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neral question was this, whether or and failed in the fame expedition, not fufficient preparations were as well as other captains of the fieet, made by the admiralty to be ready had, from the fame causes of weather, against any polible expedition, never been able even to join it. which might be fitted out in the Admiral Colpoys fleet was ports of France? It was admitted, state and condition to follow the he said, that either Portugal or enemy, and the papers offered to Ireland was the point of attack : be produced would prove it. Mr. the one, our faithfulally; the other, Pitt concluded bis speech, on this as dear to us as Great Britain itself. occasion, by complaining of Mr. What was the nature of our pre- Fox's manner of speaking, concernparation. Why, we had our fleeting Ireland, which he confidered as actually watching the enemy, on
violent and inflammatory.
On a their coasts, and ready to follow division of the house, ou Mr. Whitthem wherever they might go, in bread's motion, the previous quelcase the weather had pernitted that tion, against it, was carried by 201 we could have known their direc- against 62. tion; and we had another fleet in On the same subject; a motion such a forward state of prepartion, was made, on March 16, in the as to have been ready to have fail- house of peers, by the earl of ed in five days after we knew that Albemarle. Before he proceeded, the Brest fleet had failed, had the 'however, he assured the house, that wind been fair. Had either one fleet he did not mean to offer, or even or the other been so fortunate as to hint, the smallest disrespect, either have met the enemy, what prodigies to any of the gallant officers emof valour might we not have expect- ployed in any of our fleets, or to ed? In respect to the, navy of the admiralty. The only object he C eat Britain, it ought to be re
had in view was, an inquiry. It collected, how many and various was the universal opinion that blame objects, and what rich and, im- lay fomewhere. It was only ne. portant poffeffions, it had to pro- cessary for him to remind their lordtect. This circumstance must lessen fhips, that ministers must have been our superiority in some points, el informed, even long before the pecially, when the enemy had, so meeting of the present parliament, lately, been reinforced by the fleets that an invasion, of either Ireland of Spain,
What more could be or this country, or both, was indone than to have one fleet on the tended. Why, then, was no fleet French coasts, and another ready of ours stationed on the coast of for sea ? Having no positive informa- Ireland for its protection? This tion of the destination of the enemy's question appeared to him to be of fleet, occasioned by the mere cir- still greater importance, from what cumstance of fogs and tempestuous had fallen from the first lord of the weather, was it extraordinary that admiralty, who had declared, his we should have been so long in the belief, “ that if the thing was to be dark, and unable to find out their done over again.” Lord Albemarle place of rendezvous, when the then entered into a circumstantial French admiral and general Hoche, review of the whole proceedings of who were in possession of the secret, the enemies of our own fleets. The
The earl of Carlisle did not think abled him to face the French with that the selected documents on the ta- complete fuccels. Even after admira ble could communicate the fatif- Colpoys's return, why were not such faction which was required. He la- thips as were fit for service again sent mented that ministers had not come out to re-enforce lord Bridport? The forward with them fooner, and offer marquis of Abercorn, after severely their explanations when it might arraigning the total negligence of have been possible to collect infor- minilters to take any measures for mation from other sources, and espe- the defence of Ireland, faid, that, in cially when they had an opportunity order to establish the justification of of hearing what the noble lord who ministers, the papers on their lordcommanded the feet knew on the fip's table ought to have proved fubject. He wished to have it fatif- four points: that this country had a factorily explained, why ministers, fufficient feet, ready for sea; that when ihey had information of the admiral Colpoys's fleet was sufpreparations made by the enemy and ficiently strong to keep the fea; that the failing of the Brest fleet, had not admiral Colpoys was fufficiently provided a force, under lord Briti- provided with stores and provisions; port
, sufficiently strong to have been and that he had received particular Superior to the consequences of two orders to turn his attention to Irefhips (the Prince and the Sanipareil) land, and to proceed to that iland, running foul of one another, and as soon as he fouid have rewhich would have guarded against ceiver intelligence that the French the delay which such accidents had fleet had failed. None of these occasioned? Ile wished likewise to points, however, appeared from the know why it was four days before papers. On the contrary, it was the fleet was ready to fail, after the proved, that admiral Colpoys's fleet news of the French feet being at had been too long at lea; that it sea had arrived? Why, too, ministers was not sufficiently provided with had not given admiral Colpoys fpe- ftores and provisions; and, above ciíicorders to make Ireland the chief all, that no particular attention had object of his regard? It was the duty been paid to Ireland, nor any pofiof ministers to watch over the safety tive orders given to admiral Colpoys of Ireland with the same care which to make its fatety his principal obwas demanded for the safety of ject. Under such circumstances, Great Britain. When they knew the marquis could have no hehtation the designs of the enemy to be to vote for the inquiry. pointed against that country, why The earl Spencer, with respect to was not admiral Colpoys sent direct- admiral Colpoys, would only fay, ly for its defence? Had they given that if his fleet, together with that of such a positive order to admiral Col- lord Bridport, had gone to Ireland, poys, there would have been no oc- the channel would have been left cation for any delay in lord Brid- open to the Dutch fleet. One of the port's failing; because, in proceed- causes of lord Bridport's fleet not hav. ing direâly to Ireland with the force ing been ready in time was, the he could muster, he must have fallen damage which leveral ships suftain. in with some of admiral Colpoys's ed in a hard gale of wind in the fquadron, which would have en- channel.