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formation there would be an end of all | Russia against that treaty, and even at the confidence, and at this time, when Europe time the seizure of the Danish fleet was was under the controul of France, the lives known at Petersburgh, the emperor of of individuals, friendly to this country, Russia seemed more disposed than before would inevitably fall a sacrifice. There were, to renew his relations with this country.however, facts in corroboration, which As to all that had been urged against the proved that his majesty's ministers did re Orders in Council, and against the dispute ceive private information of the nature al- with America, those were questions hé luded to, and no statement appeared, even in should not now enter into. While negothe papers published by order of the French ciation with America was pending, it was government, to contradict the assertion. doubtless better to abstain from any disThat information was corroborated by a cussion that would only tend more to inrariety of other channels wholly uncon flame the minds of the two countries.—He nected with each other. It was corrobo- lamented the uncalled-for mention of the rated by the testimony of the government state of Ireland. The concessions alluded of Portugal, to whom it was proposed to to by the noble baron could not now be make common cause with the continent thought of. Indeed, even if those conagainst England, and nite their fleet cessions were made, still greater ones with that of Spain, of France, and of Den- would be called for, and there would be no mark, to enable the confederacy to make end to such demands. He had made it a general attack upon these islands. It was his business to trace the evil in Ireland to corroborated by the testimony of differ- its remotest source; and he was convinced ent persons in Ireland, where, strange to that the concessions alluded to would not say, all the designs and projects of the quiet the people of that country for one enemy were most speedily known, and single month. where it was promised that the combined The Earl of Buckinghanshire said, he fleets of Spain, Portugal, and Denmark, gave the noble lord credit for the truth of would make a descent both on Ireland the information he had received, but he had and this country. Nay, what was more, not seen any document to prove that Dennot only were these means pointed out to mark was in league with France, or that the disaffected in Ireland, but they were, the Danish fleet was to be employed by moreover, made acquainted with the the enemy. He referred to Mr. Pitt's period of time when the design was to be opinions respecting the rights of indepencarried into execution. As to the inten- dent states, and contended, that that great tions of Denmark towards this country, statesman would never have countenanced as little doubt could be entertained. It such a proceeding as the attack upon
Denwas now well known that Denmark, upon
mark. a comparison of the inconveniences that The Earl of Lauderdale considered it would result from a rupture with this an extraordinary mode of endeavouring country and with France, was of opinion to procure unanimity, by withholding all that the disadvantages of a war with documents, if there were any that could France would be less than those of a war give authenticity to the statement of miwith England ; and, as to the state of nisters. Why were not the Secret Artiforward preparation of her fleet, certain cles of the Treaty of Tilsit produced ? It circumstances appeared to our naval offi- would not be necessary to give the names cers, which proved to them that the fleet of the persons who communicated to miwas intended soon to put to sea. Now, nisters their information; but, if it existed, as to the question, why we did not also surely they might give the information attack the Russian fleet, there were abun- itself to the house. The fact however, dant reasons for not doing it. Was it that the Treaty of Tilsit had nothing to wished that we should have proceeded to do with the attack upon Copenhagen. Cronstadt and seize the Russian fleet, That treaty was concluded in July; the while we left the Danish fleet of 16 sail attack on Copenhagen took place early in of the line behind us? The Russian fleet, | August, and the Expedition must have besides, was not so ready for sea, nor so becn at least some weeks in preparation. well calculated in any respect as the Da- With respect to the stores said to have nish fleet to carry the designs of the been collecting at Copenhagen, it was well enemy into execution. Moreover, there known, that the Danish government anwere many circumstances in the Treaty nually expended a certain sum in laying of Tilsit which indisposed the people of in naval stores, but not more this year
than usual. The Danish fleet was far | omit the fourth paragraph in the motion from being well equipped, even when foran Address to the Throne (viz. the parasent over here. But the Danes were said graph respecting the Seizure of the Danish to be in hostility with us. Surely, when Fleet), and the question being put, “ That we attacked a man's property, we had no the said paragraph do stand part of the moright to consider it as an aggression that tion," the same was carried in the affirmhe en oured to repet us. The noble ative. lord then took a view of the conduct of “ DISSENTIENT --Because no proof of ministers with regard to Portugal. He hostile intention on the part of Denmark thought the flattering prospects held out has been adduced, nor any case of necesrespecting the trade to the Brazils ex- sity made out, to justify the attack upon tremely delusive, and observed, that not-Copenhagen, without which, the measure withstanding the secret understanding is, in our conception, discreditable to the which ministers' pretended they had with character and injurious to the interests of Portugal, the Prince Regent would have this Country. remained at Lisbon, had not an article W. FREDERICK, VASSAL HOLLAND, appeared in the Moniteur stating that the
NORFOLK, House of Braganza had “ ceased to reign.”
SIDMOUTH, The late Orders of Council he declared to
GREY, be highly unconstitutional, as they con “DISSENTIENT, for the above reasons,
and fiscated property, and dispensed with the for those that follow :-Because, It has Navigation Act, without the authority of only been through the slow and painful parliament.
progression of many ages, that civilized Lord Mulgrave said, that ministers never nations have emerged from a state of conpretended to have possession of any Se-tinual insecurity and violence, by the cret Articles of the Treaty of Tilsit; but establishment of an universal public law, they were possessed of secret projects and whose maxims and precedents have been agreements entered into at Tilsit. With long acknowledged to be of the same force regard to Portugal, he assured the noble and obligation, as the municipal constiearl, that there was not only an under- tutions of particular states. A system standing with that power, but that a se- which has gradually ripened with the adcret treaty had been concluded between vancement of learning and the extension his majesty and the Prince Regent. The of commerce, and which ought to be held only reason why that treaty was not laid sacred and inviolate by all governments, as on the table was, that it contained an arti- binding the whole civilized world under ele, stipulating that it should not be made one politic and moral dominion.-Because, public without the consent of both the Alleged departures from the principles contracting parties. He could not com- and authority of this public law, in the municate it until that authority was given. earliest stages of the French Revolution, The motion for the amendment moved were held out by the parliament of Great by the duke of Norfolk was then put and Britain, as the origin and justification of negatived.
the first war with revolutionary France, Lord Grenville rose to move another and because in all its subsequent stages, amendment. The address inplied an ap- the continuance of hostilities was uniprobation of the rejection of the offered me formly vindicated in various acts of state, diation of Russia. Instead of which he pro as being necessary for the support of the posed to insert words, which would have the moral and political order of the world, effect of stating, that their lordships could against the avowed disregard and subvernot but feel that their approbation must de sion of it by the different governments of pend upon the circumstances of the case'; France, in their groundless and unprovoked and that they therefore could not express attacks upon the independence of unofany opinion upon the subject, until the fending nations.-Because, The people of necessary information was submitted to G. Britain, on being repeatedly called them. This amendment was put, and also upon by the King and Parliament to supnegatived without a division. The origi- port the public law, thus alleged to have nal Address was then agreed to, and or been violated, and to exhibit an example dered to be presented to his majesty in the to the most distant ages, of inflexible nausual form.
tional virtue, submitted to the heaviest [PROTEST AGAINST THE SEIZURE OF THE burdens, and sacrificed the most essential DANISH FLEET.] A motion was made to advantages, rather than consent to any
peace, which was considered by their go- l had been lost by a contempt of its domi
an abandopment of their nion. Because, information of a projected allies, or as an inadequate security for the confederacy between France and Denrights and privileges of other nations: and mark, assumed, without evidence, to have because it appears in many State Papers, been communicated to ministers through during the progress of the wars with the channels which called, on their parts, for different governments of France, that it inviolable secrecy, might be a foundation was the duty and the interest of G. Britain, for acquitting them from blame, if the and her pledge to the world, to maintain question before the house had been the inviolate the acknowledged principles of propriety of their acquittal or condempublic law, as the only foundations upon nation, yet it cannot possibly justify, in which the relations of peace and amity the absence of all proof, an address to his between nations could be supported.---Be- majesty, pronouncing their attack upon cause, It is the first and most indispensable Copenhagen to be an act of indispensable maxim of public law, founded indeed upon duty ; because, giving credit to the declathe immutable principles of justice, that rations of ministers, that they had inforno violence should be offered by one state mations of such projected confederacy, it is to another, nor any intrusion made upon impossible for this house to know whether the rights, property, independence or se- they ought to have been acted upon to so curity of its inhabitants, except upon an dreadful an extent, without having before aggression by such state, and the refusal it, most precisely and distinctly, the speof adequate satisfaction ; or in the rare cific nature of such communications, so as instance of indispensable necessity, involv- to be able to estimate the credit due to ing national destruction, such as in the them, not only from the facts themselves, case of an individual would justify homi but from the situations and characters of cide, or destruction of property for self. the persons by whom they were made.preservation : and because the obsery- | The conduct, besides, of ministers, in the ance of this rule should, if possible, be whole transaction, is in manifest opposiheld more sacred by great and powerful tion to this principle of the attack. They nations, it being the very end and object made no such charge upon Denmark when of universal law, to give perfect security before Copenhagen, nor even pretended to to the weakest communities under the have invaded her with a cause of war. shadow of an impartial justice. --Because, Their language upon the spot, and even in The late attack upon Copenhagen, in a the Address proposed to his majesty, is the season of profound peace with the crown language of regret, a language utterly and people of Denmark, and immediately inconsistent with the vindication of a profollowing the solemn Declaration by the ceeding, which would have been as mild Crown Prince, of his resolution to main- and forbearing against an enemy, as it was tain his neutrality, and to consider any barbarous and treacherous against a friend. nation as an enemy which should seek to The position also of Denmark, when the disturb it, would, without some just cause, assault was made upon her, is the strongest which in this case is wholly unsupported evidence to resist the presumption of an by proof, be a most manifest and unprin- understanding with France. Her army cipled departure from the whole system of was in Holstein, which France was memoral policy and justice, which the Bri- nacing, whilst Zealand was left defenceless, tish Government had, as above, professed and the ships dismantled, at a moment to act upon, inasmuch as any contempt or when the consciousness of a treaty or conviolation of public law by the Government federacy must have suggested to all the of France, though it might release Great confederating parties, the necessity of conBritain from all observance of it, as far as centrating the whole force of Denmark, to regarded such offending belligerent, could defend her capital, and to secure her fleet. not possible destroy or affect its protective - Because, no evidence whatever has been sanctions in her intercourses with friendly laid before the house, to establish any hosand peaceable states. On the contrary, tile confederacy between Denmark and it ought to have invested the Law of Na- France, nor any design on the part of the tions with a more binding and sacred obli former to depart from the strictest neugation, since the professed object and jus trality ; on the contrary, the above-mentification of our war with France at that tioned solemn declaration of the Crown very moment was to restore to a suffering Prince to.the British minister ought to have world the good faith and security which been received by his majesty's servants as Vol. X.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
the pledge of a firm resolution to maintain receive vindication by proof of its justice, neutrality, and because nothing short of or condemnation, in the absence of it, from a hostile design in the government of the parliament of G. Britain, she has lost Denmark could justify the demand' of her moral station in the world, since the her fleet, or the bombardment of Copen- very system of wrong and violence, which hagen, to enforce the surrender of it.— she has so long confederated Europe to Because, It was completely in the power destroy, at the expence of her blood and of G. Britain to have protected the Danish resources, will have been established and fleet from any hostile attack of France, confirmed by her own example. Because, which destroys the pretence of such an A whole nation ought not in the mean time indispensable necessity as could alone jus- to be dishonoured, nor its immemorial chatify even the slightest trespass upon_a racteristic brought into question for the peaceable and unoffending state.-Because, acts of ministers; and because it is the Still assuming, in the absence of all evi- duty of those subjects, who, by the condence to the contrary, that the government stitution of the government, have the high of Denmark was faithful to her neutrality, privilege of perpetuating their sentiments no speculation of the probable fall of her upon the public records of their country, fleet into the possession or power of France, to vindicate themselves from the impucould possibly justify its hostile seizure by tation of having acquiesced in acts of the G. Britain. Such a principle would be greatest injustice.
6 ERSKINE.” utterly subversive of the first elements of public law, as being destructive of the independence of weaker states, inasmuch as it would create a jurisdiction in the stronger
Thursday, January 21, 1808. nations to substitute their own security and The house met this day for the dispatch convenience for the general rule, and invest of business. At three o'clock, Mr. Quarme, them also with the sole privilege of deter- yeoman usher of the black rod, appeared mining the occasions upon which they within the bar, and informed the house might consider them to be endangered; that the lords, authorized by virtue of his and because to justify the attack and plun- majesty's commission, desired the immeder of a weak unoftending power, upon diate attendance of the house, in the house the assumption that a stronger bellige- of peers, to hear the commission read. rent might otherwise attack and plunder The Speaker, accompanied by several her, would be to erect a new public law members, accordingly attended. On their upon the foundations of dishonour and return, the Speaker took the chair, and violence, making the tyranny of one na- acquainted the house, that in pursuance of tion a warrant for substituting the domi- the provisions of an act of the 24th of his nion of oppression for the sacred obliga- present majesty, he had ordered writs to tions of morality, humanity, and justice.- be issued for the election of members for Because, supposing it to have been not the following places: Beaumaris, in the only probable, but even certain, that room of lord Newborough, deceased : LinFrance could have succeeded in carrying coln, in the room of colonel Monson, deaway in the winter the ships and stores ceased: Tavistock, in the room of lord from Copenhagen, but without the consent viscount Howick, now earl Grey: the of Denmark, faithful to her neutrality, the county of Monaghan, in the room of R. iniquity of that act, in sound policy, inde- Dawson, esq. deceased ; and the county pendently of all considerations of justice, of Donnégal, in the room of H. V. Brooke, ought to have been left to the French Go-esq. deceased. The Clandestine Outlawry vernment to perpetrate; because the car. bill was, according to custom, read a first, cases of the ships would have been the and ordered to be read a 2nd time. —New only fruit of an act of the deepest atrocity, writs were ordered as follow: For the bowhilst the indignation of a brave and gene- rough of Mitchel, in the room of G. G. rous people, now too justly directed against Mills, esq. who had accepted the Chiltern G. Britain, would then have been pointed Hundreds: for Whitchurch, in the room against France; and Denmark, with the of the hon. W. Broderick, who had acprotection of our fleets, might have kept. cepted the office of one of the lords comopen the Baltic to our commerce,
missioners of the treasury: for Stamford, tended our maritime means of restoring in the room of general Leland, deceased; the tranquillity of the world. Because, and for Clithero, in the room of the hon. Until this attack upon Copenhagen shall J. Cust, now lord Brownlow.
[The Lords COMMISSIONERS' SPEECH.] | liberty, for the happiness, for the preThe Speuker acquainted the house that eminence which we enjoyed; to be thankthat house had been in the house of ful, that instead of our means having been peers, where the lord chancellor, one of | impaired by our difficulties, they had, on the lords authorized by his majesty's com the contrary, increased with them, and mission, had read a most gracious speech had been cemented by the very circumfrom his majesty, of which, to prevent stances which were projected for their demistakes, he had obtained a copy.—He struction. Great Britain at the present then proceeded to read the Speech from moment exhibited the astonishing spectathe chair, for which we refer to our report cle of a country, which, at the end of 15 of the proceedings of the lords, see p. 1. years war with a most powerful antagonist, After the Speaker had finished the Speech, had gained every thing, and lost nothing.
Viscount Hamilton (son of the marquis Every where we had inflicted blows on of Abercorn) rose to move the Address. our enemy; no where had we received His lordship began by observing, that he a blow from him. Our commerce had would not waste the time of the house, by flourished; our wealth had encreased; our entering too much into detail on a subject possessions had multiplied. Our navy, which they understood a great deal better always formidable, had swept every hosthan he could possibly pretend to do. But tile fleet from the face of the ocean. War, they all knew the situation of Europe, and the curse of every other nation, had to the situation of Great Britain; they all Great Britain been a comparative blessing. knew the nature of the struggle in which. Indeed, such was the extraordinary state this country was engaged; they all knew of Europe, that he apprehended very the inveteracy of the merciless and exas much that war was the only mode by perated foe, who was bent on their de- which the advantages which we had acstruction; they all knew the value of the quired, could be maintained. Peace, unobjects for which Great Britain had to der the present circumstances, while it contend; they all knew that she stood would be as expensive to us as war, would alone in the contest, that on no human be tenfold more dangerous. Successfully, power could she place any reliance, that however, as we had resisted the machinashe had to depend only on her own re tions and the violence of the foe, still the sources, on her own spirit, and on her own house was not less bound to take care that determination. These were facts that those ministers, whose duty it was to diwere self-evident, they were subjects of rect the resources and the energies of the public notoriety, and he, therefore, trusted country, were fulfilling that duty; that that the house would acquit him of pre- they were competent to the discharge of sumption in speaking of them. We were the functions with which they were innot only opposed as man to man, or as vested; and that they deserved a contination to nation, against one of the most nuation of the confidence of the country. gigantic powers that ever existed in the This would be best ascertained by a reworld, but to a power which, in addition trospect of their acts, and those acts were to its own strength, had succeeded in ab so fully described in his majesty's most sorbing into itself almost every other Eu- gracious speech, that it appeared to him ropean state. The situation of the coun needless to recapitulate them. In the retry was, therefore, most critical ; it re- gret which his majesty expressed at havquired the most vigorous exertions, it de- ing been compelled to adopt hostile incamanded the most liberal sacrifices. Faint sures against Denmark, the house would heartedness would be our destruction. undoubtedly join; but it would be a regret There was no mid-way for us between unmixed with reproach, it would even be a success and ruin. Under such circum- regret overpowered by feelings of gratitude stances, the contemplation of the resources to his majesty for his paternal care in and spirit of the country, was a subject of rescuing the country from the most forconsolation and pride ; and, however the midable danger to which it had ever been protraction of the war, with the inevitable exposed; for, after the Treaty of Tilsit, burdens, and the partial obstruction to after the subsequent conduct of Austria commerce, which that protraction occa and of Denmark, it was impossible that sioned, were to be lamented, we had only any man could doubt of a combination of to look around us, to be thankful for the powers having been formed against us. contrast which we presented to the neigh- Perhaps, among the various causes which bouring nations; to be thankful for the had laid the continental states at the foot