« ForrigeFortsæt »
would have been the worst policy that expressing 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 aghad 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 TUE 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 inost 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 someI 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, besion upon it.
tween Great Britain on the one hand, and Among the allianees 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
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 PortuIn order to appreciate the force of this gal than a member of the House of Brastipulation-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- Annulling 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 ; deBuonaparte-that the House of Braganza scribing them as “ ancient treaties of alhad 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 beinduced to set sail for the Brazils; almost tween the two Crowns;" and as being alat 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 efthe king of Portugal, stipulating that, in fect of those ancient treaties ?-I am prethe 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 had, by tugal. That convention, I say, was con- some extraordinary accident, been contemporaneous 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 incontestthe 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,
treaty of 1661, which was concluded at and pay, as well when in quarters as in the time of the marriage of Charles the action; and the said high allies shall be second with the Infanta of Portugal. obliged to keep that number of men comAfter reciting the marriage, and making plete, by recruiting it from time to time over to Great Britain, in consequence of at their own expense.” that marriage, first a considerable sum of I am aware, indeed, that with respect money, and secondly, several important to either of the treaties which I have places; some of which, as Tangier, we no quoted, it is possible to raise a question longer possess; but others of which, as whether variation of circumstances or Bombay, still belong to this country-change of times may not have somewhat the treaty runs thus :-" In consideration relaxed its obligations. The treaty of of all which grants, so much to the benefit 1661, it might be said, was so loose and of the king of Great Britain, and his sub-prodigal in the wording; it is so unreasonjects in general, and of the delivery of able, so wholly out of nature, that any one those important places to his said majesty, country should be expected to defend and his heirs for ever, &c. the king of another, “ even as itself :" such stipulaGreat Britain does profess and declare, tions are of so exaggerated a character as with the consent and advice of his coun- to resemble effusions of feeling rather cil, that he will take the interest of Por- than enunciations of deliberate compact. tugal and all its dominions to heart, de- Again, with respect to the treaty of 1703, fending the same with his utmost power, if the case rested on that treaty alone, by sea and land, even as England itself;" | a question might be raised, whether or -and it then proceeds to specify the suc- not, when one of the contracting parties çours to be sent, and the manner of send-1-Holland—had since so changed her ing them. I come next to the treaty of relations with Portugal, as to consider her 1703; a treaty of alliance contemporane- obligations under the treaty of 1703 as ous with the Methuen treaty which has obsolete--whether or not, I say, under regulated for upwards of a century the such circumstances, the obligation on the commercial relations of the two countries. remaining party be not likewise void. I The treaty of 1703 was a tripartite en- should not hesitate to answer both these gagement between the States-general of objections in the negative. But, without Holland, England, and Portugal. The entering into such a controversy, it is second article of that treaty sets forth, sufficient for me to say, that the time and " that if ever it shall happen that the kings place for taking such objections was at the of Spain and France, either the present or Congress at Vienna. Then and there it the future, that both of them together, or was, that if you indeed considered these either of them separately, shall make war, treaties as obsolete, you ought. frankly or give occasion to suspect that they in and fearlessly to have declared them to be tend to make war upon the kingdom of so.
But then and there, with your eyes Portugal, either on the continent of Eu- open, and in the face of all modern rope, or on its dominions beyond seas; Europe, you proclaimed anew the ancient her majesty the queen of Great Britain treaties of alliance, friendship, and guaranand the lords the States-general, shall use tee, “ so long subsisting between the their friendly offices with the said kings, Crowns of Great Britain and Portugal," or either of them, in order to persuade as still “ acknowledged by Great Britain," them to observe the terms of peace towards and still “ of full force and effect.” It is Portugal, and not to make war upon it.” | not, however, on specific articles alone--it The third article declares, that, in the is not so much, perhaps, on either of these event of these "good ofhces not proving ancient treaties, taken separately as it is successful, but altogether ineffectual, so on the spirit and understanding of the that war should be made by the aforesaid whole body of treaties, of which the kings or by either of them, upon Portu- essence is concentrated and preserved in gal, the above-mentioned powers of Great the Treaty of Vienna, that we acknowledge Britain and Holland, shall make war with in Portugal a right to look to Great all their force, upon the foresaid kings or Britain as her ally and defender. king who shall carry hostile arms into This, Sír, being the state, morally and Portugal; and towards that war which politically, of our obligations towards Porshall be carried on in Europe, they shalltugal, it is obvious, that when Portugal, in supply 12,000 men, whom they shall, arm I apprehension of the coming storm, called on Great Britain for assistance, the only! But there was another teason which inhesitation on ourpart could be not whether duced a necessary caution. In former that assistance was due, supposing the oc- instances, when Portugal applied to this casion for demanding it to arise--but sin-country for assistance, the whole power ply whether that occasion--in other words, of the state in Portugal was vested in the whether the casus foederis-had arisen. person of the monarch. The expression
I understand, indeed, that in some of his wish, the manifestation of his dequarters it has been imputed to his ma- sire, the putting forth of his claim, was jesty's ministers, that an extraordinary sufficient ground for immediate and dedelay intervened between the taking of cisive action on the part of Great Britain the determination to give assistance to -supposing the casus foederis to be made Portugal, and the carrying of that deter- out. But, on this occasion, inquiry was, mination into effect. But how stands the in the first place, to be made, whether, fact? On Sunday, the 3rd of this month, according to the new constitution of Porwe received from the Portuguese ambas- tugal, the call upon Great Britain was sador a direct and formal demand of made with the consent of all the powers assistance against a hostile aggression and authorities competent to make it; so from Spain. Our answer was—that al- as to carry with it an assurance of that though rumours had reached us through reception in Portugal for our army which France, his majesty's government had not the army of a friend and ally had a right that accurate information—that official to expect. Before a British soldier should and precise intelligence of facts-on which put his foot on Portuguese ground, nay, they could properly found an application before he should leave the shores of Engto parliament. It was only on last Friday land, it was our duty to ascertain that the night that this precise information arrived. step taken by the regency of Portugal was On Saturday his majesty's confidential taken with the cordial concurrence of the servants came to a decision. On Sunday legislature of that country. It was but that decision received the sanction of his this morning that we received intelligence majesty. On Monday it was communi- of the proceedings of the Chambers at cated to both Houses of parliament--and Lisbon, which establishes the fact of such this day, Sir--at the hour in which I have concurrence. This intelligence is conthe honour of addressing you—the troops tained in a despatch from sir W. A'Court, are on their march for embarkation. dated 29th of November, of which I will I trust then, Sir, that no unseemly de- read an extract to the House.
“ The day lay is imputable to government. But, after the news arrived of the entry of the undoubtedly, on the other hand, when rebels into Portugal, the ministers dethe claim of Portugal for assistancea manded from the Chambers an extension claim, clear indeed in justice, but at the of power for the executive government; same time fearfully spreading in its pos- and the permission to apply for foreign sible consequences, came before us, it was succours, in virtue of ancient treaties, in the duty of his majesty's government to the event of their being deemed necessary. do nothing on hearsay. The eventual The deputies gave the requisite authority force of the claim was admitted ; but a by acclamation; and an equally good thorough knowledge of facts was neces- spirit was manifested by the peers, who sary before the compliance with that claim granted every power that the ministers could be granted. The government here could possibly require. They went ever laboured under some disadvantage. The further, and rising in a body from their rumours which reached us through Madrid seats, declared their devotion to their were obviously distorted, to answer partial country, and their readiness to give their political parposes; and the intelligence personal services, if necessary, to repel through the press of France, though sub- any hostile invasion. The duke de Cadaval, stantially correct, was, in particulars, president of the Chamber, was the first to vague and contradictory. A measure of make this declaration : and the minister grave and serious moment could never be who described this proceeding to me said, founded on such authority; nor could the it was a movement worthy of the good ministers come down to parliament until days of Portugal!" they had a confident assurance that the I have this incidentally disposed of the case which they had to lay before the supposed imputation of delay in complylegislature was true in all its parts. ing with the requisition of the Portuguese