Imatges de pÓgina

“ His Majesty is fully persuaded, that the justice and neceffity of the measures he has taken will be acknowledged by all the world. Relying, therefore, on the protection of Divine Providence, and the zealous and affectionate support of his people, his Majesty has the firmest confidence, that, by a vigorous exertion of the spirit and resources of the nation, he shall be able to maintain the honour of his crown, and the fights and interests of his people, against all his enemies, and to bring them to listen to equitable terms of peace.

G.R." Lord North presented to the House, by his Majesty's command, the following papers :

MANIFEST O. GEORGE R. (L. S.) “ THROUGH the whole course of our reign, our conduct towards the States General of the United Provinces has been that of a sincere friend and faithful ally. Had they adhered to those wise principles which used to govern the republic, they must have thewn themselves equally solicitous to maintain the friendship which has so long sublifted between the two nations, and which is effential to the interefts of both: but from the prevalence of a faction devoted to France, and following the di&tates of that court, a very different policy has prevailed. The return made to our friendship, for some time past, has been an open contempt of the inoft folemn engagements, and a repeated violation of public faith,

" On the commencement of the defensive war, in which we found ourselves engaged by the aggression of France, we shewed a tender regard for the interests of the States General, and a desire of securing to their subjects every advantage of trade, consistent with the great and just principle of our own defence. Our ambassador was instructed to offer a friendly negociation, to obviate every thing that might lead to diragreeable discussion; and to this offer, solemnly made by him to the States General, the second of November, 1778, no attention was paid.

“ After the number of our enemies increased by the aggression of Spain, equally unprovoked with that of France, we found it necessary to call upon the States General for the performance of their engagements. The fifth article of the perpetual defensive alliance between our crown and the States General, concluded at Westminster the 3d of March, 1678, besides the general engagement for succours, expressly ftipulates, 'That the party of the two alljes that is not attacked, ' shall be obliged to break with the aggressor in two months

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after the party attacked shall require it;' yet two years have passed, without the least assistance given to us, without a single syllable in answer to our repeated demands.

“ So totally regardless have the States been of their treaties with us, that they readily promised our enemies to observe a neutrality, in direct contradition to those engagements, and whilst they have with-held from us the fuccours they were bound to furnish, every secret affiftance has beca given the enemy; and inland duties have been taken off, for the sole purpose of facilitating the carriage of naval stores to France,

“ In dire&t and open violation of treaty, they suffered an American pirate to remain several weeks in one of their ports; and even permitted a part of his crew to mount guard in a fort in the Texel.

“ In the East-Indies, the subjeéts of the States General, in concert with France, have endeavoured to raise up enemies against us.

“ In the West-Indies, particularly at St. Euftatius, every protection and affiftance has been given to our rebellious subjects. Their privateers are openly received into the Dutch harbours; allowed to refit there ; supplied with arms and ammunition; their crews recruited; their prizes brought in and sold; and all this in direct violation of as clear and folemn ftipulations as can be made.

« This conduct, so inconfiftent with all good faith, so repugnant to the sense of the wiseft part of the Dutch nation, is chiefly to be ascribed to the prevalence of the leading magiftrates of Amsterdam, whose fecret correspondence with our rebellious subjects was suspected, long before it was made known by the fortunate discovery of a treaty, the first article of which is, There shall be a firm, inviolable and uni'versal peace, and sincere friendship, between their High

Mightinesses, the estates of the seven United Provinces of « Holland, and the United States of North America, and the ' subjects and people of the said parties; and between the

countries, itlands, cities and towns, situated under the jurif<diction of the said United States of Holland, and the said U (ted States of America, and the people and inhabitants thereof, of every degree, without exception of persons or places."

This treaty was signed in September, 1778, by the express order of the pensionary of Amsterdam, and other principal magiftrates of that city. They now not only avow the whole transaction, but glory in it, and expressly say, even to the States General, that what they did was what their indis' pensable duty required.'

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" In the mean time, the States General declined to give any answer to the memorial presented by our ambassador; and this refusal was aggravated by their proceeding upon other bufinefs, náy, upon the consideration of this very subject to internal purposes; and while they found it impoffible to approve the conduct of their subjects, they still industriously avoided to give us the satisfaction fo manifestly due.

We had every right to expect, that such a discovery would have roused them to a juft indignation at the insult offered to us, and to themselves; and that they would have been eager to give us full and ample satisfaction for the offence, and to infli&t the severeft punishment upon the offenders. The urgency of the bufiness made an inftant answer effential to the honour and safety of this country. The demand was accordingly pressed by our ambassador in repeated conferences with the ministers, and in a second memorial : it was pressed with all the earneftness which could proceed from our ancient friendíhip, and the sense of recent injuries; and the answer now given to a memorial on such a subject, delivered about five weeks ago, is, 'That the States have taken it ad referendum. Such an answer upon such an occasion, could only be dictated by the fixed purpose of hoftility meditated, and already resolved, by the States, induced by the offensive council of Amsterdam, thus to countenance the hostile aggression, which the magistrates of that city have made in the name of the Republic.

• There is an end of the faith of all treaties with them, if Amsterdam may usurp the sovereign power, may violate those treaties with impunity, by pledging the States to engagements directly contrary, and leaguing the Republic with the rebels of a sovereign to whom she is bound by the closest ties. An infraction of the law of nations, by the meanest member of any country, gives the injured ftate a right to demand satisfaction and punishment: how much more so, when the injury complained of is of a flagrant violation of public faith, committed by leading and predominant members in the state! Since then the satisfaction we have demanded is not given, we must, though most reluctantly, do ourselves that justice which we cannot otherwise obtain : we must confider the States General as parties in the injury which they will not repair, as sharers in the aggression which they refuse to punish, and must act accordingly. We have therefore ordered our ainbaffador to withdraw from the Hague, and Thali immediately pursue such vigorous mea


fures as the occasion fully justifies, and our dignity and the effential interests of our people require.

“ From a regard to the Dutch nation at large, we wish it were poffible to direct those measures wholly against Amsterdam ; but this cannot be, unless the States General will im. mediately declare, that Amsterdam shall, upon this occafion, receive no affiftance from them, but be left to abide the consequences of its aggression.

« Whilst Amsterdam is suffered to prevail in the general counsels, and is backed by the strength of the ftate, it is impoffible to resist the aggresfion of so considerable a part, without contending with the whole. But we are too sensible of the common interests of both countries not to remember, in the midst of such a conteft, that the only point to be aimed at by us, is to raise a disposition in the councils of the Repuhlic to return to our ancient union, by giving us that fatis. faction for the past, and security for the future, which we shall be as ready to receive, as they can be to offer; and to the attainment of which we shall direct all our operations. We mean only to provide for our own security, by. defeating the dangerous designs that have been formed against us. We shall ever be disposed to return to friendship with the States General, when they fincerely revert to that system which the wisdom of their ancestors formed, and which has now been subverted by a powerful faction, conspiring with France against the true interests of the republic, no less than against those of Great Britain. St. James's, Dec. 20, 1780.

G. R."

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Copy of the Precis of what Sir Joseph Yorke faid to the Deputies of

the States General, on the 2d of November, 1778. “ THEIR High Mightinesses will have received, by the answer from Lord Suffolk, oge of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, to the Count Welderen, dated the 19th of O&tober, the most convincing proofs of his Majesty's friendship towards thein.

“ After an explicit detail of the hostile and unprecedented conduct of his Most Christian Majesty, which conduct occafioned the seeming irregularity of the court of Great Britain in seizing the ships appertaining to neutral powers bound to the ports of France, the measure hath been fully explained principles of neceflity and self-defence, against an enemy

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BATES who hath ever acted covertly and by surprise. The moderation and equity of the King my master would not permit him to disregardthe complaints of the subjects of their High Mightinesses, from the monent there appeared a porfibility to renew them. It is for this reason that his Majefty has declared his intention to release the Dutch vessels, under conditions the most amicable and the least disadvantageous, as far as circumstances will admit. The war, however, still continues, and the active endeavours of the enemy to push matters to extremity, obliges his Majesty to guard against the danger. He wishes, nevertheless, to involve his good neighbours and allies as little as possible, and although France has even threatened to invade his Majesty's dominions and territories, having, for that purpose, assembled numerous armies on their coast, the King, my master, still forbears to claim such succour from their High Mightinesses as they are bound to grant, by the most explicit and solemn treaties, whenever fuck fuccours may be on his part required, namely,

of 1768, and the separate article of 1916; his Majesty confines himself, for the present, solely to lay before their High Mightinesses the state of affairs, the motive of his conduct, and the neceffity he finds himself under to take measures for his own defence, and the preservation of his dominions.

“ It is only with this view that I am ordered by his Bri. tannic Majesty to propose to their High Mightinesses a conference, to consider of the most proper means towards an ami. cable regulation of such a mode of proceeding in future, respecting such articles as his Majesty, without yielding to his enemies, cannot possibly suffer them to be supplied with. It cannot have escaped the attention of their High Mightinesses, that Lord Suffolk, in explaining his Majesty's sentiments to Count Welderen, fully demonstrated the King's fincere desire to pay the strictest regard to faith of treaties, as far as they do not directly tend to expose him to imminent danger. It is by no means his intention, nor is it his wish, to cause the least interruption to the commerce of Holland, usually carried on with France, excepting warlike and naval stores; and even this restriction shall be enjoyed with the utmost equity, and I am confident, with every possible degree of generosity.

“I therefore, in obedience to my instructions, have taken the liberty to request an audience, to know whether, in consequence of the answer delivered to Count Welderen, their High Mightinesses are resolved to open a conference with


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