Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

nageinent, I feel that it is necessary. Although we have no authentic documents upon this subject, the papers which have been circulated every where, contain certain facts of which there can be no doubt. When the mutiny first broke out the failors made demands, many of which, in the opinion of every one, were realonable ; others not. So far it is known that certain requests were made ; to these the Admirals made offers, -which were rejected. The Admiralty then raised their offers, and the agreement was concluded. What was given, however, is thought to be reasonable, but the conduct of Ministers in of fering less than they afterwards granted, Thows that they thought this more than was reasonable. Are you then, after the examples of incapacity which they have manifeited, and the evils their measures have produced, determined to devote your coun. try to destruction ? (Here there was a cry of Hear! hear !) I come here with as great an interest as any man in the House in the safety of the conntry, and I repeat, are you determined to devote your country to destruction, by leaving its affairs to the conduct of men who have already involved you in such complicated calamities? When rebellion runs to that height which the Executive Government cannot control, then I hold that the country is brought to destruction, and that a new line of conduct and a new lystem of measures is necessary for its salvation. I am unwilling to dwell upon this topic, where there is so much danger of misrepresentation, but I felt it my duty to speak freely, convinced as I am that the Constitution of this Country cannot long remain upon its present footing, if the present Ministers are suffered much longer to remain at the head of public affairs.

" I trust that I need not detain your Lordships much longer, try dilating on these various topics. I trust I have already faid enough to show that to the conduct of Ministers we owe a great part of the calamities under which the country now iuffers. I think that I have stated grounds to justify the Motion for the difmilial of Ministers, with which I shall conclude. I am delirous, however, to mark distinctly the grounds on which the Motion proceeds. It is not merely the situation of the country, but it is the system by which the country has been governed which the Motion aims to remedy: without a new line of conduct, without a new system of Government, we cannot hope that things will continue upon their present footing. Various confiderations present themselves upon this subject, and many changes are felt to be necessary. The most falutary of these is a change in the Representation of the people. But even these changes must be idle and nugatory without others more importani. Without retrenchment and æconomy in every department, with

out

out correcting the abuses which prevail, and fairly looking at our situation, we cannot expect that co-operatjon of the country which is necessary to give eitect to the vigorous measures required to extricate us from our present state of dificulty and danger.

The facts which I have already stated I think are sufficient to warrant the conclulion I have drawn from them. Ministers may contend that the war was just and necessary, but they have discovered a total incapacity to conduct that war which they began, and they have equally proved, by their attempts to negotiate, that peace is not to be expcéted under their auspices. The critical state of Ireland, the important events which have taken place in England, prove that their system, if pursued, threatens ruin to the Empire. On the one hand, one of its inoit valuable branches is almof driven from its connection, while the means of our safety seem to lole all vigour under their conduct.

« There is only one point reraining to which I shall lay a few words, with the indulgence of the House. For four years past I have constantly endeavoured to discharge the duty which I owe to the public as a Member of this House. Previous to that period I was accustomed to look up to a set of men whose principles and talents commanded iny confidence till they cealed to act upon those principles which they had formerly profefled, those at least which I had imbibed. The circumstances in which the country was then placed, called upon those who disapproved of the system then began, to come forward and oppose what they deemed pregnant with danger. For four years I have endeavoured to impress the House with the opinion which I feel of the public measures which have been pursued, and to roule your Lordihips to a sense of the evils which they threatened to produce. Would to God that I could say, that the fears which I formerly exprefled of the ruinous consequences of that system had been idle and unmeaning apprehensions! I am afraid, however, that I can boast (if it can be boast) to see realized the calamities I have predicted ; that the event has but too faithfully verified the opinions which I entertained. In the course of these exertions, I have been subjected to obloquy, to invective, to the most foul and malignant misrepresentations. Such treatment has never excited in me any emotions of anger, for I could not be angry at what I so much despise and contemn. It has never deterred me from performing my duty, for I should hold myself to be mean and daftardly if my conduct could be actuated by such confiderations. I have been subjected likewise to charges of a more serious nature: I have been told that to my indiscretion was owing the disturbance which lately broke out in the fleet. Had such an event actually been owing to any conduct of mire,

though though I should have been happy to reflect that I was innocent of any bad intention, yet, had I been conscious that from my indiscretion, so great a calamity had arilen, I should have hid my head from the world, and buried myself and my name in oblivion. When such a charge was brought forward, I indeed expected that some proof of it would have been offered, though I should have been no less surprised at the attempt, as I can only consider the imputation as a raih thought, not a serious accusation. Yet none of thete infinuations, none of thete charges íball deter me from doing my duty. I feel that it is the duty of every man to exert himself for the advant.ige of his country, in the station in which he is placed, if his efforts can be employed with the flightest hope of success. For four years, however, I have struggled to oppose a system which I conceived to be pregnant with to much ditafter. Notwithstanding the calamities we have incurred, and the misfortunes we have suffered; notwithstanding the incapacity which Ministers have manifested, the fatal system has maintained its ascendancy in this House.--Yet, after ail the arguments I could employ, and all the illufa trations which experience has afforded, I have not gained a single inch for the country. In these circumitances there is nothing left but to retire. In thus retiring I hope I thall not be acculed of inconsistency, if, in the courte of a week or a month, I should again return. Whenever I can indulge the hope of being useful I shall return. In acting in this manner I may be accused of rah folly, but, at least I ihall escape the charge of inconsistency. What I have now to propose I do not bring forward with any hope of its being carried. All I ask is, that your Lordships would turn it in your minds---that you would reflect seriously upon the situation of the country---that you would try to devile some means of avoiding the complete ruin with which we are threatened. By the system that has hitherto been pursued I cannot hope that the impending destruction can be averted. Some other line of conduct, some other syitem of measures must be adopted. What that new syitem shall be I am not so presumptuous as to decide: all I desire is, that you would resolve to embrace foine other one, and to put an end to that from which we have already fuffered so much calamity, and from which we have yet so much to dread. I therefore move--

"That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to remind his Majesty that his dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords « Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament allembled, have, during < this calamitous war, uniformly given every aid and allistance ( that could contribute to that support which his Majeity has ex&perienced from a brave and a loyal people. :. To assure his Majesty that it is even now with deep regret we

" approach

" approach his Throne, to lay before him the grievances under (which his people labour; but that a sense of duty compels us to state to his Majesty, that the defertion of all our allies, the triumphs of an enemy we were taught by his servants to despise, (the publie credit of the country impaired, the coasts of thete

Kingdoms with impunity insulted, the exertions of the Britith (navy suspended, and the melancholy situation into which Ire"land has been industriousy brought, presents to our view a fe(ries of calamity unparalleled in the history of our country,

Humbly to state to his Viajesty, that we cannot attribute this (uniform succession of misfortune to accident, or even to the

miserable incapacity of his servants; that we must regard it as (the effect of a system of Government, destructive of the exertions (and hostile to the constitution of our Country.

That we feel it our bounden duty humbly to represent to chis Majesty, that much as we lament the blood that has been · spilt, and the burdens that have been imposed on his Majesty's *Subjects in maintaining the disastrous contest in which we are 'engaged, deeply as we deplore the perilous state of his Majel

ty's kingdoms, we can alone regard these our present mistore" (tunes as a prelude to more serious calamities, which we view with horror, but which we look forward to as the sure consequence of persevering in that system of policy which his Majesty's servants have pursued.

i That under these circumstances we beseech his Majesty, (by dismissing those Ministers from his presence who have con(stantly insulted the enemy by their discourse, and encouraged

them by their incapacity, to give to his subjects a proof of ' his anxiety to procure that peace which his people fo anxioufly

desire.

"We entreat his Majesty, by dismissing from his Councils (those men whose extravagance and want of good faith have 'impaired the credit of the country, to display his desire of (uniting with his Subjects in restoring that Public Credit on which the importance of his kingdom so materially depends.

We earneitly folicit his Majesty, by dismissing his present “Servants, to give to the people of Ireland the strongest proof

they can receive of his Majesty's disapprobation of that fyftem of treachery by which the prefent discontents of that country have been føftered, and of his Majesty's intention of securing « (if it is yet posible) the connexion that sublifts between thele

kingdoms, by extending to men of all descriptions in that op. prelied country, the bleflings of the Constitution under which they were born.

• Finally, we implore his Majesty, that by dismifling from his presence for ever, ihuic Ministers whofe measures have impaired

(the

'the liberties, and whose extravagance has injured the property of his subjects, he will afford a sure testimony of his gracious intention of co-operating in restoring the spirit of the Brizi 'tih Constitution, and of adopting such a system of economy and "retrenchment as is alone consistent with the prosperity of his exhautted people."

The Duke of Athol agreed, that the present crisis was one which loudly called for exertion, but he did not think that the measure proposed in the Address moved by the Noble Duke was at all calculated to meet the exigency of the tiines. The war he acknowledged to be a great lource of the difficulties under watch the country laboured. There, however, were more or less the consequence of every war, and were perhaps inseparable from such a contest as the presunt. He had not changed his opinions of the causes of it, and thought them of sufficient importance. I was in his opinion neceflary for the preservation of order, religion and law; and when these objects, which we had gained, were compared with what we had lost, he was not of opinion that we had good reason to complain. Without details : ing the conduct of it, for which he was not equal, he declared he entertained no doubt of the Minister's desire for peace, because he thought the Minister had every reason to procure it, . The Noble Duke had not put his observation about the ceffion of Belgium fairly, inasmuch as that we were not in the lame situation now that we were in during Lord Malmesbury's negotiation; he did not conceive the retention of it now, depended solely on the different circumstances of the different times in which those conditions were discussed. He declined following the Noble Duke through his calculations, but observed, that in taking down the suins he seemed to have leilened the produce of the taxes on one side, in order to increase the expenditure on the other; and in regard to the Fifteen Millions supposed to be ne ceflary at the winding up of the war, the Noble Duke had estimated the rate at which“it was to be borrowed at the present price of public interest. After the long dissertation of the Noble Duke concerning the Chancelļor of the Exchequer and the Bank, he should beg leave to mention one thing, which he believed to be a fact. That was, that greater advances had been made by the Bank to Government in former wars than in the present, and that at a time too when our resources were inferior, and our exports one third less. There was another point which the Noble Lord on the cross. Bench (the Earl of Liverpool) stated on a former night worthy consideration, as one of the real caufes by which the Bank was involyed in difficulty. He alluded to the Act of Parliament for restraining the rate of interest to s per cent. whereby people employed their money in Loans, No. 41..

9K

which

« AnteriorContinuar »