Burgoyne's; and wherever it did so, it blundered. This expedition was not a plan of diversion in our favour, but a diversion against ourselves, by separating that force which ought to have been united to one point, that of dispersing the rebel army; instead of which, it left general Howe too weak, upon the plan the noble lord suggested to him; and sent general Burgoyne, with a still lesser army, to a place where the enemy were much stronger. He said this only for argument, to shew that the measure was originally wrong in the design ; and added, that he should move something on this point. But the matter upon which he should make his present motion, was that part of the execution which belonged to the minister, not to the officers. The principal and indeed sole design of sending general Burgoyne from Canada, was that of forcing his way to Albany, and making a junction with general Howe. This was a plan of co-ope

ration, in the execution of which two par

ties were concerned, but orders were given only to one party; the other party was left ignorant of the design. This appeared from the minister’s letters to the commanders, and from the commanders’ letters to each other. It was intending two men to meet at one place, but giving orders to only one to go there; and then blaming the execution, because the other, who did not know he was to go there, did not meet him; but who, on the contrary, had o the person with whom the orders lay, that he was going another way. Upon these grounds, he insisted, that the whole disconcertion and failure of general Burgoyne’s expedition, was owing to either the ignorance or negligence of the

secretary of state who had the direction of

it; by which one of his Majesty's armies was totally lost, and in consequence of that, thirteen provinces were lost, to the utter ruin of this country. He moved, that the committee would come to three Resolutions, which were, in substance, That the plan of the Canada expedition had been ill concerted ; that, from the measures adopted, it was impossible it should succeed; general Howe to co-operate with general Burgoyne, had not been such as were necessary to insure success to the latter. After which, he said, he should offer a fourth resolution of censure upon lord George Germain. Lord Nugent principally spoke to the impropriety of the enquiry into the state of

and that the instructions sent to

the nation; it now appearing, as he had always foretold it would, to involve in it the case of absent men. As a charge was now brought against a noble lord, who was secretary of state in the American department, it must now be decided upon ; otherwise he should move for the chairman leaving the chair. Mr. Macdonald said, enough was now brought to shew there was blame somewhere : it was a fact admitted on both sides the House. One side laid the blame on the noble lord; and that charge he thought must be decided upon. But he begged the committee to recollect, that if it was decided that the blame did not rest upon the noble lord, a further enquiry remained to be made, Who it did rest upon 2 Mr. Joliffe. The event of the expedition to Canada, has not only annihilated the idea of the conquest of America, but has lost an army of 8,000 men; has cost this country an infinite sum, and the lives of many thousands of its best subjects. It is the blackest page in the English history; it is a disgrace which this nation never can recover. But, dreadful as the consequence of this event is, and may be, much as this country must ever deplore a catastrophe so fatal, and sincerely as I wish the heaviest vengeance to fall on those who merit it, I think it would ill become the candour which ought to distinguish this House, it would even be a subversion of justice, were we to condemn those who concerted the plan, merely because it has not proved successful. The design cannot be judged of by the event. It would be an insult to common sense, were I to pretend that I thought the loss of Burgoyne's army was the effect of chance; or that this country would not minutely enquire and resent it. It is impossible to conceive 8,000 men reduced to the situation they are, without great fault in some one. I could have wished that this enquiry had been deferred; for, indisputably, it would be the highest injustice, it would be cruelty in the extreme, to extend your enquiry to the conduct of general Burgoyne. He even knows not of the subject of your deliberations. Whether his rashness precipitated this army into destruction, or whether his delays produced this unhappy surrender, we can come to no resolution. We ought not to suffer ourselves to form an opinion. To censure, or even to question, his conduct at this time, would be a breach of all the laws of justice, by which, every man ought

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to be present when he is accused. If, Sir, I am unwilling to condemn, or even to scrutinize, the conduct of general Burgoyne, it becomes me to be no less guarded in what I say of sir William Howe. Great guilt may rest with him; but there being no paper of importance relative to him before us, except the letter of lord G. Germain of the 18th of May, we must be silent respecting that great officer, until he returns to England. I shall therefore only submit to you my sentiments on the conduct of the noble lord at the head of the American department; and I hope to demonstrate, that the loss of this army can no way be attributed to him; that the plan was not only practicable, but that it was necessary for him to adopt it; and that he contributed every thing in his power to enSure Success. At the opening of the campaign, in 1777, the attention of the whole nation was taken up by the intended junction of the armies, and thereby cutting off all communication between the northern and

the measure. I am warranted, therefore,

duced to the necessity of a general engagement. The advantages being infinite, had the event been successful, was not the minister warranted in attempting it? Would he not have been condemnable, if he had adopted any other 2 Let us now, Sir, enquire, whether the Secretary of State complied with the requisitions of the general, and by every means in his power, promoted the success of the undertaking. No complaint having been made, that every necessary to forward the expedition was not afforded, I might be warranted in concluding that the general was supplied with every thing he could wish. But yet, let us examine that matter. General Burgoyne, by his thoughts on the war, expresses himself thus: I conceive the operating army, exclusive of troops left for the service of Canada, ought not to consist of less than 8,000 regulars, rank and file; the artillery, in the memorandums of general Carleton,

a corps of watermen, 2,000 Canadians, and

a thousand or more savages; the Canasouthern provinces. Every one approved

in saying, that the voice of the whole i

country concurred with the noble lord; and had it succeeded, there cannot be a doubt of the most happy consequences. Unless the rebel army could be brought to a general engagement, skirmishes might protract the war, at a vast expence; and though successful, but little forward the conclusion. The reputation of general Burgoyne, the universal opinion of his skill and bravery, made him appear to the moble lord and to the whole world, as the fittest general that could be found for such an expedition. He solicited it by his letter 1st of January, 1777; by No. 9 he states his plan for the campaign. The nation called for it. The general solicited the undertaking; and himself forms the plan. The noble lord would have deserved every degree of censure, had he impeded, or even if he had not forwarded the attempt. I have no doubt he thought well of it; but had his opinion been contrary, it would be impossible to justify his resisting the calls of his country, and the solicitations of a brave and favourite ge. meral. The advantage of crossing the country was obvious; by this means all communications between the northern and southern provinces would have been prevented. Had general Burgoyne received the expected co-operation, the army under general Washington must have been re

dians and savages were totally out of the power of the secretary of state; and he could only give direction to sir Guy Carleton, to provide them, if possible. All that was within the immediate power of the secretary of state were the regular troops, and the necessaries of the army. By the letter, 28th March, 1777, from lord G. Germain to sir Guy Carleton, he is required to put 7,173 effective men under the command of general Burgoyne, and 675 under the command of col. St. Leger; making together 7,848. It was hardly possible to be nearer the number; and I defy the most determined persecutor of ministry to say, this event was owing to the want of 150 men. By the letter from lord George to sir W. Howe, 18th May, 1777, he has these words: “the King trusts, whatever you meditate may be executed in time to cooperate with the army ordered to proceed from Canada.” This is a proof that cooperation was expected by all parties. Could the minister do more? Will any man conduct your affairs, if he is to be accountable not only for the expediency, but for the success, of every measure ? A general of the greatest military skill, executing a design of his own suggesting, commanding the number of troops he required, supplied with every necessary his imagination could suggest, supported by a co-operation of the armies, so far as the minister is concerned, could there be a


fairer prospect of success ? Could the mi-| tary of state appears to have done every nister imagine that sir W. Howe would thing to ensure its success. He appears not give his assistance; or that general to me, therefore, to merit the hearty thanks Burgoyne, finding himself disappointed in of his country. that expectation, would still persist, and Mr. Henry Dundas commented on the not secure a retreat? The general speaks papers, with a view to shew that the plan of his peremptory orders; they passed was a wise one; that it was attended to in through sir Guy Carleton; and express, the execution with assiduity and ability ; that general Burgoyne and col. St. Leger that it was a plan of junction of co-operaare to be put under the command of sir tion, not a junction of the bodies of the W. Howe; and until they receive order armies ; and that the noble lord had given from him, they are to act at discretion; orders to every officer to attend to that but they are never to lose view of their co-operation. intended junction with sir W. Howe, as Sir Richard Sutton thought the papers their principal object. They are to act did not warrant the committee to agree to at their discretion is that peremptory? | the proposed Resolutions, and that thereThey are to have in view their junction fore they ought to be thrown out. with sir W. Howe; but until that junction Mr. Powys thought there was an impro. is established, they continue to act as their priety in the measure, because general discretion dictates. But, Sir, had the or- Burgoyne was absent. ders been the most peremptory that lan- ! Lord John Cavendish said, it would guage can convey, they could not have have been better if general Burgoyne was been compulsory, when dangers and diffi- present; but thought there was matter culties arose which could not be foreseen. enough in the papers to justify the resoluOrders are given according to the appear- tions. ance of things at the time they are issued; / Mr. Burke supported Mr. Fox throughthey cease, therefore, to be peremptory | out. when affairs totally change. No general Lord North said it was proper for him would undertake an expedition, unless to rise, although the charge was not persomething was left to his discretion. Or- sonal against him as nothing was done by ders must be conveyed in general terms; the noble lord, that had not the concurand must be applied according to the in- rence of all his Majesty's ministers, he tention of those who give them : they can must consider himself as included; and it be no otherwise interpreted, than to regu- was his duty to take his share in the crime, late that which is inconsistent with the ge- if any such was proved, and in the cenneral plan, and dangerous in itself, and to sure, if any such was passed. adopt such a line of conduct as shall most! Lord George Germain followed lord conduce to the end proposed. What was North exactly. Mr. Dunning said, the the end proposed by this expedition ? By noble lord had promised to send to general crossing the country, to produce a junc- Howe the same orders he had given to tion of the armies. The general's duty, I general Burgoyne, but he positively astherefore, was to obtain the end. The serted his lordship never did send them. mind of man cannot furnish a reasonable After a long debate, the Committee diground to conceive that, at all events, vided: For the Resolutions 44; Against however the face of affairs might change, them 164. let what difficulties might arise, let a situa- Mr. For, in great warmth, declared he tion be supposed, in which it was impossi- I would not make another motion; and takble for his army to escape being cut to ling the resolution of censure out of his pieces; yet that he was to proceed at all pocket, tore it in pieces, and then went hazards. Such an interpretation would out of the House. As soon as Mr. Fox have destroyed the intent of the expedi- was gone, tion; and it is not possible to imagine, The Solicitor General moved, " That it that the general could consider himself does not appear to this Committee, that bound to obey such orders, though he had the failure of the Expedition from Canada received them from the secretary of state. arose from any neglect in the Secretary Much more might be said; but I should of State.” The Resolution was agreed to precipitate myself into a condemnation of by the Committee, but was never reported those I do not wish to mention. The ex- to the House. pediency of the measure is apparent, the practicability of it obvious, and the secre. Debate on the Duke of Richmond's Motion for withdrawing the Forces from Ame- , resentment. More fully to support this rica.) March 23. The House being in opinion, the duke desired their lordships a Committee on the State of the Nation, to look back to their own history, and see

The Duke of Richmond rose. He be- | what had been done on similar occasions. gan with enumerating the several benefits Queen Elizabeth, the most zealous for the which had resulted from the inquiries of preservation of the national honour of all the committee, namely, the ascertainment the crowned heads who had possessed the of the state of the army, the state of the throne of these kingdoms, assisted the Hunavy, the general expenditure in conse- guenots with 100,0006. and 6,000 men, quence of the American war, and a par- although the Huguenots were actually the ticular investigation of a part of that ex subjects of France, and were then in open penditure; he declared that he thought it arms against their sovereign. A remonwas owing to the committee that ministers strance took place, but no war ensued. had so far been brought to their senses as The same princess, when in perfect peace to set about something like an attempt to with Spain, assisted the confederates with accommodate matters with the Americans, a large sum of money, who were then enand to prepare a plan, which, however in- deavouring to throw off the Spanish yoke : adequate it might be, was certainly a plan and, what was more, Elizabeth, in her noof conciliation, inasmuch as it gave up tification of this fact to the Spanish court, many of the most obnoxious points in con- expressly said, that she lent the confedetest. The main object he had in view, rates the money, and assisted them with when he moved for the committee, was to the men, out of her love and affection to lay a foundation for such measures as were her good friend, the king of Spain, having most likely to promise respect and reputa- no other view but to preserve the states for tion abroad, and a re-union with our re him, and prevent their throwing themvolted colonies. The inquiry, so far as selves into the arms of France. This prehad yet appeared, went clearly to prove text, his grace declared, was not much rethat our land force was totally inadequate lished by the king of Spain ; however, that to the purposes of either an offensive or | monarch thought it prudent not to take defensive war; our trade had been most any serious notice of it, and no war broke materially injured; such of our dependen out between the two kingdoms for some cies as we still retained possession of were years. His grace said, the treaty entered in a most ruinous and defenceless condi- into between France and America was tion; and our naval force on different sides certainly a defensive one, as it stated that of the Atlantic, he feared, was far from France was determined to protect her being in the flourishing state it had been commerce with America; a matter so obso repeatedly described. He was happy, viously the consequence of her treaty, that however, to discover, that our military it was exceedingly unnecessary to have force within the kingdom was much stated it in her notification to the King's strengthened since the returns were made, servants, and he heartily wished it had not on which, in the early stages of the com- been stated. If we attacked France, Amemittee, he had framed his resolutions. rica was bound in honour to assist her By the last returns on the table, it ap- against us; and if we could not conquer peared that the old corps were become America singly, when joined with France, nearly complete, consisting of 19,000 men, there appeared to be but little hopes of and the new levies already amounted to our success : he begged their lordships, 8,000, and would probably at a very short therefore, maturely to consider the conseperiod be quite full, which would amount quence of a rupture with France, on the to an additional force of 15,000 men: ground of the treaty; repeating, that com- The public, he observed, were much mencing a war upon such a ground would indebted to a noble duke (Bolton), for not only confirm the independency of that part of the inquiry into the state of America, but put an end to all hopes of the nation which he had, undertaken, reconciliation with her on any terms. namely, the navy. His grace then men- His grace next came to a consideration tioned the King's Message on the French of what was proper to be done in the preambassador's Declaration, and repeated, sent situation of affairs; and earnestly that he was sorry to see the Message pressed the ministry immediately to put couched in terms of warmth and anger; the nation into a respectable state of deand still more sorry to see their lordships fence. He highly applauded the measure take up the business in the same style of of calling out the militia; but many other

matters were also necessary to be done. As the best way of learning what was necessary, he had looked back to the time of queen Elizabeth, and seen what measures were taken when this country was threatened with an invasion by the famous Spanish Armada. At that time we had an army of 40,000 men in the kingdom; and yet it was thought prudent to take a great variety of other measures for the public security. Engineers were sent down to fortify the vulnerable parts of the sea coast, forts were erected at certain distances, beacons put up in order to give signals to the army, the militia divided into different bodies, and marched to various parts to be ready at a moment’s warning, and special directions were given to lay the country waste for a considerable extent wherever the enemy attempted to land, in order to check their progress, and to prevent their receiving any other subsistence but from their ships. Had any measures like these been taken Had engineers been sent into the different maritime countries to mark out entrenchments, and to plan such sort of fortifications as the situations of the respective places made necessary? A general officer ought to be deputed to assist the lord lieutenant of every county; for a civil officer, however willing, however able in other matters, could not so well judge of the proper measures to be taken by an army as a military man, accustomed to service. Much remained to be done besides merely calling out the militia. His grace said he should now come to the subject matter of his motion; which he said the necessity of the times called for so pressingly, that he hoped it would at least meet with no resistance from any one of their lordships. The want of frigates, in case of a war with France, was so obvious, that it needed no argument to shew the propriety of getting some of them home : indeed, without them we could do nothing; for notwithstanding there might be many large ships fit for sea at home, he was well assured there were not seamen enough in the kingdom to man our navy; the reason was evident—so great a number were now on board our fleet in America, and on board the innumerable transports there, which had been sent out partly to carry the army, and partly to victual that army. As a proof of the difficulty of procuring seamen, his grace said there had last week been an exceeding hot press on the river, when he understood no more than 500 were got, [VOL. XIX.]

and of them a . large number were of necessity returned. Here the duke recurred to his former arguments respecting the independency of America; urging our acknowledging her independency, as the * only probable means of accommodating our impolitic and destructive differences, and declaring that this country had still many friends there, who, upon our takin such a measure, would be furnished with a strong argument in our favour; and, by being enabled to convince their brethren. that Great Britain had done every thing which throughout the quarrel they had said they desired, would, he doubted not, wean them from all thoughts of a connection with France, and induce them to make an honourable and lasting alliance with Great Britain. His grace concluded with moving, “That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire that . he will be pleased to give orders that all his ships of war and land forces be immediately withdrawn from the ports and territories of the thirteen revolted provinces, and disposed of in such manner as his Majesty in his wisdom shall think best calculated for the defence of the remaining parts of the empire, in the difficult situation in which we are unfortunately placed; humbly beseeching him to take into his particular consideration the condition of England and Ireland, to repel a foreign invasion; and imploring him to take the most speedy and effectual measures for providing for the security of these kingdoms.” The Earl of Sandwich said, that there were many objections to the motion at this time; whether it might not be proper hereafter to adopt the measure recommended by the motion, was more than he could pretend to determine. He differed widely from the noble duke, as to the manner, as well as the time; for granting, in argument, that the troops oft to be withdrawn, this House was not the proper place to declare it. Such a measure, thus publicly recommended, might furnish the means to our enemies of defeating it: therefore, he should oppose it, on the ground of inexpediency, and move that the chairman do leave the chair. He was ready to acknowledge, that there was a great scarcity of seamen, though no means whatever had been left untried by him to remedy that defect. It might be asked, how it happened that seamen came to be escarcer now, than at any former period 2 He knew but one, which was what had [3 Q )

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