Abbildungen der Seite

ceeding to be adopted by the Noble Lord on his motion this evening. The Noble owner of this splendid mansion opened the business to the party in a short, and, as far as we would catch his meaning, satisfactory manner. He apologized for the liberty he had taken in requesting their attendance at his own house, but his respectable friend, Mr. Ponsonby, having made over to him the lead of the Party upon this occasion, he thought it most in form to do so. The task he had undertaken was one of SOIme difficulty, and if he could collect the sense of the meeting, he was sure it would be of the greatest use to him. His intention, as far as he had considered the subject, was to move for the appointment of a Parliamentary Commission, with full powers to make such reductions in every part of our military establishments as they might think proper; and if he succeeded in carrying this motion, of which, however, a fuller attendance on this occasion would have

given more sanguine hopes, he should move that it consist of Mr. Tierney, Mr. Bennet, Lord Folkestone, and Sir Francis Burdett. (Murmurs.) In proposing the three latter names, his Lordship stated that he was influenced by considerations of great importance to the interests of the whole Whig Party: he was sorry to say that another meeting on the same subject was now holding at Mr. Brougham's lodgings; and it was to conciliate that meeting, and to bring about, if possible, a union of all real Whigs, that he wished to propose three persons who he understood were at this moment at Mr. Brougham's; but he thought the present company would feel that by placing Mr. Tierney at the head of the Commission, there was a sufficient guarantee for the fairness, candour, plain-dealing, and attention to general interests only, which ought to characterise such an inquiry. He begged further to explain, that his motion would include the Ordnance; and that if it Were to be successful, he would, on a future occa

sion, propose to establish a similar commission for dismantling the navy, which would consist of Mr. Tierney, (who had already given ample proofs how thoroughly he understood the subject), and Lord Cochrane. His Lordship concluded by begging to have the opinion of the meeting as to the various points of reduction on which it might be proper more particularly to insist. Mr. TIERNEY expressed himself very sensible of the delicacy of the compliment paid him, and assured the Meeting, that having studied the Navy Estimates during the whole of the recess, he felt himself now a match for any body on that question: with regard to the Ordnance, however, though an undoubted economist, he hoped the Corps of Sappers and Miners would not be included in the reduction. Mr. CALCRAFT would not have been the first to propose any exceptions to the general reduction which the Noble Lord had in view; but as his Right Hon. Friend had set the example, he must take

leave to say, that he trusted the Commission would

have a liberal consideration for that head of service called the Unprovided. He begged also to state, that as Maidstone was so short a distance from Rochester, he thought it absolutely necessary to keep up the depôt at the former place.

Lord ALTHORPE, with reference to his notice about the Leather Tax, did not see why in time of peace we might not revert to the ancient and constitutional practice of making our artillery of leather, instead of following the Continental fashion of having them of iron or brass. He was sure it would be very acceptable to his constituents, and would be a great relief to the grazing part of the agricultural interest, for whom, as yet, nothing had been done; and it was obvious how much better such a material would be for the galloping guns and the light artillery; at the same time that it would be by no means dangerous to liberty.

The Honourable Captain WALDEGRAve appeared

* Mr. Calcraft was supposed not to be unwilling to take office —he was member for Rochester.

inclined to oppose this proposition, when he was tartly answered by Mr. WARRE, who had just joined the Party, that he had two very strong testimonies in favour of this leathern artillery; one theoretical, and the other practical: the first was from Dyche's Universal Spelling Book, a work of great authority (which he had lately been surprised to find that his Hon. Friend near him, Mr. Methuen, had never read). In this author it is directly stated, that, for the purpose of sieges and fortifications, “ there is nothing like leather.” The practical authority to whom he alluded was a gallant veteran whose reputation was well known to Gentlemen, but whose name, to the disgrace of the Government, he could not find on the pension list—he meant Captain Shandy, who, as might be found in that profound historical work called the Elegant Extracts, had made use of leather artillery on all his campaigns. On the general subject, he begged to say, that

his mind revolted at the reduction of the cavalry;

« ZurückWeiter »