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ought also to be nutritious. Another the usual contracts. That agents important point to be considered, had been employed to supply our was the nature of the scarcity. markets with foreign corn, he acThis certainly did not entirely arise knowledged; but he doubted whefrom the smallness of the produce. ther this tended to check the speThose articles in which no defect culations of individuals. After a of produce could be pleaded, as conversation upon these subjects, the product of dairies, barley, &c. Mr. Ryder moved for leave to bring were still extravagantly dear. He in a bill to alter the existing laws mentioned this, to prove that the relative to the price of bread, to cause of the scarcity was a compli- prohibit the manufacture of Itarch cated one, and therefore the re. from wheat or other articles of promedy to be applied ought to be ap- vision, and to lower the duties. plied with extreme caution. He upon its importation; for continu. Itrongly recommended the continu. ing the prohibition of diftilling ance of the prohibition upon distil. from articles of grain ; and for rea leries. Many speculations had, he moving all obstructions to the free observec, arifen upon the fact of passage of grain within the kingthe increased price of all articles of dom, which were carried nem. con. provision. Many thought the price Upon bringing up the report of the of labour too low; he was himself select committee respecting the high of that opinion, and had long been price of corn by Mr. Ryder, it apso. Such was, at present, the pro- peared, from the fullest information portion between the price of la. which the committee had been able bour and the price of provisions, to procure, that, except in the ar. that the poor were compelled, if ticle of wheat, the crops had been they fobGited, to fubfift or charity. abundant; so that, by the proper He feared, however, that' no legis. mixture of different grains, a conlative remedy could be applied to fiderable alleviation of the evils of this evil. Ke did not believe it the present scarcity might be made; poffible to raise the price of labour and this was the more necessary, as, equal to the present price of provi. from different causes, the price of fions, and that it was equally im- grain in America, the Mediterrapoffible to reduce the price of corn nean, and the northern parts of to an equality with the present price Europe, was exorbitant!y dear, and of labour. Mr. Pitt fully agreed that an adequate supply could not be the causes of the scarcity were va- depended upon. After full confirious and complicated, and that the deration on the best means of obsubject required proportionate fe- taining a fupply, the committee rious investigation. The scarcity, thought it beft io leave the trade he agreed, was not folely attribut- perfectly open, and to grant a able to the deficiency of the crop. bounty upon the importation. This With respect to the interference of bounty was twenty fillings upon government in the importation of every quarter, and fifteen hillings coril

, which had been objected to upon every barrel, imported froin in the course of the debate, no a.

the Mediterranean, till 300,000 gents had, he asserted, been em- quarters should be iinported. The ployed at home; and the onl bounty upon corn imported froitz grounds for such a charge were the America was fixed at fifteen Mhile purchases made for the supply of lings the quarter, and teu shillings

tone

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the barrel, till 500,000 quarters reflect what remedy might be ada should be imported. A bounty of opted, more comprehensive in its five shillings a quarter, and three object, less exceptionable in its shillings a barrel, upon Indian corn example, and less dangerous in its or meal, till 500,000 quarters should application. They should look to be imported. Motions, founded the instances where interference had upon these resolutions of the com- fhackled industry, and where the mittee, were afterwards put by the best intentions had often produced chancellor of the exchequer, and the most pernicious effects. It was, carried.

he observed, the most abfurd biAs a further remedy for the gotry, in asserting the general pringrievance fo universally suffered, ciple, to conclude the exception ; and so affli&tive to the poor, fir W. but trade, industry, and barter, Young brought in a bill for enabling would always find their own level, overseers of parishes to extend re- and be impeded by regulations lief to the poor at their own houses. which violate their natural opera

On the 27th of November, Mr. tion, and derange their proper efWhitbread pointedly animadverted feet. Mr. Pitt then adduced the upon the peculiar hardfhips suffered poor laws and the law of settleby labourers in the present feason ment, as proofs of regulations, which, of scarcity. Manufacturers, arti. however wife in their original infans, &c. frequently obliged their ftitution, had contributed to the employers to make an advance of evils they were designed to remedy: wages proportionate to the price of Much of the eyils complained of the necessaries of life; but the might, he thought, be remedied by maximum of wages to the husband- an extension in the reformation of man, by an existing statute, was the poor laws, which had been appointed to be regulated by the lately begun. He wished for an magistrate, but not the minimum. opportunity of restoring the origiThis act was also so defective, that nal purity of the poor laws, and of it could not be enforced. On the removing the corruptions by which 9th December, the same gentleman they were obscured. The great brought in a bill to enable justices, defect of the poor laws was, that at the quarter seflions, to regulate they did not distinguish between the price of labour. The argu- those, who, from misfortunes, were ments for this measure he urged unable to support their families, with his usual humanity. The bill and those whose poverty was the was also supported by Mr. Fox, confequence of diffipation; whereMr. Jekyll, Mr. Honywood, Mr. as, the aid bestowed should be an Lechmere, Mr. Noel Edwards, honourable distinction, a matter of Mr. Martin, gen. Smith, and Mr. right, which the person could claim Hussey; and opposed by Mr. Bur. when he was unable to provide for don, Mr. Buxion, Mr. Vanlittart, all his children. But whatever was and the chancellor of the exche- done was in fufficient, if, at the quer who entered, in a very pro- same time, all applications for relix, but unfatisfactory manner, into lief were not discouraged if unnethe expediency and policy of the cessary. If the necessities of those measure. He thought it much bet- who required relief could be remeter for the house to consider the died by a supply of labour, the operation of general principles; to most important advantages would be gained: He recommended giv. lay up, in the days of youth and ing effect to the operation of friendly health, a supply for their latter years; societies, granting relief according whereas, in the present state of to the number of children, pre- things, it is evident that the labour. venting removals at the caprice of ing poor cannot gain a healthy subparish officers, and the advancing fistence, much less can they lay up of small capitals, which might be any thing for age or adversity. repaid in two or three years; and The committee to consider of the pointed out several means by which high price of corn, in the meantime, the object so much wanted, a pure entered into an engagement to reduce execution of the laws, might be the consumption of wheat in their obtained. After a long conversa- families one third, by every posible tion, in which many important ar- expedient. This measure, which guments were adduced on both provided no legislative remedy for fides of the question, Mr. Whit- an evil of such magnitude, was bread's motion passed in the nega« pointedly animadverted upon by tive.

lords Lauderdale, Lansdowne, and A fimilar fate attended the re- Thurlow, as filly, futile, and even peated efforts made by Mr. Lech- ridiculous.” The engagement was, mere to alleviate the present die however, figned not only by the stresses of the poor.

committee, but by, several meinThe arguments of the chancellorbers of both houses. of the exchequer on this subject (if Several important regulationsarguments they may be called) were were, however, made by the comevidently intended merely to get mittee respecting weights and scales, rid of a question which must inter- the tolls of millers, &c. which formest every man who has any feeling ed the basis of succeeding acts of of justice and humanity. That the parliament. About the same time wages of the labourer should bear a Sir John Sinclair brought forward a proper proportion to the price of the motion, founded upon the resoluneceffaries of life, is a matter of right, tions of the board of agriculture, a principle of justice, and in no re. for the cultivation of the waste spect connected with the confidera. lands. This was intended to pretion of the poor laws, except in vent a recurrence of the distreis at this, that if the wages of labourers prefent experienced, and the near? were what they ought to be, the cessity of such measures as had been poor's rates would be diminished to lately adopted. In consequence, almost a cipher. Indeed, in such a therefore, it is supposed, of the restate, none would have a claim on commendation from the board, a, the benevolence of the public but considerable number of inclosure the aged and infirm; and even of bills passed the house in the course these, many would be enabled to of the Sellion.

CHAP III.

Committee of Supply. Seamen and Marines voted. General II-Leod's Motios

respecting the Military Force of the Country. Army Ejtimates. Debale or that Subjeet. General Smith's Motion for recommitting the Report of the Army Estimates. Discussion on the Wi-India Expedition and the Barrack Syftem. General Smith's Motion relative to Barracks. Negativid,

af Arden nioved, in the com- tember, but was induced to change mittee of supply, that one hundred that part of his motion to August, and ten thousand seamen should be at the desire of the secretary at war, employed for the sea service of the who thought it highly improper to year 1796, including eighteen thou make public the actual state of the fand marines; and that four pounds force to the present time. Of the a man for month, for thirteen yeomanry, he stated, there could be months, should be allowed; both no return, as they had never reof which were accordingly voted. ceived pay; but this part of his arOn the 4th of December, the com- gument was opposed by general mittee granted a sum not exceed- M.Leod, as this description of pering 624,1521. 18. old. for the ordi- sons had been furnished with arnis, nary pay of the navy, including the and therefore the returns might be marines, and 708,4001. for build- made at the ordnance, or some other ing and repairing ships of war. office. This mocious being agreed

Previous to the productioa of the to, the general proceeded to make army estimates, general M Leod ewo others, first, for a return of moved for returns of all the milia all the general and staff oficers, tary force of the country. Before whether British or foreign, who had the house voted away the money of been employed under the earl of their constituents, it was, he ob- Moira, with their pay, &c. and of served, their duty to inquire into those employed in the service of its purposes, its application, the num- hís majesty under the count d'Arber of men paid, and the allowance tois, prince of Condé, or any granted to each. It was, helides, French general, with an account of the duty of the house to watch the their several allowances: both of conduct of ministers, and to see which were agreed 80. their projects and powess for their The army eitimates were referred execution; to know also the means to the committee of supply, in employed for the protection of the which the secretary at war observ. country, and the manner in which ed that she whole land force of the the levies had been conducted. The kingdom was comprehended under house ought likewise to see how two articles, that of guards and gargallant and experienced officers haci risons, and that of colonies and been neglected, and the truit com- plantations. The amount of the mitted to those who had neither aye first was, he said, by withdrawing nor trilitary Eill to discharge it the army from the continent, reproperly. This return the general duced to 49,219. In the colonies

there

there was an increase from 35,000 The general result was, that the to 77,868, owing to the auginenta- army, which was equal to every tion of the army in the West In- purpose of defence, had been iedies. Upon the whole, there was duced by 25,000, and formed a fava reduction to the amount of 28,000 ing to the public of 800,oool. Afupon the establishment of regular ter recapitulating the several artitroops. The troops of every de- cles of force *, Mr. Windham movfcription, with the regular forces, ed his first resolution, " that 207,000 amounted to 207,000. The West men be employed for the service of India staff was increased; but it the current year." comprehended the medical staff. Several of the articles stated by

the

* The militia amounted to

42,000 In the fencible infantry there had been a reduction of 1700 men. The whole amounted now to

13,000 The fencible cavalry had received an auginentation of 4000 men, and amounted to

10,000 The whole force, therefore, was as follows: Guards and garrisons

49,219 Force in the colonies and plantations

77,868 Militia

42,000 Irith brigade

4,414 The Inilia arıny (which was paid by the company)

10,000 The fencible infantry

13,000 The fencible cavalry

10,000 206,501

Or, taking it in round numbers,

207,000 The other article of importance was the West India staff, in which was included the medical Rant.

The general refult of the whole was, that the army to be kept on foot, in the ensuing year, was less than it had been lait year by 25,369 men; the facing that accrued in cola fequence, was £.817,091, as would appear in the following fateincat,

For 49,219 land forces for 1790, £.11,358,624. 2s. 9.d. for their charge and cloathing.

4.1,666,400 for maintaining the forces in the plantations, Gibraltar, Corlica, and New South Wales, from the 25th of Deceinber, 1795, to 25th December, 1796.

£.40,195. 45. 91. for dillerence between the English and Irith cîtabliminent of ax regiments of faot, from December 25, 1795, to December 25, 1796.

£.360,000 for recruiting and contingencies iur 1796. 4.120,000 for innkeepers, for increased tublistence on quartering for 1796. £,103,010. 15. 3d. for general and faff officers for 1796. £.9,259. 18. C.d. for pay of general and diaft vificers on an expedition under geooral Clark, for 1796.

2.127,779. 145. 11d. to supernumerary officers and others, from December 25, 1795, to December 25, 1796.

4.113,440. 13. 5.1. for paymaster-general, fecretary at war, &c. for 1796.
4.118,873. 18., 6d. for reduced officers oi land forces an à marines, for 1796.
2.126. 15. 61. for reduced troops of horfe guards, tur 1796.
3.1000 fur officers luic of the dates-general, for 1796.
3.52,500 on account of reduced officers of British American forces, for 1796.
17,500 for allowance to ditlo, for 1196.
4,1917,29.4. 141. Id for militia and fencible infantry, for 1796.
*.210,000 for contingencics for ditto, for 1796.
L.105,538, 17s. ld. for cluathin, inilicia for 1798.

6.176,636.

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