Gambar halaman

there, he asked, a man who believe ette, the friend of the very monarch ed that if a negotiation had been for whom ministers professed to entered into upon tieopening of the have taken up arms, and the inhofScheldt, matters might not have been pitality practised tó M. Lameth : arranged ? the Dutch did not, how- the behaviour of the allies to Du. ever, at the time, think the Scheldt mouriez was, he stated, equally imworth disputing about, and, in fact, politic. It had, he observed, been so little cared for the assistance we stated that the sole object of Great forced upon them, that Holland Britain was to procure a juft and was not conquered by the arms of honourable peace, and that this was France, but by the Dutch them- the object of the confideration of felves. It was a reason given against the allies. Why was not that obrecognising the French republic, jećt attempted before the desertion that it would offend our allies; of Pruffia and Spain: Their secession would, Mr. Fox asked, our ally of might easily have been foreseen, and Pruffia after swallowing so much of ought to have been provided against. the treasure of this country, have Mr. Fox entered with his usual abideserted us one day fqoner? Had lity into the power of the French to we recognised it, we might equally preserve peace, but ridiculed the at this time have availed ourselves plea of not seeking it till the estaof the affiftance of Austria.

blishment of a regular government, Mr. Fox next proceeded to a when they had 1 ttled themselves in comprehensive statement of the dif- a permanent government, ascerferent transactions of the war. Soon tained the extent and boundaries of after our taking the field, the French their conquests, and given to the were driven from Austria, and Hol- territory of other nations the very land was safe, and M, Maret was inherent quality of their own désent to this country with proposals partment. He very ably argued for peace. These were, however, against what had so frequently been refused, because ministers had de advanced respecting the decayed reserted the fyftem of neutrality, and sources of France. Whatever had no longer confining their views to been said, at this time they appearthe safety of their allies, but infa- ed irresistible. Mr. Fox' censured tuated with success, began to seek the delay which had arifen between indemnity. Mr. Fox pointedly the speech from the throne and any censured the want of a determined attempt at negotiation. The time object, which had appeared on our for it was, he observed, favourable, fide in the war; and the contra. as it was in the interval of a cama dictory circumftantes which this paign. The delay did not however had occafioned. The emperor was seem to have arisen from a wish to taking towns in Alface in the name consult with the allies, hince it did of the king of Hungary, while we not appear that they either fanc. were taking Valenciennes for the tioned or disapproved the negotiemperor, proclaiming the constitu- ation. He could not, he said, on tion of 1791 at Toulon, in the name the whole face of the transaction, of Louis XVII. and taking poster- putting himself in the place of the Son of Martinique, and summon, French, have thought minitters fining Dunkirk for the king of Great cere. The pretence set up by the Britain. Mr. Fox stated the horria French, that they cannot give up treatment received by M. La Fay. any territories which have been con



solidated with the republic, was, he With respect to the origio of the thought, injuft; but it was a cir- war, Mr. Pitt insisted upon the cumtiance that doubled his indig- aggression lying on the lide of the nation against ministers who had French, and that this was the genebrought us into this lamentable fitu- ral opinion of all candid and imparation. A complete change of his tial men. Instead of the retrospects majerly's councils was, he thought, which had been entered into, it necessáry, and to bring the coun. would have been more becoming in sellors to see the errors of their past a friend to his country to have conduct. Should the present mi. pointed out the line of conduct nisters prove an exception to the which it would be right to pursue ; rule that no minister who commen- not that be wifhed, Mr. Pitt said, ced and carried on a war ever to evade a retrospect, but because made an advantageous peace, they he felt it of more importance to call Nould new a conviction of their the attention of the house to the past errors, and renounce the prin- actual state of things which appear. ciples on which they have acted, be- ed to have been entirely overlook, fore they can hope to put an end ed. The conclusion to which the with honour and safety io a war fo speech just delivered went, was to conducied. We had, the faid, com- record a confetion and retractation pletely failed in all the objects for of our past errors, that we are einwhich it was undertaken. Holland barked in a contest in which we was lost, the king of France exiled, wantonly and unjustly engaged, and the power and aggrandilement though the defence was in fact such of the republic greater than ever. as our dearest interests called for, Of our allies, the king of Prutiia and such as a regard to justice and has been injured the least; Spain to every moral principle legitimated had been forced to make peace; and fanétified. Would the house and Sardinia, the very pattern of then rescind all the resolutions it fidelity, proves also to be an exam- had come to since the commence. ple of misfortune. Ruflia had in- inent of the war? Every proper deed suffered nothing: her object measure for the attainment of peace was to plunder Poland, in which must, he stated, have been put in she liad been collaterally supported practice by him, not only from by England. This, he observed, motives of public duty, but of was a morial blow to another pro- the personal ease, and to effect the felfed object in the war, the preler- favourite object he had in view, vation of the balance of power. If that of redeeming the public debt, the country was now to be saved, it and the 4 per cents. With rewas, he said, necessary to retrace spect to our having with-held from our steps: all other remedies were proposing a mediation, the atmere palliatives, and he therefore tempt would have been hazardous, reconnended a complete change and would only have exposed us to of system.

difficulties and disputes, if we were It ll as observed hy the chancellor determined, as we ought to be, of the exchequer, that, whatever was to enforce that mediation on the our present situation, “ it was cer- parties who refused to admit it. ta 'nly wiser not to fix our attention What, he asked, was the great use on the fall," but to loak to what intended to be made of peace if so can and itill remains to be done. procured?. Was it fit that we


[ocr errors]

should go to war to prevent the jeet of the war, he denied that a partition of Poland, whicb, how restoration of the abuses of the old ever wrong, certainly had no ef. government in France formed any fect in destroying the balance of part of the plan of minifters, though Europe? The attempt to prevent they certainly wished to have one to the partition of Turkey, which at treat with, in which there should be that time was so much inveighed no jacobin principles. It would against, was, he said, to prevent certainly, be stated, have been very the partition of Poland. Revert- imprudent in ministers to have sued ing to the provocations from France, for peace after the campaign of Mr. Piet noticed the offensive de. 1794, the unfortunate event of cree of the 19th of November, and which turned against us upon as the welcome reception met with in narrow a point as, he believed, ever France by feditious persons from occurred. Instead of ministers givthis country. The whole conducting way to alarm at this period, of the French towards the people of they had sent out expeditions to Holland was, he contended, in di- capture the Dutch 'settlements, rect oppofition to their former de- which we might either restore to clarations. The allowed continu- the stadtholder if he was restored, ance of M. Chauvelin here as long or retain for ourselves. Had as the king had a thadow of power, terms been then offered, would and the communication afterwards they have been better than at prebetween the British minister at the sent? It would certainly have been Hague and general Dumouriez, af. advantageous to have prevailed forded many opportunities for con- upon Spain and Prussia to continue ciliation, which were neglected by the war till the enemy was brought them, and succeeded by an open


to terms: but before any blame claration of war. With respect to could attach to ministers upon this what had been urged of our averse- ground, it would be necessary to ness to treat for peace under both Thew, that, prior to their defection, prosperous and adverse circumstan- terms were proposed to us which ces, he would ask whether it was rea- we rejected. The cabinet of Great sonable, when a just hope was enter- Britain had certainly no share in tained of increasing our advantages, the treatment of M. La Fayette, to risk the opportunity which those nor were ministers warranted in inadvantages would procure of making terfering with our allies on the sub. better terms; or was it reasonable, ject. Without entering into an when we experienced great and de- extended detail of the comparative plorable misfortunes, to entertain a fituation of the English and French just apprehension of obtaining a per- finances, Mr. Pitt stated that the manent and honourable peace, on fair derangement of the French armies conditions? He allowed we had met at the latter end of the last camwith serious and bitter misfortunes paign, the exhausted state of their in the war, but we had, he contended, magazines and stores, and their ul, gained considerably by a continu- timate retreat before the allied pow, ance in the coritest, by the exhaustion- ers, furnished a convincing proof of the trade and the finances of the that the rapid decline of their fi. enemy, by the capture of her foreign nances began to affect in the greatpossessions, and the destruction of est degree their military operations. her navy. With respect to the ob- With respect to the argument

K4 drawn

drawn from the distance of time for war, which had been attributed between his majesty's speech and to ministers. With respect to the the subsequent declarațion to par- abrupt close of the negotiation, and liament, relative to a want of sine the open communication of the recerity in the message delivered to sult, the terṁs proposed by the the French minister at Balle, neither enemy cut thort all further treaty, the message nor declaration profelf- and the communication of the re. ed any intention in the Britith go- sult would have at least the importvernment to be the first in making ant consequence of dividing the pacific proposals. Neither could any opinions of France, and uniting argument of this nature be drawn those of England. from our not having acted in con- Mr. Fox, in reply, asked whether cert with the allies respecting the the infamous partition of Poland proposals for negotiation. A ready was, in any respect, to be compared intercourse could not at that time with the circumstances of Turkey, be held with them: but this itep at the moment spoken of: the was not taken without previous Turks, after unprovoked aggres. communication. As to no acknow, lion, were humbled by the power ledgment being made of the repub- of the empress; and he had, he said, lic, that was a circumstance which then reprobated the idea of the arthe French did not think necessary, rogant interference of this country, fince the directory had answered to prevent her from obtaining a just the note without adverting to it, indemnification. The principle adThey must, indeed, have been a- vanced, that, no matter for ihe inware that the proposal to treat im- justice, since the balance of power plied a recognition. Denmark had remains the fame, was, he said, not recognized it till the present terrible. The effect of the motion year. To have proposed terms to was not, he contended, humiliating the enemy before the assurance of for the country, but for ministers. their willingness to treat, would, He thought, that if the minifter he thought, have been absurd. As would reason from effect to cause, to not having empowered the mi- he would find that the French fi nister at Bale to negotiate, was it nances were not deranged to the deever known that the person em- gree supposed, or that they were ploved to found the disposition of a now re-established. The defence belligereni party was considered which had been set up of the finas a proper minister for discussing cerity of ministers, was, he conall the relative interests, and con- tended, the best defence of the cluding a treaty ? Mr. Pitt strongly conduct of the French. Was it ta inlisted upon several other topicś, be expected that any regard would to prove the fincerity of ministers be paid to a man who had no auin the negotiation. So far from the thority from the allies with whom enemy rising in their demands on we were connected, no authority to account of their belief of the infin, make specific proposals? or would cerity of minifters, Mr. Pitt obser- the correspondence with Mr. Wickved, that if they really believed this, ham, which was of a private natheir policy would have lain in ture, or any private communication, making just and moderate demands, have been published, had the desire which, if rejected, would prove that of pacification been fincere? He want of candour, and that appetite still considered the recognition of


the French republic as of the last their titles of magnific, doge,&c.&c. importance, and much more necef- they had been on better terms with sary as a preliminary of peace than those states. They had therefore the conditional recognition of Ame. felt from his conduct, that the mirica during the last war. Since the nister had no serious inclination for French had bestowed upon the vari- peace. On a division for the mou. ous republics of Genoa, Venice, &c. tion, the ayes were 42, noes 216,



Finances. Mr. Grey's Motion on that Subje&t. Mr. Pitt's second Budget,

Debates on the new Tax Bills. Discussion on the Finances in the House of Peers, by Lords Moira, Grenville, &c. The Earl of Lauderdale's Speech and Motion on the same Subject. Discussion on the Game Larus.

The Slave Trade. Bill for rendering permanent the Westminster Police Efta, blishment. Bill introduced for the Relief of the Quakers. Curates' Aft, Bill for Relief of ixfolveni Debtors thrown out. Columel Cawthorne expelled the House. Diflution of the Parliament, Its Character, N the course of the session, the peace : was that event even arrived,

state of the national finances was the most rigid economy was neces. very amply discussed; and several fary to us. In order to secure the per alarming facts were brought before manency of peace, a very large naval the eye of the public. Melancholy force would be necessary, not only experience has since given a sanc- as France would probably attend tion to some observations which with great diligence to the imwere at first esteemed as the unfub- provement of her niarine, but as ftantial visions of speculative men; Ruffia, ever active, ambitious, and there is, however, much reason to increating, had inceffant views of fear that the subject has not even aggrandisement. On taking the estiyet been fufficiently investigated, mate of the three preceding years of and that from this small but black the war, we had added 77 millions and portentous cloud in the politi- to the capital of our funded debt; cal atmosphere, a storm will rise, to provide for the interest of which, which eventually may overwhelm taxes, in addition to those already in ruins the constitution and the laid on, must be imposed to the empire of Britain.

amount of 2,000,000 l. This debt, As early as the 19th of February, compared with the service performMr. Grey moved in the house of ed wh le it was accumulating, was commons for papers relative to so enormous as to demand the scruthe finances ; and, on the 10th of pulous investigation of the house. March, brought forward a motion The present war, either in extent on the subject. He observed that or importance, was far from equal it was of the utmost importance to to that under king William. Our the house to know the real fituation religion and constitution were then of the country ; whether we conti- at stake; our all was then equally pued to profécute the present ruin- in peril; and our exertions to preous war, or looked forwards' to serve it equally varied and extenthat mofi desirable event, a speedy five, “Let us," he said, “ compare


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »