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racters, but even thwarted and discounte sooner than submit to France. In saying nanced by them. This circumstance this, he did not mean to induce ministers to shewed, that these petitioners had no opi- persevere in the war if peace could be obnion of the sincerity of ministers. If the tained. On the contrary, he was eager house, therefore, were to adopt the last Re- peace. He only wished, that the question solution, would they not be giving counte. should lie over a little longer to try what nance to such petitions ? On this ground might turn out. The parliament had not he felt a difficulty in agreeing to the reso been met above five weeks, and it might Jution. Now, although he did not believe have to sit for some months. He did not that ministers were desirous of peace, he say, that he might not in the course of a was against pushing the matter at this mo- month be of the opinion of his hon. friend. ment. He might do them injustice in the He agreed with him at this moment, as opinion he had formed; of course, he he must do at all times, that peace was could not say he was prepared on this better than war. His hon.friend was bolder night to come to the resolution now pro- than he could bring himself to feel on that posed. He might this day week be per- subject. He was afraid, that instead of suaded that the resolution was proper, but promoting peace, the resolution might he was not in that situation at the present have effect of protracting the war. If moment. There was another reason which his hon. friend, therefore, would not withoperated strongly with him. The peti- draw his motion, he should now move the tioners told the house of the pressure under previous question, which they laboured from the markets on Mr. Wilberforce agreed with the last the continent being shut against them. It speaker, but for very different reasons. well became the house for the welfare of As far as he could understand the object the country, to take care how they aggra- of the third Resolution, it went merely to vated such a feeling. If we were, in con say of ministers, that having misconducted sequence of agreeing to the present pro- themselves in transactions past, they were position, to send an ambassador to France, not entitled to confidence in future. He might not Buonaparte say, ' It is not six should not endeavour to go through the weeks since you sent away the Austrian numerous papers that had been the subject ambassador, whose mediation you rejected. of comment; but he conceived that there. You talk, however, of a pressure on your might be very fair grounds for doubting of manufactures. Is it so ? Then I will per- the propriety of accepting the proposed severe in following out the measures I have mediations of Russia and Austria. A right adopted, and, taking advantage of this hon. gent. had asked, whether we thought pressure, will force you to accept of any that those powers had transferred their afsort of a peace I chuse to grant you.' Was fections to France ? That might not be the this the language it was natural for Buo case; yet they might be governed by a naparte to hold; or was it rather to be less generous sentiment. Russia might be expected of him that he should say, led to consult her own security, at the ex• These good people of England are anx pence of our interests. Austria might be ious to be at peace with me, and they in similar circumstances. He confessed, are greatly distressed. I have been fight- he could wish that our last answer had ing against them these 14 years for the pur- been different; but, under all the circumpose of destroying them, but, now I find their stances of the case, the offer could not be manufacturers are poor and hardly pressed, put upon the footing of former offers, and they are even starving, and I am now in- certainly not a fair mediation between us clined to take compassion on them?' If it and France. In general, it might not be were once to be laid down, that on account necessary to lay a basis in such a case in of a pressure on any branch or one part of the first instance; but when we were calthe community, the whole nation must give led upon by a third power under doubtful way, he could not look on England in any circumstances, a case' was afforded in other light than as a conquered country. which, if at any time, we were justified in It was necessary in such circumstances to entrenching ourselves behind certain genesubmit to deprivations, and he was con- ral principles and particular considerations. vinced, there was not a man in the country He could see no reason for supposing why who, when he knew that peace could not his right honourable friends should not be procured on honourable terms, would wish for peace whenever a favourable opnot submit to any deprivations whatever, portunity offered. - He was desirous of nay, who would not lay down his life speaking thus early, because it gave him
pain to find another topic wholly omitted., country, or to shew that it was in a proper Session after session the house had been state of defence, He completely agreed occupied with discussing the best means with the hon. mover in the two first resoof calling forth the internal military de- lutions, satisfied as he was that ministers fence of the country. How could we talk deserved censure for their conduct in of making and maintaining peace with slighting the Rụssian and Austrian mediaFrance without such measures? Were all / tion. He could not, however, go the those ideas on which these discussions pro- length of the third resolution, not being ceeded gone by? He then paid some com- satisfied that there was yet ground to adpliments to the industry and attention to dress his majesty to remove his ministers business of his noble friend (lord Castle as being disinclined to peace, which he reagh). He hoped his mind was exercised was of opinion must necessarily accompany on that subject, and that the house would the third resolution of his hon. friend. shortly hear more from him on that im The Hon. J. W. Ward expressed conportant topic. The country must place siderable regret that he should be under its security on its means of defence, and the necessity of differing from many of then, after peace, repose upon its strength. those valuable friends, with whom he was He alluded to the shortness of the inter- in the constant habit of acting and voting; val between the peace of Amiens and the yet, feeling so forcibly as he did, that renewal of hostilities, which he admitted some attempts ought to be made to obtain to proceed from faults on both sides. peace at this period, he could not do otherCould we doubt that in peace France wise than support the whole motion of his would increase greatly her marine, when hon. friend. The first and second resoluthere would be no interruption to her re tions he must support, because, in his ceiving naval stores ? It should never be opinion, ministers had shewn the most exforgotten that this great country ought not traordinary disregard to the real welfare to be contented with not being conquered : and interests of this country, in so rashly it must not be suffered even to be en- rejecting the two opportunities they had dangered. We might yet have to con of entering upon negociation through the tend upon British ground : and there was several channels of Russian and Austrian
of procuring a certain peace, but mediation; but the third resolution was by maintaining a strong and secure inter- what struck his mind as by far the most nal defensive force. He wished to restore important, though disavowed by so many the blessings of peace ; and he conjured of his hon. friends, because in that the feel. the house and the country to submit to ings and fortunes of almost every one in measures of a trying and difficult nature, the kingdom, who possessed either, were in order to insure that blessing. It was a most intimately and deeply concerned. subject near to his heart.
When he con
He believed there were many persons in sidered the turn of the debate, he might this country who had, from the arguments be led to suppose that the great military that were daily and hourly advanced repower of France, instead of having con- specting the ruler of France and his views, quered the continent, had been itself de- imbibed the false and ridiculous idea that feated. He did not fear our safety, if we they would be safer in war than they could adopted efficient measures. Defensive be in peace; but nothing could be more war was comparatively easy ; and a great, mistaken than that notion. These people rich, brave, loyal, and free country, like seemed to form their opinions, that our this, never could be conquered, unless by safety was peculiarly owing to the number its own neglect. Let us prepare for peace of our ships; but this was not the case. with safety. He would not hamper him- France, Spain, and Holland combined, self with declarations ; but he was a friend might be able to build more ships than we to peace, and would earnestly desire it, could; but what gave us the proud supe. whenever it could be obtained with safety, riority we had so long been able to boast, and maintained with security.
was the invincible spirit, the native hardiLord Milton expressed his surprise that ness, and the excellent training of our men his hon. colleague should have resorted to to the science of navigation and the pracso strange an argument against the propo- tice of gynnery, which, aided by their sition of the hon. mover as that he had native courage and bravery, rendered them just alluded to; as if it was the business of an overmatch on the ocean for any seamen gentlemen on that side of the house to in the world. The French revolution had propose measures for the defence of the shewn that an army might be raised and
brought to a state of discipline in one cam 1 of themselves, but it certainly was not that paign; but a navy required great time of the.country, to wish to wage war against and practice to bring it to perfection; and the sick, the lame, and the blind, and, infor that reason he should never fear the stead of boldly and manfully attacking number of ships that any enemy could their camps, directing our whole force and bring against us. What particularly struck artillery against their defenceless hospitals. his mind with considerable weight on the | He was really surprised to see so much represent motion, so far as it regarded peace, liance placed on such trifles, and thought was the immense change that had taken that they bore the strongest evidence of place in the situation of France. That the necessity of endeavouring to obtain an country had, 15 years ago, begun the war honourable peace. What could we do to with a confederacy of all Europe against serve ourselves by carrying on the war? her, headed by England; and the war she We had not, as he had before observed, a was now prosecuting, was a confederacy of single point of contact. Buonaparte took all Europe, joined with her,against England, every thing by land, and we took every who now stood alone in the contest. The thing by sea ; and so we might go on till cause of coalitions, which this country had this country, which was wholly commercial, made such mighty and repeated efforts to should be entirely ruined. There were form, was now extinct; and those who many other topics on which he could have had deluded themselves with dreams of wished to touch, but the lateness of the victory at Austerlitz, at Jena, and at Eylau, hour would not permit him, and he must had now no point of contact, and could therefore confine himself to such as were no more expect to unite other powers the most important. To those who were against the French, than if they lived in really advocates for the continuance of another planet. When our ancestors at the war, he thought it absolutely necestempted to check the power of France, sary to address one plain question. Was they did it by the superior prowess of their the country in such a state as to be able to men, aided by great alliances; but at this bear it? Did not the house think that moment we could boast but of one ally the state of Ireland was such as to merit in all Europe. He ridiculed the idea of their most serious attention? Four millions our entering on a commercial opposition, of subjects, forming a considerable majoin which we had every thing to lose and rity of the people of that part of the united nothing to gain. We depended almost empire, were anxiously solicitous to be solely on commerce. France was a coun- allowed a participation in the dearest and try of such extent and resources that she best rights and privileges of the constitucould much better bear the want of it. If tution, from which prejudice had so long it were merely a race of luxury against excluded them, and to which if they were luxury, of sugar against sugar, and so forth, not speedily restored, they must remain it might bear some degree of comparison; in a state of the greatest discontent. He but France had been, during the whole entreated the house to consider also the time since the commencement of the re- danger to which India was exposed. He volution, obliged to submit to one priva- mentioned that particularly, because it had tion after another, and had, on that ac- escaped the observation of others; but all count, a decided advantage over us in this well knew that Buonaparte had long had an work of what ministers called retaliation. eye towards India, and that he was at the In the midst of this unequal warfare, how-present moment meditating, if not actually ever, it was extraordinary and surprising putting in practice, the attempt of reaching to observe the conduct of his majesty's that country through the continent of ministers. When his hon. friends on this Europe; an attempt which the continuside of the house attempted to point out ance of war must facilitate, hy giving the weakness of their measures, down France an opportunity of exasperating and came the chancellor of the exchequer to stirring up against us the native princes of the house, and, with all the pride and India. He condemned the system adopted, pomp of office, boasted that he had found of the extension of our territories in India, a certain remedy for all our misfortunes, though he meant not to attribute blame and that he would force Buonaparte to re to any particular person, but could not do linquish his terrible decrees, by prohibiting otherwise than consider it as highly imthe exportation of Bark--a notable expedi- politic. He was much surprised to hear it ent, truly, and such an one as must astonish urged, that the ruler of France had vowed all Europe! It might be the characteristic to wage eternal war with this country.
That very argument was in his mind a vering over some descriptions of men. strong reason for endeavouring to negoci- There were those who turned with indifate a peace; because, if by so doing we ference or scorn from the hardships of could establish the fact, that he had really their own countrymen, while struggling made such a vow, or that he had deter- in the cause of the honour and indepenmined not to make peace but such a one dence of the country, and yet shewed as would be dishonourable or disgraceful | themselves tenderly alive only to the sufto this country, he had no doubt but the ferings of America and Denmark. But good sense and spirit of the people would such men misinterpreted the opinion and exert itself, and that they would resolve the feelings of the country. The country to bear, if not with cheerfulness, at least valued wealth, and certainly much of its with patience, all the privations they might power and energies depended upon that suffer in consequence, rather than the na- wealth ; but under circumstances like the tional honour should be tarnished. The present, it felt that wealth must be subserpresent war, he said, had been originally vient to honour. That sentiment neither entered upon to prevent the fulfilling the Buonaparte, nor the friends of Buonaparte, conditions of a treaty a matter which in wherever they moved, nor all the violence itself he thought highly blameable. It of his sanguinary decrees, would ever be had since been carried on, as had been able to extinguish. It was not to be exacknowledged, from mere punctilios of tinguished by the partial sufferings of some honour respecting Russia; and he must of our manufacturers ;-no, nor could it say, it was astonishing to him how his hon. be extinguished by the complete stagnafriends, or any of them, could differ in tion of our whole trade. Those who held opinion with the hon. mover of the pre a different language of the character of sent question. We had, he said, long had their country, could be only the indisposhouses of commons who had permitted ed few who endeavoured to blow every ministers to go on with the war, he hoped spark of disaffection and discontent into a they would now have one that would stop flame, and to place in an odious light the them in the career they had shaped out conduct of the present administration, for themselves of eternal war. He could chiefly because they felt the damning connot avoid once more adverting to the trast which it exhibited with their own, state of Ireland, of which ministers had Men who, while in opposition, were clanot taken the smallest notice, in that ela- morous ; while in government impotent; borate manifesto they had given in the whose apathy was called moderation, and shape of the king's speech. He could not whose attempts to delude the people were but reflect with the deepest concern on dignified with the name of patriotism. four millions, the proscribed majority of Give him much sooner the inflexible firmthat country, which it appeared to be the ness, the persevering fortitude, of the men intention of minisiers to persecute, instead who now guided the destinies of the naof holding forth the gentle hand of concilia- tion, than the pusillanimous precaution of tion. In short, he was very sorry to say, those who would seek for comfort and ease that from every appearance, and from at the expence of honour and security. every information he had been able to | Fresh aggressions called only for fresh recollect on the subject, that country was sistance, and more determined resolution. at present in imminent danger. It was the Such, at least, he trusted, were the sentiduty of ministers, because it was their ments with which his majesty's ministers true policy, to use every means in their were nerved, and that he might venture power to conciliate Ireland, which could to say of them, what the poet said of the only be done effectually by peace and resolute and just toleration,and by rendering Catholic eman
Si fractus illabatur orbis, cipation less urgent. He was, however,
Jinparidum ferient ruinæ. afraid that would never be the case with Lord Mahon observed, that all the max. the present ministry, whose avowed inten- ims which were laid down on the opposite tions and charter to their present offices side had a tendency to support the princihad shewn them determined on persecu- ple of eternal war. There was not an artion.
gument that was advanced this night in Mr. Blachford, in a maiden speech, la- opposition to the motion which might not mented the prejudice and perversion of with equal propriety be urged in favour of opinion and talent to which a spirit of any other war, at any other time, or under party and faction seemed capable of deli- | almost any other circumstances. Every VOL. X.
power in Europe that was formerly our passed through the hands of count Star: ally was now converted into an enemy. hemberg, the Austrian minister, an ambia From this consideration, together with guous style was conspicuous, evidently that of the distressed state of our manu the effect of design. After the 12th of facturers, he thought it his duty to support June, 1807, Austria was no longer an inthe motion. The house ought to consider dependant power. She was so completely these things in fact of its own free will; influenced by the minister of France, that but from circumstances which had lately her prince had no choice but to aid the éccurred, it appeared to him that they were views of France. The hon. member who called on by the imperious voice of the had alluded to the subject of these offers people to the performance of this duty, of mediation, would find no instance where in order to avert, if possible, a tremendous a neutral, under the influence of a superior evil, and prevent incalculable distress power, had been accepted as a mediator, from falling on the working part of the We were called upon to accept an unaccommunity.
credited agent in the person of the AusMr. Jolin Smith wished to know how trian minister. There was no basis estabdong ministers meant the war to continue. lished for negotiation which constituted If it continued two years longer, was there security. In the year 1805, Austria ofany prospect of negociating for peace on fered her mediation to France, who said, more honourable and secure terms than at shew me a basis. She afterwards offered the present moment ? He certainly would to mediate for Russia, who also required a be sorry to present the subject of peace to basis. If these powers considered it nethat house, were there not one particular cessary to make such demands of Austria, circumstance to induce it to be immedi- this country was right in demanding ately procured, namely, Ireland.
strictly the basis of negociation before we Mr. Secretary Canning did not thiuk it accepted the offer of mediation. With proper to intrude himself upon the house respect to Austria, it was well known that at an earlier period, because he conceived this country had preferred her friendship, it to be the duty of his majesty's ministers and offered her every indulgence, while on this subject, to leave it to other mem- she remained in the interest of G. Britain; bers of the house to express their senti- but when she became under the controul ments before they should themselves take of France, it was not our interest to trust any part in the debate. He expressed his her. Was it not well known, two years readiness to enter at any time into nego- since, that the British flag was expelled ciations for a peace, consistent with the from the ports of Austria ? England had honour and the dignity of the country ; not retaliated, under a belief that Austria but he maintained, that until certain infor was under the direction of France. He mation was received that the French go- stated these facts to prove, that a mistrust vernment was prepared to enter into ne was properly entertained towards Austria. gociations on an equitable basis, it would Ministers had determined not to enter upon be imprudent to attempt any. It was ob- negociation, unless it was upon a footing vious, that if any negociation which might that was likely to insure a successful issue. be undertaken, should fail, peace would It had been said, that the enmity of France be placed at a still
" greater distance, and was directed against this country, in conthe sufferings of the people, which had sequence of the offers made for peace havbeen so much exaggerated, instead of be- ing been rejected during former adminising diminished, would be augmented. He trations. He would ask, if it was fair that could not help making a few observations the present ministers should be responsion the subject of the Austrian offer of me ble for the conduct of others with whom diation. The first offer of mediation on they had no concern? This argument ap. the part of Austria might have been wor- plied to the conduct of the hon. gent.'s thy of attention, if the fortune of Bona- friends, who composed the late adminisparte had not taken a different turn. Aus- tration, and who broke off the last negotrią fell under the controul of France ; and ciation. It was true the hon. gent. had no security existed in negotiation. The disagreed with them also on that point, he last offer of mediation proved palpably therefore could not deny him the merit of fallacious, and both attempts exploded to having acted with consistency. gether. It was the intention of the Brit Mr. Wm. Smith thought the two first reish government to enter into negociations solutions involved in so much difficulty for peace, but in the official notes which that he could not vote for them ; but if