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Vol. V. No. 6.)
London, Saturday, 11th February, 1804.
"I have lately been accused of some inconsisteocy in my parliamentary conduct, and have been
" charged witli giving my support to his Majesiy's Ministers; but, if they had no quarmer supporters " than I as they avould not hare much reason to trust to their friends. I despise the Ministers so much, " that, if I had po other morive in coming forward to declare my sentiment on the subject of French "invasion, I should have called upon the people to arm, lest the French, if they conquered the
" country, should take revenge on it, by insisting to continue the present i linisters in puover, as an Executive ." Directory of England.” -Mr. Sheridan's Speech at the Whig-Club.
(162 VOLUNTEER SYSTEM.
advise his Majesty to dismiss that corps ;
that he should advise his Majesty, in the first The excelleot speech of MR. WAIT- | instance, not to listen to such recommendaERE AD, delivered in the House of Commons, tion; and, in the second, to dismiss such on the sth instant, upon the motion of Me. | corps it they should persist in such recom. SECRETARY YORKE for leave to bring in a
mendation This, Sir, I apprehend, is much
too general. The terms of the corps which bill to consolidate the Volunteer Laws, is so I have the honour to command were, that well calculated to produce great and exten- they should serve voder officers specifically
nanied by themselves; not only so, but also sive good effect, that it has been thonght
such as ihey may recommend hereafter to proper to insert the following accurate report his Majesty, through the medium of the of it, in the Register, without loss of time. lord lieutenant of the county. Their ser
vices were accepted after they sent in these Mr. Whitbread is himself the commander
terms, nor were the terms in the least de. of a Volunteer Corps; he appears to have gree qualified when the service of this corps been a careful observer of the nature and was accepted. If they had been told that effects of the system, and the result of his
They should not have this choice or recom
mendation, not only of their present comobservations, conveyed with great force and mander but also of their other officers, or perspicuity, cannot fail to be generally inte that they should not be allowed to continue resting and useful, while it may also serve
to have that recommendation, I really ap
prehend, Sir, that no such corps would have as an answer to those viprous calomnies,
been formed at all. Now I should like to which the ministerial writers are daily pour ask the right hon. gent., whether he would ing forth against all those, who take the li
think himself consistent if he attrmpted to
iake away from that corps the right of reberty to dissent from their employers.
commendation at all? As to the distinction
between election aod recommendation, I Sir; if it had not been for the allusion can hardly perceive it: they are in substance made by my han, friend (Mr. Sheridan) I | the same; for neilber means any more, than should not, perhaps, have said any ihiog at to submit to the lord lieutenant the propriety present upon the subject now before the of his transmitting to the Secretary of State, House, but I think it necessary to say a few | the names of the persons whom they wished words on the subject of the different corps to be commanded by ; but, of course, the cbusing their own officers, as stated by the crown, acting on the advice of its ministers, noble lord and the right hon. gent., par- would have the right of judging whether ticularly on tbat which has been stated by such persons were fit to be commanders or the right hon, gent, who has informed the not. Upon this subject there can be po House of the advice he should give to his doubt. Now, in the corps to which I have Majesty, in the event of any military corps the honour to betong, the terms of their serpersisting in the choice of its own officers. | vices are such, that if any vacancy were to And, Sir, I am the more desirous of advert. happen for an officer, I should apply to the ing to the sentiments of the right hon. gent, corps to say who they would wish to fill it : as they came from himself, than to the ex- | undoubtedly I should feel myself bound to planation of the noble lors. The right hon. do so. Why, then, what is this but an gent has said, that if any corps should persist | election ? And where is the evil of all this? in the right of recommending to his Majesty The lord lieutenant has a right to say, I will is officers to command them, that he should not forward this recommendation to the Sea cretary of State, for I do not think the per- l entreat ministers to be cautious in what they son recommended is fit for the office, or if | do upon this occasion. For my own part, the lord lieurenant should forward it, the | had I offered my services as a private in any Secretary of State may say that it shall not volunteer corps, I own I should be very ontake place, and advise his Majesty to that willing to serve under any officer appointed effect; then it will come back again to chuse by the Crown to command me without my another, and they must go on with their re own consent.-The right hon. gent. has commendations until they have hit upon gone through the whole history of the volun. somebody to whom neither the lord lieute-, teer service, in which I shall not follow the nant nor the Secretary of State has any ob- right hon. gent., but merely make a few objection; so that no one can ever have a servations on some points in the speech of commission in any volunteer corps, without the right hon. gent, to the House previous the approbation of tbe crown; and this is in to his moticn.--He says, that ministers, find. itself, as it appears to me, desirable, for the ing they had no friends on the continent, it med ought to know the character of the per became us to look at home, and make the son under whom they are to serve. But the most of our internal strength, since we were right hon. gent. adverted to volunteer corps at war. This system of volunteer service under establishments, like those of the last was resorted to, because we found ourselves war, or if not those of the last war, of esta- | at war witliout a friend on the continent to blishments different from those under which assist us.--I should have thought it would the present volunteer corps were formed. They have become ministers to look about them have bitherto, all enjoyed the power il not of | and to see, whether we should have any electing, of recolamending their officers: now friend on the continent to assist us, before I wish to know, whether this power was 7 we entered into war; this would have been given to the volunteer corps by law, or by the course pursued by a wise politician; but connivance of the crowd? If by law, it must our sagacious ministers thought proper to belong to them generally; if by copnivance, adopt a contrary system, they got first into I should like to ask the right hon. gent. | the war, and afterwards inquired how it whether he has found any mi chief in the could be supported; they then adopted the practice? If he has not, why should be now system of a volunteer service. Now, I am attempt to exclude the volunteers from ibat ready to confess, that the system of volunteer which they have hitherto enjoyed without | service is not the best, either for economy, or any inconvenience to the public, and take for the purpose of making military efforts, from them that, for which they have much such as might have been made under a dif. value, and without which, as I apprehend, ferent system of policy, and at the same time not only would the volunteers become less bringing forth all the energy of the people numerous, but also less efficient, according of England. But while I say this, I trust to their number, than they now are. Where, that neither the right hon. gent., or any I sliculd like to ask, is the difference be- other, will endeavour to bring upon me the tween the first choice and the second ? In odium of a desire “ to raise a clamour" the first instance, the lot falls upon those ge. against the volunteer system. Nothing would nerally who are the most known, who are be more unjust ihan such an imputation ; the most remarkable for talents, or for for there is not, I believe, a man in the counsome qualities or other that distinguish try, who has exerted himself more than I them, either for high station, or something have done, in support of the volunteer systhat gives them a preference to others, and tem, when I found it was to be resorted to, for which there are, generally, very good as the only means of our general defence: reasons for recommending them to his Ma- but I am still of opinion, that it is not the jesty; and, is it reasonable to suppose, that | best system that could have been resorted the sanie motives which actuate the corps to, for the general defence of the country in in the first instance, will not also influence time of need. And here, Sir, I cannot help them in the second, and that they will not accusing ministers of wavering from day to continge to fill up vacancies, as they may day, in their system? proving thereby, that happen in their corps, with the same pro- they had got into a paih in which they had priety as they made the first choice? I do met with great difficulties and perplexities, contend, that if the right hon. gent, acts up and out of which), I am afraid they are not to the spirit of what he has said to-night, he | yet extricated. They first attempted to prowill find himself in an error, which will be duce a General Defence Act, out of which fatal to the whole volunteering system of this arose the volunteer system all over the councountry. This, Sir, is my firm opinion, and try. At that time they found, that 450,000 I think it my duty to say so at once, and to men had inrolled their names for the service
of their country. Here I must beg to be from the militia and the army of reserve. And understood, as not, in the slightest degree, what was the furiher effect? Why; that neither wishing to depreciate those men, on the the militia nor army of reserve could ever be contrary, no one has a higher opinion of the properly filled up; it was uiterly impossible goodness of their motives and principles, in that they should, for all the best men are serve thus rushing forward in defence of their ing already in the volunteers, as well as some country; but yet I cannot help thinking, of the most unft; and I know it to be a fact, that it is of essential importance to look back that there are not men who could be drawn upon this matter, to examine into the ques to serve in the inilitia to the number intended tion of what we had really to trust to, in this to be raised of that body; the same nay also mass of 450,000 men; to see what was this be said with regard to the army of reserve. great body, who are now the grand mass of How then is the recruiting of the army to go the army of England. I am persuaded, that on? I have no difficulty in saying, that, in a greai portion of this mass is such as could the present state of things, it is impossible. Dot be depended upon for effective strength. Those who would have consti: Uied the army They were too indiscriminately accepted by of reserve and militia, are now filling up the government; persons of all ages and of all ranks of the volunteers. Such being the descriptions, without regard to infirmity or eifect of the volunteer system; and so, the , any unfitness, among whom were many who best course now to be taken is, that to make were not able to march, were received as the volunteer system as beneficial, and at the volunteers. There certainly was a great same time as palatable to the public as pos-' enthusiasm, and all descriptions rushed for sible, and to bring ihem to as a good a state ward as volunteers ; this, undoubtedly, did of discipline as is applicable to a force of that honour to the zeal of the country, but it nature. Ministers then had recourse to the must not be disguised at the same time, that, opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor Geneamong those who came forward, there were ral, in order to get over avother difficulty many who were quite incompetent to the which they felt themselves under, and these carrying of arms: in some instances not learned gentlemen gave it as their opinion, above one-half of a whole district were ac that the volunteers were exempted from the tually fit for effective service. Then came army of reserve; after which came the ques the order of government to reduce their num tion whether a volunteer could resign or ber to that of six times the amount of the not ? Sir, it always was my opinion, that militia. This sodden measure had a serious a volunteer could resign whenever he pleased, and alarming effect; it damped the ardour and return his armis, if he had any (it was mi of the country so much, that it became a long time before they could get any) but matter of considerable difficulty to bring while a man remained in the corps there men back again, and to persuade them to were means of rendering him liable to pay iarol their names when they found that their fines for his pon-attendance, and which fines' friends, with whom they had associated, were levied upon his goods if be had any. were not to be allowed to go with them into But here again the law stopt short, for the field. Now, after all this, and time if he had no goods, there was
110 way being given us by the enemy, for he did not of imposing any other penalty on the voe' appear on our coast, although we all expect lunteer, so that a man might walk out ed him, an explanation came forth from the of the service when he pleasel. But the minisiers, the spirit of the people revived, right hon. gent. has, to niy great surprise and appeared again in its wonted lustre. and joy declared, that if the Court of King's Now, what was the intention of ministers at Bench bad not decided the law to be that a that time? Did they or did they not then volunteer could resign as it has done, he intend to exempt the volunteers from the should have proposed to make the law so : army of reserve? No, they did not; and so now, I must coufoss íhat this struck me ex. 1. formed the volunteers then raising, and tremely, for it is to be remembered, that she which I have now the honour to command ; right hon. gent. sent to all the lieutenants of and, to their imwortal honour, every man The counties, who, in their turn again sent entered as a volunteer, although he thought to all the magistraies, as the exposition of the he would have been liale to the service of the law, the opinion of the two law officers of army of reserve. I told them all, that there the crown, the Attorney and Solicitor Gewas not one of them who would have any neral, and upon the strength of us, matite nprious by entering as a volunteer, yet gistrates tad acted all over the country, Ever, one of them entered, notwithsianding which opinion was, that a voluntrer could ha apprehension. But what was the effect not resign; and which opinion torned out no. of this? ibey were afterwards exen, te both to be law. Without intending tlic least vis
respect for the two learded gentlemen who for if dissolved in one street, I am confident, gave their opinion, this erroneous opinion, they would enter again in the next; but for so I am now bound to call it, since a they are subject every hour to the danger of court of law has pronounced it to be so, and dissolution. Suppose they were to say, that without intending any thing disrespectful of they did not like tbeir commander, and that that opinion, I must be allowed to say, that they wanted to chuse another, and they were it was an opinion which led the magistrates | not to be allowed that privilege, and that into error, for they acted upon that opinion they should not have the satisfaction even of as if it was a sound exposition of the law of recommending anoiher officer, as the right the land. - Sorry should I have been, 10 have hon. gent. has told them they shall not, and found that this opinion was consonant to they were to say they were no longer volunthe law of the land: but I was very much teers ? What, Sir, is the remedy ? A very surprized, though greatly rejoiced, at what short one, certainly; they must be dismissed. I heard from the right hon. gent to night But, if they amounted to 1000 men--this upon that subject, and I think that the pube would be a prodigious loss, at leastffor a while, lic at large have a right to complain of the and this is a matter which I wish to be right hon gent. for finding this opinion attended to by his Majesty's ministers.given by these learned gentlemen, which -There is another evil connected with now appears not to be law to be, namely, volunteer corps, from whence I an apprethat a volunteer could not resigo. The hensive they may be dissolved, and that is a right hon. gent, caused it to be most indus want of funds to carry on the system. This triously circulated and published all over the is a point which governient raust look country, by which the public have for a | into with great attention, and if they neglect while been misled, and this step was the it, I venture to predict, that it will be immore remarkable, since it was an opinion possible to carry on this system long. There promulgating that as law which the right is no corps of which I have any knowledge, hon. gent. has this night told us, he did not that is not in some degree or other in debt. wish to continue to be the law, for he has many corps have endeavoured to excel others expressly declared, that if the law had been in their dress and ornaments, which I cerfound to be so, he should have proposed to tainly do not blame. It is natural enough alter it, and to make it what it now is. Hav when men feel the ardour of a military spirit, ing said thus much, I must add, that I feel but it is attended with an expense that canextremely anxious that justice should be not be supported unless the funds of almost done to the volunteers in every particular. every corps in the kingdom are increasedWith regard to that part of the volunteer Men must be cloathed from head to foot, system which is called the economical part and after a great coat and the other articles of it, they are greatly mistaken who conceive of dress are provided, it will not, on the it to be so to the public. Who are the pob. most moderate computation, as I have said, lic? The individuals of whom it is com- | already, amount to less than 41. per man, posed. Now it is a gross mistake to suppose, which will be a tremendous sum of money ibat a system by which no money is taken in the whole. Now, Sir, what is the reout of the public purse in fori), does not | medy? -A second subscription : but that is really cause a great expense to the public. , a plan which I should strongly deprecate, for The expense to the public is the same in the mischief of it would be to collect from whatever way it is defrayed, if it comes out the liberal, and perhaps the poor, that tą of the pockets of the individuals, of whom which the illiberal and rich ought also to ihe public is composed; for what difference contribute in a fair proportion. No such can there be between paying 50l. into a thing could take place if the wants of the subscription chest to support a volunteer volunteers were to be supplied from the nacorps, (which subscription, by the way, may tional treasury. For these reasons, I conere long become compulsory), and paying a sider the plan now acted upon for providing tax to that amount into the exchequer? the volunteers with necessaries, a very misAnd, in this respect, I assert that this system taken plan of economy. There is another is extremely expensive to the public, for, at point to be attended to : at present, it is the a very moderate computation, it is upwards rule to allow no pay to any officer who inof Al. per man.--Another objection to the structs the men, however well he may do it, system is, that, from their form and condi or may have had the unqualified praise of the tion, the volunteer corps are continually sub- inspecting officer, unless such person shall ject to, aod in daily danger of, being dise' have been in the army; this is a defect solved : not that the individuals of whom which ought to be remedied, for men canthe volunteer corps are composed want spirit, not be expected to give their time and dao,
bour for nothing but mere praise ; men in upon the correspondence between the Lord middling circumstances cannot afford it. It Chancellor of Ireland and the Earl of Fin is also worth while for ministers to remem- gall, relative to the Catholics of that une ber, that the pay of these officers is only for happy and distracted country.--Sure, 20 days, and now they are to be out 24 there must be some mistake in the public days; the additional 4 days ought to be paid cation; for, how could so very accurate and for, or we shall find many persons remiss in | learned a person as the Lord Chancellor, poco their dary. I have taken tlie liberty of sibly write: “ Trish Catholics have liberty of pointing out these things. I fear it will be | " conscience ?" When he must very well found, that ministers have been getting from know, that there are, at present, two strione error to another, and that they have now king cases in Ireland, which clearly prove; placed the country in a situation in which that the fact is otherwise. At this time the it has no choice, but must trust its main de. | wills of the Earl of Beaulieu and of Lord fence to the volunteer force; it, therefore, Dunboyne are in litigation, on account of behoves them to render that system as little their being papi.ts, and presuming to make objectionable as possible. In my judgment, those wills. --This learned lord mast likethe augmentation of the militia has been wise very well know, that the children of carried on a little too much ; and I am converts to the protestant religion dare not confirmed in this opinion by the conduct of publicly profess the catholic religion, withministers, by the enormous expense which out incurring the severest penalties, by has been occasioned in drawing men from Queen Anne's Law, and other laws still in the militia afterwards by bounty into the re- force.--His law knowledge will likewise gular service, and also by the expense of inform him, that, for soldiers or sailors to saising the Army of Reserve, and at last be- attend at mass makes them liable to great ing obliged to liảve recourse to the volunteer punishments, although they are, sometimes, system, which is much more expensive than allowed to attend mass without undergoing either. It is for the right hon. gentlemen, 1 those punishments. --- From these and into whose bands his Majesty has thought other restrictions, his lordship must certains proper to entrust the government of this na- ly mistake, if he says, that "the great portion at the present important moment, to con- tion of the Irisli people are indifferent lo sider the best means for providing for its ge- “ Catholic emancipation,” They do, Siri neral defence and safety : it is for members feel for their religion being proscribed; and, of Parliament to speak their sentiments upon indeed, to suppose them not to feel, on this such means, and to shew the House the im- account, is to conclude, that they are most perfection of such means, in order to bring low and insen ible brutes, especially when them to the best state they are capable of. it is considered, that they have before them This is a liberty which I have taken to my- the example of Scotland, which country, by self: it is not for me to point out what is its union with England, did not only make better, it is my duty, as a member of Parlia- a full reservation of liberty of conscience, ment, tó shew to the House, what appears to but took care to have the religion of the me to be erroneous in the conduct of mini. great body of the people (the presbyterian) sters, and which they ought now to rectify. made that of the state. --As to the comI shall only add, that I trust the right hon. parison of the Catholics with the Quakers gent. will consider of allowing volunteers ' (an inconsiderable secl sprung up but yes. the practice of recommending their officers terday), I think that the making of it is no to the crown; will consider also of the ex. great compliment to the memory of our Edpense of providing cloathing for the volun- wards and Henries, or of those Bishops, teers, and the pay to which I have alluded, who obtained Magna Charta from King and of the difficulty of procuring the ata John.---I should be happy to see protestendance of officers who do not receive pay tants and catholics unite as brethren, and for the additional four days, now about to surely this is a time that imperiously calls be proposed, without some allowance. Here, for such an uniun.--I am, Sir, &c. &c. Sir, for the present, I shall leave the sub
CONCILIATOR. ject, recommending the whole of it to the most serious consideratich of his Majesty's
TO TIIE EDITOR. government.
SIR, --When we look round upon the
apparent power which England now displays, IRISH CATHOLICS.
and upon the vast resources on which she SIR-om Permit me to request, that you calculates, it behoves is to reflect how far will admit into your pa per a remark or two they are likely to be so directed and applied,