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means of saving a disbursement ten times because we have experienced the extent of the amount, with interest, aye, and of that power; our enemies that would be, compound interest, at a future time; and but who, on this account, will not be so, when the risking the loss of a thousand know it, because they see its effect here, men now, although the necessity of such an and dread its effect among themselves. alternative was sufficient in itself to excite If, however, that catastrophe, which his horror and regret, might avert the sacri- majesty's ministers have taken the best fice of ten thousand lives hereafter, and means to avert, and which, in all human might have the effect of preventing a war probability, will be averted, should unhapwhen our resources should be crippled-a pily fall upon us, whatever may be our war of boundless extent, in which it should burthens, whatever may be the difficulties be observed, that other powers besides with which we may have to contend, let Spain might take part, and of which it but his majesty's government act steadily might be truly said, that no man could up to the principles they have avowed, foresee where it would end. I entirely and let the country but remain true to agree (said Mr. Brougham) in all that has itself, and I have no fear of the rest. been said of the hazards and difficulties Mr. Bright dissented from the propoinseparable from war, and I was certainly sition, that a casus fæderis had arisen, or one of those who held, some years ago, that the present was an occasion on wbich that looking to the burthens under which the honour and character of the country this country laboured, we were under se- required the adoption of the course pointed vere recognizances to keep the peace. I out by the right hon. Seeretary. The know the severity of these burthens; but hon. member read an extract from the if I feel their weight, if I feel apprehen- treaty of 1703, and argued, that the only sive, as who must not, of their effect, in instance in which it warranted an intercase this most necessary measurema mea- ference by Great Britain was when not sure which, upon all reasonable probabili- only acts of oppression had been committies, must prove effeciual—should, unhap- ted, but when a hostile power was actually pily fail, I cannot but rely on those sound, waging war with Portugal, in which case enlightened, liberal, and truly English this country was bound to go to war with principles principles worthy of our best all its might. Neither of these contingentimes, and of our most distinguished states- cies he contended, was the state of the men, which now govern the councils of present case. The occupation of Portuthis country in her foreign policy, and in- gal with five thousand men was merely a spire the eloquence of the right honour- state of armed neutrality, instead of a able Secretary with a degree of fervor, compliance with the compact of the treaty; energy, and effect, extraordinary and un- namely, that we should wage war with all precedented in this House unprece- our might. But the occasion for our fuldented (I can give it no higher praise) filment of this obligation had not arisen, even in the eloquence of the right honour- for Portugal was not now reduced to the able gentleman. I feel that in these prin- necessity of repelling an attack by a foreign ciples, now adopted and avowed by the power. Her assailants were exiles who organs of our government, we have a had taken refuge in Spain. The country strong and impregnable bulwark, which was divided; and, if England were to side will enable us not only to support our with either party, she would only be taking burthens, and, should the day of trial part in a civil war. He felt himself called come upon us, to meet the combined upon, at the eve of a momentous train of world in arms, but which will afford events, to declare his conviction, that no the strongest practical security against casus fæderis had arisen, and that no future danger; and render it eminently event was shown to have yet occurred in improbable that
that we shall have Portugal which called for the interposithat combined world to contend with, so tion of this country in the way proposed long as those principles are maintained. by ministers. Our burthens may remain, but our go- Mr. Secretary Canning said :-) rise, vernment know that when the voice of the Sir, for the purpose of making a few obpeople is in their favour, they have a lever, servations, not so much in answer to any if not within their hands, within their general arguments, as in reply to two or grasp. I will imitate the discretion of the three particular objections which have Secretary, and go no further. We know, I been urged against the Address which I
have had the honour to propose to the tilities in the ear, to that of the gallant House. In the first place, I frankly ad- and chivalrous member for Bristol, who mit to my hon. friend, the member for would let aggressions ripen into full Dorsetshire, that I have understated the maturity, in order that they may then be case against Spain- I have done so de- mowed down with the scythe of a magsignedly—I warned the House that I nificent war. would do so—because I wished no further My hon. friend, the member for Dorto impeach the conduct of Spain, than setshire, will now see why it is that no was necessary for establishing the casus papers have been laid before the House. fæderis on behalf of Portugal. To have The facts which call for our interference gonė further—to have made a full state-in behalf of Portugal are notorious as the ment of the case against Spain—would noon-day sun. That interference is our have been to preclude the very object whole present object. To prove more which I have in view; that of enabling than is sufficient for that object, by papers Spain to preserve peace without dishonour. laid upon the table of this House, would
The hon. gentleman who spoke last, have been to preclude Spain from that indeed, in his extreme love for peace, locus poenitentiæ which we are above all proposes expedients which, as it appears things desirous to preserve to her. It is to me, would render war inevitable. He difficult, perhaps, with the full knowledge would avoid interference at this moment, which the government must in such cases when Spain may be yet hesitating as to possess, to judge what exact portion of the course which she shall adopt; and that knowledge should be meted out for the language which he would hold to our present purpose, without hazarding Spain is, in effect, this—“ You have not an exposure which might carry us too far. yet done enough to implicate British I know not how far I have succeeded in faith, and to provoke British honour. You this respect; but I can assure the House, have not done enough, in merely enabling that if the time should unfortunately arPortuguese rebels to invade Portugal, and rive when a further exposition shall beto carry destruction into her cities; you come necessary, it will be found, that it have not done enough in combining knots was not for want of evidence that my of traitors, whom-after the most solemn statement of this day has been defective. engagements to disarm and to disperse An Amendment has been proposed, them—you carefully re-assembled, and purporting a delay of a week, but, in equipped and sent back with Spanish effect, intended to produce a total abanarms, to be plunged into kindred Portu- donment of the object of the Address ; guese bosoms. I will not stir for all these and that amendment has been justified by things. Pledged though I am by the a reference to the conduct of the governmost solemn obligations of treaty to resent ment, and to the language used by me in ' attack upon Portugal as injurious to Eng- this House, between three and four years land, I love too dearly the peace of Europe ago. It is stated, and truly, that I did to be goaded into activity by such trifles not then deny that cause for war had as these.-N0.—But give us a good been given by France in the invasion of declaration of war, and then I'll come Spain, if we had then thought fit to enter and fight you with all my heart.”—This into war on that account.
But it seems is the hon. gentleman's contrivance for to be forgotten that there is one main difkeeping peace. The more clumsy conference between that case and the present trivance of his majesty's government is —which difference, however, is essential this :—“We have seen enough to show and all-sufficient. We were then free to to the world that Spain authorised, if she go to war, if we pleased, on grounds of did not instigate, the invasion of Portugal; political expediency. But we were not and we say to Spain, · Beware; we will then bound to interfere, on behalf of Spain, avenge the cause of our ally, if you
break | as we now are bound to interfere on behalf out into declared war; but, in the mean of Portugal, by the obligations of treaty. time, we will take effectual care to frustrate War might then have been our free choice, your concealed hostilities.'” I appeal to if we had deemed it politic: interference my
hon. friend, the member for Dorset- on behalf of Portugal is now our duty, shire, whether he does not prefer this unless we are prepared to abandon the course of his majesty's government, the principles of national faith and national object of which is to nip growing hos- | honour. It is a singular confusion of intellect which confounds two cases $0, in any war in which this country might be precisely dissimilar. Far from objecting engaged, in the present unquiet state of to the reference to 1823, I refer to that the minds of men in Europe. These are the same occasion to show the consistency of expedients, the tremendous character the conduct of myself and my colleagues. of which I ventured to adumbrate rather We were then accused of truckling to than to describe, in the speech with which France, from a pusillanimous dread of I prefaced the present motion. Such exwar. We pleaded guilty to the charge of pedients 1 disclaim. I dread and deprewishing to avoid war. We described its cate the employment of them. So far, inexpediency, its inconveniences, and its indeed, as Spain herself is concerned, the dangers (dangers, especially of the same employment of such means would be sort with those which I have hinted at strictly, I might say, epigrammatically, to-day); but we declared that, although just. The Foreign Enlistment Act was we could not overlook those dangers, passed in the year 1819, if not at the dithose inconveniences, and that inexpe- rect request, for the especial benefit, of diency, in a case in which remote interest Spain. What right, then, would Spain and doubtful policy were alone assigned have to complain if we should repeal it as motives for war; we would cheerfully now, for the especial benefit of Portugal ? affront them all, in a case--if it should The Spanish refugees have been harboured arrive-where national faith or national in this country, it is true; but on condihonour were concerned. Well, then-ation of abstaining from hostile expeditions case has now arisen, of which the essence against Spain; and more than once, when is faith, of which the character is honour. such expeditions have been planned, the And when we call upon parliament, not British government has interfered to supfor offensive war-which was proposed to press them. How is this tenderness for us in 1823—but for defensive armament, Spain rewarded ?-Spain not only harwe are referred to our abstinence in 1823, bours, and fosters, and sustains, but arms, as disqualifying us for exertion at the pre- equips and marshals the traitorous refusent moment ; and are told, that because gees of Portugal, and pours them by thouwe did not attack France on that occa- sands into the bosom of Great Britain's sion, we must not defend Portugal on nearest ally. So far, then, as Spain is this. I, Sir, like the proposers of the concerned, the advice of those who would amendment, place the two cases of 1823 and send forth against Spain such dreadful 1826 side by side, and deduce from them, elements of strife and destruction is, as I when taken together, the exposition and have admitted, not unjust. But I repeat, justification of our general policy. I again and again, that I disclaim all such appeal from the warlike preparations of expedients ;-and that I dread especially to-day, to the forbearance of 1823, in a war with Spain, because it is the war proof of the pacific character of our of all others in which, by the example and counsels ;-I appeal from the imputed practice of Spain herself, such expedients tameness of 1823 to the Message of to- are most likely to be adopted. Let us night, in illustration of the nature of those avoid that war if we can,—that is if Spain motives, by which a government, generally will permit us to do so. But in any case, pacific, may nevertheless be justly roused let us endeavour to strip any war-if war into action.
we must have of that formidable and Having thus disposed of the objections disastrous character which the hon. and to the Address, I come next to the sug- learned gentleman has so eloquently degestions of some who profess themselves scribed ; and which I was happy to hear friendly to the purpose of it, but who him concur with me in deprecating, as would carry that
purpose into effect by the most fatal evil by which the world means which I certainly cannot approve. could be afflicted. It has been suggested, Sir, that we should Sir, there is another suggestion with at once ship off the Spanish refugees, now which I cannot agree, although brought in this country, for Spain; and that we forward by two honourable members, who should, by the repeal of the Foreign have, in the most handsome manner, Enlistment Act, let loose into the contest stated their reasons for approving of the all the ardent and irregular spirits of this line of conduct now pursued by his macountry. Sir, this is the very suggestion jesty's government. Those honourable which I have anticipated with apprehension, members insist, that the French apny in Spain has been, if not the cause, the en- have achieved, at great cost of blood and couragement, of the late attack by Spain treasure, an honourable peace; but as to against Portugal; that his majesty's go-getting the French out of Spain, that would vernment were highly culpable in allowing have been the one object which you almost that army to enter into Spain, that its stay certainly would not have accomplished. there is highly injurious to British interests How seldom, in the whole history of the and honour, and that we ought instantly wars of Europe, has any war between two to call upon France to withdraw it. great powers ended, in the obtaining of
There are, Sir, so many considerations the exact, the identical, object for which connected with these propositions, that the war was begun! were I to enter into them all, they would Besides, Sir, I confess I think, that the carry me far beyond what is either neces- effects of the French occupation of Spain sary or expedient to be stated on the pre- have been infinitely exaggerated. sent occasion. Enough, perhaps, it is for I do not blame those exaggerations ; me to say, that I do not see how the with because I am aware that they are to be drawing of the French troops from Spain attributed to the recollections of some of could effect our present purpose. I be the best times of our history; that they lieve, Sir, that the French army in Spain are the echoes of sentiments, which, in the is now a protection to that very party days of William and of Anne, animated which it was originally called in to put the debates and dictated the votes of the down. Were the French army suddenly British parliament. No peace was in those removed at this precise moment, I verily days thought safe for this country while believe that the immediate effect of that the crown of Spain continued on the head removal would be, to give full scope to the of a Bourbon. But were not the appreunbridled
rage of a fanatical faction, be- hensions of those days greatly overstated ? fore which in the whirlwind of intestine Has the power of Spain swallowed up the strife, the party least in numbers would be power of maritime England ? Or does swept away.
England still remain, after the lapse of So much for the immediate effect of more than a century, during which the the demand which it is proposed to us to crown of Spain has been worn by a Bourmake, if that demand were instantly suc- bon,-niched in a nook of that same Spain, cessful. But when, with reference to the Gibraltar; an occupation which was conlarger question of a miktáry occupation of temporaneous with the apprehensions that Spain by France, it is averred, that by I have described, and which has happily that occupation the relative situation of survived them ? Great Britain and France is altered ; that Again, Sir,—is the Spain of the preFrance is thereby exalted and Great Bri- sent day the Spain of which the statestain lowered, in the eyes of Europe ;-I men of the times of William and Anne must beg leave to say, that I dissent from were so much afraid? Is it indeed the that averment. The House knows—the nation whose puissance was expected to country know that when the French shake England from her sphere? No, army was on the point of entering Spain, Sir, it was quite another Spain--it was the his majesty's government did all in their Spain, within the limits of whose empire power to prevent it; that we resisted it the sun never set-it was Spain with the by all means, short of war. I have just Indies” that excited the jealousies and now stated some of the reasons why we alarmed the imaginations of our ancestors. did not think the entry of that army into But then, Sir, the balance of power! Spain a sufficient ground for war; but — The entry of the French army into there was, in addition to those which I Spain disturbed that balance, and we ought have stated, this peculiar reason,--that to have gone to war to restore it! I have whatever effect a war, commenced upon already said, that when the French army the mere ground of the entry of a French entered Spain, we might, if we chose, have army into Spain, might have, it probably resisted or resented that measure by war. would not have had the effect of getting But were there no other means than war that army out of Spain. In a war against for restoring the balance of power? - Is France at that time, as at any other, you the balance of power a fixed and unaltermight perhaps, have acquired military able standard? Or is it not a standard glory; you might, perhaps, have extended perpetually varying, as civilization adyour colonial possessions; you might even vances, and as new nations spring up, and take their place among established politi- | sation brought against his majesty's gocal communities? The balance of power vernment, of having allowed the French a century and a half ago was to be ad- army to usurp and to retain the occupajusted between France and Spain, the tion of Spain. That occupation, I am Netherlands, Austria, and England. quite confident, is an unpaid, and unreSome years afte ards, Russia assumed deemed burthen to France. It is a burher high station in European politics. then of which, I verily believe, France Some years after that again, Prussia be- would be glad to rid herself.
But they came not only a substantive, but a pre- know little of the feelings of the French ponderating monarchy. Thus, while the government, and of the spirit of the French balance of power continued in principle nation, who do not know, that, worthless the same, the means of adjusting it be- or burthensome as that occupation may came more varied and enlarged. They be, the way to rivet her in it, would be, became enlarged, in proportion to the in- | by angry or intemperate representations, creased number of considerable states, to make the continuance of that occupain proportion, I may say, to the number tion a point of honour. of weights which might be shifted into the I believe, Sir, there is no other subject one or the other scale. To look to the upon which I need enter into defence or policy of Europe, in the times of William explanation. The support which the Adand Anne, for the purpose of regulating dress has received from all parties in the the balance of power in Europe at the pre- House, has been such as would make it sent day, is to disregard the progress of both unseemly and ungrateful in me to events, and to confuse dates and facts trespass unnecessarily upon their patience. which throw a reciprocal light upon each In conelusion, Sir, I shall only once other.
more declare, that the object of the AdIt would be disingenuous, indeed, not dress, which I propose to you, is not war: to admit that the entry of the French --its object is, to take the last chance of army into Spain, was in a certain sense, peace. If you do not go forth, on this a disparagement--an affront to the pride occasion to the aid of Portugal, Portugal -a blow to the feelings of England : and will be trampled down, to your, irretrievait can hardly be supposed that the govern- ble disgrace : — and then will come war ment did not sympathize, on that occa- | in the train of national degradation. If, sion, with the feelings of the people. But under circumstances like these, you wait I deny that, questionable or censurable as till Spain has matured her secret machinathe act might be, it was one which neces- tions into open hostility, you will in a sarily called for our direct and hostile op- little while have the sort of war required position. Was nothing then to be done? by the pacificators ;---and who shall say Was there no other mode of resistance, where that war will end ? than by a direct attack upon France or The amendment was negatived, there by a war to be undertaken on the soil of appearing only three or four members in Spain? What, if the possession of Spain favour of it. The original Address was might be rendered harmless in rival hands then put and agreed to. harmless as regarded us—and valueless to the possessors ? Might not compensa
HOUSE OF COMMONS. tion for disparagement be obtained, and the policy of our ancestors vindicated, by
Wednesday, December 13. means better adapted to the present time? CORN-LAWS-ADJOURNMENT OF THE If France occupied Spain, was it neces- House.] Mr. Secretary Peel said, that, sary, in order to avoid the consequences in pursuance of the notice of adjournment, of that occupation—that we should block- which was given last night by his right ade Cadiz ?" No. I looked another way hon. friend (Mr. Canning), who was -I sought materials of compensation in prevented from attending this day, another hemisphere. Contemplating Spain, owing to the fatigue which had sprung such as our ancestors had known her, I from his great exertions when last in his resolved that if France had Spain, it place, he rose to move that the House at should not be Spain“ with the Indies." its rising do adjourn to the 8th of FeI called the New World into existence, to bruary next. He could not refrain from redress the balance of the Old.
availing himself of the present opportunity, It is thus, Sir, that I answer the accu- ! to express his entire conviction, that the