Imágenes de páginas

friend of several noble lords, violences as of great consideration, became of serious numerous and conspicuous againit them, import, and were likely to do much misas Barrere or Brillut had written againit chif. He could, however, affirm, that this country?

not only had the war of the Indians been The earl of Carlisle opposed the mo- carried on without the affistance of this tion.

country, but our offices had been tendered Lord Grenville took a review of the ar- for putting an end to it, and even when guments in support of the motion. The not accepted, had been employed. The endeavours of the present rulers in France conduct of our public officers in Upper to interfere with the internal affairs of this and Lower Canada had been uniformly country had been doubted by fome rroble circumspect and judicious. The whole lords ; but he would repeat what was no- report was entirely without foundation. turious, that, during erery moment of A charge of inconüiftency had been M. Chauvelin's stay hcre, no art, no la- brought against a right honourable perbour had been spared to produce the dif- fon, who held the chief office in adminicontent, which would have been favour. firation, because in 1792 he had held out able to the views of the French govern: a prospect of peace, which in 1793 had me'nt; endeavours, which were used not not been realized; but did not the differby him oniy, but by nunberleis other ence between the two periods fufficiently agents. It was the nature of that govern- account for the difference in his conduet nient, indeed, if government it could be In 1792, the late unfortunate Louis XVI, called, to demand revolutions in others, had begun to exercise the small power al. and this had been avowed to be one of its lutie: to him by the new conttitution, and principles by M. Britiot. To insure the his firft efforts were for tranquillizing his permanency of the republic, he had faid, own kingdom, and for preferring peace it was necetiary to light up the four corn- without.-llad the endeavours of that eis of the world ; the security of the re- monarch been suffered to proceed, peace public had demanded war, and they had might have been preserved. But the retherefore declared it. The speeches made publican party perceiving, that, if he was in the French convention and in the ja- iuffered io accomplish blellings for his peocobin club, had been taid to have been too ple, he would become popular, and overotten mentioned in that house ; but it was throw their derigns, declared the war, and not only in loote fpeeches, that the ma- thus produced the difference between the lignity of the French againit this country views of the minister in 1792, and his was to be traced; it exilted in their writ- conduct in 1793. ings, and not only ibere, qut in the formal The noble Jurd here argued at confiderseports, made by the committee of pub- able length upon the internal situation of lic' tatety, which exerciled whatever there France, which, he contended, was inconwas of government in France. And was ditent with any vigorous or permanent It not certain, that the discontented per- maintenance of the war. By the opera. jons in this country were continually dir. tions of the forced loan, the income of no teminating French principles ? Did they man in France was permitted to exceed not even proteis to imitate the French in two hundred pounds ; every merchant was their manners, their appellations, their obliged to tell his commodities at a price dicis, and their muit triting articles of two-thirds lets than that which they bore decoration ?

before the fixing of the maximun ; the His lordship have urged these considera- tarmers were unabie to till their lands, tions for some siine, adverted to the men- their fervants being toi cud into the armnies ; tion made by a former noble Ipeaker, of and the generals wirewien ruited from the our allies, and obterved, that, though it ranks, without merit, to be the victims would not becoine hiin to fpeak in detail either of the jealousy which their succeis, upon such a subject, he could affirm, that or of the ditcontent which their misfora only one fpirit animated them all, that of tunes would excite. They were raited fupprefling the anarchy which endangered from the halbert to the truncheon, and every branch of civilized fociety. He was palied from the truncheon to the guillotine. extremely forry io hear a report thrown If the i'rench mode of distributing private out, or alluded to, that the war of the In- property could for a moment be coolly dians againit the Americans had been ex- contidered, or be supposed possible here, cited by this country. Such reports, not what would become of the great landed thrown out in a trivial place, or by trivial estate of the noble marquis, or of the pertons, but in dat houle by a nobleman crown grants of the noble duke ? If pro8


perty was once to be invaded, it was, mutatis mutandis, it inight almost be imaperbaps, not difficult to know which gined the fame persons had delivered them. would go first. When he heard that a The same fort of representations were free motion for peace was to be made and quent then, the same assertions of the seconded by Tuch men as the noble mar weakness of our antagonist, the same quis and the noble duke, who had filled doubts as to whom we could treat with, the first fituations in the country, who and the fame difficulties arising from the were, of course, conspicuous to the pub. declarations of the Americans. But par. lic attention, he had expected to find it liament, by two thort lines, had removed fupported by the arguments of Aatelinen; all these difficulties ; when they declared, but he had heard none luch. The terms that they did not see a necessity for a furof the motion itself were also fo indefinite, ther offensive war with America, they that they could afford no instruction ; for virtually annulled all these harsh declara. the conditions of peace, which were liberal tions of the Americans, and, the two at one time, might be injudicious at ano. countries being inclined to make peace, ther, according to the circumstances of peace was accordingly very soon had. the period.

Ministers spoke of the flourishing con. His lordship inquired, with whom were dition of this country and of its resources we to treat in France ? The convention, for war; but did they know the sentiwlio might he expected to mention them. ments of the merchants and manufactuselves, had said, that they had a hundred rers ? He had a letter in his pocket from thousand negociators on each frontier. Or, Birmingham, which mentioned, that 4000 if it was fettled with whom we should persons had been added to the poor lifts treat, who would accept the office of ne. there during the war ; and even the ragociator? His lordship here noticed the pidity with which our armies had been opinion of another noble speaker, that the raised and fleets manned spoke the decay campaign had not been a successful one ; of our trade ; for, whence came our fol. and oblerved, that the brave and fucceff. diers but from our manufactories, or our ful efforts of an illuftrious prince for the seamen but from merchant ships ? protection of Holland, would mark the The true mode of giving additional fe. last year as a brilliant period for this curity to the constitution of the country country.

was by preserving, or increasing the bletAs to the barriers of France, which fings of the people. Burdens, however had been called impenetrable, his fordhip dexterously they might be packed, did not observed, that the duke of Marlborough lose their weight, and there was a point bad broken these barriers, and his career beyond which the packhorle could not be was interrupted, not by the enemy, but loaded. That the French had consented by their intrigues in foreign courts, and to apply all private property to public ule, by a disunion among the allies, similar to which the noble lord had mentioned, was that which would be effected if the present a disadvantage to this country, since it motion were carried. He corchided a proved how devoted they were to the conspeech of nearly three hours, by fome ob. teft. Property in this country was hapfervations upon the state of this country, pily secure, and he hoped it would always the trade of which had been very lightly be so much so, that neither the noble lord, affected by the war.

nor any of his associates, thould be able to His loriidip here contended, that the touch it. The rendering persons of all law, which forbade, under pain of death, persuasions contented with their treatment any Frenchman to propole" peace, while was another mode of defending the constian enemy Mould remain in the eighty-lix tution ; and, since the catholics had hapdepartments, of course demanded that pily been emancipated, why were the poor Savoy and the Netherlands should be ceded dissenters, in these times of rumoured to France, fince those countries were de- danger, suffered to remain in discontent? creed to be among the eighty-fix depart. Why not extend the trial by jury to Scot. ments at the passing of the decree.

land? The marquis of Lansdown said, that Ministers enquired with whom we could his reply might be the shorter, because treat in France? That was a suitable obnearly all the arguments used agzinkt bis ject for their er:quiry, whose business it motion, especially those of the noble lord would be to treat, when negociation who spoke last, were so similar to those should be approved of, and there was no offered during the American war, which doubt ihat ike proper persons might easily bad been finally refuted by events, chat be found. His lurdihip paid many com


pliments to the noble duke who had lays which it experienced for want of con. liconded the motion; and said, that, hav- voys, firit in the instance of the veffeis ing come down to the houte to vote againit leaving England, and then when they arthe American war, fupported only by four rived at Gibraltar, being consigned to a pertons, who had finally fucceeded in ob- certain degree to the protection of lord taining peace, he did not doubt to see the Hood's Squadron, operated fo mach to its finali band, which was now united and disadvantage, by being too late for the new scouted as much as the former had great fairs of Salerno and Senegalia in bein, pertevering, without a lingle de. Italy, as that the loss would be long felt. krtion, til they had finally accomplished The most important of all, the West ibu happy object.

India trade, both homeward and outwardThe houte divided, for the motion 12, bound, had by the same reasons, he alproxy !; againti it 86, proxies 17, ma- leged, fuffered in a confiderable degree. joriiy 90.

The delays exp-rienced by the outwardIn the horse of commons, on Tuesday, bound thips were near three months, and Feb. 18, Mr. Fox rose to bring forward t'le inadequacy of the convoy of the homehis promilid motion on the subject of con- ward bound Ácet, estimated to be worth voys. He obierved, that the griat failures four millions, was fhaineful to those who in the important fervice of convoys, may had the ordering of these matters; and not be folely imputable to the negligence also the Irish victualling ihips, upon whose of government. They might as well wile arrival the well-buing of the West India from the want of resources. The object Mands d. pended, had been considerably of his motion, which was for an enquiry embarrafud and delayed for the want of iaio the business, could belt determine the convoy.- The Levant trade did not escape peint. It iverkl go to exculpate admini- his animadversion; the neglect, with reitration were it innocent ; to tix the liigma fpect to this very important traffic, did of centure, were it guilty, and thereby not fall short of all the foregoing. afford fich a letton as would compel go In tupport of these allegations, Mr. vernment to profit by experience, and en. Fox brought forward several documents, fue a proper attention to the convoy ler. which were handed to him, he observed, vice in future.

from perions deeply engaged in the several The first point he touclied on was the trades, and whole loses were consideraNewfoundland and Canada trade. This,., ble; he also read several extracts from he alleged, in both the instances of home- ' letters from persons of the same descripward bound and out-ward-bound, had tion, as well as memorials presented from fuffered to a confiderable degree by the different bodies of merchants, at sundry culpable neglect of the admiralty, in not periods, to the admiralty, respecting conproviding carly and adequate convoys. voys: bis object, as he before obferved, With respect to the Baltic fleets, he con was for an impartial and minute enquiry, fefied that he was, in what he aserted on the refult of which would be in every point a former night, to some degree mil-in of view productive of benefit.-He then formed, as well in ihe circuniiances of movid, 'That it be referred to a comthe case, as in the number of velleis cap- mittee, to enquire into the protection which fared. However it appeared that several the trade of his maielly's subjects had reSaps of that fiet had been taken, which ceived from convoys during the present might be attributed, in a certain degree at war.' Jealt, to the failure of convoy. The Atri Admiral Gardner observed, that in opcan trade had been confiderably injured on position to the voluminous detail now adthe same account, which being convoyed duced, he would put in a general way the to-a certain latiiude, was lutt to purrue mited and publicly avowed sentiments of the rest of its voyage unnfured and un the great mercantile body of the kingdom, proiected.

which were inanimous in afering, that The trade to Germany, but more para, upon the whole, the travie to the ditferent ticularis that of Italy and the southern Ghariers had never received fuch etiectual pirts of kuropé, next engaged his atten- proicétion, as during the present war.

The former, principally with what In fupport of this, the hon. admiral related to the Hunburgh bulinels, was de- brought forward several extracts from oflayed to buig as to injure contiderably ficial documents, wherein were set forth thole concerned in that trathic; but with the several applications which had been rekpect to the mediterranean trade, it tut. made by different mercantile bodies for tered very much indeed, The great vis.cunvoys, with their dates, particulars,of


the measures taken by the admiralty in conduct of the admiralty, and allowconsequence, the different thips dispatched ed that many applications for convoys on the convoy service, the dates of their had been refused, partly from infailing, the unavoidable delays on account bility on account of exilting and unaof weather, want of men, and the pro. voidable circunstances to comply with crastination of the ship owners themselves; them, and partly on the obvious score of from all of which he deduced conclusions inexpediency, in which cases the requilivery different from what had been drawn tions could be complied with only to the by the right hon. gentleman; and de- injury of the other branches of the naval monstrated, seemingly very much to the service. However, on the whole, he obfatisfaction of the house, that the conduct served it was sufficiently obvious, from of the board of admiralty was fuch, as in the united testimony of the most respectaHead of cenfure, deserved the thanks of ble commercial men in the kingdoin, and the mercantile intercit.

particularly of all of those, with one foliAlderman Anderson spoke in support tary exception, who had the honour of a of the observations of the lait speaker; he seat in that hoile, that the trade of the afferted, that in confequence of the most country had never generally been better minute enquiry he could learn, that only protected. two hips, which had failed with convoy, Mr. Pirt faid, that after what had falhad been taken ; and that at no period len from various gentlemen who had opwhatever a more effectual protectiou had poled the mo:ion, particularly the hon, been extended to our trade; as an instance adiniral, he did not think there was any of which, he adduced the amount of in great necessity for him to trouble the house surance last year.

With respect to the much, if at all, upon this question : bus right hon. gentleman's facts relative to the he conceived it to be a question of fo much Baltic fleet, he observed, that they were importance, that he felt himself irresistibly erroneous.

impelled to trelpass a short tiine upon their Major Maitland spoke at some length, attention. Though the protection of the and with his usual warmth, in fupporting trade of this country was of very great what had been advanced by liis right hon importance, there were other objects that friend, and infiked on the neceility of an called for the attention of ministry, which inquiry.

were still more important in their contes Alderman Curtis said a few words in quences. A variety of offentive measures defence of the conduct of the admiraly. were to be planned and executed ; large He seemed of opinion, that the rate of in. fices were to be kept in certain places, lurance was a sufficient criterion of the and upon particular tations, without comparative degree of protection afforded which convoys would be out of smali ute. to our trade in the present and former The minister of this country wouid conwars, and which he faid was decidedly in fult very little indeed the intereit of the favour of the prelent.

people, it, for the purpose of protecting Mr. D. Scott offered a few details in irade, he was to frite down and fubdia favour of what the foregoing speaker ad. vide the naval force of the country into vanced.

convoys, initead of employing it in the Mr. Pytris observed, that the right great and important objects of the war. hon. gentiunan's propositions were lets The natural confequence of such conduct calculated to inforin the house and the mult inevitably be the desiruction of that public of the real state of the convoy fere very commerce which they had affected to vice, than lo embarrass men in the offices protect. The fair question, thcrefore, io concerned on the occation. Had he pre- put to that house wis, whether, confidervioully informed them what his obiections ing the great and numerous objects which, were, and itated the particular menfi:res pressed upon the attention of minilters in which he thought them culpable, they lince the commencement of the war - whea could have come torward prepared to an ther, considering the defencelets (compalwer, and to refute what had been ad- ratively speaking) ftuation of the country vanced, and not as now, obliged to fil. when the French fo fiddenly and to unlow him through an indefinite and uncon- initly declared war againit us, and continected mass of alleged facts, fupplied by diring it to the peculiar nature of the war unknown persons, and in some instances itself – whether, having relected upon all from unknown quarters.

thule poinis, and then looked to ile de. He entered into justification of the gree of protution which the trade fiad ac

F 2.


tually received, any serious blame could voy had been appointed under the idea be imputed to administration ?

that lord Hood would arrive before it in The right hon. gentleman had, from that sea. It so happened, that it became an examination of Lloyd's books; stated necessary to take a part of the fleet which the number of English ships captured by was to have gone with lord Hood, for the the enemy fince the commencement of the purpose of sending it to the Weft Indies ; war, to be 217. If he (Mr. Pitt) were it was therefore necessary to prevent the to estimate the number, he should make convoy from sailing, as it would probably it rather larger, and state it at 236. The have fallen into the hands of the enemy number of ships which had been taken by when it arrived in the Mediterranean, as the Englith from the French, amounted it was impossible for lord Hood's Acet to to 233 during the same period. When be there in time to protect it. gentlemen reflected upon the great and Gentlemen had talked about convoys, widely extended commerce of this coun- as if it was possible to send one with every try, scattered over every part of the world trading vesel that failed. They would when they recollected the circumstance not surely contend, that instead of formmentioned by the hon. gentleman who ing the three great fleets 'he before alluded Spoke lait, that 250 went to and from the to, it would have been more proper to ports of Newcastle and Shields every have employed all those ships as convoys : month, employed in the coal trade, the it would not be asserted, that it was immost dangerous and the largest of all our proper to have a respectable channel fleet, coafting trade-and when they found that which while it protected the coast of this only 236 had fallen into the hands of the country from insult, actually defended the enemy in the first year of the war, the on. trade in a more effectual manner than con. ly sentiment in the house and in the king- voys : it would not be contended, that is dom must be that of surprise that so small was wrong to send one to the Welt Indies, a number had been captured.

and one to the Mediterranean : to the late In the appointment of convoys, many ter it was peculiarly necessary, in order to different circumstances happened, arising give the Spaniards the means of exerting from a variety of causes, which rendered their force; because, though Spain, when it necessary fometimes to delay, sometimes completely' armed, is a very formidable to alter, and even fometimes entirely to paval power, yet she has not the means of Stop the failing of the convoy. Those who calling all her powers into action immesuppose, that when an application was diately. If, then, it was adinitred that made by merchants for a convoy for a fleet the conduct of the admiralty in this point to a given place, that when the vessel was was justiiable and prudent, with what appointed for that purpose, the whole dif. propriety could they be accused of neglect. ficulty was over, were much miltaken; ing the trade of the country? between the time of the appointing and But the right hon. gentleman, and those the sailing of a convoy, it might happen who supported him, had relied with much that the enemy had altered the lituation of appearance of triumph upon some meno, a part of their force, which might render rials which had been presented to the board it the duty of the admiralty to give a of admiraity by merchants who conceived larger convoy, or perhaps to prevent the that convoys had not been appointed with failing of it; therefore it might frequently sufficient expedition. The right hon, happen, that what appeared to the mere gentleman had commented upon fome chants as neglect and inattention on the warm expressions tühich were contained in part of the admiralty, might be the strong, some of these memorials, and had said that eft proof possible of their care and vigi. the board of admiralty ought to have felt lance; and they could not in all cases indignation at such language being held to communicate to the inerchants the causes them. He was sure that the admiralty which influenced their conduet, without would feel no indignation į he had seen Jetting them into their councils, and stating those memorials before, and had felt no circumstances which perhaps the interelt sentiinent of that kind, because he made of the country called upon them to con- every allowance for men acting under the ceal.. To illustrate this arguinent, he impulse of disappointment and of loss, but would mention a case which had occurred these few folitary instances could not outin the present war, and which he might weigh the general testimony which adminow state without impropriety.- A con. nistration had received in favour of their voy had been appointed for some merchant conduet. Members of parliament, as rethips into the Mediterrancan; that con- spectable for the privaie worth of their


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »