« PreviousContinue »
Earl Stanhope agreed, that their lord | House to support a war? For his own part, ships ought to be very cautious how they he had rather die in the most horrid tor. proceeded, when the question might at ture, than agree to the declaration of war length come to be, peace or war; war on such principles. which found every thing before it like the The Marquis of Lansdowne said, that a garden of Eden, and left every thing be- report having gone abroad that there was hind it a desolate wilderness.
a secret article in the Treaty of Paris, by therefore, his intention, when the motion which this country became bound to supbefore the House was disposed of, to move port Louis 18, in case of insurrection, he for the Declaration of the allied Powers wished the noble earl-opposite to state, at Vienna, of the 13th of March last, be. whether there was any such article. He cause, contrary to his expectation, it had put the question, not as believing that, not been laid on the table. This Declara- there was any such secret article without Lion was important, as an indication of the the knowledge of Parliament, but merely course the Allies meant to pursue, but still for the purpose of having the rumour conmore so from the extraordinary proposition tradicted. on which they founded their Declaration, The Earl of Liverpool had no objection viz. “ that they will be ready to give to to say, that the rumour of any such secret the King of France and to the French article was entirely without foundation. nation, or to any other Government that He said, he should agree to produce both shall be attacked, all the assistance re- the Treaty of Fontainbleau and the Decla. quisite to restore public tranquillity, and ration of the Allies of the 13th ult. He io make common cause against all those said, that to-morrow he should explain who shall attempt to compromise it.” In more fully the sentiments of his Majesty's what sense this was to be understood he Government; but he should observe that knew not; but if it was to be taken accordit was intended to echo the Message in the ing to its natural import in the English opinion that the recent events were in language, it was most horrible. The very violation of the Treaty of Paris. The rest family on our throne, was seated there by of the Address would merely be an appro. the constitutional power of Parliament, bation of the measures of armament and which had deposed the late king James 2. those taken for producing concert among By the constitution of this country, no the Allies for the purpose of general secuforeign troops could land in it without the rity. He believed he could not more consent of Parliament; yet the Allies en fully explain the nature of it, unless he gaged, that when the Government of any communicated to the noble earl (Grey) a country was attacked, they would, if called copy of the proposed Address. upon, send their troops thither. This De Lord Grenville said, he should reserve claration was, therefore, an attack upon the full expression of his opinions till the the liberties and constitution of the people night of discussion arrived; but he should of this country. Not to mention the case even then state his entire approbation of of France-there was existing at present the two measures mentioned in the comin Spain a government which conducted munication from the Throne. The situa-: itself on most extraordinary principles, tion in which this country was placed, was civil, political, and religious. Were the most arduous, and one in which active and English troops, under the Declaration in vigorous measures were necessary. But question, to be poured into Spain in the whatever might by the course which might event of any disturbances there, to support be taken, the best hope of Europe was in the King against the Cortes, the Parlia- the intimate concert between the members ment of Spain, an the people of that of the great alliance. These two senticountry? What had made Ferdinand king ments were the only sentiments which of Spain, but the power of the Cortes? the Message conveyed-the only sentiHis father, who had been king of Spain, ments which the Address should express, was still living; so that unless the supreme because the present was not the time for power of the people and Cortes was ac. a decision on the ulterior question of peace knowledged, Ferdinand could not be a or war. Neither should he prematurely lawful Sovereign. He was anxious to state his own opinion as to the course know, as well as the noble earl, whether which this couniry should pursue, but the Address would merely express satis- await the time when that great and dreadfaction at the measures taken by the Prince ful alternative might be presented for Regent, or whether it would pledge the their consideration,
The Message was then ordered to be views of those with whom it originated. taken into consideration to-morrow. Besides, as the debate upon such a subject
Earl Stanhope then moved for a copy was likely to be long, while the subject of the Declaration of the Allies of the itself naturally called for some previous 13th of March, which was accordingly examination, he should rather have thought ordered to be produced.
that it would be more convenient and proper to appoint Monday than to
On these grounds he should HOUSE OF COMMONS.
to-morrow move a postponement of the Thursday, April 6.
discussion until Monday. But prelimiPrince REGENT'S MESSAGE RELATING nary lo that discussion, he had two quesTO THE Events in France.] Lord Castle. tions to put to the noble lord : first, reagh presented the following Message Whether it was true, as had been profrom his royal highness the Prince Re- mulgated from a sort of half authority, gent :
that a secret understanding had been en“ GEORGE, P. R.
tered into, or a secret article concluded, “ The Prince Regent, acting in the between all the parties to the Treaty of name and on the behalf of his Majesty, Paris (excepting France, of course), pledge thinks it right to inform the House of ing those powers to maintain the House Commons, that the events which have of Bourbon upon the throne of France? recently occurred in France, in direct and secondly, whether the noble lord contravention of the engagements con would think it consistent with his duty 10 cluded with the allied Powers at Paris in communicate the terms of the treaty prothe course of the last year, and which posed at Chatillon, upon which the allies threaten consequences highly dangerous were then willing to conclude peace with to the tranquillity and independence of France ? If the noble lord should not be Europe, have induced his Royal Highness disposed to accede to this communication, to give directions for the augmentation of it would be for the House to decide whehis Majesty's land and sea forces.
ther it would not be expedient to demand “ The Prince Regent has likewise such communication, which he (Mr. W.) deemed it incumbent upon him to lose thought highly material 10 the due conno time in entering into communications sideration of the subject referred to in the with his Majesty's allies for the purpose Regent's Message. of forming such a concert as may most Lord Casılereagh said, that as to the first effectually provide for the general and observation of the hon. gentleman, he permanent security of Europe.
did not present his Royal Highness's “And his Royal Highness confidently Message till half past four o'clock, which, relies on the support of the House of} from his previous intimation, he could Commons in all measures which may be not deem as too early an hour for the in. necessary for the accomplishment of this troduction of such a subject. Then, as important object.”
to the day fixed for the consideration of The Message was ordered to be taken the Message, he was rather surprised at into consideration to-morrow. After some the hon. gentleman's observation, betime had elapsed,
cause it would be recollected that, on a Mr. Whicbrcad rose and observed, that former day, he distinctly stated his purhad he been present at the time the Mes- pose of proposing such an arrangement sage was presented (which, by the way, in describing the course of business for was brought forward at a much more the week, and with a view to this arrangeearly period than public business was ment be mored the postponement of the usually expected), he should have ob. American question from this day to Tuesjected to the motion fixing the conside. day, in order, as the Message was meant ration of it for to-morrow. Upon a to be considered on Friday, that the question of such magnitude and import- House might not be occupied by debate ance, more time ought, in his opinion, to on two successive days. But, indepenbe afforded, in order to prepare the House dently of this consideration, it would be for its consideration, especially where the quite inconsistent with the usual practice object of the Message was not clearly of Parliament to postpone the consideraexpressed, -where, in fact, it was couched tion of a Message from the Throne : an in such equivocal, such indefinite terms, early consideration was, indeed, due in ibat it was difficult to understand the deference to the Throne, and was there
fore never delayed. With respect to the upon this subject for Monday, he had hon. gentleman's questions: first, No secret little doubt that, from the lengih to which article, understanding, or engagement of such debates usually extended, it would the nature alluded to by the hon. gentle. become necessary for convenience to man had ever existed between the allies; adjourn the discussion from to-morrow to and as to the second question, he appre- Monday. hended that the House would not be dis Lord Castlereagle said, that when the posed to delay tbe consideration of the House came to the discussion he would Prince Regent's Message, or to postpone give such explanation respecting the prothe expression of its opinion upon the positions at Chatillon as was proper, or as present exigency, until all the papers had any connexion with the subject of the connected with the negociations ai Cha- Prince Regent's Message. With respect tillon should be laid oli the table, and to the presentation of this Message, it was until the hon. gentleman should have an to be considered that the Lords did not opportunity of considering these papers. meet until Wednesday, and that some Upon these grounds, he trusted the House previous intimation was due to that House, would not feel it necessary to revise its as to the intention to make a communicadecision for taking the Message into con tion of this nature, wbich was usually sideration to-morrow.
presented to both Houses at the same time. Mr. Whitbread expressed himself parti. Now as to questions generally, he felt it cularly glad to hear that no such secret necessary to observe, that it would be article or understanding existed, as that to well if gentlemen proposing to put any which he referred. But as to the treaty questions, would either previously apprize proposed at Chatillon, he thought it male. ministers of their intention, or else that rial that the House should have some in- thore gentlemen should wait until the formation upon that subject, before it ministers were in their places. entered into the consideration of the Mr. Whitbread. What then were we to Regent's Message. It was a mistake to do, when the noble lord was at Vienna? suppose that he required the production Mr. Ponsonby began by declaring, that of all the papers connected with the nego- he was not at all aware that the Prince ciations at Chatillon. A short extract Regent's Message would have been prewould be quite sufficient, describing the sented so early, or he should have been terms upon which the allies were at that in his place sooner. But he hoped that time willing to conclude peace with the House would, upon the subject of that France; and without such a communication Message, allow him to trespass on its he could not think the House prepared to indulgence for a few moments, although discuss the subject of the Message. The there was no motion under consideration. delay of a single day with a view to The Message, he observed, was composed obtain and to consider such an important of two parts :—first, his Royal Highness fact, he could not suppose in any degree told the House that he was preparing to disrespectful to his Royal Highness, or augment our forces by sea and land, in inconsistent with the deference which that consequence of the recent events in House owed to a communication from the France; and, secondly, his Royal HighThrone. The House had, indeed, been ness stated, that he would act in concert led to expect, from the intimation of the with our allies. In thus proceeding, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Royal Highness had, in his opinion, been Message would have been brought down advised to do that which was wise and on Wednesday, and thus one intervening proper; for it was wise in his Royal Highday would have been allowed for its con. ness to have the country in a state of ade. sideration, before the House would be quate preparation for any emergeney, and called upon to decide; but the noble lord proper to preserve an intimate commufrom ‘his superior knowledge of tactics nication and concert with his allies. But thought proper to postpone the presenta- beyond those two points he did not wish tion of the Message until this day, thus to express any opinion, nor did he think precluding the possibility of due consider the House ripe at present to give any ation. The hon. gentleman disclaimed farther decision. As to the use to be any intention of disrespect to his Royal made of the force which his Royal HighHighness in thus pressing for some delay; ness was preparing, that would remain for adding, that although he had no hope of consideration; but upon the two points to persuading the House to change the order which he had referred, he, however others
might differ from him, was ready to say PILLORY PUNISANENT ABOLITION Bill.] that his Royal Highness had been rightly Mr. M. A. Taylor rose, in pursuance of advised. Beyond those points, however, his notice, to move for leave to bring in a he was not prepared to go. He would not Bill for the Abolition of the punishment of enter into any premature discussion. He the Pillory. He did not conceive it neceswas neither prepared to say that his Royal sary, in introducing this motion, to enter Highness and his allies should plunge into any discussion of the origin of crimes into a state of war, nor that security was and punishments. The authors who had to be found in a state of peace. He need written upon this subject were already in not say that his wish was that the latter the hands of most of the members of that should be found attainable, but he felt it House; it would be sufficient for him, impossible at present to offer any opinion therefore, to make a few general observaupon those points. He could, however, tions upon the legitimate objects of pureadily say, that his disposition was to nishments, as the ground upon which his vote for a suitable Address in answer to motion was founded. The first end of the Prince Regent's Message, provided punishment was the reformation of the that Address contained nothing to pledge offender; and the next was, when the his future conduct. From the full declara. crime committed was of so deep a die as tion of his opinion, when adequately not to admit of a hope of amendment, to informed, he should never be found to punish the criminal by death; and at the shrink; but he would never declare pre same time, by the severity of his punishmature opinions, or engage in premature ment, to afford an example to deter others discussions. Therefore, he would abstain from the commission of similar offences. from such opinions and discussions in this with this view of the subject, he was at a instance. He would be glad to vote for loss to imagine under what head to class the Address of to-morrow, and he hoped the punishment of pillory. It could not that bot a short discussion would take be called a reforming punishment, because place upon it. In his judgment, it was it rather tended to deaden the sense of decidedly wise to consider and provide shame than to have any other effect. Beagainst any new difficulties or dangers sides, it appeared to him as contrary to likely to arise out of the present state and law, because the culprit was left to meet prospects of France; and therefore he the fury of the populace. It was not alhighly approved of the preparation which tended with any good to the spectator, the Regent's Message announced; but as because it only gave rise to the assemblage to the use which Government might oltio of a tumultuous rabble, who either conmately make of that preparation he should travened the sentence of the Court by es. not hold himself bound to support it by alting the criminal, or violated the law by any vote which he was at present disposed an outrageous attack upon him. It was to give. He therefure wished the Address therefore evidently a punishment of a very of to-morrow might be so drawn up as to unequal nature. As illustrative of this remeet his views. The right hon. genileman mark, he begged to cite a few cases. In concluded with expressing his anxious the year 1759, doctor Shebbeare was senhope that it might not be found inconsistenced to be pillored for a libel of a politent with the safety of Europe to preserve tical description—and in what manner was a state of peace, and to avoid the calami-that punishment executed? Why, when ties of war.
he arrived at the pillory he mounted it in Lord Castlereagh said, that without antifoll dress, attended by a servant in livery, cipating the discussion of to-morrow, he who held an umbrella over his head; and could assure the right hon. gentleman that the under-sheriff, who participated in the it was not proposed by the Address in popular feeling, instead of calling upon contemplation to pledge his opinion, or him, as usual, to place his head in the that of ihe House, as to the future conduct pillory, was satisfied to let him simply rest of his Majesty's government. With re- his hands on the machine, and in that way spect to that conduct, or the use that might he underwent his sentence. Then again, be made of the force in preparation, and in the case of Daniel Isaac Eaton, who two whether the ultimate end should be war years back was pillored for a religious or peace, must depend upon the issue of libel, this man, instead of being regarded, circumstances to be determined on their as might have been expected, with indig: own merits.
nation, was treated with respect, and viewed (VOL. XXX.)
with silent pity. There were other cases, | age, and the cruel instrument of Star-
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Friday, April 7. were pillored at Brentford, one for com ADDRESS ON THE PRINCB REGENT'S promising a Qui Tam action, and the other MESSAGE RESPECTING THE EVENTS IN for a crime of a detestable nature, not less FRANCE.) The Marquis of Lansdowns atrocious; and yet such was the indigna wished, before the order of the day was tion felt towards the informer, that he was read, that the noble lord opposite, or some nearly killed, while his companion in sof other of the Prince Regent's ministers, fering escaped unburt. The punish- would give some explanation on a subject ment, he insisted, was unequal : to a nearly connected with it: he alluded to the man in the higher walks of life, it was alleged detention of French ships by our worse than death: it drove him from cruisers. There were two questions which society, and would not suffer him to return required an answer: first, whether any to respectability; wbile, to more ships had been so detained ? second, whe. hardened offender, it could not be an ther, if they had been so detained, ibe object of much terror, and it could not detention was authorized by Government: affect his family or his prospects in the Viscount Melville replied, that the de. same degree. To show the severity with tention had occurred in only one or two which legal punishments pressed upon instances; and certainly they bad nos persons in the higher walks of life, he ad- been authorized by the Government. verted to the case of Dr. Dodd, who had The order of the day for the considerabeen justly sentenced to die for forgery ; tion of the Prince Regent's Message being a crime, with respect to which the law read, could permit no variation in the sentence. The Earl of Liverpool rose. Approving Before he received sentence of death, Dr. as he did of the answer given by bis noble Dodd addressed the Court, and set forth friend to the questions which had been the circumstances of his former life. He put to him, he had nothing farther to say stated, that many who had been among his upon that subject, and be iberefore would hearers had become belter men from now proceed to call their lordships attenhearing him in the pulpit, that he had thus tion to the Message which he had last been the means of rescuing others from night the honour to deliver to their lorda vice, aud he added these words, " Conde- ships from his royal highness the Prince scend to reflect, my lord, if these consi. Regent; and though he did not anticipate derations aggravate my offence, how much much opposition to the Address which be lhey must imbitter my punishment.” The intended to propose, yet he felt it his duty, hon. gentleman concluded with saying, considering the nature of the crisis, and of that it was grating to his feelings to leave the events which had lately taken place, such a punishment as that of the pillory in to make some few observations: but á the hands of a court, who might treat the desire always to spare the time of their admirable author of Junius, if he were dis. lordships as much as possible, and a desire covered, in the same manner as the most likewise to abstain from all discussion of atrocious criminal. The punishment of topics on which considerable differences the pillory was the remnant of a barbarousof opinion might be entertained, would