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House were satisfied that sufficient apology was made for the personality . had heard spoken against him, he should, out of respect to the House, comply with their injunctions, that it should go no further; and begged leave once more to observe, that what was said by him of the noble lord was meant as public matter, not as private abuse or enmity.
The previous question was put on Mr. Wyner's motion, and carried without a division. o
ADMIssion of STRANGERs 1NTo the House of CoMMons—PUBLICATION of The DEBATEs.] May 27. Sir P. J. Clerke observed, that the members of that House were very improperly treated in the House of Lords, by being associated with every stranger that was promiscuously introduced either by the peers or the doorkeepers. They were obliged to stand, and run the danger of having their pockets picked, as had in more than one instance occurred this session. Considering how very differently the members of that House were treated in this, he thought it became them to assert their dignity, and establish a perfect equality between them. The IIouse unanimously concurred with the hon. member, and hoped that in the beginning of next session it would be a matter for their consideration. Mr. Temple Luttrell expressed his satisfaction that the standing order, which had been exerted the day before to exclude strangers from the gallery, was again relaxed. That circumstance induced him to depart from the intention he had otherways formed, of putting every standing order that existed, no matter how troublesome, into execution. He considered it as the right of his constituents, that they should have admission to see the proceedings of their representatives, and whenever that right was invaded he would, if he could not prevent, at least make them repent It. Lord Ongley complained bitterly that the debates of that House should be permitted to appear in the news-papers. He saw them daily misrepresented, as party opinion, favour, or disgust, directed; and it was for that reason that he wished the gallery to be shut against strangers. He would be happy if an act of parliament was made totally to prevent the publication of their debates. Mr. Temple Luttrell replied, that now indeed they spoke out, and avowed their
reason for excluding strangers. This he suspected before to have been their motives, notwithstanding the many disguises they had thrown upon it, and the avowal determined him in his conduct. He knew it to be necessary to the existence of the constitution, that the people should be acquainted intimately with the conduct of their representatives. The news-papers were the only channels of conveyance, and he declared for his own part, that if such a measure was adopted, he would dare to inform his constituents of the proceedings of parliament.
Debate on Mr. Hartley's Motions for putting a Stop to the War in America—, And against the Prorogation of Parliament.] May 27. Mr. David Hartley said: The motion which I shall offer to you today requires little explanation, and I hope the House will think that it requires no apology. If I thought that it could possibly admit of any debate, that the House before their prorogation should make a sort of recapitulation of the objects which have been adopted as the ultimate end of all our labours during this session, I might trouble you with some arguments to induce your compliance. But as the system of conciliating America by those reasonable concessions which we, on this side of the House, have been many years pleading for, has now been adopted by the administration themselves, I could wish to fix the sense of the House and of the public to perseverance in the same disposition, and that they should publish to the whole world that the change in their conduct has not arisen from any temporary caprice, but from a sedate and considerate review of past measures respecting America, and a firm conviction of their injustice and folly, thus producing, as the fruit of that conviction, a total reversal of them. It certainly may fall out, that the concessions now of. fered to America, may not be received as they would have been some time ago, when we, on this side of the House, so strenuously contended that some offers of concession and accommodation should be made to them: that it is possible that this may happen, will be allowed by those who are most sanguine in their expectations of success from the commissioners. For my own part, I am perfectly clear, that their voyage will be totally fruitless. The terms which you now offer might have served to have brought on a treaty of accommodation if they had been offered
some time ago; for instance, when they doubt or suspicion in the minds of any
not the motion went so far as to offer independence, it was a certain known truth that it was not the interest of America to insist on it. The religion, language, custonis, manufactures, and laws of this country, would naturally invite a connection between them and us. France and her laws were odious to them. Extreme distress was the only tie that united Amcrica with France. The independence of America would only be of service to a few of the rulers. The people at large would suffer by it. It was as inconsistent with their interest to desire, as it was with our honour to grant it. The mean concessions of ministry, he feared, would not be accepted. Propositions of reconciliation with a people who had been so ill used, in order to have effect, should come from men in whom that people could have a roper confidence, not from those who }. so long harassed and deceived them. The friends of the motion perceiving, that if the question was put, it would be negatived, strongly solicited Mr. Hartley to withdraw it: which he consented to.
May 28. Mr. David Hartley rose and said: I propose, with your permission, this day, to offer the following motion to the House: “ That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to intreat his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased not to prorogue the parliament, but that he will suffer them to continue sitting for the purpose of assisting and forwarding the measures already taken for the Restoration of Peace in America; and that they may be in readiness, in the present critical situation and prospect of public affairs, to provide for every important event at the earliest notice.” This motion was originally a part, and intended to have been subjoined to the motion which I offered yesterday to the House; but as this proposition was independent of the other, I was induced to separate them, to accommodate myself to the sentiments of some hon. gentlemen who were willing to give their assent to the declaratory. Address, but not to the proposition of keeping the parliament any longer sitting. The person to whom I more particularly allude, is the noble lord at the head of the Treasury, to whom I beg leave to return my best thanks for his support of my motion yesterday, though it was ineffectual. There is no obligation that I could feel more sensibly, because there is nothing that I have so much at heart as cultivating and
improving every possible opportunity of restoring peace between this country and America. I am very confident, that the day will soon come, when the House will regret having been so touchy upon every proposition that has but the shadow of American independence. It is want of prudence in the extreme to become more and more attached to impossibilities, in proportion as they become more evidently so. The Americans, you all know, are in fact independent. If you regret that independence, you have your ministers alone to thank for that event. By their advice and persuasion, his Majesty and this House have turned a deaf ear to all the petitions and applications from America for redress of grievances. But you would at that time offer no other terms than unconditional submission, the only alternative to which is independence. Your force is now, in all effect, defeated in America. One army entire is taken prisoners. The force which remains, is so far from being adequate to the conquest of America, that, I fear, it will find great difficulty even to defend itself. The ministers of this country first introduced foreign forces into the contest. The Ame. ricans have now in their turn called in a foreign power to their aid. We know that a French fleet of 12 or 14 ships of the line (and, as report says, with 3,000 land forces on board) has sailed these six weeks from Toulon to their assistance. Then see what a situation your remaining army will soon be in. The whole force of America augmenting and triumphant, against a brave, but diminished and deserted army, for the ministry have taken no care to send them sufficient succours. These are the events which are coming upon you without delay. Let me then ask, whether this be the time to be prorogued for summer amusements; or rather ought we not, at such a moment, to redouble our anxiety and attention, to provide “ne quid detrimenti capiat res publica." Another argument that I would offer to you against a prorogation is, that we may be found wo. upon our post, as the guardians of this country, to be in readiness to receive at the earliest moment, the report from the commissioners, who are gone to offer a treaty to America. I think we may be but too well assured what that answer will be. Can it be believed that a nation who renounced the government of this country, and asserted their independence even as a challenge to you two #
years ago, when you made the great and formidable attack upon them, being then without allies; can it, I say, be conceived that the same people, having now successfully asserted that independence, and being triumphantly in possession of it, with foreign alliances for their farther support, now that §. force is but little better than totally defeated, should for no reason, and from no necessity, relinquish that situation of independence, which you cannot wrest from them It is an impossible expectation. The declaration of independence has not only passed in Congress, but every province has adopted the new government of independence; and almost every individual upon the continent has taken the oath of allegiance to their respective new governments. Besides these proofs, which I think can hardly be called presumptive proofs, because they amount to a certainty, we have, however, recent and positive proofs which lately arrived from America. I mean tile resolution of , the Congress of the 22d of November, 1777, which runs to this effect: “ Resolved, that all proposals for a treaty between the King of Great Britain, or any of his commissioners, and the United States of America, inconsistent with the independence of the said states, or with such treaties or alliances as may be formed under their authority, will be rejected by Congress.” These are the considerations which induced me to offer you the motion, which I did yesterday. I am confident that you have sent your commissioners upon a needless errand, and that they will return with a refusal; for which reason, if I could have had any influence with the House, I would have recommended to them as a preparation for such an event, to have come to a declaration, that, preferring peace above every other consideration, they would have been ready to cooperate with his Majesty in any farther conciliatory measures, which might be necessary to give efficacy to their pacific intentions. If any man were to put the question to me, what should we do in the present circumstances of our affairs 2 if my motion of this day were to be complied with, I confess I should be put to a great difficulty to give him an answer. But this is an additional reason for taking the wise and prudent advice that parliament upon consultation might afford. The point of independence is over; do not deceive yourselves upon that subject. Can you break
the alliance between France and America 2 Certainly not. America will be faithful to her alliances. Remember at the same time, that it is the ministry of this country which has driven them into those alliances. These points are fixed; I know they are. I have had some means of information authentic upon these subjects, that I am confident I am not deceived. If as a private person, I might give an opinion, I would endeavour to obtain your consent to the following terms, as the basis of a negociation. I have the strongest reasons to know that this country will never get better terms of treaty. I have explained the reasons of my conviction to his Majesty's ministers, and have laid before them the following heads of negociation, as the result of the best opinion and expectation, that in my opinion, the case presents: That America be declared independent: That Great Britain and America shall agree mutually not to enter into any treaty offensive to each other: That an open and free trade shall be established between Great Britain and America: That a mutual naturalization shall be established between Great Britain and America: That commissioners be appointed on each part, to negociate a foederal alliance between. Great Britain and North America. Sir George Savile seconded the motion. No person offering to answer, the Speaker was proceeding to put the question. General Burgoyne applied to the Treasurybench, to know whether the King's servants meant to agree to the motion? In which case he said he should give the House no trouble: that otherwise he thought himself pledged to deliver his sentiments. The call was, “Go on ;" and General Burgoyne proceeded as follows: Mr. Speaker, I shall not pursue the argument of the hon. gentleman, upon the expediency of parliament being ready sitting to deliberate upon the first intelligence that may arrive from your commissioners; that argument has already been too ably enforced to require a second: neither, Sir, after so long an indulgence as I received in a former debate, shall I again press upon the attention of the House the debt they owe to national justice and policy, upon the subject of enquiry: though the generals Howe and Carleton may be expected every day; and it was upon their absence alone, that the greater part of the House seemed disposed
" And there i
to postpone so important and necessary al “ Turn thy complexion there, duty. But, Sir, I shall rest solely upon a “ Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubim, view of the present state of this country,
as hell." as universally compulsive upon the under It will be difficult to those who are most standing, in favour of the measure pro- conversant in history, and accurate in obposed. While an enemy is prepared upon servation, to point out examples, where, the neighbouring coast, and perhaps is at after an alarm, the spirits of men have rethis hour embarking, diffidence, despon- vived by inaction. This nation is put into dency, and consternation, are evident | the state of a garrison, whose out-posts are among great part of the people. A more abandoned, whose sallies are stopt, and fatal symptom prevails among a greater who are to combat in the body of the place part; å torpid indifference to our impend- | for their last stake. I do not say, that ing fate. Men dare not, or will not, look men have not fought desperately in such into their desperate circumstances. God situations ; but then they have been grant that general panic be not the result brought to extremity by a progression of of all these demonstrations! for panic is conflicts, and have seen great examples to incident, upon some occasions, to those | raise and stimulate their public passiors, who have been most distinguished for | I know of no great exertions, where the bravery upon others.
| governing counsels have shewn apprehenThe salvation of the country depends sion and terror, and consequent confusion upon the confidence of the people in some at the outset. The success of vigorous part of government. The ministry have measures to restore an army after a panic, it not; the whole nation see, or think they is almost invariable ; ancient history see, their insufficiency. I mean not to abounds with examples ; in our own time, apply these words grossly or virulently; they are frequent. When general Rothere are among them many to whose per-manzoff found the Russians impressed with sonal qualities and talents I bear respect, apprehensions of the Turkish cavalry, his and to none more than the noble lord first measure was to lay aside the use of in the blue ribbon. But talents are re- | chevaux de frize, and to encamp without lative to times; and it is no reproach to entrenchments. The revival of the genesay, that men well qualified for negocia-ral spirit of a state depends upon the same tion, finance, or the smooth current of go- principles. We need not look abroad for vernment, may be totally unfit for their examples; we have a more striking one at stations, when the crisis requires instant | home than foreign annals can produce, in resource, decisive counsel, animating ac- that immortal year, 1756, the commencetion. That these are notoriously wanting, ment of the earl of Chatham's administrathe best friends of the ministers shake their tion. The most glorious tribute we can heads and confess. Is there a man of pay to his memory, is to follow his exam. common sense and common spirit in the ple. Let ministers visit his remains, while country, that does not stand confounded yet above ground, and catch wisdom, and and aghast at the late supineness ? that vigour, and virtue from the view. Did he does not think the heralds ought to have keep fleets at Spithead to prevent inva. accompanied your coach, Sir, when you sion? Did he fear to trust the internal decarried up the Address of the Commons ; fence of the nation to her own sons? No. and that the declaration of war at St. Sir, your navy was employed in offensive James's gate should have accompanied the operation in every quarter of the globe; answer from the throne? “ Be patient, and the nation, supported by a just confiwe are told; “ France may repent; Spain dence, were ten times stronger after the yet speaks us fair,”-Sir, to be patient in dismission of the Hanoverians and Hesour situation is to be abject : our pusilla- sians than before. Every ship became a nimity gives tenfold increase to our na- fleet, every regiment felt itself an host. tural weakness. Patience in private life, We have now a brave admiral riding at under affliction or disease, the strokes of Spithead, who knows the way to prevent fortune, or the hand of heaven, is a virtue invasion by seeking the enemy at a disof lovely hue; but political enduring- tance. His share of glory in the defeat tamely to suffer provocation and injury,- of Conflans is on the minds of his followers; the most wanton insult that ever was of- , you cannot gratify him or them more than fered to a nation,-I mean the message of to give them a second occasion, and by the French ambassador :
the same means, to save their country. The brother of that admiral, a member of