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Financial Affairs. The Budget. Mr Vansiltart's Resolutions, Affairs

of the Army and Navy. Petition of the Captains.

Having got through the retrospec. for the country,” Mr Perceval said, tive and accidental parts of the par- when he brought forward the budliamentary debates, the party con- get,

" that under the increased and tests, and the discussions excited by increasing expences of the war, and factious, vexatious, or nugatory mo

the unavoidable augmentation of the tions, we come to that far smaller public expenditure, this should be portion which includes the real and the case. To meet the charge occa

essential business of state. sioned by the loan, an addition to the May 12. The supplies voted for the permanent taxes of about 105,0001.

year (exclusive of the pro. would be produced by a bill for the portion for Ireland) were 47,588,0241. consolidation of the customs, and for which ways and means were pro- about as much more by a consolidavided that would leave a surplus of tion bill for the war-taxes; the war. 130,0001. These included a loan of taxes were to be applied to for the eleven millions ; besides, three mil. rest, amounting to little more than a lions had been borrowed for Ireland, million. A vote of credit had been and 600,0001. for the Prince of Bra. taken for 'three millions. It would zil. For payment of the interest and not be expected,” he said, “ that he sinking fund upon this latter sum, should go at any length into an explaand for the liquidation of the princi. nation of the manner in which this sum pal, the revenues of the island of Ma- might be applied. There was, howdeira had been assigned, together ever, one circumstance which he felt with a consignment of such produce it his duty to communicate : Austria, of Brazil as belonged to the prince, which, since the meeting of Parliato his agents in this country. The ment, had gone to war with France, whole loan was contracted for at an on the commencement of that war interest of 41. 12s. ld., a rate at drew bills upon this country, with. which the public had never before out having had any communication been able to borrow money, and at with his Majesty's government. When which it was hardly possible for any these bills arrived, it was the inten. individual to procure it, however well tion of ministers to advise his Majesty secured or prompt his payment might to recommend to Parliament to en. be. “ It was a proud consideration able him to pay them; but before

any appropriation would be made for he doubted whether it would not their payment, it was absolutely ne. operate rather as a check than an cessary to procure the consent and encouragement. There were also sanction of Parliament."

physical obstacles in the way of maLord Henry Petty inquired, “whe. king remittances, which might conther this most extraordinary step, as vince that power that she was not to he must call it, was to be attributed place much reliance upon promises of to his Majesty's ministers, or to the assistance from England, even though Austrian government ?” He was an. less restricted. The preliminary, howswered by Mr Canning, “ that the ever, to any assistance, was the restoAustrian government had no autho. ration of the former amicable relations rity for it. The bills were drawn between the two governments. This by the Austrian treasury, on the sup- was considered as a just atonement to position that the person authorised this country.” to restore the former relations be. Mr Whitbread rose, as usual, to tween the two governments would play the part of advocate for Buoreach this country time enough to naparte, and to revile the allies of explain the necessity of that step, and England. “ He should have been the circumstances that induced it. It better pleased,” he said, “ if the mowould not be expected,” Mr Can. ney stated to have been granted as ning added, “ that he should make a loan to the Prince of Brazil had any harsh comment on the conduct been at once presented as a gift, that of the Austrian government; but he the people might clearly have undercould assure the House, that mea- stood the transaction ; for, consider. sures had been taken to stop the re- ing the situation, the means, and the currence of a practice so inconvenient prospects of that prince, it was quite in many respects. No time was lost childish to suppose that a single shil. in transmitting a friendly remonstrance Jing of it could ever be repaid. With to the court of Vienna, and inform- regard to Austria, it was absolute ing it, that if such a thing were to madness to drive her into the conbe done at all, it must be done with test. Austria was reduced to the the consent of Parliament. As for very verge of ruin in the last war ; the charge of those politicians who she had actually been conquered then, clamour for peace when peace was and owed her escape and her existimpossible, that we had induced Au. ence solely to the generosity of that tria to engage in a premature and power, against which, in violation of hopeless struggle, the fact was di- treaties, she was now beginning operectly otherwise. Austria had gone rations. To those treaties she ought, to war voluntarily, and strictly upon beyond a doubt, faithfully to have Austrian grounds. Our communi- adhered.” The preposterous precations with her were few and pre- judice and folly of such opinions carious, and we had held out no drew forth a reproof from Mr Ponspecific promise of assistance. She sonby, though himself in opposition, was assured, indeed, that there would and himself averse to granting any be a disposition to assist her, but pecuniary assistance to the court of that it would be greatly limited by Vienna. “On what proof,” he askthe circumstances of the times; and ed, “ did Mr Whitbread rest this ex. thus assurance was so restricted, that traordinary assertion ? His lecture on

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the good faith of France, and the guage ; but it is not possible for the bad faith of Austria, must have an same person to be consistent in two excellent effect when spread by our opposite opinions at one time, and it newspapers over the continent ! Au

soon appeared in which of his opistria was in hostility against France, nions Mr Whitbread was .sincere. because France was bent on her de- “ He had been pompously told,” he struction. This indeed, he thought, · said, “ of the enthusiasm of the peomust be obvious to every man who ple of Porto, yet they had received looked fairly at the state of Europe. the French as willingly as the EngAnd was it possible, when Mr Whit. lishi! Similar accounts concerning bread accused Austria of perfidy, that Austria were now circulated to amuse he meant to ascribe good faith to us, and it was to be expected that Buonaparte ? for this must be the they were equally deceitful: his uninference.”

alterable opinion was, that as Au. This merited reproof did not sit stria, as well as Spain and Portugal, easy upon Mr Whitbread; and when would shortly be crushed, and we Mr Canning expressed an entire con- should have to wage var alone with currence with the sentiments which such fearful odds against the enemy, Mr Ponsonby had delivered, he gave our business was carefully to husband way to one of those rude and viru. our resources.” He then proceeded lent sallies, in which his truculent to take a survey of the various coadisposition occasionally finds vent in litions against France, and mentioned Parliament. « This,” he said, “was the fate of Prussia as an instance of the first time that the right honour- the preponderating power and genios able secretary had ever paid Mr Pon- of Buonaparte, when it ought to be sonby a compliment; was it then to be instanced as an example of the effects understood that there was a treaty of of the husbanding system,ma system

subsidy going on between which, keeping armies for parade in. May 31. them?” On a subsequent stead of service, renders them useless,

evening, when the vote of and insures the ruin of the country credit was taken into consideration, which is cowardly enough, or foolish Mr Whitbread again repeated his enough to follow it. “Whether Aupernicious opinions. “ It was right,” stria or France was in the right,” he he said, “ that ministers should be continued, “ he would not take upon vested with a power to assist Spain himself to say; yet he would assert, and Portugal, though he doubted that, from the period of the Revolumuch that the contest would termi- tion down to the rupture with Spain, nate in the subjugation of both coun-France had never been the aggressor. tries. While, indeed, there was life He did not say France was in the there was hope: the peninsula was right. He had never said so. Yet engaged in a glorious cause, and after he was not persuaded that Austria the share we had taken in it, he could was not to blame. Her territory, not say that we ought, till the very last even her capital, had been restored to moment, to abandon men who were her; and he could not find himself fighting for what is dear as life it- prepared to say, that he was correct self-liberty and independence.” The in forgetting these obligations, even recollection of his letter to Lord supposing them to be only nominal. Holland probably occasioned this lan. That France might have had it in

view, at some convenient season, to people of Spain, if they knew any swallow up Austria, it was not in his thing of the affairs of this country, power to deny, as ambition was a must know what that noble lord had growing quality : he could not think, done in India ; but, then, all he did however, that the present was ex- there proceeded from an ardent zeal actly the time which would have for the public service, while Buonabeen chosen for putting such a pure parte, in acting the same part, was pose into execution. It might be a said to have been urged on by the moment convenient for Austria, but instigation of the devil. They were could hardly have been selected by doubtless the same acts, however dicBuonaparte: whatever his plans might tated by different motives. Be that, have been, the present war could not however, as it might, the nomination be thought to be one of his seeking." of his lordship was certainly a bad In this awkward and embarrassed omen, as the people of Spain must manner, advancing vile opinions and know that the Marquis Wellesley then qualifying them, and then again would, if the opportunity should of implying what he had before ad- fer, take both Spain and Portugal as vanced, did Mr Whitbread struggle Buonaparte had done, through his through the crude consistence of his ardent zeal for the service of his discourse ; common sense and noto- . country." Mr Whitbread conclurious facts seeming to occasion as ded this extraordinary speech with little scruples to him, as the breach of moving some resolutions, refusing to a treaty, the destruction of a friendly pay the bills drawn by the Austrian state, a private murder or a public government, promising pecuniary asmassacre, to the Corsican who was sistance to Spain and Portugal as long the great object of his admiration.

as any hope could be entertained of But it was not enough for Mr a successful issue to their efforts ; Whitbread to apologize for the ene. but earnestly recommending strict my, and calumniate the allies of Eng. economy in managing the resources land; he proceeded to accuse his coun. of the state, in order to be prepared try, and it almost seemed as if he for that last and most arduous strugwere desirous of making Spain sus. gle, to which the present circumstanpicious of so generous and sincere a ces were but too likely to lead. These friend. “At a time,” he said, “when were negatived without a division. the people of England were every The project of charging the loan where talking of the injustice of Buo. for the year upon the war-taxes met Daparte towards Spain, he was sur- with some opposition in the Upper prised at the national blindness to. House from Lord Sidmouth. our own aggressions, recently mani. “The amount of our expen- June 7. fested in the choice and approbation diture,” he said, "exceeding of our ambassador to that country. that of the last year by about five milIf there were a man in the universe lions, and that of 1807 by more than who, in another part of the globe, nine, far surpassed whatever the exhad acted as Buonaparte had done aggerations of the timid or the fac. with respect to Spain, it was the tious had at any period foreboded; Marquis Wellesley. His conduct in and the means of defraying it, by the East Indies was perfectly similar taking one million from the war-taxes to that of the French emperor. The for the purpose of supplying the in

VOL. II. PART I.

ex.

terest of the loan, were directly at mated at thirty-two millions beyond variance with the system of financial the surplus of the consolidated fund policy adopted at the renewal of the and the annual taxes, the war-taxes, war, and most injurious in their ten. which were computed at twenty-one dency to the future prospects of the millions, were to supply not only the country. We were now engaged in interest, but a sinking fund for the a contest which was evidently of in. loan of each year, the capital of which definite duration, and to this view would, at any probable price of stocks, of it he had, at the recommencement be thus redeemed within 14 years. of hostilities, endeavoured to adapt Here were principles of redemption, our expenditure. The object he had renovation, and permanency, of which in view was, to arrive at the point the project of the present year was where the sum borrowed would be wholly destitute. By the transfer balanced by the sum to be redeemed of war-taxes which was now propoin the same year, after which, if there sed, the people were deluded into a was no additional expenditure, the disregard of a proper expenditure, public service would be carried on by the appearance of being spared with a diminishing, instead of an in the pressure of additional burthens ; creasing, debt ; it being his decided whereas the effect of the transfer was opinion, that if an addition to the to render those perpetual which would penditure became necessary, it ought otherwise have ceased with the war, to be provided for by an addition to and to create the necessity of bor. the revenue ; so that any permanent rowing an additional million, the inaccumulation of debt might be pre- terest of which must be provided for vented. But as a great increase of by fresh taxes. The war-taxes had expenditure impeded our arrival at prevented, since the commencement this splendid and impregnable situ- of the war, an addition of more than ation of financial security, the noble two hundred millions of debt, and of lords who succeeded to the offices of near ten millions of permanent taxes; First Lord of the Treasury and Chan- yet this was the system in which a cellor of the Exchequer in 1806 had breach was now improvidently made! the wisdom and fortitude to propose To so rash a measure he must ex. an immediate addition of near six mil. press his most decided and unqualilions to the war-taxes : But after fied dissent; if persisted in, it had an having laboured to reduce the public obvious tendency to lay us at the expences, they found the amount still feet of our enemy, though, humanly so large, and the pressure of taxes speaking, the means and resources recently imposed so burthensome, as which we possessed were, if wisely to afford them no hopes of carrying applied, fully sufficient to frustrate into full effect the system adopted all his projects for our destruction, at the beginning of the war. The and to conduct us through the strugplan to which they had recourse ap- gle, not only with security to our peared to be the best that circum- independence, but with increased glostances would admit, and it was mark. ry and augmented power." ed by the decided approbation of Par- The Earl of Liverpool replied, liament and the public. According “ that what was now proposed was to this plan, the expenditure of each not part of a system to be permayear, exclusive of subsidies, being esti- nently acted upon : a sinking fund

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