required no great ikill in the draw- ivy, nor embellitnment in the cttlnuring. Nor was it diliicult to lhcw how inadequate their prefent half-pay was, either to the fupport- ing of the high acquired rank, which they held in virtue of their commillions, or of their private, merely as gentlemen.

It was alfo fitewn, in behalf of- the petition, that from the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the year 1715, when they were place-J upon the prefent efiablifhmenr, the na- val captains had been alsvays highly rewarded, either by profit- able employments, by particular gratifications, or by an ltalf-pay, double to what they now receive, when out of commilfion; though the prices of all the neceITaries of life, and expences of every fort, have fince increafed in an amazing degree, ‘and that their rank is now much higher than it was in that pe- riod. lt was concluded, that the petition lhould not fo much be con- fidered arequefi, as a jull claim upon the public.

Though nothing could be more unpopular in this country, where all people are attached to the navy, than an oppofition tothis petition, and that the oflicers of that depart- ment, are in themfelves a coniider- able, as well as refpeétable body; yet, however it happened, the mi- niller fet his face entirely againfl it, and though he acknowledged the merit of the petitioners, and granted their having a claim on the public for favour and fupport, oppofed it tipon the principle of a due attention to the prefent iiturt- tion of our finances, and to the inability of the {late to increafe its expences; he obferved, that the

admiilion of this claim, would open

EUR OPE. p193

a door to. others, in which, Vvlle- ther equally well Founded, the m, lief would not appear leis neeoful ; that the military have their claims as well as the navy; and the (hip- Wrights, a very lierviceable and ne- celTary order of men, intended to apply for an increafe of wages; that there may be others in the fer- vice of government, whofe wants may be greater, though their me- rits were lefs, and whom it might be much withed to relieve in theft; times of dillrefs; but that as fuch. general relief. was abfolutely im- praiticable, the receiving 0F (time applications, and rejeéling others, would be mconfillcnt truth that: impartial juftice which the public owes to all thofe who have sci-ed well in their feveral iiations in its fervice, and whom it Wt/Uld be im- poffible to provide for accordirg to their rank ard merit.

On the other hand it was al- ledged, that the objefft of this tzco- nomy in r0 particular a care, \t.7"C.';'- in it lhotzld be let's cctxiiiercd than almoll any other, would’ amount only to aboutéoco I. per annum. It was accordingly productive or" much fevere animadverfioti, not unmixed with ridicule: the large firms. which not long fince had been vozetl for rzzirtu, and upon other occations, which appeared of much lefs con- fequence, whether Ctmlideretl with regard to the iwerelt, the juftice, or the generofity of the public, were immediately recalled, and thrown into ever-f; point of compa- ril-on tvith the prelicnt rcquifitiran. It was (aid t0 be truly Iztughahltr, afteratcn years glorious peace, tn hear from the lirlt authority, that the finances of a great and optilc: t nation were in lo wretched 1. tlite. that lire could not ufliozxi to lmail ;: