Imatges de pàgina


BAT Britain gave up the point of taxation, and made other seral conceffions, it was consistent in Lord Cornwallis to dr his fword against those whom justice, and more than justicepuld not satisfy, and who had leagued themselves with theiveterate enemies of this country.

He said, he must remind the honourable gentleman' the political sentiments on this subject of the Earl of Cham, who would have been moved with the greatest indignan at the idea of giving up the dependency of Ainerica on thiguntry, although he was not a friend to American taxatio He observed that Earl Cornwallis was not a soldier of fane, or under any temptation to seek in war the advancedt of his interest. He had left the comforts of a liberal forie to risque his life, and undergo many toils in war, to se his country, and perhaps to a view of personal reputatio but a reputation well deserved, being founded on servicef the greatest importance to his country. He hoped that honourable gentleman' would be the only man in the Ho who would oppose the motion.

Mr. Wilkes desired it to be understood, that he linever Mr. Wilkes. said Lord Cornwallis was a soldier of fortune ; he only said, that after professions of a contrary difpofitione had drawn his sword against the liberties of his countrying

Sir Charles Bunbury said, that the honourable gleman Sir Charla who had made the motion had wished ardently for usmity. Bunburye He wished that the motion had been conceived in otterns, Earl Cornwallis might be thanked for doing his as an officer, without any motion being made of the caure which his abilities were exerted, in the same manner that artisan might be applauded for perforining his part well, tgh the delign of the architect, of which his work forme part, might be condemned. Why was not Sir Henrclinton thanked imınediately after the reduction of Charlesvn? It did not seem a great mark of respect to that geneofficer, to defer a vote of thanks to him, until he was osonally taken into the list of meritorious officers, when this were moved to others.

Lord Beauchamp moved that, by way of amendm to the Lord Beaumotion, the thanks of the House Thou'd be given Vice champ. Admiral Arbuthnot, at the same time that they uld be given to Sir Henry Clinton. The Admiral had cibuted bis Share towards that conquest, and there were fedents, bay, it was customary to thank the Admiral, as General, when any success was owing to the joineraiion


as the


army and fleet, as in the case of the reduction of

Qbec in the last war. Sir Ispb

ryoseph Mawbey. Mr. Speaker, I was not in the House Meruby.

wa che honourable gentleman made his motion for thanks tar Henry Clinton, and the Earl Cornwallis, which I am poaded originated with him from the purest motives. The ne Lord in the blue ribband, and an honourable genilem near me, has talked much of the glory and iinportance one victory at Camden ; if, in any thing I fall say on the feet, I should be thought to depreciate and deny that glory achat importance, I hope no gentleman will believe I have arwill to the noble Lord, for whose character and abilities Ile the highest respect.

hink the thanks of the House should never be given but of casions the most important; when a victory has been obned, which has been followed by consequences the most colerable and beneficial; they will lose their value when giv on light and trivial occasions. The victory of Carndenn my poor opinion, is deserving of no particular attentionom this House; and I verily believe, the noble Lord hime would not wish to have the thanks of Parliament for suchvictory. When some honourable friends of mine lately mov the thanks of this House to our late Speaker, Sir Fleter Norton, I did not vote, because they appeared to me the unprecedented and improper. Can any man be lieve, hat ihanks, as in that case, opposed by more than two-fns of the House, 'reflect any honour on that gentleman jo far from it, that I am persuaded, that he himself must wh that question had never been agitated. The thanks of Parainent should come with unanimity to be valuable. I thinkwith the Poet, that Praise undefor ved is censure in difguife. It is impossible the present motion should meet with generaconcurrence.

If wi believe the American account of the battle of Camden, their left wing and centre, composed of militia, ran away at the very first fire, and only a few regular continental troops opposed for a short time the whole British army. A victory over troops who did not fight, is not of a sort to call for the thanks of Parliament. That at Bunker's-Hill was a moft gallant bafinels, because it was obtained over troops who made a brave resistance, and who were driven from their various intrenchments, one after the other, wita great slaughter. The victory at Camden is not marked by any material consequences, 'Lord Cornwallis himself says,



B AT E S. the enemy were upwards of 5000 in number, and he makes the killed and prisoners not quite 2000; so that 3000 men escaped, difperfed, and scattered indeed, but which in all probability at this time compose an army, with considerable re-inforcements, sufficient, under General Gates, to drive Lord Cornwallis back towards Charles-Town. If the victory at Camden only affords minifters a pretext for another year's continuance of this unfortunate war, begun in folly and wickedness, and conducted on their part by incapacity, negligence, or treachery, I shall consider it as a serious calamity : in my poor opinion no victory can be important that is not decifive in America. Whatever procrastinates a war, which I'verily believe muft end in the allowance of American independency, muft in itself be a serious evil.

From the moment an account arrived of this battle, the ministerial writers were bufily employed in fabricating extracts of letters from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, written all in London, painting difcord among the Americans, and infinuating defection, which never existed but in their own imaginations ; by fuch means the deluded people of this country are to be reconciled to the farther prosecution of this calamitous and unfortunate war.

There was a time when ininifters might have ended this unfortunate war with credit. The Americans wanted only to be put in the situation they were in before the year 1763. But unconditional submission was then the cry,

and Governor Penn's petition was rejected with contempt. Commiffioners, when it was too late, were fent out, offering terms less ad vantageous for this country: but it was impossible the Amcricans could confide in any affurances given by the fame minifters, from whom all their calamities originated, more efpecially after the breach of affurances contained in Lord Hillsborough's famous letter.

I have uniformly opposed the American war, and all the fteps that led 10 it, from principle. I thought it unjust in its commencement, and I object to it now on the ground of inexpediency. Is there a man that will gravely, and with an unembarrassed face, affert in this affembly, that he thinks we can conquer America, affifted as she now is, by France and Spain? Will either of the noble Lords over the way affert it? Will Lord Cornwallis come to this House, after his arrivalin England, and affert it? I have too good an opinion of the good fenfe, and honour of the noble Lord, to believe that he will. General Grey told us acontrary story; and an honourable VOL. XVIII.



gentleman [Sir John Wrottesley] a member of our own, told us, after serving two campaigns in America, that it was impossible for this country to subdue that, even though the 20 or 30,000 Russians that were talked of, had been sent to affift us: and he has, though connected with the heads of adminiftration, voted ever since, very much to his honour, against the continuance of the American war. Why do we carry on the war without any hopes of success? The people of this country are opprefled by the decline of trade, and the enorinous taxes laid upon them. Every year will add to those díftreffes. The people feel and murmur. The noble Lord in the blue ribband seems infenfible of their sufferings. I know there is a general discontent: if the war continues much longer, national bankruptcy will take place, and the consequences must be seriously alarıning.

If ambition, if avarice, prompt the noble Lords over the way to continue in office, would to God that ambition and avarice could be gratified without their country's ruin! Let them have finecure places and reversions for themselves, their wives, and all their children. Let the crown give them new honours, red ribbands, blue, or green. Let them be assured of this bishopric, and that auditorship, provided we can get rid of them as statesmen. Let them have any thing, let them be any thing, rather than in a situation to complete the ruin of their country,

The honourable gentleman who moved the motion of thanks has said, that he drew it originally in the precise terms used in thanking the Duke of Cumberland in 1746. Does he then liken the battle of Camden to the Duke's victory over the Scotch rebels at Culloden ? There never were two actions more diffimilar : the one extinguished a rebellion, the object of which was to overturn the constitution and religion of this country, and to divest the House of Hanover of the throne; the other was in consequence of a war begun in injustice, and the battle has been productive of no material effects.

Let me inform the honourable gentleman, that censure on the undeserving, is as necessary as thanks to the meritorious, for the promotion of military discipline, and honourable atchievement; and, I hope, he will proceed to enquire into de. merit, wherever it may be found in the service.

Report says, we are speedily to have among us Sir Hugh Palliser, who has been convicted by one court martial of bringing a malicious and ill-founded charge against his com


[ocr errors]

manding officer, and has been found guilty of neglect of duty by another.

[Here a cry of order ràn through the House ; and the speaker said, that Sir Hugh Palliser was not yet a member of the House, and therefore he hoped Sir Joseph would not bring his name into debate irregularly.]

Sir Joseph resumed, and said, I am obliged to you, Sir, for your caution and advice. I have said nothing of that gentleman I will not say to his face : I have no prejudice against him, but wbat has arisen from the facts stated and proved in the printed trials, which every gentleman may have in his power to peruse. But, Sir, he has neglected his duty, and has brought a malicious and ill-founded charge against his commanding officer; notwithstanding which, he has !ately been promoted to the government of Greenwich Hospital, a place to which he could have had no pretensions from rank and standing in the service, if his conduct had not been exceptionable, as I think it.

I shall probably be told, that the court-martial, in affixing on his accusation the epithets malicious and ill-founded, exceeded their jurisdiction, and that he was acquitted by the other court-martial. The latter, indeed, acquitted him, but neither unanimously nor honourably, after finding him guilty of neglect: the other court-martial did not exceed the usage and practice in like cases, which is the law of courts martial. In the year 1757, or 1758, Sir Thomas Frankland, then at Antigua, brought a charge against Sir Thomas Pye.

[Here the Speaker called Sir Joseph to order, as deviating from the question. 'Mr. Fox supported Sir Joseph, and shewed clearly that nothing could be more orderly than to talk of the delinquency of one Admiral, when the question related to the thanking of another. Mr. Rigby supported the Speaker, and called Sir Joseph's a dull narrative; which expreffion immediately called up Mr. Townshend, who, with great warmth and eloquence, attacked Mr. Rigby for his ungentleman-like and illiberal reflection. After the Speaker and Mr. Rigby had again spoken, Sir Joseph Mawbey proceeded.]

I am inclined, Sir, to doubt at least of my being right, when you tell me I am wrong; and though it would not be difficult to go on in a way perfe&tly confiftent with order, I shall not proceed, as I find it objeétionable to one part of the House. As to the honourable gentleman's charge of dullness, it becomes not me to say much on that subject, I know how A a 2


« AnteriorContinua »