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requiring those ships to be giving back, were to refer to the case so often quoted, again to France, except that we entered of a person being justified by necessity in into an agreement with Frenchmen in op- pushing another off a plank into the sea, position to the then subsisting government, it must still be allowed that the other was by which we engaged to restore the ships equally justified in retaining possession of to Louis XVIII. when he should be re- the plank if he could, and that his endeastored to the throne of France. It could vouring to retain it was no act of hostility hardly be contended that such an agree against us. It appeared to him, that the ment, either by its letter or its spirit, right of Denmark to a restitution of the bound us to give back the ships to other property so taken was by no means alterpersons than those for whom we took ed by any subsequent hostilities; and that them in trust. The case of the capture this right was so clear, that we might' of the Danish fleet was totally different, make up our minds to the restitution being as it was taken not from enemies, but demanded at the conclusion of peace. from neutrals. In considering the pro- He therefore thought that we should keep priety of adopting the present resolution, them in such a state, as that the restitution he should argue on the ground of the ne- might be made 'with as litile expence or cessity being completely acknowledged, inconvenience as possible. He was peralthough his own opinion of it was very pared for doing justice; but he would different. If he were to decline however, wish in some degree to exercise a penustating what his opinion was of the justice rious justice, so that the restitution should and policy of the measure, he feared he not be more burthensome to the country should be thought to be, in some measure, than was absolutely necessary. For these coquetting with the house. He should reasons, he entirely coincided in the motherefore declare, that, in his opinion, there tion of his noble friend. was no act that had ever been committed The Lord Chancellor said, that from the by the government of this country, which high respect he felt for his noble and so much disgraced its character and stained learned friend, and from the weight his its honour; and, as an Englishman, he felt opinions always carried, he felt anxious dishonoured, whenever the national honour to remove the impression which his noble was tarnished. He could not avoid re- and learned friend had made. The noble probating in severe terms the expedition and learned lord had appeared to dispose to Copenhagen ; it reminded him of in a very summary manner, both of the The ill omeved bark,

justice and morality of the Copenhagen Built in th’eclipse, and rigg’d with curses dark. expedition, and of the cases cited by his He thought the object it had in view noble friend. He should however, take was most unjustifiable, and that even in the liberty, on the former point, of exthe success of that object, it would bring pressing his sentiments in the same decigreat calamity upon the country. When sive tone, and say, that so far from feeling it was attempted to be justified on the himself dishonoured, as an Englishman, by plea of necessity, it should be recollected, the expeditjon, he should have felt himself that by that word was meant an urgent dishonoured, if, under all the circumstances necessity, and not a mere predominating of the case, he had hesitated to concur convenience. It appeared to him, that with his colleagues in advising the expemany persons considered it justification dition. His noble and learned friend did, enough to say, that it was very conve

indeed, recommend a 'penurious' justice ; nient for the country, in this instance, to for if indeed the expedition was unjust appropriate to itself that property which and dishonourable-if it stained the naanother, who had the right, was possessed tional character and was contrary to hoof. This was a sort of doetrine which he nesty, then, instead of keeping the ships was so much in the habit of reprobating in any particular way, and at any given at the Old Bailey and other places, that expence, they ought immediately to be he could not avoid expressing himself restored, and ample satisfaction made ; with some warmth when he heard that but he was always ready to contend, and principle urged as an ample justification he believed the feelings of the great majoto the nation, which never could be ad-rity of the country was with him, that the

individuals. As to what national character had not been dishowas stated of hostilities afterwards taking noured by an act which the circumstances place with Denmark, he thought that of the times had rendered necessary. He circumstance made no difference. If he believed the country would feel that this

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great national question ought not to be was, whether that house would resolve decided altogether by the ordinary rutes that it was expedient that the government

which governed the decisions at the Old should reserve to itself the power of reBailey; but at all events he should hope, storing, eventually, the ships seized by us that if his noble and learned friend was at Copenhagen, to the Danes. But noreprobating the principles before a jury at ble lords swerved from this question, and the Old Barley, he would not forget, when had gone to that of the justification of the he stated his opinion, to detail the evi- expedition itself. He certainly did think dence on wbich that opiņion was founded. still, as he had always thought, that that He could not agree with his noble and expedition could not be warranted but learnod friend, that the cases referred to upon the ground of necessity, and no case by a noble friend of his, were quite of necessity had been yet made out; that foreign to the present question. As to house, at least, was in possession of no evi. the Toulon business, unless we were en dence wbatever to warrant them in decidtirely to throw aside the musty records of ing that expedition to have been the rethe law of nations, it would at first sight sult of hard necessity. He was not inhave appeared, that the French govern- clined at present to go into any exposiment-might justly claim that restitution; tion of the shifting, prevaricating testimofor it was a rule acknowledged by all wri- ny, which had been resorted to in defence -ters on the law of nations, that what of that measure ; at one time Denmark was public property, belonging to a state was represented as sincere in her profesbelonged still to that nation, whatever sions of neutrality, but too weak to act changes might take place in its govern- up to her intentions; at another, they were ment. The capture of the Dutch prizes, told, that as her sincerity was questionin the last war, was somewhat of the same able, her means of annoyance were to be principle : we took them from the Dutch feared and provided against; again, it while they were under the absolute in- was pretended that the sole ground of the fluence of France, intending and engag- expedition was the secret arrangements ing to restore them when Holland should of the Treaty of Tilsit, and when it was again recover her freedom. After that attempted to trace their alledged informaperiod, we made a treaty of peace with tion to any authentic source, Portugal was Holland, in which her independence was at one period brought forward as an inforcompletely acknowledged, and yet there mer; and at another the disaffected Irish. was no restitution of the prizes taken from This sort of shifting naturally created susthe Dutch before a declaration of war. picion in the mind of every impartial He mentioned those cases, to shew that man. The noble lord then proceeded to the instance then before the consideration consider the present motion in reference of the house, was not, as had been repre- to the question of peace, and appealed to sented, a case per se. He considered the feelings of noble lords, if it would not that the resolution would be highly im- be more for the honour of the country, if proper, as pledging the country to make they could commence a negociation, after restitution of what there was no pretence a voluntary concession upon their parts, to restore, after the hostilities which had rather than the subsequent degradation of since taken place between this country and a forced surrender, exacted by the stipulaDenmark; and he thought it would be tions of a treaty ? much more improper, as it would be an Lord Harrowby defended the expediacknowledgment that we had acted im- tion, and opposed the resolution, which properly on an occasion, where our conduct he considered would not only be dangercould be strictly justified by the princi- ous to adopt, but improper in its principles of self-preservation, by the law of ple. A noble and learned lord had benations, and the circumstances of the case. gun by saying, that he should argue

the Lord Holland thought it necessary to re- question, as if the necessity had been cal the attention of noble lords to what proved; and yet he took occasion to rereally was the true question before the probate both the justice and policy of the house. It had been considerably misre- measure, in the most severe and unqualipresented and mis-stated. The question fied terms. The only reason which he did not, as had been apprehended by the had assigned for departing from the line noble and learned lord upon the woolsack, of argument which he himself had laid at all intrench upon or in any degree af- down, was, that he feared he might be fect, the prerogativ

of the crown. It considered as 'coquetting' with the house,

us.'

if he did not let them know his entire bottom. He congratulated himself, that opinion. The house might, perhaps, have he had at least entered a solemn Protest excused a little of that sort of coquetting against the measure adopted by his maj.'s The noble lords who entertained the same government, and by that means had esopinion that he did, might also have ex- caped the accusation of being a partner in cused it. They might have applied to their guilt. This country had formerly the noble and learned lord the well-known been the day-star of Europe. To her lines

Europe had looked for an example of steaPerhaps it was right to dissemble your love, the law of nations. If from this proud

dy fidelity and honour, and adherence to But why should you kick us down stairs?

eminence of repatation, she should be It appeared to him most undeniable, that hurled by the criminal conduct of his a case of necessity was so made out, as majesty's ministers, we should irrecovefully justified the expedition, and the pos- rably sink into the gulph of ruin aird insessing ourselves of the Danish fleet; but femy, and no one would say. God bless as hostilities had since broke out between this country and Denmark, in spite of all The Earl of Westmoreland opposed the our efforts to avert it, he did not see on motion of the noble viscount, and deprewhat principle, or from what precedents cated the conduct of that eighth wonder of we could be called upon to restore what the world, the last administration, who we had taken from a neutral, but which having by their weak counsels, and total was condemned as the property of an ene- inaction, placed the country in a state of my after hostilities had broken out. As the utmost peril, censured the wise and he therefore thought the expedition just, energetic measures of his majesty's present because it was necessary, and as he thought government, by which we had been resthe ships had been fairly condemned, cued from the danger. The necessity for when the power they were taken from the steps which had been taken by us was became an enemy, he could not support a notorious. His majesty, in his most graresolution which implied that the seizure cious speech, had declared that informawas unjast, and which would, in a manner, tion of that necessity had been received by pledge the country to make restitution of him; a declaration which, constitutionthat which he did not think we could be ally speaking, ought to have been receir. justly called upon to restore.

ed without hesitation. This information Lord Erskine argued at considerable was of a nature that could not be commulength to shew the injustice and impolicy of nicated to parliament, but, did it follow, the expedition to Copenhagen, and the that the executive government were not expediency of agreeing to the noble visc.'s justified in acting upon it? If the execumotion. He concurred with his noble and tive government were restricted from acting learned friend, as to the Old Bailey kind but on information that they could comof necessity urged in its defence. And municate to parliament, the country might with respect to eventually retaining the soon become like the wrestler, so beautifleet in our possession, it was surely im- fully alluded to by Demosthenes, who, possible that we could think of doing so, instead of defending himself from blows after the declarations made to the Danes, meditated against him, was occupied in in which it was expressly stated, that guarding against blows already struck. their fleet was required as “a deposit' in our The Earl of Selkirk argued, that the hands. Were we to attempt ultimately question had not been fairly met. The to keep them, we should act like a man, motion did not go to pledge this country who, from the apprehension of being at to the restoration of the Danish ships, but tacked by thieves on the road, should, for merely to keep it in our power, if circumhis defence, seize a fowling-piece from a stances should hereafter enable us to do neighbour, who was too weak to resist him, so with safety. It must be a matter of and afterwards point the identical weapon doubt whether that situation of things against its master's breast, and go out would or would not arise ; but to look to sporting with it for a whole season. His its probability could not imply a censure noble and learned friend had been accus on the expedition to Copenhagen. It had ed of kicking his majesty's ministers down been said, that the motion was only an stairs in the debate. This he certainly indirect censure, and could not meet the had not done, for the former discussions concurrence of any, but those who reproon this suinject had long left them at the bated the whole of our conduct towards

Denmark.-The noble earl said, that in a part in the confederacy. his own individual case, he found a proof armed neutrality was formed of the reverse. He considered the seizure country in the North of Europ of the Danish navy as justifiable, on the was almost the first to take ground of the notorious interest of France And upon the late occasion, wh to make use of that navy against this upon her to give up the fleet country, and the notorious incapacity of in our hands, did she not obstis Denmark to resist her demands. The ex- every overture that might le pedition had, indeed, an appearance of commodation ? What other deviating from the usual moderation of could be drawn from all th the British government, and, on that Denmark was secretly fav ground, he had felt at first a repugnance views, and would not resist a to the measure. But, after a fair consi- made by France to get posse dera:ion of the arguments on both sides, fleet. Under all these circum he could not deny that the urgency of the seizure of that fleet was not o case, and the necessity of our own preser-able, but ministers would have vation, formed a sufficient apology for the the most criminal negligence aggression. Since, however, it was only not sent an armament to seize on the plea of necessity and of self pre- But as to any idea of restorin servation that we justified the harshness of how could it be done with p our conduct towards a peaceable and un were in a state of

open

hostilit offending state, our measures ought not to Was it fit to propose such a m be carried farther than this necessity re time when the emperor of Russi quired. So far from being inconsistent, ing his fleets against us, and the very principles of the expedition Danes themselves were leag should dictate the adoption of the motion. France? To offer such a thing i The necessity of withdrawing the navy be holding out beforehand thos of Denmark from the grasp of France, accommodation, which ought on could not imply any necessity for em- the subject of future negociation ploying the Danish ships in preference Earl Darnley did not think t to our own: it was due to the national ters had made out a case to honour to shew that the conduct of this steps they had taken. They country had not been actuated by motives ftattered themselves that John Bu of rapacity, and that the conciliatory no farther than the capture of i offers, made by our commanders at Co- the line, would think it a gloriou -penhagen, were not mere pretexts, which ment. But they were mistaken, we intended to disregard, as soon as we find that the people of this cou had secured our object.

not to be so easily deluded. Lord Redesdale perfectly coincided in demned the expedition in toto, ar opinion with the noble earl near him, that concurred in the motion. the present motion went to pass a censure The Earl of Mulgrade begge on his majesty's ministers; and as such call their lordships' attention to he could not agree to it. It had been said state of the question. It had b by a noble lord, that Denmark had been by the noble visc. who brough friendly towards this country. He denied the motion, that the measure of the truth of this assertion. It fell to his dition to Copenhagen was out of lot to know that Denmark had not been tion; but still he had couched h friendly towards us. He had it on the in such a manner, as to make authority of persons who resided a consi more nor less than a direct conc derable time at the court of Copenhagen, of his majesty's ministers for thei that the Danes, so far from being friendly, with regard to that expedition. had for many years past entertained hos- sired the paper, or summons to : tile sentiments towards this country. No. 3, to be read, (p. 223.] They had uniformly submitted to every read accordingly, and purporte aggression on the part of France, while the terms then offered were not a they never gave up any point to England. the conditions stipulated with r When almost all the other powers of Europe the fleet must cease. His lord had confederated against France, Den- | that after hearing that, he would mark uniformly resisted every attempt the house whether the whole arg that had been made to induce her to take to the ships being taken as a der

that the history of this country had inva- gation, and to pronounce on it i
ward, and have done so on all occasions talked of, it was attempted to be ju
difficult to be procured. On the contrary, | lation for the surrender of the Danis
the enemy did not want men, but they to France; and certainly that alle
therefore, depriving them of 16 sail of the
present state of affairs in Europe. If the i afterwards sustained, the succesuir
arguments of the noble and learned lord lications which served step after
were true, that 40 shipwrights could build fritter away its force, speedily led
a ship of the line in 12 months, and that the opinion, that thy ground upon
it in his power to employ, he might obtain to act was utterly untenable
from the number the ruler of France had the supporters of the expedition pr
100 sail of the line in a year, it was the gard to the doctrine, that the unfi
more necessary to deprise him of all con- disposition of Denmark towards thi:
tingent assistance. The supporters of the | try was a justifiable cause of war, the
motion did not, he said, condescend to

bestow on him and bis colleagues, who tested against it. According to 1 ** PIRL DEB.ITES, Fs3. 13. 1906.-Lord Sidmouth's Motion relative to 1038 657) PARL. DEBATES, Feb. 18, '1808.--the Restitution of the Danish Fleet. Denmark. The movie eart said, tha is a part in the confederácy. When an hat as a capture, was not entirely at an were poor weak men devoid of tale to own riduzi case, ae found a proef armed neutrality was formed against this

end. With respect to the argument of the same portion of allowance they ha Uith popre. He considered de femre ozuntry in the North of Europe, Denmark

fowling-piece, used by the noble and to others in similar circumstances. of "fie Dansa navy as m-chadie. a Tis almost the first to take a part in it. learned lord, he thought it made directly the so-much-talked-of capital of D " ind out the no ST-Es interest trunce 101 upon the late occasion, when we called

against the motion; for the person whom was attacked on a former occasion to make use of it may 2UST S Dan ber to give up the fleet as a deposit his lordship stated to have the fowling- the administration of the noble (Talv. anu the 1st 10 in our hands, did she not obstinately resist

piece, attempted to defend it against his consequence of the court of Denma Leonars so router EDS Tica. Tery overture that might lead to an ac intended protector, and said, that rather | ing become a party to the armed .*?4-1. D'air Treatme Opmodation? What other inference

than surrender it he would join with the lity, a ship had been taken. Did Fork: 4:45 pm De wad be drawn from all this

, but that person who attacked him; so, in like ble visc. in his generosity, digni tiap Er zemi, 232, 2a Denmark was' secretly favouring the manner, the neutral who put himself under magnanimity, give up that ship * in a renme Diens, and would not resist any

demand

the protection of the enemy, became liable she was taken into actual servie in 5 Barat - zade by France to get possession of her

to seizure. The question of to night, he the same circumstance took place o G=0X THESE co sie dret. Under all these circumstances, the

said, came at the very worst period it pos- ing her, which had been so much t C6 36 5:seizure of that fleet was not only justifi

.

sibly could come. It was called on at a ject of sarcasm and censure in that 29. able, but ministers would hare acted with

time when it was acknowledged, that even her name was changed, and from t BICI DA She the most criminal negligence, had they

a restoration of peace would not do away stein she was christened the Nass SI TOTI ACET not sent an armament to seize that fleet.

the hatred of the Danes: at a moment was evident, therefore, that what v 1 UN i Dre Bat as to any idea of restoring this fleet,

when it was evident the emperor of Russia found so much fault with in the e KRESO bow could it be done with persons who

was anxious to revive the old system of of the present ministers, had be Tre I Te us and to were in a state of open hostility with us?

the armed neutrality, which every one of tually the practice of their predec Tres Un Di 1) / Was it fit to propose such a measure, at a

their lordships might be convinced it was and as he could not view this mo **** is re- time when the emperor of Russia was aim

so much the interest of this country to re

any other light than a palpable and Ta e mitrestent, ing his fleets against us, and when the

sist and to destroy by every means in her right censure of the expedition, wh cipediaan Danes themselves were leagued with

power: at a moment when it had been received the approbation of their lo ** Lewib modion. France ? To offer such a thing now, would

clearly shewn, that Denmark was ready he must give his decided negative E TIIMITS the nars be holding out beforehand those terms of

and willing to throw herself into the arms Lord Grenville denied that the Dars Tan DE TRY of France, accommodation, which ought only to form

of France; and it ought to be remembered, had yet come to

decision on the -1 nat ng messig for em- the subject of future negociation. that Denınark, by the late expedition and of the expedition to Denmark; t. me tit: 2015st in preference

Earl Darnley did not think that minis

.

seizure of her fleet, had been deprived of dence relative to which had not be I was due to the national 'ters had made out a case to justify the

the power of carrying her hostile inten- before it. If, therefore, the hou to of u s-e a Due conduct of this steps they had taken. They no doubt tions into effect, for she was not in a situ- decided, it must have decided DE? Car acested by motives flattered themselves that John Bull, looking

ation to replace or restore such a fleet. It evidence, from which, indeed, it I. im that the conciliatory no farther than the capture of 10 ships of

had been said, by those who supported the too willing to turn aside. The unv TLAD IT ommanders at Co- the line, would think it a glorious achiere.

motion, that we did not want ships but ness to look at, much less to exam "; } FT 1.7 Dete pretexts, which ment. But they were mistaken, and would ****NFL 11 regard, as soon as we find that the people of this country were

He did not think it necessary to enter into | and general. Even its warmest ad not to be so easily deluded. He con

a detail on that subject, but would content betrayed their feeling of its real cha ** L-EX Briectly coincided in demned the expedition in toto, and heartily

himself with reminding those who used it, by their anxiety to rescue it from i : *18? Borde cari near him, that concurred in the motion. Deca tent to pass a censure

The Earl of Julgrare begged leare to Is ministers; and as such call their lordships' attention to the true rssre to it. It had been said state of the question. It had been stated Sind, that Denmark had been by the noble risc. who brought forward

Whem so to do, but that ships were very the treaty of Tilsit, tantamount to a retends this country.

He denied the motion, that the measure of the Expen of this assertion. It fell to his dition to Copenhagen was out of the queso ****ảnow that Denmark had not been tion; but still he had couched his motion ... ily towards us. He had it on the in such a manner, as to make it neither USRLY of persons who resided a consi- more nor less than a direct condemnation

no doubt it had with that of others le time at the court of Copenhagen, of his majesty's ministers for their conduct the Danes, so far from being trientiv, with regard to that expedition. He des -- for many years past entertaines hos sired the paper, or summons to surrender

, e sentiments towaris this country. Xo. S, to be read, (p. 223.] which was ey had uniformis sure ever read accordinglv, and purported

, that if session on the part of France, while the terms then oifered were not agreed to, v never gave up any point sa England the conditions stipulated with en a'most all the other pe werste inne the feet must cease. His lordship said

, | confederated against France. Dena lhat after hearing that, he would put it to : uniformly resisted ever wan be house whether the whole argument as i had been made to induce hier z unike to the ships being taken as a deposit

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Vol. X.

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