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they were all as nothing when compared to his objections to the general principle. The idea of an ad valorem estimate of taxation on a man's property was repugnant to sense and justice in any country, but particularly in such a state as ours, where it was impossible to calculate the inconveniences to which it would give birth. It might, for aught any man could say to the contrary, endanger even the very existence of our commerce. Indeed, he wondered that the House, which had in it so many men well acquainted with the nature of commerce, felt so

easy
under

a measure so alarming as this. Feeling so many objections as he did to this tax, and wishing the people to understand its nature better than he believed they did at present, he should at all events vote for some delay in this business. He, indeed, was confident that a sense of his duty to the public would command him to vote for the rejection of the bill altogether. He should now, however, only desire that this bill should be delayed until the other bill for taxing landed property should be laid before the House.

Mr. Alderman Newnham's motion was rejected, on a division, by 46 against 16.

April 5.

On the motion, that the bill do pass,

Mr. Fox said, that he did not mean to trouble the House with any observations, either' upon the principle of the bill or any of its clauses, though he was clearly of opinion, that if the principle was followed up to its full extent, it would put an end to that commercial prosperity, which, impaired as it at present was, still enabled us to support those burdens to which we were subjected. It had been said, that this bill was of a similar nature with another intended to be brought into parliament, proposing a corresponding tax upon land. What he meant now to propose, was to postpone the third reading of this bill, till the propriety and practicability of the other should have been discussed. The principle of both was allowed to be the same; but the provisions of each, from their nature, must be different. Allowing the principle to be just, if the provisions of the other bill were found, upon discussion, to be impracticable, he asked, in what situation the House would be placed ? They would have sanctioned a tax upon personal property, which, it was allowed, ought equally to attach upon real property; but, perhaps, the tax upon real property might be

found to be impracticable, and then the present tax would incur the charge, at least, of being partial. Upon this ground he moved, « That the debate be adjourned till this day fortnight.”

The House divided on Mr. Fox's motion :
Tellers.

Tellers.
YEAS
Mr. Grey

Solicitor Gen.

S 16.-NOES

Mr. Hobart 5 So it passed in the negative.

{ Mr. Ald."New nhan} 16.—NOES

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64.

GENERAL SMITH'S MOTION RESPECTING THE EXPENDITURE

of Public MONEY IN BARRACKS.

April 8.

THI
THIS day General Smith moved, “ That it be referred to a com-

mittee, to examine into the expenditure of public money in the construction and furnishing of barracks since the year 1790 ; as also to investigate by what authority such an expence, amounting to upwards of one million sterling, has been incurred.” The general affirmed, that 1,400,000l. had been employed upon them. The patronage accruing from them to ministry was the appointment of no less than fifty-six officers for their management, with considerable salaries. The number of barracks already constructed were sufficient for the reception of 34,000 men, which were more than a peace-establishment by 14,000.

Did not such a measure, he asked, tend to impress the strongest conviction upon the public, that ministry were determined, in the words of one of their principal members, to exert “a vigour beyond the law ?"- Mr. Wind. ham, the secretary at war, admitted the expences of the barracks to be great, but the importance of the object in view required them: their intent was to exonerate publicans, and people of that description, from the heavy charges to which they had so long and so unreasonably been liable, and of which they had so often and so justly complained. The necessity of procuring public-houses for the reception of soldiers on their march occasioned sundry inconveniences, which these barracks were calculated to remove: they would afford shelter, and a temporary stay, when necessary, with. out producing trouble and expence to innkeepers and others, who kept places of accommodation on the roads. In the event of a peace, they need not contain any larger numbers than would be requisite for the usual establishment; but while the war lasted, the indispensible necessity of holding men in readiness, in such critical times as the present, and the lesser expence at which they were kept together, with much more comfort and convenience to them

selves, and utility to the public, than by the former method of quartering them, were, he presumed, sufficient arguments in favour of barracks; nor would he omit the propriety of removing soldiers from the danger of being contaminated by the seditious disposition of the lower classes. In reply to Mr. Windham,

Mr. Fox rose and said:- I am happy, Sir, that the right honourable gentleman opposite to me, as being particularly connected with the department to which belongs the cognizance of that which is the object of this evening's discussion, has thought proper to come forward in so full and explicit a manner. I am, at the same time, proud to confess, that I differ with him upon almost all the points which he has advanced, and have no hesitation to declare in what that difference consists, though I do not intend to go at length into the consideration of all of them. He has, however, alluded to one general principle that particularly claims my attention; and in doing so, has noticed an expression of mine on a former occasion, made use of when I advanced a general principle, which I always have entertained, and ever shall entertain, a principle which he himself formerly espoused, and which I believe to be espoused by almost all those with whom I have the honour of acting. I mean the general principle of resistance; the right inherent in freeman to resist arbitrary power, whatever shape it may assume, whether it be exerted by an individual, by a senate, or by a king and parliament united. This I proclaim as my opinion. In the support of this principle I will live and dic. The discussion of this principle is not necessarily involved in the present question; I shall therefore content myself

, for the present, with thus again fairly stating it

. The right honourable gentleman has also brought forward another general question, more closely connected with the subject of debate, but at the same time not altogether necessary in its decision: I speak of the connection which ought to subsist between the military and the rest of their countrymen. Upon this point I am, indeed, proud to differ with the right honourable gentleman. “Because,” says he, “there are bad men and bad principles abroad in the country, the military must be secluded from the society of their fellow-subjects.” He then most aptly introduces the language of the Mock Doctor, and

says, “ If I cannot make others dumb, I can make them deaf.” I will place them entirely out of reach, where no such doctrine shall assail their ears. What, Sir, is the full meaning and extent of this doctrine ? Can the right honourable gentleman make his troops partially deaf? Can he prevent them from listening to the voice of sedition, without, at the same time, shutting them up from the knowledge of those general

principles of rational liberty, whose animating influence, ought,

say, to inspire the soldiers of a free country? They ought not, says he, to be taught disobedience. God forbid that they should ! but is it not a plain proposition, that indiscriminate obedience is not the duty of an Englishman, whether he be a soldier or any other citizen ? Where commands are illegal, it is his duty to resist them. The right honourable gentleman, surely, does not intend to say, that his troops should be altogether deaf. If he does, it will be in vain for him to look for an army in this country, possessed of this physical advantage. He must call in foreign mercenaries. Ignorant of any language but their own, they would be sufficiently deaf for all the purposes of despotism. It would be enough that they should understand their officers, and might easily be brought, as in former times has been attempted, to act against this House and the general liberties of the country.

Exclusively of what I have already urged, I differ in this question, upon the point of prudence and policy. If one system be more corrupt and inimical to freedom than another, it is the system of barracks. What was actually the case in France ? Was not the mode in which their army was cantoned out in barracks a principal operative cause in producing the Revolution? It is beyond all belief astonishing, that while we declaim so violently upon the state to which France has been reduced, we are at the same time pursuing those very same measures which are likely to bring us every day nearer to a similar situation. The right honourable gentleman speaks of those who preach up doctrines hostile to the constitution: but permit me to say, that it is not Mr. Paine, nor much more ingenious men than he, who by any thing they say can injure the constitution. Those are its real enemies who are constantly making practical comments upon such authors. Those who, with me, admire our constitution, are of opinion, that, if strictly adhered to, it has sufficient energy to defend and preserve itself. Paine says that our constitution is a mere farce, a mockery; that there is no real check upon the exercise of the powers of government. Do not ministers practically say the same? Do they not, day after day, year after year, pass acts in direct violation of the acknowledged principles of the constitution? Their manifest breach of the appropriation act, as lately proved, must be fresh in our recollection. These deviations they pretend to justify on the plea of necessity. If this plea is at any time to be received with jealousy, it must be in the present instance; and it is indeed curious to observe the language by which this measure is attempted to be defended. In the mode of granting the

money, says the right honourable gentleman, there may possibly have occurred some deviation from strict form, but nothing has been done substantially prejudicial. What! is it from him that such language was to be expected ? From him who has a sanctified horror at every thing which bears the semblance of reform? From him who on the subject of a reform in the representation, trembled at the bare idea of taking one step towards innovation?

Is he the person who comes forward and tells us that forms may be dispensed with ?

But let us see what is actually the form, as it is called, which we are desired thus to dispense with. Are we not rather desired to dispense with a fundamental principle of the constitution ? Are we not desired to dispense with the exercise of that control which we ought to have over the public purse, and called upon to sanction those expences which never obtained our consent? The constitution

says,
that

money cannot be raised without the consent of parliament. Has that not been done in the present instance? I ask, is it, or is it not, a principle to be advanced and supported in this House, that where considerable expence is to be incurred, leave for that purpose is to be obtained from parliament, and not from the executive government? When the question of barracks was under the contemplation of government, should it not have been solemnly brought before parliament, have undergone that grave consideration which the importance of the subject demanded, and not merely be laid before them for their approbation, after all the expence has been incurred? In the common affairs of life, if a servant comes to his master wanting 1000l. for any particular purpose, the master would naturally deliberate on the propriety and necessity of the proposed measure; but, were his steward to inform him he had actually expended a few thousand pounds in such and such a way, the master, I presume, would be apt to startle at this being done without his previous consent; and were the steward to justify his conduct, by saying he considered that as a mere matter of form, the master would no doubt give his servant to understand, that such forms were not to be dispensed with. The steward might then be induced to justify himself on the score of necessity. Cases might certainly occur where such a plea might be admissible, but they must be cases neither of any great magnitude, nor where the same purpose could be equally well effected in a different and more satisfactory manner.

We are told that the magnitude of the expence is nothing, for that all state expences must be great; but I have always understood, that in proportion to the magnitude of the expence, is the propriety of instituting an inquiry. The ex

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