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England, if not absolutely unjust in its origin, was at least impolitic and unnecessary. The whole nation had also begun to feel its disastrous effects, and would have hailed with pleasure any really pacific proposals; but when these propositions arrived, their tendency was the very reverse of accelerating a peace. The noble lord, had, indeed, blamed the President for giving them publicity during pending negociations; but the American negociators declared in their dispatch, that they thought the prospect of peace at an end; and he believed that the noble lord, who was so niggardly in the production of papers, had he been situated as the President was, would immediately have submitted to Parliament such claims of an enemy, with the view of arousing any flagging spirit of hostility in the country. The effect of the proposals was instantaneous in America; the determination to resist them was unanimous and strong to a degree almost incredible under a government so constituted. They excited a general military spirit; means were adopted for raising an efficient army, and attention had been paid to the formation of a navy on a regular systematic plan, which no man in this country could look forward to but with the deepest regret. If the proposals were urged insincerely, there was no degree of criminality too high which did not attach to ministers: if they were sincere in their apprehensions of American ambition, it remained for them to show how the engagements at last entered into were either honourable or safe.

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He (the Marquis Wellesley) should now return to the negociation itself. Upon our proposition in favour of the Indians who had co-operated with us, the American commissioners asked whether those propositions were final or not? Whatever might have been the conversation upon this subject, or whether the American commissioners reported it rightly to their Government or not, still it was evident that if even the papers now moved for were granted, it would not be possible for His Majesty's ministers to produce the communications between the American commissioners and their Government. They could only produce that which was entered in the protocol. The noble marquis seemed not to have thought it extraordinary, that the American commissioners should have thus demanded our ultimatum in the first instance. If he recollected rightly, however, when that noble lord was in office, the negotiations at Lisle had been broken off on the same ground-that the French Government required of us to give in our ultimatum at once. The difference between us and the American commissioners, with respect to the Indians, was, that they objected to their being named in the Treaty, although they said that we might depend upon it that peace with them would be a necessary consequence of the Treaty. They protested against this country interfering, in any manner, with respect to the Indians within their boundary. We had contended for a definite boundary of the Indian territory, and we had succeeded in obtaining it. We had called upon the American commissioners to give in their projet, and it was the consideration of this projet which had occupied so much time.

He should now call to the recollection of their lordships the conduct of the American Government in publishing a part of the correspondence, and should submit it to their judgment whether there was a sufficient reason for our publishing the whole of it. The noble marquis had very fairly stated the reason of their publishing part of the correspondence. It was because the American Government did not expect that the negociation would end in peace, and imagined that it had been broken off by that time, that they published those papers in order to produce an effect on the minds of their people hostile to this country. Was it necessary for us now to follow their example after the negociation had ended in peace, or could we wish to raise a feeling in this country hostile to America? If that could not be the wish of any person in this country, he could not see any motive for departing from the usual line of proceeding, and publishing the whole of that correspondence which had ended in a treaty of peace.



Address to the Prince Regent.'

ADDRESS ON THE TREATY OF PEACE WITH AMERICA. The Earl of Liverpool rose to move an Address to the Prince Regent, approving of the Treaty of Peace concluded with the United States of America. . As he did not anticipate any opposition, he did not think it at all necessary or proper to detain their lordships for any long time on this subject, or to enter upon any discussion of topics

IT. C. Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, First Series, Vol. XXX (March to May, 1815), p. 649.

with respect to which he was aware that much difference of opinion prevailed. Their lordships were aware that the war arose from disputes originating in certain orders commonly called the Orders in Council. Before the American declaration of war arrived in this country, those orders had been repealed; and as it was presumed, that, upon notice of this circumstance, the Americans would be desirous of returning to a state of peace, such directions were given as might facilitate that object, and render the evils necessarily connected with a state of warfare as light as possible, till an arrangement could be concluded. The Americans, however, did not, it appeared, wish to return to a state of peace; and when the cause of complaint was removed they changed their ground, and insisted that we should give up that right which, by the well-known and admitted law of nations, we had to seize our own subjects, and claim their services in time of war, wherever we found them. This was a clear principle of the law of nations, which we only claimed in common with every other nation. We claimed nothing from the Americans, we did not insist that they should acknowledge any new doctrines and principles of the law of nations set up by us. But they, on the contrary, set up new doctrines and new principles of their own, and insisted that we should adopt them, and sacrifice rights which we considered as essential to our own security. The consequence was, that the necessity of the war on our part was universally felt, and a unanimity was manifested on the subject which was very rarely found on such occasions. It was not till the 7th of August that the American commissioners received instructions not to insist upon this point, and then the negociation proceeded. As to the mediation of the Emperor of Russia, there were certain points on which one would not choose to accept even of mediation, because it often happened that in mediations there was something like arbitration. With respect to our maritime rights, we never could accept of arbitration. He would not go the length of saying that we ought under no circumstances to accept of mediation with respect to our maritime rights; but this did not appear to be an instance in which it was desirable to accept of any such mediation. It had been said, that while we rejected mediation on one point we had agreed to arbitration on another. But the points were totally different, and the mode of arbitration appeared to be the best way of settling the disputes about the boundaries. America then having given up the point for which she had carried on the war, the negociation, as he had said, proceeded; and he contended that there might be circumstances under which we might, in justice to our own subjects, insist upon terms for which it would not be proper originally to go to war. That, however, was a consideration of expediency. But a principle of good faith required that the Indians should be included in the Treaty, and they were included. As to the Slave Trade, the objects of the two governments were the same; as to commerce, it appeared most proper to leave these matters to subsequent arrangement, and that the most liberal principles of commercial intercourse would be the most advantageous for both countries. As to territorial arrangements, the best mode of proceeding had been adopted on that head that could be devised. It appeared more advantageous to call in the arbitration of one who might be supposed to be impartial than to leave the matter to the decision of the lot; and upon that, the arrangements for setting the line had been adopted. On the whole, the noble earl considered the Treaty as equally honourable and advantageous to this country; and concluded by moving an Address to the Prince Regent, assuring his Royal Highness of the great satisfaction felt by the House at the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Peace concluded between Great Britain and the United States of America.


The Marquis of Lansdowne expressed his concurrence with the terms of the Address, but strongly condemned the unnecessary delay that had taken place in the conclusion of the Treaty, which Treaty, by-the-by, had left unsettled all the points for which the war had been commenced, as would appear upon reference to the published Declaration of ministers at the outset. Yet while these points were waived, new claims were started at the commencement of the negociation, which were abandoned also. But still he rejoiced in the conclusion of peace. The noble marquis concluded with observing that he understood the American ministers at Ghent proposed an article pledging both powers to treat all vessels as pirates which should be found engaged in the Slave Trade, but that this article was resisted by our commissioners; and this resistance he conceived the more extraordinary from the instructions to our minister at Vienna to promote the universal abolition of that odious traffic.

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House of COMMONS, April 11, 1815.' Mr. Ponsonby.

At this first conference, on the 8th of August, if I am rightly informed by the papers laid before the American Congress, the terms on which alone Great Britain would make peace with America, were substantially proposed. The most remarkable of these terms were-a pacification with, (as they were called) the Indian Allies of Great Britain, and a settlement of their boundaries-military possession of the lakes of Canada, and of certain islands said to belong to us, but occupied by the Americans since the Treaty of 1783; to this was added a desire of settling a new boundary for the American and British territories, between the Mississippi and the American lakes. But those points which appeared to be principally pressed by ministers were, the pacification of the Indians—the defining of the boundaries of their territories—the military occupation of the lakes of Canada-and the cession of those islands which the Americans had occupied since 1783 The papers from which I argue state that the American commissioners were informed by those of Great Britain that the concession of these points was the sine qua non, without which peace would not be concluded.

The other terms, although to a certain degree insisted on, were not of so much importance; but no hope was held out that peace could be restored between the two countries, unless the propositions respecting the pacification with the Indians—the definition of their boundaries—and the military possession of the lakeswere agreed to. These terms the American commissioners peremptorily refused. With regard to some of them, they had no instructions from their Government. They stated that they were not authorized to cede any island, part of the territory of the United States of America-and that they would not take upon themselves to do it. They did not feel themselves justified in joining in any instrument that might be supposed to look to an alienation of any part of the American territory. Under these circumstances, the negociations at Ghent continued for two days longer, and were then suspended, while the American commissioners sent to their Government for instructions on the subject

IT. C. Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, First Series, Vol. XXX (March to May, 1815), p. 503.

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