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dangerous times, the more safe is the community at large. But lately, instead of acting on the defensive, instead of watching the operations of France with an eager solicitude, we have been aiding France against ourselves. History records, that our ancestors, in order to induce the Saxons or Danes to desist from the resolution of the invasion of this country, gave them large sums as bribes. What was the consequence? They applied the money thus obtained for the purchase of ships, ammunition, &c. with which they made a grand effort, and thus subjugated this country. Our present conduct was somewhat similar. We surrendered Martinique, &c. as a bonus not to violate the peace. Let us add Malta to the bribe, and the price of peace will be complete. We shall then, perhaps, experience a similar attempt against our liberties and independence by the daring ambition of the natural and avowed enemy of Great Britain. The whole conduct of our ministers has tended to the increase of the strength of the enemy. France has been continuing a system of conquest and aggrandisement which is now coming home to our own doors. Is any man so absurd as for a moment to imagine that she will be more favourable to Great Britain than to Piedmont, Switzerland, &c. What claim have we to her partiality? It is a lamentable fact, that whether you do or do not maintain the relations of peace and amity with France, she is now at war with you. You have no hope of salvation, but by a strong system of defence. Europe is at this time sunk in distraction and despair; but the energy and spirit of Great Britain may arouse the states of the continent to a glorious struggle for their liberty and independence. If, however, there be any hope, it is to be found in measures of decision and firmness-in a bold and animated tone, held by a leader of courage and capacity-not by any of the men now in power, but by him to whom this country, to whom Europe, looks up at this awful hour for the preservation of their dearest rights and liberties.

Lord Pelham said, that was not the proper time to go into a detail of the nature and extent of the intended augmentation of the force of the kingdom; he hoped, therefore, that his silence upon the subject would not be construed into an assent to the construction that had been put upon that part of his majesty's [VOL. XXXVI.]

speech; but thus much he would say, that no sudden or great augmentation of the troops was intended, nor did there appear any thing in the state of Europe that made such an augmentation necessary.

Lord Carysfort said, he was sorry to learn from the noble secretary of state, that they were not likely to be gratified with that essential augmentation which the critical situation of the empire required. It was undoubtedly a serious thing to engage in war, but there might occur circumstances which might make such a measure unavoidable. His lordship drew the distinction between peace and war being considered as experiments. War, he admitted, to be an experiment, because the events of a war were uncertain; but peace, he contended, was not an experiment, but a matter of certainty. He gave his hearty assent to the address.

Lord Hobart complained of the injustice of a noble lord, late one of his majesty's ministers, in censuring the king's present servants on account of the dismemberment of Germany, when he could not but know that the treaty of Luneville was made during that noble lord's administration, and that Germany was brought into its present condition by circumstances which were not subject to the control of any ministers. It was enough for him to say, that the indemnities in Germany were not considered as of sufficient importance to prevent our making peace. The noble lord had charged his majesty's servants with incapacity; it did not become him, to say one word in answer to such a charge. He would however, say, that the present ministers did not seek their situations. They were called upon to take them in a moment of great and accumulated difficulties. He therefore only desired, that the present administration might be judged by its conduct. If France had extended her dominion over the greatest part of the continent, it had been under her power long before the noble lord retired from office; and if that noble lord had not been able to prevent such aggrandisement, he had no right to charge the present ministers with misconduct. But that noble lord could not charge the present ministers with incapacity, without at the same time criminating himself for having relinquished his post.

The address was agreed to nem. diss. [3 Pl

After the King's Speech had been read from the Chair,

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 a where his majesty had delivered a most variety of important circumstances. gracious speech. Whatever resolution might be taken, or whatever the event, it was material to preserve our resources; and under the auspices of our present ministers that object had been particularly attended to. Every one must applaud the economy they had uniformly preserved, and the pacific dis position they had uniformly manifested; but if they should not be permitted to pursue that line of policy, it was desirable that full provision should be made for such an establishment as should enable them to encounter any obstacle. The country looked for such an establishment, and was ready to endure the expense, because they saw it was necessary. The state of the continent was one to which he could not look without anxiety; but with regard to this country, he saw nothing to create despondency. With reference to Ireland, he was enabled, from his local knowledge, to describe the change which the Union had effected in that country. Its manufactures, commerce, and agriculture were rapidly improving. For this the inhabitants felt they were indebted to the provident care and attention of the united parliament, and to the active exertions of ministers. This conviction had the most salutary effect on the Irish, particularly the loyalists, whose attachment to Eng. land, in the most perilous times, remained unshaken, and had restored many of its deluded people to their reason, and to the sober habits of industry. He could not forbear to pay his tribute of praise to those who had a share in his majesty's councils, for their unremitting endeavours to promote the interests of his country. They deserved his confidence, and they possessed it. The hon. member conclud. ed with moving an address which, as usual, was an echo of the speech from the throne.

The Hon. Mr. Trench rose and said, that in prefacing the proposition he meant to submit to the House, for an address to his majesty expressive of thanks for his gracious speech, it was natural that, feeling the importance of the present period, he should allude to the state of our commerce, agriculture, and revenue, and to our relative situation with foreign powers. It was to be expected that, in addressing the first parliament which had assembled since the accomplishment of that measure by which the legislatures of Great Britain and Ireland were united, and the resources of the empire consolidated, he should speak to the consequences of that happy event. First, then, as to our internal resources; he was happy to understand that every branch of our manufactures, and every department of our revenue, was in such a state of prosperity as to afford the most satisfactory cause of exultation. Whreveer we turned our eyes, the vigilant attention of government, the successful industry and the steady loyalty of the people,were obvious. Every where was found ample reason to congratulate ourselves, and experience had shown that the predictions of those who had opposed the peace stood on no better foundation than those which so confidently foretold that the war which was concluded would produce the ruin of the country. Although peace had been productive of such fortunate consequences, and although its continuance was devoutly to be wished, yet he strongly approved the declared policy of ministers, to place the empire in such a situation as should render it superior to the apprehensions of war; and if that alternative should become necessary for the maintenance of our honour and security, in such a situation as to protect us from the consequences. He was aware that it would be extremely absurd to maintain, that the spirit of encroachment upon the independence of other nations, which the French govern ment had in so many instances manifested, did not present just grounds of alarm and jealousy; but whether we should interpose to check that spirit, without any concert with other powers, and what de

Mr. Curzon expressed his complete concurrence in the sentiments of the hon. mover, to which he did not conceive it necessary to add more, than to observe, that he felt himself fully satisfied with the state of the country, and with the loyal, orderly, and pacific dispositions which, with very few exceptions, the people had universally manifested. However, from the increased strength of France, and the extended line of coast subject to her power, he though: it wise to support the

establishment proposed, and he was the more readily disposed to accede to that proposition, from understanding that it would not be attended with any material addition to the public burthens.

Mr. Cartwright perfectly agreed in the opinion of the hon. mover of the address, that the best way of rendering the blessings of peace permanent was, to be prepared for any exigency; and when the conduct of the French government was considered, and when the character of the man by whom that government was administered, was taken into account, caution and preparation on our part became essentially necessary. With such considerations in view, ministers were highly culpable in so precipitately disarming; nothing so sudden had occurred on any former peace, when it could have been done with more safety; so reduced was our naval force at present, that we had not, in case of the renewal of hostilities, a sufficient fleet in commission to protect our ports, while the French go. vernment, taking advantage of the peace, seemed to devote its chief attention to the augmentation of her navy. After this country had consented to the cession of the Netherlands to France, and to yield to her the absolute control of Holland, it was inconsistent with the pacific and prudent policy which ministers professed, to have presented such a remonstrance respecting Switzerland, as rumour described: however he might deplore the sufferings of that brave people, he could not approve of such an interference on our part; it was a foolish unnecessary provocation to war, or must be attended, as it had been, if rumour could be credited, with a pusillanimous retraction. Considering all the circumstances of the empire, the state of Europe, and the prodigious talents of the man who wielded the power of France, he could not help regretting that he was not met by the exalted abilities of a right hon. gentle. man (Mr. Pitt), who was now unfortunately absent. He was sure the country would go with him in lamenting the loss which the public interest must sustain from the absence of that illustrious cha

which had passed since the conclusion of peace had been productive of many important events; but he much feared, that amongst them could not be reckoned the improvement of our commerce and revenue. It seemed that ministers now began to see the ambitious spirit of France; recent events were, indeed, sufficient to convince the most incredulous, that peace was not so secure; that the French government was not so pacifically inclined as was not long since confidently stated. Within a short time, that government was seen arrogantly dictating to the Emperor, annexing Parma to her already overgrown territory, and audaciously interfering to deprive the gallant Swiss of the right of establishing their liberties, an act that ranked among the most atrocious that modern history presented. It was, indeed, stated that ministers remonstrated against this proceeding. If ministers did so, he trusted they would lay a copy of that remonstrance on the table of the House, and that it would appear to be such a one as the nation could be proud of, even though it had not produced the desired effect; for Switzerland was now over-run by above 40,000 French troops, and its best patriots were consigned to the dungeon, condemned to share the fate of Touissaint. In such a state of affairs, he most ardently wished that those abilities could be called forth which lately directed the administration of our government; that those talents which once preserved the country, might again come forward to save it. The occasion was not less pressing, and, judging from experience, he was encouraged to hope, that the known disinterestedness of that right hon. gentleman (Mr. Pitt) would not at this crisis desert him; that when his country was in danger, he would attend to the call of his countrymen.

Mr. Pytches said, he had never heard or read any speech from the throne that would more properly assimilate to a salmagundi. It was composed of such a mélange of ingredients and taste, so much of every thing, that it was hard to say which was predominant. In one place it spoke of the rapid increase of commerce, manufactures, and connexions, as the

racter.

Sir John Wrottesley said, that conceiv-happy results of peace; and in the next, ing the situation of the times extremely it intimated a propensity to violate peace, perilous, and that the imprudence of the as the only mode to promote that prospresent ministers led in a great measure perity. That sentiment seemed to be apto that situation, he could not forbear to proved by some gentlemen who had spoke censure those ministers. The period on this question; but he hoped no inan

support to the address. There is, I confess, one expression in his majesty's speech, referring to the blessings which are to be found in the union with Ireland, to which I cannot assent. I, for one, who disapproved of that measure when it took place, desire most distinctly to be understood, as not by my vote of this night giving any sanction to it. There is ano ther material part of the address, to which, though I cannot conceive the least objection, yet as it is explained by the hon. mover, would be extremely objectionable indeed. It is stated by him that his ma

would come forward unfeelingly to call for the support of that House on the renovation of war. Melancholy prophesies were set forth upon trivial occasions; and the country was now prepared to expect that peace was extremely doubtful. He had not the most distant idea, how ever, that the French government had any hostile intentions towards this country, nor was it consistent with the dignity of Great Britain to express such an idea; but if it was conceived, that on the part of France any violation of the treaty of Amiens had taken place, let them be politely and gently reminded of the cir-jesty recommends, and that we approve, cumstance, and he had no doubt but the the idea of extending our military estamatter would be rectified. He believed itblishments. Sir, his majesty's speech would be allowed that every man's duty relates to no military establishment whatwas, to make his own existence com- ever, but that which is best calculated to fortable; so it was with nations. Dr. give security to the kingdom. Those Johnson had said, that the sensation of who, when the question is brought forward, fear was given us for our protection shall be of opinion that large military against danger, and upon this ground, he establishments are necessary for the secupresumed, was founded the frequency of rity of the kingdom, will state their reaalarm. No nation, he believed, in this sons; and those who with me think that respect had more of the woman in its small establishments are better adapted, feelings than Britain, for she was con- not only for the continuance of peace, stantly pregnant with apprehensions, and but for the better enabling us to renew daily delivered of bastard alarms; and war, should it be necessary, will have the those who professed to attend with the same opportunity of expressing their sengreatest solicitude for her safety, instead timents; but till the question is before of infusing salutary cordials and admi- the House, I see no reason why we nistering wholesome warmth, healed her should give an opinion one way or the in a manner to produce all the cold other. One hon. gentleman seems to qualms of a mischievous abortion. We think his majesty's speech of too pacific a were told in the speech that peace was nature. He says, what! are we to hold uncertain, and that war was deprecated; this pacific language towards France, but as to the result, we were left to think when she has done every thing in her for ourselves. We were taught to under-power to irritate this country? Instead stand, by the supporters of the address, of such observations as these, I should that we were menaced with new dangers, have expected that he would have and that nothing would ward off the blow given us some particulars of the irri but ruinous and depopulating war. To tations he alludes to, and have shown such a principle he could not assent, so us that we ought to have taken some long as it was avertible by fair and steps to resent them, which his majeshonourable expedient; and as to that he- ty's ministers have neglected. Another terogeneous composition called the speech, hon. gentleman is of opinion, that somehe reprobated it as a piece of bad ma- thing of a more warlike tone might have chinery, and servile adulation which every been desirable in his majesty's speech, good monarch should execrate and forbid: and he states, at the same time, that our as the offspring of vassallage, which mi- manufactories are not in the condition nisters kidnapped and occupied as an which has been so sanguinely described. artifice to pledge the House to their mea- For myself, I shall give no opinion on the subject. I hope the hon. gentleman is mistaken; but whatever be the case, of this I am certain, that there is only one wish in the House and the country, that our internal situation should be such as by the speech it is described. Undoubtedly there are circumstances in the state of

sures.

Mr. Fox-Sir; I should not have risen so early in the debate, if it had not been for some expressions that had fallen from gentlemen opposite, which render it necessary for me to enter into an explanation of my reasons for giving my cordial

Europe which cannot fail to excite consi- | of hostilities, I do not mean to assert that derable alarm; but I hope there is no no circumstances may have followed the reason to be alarmed about the prosperity peace which would fully justify ministers of our manufactures and commerce. in refusing to comply with its provisions. Admitting, however, for the sake of argu- I am not ashamed to avow an opinion for ment, that they had suffered decay, I which I have not unfrequently been exhope no one can for a moment conceive posed to ridicule, and now explicitly to the absurd idea that we could better our declare, that I consider the preservation commercial and manufacturing interests of national honour to be almost the only by plunging again into war.—With regard legitimate cause of war. This doctrine I to the objections to the address, they will hold on the plain principle, that honour is be considered in a different way by dif- directly and inseparably connected with ferent sides of the House. Those who self-defence. If it can be proved to me defended the treaty of peace, will defend that the national honour has been insulted, it still on the same principles which in- or the national dignity disgraced, I will duced them to give it their approbation, without hesitation declare my opinion, and they will naturally view the objec- which is, this would be a fair, legitimate tions to the address as frivolous and in- cause of recommencing hostilities. I conclusive. Those, on the other hand, must, however, hear a very strong case. who contended that they would not have inade out, before I can give my vote for made peace on the terms which the treaty replunging the country in those disasters contained, will be anxious to break a which a calamitous contest had produced, peace which they would not have made, and from which we were so recently deand to renew a war which they wished to livered. Though I contend that honour continue. But it may be said, that war is the only legitimate foundation of war, L would not now be renewed on the same do not mean to deny that other circumprinciples on which it was formerly pro- stances may come in aid of its force. In secuted, and that new causes of war had oc- the present circumstances of Europe, I curred since the treaty of peace was con- see no ground of war, so far as this councluded. I cannot appeal to the House, try is concerned. There never was a for the decision took place in a former period when every consideration of the parliament; but I can appeal to many soundest policy more strongly suggested gentlemen who now hear me, to consider the propriety of cultivating the continuwhat the principles were on which they ance of peace. Without referring to the approved the peace, and whether any calamities of the last ten years, I ask genthing has taken place since the treaty was tlemen, fairly, whether in pursuing this concluded which would authorize them policy, the country ever had more fair to give their vote on the present occasion play? There are some persons who affor breaking the treaty and recommencing fect to entertain a dread of the French hostilities. Supposing war to be renewed, navy; but it is hardly possible to believe gentlemen would do well to reflect in what any one serious in indulging any alarm on manner hostilities would be conducted. this subject. As to the acts of the French Supposing a determination were taken to government indicating a spirit of hosrenew the war, it is obvious that our tility to the interests of this country, means of annoying the enemy would con- I shall at present say nothing. They sist simply in retaking the places which are not now before the House, and may by the treaty we had agreed to cede, or be better animadverted on at another time in retaining those still in our hands. if any real ground of complaint actually Now, Sir, I say distinctly, that to violate exist. It is my firm conviction, that the treaty of peace for such an object as there is on the part of the French people, this (and under the present circumstances as well as the French government, a strong no other object could be obtained) desire to restore their commerce to new would be to place the ministers of this activity, and their manufactures to new country and the members of the last par- life; and this, I believe, is the field in liament who had approved of the treaty which, if any contest is to be carried on in a situation to excite the ridicule of all betwixt the two countries, they wish the Europe. The continuance of peace, I dispute to be conducted. Of the result of do contend, is infinitely desirable; I feel such a rivalship we have very little room rts importance in the strongest manner. for apprehension. We have got so much Adverse, however, as I am to the renewal the start of them, that we must take the

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