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ment with fuch feelings as those that now oppressed him. With every wish to do justice to the feelings of his right hon. Friend, in making the motion with which he had concluded his speech, he and his colleagues should be thrinking from their duty to themselves, if they could accept the compromise offered, between a direct censure and a total acquittal. A charge of crimination, founded upon papers laid on the table, had been brought forward. He alked, if there was an instance in which propofitions founded on fuch documents, and involving the conduct of Ministers, had not been met either with a direct negative or affirmative? A motion of inquiry might be got rid of by a previous question ; but when a dire& charge was made, grounded on facts, rising out of public documents, a previous question was not the fit way of disposing of the subject. No man was more ready than he was to acknowledge the prerogative of the Crown 10 chuse its Ministers: bur, on the other hand, Ministers were respon Gible to Parliament for the exercise of their functions, and when Parliament faw fufficient grounds of censure, they ought to stare it ; and then Minilers, no longer able usefully to serve the public, ought to retire. Independent of private considerations, he must contend that the credit of the Government ought to be maintained, particularly at such a crifis as the present. But he had no difficulty in faying, that those who wished to destroy the Administration ought to vote for the resolutions, because that was their obvions tendency, while the vote which his right hon. Friend. kad proposed, would have the effect to discredit Government, to leave them discredited, in poffeffion of functions which they could not exercise with honour to themselves nor advantage to the pubJic. His right hon. Friend (Mr Pill) had declined going into details. He wilhed, however, that he had afforded some details, that he had pointed out those parts of the conduct of Ministers which he could not approve, that they might have an opportuni y of meeting any charge, or explaining what was deemed exceptionable. It was possible that in a long, an arduous course of conduct, fome points might be liable to objection. In a country like this, however, he always confidered it to be the fair principle, both of support and of opposition to Ministers, that those who agreed or disagreed with them fhould do so on a general system. It was not to be expected that all should approve every particular point. They were to overlook minor differences for the fake of giving effect to the general scheme of measures and conduct which they approved. These, he had always understood, were the general principles, and he regretted that Mr. Pits had not made up his mind to act upon hem. He asked whether, after furveying the conduct of Ministers during a period of unexampled difficulty, he was not now prepared to say yes, or no, direaly, 10 a motion of censure ! Doshe Rullian armament, he well remembered that his right han Friend and himself had not thougho ji sufficient to get rid of a moLion of censure by a previous queftion, but in circumdances when the Government in one point had given up, yet the charges were mer boldly, and directly negatived. He with ed shal, on: she preseni occafion,: Minilters inight either be acquitted or condemned. He was fure, from what he knew of his right hon. Friend, that his motives in bringing forward a previous question were pure and upright, but Minifters could not acquiesce in the disoredit of a suspended cen- . fure. If it were the desire of Ministers to rerain their places at all hazards, they might accept the compromise which had been offered, but he could say tor himself and his colleagnes, that they had no desire to remain in office longer than they could be useful to their country. If he felt himself reduced 10 that fituation in which he could not ferve it with advan lage, he would carry the seals to the feet of his gracious Sovereigo, and intreat him to appoint a fucceffor inure worthy: It was that they might not remain in office discredited, and useless, that he must oppose the previous quellion ;-for-he could not think of remaining an hour in office after having forfeited the confidence of the House and the good opinion of the country. He must therefore give a dire 1 nega, tive to the previous question, as well as to the resàlutions moved.
Mr. Carning said, I rise, Sir, under the impression of feelings scarcely less painful than those which have been fro much to his own credit) manifested by my noble Friend who has just sat down, to state, in as few words as possible, the reasons which govern the vote that I am aboui to give upon the question before you. In giving this vole, whether I look at my noble Friend, the Secretary of State, or at my right hun. Friend (Mr. Pitt) who has moved the order of the day, I feel a degree of pain and relu&ance, which nothing less than a coolcientious sense of duty could enable me to lubdue. By this over-ruling sense of dutv, I find my: self compelled to differ, for the first time in, iny, lic, from my right hon. Friend. For the full ime iu jpg life, çanta
flot reconcile' it to myself to concur in the vote which he has recommended, to pu:rfue the course in which he leads the way. But let it not therefure be imagined (God foro bid !), that in following a different course for myself, I presume to infinuate the smallest blame, 'to hint a doubt of the propriety of that which, 'witht his view of the subject, he has chosen for himself, and for those who may come, fike him, with unpledged opinions to this discusñon. Far from it. Tadınit, and conclude, on the contrary, that whoever in this Houte has either not completely made up his mind to the extent of that charge againft Ministers, a heavy charge undoubtedly, whiclr is contained in the resolutions upon the table, or whoever, agreeing even in opinion as to the justice of that charge up to its full extent, is perfuaded flike my right hon. Friend) that greater mifchief may be to be apprehended from pushing such an opinion to a pardiamentary declaration than from fuffering it to pass by undecided, and to be (if poflible) buried in oblivion; whatever Gentleman there may be, who joins with my right hon. Friend, entertaining these opinions, that man is bound, as I think, to adopt the line of conduct which he lias fuggested, and to avail himfelf of the opportunity which is af. forded to him of escaping from a decision which he could Hot negative with truth, and which he thinks cannot be affirmed without public mischief. Hur myself, Sir, I have no fuel refuge open to me. I entertain a deep and full conviction of the truth of all and every one of the charges which these resolutions contain: and, unrestrained by the reasons of delicacy, which may naturally and laudably operate on the mind of my right hon. Friend, I have no hefi. tation in avowing, that I think the continuance of a blundering and incapable Administration, at a crisis like the present, a greater and more certain mischief to the country than any that can arise from a public declaration by Parlianient of its opinion of their incapacity and misconduct. I therefore am perfectly prepared for a decisive vote upon this question. And I am the more desirous of coming to that vote, because, after the manly and im presive appeal of my noble Friend,' I fcel, even if I had not felt it before, that I am not one of those who can, honourably to myself, or jully with respect to Ministers, concur in refusing to come to a decisive vote upon the prejent occafion. I have not disguised my opinion, I have expressed my strong and growing fufpicions of the misconduct of Administration on many occasions which have arifen in the course of the bufiness of Parliament during the prerent leffioa. What was then suspicion, is now, to my con. viation, proved. The papers which they have laid before Parliament, exhibit, to my mind, abundant proofs that our affairs have been grofsly mismanaged. The production of thele papers appears to me not only to afford the natural opportunity, but to throw down a challenge to all those who have, like myself, expressed a strong presumptive opinion against the condud of Miniters, to repeat or retract that expreflion now that their conduct is fully before us, And it is, as I think, a challenge which, so fitnated, we have hardly the option to decline. I confider myself bound, therefore, to comply with the demand of my nobla Friend, and, much as I lament (which I fincerely do), that one for whom I feel so much perfonal regard as I do for him, is involved in the issue of the decision, I will at leaft
im the justice which he requires, by voting in the first in fance against a proposition which (however justifiable on the grounds on which it is offered) would prevent that decision, which Ministers are undoubtedly entitled to expect on the part of those who are prepared and pledged to come to it. 3. Sir, I liave said that I am fully prepared to declare my entire affent to all, and every part of the resolutions upon your table. After the manner in which they have been argued by my right hon. Friend oppofite to me (Mr. Grenville), and the answer, if answer it can be called, which his able and perfpicuous speech has received from the right bon. Gentleman beluw me (Mr. Addington), it cannot be necessary, even if at this time of night, and after the turn which this debate las taken, it were possible for me to den tain the House by any detailed argument, in support of the resolutions, Allow me only very shortly to exprefs may ad. herence to every principle on which they are founded, and to every allegation which they contain. -- Mr. Canning then proceeded to take a rapid survey of the several resolutions. The first, he observed, was a mere fruisnı, itating in the words of the declaration itself the sense which Ministers appear, by that declaration, to have entertained of the conduct of France. To this he appre. hended no objection could be urged, as in that none had been attempted. The second resolution contrasted the con duct which Ministers had thought proper to hold, and the language which they had used, and the impressions which they had studioully created throughout the country, it: la what now appeared to have been all along theịr own real
opinions opinionista contrast and contradiction not more disgraceful to Ministers themselves, than' mischievous to the coun: ffv whichi had been duped by it. Could any man retteet withiout indignation on the deception and delusion fu long practised upon Parliament and upon the people? Could any man recall to his mind, without disgust, the canting professions of belief in the continuance of peace, and amity, and goodwill between this country and France, uitered in that House almost daily, before Christmas, nay, 'even up to the very moment, it miglit be faid, to within ten days, of the declaration of war, or, what was nearly the same thing, of the King's message--uttered at moments (as it frow appeared) when the secret thoughts and internal convictions of Minister's were directly, at variance with the af. fertions which they made ? Could any man consider the consequences of this system of deceit, and not think fone marked centure upon those who had dared to employ it. abfolutely neceffary, to mark the resentment of Parliament? Sliould it be borne that Parliament should have been called upon to vote under false pretences ? that Members should have been fent down among their constituents (as had hap: pened at the Christmas recess) to spread falsehood and error throughout the country ; and that the confiding country should have been milled into incorrect and groundless views, and deluded into visionary hopes, only that it might feel more seriously the blow of disappointment? For what purpofe could it be iliat Minifters had thought this system of deception, this trick upon the nation, adviseable? Was it design? Wha' pollible good could arise from it? Are men better prepared for action when they are rouzed out of a sleep, and, as they fancy, secure flumber? or was it in sport only that Ministers spread these gav delusions ? Was it matter of amusement to them to engage the commerce of the country in wide speculations, and hazardous enterprizes, that they might see how men would look; when a fudden and unexpected check wrested their progress, or prevented their expected returns? or was it iheer ignorance? Did they not know what they were about? Is incir excuse for having duped England, that they were themselves the dupes of France ? Had they in their poffeffion, had they before their eyes, and in their minds, thote documents which they have now at length put into the hands of Parliament. thofe records of insult, injury, and aggression, fufficient, 0:.Thould think, to awaken the most fuggith fufpicion ; and did they fufpect nothing of the intecurity of their peace!