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neither am I running the race of popularity. I am myself clearly convinced, and I believe every man who knows any thing of the English navy will acknowledge, that without impressing, it is impossible to equip a respectable fleet within the time in which such armaments are usually wanted. If this fact be admitted, and if the necessity of arming upon a sudden emergency should appear incontrovertible, what shall we think of those men, who in the moment of danger would stop the great defence of their country, Upon whatever principle they may act, the act itself is more than faction-it is labouring to cut off the right hand of the community. I wholly condemn their conduct, and am ready to support any motion that may be made, for bringing those aldermen, who have endeavoured to stop the execution of the admiralty warrants, to the bar of this house. My lords, I do not rest my opinion merely upon necessity. I am satisfied that the power of impressing is founded upon uninterrupted usage. It is the consue

tudo regni, and part of the common law prerogative of the crown. When I condemn the proceedings of some persons upon this occasion, let me do justice to a man whose character and conduct have been most infamously traduced; I mean the late lord mayor, Mr. Treacothick. In the midst of reproach and clamour, he had firmness enough to persevere in doing his duty. I do not know in office a more upright magistrate; nor, in private life, a worthier


Permit me now, my lords, to state to your lordships the extent and variety of the service which must be provided for, and to compare them with our apparent resources. A due attention to, and provision for these services, is prudence in time of peace; in war it is necessity. Preventive policy, my lords, which obviates or avoids the injury, is far preferable to that vindictive policy, which aims at reparation, or has no object but revenge. The precaution that meets the disorder is cheap and easy; the remedy which follows it, bloody and expensive.

The first great and acknowledged object of national defence in this country, is to maintain such a supe riour naval force at home, that even the united fleets of France and Spain may never be masters of the Channel. If that should ever happen, what is there to hinder their landing in Ireland, or even upon our own coast? They have often made the attempt. In King William's time it succeeded. King James em. barked on board a French fleet, and landed with a French army in Ireland. In the mean time the French were masters of the Channel, and continued so until their fleet was destroyed by admiral Russel. As to the probable consequences of a foreign army landing in Great Britain or Ireland, I shall offer your lordships my opinion when I speak of the actual condi tion of our standing army.

The second naval object with an English minister, should be to maintain at all times a powerful western, squadron. In the profoundest peace it should be respectable; in war it should be formidable. Without it, the colonies, the commerce, the navigation of Great Britain, lie at the mercy of the house of Bourbon. While I had the honour of acting with lord Anson, that able officer never ceased to inculcate upon the minds of his majesty's servants the necessity of constantly maintaining a strong western squadron ; and I must vouch for him, that while he was at the head of the marine it was never neglected.

The third object indispensable, as I conceive, in the distribution of our navy, is to maintain such a force in the bay of Gibraltar as may be sufficient to cover that garrison, to watch the motions of the Spaniards, and to keep open the communication with Minorca. The ministry will not betray such want of information as to dispute the truth of any of these propositions. But how will your lordships be astonished, when I inform you in what manner they have provided for these great, these essential objects? As to the first, I mean the defence of the Channel, I take upon myself to affirm to your lordships, that, at this hour (and I beg that the date may be taken down and

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observed) we cannot send out eleven ships of the line so manned and equipped that any officer of rank and credit in the service shall accept of the command and stake his reputation upon it. We have one ship of the line at Jamaica, one at the Leeward islands, and one at Gibraltar; yet at this very moment, for ought the ministry know, both Jamaica and Gibraltar may be attacked; and if they are attacked (which God forbid) they must fall. Nothing can prevent it but the appearance of a superiour squadron. It is true that, some two months ago, four ships of the line were ordered from Portsmouth, and one from Plymouth, to carry a relief from Ireland to Gibraltar. These ships, my lords, a week ago, were still in port. If, upon their arrival at Gibraltar, they should find the bay possessed by a superiour squadron, the relief cannot be landed; and if it could be landed of what force do your lordships think it consists ? Two regiments, of four hundred men each, at a time like this, are sent to secure place of such importance as Gibraltar! a place which it is universally agreed cannot hold out against a vigorous attack from the sea, if once the enemy should be so far masters of the bay as to make a good landing even with a moderate force. The indispensable service of the lines requires at least four thousand men. The present garrison consists of about two thousand three hundred; so that if the relief should be fortunate enough to get on shore, they will want eight hundred men of their necessary complement.


Let us now, my lords, turn our eyes homewards. When the defence of Great Britain or Ireland is in question, it is no longer a point of honour; it is not the security of foreign commerce, or foreign possessions; we are to contend for the very being of the state. I have good authority to assure your lordships that the Spaniards have now a fleet at Ferrol, completely manned and ready to sail, which we are in no condition to meet. We could not this day send out eleven ships of the line properly equipped,

and to morrow the enemy may be masters of the channel. It is unnecessary to press the consequences of these facts upon your lordships' minds. If the enemy were to land in full force, either upon this coast or in Ireland, where is your army? where is your defence? My lords, if the house of Bourbon make a wise and vigorous use of the actual advantages they have over us, it is more than probable that on this day month we may not be a nation. What military force can the ministry show to answer any sudden demand? I do not speak of foreign expeditions, or offensive operations. I speak of the interiour defence of Ireland, and of this country. You have a nominal army of seventy battalions, besides guards and cavalry. But what is the establishment of these battalions? Supposing they were complete to the numbers allowed, which I know they are not, each regiment would consist of something less than four hundred men, rank and file. Are these battalions complete? Have any orders been given for an augmentation, or do the ministry mean to continue them upon their present low establishment? When America, the West Indies, Gibraltar, and Minorca, are taken care of, consider, my lords, what part of this army will remain to defend Ireland and Great Britain? This subject, my lords, leads me to considerations of foreign policy and foreign alliance. It is more connected with them than your lordships may at first imagine. When I compare the numbers of our people, estimated highly at seven millions, with the population of France and Spain, usually computed at twenty-five millions, I see a clear, selfevident impossibility for this country to contend with the united power of the house of Bourbon, merely upon the strength of its own resources. They who talk of confining a great war to naval operations only, speak without knowledge or experience. We can no more command the disposition than the events of a war. Wherever we are attacked, there we must defend.

I have been much abused, my lords, for supporting a war, which it has been the fashion to call my German war. But I can affirm, with a clear conscience, that that abuse has been thrown on me by men, who were either unacquainted with facts, or had an interest in misrepresenting them. I shall speak plainly and frankly to your lordships upon this, as I do upon every occasion. That I did in parliament oppose, to the utmost of my power, our engaging in a German war, is most true; and if the same circumstance were to recur, I would act the same part, and oppose it again. But when I was called upon to take a share in the administration, that measure was already decided. Before I was appointed secretary of state, the first treaty with the king of Prussia was signed, and not only ratified by the crown, but approved of and confirmed by a resolution of both houses of parliament. It was a weight fastened upon my neck. By that treaty, the honour of the crown and the honour of the nation were equally engaged. How I could recede from such an engagement; how I could advise the crown to desert a great prince in the midst of those difficulties, in which a reliance upon the good faith of this country had contributed to involve him, are questions I willingly submit to your lordships' candour. That wonderful man, might, perhaps, have extricated himself from his difficulties without our assistance. He has talents which, in every thing that touches the human capacity, do honour to the human mind. But how would England have supported that reputation of credit and good faith, by which we have been distinguished in Europe? What other foreign power would have sought our friendship? What other foreign power would have accepted of an alliance with us?

But, my lords, though I wholly condemn our entering into any engagements which tend to involve us in a continental war, I do not admit that alliances with some of the German princes are either detrimental or useless. They may be, my lords, not only useful, but necessary. I hope, indeed, I nev er shall

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