Page images
PDF
EPUB

STATE PAPERS.

to

me

His Majesty's most gracious Speech ner return you my thanks for the

to both Houses of Parliament, 19th liberal supplies which you have May, 1796.

granted to meet the exigencies of

the war.-While I regret the exa My Lords and Gentlemen, tent of those demands which the THE public business being now present circumstances necessarily

concluded, I think it proper to occasion, it is a great consolation close this session, and at the same to observe the increasing time t) acquaint you with my inten- resources by which the country tion of giving immediate directions is enabled to support them. These for calling a new parliament. resources are particularly manifesto

The objects which have engaged ed in the staie of the different your attention during the present branches of the revenue, in the session, have been of peculiar im- continued and progressive state of portance ; and the measures which our navigation and commerce, in you have adopted, have manifested the steps which have been taken your continued regard to the safety for maintaining and improving the and welfare of the people.

public credit, and in the additional The happiest effects have been provision which has been made experienced from the provisions for the reduction of the national wbich you have made for repress- debt. ing sedition and civil tumuli, and for restraining the progress of prin- My Lords and Gentlemen, ciples subversive of all established I shall ever reflect with heartfelt government.

satisfaction on the uniform wis. The difficulties arising to my dom, temper, and firmness which subjects from the high price of have appeared in all your proceedcorn, have formed a principal ob- ings since I first met you in this ject of your deliberation ; and your place. Called to deliberate on the assiduity in investigating that sub- public affairs of your country in a ject, has strongly proved your anx. period of foreign and domestic

. ious desire to omit nothing which tranquillity, you had the happiness could tend to the relief of my of contributing to raise this kinge people, in a matter of such gene- dom to a state of unexampled prose ral concern. I bave the greatest perity. You were suddenly comsatisfaction in observing that the pelled to relinquish the full adpressure of those difficulties is in vantages of this situation, in order a great degree removed.

to resist the unprovoked aggression Gentlemen of the House of of an enemy whose hostility was Commons,

directed against all civil society, I must in a more particular man- but more particularly agaiost the

happy

I 3

happy union of order and liberty His Majesty's most gracious Speech established in these kingdoms. to both Houses of Parliament, 6th The nature of the system introduc- October, 1796. ed joto France, afforded to that country, in the midst of its cala. My Lords and Gentlemen, mities, the means of exertion be- IT is a peculiar satisfaction to yond the experience of any former me, in the present conjuncture of time. Under the pressure of the affairs, to recur to your advice, new and unprecedented difficulties after the recent opportunity which arising from such a contest, you has been given for collecting the have shewn yourselves worthy of sense of my people, engaged in a all the blessings that you inherit. difficult and arduous contest, for By your counsels and conduct, the the preservation of all that is most constitution has been preserved in. dear to us. violate against the designs of foreign I have omitted no endeavours and domestic enemies; the honor of for setting on foot negotiations to the British name has been asserted; restore peace to Europe, and to sethe rank and station which we have cure for the future the general hitherto held in Europe has been tranquillity. The steps which I maintained ; and the decided su have taken for this purpose bave periority of our naval power has at length opened the way to an imbeen established in every quarter of mediate and direct negotiation, the the world.

issue of which must either produce You have omitted no opportunity the desirable end of a just, hoto prove your just anxiety for nourable, and solid peace for us, the re-establishment of general and for our allies, or must prove, peace on secure and honourable beyond dispute, to what cause alone terms, but you have at the same the prolongation of the calamities of time rendered it manisest to the war must be ascribed. world, that while our enemies shal} I shall immediately send a per. persist in dispositions incompatible son to Paris, with full powers to with that object, neither the re- treat for this object, and it is my sources nor the spirit of English- anxious wish that this measure may men will be wanting to the sup- lead to the restoration of general port of a just cause, and to the de. peace, but you must be sensible fence of all their dearest interests. that nothing can so much contri

A due sense of this conduct is bute to give effect to this desire, as deeply impressed on my heart. I your manifesting that we possess trust that all my subjects are apie both the determination and the remated with the same sentiment, sources to oppose, with increased and that their loyalty and public activity and energy, the farther spirit will ensure the continuance efforts with which we may have to of that union and mutual confi- contend. dence between me and my parlia- You will feel this peculiarly neces. ment, which best promote the true sary at a moment when the enemy dignity and glory of my crown, bas openly manifested the intention and the genuine happiness of my of attempting a descent on these people.

kingdoms. It cannot be doubted

Commons,

what would be the issue of such an quaint you with the final result ; enterprize; but it befiis your wis. but I am confident that whatever dom to neglect no precautions tbat may be their issue, I shall have may either preclude the allempt, given to Europe a farther proof of or secure the speediest means of my moderation and forbearance ; turning it to the confusion and and I can have no doubt of your ruin of the enemy.

determir.ation to defend against In reviewing the events of the every aggression, the dignity, rights, year, you will have observed that and interests, of the British emby the skill and exertions of my pire. navy, our extensive and increasing commerce has been protected to a Gentlemen of the house of degree almost beyond example, and the feels of the enemy have,

Í rely on your

zeal and public for the greatest part of the yeary spirit for such supplies as you may been blocked up in their own think necessary for the service of ports.

the

year. It is a great satisfaction The operations in the East and to me to observe, that, notwithWest Indies have been highly ho- standing the temporary embarrassnourable to the British arms, and ments which have been experience productive of great national ad. ed, the state of the commerce, vantage; and the valour and good manufactures, and revenue, of the conduct of my forces, both by sea country, proves the real extent and and land, have been eminently con- solidity of our resources, and furspicuous.

Dishes you with such means The fortune of war on the con- must be equal to any exertions tinent has been more various; and which the present crisis may ré. the progress of the French armies quire. threatened, at one period, the utmost danger to all Europe ; but My Lords and Gentlemen, from the honourable and dignified The distresses which were in the perseverance of my ally the Eme last year experienced from the peror, and from the intrepidiiy, scarcity of corn, are now, by the discipline, and invincible spirit of blessing of God, happily removed, the Austrian forces, under the aus. and an abundant harvest affords picious conduct of the archduke the pleasing prospect of relief in Charles, such a turn has lately that important article, to the la. been given to the course of the bouring classes of the community. war, as may inspire a well-grounded Our internal tranquillity has also confidence that ihe final result of the continued undisturbed; the general campaign will prove more disas- attachment of my people to the trous to the enemy than its com. British constitution has appeared mencement and progress for a time on every occasion, and the endea. were favourable to their hopes. vours of those who wished to in

The apparently hostile disposi- troduce anarchy and confusion into tions and conduct of the court of this country, have been repressed Madrid have led to discussions, of by the energy and wisdom of the which I am not yet enabled to ac. laws.

as

To defeat all the designs of our inevitably tend to break the spring enemies, to restore to my people of ihat energy, and to lower that the blessings of a secure and ho- spirit which has characterised in nourable peaee, to maintain invio- former times this high-minded na. late their religion, laws, and liber- tion, and which, far from sinking ty, and to deliver down unimpaired under misfortune, bas even risen to the latest posterity, the glory with the difficulties and dangers and happiness of these kingdoms, in which our country has been inis the constant wish of my heart, volved. and the uniform end of all my ac- 2d. Because no peace, such as tions,

In every measure that can may be capable of recruiting the conduce to these objects, I am strength, economising the means, confident of receiving the firm, augmenting the resources, and prozealous and affectionale support of viding for the safety of this kingmy parliament.

dom, and its inseparable con.

nections and dependencies, can be Protest of Earl Fitzwilliam against had with the usurped power now

the Address of the House of Lords exercising authority in France, to the Throne on his Majesty's considering the description, the Speech announcing the opening of a character, and the conduct, of Negotiation for Peace with the those who compose that govern. French Republic.

ment; the methods by which they Dissentient,

have obtained their power, the poIst. Because, by this address, licy by which they hold it, and the amended as it stands, the sanction 'maxims they have adopted, openly of the lords is given to a series of professed, and uniformly acted on, measures, as ill

ged, with re- towards the destruction of all gogard to their object, as they are vernments not formed on their derogatory from ibe dignity of his model, and subservient to their majesty's crown, and from the ho- domination. nour of this kingdom. The reite- 33. Because the idea that this ration of solicitations for peace to a kingdom is competent to defend species of power, with whose very itseli, its laws, liberties, and reli. existence all fair and equitable ac- gion, under the general subjuga. commodation is incompatible, can tion of all Europe, is presumptuous have no other effeci than that in the extreme, contradictory to which it is notorious all our soli. the supposed motives for our precitations have hitherto bad. They sent eager solicitations for peace, must increase the arrogance and and is certainly contrary to the ferocity of the common enemy of standing policy broth of state and all nations; they must fortify the commerce, by which Great Britain credit, and fix the authority of an has hitherto flourished. odious government over an enslaved 4th. Because, while the compeople; they must impair the con- enemy exercises his power fidence of all other powers in the over the several states of Europe magnanimity, constancy, and fi. in the way we have seen, it is imdelity of the British councils; and possible long to preserve our trade, it is much to be apprehended it will or, what cannot exist without it,

our

mon

STA TE PAPERS.
Τ Ε

to con

we

a

our naval power. This hostile system valuable and necessary for cultiva. seizes on the keys of the dominions tion, throughout several of our of these powers, without any con- islands, laiely among the most sideration of their friendship, their flourishing and productive. The enmity, or their neutrality ; pre- new system, by which these things scribes laws to them as

have been effected, leaves our coquered provinces ; mulcis and fines lowes equally endangered in peace them at pleasure ; forces them, as in war.

It is therefore with this without any particular quarrel, general system (of which the West into direct hostility with this king- India scheme is but a ramification) dom, and expels us from such ports that all ancient establishments are and markets as she thinks fil; in- essentially at war for the sake of somuch that (Europe remaining self-preservation. under its present slavery) there is 6:01. Because it has been de. no harbour which can enter clared from the throne, and in without her permission, either in a effect ihe principle has been adopted commercial or a naval character. by parliament, that there was no This general interdict cannot be way likely to obtain a peace, combegged off; we must resist it by our monly safe and honourable, but power, or we are already in a state through the ancient and legitimate of vassalage.

government long established in 5th. Because, whilst this usurped France. That government in its power shall continue thus consti- lawful succe-sion bas been solemnly tuted, and thus disposed, no se recognized, and assistance and procurity whatever can be hoped for tection as solemnly promised to in our colonies and plantations, those Frenchmen who should exert those invaluable sources of our na

themselves in iis restoration. The tional wealth and our naval power. polnical principle upon wbich this This war has sbewn that the power recognition was made is very

far prevalent in France, by intention from being weakened by the conally disorganizing the plantation duct of the newly invented governsystem (which France had in com

Nor are our obligations of mon with all other European na- good faith, pledged on such strong tions), and by inverting the order moives of policy to those who have and relations therein established, been found in their allegiance dis. has been able, with a naval force, solved, nor can they be so, until altogether contemptible, and with fairly directed efforts have been very inconsiderable succours from made to secure this great funda. Europe, to baffle in a great measure mental point. None have yet been the most powerful armament ever employed with the smallest degree sent from this country into the West of vigour and perseverance. Indies, and at an expence hitherto 7th. Because the example of the unparalleled, and has, by the force great change made by the Usurpa. of example, and by the effects of tion in the moral and political ber machinations, produced, at world (more dangerous than all her liule or no

expence to herself conquests) is by the present proceeither of blood or treasure, uni- dure confirmed in all its force. It versal desolation and ruin, by the is the first successful example fur. general destruction of every thing Dished by history of the subversion

of

ment.

« PreviousContinue »