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tention. The expressions he alluded to sertion had any foundation he could never were these :-" The object of government bring himself to believe. Did Venice bein proposing to vote the present force, has long to Sardinia ? or rather, might not 1.wo purposes in view, viz. to repel national this be a story told to the hon. gentleman insult and hostile aggression. He did not by the French secretary of state in the object to this use of the force. What he foreign department? Talleyrand might disliked was, that these expressions nar- have hinted that France would have given rowed too much the effect which might be Piedmont to the king of Sardinia, if Ausotherwise expected from it. Were we to tria would consent to cede Venice. It vote 130,000 men merely for the purpose was said that partiality for the character of sitting still till the French armies had and principles of a right hon. gentleman fictually invaded us? Too many of those (Mr. Pitt) prompted him to wish to place who spoke on this subject seemed to be that right hon. gentleman at the head of of that opinion. Such, however, has affairs. To this charge he was ready to rarely been the mode of arguing adopted answer, Habes confitentem reum. Indeed by that House, nor could he believe that it was his conscientious belief, that, if the the force now proposed would be limited country were to be canvassed, 99 out of to the simple purpose of resisting the in. 100 would be found of the same opinion, vasion of the enemy-[a cry of hear! Were that great majority of the country hear from the treasury bench]. The to see him placed at the helm, their apprehon. gentleman professed himself happy hensions would vanish, and a new vigour in hearing that expression of approbation would be infused into the nation. He hoped ministers would avail themselves Lord Hawkesbury contended, that every of the force placed at their disposal, to part of the conduct of government had speak a language to France, which should fully explained the system they had have its due impression. The present go- adopted, as far as had been usual, with vernment of France, if such language was regard to foreign affairs. It was not conheld out to them, would see the necessity sistent with the general practice of the of avoiding what might be fatal to them. constitution, to bring the details of such To forbear holding a firm and determined discussions before parliament, unless milanguage, was only encouraging the first nisters called for some vote or opinion consul to persist in his present wild career founded upon those details. It had been of conquest and aggrandizement. He felt maintained, that even when a general much struck with the language held of late case had been made out by ministers, upon the subject of continental alliances without the production of the details, they Were it our intention to look for an alli- had a right to call for the support of parance with any great power on the conti- liament. This was the case at the period nent, it was no doubt our duty to examine of the Russian armament, and it was how far such a power might be able or afterwards said, on the other side of the willing to co-operate with us effectually; House, that while the question was in and when the continental powers saw that discussion they had not inquired, but we intended to concentre the whole of our that when ministers called for a direct force within our own island, and merely vote, they had a right to give the House for our own defence, what encouragement full information upon the subject. With could they feel to form an alliance with respect to the general system adopted by us? But his surprise was raised to an ex. ministers, it had been asserted, that it was traordinary degree, when he observed a impossible to understand what that system man (Mr. Fox) whose opinion must al. was ; as if ministers had never explained ways have so much weight in the country, themselves upon the general principle of broach doctrines so novel on this topic, their conduct to France and other powers. and so inconsistent with his former senti- He ought, perhaps, upon this subject, to ments. When the fate of the king of refer to authentic documents, such as the Sardinia was introduced into a late debale, speeches from the throne, and the adthat hon. gentleman had asked whose fault dresses of that House ; but from the nait was that the king of Sardinia was not ture of those records, they must be taken restored ? Was it the fault of France? subject to the explanation of his majesty's no; he had said, it was the fault of Aus-confidential servants. It was impossible, tria, that opposed his restoration, lest it in a speech or message from the throne, should be purchased at the expense of her to enter into such a minute detail as would Venetian territories. That such an as- be necessary for the full explanation of the

subject ; but he admitted, that in those refer to the king's speech at the opening documents the general principle of the of the present session. This speech was measure proposed ought always to be conformable to the address to which he found. He was ready to contend, that it had before alluded; it maintained the was impossible to conceive (as far as the same principles, and held the same circumstance would admit) a more com language. As far, therefore, as language plete explanation of the system which went, the system of the king's governgovernment had adopted, than was to be ment had been explicitly avowed. The found in an amendinent which he had right hon. gentleman might assert, that moved to an address proposed last ses. ministers had not acted upon that system, sion by an hon. friend of his. He wished that they had gone beyond, or had fallen to ask any gentleman the meaning he short of it; but he had no right to say would put upon the words of that amend that they had not laid down any system. ment. It contained two propositions, He should have thought, that upon the which he did not mean to say could be general principle of continental alliances separated entirely, but which were, how it was almost unnecessary for him to make ever, in some degree distinct. The right any profession. Whenever he had spoken hon. gentleman complained, that ministers upon the subject, he had uniformly mainhad not explained whether they would in- tained one opinion. It was a subject terfere with the continental powers; his which had very early occupied his atienanswer was, that that point was completely cion, and upon which he had given his explained in the amendment he had read. opinion the first time he had had the He begged shortly to call the attention of honour of speaking in that House. He the House to the late treaty, and to the recollected that upon that occasion a right address to which he had alluded. When hon. friend of his had made a most able other treaties of peace were concluded, and ingenious speech, which contained the country negotiated for peace in con- the best case he had ever heard against junction with other powers; but when the the balance of power. But certainly that late treaty was concluded, every power on principle, like all others, might be pushed the continent had been induced or com- io an extreme. It appeared to him that pelled to make separate treaties of peace. it was one of those questions upon

which Wewere by those circumstances insulated, there was great danger of our over-reand forced to make a separate peace, un fining; and he thought it was the duty of coonected with any of the continental government to guard against the extremes powers. His majesty's ministers rested which a degree of over.refinement might the defence of that treaty upon the cir- sometimes occasion. That the interests cumstances under which it had been proof this country were not materially conposed and concluded. They stated the nected with those of the continent, or that line of conduct they had adopted in con- we could exclude ourselves wholly, or sequence of the unfortunate events which even in a great degree, from all conhad happened on the continent; but they tinental connexions, it would be absurd at the same time stated, that, so far from to contend. Our commerce, our wealth, abandoning all continental connexions, it our importance in the eyes of Europe, must always form a part of the system of were such, that we could not say that we this country. If he was asked for the would entirely insulate ourselves.

He application of that principle, his atswer knew it had been said upon this subject, would be, "that the application of it must that all continental connexions were in depend upon circumstances and events; their nature dissoluble. they had therefore engrafted that principle sition was undoubtedly true; but what into the address to which he had alluded. was the consequence that was to be in. That address, therefore, contained the ferred from it, that no human work was system which the king's ministers had in its nature perfect, and that continental adopted, viz. that they would defend our alliances, because they were liable to disown empire against all encroachments, solution, ought never to be entered into ? and look with vigilance to the state of the That those alliances often contained in continent. They had not attempted to themselves the seeds of dissolution, was define minutely what that line of conduct true; but the question was, whether, with would be, because it must always be all their defects, we were better with or governed by circumstances. If this re- without them? This was the only praccord wanted any confirmation, he might tical way of considering the subject. If

This propo


he looked into the examples contained in was able, according to circumstances, history upon this point, he was compelled circumscribed by prudence and wisdom. to draw a very different inference from Insinuations had been thrown out, that that which had been drawn by an hon. this country had met with nothing but friend of his (Mr. Canning) on a former treachery and breach of faith from our occasion. It had been asserted, that we allies, and that assertion had been partihad often been involved in wars by con- cularly exemplified in the case of Austria. tinental alliances; but it remained to If we were to look at that country be proved, that any of the wars in which throughout the whole course of the war, we had been engaged hiad arisen from there were periods when that power not these alliances. The fact was directly only displayed the most inflexible fidelity to the reverse. In no war which we had her engagements, but the most heroic resoundertaken since the Revolution, had we lution. She did not conclude the treaties engaged in it in consequence of conti- of Leoben or Luneville, till the very last nental alliances. It might perhaps be extremity; and when she was prevented said, that we entered into the late war in by the pressure of circumstances from consequence of an engagement with sending a minister for the purpose of Holland respecting the opening of the obtaining our consent, which consent, if Scheldt; but it must be admitted, that she had asked, we could not for a mothat only formed a part of the general ment have refused. Before the concluquestion. He therefore thought it im- sion of the last treaty, she showed a deportant, that we should not suffer our. gree of fidelity to her engagements with selves to be carried away by any general us that never was surpassed; for after the cry that might be raised upon the subject, battle of Marengo, she was strongly and without ascertaining the facts.-But there repeatedly urged by France to conclude was another point to consider, and that a separate treaty, and terms were offered

a material one. He wished the much more favourable than she afterHouse to recollect in what wars we had con- wards obtained. Notwithstanding every tinental connexions, and in what wars we effort on the part of France, Austria had not, and to compare the result. The would not make peace till she was comonly war in which we had been engaged pelled by the fatal battle of Hohenlinden. since the Revolution, in which we had An hon. gentleman (Mr. Fox) seemed to not had any continental alliances was the think that no change which had taken American war, and that was the only war place in the situation of Europe required in which we were not successful. It was an increase in our establishment. It true, that in other wars we had sometimes could not be denied that the great extent failed, as far as they related to continental of coast which France had now obtained, objects; but as far as British interests and the number of barbours which she were concerned, we had been constantly had acquired, must make a great difsuccessful, except only in the case of the ference in our relative situation. It had American war. With this view of the been said, that the House of Bourbon subject, he was not disposed to renounce were actuated by the same motives of the opinion he had formerly entertained ambition with the revolutionary governupon it; at the same time he was ready to ments of France, and were as much disadmit, that there ought to be great pru. posed to violate treaties as any governdence used in entering into continental ment whatever. This was true to a ceralliances, not only with respect to the tain extent; and he was as ready as any connexions themselves, but to the en- man to condemn this part of the policy of gagements we entered into. We ought the House of Bourbon. But it was onenot to enter into engagements so loose cessary to consider not only their will, and so generally worded, as might, in the but their power to do mischief. The preapplication of them, defeat their own ob- sent government of France had the power ject; and he also thought, that care of doing things which the House of ought to be taken not to pledge the Bourbon, whatever its disposition might country too deeply, because circumstances be, had not the means to accomplish. A were frequently liable to change. He had great deal had been said, about persons no difficulty in saying, that he should not looking only at measures and not at men: think he should do his duty, if, maintain- he confessed he was very much inclined ing the general principle, he should not to consider this as mere cant and hypoendeavour to give it effect whenever he crisy, or at least as proceeding from


ignorance. In one sense, and to a cer- , in the constitution, while they maintained tain degree, they must go together. If their own privileges; and to the opinion of any gentleman brought a charge against parliament his majesty's ministers would ministers, it was absurd to suppose that a always submit themselves whenever it was man could condemn measures, and not expressed. wish to remove the men by whom they Sir Francis Burdett said, he agreed were adopted. If that House were to with Mr. Grenville, that when, in answer agree in a resolution to censure the con- to the just objections which had been duct of ministers, it ought to be followed urged to this unprecedented military up with a motion for the removal of those establishment, ministers stated, that ministers. Nothing could be more absurd | the unprecedented situation of the counthan to suppose, that the system of mi- try called for it,

for it, they ought to nisters could be disapproved of, and yet have brought down some communication that they ought to be kept in office, in from the throne as to the nature of that hopes that they would adopt a line of situation. In reference to the hon. gen. conduct contrary to that of which they tleman's arguments on the subject of the were known to approve. But this prin balance of power, that hon. gentleman ciple had been pushed a little farther, and had thought proper to denominate that a to an extent to which he could not assent. new doctrine which was very old indeed, If a gentleman said he disapproved of the namely, that wbich had been maintained measures of administration, and therefore on a former evening by an hon. gentleman he would, if possible, remove the minis- (Mr. Wilberforce), and in which he most ters, he could understand him; it was perfectly concurred. It had been menfair, constitutional language. The right tioned that that hon. gentleman had of that House to address his majesty to argued that we should not at all interfere remove his ministers, on proper grounds, with the affairs of the continent, but conwas incontestable; but io suppose that fine ourselves entirely to our insular situathe House had a right to remove ministers tion. That opinion he believed to be without assigning any public ground overstated. That hon. gentleman had whatever, was inconsistent with every argued thus- that we should not be for. principle of the constitution. It would ward to provoke continental quarrels ; take from the crown the right of choosing that we should not form such connexions its own servants, and make the office of as would be likely to involve us in such minister the subject of personal canvass. quarrels ; and that, though policy or inIt is true, that in 1784, there was an terest might urge us to take a share in address to remove ministers, without any their disputes, we should never be the charge against their public conduct; but first to attack. Such had been the decideven in that case there was an allegation ed opinion of some of our ablest statesmen, of their having come improperly into by whon, it was uniformly held, that if we office, though that was found by no should have any thing to do in continental means to be the public opinion. He contests, it should never be as principals ; wished merely to be tried by his public that we might become rather arbiters if conduct; and he could answer for him necessary; that if we interfered, it should self, and he believed for his colleagues, be for the purpose of throwing weight that if parliament disapproved of their into the scale, but not to exhaust our measures, they would not wish to con- strength. For his part, he had no objec. tinue one moment longer in office. If tion to the principle of the balance of their measures were not found to be con- power, subject to these modifications, but sistent with the honour and interests of he had the strongest objections to the use the country, they would not attempt to which had been generally made of that set up prerogative against privilege, in principle. It was too generally the apoany case where the exercise of the latter logy which ministers had resorted to for was really constitutional. If the king had going to war. It was the pretence for the nomination of his ministers, parlia- throwing dust in the eyes

of the country, ment ought to control them, to watch for it appeared to him impossible to make over them, and to examine their mea- such a war, a war of the people ; the sures, and upon this principal the safety object of it could not be made intelligible of the constitution depended. He hoped to their comprehension, as being materithat parliament would always endeavour ally connected with their interests. Much to preserve to the crown its proper place had been said in the course of the debate (VOL. XXXVI.)

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of the talents of the right hon. gentleman | degree of talents could conciliate that at the head of the late administration. affection, or could excite a proper spirit. However unpleasant it might be to censure No. That could only be done by abolishany man in his absence, he must observe, ing solitary cells, barracks, and useless that the whole of the consequences of pensions—but above all, the people must which the hou. gerieman and his friends be adequately represented in parliament. were so fond of drawing such gioomy des Policy and interest should urge that at the criptions, arose from the measures of the present crisis, which honesty and justice late ministers, assisted by their active co- would recommend in any circumstances. operation. This part of their language to restore our ancient institutions, to was not less inconsistent than that of replace those old \land-marks which the recommending the return of the same man violence of the late ministers removed, to office who supported the “ disastrous" was the way to recover that public spirit peace they so vehemently reprobated, which is the only sure defence of a country. and they had also the confidence io assert; With regard to the remarks which have that this return was desired by the coun- been made on measures and men, and try. Now, if public opinion was to be the illustration adduced respecting horses attended to, he had no hesitation in main-and harness, he should say, that if the taining that that opinion was decid- harness were good, even though the horses edly adverse to such a change. From all were bad, the carriage would be drawn in he could learn, no minister was ever safety; but if the latter were ever so good more completely covered with public and the former bad, the safe movement of indignation and hatred, than the right the carriage would be

be endangered. hon. gentleman alluded to.—A vote for | However, it would be much better that 60,000 soldiers would not alarm him so both should be good. He should like much, if it were not accompanied by good men and good measures ; and he barracks and all those other appendages really did not think either the late or of a standing army ; if it formed not a present ministers fit to govern the country. part of that system which, fatally for the 'To the present he was not disposed to say interests of the crown itself, tended to any thing harsh, Ibecause it was neibreak those constitutional springs which ther provoked nor justified; but he could kept up the spirit of the people, which not help saying, that they did not possess would attach them warmly to their go- the confidence of the country. Perhaps vernment, and render them ready to the colossal power of France, now so defend them from any attack. He had much dreaded, inight ere long fall to heard much of the economy of ministers; pieces; but, as an Englishman, he did but in his judgment they were beginning not feel it right to rely on that calculation. the work of reform at the wrong end. Supposing that power solid and secure, he In looking over the pension-list, and would wish to provide for the protection perusing the number of marriage settle of this country, and its best protection ments for earls' daughters, and annuities / would consist in strong measures of for the wives of treasury clerks, which it defence. Those measures, in his judgcontained, it was enough to make the eyes of ment, should be, a strong parliament any plain Englishman ache. If there really (including a fair representation of the was a necessity for this increased establish- country), strong councils, and above all, ment, that necessity was among the a strong and united people. legacies which the late ministers left the Mr. Í. H. Browne combated the argucountry. They reduced it to such a ments of the hon. baronet, respecting the situation, that according to the confession late and present ministers; and gave it as of their active friends, a state of war his decided opinion, that Mr. Pitt had would be dangerous, and yet peace is been the means, by his great talents and unattended by security. No state of wise measures, of saving both the constisociety could be imagined more discourag- tution and the country from utter ruin ; ing, and such was the consequence of the and that but for him the Speaker would mischievous system so long and so obsti- not now be sitting in the chair of that nately persisted in by the late ministers! House. He defended the present estaIt had been well observed by an hon. blishment, and said it should have his gentleman (Mr. Wilberforce), that with support; and he felt no check to his conout the affections of the people, no esta. fidence in voting such a force, to blishment could protect the country; no strengthen the hands of those ministers

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