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CH A P. II.
Copies of the Convention with Russia laid lefore the House of Lords-- and
Commons.- Motion ly Mr: Grey for Papers--by Mr. Whitlread on the second Article of the Preliminaries.--- Inquiry by Lord Grenville on the Subject of Portugal.- Address to the King moved for in the Lords on the Peace. – Debate. — Speeches of Lords Romney Limerick-Spencer Duke of Clarence - Pelham-Grenville-Chancellor-Moira-Mulgrave -Duke of Bedford – Fitzwilliam-St. Vincent- Nelson-- The Marquis of Buckingham - Carnarvon-Hobart.- Division. - Address carried.
N Friday the 30th of October, stances, in which so much had been
copies of the convention with giren up without any equivalent, the emperor of Russia, and of the such unlimited concession made, so preliminary articles of peace with much disgrace incurred, and the naFrance, were presented to the bouse tion placed in such awful circumof lords by lord Pelham; and to the stances of impending peril. He house of commons by lord Hawkes: hoped, however, that his noble friend
would, by an express declaration, In the house of lords, lord Gren- render the motion unnecessary. ville rose to move for copies of Lord Pelham regretted extremely all treaties and conventions made that the noble lord should think it within the last year by France with necessary to oppose the measures of any of the powers which were allies his majesty's ministers on so imporof his majesty: the object for which tant a point. With respest to the he moved those papers was to ex- production of these papers, he obplain that article of the preliminaries served, that while matters stood in which respected the integrity of negotiation between this country and Portugal, inasmuch as by one treaty France, such papers could not be Portugal had ceded a province to laid upon the table, without conSpain, and by another a still greater siderably embarrassing his majesty's proportion of its territory to France: servants, and endangering the pube he wished then much to know what lic interests. was this integrity of Portugal which Lord Grenville said he did not was guarantied by the preliminaries, mean to embarrass his majesty's or what claim the government had ministers, Dor oppose their measures, to the praise of fidelity in securing unless in matters of such import as the possessions of our allies. For left him no option. On the conhis part, he was of opinion that trary, he was ready to give them all there never was a transaction of any the assistance and support he could, kind in the history of our country, provided they would act with more at any period, or under any circum- tirmness and vigour in maintaining the peace, than they had shown in Spain and Holland had appointed negotiating it. After again touching any representative authorised to conon the vast importance of the cession sent to those cessions of territory which Portugal has made to France mentioned in the second article of in Guyana, he concluded by waving the preliminaries. his intended motion for the present, Lord Hau kesbury replied, that as his noble friend (lord Pelham) they had not; but that it was conhad expressed an objection to it. sidered that France was fully com
On the same day, in the house petent to act for her allies : he addof commons, Mr. Grey demanded ed, that he was now prepared to anexplanations from ministers on nearly swer a question which had been put the same grounds as lord Grenville to him by an honourable member had wished for the production of (Mr. Grey) the other evening : the papers in the house of lords. He sixth article of the treaty meant only wished particularly to be informed to secure to Portugal her territories what was the nature of the integrity as settled by the treaty of Badajos, that was stipulated for the dominions that she had concluded with Spain. of the queen of Portugal ? Was it Mr. Grey observed, that that was the integrity of what remained of it not the only question he had put to when it had ceded a province to the noble lord on a former evening; Spain, or was it its absolute inte- he had also inquired about the grity? He also expressed the surprise treaty between Portugal and France, he had felt in reading the treaty be- by which French manufactures were tween France and Portugal, to find to be received in Portugal on terms that the goods and merchandise of equally favourable with those of this France were to be admitted into the country. ports of Portugal with every advan- Lord Hawkesbury replied, that tage and privilege formerly given to the preference given by each counthe most favoured nation : this try was reciprocal; and if Portugal would be, in fact, an abrogation of admitted the woollens of other naall the treaties which had subsisted tions to be imported upon the terms between this country and Portugal heretofore exclusively enjoyed by for the last century. It was on this country, we should also be at these two points that he wished for liberty to place all other wines upon explanation from ministers.
a footing with those of Portugal. Lord Hawkesbury considered these On the next day a most important questions as unusual and irregular, debate took place in both houses, on and therefore declined, for the pre- the motion for an address to his masent, to enter into any explanation, jesty : this debate naturally drew and more particularly as the subject forth the sentiments of every distinwould soon come before the house guished member of either house, as in a regular way of discussion
to the general merits or demerits of The thanks of both houses were the preliminary articles : previous given to general Hutchinson, lord however to the order of the day for keith, and sir James Suamarez. reading his majesty's speech, a de.
On the 2d of November, in the bate, or rather an animated converhouse of commons, Mr. Whitbread sation, took place in both houses reasked lord Hawkesbury whether specting some further information
which was demanded from ministers, he observed was more peculiarly and which they were not disposed to necessary, as Portugal had signed grant.
two treaties with Spain, one at BaLord Grenville, in the house of dajos, the other at Madrid, and the peers, asked his majesty's ministers house ought to know which of them whether Portugal was now at liberty was guarantied. to maintain her accustomed relations Lord Hawkesbury said, governwith this country, as by the treaty ment was not then possessed of offiof Madrid she had been bound not cial information on the subject, but to give any exclusive privileges to he was ready to say, that he underthe detriment of the contracting stood that by the treaty of Badajos, parties.
Portugal only ceded the town of OliLord Pelham answered, that she venza to Spain, and that by the was still at liberty to treat with this treaty between France and Portugal country.
there was so far an alteration of the Lord Grenville replied, that this frontier in Guyana, that for the fuquestion was, whether Portugal re- ture the river Arewara was to be the mained at liberty to maintain her boundary. former connection with us, under The preliminary conversation bewhich we enjoyed exclusive advan- ing thus disposed of in both houses, tages, for which we gave reciprocal that part of his majesty's speech reprivileges.
lating to the preliminary articles was (No answer was made by minis- read. ters.]
Lord Romney moved the address Lord Thurlow complained of the in the house of lords : he began by irregularity of this conversation. stating, that we had now terminated
Lord Grenville said, it was by no the greatest and most momentous means unusual to call for important war which this country had ever information previous to discussing been engaged in; a war, which the order of the day; however, for though productive of the heaviest the sake of regularity, he should burdens, had been on our side a war move an humble address to his ma- of necessity, not only for the dejesty, praying for a copy of the treaty fence of our allies, but the preservaof Madrid, signed on the 29th of tion of our religion, laws, property, September
and constitution. And as it was on Lord Hobart said, that the preli- our side nesessary, so it was, as far minaries only respected the integrity as we were concerned, attended by of the territories of Portugal; com- the most brilliant successes. Glomercial regulations must remain for rious as that war was, in which the future arrangement.
immortal Chatham presided at the After several observations from helm of affairs, this was no less the lord Chancellor, lord Thurlow, splendid. Our fleets had been vicand other lords, the house proceeded torious in a still higher degree; they to the order of the day.
had crushed the navy, and annihiIn the house of commons, the lated the commerce of the enemy. honourable Mr. Grenville made a The whole of maritime Europe, similar demand of information re- jealous of the power of our navy, specting the treaty of Madrid, which had conspired its humiliation; they
found found their vain endeavours recoil pecuniary, than this country was supupon themselves. He had himscif posed to possess, and so far the imporbeen taught, by the glory that our tant objects of the war had been setroops had obtained in Egypt, the cured. His lordship then dwelt on the truth of one observation made to importance of the islands of Ceylon him formerly by a noble lord, bim- and Trinidada (both from their siself an ornament to the inilitary pro- tuation and capability of improvefession (lord Moira), who told him ment), as also on the vast conquests that he might rely upon it, that which had been made in India, from British soldiers, when they had an Tippoo Sultan, the old ally of equal opportunity of distinguishing France, and the deliverance of themselves, would not fall short of Egypt from the French dominion. British sailors. Egypt had lately He concluded by giving his opinion witnessed such glorious exertions of that we had done all that could British troops, as the annals of his- have been done for our allies, and tory could not surpass.
We had that we had laid a foundation for then to contend with a completely British security, which held out disciplined army, more numerous promise -of permanent peace. He than our own, inured to the climate, then read his motion for the adand commanded by a most skilful address. and experienced general. The chosen Lord Limerick seconded the adtroops of France, who had gained dress. He thought it augured well so many brilliant victories against of the peace, that almost all ranks the Austrians, and deemed them- and descriptions of men in the selves « invincible,” found, for the country approved of it. first time, that they were not invin- sorry, however, to find that many cible when they came to close quar- of the highest characters in point of ters with British soldiers. Success abilities and integrity thought difhowever was the best season for ferently upon that subject. The concluding peace.
In no former situation of this country was, as war has the victorious party insisted he thought, decidedly better than on retaining all its acquisitions. In at the late peace, At the last the war which lord Chatham had so peace we lost our finest colonies, gloriously conducted, the object was and several most important islands to secure our American colonies: and fortresses had been taken from that being effected, we restored, at us in the war which preceded it; the peace, Martinico, Guadaloupe, but in this the character of the the Havannah, and Pondicherry. In country as well as its territories the American war, when France had were preserved inviolate : Britain succeeded in detaching from us these had also successfully interfered for colonies, she did not hesitate to re- its allies, Turkey and Portugal. store several islands and settlements His lordship then expatiated on she had taken from us during the the glorious achievements of our war. We now have secured the troops in Egypt, and regretted the great.object of the war, our religion, loss of that hero, who led on those laws, constitution, property, and in- troops to victory and immortal hodependence. We had displayed nour. His spirit, however, did not greater resources, both military and die; it fell upon those gallant off,
cers who succeeded him, and whose by land and sea had conquered, conduct best spoke their culogium. and which would have secured us He hoped the house would pardon from the effects of the aggrandizehis national vanity in mentioning, ment of France upon the continent. that many of them came from the It had been said that we had prosame part of the united kingdom tected our allies. What was the with himself, and were his par- fact? How had we protected Porticular friends. He spoke this with tugal ? It appeared that it was only particular pleisure, from the recol- a portion of her territory whose Iection of the disaffected and dan- integrity was to be preserved. A gerous spirit which prevailed too part of the important province of much amongst the inferior orders Olivenza was to be ceded: our of people in that country. To this ally the Prince of Orange was not subject he thought the attention of even named in the preliminaries, government should be directed, and although from his faithful attachthat above all things a large peicement to us he had lost both his establishment must be kept up. territories and his station. Could He concluded by generally approv- it be said that Ceylon and Trinidad ing of the conduct of ministers, gave either sufficient indemnity for but particularly for procuring for the past, or security for the future? the nation such preliminaries of In India the bravery of our army peace as the present.
had subdued Tippoo Saib, and Earl Spencer lamented the ne- placed that country out of danger; cessity he felt himself under from but by this peace, which surrenhis sense of duty, to deliver an ders to the enemy the Cape of opinion opposite to that of the two Good Hope and Cochin, we afford noble lords who had last spoke. If them an entrance into Malabar ; he did not feel himself called upon while in South America we have by his sense of duty, he slaould permitted Portugal to cede to France much rather have deplored in silence a strong military position at the the calamity of the present peace, mouth of the river of Amazons, and the enthusiastic joy with which In the West Indies we had surrenthe people had received it. He dered Martinico, and left the French shoud rather have suppressed the in possession of St. Domingo. In mortification he felt at the degrada- the Mediterranean we had surrention of his country: he felt peculiar dered everything and excluded pain at opposing the measures of ourselves. In Malta the French men with whom he had so long were to have equal footing with acted, and with whom he was con ourselves. In short, he saw nothing nected by the ties of friend-hip; but a precarious peace. It was said but bis opinion on this subject was it was the interest of France to diametrically opposite to
to theirs. maintain this peace, but who had He thought that no single object of learned to calculate the interest of the war had been obtained, and an usurper? If ever peace was prethat we had sacrificed all means of carious, this was that peace. If protection. We had in every part ever precarious peace was dangerous, of the world made cessions of coun- this was that peace. The French tries which the valour of ow forces principles are triumphant, and