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Deficiencies of Taxes and of Parliamentary Grants. Resolutions of Supply. Or

dinary and Extraordinary of the Navy. Motion by Mr. Sawbridge for

hortening the Duration of Parliaments. May 1 ath. L

L

ORD John Caven. the fund established for paying an

dish having stated to nuities, by an act made in the 19th the commons the deficiencies of seve- year of the reign of his present ma. ral taxes and parliamentary grants, jesty, towards the supply granted and the necessity of their being sup- for the service of the year 1779. plied and made good for the interest • That a sum not exceeding one and service of the public, moved the hundred forty-one thousand eight following resolutions:

hundred feventy-one pounds, seven • That a fum not exceeding forty- shillings, and seven pence three farfix thousand four hundred forty- things, be granted to his majesty, to four pounds, and eleven pence, be replace to the finking fund the like granted to his majesty, to replace sum taken out of the fame, to make to the finking fund the like fum good the deficiency on the tenth paid out of the same, to make good day of O&tober, 1782, of the fund the deficiency on the fifth day of established for paying, annuities; July, 1782, of the fund established granted by an act made in the 20th for paying annuities granted by an year of the reign of his present maact made in the 311t year of his jefty, towards the supply granted for late majesty, towards the supply the service of the year 1780. granted for the service of the year • That a sum not exceeding one

hundred and thirty-eight thousand That a fum not exceeding one fix hundred eighty-two pounds, sehundred and fixty thousand one venteen shillings, and four pence, be hundred ninety-one pounds, eight granted to his majesty, to replace fhillings and eight pence farthing, to the finking fund the like fum paid be granted to his majesty, to re. out of the fame, to make good the place to the finking fund the like fum deficiency on the tenth day of Octo: paid out of the same, to make good ber, 1782, of the fund established the deficiency on the fifth day of for paying annuities, granted by an July, 1782, of the fund established act made in the 22d year of the reign for paying annuities, granted by an of his present majesty, towards the act in the 18th year of the reign fupply granted for the service of the of his present majesty, towards the year 1782. supply granted for the service of the • That a fum not exceeding two year 1778.

hundred eighty-two thousand five • That a fum not exceeding fixty- hundred and two pounds, eight fhile three thousand eight hundred eighty. lings, and two pence, be granted to eight pounds, eight shillings, and see his majesty, to make good the deven pence halfpenny, be granted to ficiency of the grants for the service his majesty, to replace to the finking of the year 178z.' fund the like sum paid out of the In a committee of supply of the same, to make good the deficiency house, these resolutions were agreed on the fifth day of July, 1982, of to, and ordered to be reported. In

1758.

this committee also, the honourable The honourable Mr. Townshend Mr. Townshend rose, and moved, endeavoured to account for the ex. • that a sum not exceeding four hun- cess of the extraordinary of the predred and fifty-one thousand five hun- sent year over that which was asked dred eighty-nine pounds, twelve on the conclusion of the last peace. fhillings, and eleven pence, be grant. At that time, ten thousand pounds ed to his majesty for the ordinary of only were moved for; but that sum the navy, including half pay to fea was found so inadequate to the pure and marine officers for the year pose, that two hundred thousand 1783.' He also moved, that a sum pounds were required in addition not exceeding three hundred and to it. He likewise stated, that in eleven thousand eight hundred and the present extraordinary there was forty-three pounds, one shilling, and included the femn for lord Rodney's four pence, be granted to his majesty prizes, which the Admiralty, from towards the buildings, re-buildings, the peculiar circumstances of the and repairs of ships of war, in his case, were not disposed to pay till majesty's yards, and other extra they had the fanction of parliament, works over and above what are pro. He remarked too, the uncommonly posed to be done upon the heads of expensive nature of the war ; and wear and tear, and ordinary, for the upon these topics contended, that year 1783.

the excess of the extraordinary was These estimates escaped not ani. by no means unreasonable. madversion. Mr. Buller complain- Mr. Hopkins declared, that he ed of the enormous amount of the thought the estimates rather too navy extraordinaries. They infi. low than too high. The sums nitely, and in his opinion, prepos- which had been demanded for preterously exceeded the sum aked for ceding years, had been by far too in the same service in the end of the fmall, and inadequate to the public

It had been understood, exigency. For this, however, he that parsimony and economy were blamed not the earl of Sandwich, absolutely necessary to recover the or any particular board of admiralıy. exhausted strength of the country; The fault lay with the noble and un. but this was no example of it. Ma. fortunate lord who had presided over ny promotions, he said, had been the government of this country at made without neceffity or advan- the commencement, and during the tage ; and beside the expence in- progress of that accursed and most curred in this way, many pensions destructive measure, the American were paid by the board of admiralty That noble lord, when the which could not be justified. In American hostilities had broke out, particular, a penfion of four hun- had the effrontery to tell the house, dred pounds had been bestowed upon “ that there was not even a probaMr. Jackson. It was true that Mr. bility that the house of Bourbon Jackson had served with ability in would take any part in the quarrel." the Admiralty-Office, and he was He conceived, notwithstanding, that yet both willing and able to serve in his lordship actually foresaw this it. As a good servant, it was an event; but that he meant to delude injustice to the public to dismiss the house in order to support his own hiin; and it added to this injustice power, and to promote the animosity. that he retired with a yearly peri- of this country against the Amerifon of four hundred pounds.

cans. This, however, was not

all.

last war.

war.

all. Had that noble lord performed and the admiralty office. Nor did his duty, and demanded such sup- he conceive that there could be any plies for the navy as were actually method more proper for the encou. requifite to put our marine on a foot- ragement of public business, than a ing with those of France and Spain, forwardness to provide for men our disgrace would not have proved whose services had been long, aflidufo humiliating. But his lorddhip ous, and able. was afraid to encounter the difficulty There was, at the same time, a of asking for proper supplies; and material point, to which he wished. rather than relinquish power, he to call the attention of the house. had endangered the existence of his This was the dreadful situation of country.

the widows of officers upon the reMr. Brett enlarged on the expence duction of the navy. Their fupwhich was indispensably necessary port depended on the number of men in order to uphold the navy. It was employed; it being customary to absurd to censure ministers on one appropriate the pay of one nominal day for not keeping up our maritime man in every hundred seamen, to ftrength, and to complain on another make a fund for their benefit. Now that the charge was enormous. The in time of war, this fund produced extraordinaries were undoubtedly from 30l. to 451. per annum to each. large; and they would probably widow. In times of peace, however, continue to be so for some years to its produce was only from 12 to 181. come. Several new ships had been per annuin; a recompense which contracted for before the peace. was by no means fit or adequate. Upon these the ship builders were This sort of pension, he observed, employed; and as the payments was not paid in general to all the were to be made by installments, it widows of captains and lieutenants, was necessary to have money till the but only to those of them who were contracts should de fulfilled. labouring under want. These cir

Lord Mulgrave recommended a cumstances, being put together and manly way of acting, and inGifted considered, he trusted that his conon the policy of having our marine duct would be approved, if he in such a condition that it could at should take an early opportunity to all times be sent out to sea with expe- move for certain papers that were dition. He justified the promotions necessary to be upon the table when which had been made. At the end he should bring forward a propofition of a war, in which few officers had of which it was the object to produce acquired much, he contended that the relief of the widows of brave and preferment was the circumstance to deserving officers, who had spent which they looked up with the their lives in the service of their greatest confidence. It was the most country. honourable and the least burdensome Sir John Jervis desired the house tecompence that could be given to to take a view of the fleets of other men who had risked their lives for powers, and extolled the wisdom of their country; and it ought never keeping up a forinidable and respecto be dealt out with a niggardly or table navy. The peace might not avaricious hand. As to the pension last long; and if a new war fhould bestowed on Mr. Jackson, he con. speedily break out, it would then fidered it as a proper remuneration be too late to complain of the refor his services at the navy board duction of our maritime force. We

could could only be considerable by attend- the rank of post captains; and of ing to it ; and nothing could be more twenty lieutenants, who had been impolitic than to yield inconfider- honoured with the titles of masters ately to idle and unsubstantial rea- and commanders. - Of the first of sonings about parlimony. Proper these classes, the promotion confere and wise expences were the best and red rank, but was attended with no happiest æconomy; and in this additional pay. The public of concountry no money could be wasted sequence was not exposed by it to that was applied to preserve the na- the flightest expence. Of the leval strength: for upon that strength cond class, the promotion affeEted our security depended in the most the half pay establishment with an effe&tual manner.

additional payment to each of three Mr. Aubrey could not conceive shillings a day: Now that marks of that the amount of the estimates approbation, like these, thould 'ex• could with any propriety be pro- cite any cenfure among members of nounced to be enormous, when it parliament, or any murmur among was adverted to, that though they the people, was a height of absurwere taken into consideration in time dity fo ridiculous, that it was not to of peace, they were occafioned by be equalled but by a fick man's the expences of the war. The first dream. year of a peace was generally as It was in every one's memory, that expensive as the last year of a war. by the reduction which took place Of the present estimates, there might at the last peace, the lieutenants of indeed be some savings; but there the navy were exposed to the most could be no objection to apply these cruel distresses. It was also well to the extinction of the navy debt, or known, that the late lord Chatham to the service of some other public had projected a plan for their relief, exigency. As to the article of pen- which was defeated by his removal fions its justification might be left to from office. In a country where the feelings of the house. It would the badges of merit were so few, not be contended, without inhumani. the mealure he defended was pecu. ty and injustice, that superannuated liarly proper to give encouragement and wounded officers were not pro.. to a favourite service. per objects of bounty, and that was not lasting, the mifchief would their widows deserved not protection. cease; for a new war' must be fola These pensions too were not granted lowed with new promotions. On by the admiralty, but by the king the other hand, if the peace Ahould in council. There was but one pen- be permanent, it was right that a fion granted by the admiralty, and number of gallant officers should be that was to Mr. Jackson, who had sent on fhore contented with the serbeen an old and useful servant to the vice, and disposed to continue in it. board. Nearly forty years of his There were, for the measure he relife had been employed in places of commended, justice, humanity, and high trust, and great labour; and gratitude; and these were arguments was the grant of an annual pittance which in that house could not be to such a man, to be branded as a urged in vain, lavilh act of profusion?

The resolutions, upon being put, The promotions alluded to con- were agreed to without any difficul. sisted of thirty-nine masters and com- ty; and soon after the confideration manders, who had been advanced to of the commons was called to the

pro. 3

If the peace

propriety of shortening the duration tyranny of the first Charles. It was of parliaments.

of confequence, in late times, only, Mr. Alderman Saw. that the Hame of public liberty illuMay 16.

bridge observed to the minated the constitution. It was in house, that though he had frequent- late times only, that our constiruly explained to them his sentiments tion had become the wonder of the on the danger of long parliaments, world. To talk of it as having been he had never been able to carry them so for ages, was to falsify records into his views. Convinced, how- and history, ever, of the propriety of his opinions To improve upon the constitution he would ftrenuously persist in them; was his object. He would not howand it was his firm determination to ever inove any specific proposition. bring the question forward feflion af. The real queition might thence be ter fetion, as long as he should have avoided by infidious, designing, and the honour to have a seat in that cold men. It might be said by some affembly.

that his motion pointed at annual Upon a former day, he had heard parliaments; and others might conthe British confticution characterized ceive, that his mind had fixed itself as the most glorious fabrick, the work for triennial parliaments. He would of ages, and the wonder of the world. propofe neither; but he could assure To him such a descrption appeared the house, that it was in his power moft absurd ; and he was happy to suggest such a mode of Thortening that no foreigners had been present the duration of parliaments as Mould at the time, as they might have been infallibly engage their approbation. too much diverted at the expence of He therefore concluded with movthe member who had indulged himself idg, “ That leave be given to bring fo extravagantly in panygerick. It in a bill for shortening the duration was his rooted persuasion, that the of parliaments.” British conftitution, till the decolla- Mr. Alderman Bull seconded the Lion of that tyrant Charles the First, motion of Mr. Sawbridge, and was was a system of the most wretched supported by Mr. Martin, who deli. despotism. No gleam of liberty had vered his sentiments at some length. ever shone out till after that ära. It had been asserted, he said, that Antecedently to the domination the people desired no reform of of Charles, the country had been a parliament. Of this position, he was monarchical tyranny, or an aristo- not convinced; but even allowing cratical tyranny. Under both these it to be true, it ought not to be condescriptions it was miserable; and (idered as a reason for avoiding re. the people were no better than flaves. forinations. He contended, that if In ancient times there had indeed the lower orders of the people, copyexisted violent contentions and ing the example of their superiors, feuds; but these were experiments had fallen into a state of corruption for power between the king and the and debasement, it yet became not the barons; becween the crown and the house to neglect the establishment of great men of the realm. The peo- falutary regulations and rules. He ple took no real interest in them. Would maintain, that it was at all They never felt their dignity, never times the duty of every man, whea inquired into their rights, and never ther in parliament or out of it, to. aflerted them till they were thrown stand up to the full extent of his ininto combustion by the atrocious fuence in defence of the just rights 1733

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