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Mr. SPEAKER reported, that the Houfe had attended His Majefty in the Houfe of Peers, where His Majefty was pleased to make a most gracious fpeech from the throne to both Houfes of Parliament; of which, Mr. Speaker faid, he had, to prevent miftakes, obtained a copy, which he read to the House, and is as followeth; viz.

My Lords, and Gentlemen,

IT is a great fatisfaction, to me to reflect, that, notwithstanding the many events unfavourable to the common caufe, the profpect refulting from the general fituation of affairs has, in many important reSpects, been materially improved in the courfe of the prefent year.

In Italy, the threatened invafion of the French has been prevented; and they have been driven back from a confiderable part of the line of coaft which they bad occupied: there is also reafon to hope that the recent operations of the Auftrian armies have checked the progress which they have made on the fide of Germany, and fruftrated the offenfive projects which they were purfuing in that quarter.

The fucceffes which have attended their military operations in other parts of the campaign, and the advantages which they have derived from the conclufion of feparate treaties with fome of the powers who were engaged in the war, are far from compenfating the evils which they experience-from its continuance. The deftruction of their com mere, the diminution of their maritime power, and the unparalleled emb. rrefiment and diftrefs of their internal fituation, have produced the impreffion which was naturally to be expected; and a general fenfe appears to prevail throughout France, that the only relief from the increafing preffure of thefe difficulties must arise from the refloration of peace, and the establishment of some settled system of government.

The diffraction and anarchy which have fo long prevailed in that country, have led to a crifis, of which it is as yet impoffible to forefee the iffue; but which muft, in all human probability, produce confequences highly important to the interefts of Europe. Should this crifts terminate in any order of things compatible with the tranquillity of other countries, and affording a reasonable expectation of fecurity and permanence in any treaty which might be concluded, the appearance of


difpofition to negociate for general peace on just and suitable terms will not fail to be met, on my part, with an earnest defire to give it the fulleft and speedieft effect. But I am perfuaded you will agree with me, that nothing is fo likely to enfure and accelerate this defireable end, as to fhew that we are prepared for either alternative, and are determined to profecute the war with the utmost energy and vigsur, until we have the means of concluding, in conjunction with our allies,

fuch a peace as the justice of our cause and the fituation of the enemy may entitle us to expect.

With this view I am continuing to make the greatest exertions for maintaining and improving our naval fuperiority, and for carrying on active and vigorous sperations in the Wett Indies, in order to fecure and extend the advantages which we have gained in that quarter, and which are fo nearly connected with our commercial refources, and maritime ftrength.

I rely with full confidence on the continuance of your firm and zeabus fupport, on the uniform bravery of my fit and armies, and on the fortitude, perfeverance, and pubnic spirit of all ranks of my people.

The acts of bflility committed by the United Provinces, under the influence and control of France, have obliged me to treat them as in a fate of war with this country.

The fleet which I have employed in the North Seas has received the mft cordial and active affiftance from the naval force furnished by the Emprefs of Ruffia, and has been enabled effectually to check the operatians of the enemy in that quarter.

I have concluded engagements of defenfive alliance with the two imperial courts; and the ratifications of the treaty of commorce with the United States of America, which I announced to you last year, have now been exchanged. I have directed copies of thefe, treaties to be laid before you.

Gentlemen of the Houfe of Commons,

It is matter of deep concern to me, that the exigencies of the public fervice will require further additions to the heavy burdens which have been unavoidably imp fed on my pesple." I trust that their preffure will, in fame degree, be alleviated by the flourishing fate of our commerce and manufactures, and that our expences, though neceffarily great in their amsunt, will, under the actual circumftances of the war, admit of confiderable diminution in comparison with thofe of the prefent year. My Lords, and Gentlemen,

I have obferved for fome time past, with the greatest anxicty, the very high price of grain, and that anxiety is increafed by the apprebenfion that the produce of the wheat harvest in the prefent year may not have been fuch as effectually to relieve my people from the difficulties with which they have had to contend. The Spirit of order and fubmiffim to the laws which, with very few exceptions, has manifefted itself under this fevere preffure, will, I am fure, be felt by you as an additional incentive to apply yourfelves with the utmoft diligence to the

confideration of fuch meafures as may tend to alleviate the prefent diftrefs, and to prevent, as far as paffible, the renewal of fimilar embarraffments in future. Nothing has been omitted on my part that appeared likely to contribute to this end; and you may be affured of my hearty concurrence in whatever regulations the wisdom of Parliament may adopt, on a subject so peculiarly interfling to my people, whose welfare will ever be the object nearest my heart.

The Speech being read, the Earl of DALKEITH (fon of the Duke of Buccleugh) rofe to move the addrefs, and faid, he was perfuaded the Houfe would agree with him, that though fome events had taken place, which, in themfelves, appeared unfavourable to the just caufe in which we were engaged; and though they could not but feel for the misfortunes which, in the prosecution of the war, had attended cur allies, there was ample caufe for fatisfaction in the fituation of our own affairs, taken in the general view they afforded of improvement fince the laft year; for though no conquefts had been made on the Continent, the farther progrefs of the French arms had been prevented in Italy, and on the Rhine. In the Eaft Indies, thofe poffeffions belonging to the enemy, that could contribute to the wealth and commercial interefts of this country, had been all taken from them; and in the Weft, if not all, at leaft poffeffions abundantly great, had fallen before our fleets and armies. While the unexampled vigorous operations, going forward under one of the ableft commanders of the country, gave foundation to fuppofe that the whole of thofe iflands would fall into our hands, and that by becoming mafters of the Weft Indies, we fhould fecure the means of carrying on the war as long as it might be found neceffary. He was aware, that to counterbalance these weighty advantages, the feceffion of so many of our allies from the common caufe, would be enlarged upon by gentlemen on the other fide of the Houfe; but paradoxical as it might feem, he was perfuaded, that by the lofs of thofe allies we had acquired additional ftrength, fince it enabled us to profecute with increased energy the war by fea, and to exert our whole means and efforts in maintaining and improving our naval fuperiority. He was aware, too, that obfervations of a fimilar tendency would be made on the lofles our trade had sustained by captures at fea; but when the Houfe recollected the unbounded extent of our commerce, and the difficulty, or rather impoflibility, of covering the whole fea with our fhips, in order effectually to prevent their cruizers from coming out, together with the circumftance of their having no commerce to protect, the Houfe could not be furprised at the oc

cafional partial loffes fuftained by our trade. Upon reading His Majefty's Speech, he would affert, that better measures could not be propofed, more wife and fuitable to the policy of the country. When the nature of the enemy, with whom we had to contend, was duly confidered, it would be found, that in order to fecure a lafting and honourable peace, we must thew them their inability to contend, and convince them, at the fame time, of our firength, They did nothing from found policy, but acted entirely upon the impulfe of the immediate neceflity of that party who happened to rule. It was therefore obvious, that, in order to fecure the defireable object, peace, we fhould fhew ourselves prepared for either alternative of peace or war; befides, he was fure, that a difgraceful peace would be much more odious in the eyes of Britons, than any inconveniencies which could arife from the farther profecution of the war. As to the prefent conftitution of France, it was not, he conceived, an object of our confideration whether it was detrimental to themselves. If it was not detrimental and dangerous to the tranquillity of other nations, it could be no reafonable impediment to the accomplishment of a peace. But confidering that that conftitution was upheld by the army against the confent of the people, who, fo far from being fatisfied with, had rifqued a bloody ftruggle to overturn it, it must be very doubtful at what period a fecure, lafting, and honourable peace could be concluded. The diffraction and anarchy in which France had been involved, remained. The man who, fince the overthrow of Roterfpierre, had been thought to regulate their affairs, had been denounced, and the iffue was yet uncertain; in fhort, nothing feemed to indicate a return of a stable and permanent government. With what propriety could any propofition of terms come from this country, while the terrors of denunciation are suspended over the heads of those with whom we would be taught to negociate? Was it at the period of establishing their conititution by the army influence, we were to look to for peace, or when the bloody and violent struggle was concluded? He faid, he feared he had trefpaffed too long on the patience of the Houfe, and concluded by moving the addrefs, which was as ufual, an echo of the Speech.

The Hon. ROB. STEWART, (fon of Lord Londonderry) on feconding the address, faid, he should not recur to any of the questions which the House had difpofed of in the progrefs of the war; he should only look to the present fituation of the contest, and the probable iffue of a perfeverance in the war. In comparing the profpects of the prefent moment with thofe of the laft year, notwithstanding some reverses, our fituation was evidently improved;


in looking to France, it clearly appeared, amidst the confusion that reigned there, that the two great features of their system, which made them fo formidable to us and all the other powers opposed to them, were falling to decay; viz, their paper currency, and that government of terror, which had enabled them to make fuch unexampled military efforts, which had been able for a confiderable time to turn the whole wealth and population of the country to To prove that the aflignats had nearly loft their powers, it was fufficient to ftate, that they were difcredited in the proportion of 70 to 1; that the ftate, for every one and a half per cent. which it might have occafion to expend, muft iffue rool. in nominal currency; and another campaign, fuppofing their actual expence 20 millions fterling, would require an iffue of affignats to the amount of 1400 millions fterling, fuppofing the depreciation not to be increased, which could not but happen; a quantity of paper which, if added to 720 millions now in circulation, would leave them without any value whatfoever. If any farther argument was required, we had the admiffion of the Convention, that the affignats could not be farther relied on, and that fpecie muft be reforted to. But where was it to be found? They had it not; and if they had, having neither industry nor commerce, it would not long remain in the country. They felt the neceffity of an entire change of fyftem; nothing but peace could bring them any relief; and the neceflity of peace would force them to abandon the deftructive fyftem they had been acting upon.

The government of terror was held in fuch abhorrence, that the re-establishment of it was impoffible; all partics felt it fo; it was a matter of contest which should disclaim it most. After the Sections had been reduced, the firft act of the victorious party was to banish Barrere, and to bring to trial the former terrorifts; and to completely odious was terror and revolutionary law, that they had recourfe to military tribunals for the trial of the revolters.

Such was the ftate of France; and although the laft campaign had not been fruitful in victorics, the pretiure of the war had caufed the diftrefs and weaknefs which reduced the enemy even with more certainty than military fuccefs. Although he was willing to admit, that the weakness of the enemy made negociation much lefs hazardous than when they were in ftrength, yet he did not believe that any man would recommend negociation juft at the prefent moment; the total change which a few days must make one way or the other in the affairs of that country, made it a matter of common fenfe to wait for the event, before any decifion was


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