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concluded, he should say a few words as to the manner in which it had been executed. It had been asked, why precau tions had not been taken to prevent the escape of Buonaparté from Elba. It was to be recollected, that the individual in question was not to be considered in any degree as a prisoner in Elba: the sovereignty of the island had been conferred on him; and to look on him in any other

ledge of these facts, though it was probable that, if the Allies had thought proper to continue their attack upon him, they might have succeeded, yet the struggle would have been formidable, and its result doubtful. It was, therefore, matter of, serious consideration, whether they should not accede to an arrangement which would at once end the struggle which would bring all the marshals into obedience to the provisional government-light, would be in contravention of the stop the effusion of blood, which was Treaty which had been concluded with always so desirable to avoid-secure the him. He should not enter into the merits great objects for which the Allies had of that part of the arrangement. It had entered France; and, above all things, pre- been said that Elba was an improper venta civil war from arising in that country. place for Buonaparté: but in what view Under those circumstances was the Treaty was it stated to be improper? Not as of Fontainbleau agreed to by the two connected with any thing relating to Sovereigns then at Paris. When his noble France, but on account of the superior friend who was then in France (viscount means of escape which it afforded. He Castlereagh) knew that the Allies had did not know whether it did afford such entered Paris, he proceeded to that capital, means in a superior degree; but if and learnt that the Treaty of Fontainbleau they adverted to the circumstance, that had been entered into with Buonaparté, in whatever situation he was placed, he and expressed his strong disapprobation of must, according to the treaty, be at liberty, it. But having been convinced by the they would see, that in whatever place he representations of the Sovereigns who had was put, he might have escaped from it. concluded that Treaty, that it had been As to the precautions which had been the only means open to them for putting taken, he should merely observe, that the an end to the contest, and to avoid a civil whole of the British fleet could not have war in France; and being of opinion that effectually blockaded the island so as to the words of the allied Sovereigns being have prevented an escape; but so far as pledged, they had no alternative but to was consistent with the spirit of the abide by that Treaty; he consented to Treaty, the object had not been neglected, accede conditionally to that engagement. and an understanding existed (as had That accession could not be unconditional, been explained by a noble friend of his as we had never acknowledged Napoleon in another place) that the commanders of as the Emperor of the French. We, there- the vessels should prevent any attempt to fore, did not accede to such part of the escape as far as was possible. With Treaty as continued his title of Emperor, respect to the character of the British nor such part as regarded the pecuniary officer attached to Buonaparté at Elba arrangement; but to the part which (sir Neil Campbell), and who was absent guaranteed the sovereignty of Elba to at the time of his escape, it was but just Napoleon, and the duchies of Parma and to say that there was nothing improper Placentia to the daughter of the Emperor in a temporary absence from the island; of Austria. The peculiar circumstances neither could it be said, even had he con under which the Treaty of Fontainbleau tinued in Elba, while the military power was entered into, not only afforded justifi- and the police of the island was in the cation to the allied Powers who concluded hands of the man who had made an it on one part, but were most material in escape, that he would have been able to the view of another subject before the have prevented it. Indeed, the case of House. That Treaty was concluded with other individuals who were in the island a person with arms in his hand, which when the plan of escape was put into gave him an option to conclude it or to execution, proved the contrary. continue the contest:-as he had chosen to bargo was laid on all vessels the day beagree to that Treaty, having embraced fore the escape took place, and some inthe alternative, he was bound in all the dividuals, who were suspected, were put principles of good faith to adhere to it. under restraint until the plan had been put into execution. As to the supposition that any breach of the treaty had been

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Having stated thus much as to the circumstances under which the treaty was

committed by the king of France, he could positively deny that any such breach had taken place on the part of that monarch. The pecuniary article of the Treaty, taken in its literal sense, could not have been violated, because, as the annual payment of a certain sum was stipulated for, it was clear that the first payment could not yet have become due. Neither could it be said that any breach had taken place of the Treaty, unless a representation had first been made to the Allied Powers, and they had refused to compel the fulfilment of it. But it was not necessary to argue at length, that no breach had taken place in the Treaty. The proclamations of Buonaparté proved, that it was not on account of any violation of the Treary of Fontainbleau that he had made his attempt; but he professed that he meant to violate, on the first opportunity, this Treaty, and to resume his power, which he had sacrificed when he had no other alternative but to do so, with the intention of recovering it. On the first proposition, therefore, there could be no ground for doubt, that the spirit and effect of the Treaty of Fontainbleau, of the Treaty of Paris, and the preamble on which it had been founded, had been violated. Those treaties had been concluded on the condition of the absolute renunciation of the crown of France by Napoleon, for himself and his descendants. The resumption of the authority in that country was, therefore, a distinct, positive, and undeniable viola tion of the Treaty of Paris, and the agreements on which it was founded. If the French nation had recalled Buonaparté, they also would have been a party to that violation-the nation, however, had not recalled him, and he had not that ground to rest on; he had acted in defiance of all the legal authorities in that country.

It was to be remarked, that in all the former revolutions which had taken place in France, during the last twenty-five years, although in reality they were often effected by military force, or by mobs directed by individuals or clubs, yet there had generally been some pretence of a legitimate authority, either a convention, or a national assembly, or a senate; but now the whole transaction had been purely a military act, not referable to any legitimate organ of the public will, but a direct assumption of power by the military force. On the first article of the Message it was not, therefore, necessary for him

to trouble the House farther: it was evident that this country had a just cause of war against Buonaparté wielding the power of France. But he was far from wishing to say, that because a war was just, it should therefore be entered upon. The justice was but one part of the question; another part was, whether the war would be wise, prudent and politic, under the present circumstances of the country. It was impossible to conceal from themselves the dangers with which the recent event threatened this country; it was impossible to conceal from themselves the conduct and character of the person now at the head of the French government, and the events which, during the last eighteen years, that character and conduct had produced. It was impossible to forget the invasion of so many independent countries-of Spain, of Austria, of Prussia, and of Russia, and the impossibility which seemed to have existed formerly of preserving relations of peace with the individual in question. They could not turn their eyes from the peculiar circumstances under which he had returned to France: he had returned under the protection of the military power, and had professed his object to be to restore the tarnished glory of the French arms. All these considerations were grounds for the most serious apprehensions. He did not, however, wish to pledge the House to any rash, hasty, and inconsiderate declaration, but to place fairly before their minds the alternatives-armed preparation and defence, or active war. Between those alternatives, he requested their lordships not to decide at present, and he requested it for these reasons-because it was a question that involved many circumstances which they could not then have before them. It was not a British question merely, but an European question. It was necessary that the most perfect concert should exist between the British Government and his Majesty's Allies, before any just decision could be formed. It would be therefore an act of imprudence, if at that time he called for any other decision than that which the subject of the Message required. The first point was one on which there could be no difference, viz. that it was expedient that there should be the most intimate concert between this Country and the allied Powers on the Continent. Consistently with this principle it would be necessary to weigh well the interests of the other

363] HOUSE OF LORDS,

powers of Europe, as well as the interests of this country. What his own sentiments were, as far as he was acquainted with those interests, he should think it inconsistent with his duty to state. Whatever that opinion was, he could confidently state that there was no disposition on the part of this Government to drive the Allies into a more extensive war policy than might be consistent with their own sentiments and feelings. After remarking that the House could feel no difficulty in agreeing to the opinion of the Message, that armed preparation was necessary, and that concert with the Allies was desirable, and would be beneficial to the general interest of Europe; his lordship concluded by moving the Address, which was an echo of the Message.

Lord Grenville said, he knew not whether he should have troubled their lordships on the subject of the Address moved by the noble earl, had it not been to remark on the impropriety of any premature allusion to points not included in the Message or the Address. If at that time he was to have entered on the considera tion of the policy of that treaty, by which it was hoped the contest in which this country had been engaged was finally terminated-if he had then to examine the loose and negligent stipulations which had produced that dreadful alternative which lay before them-he should have had much to remark; and should have inquired how far any circumstances could have justified the bringing that struggle to a conclusion, by a treaty which, as it now appeared, though he had long strove to hide it from himself, afforded no security whatever against its instant and immediate renewal. If that had been the proper moment, he should have inquired what new plan was it, under which the conduct of gallant officers, in matters affecting their own honour and the interests of the country, was to be regulated, not by instructions-but to rest on an under. standing, loose and undefined, between them and some of the superior officers of the state; whence an accident had hap. pened, which placed before them the alternative of armed and insecure peace, or fierce and doubtful war. present moment, those considerations were But at the foreign to the question before them; and he knew not why the noble earl had called up the remembrance of that negligence of that neglect of the vital interests of the country-which the circum

Address on the Prince Regent's Message

stances he had referred to betrayed. But [364 being placed as they were in a perilous situation, it was the conduct of men, of Englishmen, to consider, not how we had come into such a state, but what line was Message which had been communicated to be adopted to extricate ourselves. The to the House, and the directions which the Prince Regent declared he had given, he fully approved of-both the measures of concert which had been taken, and that armed and formidable preparation by which the interests of the country had been saved. He had eagerly cherished the hope that the struggle had been brought anticipated the moment when we were to to a final termination, and had anxiously reduce our naval and military establishdue to the past exertions of the country, ments; which reduction he thought was to the state of our finances, but above all things to the principles of the constitution. It was without reluctance, that at the preduction for the present; and he should sent moment he gave up all idea of recheerfully assent to measures which, instead of reducing establishments, would increase the burthens under which the country laboured, but which were, at the same time, indispensably necessary. As to the concert between the Allied Powers, he was persuaded that there was no possible issue by which we could hope for success, but through the road which the country-a close, intimate, and cordial Message pointed out to the House and the connection between this country and the therefore, that every effort would be made allied powers of the Continent. He hoped, the different Powers, if it existed; to reto maintain peace and harmony between establish it, if it had been unhappily interrupted; and as the most cordial union was to be hoped for among the Allies, as the best security for Europe, so the unanimous feeling of the country was to be encouraged. If he could, hope that the voice of walls, or even beyond this country, he an individual could be heard beyond those House, and he hoped that it would be was most anxious to impress on the impressed on foreign powers also, that, now we had again been plunged into that dreadful situation, every state should give up the idea of separate interests. It was to be recollected by all, that they had not interest might be pursued with hope of to consider whether this or that separate success, but that all hope of general safety, as well as the particular interest of

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each state, entirely depended upon the abandonment of every private and particular interest. If he were asked, what for the last twenty-five years had been the general cause that had subjected nearly all the states of Europe to calamities and ruin, and which had enabled the French to carry their triumphant arms from one capital to another, that no government was undisturbed, no country seeure, no people safe,—the cause, he should answer was, that no arguments, no force of reason, not even the dreadful force of calamitous experience, could inculcate the idea, that not merely a nominal federation, but an intimate union of feeling and purpose among the governments and people could afford safety to any part of Europe from those calamities. No separate interest, therefore, should at such a time be suffered to intrude on the mind of any man, or into the counsels of any state. Having heard the Address which had been proposed by the noble earl, he could not but state, that it met with his entire and cordial concurrence, because it was strictly limited to what circumstances required. It would have been most improper that Parliament should have been called on to decide on the ultimate course to be pursued, till the circumstances by which that course could be properly determined, were communicated to them by the constitutional authority from which they were entitled to receive it. Whenever a perfect concert was established, which might justify such a Message as would put Parliament in possession of the policy which the Powers might think proper to pursue, then would it be for them to decide on the great and difficult question between two dreadful alternatives. He trusted he should not then be found wanting in duty to his country: his judgment might be erroneous, but it should be founded on the best lights which Parliament might be in possession of; but he should be sorry if any thing had escaped him at present which might be misconstrued (for it could only be misconstrued, if so interpreted,) to convey an opinion on a matter which Parliament had not yet to decide. It had been said, that the question was an European as well

called on to examine the subject, he hoped all the grounds which could with propriety would be laid before them; well assured that as unanimity in Europe was the only hope for the general safety, so the unanimous spirit and opinion of the people of this country was to be regarded as the most effectual security for this country, and the most animating prospect of success in whatever line we sought to pursue.

The Marquis Wellesley said, that whatever was the ultimate result of the present calamitous crisis, it could not fail to be animating, amidst the danger which threatened this country and Europe, that the spirit of our people, the valour of our arms, the extent of our resources, had been carried to their utmost pitch; and while we had afforded an example to others, we had saved ourselves, and risen to a height beyond our hopes both in security and glory. He rejoiced also, that in stead of being hurried precipitately into violent acts of war, which would have betrayed real timidity, the more dangerous, because it assumed the garb of courage, they had merely been called on to give credit to his Majesty's ministers for those measures of prudence and precaution which would enable the country to resist the danger in whatever shape it appeared. With these sentiments he should have terminated his observations, but for certain remarks of his noble friend (the earl of Liverpool), which were such that he could not remain silent. The observation to which he particularly alluded was, that we could not expect Europe to subside into a state of peace without some further convulsions. It had been long his opinion, and it was known to be so, that the conduct of Congress had led to the events which we had now to regret; that system (if indeed that could be called a system, which was nothing but an undigested mass of mutilated materials) which the Powers at Vienna had established, had been in his judgment the true cause of the dethronement of the august family of Bour bon. The noble lord had said, that in framing the Treaty of Paris, care had been taken to consult the character and honour of France. In viewing this sub

lish, because it was an European question. He should cheerfully await the decision of the Powers who had deliberated on the common safety of Europe, and each particular state; and when Parliament was

as an English question. It was an Eng-ject, it was evident that there were two systems of policy that might be pursued. In the first place, that France should be required to withdraw within her ancient limits; if this principle were adopted, then it ought to be applied equally

to all the other governments of Europe: | had been done on the stipulations regardin the second place, if general changes ing the duchess of Parma and Placentia, and distributions of territory were re- and her son? What steps had been taken solved upon, that the same rule should to carry them into execution, or had they be applied to France that regulated other not been entirely neglected? The Powers powers. Had either of these lines of of Europe might, perhaps, deem thempolicy been pursued? No: no general selves secure; but under any circumstances system had been acted upon; the mere could it be held wise or prudent not to will and pleasure of the parties was con- keep up at least the semblance of justice sulted, and the Sovereigns at Vienna had with regard to those distinguished persons punished one Power because it first entered in whose fate France was so deeply inte into the contest with them, and another rested? Was it wise or prudent to afford because it had last quitted the cause such a powerful weapon to Buonaparté ? which it had espoused. The result had The noble earl had asserted, that the been, that instead of fixing a system of Treaty was made when Buonaparté was at permanent tranquillity and happiness, the the head of a large force; if so, all who labours of Congress had been devoted to still adhered to his cause must be consiestablish a system of gross injustice and dered, in some sort, parties to the engageabsolute discordance. The misfortunement; and what could be thought of the with regard to France was, that neither of combined wisdom of those who not only the two principles he had noticed had neglected the proper custody of the person been observed: she had been compelled, of the individual, but were so careless in with a very slight deviation, to retire the observation of the articles as to enable within her ancient frontiers; she had been him to return with a strong semblance of severely punished, while other Powers had justice on his side? He hoped that the been aggrandized to an immense extent, noble earl would, on an early day, fulfil and great accessions of territory and his promise of bringing down a full exstrength had been given to those who had, planation of all the circumstances of this from various causes, become objects of arrangement, and then the House would peculiar favour. This it was that had have an opportunity of more satisfactorily produced so strong a feeling in France investigating this point. In the mean time against the Bourbons; for the people he should express his sincere hope, that considered them merely as agents in the any dreadful consequences resulting from hands of foreign Powers, who had made a breach of this Treaty, on either side, them the instruments of degradation and might be averted, and that it might be injustice to the French nation. One of attended with the beneficial result of the chief advantages obtained by Buona- enabling Congress to review the arrange. parté, and of which he had made such ments they had made, and without any ample use in his declarations, was, that views of individual aggrandizement to act France had been degraded and lowered in upon the broad principle of general adthe eyes of all Europe, by means of those vantage. As his noble friend who spoke whom foreigners had placed upon her last had well observed, all private and throne. With respect to what the noble personal interests must be sacrificed to the earl had said upon the Treaty of Fontain general welfare; and it was in vain to hope bleau, he had no difficulty in admitting, for harmony and union among the Powers that there had been such a contravention of Europe until they consented to look at of its articles as would justify this country Europe as a whole, and to legislate for the in going to war: we had the right of com- happiness and tranquillity of that whole. mencing hostilities; but that was only half The noble marquis ardently hoped that our case, since before war was declared, the aggravated calamities of a new war it would be fit to know whether such a would be averted, and that the state of measure were prudent and politic. He peace which we had only contemplated was, however, by no means disposed to might be realised, for our own welfare, admit all that the noble'earl had stated and for the welfare of the rest of Europe; upon the subject of the Treaty of Fon- but if it were necessary to recommence tainbleau, especially that part in which he hostilities, if its policy were proved, he had argued that the terms had not been would say in conclusion, that no man in infringed, because the sum agreed to be the country would be found more ready paid had not yet become due. But even than himself to give every support to the for a moment allowing that assertion, what executive government, for the vigorous

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