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indecent and unparliamentary. His grace minary being refused, the whole attempt bid the noble earl remember, that be bad to treat proved abortive. His grace asked but a few days since said, that he would their lordships if the thirteen colonies were give their lordships every official paper re- not at this instant independent states, lative to Mr. Burgoyne, as soon as that urged the standing out against that title as officer should arrive, and the time for en- a ridiculous and dangerous punctilio, givquiry was ripe. How could the noble lord | ing it as his opinion that no terms wliatkeep his promise, if the present motion ever would be accepted by America, unwas carried? Was it not a scandalous | less her independency was made the trick, a mere device, to save his word, and ground-work of the treaty. yet avoid the enquiry, an enquiry of infi As to the state of the nation, the Lords nite importance to the nation; it was, to would in time be possessed of the papers advert to the phrase he had in the prior necessary to discover it. Thus much only debate adopted, mere jockeyship: a piece was applicable to the present purpose. of parliamentary jockeyship! His grace The militia afforded but a weak defence; next arraigned the cabinet as materially and as to the handsome offer which had inadequate to the purpose of planning, or been boasted by one of the ministers, it undertaking such a war as the present, be- would prove only a broken reed in the cause there was not one military man in hour of extremity. On the sharp point of the council. The want of a military head hope, confidence would expire. To what to that body, had been apparent through had the independent companies formerly out the whole business, and it was mad- | raised by noblemen amounted? To only ness to pursue it, unless some officer of ten battalions, about 7,000 men. They experience was admitted into the council, were raised when the general ardor of the and would make himself answerable for the people was at the highest, when men were consequences.
unanimous in their opinions. Was this With regard to what the noble marquis the case at present? Let the expedient be had thrown out relative to the other House tried in order to discover the multiplicity being adjourned, were the members of of dissentient voices. But admitting that that assembly to guide the conduct of their we could raise 7,000 men, such a number lordships? Were they to become the would not be adequate to our losses. From he had almost said — the school-masters 55,000 men, the army in America had of that House? He hoped their lordships been reduced to 25,000. A most calasaw their own importance too properly, mitous reduction! and such as would reand felt for their dignity too much, to look | quire more handsome offers than any for example further than as their con- which government would receive, to resciences directed. The noble marquis had instate the loss. laid a stress on general Burgoyne's com- Terms of accommodation had been ing home charged with some treaty, the hinted as necessary to be offered at a duke remarked, that if what the Gazette proper season. Of what nature were the and the newspapers had said was true, re- terms? and when was the proper season? specting that officer's publications in Ame- The noble earl in office had affected a shew rica, he did not imagine the Americans of candour. Why did not his actions and would be much inclined to treat with him, his words agree? Why did he not speak or hold friendly parley with a man who out as a man? He had disclaimed the had in such extravagant terms threatened idea of screening himself behind parliadeath and desolation to all who opposed' ment, it was equally mean to screen him. him. His grace mentioned the articles of self behind the veil of jesuitical secrecy. capitulation having been published, and The noble lord had talked in an high strain questioned the lords in office closely as to of bombast about the mighty supremacy what they meant by proper terms of con, and the fundamental rights of this counciliation, and when they considered it a try. The hour of defeat was not the time proper time to offer these terms, if the for such language. The question was not present moment was not that time. His what we wished to do in the spirit of con. grace went over the ground of the old en: 1 quest; but what we were able to do by deavour to treat on Staten Island, when an exertion of strength. Could we conthe three commissioners from the Congress quer America ? We could not. We had insisted on their being considered as the failed most miserably in the attempt. To deputies of independent states as a preli- talk, therefore, of a proper season, now minary, and in consequence of that preli- was the time, before we experienced
greater calamities. We had formerly claimed supremacy over Scotland by as valid a right of conquest as that by which we claimed supremacy over America; yet this chimerical claim had been waved, and an union had taken place. If we would treat with America, we could do it only by waving all claims of supremacy, by giving up what in the high-flown spirit of Quixotism ministers had termed the fundamental rights of this country; we must treat with the colonies as independent. A foederal union with America was the utmost that could be expected. Before we could regain America, we must reconquer it. The fate of Mr. Burgoyne had evinced the folly of attempting a conquest. If . were impracticable, the independence of America had been already secured. Was there any one of the mimisters who would say, that America was at this moment in a dependent state? As soon as the colonies had been declared to be out of the peace of the King, they had formed a plan of government. Protection being denied, the law of self-preservation became the rule of duty; a mode of government founded on the principles of selfpreservation took place, and continued in efficacy ever since; colonies at this moment were independent; we must bring them back by conquest to a dependent state. That measure we had already tried, and it had been found to be impracticable. The only measure that remained was to
negociate a peace with America on these
terms; admitting her independence, and forming such an alliance, or foederal union, as would be for the mutual interests of both countries. Viscount Weymouth endeavoured to justisy the noble earl in office respecting what he had said about the opinions of the lords who opposed the motion, which the duke had applied as if the earl meant to say, that his Majesty would not ask the opinion of those lords in general who were against the motion, and, in particular, that the opinion of the noble earl of Chatham would not be asked. The viscount declared he understood the noble lord very differently, and that he was sure no particular application of his words was meant when he uttered them. In answer to what the noble duke had declared respecting general Burgoyne's misfortune, and the articles of capitulation; with regard to the former, his lordship said he was heartil sorry he was forced to believe it, lio a proper state of that affair had not reached [VOL. XIX.]
government; with regard to the latter, he had, indeed, seen them in the newspaper, but would the noble duke think their lordships warranted in proceeding to adopt any measure of importance upon so slight a ground as newspaper authority ? The viscount concluded with declaring that his voice and heart were both for peace, as soon as it could be made on terms which would neither insult the honour, nor injure the interests of the nation. The Earl of Shelburne replied to lord Suffolk, and reprehended him in strong terms for his presumption in saying, that the King would never call to his counsels those who opposed the measures now carrying on against America, or those who differed from his present servants. He contended, this was not a language befitting ihe mouth of any minister, be his situation ever, so high. The constitution reprobated the idea; it was saying, in so many words, that the most able and honest men were not to be employed and trusted with the executive power, though contrary to the sense and interests of the nation. This government was a popular government, and in many situations, left the option with the nation at large. He could not, therefore, conceive how the noble earl could pretend to controul public opinion, so far as to predict what persons were or were not proper to or would be employed. Such language was indecent, unparliamentary, unjustifiable, and unconstitutional. The public were deeply interested in the choice of ministers; their dearest interests were committed to their charge. They ought to know whom they employ; they ought to be satisfied of their ability and integrity; and if they should be found wanting in both or either, I trust, said his lordship, they will exercise their inherent right, that of ministerial election. The public, in and out of parliament, are warranted in insisting, that weak or wicked men shall not be employed. The present administration come under that description; they are ignorant, inconsistent, sanguinary, and every way unfit for their stations; and shall these very men, full of blind confidence and temerity, not only ruin the nation, but answer for their sovereign, and impute sentiments to him totally unbecoming his station, and directly repugnant to the duty the constitution has prescribed to him His lordship then entered into a view of the absurd conduct of the war. General Howe is sent into the Jerseys, to look [2 R]
Mr. Washington in the face, and then person, deserved to have his offers treated turn his back upon him. Mr. Burgoyne with contempt. There was one very mais directed to march to New York, or to terial reason why parliament should not effect a junction with Mr. Howe. Mr. be adjourned. It was this ; parliament, by Howe goes aboard his ships, and after attending to the measures, could easily beating to the southward, gets on the other discover the incapacity of the ministers. side of Philadelphia. In the mean time The surrender of general Burgoyne, and Mr. Burgoyne is surrounded by the pro- the consequent disgrace of the British vincials, and applies for succour to general arms, was a fact which it was not in the Clinton. Mr. Clinton is in the very act power of sophistry to explain away. Alof complying with the request, when he most 6,000 men had been reduced to the receives an order from Mr. Howe, for a necessity of laying down their arms. The reinforcement of 4,000 men, to defend whole of the British northern army had himself in his redoubts, in the neighbour- thus surrendered prisoners, and some gehood of Philadelphia. What is the effect nerals of the provincial militia bad escort. of this? Burgoyne is surrounded, agd ed them to Boston. Some very respectataken prisoner, with his whole army. | ble characters, who came over in the WarClinton is weakened so much as probably wick, had proved the truth of this catasto share the same fate, or at least the de- | trophe. A lettet had been received from tachment from his army under the com. | general Fraser which contained this ex. mand of general Vaughan is. New York pression; “ I am not on a bed of roses, and Rhode Island of course become in the yet I care not for my own person.” Some most imminent danger; and the provin- of the most respectable officers had fore. cials, on every side victorious, flock to the seen the calamity which would happen to standard of Mr. Washington, who, by the general Burgoyne; they had remonstrataid of this additional force, either takes ed to him ; but, regardless of their remonMr. Howe and his army prisoners, or com- strances, he had rushed on, and had met pels them to go aboard their vessels, and with his fate. How was this obstinate take shelter in New York or Great Bri. pursuit of a very desperate project to be tain. This, my lords, is the general state accounted for? On this principle: the of our military situation, according to the orders to Mr. Burgoyne were positive; latest accounts; and such is it in my opi- he was to push through at any rate. The nion, that if I do not hear full and suffi.orders to general Howe, and those to Mr. cient reasons for this extraordinary conduct, Clinton, were not positive, but discretionthat I protest I think Mr. Howe would ary. The consequences had been such as deserve to be brought home in chains. might be expected. General Vaughan had His lordship proved in the strongest terms, | undertaken an expedition in which it was the bad conduct of the war; the fatal very probable that he would share the consequences of which had even already same fate with Mr. Burgoyne. Should a been of such a nature, that the nation worse befal him, he was not to be pitied. ought to have justice by a public trial and The man who had most inhumanly reduced execution of the party really blameable; the town of Æsopus to ashes, because it adding, that if the minister could make was, in his estimation, inhabited by a nest it appear, that general Howe and general of villains, should be smitten for his cruel. Clinton disobeyed orders, they ought in- ty by the scourge of justice. stantly both be put in irons, and sent home As to the state of the garrisons in Ameto be tried for their lives; if, on the other rica, general Carleton had only three rehand, it turned out to be the fault of the giments at Quebec. The last advices minister, that minister should be forthwith from Ticonderoga mention the deplorable seized, tried and executed; indeed, no- sickness which prevailed amongst the thing ought to be held a palliation of his troops. What had been the situation of guilt, or soften the severity of his punish- the affairs ? Had the smallest degree of ment, but a frank and full declaration who unanimity prevailed amongst the officers? it was advised him to take a part, or recom. Very far from it. Mr. Clinton had been mended him to the service of his sovereign jealous of general Burgoyne; general at such a critical juncture.
Howe had not placed much confidence He wished not more than any of his in Mr. Clinton ; and general Carleton had colleagues in opposition, to obtrude him. shewn the utmost indifference for all those self into office. The man who would gentlemen. Xenophon ascribes the sucenter unsolicited into the service of a cess of his retreat with the ten-thousand, to the unanimity which prevailed through-could the populace of Madrid be reout the army, and to the profound defer- strained from violence on the occasion. ence which the officers and soldiers paid | The people of this country were not to each other. The opposite to this had of such complexional warnth as those been the case in America.
of Spain ; the loss of an army of 6,000 As to terms of conciliation, in treating men was a trifling calamity which hardly with the colonies for peace, the object of occasioned a rumour in our streets. The independence, like the preamble to a sta good sense of the public had been boasted tute, should not be mentioned until the by the ministers, as affording support to body of conditions were adjusted. One their measures. How many delusive arts good might result from the evil of defeat; had been practised to impose on the good had America not been so successful, she sense of the nation? yet the day of enwould have been entirely thrown into the quiry would come. These convenient adarms of France; she would have been the journments of parliament were so many property of our enemies, rather than she presages that it was near at hand. Miniswould have submitted to our tyranny. ters could not meet the force of their opThe faint glimmering of hope still remain.ponents objections; talk to them about ed. Were we wise, the feeble ray should the truth, and, like Pilate, they waved conduct us, as the star directed the magi the question, and adjourned the court. of the East, to the dwellings of peace. This was treating parliament as a mere Should war be still our object, it would be engine of state; as necessary only for the infinitely more conducive even to the pur- / registry of edicts. When England subsuit of that measure, for general Howe to mitted to this, her liberty would be lost. treat general Washington, as he did in the The liberty of a free people existed no Jerseys, to look at him, and return to longer, than whilst the poorest man in the winter quarters in New.York. To sup-community could demand redress of the pose that America would ever negociate first minister in the country; and this as a with those in whose sincerity she could matter of right. not confide, was to imagine a very vain
The House divided : Contents 47; thing. The negociating talents of the Nót Contents. 17. Their lordships then present ministers had been already tried. adjourned to the 20th of January 1778. The first proposition of the noble lord (North) in the other House, had only sub
. 1778. jected him to the pity of his friends, and to the ridicule of his enemies. The pro Debate in the Commons on raising ject for the 81 per cent. revenue from Troops by Subscription without Consent of Nova Scotia, had been laughed at by every Parliament.] January 22, 1778. Sir custom house officer in the British dó. Philip Jennings Clerke. Sir, I rise to minions. The powers with which the fulfil a promise I made to several of my famous commissioners had been entrusted, neighbours, before I left the country, . extending no further than to grant par- which was, to enquire into the state and dons, and receive submissions, had been circumstances of several new levies of scouted by the Americans. Such proofs troops, which have been lately ordered to had the ministers given of the super-excel. be raised. The people of the country lency of their negociating talents. Had have been told, Sir, that the American their conduct of the war been marked war is the war of parliament; they are with the trait of wisdom? Let the expe. therefore exceedingly alarmed to hear dition of Mr. Burgoyne answer that ques that a large body of men has been raised tion. It had been projected by the rash during the recess of parliament, without ness of folly, and it had been attempted their knowledge or advice, not the least to be executed in the madness of despair. intimation having been given by the miThe overthrow of Mr. Burgoyne was a nister of such an intention before the ad. national misfortune of so great a magni- journment; on the contrary, the noble tude, that it was very astonishing the lord told the House he had a conciliatory indignation of the people haà not been proposition to make at their next meeting, rouzed. A disaster of not half so much which he thought would end to the adconsequence had thrown Spain into con- vantage of this country. The noble lord, fusion. When general O Reilly failed instead of a peace, has producedan army, an in the expedition against the Algerines, army raised under the auspices of persons he was recalled with indignity; nor who have never been noted for their loyalty
to their sovereign, or their attachment to the constitution. To know into what hands the sword is placed is the grand object of this enquiry. However necessary it may be to raise troops to continue this destructive war, it is incumbent on us to take care that the sword is placed in safe hands; that it is not turned against our. selves; and that these powers which are now employed to destroy the freedom of America, in the end may not endanger our own. The motion I am now going to make is, “That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions, that there be laid before this House an Account of the number of Troops ordered to be raised during the late adjournment of parliament; specifying the different corps, and the names of the officers appointed to command them, and also the names of all the officers appointed to serve in each rank in the different corps, and the time each officer has served in any other corps in the army, previous to such appointment; and the rank he held.” Lord Barrington had no objection to the motion, but thought that the number of troops raised was improper information, and therefore moved to leave out those words, and to say, “an account specifying the different corps which have been ordered to be raised duringthe late adjournment, &c.”—The motion was agreed to. Lord North observed, he was happy in having it in his power to inform the House, that the purposes for which the adjournment was originally proposed had not only been answered, by the active exertion of the various officers employed in the several departments of his Majesty’s service, but that the voluntary unsolicited efforts of several loyal subjects, had also contributed to this effect. A subscription had lately been set on foot in several parts of the kingdom, that not only intimated the most valid indications of truly patriotic zeal, but also gave a most flattering appearance of the public acquiescence in the conduct of administration. It was no little comfort to persons interested in public employments to observe, that the opinion universally entertained of their management was not influenced by contingencies that human sagacity could not impede, and it was a pleasure peculiarly grateful to an honest Englishman, that amidst such emergencies, the fortitude of the people should shine particularly conspicuous.
in the same manner. What fence or pro-r
tection were the constitution and the laws against arbitrary power, if all its friends had to do, in order to establish such a mode of government, was to promote subscriptions for raising troops, and when they were raised and embodied, employing them in support of their favourite doctrines Respecting the purposes, to effect which those troops were to be employed, and the necessity arising from the present state of our colonies, parliament had no right at all to interfere, or they must have been the best and only judges of both the purposes and the necessity. Why, then, adjourn parliament without consulting them He would grant in argument every thing those most sanguine for the measure might wish to urge in its favour; but still, though the essence of the constitution was lost, it behoved ministers to at least preserve the forms of it; and not, by adjourning parliament to a long day, on purpose to exercise its only great constitutional power, that of granting money, incur the actual expenditure, and bind parliamentary faith first, and then call upon that House, as a matter of course, to provide for that expenditure. Lord North rested his defence, first, on the ground of necessity; secondly, on the impracticability of imparting what was not, nor could not be known, to ministers at the time of the adjournment; and thirdly, on their conduct being perfectly constitutional. The necessity, he said, would not be disputed; the very arguments daily urged by gentlemen on the other side, proved it beyond a possibility of doubt. The operations of the next campaign, in America, would call for the most vigorous exertions, if our colonies should obstimately persist in refusing to agree to reasonable terms of accommodation. It was not in the power of administration, before the recess, to bring the matter as a measure before parliament, because, in fact, except in a very few instances, they were totall ignorant of what afterwards io.