Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

thought that when the question of Ireland which would prevent him from allowing was before their lordships on a former oc- any aggression on the territories of his casion, they might have so decided upon neighbour, and our near ally. it, as not to leave it to a period when it The Marquis of Lansdown said, he rose might be said to be forced from them from for the purpose of expressing his opinion, other considerations than an admission of that it was most desirable for the interests its justice. It was not, he trusted, yet too of this country, and, he would add, for the late, and as he expected that we should be interests of the whole world, that the successful in rescuing our ally from all measures proposed to be adopted by his further danger, he confidently hoped that majesty should have the cordial and unawe should seize the serene moment, and nimous approbation of their lordships.

. do that justice to Ireland which her case He was the more anxious to deliver his so urgently required.

opinion, because he wished it to be unThe Duke of Wellington said, he did derstood, that it was not from indifference, not rise to offer any explanation why the that he had not addressed their lordships British government had not at an earlier at an earlier period. When it had beperiod taken the course now proposed ; come notorious by the promulgation of for that he felt to be altogether unneces- the despatch which had been alluded to sary. On the contrary, it was earnestly by the noble earl, that the territory of desired to put off to the latest moment at our ancient ally had been invaded, under which negotiation could be available, that circumstances which obviously showed which their lordships had heard this day that it had been done with the participaproposed. On this part of the question tion of Spain, he could assure their lordit was not necessary for him to dwell, but ships, that it had not been until after the he hoped it would be permitted to him, most anxious deliberation, that he had who had had for several years the direc- resolved to abstain from asking for such tion of the resources of this country against an explanation from his majesty's ministers the common enemy in the Peninsula, to as this most unwarrantable aggression state his opinion, that the perfidious acts seemed to call for. The resolution to of aggression on Portugal ought rather to which he had come was founded on a be attributed to the servants of the Spanish belief, which the proceedings of this day government, than to that government justified, that there would not be wanting itself. They ought, in his opinion, to be on the part of the government, either a looked upon as the acts of the captains disposition to watch, or an inclination to general of provinces, and even of the act. He agreed with the noble duke, that ministers of the king of Spain, than as it was a fair cause of commendation to ordered or advised by his Catholic majesty. his majesty's ministers that they had enBut to whomsoever they might be attri- deavoured to avert the calamities of war, buted, he fully concurred in the measures as long as they could do so with any hope intended to repress them. It was impos- of success. He had no doubt that they sible for him to see two armies on both would persevere with earnestness in the sides of the Douro and the Guadiana making same spirit to check the progress of the preparations for invasion, and actually invasion which had actually taken place, violating the territory of Portugal, and and which, under the circumstances denot believe that those armaments were scribed by the noble duke, left no doubt brought together with the connivance and that Spain was involved in the design, concurrence of the authorities of the that had prompted that invasion.

He countries in which they were formed. would not inquire whether it had been Their aggressions, he thought, made out actually committed by the authority of a casus fæderis, and that would afford a the monarch, who appeared to profess sufficient justification of our interference ; one thing while he did another, or by but though the casus fæderis existed, he means of that faction to which the noble did hope that the steps which we had duke had alluded: for this was clear, that taken would have the desired effect. He it ought to be stopped at once, with as trusted that the exertions of his majesty, little hesitation by his majesty's ministers, aided by those of his most Christian as, he trusted, this House would display majesty, would have the effect of bringing in expressing their approbation of the the king of Spain to that sense of what measures the government should adopt. was due to himself and his own dignity, Any apparent hesitation on our part, would have been the worst policy that sexpressing his approbation of the measures could have been adopted--the worst which had been adopted, and of the adpolicy, not only towards the government dress which had been moved. He trusted of that country which appeared to have there was no reason to doubt that every been the aggressor, but, he would add, effort had been made to warn Spain of the worst policy towards that other coun- the danger of the course she was pursuing. try, which, he was glad to learn, was com- He joined in the hope expressed by the bined with us in the design of preventing noble duke; but he confessed it was the further progress of the outrage which rather a hope than a belief, that the ag. had been committed on our ally. He gression which was the cause of this diswas sure, however, that the interference of cussion had emanated, not from the mo. the latter government for that purpose narch and the government of Spain, but would not be less effectually made, nor from a faction which was unhappily too less sincerely urged, when they should be powerful in that country. But, whether convinced that it was the determination it emanated from that monarch, or from of this country to support by arms the persons who unfortunately were able to just and sound principles of policy on govern the resources of the country, it which our treaties had been made. It mattered not; the principle was odious, might also be expedient to suggest to that and must be resisted ; and, therefore, uncountry, if the necessity should arise, that less the progress of the outrage should be it was consistent with common sense and immediately arrested, and no danger excommon justice to adopt measures which isted of further encroachment, he had no should, for the future, compel Spain, at difficulty in expressing a hope that the meaher peril, to respect the rights, and to re-sures of the government would have the corfrain from attacking the independence of dial support of both Houses of parliament. her neighbour. He had no doubt that For his own part, he was prepared to vote the casus fæderis had arisen, and that for the Address, and to pledge his support upon the faith of treaties his majesty's hereafter to any measures which might be government were compelled to adopt the necessary to give effect to the policy on measures which they had entered upon; which this country had hitherto acted, but he would go further, and say, that and was bound still to act. upon principles of policy alone, this coun- The Address was agreed to, nem. diss. try ought to interfere for the defence of Portugal -not merely for the purpose of

HOUSE OF COMMONS. checking the attack which was now made on it, but also for the purpose of arresting

Tuesday, December 12. at this point that attempt at interfering ADDRESS ON THE KING'S MESSAGE with the independence of nations, which, RESPECTING PORTUGAL.) Mr. Secretary if permitted by a monarch so feeble as Canning moved the order of the day, for that by whom it was now made, could not taking into consideration His Majesty's fail to lead to courses ruinous to the in- Message. The Message having been read, terests and institutions of every free coun- Mr. Secretary Canning rose and adtry. For these reasons, he repeated, it dressed the House as follows :* had become the duty of this country to Mr. Speaker; in proposing to the resist the present outrage of Spain on House of Commons to acknowledge, by Portugal-not less for the protection of an humble and dutiful Address, his her own interests, than for that of the Majesty's most gracious Message, and to rights and interests of all nations. He reply to it in terms which will be, in was prepared, then, to say, that the eir- effect, an echo of the sentiments, and a cumstances required the government of fulfilment of the anticipations of that this country to use, as they had resolved Message, I feel that, however confident I to do, the military resources of the coun- may be in the justice, and however clear try, even if they had not been bound to as to the policy of the measures therein do so by the faith of treaties entered into announced, it becomes me as a British long ago, and repeatedly and solemnly minister, recommending to parliament any renewed. He was convinced that it was step which may approximate this country incumbent on the government to take and pursue a decisive course; and feeling this, * From the original edition, printed for it was impossible for him to refrain from J, Ridgway, Piccadilly.

even to the hazard of a war, while I ex- has been connected with the other nations plain the grounds of that proposal, to of Europe, none is so ancient in origin, accompany my explanation with expres- and so precise in obligation-none has sions of regret.

continued so long and been observed so I can assure the House, that there is faithfully—of none is the memory so intinot within its walls any set of men more mately interwoven with the most brilliant deeply convinced than his majesty's minis- records of our triumphs, as that by which ters, nor any individual more intimately Great Britain is connected with Portugal. persuaded than he who has now the It dates back to distant centuries; it has honour of addressing you—of the vital survived an endless variety of fortunes. importance of the continuance of peace, Anterior in existence to the accession of to this country and to the world. So the House of Braganza to the throne of strongly am I impressed with this opinion Portugal—it derived, however, fresh vigour

and for reasons of which I will put the from that event; and never, from that House more fully in possession before I epoch to the present hour, has the indesit down-that, I declare, there is no pendent monarchy of Portugal ceased to question of doubtful or controverted policy; be nurtured by the friendship of Great no opportunity of present national advan- Britain. This alliance has never been tage; no precaution against remote diffi- seriously interrupted; but it has been culty; which I would not gladly compro- renewed by repeated sanctions. It has mise, pass over, or adjourn, rather than been maintained under difficulties by call on parliament to sanction, at this which the fidelity of other alliances was moment, any measure which had a ten-shaken, and has been vindicated in fields dency to involve the country in war. But, of blood and of glory. at the same time, Sir, I feel that which That the alliance with Portugal has has been felt, in the best times of Eng- been always unqualifiedly advantageous to glish history, by the best statesmen of this country—that it has not been somethis country, and by the parliaments by times inconvenient and sometimes burthenwhom those statesmen were supported—I some-I am not bound nor prepared to feel that there are two causes, and but maintain. But no British statesman, so two causes, which cannot be either com- far as I know, has ever suggested the expromised, passed over, or adjourned. pediency of shaking it off and it is assuThese causes are, adherence to the na- redly not at a moment of need, that tional faith, and regard for the national honour, and what I may be allowed to honour.

call national sympathy, would permit us Sir, if I did not consider both these to weigh, with an over-scrupulous exactcauses as involved in the proposition which ness, the amount of difficulties and danI have this day to make to you, I should gers attendant upon its faithful and steadnot address the House, as I now do, in fast observance. What feelings of nationthe full and entire confidence that the al honour would forbid, is forbidden alike gracious communication of his majesty by the plain dictates of national faith. will be met by the House with the con- It is not at distant periods of history, currence of which his majesty has declared and in by-gone ages only, that the traces his expectation.

of the union between Great Britain and In order to bring the matter, which I Portugal are to be found. In the last have to submit to you, under the cogni- compact of modern Europe, the compact zance of the House, in the shortest and which forms the basis of its present interclearest manner, I beg leave to state it, national law-I mean the treaty of Vienna in the first instance, divested of any col- of 1815—this country, with its eyes open lateral considerations. It is a case of law to the possible inconveniences of the conand of fact-of national law on the one nection, but with a memory awake to its hand, and of notorious fact on the other; / past benefits—solemnly renewed the presuch as it must be, in my opinion, as viously existing obligations of alliance and impossible for parliament as it was for the amity with Portugal. I will take leave to government, to regard in any but one read to the House the third article of the light; or, to come to any but one conclu- | treaty concluded at Vienna in 1815, be-. sion upon it.

tween Great Britain on the one hand, and Among the alliances by which, at dif- Portugal on the other. It is couched in ferent periods of our history, this country the following terms ;--"The Treaty of

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Alliance concluded at Rio de Janeiro, on happy conclusion of the war, the option the 19th of February, 1810, being founded was afforded to the king of Portugal of on circumstances of a temporary nature, returning to his European dominions. It which have happily ceased to exist, the was then felt, that, as the necessity of his said Treaty is hereby declared to be void most faithful majesty's absence from Porin all its parts, and of no effect; without tugal had ceased, the ground of the obliprejudice, however, to the ancient Treaties gation originally contracted in the secret of alliance, friendship, and guarantee, convention of 1807, and afterwards transwhich have so long and so happily subsist- ferred to the patent treaty of 1810, was ed between the two Crowns, and which removed. The treaty of 1810 was thereare hereby renewed by the High Contract-fore annulled at the congress of Vienna ; ing Parties, and acknowledged to be of and in lieu of the stipulation not to acfull force and effect.

knowledge any other sovereign of Portu-
In order to appreciate the force of this gal than a member of the House of Bra-
stipulation-recent in point of time, re- ganza, was substituted that which I have
cent also in the sanction of parliament, just read to the House.
the House will perhaps allow me to ex- Apnulling the treaty of 1810, the treaty
plain shortly the circumstances in refer- of Vienna renews and confirms (as the
ence to which it was contracted. In the House will have seen) all former treaties
year 1807, when, upon the declaration of between Great Britain and Portugal ; de-
Buonaparte-that the House of Braganza scribing them as "ancient treaties of al-
had ceased to reign-the king of Portu- liance, friendship, and guarantee;" as
gal, by the advice of Great Britain, was having " long and happily subsisted be-
induced to set sail for the Brazils; almost tween the two Crowns;" and as being al-
at the very moment of his most faithful lowed, by the two high contracting parties,
majesty's embarkation, a secret conven- to remain“ in full force and effect.”
tion was signed between his majesty and What then is the force-what is the ef-
the king of Portugal, stipulating that, in fect of those ancient treaties?-I am pre-
the event of his most faithful majesty's pared to show to the House what it is.'
establishing the seat of his government in But before I do so, I must say, that if all
Brazil, Great Britain would never acknow the treaties to which this article of the
ledge any other dynasty than that of the treaty of Vienna refers, had perished by
House of Braganza on the throne of Por- some convulsion of nature, or bad, by
tugal. That convention, I say, was con- some extraordinary accident, been con-
temporaneous with the migration to the signed to total oblivion, still it would be
Brazils; a step of great importance at impossible not to admit, as an incontest-
the time, as removing from the grasp of able inference from this article of the
Buonaparte the sovereign family of Bra- treaty of Vienna alone, that in a moral
ganza. Afterwards, in the year 1810, point of view, there is incumbent on Great
when the seat of the king of Portugal's Britain, a decided obligation to act as the
government was established at Rio de effectual defender of Portugal. If I could
Janeiro, and when it seemed probable, in not shew the letter of a single antecedent
the then apparently hopeless condition of stipulation, I should still contend that a
the affairs of Europe, that it was likely solemn admission, only ten years old, of
long to continue there, the secret conven- the existence at that time of " Treaties of
tion of 1807, of which the main object Alliance, Friendship, and Guarantee,”
was accomplished by the fact of the emi- held Great Britain to the discharge of the
gration to Brazil, was abrogated ; and a obligations which that very description
new and public treaty was concluded, into implies. But fortunately there is no such
which was transferred the stipulation of difficulty in specifying the nature of those
the convention of 1807, binding Great obligations. All the preceding treaties
Britain, so long as his faithful majesty exist; all of them are of easy reference;
should be compelled to reside in Brazil, all of them are known to this country, to
not to acknowledge any other sovereign of Spain, to every nation of the civilized
Portugal than a member of the House of world. They are so numerous, and their
Braganza. That stipulation which had general result is so uniform, that it may
hitherto been secret, thus became patent, be sufficient to select only two of them to
and part of the known law of nations. show the nature of all.

In the year 1814, in consequence of the The first to which I shall advert is the
VOL. XVI,

N

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

thought that when the question of Ireland which would prevent him from allowing was before their lordships on a former oc- any aggression on the territories of his casion, they might have so decided upon neighbour, and our near ally. it, as not to leave it to a period when it The Marquis of Lansdown said, he rose might be said to be forced from them from for the purpose of expressing his opinion, other considerations than an admission of that it was most desirable for the interests its justice. It was not, he trusted, yet too of this country, and, he would add, for the late, and as he expected that we should be interests of the whole world, that the successful in rescuing our ally from all measures proposed to be adopted by his further danger, he confidently hoped that majesty should have the cordial and unawe should seize the serene moment, and nimous approbation of their lordships. do that justice to Ireland which her case He was the more anxious to deliver his so urgently required.

opinion, because he wished it to be unThe Duke of Wellington said, he did derstood, that it was not from indifference, not rise to offer any explanation why the that he had not addressed their lordships British government had not at an earlier at an earlier period. When it had beperiod taken the course now proposed ; come notorious by the promulgation of for that he felt to be altogether unneces- the despatch which had been alluded to sary. On the contrary, it was earnestly by the noble earl, that the territory of desired to put off to the latest moment at our ancient ally had been invaded, under which negotiation could be available, that circumstances which obviously showed which their lordships had heard this day that it had been done with the participaproposed. On this part of the question tion of Spain, he could assure their lordit was not necessary for him to dwell, but ships, that it had not been until after the he hoped it would be permitted to him, most anxious deliberation, that he had who had had for several years the direc- resolved to abstain from asking for such tion of the resources of this country against an explanation from his majesty's ministers the common enemy in the Peninsula, to as this most unwarrantable aggression state his opinion, that the perfidious acts seemed to call for. The resolution to of aggression on Portugal ought rather to which he had come was founded on a he attributed to the servants of the Spanish belief, which the proceedings of this day government, than to that government justified, that there would not be wanting itself. They ought, in his opinion, to be on the part of the government, either a looked upon as the acts of the captains- disposition to watch, or an inclination to general of provinces, and even of the act

. He agreed with the noble duke, that ministers of the king of Spain, than as it was a fair cause of commendation to ordered or advised by his Catholic majesty. his majesty's ministers that they had enBut to whomsoever they might be attri- deavoured to avert the calamities of war, buted, he fully concurred in the measures as long as they could do so with intended to repress them. It was impos- of success. He had no doubt that they sible for him to see two armies on both would persevere with earnestness in the sides of the Douro and the Guadianamaking same spirit to check the progress of the preparations for invasion, and actually invasion which had actually taken place, violating the territory of Portugal, and and which, under the circumstances de not believe that those armaments were scribed by the noble duke, left no doubt brought together with the connivance and that Spain was involved in the design, concurrence of the authorities of the that had prompted that invasion. He countries in which they were formed. would not inquire whether it had been Their aggressions, he thought, made out actually committed by the authority of a casus fæderis, and that would afford a the monarch, who appeared to profess sufficient justification of our interference; one thing while he did another, or by but though the casus fæderis existed, he means of that faction to which the noble did hope that the steps which we had | duke had alluded : for this was clear, that taken would have the desired effect. He it ought to be stopped at once, with as trusted that the exertions of his majesty, little hesitation by his majesty's ministers, aided by those of his most Christian as, he trusted, this House would display . majesty, would have the effect of bringing in expressing their approbation of the the king of Spain to that sense of what measures the government should adopt. was due to himself and his own dignity, ! Any apparent hesitation on our part,

any hope

« ForrigeFortsæt »