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of the formidable military prepa- powers vested in him by act of rations carrying on in the ports of parliament for calling out and emFrance and Holland, pending the bodying forthwith the militia of discussion of an important nego. these kingdoms, or such part theretiation between his majesty's go- of as his majesty shall think proper vernment and that of France, the for the defence and safety of his result of which could not yet be kingdoms; not doubting that his known, his majesty acquainted the parliament will approve the same." house, that, actuated by the concern On the occasion of this message, he always feels for the security an address was voted, nem. con., in and welfare of his subjects, he has both houses of parliament. thought it necessary to exercise the
Negotiation-Debates on that Subject in the House of Lords In the House
of Commons. LL attempts at negotiation the incident he had mentioned of
having proved unfortu- the French ambassador's having nately fı uitless, as will be explain- sent for his passports that day. ed in a succeeding chapter, when His lordship concluded by movwe come to treat of the affairs of ing an adjournment to Monday; France, on the 6th of May lord which, after some opposition, was Pelham communicated to the canied. Accordingly, lord Pel.. house of peers, that the French ham, on the Monday,rose to make a -ambassador had that day sent for communication to the house, such his passports, in order, as soon as it as the circumstances of the case was known that lord Whitworth would admit. His lordship said, had left Paris to come to En- since Friday a change of circumgland, that he might leave London stances had induced lord Whitwith his suite, and depart for Pa- worth to delay his leaving the caris. His lordship said lord Whit- pital of France; but this alteraworth had been ordered to press tion had not been attended with the bringing the negotiation pend- any other change further than the ing between the two countries to a necessary delay which arose from conclusion ; and he had also had the fact itself; and he entertained instructions sent to him, that, in a confident expectation that he case he could not succeed in at- would very shortly be enabled to taining that object, he should quit come forward with a regular comParis as on Tuesday. Whether he munication to the house, had quitted Paris, and was on his On Monday, the 16th of May, way home, his majesty's confidential his lordship brought down a messervants were uninformed, as the sage from his majesty, importing messenger had not then arrived; that his majesty thought it proper and could only conjecture from to acquaint ihe house of peers that
the discussions which he announced conduct pursued on the part of to them in his message of the 8th this country was such as of March last, as then subsisting prove the sincerest desire of peace. between his majesty and the A very short period had elapsed, French government, had been ter- before, with a view of facilitating minated; that the conduct of the the evacuation of the island, an acFrench government had obliged credited officer was appointed to his majesty to recall his ambas- arrange the mode in which it was sador from Paris; that the am to take place. It would be seen bassador from the French repub- from No. 1. of the printed palic had left London; and that his pers, that, immedi:ricly on lord majesty had given directions for Hawkesbury's receiving a laying before the house, with as from M. Otto, mentioning that the little delay as possible, copies of first consul had appoiuted general such papers as would afford the Vial to be minister-plenipotentiaro fullest information to his parlia- to the order and island of Malta, ment at this important juncture. lord Hawkesbury, in return, com
On taking the message into con- municated (No. 2.) to M. Otto sideration on the 23d of May, lord that his majesty, on his part, had Pelham rose to move the address, appointed sir Alexander Ball, who He observed: From a perusal of had received full powers and inthe papers on the table, the great, structions to concert with an agent and indeed the only question was, on the part of the French governWhether a distinct and legitimate ment the means of executing the ground of war had been establish- article of the treaty with the least ed? The conclusion which those' possible difficulty. Previous to documents, in his opinion, left on the evacuation, the election of a the minds of ail unprejudiced men grand-master was an object of immust be, that war was, by the con- portant consideration; and to this duct of the French government, his majesty had given every possirendered inevitable. His lordship ble facility. The grand-master declared it not to be his wish or then chosen had seen reasons for his intention to go minutely not acceding to the election, and through the papers, because he a new election became indispenhad no doubt that their lordships sable. Again, his majesty, achad given them a very attentive tuated by the same desire of consideration, and had formed the peace, and the same wish of carconclusion which a careful perusal rying into effect the stipulations was calcuated to induce. It was of the treaty with scrupulous fideonly necessary for him to trace the lity, acceded to an arrangement for outline of the conduct pursued by a subsequent election, with the the two governments since the con- view of removing every obst:!cie to clusion of the treaty of Amiens. the evacuation of the island. A Proceeding on this principle, he body of Neapolit.in troops were, in adverted briefly to the principal the first instance, to be adınitted points of dispute betwixt the two into the island ; and to their adgovernments, as described in the mission on the part of his majesty documents on the table.
not the smallest obstacle was opWith respect to Malta, ihe posed. In a word, without going
into any minuteness of detail, he answer of ministers to these comwould content himself with refer- plaints was, was sufficiently exring their lord ships to the clear plained in the papers ; and he enand unequivocal proofs of a paci. tertained a confident expectation fic spirit, which had, throughout that it was of a nature to meet the whole of the stipulated ar- with universal support and approrangements relative to Malta, been bation. exhibited on the part of this coun. Lord Pelham was convinced try. It was about the 27th of Ja. that it was unnecessary to remind nuary that the French government their lordships of the various other began to press, in a very peremp- proofs which the French govern. tory manner, the evacuation of ment had given of a hostile and Malta; and it was about that pe- dangerous spirit. It would be neriod that niinisters thought them. cessary only to refer to a few which selves bound to demand some sa were diost prominent and worthy tisfactory explanation of the pre- of consideration. At the period tensions advanced, and the views when the first consul began to be disclosed, by the French govern- so very clamorous aboat the evament. Circumstances then exist. cuation of Malta, it would not be ed which rendered it necessary to forgotten by their lordships that an refer back to what had been the official document of a very extraconduct of the first consul from ordinary nature made its appearthe period when the treaty was ance in France. He meant to alconcluded. In the course of this lude to the report of colonel Se. review, the plain, the irresistible bastiani, an agent dispatched by inference was, that the conduct the first consul to make the tour of of the French government had the greater part of the provinces of been one constant series of acts to the Turkish empire. The publically inconsistent with a sincere de. cation of this report necessarily exsire of preserving the peace of the cited suspicion. It disclosed views two countries.--At an early period and unfolded projects which could after the treaty was signed, repre. not fail to attract the peculiar nosentations were made about the tice of ministers. In every page, freedom of the press in this coun one most important lesson was to try, the publications reflecting on be collected that the views of the the French government to which first consul relative to Egypt had this freedom gave rise, and the not been for a moment abandoned. necessity of subjecting not only If any doubt remained, this doubt the press, but the deliberative as. must have been completely resemblies of the country, to a de- moved by subsequent circumgree of restraint inconsistent with stances. In an interview with our the genius of our excellent consti- ambassador, the first consul had tution. The stay of the princes of not thought it necessary to throw the house of Bourbon, of certain the slightest veil of secrecy over bishops particularly named, and of his designs. In a formal confea number of emigrants who conti- rence with the ambassador of an nued to wear the badges of extin. independent power, the first consul guished royalty, was made the had not hesitated to declare that subject of complaint. What the Egypt must sooner or later be in
the possession of France. He pursuing this conduct, it was with would put it to the candour and a very, bad grace that the first confeelings of their lordships, whether sul came forward to insist on the peministers were not entitled to de- remptory execution of the treaty. As mand from the French govern- long as the hope of peace could, with ment some security for its future the smallest degree of reason, be views relative to Egypt, beyond entertained, ministers had shown what the treaty of Amiens pro- the utmost reluctance to resort to vided? In the continued posses- any measures which might hasten sion of Malta ministers conceived a renewal of hostilities. When, this security might be found; and however, the conduct of the French hence originated the discussions government had become such as which this subject had created, and could no longer be tolerated, conthe importance which the posses- sistently with the national honour, sion of the island afterwards as- dignity, or safety, it became parsumed. Malta, in the hands of liament and the country to speak this country, could only be viewed in terms of suitable indignation of as a security. It could afford to their repeated acts of insult and France, or any other power, no aggression. If war had become reasonable ground of jealousy or inevitable, it ought to be a war in alarm. No other place was liable which the national spirit should be to so little objection, and on this exerted in a way which would deground ministers rested their claim monstrate to a proud and insolent to its possession.
foe, that, while the people of this But, independent of these consi- country were not anxious for an derations, there were others which opportunity of taking offence, they justified ministers in retaining the were sensibly alive to the least imisland. When the treaty of Ami- putation of dishonour, and deterens was formed, and when, accord- mined on punishing insults with the ing to the stipulations of that trea- most exemplary vengeance. His ty, the island was to be restored to lordship concluded by moving the the order of St. John of Jerusalem, address. certain revenues were understood The duke of Cumberland rose, to be appropriated to their support, notwithstanding the able and accuin a way consistent with the objects rate statement of the noble secrewhich the treaty proposed to esta- tary of state, to enter upon the unblish. Without this support, it was pleasing task of repeating the variabsurd to talk of that independence ous indignities and insults which which the treaty professedly gua- had been offered to this nation by ranteed. But their lordships could the French government. Among not have forgotten, that, in Spain, their first acquisitions since the the revenues of the Spanish com- peace was Lombardy, which they mand had even been confiscated. pleased to call the Italian republic; The same thing had taken place in then followed the isle of Elba, Italy and in Bavaria. The French Piedmont, Parma, and lastly Switgovernment, so far from opposing zerland. Holland, which was one any obstacle to this sequestration, of those nations whose indepenhad appeared to have encouraged dence they had acknowledged hy it, in a way which showed a very their treaties, was now over-run by great degree of disinclination to the French troops; and as
to this execution of the treaty. After country, if it could submit to the
insolence and unjust pretensions of regulate at their own discretion, or France, it would soon be in as de- rather at their own caprice, the graded and humiliating a situation affairs of all other countries ; they as any of those small nations which wished much to be allowed to inwere now obliged to bow to the troduce their own theories, their mandates of a French minister, and impracticable systems, and destrucobey his instructions. As to our cive innovations, into the constitucommerce, wisich, in a country like tion and laws of this country. Of all this, must be an object of the first the institutions of our country which in portance to the nation, and an had been dear to our ancestors and object of the greatest solicitude to ourselves, there was none that its government, the French govern- displeased them more than that ment had, in a time of peace, acted which had been always considered with the most inveterate hostility. the pride of this free country the It was not by laying on any pro- liberty of the presse established by tecting duties, or any fair mode of the constitution, and regulated by rivalry, by which they endeavour- the laws. This was more peculied to depreciate our manufactures, arly galling to a government whose and substitute their own in their measures could not bear the light stead. No; it was by force and of free discussion. His royal highinjustice, that they not only prohi- ness concluded by reminding their bited the entrance of our manu- lordships, that, if this war should factures into their country ; but ex. be of any long continuance, the concluded them also from every coun. sequences of defeat would be the try which was under their influ- overthrowing of our altars, the deence; or, rather, which could be struction of cur nobility, the deterrified by the consideration of gradation of the country, the extheir power, joined to that of their tinction of the national honour, and rapacity and injustice. Their tri- the loss of that character which bunals had confiscated our vessels had hitherto made the people of on the most frivolous pretences; this country respected among the they had refused, in everyinstance, nations: whereas, if we should justice to all British claimants, and prosecute it with that vigour with they were pleased to call this con- which our former wars had been duct the conduct of a nation at conducted, there would be no peace. The illustrious duke then doubt of the same success. We adverted to the report of Sebas- should convince the world that we tiani; after which lie proceeded had not degenerated from the pathis country had also been told triotic spirit of our ancestors ; that it had nothing to do with the and we should teach France, that atrairs of Europe, or with the op- there is still in Europe a powerful pressions and vexations that France and unconquered nation, which, might please to exercise on other just and moderate in its own connations, and that all our rights were duct, would not bear injustice and derived from the treaty of Amiens. insult from any nation, and was al. When did France make this disco. ways prepared to defend its own very? or when did Britain forfeit dignity, and to oppose unjust amthe rank and estimation she had bition, aggrandisenient, and enhitherto held among the nations ? croachment. But the French government were
Earl Stanhope, after a few prenot content with endeavouring to fatory remarks, said he should at