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YEAS Mr. Fox
some of the powers of Europe, he still re- | He said, he was not in the last parliament, tained an expectation, that they might be and could not consequently judge, how compelled to return to their duty. The far either party were wrong in the beginhon. gentleman who spoke last but one had ning ; but since he had the honour of a represented him as delighting in blood: he seat in that House, he had acted uniformly begged leave to assure him, he was entirely to the best of his judgment, free from par• mistaken; he always abhorred the effusion tiality, or predilection; and that if the of blood, could it have been possibly same scene was to present itself again, he avoided. He was equally mistaken rela- never gave a single vote that he would not tive to his imputed ideas about uncon- cheerfully repeat. ditional submission. No man was ever
The House divided on Mr. Fox's Momore ready to give way, even to the pre
tion : judices of America than he was, but he
Tellers. could never learn, how it was possible to treat with subjects in arms, till they ac
89 knowledged the relation, which could be
Lord John Cavendish the only foundation of treaty; namely,
S Mr. Rice
Noes that they were subjects. This was his de
Sir Grey Cooper cided opinion before he came into office; So it passed in the negative. he had been uniform in his language. General Conway observed, that the no
Debate in the Commons on the Army ble lord said, if the colonies should con- Estimates, and on the Loss of General tinue united, the strength, prowess, and Burgoyne's Army at Saratoga.] Dec. 3. resources of this country, however great, The House went into a Committee of Supwere unequal to the task of subduing them. ply, to consider of the Army Estimates. The noble lord does not say, they are not Lord Barrington moved, That 20,000 united; yet his lordship, according to his own men be employed in Great Britain for the argument, is for prosecuting the war without service of the year 1778, guards, garrithe least prospect of success. He believed, sons, and invalids included. if parliament would once adopt pacific mea- Colonel Barré desired to know, before sures, matters might be yet amicably set any subsequent supplies should be granttled; we might recover the monopoly of ed, what was the number of troops serving the American trade, which was all we ever in America. had a right to expect; and become once Lord Barrington replied, that the whole more, a happy, united, and powerful peo- army upon paper consisted of 55,095 men, ple. It was probable, if ministers much 14,000 of which were under general Carlelonger persisted in measures of devastation ton, 20,000 under general Howe, and the and carnage, that America would never remaining 21,000, consisting of regulars, treat, or acknowledge any political rela provincials,&c. were serving at New York, tion whatever ; but that no more proved, Staten-Island, Rhode Island, Nova-Scotia, that they would not now, than every other the West-Indies, Pensacola, &c. prediction of theirs, which afterwards by Mr. Byng wished to mention a circumtheir conduct came to be fulfilled. On stance which occurred to him, on a noble the whole, if some proposition was not lord's observing, the night before, that shortly made, on our part, he should not general Howe always attacked geneal be surprised, if the people of America ever Washington with an inferior force. He after refused to hear of accommodation ; should be glad to know, whether the because were he similarly circumstanced, 20,000 men, which were now said to have he should act precisely in the same manner. landed with general Howe, were inferior He concluded by affirming, that all the to the number of 15,000 men, which had evils which had since happened, arose been stated to be under the command of from the Act impowering commissioners to general Washington. The noble lord yestreat; the defectiveness of the instructions terday represented the number of our under that Act; and the delay and neg. army to be 13,000 men, and general lect in not sending out the commissioner Washington's 15,000. It appeared ex. in time.
tremely inconsistent to him that general Mr. Henry Dundas declaimed vehe- Howe should attack an army of 15,000 men:ly against the propriety of the motion; men with only 13,000 men, when the and insisted, that to bring America to rea- number of his army was actually 20,000. son, we must make her feel our power. If the account now given by the noble lord
was correct, we had no great reason to tulate, and had surrendered himself and pride ourselves in our superior bravery; his army prisoners, on condition that they as we must have had a superiority of four should engage not to serve during the war to three.
in America; should have a safe conveyLord George Germain acknowledged it ance to the water-side, and have leave was true he had stated the army under from thence to return to their native coungeneral Howe to be 13,000 men, and ge- try. It was a most unfortunate affair ; neral Washington's to be 15,000 men, and but, he hoped the House would not be over did so still; but then he neither included anxious in condemnation, nor decide on in that number the artillery, officers, or the propriety or impropriety of the conwounded soldiers. He only spoke of certed plan that led to this unhappy event. 13,000 men with arms on their shoulders; He hoped they would suspend their judg13,000 effective men engaged in battle, ments both on the conduct of the general and that conquered 15,000.
and of the minister on this occasion. Colonel Barré expressed the greatest hoped the conduct of both would appear surprize at the reply of the noble lord. free from guilt. For his part, he declared He never heard so barefaced, palpable, he was ready to submit his conduct in and mean a quibble in his life. Never did planning the expe lition to the judgment he hear a soldier so express himself; never, of the House. If it appeared impotent, he was convinced, did a minister of war weak, and injurious, let the censure of the obtrude on the House of Coinmons such | House fall upon him. He was ready to an assertion. It is deserving of remem- abide it; as every minister, who regarded brance, and I promise the noble lord it the welfare of his country, ought at all shall be remembered. What, exclude from times to have his conduct scrutinized by the list of the army the officers and artil. his country. lery, because they do not carry firelocks ! Colonel Barré rose again, and in a most Are not the officers concerned'in the bato animated, severe manner, reprehended the tle? Are not the artillery? Do they no- noble lord. He declared he was shocked thing towards conquest? The noble lord at the cool, easy manner in which he remay have partial experience on his side, lated the fate of the brave Burgoyne. He perhaps, to prove such doctrine; but I was more so at the assurance of insinuating promise him, it would be very ungracious that a portion of the blame might lie at the to a British audience, and would gain lit- door of the general. Was there, he extle credit even in a domestic circle. The claimed, a man in the House who in his colonel then called upon the noble lord heart could say, that Burgoyne had failed to declare upon his honour, what was be through his own misconduct ? That he come of general Burgoyne and his brave had shewn the least sign of cowardice, the troops ; and whether or not he had not re- least symptom of neglect in the expedition ceived expresses from Quebec, informing he was thrust into? He was certain, there him of his having surrendered himself, were none would say so. But every man with his whole army, prisoners of war? would say, or at least every man would
Lord George Germain said, that he was think, that the man who planned the exever ready to give to the House the most pedition was to blame. The minister alone early and authentic intelligence of any who concerted the scheme, was obnoxious transaction within his knowledge; and to reprehension for its failure. It was an now, though the recital must give him inconsistent scheme, an impracticable one, pain, he knew it to be his duty to inform unworthy of a British minister, and rathe House, that he had, indeed, received ther too absurd for an Indian chief. Reexpresses from Quebec, with a piece of member how frequently, how earnestly, very unhappy intelligence, which, how- how sincerely, I have warned the minister ever, was not authenticated, and he could of the effects of this plan. I foresaw the not declare it officially: it had been sent consequences. I foretold the event. It from Ticonderoga to Quebec, and had was said I spoke in prophecy: has not my come to Ticonderoga by the reports of de prophecy come to pass ? But in what serters. The tidings were, that general terms can I express my surprise at the Burgoyne and his army were surrounded bravery, my indignation at the effrontery by a force greatly superior-cut off from of the noble lord, in declaring he will fresh supplies of provisions, and unable to abide the censure of this House, and subpierce through the numbers of the enemy, mit his conduct to their eye. Does the -s0 situated, he had been forced to capi- noble lord know the extent of his crimi
the Army Estimates, and on the (536 nality? Does he know the resentments of abettors of unconditional submission, of this House? I believe he knows neither ; | deserving the slavery you endeavour to but how soon he may it is not for me to yoke them with ? Is it to obtain such a determine. I would beg leave to call the humiliating end, that the American now attention of the committee to the conduct consoles himself for the loss of a father, of the Americans. They have been friend, or brother, who fell in the battle ? branded in this House with every oppro- No, Sir, it was for liberty they fought, for brious épithet that meanness could invent liberty they died; that only can repay the -termed cowardly and inhuman. Let us loss, and obtain forgiveness of the murder. mark the proof. They have obliged as The Revolution which brought the present brave a general as ever commanded a body family to the throne, was obtained by men of British troops to surrender ; such is so resolved ; our Magna Charta was obtheir cowardice! And instead of throwing tained by men so resolved; and the Amechains upon these troops, they have nobly ricans have not proved themselves less degiven them their freedom; such is their serving of their liberties, than those Briinhumanity! I only wish, from this single tons. An American Magna Charta is circumstance, to draw this fair conclusion, what they wisely contend for; not a Magthat instead of a set of lawless, desperate na Charta to be taxed by strangers, a adventurers, we find them, by experience, thousand leagues distant. But the constito be men of the most exalted sentiments; tution of this country, if in perfection, if inspired by that genius of liberty which is uncontroverted by bribery and abuse of the noblest emotion of the heart, which power, is acknowledged to be one of the it is impossible to conquer, impracticable happiest that men can live under; there. to dismiss.
fore, I do believe, that many wise and hoMr. James Luttrell. I think it my duty nest Americans may, upon sound princito take every opportunity of repeating my ples, prefer it to any new invention of abhorrence of the mercenary and savage their own. I do not say the Congress principles of a civil war, which has never would, nor yet many of their ambitious yet held out constitutional terms of peace leaders, nor yet perhaps the virtuous to be its object: and as I do conceive, that Washington; but if constitutional freedom whilst unconditional submission is the lan- was secured to America, every victory guage of the ministers and parliament, all might then gain over some worthy friends efforts to conquer America must prove in to our cause, instead of cowardly deserters, vain, I cannot agree to vote away the lives deceitful spies, or false and dangerous and properties of my fellow-subjects, pilots. merely for the purpose of aggrandizing a But ministers tell us that England is few favourites and flatterers placed near rich, and foreigners may be hired to carry the throne. The Americans, it is evident, on the war : what Briton would give up will not give up their liberties, they will his laurels to those paltry hirelings, and die first; all the eloquence of a Cicero save our blood ? Sir, if honour called to cannot persuade us, that the unfortunate, arms, what minister dare to propose it? misled Burgoyne is victorious ; that gene- Neither are the Germans as cheap as is ral Clinton is in desirable safety: or justly pretended, for you must now pay their give the boasted title of conqueror of hire, and when the war is at an end, you America to sir W. Howe, yet the latter is must likewise pay a large additional sum represented with a great and powerful army for all those who do not return home. in the field; he wants neither for money, Sir, I do not think the Germans will renor ships, nor troops ; he wants but the turn, for I must pay the compliment to
only one necessary article for consolation these ministers, that I do believe, even in defeat, or permanency and advantage in they are incapable of making such a convictory, I mean a just cause; and Great stitution for America, that the Germans Britain never, never, can build up fame or shall fly from it to better themselves, by dignity to itself, upon acts of injustice and returning to their own native, infamous oppression.
shambles, to be again sold by their tyBut ministers have hopes of important rannical, petty princes. But our impor
Sir, that language ought at least | tant hope is to be gratified by the possesto imply, some honest, wise Americans sion of Philadelphia. Sir, that town was may, upon sound principles, be induced to built for peace and trade, not for war. It return to their allegiance; but is there a extends itself upon a low, flat country, gentleman, that would candidly acquit the with scarce one advantageous spot of ground to place a single gun on for its de compelled to lay down their arms, and refence; therefore, to surround it with great ceive laws from their enemies, was a matter works to secure yourselves in winter quar- so new, that he doubted if such another ters, must create an immense expence, instance could be found in the annals of besides the lateness of the season making our history. The effrontery with which it such an undertaking almost impracticable was told, excited no less astonishment to be carried into execution. It is then a than indignation. Ignorance had stamped glorious conquest to those who rnay en every step taken during the course of the rich themselves by that new expence, but expedition ; but it was the ignorance of a calamity to those who are to be taxed the minister for the American department, for that 'new extravagance. Or do we. and not to be imputed to general Burwish to be in possession of the most goyne, of whose good conduct, bravery, beautiful town in America only to set fire and skill, he did not entertain even the to it? Are the British legions gone forth shadow of a doubt. The noble lord said, merely to warm themselves by the burning if there was any blame to be laid. towns upon the coast? Can bishops per- Without blame somewhere, could an ensuade us, their smoke shall rise to an ap- tire army be reduced to the painful, the proving God, or on earth celebrate the distracting necessity of laying down their dignity, the wealth, the honour, the hu. arms, and becoming prisoners of war? manity of the British nation ?
With the general and his troops, he was But ministers are very brave to-day, persuaded, there was no fault to be found; they are ready to seal with their blood that it could be traced no where but to the the mischief of their counsels; and whilst noble lord, whose ignorance was not they are so loudly supported by a majority brought as an extenuation, but as a justifiof parliament, that language sounds well. cation of his crime. But I must beg leave to remind them of a The Americans had, he observed, been story which is related of a certain general always represented as cowards ; this was and statesman, who drew all his former far from being true; and he appealed to friends about the court, with the heads of the conduct of Arnold and Gates towards birds and beasts upon their shoulders. He general Burgoyne, as a striking proof of drew his mistress with the head of a swal- their bravery. Our army was totally at low, and he wrote this motto underneath, their mercy. We had employed the sa• Je fuis le mauvais temps,' alluding to her vages to butcher them, their wives, their having forsaken him in his misfortunes. aged parents, and their children ; and yet, Let ministers beware, lest the swallow's generous to the last degree, they gave our head and that motto should best suit the men leave to depart on their parole, never most strenuous and forward of their pre- more to bear arms against North Amesent advocates. For, Sir, had I an hun- rica. Bravery and cowardice could never dred tongues, and the eloquence of much inhabit the same bosom; generosity, vaabler men than myself who speak within lour, and humanity are ever inseparable. these walls, I could not sufficiently express Poor, indeed, the Americans were, but in all the horrors, all the mischief, all the ruin that consists their greatest strength. Sixty of this savage war ; but this I will say, that thousand men had fallen at the feet of whilst such desperate, unfeeling ministers, their magnanimous, because voluntary advise his Majesty, with such an expensive poverty. They had not yet lost all regard war to carry on, without an object of ad- for the country from whence they sprung: vantage in return, with such a cause to anxious still for our home-defence, they disgrace the British arms, and spill the best had sent us back our troops; and left their blood of this country, what man in his hands free to fight against every enemy of senses can be satisfied with the times, or Great Britain, but themselves. He recan agree to vote for a perseverance in proached the noble lord for his misconmeasures, which have already produced duct and foolish credulity. He said he such dreadful disgrace and calamity, that was astonished at him. In the beginning Great Britain is shook to its foundation ? of last year, the noble lord informed
Mr. Burke thanked the two hon. gen. them, that the enemy were cowardly, and tlemen, who had spoken before him, for our army superior in number. On what having afforded him some time to calm the did he ground this information ? On retumult and perturbation in his breast, oc- port, mere idle report, to which the noble casioned by the information given to the lord was always an implicit slave. He House by the noble lord. A whole army said, that the information on which ministers confided, should be precise and his command. This, however, did not certain : that misinformation was no pal- damp the ardour of the British nation, but liation for their errors; and he did not urged to greater, and more successful eximagine that the House would admit it as ertions. such. He said, the intended measure was Mr. T. Townshend condemned the a conjunction between Howe and Bur. whole of this expedition; the employing goyne, but that it was to be produced in colonel St. Leger in the horrid war and the strangest manner he had ever heard of. devastation, which, with the aid of the
The armies were to meet-yes; Howe was savages, he had orders to commit on the travelling southwards, and Burgoyne in provincials. He gave a striking picture of the very same direction! The advocates the desolation which would have happened for administration, he said, had delighted had that officer succeeded; and vindicated io representing America in an abject si- the decrees of Providence in the overtuation-as being without salt, without ruling power it exerted in counteracting shoes, without a rag on their back, with such a diabolical system of blood and carout stockings, &c. If the House had ap- nage. He likewise spoke very favourably plied to him in the beginning of the war, of general Burgoyne, and imputed his want he could have told them of many more of success to the ignorance and incapacity wants than all those together under which of those who directed him from hence. the Americans laboured, but he could Mr. Fox expressed his happiness at also have informed them, that men fighting being prevented from speaking immediatefor liberty were not influenced by such ly after the fatal tidings of our disgrace particulars; that these only affected the had been communicated to the House : body, but that the souls of the Americans rage and indignation so swayed his breast were unreduced. He concluded with a at that time, that if he had attempted to few words on the Solicitor General, whom speak, his words must have been unintelhe called the counsel to the noble lord. ligible. An army of 10,000 men destroyed Upon this
through the ignorance, the obstinate, wilThe Solicitor General rose, and de- ful ignorance, and incapacity of the noble scribed his own political character : his lord, called loudly for vengeance; and if opinions, he said, were genuine; they were no one else would take upon himself the his own; he never spoke the sentiments task of moving directly for an enquiry into of any man, but those only which his own the affair, he himself would do it. A gal. reason suggested ; nor did he ever in that lant general sent like a victim to be House plead the cause of any man. He slaughtered, where his own skill and perhad been invariable in his opinion, as well sonal bravery would have earned him lauon one side of the House as on the other; rels, if he had not been under the direction and not seldom differed from both. The of a blunderer, which circumstance alone calamity, he could not deny, was great; was the cause of his disgrace, was too but he could not infer from it that our shocking a sight for humanity to bear uncondition was desperate. We had often moved. The general and the House had received checks; but the spirit of the na- been imposed on and deceived: general tion had always made us rise superior to Burgoyne's orders were to make his way our distresses: an exertion of that spirit to Albany, there to wait the orders of sir would, on the present occasion, infallibly William Howe, and to co-operate with rescue us from danger. Britons ever him; but general Howe knew nothing of shewed magnanimity in distress ; and cer- the matter, for he was gone to a different tain victory was the sure consequence of country, and left the unhappy Burgoyne that spirit: he wished therefore, that gen- and his troops to make the best terms for tlemen would not be cast down: that be- themselves, in a country that was by nafore now as great misfortunes had hap- ture so defended, that strong holds were to pened to us, from which we reaped sub- be met at almost every mile; and every stantial advantages. As to the fact of a hour's march presented almost insurwhole army surrendering, which had been mountable obstacles to his progress. He described as unprecedented, the annals of inveighed most bitterly against lord George this country had furnished a most remark- Germain ; looked upon him as solely reable instance of it in the reign of queen sponsible in the first degree ; and next Anne, when after the battle of Almanza, expressed his opinion, that all those who general Stanhope was obliged to surrender, had concurred in the measures of the war, with the whole of the British forces under by giving their vote in support of it, were