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Anno 8. Geo. II.
• The Balance of Power in Europe is certainly of as much Consequence to other Nations as it is to this ; and when it comes to be really in Danger, it is not to be questioned but we shall find other Powers as ready to join with us as we are to join with them, for its Preservation ; and unless we Shew too much Readiness to bear all the Expence, it is also certain, that those who are in equal Danger will never refuse to bear their proportionable Share of the Expence. Bo: if ever this Nation should set itself up as the Don Quixote of Europe, we may then expect that most of the Powers of Europe, who are not immediately attacked, will leave the whole Burden upon us ; and this, I am afraid, is too much the Case at present ; for as our Neighbours the Dutch are more exposed to the Danger than we are, I must conclude from their Inactivity, that either they do not think the Balance of Power in Danger, or otherwise we have given them Room to believe that we will take upon us the Defence of this Balance, without putting them to any Trouble or Ex. pence; and for this Reason I think it is become absolutely necessary for us to give some such Recommendations to his Majesty, as is proposed by this Amendment, in order to convince the World, that we are resolvid not to set ourselves up as the Dupes of Europe. Such a Resolution can subject us to no Dependency, because it is a Resolution we can alter whenever we have a Mind; for if such a Case should happen, as it is hardly possible it ever will, that most of the Nations in Europe Mould resolve to look tamely or, and see the Balance of Power quite overturned, I should then think it the Duty and the Honour of this Nation, rather to play the Don Quixote of Europe, than to see our own Liberties swallowed up in the Ruins of those of our Neighbours.'
Then the Question being put for agreeing to the Amendment, it passed in the Negative by 265 to 185. Whereupon the Address was agreed to, without any farther Debate; and a Committee was appointed to draw up the fame.
Jan. 28. The Address was reported to the House by
A Addrer ef
Moit gracious Sovereign,
E Your Majesty's most Dutiful and Loyal Sub
jects, the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, beg Leave to return Our humblest Thanks, for • Your Majesty's most gracious Speech from the Throne ; 'ard to acknowledge, in the most grateful Manner, Your * Majelly's tender and affectionate Concern for the Wel
• fare of Your People, in steadily pursuing such Measures Anno 8. Geo. II. • as have tended towards Peace and Accommodation, ra
ther than to involve too precipitately this Kingdom, and • all Europe, in a general and bloody War.
* Among so many differing Interests and contending Pow, ers engaged in the present War, it is Your Majesty's Wif• dom and Goodness alone, which could have secured to ".Us Our present happy Situation; and the Crown of Great • Britain could never appear with greater Honour and Lu'fture, than by Your Majesty's interposing Your good of' fices between the contending Parties : And as they have • received them with due Respect, we cannot but hope, • their own Prudence will help to compleat so desireable a 6 Work
• It is our Duty, and we beg Leave to express the greas teft Gratitude to Your Majesty, for the Care and Con
cern, which must have attended Your unwearied Endea
vours, both in beginning and carrying on these good Of' fices, which being accepted, have brought Things to so
great a Forwardness, that a Plan, in concert with the States
General, may in a short Time be offered to the Confidera* tion of all the Powers engaged in the War; which, not• withftanding the great Dificulties that must attend so great • a Work, may serve for the Basis of a general Negotiation ' of Peace, consistent with the Honour and Intereit of all : Parties, as far as the Circumstances of Time, and the
present Situation of Affairs will permit. • If these Measures, concerted for the common Repose and Tranquility of all Europe, should unhappily meet with any Disappointment, Your Majesty's Wisdom and Care must be acknowledged to have deserved that Success, which the wiseft Counsels cannot always command. But, whatever the Event may be, We beg Leave to assure Your Majesty, That this House will Chearfully and Ef. fectually raise fuch Supplies, as shall be necessary for the Honour and Security of Your Majesty and these Kingdoms, and enable Your Majesty to act that Part, which Honour, and Justice, and the true Interest of your Peo. ple shall call upon Your Majesty to undertake."
To this his Majesty made the following Answer :
dress. I depend entirely upon Your Fidelity and Affection, and Your due Regard to the publick Welfare, that I shall be supported in such Measures, as I may be obliged to pursue. And You may be assured, that the
Anne & Gco. Il « Honour and Interest of My Crown and People fall 173415
“ be the Rule and Guide of all My Actions and Re
“ solutions.” Motion, in the February 7. The House being in a Grand Committee on on the supply, for the Supply, a Motion was made, That 30,000 Men be em, Kien for the sea. ploy'd for the Sea-Service for the ensuing Year : But some Service, for the Members declaring that they thought 20,000 Men sufficient,
a great Debate ensued ; and the Motion for 30,000 Men Debate thercon. Sir R. Walpole.
was supported by Sir Robert Walpole, Mr Horatio Walpole, Mr H. Walpole. and Mr Oglethorpe as follows ; Mr Oglethorpe.
Mr Speaker, • With respect to the Question now before us, I hope no Gentleman expects, that for his Satisfaction his Majesty should be obliged to disclose to this House all the Secrets of his Government, all the Negotiations he is now carrying on with foreign Powers, and all the private Informations he may have received, in relation to the Views and Designs of the several Powers now engaged in War: Nor can it be expected that his Majesty should now declare positively to us what he is resolved to do, in relation to his engaging or not engaging in the present War : If any such Thing could be done, I believe it would very soon put an End to the Question, but no such Thing has ever yet been pracțised, nor has this House ever thought such a Practice ne, cessary, for inducing them to agree to any Demand made by the Crown, and I hope it never will. For if ever this should come to be thought necessary, it would lay this Nation under a very great Disadvantage ; because it cannot be expected that what is once disclosed, in such a numerous Assembly, hould continue long a Secret ; from whence this Inconvenience would necessarily ensue, that foreign Powers might, at all Times, proceed with great Secrecy in their Measures, for the Destruction or Disturbance of this Nation, while we could do nothing to annoy our Enemies, nor even be provided for our own Defence, but in the most open and publick Manner. Nay, if our King Tould at any Time get Information of the Designs of our Enemies, he ald be obliged to discover to this House, that is to say, he would be obliged to tell our Enemies, from whom he had that Information, and on such a Supposition 'tis certain no Information would ever be given to us; we could never know any Thing of the secret Designs of our Enemies, till the very Moment of their Execution ; and therefore we muit conclude, that such a Maxim in this House would be absolutely inconsistent with the Safety of our Country. For this Reason we muft, in the present Case, and in all such Cases, take the Argument entirely from what appears in his
Majesty's Speech, and from those publick Accounts, which Anno 8. Geo. Fr are known to every Gentleman in the House. Upon this Footing, Sir, and upon none other, shall I presume to give my Reasons for agreeing to the Augmentation proposed ; and, indeed, upon this Footing the Reasons are, in my opinion, so evident and so strong, that there is no Occasion for inquiring into any Secrets, in order to find other Rea sons for our agreeing to this Augmentation. From what has as yet appeared we are not, 'tis true, obliged to engage in the present War ; for as the Motives, or at least the pretended Motives of the War, relate entirely to the Affair of Poland ; and as that is an Affair in which the Interest of this Nation is no Way concerned, we are not obliged to engage in the War upon that Account: The Emperor has, indeed, called upon us for the Succours, which he pretends are ftipulated by th Treaties fubfifting between us, but as we are not, by any Treaty, engaged to support either one Party or the other in Poland, or to support his Imperial Majesty in his Views relating to that Kingdom, therefore we do not think ourselves obliged, by any Treaty subfisting between us, to furnish him with Succours. in a War, which has been occafioned, as is pretended at least, meerly by the present Dispute about the Election of a King of Poland. If we were absolutely certain, that the Motives assigned were the real and the only Motives for the present War ; f we had a full Assurance that the Parties engaged would carry their Views no farther, I should readily grant that here would have been no Occasion for our putting ourselves o any Expence, nor would there be now any Neceflity for he Augmentation proposed ; but this is what we neither could at the Beginning, nor can yet depend on. Foreign Courts may have secret Views which cannot be immediately iscovered; but his Majesty, by offering to interpose his ood Offices, has taken the most effectual Method for discoering the secret Views of all the Parties' concerned ; and
by the Interposition of his good Offices he should difover, that either of the Parties engaged in War will acpt of no reasonable Terms, we may from thence conclude, at the Affair of Poland was not the only and real Motive r the War ; but that under that Pretence there was a esign formed to overturn the Balance of Power in Europe ;
which Case we should be obliged, both in Honour and tereft, as well as by Treaty, not only to take a Share in e War, but to join with all our Force against that Party, ho we found had formed such a Design. · In the Formation of every Design for overturning the lance of Power in Europe, the Party that forms it must t only have great Ambition, but, before he dares attempt
Anno 8. Geo. 11. to put it in Execution, he must have some Hopes of Success : 1734-35.
The Ambition of our Neighbours, Sir, is what we cannot prevent, but we may, by proper Precautions seasonably taken, deprive them of all Hopes of Success ; and by so doing we shall always prevent their attempting to put their Design in Execution. From this Maxim we may see the Wisdom of the Measures taken last Year : His Majesty did not find himself obliged to take any Share in the War, but as the Ambition of either of the Parties engaged might at last involve this Nation in the War ; therefore he offer'd to interpose his good Ofices for bringing about an Accommodation : Whatever might have been the Views of the Parties engaged at the Beginning of the War, yet upon seeing this Nation put itself in such a Pofture of Defence, they all thought proper to drop any ambitious Views they might then entertain, by accepting of the good Offices his Majelty had offered: Their ready Compliance in this respect, can be attributed to nothing but the Preparations we made last Year, and the Powers that were granted by last Session of Parliament to his Majesty ; for by these we deprived them of all Hopes of succeeding in any of their ambitious Views. It was this, Sir, that produced an Acceptance of the good Offices his Majesty had offered ; and if we should flacken in our Measures, if we should discontinue our Preparations, it would render us despicable in the Eyes of all the Parties engaged in War, and would consequently disappoint the good Effects we have Reason to expeé from that Acceptation. At the Beginning of laft Seffion it was very well known, that the French were fitting out a large Squadron at Brest, and were providing Transports and a Land-Army to be sent along with that Squadron, un. der Prentence of relieving Dantzick. In such a Situation, Sir, I fould have thought those, who had the Honour to advise the King, very impradent, or very unfaithful Counsellors, if they had not advised him to put the Nation immediately into a State of Defence ; for though it was probable, neither the French nor any other Power would attack us while we continue neutral, yet it is certain it was then, and always will be, very much the French Intereft to have this Nation of its Side ; and if they had then feen, or Mould upon any such Occasion fee, that it would be easy to overturn our Government, by our not being fufficiently provided for Defence, and could, by overturning our Government, get Numbers of this Nation to join with them, it would then have been, and always will be, worth their while to make the Attempt ; therefore, in order to preserve the Peace and Quiet of the Nation, we ought always to be upon our Guard, and ought to make some addi.