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was on the point of being involved with than an attempt to entrap this house, if France, though he could not account for such an attempt could ever be successful, the delay which took place in communi. into a general approbation of the past concating wiih her. No direct communication duct of government, or a promise to supwith Prussia appeared to have taken place port future measures without due deliberauntil hostilities were on the eve of com- tion. But in fact this address pledges your mencing. This was to him a subject of lordships to nothing but what appears great regret. He lamented that a conimu- plainly on the face of it, and contains uonication with her had not been opened thing which can preclude that free, fair, sooner; that no disposition had been mani- and impartial discussion, which ought to fested to assist or encourage her, when it take place on every great public question, was evident that a war between her and when I have said this much, I think I have France was not to be avoided. It was not answered every word the noble lord bas until October that ministers had thought uttered in relation to the subject of the proper to endeavour to open a communi- address. With respect to the other topics cation with Prussia, and the noble lord to which the noble lord has alluded, if I (Morpeth), to whom they confided this im- can feel any difficulty in answering them, portant mission, than whom they could not it is not on account of any argument which have selected one more proper, was, fron has been founded upon them, but from the the unhappy events which occurred, unable impossibility of comprehending how they to fulfil it. They afterwards thought pro- can be brought to bear on the present quesper to send out a military mission, at the tion. Ilowever, laying that consideration head of which was a noble lord(Hutchinson), aside, since the noble baron has thought a member of that house. This, however, fit to introduce these subjects, and has was not until 3 weeks after the return of pressed them so strongly on your lordships' the noble person who had preceded him, attention, I shall take the liberty of just at a time when it was uncertain whether briefly noticing them. The first point, in this expensive military mission would be the order of the noble baron's speech, was able to discover the Prussian head-quarters a proposition which I was surprised to hear or even find out a port to land in. As to come from the mouth of any noble lord in the negociation, he should say nothing upon this house, namely, that you should discuss it, until the papers were laid before parlia- whether his majesty had been well or ill ment. Whatever difference of opinion advised in dissolving the last parliament? might exist as to particular parts of it, with I do not, my lords, mean to say that the respect to the main question there could advisers of the crown are not responsible be but one general and unanimous senti- for the advice they give, and that their conment, and that was to concur in giving bis duct is not at all times liable to be quesmajesty every support, that should enable tioned by parliament; but this I do say, him to prosecute the war with vigour and that if there be any one branch of the royal effect. As to the address proposed by his prerogative on which your lordships ought noble friend, it was not his intention to to exercise a peculiar reserve, it is that give it any opposition. He assented to it, which relates to the dissolution of parliabecause it did not pledge their lordships to ment. When, however, the noble lord obany of those points, which might possibly jected to that measure, I did expect that become the subject of future enquiry.
he would have stated some reasons to prove Lord Grenville rose, and spoke to the that it was improper, before he thought of following effect :-In asking your lordships putting it on his majesty's ministers, to to support the address which has just vindicate it. I shall not dispute the noble been moved, I must begin by assuring your lord's chronology, the accuracy of which I lordships, that if I claim for it that general am, however, not altogether disposed to adapprobation which I am confident it will mit. The noble baron, after a very solemn obtain in this house, and throughout the declaration of the inestimable value to the whole country, it is precisely because it is constitution of the prerogative vested in his free from that sort of ambiguity which the majesty of dissolving parliament, and of noble lord who just sat down has more than the free indisputable right which bis mainsinuated it possesses. The address has jesty has to exercise that right at all times, been conceived in terms which inust appear has not scrupled to enter into a long detail to everyone unubjectionable, and no conduct of reasons why the prerogative ought not to would, in my opinion, be more unworthy have been exercised, as it has recently been exercised by his majesty. I should have inclined to doubt the accuracy of the noble been surprised at any noble lord in the baron's chronology. I think that, upon house standing up in his place to question looking back, he will find himself deceived the exercise of a prerogative so clearly in- in his calculation. But, however that may herent in his majesty, and so indubitably be, the fact of dissolution at periods of 6 useful; but that a noble baron should, sessions, would totally destroy the reasojafter a preface so magnificent as to the va ing of the noble baron; for if his majesty Jue of this prerogative, of iis sacred qua- can thus dissolve unquestioned at the end lity, of its being above all question of 6 sessions, when the legal period of the make a direct charge against his majesty's parliament is 7 years, be may as well exerministers for having advised the exercise of cise the right at the end of 4 sessions. it, is really what I cannot reconcile with Or, on the other hand, if his majesty, or any rules of rational conduci. For myself, rather his ministers, are to be questioned sacred as I hold every prerogative of the when this prerogative is exercised oftener crown, I feel that bis majesty's servants than at intervals of six sessions, then the are answerable for the advice which they prerogative is no longer of the quality give his majesty for the exercise, or for ab- which the noble baron has extolled so staining from the exercise of every one highly--a prerogative to be freely used at of them. Ju no case do I conceive the ex- all times when his majesty judges it necesércise of this undoubted prerogative to sary to the well-being, or to the safety of have been more wise, more salutary, or the constitution. The noble baron's reamore attentive, on the part of bis majesty, soning is not at all in unison with his facts, to the feelings of his people, than the disso- and I think that if the noble lord will relution which lately took place. When a fresh his memory, he will find that his facts negociation, by which his majesty's endea- are not entirely in unison with bistory. vour to restore the blessings of peace, nu? Does not the noble lord know that there merely to the people of Great Britain, but has been such a notion as triennial par. to the nations of Europe, had failed, it was liaments since the period he quoted ? surely a wise measure in bis majesty to ap. and does he not happen to know that last peal to the sense of his people, to refer to year, it was in the contenuplation of a goihem the conduct of his servants, and verument with which be was personally thereby to call upon them to pronounce, in connected, to dissolve the parliament at the eyes of the world, their sense as to the the end of three years ?-(hear! hear!) further prosecution of the contest. If at This I have heard, and I have reason any moment of our history the exercise of to believe that the rumour is well-founded, this prerogative was wise, proper and dis. The noble baron next adverted to somecreet, it was upon the late occasion, ane the thing which he wondered at not fuding in empire has gained this great and important the king's speech. Something, it seems, advantage from the measure, that the de- he thinks should have been said on the imgree of unanimity which has been manifes- provement of the military force of the ted by the people from one end of the uni- country. I am at a loss to conceive what ted kingdom to the other on the subject of the noble baron could have expected to the war, on the determination to persevere be stated on this subject. The wise meain the struggle, on the necessity of vigorous sures wbich were adopted in the last session, exertions, and in the approbation of the have been followed up with success throughsteps which have been taken by bis majes- out the country, and nothing is now wished, ty's servants, has given strength, conti- but that the present parliament would dence, and spirit to the government; and permit the full and free operation of the has given a noble example to the world of laws which have already been made. - It the vigour of a people who understand is this proper and necessary perseverance the blessings of independence, and who which the country expects from parliament. are determined to maintain it. But the With regard to the ineasures which were noble baron, after disclaiming all intention repealed by the last parliament, it was a of disputing the right of his majesty to es- complaint against them, whether well or ill ercise his prerogative at all times, without founded I bave not now to consider, that question, has not scrupled to say that, with they were in general inefficient; and it the exception of one solitary instance, it was admitted, that if they did occasionally has not been exercised since the year 1715, add to our inilitary force, it was at tie at shorter intervals than 6 years. I am expence of those principles and resources on which the permanent strength of the stances; but if the noble lord wishes to country rests. The measures, however, institute a comparison with respect to the which were proposed as the substitutes of general force of the Britisha empire, I can those which have been repealed, are not ot assure him, that that force is at this mothis temporary nature, and are not to be meut larger than it ever was at any foriner judged by the success of the moment. period. With respect to the volunteers, With regard to the plan for limited ser- I am far from concurring with the noble vice, it will be recollected, that when it lord in the observations he has made on came under the consideration of your lord. that description of force. The regulations ships, I did not hold out any expectation which were adopted for that description of of great immediate advantages being deri force, were calculated for its improvement, ved from it. I then said of that important and I cannot admit, that any thing which measure, that it never would have its full has been done by parliament, bas had a effect until the sight of a soldier impressed tendency to damp their spirits, or check upon the peasant's mind the idea of a ser- their patriotic ardour. The noble baron vice for 7 years, instead of a bondage for has remarked, that he has not heard of the life. In this opinion I still remain, and 1 Training bill having been any where put in must now say, that whether it has yet force: if he means by put in force, that been successful or not, he knows little of the men are not yet trained, it certainly, . human nature, and entertains views much according to his ideas, is not in force, for too narrow for a statesman, who founds the preparatory measures must necessaany argument on the result of the opera- rily occupy a considerable time before the tion of this ineasure within the few months training can commence; and I am sure, since it began to be carried into effect; that to any one who is acquainted with but the house will recollect what was the the nature of the militia laws of this couneffect of the measure which was repealed, try, the delay, which is unavoidable in a to make way for the plan of limited ser-measure of this kind, can create no sur
When its inefficiency was objected prise. The act, however, has begun to to at the end of 9, of 12, and even of operate ; and I can assure the noble lord, 18 months, we were still desired to wait, that there is not a corner of the country and assured that its operation was only in which it has not already been acted commencing, and would rapidly improve.upon.-The next topic which the noble Is it not rather singular ihen, that we lord adverted to, was very remarkable. should now, at the end of a few months He thinks that his majesty should have only, be called upon to give an account of been advised to tell you (an advice, by-thethe success of the plan for limited service? bye, which I think his majesty would not But the merit of that plan rests upon quite have been easily prevailed upon to adopt) another ground, and it is of no importance that a French fleet had escaped from a to form an average calculation of its result, port of France, and returned safely to that or to enquire whether it has produced more country. In point of fact, no French fleet men in one month than in another.-Ihas returned safe to port, and I am therefore shall proceed now to the next topic; for at a loss to conceive why the noble lord the noble lord has favoured us with a long should wish his majesty to make such a detable of contents, of the various chapters claration. As to the escape of the French which are to be brought into discussion in squadron, to which the noble lord alluded, the course of tlre session. It seems, we from port, I shall not enter into any disare to be asked, whether the military force cussion upon that point ; but if he asks for the defence of this country, is not now what measures were taken to intercept it, less than it was at soine former period. II will tell him that every exertion was do not understand, however, how the made for that purpose. Can the noble noble lord proposes to view this question. lord point out any time at which a French If we mean, by the force for the defence feet ever was so vigilantly pursued, eiof the country, the number of troops in ther with respect to the total amount of this island, that number, it is obvious, the force, or to the nuniber of detachought to depend not upon the amount of inents employed against it? If no instance our disposeable force, but upon the pru- of equal exertion in overtake an enemy's dent use which may be made of it. A squadron can be found, this chapter of his greater number of troops miglit be neces- enquiries will not suit the purpose of the sary for home defence under other circuin- noble lord in future period of ile sessio... But his majesty has sent out expeditions at remained for his majesty's gorernment no an improper season of the year! The noble means of communicating or of acting in conJord, perhaps, wishes that his majesty should cert with Prussia. At the same time, had tell him why and where he has sent these there been any disposition in the court of expeditions; for until he is made acquainted Berlin to communicate with this country, with those circumstances, all bis arguments means were not wanting for that purpose on respecting the period of sailing can have its part. The Prussian minister was encou. no weight. The noble lord has also objec- raged to stay until the end of August, when ted to the appointment of certain comman- he was recalled by his court purposely that ders of these expeditions ; but I must ap- the communication through him might no peal to him, whether he really thinks that longer exist. The noble lord then surely a subject which is fit to be discussed in this does not mean that we ought to have sent a house? Would it be becoming or consti- minister to Prussia, when we knew there was tutional in your lordships to enter into an no disposition in the cabinet of that country investigation of the talents of certain ofti- to receive him. The plain fact is, that Prussia cers, and to enquire whether A, B, or Chad gone on from year to year, from month ought to be appointed to a particular com- to month, and at last from week to week mand? If, however, the objection of the under the same illusion as to her safety noble lord is only to the rank, not to the from France, and still pursuing the same want of experience or talents in the person selfish policy, until she found that she was to whom he has alluded (General Craufurd), placed in a situation of the most imminent it is certainly very ill founded; peculiar danger. Then she displayed as much precircumstances in the life of that officer have cipitancy as she had before evinced of inprecluded him from the rank to which, by difference to the fall of Europe, and acted his merit and services, he was justly enti- with that want of caution which had brought tled. If the noble lord thinks that it ought on all her disasters. If I state this much to be established as a principle, that none respecting Prussia, it is not for the purpose but officers holding a certain rank ought of reproaching that power, nor for drawing to have the command of an expedition, 1 a parallel between her conduct and that of would wish him to turn to the page of other countries. But as observations on Wolfe or of Nelson. Had such a priuciple this subject have been made for the purbeen regarded by my lord St. Vincent, we pose of withdrawing the confidence of the perhaps, should not this day have had to people of this country from his majesty's glory in the battle of the Nile. Is there any ministers, it becomes a duty I owe to my one in this house who will say that this or own character, and to the character of those that officer in lord St. Vincent's fleet, who with whom I act, to throw off all disguise, held a superior rank to lord Nelson, ought and to avoid those imputations which conto have been sent in pursuit of the French cealment only could sanction. At the first expedition to Egypt, or give a vote of cen- moment when there appeared a serious dissure for the preference which was given to the position in Prussia to co-operate with hero, by whom the great victory of the Russia against the common enemy, his Nile was achieved ? Let it not, therefore, majesty's ministers thought it their duty to be said, that the officer alluded to is unfit shew that this country would not be wantto command on account of his rank. I caning in fidelity to its ally, or in any efforts venture to pledge myself that his appoint which might be advantageously made for ment will never disgrace those by whon the support of the general safety of Europe. he was chosen, nor prove disadvantageous -But with this subject I have done, except to any service on which he may be em- as to one point, which I feel I ought to adployed.-I must now take notice of what vert to in justice to the character of others. has fallen from the noble lord respecting It has been asked, why lord Morpeth Prussia. I assure him he is very much was not sent on his mission until Octomisinformed if he supposes that, previous ber, or if it was right not to send him to the mission of lord Morpeth, there ex- until then, why did he not remain—why isted any means of communication between did he return in November? this country and Prussia. This assurance was not sent until October, I think I have I must repeat so as not to be misunder- already sufficiently explained; and as to stood : from the moment of his majesty's the reason of his return, I must ask, wby. Declaration against Prussia, until lord ought he to have remained ? The king of Morpeth proceeded to the continent, there Prussia did not remain, his army did not
remain. Is it thought that lord Morpeth have not the less been overwhelmed and ought, merely for the glory of the affair, to trampled on by the common foe of Europe. have staid on the field of battle? The To liave fallen after a manful and honourfact however, is, that not only before the able struggle, would have been glorious to battle of Jena, but even after it, lord Mor- Prussia, but her conduct will never be imipeth found it impossible to get any satis- tated by this country, which, in spirit as factory answer from the king of Prussia or well as resources, is fully competent to the his ministers on the subject of his mission. contest in which she is engaged. -With respect to the late negociation at Pa- Lord Hawkesbury, in explanation, begged ris, the noble lord has, I think, very properly leave to observe, that not a word had faldeclined to enter into any discussion on it. len from him in the least disrespectful to He was right in abstaining from any ob- lord Morpeth : on the contrary, he had servations on a subject which will soon the highest opinion of that noble lord's come regularly under the consideration of merits ; and was fully convinced that in the parliament; and I am perfectly disposed execution of his mission he had used every to follow his example. All I shall say is, endeavour that was compatible with the nathat I am fully convinced there is not one ture of his instructions. individual in or out of parliament by whom The Earl of Radnor rose just as the peace is desired on any other terins but question was about to be put, to suggest those which shall be honourable to the that a clause or an amendiment should be country itself, and strictly consistent with incorporated in the address, for the purpose ibat fidelity which we owe to our allies. of expressing how much their lordships If this proposition be true, as I conceive it condoled with his majesty, in consequence is, then I rely, for the justification of his of the loss bis majesty's family had recently majesty's government, on the conclusion sustained on the continent, by the lamented to be drawn from its application to the death of that illustrious man, their near papers which will soon be laid on the table. relation, the duke of Brunswick. This Whatever inclination some persons may was a mark of respect, which he thought evince; whatever efforts may be made to due to the royal family. place his majesty's servants in an unfa- Lord Grenville said, that the subject to vourable light, and to produce false im- which the noble earl had alluded had alreapressions respecting their conduct, I am dy been under bis consideration, and he sure there now prevails throughout the bad consulted the Journals in order to be country a union of sentiment and feeling satisfied how he ought to act, and he was bitherto unexampled in any nation. The convinced that such a proceeding as that people are convinced that the times are suggested would be contrary to the usage critical, and that the dangers they have to of parliament. From his examination it encounter are great; but they are also con- appeared, that there was no instance of vinced that it is only by their own valour an address of condolence being presented and resolution that these dangers can be to the sovereign on the death of a relative averted. They are convinced, by con- not born in this country, except one to templating the ruin of that great fabric, queen Anne, on the decease of her huswhose demolished fragments are now em- band, prince George of Denmark; but ployed to injure us, that it is only by that was a particular case. It was of imenergy and firmness that this country can portance that the usual ceremonial of parbe saved from a similar ruin; they are con- liament should not be departed from ; for. vinced, that it is not by yielding to their if an address was in the present instance enemy, but by resistance, that they can resorted to, the exclusion of others from a have any chance of salvation; they are similar compliment would appear a sort of convinced, that if, after all their efforts, they disrespect. should at last sink under the contest, they The Earl of Radnor said he was perwould, even then, have the satisfaction of fectly satisfied, since he knew that his maavoiding the self-reproaches which those jesty's ministers had considered the submust feel, who, while they were degrading ject. He was only afraid it might have es. and humbling themselves before their caped their attention. enemy, returned nothing but insults and The question was then put on the moa aggressions where conciliation and gratitude tion for an address, which was carried nem. was due, and yet, notwithstanding all their diss., and a committee was appointed to preshameful submissions and humiliations, pare and bring in the same. The comVol. VIII.