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could never have expected that we should take bis estimate for a peace establishment solely on his word.
This estimate which he gives,' is the great groundwork of his plan for the national redemption; and it ought to be well and firmly laid, or what must become of the superstructure? One would have thought the natural method in a plan of reformation would be, to take the present existing estimates as they stand; and then to show what may be practicably and safely defalcated from them. This would, I say, be the natural course; and what would be expected from a man of business. But this author takes a very different method. For the ground of his speculation of a present peace establishment, he resorts to a former speculation of the same kind, which was in the mind of the minister of the year 1764. Indeed it never existed anywhere else.? * The plan,” says he, with his usual ease, “ has been already formed, and the outline drawn, by the administration of 1764. I shall attempt to fill up the void and obliterated parts, and trace its operation. The standing expense of the present (his projected) peace establishment, improved by the experience of the two last years, may be thus estimated ;" and he estimates it at £3,468,161.
Here too it would be natural to expect some reasons for condemning the subsequent actual establishments, which have so much transgressed the limits of his plan of 1764, as well as some arguments in favour of his new project; which has in some articles exceeded, in others fallen short, but on the whole is much below his old one. Hardly a word on any of these points, the only points however that are in the least essential; for unless you assign reasons for the increase or diminution of the several articles of public charge, the playing at establishments and estimates is an amusement of no higher order, and of much less ingenuity, than Questions and commands, or What is my thought like? To bring more distinctly under the reader's view this author's strange method of proceeding, I will lay before him the three schemes ; viz. the idea of the ministers in 1764, the actual estimates of the two last years as given by the author him. self, and lastly, the new project of his political millennium ;
· P. 33.
Plan of establishment for 1764, as by Con
siderations, p. 43.
Nation, p. 29 and 30
in State of the Nation, p. 33
It is not from anything our author has anywhere said, that you are enabled to find the ground, much less the justification, of the immense difference between these several systers; you must compare them yourself, article by article, no very pleasing employment, by the way, to compare the agreement or disagreement of two chimeras. I now only speak of the comparison of his own two projects. As to the latter of them, it differs from the former, by having some of the articles diminished, and others increased. I find the chief article of reduction arises from the smaller deficiency of land and malt, and of the annuity funds, which he brings down to £295,561 in his new estimate, from £502,400, which he had allowed for those articles in the Considerations. With this reduction, owing, as it must be, merely to a smaller deficiency of funds, he has nothing at all to do. It can be no work and no merit of his. But with regard to the increase, the matter is very different. It is all his own; the public is loaded (for anything we can see to the contrary) entirely gratis. The chief articles of the increase are on the navy, and on the army and ordnance extraordinaries; the navy being estimated in his State of the Nation £50,000 a year more, and the army and ordnance extraordinaries £40,000 more, than he had thought proper to allow for them in that estimate in his Considerations, which he makes the foundation of his present project. He has given no sort of reason, stated no sort of necessity, for this additional allowance, either in the one article or the other. What is still stronger, he admits that his allowance for the
and ordnance extras is too great, and expressly refers you to the Considerations ;4 where, far from giving £75,000 a year to
· The figures in the Considerations are wrongly cast up; it should be £3,609,700. ? Considerations, p. 43. Sta’e of the Nation, p. 33.
4 State of the Nation, p. 34.
that service, as the State of the Nation has done, the author apprehends his own scanty provision of £35,000 to be by far too considerable, and thinks it may well admit of further res ductions. Thus, according to his own principles, this great economist falls into a vicious prodigality; and is as far in his estimate from a consistency with his own principles as with the real nature of the services.
Still, however, his present estab:ishment differs from its archetype of 1764, by being, though raised in particular parts, upon the whole about £141,000 smaller. It is improved, he tells us, by the experience of the two last years. One would have concluded that the peace establishment of these two years had been less than that of 1764, in order to suggest to the author his improvements, which enabled him to reduce it. But how does that turn out? Peace establishment? 1767 and 1768, medium £ 3,919,375 Ditto, estimate in the Considerations, for 1764 3,609,700
Difference £ 309,675 · The author of the State of the Nation, p. 34, informs us, that the sum of £75,000 allowed by him for the extras of the army and ordnance, is far less than was allowed for the same service in the years 1767 and 1768. It is so undoubtedly, and by at least £200,000. He sees that he cannot abide by the plan of the Considerations in this point, nor is he willing wholly to give it up. Such an enormous difference as that between £35,000 and £300,000 puts him to a stand. Should he adopt the latter plan of increased expense, he must then confess that he had, on a former occasion, egregiously trifled with the public; at the same time all his future promises of reduction must fall to the ground. If he stuck to the £35,000 he was sure that every one must expect from him some account how this monstrous charge came to continue ever since the war, when it was clearly unnecessary; how all those successions of ministers (his own included) came to pay it, and why his great friend in parliament, and his partisans without doors, came not to pursue to ruin, at least to utter shame, the authors of so groundless and scandalous a profusion. In this strait he took a middle way; and, to come nearer the real state of the service, he outbid the Considerations, at one stroke, £40,000; at the same time he hints to you, that you may expect some benefit also from the original plan. But the author of the Considerations will not suffer him to escape it. He has pinned him down to his £35,000; for that is the sum he has chosen, not as what he thinks will probably be required, but as making the most ample allowance for every possible contingency. See that anthor, p. 42 and 43.
2 He has done great injustice to the establishment of 1768 : but I have not here time for this discussion; nor is it necessary to this argument.
A vast increase instead of diminution. The experience then of the two last years ought naturally to have given the idea of a heavier establishment; but this writer is able to diminish by increasing, and to draw the effects of subtraction from the operations of addition. By means of these new powers, he may certainly do whatever he pleases. He is indeed moderate enough in the use of them, and condescends to settle his establishments at £3,468,161 a year.
However, he has not yet done with it; he has further ideas of saving, and new resources of revenue. These addi. tional savings are principally two: 1st, It is to be hoped, says he, that the sum of £250,000 (which in the estimate he allows for the deficiency of land and malt) will be less by £37,924.2
2nd, That the sum of £20,000 allowed for the Foundling Hospital, and £1,800 for American Surveys, will soon cease to be necessary, as the services will be completed. What follows, with regard to the resources, is very
well worthy the reader's attention. “Of this estimate,” says he, “ upwards of £300,000 will be for the plantation service; and that sum, I hope, the people of Ireland and the colonies might be induced to take off Great Britain, and defray between them, in the proportion of £200,000 by the colonies, and £100,000 by Ireland.”
Such is the whole of this mighty scheme. Take his reduced estimate, and his further reductions, and his resources altogether, and the result will be; He will certainly lower the provision made for the navy. He will cut off largely
I P. 34.
? In making up this account, he falls into a surprising error of arithmetic. “ The deficiency of the land-tax in the year 1754 and 1755, * when it was at 2s., amounted to no more, on a medium, than £49,372; to which if we add half the sum, it will give us £79,058 as the peace deficiency at 38.” Total
£ 49,372 Add the half
£ 74,058 Which he makes £79,058. This is indeed in disfavour of his argument; but we shall see that he has ways, by other errors, of reimbursing himself.
(God knows what or how) from the army and ordnance ese traordinaries. He
may be expected to cut off more. He hopes that the deficiencies on land and malt will be less than usual; and he hopes that America and Ireland might be induced to take off £300,000 of our annual charges.
If any one of these Hopes, Mights, Insinuations, Expectations, and Inducements, should fail him, there will be a formidable gaping breach in his whole project. If all of them should fail, he has left the nation without a glimmering of hope in this thick night of terrors which he has thought fit to spread about us,
If every one of them, which, attended with success, would signify anything to our revenue, can have no effect but to add to our distractions and dangers, we shall be if possible in a still worse condition from his projects of cure, than he represents us from our original disorders.
Before we examine into the consequences of these schemes, and the probability of these savings, let us suppose them all real and all safe, and then see what it is they amount to, and how he reasons on them :
Deficiency on land and malt, less by £37,000
£ 58,800 This is the amount of the only articles of saving he specifies; and yet he chooses to assert, “ that we may venture on the credit of them to reduce the standing expenses of the estimate (from £3,468,161) to £3,300,000;”?" that is, for a saving of £58,000 he is not ashamed to take credit for a defalcation from his own ideal establishment in a sum of no less than £168,161! Suppose even that we were to take up the estimate of the Considerations, (which is however abandoned in the State of the Nation,) and reduce his £75,000 extraordinaries to the original £35,000, still all these savings joined together give us but £98,000; that is, near £70,000 short of the credit he calls for, and for which he has neither given any reason, nor furnished any data whatsoever for others to reason upon. Such are his savings, as operating on his cwn project of a
I P. 43.