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suspected, that in the case in question, the ministers, instead of preparing troops for an expedition, had prepared an expedition for the troops. Finding that they had got money in their pockets, they resolved on spending it. Not knowing what to do with the army they had collected, they said, after some reflection, "God bless us, let us go and attack the Danish fleet."

Mr. Canning, in answer to the question put by Mr. Eden, observed, that ministers had never said that they had in their possession any one secret article of the treaty of Tilsit, but only that the substance of such secret articles had been confidentially communicated to his Majesty's government, and that a long time previous to the date adverted to by the honourable gentleman. As to the inference attempt ed to be drawn from the advanced state of preparation in which the armament was placed before the treaty of Tilsit, it was notorious that that army was then equipping for an entirely distinct object, when the secret intelligence was received

which made it the duty of ministers to employ it in the service in which it had been so successfully engaged.

Mr. Whitbread, after some observations on the importance of maintaining national morality and good faith, and the possibility of making peace as readily now as at any former period of the war, adverted to what had fallen from Mr. Yorke of a tender or option, as it was called, made to the Danes, that if they gave us their fleet, we would defend them from the French. How? We defend them, who were not able, after seizing their fleet, to keep possession of Zealand for one winter? He concluded with repeating his couviction, that ministers had never received, either in substance or in form, the secret information which they alleged they had received, and to which they had attributed that fatal and disgraceful expedition.

The report was brought up, and the address was presented to his Majesty, who returned his most gracious answer January 25th.

CHAP.

СНАР. 11.

Motion in the House of Lords for a Vote of Thanks to the Officers employed in the Attack on Copenhagen.-A Motion to the same Effect in the House of Commons. Opposed by Mr. Windham-and Mr. Brand.-Supported by the Chancellor of the Exchequer-and on a Division of the House carried.-Motion by Mr. Ponsonby for Papers relative to the Expedition to Copenhagen—and for certain Resolutions on that Subject.-Opposed by Mr. Canning-Mr. Milnes-Lord Leveson Gower-Lord Castlereagh, &c. &c.Sup ported by Mr. Windham-and Mr. Whitbread.-On a Division of the House negatived.-House of Peers.-Motion by the Duke of Norfolk for the Substance of all Communications respecting the State of the Danish Navy, and the Secret Articles of the Treaty of Tilsit.--Supported by Lord Hutchinson-The Earl of BuckinghamshireThe Earl of Moira-The Earl of Jersey-The Earl of St. Vincent -Lord Sidmouth, &c. &c.—Opposed by the Marquis of WellesleyLord Borringdon-Lord Limerick, &c. &c.-Negatived.-Resolu tion moved by Lord Sidmouth for preserving the Danish Fleet in such a State that it might be eventually restored to Denmark.-After a Debate, the Motion negatived. House of Commons.-Motion by Mr. Sheridan for the Correspondence which passed after the Capitulation of Copenhagen, between His Majesty's Ministers and the Court of Stockholm, relative to the retaining Possession of the Island of Zealand by a Swedish Army in Concert with His Majesty's Forces.-Supported by Mr. Windham-Mr. Ponsonby, &c. &c.Opposed by Mr. Canning;-negatived.-House of Lords.- Motion by the Earl of Darnley for an Address to His Majesty, stating that there was no Necessity for the Expedition against Copenhagen, &c.negatived.-Motion for an Address to His Majesty of an opposite Nature by Lord Elliot ;-carried.-Conversation respecting the Detention and Condemnation of Danish Trading Vessels.-House of Commons.-Baltic Expedition brought again into Discussion by Mr. Sharp.-Motion for an Address to His Majesty to the same Effect as that of Lord Darnley's in the House of Lords.-Debate.-The Metion negatived.-House of Commons.-Motion by Lord Folkstone of the same tenour as that in the House of Lords by Lord Sidmouth, respecting the Danish Navy.-Supported and opposed on the usual Grounds by different Speakers ;-negatived.-House of Lords.-Resolutions moved by Lord Sidmouth respecting the Ships detained in our Harbours previously to Hostilities-Devate.--The Motion negatived.

TH

HOUGH the expedition to
Copenhagen had been so fully

examined in the debates on the speech from the throne, in re

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spect of both moral law and sound policy, it was again and again brought into discussion, and continued to be at different times, and on different occasions, a subject of very animated controversy for almost the whole of the present session of parliament.

In the house of lords January 28th, lord Hawkesbury moved at vote of thanks to the officers employed in the attack of Copenhagen. His motion, he premised, related merely to the service on which the expedition to Copenhagen was sent, and not at all to the policy of the expedition, the object of which, undoubtedly of great magnitude and importance, was attained by the skill and ability of the officers employed. Here he gave an account of the origin, progress, and issue of the expedition". He praised the promptitude and rapidity with which the Danish ships were fitted out and brought away, and concluded by moving the thanks of the house to lieutenant general lord viscount Cathcart, K. T. for the prompt and decisive measures adopted by him in the attack on Copenhagen.

Lord Holland contended that the magnitude and importance of an object alone, was not a sufficient ground for the thanks of parliament to those who had been employed with success in obtaining it. In the present instance there was no opportunity for the display of skill and science. Had there been an opportunity, there could not be a doubt but these qualities would have been eminently displayed. Had it been proposed only to thank the army, he might, perhaps, have

been induced to give it no opposi tion; but when it was proposed also to thank the navy employed in this expedition, he could not but oppose the motion, as there was no opportunity for the display of military naval skill. The high and peculiar honour of the thanks of parliament ought not to be rendered too common. In order to preserve its value it ought to be reserved for great occasions, for brilliant exploits and great victories, as in the Roman republic triumphs were never granted but for the most splendid achievements.-Earl Grey spoke to the same effect.-Lord Auckland observed that there was no information before the house to shew the policy or propriety of attacking an unsuspecting and defenceless people; but with respect to the execution of the service, it had displayed great ability, energy, and skill.

Lord Mulgrave, in reply to lord Holland, said, that he could not see on what ground, in the present question, any distinction could be made between the army and the navy. The most skilful distributions were made by lord Gambier in the disposal of the fleet under his command; that part of it which was entrusted to rear admiral Keates was extended for 200 miles, and had for its object, to cut off the communication between Zealand and the continent. By this means the Danish army in Holstein was prevented from passing into Zealand. The skill therefore of admiral Gambier had been conspicuously manifested. But in any case when the army and navy were conjointly employed, to vote thanks

For a narrative of which see chapter XIV, of our last volume.

to

to the one and not to the other, could not tend to any possible good. It had, besides, always been the practice to unite them in votes of thanks where they were jointly employed.

The motion being put and carried, and the issue ordered to be communicated to lord viscount Cathcart, on his taking his seat in the house, lord Hawkesbury moved thanks to sir Harry Burrard, bart. the earl of Rosslyn, the honourable sir G. L. Ludlow, K. B. sir David Baird, the major generals, brigadiers and other officers employed, and an approval and acknowledgment of the services of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers; which motions were agreed to, and ordered to be communicated by the lord chancellor to lord viscount Cathcart.

His lordship then moved the thanks of the house to the right honourable lord Gambier, for the judicious distribution of the fleet, thereby contributing to the success of the expedition after all negotiation had failed, and for the promptitude displayed in fitting out the Danish shups, and shipping the stores.

The duke of Norfolk objected, that the words relative to negotiation tended to prejudge the question of which notice had been given, and of which the object was to ascertain the nature of the previous negotiation*.

tion was agreed to, and ordered to be communicated to lord Gambier when in his place in the house.. Lord Hawkesbury next moved thanks to vice admiral sir H. E. Stanhope, bart. rear admirals Essington, Sir Samuel Hood, K. B. and Keates, captain sir Home Popham, K. M. captain of the fleet, and the other officers. The duke of Norfolk asked, if it was usual to include in a vote of thanks, the captain of a fleet by name? A conversation ensued about precedents. The earl of Lauderdale observed that it would be a most singular circumstance if sir Home Popham were to be made the first instance of the captain of a fleet being thanked by name. Some precedents were produced, and the motion was agreed to. So also was a motion for approving and acknowledging the services of the seamen and marines, and the result of both motions was ordered to be communicated by the lord chancellor to lord Gambier.

On the same day thanks to his Majesty's army and navy employed in the Baltic expeditions were moved in the house of commons by lord Castlereagh, who expatiated on the magnitude and importance of the exploit, the difficulties that were surmounted in performing it, and the prompt exertions of the board of ordnance, to whose great exertions it was in a great measure owing that a British force was assembled, ready to act in the Baltic before the middle of August.

Lord Hawkesbury replied, that the negotiation alluded to in the motion was merely that entered into by the commanders in their military capacity, and had no reference to political negotiation. After a short conversation the mo• The duke of Norfolk had given notice on the day before that he should to-mor row se'nnight move for certain papers respecting the expedition to Copenhagen.

Mr. Windham observed, that in the present question, it was the province of the house to decide generally upon the merits of the

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service, but in coming to this decision, it was necessary to make a distinction between the merits of the ministers who planned, and of the navy and army who performed the expedition. The justice and policy of the expedition would come under consideration at another time. The question now be fore the house simply was, whether the service was of such a nature as to rank it among those instances of distinguished and successful exertions for which any vote of thanks of that house had been recorded, and in his opinion it did not come under that description of service by which the rules of national gratitude ought to be governed, nor was at all of that nature to which they ought to be applied. He conceived that the only fit occasion for the two houses of parliament to pass a vote of thanks for the services of either the army or navy, was, the achievement of some exploit which afforded matter of general and unmixed joy and exultation: when, for example, it was bestowed in consequence of a victory obtained over the first troops in the world, and over legions which had arrogated to themselves the title of invincible, not with superior numbers, but with a force not even equal to that of the enemy. There was no man who did not feel a pride and glory in joining in it. But in circumstances like the present, in which one ostensible part of the expedition had been entrusted to an officer who could plead in his own behalf only the approbation of a self-created tribunal, in opposition to a sentence of condemnation lately passed upon him by one legally constituted, and who, in his fortune had exemplified the

old adage, "that when the king loses the knave wins," and when by the admission of the noble lord himself, the service was of such a nature that even its success must be contemplated with pain, he was far from thinking it a proper occasion for the legislature to bestow what ought always to be accounted the highest honour, and a reward paramount to every other. He was willing to allow that the army and navy had done every thing that could be either required or expected of them, and that their services might rauk with a case of either a gallant defence or a successful retreat; but he denied that they possessed those ingredients which alone could entitle them to a vote of legislative thanks. Mr. Windham adverted to the title conferred on admiral Gambier, which did not record the nature or character of the service for which it had been granted, as in the instances of lord Nelson and lord Duncan, where the title was borrowed from the respective scenes of their achievements. Nor had be heard of any medals being distributed on the present as on former occasions. He then replied to that part of the noble lord's speech in which he had described the high state of preparation of the Danish ships, at the same time that he claimed credit for the vast activity in putting those ships in a state for being brought off. Either his premises must be false, or the inference he attempted to draw from them unfounded. In the same inconsistent strain the noble lord had asserted the force sent against Copenhagen to be so formidable as to make resistance unavailing, while, with the same breath, he called upon the house to pass a

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