« ZurückWeiter »
but if it must be at all reduced, humanity to the horses required that they should neither be sold nor shot, but should be allowed for the rest of their lives to feed in places, now wholly useless, but which might be very well spared for the purpose; he meant St. James's and the Green Park, and the centre of Grosvenor, Golden, Hanover, Soho, Berkeley, and Russel squares, and Lincoln's-inn-fields.
The meeting shewed some little impatience at the length of Mr. Warre's observations ; upon which
Mr. METHUEN said, that he felt himself called upon by the flattering allusion made to himself to say, that he entirely agreed in all that his Honourable Friend had said, and he must also add one word in favour of the Deserter Corps, which he hoped would not be given up. 'They might indeed be stigmatised as Condemned Regiments, but the use of things was not to be judged of by their names only. He believed desertion to be a very general offence, and he knew instances of men who had deserted within
a fortnight from the party with which they had enlisted.
Mr. FREDERICK DOUGLAS concurred in the ob. sérvations made in favour of the Deserter Corps, and was encouraged by what had dropped from others to recommend the Corps of Voltigeurs to the favour of the Meeting. The rest of the army, he thought, might safely be extirpated.*
Lord SEFTON, though but lately admitted to such deliberations, hoped he should be forgiven if he strongly protested against any reduction in the Driver Corps ; he also set great value upon a good Commissariat Establishment.
Mr. Ponsonby had not given any opinion hitherto, that he might not appear to dictate to the Meeting ; bụt the short view he had taken was to reduce all that part of our Establishments which might be termed active, but to be indulgent to the superannuated list.
* Mr. Douglas in the House of Commons had talked of extir. pating the French Army.-E.
Mr. GORDON differed with Lord Althorpe about the Artillery, he was for getting rid of the Field Trains, to which his Noble Friend seemed. partial, and for maintaining no Ordnance whatever but Bombs.
Mr. CURWEN hoped the Commissioners would reduce the number of Chaplains ; but he would not have them touch the Flotilla on the Lakes. He begged, however, to observe on the danger that there was from the numerous Ordnance depôts scattered through the country: he himself knew an instance in which a spark had caused an explosion, which had excited the greatest alarm in a part of the country; indeed, one young woman was said to have been lost on the occasion, and several respectable families were thrown into a state of the greatest distress.*
Lord STANLEY was only sorry that the motion
• Here and in other places there are allusions to a story of a strange piece of gallantry, which, whether true or false, bad certainly made Mr. C. very unpopular.
went no further; he would give the Commissioners a general control over every branch of expenditure; and particularly the Civil List, which they had all of them done their utmost upon all occasions to diminish. He could not bear to see public money lavished in providing the Sovereign with the splendid magnificence of Thatched Cottages. If the Sovereign wanted a temporary residence in the country, were there not abundance of excellent houses all along every great road, which by the ostentatious display of the Royal Escutcheon, seemed as it were peculiarly set apart for such purposes ?-(Hear, hear, hear!)
Lord FOLKESTONE, who had just come in from Mr. Brougham's, concurred in thinking the motion much too limited; the Commissioners should have far ampler powers, and should be authorized to act in some degree as Censors, to check the military spirit which pervades all ranks from the highest to the lowest. Why, he would ask, since we were
at peace, did the Royal Liveries continue
scarlet? He thought it a dangerous symptom; it was an innovation, he believed, first introduced by the Hanoverian family, and a practice wholly unknown in the good times of Harry VIII. and Elizabeth. Why, too, were our soldiers tricked out in the foppery of red uniforms in time of peace, as if brown coats would not keep their backs just as warm and dry? He should never think the Constitution safe till he saw the Foot Guards exchange their gaudy equipments for the modest garb of Special Constables, and what was termed in the modern phrase, the Household Cavalry, assume the appearance of the Surrey Patrole.
Lord Milton entirely agreed with every thing which had fallen from his Noble Friend, and could not help wishing that the attention of the Commissioners might be specially directed to those well-known Personages Gog and Magog. Their present warlike appearance must have a great tendency to keep up military ideas among the otherwise peaceably disposed citizens, and both as a matter of taste and of