Abbildungen der Seite

and injustice in peace, and is destitute of the monster to prowl the world unopposed. all justice and integrity in war. I ob- He must .cease to annoy the abode of served also, that the character and conduct peaceful men. If he retire into the cell, of that government must enter into the whether of solitude or repentance, thither calculation of security to other govern- we will not pursue him; but we cannot ments against wrong,and for the due and li- leave him on the throne of power. The beral observance of political engagements. hon. gentleman says, that the French re

The hon. gentleman says, he has too much public and liberty cannot exist together; good sense to suppose that territorial therefore, as a friend to liberty, he cannot limits can, of themselves, be made to be a friend to France. Yet he tells us. constitute the security of states. He almost in the same breath, that he will does well to add his sanction to a doc- not vote for any thing that does not tend tripe that is as old as political society to secure the liberties of that country, itself. In the civilised and regular com- though, to give him the benefit of his own munity states find their mutual security proposition, not to wish the overthrow of against wrong, not in territory only; they France is not to wish for the preservation have the guarantee of fleets, of armies, of of English liberty. Indeed, he says, he acknowledged integrity, and tried good will vote nothing for the purpose of over, faith; it is to be judged of by the cha- throwing that tyranny, or, as he very racter, the talents, and the virtues of the strangely adds, the rights and liberties of men who guide the councils ofstates. France others--the rights and liberties of France! has territory, she has the remains of a navy, But how will the gentleman maintain bis she has armies, but what is her character, character for consistency, while he will as a moral being? who is there to testify not vote for any measure that seeks to her integrity? The Swiss nation !-Who overthrow the power of a government, in bears testimony to her good faith? The the contemplation of which he has disstates she has plundered ! What is the covered a gulph in his mind between the character of her advisers ? what the as. | ideas of its existence and the existence of peet of her councils ? They are the au. liberty ? Whilst republican France conthors of all those calamities which, march- tinues what it is, I make war against reing by the side of an unblushing tyranny, publican France; but if I should see any have obscured the fairest portions of Eu- chance of the return of a government rope. In fine, we are to look for security that does not threaten to endanger the from a government which is constantly existence of other governments, far be it making professions of different kinds from me to breath hostility to it. I must of sentiments, and is constantly reced- first see this change of fortune to France ing from every thing it professes ; a go- and to Europe make its progress with vernment that has professed, and still certain steps, before I relax in the assermanifests, enmity to every state in Eu- tion of those rights, which are the common rope, and particularly to this country. property, the links of union of the regular

The hon. gentleman persists in saying, governments of Europe. that we have an intention to wage war Mr. Tierney said, he would not conagainst opinion. It is not so. We are tribute any subsidy to take the choice of not in arms against the opinions of the a government from the hands of a people, closet, nor the speculations of the school, and place it in those of strangers. He We are at war with armed opinions; saw with regret what had passed in France; we are at war with those opinions but though they had failed in forming a which the sword of audacious, unprin government, it did not follow that a focipled, and impious innovation, seeks to reign armed force could devise a better. propagate amidst the ruins of empires, the He did not profess himself an admirer of demolition of altars, the destruction of the system; all he said was, that an enevery venerable and good and liberal in deavour to change it by force could not stitution, under whatever form of polity be productive of any good consequence. they have been raised. Whilst the prin. Mr. Windham said, that the subject in ciples avowed by France, and acted upon debate had been so ably elucidated by his so wildly, were confined to the circle of a right hon. friend, that he must despair of few ingenious and learned men, we saw making it more intelligible. The comnothing in them to alarm, nothing to ter- mittee might therefore feel some surprise rify; but their appearance in arms at his offering himself to their attention, changed their character. We will not leave were it not that the hon. gentleman still seemed to persist in his misrepresentation. fatuating delusion, which had invested That gentleman argued, that the object with insolent security that junto of plunof the war ought to have been stated in derers who had hurried her forward in precise terms at its very outset. Now, the career of blood and rapine. He nothing could be more irrational. The would not, however, with toilsome miwar was, in its commencement, entirely nuteness, trace all the hideous progress defensive ; nor, from the state of Europe of a monster, who never made a step but at the time, could it have appeared in to gain an advantage over innocence, or any other light : it was entered upon for to overthrow the defenceless. Were he the security of Europe; and it was still to contemplate it in all the relations of carried on upon the same principle. its character, it would be difficult to deThe main question at issue was the termine when he would wish to make limited reduction of the power of France. peace with it. But in all the great affairs Upon this topic, however, the hon. gen- of men, that combination of circumstances tleman had carefully excluded all consi- must be embraced, which promises the deration of the character of its govern- most beneficial general result, and, proment: but if security was our ultimate ceeding upon this maxim, he would say, object, it was surely obvious that it must the period which he would select for this materially depend upon the power and desirable object, would be, that in which will of the state to be negotiated with. It the dangers of peace would be less than was not to be expected that a government, those of war. The hon. gentleman had composed of the very dregs of vice and supposed that a difference of opinion had intamy, would treat with us upon those prevailed among ministers relative to the conditions of mutual security, which object of the war. Speaking for himself would have regulated the conduct of he could say, that he did not differ from nations possessing a similar constitution his right hon. friend in any thing that had and goveroment, and placing an ho- fallen from him that evening. He wished nourable pride in the maintenance of for a liberal, not a revolutionary gogood faith with their neighbours. But vernment; for a government founded not he would ask, what was the rationale upon the imaginary rights of man, but of the question? Did France unequi- on the ancient religion and morality of vocally declare that she no longer Europe. He would not, however, conpersisted in her mad views of conquest tend, that it would be expedient to conand aggrandizement, there might then tinue the contest till such a government be some reasonable motive for attempt could be established; his opinion was, ing to treat with her. But if she still that peace ought to be concluded, the continued to avow those ruinous projects, moment it could be done in consistency and openly declared, that the existence with our security, dignity, and honour. of her present government was inconsis- He would not conceal that he thought no tent with that of the other governments mude of government so suitable to France of Europe, what security could they pos- as her ancient monarchy. If a revolusess, were she even driven within "her tionary government were to be supported, ancient territory? Would she not still there must be recourse to that fertile entertain the same restless and ambitious source of vice and calamity, the primary views towards her neighbours ? and would assemblies. He confessed that he did she not still possess very powerful means not much relish a government made of annoying their tranquillity? Could in a frame; the government of his choice, France again, confined to a population of was that which found its source in the twenty-four millions, be regarded as an affections of the people, derived security inconsiderable power? Had she not, at from their prejudices, and strength from all times, been powerful enough to dis- their passions; and such alone, with retract every state within the sphere of her gard to France, was that which was bound influence, and to maintain a dangerous up in the stems of its ancient monarchy. rivalship to this country? But the hon. But in changing its condition, the first gentleman thought it was a sufficient an- consideration was, to drive it within its swer to this, that she could not commence former limits. If he then were asked, her future projects of invasion with the same whether he wished the allied armies to advantages which she had hitherto enjoyed. impose a new government upon it by It was undoubtedly true, that she could force, he would answer, no!' He knew not again possess the advantage of an in- that if such an attempt were made, it

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

must fail; as every nation considered a | Navy

£. 13,653,000 contest on its own territory as a struggle Deduct diminution of for its existence. He was certainly de

navy debt and saving sirous that France should enjoy a benefi

expected in 1799.... 1,403,000 £

12,250,000 cial and rational liberty. What kind of

Army liberty did she now enjoy? It was only Vote of Credit, 1798


1,000,000 of late, in that land of freemen, that such Extraordinaries, 1799

2,500,000 a privilege as the freedom of speech had Ordnance, exclusive of sea service 1,570,000 made its appearance, a freedom which Miscellaneous services ...

3,264,351 advanced with the march of the armies of Deficiency land and malt

498,000 that monarch which the hon. gentleman Subsidy to Russia

825,000 had denominated a despot, and which National debt...

200,000 was exercised only under the protection

30,947,351 of general Suwarrow. What was the ancient despotism of France? Certainly, Vote of credit for 1799

3,000,000 if compared to the government of this country, the difference was very marked,

I shall next state the articles of the for ours was a government sui generis ; Ways and Means, to which I intend to but if compared to that of Turkey, or, have recourse to meet this expenditure: what better suited his purpose, to the go- Sugar

, tobacco, and malt vernment which succeeded the monarchy, Loitery

£.2,750,000 it would not be a very difficult thing to Surplus of consolidated fundin

200,000 decide which was the greatest despotism. Jan. and April, 1799

521,000 It was not by light efforts that the links Growing produce of ditto

3,229,000 of that republic, one and indivisible, were Exports and imports

1,500,000 kept together. Gentlemen might indulge Ten per cent on income

7,500,000 their fancies in drawing comparisons be- Instalments on aid and contributween the present humane, just, and

tions, 1798

650,000 amiable government of that country, and Loan, first


.. 12,000,000 that of the tyrant Louis 16th ; but in his Loan, second opinion, to compare the irregularities, or even crimes of that monarch to those of Deduct half year's interest

31,350,000 the present rulers was a kind of language on 8,000,000l. 1798 .. 240,000 which was fit only for ale-houses, and de- Ditto one year 11,000,0001. served to be classed with the vulgar ex- at 5l. 7s. per cent .... - 588,000 clamations of soupe maigre and wooden

828,000 shoes. Nothing could be more desirable to this country than the restoration of the

30,522,000 monarchy; for, notwithstanding all its de Exchequer bills 3,000,0001. fects, it could never do us any serious in- My next duty, is to state to the comjury, compared to the incalculable mis- mitttee the terms upon which the loan has chiefs which the present abominable sys- been made. The usual mode of receiving tem was peculiarly fitted to produce. offers by open competition has been adThe Resolution was agreed to. hered to. The proposal was made to the

competitors of taking 1251. in the 3 per Debate in the Commons on the Budget.] cent consols, and 50 in the reduced, and The House having resolved itself into a it was accepted at the price of the day, Committee of Ways and Means, considerably less than the actual value of

Mr. Pitt rose and said :—Sir; As the 1001. Three most respectable houses discussion of the objects to which your agreed to pay for 1251. in the 3 per cent attention is now directed, has on a former consols 691. 45. 4£d. and for the reduced occasion occupied the minds of gentlemen, 28l. 2s. 6d. making 971. 6s. 104d. which, it will not be necessary for me to dwell on with the benefit of the discount at 21. 6s. them at much length. It is now my duty 6d. gave 991. 13s. 4d. to recapitulate the supplies, and to lay be- The next object will be the charges that fore the committee the ways and means to are to defray the interest upon part of which I intend to have recourse to provide this loan which remains unprovided for by for the expenditure. I shall begin with re- any other fund. The amount of this sum capitulating the different heads under which is no more than 315,000). The principle the articles of Supply are usually classed : which I propose to go upon is, that there shall be no loan contracted for during any no more than shall be answered by the year, greater than what the amount of taxes already existing; we have the satisthe sinking fund can pay off. By the ope. faction to observe, that although the tax ration of this fund the whole of the loan on income is to be continued during that that is now to be raised of 152 millions period, yet every year of war entails the will be paid. The whole of the taxes continuance of that tax only for one year which I mean to move for will rest upon after the conclusion of a peace; and that articles that arise entirely out of the pre- there shall only be a charge of

permanent sent circumstances of affairs, and so far taxes to the amount of 300,0001. additional from operating as a tax, will rather be a on the country. Therefore, when we are relief to the public. This is to be done about to calculate the burthens of the by withholding a certain proportion of the war, and compare tliem to the evils atbounty that has been allowed as a draða tending an insecure and dishonourable back upon sugars exported from this coun- peace, let us ask ourselves this question : try. I propose, that on clayed sugars shall we pay for another year a tax of ten from the British plantations, in addition per cent on income? shall we by that to all other duties, a duty of 4s. per cwt. comparatively small sacrifice, save ourbe laid, which, estimating the whole at selves and our posterity from future bur200,000 cwt. will produce 40,000l. On thens? or shall we, by a want of energy British plantation sugar exported, I shall and public spirit, increase our difficulties, also propose to withhold 2s.6d. per cwt. of and furnish our enemies with the only adthe drawback, in addition to 4s. now retain- vantages they can have over us? Let us ed on 358 cwt. on East India exported ask ourselves, what difficulty shall we have 76,000 cwt., at 6s. 6d. which will produce hereafter in bearing the burthens of a temthe sum of 62,000l. On foreign plantation porary loan each year of ten or eleven sugar exported, at 2s. 6d. per cwt. will millions, for the payment of which a fund produce 14,0001. By taking 48. per cwt. shall have already been provided ? loans from the bounty now payable on refined which will produce no greater burthen sugar exported, there will arise a sum of than a tax of 300,000l. in each year of 39,0001. And by withholding 4s. from To be able to ascertain the cercoffee exported, a sum of 65,0001. will be tainty of this proud situation, is a circumproduced. British sugars left for home stance in itself invaluable. Every event consumption, at 8d. per cwt., I estimate that has taken place within a short period, will produce 56,0001. There is another shows that we are rising in private wealth article upon which I propose to lay a duty. and public prosperity. Every thing conIn many parts of the kingdom, there is an vinces us that we are in a situation in extensive circulation of small notes. On which we ought not to stop short of that every note under 40s. I shall propose to adequate, full, and rational security lay a 'tax of 2d. ; and as the number sup- which we have a right to expect. Every posed to be circulated throughout Great thing that now presents itself to our view Britain is estimated at 1,500,0001. this must serve to do away the gloomy prog. tax, according to that number, will pro- nostics, which some persons, from a spirit duce 62,000l. But in a matter of so great of opposition to government, and others uncertainty as this, I will suppose the from timidity and despondency, were in amount to be 42,0001. The whole making the habit of making. At the time when a total of 316,0001.

I offered to the House the plan for in· I am sure that the various circumstances creasing the assessed taxes, there was no of these statements must confirm in gen- one measure that excited so great a clatlemen's minds the inestimable advantages mour, and raised so many doubts in the that the public will derive from an adequate minds of men, as to the probability of its provision being made to answer the exi. endangering the permanent revenue, or gencies of each year. It must fill the striking at the root of the manufactures mind of every man with satisfaction to con. and commerce of the country.

We, how template so pleasing a prospect, that ever, in spite of all this opposition, made should the war be lengthened to ever so the experiment of adopting a measure, distant a period, we shall have within our the principle of which has, during the power the means of carrying it on with vi present session, been carried to a greater gour, if our expenses shall not exceed extent: we have the satisfaction to see the sums at which they are now estimated, that one plan was acted upon; and that and if we adhere to the system of borrowing the other had been accepted with the ge[VOL, XXXIV.]



neral concurrence of all orders of men. be considered as an annuity for a limited The credit and prosperity of the country number of years. But this is not all. are not alone manifested by these general The plan which has been successfully symptoms; they even appear in the differ- adopted of raising the supplies within the ent rounds of pleasure, amusements, and the year, will tend to relieve us from all dissipation, with which many persons in the the lasting burthens which a great accu. higher ranks of life are in the habit of in- mulation of debt would throw upon the dulging themselves. There cannot be a country. Supposing the consolidated stronger proof than this, that the people fund to go on as it has done for some have not been distressed by means of the years past, and that there should be no war; and that there is nothing gloomy in extraordinary rise in the price of stocks, the finances of the country. But how it will in the year 1808 arrive at its has the war affected the trade and revenue maximum. The period from the present of the country? Our trade has never to that time will be an interval of great been in a more flourishing situation : the stress upon the country; but it will not perpetual taxes of the present year exceed be difficult to provide taxes for these what they were last year, when they eight years. Here Mr. Pitt entered into amounted to 14,574,0001. a sum gres a detail of calculations, which went to than ever was produced in the most show, that the whole of the national debt flourishing times of peace. I need not might be extinguished in the space of 33 ask whether the raising of the supplies years of peace; that supposing the war to within the year will be any detriment 10 continue ever so long, it could be carried the country; the experiment that has al- on without the creation of new debt; and ready been tried, proves the contrary. that in case the war should soon be terSo far from that measure having caused minated, and that an interval of ten years any diminution in our trade, the imports should happen between the conclusion of of the last year are much greater than one and the commencement of another those of any former year; they amount war, in that period of peace the sinking to 25 millions, whereas those of the year fund would discharge 70 millions of debt, 1797 amounted only to 21 millions. A and enable the country to enter into anosimilar augmentation has taken place in ther war with superior means.-Mr. Pitt our exports, both of home and foreigo then moved his several resolutions, which manufactures. The latter, in the year were agreed to. 1797, amounted to 28 millions: the last accounts that have been made up, state Debate in the Lords on the King's Mesa their amount at 33,800,0001. The great sage respecting a Subsidy to Russia.] advantages arising from such a plan must June 11. His Majesty's Message having be obvious to every body: it is that plan been read, which of all others will be most likely to Lord Grenville rose to propose an ad. lead to a speedy conclusion of the dress. He said, that the conduct of contest in which we are engaged. The Great Britain, in this momentous contest, system that has been pursued in this had been noble and great beyond any country, with respect to finances, has thing recorded in the page of history. h frequently varied. In all the wars previ. had taken the lead in the glorious under ous to the present, the mode of raising taking of relieving the civilized world, money has been that of borrowing, and from the insupportable tyranny of the leaving to posterity the burthen of paying French republic. In this great cause, it principal and interest. The successful bad been the opinion of ministers that the institution of the sinking fund has made a cooperation of Russia would be of the use most material alteration in this system. most importance, and he had then to com The consequence of this institution will gratulate the House upon the attaipment of be, that whatever may be the expense of that very desirable object. It was happily any war, each year will carry along with unnecessary that he should expatiate on it the extinction of a certain portion of the good consequences of the accession the debt that may be contracted ; and in of Russia to the alliance; they were felt case of the continuance of some years of and seen throughout the whole continent : peace, the whole of the national debt will, and on these grounds he had the fairent, after the expiration of a certain time, be reliance on the unanimous concurrence of liquidated by the accumulating operation their lordships to the proposed address, of this fund : so that our debt may rather He then moveda " That an bumble

« ZurückWeiter »