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There was but this alternative, either they must have been deceived themselves, or they must wilfully and irantonly, and most audaciously have imposed upon the public; in re: prelenting as folid, substantial, and durable, chat peace, whose baseless fabric was at that very moment crumbling under their feet. He would not refer to the instances which had been particularly quoted, to those expressions of the right bon. Gentleman below him in particular (the Chan. : cellor of the Exchequer) ro rashly hazarded, and now to ingeniously explained. He did not say, "profound peace.” Did he not? The many who thought they heard bim mult have been wonderfully miftaken; or if he did say “profound,” (he might have luid it then, it appeared) it was only becaule " profound” and “peace" were fo apt to come together. . Happy, dignified, and satisfactory explanation ! He would not dwell upon this point. He would content himself with expressing his hearty adoption of every word. of a refolution, which went to mark with censure, repro. bation, and contempt, a system so unworthy of the Governej nient of a country like this; a Tystem which must lower that Government in the eyes of all the world, and especially of the enemy we had to contend with ; and which tended, to unnerve and unprepare the minds of the people for the crisis which they were to meet, and the exertions which they must necessarily make to meet it. Unprepared, he fill trusted, they would not be found : but if not, it was only because the spirit, courage, and magnanimity of the nation were superior to all the efforts of their Government tu extinguish and overlay them.

The third resolution no man could compare first with the papers upon the table, and secondly with the avowals extorted this night from his Majesty's Ministers, without feeling a painful convi&tion of its truth-of a truth even more ami&ting and more discreditable even than that reso, lution flates it. Not only did it appear, beyond contradiction, that opportunities had been lost, for checking the aggretons of France. by timely representation and firm and dignified remonftrance--not only had the grosseft insults been passed by without any attempt to obtain reparation, the most flagrant violations of treaty suffered to continue without obfervation ; but it appeared now, from the avowal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that these omiffions, on the part of his Majesty's Government, had been omissions not of negligence, not of inadvertency, but of design. They had, it seems, been remiss upon fyftem : they had studio, VOL. IV. 1802-3.



ously suffered their wrongs to accumulate; they had dili-. gently noted them, to be sure, as they occurred, but that was all-they noted them for their own private satisfaction only, not with any idea of applying for redress--and why? the reason was truly admirable-why--because they thought, in their profound wisdom, they thought the Government of Bonaparte entitled to peculiar indulgence ; that it did not become any regular established Government to find fault with the accidental extravagancies and eccen. tricities of so extraordinary and undefinable a power. With other governments they would have been all courage, and vigilance, all high point of honour, and quick vesentment of injury. But Bonaparte, truly, was to be treated with forbearance ; Bonaparte was not to be bound to cominon rules, or expected to conform himself to the ordinary relations of political intercourse! His green and raw ulurpation was entitled to privileges and indulgences which would have been denied to hereditary monarchy, and antient, recognized, legitimate sway! I am glad, Sir, (laid Mr. Canning) that the right hon. Gentleman has fairly avowed bis system. It is exactly what I have all along lulpected it to be; though I own I did not suspect that he would so openly have avowed it. I fay, Sir, that this is the very error, the fundamental fault, the radical vice and mischief of the system upon which the conduct of our Government towards France has been regulated; and in my conscience I believe it is to this that we are in a great measure to attribute the struggle in which we are now involved. I do not mean to say that sooner or later that ftruggle might not at all events have come. But I do say that it has been haftened, that it has been ensured, that it has been provoked (not wilfully-far be it fron me to impute to the prefent Government design, or at least successful design, design which has actually produced the object to which it was directed) by a fyftem of conduct the most diametrically oppofite to that which ought to have been adopted; to that which every feeling of honour, of prudence, and of safety, plainly recommended. Our itand ought to have been made not on the laft insult, but on the first; be it what it might. Unusual indulgence to Bonaparte! He ought to have been watched; and to have known that he was watched with unusual jealousy. . The first moment that he outstepped, with regard to this country, the line of respect, of decency, of honourable consideration to which we feel ourselves en titled (at least I hope we continue to feel ourtelves), be should have been met with firmness-with temper, to be sure, with moderation, if you will but with firmness above all, and plainly given to understand that it was not so that Great Britain was accustomed to be treated; that such was not the footing of intercourse upon which she was prepared to place herself; that the would herself relpect a power with whom she had made peace, but that the expected, and would demand, urge, and, if neceffary, would enforce, cqual, reciprocal refpcct in her turn. Would you then have precipitated the war? In my conscience I believe I should have retarded, possibly have prevented it,' One insult tamely horne is an invitation to a second. An injury helplessly acquiesced in, is a signal for more. Temperately and steadily opposed in his first attempt upon our interests, or upon our honour, Bonaparte would have heli. tated before he tried a second experiment. As it was, lie had nothing to deter him.

He had every temptation to proceed. He law plainly enough that he was considered, as the right, hon. Gentleman now owns he did consider him, as a privi-, leged person--that an untitled usurper was in the cyes of the Brilith Ministry a favoured power—and he used his privilege accordingly. I do not wonder at him.. 1 hardly blaine him, Fleth and blood-at least a tyrani's fleth and blood, could, hardly resist the temptation of Irampling upon unselifting im becility. But for iny country I do complain, that iis hoo, nour has been facrificed, and its interests trifled with, in a vain and foolith attempt to propitiate violence by fubmission, and to repel aggrellion by tameness and indulgence. I du coinplain, that instead of having taken the best chance of avert.. ing war altogether, by a timely notice of our determination tu encounter is rather ihan submit to oppression, or in Thame, we have, I lay, ensured the war, such as it now comes upon us, and have gained by our system of forbearance no other, advantage than this whining catalogue of unredressed griev, ances, to which ihe sight hon. Gentleman appeals, as a.. proof of his wildom and moderation, but which I consider as The Itrongest evidence of weakness and misconduct.

With regard to the fourth resolution, which related to the., surrender of the Cape of Good Hope, at the time, and under the circumftances of its final surrender-while Holland, to which it was nominally restored, was yet occupied by French armies, which our temporary retention of the Cape had fusnished a pretexi for re-inforcing—while many ma erial poinis , were in discullion between the iwo Governments when that



very point, upon which, as it now appears, our Governinent was resolved at lengih to make a ftand, was full in view, and to be speedily brought to a decision: with regard to this resolution, as it had been fo unanswerably argued by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Grenville), and as a reply to his ftatement-if reply there could be- yet remained to be offered on the part of Ministers, he would not desain ihe House by entering into any additional argument. He would coniént himself with expressing his firm persuasion that the presenı Ministers of Great Britain were the first statesinen who ever imagined that the most likely way of bringing to a happy conclolion any point upon which they intended to make a stand, was to pur previously out of their hands all collateral means of prelling it to advantage ; that when, from the beginning, ibey were determined to take their ftand upon the ariicle of Malta-not to surrender Malia directly to France, nor under any arrangement bui foch as th-old provide effectual security against France obiaining polellion of it ; when with this determination, they foresaw, as they must have foreseen, that the First Consul was bent upon predling the evacuation of that island onder circumflances which could not fail 10 place it within his grasp ; and when so determined, and so foreseeing, they had thought it right (for no marier what reason) to retain the Cape, or any other poffeffion which had escaped the general surrender, it did seein to him to be the very height ot inconfittency, weakness, and improvidence, not to have turned this poffeffion of the Cape 10 the obvious advantage of which it was capable, that of making it tell upon the seulement of their other disputes, and specifically upon that of the dispute respecting Malia. All the evils, whatever they were, attending the recapture of the Cape they had already incurred. They had by this act riveled Holland in the chains of France. But having dope this, having ensured all the mischief arising from their own act, that they should wantonly throw away all the posible good, implied a degree of folly merly irreconcileable with the character and conduct of any Ministry, except that whore mistakes and mismanagemenis were the subject of the reloJulions now before the House. This only was wanting 10 haften the war, which their previous neglect of their obvious: duty, and surrender of the honour of the country, hud, perhaps, already rendered unavoidable. It was to throw away the only remaining chance of an adjustment, the only means for the preservation of peace with safety, which their top


mer. profuse concessions had left for a moment in their , hands.

Subsеribing, therefore, as he molt cordially and implicitly did, to the truth of every allegarion contained in the resolutions to which he had seferred, Mr. Canoing said, he could have no hehtalion in giving a hearty allent to that which was the natural and inevitable inference from the foregoing, the re- . solution which afferts, that by these instances of misconduct the Ministers had proved themselves. unworthy of the confi. dence of Parliament, and incapable of administering the public affairs to advantage at a crisis of such difficulty and danger. In his conscience he fully subscribed 10, and, adopied, the averment of this res lution allo; and with all the solemniry which he felt to belong ro such a deciaration, he declared in the face of that House and of ihe country, har he did not think the country safe while the administration of its affairs was suffered to continue in such hands.

Tliis, Sir, (said Mr. Canning) is the opinion, which I confeientiously entertain; which I have not formed lightly, but upon the best consideration, that I am capable of giving to a subject of the highelt and most awful importance; and which having thus formed, and being thus convinced of iis fruih, I cannot consent to abandon, or lo abstain from affirming, by my vote. To give this vote, I inut, in the first inttance, vole against the previous motion of my right hon Friend (Mr Pirt), li is with infinite pain that. I do su. But it all the pain which I feel in being compelled to take a course so new to me, is, not sufficient 10 withhold me froin the discharge of what I consider as an indispensible duty, it is not likely that I should be deterred from it by other considerations, which have been adduced his night, to deter Genıleinen from expressing what they think of the incapacity of the present Administra ion, It has been imputed by more Gentlemen than one, and ainong others, in a particular pointed manner by an hon. Baronet (Sir Theo. Metcalf) who fits near me, that those only with to displace the present. Ministers, who look for power, of. emolument, or honours, from 'heir removal: lan truly forry ihat the hon. Baronet thegid have been persuaded 10 join in this frise and vulgar cry, because I thould be loin ihai any thing I may say thould hurt his feelings, or dero, gaie from the respect to which I believe his characier to be entiiled. But one general remark l mnuit make, in answer to these impulations, that I believe those only to be capable of serioolly impuling such-motives of conduct so pihers, who


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