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tempt to state what the real differences between the two countries were ; and in his description of these differences he should take as sittle as possible from his own recollection, and as much as possible from the printed papers. In the 102d page of the correspondence, a proposition was brought forward by ministers, that Malta should remain in the hands of this country for ten years; and it was hardly necessary for him to remind their lordships, that, agreeably to the terms of the treaty of peace, it was to be given up by this country in three months after the ratification had taken place. He would not take on himself to say that no circumstances might have taken place which rendered the non-execution of the stipulation highly proper and highly expedient. Whether such circumstances did occur, was the great subject for examination at the present moment. Now, with reference to the possession of Malta, it was of consequence to ascertain whether ministers had always represented it as the grand object of dispute betwixt the two governments. In paper 83 of the correspondence, he found that the acceptance of a project relative to Malta would, according to the representation of a noble secretary of state (lord Hawkesbury), remove one of the most material of the difficulties existing betwixt the two governments. For himself, he was ready to confess that there was an object much dearer to his heart than the possession of Malta, important as he considered it: this was, the maintenance of the constitution and the liberties of his country. One single iota of those liberties and that constitution he would on no account consent to relinquish ;

and any attack on them, on the part of a foreign power, he would consider as a ground of war on which no possible diversity of opinion could prevail. He did not think, that, in the principle on which the retention of Malta was required, ministers were justified. Their argument was, that because, since the signature of the definitive treaty, France had received a considerable accession of power, therefore England was required to hold Malta by way of additional security. To such a principle as this he never could give his approbation. He would put a case to the candour of their lordships from which some idea might be formed of the principle which ministers set up in defence of the retention of Malta. Supposing that Cuba had, during the intermediate period, been ceded to this country by Spain, or Sicily by the king of Naples; what would any of their lordships think if Bonaparte had come to this country with a demand for additional security in consequence of this cession ? Was there a single individual having a drop of §. blood in his bosom, who would not have indignantly spurned at such a requisition But, admitting the principle, ministers could have no "objection to his contending that it ought to be equally true in point of fact. With this understanding he should contend, that, instead of the power of France being angmented since the peace, it had been materially decreased. In Europe, it might indeed be saii that it had been increased ; but this was a mecessary consequence of antecedent events. After the batties of Miarengo and Hohen, inden, all the subordinate states of Europe were virtually under her control; and

any formal cession was merely a nominal, not a real accession, of power. But he begged their lordships to consider what was the decrease of influence and power which the French government had sustained in other parts of the world. Did their lordships bear in mind, that, since the signature of the definitive treaty, the important colony of St. Domingo—a colony in point of real value and importance superior to all the other French possessions in the West Indies—had been lost to France 2 In stating the debtor and creditor side of the account, this was a circumstance deserving of peculiar attention. When francé made peace she had St. Domingo; now she had lost it. But how had she lost it? He would tell their lordships: Previous to the first consul’s sending troops to that island, there were a set of persons at Paris known by the appellation of Amis des Noirs. These persons, with the most philanthropic views, had established such a system of goodwill towards the blacks, that, if it had been pursued, would at any time have commanded 500,000 fighting men in the West Indies. ow, with such an army in point of numbers, headed and directed by French general officers, what might not be expected in that climate : Had that system been pursued, Jamaica and the whole of our islands must have fallen beneath the irresistible power of France. - That such would have been the consequence, would apcar from evidence given at their i. bar during the discussions on the slave trade. A noble admiral, and one of the best officers in our navy (admiral Af. fleck), had deposed at the bar of that house, that, in his opinion, it

was impossible to prevent the in

gress of negroes, into the islands,

however vigilantly blockaded. In this he was also confirmed by the testimony of other naval men of great authority. Here then was a source of power at that time within the reach, if not in the actual possession of France. This not only extended to us, it also reached Spain. France, through the same means, might have possessed herself of Cuba, Porto Rico, Mexico, and Peru. The existence of our whole West - India possessions might have been exposed to the most imminent peril; but now all this danger had entirely disappeared. By the unwise conduct of the first consul—for whatever was contrary to the rights of man he must always consider unwise—a system of extermination had been pursued, by which the indignation of the blacks had been exasperated to madness, and France was deprived of one of the richest and the fair

est colonies of the world. But ministers, after all this, still reverted to the views of Bonaparte respecting Egypt. Putting this question fairly and candidly, he wished to ask their lordships, whether it was meant to be insinuated, that the predilection of Bonaparte for Egypt was "any thing novel ? Was it not well enough ascertained, that the possession of it was one of his most favourite objects? Did he not, for the accomplishment of this object, sacrifice one of the bravest armies that ever folllowed the fortunes of a favourite eneral 2 Because the first consul ad, at one time, expressed a very strong inclination to obtain possession of Egypt, he did not think that this was a sufficient ground for the retention of Malta, in the way in which it was by ministers proposed

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proposed to be retained. He de

sired their lordships to reflect on this circumstance—that a favourable change might be introduced into the sentiments and views of the first consul. He had not shown himself to be guided by any systematic or invariable principles. It was impossible, from what he had done to-day, to calculate what he should do to - morrow. This might, with some persons, be a und of censure; but he liked e first consul the better for this disposition. There appeared to him, his lordship argued, something laughable in the whole arrangements relative to the retention of Malta. The ultimatum of ministers was, that Malta should remain in our possession for ten years. He should wish to be informed, whether any imPortant national advantage could result from this arrangement 2 After the ten years were expired, were the ambitious views of Bonaparte to be moderated 2 Was he to divést himself of all the qualities which were now the objects of anxiety and alarm 2 He certainly entertained no sort of doubt of the views of the French government respecting Egypt; and he would be the last man in the world to deny, that, with a view to the security of our eastern dominions, the possession of Egypt by France was certainly an event most earnestly to be deplored. He differed, however, from ministers on this point, in the most decided manner. He differed from them on the simple principle, that Malta ought to be kept in perpetuity by this country. But how had ministers conducted the discussion? Their conduct, as he had before hinted, was ridiculous in the highest degree. It appeared in page 110 .# the Corre

spondence, in a dispatch dated as near to the present day as the 12th of May, that at the time when lord Whitworth was preparing to set out from Paris, M. Talleyrand brought forward a proposition, holding out a prospect of allowing us to retain Malta in perpetuity for a valuable consideration. The answer to this proposition was of a very simple description. Lord Whitworth solicited for his passports, and left Paris without any explanation. This he could not help thinking contrary to all the wisest maxims of policy. It appeared to him, indeed, to violate the plainest principles of common sense. In judging of this question, he thought that he could not have a better criterion of judgement than by putting himself in the supposed situation of an arbitrator. Acting in this capacity, if he were called on to decide upon the differences of two individuals, he should begin by ascertaining

what were the particular objects to which they respectively laid claim.

If he found that the claims of both referred to the same object, his arbitration might then appear fruitless. If however their wishes were directed to different and unconnected objects, the task of arbitration would become easy. He should, in this case, ask the parties, what they respectively wanted 2 He should make an equitable adjustment, and leave them to settle the diffetence. But ministers did not rest their

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cessions to his haughty demands, had beca made a subject of very general complaint. He was ready to declare, that, after having perused the papers with the utmost possible attention, he saw no proof of his insolence in the correspon. dence betwixt the two governments. If the French government really required that the liberty of the press should be curtailed, that the freedom of discussion in both houses of parliament should be limited, then he declared that ministers ought to have insisted on an immediate and distinct explanation. If the answer of the French government was not satisfactory, what was to be the conduct pursued by ministers ? They ought to have recalled our minister that day, and on the succeeding day our cannon ought to have roared, to avenge the insult offered to the national honour. He scarcely thought it necessary for him to declare his attachment to the liberty of the press; but while he was an advocate for its liberty, he was not to stand up for its licentiousness. He ave the noble lord who opened the discussion credit for the candour and fairness with which he had spoken on the subject. The noble lord allowed that he had seen some late publications of the most mischievous tendency. This he could say from his own knowledge; some of these publications were, indeed, of a nature which could not be justified on any principle of regard to the rights of independent states. It was of great importance that the liberty of the press, as it ought to be exercised, should be clearly and accurately defined. The criterion to judge of what was false, scandalous, and scurrilous, was, what

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would be tolerated with respect to the ministers of the crown 2 What could not be applied to their conduct, it was unfair and criminal to apply to the conduct of the first magistrates of other powers. On this point he thought the first consul of France .# a right to complain ; because it did not appear that any specific case of insolence on the part of the government of France was established. The plain objection against ministers was this; that they did not make a specific remonstrance. They suffered past injuries to pass over unnoticed. They continued to negotiate about Malta: and they had no principle then to hold up those

as real ground of war. There was one point more on which he wished to remark. In page 56 lord Whitworth said to lord Hawkesbury—‘ I found him to-day entirely disposed to give me another opinion, and to convince me that the first consul, far from wishing to carry matters to extremity, was desirous to discuss fairly, and without passion, a point which he admitted was of importance to both countries. He repeatedly assured me, that, much as the first consul had the acquisition of Egypt at heart, he would sacrifice his own feelings, to the preservation of peace; and henceforth seek to augment his glory by improving and consolidating the internal situation of the country, rather than by adding to its possessions.” Fair words these, my lords, said his lordship. He would not be induced to give up Malta for them ; but when it was of. fered to give us that island in perpetuity §. a consideration, and such dispositions being professed, was it not worth endeavouring to find out what would suit him : Upon typon this point, said he, let us look a little to the secret wishes of the consul. He seemed to object more to French publications than English. Now the means of circulation for the former were more convenient at Jersey and Guernsey. He (the consul) said also“Send away the bishops, and such fellows.” (A laugh.) He did not wish to get quit of my lords the bishops, he assured their lordships. He only used the consul’s own words. These being the first consul’s objects, let us see, said he, if we cannot give them to him. Jersey and Guernsey were strong, for the purpose of annoying him; but of }. use to us. Why not, my lords, said he, give these up 2 Was it not better, than that two

nations should destroy one ano

ther ? Let us consider, continued his lordship—we have 500 millions of debt. Let us consider the necessary increase of burdens in case of war. The people were already debarred of many comforts and some necessaries. He wished to prevent the return of the income tax, and other burdens. The rich would not feel them heavily ; but the poor and middling ranks would. . He wished to avoid the sufferings of the people, if it could be done without sacrificing our national honour, or compromising our national interest. He did think, that not looking into the consideration alluded to by the first consul, indicated the absence of all desire in his majesty's ministers to accommodate. In #. opinion, if the first consul did indeed wish to interfere in the internal affairs of the kingdom, and to alter its laws and constitution, the words made use of in the address proposed were too weak; but conceiving, as he did, that that im1803.

putation was founded on a mistake, he could not vote for that part of the address. The duke of Clarence, after a few preliminary observations, adverted to the report of colonel Sebastiani. It was not to Egypt alone that the mission of colonel Sebastiani was, directed; it extended to the republic of the Seven Islands, the independence of which was stipulated for in the treaty of peace. Here the sacred name of religion was called in, to answer the purposes of the French government, and the first consul was graciously pleased to take under his protection the church of this independent republic. After the perusal of the official document alluded to, if it were possible to entertain a doubt of the views of France upon Egypt, it would be only necessary to refer to the conversation which assed between Bonaparte and É. Whitworth. In this conversation, the first consul by no means disguised his sentiments about Egypt; and declared that, he might have taken it, if he had chosen to send 25,000 men there, instead of sending them to St. Domingo. Was this a proof of a disposition to peace, or was it an inducement to the British minister to give up that possession which was so well calculated to operate as a check upon his designs against Egypt? With regard to the annexation of a great part of Italy to the French republic, and the attack and subjugation of Switzerland, these were subjects strongly calculated to excite the apprehensions and the jealousy of Europe; but these the #: consul of France treated as mere bagatelles. He seemed to consider that these violations of the rights of nations and L

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