Imatges de pÓgina

With regard to the diminution of our expence, it would give me great fatisfa&tion if it could be brought about with fafety; but I must confess, however defirable that might be, I do not fee much probability of it at present; and indeed, I should not pay much attention to the subject, if I heard any assurances mnade upon it from the highest authority, for I have observed, that in the years when we had the strongest affurances of retrenchment, our expenditure has most remarkably increased.

I feel the difficulty of succeeding in the hour of victory, in any atteinpt to moderate defire: I know it is an unwelcome tak to talk to your Lordships of a disposition to peace; but nevertheless, I cannot help urging it, because I feel it to be my duty to do so. I am well aware that what I suggest will make but small impression on this House, as the noble Mover might well speak with confidence of the loyal spirit and support to be expected from their Lordihips, who, in the course of the war, have afforded too many inftances of manifesting that loyal spirit, and that support to the measures of Vinitters, to give room for a doubt of their readiness to perfevere in the same line of conduct; I ought to apologize to your Lordihips for taking up your time; but I feel that that spirit is likely to continue, and I fear the effect of it. I do not think I pass the bounds of order when I say we have fresh recruits continually poured into this House to fight for his Majesty's Ministers. His Lordship concluded with saying that he agreed with his noble friend, the noble Marquis, that the greatest victories were useless, unless employed to obtain the natural object, and only legitimate end of war-a safe and honourable peace !

Lord Mulgrave said, he should trouble their Lordships but with a very few words. But he should hold himself unpardonable, if he did not on that day give vent to the proud feelings excited in his breast by Admiral Nelsons' victory; because, that gallant officer had given the first proof of his great skill, ardent zeal, and noble valour, as well as judicijus conduct under the command of a near relation of his, sometime deceased [the late Lord Mulgrave), and which afforded at the time the greatest prospects of his future eminence; but which, flattering as they were, had been most transcendently exceeded by the atchievements of Lord Nelson at the mouth of the Nile. He had partaken in the general joy which the victory of the Nile had produced :-he had felt pleasure as an individual, combined witly exultation as an Englishman; he rejoiced above all in the prospect which that glorious event opened up, of establish'ing the safety of Europe. Was this then the moment for prapolipg, suing might perhaps be too strong a word, peace, and

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from an enemy too such as that with which we had to contend? The noble Lord who had just sat down had referred to the fate of former attempts to prevent France from reducing Europe under her power. But would the noble Lord contend that the relative situation of the two countries was the same as at the beginning of the war? In point of glory--in point of finance-in point of the popularity of the two Governments, could any comparison be made between this country and France? When the contest first began, the parties started as great rivals on equal terms. At present, however, every thing which could constitute advantage was in our favour. In such a state of things would it be wise and seasonable to trust that moderation which the noble Lord had so highly extolled in every instance? Ought we to rett our fafety upon the Pacific temper and dispotition of the present rulers of France? The noble Marquis recommended moderation as the course of this country, but was it a departure from noderation, or from sound policy, at a moment when a fair prospect had arisen of fecuring the independence of Europe upon a fafe footing, and of ultimately obtaining peace upon honourable terms, to throw away the advantages we had acquired, to feek, by crouching at the feet of France, a precarious, hollow and fallacious peace, without endeavouring 10 turn the glory we had earned into an universal benefit to the world?

For his part, instead of thinking with the two noble Lords, that Minifters had been guilty of omiting any favourable opportunity of bringing the war to an honourable conclufion, he was rather disposed to think that they had been carried 100 far by their earnest desire of peace. The enemy had mistaken this eagerness for peace, for inability to maintain the contest, and their insolence and ambition had inereated; for this error they had indeed paid dear. Their obstinacy had deluded them, and had led the way for this country to obtain new glory and fuccefs. However individuals might lament the losses they had fustained, however the burthens of the State might be regretted, every friend to the country must rejoice in the triuinphs it had gained. In that proud eminence which we now occupied, we ought not rafhly and idly to forfeit our fuperiority by renewing negociations which presented no prospect of a safe and honourable termination. We ought to carry ourselves firmly and vigorously. It was not by extenuating our successes, it was not by magnifying our petty losses, that peace could be pro noted. Britain now stood high among the nations of Europe: now the ought to invite thein to combate under her




and of our

auspices; to resort to her shield for protection, and to afist by com!non efforts to obtain permanent and folid security.

But it seemed, if the noble Lord was right, that bad tirely mistaken the character both of the enemy felves. It was not France that was overbearing in her projects, fanguinary in her proceedings, rapacious in her domination, or the that had caused the evils under which a confiderable part of Europe now laboured! It was England that had betrayed other countries into this fituation ! It was England, whose aggressions had provoked this war! Really the noble Lord deserved credit for these discoveries, and his ingenuity was to be admised. It was Great Britain that had cheated her allies into the war, and they that had cheated us out of it! In all that had happened France was guiltless; the blame all lay with England ! Both in the commencement and continuance of the war the fault had lain with us. If, however, any peace could have been obtained, it must have been a peace that would have forfeited our honour, and risked our very existence. It had been faid that jealousies and rivalihips subtifted between fereral of the powers that were confederated against France.

Would not the greater interest however overcome the lets, and produce concert in operation ? Austria and Prufia entertained jealoufies when they formerly confederated. They had indeed feparated, but they had reason forely to repent their conduct. The events paffing around them now proved that there was no safety but in union. In a cause like that in which we were engaged, there was no room for those jealoufies which had been alluded to, and for the objects for which other powers were called on 10 unite, he would now entertain more confidence than in a union between the most amicable powers. No evil could compare with that of giving way to France ; whatever other evils they might apprehend, they were not to be compared with that which threatened their existence. Had we not seen these jealoufies in fa&t laid aside ? Russia and the Ottoman Porte were now cordially co-operating in the same cause. This was an example beyond all former fpeculations, because the occafion was beyond all former precedents. When we confidered the different situations of this country and of France, there was every thing to animate and encourage. On the one fide was glory, the reipect and love of subjects, the finews of war. On the other, there was hatred and insubordination, no finews of wor, but the exhausted resources of rapine and violence. The moderation which the noble Lord had so highly praised, had now, that they had pillaged a great part of Europe,

carried different national

cacried them as far as Egypt in search of new sources of plunder. In a moment like this shen it would be the height of pufillanimity to abandon the rest of Europe, and to think only of pursuing telsich measures, when a proipect had appeared of at last obtaining a safe and honourable peace, and attaining real and folid security, more fanguine than sometime ago he could have permitted himself to indulge.

Lord Holland rose to explain. He said that he was sorry to be obliged again to trouble their Lordships; but he could not allow them to reinain under the impreffion, which the noble Lord who had just sat down had endeavoured to give that he had spoken of the inoderation of France lately, and in every instance, or that he had imputed the state of several countries in Europe, solely to the British cabinet. There was a great difference between contributing to an end, and being the fole cause of it. The Ministers of this country might have brought about that state of things under which the calamities into which these countries had fallen necessarily followed. He had never faid, that the French had always been moderate in their conduct. It was not in the nature of Frenchmen, or in the character of any government in France, Republican or Monarchical, to be always moderate. This he had contended, however, that there had been periods, in which conciliation on the part of this country would, even in the moment of the highest prosperity of France, have led to peace. It was certainly an ungracious talk to remind their Lordships, that these opportunities had been lost. He did not mean to enter into the discuffion then, He trusted a time would come, when it would be solemnly taken up; when the people of this country would call for it. If he had advanced the propositions which the noble Lord had ascribed to him, he would have justly been the subject of ridicule ; but the arguments which the noble Lord ridiculed, were of his own making. He had contended, indeed, that the sums of money sent abroad by this country, had continued the war on the Continent without advantage; that this war had tended to consolidate the power of France. He lamented to say, that the endeavours of the British Cabinet, and the Coalition they put in motion to crush the French revolution, had placed the French in a situation which made them for a time the disturbers of Europe. Experience had proved how inadequate a former coalition had been to overcome the power of France, and he saw no reason to imagine that the coalition which was about to be renewed, would be more succcfsful. Lord Grenville said, after the very able manner in which the different topics before you have been difouled by the noble Lords who have spoken in favour of the Address, nothing should now have called me up, to trouble your Lordships, with any additional arguments of mine, but that I was unwilling to allow some obleivations which dropped from the noble kord who has just sat down, to pals in silence. The noble Lord has alluded to certain points, on which he hopes that the moment for discussion will arrive. Let not the noble Lord imagine, that I will shrink from such a discussion ; let him not think that I will ever be afraid to meet him, or any man, to argue that qucftion. I call upon the noble Lord to identify dates and circumstances, to point out the time when his Majesty's Minifters were backward to embrace and to improve any favourable opportunity which promised to lead to a safe and honourable peace. On the contrary, as my noble Friend has well obierved, if Ministers were at all to blame, it was in being too forward to testify their anxiety for peace; facts and documents are on record, and will shew whether the charge which the noble Lord has urged be well founded: but surely never was there a worse occalion than the present for renewing these questions. There have been times indeed when France, in the career of her success, was able to dictate terms to those who lued her for peace. There have been moments when it was found vecer sary to abandon Europe, because Europe had abandoned itself. There have been moments when it was impoffible to oppose with vigour and effect the progress of France, because it was impofiibie to awaken other powers to their true interests, or rather, to infuse reason into their councils. There have been Statefinen who argued like the noble Lord and his friends; who, by a mean and temporifing policy, compromifed their own dignity, and left France mistress of Europe. What has produced that lamentable degraded flate of several of the powers of Europe, but counfels such as those which the noble Lord, and those with whom he has acted, have uniforınly recommended? What has endangered the fubverfion of civilized society, and the overthrow of the fyftem of Europe, but paltry, shameful disunion; but thofe thifting, selfish politics, which have to night been applauded; till at last, after France has for years been strengthened by the resources of plunder, the misery of Republican domination has driven those countries to that res Gítance which they were afraid to exert when their firength and their means were entire! It is not with sorrow and regret, but with pride and satisfaction, that I acknowledge that I have ever submitted to you the necessity of different policy. I have valued too much the testimony of my own conscience, the feelings of

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