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on the other hand, they could not remain armed without giving up, in a certain degree, that pitch of force, to which they had brought the exertions of the country, and retaining an establishment burdensome to peace, and ineffectual to war. It was impossible for any human being, in the present circumstances, to suppose a state of settled peace; it must be a state of watching each other, of inquietude, of distrust, merely a short truce, a state of partial inactivity and interrupted repose. In such a peace there could be no security; it was exposed to so much hazard, doubt, and danger, that no man could possibly look to it, except the exhausted state of our resources was such as to exclude the possibility of further exertion. The question was not the option between peace and war, but the option of war under considerable difficulties, with great means and resources, or peace without security.

He said he should be ashamed to go over the means of our resources; but as that object had been touched on by the honourable gentleman who had introduced the question, he must say a few words on the relative situation of the two countries. The foundation of the argument of the honourable mover was, that the resources of France were of so extraordinary a nature, that they were such as the other nations of Europe could not bear, but France, having borne them for so many years, could do that which other nations could not do - and that they were therefore bound to suppose that the resources of France were superior to those of this country, which had expended so many millions without having had any effect on the revenue, commerce, and manufactures of the country, without means that were equal to the pressure sustained in other wars where this country had carried them on successfully. The honourable gentleman, who swept off millions from the expenditure of France, had added them with as rude a hand to the account of this country; he had said, if we were to make peace at that moment, the expense would be seventy millions sterling, and the extra expenses would be calculated moderately at fifty millions sterling. How much the honours

able gentleman allowed for winding up expenses he knew not, but they were certainly large. Without taking in the expenses of the present year of 220,000 men, including the regular army and militia, and the vote of 100,000 seamen, to the best of his recollection, — taking the expenses of the year 1793 and of 1794 up to the end of last December, the sum was about twenty-five millions sterling, and there was a capital to be created, of somewhat more than thirty millions. This point was not very closely connected with the question, but he had corrected the statement of the honourable gentleman, who wished to shew we were no longer able to carry on the war, though he could not prove the least defalcation in the revenue of the country, or a diminution of the public credit. To what was that sum to be opposed on the part of France ? To 260 millions sterling, which that country had expended during the last two years. Would any man say that France could afford to spend 260 millions sterling, of which the inhabitants had been plundered, better than Great Britain ? That immense sum had been collected in France by force and terror, and had been attended by effects admitted by themselves to produce the desolation of the interior of the country, the extinction of agriculture, the ruin of their resources, the subversion of all the means of profitable industry, and the annihilation of every branch of commerce, besides the collateral circumstance of the system of assignats, which he had mentioned on a former day. He said, on a former day he had made the expenses of the French republic amount to 480 millions sterling, which the honourable gentleman who had made the motion said was exaggerated by 120 millions. But the honourable gentleman had begun his calculations two years later than he, which was the reason of that difference. The assignats, which were formerly near par, were now about 85 per cent, below it. That the House might not mistake him, they were not worth 851. per cent. but only 15l. per cent. And therefore he repeated his former assertion, that there was a rapid and a progressive decay in the internal resources of France. It had been stated

that he had year after year represented the resources of France to be in a rapid state of decline. The first year of the war cost France 160 millions, which produced a rapid and progressive decay in the state of their finances; and was there any thing, ridiculous in supposing those resources to be still in a progressive state of decay, after they had expended, during the last campaign, another 160 millions sterling ?

The honourable gentleman* who seconded the motion, in the longest simile he had ever heard, observed, that the resources of America were declining for three years together. But would any man say that the features of that war bore any resemblance to those of the present, which marked the calamities of France ? It had been observed, that the French were making great exer. tions, and that therefore it was unjust to say their resources were at all decayed. But the question was, whether those great exertions ought not to be considered as a proof of the decay of the resources of the country? Would any man tell him that the internal state of the country would not be affected by a continued and extraordinary supply of the nerves and sinews of war? The honourable gentleman who made the motion, had stated that the French had extended their conquests from Gibraltar to the Baltic. But no brilliant success, no acquisition of territory, was sufficient to compensate this internal decay of resources. The wide difference, in point of resources, was as important to the fate of empires and the lot of kingdoms, as new conquest ; and the balance there was as much in our favour, as the acquisition of territory was against other countries, and in favour of France.

There were many other points on which he wished to touch, but would not discuss themiat length. One or two observations he could not help stating. It had been asked, what force had we to oppose to that of France ? He answered, an increased force on the part of this country. The convention had said that their forces must be contracted : their efforts must therefore be

* Mr. W. Smith,

1

exhausted. Besides the exertions by sea and land which had been made by this country, it would probably depend on the resolution and firmness of that House, whether the Emperor might not be enabled to bring such a military force into the field, as would render an extent of exertion necessary on the part of France, of which they had declared themselves incapable. It was said, do you expect to conquer France? Do you expect a counter-revolution ? When do you intend to march to Paris ? If such was at one time our success in France, that the convention were put in imminent fear of the combined armies penetrating to Paris, it was not very extraordinary that his honourable friend * at London should allow himself to entertain a degree of hope of the possibility of that event. By a mode of arguing, not unusual with gentlemen on the other side, whose practice it frequently was, first to state positions in order that they afterwards might combat them, ministers had been charged with looking to the conquest of France. They had never held out any such object; they had only professed their hope of making such an impression upon the interior of that country as might lead to a secure and stable peace; and of being able, by the assistance of those well-disposed persons who were enemies to the present system, to establish a government honourable to them and safe to ourselves. If a change had taken place in the government of France, which rendered it more expedient for us to treat in the present than at a former period, he would ask, if nothing had been gained? We were now in a situation less remote from that in which we might be able to treat with security. It had been urged, that we ought to have let France alone. What was the consequence of neutrality but to produce aggression ? But now that war had been two years carried on, the detestable system of their government had subsided into a state of less flagrant atrocity. It had been said that all France, to a man, was united for a republic. What was meant by the phrase of a republic ? Was it merely a name at the top of a sheet

* Mr. Jenkinson.

of paper ? Was their desire of a republic to be gathered from their submission to the tyranny of Robespierre? Was their unanimity to be inferred from the numerous proscriptions and massacres of federalists and royalists ?

Mr. Pitt proceeded to recapitulate the general grounds on which he had opposed the original resolution, and the motives. from which he had been induced to bring forward the amendment, which he had read, and should conclude with moving. Peace! Peace was not obstructed by any form of government ; but by a consideration of the internal circumstances of France. He remarked that there had been great misconstructions and misconceptions with respect to what he had stated on former occasions to be his sentiments, as to the re-establishment of monarchy, which he by no means wished to be considered as a sine quâ non to the attainment of peace, and therefore he had not contented himself with barely negativing the resolution, but had been induced in the amendment to substitute that language which, in his mind, it became parliament to hold, as best adapted to the subject.

There was one other consideration to which he should advert, namely, the remark that the attempt to treat, though not likely to be successful, would yet be attended with advantage, both in France and this country. In France it would show that we were disposed to treat. If it were wise to treat, this certainly would be an advantage, but such a conduct, instead of forwarding peace, would only be productive of danger; it would lead to a proposition of terms from France, elated by its recent acquisitions, which it would be impossible for this country to accept. And he trusted that his honourable friend *, who had, he conceived, gone too far in his propositions with respect to peace on a former occasion, would be convinced, upon his own principles, that as the difficulty increased, any proposition to treat in the present moment would have the effect to encourage the enemy, and to bury the remains of opposition in

* Mr, Wilberforce.

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