Imágenes de páginas

banks of La Plata and in North might not be re-elected, but if he America, where the old and sound again entered that House it would policy of France had been sacri- be to defend the general interests ficed without any compensation ; of the country, and advocate docat Tahiti, where a queen of sa- trines and principles which no convages refused to receive the letter sideration should induce him to of the King of the French, and sacrifice. He then entreated his where two brave admirals were colleagues to manifest the same gravely debating the amount of self-denial, and the Ministers to an indemnity to be awarded to a imitate Sir Robert Peel, who had man who had excited an insurrec- transformed the Conservatives into tion against the French ?

quasi revolutionists. M. Duvergier, in conclusion, In the course of the debate M. maintained that the policy of Ledru Rollin made a long speech, Ministers had been as unavailable in which he attached M. Thiers, and undignified in Spain, Africa, who rose the next day and spoke Mexico, Rome, and other places, as follows: and ended by saying that he would • I do not rise to reply to M. vote against the address.

Ledru Rollin, but to speak of far M. Gasparin, who followed, said more important subjects than these that he was not ashamed to declare wretched personal discussions. It himself a decided partisan of the is, however, incumbent on me to policy pursued both at home and say a few words on the long diaabroad by the Cabinet. The fo- tribe which you heard yesterday. reign results achieved by it were, To hear the words of that hon. in his opinion, its greatest title to deputy, one would suppose that I glory, and notwithstanding the at- was not seated on these benches, tempts of the Opposition to revive but on the Ministerial one. I might the questions of the right of contest to a certain point the right search, Tahiti, &c., he maintained of any one to demand explanations that those questions no longer from me, now that I am no longer excited any interest either in the Minister, but I shall not refuse to Chamber or in the country, and any man the right of free discusthat the nation was now fully aware sion. Let me utter a few words that the cause of civilization would on my opinions, and the political only prosper by peace, and that position that I occupy in the counthe alliance with England was its try. From the period—now tolerstrongest bulwark. M. Gasparin ably remote—that I consecrated admitted that corruption existed myself to the service of my counto a frightful extent ; but the evil try, I have never ceased to be the had not originated with the pre- partisan of the constitutional monsent Administration, which had archy, but that monarchy is not merely followed the footsteps of practised as, in my opinion, it ought its predecessors. Deputies were to be. It ought to resemble, I the actual distributors of all the think, more in France what it is in favours and offices of State, and England. When I perceived that too often imposed their wishes it departed from that model, I enupon Ministers. For his part, he tered the ranks of the Opposition, had come to the resolution of so- But, notwithstanding this dissent, liciting no favours from them. He I have always remained firm in my constitutional principles and con- message of President Polk, it duct. I can well understand not would seem that if our relations being comprehended by M. Ledru with the United States are paRollin. I congratulate myself on cific they are not extraordinarily it, for the day that I should be of friendly. The following is the accord with him on this question I language of that official document: should fancy that I had merited the - It must not be forgotten that distrust which he has endeavoured annexation was obtained in spite to raise up amongst my friends of the intervention of the diplomaagainst me. I have never sup- tic agents of the European Powers. posed that it was possible to realize France, even, our ancient ally, that all the wild imaginings of parties. country which has a common inOn this point my line of conduct terest with us in maintaining the has always been undeviating, and, freedom of the seas, has sought to when I behold certain men attack- prevent this result. We ought to ing me, I congratulate myself on rejoice at having triumphed over the circumstance, well convinced British and French intervention in that they who attacked me formerly such an energetic and efficacious still regard me as their enemy, and manner.' I do not make myself consequently I have not deviated the judge of these words ; but still from the conduct I then determined it is a fact, that at the same time to adopt. Should any one demand that we are exchanging with Engon what conditions I joined the land words of the most lively inLeft, let him read the Moniteur, timacy, our relations with America and examine the reforms demanded

are becoming, if not hostile, less at the same time by the Left and the friendly. Under any circumstances Left Centre, and then say if there I should regard this as a matter to did not exist a neutral ground on be regretted, but under present which we could unite. When the

ones I look


it as most unfordynastic Left openly broke with the tunate. You are aware what a fraction which M. Ledru Rollin serious dispute has arisen between represents, when I believed that England and America ; I hope and this union could be useful, I ac- wish sincerely that this may be cepted it, because it appeared to amicably settled ; but in a situame that the country might there- tion of such gravity the conduct of from derive considerable advan- France should be extremely cirtages. ( Hear, hear,' from the cumspect. I fear that hitherto it Left Centre.) After these observ- has not been sufficiently so. What ations on a secondry matter, I shall makes the thing still more serious proceed to speak briefly on the is the theory the Minister of Foreign annexation of Texas.

Affairs has put forward on this subtry was annexed to the United ject - it is an aggravation of the States, to the great displeasure of fact. I am about to call the attenEngland, and, as far as can be tion of the Chamber to the subject, judged from the conduct of the not for the sake of opposition, but French Ministry, to the great dis- solely with the object of correcting satisfaction of France.

It appears the ideas of the Government on the that the resistance of the latter subject, if it can be done. I must country has deeply offended the admit that I have good hopes, for Americans, and, according to the it has been shown that on serious

That coun


I can

occasions the opinions of the pre- fifty years ago they occupied the sent Government may be influenced banks of the Mississippi, and now by that of the Chamber. I am they touch Mexico on the side of about to provoke on the part of Texas and Canada by the Oregon ; the Chamber what I call the clear- they had then 3,000,000 of ining up of the most serious question habitants, now they reckon 13 which may be brought forward states, with 28,000,000. I can during the present session. You readily imagine that this extraorare aware that Texas is of great dinary and unheard-of prosperity importance to the United States, should give umbrage to England, and that its possession was but for my part, although a declared xiously desired by that Power ; I partisan of English alliance, I canwill add, that never had an annexa- not for the sake of my country be tion been made in a more regular at all uneasy at the development manner ; for more than ten years of the power of the United States. Texas has been separated from It has been objected that the anMexico, and all the Powers, in- nexation of Texas to the United cluding France, had recognised it. States disturbed the balance of Texas considered it for its interest power in America ; it is, I must to become a part of a great and confess, the first time I ever heard powerful state, it consented to its this equilibrium spoken of. annexation, and that is now an fully comprehend a balance of irrevocable fact. Nevertheless, it power in Europe, which is nothing is under these circumstances that but the independence of all the our Cabinet has considered it its

states composing it; and whenduty to oppose itself to this mea- ever this equilibrium has been dissure. If it be true, as stated by turbed, it has been proper to seek the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to re-establish it ; but I will ask, that success should be the law of what have we to do with America Governments, there has been a fault in that respect? The hon. deputy, in this affair, for it has failed, and M. Guizot, is afraid that the Spanhas caused interruption in our re- ish race will be annihilated by the lations with the United States. Anglo-American one. Oh! when But what good reason could have that time comes, when the United excited the opposition of the States shall have, like England, Cabinet to the annexation? Did 100 ships of the line and 200 our commercialinterests demand it? frigates, when they shall no longer It has, I know, been said that we profess the principle that the flag had an interest in drawing our covers the merchandize, then the supply of cotton from Texas ; but European equilibrium may go to in the first place that state did not the assistance of that of America. furnish a large quantity, and more- If we still possessed Canada and over it was our interest that that Louisiana, I can imagine that the locality should be placed under the development of the power of the patronage of a powerful nation United States might give us unrather than abandoned to the easiness; I can imagine that it influence of England. Permit me disturbs the English, who possess on this occasion to cast a rapid a part of the American continent ; glance over the astonishing increase but, as we have given up Louisiana, of the United States. Scarcely the question no longer in any way

concerns us.


On the contrary, I with us; but in proportion as the see in the increase of the power of two countries became more intithe United States what I must be mately connected we found her to permitted to call another step be jealous of our navy, which has towards our political freedom. certainly met with great checks, Since French policy represents in but which fortunately can again rethis world revolution, we have lost cover its former position. This much of our freedom of action. jealousy was the cause of much Formerly there existed amongst the constraint to us, and exercised a various European states opposing disastrous effect on our policy. interests, rancorous jealousies, Two facts may remove this conand in the midst of these passions straint: one the development of France was perfectly free. But, liberty in Europe ; for whenever the day that France became the the spectacle which we behold passrepresentative of liberty in the ing before our eyes at Paris and world, on that day there was formed London, shall be witnessed in any round her, amongst all the states other capital of Europe, all our of Europe, a concerted union, liberty of action will be restored to rather tacit than written down-a us, the Powers of Europe then general concert, in fact, which im- having a sympathetic feeling topeded, and still impedes, our free

wards us.

The second cause which dom of action. I am not one of may lead to the emancipation of those who perceive war at the our policy is the augmentation of bottom of this concert. No; but the power of the United States. I maintain that there is amongst The proof of the truth of thi these European Powers, and sertion is, that if, during the last against France, a tacit accord

two years, England has been yieldwhich constrains us—W

-which is in- ing in her relations with us, we owe jurious to us. You lately had a it to the uneasiness with which the proof of this.

When events took power of America inspires her. place in Servia which appeared What, then, was the motive of the likely to insure to Russia too ex- conduct of the French Cabinet in clusive a domination, France en- the affair of Texas? I have no deavoured to excite the jealousy of hesitation in declaring that this Austria ; but she was not listened conduct was adopted to redeem the to. Certain words, pronounced by faults committed by our Cabinet a man of great sagacity, perfectly during the last five years. The well explain this indifference. Cabinet, on taking the reins of •What has occurred,' said this gen- power, found France and England tleman, is an evil; but between on bad terms, from the events of two evils the lesser one ought 1840; France was irritated, alto be chosen. Well, then, what though England was not. She has taken place in Servia is a could not be actuated by any other smaller evil than the disunion feeling than a sentiment of having of the continent in presence of

and the French France.' In this situation they Cabinet had only one line of condetermined to draw closer to Eng- duct to adopt—to do nothing-to land, who from the nature of her wait. The principle of the union Government was, after 1830, na- between France and England is the turally inclined to form an alliance maintenance of peace and the

done wrong,

[ocr errors]

European status quo. But for the I do not any longer demand grand faults committed at Tabiti and the positions ; I content myself with question of the right of search, moderate ones. For America the we should have been perfectly in affair is one of true material inaccord with England on the affairs terest ; for England, one of digof Syria and of Greece, and the nity. At the outset France might question of Morocco would have hope to play the part of a useful presented no difficulty--for right intermediary ; but the Ministry was on our side, and victory in our has broken the national relations favour. In the question of Texas which existed between America we might have said to England, and France, and this part is taken *You cannot require that, in order from our country by the fault of to preserve a balance of power in the Cabinet. After the words of America, we should renounce our President Polk, it is impossible oldest alliance and our friendly that France can offer herself to conrelations with the United States.' ciliate the difference. I shall say But the faults committed on the no more. I desire that what I two questions I have mentioned have said may he heard in Amehave weighed in all our relations rica ; I fear not its being so in with England. After madly esta- England : for what most concerns blishing ourselves at the Marquesas, me is that every thing should be where we could not subsist, we truly and clearly understood bewent to Tahiti, where the most tween three such great countries dangerous adversary was found- as England, France, and the the spirit of intrigue united to United States. religious fanaticism ; hence the This speech was on the followPritchard indemnity, and all the ing day answered by concessions in the affairs of Syria, M. Guizot, who said that M. of Greece, and of Texas. This is Thiers had appealed to the impresso true, that the opinion in Eng- sions and instincts of the Chamber; land as in France is, that each of he would appeal to its calm and the two countries bas made conces- reflecting judgment, and he hoped sions. I have said, and I repeat it, to convince it that the advice he that, independently of the faults had given the Crown, and the line committed at Tahiti, if France has of policy he had pursued, were not observed diplomatic neutrality the most conducive to the inin the affairs of Texas, she has terests of the country. On the been forced to act by the necessity invitation of the Texan Governof not giving offence to England. ment and of its Minister at Paris, The conduct of France in the af- he had advised Texas to maintain fair of Texas has been the pur- her independence, and Mexico to chase-money paid for the right of recognise it. He had always prosearch. Yes, in the relations with claimed that the Texans were free America you have been obliged to to adopt whatever course they depart from the circumspection of pleased, and that, when once they sensible men.

And why? To should have pronounced, France redeem your faults you have com- had nothing to say. This had mitted a fault both with a view to been the case ; when the annexapeace and to war. War, perhaps, tion was agreed to by the Texan will not break out. I hope it, for people France entered into no pro

« AnteriorContinuar »