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the frontiers of France, and that whilst taining the accustomed relations of peace
pendent country. It was with pleasure whose interests his majesty originally inwe looked forward to that happy prospect terfered, are unfortunately thrown into of speedy and permanent peace, which the the scale of our enemies. Thinking it success of his majesty's arms, and the wis- our bounden duty humbly to state our dom and moderation of his declared inten- conviction that it is the general opinion tions seemed likely to secure. With unim- of his people, that no probable advantages paired zeal, however, we assured his ma- to be obtained by continuing the war with jesty, that, ' relying with confidence on the the present state of his majesty's alliances * valour and resources of the nation, and will bear the slightest comparison with
on the combined efforts of so large a the solid benefit likely to accrue from an . part of Europe, we would, on our parts immediate regociation for peace. persevere with vigour and union in our “ That without entering into a painful exertions.'
enumeration of domestic distresses, which “ That more recently we have seen as they early called forth the salutary and with extreme concern the rapid and healing interposition of the legislature alarming progress of the French arms, and cannot have escaped his majesty's paterheard with pain, in his majesty's most nal attention; or without minutely degracious speech from the throne at the tailing the difficulties which embarrass commencement of the present sessions, every state in Europe that now remains in the confirmation of the melancholy dis- alliance with his majesty, we trust that the
appointments and reverses,' experienced mere suggestion of these important consi-
sures as his majesty in his wisdom should sistent with any of those rules of the
the force and resources of the country tention, there being no form of govern. in support of its essential interests': and ment which has not shown itself capable
on the desire uniformly manifested by of maintaining the accustomed relations • his majesty to effect a pacification, on of peace and amity with other countries. just and honourable grounds, with any « That if doubt should any where exist government in France, under whatever on this subject, as the law of nations itform which shall appear capable of main self, is a rule of action growing out of
* See Vol. 31, p. 1253.
* See Vol. 30, p. 1059. (VOL. XXXII.)
the common consent of independent states, “ That it is with confidence we therefore it cannot fail to be removed by the acqui- trust, that his majesty's gracious and beescence in these doctrines of so consider- nevolent mind will be impressed by the able a number of those powers, whose separate and combined effects of those united authority forms the only compe- powerful considerations which we the more tent tribunal in questions of such univer- anxiously press upon his majesty, as we sal importance to the rights of nations. approach his throne under a sincere and ir
“ We cannot therefore reflect on the resistible conviction, that the sense of the intercourse maintained by France with the nation with whom his majesty is engaged United States of America, as well as in hostilities, as well as the disposition of with the neutral powers of Europe during its present government, affords no unfathe whole of the present war, on the trea- vourable opportunity for negociation; and ties lately concluded with the duke of that an ardent and universal wish for Tuscany, the king of Prussia, and the the restoration, on fair and honourable provisional government of Holland; on grounds, of the blessings of peace openly the negociations that have been carried avowed by many of your majesty's allies on by Spain, and on the strong declara- on the continent, pervades with equal tions of desire to negociate, recently influence the minds of your majesty's made by his majesty's intimate ally, loyal, faithful, and affectionate subjects the Emperor, as head of the Germanic at home.” body, and seriously maintain a doubt of Lord Grenville said, he was willing to that capacity to negociate which so many accept of the proposition laid down in the powerful and independent states have ac- address, namely, that a speedy and hoknowledged, and to whose decision his nourable peace was at all times desirable: majesty has added the acquiescence, and but we had not embarked in this war on in a manner the authority, of this country, account of the Dutch, or the navigation by a late mission to the continent to ne of the Scheldt, but in consequence of an gociate an exchange of prisoners: for we unprovoked aggression on the part of the humbly conceive, that a nation cannot French. With respect to an address to absolutely be thought incapable of main accelerate negociation, in whatever mantaining the accustomed relations of peace ner it might be disposed of, the proposal and amity, which is treated with as capa- was liable to this objection, that any deble of preserving and performing the sticlaration by parliament must tend consipulations which may be entered into for derably to weaken the hands of governthe humane and civilized purpose of alle- ment. Must not the impression made by viating the rigours of war.
this address be of a discouraging nature? “ That we humbly beg leave to assure It certainly must: and instead of strengthhis majesty, that in thus anxiously recom- ening the government, it would be the mending a speedy negociation for peace, most effectual mode of weakening it. we do not merely contemplate the general So far from allowing the executive governadvantages which this country always de- ment to be the principals in the business, rives from a state of repose and public the effect would be to promulgate the idea tranquillity. But as we have seen with that parliament had thought proper to grief (whilst we have been occupied in take the business into its own hands, and considering the capacity of the present to take on itself the responsibility of pubgovernment of France to treat) successive lic measures. Whatever might have been desertions from that general system of als the original grounds of the war, it had liance on which his majesty and his people now become necessary to continue it. chiefly grounded hopes of success; so if According to the reasoning of those noble this reluctance to treat should continue, lords who raised the cry of peace, we we cannot now help anticipating with must treat because we could not continue poignant regret the eventful moment when the war. To this he would answer, that Great Britain may be reduced to the sad he was as desirous of a just and honouralternative 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
in a situation in which it would be more this was not a proper time to treat, and difficult to make either war or peace, than therefore, he should oppose the motion. that proposed by the noble lord. With The House divided ; Contents, 8; Notrespect to the Austrian finances, this contents, 53. country had found out the means of relieving them without taking any burthen Debate on Mr. Barham's Motion res. on itself. It could not be denied that pecting the Conduct of Sir Charles Grey Austria was strong in men and military re- and Sir John Jervis in the West Indsa sources. In regard to the rescript, the Islands.] June 2. Mr. Barham rose to objection made to it was, that it was make the motion of which he had given issued at Ratisbon, at the time that we notice, respecting the conduct of sir concluded the treaty with the Emperor at Charles Grey and sir John Jervis in the Vienna; this, he thought, did not prevent West India Islands. He trusted it was the object of the war from being happily unnecessary for him to say any thing in accomplished. As to the reasoning of his own vindication for rising on this occathe noble lord with respect to the Em- sion. He was aware of the manner in which peror, as member of the Germanic body accusations of that kind were generally and king of Bohemia, it was truly ridicu- received in that House, particularly when lous : such reasoning would suit coffee charges were made against characters house politicians, little read in the law of which every one had been used to admire, nations. It was perfectly consistent that and whom therefore most would naturally the Germanic empire as a body should be wish to protect. He felt also that this was a at peace, although at the same time a par- subject which was not likelyto bring populaticular member might be at war. The si- rity to those who conducted it, and that seve. tuation of France was more alarming than ral persons whom he perhaps could have exat any former period. Their finances pected to have joined him, would not be were in a more ruinous situation than what very ready to divide with him the unpo. he had mentioned when the question was pularity of this business. Notwithstandlast agitated. The noble earl had passed ing all this discouragement, the subject over, without the smallest notice, the pre- was of such a nature, that he could not, sent internal state of France, which was consistently with his duty, abandon it. such, that no dependence could be had on He was fully convinced that the conduct the stability of the government for a fort in the West Indies of which he complained, night. He trusted the House would see was such as to demand the interposition the impropriety of entering into any ne- of the House, whether they considered gociation for peace at present.
The the commercial interest of the country, or Freuch were in possession of a great deal, the recovery of the national honour. If which it would be impossible, for the he should hear any thing of delay in this safety of this country and of Europe, that business, and the delay was imputed to they should be permitted to retain. The him, he should be ready to meet it; for alpresent situation of France was such, that though the motion with which he intended to there was every prospect of our succeeding conclude, could not, consistently, be to a very great degree, and therefore he made one day sooner than that on which should give his negative to the motion. he was speaking, it was necessary he
The Earl of Guilford saw clearly that should state that application had been ministers were determined to carry on the made to ministers upon the conduct of war, at all events, until parliament should these commanders in the West Indies, as interfere and put a stop to it. They seemed far back as August last ; but no answer resolved to risk the existence of the coun- had been obtained from them until the try, rather than the possesion of their situ- following April. And as he did not make ations. Their excuse was, that to enter into this motion as a matter of course, but any negociation would shackle govern- upon the ground of facts, the delay bement. He could not believe that such came unavoidable. The first answer from would be the result of a negociation, and the duke of Portland to lord Penrhyn, he should therefore give his hearty assent was, that the law officers of the crown to the motion,
were not fully prepared to make their Lord Mulgrave said, that this was report upon the business. This was on certainly not a time to treat, when France the 7th of April : on the 4th of May he was in a state of such internal dissention. made his motion for certain papers to be Every existing circumstance proved that laid before the House. When these pa
pers were produced he gave notice of the of the islands. A sceond, how far the con. present motion, which he appointed for ditions had been complied with? Thirdly, the second open day, which was after- how far they had been forfeited by the conwards deferred at the express desire of the duct of the inhabitants ? This could not be chancellor of the exchequer. Before he done, however, without inquiry. The next proceeded to state the grounds of the thing would be, the degree of resistance motion with which he intended to con- which the inhabitants made to his ma. clude, he should inform the House that jesty's troops in the islands, and whether his motion was not for a committee of it justified the severity and the force of inquiry into the conduct of sir Charles military law which had been adopted. Grey and sir John Jervis, and this for These were points which could not be two reasons: one, that he was not at all settled without inquiry, and therefore he pledged to make any such motion ; nor put them by for the present; nor would could he tell what motion would be pro- | it be necessary for him at all to notice per, until he had seen the papers which them unless the inquiry should be entered he moved for. The other, that he did into; and in order to give his opponents not think he should obtain it if he moved full benefit of every thing that could be for it, arıd that a great part of his object urged on those topics, he would admit might be obtained without inquiry : how- beforehand every thing that it was posever, if his opponents should propose an ble for them to prove. Supposing, then, inquiry, he could have no objection. the resistance to have been made, he With regard to some of the proceedings would consider how far the proclamation of the commanders in the West Indies, of the comnianders could be justified acthey spoke for themselves intelligibly cording to the practice of war in modern enougli
, and to them he should confine days, and according to the law of nations: the grounds of his motion. Out of them how far it suited the particular situation he did not intend to travel, unless his op- of the West India islands at the time; and ponents should set him the example. If how far it was compatible with the genehe should be told of the service of plateral interest of the state. With regard to the that had been given to these commanders, resistance made by the inhabitants of the and that this was a proof of the estimation islands to his majesty's troops, he was perof their services in the islands, he should suaded that all the accounts which had been answer that this was not expressive of the given of it, were very much exaggerated. general sentiments of the inhabitants, but what he complained of did not apply to was the act of a few persons who were the particular acts of severity of the comdependent upon the commanders. If manders ; they, many of them, were now they should say any thing of the testimo- in a course of legal discussion ; but it was nials, he should answer, that the inhabi- the principle of the proclamation on which tants of the islands are now complaining those acts proceeded. And he could not in courts of justice of the conduct of help observing, that the conduct of those these commanders-a proof that these who defended the commanders was a little inbabitants think their conduct illegal, as curious. If he complained of the acts, they well as unfair. There was a document referred to the proclamation. If he comon the table which some gentlemen might plained of the proclamation, they referred to rely upon a good deal, in the discussion the acts. With regard to the proclamaof this matter. He meant the affidavit tion, he should consider it in a general way, of general Myers. He had nothing to and examine the spirit of it. He proceeded kay against this officer, but he must re- to read extracts from the printed papers, in mark, that as the document had been laid the course of which he made several comon the table without any notice to him or ments. In the first place, the inhabitants any other person interested in the part were told, that “ all those who availing he took in this discussion, it would have themselves of the invitation, in a quiet been but fair to allow time to them to and peaceable manner, should submit to answer it. Besides, this affidavit was no- the authority of the king, and put themthing but ex parte evidence, and that, too, selves under his majesty's protection, from a witness who was something of a should be assured of personal safety, as party in the business. There were seve. well as a full and immediate enjoyment ral points to be considered in this business of all their lawful property, according to One, the original promise of protection their ancient laws and customs, and on from the commanders to the inhabitants the most advantageous terms, those persons alone excepted, whose removal should / and mulattoes. Nor was this all; the whole be found necessary for the safety of the island of Martinique was stormed; and island; and even to persons of this dės. gentlemen might judge of the necessity cription, whatever may be their conduct, of such a measure, by imagining what We promise a safe conveyance to France." their surprise would be to hear of the In this nothing was said of confiscation. storming of Hampshire. He would ask, He then came to the two proclamations if there was any insurrection here, would of the 10th and 21st of May, 1794, on any person talk of taking Hampshire by which he chiefly founded his motion, storm ? At Martinique, an island strongly and signed by general Prescot, under fortified and capable of the greatest rethe order of the commanders. By sistance, as it contained 15,000 white in. these proclamations, nothing could be habitants, besides negroes and people of more clear than that a general con colour, the contest lasted 23 days, and tribution, and a general confiscation only 84 men were said to be lost. Gauwere intended, and there was no spe- daloupe held out for eight days; St. Lllcies of property that was not enume- cie, three days, and was said to be taken rated under them. How it was to be without loss. If, under such circumstances proved that these proclamations were not these places could be said to be taken intended to be carried into effect, he by storm, the conclusion to be drawn could not conceive. The next thing to from it was, that the fate of war was wonbe considered was, whether there was any derfully altered, and the French must necessity for this? Whether the inhabi. have lost entirely, in this case, their chatants had opposed his majesty's troops, racter for fighting. Very different was so as to make it necessary? He had care- his conclusion from such premises; he fully perused the dispatches, and there thought the circumstances proved beyond was not the least proof of any such resist- a doubt that the inhabitants did not at ance having been offered by the inhabi. all oppose us. But even supposing that tants, persons of any property whatever. they actually resisted us, it would then be The whites were always well inclined to a question how far these proclamations the British government, but were kept in were agreeable to the law of nations, and subjection by the Mulattoes, and the Ne-compatible with our interests as a state ; groes, and the Petits Blancs, which are a and upon this he thought the House ought set of people possessing no property. to come to a decision, otherwise the law The emigrants also had been driven into of nations would appear to be nothing but exile, and their property confiscated. a chimera—an idea that would be very There might have been something of the injurious to the interest of all well regu. kind done by a banditti, but he thought it lated states. He laid it down as a princireally fair to conclude there was none of ple, that enemies when conquered immethe resistance to make those proclama- diately became subjects entitled to protions necessary. These inhabitants in tection. The inhabitants of the islands consequence of the first proclamation had had not been so regarded in this case, and joined us; and from the manner in which therefore the House ought to annul the they were treated afterwards, they saw proceedings of the commanders. He conclearly it would have been better for them tended, that this mode of levying contri. if they had opposed us. This appeared to butions, and subjecting to confiscation, him to be highly injurious to our cha- had never been the practice in former racter, as a people generally renowned for wars, and that the manner in which the justice and humanity. It was inconsistent commanders in the West Indies had al. with the rest of our conduct in this war ; lowed the taking of booty, was contrary and while in various parts of the globe, we to the act of parliament which regulated were covering our enemies with bounty, that point on our part. He insisted also, those who trusted to our good faith met that the conduct of these commanders with ruin.—With regard to the idea of was contrary to their instructions. He these islands having been taken by storm, then proceeded to show that the proclathe thing appeared to him to be astonish- mations had been acted upon; and he ing. St. Pierre was stormed without rea- read a petition that had been presented to son or necessity, it being nothing but an the commanders, reminding them of open town without wall or ditch: and their declaration in March, promising prowhen the British troops advanced, resist- tection, &c. and complaining that the subance was only made by a few negroes sequent proclamations for contribution and