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1751. PROCEEDINGS of the PoliTICAL CLUB, &c.
5+5 by turning them over from hip to Thip for a long tract of years, by dil- The next that fioke was Servilius milling them the moment we found Priscus, u kofi pcech was in Subwe had no further occasion for fiance thus. their service, and by neglecting to
Mr. President, pay them their wages for a great number of years. Our ministers A know too well, that a navy debt
BELIEVE it has very seldom is the debt which the nation will happened, that any one in my always most chearfully provide for; ftation, or in the slation of the noble and therefore, if any service must go
lord who made you this motion, in arrear, they take care it fhall be ever argued for a diminution of the that of our navy. By this means it publick expence ; but the circumis known, that our seamen have been B ftances of this nation are such at presometimes kept for ten years without
sent, that, in my opinion, every man their wages, which exposes them to
who has the prosperity of his country the cruel mercy of ufurers and ex- fincerely at heart, must be for saving tortioners, or obliges them to sell
as much of the publick money as their wages for one half of what possible. We must save, Sir : We they have a right to demand. This
must fave as much as posible upon usage will in time fo much diminish C every article; and as this is the firft the number of British failors, that it article of the publick expence, that will be imposible to find any such has in this session been brought be. even for the merchant-service, with- fore us, I hope, gentlemen will conout giving then higher wages than sider without prejudice, whether a are given by any of our rivals in
little may not be saved even upon cominerce : The consequence of this this, which is deservedly the most famust be, that our merchants will D vourite article of the publick charge. employ foreign fhips and failors in Our army is not now before us; thereall branches of trade, where they can fore I wish gentlemen would avoid be employed by our act of navigation; making comparisons between our arand with respect to those branches of my and navy, for they are always intrade, where by that act foreign thips vidious, and may prove dangerous. or failors cannot be employed, they When our army is brought before us, must be entirely given up to foreign- E we must save upon that article too, if ers, unless it be our plantation trade, it should be found consistent with our where we cannot be rivalled by fo. immediate safety ; but fuppose we reigners : Even that trade it will were to disband one half of our army, be very difficult to keep to ourselves, that would be no argument for our when the people in cur plantations keeping more seamen in pay than is tind, that they can have all sorts of necessary. Therefore the question now commodities at a cheaper rate from F before us is not, whether we shall save foreign countries than from their own. upon the article of our army or upon
In short, Sir, the consequences that of our navy: We mult fave upon from the reduction proposed may be both, if poflible; consequently, the 'fo fatal, and the saving can be so only queftion now under consideration Small, that I think, we ought at is, whether foco seamen will be sufleast to continue the establishment officient for the service of the ensuing last year ; therefore I hope the noble G year; and I rejoice in the opinion, Jord will withdraw the motion he which I have formed from the moit has made, and make a new motion diligent enquiry, and the best in'or. for 10,000 seamen for the service of macion I could get from thole who She ensuing year.
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546 PROCEEDINGS of tbe POLITICAL CLUB, &c. Dec. are beft acquainted with the nature neceflity of prefling for the land as of that service, and with the present well as sea service. situation of our rivals in naval power. In my opinion therefore, Sir, it From that information I am con-, is impossible to prevent our being revinced, that 8000 seamen will be duced to the necessity of pressing 20 fully fufficient for the ensuing year ; the beginning of a war, by any oand in our present circumstances, A ther method but that of keeping in under our present load of debts and time of peace as large, or very near taxes, surely, no gentleman will say, as large a number of seamen in that we ought to keep a man more the pay of the publick, as we can than is sufficient for that service. have occasion for at the breaking
I shall grant, Sir, that in the pre- out of a war ; and this, I think, fent question our character as a mari. no 'man will ever advise, especially time power, and the supply of our B in our present circumstances ; confenavy upon any sudden emergency quently, when we are to confider without distresling trade, are both to what number of seamen may be nebe considered; for as to that of pref- cellary in time of peace, we are to fing, I am of opinion, that it is im- have regard only to the preserving pollible to prevent the neceflity of of our character a maritime it, by any other method than that of power, and to that of preventing keeping, in time of peace, as many Cour being obliged to bring too great seamen in pay, as we could have oc- a diftress upon our trade, when we cafion for in time of war. Suppose happen to be involved in war, which, we were in time of peace to keep I hope, will not be for many years 20,000 seamen in pay, we should to come. It is this regard alone, want 20,000 more upon the firft Sir, that in time of peace obliges breaking out of a war, and it would us to keep any ship in commission, be impollible for us to get that num-D or any able seaman in the pay of the ber without pressing ; because our publick; for I agree with the Hon. merchants will always give higher gentleman, that at present, as we wages than the publick can afford to have neither enemy nor pirate to give, and no man, or at least very fear, we should not otherwise have tew, will ever chuse to lift in the any occasion to put the publick to publick service, when they can have higher wages in that of the E Now, Sir, with regard to our merchants. To supply our navy,
character as a maritime power, it upon the breaking out of a war, with. depends more upon the number of out presling, is therefore to me a ships we have ready to put in chimera ; and every project hitherto commission, and the number of seaoffered for preventing the necesity men we have at command, than upof pressing has upon examination ap. on the number we have at any time peared to be chimerical. It would be F in commillion, or in the actual fer. the same in the land service, if no man vice of the publick. With regard could be a soldier but he that had to the latter, it must always depend ferved a seven years apprenticeship upon the conduct of our neighbours, to the trade ; but as every plowman, or of those who can be called our every tradesman, or servant, may be rivals in naval power : When they a soldier, we have hitherto found vo- keep sew ships in commission, and lunteers or vagabonds enough for G few seamen in pay, we may take fupplying that service; tho', if the
that opportunity to save the publick war ihonld become so heavy as not moncy by following their example ; to find from thence a sufficient sup. and as soon as they begin to increase ply, we should then be reduced to the their expence that way, we ought
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 547 to increase ours, in order to guard feamen may have lately gone into against any surprize. This his ma- foreign service. It is a laudable jelty may do, should he find it ne. concern, Sir, a concern which I am cessary ; and if it should be neces. glad to see gentlemen affected with; sarily done, I am persuaded, next but to alleviate their fears in this session would make it good, and respect, I must observe, that during that I am for trusting to rather than A the war multitudes of landmen of for granting more money than ap- all professions entered into the sea pears to be necessary; for notwith- service, and multitudes of foreign standing the post I have the honour seamen were employed by our merto enjoy under his majesty, I hall chants : The former have returned never be for putting more money to their usual employments at land, into the hands of ministers than and the latter to their respective nathere appears to be occasion for, B tive countries. To this I'fhail add, because I had rather see the parlia- that great numbers of our own seament granting money for services men, who were provident enough to incurred and r.ot provided for, than save something out of the high wages calling ministers to an account for a they received, and the many prizes waste of publick money, which they they were concerned in taking during had been tempted to commit, by the war, are now settled in some having more than was necessary put C bufiness or employment at land, into their poffeffion.
either here or in our plantations; and Our character as a maritime power from all these we may, I believe, may therefore be preserved by keep- account for the whole nomber that ing our ships of war always in per- have been dismissed the government's fect trim, by encouraging our com- service, without fuppofing that many merce and fisheries, and by having of them have gone into foreign seralways a number of seamen in the D vice. For my own part, I am conpublick service, equal to that of any vinced, that very few of our seamen of our rivals; and for this last purpose have gone into foreign service, ex8000 muft for next year be sufficient, cept such as had lost all character at because there is no potentate in Eu. home, or were become liable to rope has at present so many in actual fevere punishment for some atrocious service. This number will likewise, crime ; and such as dare, will, I am in my opinion, be sufficient for pre- E persuaded, return as soon as poslible; venting our being obliged to distress for there is no country in the world our trade upon the appearance of any where the seamen are so well prorupture ; for it has been admitted, vided for as in this, nor any country that we may take 10,000 seamen where they are not exposed to all from our trade without distressing it, the hardships that are complained of and with that number added to what in this. we have, and such a proportion of F The fears, therefore, of our seamen landmen as the service will admit of, being gone into the service of France, we may in a few weeks fit out a however laudable, are, in my opimore powerful squadron, than any nion, groundless ; and as to the apstate in Europe can in several months prehenfions fome gentlemen have fit out againit us; and if we should from what we hear of the efforts want a greater number, we know of France to reitore or increase their how to Tupply our trade, by giving G marine, we cannot, surely, have any them leave to employ foreign fea
thing to fear from thence for this men ; which leads me to consider ensuing year; for in that time it that concern fome gentlemen seem will be absolutely impoffible for to be undes, lett multitudes of our France so to increase their marine,
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548 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. Deci as to be able to cope with us at sea ; may build fhips, they may even exand they smarted to severely in the ceed us in number and strength last war, that I believe, they will of thips, as the Spaniards did in take care not to come to a rupture queen Elizabeth's time ;, but onlefs with this nation, till they think they have expert and able seamen to themselves at least a inatch for us at navigate and fight chose fhips, they fea. If ever they should grow so A wil, in case of a war, only serve to vain, I hope, they will find them- adorn our naval triumphs. So far felves miltaken ; especially, if we therefore from being afraid of the take care to preserve a powerful al. French efforts towards establishing a liance upon the continent, ready to superior naval power, I think, we attack them by land, if they should ought to be glad to hear of it, beever venture to attack us by sea ; cause it is an attempt in which they and for this purpose nothing can be B can never succeed ; and the expence so effectuai as that of securing the they are at in this way, will render internal quiet of Germany, by get
them the less able to defend themting a king of the Romans cholen. selves against our confederates at If by a few subsidies we can do this, land, in case of a new war. it will be money as well laid out as I hope, Sir, I have now allayed any that was ever expended by this gentlemens fears of the growing nation ; for France will be cautious C maritiine power of France : I hope of disturbing the tranquillity of this I have shewn, that sooo seamen will, kingdom, or of Europe, unless they for this next year at least, be fully have a well-grounded hope of be- sufficient for all necessary purposes ; ing able to flir up a civil war in and as to the faving by the reduction, Germany; and I am sure, it is not I shall grant, it will not be so confiour business to provoke France to a derable as I could with ; but as the rupture, which some gentlemen seem D wear and tear, and fea ordnance, do to be aiming at, by endeavouring to not coft near so much when ships are create jealousies and misunderfiand. laid up, as when they are in comings between the two nations. million, the saving will be more con.
No gentleman, surely, Sir, sup- fiderable than the Hon. gentleman poses that we can send to France, to who spoke lait, was pleased to reckenjoin them not to build any more on. Something, 'cis true, must be fhips of war, or not to increase E added to the ordinary of the navy their marine, under the pain of our on account of the ships that are to declaring war against them, if they be laid up; but it will not amount did. All Europe would confederate to 40,000l. nor half the money ; against us, should we assume any and a saving of above fourícore such di&tatorial power. All we can thousand pounds, cannot be looked do therefore is, to take care to be on as a trille in our present circumequal, if not superior, to France in F stances: As to the difference of sennaval strength. How is this to be timents, which he was at such pains done ? Not by squandering our mo- to point out to us, it is a difference ney upon useless armaments in time which I cannot yet discover : His of peace, but by faving as much as majesty is not, surely, to repeat every possible, and encouraging our com- year the same thing in his speech merce, our fisheries and our plantati- from the throne; and when he does ons. If we do this, we have got foG not mention the fieet, we cannot promuch the start of France, and have perly take notice of it in our address; such an advantage from our situatia but I can take upon me to fay, that on, that it will never be in their his majesty and all his servants have power to come up with us. They now the care of the fleet as much at
1751. Three Classes of POOR.
549 heart, as they had two years ago, or plain with regard to the poor, I shall at any preceding time : As a proof divide them into three classes, and of this, all our ships are now in per- confider who are commonly chargefect order, a very few excepted, a able, viz. 1. The old, lame, and very large sum has been this last year
infirm. 2. Those that are burdened laid out in buildings, rebuildings with a fick or numerous family. 3. and repairs of the navy, and I be. A Those that reduce themselves to lieve, gentlemen will' find, that a beggary, by a drunken, vicious, considerable sum will this year be and lewd course of life. alked, and, I hope, granted for the To dispatch these lait in the first fame purpose. In short, Sir, our place, I thall observe here concernnavy cot us this last year above a ing them, once for all, that they million fterling, which is more than ought to be confined to hard labour, can be raised by a land tax of 2s. B in Bridewells or publick work hou, in the pound ; and notwithstanding ses, (and for them only there ought to the reduction proposed, it will, I be such) and kept from all itrong believe, this next year cost us near liquors ; on purpose to try whether 8;0,000l; both which articles of they can be reformed. And if, upexpence I highly approve of, because on a trial or two, they will not a. I shall always be for reducing the mend, but persist in their drunken number of séamen in the pay of the C or vicious course, then they ought publick, rather than to neglect keep- to be transported to places where ing our ships in compleat repair; for they can be doomed to perpetual from our commerce and fisheries, work. For, indeed, they deserve both which will, I hope, increase little or no compassion, being only every day, we may have seamen a burden upon the earth, and the when we want them, but can no pells of society. where have ships unless we have them D But to the other two sorts of poor of our own, and ready for service. the utmost compassion is due. For this reason, Sir, and because I And towards them it is most pardo not think that, during the course ticularly exerted, in relieving them of this year, we can fland in need parochially; either by a moderate of more than 8000 seamen, I shall weekly allowance ; or by taking be for concurring with the noble them into a work-house erected in lord in the motion he has been pleaf- E each parish, and there employing ed to make.
them according to their skill and a. [This Journal to be continued, bilities. and this DEBATE concluded in our I say, in relieving them parochialAPPENDIX.]
17. For, if they are old, lame, and
infirm, they generally have the adContinuation of the Remarks on Pro
vantage and comfort of living with posals lately made for repealing F fome of their children, who use most of the Poor Laws, and for them with filial tenderness, and conerealing COUNTY WORK-HOUSES. tribute some share towards their (See p. 499.)
support and maintenance. And be. III. T NOW come to thew, that ing in places where they are well
the making the proposed al- known, if their behaviour has been terations in the laws relating to the tolerably honest, inoffensive, and repoor, and erecting county work-G gular, they get a great deal of houses, will be attended with very comfortable relief, either in alms or burdensome and cruel circumstances, victuals, from their charitable and both with regard to the poor
them- well-disposed neighbours. By which Selves, and to parishes.
means they are content with an al. In order to make the case quite