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gave rise to it.
we should retain possession of it in perhaps, be disposed, in the event of a change petuity. Were the temper and views of taking place, which would fully restore Buonaparté to change, were bis ambition the neutrality of Denmark, to give up to subside into a policy more consonant these ships ; but they ought not to be with the peace and happiness of mankind, bound by a resolution of the house ; such and were a treaty of peace to be conclud- a resolution would only be giving an aded similar to that of Westphalia, he vantage to Buonaparte in any negotiation thought, that it would be incumbent on that might take place. this country to 'shew to Europe and the Mr. Davies Giddy supported the Adworld, that its councils were not influ- dress, not that he looked upon the restoraenced by a selfish policy; but that having tion of the ships to Denmark as a matprovided for its own security when that ter of right; but that he thought it an act security was in danger, it was equally of generosity becoming the character of ready to respect the rights of other nations, the British nation. and to make every reparation for a strong Mr. Wilberforce professed himself one of measure which was forced upon it by an those who thought that ministers had conimperious and overruling necessity. On scientiously and ably discharged their these grounds, he should vote for the Ad- duty towards the country, in taking posdress which had been moved by his noble session of the Danish fleet. He was safriend.
tisfied they were aware of all the objecMr. S. Thornton expressed an opinion tions in point of morality; but that a pathat the seizure of the Danish fleet could ramount duty had compelled them to only be justified by an urgent necessity, over-rule those objections. He would and that, had no other measures of hostility not allow that any consideration of time taken place between this country and or circumstances warranted a deviation Denmark, that act on our part ought to from the great principles of morality. In have been limited by the necessity that the expedition to Copenhagen, there was
It ought to be remember- no such deviation. A superior duty had ed, however, that it was in the power of outweighed a lesser ; and that was itself one Denmark, at one time, to have secured the of the first principles of moral duty and restitution of the fleet, but that she did moral reasoning. The transactions with not chuse to accept the proposition that respect to Portugal involved the same had been made to her with this view. As principles, and the result made no differmatters · now stood, the fleet had come It might have been said that Porinto our possession by conquest, and it tugal should be controuled by force, and appeared to him, that publishing a decla- that Denmark might have accepted the ration avowing our intention of giving it proffered alternative of amity and proup, without any knowledge whatever of tection. Denmark was unwilling to take the future state of Europe, would be a any measure whatever of defence against step dictated neither by policy nor jus- France; and if she had been willing, all tice. The address was also, to say the she could have done would have been least of it, the more unnecessary, as it was inadequate. It was, therefore, perfectly not known what intentions his majesty's allowable in us, to secure the arms, which, ministers might have without the inter- . if directed against us, might be dangers ference of the house of commons.
But, he was unwilling to carry vioSir T. Turton said, that if the weakness lence beyond what the necessity of the of Denmark had been the only reason case required. He would not have the why we should have had recourse to the high character of the nation sunk, by seizure of the Danish fleet, in order to shewing a disposition to retain a valuable prevent its falling into the hands of France, possession, when the exigency that caused à declaration of this kind would be very us to seize that possession should have
pass proper. But that was by no means the ed away. He wished, therefore, to take no case, for there was proof of a hostile dis- step, with respect to the application of the position on the part of Denmark ever ships,which might make it matter of difficulsince the French revolution. He denied ty for his majesty to restore them, when cirthat any new principles of morality had cumstances should render that proceeding been maintained on that side. It had perfectly consistent with the public safety. only been said, that circumstances might The naval and military officers might be alter the mode of acting upon the old and compensated as they usually were, by a real principles. Government might, per- compensation from the public purse. He
wished to prove to Denmark, and to the even insinuated by ministers themselves, world, that we were actuated by no feel for they had never contended that there ing of interest in taking the Danish fleet; had been any previous hostility; for, if and that the fleet would be given back, if there had been such, why were there any the independence of Denmark should be amicable proffers made to them on the again established.
part of this country? He thought, upon Mr. Hawkins Browne entered fully into the whole, that complying with the prethe generous feelings of his hon. friend, sent motion would be worthy of the chaand agreed that all he had said would racteristic magnanimity of England. have been applicable, if the Danes had Mr. Stephens thought the present motion no hostile feelings to this country, and went to bind the future discretion of the if their weakness alone had been the country, by promises and stipulations ground of danger to this country. But which might ultimately prove more injuDenmark had acted like an enemy, and rious and restrictive than it could now be was treated as such, and her fleet was as possible to foresee. , If the ships were to lawful prize as any of the enemy's ships be restored, merely on the plea of genecaptured at sea. The motion was, be- rosity, he did think that the object of the sides, imprudent, even if there had been present motion would be to rob that gea ground for it; for who was to judge nerosity of its grace. when Denmark might be completely neu- Sir James Hall had never spoken with tral or not?
any gentleman upon the subject of the Mr. Hanbury Tracey concurred in the Baltic expedition, who did not, however motion. But, as to the ministers restoring strongly its advocate, seem to think that the ships at the end of the war, he hoped some degree of shame attached to it. that would not be exactly applicable; for That was a feeling rather foreign to the he expected that before that time they success that crowned the British arms in would be out of
general; and, as he thought that the conMr. Babington, though he thought the ditional restoration of the ships in question expedition justified, concurred in the ad- might serve, in some measure, to do away dress, on the same grounds as his hon. that imputation, he should feel it his duty friend (Mr. Wilberforce).
to vote for the motion of the noble lord. Mr. Simcon argued that there was no The house then divided": Ayes 44, Noes ground for such an address, either in point 105; Majority against the motion 61. of justice, policy, or generosity. We were justified in seizing the fleet, on the ground of necessity, whether "Denmark should be considered as weak or as hos
Thursday, March 31. tile; and therefore could not be bound in [NABOB Or Oude.] Lord Archibald Hau justice to restore the ships after the course milton made his promised motion, for comwhich Denmark had taken at the time, pensation to be made to the Nabob of and subsequent to the event. The policy Oude for the losses he had sustained by also would be absurd, flagrante bello; for the seizure of one-half of his territories, it would prove an obstacle to future nego- and the very embarrassed state of his tiation, and to our obtaining peace on such finances, occasioned by the measures of good terms as we might otherwise do. It marquis Wellesley's government in India. would be regarded, in fact, as a censure The noble lord spoke at considerable on the expedition, and, therefore, he could length, but in so low a voice that it could see no ground for the motion, but a ro- not be heard distinctly from the gallery ; mantic generosity, which was of no use. but, as far as we could collect, it was to
Mr. Bathurst could not agree with an the following effect : He observed, that hon. gent. on the other side, that the ships the Papers laid before the house, and the in question, whether our lawful prize or recent debates upon the Oude question, not (for into that question he should not relieved him from the necessity of tresnow go), were to be considered as the passing again upon their patience by same sort of capture as if they had been farther details; the house had, indeed, taken on the high seas, durante bello. He come to a resolution upon this subjectdenied, that any conviction was entertained | final, he would admit, as far as concerned of any previous hostility on the part of the conduct of the marquis Wellesley. Denmark towards this country. Gentle- To this resolution, as it was the sense of a men, in saying so, said more than was majority of that house, he was bound to
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
defer, though he could not give his pri- I lo vate assent to it. That resolution went to be vindicate the conduct of the noble mar- th quis, upon the ground that he was actuated by an ardent zeal for the public service, th and for the interests of his country. But no man had ventured or could attempt to to deny, that the Nabob of Oude had been by treated with a degree of tyranny, oppression, cruelty, and injustice, almost without to parallel, and which no conduct on his partch deserved ; and that he had been forcibly bu deprived of one half of his territory, with of out even the semblance of justice. In sh violation of all principle, he was forced Sa to sign a treaty in 1801, totally different w from that in 1798, and was plundered pa of his property, in defiance of every principle of national justice. It was, th therefore, but an act of common equity, th that the British parliament should make th some recompence to that prince. The St Directors of the East India Company es themselves, having perused the documents respecting this affair, were so impressed th with a sense of the sufferings and oppres-ta sions heaped upon this unfortunate prince, je that they had come to a resolution, that compensation ought to be made to him ; l of but the proposition was defeated by the 17 Board of Controul, under the influence of the noble lord opposite (lord Castle-T reagh), who acted on that occasion in vio- to lation of the principles of justice, and the th honour and character of the British go-th vernment. When two authorities in the in same branch of government, like the Court of Directors and the Board of Con- in troul, were at variance upon a point so go highly interesting to the character of the AI British government, he thought that house pe was the proper tribunal to decide the te question. The noble lord considered this re transaction as paralleled only by the late outrage on Copenhagen. He read a va- of riety of extracts from the Oude Papers, m comprehending the several treaties from 1793 to 1801 ; and also letters from lord te Wellesley to the resident at Lucknow for the time being, and the answers of such Resident; from these he argued at length, th on the impolicy, injustice, cruelty, and oppression practised against the nabob, contrary to the faith of treaties which had been approved by the East India Company, and for which he thought the Nabob entitled to compensation. The noble lord coneluded by moving the following Reso-th lutions : “ 1. That it appears to this house, 3 that by the Treaty concluded in 1798 by nu
one crore and 80 lacks for the second, and to that of their old masters. This could one crore and 88 lacks for the third (inde- not be done, he was sure, without exciting pendent of the profit derivable from a mo- much discontent, and, perhaps, not with nopoly of salt estimated at eleven lacks); out considerable resistance on their part. and that the said Mr. Henry Wellesley, If the noble lord meant that the compensalieut. governor, stated, that he had no tion should be made in the form of subdoubt that the settlement of the Land Re- sidy, he ought to have stated the mode venue for the second period of 3 years, of doing it, and to have shewn himself prewould not be less than two crores of ru- pared to solve all the difficulties which pees, and that the Land Revenue of the must present themselves to every one as Provinces when fully cultivated would to the manner of giving effect to his Resoamount to two crores and fifty lacks of ru- sultion. The noble lord had not gone into pees,' which is nearly double the amount any detail to prove that the nabob had of subsidy payable by the nabob under been called upon to contribute more than the former Treaty of 1798.' 5. That the he was bound to do by the treaty of 1798; said nabob Saadut Ali did positively and but, he was ready to contend, that the narepeatedly reject and resist the said Cession bob had not been obliged to contribute Treaty of 1801, during a negociation pro- more than under that treaty he would have tracted for many months; and that it was been bound to do, when the number of not till a declaration was made to him, in troops employed upon his frontier: was the most explicit terms, that in case of his taken into consideration, Upon these refusal it was the resolution of the British grounds, therefore, he should feel it his government to assume the entire civil and duty to move the previous question upon military government of the province of all the Resolutions but the last, which Oude, that his assent was obtained. 6. called for a revision of a treaty that had That the British government in India are the sanction of the Commissioners for the bound in honour, in justice, and policy, to Affairs of India, and this he was prepared reconsider and revise the above-mentioned to meet with a direct negative. Treaty of 1801, in order to ascertain whe- Mr. H. Martin took a view of the state ther it will not admit of such modification of the parties in 1801, and of the circumas may ultimately prove more satisfactory stances which led to the treaty. to the nabob of Oude, and at the same tended, that there was not the smallest time be productive of reciprocal advan- ground at that time for the interference of tage to his highness and the Company." the governor-general in the affairs of the
Mr. R. Dundas said, that he was sur- nabob, who had religiously observed all prised that the house should now be called the stipulations of the treaty concluded upon to discuss the same question which in 1798, by sir John Shore. He expected, had been already decided on, by a resolu- at least, that some necessity for the violation, in which the last resolution of the tion of this treaty would have been atnoble lord was not only negatived, but tempted to be established; but no such on which the house pronounced an opi- attempt had been made, and it appeared nion, approving of lord Wellesley's ad- to be infringed merely to give effect to a ministration. He should, therefore, do little system of aggrandisement which : lord more than refer the noble lord to that de- Wellesley had adopted, and was detercision, convinced, that were he now to mined at all events to pursue. The kists go over again the arguments formerly were not even in arrear, and the company adduced, he should be trespassing un- had derived all the advantage from the necessarily upon the time and patience of treaty of 1798 that ever was expected the house. Were the house of commons from it. It was said, indeed, that by this now to agree to the noble lord's resolutions, treaty the nabob would have contributed they would contradict their own decision, as much as he did at present. But, in The noble lords did not shew, in any part of answer to this he stated, that the company his speech, how this inconsistency could be were obliged to keep up a force of not avoided. The noble lord had not stated less than 11, and not more than 13,000 to the house how he intended that the nabob troops for 75 lacs of rupees, to be paid by should be indemnified. If he meant that the the nabob; and till the subsidy was reterritory which had been taken from him fused to be paid, which it never was, we should be restored, he would find it very certainly had no right whatever to seize difficult to transfer the people of India from upon his territory. We were called upon the governor of the East India Company to consult the feelings of the natives of
India, but we ought also to consider what | support, if I govern ill, use it against me.' must have been their feelings on seeing a So it was with the people of India; if we solemn treaty so unnecessarily and wan- governed them with justice and moderatonly violated. And when it was stated, tion we may expect their support, but if that the country was in such a state of we oppress and tyrannize over them we disorder, that all sorts of crimes were com- must expect revolt and resistance. The miited with impunity, it ought also to be hon. gent. denied that the treaty had ever shewn, that the security of the British go- been approved of by the court of directors, Virnent in India was endangered by for it was one of their grounds of comtiise disorders. He concluded by declar- plaint that the treaty had never been subing bis intention to support the Resolu- mitted to the court. All that he indivition of his noble friend.
dually ever did was to put his name to a Mr. R. Thornton lamented to see so thin letter, in which pleasure was expressed an attendance upon a discussion so inter that the treaty had given satisfaction; but esting to the national character. He at that time he was quite ignorant of the thought the house on a former night had circumstances under which it was conbehaved worse even than lord Wellesley cluded. himself, in the manner in which they had Mr. Howarth.—Sir, I am not accustomed got rid of the charges brought against him. to address this house, or to speak in pubHe was not fond of renewed debates upon lic, and therefore I should do it with the same question, but he thought there great embarrassment at any time, but parwas better grounds for renewing the de- ticularly now, when many gentlemen are bate on the present question, than on calling for the question, and seem to wish many others, though he did not flatter to put an end to the debate. I shall, therehimself that the result would be different fore, contract the little I intended to say from what it had been. The treaty which on this occasion, and yield as soon and was now under discussion, he declared, as much as I can, to the impatience of did not deserve that name, for to a treaty the house. Even that little is exposed the assent of two parties was requisite, and to so many discouragements, that I should the nabob certainly never had voluntarily probably have confined myself to votgiven his assent to that of 1801. It was ing on the question, if my long resialledged, that it would be difficult to re- dence in India had not furnished me scind the treaty, but nothing should ever with information, which I hope will be be considered as difficult which was right, thought to deserve some attention.— I am and if we had any regard to justice or na- not surprised that the hon. President of tional character, certainly some compen- the Board of Controul should have shewn sation ought to be granted to the nabob a vigorous disinclination to any furfor the wrong he had sustained, however ther discussion of the subject. I have no difficult it might be to find out the proper doubt that, if the whole of the transactions mode of compensation. The treaty was in Oude were to be buried in oblivion, it .said to have originated in friendship, but would afford peculiar satisfaction to the if it began in friendship it ended in cruel- friends of the noble marquis. Sir, we ty and injustice. The noble marquis must look to the exhausted state of the seemed to have carried a sample of French treasury in Calcutta for the secret spring fraternization to India. The treaty was and first movement of his lordship in really a sort of Gallican hug, in which the Oude. Beggary begot necessity, and noble marquis had squeezed the nabob to necessity created the measure of quarterdeath. One might as well call a robbery ing a great part of the Bengal army on committed by a footpad on a traveller on the country, or providing for it at the exHounslow-Heath, a treaty! If the tyrant pence of the nabob. Want of money, and who had desolated Europe should ever no other, was the true cause of this and reach our East India possessions, and find every other injustice done to the nabob. the hearts of the people alienated from All manner of pretences have been set up us, and our name connected with injustice in defence of these measures, except the and oppression, he called upon the house true one. Distress drove you into these to reflect what an advantage he would courses, and who was the author of the have over is. When Trajan put a sword distress? who, but the noble marquis himinto the hands of the prefect of the Preto- self? Extravagance produces violence, rian Bands; he made use of these words, and then you defend the violence by the • As long as I govern well, use it in my extravagance. When political necessity