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· called on them to display. So far from making the cause of
the Batavian Republic distinctly ihe cause of this couniry, they appeared on all occasions backward to take up the bulinels. So far from availing themselves of opportunities which occurred of reviving the solid connection of friendthip and interest, which it was so obviously the mutual interest of both countries to maintain, their conduct was marked by weakness, irresolution, and timidity. It had been remarked by one hon. Gentleman, that in making their stand for Malia, Ministers had made their stand for a truly British object. When he considered the manner in which the stand was made, whatever he might think of the importance of Malta, he could not perfealy coincide with that sentiment. But even granting that Malia was a fair British object, he would ask of Minifters whether, on their own principles, a stand in favour of Holland was not of infinitely inore importe ance in a national point of view. Was ihere any man who did not think that Ministers ought firmly and manfully to have remonstrated against the continuance of the French troops in Holland? Was there any man who expected that Ministers had neglected making such remonftrance with energy and spirit? It was, he muit contess, to his infinite astonishment, that he found that no memorial had been presented to the French Government on the subjet; not that no memorial or remonftrance had been drawn up with the view of being presented; not that it had been tranfinitted to Paris, with the view of being laid before the First Consul; but that after being in the hands of our Ainballador, Ministers had at lengin discovered that it would be more wise, prudent, and proper, that it should not be delivered.
And on what motive was it that fo extraordinary a neglect of the most imperious duty was attemp?ed to be justified? The justification was more humiliating and degrading than the neglect iiself. It was not true that Ministers were not sensible of the importance of getting the French troops removed from the Batavian Republic; it was not that they did not conceive that, according to the clearest principles of the law of nations, and the most obvious maxims of a national policy, they had an undeniable right to interfere ; but they declined interfering, on the base and dishonourable principle, that their interference might have excited the jealousy of the French Government. Was such language to be endured in an English Parliament? Was a British Secretary of State 'o. tell a British House of Commons, that a memorial drawn up
in behalf of an ancient and valuable ally, in support of the independence of a power with which we have a mutual inte. relt, fhould, from considerations of prudence, propriety, or wisdom, from a dread of irritating France, be cancelled or buried in oblivion. Such was the disgraceful picture which the conduct of Ministers to the Batavian Republic presented. Now, as to their conduct 10 Switzerland, he confessed that here too Ministers seemed to prove highly reprehenfible In offering a few observations on this subje&, he begged "leave to go back a good deal farther than had been gone by any of those by whom the subject had been mentioned. What he should state in the first instance, he should state on the authority of very prevalent rumours, though he would not take upon himself to say that these rumours were in all respects accurate as to the facts. He had good reason, however, for believing that as early as the spring of last year, feveral persons of eminent character, and invested with considerable fituations, had come from Swii. zerland to London, wilh the view of consulting about the beft means of providing against that interference of the French Government in their internal affairs they had even then begun to dread. He had heard that these individuals, so far from being received with favour or with kindness, it was not till after a soliciialion of near two monihs that they could gain admission to any one of his Majesty's Ministers. This was a circumstance of considerable importance, and could not fail to make a strong impression on the House. But he withed 10 point out particularly the application of inis eireumfiance, as throwing light on the conduct of Ministers. They inust have known long before October, when their semonstrance in behalf of Switzerland was presented, what was the real filuation of that county.
In June, the fears, the wishes, and the views of the inhabitants had been explained to them. He withed to know from Minifiers what circumstances existed io induce them to remonstrate in October, which did not operate with cqual force in June? Was not the right of interference cqual? Were not the claims of the Swiss as powerful? Was not their fisvalion as much recommended to prosection? Was there noi then a much greater probability of successful refilt. ance that ar sherime when the remuntrance was presented, When in fact, ihai was clone be'; and the power of reparation, which it was th object of Mr. Moore's journey to prevent? Did Ministers expect that any thing mysterious was to result
from this journey? Did they hope to find an Austrian army at Constance, ready to afford protection to a persecuted country. The whole remonftrance evinced neither dignity, nor foresight. It was equally destitute of policy, wisdom, or ability.
But, there was another circumstance attending this remonftrance, to which he thought it might not be improper to call the attention of the House. The memorial had been presented to the French Government on the roth of October, and nothing more is heard of it till the 27th of February, when Lord Whitworth is instructed io demand an answer to the remonflrance. Was no inquiry made during the whole intermediate space, in what light the memorial was regarded by the French Guvernment? Was this a matter of such trifling importance, that Ministers chose to overlook it? Was not this refusal to give any answer, an indirect way of telling Ministers, that ihe French Government was determined not to permit them to interfere on the continent? Was it not a racit mode of establishing what Ministers could not but know was the avowed and favourite object of the ambition of the First Consul: Ministers, on every consideration of wisdom and policy, ought much earlier to have demanded explanation. But this was just a part of their general system. As to Piedmont, he had to offer a few observations. On a former occasion the situation of the King of Sardinia had given rise to a good deal of discussion. On the debates on the definitive treaty, when it was objected that no provifion was obtained for that Sovereign, a noble Secretary of State opposite (Lord Hawkesbury) had said, that he had not only lost all right to interference on his behalf on the part of this country, but had, from his conduct, placed himself in the finuation of being considered as an enemy:
Against such a view of the subject he did protest at the time, and mult at all times protest in the strongest terms. Because a Prince who, fighting in our cause, had been stripped of his dominions, and deprived of his all, was for a while obliged to assume the nominal appearance of a fce, he could never adınit the doctrines which the noble Lord had laid down. But on a sudden a most important change is introduced in the situation of this Sovereign. From being something little thort of an avowed enemy, he is at once converted into a favoured ally, for whom ample security is to be obtained for all his losses. And how is this new inindemnity :o be procured? Why, by the rare scheme of the
ceffion of Lampedosa, and by tacking the poor King of Sardinia to the end of the projet, which contains two articles which may be either admitted or not, as the French Minister for foreign affairs chooses to receive them. Whether, liowever, the menace of war or the proffer of peace was considered, the whole conduct of Ministers to that unfortunate Prince appeared equally disgusting. Now as to the direct subject of Malla. He could not but think that a total want of policy with regard to Russia had been disco-, vered by Ministers, while negotiations were going forward on this subject. Russia is allowed on all hands to have been the principal power on which Ministers relied for the guarantee of Malta at the time the tenth article of the treaty was formed. Now, what happened while such was the avowed with and design of Minifters ? Ministers figned a treaty, by one article of which Ruffia is to be invited to be one of the guarantees of the independence of the island of Malta; and this Miniftcrs do, while at the very moment they were making this requifition, they were conscious that such a guarantee would be directly contrary to a previous arrangement betwixt this country and Ruilia-Here the right hon. Member read an extract from Count Woronzow's Note on the 12th of November, stating this fact.]
The history which he had now to present to the House on the subject of Malta was short and simple, unless the nole to which he had alluded was a direct forgery, which there was no reason whatever to suppose. The language of the Emperor of Ruflia to the Ministers of this country, or 10 the French Government is _“ You wilh me to be one of the guarantees of Malta, agreeably to the tenih article of the Treaty of Amiens, which I am far from withing to undertake; but if I were willing, I cannot accept the invitation; it is not in iny power, as you, the Ministers of Great Britain, must be perfeatly aware.' You know that I have already entered into an agreement with your Court relative to Malta, in its nature entirely contrary to the guarantee you require. Is it really irue that the King's Ministers knew ihat such was the fiuation of the Emperor of Russia with regard to Malta ; and did they really form an article which they must have been conscious at the time could never be fulfilled. Those who objected to the article originally, did so on the ground of the difficulties which could not fail to attend its being carried into execution. How much stronger reasons had Ministers to entertain such an opinion. They knew that it
was contrary to the wishes of the Emperor of Ruflia to undertake she guarantee. They knew further that it was impoffible he could, confiftently with a former folemn engagement, undertake it, and yet with such knowledge they conclude i he treaty, and gravely call for the guarantee Inihe whole annals of diplomacy, he believed, it would be difficule to find any para lel to the conduct of Ministers in this point; of a piece with this was the manner in which they had acted with respect to the sale of the priories of the Order of Malia in Spain. They knew, that without revenues the restoration of the Order was utterly impracticable, but, at the very time when the Definitive Treaty was signed, they had every reason for ihinking that in bialy, in Bavaria, and in Spain, the zevenues of ihe Order were either confiscaled, or on the eve of being confiscated, in these several countries. After all this knowledge, they come forward and call for the guarantees, to pave the way for the restoration of the Orier. He was anxious to hear what account Ministers would be able 10 give of these circumstances, to 'which he had now alluded. If they were false, he thould rejoice io find that this was the case. If, however, on the other hand, they were not false, how was it possible for any man to conceive char Ministers ever could have enieriained the remoteft idea of the reltoration of the order of St. John of Jerusalem in Malia? Before he concluded, he withed to occupy the attention of the Rouse a few moments on the subject of the Cape of Good Hope. Of the importance of the Cape as a naval Italjon, no diverlity of opinion prevailed. All those whose habits of life led them to form the most accurate ideas of iis value, were shore who spoke most highly of its importance. It was inerely with the view of an absolule neceffiiy of irs surrender at ihe conclusion of peace, that the cellion was ever altempled to be justified. On this ground alone had the expediency of ceding the Cape been argued, both in the Preliininary Articles and the Definitive Treaty. With this impression powerfully operating on his mind, it was, he said, with no small degree of surprise that he found, on referring to the French official papers, that the proposition for ceding the Cape originated wiih the Minifters of this country; that it was brought forward even so early as the second conference. He begged leave to press this on the attention of the House, which in the minds of many Gentlemen could not fail to excire very considerable surprise. He recurred to the order for retaining the Cape, and on this subject he made some very pointed obVol. IV. 1802-3.