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single circumstance that changed their resolutions, nor should he irouble the House with pursuing the whole train of negotiation, as that was a ground which had been very much travelled over already. Ministers had afferred, in 'round and unqualified terms, that the enemy gave them no other altet. nalive but the cession of Malta or war. They said, that .“ Malla, or war," was the cry of the French Ministers; bui, notwithstanding these confident assertions, he had no hesitation to inaintain that such was not the fact. In the French note presented to our Ainbassador on the oth of April, France offered to consent to any arrangement that would render Malta independent both of England and the French Republic; and on the 3d of May it was proposed, on the part of the French Government, that the island ihould be placed in the hands of Russia, Austria, or Prussia. would be feen, from Lord Whitworth's correspondence, that the French proposed to have this island surrendered to Ruilia ; but it was a material and important omillion in that communication, that no paper was produced avowing the realons which we assigned for refusing it. He did not indeed know, that any other reason was afligned for rejecting the proposal of giving the place up to Ruilia, than, that it would be incompatible with his Majesty's just pretenfions. This incompatibility, therefore, with the just pretensions of his Majelty, he was authorized to consider as the real and true ground of the war. Should this position be disputed, he would ask, whether, if we had offered to give it up at that time 10 Ruflia, either provisionally or in perpetuity, that arrangement night not have been concluded, and the prefent rupture avoided? The distinct offer was made in Paris, to give up Malta to the emperor of Rullia, on the completion of which the French troops would be withdrawa from Holland. Had the offer then been accepted, and Hole Jand evacuared by the French troops, nothing was more probable, than that things would have remained in that state, at lealt for some time; and, should they continue out of the country for iwo or three years, it was only reasonable to conclude, that the spirit of the people would make it extremely dificult for them to re-enter it afterwards. He would alk, what great difference it would make, under any circumftances, whether Walia was in our own hands or in those of Ruttia? Would it not be, in fact, even in every point of view, berter for this country that Ruttia (hould be the occu. pier of that illand ? The value of the Cape of Good Hope
was confidered to be diminished on account of the expence of retaining it; but surely the same argument would apply equally io the retention of Malia, and inure ro indeed, for we Thould then have the same use of it, while we were exonerated from ihe expence. There was further a principle of policy, which, on that occafin, ought not to have e!caped the notice of his Majesty's Ministers. The Einperor of Ruflia had thewn a great difpofition to interfere in the affairs of lialy; he had betore exeriet himself, ihough ineffc&tually, in behalf of the King of Sardinia, and retained, till very Jately, a body of troops in the capital of Naples. It could not be supposed, thai Bonaparte would gratuitoudy involve hinself in a quarrel with so near a neighbour as the Rullian Emperor would then be, or that so powerful a monarch wouid not, at Malta, have been a check upon his enterprizes. Nay, thould France even renew its altempis against Egypt, Malta would be of more service to us in the hands of Rusia than in our own. If it could for a moment be suspected, that Rullia would condescend to play an underhand game, and, after getting possession of the place, turn it against us, there were numerous reasons, independently of the high character of that monarch, to difiipate suspicions fo injurious and un. founded. If Russia was disposed to aslist the views of France against our India possessions, it had it in its power to give Bonaparte a more advantageous pore in the Perfian Gulph, whence he could annov us with more effect than he poliibly could from Malta. He, however, denied, that France could entertain ihese views on India which had been attributed in it. There was no part of the dominions of this country less vulnerable, and more out of his reach, than our Eift India poffeffions. If England itself were noe less accessible iv the attacks of France than our oriental territories; if Bonaparte could succeed against all the dangers and obstructions which we thould neceffarily oppose to him, in conveying fufficient troops, stores, and ammunition, in safety, to point of attack; what resource after all could he find against a disciplined and experienced army of 100,000 men, and a revenue of 12,000,ocol. annually To effect all that fuccess. fully, would he bidding dehance to all human calculation.
The hon. Genilemau next proceeded to speculate or argue on what was likely to be the result of the present war. France would, no doubt, try all means in its power to chut us out from all the ports of the continent, and would draw numerous and formidable bodies of troops to its coasts, threat. Vol. IV. 1802-3.
ening us with invasion. Of the event of an invasion of this country, thould the enemy be desperate enough to a tempo it, he had not the flighieft fear ; but, having lost the affections of one part of the people of Ireland, wi:hout conciliating the other, the situation of that country must be con Gidered as dangerous and critical. Upon that subje& le mould forbear to dwell; and would next call the aitention of the House to what were our means of annoying France. It seemed to be agreed on all hands, that a defensive war merely would be ruinous in the nation; and let him now ask, after we Thould have taken such thips as the enemy had ihen at sea, and become possessed of ine colonies, what were our further means of offenfive operations? An hon. Gentleman below him (Mr. Sheridan), who seemed strenuous for the war, had not proposed any. But a noble Lord (Temple) who seemed still more fanguine, pointed out three modes: ift, A combinarion of the continenial powers; 2d, a direct attack by This country upon France; and 3dly, the issuing of a declararion againit ihe French Government. He would take the Jiberty of making a very few observations upon these three hopeful projects. As to the first, the only powers on the continent by which a confederacy could be formed, were Austria, Prullia, and Rullia. With regard to Austria, nothing was more plain than that the dared not enler into any such alliance. With broken and dispirited armies, demolished fortifications, and deranged finances, the consequence to her of a rupture would be, that the emperor would quickly behold the French in the heart of his dominions, perhaps in possession of his capital, and impofing on him a peace infallibly more galling, humiliating, and disadvantageous than that to which h: was last war compelled to submit. Pruflia would never unite cordially with Auftria, and was as unable to contend with France, without aslistance, as the emperor himself. And to all this, it must be added, that the dark, crooked, and coverous policy of the court of Berlin, would rather induce it to forward than oppose the ambitious designs of the First Consul. There remainedi, then, only Ruilia to which we could possibly look as our ally; but supposing the Emperos of Russia ever so well dif. posed to co-operate with us, he could do but little unsupported by Austria and Prussia, whose domininos were be. iween him and any point of contact with France. And, after all, fupposing that difficulty to be removed, what had France to fear from an army which must have 5co niles of
a discuit country to march, and many in:crvening obstacles to furmount before ir could come 10 the encounter, and the fame embarrassinent in the way of reinforcements? Thus then were we reduced in our own military, efforis against France. The ben. Secretary at War had said, that France had vulnerable points. He
ask him where were shore vulnerable poinis? [Alcugh from th: 1r. asury bench.). Gen. ilemen, he said, mighi diveri themselves if they pleased, put he believed they would find themselves at a loss to describe any means we could have of a direct attack. He would even defy the hon. Secretary at War, supposing his 50,cco dilo posable inen to be now in readiness, to find a lingle poiat where he could place these troops, and not with immediately to have them back again What, let him ask, would be the purpose of this war upon France, after its ships and colonies were cap:ured? It would, perhaps, be said, that Bonaparie was unpopular. It migh: be lo; he would be the last to become his panegysilt; bui did it follow that he must be un.' popular in France, b cause he was an obje 1 of terror 19 ourselves ? [A universal and indignant cry of No! no!] Was he 11:'t at least an object of our apprehension? [The exclamation of No! no! reiterated on all files.] He might, perhaps, he said, have gone too far---but though Bonaparte was at least an object of our hatred, char did not prevent the people of France from being ready to obey him. He might be, and probably was, diliked by many persons; but the generality of the people were willing to support him, to prevent the selurn of ihat anarchy, by which they were so long and so grievously atslisted I: might therefore be relieil on, that the Fift Conful would endeavour 1o keep this country in perperual alarm, and would continue to threaten invasion,' ihough he might never be able to effect it; but we should continue to block up his por:s, though we might be unable after a while to do him any further mischief. The revenue of France was now 22,000,0. ol. net money, all i wing from is interior, and out of which he received no more than 1,3° 0,05cl. by sea. So far then from making any impresfion on her finances, if experience had not thewo ihai already to have been a very bad criterion of success, the war would rather relieve them; for instead of paying her troops from her own regular resources, Bonaparte would take care as usual to quarter them upon ncutrals: with us, however, the case was exceedingly different. This country depended on its commerce, and whatever temporary or universal advantages
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might arise, trade mus eventually suffer by the war, and be inevitably followed by a proportionate diininution of credit and of finances. Ir was an error io fuppofe ihar England could in the end be gainers by war. The advantages we pofseffed in point of trade had arisen from the destruction of the produce of St. Domingo, and some of the other French colonies, and the total flaggation of most or all of its manufactures. The nexi view he should take, wonld be of the late of our own finances, and in what manner they were calcu. la:ed 10 support the pressure of a long and expensive war, such as we thould have reason in expect. The Minister expected to be able io carry on the war this year at ihe expence of 2,000,ocol. out of which he calculated on a ftirplus of 2,500.ocol. In this boafted furplus, of two' millions and a half, he deceived himself and the country, (not wilfuily he allowed), but it was a fatal deception. He then proceeded 10 ftare, that in the present year, in which were five months of
peace and seven of war, the expences would amount to 30,570,000l. and if in the five months peace there had been the fame establishments as during the seven, the increased charge would have been 6,500,cool. That taking our navy and army only on the same increase as that of lalt war, the whole expence of the year would be upwards of 44 millions ; and he had no doubt but the next year ine Chancellor of the Exchequer will be obliged to have recourse to a loan of 27. millions for the two countries [A cry of bear! bear! from the ( huncellor of the Exche, uer ] He mighi cry hear! but he was persuaded thai his calculations would come neare! the toih. Such then were our prospects-wiihout being able 10 gain a single point by the war to counterbalance this large expence. The right hon. Genileman had said, that the inclinations of the country was one great inducement wiih him to conclude the Trea y of Arniens. Was it not likely, that before the end of three years, a similar disposition would be manifested by the country, and peace mult again be concluded with the strength of the enemy unb oken; but it might be said, “ what could be done?" lle would propose that we should avail ourselves of the mediation of Russia, He was proceeding, when he was called to order by
Mr. Pitt, who laid that the present question was merely as to the best mode of arming to relift the enemy; and he appealed to the House, if ging into a long hifiory of the negotiation for peace was at all to the point in question. Mr. Johnfrone faid, part of the bill related to the more