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herence on their part to the enemy; ving emancipated Spain, that we had they submitted to all the military in not a single man there, nor could we flictions which their, firmness occasion. entertain a rational prospect of making ed ; they bore the devastation of their any impression on the enemy in that country without repining; and in no quarter. He put it to the committee, single instance were they false to the whether if four years ago the merely common interest.” The noble lord con- remaining in Portugal had been descricluded by moving the following resolu- bed as the ultimate object of our eftion :- That it is the opinion of this forts, the proposition to make those committee, that a sum, not exceeding efforts would have been received with two millions, be granted to his majes. that acclamation and support which ty, to enable him to continue to main. actually accompanied it? In objecting tain in his pay a body of Portugueze to the present motion, he felt that he troops, and to give such further aid trod on ground not most popular just and assistance to the government of then, of course he should have to con. Portugal, as the nature of the contest tend with the gentlemen opposite; he in which his majesty is engaged may should also have to contend with many appear to him to require."
with whom he was in the general haMr Freemantle was almost the only bit of political accordance. But $o member who opposed this grant. He strong was his conviction on the sub“ denied that the noble lord had satis. ject, that he felt it imperative upon fied his mind with respect to the pro- him to express his opinion. He had priety of the proposed grant. The patiently listened to every argument noble lord had adverted not to the ge- and opinion connected with it, both in neral state of the war, but to the par- parliament and in private society, but ticular state of Portugal. To all that hitherto no one had been able to per the noble lord had said in praise of the suade him that, under the present cirexertions of Portugal he heartily sub- cumstances, Great Britain ought to scribed. But he could not allow an persevere in a systeni so lavish, that it additional burden of two millions to be must eventually lead to her utter de. imposed upon the country, without struction. It was on the ground of bringing back to the recollection of expence that he argued against the the committee the original object, for motion. We had failed in every effort the attainment of which this grant was which we had made to drive the ene. in the first instance voted. That ob. my from Spain. We had failed, not ject had failed ; and therefore to con
from any want of courage in our troops, tinue such grants, was merely to per not from any want of skill in our offsevere in a system of lavish expendi cers, but from a want of co-operation ture, from which no satisfactory result on the part of the Spaniards, from a could be expected. When the first want of that assistance which we ex. grant of this nature was proposed, it pected from them, and which we had was to afford British aid towards res a right to expect. In the present state cuing Spain from the gripe of France. of the committee he would not enter At that time he concurred most cordi- into any details of the war in the pe ally with the whole country in the effort. ninsula, but he would implore them But four years have elapsed, and not to pause before they fruitlessly ex. an inch of ground having been gained, pended two millions of the public mohe had a right to alter his opinion on
ney. Let them consider, that two the subject. So far were we from ha- millions was near one-sixth of the pro.
duce of the Income Tax. Let them of the expences of our army in that look at the enormous expenditure of quarter. At this moment, it must be the
country, and endeavour to devise admitted on all hands, that the extent the means of diminishing, rather than of it was not under 50,000 men at of augmenting it. The present annual least available for service-the exexpenditure of Great Britain amount pence of the establishment of mules ed to nearly 100,000,000! He would employed in carrying, stores, &c. was defy any minister to maintain the pre- not less than 4,000l. per diem, and sent expenditure of the country, with this he could prove, if necessary. Each resources so diminished, and trade and horse cost this country 5s, per day, commerce so circumstanced. He need beside the provisions for the cavalry, only refer the right honourable gen- which were imported from America tleman to what he had stated last year, into Lisbon, and thence transported to when proposing a subsidy for Portu- the army, and their horses were exgal—when at the same time there was pected to be furnished from this counà petition from the manufacturers, try. The expence of transporting the complaining of the decay of trade, heavy ordnance from Oporto to Ciuand praying some relief. On that dad Rodrigo cost this country 20,0001. occasion, the right honourable gen. With respect to keeping up the force tleman had said, that it was impos. we had in the peninsula, our means sible to afford the relief prayed for, were not adequate to the effort, for until Buonaparte had altered his pro- the militia regiments were called on to hibitory decrees. Since then the ruler supply their quotas for the line, and of France had increased them, and, many of the militia regiments were not therefore, the situation of the country complete, for some of the counties in that respect was worse. Under could not afford a ballot. There was these circumstances he should most no chance therefore of deriving assistearnestly recommend to the House to ance again from that source. adopt economy-to diminish the ex. impracticable to keep up the cavalry penditure, and make it more commen- regiments; he could affirm, that one surate with the means of the country. regiment, which at the end of the year The noble lord had stated that the re 1808 was complete, consisting of eight venue of Portugal was materially im- troops, containing 640 men and horses, proved since the former subsidy was landed in Portugal, was now reduced, voted by parliament. If so, she had though it had since been recruited no right whatever to call upon Great five times, to 480 men, and when in Britain for further aid ; the increase of the field could not muster more than the revenue of Portugal ought to be 400 men. In recommending econoapplied to the maintenance of her my, he did not mean that our armies army, especially as our revenue was on should be withdrawn, or that at the the decline. If England was menaced first charge the country should surwith a foreign invasion, would Eng. render at discretion. His only oblishmen, he would ask, condescend to ject was to induce the House to look receive pay for carrying muskets in at the situation of this country, and defence of their liberties and of their by its conduct prevent the furtherance country? The fact was so with the of what he must deem a ruinous sysPortugueze, for the subsidy was grant- tem, carried on in a country where 80 ed for the express purpose of assisting fair a prospect was not now present. them in defence of their own country. ed as at the commencement of the He would state a few facts in detail contest. He therefore could not avoid
recommending the adoption of mea- ly all their objects, what would any sures more conducive to the security statesman say_what would all Europe of the empire, and upon a scale more say to our conduct? They might consistent with its resources.”
say that when we were unsuccessful, The Honourable Mr Ward, al. when we were defeated in our obthough connected with the opposition, jects,—when our gallant general was came forward on this occasion, and slain, then we were disposed to conmade a satisfactory reply to the pre- tinue the war ; but that now, when ceding speaker. He observed, “ That we had obtained brilliant successes he was one of those who originally when we had secured our position in thought that we should not have en the peninsula,—when our armies were tered as principals into the war in the commanded by one of the greatest ge. peninsula; he still thought so, but nerals of modern times ; now, a new he conceived that there was a great light had broken in upon us ; now, difference between such an opinion we found that we could not afford to and that which he might entertain continue the means of farther success ; after that war had been so commen now, we felt ourselves indisposed to ced, and continued for years. Whe- grant the necessary, succours to our ther they should have entered into it allies ! His honourable friend thought on the scale they had done, and whe- it discreditable to the Portugueze chather they should now abandon it, were racter to be paid by England. But quite different questions ; for the po- what was the fact ? The Portugueze licy of abandoning it might be a great had first done all that was in their deal worse than the policy which in. power, and then they received our asduced us to commence it.' He could sistance to make still greater efforts. not agree with his honourable friend His honourable friend said, that we, who spoke last; for in the system in England, would not think of being which he recommended, though he paid by another nation for defending said he would not abandon the war, ourselves. God forbid that such an yet his opinions would lead him to event should ever happen as to drive starve it. That would, indeed, be us to a question of such a nature! carrying on the war so as to be bur. Should the necessity of defending our. densome, while at the same time it selves in our own land occur, we should, afforded no probability of succeeding doubtless, perform all that lay within in any one object of it. Though he the compass of our own ability; and still thought it would have been wiser he trụsted that we should feel no ne. to have acted differently, yet it should cessity to resort to the supplies of be recollected, that there was nothing other governments. But really he so disgraceful to the character of a could discern nothing disgraceful in great nation as a changeable vacillating the conduct of the Portugueze, who, policy. It often happened in the con. without the financial means of exertcerns of nations, that it was better to ing all their powers, and calling forth pursue a course which was not in the all their own resources, received the first instance rightly selected, than to pecuniary assistance of their allies in a give it up altogether, after following common cause. What they had done, it for a considerable time. If we now had been the practice of some of the abandoned it, or did what was almost greatest states in Europe ; several in the same thing, starve it, and if we stances of which, he imagined, his how thas suffered the Fren to gain neare nourable friend approved of. What
had been the case respecting our allies ought to look around us carefully, during the whole of the war for near and examine what other branch of extwenty years ? Was it ever said, that penditure we could retrench or give the
emperor of Germany was a dis- up, rather than for the sake of the graced person because he accepted cost to abandon the defence of our pecuniary loans and subsidies from this allies. Thus much he felt himself country, to enable him to send his ar. bound to say, because he certainly mies into the field ? But if affording thought, and had before said, that in pecuniary aid to Portugal were expe the commencement, it would have dłent, and justifiable on the score of been better policy for us not to compolicy, it was yet much more so at mit ourselves so far, as principals in present, on the ground of honour. In
In the war. But when he heard gentlefact, we were pledged as strongly as men argue in favour of stopping the we could be to assist Portugal; and career in which we had been engaged she had done nothing lately to forfeit for several years, and to which we the fulfilment of our promises of sup were now so strongly pledged, he must port ; he meant not that hollow, nig- declare, that he could not hear such gardly, illusive support that some re sentiments without stating, as he had commended ; but a real, efficient, and done, his opinion on the present occavigorous assistance. With regard to sion as to the policy and honour of Spain, he thought that if she had ever this country.” deserved our aid, she deserved it
ореliarly at the present time; for she had rations of the armies.-So soon as lately endeavoured to increase her own Lord Wellington had repaired the means of resistance, especially in her works of Ciudad Rodrigo, and perabolition of a weak and execrable go- ceived that Marmont had abandoned vernment. He was not, however, dise his intention of fighting, he moved the posed to deny that the time might greater part of his army towards Ba. come, when this question would ap- dajoz, which he determined should fol. pear under a very different aspect, low the fate of Ciudad Rodrigo. This when we might find ourselves pressed place had for some time been blockby domestic difficulties, which would aded by General Hill, with about render it advisable to husband our re 12,000 men, supported by the Portusources with the utmost economy ;
gueze army under Marshal Beresand he would fairly own, that he was ford.--The force now at the disposal not altogether free from apprehensions of the British commander was formion that subject. The time might dable ; the enemy's armies of the north possibly arrive sooner than most per- and south were entirely separated ; sons expected. Yet he must maintain and it was probable the operations of upon every consideration, whether of this important siege might be carried national policy, or of public honour, on without interruption. It was only that if we should deem it
by the union of all their forces that abandon the vigorous prosecution of the French could venture on any atthe war in the peninsula, we ought to tempt to relieve it ; and Lord Weldo so slowly aod reluctantly. Such lington therefore determined to ima measure ought, in his mind, to be prove the opportunity which so fathe result only of well weighing, and vourable a conjuncture presented. He duly estimating whether we were real. resolved to push the siege with the ly unable to persevere in that war. We greatest vigour; he knew the vast im,
VOL, V. PART I.
portance of this place to his future to assail the ravelin of St Rocque. operations; and although he was sen. Major General Colville, with the resible that the resistance of a numerous mainder of the fourth, and the light garrison, commanded by one of the division, was to attack the bastions of most able engineers in the French ser. La Trinedad and Santa Martha. The vice, and entrenched behind works conduct of a false attack was commit. which his skill had contrived, threat. ted to Lieutenant-General Leith, with ened a severe loss to the assailants, he instructions to turn it into a real one wisely reflected that this loss would should circumstances prove favourastill be inferior to that which his ar ble. my must sustain in conducting the About ten o'clock in the evening of siege and fighting a general battle at the 6th of April, Lieutenant-Genethe same time. The event amply ral Picton set out on his arduous enproved the sagacity which guided his terprise. He crossed the river after determination
some resistance, and in the short space He directed the operations of the of an hour and a half was master of siege in person. By the middle of the castle of Badajoz. Major Wilson, March, Badajoz was completely in. ' with 200 men, carried the ravelin of vested, the first parallel having been St Rocque; but the resistance which formed within 200 yards of the out the light division met with was more work called La Picorina. General Sir serious. They advanced to the cover. Thomas Graham moved on Santa ed-way, descended into the ditch, and Martha ; Sir Rowland Hill proceed- proceeded to storm the breaches; but ed to Merida, and compelled Drouet such were the obstacles of all kinds to retire. Generals Graham and Hill which the contrivance of the enemy were without interruption allowed to had thrown in the way, that although occupy the whole line formerly held the assault was often resumed, they by Drouet, and thus effectually to were unable to establish themselves in separate Marmont and Soult for the the place. The false attack, however, present. On the 19th of March the under General Leith, was converted garrison made a sortie against the into a real one ; and the besiegers haright of the British works, but were ving entirely succeeded at all other instantly repulsed with considerable points, the light division was drawn loss by Major General Bowes. On off. Both the castle and the town the 25th the besiegers fired into the were in possession of the British. The place at a distance of about 200 yards; French governor, with his staff, retired and the
very same day carried into Fort St Christoval, and surrenderFort Picorina by storm, and put the ed on the following day. The garri. garrison to the sword. The progress son, which amounted originally to which had thus been made was unex 5000 men, had lost 1200 killed and ampled in the history of sieges. By wounded in the previous operations, the 6th of April no less than three besides those who perished in the asbreaches had been made, which were sault. The British and Portugueze considered practicable; and the storm. sustained a loss of about 809 killed ing of the place was immediately de. and 2000 wounded; a loss which termined on. Lieutenant-General Pic. might be thought considerable, if the ton, with the third division, was or value of the service, and the rapidity dered to attack the castle of Badajoz of the operations, were not fairly és. by escalade. Major Wilson, with a de. timated. --Thus had the British army, tachment from the fourth division, was in the short space of one month, re.