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1808, the Patriot war broke out, and fortnight Mr Simpson's house was those prohibitory duties were with. again entered at night by armed drawn. In 1814, Ferdinand was re- men, who threatened instant death stored, and he introduced the com- if he did not disclose where his promercial relations that existed pre- perty was kept. He was still kept viously to 1796: on the faith of his in custody for some days, and at decrees British merchants imported last was released; but from that into Spain large quantities of our hour to the present, justice had been manufactures, and followed them up refused, and he had not been able

by very extensive orders ; yet would to obtain the restoration of a single E the House believe, that, in less than article of his property. Such had

six months afterwards, that Monarch, been the conduct of the myrmidons who owed his very existence to this of the court of Spain, notwithstand. country, re-imposed the very pro- ing it had been constantly provided, hibitory duties which Buonaparte ever since the treaty of Utrecht, that had compelled in 1806, and he be- the persons and dwellings of British sides took care that the decree merchants should be held sacred. should have a retrospective opera. Did the Noble Lord imagine that

tion. This was one of the favours Spain, the moment she regained an I for which we were indebted to the ascendancy in her colonies, would

present Spanish Government. Since not exclude our commerce ? Did he that date still heavier duties had not know, that while she had any been laid on British goods ; so that authority, she had punished with in truth the trade had been totally death the natives who carried on indestroyed. But if such were the tercourse with any nation but the conduct of Ferdinand towards us as mother country? Were we then to a nation, the instances of individual submit to all kinds of insults from outrage were gross and tyrannical Spain, to have our manufactures exbeyond conception, beyond even the cluded, our trade ruined, and to do lawless tyranny of an eastern de- nothing on behalf of millions of men, spot. The Spanish cabinet had not who, on the other side of the globe, only set at defiance the clearest law were anxious to receive us with open of nations, but had disregarded its arms, and to compensate in the New own municipal regulations, for the World for what we had lost in the purpose of oppressing the merchants Old ? It appeared that Buenos Ayres of this kingdom. One case, selected received British manufactures to the from many, would be sufficient for amount of more than L. 2,000,000 the present occasion: it was that of annually, while the utmost that had a Mr Simpson, a merchant, who had been sent to the mother country did been subjected to the most grievous not exceed L. 400,000. What comoppression, not in a distant province, parison, therefore, was there between but in the purlieus of the court, in the two, and how short-sighted was the heart of the capital. His house the policy Ministers were endeavour. had been forcibly entered on the ing to pursue? If this bill passed, 14th of October 1816, all his books though the hope of emancipation seized, and a sentry placed over his might not be destroyed, the cvent person : he of course remonstrated, must be retarded. The South A. but our envoy at Madrid, Mr Vau- mericans turned to Great Britain as ghan, could obtain neither redress nor to a land of succour and freedom; and explanation; and at the end of a ifthey were disappointed, their disgust would be in proportion to their de- tion for the charges adduced, and it spair. They would then of neccs. the gloomy colours in which the consity direct their eyes to the great duct of Spain had been painted were commercial and naval rival of this at all warranted, Great Britain had no country, with whom we were at choice left. With regard to the ques. peace it was true, but with whom tion itself, there could be no doubt that that peace would continue only just the Crown had a prerogative right to as long as suited the interests of that establish a neutrality, and any violarival. He would venture to prophe- tion of it was punishable at common sy, that within six months after the law. The measure was founded passing of this bill, the Buenos-Ayres upon these admitted facts; and if it Government would be recognised went further than the common law, by the United States, a commercial it was because there was a specife treaty would be formed, and the obligation by a special treaty with United States would at least mono. Spain, binding this country to take polize the carrying trade, and under the most effectual measures to presell us with our own goods in the vent its subjects from supplying armes South American markets. Upon the to the revolted Americans. It was legal part of the question he only therefore, of course, the wish of Miwished to remark, that the acts of nisters not to make a mere shew of the 9th and 29th Geo. II. were com- neutrality, and their sincerity was pletely a dead letter on our statute. first evinced by the royal proclamabook : only three British subjects tion. The agents of the Insurgents, were serving with the King's licence notwithstanding, had succeeded in in the Royal Armies of South Ameri. enlisting hundreds of men the very ca, while from 50 to 60 were serving instant they were disbanded from without licence, and under those our own regiments; and if this Gostatutes were guilty of felony. If vernment were to act with any reany additional proof were wanting gard to good faith in its engagethat the acts were a dead letter, it ments, it was bound to adopt some was found in this fact, that only on more effectual measure. Great inThursday last, two British officers, genuity had been shown in endea. without licence, in the service of vouring to prejudice the House by Ferdinand, and consequently felons calling in aid passions and interests; by the existing law, in full Spanish and the first objection was, that the uniform, at the Prince Regent's le- bill had been introduced at the sugvee, took their formal leave. The gestion of a foreign power. True it utmost Spain could expect was the was, the dictations of other states repeal of those two statutes. He ought not to be attended to : for opposed the bill, because it was cal. instance, when Buonaparte required culated not only to destroy the best the prosecution of the free press of interests of the country, but to de- this country, after the peace of grade it in the eyes of all Europe. Amiens, the Government would have

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Mr F. Robinson contended, that disgraced itself by compliance; but if the arguments of the honourable when treaties were involved, how gentleman were well founded, he could a foreign power obtain redress had made out a case to prove that but by war, if its remonstrances were this country could not without dis- not listened to? In 1794, a treaty prehonour avoid declaring war against cisely similar was entered into beSpain. If there were any founda. iween Great Britain and the United

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States, and we had been obliged to commercial and manufacturing in. make representations that the con- terests of the kingdom. No man ditions were not fulfilled, and an act could be more sensible than he to endure for three years was pass- (Mr Robinson) was of the impolicy ed: at the end of that time the and injustice of the system pursued same act was continued at the sug- by Old Spain towards her colonies gestion of Great Britain; and if it for centuries ; and no man who loved had not been attended to, a justifi- liberty could wonder that the strugable cause of war would unques- gle in which the Insurgents were tionably have been afforded. So, engaged, excited a strong feeling in

here, Spain would have a justi- their favour here. He knew, too, 1 fiable cause for declaring war, if we that commercial pressure was at this ? did not do our utmost to fulfil our moment peculiarly felt, and of course

treaty ; and though her weakness that there was great anxiety that might deter her from hazarding hos- this field for speculation should be

tilities, with a generous nation that opened; yet, recollecting the so7 ought to be the very reason why all lemn treaties entered into by this

cause of complaint should be remov. country, he could not but pause, at ed. This might be further illustrat- least, before he consented to sacried by a reference to the expedition tice to feeling and interest the ho. of Sir Gregor M Gregor : le raised nour and good faith of the nation : his troops in this country, he obtain in his view, nothing on earth should

ed the ships to transport them in be held so dear by a country as fi# this country, yet had no commission delity in its engagements. Upon 3 from any sovereign authority, and the whole, therefore, he (Mr Ro

had not one foot of ground in the binson) held the measure to be of country to which he was proceeding. the last importance to our character : He went to attack a part of the ter- and it was impossible that the Briritory still adhering to Old Spain, tish Parliament should reject it, unwith which this country carried on less it preferred the gratification of a very advantageous trade; and passion, and the promotion of intethough he had a right perhaps to rest, to the preservation of good attack Spanish property, he could faith and national honour. not assail that of Great Britain, Sir James Mackintosh began by without being guilty of the most a- declaring that he should confine trocious acts of piracy and robbery. himself to the strict question of Having done so, where was redress neutrality; and would undertake to to be obtained ? Sir Gregor Mac- prove to the House, that with the gregor had no court but his ship, no exception of the clause which went law but his sword; and in a case of to repeal the acts of George II., the that kind, it was the absolute duty effect of the bill would be the deof Government to take some steps struction, not the protection of our for the protection of the commercial neutrality. He did not object to interests of the kingdom, even sup- this because it was a bill brought in posing that honour and honesty at the request and on the represenwere out of the question. Next it tations of another power, but because was urged, that the cause of the he dissented from its provisions ; he South Americans was just, that it did not object to it because it was was most fitly and naturally popu- the first statute put on their books, lar in Great Britain, and that to sup- or attempted to be put, by the Spaport it would importantly relieve the nish ambassador, exercising a power

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which was rather unprecedented, he by laws of this nature, than during believed; he opposed it upon other the period between 1733 and 175, grounds. He was certainly much sur. when, from the common error of prised to hear the right honourable mistaking the unpopularity of the gentleman who had just spoken upon minister for the unpopularity of the the subject with so much eloquence reigning family, the Jacobites and and clearness, drawing, from the other disaffected persons were indusame premises, so different an infer- ced to enter into foreign services, ence to what he himself had done. with the view of availing themselves Neutrality, he thought, consisted, of that spirit of discontent which firstly, in a government's abstaining they were perpetually fancying they from giving to one of two bellige- observed at home. The common rent powers any undue influence law of this country was equally imover the other; and, secondly, in partial in its efficacies and its ineffi. the impartiality of its laws to cacies with regard to Spain, and both these belligerents. Now, it in its conveniencies and inconveappeared from the very reference niencies with regard to both belligeto the statutes of George II., rents. It was the duty of all neutral which were enacted under particu- powers that their laws should be thus lar circumstances, that the common impartial; but their efficacy was a law of England on this point was very different question. That destrictly impartial. He should be pended upon considerations of poliglad to know how these statutes, be- cy, expediency, feeling, the temper ing coupled with the proclamation of the people, and other circumof 1817, would make this bill neces- stances. The right honourable gensary? If not, any act made in re- tleman had adverted with becoming gard to Spain, which was not strictly spirit to the interference of Napoleon fair as between herself and her co- in the year 1802 in regard to the lonies, was a breach of neutrality : British press. He concurred with and this, necessarily, a work of su- him in the indignant warmth he had pererogation? They were called up- manifested upon that point ; but it on to pass it just when it suited the was strange the very language which policy and the necessities of Spain was then used was now urged in io ask it of them. Much had been support of the bill. What was done said about the acts of George II.; upon that occasion was well known; but if the right honourable gentle- but because a verdict at common man had read them over with as law was obtained by the head of the much care as he (Sir James Mackin- French Government, did any man tosh) had done, he would have found propose, that a bill should be brought that by the 9th George II. officers in to abolish the liberty of the press? entering into the service of Spain The evil which it was now proposed were not guilty of capital felony: to remedy, it had been said, there it was serving the King of France was nothing in the common law that which was held to be so by that sta. could prevent. But they had nothing tute. The 29th of the same reign to regret, therefore: if the common declared private soldiers so situato law had never contemplated it, would ed guilty of felony; no penalty any one endure the interference of a was denounced against the officers. foreign power in such a subject ? It was well known to all those con- The honourable gentleman had reversant with the private history of marked upon the conduct of the the reign of George II., that at no United States in this particular. time were individuals more affected The United States concluded a trea.

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ty, and passed an act to put it into pendence. With the permission of the execution; and why should not we House, he would advert to an old dodo so ? Because the common law cument, which was strikingly in point. of England was sufficient, while that In the Memoirs of Sir Ralph Winof America was not ; because the wood, who was secretary to James power of making war or peace was I., there was a letter from him to not vested in the President of the Sir Harry Nevil : it related to a bill United States as it was in our King. then lately brought in, which made In America, then, a legislative act it penal for a subject to go abroad was necessary. As the proclamation into the service of a foreign power, of 1817 was still in force, how could without having first taken the oath of any legislative measure be necessary allegiance (as it had been then rehere? It was something remarkable, cently framed): from this he would that in a great commercial 'nation, just observe, it was quite clear that it which had so long flourished in securi- had never been considered an offence ty and glory, a bill of this kind should by the common law. In the letter, now be first introduced into Parlia- which was dated July 8. 1616, Sir ment. He would ask, admitting the Harry Nevil, who had introduced the truth and existence of the evil com- bill, observed, “that it was confined plained of, yet, even then, why were to those who entered the service of they to pass a bill so favourable to Popish princes only; but he added, the party at whose instance it was the lords had spoiled the bill by maframed? Why was Ferdinand VII. king its provisions universal. Upon to be so favoured, a name on which mentioning this circumstance to Lord he should fasten no epithets, because Salisbury, that nobleman told him it it could receive no addition from any was of no consequence, seeing how thing which he could say, to those easily the amendment might be evawith which it was already loaded ? ded.” Sir Harry Nevil then went Would they, the honourable gentle- on to say, there was an apprehension men opposite, require Parliament to of the interference of Spain ; and in arraign the wisdom of their ances. fact, the Lords were solicited by that tors, and alter and invert those an- power for much the same conces. cient laws which had existed through- sions as the present. But the ancient out so many centuries ? Was this friends and councillors of Elizabeth true ? could it be denied that they, refused to follow such a disgraceful that we had existed for a long time? and degrading course; and nothing and yet, in that period, was such appeared to show that Spain ever an application as the present ever thought we had acted contrary to before made ? If ever, it was by the the law of nations. But instances same power in the reign of James of service like that complained of, I., after the memorable treaty of being embarked in by subjects of this 1694, which put an end to a long realm, were innumerable; and as the war; and when James, in his precipi- honourable gentlemen on the oppotate eagerness to reconcile himself site side seemed to be more partial with the legitimate Princes of the to them, he would mention some Continent, first began to depart from Spanish examples, as most to their those maxims of sound policy, which taste. Nor were facts and historical

put Elizabeth, his glorious pre- experience the only authorities adecessor, at the head of what he gainst the principle of the proposed might term, a body of national inde. bill, but there was that of the writers

had

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