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not be contended hat we were bound 10 reinain satisfied wiilt the fecusily which might have been held furficient before France had obtained so great an acceffion of power
Of the importance of the island of Mulia, he thought it unnecessary to lay much. It ever it was of importance it might be peculiarly to now, when so in any of the hollile objecis of France se within he Mediterranears, and her in- . fluence so great over the powers har burder upon that sea. To defeat licr views in the Medi:erranean we muft have a fuperior fler in ii, but that could not be done without the poffeffion of Milia. Formerly we had the ports of Leghorn or Naples open to us, but ihai was an accommodation upon which we could nou in fuillre rely. Without therefore foine such place as Mal'a fris fately, thelicr, and rearing. even a victory mult prove falal, as it was not to be expected that our thips could triumph without fuffering fome injury, and consequenily wanting repairs. A war for Malia he therefore conlidened a war of policy and justice, but he could not be content to leave it there. ' He should place ir upon a higher ground; he meant the enormous aggrandisement of France Since the Treary of Amiens. In har interval the had 'ac. quired Elba, Parma, Placentia, and Switzerland. The for. mer were all great acquisitions, but he adıninted they were nothing compared with that of Switzerland, and this not merely on account of the population of that country, but its strengih and polition. By this pofleffion, and the lialian Republic, France had extended herself beyond the Alps to the Adige on the one side, and on the other in the naked frontier of Austria, the old friend of England, and the rival of France He disapproved, therefore, of the Treaty of Amiens, because, in the first place, it did not abridge her powet. On the contrary, it confulidated and confirmed it, and ihrew imio her already heavy scale, those very poffeffions of which we had divested ourselves. In the second place is left her at liberty to pursue the system of aggrandife men, in which the has never relaxed for a moment. hi enabled her.io set up that strange new-fangled doctrice, that becaufe this is a country surrounded by the fa and pastelling a powerful fileet and furishing commerce, ir muit hale no connection with the terra firma of the continent. He conlivered the conduct of Ministers as a fantion for the political excommunication of the couniry from the na ions of Europe. They figned the preliminaries at the very time he was acquire ing, and not with very great dispatch, the lialian Republic.
They did this, and yet we never heard of any remonstrance upon the subject. But it must be confessed they were not totally passive. They sent out Mr. Moore to Switzerland, upon a private mission, which was the very line a timid and feeble state would adopt towards a powerful neighbour. Mr. Moore was an able and proper person; but he hoped his next misfion would be of a more, honourable description. And what was the result of the mission? The fubjugation of Switzerland was complete before his arrival. As io the disposition of the Swiss, it was of little importance, unless Auftria could be induced to interfere ; and surely Ministers could not have been ignorant of the disposition of Austria. It must be also admitted that they sent out orders to retain the Cape, but they were secret orders. What good could result from such orders he did not fee. If the war was produced by. the conduct of France towards Swiizerland, as was avowed, surely, the true courfe would have been to illue public orders, and ihew France the consequence of her daring to persevere in her designs upon Switzerland. Upon the whole then, he could not but consider the conduet of Ministers as rimid and irresolute, and as having, by the extent of their conceflions, brought the country into such a ftate that nothing further could be conceded content with its intereft and honour. He then said, that though France were gorged with Germany, the must have the heari's blood of this country added to her acquisitions. He recollected a story of two knighes, which was related by Chaucer. One of them, well fed, ftrong, and vigorous, found his enemy shut up in a dungeon, emaciated by confinement and want; he liberated hiin, fed him, nourished him, vill he had recovered his strength, and then supplied him with armout, that they might meet on equal terms. Precisely such had been the conduet of his Majesty's Ministers: they had acted most glorioully, inost chivalroully, by the treaty of peace. He said the Treaty of Amiens had now expired; it lived only in memory. He should be disappointed if all our efforis and exertions thould be only for the sake of one article in the seaty. He hoped there would be a negotiation as soon as a seasonable oppormunity offered; but he hoped and trusted that it would not be upon the basis of the Treaty of Amiens.
Lord Grafvenor said, that in his opinion no war had ever been conducted with more spirit and ability than the latt. He was surprised the noble Earl Thould have again bronght forward his morion, after noble Lords had so decidedly exo VOL. IV. 1802-3
pressed pressed their opinions on the same subject on a former night. He said, ihai lome noble Lords might have doubis sespeding the propriety of some parts of the conduct of his Majesty's Minifters, though they might think the whole not reprehensible: Now, if any of the particular points in the resolurions before their Lordships should be those on which any of their Lord'hips should doubt, upon the noble Earl's own views, he thought the motion not likely to answer his intention. He thought nothing of the kind should at the present time be urged, as it must tend to cramp the exertions of Ministers. With respect to the idea of a vole of thanks 10 Ministers, he thought they were fully satisfied with what had taken place- A cry of hear! from the ministerial bench. such a proceeding would, he thought, be unnecssary.
Lord Bolton said, he was among those persons who did not wholly approve of the conduct of Administration. If a proposition had been made to enter into a Committee upon the state of the nation, he should have deprecated discussion, as likely to prevent that unanimity and temper which now prevails. In his opinion his Majesty's Ministers thould be content with the vote ohrained on a former occasion; there were circumstances which precluded him from giving that total approbation which Government must desire. He said, at the time the Treaty of Amniens was made, įhere was a general with for a return of the bleilings of peace; so far the treaty was a gain; but even the failure of that treaty was a gain; for it had caught us that our own exertions were lo be our guarantee; and he acquiesced with a noble Lord on the other side, that upon them we fould depend. He said it had also taught a leffon to ihe other powers how they fuffered France to repose in peace; and he had no doubt, that, from the attacks and spoliations of that power, they could ascertain the consequences of supporting this country, whenever an opening may present iiself. He, for one, was glad France did not accept the propositions, which it appeared our Government had made respecting Malta.
The Earl of Warwick louk occasion to repeat his sentiments respe&ting the Treaty of Amiens, which, instead of iis effecting a peace, he considered merely as a truce, and as a meafure of experiment. With respect to the question more immediately before the House, though he agreed wiih many of the points advanced by the noble Earl, yei, under the prefent circumstances, he thought it would be adviseable to withdraw it. He was not aware what good effe&s could arise from such discussions at present; they would give at least an appearance of division in the country, at a time when the most general and decided unanimity was essentially necessary.
The Earl of Scarborough said, that he had given his fupa port to the late Administration, on the ground that it had saved this country, nay, the world, from annihilation.
Lord De Dunftanville, in a short speech, stated, that as Piedmont was in a state of military arrondissement, before the First Consul annexed Piedmont to the French territory, it made no great difference; as to the French troops invading Switzerland, Ministers had remonftrated with the French Government upon it, and done their duty to prevent the occurrence, by an offer of pecuniary aslistance. Upon the French troops not evacuating Batavia, they had sent the order to retain the Cape. With regard to the declaration of the noble Earl who moved the resolutions, that the people were in high spirits, and better reconciled io the war than at the former period of it; the reason was, an invasion was threatened, and the people joined heart and hand to repel it, and he doubled not they would do so again, and cruth the man who dared to attempt an invasion. His Lordthip said he should vote against the propositions.
Lord Clifton (Earl Darnley) said, he did not rise to take up the time of the House, after having so lately occipied lo much of it. He rose briefly to ftare, that he wished ihe refolutions had not been pussued, after the sense of the House had been taken upon the first, and the whole tendency of them so fully debated last Thursday. With regard to the first, he did not object to it, but he could not vote for the other two; nor did he at all approve any thing that bore the
appearance of a fa&ious opposition to Ministers; up to the - making of the peace, he thought they acted perfectly righi,
and had his cordial support. Some parts of their conduct he did not quite approve, but he would always diferiminate, and not oppose all their measures because he disliked one of them.
Lord Carysfort rose next, and said, he wilhed to call back the attention of the House to what was the real object in discussion. To do this, his Lordship went regularly througla the several charges which he had to urge against Ministers, for not making the necessary representations and remonstrances to the French Government on the various grounds of grievance stated in his Majesty's declaration, commenting upon each as lie proceeded. His Lordship followed the order in which thev Ituod enuinerated in the three resolu. tions which had been read, and the first of which had been moved by his noble Friend, the noble Earl near him; as the last of these resolutions turned upon the cefsion of the Cape of Good Hope, in consequence of the order of the 17th of November, after they had sent out an order to red tain it, dated the 16th of O&ober. He argued at fome length on the inconsistency of such conduct, and laid particular stress on the criminality of it. He concluded with declaring, that he should vote for the refolutions, the object of which was to pass a censure on his Majesty's Ministers. i Lord llobart rose to repel the arguments which the noble Lord who had just sat down bad urged against Ministers, on the ground of the charge of a confiderable reduction of the military force. He said, that in fact no seduction had been made by Ministers, except of the cavalry, respecting the propriety of keeping up whicl, even in time of war, very great doubts bad been, and were still entertained. The only force that was obliged to be disbanded, was the militia, and that must always necessarily, be the casc when peace was made. The fentible regiments also were disbanded on the fame account, as well as those corps which had been raised to feive only to the end of the war, under the authority of various acts of Parliament. With regard l the shipping, a larger number were kept in commillion than had been done during any former peace. His Lordll.ip produced an account of thips of the line, floops, &c. in commission in the year's 1764, 178.1, and in the present year 1803, from which it appeared, that ihose in commission in the year 1784 exceeeded the number of those in commission in the year 1764 very considerably; but that those in commission in '1503 exceeded the number of those in commission in 1784, so much inore confiderably so as alinost to double that number.
Having thus clearly shewn that Ministers had not difarmeil che country in the manner, and to the extent, with which They had been charged by the noble Lord opposite to him, his Lordhip proceeded to take noticc of what had been said about ihe inconsillency of their conduci, in serpect to the Oriers sent out by them; O&tober the 16th, to retain the Cape of Good Hope, and that another order to inake the cellion of it io the Dutch was sent out on the 17th of No. veinber. ''Ilis Lordihir remarked, that it was necessary to advers to the circumstances under which there orders had been sent out by his Majelly's Ministers. They had been