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Economy and Retrenchment.
By reducing 93 regiments of 650 men to 75 regiments of 800 each 211,000 Do. Do. . Barracks (England).
80,000 Do. Do. Do. (Ireland)
120,000 Do. Do. Commissariat, England and Ireland...
115,000 Military Staff, Great Britain and Colonies £ 105,943 to reduce 10,943 Do. Irish Staff .......
6,538 Commander-in-Chief's Office
4,000 War Office
10,000 Adjutant General's Office
1,500 Do. Do. (Scotland)
351 Quarter-Master General ..
1,500 Do. in Scotland...
622 Judge Advocate General
2,180 Do. (Scotland)
650 Comptroller's Office
4,600 Medical Staff .....
2,200 Public Departments (Ireland)
3,500 Volunteers and Yeomanry (England). 170,000
20,000 Do. Do. (Ireland)
9,000 Military College
7,244 Do. Asylum ..
12,600 Foreign Half-pay Agency..
2,025 Garrisons Abroad and at Home...
20,000 Veteran Battalion Officers.
18,870 Kilmainham and Chealsea Hospital Establishments ..
10,000 Retired Allowances
Total for the Army.......... Navy Establishments £1,225,629% of £925,629 251,407 * Building Ships 1,094,540
550,000 Works in Dock Yard 424,648
Ordnance.-Tower Establishment £65,804 to reduce
15,818 Sundries total Ordinary
547,766 .. 139,191 Extraordinary £271,124..
In the Miscellaneous Items of £2,444, 100 might be saved
Total Reduction £4,288,361
These reductions of 44 millions are probably little more than half the amount that might be saved by reducing all our outgoings to the scale of 1792; a measure rendered necessary by the altered value of the currency, and the circumstances of the country. Instead, however, of returning to the standard of 1792, the utmost retrenchments proposed by ministers this session is short of two millions, as appears from the following statement taken from the appendix tò Lord Castlereagh's speech, 15th of February.
Supply granted Supply proposed . 1821.
£8,736,092 £7,748,346 6,382,785 5,497,000 1,094,900 1,200,000 1,893,360 1,700,000
£1,961,7971 From this proposed reduction two sums ought to be taken ;. first, the addition to the army, in consequence of the state of Ireland, estimated £350,000 ; secondly, the grant to Greenwich Hospital £320,000 which reduces the saving, according to ministerial estimate, to £1,291,797. The supplies actually granted this session are in some branches less than the sums proposed by ministers. In the barrack estimate there was a reduce tion of £10,000, on the motion of the indefatigable member for Aberdeen : whether this will be an ultimate saving to the country can only be known when the year's accounts are made, up, as the House of Commons have only the estimates laid before them, and never call for an account of the actual expenditure.
Nothing can be more extravagant than the whole barrack establishment; beginning with the Board of Management in London, whose expenses are £17,000 a year!^ There are 1,104 barracks of which the expense of alterations and repairs are estimated at £60,000 a year: no inconsiderable sum for jobs and influence. Many of the barrack-masters are mere sinecures, for which they receive 15s, 6d. and 10s. a day: their total salaries amount to £27,000 a year. If the present rates of pay in time of war, with bar
racks full of troops, were sufficient, is it not reasonable to reduce them to half, or less, seeing there is little or nothing to do at present. Besides pay, every barrack-master is allowed coals, candles, and house rent. Many of them are stated to be civilians, living at a distance from the barracks they had charge of, and yet the same pay and allowances were given them. At Medbury, the barrack-master, Dr. Marshall, receives his pay and; houserent, but lives at Totness, 12 miles distant: he draws from the public an allowance of 2664 bushels of coals, and 1064lbs. of candles, as stated in the public returns. In the same way, Mr. Roughead, who is an irons monger at Haddington, is barrack-master of Peirsbill-barracks, 12 miles distant, and which he visits only now and then on his way to Edinburgh. He draws £214 for pay and house rent, although he does not live in the barracks or near them; and he also draws 266 bushels of coals, and 106lbs. of candles, although he lives at Haddington. Unless we look at these enormous allowances to 104 barracks, some more, others less, we cannot account for the large expenditure and waste of public money. The profusion will be evident, when it is seen by the public returns, that the charge of barrack-masters and barrack-serjeants at Windsor is £591 : 78. 9d. in pay and allowances, and that they also receive 7994 bushels of coals, and 3194lb. of candles at the public expense every year.
An unsuccessful attempt was also made this session to reduce the charge for Military Staff While a reduction has taken place in the number of men in the army, and when the number of all civil servants is to be reduced, and the rates of salaries and allowances also to be lessened, it seems unreasonable to keep up the enormous charge for staff-officers in the army. Mr. Hume, accordingly, moved for a reduction of one-eight or £12,000 in the vote for military staff in the Colonies and Great Britain.
It is worth while to remark the conduct of the House on these occasions. The county members are generally pledged to support retrenchment, yet, when any motions are made for that purpose, it rarely happens they obtain
their support. Indeed, the whole House seems peculiarly averse to any ma> terial reduction in the military establishments : although the members style
themselves the people's representatives, they appear to have little reliance on the affections of their constituents, and place their chief security in numerous barracks and a large military force ! - Thus the motion of Mr. Hume for the reduction of military staff was only supported by three county members, the rest being absent or voting in the majority. The same gentleman's motion for a reduction of £3,000 in the expenditure of the Royal Military College; was supported only by a minority of fifteen mem
Economy and Retrenchment.
bers. And the proposed reduction of the regular arıny from 68,000 to 57,000 men had only fifty-one votes: these facts speak volumes on the feelings of the House on the subject.
In the Colonies the expenses for staff are incurred under separate heads, which prevents a correct knowledge of the actual amount expended being known; but we may infer from some instances the emoluments of persons on the military staff of the Colonies are enormnous. Take, for example, General Sir Thomas Maitland, the brother of Lord Lauderdale ; this officer is on the list of staff-officers and his various salaries, pensions, and emoluments, are as under: Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Malta and the Tonian Islands
$3,458 Governor of Malta
5,000 Lord High Cominissioner of the Ionian Islands
1,000 Pension from the revenues of Ceylon
1,600 Colonel of a British regiment, say
£ 10,458 If £10,458 can be thus given away to one officer it need not be a matter of surprise that the expenditure of the empire is 26 millions in 1822, when it was not 7 millions in 1792. It matters little to the people of England how the several sums are paid, provided they come in the end out of their pockets and the revenues of the British territories, and on that account great consideration ought to be given to the aggregate amount each officer receives and his connexion with members voting such extravagant emoluments.
We may also notice that an attempt was made by Mr. Hume to reduce the charge of £14,51% for the Commander-in-Chief's office, but without success. In 1792, the duty of the Commander-in-Chief was performed by Lord Amherst with an office-establishment of only £846, with some fees. In 1802 the expense had increased to £4,402 ; and now, in 1822, it is £14,512. The Commander-in-Chief received £9: 9$. a day until 1814, and since that year £15: Es. or £6,000 a year. We might say that it does appear unreascnable and inconsistent with the professions of economy to continue that large and increased charge for personal pay in peace, with three secretaries, at an expense of £2,965, &c. We would have our readers judge for themselves by the following charge for the office, viz. His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief £16: 88. 3d per day £ 5,999 4 Aid-de-Camp at 9s. 6d, each
693 1 Chaplain...
115 1 Military Secretary
Economy and Retrenchment.
1 Assistant ditto, and i Private Secretary
When the establishments of the Quarter-Master-General, the Adjutant General, and the War-Office, are taken into account, the expense for the Commander-in-Chief's Office is enormous, With such an increase of charge since 1792, it might have been expected that a reduction would have been made this year; but the disposition of the Committee was stated by Mr. Hume to be too much against his proposal to reduce any part of that vote, that he did not even take the sense of the Committee on the subject, which we much regret, as the country ought to know the names of those who support such extraordinary charges.
In 'the Ordnance Estimates, although there was much show and profession of economy this session, there has been little or any reduction in the amount: between the estimates of 1792, 1821, and 1822, Mr. Hume made comparisons of the number of clerks in the great departments at the Tower and Pall-Mall, and could not, from the numbers given in these estimates, admit that the numbers were reduced. In no department is there greater profusion than the Ordnance, in which the charge is nearly trebled since 1792. Some salaries have doubled, others quadrupled; the salary of the Master-General, for instance, from £1560 in 1792, has been increased to £3175; that of the Chief Clerk of the Secretary's Office, from £226 to £1771 a year; and the Chief Clerk in the Surveyor General's Office, from £437 to £1136; and in like proportion in almost the whole establishment. Notwithstanding these augmentations, the estimates for the ordnance as well as those for the army and navy, were voted with empty benches. The lists of the minorities on these occasions seldom containing more than the names of a dozen members out of 658! Such is the zeal and assiduity displayed by s the Guardians of the Public Purse,” in discharging their duties to their constituents !