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rous Parliament, and the mildness and benignity of an illustrious Throne, But, Sir, when we recollect the conduct and character of the English Sailors, a race of men who have established the glory and renown of the British Navy, and have raised the country to such power and security; I fay, Sir, when we recollect that conduct, we must believe that it cannot be in their hearts such principles have originated. If, therefore, there are any enemies to the interests of the Nation, enemies to the brighteft supporters of its glory, not more traitors to their country, than foes to the character of British Seamen, if there are such domestic enemics who have been endeavouring to pervert the principles of the Sailors, at the moment when they were called upon to act against a common enemy, we must, while we lament the effect which they have produced, experience a greater degree of indignation against them than against the misguided men who have been the objects of their feduction. I believe therefore we shall all of us feel it to be our duty, unexampled as the case is, to express our readiness to take into consideration the present state of the law with regard to persons who may incite to inutiny and disobedience.
“Whecher, according to the existing law against the open at, tempts that we have seen made upon another branch of his Majesty's service to shake its loyalty, but which, to the honour of that body, remains unmoved, as I trust it is immoveable, we possess power enough to punish, as they deserve, such wicked offenders, may be a matter perhaps of doubt. I shall, huwever, instantly proceed to that part of the recommendation in his Majesty's Message, and to state my ideas upon the law against persons who Thall incite his Majesty's forces to mutiny or disobedience. It is not necessary for me to enter now into particulars upon that subject ; but I feel it my duty to state, that if the Address which I shall move shall meet, as I hope and confidently trust it will, the unanimous sense of the House, I shall immediately move for leave to bring in a Bill for the better prevention of the crime I have already stated. There is great criminality in the offence itself, and in my opinion gieat danger in delaying to provide a remedy against it. There is every ground on which the principle of penal law proceeds to provide fome remedy. The heinousness of the offence, and the danger of it, but, perhaps, that may not pass unanimoully ; however, I confess it appears to ine that by the law, as it stands, we cannot properly reach the atrociousness of the guilt, and prevent in time the effect of the malignity of the criminals, whose intentions we all feel it our wish, as much as we know it to be our duty, to counteract; and while we all feel it to be our duty to enter on the consideration of such legislative proviNo. 43.
tantly more mageincite his Mor me to ye duty to hope
It is not at ; but move thall me of the Holthe
fion, I trust we all feel also that it is our duty to express our firm persuasion, and I am confident I shall not be disappointed, that the public will be convinced that Parliament is not wanting in its duty at such a crisis of public affairs. I trust also that we shall not be disappointed in our expectation of the spirit of the public collectively or individually ; that they will not be wanting in their exertions in such a crisis ; that they will be animated collectively and individually with a spirit that will give energy and effect to their exertions; that every man who feels that he deserves the name of an Englishman, will do his utinoft endeavour to counteract the machinations of all incendiary persons who wish to turn his Majesty's forces out of the path of their allegiance ; that every man in the kingdom who has a heart in his breast will do all he can to counteract the spirit of disaffection and disloyalty, and will enforce, as far as he lawfully can, a spirit of submission to regular authority ; that all the inhabitants of the kingdom will unite in one common defence against internal enemies, to maintain the general security of the kingdom, by providing for the local security of each particular diltriet; that we shall all remember, that by so doing we shall give the fullest scope to his Majesty's forces against foreign enemies, and also the fullest scope to the known valour and unshaken folidity of the military force of the kingdom against those who shall endeavour to disturb its internal tranquillity. Such are the principles which I feel, and upon which I shall act for myself; and such are the principles, and will be the conduct, I hope, of every man in this House and out of it; such are the sentiments that are implanted in us all ; such the feelings that are inherent in the breast of every Englishman. I should insult the House by shewing that I distrusted its character, and the character of the country if I said more, and I should have neglected my duty if I had faid' less. I shall conclude with moving, • 'That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, 'to this purport:---To express the concern and indignation
which the House feel at the heinous conduct of those who had ' attempted to seduce the Seamen from their duty and allegi. (ance ; to assure his Majesty that they were ready to afford the (utmost afiiftance to the paternal endeavours of his Majesty to (restore discipline and subordination in the Navy, and to adopt
every measure which can tend at this important conjuncture 'to provide for the public security; and that they would pro
ceed without delay to consider of making more ettectual pro 'visions for the prevention and punishment of all traitorous at. 'tempts to excite fedition and mutiny in his Majesty's service. or to withdraw any part of his Majesty's forces, by sea or land, from their duty and allegiance to him, and from that obedi.
ence and discipline which are so important and necessary; and
to assure his Majesty that the House of Commons had the ful"left reliance on the loyalty of his Majesty's fubjects, and that they would be eager to contribute their utmost exertions upon every occasion for the support of legal authority, the maintenance of peace and order, and the general prosperity and safety of the British Empire.
Mr. Jolliffe faid, that however cautious the Houfe ought to be in extending the code of penal statutes, yet he thought it impoffible but that the Motion now proposed by the Right Ho. nourable Gentleman would pass unanimously in that House ; for, whatever sentiments persons might entertain with regard to dife ferent forms of Government, or the merits or demerits of the individuals who were concerned in the administration of affairs, there could be but one opinion upon this point, that there must be discipline and subordination both in the army and navy ; without which it was impossible that the country could repel the attacks of foreign enemies, maintain internal peace, or, in short, that civil society could subsist. He trusted, therefore, that whatever objections the country might have to the component branches of Administration, yet, that when they saw the necessity of exertions against both foreign and domestic enemies, they would act with that spirit and unanimity which the exigency of circumstances required.
Mr. W. Smith said, there was no man in the House who felt more than he did the propriety of the sentiments conveyed by the speech of the Minister upon this occasion, and of the prepriety of the spirit of the Address. He should endeavour fo to conduct himself as to leave no room for any one to doubt the sincerity of his professions. But he deplored that species of eloquence which had been used in and out of that House, by which it was endeavoured to shew that Ministers were identified with the safety of the Constitution of this country. In such a measure as the Address now proposed, he should heartily concur, but he held himself perfectly free to express out of doors, as well as in the House, any general sentiments which he might entertain respecting the conduct of Administration.
Mr. Sheridan.--.“ Sir, I cannot but concur in what has fallen from the Right Honourable Gentleman. Certainly it is a fact that we are come to a time when his Majesty has an undoubted right to call upon all his subjects, of every rank, class, and description, for their zealous co-operation in maintaining the due execution of the laws, and in giving every possible efficiency to the measures of Government. However juftly it might be contended, that there did exist strong grounds of reprehension and causes for future complaint against Administration, yet such
considerations were, in his opinion, at that moment completely out of the question, and the House was now called upon to unite most earnestly with his Majesty against the fatal effects that might be produced by the perseverance in mutiny, and the dangerous disobedience of those ships mentioned in his Majesty's most gracious Message. I did wish to have pressed a propolition some time ago, which I think would have had the happiest effects; but I shall not repeat it now, because now it cannot be proposed. But, Sir, in a negotiation where you conciliate a little, and say you will conciliate no more, and then do grant more; when a Board of Admiralty is asked for and refused, and then a Board of Admiralty goes down; then I say, there is nothing that can be conceded as a grace, which will be received as one, and nothing held out as a menace, which will operate and be received as a menace. I did, therefore, wish that a commilfion should have been appointed, which should say, thus far we will concede and no farther. But I will not enter into any further remarks upon that subject. Sir, there is no períon can feel greater indignation at those foul and lurking incendiaries than I do. And when I suggested my proposition, I did it in the fanguine hope and confidence that this did not proceed from the character and feelings of the Seamen. If it could proceed from their feeling, if it could be their real temper, if there is that rot in the Wooden Walls of Old England, then, indeed, the day of cur decay is near. But I hope and trust this is not the case. I think when the question came whether they would lay the country, for so it must be, at the foot of the enemy, they would then see that they themselves will be the greatest losers ; for if we are to admit our enemies as victors, the first object, whether of Monarchical or Republican France, would be, (and who can doubt it) to extinguish our commerce; the very occupation of the British Seamen would then be lost and gone.
“ Having said thus much upon the general subject, I hope I shall not be misunderstood, if I say that I cannot give my affent to the last part of the Address. I may be told that it will not be of a piece not to give a general assent---but, Sir, I must say that unless the country can make this separation and distinction, namely, that they will support the Executive Government in repressing anarchical attempts at home, and preserving subordination in the Navy, without compromising themselves in the characters of Ministers, I say Sir, unless they can do this, the country cannot be saved. I will support the principles I have maintained, but I will not abstain from charging the ills in which we are involved, upon the present Administration. It is impossible not to recollect the Treason and Sedition Bills that were passed, and not to suppose that something of a similar kind
Sir, the sector of experiendaminiftratio'we were
is to be proposed now. Some Honourable Friends of mine fay, they will wait for the Bill; but I cannot even now refrain from expressing my reluctance to address upon these grounds. I wish to have it shewn me, that the laws as they exist are insufficient. I know that an Act has been passed in a neighbouring country, to which no human force should have made me give my aflent, Sir, the grounds upon which I object, is founded upon the imperious call of experience, which thews me that all the strong measures adopted by Administration, have only inflamed the evil which they attempted to cure. We were told when the former Bills were proposed, that the times required a vigour beyond the law. Sir, you adopied those Bills; but have you cured Sedition? Have you not nursed it till it has swelled into insurrection? Good God ! Sir, let us recollect that one remedy was the system of Barracks. We were told that the measure carried this good effect with it, that it would keep the Soldiers out of the reach and influence of Sedition ; that if the people could not be made dumb, the Soldiers should be made deat. What is the consequence? That you come with an acknowledgment of the evil having increased. Having no proof, therefore, that the disorder cannot be remedied by the existing laws, having never found that one person has escaped from want of vigour and efficacy in those laws, knowing that the more you increase a sanguine Legislation, the more you add to the evil, I cannot help recurring to my principle, which is adverse to the increase of existing laws against Treason.
Mr. Dundas said, that every Gentleman in that House must concur with the Honourable Gentleman who had just sat down, in the sentiments which he had advanced in the early part of his speech. Upon a former occasion he had acknowledged what he thought the country owed to that Honourable Gentleman, for the wise and patriotic language he had held---what had fallen from him this day was entitled to the same praise ; and he should not take away from the force and eloquence of it by adding one fyllable to it. He rose merely to correct a mistake into which the Honourable Gentleman had fallen, and which it was material that neither he nor the House should continue in. He seemed to be of opinion, that the Lords of the Admiralty had, in the first instance, refused to go down to Sheerness, and that they afterwards went down. That the Lords of the Admiralty did in the first instance refuse to go down, and that they afterwards did go to Sheerness, was undoubtedly true, but it was under circumstances totally different. In the former case, they would have been culpable if they had gone down; in the latter, they would have been highly culpable if they had not. They were called upon at first by the Mutineers to come down to Sheer