Page images


Discussion of the Treaty of Peace with France in the Imperial Parliament.--Introduction of the
Duke of Wellington into the House of Lords on taking his Seat.-His Appearance in the House
of Commons. Address to the Speaker.-The Speaker's Reply.- The Prince-regent's Speech and
Prorogation of Parliament.

There is perhaps no instance in modern Eng- neral principle and stipulations of the treaty. In BOOK XIL lish history of the termination of a long war, by the negociation it was necessary to adopt one of a treaty wbich was so generally approved, as two principles; either a general Congress must Chap. VI. that which in the present year restored peace with be resorted to, or a treaty must be made between France. The long protraction and excessive

1814. the allies and France. As great delay must have burdens of that war had rendered every one, arisen from the former plan, and the principal capable of feeling for the general interests of his and immediate object was settling the boundaries country, impatient to see its close ; and if this and claims of France, which it was necessary to do impatience was most lively in the breasts of those while the allied armies remained in that country, who had, in all its stages, used their efforts to the latter had been preferred, leaving the more bring it to a conclusion, they, on the other hand, complicated interests to be settled at a future who were attached to the administration by which Congress. The next point to which he would it was actually concluded, could not fail to re advert, was the principle by which the allies had gard the work as a subject of applause. Hence, been guided in the negociation, which was, that when the topic was introduced in both houses of no peace with France could be secure or lasting parliament it gave rise to conversations rather which did not leave the honor and independence than debates ; some account of which, however, of the country inviolate. With the conquests she may justly, be expected in the history of the had made, and the military spirit she had imbibed, year, as being, of itself, a matter well worthy of it was not to be wondered at that she had rerecord.

quired and obtained something beyond her anOn the 28th of June, Lord Lonsdale rose in cient territory. His lordship then enumerated the house of lords to move an address to the the cessions which had been made to France, and prince-regent, thanking him for the communica the acquisitions which we had retained, and

gave tion of the treaty of peace with France, and as the reasons for both. He lastly considered that suring his royal highness of the approbation with part of the address which declared that we had which the treaty was regarded by their lordships, attained the great objects of the war. What as safe and bonorable to all. His lordship then were those objects? In 1793 we had entered lightly touched upon the principal circumsiances into the war to defend Holland from the invaof the treaty, and concluded with moving the sion of the French. That ally was now restored address. He was seconded by Lord Dustanville to independence under the house of Orange. in a similar recapitulation.

During the whole course of the war the balance Lord Grenville said, that if he found any of Europe was the wished-for end of our exertions: difficulty in cordially concurring in the address it was now secured by the reduction of the power which had been moved, it arose from the article of France within reasonable limits. The restora. concerning the slave-trade; but as he had al tion of the Bourbons had never been the object ready expressed in that house his sentiments of ministers, yet he was convinced that we could on this point, he would not disturb the unani have bad no satisfactory peace with any other mity which he wished to appear in approbation government in that country. At the conclusion of the treaty. He then took a general view of of former wars we had sometimes abandoned our the political state in which Europe was left by allies, and consulted only our own interests: the it, and particularly rejoiced at the recognition present peace was made in conjunction with by bis majesty's government of the principle of them, and their fall approbation and gratitude for restoration, instead of that of partition, which had our services. Never did the character of Great led to so many evils. His lordship concluded with Britain stand so high as at the present mohoping that the military establishment would now ment. be reduced to what it was before the commence The address was agreed to, nem. con. ment of the war in 1791.

On the 29th, Lord Lascelles moved, in the The Earl of Liverpool said, he should trouble house of commons, an address to the prince-retheir lordsbips only with a few words on the ge gent on the peace with France. The introduc

BOOK XII. tory speech was similar to that on the same occa to which it is stipulated to be referred under the

sion in the house of lords; and the tenor of the said article; relying on the known justice and Cuar. VI, address was to express satisfaction with the peace, humanity of bis royal highness, that no effort will 1814.

as having fully accomplished the great objects of be wanting on his part to give the fullest and the war; and by the restoration of so many legi. speediest effect which the circumstances of the timate authorities on the continent, afforded the negociation may allow, to the wishes so repeatbest prospect of permanent tranquillity to Europe.' edly declared by us, for the total abolition of the

The motion was seconded by Mr. Gooch, who slave-trade." added to the sentiments of the former speaker, Lord Castlereagh had no objection to the amend. that " to the principles of Mr. Pitt the successful ment, and it was ordered to stand as part of the issue of the war was due.”

motion, nem. con. Sir Jolin Newport noticed the impropriety of Mr. Baring said, that instead of being partial introducing topics which could not but create dis to the system of Mr. Pitt, he could not but consent. What connection the Duke of Wellington sider the false policy pursued by this country inhad with the principles of Mr. Pitt he could not his time, as the sole cause of producing that inidiscover. Instead of the unvaried system on litary monster which the united efforts of the which, according to the mover and seconder, the allied powers bad at length succeeded in crushwar had been conducted, he thought there never ing. He gave credit to his majesty's ministers was a war, the grounds of which, during the con

for the wisdom which had directed their co-opertest, had been so often changed. With respectation on the late occasions, and was ready to adto the declaration in the address, “ that the treaty mit, that the country bad nothing to complain of was considerate for the interests and the honor of in the commercial regulations of the treaty. He all,” he said, that the interests of our fisheries had thought, however, we had been somewhat too certainly been neglected in the 13th article of the liberal in what we bad given up; and he made treaty, which resigned the most important parts observations on some particular points of the of the coasts of Newfoundland, Labrador, and the treaty. river St. Laurence.

Mr. Stuart Wortley entirely concurred in the Mr. Rose asserted, that more concessions to opinion that the war had the same object from France with respect to the fisheries had not been the beginning to the end; for the three distinct obmade by this treaty than by former treaties with jects which had been assigned to different periods that country; and he pronounced the honorable were in fact one and the same. baronet's statements on this head to be altoge Mr. J. P. Grant said, that he differed from the ther visionary.

last speaker. We had not put down French Mr. Wilberforce spoke much in favor of the principles by our opposition to them, but they general spirit of the treaty, and particularly com had put themselves down by being incompatible mended ihat article by which it was stipulated with human nature. We had procured no, inthat no persons belonging to the ceded countries, demnity for the past, though we had procured or any others, should be molested for any opinions security for the future, which, indeed, was the or conduct which they had adopted under a dif- only security that a wise government would look ferent government. He was the more anxious to for. The overthrow of Bonaparte was not owing refer to this stipulation on account of the affecting solely to this country or its allies, but was owing intelligence from Spain, where many of the no more to bimself than to any resistance which bad blest characters in the late goveroment lay under been made to him. The honorable gentleman a severe persecution ; and he instanced Signor then made some strictures on the treaty, particu-Arguelles, from whom he had some time before larly the support given to the claim of Sweden received a letter, mentioning bis intention of mov upon Norway, and the acquiescence in the slave. ing in the cortes the abolition of the slave-trade. trade. This led the honorable gentleman to allude to Mr. Canning was of opinion that it was the that article of the treaty on which he had already most glorious treaty that England had ever conexpressed his opinion; and as he did not wish to cluded. The prospect which the treaty held out disturb the unanimity of parliament, yet was de- in the settlement of the ancient governments of sirous of preserving his own feelings from mis- Europe, in the restoration of genuine tranquilconstruction, he would propose the following lity, was peculiarly cheering to every friend of clause as an amendment to be inserted in the ad. humanity, of social order, and rational liberty. dress : “ That, with reference to the first addi- Thus the great objects of the war, which, overtional article, this house having, on the 21st in- leaping the truce of Amiens, had for twenty years stant, humbly conveyed its sentiments to his royal been steadily and uniformly pursued, were at highness, we defer the expression of any farther length happily attained. Thus the principles opinion until the whole matter shall have been upon which the war was undertaken were estadiseussed and settled at the approaching Congress, blishedthus our pledges were redeemed--thus

our perseverance was rewarded; and such a great Russia seemed to have given her assistance in BOOK XN. and gratifying result, so much exceeding the the same measure, as

a consideration for her most sanguine calculations, could only be attri- right to retain Finland.

CHÁP. VÌ. buted to the interposition of an over-ruling pro Lord Castlereagh commenced a speech with

1814. vidence.

expressing his gratitude for the candour and Mr. Ponsonby was of opinion, that a treaty liberality with which he had been treated by the which had such an article in it about the slave- house, both during his absence from it, and now trade, could never be termed an honorable one. upon his return. He then entered upon such He alluded to the partition of Poland, and hoped explanations as might be expected from him, that the nations of Europe would see the justice relative to the treaty in which he had been instruand policy of returning to the condition they mental. With respect to the negociations at were in before that partition, which first endan- Chatillon, he could confidently assert, from the gered the peace of Europe: Bonaparte's system means of information afforded during their course, was not a bit more mischievous than that which that the mind of the individual who then ruled dictated the partition of Poland : it was indeed France was so deeply wounded by the transacthe very same. The treaty itself, as far as it re tions which had occurred, that no secure or durlated to this country and France, he entirely ap able peace could have been made with bim. He proved.

had, however, felt satisfied, tbat as long as this Mr. Whitbread avowed, that in every respect, person should continue de facto at the head of except that article which regarded the slave ibe French government, there was no other altertrade, and to which the noble lord ought never to native than to treat with him. The house would have put his name, the noble lord (Castlereagh) remember, that he (Lord C.) had gone expressly had fully and completely deserved that confidence to treat with bim, in conjunction with our allies. which he had reposed in him. There was one The projet which they gave in at Chatillon was part of his history which, in his (Mr. W's) opi- framed after he had been successively victorious pion, redounded more to his honor than all the in five engagements, and when a considerable rest of that important business, which (except in uncertainty prevailed as to the final issue of the the article already alluded to) he had brought to campaign. At the same moment the allied powso glorious an issue and that was, that when he ers entered into that solemn compact at Chauwent to negociate, he fairly tried the experiment mont, by which four of them engaged to bring of doing so with the then ruler of France; and into the field 600,000 men; the most important though the papers had not been produced, he contract that perhaps the history of European (Mr. W.) was fully convinced the negociation at diplomacy could furnish. An impression had Chatillon had been broken off only in consequence gone abroad, that the negociations at Chatillon of the folly, madness, or what else, of Bonaparte had been broken off in consequence of the transhimself. He (Mr. W.) had often recommended actions which had taken place at Bourdeaux ;.but to ministers to make a peace with the ruler of this was entirely unfounded. These events were France, if that could be done : there was no evi indeed known at Chatillon, but the progress of dence of the impracticability of such a measure the negociations was not suspended until the till the noble lord had tried it: being then found allies were clearly convinced that Bonaparte was impracticable, no man rejoiced more in the resto- trifling with them. His lordship then proceeded ration of the Bourbons, coupled as it was with the to state the principles by which Great Britain had safety of Paris from destruction, than he did. been guided in negociating the treaty under conWith respect to the treaty which the noble lord sideration. He said, the language uniformly beld had concluded, except in the article regarding by this country to the continent had been, that the slave-trade, it met with his (Mr. W.?s) appro- if the people of Europe were willing to fight for bation. The honorable gentleman then went their own liberties, England would stand by them; on to point out a number of questions which but if they shrunk from the contest, then England would necessarily come to be considered at the was determined to do justice to herself, and proapproaching Congress; particularly the partition vide by her own strength for Ler own security. of Poland-that touchstone of the real magnani. He then went through the particulars of the treaty mity of kings—the spoliation of Sardinia—the with France, which it is unnecessary here to reintegrity of Genoa, for which the faith of Great peat; and he expressed liberal sentiments on the Britain was pledged—the article for the subju- prospect offered" of future amity and good-will gation of Norway—and the cession of Guada between the two countries. “ If," said he, “ loupe to France, that island, and the permission other blessing had been derived from all that has to carry on the slave-trade, being granted to happened, it would be po unsatisfactory one to France, in order to procure her concurrence and feel that the spell is dissolved by which Great

[ocr errors]


BOOK XII. rily enemies." His lordship concluded a speech, tinction of a member of this house, being at his

which appeared to obtain the general applause of first introduction placed in the very bighest and Chap. VI. the bouse, by a compliment to the vigorous and most distinguished rank among their lordships,

stedfast conduct of the prince-regent at this mo and in the peerage. No language, no expression 1814.

mentous period; and the address, as amended, of mine, however fully I feel impressed with was agreed to without opposition.

their magnitude and importance, can do justice While we are observing the proceedings in to your great and unparalleled services and parliament on the conclusion of the war, it may be merits; their nature and character are such as proper to notice the introduction of the Duke of will render the name of Wellington immortal, Wellington into the house of lords, after his re and will constitute one of the most brilliant epochs turn from the continent.

in the history of this country. They have been On the 28th of June, soon after the lord-chan- frequently and justly felt by this house, and cellor bad taken his seat, and a numerous assem- repeatedly made the subject of its thanks and its blage of peers were present, the illustrious Wet applause. In the sentiments so often and so lington was introduced with every possible splen- justly expressed by the house, I have, for my dour and formality which the occasion admitted, own humble part, most fully and most cordially and which he so justly merited. The Duke of participated.' The wisdom, gallantry, and exerWellington entered, supported by the Dukes of tions so frequently displayed by your grace, in a Richmond and Beaufort, in military uniform, and long series of services in the kingdoms of Portugal in their ducal robes. Being arrived in the body and Spain, are beyond any language I can use to of the house, the duke made the usual obeisance characterise or express. Your freeing the kingto the lord-chancellor, and shewed his patent dom of Portugal from the arm and power of and right of suinmons: the illustrious personage France—your glorious career of victory, in subthen approached the table, where his grace's duing, on various occasions, and pursuing the various patents, as viscount, earl, marquis, and enemy through the territory of Spain, more espe. lastly as duke, were each read by the clerks. cially on the signal occasions of the victories of The oaths were then administered, and the test Salamanca and Vittoria, the capture of Ciudad rolls were signed by him. He then, accompanied Rodrigo, and other enighty fortresses, will be by his noble supporters, took his seat on the luminously inscribed in the page of British duke's bench, and saluted the house in the usual history, as well as your subsequent successes, by manner, by rising, taking off bis hat, and bowing which you led on your allied forces until you respectfully.

had established them far within the territories of The lord-chancellor then rose, and pursuant France. Great and important as these services to their lordship's order, addressed his grace. are in themselves, their consequences are incal

culable, with reference not only to their so “ My Lord Duke of Wellington,

greatly contributing to secure the prosperity and “ In obedience to the commands of their lord- tranquillity of your own country, but to the ships, I have on this occasion to communicate to peace, the happiness, the independence of Europe your grace the thanks of this house, and the at large, by infusing the spirit of resistance, and cordial congratulations of their lordships, on your enabling other countries to place themselves in return from your continental service, and on your that state which enabled them successfully to introduction to a seat of the very highest rank resist the influence and the power of the common and dignity in this house. Those high and dis- enemy. You will have the heartfelt, the glorious tinguished honors bave been well and eminently satisfaction, of considering yourself as principally merited by your grace, by a long series of splendid instrumental in the achievement of this great and signal services, performed in various work, and for all which I feel a conscious pride places and situations, but more especially on the and satisfaction in being the organ of communicontinent of Europe. The cordial and applaud- cating in person, and on this auspicious occasion, ing thanks of this house, the highest honorary the recent vote of thanks of this house, which I distinction in the power of their lordships to am tbus directed to pronounce- That the thanks bestow, have not only been most frequently and and congratulations of this house be given to repeatedly voted to you, with the most perfect field-marshal the Duke of Wellington, on his unanimity, but your grace has had the additional return from his command on the continent of satisfaction of being the medium and channel Europe, and for the great, signal, and eminent through which the like honors have been convey- services which he has so repeatedly rendered ed, at various periods, to other gallant and meri therein to his majesty and to the public.” torious officers, who commensurately distinguish The duke, evidently under strong and laudaed themselves under your grace's direction and ble feelings of embarrassment, proceeded to ancommand. In the instance of your grace also, swer the address to the following effect:is to be seen the first and most honorable dis " He assured his lordship and the house, that


he felt himself overwhelmed by the strength of bation which his conduct had met with, and was BOOK XII. his feelings, as occasioned by what he must con desirous to receive their thanks at the bar of the sisler as the very flattering language far beyond house, at such time as the house deemed most Chap. VI. bis personal merits, in the expressions of their convenient.-(Hear, hear.) lordships' favor and approbation, as conveyed to Lord Castlereagh then gave notice, that he

1814. him that day, for which he had to tender his most would, to-morrow, the 1st of July, at a quarter sincere and grateful thanks. The successes which before five o'clock, move that the Duke of Welhad attended his humble, but zealous efforts, in lington be called in.-(Hear, hear.) the service of his country, he had principally to The speaker,—“This is a notice to all the attribute to the ample support which he had members of the committee, that the noble lord received' from his prince, his government, will, to-morrow, at the hour here stated, move and the country, and also to the zealous co-opera- that the Duke of Wellington be called in to tion and assistance which he had received from receive the thanks of the house.". his gallant and meritorious companions in arms, Next day, at a quarter before five o'clock, the and the valour and exertions of that army which speaker being dressed in his official robes, and he had the honor to command. The support the house crowded with members, Lord Castlewhich he had thus received encouraged and ex. reagh rose to state, that in consequence of the cited him, and gave rise to that conduct, of which, intimation of the house, his grace the Duke of by the favor of parliament, its unanimous ap- Wellington was in attendance, (Hear, hear, hear!) probation and applause had been propounced. The speaker, —" Is it the pleasure of the house For those honors, and to that of the other house that his grace be called in ?" of parliament, he felt most gratefully indebted. A loud and universal “ Aye!” These, together with the very kind and flattering The buzzas in the lobby announced bis grace's manner in which the noble lord was pleased approach. On his entrance, dressed in his fieldto express bimself, he repeated, were suffi- marshal's uniforin, profusely decorated with mili. cient to overwhelm one who felt unconscious of tary orders, and bowing repeatedly and respectdeserving such a degree of panegyric and eulo- fully to the house, all the members uncovered, gium. He would assure their lordships he had rose, and enthusiastically cheered him. endeavoured to serve his country and his prince The speaker,—"My Lord, the house has orto the very best of his power and ability, and that dered a chair to be placed for you to repose he would always endeavour so to do whenever oc The duke seated himself in the chair, which casion might require it, in the best manner in was placed a few feet within the bar, and put his which his limited capacity would allow him.”

The members of the house then seating (Loud and repeated cheers.)

themselves, his grace instantly rose, took off his His grace then retired to unrobe.

He wore a bat, and addressed the speaker to the following field-marshal's uniform, with his insignia of the

effect:garter, and looked remarkably well; on bis return into the house, he sat for a few minutes on “Mr. Speaker, -I was anxious to be permitted to the extremity of one of the benches, and then re attend this house, in order to return my thanks in tired for the evening.

person for the honor done me, in deputing a comTheir graces the Duchesses of Richmond and mittee of the house to congratulate me on my reWellington were present on this auspicious occa turn to this country; after the house had animated sion, as were the Countess Dowager of Morning- my exertions by their applause, on every occasion ton and Lady Charlotte Lennox.

that appeared to them to merit their approbation; The house of commons also resolved to pay and after they had recently been so liberal in the the duke the highest tribute of respect and ap- bill by which they followed up the gracious favor plause that it was possible to bestow on a subject, of his royal highness the prince-regent, in conthat of its thanks, accompanied with a deputation ferring upon me the noblest gift a subject bas of its members to congratulate him on bis return ever received. to England. On the 27th of June, Lord Castle “ I hope I shall not be thought presumptuous reagh rose in the house to make a motion for this if I take this opportunity of expressing my admi, purpose, which was unanimously agreed to, and ration of the great efforts made by this house, and a committee was appointed to wait on bis grace, by the country, at the moment of unexampled to koow what time he would name for receiving pressure and difficulty, in order to support, on a the congratulations of the house. Un the 30th, great scale, those operations by which the contest Lord Castlereagh stated, in the house, that the in which we were engaged bas been brought to committee appointed to wait on the Duke of Wel 80 fortunate a conclusion. By the wise policy of Jington had performed their duty. His grace parliament, government were enabled to give the expressed himself highly gratified by the appro- necessary support to the operations carried on

hat on.

« PreviousContinue »