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maritime supremacy, a patrimony entailed upon us, and therefore not a matter of negotiation; miuisters would judge how far a peace was promising under such auspices. Were Buonaparte to abdicate his throne, and to depose all his minion princes; were he to restore to France her legal government, and to Europe her balance of power, they would not, in his mind, be equivalents for the sacrifice of our command at sea.-We had seen the original principles of revolutionary devastation settled into a savage tyranny, which had armed, by its menaces or corruption, the rest of Europe against us. We saw that it had a leader pledged to our rain, who, after exhausting the other sources of his malignity, renounced at length that commercial law which mitigated the war to both, and converted into the instruments of his hostility the want and misery of his own people. We saw, however, that in this spirit of destruction, disengaged from all its other objects, and concentrated on the downfal of this single country, he had not advanced one single step towards it; that the time was still to come, when the glories of the great nation were to burst on Britain, and when, execrating the oligarchy of our constitution, we were to become happy in the monarchy he was to give us. In the mean time, he declared us blockaded, not by the presence and assault of his navies, and the consequent destruction of our commercial. strength, but by shutting the gates, against his own shipping. Seeing all this, and. reflecting how far the predictions of Buonaparte had been fulfilled, and on whom this species of warfare pressed heaviest, the whole nation

might learn a lesson of encourage, ment and of admonition: to bear what they had so steadily borne, and to command success by deserving it.

Mr. Whitbread said, that if there was no other justification of the attack on Denmark than what had been given that evening, he had no hesitation in declaring it base and treacherous. He declared, that he would rather have seen the fleet of Denmark in forced hostilities against us, manned by her sailors, acting under compulsion, than he would, after what had happened, see them moored in our own ports. In addition to the inveterate animosity of Denmark, to which this act had given rise, had it not also been the means of cutting off our communication with the continent, as well as of throwing Denmark into the hands of France? But we were told it would be dangerous to grant the information desired. To whom would it be dangerous? To ministers? He verily believed they had none to give. To those who gave them the information on which they acted? This he could not well conceive, since they had asserted their being in possession of it: and it was not very material, after avowing this fact, whether they imparted the substance of the information or not. As to the fact in question itself, we had assertion against assertion: the assertion of the crown prince of Denmark, on the one hand, and an assertion which mi nisters had put into the mouth of their sovereign on the other. And, for his own part, he had no besitation in saying, that he gave credit to the former in preference to the latter..

Mr. Whitbread here adverted



to expressions used by the noble lord who moved the address, highly derogatory to the courage of the crown prince, and such certainly as never ought to have been applied to any man who, like him, had been tried, or indeed to any man who was untried. He saw, however, with regret and sorrow, that it was quite the fashion to deal out sarcasms, and sometimes abuse on those powers who, in consequence of the pressure of circumstances, had been compelled to abandon our He was far from thinking that the emperor Alexander had deserted us in a moment of despondency and alarm as had been stated, and was persuaded that he had been forced to the step he took by the necessity of the case. As to the emigration from Portugal, it was brought about by the menacing proclamation of Buonaparte, and the approach of a French army to Lisbon, not, in any degree by the dexterity and address of ministers, and their agent, lord Strangford, as had been given out. Of our relations with Vienna and Petersburgh, he would forbear to speak till the promised papers were on the table; but if the principles of common sense were applied to the present conjuncture, a more favourable opportunity for negotiating a peace with France could not be hoped for.


Mr. secretary Canning was surprized, that Mr. Ponsonby should have required a day's preparation to marshal his arguments or opinions on the matter of the address; to deliver his sentiments upon topics on which the public mind bad long since formed a decided opinion. For the discussion of these, he had stated, as an additional ground of delay, the necessity

of communications respecting the intercourse between his majesty's ministers and the courts of Austria and Russia.-These powers were not in a situation to mediate impartially. If this fact should be proved by the notes to be produced, he hoped for Mr. P's. approbation of ministers, in not consenting to treat till they should know upon what basis; a question that had occupied three months in the late negotiation. As to the expedition to Copenhagen, it was possible that Mr. P. might move for some information that might be produced safely. But if he should move for the secret information on which that expedition was undertaken, as far as his judgment went, he believed he would never have ocular conviction.-Was it possible, that a time when there was no capital on the continent where the power of Buonaparte could not drag the offender against him to execution, should be fixed on for divulging the sources of secret intelligence? Was this country to say to the agents who served it from fidelity, or from less worthy motives, " You shall serve us but once, and your life shall be the forfeit?"-What had happened to Portugal was sufficient to convince every fair thinking man of the truth of the information respecting Denmark: for the communications from the Portugueze government related as well to the Danish as the Portuguese navy. In the expedition to Copenhagen the present ministers had the example of those before them. It was only necessary to apply to Denmark the principle they had applied to Portugal; to threaten and coerce secret enemies, or at least suspicious neutrals, intsead of old


and faithful allies. It was remarkable that while the application of force at Copenhagen was condemn ed by the gentlemen opposite, the non-application of it at Lisbon was censured no less severely. But so it would have been if the force had been applied at Lisbon and negotiation at Copenhagen. The Danish navy would have been lost by foolish confidence, and Portugal outraged by unprincipled and impolitic violence.

With respect to the late supposed negotiation for peace, Mr. C. declared that no tangible overture had been made either by the French or Austrian government. With respect to the late orders of council retaliating the restrictions of the French government on our commerce, he maintained our right to go as far as France, and make France feel, in the effects of her own injustice, that we could hope to bring her to more reasonable conduct. The vigour of the British navy, when put forth with a determination which the moderate spirit of our government had hitherto restrained, would prove equal to cope with the power that the tyrant of France had established at land. It would appear, that if he combined all the powers of the continent to oppress us, the combination would but encrease our strength and energy, and make us triumph under our oppression.

Lord H. Petty contended, that the principles of right and wrong were to be considered in politics as well as philosophy, and on these men were to reason in general till a particular case was made out. It was a singular instance to be in a state of war with a power against which there were no documents to

prove a hostile act. Lord Petty regretted very much that there should be so little in the speech about the temporary policy respecting Denmark, and nothing at all about the permanent policy respecting Ireland.


Mr. Bathurst contended, that all the danger that would arise from a communication of the particulars of the intelligence required, had been incurred already. He was prized that those who had examin-` ed whether Portugal could be defended against France, had not also enquired into the practicability of defending Zealand, and whether the Danes were able and disposed to defend themselves.

Mr. Windham put the question if it was reasonable to call upon the country to approve of a proceeding in its nature involving the national character, without alledging one instance in proof of either the justice or policy of the measure? As to the question of right, he was willing to wait for the justification of ministers, and should, for the sake of the country, be most happy to find it satisfactory. But as to the policy, he could only say, that he would rather Buonaparte were now in possession of the Danish fleet by the means to which he must have resorted in the seizure of it, than that England should have got it in the way she did. The ships would be rotten when the effervescence of national feeling would live in the remembrance of national injury.To this observation,

The chancellor of the exchequer replied, that certainly the captured ships would be rotten some time or other, but not in the ensuing spring; not at a period


when they might be employed in conveying French troops to Ireland, not when they were to be employed in excluding us from the Baltic, and furthering the designs of the enemy. Colonel Montague Matthew expressed, in strong terms, his mistrust of a set of ministers who had come into office with an avowed hostility against four millions of his majesty's subjects in Ireland.

The question was then carried without a division, and the house adjourned.

House of Commons, Friday, Jan. 22,-Lord Hamilton brought up the report of the address to his majesty.

Mr. Macdonald said, that the armament of the Danes could not be considered as hostile, because the preparations in their harbours could not have been begun in the interval between the treaty of Tilsit and the sailing of the expedition; and as to the dispositions of the Danes, their arming exhibited rather a jealousy of the designs of France than of those of Great Britain.

Mr. Fuller was only sorry that ministers had not seized every bird that hovered about the transactions at Tilsit. Whatever the other side of the house might say about the allegations of crown princes, or half crown princes, we ought to believe our own ministers.

Mr. Herbert was of opinion, that the present ministers had, by their expedition, disgraced the country, without either necessity or ability. Yet he would not oppose the address, though he would not promise his support of the measures to which it related.

Mr. Eden required an explanation

of one part of the speech. The treaty of Tilsit was signed on the 7th of July; intelligence, and a copy of it reached this country on the 8th of August only, and yet, on the 26th of July, the orders had been given to admiral Gambier to sail from the Downs.

Mr. Pym expressed his opinion that our advantages from peace would be equal to, if not greater, than that of our enemies. It was impossible for him, on the evidence before the house, to approve of the expedition to Denmark.

Mr. York said, that he would ask any man acquainted with public -business, whether the nature of our government was not such that the government of the country could not proceed if it did not act upon grounds which could not, consistently with the interests of the country, be made public? He was old enough to remember the American war, and he could state from opportunities which he had had of personally knowing the fact, that in consequence of the production of the papers, relative to the sailing of the Toulon fleet, on the motion of a gentleman of very high talents, now no more, (Mr. Fox) the French had been enabled to cut off a source of intelligence which this country had possessed in Holland since the days of queen Anne. He would give credit to goverument for their having received intelligence of the secret articles of Tilsit. There was enough on the face of such papers to enable the enemy to trace the source from whence they might have been received. On the secret articles of Tilsit he would rest his foot, and give his approbation to the measure

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question. As to the collusion of Denmark, he must confess that as an Englishman, he thought and felt that the Danish government (for he would not speak with disrespect of the prince so nearly connected with our own family) had acted with collusion. It ought not to be forgotten that before force was employed, an alternative had been offered to the Danish government, and when that alternative was rejected he thought we were right in employing force to secure the fleet: a conduct that was justifiable op the first principles of human nature, self-preservation. Abstract principles of right he respected as much as any man; but in our respect for these we should not suffer ourselves to become the victims of abstract principles of wrong. With regard to the dates which had been adverted to, gentlemen seemed to draw their whole argument from the rapidity with which the expedition had been fitted out and dispatched; a rapidity which they had not lately been accustomed to witness. And if the crown prince, or rather (for ministers often governed princes and kings) the Bernstoffs had formed their estimates of the expeditiou, from the specimens they had lately seen, they would not have expected that Zealand would be so soon surrounded: they therefore thought it expedient to keep their army in Holstein, to keep up appearances. As to the question of peace, it was involved in difficulty and delicacy. He had supported the peace of Amiens, as an experiment; yet as the experiment had been made, he was not disposed to repeat it. Whilst Buonaparte continued at the head of the French nation, and should continue to goVOL. L.

vern by military measures, from the moment we should make peace with him our danger would begin. He trusted, however, that ministers would not reject any offers of negotiation on terms of equality, and the point of honour should be never given up.

Mr. Windham thought that honour in any peace that might now be concluded, was totally out of the question; safety was all we could now look for, and this was all he would ask. The honourable gentleman appeared to treat anciently received principles with as little ceremony as the famous French committee of safety had done. Mr.W. however, would still venture to profess an attachment to the old maxim of 'honesty being the best policy;' a maxim, which was just as true when applied to the conduct of nations as that of individuals. Nor did he think it sufficient merely to profess it; it was equally essential to act upon it. But an open and public renunciation of this principle was an alarming symptom indeed, and infinitely more fatal to the cause of public morals than many practical deviations from it. It was a state of most hopeless depravity when people began to adapt their theory to their practice. He advised ministers to stop short in this new career, for he assured them they would cut but a poor figure when compared with the enemy, who from long practice, was become a rival too formidable for us to encounter. It never had been disputed that government might have received information which it would be imprudent in them to publish. But there was another question, Whether or not they should have acted on such information? Mr. W. suspected,

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