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country. The faith of Russia and Prussia
was pledged already, and Napoleon had
been induced to take steps in conse-
quence. The result of a breach of this faith
would have been a complete dissolution
of the alliance, by occasioning an appear-
ance of breaking faith with the whole
army of France: their honour had been
committed for a retreat for Buonaparté,
and his soldiers had come over only con-
ditionally to such retreat; they would
have again taken part with him, if this
violation of honour had taken place.
By breaking the Treaty, we should have
armed the whole country against us: and
what would have been the language of
those noble lords, who were so fond of
peace, if in consequence of lord Castle-
reagh's violating this Treaty, war had
again broken out? It was essentially ne-
cessary to assent to the Treaty, or to have
nothing to do with it. On what prin-
ciple could we have withheld our opinion
of part of it, and reserved the right to
discuss it, when Buonaparté, in conse-
quence of our consent, had abdicated and
retired to Elba? As to the question, whe-
ther the money had been paid him, it was
not at present before the House: we were
not accountable for it: we formed no
party to that agreement, which was be-
tween Buonaparté and the Sovereigns of
Austria, Russia, and Prussia, and the Pro-
visional Government. Their not having
paid the money was no infraction of the
agreement as to them, unless they had
been applied to and refused to give effect
to the Treaty. The sovereignty of Elba
being once given to Buonaparte, he was ·
invested with all powers of empire. Such
an agreement might have been wrong;
but being made, it must be abided by.
As to the number of frigates stationed for
the purpose of preventing his escape, he
had a brig which he had a right to take
to any port whatever; and in point of
fact it had before been to some French
ports, and had returned. Unless intelli-
gence were given that Buonaparte was
aboard the vessel, it was impossible to
prevent this. With respect to any prepa-

much greater), were there not consider-rations which he was making in Elba himself, from the very nature of his expedition, little or no preparation for it was necessary: they began on the very day; three merchantmen, were accidentally there, and he seized on them; and no preparations for this measure could be foreseen by any body, for none were made, As to a conspiracy between him and the

able armies in other parts of the country? Though the capture of Paris was a great advantage to the Allies, it was also a considerable embarrassment to them; for if they had made a false step, they had no fortresses to retreat to, and would have been put to the inconvenience of a long march through an open and an hostile

although the arrangement of Fontainbleau had been concluded on grounds avowedly unsatisfactory to the British minister, no provisional precautions on the subject of the residence of Buonaparté on Elba had been adopted; and that during the discussions of Congress, while the ministers all the nations of Europe amused themselves with contemplating a variety of visionary dangers, for the purpose of effecting changes in the ancient habits of the people, such, for instance, as the case of Genoa ceded to the King of Sardinia; yet no measures had been contemplated, and much less taken, against the more certain, proximate, and fearful danger of the escape of Buonaparté from Elba. On these grounds he should support the Address of his noble friend.

Earl Bathurst said, that if this debate had taken place this day last year, and if the noble lords opposite had then so delivered themselves, and had told the House all the dangers of the arrangement in question, and had pointed it out as one which the circumstances of the case did not justify, founded as they state it to have been in acts of gross injustice, then might they have obtained some credit for foresight. As it was, he was at a loss to conceive how they justified their conduct, thinking the Treaty bottomed in some injustice, in remaining silent either at the time they were apprised of it, or when their attention was called to it by taking into consideration the Treaty of Paris, which necessarily referred to this Treaty of Fontainbleau. They then contemplated it with perfect silence, and gave their unanimous vote of assent to it. Although the noble marquis who made the present motion had been reproached with this before, yet he had not a single word to say against it in his reply. The fact was, that if any arrangement had been made as to what should be done with the person of Buonaparté, it would have been useless, for his person was not in our power. Though he might have had but 20,000 men at that time (but the noble earl was inclined to think the number

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interior of France, where could information of that be obtained? In the island of Elba, where he possessed the whole power, or in France? No blame attached to his Majesty's Government on any of these grounds. The noble earl then alluded to , a subject, on which, he said, he was almost ashamed to trouble the House-the information which a Mr. Playfair had stated he was able to communicate to government of the plan of Buonaparté. When Mr. Playfair was asked whether the person from whom he received his information, was a friend to Buonaparté or the Bourbons-how he became acquainted with him-what had induced him to make the commcnication-where he could be seen to all these questions no answer could be returned. He had assured Mr. Playfair, that if he was able to substantiate his statement by proof, he should be rewarded. Mr. Playfair knew where to find him if he had any such proofs; and if he did not bring them forward, no blame could attach to any other person. At his solicitation, the French ambassador gave him a passport, and a letter of introduction to M. de Blacas; but he never heard of Mr. Playfair after; and when Mr. Play fair was asked why he did not avail himself of the passport and the letter, the reason he gave was, that the letter was sealed. The noble earl concluded by declaring, that he saw no reason whatever for acceding to the motion.


Lord Grenville said, that the noble earl opposite had asked, what would have been the feelings of England and of Europe, if, by a different line of conduct from that which was adopted towards Buonaparté, they had exposed Europe to a renewal of the same dangers, and to the necessity of a renewal of the same efforts? They were now exposed to the same dangers-they were now renew. ing the same efforts, and it was of the noble earl that England and Europe had now to ask how it had happened, that after such a sacrifice of treasure as was weighing down this country-after so much valuable blood had been poured out like water-after all the favours of fortune heaped on a just cause-after all the success that the most sanguine supporters of the cause, in their most sanguine moments, could not have expected, which had blessed the arms of justice-that all these sacrifices, all these efforts, and all that success were rendered vain, and that we were now exposed to a recurrence of all

those dangers which we hoped were at an end, and placed in that very situation in which the noble earl triumphantly asked, what would have been the feelings of England and of Europe, had they placed us in the situation we were in previous to the conclusion of peace? God forbid that they should omit the first duty which was imposed on them, the duty of providing every means to look the danger in the face-and like men who, though disappointed in their hopes, and exposed to a recurrence of all those evils from which they had every reason to believe they were freed, were yet determined not to be wanting to themselves, to Europe, and to posterity. But having strengthened the arms of Government, even in the hands by whom it was at present conducted-having done every thing which their situation required-having recommended the adoption of measures of vigour, and of union and concert with our Allies,-did not England and Europe now require of them, that they should cast their eyes on the event which had reduced them to that situation, that they should endeavour to trace the causes of the past calamity, for the sake of providing against its recurrence in future? Convinced he was, that all those sacrifices which we might be still called on to make, might have been prevented by the exercise of common foresight and precaution. Those to whom the public interests were entrusted, had not bestowed the smallest particle of caution with respect to the very circumstance which most of all others required it. After the reverses of Buonaparté in Russia, when the contest was brought finally home to the country which had for 20 years deluged all Europe with blood, the success of the Allies was every where confidently anticipated. There were two modes of proceeding open to the Allies, in looking to the security of Europe. One of these modes was, in taking that security from the then existing Government of France, by obtaining from it favourable terms of peace. The other mode of security was, to re-establish the regal Government in France, and to grant France more favourable conditions of peace than would have been conceded under other circumstances. He had no doubt in his own mind which of these two modes was the best; but it was unnecessary now to enlarge on that subject: both modes were tried; the first failed, and in consequence of that failure the second was

resorted to. It was a little unreasonable in his noble friend who spoke last, to object that those persons with whom he acted had complained that the proposed Treaty of Chatillon was not concluded, because to those friends, and to himself in particular, the terms of the Treaty of Chatillon, were altogether unknown. That Treaty had always been hitherto withheld,-for what reason he did not know, but such was the fact; and how far therefore it would have been proper or improper to have made peace on the terms of the Treaty of Chatillon, was not known to them. But if what he had heard rumoured was correct, so far from making any complaint that peace was not made on those termsif such a peace had been made as that which had reached him on rumour, he for one should have given his most decided opposition to it on those conditions. He did not say this now for the first time, for that determination was known to many persons at that time. So much for the Treaty of Chatillon. But on those terms the peace was not concluded; and the allied Sovereigns determined and declared that security could be no longer obtained in that course, but only by such a change in the government of France as should enable them to treat with France for peace with any hope of safety; and that they would therefore make peace on grounds more advantageous to France than they could grant under other circumstances. Of the propriety of this declaration he entertained no doubt; but of the propriety or impropriety of it he needed not at present to say any thing. They determined to look to such a security as the success of their arms entitled them to expect. In plain terms they declared, that the removal of the Individual who then held the government of France, was an object which they had to accomplish before any hope of peace could be entertained. From that time, on what, he would ask, hinged the negociation-on what hinged the war-what was the object to be gained by negociation? It was the security resulting from the exclusion of Buonaparte from the throne of France; and unless they obtained that security, they failed in the whole object of their exertions. To prove to their lordships that that security could not have been obtained by the course which was adopted, would at this day not be a waste of words only. Eleven months had not elapsed before the same apprehensions were entertained from

the same individual in the same situation, who had assumed the same power, and God grant that he might not exert the same means, which so long had been the scourge and terror of Europe! Nothing but extreme necessity could have induced the Allies to come to the determination of declaring his exclusion from the throne of France indispensable to the security of Europe. When it was argued by the noble lords, as if it was a matter of comparative advantage, and that, perhaps, something more might have been obtained by the adoption of measures which would necessarily have been accompanied by a certain degree of hazard, he would say that this was a most unfair view of the case. The fact was, that they had obtained nothing of that which they had made the whole hinge of their conduct. The noble earl seemed willing to persuade their lordships, that Buonaparté at Fontainbleau had power to inspire them with the same degree of terror as when he was at the head of his triumphant armies: he had almost told them that he was enabled to dictate peace to the Allies, and not they to dictate peace to him, and that they had, therefore, by the Treaty of Fontainbleau consented to relinquish that which they themselves professed to be the hinge of security-his expulsion from the throne of France. With what grace did it come from an Englishman, that Soult and Suchet were formidable in the South, when they were in presence of a Chief who had so often fought and conquered them, and who, in fact, after that transaction did defeat that very army now described as so formidable? These were very different sentiments from those which ought to have inspired an Englishman at that time; when firmness of mind and character were so much required. With respect to the French army of Italy, was it not kept in check by the army which was opposed to it? Could that army by any possibility have marched to the assistance of Buonaparté at Fontainbleau ? And with respect to the garrisons in Dantzic, on the Rhine, or the Elbe, were their lordships to be told that that which was a source of weakness, they having garrisons at such a distance that they could not be available in the centre of the country, was a circumstance in his favour? The argument reduced itself to this, that with his army in the south of France, where we had a veteran army which had so often been found invincible; with the

force in Italy, which was completely of returning again to France, and reoccupied; with an army, he would not assuming that government whenever he contend whether of 20,000 or 30,000 pleased. He conceived that he was not men, but which had been repeatedly only excluded from the throne, but fetbroken and defeated, and what was still tered and deprived of his liberty. That more than all these defeats, harassed by the words of the Treaty would bear that repeated marches for the sake of defend- interpretation, or any other interpretation ing Paris; that Buonaparté at the head of which any man might choose to put upon twenty or thirty thousand men would be them, he was ready to admit. He had able to face the Allies at the head of given the framers of this Treaty far more 160,000 men, and with all Europe to sup- than they were entitled to-he had placed port that cause for which they were fight- all the ambiguity, absurdity, and inac ing. The noble lord would have them curacy with which it abounded, to a wish believe that it was just, wise, and neces- entertained on their part to manage the sary, rather than encounter the hazard of feelings of the individual, and of those meeting Buonaparté on such terms, to who were connected with him and he leave him completely at liberty at any had supposed that there were some secret moment he might think fit to re-assume engagements for the purpose of making it that government, the exclusion from which effectual, which were purposely not was declared to be the only hope of secu- brought before the public. But the whole rity to Europe. The noble lord had bulwark and security of Europe was asked in a triumphant manner, why objec- utterly unprovided for in this Treaty. After tions were not made on this side of the the noble earl had contended that the House to the Treaty of Fontainbleau, and Treaty of Fontainbleau was wise and nein particular to the cession of the sove-cessary, he told them that our pleniporeignty of Elba. Why were those objec-tentiary hastened, on hearing of it, to tions not made? In what country, in what Paris, to protest against it. After all the House, to what persons were these ques- vain boasting which they had heard, of the tions addressed? And was there a man success of Europe being principally due who heard him, be he who he would, who to the councils and efforts of Great Britain, could lay his hand on his heart, and say it now came out, that when the decisive he approved of the Treaty, or the terms step was taken which was to purchase the which were granted to Buonaparté in that security of Europe, there was either no Treaty? Was it possible that the noble British minister to take a part with Russia lord and his colleagues were so surrounded or Prussia, or if present, that the influence by flatterers, so insensible to the voice of of Great Britain was so small as to be unthe country, so destitute of friends to able to prevent the precipitate adoption speak to them in the language of sincerity, of an arrangement so injurious to this that they did not know that that Treaty country, that the Secretary of State, rewas acquiesced in, merely because the paired to Paris and endeavoured to preterms of it were not known, but it was vent it from being carried into execution. too late for them to be changed; and that Highly as he respected the persons of the it met with the disapprobation of every Sovereigns and the Governments of the individual of the countries of the nego- Allies, desirous as he was of acting in ciators? The noble lord, in order to cover union and concert with them, and contheir negligence and want of subsequent vinced as he was that by such union and precaution, had described the Treaty as concert alone Europe could yet be saved, far more favourable to Buonaparté than he would not allow that England ought to was ever before understood in this coun- have held a subordinate station on such try, or in any other country of Europe, or an occasion, and that a step of such magby the individual himself who was prin- nitude should have been taken, not only cipally concerned. Because, as to the without the approbation, but without even whole of the blazoned independence and the knowledge of her agents. The noble freedom of sovereignty, that individual earl, who was not consistent in any of his told them that the breach of the Treaty arguments, had told them that we had no of Fontainbleau had restored him to his right to interfere with Buonaparté in Elba, throne and to liberty-to liberty, because as he was a sovereign prince; but at the he did not conceive that by banishing same time he had told them that there was him to the island of Elba, it was the inten- an understanding with one of our officers tion of the Allies to leave to him the choice to intercept his return. How could he re

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concile this? Was it true that there was such an understanding entertained by any admiral? And, if true, where was the security? It could only consist in this, that except Buonaparté sent word to the admiral that he was going to France, or that he was going to violate the Treaty, the officer was placed in a situation by which he was obliged to take upon himself the responsibility of either running the risk of plunging the country into war or bringing France into the situation in which she was at present placed. The noble lord, after a number of other observations on this subject, concluded with observing, that by allowing the brig of Buonaparté to sail between Elba and France, a way was paved for the return of that individual to France, and the change of the whole state of Europe. Nothing could be a stronger proof of the culpable negligence displayed on this occasion-and this incredible event would hereafter appear a fable rather than history; because no person who had not heard the noble earl speak, would ever believe that any men, charged with a duty of such importance at such a conjuncture, would abandon the task reposed in them in a manner so reprehensible.

Viscount Melville said, that it was very easy for noble lords to argue in that House what course of conduct might have been more advantageously pursued; but when it was remembered that the Allied Sovereigns, who were on the spot, flushed with victory, and able to judge of all the circumstances, felt that there were difficulties which ought to induce, and which in fact did induce them to conclude the arrangements in question, it surely was not too much to set their opinions against those of the noble lords. He understood that it was unanimously assented to, that some such arrangement as was ultimately determined on was absolutely necessary. With regard to the actual residence of Buonaparté in Elba, it had been shown by his noble friend, that he was understood to possess all the rights of sovereignty there; and what rights could appertain to that sovereignty, if those of personal liberty were denied? The noble lords opposite had argued as if Buonaparté were actually a prisoner, instead of a sovereign possessing certain consequent immunities and privileges. A great deal bad been said about the instructions which should have been issued to our admiral commanding in the Mediterranean; but of all those noble lords who delivered their opinion (VOL. XXX. )

on that subject, not one of them had ventured to intimate what sort of instructions should have been given. In fact the greatest difficulty would have attended any attempt to define all the possible cases in which it would have been justifiable to have interfered, upon the principle that they were contraventions of the Treaty of Fontainbleau. Admiral Hallowell, indeed, had declared his determination to intercept Buonaparté, if he had found him quitting the island of Elba with any hostile intent; and the same determination must have occurred to any admiral commanding on that station, who had read the Treaty of Fontainbleau.

The Marquis of Buckingham said, that if the circumstances of the present times could excite any feelings but those of the strongest indignation, it must be those of pity and compassion for the miserable case which ministers had been able to make out. The noble earl opposite had ironically congratulated the noble marquis, who originated the present motion, upon his present wisdom. He would to God he could return the compliment in sincerity, and applaud the wisdom of the noble earl and his colleagues. But it was their late wisdom which he threw in their teeth; it was their extraordinary blindness which he animadverted upon, and which had exposed them to the indignation of their country. The Treaty upon which they so lately prided themselves, they now told the House was incompatible with the se curity of the objects it professed to maintain; they now avowed without hesitation, that in sending Buonaparte to Elba, he was sent to a place from which it was impossible to prevent his escape. If so, why was he sent there at all? In censuring that arrangement they were not trying the conduct of the Allies of Great Britain; it was the Government of Great Britain they were arraigning. Why did a minister of this country suffer such a treaty to be entered upon without his concurrence? What was the professed object of that Treaty? To secure the peace and tranquillity of Europe. Had they obtained those objects? Were the peace and tranquillity of Europe secured? If they were not, with what face could his Majesty's Ministers come to that House, and boast of their acceding to that very part of the Treaty which had alone prevented the accomplishment of those ends? The flattering delusion had already passed (2 P)

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