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255] PARL. DEBATES, JAN. I, 1807.---Resolutions relating to Private Bitti. (256 be made within six or eight weeks from lating after the birth day, for, last year, partbe same time, so as to enable the lords liament had sat long after that time, and to pass the bills before the birth-day. He decided upon matters of the highest imwould, therefore, propose that the 11th portance. He apprehended too that the of May should be the last day, for recei- adoption of these resolutions might be ving reports upon private bills. Some very inconvenient both to the agents and greater delay might be allowed in cases of the parties. Irish bills. But though 21 days must in- Mr. Bragge Bathurst dissented completely tervene between the first and second read. from the opinion of the hon. gentleman ings of such bills, he still thought that who spoke last. This was not a measure of they might very well be brought within unnecessary legislation. It was only, as this general rule. But the house, in adopt-lbe noble lord had stated, following up the ing a general rule, did not give up its dis- principle which had already been adopted cretion. Even at present, the standing, by the house. It was not a matter of leorder of the house was dispensed with in, gislation at all, but of regulation only. cases of notices upon special cause being The adoption of the resolutions, he conshewn. But at the same time it would be tended, would be attended with great conimportant to adhere to the general rule, venience both to the parties and to partiexcept in very particular cases; for its utility cular members, as well as to the house. would be destroyed, if it should be once un- Parties could not force their agents 10 derstood that it could be dispensed with on come to the house within a particular time; slight grounds. It would be of great conve- and with regard to the expences of such nience to the parties and to the members, es-delays, they were completely in the hands peciallymembers ofcounties that the privates of these agents. The house, therefore, business should be completed with all pos- ought to assist them and enable them to sible dispatch. He concluded by moving, obtain justice with as little expence, and " That the order, fixing the last Friday of with as much dispatch as possible. February as the last day on wbich private Mr. Fuller highly approved of the resope:itions should be received be read, that lutions, as they might be the means of the 26th of March should be appointed as shortening the session, and prove very the last day for receiving private bills, that convenient to the country gentlemen, and the 11th of May should be fixed as the last to those who did not come to the louse to day for receiving reports upon these bills, inake their fortunes. and that an order should be made for pro- Mr. Fellowes agreed that they would be mulgating these resolutions, that every one very convenient. He bimself bad often might have due notice of them.” They felt the great inconvenience attending the were only resolutions for the present year, delays that took place in cases of private and matter of experiment. If they should bills, and thought that the house was under be found useful and practical, they might great obligations to the noble lord for hereafter be settled as orders. He had the having turned his attention to the subject. concurrence of the country gentlenen, and He suggested the propriety of having tire of those who might be supposed to be best private bills enuinerated in the votes, and acquainted with the subject and most in- ihe days in which they came on, that niema terested in it, and therefore, he presumed, bers inight have the earliest and most authere could be no serious objection to the thentic notice on that poiut. This he resolutions which he proposed.
merely threw out as a suggestion for the Mr. Johnstone observed, that as the consideration of his lordship. poble lord had the concurrence of the Mr. Johnstone, observing upon the point county members, and of those who were of shortening the session; asked whether best acquainted with the subject, he had no the noble lord was diffident as to the numvery great objection to these propositions, ber and sentiments of bis friends, since he But he must say, at the same time, that betrayed so much anxiety to get rid of them? they were what a right hon, friend of the Lord Howick replied, that he only felt noble lords (Mr. Windham) had charac: anxious to promote the convenience of térized us measures of unnecessary legisla- the house and of the parties. Suppose tion, l'he grounds stated by the noble that from what happened last year, that lord did not altogether bear him out. He members should expect that 78 reports of had not proved that any great inconve- private bills might be received after the nieuce resulted fruin those bills accumu. birth-day, the consequence would be, that,
HOUSE OF LORDS.
if the public business could be soou finish-| the bill. It was called a bill for abolishing ed, parliament must either sit to pass these the Slave trade. But did the noble lord private bills or they must be lost, and all mean that it sho go to the abolition of the expence attending them would be to no the Slave Trade in general, both in the West purpose. As to bis anxiety about dismiss- Indies and on the coast of Africa ; or was ing his friends, he wished that, on a former it the African Slave trude only that was occasion, an opportunity had been given meant to be abolished ? It was bis firm of shewing the sense of the house, and he opinion, that even the African Slave Trade hoped that the hon. gent. would take the could not be abolished, unless the meaearliest opportunity of doing so.---The re-sures taken by this government were consolutions were then agreed to, and ordered curred in by other powers. This appeare to be printed
ed to have been the opinion of parliament in the last session, when the address ako
luded to by his noble friend was voted. Friday, January 2.
Lord Grenville repeated, that he was [Slave Tradz.) Lord Grenville brought sensible of the high importance of the subin ubill for abolishing the Slave Trade, which ject to be discussed, but he was also, in his was read a first time. His lordship then rose own mind, convinced that the time was to inove, that the bill be printed, and took now arrived when no solid objection could that opportunity of observing, that no person be offered to the abolition of the traffic in could be more sensible than he was of the slaves on the coast of Africa. On this great importance of the measure now sub- question he believed there was, generally mitted to the house, and of the propriety of speaking, but very little difference of opigiving full time for its due consideration. nion in this country; but this was not the He therefore informed their lordships, that day on which it was to be discussed. Behe intended to give about a fortnight's notice fore the day for the second reading should before be should move the second reading. be fixed, he intended not only to give such When the printed copies of the bill were notice as the other orders of the house reon the table, he should propose to fix a quired, but such as the peculiar importance day for the next motion; in the mean time of the subject itself demanded. Whether be moved, that the bill be printed.
we were to continue the African Slave Lord Hawkesbury said, that he thought trade, because there were difficulties iu it necessary to call the attention of the the way of abolishing it in the West Indies, house to the proceedings of the last session or whether we were to practise a great of parliament, on the subject now under enormity, because other persons in other consideration. It would be recollected countries might not choose to abandon it, that a Resolution was then come to, for the house was not then called upon to dean address to his majesty, which was nearly cide. 'The only question at present bein the same terms as the preamble of the fore their lordships was, whether this bild bill the noble lord had introduced. The should be printed. He did not therefore object of that address was to learn how far think it necessary to enter into the consiother powers were disposed to concur in deration of topics, the discussion of which, the abolition of the Slave trade. He at this moment, could serve no purpose thought, therefore, that their lordships but that of delay. ought to be put in possession of any
Lord Eldon remarked, in explanation, correspondence which might have taken that he had intimated no wish for delay. place with other governments in con- No such sentiment bad ever at any time sequence of that address. Whether there fallen from bis lips as a desire to procrastina had been any communications between his nate the determination of the house ou majesty's government and the governments this important subject. He had only callof other countries on this subject or not, ed upon the noble lord to state, whether, parliament ought to be made acquainted by the bill for abolishing the Slave trade, with the fact. He should not press any be meant the African Slave trade, or the motion on this topic at present, but it was trade in general. The noble lord, be undera one which ought to be explained when stood, had admitted that the bill was to their lordships proceeded to the considera- exteed to the African trade only. He kion of the bill.
thought, however, that their lordships Lord Eldon thought that some explana would, upon consideration, find that this tion was necessary respecting the title of mode of proceeding was impracticable, YOL VII.
and that, if they consented to put an end will nevertheless be perceived by your to the trade on the coast of Africa, the ap- lordships, that there are several omissions plication of the same principle would ne- in the papers, omissions which could not be cessarily compel them to extend the abo- supplied without injury to this country or lition to the West-India Islands.
to our allies. It must be evident, that Earl Grosvenor expressed his anxious the instructions given to our minister for wish to see the odious traffic in human the regulation of his conduct during the beings every where abolished.
negociation with which he was intrusted, The Duke of Clarence observed, that he could not be given amongst these documents, had not opposed the first reading of the without the risk of injury to our interests. bill, because he always considered that To reveal the instructions given to a minisproceeding a matter of form, and wished ter employed to negociate a peace, must to reserve what he had to say until the sub- necessarily reveal the value which we set sequent stages of the bill. For the same upon possessions or upon cessions, and the reason, he should not oppose the motion motives which actuate the government in for printing the bill. As, however, other consenting to give up, or desiring to renoble lords had thought fit to bring the tain the one, or to insist upon the other: subject of the Slave Trade in some degree a species of information, which it is eviinto discussion, his royal highness would dent must be of inestimable advantage to just take the liberty of observing, that he the enemy. It is not merely, however, had frequently given his opinion on that with respect to ourselves that it becomes important question since he had had a seat important to omit certain documents, but in parliament, and his opinion was well also with a view to the interests of our alknown to the house and to the public. His lies. It is not enough that the publication sentiments, he assured their lordships, still of documents and papers will not be injuremained unaltered, and it would require rious to yourselves; but you have no right very great and very unexpected arguments to set up that as an argument for a publi. indeed to induce him to change his mind cation, which may lend to reveal something on a subject which he had so maturely the knowledge of which by an enemy nay considered. The bill was then read a first be injurious to your ally. The forms of time, and ordered to be printed.
our constitution require in certain cases the [NEGOCIATION WITH FRANCE.] The publication of the documents wbich, liare order of the day being read for summon- passed between our goverument and that ing their lordships to take into considera- of a foreign state, and if an inconvenience lion the Papers relative to the late Nego. to ourselves sometimes arises from this ciation with France,
practice, it is overbalanced by the benefits Lord Grenville rose, and spoke as follows: resulting from that constitution; but you My lords, having had the honour of pre- have no right to set up the forms of your senting to your lordships the Papers rela- constitution as a reason for publishing what tive to the late Negociation between this may tend to injure your ally. Conceiving, country and France, it now becomes my therefore, that the omissions in these paduty to move your lordships to address his pers are fully justified, and that the papers majesty on the result of that negociation. themselves are sufficiently ample to give I do not think it necessary to enter into every information relativo to the negociaany lengthened detail upon a subject which tion, I shall not enter into a detail, which is already so fully and amply before your is already in your lordships' possession. lordships by means of the papers on the My object is to move an address to his matable. The documents which are in your jesty, humbly and gratefully acknowledlordships' hands, are fuller and more am- ging his majesty's desire to restore to his ple than have been presented to parliament subjects the blessings of peace, assuring on any former occasion of a similar na- his majesty of our conviction that the faiture, certainly more so than in those cases lure of the negociation entered into for respecting which it has formerly been my that purpose did not arise from any failure duty to present papers to parliament. It in his majesty's paternal regard for the welwould not, perhaps, have been advisable fare of his people, but is wholly to be atthat these papers should be so minute in tributed to the exorbitant demands and their details, had it not been for the very ambitious views of France, and pledging full, though not equally correct statement ourselves to cončur, in every effort, to published by the drench goverument. It support bis majesty in the continuance of the contest. I will now, my lords, briefly were, however, of a description totally disnotice a few of the leading principles which tinct, and could not be exchanged with any characterize the Negociation, which is the prospect of advantage to either country. subject of our discussion. There can be This country being a great maritime and no doubt that peace was desirable, if a colonial power, and France a great conti-' peace could be obtained consistently with nental power, there could be no reciprocity the honour and the interests of this coun- of cession between the two powers, which try. It must always be desirable to put an could in any degree tend to their mutual end to the calamities of war, and every advantage. The conquests made by this! state actuated by enlightened views of country could be of no use to France, unpolicy, will necessarily consider the prose-less she could become a great commercial cution of war as the means of obtaining an and colonial power; the conquests made honourable, a secure, and a permanent by France could be of no use to this counpeace; a peace which shall ensure safety try, unless she could become a great con. against the renewal of war, and safety in tinental power. Thus, the state of actual the conduct of it in the event of its renew- possession appeared to me to be the only! al. There may be cases in which a nation, true basis of negociation between this actuated by views of sound policy, may country and France, the only basis upon think it advisable to make great sacrifices which peace ought to be established, under for the purpose of obtaining a peace, the circumstances in which that negociation which bears every promise of being perma- took place, the only basis on which it could Dent. If we look back to the treaties of rationally be founded, viewing the relative peace formerly concluded by this country, situation of the two countries, regarding we find that though, of course, they could also the situation of Europe, and the slene not be considered as permanent, yet that der prospect of a peace concluded under they produced a considerable interval of such circumstances, producing any consis tranquillity, an interval which might then derable interval of tranquillity, and for the be fairly calculated upon, and which, inas- attainment of which, therefore, no'valuable much as it served to recruit and increase sacrifices ought to be made by this counthe resources of the country, was worth try, because they could not ensure to us making sacrifices to obtain. In this view safety against the immediate renewal of the of the subject, and with the moral certain- war. This was, therefore, the basis which ty of obtaining a considerable interval of I thought the only one which ought to be tranquillity, valuable sacrifices, I do not me foundation of a treaty of peace between meau merely valuable in point of finance, this country and France, if such a treaty of commerce, or of revenue, but valuable was to be attained, and this also was the in point of strength, might consistently opinion of those with whom I had the howith sound policy and expediency be made nour to act, amongst whom and myself the for the purpose of obtaining a treaty of greatest and most perfect unanimity prepeace. But those who consider the state vailed, previous to, and from the moment of Europe for 6 years, ar I may say for 13 of, the commencement of the négociation or 14 years past, must be convinced that to its close, During the whole procedure there was no rational hope of any conside of that negociation, from the hour it berable ioterval. of tranquillity following a gan till the moment of its breaking off, we treaty of peace with France. It became had but one opinion upon the subject, and therefore an object in this negociation, to unanimously concurred in all the steps seek out for an equivalent to set up against taken during its progress. I have already that want of permanence, which must at- observed that the state of actual possession tend any peace made under such circum- was the only basis which appeared to his stances. Valuable sacrifices could not be inajesty's ministers to be the fit and proper anade to obtain an unstable and insecure basis for our negociation with France. It peace. I was therefore, my lords, of opi- will not, however, be supposed, that a nenion, and still am of opinion, that the on-gociation upon the basis of actual posses ly basis upon which we ought to treat with sion, was to exclude a discussion of equiFrance, was that of actual possession." We valents to be given for certain cessions to had made several valuable conquests by be agreed upon. This is necessarily in. means of our maritime superiority, whilst cluded in a negociation, taking for its basis France had made great and extensive con- the state of actual possession, inasmuch as quests on the continent. Those conquests it naturally arises out of the relations of states, which eome to be discussed in the against the enemy, Let there be a stipulaprogress of such a negociation. This too tion that one party shall not make peace is the more necessary where a negociation without the consent of the other, and then involves the interests of allies, the pro- there will be that community of interest curing for whom of advantages, of course and that unity of action which in the pregives rise to a discussion as to the equiva- sent circumstances of Europe are so absolents to be given, or the sacrifices to be lutely necessary to make head against the made by the powers negociating, to pro- enemy. Even, however, supposing that cure advantageous cessions for their re- the treaty with Russia, to which I have spective allies. My lords, when his ma- just alluded, had not been wisely conclujesty's present ininisters came into oflice, ded; still the sacred engagement of the so they found a treaty concluded by their vereign having been given to Russia, his predecessors with Russia, in which each majesty's ministers were bound to act in party bound itself not to conclude peace, compliance with the injunctions of that without the consent of the other. I am treaty, and to fulfil its conditions. Thus, not about to question the wisdom of therefore, the negociation commenced in such a treaty; on the contrary, 1 think it compliance with the injunctions of that a wise measure. I am decidedly of opinion, treaty, and, at the same time, with those that if what remains of Europe is to be views with regard to our other allies, which maintained, if Europe is to be recovered, were dictated by justice and good faith. as I trust it will be recovered, it can only Amongst those allies were to be classed be by a firm bønd of union, a strict al- those to whom we were bound by treaty, Jiance between tbis country and the powers and those to whom we were bound by the of the continent. When I declare that a circumstances which had occurred during wise treaty, in which one party cannot make the war, and the situations in which they peace without the consent of the other, 1 were placed, in consequence of the events am not to have extreme cases put for the of that war. Of the former class of allies purpose of shewing that inconveniencies were Sweden and Portugal; and of the inay arise from such a stipulation. My latter, Naples and the elector of Hanover; auswer to such an argument is short--that who, in this case, must be considered as a extreme cases ought not to be put, Ex-separate and distinct power. With respect treme cases cannot be included in, nor to Sweden and Portugal, nothing more was ought tbey to be an objection to, a general required than to guarantee to those powers rule; they must be met and provided for their state of actual possession; no conon their own specific grounds. An extreme quests having been inade by them which it case may be put, that Russia Inight demand, was necessary to fede, nor any thing taken as a condition of peace, that half the old from them respecting wbich it was new French monarchy should be ceded to her; | cessary to enter into discussion. The king in that case, it is not to be supposed that of Naples stood in a different situation; this country would continue the war upon he had unfortunately, like too many other such a grounds' Such extreme cases, how- continental states, been deprived, by the ever, may be put out of the argument, power of France; of all his dominions on having no conneetion, in fact, with the the continent of Europe. My lords, I broad and general principle on which such bave no liesitation in saying, that I would treaties are concluded, "It is not enough have coilsented to make sacrifices uot for this country merely to form an alliance merely valuable in finance, in revenue, or with the powers, of the continent, who in commerce, but even sacrifices of safety bemselves near the enemy, and subject to and of strength, to procure the restoration his immediate inroads, feel all the horrors to the king of Naples of the kingdom of of war in the heart of their territories, Naples ; but no sacrifices that we could whilst we, free from all fear of participa- make, could have been an equivalent ta ting in their calamities, conceive ourselves France for the restoration of the kingdom at liberty to withdraw from the contest of Naples. It therefore necessarily became and make peace whenever it suits our con, a discussion of equivalents, with the view yenience. This is not a system which can of indemnifying the king of Naples for the lead to any practical good. The powers of loss of bis kingdom somewhere else. With the continent will not, under such a systein, respeet to Sicily, the king of Naples was feel that community of interest which is still in possession of that island, or rather, habsolutely neeessary to efect any thing I would say, it was in the possession of a