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manifested views calculated to

alarm every friend of freedom.

From the first, as he had said, the

intentions of that confederacy had

been the cause of much anxiety

all over Europe; and that anxiety was more particularly manifested in this country, from the desire

which naturally existed to know

what part would be taken by his

majesty's ministers, when designs

hostile to every principle of national law, and inimical to the principle of the constitution of this country, appeared to be meditated. Impressed with these feelings, he had on the first day of the session availed himself of the earliest opportunity afforded him to direct the attention of their lordships to this important subject; and on a subsequent day he had inquired whether the representation, issued by the allied courts on the subject of the Neapolitan revolution, did correctly and truly state the disposition and engagements of his majesty's government with respect to such events as those which had taken place. The answer given on that occasion by the noble lord opposite appeared to be in a great degree satisfactory. He said that the document which had appeared in the public papers, though substantially true, was in some respects not correct. He disclaimed the engagements to which it was therein stated that this government was a party; and he disclaimed the principle of interference with the internal arrangements of independent states— stating, what every one would admit, that circumstances might arise by which such interference would be justified. The noble lord then proposed to lay before


the house a document, containing a full explanation of the conduct pursued by his majesty's government. That paper had, in conformity with the noble lord's promise, been laid before their lordships: and it was now for him to regret that, after perusing it, he had not obtained from it that satisfaction as to the conduct of the government which he expected it would have afforded. He felt himself, therefore, bound to propose that their lordships should address his majesty for further information; and, in doing so, he thought it necessary to trouble their lordships with some observations on the note of the allied sovereigns, and on the paper in reply to it, which the noble lord had laid on the table of the house. After the disclaimer of his majesty's ministers, cold and feeble as it was, that the claim of interference set up by the allied powers was one which could not be admitted, as being contrary to all the principles of international law, it might perhaps be thought unnecessary for him to say any thing on that subject. IIe could not, however, help noticing the remarkable principle asserted in the paper published in the Hamburgh Correspondent in the month of December last, as the circular of the allied powers. The claim set up was nothing less than the right of a general superintendence of the states of Europe, and of the suppression of all changes in their internal government, if those

changes should be hostile to what

the holy alliance called the legitimate principles of government. It mattered not how general the wish of the people for the change might be; it mattered not, however


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an independent state; to pronounce judgment on a constitution which, in concert with his people, he had given to his country, and threatened to enforce their judgment by arms. This was plainly declaring that all changes of government which did not square with their ideas of propriety were to be put down. Nothing could be more unjust, nothing more atrocious, than this principle. This was, however, the fair construction of the principle on which the sovereigns composing the holy alliance declared they would act. But this was not the first time that principle had been asserted: if their lordships' intention had been directed to what had been passing on the Contiment, they must have perceived the same principle advanced in papers which had previously been issued by the allied powers. If they looked at the note on the subject of the German constitutions, presented by prince Metternich to the minister of Baden —that baron Bersted, of whom their lordships had recently heard so much—they would see the same principle laid down. They would also find it in the memorial of the court of Russia on the transactions in Spain, and it was,

above all, most unequivocally and intelligibly propounded in the Berlin Court Gazette of the 19th 1)ecember, though the paper which appeared in that gazette had no official signature; yet when their lordships considered the state of the press in Prussia, when they knew that every publication j. place under the control of a strict censorship it was impossible not to regard that document as published by authority, and as expressing the opinions and the views of the Prussian government. The gazette states that there could be no communication between the allied powers and the government of Naples, because it is asserted that such communication would be to recognize the legality of insurrection. The new constitution was declared to be the product of unlawful power, and it was distinctly stated that “the monarchical principle rejects every institution which is not determined upon and accomplished by the monarch himself of his own free will.” This article in the Berlin Gazette appeared to be published for the purpose of clearly expounding the principle which had been more or less distinctly asserted in all the notes of the holy alliance published on the late events in Spain, Portugal, and 'Naples, and it went plainly to establish that no change of government was to be permitted which appeared contrary to what was called the monarchical principle—that was to say, every reform of abuses, every improvement in government which did not originate with a sovereign, of his own free will, was to be prevented. Were this principle to be successfully maintained, the triumph


of tyranny would be complete, and the chains of mankind would be rivetted for ever. Was there, then, to be no improvement in government except such as was granted as a matter of favour? Hopeless, indeed, was the condition of the human race, if they were to obtain no political rights except such as spring from the benevolence of sovereigns; of the monarchs who composed the Holy Alliance. And now he would ask, how did it happen that the first declaration which his majesty's minister had made in opposition to the despotic principles of that wicked confederacy was of so late a date as the 19th January last? Was not the note of prince Metternich to baron Bersted, to which he had alluded, known to ministers ? Were they ignorant of the memorial of the court of Russia on the affairs of Spain? and, finally, were they ignorant of the article which had appeared in the Berlin Gazette! He must say it appeared most clearly that the principles on which the allied sovereigns meant to act could not fail to have been known to his majesty's ministers at a very early period, and long before the paper issued oftom Troppau, to which the declaration of the 19th of January replied. Now, either they did remonstrate or they did not. If they did, what, then, he would ask, had become of the boasted authority of this country in the councils of Europe, when, not only that authority was disregarded, but the consent of this country to the measures of the sovereigns was presumed ! If they did not remonstrate, then what punishment could be sufficiently severe for a dereliction of duty calculated to B 2

inflict so much evil on this country and the world in general : On these points he demanded explanation. He begged their lordships to advert to the date of that paper which had been laid before the house. It was dated the 19th of January, only a few days previous to the meeting of parliament. It had been said that the paper transmitted from Troppau was not intended for publication, and that it came upon them by surprise. At least so he had understood the noble lord; but at any rate the principle by which the allied sovereigns had signified they would be guided, was known long before, and the moment the assertion of that principle was known, it became the duty of the British government to remonstrate. But nothing was done by ministers till within a few days of the assembling of parliament. It appeared, therefore, that their declaration was issued rather to meet discussions which they knew were unavoidable, and to cover a concert which they dared not openly avow, than to operate in any manner on the decisions of the allied powers. When the confederacy was directing an attack against Naples, what was the conduct of ministers towards those powers ? They continued in the closest union and harmony with them. But what had been their conduct to Naples’ A suspension of all amicablé intercourse. The noble lord opposite, he perceived, dissented; but he asserted, that by the refusal to acknowledge the Neapolitan minister, and to accredit a minister to the court of Naples, all the accustomed relations of friendly powers had been interrupted, and consequently o


real amicable intercourse suspended. This was calculated to strengthen the suspicion, that however much the secretary for Foreign affairs condemned the principle broached in the declaration of the congress at Troppau, there was in reality no serious objection to it. It was not to be forgotten, too, that while ministers were refusing all intercourse with Naples, they had assembled a British squadron in the bay of Naples; whether this was done to assist the alties or defend Naples, was to be inferred from the circumstances which had taken place ; and here he could not help remarking that one of the vessels of the squadron, that in which the king of Naples embarked, bore the ensign of one of the powers which had summoned the king of Naples to their bar. By this employment of a British squadron, ministers had exhibited this country co-operating in an act which amounted to a degradation of the kingly office, and was an example of injustice unequalled in the history of modern times by any thing except the decoying of Ferdinand of Spain to Bayonne; an example of atrocity which was now taken for a model by those persons who had most strongly condemned it. He came now to the consideration of the paper dated from the Foreign office, in which the principle advanced by the Holy Alliance was so delicately treated. To this paper, however, chilled as it was by all the frosts, and involved in all the fogs of winter, it was now necessary for him to direct their lordships' attention. Their iordships had seen that his majesty's ministers abruptly put an end to

all intercourse with Naples. Now he would ask upon what principle had they so acted They had no accredited minister at the court of Naples, notwithstanding that the king remained on his throne. But he was no longer an arbitrary monarch. Was that their reason for suspending all amicable relations 2 Upon what principle did the changes which had taken place in Naples make such a difference in the diplomatic intercourse of the two countries necessary Was it occasioned by the description of persons who produced the revolution ? Did a revolution, produced by an army in concert with the people, put an end to all relations with this country, while a revolution of another kind had no such effect ' Their lordships had seen free constitutions overthrown by armies in concert with kings, and yet no such consequence as the interruption of friendly relations had followed. They had seen in Spain a constitution to which we, were bound to give protection by every feeling of sympathy, by every sentiment of generosity, and every tie of gratitude for the noble struggle made by the people of that country during the war. Their lordships, however, well knew that that constitution of Spain was overthrown by an army under the direction of the king, and yet they had seen no such consequence as had occurred with respect to Naples. Amicable relations were without scruple continued with the court of Spain after Ferdinand had subverted that constitution which this country was bound to support. There was no accounting for this distinction but upon the * that ministers had one rule for revolutions in favour of liberty, and another for revolutions in favour of despotism. The latter were by every means to be encouraged, and the former discountenanced, and if possible, punished. When what had passed was impartially looked at by the public, the inference drawn must be this—that the objection to the Neapolitan revolution was the characteristics of freedom which belonged to it, and that being a revolution the object of which was to limit not to create arbitrary power, it was therefore to be severely condemned. The case of Sicily was similar. Such a monstrous principle, he said, as that on which the allied powers professed to act with respect to Naples had never been heard of in the history of the world. That a nation offering no encouragement to rebellion in other nations, and announcing no projects of foreign aggression, but merely making improvements or operating changes in its own internal government, should present a fit subject of complaint, remonstrance, or interference, on the part of its neighbours, was such a monstrous principle as had never been maintained by any writer on public law, and never before avowed or acted upon by the most profiigate ambition. Look at the situation and conduct of the people who were go menaced. No force was offered to independent states; no aggression had taken place or was threatened; no principles subversive of general order were professed : the laws were preserved and enforced; the sovereign was maintained in his osice; and


merely because the monstrous system on which the government had formerly been conducted—a system which had destroyed the resources, and depressed the energies of the people of that country —had been improved, and the power of the king limited by his own consent; although every thing was done inoffensively and without tumult or confusion; yet the alliance threatened to overthrow the constitution which had been established, and to destroy the improvements which had been effected, lest they might excite the hopes of neighbouring states to attain similar advantages. This was the reason of their interference ; this was the necessity upon which they justified their departure from the principles of international law. There never was a revolution in the history of the world brought about in a more peaceful manner, or exhibiting itself in a less offensive form to neighbouring nations: not a drop of blood, so far as he was informed, had been shed; no tumults or violence had taken place; the property of no individuals had been invaded ; the king was not only maintained upon his throne, but had sanctioned the limitations of his authority, had given his consent to the constitution by which it was henceforward to be regulated; and yet it was against this revolution that the vengeance of the allies was denounced in the general principle of interference which they professed; and this country was called upon to sanction the application of a law, which would condemn in the abstract every attempt of an independent state to improve its government

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