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ministration. Lord George Germain proved that he had furnished him with thirty thousand men, whereas General Howe said nineteen thousand were sufficient. As to confidence, so great was the trust reposed in him, that the military plans and measures were left to himself. * In 1777 the British troops amounted to forty-one thousand, and the American to twenty-three, It must, therefore, either have been something in the war itself which rendered suc-, cess unattainable, in his mode of carrying it on, and not the alledged want of support and confidence from the Ministry that obstructed his exertions. It was generally reported, and never contradicted, that dissipation of every species prevailed in the army while under his command.
That certainly was not the most effectual mode of subjugating America. In this case, the most partial admirers of Burke must acknowledge that he acted as a party man, as determined to throw blame on Ministers,
* See Stedman's History, vol. i. near the end.
whether they were or were not blameable. He and Mr. Fox pressed urgently for an inquiry into the conduct of the Howes. The Ministers declared they had no share in any attack upon their character, (“ Whatever,' said Lord North, “our opinion may be in certain matters") and thought an inquiry unnecessary, but did not oppose its institution. It evidently appeared, that although the vinaication of the General was the ostensible object of the inquirers, the condemnation of Ministry was the real. Many of the questions that were put did not respect the Commander in Chief. Those interrogatories that were relative to him, rather regarded his general character and conduct than special proceedings.
The answers of the evidences called by Howe were more in the style of general eulogium than of special exculpation. Ministry seeing that Burke and the other Opposition members were partial in their interrogatories, called in witnesses on the other side. General Robertson and Mr. Galway gave a circumstantial, particular narrative, that by
no means coincided with the opinion which
We cannot, consistently with impartiality, credit patriotism, or indeed justice, with the carrying on an inquiry whilst it appeared to tend to one object, and when it appeared to tend to another, propose its abandonment. On the other hand, it
may be observed, that if Ministers could establish proof of misconduct or neglect in General Howe, it was their duty to bring forward that proof. · As no evidence has been adduced to substantiate the charges against the General, no person is warranted in imputing to him negligence or any other defect in his military conduct. The inquiry included General Burgoyne. Nothing came out, tending to impeach his military character. He had been unfortunate; but there
was no evidence that he had failed either in prosecuting advantage, or in exerting himself to ward off calamity.
A hostile manifesto from Spain, declaratory of its intention to join in the war, verified a prediction of Burke respecting the many bad consequences from the rupture with America. At the time that he resumed his just disapprobation of measures so hurtful to the country, he attacked men with less reasonable grounds. He charged Lord Sandwich with being the immediate cause of the Spanish war, by not having, in the preceding campaign, furnished the Admiral with a sufficient force to conquer the French navy. Here he , again censured the - Minister without substantiating the grounds.
A bill was proposed in the house to take away, for a limited time, certain exemptions from being pressed into the navy, a bill that necessity alone certainly could justify; but that, when we were on the eve of being en
gaged in war with an additional power to those by which we were already so much annoyed, it appeared necessity did justify. The preservation of the constitution was Burke's principal object. Not admitting the necessity, he strenuously opposed such an infringement on personal liberty. This session continued to an unusual length, but ended
During this campaign affairs wore a very unfavourable aspect. The combined fleets of France and Spain advanced to the channel; and the British fleet found it prudent to retire, in order to take advantage of the
The campaign in America was attended with various success; but Britain was far from advancing in the object of the contest. The national expenditure was increasing in a most enormous degree. Still, however, she externally made a gallant stand, distressed and alınost destroyed the commerce of the enemy. Her naval exertions, in various parts of the globe, were such as shewed that the First Lord of the