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oxy fleets been so fortunate as to have fummoned having been read, for met the enemy! He much com- an inquiry into ihe paval defence plained, at the conclusion of his of Ireland, during the lare attempt speech, of Mr. Fox's inflammatory at an invasion. The carl of Albelanguage respecting the itate of Ire- maile rose to make the notion of land --- especially of the catholics, wlich he had given notice on a who never had had more indulgen- former day-atsuring the house, cies granted them than within these that he did not mean to hin the few years, and the allegation he smallest disrespect to the officers, or declared was untri e, that they had to the admiralty. The obseat he been opprelied under the prefent had in view was, inquiry. The government.
opinion that considerable blame lay Ms. Whitbread animadverted on fomes here was universal: it was the arrival of admiral Elphinstone necu frary to ascertain where, and in Ireland, whilst the French squa- to whom imputable. The great dron was in Bantry Bay; which, as importance of Ireland as a compohe afforded no asistance against neut part of this empire, admitted them, demanded explanation. , no doubt: minifters must have
Lord Keith (late admiral Elphin- been informed long before the ftone) faid he had always dischar- meeting of the present parliament, ged his duty to the best of his abili- that an invafon either of this couns ties, and for the service of his coun- try or Ireland, or toth, had been try. If he conducted himself illas meditated by the enemy. It is evian officer, he was amerable to a dent they did know this, from the court-martial; if he had offended language they held forth to the as a member of parliament, he pro- public in the commencement of the feffed him self ready on any proper present session. How came it then, occafion to answer any inquiry that with a perfe& knowledge of which might be demanded of him. this intention so early as Septem
Mr. Whitbread disclaimed the ber laft, when an armament of the least intention of throwing out in- enemy was openly preparing at finuations against the character or Breit, no fleet of ours thouid be services of the gallant admiral, for stationed on the coait of Ireland whose valour and merits he pro. for its protection? feffed veneration. The circum Facts attested, that the French ftance which he had flightly men- flett, confitting of eighteen fail of the tioned, incidentally occurred among line, several frigates, and numerous other facts which he thought it his transports, all full of troops, actualduty to bring forward, without ly failed from Brest, anchored in personal cevfure to the admiral, Bantry Bay, remained there, fome who was clear from all blame in of them during eleven days, and af, the transaction alluded to.
terwards (with inconsiderable loss, The house divided on the pre- the whole of which was owing to vious question. For it 201, against forms) returned to their own ports it 62.
without falling in with a single fhip The same subject was brought of the Englith navy to impede or under the consideration of the up- moleft them. His lord lip faid, he per house on the 16th of the fame did not doubt the anxiety of admi. month.- On that day, the order of ral lord Bridport to fail as soon as the day for their lord ships being possible, and therefore bis failing
down the channel must have been necesary—though he did not mean in consequence of orders received to reflect upon the gallant com. from the admiralty. Another thing mander. After vindicating the which appeared extraordinary, was, conduct of lord Bridpor, whe that after the admiral had found could not (he faid) know that tuere the whole of the ent my's feet had were leven fhips of the enemy ia left that coalt, he still continued Bantry Bay, nor put to sea owing cruifing off Bantry Bay for a day to adverse winds, he gave his de. and a half before he proceeded any cided negative to the motion of where else in queit of them. It the noble lord. here struck him forcibly as ne li- The earl of Carlisle ar.d the margent and blameable, that, after mi. quis of Abercorn voted for the in. nisters had so long been informed quiry; the latter obterving, that of the armarnent at Brest, the feet for the justification of ministers under lord Bridport was not more four points ought to be proved;--numerous, and all realy. He then first, that this country had a luifiadverted to that under admiral cient fleet ready for sea; secondly, Colpoys; many of his fhips were that admiral Colpoys' feet was in want of those eflentil articles ftrong enough to keep the tea; that on thip-board, water and fuel. it was provided amply with itores; Lastly, he adverted to the squadron and fourthly, that he had received under admiral Elphinstone, which, particular orders to turn his a teninstead of joining the squadrons tion to Ireland, and proceed thither then at fea, came to St. Helens the as soon as he had intelligence that very day lord Bridport left it. He the French fleet had failed. None moved an inquiry, therefore, into of these points had been proved the measures of government for the but, on the contrary, it was evident, defence of Ireland, when an inva- a sufficient fleet was not ready; the fion was attempted by France. admiral had been too long at lea; be
Earl Spencer replied, in vindica- was not provided with stores, and, ation of the ad: iralty, that a govern- bove all, no positive orders had bren ment might sometimes have too given him to make the fatety of Iremuch as well as too little informa- land his principal object. tion respecting the plans of an ene Earl Spencer considered an inmy, - and when from different quiry as a censure on the admiral. quartersthey derived different intel. ty board, to which no blame was ligence, it became a matter of un- imputable. If admiral Colpors' certainty how they were to act. fleet, together with lord Bridpost's, He confidently affirmed, they had had gone to Ireland, the channel acted in the best manner froin the would have been lefi open to the information they had received. He Dutch fleet, in which case the denied that the firet of admiral noble marquis would not have Colpoys was obliged to come into spared the lords of the admiralty. port for want of necessaries; it was He contended that a discretionary driven up the channel by tempef power ought to be vested in those tuous weather. Water, indeed, who had the management of naval they had not in any great abund- affairs in this country. ance; but in some thips more was The earl of Moira said, that the used than in others, and in this generosity of the noble earl had inmanner more confirmed than was volved and perplexed his own de.
fence: he had combined with it lordship threw all the blame upon
The art of Liverpool, upon the had risen to glory, and in the
having more than once in the pre- upon ministers, without stopping fent war (which all persons now, to ascertain whether they were he believed, would join with him guilty or not. It was supposed in afferting to have been calami. they could at pleasure command tous proposed inquiries such as the winds and waves, and send a tbis, tie thould now go over the fieet up and down the channel at a faine ground again, in the faine minute's warning! but it would be line of unsuccessful argument; but impossible to conjecture the truth he could not refrain from adurelling of this transaction from what had those lords who had been in the fallen during the debate. Though habit of prevailing so often upon without any loss on our part, it had the judgment of the house, He been reprefented as a national dirwould put it to others also, whe- grace: whatever failure had been, ther they could refuse to institute was upon the side of the enemy, an inquiry. That some was ne who actually had lost near five ceffary upon the nccalion, was not thousand men in this wild attempt. denied; for no sooner had the fub- -- A stranger might imagine the jert been mentioned, than the French Aleet had completely trinoble earl at the head of the admi- umphed over ours, whereas they ralty was ready to produce papers, merely had escaped it! And their which had been laid upon the table escape was in consequence of events That they had been garbled, he which it was not potīble for us to would not say; but he wouid con- foresee, or to prevent. In no tend they had been, for the purpose former war had this country ever of conveying information, very bad- been able to keep two fleets in the ly felected. He could find no good channel, nearly equal to that of the rrafons in them for the admiral French; and yet in this war two being kept so long at sea. Ireland constantly had been maintained, obviousy ought to have been the one ready for failing, the other first point of defence, and it had blocking up Breft. As to Ireland, not been protected.
his lordship admitted its defence The earl of Scarborough quoted must reft upon the fleet, as well as an expreifion of fir George Saville, England; but they were by no " that to vote far an inquiry into means in such a state as to render the cause of disaster, was not to such an invasion alarming. The vote censure " The present mo. French affected to have some hopes ment demanded it: every thing had of being joined in Ireland, but the been facrificed to confidence; he event thewed how much they were took shame for having gone so mistaken. Whatever might be relong in that track, and now voted gretted respecting our miscarriages for inquiry
on the continent, in our naval at. Lord Grenville declared he had tempts there was nothing but fuclistened with astonishment to the cess and glory-whereas the only mode in which the noble lords had triumph of our enemies was ersupported this motion : and more cape! than once was in doubt whether The marquis of Lansdowne they were not wholly mistaker in strenuously enforced the neceffity the facis upon which they were to of an inquiry.
of an inquiry. He spoke of the decide. Whenever any expedition new subject of discontent which failed, the whole blame was thrown had arifen in Ireland: gentlemen
who had formally taken the part of before given notice, respecting Irègovernment, now acknowledged land: he began with observing, that that country had been neglect- that where two separate and indeed : applications had been made pendent legislatures existed acting for protection, and it had been a each within its own sphere for the bandoned. Ministers had pledged happiness of two countries united themselves to keep up a' great land under one common head, and idenforce, which had been withdrawn; tified by a common intereft, it cerand that a naval force should be tainly was of the utmost importkept up on the Irish coasts in ail ance for them mutually to respect future wars, was a ftipulation made the line by which their authority in the last war. Were he minister at was bounded. They ought to be this time, he would station a feet in careful not to exceed the line of dethe Cove of Cork immediately. The marcation, and to employ the utmarquis censured the ministers and most delicacy in agitating questions the "admiralty concerning their in which the privileges and indewhole conduc in the late attempt- pendence of each other were in. ed invasion--their procrastinations volved. Although this general
- their neglects; and their mis. truth could not be disputed, cirtakes were likely to be as fatal as cumstances might occur in which they had been disastrous. The sub. it might be meritorious for them ject, he said, lay to-day between mutuaily to manifest :heir attention the house and the ministers; to. and anxiety for objects in which morrow it would lie between mi- their common interests were connisters and the public, who would cerned. Upon these grounds, he not fail to see the inability iinput- therefore rose for the purpose of able to the admiralty.
moving an address to his majesty, Earl Fitzwilliam thought the “ that he would gracioully be conduct of our marine, as to its pleafed to interpose his paternal ingreat operations, belonged equally terference, to remedy the discon to all the cabinet. There had been tents which prevailed in Ireland, blaine, and there ought to be in- and created the most ferious alarm quiry.
for that country and the dearest Lord Grenville affirmed, that interests of Britain." This was no Ireland, so far from having been question of internal regulation, it negle sted, had been the object of parti- was a point of common concern cular attention !
and mutual intereft, upon which The house divided on lord Albe- both countries had an equal right marle's motion, contents 14, non to stand forward. He did not wish contents 74
to make any odious allusion to any Notwithstanding the defeat of former discussion: but suppose, as the opposition party in this effort, a possible cafe, that such a dispothe Itate of Ireland was again fition of the British fleet was inbrought under the consideration of tended as ibould leave Ireland dethe upper house, by a nobleman fenceless, might not the Irish house particularly acquainted with that of lords interfere, by address to his kingdom, and as particularly inte- majelty, praying, that such a mearested in its welfare. - On the 21st sure might not be adopted? If in the of March, lord Moira made a mo. course of negotiation with France, tion, of which he had some time any conditions were stipulated