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France had made. All the islands of those statutes, which originated we had taken in the West Indies in childish alarm, and apprehension were not equal in yalue to Savoy, of danger which never existed but which was a very small portion of in the minds of his majesty's late the acquisitions of France. The ministers. He concluded by prostrict basis of the uti possidetis could mising to support ministers if they not be adhered to when a weaker continued in the same course they power was negotiating with a had hitherto pursued. stronger. He rejoiced sincerely The bishop of Rochester said, that that peace was effected, and gave although he was a friend to peace, as ministers credit for having made the became the sacred profession to best peace which, under the existing which he belonged, he was an enecircumstances, could be procured. my to a mere semblance and counHis lordship concluded by a decla- terfeit of peace, which contained ration to ministers, that he was within it the germ of future war, disposed to give them his cordial and perhaps of the destruction of the and unreserved support, in the ex- country; he should have been pectation that they would continue heartily glad to have given his supto deserve it.
port to a peace that was honourable Lord Mulgrave, in a very ani- and advantageous to the country, mated speech, defended the peace, and likely to be safe and permanent. and gave the highest encomiums to The bishop condemned the mode of the valour of the British soldiers and defending the preliminaries by consailors.
sidering the importance of the island The duke of Bedford supported of Malta, or any particular cession the address and the preliminaries of separately. We should weigh the peace, although he differed widely great mass of cessions generally, and from some of the noble lords who see for what they had been made : had supported it; he supported it we had yielded the Mediterranean in as a peace the best which could be absolute sovereignty to the enemy; obtained under the circumstances of we had opened for them a door to the country. In comparing it with India; given them back the Cape, the projet of 1797, he observed and their islands in the West Indies, that, notwithstanding the vigour and rendered infinitely more valuable by resources which this country dis British industry and capital and in played in the last year of the war, exchange for such immense sessions, France had, since 1797, gained such we had got nothing but a precarious important victories on the conti-. and hollow truce. The reverend nent, as to place her higher, if prelate followed nearly the same possible, than she stood in 1797. course lord Grenville had taken in He could not therefore withhold his his disapprobation of the preliminaapprobation of the peace, unequal ries, and concluding by hoping that as it was, disgraceful as it might ministers would not rescind those be. He hoped, however, that his salutary statutes, which had been majesty's present ministers would found so efficacious in promoting follow up the peace by a full re- the peace and tranquillity of the storation of the constitution to the country. people, and an immediate repeal Lord Fitzwilliam considered the Vol. XLIV.
peace to be a mere hollow and pre- great value. When the Indiamen carious truce, that carried with it no were heavy ships, it was necessary to symptoms of permanency or secu- touch there and refit, but now that rity. He considered, that the joy they are coppered and sail well, they which the people expressed was a often make the voyage without touchmere, momentary delusion, that ing at any port whatever. He thought would vanish as soon as the people his majesty's ministers were bound should return to their reason, and to seize the first opportunity of compare the immense sacrifices we making peace that offered, and that have made to the trifling cessions the preliminaries on the table were made by France. For the two both honourable and advantageous. islands of Ceylon and Trinidad, the The marquis of Buckingham lacountry has been nine years at war, mented sincerely that he could not has wasted some hundreds of mil- give his consent to the preliminaries lions of her treasure, and thousands on the table, as they appeared to of lives. At the same time that he him to be humiliating and disgracedisapproved of the peace, he consi- ful to this country. In the first dered that the public faith'was now place, he considered them dishonourpledged, and that the terms of the able, as they left our allies exposed treaty, bad as it was, must be ad- and unprotected. Portugal, in parhered to
ticular, appeared to him to have Lord Westmoreland defended the been shamefully abandoned, and by preliminaries.
our consenting to its new commerLord St. Vincent considered Cey- cial regulations with respect to Jon and Trindad as two of the most France, we all but excluded our own valuable islands in the whole habita- woollens from the markets of Porble globe, either considered in a po- tugal. With regard to the security litical or commercial point of view. of the peace, nothing had been sti
Lord Nelson rose to give the opi- pulated, but we were left solely to nion he had formed from the best depend on the bare word and honour opportunities which he had of ascer- of the person now holding the gotaining the value of some of the vernment of the French republic, places which we had taken and What was there in the character and afterwards ceded., Minorca he con-' conduct of that person to induce lis ceived of little value, as it was too to suppose, that he would not take far distant from Toulon to be an im- the earliest favourable opportunity portant naval station. As to Malta, which offered for breaking the he did not consider it as likely to be peace? He had betrayed a rooted of any great importance to this jealousy' and deep lodged hatred country. Wc took it to rescue it against this country, which it was from the hands of the French. It not to be supposed would be easily would require a garrison of 7000 washed away by any superabundant men to defend the works. He milk of human kindness in his comthought, provided the French did position. Since the signing the prenot get it, it was immaterial what liminaries, the intrigues of the third power was possessed of it. French government had negotiated Neither did he consider the Cape of a private peace between the republie Good Hope as a settlement of very and the Porte, in order to prevent
the latter power from feeling that wéll answered by asking, was it gratitude which it ought to feel to worth the while of France to have this country for affording it the continued the war for any of them greatest assistance in the hour of separately? After having surrenderdanger, which it had ever received ed all the fruits of a nine years war, from any European power. This we had no better security for the was a sufficient specimen of the peace than the good faith of a nation good faith of the first consul. We which had never before been celehad given him a giant's strength, brated for that quality. and we might be assurcd he would Lord Hobart defended the preliuse it like a giant.” His lordship minaries, and replied to the leading then observed, that although he objections against them. He concould not give the present ministers tended that the interests of Portugal his confidence on their coming into had not been deserted, and that the office, yet he had forborne to oppose cession of Cochin in India was by them till the present occasion had no ineans of that importance now, compelled him to do so. If how- which it would have been of, when ever the measure on the table was it was surrounded by the territories followed up by measures of energy of Tippoo Saib : those territories are and vigour, and if his majesty's now in our possession, and the ministers would make the necessary neighbouring sovereign of Travanexertions to render the peace less core is our firm ally. As to the precarious than it appeared to him Cape, it was a possession which now to be, he should give them his could not be held but at an enormous hearty support.
expense to this country. As a Lord Caernarvon was of opinion, place for our ships to touch at, it that a peace more adequate, safe, was by no means necessary to us, and honourable, might have been as many ships went and returned obtained, if our negotiators had not from India without touching there; lightly surrendered the interests of and as a colony its product would the country. Every article in the never be at all equal to the expense preliminaries is concession on our of keeping it. As to the interests side, and advantage to France and of the stadtholder, the only reason her allies, although peace was as they were not expressly mentioned Tiecessary to them as to us, and was, that a negotiation was then touaily wished for on their side. depending through the mediation of It might therefore reasonably be the court of Berlin, which promised expected that they would have con- a favourable issue. sented to negotiate on equal terms. The house then divided upon the As to the mode of defending it by question: putting a question separately on Contents 94 Proxies 10 every thing ceded, whether it was Non-contents 10 : worth continuing an expensive war Majority for the address 94 fo: that object; this might be as
CHA P. III.
Address on the Peace mored for in the House of Commons by Sir Edward
Hartop-seconded by Mr. Lee. - Debate. - Speeches of Lords L. GowerHaukestury- Jr. T. Grenrille-Lords Castlereagh - Temple - Mr. PittFox.-Delate adjourned-resumed nezt Day. - Speeches of Mr. Wyndham-Willerforce - Eliot - and Addington.- Considerations on the foregoing Debates.
IN the house of commons the preserved but considerably increased 1 address was moved for the same our dominions by our great acquiday by
sitions in the East and West Indies, Sir Edward Hartop, who stated and by retaining Ceylon and Trinithat, in the conduct of the late war, dad. His majesty's ministers, nothis majesty's ministers had two withstanding the great successes of grand objects in view: the one the British arms during the last camto defend their country from the paign, finding that one of the great destructive and sanguinary doctrines objects of the war (for want of conof jacobinism, and the other to tinental cocperation) was no longer resist the inordinate ambition and attainable, resolved on negociating aggrandizement of the new govern- for peace, and in this treaty they ment of France. In the latter ob- had preserved the British empire ject we cooperated with the other entire and increased in its territopowers of Europe ; and had their ries: they had also preserved the zeal and exertions been equal to strictest good faith to their allies, our own, we should not now have · by securing their interests, even at witnessed the humiliating degrada- the expense of surrendering valuable tion to which they have been re- conquests we bad made from the duced. As to the destructive prin- enemy. He therefore thought they ciples which had been at war with had held forth to Europe on this every government, they had already occasion, an illustrious example of sufficiently manifested their own honour, of justice, and of faith, malignity, to be for ever reprobated worthy of admiration and of exby the people of these realms. Even anple, and highly advantageous in France they were detested by both to our reputation and our intethe great majority of the people, rests. He concluded by moving an as subversive of government and address of thanks to his majesty for social happiness ; and thus, by the his gracious communication, and excess of their own virulence and expressive of a firm reliance that inalignity, they had effected their the ratification of these preliminaown destruction. We had main- ries would be advantageous to the tained unimpaired the purity of our interests, and honourable to the constitution. We had not only character of the British ratio.
Mr. Lee seconded this motion, bank had stopped its payments, and In order to prove that this was a commercial credit had received a war of aggression on the part of violent shock. A spirit of dangerFrance, and merely defensive on ous insubordination existed in our the part of England, he took a feet, and the funds had fallen so retrospective view of the conduct low, as to make us alınost despair of this country in 1792, when so of the future resources of the emfar from exhibiting any hostile pire. In Ireland, although rebellion views, she redaced her forces had not absolutely taken the field, both by land and sea, while France yet the most unequivocal sentinents on the other hand was encouraging of disaffection had been exhibited. plots for the subversion of our con- The navy of the enemy was at that stitution, and the moment it was time nearly equal to our own, and possible for her to do so, attacked we had not a single frigate in the our old ally, Holland. He con- Mediterranean. The situation of sidered that the war, as it had been the country now was widely difnecessary, so it had added to the ferent, and yet we had made many glory of the British name, and had more cessions than that projet at given additional security both to Lisle proposed to make. We had our constitution and our empire. ceded Surinam, Minorca, Porto He saw, however, no possibility Ferrajo, and Malta : and what had of making any peace which would we obtained as the price of all those not be so far precarious as that it cessions ? Notwithstanding, bowa might be violated as soon as it was ever, that the terms of this peace the interest of either power so to was far short of his expectations, do. He remembered the saying yet peace itself was so desirable an of an emperor of Morocco, who object, and had been received with wishing to break a peace, and being such general joy, that he should by told that that would be violation no means oppose the address, alof faith, replied, “ I break it be- though he conceived it his duty to cause it is my interest," He sus- make those observations. pected that this savage emperor Lord Hawkesbury, at considerspoke, in plain blant terms, the able length, defended the prelimihteral language and policy of the naries. He first observed upon the modern courts of Europe. He comparison which had been drawn considered, however, that this peace between them and the articles of promised a reasonable degree of the projet at Lisle. He thought permanence and security.
that it was unfair to dwell upon Lord Levison Gower could by any comparison between them, as Do means admit that the projet the projet at Lisle was but a projet, offered at Lisle was any criterion and no person could venture to to judge of the merits or demerits deny that Lord Grenville would of the present peace by. The cir- have been glad to have taken less cumstances of the country were from the government of France than then totally different from the cir- he then demanded. After nine cumstances under which the present years effusion of blood ; after an prace was signed. A short time increase of debt to the amount of before the negotiation at Lisle, the nearly 200 millions; after the un