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probably cut asunder. Private dissipation | might lead to defeat and inevitable ruin? and public rapine daily increasing. Di- Here he contrasted the state of this counvided councils and a general inattention to try, at this time, with what it was at the the concerns of the nation, almost univer- commencement of the three last camsally spread through every rank of people. paigns. Were our armies more numerous, He acknowledged, that this was a melan- or better disciplined, after the loss of so choly picture, but if it was a faithful one, many thousands, than before we lost a it ought not to be concealed from the pub- single man? Were our finances upon a lic; because, without knowing the nature better footing, after expending 35 mil. and extent of the evil, it would be impos- lions, than before we spent a shilling? sible to provide a proper remedy.
Was America weaker now, when joined A thorough reformation, he said, if the with France, than when she contended facts stated by him were true, (which he with us single handed? Or was the dis. believed would hardly be controverted) tance lessened, and the winds and waves became absolutely necessary. The con- become more obedient to our command? stitution must be brought back to its first | Had we now more experienced generals principles. Pensions, sinecures, and all or admirals? Had we procured new and the engines of a corrupt government, must powerful allies ? Were we better united ? be totally abandoned. The Augean stable or were ministers more fully confided in? must be thoroughly cleansed; public spi. These questions, he said, must be unirit must be cultivated, encouraged, and formly answered in the negative. What, nourished by those, who hold the reins of then, could be our motive for prosecuting government, and private and personal in a war, under such apparent disadvantages? terest made to give way to that of the The general answer given was, that any public state. But we have lost the man, war, however dangerous or expensive, was said he, who was equal to the accom- | preferable to an inglorious peace. He plishment of this Herculean task (lord contended, that the word inglorious,' was Chatham), Alas! he is no more; we merely a relative term ; that it referred to have lost the man, who, by his exam- the existing circumstances, or meanit no. ple, was capable of sowing the seeds of thing. What might seem an inglorious public virtue, of bringing it to matu- peace, under some circumstances, might rity, of calling it into the service of the prove a wise and honourable one under state, and to the most glorious pur- others. On this ground, he should think poses. While we had that man, whom I going to war (the events of which no man esteemed as the palladium of his country, I could foretel, and which, if unfavourable, I looked upon this island as invincible; must end in the ruin of this country) since he went, like the Trojans, I begin to would be a very hazardous experiment; despair. Yet we should not become des. the risk and the probabilities ought to be perate, but resolve wisely to employ the seriously considered, and the advantages means still in our power. Let us but once and disadvantages balanced. For his part, get rid of this American war, and I doubt so far as America was concerned, he was not, but we shall be still able to counteract well satisfied that a war, merely taken up the designs of all our enemies. The point for conquest, or unconditional submission, he should particularly speak to was, how must miscarry. He therefore conjured we were to extricate ourselves from our their lordships to look with attention at present difficulties, and avoid the absolute the present situation of public affairs ; to ruin of the empire. This he thought, de recollect the bad success of almost every pended chiefly upon putting a speedy end measure pursued against America, and to the American war, and the mode of the present effect and probable consedoing it. To determine which, it would quences of the war, to the commerce, chabe necessary to take the question in three racter, and glory of this nation, different points of view, as presenting so! With regard to the second question, the many different measures.' Should it be declaring America independent, it was effected, by adopting a new system of co- | what struck him, as the wisest step to be ercion ? By declaring America independ taken, as matters now stood. Do it fairly, ent? Or determining nothing as to the do it fully, and then we shall have leisure second question, and only withdrawing to punish France for her perfidy, and to our fleets and arınies?
recover ourselves from the danger we On the first of these he asked, would have long been exposed to. It was madit be wise, to risk further events, which ness to persevere in pursuing an object, now become utterly impracticable. Ame- / drawn up by either the ostensible or the
rica might yet court a political commerce hidden minister, to echo back his own - with this country; if not, she might find words that we have just heard from the
it her interest to form a commercial one; throne, and which are now to be sprinkled and though she should decline either, he with fulsome commendations of his own thought it much better to cease hostilities destructive counsels; which counsels have against her, because if we could derive no nearly brought these once flourishing kingadvantage in the way of friendship, mea- doms to ruin. No, my lords, let us, as sures of force must inevitably terminate in has been the custom of former parliaour destruction,
ments, at least suspend such shameful The third question, that of withdrawing adulations, and first enquire into the heavy our fleets and armies, substantially amount- | burthens the people groan under, the ed to the second, which could not be put causes of the loss of the greatest part of in practice without a tacit acknowledg. the empire, the disappointments of our ment of American independence, though armies by land and sea, the alarming not an avowed one. Besides, withdrawing situation of the fleet, the occasion of the the troops without such an acknowledg- loss of a whole army at Saratoga; the disment, would bear the appearance of a dor- mission of so many commanders in chief mant claim, suspended, but not relinquish by sea and land, without any reasons ased and would create a jealousy and ill- signed, by which the nation is deprived of will, little short of a continuance of actual judging to whom they are to impute all hostilities. What he now said contained these sad disasters. Let these, my lords, his real sentiments, abstracted from any be the objects of our enquiry, if you wish views of party or any other motives, but to prove yourselves the guardians of the an anxious desire of rescuing his country ) people, instead of being thought the hired from the ruin which seemed ready to burst dependants of a minister; and according to on it. He was convinced, however preva. | our resolutions formed upon an impartial lent a contrary opinion might be, this coun-scrutiny on these heads, then propose such try could never recover its former glory a dutiful address to the throne, as the and lustre, till the government was new voice and sufferings of the people call for. modelled; how far that might be practica- My lords, the grievances of the people ble, he did not pretend to say. He con are innumerable, and spring from a chain cluded by assuring their lordstrips, that he of disappointments that have been brought should be extremely glad to agree with on by counsels, which prove the counsel. the Address, were it in his power to do so, lors unworthy the trust reposed in them. consistently with his conscience; but he The heavy burthens which the people could never think of approving of any groan under are such as I need not desystem of war, which would directly or scribe, they are too sufficiently felt by eventually go to advise his Majesty to a every man in the kingdom, who does not further prosecution of that against Ame- 1 partake of those emoluments, pensions, rica. .
and perquisites, which are so lavishly The Earl of Bristol. My lords, it is scattered upon the betrayers of the people. with the greatest concern, that I find my- The loss of the greatest part of the emself obliged to oppose an Address which pire, alas! my lords, that is also too obseems to convey any appearance of ex-vious to need my reciting ; let the blood pressing our attachment, affection, and and treasure hourly ebbing out of these duty for his Majesty. Nor would I now kingdoms, and which are sent 3,000 miles do it, did I not feel a consciousness that across the ocean, vainly to endeavour to every action of my life has been such as protect the little remains of a vast contimust convince the whole world of my in- nent, prove the truth of that assertion. variable attachment to the King and his The disappointment of our arms by land family; which is firmly rooted in my and sea needs po other proofs than the heart, and was in my earliest days nou- different manæuvres of our great army in rished by the principles of Whiggism, that America, and the untrophied return of has ever distinguished my family, and our fleets into port every where. The from which no consideration whatever alarming situation, and almost total ruin shall make me deviate. I therefore rise, of our navy, is well known, and is what I my lords, to tell you my reasons why I shall take some other opportunity to excannot give my assent to such an address patiate upon. The dismission or recall as this is ; an address that comes here of so many commanders in chief by land
and sea, without any enquiries, is unheard justice, and humanity. So far from atof, and whether they were dismissed, or tempting to conciliate matters, adminishad leave to return to their commands, if tration had, from the commencement of they are superseded by others, before the the war, done every thing to aggravate busy scene of action is closed, it is much America and widen the breach between the same; if no leave is given for such her and the mother country ; that theredismission, we must suppose those officers | fore what the speech called conciliatory hardly, cruelly, and unjustly dealt by, be-' measures, might properly be ranked cause it leaves a suspicion which you among their vigorous and active exertions. thereby deprive them of the power to He blamed them for their repeated as. wipe off.
surances to parliament that France would My lords, I could enumerate evils that not interfere, and begged them to recolhave sprung from each of these different tect that they had heard again and again, heads, that would employ the whole day, from one side of the House, that France as I could upon some others of as great would certainly, according to her constant consequence with regard to the fleet, but practice, take advantage of our embarrasswhich I shall take some other opportunity ments, and endeavour to retrieve her credit. for. I see in the countenances of many The earl accused the first lord of the Adof your lordships, that these evils are too miralty of having failed in his promise to generally known and felt, to require my the House respecting the state of the further dwelling upon. And I am cer- navy. That noble earl had declared, tain that many of your lordships, who for- that in his opinion no person ought to merly thought it necessary to support the hold the office of first lord of the Administers, by way of giving them what was miralty, unless he always took care to have called a fair trial, have since condemned at home a larger force than the House of almost every step that has been taken in Bourbon could send against us. Had this consequence of such support. Do not been the case as yet, although only one therefore make yourselves farther acces- branch of the House of Bourbon was in sary to the crimes of such ministers, by arms against us? On the contrary, were continuing that support, but endeavour to we not inferior every where? That was, atone for the past by uniting in delivering wherever our fleets met the fleets of the King and the nation from the continu. France. His lordship spoke of the affair ance of such pernicious counsellors. Il off Brest; and after having adverted to therefore hope, my lords, you will suspend various other particulars, concluded with any address, till you have taken the pre.objecting to the Address. sent state of the nation into your consi.. The Earl of Suffolk said, that the noble deration, and then found one thereupon. earl (of Coventry) had opened his speech
The Earl of Effingham condemned the with saying, that he never retracted his Speech and the Address in the strongest opinion respecting America. He could terms. He said the minister had put truly affirm the same. The noble earl words into the King's mouth, which had likewise imputed all our misfortunes tended to hold forth an idea, that parlia- to the corruptions of the times; and supment had planned the measures which had posed, that no measures of state received for a series of years been pursued respect the sanction of parliament, till preceded ing America. The contrary was noto. by a thorough reformation. For his part rious ; parliament had been kept in all he could answer for one, that his conduct possible ignorance by administration, who was not influenced by any such motives. alone had planned those measures which He had neither pension, sinecure, nor rehad proved so destructive to Great Bri. version, and he could safely add, though tain, and to which the loss of America placed in a very high office under his sowas solely ascribable. That all along in- vereign, he was unconscious of being acdeed, the ministry had artfully endeavour-tuated by any other motives, but a zeal ed to colour their bad policy, under the for the interests of his King and country. name of the King, and under the autho. When, therefore, he gave his sentiments, rity of parliament. That they had pre- / either in his official situation, or as a mem. sumed to say the whole war was planned ber of that House, he should continue to by his Majesty, whose plan it no more give them without reserve; little regardwas than it was his. His Majesty had too | ing what interpretation might be put upon much generosity to have schemed a sys-them; being perfectly satisfied of the rec. tem so opposite to every idea of liberality, titude of his own intentions. The noble
earl said, that several noble lords who sup- the independency of America ! Would his ported the American measures, had been lordship, who had said so much to prove, taught by experience to give them up: that a plan of coercion was impracticable, it might be a very good reason; but since infer that we were incapable of continuing the last session, circumstances had changed, the war? Would he infer,' that because that reason might operate with several from adverse accidents, we had not met other noble lords to change their senti. with that degree of sucoess our exertions ments, on account of a different face of gave us reason to expect, that America affairs. The contest originally existed be- was irretrievably lost, and for ever lopt off, tween Great Britain and her colonies; the from this country? If the noble earl was grounds of contest were shifted; it was no fully of that opinion, he begged leave to longer a question, whether America was assure him, that the contrary was the fact; to submit, but whether she would accept and, that his conclusions must of course of the most mild and equitable terms, even prove erroneous ? We were, he confessed, according to her own ideas; or be con- surrounded with numerous difficulties, and sidered as an open enemy, in alliance with threatened with great danger ; but our rea perfidious and dangerous foe : so that al- sources were not exhausted, our spirit was though it might be the opinion of several not broken. We had more than once of their lordships, that America some time risen superior to greater difficulties, exsince was not worth the risk and expence tricated ourselves from greater embarrass. of recovering, as part of the dominions of ments, and surmounted dangers much the British crown, the question was now more alarming, because immediately af. quite different; it was, whether we should fecting us, as a free and independent nasubmit to France and America, and per- tion. But supposing the noble earl's po. mit them to dictate their own terms. In sition to be ever so satisfactory and conthis view, the several negatives given to clusive ; the Address, as a measure of state, the motion plainly amounted to this: We still stood clear of all ground of solid obwill not support you against France; it jection. The Speech imported no more being, in the present state of affairs, im- than a communication to parliament of the possible to separate, even in idea, France danger of the kingdom from the perfidy of from America. Indeed, the Congress have France. Could it be a question with that told the commissioners directly so ; it is House, what was the proper conduct on evident, therefore, that putting a direct such an occasion? That is, whether their negative to the Address, would be no less lordships should assure his Majesty of than submitting to any terms France their ready support, under the present might think proper to describe ; and that circumstances, or without proposing any at a time, when a contrary conduct was so amendment, to meet the objectionable obviously necessary, for the maintaining part of the Address, give a direct, unquathe honour and dignity of the crown, and lified negative to the whole. Another promoting and securing the prosperity and noble ear! (Bristol) wishes only to sussafety of the kingdom. The best way, in pend the Address, till an enquiry be made his opinion, to obtain a secure and honour- into the conduct of ministers: this is a able peace, was to convince our enemies most extraordinary proposition indeed; it that we were both willing and able to pur- has all the defects of a direct negative, sue the war with vigour. The noble lord under the idea of procuring a remote and had much insisted on the deplorable state uncertain advantage. For my part, I have of this country, both in respect of its do- no objection to a particular enquiry, so mestic situation, and its state respecting that it be properly conducted; but I would other powers. He had talked much of have it made in such a manner, that, if the situation of America, and pointed out set on foot, it should not afterwards be dethree different modes of extricating our- feated; that the two Houses being enselves from our present difficulties. The gaged on the same object, they should not first by coercion; the second, by declaring clash with each other. As for general enAmerica independent; and the third, that quiries, I must confess, I do not much ap. idea long since exploded, of withdrawing prove of them; they usually terminate inour troops and armies, which was indeed effectually; if, therefore, an enquiry involved in the second, the proposition should be thought necessary, let it be spewhich exclusively met the noble earl's ap- cifically pointed; and so ordered, that all probation. God forbid that he should the declared purposes of it may be practicaever be a witness to that House avowing ble, and fully attainable. The Address
went no further than a general declaration to support his Majesty in a war against France: if a war with America should be involved in a resistance to the perfidious and insolent demands of France, that was not imputable either to the ministers, parAliament, or the nation at large. It was a just war; it was now become absolutely necessary, as well for the sake of public security, as the preservation of our national interests; those, therefore, who voted for the Address, would vote for that security and those interests. The Earl of Derby hoped he should not be charged with inconsistency of conduct, in voting against the address, for he still was steady to the principle first taken up and maintained by him, both in the other House and here, which was, that Great Britain, as the parent state, had a right to tax America, for certain purposes, and on particular occasions; o as either regarded the general defence of the empire, or were directed to its collective strength and the joint prosperity of the different parts of which it was composed. He was not ashamed to acknowledge, that he strenuously supported administration in the endeavour to establish that right: but finding the attempt to fail by the weak and impolitic conduct of ministers, and deeming it now totally impracticable, he thought it his duty to withhold his farther support from men unworthy of public confidence, and from measures, which must inevitably miscarry, he feared, in the most able hands. The moment of success was passed, and ruin would, in all human probability, be the consequence of attempting to catch at that, which was now for ever beyond our reach. He could not restrain the indignation he felt at the hints thrown out by the noble earl who spoke last, relative to the means intended to be adopted against America; which he presumed imE. an intention of burning her towns, utchering her innocent and defenceless inhabitants, in cold blood; massacring old men, women, and every degree of the defenceless of both sexes, to the infant on the breast: of relying solely on the tomahawk and scalping knife, or in the language of the noble earl, upon a former occasion, the having recourse to those means which God and nature had put into our hands.-His lordship went into a general condemnation of the conduct of the ministry, respecting general Burgoyne. He likewise went into a detail of their shameful conduct towards almost every
admiral and general who had accepted of a superior command, since the commencement of the contest with America. He described general Burgoyne as an officer who had done his utmost to serve his country, and who had been most treacherously treated, by those to whose ignorance and incapacity that fatal expedition under his command might be fairly imputed. Ministers had taken up measures by hearsay, and adopted them without examination; they planned by guess, and decided at random; their system was founded in doubt, and was now defended by treachery and deceit. The proposed war bore the worst complexion. Cannibals and savages would be ashamed of it. It was mean, it was cowardly, to punish when conquest was relinquished; it was a gratification of the worst and most unmanly of passions, being founded in that diabolical principle of doing mischief for mischief’s sake. His lordship next adverted to what had fallen from the noble earl who seconded the Address, respecting the distressed state of the manufacturers and mechanics; and said, he drew a very different conclusion from the same premises; for instead of their being reasons to go to war with France and America united, he thought they afforded the most self-evident proofs of the necessity of avoiding to rush blindly into a war, which, if prosecuted on the plan approved of in the address, must, instead of alleviating those miseries, increase them tenfold. This was a new mode of remedying one evil, by introducing another of infinitely greater magnitude. The noble earl had spoken only of the distress of the towns in his own immediate neighbourhood; he could contribute to swell the melancholy catalogue, and heighten the picture; there was not a manufacturing town in the kingdom, he believed, which had not in a greater or less degree felt the dire effects of the present war. The onceflourishing town of Liverpool, near which he lived, afforded a most melancholy proof of the innumerable mischiefs caused by the present war; it would have been ruined. but for the success of its privateers, and the uncommon spirit of enterprize with which its inhabitants of every rank united themselves; their efforts had, indeed, been remarkably successful. It however was a known fact, that there was an end to their good fortune. Privateering would not long continue a lucrative trade; the success could be felt but by a few, and when the benefits deriod from it were scattered and