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Mr. SPEAKER reported, that the House had attended His Majesty in the House of Peers, where His Majesty was pleased to make a most gracious speech from the throne to both Houses of Parliament ; of which, Mr. Speaker said, he had, to prevent mistakės, obtained a copy, which he read to the House, and is as followeth; viz.
My Lords, and Gentlemen, IT is a great satisfaction. to me to reflect, that, notwithstanding the many events unfavourable to the common cause, the prospect resulting from the general situation of uffairs has, in many important reSpects, been materially improved in the course of the present year.
In Italy, the threatened invasion of the French has been prevented; and they have been driven buick from a considerable part of the line of coas? which they had occupied: there is also reafon to hope that the recent operations of the Austrian armies have checked the progress which they have made on the side of Gerinany, arid fruftrated the offensive projects which they were pursuing in that quarter.
The fucciffes which have attended their military operations in other parts of the crimprigol, and the advantages which they have derived from the conclusion of separate treaties with some of the powers who were engaged in the war, are far from compensating the evils which they experience ofrom its continuance. The destruelion of their cmmere, the diminution of thcir maritime power, and the unparalleled emb. rrulinent and distrofs of their internal situation, have produced the imprcfjiin which wris naturally to be expected ; and a general sense appears to prevail throughout France, that the only relief from the increasing profire of 11:0je difficulties must arise from the restoration of perice, and the esta!)ment of some settled system of government.
The diftration and anarchy which have fo long prevailed in that country, have led tv a crifts, of which it is as yet imposible to foresee the illile ; but which must, in all human probability, produce consequences highly important to the interests of Europe. Should this crisis terminate in auy order of things compatible with the tranquillity of other countries, and offerding a reasonable expeElation of security and permanence in any frenty which might be concluded, the appearance of
disposition to negociate for general peace on just and suitable terms will not fail to be met, on my part, with an earnest desire to give it the fulleft and speedieft effect. But I am persuaded you will agree with me, that nothing is fo likely to ensure and accelerate this desireable end, as 19 shew that we are prepared for either alternative, and are determined to profecute the war with the utmost energy and vigour, until we bave the means of concluding, in conjunction with our allies,
such a peace as the justice of our cause and the situation of the enemy may entitle us to expect.
With this view I am continuing to make the greatesi exertions for maintaining and improving our naval superiority, and fur carrying on attive and vigorous sperations in the West Indies, in order to secure and extend the advantages which we have gained in that quarter, and which are so nearly connected with our commercint resources and ma
I ro'y with full confidence on the continuone if your firm and zealsus fuppsrt, on the unijërm bravery of my favod armies, wrid on the firtitude, purjeverance, wid quric spirit of all ranks of my peuple.
The acts of 1 fiility committedly the United Provinces, une inca influence and control of France, lave obliged me to treat them as in a Rate of war with this country.
The fieet which I have employed in the North Seas has received 11.6 must cordial and active afjistance from the nuvalgirie furnished by the Empress of Russia, and has been enabled effectually to check the operate tions of the enemy in that quarter.
I have concluded engagements of defensive alliance with the two iinperial courts; and the ratifications of the treaty of commerce with the United States of America, which I announced to you in year, have now been exchanged. I hive directed copies of these, treaties to be laid
Gentlemen of the House of Commons, It is matter of deep concern to me, that the exigencies of the public service will require further additions to the heavy burdens which have been unavoidably imp:sed on my pesple. I trust that their preffure will, in some degree, be alleviated by the flourishing state of our commerce and manufactures, and that our expences, though neceffarily great in their amount, will, under the actual circumstances of the war, admit of considerable diminution in comparison with those of the present year.
My Lords, and Gentlemen, I have observed for some time past, with the greatest anxiety, the very high price of grain, and that anxiety is increased by the apprehenfion that the produce of the wheat harvest in the present year may not have been such as effe&tually to relieve my people from the difficulties with which they have had to contend. The spirit of order and submillion to the laws which, with very few exceptions, has manififted itself under this severe pressure, will, I am sure, be felt by you as an additional incentive to apply yourselves with the utmost diligence to the
consideration of such measures as may tend to alleviate the present distress, and to prevent, as far as pBible, the renewal of similar embarrassments in future. Nothing has been omitted on my pari that appeared likely to contribute to this end; and you may be assured of my hearty concurrence in whatever regulations the wisdom of Parliament may adopt, on a subject fo peculiarly inter:fting to my people, whose welfare will ever be the objeći nearest my heart.
The Speech being read, the Earl of DALKEITH (son of the Duke of Buccleugh) rose to move the address, and said, he was persuaded the House would agree with him, that though some events had taken place, which, in themselves, appeared unfavourable to the juít cause in which we were engaged ; and though they could not but fcel for the misfortunes which, in the prosecution of the war, had attended cur allies, there was ample cause for fatisfaction in the situation of our own affairs, taken in the general view they afforded of improvement since the last year; for though no conquests had been made on the Continent, the farther progress of the French arms had been prevented in Italy, and on the Rhine, In the East Indies, thofe poffeffions belonging to the enemy, that could contribute to the wealth and commercial interests of this country, had been all taken from them; and in the West, if not all, at least poffefTions abundantly great, had fallen before our fleets and armies. While the unexampled vigorous operations, going forward under one of the ableft commanders of the country, gave foundation to suppose that the whole of those islands would fall into our hands, and that by becoming masters of the West Indies, we should secure the means of carrying on the war as long as it might be found neccffary. He was aware, that to counterbalance these weighty advantages, the fecession of so many of our allies from the common cause, would be enlarged upon by gentlemen on the other side of the House; but paradoxical as it might feem, he was perfuaded, that by the lofs of those allies we had acquired additional strength, since it enabled us to profecute with increased energy the war by sea, and to exert our whole means and cfforts in maintaining and improving our naval superiority. He was aware, too, that observations of a similar tendency would be made on the lofies our trade had sustained by captures at fea; but when the House recollected the unbounded cxtent of our commerce, and the difficulty, or rather impoflibility, of covering the whole sea with our ships, in order effectually to prevent their cruizers from coming out, together with the circumstance of their having no commerce to protect, the House could not be surprised at the oc
casional partial losses sustained by our trade. Upon reading His
The Hon. ROB. STEWART, (fon of Lord Londonderry) on seconding the address, faid, he should not recer to any of the questions which the House had disposed of in the progres of the war; he should only look to the present situation of the contest, and the probable issue of a perseverance in the war. In comparing the prospects of the present moment with those of the lait year, notwithstanding some reverses, our situation was evidently improved;
in looking to France, it clearly appeared, amidst the confusion that reigned there, that the two great features of their system, which made them fo formidable to us and all the other powers opposed to thein, were falling to decay ; viz, their paper currency, and that government of terror, which had enabled them to make such unexampled military efforts, which had been able for a confiderable time to turn the whole wcilth and population of the country to
To prove that the aflignats had nearly lost their powers, it was fufficient to state, that they were difcredited in the proportion of 70 to 1 ; that the state, for every one and a half per cent. which it might have occasion to expend, must issue rool. in nominal currency; and another campaign, supposing their actual expence 20 millions sterling, would require an itlue of aflignats to the amount of 1400 millions sterling, supposing the depreciation not to be increased, which could not but happen; a quantity of paper which, if added to 720 millions now in circulation, would leave them without any value whatsoever. If any fariher argument was required, we had the admission of the Convention, that the assignats could not be farther relied on, and that specie muit be rcforted to. L'ut where was it to be found? They had it not; and if they had, having neither industry ror commerce, it would not long remain in the country. They felt the neceflity of an entire change of fyftem ; nothing but peace could bring them any relief; and the neceflity of peace would force them tu abandon the destructive system they had been acting upon.
The government of terror was held in such abhorrence, that the re-establishment of it was impoflible; all parties felt it fo; it was a matter of contest which should disclaim it moft. After the Sections had been reduced, the first act of the victorious party was to banish Burrere, and to bring to trial the former terrorists; and to completely odious was terror and revolutionary law, that they had recourse to military tribunals for the trial of the revolters.
Such was the state of France; and although the last campaign had not been fruitful in victories, the prctiure of the war had caused the distress and weakness which reduced the enemy cven with more certainty than military success. Although he was willing to admit, that the weakness of the enemy made negociation much less liazardous than when they were in strength, yet
he did not believe that any man would recommend negociation just at the present moment; the total change which a few days must make one way or the other in the affairs of that country, made it a matter of common sense to wait for the event, before any decision was taken,