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their country ; yet that army enslaved their country; the affections of the soldiers towards their country, the honour and integrity of the under officers, are not to be depended on. By the military law, the administration of justice is so quick, and the punishment so severe, that neither officer or soldier dares to dispute the orders of his supreme commander; he must not consult his own inclinations. If an officer were commanded to pull his own father out of this house, he must do it; he dares not disobey; immediate death would be the sure conse. quence of the least grumbling; and if an officer were sent into the court of requests, accompanied by a body of musketeers with screwed bayonets, and with orders to tell us what we ought to do, and how we were to vote, I know what would be the duty of this house ; I know it would be our duty to order the officer to be taken and hanged up at the door of the lobby. But, sir, I doubt
, much, if such a spirit could be found in the house, or in any house of commons that will ever be in England.
Sir, 1 talk not of imaginary things; I talk of what has happened to an English house of commons, and from an English army; not only from an English army, but an army that was raised by that very house of commons ; an army that was paid by them, and an army that was commanded by generals appointed by them; therefore do not let us vainly imagine that an army raised and maintained by authority of parliament, will always be submissive to them. If an army be so numerous as to have it in their power to overawe the parliament, they will be submissive as long as the parliament does nothing to disoblige their favourite general; but when that case happens, I am afraid, that instead of the parliament's dismissing the army, the army will dismiss the parliament, as they have done heretofore. Nor does the legality or illegality of that parliament, or of that army, alter the case: for with respect to that army, and according to their way of thinking, the parliament dismissed by them was å legal parliament; they were an army raised
and maintained according to law; and at first they were raised, as they imagined, for the preservation of those liberties, which they afterwards destroyed.
It has been urged, sir, that whoever is for the protestant succession must be for continuing the army. For that very reason, sir, I am against continuing the army. I know that neither the protestant succession in his majesty's most illustrious house, nor any succession, can ever be safe, as long as there is a standing army in the country. Armies, sir, have no regard to hereditary successions. The first two Cæsars at Rome, did pretty well, and found means to keep their armies in tolerable subjection, because the generals and officers were all their own creatures; but how did it fare with their successors? Was not every one of them named by the army without any regard to hereditary right, or to any right? a cobler, a gardener, or any man who happened to raise himself in the army, and could gain their affections, was made emperor of the world.
Was not every succeeding emperor raised to the throne, or tumbled headlong into the dust, according to the mere whim or mad frenzy of the soldiers ?
We are told, Oh! gentlemen, but this army is de. sired to be continued but for one year longer, it is not desired to be continued for any term of years. How absurd is this distinction! Is there any army in the world continued for any term of years ? Does the most absolute monarch tell his army, that he is to continue them for any number of years, or any number of months ? How long have we already continued our army from year to year? And if it thus continues, wherein will it differ from the standing armies of those countries which have already submitted their necks to the yoke? We are now come to the Rubicon; our army is now to be reduced, or it never will. From his majesty's own mouth we are assured of a profound tranquillity abroad-we know there is one at home. If this is not a proper time, if these circumstances do not afford us a safe opportunity for reducing at least a part of our regular forces, we never can expect to see any reduction; and this nation, already overloaded with debts and taxes, must be loaded with the heavy charge of perpetually supporting a numerous standing army, and remain for cver exposed to the danger of having its liberties and privileges trampled upon, by any future king or minis. try who shall take it in their heads to do so, and shall take a proper care to model the army for that purpose.
His Speech on the Number of Land Forces.
The noble duke who spoke last, has spoken so fully and so well in favour of a standing army, that if it were possible to convince me that a standing army is consistent with the liberties of the country, that noble duke would have done it. I should even be afraid to rise up to offer any thing in answer to what he has so well said upon that subject, if it were not, that I think myself under a necessity of giving your lordships some reason for my voting as I shall do, in the important question now before us.
I was glad, my lords, to hear that noble duke allow, that the militia of the kingdom might be put upon such a footing as to be useful for our defence: this I should be glad to see done, because I think it the only defence, next to our fleet, which we can with any safety trust to; and as there is no man more capable than he, of putting us in a way of making our malitia useful, I wish he would give us his thoughts upon that subject; I am sure there
is nothing he can offer but what will be well received and readily agreed to. As to the expence of keeping our militia under a proper discipline, I do not think that it is of any consideration in the present question, it it should amount to a great deal more than what we now pay for maintaining our regular army; it would be an argument of no weight with me against the scheme, for I am sure, if the expence were greater, our power would be rendered in proportion much more extensive, and our liberties much more secure.
If, my lords, the militia were to be put upon a proper and a right footing, if they were to be put upon such a footing as to be really useful for the defence of the country, it is not to be supposed, that the people wouid grumble at any charge or inconvenience they were put to upon such a necessary and reasonable account. The many loads they have quietly submitted to of late years, shew us that they are not apt to grumble, when they are convinced of the reason of the thing; but at present they know that the militia are of no public use; they know that the drawing them out to exercise tends to no end but that of putting money in the pockets of the officers, and therefore they grumble when they find themselves put to any expence upon such an unprofitable account.
Though the militia of the kingdom be under the command of the king, though their officers be all named by the king, yet under such a military force, our liberties must be safe : the militia of the kingdom are the people of the kingdom, and it is impossible to make use of the people for oppressing the liberties of the people ; but a standing army of regular forces soon begin to look upon themselves as a body separate and distinct from the peo. ple: and if the people in general neglect the use of arms, and trust entirely to such a military force for their de fence, the king, who has the absolute command over them, may easily fall upon ways and means to make use of them for oppressing the liberties of the people; by granting particular favours to such a military force, and by preserving the affections of a few men bred up to Voi I.
arms and military discipline, he may do whatever he pleases with the multitude, who have neither arms in their hands, nor any knowledge how to use them, if they had. What the noble duke said as to auxiliaries is most certainly true; those who trust entirely to auxiliaries for their defence, must always be slaves to those in whom they put their trust: it is, my lords, for this very reason that I am against a standing army; for it holds equally true of a standing army of our own subjects, as of an army of foreign auxiliaries; whoever trusts his defence to any thing but himself must be a slave to that in which he puts his trust; and whatever people put their whole trust in a standing army, even of their own subjects, will soon come to be as great slaves as the people who put their trust in an army of foreign troops; the masters may be different, but the slavery is the same, and will be equally grievous.
I believe it never was said, that a standing army is the only method by which an arbitrary power may be established; there are, without doubt, other means by which it may be established, but I am sure that it can never be long supported without a standing army. By a political and cunning administration the people may be cheated out of their liberties; by some specious pretence or another they may be induced to give up all those barriers, which are the defence and the protection of their liber. ties and privileges ; but the fraud will at last be discovered, and as soon as it is, the people will resume their ancient privileges, if there be no new sort of power established for protecting the arbitrary government against any such resumption ; which power can never consist in any thing else but a standing army of some kind or other.
A standing army must, therefore, my lords, be of dangerous consequence to the liberties of every country. In some free countries there may be at least a shew of reason for their submitting to such a danger ; but in this country there cannot be so much as a shew of reason; we have a fleet superior to that of any of our neighbours, and we know how difficult it is for any of our neighbours to in