[Transcribed by Megan Stevens]
"My Lords have given the most careful consideration to the existing system of the Commissariat, both with respect to the due execution of the services to be performed by it, and to the checks upon the conduct of the persons composing it, and they are strongly impressed with the advantages which have resulted to the public service for some years past, from the mode in which supplies have been furnished, and a system of the account of the expenditure has been established, under the authority and control exercised by the Commissary-in-Chief over that Department.
My Lords are likewise sensible of the improvements which have been introduced into the management of this branch of the public expenditure, by the several regulations which have been successively adopted to correct and prevent abuses, and by the general tendency of these regulations to establish a vigilant superintendence over the expenditure in its progress: and they therefore consider it as of the greatest importance to the public interests, that these regulations, and the whole of the system for the government of the Commissariat abroad to which they relate, should be maintained, and continue to be enforced in the strictest manner.
Their Lordships are at the same time no less strongly impressed with the importance of carrying the reduction of the establishments, ...gated [?] or augmented during the war, to the greatest practicable extent, and they are are [sic] of opinion that under the present circumstances of the return of peace, these desirable objects may both by attained, and that the preservation of all the beneficial effects of the existing system for the government of the Commissariat abroad, may be made, consistent with a material reduction in the establishment of the office of the Commissariat at home.
By taking the conduct of the services now under the management of the Commissary-in-Chief under the immediate direction of this Board, the appointment of a Commissary-in-Chief may be dispensed with, and the number of clerks employed under him considerably reduced, the former by the transfer of his functions to the Secretaries and Assistant Secretary of this Board, acting under its direction and authority: and the latter, by the cessation of the constant daily correspondence which now necessarily takes place between the Treasury and the Commissary-in-Chief, and of the labour of preparing voluminous copies and reports for this Board, which now occupies a considerable number of persons in his office, whose services may of course be dispensed with.
To effect these purposes, my Lords are of opinion that it will be proper to constitute a distinct and separate department, under the immediate direction of this board, but wholly independent of the ordinary business of the Treasury, to be denominated The Commissariat Department, and to be placed under the superintendence of a person, to be called the Principal Clerk of the Commissariat Department."
The Minute then prescribes in detail the execution of this alteration, and then proceeds:-
"In making these arrangements, by which the future services of John Charles Herries, Esq. will no longer be requisite in the situation of Commissary-in-Chief, the arduous duties of which he has discharged in a manner not only reflecting the greatest credit upon himself, but productive of the most essential benefits to the public service, their Lordships feel that they should not discharge an important and gratifying part of their public duties, the acknowledgment of meritorious service, it they omitted to accompany their minute with the expression of the high sense which they entertain of the services which Mr. Herries has rendered to the public: and with every testimonial of his able, zealous, and meritorious conduct at the head of the Commissariat, during a period, and under circumstances, which have occasioned a pressure of business to an unprecedented extent in that department, both at home and abroad."
Mr. Herries, as we before mentioned, has received the appointment of Auditor of the Civil List.