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maquoddy were to be the subject of no discretion at all, and they were referred to the arbitration of the emperor of Russia. Above all, it contained not one word respecting the original causes of the war, or the maritime rights in contention between the two countries. He knew that by some this omission had been called an effort of extraordinary wisdom; and it was thought much wiser to leave those rights upon the general principles of public law. The American commissioners had offered us a peace which should include the pacification of the Indies, and proposed to open an amicable negociation for the purpose of forming such an arrangement as should protect us from the miseries of an American war, in the event of a renewal of our war with other Powers. The time that should have been spent in discussing these important rights, had been squandered in bandying about imputations of a desire of personal aggrandisement. The question, because it was intricate, was not insoluble, or incapable of adjustment, or to be fled from. It seemed to be the principle of the ministers of this day, that because questions required great application, and zeal, and vigour, and diligence, they were to be shrunk from. To leave such a question as this to the decision of public law, was to leave it to the appeal of the sword.

were above the rule of precedent, and he wished to keep it so: it had so peculiar a character, that no established rule could be applied to it; for where, he would ask,` was the treaty ever before seen which contained no article whatever upon the point which had been first insisted on, and which was so ell put in the Prince Regent's first declaration of the grounds of war?-a state paper which he felt happy to compliment for ability and justice-The Treaty contained nothing of the points then insisted upon, nor did it even refer to the original causes of war. If the ques tion of precedent were argued on the other side, he was prepared with very excellent precedents for his motion for granting papers after the conclusion of a treaty of peace, of which the circumstances were as nearly similar to the present as possible. There was one more ground on which the present motion would be irresistible. Although there might be many cases, in which, after the conclusion of peace, the particulars of the negociation had better be concealed under the mysterious veil of diplomacy, yet much of the correspondence on this Treaty had already been before America, and had there the effect of healing divisions among the provinces, of actually changing the character of the Government from com

If there were no other reason for the pre-mercial to military, and of disposing the nation to make the greatest exertions for the purpose of raising a tremendous navy. It was, therefore, important for us to show to the American Government the mode ration of our views and the justice of our intentions towards her, and that our object was to rest our connexion upon the foundation of reciprocal confidence. The noble marquis concluded by moving, it" That an humble Address be presented to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, praying that he will be graciously pleased to give directions, that there be laid before the House, Copies or Extracts of the Correspondence which took place between his Majesty's Plenipotentiaries and the Plenipotentiaries of the United States of America, relative to the late Negociations for Peace."

sent motion, he trusted their lordships would support it, in order to have this question set at rest. He had never heard that America disputed his Majesty's maritime rights ["Yes," from the Ministry.] He understood that she only asserted the extreme difficulty of applying them to the relative situation of their ships and rights. If they did dispute the right in question, did ministers hope by leaving untouched to prevent war? There was no question but in that case we should very soon be at war about it. It was, therefore, that he thought the treaty defective: whatever of substance it contained might have been arranged in less time, and there had been time enough to put these important subjects into some shape.

The noble marquis only required the House to say whether he had not laid before their lordships sufficient grounds to warrant them in desiring to have the papers produced, to enable them to exercise their own judgment on the case, and give such counsel to the Prince Regent as should seem to them best founded in justice and policy. He had argued this case as if it

Earl Bathurst said, that the noble marquis had stated that there was a precedent for the motion which he had just submitted to the House; but until he had informed the House what that precedent was, it would be impossible for their lordships to decide whether it bore upon the present case or not. From the present

view which he entertained of the noble | calamities which could befall us? He marquis's motion, he considered it one of agreed it was a great calamity, and for a most extraordinary nature indeed. If that reason he lamented the necessity of he understood any thing of the practice entering into the present discussion, as he that had hitherto been adopted by nations should be sorry that future misunderat the conclusion of a negociation for standing should take place. The noble peace, he believed it had been inva- marquis had stated, that it was the bounden riably understood, that the correspon- duty of ministers to embrace the earliest dence which had taken place during that opportunity of putting an honourable ternegociation, should not subsequently be mination to the American war; and had made a matter of public discussion. It adverted to the armistice at the comwas well known that the practice of pub- mencement of it. He could not collect lishing public correspondence with foreign whether he objected to that armistice. It powers, which did exist, created great and would be remembered, that the American grievous difficulties. In negociations for declaration of war arrived here soon after peace it would be productive of this in- the repeal of our Orders in Council; and jury, that ministers would not be as open this arrival happening before the news of and frank as they could wish to be, from such repeal could reach America, our an apprehension that what they said would Government expressed their readiness to be afterwards published. All negocia consent to an armistice, thinking that the tions, indeed, with foreign powers should repeal, when known, would alter the disbe conducted with the greatest delicacy. position of America. With this view, our But in what condition would be the fo- Government gave directions to the adreign minister who should be liable to mirals on the American station, that if have his correspondence published? From the American Government should show the moment of his making a demand he any disposition to consent to the armiscould not recede from it; for it would tice, they should declare that such was afterwards become matter of publicity our disposition. They declared their that he had so made it. It was well willingness to such consent, and conveyed known that pride was the great obstacle it to the Admiral on the coast, but only to all peace-making; and if ever a mi- gave it on condition that we should susnister were to wave a point of pride, it pend our practice of searching their ships would become matter of publicity that he for English seamen, and leave that to be had done so, whatever good reasons he settled by after-negociation. They would might have for so doing. This was not come to no agreement with us, unless we the only objection to the publication of either made a declaration of our abandonsuch correspondence; it would tend to ing this right, or consented to a suspension revive that animosity which it was the of the practice for a specific time. To very object of peace to bury in oblivion. either of these we objected, and war was the consequence. It was next proposed to us to negociate this right through the medium of the Emperor of Russia; but we objected to the interference of any foreign power on this subject; not from any distrust of the Emperor of Russia, but from an impression, that where our maritime rights were in question, it was not proper to consent to the interference of any foreign power whatever. But at the very time when we communicated to the American Government that this proposed me. diation was not accepted by us, we accompanied that communication with a declaration that we were ready to treat directly with them.

The noble earl said, he was almost afraid to enter into the discussion of the many points of the noble marquis's speech; for such discussion would require him to solve many questions which he should heartily wish not to touch. He had not that command of language which would be desirable in such a case; and if any expression he might make use of should tend to irritate, he entreated that it might not be considered as coming from any thing like a disposition to look back to past animosities. He knew that there had been a good deal of rancour in the feelings both of America and England; and that even after the negociation of peace, such feelings might be alive to every irritation. He should not enter into the question which had been raised by the noble marquis, whether war with the United States was not one of the greatest

The noble marquis had no objection to the mediation of the Emperor of Russia, since he could have no desire upon the subject one way or the other, and thought the American instructions couched in such

Americans looked to the conquest of Canada, and their Government imbibed the same notion. This instruction was only an extract, and had reference to another part of the dispatch which it was not quite convenient, perhaps, to the American Government to publish. [He had fallen into the common habit of speaking of the maritime rights of Great Britain, as if they possessed any exclusively; they possessed none which they were not ready to grant to others.] The sentiments of the American Government still continued the same; they still required a definition of blockade, insisted upon their other neutral rights, upon indemnity, and added, "against spoliation." In February they issued another instruction; in which they stated, that if the commissioners were not able to make a satisfactory arrangement of their neutral rights, they might enter into a provision, that whatever should be afterwards advanced to neutrals should be extended to them. In January, news of the battle of Leipsic and that the French had been driven across the Rhine, reached America; and she therefore contemplated the probability of peace between this country and France.

moderate language that they might have been followed by a successful negociation. He would state what those instructions were this was the more necessary, because the instructions to the commissioners at Ghent referred to them, and could not be understood without them. They first demanded that the flag should protect the crew-in other words, that we should not have the right of searching for British seamen; and required us either to declare we had abandoned this right, or to suspend the practice for a given period: unless one of these two measures were adopted, they would come to no conclusion. They next demanded a definition of the right of blockade. Thirdly, some complete arrangement as to their right of carrying on trade with the colonies of a parent belligerent state during war, although in time of peace they had been excluded from such trade; in other words, what they called the rule of trade in 1756. They next demanded their right, as neutrals, to trade with the ports of belligerents-in other words, to the coasting trade; and lastly, they asked for indemnity for losses-among others, that we should pay them for all vessels condemned under our Orders in Council, calling upon us thereby to acknowledge our injustice in the most disgraceful shape of a fine. This was in April, and in June following another instruction was added. Having before instructed their commisisoners to make all these demands, they concluded, that if the first should be con-apprehensive that the American commisceded, they needed not to insist upon the sioners would be then obliged to act under other-a most unheard-of measure, to make instructions given when affairs were in a any demand which was not intended to very different aspect. They therefore be abided by as an ultimatum! This fur- thought it advisable to wait until the alther instruction said, that notwithstanding tered situation of affairs was known in the repeal of our Orders in Council, it America, and until instructions could arwas essentially necessary that the defini-rive which would promise a more favourtion of blockade should still be required; able result to the negociation. He was and proposed, that the controversy should convinced, that if the negociation had be settled in the same manner as the commenced two months sooner, we should question respecting the searching for sea- have met the American ministers instruct

His Majesty's ministers had been charged with not being very anxious about commencing the negociation after the Peace of Paris. The reason that influenced his Majesty's ministers in not being over-anxious at that time to enter on the negociation, was, that they were


It also added, that should the re-ed to insist upon points, which from the storation of territory be agreed upon, it commencement we had declared that we was important that the boundaries of that never could accede to. In fact, a fresh territory should be more accurately de- instruction was given from the American fined. The construction of this passage Government to their commissioners; and plainly contemplated that the Treaty this instruction, which was sent in the might be settled without any restoration month of June, did not arrive till two days of territory. It could not mean that any after the negociation had begun. He territory was to be ceded to us; it was thought that the delay could not, therestated that they had never any instruction fore, be considered an improvident one; to do so; and they were then preparing and that ministers must stand completely a great army to invade our territory: the justified on the different charges that had

been brought against them. He felt persuaded, that the House would consider them fully justified; first, in not agreeing to an armistice, that was to be coupled with the condition of practically suspending our maritime rights during its tinuance secondly, that they were right in not accepting the mediation of Russia, especially when this refusal was coupled with an offer of negociating directly with the American Government for the restoration of peace; and, lastly, that they were right in not commencing the nego ciation, until there was time for the American commissioners to receive fresh in structions.

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

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

He should now call to the recollection of their lordships, the conduct of the American Government in publishing a

There was another part of the noble lord's speech which he found it necessary to touch upon, in order to vindicate the honour of the British arms, which he thought had been injured by some of his lordship's observations. He would contend that the capture of Washington had been attended with important advantages in the course of the war. It was that event, and the continued operations on the Chesapeake, that broke all their national and private banks, and which was the commencement of those financial difficulties under which the American Government found itself so much embarrassed. He must now state what the conduct of the British army was upon that occasion. After a successful battle, they marched upon Washington. All the public authorities had left it, and he believed there never was an example of any capital having been given up in that manner, without any sort of capitulation. At the very moment when general Ross was using his utmost endeavours to enforce the most exact discipline, and to preserve the lives and properties of the inhabitants, an attempt was made to assassinate him. A shot was fired at him from a house, which killed his horse. By the laws of war, after such an act as this, the lives and properties of all the people of Wash ington were forfeited. The troops immediately proceeded to destroy the house from which the shot was fired, but the voice of their general was soon heard, calling on them to spare the lives and


properties of the inhabitants. He believed that whatever destruction of private property, or whatever pillage might have afterwards taken place, was done, not by the British troops, but by the Americans. Very shortly after, the principal inhabitants of Washington publicly acknowJedged the good discipline which general Ross had preserved among his troops at Washington. He thought this statement due to the memory of that gallant officer. The noble earl concluded by saying, that he should give the motion of the noble marquis his direct negative.

Earl Stanhope supported the motion. He begged leave to remind their lordships, that before the breaking out of the late unfortunate war, he had submitted to them a motion for the purpose of declaring a reciprocity of rights among all maritime nations. His motion then met with no support. He was, however, happy now to find, that the noble earl had expressly declared, that this country had no other maritime rights than what belonged equally to all other nations. He then read a part of the statute of queen Anne, which declared all foreign sailors that had served for two years, either in our ships of war or our merchantmen, to be entitled to all the benefits of British subjects. This was stronger than any thing that had ever been done by Ame. rica in this way. As the arrangements for preserving the peace with America must be principally made in future by Acts of Parliament, he thought the fullest information necessary. The House then divided: Ayes 30; Noes 83.-Majority against the motion 53.

List of the Minority.


Sussex Gloucester


Derby Essex Stanhope Ilchester

Mr. Addington contended that the production of the papers was unnecessary, and unauthorized by the custom of parliament. Had there been any impropriety in the conduct of the ministers who advised the Prince Regent to extend his mercy to the persons concerned, it would have been a good ground for parliamentary inquiry; but none had been imputed to them in the present instance. The only reason he could discover for the motion was, that a pamphlet had been




The Marquisses of Wellesley and Lans- lately published, reflecting with some se

downe were shut out from the division.


verity on the African Company, and misstating the case of those three men. He would assure his hon. friend, that the lawofficers of the Crown had delivered it as

Friday, April 14.

SLAVE TRADE.] Mr. Wilberforce rose,
Mr. Wilberforce rose, their opinion, that the individuals in ques-


Grey Charlemont

Cork Darnley Lauderdale


Say and Sele

St. John


for the purpose of moving an Address to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that he would be graciously pleased to have the several Petitions of Messrs. Brodie, Cooke, and Dunbar, convicted in Sierra Leone of being engaged in the Slave Trade, and certain other papers relative to their subsequent pardon, laid on the table of the House of Commons. object, in submitting this motion, was for the purpose of showing that those persons were pardoned, not from the merits of the case, but in consequence of some informality in the mode of their conviction. It appeared, that they were tried before an incompetent tribunal, and that the judge who presided was not of the profession of the law, but appointed pro tempore by the Chief Justice of the Upper Court. In the decision of this question the precedents of the Chief Justice were followed as closely as possible, and in so doing the Judge thought himself acting upon sure grounds; but the irregularity was this the crime of which those three men were accused, was not committed upon British territory, and the ordinary criminal court of Sierra Leone had no authority to take cognizance of the fact. The hon. member expressed his apprehension that a considerable error had crept into the world upon this subject. It was too generally believed that those persons were pardoned upon the merits of the case, without any regard to the point of law upon which, in reality, their pardon was founded; he therefore thought it desirable that the papers mentioned in his motion should be produced, for the purpose of obviating the ill consequences of an opinion. The motion being

such read,

King Grenville Bulkeley Auckland.

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