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claims upon the justice and generosity of the British nation. The 'modes which he should, with the leave of the Committee, propole, were two-namely, either to vote a given. sum as a complete and final indemnity in confideration of all their lofies, or else a small fum promptly, and another by way of annuity. He should himlelf prefer the latter, as the nrore eligible inode ; and therefore propose it first, namely, a sum of 60,0001. in money, and an annuity of 16,0001. per annum. By this latter fum he wilhed it to be understood that all the pensions to minor branches of the family for their services and attachment to this country, were to be covered ; and he concluded by a motion to that effect.
Mr. Cannin rose, not, he said, to resist the claims of the illuftrious Houle alluded to, upon the justice and generosity of the British nation, for he fully adınitted them; but merely to make some observations upon the conduct of his Majeity's Ministers, as with respect to the compensations stipulated for the Stadtholder by the treaty of Amiens, and which they neglected to enforce while they had the means in their hands; and to ask, why those Ministers lrad. so long held back this propofition, which, as had been truly observed by his noble Friend, (Lord L. Gower) a right hon. Gentleman.bad intimated his intention to bring forward so long ago as latt December, but which they never again mentioned until this advanced period, when the House was almost deserted on the eve of a prorogation. Their conduct on this occation he thought rather whimlical. Looking to the treaty of Amiens, he there found a stipulation for ample indemnities to the Stadtholder fully agreed to by the contracting parties : but no fooner was it fettled on the part of this country with France and Holland, that the Stadtholder ihould be fully indemnified, thana new agreement is made between Holland and France, that the former Thall not be called on for any part of the compenfation; and thus the Batavian Government shifts the burden off its own shoulders, and throws it upon France, who totally refuses to comply. A manæuvre fu barefaced and fraudulent wis, be believed, unparalleled in the bittory of civilized nations : But he defired to know, why his Majesty's Minifters did not insist on the stipulation being fully performed before they had surrendered the means in their own handsnamely, the Cape of Good Hope, not then given up, and the islands belonging to France; fince France was to be
Jooked to for the performance of the ftipulation. Such a conduct on the part of France and Holland was adding insult to injury: and though, had his Majesty's Ministers been capable of selling the fleet of the country to procure an alternative of compensation for the Stadibolder, they would have deserved to be branded with the fouleft criminality, yet he could not acquit them of the groffest negligence, and most reprehenfible omiffion, in not enforcing compenfation in the first instance, by the means in their pofleffion, agreeable to the objects of the treaty of Amiens, which was equally binding on both, and by which Minifters would have been justified in making that compensation to the House of Orange, which the Batavian and the French governments chose to elude or refuse. The opportunity, however, was now loft; we are again at war with the Batavian Government, and there remained at present no other mode of setting matters to rights than by an effort of national generosity to relieve the embarrassinents in which that illustrious family had been involved; but he never could excuse Ministers for not having secured indemnity from the means in their hands. How much more grateful would such indemnity have been to the feelings of that illuftrious House, rather than being reduced to the neceffity of depending on the eleemosynary ftipend of parliamentary generosity; which, though it reflected honour upon bis Majesty, with whom the idea originated, as well as upon the nation which conferred it, yet it could not fail of making unpleasant impressions upon the feelings of the illustrious Prince, whose embarrassinents forced hini to accept it, though he had every claim that national justice and liberality could sanction.
Lord Hawkesbury acknowledged that the secret convention between the French and Batavian Plenipotentiaries, which had been alluded to, was a circumstance of a very extraordinary nature ; but yet there was nothing in the thing itself to preclude one of the parties from taking the burthen of compensation off the shoulders of the other, but the bad character and general ill conduct of the power which had done so. What he dwelt on, he faid, was, that by a convention made in the inonth of June, the Prince of Orange had agreed to renounce all his claims to the Stadtholderate and his hereditary states, for an indemnity to be given him in Germany, and having done fo, he had no claim of right to withhold the cession of any of our
ftipulated ftipulated conquests to secure to him poffeffions which he had already given up. The present propotal was not professed to be brought forward as a positive claim, but rather as an appeal to the justice and generosity of this country.
Mr. Canning explained, that he did not impute it as bad faith in the Duich io have thrown the indemnity from them-, selves upon France, but thought it rather extraordinary we should have applied to them who had been released, rather than to the party which had undertaken the indemnity. Either the Prince of Orange was sufficiently compensated, or he was not. If not, he had a right to complain of our Government, even though he did, sign the treaty or convention alluded w; for when a great state undertook to guarantee a small one, it was bound not lo suffer an inadequate indemnity to be f rced upon it, and thrust down its throat, otherwise the guaraniec would be of very little. service.
Sir F. Burdett said, that he thought the proposed provi. fion was one of the most extraordinary measures, under the present circumstances of the country, that ever was submiired to the considera ion of the House; and, in his opinion, the noble Lord had felt a considerable difficulty in proposing a claim upon the people of England in such times, and for such a purpose. The nuble Lord had rested that claim of the Prince of Orange upon the justice and generofity, of the couniry. As tor justice, wherever it could be established, it was a matter absolutely necessary to be alo. tended to by all nations and people ; and as for generosity, it was, in his opinion, a most excellent quality ; but he thought it would not be amiss, on the present occafion, for Ministers to attend a litile to the justice which they owed the people of this country, in preference to listening to imaginary claims arising from other quarters. He thought, that so far from the House of Orange having claims against this country, Parliament and the people of England might have claims againit it, having been called in as auxiliaries only in order to aslift the Dutch ; for the Prince of Orange was the original cause of involving this country in the late
Io that point of view, as an advocate for the people of England, he should declare himself hostile to any claim of the nature of that which was now proposed. The Prince of Orange must have either sacrificed the interest of his country, or he could have no claim upon this. We were just now entered into a war, the real objeds of which have .
become just as indefinite as those of the last one, and no man could tell how unable we might be to refift our enemies, or how this country was to be defended ; and we were even at this time considering how this capital was to be defended against a fiege ; and he would appeal to any man, if, when we were involved in such a situation, such an unfounded and unjust claim as this ought to be listened to! It was not long ago fince the House were engaged in discuffing a claim brought from a different quarter, he meant the claim of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. That claim was, at the time it was brought forward, thought by many to be proper and juft, and such a one as was connected with the public welfare ; though he muft confess that he himself did not think so. It was, however, voluntarily given up by the Prince of Wales himself, and abandoned by all who supported it, on account of the advantages which would result to the country, when in a state of war, by its being quashed. He could not imagine it possible, that Parliament, after have irg abandoned the claim of a Prince of this country, could entertain, for a moment, such a one as the present. He was astonished how any man could have thought of it, when the people of the country were called upon to contribute towards the present war, on very strong grounds of neceffity, which create very great uneasiness and difficulty to every individual in the realm. Once encodrage fuch claims, and he did not know what would be the end of them. Was it with a view to try the extent of the generosity of which the people of England were possessed ? For any thing he knew, we might perhaps be called on by and by to indemnify the Elector of Hanover. In short, he thought it was imposible for him or any man to tell whom we might be called on to indemnify. Under circumstances like the prelent, when the good-will of the people was so neceffary to be secured, he might say that such a conduct displayed a want of common prudence or decency to the country.
He confidered that Ministers did not seem to have done everything with an intent to thew to the couniry their economy of the public finances, which they were every day increasing, by making additional exactions upon the people. They had done away or expunged no finecures from ihe list of penfioners, and until he could read the pension list, without exciting displeafure or difyn it, he never could imagine that any symptoms of economy were displayed by Government. He withed only tu fie in that fit the names of those individuals who haut
693 performed meritorious services to the state, under which conditions, it is to be presumed that all pensions were created. So far from this being the case, however, he saw Government overlooking meritorious services, while they were appealing to the generosity of the country at a time when the people were exhausted with taxes which were laid upon them, and when all that industry and ingenuity can produce, leemi not adequate to satisfy the numerous demands of Government. Wnen we see such loans of money, and sometimes even two budgets brought forward in one year, with rules of taxes and contributions, he should, under such circumstances, conceive that he was betraying the interest of his constituents, were he to consent w give away any money out of the pockets of the public towards such an indeinnigcation. He should with to know what indemnity the Prince of Orange had already had, for he imagined that no claim could attach to ihe ships that were taken in Holland. He concluded by making this singular observation ; that unless he could bring himself to be of opinion, that bran was the best fubstitute which the people of England could make use of for corn, and a workhouse the fittest place for people to reside in (which he alledged the Minister had once said) he could never think of agreeing to such donation
The Chancellor of the Exchequer expressed his astonishment at hearing the hon. Baronet make such an allegation. Whether or not he had ever niade fuch an observation as that imputed to him, he only need appeal to the Members of that House. He expressed his aitonishment that the claims of the Prince of Orange thould be difallowed by any person whatever. Surprised he was to find that an una fortunate family, who were the victims of the gigantic military and unjust power of France, did not draw from the hon. Gentleman fome fentiments of pity, of generosity, or even of justice, feeling as he muit, and knowing as he must know, that to that illustrious House this country was indebted for a confidcrable thare of the liberties which it now enjoys. He trusted there could not be another individual in the Houte who was not inclined more juftly to reflect upon the lamentable viciffiiudes of tortune. To ipite of the machinations of the French we had preferved, unimpaired, all the blelings originating fruin King Willian Ill. greatly by means of the affittance derived from our füithful ally. He lhould have thought that the deplorable fituation of the VOL. IV. 1802-3.