Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

upwards of 600,000/.; and this year we might calculate on a revenue of 1,500,000l. on tea. Mr. Dundas then read a ftring of refolutions, founded on the feveral statements, which were agreed to,

The house being in a committee, Mr. Dundas, on the 23d of July, opened his fecond India budget. Inftead of entering into a detail of the accounts prefented from the Eaft-India company, he expreffed his fentiments in the fhape of refolutions. He noticed the heavy and expensive war in India, which had

GENERAL REVIEW.

Refult of the Estimates 1799-1800 collectively.

Revenues. Bengal
Madras
Bombay

Charges. Bengal
Madras
Bombay

caufed an addition to their debt, both at home and abroad; but had the fatisfaction to fay, that their fituation was now better by 969,000l. than had been predicted by the eftimate of the laft budget; and, as peace was restored in that quarter, he had no doubt but India would experience a long and increafing profperity. He then went into the accounts of the three fettlements of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay; but as he touched but flightly on the details, we fhall offer only the fol lowing

Total revenues

Deducted from interest on debts

£.6,196,733
2,507,594
368,366

Total charges

Net eftimated revenues of the three presidencies
Deduc fupplies to Bencoolen, &c.

Remainder

4,157,558

2,739,230
1,450,476

Net deficiency from the territorial revenues
Deducted from estimated amount sales of imports

D 4

£•9,072,693

GENERAL RESULT.

The balance was expected to be against the company at the
clofe of the year 1799-1800, to the amount of
Whereas, notwithstanding the deficient receipt for the fale
of the goods, and notwithstanding the aid afforded to India
and China exceeded the estimate, by a fmall iffue of bonds,
by a lefs payment on customs and freight, and by the pro-
traction of the intended payments to the bank, the actual
balance proved to be in favour

Being better than estimated

8,347,264

725,434

100,920

The remainder

333,554

is the amount estimated to be applicable in the year 1799-1800 to the purchase of investments, payment of commercial charges, &c.

624,514

915,687

291,173 624,727

565,988

493,322

969,310 Mr.

Mr. Dundas then entered into a general flatement of the company's af fairs, in order to fhow that they were bettered in the thirteen years, from 1786 to 1799, in the amount of

THE

HE clofe of the year 1799 was diftinguished by a remarkable revolution in the government of France, the particulars of which were detailed in our laft volume. One of the first measures of the new government was to folicit reconciliation and peace with Great Britain. With that view a letter was fent over by a special meffenger from the chief conful, immediately addreffed to the king of Great Britain, of which the following is the official tranflation.

"Buonaparte, Firft Conful of "the Republic, to the King "of Great Britain and Ire"land.

"Called by the wishes of the "French nation to occupy the first "magiftracy of the republic, I think "it proper on entering into office "to make a direct communication "of it to your majefty.

"The war which for eight years "has ravaged the four quarters of "the world, muft it be eternal? Are "there no means of coming to an "understanding? How can the two "moft enlightened nations of Eu"rope, powerful and ftrong beyond

what their fafety and independ"ence require, facrifice to ideas of "vain grandeur, commerce, profperity, and peace? How is it that

66

[merged small][ocr errors]

CHAP.

III.

Overture from the Chief Conful of the French Republic. Meffage from his Majefty to the Parliament on that Subject. it-In the House of Lords-In the House of Commons.

"they do not feel that is of peace "the first importance, as well as the "higheft glory?

"Thefe fentiments cannot be "foreign to the heart of your ma"jefty, who reigns over a free na❝tion with the fole view of render"ing it happy. Your majefty will "fee in this overture my fincere "wifh to contribute efficaciously,

for the fecond time, to a general "pacification, by a step speedy, en

[ocr errors]

Its Reception. Debates on

tirely of confidence, and difen"gaged from thofe forms which, "perhaps neceffary to difguife the "dependence of weak ftates, prove, "in those that are ftrong, only the "defire of deceiving each other. -"France and England, by the "abuse of their ftrength, may ftill "for a long time, for the misfor"tune of all nations, retard the "period of their being exhaufted; "but I will venture to fay it, the "fate of all civilifed nations is at"tached to the termination of a war which involves the whole "world.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

rather perhaps more haughty than
prudent; it was conceived in the
following terms.

"Sir,

"I have laid before the king the "letters which you have trans. "mitted to me, and his majefty, "feeing no reason to depart from "thofe forms which have long been "eftablished in Europe for trans"acting bufinefs with foreign ftates, "has commanded me to return in "his name the official answer which "I fend.

[ocr errors]

"I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) "GRENVILLE."
Official Note.

66

"The king has given frequent 66 proofs of his fincere defire for "re-establishing tranquillity in Europe. He neither is nor has been "engaged in any conteft for vain "glory. He has had no other view "than that of maintaining against "all aggreffion the rights and hap"pinefs of his fubjects. For these "he has contended against an un"provoked attack, and for the "fame objects is ftill obliged to "contend. Nor can he hope that "the neceffity could be removed "by entering at the prefent mo"ment into negotiation with those "whom a fresh revolution has fo "recently placed in the exercife of "power in France; fince no real advantage can arife from fuch negotiation to the defirable ob"ject of general peace, till thofe "caufes have ceafed to operate "which originally produced the war, by which it has been fince "protracted, and in more than one inftance renewed. The fame fyf"tem to which France justly a"fcribes all her prefent miferies "has alfo involved Europe in a "destructive warfare, of a nature "long unknown to the practice of "civilifed nations. For the exten

B

66

[ocr errors]

"fion of this fyftem, and the exter"mination of all established go"vernments, the re fources of France "have been lavished and exhausted. "To this indifcriminate fpirit of "deftruction, the Netherlands, the "United Provinces, and the Swifs "Cantons, have fucceffively been "facrificed. Germany has been "ravaged-Italy has been the fcene "of unbounded rapine and anar"chy. His majefty himself has "been compelled to maintain an "arduous conteft for the inde"pendence and existence of his "kingdom.

"Nor have thefe calamities been "confined to Europe alone: they "have been extended to the most "diftant quarters of the world, and "even to countries fo remote, both "in fituation and intereft, from the "prefent conteft, that the very ex"iftence of fuch a war was proba"bly unknown to those who fud "denly found themselves involved "in its horrors.

"Whilft such a system therefore "prevails, and whilst the blood and "treasures of a powerful nation "can be lavished in its fupport,

66

experience has shown that no "defence but that of open and

fteady hoftility can be availing. "The moft folemn treaties have "only prepared the way to fresh "aggreffion, and it is to determined "refiftance alone that whatever "remains in Europe of ftability, "for property, for perfonal fafety, "for focial order, or the exercife "of religion, can be preferved. "For the fecurity, therefore, of thefe "effential objects, his majefty can. "not place reliance on the mere "renewal of general profeflions "for pacific difpofitions. Such "profeffions have been repeatedly "held out by all who have fuc"ceffively directed the refources of "France,

[ocr errors]

"France, to the deftruction of

"Whenever he shall judge it can be

"Europe, and whom the prefent in any manner attained, he will "rulers have declared all to have "eagerly embrace the opportunity "been incapable of maintaining "to concert with his allies the "the relations of amity. Greatly means of an immediate and ge"will his majetty rejoice whenever "neral peace. "it fhall appear that the danger to "which his own dominions and "thofe of his allies have been fo "long expofed, has really ceafed; "whenever he fhall be fatisfied that "the neceflity of refiftance fhall be "at an end; that, after fo many years of crimes and miferies, bet"ter principles have prevailed, and "the gigantic projects of ambition, "endangering the very existence "of civil fociety, have at length "been relinquithed. But the con“viction of such a change can re"fult only from the evidence of "facts.

66

"The best pledge of its reality "and permanence would be the "restoration of that line of princes "which, for fo many centuries, "maintained the French nation in "profperity at home and confide"ration abroad. Such an event "would at once remove all ob"ftacles in the way of negotiation "or peace. It would confirm to "France the unmolefted enjoyment "of its ancient territory, and give "to all other nations that tran"quillity, that fecurity, which they "are now compelled to feek by

"other means.

"But it is not to this mode that his majefty limits the poffibility "of folid pacification. He makes "no claim to prefcribe to France "what shall be the form of her go❝vernment, or in whofe hands the "fhall veft the authority neceffary "for conducting the affairs of a "great and powerful nation.

His majefty only looks to the "fecurity of his own dominions, of his allies, and of Europe.

[ocr errors]

"Unhappily at prefent no fuch "fecurity exifts; no fufficient evi"dence of the principles by which "the new government will be di"rected; no reasonable grounds of "its ftability appear. In this fitu"ation, therefore, it remains for "his majefty to purfue, in conjunc"tion with other powers, those "exertions of a just and defensive

[ocr errors]

war, which a regard to the hap"pinefs of his fubjects will never "permit him to continue beyond "the neceffity in which they origi

66

nated, or to terminate on any "other foundation than fuch as

would contribute to the fecure "enjoyment of their tranquillity, "their conftitution, and their inde"pendence.

(Signed) "GRenville." The letter of Bonaparte and lord Grenville's answer were both communicated to the parliament by a meffage from his majesty; and on the 22d of January lord Grenville moved the reading of his majefty's meffage in the house of lords, which was to the following effect: "That copies of communications recently received from the enemy, and the answers which had been returned to them, fhould be laid before the house. That his majefty entertained the fulleft confidence, that these answers would appear conformable to the most important interefts of his dominions; and that, having no object nearer his heart than that of contributing to the tranquillity of Europe, and establishing the profperity of his faithful people on a permanent bafis, he relied on the fupport

fupport of his parliament to accomplish thefe ends; and on the zeal and perfeverance of his fub. jects in fuch measures as would beft confirm the fignal advantages obtained in the last campaign, and conduct the conteft to an honourable conclufion,"

It was, however, the 28th of January before the queftion was taken into confideration. Lord Gren ville then rofe, and observed, that the question was one of the most momentous that ever came under the deliberation of parliament. Their lordships had demonftrated in their repeated addreffes, laid at the foot of the throne, their perfect acquiefcence in those measures which the fervants of the crown had adopted.

In thefe times, when the differences that agitated states were of no common origin, when indeed they were the offspring of a mad and maddening fyftem of innovation, the work of peace fhould be entered upon with caution, and purfued with jealoufy. To negotiate with established governments was formerly not merely eafy, but fafe; but to negotiate now, with the government of France, would incur all the risks of an uncertain truce, without one of the benefits of a temporary peace.

The fame unfortunate neceffity ftill exifted for perfevering in the conteft. Nothing in the state of Europe admitted a rational hope that there was any fecurity but in war. He would be understood to make his prefent appeal to thofe who concurred in his fentiments, not to those who never did admit the neceffity and justice of the conteft; nor did he call on them for cooperation or fupport.

From the documents on the table, it was obvious that a hoftile mind ftill pervaded the conduct of the enemy; the fame proneness to aggreffion and difregard to equity. Peace with a nation at enmity with order, religion, and morality, would rather be an acquiefcence in wrong than a fufpenfion of arms in ordinary warfare. Hence it was incumbent on that house and the country to profecute their measures with renewed vigour, and to demonftrate to the world the fame undaunted and unyielding spirit which had maintained Great Britain against the arms, and, worfe than the arms, the levelling principles of France.

He deplored the fufferings of Europe; he deplored the lives of our brave Englishmen, who fell fighting the battles of their country; he deplored the diffufion of mifery in those ftates which were the feat of flaughter: but he knew not how to avert greater evils, otherwife than by perfevering in hoftilities against a power which fought the deftruction of the world. Until, therefore, the enemy evinced moderation and good principles, he muft, with all its horrors, prefer war.

M. Talleyrand had afferted in his note, "that, from the commencement of the revolution, the republic had folemnly proclaimed her love of peace, her disinclination to conquefts, and her refpect for the independence of all governments." But how stood the facts? This love of peace had been difplayed in being at war, during eight years, with every nation in Europe, excepting Sweden and Denmark; and thele two northern powers had fuffered, in aggravated inftances, a feries of infults, injuries, and injuftice, from the cruifers of the republic, common indeed in war, but directly repugnant to the principles of recognited neutrality.

The disinclination to conquest had been afcertained by marching armies to the Rhine, feizing the Nether Jands,

« AnteriorContinua »