Page images

a religious order of men in France, and the Emperor said he would not pay them, unless they proved they had emigrated from France: And by the second resolution, he had said he would not pav them, because they happened to be in the Austrian Netherlands at the time the French over-ran that quarter. In answer to the minister's assertion, that we had made good use to ourselves os our credit, by the terms of the loan, he observed there were two reasons against it: First, it was not honourable for the British House of Commons to fell the interest of the public credit; and, secondly, if it was to be fold, it should be fold for what it was really worth. As to the idea that the Emperor intended to keep his engagements, he hoped he did; but then the House of Commons of Great Britain ought to inquire whether he was able as well as willing to keep them.

• It, was not then the time to go at Large into the general question of the policy of this loan. But there was another point extremely important indeed, and which ought to be attended to by that House. He saw in this convention no stipulation that the Emperor should not make a separate peace. On the contrary it was carefully avoided ; and it was to be observed, that this convention was signed at Vienna at the very time that the Emperor published the rescript to the Diet of itatifbon, the substance of which was pretty well known at this time. The minister insisted that this matter was discussed yesterday, and. the decision of the House made it necessary to discuss that bufinefc again. He saw it in the direct contrary view. What was the question the preceding night? It was this: Whether it was wife and judicious for one of the confederates against France, viz. Grent Britain, to negotiate with France at this time? What was the determination of the House upon that subject? It was—That it would be unwise, in us to do any thing that could tend to weaken the confederacy: A decision which he by no means applauded, but that was the decision. And yet it had been that moment proposed, by the resolution before the Committee, that we Ihould embark our credit with one of the Members of that very confederacy, who had done the very thing which the decision of the House the preceding night pronounced to he so dangerous. He thought the rescript authentic: Ministers might think it was not authentic. He wished to know, whether it was authentic or not. If it was, we were going to embark with an ally who, p.ccording to the language of the minister, and the determination of the House the preceding night, was going to annul the whole plan of our future operations, and for which we were to vote away millions of the public money, by weakening the

confcconfederacy and strengthening the enemy. If there wai a doubt on the authenticity of this rescript (and he confessed, from what he heard the minister say last night, he feared there was a doubt), it was a very alarming thing, and ought to be explained immediately ; for the Emperor had given us no intelligence upon the subject. He certainly had time ■enough, for the subject of this loan had been under his confiderition for some months. if the Emperor pursued the principle of this rescript, and endeavoured to make peace, it ■might be said, that peace might be had immediately for all 'that. He thought so too; but then, if France was, as ministers stated it to be, at its last gasp, that wish for peace could not be long delayed. Under these impressions, he hoped that the House, accustomed even as they had been to the iusince* rity and falsehood os ministers throughout the whole progress of this war, would fee the necessity of an inquiry into the conduct of these our faithful allies. If peace should be soon concluded between the French and the Emperor, he wished the House to reflect that we shall have given the whole of our sour millions Cx hundred thousand pounds absolutely sot nothing.

There had been something said upon the distinction between the character of the Emperor a* such, and that of King of Hungary and Bohemia; that, as Emperor, he might agree to a peace with France, but as Emperor and King, he might pursue the war with vigour. Tim was perfectly ridiculous; for whenever pence was agreed upon, one of the leading articles of the treaty must be, that he should not suffer troops destinrd nr"inst France to pass through any of hit dominions, am. r:.ei' iore he would forbid such troops from going through Bohemi? agai'itt the then friend of the Emperor, viz. France. But he was afraid that all the hopes of the majority who supported this war, were now in, the insincerity of the Emperor, as to this rescript. Exclusive of the infamy of such a principle, he'advised the House to be cautious in trusting to such a security, for he knew of no real security in the conduct of any man, if that conduct was not founded on the principles of fair dealing. What security had we that what the Emperor was doing in London was sincere, and that what he Av;is doing in Vienna was not all duplicity? We stiould rather think that he would act according to what he should think the interest of his dominions. He should like to know with what face of sincerity the Emperor could come to the Diet with his rescript in savour of peace, and at the same moment open a loan with this country for carrying on the war. The truth was, the Diet were unacquainted with his determination to accept our loan when he published thi* rescript, and by the step which we were about to take, we were to become parties to the delusion; and whatever were the real intentions of rhe Emperor, this wab a duplicity of » nature so detestable, that we ought to be ashamed of being parties to it. Having made many other strong observations, he concluded with saying he wished to discuss this subject ac a future stage, but he thought it his duty to take the fense o£ the Committee upon it even then.

Mr. M. Robinson thought we ought to be very much obliged to the Emperor for not taking the whole of our sis millions.

Mr. Hujsey followed the idea of Mr. Fox, with regard to> the loan to the Emperor; we ought either not to have made the use we did os our credit in the terms we had agreed to, er have brought it fairly to sale. Mr. Hussey entered upon various calculations upon the subject, to shew the fallacy o£ the minister's statements.

The Chancellor the Exchequer shewed that Mr. Hussey's saving calculation did not go to the extent mentioned; but he thought that as we got the Emperor money at the fame rate at which he had offered to receive it from others, it was just that any advantage arising from the guarantee should be to Oreat Britain, and not to the Emperor.

Mr. W. Smith said, that if the money was lent to the Emperor to enable him to make the greatest possible exertion in common- cause with us, we ought certainly to have procured it for him upon the easiest terms, without making any advantage of it for ourselves. This we ought to have done i£ the war were likely to last but for one campaign, much more when it might probably be continued for two or three. For the fame reasons we ought not to have suffered him to pay two hundred and fifty, thousand pounds commiflion upon it, ■when we might have procured it for him without that expence. It had been hinted, that although the Emperor might make peace as head of the Germanic body, he might continue the war as King of Hungary and Bohemia. How he was to> divide his two capacities in such a cafe, it was not very easy to comprehend. If, as Emperor of Germany, he was convinced of the necessity of restoring peace to Europe, it was natural to suppose that he must feel the same necessity as King of Hungary and Bohemia.

Mr. Jetikinson saw no difficulty in the Emperor's negotiating as head of the Germanic body, and continuing the war as Archduke of Austria, and King of Hungary and Bohemia.


Mr. W. Smith said, that if Gentlemen could persuade themselves that the Emperor, who had made war unsuccessfully when supported by Prussia, our army on the Continent, Holland, and the states of the Empire, could hope for better success when reduced to the force of his hereditary states, they law thirds in a point of view Ib very different from what he did, as to leave no common principle to argue upon.

Mr. Jodrtll said, the copy of the Emperor's rescript to the Diet os Ratisbon, which he had seen, ibted his readiness to enter into negotiations with the French republic, both as Emperor and King.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer {aid, this was merely the Emperor's usual style, and did not at all bind him as King of Bohemia.

Mr. IV. Smith said, it was very extraordinary that if tl>e French, as had been asserted, wt^re so much exhausted as not to be able to continue the war, perhaps for a month longer, the Emperor should be so ignorant of all this as to deliver such a rescript to the Diet.

Mr. S. Tliornton said a sew words, and the Committee divided on the resolution,

Ayes - 77

Noes «■ 43

Majority 34

The Report was ordered to be received on Monday, and die House adjourned till that day.


Monday, June i.

The Militia Draft Bill was read a third time, and passed. Affirmed the interlocutor iu the Scots Appeal, Chalmer* and Ross.

Adjourned till the next day.


Monday, June i.

Mr. D. Ryder gave notice, that the next day he should move for leave to bring in a Bill to grant certaiu privileges to i '\VeclWobldamriers ; Jgrcat numbers'Of.tvborn had bc!cn materially injured in their trades by the introduction of machines. He said, it had been usual where the introduction Of machinery in any branch of manufacture which operated lor the gtntral good, bore 'particularly hard on individuals, to grant them such relief, as the veisdam of Parliament might think proper. The nature and purport of his Dill would be to grant a similar privilege to Woplcombers, who had been thrown out of bread by.the introduction of machines, as was given to soldiers and sailors when discharged from their respective services; viz. that of being entitled to set up and follow any trade or calling, in any city or town, where they have not served an apprenticeship, or are not free, without being obliged to remove therefrom until fhCy become actually chargeable;


Mr. Lctig moved the Order of the Day for the third rend* ing of die Bill for the regulation of Hawkers and Pedlars.— 'Bill rdad a tlvird tiffle» . ■ '•':

''CokrUliSsMih) 'moved to be added1 to the Bill, to

-septa! 'thf^e^efaustfs jn' tlJc Blllj which restricted :lrawkers and pedlars from tradirijifdn, or nearer to any market-town -than the distance of two miles, except on market'ami fair -days. This restriction, the Colonel said, was laid upon the •hawkers and pedfars at the time the shop-tax originally took cplace, in order to equalize the situation of the two descriptions of dealers, and to prevent hawkers and pedlars having too gteat an advantage over the settled and regular shop-keepere, from the operation that tax would have upon them. The shop-tax nftvirig now ceased, he thought it was but -justice that the restriction which took place on the hawkers .arid pedlars, in consequence of that tax, mould cease also; The -hankers sand pedlars Were, he said, an industrious and -•vdlifable body of men, and deserved the encouragement ot -I^qriiimenf, <as they contributed to a wide and extensive circulation of the manufactures of the country, and enabled people who lived at a distance from large to.wns and cities to ;a<JCommodate themselves with goods they wanted, at a , cheaper and more convenient rate than they could possibly do without their regular visits. He therefore submitted to - the ■ consideration of the Honse the necessity of adopting this clause, for the purpose os doing away the restriction com-ptairied of. -''

Mr. Low? seconded the motion; when a short conversation . took .place.--in which Mr. Francis, Mr. Hawkins Brown, Mr. -vol. III. 3G Thornton,

« PreviousContinue »