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to put the house in possession of the true purposes for which the disposal of commissions in the army was placed in the hands of the commander-in-chief. It was for the purposes of defraying the charges of the half-pay list for the support of veteran officers, and of increasing the compassionate fund, for the aid of officers widows and orphans ; and, therefore, any commissions which fell by deaths or promotions, the commander-in-chief had no right to sell or dispose of fur his own private emolument, nor to appropriate for the like purpose any differences arising from the change or reduction of officers from full to half pay. He bad thus explained, he believed, the nature of the power vested in the hands of the commander-in-chief; but he could bring positive proofs that such commissions bad been sold, and the money applied to very different purposes from the legitimate ones required by the military usages and establishments of the country. If he could prove that those purposes were, in a variety of instances, abandoned by the commander-in. chief; that officers had been reduced to the half-pay list without receiving the usual difference in such cases; and if he could substantiate such a violation of the rights of military officers, it was a duty he owed to his constituents and liis country to do so.
In the year 1803, his royal highness set up a very handsome establishment, in a fashionable quarter of the town, consisting of a superb house and elegant carriages of various descriptions, for a favourite lady of the name of Mrs. Clarke. Of the lady's name he should have oce casion to make frequent mention in the course of his speech, in connection with a number of names and facts, to show the house that he had not taken up this subject on light grounds.
The first fact which lie should state was the case of Major Tonyn, of the 48th regiment, who received his commission as a captain on the 2d of August 1802, and was promoted to a majority in the 31st regiment, in Angust 1:01. lle meant no reflection upon this gallant officer, nor in ile sınallest degree to depreciate his merits ; he meant merely to state facts as communicated to him. Major Tonyn was the son of a very distinguished officer, and might have purchased his promotion, if he chose; but this gentleman was introduced to Mrs. Clarke by a captain of the royal waggon train; and it was agreed,
that upon his appointment to a majority, he should pay 5001, the money to be lodged at a house to be named, three days before he was gazetted, and then paid to a Mr. Donovan, a surgeon, in Charles-steet, St. James's square. As he should have occasion to mention this gentleman (Mr. D.) again, it was necessary to state, that in 1802, be was appointed to a licntenancy in a garrison bat. talion. He had never inquired what was the nature of the services he performed; but certainly no military services, for he had never been near his regiment, and seemed to have a perpetual leave of absence. He could not account why this gentleman's appointment was not in his professional line, upon the medical staff, sufficiently extensive as it was for the purpose. The introducer was Captain Huxley Sandon. This money was appropriated by Mrs. Clarke towards the purchase of an elegant ser. vice of plate from Mr. Parker, a silversmith, the commander-in-chief paying the remainder. Thus it was evident that Mrs. Clarke bad the power of disposing of cominissions for purchase ; secondly, that she received pecuniary considerations for promotions; and thirdly, that the commander-in-chief partook of the emoluments; and this he could prove, by the evidence of five witnesses, including the executors of Mr. Parker.
The next fact he would adduce, was that of Colonel Brooke, on the 25th July, 1805, and which was trans
acted through a Mr. Thynne, a medical gentleman of high · respectability. It was agreed between him and Mrs.
Clarke, that she should receive 2001. on bis exchange being gazetted: the lady was extremely anxious, and said she could have an opportunity of getting 2001. without calling on the commander-in-chief, and on the Saturday following the promotion was gazetted. He should be able to produce Lieutenant-Colonel Brooke and Lieutenant-Colonel Knight; and he would be the last person in that house to bring forwards such charges without competent evidence. He should now stale å case by way of contrast to the last, and for the purpose of shewing that such permissions to exchange were not easily obtained from ihe Duke of York. It was the case of Major M'Donnell and Major Sinclair, of the first regiment of foot. Major Sinclair had been a considerable time in the West Indies; the climate perfectly agreed with his health, and therefore he was desirous of going upon that service,
and applicd to the commander-in-chief; Major M.Donnell, who was in a puny state of health, earnestly applied to the commander-in-chief for leave to decline that service, apprehensive of the danger of the climate, and wishing to remain in England. But Major Sinclair was refused permission to go, and Majur M Donnell was refused permission to remain, and was ordered to the West Indies; and both gentlemen fell victims to the arrangement, for they soon died. But they offered no bribe to the military patroness, whose influence could have preyailed in their cases.
The next was the case of Major Shaw, appointed deputy barrack master general at the Cape of Good Hope. It appeared that the commander-in-chief had no favourable opinion of Major Shaw; but Mrs. Clarke interposes : he consents to pay her 10001. Of this money he immediately paid 2001. ; shortly after he paid her 500l.; when she, finding he was backward in the payment, sent to demand the remainder ; but seeing no chance of receiving it, she complained to the commander-in-chief, who immediately put Major Shaw upon the half-pay list. The honourable gentleman said, he had a letter from Major Shaw himself, stating the fact, and he never knew but one other instance of an officer being thus put on the half-pay list. Here then was further proof, to shew that Mrs. Clarke's influence extended to the army in general, and that it operated to put any officer on the half-pay list, and that the commander-in-chief was a direct party in her authority.
The next case to which he should advert of the lady's infidence, was that of Colonel French, of the horse-guards. This gentleman was appointed to a commission for raising new levies in 1801, and tbe business was set on foot by Mrs. Clarke. He was introduced to her by Capt. Huxley Sandon, and she was to have a certain sum out of the bounty to every recruit raise, and a certain portion of patronage in the nomination of the officers. She was waited on by Colonel French, of the first troop of horseguards, and as the levy went on, sbe received various sums of money by Colonel French, Capt. Huxley Sandon, Mr. Corri, and Mr. Cokayne, an eminent solicitor, in London, in the following rates, viz. for a majority, 9001. ; captaincy, 7001. ; lieutenancy, 4001. ; and ensigncy, 2001. whereas the regulated prices were respectively 26001., 15001., 5501., and 4001. ; and consequently all this money was lost to the half-pay compassionate fund, to put money into Mrs. Clarke's pocket.
The next instance was one in which the commander-inchief himself was a direct partaker in the advantages of this traffic, by a loan to be furnished through Colonel French, the writings for which were drawn by a Mr. Grant, an eminent solicitor of Barnard's-Inn, for the purpose of raising 30001. ; but he did not receive it, because there were 30001. due from government to Colonel Frenchi. Hence then it was obvious that Mrs. Clarke exercise an influence in raising the military force of the country, in disposing of commands in that force, and in converting the purchase of commissions to her own private advantage.
Having now said enough of Mrs. Clarke, he would next proceed to the case of Captain May, of the royal African corps. He meant no reflection upon that oficer. Ile was appointed to an ensigncy on November 28, 1806 ; some time after, he was made lieutenant. He had still the good fortune to remain a clerk at the desk of Mr. Greenwood, army agent. On the 15th of April, 1808, he was employed by the Duke of York, and before the end of the year he was raised to a captain in the royal African corps, ihe third year after his first appointment, and without seeing service; thus promoted over the heads of all the subalterns of the army, without any regard to their long services and wounds in their country's cause, though many of them had lodged this money to pay the differences on promotion. Whether the honour and interests of the British army, and the feelings of the officers, were properly to be subjected to such a system, the house of commons would judge and decide. He hoped, after what he had stated, the house of commons would not refuse to grant bim a committee to inquire into those transactions ; and if they agreed, he would pledge himself to bring as evidence before them Mrs. Clarke herself, and the whole of the other persons whom he had named.
There was another circumstance in this case which he could not pass unnoticed : it was the existence of a public office in the city of London, where commissions in the army were offered to purchasers at reduced prices, and where the clerks openly and unequivocally stated, in his own presence, and in his hearing, that they were employed by the present favourite mistress of the commander-in-chief,
Mrs. Carey; and that, in addition to commissions in the arnıy, they were employed to dispose of places in every department of church and state; and those agents did not hesitate to slate, in words and writing, that they were employed under the auspices of two of his majesty's principal ininisters. Having now gone through the whole of his statement, the honourable member concluded by expressing bis hope that the house would grant him a committee to inquire into the conduct of the Duke of York, in respect to the disposal of military commissions; and he moved accordingly.
Sir Francis Burdett seconded the motion.
The Secretary at lar said, he did not rise to give any opposition to the motion, at least to any fair and reasonable extent to which the proposition might be thought necessary. The honourable gentleman had, in a very candid manner, brought forward facts of the most important kind, and in their consequences most serious and weighty. He conceived the house would readily acquiesce in going into an inquiry of the facts which had then been brought forward, or any other facts which the honourable gentleman might still intend to produce hereafter; but as to a general inquiry into the conduct of the commander-in-chief, he would not agree. He was certain that illustrious personage was ready to go into a full investigation of these charges. As to the half-pay list, he had already stated on former occasions, that it had been most extensively and materially benefited by the commander-in-chief, who had voluntarily resigned a very extensive patronage, in order that the sale of the commissions might be brought in aid of the compassionate funil, by which that fund had been greatly increased. With respect to the barrack department, be thought it proper just to state that it was not within the patronage of his royal highness the Duke of York. He wished also to observe, that the manner in which the army had been fitted out, which was lately sent to Portugal, was a very striking mark of the superior military talents of the Duke of York, and a strong proof of his great attention to and regard for that army, and of course militated against the truth of the charges, which, if founded in truth, must strike at its discipline, and, through that, at its very existence. Ilis right honourable friend near him (Sir A. Wellesley), who had so lately commanded that army, would readily