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42 GEORGE THE THIRD, A. D. 1801.
“ Gentlemen of the House of Commons;
“ I have directed such estimates to be OF THE
prepared for the various demands for FIRST PARLIAMENT
the public service, as appear to me to be best adapted to the situation in which we are now placed. It is painful to me to
reflect, that provision cannot be made for UNITED KINGDOM
defraying the expenses which must un
avoidably be continued, for a time, in GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND. maintaining an adequate peace establish
different parts of the world, and for
ment, without large additional supplies. King's Speech on Opening the Ses. You may, however, be assured, that all sion.] October 29, 1801. His Majesty possible attention shall be paid to such opened the Session with the following economical arrangements as may not be Speech to both Houses :
inconsistent with the great object of “ My Lords and Gentlemen; effectually providing for the security of “ I have the satisfaction to acquaint all my dominions. you, that the importan negotiations, in « My Lords and Gentlemen ; which I was engaged at the close of the “ I cannot sufficiently describe the last session of parliament, are brought to gratification and comfort' I derive from a favourable conclusion. The differences the relief, which the bounty of divine with the Northern Powers have been ad- Providence has afforded to my people, by justed by a convention with the emperor the abundant produce of the late harvest. of Russia, to which the kings of Denmark In contemplating the situation of the and Sweden have expressed their readi. country at this important conjuncture, it ness 10 accede. The essential rights for is impossible for me to refrain from exwhich we contended are thereby secured; pressing the deep sense I entertain of the and provision is made that the exercise temper and fortitude which have been of them shall be attended with as little manifested by all descriptions of my molestation as possible to the subjects of faithful subjects, under the various and the contracting parties.
complicated difficulties with which they “ Preliminaries of peace have also have had to contend. been ratified between me and the French “ The distinguished valour and eminent republic; and I trust that this important services of my forces by sea and land, arrangement, whilst it manifests the jus- which, at no period have been surpassed; tice and moderation of my views, will the unprecedented exertions of the militia also be found conducive to the substantial and fencibles, and the zeal and perseveinterests of this country, and honourable rance of the yeomanry and volunteer to the British character :-Copies of corps of cavalry and infantry, are entithese Papers shall be forthwith laid be- tled to my warmest acknowledgments ; fore you, and I earnestly hope that the and I am persuaded that you will join transactions to which they refer will meet with me in reflecting, with peculiar satis. with the approbation of my parliament. faction, on the naval and military opera[VOL. XXXVI.]
tions of the last campaigo; and on the when the nation had distinguished its successful and glorious issue of the expe- character by the firm, manly, and deterdition to Egypt, which has been marked mined posture of preparation into which throughout by achievements, tending, in it had put itself on the menaces of an their consequences and by their example, invasion. The negotiation was begun to produce lasting advantages and honour and the peace concluded, therefore, at to this country.
a moment the most auspicious to the "It is my first wish, and most fervent British character, when our resources prayer, that my people may experience were unimpaired, and our armies triumihe reward they have so well merited, in phant. It was not his purpose to trace a full enjoyment of the blessings of peace, the horrors of the French Revolution, in a progressive increase of the national from which every civilized mind must commerce, credit, and resources; and, turn with disgust; he desired only to above all, in the undisturbed possession draw the eyes of all ndankind to the of their religion, laws, and liberties, under present posture of the people who had the safeguard and protection of that con brought upon themselves the mischief, as stitution, which it has been the great an instructive lesson co, all other nations. object of all our efforts to preserve, and After enduring for a series of years every which it is our most 'sacred duty to trans- possible misery, they had now come to mit, unimpaired, to our descendants." a mere chance only of restoration to the
blessings of a regulated system. He was Debate in the Lords on the Address of far from defending the ancient monarchy Thanks.] His Majesty's Speech having of France; but every man of that country been read from the woolsack, and after- must look back with regret on the com'wards by the clerk at the table,
parative freedom, security and happiness Lord Bolton rose to call their lordships which he enjoyed under the monarchy. attention to the sentiments of paternal It was a grand and magnificent triumph affection with which his majesty had for England to make a peace, when her announced the happy tidings of his having Davies and armies were everywhere successfully adjusted the differences with conquerors, from the frozen seas of the the northern powers, and ratified prelimi- north to the pillars of Hercules ; and from naries of peace with the French republic. Africa to the extremest shores of Asia These happy events had been brought and America. The feeling was rendered about by the promptitude and alacrity still more gratifying and exalted, when with which his majesty's beneficent views we made the triumphs of our heroes only for the welfare of his people had been accessory to the spirit of moderation seconded by the vigilance of his councils; which dictated our appeal to arms when the bravery and achievements of his the unexampled achievements of that forces by sea and land; and the zeal, band of heroes who had rescued Egypt perseverance and fortitude of every from its invaders, were made only to description of his faithful people. He restore it to its rightful owner. But, should not at that moment go into the while the sentiments of moderation which detail of the preliminaries of peace, actuated his majesty's councils dignified which had been received with such uni- the cause in which we had been engaged, versal marks of exaltation throughout what a security for the continuance of the country. The universal eagerness of peace did not the possession of such navies joy with which the event' was received, and armies give to the nation! What'a would be confirmed by a careful exami- guarantee for the continuance of peace nation of the terms upon which it bad was the character of that army, and of been accomplished. The great leading that gallant commander, who, after features of the peace were known; and achieving the most signal triumphis, as the papers would be officially laid showed that he possessed a quality even before them, he should content himself more splendid than heroism, modesty, with glancing at a few topics, one of which disclaimed all merit to himself, which only he should presume to press ; that he might heap it upon the tomb of and that was, the fitness of the time at his departed predecessor, and spread it which ministers had concluded the preli- over the ranks of his companions in arm's! miparies of peace. They had chosen a When he regarded the noble struggle moment for the negotiation when our which this country had made, unassisted resources were in their full vigour, and and alone, it filled him with enthusiastic admiration. Some of our allies had the unprecedented, exertions of the militia: already made peace; some had been and fencibles, and the zeal and perseinvaded by the enemy, and the integrity verance of the yeomanry, and volunteer of Europe could no longer be pre-corps of cavalry and infantry.; and we served. The manner in which former most cordially join with your majesty in negotiations had been carried on, and the sentiments, so justly due to the naval the demands made by the enemy on and military operations of the last camthose occasions furnished another argu-paign, and to the successful and gloriment in favour of the present peace, by ous issue of the expedition to Egypt, showing the difference between what had which has been marked throughout by been at one time demanded, and since achievements, which, in their conseacceded to. His lordship concluded quences, and by their example, tend with moving the following Address : to produce lasting advantage and honour
“ Most Gracious Sovereign ;-We, your to this country. Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, “ We beg leave to testify to your mathe Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in par- jesty our most grateful sense of your maliament assembled, return your majesty jesty's uniform concern and regard for the our humble thanks for your majesty's most welfare of your people;. and to declare gracious speech from the throne.
the unfeigned earnestness with which we “We acknowledge with gratitude your join with your majesty in most fervent majesty's goodness in acquainting us that prayer that your majesty's people may the important negotiation in which your experience the reward they have so well majesty was engaged at the close of the merited, in a full enjoyment of the blesslast session, have been brought to a fa- ings of peace, in a progressive increase of vourable conclusion; and we beg leave the national commerce, credit, and reto express to your majesty our satisfaction sources, and, above all, in the undisthat the difficulties with the northern turbed possession of their religion, laws, powers have been adjusted by a conven- and liberties, under the safeguard and tion with the Emperor of Russia, to which protection of that constitution, which it the kings of Denmark and Sweden have has been the great object of all our efforts expressed their readiness to accede; and to preserve, and which it is our most that preliminaries of peace have also sacred duty and determined resolution to been ratified between your majesty and transmit unimpaired to our descendants." the French republic.
Lord Lilford rose to second the ad“We return your majesty our sincere dress. He congratulated their lordships on thanks for tbe communications which your the happy tidings that peace had been majesty has been pleased to direct to concluded with the French republic, an be laid before us ; and we beg leave to event which had diffused universal joy assure your majesty, that we will, with throughout the kingdom, and must imthe utmost diligence, take them into press their lordships with the same sentiour most serious consideration.
ments of exultation and pride; the more " While we most cordially rejoice with so as the event was not purchased by the your majesty in the relief which the humiliation of Great Britain, the sacrifice bounty of Divine Providence bas afforded of any of her important interests, or the to your majesty's people by the abundant least danger to our happy constitution. produce of the late harvest; we at the The blessings that peace would necessarily same time beg leave to testify our most bring with it must present themselves to cordial concurrence in the sentiments the observation of every man. To prove which your majesty has been pleased to the full extent of this, it was only necesexpress, of the temper and fortitude which sary to look back to the melancholy situahave been manifested by all descriptions tion in which we stood when parliament was
your majesty's subjects, under the last called together, and compare it with various and complicated difficulties with the alteration of circumstances that had which they have had to contend. since taken place. At the time to which
* We reflect with the greatest pride he referred, every member cast his eyes and exultation, on the distinguished around him with apprehension and alarm, valour and eminent services of your ma- and saw po prospect of an early cessation jesty's forces by sea and land, which at of hostilities. On the contrary, the war no period have been surpassed; we have assumed an aspect of new terror, in conwitnessed, with most heartfelt satisfaction, sequence of the menaced interference of
the northern powers; while we had the The Address was agreed to, nem. diss. gigantic force of France to contend with nearer home, and the fate of Egypt hung The King's Answer to the Lords' Adin suspense.
Our domestic situation was, dress.] To the Address of the Lords his if possible, still more melancholy Our Majesty returned this Answer: beloved sovereign, afflicted with severe “ My lords; I thank you for this dutie indisposition, and administration divided ful and loyal Address : your conduct on among themselves; government for some this occasion, and your assurances of the time in a state of inefficiency ; the people attention you will give to those objects I threatened with all the horrors of an im- have directed to be laid before you, are mediate famine, and reduced to the ut- such as I expected from the wisdom and most distress, in consequence of the high anxious zeal for the public interest, which price of provisions; and the country me have always guided your proceedings : naced with invasion. Let their lordships nothing can be more grateful to my feelhold those well-grounded causes of alarm ings than the sense you express of my in their consideration, and looking at the desire to promote the welfare and happipresent posture of our affairs both at home ness of my people." and abroad, ask themselves, if they had not reason to prostrate themselves before Debale in the Commons on the Address the God of Mercies with all humility, and of Thanks.] His majesty's Speech havpour forth songs of praise and thanks- ing been read from the Chair, giving? Owing to the vigilance of admi- Lord Lovaine rose to move an Address nistration, supported by the vigorous ex- of thanks. He was convinced, he said, ertions of our gallant officers by sea and that every member would coneur with land, we had been again put in possession him in offering their acknowledgments to of our maritime rights, and security had his majesty for his most gracious speech, been obtained for our kolding them, free and in expressing their exultation and from question or infringement, for the gratitude for the happy consummation of future. While every other country which that event which had restored tranquillity had opposed the prisciples inseparable to Europe; an event which, as it was from revolutions, had either had its go- viewed by the great majority of the kingvernment subverted, or its rights more or dom with satisfaction, would, he hoped, less invaded and injured, this happy em- give rise to the expression of but one senpire had safely stood the shock; the fabric timent on the part of its representatives of her constitution remained unimpaired, a sentiment of joy at the restoration of her religion unviolated, and her laws and the blessings of peace, by a treaty, highly liberties preserved. From abroad we had beneficial to the nation.
When the prelittle to dread, and at bome we could liminaries should be laid before the House, have nothing to fear from domestic he was persuaded it would appear that the enemies; since the few who might continue terms were no way derogatory to British to act under the influence of the pernicious faith, or the expectations which British principles, that had so much endangered valour entitled us to form. Who could other countries, would find that they had look, without exultation, at the state of nolonger any to aid and encourage their the country, after a series of military and mischievous designs. Impressed with naval achievements which had never been these sentiments, he cordially supported exceeded ? Every quarter of the globe the Address.
had been the theatre of British vaThe Duke of Bedford said, that the lour. The successes that we had obtainAddress had his hearty concurrence. ed during the war, and particularly during Indeed, if he could enter into any difference the last year, would remain eternal moon the present occasion, it would have numents to future ages, that we had atbeen with the noble lord who moved the tempted no achievement, by the accomAddress, as to that part of his argument plishment of which we had not added to in which he laid so much stress on the ihe character of the country. The resfitness of the present time for the conclu- toration of Egypt to its ancient possessors sion of peace; his own opinion being, was a circumstance which reflected the that a fit time might have been found much highest lustre on the individuals who had earlier. He hoped that, as speedily as effected it, and the wisdom of the counpossible, the constitution, of which the cils by which it had been planned. To people had been so long deprived, would lis majesty's ministers were due the apbe restored to them.