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hon. gentleman (Mr. Whitbread) had thought proper to say, that we were beaten at sea by the Americans, because one ship of inferior force had been taken by another of superior; and a right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning) had stated that our commerce had been swept from the ocean by the Americans. With respect to our commerce, he had to state, that till the accounts from all the out-ports could be obtained, which was impossible till the end of the year, a correct estimate could not be formed of it. However, to judge from the port of London, where a great proportion of the trade of the country was carried on, the inference would be highly favourable. In the first ten months of last year, the exports from the port of London, in official value, amounted to eight millions and a half, and in the first ten months of the present year, they exceeded thirteen millions, a greater sum than for the same period of any former year, except 1809, which was the greatest ever known. No doubt the interruption of the American trade was severely felt in many parts of the country; but it would be matter of great triumph to Mr. Gallatin, if at the commencement of Congress he could give such an account of the commerce of America. In the amount of the revenue of last year, there was only a deficiency of 90,000l. a very small sum indeed in a total of sixty millions.
Mr. W. Smith said, the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated, as a matter of triumph, that 11,500,000l. had been expended in the peninsular war, in the last eleven months, while in 1809, only 2,800,000l. had been expended for the same purpose. He, however, must observe, that the depreciation of currency was not quite so great in 1809 as in 1812; and he believed the quantity of gold and silver exported in the latter year, would account for a considerable portion of the increased sum. The same remark, he believed, might be made with respect to the deficiency of the revenue. As they went on, they would find that 60 millions this year, would not be equal to 60 millions in the last. Nor would they find 60 millions in the next year, equivalent to the same sum now; and, instead of a deficiency of 90,000l. they would see it continually increasing.
Mr. Canning wished to restate part of the opinions delivered by him on the preceding evening, which had been miscon(VOL. XXIV.)
ceived. He did not complain of the government for not issuing letters of marque, but of the absence of all maritime military efforts against the coast of America at an early period of the war. Had sufficient armaments been seasonably stationed off the American ports, all the American vessels would have been hermetically sealed up in those ports. He did not mean to say, as had been supposed, that the whole of our commerce had been swept away by the maritime efforts of America. What he meant to say was, that the captures by the Americans were greater in an infinite proportion than they ought to have been, considering the disproportion between our ships and theirs. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to have forgot his logic when he thought that this charge was answered by an amount of the exports from the port of London; for the amount of those exports by no means indicated their arrival at their place of destination. His charge against the government for not publishing a counter-decla. ration to that issued by America, on the subject of captain Henry's supposed mission, was also unanswered. The American declaration stood recorded in the face of the world, and the government had not done the country justice in not stating the denial in a manner equally public. Why was such a counter-declaration withheld? Because, said the noble lord, of its being irritable matter. This was humiliation with a vengeance, if the Americans were to be allowed to publish such a charge, and we were not to answer them for fear of irritating them. Much had been said in the course of the evening, on the subject of peace. He believed there existed in the government of France, a determination to pull down this country from the situation which she held in Europe; and therefore we had not only to contend with our other difficulties, but also with that permanent hostility of sentiment, which was not alone directed against our warlike power, but against our very existence as a nation. It was dangerous, therefore, to throw out among the people that peace was easy of attainment. Great distress certainly existed in the country, though it had been greatly exaggerated; but a warning ought to be taken from the proceedings previous to the repeal of the Orders in Council, not to hold out hopes which might only end in disappointment. He wished to know from the noble lord what was the real situation of this country (K)
with respect to America? He had listened | ciation, or that the necessity of peace was attentively to the noble lord's speech of so urgent, that it became the duty of the last night; but if any person this morning House to interfere. Now, if the first ashad asked him whether we were at war sumption were true, it would not be safe with America, or whether there was a ne- or constitutional to address the throne to gociation with that power, or whether the seek for peace; the Address ought to be war or the negociation predominated, he for the removal of ministers. On the could not have given him a satisfactory other hand, if ministers were as ready as they stated themselves, to enter into a negociation, the ground of an Address must be, that they mistook the situation of the country, and did not see the necessity of making peace, even if they could, and that, therefore, the House must interpose. He did not think the country was in that situation; and, however mitigated the form of Address might be, if they interfered at all with the known prerogative of the crown, it would be telling the enemy that the distresses of the country called for peace. He, therefore, could not consent to deviate from the ordinary system of the constitution, not having that information which the cabinet ministers alone possessed.
Lord Castlereagh conceived the statement he made on the former evening, with respect to our situation with America, could not have been misunderstood; it was neither more nor less than a state of unqualified warfare. As to a counter decla ration, it would have been improper to issue it until an answer was returned by America to the repeal of the Orders in Council, and to the proposition which had been made to her.
The Amendment was then negatived, and the Report brought up. On the ques. tion, That it be now read,
Mr. Ponsonby rose, and explained his reasons for pursuing the line he had done on the former evening. If he had been in the House in 1793, he would have voted for Mr. Fox's motion to send an ambassador to Paris, to prevent the breaking out of the war; and for this reason, because the whole question was, whether the government of France, as then constituted, was fit to be treated with; and as he was of opinion, that one independent state should not interfere with the government of another, he, of course, conceived that a treaty might be concluded with the provisional council which then ruled in France; and he would have confined himself to this opinion, that it was more easy to treat for the prevention of war than for peace. His hon. friend had stated, that there were persons who entertained an opinion, that no peace could be made with the present emperor of France. Now, if his hon.
friend could shew him that such an idea was cherished by any of his Majesty's ministers, he pledged himself to vote with him for an Address to-morrow; because he thought the French emperor might be treated with as well as the head of any other government. His hon. friend had said, that the Address only proposed to the Prince Regent to examine whether a peace could be made on proper terms. This certainly was a mitigated character of the measure; but still it implied one of these two things-either that the ministers were not willing to enter into a nego
Mr. Whitbread went over the arguments which he had before advanced in support of his Address; and in reference to his assertion that a spirit existed in this country, personally hostile to the French emperor, he instanced a pamphlet which was published by authority, during lord Sidmouth's administration, and sent to the different clergymen throughout England, to be read in their respective churches, filled with the grossest falsehoods, relative to Buonaparté; and he inferred that this spirit had not subsided, as one of the paragraphs in the Speech from the throne, at the conclusion of the last session, seemed to speak language somewhat similar.
Mr. Canning defended the passage in the Speech of the Lords Commissioners alluded to by the hon. gentleman; and then went over nearly the same grounds, on the subject of peace with France, as he had before done.
to know, if he could see the publication alluded to?
Mr. Whitbread said he had a copy of it, and the right hon. gentleman should have it in a few hours.
Mr. Canning begged to put a question to ministers, namely, at what time it was their intention to bring forward the subject of the renewal of the East India Company's Charter. This was a question of very general importance, and it was peculiarly desirable to those interested, that it should be known, whether it was or was not to be agitated previous to the Christ
Lord Castlereagh said, it certainly was not the intention of government to bring forward the question alluded to before Christmas. But, being a question of such importance, if government could come to an arrangement with the East India Company during the recess, it was their intention to bring forward the discussion at the earliest possible period after the recess. The Report was then agreed to.
HOUSE OF LORDS. Thursday, December 3.
PETITION AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.] The Bishop of Bristol requested the indulgence of the House whilst he said a few words relative to what had fallen from a noble earl (Hardwicke) on a former day, relative to the Petition from the University of Cambridge against the Catholic Claims, he (the bishop of Bristol) not having been in the House on the day alluded to. The right reverend prelate proceeded to state, that it was not usual in the University to give more than three days' notice of any measure intended to be brought forward; but in this instance, it being a measure of importance, six days' notice was given, a longer notice than he ever remembered in the University. He stated this to prove that the proceeding was not unfairly carried through, as alleged by the noble earl; the fact being, that the greater number of those who voted in the minority came from London in consequence of the notice that had been given. With respect to the insinuation as to the motives of those who formed the majority, that they were looking either to preferment or translation, he must leave it to the noble earl himself to consider, whether a mere difference of opinion called for such a charge.
The Earl of Hardwicke trusted, though. he was aware it was irregular, that after what had fallen from the right rev. prelate, he should be permitted to trouble their lordships with a few words. He regretted that the learned prelate was not in the House, when the Petition from Cambridge against the Roman Catholic Claims was prepared by the illustrious person who was chancellor of the University, when he had felt it his duty to offer some observations to their lordships, which he was as ready to repeat in the presence of the right rev. prelate, as in his absence. In the first place, it was impossible for him to avoid stating, that considering the great public importance of the subject of the Petition, sufficient notice had not been given to admit of the attendance of any considerable number of the non-resident members. For all questions of a local nature,. on which the resident members were certainly well qualified to decide, the notice described by the right rev. prelate as the usual notice, and which had probably been given upon this occasion, was perfectly sufficient; but whenever a question relating to matters of state policy was brought forward, it would be more Consistent with fairness and candour to give that degree of notice which would admit of the attendance of the non-resi dent members of the senate, if they should think fit to give their opinions upon the subject; but he could not help saying, that the seldomer political questions were brought before the senate of the Univer sity, the better. With respect to what the right rev. prelate had said on the subject of motives, the noble earl observed, that what he had said was entirely of a general nature, and not applied to the conduct of any individual. The usage of the place did not admit of questions being discussed, or debated, before they were put to the vote; and, therefore, he could not help feeling that many persons might give their votes upon general grounds, without that knowledge and understanding of the question, which must in all cases render the decision more satisfactory to themselves as conscientious individuals, and at the same time give more weight to the opinions of a great public body.
The Bishop of Bristol repeated, that the notice given was unusually long.
The Marquis of Lansdowne contended that the notice was not sufficient, and observed that he himself, although only a day's journey from London, had not notice
and that his conceptions were equally well calculated for the success of his own enprizes, as they were adapted to circumvent the enterprizes of the enemy. When his plan was formed for the reduction of Badajoz, of Ciudad Rodrigo, and Almeida, he had then determined upon raising the siege of Cadiz, and thereby compelling the French to evacuate Andalusia, My lords, these objects were the first in lord Wellington's consideration, and for important reasons which pressed themselves most forcibly upon his mind. From the very beginning of the campaign his operations pointed to the situation of the enemy in the south, and particularly to the principal army under Soult, as the capture of the invader's battering artillery at Ciudad Rodrigo rendered it impracticable to undertake any siege of consequence; or, at that season of the year, to advance into Portugal with any considerable force. In carrying on the siege of Cadiz, the government of Spain had long been confined within its walls, its power was become considerably restricted, its reputation among the people had been somewhat degraded, and its influence upon the Spanish
VOTE OF THANKS TO THE MARQUIS OF WELLINGTON-VICTORY OF SALAMANCA:] Earl Bathurst rose, and addressed the House to the following purport: My lords, in rising to address this House upon a subject of Thanks to our gallant and distinguished general who gained the victory of Salamanca, I am confident there can be no no difference of opinion amongst your lordships, with respect to the motion I mean to propose. But before I submit this proposition, your lordships will, I trust, permit me to make a few observations upon the principles of military policy and motives which induced the marquis of Wellington to pursue those measures which eventually brought forth a victory, not only productive of fame to the commander, but of additional glory to the national character. In doing this I shall advance nothing of speculation, but confine my-dependencies materially lessened. To self to facts contained in documents al- free the government from this confineready before your lordships and the pub-ment, and thereby to give new life to the lic. When lord Wellington had planned energies of the Spanish nation, was one the siege and reduction of Badajoz, his object of our general's forecast, and led great mind suggested ulterior objects, to the measures which he afterwards purwhich would ultimately affect the success sued. For this purpose, after he had most of our cause in the peninsula. My lords, ably contrived the mode of assault, which I am not disposed, at this time, to allude succeeded even beyond his own expectain any manner to the mode of conducting tions, whereby Badajoz was taken, he had the campaign, further than to the ability in the first instance determined upon with which the noble marquis has, at all marching into the province of Andalusia, times, and in all situations, employed the and oblige the evacuation of that province resources committed to his care. No ge- by the French, which was another object neral, my lords, was ever more careful of for which he concerted his plans. At the troops entrusted to his command-no this period it occurred to him, that the general ever more cautiously avoided the possession of Andalusia was more imporsacrifice of lives, when the object to be tant than that of the other provinces. The attained was not equal to the expenditure people had been for some time subject to of so much blood. This disposition marks the power of the enemy, and had gradually the career of his military success, and has become less hostile to their presence, and been particularly manifested in the course some danger existed of their forgetting of this campaign. From the documents I their connection with their legitimate gopossess, and not those only which were vernment. To drive the French from the transmitted after the effect was produced, possession of such a province, would be but those which were written when the more conducive to the promotion of the plan was conceived, the extent of his ge- Spanish cause than to enter Castile. In nius, and the wisdom of his undertakings Castile the enemy's army were differently are most strongly designated and incon- situated: if they had troops stationed in a trovertibly proved. They likewise shew village, that village was obliged to be how much superior he was to those able strongly fortified: and if the distance generals against whom he had to contend, from one village to another was five or
of the intended proceeding in time to be present at the University on the day appointed for its consideration.
Lord Holland observed, that the Petition did not express the sense of the University; the non-resident members not having had sufficient notice.
approached the Douro, and the English were advanced to the Guerena, I cannot at this time refrain from noticing that disposition which has peculiarly distinguished the character of lord Wel lington. Lord Wellington had a fa
six miles, such was the disposition of the Spanish people in that province, that the French were under the necessity of form ing redoubts, for the purpose of prevent ing their communication being intercepted. These were lord Wellington's first intentions, and these were the measures he pur-vourable opportunity of giving battle to posed to pursue; and although circum- Marmont, and he was confident the issue stances occurred which led him to change would have been successful; but he dehis plans, yet the object of them continued clined that opportunity, because he knew the same. General Marmont having come however brilliant the achievement, it would with an army from the north, and ad- cost more lives than would be compenvanced upon the Agueda, soon called sated by the object of victory. Let any forth the attention of our general, and one reflect on the different means which other circumstances having intervened, he he used for two days, to circumvent all was at length determined to change his the schemes of the French general. The intended course, and march into Castile. policy that each was pursuing became Marmont, in the mean time, used every distinctly different, on account of the efendeavour, but in vain, to relieve the for- fect they endeavoured to produce. Martress of Almeida, and at length posted mont was anxious to bring the English himself strongly upon the bridge of Al- to a general engagement, upon ground marez, by which means he endeavoured, not actually unfavourable. Lord Welnot only to act in opposition to lord Wellington, on the other hand, wished to avoid lington, but to effect a communication an engagement, unless he could commence with the army of Soult. To your lord-it under favourable circumstances.-The ships is well known the promptitude and noble earl then took a view of the operaintrepidity with which the French were re-tions of the contending armies immediately moved from that position, and the commu- previous to the battle of Salamanca, and nications cut off between the army of Por-particularly adverted to the skill and galtugal and the army under Soult in the lantry displayed by sir Thomas Graham southern provinces. Indeed, my lords, in executing one of the orders of his illussuch were the skill and management of trious chief-an achievement which was the noble marquis during this period of performed within sight of the hostile the campaign, that no words which I can armies. The object of gaining that post use would be adequate to represent their furnished another striking proof of the value. It afterwards happened that a cor- uniform unwillingness of our illustrious respondence between the French generals commander to commit the general safety was intercepted, and the papers fell into of his armies, or unnecessarily to risque our hands. From these letters we were the lives of his soldiers. His lordship made acquainted with their sentiments on then noticed the circumstances of Marthis subject; and perhaps no greater eulo- mont's receiving reinforcements from the gium could possibly bebestowed upon lord northern army, and panegyrised the ablé Wellington than was contained in their retreat of the British commander, in conobservations. From these it appeared that sequence, without loss, and in such a way, no movement of the enemy could disap- as enabled the allied force in that quarter point his plans or controvert his projects; to form a junction. The manner in which while on their part no movement was lord Wellington passed the Tormes, and concerted but it was anticipated-no ex- afterwards drew up in front of Marmont, pectation was raised but it ended in disap- who was extending his left to cut off his pointment-no fear was entertained but it opponent from communicating with Sabecame realized. In one of these inter- lamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, was a brilcepted letters it is said, " he must read our liant and admirable military manœuvre. correspondence, or he must dive into our In this situation it was not lord Wellinghearts, for no sooner do we form a design ton's intention to engage; and it was than he knows it, and forms measures to Marmont's policy to drive him to that defeat it." Nothing, my lords, could measure. Lord Wellington cautiously equal the wisdom which marked all lord watched the operations which were atWellington's movements previous to the tempted to intercept him on one side, and battle of Salamanca. If we turn our at- force him to battle on the other, and at tention to his manœuvres after Marmont the same time he was not remiss in wait