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The bill, as amended by the when the right hon. the Speaker committee and ordered to be print. rose. He began with inquiring, ed, contained a number of new whether by means of this bill, the clauses, the principal scope of desirable basis of general satisfacwhich was, to appoint two separate tion and concord was likely to be commissions, one for Great Britain established? As far as we knew of and the other for Ireland, consist. the proceedings of the Roman Ca. ing of roman catholic ecclesiastics tholics, some of the most distinexercising episcopal functions, lay guished of the laity had declared roman catholic peers or common- against it; and the clergy were ers, and privy counsellers, the prin- loud in their cry against its ecclecipal secretary of state being one, siastical provisions. Of the Proto which board of commissioners testants, it was needless to ask the name of every person of the whether they could be satisfied román catholic religion proposing with placing the government, if to assume the functions of a bishop not the crown, of Ireland, within or dean shall be notified, and the the reach of the Roman Catholics, said board shall report to his ma- and creating the means of surjesty, or to the lord lieutenant, rounding the sovereign himself whether they know or believe any with ministers of state of a religion thing which tends to impeach the hostile to his own right of succesloyalty or peaceable conduct of sion. The right hon. gentleman such person; after which, it shall then proceeded to show that the be lawful for his majesty, or the principle of our constitution was, lord lieutenant, by and with the exclusion of non-conformists to advice of the said commissioners, the established religion from polito approve or disapprove of the tical power, and that if it had been said person ; and any one exercis. relaxed with respect to Protestant ing the above functions after dis- Dissenters, it had been maintained approbation, shall be guilty of a in full force against the RomanCamisdemeanor.
tholics; and he went on to argue To the same board likewise is why it ought to be so. He spoke to be delivered any bull, dispensa- of their admission into the parliation, or other instrument from the ment, the privy-council, and the see of Rome, or any foreign person judiciary bench, as points that neor body acting under its authority, ver ought to be conceded. He or under any other spiritual supe- tben noticed some matters of nerior, which is to inspect it, and if cessary restriction, and some of fouod to be unobjectionable, shall concession, which had been omitreport the same to his majesty, or
ted in the bill; but were they supthe lord lieutenant, when it shall plied, he must repeat his strong be enrolled in the office of the se- protest against the larger innovacretary of state, and then return- tions; they were departures from ed to the person delivering it. principle, and breaking down bar.
On May 24th, the house being riers against danger. He next adcalled over according to order, it verted to the guards and securities resolved itself into a committee proposed by the bill, and attempt. upon the bill as above amended, ed to show their insufficiency; and Vol. LV.
he spoke of the papal supremacy, the Catholics in a dissatisfied state and its consequences, as a point of after their long expectations, were faith which will continue fixed and as forcibly insisted upon by the unalterable among the Roman Ca- other. At length, the question betholic population of this kingdom. ing loudly called for, a division He concluded with moving, that took place, on which the votes the words “to sit and vote in ei- were, for the clause, 247 ; against ther house of parliament,” in the it, 251 : Majority for its rejecfirst clause, be left out of this bill. tion, 4.
As the personal weight of the The numbers being declared, Speaker, and his train of argu- Mr. Ponsonby said, that as the bill, ment, seem to have exerted the without this clause, was neither principal influence on that side of worthy of the acceptance of the the question, it would be superflu. Catholics, nor of the further supous to notice the repetition of the port of the friends of concession,he same arguments by others : nor in would move that the chairman do the replies to them from the oppo. now leave the chair; which was site side, was any thing important carried without, a division ; and produced which had not been re thus the bill was abandoned. peatedly urged in the long discus. The only further proceeding in sions of this topic. The clause in the house relative to the Catholic debate was by both parties regard- question in this session, was a noed as of the most fundamental im- tice given on May 31st, by Mr. portance in the proposed bill; and Grattan, that early in the next seswhilst the dangers of admitting it sion, he should move for leave to were mustered in their most formi- bring in a bill for the relief of his dable colours by one party, the majesty's Roman Catholic subjects evils to be expected from leaving in Ireland.
Motion of Marquis Wellesley relative to the conduct of the war in the
Peninsula. Motion of the Earl of Darnley for an inquiry into the circumstances of the war with the United States, particularly the naval part of it.
Wellesley rose in the house consideration the state of affairs in of lords, to make a motion rela- Spain, and the exertions of this tive to the conduct of the war in country in her aid. The object of the Peninsula.
16 What secret
our policy, he said, was to admocause (said his lordship), what nish those nations which required malign influence, amidst the re our assistance, that they had only joicings and acclamations of tri- to assert their independence in orumph, has counteracted the bril. der to obtain it. It was always his liant successes of our arms, and has own firm conviction, expressed converted the glad feelings of a both in and out of the house, and just exultation, into the bitterness in the cabinet, that the hope of of regret and disappointment ?" Europe lay in the exertions of After some other questions to this Spain and Portugal, aided by the purpose, which, he said, deserved British arms. It was perfectly their most serious attention, he known to his majesty's ministers, concluded, that if their lordships that as early as April, 1811, Russia should find that these events are was laying the foundation of the not to be attributable to want of great effort she has made, and is resources in the empire, but to the now making. The disposition of imbecility of those who direct a large part of the army and popu. them, it would be their duty to lation of Prussia was in favour of pronounce judgment upon the men the cause of Russia ; and Austria who have enfeebled our means, was desirous of asserting her indeand betrayed a mighty cause; but pendence, but did not dare to do if it should appear that England it. The situation of Sicily also, has done her utmost, and her ex- through the wise conduct of lord ertions are vain and hopeless, it W. Bentinck, was become such as would be for them to consider to set at liberty the great
British whether we should not tread back force by which it was held, to coour steps, and cease to contend operate in the common causé. against an impossibility. He then These and other advantages renstated the object of his inquiry to dered it now proper to make great be, whether the ministers had ade. exertions on the Peninsula, where quately managed the resources of the experiment had first been tried the country during the last year ; on a smaller scale.
On the opening of the campaign have found an advantageous opporin that country, our situation be- tunity of bringing Soult to action ; came totally different from what it but he was under the necessity of had been at any time before, since marching northwards, in order to the commencement of the war. meet Marmont, and protect the Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos were fortresses of Almeida and Ciudad reduced, and these advantages were Rodrigo. If at this time there had accompanied with an extraordinary been a sufficient force to keep in failure in the means, and relaxa- check the army of Marmont, as sir tion in the efforts of the French. R. Hill had before done that of Nothing could be more contemp- Soult, this necessity would have tible than the central government been prevented. Here then was a of Joseph; and in the army, there case in which a small addition of was no mutual assistance or co men and resources would have oboperation between the commanders viated the loss of a most favourable of the north and the south. The opportunity. British system, therefore, should The Marquis then proceeded to have been, to have had a force able the next stage, when the British to maintain active operations in the general was called to the north. field, and another competent to After victualling Ciudad Rodrigo, keep in check the main body of which operation required the whole the French army. The important force of his army, he advanced to crisis was now come, in which the Salamanca, where he was again grand effort was to be made for encountered with inefficiency of the redemption of Spain. A coma
He was opposed by Marparison of the exertions made, with mont, who had been joined by. the nature of the crisis, was the Bonnet, and he had heard nothing next point to which the marquis of the Sicilian expedition, on the would direct their lordships' 'at- co-operation of which he mainly tention, and it would be his en relied. He found it necessary to deavour to show, that in every in- retreat-not a feigned movement stance in which the campaign had to deceive the enemy, but a plain failed, and the expectations from and real retreat. During this opesuccess been frustrated, it was ow- ration, an accidental opportunity ing to the insufficiency of the enabled him to attack the enemy means afforded to the general. He at an advantage, and convert rehad abstained from holding any treat into victory; but he could correspondence with his noble re not convert a system of retreat to a lation on the subject, and professed system of advance; and instead of to know nothing but what the rest being at liberty to pursue the vanof the public know. He began quished enemy, he was obliged to with the sequel of the reduction of turn his attention to the corps of Badajos, when it might have been Joseph, reinforced from the army expected that lord Wellington of Suchet. He entered Madrid, would have seized the French dé- and if he had possessed the means pôts at Seville, and destroyed the of keeping Marmont in check, he main foundation of their power in 'might have pursued Joseph, and that part of Spain, and perhaps united with the English army at
Alicant, but he was obliged again could have been sent to lord Welto turn northwards. As to the lington's assistance? Secondly, siege of Burgos, if its success was were there financial means for the important, and its failure was supply of specie? Of the detail through want of means, whose was which followed we cannot pretend the fault? Here was again ground to give a summary. It was confor inquiry.
cluded with an animated appeal to Their lordships had been told the feelings of the House, against from the opposite side, that the ob- the defence which he supposed ject of the campaign was, to coma
ministers would make, that our pel the French to evacuate the resources and means were exhausta south of Spain, and that this had ed, and we had done all that we been effected ; but did it enter could do. He then moved, “ That into the object of ministers, that a committee be appointed to inin forcing them to evacuate the quire into the circumstances and south, we ourselves should be result of the last campaign in the obliged to evacuate the whole of peninsula of Spain.” Spain? Was it necessary for this Earl Bathurst rose to reply to that our army should advance to the noble marquis. He began Burgos? The evacuation of the with saying that lord Wellington south had been already effected, himself had voluntarily expressed and it must be with a view of his satisfaction with the conduct some ulterior operations that the of administration during the last advance was made to Burgos. campaign ; but he admitted that Lord Wellington was first com
this alone was not a sufficient rea. pelled to withdraw from thence son against the proposed inquiry. through apprehension for the safety He then went to an examination of sir R. Hill's corps ; and the of the arguments and assertions force opposed to him in front then of the marquis; and he first conbecame so much superior, through tended that the campaign, instead the junction of the French army of being a disastrous one, had from the south, that the retreat of powerfully aided the common the whole allied army was rendered cause by the diversion it gave to necessary, which, though not in the French arms. He niade reglorious, terminated the
campaign plies to the particular charges on in a manner highly detrimental to the ministry respecting the supthe cause of Spain and Europe, posed deficiency of force which preand the character of our arms. vented the advance to Seville, the
The Marquis then went to the want of co-operation by the force next part of the question, which from Sicily, the failure of the siege he said was merely practical, of Burgos, &c. He affirmed that showing the actual force, which, in during the course of the year, very his opinion, would have averted all nearly the number of troops for these misfortunes, and which he which the marquis had expressed a stated as low as 12,000 infantry, desire, had been sent to the Peninand 3,000 cavalry; and he would sula, and that, from the disturbed inquire, first, was there a force in state of this country, more could the country to that amount which not have been spared; and he ad.