« ZurückWeiter »
in time to set on foot a joint negotiation, the principles of moderation therein exfor peace, whilst the confederacy against pressed, persuaded, that some unequivocal France. yet remains unbroken. The proof of a sincere desire for the re-estaformer events of the present war suffici- blishment of peace, on just and reasonable ently prove, that Great Britain may be grounds, would afford the best hope of left alone to support the whole burthen of producing a correspondent disposition in the contest, against a formidable and the enemy, or, if contrary to that just exirritated enemy, notwithstanding the sa. pectation, from ambition, from pride, or crifices she had made for the common in- from a spirit of revenge, such lionourable terest, and in defiance of the most solemn overtures as his majesty might be advised engagements, not to conclude a peace but to make should be rejected, that it would by common consent. We have not learnt produce the double advantage of destroythat such treaties at present exist with ing the confidence of the people of France all the powers now engaged in the war, in their present rulers, and of increasing nor have we seen such decisive and un- the zeal, energy, and spirit of all descripequivocal symptoms of a perfect union tions of his majesty's faithful subjects, in and concert in their views and objects as the necessary prosecution of just and unto silence the apprehensions which we avoidable hostilities.” feel it our duty to state to his majesty, The Treaties were briefly defended by that by new concessions, which France lord Grenville, who gave his decided nehas such abundant means of making, gative to the motion. After which, the without any diminution of ber incor. House divided : Contents, 2; Not.conporated territory, some of the members of tents 15. the confederacy may be separated from On the 12th of October, both Houses the common cause, and Great Britain adjourned to the 21st of January 1800. again lose the inestimable advantages which now offer of opening a negociation The King's Message respecting Overfor peace, supported by the whole weight, tures of Peace from the Consular Governauthority, and power of her present ment of France.] January 22, 1800. Mr. allies. That whilst we are aware that it Pitt presented the following Message from is neither practicable nor prudent to bis Majesty : define the precise terms and conditions « GeoRGE R. upon which peace must ultimately, be “ The Supplies granted in the comconcluded, which we are sensible must mencement of the present session having alter with the circumstances of the war, been calculated to provide only for the and the different degrees of security first months of the year, his majesty nos, which different situations and the various recommends it to the House of Commons, interests of the powers engaged may re- to make such farther provision as they quire, we conceive nevertheless that it is may judge necessary, under the present not only perfectly practicable and safe, circumstances, for the several branches of but that at this moment it would be at the public service, and for the vigorous tended with important advantages to state prosecution of the war; and his majesty what are now the principles which, with has given directions that the proper estithe consent and concurrence of his allies, mates for this purpose should be laid his majesty would be willing to adopt as before the House. the basis of immediate negotiation : at, “ His majesty has thought proper on least, we cannot forbear most earnestly to this occasion to direct that there should entreat his majesty to disclaim such views be laid before the House, copies of Comas must render peace with the republic of munications recently received from the France utterly unattainable ; and the enemy, and of the Answers which have suspicion of which cannot fail to unite the been returned thereto, by his majesty's people of that country in a furious. zeal command, and hatred against the British nation, as " His majesty entertains the fullest being engaged in the unjustifiable project confidence that those Answers will ap. of imposing upon them a government by pear to this House to have been conformforce, or of dismembering their ancient able to that line of conduct which was re. empire. Recurring, therefore, to his ma- quired from his majesty on this occasion, jesty's royal declaration of 1797, we hum- by his regard to all the most important bly beseech bis-majesty to reject all such interests of his dominions, And his ma. counsels as would lead him to depart from jesty, having ag object more at heart than
mitted to me,
that of contributing, as soon as the situa merce, internal prosperity, and the happiness tion of affairs shall render it practicable, of families? How is it that they do not feel to the re-establishment of the general that peace is of the first necessity, as well as
of the first glory? tranquillity of Europe, on a sure and solid
These sentiments cannot be foreign to the foundation, and of providing effectually
heart of your majesty, who reigns over a free for the security and permanent prosperity nation, and with the sole view of rendering it of his faithful people, places a firm re- happy. liance on the continued support of his Your majesty will only see in this overture parliament, and on the zeal and perse- my sincere desire to contribute efficaciously, verance of his subjects, in sach measures for the second time, to a general pacification,
best tend to confirm the signal ad- by'a step speedy, entirely of confidence, and vantages which have been obtained, to disengaged from those forms which, necessary the common cause, in the course of the perhaps to disguise the dependence of weak last campaign, and to conduct the great the mutual desire of deceiving each other.
states, prove only, in those which are strong, contest, in which his majesty is engaged,
France and England, by the abuse of their to a safe and honourable conclusion.
strength, may still for a long time, for the “ G. R." misfortune of all nations, retard the period of
their being exhausted.-But I will venture to Papers relating to the Overture of Peace say it, the fate of all civilized nations is atfrom the Consular Government of France.]
tached to the termination of a war, which in
volves the whole world. Of your majesty. The following Papers were laid before
BUONAPARTE. both Houses, by his majesty's command:
LETTER from Lord Grenville to the Minister TRANSLATION of a Letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in France to Lord
of Foreign Affairs at Paris, dated Down
ing-street, January 4th, 1800. Grenville, dated 25th December 1799. My lord ;-I dispatch, by order of general king, the two letters which you have trans
Sir;-I have received, and laid before the Buonaparté, First Consul of the French 're
and his majesty seeing no reapublic, a messenger to London; he is the bearer of a letter from the first consul of the long been established in Europe for transact
son to depart from those forms which have republic, to his majesty the king of England. ing business with foreign states, has com-I request you to give the necessary orders that he may be enabled to deliver it directly cial answer which I send you herewith en
manded me, to return, in his name, the offiinto your own hands. This step, in itself, an- closed. I have the honour to be, with high nounces the importance of its object. Accept, consideration, &c. my lord, the assurance, &c.
(Signed) Ch. Mau. TALLEYRAND. (Signed) Paris, 5th Nivose,
OFFICIAL Note from Lord Grenville to the 8th year of the French Republic
Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, (December 25th, 1799).
dated Downing-street, January 4th, 1800. TRANSLATION of a Letter from General The King has given frequent proofs of his
Buonaparté, dated Paris, 25th December sincere desire for the re-establishment of se1799.
cure and permanent tranquillity in Europe. French Republic.-Sovereignty of the Peo- He neither is, nor has been, engaged in any ple.Liberty, Equality.
contest for a vain and false glory. He has
had no other view than that of maintaining Buonaparté, First Consul of the Republic, against all aggression the rights and happiness
to his Majesty the King of Great Britain of his subjects. and Ireland, Paris, the 5th Nivose, 8th For these he has contended against an unyear of the Republic (December 25th, provoked attack, and for the same objects he is 1799).
still obliged to contend; nor can he hope that Called by the wishes of the French nation this necessity could be removed by entering, to occupy the first magistracy of the republic, at the present moment, into a negotiation with I think it proper, on entering into office, to those whom a fresh revolution has so recently make' a direct communication of it to your placed in the exercise of power in France, majesty.
since no real advantage can arise from such The war which, for eight years, has ra- negotiation to the great and desirable object vaged the four quarters of the world, must it of general peace, until it shall distinctly apbe eternal? Are there no means of coming pear that those causes bave ceased to operate, to an understanding?
which originally produced the war, and by How can the two most enlightened nations which it has since been protracted, and, in of Europe, powerful and strong beyond what more than one instance, renewed. their safety and independence require, sacrifice The same system, to the prevalence of to ideas of vain greatness, the benefits of com- which France justly ascribes all her present miseries, is that which bas also involved the The best and most natural pledge of its rest of Europe in a long and destructive war-reality and permanence, would be the restorafare, of a nature long since unknown to the tion of that line of princes which for so many practice of civilized nations.
centuries maintained the French pation in For the extension of this system, and for prosperity at home, and in consideration and the extermination of all established govern respect abroad : Such an event would at once ments, the resources of France have, from have removed, and will at any time remove, year to year, and in the midst of the most un. all obstacles in the way of negotiation or paralleled distress, been lavished and ex- peace. It would confirm to France the unhausted. To this indiscriminate spirit of de inolested enjoyment of its ancient territory; struction, the Netherlands, the United Pro- and it would give to all the other nations of vinces, the Swiss Cantons (his majesty's an Europe, in tranquillity and peace, that secu cient friends and allies) have successively
been rity which they are now compelled to seek by sacrificed. Germany has been ravaged. Italy, other means. though now rescued from its invaders, has But, desirable as such an event must be, been made the scene of unbounded rapine and both to France and to the world, it is not to anarchy. His majesty has himself been com- this mode exclusively that his majesty limits pelled io maintain an arduous and burthen- the possibility of secure and solid pacification. some contest, for the independence and ex- His majesty makes no claim to prescribe to istence of his kingdoms.
France what shall be the form of her governNor have these calamities been confined to ment, or in whose hands she shall vest the Europe alone : they have been extended to the authority necessary for conducting the affairs most distant quariers of the world, and even of a great and powerful nation. to countries so remote, both in situation and His majesty looks only to the security of interest, from the present contest, that the his own dominions, and those of his allies, very existence of such a war was, perhaps, un- and to the general safety of Europe. Whenknown to those who found themselves sud-ever he shall judge that such security can in denly involved in all its horrors.
any manner be attained, as resulting either While such a system continues to prevail, from the internal situation of that country, and while the blood and treasure of a numerous from whose internal situation the danger has and powerful nation can be lavished in its sup- arisen, or from such other circumstances of port, experience has shown that no defence but whatever nature as may produce the same end, that of open and steady hostility can be avail- his majesty will eagerly embrace the opporing. The most solemn treaties have only tunity to concert with his allies the means of prepared the way for fresh aggression; and it immediate and general pacification. is to a determined resistance alone, that is now Unhappily no such security bitherto exists: due whatever remains in Europe of stability No sufficieni evidence of the principles by for property, for personal liberty, for social which the new government will be directed; order, or for the free exercise of religion. no reasonable ground by which to judge of
For the security, therefore, of these essen- its stability. In this situation it can for the tial objects, his majesty cannot place his re. present only remain for his majesty to pursue, liance on the mere renewal of general pro- in conjunction with other powers, those exer. fessions of pacific dispositions. Such profes- tions of just and defensive war, which his resions have been repeatedly held out by all gard to the happiness of his subjects will never those who have successively directed the re- permit him, either to continue beyond the nesources of France to the destruction of cessity in which they originated, or to termiEurope; and whom the present rulers have pate on any other grounds, than such as may declared to have been all, from the beginning, best contribute to the secure enjoyinent of and uniformly, incapable of maintaining the their tranquillity, their constitution, and their relations of amity and peace.
independence. Greatly, indeed, will his majesty rejoice,
GRENVILLE. whenever it shall appear that the danger to which his own dominions, and those of his
TRANSLATION of a Letter from the Minister allies, have been so long exposed, has really
for Foreign Affairs, at Paris, to Lord ceased; whenever he shall be satisfied that
Grenville: dated Paris, 24th Nivose the necessity of resistance is at an end; that
(141h January 1800). after the experience of so many years of My lord ;-I lost no time in laying before crimes and miseries, better principles have the first consul of the republic, the official ultimately prevailed in France; and that all note under date of the 14th Nívose, which the gigantic projects of ambition, and all the you transmitted to me; and I am charged to restless schemes of destruction, which have forward the answer (equally official) wbich you endangered the very existence of civil society, will find annexed. Receive, my lord, the have at length been finally relinquished : assurance, &c. But the conviction of such a change, however (Signed) Ch. Mau. TALLEYRAND. agreeable to his majesty's wishes, can result only from experience, and the evidence of Translation of the Official Note from the facts,
Minister for Foreign Affairs, at Paris, tu
Lord Grenville, dated 24th Nivose (Ja- But, if the wishes of his Britannic majesty nuary 14th, 1800).
(in conformity with his assurances) are in The official note, under date of the 14th unison with those of the French republic, for Nivose, the eighth year, addressed by the mi- the re-establishment of peace, why, instead nister of his Britannic majesty, having been of attempting the apology of the war, should laid before the first consul of the French re. not attention be rather paid to the means of public, he observed with surprise, that it terminating it? And what obstacle can prerested upon an opinion which is not exact, vent a mutual understanding, of wbich the respecting the origin and consequences of the utility is reciprocal, and is felt; especially present war. Very far from its being I'rance when the first consul of the French republic which provoked it, she had, it must be re- has personally given so many proofs of his membered, from the commencement of her eagerness to put an end to the calansities of revolution, solemnly proclaimed her love of war, and of his disposition to maintain the peace, her disinclination to conquests, her re- rigid observance of all treaties concluded. spect for the independence of all governments, The first consul of the French republic and it is not to be doubted, that, occupied at would not doubt that his Britannic majesty that time, and entirely with her own internal recognized the right of nations to choose the affairs, she would have avoided taking part form of their government, since it is from the in those of Europe, and would have remained exercise of this right that he holds his crown; faithful to her declarations.
but he has been unable to comprehend how to But, from an opposite disposition, as soon this fundamental principle, upon which rests as the French revolution had broken out, al. the existence of political societies, the mimost all Europe entered into a league for its nister of hi. Britannic majesty could annex destruction. The aggression was real, long insinuations which tend to an interference in time before it was public; internal resistance the internal affairs of the republic, and which was excited, its opponents were favourably are not less injurious to the French nation, received, their extravagant declamations were and to its government, than it would be to supported, the French nation was insulted in England and to his majesty, if a sort of invi. the person of its agents, and England set tation were held out in favour of that repubparticularly this example, by the dismissal of lican government, of which England adopted the minister accredited to her; finally, France the fornis in the middle of the last century, was, in fact, attacked in her independence or an exhortation to recall to the throne that in her honour, and in her safety, long time family whom their birth had placed there, and before the war was declared,
whom a revolution compelled to descend Thus it is to the projects of subjection, dis- from it. solution, and dismemberment, which were If, at periods not far distant, and when the prepared against her, and the execution of constitutional systein of the republic presented which was several times attempted and pur neither the strength nor the solidity which it sued, that France has a right to impute the contains at present, his Britannic majesty evils which she has suffered, and those which thought himself enabled to invite a negotiahave afflicted Europe. Such projects for a tion and pacific conferences, how is it possible long time, without example with respect to that he should not be eager to renew negotia. so powerful a nation, could not fail to bring on tions to which the present and reciprocal sithe most fatal consequences. Assailed on tuation of affairs promises a rapid progress. all sides, the republic could not but extend On every side, the voice of nations and of huuniversally the efforts of her defence; and it manity implores the conclusion of a war, is only for the maintenance of her own inde marked already by such great calamities, and pendence, that she has made use of those the prolougation of wbich threatens Europe means which she possessed in her own an universal convulsion, and irremediable strength, and the courage of her citizens. As evils. It is, therefore, to put a stop to the long as she saw that her enemies obstinately course of these calamities, or in order that refused to recognize her rights, she counted | their terrible consequences may be reproached only upon the energy of her resistance; but to those only who shall have provoked them, as soon as they were obliged to abandon the that the first consul of the French republic hope of invasion, she sought for means of proposes to put an immediate end to hostiliconciliation, and manifested pacific intentions; tics, by agreeing to a suspension of arms, and if these have not always been efficacious, and naming plenipotentiaries on each side, if, in the midst of the critical circumstances who should repair to Dunkirk, or any other of her internal situation, which the revolution town, as advaniageously situated for the quickand the war have successively brought on, ness of the respective communications, and the former depositaries of the executive au- who should apply themselves, without any thority in France have not always shown as delay, to effect the re-establishment of peace much moderation as the nation itself has and good understanding between the French shown courage, it must, above all, be imput- republic and England. The first consul offers ed to the fatal and persevering animosily with to give the passports which may be necessary which the resources of England have been for this purpose. lavished to accomplish the ruin of France. (Signed) Cu, Mau, TALLEYRAND. EVOL. XXXIV.]
[ 4 H]
adheres; and it is only on the grounds thus Letter from Lord Grenville to the Minister stated, that his regard to the safety of his for Foreigu Affairs, at Paris, dated Down. subjects will suffer him to renounce that sys ing-street, January 20th, 1800.
tem of vigorous defence, to which under the Sir ;-I have the honour to inclose to you favour of Providence, his kingdoms owe the the answer which his majesty has directed me security of those blessings which they now to return to the official note which you trans- enjoy.
GRENVILLE. mitted to me. I have, &c. GRENVILLE. Official Note from Lord Grenville to the
The King's Message respecting the Sta. Minister for Foreign Affairs, at Paris, tioning of Russian Troops.] Mr. Pitt dated January 20th, 1800.
presented a second Message from his MaThe official note transmitted by the minister jesty. It was as follows:
16 GEORGE R. for foreign affairs in France, and received by
“ His Majesty thinks proper to acquaint the undersigned on the 18th instant, has been laid before the king.
the House of Commons, that a body of His majesty cannot forbear expressing the auxiliary Russian troops, employed with concern with which he observes in that note his majesty's forces in the expedition to that the unprovoked aggressions of France, Holland, having necessarily been brought the sole cause and origin of the war, are sys- to these kingdoms at the close of the camtematically defended by her present rulers, paign, and the season of the year and under the same injurious pretences by which
other circumstances, not having admitted they were originally attempted to he disguised of their being sent back to the dominions of allegations now universally exploded, and of the emperor of Russia, his majesty has (in so far as they respect his majesty's conduct) taken measures agreeably to treaty, for not only in themselves utterly groundless, but their being stationed during the winter in contradicted both by the internal evidence of his majesty's dominions; and that his the transactions to which they relate, and majesty has accordingly directed proper also by the express testimony (given at the accommodations to be provided for them time) of the government of France itself. With respect to the object of the note, his in the islands of Guernsey and Jersey.
“G. Ř.” majesty can only refer to the answer which he has already given. He has explained without reserve, the ob
Debate in the Lords on the King's stacles which in his judgment preclude, at
Message respecting an Overture of Peace the present moment, all hope of advantage from the Consular Government of France. ] from negotiation. All the inducements to January 28. The order of the day being treat which are relied upon in the French of read, for taking the King's Message, and ficial note; the personal dispositions which also the several Papers therein mentioned, are said to prevail for the conclusion of peace, into consideration, and for the future observance of treaties; the Lord Grenville ohserved, that the quespower of insuring the effect of those dispositions, supposing them to exist; and the soli- tion which noble lords were then sum. dity and consistency of the system newly es
moned to consider was one of the most tablished after so rapid a succession of revo
momentous that ever came under the deJutious: All these are points which can be liberation of parliament. No comments known only from that test to which bis ma- of his could be wanting, therefore, to jesty has already referred them; the result of heighten the interest of that discussion experience, and the evidence of facts.
which would necessarily arise from it. So With that sincerity and plainness which his much was already known to the House anxiety for the re-establishment of peace indispensably required, his majesty has pointed concerning the present state of this counout to France the surest and speedlest means
try and of Europe, and such had been for the attainment of that great object. But the declarations from time to time of he has declared, in terms equally explicit, and those of their lordships, who, with him, with the same sincerity, that he entertains no saw the necessity and justice of the war desire to prescribe to a foreign nation the form in which we were engaged, that for him of its government; that he looks only to the to detain their lordships that evening security of his own dominions, and of Europe; to any great length, by stating arguments and that, whenever that essential object càn, to support the motion he should have the in his judgment, be in any manner whatever honour to propose, would be to arraign sufficiently provided for, he will eagerly concert with his allies the means of immediate the justice of those declarations, and to and joint negotiation for the re-establishment appear to doubt the policy of those deterof general tranquillity.
minations which resulted from them. To these declarations his majesty steadily Their lordships had, in their repeated ad