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that the improvements which to a wonder-
Sir George Warrender said, that he could not avoid uoticing the very pointed allusion of the hon. gentleman to him, in his observation on the item for killing rats. He should be always ready to meet the hon. gentleman, not only in that House, but on any other ground.
Mr. W. Smith rose to order. The hon. baronet must surely feel that he was wholly unjustified in making any personal allusion to his hon. friend, who was merely discharging a public duty, in the inquiries which he had made.
fensive to him, he of course must be satisfied. He said, there would be no time lost in taking the improvements which the hon. gentleman had mentioned into consideration. The first lord of the Admiralty had made personal visits to the dock-yards for the sake of consulting the different officers on the propriety of alte rations in the present system.
Mr. Whitbread hoped they should see the fruits of those visits, though he was aware the greatest obstacle existed to the introduction of improvements, on account of the hostile disposition towards novelties on the part of the old stagers, if they might be called so, of the dock-yards. This opposition was remarkable in the case of the stone basin at Portsmouth, of which the advantage was now universally acknowledged. He was glad to find the hon. baronet restored to good-humour. He did not know there was any more connexion between him and rats, than behim and cats-[A laugh.] Mr. Ponsonby, in a vein of pleasantry, observed, that he was not quite satisfied as to this affair of the rats; for in the same page in which 41. was charged for the extirpation of these animals, he saw 21. 2s. expended upon the keeping of cats. Now, if the latter charge were correct, the former was objectionable, for surely the cats ought to have destroyed the rats, without the additional expense incurred in the returns. Why, therefore, should it not to be explained?
Mr. Croker replied, that the cats were kept in a different yard from that occupied by the rats. But quitting that weighty consideration, and coming to one perhaps as important, he wished to defend the first lord of the Admiralty from any indisposition towards the introduction of machinery into the public works. Among the workmen it was first necessary to explode vulgar prejudices, before this improvement could be made sufficiently operative. This had, however, been in a great degree effected, particularly in the sawing branches of work. A basin was in progress at Sheerness, similar to that of Portsmouth, and two steam-engines were in forwardness. He hoped, in the course of next year, these would be more general, and when their effects were fully
Mr. Whitbread was sorry his hon. friend had taken the trouble of explaining his conduct, as he did not think it wanted any explanation. He did not think any thing the hon. baronet had said was dis orderly, and would wish he had finished his observations. He did not see what relationship the killing of rats had to the hon. baronet. He was sure he had not intended any thing offensive to any gen-visible, that they would be introduced by tleman in what he had said on the sub- degrees into the great yards. ject.
Mr. Forbes suggested, that a great im
Sir G. Warrender said, that as the hon.provement in the manufacture of cables gentleman had not intended any thing of- could be introduced. Though not adopt
ed at the public yards, it was well known in the private ones. He himself, in India, had experienced its preference.
Admiral Hope did not approve the plan alluded to.
Mr. Whitbread noticed the great superiority of Huddart's cables, which he had heard naval men say they would sooner trust their lives to, than to the King's-yard cables.
Admiral Hope testified his experience of the goodness of the King's cables. Manual labour might be diminished; but every new plan might not be executed so fast in the King's as in the merchants' yards.
Mr. Whitbread said, that the advantage in the difference between a machine and manual labour was great. The machine was never drunk, never went off to visit a friend, never was idle when wanted, and always made the same thing in the same way. It was not exposed to the difference arising from various hands. Such was the advantage in Huddart's invention. The anchor forges in the dock-yards, he was convinced, might be improved, and that it might be found unnecessary for a man's hand to wield a hammer. Machinery might effect this, and every blow given would be the same, and money and human labour saved. In Sweden the hammer was worked by water. The steam-engine was applicable to all such purposes. Mr. Brunell or Mr. Maltby would be very able to do what was wanted as well as in the present system of the smitheries.
Sir Joseph Yorke approved of the mode in practice for making ropes.
Captain Pellew said, he had procured one of the other cables in China, which he found unserviceable.
lunar months, commencing the 1st April 1815, at 14. 15s. 6d. per man per month, Mr. Whitbread said, that as an increased number of seamen had been voted, it was a proper occasion to remark, that complaints had been made of the very inadequate manner in which the navy had been manned during the last American war. He hoped in future the Admiralty would proportion the number of ships to the number of good seamen they could procure, so that we might meet the Americans, if a war unfortunately broke out again with that people.
Admiral Hope said, it was impossible that we could man a navy of 70 or 80 sail as well as five or six frigates were manned by the Americans. If the number of our ships were as small, we could man them four times over equally well. Our ships had always been found to be better manned than the French, and as well manned as a large fleet could be. The hon. admiral expressed his confidence that the best seamen would be found to come forward with alacrity to serve their country, secured as they were of reward for their services from the liberal measures which had been adopted for that purpose, espe cially with regard to the institutions at Greenwich and Chatham.
Mr. Forbes alluded to the case of masters' mates and midshipmen, which he conceived to be one of extreme hardship, deserving the attention of the House; and observed, that he would, on some future occasion, notice it more particularly.
Admiral Hope stated, that it was the intention of the lords of the Admiralty to keep afloat all those young men who had served during the war, as far as it was possible; and for that purpose a double proportion of inferior officers was to be kept up. He pronounced a warm eulogium on the conduct of the British navy, during which the gallant admiral was loudly and repeatedly cheered.
Mr. Whitbread was glad that an opportunity had occurred for the gallant admiral's paying a tribute to the petty officers of the navy. Nothing could be more grateful to them, than to know that their services had been duly appreciated. He had heard, however, that there were instances in which ships had been sent to sea without their complements: and in one case, a gallant admiral had actually weighed his men, and sent up the account to the Admiralty, that they might know the state of his crew.
Sir Joseph Yorke stated, that the Admiralty had done much for the meritorious class of officers alluded to by the hon. gentleman, but it had not yet done all that was intended. With regard how. ever to what was urged on the score of length of service, merely as a claim to promotion, he had to observe, that several midshipmen had completed perhaps ten years of service in a French prison, without having seen two years previous service on board; and would any naval officer consider such persons qualified to perform the duties of a lieutenancy?
Lord Nugent said, he was informed that among our squadron off the Scheldt in the course of the late war, two sail of the line wanted 130 men each of their full complement, and that the ship of commodore Owen was equally defective.
Mr. Rose expressed a hope that the hon. gentleman would not persist in his motion with respect to the midshipmen, as the only effect of such a motion would be to render that deserving class discontented. He had no doubt that the claims of those officers, in whose favour he felt a lively interest, would be duly attended to. A great number of them indeed had already been promoted, and such as were not promoted were to be maintained afloat, so that at all events such meritorious persons should not be turned adrift.
Mr. R. Ward, to show the impartiality of the Admiralty Board, cited a case in which he had applied to the first lord in favour of a midshipman, who was a relation of his own; but his application was
refused on this ground, that others who had a prior claim from long service were not yet promoted.
Mr. Whitbread observed, that it had been much complained of, that while military officers in an enemy's prison were allowed the discount which, from difference of exchange, they were obliged to pay, the same allowance was refused to naval officers in the same situation. He could not conceive how such a distinction could be tolerated upon any principle of equity. He recollected that when a motion was brought forward by an hon. friend of his (Mr. Bennet), to place the officers of both departments on the same footing, when on foreign service, that motion was resisted upon this ground, that naval officers had opportunities of obtain ing prize-money, from which military officers were excluded; but no such ground could apply, where neither were in actual service, when both were in a prison. He begged, therefore, to call the attention of the Admiralty to this subject, and trusted that the naval lords would take measures to have justice done to their brethren.
Mr. Croker said, he had the satisfaction to state, that the moment the case alluded to by the hon. gentleman was represented to the first lord of the Admiralty, measures were taken to place naval officers on the same footing with the officers of the army.
The Resolution was then agreed to. On the Resolution, "That 907,5021. be granted to his Majesty, for defraying half-pay, superannuations, allowances, and pensions to officers of his Majesty's Navy and Royal Marines, their widows and relatives, for the year 1815,"
Mr. Ponsonby took occasion to panegyrise the justice and policy which dictated an advance of the half-pay of naval officers in 1806; observing, that he should have been better pleased if that advance had gone farther, and adding, that he should feel it his duty, on an early occasion, to make a proposition to the House upon this subject.
This Resolution, together with the remaining ones, were agreed to without opposition.
EMIGRANTS. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, "That 60,000l. be granted to his Majesty, to enable him to grant relief to such of the suffering clergy and laity of France, Toulonese, and Corsican emigrants, Saint Domingo sufferers, and Dutch naval officers, who may here
tofore have received allowances from his Majesty, and who may not have been enabled to return to their own countries in the course of the present year, or who, from services performed, or losses sustained in the British service, may have special claims upon his Majesty's justice or liberality." He said, that of this sum 36,000l. was to have been paid by the King of France, but recent occurrences had prevented the performance of that engagement. He thought several of those persons had a peculiar claim on England, as they had been employed by our Go vernment, and had wasted their property in our service.
Mr. Whitbread asked, whether the proposed vote was in addition to the 15,000l. already voted?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer answered in the affirmative, adding that out of the 15,000l. alluded to, 8,000l. had been granted as a final compensation to some emigrants on quitting the country.
Mr. Whitbread said, that as it had been stated that 1600 emigrants had lately come into the country, he hoped it was not intended by putting them on the Alien list to make those emigrants an additional burthen upon us; for if so, the powers of the Alien Act might be abused, by keeping some foreigners in the country, as they had been heretofore abused by sending other foreigners out of it. The hon. member asked, whether in the course of their government the Bourbons had, according to promise, paid any sum to our Government, as a compensation for the
advances made to the emigrants, and whether any of the persons finally com‣ pensated, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, had again returned to this country?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer answered, that none of them so compensated had again returned.
The Resolution was agreed to.—On a Resolution being proposed for a grant of 6,000l. as a final compensation to the commissioners for examining and ascer taining the boundaries of Windsor forest,
Mr. Whitbread said, that he understood there was another commission which had been appointed to survey the royal parks and forests, of which a noble lord (Yar mouth), and Mr. Bicknell, solicitor to the Admiralty and the Prince Regent, were the commissioners. He wished to know who appointed those commissioners, or what authority they had to act?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, that the grant now proposed was the re gular compensations to commissioners ap. pointed under an Act of Parliament passed several years ago, for three years services. As to the other commission, it had been laid before the Crown lawyers, to give their opinion as to its validity.
On the motion, "That 21,000l. be granted to his Majesty, for defraying the extra charge for contingencies of the three Secretaries of State, for the year 1815,"
Mr. Tierney said, he thought there ought to be a more detailed account set forth. He did not mean to say that the sum was too large; but he thought the House ought to be informed of the particulars for which it was given.
Mr. Arbuthnot signified his readiness, upon brnging up the report, to lay the required information upon the table.
Sir M. W. Ridley said, he thought the Secretaries of State were not sufficiently paid, and that the public would be better satisfied if their salaries were increased, instead of having to come to Parliament for those contingencies.
Mr. Arbuthnot repelled the idea that any part of those contingencies was appropriated to the personal uses of the Secretaries of State. They were expended in coals, candles, stationery, and other articles for their offices.
Sir M. W. Ridley explained, and said that he had no intention of insinuating any thing like what the right hon. gen. tleman seemed to apprehend.
Mr. Lushington answered, that the resolution alluded to would not be brought forward until Wednesday next.
Mr. Whitbread inquired, whether it was | ago the Russian Government had negointended to bring forward, on the present ciated a loan in Holland, to the amount of evening, the vote of 9,000l. to enable the ten millions, for which the Russian Gocommissioners to purchase an estate for vernment alone was liable. At the Conthe family of the late lord Nelson? gress of Vienna, however, an arrangement had been made, as he had been informed, by which it was agreed that Russia should pay only one half of this sum-that a quarter of it was to be paid by Holland, and the other quarter by Great Britain. Now, if this was correct, the British Government and nation had been pledged to the payment of a sum of no less than two millions and a half without any previous communication to Parliament, or any communication to Parliament, having as yet been made on the subject. This was a most extraordinary step in the Executive Government, to engage the faith of the country for a sum, the payment of which must lay so heavy an additional burthen on the people, without any intimation to Parliament on the subject either before or after the engagement had been entered into. He wished the noble lord to explain how this stood, and to state whether such an engagement had been really entered into under the circumstances which he
Mr. Whitbread said, it was necessary to know precisely when the vote would be proposed, since strong objections existed against it. An estate, it appeared, which the present lord Nelson, and several of the commissioners, considered a very eligible one, was offered for a sum which the original vote of Parliament would have covered, and the individual who had the disposal of that estate, conceived that a contract for its purchase had been entered into with him.
Mr. Rose said, that when the vote came regularly before the House, he should be prepared to state, what he conceived to be satisfactory grounds for the additional aid of 9,000l. deemed necessary for the purchase of a proper estate. He did not think he was now called on to state the reasons which imposed the necessity of applying to Parliament for this grant. Mr. Whitbread.-Certainly not. All I wish for is, that when the vote is proposed, satisfactory grounds may be stated for the additional grant.
The House then resumed.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
TREATY OF VIENNA-RUSSIAN LOAN IN HOLLAND.] Earl Grey, adverting to the allusion in the first article of the Treaty of Vienna, to certain stipulations which had been previously entered into, observed, that unless their lordships were in possession of those stipulations, it would be impossible for them to enter fully into the consideration of the Treaty itself.
The Earl of Liverpool replied, that the stipulations alluded to formed part of those prior proceedings of the Congress which in due time would be submitted to the consideration of Parliament.
Earl Grey said, there was another point with respect to which he was desirous of having some explanation. He had received information of so extraordinary a nature, that had it not come from good, from indisputable authority, he should be inclined to think that it was not true. He had been informed that some time (VOL. XXX.)
The Earl of Liverpool said, he was ready to admit, that as no taxes could be raised in this country without the consent and aid of Parliament, no obligations could be contracted of the nature to which the noble earl had referred, except subject to the condition, that Parliament would adopt the obligation, and take the requisite steps for its fulfilment. Further than that, he did not feel himself justified in giving any explanation at this moment; but such a stipulation, if it had been entered into, must come in its regular course before Parliament, by which alone the means of payment could be furnished.
Earl Grey said, he knew perfectly that no taxes could be raised in this country without the consent and aid of Parliament, and that in that sense every such engagement must be subject to the condition, that Parliament would enable the Executive to fulfil it. But in the mean time Parliament, by the proceeding to which he had adverted, was put in this predicament, that they must either exact the money and impose the burthen on the nation, or they must violate the national faith pledged by the Executive Government. It was on this account that, before such an engagement was formed, Parliament ought to have been consulted, (3 G)