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trials that possibly awaited her---and of enduring those additional burdens, the infliction of which might be rendered necessary by the step we were about to take. The Right Honorable Gentleman asked, were we to commit a breach of national honor and faith? Now he (Mr. Hume) would recommend that if such a breach were to be committed, it should not be upon ourselves at home; for, if a war should follow, to that it must lead. He would call upon the House, therefore, to consider whether a case had been made out by the Right Honorable Gentleman to warrant our taking the step he had recommended. The Honorable Member here dwelt at considerable length upon the shortness of the notice which the House was called upon to act. The first intelligence referred to had only been received on Friday night---the Privy Council had only been held upon Saturday---this morning only, additional information had been received---yet, at this moment, troops were absolutely on their march, so that the peace of the country was already absolutely at stake. A fearful state of things of itself, independent of the contingent misfortunes that may arise. What were the grounds stated by the Right Honorable Gentleman in his call for the concurrence of that House ?
He read certain treaties by which we were bound, if a Foreign Power should attack Portugal, to go to her assistance. But no man could expect that we should be bound by a treaty, which, in every other particular, was broken up. The Right Honorable Gentleman said, however, that we were bound, and declared his intention to plant the standard of England in Portugal, and to prevent foreign interference with that country.---Now, he would ask the Right Honorable Gentleman ---he would ask the House---had he made out a casus faderis, on which to call upon that House to launch into a probably expensive war ?--- The Honorable Gentleman had gone on, and stated, that certain Portuguese soldiers, after having been some time in Spain, had re-entered Portugal in arms. But he (Mr. Hume) would contend, that that circumstance was insufficient, for the Spanish Government had disclaimed any intention to support those rebels. The British Government was, up to the present moment, acting upon the authority of a single letter. Upon such authority he (Mr. Humc) contended the House would not be justified in acting. The Honorable Member here again referred to the speech of Mr. Secretary Canning delivered about three years and a half before, in which he said
the Right Honorable Gentleman bad dwelt upon the necessity for preserving our neutrality, and recommended unanimity, his object at that time having been to dissuade the country from interfering in the hostilities then about to commence. But he (Mr. Hume) would contend that the necessity for our armed interference was as great on the former occasion, as upon the present evening, on which the Right Honorable Gentleman called the House to concur with him in rushing into a war. If a war were just and necessary now, it was equally necessary in 1823. He would ask the Right Honorable Gentleman and the House, whether the state of the country now differed from that at which that Right Honorable Gentleman had asked, “ Is there a man “ who hears me; is there any man ac“ quainted with the history of the country “ for the last twenty years, who does not "know the way in which Great Britain " has been accustomed to enter into a war " ---that she spares no exertion, no means “ of ensuring its successful termination--“ no means of exciting others to resistance “ of the common enemy; and that the whole
expense, not only of her own operations, “ but of those she has stimulated, have been “uniformly borne by her ?" (Hear, hear.) Did the Right Honorable Gentleman mean to say that the same observations could not be applied in the present case, and that we were not now to take upon ourselves the whole expense ? If we were, he would ask the Right Honorable Secretary, were we, on account of the incursion of an inconsiderable body of rebels, to enter upon a war at a time wben the finances of Great Britain were scarcely adequate to our current expenses, at a time when there was scarcely an Honorable Member of that House who could put his hand upon his heart and say, that additional burdens ought to be imposed upon the people---not to support a necessary war, but a quarrel that might, and ought to be, avoided ? (Hear.) Here we were about to commence hostilities which might, and in all probability would, end in a war with France; and it was for the Right Honorable Gentleman to say, was he disposed to place the country in a situation calculated to produce such an event? On the former occasion, the Right Honorable Gentleman, so far from recommending our participation in a war, had come down to that House and proposed that Foreign Enlistment Bill to which Spain owed all her misfortunes, by preventing the Constitutional Government from being able to defend itself. Instead of agreeing to the Address proposed, he had
expected that some of his Honorable friends about him would have moved for a call of the House, in order that all the Members of that New Parliament should be assembled, that there should be time for deliberation, that more information from Spain should be received, ere that country should be placed in so critical a situation as that which was likely to result from the Address before the House. “I recollect " (continued the Honorable Member) at a “ future day not very far distant, (Loud “ laughter) I mean a subsequent day, when “ the Right Honorable Gentleman came “ down to this House, and made a state
ment completely at variance, in its prin“ ciple, with that which he has this night “ delivered." The Honorable Gentleman proceeded to say, that he thought the conduct of the French Government, at the period when the Duke of Wellington went over to negociate, was quite as objectionable as at present, yet he had not recommended war. If France were sincere in her professed desire to repress the improper 'conduct of the Spanish Government, we were not called upon to make a warlike demonstration. If the Right Honorable Gentleman believed the French Ministers sincere, let him call upon them to say so--let him call upon them to withdraw the French troops from Spain, and leave the Spanish Government to settle quietly with that of Portugal. We found that French troops were in possession of Spain, and English troops would soon be in possession of Portugal. It was not against the head of the Spanish Government we were about to wage war, but with a set of fanatics, who, in France, as well as in Spain, had labored to produce this crisis. It was impossible that Ferdinand could continue to maintain himself in Spain, unless supported by foreign power. Thus, if the speech of the Right Honorable Gentleman should be taken from the beginning to the end, the latter part would be found an answer to the first. The Right Honorable Gentleman said, as a precautionary measure, the dogs of war should be let slip. (A laugh.) But he had let them slip, and they were absoJutely on their march. (Roars of laughter.) Either they were on their march, or they were not. (Continued laughter.)
Mr. CANNING---I did not say dogs of war.
Mr. Hume resumed---What he complained of was, that, upon the simple statement of the Right Honorable Gentleman, we were about to commence hostilities in a hasty manner, and merely to quell the re
bellion of one or two regiments. (The Honorable Gentleman here again referred to the former statement of the Right Honorable Foreign Secretary, and its variance from that made that night.) He thought the Right Honorable Gentleman ought not to call upon the Representatives of the People to concur with him in a war, while the country was laboring under the pressure of extreme distress. Nothing but absolute danger to our own existence could justify our interference under existing circumstances. (Hear.) He was quite aware that it was an ungracious task for an individual to take upon him to resist a motion like that before the House ; but he had the consolation of knowing, that in so acting he was doing his duty. On these grounds, therefore, he intended to move, that a call of the House should take place; that a delay of a week, at least, should intervene, to enable Honorable Members to consider before they voted. There was no information before the House to enable Honorable Gentlemen to say whether Portugal ought, or ought not, to be assisted. The House ought to take more time to deliberate, more documents ought to be before it; for by the very next packet we might receive advice that the rebels had been dispersed. What a laughing-stock should we not be, therefore, to all Europe, were we to enter upon a war on account of a movement which had terminated before we took the first step? (Hear.) The Honorable Gentleman concluded by moving, that the House be called over on that day se'nnight (Tuesday next).
Mr. WOOD (of Preston) rose to second the amendment. While negociations were on foot, when many Honorable Members had left town, believing that no business of importance would be discussed till after the recess, he thought it would be indecent, merely because of the dazzling speech of the Right Honorable Gentleman, to plunge into a war. (Hear.) If the House sbould agree with the vote of the Right Honorable Gentleman, and if war should follow, every Honorable Member who supported it must be prepared to argue that a very high Property Tax be laid on, and that the Bank Restriction Act should be again enforced. (Hear, hear, hear.) They must be prepared also to support other measures; for, if the country should go to war, he was convinced that Catholic Emancipation would not merely be prayed for, but demanded, and must be conceded.
Mr. Baring begged to say that no Honorable Member of that House entertained more serious apprehensions than he did of
the consequences that might result from a war once commenced. But, after hearing the Right Honorable Gentleman's speech, having given to it his utmost possible attention, even with a wish to find him wrong, to find some means of evasion, some means of escape from the conclusions and arguments of the Right Honorable Gentleman, he confessed that, from the beginning to the end of the Right Honorable Gentleman's brilliant speech, he had heard nothing that could enable bim (Mr. Baring) to franie an excuse for differing from him. (Cheers.) The proposition of the Right Honorable Gentleman must, he thought, meet with the full concurrence of the House ; for he believed no Honorable Member who heard him could point out any instance in which a nation, or an individual, ever overcame or got the better of an aggressor by pusillanimity. (Cheers.) It was vain to say that this was a question whether the Bank Restriction Act should or should not be enforced, or whether we should or should not be obliged to lay on a Property Tax. The only question which, it appeared to him, ought to be entertained was, whether the faith of the country ought to be preserved inviolate. (Cheers.) Neither of the Honorable Gentlemen, who proposed and supported the amendment, had said one word to induce the House to contemplate for one moment a breach of our treaties. The Honorable Member for Aberdeen had described the one immediately under consideration as an improvident treaty. He agreed with the Honorable Member, he agreed with him that it was unfortunate that we should be bound by such a treaty; but the question was, did it exist? and if it did, was there any man who would say that at present, the moment of her distress, the moment of her extremity, we ought to violate the solemn treaty we had concluded with our most ancient ally? (Continued cheering.) But, it had been said, this was no aggression on the part of Spain. What, if the English Government sent General Mina, and the Spanish exiles in this country, back into Spain, equipped and armed, and accompanied with a train of English cannon, would not this be hostility on the part of England, and cowardice too, as coming in a disguised sorm? This country had a great interest in maintaining Portugal. The retention of Spain by French troops he (Mr. B.) considered a most dangerous political experiment; but if, in addition to the possession of Spain, France were to acquire, through Spain, a predominating influence in Portugal, the effect would be the de
struction of our influence in the Peninsula, the establishing of the power of the Bourbons, and the accomplishment of that exclusion of England from the continent, which had been so long the object of Buonaparte's intentions and efforts, and this was a danger which mere diplomacy, on our part, could not prevent. As to the alleged insincerity of the head of the French Government, he (Mr. B.) would not agree in ascribing that quality to his measures. He was convinced there were many points of policy out of M. Villele's hands, and the management of affairs relative to Spain was one of them. It could not be denied that he had given pacific assurances
at the time the French army was passing into Spain; but he (Mr. B.) was sure that M. Villele was at the time ignorant of the destination of that army; but that the bigotted party had, by their influence, pushed on the adoption of measures to which the regular Ministers of the Government were opposed. Again, the Duke of Wellington returned from Paris, as from Vienna, with assurances of peace, yet hostile measures followed. On these grounds, he (Mr. B.) thought the Right Honorable Secretary, Mr. Canning, had taken the proper measures in the present crisis. Whether France was sincere or not, the line of acting proposed by the Right Honorable Gentleman was the correct one. As to the resources of the country for the accomplishment of that object, it would not be worth talking of, if, in a case affecting the honor and power of the country, we were to be deterred by the expense from entering into a just and necessary war.
When such a case as the present was made. out, no consideration of expense ought to be opposed to it. He was sure that not only Parliament, but the people, would support the Crown in such a war, and that they had in their resources ample means to make that support effectual. Yet, there was no
to apprehend that the expenses would be great; and as to the depression of resources, he would deny that it was of an extreme character. He was not used to compliment the measures of the Right Honorable Gentleman (Mr. Canning), yet he would declare, that the Right Honorable Gentleman could have taken no course but that which he had ; and as to the Honorable Member for Aberdeen'samendment, it was founded on no higher consideration than the arguments on a turnpike bill. His (Mr. B.'s) only surprise was, that any body could have been found to second it. He did not want England to go on a crusade of
liberty over the continent, nor was it on could foresee any such hope, he would be that ground the measure was proposed; it in an equable state of mind for estimating was rather on the fact, that Portugal was the calculations of the probable cost of the our oldest ally, and had a right, under war, and of adjusting his vote in accordance treaties, to receive our assistance. He with the chances of peace on one side, and would, however, carry his liberalism so far the possible expenses on the other.---But as to say, that she ought the sooner receive when he recollected the facts and circumthat assistance, inasmuch as the hostility stances of the present case, he could not had arisen against her on account of her hesitate to declare at once, that there were late free Constitution, a Constitution which, situations in which a country might be recollecting that it came from the Brazilian placed--- situations in which a reluctance to Emperor, the Government of Spain, if they appeal to arms, on the ground of calcuhad capacity to understand it, must consi lations of expense, would be frivolous, and der very harmless, and by no means offend dangerous, and disgraceful. (Loud cheering on the score of a too great regard for ing.) But was the present a situation of popular liberty. (Hear.)
that kind ? This was the point on which Mr. BANKES considered that the eloquent he was at issue with his Honorable Friend and dazzling address of his Right Honor the Member for Aberdeen, and the Hoable Friend (Mr. Canning) had failed to norable Member for Dorsetshire ; and to produce the effect intended. It was not prove that the recent events in Portugal proved that the present case was a causus placed England in such a critical condition, fæderis. The law of nations did not allow be need only recal the attention of the House any foreign interference with the internal to the statement of the Right Honorable affairs of a country. When France invaded Gentleman opposite (Mr. Secretary CanSpain a few years ago, who was found to ning), or put the matter to those Honorable approve, rather, who did not disapprove, that Members in the shape of a few short quesaggression? Why now should the House tions. Was public faith to be observed ? contradict their former opinion? It had Were international compacts to be fulfilled ? not been proved that the Spanish Authori.. Was the body politic bound to the perties concerted or countenanced the aggres formance of its solemn engagements ?---of sion; if there was diplomatic correspond engagements contracted on the faith of ence to support it, why not produce it? ancient treaties, descending from century He could not support the motion, yet he to century, acknowledged, ratified, and would not vote for the Honorable Member renewed, by successive generations of that for Aberdeen's amendment, as it was both body politic, the relative situation of the trifling and impracticable.
contracting parties remaining the same, and Mr. BROUGHAM assured the House, that the ability to fulfil the obligations of those after the convincing statement of the Right ancient treaties still existing in full power. Honorable Gentleman who opened the de But, said the Honorable and Learned Genbate, he had determined not to trouble the tleman, it has been asked, is not this a very House with even a declaration of his entire old treaty? If it was, its antiquity would approval of that statement; but having not annul its obligations. But it is not heard the amendment and speech of his antiquated; for though it was concluded Honorable Friends, the Member for Aber originally in the days of Charles the II., deen, and the Honorable Member who and though it was concluded in consideration seconded him, he considered it his incum of a sum of money, which that abandoned bent duty not to confine the expression of and profligate tyrant squandered as soon as his dissent from them by a silent vote, and he had received it, yet there was another bere he would entreat his Honorable Friend, consideration ---Bombay was obtained by the Honorable Seconder, not to imagine for that treaty. We can give up the 300,0001. a moment, that he was induced to differ we received from Portugal; but, if we refuse from them through disrespect for their mo to fulfil the stipulations of that treaty, we tives when he rose to protest against the must give back that now flourishing and adoption of their amendment. If, indeed, important settlement, which was ceded by he could think that there was any possi Portugal to the English Crown in contembility of avoiding a war, if he could see, or plation of the support we pledged ourselves hope to see, any alternative of escaping from to give her. But, I repeat, this is not an that dreadful extremity---of escaping it antiquated treaty. Its obligations were after the sound of actual war---(hear)--- renewed in the seventeenth century, and preparations made in palpable violation of in the beginning and during the progress public faith and the law of nations; if he of the eighteenth century, and again in the VOL. II.
nineteenth century, not twelve years back, norable Gentlemen. Surely, when they while my Honorable Friends bore a con made those assertions, they could not have spicuous part in public affairs. The last heard the Right Honorable Secretary's renewal was so late as 1815, at the Congress opening statement of facts, and his reference of Vienna, where it was again revived, in to authentic correspondence; but supposing terms as stringent as it was possible for that the Right Honorable Gentleman was human ingenuity to invent. But it is said, deceived by that correspondence, or that he “ This was an imprudent measure---a most had received no letters at all on the subject “ impolitic step. Lord Castlereagh should ---granting that the rumours of hostile ag“ never have put his hand to it.” That, gressions in the public prints were much indeed, would have been a good objection exaggerated, or entirely false, still there at the time. But when the treaty has been was one ascertained fact-- a fact admitted allowed to remain in force twelve years, by his Honorable Friend---on which he and we have called upon other powers to would hold him to his responsibility---a fulfil some conditions of it, are we to be fact from which he could not fly, and to told that we can escape from our obligations which the House ought to keep him, if he with perfect honor, consistency, and good wished to evade it; and that was the cirfaith, by turning round and saying, “ The cumstance, that from 4 to 5000 deserters “' treaty was such a one as was improper from the Portuguese army, who, at several “ever to have been entered into, and, successive periods, had passed in separate “ therefore, we do not intend to keep it ?” and broken bands from several points of the (Hear, hear, hear.) If arguments like these Portuguese frontier into several parts of the have weight in this House, and, through Spanish, having been there provisioned, this House, with the people of this country, armed, accoutred, and marshalled, were then, I say, measures should forth with be sent back on a concerted plan into the Porintroduced to deprive the Ministers of the tuguese territory, not from one point of Executive Government of the power to bind Spain, or one point of Portugal, or at several the country by treaty. As long as that successive periods, but from several parts of power belongs to them, it is preposterous, Spain, on a few definite points of the Porbeyond all that I ever heard that was absurd tuguese frontier, and all at one time on the and inconsistent, to deny the force of the same day. Could that be the result of obligation, when no objection has ever been chance? That simultaneous movement be urged as to the powers of those, who, on a mere accident ? Could credulity go so our part, have entered into it. But, still far as to believe that such a happy union of further, what would be the consequence of movements, such a regular continuation of such a breach of faith? What would foreign efforts, such a felicitous concurrence of the nations say to you, when you would propose scattered atoms of the Portuguese regiments, to enter into covenants with them, suppose was purely fortuitous ? (Hear, hear, hear.) on navigation or commerce, or the with Was it by accident that these collected atoms drawing the French troops from Portugal, came into Spain ? By another accident or any other important matter? Why, they met upon the frontiers of that kingdom before your negociators could say one word, ---not one or two, miserable, poor, and the foreign nation would stop their mouths, scattered, as exiles would be---but by some with, “ you observe no faith ; you of Eng accident they came together with
land can make no treaty--- you are not fit “ All the pride, pomp, and circumstance, “ to be trusted---we can place no confidence “ of glorious war." “ in your proinises; when the provisions of By a continuation of the same lucky acci
a treaty are favorable to you, you observe dent they assemble in the best possible " it, but when they turn out inconvenient position for an invasion of Portugal, by a " to you, you violate it. You are not, combined movement. It was by accident, " therefore, a people on whose good faith no doubt, and without the least combination, "we can depend, and we will enter into no except of a few private soldiers, without the “compact with you." (Hear, hear.) What most remote idea of being in co-operation a situation that was for a country? (Hear.) with others, that they entered Portugal. But, said the Honorable Members for Aber Good God! Was there a man who could deen and Dorsetshire, the treaty has not doubt ? Could a fact be found on which been violated. The late transactions in to hang a suspicion? If, however, there Portugal are matters of internal dissension, was a man in that happy state of scepticism, and as such, proper subjects of the internal he was justified in maintaining his opinions policy of Portugal. On this point also, he against the facts before them. Supposing (Mr. B.) was at issue with the Right Ho a casus fæderis out of the question, the