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“ and indispensible necessity of employing other persons, and of " adopting Other councils.”
Lord Barrington said, the speech just delivered by the Noble Duke was so distinguished for its eloquence, that it required a more considerable share of ability than he was possessed of to follow it through the various subjects to which it had alluded. Divested of the style in which it had been conveyed, the question itself was plain and clear, and he trusted the Houfe would honour him with a favourable attention, while he expressed his sentiments. It was a question of great magnitude ; for upon the rejection or adoption of it depended the very existence and safety of the country. Such was the tendency of the address, that he thought it incumbent on him to take the earliest opportunity of entering his protest against it. There were some of the arguments brought forward in surport of it which it was impossible he could pass over in silence. He could not but conceive the Noble Duke, in offering them, had deviated from that candour which in general charactized him. In pronouncing his sentiments of the situation of this country, he had not done, that which in justice he ought to have done, contrafted it with the state of the other powers of Europe ; without fo contrasting, it was impossible to give any other than an incomplete and inadequate idea of it. Its real situation could only be accurately estimated by considering it with relation to other powers, but he believed the omission of the Noble Duke in this respect was not altogether the effect of accident. It was impuslible for it not to have occurred to the Noble Duke that such a discussion must have inevitably produced the effect of raising in the minds of every one present a degree of pride at the exalted situation of this country in comparifon with others, and have produced a well-grounded confidence in all who looked forward to the security and maintenance of its religion, laws, and morality. Had the Noble Duke stated the situation of the Batavian Republic, of the Spanish Monarchy, or, of the Neutral Maritime Powers, or had he talked of the tranquillity of Italy or Switzerland, or had he expatiated on the happiness enjoyed even in the French Republic, it was impossible for him not to have known, that adverting to such topics would have had the effect of raising the general opinion in which the House and the public held those Ministers, who, amid such a gencral wreck of Empires, had by their talants been able to preserve to this State a degree of prosperity, which in no former period it had enjoyed. If such a sum as 164 millions had been added to the public debt, together with all those other calamities which had been so eloquently, and he might add so carefully, enumerated by the Noble Duke during a period of ge
neral tranquillity, in such case he should have considered the Ministers, under whose reign it had happened, not only weak and wicked, but the system pursued by them radically bad; but the contrary was the fact; that debt, and those calamities, light as they were when balanced with those experienced by other countries, had been the natural, the inevitable consequences of a war which had desolated the rest of Europe..
With respect to the origin of the war, though the Noble Duke profeffed to abstain from it, yet it was referred to in almost every point of his speech, and the authors of it pretty plainly insinuated. However, he deemed that question completely decided (if it had not been determined before, by a publication which not long since reached this country ;- that work must remove every doubt upon the subject. The idea, that the war was perfifted in by England in order to restore the French Monarchy, was much dwelt upon, as the means of keeping up the spirit of resentment in France against this country. This he denied; at least the objection would apply as well to every war the two countries had ever been engaged in. Indeed, the principle pervaded all wars, that advantages should be taken of opposing parties and opinions in the enemy's country. Did not Louis XIV. and England and Austria, act reciprocally on that principle, in the war relative to the Succeffion to the Spanish Monarchy? What repeated succours did not the French Kings send to the adherents of James II. and the Pretender in these Kingdoms?
That we were not fighting against any particular form of Government in France, he would quote the authority of one of the warmest republicans in that country, (Tallien), who, when he was Commissioner in one of the western districts, addrelied a paper to the French Nation, wherein, speaking of England, he says, “ It is not against a Republic England is fighting, it is againft France; and if France established a Monarchy to-morrow, England would fight for a Republic.” So it was plain, that the principle of the war, on the part of this country against France, was not against any particular form of Government the might choose to adopt, but against her overWeening arrogance, and thirst for univerfal dominion-which has produced such calamitous effects in Europe already.
Upon another subject of the Noble Duke's speech, namely, the fituation of Ireland, he was sorry to observe it had been adverted to without that stri&t degree of delicacy which the fabjcct feemed to have demanded. He would ask the Noble Duke if he really believed any system of conciliation would produce the effe&t of tranquillizing Ireland? Could it produce such an effect in men who had avowed their determination to hear of nothing 5 0 2
a long speechy: a Noble Eaunts of fuch
but what came from themselves? Sure he was no man could lay his hand on his heart and say, any conciliation to such men would be attended with success. The Noble Duke had used the strong expression of the numberless atrocities committed by the military in Ireland ; for his part, he was much surprised at the affent with which accounts of such atrocities were received in this country: a Noble Earl had, on a former occasion, made a long speech upon this subject, in the course of which he had enumerated a variety of instances of the cruelties committed in Ireland, but of them it had turned out that there were not only many unfounded, but all highly exaggerated. The Noble Duke had also accused his Majesty's Ministers of wishing for a general system of Despoliation with the other great powers in Europe ; and, in particular, that in the negotiation at Paris, their object was to obtain the Cape of Good Hope, Trinidad, and Ceylon, at the expence of Spain and the Dutch. Had he considered what had been the conduct of England towards these powers ? Sure he was that so far from furnithing any grounds of accusation on the score of an unjust desire of partaking the spoils of those countries, it would, if fairly examined, be confidered as the direct contrary. After three months notice, had the Noble Duke proposed to the House to address his Majesty to remove from his councils those who at present presided over them; in doing this, he had called upon their Lordships to obliterate from their memories the recollection of all the former services of those Ministers; to forget that to them this country was indebted for the advantageous treaty of peace with France, in the year 1788; that it was to them we owed the improvements which the jurisprudence of the country had derived with regard to the trial by jury ; that to their exertions and abilities we were indebted for the introduction of that admirable system of finance which had raised the public funds, previous to the year 1793, to the extraordinary pitch at which they had arrived ; a system which, by its operation since that period, had preserved the national independence of the country, strengthened its com. merce, and secured its freedom. This was not all; the Nuble Duke had called upon the House to do this at a period when the suspension of the powers of Government, even for a week, must be of the most serious consequences at a time when a conspiracy existed against all the old governments of the earthat a time when the enmity of the power with whom we were at war had increased, and threatened an immediate invasion. For himself, he had never entertained the idea that the existence of the British Constitution depended on any one man, or on any particular set of men ; but this he did believe, that, under the present circumstances, the existence of the British Constitution would be highly endangered by the committal of the Executive Government to men whose ideas of parliamentary reform, and whose supposed connexions with affiliated societies, must necessarily have the effect of weakening our means of national defence, by promoting disunion throughout the kingdom. Besides, their LordThips were not aware what was to be the nature of that new Government which was sought to be established by a system of parliamentary reform ; the address of the Noble Duke did not point it out, though its object, as well as that of many individuals, was generally underitood. It was asserted that the House of Commons did not consist of the representatives of the people, consequently their Lordships must be wholly ignorant to what extent the system of radical reform might be carried. It was true the Noble Duke had expressed his approbation of a particular plan, but it was well known, that of the whole number who had voted in favour of a reform, not five were agreed as to the particular system to be adopted ; and therefore, how far they might be carried away by their anxiety for what would be at best but a nominal peace with France, and their desire for radical reform, or how far they might be hurried beyond their original intention, it was impossible to conjecture. The danger of such men supplying the places of the present Ministers was evident, and therefore he trusted their Lordships would come to such a temperate decision as was consistent with their duty to the publie.
The Duke of Bedford observed, that the adoption of the Address could not have the effect supposed by the Noble Lord. He (the Duke) had strongly, formally, and distinctly stated it was not the object of the Address, that if the present Ministers were now removed, they must necessarily be fucceeded by others, who were determined upon a radical reform in Parliament, What be suggested was, that if there were men of integrity and talents in this House and in the House of Commons, who might not think Parliamentary Reform'immediately necessary, bu who might conceive they would discharge their duty by endeavouring to procure peace with France, and conciliating I reland, he Thould be happy to give such men his support.
Lord Holland spoke in substance as follows.-“ My Lords, if it were possible for me to be surprised at any thing that comes from those Noble Lords who have espoused the cause, and defended the conduct of his Majesty's present Ministers, I must be astonished at fome of the assertions of the Noble Lord who has spoken against the Address moved by my Noble Friend. That the country is in a state of unprecedented calamity and distress, is a proposition which I thought, till this night, no · man could have been hardy enough to deny. To me it ap
pears, that our calamities and distresles are so great, and the dangers that menace the country from the present war, are of such number and magnitude, that I am astonished how any one can be thoughtless or sanguine enough to think that there is the smallest hope of a successful issue, particularly under the administration of those whose rashness first brought the nation into the war, and whose impotence and incapacity have rendered that war more than any other shameful and disastrous. The Noble Lord, though he boasts of the dignified state of this country as compared with others in Europe, admits, never: theless, that the time is pregnant with danger. If then we do ftand in that perilous situation-if we are, as the Noble Lord says, threatened by a conspiracy; if the enemy is at our gates are we not in a situation which requires the afiistance of men of talents, fortitude, and vigour; and calls upon this House to withdraw their support from his Majesty's present Ministers, who have exhibited through the whole of their ministerial office a total want of capacity and vigour; and who, from the nature of their conduct in the course of this war, have not only involved the country in calamity and danger, but rendered themselves incapable of ever extricating it again. It may seem strange, my Lords, that I, who must be conscious of my own inexperience and deficiency, impeach thus the understanding of men who are allowed to have among them much talents. That they have great talents I readily admit; but that those talents they poffefs are fitted for the present times, I take the liberty to deny.
“Non tali auxilio, nec Defenforibus iftis,
-------------------- Tempus egit.” Lofty declamation without energy ; boastful eloquence without vigour; cunning without wisdom ; feeble efforts or temporising expedients, will never rescue this country from the dangers which press upon it from all parts.
« On the origin of the war, I shall offer a few remarks, since it has been touched upon by the Noble Baron who has spoken against the motion. Although a Noble Lord (Lord Grenville) took upon himself to rebuke me on a former night for the sentiments I had avowed on that subject, I will not be deterred or amused from my purpose of repeating them now. The laws and constitution give me a power to speak, to offer my advice and opinion as a Peer in this House, and I have a right to make use of all the materials in my pofTefsion. The Noble Lord has denied that the restoration of Monarchy in France was the primary object of the war, and has given the authority of Tallien, who, in a public paper, avowed that it was not the Republic, but France, against which England waged