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or intercourse between the court of Lon- | the dearest object of national concerndon and the courts of Petersburgh and national character. . He hoped he should Vienna. Were he to speak generally on not be charged with asperity in the rethe subject of peace or war, he would say, marks which he felt it his duty to make on that peace was beyond all question the what had fallen from the noble mover of first interest of England, it was our great- the Address, and from the hon. seconder. est blessing; but this was an abstract pro- He had heard the noble lord with great position ; he could not decide positively pleasure, on account of the considerable on this particular subject, in the absence ability which he had displayed: but, with of the papers, which would show, whether the highest deference and respect towards or not peace could have been obtained, him, he was bound to make a few obsercompatibly with the honour and interests vations on the doctrine he had broached. of the country. Of this he was sure, that Ministers, in his majesty's speech, justified the first object of any statesman in the the attack of a country, neutral, as it yet country ought to be to procure a peace, appeared, and unoffending, as it yet approvided such a peace were compatible peared, by declaring that a determination with that honour and those interests. He existed on the part of France, to seize the begged not to be understood, as in the fleet of Denmark, and to convert it into least degree advising, that in any negotia- the means of hostility against this countion this country should tamely listen to try. This was the justification in the the demands of France. To France he speech. But the noble lord and the hon. hoped England would never bow her head. seconder justified the step on the ground At this particular time he was fully aware that his majesty had too long forborn, and how much it became her, to stand firmly had been too long patient of the flagitious on the high ground to which she was en conduct of France to other powers, and titled, by her honour, by her dignity, by that he was right in departing from the her resources.

He was most ready to ad- course which, until that hour, he had premit, that his majesty's ministers would be scribed to himself. Now, with regard to fully justified in assuming the attitude he the first ground of justification, how the had described. If England stooped her determination of France to endeavour to head before France she would never raise compel the Danes to join the hostile conit again; but to say, whether ministers had federacy against this country, could jusacted right or wrong in the particular tify our government in attacking the cacase to which he alluded, was impossible. pital, and seizing the fleet of Denmark, His majesty had declared, that all the without knowing whether or not she would papers necessary to elucidate the subject, have agreed to join that confederacy, was should be laid on the table. 'Till that beyond his comprehension.

If comprewere done, any opinion must be pre- hensible at all, it must be from the suppo

He would, therefore, abstain sition that the weakness of Denmark might any further reference to the conduct induce her to submit. Now, if he undergovernment on this subject. If it should stood the other ground of justification, it be shown that that conduct had been was, that our government were not bound right

, he would approve it; if wrong, he to wait for any indications from neutral would not hesitate to express his disap- nations ; but that, because Bonaparte had probation.—The next subject of great acted unjustly to such nations, our governimportance in his majesty's Speech was ment were authorised in acting unjustly the conduct of government with regard to too. In the whole course of the present Copenhagen. if he might describe what war it had been the high boast of this appeared to him the intention of his ma country, that her conduct had been uni. jesty's ministers on this point, it was to formly fair, forbearing, just, and modeobtain from parliament an unqualified ap- rate. It had been always used as a great probation of their conduct, without laying argument in that house, to induce the peobefore it any evidence of the urgency of ple to support their difficulties with firmthe motives by which they had been im- ness, that however unjust and oppressive pelled. They were ready to submit to the acts of France had been, England had the house the papers relating to the inter- evinced an opposite disposition, and had course between Petersburgh and Vienna, been as remarkable for her good faith as but they seemed desirous to abstain from France had been for her treachery. The the production of papers which led to a maintenance of such a character for hoe Step involving in itself what ought to be nour, dignity, and fidelity, must, in a long

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Vol. X.

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contest, be the surest pledge of success. to take up arms against us, not from If, therefore, the right hon gent. opposite choice, but necessity; and it was besides did not mean to produce any papers, to suitable to the noble and generous feelings throw a light on the inducements for the of the English nation to employ at all Copenhagen expedition, it was impossible times language as healing and conciliatory for him to concur in that part of the ad as possible.-Another topic of the speech dress which pledged him to an approba- on which he had one observation to make, tion of it. He agreed with the noble was contained in that paragraph which lord who spoke last, that the expedition related to the king of Sweden, and where might be defensible; he would not say his majesty is made to express a hope that that his majesty's ministers were in error. the house will feel with him the sacredThey might be justifiable. The facts were ness of the duty which the firmness and unknown to him, and, therefore, he could fidelity of that monarch had imposed upon not be expected to offer an opinion on him, and that it would concur in enabling

but should the right hon. gent. his majesty to discharge it in a manner opposite persist in withholding any infor- worthy of this country. If engagements mation on the subject, he pledged himself had been contracted with the king of to move for such papers as would bring Sweden, he had no doubt of the readiness the discussion fairly before the house. of the house to enable his majesty to fulfil There were two points which demanded them. But if it was in contemplation to attention; the first was the right, the se grant pecuniary subsidies to that monarch, cond was the policy of the measure; on he thought the house ought to pause ber both these points the house was at present fore it sanctioned such an application of without the materials of judging, and the the public' money: For, in the course most objectionable part of the address ap- of two or three months they might see peared to him to be that the house was gentlemen rising up on the opposite side; pledged to approve of the measure with- and speaking of him in terms similar to out having these materials before it,- those which they had this evening heard There was another topic in the speech, re- applied to the emperor of Russia. It was specting a new state of hostility, in which in the recollection of every one present, we had been lately involved with the that a very short time ago panegyrics, courts of Petersburgh, Vienna, and Berlin, quite as highly coloured as those now beon which it was almost impossible to de- stowed on the king of Sweden, had been cide till the papers containing the cor- lavished upon the emperor Alexander, respondence were laid before the house. when he was represented as magnanimous, He should only now observe, that nothing generous, disinterested in short, everything to him appeared more surprising than the that was great and good. Here, too, it was circumstance of England being at war possible, that he might be wrong, but all with Austria. That that power, which that he wished was that the house should had uniformly been our prop and support, not give any pledge till they were in our partner in misfortune, and our friend possession of the information necessary to on all occasions, should have been in- regulate their judgment. The house, he

fluenced to sacrifice its ancient attach- asserted, was equally destitute of informa-ment, and to break the numerous ties by tion upon the question relative to America which she was united to us, really seemned and neutral nations, and, till this informato him almost incredible----this was some tion was granted, he had no wish to antithing which he could not understand. cipate their opinion. He should only obBut, if Austria had been compelled in her serve generally, that he should be willing fallen state to acquiesce in the demands of and ready at all times to support any France, he hoped that on the part of this measures which might be found necescountry every degree of forbearance would sary for the assertion of our honour, or be exercised towards her. In regard to the maintenance of our interest.-There her, surely no conduct could be too mo was another topic of much importance Jerate, no language too conciliatory. To which might have been introduced into France ministers might use as harsh lan- the speech, but respecting which it was guage as they thought fit. 'She had been wholly silent, namely, the present state liberal in her abuse of us, and those who of Ireland. On this subject not one word judged it proper might retaliate. But a was said, though there was certainly none difference should be made between France to which it was more the duty of minister and those powers who had been induced to call the attention of parliament. H

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toped, however, that it was their intention / as had been well and ably stated by his

supply this omission, in the course of hon. friend, if he would allow him to call "he session of parliament. He was fully him so, into so short a space of time, a ensible of the importance which every greater number of important events than measure of a public nature derived from had ever in the compass of a similar period coming directly from the servants of the been accomplished, and certainly than had Town; and lie hoped that much time been effected by the administration which would not elapse before they came forward preceded them in office, he could not posI with some proposition calculated to quiet sibly feel any difficulty in supporting the those apprehensions which were at this address which expressed approbation of raoment, he was afraid, equally general their measures. He looked upon it to be and well founded.--Having said these few no inconsiderable test of the unobjectionwords, he professed to have no intention of able nature of the address, that neither the taking the sense of the house upon the sagacity of the hon. member, who had just address. Upon questions where they were sat down, nor of the noble lord who prewholly without information, it would be ceded him, could select any one point to absurd to call upon it to express an opi- which they could seriously object. But, alon. And as to the affair of Copenhagen, when the speech comprehended, as it did, be promised that he would, on a future so many and such various topics, respecting recasion, move for the production of the Russia, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, and necessary documents, so that it might at Sweden, it was extremely easy for any least be fairly brought under discussion. gentlemen to comment upon a separate All that he wished now was, not to be un point, on which each might leave that derstood as approving of it; and the house indulging the high ambition, that his remarks he had made were intended chiefly had been the speech which remained unto prevent his being told afterwards, that answered. And when ministers were to by consenting to the address he had pre- be called to account for what they had cluded himself from any future investi- done, it must follow that those who gation of this important topic. Certainly, should do the most, would have the no event had occurred in the course of the most to answer for. He would agree last century the cause of which so loudly with the right honourable gentleman called for inquiry. He hoped that minis- opposite, that it would be impolitic to ters had conducted themselves in a manner adopt any measure by which the characdeserving the approbation of the people of ter of the country might be affected, if the England; if not, he was well assured that powers of Europe retained their indepenthe country would not submit to the oblo-dence, or if the government of Denmark quy of a disgraceful transaction.

could have been considered free to follow Mr. Milnes said, that in oftering his sen- that course which its honour and interest timents on the present occasion to the house, dictated. But no gentleman would conhe should endeavour, as much as possible, tend, that there was a power on the conon compress closely, aswell the ideas which tinent which could have resisted the manhe conceived himself

, as those which had dates of the enemy. The question resbeen suggested to him by others. Though pecting the Danish expedition had been the

gentlemen on the other side had con- considered by the right hon. gent. with demned many of the measures adverted to reference to two general propositions ; in the speech from the throne, it had not first, whether the necessity justified the been asserted by any one, that they had measure ; and secondly, whether the connot been completely successful ; and, viction of his majesty's ministers respectwhatever they might think of the principle ing that necessity, was sufficient to justify upon which those measures were founded, them. The first had been stated by the they could not but consider it fortunate for noble lord (Milton,) the latter by the right the country, that they had, by success , hon. gent. who had just sat down.

It was proved beneficial to its interests. He could the first duty of ministers to act upon

the without difficulty, concur in the address, necessity, and it was equally their duty to because he had no hesitation in giving his use their discretion in judging of that neentire approbation to the conduct of his cessity, and if, in acting upon it, they were majesty's government. If ministers had, to errat all, it was much better that they since the termination of the last session of should err upon the side of public secuparliament, performed so many essential rity. He should not then enter into an services to the nation, if they had crowded, argument to shew that government were

justified in acting upon probabilities, be- under great disguise, still found no procause that doctrine was consonant with tection from French controul in her unthe law of nations, if any public law had broken strength; to Portugal, who equalsurvived the subjugation of the powers of ly found none in her weakness and comthe continent, or if there was now any pliance; and to Austria, who, without rule for the conduct of nations to be found any maritime interests, seemed forced in Europe but that of the Napoleon code into this maritime league only to finish He had lately met with a passage in Vattel and round off this confederacy, to supply which fully justified that principle. The whatever was this night wanting in argupassage he alluded to stated, " that when ing from the analogy of the rest of Euthe security of a nation was threatened, rope, and to shew how miserable indeed its government should act upon reasonable was the deception, if Denmark ever presumption," and concluded with assert- imagined that she alone of every other ing, " that too scrupulous an attention to state was to be exempted from the invajustice in times of danger, paved the way sion of her neutrality. With a large navy, to slavery.” So far the authority of this with a more extended commerce, and great civilian justified the conduct of his with the keys of the Baltic in her hands, majesty's ministers. On the ground of would Buonaparte have allowed her to reconfidence alone he should be disposed to main as a monument of reproach to the concur in the address, though ministers vassalage of surrounding countries, and to had not submitted the sources of their se have broken the continuity of the chain cret information either to the curiosity of which binds every shore of Europe ?-He that house, or to the vengeance of Bona- ought not to quit the subject without beparte. But though he could give his vote stowing a remark on the opinion of the for the address on the ground of confi- noble lord (Milton), that the expedition dence as to their secret information, he should be condemned, because the Crown yet felt, that he could justify the conduct Prince of Denmark was in Holstein, and of ministers upon facts which were acces- his forces unprepared. Strange as that sible to them all. If Denmark had been sentiment might be, it excited no surprise really worse disposed to this country than in his mind. It was a specimen of the polishe was, would she not have pursued pre- tics of the school of which the noble lord çisely the same course she had followed ? was the disciple, or perhaps leader; and Would she not have delayed her Declara- when a noble lord (H.Þetty) announced that tion till she was fully prepared, and re- their leading policy was “ nos rebus serserved some causes of complaint, till she vamus secundis,'? or that they would never might seasonably makc them the ground assist a friend till he was in a condition not of her hostility. We were not to expect want it, he could not but think the advice any explicit declaration of their motives of the noble lord perfectly natural, that from powers under the influence of France. we should never resist an enemy till he is Denmark had acted precisely as she would in a condition to despise our resistance.have done if she had entered into the The hon. gent. insisted, that the more views of our enemy, and this was a suffi- concealed the attempt, the greater necescient ground for the measures adopted sity, there was to guard against its misby ministers. The extraordinary concen-chievous tendency, by a prompt and vigotration of French trpops on the frontiers rous defeat of it. The treaty of Tilsit had of Holstein, and the submission of Den- fixed and bound the emperor of Russia mark to the decrees of France, and her fast to the views and measures of Buoremonstrances against our maritime rights, naparte; every act of his, since the executogether with her active and formidable tion of that treaty, had daily and hourly naval equipments, were sufficient evi- evinced his increasing adherence to his dences of lier submission to Bonaparte. plans and designs against this country. The Another ground of his confidence in mi-, right hon. gent. had declined to enter into nisters was derived from a view of the any argument on the subject of the Rutstate of Europe. Let us pass over every sian mediation, because information had other evidence, said the hon. gent. and been promised to be laid before the house; look only at Europe, confederated as she and also on the conduct of the courts of is against us; to Prussia, whose Declara- Vienna and Berlin, because he should tion against England France hardly move for information on those subjects on thought it necessary to conceal in the hard a future day. He would not, therefore, conditions of her peace; to Russia, who, take up the time of the house, by entering

hoped, however, that it was their intention as had been well and ably stated by his to supply this omission, in the course of hon. friend, if he would allow him to call the session of parliament. He was fully him so, into so short a space of time, a sensible of the importance which every greater number of important events than measure of a public nature derived from had ever in the compass of a similar period coming directly from the servants of the been accomplished, and certainly than had crown; and he hoped that much time been effected by the administration which would not elapse before they came forward preceded them in office, he could not poswith some proposition calculated to quiet sibly feel any difficulty in supporting the those apprehensions which were at this address which expressed approbation of moment, he was afraid, equally general their measures. He looked upon it to be and well founded.--Having said these few no inconsiderable test of the unobjectionwords, he professed to have no intention of able nature of the address, that neither the taking the sense of the house upon the sagacity of the hon. member, who had just address. Upon questions where they were sat down, nor of the noble lord who prewholly without information, it would be ceded him, could select any one point to absurd to call upon it to express an opi- which they could seriously object. But, nion. And as to the affair of Copenhagen, when the speech comprehended, as it did, he promised that he would, on a future so many and such various topics, respecting occasion, move for the production of the Russia, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, and necessary documents, so that it might at Sweden, it was extremely easy for any least be fairly brought under discussion. gentlemen to comment upon a separate All that he wished now was, not to be un- point, on which each might leave that derstood as approving of its and the house indulging the high ambition, that his remarks he had made were intended chiefly had been the speech which remained unto prevent his being told afterwards, that answered. And when ministers were to by consenting to the address he had pre- be called to account for what they had cluded himself from any future investi- done, it must follow that those who gation of this important topic. Certainly, should do the most, would have the no event had occurred in the course of the most to answer for. He would

agree last century the cause of which so loudly with the right honourable gentleman called for inquiry. He hoped that minis- opposite, that it would be impolitic to ters had conducted themselves in a manner adopt any measure by which the characdeserving the approbation of the people of ter of the country might be affected, if the England, if not, he was well assured that powers of Europe retained their indepenthe country would not submit to the oblo-dence, or if the government of Denmark quy of a disgraceful transaction.

could have been considered free to follow Mr. Milnes said, that in oftering his sen that course which its honour and interest timents on the present occasion to the house, dictated. But no gentleman would conhe should endeavour, as much as possible, tend, that there was a power on the conto compress closely, aswell the ideas which tinent which could have resisted the manhe conceived himself, as those which had dates of the enemy. The question resbeen suggested to him by others. Though pecting the Danish expedition had been the gentlemen on the other side had con- considered by the right hon. gent. with demned many of the measures adverted to reference to two general propositions ; in the speech from the throne, it had not first, whether the necessity justified the been asserted by any one, that they had measure ; and secondly, whether the connot been completely successful ; and, viction of his majesty's ministers respectwhatever they might think of the principle ing that necessity, was sufficient to justify upon which those measures were founded, them. The first had been stated by the they could not but consider it fortunate for noble lord (Milton,) the latter by the right the country, that they had, by success, hon. gent. who had just sat down. It was proved beneficial to its interests. He could the first duty of ministers to act upon the without difficulty, concur in the address, necessity, and it was equally their duty to because he had no hesitation in giving his use their discretion in judging of that neentire approbation to the conduct of his cessity, and if, in acting upon it, they were majesty's government. If ministers had, to err all, it was much better that they since the termination of the last session of should err upon the side of public secuparliament, performed so many essential rity. He shoul not then enter into an services to the nation, if they had crowded, argument to shew that government were

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