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gained the battle of Salamanca, there | would have been infinitely more hope than there was after those events had taken place, seeing the Spaniards had not joined us with that spirit with which ministers deluded themselves, and would fain delude the House to believe in existence. The reverse of this appeared to him to be the fact, and therefore he thought the case of the peninsula more deplorable than ever. He wished to move, "that the consideration of the grant be deferred till after the holidays."
Mr. Robinson observed, that though the hon. baronet had professed his ignorance of military affairs, he had nevertheless dealt with no sparing hand in military cansures. The hon. baronet's opinions were so erroneous, that he could not possibly conceive how he had formed them, or where he had procured his information. He had talked indeed of military authorities, but without naming them, and he was aware that it would be useless to press the hon. baronet on that head. He had asserted that Ciudad Rodrigo had been stormed before a breach had been effected; the contrary was notorious; a breach had been first effected, and that breach, although most gallantly defended, was stormed afterwards; nor did he think that all the anonymous military authorities, quoted by the hon. baronet, could point out to him any other way of taking a town. At Badajoz two breaches had been effected, and it was owing to the attention of the enemy being diverted by a front attack on those very breaches, that general Picton succeeded in converting his false attack on the castle into a real one-a case not unfrequent in war, and always within the calculations of the general, as was the case with the marquis of Wellington. The same mistake seemed as if fatally to follow the hon. baronet when talking of the attack on Burgos, for no less than five breaches had been effected in that fortress, by sapping and mining. It was true the storming did not succeed, because the place was most bravely and ably defended; indeed such a resistance seldom was exhibited; but in the failure of that enterprize, of which he never entertained any sanguine hopes, he was at a loss to discover how lord Wellington was to blame. The hon. gentleman next adverted to the picture drawn of lord Wellington's retreat by the hon. baronet, at which he could not sufficiently express his astonishment. Where could the hon. (VOL. XXIV.)
baronet possibly have got his information? He had talked of our hospitals having been abandoned; in this, however, he could assure him, that he had been completely misinformed. Some few of our sick, whose removal would have been attended with certain death, had been, perhaps, left behind in the hospitals, as was usual in such cases; but he could assure the hon. baronet for his satisfaction, that the retreat had been effected in the most complete order. There was no haste, no trepidation, no uncertainty; the measure had been foreseen, formed a part of a general plan, and all the necessary precautions had been taken. The enemy did not come up in force against our army-there were only partial affairs between the van-guards and the rearguards, and the amount of the loss on each day, except the last, had been transmitted by the marquis of Wellington, and regularly inserted in the Gazette. On that last day, the noble general had indeed mentioned that our troops had suffered severely, but nothing very disastrous could be concluded from that expression, as the distant cannonading had lasted only one day, and as the enemy had afterwards desisted from following our troops.-Adverting next to the hon. baronet's historical recollections, the hon. gentleman was sorry to find that in this he was no more at home than he was on military affairs.-The hon, baronet had stated that it was not till after the battle of Blenheim that the duke of Marlborough had received parliamentary remuneration; it was a fact, however, that long before that battle, and as early as the 10th of December in the year 1702, the duke of Marlborough had received from parliament an annuity of 5,000l. ;* and Blenheim was, besides, the first victory of any importance he had obtained. Not so with the marquis of Wellington: it was not for the victory of Salamanca alone that the vote of 100,000l. was demanded for the noble marquis. The whole of his life had been devoted to the service of his country. All the advantages obtained in Spain were owing to his military genius, and if ever there was a case which called for an expression of national gratitude, it was the case of the marquis of Wellington.
Sir Frederick Flood was sorry that the defalcation in the revenue, during the two
* See the Parliamentary History, vol. 6, p. 57. (P)
last years, prevented him from making thought, with respect to those distresses, the motion he at first intended to submit that there was a time to speak of them, to the House, which was to double the and a time to forbear. And he was sure, sum proposed to be voted for lord Wel- that the commercial interests of the counlington, besides a monument to be erected try would feel indignant, were they to in the country which gave him birth, he hear that their distresses stood in the way meant Ireland, for he was Ireland's pride of the munificence of parliament. Instead and England's hope. It was cruel to im- of looking upon these distresses as a reapose titles on men who had served their son for a small or inadequate remuneracountry, without at the same time giving tion to lord Wellington, he would recomthem the means of supporting them. He mend to his Majesty's ministers a rigid was now a marquis: he might next be economy in the several departments of the made a duke, without the means of sup-state and in the public expenditure, and porting those high dignities. It was a this was the source from which he thought maiden grant, and ought to be vigorously that a well-timed generosity might most executed (a laugh.) We should have in effectually arise. By an union of the one this metropolis a Wellington-house, as and other, this would not only be a great well as a Marlborough-house, and he and a powerful, but a prosperous, an should give his most hearty assent to a united, and a happy nation. proposition for such an object.
Lord Cochrane expressed his regret, that instead of internal warfare, a system of external annoyance was not adopted, which, he contended, would be productive of the greatest advantages to the country, and would not only be more serviceable to the cause of Russia, but would enable government to dictate terms of peace to Buonaparté. This the noble lord thought so plain, as to preclude the necessity of demonstration. He concluded by assenting to the motion, as he was convinced that lord Wellington had done every thing which he could possibly have done, under all the circumstances in which he was placed.
Mr. Whitbread had had, the misfortune to differ heretofore with a majority of the House, both with respect to the merits and services of lord Wellington, and the remuneration which was bestowed upon them. With respect, however, to the grant which was now proposed, it met with his entire approbation. By acceding to this vote, he did not conceive that he was expressing any opinion with respect to the situation of things in Spain: he at present wished to be considered as having consented to the vote merely in consideration of lord Wellington's own merits. If he had differed in opinion with others when the thanks of the House were asked for lord Wellington after the battle of Talavera, it was not because he did not think that the battle of Talavera was a great affair, but because he thought that lord Wellington had got his army into a great scrape, and that his army had fought bravely and extricated him. But he did not wish now to repeat what he had thought or said on former occasions. He
Mr. Protheroe, in a maiden speech, said he should not follow the noble lord, or the hon. baronet, through the military details into which they had entered; but he must say, that he thought the hon. baronet had been guilty of the indiscretion which he unfoundedly charged on the marquis of Wellington-he had made an attack where there was no breach. Had the hon. baronet considered the subject with more deliberation, he must have seen, that there might be such a thing as a bold advance without rashness, and a skilful retreat without disgrace. He thought the House should cheerfully agree to the Message of the Prince Regent. Even posthumous honours were useful, and were paid to the immortal lord Nelson, as
stimulus to naval exertion: but with how much greater satisfaction should we be struck, if we could see the Nelson of the army, the man whose name, like his, might become the common appellative of a hero,-living among us, and reaping the honours due to his services, in the munifificence, the admiration, and affection of his countrymen? He hoped that nothing would interfere to detract from that munificence, and to diminish that admiring affection. The hon. baronet had alluded to the distresses of the country; but, although he thought himself as well acquainted with them, at least with the mercantile distresses, as the hon. baronet, he should not enter on the topic at present, as a fitter time would by and bye occur for that discussion: he felt as deeply for them, and wished as ardently to relieve them, as any of those persons who most indulged in lamentations over them; yet he
was not a military man; and when he was called on in his place to decide on the merits of military men, it was his duty to give the best opinion which he could form under all the circumstances of the case. It was the less to be wondered at that he had not formed a correct estimate of the merits of lord Wellington at that time, as his plan had not developed itself till the first retreat of marshal Massena, which led to operations at last terminating in the battle of Salamanca. By this developement he had stamped his character as a great general. The operations of both the French and the English generals were masterly. It had been acknowledged by lord Wel-himself, which he had that day seen in the newspaper, it appeared that no fewer than five breaches and assaults had been made,
tained. He had beaten Marmont, Massena, and the pretended king of Spain; and he thought that by the taking of Madrid he would rouse that spirit in the Spaniards, which then lay dormant, and which is still latent. He hoped that they would begin to do better than they had formerly done. He afterwards advanced and commenced the siege of Burgos, and during that advance he believed that general Clausel had shewn himself a worthy antagonist. In the siege of Burgos he had certainly failed, not because he had not made both breaches and assaults;-for, from the account of the gallant Dubreton
lington, that he had never seen a more masterly retreat than Massena's; and the emperor of the French was understood to have been well pleased with that retreat. It had in particular been recorded of the part which marshal Ney had had in that affair, that it was one of the most meritorious military retreats ever known. With respect to the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz and Burgos, never was more consummate valour and desperate courage shewn than on these occasions. At the siege of Badajoz, Philippon, and his brave troops, did every thing it was possible for men to do, before surrendering; but by the masterly conduct of the British, and in a particular manner by the efforts made by general Picton, that important fortress fell into the hands of lord Wellington. In war, the commander who attempted such daring achievements as these had only to show that they had succeeded to justify the undertaking them. He must pity the brave men who fell in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo; but my lord Wellington had succeeded in that undertaking; and by that noble daring he had saved many lives which would have been lost at other places, so that the waste of lives during the whole campaign was on that account less than if that siege had not taken place. The plan of lord Wellington had been brought to a close, at the battle of Salamanca. He believed he had never intended to fight that battle; he was then in full retreat, and determined to continue that retreat. The most skilful manoeuvring took place on both sides for two days, till at the last an opportunity was given him, by the fault of the French general, which led to the victory. The pursuit of the French was carried on for some time, and at last abandoned. Its object was the liberation of Madrid, and that object had been at
but because these breaches and assaults had all been successfully withstood. An hon. gentleman who had spoken before him, and who always spoke well on every question (Mr. Robinson), took off from the merit of lord Wellington, by not stating the case as it exactly was. Whether the siege of Burgos was proper or not was a military question, which it was not for him to decide; but he was bound to suppose that lord Weilington had good reasons for the siege. After what he had seen, he thought it was no wonder if he expected to make up in celerity what he wanted in strength. He certainly had in the course of this campaign afforded Spain a great opportunity of mak ing exertions in its own cause. He could not agree with the noble lord in the soliloquy which he, the other night, put into the mouth of that gallant commander, be ginning with "My great genius ;" but he believed that the noble lord had conducted the campaign with considerable mili. tary skill; and it appeared by intercepted communications and other channels of information, that the French marshals themselves, entertained an high opinion of his lordship's military skill, from the manner in which he conducted his retreating army across the Agueda. He was convinced that the House and the country at large, were fully sensible that lord Wellington had performed great military ser vices; and if the crown thought proper to reward them with the honour of a marquisate, the House and the public would think it right to vote him immediately the means of supporting that dignity, without waiting for the discussion of what might be spared from indirect and precarious funds, the application of which might
splendid or too generous. No man who looked back at what our military policy was some time ago, and compared it with our present views and character, but must see that through the success and merits of lord Wellington we had become a military people, and that by a series of achievements, each rising above the other in grandeur, he had, although yet in the youth of his glory, acquired for himself a renown equal to that of the first captain of his age. When the House looked back to that period at which our warlike preparations were confined to plans of fortifying the Thames instead of driving the enemy beyond the Tormes and the Ebro, they could not fail, not merely to recognise in lord Wellington the decus et tutamen patriæ,' as one who had not merely formed a school in which others might be taught to succeed and follow him in his career of glory, but to perceive in him at the same time the hero, who, whilst he wielded the thunder of his native land, was the tutelar genius of allied and dependent states, the protector of oppressed and prostrate powers. The picture which history would trace, for the instruction of posterity, would unite, therefore, with the figure of the successful commander, the attributes of a benevolent spirit, extending a guardian influence over recovering, though fallen nations. All must admit, that by the exertion in Spain, Europe had been enabled to reflect on her condition; and when Buonaparte's situation, though perhaps not irretrievable, was contemplated, we had not only evidence of this, but an illustration of the different principles on which the war was conducted. Lord Wellington advancing to the succour and liberation of Spain-Buonaparté marching to the devastation of Russia, exhibited striking examples of the different objects by which the two empires were directed in their mutual hostility. At such a moment, when
form a subject of distinct consideration on a future occasion. He did not like the comparisons which had been made between the noble lord and the duke of Marlborough. Each of those illustrious commanders had sufficient merits of their own, upon which their fame might rest; but since the comparison had been made, he would say, that it was precisely upon pecuniary points that the character of the duke of Marlborough was vulnerable; whereas upon those points the disinterestedness of lord Wellington was perfectly known; and in those points he was a truly meritorious servant of the public. We were told that some great statesmen were somewhere to be found who would have done a great deal more in the peninsula, if they had been in office. He did not wish to see those conjurors in office, as he thought that the resources of the country were already strained as far as they would bear in the prosecution of the war. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, in his defence of ministers, told the House, the other night, that they had spent upwards of eleven millions on this war, in the course of the last eleven months. Now as he was sure that every thing confided to lord Wellington had been employed with judgment, he thought a vote of 100,000!. not too much to reward his great services. He, therefore, entirely concurred in the grant of the sum proposed, and thought that it should be given by a direct vote.
Mr. Canning declared, that he should deem it an encroachment upon the time and a waste of the attention of the House, if after the opinions expressed and the military criticisms delivered on this occasion, he were to attempt to do more than to state how fully he participated in the admiration felt at lord Wellington's achievements, and in a sense of the justness of that remuneration which had been proposed. He was inclined to concur most cordially with the proposition, not only on those grounds which had been adverted to, particularly by an hon. gentleman (Mr. Protheroe) who formed one example of the acquisitions which the new parliament had made, but on others of a more general nature. He concurred in it from a feeling, that we had within the last few years raised ourselves to the same equality at land, more than which we had possessed at sea, and that to the individual to whom we owed this augmentation of glory and advantage, no remuneration could be too
Expectation sits in the air And hides a sword from hilt unto the point, With crowns, imperial crowns and coronetsit might not be useless to compare the rewards which Buonaparté was anticipating from conquest and desolation, with those pure enjoyments which lord Wellington sought for in the acknowledgments of a benefited and grateful country. An hon. baronet had expressed a wish that the sum proposed to be voted should be taken from other funds. For his own part he was confident that the people would feel de
frauded, were they to be deprived of the could be brought with safety before the opportunity of doing justice to their great barristers, without, in case of escape, subcommander, and if the House were to at-jecting the gaolers to responsibility; betempt to scrape up a provision out of the sides, there was another material defect, leavings of obscure and secret funds, he for after the barristers had inquired, which felt that they ought not to pollute the vote, they had done by going themselves to by seeming to apologise for the gratitude each of the prisons in the metropolis, they evinced, or by endeavouring to show they had reported to their respective that they were grateful at no expence. courts the result of their examinations; He rather hoped that they would be and yet no direction was given how the anxious to show, that as the crown had discharge was to be made out. Under run before them in one instance, they these circumstances, it was necessary to were resolved to keep pace with its wishes apply to the legislature, and the Bill which in another. He understood it was pro- he held in his hand was calculated to reposed to lay out the 100,000l. in the pur-medy these defects. It provided, that the chase of lands to be attached to the title barristers should have more ample power; of Wellington. Now, lord Wellington's that a warrant might be issued under their children were all sons, but they might hands, authorising the gaolers to bring behave only female issue. He presumed fore them the prisoners described; it also that it was not intended the title should provided, that the barristers might admifail in that case. He thought it necessary nister the necessary oath, which was left not only that the immediate descendants unexpressed in the former act; and further of such a man should be provided for, but directed the investment of the prisoners' that the grant of that night should insure property in the hands of the clerk of the to their posterity that result which Eng- peace of the county, for the benefit of lishmen could not but wish to see,-as a their creditors. Another provision was, lasting monument to the memory of their that the decision of the barristers should great ancestor. be final. With respect to the bringing up of prisoners not confined in the gaols of the metropolis, it was directed they should be brought up by application for a Habeas Corpus to one of the judges of the Court. The noble and learned lord having stated the nature of this Bill, moved that it now be read a first time.The Bill was accordingly read the first time.
Lord Castlereagh observed, that matter would come to be considered in the Bill. It was the wish of ministers that the grant should be made on the most liberal principles.
Sir F. Burdett's Amendment was then put and negatived without a division. After which the original Resolution was agreed to.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
INSOLVENT DEBTORS' AMENDMENT BILL.] Lord Ellenborough, in presenting this Bill to their lordships' consideration, took occasion to remark, that the Insolvent Debtors' Act of last session had contained a clause, extending relief to debtors confined for sums exceeding 2,000l., but great doubt and difficulty had arisen in attempting to carry this clause into execution. The provisions of that part of the act directed, that a barrister of each court should be appointed, under the chief justices and the chief baron, to meet and examine into the respective cases of those who intended to take the benefit. But this clause having been added to the Bill, had subjected its execution to considerable deficiency. One omission was, that no power or direction was given, whereby these prisoners
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
PETITION AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.] Lord Palmerston presented a Petition from the chancellor, masters, and scholars of the University of Cambridge, against the Claims of the Roman Catholics. His lordship observed, that an idea having gone forth that this Petition had been framed and determined upon, without the usual notice for non-residents to attend the convocation, he thought it proper to state, that a notice of six days had been given, which exceeded by three days that which was given on ordinary occasions.The Petition was then read, setting forth,
"That the petitioners understand, with great anxiety, that a Bill is soon to be offered to the House for the removal of the restrictions which are imposed by law on