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establishment of the principle, that this compelling the Belgians to consolidate country coald not interfere to prevent the and preserve it. With respect to anopartition of Turkey, that precludes the ther cause of the war, viz. the opening possibility of any interference with respect of the Scheldt, their explanations regard to Poland.

ing that circumstance, and their intenAs to the latter transactions that have tions upon Holland, were equally unsaoccurred between this country and France, tisfactory; their ultimatum was, that they they are too fresh in the memory of the would give no farther satisfaction; and House, to require that I should call their their refusing a fair explanation made attention to them, The resolutions to them the aggressors in reality, if not in which we have come on this subject are form. Still, however, the channel of netoo sacred, the opinion too settled, and gotiation was not cut off by this country: too deeply formed, to be lightly reversed. as long as the king of France retained a We cannot, surely, forget the first cause shadow of power, M. Chauvelin continued of complaint, allowed to be well founded, to be received in an official capacity; and and the famous decree of the 19th of No even after the cruel catastrophe of that vember, which was an insult and an out- unfortunate monarch, his majesty's mi. Tage on all civilized nations. If any thing nister at the Hague did not refuse to could have aggravated the letter of that communicate with general Dumourier, act, it was the spirit which pervaded it, when he expressed a wish to hold a conand the practical circumstances which ac- ference with him relative to some procompanied it. Seditious men, delegated posals of peace. When all these opporfrom this country, with treason in their tunities had been offered and neglected, mouths and rebellion in their hearts, were they declared war, and reduced us to the received, welcomed, and caressed by necessity of repelling an unjust aggression. the legislature of France. That go. In every point of view, therefore, they vernment, without waiting until it had were evidently the aggressors. I cannot even established itself, declared hostilities help wishing to recall the attention of the against all the old established systems : House to the general conclusion of what without having scarcely an existence, it I have stated, for upon that rests all I had the presumption to promise to inter have to say on the first part of the right pose to the destruction of all the existing hon. gentleman's propositions. If the governments in the world. All govern- House had been hurried by passion into ments alike fell under its vengeance; the the war, would it go to the enemy to old forms were contemned and reprobated, atone for its misconduct, and accede to those which had stood the test of expe- such conditions as the enemy might offer? rience, whether monarchy, aristocracy, And, yet the right hon. gentleman proor mixed democracy, were all to be de- poses, that we should bow down before stroyed. They declared that they would the enemy, with the cord about our necks, join the rebellious subjects of any state to when we have not felt the self-reproach overturn their government. The right of doing wrong; that we should abjure hon. gentleman contended, that this ob- our recorded professions, and receive a noxious decree was done away by a sub- sentence of condemnation, as severe as sequent one. But what was the expla- | undeserved. This, I contend, would be nation they had given ? It was, that they to renounce the character of Britons. would not interfere in the government of Even if, by the adverse fortune of war, another country, except they were of opi. we should be driven to sue for peace, I nion that the majority of that country hope we shall never be mean enough to wished for a chwnge of government. As acknowledge ourselves guilty of a falseto their declaration against aggrandize- hood and injustice, in order to obtain it. ment, without stopping to argue a point The right hon. gentleman's next accu. that is so extremely clear, I will only sation against ministers is, that they have • refer the House to their whole conduct been guilty of a radical error, in not ac. towards Belgium. They declared that knowledging the French republic. It is they would not interfere in the govern said, that this has been the bar to all ment of Belgium, after it had consoli- treaty; that this has prevented every dated its liberties;-a strange way of de overture in subsequent situations. clining interference when a form of con- admit it has so happened, that we have -stitution was forced on them, bearing the never acknowledged the republic; and I pame, but not the stamp of liberty, and admit also, that no overture for peace, on the part of this country, has been made guarded and warm expressions of indivitill lately. I admit, that after the siege of duals in favour of the war, for declara. Valenciennes, I did say, it was not then tions of ministers. Thus, many things advisable to make conditions, and I which fell from that great man, Mr. admit also, that when we struggled under Burke, have since been stated as the sodisadvantages, I was equally averse: lemn declaration of government; though whence the right hon. gentleman infers, | it is known that, to a certain extent, that “ if you will not treat for peace there is a difference between miniswhen you are successful, nor treat for it ters and that gentleman upon this subwhen you are unfortunate, there must ject. But then it is to be taken as clear, be some secret cause, which induces us that ministers are not only anxious for to believe you are not disposed to treat the restoration of monarchy in France, at all.” Is it reasonable, I ask, when a but the old monarchy with all its abuses. just hope is entertained of increasing our That ministers wished to treat with a goadvantages, to risk the opportunity vernment in which Jacobin principles which those advantages would secure of should not prevail, that they wished for a making better terms; or, is it reasonable government from which they could hope when we experience great and deplorable for security, and that they thought a momisfortunes, to entertain a just apprehen- narchy the most likely form of governsion of obtaining a peace, on fair and ment to afford to them these advantages, permanent conditions? These are the is most undoubtedly true; but that they principles on which I have acted, and ever had an idea of continuing the war they are raised upon the fair grounds of for the purpose of re-establishing the old human action. If success enough were government of France, with all its abuses, gained to force the enemy to relinquish I solemnly deny. If, for the reasons I a part of their possessions, and we might have before stated, it would not have not yet hope to be wholly relieved from been prudent to have made a peace in the similar dangers, except by a repetition of early stage of the contest, surely it would similar cfforts and similar success, was it not have been advisable when the enemy inconsistent for a lover of his country to were inflated with success. The fate of push those efforts farther, upon the rea- the campaign of 1794 turned against us sonable expectation of securing a more upon as narrow a point, as I believe ever permanent and honourable peace ? And, occurred. We were unfortunate, but the on the other hand, when we experienced blame did not rest here: that campaign the sad reverse of fortune; when the led to the conquest of Holland, and to spirit of our allies was broken, our troops the consternation which immediately exdiscomfited, our territories wrested from tended itself among the people of Gerus, and all our hopes disconcerted, did it many and England. What, however, was argue a want of reason, or a want of the conduct of ministers at that period ? prudence not to yield to the tempo- If they had given way to the alarm, they rary pressure ?

In carrying on the would have been censurableindeed. Instead war, we have met with misfortunes, God of doing so, they immediately sent out exknows, severe and bitter! Exclusive peditions to capture the Dutch settleof positive acquisitions, however, have we ments, which we may now either restore gained nothing by the change which has to the stadtholder, if he should be retaken place in France ? If we had made stored, or may retain them ourselves. If, inpeace in 1793, as the right hon. gentle- stead of that line of conduct, ministers man says we ought to have done, we had then acknowledged the French reshould have made it before France had public, does the right hon. gentleman suplost her trade; before she had exhausted pose that the terms we should then have her capital; before her foreign possessions obtained would have been better than were captured, and her navy destroyed. those we can now expect? Then, it was This is my answer to every part of the asked, why did not administration negoright hon. gentleman's speech relative to ciate for peace before the confederacy making peace at those early periods. was weakened by the defection of Spain

But a discussion is once more intro- and Prussia, because of course, better duced as to the object of the war. Mi- terms might have been obtained when the nisters have repeatedly and distinctly allies were all united, than could be exstated the object; but it is a custom, on pected after they became divided ? It unthe other side of the House, to take un- doubtedly would have been a most advantageous thing, if we could hava pre- | The right hon. gentleman has also vailed upon Spain and Prussia to have thought proper to dwell at considerable continued the war until the enemy were length on the state of the enemy's fibrought to terms, but that not hav- nances. He is willing to admit that their ing been the case, we at least had the ad- finances are, as he says I have stated vantage of the assistance of those powers, them to be, in the very gulf of bankwhile they remained in the confederacy ruptcy-in their last agonies. But then Before any blame can attach upon mi- the right hon. gentleman proceeds to ask nisters upon this ground, it will be ne- me whether, notwithstanding this financessary to show, that, prior to the defec- cial bankruptcy, they have not prosetion of Prussia and Spain, terms were cuted their military operations with inproposed to us, which we rejected. Whe- creased vigour and success? Whether ther these two powers have gained much notwithstanding these their last agonies, from the peace they have made, is not they may not make such dreadful struga question very difficult to be answered. gles as may bring their adversaries to the Whether Spain was really in that state grave? I will not now detain the House that she could not have maintained ano- by contrasting the finances of this counther campaign, without running the risk try with those of the enemy; I will not of utter destruction, is a point upon which now dwell on the impossibility of a naI do not choose to give an opinion; tion carrying on a vigorous war, in which but with respect to Prussia, she certainly it is annually expending one-third of its enjoys the inactivity of peace, but she has capital ; but I will tell the right hon. genall the preparation and expense of war. tleman, that the derangement of the

The right hon. gentleman again adverts French armies at the latter end of the to the form of government which, he says, last campaign, the exhausted state of it was the intention of ministers to esta- their magazines and stores, and their ulblish in France, and alludes, particularly timate retreat before the allied troops, to the affair at Toulon; and from that sub- furnish a convincing proof that the rapid ject he makes a rapid transition to the decline of their finances begins to affect case of M. de la Fayette. With respect in the greatest degree their military opeto the treatment of that unfortunate gen- rations. How far their recent successes, tleman, the government of Great Britain on the side of Italy deserve credit to the had no share in it; nor did ministers extent stated by the right hon. gentlethink themselves warranted in interfering man, I shall not take upon me to say ; with the allies upon the subject. With I have had no intelligence on the subregard to M. Lameth, the right hon. ject, and therefore shall offer no opinion gentleman certainly did ministers justice, to the House. to that person ; and they certainly did sider, is the argument drawn from the feel great reluctance in ordering him to question of our sincerity in the message quit the kingdom ; but as to the motive delivered to the French minister at Basle, which induced them to take that step, on the 8th of March. One inference they did not conceive it to be a proper drawn by the right hon. gentleman arises subject of discussion. The act of parlia- from the circumstance of this message ment had vested discretion in the execu- having been communicated four months tive government, and they must be left after his majesty's speech, and three to the exercise of it. The right hon. months after the declaration made to gentleman has also alluded to the situa. parliament, that his majesty was ready tion of the emigrants, and asserted, that to give effect to any disposition manifested if government were of opinion that there on the part of the enemy for the conclu. was no prospect of making an attack with sion of a general peace. In the first success upon France, it was the height place, it must be remembered, that neiof cruelty to have employed them. This, ther the speech from the throne, nor however, was not the case : there were, the declaration expressed any intention at different times, well grounded expec- in the British government to be the first tations of success against that country, in making proposals for opening a negoand surely it cannot be considered as tiation. The fair construction went do cruelty to have furnished the emigrants farther than to invite the enemy to make with the means of attempting to regain the first advances, if they were so dis. their properties and their honours. posed. Gentlemen, therefore, have no


sa which I have to con

right to feel in any degree disappointed | was made on our part, and it would have at the delay of the communication, since, been ridiculous to propose any particular in being the first to make any overtures terms to them, till we were informed of peace, his majesty's ministers went whether they were willing to treat at all. beyond any pledge they had given, or It has also been alleged that we must any expectation that ought to be enter- have been insincere, because when we emtained. It has farther been objected, that ployed the minister at Basle to make this those proposals must be insincere, be application, we did not at the same time cause it did not appear that on this occa- give him the power to negociate. It was sion we had acted in concert with our extraordinary indeed, that an observation allies. A sufficient answer to this may be of this kind should be urged by any pergiven by the peculiar circumstances of son who professed the slightest acquaintaffairs, the lateness of the season, and ance with diplomatic proceedings. Was those communications being cut off, by it ever known that the person employed which we and our allies were before ena- to sound the disposition of a belligerent bled to maintain a ready intercourse. party, was also considered as the proper They are, however, as much mistaken in minister for discussing all the relative their facts, as they are in their inferences interests, and concluding a treaty? The for this step was not taken without pre. gentleman through whom the communi. vious communication with our allies, and cations were made at Basle, is perfectly we acted in concert with them, though qualified by his talents, his zeal, and his they were not formally made parties to integrity, to conduct any negotiation ; but the proposal. Another proof, it should whatever may be his character, it would seem, of our insincerity is, that, in the be the height of folly, to entrust the mamessage alluded to, we did not recognize nagement of a negotiation of such mothe republic. It is truly generous in the ment to the discretion of an individual right hon. gentleman, to find out an ob- at such a distance. We wished to avoid jection for the French which they them- any thing which could excite the slightselves did not discover. We had the est suspicion, that we were disposed to answer of the Directory to our note, and a separate negotiation, which was what they took not the least notice of the re- France would wish, and what was her unipublic not having been recognized. If form aim during the present contest. This that had been an indispensable form, was a policy which in some instances without which they considered themselves was too successful with some of our insulted, their natural conduct would have allies, and which enabled her to enforce been to give no answer at all. On this on them successively more harsh and unepoint of recognition, however, the right qual conditions. It was with a view to hon. gentleman is always extremely ten the same open dealing, that it was der. He holds up the example of Ame- thought proper to publish to the different rica to us, as if it was an instance that courts of Europe the message and the had any application to the present ques- answer, that the world might judge of tion. The right hon. gentleman boldly the moderation or the allies, and the arcontends, that if we had paid the French rogance of the enemy. government this mark of respect and con- There is one ground of insincerity fidence, it would have induced them, in which I believe the right hon. gentleman return, to propose more moderate terms. did not state ; but which the directory I am, however, very far from expecting rested upon, principally, in their answer. any such effect'; for, in fact, the govern- This was the proposal for holding a gement of France never seemed to think of neral congress. How this could support it. I do not consider the omission as an the charge of insincerity, I am at a loss act of hostility, and they must be aware to conceive. The British government that the proposal to treat in itself implied pointed out the mode of pacification. a recognition, without which it was im- This the enemy thought proper to decline possible that a treaty should be con- and to reproach, but did not attempt to cluded. Another argument of insince- substitute any other mode by which the rity is, that we did not propose terms to object was likely to be obtained. So far the enemy, while we called upon them from projecting any thing which could for theirs. This I conceive to be that even justly be an object of suspicion, miwhich we had no right to do; the appli- nisters had preferred that of a congress, cation did not come from the enemy, it which was the only mode in which wars

Yeas {General Tarleton
Noes { Mr. Sargent

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were concluded in all cases wherein allies

were concerned, ever since the peace of
Munster, the two last treaties only ex-

:} 42
cepted. This charge of insincerity was
represented by the right hon. gentleman

S Mr. J. Smyth

} 216 as the probable cause of the exorbitant terms demanded by the enemy. In my So it passed in the negative. humble apprehension, the extravagance of their terms leads to an opposite conclu.

List of the Minority.
sion, and proves that the plea of insince Antonie, William Lee Macleod, general
rity is with them only a pretence. If they | Aubrey, sir John, bart. Miller, Patrick, jun.
really thought ministers insincere, their Bouverie, lion Edward Milner, sir W. M.

North, Dudley
policy would have been to make just and Burch, Jos. Randyll
moderate demands, which, if rejected, Collioun, William

Bypg, George Plumer, William would exhibit in the face of the world, Courtenay, John

Rawdon, hon. John

Russell, lord John that want of candour and that appetite for Crewe, John Russell, lord William war, which the right hon. gentleman so Fitzpatrick, R. St. John, hon. S. A. unjustly attributes to us. But having, in Fletcher, sir H. bart. Sheridan, Richard B. fact, no disposition for peace, the go. Foley, hon. Edward. Smith, William vernment of France offered us such terms Fox,rt. hon. Charles J. Spencer, lord Robert as they knew could not be complied with. Francis, Philip Sturt, Charles But, however, the spirit of this country Hare, James

Grey, Charles Taylor, Michael A. may be roused, and its indignation ex. Harrison, John

Townshend, lord John

Vyner, Robert, jun. cited, by the exorbitant conditions pro- Howard, Henry Western, Charles C. posed to it by the enemy, yet even these Hussey, William Wharton, John extravagant pretensions should not induce Jekyli, Joseph Wilbrabam, Roger us to act under the influence of passion. Jervoise, Clerke Jer- Wyndham, Henry P. We have long waited for the return of


TELLERS. reason in our deluded enemy, and when- Kemp, Thomas Tarleton, general ever they shall descend from those inad- Lechmere, Edm. jun. Whitbread, Samuel missible projects which they seem to have Long, Samuel formed, we shall still be ready to treat A motion, couched in the same terms, with them upon fair and honourable terms. was this day moved in the House of Lords We do not shut the door against negotia. by the earl of Guilford. It was supported tion whenever it can be fairly entered by the dukes of Bedford and Grafton, the upon; but the enemy so far from meeting marquis of Lansdown, and the earl of us, say plainly they cannot listen to any Lauderdale; and opposed by lords Sydterms, but such as in honour we cannot ney, Hawkesbury, Fitzwilliam, Grenville, accept. The terms of peace which the and Mulgrave. "It was negatived, on a right hon. gentleman pointed at, and division, by 110 to 10. which, after all, he considers as very

disadvantageous, are, that the French may Debate on the Earl of Lauderdale's Mo retain their conquests in Europe, and that tion respecting the State of the Public Fiwe should keep our acquisitions in the co nances.] May 13. The Earl of Lauder. lonies. What, however, is the proposal dale rose and said :-My lords ; when we of the Directory? No less than this: that reflect on the manner in which the modern every thing should be restored to them, system of European politics has impliand that they in return shall give up no- cated the finance of every country with thing. It is also urged by the right hon. the nature and existence of its governgentleman, that we were to blame in so ment, the review of the comparative state abruptly breaking off the negotiation, and of the public income and expenditure communicating the result to the world. forms, perhaps every where, the most To this I answer, that the terms proposed important object that can occupy the at. by the enemy cut short all farther treaty; tention of the politician ; but in this counand as to the communication of the result, try, and in the critical situation in which it will have the important consequence of we are involved by his majesty's ministers, dividing the opinions of France, and unit a more interesting subject of investigaing those of England.

tion never was presented to any public After a short reply from Mr. Fox, the assembly.

Unaccustomed till of late to House divided :

attend to the minute details of finance, [VOL. XXXII.]

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