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it not due to the cause of justice, be followed up on this business, to the feelings of the public, to the for the satisfaction of the public character of the soldiery, one of and the soldiery. If it turned out, whom was accused of murder by from that inquiry, that the state. this verdict, that an inquiry should ment of the right hon. secretary take place? Such an inquiry in- was well founded, that the condeed seemed peculiarly due to the duct of the troops was in all invindication of the troops; for until stances marked by forbearance and the guilty individualwas discovered, moderation, and that several shots the whole body was liable to beim- were fired from the place where plicated in the imputation that ver- this murder was alleged to have dict conveyed; and why should not occurred, then the inquiry would a proclamation be issued in order be most satisfactory ; but yet it to facilitate that discovery? But it could not be argued, that because appeared from the statement of his the soldiery in general behaved noble fricnd, that there was an ob. well, the murder of an innocent vious facility towards that disco. man by one of those soldiers ought very, within the reach of ministers, to be overlooked. Such an interwithout any proclamation what. ence alone could warrant the disever! Why should not such a fa. position betrayed by the doctrine cility then be immediately resorted of the right honourable secretary, to! Surely no minister would and therefore he feit himself irrepretend to disregard the verdict of sistibly impelled at once to oppose a coroner's inquest, to assume the it. Therefore indeed he was urged right of a grand jury, or to pre- to that which he should be othervent that case which a coroner's wise indisposed to do, if he was not inquest pronounced to be wilful so pressed. murder, from being referred to a A debate of some length ensued, jury for trial, It was clearly and the motion was negatived with. necessary that the inquiry should out a division.
Walcheren Expedition-Debates on Lord Porcbester's Resolution-Delale and
Resol:tions in Mr. Hunt's Defalcation—Sir Francis Burde:t's Letter to ibe Speaker of ihe House of Commons-Sir Samuel Romilly's Motion for the Literation of Gale Jones- Petition of the Electors of WestminsterHis Majesty's Message respecting the Duk: of Brun wick, and Debate thereon.
given accounts of some dis- ship of the exchequer, a very lucracussions on the expedition to the tive sinecure, falling vacant, it was Scheldt, yet we must not wholly instantly given to him as a reward omit the debate, wbich continued of his important services: this offor four nights, on the resolutions fice he could not accept without vamoved by lord Porchester, and in- cating the seat for Cambridgeshires terid to criminate ministers. and though he probably expected This expedition excited a great and to be returned without opposition,
almost general dissatisfaction in he was disappointed; and public in• every class of the people; and when dignation ran so high, that it was
notice was given of the inquiry into doubted whether there was a bothe causes of its failure, the public rough in the whole kingdom, so was naturally anxious to hear the mean as even to admit the mention justification which would be put of his name as a candidate. in to the charges that had been The examination of witnesses made against the authors of that being over, and the evidence printexpedition: every ear was open, cd, the members of the opposition fully expecting to be gratified by were determined to make one grand the examination of witnesses con- effort in endeavouring to displace tinued from day to day in the house. those from his majesty's councils Ministers had, however, in the in- who had been the cause of so much stance of the duke of York learned calamity, and so much bloodshed, by experience the consequences of without answering one good end. • admitting the public to hear dis
It was accordingly agreed that cussions of general interest, and in lord Porchester should bring for which there was a probability of ward the business in the house of much to blame. Mr. Yorke, there. commons, And on the 26th of fore, rose in his place, and, after March his lordship took a review professing much sorrow that the of the whole business in a most public had been admitted to hear masterly speech, of several hours the evidence of the charges against in length, in the particulars of the commander in chief, moved which we cannot pretend to follow that during the present investiga. him ; but having gone through the tion all strangers be excluded from greater part of the evidence, he the gallery of the house of com- said, I come now to the last, but mons. What effect this produced not the least interesting, and per. with respect to Gale Jones we have haps the most important part of the already seen, but with regard to the case. Knowing that there were honourable member, it led to very already,on the sth September, 8.00 sick at Walcheren, the following placed on our naval defences, in details from sir Eyre Coote in suc- such a situation. All those accession, held out no hope of abate. quainted with the navigation of the ment. The force remaining fit for Scheldt know that we could not duty, in the event of an attack, depend on our naval defences alone; rendered the defence of the island that for three months of the year extremely precarious. He accord. the fieet must go into Flushing : ingly writes, asking that the blankets, that the enemy can easily convert and other warm clothes which had their schuyts into gun-boats, and been left behind the army in Eng. attack our fiett; and it is also well Jand, should be sent to them. known, that when once ships go into They had been put into hospic one branch of the Scheldt they cantals without roofs: and if they had not easily get into the other. We not met with supplies from the never could think of establishing smugglers, they must actually have that as a station of defence, without perished without medicine. I do also keeping there a naval force not attribute all this to the minis'ers, equal to all the vessels and all the but to that miserable subdivision of means of the enemy; and I ask, if offices, having no control upon this country has a population equal each other, but all of which ought to the support of such an establishto be under the control of the war ment? if there ever was a man who minister. It was particularly the entertained the idea ? But when duty of ministers, however, to have ministers knew that this disease exbeen vigilant on this occasion, when isted, and that there was no chance they knew how divided among them.' of its diminishing, but of its increasselves, and how inefficient this corps ing, I confess myself utterly at a actually was. It was their duty to loss to conceive on what principle have seen that soldiers, who by they could reconcile such a notion their act had been placed in this sic to their minds? So much bad the tuation; who by their act, beyond malady increased, that at last geneany actual necessity, had been ral Don tells you, your army was placed in such a situation of peril, completely cut up, and that there were not left to perish. I cannot was the greatest apprehension that figure any excuse for such gross the respitals might fall into the misconduct. I can conceive no ex- hands of the enemy should any accuse but this, that they themselves cident befall your naval force. I were at the time in a similar state ask, Why were the feelings of minisof disunion. I ask with what view ters so callous to the sufferings of they left those brave men to perish the army, while the heart of every down to the 15th October, and why other Englislıman in the kingdom they did not at once destroy the for- was wrung with their sufferings? tifications, and remove the army, Wlry did they not recall their gal. the moment the ulterior object was lent country men after the letter of found to be impracticable. If they the 8th September describing their talk of a practicable desence of Wal- calamitous situation, instead of concheren, I answer, that all the opi- signing them to the same deplora. uions and evidence on that point ble tate till November following? show that it could not be retained I will tell them why. It was not without a force of 20,000 or 30,000 because they were anxious at the men; and that no reliance could be time for the retention of Walcheren,
but from an eagerness to retain forces, 37 sail of the line, 2 ships of 50, their own offices. The heart-rend. 3 of 44 guns, 24 frigates, 31 sloops, ing intelligence as to the state of 5 bomb vessels, 23 gun-brigs, sailed our brave army, which united in on the late expedition to the Scheldt, sympathy and feeling the minds of having for its object the capture or every other man in the country, ope- destruction of the enemy's ships, rated on them as a principle of dis- either building at Antwerp or Flushunion, serving to them as the signaling, or afloat on the Scheldt, the deto commence intestine fends- struction of the arsenals and dock
Validas in viscera vertere vires, yards at Antwerp, Torneaux and The noble lord proceeded to notice Flushing, the reduction of the the call on this country, in the letter island of Wacheren, and the renfrom Mr. Bathurst, for continued dering, if possible, the Scheldt no operations; whereas, when they longer navigable for ships of war. were in full strength, there was not 2d. “That Flushing surrendered a person to be found in those very on the 15th of August, whereby the countries we were aiding, who reduction of the island of Walchewould throw a stone in our behalf. ren was completed; and that on How, the noble lord asked, could the 27th of August all attempt we believe, that to bring a British upon the fleet and arsenals of the army to perish in Walcheren was enemy at Antwerp was, by the una. serving the cause of Austria? Such nimous opinion of the lieutenant an offer was made to Austria last generals, declare to be impracticawar, and the question put in return ble, and was abandoned. was, “ Where is the island of Wal- 3d. "That the destruction of the cheren?” It was not in Holland, basin, dock-yard, arsenal, maga. but in the North of Germany that zines, and nayal store-houses, of the we could have made any thing like town of Flushing, and of such part a diversion. He had gone through of the sea defences as it was found the principal parts of the great mass proper to destroy; having been ef. of evidence which had been addu. fected on thellth of December, the ced in the inquiry to this expedition. Island of Walcheren was on the He could wish to turn away his 23d of December evacuated by his eyes from a campaign planned in majesty's forces, and the expedition ignoraoce, conducted in impotence, ended. and which had ended in immolating
4th. “That it does not appear to some thousands of the finest troops this house, that the failure of the of this country. His lordship con- expedition is imputable to the concluded by moving two different sets duct of the army or the navy in the of resolutions the one on the poli- execution of their instructions, rela.' cy and conduct of the campaign, tive to the military and naval opethe oiher on the retention of Wala rations in the Scheldt. cheren after the ulterior object was 5th. That on the 19th of August found impracticable. The noble a malignant disorder showed itself lord being exhausted, the resolu- amongst his majesty's troops; and tions were read by earl Temple, that on the 8th of September the and are as follow :
number of sick amounted to upNo. I.-st. “That on the 28th of wards of 10,918 men. July last, and subsequent days, an 6th. “That it appears by the rearmament, consisting of 39,000 land port of the physician appointed to great indeed
investigate the nature and causes of representing that, after such his
7th.“That of the army which em. come very precarious.'
8th. “That the expedition to the should be attacked, extremely preScheldt was undertaken under cir- carious, did express his anxiety to cumstances which afforded no ra. be informed of the intentions of his tional hope of adequate success, and majesty's government as to the fuat the precise season of the year ture state of Walcheren, when the malignant discase, which 4th.“That notwithstanding these, bas proved so fatal to his majesty's and many other pressing repre brave troops, was known to be most sentations, in the alarming condiprevalent; and that the advisers of tion of the troops, and the danger this ill-judged enterprise are, in the to which they were exposed, his opinion of this house, deeply re- majesty's ministers did neglect to sponsible for the heavy calamities
come to any decision until the 4th with which its failure has been at- of November, and that the final tended.
evacuation of Walcheren did not No. II.--. st.“ That lieutenant- take place until the 23d of De. general sir Eyre Coote, having on cember. the 9th of September been left in 5th.“That on the 10th of Septem. the command of Walcheren with ber the number of sick in the island an army of about 15,000 men, did of Walcheren was, exclusive of offi. on that day make an official report cers, 6,938; and that the total num. on the state of the island, the ex- ber of sick embarked for England, tent of force required effectually to between the 15th of September and guard it, the nature and condition the 16th of November, was 11,199, of its defences, and the number of making in that period an increase men then sick and unfit for duty; of sick of 4,268.