Imatges de pÓgina





As it stood at the opening of the Session, Nov. 8, 1814.

Earl of Harrowby

Lord Eldon

Earl of Westmoreland

Earl of Liverpool


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Lord President of the Council.
Lord High Chancellor.
Lord Privy Seal.

First Lord of the Treasury (Prime

Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of
the Exchequer.

First Lord of the Admiralty.
Master-General of the Ordnance.
Secretary of State for the Home De-

Secretary of State for Foreign Af-

Secretary of State for the Department of War and the Colonies. President of the Board of Controul for the Affairs of India.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancas


Master of the Mint.


Earl of Clancarty.......
Right Hon. F. J. Robinson

Right Hon. Charles Long

Lord Charles Somerset....

Earl of Chichester

Earl of Sandwich

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Treasurer of the Navy.

President of the Board of Trade.
Vice-President of the Board of

Joint Paymasters-General of the

Joint Postmasters-General.

Secretary at War.

Secretaries of the Treasury.

Master of the Rolls.

Sir William Garrow...................................................... Attorney-General.

Mr Serjeant Shepherd



Viscount Whitworth
Lord Manners

Right Hon. Robert Peel ...............
Right Hon. W. Vesey Fitzgerald....

Lord Lieutenant.
Lord High Chancellor.
Chief Secretary.
Chancellor of the Exchequer.




Opening of the Session of Parliament.-Prince Regent's Speech.-Debates on the Address. Supplies for the Year.-Ways and Means for Great Britain and Ireland.-Vote of Credit.

THESession of parliament opened on 8th November, 1814. The principal topics adverted to in the speech of the Prince Regent were, the negociations then in dependence with America, and his desire to bring the war with that country to a conclusion on just and honourable terms;-the different naval and military operations in America ;the congress at Vienna, the opening of which, it was stated, had been retarded from unavoidable causes, to a later period than had been expected ;-the flourishing state of the commerce and revenue of the united kingdom, and the supplies necessary to meet the expenditure of the ensuing year. His royal highness regretted the necessity of this large expenditure, but stated, that "the circumstances under which the long and arduous contest in Europe had been carried on and conducted, had unavoidably led to large ar

rears, for which the House of Commons would see the necessity of providing; and that the war still subsisting with America, rendered the conti nuance of great exertions indispensable." The Prince Regent concluded by remarking, that the peculiar character of the late war, as well as the extraordinary length of its duration, must have materially affected the internal situation of all the countries engaged in it, as well as the commercial relations which formerly subsisted between them; and he recommended that parliament should proceed with due caution in the adoption of such regulations as might be necessary for the purpose of extending our trade, and securing our advantages.

In the House of Lords, the address was moved by the Earl of Abington, and seconded by Lord Delawar.-The latter nobleman, inaspeech of consider

able eloquence, after congratulating the House on the happy events which had taken place in Europe, lamented that "they had not yet to rejoice in the restoration of peace to the civilized world. It was to America that the misfortune must be attributed, that the Temple of Janus was not yet closed. -The exalted example of the several powers of Europe was lost upon America, which appeared to form a focus for the seeds of discord, from which Europe was so happily relieved. Hence the prolongation of that war, notoriously originating in the unprovoked aggression of America; which aggres sion, too, took place at a period when this country was contending for the liberty of nations-for that liberty of which America had so long been the boasted champion. To embarrass our operations in that great contest, to prevent the success of our endeavours to restore the independence of Europe, and to avail herself of the opportunity to assert her own unjust pretensions, was obviously the object of America. Hence the fatal policy of linking herself with the fallen foe of European tranquillity: hence the perfidy of her attack upon our Canadian possessions. But there she met the fate she deserved; for her invading army was speedily compelled to return. defeated and disgraced, within her own frontiers, while the British standard was triumphantly hoisted in her capital; and the distinguished chief who led that triumph was gloriously prosecuting his career, when, alas! the cypress was entwined with the laurel, by his gallant death in the arms of victory. But, notwithstanding this v very serious and afflicting loss, and notwithstanding the other disasters stated to have occurred to our arms, still knowing that we had the flower of the British army in Ame. rica he entertained no doubt whatever as to the ultimate result. A great part of that army had not, unfortunate

ly, reached America in due time to take a part in the campaign; but when the season of action should arrive, when these troops, covered with laurels and inspired with the glory they had acquired on the continent of Europe, should approach the enemy under the direction of those gallant and skilful officers who had so often led them to victory, who could possibly indulge a doubt as to the event? To those who had raised the military fame of England to an unprecedented height in Europe, he would confidently trust for the attainment of our objects in America."-The noble lord, after adverting to the congress at Vienna, from which he anticipated the happiest results, concluded by recommending the serious consideration of our commercial system and internal resources, as, "after the various changes which had taken place in our relations, there must be some evils to remedy, and new arrangements to be made, in order to benefit our condition, to ensure our advancement, to amplify and adorn the arts of peace."

Lord Darnley expressed his regret that he could not assent to the address proposed. He remarked, that "when he looked around at the many existing evils of the war, when he saw a large British army in the Netherlands, and heard of so much discord among the continental powers, he could not flatter himself with the sanguine prospect which the noble lord (Delawar) seemed to entertain."He commented with severity on the conduct of the naval administration, and the war with America: and as to the congress at Vienna, he feared, that "the time for accomplishing the greatest good was gone by, after the treaty of Paris."-His animadversions on the naval administration were answered by Lord Melville.-His lordship said, that "when it was known, as was the fact, that upwards of 200 of the enemy's vessels


of war, and armed vessels, had, since the commencement of the war, been captured, it must at once be evident that our navy had not been inactive. The noble earl, he trusted, would bear this fact in his mind when he brought the subject under consideration. As to the statement of the noble lord, that wherever we had a naval contest with the Americans with an equal force, it had uniformly been to our disadvantage; he could assure the noble earl, that although accidents might sometimes happen, it was entirely a mistake; and he would ask the noble lord, whether it was any proof of the inefficiency or inactivity of the British navy, that, since the commencement of the war with America, it had captured 38 of the enemy's vessels of war, from the largest to the least size, and 199 private armed vessels of all descriptions. Did the noble earl mean to urge that the commercial marine of the enemy had not been sufficiently attended to? If so, he could tell him, that of the enemy's commercial vessels, it was ascertained that 900 had been captured since the commencement of the war, and brought into the ports of the united kingdom. With respect to this number the accounts were certain, though some of - them not official; but it was also known from other statements, which might be relied upon, that the whole number of commercial vessels captured from the enemy amounted to 1,900. It was also a fact, that 20,000 American seamen were now lodged in British prisons. He asked, then, whether the noble earl, with these facts before him, could justly charge the admiralty with inactivity or inefficiency. Did the noble earl mean to charge the admiralty with not sufficiently protecting the commerce of our merchants? He was aware that much had been said upon this subject; but he was also aware, that whatever might be said,

the admiralty were fully acquitted of all blame. It must inevitably be the case when the whole force of an enemy was devoted to privateers, that our entire fleet, wherever stationed, could not prevent the capture of some of our merchant vessels. Their lordships were aware, that a situation of affairs similar to this occurred in the war at the accession of his present majesty. He did not refer to this period with any view of arguing, that if there was misconduct on the part of the admiralty then, it would justify misconduct on the part of the admiralty now; all he meant to urge was, that similar causes would produce similar effects. The year 1759 their lordships need not be ashamed to compare with the most brilliant period of the late war, for successes of importance obtained over the enemy; the navy of France was annihilated, and their whole force devoted to privateering. The consequence was, that the next year a number of our commercial vessels were captured. This was a period, their lordships were well aware, that would bear no comparison with regard to extent of commerce with the present; and yet he had found upon enquiry, that the captures at the present were little more numerous than those at the former period. But let the whole number be enquired into, that were said to make up the loss from the peace of Paris down to the last month. No regular returns had, it was true, been yet received; but the number and na• ture of those losses might be pretty fairly ascertained from Lloyd's List, and other sources; they were said to amount to 172. Noble lords knew that the ships going to foreign parts alone, were liable to be forced to sail with convoy; the coasting trade had none. Yet of the ships which left the British ports, many were running ships, which went off without waiting for protection, and ran all hazards,

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