Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

173435

Mr

pointing all the Measures he has concerted for defeating any Anno 2. lot. Il ambitious Projects, that may have been formed; and for rés foring the Beace of Europe, and thereby preventing this Nation's being obliged to engage in the War.'

Mr Andrews's Motion was warmly oppos’d by Lord Mor- Lord Morpeth. peth, Mr Gibbon, Lord Noel Somerfet, Sir John Barnard, Ld Noel Somerset. Sir Joseph Jekyll, Sir William Wyndham, Mx Pulteney, Sir Jol. Jekyll and several other Members, who gave the following Reafons Sir W. Wyndham. against it.

Sir, 1 I wish every Gentleman would be more cautious of bringing his Majesty's Name into every Debate in this House. I am perfuaded, no Gentleman in this Houfe doubts of his Majelly's fincere Regard for the Ease of his People, or of his Wisdom and Conduct in all Matters which are honestly and fairly laid before him: These are Questions which can never be properly brought before us. Upon this Occafion, as well as all other Occasions of the same Nature, it is not his Majefty's Regard for the Ease of his People, but the Regard his Ministers have for the Ease of the People, that we are to consider ; it is their Wisdom and Conduct that are now under our Confideration : And, in my opinion, this House has no great Reason to depend much upon either. I am sure the Generality of the Nation have no great Confidence in either; and therefore, if we speak the Language of our Constituents, which I hope will always be the Language of this House, we cannot depend so much upon

their Wifdom and Conduct, as to load the People with any addiional Expence, for no other Reason but only because the Minister has told us. it is neceffary. This is a Method of Proceeding, which no Man ought to agree to in any Cafe ; out especially in a Case which is of the most dangerous Conequence to the Liberties of our Country.

. The honourable Gentlemen, Sir, were very much in the ight to argue from general Circumstances, and such as are ablickly known ; for particular Care has been taken that re should not have any Thing else to argue from: But

we argue only from fuch Circumstances, we must conclude, lat we are neither concerned in the War, nor can be conerned in the Event. If we have nothing to do with Poland,

we are no way engaged to protect the Emperor's Domiions in Italy, surely we have no Concern in the War ; id as to the Event, France has declared they will not prend to keep any of the Conquests they make : They have deared, they have no Intention to make any Conquests or to ctend their Dominions, but that their only Aim is to estaish Stanislaus upon the Throne of Poland ; and the other

two

1734-35

Anno 8. Geo. 11. two Allies have declared, that they have no other View

but to establish and preserve the Neutrality of Italy : These are the only Circumitances publickly known ; and from these neither this Nation, nor the Balance of Power, can be in any Danger.

• What particular Reasons we may have not to trust to those Declarations, I shall not pretend to determine ; but all the other Princes and States of Europe, not already engaged in the War, seem to par their Trust in them, because none of them have as yet made any Preparations. Nay, even the Princes of Germany seem to think their Country in no Danger, for some of the chief of them still continue neutral ; and those who have joined in the Declaration of War, have great Nambers of Troops unemployed, which certainly would be all sent to the Rhine, if they thought their Country were in any real Danger, or that France had a Design to impose an Emperor upon them. While they remain so secure, while they give themselves so little Concern about the Event of the War, why we should be so terribly frightened; why we should imagine that France has a Design to conquer Germany, and to place one of the House of Bourbon upon the Imperial Throne, I cannot comprehend: I am sure no such Intention can be presumed from any Circumstance yet publickly known ; and I hope we do not think that either Spain or Sardinia has a Mind to conquer Germany, or that Pance would allow them, if either or both were able to accomplish such a Design. From publick Circumstances, therefore, I can see no Reason we have now, or indeed ever had, to put ourselves to any Charge, or to make any Preparations ; and if there be any private Reafons, they must be such as concern us in particular, because, if they related to Europe in general, the other Courts of Europe, particularly the Dutch, would certainly have discovered them as well as we; nay, if they had not, it would have been the Duty of our Ministers to have disco. vered them, not only to the Dutch, but to all the Princes of Europe ; for whatever Danger there might be in discovering them to this House, there could not surely be any Danger in discovering them to those Courts, which have as deep a Concern as we have in the Preservation of the Liberties of Europe.

• As no Part of our late Transactions has ever been laid before this House, as all such Lights have been denied us, I do not know, Sir, but there may be private Reasons for our being particularly concerned in the Event of the prefent War: If there are any such, they must proceed from fome of our late Transactions ; and in that Case, those Transactions ought to have been laid before this House at

the

1734-35

the very Beginning of the War, that we might from them I Anno 8. Geo. Il. have seen our Danger, and might have provided for our Safety in Time. But to infinuate, that either of the Parties now engaged in War may have ambitious Views against the Liberties of Europe, is an Insinuation that is contradicted by the Behaviour of all the Princes and States of Europe not already engaged in the War ; and therefore cannot; in my Opinion, have any Weight:

• We are next told, Sir, that tho' neither Party at present have any ambitious Views; yet they may form such Views, and in order to prevent their forming any such, we must make great Preparations ; that this will shew them we are in earnest

, and will make them give Ear to the reasonable Plan of Peace which his Majesty, in Conjunction with his Allies, is to offer : Whereas; if we make no such Preparaion, that France will conclude we have lost all Apprehenfions of the growing Power of that Kingdom, and hat we have no Concern for the Preservation of the Balance of Power. For God's Sake; Sir, can Gentlemen be serious when they argue at this Rate? Can France, or any Power on Earth, imagine that we will look tamely on, and see the Liberties of Europe overturned ; or can the Addition of 7 or 8000 Men to our Army add any thing to their Dread of ur Power ? They all know; and France in particular has Reason to know; the Strength and Power of this Nation; when wisely managed and prudently exerted ; if therefore hey form any ambitious Views, if they reject the juft Terms of Peace that are to be proposed by his Majesty, or f they despise the Mediation that has been offered, it cannot roceed from any Contempt they have of the real Strength f this Nation, but from a Contempt of the Councils by vhich that Strength is to be exerted : This is a Contempt hich, I am afraid, they have already conceived ; and if e should agree to the Proposition now before us, without eeing Reason for so doing, I am sure either the Wisdom or ntegrity of this House will suffer considerably, in the OpiSon of the World both abroad and at home.

• Another terrible Thing we are this Day taught to aprehend, is, that Success may inspire orie of the Parties enaged in War, with an ambitious View of overturning the alance of Power: That two or three complete Victories may make it absolutely necessary for us to engage immediately in he War ; and that therefore we ought to prepare in Time, hat we may be ready to fly to the Relief of the Unfortuate, before they are quite overwhelmed : Upon this, Sir, shall only ask if any Gentleman in this Houfe can imagine, nat Germany, Poland and Muscovy, for I think I may now y they are united, can be conquered in one Campaign ; Vol. IV.

H.

or

Anno 8. Geo. 11. or supposing the other to be the unfortunate Side, can they 1734:35.

imagine that France, Spain and Italy can be conquered in one Campaign? If any Gentleman can imagine fuch a Thing, with him I shall not pretend to argue ; but with those who cannot, which I believe are the Majority of this House, I think I may contend that neither Side can in one Campaign be reduced so low, but that the united Force of Great Britain, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden, thrown in early the next Campaign, will be sufficient for their Relief, and for obliging the proudeft Conqueror to submit to reafonable Terms ; in which Case we shall have the whole Winter to prepare, and till then 'tis certainly quite unnecelsary to put ourselves to any Expence.

As this Day seems to be a Day of Paradoxes, among the rest we have been told one with respect to our Trade.. We are told, Sir, that the Prosperity of this Nation depends upon the Tranquility of our Neighbours ; and that in Times. of Peace, there is always a greater Demand for the Manufactures and Produce of this Country, than in Time of War. This, Sir, is so far from being a juft Maxim in Trade, that the direct contrary is true. The chief Part of the Produce of this country consists in the Necessaries, and not the Luxuries of Life; and consequently, our Neighbours will always consume as much of such Sort of Things in Time of War as in Time of Peace : But the Difference is, that when their Heads are, not distracted, nor their Hands diverted, by any foreign or domestick War, they have Time to apply themselves to Tillage ; they have Time to apply themselves to Manufactures of all kinds ; they, have Leisure to think of and to improve all the Arts of Peace ; and by so doing they furnish themselves at home with a great many of those Necessaries which, in Time of War, they are obligd to purchase of us. _This is not only evident in Theory, but is confirmed by Experience ; for our Trade has suffered more by the Domestick Improvements made by our Neighbours, during the last long Tranquility in Europe, than it has done by any other Means; except the heavy Duties we have laid upon ourselves, and the great Trouble and many Fees and Perquisites we have subjected our Merchants to, both in importing and exporting their Goods and Merchandize : These Incumbrances will in Time most certainly ruin every Branch of our Trade, if we do not take Care to remove them speedily, by paying off those Debts by which they have been occafion'd. And, as to our Security, it can never be disturbed by any Broils among our Neighbours, unless the Balance of Power should be brought into real Danger, which our Neighbours upon the Continent would take better Care of than they do, if we did not upon

1734-35

al Occasions fhew ourfelves fo mighty officious as to do it Anno 8. ÓCO. 11. for them,

It is an easy Matter, Sir, for any Man, who has a quick Invention and a strong Imagination, to form imaginary Dangers. In Time of Peace we are frightened with Invasions, because our Neighbours have their Troops quartered upon their Coafts, and have nothing else to do with them; and in Time of War, because our Neighbours have great Armies in the Field, tho' no Power in Europe has any Quarrel with us. In Time of Peace we must keep up a more numerous Army than is consistent with the Liberties of a free People, in or

der to prevent a War's breaking out ; and in Time of War we must add to that Army, and put ourselves to great Expence, in order to restore the publick Tranquility, and preserve the Balance of Power, tho? no other Nation in Europe appears to be in the least apprehensive of its being in Danger. Thus, Sir, we are always in a Fright, and, for what I know, our Apprehensions may at laft become fo extravagant ; that if Angria, the Eaft-India Pirate, should fit out any greater Number of Grabs than usual, we must fit out a Squadron and augment our Land-Forces, for fear of his coming to make an Invasion upon us. By this, Sir, I do not mean to insinuate that we are now in no Danger ; I do not know but we may: But whatever Danger we may be in, I am very sure it does not appear from any Circumstances yet publickly known, nor from any Thing that hath as yec been communicated to this House ; and therefore I cannot agree to load the People with any new Charge. If the Danger is such as cannot be immediately communicated, it must be such as cannot be immediately apprehended ; and if we are only like to be in Danger, we ought to follow the Example of our wise Neighbours the Dutch, in putting our People to no Expence, and in reserving our whole Strength to be vigoronfly exerted against those, whose

future Designs ball seem any way to threaten the Safety of Europe.

« We have been told, Sir, that the Danger of not agreeing to what is proposed is infinitely great ; but that in agreeing to it there is no Danger ; Sir, in my opinion, it is di

ectly otherwise. It is certain, that the Regard we are expeat from Foreigners must always depend upon the Esteem they have of the Strength of the Nation, and of the Wildom of those Councils by which that Strength is to be directed. The Strength of the Nation does not surely confift only in the Troops we have on Foot, or the Squadrons we have at Sea, but upon the Namber of Troops we are able to raise and maintain, and the Squadrons we are able to put to Sea. Therefore it is certain that the Adding 7 or 8000 Men to our Land-Forces, or to the Squadrons we have already

fitted

H 2

« AnteriorContinua »