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Be it so.
India be laid open, the way to India will be terms you asked, to use his phrase, be travelled. But, sir, it seems that Sicily and moderate in the extreme. Now, sir, placing Dalmatia were objects so important to ourselves in the situation of France, let us Russia, that she would not yield an iota see whether we can deem the demand of upon either, and bound as we were by Dalmatia moderate. How had Dalmatia treaty, in that case we could not recede. been acquired by France? At the point of
State it then, that we are at war the sword. By the treaty of Luneville, Dalbecause Russia would not allow us to make matia was left to Austria. What had happeace. That however is not said to be the pened subsequent to that treaty? the peace case : and indeed, I think there can be no of Amiens had been made and broken. doubt, that if England deenied the pre- The chief of the French government, on astensions of her ally unreasonable and ex- suming the imperial dignity, had addressed travagant, it would have been competent to this country a proposition for peace. for her to have used such arguments, and He was answered by a letter, signed by to have had recourse to such means as lord Mulgrave; that his majesty could not might induce her to modify her demands. attend to any proposition of that nature In the case before us, however, lord Lau- without consulting Russia. For what purderdale insists upon all the demands of pose did it afterwards turn out that Russia Russia, with as much perseverance as he was consulted ? for the purpose of obtains does on those of Great Britain. We are ing her mediation to pacify the world? No to suppose then, that the ministers of this such thing. But for the purpose of forin. country deemed those demands such as ing a general coalition against France, and Russia was entitled to expect.-It may then again to revive the chimerical project of be fair to canvass their justice, and to ex- her subjugation. Into this coalition, framed press our opinion on their propriety. I under evil auspices, ill concerted, without think, sir, they resolve themselves into two; bonds of uvion, without a due preparation Sicily and Dalmatia. I will not trouble of those means acknowledged by the fra. the house by a repetition of what I have mers of it to be necessary to its success, said on ibe subject of Sicily. It is for per- Austria was reluctantly dragged. Its forsons better and more accurately informed mation was kept as secret as a scheme than I am to determine the point; but as of that magnitude could be.
It burst unan exchange for Sicily had once been talked expectedly upon France. Its explosion of, I might perhaps have hoped that such was not to depend upon the conduct of an exchange could have been found as the French emperor. Terms of peace were would have afforded a just equivalent, and talked of amongst tlie coalesced powers, to with the perfect and unconstrained concur- be proposed to France ; such as they knew rence of the unfortunate monarch most in- it was absolutely impossible for France to terested in its fate. Sir, before I say a accept : and after baving decided upon word upon the subject of Dalmatia, I beg asking what they knew she could not give, to recall the recollection of the house to they determined to attack her at the season one of the speeches of Mr. Fox, charged most convenient to themselves, without with those niaxims of moral and political waiting for the result of any negociation wisdom, which fell in such copious abun- at all. Sir, I refer to the Papers laid bedance from his lips, and which speech will, fore parliament last year, for the truth of I am sure, be long recollected by those every assertion I have made *. Sir, une who heard it; I mean that delivered on bappily, we know the issue of that project. the 21st of June, 1805 *. Wherein heThe emperor of France marched his army vainly endeavoured to incite the persons from the coasts of the channel, and in a who had then the governineut of the few short weeks, a series of successes then country to avail themselves of the media- unparalleled, and terminating in the battle tion of Russia to effect a peace; and al- of Austerlitz, had destroyed the coalition, most in a spirit of prophecy dwelt upon and laid Austria again prostrate at his feet, the evils which might arise from the line of her capital in his possession, and her conconduct which was unhappily adopted. Mr. dition ten times more abject than ever. Fox's recommendation was to place your- The peace of Presburg was inade, and the self in the situation of France at the time you peace of Presburg gave Dalmatia to France. treated with her, and moreover, to let the Was it probable then that France would cede Dalmatia within a few months after strife. But it so bappens, that the stipulations she had so acquired it? Was it reasonable of the Treaty of Presburg have never been to expect she would? or to require il pe- fulfilled, and that the Cattaro has never been remptorily of her?-Had the success of evacuated. A still stronger. ground for Russia in the war been such as to entitle supposing that, if ceded by France, Russia her to make large demands on France, would not relinquish her hold ; and a still or to make it reasonable to expect that stronger ground for believing, that France France would listen to great pretensions would never agree to the cession.—The. on her part? Sir, placmg ourselves in result is, that if Russia insisted peremptothe situation of France, I think we should rily upon her terms, and we agreed with say decidedly, no. Sir, my noble friend ber as to the propriety of her demands, has truly stated that Dalmatia is not ne- peace was not attainable, because we asked cessary to France, either for the inte- that which, placing ourselves in the situagrity of her dominions, or for her defence. tion of France, we would not, I think, have Is Dalmatia necessary to Russia, for either given.-Sir, without presuming positively of those purposes ? - But France, it seems, to contend in opposition to the authority has been desirous of possessing herself of of my noble friend, and those who are that province, as a point of offence in war connected with him in official situation, both to Austria and Turkey, and for the that the terms proposed by France were still more dangerous purpose of fomenting such as ought to have been accepted; but disturbances in the provinces of both those as far as Great Britain alone is concerned, empires in time of peace. Granted. But, surely it was no disgraceful or inglorious sir, after such-repeated -and-signal defeat of offer that was made, and to Great Britain the one power, such a career of victory of and her ally, the offer was such as may not the other, can we well be surprised, talking speedily be made again; and the probasoberly, and considering the matter impar- bility, or improbability of obtaining better tially, that France should, when almost terms than those which you refuse, is aleveny thing was in her power, select such ways a consideration of the utmost imporpossessions' as would most effectually distance to those who are engaged in negociaable Austria from the like attempts; and if tion. But, sir, I maintain that the terras Austria, Russia, and England, conjoined, stated even in the last communication becould not prevent the peace of Presburg, tween lord Lauderdale and M.Champagny, which gave Dalmatia to France, could it far less those originally talked of by genebe hoped that she, for the sake of Russia, ral Clarke to lord Yarmouth, and upon would do that for Austria, which Austria, which my noble friend bas more particuwith the assistance of Russia, could not ob- larly dwelt, cannot fairly be stated to be tain for herself ?-But then, it is a point the ultimate terms of France. To the last from which the independence of the Otto- hour, M. Champagny, with an eagerness man empire may be attacked. Granted which to me evinces sincerity, presses for again. Sir, of the independence of Turkey further communication, hopes for fresh I have said as much as may be necessary; instructions. In the conference detailed but if Russia is jealous of French influence by lord Lauderdale in his dispatch of the in Turkey, is not France equally jealous of 19th of September, (p.189), M. Talleyrand, the influence of Russia ? and in the hands in answer to a question proposed to him, of either of those powers, would not Dal- says, “ The emperor will leave every thing matia be equally a point of offence in war to his plenipotentiaries." All tends to and intrigue in peace against that empire? shew, that if the time which elapsed from What rational ground of hope, then, that the commencement of the negociation, you could obtain this province for Russia ? had been duly improved, it might bare But it has been insinuated, if not stated, been known what the ultimate terms of that the object was not to obtain Dalmatia France were, and then only could you for Russia, but only its 'evacuation by bave said with truth to the world, that it France. Why surely, sir, no one will be was solely owing to the injustice and ambrought to believe that if France could have bition of France, that peace between the been persuaded to march out, Russia would two countries bad not been concluded. not have marched in. And even the un-Sir, it bas been thrown out in the course defined state in which such an arrange- of debate, that at all events we have had a ment, if practicable, would have left it; good escape; for that as no peace between must have laid the foundation of future England and France could be deemed worth our having, which did not hold out | nions we risked it. Sir, it may be said, a prospect of security to the continent, that I am putting a most improbable, if not seeing what has happened to Prussia, we an impossible case, for that if a treaty had may congratulate ourselves upon not having actually been concluded, Prussia would concluded a peace, which would have been have acquiesced. In all reasonable proimpediately followed by a war between bability, sir, she would. But seeing what that power and France. Much has been we have seen, it may be fairly said she might said of the injustice and the violence of not; and to have resisted France and EngFrance in her present contest with Prussia; land united, would have been scarcely and even in the speech from the throne we less insane, than to have gone to war with were told that Prussia was forced into the France at the time, or in the condition she contest by France (p. 15). Sir, I was un- did.--Sir, lord Yarmouth tells you, that willing to express any difference of opivion M. Talleyrand sought a mode of secret on that day, but undoubtedly I could not communication with England, lest Prussia concur in the justice of that position. Of should take umbrage at the proposition Prussia, in her present state of abasement respecting Hanover. It was known that and dejection, one cannot speak as one sbe would not part with it, except by comwould bave done in her more prosperous pulsion; and certainly her acquisition of moments. But the truth is, that having, that province was as niuch contrary to during 13 years, evinced any thing rather every principle of honour and good faith, thaa nagnanimity of conduct, she rushed as any that was ever made by any power into a war with France, with an inconsi- at any time. Much, sir, has also been said derate solly, amounting almost to madness: of the insincerity of the French, and of the aud for what ? - Why, sir, according to the dupery of the government of this country: confession of Prussia herself, because she I believe, on the contrary, and upon grounds had evidence that France was negociating which appear to me rational and satisfactory, with England, and that the restoration of the ministers of France to have been sinHanover was to be a condition of the treaty. cere in their wishes for peace. I believe -It was not any act of recent aggression the chief of the French government to have on the part of France; not the Confedera- | been desirous of it: and if not so, I am tion of the Rhine, not the lengthened abode labouring under a great, but I hope, a par. of the French troops in Germany; but be donable error.-Sir, I am upon principle, cause Hanover was to be taken from her, as well as from feeling, in all transactions that she did that desperate deed which of lije, public as well as private, an enemy bas been succeeded by events so terrifying to perpetual and endless suspicion. It is and stupendous. We ourselves, then,sir, were not the character of true wisdom, and it engaged in an act which provoked the open impedes the progress of all human affairs. hostility of Prussia, and what would have That a man should be upon his guard been the situation of the continent, had a against the machinations of the bad, and treaty been concluded between the allies and the artifices of the designing, is most nea
* See Vol. V. page 539..
* See Vol. VI. Appen lix, Rasei.
France, of which the restoration of Hanover cessary. Certainly, one would not employ í to the crown of Great Britain had been a a person who would be likely to become
Condition! If Prussia had refused to yield the dupe of others, to conduct any affairs of lt, we must have united with France to have importance; but there is such a thing, as wrested it from her. Sir, my noble friend for a man to become the dupe of his own has asked, whether we could have conti-distrust, and that is in my opinion the most nued to negociate after the war bad begun; disgraceful as well as most fa'al of all kinds and what security we could have had, that of dupery :-Now, sir, what motive could the French ernperor' would have checked France have had to desire negociation with his career after one victory, and whether England, but that it should terminate in he would not have followed up his succes- peace? My noble friend bas been unses to the extermination of the Prossiant justly accused of having delayed expedi. monarchy. Sir, in the other alternative tions, and withheld armaments, in conif peace with us, had produced war with sequence of 'my lord Lauderdale's proPrussia, what security could we then have crastinated stay at Paris ; the truth of taken or obtained, that the same events which charge he has denied. I believe, stiould not have taken place and yet by what he says, that we lost notbing by it; the very preliminary of our negociation but if that be so, France gained nothing by with regard to the king's German domi it. Why, sir, if no correspondence had
ever been entered into, would not every test, whither are we hurrying? Contemaccession of power to France bave been plate, sir, if you can with composure, these made, as it now has been made? would two mighty empires exerting their utmost Dot the Rhenish Confederation have taken efforts, each for the destruction of the other; place ? could we by any means within our and think upon it, if you can without horpower have delayed, much less have pre-ror, that before the contest be ended, one vented it?-Till good grounds, then, car or the other must be destroyed. Sir, this be shewn to me, to believe that France was is a catastrophe I cannot bring my mind to insincere, I must trust to her sincerity in anticipate, without sensations of the deepthis case : and I think the papers before you est anguish: it is a prospect which I do not justify me in so doing. Some topics, sir, think, with the blessing of God, it is neceshave been urged by my noble friend, whichi sary, even in the present disastrous state of confess, I had rather he had not used, be the world, to look forward to. If it be, cause I am loath to hear, and more espe- how trifling are the woes and calamities cially from him; any thing like the senti- already suffered by mankind to those which ments which have always called for my are yet to come!! Sir, I for one will chedecided reprobation in this house. Sir, Irish the hope that even in the days of some the mere character of any person in power now living, peace may be achieved, and I distinct from his conduct, can never be will not contribute to increase the difficulmade a motive of action, and the reproach ties in its way, by saying or allowing that of ambition, injustice and rapacity, is, alas! it is impossible. In the last note of the Lut 100 applicable to more ihan one coun- French minister, dated from Mentz, (p. 201) try; to make it any thing like a substantial wherein Great Britain is forcibly reminded reason of itself for a continuation of hos of the elevation to wbich France has been tility with any. Is it upon the theatre on raised by the combinations to destroy her which they are now contending,-is it in power; and the successes of the uew conPoland, that Russia and Prussia can with test are predicted, we are told that amidst any face reproach France with injustice, all “ the chances of war, the emperor of rapacity, violence, and cruelty ? When“ France will renew the negociations upon England looks at her Eastern empire, does the basis laid in concert witb the illusshe feel herself 'sufficiently innocent to “ trious minister, whom England has lost.” throw the first stone? These charges may Russia in her manifesto, publisbed after serve mutually to exasperate and inflame; she had refused to ratify the treaty, signed they may tend to revive that acrimonious by D'Oubril, declares her readiness to feeling, wbich M. Talleyrand in his first enter into immediate negociation. Why interview with lord Yarmouth, told him should Great Britain alone refuse to open had so happily subsided. This rooted her ear to any overture? Why should sbe and rancorous hatred and animosity, which alone reject all hope I am a friend to may be created even in one country to- peače, I opposed the commencement of wards another, can never afford just ground the first war with France. There never for war ; but it may prevent, and I fear, was a moment during the whole of that within the last few melavcholy years, has contest in which I did not wish and think materially contributed to prevent, the re-that efforts might have beeu made for its storation of the blessings of peace.-Such, termination. I supported with the little sir, are my sentiments; and I could not strength I bad, every attempt that was made belpdelivering them to the house, and to towards a pacification. At the conclusion the world, however painful the execution of each, I anticipated that the offer at the of the task has been : and with those sen-next overture would be far inferior to what timents, it is quite impossible for ine to had been rejected at the preceding. vote for the Address which has been pro- pressed my deep regret at the rejection of posed by my noble friend. Sir, we are that favourable. opportunity which was told in the declaration of his majesty, that spurned in the year 1800. I supported he looks with confidence to the issue of the treaty of Amiens, and expressed my the contest, the continuance of which he strong disapprobation of its rupture. I am laments. The address holds out no hope sorry indeed that the offer of 1805 was of peace, it includes not even the word ; answered by the mouth of the cannon. I and the speech of my noble friend gives deeply regret the conduct of some parts of ine no consolation on that head. Good the negociation which has just been conGod! if peace be not the issue of the concluded; und although it has been unsuc. cessful, I will not yet despair of peace; 1| in public opinion.-A complete vindication will not consent to shut the gates of mercy I did not expect from them, because there against mankind.—Sir, I am aware, that are some particulars iu their conduct of the my opinions are peculiar, perhaps they may negociation, with respect to which the hon. be singular. I hope, however, some gen- gent. has accused them but too justly: but tleman may be found so far to concur with as to the general result of the negociation me, as that the Amendment I shall have to itself, they have a case which I think they propose, may be seconded ; and that it may can maintain; and which they owed it to be recorded upou the Journals of parlia- themselves, to this house, and to the cour. ment, that there were some (however few) try, not to abandon in dumb despair, with. who thought it unwise in policy, and false out an attempt to defend it against an atin principle, to assert that peace with tack so powerful, and conting from a quarFrance was, under any circuinstances, im- ter from which I think they must feel that possible: but, sir, if I stand alone, I can- attack with more than common severity. + not deny myself the satisfaction of putting If, indeed, the speech which has just been into your band, this paper, which contains delivered had come from this side of the the amendment moved by my noble friend, bouse, I could imagine that the ministers upon the rupture of the treaty of Amiens, might have passed it over in silence; that and I have selected the words as the most they might have considered the charge of expressive of my sentiments and feelings not having done enough towards making on the present occasion. Sir, 1 move to peace, directed by us against them, as one leave out all the words of the Address after which they could safely leave unnoticed ; the word end, in the third paragraph for as one to which we could not be supposed the purpose of inserting the amendment: to have thought them seriously liable. I "To assure bis majesty of our firm deter- freely acknowledge that my suspicions of "mination to co-operate with his majesty their conduct in the negociation were " in calling forth the resources of the united pointed quite another way.—But coming " kiugdom, for the vigorous prosecution of from one of their own body, from a friend " the war, in which we are involved, and and champion of their former politics, " to pray his majesty that he will, in his himself still apparently maintaining opini"paternal goodness, afford as far as is con- ons which they which the noble lord (Ho"sistent with his own honour and the wick) especially,—has (much to his own "interests of his people, every facility to credit, and to the advantage of his cour. "any just arrangement, by which the bles- try) relinquished; opinions which have " sings of peace may be restored to his dictated so many motions in this house for " loyal subjects.”—The motion was se- peace and for negociation in the course of conded by Mr. Johnstone. The question the last 12 years; many of them made by upon the amendment having been put, it the noble lord himself, and all of them was negatived without a division. The supported by him, and by the hon. gent, main question upon the Address was then under circumstances much more unfavourput, and none of the ministers shewing any able than those under which the late negodisposition to speak,
ciation has terminated; coming, I say, Mr. Canning rose, and said: I cannot from such a quarter, and urged not only think, sir, that I need ofter any apology to with so much ability, but with such pecuthe house for having deferred till the very liar force, from long personal and political last moment obtruding myself upon your friendship, and from that former similarity attention. It was not until the last ques- of opivions, I do think the speech of the tion now in your han was about to be hon. gent. required an answer. And I put and decided, that I could believe it to should have thought also that the noble be the determination of his majesty's mi-lord (Howick) bimself would have sufficinisters to suffer such a speech as we have ently felt the pride and the comfort of tbe just heard from the hon. gent. opposite (Mr. situation in which he now stands, the advoWhitbread) to remain unanswered; to cate for the justice of the cause of his coun. suffer their own conduct in a transaction so try against France, not to have omitted an momentous as that which we are this night opportunity of vindicating that cause considering, to go forth to the world under against the objections of his hon, friend.. the imputations of their enemies abroad, Since, however, neither the noble lord and the inculpation of their friends at home, himself, nor any of his colleagues, have without an attempt to set themselves right thought it worth their while to endeavour