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conduct of Prussia, and they were now going to try the Emperor. He understood that there were to be some new allies; not new allies in point of principle, but in point of performance, and that Russia was to co-operate with this country. He wished to know why the empress was more to be trusted now than the king of Prussia, and how historians were to distinguish between Prussia and the other powers who had participated in the dismemberment of Poland? But did any man expect cordial co-operation from the Austrians?. He had frequently challenged the minister to produce one general officer who would say, that any co-operation could be expected from them. Of the Austrians, it would not be too much to say, that they were as much to be trusted as the Prussians, and the Prussians as the Austrians. He concluded by moving, as an amendment to the motion, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the question to add the words "upon this day two months."

The question being put, that the word "now" stand part of the question, the House divided:

Tellers.

SMr. Rolle
Mr. J. Gordon-

YEAS

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June 15. On the order of the day being read for the third reading of the bill, Mr. Fox said, that this measure had always appeared to him a profligate waste of the money of the people. What had happened lately confirmed him in that opinion: he meant the surrender of Luxembourg. It became the House to consider, whether, after the Emperor had lost one of the most important fortresses in Europe, every nerve which he could employ, could in any material degree be serviceable to us. This was not all: there were reports of a cessation of hostilities, and of a new alliance between this country, Austria, and Russia. He hoped, if it existed, it would be laid before the House immediately. This was, in his mind, an alarming thing. There were persons who believed that the consequence of such an alliance would be a war between the two imperial powers and Prussia. Whether such an alliance was right or wrong, he would not presume to determine. He was sorry to believe that

there were some persons, who called themselves politicians, who were so shortsighted as to think this advantageous, at all events, to this country. For his own part, he could not help believing, that such a war as this alliance might produce, must involve one half of Europe on one side or other of it; and he could not avoid looking with great anxiety at the condition of so large a part of mankind, if the calamities of war were to be thus extended, and the prospect of peace to be placed at so great a distance. We were told every day of the great distresses of France; and he believed some of them: but he never could look with pleasure on the prosecution of a war, when the question between the parties was, who could hold out, and bear great distress the longest? He had heard, that with respect to our own distress, the accounts of it were exaggerated. He wished to hear a statement of facts that could lead him to believe that such accounts were over-coloured. But he knew that the distress of this country was great; and he had no grounds for believing that the distress of France was such as was not likely to be felt also in this country, and that for a considerable time, even although the evil should not in reality be equal to the accounts of it, for we all knew what mighty mischief monopoly was capable of creating. He could not let slip the opportunity of delivering his sentiments. He wished at all times that we should avoid, as much as possible, the calamities of war, always dreadful, but infinitely more so, when every part of Europe was likely to feel the want of provision. From these alarming apprehensions, he found it his duty to oppose this bill in its last stage. The bill was then read a third time, and passed.

Debate on the Earl of Lauderdale's Motion respecting Peace with France.] June 5. The Earl of Lauderdale rose to call the attention of their lordships to the subject of which he had given notice. He did not mean to refer to any of those former discussions on the subject of the war, respecting which there had been considerable difference of opinion; nor did he wish, by any seeming asperity, to provoke warmth, or excite ill humour; his anxious desire was, that the question should be debated with a calmness equal to its importance. Whatever might have been the determination of that House,

with regard to motions that had been made on the war, there were some recent events, especially the peace concluded with France by the king of Prussia, which justified him in calling now for a different determination. If they examined the present situation of this country, and the condition of our allies, their lordships must find it to be their duty to come to some specific proposition at this time, that would alter the nature of what they had already declared to be their opinion. Here his lordship took a view of our situation both externally and internally, to enforce the necessity of the House coming to a determination, that might tend to remove some of the difficulties under which we laboured in this war. Even the expense of this war would, if long continued, be our ruin; for there was not one of the allies, who must not be eventually in the pay of Great Britain, except Spain. We were now left with scarcely any ally that could be relied upon, except the Emperor; and, strange to tell, on the same day that his Convention was signed at Vienna with the king of Great Britain for carrying on the war with activity and energy, his rescript to the States of the empire was delivered to the Diet of Ratisbon, by which he agrees to negociate for a peace between the empire and the French as soon as possible. This was a line of conduct which afforded considerable cause of suspicion as to the sincerity of the Emperor's intentions; and if his intentions were not sincere, on whom could this country depend for any assistance in the next campaign? It was impossible to look to Spain as an active ally The king of Sardinia was so situated, that there was cause to apprehend, that if reasonable terms were offered him by the French, he would be ready to conclude a peace. If we looked to the powers on the continent, we should find them all subsidized by this country, and yet all eager to make peace. Even the Emperor, at the head of the empire, had confessed himself ready to do so; but, then, great stress was laid on his vigorous exertions, as king of Hungary and Bohemia. He could by no means join in this opinion, nor did he see the kingof Hungary and Bohemia could give us that assistance which would be necessary to render another campaign of the least use to this country. This double capacity of king of Hungary and Bohemia, and emperor of Germany, in which the same person acted such very differ

ent parts, reminded him of a passage in the Critic," where the Heroine, Tilburina, while interceding with the governor her father, in behalf of her lover, Whiskerandos, says, "Can you resist the daughter and the suppliant?" The governor answers, "The father's softened, but the governor's resolved." In much the same light he apprehended the Emperor to be softened, and the king of Bo. hemia to be resolved. His lordship then took a view of our situation in the West Indies, and expressed great apprehensions for our safety in that quarter. It might be said that there existed no government in France with which we could treat; to which he would answer, that it would not be found in any good book on the law of nations, that a government acquiesced in might not be treated with. What objection was there to acknowledge the government of France? Every power in Europe, except Russia, whose success as a friend to liberty, he should deplore, had already done so. Nay, even we, had negociated with them, for we had proposed an exchange of prisoners. But it was said, that if any negociation was to take place, it should be left to ministers: but we had seen no wish of this kind expressed by ministers, and therefore he thought that parliament ought to interfere. He was confident the French government were desirous for peace, and he thought the parliament of Great Britain should manifest a similar disposition. He saw nothing less than the total ruin of this country, in carrying on the war. He had heard, that this was a war to support our constitution he did not believe it; for that constitution must be a bad one indeed, which required perpetual war to preserve it. He conclud ed with moving,

"That an humble Address be presented to his majesty, that his majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the lords spiritual and temporal in parliament assembled, have, during the war in which so great a part of Europe has been involved, repeatedly given every assurance, that nothing should be wanting on their part that could contribute to that firm and effectual support which his majesty had so much reason to expect from a brave and loyal people.

"That at the commencement of the present war this House saw, with satisfaction, the United Provinces, protected from invasion, the Austrian Netherlands recovered and maintained, and places of considerable importance acquired on

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the frontiers of France, and that whilst we concurred fully in the just and benevolent sentiments of his majesty's declaration graciously communicated to this House, in which his majesty has stated, that, it never could be his intention to 'employ the influence of external force 'with respect to the particular forms of 'government to be established in an inde'pendent country. It was with pleasure we looked forward to that happy prospect of speedy and permanent peace, which the success of his majesty's arms, and the wisdom and moderation of his declared intentions seemed likely to secure. With unimpaired zeal, however, we assured his majesty, that, relying with confidence on the valour and resources of the nation, and on the combined efforts of so large a 'part of Europe, we would, on our parts 'persevere with vigour and union in our 'exertions.'

"That more recently we have seen with extreme concern the rapid and alarming progress of the French arms, and heard with pain, in his majesty's most gracious speech from the throne at the commencement of the present sessions, the confirmation of the melancholy dis' appointments and reverses,' experienced in the course of last campaign, and since so fatally illustrated by the subversion of one of the most respectable governments in Europe, the ancient, the natural, and the most important ally of Great Britain. With unrelaxed energy, however, we declared our cordial support of such mea'sures as his majesty in his wisdom should think necessary,' and at an early period of this session resolved, That under the 'present circumstances this House feels itself called upon to declare its determination firmly and steadily to support his majesty in the vigorous prosecution of the present just and necessary war, as affording at this time the only reasonable expectation of permanent security 'and peace to this country; and that for the attainment of these objects this House relies with equal confidence on his 'majesty's intention to employ vigorously the force and resources of the country ' in support of its essential interests: and on the desire uniformly manifested by his majesty to effect a pacification, on 'just and honourable grounds, with any government in France, under whatever 'form which shall appear capable of main

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'taining the accustomed relations of peace and amity with other countries.'*

"That we now, however, approach his majesty at a moment, when in the commencement of another campaign we see ourselves deserted by some of those allies on whose powerful assistance, and co-operation his majesty during the last campaign mainly relied, and when others to protect whose interests his majesty originally interfered, are unfortunately thrown into the scale of our enemies. Thinking it our bounden duty humbly to state our conviction that it is the general opinion of his people, that no probable advantages to be obtained by continuing the war with the present state of his majesty's alliances will bear the slightest comparison with the solid benefit likely to accrue from an immediate negociation for peace.

"That without entering into a painful enumeration of domestic distresses, which as they early called forth the salutary and healing interposition of the legislature cannot have escaped his majesty's paternal attention; or without minutely detailing the difficulties which embarrass every state in Europe that now remains in alliance with his majesty, we trust that the mere suggestion of these important considerations will induce his majesty speedily to use every honourable and expedient means for restoring the necessary blessings of peace.

"That it is with pleasure and satisfaction we reflect, that a negociation so desirable in itself cannot be deemed inconsistent with any of those rules of the law of nations, which the wisdom of ages and the common consent of mankind have consecrated as the leading principles of national intercourse. For every nation 'which governs itself, under what form

* See Vol. 30, p. 1059. [VOL. XXXII.]

soever, without any dependence on foreign power, is a sovereign state,' [Vattel] and the existence of government acquiesced in by the people under its control is the only feature in the condition of a country to which foreign powers for the purpose of discovering a capacity of negociation, ought to direct their attention, there being no form of government which has not shown itself capable of maintaining the accustomed relations of peace and amity with other countries.

"That if doubt should any where exist on this subject, as the law of nations itself, is a rule of action growing out of

* See Vol. 31, p. 1253.

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the common consent of independent states, it cannot fail to be removed by the acquiescence in these doctrines of so considerable a number of those powers, whose united authority forms the only competent tribunal in questions of such universal importance to the rights of nations.

"We cannot therefore reflect on the intercourse maintained by France with the United States of America, as well as with the neutral powers of Europe during the whole of the present war, on the treaties lately concluded with the duke of Tuscany, the king of Prussia, and the provisional government of Holland; on the negociations that have been carried on by Spain, and on the strong declarations of desire to negociate, recently made by his majesty's intimate ally, the Emperor, as head of the Germanic body, and seriously maintain a doubt of that capacity to negociate which so many powerful and independent states have acknowledged, and to whose decision his majesty has added the acquiescence, and in a manner the authority, of this country, by a late mission to the continent to negociate an exchange of prisoners: for we humbly conceive, that a nation cannot absolutely be thought incapable of main taining the accustomed relations of peace and amity, which is treated with as capable of preserving and performing the stipulations which may be entered into for the humane and civilized purpose of alleviating the rigours of war.

"That it is with confidence we therefore trust, that his majesty's gracious and benevolent mind will be impressed by the separate and combined effects of those powerful considerations which we the more anxiously press upon his majesty, as we approach his throne under a sincere and irresistible conviction, that the sense of the nation with whom his majesty is engaged in hostilities, as well as the disposition of its present government, affords no unfavourable opportunity for negociation; and that an ardent and universal wish for the restoration, on fair and honourable grounds, of the blessings of peace openly avowed by many of your majesty's allies on the continent, pervades with equal influence the minds of your majesty's loyal, faithful, and affectionate subjects at home."

"That we humbly beg leave to assure his majesty, that in thus anxiously recommending a speedy negociation for peace, we do not merely contemplate the general advantages which this country always derives from a state of repose and public tranquillity. But as we have seen with grief (whilst we have been occupied in considering the capacity of the present government of France to treat) successive desertions from that general system of alliance on which his majesty and his people chiefly grounded hopes of success; so if this reluctance to treat should continue, we cannot now help anticipating with poignant regret the eventful moment when Great Britain may be reduced to the sad alternative of either providing for the ex-able peace as they could be, but to obtain penses of all the allies, or of singly main- it was impracticable in the present motaining a protracted and destructive war ment; and could there be any thing more in a cause not originally her own, and in encouraging to an enemy than to hear parwhich this country was embarked with the liament declare that this country was not assurances of the active and zealous sup- able any longer to carry on the war? It port of almost every European power. would be impossible to place government

Lord Grenville said, he was willing to accept of the proposition laid down in the address, namely, that a speedy and honourable peace was at all times desirable: but we had not embarked in this war on account of the Dutch, or the navigation of the Scheldt, but in consequence of an unprovoked aggression on the part of the French. With respect to an address to accelerate negociation, in whatever manner it might be disposed of, the proposal was liable to this objection, that any declaration by parliament must tend considerably to weaken the hands of government. Must not the impression made by this address be of a discouraging nature? It certainly must: and instead of strengthening the government, it would be the most effectual mode of weakening it. So far from allowing the executive government to be the principals in the business, the effect would be to promulgate the idea that parliament had thought proper to take the business into its own hands, and to take on itself the responsibility of public measures. Whatever might have been the original grounds of the war, it had now become necessary to continue it. According to the reasoning of those noble lords who raised the cry of peace, we must treat because we could not continue the war. To this he would answer, that he was as desirous of a just and honour

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in a situation in which it would be more difficult to make either war or peace, than that proposed by the noble lord. With respect to the Austrian finances, this country had found out the means of relieving them without taking any burthen on itself. It could not be denied that Austria was strong in men and military resources. In regard to the rescript, the objection made to it was, that it was issued at Ratisbon, at the time that we concluded the treaty with the Emperor at Vienna; this, he thought, did not prevent the object of the war from being happily accomplished. As to the reasoning of the noble lord with respect to the Emperor, as member of the Germanic body and king of Bohemia, it was truly ridiculous: such reasoning would suit coffeehouse politicians, little read in the law of nations. It was perfectly consistent that the Germanic empire as a body should be at peace, although at the same time a particular member might be at war. The situation of France was more alarming than at any former period. Their finances were in a more ruinous situation than what he had mentioned when the question was last agitated. The noble earl had passed over, without the smallest notice, the present internal state of France, which was such, that no dependence could be had on the stability of the government for a fortnight. He trusted the House would see the impropriety of entering into any negociation for peace at present. The French were in possession of a great deal, which it would be impossible, for the safety of this country and of Europe, that they should be permitted to retain. The present situation of France was such, that there was every prospect of our succeeding to a very great degree, and therefore he should give his negative to the motion.

The Earl of Guilford saw clearly that ministers were determined to carry on the war, at all events, until parliament should interfere and put a stop to it. They seemed resolved to risk the existence of the country, rather than the possesion of their situations. Their excuse was, that to enter into any negociation would shackle government. He could not believe that such would be the result of a negociation, and he should therefore give his hearty assent to the motion.

Lord Mulgrave said, that this was certainly not a time to treat, when France was in a state of such internal dissention. Every existing circumstance proved that

this was not a proper time to treat, and therefore, he should oppose the motion. The House divided; Contents, 8; Notcontents, 53.

Debate on Mr. Barham's Motion respecting the Conduct of Sir Charles Grey and Sir John Jervis in the West Indsa Islands.] June 2. Mr. Barham rose to make the motion of which he had given notice, respecting the conduct of sir Charles Grey and sir John Jervis in the West India Islands. He trusted it was unnecessary for him to say any thing in his own vindication for rising on this occasion. He was aware of the manner in which accusations of that kind were generally received in that House, particularly when charges were made against characters which every one had been used to admire, and whom therefore most would naturally wish to protect. He felt also that this was a subject which was not likely to bring popularity to those who conducted it, and that several persons whom he perhaps could have expected to have joined him, would not be very ready to divide with him the unpopularity of this business. Notwithstanding all this discouragement, the subject was of such a nature, that he could not, consistently with his duty, abandon it. He was fully convinced that the conduct in the West Indies of which he complained, was such as to demand the interposition of the House, whether they considered the commercial interest of the country, or the recovery of the national honour. If he should hear any thing of delay in this business, and the delay was imputed to him, he should be ready to meet it; for although the motion with which he intended to conclude, could not, consistently, be made one day sooner than that on which he was speaking, it was necessary he should state that application had been made to ministers upon the conduct of these commanders in the West Indies, as far back as August last; but no answer had been obtained from them until the following April. And as he did not make this motion as a matter of course, but upon the ground of facts, the delay became unavoidable. The first answer from the duke of Portland to lord Penrhyn, was, that the law officers of the crown were not fully prepared to make their report upon the business. This was on the 7th of April: on the 4th of May he made his motion for certain papers to be laid before the House. When these pa

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