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another war which would not be a loss to the dignity of that House, and could not France and a gain to Great Britain. He fail of having its due effect on the country hoped that the unanimity of the House at large. If, however, the change in the that night would convince all Europe of minds of ministers arose froin any hopes the unanimous determination of the peo. of a disunion between France, and any of ple of the united kingdom, to support and the continental powers in amity with us, maintain their weight and importance in he wished to have it understood that he the scale of nations.
did not vote for the Address under that The Earl of Carlisle expressed the sa- construction. He was sorry that any altisfaction which he felt at the change lusion had been made to an event which which had taken place in the sentiments was at all times to be lamented, however of ministers, as conveyed in the Address. weak in its origin, and feeble in its proHe congratulated the House and the coun- gress (alluding lo the affair of colonel try on the torie in which that Address | Despard); that affair had made a great was conveyed, which he hoped would sensation in the country, and he wished have the happy effect of inspiring public that ministers would not follow the examconfidence. As to the terms of the peace, ple of their predecessors in magnifying he entertained but one opinion of them; such wicked attempts; but that they and that opinion he had expressed when would bring these men to trial, that they those terms were submitted io the House. might be punished according to their Dr. Johnson, having been asked his opi. crimes, without wounding the constitution. nion of Ossian's Poems, answered, that
Lord Grenville said :- I perfectly agree they were poems which miglit be written with a noble lord who preceded me, ihat by any man, any woman, or any chi!d; the new parliament has been assembled at the same opinion might be advanced with a period pregnant with events of the greater certainty of the peace. He had greatest importance to Europe, and to watched the present administration from mankind at large. At no convocation of the first concoction of it-it was weak in parliament was the curiosity of the public its formation; and on that account he more strongly excited. All men, doubt entertained very little hopes that it would ful of the principle and policy of the pregather energy in its progress. He wished sent minisiry, were anxious to learn whe. io know, then, what had been done? ther we were to have peace or warWhy, Piedmont had been annexed to anxious to know whether we were ready France, with other important places, and to truckle to France, or about to defend yet ministers sat quiet spectators of the ourselves against the daring encroachments aggrandisement of that country? The of that government. The interests and effect of this indifference was felt over all happiness of Europe were nearly destroyed the country. It inflated those who exer- by the inordinate ambition of the French cised the government in France, when they government which was extending its power found that the administration of this coun- and authority to the total subversion of try did not hold the string in their hand the liberties of mankind.
Were we, to pull them down again to a proper level. therefore, to view with silent indifference When the French troops were collected this deplorable subjugation of Europe on 10 embark for the West Indies, that would the one hand, or meet with manly forti. have been a proper time to have con tude the perilous consequences of war? vinced the rulers of France, that, however I am for the religious maintenance of our disposed the cabinet of this kingdom was, national character and glory, against all to listen to peace, they were determined the artful contrivances or combinations of: that the best means of securing the conti- France; and I cannot recommend the nuance of it was to prevent the execution adoption of a better policy for the attainof such a measure, which could not fail to ment of that end, than 3 laudable vigilance strengthen the power of France, and to and an exemplary activity for the general lead to an opinion that we were disposed interests of Europe. The speech from 10 accept of peace on almost any terms. the throne meets, in several sentences, The Address, however, met with his cor. with my hearty concurrence. It may be dial approbation; and he was heartily reduced to three propositions, with every pleased with the spirit and tone which it one of which I most heartily agree, bebreathed.
cause every one of these propositions tend The Duke of Norfolk cordially approved to censure the present men in power for of the Address; it was such as became their want of capacity, and want ot vigi.
lance. The speech expresses satisfaction to the republic. Piedmont, one of the at the opportunity of resorting to the ad- most beautiful parts of Europe, in com. vice and assistance of parliament, By plete defiance of justice and public faith, this observation the ministers evince their felt the griping band of rapacity and amwisdom, and it is one of those sentences hition. Had Great Britain at that time, which deserves the approbation of both in concert with Russia, remonstrated Houses. If, however, ministers had been against these aggressions, France would in a state of vigilance and activity since not have ventured upon this wanton exerthey last met parliament, how came it to cise of power. With that cunning which pass that France had been suffered to has characterised the French government, invade the rights and overturn the liber. Piedmont was at first occupied as a mili: ties of various states on the continent ? tary position. This plan was adopted in If ministers had conducted themselves the contemplation of the act of aggres. with manly fortitude-if they had been sion which followed. They concluded a actuated by the true spirit of Englishmen treaty with the king of Sardinia, our old
if they had felt for their own honour and faithful ally. After this, they conand the national dignity, they would not gratulated themselves on the success of have looked on with a censurable indiffer- their scheme. « Now we are safe !" said ence: they would have demanded satis- they: “Now we can fall upon our victims faction for a breach of treaty--they would like birds of prey !" and soon published a hiave checked the violence and rapacity decree, by which they threw off the mask, of France, and thus have saved, perhaps, and added Piedmont to the French repubthe liberties and independence of several lic. The treaty was signed by the king states, once important in the scale of of Sardinia, when a prisoner in his own Europe. These remarks form two pro capital. Notwithstanding the deplorable positions. Was any attention paid to state to which he had been reduced by the machinations of France between the the treachery of France, he insisted, that signature of the preliminaries of peace and he should not be obliged to act with hosthat of the definitive treaty? No. Did tility against Great Britain. This was not France, during that interval, dispatch another proof of the integrity and honour a powerful fleet to the West Indies, with of the king, who therefore merited our out the smallest intimation to us on the best attentions. On a proposition having subject ? Did not she then take measures once been made to him by the Frencli, dangerous to our interest as a maritime that he should exclude the English from puwer? Did she not, in the plenitude of his sea-ports, he indignantly rejected it ; her rapacity, take possession of the valua and thus proved, that his fidelity to our ble settlement of Louisiana? Ought not interests was not to be shaken by adthat measure alone to have aroused our verse fortune. This, however, was the jealousies on account of our influence in very man whom we afterwards abandoned ! America and the West Indies? We saw When we had signed the definitive treaty, also Europe prostrate at the feet of we had not signed at the same time an France, and, in the insolence of conquest, admission on the part of France to her her territories plundered, and her liberties right of occupancy of Piedmont-we had destroyed. Ought we not at that alarm- not surrendered our right of interfering ing period to have demanded retribution for the preservation of the liberties and Had we then boldly stood forward in the independence of the other states of Europe. cause of liberty, France would have As there was evident danger from the receded from her desperate measures. possession of Piedmont by the French, we Had we invoked her justice with arms in ought to have checked their ambition in our hands, we might have saved Europe that memorable instance of injustice and from the tyranny of the French republic. depredation. Mark the rapid progress of -What occurred after the signature of the aggressive spirit of France. The dethe definitive treaty ? Did France conduct finitive treaty was signed in March, and herself with moderation? Did she give any ratified in June. În August, France testimony of her wish to render peace per- took upon herself to regulate and newmanent? No. The ink was scarcely dry model the several states of Europe. As with which it was signed, the wax scarce- our ministers made no remonstrance, it Jy cold with which it was sealed, when may be presumed, that they gave their France, in violation of the treaty of acquiescence to the encroachments of the Amiens, began to add territory to territory French. The ambition of the latter was not very easily gratified; for, in their the caution was founded in prudence and predilection for new-fangled doctrines, necessity.-On the retrospect of affairs, I they were resolved to overturn and new. cannot help expressing my astonishment model the constitution of the German em. at the absurd conduct of ministers. We pire itself, and this attempt engaged their have now obtained peace, and yet, instead attention so early as the said month of of the boasted reduction and savings August, some very few months after the which we were taught to expect, we are signature of the definitive treaty. Still, to have a speedy augmentation, with all however, our ministers viewed the passing its consequent expenses. Is the aspect scene with indifference. In the height of of affairs more alarming now than in Octheir pacific disposition towards the tober 1801, when our secretary for the French, they never made the smallest at foreign department signed the prelimina. tempt at complaint or remonstrance for ries of peace? Yes. Who has produced
encroachments, which this dilemma? His majesty's present mi. threatened the total subversion of the nisters. Every step of their conduct liberties of Europe. These acts, particu- since has been a proof of their total incalarly the last, were direct violations of the pacity to govern a great nation in times treaty of Amiens. In the terms of paci- of difficulty and danger. They can form fication, another old and faithful ally had no judgment of the future, from a combeen forgotten, if not sacrificed-I mean parison with the past. They are men of the House of Orange. We had looked weak understandings, and completely unon with criminal indifference, while that fit for the situation in which they move. illustrious House, always warmly attached But they now see their error, and tell us to Great Britian, was robbed and plun. that we must be watchful of the conduct dered by the French government. I well of France. If, however, we are to ex. remember when this question was once pect any real good, there must be a total agitated in this House, that the noble change of men and measures. The poli. marquis (Cornwallis) who had concluded tical career of the present men in power the treaty of Amiens, rose up with honest may be termed a series of ignorance and warmth, and asked, if any man could for disgrace. In our madness for a hollow a moment believe that the house of peace, we had sent out orders to surrenOrange, so deserving of the protection of der all our conquests to the enemy. Why this country, would not be amply indem- not wait for the confirmation of peace by nified for the losses which it had sustained? some sincere and indubitable act of the Notwithstanding the manly remarks of French government? Why surrender the noble marquis, all passed away in Martinique, &c.? I would not have dissilence. Instead of a manly interference, banded one man, or dismantled one ship. our ministers sunk into a state of submis. But a report is prevalent, that ministers sion to the will of France. These trans. have sent out orders not to surrender the actions bring the conduct of administra. remainder of our conquests. Why nos tion down to the month of September, have issued the same orders in time when it appears they viewed the aggres- against the surrender of Martinique ? I sions on the part of France with the same rather wish than expect, that the orders apathy which had marked their precious for retaining the Cape may reach that direction of affairs. The third proposi- settlement sufficiently early to answer the tion to which I formerly alluded, was that end proposed. Malia, I believe, is still in which his majesty's speech recommends in our hands. I hope we shall not expose an augmentation of our forces. This was ourselves to the scorn and ridicule of certainly not very pacific; but the eyes Europe by its surrender. This country of ministers were at last opened; they see has now the happiness to hold that imthe necessity of vigour and watchfulness. portant place; and its commanding interThis proposition receives my hearty con- est in the Mediterranean is too great ever currence, because it is the strongest cen- to be abandoned by a wise and vigorous gosure of the ministry. It proves that none vernment. From all these considerations, but idiots or madmen, in the critical state I can have no confidence in the present of Europe, could be induced to a reduc administration. Respecting the internal tion of our naval and military forces. situation of the country, I have forborne We were now, however, called upon to to say one word. I do not wish to excite consent to an augmentation of those very needless jealousies and alarms. The more forces; and there was no doubt but that judicious and vigorous a government in dangerous times, the more safe is the speech; but thus much he would say community at large. But lately, instead that no sudden or great augmentation of of acting on the defensive, instead of the troops was intended, nor did there watching the operations of France with an appear any thing in the state of Europe eager solicitude, we have been aiding that made such an augmentation necesFrance against ourselves. History re- sary. cords, that our ancestors, in order to in. Lord Carysfort said, he was sorry to duce the Saxons or Danes to desist from learn from the noble secretary of state, the resolution of the invasion of this that they were not likely to be gratified country, gave them large sums as bribes. with that essential'augmentation which the What was the consequence? They applied critical situation of the empire required. the money thus obtained for the purchase It was undoubtedly a serious thing to of ships, ammunition, &c. with which they engage in war, but there might occur cir. made a grand effort, and thus subjugated cumstances which might make such a meathis country. Our present conduct was sure unavoidable. His lordship drew the somewhat similar. We surrendered Mar- distinction between peace and war being tinique, &c. as a bonus not to violate the considered as experiments. War, he ad. peace. Let us add Malta to the bribe, mitted, to be an experiment, because the and the price of peace will be complete. events of a war were uncertain ; but We shall then, perhaps, experience a peace, he contended, was not an experisimilar attempt against our liberties and ment, but a matter of certainty. He independence by the daring ambition of gave his hearty assent to the address. the natural and avowed enemy of Great Lord Hobart complained of the inBritain. The whole conduct of our mi- justice of a noble lord, late one of his nisters has tended to the increase of the majesty's ministers, in censuring the king's strength of the enemy. France has been present servants on account of the discontinuing a system of conquest and ag. memberment of Germany, when he could grandisement which is now coming home not but know that the treaty of Luneto our own doors. Is any man so absurd ville was made during that noble lord's adas for a moment to imagine that she will ministration, and that Germany was be more favourable to Great Britain than brought into its present condition by cirto Piedmont, Switzerland, &c. What cumstances which were not subject to the claim have we to her partiality? It is a control of any ministers. It was enough lamentable fact, that whether you do or for him to say, that the indemnities in do not maintain the relations of peace and Germany were not considered as of suffiamity with France, she is now at war with cient importance to prevent our making you. You have no hope of salvation, but peace. The noble lord had charged his by a strong system of defence. Europe majesty's servants with incapacity ; it did is at this time sunk in distraction and not become him, to say one word in andespair; but the energy and spirit of swer to such a charge. He would howGreat Britain may arouse the states of ever, say, that the present ministers did the continent to a glorious struggle for not seek their situations. They were their liberty and independence. If, how called upon to take them in a moment of ever, there be any hope, it is to be found great and accumulated difficulties. He in measures of decision and firmness-in therefore only desired, that the present a bold and animated tone, held by a administration might be judged by its leader of courage and capacity-not by conduct. If France had extended her any of the men now in power, but by him dominion over the greatest part of the to whom this country, to whom Europe, continent, it had been, under her power looks up at this awful hour for the preser- long before the noble lord retired from vation of their dearest rights and liber- office; and if that noble lord had not been ties.
able to prevent such aggrandisement, he · Lord Pelham said, that was not the had no right to charge the present minis. proper time to go into a detail of the na. ters with misconduct. But that noble ture and extent of the intended augmen- lord could not charge the present ministers tation of the force of the kingdom; he with incapacity, without at the same time hoped, therefore, that bis silence upon the criminating himself for having relinquished subject would not be construed into an assent to the construction that had been put upon that part of his majesty's The address was agreed to nem. diss. (VOL. XXXVI.]
Debate in the Commons on the Address gree of concert might be necessary to of Thanks.] The Speaker stated, that interpose with effect, was a subject which he had been in the House of Peers, required a minute consideration of where his majesty had delivered a most variety of important circumstances. gracious speech.
Whaiever resolution might be taken, or After the King's Speech had been read whatever the event, it was material to prefrom the Chair,
serve our resources ; and under the auThe Hon. Mr. Trench rose and said, spices of our present ministers that object that in prefacing the proposition he meant had been particularly attended to. Every to submit to the House, for an address one must applaud the economy they had to his majesty expressive of thanks for uniformly preserved, and the pacific dis. his gracious speech, it was natural that, position they had uniformly manifested; feeling the importance of the present pe- but if they should not be permitted to riod, he should allude to the state of our pursue that line of policy, it was desirable commerce, agriculture, and revenue, and that full provision should be made for such to our relative situation with foreign an establishment as should enable them powers. It was to be expected that, in to encounter any obstacle.
The country addressing the first parliament which had looked for such an establishment, and was assembled since the accomplishment of ready to endure the expense, because that measure by which the legislatures of they saw it was necessary. The state of Great Britain and Ireland were united, the continent was one to which he could and the resources of the empire consoli- not look without anxiety ; but with regard dated, he should speak to the conse- to this country, he saw nothing to create quences of that happy event. First, then, despondency.' With reference to Ireas to our internal resources ; he was happy land, he was enabled, from his local knowto understand that every branch of our ledge, to describe the change which the manufactures, and every department of Union had effected in that country. Its our revenue, was in such a state of pros- manufactures, commerce, and agriculture perity as to afford the most satisfactory were rapidly improving. For this the incause of exultation. Whreveer we turn- habitanis felt they were indebted to the ed our eyes, the vigilant attention of go- provident care and attention of the united vernment, the successful industry and the parliament, and to the active exertions of steady loyalty of the people,were obvious. ministers. This conviction had the most Every where was found ample reason to salutary effect on the Irish, particularly congratulate ourselves, and experience the loyalists, whose attachment to Eng. had shown that the predictions of those land, in the most perilous times, remained who had opposed the peace stood on no unshalsen, and had restored many of its better foundation than those which so deluded people to their reason, and to the confidently foretold that the war which sober babits of industry. He could not was concluded would produce the ruin of forbear to pay his tribute of praise to those the country. Although peace had been who had a share in his majesty's councils, productive of such fortunate consequences, for their unremitting endeavours to pro. and although its continuance was devoutly mote the interests of his country. They to be wished, yet he strongly approved deserved his confidence, and they posthe declared policy of ministers, to place sessed it. The hon. member conclud. the empire in such a situation as should ed with moving an address which, as render it superior to the apprehensions of usual, was an echo of the speech from the war ; and if that alternative should be throne. come necessary for the maintenance of Mr. Curzon expressed his complete our honour and security, in such a situa- concurrence in the sentiments of the hon. tion as to protect us from the consequences. mover, to which he did not conceive it He was aware that it would be extremely necessary to add more, than to observe, absurd to maintain, that the spirit of en- that he felt himself fully satisfied with the croachment upon the independence of state of the country, and with the loyal, other nations, which the French govern. orderly, and pacific dispositions which, ment had in so many instances manifested, with very few exceptions, the people had did not present just grounds of alarm and universally manifested. However, from jealousy ; but whether we should inter- the increased strength of France, and the pose to check that spirit, without any extended line of coast subject to her coucert with other powers, and what de- power, he though: it wise to support the