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government of France should not revert to Buonapaté-having, however, so reverted, France and the Allied Powers stood in the same relative situation as that in which they were before the conclusion of the Treaty. He did not think that the hon. baronet had fairly and candidly interpreted the words of the noble lord, in imputing to them that they evinced a determination to deprive France of the government of Buonaparté, and impose on her the government of the Bourbons. For his own part, he positively and peremptorily denied that any such consideration weighed with him in support of the proposed Address. He had no right to consider, whether it was wise or unwise in France to prefer her present to her late Sovereign. It was for France herself to determine that point; and he would never vote in that House on the principle of imposing a specific government on any nation. It was true that this consideration was connected with that most material question-the question of peace or war; but that was not before the House-the Address did not pledge any opinion-the communication from the Prince Regent did not call for any advice on the subject; and he, for one, would not be rash enough prematurely to discuss it, and to give opinion and offer advice where neither was required. To him it appeared most wise that the country should be put in a state of sufficient preparation; and he was persuaded, that both then and at all times it was our sound policy to stand on such a footing with reference to the great Powers of Europe as might tend to the general security. There was one point in the noble lord's speech, in which, however, he perhaps misunderstood him-but in which, if he did not misunderstand him, he could not concur. He meant that part in which the noble lord appeared to intimate that Parliament should in no wise interfere with the responsible servants of the Crown, so as to offer to the Crown their opinion on any great public question, until ministers had taken their decision, and having communicated that decision to Parliament, required their opinion upon it. This statement of the noble lord did not quite satisfy him. For if he agreed to such a latitude of allowance, he should bind himself and the House to take no step, not even to require information, pending any undetermined situation of public affairs. But he had probably misunderstood the noble lord, and he should be very glad to find that it was so. As to what the result of

the existing circumstances might be, it was impossible at that moment to say any thing. He had formerly expressed a sincere hope that they might terminate in peace. He entertained the same sentiment that night. He was ready cheerfully to place power in the hands of the Executive Government, because he did not think they would use that power for the purpose of inducing the Continental States to do that which they were not disposed to do, or which they did not think it their natural interest to do; but that they would avail themselves of it to make ourselves strong for defensive operations, and for the preservation, in concert with our allies, of peace, if that were possible; and if that were not possible, to enable us to carry on war in the way best calculated to ensure a speedy and successful termination of it. He would, however, to the last moment cherish an ardent hope that peace might be continued. He was the more inclined to hope that his Majesty's ministers might be enabled to continue it, when he recollected that the noble lord himself had been engaged in the preparation of a treaty of peace with France, while France was under the government of Buonaparté. When the negociations at Chatillon took place, France was not under the government of the Bourbons; she was under the government of Buonaparté; and the noble lord and the Allied Powers were then of opinion that it was practicable to conclude a treaty with Buonaparté for the peace of Europe. He flattered himself, that as this had been once their opinion, it might prove to be so again. For although he admitted that much depended on the personal character of the individual at the head of a powerful nation, he was nevertheless persuaded that his Majesty's ministers and the Allies, by adopting a wise, moderate, and firm course of proceeding, might find present means of concluding and maintaining peace with France under the government of Buonaparté. With respect to the mode in which Buonaparté had regained his power, he would not give any opinion. But he thought we should deceive ourselves, were we to imagine that he had no support in France but that of the army. Although it was evident that the military were principally instrumental in restoring him to the throne, yet he conceived that had the whole of the population been against him, it would have been impossible for him to have made his way to Paris. He implored the House and his

Majesty's Government, therefore, not to deceive themselves on this point, and plunge the country into difficulties, extrication from which would perhaps be im possible. He must do the noble lord the justice to say, that he seemed to disclaim any attempt to induce the Powers of the Continent to act otherwise than as their natural interests appeared to dictate. What the steps were which would be taken by all parties in this momentous crisis, he knew not; but he should vote for the Address, because he thought the country ought to be put in a defensive state, and because that Address left the House quite unpledged as to its future conduct.

would have been given to France underBuonaparté. Of this fact he had not the means of judging; but if rumour was to be at all believed, the noble lord, at the period to which he alluded, was prepared to affix his name and seal to a treaty by which much more favourable terms would have been granted to this Buonaparte, who, whether by unanimous re-election, or by trampling on the independence of his subjects, was again on the throne of France, than were subsequently granted to Louis the 18th. He would refer also to the Declaration made by the Allies at Frankfort on the 1st of December 1813, in which they offered to Buonaparté an Mr. Whitbread observed, that if he could extent of territory never possessed by the take so narrow a view of the question as Bourbons. He would not, therefore, allow his right hon. friend who had just sat that the Treaty of Paris had been condown, or if he thought with the hon. travened, the Bourbons having had terms baronet who preceded him, that there was allowed them which would not have been any thing like ambiguity of sentiment in allowed to Buonaparté, unless the noble the speech of the noble lord (ambiguity of lord would produce a distinct statement expression was inseparable from the of what had been previously offered to speeches of the noble lord), he might be Buonaparté. He begged his right hon. content to vote for the Address. But, friend-he intreated the House-to conthinking that those who voted for the sider the drift of the noble lord's observaAddress, unamended, would lose their only tions. The noble lord had told them, opportunity of protesting against that that the alternative was only between imwhich, whatever might be the equivocal mediate war, and a state of precaution language of the noble lord, was his obvious which was to last only as long as might policy-seeing through the flimsy veil enable the Powers of Europe to pounce with which his Majesty's ministers at- on France-[lord Castlereagh said " No, tempted to cover their real objects-aware no!"] He was glad to hear the noble of the trap into which they were anxious lord deny this. Such was the ambiguity to betray the country-he could not let of the noble lord's phraseology, that it the occasion pass without availing himself was always difficult, and sometimes imof it to contend in the strongest manner possible to ascertain what he actually did against its being the interest of the country, mean to say: but he was happy to unon any of the grounds hypothetically stated derstand that he disavowed this most neby the noble lord, to begin a fresh crusade farious project. The noble lord had acfor the purpose of determining who should counted, in a very detailed manner, for fill the throne of France, after the expe- the departure of Buonaparté from Elba. rience which we had had of the last He had added a volume to the statement crusade of twenty years-terminated only we had already had on the subject. The by accident, and by the temporary mad- fact was, there had been no control over ness of the man who then filled, and who the person of Buonaparté. It was true now fills the throne of France. He that the noble lord had objected to the should maintain that it was the clear situation of Elba as one of extreme inconand unequivocal interest of this country, venience; but that objection had been and of the Allied Powers on the Conti- over-ruled; and at Elba, Buonaparté was nent to fulfil the treaty which they had destined to remain. With respect to the given to France, when France was under Treaty by which he had been so placed, the dominion of the Bourbons. The the noble lord had by no means satisfied noble lord having refused to lay the him that faith had been kept with BuonaTreaty of Chatillon on the table of the parté. In adverting to the stipulation for House, had nevertheless assumed in his the payment of a sum of money by the speech, that the peace given to France under French Crown to Buonaparté, the noble the Bourbons by the Treaty of Paris, lord had said that the year had not exwas on better terms than the peace which pired, and that Buonaparte had no right

certainly paid. He was at Vienna, associating with the cleverest princes in the

exactly where to place a spy, whether on this king or on that priest. Yet, in spite of this combined diplomatic wisdom, in spite of all the means and appliances possessed by the noble lord, Buonaparté landed in the Bay of St. Juan, and march

doubt, of the wise-acres of the Congress.
And yet, the noble lord declared that he
had authority for stating that the popula
tion of France were hostile to him! Away
with such authority! It was equivalent
to the noble lord's information.
noble lord knew every thing-after it had
taken place! Had he but known what he
did not know, he would have known all
about it.


to the money until that period. This was a pettifogging objection for a great nation to make, when they knew that the indivi-world-old diplomatists-men who knew dual to whom the money was to be paid was in great distress for want of it. But it had been also said by the noble lord, that France was no party to that Treaty. France no party to that Treaty! Were not the Bourbons on the throne of France in consequence of that Treaty? Did noted to Paris, to the great astonishment, no the high contracting parties engage that they would obtain the concurrence and guarantee of the Bourbons to the Treaty? And yet now the noble lord said that France had been no party to it! [Lord Castlereagh-" No, no!"] He appealed to the judgment of the House whether that was not the impression made by what the noble lord had said. So dangerous had the noble lord thought the non-performance of the Treaty on the part of France, that he had spoken to prince Talleyrand about it. The French Court, it seemed, were jealous on the subject. They were afraid that Buonaparté was enlisting too many men, and that he thought of attacking France by main force from Elba. Blind as beetles they observed only his outward demonstrations, and never thought that he was working with the subtlety of intellect. They conceived that to deprive him of money, would be to thwart his designs. At length the noble lord obtained this-not that his money should be sent to Buonaparté, but that a gentleman should be sent to him to observe his motions!

In the opinion of the noble lord, (an opinion expressed with the utmost confidence) Buonaparté owed his restoration to the throne of France-an event much more miraculous than his original elevation to it not to the population of France, but to the military. The fact was, that Buonaparté landed in France without a man to defend him, and that in his progress from the South to the North of France he was exposed daily and nightly, and every hour of every day and night, to the attacks of those who were inimical to his cause, if such existed; but that not a single hand of all that population which the noble lord stated he had good reason to know were friendly to the Bourbons, was raised against him as the invader of France, or as the destroyer of its lawful Sovereign. The noble lord, as a member of his Majesty's Government, was supposed to possess secret information of every kind for which at least the public

The question now came to this-Whether Buonaparté was emperor of France by the will of the people, or by the will of the soldiery, or by their combined will? If the last, which he verily believed, what was the chance of overturning a throne so established, and which, if not originally desired by the French people, Buonaparté would take care should exist so much for their benefit as to be assuredly continued by them? Let the House, in contrast, place that glorious decree for the abolition of the Slave Trade, with the volume presented by the noble lord of that negociation in which Louis le Désiré declared that he could not put an end to the Trade because the feelings of the French people were against it. Napoleon Buonaparté had done it by a stroke of his pen; and he had so done it, that if the Bourbons were restored, or if a Republic were to be established, or if any other change were to take place in the govern ment of France, the resurrection of the Slave Trade would be impossible in that country. Adverting to the Declaration of the Allies, which the noble lord had that evening adopted as an act of the executive government, he maintained that lords Cathcart, Clancarty and Stewart, and the duke of Wellington, deserved impeachment for putting their names to such an instrument. A right hon. gentleman had on a recent occasion contended, that this Declaration contained nothing which was not loyal, wise and honourable. The noble lord, more wisely, had abstained from touching on its character. surely, if words meant any thing, that Declaration went to designate an indivi


little regard that Declaration was entitled to, he had treated it in the way it deserved. By the information received within these few hours, it appeared that Buonaparté had published notes and a commentary on this Declaration, in which he declared that he would maintain the Treaty of Paris, although he thought that better terms than those in that Treaty ought to have been obtained for Francethat he would not stir out of his boundaries, or resort to hostilities, except the territory of France was invaded. Whether his conduct was dictated by hypocrisy or wisdom, it was certain that he had conciliated the people of France to his authority. The noble lord had not told the House a single syllable of the endeavours on the part of Government to find out whether the state of the public mind, or the present Government of France, was pacific towards this country or not. He wished to ask the noble lord, whether, in point of fact, his Majesty's cruisers had not already committed an act of aggression against France? Whether, without any express orders, but upon an understand

dual for assassination. Much might be said (and he trusted much would be said by some of his hon. and learned friends) of its inconsistency with the law of nations, as well as of its hostility to every principle of social order. It led directly to a war of extermination. He had heard that other Articles in the Treaty of Fontainbleau, besides what was alluded to by the noble lord, had been violated. And here he could not help expressing his regret, that one of the greatest names of which England could boast had been sullied, by setting his seal to such a deed as the Declaration of the Allies. All the brilliancy of his achievements, and all the splendour of his character, would not be sufficient to drag him out of the abyss of shame into which he had plunged himself, by setting his name to this Declaration. The duke of Wellington, and lords Cathcart, Clancarty, and Stewart, had thought proper to say, that the only title Buonaparté had to his existence was the Treaty of Fontainbleau. Did they mean to say, that Buonaparte's head was on the block? What could possibly be the meaning of the insane declaration, "that he was outing of what was expected of them in cerof the pale of civil and social relations, and that as an enemy and disturber of the tranquillity of the world, he had rendered himself liable to public vengeance?" How would the casuistry of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with his Christian feeling, be able to explain this? He would defy him to say that such a declaration meant any thing more than this, that any man who met him might stab him [No, no! from the Ministerial side of the House]. He did not regard the exclamations of gentlemen opposite. He appealed to the words themselves. Without again recurring to the names of the other persons, he would say that he most sincerely lament-derstanding given to the master of one ed, that that distinguished individual, who was said to be appointed to the command of an army of 250,000 men for the purpose of driving Buonaparté from the throne of France, and who had already driven him from the Peninsula, should now think it proper to call in the hand of an assassin to do what he could not do at the head of the confederated troops. Why, war was declared against France in that Declaration. True, however, Napoleon seemed to be conducting himself with more wisdom than those precipitate diplomatists at Vienna, and with more consummate skill than his former confidential friend, prince Talleyrand. Knowing how

tain circumstances, they had not committed such an act of aggression? And here he could not help saying, that he considered the Government dealt hardly and unfairly with the officers of the navy. They did not give any positive orders to them, but an ambiguous something which they were to do. They thus threw the performance or non-performance of the duty on the discretion of the officers, and consequently threw the responsibility on them, and took the merit of success to themselves, What could be more ambiguous, for instance, than the order said to be given in the Mediterranean? There was an un

miserable vessel, to this effect-if you think Buonaparté is intending any mischief, you may stop him, but not otherwise. Why, the Elbese flag was more common in the Mediterranean than the flag of almost any other nation. What sort of an understanding was this? Good God! this officer had need to have had a better understanding than those who sent him such a communication [a laugh]. And all this was for want of a combined understanding in the Cabinet. If, as had been contended, the troops of Buonaparté were anxious for war, and that in order to gratify them he would be under the ne cessity of making it, here he was supplied

with a pretence at once-for bringing in merchant vessels, was nothing less than a declaration of war.

He should be glad to know the description of war in which we were likely to be engaged. There was one, which, if he could draw any conclusion from what fell from the noble lord, was a war of aggression against Buonaparté for the sake of replacing the Bourbons on the throne. He did not wish to say a single word at present against the Bourbons; they were under misfortune, and had a greater claim than ever on the protection of this country. His mouth would be sealed in silence on account of that misfortune, which was now, he believed, irretrievable; and if not irretrievable, would certainly be so by the steps which the noble lord was proposing to take for restoring them to the throne. He had no hesitation in saying, that a war of aggression against France ought to be resisted by this country. If Louis the 18th had been attacked, this would have been a signal for war. But things had so instantaneously changed. It was not five weeks ago, since he had in that House talked of Buonaparte's being wished for by some part of the people of this country; and he was convinced that some persons were actually clamorous for war, because they considered it would serve their interests. It was not long ago that the noble lord had told them that they ought to consider that France was always France, and that they ought to lay their account with the existence of ambition under the present as well as under former governments. One of the most witty and eloquent men that ever sat in that House (Mr. Sheridan) had said, that one half of our national debt had been contracted in endeavouring to suppress the power of the Bourbons, and the other half in endeavouring to restore them to power. We ought to recollect that the Bourbons had not always been the friends of this country, but on the contrary, almost always our most inveterate enemies. He did think that before the late great event, we might have done with an establishment consider. ably less than what had been announced -an establishment of 19 millions! The Netherlands were to be strengthened for the sake of protecting the flank on that side of France, according to the noble lord. The powers of Austria and Prussia were considered as every thing, and all the other States were to be hashed up, as it were, in one cauldron, and dealt out in

such a way as should be most conducive to the strengthening these two powers, and the strengthening the flanks on the different sides of France. For this purpose we were to keep a large army on the Continent. We were to reconstruct all the dilapidated fortresses of Belgium. If we put ourselves into an attitude of precaution, we ought to take into consideration what additional precautions we take now, to those we should have taken had the Bourbons continued on the throne of France. It would seem from the language of the noble lord, that he considered it a good reason for going to war at present, because Buonaparté was weak and we were strong. He appealed to the House if he did not tell them of his weakness, and of the salutary effect which timely aggression might have-that the question of war was a matter of expediency, and not of morality-that having violated the Treaty, they were justified in going to war, and if a timely blow could be struck, it might be proper to consider how far such a measure might be considered expedient. And all the difficulty that he (Mr. W.) felt on this occasion was, that they would receive no information from the noble lord, before that in which he condescended to tell them the blow was already struck. Such was the paralysis which the Congress of Vienna had given rise to, that they would find there never would be a time when the different Sovereigns were so little disengaged from the care of keeping their subjects in order as to be at liberty to go to war. The noble lord had said that the Allies were entitled to go the whole length in disposing of Saxony; but that the measure would have been so disgusting to the people of Germany, that that country was only partially divided. Did the noble lord think that Saxony on the present occasion would be any advantage to the public weal? Did he think that the Saxons would enter cordially into any war at present, and that they would not rather take the first moment of Prussia's weakness to emancipate themselves? Did he think that Venice would be a source of strength? He had talked of the vested rights of Austria in Venice, forgetting the rights of the people; and that Austria had no other right to that state, than the having received a transfer of it from the hands of a robber who had no right, and who could not make the rights of any other power better than his own. Such was the situation of Venice, and such was the morality

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