the noble duke, he presumed, were strictly accurate ; and if ministers were culpable, they deserved censure. Nothing of that nature, however, was so much as suggested. The fact meant to be established was, that our force was unequal either to the object of home defence, or of asserting our dominion over America. If either was the case, they should be concealed, not only from foreign powers, but from our colonies, who, it could be no longer denied, had endeavoured to rival this nation, as well in power as in all its consequences. His lordship expressed his highest disapprobation therefore of agreeing to the Resolution ; but if he had no other reason than that of invading the prerogatives of the crown, in the constitutional exercise of the executive power, that alone would be sufficient, as it would be the direct effect of the Resolution, if agreed to. The Duke of Richmond replied, that he expected to have heard some of his assertions refuted before any lord would object to a motion, which the necessity of the times loudly called for. He said, all that had fallen from the noble earl in office, only went to an assurance that administration might be trusted, and that at a proper season they would secure the kingdom. Too much confidence had already been placed in the assurances of ministers: in consequence of which, America was nearly, if not altogether lost; three fruitless campaigns had passed, and we were : the brink of ruin. The noble duke répeated his arguments on the propriety of his motion, and added, that it was the duty of their lordships to advise the crown of the danger of the kingdom. The Earl of Effingham remarked, that neither of their lordships in office, so much as offered to controvert a single fact. The premises were acknowledged to be true ; the ground of objection stated was, that it would be a public declaration of our national weakness. He could hardly believe that their lordships, when they said so, meant to be serious. Did any noble lord want to be told, that the facts stated in the Resolution were already known to our enemies; nay, long before ministers were compelled to impart them to parliament? Certainly not. Administration were sufficiently apprised of this circumstance; it was therefore evident, that every argument built on such an absurd supposition, as that the House of Bourbon were ignorant of the state of our land forces in Great Britain, was at an end; consequent

ly, when ministers objected to the propriety of the resolution, it could only be to prevent a vote of parliament, which would tell the great body of the people our internal weakness; pointing to the certain conclusion, that the conquest of America was impracticable, that it was dangerous to pursue it any farther, and that there was an indispensible necessity for holding out reasonable terms of accommodation to our colonies. But he would admit, for an instant, the most improbable of all improbable things: he would grant, that France or Spain knew nothing of the state of our national defence, previous to the moving this resolution; he would even push this possibility a step further; that the vote now moved, though administration acknowledged the facts, would be discredited, if it should receive a negative; but would be believed, if it received their lordships’ sanction: allowing all this, he still contended that it could not be productive of disclosing our national weakness, because the vote would be understood, by foreign powers, as the first introductory measure of putting the nation in a state of defence, sufficient to repel any attack which might possibly be in the contemplation of our enemies. Lord Camden ridiculed the idea of mock secrecy, affected by the noble lords on the other side, as the most barefaced insult ever attempted to be put on the good sense and understanding of that House. The notion of conquering America was absurd at any time, but more so now, when France had in every thing, but mere form, declared America independent. He reminded their lordships, that the perilous situation which this country was now in, had been frequently foretold in that House. He particularly adverted to a fact, stated very early by the noble duke (of Grafton) of the two French gentlemen, who went to Mr. Washington’s camp near Boston, in the summer 1775, and from thence to the Congress at Philadelphia. This, he believed, was the foundation of the connection between France and the colonies. Though the fact had happened several months before it was mentioned to their lordships, yet administration seemed totally ignorant of its reality, and treated the transaction as originating in a mere spirit of curiosity, or mercantile adventure. What was the consequence of this first overture on the part of France 2 Early in the next summer the Congress send Mr. Deane to the court of France in a public character; he is followed by Dr. Franklin the next winter, who is armed with more complete and extensive powers. Henceforward every substantial effect of the most solemn amity and alliance ensues. France opensa trade with our colonies; she sends them arms, ammunition, clothing, and officers to discipline their troops, and instruct them in the art of war. During the whole of these transactions, remonstrancesare made, promises given, explanations added; but still France, by one means or other, persists in the same conduct. Ordinances are issued; those ordinances are no sooner made public, but they are evaded, altered, or modified in such a manner as just to amount to nothing. In fine, France effects, by repeated modes of evasion, her utmost wishes; sometimes holding a firmer language, at others a more moderate, and again making declarations of the warmest friendship, till at length she completes the first part of her plan, that of disuniting America from this country, and giving our colonies just that species of assistance which has enabled them now to desy our most vigorous exertions. She enabled America to do what America could have never effected without her—to withstand the whole power of this country. Whether administration saw this in the early stages of the contest, or not, he would not pretend to determine; but he could say, that they had been repeatedly told of it; and that, when too late, they began to be undeceived. For notwithstanding the pacific assurances, and the delusive private promises and public acts, which had been boasted of with so much parade, it is now known that the ports of L'Orient and Nantz are blocked up by a British naval force. Three frigates are now cruising off those ports, to intercept succours going to America, and to put a stop to that very commerce which the French king, in his public edicts, pretends to prohibit. If ministers should carry their threats into execution, and, from remonstrating, resort to open force, he had not a doubt but a war must be the consequence. He presumed, that there was not a single member in administration would dispute it. He insisted that France, be the occasion what it might, meant from the beginning to take part with America. . He was equally certain, that she intended a war with this country, when the proper season should present itself. . That season was almost present, and he was perfectly satisfied that a war

with the united power of the House of Bourbon was approaching. It was certain in all events, and he had strong reason to believe, was not far distant. On the only two serious grounds on which the present state of this country could be defended, much had been said by the noble lords who opposed the motion. The first was the very formidable state of the navy; the second, the just dependence we ought to have on that constitutional mode of defence, our national militia. Our navy was stiled our great bulwark: it was represented as invincible. No lord in that House entertained a higher opinion of the prowess of our seamen than he did. The state of our navy not being properly in the contemplation of the committee, he should defer giving his sentiments on the subject till enabled so to do from the papers on the table; but as that matter was already taken as granted, and relied upon accordingly, in argument, on the other side, he thought it his duty to declare his opinion, how far such a defence ought or ought not to be relied on. He would first premise, that however brave and skilful our seamen might be, he thought it presumptuous to say they were invincible. He was willing to believe, and experience had taught him to expect, that when a British fleet was equal in point of strength, number, &c. they would prevail; but allowing this, he should be extremely sorry that in the confidence of our superiority, we should ever risk the fate of this country solely on our navy. Every kind of war, but above all, operations at sea, were liable to accidents, or might be controuled by Providence. Winds, tides, &c. were not at the disposal offiuman policy; nay, though all these should tend to hold the balance even, the conflict might terminate in our disfavour, and, according to the conclusions drawn from the consideration of our naval superiority, might end in our total destruction, if, in consequence of a defeat, a powerful and well-disciplined enemy should land in this kingdom: “The race was not always with the swift, nor the battle with the strong.” Besides, there were instances, within his own memory, in which, though we had acknowledged superiority at sea, yet, from other circumstances before alluded to, that superiority denied its aid in the manner contended for. One was, when there was a formidable and alarming armament at Dunkirk, in 1743, at which time, the winds being unfavourable to the British fleet, the invasion must have been effected, if the embarkation had not been prevented by a storm, which destroyed the transports, &c. destined to carry the invaders to the British shore; the other was of a later date, when lord Hawke had the honour of defeating the fleet under M. Conflans, in 1759. Indeed, it required very little argument to prove the absurdity of trusting the safety, may very existence of the nation, to so precarious a defence as that of our fleet alone. It was well known that France had at all times a powerful military force, in the vicinity of our coasts: and it was equally as well known, that in the space of twenty-four hours she might, by pressing fishing-boats, small craft, &c. have it in her power, from Calais, and other ports in the channel, to invade us with such an army as would drive us to the necessity of fighting for our very existence and independence as a nation. His lordship en

tered, besides, into the consideration of

what httle dependence we ought to have on our militia, from its present wretched and undisciplined state: and concluded with giving his assent to the Resolution, on the ground, that national security, at the present tremendous period, called for a suitable military defence; and that of course none of thc Old Corps, in the terms of the Resolution, could be spared out of the kingdom, without hazarding the most dangerous consequences. The Earl of Sandwich paid several ironical compliments to the noble lord who spoke last, on his great knowledge, talents, and volubility of speech, but which, in the present instance, he feared had run away with his judgment. He presumed the learned lord did not mean to expose

our national weakness by assenting to the

motion. He supposed the contrary: and was inclined to think so from the noble lord’s own argument; for surely if his lordship imagined the nation to be in the weak and defenceless state which the resolution was supposed to import, he could never have brought himself to point out the means of invading us, or instruct our enemies to attack us with success: he could never have described the wretched state of the national militia, or asserted, that a British fleet might be beaten upon an equality; that the uncertainty of winds and tides rendered our naval defence precarious, and not to be at all depended on. Much less would the noble lord have alluded to instances in support of those arguments, and, on the whole, have con

tended, that in spite of our naval superiority France might, at any time, in the space of twenty-four hours, collect flatbottomed boats, fishing vessels, and other small craft, and land an army in this island without interruption.—His lordship proceeded to expose what he called their absurdity; he said, the learned lord possessed such transcendent abilities, such a crowd of ideas, was blessed with such prompt utterance, and such a weight of eloquence, he was always happy in hearing him speak on subjects he understood; but assured him, he never desired to find him on salt water; there he was clearly out of his element. This being the case, though he would scarcely venture to contend with the learned lord upon any other subject, he would take the liberty to set his lordship right; previous to which he thought proper to give his general sentiments as to the effect of the enquiry. He said he was, from the first steps taken in this business, totally against disclosing any matter which might tend to expose to foreign powers the state of this kingdom; or, in general, that of our naval or military strength; and his reasons were, that whatever was said in that House, immediately got abroad. He perceived that the space below the bar was crowded; he would not determine on the propriety or impropriety of admitting strangers; but certainly it was a fair consequence to draw, that foreign powers had their emissaries in that House, who would, by the very first opportunity, transmit home an account of what was then passing. Such being the case, he should have hardly thought it necessary to reply to the matters thrown out by the learned lord; but that his silence might be construed into an acquiescence in what had been urged by his lordship. On the first fact alluded to by the noble lord, relative to the armament at Dunkirk, when the late marshal Saxe came there, to command the troops destined to invade this kingdom, he contended, that the project was deemed wild, absurd, and impracticable; and the event proved it was so; for the vessels being obliged to lie in an open, dangerous road, the first heavy gale of wind which happened destroyed the transport vessels, dashed them against each other, which ended in their destruction, and defeated the project. Independent of this circumstance, he said, as long as we have a superior fleet, no embarkation at any port in the channel can possibly succeed. And even while the armament at Dunkirk was pending, he saw hogsheads of letters, i. from persons resident at Dunkirk and elsewhere, and from officers serving in the intended expedition, totally reprobating the absurdity and impracticability of the attempt, and earnestly wishing all thoughts of it were laid aside. His lordship next ridiculed the learned lord’s assertions of an invasion from Calais. The learned lord must first suppose, that an armament could be collected, without our having any previous knowledge of it; and must likewise suppose, that, when collected and ready to sail, our fleet in the Downs would rest inactive, and let the armament pass without destroying it. But even granting that all impediments of this kind were removed, where could the enemy land? Such an armament, consisting of flat bottomed boats, &c. could not be supposed fit to keep the sea; if not, then he should be obliged to the learned lord, to land, as well as he had collected, this armament. The learned lord had been almost as unlucky in his military, as in his naval assertions. Indeed, he seemed to be equally ignorant of them both. He had conemned the employing of substitutes in the militia; now in his apprehension, the employing of substitutes was the very circumstance which rendered the militia respectable; and would, if occasion should make it necessary, render it formidable. Instead of giving us decrepid, unserviceable men, it had a direct contrary effect. It was the cause of filling the militia corps with able men. The grocer, manufacturer, &c. who knew nothing of military discipline, was excused, upon procuring a substitute to serve for him. This man, perhaps trained to arms, strong, robust, of a healthy constitution, served as long as the law permitted him; and either instructed his comrades, if before a soldier, or, by habit of a long service in the militia, became one. Whereas in the other manner, the drawing by lot those on whom the lot fell, unused to arms, or unfit from some natural or acquired impediment, answered no end whatever. He recollected, that he had served himself, in the militia corps, now under the command of a noble duke (of Manchester) and what he now observed was the case, particularly at the beginning of the late war: and he had every reason to be satisfied, that if the embodying the militia, at any future period, should become necessary, the present corps could soon be rendered as useful as

those, on which such high commendations had been bestowed. The learned lord had talked of some of our cruizers being stationed off Nantz and L'Orient. He affirmed, he knew nothing of the matter; if the fact was so, the orders did not come from him. If it was true, he thought it not proper for his lordship to divulge it. On the whole, he thought it extremely imprudent, if not highly censurable, to expose our weakness, if any such weakness existed; and if it did not, the folly or blame was still increased; but above all, his lordship condemned such parts of the learned lord's speech, as tended to invite a rupture with, or an attack from our foreign enemies. The Duke of Grafton said he disapproved of the manner adopted by the last noble lord, in the discussion of matters of such singular importance. He disclaimed every idea of introducing jest and merriment on the present occasion. He charged administration with all the evils that at present threatened this nation; and reprehended, in terms bordering upon reproach, the authors of the implied imputation thrown out on those who obstructed the measures supported by the noble lord. His grace observed, that the main argument used by his lordship was of the most extraordinary kind he ever heard. “Opposition have testified their dissent of such and such measures; they have foretold the events that would happen in consequence of them; of course, opposition were the cause of those unhappy events.” This, he insisted, was a language not to be endured. He trusted, that the day of enquiry and retribution was not far off; that the day was swiftly approaching, on which such a defence dare not be avowed; or, if set up, would not be accepted of. He contended, that the nation had been betrayed, misguided, and misled; and that every mischief which had already been brought upon us, or threatened the nation, had been occasioned by the inability, treachery, or design of those to whom the conduct of public affairs had been entrusted. From ministers every evil originated; from them of course redress or satisfaction would be ultimately sought and obtained. The sovereign was surrounded by such men; he was advised by evil counsellors. The nation, in consequence of their power and influence over the sovereign, was led to the brink of ruin. It was now become absolutely necessary that' such councils should continue no longer to operate or mislead. The nation called for other men and other measures; and he was certain both would be required, and must be obtained. The throne was not only surrounded by weak, but he feared wicked men. If, in the general mode of conducting the affairs of government, ministers were supported in carrying through doubtful measures, not in their possible consequences of any great importance ; if on such occasions, even improper compliances took place ; and that an acquiescence might be fairly interpreted into a support of government; if, in such a supposed case, the influence of the crown, and the power of those acting under its authority, might be supposed, on account of favours granted or promised, to bias the general conduct of parliament; the evils resulting, if any, from this influence and these motives, might be remedied, or removed, when they were discovered; but in a case like the present, when the very existence of the nation depended on the issue, he hoped no man would suffer himself to be led by such an improper influence, or to be guided by such base, and unworthy motives. He was once in office himself; and by every light he could obtain then, and both before and since, he was fully justified in affirming, that the nation, should the measures now pursuing be persisted in, let the promised event of them be what they might, could not much longer bear the burden. What he was now going to offer, was but the opinion of a private man; but if his information was not very ill founded indeed, he could venture to affirm, that a war with France was swiftly approaching. He would not pretend to fix the exact time; but he undertook to say, it would take place within the period of three months at the farthest, if a peace with America was not immediately agreed to. A peace with America he ventured to predict would ensure the continuance of peace with our natural enemies; without that, a war with the latter was inevitable. His grace next endeavoured to shield his learned friend from the wanton attacks of the noble lord who spoke before him. He confirmed the fact alluded to by the learned lord, relative to the affair of Conflams' fleet; and lamented the absence of the noble lord (Hawke) who could have so properly informed their lordships on that subject, as well as several other matters mentioned in the course of the debate. He well remembered that we had

notice of a very formidable armament being preparing to sail from Brest in the winter 1759; and that sir Edward, now lord Hawke, was ordered to watch its motions. What was the consequence 2 The admiral stationed off Ushant, where he was ordered to cruize, was blown into Torbay by contrary wind. The same wind that compelled him to return to Torbay from his station, served the French fleet under Conflans to come out of Brest water, and to collect the transports, in order to proceed towards Ireland, to invade that kingdom. So matters stood at the very instant Providence interposed. A brisk wind sprung up, not only to enable the admiral to quit Torbay, and return to his former station, but to catch the French fleet, struggling with a hard gale to call their transports out of port; from which his grace drew this inference, that our naval defence, however superior or formidable, was not sufficient, solely, to protect us from an invasion. The Committee then divided on the duke of Richmond’s motion: Contents 31; Not Contents 94. The further consideration of the State of the Nation was adjourned to the 6th instant.

Debate in the Committee on the State of the Nation, upon Mr. Foa's Motion, “That “no more of the Old Corps be sent out of the Kingdom.”] Feb. 2. The order of the day being read, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the State of the Nation; the several Estimates, Papers and Accounts which had been moved for, were referred to the said Committee. The House then went into the Committee, Mr. Puiteney in the chair. Upon which,

Mr. For rose, and after an apology for the trouble he was going to give the Committee, and his own personal good-fortune in having his audience reduced,” being

* “This day, a vast multitude assembled in the lobby and environs of the House of Commons, but not being able to gain admission by either intreaty or interest, they forced their way into the gallery in spite of the doorkeepers. The House considered the intrusion in a heinous light, and a motion was directly made for clearing the gallery. A partial clearing only took place; the gentlemen were obliged to withdraw; the ladies, through complaisance, were suffered to remain : but governor Johnstone observing, that if the motive for clearing the House was a supposed propriety, to keep the state of the nation concealed

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