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How maay bours in every day does the Commander in Chief devote to the duties of his office? 'Ihe Commander in Chief commands my at tendance upon him every morning a little after ten; and he very rarely gives up business until past seven in the evening, there or thereabouts, very often past eight.
Is not bris Royal Highness particularly punctural in taking care that the business of his ottice is conducted in such a manner, that reference may always be had to the cause of any promotion ? Most undoubtedly he is.
Has not his Royal Highness taken, in the instances where commis. sions are permitted to be sold, particular precautions to confine those commissions to the regulated price only? He certainly has. I bea believe it will be necessary for me to trouble the House still further upon this : in the year 1804, when a great augmentation was added to the arnynf. tfty battalions, I did understand that very great abuses were praetised with respect to the purchase and sale of commissions ; that people endeavoured to obtain commissions unduly; that they endeavoured to impose upon the officers of the army in taking money under the pretence of obtaining commissions, and that this went to a very great extent. I did represent this in the strongest manner to the Commander in Chief, who felt it very sensibly, and expressed the strongest indignation at it, and commanded me to frame an instrument, a copy of which I now hold in my hand, and which was circulated to all. the corps of the army. With the permission of the House I will read it.
[Colonel Gordon read the following letter :}
“ Circular to Army Agents. (Copy)
" Horse-Guards, Sept. 28, 1804. “ Gentlemen, “ His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief having the strongest reason to believe, (from the advertisements that have frequently appeared in the public papers) that an extensive correspondence is carried on with the officers of the army, by persons styling themselves army brokers, to induce them to enter into pecuniary engagements for the purpose of obtaining commissions, contrary to the established regulations; and it being the earnest desire of the Commander in Chief to check as much as possible a practice so extremely prejudicial to the service; I am commanded to call your attention to this important point, and to impress upon you the necessity of the utmost vigilance, in preventing, as far as may be in your power, any communication whatever with those persons and the officers in your agency. And should it at any time appear that any such commissions shall have been negotiated through your offices, the Commander in Chief will consider it his duty to recommend to the Colonels of the respective regiments to notice such irregularity, by withdrawing their regiments from that agency, and placing them in other hands.
“ I have it further in cominand, to desire that you may be pleased to sonvey to the officers commanding regiments in your agency, the most anarked disapprobation of his Royal Highness of this improper and secret traffic; and to assure them, ibat if subsequent to the date of this Bester any coinmission shall be discovered to be so obtained, surd.coinmission will be immediately cancelled, and the officer be reported to the King, as having acted in direct disobedience to the orders of the Commander in Chief.
(Signed) “ J. W. GORDON.” Colonel Gordon. In consequence of this letter, it was necessary to issue ceriain regulations, which, perhaps it will be unnecessary to trouble the House with, but which I will deliver in with my leiter. * I
“ Horse-Guards, 19 October 1804." “ 1. His Majesty's regulations, in regard to the sums to be given and received for commissions in the army, having in various instances been disregarded, to the great prejudice of his Majesty's service, his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief is pleased to direct, that when an officer is desirous of retiring from the service, and of having leave to sell his commission, if his regiment is in Great Britain, he is to send his resignation in the usual manner, through the Commanding Officer of his regiment, to his Colonel, who, in transmitting the same to Commander in Chief, may at the same time, if there are purchasers in the corps, recommend in succession the senior of their respective ranks for purchase, both the colonel and commanding officer, certifying that they are satisfied that no more than the sum stipulated by his Majesty's regulations is given or received.
* 2. Should there be no purchaser in the regiment, the resignation of the officer desirous to retire is alone to be transmitted in the manner and form above-mentioned; when, should the application be deemed proper to be granted, his Royal Highness will recommend to his Majesty such officer for the purchase as to his Royal Highness may appear most eligible.
“ 3. Officers belonging to regiments stationed in Ireland, must make their applications in a similar course to the commander of the forces there; and on foreign stations through the commanding officer to the general officer under whose command they serve; their applications being uniformly sanctioned by their respective commanding officers, who are to certify, in the same manner as colonels of regiments at home, that they are satisfied in regard to the sums given or to be received being in strict conformity to his Majesty's regulations.
4. Colonels, when absent from Great Britain and Ireland, may empower the officer in actual command of their regiments, or their regimental agents,' to recommend purchasers for vacant commissions, in wbich case the necessary certificates, in regard to the sum to be paid in regimental successions, must be signed by them in the colonel's absence; as well as the recommendation for the purchase ; and the person so recommending to cornetcies or ensigncies, vacant by purchase, will be held responsible for the eligibility of the person recommended.
* 5. The Commander in Chief is further pleased to direct, that when an officer is desirous of returning to half-pay, receiving the difference, the same. rules are to be observed in regard to transmitting his application ; but no recommendation in succession is to accompany the request to retire, as his Royal Highness will himself nominate the officer to be proposed to his Majesty for the exchange. * *6. 'To enable the Commander in Chief to recommend officers for pur. chase, it is necessary that regular returus of all officers prepared to purchase promotion should be transmitted from each regiment and corps in the service, to the Commander in Chief's Office, Horse-Guards, London, on the.
“ 25th March, “ 25th June, « 25th September, and “ 25th December in each year, under cover, to his Royal Highness's
beg leave to add, that tlrat strong letter was found totally insufficient for the purposes; that it did conie to my koowledge, and that I had
Military Secretary; and these returns must particularly state where the money of each individual desirous of purchasing is lodged, or to be obtained ; and similar returns must be forwarded to the regimental agents, for the information of their respective colonels.
* 7. Officers on leave of absence from corps on foreign service, may transmit their applications to purchase or sell through the colonels of their regiments, and in the event of a change in an officer's circumstances between the quarterly returns, he may make a direct communication to head-quarters, in order to prevent any purchase taking place in his own corps, by which he may be passed over by a junior ofheer.
“ 8. This rule is applicable also to officers on the recruiting service, or on other military duties whose corps may be on a foreign station,
“ 9. Officers on half-pay, desirous of exchanging to full-pay, giving the regulated difference, must address themselves to head-quarters, stating. where their money is lodged, or to be obtained, to enable the Commander in Chief to recommend them as vacancies occur.
“ 10. After these orders have been circulated, no attention will be paid to representations of officers who have neglected to return themselves prepared to purchase; as whatever hardships they may suffer in that case must be entirely owing to their own neglect.
" 11. In causing these orders to be circulated to the army, the Commander in Chief thinks proper to declare, that any Officer who shall be found to have given, directly or indirectly, any thing beyond the regulated price, in disobedience to his Majesty's orders, or to have attempted to evade the regulation in any manner whatever, will be reported by the Comspander in Chief to his Majesty, in order that he may be removed from the service; and it is also to be understood, that the prescribed forms of application for the sale and purchase of commissions, and the usual certificates annexed thereto, are in all instances to be complied with.
“ By Command of
“ J. W. GORDON,
FORM OF RETURN.
of Officers desirous to pure chase Promotions.
or to be
XB The Returns to be transmitted to Head Quarters, are directed to be
on a sheet of foolscap paper.
proof, that those abuses did still exist ; that I put that proof into the hands of the most eminent counsel at the time, and they assured me, that I could have no redress against the parties, there was no law to the contrary, and that it did not amount to a misdemeanour. Having mentioned it to the Commander in Chief, I had frequent communication with the then Secretary at War, now a Right Honourable Member of this House, and whom I see in his place; and after frequent conferences with this Right Honourable Gentleman, he did bring into this House, and submit to its consideration, a clause, which is now part of the Mutiny Act, inflicting a penalty upon all persons, not duly au. thorized, who shall negotiate for the purchase or sale of any commission whatever.
You are in the habit of almost daily intercourse with the Commander in Chief? When the Commander in Chief is in town; I do not recollect that I ever passed a day without communicating with him.
At the time that this exclíange was effected between Colonel Brooke end Colonel Knight, the king was at Weyinouth? I have shewn it to · Did that paper, containing commissions to be submitted to his Majesty, go down to Weymouth by the mail coach? I believe so, I had no other mode of sending it.
Do you recollect the Duke of York's going down to Weymouth about that time? Pertectly.
Do you know on what day he went down to Weymouth? I do exactly.
On what day? It was the 31st of July.
You have stated, that according to the new regulations introduced since the Duke of York has been Commander in Chief, a certain nunr ber of years must elapse before an officer can be promoted to a certain rank in the army, is any service required by those regulations besides length of time? It is generally understood that an officer must serve six years.
Has it ever come within your knowledge that any officer has been promoted without any service whatever ? No, it has not.
Has it ever come within your knowledge that a boy at school has had a commission of ensign? Yes, it certainly has, I think in some three, four, or perhaps some half dozen instances ; not exceeding that ; but those commissions have been surreptitiously obtained : and when it was known that the boy was at school, the commission has been carcelled, and that reason given in the gazette.
Have they been cancelled in every instance? In every instance that has coine to the Coinınander in Chiet's knowledge; and the Commander in Chief will be obliged to any gentleman that would point out an instance,
Could you name those instances? Not immediately froin my recollection, but I can obtain them from reference; but one I can name. I recollect the Barrack Master of llythe, I think; the name I do not immediately recollect; but the person i do perfectly, recomending on the score of his own service and great distress, that his son should be recommended for a commission; I recollect also having some s'ispicion at the time, that this son was not of a proper age ; and I do further recollict desiring the otticer commanding there, then in command, to examine the young man; and the report of that officer was, that he thought him, though young, eligible for a commission, upon slich report the young man was appointed, but when he joined his segiment, the officer commanding that regiment was of a different opinion, and reported him as too young, and I do perfectly recollect that commission was cancelled.
Is that the only instance which occurs to your recollection ? That is the only instance that occurs; the name of the boy was Kelly.
You have in that box by you, papers ready to answer questions which have been put to you; had you before you canje here any idea. of the questions that would be put to you? Upon my word I had not. The papers that are now in this box relate to the exchange of Lieutenant-colonels Brooke and Knight, part of which I have shewn to the House. All the others relate to the appointment of Captain Maling ; to the appointment of all the officers of the African corps, and to every thing in any manner connected with the African corps.
You had no information of the other questions that would be asked you to night? Most undoubtedly not.
You have stated, that you recommended Lieutenant Maling to be made a captain in the African corps ; did you recommend him in your capacity of lieutenant-colonel coinmandant of the African corps? I most undoubtedly did; because I know it is an extremely difficult thing to get officers to join such a corps as that in such a place; and I thought it my duty to take particular care, that whatever officer was appointed to the African corps, should clearly understand, that nothing was to prevent him from joining it.
Whom did you recommend to the other company which was added to the African corps at that time? The other officer that was recommended for the company of the African corps was a Lieutenant Edward Hare; his memorial I now hold in iny hand, if the House would choose to have it read.
[Colonel Gordon read the following memorial :] “ I have the honour to transmit to you, the memorial of Lieutenant Hare of the first Garrison Battalion, which I request you will take the earliest opportunity of laying before his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief.
“ I beg leave to state, that Lieutenant Hare was remarkably well recommended to me, previous to his accepting my Adjutancy, by the Earl of Dalhousie, under whom he served upwards of two years. During the time he was in my volunteer corps, his behaviour was such, as to afford every satisfaction to myself, and to all my officers. " I have the honour to assure you that I am, Sir,
“ Your most obedient Servant, J. LAWSON,
“Lt. Col. Com. Catterick & Richmond Vol. Infantry." “ Brough-hall, 30th August, 1808."
“To Field-Murshal his Royal Highness the Duke of York Commander
in Chies, &c. &c. &c. The Memorial of Lieutenant Edward Hare, of the 1st Garrison
Battalion ; « Sheweth, "That your memorialist has had the honour of serving his Majesty