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Swedish troops should in conjunction force reverse of fortune might endanger the emthem to raise that blockade, and moving pire itself. It is the more painful to me on the left bank of the Oder, threaten the that such insinuations should appear, for a communications in the rear of the French moment, to be justified by fact, because I army. They might besiege Stettin which know how little they are deserved, and how is a large place with a smail garrison, and different they are from those feelings that in a bad state of defence; were it taken, both actuate the government and the coanthe communication with Berlin, the Elbe, try at large. It is for his majesty's governand the rest of Germany would be at once ment to decide what are the objects of open.-If the French remain in Poland, a their present policy, aud what are the considerable force acting in this manner on means most likely to secure those objects: their rear would create the most serious but I should neglect my duty if I did not embarrassments, and probably force them observe, that should no effort be made this to evacuate Poland, or at least oblige spring by the British troops, it is more them to detach such a number of troops than probable that the above observations as would soon leave them inferior to the will recur in full vigour to his inperial allies.-Should even the French occupy the majesty's mind; if so, I need not point out line of the Oder, this diversion would be of what will be the probable result. Eugland, the greatest importance, as the Russians I am aware may secure herself ; but I am would in that case probably march with the convinced that his majesty's government greater part of their army into Silesia.-- feels to much for the honour of the counThis proposed operation would be attend-try, and the future happiness of Europe, to ed with little danger, as the British Army compromise for partial views a prospect would always have a retreat upon Stral- of general and permanent welfare. sund open to them, and from thence into No. 20. Extract of a Dispatch the Island of Rugen, from whence they from the marquis of Douglas, dated might be re-embarked. Stralsund in Saint Petersburgh 22nd March (3rd summer, is, I believe, a very strong place. April,) 1807, addressed to viscount Ho- have informed Monsieur de Zast wick.--Received by Mr. Sec. Canrow that I would undoubtedly make the ning, May 13th. proposition ; that I was convinced the The activity of England I have freBritish government meant to make a strong quently expatiated upon; but I must not diversion in favour of the allies, and was conceal from your lordship that this court, empowered to give them the strongest as- alive to the enbarrassments that surround surances on that subject; but that I could her, is determined, in spite of every arnot exactly piedge myself as to the quarter gument, to consider no act as directed toin which it would be made. The one now wards their particular support, that does not, proposed appeared to me to be highly ad- by occupying a part of the French forces, vantageous, and only attended with the or relieve her from their concentrated attacks. dinary risques of war, as in every event the No. 27.- Extract of a Dispatch retreat of the troops employed in that ser from the marquis of Douglas, dated vice would not be an bazardous one. Saint Petersburgh, April 27th, 1807; Your lordship will probably receive a com addressed to visc. Howick. -Received munication on this subject from baron by Mr. Sec. Canning, June 1st. Jacobi; lord Douglas has also, I under I am thoroughly convinced of the sinstand, written to you on the subject from cere and honourable intentions of the emPetersburgh.
peror; and yet as it is impossible that I No. 25.--Extract of a Dispatch from the should be deaf to the murmurs that sur
marq. of Douglas, dated Saint Peters- round me, to the expectations of thouburgh, March 19th, 1807, addressed sands, to the intrigues of a few, all more to visc. Howick.--Received by Mr. or less begiuning to seek the same object; Secretary Canning, April
so I cannot without some jealousy look to There is reason to suppose that it has the possible consequences. been forcibly put to the emperor by some diversion however take place on the part people here, little partial to England, that of G. Britain, or assisted by her troops, Russia is abandoned by her friends; that there is a great probability that in that the whole contest is left to her, and that case the emperor, from a point of honour, that even her intinzate ally, G. Britain, neg. would consider himself bound to act witha lects to support her at a crisis when any all possible energy.
House of Lords.
Council. He could not conceive, what Thursday, February 18.
there could be any danger in laying the ORDERS IN COUNCIL.) Lord Grenville substance of the information received by alluding to the expressions contained in ministers upon the table. the Orders in Council, which stated The Duke of Montrose opposed the moamongst the reasons for issuing them, that tion, and observed, that it would prevent the French Deeree had been executed persons from giving information to 'gowith increased rigour, said, that it was vernment, if an example was given of important the house should be in posses- laying information so obtained upon
the sion of the information on which this as table of the house. sertion was founded, particülarly as a
Lord Erskine contended, that the objeccontrary statement was contained in the tion of danger did not apply in this case, Note of the American plenipotentiaries, all that was desired being the date and which was on the table, and as a contrary substance of the information received. inference was to be deduced from those The teran, increased rigour, implied that circumstances which were publicly known. there had been not only a rigour, but afHe did not wish that any secret should be terwards an additional rigour, and he revealed, which it would be dangerous to thought the house ought to be in possesdisclose; but, merely that the substance sion of the substance of the information of such information should be laid on the which had authorised the use of this term. table, and which might be disclosed with The Lord Chuncellor contended, that out any danger. He therefore moved for communicating the date and substance, Copies or Extracts of all information re would in many instances ás effectually beceived by government, previous to the tray the source from which such informa11th of Nov. 1807, shewing that the French tion was derived, as if the names of the government had begun to execute its De- parties had been given, and might be procree with increased rigour.
ductive of great danger to individuals, and Lord Hawkesbury said, it must be ob- prevent government from in future revious, that it was scarcely possible there ceiving important information. The house could be any information upon this sub- then divided ject received from any accredited person,
Contents ... Proxies 20–47 or in any official shape. The information
Non Contents 23 .....
15-38 received by ministers, had satisfied them Majority for ld. Grenville's motion-9. with respect to the increased rigour ever
List of the Majority. cised by the French government; but it Gloucester,
Ellenborough, might be attended with serious inconveni Norfolk,
Lauderdale, ence and danger to many persons, if in Somerset,
Scikirk. formation received through the medium Bedford,
Trories, of commercial houses, or various other Essex,
Buie, sources, was to be laid on the table of Carlisle,
'I havet, that house. It was besides, he contended,
Bulkcley, a matter of notoriety from the answers of
Lucan, M. Regnier, which were mentioned in
Cholmondeley, ()ssory, all the newspapers two or three days af
Carnarvon, ter the 18th day of Oct. that the French
Shaftesbury, Decree was then executed with increased Grey,
St. John, Earl Grey was surprised to hear the noble
Darnley, secretary of state contend, that it must be
Stasell, obvious it was scarcely possible to have
Niendip, any accredited information upon this sub
Braybrooke, ject. He, on the contrary, thought, that
Grenville, it was precisely that subject on which if Auckland,
Carystort, there was any neutral minister remaining, Erskine,
File, or any British minister at a neutral court, Moira,
Southampton, it was likely to receive information from Hutchinson, Foley. accredited persons. He had never under RESTITUTION OF THE Danish FLEET.) stood, that the increased rigour of the -Lord Sidmouth desired that the clerk French government was a matter of noto should read the proclamation issued by riety previous to issuing the Orders in two noble lords prior to the attack upon VOL. X.
Cepenhagen, and his majesty's Declara-'| be argued, that that prince refused to ration. Both documents having been read tify the capitulation, and that by so doing accordingly, the noble lord said, that he he had precluded himself from any advanrose to submit to their lordships the mo- tages derivable from the proclamation of tion of which he had already given notice. our commanders, or the summons previous The purport of that motion referred to the to the commencement of the bombardeventual restoration of the vessels cap-ment. It was certainly true, that that tured at Copenhagen to Denmark; he high-minded personage had refused to would say, the eventual restoration, for it ratify the capitulation; but did it appear was possible that circumstances might arise that he acted in any manner to impede it? which would render such an arrangement we were, he would contend, bound to act impracticable. It was not impossible but upon that principle upon which we had that Denmark might fall as much under set out, namely, that of taking the Danish the power of France as any of the conti- navy in deposit. To this we were no less nental states, in which case no one would bound by honour and policy than by the think of advising the restoration of the strictest interpretation of the law of naDanish navy; for to restore it to Denmark tions. He would, with the permission of would be to place it at the disposal of their lordships, read to them an extract France. In the proposition which he had from the ablest writer on that important to make, it was far from his intention to subject, and which, though an extract, had interfere with that incontrovertible prero- nothing he could assure them in it which gative of his majesty which placed at his was not warranted by the contest.. His disposal all captures; neither was it his lordship here read several passages from intention to contravene any expressed opi- Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, tending to nion of that house. - Their lordships, by support his argument. The conduct of their vote on the first day of the session, the court of Denmark, he contended, could had recognized the justice of the measure not be considered as hostile. The war which placed the navy of Denmark in the began from We left the Crown possession of this country, and they had Prince no alternative but that of war. sanctioned and corroborated that decision There was another reason which made by their subsequent vote, that no further him anxious that their lordships should papers were necessary. He was not, he adopt his motion at present. He had would repeat, disposed to contravene these learned, that the Danish ships were ordered determinations. He was only acting on to be fitted out for the service of this counthe principles of his majesty's Declara- try. He was anxious to prevent so precition; on the principles of the Proclama- pitate and impolitica measure. The ships, tion issued by the two noble lords who by what he had heard, were quite unquacommanded the expedition against Copen- lified, or at least not qualified in the manhagen; and on the principles upon which ner our ships were, for the wear and tear ministers justified that expedition, when of our service. To render them so, would he endeavoured to persuade their lordships, require an expence which could be apthat the honour, the character, and the plied, with far greater advantage, to the interests of this country were involved in various ships now constructing, or under the eventual restoration of the Danish repair in our own dock-yards. But even if navy. Necessity and self-protection were the Danish ships were in a state fit to prothe grounds upon which the seizure of the ceed upon any service, he would still profleet of Denmark was justified. The re- test against their being employed. There jection of an inadmissible offer was assign was but one circumstance, the destruction ed as the reason for destroying the capital of a great part of the navy of England, of a neutral state. We offered to take the which would induce him to consent to our fleet in deposit-an arrangement to which making any use of the Danish navy, with the court of Denmark could not possibly our present maritime superiority.
We listen, without compromising its honour, did not want ships. We had enough to and exposing itself to the resentment of contend with the united navies of the France. To this principle, he conceived, world. He could not perceive, therefore, we were in honour bound to adhere. The the policy of fitting out this new accession offer of restoring the Danish navy upon to our maritine strength; but he could the re-establishment of peace, was even anticipate some probable advantages from made a fortnight after the declaration of following another course : he could devise war by the Crown Prince. But it might no systein of policy more likcly to conci
liate the Danes, and to draw them, by of Denmark, agreeably to the spirit of the degrees, into that close and friendly con- requisition referred to in the Proclamanection with us in which they were for- tion issued 'on the 16th of Aug. last by merly united. It would also tend to bring the commanders in chief of his majesty's back the emperor of Russia to his natural forces by sea and land emplóyed on that connection with this country—a connec- occasion, and renewed in their letter of tion which was dissolved no less by impe- the 1st of Sept. to the commander in chief rious necessity, than the rash and unwar of the land forces of his Danish majesty.”* rantable attack upon the Danish capital. Lord Boringdon could not suppress the He also looked, he confessed, with great anxiety he felt to enter his protest, as expectations, to the impression which a early as possible, against the resolution resolution of such magnanimity, justice, submitted to the house by the noble, visc. and consistency would make upon the He conceived that a proposition more nations of the continent. He could not novel in its principle, more unsuitable to anticipate any act of ours which could be the circumstances of the case, or the inmore likely to shake that enormous in- terest of the country, could hardly be fluence which France had acquired over submitted to the consideration of the the rest of Europe. It was by arming all house. The external enemies of the counthe nations of the continent against us, by try had pledged themselves to obtain a resplacing them in array, by exciting their titution of those ships; but he now, for feelings against what was called our ty- the first time, had 'the mortification of ranny and injustice, that that man, who seeing within those walls, a noble peer now wielded all the force of those nations, rise up and support the arguments they expected to prevail against us. The de- had used, and in this respect aid their de- : struction of this country was the great ob- signs. It certainly was not within the ject of his ambition : compared with this, walls of parliament that he had expected his victories at Lodi, at Austerlitz, at to have heard such arguments defended. Friedland, and at Auerstadt, were nothing It was not doing justice to the motion itin his estimation: to accomplish this, all self, to discuss it if it were to be conhis great talents, his genius, and his po- strued altogether literally, or as if the licy, were unceasingly directed. What spirit of it would not go to the actual remore effectual mode could there be of storation of the Danish fleet; for if the counteracting this design, than to render house were to agree to such a resolution, the instruments by which he proposed to it would be considered by all the world effeet it unavailing in his hands? 'As long as an acknowledgment that we had acted as England should preserve her ancient unjustly, and a pledge that we would make honour, magnanimity, and disinteresteri a restitution as soon as it was compatible ness, it was not to be credited that the with our security. If we were now to nations of the continent would zealously give such an acknowledgment, it could co-operate in any plan to destroy her -- not be supposed that foreign nations He would no longer detain their lordships. would not take advantage of It was not, as he stated at the commence moment of negociation for a general peace, ment of his speech, his intention to inter- and it would then appear as if we had no fere in the smallest degree with the exer- right to refuse it. The noble viscount had cise of the royal prerogative, or to suggest considered this as a case per se, and that any thing calculated to lower the country there was nothing like it in our history. in the estimation of foreign powers. His He might, however, have remembered the wish was, not to bind the government to case of the ships taken at Toulon last war, any measure inconsistent with the dignity which were surrendered to us by Frenchof the nation, but simply that the Danish men in trust only, and which were pronavy should be kept in salva custodia. mised to be restored to the king of France, His lordship concluded with moving the The French government gave every harsh following resolution : “ That it is highly epithet to this transaction; they called it important to the honour of this country, perfidy, treachery, and piracy; and at that, under present circumstances, no mea ihe commencement of the negociation for sures be taken with respect to the Ships a peace, required that those ships should of war now in the possession of his maj
. be restored to them. The British governin consequence of the Capitulation of Co- ment, however, would never listen to such penhagen, which may preclude the eventual restitution of them to the government
a proposal ; and the French ceased to in- | nish minister appeared in all things to sist upon it. If, however, a resolution excuse or palliate all the injuries received similiar to that which was now proposed from France, but to exaggerate in the had heen adopted on that occasion in highest degree every complaint which parliament, the French government would Denmark could have against this counnever have receded from its claim, and try.” Was this the conduct of a power those ships must have been restored to really and sincerely neutral, or was it to France. The noble viscount, however, be supposed that a feeble nation, which under whose auspices the treaty of Amiens had such dispositions towards the two was concluded (a treaty which, whatever countries, would resist the demands of might be now said against it, he always France after the treaty of Tilsit, and that thought and still did think, was proper under its fleet would be safe under its own prothe circumstances in which it was made)-tection? If the danger was then immithat noble lord himself did not think at nent, the necessity of guarding against it thai time that there was any thing in jus-was apparent; and if the measures tice, morality, or the law of nations, which of precaution which were necessarily required that the Toulon fleet should be taken led to hostilities, England was not restored to France. There was another 1 to be blamed. It was to those powers, case soinewhat similar, which occurred in and to those circumstances which prothe beginning of the present war with duced the necessity, that what had hapSpain. When the four Spanish frigates pened was to be attributed. He therefore were taken previous to any declaration of most decidedly objected to the resolution war, the French inveighed bitterly against proposed; first, because he thought it this act of piracy, as they called it, and would be acknowledging that we had done yet they never thought of making it a a wrong, when in fact we had done no condition of peace, that we should restore wrong; and, 2dly, instead of leading to a the ships and dollars taken mpon
peace, he thought it would shut the door casion; but if, in either of those cases, a to peace, by engaging ourselves, as a resolution had been passed in the British preliminary, to give up that which neither parliament similar to that which was now justice required, nor security permitted to proposed, there could be no doubt but they be given up. would have demanded it, and insisted Lord Ellenborough differed entirely from upon it. Besides, ill consequences would the sentiments of the noble lord who spoke follow from pledging the country to re- last, and found himself called store the ships to Denmark, or in other support the motion. As to the cases rewords, to France. He must contend, that ferred to by the noble lord, as bearing a the act of seizing them was not an act of near analogy to the present, he must say the character that had been described, that he did not see that analogy. He had but that it was an act of necessity justified often heard it said, that there was nothing by all the circumstances of the case. more dissimilar than a simile, and he Denmark had, for a considerable number thought the noble lord had given an inof years, shewn a hostile disposition to stance of the truth of that saying, by the wards G. Britain, and at the same time a cases which he had quoted. The case of the sort of predilection for France, or at least Spanish frigates, taken at the beginning an absolute aequiescence in every thing of the war, was as unlike it as any case which that power did. This was exem could be, for we had against Spain, at that plified, in their making no remonstrance time, at least reasonable ground of war. when a Danish general was taken prisoner He, for another reason, never approved of on their own frontiers; by their with the seizure of those frigates. This coun, drawing their troops from the frontiers of try had so much encouraged that particullolstein, in obedience to the desire of lar sort of trade by licences, that he Françe; by their submission to the De- thought it unjust to seize upon as a prey, cree of Buonaparte, and in various other that property which was probably coming ways.
If this predilection for France home on the faith of our implied permiscould be doubted by any noble lord, he. sion.—As to the ships taken at Toulon, should refer him to the very able dispatch they were taken from a nation with whom of a noble earl (Grey) in answer to M., we were at war ; and although we were Rist, the Danish minister (P. 402). That assisted in the capture by Frenchmen, who noble earl, in the strongest and best-select were adverse to the government then subed terms, had complained, " that the Da- sisting, yet there couid be no pretence for