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every effort had been made by the Prince | into, one of which, however, was the delay Regent's government, consistently with which arose in making peace with the the honour and interests of the country, Turks, which detained a large portion of to effect an object, which, in every point the Russian force in a remote part of the of view, was so highly desirable, but un- empire, the Russian army was numerically fortunately in vain. That no propo- | inferior to the invading army of France. sition had lately been made by the enemy Under these circumstances, the advice was to be accounted for by the events was followed which bad been given from which had occurred during the last six various quarters, but particularly by the months. As to the Slave Trade, however gallant commander of our armies in the hostile he had been to the abolition of it, peninsula, to act upon a defensive system. nevertheless when that abolition had be- in conformity with this system, the Russian come the law of the land, he became as troops retreated, but in a manner that anxious as any one, that foreign powers gave birth to the most sanguine hope of should also abolish the traffic. He assured the events which ultimately followed. their lordships that this object had not | During the course of the retreal not a corps been lost sight of by any
of the govern
was cut off, nor a detachment made prisoments in power since the act of the legis- ners, except in partial conflicts. At lature. There had been, however, great length the opportunity arrived for offendifficulties to encounter in the progress of sive operations, and the events that folthe negociation, but with one of the lowed were already before the public. To powers alluded to, the negociation was in give effect to this offensive system, the a train to lead him to hope that it would greatest sacrifices had been made. There speedily be brought to a successful termic was no example in modern warfare of so nation. With the other power greater great and magnanimous a sacrifice as that difficulties had occurred, from the of the burning of Moscow. Look at a posettled state of its government; but the pulation of 200,000 persons, voluntarily object had not been lost sight of, nor quitting their homes, and sacrificing their would any effort be wanting on the part houses and their property, in order that of ministers, to bring the negociation to Moscow might not afford quarters and bea successful termination.
come a place of arms for the enemy. It
was not merely, however, at Moscow, that Prince Regent's MessagE RERPECTING these sacrifices were made, but hundreds THE INVASION of Russia.] On the order of villages were destroyed, upon the apof the day for taking into consideration proach of the enemy, by the inhabitants, the Prince Regent's Message respecting who, after making this sacrifice, in nuihe Invasion of Russia,
merous instances, retired into the adjoining The Earl of Liverpool said, that is rising woods, and returned with whatever arms to move an Address in answer to bis Royal they could procure to encounter the inHighness's most gracious Message, he vaders of iheir country. In every other should perhaps have thought it only neces- instance of an invasion by the French sary to move the Addre-8, leaving to that arms, except in the peninsula, the people feeling which he was satisfied actuated had stood for nothing; in Russia they had the great majority of that House and the stood for every thing-actuated by an country, to express a concurrence in an universal spirit of patriotism, they bad voobject, which embodied so many senti lontarily made the greatest sacrifices, they ments congenial with, and characteristic had offered up every selfish consideration, of genuine British feeling. Understand- every sentiment of mere personal enjoying, however, that elsewhere some senti. ment, every private object, at the shrine of ment had been expressed hostile to the their country. In these sacrifices, and in purpose of the Message, he felt it neces- such a contest, it was evident, that much sary to draw the attention of the House to individual misery must have been endurthe circumstances which gave rise to it. ed. To contribute in some degree to the A greater exertion had been made by the alleviation of that misery the generosity ruler of France against Russia, than he had of Britons was called upon-a generosity put forth against any other power. He which was characteristic of British feeling had entered Russia with a force of not less in all its warmest impulses, where no other than 360,000 men, including 60,000 ca- consideration intervened. But here, to valry, and this at a time when, from va- the feelings of generosity, every consirious circumstances, not now to be entered deration of interest was added. Why did
France invade Russia ? not for the sake of forded by this country, to fix the sentiinvading Russia, but because Russia would ments of ihe Russian nation in unison with not adhere to the continental system; our own, and thus cement the union of the because the government of Russia would two governments ? The noble earl connot consent to exclude from her ports the cluded by moving an Address of concurproduce of our industry. Great Britain rence, and mentioning that the sum prowas, therefore, attacked through the me- posed to be granted was 200,0001. The dium of Russia, and to look at the question higher ranks in Russia had begun a conmerely in a mercantile point of view, the tribution which this sum was intended to greatest benefit had already accrued to aid. our commercial interests from the Russian Lord Holland never felt himyself more successes. Was it nothing to have the embarrassed than upon the present occa. market of 36,000,000 of people? Already casion, and had it not been an established had our commercial interests been maté. rule with him, never to shrink from his rially benefited. The great interests parliamentary duty, he would have preconnected with our colonies, had experi- ferred being absent. His embarrassment enced the advantage flowing from the rise arose from this, that he thought the propoin the price of all colonial produce; our sition impolitic, but at the same time that manufacturing interests had been benefited it would be unwise and unsafe to reject it. by the increased demand for the produce He perfectly agreed with the noble earl in of their industry. Every channel of com his praise of the patriotism of the Russian merce had received fresh life and vigour, nation, and this praise was more particuthrough the successes of the Russians. larly applicable to the peasantry, who in Looking at the question, therefore, in the sacrificing the produce of their earnings, narrowest point of view, the proposed aid bad not the consolation of those feelings was eminently called for-but in how much which were inseparable from the soldier, greater a degree, from other causes, and but were actuated solely by motives of pure other feelings ? Had it been merely a patriotism. He could not, however, agree check to that torrent of ambition which in the propriety of the mode proposed, had deluged so many other countries, still nor did he see that the aid could consis. he would have contended for the grant; tently be afforded. If such a sum was but here, where British interests were con disposable for this purpose, why had it not cerned in the contest-where British in- been applied to replenish lord Wellingterests were so materially benefited by ton's military chest; and might not the the result-how much more was such an emperor of Russia say, if this money had aid called for? Let it not be supposed been applied in time to replenish lord that he was insensible to the privations and Wellington's military chest, it would the sufferings of the people of this country; have been of greater advantage to my but let it be recollected that here we were cause than sending it now to me? The exempt from the actual calamities of war. only argument that could induce him
The sending out fleets and armies on foto accede to the proposition, was that reign expeditions, or the taxation conse- used by the noble lord, of shewing a disquent upon war, were as nothing, com- position to aid the Russian nation. He pared with those calamities which arose agreed that this was of importance, and he from a country being made the actual trusted, at the same time, that in the altheatre of war. From these horrors we liance of the courts of Petersburgh and were exempted, but let us look with an London, there was a perfect understandeye of generosity to those who were suf- ing as to their objects, not only as to carryfering all the horrors of such a calamity. ing on the war, but as to the means of Was it not of importance to shew a dispo bringing about a secure peace. Whether sition to aid the suffering people of Russia, the emperor of France should escape or and thereby cement the union of the two not, he trusted that the events that had powers? The French in their invasion of happened would clear the way for that siRussia, by the cruelties they had com- tuation of affairs, which might render a mitted, and by the sacrilegious destruction peace upon secure grounds, less difficult of of their sacred edifices, had inspired the attainment; and that upon this point Russians with a detestation which would there was a thoroagh understanding benot only be felt by those now in existence, tween the courts of Petersburgh and Lonbut by generations still unborn. Was it don. For such an object, so highly to be not of importance then, by the aid af desired, he anxiously looked to the effects (VOL. XXIV.)
of this alliance, nor would he for a moment | fected by, resorting to this measure? Had suppose, that any intention existed of en. it tended to support the war in the penindeavouring to force any other government sula : It was a well known fact, on the upon France; which could only have the contrary, that ministers had been unable effect of rousing against us the yet re- to send a requisite supply in specie to lord maining considerable resources of that Wellington, and that his lordship had only power. With respect to the proposition been enabled to procure a supply from the now made, it must rest upon the responsi- circumstance of there being two prices in bility of ministers.
He did not think Portugal, a gold price and a paper price. enough had been laid before the House to Had a similar legislative enactment to this shew the propriety of the grant, but he prevailed in Portugal the supply could not was willing to believe that ministers had have been obtained. Thus it would be in their possession information to warrant seen that it was only upon the principle the proposition. If any hint had been of two prices that our army was supplied giveir to ministers that such a grant would in the peninsula, a principle which, in be acceptable to the Russian government, fact, prevailed in this country, but in in. or the Russian nation, then he should not effectually endeavouring. to counteract hesitate a moment in agreeing to it. Under which by this measure, ministers had prethis impression, he would not with bold his cluded the means of adequately supplying vote from the proposition.
our army there from hence. The same The Address was agreed to nem. dis. principle also of two prices prevailed in
Canada, where 100,000l. in Bank notes Gold Coin Bilt.) On the order of had been sent, and had been discounted, the day being read, for going into a Com- being taken at the rate of 14s.. in the mittee on this Bill,
pound. Impressed with the idea of the The Marquis of Lansdowne expressed a futility of enacting what was in itself ab. wish, that the Bill had been divided into surd, and in its consequences mischievous, two. To one part of it he was disposed as it could not prevent the two prices to agree, namely, that which respected which it was its object to counteract, and distress for rent; it was true, it was a part as it operated by driving the gold out of the of a faulty system, but it was certainly ne- market to prevent a return to a sound and cessary to protect tenants from oppres- healthy circulation, he intended to have sion in being called upon to do that which taken the sense of the House upon a mo.. would be, under present circumstances, a tion for dividiog the Bill into two ; but as violation of the original contract with the the House was thinly attended, he should landlord; for though a noble friend of his not put it to the vote. in calling for rents in specie, had laid The Earl of Clancarty contended, that down rules which were perfectly equitable, the most mischievous consequences would yet other landlords might not be actuated result from having two prices, and that by the same equity. So far, therefore, the supply to our army in the peninsula he agreed in the measure; but to the was best secured by the present measure, other part of the Bill, which went in fact The Bill then passed through the Comto declare, that no' person should part with mittee. gold, except for less than its value, nor take paper except for more than its value, he
HOUSE OF COMMONS, considered it as a system pregnant with incalculable mischief. He would not now
Friday, December 18. enter into the question of depreciation; PRINCE REGENT's Message FOR REbut confine himself to the more immediate
THE INHABITANTS OF Russia.] object of the Bill, and he contended that The House resolved itself into a Commitit was perfectly absurd to attempt by a tee of Supply, to which the Message of legislative provision to give a currency to the Prince Regent respecting the invasion paper, which was not worth the value set of Russia was referred.
The Message Similar expedients had been being read, the resort of all weak and tyrannical go- The Chancellor of the Erchequer then vernments, and had successively failed. said, that had it not been for some intimaThe natural consequence was, the driving tions of intended opposition which the all the gold out of the market, and thus reading of the Message bad produced last precluding the means of returning to pay night, he should have left the question he ments in specie. What good had been ef- was about to propose to be decided by the
unbiassed judgment and feelings of the , this measure expedient, was that of a House, with scarcely any attempt at ob- subscription entered into at Petersburgh, servation. He still hoped that four-and-at the head of which the Empresses and twenty-hours reflection might have con- the rest of the royal family had placed vinced the gentlemen from whom those themselves, for the relief of the greatest intimations proceeded, of the propriety of sufferers by the French invasion. Till this the measure recommended by his Royal step was taken, it might have been doubted Highness; and in that hope he should whether there were any practicable means trespass but a short time on the attention of administering those comforts which the of the committee, and avoid as much as liberality of this country must wish to suppossible every topic upon which a dif- ply, but which would now be easy of apference of opinion could be entertained, plication through the medium of ihe combecause he felt that nothing could add so mittees appointed for that purpose in much to the grace and dignity of the pro- Russia, who would enquire into particular ceeding, or stamp so much value on the cases, and apply relief where it most was gift which it was proposed to bestow, as needed, with the same anxious solicitude its being sanctioned by the unanimous and discriminating care which had been Foice of the Commons of the United King- so often displayed in similar cases in this dom.
country. He first felt himself bound to give some In what manner the relief should be apaccount of the particular time at which the plied, whether in money or in any supply measure was proposed, because some gen- of necessary articles, or by a due mixture tlemen had spoken of it as a surprize upon of both modes, he could not at the moment the House, and appeared to think that it be prepared to state. It might be proper was on that account objectionable. It on this subject to leave much to the diswas, indeed, in one sense, a surprize, not cretion of our ambassador at the court of only upon the House, but upon his Ma- Petersburgh, and at all events to consult jesty's ministers; for it arose out of events him upon the subject; in which no time which could not have been anticipated, need be lost, as ihe ambassador might be and the intelligence of which had but just instructed to make such advances as were reached this country; events of the most necessary, upon account. important and gratifying, yet, in some With regard to the amount of the sum, respects, of the most melancholy nature. he was aware that it could not be comWhile the enemy remained upon the Rus mensurate with the extended misery, to sian territory it was obvious that no relief the alleviation of which it was to be diof the kind now proposed could have been rected. On the other hand, it would not afforded ; because it could neither have become the liberality of this country to been administered with certainty, nor en offer to our allies, suffering in our cause joyed in security. But we have now the and the general cause of Europe, not less satisfaction to know, that the French armies than in their own, a scanty and penurious have been driven with discomfiture and grant.--Allies he repeated, suffering in our disgrace from the limits of the Russian em-cause, as well as in their own, for the conpire. This, he hoped, would sufficiently test in which Russia was engaged, was not account for the grant not being proposed merely one of the greatest importance to at an earlier season, and he thought it the political interests of Great Britain, but would be obvious to every gentleman that immediately connected with the direct init could not be delayed, without losing the terests of those manufacturing bodies grace and merit of a spontaneous gift, and whose sufferings had been invidiously sacrificing the dignity of the House, whom slated as an objection to the grant. That it became rather to lead than to follow the the manufacturers had suffered from many impulse of public opinion: for he was causes, and especially from the loss of the convinced that, if parliament were even American trade, he was far from denying; for a few days to hesitate, the feelings of but the glorious successes of the Russian the people of this country would be so ex- arms appeared to offer an ample compencited as to break out in some voluntary sation for the loss of the American market, acts of public generosity, and parliament in the extended markets of Europe, which might be compelled to imitate an example now seemed about to open to their industry: which it better became them to give. In this point of view he was persuaded
The intelligence, however, to which he that those manufacturers who had been more particularly alluded, as rendering alluded to, would be among the first to approve this grant, as a tribute of gratitude to both. He trusted that it would lay the for those heroic exertions to which they foundation of an alliance more durable were so greatly indebted. Every day, and more closely cemented than any poand even every hour brought intelligence litical or diplomatic arrangement could of the reviving activity which these suc- frame. Every traveller who had visited cesses had infused into British commerce. Russia would bear witness how much the
The sum he was about to propose was hearts of the people were actuated by good 200,0001., a larger amount than had ever will towards this country; and he trusted before been voted by parliament for a sis that this feeling would now receive greater milar purpose, but which the occasion re- force. Their gratitude would more than quired to be larger, because the sufferings equal our liberality; and on these grounds, were more extensive, and the self-devotion without further trespassing on the patience and heroism which had marked the con of the committee, and leaving the question duct of those who endured it, unequalled, rather to their own feelings and judgment, he believed, in the annals of the world. upon facts of unquestionable notoriety, With regard to the extent of suffering, it than endeavouring by any argument of was sufficient to view upon the map the his to persuade them to the vote, he begged wide
range of country to which devastation leave to conclude by moving, “ That it is had been spread, and to reflect that a great the opinion of the committee, that the som and ancient capital with many other towns of 200,0001. be granted to his Majesty to had been destroyed, and that throughout enable bis Majesty to afford relief to such so extensive a tract scarcely a private parts of the Russian empire as have sufdwelling remained to shelter its lately fered from the invasion of the enemy." peaceful and secure inhabitants. Thou. Mr. Ponsonby declared, that it certainly sands, he feared he might even say hun- was his intention to vote for the proposed dreds of thousands, were driven houseless grant, but it was not on account of any of into the forests, exposed to all the rigours the reasons stated by the right hon. genof a Russian winter, and this they willingly tleman, nor was it because the terms in endured, rather than betray the honour of which the Message was conceived, were their country and submit to the domination such as were most likely to induce tho of a foreign invader. It was to relieve this House to comply with its request. The great and complicated misery that he Message stated the wish of the governcalled upon the House of Commons to step ment to be, to afford “ speedy relief” to forward. To relieve it entirely was, in the suffering Russians; and after this dedeed, beyond human power ; 'but much claration, the right hon. the Chancellor of might be done by the liberality of their the Exchequer had said, that before any sympathizing countrynien united with the relief could be granted, it would be nebounty of this nation, and it was, in all cessary to communicate with our ambas. events, a consolation to the afflicted to sador at Petersburgh; so that it would know, that there were hearts which felt arrive at the end of the winter, when it for their woe, and were ready to adminis, would be unnecessary. Effectual relief ter to their wants. We must not forget was held out as attainable; but it would the difference between the price of neces- not be in the power of the country, not sary articles, and the manners of the peo- only if it were as liberal but as extravaple in Russia and here, and that a sum 'gant, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer which might here appear inconsiderable, could wish, to afford it. But though it would there afford a seasonable and valu. was his opinion, that the relief to the sufable supply. The sum, however, which ferers would neither be speedy Dor effeche was about to propose, could not, in any tual, he should not voše against the prosense, be called inconsiderable, and he posed grant. But he voted for it, not trusted it would be found most extensively under the supposition that any of it would useful. But whatever opinion might be go to the Russian peasant, but as a present entertained on this point, there could be to the Russian emperor, and lest we should no doubt that the disposition 10 assist the seem to manifest a coldness or backward. distress of the Russians, which this pro. ness with respect to the noble struggle in ceeding would evince, must carry satis- which he was engaged. Thinking thus, faction to every heart in Russia, and tend he did not like the cant of this begging to bind the closer those habits of connec- Message, which came to the House under tion wbich common interests and long ex. the hypocritical pretence of asking alms for perience pointed out as so advantageous the people. For the sufferings of the people