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these diversions already; but allowing them their value, I would alk, whether it is of more importance for this county at the prea sent moment to create a diversion upon a Continent, or to restore the credit of the Bank? And if the latter object is of higher importance, I will appeal to any Bank Director, or to any mercantile man in the House, whether such an event will not be greatly retarded by remittances being sent to the Emperor to the amount now proposed ? I do not wish to enter at all into the question of the general policy of creating Continental diversions; perhaps I do not value them so highly as some others, but in the present situation of the country, to send pecuniary succours to our Ally will only be making his ruin more certain, and the terms of peace to this country more ignominious. Though I am prepared, therefore, to give the measure my decided nega, tive, I shall vote for the delay which has been proposed by my Right Honourable Friend.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that the Hon. Gentleman, in supporting the Motion, had taken a very different line of ar, gument from that on which it had been proposed. He had stated · what opinion he entertained of the value of a Continental diversion, and therefore it was clear that, in contending for delay, they acted upon the principle of wholly rejecting the measure. The Honourable Gentleman assumed that the question involved an alternative that either the Bank was undone, or the idea of a Loan to the Emperor was to be abandoned. This, however, was the very point upon which they were at variance. The question, however, was what line of conduct would tend permanently to establish the Bank in its former situation; what would tend ultimately to prove most beneficial to our foreign commerce, to our domestic industry, to the increase of our manufactures, to the general credit of the country, to the various causes operating upon circulation, and connected with our resources. The question then was, “ Could the difference of exchange on the remittance of only two millions produce such mischief, as should induce the House rather to incur the fatal consequences of leaving the Emperor under the dreadful compulsion of making such a peace, as the necessity of his affairs might embolden the Enemy to propose, which would stop up the chan. nels through which the nation drew its best resources, and shut up all the markets of Europe, that were the sources of our com, merce ?” Was not this, then, which he proposed, the best way of enabling the Bank to resume its operations? In consulting the general advantage of Europe, we best consulted the solid ada vantage of the Bank of England and the real interests of the country. With regard to the particular question put by the Right Honourable Gentleman, he had only to say, that though
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the whole of the past advances, and those which were to be made, were to the amount of three millions and a half, for which the Loan was to be made, yet in the Bill power was to be reserved to authorize his Majesty, if necessary, to put a stop to the continuation of advances, and to put what further payments were to be made to the public account.
Mr. William Smith said, that the Right Honourable Gentleman accused his Honourable Friend of assuming, that the prefent measure involved the sacrifice of the Bank, while he himself equally assumed that the Loan of the Emperor would produce all the good effects which he had stated. The Emperor was praised for his magnanimity and fidelity to his engagements, and he had no doubt with justice, but it did not appear that the operation of these qualities had proved so advantageous to this country; he thought it was not unlikely that any disagreement which might ensue between the Emperor and this country in the event of a separate peace would be made the pretext of refusing payment of those sums we had guaranteed.
Sir William Pultenny said, that though he might be willing, for argument's sake, to admit that former remittances to his Imperial Majesty might have somewhat contributed to affect the Bank, yet it was notorious that this was by no means the case
it was likewise notorious, that without the pecuniary asliftance of England, it was impossible for the Emperor to carry on the operations of war--and where was the great mischief to be dreaded from our continuing to afford him that affift. ance? There was evidence before the Committee that the ex, change was considerably turned in our favour; and could a contrary effect be reasonably apprehended from two millions peing gradually remitted ? by no means: it was impossible that a remittance, thus gradually made, could in the least affect the Course of Exchange. It was unjustly asserted, though the af. fertion had been by many and frequently made, that these remittances had been made in specie. No such thing---the Bank Directors themselves depose to the contrary. Whether the remittances were made in specie, in bullion, or in commodities, the effect on the Bank was precisely the same. . As well might it be said that remittances in broad-cloath would affect the Bank. But even though a regard to our interest might somewhat repress our forwardness to make such remittances, in point of honour we could not withhold them. There was no one colourable reason for entertaining the least suspicion of the Emperor's fidelity--- nay, to hint such a suspicion, would on the part of this country be neither honourable nor manly. For his part he wished the vote to pass immediately, and if pollible, with perfect unanimity, The Act moreover was so framed, that if
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his Imperial Majesty was inclined, or should be suddenly compelled to make a separate peace, then the farther remittance of any pecuniary fucrour from us would be immediately sufpended. He must again repeat it, that after the many severe trials we have witnessed of the Emperor's magnanimous perseverance and faithful attachment to the common cause, it were ungenerous to harbour any suspicion derogatory to his honour, nor could any be entertained but by those who were ready to fufpect every thing and every person. On every consideration he thought the present Resolution should be passed as speedily and as cordially as possible ; it would prove of infinite advantage to England; nor could he acquiesce in opinion with those who imagined that a seperate peace with the Emperor would accelerate a general pacification thoughout Europe.-.-Ot the manner in which the war had hitherto been conducted, he could not aprove---and the conduct of it was a subject which he trufted would ere long be submitted to a serious inquiry.
Mr. Sheridan confessed himself not a little surprised at hearing the Worthy Baronet speak fo lightly of a remittance of two millions of money. He must suppose he was familiarized to it by the profligate prodigality which marked the conduct of the prefent war---two millions appeared but a mere trifle to the Honourable. Baronet; indeed it was natural to one in his circumstances not to think much of such a sum. But could the Worthy Baronet, while he listened to the suggestion of domestie @economy, was it possibles for him to contemplate the prodigal expenditure of fuch a fum, without some little degree of trepidation and alarm? In whatever light it might be viewed by the Worthy Baronet, sure he was that these remittances, in the opinion of others, had made no slight impression on the Bank. And on this point he would take the opinion of the Bank itfelf. What then do the Bank directors say? No later than"last February the Directors had given it as their sentiment, •that any further Loan to the Emperor would in all probabity prove fatal to the Bank. Upon the subject of a Loan to Ireland, the Governor had on the gth day of February last, made a communication to Committee, who had agreed that such a Loan thieatened ruin to the Bank, and would reduce them to the neceffaty of Thutting up their doors. But if now, faid he, a Loan to à much greater amount is made, how far more ferious muft be the alarm of the Bank Directors, and how far more fatal must be its consequence to the Bank, and how prejudicial to the speedy restoration of its affairs. The true way of considering the subject was, whether the advantages to the Emperor and Great Britain, to be gained by the Loan, would counterbalance the certain disadvantages that such Loan would produce at home.
Gentlemen Gentlemen would consider that they were now granting a Loan of a larger amount than what was apprehended by the Bank, and that there were to be repayments for neutral cargoes which would amount to four millions, to be added to the one and a half for Ireland, and two for the Emperor. Would not these then, he wished to ask any Bank Director, have a material ef. fect upon the resumption of payments at the Bank? Neither could he see how we were bound in honour to make thele advances to the Emperor. His Imperial Majesty did not appear very anxious to make his own conduct a model of imitation in this particular. He was not over tender of the point of honour, either in paying the interest of the advances already made, or the repayment of the instalments at the appointed time. After Dearly ruining the Bank by our endeavours to relieve our Ally, the idea was too preposterous to be entertained for a moment, that the point of honour should compel us to continue till we accomplished that ruin. Mr. Sheridan also treated as frivolous the distinction of the remittances not being made in specie---it was a distinction unworthy the good sense and acuteness of the Honourable Baronet: for it was perfectly the same whether these remittances were made in specie or commodities, or in bullion, and jn proof of this assertion, Mr. Sheridan here referred to the Report of the Secret Committee, and to the evidence of Mr. Winthorp and Mr. Hoare, which proved that the Loan, however made, could not alter the inconveniences that arise from them. The Emperor, he had no doubt, would make no objeca tion to the money, whenever or however it appeared; but would "receive it with as much alacrity as any other German Prince. Neither was he disposed to believe that the financial resources of his Imperial Majesty were at fo low an ebb as the Worthy Baronet feemed fond of infinuating. This appeared from the promise of his Imperial Majesty in a late proclamation, “ that whatever damage may be done to the City or Suburbs of Vienna, by the preparations necessary for defence against the assault of the Enemy, thall be repaired after the restoration of Peace, at his Majesty's own expence.” But whatever might be the Emperor's pecuniary situation, it was better for England to endeavour the restoration of its own public credit, than to purchase a precarious co-operation at the hazard of its utter ruin. If he made a separate Peace, and nevertheless received the Loan, it might not be attributed to a breach of good faith, but to the imperious necessity of his situation.
Mr. Wilberforce begged to interpose his protest against the doctrine of the remittances to the Emperor having produced the necessity of the Minute of Council respecting the payments of the Bank. He, who had coolly and cautiously weighed and ex
amined all the facts and circumstances relative to the situation of the Bank, could fafely aver, that it was his firm belief that these remittances were of extremely small effect in producing that fituation of the Bank; and unless his colleagues on the Committee had been very lately induced to alter their opinions, he was sure they would acquiesce in his sentiments on this subject. The Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Sheridan) reposed more confidence in the opinions of the Bank Directors, than in that of any others; doubtless because it fomewhat coincided with his own, and seemed unfriendly to the character of his Right Honourable Friend (Mr. Pitt). He was likewise ready to call on them for their opinion on the present occasion ; and sure he was, that if the Loan was not proposed in a naked, insulated manner, but inverted and accompanied by all the advantages that might reafonably be expected to accrue from it, they would not hesitate a moment in deciding on its propriety. This he was confident would be their opinion, unless they were blind to their own interest, and to the interest of the country. On the restoration of public credit depended the opening of the Bank, and this was not to be promoted or prejudiced by the paltry consideration of one or two millions: that was a contracted policy from which no good could arise.
Sir James Pultney insisted very strongly on the necessity and utility of continential diversions. The co-operation of the Em-, peror he conceived to be the sureft means of obtaining a safe and honourable peace: for such a peace could never be extorted from the Enemybut by every endeavour to aggravate his distresses. If the Enemy cease to have an army of two hundred thousand men to support on the Rhine, might they not soon convert the money thus expended to the construction of a fleet, and draw all their men to their sea-ports, and thus threaten us with serious alarms of invasion ?
General Tarleton took a survey of the relative situation of the two contending armies in Italy : he also adverted to the nature of the armistice lately agreed upon between the Archduke Charles and General Buonaparte: And from both it was easy and evident to conclude, that after the repeated and unintera rupted successes of the victorious French General, it was impoffible he could listen for a moment to the proposal of an armistice unless he had been confidently persuaded that the Emperor was seriously inclined to peace, and ready to enter on a separate Negotiation, for the immediate attainment of that object. Indeed, it was his opinion, that a separate peace must have been concluded on the 16th or 17th ult. and we were now, on the ift of May, discussing the propriety of making farther advances to an Ally,