« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
doned without committing a crime de- of the government operated with consiserving the severest punishment. But derable power. I urged then, and still that negotiation, we have been told, was urge, that the question of the stability or entered into, not so much from any instability of the government ought not pacific inclination on the part of his ma to be treated as of great consequence. I jesty's ministers, as in compliance with recalled to the recollection of the House, the sentiments of the public. We have that none of the convulsions or changes more than once heard them rejoice in its of the French revolution, none of the failure, and ayow that they recurred to it shocks and contentions of the different for the purpose of facilitating the adop. parties, had produced any material altetion of a solid system of finance. Such a ration in the relations which France estamotive operates pow no longer. At blished with foreign powers. She had, length, in January 1800, the chief consul at an early period, made peace with of France makes a direct overture of Prussia, and with that power she sędupeace. What answer did we return? lously preserved that peace during all the Why, that the most effectual mode of stormy times that succeeded the ratificafacilitating peace would be to restore the tion of it. But, Sir, we were told by Bourbons; that, indeed, was not the only his majesty's ministers to pause. We did means, but it was left to the French pause from January 1800 to October government to suggest any other. Was 1801, and we have added 73 millions of it the most likely method to prove our debt since the impertinent answer, for I pacific wishes to ask Buonaparté to cut can call it by no other name, returned to his own throat; for the first effect of the the overtures of the chief consul. In restoration of the Bourbons would, in all other words, Sir, we have added as much probability, have been the sacrifice of his to our national debt in that short period, life? But were the other means at which as the whole of our debt consisted of we hinted, the possession of Ceylon and from the period of the Reyolution to the Trinidad ? Would not Buonaparté at seven years' war. This pause of his ma. that time have given us up both these jesty's ministers cost five times as much islands-aye, and the Cape into the bar- as all the duke of Marlborough's cam- . gain? We might then have had Egypt paigns. by the convention of El-Arish. The But it is said, that the case was altered gallant Abercromby would not, indeed, by the defection of our allies; and the have fallen covered with laurels in the noble lord asks us, whether we would lap of victory, nor would our brave army trust to the chance of reviving a third have acquired such immortal honour; but coalition, and the consequent expenditure we should at least have had Egypt with of blood and treasure?" Sir, I say the out the loss of blood or of treasure. And experience of the first coalition would what would then have been the case in have been quite sufficient to have deterred Europe?. The chief consul might not me from attempting any other, and the perhaps have relinquished the Nether. argument would have applied with as lands, nor the left bank of the Rhine. much strength many years ago, as it does But in Italy he had only the Genoese at the present moment. The noble lord territory: we had nothing then to resist next alludes to the principles and power to the south-eastward of the Alps, and of France. For my own.part, I never had the forces of our allies were victorious to much dread of French principles, though the frontiers of France. Then did the I certainly have no slight apprehension of right hon. gentleman ransack the English French power. Of the influence of France language for epithets of severity and upon the continent, I am as sensible as invective against the man whom he now any man can be; but this is an effect contends we ought to treat with such which I do not impute to the peace but to decorum. But here I must do that right the war. It is the right hon. gentleman hon. gentleman the justice to acknow himself who has been the greatest curse ledge, that he confessed he indulged in of the country by this aggrandisement of that invective because it pleased him, but France. To France we may apply what that it would be no obstruction in his that gentleman applied formerly on anmind to any other negotiation which other occasion we may say, circumstances migbt sender it proper to Me Tenedon, Chrysenque, et Cyllaa enter into with him. At that time the Apollinis urbes, consideration of the want of the stability Et Scyron cepisse.
He is the great prominent cause of all Sir, for my own part, I cannot help this greatness of the French republic. thinking that the encouragement given to How did we come into this situation? By the arts and sciences, the increasing maintaining a war upon grounds origi- patronage in France of agriculture and pally unjust. It was ihis that excited a of commerce, will make the minds of the spirit of proud independence on the part people more pacific. It is a notorious of the enemy: it was this that lent him fact, that the joy with which the French such resistless vigour : it was this that received the communication of the peace, gave them energy and spirit, that roused was quite as great and as sincere as it was them to such efforts, that inspired them in this country. The chief consul well with a patriotism and a zeal which no opposi- knew, that in making peace he fulfilled tion could check, and no resistance subdue. the desires of the people whom he guverns,
If I am asked what my opinion is of as much as his majesty's ministers accomthe future, my reply is, that, to put us in plished the wishes of the people of Enge complete enjoyment of the blessings of land. What, then, remains io be consi. peace, small establishments alone are dered, but this affair of commerce ? necessary. It is by commercial pursuits Many persons are fearful that our comand resources that we must attempt to merce will suffer from the competition of compensate for the aggrandisement of our France. I have no such fears. · As far as ancient rival : to cope with him in large our trade can be attacked by the rivalship establishments, in expensive navies and of France, I think that rivalship will do armies, will be the surest way to unnerve us good. If, as some of you think, the our efforts and diminish our means. Sir, weight of our taxation will enable France I am not sanguine enough, though I think to rival us, is not that, I would ask, an and hope the peace will be lasting, to cal. additional argument in favour of peace? culate on a seventy years' peace.
But The right hon. gentleman who spoke still I am sanguine to a certain degree in last, alludes to the principles and power my expectations, that the new state of of France. Of the former he is no longer France will turn the disposition of her afraid, though he is of the latter. If this people to a less hostile mind towards be the case, is it not rather strange that this country. I do think that Buona. he should think of assailing principles by parté's government is less likely to be guns and pikes and cannon ; but that, adverse to Great Britain than the house when he is afraid of the power of France, of Bourbon was. God forbid that I he would make peace? Sir, principles should insult a fallen family; but the in- never were, and never will be annihilated terests of my country coinpel me to say, by force. I never had so much dread as that the chief consul cannot have a more some gentlemen had of French principles. inveterate spirit, and a more determined I never conceived that they would have hostility towards us, than the house of Bour- much influence in this country. I never bon h.. It has been said with truth, that thought that Paris, under the dominion of the trade of France has been nearly an- Robespierre beld out a very inviting exnikilated; but I believe, the accounts from ample to the British capital. Sir, the the interior of France do not represent French revolution was calculated to fix her to be in a desolate state ; and for men's minds more eagerly upon the quesHeaven's sake let us not forget, that the tion of liberty. But, was the sword the revolution has produced the effect of best means of opposing it? Disgrace and removing many of those internal griev. defeat might have tended to weaken it in ances under which France groaned under the opinion of many, but victory and the old government. It has abolished the glory only gave it additional currency corvées, a most vexatious tax; the feuda. and credit with the great mass of the lities, the odious and unjust immunities of people. the rich from the payment of taxes; it I proceed now to a subject connected has abolished the privileges of the nobi. with our domestic situation; I mean lity, not those privileges which place the Ireland, which one noble lord seems to nobility as a barrier between the crown think has been treated with a delicate hand. and the people, but those privileges which of the union with Ireland I will not at enabled them to tyrapnise over and op. this late hour enter into an investigation ; press their inferiors:- in a word, the time will best show whether it be likely to Freneh have made those reforms which strengthen the connexion between the we did two centuries ago.
two countries, But when we hear of this [VOL. XXXVI.]
of the peace.
mixture of delicacy and firmness, let me in connexion with France. In the Medi. ask what delicacy there was in the burn- terranean, we did not then stipulate for ings and massacres ? The noble lord has the establishment of the republic of the been incautious in the selection of his Seven Islands, which now form a barrier words; he bas spoken of indulgences to to Turkey on the eastern side. In the be granted to the people in consequence West Indies we were in possession of
Is the substitution of Cape Nicola Mole and Jeremie, in addicommon law for martial law, or the resto. tion to our otber conquests ; them we ration of the Habeas Corpus, to be con agreed to give up, keeping only the Cape sidered as an indulgence? Sir, there and Trinidad. Upon the whole, he was were times in which these were considered decidedly of opinion that the terms now as sacred pillars of the constitution, not obtained were more favourable for the as indulgencies. If they are restored to country than those proposed at Lisle.vigour, I shall receive them as a right. I He then entered into an examination of cannot be grateful for them as a boon.- the present articles, which he contended Sir, I have nothing more to say, but to were calculated very much to effect the thank the House for the attention with security of our Eastern and Western poswhich they have honoured me, and to beg sessions. To those who wished to conpardon for having trespassed on them so tinue the war for the purpose of reducing long. I rejoice at the peace--cordially, the power of France, he wished to state, sincerely, heartily rejoice at it. I hope that another campaign could not be made it will be lasting. I believe it will; but at a less expense than forty millions, and to the last hour of my life I shall never a perpetual annuity (except for the opecease lamenting that it was not made years ration of the sinking fund) of two mil. ago, when we might perhaps have had lions per annum, in addition to our other better terms, but when we could certainly burthens. Even certain success would have had as good as those which have been not have been worth such a price. He submitted to us this day.
perfectly concurred with his poble friend Mr. Chancellor Addington said, that in thinking that we ought to watch with after the able arguments that had been care any tendency to increase the colonial advanced in favour of the question, it system of this country. He was by no was difficult to find any topics that had means satisfied of the wisdom of those not before been alluded to. "It had always wliose object seemed to be to prevent appeared to him, as well as to many others, France from becoming a commercial that the duty of negotiation commenced power. He wished to see France poswhen all hopes of continental aid in check- sessed of coinmerce; he wished to see ing the power of France were at an end. her possessed of interests which would His predecessors had been of this opinion, make her conscious of our maritime and had twice sought a negotiation, power. He wished to see her possessed though their efforts had been unsuccessful. of interests which, in the case of an As soon, therefore, as his majesty had unfortunate rupture, we might have the been graciously pleased to deliver the means of attacking. A right hon. friend authority of the country into the hands of his used to say, that in this contest we of the present ministers, they had thought bad gained all which we had not lost; it necessary to follow the same example. but in concluding this treaty we had They had commenced a negotiation, and acted with the greatest honour and good their efforts had been crowned with suc- faith to our allies; we had preserved all cess. A comparison had been made be. our ancient dominions, and had made tween the terms which were proposed at important acquisitions both in the East Lisle, and those which had now been and in the West. Independent of all agreed upon; but it should be recollected, this, an arrangement liad been made with that since the negotiation at Lisle, the the powers of the North, by which our National debt of this country had increased righis had been fully recognised and no less than 150 millions. As that nego- secured; and finally, that great and most tiation it was proposed to restore to France beneficial measure, the union with Ireand her allies all that had been taken land, had been carried into complete effect. from them; a measure that must have We had closed the contest with consoli. been more dangerous to us at that time dated power, and with augmented means, then it could be at present, because which he was convinced would make the Tippoo Sultaun was then in force, and power of this country equal to that of France. He was ready, however, to of France, was by stemming the torrent acknowledge, that it depended upon the of her military progress; but he did not wisdom of government and of that now think it in the power of this country House, whether this peace should be a to prevent the acquisitions of France upon blessing or a misfortune. On the part of the continent. He was of opinion, that the king's present ministers, he could only the glorious achievements of our navy say, that the peace which had been made had placed this country in a situation of honestly, should be kept faithfully. No honour; and considered that the exertions encouragement should be given to any we had made, would be viewed by history persons, whatever their character miglit as highly meritorious. Although he had be, to subvert the present government of given his.vote for the preliminaries, yet, France. It would require the utmost when he considered the state of France, caution to accomplish all the objects he could not rejoice at the peace without which they had in view ; they ought to a mixture of anxiety and apprehension; adopt a line of conduct, not of suspicion and in giving his vote, he liad done it in and jealousy, but of prudence and cir- full confidence that ministers would concumspection; and he was bound in can- tinue the military and naval strength of dour and fairness to state, that it would the country, upon that establishment be necessary to provide new means of which would prevent France from sudsecurity, such as were never before known denly making any attempt against us ; in time of peace. If he were asked, and that they would also keep a strict whether this was founded upon a suspicion watch 10 prevent the effect of those prinof the sincerity of the enemy? he would ciples which he considered the most serious answer, No; but he could not look upon evil against which we had to contend. the map of Europe, without being con- Mr. Windham* rose and said :-Sir; in vinced that such was the conduct which the present stage of this business, and in their duty prescribed to them. The sys- a House so little numerous, I am not distem to be adopted must be one plainly posed to take up the subject in the way directed to the security of the country; in which I should have wished to cunsinot calculated to promote patronage or to der it, had I been able, with tolerable saexcite jealousies. He flattered himself tisfaction to myself, to deliver my sentithat when the subject came to be investi- ments in the debate of last night. Somegated, it would not be found difficult to thing, however, I wish to say, founded in adopt a system of defence, which would a great measure on what then took place. be fully adequate to the security of the All that I heard, and all that I saw, on country. He could not help expressing, that occasion, tends only to confirm more upon this occasion, his sense of the danger and more the deep despair in which I am to which this country would be exposed, plunged, in contemplating the probable if proper measures were not adopted for consequences of the present treaty. its security. There were many other Notwithstanding some lofty talk which points necessary to be provided for, but we heard of dignity and firmness, and wbich it was unnecessary to enter into at which I shall be glau to see realized, and present; nor would he, at that late hour, a happy quotation, expressive of the same have troubled the House with his senti sentiments, from my right hon. friend not ments, but for the imputation which had been thrown out against him for keeping in 1801, the new ministers settled prelimi
• " During the prorogation of parliament an improper silence. The motion was agreed to without a This measure Mr. Windham regarded, not
naries of peace with France and her allies. division; and the House adjourned at half less in the terms than in the principle, as past three in the morning.
highly dangerous to the interests of the coun
try. On the first discussion of this subject, Nov. 4. Sir Edmund Harlopp brought which was upon an Address of thanks to his up the Report of the Address to his ma majesty, he was unable to deliver his sentijesty, on the preliminaries of peace with ments; but on the following day, when the France.
report of the Address was brought up, he Mr. Henry Lascelles said, that as he pronounced the celebrated speech which he
afterwards published in the form of a pamhad supported the war, it became his duty phlet, by subjoining to it an Appendix, which to give his reasons for voting in favour of is valuable for the information it contains, the peace. He had always considered, as well as for the vigour with which it is conthat the best way of opposing the politics posed.” Amyot's Life of Mr. Windhan, p. 48.
now present (Mr. Pitt), the real amount , in consequence, make peace, upon terms of what was said, seems to be little more which must render a renewal of hostilities, than this :-that France has, to be sure, | under any provocation, more certainly fa. the power of destroying us, but that we tal than a continuation of that war, which hope she will not have the inclination ; you already declare yourselves unable to that we are under the paw of the lion, but bear. that he may happen not to be hungry, If such be the fact, we may amuse purand, instead of making a meal of us, may selves with talking what language we turn round in his den, and go to sleep. please ; but we are a conquered people, This is not stated in so many words ; but | Buonaparté is as much our master, as he it will be difficult to show, that it is not is of Spain or Prussia, or any other of the fair result of the arguments.
those countries, which, though still per. That I should have lived to see the day, mitted to call themselves independent, when such arguments could be used in a are, as every body knows, as completely British House of Commons !- that I in his power, as if the name of department should have lived to see a House of Com. was already written upon their foreheads, mons, where such arguments could be There are but two questions: Is the rela. heard with patience, and even with com- tion between the countries such, that placency! The substance of the statement France can ruin us by continuing the war? is this. We make peace, not from any and will that relation in substance remain necessity actually existing (my hon. the same, or rather will it not be rendered friends, with great propriety, reject that infinitely worse, by peace, upon the terms supposition),* but because we foresee a now proposed ?-If both these questions period, at no great distance, when such a are answered in the affirmative, the whole necessity must arise ; and we think it right is decided, and we live henceforward by that provision for such a case should be sufferance froin France. made in time. We treat, or, to take at Sir, before we endeavour to estimate once the more appropriate term, we capi- our prospects in this new and honourable tulate, while we have yet some ammuni- state of existence, I wish to consider, for a tion left. General Menou could do no moment, what the reasonings are, that more. General Menou could do no more have determined our choice, as to the in one sense ; but in another he did, I fear, particular mode of it; and why we think a great deal more,-a point to which I ihat ruin by war must be so much more must say a word hereafter : he did not speedy and certain, than ruin by peace. abandon to their fate those whom he had | And here I will take pretty much the invited to follow his fortunes, and to look statement given by the hon. gentlemen up to him as their protector. Both, how. who argue on the other side. ever, capitulated; and upon the plain and I agree, that the question is not, wheordinary grounds of such a proceeding, ther this peace be good or bad, honour. namely, that their means of resistance able or dishonourable, adequate or inademust soon come to an end, and that they quate; whether it places us in a situation had no such hopes of any fortunate turn better or worse, than we had reason to in their favour, as to justify a continuance expect, or than we were in before the war, of their resistance in the mean time. The All these are parts of the question, and conduct of both in the circumstances sup- many of them very material parts; but posed, was perfectly rational; but let us the question itself is, whether the peace recollect, that those who stand in such now proposed, such as it is, be better, or circumstances, be they generals or be not, than a continuation of hostilities ?they nations, are, to all intents and pur- Whether, according to a familiar mode of poses, conquered! I know not what other speech, we may not go farther and fare definition we want of being conquered, worse ?- Whether, to take the same form than that a country can say to us, “ we
in a manner somewhat more developed can hold out, and you cannot; make and correct, the chances of faring better, peace, or we will ruin your" and that you compared with the chances of faring
worse, and including the certainty of the * It would have been too much to have intermediate evils, do not render it ad. urged the plea of poverty in a country, which viseable upon the whole that we should was at that moment exciting the envy and rest contented where we are. jealousy of all the world by its exorbitant This I take to be the statement of the wealth.
question, on the present, and on all simi.