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made in favour of neutrals. America was, footing of complete equality. I regret to as before, admitted to go to the colonies hear that so much clamour has been raised, and bring back their produce for her own by I know not what infatuation, for peace consumption. I cannot consider it a hard at the present moment. Are those who ship to require of a neutral whom you are such advocates for that measure, satisadınit to go to an enemy's colony, to be fied that it would be a lasting, solid, and subject to certain restrictions for such ad- safe one? I very much fear that no peace mission: If you have a right to interdict of the kind could be obtained at present. it, you have a right to point out such re- | I ain satisfied, that by carrying on the gulations as you think fit. It has been contest with that spirit and energy that said that the measures adopted towards become a free people, the issue will be America will be likely to produce misun- speedy, honourable, and glorious. derstanding between her and this country. Earl Temple thought his hon. and learned I do not believe it; on the contrary, I am friend, who had just sat down, had dethoroughly persuaded that America will parted from the investigation of the quesfeel, when she views these measures with tion before the house. He contended, that that temper and coolness that I think she the principle of self-preservation laid down will, that this country has been actuated by his hon. and learned friend in defence by no hostile feeling against her, but that of these Orders in Council, was not made whatever injury she may sustain, was ab- out. If it had been, he would admit it to solutely unavoidable on our part, and in- be a justification of them.
The injury dispensable to our preservation and exist. done to neutrals, it was contended, was ence. It is impossible that America should unavoidable, and was with a view to the not see that this country has done every ultimate injury and annoyance of the thing in its power compatible with its enemy. He contended, that we could security, to accommodate and convenience have no right to attack neutrals directly her. I am proud it has been so; con- in order to injure the enemy collaterally. vinced as I am, that the prosperity of the The Order issued by his majesty's late one country is the prosperity of the other. government, in Jan. 1807, was issued on Different has been the treatment of France grounds totally distinct from the present to America. All communication with G. Orders. The former was in perfect conBritain has been interdicted, under the formity with the laws of nations; the latter threat of destroying her independence. in direct violation of them. In order to The conduct of France towards America, I justify our conduct towards America, it do contend, has been one continued scene would be necessary to shew that she acof insult and injury. G. Britain has, on quiesced in the provisions of the French the contrary, uniformly acted with mode- Decree. The contrary, however, appeared ration and forbearance, and with every wish to be the fact. On the appearance of the to cultivate amity and friendship between French Decree, in Nov. the American mithe two countries. I am satisfied, from all nister required an explanation of it, statthese considerations, and from the good ing, that it was contrary to the treaty of sense of the people of America, that no amity and commerce existing between rupture will take place between us and America and France. The answer of the her. A great deal of objection has been minister of marine was, that it was not in raised against the shape of these Orders in the contemplation of the French Decree Council, against the particular time at to affect American ships. He had heard which they have been issued, and against it said, that this was idle assertion; but their being too rigorous; but I do trust he would be glad to ask, if the communi-, the house will feel the weakness of these cation of the explanation of this Decree, objections, and agree that they have been by the President of the United States of founded both upon policy, justice, and law. America to Congress, was nothing more These Orders, I am satisfied, will cause than idle assertion? It was a well-known severe privations on the continent, and fact, that the merchants of this country,
the head of its tyrant the evils whose opinions upon these Orders in Counintended to be entailed upon us. The cil' were certainly the most correct, and period in which we live is awful beyond who uniformly complained of them, had example, and the contest in which we are not, in consequence of the French Decree, engaged, great beyond precedent. We been obliged to pay a single additional are possessed of the dominion of the sea; shilling insurance on the trade between, France of the land ; so far we are on a this country and America. Spain was
obliged to issue a similar decree at the prised that the sinews of our strength laid time France issued hers. An American / in our commerce. Hence the whole force ship was brought into a Spanish port for of this injurious system reverted on oura violation of this decree; she was brought selves. He concluded with entering his to trial in the Prize Court
, and ordered to formal protest against the measure. be released. Another instance occurred Mr. Rose defended the legality of the in France, when an American ship, under measure, contending that it had not viothe same circumstances, was released. lated any law whatever, but on the contrary What? he would ask, could be so con- was expressly provided for by act of parvincing, as these facts ? and what could liament.' When these Orders in Council more strongly shew that it was not the were made, he assured the house, they intention of France to injure or restrict were not pointed at America, but were inAmerican traders? There were other tended as a direct and justifiable retaliafacts which proved Mr. Munroe's letter tion against France. He then adverted to to Mr. Secretary Canning, (p. 598] stat- the state of the navigation of America, and ing it not to be the intention of France the immense increase of her shipping and to interfere with the trade of America. carrying trade, her trade from the East In the teeth of all this evidence, and Indies with all parts of the world, and the three weeks after the receipt of Mr. Mun- reduction in the sale of all East India goods, roe's letter to Mr. Canning, these Orders pepper, tea, &c. He repeated, that nothing in Council appeared. It was said that was more desirable than 'to avoid warfare America did not obtain the revocation of with Ainerica, and he could not help the French Decree--but how could that hoping, that when America came to conbe expected ? It might not be, nor was not sider coolly and deliberately upon the in her power to do so.- - The noble lord subject, she would be satisfied that these proceeded to consider the Orders in Coun- Orders were never intended against her; cil as contradictory to the established prin- that to preserve peace with that country ciples of municipal law; quoting part of was most desirable ; and he was well assuMagna Charta, with the commentary of red that government would see it in its Montesquieu, to prove that this country true light—that of a measure of retaliation ever had considered the rights of even fo- adopted through necessity. reign merchants as part of their own con- Mr. Hibbert had been anxious to thank stitutional liberty; hence, he maintained, his learned friend (the Advocate General) the exertion of the king's prerogative in for his cxcellent speech, but could not the publication of these Orders, and their omit, at the same time, to recollect with enforcement, had effectually violated the gratitude another speech of that learned established law of the land. The rights of gentleman,* in which he had ably defendwar should only be exerted by the king on ed the Order in Council of Jan. 1807, not the property of the enemy, and by no only as founded on principles of natural means should they be extended to that of justice, which were the basis of the law of neutrals. This measure had even proceed nations; but as directly bearing upon the ed so far as to raise a tax, and levy supplies, enemy and considerate towards neutrals. without the consent of parliament.— With The principle of that measure was so clearrespect to the policy of the measure itself, ly expressed in a State Paper which had if the inexplicable nature of the Orders been alluded to in the course of the depermitted him to say he could form any just bate,t that he begged permission to read idea even of their tendency, he must ac- the words; “Neutrality, properly consiknowledge his decided conviction of their dered, does not consist in taking advantage tendency to injure our trade, to depre- of every situation between belligerent ciate our character among other nations, states, by which emolument may accrue and to deprive us of the means of meet- to the neutral, whatever may be the coning the pressing emergencies of the times. sequences to either belligerent party; but These Orders, as affecting the sugar and in observing a strict and honest impartialcotton trade, had the worst possible effect. ity, so as not to afford advantage in the He could never comprehend how this war to either ; and particularly in so far measure could be denominated a reta- restraining its trade to the accustomed liation, since it affected primarily ourselves, and next our allies. The French * See vol. viii. p. 633. would contentedly suffer some'embarrass- + Lord Howick's Letter to Mr. Rist, ment and inconvenience, being well ap- see p. 402.
course which is held in time of peace, as | mously and decisively expressed in a com-, not to render assistance to one belligerent munication to the chancellor of the exchein escaping the eflect of the other's hosti- quer their belief, that these Orders in lities. The duty of a neutral is, ' non in- Council could afford to our own colonies terponere se bello, non hoste imminente no relief, but might, on the contrary, fahostem eripere ;' and yet it is manifest, cilitate and legalise the supply and supthat lending a neutral navigation to carry port of the enemy's colonies. The British on the coasting trade of the enemy, is in West India planters had been also accused direct contradiction to this definition of of suggesting and promoting a quarrel with neutral obligations, as it is, in effect, to America. This, also, was false; for a rescue the commerce of the enemy from great majority of them felt and acknowthe distress to which it is reduced by the ledged that war with America would be superiority of the British navy, to assist one of the greatest calamities to which his resources, and to prevent G. Britain our colonies could be subjected. They had, from bringing hiin to reasonable terms of indeed, been sorely grieved by the abuses peace.”
.”-Here was no assumption of the of the neutral trade, and as America was principle of retaliation, but a measure chiefly instrumental in those abuses, expurely belligerent; the justice of which pressions of anger and irritation had been could not be affected by the variable and wrung from them in their distress. But, occasionally relaxed practice of nations. the remedies they had so long and earnestly It did, indeed, treat as France, all that suggested, were, that the colonies of the France held in absolute control ; an exten- enemy should, in their turn, be subjected sion consistent with the principle by which to the chances of war; that they should alone it was to be tried, as in practice it be blockaded by a portion of our great was not even strictly true that neutrals in naval force, or that the rule of the war of peace bad no share whatever in the coast. 1756 should be enforced. And, objectioning trade of individual France. They had able as the latter of these measures might shared in that trade before the revolution have appeared to America if suddenly rein the proportion of about 6,000 in one sorted to, he was persuaded that it would million of tons of shipping: -But the recent have proved less so than the measures we Orders in Council, retaliating upon the had adopted. It might have been allevia enemy his vain threat of blockade, which ated by conceding to her a temporary so far as America was concerned he had traffic in so much of our own colonial pronot attempted to execute, pronounced upon duce as must otherwise be wasted or a large portion of the world, including brought hither to the ruin of the planter, nearly the whole of Europe, a constructive and it might have been justly defended blockade, and then proceeded, with our as a belligerent measure, most consistent immense naval force, to act towards neu- with our own situation as masters of the trals as offensively as if such blockade were sea, and with our unquestionable right to actually carried into effect. We boasted, impoverish those sources to which the ene. indeed, of our relaxations, as we were my must look for establishing himself as pleased to call them, by which confisca- a rival maritime power. What was it we tion was commuted for revenue, but these were dreading, in the event of peace, so provisions were in his opinion a vicious much as that France should thereby obfeature in the measure; they stamped upon tain a navy? and was it not true that to it that air boutiquière, which would ensure her colonies principally she must look for its condemnation by neutrals. It was in that purpose?-It would be found on atvain we declared that revenue was no part tentive survey, that the naval force of of our object; America would not believe France had always kept pace with the
He would leave however the question prosperity of her colonial trade, and yet, of legality to others who would, he was without regarding on whom the reproach sure, most satisfactorily discuss it.—As to might fall, he must say, that in the long the expediency of the measure, it was one course of this contest we had been very principal motive in his rising to state, that little solicitous to prevent her from receiya the West India interest had neither pro- ing back her colonies at a peace, in a conmoted, nor approved it. There was an dition much more prosperous than that in erroneous opinion on this subject among which we had maintained our own. If our the public, not among his majesty's mini- West India colonies were not to be bene sters, for they must well know that in Dec. fitted by this measure, he was at a loss to last the West India Committee had unani-conceive by what description of traders
the advantage was to be derived. It was | America, but he feared their acts contrathe commencement of a war of privation dicted their sentiments. by the greatest commercial nation in the Lord H. Petty contended that America world, and it must be remembered that in had submitted to no injury on the part of this conflict there might be two kinds of France, and therefore we were not entidistress: distress from the need of buying, tled to inflict any injury on the ground of and distress from the need of selling; in retaliation. He instanced two cases of the his opinion, the latter feeling was more detention of American ships, one by a likely to press upon this country than the Spanish, and the other by a French cruiformer upon France. We could not ac- ser ; both were released with costs and complish both objects, that of distressing charges after a hearing in a French and the enemy by subjecting him to wants, Spanish court of prize appeal. He hoped and that of relieving our own trade by that the same sense of public duty which supplying him; one of these aims we had in another place triumphed this night might partially attain; but, in proportion would here also put the public in possesas we should approach to it, we must re- sion of the necessary information upon this cede from the other. The policy of wan- important point. It was not for the intetonly rushing into a contest with the only rest of this country to force a war between remaining neutral, while we were so de- America and France; next to a war between pendant upon foreign demand, he could England and America a war between not see. The conciliatory language held France and America would be most in. a few nights ago by the right hon. the jurious. The neutrality of America was chancellor of the exchequer had been the means of diffusing the manufactures of hailed by him as the promise of a better G. Britain. The retaliation of French disposition : that right hon. gent. had said, prohibition would but deprive the more that the prosperity of America was the wealthy among the French people of a few prosperity of G. Britain; and he might luxuries, while the annihilation of neutral have added, that the prosperity of the commerce would be most injurious to the world was the prosperity of G. Britain.- manufactures of G. Britain. The accuSuch language was not the mark of des- mulation of sugars that would be created pondency or submission, it was more apt here by the collected produce of the vato spring from confidence in moderate rious islands conquered by this country ; views and in a just cause. Why should by the importation from the French islands, it not be used in speaking of other foreign in American bottoms; and by the imporrelations? it might invite or cultivate dis- tation from the Brazils, now sanctioned by positions of returning amity, and he trust- act of parliament; the arts of substitued could never be interpreted as an incli- tion which the French people would learn, nation to surrender one essential or impor- and the privations to which they would tant interest of the country. Such lan- accustom theinselves, would be lasting inguage, too, would discourage Petitions for juries to this country and her colonies, Peace. The course we were pursuing Thus, this measure, which promised so must prolong our own commercial dis- much benefit at the outset, was attended tresses, and, in his opinion, would have no with much mischief in the result. He other effect on the enemy than that of fur- deprecated proceedings which would innishing him with a new stimulus to the volve the country in a quarrel with the enthusiasm of his immense armies, in main- only remaining neutral. He ridiculed the taining the contest against us until what idea of those who abused the Order of the he would denominate our maritime tyran- 7th Jan. as imbecile, and who now quoted ny should be effectually controlled. it as authority of force in this question,
Mr. W. Smith felt particularly the inju- and who, in like manner, censured as
that would be sustained by the interrup- ruinous invasions of the navigation act, tion of the American corn trade, shut up and the provisions of the act of last sessions, deprived as we were of all supplies of that for allowing the Americans to import the essential necessary from the Baltic. The necessaries of life into our West India right hon. gent. who brought in this bill colonies. He trusted the house would in one hand, ought, therefore to have pause, before it gave its sanction to a brought in a General Inclosure bill in the measure of such effect, and so little foundother. He greatly rejoiced at the senti ed in right and law. ments expressed by the right hon. gentle- Lord Castlereagh contended that the Or. men as to the value of the connexion with ders in Council were founded on a principle
of forbearance towards America, and not held the language contained in lord How-
94 try. If the calamity of war should un
-120 happily take place, whenever the conduct of his majesty's ministers should be brought division took place upon the question, That
While strangers were excluded, another under consideration, it would be seen, that no effort had been spared in order to pre
the Bill be committed this day vent it. If war should be the conse
For the question
147 quence, it would appear, that no conces- Against it
55 sion or submission could have prevented
-92 it. The arguments of the noble lord came Adjourned at half past 3 on Friday mornwith a bad grace from those who had ing.