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Economy and Retrenchment.
&c. is £57 a year, and of a life and horse-guardsman £75 a year; whilst the charge for infantry of the line is only £31 per man.
The increased charge for military staff and office establishments kept pace with other branches of army expenditure. Charge for MILITARY STAFF, and the Office Establishments of the
ARMY in 1792 and 1821.
The comparative expenditure of the Public Department of the Army
was as follows:
The Paymaster General, his Deputies and Clerks £18,344
4,997 Judge Advocate General
2,421 Do. Do. Do. North Britain, Comptrollers of Accounts
5,103 Commander-in-Chief's Office
846 War Office...
650 12,642 14,475 64,690
Total in each Year
The half-pay allowance, and the manner of filling up commissions are subjects of great abuse in the army. Half-pay was originally intended as a reward for past services, but by the system now adopted it is a mode of increasing the pensioners of the crown. Mr. Hume produced a list of 233 individuals who had been placed on the half-pay list within the same year, and upwards of 130 of them on the same day on which they had received their first commissions. But this was only a part of the evil : it appeared by parliamentary returns, that 1,194 first commissions had been given in the army, artillery, engineers, and marines, and 341 in the navy, making a total of 1,535 first commissions since the peace! In the army 1,105 officers had been appointed to first commissions, of which 508 had been given away without purchase. If these 508 commissions had been
Economy and Retrenchment.
filled up from the half-pay there would have been a saving to the country of £27,813 a year. It appeared, also, that the number of promotions in the army from cornets to lieutenants, from lieutenants to captains, and so on, within the last five years, was 1,448; and if to these the 1,105 first commissions be added there is a total of 2,553 commissions granted in that time.
In 1821 there were 9,037 officers on the half-pay of the army, at an expense of £812,557 per annum. The following statement shows their rank and numbers :
332 Captains; Lieutenants and Captains of Foot Guards and Captains
and Lieutenants Lieutenants, and Ensigns and Lieutenants of Foot Guards
3,491 Cornets, Second Lieutenants and Ensigns
1,346 Paymasters Adjutants..
130 Quarter-Masters and Troop Quarter-Masters
483 Surgeons ....
333 Assistant Surgeons, Staff Assistants, Hospital Assistants and Mates 359 Veterinary Surgeons
34 Superintendants-General and Inspectors of Hospitals Apothécaries, Purveyors, and Clerks
100 Inspecting Field Officers of Militia, Assistant Quarter-Master General, Deputy Judge Advocate, &c.
28 Commissaries, Deputies and Assistants
In the návy a similar eagerness to create sinecures had been manifested ; although 7,000 officers were on the navy half-pay, yet, in five years, 341 first commissions had been given, and 337 promotions made.
The Royal Military College was established in 1801, at a yearly expense of £3,859, yet it appears by the following statement that, in the five years since the peace, from 1816 to 1821, it had cost, for the junior department atone, £115,200, and for both departments, £134, 130.
Economy and Retrenchment.
Expense of the Royal MILITARY COLLEGE, for the Years 1816, 1817,
1818, 1819, and 1820, and Estimate for 1821.
1816. 1817. 1818. 1819. 1820. Total.
€ 28,185 24,155) 20,377 18,908 15,650 Pensions
368 491 740 656 *2,153 Contigencies
750 1,697 1,160 Senior Department.. 5,265
3,508) 3,647 3,923 2,507
4,398 9,607 18,850
N.B. The Estimate for 290 Cadets and 15 Officers for 1821, is £18,739. The Estimate for 1822 is £15,480.
During the five years there had been 1764 cadets educated there, but only 160 had received commissions, so that the expenses of this establishment, divided among the number who had been admitted to the army, had been no less a sum than £720 each! The staff officers alone exceeded £6000 a year to månage a few embryo cornets and ensigns : a more objectionable abuse can hardly be conceived, not less on account of the principle of this establishment than its enormous profusion.
In the barrack and commissariat department there had been similar multiplication of expense. The commissariat, in 1792, scarcely existed, and the expense of barracks was only £13,350 ; whereas the expense of the latter was now £226,332 : and what appears extraordinary is that the charge for the barrack establishment in 1821 was greater than for 1818 and 1819. Of the profusion in the commissariat we may judge from the fact that, in Ireland, where 2400 horses were to support, the mere charge for the commissariat establishment kept to supply them was greater than if each horse had been put out to livery, at the usual livery charge.
So much for the Army Establishment: let us come to the Navy. The
* If the Pensions, to the amount of £2,153 already granted, are calculated at 12 years purchase, they will amount to the sum of £25,836.
expenses of the Navy in 1792 amounted to £1,985,482; in 1821 the estimates were £6,382,786. In the different civil establishments of the department, the admiralty, navy, and navy pay-offices, the charges bad nearly quadrupled. The victualling-office in 1792 cost £36,536, and, in 1821, £96,456, being nearly trebled. The charge for dock-yard establishments had increased nearly eight fold; and what is extraordinary there appeared little difference of expense between peace and war.
In 1813, in the midst of war, when 666 ships were in commission, the expense of the dock-yards was only £212,142; in 1821 when we had only 119 ships and 14,000 sailors employed, the charge was £210,745, being a decrease of only £1,389. Another extraordinary fact is connected with this subject: such is the disproportion between the workmen, the most valuable part of the dock-yard establishment, and the officers and clerks to superintend them, that the salaries of the latter considerably exceed all the wages of carpenters, caulkers, labourers, and every species of workmen employed.
We shall only say a few words on the Ordnance. The average expenture in this department for 1790, 1791 and 1792 was £43,042 a year, whilst by the Annual Finance accounts the actual expenditure on the average of the four years to 1821 was £147,206. The augm tation arose partly from the increase of salaries, fees, and gratuities ; a subject which will be sufficiently intelligible from the following comparative statement. Comparative Expenses of some of the Establishments of the ORDNANCE
in 1796 and 1821, Fees included, in the Tower and WESTMINSTER Establishments.
£ The Master General. ....
3,239 Lieutenant General
1,592 Surveyor General...
1,265 Secretary to the Board..
1,695 Superintendant of Shipping
827 The Under Secretary and Clerks under the Master General..
1,387 Under the Surveyor General
14 Clerks 2,020148 Clerks 10,621 Under the Clerk of the Ordnance ...... 15 Do. 2,230 31 Do. 6,091 Under the Principal Storekeeper 12. Do. 1,440 18 Do. 5,619 Under the Clerk of Deliveries
8 Do, 910 16 Do. 3,857 Under the Treasurer...
10 Do. 1,203 12 Do., 3,354 Under the Secretary to the Board 7 Do. 833 30 Do. 10,311 Porters and Messengers
Economy and Retrenchment.
The system of gratuities had been carried to such an extent that a clerk after one year's service, received a gratuity, increasing every year, until, in many cases, the amount exceeded that of the salary. These gratuities intended for extra duties and services were begun in war, and ought to have ceased with it. In 1796, the total gratuities paid in the ordnance was £2,324; in 1813, they had increased to £9,628; and in 1821, to £30,000 a year. The charge for medical establishments in the artillery had ikcreased from £594, in 1792, to £10,135, in 1821; an increase altogether disproportionate to the increase of men ; and many of the 42 surgeons now belonging to the artillery might, as formerly, be dispensed with. The board, consisting of a director-general, surgeons, &c. was new since 1792, and deemed altogether unnecessary when there was a general medical board for the
army kept up at an enormous expense. Having gone through the great departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Ordnance, we shall only briefly notice the miscellaneous expenditure. The charges of all the public offices had been nearly doubled since 1792. The expenses of the treasury for salaries amounted to £25,000 a year, with £8,000 for prosecutions relative to the coin, besides a separate charge for law proceedings, in each department of the state. Some offices and establishments entirely new had been created. The Colonial Office was new since the last peace, and its expense £29,000 a year. The new establish: ment of the Insolvent Debtor's Court costs more than £8,000, of which three judges received £5,000 in salary. And the charge for the llien Office was £5,133, though not a single alien we believe last year was sent out of the country.
In the Civil Contingencies, and in the collection of the revenue Mr. Hume also proposed considerable retrenchments. In the collection of the revenue he thought £1,050,000 might be saved, chiefly by reducing the number and salaries of the receivers-general, the allowance to stamp distributors, and in the expense of collecting the customs and excise.
The following exhibits a recapitulation of the reductions proposed by Mr. Hume and other members in the last session. Reductions proposed by Mr. Hume and other Members, in the
ESTIMATEs in 1821.
ARMY. To reduce 20,000 men, household troops and troops in the Colonies .....
753,955 Army extras, one-third of 934,911......,