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to balance the advantages of the different forms of government; and consider whether, without those peculiar conveniences enjoyed by a despotic government, we had not advantages ten thousand times greater. On these grounds, he would call the attention of the house to three points: 1st, Such communications as had been made of the correspondence between our late government, and our minister at Copenhagen, consisting of two parts; that which had been produced entire, and the extracts which had been read here. He really wished to shelter his right hon. friend (Mr. Canning) from the strong rebuke which he had met with from a high authority in the other house, as having lost sight of his duty. That would probably be overlooked here, if he did his duty in this house. 2dly, The small portion of information which had been laid on the table: and, 3dly, The information which ministers had refused. As to the first of these points, his right hon. friend, in whose public conduct he felt a sincere interest, had read an extract of a letter from lord Howick, which called down the rebuke to which he had adverted; he then read extracts of the letters of Mr. Garlike, and left the house to gather from them, that the intentions of Denmark were hostile. Unless the papers were produced, there never was so foul a quotation as those in both instances. He did not say that his right hon. friend absolutely read from the letters, things that he knew to be contradicted in the next paragraphs; but he supposed some clerk in his office had put these extracts in his hands, telling him that they might be of use in affording some shadow of ground for the Danish expedition and his right hon. friend had, not purposely but carelessly, taken them without further examination. But a secretary, of whom he had not so good an opinion as he had of his right hon. friend, might possibly, upon this principle, tell one of his clerks to make out a justification some way; advising him not to be nice, but to take a scrap here and a scrap there, and patch up a case of some sort. If ministers thought proper to make out a case against any country, they had only to have recourse to this ingenious sort of picking. The right hon. gent. had a model of this kind of ingenuity in Swift's Tale of a Tub, where three brothers endeavoured to find the words 'shoulder-knots' in their father's will, and gave a complete specimen of this system of pickings and patches. They
first attempted to find the shoulder-knots, 'totidem verbis;' but this being found impracticable, the eldest, who was afterwards distinguished by the appellation of lord Peter, suggested the expedient of looking for it totidem syllabis;' this, too, was found impossible, as they could not make out the first syllable. They then tried to make out their point totidem literis;' but, as bad luck would have it, they could not find out the letter k. What was to be done in this case? Brother Peter got rid of the difficulty by giving it as his opinion, that the word knot' ought to be spelt without a k; the other brothers. agreed with him, and thus they made out their authority for wearing shoulder-knots. So an acute secretary might make out a charge against any country. The right hon. gent. might perhaps have read or heard of an ingenious essay in favour of atheism, taken out of the Epistles of St. Paul. This was another instance of the system of picking scraps from different parts of the same composition. There was also a most indecent and abominable poem, written by Ausonius, which could not be quoted in the house, which even scarcely could be named with propriety, all taken from the chaste muse of Virgil. Perhaps his right hon. friend had read it, monstrum horrendum ingens!' but though he believed his right hon. friend must have read it, yet he was sure that he would not attempt a translation for the use of the country gentlemen; otherwise he might be as severely rebuked by his right hon. friend the chancellor of the exchequer, as he had been by the noble and learned lord in the other house; and besides have a lecture from the Society for the Suppression of Vice, with leave to think himself lucky if he escaped a prosecution.-From the system that had been pursued of reading partial extracts, no credit what, ever could be given to the information that had been laid before the house, till the whole correspondence was produced; for nobody could be sure that what had been brought forward was not a gross imposition. But, supposing that a case could be made out against Denmark, the house was without information respecting the real cause of the war with Russia. He took it for granted, that it was not simply the attack upon Copenhagen which had alienated the emperor of Russia from his attachment to this country; but it was owing to something which occurred posterior to that attack, that he had ranged himself in the
list of our enemies. Lord G. L. Gower ascribed this change of sentiment, in one of his dispatches, to the arrival of a messenger from Paris, and to the strong representations made after the event by general Savary. But, with all due respect for the opinion of his noble friend, he shrewdly suspected that it had arisen from the communication imparted to the court of St. Petersburg, of the foul, treacherous, and base proposals which were made after the capitulation of Copenhagen, by ministers, to Mr. Rist, the Danish agent in this country, to submit to any terms which they might think proper to dictate, on pain of having Norway wrested from the crown of Denmark and given to Sweden. If he could trust to the papers which he held in his hand, purporting to be the substance of a conversation which passed between Mr. Secretary Canning and Mr. Rist, and copies of a correspondence which passed between the courts of Copenhagen and Stockholm, it appeared that, at the very time that ministers were soliciting the mediation of the emperor of Russia between G. Britain and Denmark, they were threatening to despoil Denmark of a part of her territory: and, after having evacuated Zealand conformably to the capitulation, to co-operate with a Swedish garrison in again taking possession of it. Not only this, but there was a rumour in circulation, that this plan was only abandoned in consequence of the commander in chief of the forces in the island of Zealand positively refusing to have any share in it. Flagrant and wicked as he considered the first attack upon Denmark was, to have violated the capitulation would certainly have been still more base and criminal; and, therefore, he hoped to hear an explicit declaration from his majesty's ministers, that they never at any time harboured an idea of committing such an act. Still, however, it was difficult to believe that there was no ground for the imputation; unless the supposed minute of Mr. Rist's conversation with Mr. Secretary Canning, and the correspondence which he now held in his hand, were impudent forgeries. The right hon. gent. here read the several papers to which he alluded; beginning with Mr. Rist's note to count Bernstorff, containing a communication of five diferent menaces which were thrown out by his majesty's foreign secretary, if the court of Denmark did not agree to subscribe to certain terms, and ending with a note addressed by baron Taube, his
Swedish majesty's chargé-d'affaires at the court of Kiel, to count Bernstorff, the Danish minister, (a man who was universally esteemed to be the honestest minister in Europe, not meaning by this expression to be guilty of any disrespect to the right hon. gent. opposite,) declaring, that "had his Swedish majesty judged it necessary to occupy Zealand with his troops, jointly with those of his ally, he should have done it; and the king wishes that he may never find himself in the case to regret that he had acted otherwise." He meant to give every credit to the gallantry of the king of Sweden; and indeed, considering that he was now our only remaining ally, it would be illiberal to withhold any praise that was due to him. This was a very stout declaration, and he sincerely "wished that his Swedish majesty might never have cause to regret" the counsels of those who had advised him to make it. He must remark, however, that there was something curious in the wording of it. He confesses that he would have taken possession of Zealand had it been necessary; and expresses a hope that he might never have cause to regret not having done it, even though it was not necessary. There the house would see the influence of example strikingly illustrated. The British government had bombarded Copenhagen; levelled its houses, churches, and hospitals; sacked its arsenals, and carried off its fleet; because it was given out it was necessary so to do. The king of Sweden declares that had it been necessary, he would have taken possession after it was evacuated by our troops. And now the emperor of Russia would find it necessary to march an army into Finland, and to take possession of Stockholm. A right hon. friend of his (Mr. Windham) had advised ministers not to attempt running a race of violence and injustice with the ruler of France, because they were sure to be beat; but he really thought that their first effort was no bad coup d'essai; and it now appeared as if Sweden had been so much animated by their example, as to shew a roving disposition to follow them in their new career. The right hon. gent. next adverted to the promise which they had made of Norway to Sweden, at least if he was to believe the documents which he had read. Sweden, he said, must be very sure of getting Norway in the end; for, it seemed, it had been promised to her not only by the 'British government, but by the emperor Napoleon himself. Gen.
Brune, in a conference with a Swedish new system of withholding all information neral who had fallen into his hands in Po-relative to the measures of ministers. If merania (he did not know whether he was it did, it would be better to decide at once, quizzing him or not), had held out precisely that the interference of that house was at the same bait to the king of Sweden that all times an impediment to the operations his right hon. friend had done; and let it of government; that parliament was a be remembered, that it had been stated | nuisance in difficult times; that it would by ministers as a matter of accusation be better for the king to prorogue it during against Denmark, that she had not com- pleasure, raise money as he pleases, and municated this offer to the British govern- make war or peace when, how, or on what ment, at the same time that she informed terms, he may think proper. He implorthe British government of the offer of ed ministers, however, to give up the deSweden to send a Swedish force to her as- testable system upon which they had latesistance. This offer, he contended, was ly been endeavouring to act; namely, sufficient of itself to have provoked the that of fighting Buonaparte with his own enmity of the emperor of Russia; who, weapons. They would do much better to above all things, was jealous of the pre- continue to fight with those weapons rogative which he assumed to himself of which the nation was better accustomed protector of the North. He was therefore to handle. Let them oppose lenity and of opinion that lord G. L. Gower was moderation to his cruelty and oppression; mistaken, in ascribing the hostile deter- let them oppose good faith to his treachery mination of the court of St. Petersburg and duplicity; to his violence and desto the interference of gen. Savary; and potism let them oppose the mildness of that it could be much better accounted for the British constitution; and above all, to by the propositions which we made to his mystery let them oppose publicity. Sweden, after the capitulation of Copen- He concluded with moving, 1. "That an hagen was signed and ratified. But, as to humble address be presented to his maour giving away Norway, or Sweden tak-jesty, that he will be graciously pleased ing Norway, it was really too ridiculous for ministers to talk of it. It was no longer ago than in 1787, that a body of Norwegians put themselves in motion, and took possession of Gottenburgh, the second city of Sweden; and it was difficult to say where they might have proceeded, had it not been for the intervention of Mr. Elliott, at that time the British minister at Copenhagen. It was reported that ministers were preparing to send a fleet to the Baltic; and he hoped that they would do so, not for the purpose either of taking Holstein from the French, or Zealand from the Danes, or of making good their promise to the king of Swedenby taking Norway, but he hoped with the intention of securing the Swedish fleet. The king of Sweden must be the most unreasonable man in the world if he hesitated to deliver it into our hands as a deposit, and it certainly was an object of sufficient importance to engage the attention of ministers. It was well known that Sweden was in possession of the best flotilla in the world, and did it fall into the power of our enemy, it was much more likely to be converted into an instrument of effecting an invasion of this country than the Danish navy. But reverting to a general view of the question, he put it to the house whether it would sauction the
to give directions that there be laid before this house, as far as the same can be done without prejudice to the public service, Copies or Extracts of any Correspondence which passed between his majesty's ministers and the Danish Chargé d'Affaires, or his secretary, resident at the court of London, from the date of the Capitulation of Copenhagen, to their departure, together with the minutes of any verbal communications between the same: 2. Copies or Extracts of all Correspondence which passed, after the Capitulation of Copenhagen, between his majesty's ministers and the court of Stockholm, relative to the retaining possession of the Island of Zealand by a Swedish army, or in concert with his majesty's forces; and also Copies of any Correspondence which may have passed between the courts of Copenhagen and Stockholm relating to the same, and communicated to his majesty's minister resid ing at the court of Stockholm."
Mr. Secretary Canning was not ashamed to confess, that he at all times felt consi derable difficulty in disagreeing from his right hon. friend; and that, in this in stance, his difficulty was much increased, not by the line of argument adopted by his right hon. friend, but by the humour with which he had treated subjects stated to be atrocious, and the gravity with
which he had dwelt upon things trifling an unfortunate one for his argument; beand unimportant. The right hon. gent. cause he had antecedently proved in his had set out with a discussion of the parti- speech that they must all have been writcular benefits of the British constitution, ten between the 30th of August and the 2d which he contrasted with the practice of of Sept. The clerical error of the copying despotic governments. But his right hon. clerk, in dating one of these dispatches the friend had pushed this contrast to a greater 2d instead of the 1st of Sept. was the ground extent than any writer or speaker with upon which the right hon. gent. built his whom he was acquainted. His right hon. argument, to prove the deception which friend had said, that his majesty's mini- he imputed to his majesty's ministers, sters were preserving the gloom of des- But, in contending that these dispatches potism upon every transaction, upon which were framed with a view to justify his mathey did not, shortly after the transaction jesty's Declaration of Dec. 19, which was took place, or whilst the consequences issued in answer to the emperor of Russia's were yet flowing from it, give the fullest Declaration of Oct. 26th which had been reinformation to the house, and through that ceived in this country on the 3d of Dec.his house to the public, and through the pub-right hon. friend gave credit to him and lic to the enemy, by which the enemy his colleagues for a portion of political samight be enabled to defeat the objects of gacity which he was not, on other occathem. He had always thought that the sions, disposed to allow them. But as the constitution had solved that problem which observation had been applied not only to his right hon. friend seemed to think in- the dispatches from lord G. L. Gower, but soluble, by enabling that house to steer to his answer to these dispatches, dated between difficulties, and by uniting the Sept. 17th, his right hon. friend cut him promptness of the executive with the sa- short a fortnight of the allowance of polilutary corrective of its popular branch. tical sagacity. The view which his rt. hon. But the extremity to which his right hon. friend had taken of the statement in lord friend had pushed his proposition was not G.L. Gower's dispatch, relative to the amito be maintained in argument or in fact, cable tone assumed by gen. Budberg, was and the former of his motions allowed the not maintainable in argument, or by the principle which the whole tenor of his fact. Did his right hon. friend mean to say speech went to invalidate. His right hon. that general Budberg, at the time of adoptfriend had complained of the sparingness ing that tone, was not acquainted with the with which his majesty's ministers granted transactions at Copenhagen? If he did, he papers; but he was sure his right hon. was mistaken; because these transactions friend must be convinced that papers had had been known at St. Petersburg either been laid upon the table this session in on, or shortly after, the 20th of August, greater masses than upon any former oc- If that were so, he would ask his right hon. casion. It began to be the feeling of the friend whether, under such circumstances, house, that he and his colleagues had he would not think it proper to take ad granted too many papers, and that the vantage of such a disposition, in order, if few which remained in the public offices possible, to preserve the relations of amity should be retained there, if not for the and alliance which had previously subsist guidance of future ministers, at least for ed between the two countries? The note the service of future oppositions. His demanding an explanation of the attack right hon. friend had asserted, that because upon Copenhagen, had been communicated only extracts had been laid before the under the influence of a power which had house, they were not entitled to credit; since acquired and exerted an ascendancy and that the remainder of the documents, in the Russian councils. Though the dis if produced, would contradict the tenor of patches communicating this note had been the parts given to the public; as well as received with the other, they did not seem that, because chasms existed in the chain to his majesty's ministers sufficient to alter of papers, those which were forthcoming the view which they had of turning to adwere not to be credited. The instance vantage, if possible, the friendly disposiwhich his right hon. friend had selected to tion which had appeared on the part of prove a deception in the case of the three Russia. If this had been the use which dispatches from lord G. L. Gower, and his right hon. friend made of the papers upon which he dwelt with so much ear-produced at the desire of his own friend, nestness, as if they might have been writ- what credit would he have given to the ten at intervals of some weeks, was rather dispatches if they had been voluntarily
laid upon the table by his majesty's ministers? Would he not have said, that ministers had produced them in order to make out their own case? But he should not then enter into the general question, until it should be regularly brought before the house, by the motion of the learned gent. on Wednesday. If his right hon. friend was prepared to contend that the question ought to be answered because it was put; or that, according to the daily practice of that house, it ought to be answered without any reference whatever to any particular course to be grounded upon it; he was of opinion that it would require somewhat more than the ingenuity of his right hon. friend to establish that point. If he understood his right hon. friend right, he had adverted to certain misconstructions which had been put upon what had fallen from him on a former occasion, as if he had made statements from documents in order to misrepresent the general tenor of their contents. Upon this particular point he should observe, that if other reasons did not interfere with the production of these documents, he could, for his part, have no objection to producing them; and on this occasion he trusted he should meet with the indulgence of the house, in adding a few words upon a subject so immediately personal to himself. If he were to look to himself alone, he should have no difficulty in producing the papers, which would take away all misconstructions upon the subject, and leave the learned gent. when he came to bring forward his motion, to discuss it upon the mere naked principle. His right hon. friend had mis-stated the view in which he had used one of those papers which he had read. He had stated, that he (Mr. C.) from lord Howick's dispatch, had imputed that the Danish court was in collusion with France, but this was a mistake; he had only stated that, from all the circumstances of Denmark's having retreated as the French advanced towards Holstein, there was reason to apprehend, if they got possession of Holstein, Denmark might dread their proceeding to do the same by Zealand, and that might be a means of drawing the Danish fleet into the hands of France; and he thought the noble lord had good cause for fearing that might be the case. His right hon. friend, in one part of his speech, admitted, and in the wording of his motion, had more strongly confirmed the admission, that it must be left to his majesty's
ministers to say what particular papers ought to be laid before the house, and what would be inconvenient or dangerous so to do, and then called on him to say whether there would be any inconvenience in the production of the papers now moved for? To this he distinctly answered, yes, there would be the highest inconvenience. His right hon. friend had told them that we had but one ally in Europe, and that he was in the greatest danger. He argued that this danger would arise to Sweden, from having entered into a compact with this country relative to taking possession of Norway, and in return asked for the whole correspondence relating to that transaction. His right hon. friend's belief with respect to that was founded on a few paragraphs in the Moniteur, which he brought down, threw on the table, and then called on ministers for all the correspondence between them and their only ally; he thought, however, ministers knew too well how to shew their value for their only ally, to comply with so unreasonable a request. He did not know how it was, but it seemed to him the Moniteur had been strangely favourable to the views of the hon. gentlemen opposite; for they no sooner began to be exhausted in topics of declamation against ministers, and to shew symptoms of being languid and flat, than over popt a Moniteur with some agreeable information to cheer their drooping spirits, and to give them a fresh opportunity of calling for more papers, in doing which he thought his right hon. friend had, on the present occasion, shewn a voracious curiosity. If he would limit it to any information that could safely be laid before the house, he would be glad to oblige him as far as possible, to give him an opportunity of joining more effectually in the motion, which the hon. and learned gent. soon meant to move on the capitulation of Copenhagen. He assured the house, that in every respect that treaty had been complied with on our part. There had been a conference as to British property seized and detained prior to our taking possession of Zealand, a doubt having arisen whether the capitulation meant to confine it to Zealand only, or to the rest of the Danish territory. It was agreed to be submitt to the officers on both sides, who made the capitulation, and was determined against the English, and implicitly complied with: The same, as to hostilities, by the declaration of war, which were not known at the time of the capitulation; every thing had