Gambar halaman

Mr. Huskisson, in answer, stated, that express care had been taken to provide that government should not be precluded from resorting to any means for reducing the balances.

Mr. D. Giddy observed, that though the issues of the bank might be enlarged by the restriction, their capital was still limited, and unless they had so much capital that they did not know what to do with it, they must be losers by lending these 3 millions.

or wrong in that, he did not know; but of this he was sure, that the house ought to take care, that the bank restriction should not be considered in the slightest degree in this transaction. The restriction was only justified by its necessity at the time it was imposed, and it was due to the public, that nothing should be done which should in the least retard the period at which it might be taken off. If any accommodation was given or accepted, with a reference to this restriction, it Lord H. Petty said, that on two branches would be attended with endless mischief, of this transaction he hardly thought it both to the public and the bank. He necessary to trouble the house with any thought it the more necessary to advert observations at all. On the subject of to this, because in the correspondence the unclaimed dividends he felt much there was no direct recognition of the inclined to concur in the view of the right exclusion of all consideration of the hon. gent. opposite. The bank directors restriction; and if what the directors in the course of the conferences on this said was correct, that they did not derive subject naturally resorted to the defini-a profit from the balances up to the tion of an unclaimed dividend, which had been allowed by certain acts of parliament: yet the natural definition he should take to be, a dividend that was not claimed in the quarter when due, without reference to the next quarter. Of these dividends all that could be taken, ought undoubtedly to be applied to the public service, and 100,000l. left in the bank, was an ample sum to meet any unexpected demand. On another branch of the transaction, namely, the management of the public debt, he would also say but little; for though he thought that this might be conducted with more economy, yet as the bank acted in this as agents, and not exactly in their ordinary line of duty, they certainly had a right to be paid as agents, and not merely as bankers. Though the remuneration was large, yet the public derived a great advantage from their undertaking the management of the debt, since it could not be managed in a different manner without a much larger expence, than the compensation to the bank. He agreed that the subject ought to be viewed with a reference to this circumstance, and therefore he concurred in the general propriety of this part of the arrangement. With regard to the third part of the arrangement, the loan of 3 millions, he concurred with the hon. gent. (Mr. Bankes), and his right hon. friend (Mr. Tierney), in expressing the strongest objection to the mode which had been resorted to in this instance. His right hon. friend had said, that the loan would not have been advanced, had it not been for the restriction. Whether he was right

amount assumed by the chancellor of the exchequer, he was at a loss to know on what other ground they could agree to advance this sum, except that of the restriction. He could not agree that we were here only taking the public money: our right was to derive some profit from the additional notes issued from the bank, in consequence of the balances in their hands. If the bank should issue an additional 3 millions on account of this loan, they would not be losers but gainers. Perhaps they did not intend it; but he wished to have some security on the subject. But if they did not issue, they must draw 3 millions from some source; and they must afford less accommodation to the public in discounting, by 3 millions, than before. The noble lord then proceeded to the superior advantages which would be derived from having a regular and permanent allowance of profits on which a loan might be raised in another manner. He objected also that the right hon. gent. precluded himself from taking any farther advantage in case of increase of the balances beyond 10 millions, which was very probable. He was glad, however, that the matter had been brought so far to an issue favourable to the public.

Mr. Manning defended the conduct of the bank, and contended that the charges of management of the public debt were much greater than gentlemen supposed. Of 800 clerks employed in the bank 400 were engaged in the business arising from the public debt. All the issues of the bank would still continue to be subject to par

liamentary inspection; and he could assure the house, that the bank looked forward with anxiety to the period when it would resume its issues of specie, and cease to issue its one or two pound notes.

Mr. Brogden thought that the arrangement with the bank was not so advantageous to the public as it ought to be, but thought it better to agree to it than to shew any appearance of hostility.

the year 1794, in consequence of events to which the war that broke out in the preceding year gave rise, he had to discuss and adjust some differences which then occurred with the united states. It was his good fortune to have to deal in that transaction with a man (Mr. Jay), whose talents and disposition eminently qualified him for the office he had undertaken. Never in the course of his public life had he met with a person on whose probity, candour, and sincerity, he could so confidently rely. Mr. Jay felt the value and the necessity of a close and amicable Mr. Croker defended the arrangement, connection between the two nations, and as did also Mr. Carew, who as a member he laboured most impartially duly to of the Committee of Finance, expressed weigh, and to ascertain the real interests his satisfaction that its suggestions for the of both. These unquestionably were quapublic service had been thus attended to.lifications indispensably necessary to a The different resolutions were then agreed to.

Mr. Biddulph considered the bargain of the right hon. the chancellor of the exchequer, to be extremely disadvantageous to the interests of the public.


Thursday, February 11.

DISPUTE WITH AMERICA.] Lord Grenville rose, pursuant to notice, to move for certain papers, which would tend to throw some light on the nature of the relations, as they now existed, between this country and America, and on the terms and tendency of the treaty which, in Dec. 1806, was concluded between the two nations. It had fallen to his lot to be engaged more than once in discussions with the ministers of the united states, and, he had bestowed on what regarded the connection and mutual interests of the two states, all the attention, labour, and diligence, of which he was master, and which the high importance of the subject so seriously imposed on him. Indeed, the cultivating and maintaining of a good understanding with America, an understanding that included and promoted the reciprocal interests of the two countries, was, in his mind, the most material and important consideration that could possibly engage the attention of the British government and parliament, next to the care of conciliating and uniting, in one bond of union, all descriptions of his majesty's subjects in these kingdoms. He had of late taken occasion, more than once, to express this opinion, and he now wished to repeat it in the most serious and solemn manner. This disposition powerfully animated his views and his conduct, whenever any thing occurred that threatened to embarrass or interrupt the friendly intercourse and connection of the two countries. In

negotiator; and no negotiation could be fairly carried on except in a mutual spirit of justice and impartiality. He trusted, that such was the spirit which actuated the negotiation at that time, and which brought it to a successful termination : sure he was, that Mr. Jay acted on these principles; yet when he returned to his own country, he was accused, very unjustly indeed, of having sacrificed her interests, or yielded too far in favour of those of England. Mr. Jay had long since retired from public life; but he felt happy in having this opportunity of paying a due tribute of praise to his character. Under the influence of this disposition were the late discussions with America carried on, and brought to what was expected to be, a happy termination, when circumstances arose, that might put to hazard the final issue of that negotiation. He had much to complain of the false light in which ignorance or malice had endeavoured to represent it. His noble friends who conducted that negotiation, with talents of which he could not now speak as he ought, because they were present, had been reproached as having made unwarrantable and dangerous concessions to America— concessions which had been causelessly and mischievously held out to the public as the bane of the interests of Great Britain; yet, while these reproaches were vented against the administration at home, no sooner had the treaty reached America, than the government of the united states were accused of having yielded too much to the British plenipotentiaries. Even the speech by which the session was opened, contained assertions respecting this treaty, which were not correct, It

culties between American and British officers, than between the officers of any other nation: but a spirit of candour, moderation, and mutual regard, which he could not too forcibly inculcate, would tend to compose every difference upon that head. As to the right of searching national ships of war, it had never been assumed, and should not be practised. The noble lord again implored the house seriously to appreciate the value of an uninterrupted amity and intercourse with America, and expressed his anxious expectation that the mind of the Americans would become cooler and more considerate, and that this country would meet them with corres

cluded with moving for copies or extracts of the Dispatches which passed between his majesty's government and the government of the United States, respecting the Treaty signed by the plenipotentiaries of both governments.

said the treaty had not taken effect by the refusal of the president tó ratify it. Now, the president had not refused to ratify it; but deferred the ratification, as far as the ratification depended upon him, because the treaty contained certain articles, which, though they were agreed upon between the respective plenipotentiaries, were not however signed by them, because some further explanation upon the points they contained, was to be previously had with the American government. As to the concessions that were said to be made to America, in essential points, and which were reprobated as the bane of the interests of England, no assertion could be more unfounded. It was no doubt diffi-pending sentiments. His lordship concult to say, what were or were not the points which might be conceded, in balancing the interests of the two countries. Since America was declared an independent state in 1782, many points had arisen in discussions, which had never before been brought into agitation, Most of them might easily be adjusted by taking for rule, the mutual advantages resulting from an amicable convention between the two countries: but in points that could be fairly considered as essential, never had he, nor those with whom he was connected, consented to make any concession. He considered as essential, what was connected with the preservation of the naval power and pre-eminence of this country, and sooner would he see England perish in a contest for the assertion of her maritime rights, than that she should yield a tittle of them: for these rights once given up, what contest would she be afterwards able to carry on? They were connected not only with her power, but with her very existence as an independent nation; and therefore no man could ever think of sacrificing them. This was his firm resolution, and nothing could bring him to depart from it. No dangerous concessions had therefore been made to America in the late treaty; and when the two go- [MEDIATION OF RUSSIA AND AUSTRIA.] vernments came coolly to consider its na- Earl Grey said, he had to apologise to ture and tendency, they would discover their lordships, for postponing that part of that it equally consulted the interests of the motion of which he had given notice, both countries; and that, he would re- which related to the Expedition to Conpeat, was the only basis upon which any stantinople. He found himself obliged to treaty could be solidly and permanently do this from having been unable to exabuilt. The noble lord then entered into mine the dates of certain papers, which it a minute examination of the difficulties was necessary to investigate. With rethat resulted to both countries from the spect to the other points of his motion, he practice of searching merchantmen. From thought it of great importance that the a thousand circumstances, it must be ob-house should be put in possesion of some vious that it was attended with more diffi- additional information relative to the MeVOL. X.

Lord Hawkesbury most perfectly coincided in opinion with the noble baron, that an impartial regard to the interests of the two countries was an essential basis of this, or any other negotiation; and under that impression he trusted that he and his colleagues were disposed to act. No man could be more impressed than he was with the necessity of cultivating a good understanding with America, and making her feel how indispensable was such a connexion to the reciprocal interests of the two countries. After having acquainted the noble baron that he did not intend to oppose his motion, he did not expect he would have gone so largely into the question but he should not imitate his example, as he would now, and as he had on former occasions, abstain from agitating any question respecting America; as our relations with the united states must soon come, in all their bearings, under the consideration of the house.-After a short conversation the motion was agreed to.

2 F

diation offered by Russia and Austria. At a berg was petulant, and did not evince any crisis like the present, it was of great im- disposition on the part of ministers favourportance to know, whether ministers had able to peace. Whatever were the objectaken advantage of any opportunity that tions to the mediation of Russia, they did offered for pacific negociation, with a dis- not apply to that of Austria. The note of position favourable to the attainment of Prince de Starhemberg on this subject peace. With respect to the qualities of a 'was dated the 25th of April, and nothing mediator, he did not think it was neces- appeared about it in the Papers before the sary that a mediating power should be house until the 20th Oct. During this totally unconnected with both the bellige- long interval, he had conceived that there rents it was scarcely possible in human would be some further correspondence on affairs to meet with perfect impartiality, the subject; he had been, however, inat the same time he admitted that where formed by the noble secretary of state, there was a close connection between the that in point of fact there were no official power offering to mediate and one of the notes: there had been some conversations, belligerents, that the other belligerent was which, however, were not in a shape to be justified in refusing a mediation under laid before parliament. It was important, such circumstances. With respect to however, however, that their lordships should Russia, much had been said about the be in possession of all the information treaty of Tilsit: he did not believe that at that could be had, and it should be rethe time of concluding that treaty, there collected that we had at that time two miwas any dereliction of our interest on the nisters at Vienna, one of whom was there part of Russia, but that that measure was on a special mission. He therefore intendthe offspring of necessity. His noble friended to move for copies, or extracts, of Dis(lord Hutchinson) had stated on a former evening the vast losses sustained by the Russian army; and, after hearing that statement, could there be a doubt of the necessity under which Russia must find herself of making peace? It had been said, that there was a secret article in the Treaty of Tilsit, in which Russia pledged herself that the Danish fleet should be at the disposal of France; but he did not believe the existence of any such article. Was it possible to suppose that Russia, even prostrate as she was at the feet of France, would have agreed to an article which would have rendered France mistress of the Baltic, and placed the Russian empire completely in her power? He did not believe that Russia was really hostile to this country until the event of the expedition to Copenhagen; a measure which he feared we should repent to the latest hour of our existence. The Russian offer of mediation, limited as it was in point of time with respect to our acceptance of it, and communicated as it was, might be considered grating to the feelings of this country; but from the statement of his noble friend (lord Hutchinson) on a former evening, it was proved that the emperor did not wish to limit the time of our acceptance. If, however, he was not disposed, under all the circumstances, to find much fault with the rejection of the Russian mediation, he saw much to blame in the rejection of the Austrian offer of mediation. He thought the answer to prince Starhem

patches which passed between his majesty's government and the Austrian minister, and from the British minister at Vienna.— The next point on which he wished for further information related to the note of baron Budberg, of the 30th of June. In that note, some charges affecting the honour and character of this country were preferred, charges which it was the duty of his majesty's minister at the court of Russia to repel. These charges were afterwards repeated in the note of count Romanzow, and more specifically set forth in the Russian Declaration. They were contained under three heads: the refusal to lend any military assistance to Russia, the refusal to facilitate the negociation of a loan in this country, and the vexations suffered by the commerce of Russia. Of these three heads of accusation the last only was repelled in his majesty's Declaration. The two first were passed over in that perfect silence, which implied an acquiescence in the truth of the charges. The first was by far the most serious, and upon that he must claim their lordships indulgence for some time. The refusal to make any military diversion in favour of the continent, was one of the chief accusations against that administration, of which he had the honour to form a part. It was a charge which had been pressed against them by their opponents in all possible shapes. This calumny had been industriously circulated among the public, and much relied upon in another place; but

the repayment was guaranteed by the British government. Russia offered a species of security, to be sure; namely, that the duties levied in that country, upon the importation of British goods, should be made payable here as an export duty; but this being a duty of a precarious and uncertain nature, was not accepted. The lenders would accept of nothing short of a guarantee of the government; and that, for many reasons, could not be granted. The negociation, therefore, fell to the ground. The only charge remaining was, the injury sustained by the Russian commerce. It was true, a number of Russian vessels bound to the ports of France had been detained; but they were afterwards released, and ample compensation made to those who suffered by their detention. They were released in consequence of a representation from the Russian minister, that though France and Russia were at war, there was no interruption to the commercial relations between the two countries. In proof of this he mentioned, that the Russian consuls remained at all the French ports, in the full exercise of their functions. To this representation ministers listened, and the detained ships were released,and an assurance given,upon an understanding that they should convey no contraband of war, that they should meet with no interruption for the future. The noble lord expressed his hopes, that he had in some measure satisfied their lordships as to the injustice of some of the charges preferred against him and his colleagues, and the propriety of their refusing to accede to the proposals which made the subject of another; and concluded with moving for the several Papers to which he had referred in the course of his speech.

he trusted before he sat down he should | chants, that it would be impossible, unless satisfy their lordships that it was wholly unfounded. His lordship here went into a detail of the military operations upon the continent during the time the late administration were in power, and maintained that at no time was the course of events such, as to justify them in sending a large army to the continent. There were only three points at which a diversion, or co-operation, could be effected. It must have been attempted either in France, Holland, or within the Baltic. What would 25 or 30,000 men, the most which could have been spared by this country, effect against the population of France? It would be to send them to certain captivity or destruction, for within three days,three times their number might be collected against them. Was it in Holland that this diversion was to be attempted? Independant of the difficulty of establishing magazines, there were other obstacles to the effecting a descent in that country. The season rendered access to the coast almost impossible, and there was no strong place under cover of which the army could take post. Was it within the Baltic that this diversion was to take place? He would put it to the noble lord (Mulgrave,) both in his military and nautical capacity, to declare, whether, after the Russians had been driven across the Vistula, any descent could have been attempted with the smallest chance of success, on the coast of Denmark. Stralsund was the only place where a landing could have been safely effected, and Swedish Pomerania was observed by a French army, too powerful for any force that this country or Sweden could have collected in that quarter. Where, then, was this military assistance to be given? Did the noble lords opposite suppose, that the landing of 20 or 30,000 men at Memel could have Lord Hawkesbury felt it necessary for changed the fortune of the war? His no- him to make some observations on the ble friend behind him (lord Hutchinson) speech which the noble lord had just delicould bear testimony that it would not. vered. That speech was principally diviThe Russians were so deficient in arrange- ded into two heads: first, respecting the ments, that they were often in want of Russian mediation, and the conduct of the provisions. They had neglected to estab- present ministers upon the subject; se-, lish magazines; and the accession of such condly, the noble lord had thought it a force, instead of being an advantage, necessary to go at considerable length into would have only added to their embarrass- an apology or defence of the late ministers ments. He trusted that he had fully re- from the charges which had been made plied to this charge; the next, respecting against them by persons in this country, the refusal to facilitate a loan, would be and by the Russian Declaration, which more easily disposed of. Russia, it was charged the government of this country true, had proposed to make a loan of six with neglecting to co-operate with their millions in this country; but it was found allies on the continent. As to the first upon consulting with some of the first mer-point, namely, the Russian mediation, he

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »