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that this desire seems to be conformable to the principles recognised by the high Allied Powers, of restoring to all their ancient rights and privileges."
In the work of my celebrated friend Mr. Gentz, of whom I can never speak without regard and admiration, On the Balance of Power,' he would have found the incorporation of Genoa justly reprobated as one of the most unprincipled acts of French tyranny. And he would most reasonably believe the sentiments of the Allied Powers to be spoken by that eminent person-now, if I am not misinformed, the Secretary of that Congress on whose measures his writings are the most severe censure. But that lord William Bentinck did believe himself to have offered independence to the Genoese, that he thought himself directly and indirectly authorized to make such an offer, and that he was satisfied that the Genoese had, by co-operation, performed their part of the compact, are facts which rest upon the positive and precise testimony of lord William Bentinck himself, I call upon him as the best interpreter of his own language and the most unexceptionable witness to prove the cooperation of the Genoese. Let his proclamation of the 26th of April be examined. It is the clearest commentary on that of the 14th of March. It is the most decisive testimony to the active aid of the Genoese people. On the 26th of April, he bestows on the people of Genoa that independence which he had promised to all the nations of Italy (with the implied exception already often enough mentioned), on condition of their aiding to expel the oppressor. He, therefore, understood his own proclamation to be such a promise of independence. He could not doubt that he was authorized to make it, and he believed that the Genoese were entitled to claim the benefit of his proclamation by their performance of its condition.
sional government till the 1st of January 1815, and the re-establishment of the ancient constitution of the republic, with certain reforms and modifications, from and after that period. Three-fourths of the proclamation have no reference whatever to a provisional government. The first sentence of the preamble, and the third and fourth article of the proclamation, refer to that object; but the larger paragraph of the preamble, and four articles of the enacting part, relate to the reestablishment of the ancient constitution alone. "The desire of the Genoese nation was to return to their ancient government under which they had enjoyed independence." Was this a provisional government? Were "the principles recognized by the high Allied Powers," the establishment of provisional governments? Did provisional governments imply " restoring to all their ancient rights and privileges?" Why should the ancient constitution be re-established,-the very constitution given by Andrew Doria when he delivered his country from a foreign yoke,-if nothing was meant but a provisional government preparatory to foreign slavery? Why was the government to be modified according to the general wish, the public good, and the spirit of Doria's constitution, if nothing was meant beyond a temporary administration, till the Allied Powers could decide on what vassal they were to bestow Genoa? But I may have been at first mistaken, and time may have rendered my mistake incorrigible. Let every gentleman, before he votes on this question, calmly peruse the proclamation of the 26th of April, and determine for himself, whether it admits of any but one construction. Does it not provide for a provisional government immediately, and for the establishment of the ancient constitution hereafter? The provisional government till the 1st of January 1815. The constitution from the 1st of January 1815. The provisional government is in its nature temporary, and a limit is fixed to it. The constitution of the republic is permanent, and no term or limit is prescribed beyond which it is not to endure. It is not the object of the proclamation to establish the ancient constitution as a
This brings me to the consideration of this proclamation, on which I should have thought all observation unnecessary, unless I had heard some attempts made by the noble lord to explain it away, and to represent it as nothing but the establishment of a provisional government. I call on any member of the House to read that proclamation, and to say whether he can, common honour, assent to such an interpretation. The proclamation, beyond all doubt, provides for two perfectly distinct objects: The establishment of a provi
provisional government. On the conintrary, the ancient constitution is not to be established till the provisional government ceases to exist. So distinct are they, that the mode of appointment to the supreme powers most materially differs.
Lord William Bentinck nominates the two colleges who compose the provisional government. The two colleges who are afterwards to compose the permanent government of the republic, are to he nominated agreeably to the ancient constitution. Can it be maintained that the intention was to establish two successive provisional governments? For what conceivable reason? Even in that case, why engage in the laborious and arduous task of reforming an ancient constitution for the sake of a second provisional government, which might not last three weeks? And what constitution was more unfit for a provisional government, what was more likely to indispose the people to all farther change, and, above all, to a sacrifice of their independence, than the ancient constitution of the republic, which revived all their feelings of national dignity, and seemed to be a pledge that they were once more to be Genoese? In short, Sir, I am rather fearful that I shall be thought to have overlaboured a point so extremely clear. But if I have dwelt too long upon this proclamation, and examined it too minutely, it is not because I think it difficult, but because I consider it as decisive of the whole question. If lord William Bentinck in that proclamation bestowed on the people of Genoa their place among nations, and the government of their forefathers, it must have been because he deemed himself authorized to make that establishment by the repeated instructions of the British Government, and by the avowed principles and solemn acts of the Allied Powers, and bound to make it by his own proclamation of the 14th of March, combined with the acts done by the Genoese nation in conse quence of that proclamation.
I think I have proved that he did so, that he believed himself to do so, and that the people of Genoa believed it likewise. -Perhaps, however, if he had mistaken his instructions, and had acted without authority, he might have been disavowed, and his acts might have been annulled. doubt whether, in such a case, any disavowal would have been sufficient. Whereever a people, in consequence of the acts of an agent whom they had good reason to trust, have done acts which they cannot recall, I do not conceive the possibility of a just disavowal of such an agent's acts. Where one party has innocently and reasonably advanced too far to recede, justice cuts off the other also from retreat. But
at all events, the disavowal to be effectual must have been prompt, clear, and public. Where is the disavowal? Where is the public notice to the Genoese, that they were deceived? Did their mistake deserve no correction, even on the ground of compassion? I look in vain through these papers for any such act. The noble lord's letter of the 30th of March was the first intimation which lord William Bentinck received of any change of system beyond Lombardy. It is only a caution for future conduct, and it does not hint an intention to cancel any act done on the faith of the proclamation of the 14th of March. The allusion to the same subject in the letter of the 3d of April, is liable to the very same observation; and, being inserted at the instance of the duke of Campo-Chiaro, was evidently intended only to prevent the prevalence of such ideas of Italian liberty, as were inconsistent with the acces sion then proposed to the territory of Naples: it certainly could not have been supposed by lord William Bentinck to apply to Genoa, for it was in his possession on the 26th, when he issued the proclamation, which he never could have published if he had understood the dispatch in that sense.
The noble lord's dispatch of the 6th May is, in my opinion, fatal to his argument. It evidently betrays a feeling that acts had been done, to create in the Genoese a hope of independence. Yet it does not direct these acts to be disavowed-it contains no order speedily to undeceive the people. It implies that a deception had been practised; and instead of an attempt to repair it, there is only an injunction not to repeat the fault. No expressions are to be used which may prejudge the fate of Genoa. Even then that destiny is left doubtful. So far from disavowal, the noble lord proposes the re-establishment of Genoa, though with some curtailment of territory, to M. Pareto, who maintained the interests of his country with an ability and dignity worthy of happier success. And the Treaty of Paris itself, far from a disavowal, is, on every principle of rational construction, a ratification and adoption of the act of lord William Bentinck. The 6th article of that Treaty provides, that "Italy, beyond the limits of the country which is to revert to Austria, shall be composed of sovereign states." Now, Sir, I desire to know the meaning of this provision. I can conceive only three possible constructions. Either that every country
of its ancient patrimony; a part of Savoy is, for no conceivable reason, given to France. The French are put in possession of the approaches and outposts of the passes of Mont Cenis. They are brought a campaign nearer to Italy. At this very moment they have assembled an army at Chambery, which, unless Savoy had been wantonly thrown to them, they must have assembled at Lyons. You impose on the House of Savoy the defence of a longer line of Alps with one hand, and you weaken the defence of that part of the line which covers their capital with the other. But it is perfectly sufficient for me if the policy is doubtful, or the interest slight, or even that it must be allowed not to be of the greatest magnitude. The laxest moralist will not, publicly at least, maintain, that more advantage is not lost by loss of a character for good faith, than can be gained by a small improvement in the distribution of territory. Perhaps, indeed, this annexation of Genoa is the only instance recorded in history of great Powers having (to say no more) brought their faith and honour into question without any of the higher temptations of ambition, with no better inducement than a doubtful avantage in distributing territory more conveniently, unless indeed it can be supposed that they are allured by the pleasure of a triumph over the ancient principles of justice, and a parade of the new maxims of convenience, which are to regulate Europe in their stead.
I have hitherto argued this case as if the immorality of the annexation had arisen solely from the pledge made to the Genoese nation. I have argued it as if the proclamation of lord William Bentinck had been addressed to a French province on which there could be no obligation to confer independence, if there were no promise to do so. For the sake of distinctness, I have hitherto kept out of view that important circumstance, which would, as I contend, without promise, have of itself
shall have some sovereign, or, in other words, some government. It will not be said that so trivial a proposition required a solemn stipulation. Or, that there is to be more than one sovereign. That was absolutely unnecessary. Naples, the states of the Church, and Tuscany, already existed -Or, thirdly, that the ancient sovereign states shall be re-established without the country which reverts to Austria. This, and this only, was an intelligible and important object of stipulation. It is the most reasonable of the only three possible constructions of these words. The phrase "sovereign states" seemed to be preferred to sovereigns, because it comprehended republics as well as monarchies. According to this article thus understood, the Powers of Europe had by the Treaty of Paris (to speak cautiously) given new hopes to the Genoese, that they were again to be a nation.
But, according to every principle of justice, it is unnecessary to carry the argument so far. The act of an agent, if not disavowed in reasonable time, becomes the act of the principal. When a pledge is made to a people,-such as the proclamations of the 14th of March and 26th of April, it can be recalled only by a disavowal equally public.
On the policy of annexing Genoa to Piedmont, I have very little to say. That it was a compulsory, and therefore an unjust union, is, in my view of the subject, the circumstance which renders it most impolitic. It seems a bad means of secur. ing Italy against France, to render a considerable part of the garrison of the Alps so dissatisfied with their condition, that they❘ must consider every invader as a deliverer. But even if the annexation had been just, I should have doubted whether it was desirable. In former times, the House of Savoy might have been the guardians of the Alps. At present, to treat them as such, seems to be putting the keys of Italy into hands too weak to hold them. For merly the conquest of Genoa and Pied-rendered a compulsory annexation unjust. mont were two distinct operations. Genoa Anterior to all promise, independent of all did not necessarily follow the fate of pledged faith, I conceive that Great BriTurin. In the state of things created by tain could not morally treat the Genoese the Congress, a French army has no need territory as a mere conquest which she of separately acting against the Genoese might hold as a province, or cede to anoterritory. It must fall with Piedmont; ther power at her pleasure. In the and, what is still more strange, it is bound year 1797, when Genoa was conquered to the destinies of Piedmont by the same by France (then at war with England) Congress which has wantonly stripped under pretence of being revolutionized, Piedmont of its natural defences. The the Genoese republic was at peace with House of Sardinia is stripped of great part Great Britain, and consequently, in the (VOL. XXX.) (3 N)
language of the law of nations, they were friendly states. Neither the substantial conquest in 1797, nor the formal union in 1805, had ever been recognised by this kingdom. When the British commander, therefore, entered the Genoese territory in 1814, he entered the territory of a friend in the possession of an enemy. Supposing him, by his own unaided force, to have conquered it from the enemy, can it be inferred that he conquered it from the Genoese people? He had rights of conquest against the French. But what right of conquest could accrue, from their expulsion, against the Genoese? could we be at war with the Genoese-not How with the ancient republic of Genoa which fell when in a state of amity with us not as subjects of France, because we had never legally and formally acknowledged their subjection to that power. There could be no right of conquest against them, because there was neither the state of war, nor the right of war. Perhaps the powers of the continent, who had either expressly or tacitly recognized the annexation of Genoa in their treaties with
France, might consistently treat the Genoese people as mere French subjects, and consequently the Genoese territory as a French province conquered from the French Government, which to them had become the sovereign of Genoa. But England stood in no such position. To her the republic of Genoa still of right subsisted. She had done no act which implied the legal destruction of that commonwealth, with whom she had war nor cause of war. Genoa ought to have been regarded by England as a friendly state, oppressed for a time by the common enemy, and entitled to re-assume the exercise of her sovereign rights as soon as that enemy was driven from her territory by a friendly force. Voluntary,
more union, zealous operation, even long submission, might have altered the state of belligerent rights. None of these are here pretended. In such a case I contend that, according to the principles of the law of nations, anterior to all promise, and independent of all pledged faith, the republic of Genoa was restored to the exercise of her sovereignty, which in our eyes she had never lost, by the expulsion of the French from her soil. These are no reasonings of mine: I read them in the most accredited works on public law, delivered long before any events of our time were in contemplation,
and yet applicable to this transaction, as if they had been contrived for it. Vattel, in the 13th and 14th chapters of his third book, has stated fully and clearly the principles respecting the application of the jus postliminii to the case of states, which he had taken from his eminent pre. decessors, or rather which they and he had discovered to be agreeable to the plainest dictates of reason, and which they have transcribed from the usage of civilized nations. I shall not trouble the House with the passages, unless I see some
* "When a nation, a people, a state, has lution can give it the right of Postlimibeen entirely subjugated, whether a revonium? To which we answer, that if the conquered state has not assented to the new subjection, if it did not yield voluntarily, if it only ceased to resist from inability, sword to wield the sceptre of a pacific if the conqueror has not yet sheathed the sovereign;-such a state is only conquered and oppressed, and when the arms of an ally deliver it, returns without doubt to its first state. Its ally cannot become its conqueror; he is a deliverer who can have a right only to compensation for his services.
of the state, claims a right to retain it under "If the last conqueror, not being an ally his authority as the prize of victory, he himself in the place of the conqueror, state. That state may legitimately resist and becomes the enemy of the oppressed him, and avail herself of a favourable occasion to recover her liberty. A state unjustly oppressed ought to be re-esta blished in her rights by the conqueror who delivers her from the oppressor."+
Whoever carefully considers the above passage, will observe that it is intended to be applicable to two very distinct cases: that of deliverance by an ally, precise,-and that of deliverance by a where the duty of restoration is strict and
opinion of the writer the re-establishment state unallied but not hostile, where in the of the oppressed nation, is at least the moral duty of the conqueror, though arising only from our common humanity, and from the amicable relation which subsists between all men, and all communities, till dissolved by wrongful aggression. It is to the latter case that the strong language in the second part of the above quotation has not hitherto been attempted to resist is applied. It seems very difficult, and it its application to the case of Genoa.
+ Vattel, Book 3, c. 14, s. 213.
attempt to reconcile them with the annexation of Genoa. I venture to predict that no such attenipt will be hazarded. It is not my disposition to over-rate the authority of this class of writers, or to consider authority in any case as a substitote for reason. But these eminent writers were at least necessarily impartial. Their weight, as bearing testimony to general sentinrent and civilized usage, receives a new accession from every statesman who appeals to their writings, and from every year in which no contrary practice is established or hostile principles avowed. Their works are thus attested by successive generations to be records of the customs of the best times, and depositories of the deliberate and permanent judgments of the more enlightened part of mankind. Add to this, that their authority is usually invoked by the feeble, and despised by those who are strong enough to need no aid from moral sentiment, and to bid defiance to justice. I have never heard their principles questioned but by those whose flagitious policy they had by anticipation condemned.
I shall not presume to define on invariable principles, the limits of the right of conquest. It is founded, like every right of war, on a regard to security, the object of all just war. The modes in which national safety may be provided for, by reparation for insult, by compensation for injury, by cessions, and by indemnifications, vary in such important respects, according to the circumstances of various cases, that it is, perhaps, impossible to limit them by an universal principle. In the case of Norway, I did not pretend to argue the question upon grounds so high as those which were taken by the writers on public law. These writers, who for two centuries have been quoted as authorities in all the controversies of Europe, with the moderate and pacific Grotius at their head, have all concurred in treating it as a fundamental principle, that a defeated sovereign may indeed cede part of his dominions to the conqueror: but that he thereby only abdicates his own sovereignty over the ceded dominion; that the consent of the people is necessary to make them morally subject to the authority of the conqueror. Without renouncing this limitation of the right of conquest, founded on principles so generous, and so agreeable to the dignity of human nature, I was content to argue the cession of Norway, as I am content to argue the cession of Genoa, on lower and humbler but perhaps safer grounds: Let me waive the odious term "right,'-let me waive the necessity of any consent of a people, express or implied, to legitimate the cession of their territory. At least this will not be denied, that to unite a re-people by force to a nation against whom they entertain a strong antipathy, is the most probable means to render the community unhappy, to make the people discontented, and the sovereign tyrannical; but there can be no right in any governor, whether he derives his power from conquest or from any other source, to make the governed unhappy. All the rights of all governors exist only to make the governed happy. It may be disputed among some, whether the rights of government be from the people; but no man can doubt that they are for the people. Such a forcible union is an immoral and cruel exercise of the conqueror's power; and as soon as that concession is made, it is not worth while to discuss whether it be within his right, in other words, whether he be forbidden by
Here, Sir, let me for a moment lower the claims of my argument, and abandon some part of the ground which I think it practicable to maintain. If I were to admit that the pledge is not so strong, nor the duty of re-establishing a rescued friend so imperious as I have represented; still it must be admitted to me, that it was a promise, though perhaps not unequivocal, to perform that which was moral and right, whether within the sphere of strict duty or not. Either the doubtful promise, or the imperfect duty, might singly have been insufficient. But combined they ciprocally strengthen each other. The slightest promise to do what was before a duty, becomes as binding as much stronger words to do an indifferent act. Strong assurances that a man will do what it is right for him to do, are not required. A slight declaration to such an effect is believed by those to whom it is addressed, and therefore obligatory on those by whom it is uttered. Was it not natural and reasonable for the people of Genoa to believe, on the slenderest pledges, that such a country as England, with whom they never had a difference, would avail herself of a victory, due, at least in part, to their friendly sentiments, in order to restore them to that independence of which they had been robbed by her enemy and theirs -by the general oppressor of Europe