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Naval Debt 2,000,000l. more; for Bills of Credit and arrears of Subsidies 3,000,000l. for the Commissariat department in Portugal, not less than 2,500,000%. These sums together made 19,500,000l. The 12,000,000l. for the Army Extraordinaries, which he had mentioned, were for the former year, though included in the grant for the present. The payment of the sum which continued due on account of the Commissariat in Portugal beyond what had already been discharged, had been suspended during the war. The parties interested had acquiesced cheerfully in the arrangement made, and consented to receive the interest, without complaining that the principal would not be paid. This was satisfactory, as it showed that the monied men of the country (for the greater number of the creditors were British merchants) had the interest of the nation more at heart than their own private profit. They had made a considerable sacrifice, as the state of the exchange would have given them a great advantage, which must be wholly lost to them by this arrangement, which however would prove beneficial to the public service, and from its effect upon the exchange, greatly promote economy in those departments in which our service had hitherto been conducted abroad at an immense expense; and thus our operations would be carried on with new vigor. The Committee must see with pleasure, that even under the pressure of present circumstances, the precious metals had been reduced in price since last April. Gold, which had then been 57. 7s. the ounce, had been reduced to 57. 5s. and the price of dollars had sunk within the same period to 6s. 3d. per ounce. He stated this to show that we had been enabled, not only to meet, but in part to surmount the difficulties of our situation. Returning from this digression, he observed that he had brought up his statement of the charges which the country must have borne, if a new war had not broken out, to 19,500,000%. One million more was to be added as the balance due to the achievements of our brave army, for the capture of stores. 500,000l. of the sum called for in the present Session would also have been necessary in aid of the Civil List. Thus this made up the 21,000,000l. he had mentioned, which were to be provided for in the present year, which did not arise from the renewal of war, and must have been borne had no such event taken place. He was aware, it would be asked, if the war should continue, how would such expences be met in a future year? He would not say that there would be no difficulties to contend with, but it was not probable that those difficulties. would be of equal magnitude with those surmounted in the present year. He could hardly think it possible that this country
would be engaged in an extensive naval war, while making such exertions as she was now displaying on the Continent. Either the attention of France would be so much directed to the confederated armies, that she would not be able to make any great effort with her navy or supposing any arrangements to be made by her with the Continental Powers, that expence now incurred for our armies would cease, and the supplies at present demanded for them could be applied to the service of our navy: so that he conceived no prospect of the war being continued at the present great expence. Up to the year 1814, a provision had been made for 140,000 seamen. These were reduced in the last year to 70,000; but this, instead of a diminution, had caused a great additional expence, as the numbers of persons returning from long voyages, and claiming the arrears due to them, had made larger disbursements necessary than were called for at any period of the war. This burden could not continue, and he thought he was not too sanguine, when he looked for a diminution in the naval estimates for the next year, to the amount of four or five millions, including the transport service. The reduction upon the whole, even if the war should continue, might, therefore, in another year, be not less than four or five and twenty millions. He believed that in every stage of the late war, this question had constantly been asked: "How shall we go on next year "" ? The general answer to this had been, that the spirit and resources of the nation would still furnish the means for prosecuting the contest, if it should be necessary. This answer, he thought, might suffice on the present occasion, but it was happily in his power to give one more distinct and specific. The House were not to suppose the Act of 1813 would not yet furnish fresh resources from the fund in the hands of the Commissioners for redeeming the National Debt. Though when all the grants of the present Session were passed, but nine or ten millions would remain in their hands; in the next year there would, by the progress of redemption, be found in their care from twenty to thirty millions of stock. We had raised by loans in the present year, no less a sum than 45,500,000l. The House would consider the prospect before us less gloomy than it might otherwise appear when he stated that it was probable, for the reasons which he had assigned, that in the next year the loan required would not exceed twenty millions, and from twenty to thirty millions of stock would be applicable in the hands of the Commissioners. But what had induced Ministers to prefer having recourse to a public loan, rather than to a more onerous, though a more provident and certain mode of meeting the exigencies of the case, was this-they had reason to hope the
contest might be short. In whatever light the subject was viewed, whether we supposed the Government of Bonaparte was only established over France by the domineering power of a mutinous army, or whether it was assumed that he was invested with the sovereign authority by the suffrages of the nation at large, in the present instance it could not affect the measures which it had become necessary for England to adopt. Placed in that situation which we occupied, and deeply pledged in respect both of honor and of interest to support, at any hazard, the system upon which the peace of Europe had been restored, we could not but join with the Confederated Powers to give France encouragement to declare herself, and to enable the Royal party to struggle for the liberty of their country before its present Chief should be in possession of its whole resources. How far the enterprise might succeed, he could not say. But hearing as he did in many parts of France, murmurs half suppressed, and seeing in others open hostilities against the ruling power, he could not but cherish a belief that the real supporters of Bonaparte were very few indeed, beyond the limits of the army, which had been accustomed to serve under his banners. But, supposing for the misery of mankind, and most of all for that of France, that carried away by her lust for military triumphs, she should prefer a warlike Chief to lead her armies to the conquest of Europe, and that for such a character, she had deliberately rejected a mild and moderate government-terrible as it might be, to combat the whole strength of France, embodied under such a leader-such a consideration would make little difference with respect to the measures that ought to be pursued. Greater means ought, in fact, to be put forth, and more intense energy exerted to crush a Government, in its nature inimical to all other Governments. He was unwilling to believe that France had acted such a part; that she had rejected the sway of a moderate and legal Prince, for one who ruled without law, and who even now trampled on the Constitution he so recently pretended to establish. Such a Power must be combated. It must find its end in internal discord or by external force, or it would never rest satisfied till its military domination extended over the whole of Europe. He would not, however, suffer himself to be led into the discussion of topics, however interesting and important, which were not immediately under the consideration of the Committee; and was not aware that he had omitted to state any thing necessarily connected with the business of this evening; but he should hold himself ready to offer any further explanation which might be required by the Committee.
He then moved his first resolution, which was-" That a provision should be made for a loan of 36,000,000l. to be raised by way of annuity; 27,000,000l. for England, and 9,000,000l. for Ireland."