« ZurückWeiter »
tain, which, during the last war, was regard- , jealousies are removed, their existence, as a ed as the last place of refuge for innocence ministry, will cease. and wealth, is now suspected even by her INVASION.-As was suggested in the preown children. These and all the other evils ) ceding number of the Register, the report of that surround us, are to be ascribed to a invasion (which, be it remembered, was to want of confidence in the men, who exercise have taken place yesterday week) has proved those powers, by which national good, or to be a mere “ Tale of a Tub." By way of national evil, is produced. No njan, not comment, on what I thea stated, the minis. one even of their partisans and creatures, terial prints have observed, that they are places any reliance on them for wisdom, or for | persuaded I would gladly see ar invasion of any of the qualities that are necessary in the my native country, for the sake of plunging conducting of the affairs of a state ; even this the ministers into difficulties. It is very strange description of persons, as fast as they become that this language should be held by those, gratified with the wages of their subser- who are every day telling us, that invasion vience, hesitate not to pray for a change, is just about to be attempted, and who wish, that they may be protected in the enjoyment or who say they wish, that it may no longer of those wages. Under such circumstances, be delayed, seeing that they are certain the then, is it not our first duty to supplicate result will be glorious to Britain! For my his Majesty to remove these servants from part, I do not think an invasion of England his councils? Is it not, at any rate, the first will, for some time to come, take place; duty of Parliament so to act, as to convince and, I most sincerely wish that it never may; their Sovereign, that they participate in the because, though we were to defeat the enefeelings of his people in this respect, and my, the being reduced to fight for England that they are not dead to his real and perma upon English ground would, in my opinion, nent interests? “ It is the prerogative of his be an indelible disgrace. I do not assert, 6 Majesty to choose and to dismiss bis minis that the ministers entertained po apprehen"ters." True. God forbid the truth should sions of an invasion being attempted last ever be disputed! But, it is the privilege, it is week, or this week; for, indeed, they the duty, the bounden duty, of Parliament, to l are so weak, their intelligence is so very signity to his Majesty the conviction which | bad, that, like children in the dark, they they may entertain of ihe incapacity, or are full of apprehensions; but, I will not other disqualification, of those ministers ; resign the opinion, which I last week exnay, it is sometimes their duty to impeach, pressed, that they might set up the çry of to imprison, to try, and to punish, the .wolf wolf!" for ibe purpose of driving King's ministers; and, if acts like these members of parliament into the country, and may become a duty, shall they not dare to for keeping in the country, such as are al. express their disapprobation of ministers ? ready there. And, whatever other people shall this be regarded as trenching upon the may choose to believe, I beg the readers of King's prerogative ? and shall a member of the Register to be upon their guard against Parliament, as in the case of Lord Temple, impositions of this sort. During the pre. because he wishes the affairs of government sent winter, a hundred tricks will be played committed to abler hands, be charged wiib off to amuse or to scare the public; to enassuming " the rigbt to name the King's 1 gage their attention, to turn it from politi“ ministers," * and of a design to invade cal topics, especially such as are connected the “ undoubted prerogarives of the crown ?" | with the conduct of ministers. These arts
The fact is, that his Majesty has no will not succeed for many months; but, my partiality at all for these ministers, as may desire is, that they should not succeed for a well be believed, wheu we consider bis well day, I wish to see people, of all ranks koown discrimination of character. They and degrees, ready and resolutely resolved were thrusted upon him, under circum to defend their country, to repel and to stances that would adipit of no delay; and, chastise the foreign foe; but I wish not to such has been the state of parties ever since, see them the dupes of the weak or wicked that he has not been able to supply their men, whose misconduct has exposed them place. They have existed, as a ministry, to the inroads of that foe. upon the mutual jealousies of the great men
The Vah Number of Cobbelt's Parliamentary of the country'; and,. the moment those
Debates is just published. It contains a corteer
and tull report of the speechęs of Mr. Fux, Lord * See their Cursory Kemarks, p. 71.
Castlercagh, &c. on the Arniy Estimates.
Punted by Cox and Baylis, No. 75, Great Queen Street, and published by R. Bagshaw, Bow Strect, Covent
Garden, what formes Numbers may be liad; sold afso by J. Budd, Crown and Mitre, Pall-Mall.
Vol. V. No. 2.]
London, Saturday, 14th January, 1804.
" It is impossible for any reflecting man not to entertain very serious apprehensions as to the effects, " which may result from the deliberations of these armed bodies. Each has its standing committee, " and, upon extraordinary occasions, the whole corps is assembled for the purpose of dehating. Let “ any man calculate, it he can, the danger which may arise from there being in the country four"S tecu or fifteen hundred armed Parliaments. From the discussion of one subject, they will proceed to " the discussion of another; rill, in the end, the Parliament ac Westminster will not dare to act “ without the consent of the Volunteer Parliaments scattered all over the country. A fearful state " of things is approaching, unless the Government instantly resolves to disband every corps, which " is under the rule of a Committee, and the members of which shall ever, on any occasion, assem
ble for the purpose of debating, on any subject whatever." - Political Register, September 10, 1803. Vol. IV. p. 383.
(34 VOLUNTEER SYSTEM.
for each of which days, be it remembered, That there is a necessity for some revision | he receives a soldier's pay, will obtain an of the Volunteer System is now denied by exemption, for five years, from the ballcts no one, who has turned his attention to the of the milina and the army of reserve. The sabject, and who is not hostile, or totally in impoverishment which these exemptions different, to the welfare of his country. produce in the other three descriptions of The nature and degree of the changes to be force scarcely needs poining out: it has made must depend opon the impressions, bten, and is, but too visible in the returns of which experience shall have produced on the all the regiments and battalions in the serminds of the Parliainent and of his Majesty's | vice, whether regulars, reserve, or militia.* ministers; but, in the mean time, it is by | But this is a point on which it is not my no means improper, and may not be alto present purpose to dwell. What I particu. geiher useless, for me to suggest such mei larly wish to call the public attention io, in sures es appear to me to be necessary to this part of the subject, is, the disconteot prevent the volunteer corps, who have been and consequent disaifection, which, at no embodied and armed for the detence of their very distant period, may arise, from the country, from furi her impeding, certainly hardship, which begins already to be severely against their will, the military service of that felt, of furnishing the ballots for the militia coutry, and from being eventually the in and the army of reserve out of the few prs. nocent cause of subverting the throne of their sons, comparatively speaking, who are not Sovereign, and with it, their own liberties now, bv one cause or another, exempted and those of their children.
from the operation of those ballots. The Numerous are the causes, which will als volunteer exemprions have so reduced the Ways so operate as to render the volunteers number of persons liable to be ballotted, that unfit to perform the duties of soldiers; but, I the burthen is become very heavy on those it is not on the defects but on the dangers of who remain liable, and, it cannot but be the system, that I now propose to offer a painful to reflect, that, such is the nature of few observations to the public. Of these ihe volunteer system, that it has thrown this dangers, which are by no means few in burthen upon Those persons, who are the number, those which seem to me to be of least able to bear it. The moment it was the greatest magnitude are such as have discovered, that the rolunteer corps had, in arisen, and will arise, from the enemptions to their constitution, the virtue of exempting which volunteers are entitled, and from the holding of committees and elections in the The Surrey militia, first and second bat:alion corps.
together, ought to consist of 2,023 men, but it In consequence of an interpretation of the
dors even at this time, consist of no more than law, assuredly contrary to the meaning of '
1,030, leaving a deficiency of 993, or almost one.
hal! and his at the end of nine months! Of the Parliament, which interpretation has, how
army of reserve, England and Scoilind wire to ever, by a subsequent act, been fully sanc furnish 40,000 men, and we know, by the returns tioned and confirmed, the volunteer corps laid before Parliament, that only 28,000 of them are become an asylum from the hardships of
have been raised. And, as to she regular army, the militia ballots as well as ihose of the
its recruiting service except as far as it has been
kept moviog by the army of reserve, is absolutely army of reserve : so that, every member of
ar a stand, the whole, horse and foot, not having a volunteer corps, by way of reward for recruited nine thousand effective mer in eine performing about a hundred days exercise, / months of was and of preparation for war!
their members from the chance of being case now stands, they not anly exempt obliged to performi, or to pay for, a duty themselves from the operation of the ballots fifty times as great as ibaț of serving as a of the militia and of the army of reserve, volunteer, every one wished to become a but they throw their shore of those burvolunteer. It was natural. No blame thens upon the poor and friendless part of whatever aitaches to the persons thus pur the people, in addition to what those people suing their interest and their ease. The already have to bear! This never was ori. fault lay in the system, and not in the mo. ginally inieoded by either the Parliament or tives of the persons who were acted upon by the ministers.' It arose entirely out of the it, many of whom, it is, also, right to ob | interpretation of the law oficers of the serve, were led into the corps by motives of crown; and, though it has now been sancpublic spirit only. Upon ihe back of this tioned by an açt, let us hope, that, in the. came another evil. Every man who was revision of the system, means will be proabout to make one of a military association, vided, if not to do away this source of calanaturally had some wish as to the sort of mity and discoulent, ai least, to put a stop persons who were to be his associates. I to iis further extention. Hence a selection took place; and, as the The rule of exemption give rise to another, first founders of corps were necessarily not less dangerous in the consequences persons of property, the selection was, as which it is likely to produce. The law. might be expected, such as to exclude almost | officers of the crown, who seem, on this all those who were neither the relations, the occasion, to have been considered as law, friends, the servants, or the dependants in givers, having exempted the volunteers from some way or other, of the founders of the the operation of the ballots, found out a corps ; an exclusion which was likely to ex- | counterpoise for it in another interpretation, tend to, and which has extended to, nearly to wit, ibat no volunteer could, after being all the married journeymen, labourers, and duly eprolled, quit his corps, without the cottagers in the kingdom, a description of consent of his commanding officer. On persons, which, above all others, it is the what they founded either this or the beforeduty of the government to protect and to mentioned in:erpretation, we are, as yet, cherish. Here, again, we have to blame quite uninformed; but, without being very the system, not the men. Wbat is so na minute in our inquiries as to this point, we tural as for a man to wish to have in the may venture to assert. ihat, if the rule which same corps with him, thone whose company they have laid down with respect to men not he best likes out of the corps ? When he has quitting their corps, be aitempted to be ada favour lo confer, an exemption to bestow, bered 10, not only the corps but the courts what is so natural as for him to bestow it of justice and the whole country will, before on those to whom he is attached by affection many mon!hs have passed over our heads, or by interest? On a son, for whom he be thrown into confusion. The case of Mr. woald, otherwise, have to hire a substitute, Dowley of the Surrey Volunteer Cavalry has or on a servant, whom, oiherwise, he must been determined, by the magistrates at lose, or to whom he must make a great ad. | Uvioo Hall, against the defendant, who vance of wages ? But, however natural this quitted the corps, without the consent of his partiality might be, and however excusable commanding orticer, and whose fines on ac. in the persons exercising it, no one will, I connt of absence amounted to 51. 2 s. He imagine, venture to say, that, as to its ope- refused to pay these fines; a distress was Taion on many of the persons excluded from made upon his goods, which he refused to the corps, it was not, and is not, burthen- redeem, and which were, in consequence, some in the extreme. Why a self-created sold by public auction ; and, it is stated in commitice, or even a commander of a corps, the public prints, that ihe merits of the dee should possess the power of admitting to ex cision and seizure will be brought before emplions, or of excluding from exemplions, the Court of King's Bench, in the shape of and, conseguenily, of diminishing, or adding an action for an illegal restraint. Similar to, the buribens of whomsoever they please, disputes exist, and similar actions are brewI can see neiiher reason nor necessity; I can ing in every part of the country. At the see, in the arbiirary exercise of such a pow. quarter sessions, held in and for the town of er, nothing consonant 10 the spirit or the Colchester, on the Sth instant, a complaint letter of the volunteer law, or of any other was, it seems, preserred by a Secretary of a law of this country. If, indeed, the volun. | Volunteer Corps, against a Mr. Lloyd, a trers merely obtained a good for themselves, member of the said corps, on grounds simi. wilhout causing harm 10 others, ihere might lar to those of the complaint against Mr. Le less ground for complaint į but, as the Dowley, and the decision appears to have
been similar also, Mr. Lloyd expressing his good will, or not at all. Let them no longer resolution to bring the matter into the Court be entitled to exemptions, and no longer be of King's Bench. The pub ic prints state, obliged to remain in their corps ; let the that, as to the corps at Colchester, “very terrors of the law induce them neither to “serious disputes had, for some time, pre enter nor to remain ; then they will be wor“ vailed amongst the members, acconipanied | thy of the name of Volunteers, and there “ wirb some acts of violence. Much time will always be two hundred thousand of “ elapsed in the discussion of this business; them, at least, embodied, and fiiter for sere • great warmtb appeared occasionally on vice than they are now. If they cannot
both sides; and the court was, at one leave their corps, or absent themselves from " time, most indecently and shamefully in- lits duties, w thout the permission of their "terrupted by a violent clapping and shout- | commanding officer, they are onlisted to all, “ing, at soine observations made by the intents and purposes, except as far as relates "" counsel for the defendant,”* Far no- | to panishment, which is inflicted upon their desty's sake, for decency's sake, let lis no purse instead of upon their back.* They longer use the name of volunteer! Volan are enlisted, and, if they have any property, teers, who are kept in their corps by the it may all be taken from them by distress, terrors of tbe law! How will this fact sound morsel by morsel, till they are in a situa. in the ears of foreigners, whether friends ortion to laugh at their officers and the magis.' cnemies? Will it create us alliances, and trates too ! Did the world ever before wit. will it damp the hopes of our foc? Will it ness a system like this? induce the world to believe, that we can The whole of the persons, who are now make good the manly declaration which the in the volunteer corps, cannot remain ihere, Commander in Chief made to the London 1 without producing very great distress, not Volunteers at the Review, that “they would to say ruin, to a considerable portion of * enable their country to hurl back the them. One half of the membe s of volun“ threats of the insolent enemy?". Volun- teer corps are small tradesmen, and oher tiers held in de service of their country by persons affected by sueb service, in the same the terrors of the law! yet, I blame not the manner as small tradesmen are, - To such ment, but the system, which forces them for: men absence from their business is sure ward in so ridiculous a light : it is not Ban. to bring them into decay, and, with them, nister that we laugh at, but Scrub.
the first step of decay is not far from the As if, however, there were not already last step of ruin. Their little ticklish affairs quarrelling and litigation enough, Mr. Pitt are kept up by unremitted exertion, and by calls for harder exercise, tighter rules, and a | such exertion alone. The least relaxation more summary mode of levying fines ! brings them down and reduces them to What mode he will devise more suminary atoms. At first they did not feel the incon. than that of a legal distress of goods and venience and injury of this alienation from chattels I know not, unless he should pre- | their business : they saw in the service novail upoo Parliament to authorise the comething nearly so burthen-ome as the militia munding officers of corp3 to levy in virtue or army of reserve; the thing was new and of their own order instead of a warrant, and fashionable; the national resentment against by the aid of a detachment of soldiers in the enemy was in its youth and vigour; stead of the constable, or sheriff ; that is to | and, they entered the volunteer ranks under say, unless a foraging or marauding system the combined iufluence of interest, novelty, should, in this respect, be made to supercede and enthusiasm. When the two latier arc the law of the land; but, let me remind completely worn away, and when the first Mr. Pitt, that even foragers and marauders, is found to have been more than counter. though armed as well as heart could wish, balanced by losses and expeoses arising from would not be able to levy upon a man who the service, can any m:in believe, that the should happen to have no goods or challels parties will patiently remain in their corps ? 10 levy upon. Indeed, this circumstance Will not distress upon distress of goods and must now, where it exists, always be a bar to paoishment, and as it does very frequently
* If the newspapers are to be believed they exist, such a mode of punishment is unequal
have, however, been very near to the backs of and unjust in its operation, and ought to be their crum-boys! These litile fellows are, perhaps, entirely abolished. How, then, will you really inlisted in the regular service, and, of keep the men in their corps ? By their own
course, are subject to martial law. But are the volunteer officers duly authorised to sit on courts
marial, without being themselves under inarii al law? * I quote, here, the ministerial paper, the Morn Never was there such a mass or incongruivics and ing i'osi, of the inth instaat.
chattels take place, till the persons thus vex. | nothing short of a destruction of the law ed and humiliated will becoine very nu presents an effectual remedy; and, theremerous ? And will not these persons com fore, it is very unwise to suffer, if you municate their disconlents 10 Others? And can preyent it, the existence of any will not the consequence soon be discontent cause, which tends to the creating of such almost general, e«pecially if, at the time to debtors; especially in a country where to which I am looking forward, the whole be in debt is, according to the measure of weight of the war taxes, with an arrear of the law, to be almost a criminal. So far, the income-lax, should come to the aid of bowever, is Mr. Pict from dreading any the embarrassments arising from the volun- | effect of this sort, that he wishes the teer service. I would seriously ask Mr. Pitt, volunteers, and the small tradesmen, of whether he imagines, that, under circum. course, amongst the rest, to be kept out at stances like these, which I here anticipate, drill three times as inuch as they are now! persons will be compelled to remain, and Out of three hundred and sixty-five days he give their attendance in volunteer corps ? | wishes these pe ple to be employed sirly If, at the end of three months, we hnd men days at military exercise ! ) hare been accus. generally tired of the service; if we find toned to regard Mr. Pitt as a wise man; thom, at ibe end of Ihree delightful autun. but when I think of this proposition ; when pal monihs, suffering their goods and chai I consider that it applies to 400,000 meu in tels to be distrained; if we find thein, in arms and not under martial law; when I every quarter of the country, dispuring and view it in detail ; when I pursue it through mutinying,
the mi-eries, the pains and penalties, of irs " -- Quarreling for a straw, or feather,
execution, and the almost certain horrors of " And wondering how they came together;"
its consequences, I cannot but ask myself, if we find them thus already, what are we
is this the wisdom that will save my
country io expect at the end of iwelve or eighteen months ? * People in easy circumstances
Great, however, as are the dangers here
pointed out, they shrink into nothingness at may spare, for years together, a portion of their time for military exercise ; but small
the appearance of those, which are to be tradesmen never can, wiihout bringing ruin 1. apprenen
apprehended from the mutinous, democraupon their families; and, this sort of ruin,
rizing, and rebrllious tendency of the comwhen it comes to be pretty regularly, though
mittees and other deliberative bodies, apperthiniy, spread over a country, is, in the
taining to volunteer corps, and consisting of work of revolution, the most powerful of
its meinbers, or of other persons, having auall causes. Men in embarrassed circum.
thority or influence in those corps. These stances, frequently seek for, and are always
| comoittees certainly originated in no rvil
design : they naturally grow out of the s;'s. glad to meet with, a change in the govern. ment; to which, in such case, they rever
tem, which, instead of first providing comfail to impute their misfortunts. To al
manding officers, and authorizing them ia debtor, who has no prospect of relief,
collect their corps, provided no head at all ; but called upon ihe people to assemble, and
to form and organize ibemselves into com* How general che non-attendance in the Sur. rey Volunteer Cavalry was, so soon as the 230 of
panics and battalions. They did so, and Septeniher, will appear from tbe circular letter of wko can wonder at the wild work they Cars. COLLINGDON, dated on that day:"Sir," made? Who can wonder, that, in the whole says he, “ so little attention having been observe fifteen hundred volunteer corps, there are "'ed by many individuals of the troop to my let. " ter of the 26th of Aug, and no regard paid to the
scarcely any two, which are governed by the " sacred pledge which you sig ned on the mustei roll, it is
same rules and regulations? Who can won" a duty, I owe : 10t only to those gentlemen who
der at the establishment of committees and “ have gisen me their constant attendance on sub-committees, and who can wonder that “ the days appojmied for drill and exercise; but I these commiitees, afier having chosen the “ also to bis Majesty, who entrusted me with a “ commission to discipline the corps, to state in
officers of the corps, continue to possess and " plain terms, wat without constant attendance
to exercise all the power, rendering the offi" my endeavours will prore fruitless; and there. cers merely their agenis? The governinent “ fore any gentleman who does not aitend one called upon the loyaliy, the patriotism, and " of the morning drills, and also Thursday in
the zeal of the people: all these they found “ every week, tor one month to come, will re« ceive his dismissal." This was a circular ad
| in abundance; but all these, without knowdressed to every member of the corps; aod, it ledge, without a wise and uniform system, may easily be imagined, that the Captain found were likely to produce, and they have pro, hinself with a very sinall troop, before he issued duced, more harm than good. The people such a paper.
were told, that, by forming themselves into