Gambar halaman

seamen and marines on board the ships uno distinguished their conduct as had chader the orders of the said rear-admiral in racterised that of the British sovereign, the late successful attack on the combined no disappointment of views would, in all squadron of the enemy; and that the cap- human probability have taken place. The tains of the several ships be desired to sig. revolutionary principles which had been so nify the same to their respective crews, and industriously propagated in this country. to thank them for their gallant behaviour." had threatened 'the existence of our

The same Resolutions were also moved happy constitution. By the laudable exin the Commons, by the chancellor of the ertions, however, of his majesty's ministers, exchequer, and agreed to nem. con. those dangers had been averted; Jacobin

ism itself had been laid prostrate in the Debate in the Commons on the Prelimi- dust : and this country, in common with waries of Peace with France.] Nov. 3. The the rest of Europe, was henceforward order of the day being read, the House to enjoy the blessings of peace. We had proceeded to take into consideration the happily preserved our constitution, in Preliminary Articles of Peace between church and in state ; we had extended our his Majesty and the French Republic, dominion in every quarter: and our exsigned at London the 1st of October tended territories in the East and West 1801. And the said Preliminary Articles Indies had derived a security which left being read,

no ground of alarm for the permanency of Sir Edmund Harlopp rose to move an the manifold advantages which they would Address of Thanks to his Majesty for his produce. The islands of Ceylon and Trigracious communication relative to the nidad, in point of locality and commercial signature of the Preliminaries of peace with benefit, would prove of incalculable adthe French republic; and he was embold- vantage to this couniry. The moderation ened to hope for the unanimous concurrence and sound policy, which, on the part of of the House, from the universal applause his majesty's ministers, had distinguished with which the peace had been received the late negotiation, effectually rescued throughout the kingdom. For his own their conduct from the imputation of rapart, he could not help contemplating the pacity or injustice, while the territory event with exultation, as having put an that we had acquired by the event was end to one of the most arduous wars that calculated to produce lasting benefit. this country had ever been engaged in. The defection of our continental allies The zeal and unanimity with which the had left us as much unconnected with the contest (purely defensive on our part) continent as we were before the war ; had been commenced and pursued, were, while the enemy bad extended their ter. he thought, beyond all example ; and ritory and revenue so far as to render any when the numerous difficulties which mi- further prosecution of the contest not nisters had to encounter were taken into only inexpedient, but hopeless. Under consideration, their conduct entitled them these circumstances, Austria was naturally to the approbation of the country. It induced to enter into a treaty with France, was their arduous task to protect the state and thus ceased, of course, the war upon from the destructive machinations of the continent. Deserted now by that hideous Jacobinism; the doctrines of ally, upon whose exertions we had placed whose disciples went to the entire subver the greatest reliance, there remained no sion of our constitution, our government, hope of compelling the enemy to retire, and our laws, wbile they aided the inordi- within the ancient limits of their territory. nate ambition of the enemy to extend Measures of peace on our part, were their power to every quarter of the globe. then wisely resorted to; and the temper To guard agaiost these fearful con- and moderation which distinguished the sequences, was the duty of ministers; and whole of the negotiation, were deserving in the attainment of this great object, it of the utmost praise. By this generous was indispensably necessary to have re conduct we held out to Europe an illuscourse to continental alliances. The trious example of honour and of good first impression made upon the principal faith, which would not fail to prove highly powers of Europe, was nearly the same as beneficial to our interests and our reputathat

upon which Great Britain had acted. tion. Upon these grounds he gave the With them, therefore, we entered into measure of peace his cordial support, and concert, in defence of the common cause ; should conclude with moving the following and had the same zeal and perseverance Address :


“ Most Gracious Sovereign ; We, your and Ireland. He wished to bury in obliMajesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, vion the consideration of the melancholy the Commons of the United Kingdom of consequences that resulted from their de. Great Britain and Ireland, in parliament signs on the sister country but these cirassembled, beg leave to return your Ma- cumstances were too recent and too jesty our most humble thanks for having dreadful to be hastily forgotten. The adbeen graciously pleased to lay before us a dresses from some of the British societies copy of the preliminaries of peace, which and manufacturing towns to the governhave been ratified by your Majesty and ment of France breathed an obvious spirit the French republic. We assure your of revolution and were cordially received Majesty, that having taken them into our by the enemy. In so doing, did not most serious consideration, we reflect, France interfere with our internal governwith heartfelt gratitude, on the fresh ment? Had we been disposed to have proof which has been afforded, on this oc- entered into the war at that time, sufficicasion, of your Majesty's paternal care for ent grounds had been afforded; and our the welfare and happiness of your people ; forbearance bespoke the reluctáance with and contemplate with great satisfaction which the intention entertained. the prospect of a definitive treaty of peace, When, at length, by the aggression of founded on conditions, which, whilst they France, we were forced to become parties manifest your Majesty's wisdom, modera- in the war, we found Austria and Prussia tion, and good faith, will, we trust, be united against France, upon principles productive of consequences highly advan- evidently opposite to those upon which we iageous to the substantial interests of the had entered ; for their objects were cerBritish empire."

tainly hostile to the existing order of Mr. Lee (member for Dungarvon) se- things in that country, while ours was conded the motion. His business, in the purely that of self-preservation. Notwith. first place, should be to consider what standing these circumstances, it became were the objects of the war now so hap- our interest to avail ourselves of their pily terminated, and whether any of those support. Before the invasion of Holland objects had been obtained by the peace. took place, the only principle of Great If the war had been undertaken with a Britain was that of self-preservation ; but, view to reduce France to foreign subjec- after that event, we had to prevent the tion, to restore royalty to that country, or aggrandizement of France, and to protect to force a government upon the people, it our ally. It happened, unfortunately should have received his decided opposi- that notwithstanding the effectual assisttion. He had ever considered that it was ance which was afforded that country, a war of aggression on the part of France, although the enemy were completely and of self-preservation on that of this driven back to their own frontiers, the country. To show that this was the case emissaries' of Jacobinism were eminently it was necessary to advert to a declaration successful; and the people, instead of of the French government, in February uniting in support of their own indepen. 1792, that a treaty hostile to France had dence, bound themselves in strict alliance been entered into by certain continental with France. Thus did the machinations powers, to which England had been of the Jacobinical factions procure that invited to become a party, but refused to which the force of arms could not effect. accede to it. Had England consented to -Our next great object was, the destrucenter into that confederacy, the war would į tion of the enemy's commerce, as a means have been altogether unjustifiable on her of bringing them to reasonable terms. part; but this, it was well known, was not For this purpose we directed our attention the case: When, in the same year, the to the Western world. An able general, king of France declared his acceptance sir Charles Grey, directed our troops ; of the new constitution, the same was an. and the naval department of the expedia nounced by him to the several monarchs tion was under the orders of that brave of Europe, and the answer of his Britan. and skilful admiral lord St. Vincent. nic majesty proved his determination not | The enemy's colonies in that quarter to interfere with the internal concerns of were; by the prompt. exertions of these France But what was the conduct of distinguished officers, speedily reduced ; France at this time towards Great Bri. and the fruits of their successes contain? It was at that very period that her tributed greatly to the subsequent pros numerous emissaries appeared in England perity of our naval arms. After this event, our next object was, to render the and South America, it opened a mart for war, as much as possible, of a naval our manufactures, that must prove emidescription; and never, surely, had the nently beneficial lo us. This acquisition exertions of this or any other country was important also, from the consideration proved so glorious. During the American of France having added the whole of St. war, a northern confederacy existed Domingo to her territories in the West similar to that with which we had lately Indies, against which, he doubted not, to contend. We then wished to check the island of Trinidad would prove a suffithe refraetory spirit of those powers ; but cient balance. In the progress of the the circumstances of the moment did not war, we had amply shown, that our prin. permit us to make the attempt. What ciple was not aggrandizement, but secuwe had not then the power to effect, we rity. Finding, however, that France was have since accomplished. The ministry making extensive acquisitions, it became of that day were of opinion, that it was necessary for us to keep pace with her. inexpedient and hazardous to make the If France had acquired an extent of seaattempt, and therefore the question in coast in Flanders, England had obtained dispute remained undecided. At length, a far greater extent of additional coast in however, the so-much-wished-for decision Asia, highly advantageous in a commercial has taken place; and the claims which we as well as territorial point of view. In the have substantiated are of such a nature, progress of the war, notwithstanding our that they can be abandoned only with the successes, every opportunity had been naval superiority of the country. The embraced to effect the return of peace. unexampled success of our naval exertions In the first instance, we offered to restore had so increased our commercial advan. the whole of our conquests in favour of tages as to enable us to pay the most the interests of our allies ; but this proheavy taxes, and to support throughout, posal was rejected. In the negotiation the glory of the British character. We at Lisle, we had also agreed to a retroceshad acted on such principles as had laid sion of nearly an equal extent, it being the foundation of a maritime code more then the determination of ministers to readventageous than any that had ever tain only the island of Ceylon and the before existed, while we had extended Cape of Good Hope. He was at a loss, our territories in every quarter. From therefore, to conceive how those gentlemen the time that we lost America, we had who at that time approved of the terms turned our attention to the East Indies. proposed by lord Malmesbury, could, with In the late war, although aggrandizement any degree of consistency, dissent from the formed originally no object of it, yet such preliminary conditions now before the a principle became necessary, from the House. The noble lord (Grenville), who progress which the enemy had made in signed all the papers of instruction in the case the extension of their territory. The of the treaty of Lisle, he anticipated, from king of Mysore, instigated by France, some particular circumstances, would had become formidable to us, and his pro- oppose the present treaty; and if ceedings were such that we had found lordship would find himself called upon to ourselves under the necessity of adopting say how he could agree to the terms promeasures effectually to check his career. posed at Lisle, and disapprove of those This was the only Indian power which now under the consideration of parliawas in alliance with France; and the ment. A right hon. gentleman (Mr. success of our exertions has deprived her Windham), he understood, also meant to of it. We either possess or control the dissent from the present treaty; but, upon whole of the Mysorean territory; and what grounds, it was extremely difficult while we had obtained this great addition to conjecture; he too, having been a mem. to our territory, we had tranquillized and ber of the cabinet during the negotiations rendered friendly the native princes of at Lisle, As he was bound by bis oath to that quarter of the world. While we thus support the interests of his country, he extended our dominions on the continent could not have approved of the terms of of India, we had rendered them still more fered at Lisle without being convinced secure by the acquisition of the island of that they were beneficial to the state ; and Ceylon, the best of all the Dutch colonies. if they were, he could not consistently In the West Indies we had also received dissent from the present treaty, which ina material acquisition in the possession of cluded the possessions of the valuable isTrinidad. Being contiguous to North ands of Ceylon and Trinidad. If he dis[VOL. XXXVI.]


80, bis

approved of the terms in the former case, the internal concerns of that or any other he was convinced he would have thrown foreign country. The present government up his situation rather than continue in of France was more powerful than that of office, when measures contrary to his any of the Bourbons; and if the people sense and judgment were adopted; for, on were satisfied, it was not our business to a recent occasion (the Catholic question), endeavour to make them otherwise, by he had acted precisely in that manner; telling them that they were ruled by a and he was ready to give the right hon. military government. Whether we formed gentleman every credit for the purity of treaties with the Buonapartés, or with the his intentions and the rectitude of his Bourbons, was of very


consequence conduct. The probability, therefore, to us; and as to the fidelity of treaties, he was, that he did not disapprove of the considered it as a mere chimera, as it only terms proposed at Lisle ; and if so, it re- had influence as long as the contracting mained for him to reconcile his conduct parties considered it to be beneficial to on that occasion with his opposition to their interests. This was the undisguised the present measure.-With respect to language of a former emperor of Morocco, the other articles of the treaty, they were who said that he broke treaties the monearly the same as those of the negotia- ment it was his interest so to do. Other tions at Lisle. It might, perhaps, be monarchs, the emperor added, endeaasked, whether we had obtained any of voured to throw the blame on each the objects of the war?

His answer

other; but he took all the credit of the would be, that we undoubtedly had. We transaction to himself. The spirit of had preserved our constitution, and had the former part of this declaration, he was laid the foundation of an increase of com- persuaded, actuated almost every

modern mercial prosperity to the country. In court; and hence any argument of the the prosecution of the war, it necessarily description alluded to would weigh but became a struggle of conquest; but the little in his estimation.

The war was use we had made of our acquisitions was commenced, on our part, for the preserthe best proof of the moderation and jus- vation of our constitution; the object had tice of our intentions. The only objec. been answered, and peace was therefore tion which certain gentlemen could form advisable. The constitution of England to the terms of the treaty was, that we was purchased with the blood and treasure consented to neutralise instead of retain- of our ancestors. It had been handed ing the Cape of Good Hope. But was down to us as a sacred charge, and it was this an object which should have induced our duty to preserve it inviolate for our ministers to continue the war for another posterity. Mr. Lee next adverted to the campaign? and so, he would ask, what national debt. At the close of the Amethat consequence was likely to prove? rican war, it was 237,000,0001., and at was there any probability of a protraction present it amounted to between four and of the war enabling us to obtain better five hundred millions ; but at the former terins ? If, with the assistance of the period, we had no means of paying off the principal powers of the continent, we were debt. From the sinking fund the country unable to drive the enemy within their had derived manifest advantages. By means ancient limits, how could we do so when of this fund, the gradual payment of the we stood unassisted and alone? But, it national debt was provided for. If the might be asked, where was the security peace continued seventy-three years, the for the continuance of the peace? His whole of the debt would be cleared off. answer should be, that it was equally the On the whole, he considered the present interest of France and of this country to peace as the best that could possibly have preserve a system of pacification. Both been obtained under all the circumstances liad gained by the war, and their several of the case. objects being attained, neither could have Lord Leveson Gower could not agree, any reason to renew the contest. Another that any gentleman who was friendly to argument might be advanced with respect the terms offered at Lisle, was necessarily to the stability of the existing government bound to give his approbation to the preof France ; but whether the present order sent preliminaries. At the time lord of things continued, or the colossal power Malmesbury went to Lisle, the situation of the republic tumbled to pieces, in ei- of this country was very different from ther case it could properly be no concern what it was at the present moment. A of ours; we had no right to interfere in short time before that negotiation commenced the Bank had stopped payment, duced his majesty's ministers to enter into and commercial credit had received a a negotiation with the French republic, most violent shock, a spirit of dangerous and to conclude the preliminaries of the insubordination existed in our feet, and treaty submitted this night to its consi. the funds had fallen so low as almost to deration. The very reasons urged by my give birth to despair of the future re. noble friend against the nature and terms sources of the country. In Ireland, of the treaty, tend, in my opinion, most symptoms of violent disaffection had been directly and strongly to evince their prodisplayed, and communications were held priety, and their claim to the approbation with the enemy for the purpose of over. of the country. He has compared the throwing the government. The navy of project as proposed by lord Grenville at the enemy was then nearly equal to our Lisle with the articles of the present ad. own; in the North sea, we were inferior justment-a mode of proceeding unwarin point of numbers; and in the Mediter- ranted by the fair consideration of both ranean, not a British frigate was to be in their various relations; and he has as. seen. But how changed was the present similated things between which no comaspect of affairs ! Credit and commerce parison can exist. I state in positive had risen to the utmost pitch of splendour. terms, that they cannot be compared ; for Ireland was for ever secured to us by the no man will venture to deny that lord act of Union. Our fleet was in a state of Grenville would have been glad to have the most excellent discipline, and the taken less from the government of France spirit of our sailors was elated by the re- than he demanded at that period of negomembrance of the brilliant victories in tiation. After nine years effusion of blood which they had shared. Such was our

---after contracting an increase of debt to state now, contrasted with what it was at the amount of nearly 200 millions-after the time when lord Malmesbury had ne- the indefatigable and uninterrupted exergotiated at Lisle. Gentlemen seemed to tions of the country—but, at the same forget that the cessions now made were time, after a series of the most splendid infinitely greater than those proposed in achievements and unexampled successes, that negotiation. We were, in addition to there is not a man in the kingdom who the possessions then proposed to be ceded, must not admit that peace was a most denow to give up Minorca, Surinam, Porto sirable attainment, was the object of his Ferrajo, and Malta. And what had we sincerest wishes and most ardent desires. obtained in recompence for such liberality But, notwithstanding the hope and zeal of restitution? By the terms proposed at with which all must have looked and laLisle, the integrity of Portugal was exboured for the restoration of tranquillity, pressly stipulated for, on the footing it I solemnly disclaim the plea which has stood previous to the war ; whereas, we been set up by some persons the plea of now pretended to guarantee this integrity over-ruling necessity. I am sure, that after Portugal had purchased her own such a cause for the conclusion of the peace by humiliation and sacrifices. The preliminary treaty will not be traced to terms of the preliminaries were, he con- any thing like satisfactory grounds. I am fessed, far below his expectations, yet he desirous that his majesty's ministers was not disposed to give a vote against should, in the adoption of that measure, the peace.

Peace was an object for which be tried by those reasons in which the war he was heartily joyful, and he was not now originated, by which it was carried on, prepared peremptorily to assert that it and which were found to exist when the could have been obtained on better terms. contest ceased. Tha peace, such as it was, had excited In saying thus much, I am, Sir, aware universal joy throughout the country, and that the peace, however eligible, however having himself witnessed this joy, he could adequate to the relative state of this not consent to vote against it, though he country and of France, however it can be had thought it his duty to throw out these justified upon the principles of sound observations.

policy, is not free of all evil, of all chance, Lord Hawkesbury rose and said :-1 of all risk or danger. But let me ask, rise, Sir, at this early hour of the debate, wbat event has taken place in the recolin consequence of the observations which lection of all who hear me, or what event have fallen from my noble friend, and in may yet take place, in accounting for order to explain, I trust, to the satisfac- which it has been or will be possible to tion of the House, the motives which in. remove every objection? I do not al

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »