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them, would have been most childishly absurd. As it was material to know what were the means which France possessed of carrying her plans into effect, he had framed a Resolution for that purpose, although he was convinced she possessed no such means. The next consideration was, how far France was to receive assistance in the execution of her projects from Russia? Immediately after the conclusion of peace at Tilsit, it had been argued by many, that Russia had thrown herself into the arms of France, and thereby had given preponderance to that power in the North of Europe. To those who believed this it must have been strange to see the Danish marine taken possession of by this country, and the Russian marine permitted to rove about at pleasure. In one of lord Leveson Gower's dispatches, dated the 2d of Sept. (p. 191.) his lordship stated that in a conference with general Budberg, the general allowed the existence of secret articles in the Treaty of Tilsit, but declared that those articles had no reference to England. Now, it had been insisted in his majesty's Declaration relative to Russia and Denmark, that it was a knowledge of those secret articles that had induced his majesty to take the steps that he had done for the purpose of securing the Danish fleet. It therefore became material to know when his majesty's ministers became acquainted with those secret articles; how far they related to Denmark; and how far by those articles France approached her purpose, with regard to the marine of that country. In another dispatch lord Gower said, that in a conversation with the Russian minister, the latter had not alluded to the transaction at Copenhagen, and added, that he was surprised next morning to receive a Note (p. 194) in which it was stated, that the emperor experienced great pain and anxiety in consequence of an intimation of this transaction, which he had received from his own minister, and from the court of Denmark. The English ambassador was instructed to give an account to the court of St. Petersburgh of the motives by which the British ministry had been actuated. He was instructed to declare, that they had been long in possession of data, which left no doubt of the intention of the French government relative to the marine of Denmark. Why this they might have known ever since the war broke out! He was still further instructed to say, that the Danish fleet had been intended to aid in a descent on the coast of
the British empire, and, therefore, that the security of his dominions had obliged his majesty to deprive France of so pow erful an assistance (p. 205.) This was the explanation given by his majesty's ministers to the emperor of Russia-to that very emperor of Russia, who was now represented by them as the chief instigator to the hostile confederacy against us! Was it possible that any person representing his majesty, and satisfied that Russia was what she was now described to be, when he was asked by the court of St. Petersburgh what was the cause of our conduct at Copenhagen, could have replied, that his majesty's ministers possessed data which left no doubt of the intentions of the French government relative to the marine of Denmark? Would he have duly maintained the honour of the crown, and the dignity and interests of Britain, if he had tamely said that we had such data? He was convinced that our government had at that time no settled belief, that Russia was engaged, or disposed to engage, to act with hostility against us. The British ambassador at the court of St. Petersburg, of whose honour and ingenuousness there could be but one opinion, would otherwise have answered to the demand of Russia, " Why do you ask me this question, when you yourselves have created the necessity; when you yourselves have been the chief instigators and promoters of the project, which my government have taken these steps for the purpose of defeating?"-In another dispatch from this country to lord Gower, dated the 27th of September 1807, when Russia had offered to mediate between Great Britain and France, the right hon. secretary (Mr. Canning) writes, that the terms on which that mediation could be accepted, were 1st, the frank communica tion of the articles of the Treaty of Tilsit, secret as well as avowed.' Now, he thought that at that time the right hon. secretary knew them, and yet a knowledge of them from Russia was insisted upon as the sine qua non of an acceptance of her offer of mediation. Instead of grounding the objections of our government to accept the mediation of Russia, on the conduct of that power with regard to Denmark, the dispatch proceeds to state the anxiety of his majesty on a variety of other topics -on the movements in the mediterranean
on the surrender of Corfu-on the intentions of Russia with respect to Turkeyon the public articles of the Treaty of Tilsit,
which recognized the French king of Naples only as king of Naples, although that article might in effect be contradicted by a secret article, adding to that title that of the Two Sicilies. These were the considerations which the right hon. secretary urged the British minister to press, as reasons for desiring the disclosure of the Secret Articles of the Treaty of Tilsit; but on any confederacy existing between Russia and France to force the Danes to join against Great Britain, the dispatch was perfectly silent. How was it possible then, that the right hon. secretary, or the British ambassador, could at that time really believe that Russia was the chief instigator of the project by which France was to have been put in possession of the Danish marine? In another dispatch from the right hon. secretary, of the 28th Sept. (p. 204) he signifies to lord Leveson Gower his majesty's entire approbation of the answer returned by his excellency to gen. Budberg's Note on the subject of the operations at Copenhagen; which answer contained not the most distant allusion to Russian interference, as being a motive to those operations. The dispatch then goes on, and for the first time, Russia is mentioned by the right hon. secretary, as constituting a great part of our danger. He says, that certain enumerated circumstances "formed such a body of evidence, not only of the designs of Bonaparte, but of the connivance, if not of the participation, of Russia, that his majesty would have been wanting alike in what he owed to his own dignity and to the security of his dominions, if he had not taken the most effectual steps for breaking through the combination that was collecting round him; and it would have been idle, under such circumstances, to have waited the consent of Russia to measures calculated to repel a danger of which Russia herself formed so large a part." But there were no instructions to our ambassador to represent to Russia herself the consequences of her own conduct, or the mischief. which his majesty apprehended to his own dominions, from her submitting to the guidance of France. The dispatch proceeded to state," that his majesty is perfectly willing that the pacification with the court of Denmark, should be wholly the work of the emperor of Russia." The emperor of Russia, who, but two or three paragraphs before had been described as the chief instigator of the designs against Great Britain, and the
great troubler of the repose of the North of Europe! At this time a change took place in the Russian administration. Gen. Budberg gave up the portfeuille of the Foreign Affairs to count Soltykoffe. In the first interview that our ambassador had with count Soltykoff, he complained to him of not having received any communication of the secret articles of the Treaty of Tilsit. Then in a dispatch, dated St. Petersburg, Oct. 7 (p. 207.) lord Leveson Gower states, that he had communicated to count Romanzow a copy of the Capitulation of Copenhagen, accompanied by a short note (which note had not been laid on the table of the house.) In this dispatch the noble lord says, that "he thought it necessary to let the Russian ministry clearly understand that his majesty was not to be frightened out of the pursuit of such measures as he might judge expedient for the security of his empire, by any indirect menace or intimation of the displeasure of the emperor of Russia." (All this while not one word is said of the conduct of Russia, with respect to Denmark). In reply, count Romanzow observed, "That neither he nor the Danish minister had received any accounts from Kiel since the capture of Copenhagen; that the emperor, therefore, being as yet, unacquainted with the sentiments or views of the Prince Royal of Denmark since that event, naturally waited for the communication of them, before his Imperial majesty could make up his own opinion upon the question." Count Romanzow then asked his Lordship, "Whether it was the intention of his majesty's government to restore the ships to the king of Denmark, in the case of peace being concluded with France ?" To which lord Leveson Gower answered, that," the possession of the Danish fleet had been obtained by force, and not by negociation.' In one of the dispatches from lord Leveson Gower, dated 2nd of Sept. our minister expresses satisfaction in finding that “ a considerable change had taken place in the tone and temper of general Budberg's conversation." He had become "mild" and conciliating," he had expressed "great anxiety to remove every difficulty in the way of a perfectly good understanding between the two countries ;" and in a subsequent dispatch lord Leveson Gower declares his surprise to have received on the following morning a Note from general Budberg expressive of the emperor's astonishment at the information he had
received from his minister at Copenhagen, | march an army down the Baltic, and what of the propositions made by Mr. Jackson fieet had she to oppose against the united to that court;-propositions which he fleets of England, Denmark and Sweden ? terms" as derogatory to, as incompati- The power of protecting the neutrality of ble with, the dignity of every indepen- Denmark was all on the side of Engdent power." The fact was, that when land, not on France. Was it probable lord Leveson Gower had an interview that Denmark would have sacrificed with general Budberg, the emperor was her East and West India possessions, at Gatschina, where he had been for seve- her own Islands, and Norway, because ral days. On his return, the Russian mi- France might have threatened her with nister did certainly communicate to our the loss of Jutland and Holstein? He defied ambassador a note not of a very friendly the right hon. secretary to shew on the tenor. There were two or three other table one syllable of evidence, that Denmost material paragraphs in these dis- mark entertained such an intention. He patches, which he should notice. The had shaped other Resolutions for the purcase which his majesty's ministers wished pose of enquiring what had been the conto make out was, that Russia had been all duct of his majesty's ministers with rethis while secretly instigating Denmark to spect to Denmark herself; and whether, join the confederacy against us; and yet having determined to pursue a course hoson the 4th of Nov. his majesty's minister tile to her interests, they had pursued a at St. Petersburgh, after detailing the diffi- course advantageous to ours. He had culties which he had experienced in ob- asked for the Instructions to Mr. Jackson taining an interview with count Roman- on this subject, which were not refused; zow, says that "he had been informed but he had also asked for the corresponthat some members of the council, who dence between Mr. Jackson and the gohad been consulted in the present very vernment of Denmark, which was denied critical state of affairs, had advised the em- him. He had asked for these communiperor not to reject the present opportunity cations, because he wished to know wheof re-establishing the tranquillity of the ther they had been of a nature calculated North of Europe, and that their opinion to prevent a continuance of hostility, or had been adopted.' So then, down to to procure a restoration of peace. He the 4th of Nov. the emperor of Russia en- had been informed, that instead of making tertained this favourable disposition to- any proposal consistent with the honour wards England! In the next dispatch, in- and dignity of the Danish crown, no proclosing the Russian Declaration, lord Gow-posal had been made by the British goer observes, that general Savary and the other members of the French mission, "boasted, that they had gained a complete triumph, and had carried not only this act of hostility against England, but also every other point essential to the success of Bonaparte's views." What! had they been labouring from the conclusion of the Treaty of Tilsit down to the beginning of Nov. before they could succeed in carrying these points so essential to the success of Bonaparte's views," and that conduct of Russia to be assigned as a reason for our breaking in upon a neutral nation and robbing her of her fleet? In no period of the history of any country could a similar transaction be found. But, suppose he were to concede in argument that which was completely contradicted by the dispatches on the table, that Russia had been active in forming a confederacy against G. Britain, was there the smallest proof that Denmark would have been disposed to join it? And what means had Russia to compel her? She could not
vernment, in which the continued possession of the Danish fleet did not form a part. Why be at the expence of sending special missions to Copenhagen, when it was determined to adhere to terms so odious and so inadmissible on the part of Denmark? He had been told that it was proposed to Denmark, that her fleet in whatsoever condition it might be at the time, should be restored to her; not on the conclusion of a Definitive Treaty of peace with France, but 3 years after the conclusion of such a treaty! A proposal that could have been made only for the purpose of insulting the Danish court. How had his majesty's ministers acted with regard to Zealand? They stated the necessity of anticipating the views of France as the justification of their conduct. They had attacked Denmark because France entertained three projects: the 1st of shutting the Sound against Great Britain; the second of excluding her manufactures from the Continent; and the 3rd, of taking possession of the Danish
fleet. Now, unless his majesty's minis- | Were they disposed to put Ireland in a ters had reduced the power of Denmark state of greater contentment than that in so low, that she was not able to assist which she was at present? If not, why France, they had secured to France the leave Denmark so much power? Having attainment of two of her objects; for cer- alienated Denmark from England, France tainly after our entering Zealand, Den- would construct in Copenhagen fleets mark would shut the Sound, and exclude much faster, better and cheaper, than in our manufactures from that part of the any other port of Europe. His majesty's continent. By what ministers had done, ministers had expressed great solicitude they had provoked hostility without de- for Sweden. A subsidiary treaty with priving of the power of revenge. If our Sweden was soon to be laid on the table army had been able to beat the Danes, as of the house. France had long been the asserted the other evening by a noble enemy of Sweden; Russia probably had lord, might we not have kept Zealand? become so. Denmark was rendered the With the assistance of Sweden and of ally of France, and thus by refraining our own reinforcements, what chance from dismantling Zealand, Sweden was would France and Denmark, united, have exposed to the greatest danger. All these had, to get back this important possession? considerations pressed with the greatest To abandon it was the height of weakness. urgency for the fullest information on the But even if we had not kept Zealand, subject. There did not appear to him the could we not have dismantled the ar- slightest justification of the conduct senal and destroyed the docks? could we of ministers with regard to Denmark. not have blown up the Crown Batteries If they could justify themselves for the and Cronenberg Castle, and secure to our- acts that they had committed, then they selves the quiet passage of the Sound? could not justify themselves for the acts Why so shabby in our iniquities? When that they had not committed. In comwe imitated the atrocities of the ruler of mencing the war, in carrying on the war, France, why not imitate the grandeur and in the mode of seeking for peace, in all, magnitude of his designs? Would Bona- he thought them completely wrong, and parte, under similar circumstances, have on all, he demanded the fullest informagiven up Zealand? The conduct of minis- tion. Above all, he trusted that he should ters showed how weak it was to do ill by never hear such transactions as the Expehalves. If it was necessary to attack Den-dition to Copenhagen justified, on the mark at all, then it was their duty to render her as inefficient as possible. The same motives that justified the one would justify the other. He presumed it was pot want of will in the right hon. gentle-Providence which watched the conduct of men opposite, but want of knowledge. individuals, watch also that of States ? He trusted at least that they would not Look," said the right hon. gent, " at your talk of scruples, or morality, or law; conduct with respect to America. When these according to the modern tenets, you departed from the rules of justice and were considerations fit only for fools and morality, you lost America. France inphilosophers, not for statesmen. Would terfered, and she had no right to interthey venture to contend, that it was no dis- fere. She interfered not for the purpose advantage to G. Britain to have the Sound of emancipating America, but of weakshut against her commerce, to have Zea-ening England, and thereby strengthenland created, what it certainly would be, a strong depository of force against her arms? Having begun the work of destruction, they neglected their duty by not completing it. Let them not say that he gave counsel so atrocious, so monstrous, that their delicacy and sensibility would not allow them to accept it. They had affected to look with great anxiety to the next spring, and had congratulated themselves that by the seizure of the Danish fleet, that anxiety was relieved. But what would they do in all succeeding springs?
ground that statesmen and nations were absolved from an observance of the laws of morality. On what principle were they so absolved? Did not the same Divine
ing and aggrandizing herself. But the government which thus interfered, has been punished for it. The principles which the French armies learnt in that country, became the seeds of that Revolution which overwhelmed the government, scattered the royal family which sent them across the Atlantic, and compelled them to seek an asylum in this country. Were there no other instances? He would beg these philosophers of the modern school to study in the book he should open to them. Let them look at the partition of
Poland: there they would read that Prus- of an eminent service successfully persia, the prime agent in that detestable formed. Whatever might be the decision. confederacy to destroy not only the power, of the house, he, for one, should always but the very name of an independent state, feel the highest satisfaction in having been had been deprived of her share of the so accused.. It was also a source of pecurobbery, and reduced to the most abject liar gratification, that no imputation could and deplorable state. There they would rest on those gentlemen by whom this. see Austria and Russia scrambling for motion was brought forward, of being ac-, their part of the spoil, and crouching attuated by party feelings, as had somethe feet of Buonaparte. Who could say, times happened, when the successors of that the justice of Providence was not an administration had been left in posevident in all this? The chief object of session of a glory, which they had dilapithe Resolusions he had to propose was, if dated. He was not aware that any envipossible, to obtain such information as ous feelings of comparison could have inmust satisfy him that ministers were justi-stigated the present motion; when nofiable in what they had done. He was thing had been done by one set of men, it anxious the character of the country should was impossible to compare their actions stand as fair as it always had done, and with what had been done by another. that it should not be made a reproach to There was another feature in this transacus, that at the very time we were most ve- tion honourable to the character of the hement in condemning the atrocity of house; they were not then debating how France, we went far beyond it. The right to ward off impending danger, but, in hon. gent. concluded with moving his first comparative security, were discussing by Resolution: viz. “That an humble address what mode that security could be contibe presented to his majesty, praying that nued. According to the sentiments of he would be graciously pleased to give di- the gentlemen opposite, the restoration of rections that there be laid before the house, the Danish fleet would be the best mode the substance and dates of all information of continuing that security; for, certainly, transmitted by his majesty's minister at the if it were decided, that the taking of court of Copenhagen, during the last year, them was unjust, the justice of retaining respecting the Naval Force of Denmark; them could not possibly be asserted. The and particularly respecting any measures house would not blame the spoilers and taken for augmenting the same, or putting yet keep the spoil. Though he could not it in a state of better preparation, or for agree with the right hon. gent. in his concollecting seamen for the purpose of man-clusion, he agreed with him in his prening the same, or any part thereof."
Mr. Secretary Canning then rose. He commenced his reply by observing, that the moment was at length arrived, when the gentlemen opposite, so peculiarly qualified by their own splendid achievements, to enquire into the conduct of their successors, had, by a worthy selection of the right hon. gent. who had just sat down, put his majesty's ministers on their trial for that, which, until questioned by them, had been considered as the salvation of the country In the greatness of his apprehension, lest all moral impressions should be effaced from the minds of the house, the right hon. gent. had taken a course which afforded a brilliant example of a morality, not only out of the ordinary track, but more severe even than that Roman morality, which he knew had its admirers on the opposite bench. His majesty's ministers were called to account-not for disaster and disgrace. They had been called to answer on an accusation of success, to explain the elements, and justify the motives
mises, that if injustice had been done, it