Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

she remained at amity with us, or subsequent years, to encroach upon that, if she were separated from us or to humble her. Trusting to the and gone round to Russia, who prevalence of a reciprocal feeling would most gladly combine with of amity on the part of the French her, those two powers should to- nation, he would conclude by exgether accomplish the objects re- pressing his earnest hope for conspectively attributed to them? He tinued peace between the two gave full credit to his noble friend nations, and for the tranquillity of (lord Palmerston) for the address the world. and ability he had displayed on Viscount Melbourne said, he this occasion, but, however skilful agreed for the most part in the the mode of conducting it had general principles of the able speech been, the policy itself might never- they had just heard, though he theless be entirely wrong. He could not entirely concur in the wished, before concluding, to make application of those principles. He one remark respecting the feeling did not intend to ask the house to of the people of this country to concur in a vote of approbation on wards France. Let it not be sup- the policy which had been pursued posed, on either side of the water, until he had laid before them the that they had ever felt indifferent fullest information on the whole to the prospect of a war, or insen- subject-the clearest statement of sible to the inestimable blessings of the whole negotiations: after which peace with France. If it had ever he hoped he should satisfy them entered their heads as a practical that a case had existed, if not of notion, that they were on the absolute necessity, yet a case of point of war with France, he knew stringent policy, imperatively callfor certain, that an overwhelming ing on the government to act as it majority of the working classes, had done for the purpose of prethe middle classes, and all the serving the peace of Europe. Liberal party of the nation, would Above all

, he felt sure that when have risen up as one man, and said the whole facts were laid before the to the government, “ The peace house, they would be satisfied that with France shall not be broken, there was not the slightest ground come what may.” The noble lord for the charge of discourtesy tothen paid a higla tribute to the wards France in the manner in genius, courage, and military skill which the business had been conof the French nation, and to their ducted. His noble and learned honourable and chivalrous cha- friend had asked, what was the racter, of which he was sure even real object which they had in the noble duke opposite (Welling- view His answer was, the preton) and his brave companions in servation of peace by the settlearms, would never speak otherwisement of the affairs of the Levant, than most respeetfully. The noble and by preserving the integrity of duke had always maintained, that the Turkish empire as much as France must ever be a great and they possibly could in the state in leading power in Europe, and which it was. As to the alleged would have resisted, he was quite inconsistency of our policy in forsure, any propositions which might mer years with this object, he have been made at the conferences would not go at length into those of the great powers in 1814 or in subjects, but with respect to the offers of Egypt and of certain parts question with the view of securing of Syria to the pacha, all he would the peace of the world. But with say was, that they arose from an reference to his noble friend's reextreme anxiety to settle the mat- marks, he felt called upon to make ter pacifically and to avert the con- this one observation, viz:- that it juncture which had arisen. It was not in the power of any one was evident from papers on the nation to command peace.

It table of the house, that it was the could not contest the proceedings intention of the pacha to establish of other nations. He would add, his own independence, to found a that it was not the surest way to new Mahommedan state on the avoid war, to declare beforehand shores of the Mediterranean, and that under no circumstances we by further encroachments to make would resort to that course. himself the sole or the greatest Lord Brougham explained with Mahommedan power in that part reference to the concluding reof the world. It was the policy marks of the noble lord, that he of the other powers to prevent the had never meant to maintain that execution of such a design. In this country ought to go to war his opinion the only charge which under no circumstances whatever. could justly be made against them The duke of Wellington exwas that of too long delaying to pressed his concurrence in the act, but this was owing to their address, which he hoped would be earnest desire to act in concert unanimously agreed to. He was with France : to have her co- one of those who approved of the operation with that of the other policy of the measures which had powers in the pacification of the been taken. The state of things Levant. They had been disap- in the Levant had for some years pointed in this, but he still in- excited his anxious attention. He dulged hopes that an agreement of was happy to say he had reason to opinion would be come to on this think that the dangers which me. subject. His noble friend had naced the peace of Europe would said, that in the course which be averted, and that France would they had pursued they had served join the other powers in maintainthe ends of Russia, who would ing the peace of the world. He be the real gainer. What her had heard a good deal now and at secret designs might be, he could other times, of what was called not say, but he would suggest that the alliance between France and it was possible that that power England. Now it was true, that might be desirous to preserve the on certain occasions, these two peace of Europe, and to put a stop powers had acted in concert, and to a state of things by which she apart from the other powers of alone miglit be compelled to inter- Europe. He knew, however, of fere, as she was compelled by no other alliance than a good unsolemn treaty to do, for the pre- derstanding between them. servation of the Turkish empire, other times they had acted sepaand by which interference she rately, On the occasion of the might have compromised the peace negotiations at Verona, where he of Europe. He trusted that ere himself was present as ambassador, long they should see all the great France had acted separately from powers of Europe united on this England, yet, England did not

At

now

then take offence at the course she of France, and for the promotion pursued. He could not discover of her interests, as himself. From in the present proceedings any 1814 to the last moment of his cause for just offence on the part remaining in office, he had done of France. The only fault he everything in his power to preserve could find in the present case was, the peace of Europe and to keep that the negotiations had been up a good understanding between carried on orally, rather than by France and England. He renotes according to the usual course. peated that he had done more than If the usual form had been fol- any one else to place France in the lowed it would have been easier situation which she ought to hold to decide upon any charge which in the councils of Europe,-from might be made by reference to a firm conviction, which he felt documents. But in his opinion no as strongly as ever, that discourtesy had been shown to if France were not so placed, there France in the recent proceedings, was no security for the peace nor could he see any just cause of of Europe, or for a sound decision difference between the two coun- on any subject of general policy. tries. The charges brought by His noble friends here, and his Lord Brougham against the con- right honourable friends elsewhere, duct of Russia were, in his opinion, who were in office with him, were without foundation.

In 1830, as anxious for the preservation of 1831, and 1832, that government peace as any politicians, be they had made the greatest exertions to liberals or otherwise; they were as induce the maritime powers of anxious that · France should take Europe to interfere for the pres that station which became her in vention of the invasion of Syria the rank of nations, and to which by Mehemet Ali, and if her efforts her power, her wealth, and her bad been successful the Russian resources entitled her. The noble fleet would not have sailed, nor duke concluded by expressing his would the treaty of Unkiar Ske- confident hope and expectation lessi have been entered into. He that the other powers would sucmust say that he saw no peculiar ceed in reconciling France to the advantages that the emperor of settlement of the affairs of the Russia had gained by agreeing to Levant which had been effected. what had been done for the settle- Lord Brougham expressed his ment of the affairs of the Levant, regret that he had given offence to and he believed the emperor was the noble duke by what he had perfectly sincere in working out said, but added, that if he had the same common object with the only been the means of drawing other powers, and that he had no from him the declaration which such aim as was imputed to him, the house had just heard, he felt of seeking to break up the alliance that he had rendered one of the between France and England. In most important services that any answer to the noble and learned man could perform at the present lord's observations, he would say, juncture. that no man living had done half The address was then agreed to 80 much for the preservation of without a division. peace, and above all for the pacifi- In the house of commons, on the cation and maintaining the honour same day, her majesty's speech having been read from the chair, proceeded to give a detailed delord Brabazon moved the address. scription of the circumstances atThe chief topics which he com- tending the bombardment of Acre, mented upon, after congratulating which he characterised as tranthe house on the birth of a princess scending all former achievements royal, were the operations in Syria of the British arms of the same and on the Indus, the war in kind. After slightly touching on China, the differences between this the condition of Canada, and on country and France, the projected the topic of slavery, he adverted reforms in chancery, the poor-law, to the domestic circumstances of to the working of which he attri- the country, and first to the new buted a marked social and moral poor law. This, he said, was improvement in the condition of another instance in which the first the peasantry; and to the condition bias of public opinion had been of Ireland, whose only demand wrong. A prejudice had at first and only requisite to become a been excited against the law, but contented and happy country was, now the poor were beginning to as he contended, the concession of feel the benefit of it, and he could equality of privileges and fran- speak from personal experience of chises with those of England. its satisfactory results. The deThis would be but an act of com- ceptive schemes of the chartists mon justice. To the repeal of the were seen through and discounteunion, however, he was deter- nanced, and the working classses minedly opposed, and he implored had awakened to a sense of their those who were now agitating that absurdity. The interests both of measure, to pause ere they brought the agricultural and manufacturing the heaviest calamity on their classes were in a prosperous state. country. The noble lord then read All these were reasons for the the address, which was, as usual, highest national exultation, and at an echo of the speech, and ex- such a thrice-happy period as the pressed his confidence that it would present, when all should be conmeet with the unanimous con- cord and sunshine around the currence of the house.

throne, he trusted that they would Mr. Grantley Berkley seconded join unanimously in an address of the address. He spoke in the loyalty to the throne, and grati. warmest terms of the recent suc- tude to Divine Providence. cesses of the British arms in Asia. Mr. Grote next addressed the Their triumph in China he con- house, and after characterizing the sidered a subject of the greatest speech from the throne as “not very national exultation. He hailed rich in promises ; presenting the the policy of the noble lord (Pal- sketch of a session as blank in prosmerston) with satifaction, not only pect, as the preceding session was in in a political and commercial point reality," he proceeded to a searchof view, but religiously he was led ing scrutiny into the policy and to regard it as the dawning of a measures of the government with light that was about to break in respect to the eastern question, on upon the darkness of that idola- which his views widely differed trous land. The seeds of a faith from those of the speakers who had had been sown which might bring preceded him. The line of arguforth future harvests. He then ment adopted by the honourable member with reference to this against the acquisition of Con subject, was very much the same stantinople by Russia consists in as that employed by lord Brougham the terror of our arms, in the in the other house. Admitting emperor's knowing that he will the brilliancy of the achievements not be permitted by England and of the British arms, he contended France to make the attempt. The that the policy of the expedition argument, that by these measures was indefensible—that England we are counteracting the designs had no cause of quarrel or offence of Russia, is refuted by the obvious against Mehemet Ali, on the con- fact, that Russia is herself the trary, that she had been the gainer grand projector of the enterprise. in many respects by his govern- The Russian negotiator,count Brument in Syria. Even supposing now, was reputed to be a man of France had acquiesced in our mea- distinguished sagacity, and unless sures, the alleged object of main- you suppose him in this instance laining the independence and in- to be suicidally or stupidly ruintegrity of the Ottoman empire, ing his own interests, one of two of guaranteeing the sultan against things must be true-either that either any external aggression, or Russia has no designs against any attempt at self-emancipation Turkey, in which case our interon the part of any persons in his ference was needless, or else Russia dominions appeared to bim to be a has aggressive designs, but such as policy uncalled for, impolitic, in- admit of being as well or better definite, and indefensible, on any executed after the expulsion of the correct view of international ob- pacha from Syria as before it. In ligation. The consequences of either alternative, the conduct of adopting such a policy were scarce- Russia proves that our Syrian proly to be calculated, seeing that the ceedings were in no way calculated history of the Turkish empire to obstruct her views. He trusted showed that the quarrels of the that we might escape the terrible pachas one with another, and the calamity of an European war, but revolts of pachas against the sultan omens and menaces of warlike prewere almost a part of the order of paration were abroad, and the nature in that empire. It was rumours of all Europe being placed contended that we ought to inter- on an enlarged military establishfere for the sake of frustrating the ment were in themselves no light designs of the emperor Nicholas mischief. Entertaining, as he did, upon Constantinople. But if, as the highest opinion of the French this argument implied, the only nation, he could not but look mode of counteracting Russian upon the prospect of a rupture of designs in this quarter, was to the good understanding between outbid that power in offers of ser- France and England, and the revice to the sultan, such policy, vival of the feelings of 1815, as a degrading as it would be io this signal calamity for both. We had country, would present no securi- gained nothing by our operations ties against the ambition of the in Syria to compensate for so great emperor, but such as were both a mischief. Granting that the the most troublesome, the most eastern question had been settled, costly, and the least effective. The the noble lord (Palmerston) had real security which we possess unsettled at the same time all the

« ForrigeFortsett »