Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

7thly. The restitution of the them: and, therefore, they befought property of the emigrants forfeited him to adopt such measures as or sold is indirectly demanded, might tend to vindicate the fincerithough in terms to ambiguous, as to ty of his majesty's defire for the release matter for endless discussion. establishment of peace in the eyes

The second memorial. For of Europe. The motion was seHolland, the Britih minifter de- conded by fir John Macpherson, mands a restoration of its antient and opposed by major Elford. form of government, the annihila Mr. chancellor Pitt said, that tion of treaties between France when he observed the terms of the and the Batavian republic, and last- motion itself, and compared them ly, the restoration of the Seadtbolder. with the situation of the country at And what did England affer as the moment when it was brought the price of these conceflions ? A forward, it was only neceffary for partial reftitution of the Dutch him to show that no practical benecolonies, reserving to herself the fit could arise from it, or from the Cape of Good Hope and Ceylon. arguments by which it was fupFinally, if France would not annul ported. Every evil of war was, or her treaties with the Batavian re- ought to be, viewed on the compapublic, she was to make over to rison of alternatives, and the wiseft the emperor all that Holland had mode of preventing an accumulaceded to France in the late treaty tion of them, would be by investibetween the two countries.

gating their causes, and enquiring After reading the paper, Mr. whether the immediate evil was Pallen observed, that its allegations preferable to the more remote, and were either founded upon fact, or whether the present danger would they were not; if they were, the obviate a feverer calamity in funegotiation ought to be resumed on ture. Without such comparison, fair and candid principles; if they fruitless lamentations over the diwere not, the best mode of dif- ftrefles incident to such a state were playing the justice of the English enough to over-rule any exertions government, would be to publish of any country, however justifiable a counter-declaration, stating the and necessary its exertions might be. grounds on which the war was car He begged leave to tell the horied on. He called on one side of nourable gentleman that a peace the house, to how to the public did not depend upon the earneftthat it was not opposition to the ness of his desires for it, nor upon minifter, but the interest of the na- the declarations of the house, which tion, which they findied ; and to were more likely to frustrate than the other, not to defend the mini- accelerate this obje&t ; but it defter but their country; and on both, pended upon the operations of the to co-operate in delivering it from executive government, the dispoits present difficulties. He con- fition of the enemy, and the poseluded with moving an address to ture of affairs. By the quotations his majefty, representing that his from the Rédacteur, he had mirfaithful commons were of opinion, represented the whole proceedings that his late benign endeavours to of the negotiation ; for by pailing itore peace bad failed of their ef over fome circumstances, and perfect, either from misconception of verting others, he had inferred that the French government, or from the directory were conscions, if they the terms being ill explained to published that declaration as the

G 3

truc

true state of the case, the mini- motion could do no harm, and sters of this country could not af- should have his support. terwards appeal to the judgment of Mr. Addington had flattered himtheir countrymen.

self, that after what had paffed That the directory had misrepre- during the debate, the motion sented the intentions and terms of would have been withdrawn; but this country was evident ; and after as that had not been the cafe, ho treating the overtures as they did, should make fome observations. it would surely be a fingular ground The motion had been founded for parliament to form any pro- upon the statements of a French ceedings upon, and expose the na- paper, whether with, or without tion to a fresh insult.” But above the authority of the dire&tory was all, to refute a declaration which not known : the two grounds con"had ng authority to prove it of. tained in that paper, were the orificial, by a manifesto, would be gin of the war which was attributmost absurd, and would encourage ed to the British ministry, and the the enemy to defeat our measures insincerity of the British governfor restoring tranquillity.

ment in its overtures for peace. Mr. Pitt affirmed that no oppor- . In the year 1792, Mr. Addington tunities had been omitted, and the faid, tbis country enjoyed a fate of beft modes had been adopted, un- prosperity almost unrivalled, our comsuccessful as they had been, for this merce and our manufactures floupurpose ; and ended with inform- rished, and there could be no doubt ing the house, that in consequence that no man could be more interof dispatches received from Vien- etted for the prefervation of peace na (which brought advice that the than the chancellor of the excheenemy had made overtures for a quer, because its interruption must separate peace with his imperial tend to frustrate thote financial ar. majesty, which he had rejected, be- rangements in which he was so fuccause he would not enter into any cessfully employed. The unwillingnegotiation without Great Britain), ness of ministers to interfere in the his majesty would send a confiden- contest was incontrovertibly manitial person to Vienna, with instruc- feited, in the month of May in that tions to conduct negotiations in con- year, by their making a material cert with his allies. After having reduction in the naval and military said so much, Mr. Pitt thought the establishments. honourable gentleman should with Some important events which draw bis motion, rather than perse- then happened, could not but make vere in a measure which would a strong impression upon the go. tend to defeat the end it proposed. vernment; the defeat of the Pruf

Colonel Porter disavowed all con sian army, and the events of the fidence in ministers; Mr. Pitt bad 10th of August, were not sufficient come down to the house describing to induce ministers to alter their the flourishing state of the finances, system; but after the battle of Je and in a few weeks we were found mappe, when the empire was threatto be in a situation little short of ened, and after the decree relative bankruptcy. He distrusted their to the Scheldt, they could no long. fincerity in any negotiation which er consider themselves as indiffer. they might undertake, and confi- ent spectators, but began to predered the present as a bugbear to pare for what might happen. The delude the public; at all events the convention, placing confidence in

the

the declarations of the jacobin fo- it was their object to compel the cieties in this country, declared war emperor to a separate peace, and against it. It had been stated, with with the same view was their last triumph, that we now were forced offer to that monarch. These of, to adopt that very conduct which fers were rejected with a magnaniwe formerly had rejected: but was mity that did the highest honour there a difference between the to the faith of our ally --- of that present government of France and ally whom we had been called upon thof which existed formerly? to desert!

Ele would do the gentlemen on It was needless to recal to the the other side of the house the recollection of the house the projaftice to say, that if they really posal of Mr. Wickham, or the newere of opinion that we could have gotiation of lord Malmetbury, of avoided the war, or had rejected which last he should only remark, any fair occasions of procuring that the French had never contrapeace, they had been consistent in dicted that statement; and if we their conduct; for they regularly were to make any application un. every feffion brought forward mo- der the present circumstances, the tions expressive of these sentiments. enemy might suppose we werc But was France now what France driven to it from the recent occur was then? At one period when the rences at the bank. motion of peace was made, the fac It had been said that the memtion of Robespiere prevailed: at bers of that house had lost the conanother, the convention had juft tidence of their constituents : how declared that they would make did that appear ? was it from do. peace with Holland but not with ing too little or too much ? for mi. England. It was then they avow. nisters had been accused of both. ed that treaties might and fome- He conceived this country to be times ought to be violated. This pofTeffed of abundant wealth, notwas first broached by M. Brissot, withstanding our temporary emand this was the season chosen for barrassments; and we had only to the second motion for peace. He act with spirit, and we should find defired to know by which of the ourselves strong and rich: on the governing powers of France any other hand, if we displayed unreadifpofition for it had been thown, sonable parsimony or pulillanimity, from Barrere, Robespierre, Tallien, we thould find ourselves both weak or the directory. During that which and poor, and he hoped they would was called the moderate period, not adopt such shallow policy as after the deftru&ion of Robespierre, would tend to degrade the dignity many persons entertained hopes and the character of the country. that they would manifest a desire It had been asked what had been for it; he never was of that opi gained by the war? He answered, pion, for the same system of resent. it was a defensive war, and therement was displayed against this fore this was not a proper question. country. When the separate peace But we had retained our character, was made with Prullia, the report- achieved great conquests, and made er stated to the convention that a discovery of easy means of prethey had made it separately, in obe- lt.ving internal tranquillity. We dience to their orders. If any fur- had nearly destroyed the marine of ther proof was neceffary, let us France, and given a severe blow to look to their last campaign, when that of Spain; we had in a great

G4

degroc

degree stopped those dangerous fome time before, was true; but principles which were abroad, and when the measure was taken which secured our honour, our liberty, led to that embaffy, we were in a and, he trufted. cur conftitution. fituation not disastrous. Upon thefe grounds he should Mir. Fox snid, he would not move the order of the day. question, because he could not prove,

Mr. Fox, in a speeeh of confi- how far the minister was fincere derable length, reprobated the pro- when he adopted that measure : bat ceedings of the minister, who, af- he was inclined to think thar he ter having had so large a Mare in was fincere in his endeavours to producing the present calamities, make peace when it was impolperlifted in defiring the confidence fible to make a good one. But of the house in his measures. He there was another point to be conis ever (faid Mr. Fox) the same fidered with respect to that emcharacter. though he comes before bally; it took place when a loan you in different thapes. When he was to be obtained, and he contiis called upon by those who are nued at Paris till it was concluded. most willing to trust him, to take We are now at a period when the some itep conducive to peace, he French have been victorious, and comes forward with a promise that the emperor's tituation desperate, he will do it; nay, that he is ac- and we are now to negotiatr a loan, tually doing it. Promites you have and are called to contide in the had from him in abundance, but profeflions of the minifter, who not one of them has been fulfilled. tells us, “ do not put difficulties in We are now told that a gentleman my way by your interference, it is is going to Vienna, the object of a principle that the house of com. whose miilion was to be explained mons fiould connde in the executo the house this evening: but had tive government when they are to it been explained ? No: yet upon negotiate for peace.” this nere declaration, the minister As a general principle he did not expects you to fiop at once in the diffent from this; but the question performance of your public duty. was not, whether any minister should But it is he is going on the have the confidence of the house, subject of peace, and under this but whether the present minifter general view (inppoing his em- under the present circumtiances deplovers to be fincere) he would go served it. Then canie the comwith the linanimous with of the mon-place argument, that every country

but he had some doubts minister must be inserenied in obof the fincerity, and feared it would taining peace : was not lord North resemble that which took place in the same fituation during the when the French arms were vic- Jaft war? Had not every miuifter torious, when the situation of the been in it? What then was there emperor was critical, as admiited by peculiar in the character or fituaall; desperate, as thought by many. iion of the prefent minifter which Some serions chose to forget dates could lead us to suppore he was more of the e events, because, when lord sincere in his profeflions than anoMam íbury went to Paris, the ther? Upon the occasion to which Frerch bad met with some de- Mr. Fox said he alluded, the prefeats. That we were more pro- fent minister had faid, he should fperous thin, than we had been be ready to negotiate whenever the

enemy

[ocr errors]

enemy fhould appear capable of some of the best provifions of the maintaimug the relations of peace bill of rights; and were we to say to and amiry. - What happened then? Europe, that this war was carried on -He prevailed upon the house to to quiet them; and that we could do thes, whst be atks them to do not pass these measures but when we pow.-Confide in his fincerity! The had a standing army, which often boule did not interfere as it ought fibly was raised againft a foreign to have done with its authority, but foe, but which, in reality, was indid what it ought not to have done tended to enable our government to confided in the idea, that a nego- quiet the people: he acknowledg. tiation would soon take place; none, ed he could not congratulate the lat. however, was attempted, and after ter on" these easy muins of bereava confiderable period, when it was ing them of their privileges.” It had attempted, failed. The subject came been said, that it was wise to facrito be discussed in the house; and fice a part of liberty to save the rewe were told, that after every means maincier; but the part which we had been ased to evade all nicasures had facrificed appeared to be the which could tend to serious nego- most material of our conftitution. tiations, " there was not a heart in We were now to grant millions to England fo profligate as to with, nor the emperor, not to enable him to a hand so dastardly as to fign, nor march to Paris, but to prevent (as could there be found a man fo de- we are told) the French froin mirchgenerate as to be the courier of a ing to London; this, he profeiled, commission sent to France, to stipu- he did not believe, but this was late for peace.” The courier, how. urged by those who opposed the ever (continued Mr. Fox), will, and motion; nor did he think we were malt, be found; and, he trusted, the under any obligation to show our hand feen which would sign a peace good faith at the commencement of with France. We had tried our ex- the war, excepting with regard to ecutive government enough to be Holland, and there our allistance confident no good could be done 10 was not atked ; on the contrary, we our country by trying such means were told, that our friendship would any longer. He asked, if any man be more dangerous than our neutrain that house, or in this country, lity. He wished a peace might be thought our chance of obtaining obtained conjointly with the empepeace would be as good, by confid- ror; but between two evils, he had ing in the promise of ministers, as no reluctance to declare, that a feif the house came to a declaration perate peace between the emperor upon the fabject? Could any one and France, or between Great Britain believe, that with all “ our advan- and France, would be a less evil to tages, and the profit we had gained us, than the continuance of the war. by the easy means we had discovered After all that could be faid of the of quieting the people of this coun- credit of this country, it could not be try," that we should attain our ob- dilsembled, that we were lower in this jeet of peace more easily, by conti- resped than at any former period of nuing to trust the minifter, than by history. All our conqueft, in St. Dointerposing the authority of the mingo never would bring back the house?

millions we had Iquandered, and the Our means of quieting the peo- lives we had devoted. Weentered u ple of England was, by repealing on this war with the idea, that all the

powers

lup

« AnteriorContinuar »