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from it arguments in support of the justice of the war. He then came to the expediency. Oczakow, he thought,'should not remain in the possession of Russia: he considered, that the aggrandisement of Russia, to such an extent as might destroy the Ottoman empire, was highly dangerous to the balance of power in Europe; and he believed that the trade with Turkey might be so improved, as to become of greater consequence than that with Russia now was, however highly gentlemen might value it; and the trade which was now di-> vided between two countries, might be carried on by one. He averred, that the opposition now made to the measures of Government, would, in the result, tend to establish a monopoly against us of all those articles which we had such immediate occasion for.
Mr. W~indham declared, that it excited his astonishment Mr. tfatthe Minister, who had been so repeatedly called upon, Windham should not have thought proper to rise and state to the House how this war came to be either necessary or expedient. Certainly, the House of Commons had a right to call for explanation before they exposed their count 1 y to the ruinous calamities of war. What principally made him rife now, was the extravagant and extraordinary doctrine which the Minister's friends wished to press upon the country; they bad before gone a great length upon confidence, but now, * their arguments went to deprive the House entirely of their deliberative capacity upon matters of the most important magnitude to the interests of the nation. In short, their system was nothing less than a bold and alarming attempt to annihilate every right and privilege of the Houie; and this sort of reasoning they had been driven to, and assumed indist'ess and despair, when all their other fallacies had failed them, and in lieu of those monstrous defences, which they bad been obliged to make for their monstrous conduct. The idea of prerogative was very high, indeed, with those gentlemen, when they declared, that the power of the Commons to stop the supplies was an infringement upon the King's prerogative to make peace and war, two points as distinct as any two could be. T hey were two distinctly different powers "sted in two distinctly different bodies. After dwelling upon this part of his argument, Mr. Windham next mentioned that degree of confidence, which had heen urged with such intemperate zeal by all the Minister's friends, confidence in individuals was a subject into which he would not go; but the necessary confidence in the executive Government, ho 'asas much a friend to as any man ; however, he could not ttny that confidence so far as to fay, that the country ought to proceed to war upon a secret article of a treaty, which nQ f«son knew of or understood, except the Minister of the
Crown. The Minister's friends had ventured too far on thiis
Mr. W, Mr. TV. Grant remarked, that the constitution had wisely Grant, committed all negociations with foreign powers to the Crown; that the cafe was precisely the lame with respect to an armed and unarmed negociation; and that if the House were to interfere in negociations with foreign powers, they ought to take them wholly into their own hands, because their interference would render them impracticable by the Ministers of the Crown. The necessary consequences of negociations in the hands of numerous bodies, from the popular Assemblies of Athens to the Polish Diet, ever had been, and ever would be, the publication of what ought to r emaiu secret, intrigues, dissentions, cabals, and the interposition «f foreign influence. As the functions of Government were now exercised in all the political contests in Parliament, it was never once imagined that any foreign influence was felt; but in the reign of Charles 11. when the House of Commons, from a well-founded jealousy cf the Crown, interfered more than it ought to have done, in negociations with foreign powers, foreign influence prevailed in proportion to the extent of the interference. The confidence which the House was called upon to give, was not a confidence in any particular person, but a constitutional confidence in the Minister. It had been stated, that when the House was called upon to vote money, the hour of inquiry commenced:but the assertion was not true either in principle or in fact. It was often necessary to vote
money without a particular inquiry into the circumstances ort
Mr. Chancellor Pitt declared, that notwithstanding the Mr. Titt. many calls which had been made upon him, and the many harsh epithets which had been applied to his silence, his fense os the duty which he owed to his Sovi reign and his country, should still remain the rule of his conduct. He meant to enter into no details of the pending negociations, into no explanations inconsistent with his official duty, but to state loch general considerations as, in his opinion, ought to puide the conduct of the House. No man who did not believe, whether with or without reason, that he was capable of wilfully deceiving the House, would suspect that he wished to keep back any information which it was proper to give, or that he was less alive than any Member of the House to the consequences which the decision of peace or war involved within it. There was nothing in the system of Government Snce he had been honoured with a place in his Majesty's councils, which did not shew that, as far as personal considerations went, he had as much to lose, both in faux and character, by involving the country unnecessarily in a war, and interrupting its growing prosperity; but he should ill deserve the situation which he held, were he capable, on that account, of avoiding to look fairly at the general situation of the country with respect to foreign powers, and consulting his present ease and convenience, at the risk, of great danger to the nation at some future period. What was then the nature of the question, and what the circumstances not before in discussion? Government was not calling on the House to proceed or follow up the address on his Majesty's Message with any farther vote; but those who moved and supported the Resolutions, were calling upon them to retract the address which 'hey had voted. He did not mean to fay that they ought not to retract, if they thought that they had fallen into an error;
but they ought to do it with simplicity and candour; which, the Resolutions, if voted, would not do, for they did not rescind the address. They only fettered the executive power in a particular instance, by declaring a general position; and. they did that obliquely, and by halves, which ought to be done fully and directly, if done for any found purpose; The first ground of argument in support of these resolutions was, that the House mull not pledge their constituents to support a war without a distinct view of the cause. But, was the Address voted without any explanation? Certainly not. His Majesty's Message expressly stated, that an armament was necessary to give effect to the negotiations in which he Was engaged, for laying the foundations of a solid and lasting peace, and to have stated the particulars of those negociations would have been to defeat them. But the House was not pledged to engage in a war without farther explanation, as had been argued on the other side. Had it been said, that the negotiations bave failed, and his Majesty's Ministers have advised a declaration of war in confidence of the support of the Commons, promised in the address, those who now contended that it pledged the House to war, would have been the first to affirm that it did not. The House would give confidence to the servants of the Crown pending the negotiations, but that was substantially different from pledging, their constituents to support a war, should their negociation. prove unsuccessful. In a negociation, the most material particulars could not be stated; but, the cause of war was definite, and could easily be explained; and therefore the House was never understood to be pledged to it till that explanation wa» given; nor were the supplies ever called for without it. Messages similarto the present, demanding suppliesto strengthen the hands of the King, had often been sent. If the ground of the present addition to the naval force arose clearly out of the treaty of alliance with Prussia, it could be clearly and easily stated; but reasons of expediency arising from a combination of various views and circumstances, which he formerly explained to be the reasons, could not be stated safely. The House, on the confidence reposed in Ministers, had admitted the expediency of an armament, and voted an address, , but whether war or peace should be the result of that armament, and he desired to he understood as giving no assurance either way, they were not pledged to support a war; they had not given up their judgement on the case when it came before them Jthey might withhold the supplies, and call the Ministers to account for the advice they had given. That which was a sufficient cause for an armament, might not be a sufficient cause for a war; and those who contended that supplies for an armament ought not to be voted without a particular explanation,
planation, must give up the principle 011 which they had voted an additional number of seamen; and the principleon which a rightbonourablegentleman, Mr. Fox, had said when an addition of troops for the defence of the West Indies was propo/ed, that if the addition was meant to be permanent, he would oppose it; but that if any of his Majesty's Ministers would fay, that there were circumstances which made it necessary for a year, he would agree to it. No gentleman on his fide of the House had denied the right of refusing the supplies; but argued only, that tograntthem without explanation, was in the discretion of the House. If gentlemen meant to contend that there ought never to be an armed negociation without all the reasons of it being first submitted to the House} they ought to say so at once; the negociation would then rest wholly with the House; and they ought to call for ail the papers, and other information, relating to it, instead of putting questions to men in office. Of this gentlemen seemed to be aware, and therefore they disavowed the prin* ciple while they adopted the practice, and by calling on the House to aflert their privileges, wished to weaken those very privileges, and injure thecountry by aline of conduct which was neither constitutional, nor, if constitutional, consistent. Were those the friends of the rights of the House who desired them to retract what they had done indirectly, without avowing their error, and to say that the country should give up all the possible benefits of negociation, without examining the papers on which alone a judgment could be formed of its nature and result. Admitting, for the sake of argument, that the demands of Russia were to retain Oczakow and the barren country between the Bog and the Neister, which whether they were or not, Ministers could not state, what security could any of those give who stated them to be so, that if we were to disarm, Russia would not rise in her demands?" Let Russia take all her conquests, let her push u them to the extremity, and drive the Turks out of Europe, "we have no interest in it." To those who could maintain such a proposition, he would not argue. By our defensive system, we were bound, not by any stipulation of treaty, but obvious interest, to take care that Prussia, our ally, should not be rendered insufficient, by the aggrandizement of any other power, to afford us that aid which we expected; in like manner was Prussia bound to us, and accordingly, had assisted us in 1787, in wresting Holland from France. Our joint right to interfere in the present, or any other instance, to prevent either of the parties from being rendered less secure, was the fame which justified the interferenc* of a single state, and which; warranted our interference in Holland. The principle was therefore just, whatever might be the poVot.XXIX. A a licy.