Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

these insults, by making reprisals on English and solemnities prescribed by the Law of property in England ) His Majesty, how- sions, which should turn to its own profit, ever, requires that the seizures consequent sought the most frivolous pretexts to bring on this arrangement should be proceeded in into doubt the conduct of Spain, which was with such method and regularity, that the truly neutral, and to give demonstrations, at effects may be preserved entire, and unin. the same time, to the desires of his Britanjured, until the further pleasure of his Nia. nic Majesty, to preserve the peace, all with jesty be made known respecting them. The the intention of gaining time, cajoling the command for this porpose, which this paper Spanish government, and holdiog in uncerconveys, is to be immediately obeyed, under tainty the opinion of the English nation upon your direction, and you will consider the its own premeditared and unjust designs, steps proper to be taken respecting such which could in no manner be approved by commercial transactions as arc yet in pro

that nation. Tbus it is, that in London it gress, in which such English effects may be appeared artfully to accepi various reclamaconcerned.

tions from Spanish individuals, which were

addressed to it; while its agents in Madrid WAR WITH SPAIN.- Declaration of War magnified the pacific intentions of their

made by Spain against England, dated Madrid, own Sovereign : but they never shewed 12th Dec. 1804.

themselves satisfied with the frankness and The peace which Europe beheld with friendship with which all their notes were $0 much delight, re-established at Amiens, answered, rather anxious for proclaiming and has, unfortunately for the welfare of nations, magnifying armaments which had no existproved but of short duration. The rejoic ence,, and pretending, contrary to the most ings with which this happy event was cele- positive protests on the part of Spain, that brated upon all sides, were scarcely conclu- the pecuniary succours given to France were ded, when the public satisfaction began to not merely an equivalent for the troops and be troubled, and the advantage of the peace ships which were stipulated in the treaty of to disappear. The Cabinets of London and 1796, but an indefinite and immense stock, Paris held Europe suspended, and agitated which did not permit them to consider Spain between its terrors and its hopes, seeing the in any other light than as a principal party in event of the negotiations every day become the war. --Moreover, as there was not more uncertain, until the moment that dis- tine entirely to banish the illusion under cord arrived at such an height, as to kindle which they laboured, they exacted, as the between them the fire of a war, which must precise conditions upon which they would Daturally extend itself to other powers; consider Spain as neutral, the cessation of since it was very difficult for Spain and Hol- every armament in her ports, and a prohibiland, who had freated jointly with France at tion of the sale of prizes brought into them. Amiens, and whose interests and political re- And, notwithstanding that both of these lations are so reciprocally connected, to conditions, although urged in a tone superavoid finally taking part is the grievances latively haughty and unusual in polii cal and offences offered to their ally.- In these transactions, were immediately complied circumstances, his Majesty, supported by with, and religiously observed, they persistthe most solid principles of a wise policy, ed, nevertheless, to manifest their want of preferred pecuniary subsidies to the contin- confidence, and they quitted Madrid with gent of troops and ships with which he was eagerness, immediately after receiving disbound to assist France, in virtue of the treaty patches from their court, of which they did of alliance in 1796: and as well by means of not communicate a particle of the contents. his minister in London, as of the English The context which results from all this heagents at Madaid, he gave the British go- tween the conduct of the Cabinets of Lon. Perament to understand, in the most posi- don and Madrid, must be sufficient ro shew

manner, his decided and firm resolutiou clearly to all Europe, the bad faith, and the to remain neatral during the war; making secret and pervese aims of the English mnie no doubt that he should quickly have the sa- nistry; even if they had not mamfetei tisfaction of seeing that these ingenuous as- them by the abominable crime of the sursurances were well received by the court of prise, battle, and capture of the four Sprinishi London. Nevertheless, that cabinet, which frigates, which, navigating in the full srcumust have resolved in silence before-hand, rity which peace inspires, were fraudulently for its own particular ends, upon the renova- attacked in consequence of orders from the tion of the war with Spain, and which it was English government, signed in the very moalways able to declare, not with the forms ment in which it was faithlessly exacting con

tive

1

ditions for the prolongation of the peace, in | herself, nor think herself able to maintain which every possible security was given to her well knowo honour and dignity amongst it, and in which its own vessels were provi. the greatest powers of Europe, were she any ded with provisions and refreshments in the longer to shew herself insensible to such maports of Spain. Those very vessels, which wifest outrages, and did not take care to rewere enjoying the most perfect hospitality, venge them with the nobleness and energy and were experiencing the fidelity with which belong to her character. - Animated which Spain was proving to England the with these sentiments, the magnanimous good faith of her engagements, and how breast of the King, alter having exhausted firm her resolutions were to maintain her (in order to preserve ihe peace), all the re• neutrality - those very ships carried, conceal- sources compatible with the dignity of his ed in the bosom of their commanders, the Crown, finds himself in the hard predicaunjust orders of the English cabivet for as- ment of making war upon the King of Engsaulting Spanish properly on the seas-ini- land, upon his subjects and people, omiting quitous orders, and profusely circulated, the formalities of style by a solemo declarasince all its vessels of war on the seas of tion and publication, owing to the English America and Europe, were already detain- Cabinet's having begun and continued to ing and carrying into its barbours as many make the war without declaring it. In Spanish vessels as they met with, without re- consequence, after having given orders for specting even the cargoes of grain which an embargo, by way of reprisal, upon all were coming from all parts to succour a faith- English property in his dominions and that fui nation, in a year of the greatest calamity. the most convenient instructions, both for Barbarous orders, since they deserve no other his own defence, and the offence of the mame, to sink every Spanish ship under an enemy, should be circulated to his viceroys, hundred tons; to burn those which they captains general, and great officers of the found on shore on the coast ; and to make marine, his Majesty has commanded his miprize of, and carry to Malta, those only nister in London to retire, with all the Spawhich exceeded an hundred tons. The mas- nish legation ; and bis Majesty does not ter of a laud, of Valentia, of fifty-four tons, doubt, that all his subjects, inflamed with has made this declaration, that he effected that just indignation with which the violent his escape in his faunch upon the 16th of proceedings of England must inspire them, November, on the coast of Catalonia, when will not omit any of all those means to his vessel was sunk by an English vessel, which their valour shall prompt them, of whose captain took from him bispapers and his co-operating with his Majesty towards the flag; and informed him, that he had receiv

most complese vengeance for the josult of ed these express instructions from his court. fered to the Spanish flag. For this pur

- In spite of such atrocious actions, which pose, he invites them to arm corsairs against proved to perfect evidence the covetous and Great-Britain, and to possess themselves, hostile views which the English Cabinet had with resolution, of her ships and property, by meditated, it was siill able to carry oo fur- every possible means; bis Majesty promithier its perfidious system of blinding the siog ihem the gresiest promptitude and cepublic opinion, alleging, for this purpose, lerity in the adjudication of priz-s, upon the that the Spanish frigates had not been carried sole proof of their being English property; into the English ports in quality of prizes and bis Majesty expressly renouncios, in fa. but as being detained until Spain should vour of the captors, whatever part of Ilie va · give the desired securities, that she would Jse of the prizes he had, upon other occa. observe the strictest neutrality. --And sions, reserved to himself, so chat they shall what greater securities could or ought Spain enjoy them in their full value, without the to give? What civilized nation, until this smallest discount.-And finally, his Ma hour, has made use of means sa unjust and jesty has resolved, that what is contained in violent, to exact securities of another? Al

the premises, shall be inserted in the public though England should find, at last, any papers, that it may come to the knowledge claim to exact from Spain, in what manner of all; and also, that it shall be transmitied could she justify it, after a similar atrocity? to the ambassadors and ministers of the What satisfaction could she be able to give King, in foreign courts, in order that all the for the lamentable destruction of the frigate powers shall be informed of these acts, and Mercedes, with all its cargo, its equipage, take juterest in a cause so just; hoping that and the great number of distinguisbed pas. Divine Providence will bless the Spanish sengers who bave perished, the innocent vic

arms, so that they may obtain a just and contims of a policy so detes:able?- -Spain venient satisfaction for the injuries they have sculd not comply, with what she owes to received.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SUMMARY OF POLITICS. we cannot pretend to consider Spain as a WAR WITH Spain. In the preceding power simply neutral. We must view her pages will be found the declaration of war in war as we viewed her in pesce. We must against England, on the part of his most meet her now as we left her at Amiens, the Catholic Majesty. Some of the ministerial ally of Napoleon; and bound, in case of war, writers have inculcated the propriety of ab. to assist bin with a fleet and an ariny, whestaining from all observations upon this sub- Ther the war should be defensive or offensive. ject, antil the appearance of the counter de- This irtaty was concluded at Ildelphonso, on claration, which, they assure us, is about to the 19th of August, 1796. It seis out with come forth from their employers. But, stipulating, that there shall exist for ever aa wbile it must be allowed, that it is, as yet, offensive and defensive alliance between the impossible to form a correct judgment upon French Republic and His Caiholic Majesty some parts of the conduct of these latter, it the King of Spain. After stipulating for the cannot be denied, ıhat, as to other parts there. mutual guarantee of each others dominions, of, we have quite sufficient grounds whereon it is agreed, that, wheo either power shall, to judge. These writers seem to regard the in future, be engaged in any war, the other Spanish declaration as the commencement of shall, upon requisition being made, hold in that series of acts which constitute a war; readiness, and place at the disposal of the whereas, the fact is, that it is the first pub- requiring power, 15 ships of the line, 6 frilicly known act of that sort on the part of gates, and 4 sloops of war, all manned and Spain only, England having actually begun aimed, victualled for six months, and stored the war more than three months ago, and for a year. In like case and in like manner, tbat, 100, by a battle, aod by the capture of the power called upon is to place at the disships, money, and men, and by the destruc- posal of the requiring power, 18,000 infantry tion of several hundreds of lives." In and 6,000 cavalry, with a proportionate train “ order to be justifiable in taking up arms, of artillery. These forces, both by land and “ it is necessary, 1. That we have just cause sea, are to be paid, and maintained in every " of complaint; 2. That a reasonable satisfac- respect, by the power that furnishes them ; * tion have been denied us ; 3. The ruler of if ships are lost, or damaged, or if men are “ the nation ought maturely to cousider, killed, or die, or desert, the deficiency is to " whether it be for the advantage of the be immediately made up ; and, lastly, if the

state to prosecute his right by force of aforesaid succours are found insofficient, the

arms; and, 4. That, as it is possible, that power called upon is to come forward with, " the fear of our arms may make an impres- and to employ, its whole force, upoa the “sion on the miod of our adversary, and simple demand of the power already at war. “ induce him to do us justice, we owe this Such was the connexion existing between "further regard to humanity, and especially Napoleon and Spain, when we made a treaig “ to the lives and peace of the subjects, to of peace and amity with them both at “ declare to that unjust nation, or its chief, Amiens. One of the ministerial writers " that we are, at length, going to have re- seems to regard this treaty as of no weight at

course to the last remedy; and this is all in the dispute, observing, that, " as to " called declaring war." The division here " the secret articles of their creary of 1796 made by a celebrated writer on public law “ with the Committee of Public Safety, or naturally presents itself for the discussion of “ the Jacobio Directors, of France, wbat the subject before us, except that the ques. “ has this country to do with them ?" Antion of policy, which comes under the 3d other ministerial writer, 'who does not prehead, may, for the present, remain untouched, tend to regard the treaty as null and void as interesting to our own country only. merely because it was made with persons To begin, eben, according to the order above not now in existence, does, nevertheless, asprescribed, with the question of right, it is sert, that such treaty is not valid, anless it alleged by the ministerial writers, that Spain was “ cominunicated to the other powers." bad, since the breaking out of the present With respect to secrecy relative to the stipulawar, assisted our enemy, Napoleon, with tious of this treaty, an excuse of that sort money; and also, that she had begun to make can only serve to expose our insincerity; warlike preparations in her poris. These and, as to the com?nunication of the treaty to are acts of aggression ; and, if committed other powers, it would be entertaining and by a power simply neutral, are unquestion- instructive enough to hear Lord Mulgrave ably quite sufficient to justify war, on the and his brother-in law endeavouring to part of the power against whom they ope- prove, that, to render a treaty valid with Tate, unless, upon application duly made, regard to third powers, it must be officially full satisfaction be immediately given. Bai, comunicated to thosc powers. What, for

[ocr errors]

instance, gave us a right to complain, by “ such sovereign ought to be permitted to the mouth of Lord Whitworth, and in our enjoy his rights of neutrality. This is subsequent declaration of war against France, more especially the case, when the aid of that, France had “ continued to keep a “ an auxiliary is the consequence of a treaty 6. French army in Holland in repugnance to “ of general defensive alliance, concluded " the letter of three solemn treaties got* No one “ before the beginning of the war." It' will pretend that any of these treaties were is easy to conceive reasons for adopting ever officially communicated to us. What, principles like these ; and, though, in the then, gave us a right to make this com- present instance, they were intended to ope-> plaint? What but the notoriety of the ex- rate most injuriously towards the liberties of istence of the treaties between France and Europe, they have frequently had a directly Holland? Upless, therefore, Lord Mulgrave contrary effect, and that effect has someor Lord Harrowby can make it out, that times been very powerful. VATTEL, who treaties between foreign powers, not official- treats the matter more at large, concurs in ly. communicated to us, are valid, or invalid, the doctrine of MARTENS, as to alliances according as it suits our interest, the circum- which are only defensive, and which stipustance of the treaty of 1796 not having late for the employment of only a part of been communicated to us will avail us no. the forces of the auxiliary power; but, if the thing: for, as to the public notoriety of its alliance be offensive as well as defensive; or existence, and also of its stipulations, what if, though defensive only, and even general other proof need we than the fact of its also, it stipulates for the employment of the having been published in the Political Re. whole force of the auxiliary power, he register, not only previous to the commence- gards that power as having, by such treaty, ment of the present war, but previous to the forfeited the rights of neutrality with respect satification of the treaty of Amiens ? + As to the antagonist of its ally, which antagowe left Spain at the peace, therefore, we nist may, of course, treat it as an associate of must necessarily have expected to find her his enemy, and may, at once, make war at the beginning of our next war with upon it. Such appears to be the situation France. Whether we should, in conse- of Spain with regard to us, Her trealy with quence of the existence of the treaty above Napoleon certainly is general, but it is offenspoken of, have been justified in regarding sive as well as defensive, and though it does Spain as an associate with France, and, at not positively say, that she shall bring for once, making war upon ber accordingly, ward her wbole force, yet it contains a conmay admit of some doubt. From what ditional stipulation to that extent, and the MARTENS gives as a sort of summary of the condition is, indeed, neither more por less law of nations upon this point, it would seem than that she shall, if his wants or will dethat we should not have been justified. mand it, furnish him to her last ship and her ^ Strictly speaking,” says le, “ a bellige- last battalion. All this we knew, however, " rent power has a right to treat as his ene- when we revived and solemnly renewed our “ mies all the powers who lend assistance to friendly relations with her, which circum“ the enemy, from whatever motive, or instance renders the case such an one as does

consequence of whatever treaty. Policy | not appear to have been in the contemplation “ bas, however, induced the powers of Ea- of VATTEL; for, there is surely a wide dif. “ rope to depart from this rigorous principle. ference between a treaty of alliance entered They now admit, 1. That a sovereign into previous to the war, and one entered into 1. who furnishes troops in virtue of a treaty previous to the foregoing peace, previous ta ço of subsidy, does not thereby become the the renewal of assurances of perfect amity, 4 enemy of the power against which those And here, we have another instance either of ! troops act; 2. That, as long as a sove- the absolute necessity or of the folly or wiek" reign sends to the assistance of his allyedness of the peace of Amiens; for, to what, " no more than the number of troops, &c. if not to absolute necessity can we possibly ” stipulated for in the treaty of alliance, attribute a measure, in which we acknow$ and does not authorize them to serve upon ledged our expectation, that, in case of war,

any other footing than the one specified in Spain would, as a matter of course, be called " the treaty, such sovereign ought to be upon to assist France with, at least, 15 ships “ looked upon as an auxiliary, and not as

of the line and 24,000 soldiers? Allowing, " the enemy of the power against which his however, that the existence of the treaty of of troops make war; and, of course, that 1796 was, of itself, sufficient to justify our

making war upon Spain : allowing it to have * Register, Vol. III. p. 744.- Register, given us the full right, that right was no Vol. I, p. 294.

longer possessed after we, either expressly or tacitly consented to her remaining neuter, will be deceived by a subterfuge like this! which we clearly did by suffering our mi- Reprisals, without war, are made in cases in nister to remain at Madrid, by entering into which war would not be justitiable; and the Degotiations with her as to the manner in idea of reprisals, as denoted by the word it. which she could conduct herself with regard self, naturally confines itself to wrongs of into the belligerent parties. Here we gwe op ferior magnitude, to objects respecting which our right of war founded upon her compact there exists not the slightest doubt. Growith France; and, this is the “ embarrass- TIUS does not seem so much as to think of "ment" which the partisans of Mr. l'ile and making reprisals alone for any other sort of Lord Melville say their employers have been wrong than that of an unjust seizure or deinvolved in by the misconduct, “she incapa. tention of property belonging to a stare or its “ city and imbecility,(to use Mr. Pitt's own subjects. This is the light, 100, in which the words) of Lord Hawkesbury and Mr. Ad. right of exercising this power is viewed by dington. We see, then, and we shall see VATTEL. “ If," says he, “ a nation has more fully when the papers come to be sub- " taken possession of what belongs to anomitted to parliament, that the situation of " ther; if she refuses to pay a debt, to reSpain with regard to us, became entirely “ pair an injury, or to give adequate satischanged; from an associate of our enemy, « faction, the latter may seize something be. she became a neutral power, retaining none longing to the former, and apply it to her of the rights of an auxiliary arising out of own advantage, till she obtains payment previous treaties, and liable to hostility on " of what is due to her, together with inteour part if she assisted our enemy contrary rest and damages." This idea is never to the laws of neutrality. Viewing her in lost sight of in speaking of reprisals disconthis light, it was for us first to verify the nccted from war.--- To render reprisals fact of her aiding Napoleon, and, having ob- lawful the same writer says, “ the grounris tained proof of her supplying him wiib mo- “.oh which they are made must be evidently dey, or of her making preparations to supply jist; it must be for a well-ascertained and him with military or naval force, the next undeniable dibe.To make reprisals instep was to demand satistaction, and that be- stead of at once having recourse to war, is ing refused, we had a right to make war generally a proof of justice and maderation ; upoo her. Whether this demand was made but, very fallacious indeed is that argument in a proper manner; whether it was wise to which proceeds upon the maxim, that, in draw forth her naval force against us, rather cases where war would be justifiable, reprithan suffer her to supply Napoleon with dul- sals mast, of course, be justifiable, because Jars; and wbether the satisfaction she offer- tbey are something short of war.

" There ed as was not quite sufficient; these are are cases," says Vartel, “ in which repoints upon which we are not, as yet, pos- “ prisals would be justly condemnable, even sessed of information whereon to judge cor- " when a declaration of war would not be rectly. The right of making war upon Spain, so: and these are precisely those cases as a nation guilty of a breach of the laws of “ when nations niay with justice take up neutrality, may have been clear, it is possi.

When the question which constie ble, too, and, according to present appear- “ futes the ground of a dispute, relates, not ances, barely possible, that to make war to an act of violence, or an injury inflictupon her may bave been wise: but, that the « ed, but to a contested point, afier an inmanner of beginning that war was unjust « effectual endeavour to obtain justice by and odious will hardly be denied by any up- " conciliatory and pacific measures, it is a right and honourable man, to whatever party 6 declaration of war that ought to follow, or country be may belong.- - The ministers " and not pretended reprisals, which, in such most deny the validity, with respect to us, case, would only be a real act of lostility of the treaty of 1796, or they call in question without a declaration of war, and would be their right of complaining of the conduct of “ contrary to public faith as well as to the Spain; so that, they cannot allow of its va- “ mutual duties of nations." The reason lidity, in order to avail themselves of its whence this doctrine proceeds is very clear. existence as a justification for having com- Reprisals, because they are made upon menced an undeclared war, without destroy- grounds evidently just, and for an “undeing the very foundation of all their proceed. * niable debt or an injury actually received," ings. Aware of this dilemma, they will, in need not be preceded by a de: laration ; all probability, affect to regard their attack whereas war must be preceded by a declaraand capture of the Spanish frigates, not as an tion, because, where there is room for disact of war, but of reprisals. But, is it-pos- pute as to the justice of the grounds, no ad. sible that the nation, or that foreign powers, yantage, particularly so great an advantage as

arms.

« ForrigeFortsett »