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East Indiamen among them. He censured extremely these fleets being suffered to touch at Madeira for the purpose of taking in wine, when every man at all acquainted with nautical matters, had declared, that it was highly impolitic, and that they ought to have kept more to the westward. Touching Medeira at that time of the year, and suffering it to be known that such was their intention, appeared to him to be just as absurd, as if a man was to tell a robber, who he knew wished to attack him, which way he meant to travel, and what inn he should put up at on the road. The Alderman mentioned also the unaccountable conduct of the Captain of the Ramilies, who, he said, he 'understood, was esteemed a gallant and worthy officers but he had been informed, that the night previous to the capture, the capain of the Ramilies descried nine large ships a head of him ; every man he had talked to upon the subject, had given it as their opinion, that the moment these nine ships were discovered, the signal for difperfing should have been hoisted. What could the captain take these nine ships for? He was pretty sure they could not be British merchantmen, he must therefore, strange as the idea was, have taken them for Spanish merchantmen, and under the hope of being able to make prizes of them, had risqued and lost the valuable fleet under his convoy. Having dwelt for some time on the particulars of the two captures, the Alderman at length concluded with declaring, that all he had said, had flown purely and entirely from his zealous regard for his country, he had her interests as much at heart as any gentleman on either fide of the House ; with a view to further them, and in duty to the city he had the honour to represent, the commerce of which, he thought, had been fcandalously neglected, he had now spoken his senti ments, and he ever would speak them honestly and impartially, and not from any personal dislike of his Majesty's ministers ; he had not the honour to know one of them, and had as little private pique to them as he had attachment to any of
those who wished to get into their place. Mr. Penton. Mr. Penton contended that there was no ground for com
plaining of the insufficiency of the Quebec convoy, since, when the day of enquiry came, it would be proved to have been equal in force to any convoy sent out with the same trade at any former period. With regard to the captain of the Ramilies, Mr. Penton faid, that he was as brave and
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Е worthy an officer as any in the service; that orders were already given to bring him to a court-martial, as well for the satisfaction of the public, as for the purpose of enabling him to clear his character; it was not right therefore for gentlemen in that House to pre-judge the conduct of an officer fo circumstanced, neither was it warrantable or decent to say a word to the prejudice of any officer, till he had been fairly and legally put upon his defence.
Mr. Minchin ftated a fact within his own knowledge. Mt. Mincbix When the Spanish squadron was ready to fail for America, it was suggested, that by the addition of five ships to Walling, ham's squadron the whole might be prevented from joining Guichen, if not destroyed; but five ships could not be found in all the ports of Britain.
Mr. Hartley approved of that part of Lord George Ger- Mr. Hartley. main's speech, werein he said, he hoped not to subdue but to regain America. He pressed him very earnestly to think of some conciliatory plan, some object, which being held out to the Americans, might detach them from France.
The House divided. Ayes for the address 212. Noes 130.
Just as the Speaker was putting the question upon bringing up the report on the address, Mr. Fox rose, and Me, Fox: faid he did not mean to give the House trouble, or to say a great deal against the bringing up of the report: he had spoken his sentiments very fully upon the subject the day before. He now rose only to take a moment's notice of a few words which had fallen from a noble Lord high in office, in the course of the debate, the preceding evening - not words personal to himself, for if there were any such in the noble Lord's fpeech, they were so qualified with Ifs and Whens, that no man could surely think he ought to take notice of them ; the words he alluded to were public words, words of businefs, words of a grave and serious nature, and words which he should undoubtedly have called upon the noble Lord to explain the preceding evening, had he not spoken before for a long time, and had he not seen, that the House were weary of the debate, and anxious to have the question put. As these words, however had lain upon his mind ever fince, he could not now forbear calling upon the noble Lord to tell that House what he meant by them. The words were, if he took the noble Lord rightly, that “ America
would treat with this country to-morrow, provided we allowed her independency."--What he wanted to know was, whether America would treat with Great Britain for herself as a separate power, provided her independency was allowed, or whether the noble Lord meant merely to say, that provided we allowed the independency of America, America and France would treat. If the noble Lord meant the former, it became him to tell the House fo, because in his opinion, the noble Lord in that case would be the meflenger of a piece of extraordinary good news to the House; the chief argument urged the preceding day in behalf of the address, (and a good argument, he really thought it, as far as it went,) having been the argument on which the honourable gentleman who seconded the address principally rested, viz. the extreme difficulty and the little probability of our being able to separate America from France. He therefore called upon the noble
Lord to explain. Lord George Lord George Germain thanked the honourable gentleman Germain.
for having given him an opportunity of making himself understood on a point, respecting which he had not, perhaps, been so explicit as he meant to have been ; his words were, if
1 he remembered rightly, that America would never treat with this country, unless her independency were allowed as a preliminary; allow her that, and she would treat to-morrow; but from all the information he had received, he did not believe, nor had he understood, that the Congress of America had at any time expressed an inclination, or given instruction to any person, to treat with Great Britain without the consent of France.
Mr. Fox faid, that he now perfectly understood the matter, and if America would no otherwise treat than jointly
with France Lord George Lord G. Germain interrupted him, and said, “ Those were
not my words, though near them; but they convey a disferent meaning -- I did not say jointly with France. I mean the Congress of America, if you allow them independency, will treat, but not without communication with France, nor
without the consent of France." Mr, Fox.
Mr. Fox made a short reply, lamenting our situation. He said, if America would have treated separately, on the con. dition of her independency being allowed, that was the very ground, on which a gentleman, now no longer in parliament (Mr. D. Hartley] thought himself an enemy to allowing
America independency, had always contended this country ought to treat, provided we could not take more advantageous ground.
Mr. H. W. Hartley said a few words on the same subje.
Lord Mahon said, if the noble Lord, by declaring that Hartley; America had never given instructions to treat with Great Britain but on condition of having her independency allowed, meant that Congress had never shewn a disposition to treat on other terms, the noble Lord was mistaken; because in the answer of Congress to the Commissioners, which he had in his hand, the Congress gave them the option of two conditions, viz. for Great Britain either to withdraw her fleets and armies, or to allow their independency.
On the question being put, the report was brought up and read in the usual form,
The House then came to a resolution not to receive any petions for private bills after the 6th day of February next.
November 8. The House waited on the King at St. James's, with the following address.
The humble Address of the House of Commons to the King.
Most gracious Sovereign,
gracious speech from the throne.
We beg leave to congratulate your Majesty upon the safe delivery of the Queen, and the birth of another prince; and to assure your Majesty, that we take a sincere part in every event that contributes to your Majesty's domestic happiness.
We acknowledge, with the utmost gratitude, your Majesty's condescending goodness, in your desire to meet your Parliament at this tiine, and your gracious expressions of attention and regard to the disposition and wishes of your people.
We are impressed with a due sense of the difficulties of the present arduous conjuncture, when the whole force of France and Spain is combined and exerted to support the rebellion in your Majesty's colonies, and to attack all the dominions of your crown; and when it is but too manifest
to all the world, that the real views of this moft unjuft confederacy are to give a fatal blow to the commerce and power of Great Britain, in resentment for the successful efforts which this nation has so often made, to save the liberties of Europe from the ambition of the House of Bourbon.
We have observed with great and just satisfaction, that your Majesty, by the support of your Parliament, and the fpirit and bravery of your fleets and armies, has, under the Divine protection, been enabled to withstand the formidable attempts of your enemies; and we offer our most cordial congratulations to your Majesty on the signal successes which have attended the progress of your Majesty's arms in the provinces of Georgia and Carolina, and in which the conduct and courage of your Majesty's officers, and the valour and intrepidity of your troops, have been so eminently diftin. guished.
We consider your Majesty's earnest desire and folicitude to see the war brought to a happy conclusion as the strongest proofs of your paternal regard for your people, but we entirely agree with your Majesty, that safe and honourable terms of peace can only be secured by such powerful preparations and vigorous exertions as shall convince our enemies that your Majesty and your Parliament are united in a firm and stedfast resolution to decline no difficulty or danger in the defence of their country, and for the maintenance of their effential interests.
We are thoroughly sensible that these ends cannot be effected without great and hcavy expences; and we will grant your Majesty such supplies as the lasting security and welfare of your kingdoms, and the exigency of affairs, shall be found to require.
Your Majesty may rely, with entire confidence, on the most zealous and affectionate attachment of your faithful Commons to your person, family, and government; and we acknowledge, with the liveliest sentiments of reverence and gratitude, that the constant tenor of your Majesty's conduct shews, that the fole object of your royal care and concern are to promote the happiness of your people, and to preserve inviolate our excellent constitution in church and ftate.
His Majesty's Answer,