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-gree of security in the course of additional strength. In fupport of
their erection, in so much as that, if his third position, he urged, that the
The following proviso was added :
But we do not think ourselves required, as individuals, by his majesty's instructions, or any questions under them, to produce any other system, or other data.
I perfectly agree with the rest of the board, as to the importance of the royal
T. Graves. Lieutenant-generals Burgoyne and earl Percy, vice-admiral Millbanke, rearadmiral Graves, and captain fir John Jarvis, on signing the report, beg leave to represent to your majesty as follows:
That our proceedings have been founded upon the supposition of the whole fleet being ablent (for a certain time) as mentioned in the second datum, and therefore that the enemy may bring over an army (of the force mentioned in the third datum) with an artillery proportionate to an attack on Portsmouth or Plymouth, having (a certain time) to act in, uninterrupted by the British fleet, as mentioned in the third datum : the bare possibility of such an event we do not pretend to de. ny; but how far it is probable that the whole British fleet may be sent on any ser. vice requiring so long an absence, at a time when the enemy is prepared to invade this country with (a force as that mentioned in the third datum) we must humbly leave to your majesty's fuperior wisdom ; and therefore, whether it is necessary, in consequence of such a supposition, to erect works of fo expensive a nature as thofe proposed, and which require such large garrisons to defend them.
of the the
part of the world their presence fending and relieving Gibraltar might be most necessary. Whoever, would have been loft, but for some he said, turned in his mind the accidental circumstances that luckevents of the last war, would, he ily at that moment secured us from was fure, be convinced of the great the danger of an attack at home, benefit that might be drawn from and enabled the feet under lord our fleets being enabled to act in Howe to fail 'on that important fersuch a manner; and he particularly vice. In proof of his last position, alluded to that period when the that the fortifications in question French were hovering upon our would reduce our ttanding army, he coaits, and when the renown of de- faid, that if, in case of a threatened
Lieutenant-generals Burgoyne and earl Percy, on agreeing to the erection of new works, and to the system
of detached forts being the most proper for the pre- · fervation of the dock-yard at Portsmouth, entered the following provifo :
We approve of the system of detached works, and we agree to the above, un. der the circumstances settled in the data, provided the expence to be incurred shall not exceed such sums as the state can afford to grant for these purposes, and that the number of troops supposed to be allotted by the fourth datum, can be spared for the defence of Portimouth, consistently with the general defence of the kingdom,
(Signed) J. Burgoyne,
To which proviso the rest of the land officers, members of this board, think it their duty to add :
That we the under-written humbly desire that it may be understood by your majesty, that we never entertained an idea that any expence to be incurred should exceed such sums as the state could afford for these purposes, as we apprehend was fully stated in our second datum ; or that we meant to recoinmend works requiring a greater number of troops to defend than could be spared for the defence of Portsmouth, consistently with the general defence of the kingdom.
On the contrary, the works we recommend appear to us to be calculated upon the most æconomical principles, and to require the smallest number of troops porsible to answer the purpose of effe&tually fecuring your majesty's dock-yards at Portsmouth and Plymouth. We conceive that such numbers can be spared for this purpole; we consider such protection to be an essential obiect for the safety of the ftate, and intimately connected with the general defence of the kingdom; but we do not consider it to be our province minutely to enter into a consideration of the abilities of the state to provide the necessary supplies for this purpose.
of the Board of Land, and Sea
invasion, we should trust only to our ally tend to remove the necesity of standing army, and remain without keeping up fo large a military eltafortifications, there would be a ne- oblillment as otherwise must be ceflity of augmenting to a most enor- maintained. mous degree that army, on which Such were the leading arguments the whole safety of the kingdom by which the refolution was fupwas to rest; whereas, if it was as- ported. The other speakers in fafifted with fortifications, a much vour of it were lord Hood, the hosmaller force would be sufficient, it nourable captain Berkeley, the hoþeing absurd to contend that any nourable James Luttrell, captain number of troops, independent of Bowyer, Sir C. Middleton, Mr. ). · fortifications, were able to defend a Hawkins Browne, and lord Maplace better than the same number, hon. allifted by fortifications. But it had In opposition to the measure, it been, he said, already proved, that was moved as an amendment, by the plan proposed for the security of Mr. Bastard, and feconded by Sir the dock-yards was the best that W. Lemon, one of the members could be devised, and was capable for the county of Cornwall, to leave of defence by the smallest number out of the resolution all the words of troops; it would therefore fol. from the word “ house” to the end low of course, that the fortifications of the question; and to insert, “ that in question would reduce the stand “ fortifications on so extensive a ing army to the lowest possible num “ plan as propcted by the board, ber that the circumstances of the “ are inexpedient.” case would admit of. This last ar This amendment was defended gument he hoped would compleatly by Mr. Wallwyn, general Burgoyne, remove those alarms that prevailed captain Macbride, colonel Barré, Mr. both within and beyond the walls of Courtenay, the honourable Charles the house, from a mistaken idea that Marsham, Mr. Windham, Mr. the measure was unconstitutional in Fox, lord North, and Mr. Sheits tendency, by laying the founda. ridan. tion for a standing army, and di The speech of the last-mentioned verting into an useless and danger- gentleman on this cccasion was the ous channel those resources which subject of much admiration; and should strengthen our navy;
He indeed, indeperdent of such arguconcluded with declaring, that he ments as were peculiar to itself, it viewed it as a naval queition, and appears to have comprehended eveas such it ought to be considered, ry other which was made use of in because while it gave security to the contradiction to the proposed plan vital springs and sources of our ma of fortifications. His objections to Tine, by protecting the dock-yards, the system were of a two-fold nato far from rendering an increase of ture ;--first, such as went to shew the military force of the kingdom that it was in itself, and in its connecessary, as some gentlemen, from fequences, dangerous and inimical a laudable jealousy of the standing to the confitution ;--- and secondly, army, and from a natural and zea that such were the nature and cirlous regard for the constitution, had cumstances of the report made by been led to imagine, it would actu- the board of officers, that the report
itself did not warrantor authorize the with the necessary defence of the
vided, and calculated to stand regu- port upon the various places in their lar fieges, as the present plan pro. progress, and let any person fairly fessed, and if extended to all the confider the suppositions under which objects to which the system must in- they make their present report, and evitably lead, whether they were to then hesitate to confess, that they be considered as inducements to must of neceflity recommend a fimitempt a weak prince to evil views, lar plan of defence, proportionable or as engines of power in case of an to the importance of every place to a&ual rupture, would in truth pro- which their attention was directed. mise ten-fold the means of curbing Mr. Sheridan now proceeded to and subduing the country that could examine so much of the report be stated to arise eren from doubling made by the board of officers as the present military establishment; had been laid before the house ; with this extraordinary aggravation which, he argued, was framed in attending the folly of consenting to such a manner, and under fuch such a system, that those very naval circumstances, as by no means ftores and magazines, the efectual sanctioned or warranted the plan preservation of which was the pre- under their confideration. Had tence for these unassailable fortres- the board been left to their own fes, would in that cafe become a free and unfettered judgment, and pledge and hostage in the hands of had they then reported, as their the crown, which, in a country cir- decided and unqualified opinion, cumstanced as this was, muit ensure that the system proposed by the an unconditional submission to the master general of the ordnance moft extravagant claims which del was a measure worthy of the wif. potism could dictate.
dom of parliament to adopt, he He next adverted to the argu. Mould, he faid, have acquiesced ments which had been used to shew in their determination ; but to that the present system of fortifica. Mew that this was not the case, tion would lessen the standing army; he thould appeal to, and argue the fallacy of which he said was evi- from the report itself. First, he dent, in fuppofing that the system of observed, that, mutilated as the defence by fortifications was neces- state of it was, it was still evident farily to ftop, when Portsmouth and that, so far from its having rePlymouth should become secured, ceived the unanimous sanction of and that the reasoning upon which the board, there was good reason the extensive works for these places to believe, from the reference were justified, would not apply to any which was made to the minutes other parts of the kingdom, where- of the naval oficers, (the result of ever their importance called for de- which was withheld) that those fence, or their fituation exposed them minutes contained a condemnato attack. The shorteft method of tion of the plan. He did not refusing this idea, was simply to think it would be argued, that fuppose the fame board of officers, the result of those minutes could acting under the fame instructions, not be communicated, because they and deliberating under the fame da- were mixed with such other matters ta, going a circuit round the coast of intelligence as it might be of the kingdom, and directed to re- dangerous to reveal ; since a fuffi