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of May, 1825, officers were not permitted had made, it would be found that not less to sell their half-pay; but at that period than 72,6361. had gone into the hands of a change had taken place, by which they the Bank of England. He thought, that were enabled to do so; and, in 1826, he when the king could not raise 1001. withhad called for a return of the officers who out coming to that House, it was too much had availed themselves of the permission that private individuals should bave it in to sell. But, in addition to the order to their power to tax the country in this way, which he had already alluded, the com- and add, at least, a million and a half to mander-in-chief had issued another, on its expenditure. If this system were to the 25th of April 1826, allowing officers go on--if every officer was thus to do as to sell their half-pay commissions to be pleased—he thought the noble lord officers of an inferior rank on the full- opposite would have much to answer for. pay. On moving for a return of the It was very possible, however, that the officers who had availed themselves of this noble lord would satisfy the House by privilege, he had obtained documents making a counter statement, a sort of set which would show the great loss sustained off, as he had done before. But the by the country under the new arrange- House should bear in mind, that those ment. The hon. member here entered who sold out were on the old pay, while into a variety of calculations with a view those who came in, came in upon the to show the loss sustained to the country new. He thought the House should apby the sale of commissions of old officers point a special committee to inquire into to young men. By this course of pro- these abuses. He gave the case to the ceeding, annuities, amounting in the ag- House as he found it ; and he must say, gregate to near ten millions were out that it would be impossible to expect any standing. By the first return, it appeared reduction of this portion of our burthens, that a sum of 656,785l. was lost in con- if young men were to take the place of sequence of one year's sale of commissions. old ones in this way. He would venture He should cite the cases of lieut.-colonel to say, that if an inquiry was made into Cunyngham, John earl of Lisburn, and a the French half-pay, the whole amount variety of other officers, who, after having paid in that way would be found to be a served a few years, had been placed on mere pittance, compared to what was paid half-pay, after which they had been some in England. The French half-pay list twenty, some thirty, and some even forty had been diminishing since the peace; years on half-pay, and had then sold out while we had been obviously adding to to young men who had been but a short ours. He had asked, upon a former octime in the service. There were other casion, what decrease might be expected cases in which lieutenants and ensigns to take place in the half-pay ? and he had had sold out to young men who had never been told a decrease of about five per cent seen a single day's service. He had made on the average. But although the noble a similar statement on a foriner occasion, lord had taken credit for relieving the but then the House appeared satisfied country to that extent, the fact was as he with the answers given by the noble Se- had stated it. The House ought not only cretary at War. They would, however, to call for the continuance of those returns, now perceive how far they had a right to but to appoint a special inquiry, when he be satisfied with those answers.—He next was sure they would agree, that the effect came to the second return, from which it of the present system was, to promote appeared, that an increase of expenditure young men, but not to provide for those had been incurred to the country to the who had grown grey in the service, as amount of 1,513,0001. by the new system. they were originally taught to expect. It was no wonder that large establish- Such, he would contend for it, was the ments should be kept up in the office of result of the system upon the service the commander-in-chief and the office of [hear, hear!). He had consulted many the Secretary at War, when such an ex- officers on the subject, who agreed with tensive correspondence was carried on with him in that opinion. At all events, he both those departments. The House would had done his duty in bringing the subject bear in mind, that from the two returns to before the House. The hon. member which he had alluded, seven hundred and concluded by moving for a variety of resixty-five officers had been allowed to sell turns relative to the sale of half-pay by out; and looking to the calculation he officers in the army,
Sir James Graham said, the speech of likely persons to inquire with advantage his hon. friend had disclosed to the House into such transactions. Whether the hon. a source of profligate expenditure and member thought that it would answer his of corrupt influence, which required to be object better to make an inflamed statechecked without delay. His object in ment to the House, before he referred his rising, was merely to ask the noble lord papers to a committee, he could not preopposite to give a negative, as he hoped tend to say; but he thought he might the noble lord could, to questions which say, that the Finance Committee had sent he was going to ask him relative to two for papers connected with it, in order to particular circumstances. He had been come to a satisfactory conclusion upon given to understand, that a certain officer it. What led the hon. member to be so in the army, who had been employed in impatient to make his statement to the the civil service of the country for the last House before he had ascertained the corfifteen years, and so employed that he was rectness of the facts on which he rested not allowed, by the rules of the military it, the hon. member could best explain. service, to receive his half-pay, had been This, however, he would say, that it was allowed, after a lapse of fifteen years, in impossible that any statement should prowhich he never received a farthing in vir- duce a more erroneous impression than tue of his military commissions, to dispose that which the hon. member had made. of his half-pay. By that arrangement, a Every one who heard the speech of the charge, which had had no existence for hon. member would suppose that by a the last fifteen years, had been thrown certain arrangement the public had inupon the public. Now, did, he wished curred a loss of 2,000,0001. ; but wheto know, this gentleman still continue in ther the hon. member meant that it had his civil employment? The other ques incurred a loss of 2,000,0001. capital, or tion which he had to ask related to a of 2,000,0001. a-year, he defied any person similar transaction in Ireland, where a who heard him to understand. The military officer who had been in the nature of the arrangement was shortly civil service for the last eight years, and this :--At the conclusion of the war a rewhose half-pay had consequently been duction of the army necessarily took place; suspended during that time, had also been a great many officers were placed on halfallowed to sell his half-pay? He was pay, and their situations in the army, which sure it would be most satisfactory to the became vacant on the full-pay, were reguHouse, if he should prove to have been larly filled up by officers from the halfmisinformed; but unless the rumours he pay. That system went on progressively had alluded to could be positively contra- till the year 1827. It was then found dicted, he trusted that some member would that it had the effect of stopping promomove for a committee of inquiry, with a tion in regiments, and of continuing offiview specifically to inquire into the state of cers in situations for which their increasthe half-pay, and to ascertain the extent ing age rendered them more unfit. The of these disorders in the army.
army had become as it were stagnant, and Lord Palmerston said, he had no ob- it was found necessary that some addijection to grant the returns called for. tional scope should be given to promotion. He could not, however, but express his The arrangement proposed for that pursurprise that the hon. member for Mont- | pose was this :-certain officers of certain rose should seize the present opportunity rank were allowed for a certain period to for going into such details and calcula- seil their half-pay commissions to officers tions; for he should have thought that mat- of an inferior rank on the full-pay who ters of that sort, connected as they were might be inclined to purchase them. The with the army estimates, would have been consequence of it was, to remove old offireferred to that committee of finance of cers from their regiments, and to give a which the hon. gentleman was himself a scope to preferment amongst the younger member. He would leave it to the gen- officers, who remained behind. As young tlemen who formed that committee, to deal captains on full-pay, in many instances, as they thought proper with the opinion bought the commissions of old majors on which the hon, member had expressed of half-pay, the charge on the half-pay list them, if not in words, at least by infer- he admitted increased. The loss to the ence--an opinion which went the length public was incurred in this manner :-a of telling the country, that they were not major who might live fifteen years, was was succeeded by another major who had commenced. Now, what annuity to might live twenty-five years, and thus the begin at the end of ten years, and to last public was saddled with an annuity which for ten years afterwards, could you purchase was likely to continue for a long time. for 72,0001. He should suppose a large The period had not, however, yet arrived annuity indeed. Therefore, if that second in which the hon. member could affirm exchange, of which he had just spoken, that any loss had been hitherto sustained had not taken place, the calculation on by the public; for as yet the public had the amount of the number of pounds lost only to pay the same half pay as before; to the publie would not rest entirely upon and it would not be till the expiration of the probable duration of the lives of those the ten years that the public would have who purchased the half-pay being greater to pay the annuity exclusively to the than that of those who sold it. If, howyounger life. He admitted that if there ever, the House would take into conwere no other check besides those which sideration the effects of the second exhe had already mentioned on this arrange-change, it would see, that in all probability ment, the public would be pledged to the no pecuniary loss would be suffered by payment of these annuities beyond the the public. But leaving the question of time to which they were originally designed loss to the public out of consideration, he to extend. But the arrangement did not would now ask what effect this arrangestop here. Who were the persons who ment had produced upon the army? It purchased these annuities ? Those officers had given it an active establishment; it had who were well provided with money. provided it with efficient officers; it had Was it to be supposed that an officer of given it a character for activity and effifortune would buy a commission which ciency, which was of the utmost advanwould place him on a half-pay, if he had tage to the public service. It was on no other chance than that of being shelfed that ground that he had originally proby such a proceeding ? No; the object posed the arrangement to parliament. for which men of fortune invested their It was not propounded by him as a meacapital in these annuities was to ob- sure of pecuniary advantage, but as a tain promotion. Let the House look, not measure which was likely to conduce, and merely to the probability, but to what was which he would say had conduced to the the fact on this subject. A major who had efficiency of the service. He would here a half-pay commission, sold it to a cap- observe, that the hon. member had pushed tain on full-pay; the captain then became his argument so far in one direction that a major on half-pay, and wishing for em- night, that he did not perceive how far ployment looked out immediately for a he had strengthened the arguments which full-pay major, with whom he might ef- it had been his (lord P.'s) duty to address fectuate au exchange : so that by an inter- to the hon, member's understanding upon mediate change it often happened, that former occasions. The hon. member had one old major on the half-pay list was frequently reproached those who had the succeeded at one remove by another major disposal of the patronage of the army, equally advanced in years. He would with not having filled up the vacancies therefore recommend to the hon, member which occurred on the full-pay with offito make his motion embrace a return of cers taken from the half-pay. On those those officers who bad bought half-pay, and occasions he had as frequently said, that had afterwards exchanged into full-pay-though there were many officers on the halfHe would now ask the House to consider pay who would be willing enough to serve, what was the result of this arrangement, the House deceived itself if it supposed that even upon the showing of the hon. mem- those officers were therefore fit and comber himself
. The sellers obtained the old petent for service. He had said, that there price for their commissions, and the pur- were not only colonels and majors, but chasers paid the new : and it appeared lieutenants and ensigns, who, from their that in that manner the public had al- length of service could not be again brought ready received a sum of 72,0001. Against with any useful effect into active service. this gain on the part of the public was to The statements which he had then made be set the loss which it had incurred by were received by the hon. member with a having to pay a certain number of annui- degree of incredulity which it would have ties which would commence ten years been difficult to account for in any other hence, and would last ten years after they member. Now, what turned out to be the
fact, even on the hon, member's own show- | was upon that ground alone, that he had ing? That the hon. member, when he reads been permitted to sell his half-pay. It through the half-pay list, finds that there was an exception, which stood upon its are not only colonels and majors, but even own grounds, and which did not at all lieutenants and ensigns, who have been on affect the general principle. He was not the half-pay for thirty or forty years. Prepared to say that there were not one or Ought such men as those to be put upon two cases in which a sale of half-pay might full-pay, and to be called into active ser- not have taken place before he had learnt vice? He repeated, with considerable that the party held a civil employment; pride and satisfaction, that the hon. mem- for the House must be aware that he had ber had furnished him with the most fa- no means of learning how every military vourable corroboration to the arguments officer in the empire was employed. It which he had formerly used, in answer to had undoubtedly happened that individuthe censures which the hon. member was als had sent in applications to be allowed so fond of flinging upon those who were to dispose of their half-pay, and that those intrusted with the patronage of the army. applications had been agreed to, before it The hon. member then asked, “ Is it not was discovered that they ought to have unjust to allow persons who had been so been refused. In one of the cases to long on the half-pay list to sell their com- which he alluded, he had ordered the sale missions at all ?" To this he answered, to be stopped; but unfortunately his order that so long as those persons lived, they was given too late. He would, however, must remain a burthen on the public. Was say, that in all cases in which he had learnt it not, therefore, an advantage to enable that the party who applied to sell his halfthem to retire and to supply their places pay held a civil appointment, he had dewith officers who could be called into ac- cidedly objected to permit the sale. An tive service without danger? He would hon. friend of his, whom he then saw in not pretend to follow the hon. member the House, could speak to one case, in through all the cases which he had that which he had felt himself bound to deal night mentioned to the House. The ques- out hard justice to a meritorious officer. tion ought to be decided upon principle The hon. member had stated, that this arand upon principle alone. If the principle rangement was the cause why the half-pay were wrong, it would not be made worse list had not diminished since 1817. The by mixing it up with individual cases; and hon, member, when he made that stateif right he would take his stand upon it at ment, ought to have recollected, that since once. An hon. baronet had asked him that year large reductions had taken place whether there were not two cases in which in the army; and that it was one objection military officers, who had been long em- to a change of system, that reductions in ployed in the civil service, had been al. one department of our expenditure allowed to sell their half-pay. He would ways became a source of increased expense reply, that of the case in Ireland, he in some other department of it. The offiknew nothing; there was, however, a cers who were taken from the full-pay, case in which the circumstances of which were of course placed upon the half-pay; the hon. baronet complained had taken and hence it happened, that as the amount place in England. And here he would of full-pay diminished, that of half-pay inobserve, that he objected generally to al creased. He thought it only just to the lowing half-pay to be sold by any person memory of the illustrious individual who who held a civil office : but there was one lately filled the office of commander-incase in which the party on entering upon chief-he meant the duke of York—to his civil employment had received an as- state that when a great augmentation to the surance from the head of the department, army took place a few years ago, he filled that he should be allowed to dispose of his up all the commissions which it became half-pay. That assurance was given under necessary to grant, with names of officers the erroneous impression, that commissions taken from the half-pay. He had now of that sort might be sold according to the stated to the House the grounds upon ordinary rules of the service. That party which the arrangement had been made. subsequently satisfied the Treasury that The expense of it, he repeated, was dishe had incurred, consequence of that tant and reversionary, and they had to set assurance, certain expenses which he against it the large sum which had been would not otherwise have incurred. It paid down as the price of the commissions. He did not think that the public, ed as going on at the rate of 8,0001. awould be losers by it; but even if they week, and the total loss during the last were losers in point of pecuniary expense, three months was stated to have amounted they would be gainers by it in point of the to 95,0001. Mr. Finlayson stated, that he greater efficiency which it had already had made representations of this loss to given to the army.
lord Bexley, so long ago as 1819, and Mr. Maberly recommended the House afterwards to lord Goderich. It was very to refer this matter to the consideration of unfortunate for the country, that these the Finance Committee, which he had no inquiries had not been followed up, as it doubt would investigate it satisfactorily. was beyond all doubt, that however exagHe knew that this arrangement had been gerated Mr. Finlayson's case might be, productive of great benefit to the army: the transactions had been highly disadvanbut whether that benefit had been pur- tageous to the country. They could not chased by the country at too great an ex- undo what had passed, but they should pense, he could not pretend to decide. prevent loss for the future.
Mr. Calcraft approved of the arrange- Leave was given to bring in the bill. ments which the noble Secretary had spoken of, as he thought they were such as
HOUSE OF LORDS. to increase the efficiency of the army. The army had been improved by the opportu
Friday, March 14. nity afforded to young officers to obtain ANATOMICAL Science.) The Marquis promotion. If the system recommended of Lansdowne said, he had a petition to by his hon. friend had been followed, when present, which related to a subject of great war had come, the army would have been interest. It came from a body of surgeons, officered only by old gentlemen. His but it could only be presented as the petihon. friend really put the House out of hu- tion of their president, he having signed it mour with economy, by his plans for beg- in the name of the whole body. It congaring the service under pretence of re- veyed to their lordships the opinion of the forming it. He was as anxious as his surgical profession, with respect to the hon. friend for economy; but he would state in which that profession were placed, first of all have the establishment on an from the total absence of means of proefficient footing.
curing bodies for the purpose of dissection. The motions were agreed to.
The petitioners stated that, by the law as
it now stood, the profession of surgery was LIFE ANNUITIES Act.] On the mo- placed under the direction of corporations, tion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which required persons engaging in that the House went into a committee upon profession to go through a course of studies, the Life Annuities Act, when the right hon. in which the dissection of bodies formed a gentleman moved an instruction for leave necessary ingredient;—that it was subto bring in a bill to give effect to the rejected to considerable penalties for resortcommendation of the Finance Committee, ing to measures to procure the means of by repealing so much of several acts as attending that course ;—that teachers of empowers the Commissioners for the re- anatomy were subject to personal penalduction of the National Debt, to grant Life ties; and that surgeons who had, by no Annuities.
fault of their own, but through the impediLord Althorpe rose to support the mo- ments thrown in their way, been debarred tion, which was absolutely necessary. The from the means of studying, were liable to facts were shortly these : a statement had action and to payment of damages, in conbeen laid before the Finance Committee sequence of ignorance, resulting from the relative to the financial condition of the embarrassments under which they had country, drawn up in a very able, clear, laboured in procuring the means of proseand satisfactory manner, by the right cuting their studies. The petitioners hon. the Master of the Mint. It appeared, stated, with respect to the necessity of by this exposition, that these annuities had dissecting the human subject, that scienbeen sold at a considerable loss to the tific men were agreed that no ingenuity country. The evidence on which this which could be exercised in making models, statement was founded, was a letter from could supply the place of the advantages Mr. Finlayson to the Treasury. By this to be derived from the inspection of the letter, the loss to the public was represent- human subject. The moderate degree in