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sources that might be employed in acce. | country, independently of loving my counlerating the extinction of the national trymen, and I should not be glad to debt, was no very unsuccessful way of see us reduced to a state of things, in carrying on war with us? It was lately which the country alone should be presaid, that the greatest part of the popu- served, and every means of happiness and lation of Ireland was disaffected ; but, comfort finally torn from its inhabitants. without ascribing great effects to the High establishments would form no secuUnion, nay, unless we suppose the go. rity against the danger which has been vernment outrageously bad, the people held out to us. Wise economy is ihe of Ireland must, in a few years, be resource from which we shall draw the much less disaffected than they now are. means of defending ourselves against every Thus, a few years of peace and moderate danger. If we have 25,000 men less, we establishment would enable us to throw shali in return in a short time have off a considerable part of that debt which 25,000,0001. more to apply to our defence in war was called the best ally of France; and to enable us to repel any aggression. while peace would equally tend to fortify --Hitherto I have argued the question us in Ireland—a point where it is evident upon the ground that war was an event we now are vulnerable. Is not France, which we might expect in no very distant then, much more likely to direct her period. But I do not think that we are efforts against our finances than to inva- obliged to anticipate a speedy war. sion, in which, at any time, there is so Again, at the hazard of misrepresentation little prospect of success, and in which, I must declare it to be my opinion, that it for some time, there can be no prospect is for the interest of the French nation of success at all ? The funds by the and of the French government, and that late war, fell from 97 to 47 ; 50 per cent ! | it is their wish to cultivate peace, and that They again have risen to 67 ; but, sup- with good management, without any par. posing a new war to take place, what ticle of submission, peace may be prewould be the consequence of the funds served. Though this be my opinion, I losing 50, or even 30 per cent on the would not risk one iota of the public price of 67 ? Instead, however, of such safety and interest on that which must be a loss, if peace is preservd, and our re- very vague and loose speculation. I have sources, increased by economy, applied shown, however, that in regard to your to the extinction of the public debt, I am finances, you would by economical estab. almost sure that the funds would again lishments, fortify your credit, and enlarge rise to 97.-I have already remarked, that your resources for any future exigency.the strength of France and England is The question of the navy establishment different ; their offensive and defensive has been mixed with the consideration of systems are different ; the credit of this the army; and I think strangely. It seems country is a main spring of its greatness to be taken as a matter of course, that and of its wealth. In France there you must have a large army, because you was no great deal of credit before the have 50,000 seamen. Now, it appears to Revolution, but the utter destruction of me, that the conclusion should be directly it by the war, and the events of the war the reverse. It operates two ways. though it spread much misery through You need employ fewer soldiers for France, did not unnerve that country. your defence, because you have aug, It rather contributed to swell the armies mented your navy: and the additional of the republic ; and to add to the con- expense by (sea, is an argument for quests they made. In England, the des- additional economy in the establishment truction of credit, though it would not be of your land forces. There is a way, attended with the loss of the indepen- too, in which a large army establishdence of the country (for we might still ment may be raised; and it is hitherto possess men and arms) yet it would spread unnoticed. Is there no constitutional infinite misery over the land. Let us consideration arising from a large standtherefore ward off from our finances and ing army? A standing army without confrom our credit every danger; because sent of parliament, is illegal; with the though not fatal to our existence their approbation of parliament, it may still be overthrow would be fatal to our welle dangerous. I do not mean to say that being. I confess that I never could enter the officers of the army are not friends to so far into the sentiment, common in the constitution of their country. But conancient times, of being able to love my sider the source of influence which the [VOL. XXXVI.]
army affords ; there is scarcely a gentle rather a suspicious argument, because it man in this House, who by himself, or seems to say, that we have only got rid of relation, has not some one to look to in the bad war which could not be continued the army. I do not say, that this influence in order to get another more acceptable. is pushed to carry a particular vote; but My hon. friend himself, I am sure, reits effects in procuring a general support joices in the peace, and does not wish to to the measures of administration is ob- begin the war on a new score. But in fact vious. I would not, however exclude offi. every thing convinces me more and more cers of the army from sitting in parlia- that the people are decidedly for peace. ment; that would render the evil worse, Gentlemen, however brave and warlike in because it would too much separate the their language, always conclude with characters of soldier and citizen. How is saying, “nevertheless I am for peace !" an army to be viewed, as soldiers distinct, They naturally wish to stand well with or as citizens forming a part of the coun- their constituents, and they do not fail to try? In the one case, they may have no utter a sentiment which they know will be sympathies with the people; in the other, agreeable to them. Much has been said they may, in the exercise of civil pri- of the tone we ought to assume, but what vileges, give a dangerous preponderance is the object to which all this tends? My in an election, for instance, to any side hon. friend with much humour, alluded to they might espouse: but in fact they are those wlio, with their arms a-kimboo would to many purposes already, and wisely so, sit stock-still, notwithstanding all their put under a control different from their complaints against France. Now, whether fellow subjects. To these remarks, how- my hon. friend could sit stock-still
, with ever, the naval establishment is not sub- his arms a.kimboo, I cannot tell; he does ject; and for that reason I agree with an little more than leave the tongue at liberty, hon. gentleman, that the naval establish and recommends you to acquiesce in peace ment is on that account less liable to ob- i after a bluster at proceedings with which jection, while it affords us all the security we are not to interfere. It has been said, we can have against the danger, magnified indeed, that a remonstrance has been preas it has been.-- There is another view of sented respecting the attack on Switzerthe subject which, though not avowed, is land. I know not whether in the precise perhaps entertained by some. It may be circumstances or manner of that remonthought right to have a large establishment strance it was proper, though I have no in order to go to war immediately, or very reason to believe that it was not. Resoon; certainly, if we are to go to war in monstrances may be presented in cases a month or two, it would be idle to reduce where no war is deemed expedient, even our establishments. I can judge of mi- if the remonstrance be ineffectual. This nisters only from their words and their happened in the case of Corsica in 1769. actions. The chancellor of the exchequer, As to philippics, sure we must have if I rightly understood, said a few nights philippics to keep up the national spirit. ago, that he saw no uanger to the peace I am very willing that they be taken into of Europe at present ; and the secretary account as provision for our security, but I at war to day spoke out distinctly and hope that 30,000 men will, in lieu of them, candidly. He said it was our business to be deducted from our establishments. But be armed against any danger. He and I if we are to have the 30,000 men into the differ as to the extent to which we should bargain, I do not see what benefit they be armed ; but he says, thatwe should pro- will produce. If danger really did appear, voke no war, that we should commit no if invasion actually were effected, every aggression, that we should execute the feeling would be absorbed in those of retreaty of Amiens, and that we should repel pelling the invader, from the sovereign any insult or aggression with firmness and motive of self defence; so that all the dedignity. This is my creed. Is it probable clamation which was to nourish the spirit then, inat the aggression may come from of the nation, would be fruitless and unFrance ? An hon. general gave a very necessary.--Much had been said about ugly reason why the peace should be men and measures : if he, who had always agreeable to the late secretary at war, opposed the measures of the late adminisbecause the spirit of the country was be- tration, should say he liesitated to support come warlike; whereas, if the war had the present ministers because they had continued, the table would have been always approved of the conduct of the loaded with petitions against it. This is last, he should speak a language, which,
whether right or wrong, would at least be sight. Now and then, perhaps, they are intelligible. But he could not see on what lamented, but not censured and exposed. ground the gentleman near him, should At all times, as on this night, he endeaobject to a ministry who had always sup- vours to lead away the feelings of his ported the measures they pretended to countrymen from their abhorrence of have admired. If the noble earl (Temple) French conduct and French principles. and his friends had any advice to give to He treats the new system as an old
go. the crown, why did they not move an ad- vernment; and seeks out similar instances dress to his majesty ? But they had no of perfidy and oppression in the old goadvice to give-nothing to propose--and vernment. Look at old times, says hem this was what distinguished an honourable meaning that the morals of the republie party from an interested faction. They, had not been worse than those of the mowere satisfied with the measures of minis. narchy. But those who bad seen them ters, but they wanted their places. The would best judge. These things had opelate chancellor of the exchequer was cal- rated a wonderful change on his mind! led for by the noble lord and his friends ; | They had operated that surprising love of but he had gone out, it seemed, on the peace which he did not feel before, catholic question. If that was the cause On former occasions, particularly in of his going out, how could be come in 1787, what was his language? Did he not now? Their opinion of the present minis- say that the treaty would stand in the way ters was spoken plainly enough. It was of future wars, and that was one among not exactly what it had been described by other reasors for his opposing it? an honourable gentleman opposite. They And what wais? Why, to interfere did not
with the balance of power in Europe Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, But what was that but to inter ere in the And, without sneering, teach the rest to internal affairs of other countries ? Now, sneer.
the whole colour of his mind was Theirs was certainly no praise at all; and, changed by the revolution. Before that, as certainly, nothing like civility; but, as his sentiments were English-he was to sneers, they were abundant enough. English to the backbone. Now, the With regard to the views of Buonaparté, hon. gentleman wishes to make it out he saw no reason why, having gained great that we are in no danger. He finds out, military glory, his ambition might not now that, by the diminution of her navy, induce him to turn his attention to the France has much less power to hurt us; improvement of the commerce of his but the extent of the sea-coast, from the country. There was nothing improbable, Texel to the Mediterranean, with all her nothing unnatural in this. Years of peace other means, made a very different ap. would enable this country to renew the pearance. Reasons as good might have war with increased means, but would not been advanced against her successes in add, in the same proportion, to the re- other countries. We know something of sources of France.
her activity. What was the case with the Mr. Windham said, he felt it his duty to battle of Marengo ? Had general Melas make some observations on the speeches of not listened to the idea of the impracticagentlemen who had delivered themselves bility of passing the Alps, he might bave early in the debate; but some parts of the stopped the consular march. When the speech of the hon. member who spoke news came over, that the Austrian gelast first deserved animadversion. That neral felt himself quite safe and sound, gentleman was certainly, in one respect, there was reason to fear for his real state. true to his principle. He always had en- The hon. gentleman may know, that in tertained the same earnest desire for a the last war, those in military stations peace with the French republic. He was were generally the least afraid of a bold now the apologist of their ambition and and daring enterprise of the enemy, who guilt. His language ever since the com- had the least means of resisting them in mencement of their revolution had been such cases. They were most desirous of that of an apologist, often of an eulogist. He guarding every point, who knew by their had exhausted volumes of encomiums on own experience what talents and boldness “ that wonderful and stupendous fabric might accomplish. The hon. gentleman of human wisdom:" and up to this day he had said, that though an invasion would continued to look on it with affection. be productive of much mischief, it would All the French enormities he keeps out of stop short of subjugation. But the
whole question was, what, in case of in- | Sheridan), of which he must speak in vasion, would be the best means of de terms of very high praise, excepting one fending the country-the troops or the part of it; which, however, was not such money? Twenty thousand men were far as to make him alter his opinion of it as a better than any equivalent sum of money whole. He did not like to speak of perin our pockets for such a purpose. Should sons instead of measures and principles: the hon. gentleman's opinion of the pa. but it was a custom to say, of him, that cific disposition fail him, then another he wished to plunge the nation into a war. part of his argument comes in question- It was utterly incorrect and unfounded. that of the finances. But what was this When asked, what he would advise to the but the same sort of comparative question? House and to ministers, he had distinctly He had kept out of sight the other great marked out the line. It was, not to give dangers arising from the French revolu- up any thing which success or accident tion, as if that of an invasion was the only might have thrown in our hands, and
We ought to consider what was that some places had been imprudently the French navy, now that it consisted parted with already. He would not give not only of the French, but Spanish, an opinion grounded upon imperfect eviDutch, and other ships ; and what were dence. Therefore, that we should have the French means of commerce; and done well in making war at present, he how they could make their military could not take upon him to say. The power bear upon matters of trade. So hon. gentleman had said that French prinfar as to troops and money compared. ciples were the object of war with him (Mr. Then, as to the comparison the hon. W.) and his friends. Now, his objection was gentleman made between our establish- to French principles and French power. ments after former pacifications. No in- His sentiments were, that their principles ference was to be drawn from an ante. led to power. Another paltry expedient cedent state, as no times resembled these. was, attributing to him an attachment to He had said that, starting with low esta- the Bourbons. He hated French power blishments, we had obtained splendid under any family; but he thought peace
But, does it follow, that a safer under them, than under the consul. higher establishment would prevent Their temple of liberty was transformed similar success? At the commencement into the temple of Mars. All the decoof the Seven Years war, we had very ill ration and scrolls, &c. were destroyed, and success-the consequence of that fållen fire and destruction went forth to constate we were placed in by a low peace sume the earth. The whole question lay establishment. The hon. gentleman men in this-money or money's worth. He tioned Ireland. Why, had we not had preferred the latter. there two invasions? And was not that Mr. Chancellor Addington said, it had the most formidable which even disem- been asked, whether there was any thing barked her troops, that of Bantry Bay in the state of the country at this time Fleets may get across, then, and may land which so peculiarly distinguished it from them in spite of our navy. Every mea- other situations of the country, as to sure was taken in France to promote con- render the present establishment necesquest and hostility. This wonderful re- sary? He should not act fairly, if he said presentative government, that was to give that any circumstances were known to such liberty to all the world, has lately his majesty's ministers, that could justify made another compulsory military con- their adopting any thing less than the scription. He did not hear these matters establishment proposed. He had no from such high authority as the hon. gen. scruple in declaring, that if the war had tleman; but he heard from very judicious, terminated in a manner conformable to intelligent, and correct persons, who had the wishes of this House; if it bad terbeen in France, that the idea of liberty minated by the attainment of those objects had long been treated by all sober people for which it was entered into; if France as a government not fit for them; and the had been confined within her original only consolation they had in view was, limits, he still should have exhorted the the grand consolidation of the grand House to have acceded to a much empire of the world, by humbling or larger peace establishment than at any destroying us under their feet. There was former period : he should have done so a speech delivered in the course of the for the reasons alluded to by a noble lord ; debate by an hon. gentleman (Mr. reasons which proved, that, by an increase of our peace establishment, we should not passed that vote with less information to only have a much better chance of the guide them in the propriety of passing it, continuance of peace, but of entering upon than ever was before submitted to parlia. a war, in case circumstances should ment on similar occasions. The answer render hostile measures indispensable. given then to this observation by anoble lord But the condition in which the late was, that there was nothing in the history treaty had left France, furnished still of parliament respecting thegranting of the stronger arguments for the necessity of information required, that made the late a formidable force. Her acquisitions in proceedings of the House differ from those the Austrian Netherlands, her influence of former times. Till now he had no opin Holland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, portunity of answering these contradicand, in fact, over the whole continent, tions; but he would endeavour briefly to sufficiently evinced the necessity of a restate his objections. What is our situa. larger armament than would have been tion, and what lights have we to enable us requisite, had peace been made under to judge of it? If we call for those lights more favourable auspices. He should we are referred to the speeches of minisnot act fairly by the committee, if he ters, which convey no information; and did not state, that, since the conclusion even if they did, are such speeches fit parof the definitive treaty, circumstances liamentary documents to justify the House had occurred, which furnished additional in coming to a decision on matters of the arguments for increasing our establish- gravest moment ? He might firmly mainment. Taking, then, into consideration tain that no one instance has occurred in the necessity of having a larger esta- the parliamentary history of the country, blishment than that which existed at in which ministers have come down, after former periods, it was a duty imposed on the signing of a definitive treaty of peace, him to recommend the force which had to call for supplies or large establishments been moved for. Something had been without having advised his majesty to said by an hon. gentleman behind him, to make some communication from the which it was impossible not to advert; re throne, intimating the probability that the ferring to what had fallen from another peace would be lasting, or that it might be right hon. gentleman, for whom he felt precarious, or if any dangers of a fresh as much respect and regard as could rupture existed, without alluding to those actuate the breast of one human being dangers. The hon. gentleman then aptowards another, he felt himself called pealed to several speeches and messages upon to answer the insinuation he had recorded in the Journals, in corroboration thrown out. He had stated, that the of what he had advanced. The notoriety right bon. gentleman to whom he alluded of a fact did not form a proper parliamenwas still responsible for the measures of tary ground of proceeding. Parliament government. He should be ashamed if should have real, solid, substantial docusuch charge could be supposed to be ments before them to judge by. The correct. For himself, and those who want of such documents on the present acted with him, he had only to say, that occasion appeared to him to be a depar-, could they be supposed capable of sub- ture from the usual practice, dangerous to jecting themselves to the influence of the constitution. Should not the House others, they would have been totally un. know what garrisons are to be supplied by deserving of those marks of favour which the sums now to be voted ? It is true their sovereign had bestowed upon them. that Malta has not yet been evacuated; it is He trusted he should at all times be ready equally known that orders have been sent to vindicate his own personal and official out to retain the Cape. These were two honour.
considerable military points, and their fate The resolutions were agreed to.
should be known before an accurate judg
ment could be formed of the extent of the Dec. 9. The resolutions being re- supply necessary.
The hon. gentleman ported,
next proceeded to observe on the manner Mr. T. Grenfell said, that those who on which the army estimates were yesterheard what he had advanced when the day opened by the secretary at war. navy estimates were under consideration, Nothing could be more clear, explicit, would recollect what were the grounds and manly than that opening; yet at the which he urged on that occasion. His conclusion of his speech, there were some assertion then was, that the House had expressions that called for particular at.