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nothing of gen. Cuesta ; but if he were a, “We have at this moment, by the conman of honour and character, he must feel cession of all the world, only two men as acutely as any man in this country who are capable of commanding even a would under similar circumstances. He small body of troops in a military man. was reviled by ministers in parliament, ner-general Blake and the duke of Albu. and their attacks on him published here querque; and they both of them find and throughout Europe, even in the very | themselves without an army ; Blake by a country where he was serving. How was misfortune to which it is impossible to he to defend himself to the Spaniards | attach any blame; and Albuquerque by a against our accusations ? Even in the de misfortune for which he is still less acfence of our own general, it did not seem countable, that of having given umbrage that attacks on character, but that state to the Junta by the circumstances of his ments of facts in the conduct and opera- birth and fortune, and of having excited tions of the general of the allies would be the jealousy of general Cuesta by his resufficient. Was it fit for a British mi- , putation and popularity among the troops, nister to make a charge of meditated motives which I fear may lead to the treachery, implying the bringing into dif. sacrifice of his reputation, and w the loss ficulties and the sacrificing of his own of his services to the public cause.” army, unless he had a positive certainty Could there be a more outrageous atof the facts? What foreign general could tack upon the Junta, than thus to publish feel safe if the administration under which to the world that they had taken uinbrage this country has the misfortune to groan, at an able general, merely, because he would put on paper, make official, and was a man of birth and fortune, and that circulate such imputations? At page 50 bis services were thus to be lost to the of the papers, it was stated thus in one public cause. And yet their lordships bad of Mr. Frere's letters dated Seville, “ It often be n told that this very Junta paris a matter of general suspicion, and has ticularly claimed our support, as the steady been for some time past, ibat gen. Cuesta and ardent defenders of the rights of their meditates some serious plan of vengeance, country and of just relations existing in in resentment of the affronts and disgusts society. But still more in these papers, which he experienced about half a year | private and confidential communications ago on the part of the Central Junta. The were betrayed, for a private letter from dispersion and ruin of gen. Blake's army the duke of Albuquerque was made pub. has removed one great obstacle to such a lic, which was evidently intended to be project on his part, and has increased the entirely confidential. In this letter be alarm of those who apprehended it." says, “I must acquaint you, for your
Thus it was insinuated that that general guidance, that the whole of the English was actuated by the basest motives. In- staff has expressed the strongest wishes sinuations against other generals either of / that the command of the army should be want of talents, or of an indifference to given to me, and its dissatisfaction with the cause in which they were engaged, general Cuesta. Almost all the generals, were in the same manner indiscriminately | as well as the chiefs, and most of the of. published. Of Venegas it was flippantly ficers and soldiers, express the same desaid in the same letter, “General Venegas sire. Alava, whose frankness you know, himself does not appear possessed of that has written in the strongest terms to military reputation, or commanding cha- | Valdes pointing out the absolute necessity racter, which would be necessary to coun- 1 of removing Cuesta, and that the comterpoise a man of general Cuesta's autho- mand should be given either to Blake, rity and decided temper.”
Venegas, or myself, though he does not . Thus publishing to the world, that, in- openly mention me, lest they should stead of being united against the enemy, think he speaks from partiality and inteit was sought to poise the Spanish generals rest, being with me." Was it necessary against each other, and that such was their to comment upon the mischievous tendisynion, that their time was solely em- dency of such language; was it necessary ployed in quarrelling among themselves. to point out the pernicious consequences, In the same letter he found, that Mr. that must arise from placing gen. Cuesta Frere, the king's diplomatic minister in and the duke of Albuquerque in such a Spain, had taken upon himself to give a state of mutual jealousy and mutual animost decisive opinion upon the talents of mosity: Were they to be told that there the Spanish generals, observing, that, existed a government in Spain, that there
existed at the same time in that country, | by which the safety and lives of persons a description of men, and those of no were endangered. What vote the House mean influence, who looked upon rank would come to he knew not, but he could and fortune as calculated only to excite not think any man had nerves to defend suspicion, and disqualify men for being such conduct. It was not only to birth engaged and trusted in a cause, the great that humanity and protection were owing, object of which was the support of a legi- | but three oiher names were brought fortimate monarch, and the assertion of na-ward at full length, to whom acts were tional independence? In what a situation imputed that would subject them to the was the duke of Albuquerque placed by implacable haired of the French govern. the publication of this confidential letter, ment, by whose bands, if they fell into and which it was evident he did not wish them, they must pay the forfeit of their to be made public? The duke of Abu- lives. He could not bring himself to point querque and Cuesta were now together in out these papers: the mischief might have Cadiz, and what must be the feelings of been already done; but if it were not, it the former when this publication of his pri- was not his wish by being more particular vate sentinents respecting ('uesta reached to enhance their danger by giving greater Cadiz? But in what a situation was the publicity to the documents. Every body country placed by these indiscreet, these was treated alike by Mr. Frere and the criminal disclosures? Would not British King's ministers. General Equia, for ins ministers be in future shunned, and all stance, of whom he had heard no comconfidence withheld from them by those promise, "they say, is a man of considergovernments to whom they may have able military geographical knowledge, sent, for fear that confidence should be be- but with no character for decision, and trayed by the British government at home, unfit to command ; a useful assistant to and private and confidential communica- | Cuesta but not thought much of by him, tions laid before parliament and exposed and that he completed the ruin of his to all the world? Would not this be the army at Medellin, because he had received natural result of such shocking injustice, no orders from Cuesta.” Such publicaas the publication of these papers dis- tions tended to shut us out of the conti. played? The insinuations published in nent more effectually than Buonaparié's these documents were not confined to measures did. They tended to insulate us generals alone, but extended also to diplo- | by disgracing our character. He then matic characters. It might have been dwelt on the lamentable events which oc. thought, that the Spanish minister accre curred in this dreadful contest ; such as dited in this country would at least have assassinations, and the slaughter of 700 been treated with respect; but, on the defenceless prisoners in cold blood, which contrary, Mr. Frere had chosen to treat nothing could justify. However we might M. Cevallos as a man into whom it was lament that the passions should be so impossible to beat common sense. He worked up, retaliation ought to be clearly says, “In my correspondence with M.made out, before we published such acde Cevallos, a foolish fallacy, half a dozen counts. Would they reconcile the peotimes refuted in the course of half a ple of this country to the loss of our own year, was reproduced by him at the end iroops in these campaigns ? They could of the discussion.”
only excite indignation against the cold He wished it to be distinctly understood, recital of these acts, and the omission of that he did not blame Mr. Frere for mak- the interference of the British minister, ing these communications; it was of course and of any orders to him to that eflect. his duty to collect all the information he | They were spoken of like the ordinary could. He could not commend the flip. occurrences of war. He never saw a col. pancy of Mr. Frere's remarks upon the lection of papers more unfit to publish in conduct of the Spanish generals, and of any shape. In the last session he saw the Junta, but he was far from blaming suppressions and selections, it was true; his desire to collect and to communicate but not to protect individuals in foreign information: the blame rested altogetherlands, but to screen ministers themselves with the ministers for publishing that in- from the just and merited indignation of formation in the shape, in which it was parliament; but when they entertained now before the House.. Above all, the the vain and shallow hope that by a stigma most serious charge against the King's mi. on Spain they might justify their own conpisters, was in publishing circumstances duct, no paper was withheld, even at the risk of incalculable private calamity, and peninsula, had not been followed by bene. the ruin of the national character. Were ficial consequences, equal to their splenthere any mode of getting back these dor, and to the fair expectations which papers, their lordships he was convinced they had raised both in this country and would gladly adopt it; but none such oc- in Spain. This could not be effected curred. Another bundle was ordered ; without tracing these failures to their the constitution and the uniform practice proper cause; and without pointing out of the government required of ministers the real sources of the calamities which to select and prepare it; but after what have been accumulated on the peninsula. had passed, the House would make them. The real causes of the failures in Spain selves parties to the act, if they did not were not fully understood in this country, put themselves in ministers places, and It was essential, therefore, to state and asprevent similar errors. He then moved certain all the facts and circumstances to for the appointment of a Secret Commit- | which those failures were justly to be im. tee, to whom the papers concerning Spain puted. It must be the wish of their lord. and Portugal not yet delivered should be ships and of the nation at large, as it cerreferred, to select and prepare them for tainly was his earnest wish and the wish the House:
of all his colleagues, to disclose all these Marquis Wellesley professed his readi- crcumstances with the least possible reness to admit the general principle laid serve. This, however, could not be effec. down by the noble lord, respecting the tually done without producing the papers selection of diplomatic documents for pub- as they appear on their lordships' table lication. He was ready to admit, that in from which it must be seen that the disanswering the demand of either House of sensions, the intrigues and the corruptions Parliament for the production of such do- of the Spanish officers, and that the weakcuments, a sacred duty was imposed on ness and incapacity of the Spanish gothe executive power to take care that vernment have been the real sources and such publications should not violate the springs, as well as the proximate causes of good faith subsisting between govern- all the misfortunes which have recently ments, or expose the personal safety of amicted the Spanish nation. individuals. Admitting the sacred obli- . The noble Lord is of opinion, however, gation of that duty, it was also requisite to that the publication of these documents attend to the nature and extent of the de- / must prove highly injurious to the characmand of parliament, and to the peculiar ter of the Spanish government; but the circumstances of the case, which, in the noble lord appears to have forgotten that present instance must be acknowledged the Spanish government, to whose conduct to involve matter of great delicacy and the papers refer, is actually extinct. The difficulty. This was a case in which par- Central Junta is dissolved in its own weak. liament and the nation were intitled to ness, and a different form of government know the truth, and it was difficult, if not has succeeded. He and his colleagues impracticable, to satisfy that great public were desirous to demonstrate the nature, and natural right, consistently with the l the progress and the result of these events; overstrained restrictions which the noble but they could not discharge their duty, lord would attempt to impose on the pre- if they were to be precluded from reveal. paration of the official documents required ing the real state of a government which for the information of their lordships. no longer exists; and which has fallen Their lordships would at the same time amidst the confusion occasioned by its recollect how general and anxious a wish own defects. had been expressed throughout these The noble lord next complains of the kingdoms, that every aid should be publication of Mr. Frere's letter in which afforded to Spain which might enable that gentleman states his opinion of the her to assert her national independence, character and conduct of general Cuesta. and to restore her legitimate monarchy on Now he would challenge the noble lord the basis of the happiness, the prosperity to rise in his place, and to mark a single and the freedom of the people.-It was point in that letter respecting general necessary, therefore, to shew how the ef- | Cuesta which was not of general notoriety forts of this country in the cause of Spain throughout all Spain, which was not in had been disappointed. Above all it was conformity with the opinion of every offinecessary to shew why the glorious cer and soldier in the Spanish army; and achievements of the British arms in the of every man who really felt and avowed an attachment to the Spanish cause. So I of the armies of a country whose existence thoroughly and universally was the con- he had saved. Thus far their lordships viction of general Cuesta's incapacity felt, would see how groundless were the apprethat Mr. Frere, as appears by these hensions, how superfluous the invectives papers, had actually demanded his dismis- of which the noble baron was so prodigal sion from the command of the army, a cir- | in censuring the pretended indiscretion of eumstance which the noble lord has omit- | his Majesty's ministers. But the further ted to notice. He (the marquis Wellesley) | instances adduced by the noble lord in on his arrival at Seville did not think it justification of these invectives, would af-' necessary to insist on that demand, being ford a still stronger proof of the injussatisfied that general Cuesta could not re- tice of these charges, and of the ignorance main in the command ; and that the in- which dictated them. The noble lord, as fluence of general opinion respecting his an additional proof of the thoughtless and incapacity, the infirm state of his body, unfeeling indiscretion of ministers, has and the decrepitude of his mind, must stated the case of three persons, who, it speedily occasion his removal without any seems, will be exposed to the most emiinterposition of the British power. The nent danger, and to the most rancorous Doble lord seemed to suppose, (a supposi resentment of the enemy, by the publication however in which he was mistaken) cation of certain facts of the correspon. that general Cuesta still held a command dence before their lordships. The noble at Cadiz. General Cuesta has had no lord has abstained from naming them ; Command in Spain since his removal, but he could assure the noble lord, that no which, to the general satisfaction of the necessity existed for such affected caution. Spanish army and people, took place in | Their names were well known both in the beginning of August.
Spain and France; both to the Spanish The next charge made by the noble and the French governments. Indeed, he lord against his Majesty's government might add, that the publication of their (a most serious charge if founded in fact) names, when accompanied by the menwas a violation of honour in publishing a tion of their hardy deeds, was one of the private letter of the duke of Albuquerque. / proudest distinctions to which the Spanish Now he would assert in front of that noble patriots aspired. This was the case of the lord, that there was not a sentiment con several leaders of partizan corps, whose tained in that letter, which was not of per names had already been published in the fect notoriety throughout Spain; that there Spanish gazettes for the purpose of honour was not a sentiment in it which that ils and fame, as the noble lord would have lustrious person had not himself publicly knownif he had been at all acquainted with and loudly proclaimed ! So far from com. the real state of Spain. Another case was plaining of the publication of that letter, that of M. Barrios-M. Barrios is rethe duke of Albuquerque would heartily presented as having in retaliation of some rejoice at it; and confident he was, that cruel and unworthy treatment inflicted on he should receive the cordial thanks of the Spanish prisoners by a French general, that spirited officer, of whose personal caused 700 French prisoners to be driven friendship he boasted, for having thus into the Minho. No man viewed such a publicly recorded his real opinions, and deed with more horror, or more lamented his just pretensions to which on every oc- such outrages against the laws of civilized casion he was proud to bear testimony. war than he did; but is this fact now first But the talents and merits of that gallant revealed by the papers on the table? and illustrious commander, stood in need And what must their lordships think of of no testimony from him. Let the safety the correctness of the information upon of Cadiz, let his rapid march for the de- / which the noble baron rests his charges fence of that last hold of Spanish inde- against ministers, when they come to hear pendence, attest his zeal, bis patriotism, the true statement of that fact? Was not his skill, bis fortitude and his glory. If the perpetration of that deed notorious Cadiz yet be safe, its safety is due to the throughout Spain, notorious to the French prompt decision of that gallant and non government ? Did not Barrios himself ble mind, whose conduct formed a splen- | not only loudly proclaim, but proudly did contrast with that of many others; boast of it at Seville? Was it not pubwho might, therefore, justly condemn ex- / lished in all the Spanish and French gaamples which he disdained to imitate, and zettes, has not Barrios even been pub. avow his claims to the superior command licly proscribed by name by the French government? Where then is the secret | nisters; and that they would reject a which the publication of these papers has motion which would deprive them of that disclosed The transaction, however full information respecting the affairs of dreadful, was public. M. Barrios had Spain, which alone could guide their fufirst made a solemn remonstrance against ture determination, with regard to the illMarshal Ney's proceedings towards the terests of that country. The papers al. Spanish prisoners, and failing in that ready on the table, and those yet to be remonstrance, retaliation had been or- produced, would amply supply that indered.
formation, and would disclose the truth in The noble lord. then pathetically de. | full and open day. Their lordships would plores the dangers to which the governor there see that the weakness, the dissenof Avila has been exposed, by the publi- tions, and the corruptions of the Spanish offi. cation of these documents. These papers cers and government, were the real sources would convict him of having betrayed to and springs of all the disasters and calathe Spanish general Cuesta, letters and mities which have befallen the Spanish dispatches from Joseph Buonaparté and nation. That knowledge would furnish general Jourdan, and thereby expose him the grounds of a better system of policy to the most cruel resentment of the ene- for Spain, and perhaps for England, the my. But what is the fact? Avila was in ally of Spain. That was a question, the hands of the French; and the gover- however, which he should have another nor of Avila was in the French interest. occasion more fully to discuss. At preIt was not he who betrayed the letters sent he should implore their lordships not into the hands of general Cuesta ; but to accede to the motion intercepting the
whom they had been confidentially en-plored them not to obscure by their own trusted: What danger then can the go. act the lights necessary for the full and vernor of Avila incur from the production clear knowledge of those great and inteof those papers? The governor of Avila resting questions. A most material part was still attached to the cause of the in- of the correspondence consisted of his vader; and even while he (lord Wellesley) own dispatches during his late embassy to was in Spain, the whole of those dispatches Spain. These were essential to illustrate which had been delivered to general Cu. the events which had preceded his arrival esta, with all the circumstances of the in that country, as well as the probable case, were published at Seville. None of course of her future fate. He therefore the persons, therefore, for whose safety implored their lordships, that they would the humanity of the noble lord is so alarm. not permit any part of his own dispatches ed, have been exposed to any danger by to be suppressed; that they would not the publication of the papers on the table. permit the noble lord to rob him of the He moreover believed that they were now advantage of a public manifestation of out of the reach of the enemy's power ; the conduct which he had pursued during what then is the cause which has thus dis- his mission, and that at least the record of turbed the noble lord's temper, and per his transactions in Spain might be preverted his judgment? The noble lord can- served to their lordships and the public, not have read the papers, or he does not pure and entire. understand them. With what confidence Earl Grey, notwithstanding the loud and then does he come here to charge others triumphant tone of the noble marquis, with neglect, when he himself is so grossly rose to support the opinions of his noble misinformed; and yet presumes to pass so friend, on the impropriety and unfeeling severe a sentence. The noble lord has want of humanity in the disclosures conbetrayed the utmost ignorance with re tained in the papers; though he did not spect to every point upon which he has dispute the propriety of giving information touched; and he (lord Wellesley) was in every view for their lordships satisjustified in again asserting that the noble faction, without compromising the safety lord stood convicted either of not having of individuals. If it were necessary, in read the papers on the table, or if he had justice to individuals and the country, that read them, of not understanding them. they should be informed of the character He trusted, therefore, that their lordships' of the generals and commanders of the House would spurn those imputations of army, ministers might have given that indiscretion and neglect, with which the information without endangering the noble lord has charged his Majestyis mi- safety of persons. But the passages in