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was a different basis for an instant admitted to peace; we could not have been impo. by this country.-Such is the plain bistory sed upon by them. But, even after all of the negociation, and in going through it the evidence obtained, after the fact of the I have not dwelt on the particular terms insincerity of the enemy, strong as our offered at different periods, meaning to suspicions may have been, what other touch on that point in the sequel. What course than that we adopted ought we to part of our conduct, then, do the gentle- have followed? If an enemy, whatever med opposite censure? A right hon, gent. suspicions you may entertain, assumes that has already said, that whatever be our me- appearance of sincerity, and makes prorits, the cause of the country is clear. If, posals, not on the face of them unworthy then the cause of the country be clear, 1 at least of discussion, would it be wise, have gained that about which I am most would it be politic, peremptorily to reject anxiously concerned. Though, undoubted- such advances; and would it be nothing to ly, I never can be indifferent to the censure undertake the responsibility of such a preor approbation of this house, yet the bitter- ceeding, so as either to give rise to charest part of that censure would be taken away, ges on our conduct abroad, or, what is if while our conduct was disapproved, it more, create discontent and dissatisfaction were admitted that in our hands the ho- at bome, because we did not employ all nour and the cause of the country re- just and conciliatory measures to put an mained unsullied and unquestionable.end to the calamities of war? Is it nothing Then what is it we are accused of? It has to expose the character of the nation with beeu stated, indeed, that the negociation others, or to give rise to a spirit of dissabetrayed a scene of artifice and duplicity tisfaction among ourselves, incompatible on the one side, playing upon incredulity with those exertions and with those sacrion the other. But in what have we been fices which the true interest of the state duped: Where is the proof of our credu- might required After the offer made to lord lity? These are assertions much more easily Lauderdale in September, to the moment made than proved. I defy the gentlemen of bis departure from Paris, not a moment's opposite to point to a single instance in delay intervened, which did not arise from which we have been imposed upon; and a few days'indisposition with which his lordtill they do so, I am not much afraid that the ship was attacked, and from the refusal of house will pay much attention to charges the French government to grant passports. so lightly made, and assertions so little of this the papers on the table furnish the supported. Were we dupes up to the 20th most decisive proofs. Ministers pursued of April? Did Mr. Fox in the correspon- the only course which could afford to Endence with M. Talleyrand shew credulity gland and to Europe, the most convincing Did be make concessions ? Was he seduced proof that our conduct was fair, equitable, into sacrifices ? No. All is refusal, the and conciliatory, and that of the enemy, most victorious refutation of all the sophis- false, deceitful, and ambitious. I will not try, and an utter rejection of all the offers deny that the prolongation of a negocia. that were employed to draw us into negoci. tion is in itself attended with inconveniation on terms inconsistent with the just ence. But can it be expected that great pretensions of the country. Was it in and important interests in a perplexed and this point then that we were dupes ? What extraordinary state of human affairs can be ever dispute there may be, for I will not adjusted without long and deliberate discussay cavil, on other parts, I am confident sion? When have the long and fierce that thus far, at least, we are beyond re-contentions of nations been adjusted withproach. Will it be contended then that out much difficulty and delay? A conquewe should have refused to listen to the ror can speedily give the law, but when nacommunication of which Jord Yarmouth tions treat on equal terms, delays cannot was the bearer? I do not believe that any be avoided. But it is said that the negoman will venture his reputation so far as to ciation prevented an arrangement with say we should. And then, what was the Prussia. I deny the fact. I defy any man object of lord Yarmouth's mission : what to give the least proof of such an assertion. of lord Lauderdale's, but to place the ne- I do not wish to say any thing to aggragociation on the original basis, or to put vate the distress of that unfortunate powe an end to it? But the offers were false and er, but such had been the infatuated conhollow. Be it so; but, even if they were duct of the court of Berlin, that neither to false and hollow, they could not have led Russia nor to this country had any oppor
tunity been given either of staying her pre-sumed that our conquests were at least cipitate counsels or assisting her rash ope- as much beyond their power to affect, as rations. This, however, belongs to ano-theirs were beyond the possibility of being ther discussion, and if gentlemen on the shaken by our attacks? This, then, was other side can shew that in this or in any the basis to which we uniformly adhered. other respect the negociation suspended The principle we applied to Sicily, though any measures of war, they will have not exactly a conquest, since we held it in proved a very heavy charge ; but till they concurrence with its lawful sovereign, and bring that proof, neither the house nor the it was included by name in our demands. country will be much influenced, far less This, our faith to the king of Naples rewill be led to prejudge us, by their bold quired. Hanover having been unjustly atassertions and their unsupported accusa- tacked for the sake of England, the honour t1011s.-With respect to fidelity towards of this country compelled us to stipulate our allies, I am confident that no reproach for its recovery. The integrity of Turkey, can justly be made to the conduct of the of Sweden, of Portugal, was stipulated for, negociation. If the cause of the coun- and it was our object also to secure the try be clear, our cause must likewise be little states from the insults and encroachunquestionable. We have seen how stea- ments they had experienced from France. dily Mr. Fox refused to listen to the pro- From these points we never receded. How posal of separate negociation, and when für we mighi have receded as to particular the form was abandoned, the substance was terms, it would not be proper for me in strictly maintained. When M. d'Oubril this place to discuss; but if the value of was sent to Paris,it was no longer necessary cessions must be calculated by the probato refuse that to which the emperor ofbility of the advantages and the duration Russia had consented. It is proper to re- of that peace for which they are given up, mark here too, that it was expressly stipu- there was nothing in the aspect of affairs to lated by lord Yarmouth, that the concert lead us to make valuable sacrifices to purwith Russia should be fully admitted, and chase peace.-But, it now remains for me that M. Talleyrand knew that he was to to shew, that there never was any opportue concert with M. d'Oubril. Even after the nity of procuring such terins as would have separate treaty concluded by that minister, been adequate to the just pretensions, and this government saw the importance of consistent with the honour and interests of still maintaining the most unlimited faith the country. There are two periods in the towards Russia, and when the refusal to negociation to which we must now advert. ratify the treaty was known, lord Lauder- There never was any question of particular dale was instructed to insist that the two terms before lord Yarmouth went to Paris, powers should be considered as replaced in with the exception of Hanover and Sicily, the situation in which they stood before which on account of the particular circumthat event, and to urge those articles for stances of each were specifically mentioned. which Russia was most desirous. This con. After M. d'Oubril had arrived at Paris, duct, indeed, was due to an ally whose and the French government had hopes of good faith had been so strongly displayed a separate treaty, lord Yarmouth still on former occasions, and to the character writes that Hanover, the Cape, Malta, and of the emperor Alexander, in whose ho- India remained pure and untouched. The nour the government had never ceased to fact, however, turned out that Malta was confide, even under the most unaccount to be ceded under conditions ; even a li. able appearance of his minister's conduct mitation of the garrison being proposed. at Paris.-If our good faith cannot be im- From Hanover, the district of Hoya, con. peached, are we culpable for the terms taining 10,000 people, was to be taken off, for which we insisted ? Are we blamed, be- and the Cape was to be made a free port. cause, in the situation of the country, we India, too, a very important object, was thougbt it proper to retain what we pos- likewise reserved, and all the Dutch colo. sessed, as a counterpoise to the acquisitions nies were to be given up with Tobago, &c. of France? Are we blamed because we re- in the West Indies. Independently of th fused to cede any of our possessions, un- want of faith exhibited by the French go less on the footing of a fair equivalent ?vernment, and the little security we could Are we deserving of blame because we in- have for the observance of treaties, were sisted upon a basis which implied perfect these conditions such as we ought to have equality with the enemy, and which pre accepted, considering what France had acquired on the continent, and the little pro- i would be at once establishing -a system of bability of her wresting from us our con- non-resistance, and affording free scope quests ? But were they such as we could ac- to the ravages and ambition of France, cept when Russia must have been left alone, and leaving her, without check or controul, and the king of Naples abandoned? Besides to pursue her desolating career. We were too, it should be known that in M.d’Oubril's bound in bonour to Russia, and more than treaty it was not the king of Sardinia that was this, we were bound by express treaty. to be indemnified, but bis son was to get the Was it stipulated by this treaty, that we Balearic islands; while it was insultingly sti- should accede 10 any wild or extravagant pulated that the French government should demands on the part of Russia, and that not object to a provision being made for we should support her in circumstances king Ferdinand by this country! Need I add where we could not do it with honour? No. a word to shew that we could not in such Were we bound to assist her in unreasoncircumstances have acceded to these con-able and chimerical schemes ? No. What ditions without at once sacrificing the na- were the objects for which Russia contendtional honour and betraying the national in- ed? She insisted that Sicily should be terests : Such, however, were the conditions given to the king of Naples, and this was on which the French government insisted till an object for which Great Britain ought to the end of August, when the refusal to contend more strenuously even tban Russia. ratify M. D’Oubril's treaty produced a sus- When it is considered in what manner the picious change. A different tone was now king of Naples had been brought into the assumed ; and not only Hanover, Malta, war, the obligation upon us to sign no and the Cape, without limitation or condi- peace till Sicily is confirmed to its iswful tion, were offered; but also the settlements sovereign, or a just equivalent given in India, and Tobago in the West Indies. which he would be willing to accept, I These doubtless, though better terms than hope we can never abandon it except on, the preceding, were offered as the price of these terms. It would have broken the our abandoning every thing by which we bearts of those brave men who fought for it could have held them with security in on the plains of Maida, if it could have peace. Russia was to be given up, and been given up on any other conditions. Naples sacrificed. Besides, they were not Then in what view are we to consider Daloffered till Bonaparte had left Paris, to com- matia, the other object of Russia ? Had mand the army : but had they been much Russia no right to look for any thing upon more advantageous, nerer could this coun- the conclusion of peace? It is true, that try have consented to purchase them at the scarcely any point of contact existed beprice of disgrace and infamy.---Then as to tween Russia and France, until the bare the connection between Great Britain and riers were lately broken down, and M. TalRussia; my opinion of that is this, that if leyrand said that there was nothing to do there is any hope that the continent of Eu- between France and Russia, except to rope can yet be saved from the grasp of agree that there should be an end to the France, it rests upon Russia and upon that war. But, surely, something was due to connexion. In the present circumstances, Russia for acknowledging the title of the and under the present aspect of affairs, it emperor,and those of the different branches is impossible for me to answer for events. of his family, and this was not too mucb. But there is certaiuly, every reason to be- But Russia had before that time taken lieve, from what has already passed, that some pains with respect to the arrangement the emperor of Russia will continue faith-(for Sicily, and even on the principle of the ful to his alliance as long as he can do so. uti possidetis, she was entitled to look for What he may be induced to do through something considerable, for she was in pose hard necessity, it is pot for me to say, al- session of the mouths of the Cattaro, and though I hope that such a necessity is not why should she abandon them without likely to occur. Certainly his situation is some equivalent. This then she certainly not such as to justify us, for any more im- had a right to insist upon. But the matter mediate advantage to ourselves, in aban-does not rest here. "Let us only consider doning him. His means are still not inade for a few moments what is the nature of quate to resist at least the last encroachments Dalmatia. It is not, when regarded with of France. Terms were offered us that a view to France, a territory in any way were not compatible with our honour; calculated for objects of defence, but only and, if we were to accept of these, it for those of offence. It could be retained only for the purpose of having a connec- peace of Europe, we do nothing. Now, if tion with those disaffected bashaws, who the terms otiered by France were inadmiswere accustomed to make war on the Porte.sible before, how could they be admitted It would open a passage to ludia, if ever after the 25th of August, when ihe chief the French could get there by land, which of the French government set out to join bowever, I trust, is not very likely; and his army, which had before been sent above all, it is on the flanks of Hungary, against Prussia ? Could any peace concluand therefore is a position from which the ded with us have stopped bim, or could chief of the French government could for we depend on his assurances ? If any perever threaten Austria, and prevent her son thinks that we might, let bim look at from making those exertions to retrieve the Germanic Confederation, which was herself, which she might be enabled other carried into execution after the treaty with wise to apply. It is therefore a situation M. d'Oubril. I am sensible that I am dewhich would render France more formida- taining the house long, but they will conble in time of peace, than the possession sider the importance of the subject. One of it could make her in time of war. It of the inducements that was held out to was, therefore, not only a Russian object him for signing the treaty was, that the arthat it should be given up, but it was also rangements intended for Germany might an object that intimately concerned both thereby be prevented; and yet the ink with this country, and all Europe. It was not which that treaty was signed, was hardly only a Russian object, but strictly an En-dry before the German arrangements were glish and European one. Add to this, sir, ordered to be carried into execution. Why the infinite importance of preserving the then, sir, our only hope was, that Prussia most inviolable good faith with our allies. would be successful, though upon that point For this good faith, this support of our there was great room for apprebension. credit, this support of our commerce, this Now, suppose that she had succeeded, support of every thing that ought to be what would have been said to a minister held dear among nations, I trust we shall who should have before concluded a peace, ever be ready to make all reasonable sa- and thereby tied his hands and prevented crifices. This will be either the sure and his country from taking advantage of the firm foundation of our prosperity, or our new state of things in order to obtain solace and comfort under whatever mis- better terms ? Suppose, on the other hand, fortunes may befall us. In refusing then she did not succeed, which has actually the terms of peace that were offered by turned out to be the case, does any one France, we acted in a manner equally de- believe that peace with Great Britain would manded by our honour and by sound policy. have induced Bonaparte to stop his victoConsidering the importance of Sicily and frious army? If he does, I would refer him of Dalmatia, suppose that we had no to the note of Sebastiani, who was sent to choice but to accept of all the colonies of Constantinople to insist upon the deposiFrance, or of Sicily and Dalmatia alone, tion of the Hospodars, in direct violation I would not besitate to secure these, and of the treaty with Russia. Sebastiani, on would say, give us Sicily and Dalmatia, bis journey, passed through the dominions and take back all your colonies. If there of these princes, and received from them would have been objections to this, what the rites of hospitality, and several valuwould have been said of a minister who alle presents, at the moment that he was would have surrendered Sicily and Dal- about to solicit their deposition. Peace matia, and yet have accepted of worse then would not have prevented any of the terms than these? And here, sir, I cannot scenes that have lately been exhibited on help adverting to that argument of which the continent. If Bonaparte had then I bave heard something, viz. that we are stated that Great Britain, who had been not likely at any future period to procure the means of exciting the flames of war better terms. All I think it necessary to all over the continent, had seized the first say on that point is, that it was not con- opportunity of concluding a peace upon sistent with our honour or our interest to the most mercenary and selfish grounds, accept of these terms at present. And if and then endeavoured to persuade the nathe matter is considered with a vie to the tions of Europe, that there could be no sature designs of France on Russia, no ar- peace on the continent till England should gument can be more unfounded ; because, be humbled, then, instead of possessing the unless we can, by a peace, secure the friendship. of Sweden, instead of being Vol. VIII.
linked in the closest alliance with Russia, noble friend (lord Grenville) has too indee now opposing France with not inferior pendent a inind to have been directed by numbers, and with great advantages of any leader, and I can take upon myself to situation, we should have been left alone, declare, that there never was the smallest an object of universal jealousy and suspi- difference of opinion on the subject in the cion, and without the power of contribu- cabinet. The last letter written by my deting any thing towards the exertions for ceased friend on this subject, is that of the restraining the ambition and encroachments 26th of June. But then he all along corof France. Every advantage, therefore, dially approved of all that was done, and of which the nature of the case would in bis last letter expresses his strong sense admit, results from the part which we have of the cavils of the French government, acted. But, sir, I am at the same time far and directed that our negociator should from encouraging very sanguine expecta- proceed no farther, except the basis at first tions, after all that has happened on the agreed upon should be recognized. In the continent within these few years. The last conversation which I myself had with event is in the hands of " Him who giveth him, which was on the 7 th of September, the victory." But one thing is clear, that the Sunday before his death, three great the progress of Bonaparte has never yet cardinal points were insisted upon by him: been stopped by submission, and our only | 1st, The security of our honour, in which hope, therefore, is in resistance, as far as Hanover was materially concerned ; 2d, we can resist his ambitious projects. We Russian connection ; 3d, Sicily. And the have done what our honour and our duty grounds on which the negociation broke called upon us to do. When this instru- off
, were in direct conforinity with this ment of vengeance may be deprived of his opinion. On that occasion he told me, terrors, I know not; but we may at least that the ardent wishes of his mind were to look to the honour and independence of consummate, before he died, two great this country, as secure against all his at works on which he had set his heart, and tacks, and while this country exists as an these were, the restoration of a solid and independent and an honourable nation, honourable peace, and the abolition of the there will still remain some hopes of resto- slave trade. (A loudcry of hear! bear!] I have ring that political balance in Europe, which now, sir, endeavoured to shew from these has for the present been overturned.--I papers, that the first overture came from should have now concluded, sir, but there France; next, that the basis agreed upon are two points which, in justice to my noble for conducting the negociation was that of friend (Lauderdale) and the public, I can actual possession ; and lastly, that no not entirely pass over. On the 30th of terms could be procured that could be acAugust, the negociation appeared to be at cepted, with a view not only to our own an end. On the 4th of September, how. honour and interests, but also with view ever, iny noble friend was invited to a con- the interests of Europe, and the ference. The note said to be delivered to maintenance of the most inviolable good him by the French, was, in fact, never de-faith, towards our allies. I shall therefore livered. If such a note had been re- now move, sir, " That an humble address ceived by him, and he had his passports " be presented to his majesty, to assure with bim, he oʻught not, and I trust he“ his majesty, that we have taken into would not, have waited å moment longer our most serious consideration the Pa. in France, but would instantly have con pers relative to the late Negociation, sidered the negociation as afaii end. But“ communicated, by his majesty's most what is the object of a note, which could" gracious order, to this house : That we be so easily disproved ? This it is not easy acknowledge, with heartfelt gratitude, to guess, but at all events sure I am that the benevolent effort made by his manoihing could be more unjust. Now the jesty, to restore to this country the other point is, the charge that a sudden “ blessings of peace on terms consistent change had taken place in the negociation with the honour of his majesty's crown, after the political death of Mr. Fox. After with the general interests of Europe, he was dead, it was said that the war “ and with the good faith which his maj. party had got the ascendancy, and that we of has ever maintained towards his allies ; wished to break off the negociation. That " That, whilst we lament the unsuccessful any change took place in consequence of " result of an attempt directed to so bea that event, I most positively deny. My "neficent an end, we feel the fullest cons