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upon the seas, in the service of their country, they were entitled to peculiar consideration. He allowed that a quantum of promotion ought always to be assigned exclusively to merit; but he was convinced the country would not grumble at the elevation of a certain number of men of that class to which the country must look for its safety, and the House for its defence. He believed neither the navy nor the public could be at all angry to see such men get forward. He would allude to the case of lord Henry Frederick Thynne, which was one of those upon which the imputation of the hon. member had been thrown. The fact, however, was, that his name stood at the bottom of a list of seven officers who were made because they were oldest commanders on stations abroad, thus, seven were promoted for merit to one for interest. But, even in respect of the promotions for interest, there was a law which prescribed what service an officer should have undergone; and, if he were the king's son, it was necessary that he should perform it. That law required, that he should be six years a midshipman before he could be promoted. And surely, when a person of rank gave up the comforts of life, and consented to fag for six years, he had earned his commission, when given him, with fairness. But the young nobleman to whom he alluded had served some time as a lieutenant in the Mediterranean.-[Herc Mr. Hume asked what ship?]-He did not then recollect the name of the ship, but he had also been a lieutenant in the Albion, and sir J. Gordon had honourably reported his services to the admiralty. He had also volunteered in a ten-gun brig to South America, and it did so happen that a junior officer was put over his head; yet this young nobleman made no complaint, but conducted himself in a manner that clearly entitled him to the promotion which he had received. As to the charge which had been made of that officer having been sent out to take the command of a vessel in the East Indies, which had not been launched, it was true it had not been launched before he set out, but it was expected to be launched before he arrived. With respect to the case of the hon. Frederick Spencer, upon which was grounded another complaint of parliamentary influence, it should be recollected, that his connections acted with the opposition. How, therefore, could that have been a case of parliamentary influence? The

hon. member seemed to be of opinion, that with the end of the war, there ought to have been generally an end of promotion. But what did he think that such a war which was eminently a navalwar, could have closed without leaving great claims upon the gratitude of the country? Those claims were indeed constantly diminishing on account of vacancies by death, and by those who left the service; and if some young men were not brought in, what would become of the navy in the event of a new war?-The hon. member had found fault with the coronation promotion. But what was the fact? There were no midshipmen promoted then, but such as had passed in 1813, and the oldest commander on every station was promoted; the youngest of whom was made either in 1811 or 1812. The lieutenants who were selected were those who had been employed for the last eight years. There was an immense number, indeed, employed during the war; but many of those had since entered into other service, or gone out in merchant vessels. Therefore, the admiralty had picked out for promotion all who had been employed for the last eight years, as being within their reach. There was no favour. The oldest had been made in 1794, and the youngest, he believed, in 1806. He could inform the hon. member, that there had once been a promotion on his principle. It was a jubilee promotion, in which the oldest officers were taken according to seniority; and he considered it a foolish promotion. The first lieutenants of flag-ships were generally the best officers, picked out by the admirals; and it sometimes happened that admirals had an inclination to keep them out of their promotion too long. They were consequently fit subjects of promotion. As to the gross numbers to which the hon. member had referred, he had unfairly stated them. When he found fault with the number of promotions since 1814, it should be remembered that there had been fought since that period a certain battle of Algiers, which attached to it extensive claims. Many claims had also arisen out of the coast blockade, in the counties of Sussex and Kent. Officers employed on that station frequently risked their lives, by dashing into the waves to save shipwrecked mariners. It would not be denied that such men deserved promotion. Then there had been pirates of a most audacious character in the Red Sea ;

not placed in the same situation as naval officers, for it was quite necessary to put a captain into a ship at the moment of a vacancy; but it was not so with the marines. The principle followed in the navy was, that every third vacancy should be filled by a young person; otherwise there would be no persons in the service who were not of 40 or 50 years standing. With respect to pursers, the regulation which the hon. member quoted was found to be so inconvenient, that the admiralty was obliged to apply to the king in council to have it repealed. For the reasons which he had given, he was confident the House would go along with Lim in believing, that nothing more than a proper and becoming attention had been paid to the claims of the naval officers of noble and distinguished families, at the same time that the meritorious services of others had not been overlooked [Hear, hear.] He would therefore give the third resolution a direct negative, and meet the rest with the previous question.

Sir Byam Martin defended the principle of promotion adopted in the navy. He asserted it to be unconnected with parliamentary influence, and said, that out of seven promotions which had taken place in one batch, two only, were the friends of persons who supported the present administration.

and our officers had signalized themselves in their extirpation. There was also slavery to be put down on the coast of Africa; and our officers showed their zeal for its extinction, by dashing up rivers, and attacking sometimes five times their own number: and, were not such men deserving of promotion, when covered with glory, and suffering from wounds? Such services had swelled the list of promotion, and swelled it proudly-and the admiralty was glad of it.-The hon. mem ber had alluded to three persons of the name of Johnston Hope. But the fact was, sir W. Johnston Hope had not made one of them. One of them had been made after he had pulled down his flag, and the others had been made in virtue of an old promise given by sir Home Popham. He then adverted to the case of another officer, who had been pro ́moted when a reduced lord of the admiralty was requested by lord Melville, from a sense of his services, to name an officer for promotion; and he did name the officer in question. As to the invalids, the hon. member had thrown out an unjustifiable imputation, by speaking of an invaliding job, to make promotions. Would he have officers who became sick in the African and West-India stations, be cruelly kept there to die? The admirals were only allowed to fill up vacancies occasioned by death or court-martial; they had therefore no interest in having officers invalided. No officer could, in fact, be invalided, until three captains and a surgeon declared it necessary for his health that he should return home; and any captain who connived was liable to be cashiered. When he returned he was examined at the admiralty, by two of the chief medical officers of the board. Could this be a job? The unhealthy climates of Africa and the West Indies caused a great increase of invalids; and, when the hon. member spoke of the small number of deaths, he did not take into account the number of those who died after having been invalided. As to the promotion of captain Gambier, it hap-quiry ought to be instituted. pened by his being in the East Indies when his captain died. The hon. member had objected, that the promotion in the marines was not commensurate with that in Mr. Grey Bennet said, that the only the navy. The reason was, that the pro-grounds of promotion ought to be merit motion in the marines was according to that favourite practice which he wished to introduce into the navy; namely, the rising by seniority. The marines were

Sir Isaac Coffin contended, that the system of promotion at present pursued was much superior to the old one, and adverted to the condition of the fleet that sailed under commodore Byron in the American war, when there were officers on board who had not seen the salt sea for 16 or 17 years. He was convinced, that the happy mixture of different orders which composed the naval service, enabled us single-handed to fight the world.

Mr. F. Palmer thought it right that, in such a case as the present, some attention ought to be paid to public opinion. Whether officers were promoted on parliamentary influence or were not, an in

Captain Gordon vindicated the promotion of midshipmen as being indispensably necessary for the good of the service.

and standing in the service; and on this ground he was at issue with those who advocated the existing system. The gallant admiral near him had compared

the present times with the American war, and derived great consolation, as to the conduct of the admiralty, from the comparison. Had the question been agitated during the American war, the reference would then have been to the battle of the Hogue. If at the time of the battle of the Hogue, something worse would have alleged, as to the fleet which watched the Spanish Armada. He thought we were but too apt to praise our own times at the expense of those long past.

Mr. Secretary Canning said, he had always thought, that the reverse of the hon. gentleman's proposition was the one which was most generally accepted; namely, that we were disposed to extol past times at the expense of the present. He was of opinion, that the case of the hon. mover had been most triumphantly met by his hon, and gallant friend near him. So ably had his hon, and gallant friend justified the principle of selection adopted by the admiralty, that what had been charged as abuse, had turned out to be merit. He considered the question to be resolved into this-whether promotion should go by. seniority altogether, or whether a portion of it should be left open to discretion? He contended that the statement of the hon. member had not at all borne out the case which he had pledged himself to establish. With regard to the present state of the navy, he believed that very little difference of opinion existed. He thought that the present plan of the service was the best which could be devised to preserve the glory of the navy in time of war, and to maintain it in peace; and that it was in perfect analogy with the mixed principles of the British constitution.

Sir F. Ommanney arase amidst loud cries of" question!" mixed with symptoms of disapprobation. We understood him to suggest to the lords of the admiralty the propriety of advancing officers in the navy according to seniority. He particularly recommended to their lordships' consideration that valuable class of officers, who acted as masters and masters mates. He wished to know from the gallant admiral near him, how many masters had been promoted since the war? He felt deeply upon this question, as his own father had been greatly ill-used, and exposed to the most galling and heart-breaking neglect. He trusted that the government of the country would afford protection to those brave officers who had

served their country to the brink of the grave, and not allow them in their latter years to be trodden down like reptiles, The hon. member concluded by moving, by way of an amendment, an address to his majesty, the substance of which was, that while the House of Commons were fully satisfied that the lords of the admiralty discharged the trust reposed in them with fidelity, integrity, and judgment, they felt it necessary to call upon his majesty to take into consideration the propriety of doing away with the practice of making senior captains rear-admirals, with the view of superannuating them; and further to recommend that senior captains should be allowed to pass on regularly to the rank of flag-officers.

The amendment not being seconded, fell of course to the ground.

Mr. Hume said, he should not delay the House with many observations, as he had, in reality, little to answer. What he contended for had been admitted by the gallant admiral (sir G. Cockburn), and declared by the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning) to be a most triumphantanswer to the charges made; namely, that promotion in the navy was given to branches of noble families and to parliamentary interest; "that it was to that class the country must look for its safety and the House its defence." He refused his assent to that principle, as a new and dangerous one, and contended that merit and length of service were the principles on which promotion in the navy had, in better times, been made, and had raised the navy to its late pre-eminence; and it was on officers so promoted that the country could best rely in the hour of danger. Were not lords St. Vincent, Exmouth, Duncan, Nelson, &c. examples? If every man of family who chose to enter the navy were, agreeably to the gallant officer's declaration, to be intitled to promotion, on his simply passing the number of years required by the service, he trembled for the British navy at no distant period, and he protested against such proceedings. It had been asserted confidently, that a large portion of the promotions had been given to merit, and part only to parliamentary and family interest: in one instance, six to one. But whilst he agreed in the propriety of joining those claims, he contended, that the examination of the navy list would show, that merit and length of service had got but a very small share of the employment or

promotion since the peace. It was most unquestionable, that advantage would be derived to the navy by mixing men of family and interest with other officers as long as they could meet on an equality: but, if promotion and commands should be given to those of family and parliamentary influence, so as to dishearten and disgust the officers of long and meritorious service, he contended that the ruin of the service must ensue. He believed, from the testimony of many able officers, that it had already by these means commenced, and, if so, it was time to arrest its progress. The long lists of forty, fifty, and ninety officers of different ranks, which he had produced to the House, remained substantially correct. An attempt had been made to explain the case of lord H. F. Thynne, as one of rank for seven of merit on the foreign-station list for promotion, as if that had taken place by chance, omitting altogether, to answer the charge made by him (Mr. Hume), that the admiralty sent out whatever persons they chose for promotion, and make such arrangements by change of stations and by invaliding, that those they sent out were certain to obtain the intended promotion. These promotions appeared to superficial observers, to be by chance; but it was well known to every naval officer how that was invariably arranged by previous admiralty orders. The gallant admiral had given credit to lord H. F. Taynne for volunteering to go out in a 10 gun brig under a junior officer: it was well known he was sent out for promotion; and when it was uncontradicted that he superseded 3,588 lieutenants when he was made a commander, how many lieutenants must the officer who had been his junior as lieutenant, and who commanded the brig, have superseded? He would inform the House, he believed the person alluded to, was the hon. F. Spencer, who had, when made a commander, superced a 3,642 lieutenants [Hear, hear!]. That admission aggravated the charge in his opinion. It might be true, that the families in opposition to the government also received their share of the promotions, but did that admission do away his charge of family influence, or lessen the evil to the service and the country? Certainly not. The government ought to make a stand against such influence, from which ever side of the House it came: and the best interests of

the navy required them to do so.-He had proved, by a list of fifty-two, all the commanders now employed (except those on surveys) that only six of that number were old officers; and, as the admiralty would not employ a greater number of of old officers whilst they restricted the claims for promotion at the coronation to those who had served in the last eight years, it was quite evident that the admission completely established the charge he had made the chances of promotion to the old officers was as six to forty-six.-It had been stated, in rather too highly coloured language, that the Kent and coast blockade were irresistible claims to promotions in the navy; but, for his part, whilst he doubted the advantage of that system to the navy, he did not think that any of the noble families had owed their promotions to that service.-There were fair claims for services at Algiers, in the Red Sea, on the coast of Africa, and in cases of shipwreck, which he would not object to; but he contended that these claims had been mainly neglected, and that far the greater number of promotions had taken place on other grounds; and when he considered the very lame and unsatisfactory answer respecting the royal marine officers and the pursers of the navy, he thought his case was fully substantiated, and he should take the sense of the House on the propriety of an inquiry into the conduct of the Admiralty.

The previous question was then put on the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth resolutions and negatived. On the third resolution, the House divided: Ayes 32; Noes 153.

List of the Minority.

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of Elizabeth enacts, that every juror shall have an estate of freehold to the annual value of 4l. at least. But the value of

JURORS QUALIFICATION BILL.] Mr. Western said, that he rose to submit to the House a motion which involved, in its consequences, matters of very great im-money decreasing, this qualification was portance. The object of it, as his notice indicated, went to an alteration in the Constitution of Juries, in so far at least as related to the qualification (by possession of property) of those who may be called upon to perform the important functions of a juror.

raised, by the 16th and 17th of Charles 2nd to 20l. per annum. This was a temporary act, and suffered to expire. The 4th and 5th of William and Mary fixed it at 10%. per annum in England, and 64. in Wales, of freehold or copyhold lands; which is the first time copyholders, as such, were admitted to serve on juries in any of the king's courts of Westminster; and then by the 3rd Geo. 2nd any leaseholder of 500 years absolute, or on life or lives of the clear yearly value of 20l. above the rent reserved, is qualified to serve on juries.

This attention shown by the legislature to the qualification of a juror, is a proof of the importance which has been felt at all times to their possession of some property, and it was as distant as possible from his (Mr. W's.) intention, to derogate in the least degree from the wisdom of our ancestors; on this point, he contended, on the contrary, that in calling out jurors from the extensive class now excluded, we should more effectually accomplish the real object

The hon. member said, he hoped the House would not be alarmed at the idea of touching the frame and constitution of juries. He was fully of opinion, that the measure he contemplated demanded their most deliberate attention; but still it was such as, be felt confident they would sanction; and which he thought, indeed, had only failed of adoption ere then from pure inadvertence to the great alteration of circumstances which time had induced. His object was, in fact, simply to render persons possessed of personal property to a given amount, as well as real, eligible, that was to say, qualified, and liable to serve as jurors. And when he reflected upon the vast amount and proportion of personal property in this kingdom which had grown-that of having responsible and intelliup in latter times, and the character and situations in life of the multitude possessing that species of property, and that alone, he thought the House would feel with him that it was surprising that they had not yet been called out to the service of their country as jurors. From the earliest period of history, it would be found that a juror was required to possess a certain amount of property as proof of some respectability and station in life and a consequent security to the party to be tried. The accused person had accordingly a right to challenge a juror, if he did not so possess an adequate amount. It was, indeed, one if not the chief ground of direct challenge; Blackstone, after reciting the four principal grounds of challenge to the jury given by Sir Edward Coke, propter honoris respectum, defectum, affectum, and delictum, says," but the principal is, deficiency of estate sufficient to qualify him to be a juror." A variety of statutes consequently at various periods of our history are to be found, under which the requisite qualifications have been described. By the 13th of Edward the 1st, jurors must be persons that can dispend 20s. by the year at the least; which was increased to 40s. by the 21st of Edward the 1st, and 2nd of Henry the 5th. The 27th

gent persons to serve the office. Neither was it any impeachment of the expediency of formerly confining the qualifications to the possession of real property. In former times, every body who had any rank above the lowest class, was an owner of land of some amount, and the possession of Jand was therefore an indispensable voucher for his responsibility. The case was wonderously different now, in this country, where the possessors of public securities had an income collectively amounting nearly to the landed rental of the king. dom, exclusive of joint-stock companies, stocks in trade &c. to an amount beyond all calculation: To continue these persons under the interdict of antient laws however wise at the time, was now as unwise as could well be conceived. The practical effect was in counties such as might be expected. Not one third of the persons who were, for all real objects, adequately qualified, were ever summoned to the execution of these most important duties. He would not say that the jurors who were summoned were inefficient or incompetent persons; but he would assert, that, in the possessors of personal property, there were three times as many not summoned as those who were, that are quite as competent in every respect, and often much more so.

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