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ing these resources, by extending our commerce, and opening new sources of industry? When the right honourable gentleman, then, represents the loss of these West-India islands as but little felt, or altogether contemned, by the French, what obviously is the inference? Is it not that the government which can suffer such a limb to be torn from the empire without shrinking, which an view with indifference and unconcern the sinews of its commerce destroyed, and the sources of permanent revenue annihilated, can have but little interest or feeling in common with its subjects? If, indeed, we can suppose that the French government could see the danger of their colonies without fear, and submit to their loss without regret, it would only be a proof that they had become callous from desperation. Yet after the right honourable gentleman has represented these islands as considered but of little consequence by the convention, how does he proceed to argue? He considers them in one respect important, as they may be employed by you as valuable media of negotiation that is, he proposes to you to give up acquisitions which are highly valuable to you, as a bribe to induce those who despise them, to abandon their favourite project.
But if the right honourable gentleman should not succeed in prevailing upon you to adopt any of his resolutions which go to offer terms of negotiation, still he has one resolution of a dif ferent nature: he calls upon you, by an explicit declaration, to prescribe the precise form of government which you mean to insist should be adopted in France. This strange proposition he clothes indeed in clegant language: in that case, says he, you certainly would have fewer friends, but then they would be more sincere. What is the case? That at present there are a great many of different opinions with respect to the form of government which they would wish to see established, but who, equally disapproving of the present horrible system, are prepared to concur with you for its destruction. These, whom it ought to be your object to unite and concentrate, he calls upon you, by this resolution, to alienate and disperse; a resolution too, which goes beyond the line of your policy, inasmuch as your object is the
subversion of a system incompatible with your interest, and with the security of Europe: and that once effected, the government that shall be deemed most proper to succeed will then naturally become the object of modification to the different parties. I am the more surprised that such a resolution should have come from the right honourable gentleman, as an honourable friend of his had stated as a principle, and it is the only part of his speech in which I can agree with him, " That seldom has any nation laid down a peremptory declaration, from which it has not found it necessary at some time or other to recede." I am astonished, indeed, that the right honourable gentleman, who so much disapproves of all idea of internal interference in the government of another country, should himself, by this resolution, carry the principle so far to a length greatly beyond the line of our policy, and that object, which by our interference we propose to ourselves. It is not, in fact, more inconsistent with our principles than with his own: you could not adopt it without reprobating those sentiments which have been so often maintained by the right honourable gentleman; nor could he himself vote for it without giving up all his former opinions on the subject. This last resolution, therefore, I cannot deem more admissible than the others: it is not less incongruous in point of policy, than the former were repugnant to all those principles with respect to the present contest so solemnly adopted, and so repeatedly sanctioned by this House.
Upon a division, the previous question, which had been moved by Mr. Jenkinson, was carried;
December 30. 1794.
DEBATE on the address in answer to His Majesty's most gracious speech on opening the session
An amendment to the address being moved by Mr. Wilberforce, "advising His Majesty to order a negotiation for peace on such terms as should be deemed just and reasonable,"
Mr. PITT delivered his sentiments to the following effect:
I should not have so much endeavoured, Sir, to have engaged your attention at the present moment, had not a sudden indisposition seized me, which I was apprehensive might, at a later hour, have incapacitated me from entering fully into the
*" My Lords and Gentlemen,
"After the uniform experience which I have had of your zealous regard for the interests of my people, it is a great satisfaction to me to recur to your advice and assistance, at a period which calls for the full exertion of your energy and wisdom.
"Notwithstanding the disappointments and reverses which we have experienced in the course of the last campaign, I retain a firm conviction of the necessity of persisting in a vigorous prosecution of the just and necessary war in which we are engaged.
“You will, I am confident, agree with me, that it is only from firmness and perseverance that we can hope for the restoration of peace on safe and honourable grounds, and for the preservation and permanent security of our dearest interests.
"In considering the situation of our enemies, you will not fail to observe, that the efforts which have led to their successes, and the upexampled means by which alone those efforts could have been supported, have produced among themselves the pernicious effects which were to be expected; and that every thing which has passed in the interior of the country, has shown the progressive and rapid decay of their resources, and the instability of every part of that violent and unnatural system which is equally ruinous to France, and incompatible with the tranquillity of other nations.
"The States-General of the United Provinces have nevertheless been led, by a sense of present difficulties, to enter into negotiations for peace with the party now prevailing in that unhappy country. No established government or independent state can, under the present circumstances, derive real security from such negotiations. On our part, they could not
discussion of a question, upon which I must be supposed to feel most anxious to deliver my sentiments.
I am aware, that there are some gentlemen with whom the original opinions which they have expressed on the war, pre
be attempted without sacrificing both our honour and our safety to an enemy, whose chief animosity is avowedly directed against these kingdoms, "I have therefore continued to use the most effectual means for the further augmentation of my forces; and I shall omit no opportunity of concerting the operations of the next campaign with such of the powers of Europe as are impressed with the same sense of the necessity of vigour and exertion. I place the fullest reliance on the valour of my forces, and on the affection and public spirit of my people, in whose behalf I am contending, and whose safety and happiness are the objects of my constant solicitude.
"The local importance of Corsica, and the spirited efforts of its inhabitants to deliver themselves from the yoke of France, determined me not to withhold the protection which they sought for; and I have since accepted the crown and sovereignty of that country, according to an instrument, a copy of which I have directed to be laid before you.
"I have great pleasure in informing you, that I have concluded a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, with the United States of America, in which it has been my object to remove, as far as possible, all grounds of jealousy and misunderstanding, and to improve an intercourse beneficial to both countries. As soon as the ratifications shall have been exchanged, I will direct a copy of this treaty to be laid before you, in order that you may consider of the propriety of making such provisions as may appear necessary for carrying it into effect.
"I have the greatest satisfaction in announcing to you the happy event of the conclusion of a treaty for the marriage of my son the Prince of Wales, with the Princess Caroline, daughter of the Duke of Brunswick. The constant proofs of your affection for my person and family persuade me, that you will participate in the sentiments I feel on an occasion so interesting to my domestic happiness, and that you will enable me to make provision for such an establishment, as you may think suitable to the rank and dignity of the heir apparent to the crown of these kingdoms.”
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
« The considerations which prove the necessity of a vigorous prosecution of the war will, I doubt not, induce you to make a timely and ample provision for the several branches of the public service, the estimates for which I have directed to be laid before you. While I regret
vent me from entertaining any hopes of concurrence. But there are other gentlemen, who, having supported the war at its commencement, have been led, by the disastrous events of the campaign, to change their former sentiments, and to withdraw their former support. It is with these gentlemen that I shall consider myself more immediately at issue. And, Sir, I must first make some remarks on the arguments which they have drawn from the words of the address. To this address they say that they cannot give their assent, because it pledges them never to make peace with the republican government of France. I do not consider that it does so pledge them. It says only, that with a government, such as the present government of France, we cannot treat on terms that can be deemed secure. And, Sir, where does there exist this imperious necessity to sue for peace? Are we sunk down and depressed to such an absence of hope, and to such a want of resources? If we were indeed so calamitously situated-if we were indeed so devoid of hope, and so deprived of resources—if the continuance of the war produced so intolerable a pressure, then, perhaps, we might consent to a change of system. I am ready to confess, that I can conceive an imaginary case of a peace being made with the government of France, even in its republican form; but I will fairly
the necessity of large additional burdens on my subjects, it is a just consolation and satisfaction to me to observe the state of our credit, commerce, and resources, which is the natural result of the continued exertions of industry under the protection of a free and well regulated government."
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"A just sense of the blessings now so long enjoyed by this country will, I am persuaded, encourage you to make every effort, which can enable you to transmit those blessings unimpaired to your posterity.
"I entertain a confident hope that, under the protection of Providence, and with a constancy and perseverance on our part, the principles of social order, morality, and religion, will ultimately be successful; and that my faithful people will find their present exertions and sacrifices rewarded by the secure and permanent enjoyment of tranquillity at home, and by the deliverance of Europe from the greatest danger with which it has been threatened since the establishment of civilised society."