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the accusations urged against us of not offering our mediation, or even refusing it when solicited, they are equally of little weight. Are ministers to be blamed for what it would be hazardous in them to attempt, and would it not be hazardous to propose a mediation where both parties were not ready to agree? To have erected ourselves into arbiters, could only expose us to difficulties and disputes, if we were determined, as we ought to be, to enforce that mediation on the parties who refused to admit it. And what is the great use which the honourable gentleman seems to be so eager to derive from that

peace, procured ? Is it fit that we should go to war in order to prevent the partition of Poland ? In general policy, I am ready to confess, that this partition is unjust; but it does not go, as is said, to overturn the balance of power in Europe, for which the right honourable gentleman, as it suits his argument, expresses greater or less solicitude ; for that country being nearly divided equally between three great powers, it can little contribute to the undue aggrandisement of either. But how strange did it seem in that right honourable gentleman, who inveighed so strongly against the partition of Poland, to censure ministers for their endeavours to prevent the partition of Turkey, when it was the establishment of the principle, that this country could not interfere to prevent the partition of Turkey, precluded the possibility of any interference with respect to Poland !

As to the latter transactions that have occurred between this country and France, they are too recent in the memory of the House, to require that I should call their attention to them. The resolutions to which we have come on this subject, are too sacred and too solemn, the opinion too settled and too deeply formed, to be lightly reversed. We cannot, surely, forget the first cause of complaint, allowed to be well founded, and the famous decree of the 19th of November, which was an insult and an outrage on all civilised nations. Seditious men, delegated from this country, with treason in their mouths, and rebellion in their hearts, were received, welcomed, and caressed by the legislature of France. · That government, without waiting

until it had even established itself, declared hostilities against all the old established systems: without having scarcely an existence in itself, it had the presumption to promise to interpose to the destruction of all the existing governments in the world. All governments alike fell under its vengeance; the old forms were contemned and reprobated; those which had stood the test of experience, whether monarchy, aristocracy, ar mixed democracy, were all to be destroyed. They declared that they would join the rebellious subjects of any state to overturn their government. And what was the explanation received from M. Chauvelin on these subjects of complaint ? Did it amount to any more than that the French would not intermeddle with the form of government in other countries, unless it appeared that the majority of the people required it to be changed ?

As to their declaration against aggrandisement, without stop. ping to argue a point that is so extremely clear, I will only refer the House to their whole conduct towards Belgium. They declared that they would never interfere in the government of Belgium, after it had consolidated its liberties ; - a strange way of declining interference when a form of constitution was forced upon it, bearing the name, but not the stamp of liberty, and compelling the Belgians to consolidate and preserve it. With respect to another cause of war, viz. the opening of the Scheldt, their explanations regarding that circumstance, and their intentions upon Holland, were equally unsatisfactory; their ultimatum was, that they would give no further satisfaction; and their refusing a fair explanation made them the aggressors in reality, if not in form. Still, however, the channel of negotiation was not out off by this country: as long as the King of France retained a shadow of power, M. Chauvelin continued to be received in an official capacity; and even after the cruel catastrophe of that unfortunate monarch, His Majesty's minister at the Hague did not refuse to communicate with General Dumourier, when he expressed a wish to hold a conference with him relative to some proposals of peace. When all these opportunities had been offered and negleoted, they declared

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war, and left us no choice, in form or in substance, but reduced us to the necessity of repelling an unjust aggression. In every point of view, they therefore were evidently the aggressors, even according to the right honourable gentleman's own principles, and we certainly took every precaution, that it was either fit, or possible to do, to avoid it.

I cannot help wishing to recal the attention of the House to the general conclusion of what I have stated, for upon that rests all I have to say on the first part of the right honourable gentleman's propositions. If the House had been hurried by passion into the war, if it had been hurried by the false opinion of others, or by any unjust pretensions of its own, would it go to the enemy to atone for its misconduct, and accede to such conditions as the enemy might offer? Could it happen that a war not ordinarily just and necessary, when applied to every moral principle, should in form be so untrue, that, after three years' standing, it should be found all illusion ? If the House cannot acknowlege these things, much less can I believe, admitting all the depreciated statements of our resources to be true, and founded to such an extent as to make us submit almost to any humiliation, that last of all we should submit to the pride and ambition of an enemy, whose hypocrisy, injustice, tyranny, and oppression we have so repeatedly witnessed, reprobated, and deplored : and yet that was what the right honourable gentleman proposed. He proposed that we should box down before the enemy, with the cord about our necks, when we have not felt the self-reproach of doing wrong ; to renounce and abjure our recorded professions, and receive a sentence of condemnation, as severe as undeserved. This I çontend would be to, renounce the character of Britons. Even if, by the adverse fortune of war, we should be driven to sue for Beace, I hope we shall never be mean enough to acknowledge ourselves guilty of a falsehood and injustice, in order to oblain it

The right honourable gentleman's pext accusation against ministers is, that they have been guilty, of a radical error in

not acknowledging the French republic. It is said this has been the bar to all treaty: this has prevented every overture in subsequent situations. I admit that it has so happened, that we have never acknowledged the republic, and I admit also, that no application nor overture for peace, on the part of this country, has been made till lately. I admit, that after the siege of Valenciennes, I did say it was not then advisable to make conditions, and I admit also, that when we struggled under disadvantages, I was equally averse : whence the right honourable gentleman infers, “ that if you will not treat for peace when you are successful, nor treat for it when you are unfortunate, there must be some secret cause, which induces us to believe you are not disposed to treat at all.”. Is it reasonable, I ask, when a just hope is entertained of increasing our advantages, to risk the opportunity which those advantages would secure of making better terms; or, is it reasonable when we experience great and deplorable misfortunes, to entertain a just apprehension of obtaining a permanent and honourable peace, on fair and permanent conditions ? These are the principles on which I have acted, and they are raised upon the fair grounds of human action. If success enough were gained to force the enemy to relinquish a part of their possessions, and we might not yet hope to be wholly relieved from similar dangers, except by a repetition of similar efforts and similar success, was it inconsistent for a lover of his country to push those efforts further upon the reasonable expectation of securing a more permanent and honourable peace? And, on the other hand, when we experienced the sad reverse of fortune, when the spirit of our allies was broken, our troops discomfited, our territories wrested from us, and all our hopes disconcerted and overthrown, did it argue a want of reason or a want of prudence not to yield to the temporary pressure ? The same situations to a well-tempered mind would always dictate the same mode of conduct. In carrying on the war, we have met with misfortunes, God knows, severe and bitter! Exclusive of positive acquisitions however, have we gained nothing by the change which has taken place in France ? If we had made peace, as the right honourable gentleman says we ought to have done, in 1793, we should have made it before France had lost her trade; before she had exhausted her capital; before her foreign possessions were captured, and her navy destroyed. This is my answer to every part of the right honourable gentleman's speech relative to making peace at those early periods.

But a discussion is once more introduced as to the object of the war. Ministers have repeatedly and distinctly stated the object, but it is a custom, on the other side of the House to take unguarded and warm expressions of individuals in favour of the war, for declarations of ministers. Thus, many things which fell from that great man (Mr. Burke) have since been stated as the solemn declaration of government; though it is known that, to a certain extent, there is a difference between ministers and that gentleman upon this subject. But then it is to be taken as clear, that ministers are not only anxious for the restoration of monarchy in France, but the old monarchy with all its abuses. That ministers wished to treat with a government in which jacobin principles should not prevail, that they wished for a government from which they could hope for security, and that they thought a monarchy the most likely form of government to afford to them these advantages, is most undoubtedly true; but that ministers ever had an idea of continuing the war for the purpose of re-establishing the old government of France, with all its abuses, I solemnly deny. If, for the reasons I have before stated, it would not have been prudent to have made a peace in the early stage of our contest, surely it would not have been advisable when the enemy were inflated with success. The fate of the campaign of 1794 turned against us upon as narrow a point as I believe ever occurred. We were unfortuDate, but the blame did not rest here: that campaign led to the conquest of Holland, and to the consternation which inmediately extended itself among the people of Germany and England. What, however, was the conduct of ministers at that period? If they had given way to the alarm, they would have

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