his idea, that the alteration mode observed in regimental courts martial; would tend to a system of increased sevethen why adopt a measure which inust in- rity; on the contrary, he thought, by produce the belief, that the former practice was viding additional securities for the correcta complained of? Secondly, he objected to ness of the proceedings, it must have an opthe alteration, as more likely to tend to an posite effect. With regard to the appeal increased severity, instead of a more lenient inade by another illustrious personage, to system; inasmuch as the discretionary power the rev. beach, if it went for any thing, it