Imágenes de página

offered to their mission, and of the neces-lor offered. Here, in my opinion, a golden sity there was for full and immediate apo-opportunity was lost, not indeed of making logy and redress. But, sir, the 11th of peace; I cannot tell whether peace would August produced another bote, signed by have been the issue, nor am I called upon MM. Clarke and Champagny, far different for an opinion upon that point; but of in its language and tevour from the intem ascertaining whether peace could be made. perate paper which had been before delic But, sir, as this opportunity, amongst vered, and which seems to me to have been others, was missed, it is impossible for me calculated to remove all the difficulties to say, that the continuation of hostilities created by the unfortunate adoption of the is entirely owing to the injustice and amtwo baneful words which destroyed the bition of Frauce ; and that “ with her alpower of treating.-Sir, I beg the favour together rests the awful responsibility." of niy noble friend, and of the house, to (Vide Declaration, p. 212.] It was por peruse with attention the following para- possible, certainly, for the English plenigraph, contained in this note, signed potentiaries to return an answer to this by MM. Champagny and Clarke. “ In note without an explanation on the subject

laying down the principle of uti possi- of the passports which had been so unwardetis, have the English plenipotentiaries rantably withheld. They consulted their " had it in view to propose a means of ex- dignity; a previous explanation was de

change and of compensation? If this is manded; an apology was made ; and an “ the meaning, the emperor adopts it, be answer was returned. It was in adverting

cause it appears to himn conformable to to this part of the papers, I believe, that “ the two principles already agreed upon my noble friend indulged in some sarcastic

by both parties.” And having considered reinarks on the French ministers, which I the import of this declaration, I request think, as well upon general principles, as them to compare it with the paragraph con- upon their application to this particular tained in the first note signed by lord Lau- case, might better have been avoided. He derdale, part of which I have before quoted, taunts these gentlemen with the possible He cannot consent to treat upon any difficulties of their situation, in having a

other principle but that of the uti possi- double negociation to conduct; the one at detis, as originally proposed to his suve- Paris, and the other at St. Cloud. To * reign by the court of France; at the allow for mankind in situations of difficulty

same tine he desires it should be well is one of the first priuciples of wisdom and “ understood, that the adoption of this of charity; and the more arduous the silu

principle will not prevent him either ation, the greater the allowances must be. " from listening to any just and adequate Taking it for granted then, that the persons " indemuification to his Sicilian majesty employed by the chief of the French go" for the cession of Sicily, or from accept- vernment were desirous of peace, which .-. ing any proposition for the exchange of from the evidence of the papers in my

territory between the two contracting hands 1 sincerely believe ; if they had to **

parties, upon just and equal principles, allay some irritation, to conquer some presuch as may tend to the reciprocal ad- judice, and to controul some violence,

vantage of the two countries.” (p. 148.) surely it would be more fair to applaud enHaving compared these declarations, 1 deavours than to make them matter of rewould put it to iny noble friend, to the proach to those who were engaged in the house, and to the world, whether there is lask. Supposing my noble friend to be any substantial, nay, whether there is any connected in administration with persons formal ditlerence between them? Why who had not all the same hearty disposithen did not the negociation proceed ? the tions to peace as himself, his difficulties in obstacle was removed; why was it revived ? negociation would certainly be increased ; the simple answer, yes, on the part of Eng- but the minister opposed to him would be land; which was the true, the obvious, the a very unskilful negociator who did not politic, the only answer to be given to the discover and allow for such disadvantages ; question of France, would have broken and, if he bimself were truly desirous of this unhappy barrier to treating between peace, did not dissemble his knowledge of the two countries, and would have allowed them, and by every means in bis power of an immediate investigation, whether lend his assistance to their being overcome. such terrs as are described in the note of I am not afraid to say that such allowances lord Lauderdule could be actually accepted ought to be inade for the minister and the plenipotentiaries of France. After the ex- that in obtaining Malta, the Cape, and Ha- . planation, however, with regard to the nover, England would make a glorious passports, had been given, a note was deli- peace. Still the unfortunate basis stopped vered by the English mission, which at the every avenue to discussion, and is again moment when one word would have settled insisted upon in a paper delivered by lord the whole of this preliminary difference be Lauderdale on the 29th (p. 175). On tween the two countries, puts them at a that day the conferences were renewed, greater than ever. It is said, " That the and although, according to the account “ undersigned have only tó regret that given by lord Lauderdale himself, the tone " they cannot, consistently with the in- of France was wonderfully lowered, and "structions of their government, do other she appeared willing to make large con“ wise than insist upon the previous re- cessions; his lordship's mouth was shut,

cognition of this principle.” (p. 162.)--and all debate upon the substance of the Why, sir, had not the principle been reco- thing was precluded, by the old and worthgnized or adopted (for my noble friend has less demand of the previous recognition.given us to understand that the latter word Sir, I deeply lament the fatality which atwas substituted for the former by the hand tended the introduction of this indispenof the French emperor bimself,) in the very sable condition. I lament the false sense note to which this was an answer! Sir, 1 of punctilious honour, which did not use cannot, I confess, comprehend the refined the means of relieving the difficulty which punctilio which still adhered so tenaciously occurred on the 11th of August. llament to the emply form, when the invaluable its anxious influence at ibis moment, wbich substance was allowed to perish. Soon prevented the two countries from ascer. after this, lord Yarmouth was recalled from taining whether their long and bloody dif. Paris. A long interval took place from the ferences could be reconciled or not. I delivery of the last note on the part of lament that lord Lauderdale, at the conEngland, which, I cannot omit repeating, clusion of a conference, which, accordwas conceived in error: and during that ing to his own account, was of a nature interval, it for the first time appears that a more pacific than any which had previoussuspicion was entertained by the English ly taken place, should have felt himself ministers, that Russia would not ratify the under the necessity of drily asserting, that treaty of M. D’Oubril. The instructions he must terminate his mission (p. 177); given in the letter signed by Mr. Fox, sup- and I should indeed have been astonishposing that event should happen, are con- ed if he could have withstood the warm sistent with all the principles of policy and remonstrance of M. Champagny, and have good faith ; and it is liere not an improper absolutely refused all further intercourse. place to observe, that the strict adherence On the day proposed for further conto the terms of our treaty with Russia, versation, M. Talleyrand announced to bowever I may disapprove of the treaty lord Lauderdale, in a manner acknowitself, is bigbly deserving warm and uni- ledged to have been frank and candid, versal commendation. At length, sir, a that news had arrived of the refusal, conference [No. 43, p. 172) was desired on the part of Russia, to ratify M. D'Ouby the French plenipotentiaries on the suo- bril's treaty [No. 46, page 180]; and ject of the English note of the 11th of the orders of the emperor to inform his August, which took place on the 27th of lordship that this event would dispose the same month, and was totally ineffectual. France to make peace upon terms- more A second conference was pressed for by advantageous to England than she would MM. Clarke and Champagny, and agreed otherwise have offered. Whatever any hon. to by lord Lauderdale, who in the interval gent. may see of trick, contrivance, finesse, between the two conferences held a long or chicane in the conduct of France in conversation with M. Talleyrand ; in which every other part of this history, I think no some strong expressions were used by the one will be so unfair as to deny, that in French minister relative to the determi- this particular point before us at least, the dation formed by the emperor, not to cede conduct was natural and ingenuous. At any part of the French dominions, and a the same moment, sir, it appears that the surprise, not altogether unwarrantable, 1 intelligence of this event reached England ; thiok, was expressed by M. Talleyrand, and a dispatch with instructions was for(p. 173) that no impression was made upon warded to the English plenipotentiary at lord Lauderdale, and that he did not leel Paris, signed by earl Spencer-Lord Lauderdale very properly deferred any renewal have been effected in the very outset ; and of the conferences till he should have re- accordingly by lord Lauderdale's answer, ceived such instructions as the English cabi- which is dated on the 18th of Sept. (No. ner might ibiuk proper to send in conse- 49. p. 184). we find that he had at length quence of the event which had been then come to the discussion of terms. A conso recently made known. These instruc-ference with M. Talleyrand' is obere detions were communicated in a dispatch tailed, in which it appears not only that signed by Mr. Secretary Windhani, dated" if the' difficulties in respect of form could Sept. 10, of which we have an extract. “ be got over, that he did not think any (No. 48, p. 181.1-Sir, I must beg to call “ material objections to terms would octhe attention of the house most particularly “ cur, but that the interests of Russia to this paper, because it completely bears" might be treated for by lord Lauderdale out many of the arguments with which 1" himself,” waving all formalities on the have troubled you in the earlier part of my subject; and thereby removing the only speech. But I cannot help observing upon difficulty which had occurred to Mr. Fox the remark made in the first part of this in his early correspondence with M. Talextract on the communication made by leyrand against an imniediate and avowed M. Talleyrand to lord Lauderdale. Sir, negociation.-Sir, the difficulty of the bait was the avowed policy of France to de- sis of actual possession was reinoved: tach you from Russia, if she could :-o but the French minister was given to unadhere to Russia was not only your avowed derstand tbat there would be a rigid adhes policy, but your bounden duty; and what-rence to the terms which had been comever might be her wish, France could now municated to him both for England and less than ever entertain the hope that she Russia. Sir, on that I shall, for the preshould be able to effect the separation. sent, make no observations ; but I must

The uti possidetis is mentioned in this dis remark that the note presented by Jord patch as the basis on which bis majesty Lauderdale to M. Talleyrand, dated Sept. had originally intended to treat ; and as 13th, (p. 186) preparatory to this conferthe basis to which he still adheres : but ence, fully bears out the argument I have the tone in which it is mentioned, is very founded on the dispatch of Mr. Windham, different from that in which it had ever and lord Lauderdale's answer to that disbeen talked of since lord Lauderdale's first patch. Would to God, sir, that at the arrival at Paris. Its previous recognition is first arrival of the English plenipotenno longer made an iudispensable preli- tiary at Paris, he had been instructed minary to negociation; and indeed how to hold such a conference as the one just should it, when in the same dispatch we observed upon! Then there was time to are informed that in the outset of the ne- have discussed, considered, referred, congociation every effort had been made by ciliated, and agreed. Events were now England to obtain the restitution of Na- pressing forward which cut off the posples to the king of the two Sicilies ? Fur. sibility of further communication, which ther, it is recognized that in the original extinguished all hope of softening acrinoinstructions to lord Yarmouth, Sicily was nious feelings, of reconciling opposite and a sine quâ non condition ; and, sir, I again jarring interests; and finally restoring tranrepeat and maintain, that it was the only quillity to the world. And why not then sine quâ von insisted upon, or even men- as well as now? if the previous recognition tioned by Mr. Fox in his dispatch of the of an abstract principle was necessary then, 26th of June; the last he ever wrote. This why was it abandoned now and if abanalteration indeed now appears to have ta- doned now, why had any stress been laid ken place; that whereas at the solicita- upon it at all? In a former part of my speech, tion of the Russian minister, compensa. I looked forward to the period at which I tion for Sicily bad been admitted as pos- am now arrived ; and was I not justified in sible; the views of Russia had been ascer- saying that the unfortunate introduction of tained on that point, and Sicily itself was that technical term of diplomacy was the agaiu become not only essential, but in- bane of the negociation ?-Sir, we are afdisensolle to any arrangements for peace, terwards informed that M. Talleyrand, in with both the allied powers.—Sir, I con- another conference to which he was adtend that a new turn was now given to the mitted by lord Lauderdale, and in which negociation, and that this dispatch was he evinced much personal civility, and discalculated io eteet that which ought to position to please, presented a note, which

from the manner of his presenting it, [No. (the demands of Russia. In the subsequent 50, p. 189) does not appear to have been conference which took place on the 26th altogether such as he could have wished to of Sept., [No. 52, p. 197.) the demand on have had committed to him, and which the part of Russia was again insisted upon, certainly did contain, according to his own and the French plenipotentiary said he had phrase, both evil and good. In that note no authority to make any offer for Russia, there is much unnecessary and irrelevant further than the full sovereignty of Corfu. matter; much that marks prejudice and This was positively rejected, and the negcirritation ; much that is objectionable ;) ciation declared to be at an end. Note but there are many points stated, of which withstanding M. Champagny again pressed it would have been well if the allies could for another conference, and held out the have taken advantage. Sir, it is stated prospect of receiving fresh instructions. that the emperor adheres to the follow- Another conference was actually agreed to " ing proposal. That the negociations by lord Lauderdale, hut whether it took " between France and England shall con- place is not, I think, quite clear : and if it “tinue, and the minister of his Britannic did, we are not informed of the particulars.

majesty shall be at liberty to introduce Neither indeed is it material, for the empe" into the treaty either as a secret article, ror had quitted Paris, to put himself at the " or in any other form which would an- head of his army, and I perfectly agree

swer the same end, whatever he may with my noble friend, that when that " couceive would tend to reconcile the dif- event had once taken place, every hope of “ ferences between the two countries.” success in negociation was at an end, at " That the emperor will not hesitate to though perhaps the mission need not have “ make some sacrifices, in order to acce- been declared terminated, till the ultima “ lerate peace, and render it durable.”. tuin of the emperor had been received " That France does not pretend to dic- This was the position taken by my noble " tate either to England or Russia, any friend: not that wbich has been ascribed

more than she will be dictated to by ei- to him by the hon. gent. that all hope of “ther of those powers.”

“ Let the con- peace was over, when the Confederation “ ditions be equal, just, and moderate; of the Rbine had been framed and published;

and peace is concluded.” -Sir, it would for it is sufficiently obvious, that however be injustice not to allow that the answer the allies may have disliked that act, whatreturned by lord Lauderdale (p. 192) to ever character may be ascribed to it, the this note was dignified and moderate ; but, correspondence and negociation was never sir, matters with Prussia were unhappily for a moment stopped on that account. drawing to a crisis. The time in which Thus, sir, I have taken a review of most of temperate and repeated discussion might the papers submitted to our consideration have relieved all difficulties, was irrevoca- by order of his majesty, longer and more bly gone: and lord Lauderdale was infor- tedious than I could have wished, but med of general Clarke's departure from Pa- which has appeared to me necessary in order ris, to accompany the emperor. A con- to justify to myself, to my friends, and to ference, however, soon took place with the the country, the conclusions to which I remaining minister, M. Champagny, (No. have come, and the part I feel compelled 51, p. 193.) when at length the terms on to take. Sir, it remains for me to take which France would consent to make some votice of the terms which were of. peace, were opened by that gentleman. tered at last by France to this country and These were, the cession of Hanover and its to her ally ; and the propriety of our redependencies to Great Britain : To confirm jecting or accepting those terms for ourthe possession of Malta : The absolute selves, and insisting upon all that Russia possession of the Cape : The confirmation thought proper to claim for herself. Haof Pondicherry, Chandernagore, Mahee, nover, that jewel of the crown, as it has &c. in the East Indies. Also Tobago : been represented, without which its lustre The Balearick islands, as an indemnity for would be incomplete, was ours. The hcSicily; and an annuity to the king of the nour of the country therein was secured. two Sicilies from the crown of Spain. The Malta was ours. This surely was an imanswer given by lord Lauderdale was, that portant point. What, sir, was the original po proposition respecting an exchange for object of the war in which we have been Sicily could be attended to, and that he engaged since 1803 ? Malta. If Malta was bound to insist pereraptorily upon all could have been obtained, war would have been avoided. At least we had the posi- | king of Naples must have been consulted tive assurance of that fact, in the papers upon the subject, is beyond dispute. We which were then laid upon the table of this are bound by no treaty to that unfortunate house. True it is that the first step taken monarch, but having been the cause of his by the persons who then directed the coun-breaking the treaty he had made with sels of his majesty towards the rupture of France in the autumn of 1805, having the treaty of Amiens was king's mes. taken him under our protection, having sage of March, 1803, relative to the move-occupied his dominions for his defence, no ments in the ports of the enemy. But the consideration upon earth could, I am sure, communication contained in the message have induced the king's present ministers did not, at the time, nor has it ever since to have coerced, far less to have abandonappeared to me to be justified by any thing ed that monarch in the manner in which wbich could be shewn to have taken place. other princes to whom we were bound by Indeed, I should grieve for the character the most solemn treaties, have been abanof England if the imputation cast upon her doned in the course of the sanguinary wars by the hon. gent. to whose speech I have which have been waged with little intermis--frequently alluded, could have credit with sion for the last 13 years. I confess I can

the world. He has told you, that England, not lay great stress upon that part of the bound by the solemn obligation of a treaty argument of my noble friend which presses which she had concluded but a few months the necessity of retaining Sicily for the before ; pretending an earnest desire for purpose of supplying Malta. The confined the continuation of peace, saw a moment territory of Malta, sir, I should conceive, in which she thought the powers of the might without any difficulty be furnished continent might be excited against France, with provisions of all kinds from the surand that she sought a pretext for war, in rounding Mediterranean states; and with order that she might persuade, by her ex- the present increased population of Sicily ample, those powers to join again for that diminishing so materially, if not destroying chimerical object, which bad been twice ber power of 'exportation, we might be inattempted and twice defeated. Sir, it duced to ask, How is Malta supplied now? cannot be so. It is impossible to believe -Dalmatia has also been a little touched it. The Cape of Good Hope, the cession upon by my noble friend, as an English obof which by England at the treaty of Ainiens ject, in consequence of the facility it would had been so much censured, was ours. give to France to foment disturbances in Every point of consequence in the East was the Turkish dominions, the possession of vielded; and Tobago, perhaps of little im- which by France would facilitate her views portance in itself, but wbich having been upon our eastern territories. Sir, I confess originally an English colony was, on that that I cannot quite keep pace with my account, an acquisition honourable to this noble friend. For however right and procountry, was also to be given up. What per it may be in all cases to guard against was there remaining for England, as Eng. contingencies, I do think there are some so land, to ask? for I shall presently come to remote, as not quite to deserve the attenthe stipulations for Russia. Surely for tion sometimes bestowed upon them. Bewealth, power, or the occupation of our sides, sir, however we may talk of the prenaval force for their desence, we wanted no servation of the independence and intefurther accession of colonial possession. yrity of the Ottoman empire, ano bject freSicily, sir, has been represented as an ob- quently insisted upon as dear to France and ject important to British as well as to Rus- England in the course of these papers, we sian interests; aod my noble friend has la- all know that the councils of the Porte are, boured the question vot a little upon that at all times, either Russian or French. We ground. Sir, I do not profess, upon the conceive it to be our interest to support present occasion, either to coucede or to the preponderance of Russia at the Porte; contest this point: but I may be allowed to but we know that i he policy of Russia long -say, that an indemnity for Sicily had been since conceived, is not abandoned ; that .admitted by the king's servants as possible, ter desire for the possession of the Turkish and if that time had been given for the provinces is not abated; that she will acconsideration of the question which was quire that possession whenever the opporwasted in useless discussions, such an in- tunity shall offer; and that whenever the demnity night, I think, possibly have been acquisition of those provinces shall be made found. That the real inclinatious of the by any state really powerful, if the way to

« AnteriorContinuar »