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which was formerly applied to the discounting of Bills. In reply to the question of the Noble Duke, 'What had we gained by the contest?He said, that we had gained the privilege of fitting and debating in that House, and that if we had not entered into the war with France, neither he nor the Noble Duke would have been Peers of the Realm. Of the Sedition and Treason Acts, though he acknowledged them to be infringements to a certain degree upon the Constitution, he had approved as measures dictated by a temporary and urgent necessity; in common he was convinced with four-fifths of the nation. The Noble Duke had asked, whether they were determined to devote their country? No; on the contrary, they would fave the country: The Noble Duke had asserted the stake he had in the country. He allowed that it was great, but there were many in the House who had still greater stakes; thofe, for instance, who had families for whose interests they had to consult. He was surprised, at this time in particular, to find the Noble Duke touching such nice ground as the seamen stood on. He thought the most prudent mode of proceeding would be to leave that business solely to the Executive Government, or at moft only to lend such assistance as might be necessary to restore subordination. The address he thought would unhinge the Executive Government, and perhaps the country also. He should therefore give his decided vote against it..
The Duke of Grafton begged lcave to address a few serious words to the House, which he hoped would prove falutary to the country. He spoke under an impression that if some meafure of importance was not immediately adopted for its falvation, there was a gulph prepared to swallow it. He did not with to unhinge the Government, as the Noble Earl had dreaded would be the effect of the Motion moved by the Noble Duke, but he should give the Address his hearty support, upon the principle that a continuation in error would beget a repetition of disaster. He defied any man to quote an instance in the history of the world in which a nation once flourishing had been reduced to a situation more calamitous. Four years ago the British Empire had attained to a state of undisputed pre-eminence in Europe, and its prosperity was the object of envy to every surrounding Nation; but now it was reduced to the lowest ebb of public diftress. Our wealth, which was thought exhaustless, had been wafted by idle prodigality ; and our resources, which were considered almost as unlimited, had fallen a victim to a system of most lavish profusion. He called upon their Lord. thips to recollect the extent of our commerce, thę inagnitude of our capital, the fkill of our manufacturers, and above all the general industry of the people. He reminded them of the re
fpeétability fpectability of our military establishment; a militia composed of the best troops, and commanded by officers of the largest property; a standing army under the command of experienced officers, and composed of soldiers not inferior in bravery or discipline to any in Europe; add to this, a navy acknowledged to be fuperior in force to the united feets of every kingdom in the world. He thought it unnecessary to dilate upon this once glorious but now mortifying topic. He had often read the speech of Mr. Pitt, in February 1792, with inexpressible delight, and still remembered it with pleasure and regret. That speech might well be his delight, where all that the most enthusiastic patriotism, could expect from the grandeur, the improvement, the power of a country, was fo ably stated. How he came to depart from thole principles, which led to so much opulence and joy, it was difficult to determine. Whether it was to extend his authority over other countries, or display his talents for war - from any false motive of vain glory and ambition, he must decide : he is to answer to his own conscience. But having experienced the blessings of one system it was wonderful to conceive how he could desert it for another, unless from some blind fatality he chose to demonstrate, in the language of the Poet--
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Deteriora fequor.” But from whatever cause it arose, the contrast in our situation was most deplorable. We stocd stript of every Ally ; Austria, which had been more faithful than the rest, from all the information he could collect, he understood to be now just not an · Enemy. The Bank of England, owing to a most unaccountable inattention on the part of the Treasury to the circulating fpecie of the country, stopt payment, and received a blot on its character, which all the waters of Lethe could never efface. The First Lord of the Treasury, as if intent upon its ruin, had perfifted in draining it of its cash in spite of the representations of those who are best acquainted with its circumstances, and heedless of the waming which he had received from the stoppage of the Newcastle and other country Banks. . The indelible blot which it had sustained was from the hand of Government being stretched out against it in defiance of the opinion which formerly existed, that it was above the Government.
His Grace next adverted, in terms of severe reprehenfion, to the expedition against St. Domingo, in which an immense treafure had been expended, and the power of the British army fallen victims to a pestilential climate and dire disease. To the defence of the country his Majesty's Ministers were as inattentive as they were wild and misguided in their foreign operations. 9K 2
He He dared not tell how few regular infantry there was at this moment in the kingdom; he merely mentioned the circumstance as a warning to the Noble Lord (Grenville) how he exposed the country unprotected to the attacks of its enemies. He censured the conduct of Ministers for not increasing the pay of the sailors when the last additional allowance was granted to the soldiers. If he was asked, why he did not mention the expediency of the measure in Parliament at the time? His answer was short: had he thrown out the hint, all the thanks he would have received would have been an accusation that he was an encourager of mutiny and insurrection. He was at a loss, however, to conceive any reason for the delay which took place between the promise which was made to the seamen by the Lords of the Admiralty, and the delay of the execution of their engagement. Upon this ground he had a heavy charge to bring against Ministers, confident as he was, that had the execution of the engagement immediately succeeded the promise, there would not have been a second mutiny on board the feet.
The next point to which he came was one of a very distressing nature, namely, the situation of Ireland. Upon this subject he had but one opinion, which was, that if there was not a complete emancipation of the Catholics, a redress of the grievances of the Protestants, a Parliamentary Reform, and a total change of men, that country would either be involved in civil war, or undergo a revolution, and thus another Republic be added to the list of those which the wise conduct of Ministers had already established in all parts of Europe. He ventured also to predict, that if there was a revolution in Ireland, it would soon be followed by an event of a similar nature in Great Britain. This was as clear to him as the relation between any effect and its cause. He thought that in this country a Parliamentary Reform might prevent much mischief, and an eminent ftatesman, (Mr. Fox) in bis inimitable argument in favour of the measure, might have added in support of it the name of Lord Bacon, to those of Montesquieu and Machiavel.---Having said thus much upon the state of the country, he put the question to their Lordships, by what means it had been reduced to that fuuation? Was it not by the conduct of Ministers? And would they trust to these men to extricate them from their difficulties, who had brought them into the dilemma? Did they think, that having descended so low, they had virtue enough to ascend that steep and rugged path which led to restoration of prosperity? He entertained no such opinion. As well might he think that the beautiful earth which they inhabited, and through which the most perfect symmetry prevailed, was formed according to the system of Epicures, by an innumerable concourse of atoms. Mi
nisters nisters had already shewn their total inability to manage the concerns of a great empire. The confidence which Parliament had placed in them had been betrayed, and for Parliament to continue that confidence in spite of experience, would be to betray the trust vested in it by the country. If the address which had been moved by the Noble Duke was rejected, he should have the satisfaction of having done his duty in supporting it.--Finding, however, all his efforts to be unavailing, he ihould not trouble them any longer with his attendance in that House, but should retire to fortify his mind against approaching dangers, and to inculcate upon a large family, of whom he had the honour to be father, patience and resignation to the lot which might befal them. He reminded their Lordships that it was the most beautiful part of wisdom to acknowledge error, and recommended it to them to meet him upon that ground. He alsured them that he felt much greater comfort than ail the wealth this world could confer, in the consciousness of having done his duty, in endeavouring to prevent the evil which he foresaw in its consequences would tend to shake the Throne, and to sub. vert the Constitution. Before he retired, he should think it his duty to lay before his Sovereign his reasons for retiring. His Majesty had often been graciously pleased to listen to him with indulgence, and there never was a word which he had yet delivered in that ploset which sprang more sincerely from the bottom of his heart, than his assurance would of the necessity of some step like the present Motion.
Lord Romney said, that he differed with the Noble Duke who · had just sat down in every article he had mentioned, except the
sincerity which he professed, and of that he had as nigh an opinion as it was possible. He asserted, that the war was what it had been always stated to be by kis Majesty's Ministers, and those who supported them, both just and necessary. That so far from its being an unsuccessful or disastrous war, he thought it the exact reverse. That the valour of Engliihmen had never been more conspicuously displayed than in the course of the present war; and that if our Seamen were but true to the caule of their King and country, he had no doubt hut our navy would shew itself to be far superior to those of France, Spain, Holland, and all the world. His Lordship said, that the language of defpondency, which had been so often resorted to in that House, he was convinced had been of the greatest.disservice and detriment to the cause of this country, and he hoped it would henceforward be laid aside. Looking upon the war in the light he did, he could not by any means agree with the sentiments laid down either by the Noble Duke who spoke laft, or the Noble Duke who made the Motion. He could not think of voting for
the Address, because it contained language which he thought was pregnant with the most pernicious consequences. One paffage of it contained these words, speaking of the people of İreland, “ that oppressed people.” These words he thought very wrong. What would be said by the people of Ireland, if this Address was voted, and thereby got abroad, that this House thinks the people of Ireland an oppressed people? It might be attended with the most mischievous effects. The Noble Duke who made the Motion, had mentioned our having lost all our Allies. It was true we had so, but no Englishman could fairly find fault with our magnanimous and august Ally the Emperor, who had certainly ventured every thing for this country, and continued the alliance to the last moment it was in his power. His Lordship said he thought the measures of Administration, were best calculated for the benefit and prosperity of the country, and concluded by expressing his hearty disapprobation of the Motion. · The Earl of Guildford stated that at no time this Assembly was called upon to deliberate in a situation more critical, or upon a question of so great moment. That the country was placed in a situation of distress and calamity beyond all parallel, it was idle to take up time in demonstrating. If there were any who doubted the fact, he called upon them to look to the · continent of Europe, and in Portugal, to behold the miserable
remnant of a valt and expensive alliance supported by which we had commenced the war. But the desertion of our Allies was not all. We had to contend against a formidable enemy with powers cemented by resistance, and in possession of great and numerous armies, without one spot against which to turn them, except his Majesty's dominions. He called upon them also, not to overlook our internal situation, and to recur to the vast pressure of the enormous debt under which the country groaned. But it was needless to distress their Lordships' feelings by enumerating the various instances of calamity which met the eye of the most cursory beholder. The failure of the Bank, which at one time would have been regarded as the greatest misfortune which the country could suffer, was now the least evil which it had to encounter. To the misconduct of Ministers he ascribed the aggregate sum of that calamity. They were now called upon to take some step which might afford a chance of salvation. He beseeched them to make some effort to prove that they were not dead to the feelings of the people, or blind to the fituation of the state. The Noble Duke had proposed to carry an Address to his Majesty as a preliminary step to any meafure by which the salvation of the country could be effected ; and in this Addrefs he most heartily. concurred. His fupport he stated