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Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
It must be evident to the world, that the present rulers of France, from whatever point of view they are taken, can only be considered as rebel chiefs. They were born subjects of their King, most of them held offices in his service, and at mature age, swore allegiance to his government; he is alive, and at this time is morally as well entitled to sit on the throne of France as any hereditary monarch can be to sit on the throne of his ancestors. These usurpers know, that, however pliable and passive the politics of other governments may have now and then appeared, it cannot be presumed that legitimate sovereigns should prostitute the dignity of their stations, and expose the safety of their persons and families in so palpable a manner as voluntarily to sauction the rebellion, robberies, pillage and plunder of France; and associate in treaties of friendship and mutual support, with the irreconcileable enemies of all legal government. Buonaparte knows, that the treaties which he has imposed upon other states are extorted bonds, and will never bind the conscience. He is well aware, that when his authority in France has occasion for help from abroad, his part of the drama will be nearly out. Nor can he suppose that his neighbours are less sensible, that the support of France implies her dominion. In short, rebels know that rebellion can only be legalized by ultimate success; and, that while any legal government possesses the means of opposition and resistance, the success of the French republic cannot be considered as secure. Buonaparte may profess peace and friendship with all states; and he may offer alliances to the great, and protection to weak; but every legitimate sovereign should know, that when the missionaries of Buonaparte approach his throne, they come either to spoil, crush, or undermine it. The destruction or subjugation of all independent nations, especially of all rival powers, is with the rulers of France a principle of self-preservation, and is therefore interwoven with the very existence of their military community.
We would not be understood to say, that the present government of France intends to conquer and incorporate with it all other European states : on the contrary, we do not suppose that Buonaparte would wish Holland, Spain, nor perhaps Italy, more immediately under the police of Frauce than those countries now are : nor do we believe, that while Great Britain and Russia continue in their present posture,
cannot tell. In politics and in public society, oppression is relative. To attempt to scare Buonaparte with the jealousy of other powers, is perhaps still more ridicu. lous. Those who have any power are his associates in despoiling those who have done. What benefit could the change of the name of a chief produce tn Great Britain, or to Europe? Would a General Moreau or a Messena be less a Frenchman than Buonaparte? No, but we say they may be less habile! When the ability of enemies becomes a consideration with Britons, then alas! our legislators may go home and plant potatoes.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
Buonaparte would countenance a further reduction of Austria, por the expulsion of the Turkish government from Europe. We consider the real system of the French government to be neither more nor less, than, an universal ascendency raised upon natural sources sufficient to maintain a preponderant power. Such an ascendency is essential to the existence of France, and it will be pursued as long as that fabric does exist. The obstacle which stands most directly in the way of that pursuit, is the naval empire of Great Britain ; its reduction is therefore the object upon which the hero of the nineteenth century must first employ his natural and moral faculties, and all his supernatural talents.
End of the First Part.-The Second Part in our next.
EMOLUMENTS OF STAFF OFFICERS.
SIR,- The extensive circulation already acquired by the Military Chronicle (not ouly among the members of the profession, but with those who are friendly to its interest, and who, it is to be hoped, have in some instances the power, as well as the inclination, to correct and ameliorate our system, where it is proved to be erroneous or unjust), will plead a sufficient apology for the present address, which, should it find a ready insertion, will perhaps be only a prelude to hints on other parts of our military system.
The point to which I more immediately wish to call your attention is the very marked difference that is shewn, without any apparent, or at least reasonable motive, in respect to the emoluments of Staff officers equal in rank, and having equally important duties to execute.
It is now many years since the intention was professed, of making all Staff Officers of a certain rank either vacate their regimental commissions, or retire on the half-pay of their rank. The reason assigned for this new regulation was, not that their staff appointments were before too lucrative, but that it was desirable that the field officers of regiments should be effective with their corps ; and in the propriety of such a motive no military man could, for one moment, hesitate to acquiesce.
Considered, therefore, abstractedly, as a matter of general regulation, it would probably have received the applause of most military men; for such is the disinterested feeling of officers in general, that they would have overlooked the reluction thereby made in the emoluments of the staff, and have reconciled themselves to the measure, as productive of benefit to the service, and of hardship to none, because alike applicable to all.
This, however, has not been the result. The rule has never been acted upon generally, but partially, and therefore oppressively. Of this
Emoluments of Staff Officers.
it is in any man's power to satisfy himself, by referring to the foreign staff appointments for the last sen years. He will there find, that, while officers whose talents and services merited superior consideration, have been obliged to go on half pay in consequence of their staff appointments, others, without equal claims, have been permitted to retain their full pay. He will find that in some instances (that of the late lamented M. Gen. Vy is one) officers having staff appointments have been placed on the half pay, without giving them even an option ; while others have been deprived of their full pay, and kept in suspence for years before they were placed on half pay.
What is no less singular, and worthy of remark, as proving the want of reflectiou that has prevailed on this point, is, that the officers placed on the half pay have almost universally been those of the quarter-mastergeneral's department, while those of the adjutant-general's have been nearly exempt from the operation of the rule. Now it would be almost insulting to the readers of the Chronicle to observe what is known to every tyro in the art of war, that, although the duties of the former demand a variety of talent and instruction rarely to be met with, in an eminent degree, the latter requires little more than a good penman and arithmetician. The officer employed in the former branch of the service must have dedicated much time, and probably have incurred much expence, in obtaining necessary and indispensable qualifications; whilst the other may, as adjutant, have acquired all that is requisite to his executing the duties of adjutant-general. But even were it otherwise, their situations are equal, and why not their advantages.
It may perhaps be replied, that in some instances these officers obtain rank by their appointment, and that therefore they are placed on the
To this I might answer, that in both departments alike rank is obtained by the appointments of deputy or chief, and what is fair for the one is just to the other. But admitting it were not so, I contend that the pay of the situation is either calculated at such a rate as will enable the person holding it to support his rank and station, or it is too great, If the latter, then it ought to be diminished. If only the former, ou what principle would you reduce a man of honour, who may not be possessed of private fortune, to the dilemma of either incurring debts, or suffering his rank to be thrown in the shade ? If the making officers purchase rank is not to be justified, surely this is the most indefensible mode of making them do it.
Nor does the evil to tłe individual stop here. We will suppose the case of a major, the eldest of his regiment, whose former services on the staff have procured him the offer of being made a deputy with an army on foreign service. His regiment being at home, le does not feel himself at liberty to decline an offer of being seni ou fo.viga service, though saddled with the condition of l.is going on half pay. He therefore acEmoluments of Staff Officers. cepts the appointment, and probably remains abroad, in the active exercise of his professional duties, till the army to which he belongs is broken up,
when he finds himself a half pay major, with the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel, while the majors of his former regiment, which has remained at home, are become lieutenant colonels, and some of the captains majors, to all of whom he must be junior, if replaced in his regiment. In his staff situation he has at least saved nothing, if he has not incurred debts; and he may probably have to dance attendance many a weary day at the Horse Guards, and spend the little cash he has remaining before he can obtain even the full pay of major, accompanied, perhaps, with the trite remark, that he has been a “ fortunate map to be so long employed on the staff :" and such he is counted by the bulk of mankind, and even of the army, who are unacquainted with his situation !
Admitting, as I have already done, the propriety of having effective field officers present with their regiments, and yet objecting to individual injustice, I may perhaps be expected to suggest a remedy for the evil on either hand ; nor does it appear to me very difficult.
Ist. Either by adopting the French system of an etat-major, exclusive of regimental rauk, of which the officers should be paid and promoted in proportion to the importance of the duties with which they are charged, and not be liable to reduction : or,
2dly, By letting the officers employed on the staff retain their relative situations in their regiments, and be deemed supernumeraries while so employed : or,
3dly, By fixing a rate of half pay for staff situations, sufficient to indemnify officers for giving up their full pay regimental commissions, and letting them receive only a consolidated allowance adequate to their station, and the duties they have to perform.
I would propose, for instance, that the
S Adjutant General 2 should receive in 2 £
full of all pay
12 6 The junior ranks of the staff should continue to be taken from and sent back to their regiments as at present, for many reasons; but among others, as an inducement to all officers to qualify themselves for staff situations.
If it be considered that rauk No. 1 is usually held by general officers on the staff as such, in addition to those situations, and that they are most frequently lieutenant-colonels of regiments on full pay, it will be found that a reduction is made in their full pay, and not an increase
Emoluments of Staff Officers.
a reduction, however, to which all would gladly submit, for the sake of the permanent provision. Ranks Nug. 2 and 3 are taken at the full pay of their situations, with an addition nearly equivalent to their regimental pay; on a conviction that they cannot, with less, support their consequence, or provide themselves with the requisite horses and appointments.
In concluding this very hasty sketch (which I recommend to the mature deliberation of such as have power and inclination to improve our military system), I have only further to observe, that whether my reflections on the subject be just or not, it will be universally acknowledged that some change is requisite, when I state the fact within my own knowledge, that a Field Officer employed as an assistant in either of the beforementioned departments, has at present more pay than his superior officer, the Deputy, if on half pay, although the latter has superior duties, and much greater responsibility. I am, Sir, your's, &c.
ON FOREIGNERS IN THE BRITISH SERVICE.
SIR,-During the present Session of Parliament, a great deal has been said about the great number of foreigners now in British pay, and of foreign officers lately introduced into regiments of the line, and of some of them (holding the rank of general in the service) commanding districts in England and Ireland-; of the impropriety and injustice of appointing foreigners to British regiments, in giving them commands at home, I think there can be but one opinion, and I am convinced the voice of the country is completely against it, as well as that of the army, wbich must indeed consider itself as far sunk in the estimation of government which resorts to foreigners for that protection the sons of Albion can no longer afford. Look at the heroes of Maida, of Corunna, Vimis era, Talavera, Busaco, and Barossa. Ask of them if Britain has not officers, native-born officers, who are deserving of commands, and then say whether it is fair to introduce into the service whole legions foreign officers (while at this moment there are sixteen hundred applications for commissions in the line), and to appoint foreigners to district commands at home, to give them the command of reginients of militia, and to subject gentlemen of family and fortune to their orders; it is quite impossible that this can be good policy; why are not rather general-officers, who have lost their health in foreign service, and require change of climate,—why are not their actual and long services rewarded with home commands, in preference to Germans, whose services to Britain cannot have exceeded a few years.
Of late many thousand deserters from the French armies, composed of Swiss, Germans, and Poles, have been received into the ranks of our foreign regiments; these men may be good soldiers, but are they to be