Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

PUBLIC PAPERS,

His Majefty's Speech on the Prorogation of Parliament, Tueflay, July 29.

My Lords and Gentlemen,
N puiting an end to this labo-

[blocks in formation]

Gentlemen of the Houfe of
Commons,

I return you my particular thanks for the zeal and liberality with which you have provided for the various exigencies of the public

ceflity of thefe repeated facrifices on the part of my fubjects, but they have been requifite for the prefervation of our deareft interefts; and it is a great confolation to obferve, that, notwithstanding the continuance of unufual burthens, the revenue, commerce, and refources of the country have flou rifled beyond all former example, and are still in a ftate of progreffive augmentation.

My Lords and Gentlemen, The courfe of the campaign upon the continent has, by a fudden reverfe, difappointed the fanguine hopes which the fituation of affairs at its commencement appeared fully to juftify, and has unhappily again expofed a confiderable part of Europe to those calamities and dangers from which it had recently been reicued by the brilliant fuccefs of my allies.

Much as thefe events are to be regretted, it will always be matter of just fatisfaction to me to reflect, that, in the courfe of this important conteft, my efforts, and those of my parliament, have been unremittingly employed for the mainte

nance

nance of our own rights and interefts, and for animating and fupporting the exertions of other powers in defending the liberties of Europe.

Notwithstanding the viciffitudes of war, your conftancy and firmnefs have been productive of the moft important and lafting advantages in the general fituation of affairs; and the determination manifested in your recent declarations and conduct muft afford me the beft means of promoting, in conjunction with my allies, the general interefts, and of providing, under every circumstance, for the honour of my crown, for the happiness of my fubjects, and for the fecurity and welfare of every part of the British empire.

His Majefty's Speech on opening the Parliament, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

My Lords and Gentlemen, My tender concern for the welfare of my fubjects, and a fenfe of the difficulties with which the poorer claffes particularly have to truggle, from the prefent high price of provitious, have induced me to call you together at an earlier period than I had otherwife in tended. No object can be nearer my heart than that, by your care and wisdom, all fuch measures may be adopted as may, upon full confideration, appear beft calculated to alleviate this fevere preffure, and to prevent the danger of its recurrence, by promoting, as far as poffible, the permanent extenfion and improvement of our agriculture.

For the object of immediate relief, your attention will naturally be directed, in the first instance, to the best mode of affording the earleft and the most ample encourage

ment for importation of all defcrip. tions of grain from abroad.

Such a fupply, aided by the examples which you have fet on former occafions of attention to economy and frugality in the confumption of corn, is most likely to contribute to a reduction in the prefent high price, and to infure, at the fame time, the means of meeting the demands for the neces fary confumption of the year.

The prefent circumstances will alfo, I am perfuaded, render the ftate of the laws refpecting the commerce in the various articles of provifion the object of your ferious deliberation.

If, on the refult of that deliberation, it fhall appear to you, that the evil neceffarily arifing from unfavourable feafons has been increased by any undue combinations, or fraudulent practices, for the fake of adding unfairly to the price, you will feel an earnest defire of effectually preventing fuch abufes; but you will, I am fure, be careful to distinguifh any practices of this nature from that regu lar and long established course of trade which experience has fhown to be indifpenfable, in the prefent ftate of fociety, for the fupply of the markets, and for the fubfiftence of my people.

You will have feen with concern the temporary difturbances which have taken place in fome parts of the kingdom. Thofe malicious and difaffected perfons, who cruelly take advantage of the prefent difficulties to excite any of my fubjects to acts in violation of the laws and of the public peace, are in the prefent circumftances doubly criminal, as fuch proceedings muit neceffarily and immediately tend to increafe, in the highest degree, the evil complained of; while they, at

the

[blocks in formation]

Gentlemen of the Houfe of
Commons,

Under the circumftances of the prefent meeting, I am defirous of afking of you fuch fupplies only as may be neceffary for carrying on the public fervice, till the parliament of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland may conveniently be affembled. The eftimates for that purpose will be laid before you; and I have no doubt of your readiness to make fuch provifion as the public interests may appear to require.

nor delay on my part to the adoption of fuch meafures as may best tend to promote and accelerate that defirable end, confiftently with the honour of this country, and the true intereft of my people: But if the difpofition of our enemies fhould continue to render this great object of all my withes unattainable, without the facrifice of thefe effential confiderations, on the maintenance of which all its advantages muft depend, you will, I am confident, perfevere in affording me the fame loyal and steady fupport which I have experienced through the whole of this important conteft, and which has, under the bleffing of Providence, enabled me, during a period of fuch unexampled difficulty and calamity to all the furrounding nations, to maintain unimpaired the fecurity and honour of thefe kingdoms.

My Lords and Gentlemen, I have directed copies to be laid before you of thofe communications which have recently paffed between me and the French government, refpecting the commencement of the negotiations for peace. You will fee in them fresh and ftriking proofs of my earnest defire to contribute to the re-eftablifhment of general tranquillity. That defire on my part has hitherto been unhappily fruftrated, by the determination of the enemy to enter only on a feparate negotiation, in which it was impoffible for me to engage, confiftently either with public faith, or with a due regard to the permanent fecurity of Europe.

My anxiety for the fpeedy reftoration of peace remains unaltered; and there will be no obftacle

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

By the defcent of his majefty's forces and of his Ruffian allies on the coaft of Holland, the Dutch fleet has been happily rescued from the power of the enemy; and although the feafon, peculiarly unfavourable to military operations, produced the necetiity of relinquishing an enterprife fo fortunately begun, and prevented the complete accomplishment of his majefty's views, yet the refult of that expedition has been peculiarly beneficial to this kingdom, in removing all fear of attack on our coafts from a quarter whence it had been fo often planned, and in enabling his majefly's fleets to direct their vigilance exclufively to the fingle port from which the enemy can attack this country with any hope even of a temporary fuccefs.

My utmost care has been exerted to carry into execution the extraordinary powers which you have committed to my difcretion, with vigour, and, at the fame time, with moderation. All tendency to infurrection has been effectually repreffed; but it gives me truc concern to acquaint you, that the painful neceflity of acting with feverity has

[merged small][ocr errors]

been too frequently impofed upon me; and although public tranquil lity has been in a great meafure re, ftored, yet I have to lament that a difpofition to outrage and confpiracy ftill continues in feveral di ftricts, that much induftry-is, ufed to keep alive the fpirit of difaffection, and to encourage among the lower claffes the hopes of French affiftance.

I trust that the recent revolution in France cannot fail to open the eyes of fuch of his majefty's sub, jects as have been deluded by the artifices which have been unremit tingly employed to withdraw them from their allegiance; and that it will reftore and increase the love of conftitutional order and of regu, lated freedom, by demonftrating that the principles of falfe liberty tend ultimately to defpotifm, and that the criminal ftruggles of demo cratic faction naturally clofe in mis litary ufurpation.

So long as the French, govern, ment, under whatever form it exerts its influence, fhall perfevere in fchemes of deftruction and projects of ambition, fubverfive at once of the liberties of Europe and of the fecurity of his majesty's dominions, there can be no wife alternative but to profecute the war with increafing energy. It is by great exertions alone that either their views of ag grandifement can be frustrated, or a folid peace procured; his majesty has therefore availed himself with peculiar fatisfaction of the cordial and great affiftance which has been afforded him by his faithful ally the emperor of Ruffia, and has thought right to make every exertion for augmenting the difpofeable military force of his own dominions, His majefty therefore, has been highly gratified in accepting the fervices fo generoufly offered by his English militia;

militia; and I am to exprefs to you the entire confidence which his majefty feels, that the zeal and loyalty of his militia of this kingdom, in forwarding at this important crifis the active operations of the empire, will not be lefs prompt and confpi

cuous.

The apprehenfions of general fcarcity which fome time fince took place, called for my early attention to this most important fubject; and I was induced, with the advice of the council, to offer premiums for the early importation of grain. This measure will, I flatter myfelf, meet your approbation; and I have full confidence in your wifdom, if it fhall be necessary to refort to any further extraordinary means for proeuring a fupply.

Gentlemen of the Houfe of
Commons,

The evident neceffity of fecuring this kingdom from every danger, whether foreign or domeftic, and of rendering the fuccefs of invafion, if attempted, impracticable, will demonftrate to you the wildom of continuing that enlarged fyftem of defence you have fo wifely adopted.

1 have therefore prdered the pub

lic accounts and eftimates for the enfuing year to be laid before you; and have the fulleft confidence, that, in the supply which fuch a fituation fhall appear to you to require, you will equally confult the fafety of the kingdom, and the honour of his majesty's government.

I am induced to hope, that the great increase of the revenue which has taken place in the prefent year may enable you to raife the fums which may be wanted for the current fervices, without any diftreffing addition to the of

people.

My Lords and Gentlemen, I recommend to your ufual atten

tion the agriculture, the manufactures, and particularly the linen manufacture of Ireland; and I doubt not, that the Proteftant charter fchools, and thofe public inftitutions, whether of charity or of education, which have been protected by your liberality, will fill receive a judicious encouragement.

It will be for your wildom to con→ fider how far it will be neceflary to continue any of thofe extraordinary powers, with which you have ftrengthened the authority of his majetty's government, for the more effectual fuppreffion and punishment of rebellious confpiracy and outrage.

His majefty places the most entire reliance upon your firmness and wifdom; and he has no doubt that you will anxioufly purfue fuch meafures as fhall be boit calculated for nourable termination, and for rebringing the prefent war to an hofloring the country to permanent tranquillity.

attend to your fuggeftions and adIt will be my conftant object to vice, that I may by this means moft beneficially accomplish the commands I have received from his

majefty, and moft effectually forthis kingdom. ward the interefts and happiness of

Speech of bis Excellency the Marquis Cornwallis, on concluding the Seffion of the Irish Parliament, Aug. 2.

My Lords and Gentlemen, The whole bufinefs of this im

portant feffion being at length happily concluded, it is with the municate to you, by his majesty's moft fincere fatisfaction that I come exprefs command, his warmeft acknowledgments for that ardent zeal and unfhaken perfeverance which you have fo confpicuoufly manifefted,

« AnteriorContinua »