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peace a hollow truce, as some were pleased to call it, nor an armistice, but a continuation of the war. He alluded to the impracticability of the stipulations respecting Malta, and declared that he considered a war for Malta as a war of policy and justice, though he could not be content to leave it there. He should place it upon a higher ground; he meant the enormous aggrandisement of France since the treaty of Amiens. By the possession of Switzerland in particular, and the Italian republic, France had extended herself beyond the Adige on the one side, and on the other to the naked frontier of Austria, the old friend of England, and the rival of France. He disapproved, therefore, of the treaty of Amiens, because, in the first place, it did not abridge her power; and, in the second place, because it left her at liberty to pursue the system of aggrandisement, in which she had never relaxed for a moment. It enabled her to set up that strange and newfangled doctrine, that, because this was a country surrounded by the sea, and possessing a powerful fleet and flourishing commerce, it must have no connexion with the terra firma of the continent. He considered the conduct of ministers as a sanction for the political excommunication of the country from the nations of Europe. They signed the preliminaries at the very time he was acquiring, and not with very great dispatch, the Italian republic. They did this, and yet we never heard of any remonstrance upon the subject. But it must be confessed they were not totally passive. They sent out Mr. Moore to Switzerland, upon a private mission, which was the very line a timid and feeble state
would adopt towards a powerful neighbour. Mr. Moore was an able and proper person, but he hoped his next mission would be of a more honourable description. And what was the result of the mission ? The subjugation of Switzerland was complete before his arrival. It must be also admitted that they sent out orders to retain the Cape; but they were secret orders. What good could result from such orders he did not.see. If the war were produced by the conduct of France towards Switzerland, as was avowed, surely the true course would have been to issue public orders, and show France the consequence of her daring to persevere in her designs upon Switzerland. Upon the whole, then, he could not but consider the conduct of ministers as timid and irresolute, and as having, by the extent of their concessions, brought the country into such a state, that nothing further could be conceded, consistently with its interest and honour. He hoped there would be a negotiation as soon as a seasonable opportunity offered; but he hoped and trusted that it would not be upon the basis of the treaty of Amiens. -Lord Hobart rose to repel the charge which had often been made, that a considerable reduction of the military force had taken place. He said that, in fact, no reduction had been made by ministers, except of the cavalry; respecting: e propriety of keeping up which, even in time of war, very great doubts had been and were still entertained. The only force that was obliged to be disbanded was the militia, and that must always necessarily be the case when peace was made. The fencible regiInnents ments also were disbanded on the same account, as well as those corps which had been raised to serve only to the end of the war, under the authority of various acts of parliament. With regard to the shipping, a larger number were kept in commission than had been done during any former peace. His lordship produced an account of ships of the line, sloops, &c. in commission in the years 1764, 1784, and in the then present year, 1803, from which it appeared that those in commission in the year 1784 exceeded the number of those in commission in the year 1764 very considerably; but that those in commission in 1803 exceeded those in commission in 1784 so much more considerably as almost to double that number. His lordship next proceeded to take notice of what had been said about the inconsistencies in the conduct of ministers with respect to the orders sent out by them October 16th, to retain the Cape of Good Hope, and another order to make the cession of it to the Dutch, sent out on the 17th of November. His lordship remarked, that it was necessary to advert to the circumstances under which these orders had been sent out by his majesty’s ministers. They had been applied to by deputies from Switzerland, for the assistance of this country, when the first consul menaced Switzerland, and threatened that he would pour in a considerable number of French troops, in order to give it a free constitution. In consequence of the application, ministers caused a remonstrance on the subject to be presented to the French government, and at the same time sent Mr. Moore into Switzerland, to see in what situation affairs
were there, and to offer the Swiss pecuniary assistance, provided he should find them able and willing to fight for their liberty, and dea fend their constitution. On his arrival, Mr. Moore found that the diet, thinking themselves unable to resist the overwhelming power of France, had determined to yield, and the French troops were actually in possession of Switzerland. To our remonstrance the first consul gave no answer at all. Besides this act of aggression and violence, the first consul had, in breach of the treaty of Amiens, sent more French forces into the Batavian provinces, which, by the treaty, he had engaged to evacuate, and withdraw the French troops altogether. Alarmed at this extraordinary conduct, his majesty's ministers thought it their duty to send out orders, not merely to the Cape of Good Hope, but to the West Indies, to their officers entrusted with the care of their different islands, and which, by - the treaty of Amiens, were to be ceded to the French and the Dutch, to retain them respectively. Unfortunately those orders arrived in the West Indies, and at Demarara, Surinam, &c. too late to answer the desired purpose, those islands having been already ceded. The oil. the Cape of Good Hope then became a very different consideration from what it would have been if they should have had the good fortune to have been able to detain the whole of the cessions which had been stipulated for un
der the express agreement that Ba
tavia should be evacuated, and the French troops marched out of it. Upon consultation, therefore, it was deemed proper to comply with the treaty of Amiens respect
ang ing it, and hence it was that ministers thought it their duty to send out the order of the 17th of November, 1802, to cede it to the Dutch. With regard to the value set upon the Cape of Good Hope by a noble viscount not then present, and by the noble lords opposite to him, he would again repeat what he said the other night, that he did not hold it in equal estimation. If he were asked whether he thought it of no value, certainly he should not go the length of answering in the affirmative. It had its value undoubtedly, but not to the extent that other noble lords attached to it. In the first place, it was not necessary that ships coming from or sailing to India should touch at it; and he had been informed by those best acquainted upon the subject, that no French cruisers could derive any advantage from it. The usual and best practice of our Indiamen was to keep at least to the distance of thirty leagues from the Cape in their voyages to and from India. In the next place, it was to be considered that Cape Town could hardly be deemed a port. During the favourable season of six months in the year, ships might lie in Table Bay; but during the severe and tempestuous season, ships could only lie in False Bay; from whenge, on account of the boisterous sea, the worst of any part of the ocean, no French man of war or cruiser could put to sea. But another consideration was, the immease charge the Cape
t us to, while it was in our own É. It cost this country no less than one million and a half; whereas it would not cost us above four hundred thousand pounds to send out convoys with the several fleets of Indiamen which sailed
from our ports at home to India, and from India home again. His lordship said, before he sat down he must take that opportunity of answering, a charge which he understood had been urged against himself in another place. It had been said, that he had refused to see the deputies from Switzerland at his office, and had as#. as a reason for so doing, “lest his doing so should give umbrage to the first consul and the French republic.” He did assure the house, that the report was wholly without foundation. The fact was, that he did receive the Swiss deputies twice; once at his office, and once at his own house: and he hoped the house knew him better than to believe, that for a single moment he could have either degraded himself or disgraced the honour of the country so much, as to have assigned the dread of giving umbrage to the first consul, or the French republic, as the ground of any one part of his conduct as a British minister. Several other lords spoke on the present occasion, but as no new round of argument was started, it would be needless to enter into further detail. The house divided on the first proposition, Contents 17—Non-contents 86. Thesecond and third propositions were negatived. Adjourned. The resolutions moved in the house of commons, were the same in substance as those we have already noticed in the house of peers. They were brought forward by Mr. Patten, and gave rise, in this house also, to much debate. We have assigned, however, as much , room to this article as is compa
tible with our plan.—Mr. Pitt, at the conclusion of a short speech, proposed to get rid of the motion, by moving the previous question; on which the house ultimately divided— Ayes - - 56 Noes - - 333
Mr. Pitt and several of his friends immediately went out, and afterward the question was put on the original motion.
Mr. Fox said, that it was not his intention to vote for the resolutions, though, at the same time, it was impossible for him to approve of the conduct of his majesty’s ministers. He had expressed his opinion upon a former occasion, and he conceived the time was past for moving a vote of censure upon
their conduct upon the present subject: yet he hoped that what had occurred would be a warning to them how they kept the house in future in the dark to the last moment. Mr. Fox concluded by paying some warm compliments to Mr. T. Grenville, upon his masterly speech, and by saying that he could not agree to a vote of censure, because he did not know but that the successors of the present ministry might be more objectionable to him than the present. A division then took place upon the original motion of Mr. Patten: For it - 34 Against it - 275 . . Mr. Fox and several of his friends retired without dividing
CHAP. OTHING could prove more T decidedly the perfidious in
Rebellion in Ireland–Planned by the French Gorernment in Time of Peace —Obstacles to its Success.—The Virtue and Moderation of the Government.—The Protestants of the North reconciled.—Characters of the principal Agents concerned in the Rebellion—Mr. Thomas Russell—Mr. Robert Emmett.—Proceedings of Emmett.—A Depôt of Arms established. —Insurrection in Dublin on the 23d of July.—Violence of the Rebels.Murder of Lord Kikwarden and his Nephew.—Insurrection suppressed.— Proclamation of the Rebels.-Adventures of Emmett, and his Apprehension.—Proceedings of Russell.—Constitutional Conduct of the Ministry.—Trials of the principal Insurgents—of Emmett and Russell.—Refierions on the Rebellion.—Manner in which the News of the Insurrection was received in England.—Debates in the Imperial Parliament on his Majesty’s Message relative to the Rebellion.—Irish Martial-Law Bill.
—Bill for the Suspension of the Habeas-Corpus Act in Ireland.
tentions of the French government ‘towards this country, than the measures it pursued even in a time of pretended peace. Not satisfied with the nominal commercial agents, which it had dispatched to make military surveys and to take plans and soundings of our ports, it sent other agents of a .#. desperate, and, if possible, a more dangerous character; agents to stir up sedition, and to provoke, incite, and prepare the people for rebellion. The nature oftDespard's conspiracy has already been amply discussed and developed; but Ireland, unfortunately, afforded a fairer field for the missionaries of insurrection: there the religious prejudices of a large body of the o: were such as rendered them better instruments for so base a purpose, than the loyal and protestant inhabitants of Great Britain; and many causes which it is unncessary to recapitulate, such as the prejudices which, in the first years of the French revolution, had been imbibed among a people not sufficiently enlightened to retract,
and the resentments stored up by the near connexions of those who had suffered in the late rebellion, offered a fairer prospect of success
to every treasonable project. Happily the virtues and moderation of that administration which in the spring of 1801 had assumed the reins of government, had already been successful in conciliating the majority of the Irish people. The protestants of the north—a well-informed body of men, but perhaps too enthusiastic in their notions of liberty—who had somewhat hastily formed conclusions in favour of the issue of the French re. volution, had now seen their error. They now experienced the blessings of a mild and constitutional government, which was neither disposed to irritate by severity, nor. yet to relax in its vigilance. In this part of the country, instead of revolutionary committees, loyal associations were formed at the very commencemeut of the war. Those who had been forward to exclaim that the former war was a war against liberty, had the discernment to see that the present was