Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

the war.

popular clamour, it is a design that a war, nor how to negotiate or conmay be justified, because what the clude a peace : That by their ignoHon. gentleman calls a popular cla. rance of the interests and views of mour against his majesty's govern- the several powers of Europe, we ment, I call a popular clamour a- lost some who might have been gainst a minister's administration ; made our allies, and made enemies and when we have a wicked or weak A of others that might have been made minister at the head of publick af. to observe a Itričt neutrality : That fairs, the only legal way of getting in cases of no moment were most rid of him, is to raise such a popular extravagant, and in cases of the utclamour as may influence every elec- most consequence to the success of tion against him.

the war, molt penurious : That conNow, Sir, as to the merits of fidered nothing in the management the motion under consideration, I В of the war but how to enrich their must confess, that our bad success friends, and secure their influence in in the motion relating to the treaty parliament, in order thereby to eita of Hanau leaves me very

little hopes blish their power, and even to set of fucceeding in this,' because the their sovereign at defiance : And in only material argument I heard a- Nort, that either by their weakness gainit that motion, was the danger of or wickedness, were the authors of discovering something that ought to C all the misfortunes sve met with in be kept secret, which is an argument equally pressing against every parlia- If we have now, Sir, such a set mentary inquiry, except luch as of ministers, would it not be a sig. may be set on foot against a parcel nal benefit to the nation, to have of excisemen, or a society of stock- such ministers dismissed, and the adjobbers; and the only hopes I have, ministration put into abler hands? proceed from the extent of this D Is it not much better for a nation to argument ; for when gentlemen are be under the government of able made to perceive the extent of it, rogues than weak fools ? The former by hearing it so often repeated, and will tak care of themselves, and applied to every motion for an in- will for their own fakes take some quiry, they may at last conclude, care of the nation ; but the latter that it is an argument which ought are incapable of taking care either never by itself alone to be regarded ; E of themselves or the nation. The for what signifies our right to inquire, Hon. gentleman has himself acknowif an argument be admitted, that ledged, that the late treaty of peace must always render the exercise of was not such a one as we could have that right impracticable.

wilhed, but such a one as the misBut the Hon. gentleman says, that fortunes of the war made necessary : tho' we have a right to inquire, we

How shall we know whether or no ought never to exercise that right f those misfortunes proceedea from the when no national benefit is from misconduct of our minilters ? From thence to be expected ; and he was the example of the Romans, who pleased to add, that no gentleman took happiness for wisdom, I must had attempted to few, that any presume, that they did ; and if so, national benefit could arise from the is it not of the utmost consequence inquiry proposed. Now to fatisfy

Now to satisfy to the nation to get rid of such him in this particular, I shall beg G minifters. The late war has coit this leave to suppose, that we have now, nation above fixty millions sterling. and had during the whole course of and now it is ended by an intamous the late war, a set of ministers who peace, we are told by those who knew not how to concert or conduct conducted it, or were concerned in

4 F2

con:

a

[ocr errors]

conducting it from its commence- cause the treaty of commerce in ment to its final period, that the 1715, is not revived by the last misfortunes of the war made that treaty, nor are we now intitled to peace necessary. Shall we be told

any of the privileges or immunities this, Sir, without making the leaft granted us by that treaty. And with inquiry into the cause of those mis- regard to our merchant ships, the fortunes! Can we make such an in- A treaties of 1667 and 1670 are re. quiry, without having the papers vived generally without any amendnow moved for, and a great many ment or explanation, tho' every one others laid before us? No conse- knows, that from these treaties the quence can be so bad as our neglect Spaniards claimed before the war a ing to make that inquiry : We may right to search our ships in the high easily, notwithstanding such inquiry, feas, and to seize and confiscate ship guard against the discovery of any B and cargo, if they found on board important secret; and if all our mis. any thing of what they are pleased fortunes in the war proceeded from to call contraband goods. This the weakness and bad conduct of right we have by our late treaty of our ministers, we can expect no com. peace tacitly acknowledged, in so pliance from, we may expect to be far as we have agreed to revive those trified with and insulted by the courts two treaties without obliging them both of France and Spain.

C to give up their claim. Therefore, Sir, if our commerce There, Sir, are objections against with Spain be exposed to be ruined the late peace which appear upon by high duties, which it certainly is the face of the treaty, and objectimore than when the war began : If cns of such importance to this nation, our merchant ships remain exposed to that they throw the labouring car be searched, and seized on account upon our ministers, who must Itand of what the Spaniards call contra- D condemned, and will by every true band goods, which they certainly are Englishman be thought to deserve more than when the war began, an the highest punishments their country inquiry into the conduct of the war can inflict, unless they can fhew, and negotiations of peace is the that by unforeseen accidents, and more necessary, that we may free unmerited misfortunes, in the war, our ministers from that presumption we were reduced to such distressful of weakness which is now so strong E circumstances, as to be obliged to against them, or otherwise, that we fue for peace, and to accept of any may free the nation from suffering ternis our victorious enemies were any longer by their weakness. pleased to prescribe. But the Hon.

I have said, Sir, that both our gentleman has been pleased to tell us, commerce and merchant ships are that these are point s of commerce, now more exposed than they were which are never settled in a general before the war, and in this I must be F treaty of peace, but are left to be justified by every one who considers, settled afterwards by a treaty of comthat when a war breaks out between merce. As to the point of searchany two nations, all former treaties ing our fhips, Sir, I must deny that are at an end, and none of them are it is merely a point of commerce, restored, nor any article in any of and as it was the cause of the war, it them, but such as are expressly men- ought certainly to have been the first tioned and declared to be revived by G point sectled in any future treaty of the next treaty of peace; therefore, peace between us and Spain. I must with regard to our commerce with likewise deny, Sir, that points of Spain, it is now upon a worse foot- commerce are left to be settled after. ing than it was betere the war, be- wards by any nation that has a re

gard

gard to its commerce, as will appear fould happen, our navigation, our

should from all the famous treaties of peace commerce, our independency will be concluded in Europe for a century at an end ; for, I believe, the French pait. At the peace of Nimeguen, would prescribe the same terms to us the treaty of peace and the treaty of that the Romans prescribed to the commerce between Holland and

Carthaginians, after the end of the feFrance were figned the same day. A cond Punick war, Et naves roftratas, At the peace of Ryswick between præter decem triremes, traderent, cle. those two powers, the case was the phantofque, quos haberent domitos ; fame. At that time indeed I shall

neque

domarent alios ; that we should grant, that no care was taken of the deliver up to them all our ships of trade of England ; but at the peace war, except a few frigates, and of Utreche some better care was should build no more without their taken of our trade ; for our assiento B leave. Some gentlemen may, pertreaty with Spain was signed some haps, expect, that to this I should months before our treaty of peace add popery and the pretender, as with that nation; and our treaty of usual; but if the French should ever peace and treaty of commerce with be able to reduce us so low, I believe, France were signed the same day; so they would give themselves very that points of commerce were not little trouble about who was our left to be settled afterwards even by king or what our religion ; for they that treaty, which has since been so are too good politicians to concern much exploded by some sort of peo- themselves with either, except when ple, tho' a great deal better than it fuits their immediate interest. any that have been made lince; and As the conduct of the late war, if the treaty of commerce then and the conclusion of the late peace, settled with France had not been have given too much ground for rejected by a party in parliament, ID such apprehensions, I am not at all am convinced, that neither the trade surprized, Sir, that the ministers nor manufactures of that kingdom who conducted the war, and negowould have ever been in so flourish. tiated the peace, took care to advise ing a state as they were before their his majesty, not to lay the prelimi. lait declaration of war against us, naries before parliament, tho' fitting and will again be in a very short when those preliminaries were atime, as by the last peace we have E greed to and ratified ; and I shall left them in possession of all the ad. allow, that by our constitution they vantages they before enjoyed, and were no way bound to do so : Nay, with a higher character and greater I will allow, that in this respect our influence in every part of the world constitution is, as in most others, a than they ever had before.

right one, and founded upon the What effect this may have, Sir, truest maxims of political wisdom ; upon their marine, I know not ; F but considering the unanimous vote but if our affairs should remain a of both houses in a former session of few years under the conduct of those parliament, it must be allowed, that who managed the late war in such it was a very bold step in our minia manner, as to render it necessary fters, to advise the king to ratify for us to accept of such a peace, I preliminaries which were so contradread the consequences, especially, dictory to the sease of parliament, if a new war should be commenced G without so much as asking whether and carried on under the same au- we thought, that the misfortunes of Spices. I am afraid, we may be the war had made it necessary to taught by experience, that our navy depart from that resolution, When not invincible ; and if ever that I lay this, I suppose, every gentle.

man SIR,

I

[ocr errors]

man must know, that I mean the British and Irish Establishment on resolution which this house came to Half Pay, to the Penalties and in the session 39-40, and in which Punishments of that Aa, during the other house concurred, to address its Continuance. As there were no his majesty never to admit of any Half Pay Officers in the House, betreaty with Spain, unlefs an acknow- cause if any one gets in there, he is ledgment of our right to a free navi- A fure of being provided for in a bort

a gation in ihe American feas flould be time, this Claule pallid in that Seffirst obtained, as a preliminary there- foon unobserved and unobjected to ; to, which address was accordingly but in the next session it was viopresented in the most solemn manner lently opposed in both Houses *, and by both houses; and his majesty's therefore we rifolved to have a answer was, that we might rely on Debate upon it in our Club, which bis utmost care and endeavour, to ob- B we bad, the 13th of March, tain filual Jucurity for cur just 1748-9. The Debate was opened rights of navigation and commerce by Q. Fabius Maximus, whoje

I fay, Sir, when we recollect Speech was in Substance abus. this, we cannot wonder at our mini. Sters being afraid to communicate

Mr. Prrlident, the late preliminaries to parliament; but now that the treaty is laid before C Have upon many occasions as us, I am sure, all England, nay, well as this found, that lawyers all Europe will be amazed, if the can render the plainest question duubeparliament should take no notice of, ful, and that they often endeavour por make any inquiry into that con- to put a meaning upon a law, which duct which reduced his majelty to is directly contrary to the express the neceflity not only of treating, but words of the law. By the bill now of concluding a treaty of peace with D before us it is declared, that the Spain, without fo much as a word number of forces for the ensu. mentioned, either in the prelimina- ing year shall be 18,857 effective ries or definitive treaty, of that dir. men, including 1815 invalids, and pute which was the cause of the that it is requisite for retaining such war between the two nations. I forces in their duty, that an exact therefore think, that in common discipline be observed ; therefore it is decency we cannot avoid making an E enacted, that if any person being inquiry into the late treaty of peace, mustered, or in pay as an officer, or and for this reason I shall be for this who is or shall be listed, motion, and for every other motion a soldier, shall be guilty of any of that has a tendency that way. the crimes mentioned, he Mall be

subject to be tried and punished as In order to explain the following De- in the bill directed.

bate, I must obferve, that Half-F Now, Sir, would any man but Pay Officers, while they remained a lawyer suppose, that a whole body upon Half Pay, were never supposed of men who are no part of the numto be fubjiet to the Military Law, ber of forces mentioned in the bill, till the Year 1748, but in the Mu- nor mulered, nor in pay, are by these tiny Bill which passed the firfi Sef- words subjected to the penalties fron of this Parliament, a Clause G and punishments of this bill; and was added at the End of it, for yet we find, there are some lawyers subjekling the reduced Oficers of the of this opinion, and that half-pay Land Forces and Murines, of the

officers

LB
See London Magazine for 1739, p. 628. Aad Annals for 1740, p. 160.
Lord, Mag. for August loft, p. 364.

or in

pay as

[ocr errors]

-pay

oficers would by the preamble and has but a crown a day, which cerfirst enacting clause be subjected to tainly is not sufficient to support him military law, even tho' the clause like a gentleman, much less to supnow read at your table were left out port his character as a captain, should of the bill; because, fay they, he be obliged to live the whole year those officers that have half pay, are in London, or in any place where in pay as officers, and consequently A provisions are dear. For this reason, are included under the words, * or in we know, that all such half-pay ofpay as an officer.”

ficers as have no estate of their own, But thank God ! Sir, we have now, retire to some distant and cheap proand have always had many able and vince, or pass a great part of their great lawyers of a different opinion; time with their relations in the counfor according to the common accep

try; and in such retirement they may ration of the words, in pay, they B depend upon resting secure till they are always supposed to mean full get a new commission, or a new war pay, and the half pay given to re- calls them again to arms, in either duced officers is not given as pay,

of which cases they are ture of be. but as a reward for palt services, and ing restored to full pay. But if this as a retaining fee, that they may be clause Tould pass as it now stands, ready to serve their country again in

no such officer could depend upon the same or some higher capacity Cresting secure for a moment in when it has use for them. I cannot any retirement, and consequently really form an idea, how any one could lay down no scheme of can suppose half- officers to be in living within the compass of his military service : They are never half pay; because the secretary at -mustered; They are not under the war, or the general in chief, might, command of any one, nor have they whenever he pleased, order him to any one under their command : If Dfome other place, or perhaps to the employed, I believe, they must have Weft-Indies, and that without resto. a new commission; and as they are ring him to full pay, or making him not included in the 18,857 men, men- any other allowance. Perhaps it tioned in the preamble of the bill, may be said, that we cannot suppose it is impossible to suppose, that the that any such orders will ever be givwords, for retaining such forces in en ; but in passing or making laws I their duty, can have any relation to E Mall always suppose, that whatever them. Therefore, I must conclude, may be will be ; and whether it be that if it were not for the words or not, it is a hardthip upon a man mentioned in the last clause of the to be made liable to the chance of bill, no half-pay officer, while he re- its being; for no man can pretend mained on half pay, would be sub. to foretel what a whimsical or reject to any of the penalties or punih- vengeful general will do, or what ments of the bill, or could be tried F he may be put upon doing by some for any crime by a court martial; tale bearing favourite ; and I shall and, I think, they ought not to be by and by give a good reason for lupmade subject, because it would be a posing, that such things will be of. great hardship upon them, because ten done. By this claule the secretary it is no way necessary for the security at war, or chief general, has a greater of the government, and because it command over the officers on half would be of the most dangerous con- G pay, than he has over those in full sequence to the conftitution.

pay ; because he cannot send an offi. As to the hardhip it would be up- cer on full pay away from his regi. on the officers, Sir, let us contider, ment, and if a detachment is to be sent that even a captain upon half pay, from any regiment, the general's or

ders

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »