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government is industriously occupied in p ursuing it, may excit such a spirit of concurrent effort between the people and their governors, as to give manners the effect and authority of laws; and may bring into disuse any statutes, if such there be, required in more turbulent times to repress public disorders. Such is the general purpose of the statement and review which follow.
According to the form which the administration of the British Empire has long assumed, the public business has for a considerable period of years distributed itself into the four main departments -of Finance, the Foreign Affairs, Home Department, and the Colonies. Under the first of these departments, that of the Finance, the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have it in charge to provide for the maintenance and due distribution of the public revenue, and for the integrity of all those sources of navigation, commerce, manufactures, internal trade and industry, from which such revenue must be derived ; and, finally, (in co-operation with the other Boards appointed for this special service) they have to provide for the naval and military defence of the empire, and the maintenance of the docks, arsenals, ordnance, &c. in all the means and materials of future operation.
To the Home Department belong the maintenance and supervision of the public peace, and the due execution of the laws for the support of internal order and tranquillity; whilst the Departments of Foreign Affairs and the Colonies embrace, according to their denominations, our relations with foreign states and our own colonies. Following the order of these departments, it is now proposed to produce and explain to the public, in a general and succinct view, the former, and the actual condition of each; the difficulties which his Majesty's ministers had to encounter, and what, under such difficulty, they have accomplished ; how they have administered the finance, and conciliated the due maintenance of the revenue in all its sources, with the due alleviation of the public burdens; how they have maintained the public peace with as little cost as possible to personal liberty; and under what system they have administered the foreign relations of the empire. This review, under the four departments, will necessarily comprehend a general survey of the proceedings of administration within the whole compass of public business. It will explain the state of our finances, and our national resources; it will open a view of our existing relations with foreign states; it will display, as a part of our domestic policy, the general system under which his Majesty's ministers have endeavoured, more by discipline than by measures of terror and menace, to restore Ireland to the ordinary administration of law. It will show what has been done for our colonies, and for the commercial interests of the empire ; and what is now
in discussion for the extension of our trade and manufactures, and for simplifying and facilitating mercantile business.
Upon the conclusion of the war, and the consequent return of many branches of industry to those foreign nations, for whom we carried and manufactured during the period of hostilities, his Majesty's ministers saw that a twofold duty had devolved upon them -the one, that of considering the amount of the National Debt and the pressure of the annual taxation, and, under this consideration, relieving the country by making every possible saving in the public expenditure, the other, that of considering the actual condition of the trading part of the coinmunity under the contracted compass of trade in the different circumstances of peace and war-and, under these circumstances, not adding to the difficulties of a large body of inen by withdrawing suddenly too great a portion of the national capital. From the conclusion of the war to the present period, his Majesty's ministers have accordingly directed their steady attention to this object, so qualified ; namely, to such a reduction of the annual burdens as might in its degree be consistent with the due maintenance of the public service-and, in its mode, not discharge with a dangerous precipitancy too large a portion of the circulating capital of the kingdom.
Under these circumstances, the inquiry into the financial conduct of his Majesty's ministers appears naturally to divide itself into the two points :
First, what reductions have been made by them in the annual expenditure and taxation of the country, from the conclusion of the war to the present period ;-whether the public service could admit of any further reductions than those actually made ; and whether they have not been carried into effect at the first practicable opportunity
Secondly, what is the actual state of the main sources of the national revenue and public wealth, whether they are entire and unimpaired; and whether they justify a confidence for the present, and a strong expectation for the future.
The examination of the question in these subdivisions will produce the whole subject fairly and fully before the public, and will enable the British people to determine, whether, in the administration of the finances, his Majesty's Government have performed their duty, and have accomplished as much as could reasonably be expected under the circumstances of the country.
First, therefore, what reductions have been made by his Majesty's ministers, in the annual expenditure and taxation of the country, from the conclusion of the war to the present period.
Upon the conclusion of the war, in 1815, the first and anxious consideration of his Majesty's ministers was to make such a reduction in the establishments, as might be consistent with the security of the empire, and its station among European powers. In considering this question, the immediate subject of inquiry was, the general basis upon which the future peace establishment should be estimated. The peace establishment of 1792 naturally suggested itself to their consideration. As in all political questions it is not only niatter of prudence and policy, but contributes much to thefacility of business, to proceed according to some acknowledged rule, his Majesty's ministers adopted this estimate in the first instance subject, however, to the qualifications rendered necessary by a new state of things, and by an actual knowledge (which they personally possessed) that Mr. Pitt himself had often regretted that he had taken the establishment of 1792 at too low a scale, and was therefore obliged to augment it in time of peace. With these qualifications, his Majesty's ministers adopted the peace estimate of 1792.
Having assumed this basis, the next process was to consider in what respect the general state of the nation, and its relations with the other powers of Europe, on the conclusion of the war, differed from the condition of the country in 1792 ; and what augmentation was necessary for the new circumstances severally considered. The new peace establishment, whatever it might be, was to be distributed through the four branches-of Great Britain, Ireland, and the old and new colonies. In Great Britain, in 1792, the peace establishment was 17,000 men. Now, in the condition of Great Britain at the conclusion of the war, there were two main circumstances which essentially distinguished her situation from that of 1792. Her great increase of population, amounting at least to one-fifth ; and, without intending to express any doubt of the loyalty and patriotism of the great body of this happy country, it must be added, that there was assuredly somewhat of a new state of the public mind, and a new force given to public passions, in the peculiar form which the press of that day had already assumed. There was yet a third, and fourth circumstance, in the enlarged basis and frame-work of the army and navy themselves, and in the new system of relieving foreign garrisons, so happily adopted; that of relieving by regiments, instead of drafts. Under the collective effect of these several circumstances, his Majesty's ministers were led into the necessary conclusion, that an augmentation of at least one-third of the establishment of 1792 was necessary for the home-establishment in Great Britain in 1816. They accordingly took this estimate, namely, 25,000 men, as the immediate peace establishment of England.
The next consideration was the establishment of Ireland. In 1792, the amount of this establishment had been taken at 12,000 men. The
strong and concurrent representations of the Irish government and magistracy convinced his Majesty's ministers, that at least double this number was now necessary for the security of personal property, for the collection of the revenue, and for the due support of the laws and authorities. Owing to the long period of war, 36,000 men had been constantly maintained in that kingdom, and had found sufficient occupation in guarding her domestic peace. At the very period when his Majesty's ministers were considering this question of the future establishment for Ireland, there were no less than four hundred military quarters or stations distributed through the Irish counties; and daily representations were made to the government, upon the temporary removal of any of them, that the persons and property of the protestant inhabitants were endangered. Under these circumstances, his Majesty's ministers took the future peace establishment for Ireland at 25,000 men.
The consideration next in order was the establishment of the old colonies. In 1792 the allowance for this portion of the empire was 17,000 men. Upon investigating this part of our establishment, it was immediately seen, that the colonies likewise presented an aspect very different from their condition in 1792. The old colonies were Gibraltar, the North American Colonies (Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Bahama Islands), Jamaica, and the Leeward Islands. In 1792 the force there stationed was 17,000; but, upon looking at the state of each severally, it was seen that an addition was now required. In 1792 the force at Gibraltar was 4000 men. This was deemed suffi. cient for 1816. In the North American colonies, Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, the force in 1792 was 5000 men. From the new circumstances of Canada, and from its new relations with the United States, it was necessary to increase this force; and upon consulting with military men acquainted with the frontiers and the nature of the country, it was found that a great addition was now necessary for the security of British North America. It was particularly represented to his Majesty's ministers under this head, by the local authorities, that the navigation of the Canadian rivers was often interrupted for months together; and that, upon any sudden breach with America, concurring with an insufficient force in Canada, the country might be overwhelmed by an incursion, before the possible arrival of troops from remote stations. They were further reminded of its growing importance to the commerce, and particularly to the navigation, of the United Empire ; and it was recalled to their recollection, that the vessels employed in our trade with Canada amounted to nearly one-fourth of the tonnage of the British Empire. Under these circumstances, the estimate for the North American colonies was taken at 9000 men. In 1792, the force at Jamaica was about 2000 men. But in its present condition, there were two strong additional circumstances : the first, the growth of the black state of Hayti in its immediate vicinity; and the second, the growth of the colony itself, and the anxious representations of the colonists, of their state of insecurity with an insufficient force. As respected the progressive growth of the colony, and its actual importance to the general trade of the empire, it was represented to ministers, that the British capital employed in Jamaica exceeded sixty millions ; and that in the year 1815 the island had exported ninety-eight thousand hogsheads of sugar ; that this had employed twenty-one thousand tons of British shipping, and five thousand British seamen, and had afforded two millions to the revenue of the country; a sum amounting to within half a million of the ordinary charge of the whole army of England. Upon this representation the new estimates for Jamaica were taken at four thousand men. The force for the Leeward Islands in 1792, had been four thousand two hundred men. Under the same circumstances of the vicinity of a new black empire, of the progressive growth of the colonies, and of the establishment of some naval docks and arsenals, not immediately removable, the estimate for these islands was now taken at five thousand men. The whole colonial estimate for the old colonies was thus settled, in the first instance, at twenty-three thousand ; a peace establishment exceeding that of 1792, for the same stations, by seven thousand men : an addition resting upon the principles above explained, of the growth of the colonies themselves, and of the progress of adjoining states.
The final consideration, as to the estimates for the new peace establishment, regarded the new colonies. In 1792, the number of our colonies was only twenty-six. In 1816, they had increased to forty-three. These new colonies were—Malta, the Ionian Islands, the African settlements, St. Helena, Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Surinam, Trinidad, Berbice, Essequibo, St. Lucie, and Tobago. The estimates of 1792 of course afforded no rule for the future establishment of these colonies. But another criterion naturally suggested itself; that of the force which the former possessors of those colonies deemed to be necessary for their defence and administration. According to this measure, their collective peace establishment was thus primarily taken at twenty-three thousand men. Ministers saw, indeed, that