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system of the war had been a faulty could not presume to flatter oursystem; the system of domestic selves that the Austrians were like. politics bad been equally faulty; ly to recover all they had lost in the whatever the result of the negotia- present campaign, much less what tions might be, it was the duty of they had lost in all the campaigns the house to re-consider the general that were past. The achievements system of politics adopted of late of our navy had been brilliant and years, and whether it were possible glorious; at no former period had to go on if that system should be they displayed greater gallantry, pursued. Peace was certainly the and never perhaps equal skill; yet great object; but whether peace after all this, the peace we were would be effectual if there were no desirous to obtain, and the utmost change in domestic politics, was we could expect was, that it should matter of doubt; that it would be be solid, and of permanent durabeneficial whatever system
tion. Then what must be the sort pursued, he was ready to assert. of conflict in which we were engagIf it continued to be a bad one, ed, when after a four years successpeace would diminish the calami- ful exertion of all the skill and all ties of it; if it were amended, it the valour of the navy, all our efforts would augment the benefits: at all could not produce a peace either events it was desirable; in one brilliant or glorious, but we must case it would be a palliative, in the content ourselves with hoping it other a remedy; and in both it may be solid and permanent ? could not but be good, and there- Might we not suppose that there fore should have his warmest sup- was something in our cause radiport.
cally defective, which palsied our efWhat were likely to be the terms forts, and disappointed our strength? of peace, he would not even con- something which demanded from jecture; but he would not hesitate the common sense and prudence of to say, we ought to negotiate in Englishmen a strict and rigorous the spirit of great moderation. With investigation, that we might disregard to the Austrian victories, cover wiat this something was, not which made a topic of animated merely to retrieve the present caexultation in bis majesty's speech, lamity, but guard our offspring it might be right to rejoice in the against the error in future. No gallantry they had displayed, and great length of time would elapse the laurels they had recently ac- before he should think it his duty quired; no man admired their great to bring this matter before the military exertions more than he house; for it was of the most esdid; but let it be remembered that sential importance to the wellWe were called to rejoice on their being of the country, and to the having recovered only a part of true support of the crown, that an what was lost in this compaign, inquiry should be made into all and that it was not because they the causes' which had brought the had reaped successes calculated to nation into its present state, and obtain what ministers had stated to produced the evils of the present be the object of the war, but be- war, for the purpose of advising cause they had saved the house his majesty to make fundaof Austria from the destruction mental change in the system upon with which it was threatened. We which we had lately acted, both
with regard to foreign and domestic at least be able to put to the proof policy. He found it necessary to the sincerity of the pledge which say so much, that he might not had that day been given-that, if preclude himself from the discussion the enemy were not disposed to of these topics at some future day; accede to peace on just and reasonand with this reserve, he did not able terms, the war would be supCopose the address.
ported by the unanimous voice, Mr. chancellor Pitt said, that and the collected force, of the pa. he considered it as matter of juist tion. If the unanimity were not pride and honest satisfaction, that founded merely on the pleasing at so critical a conjuncture there sound of peace, the captivating should be no difference of senti- charm of renewed tranquillity, and ment in the house upon the only the prospect of the termination of great and substantial question on those scenes of horror with wbich which the address expressed an opi- war is always attended; if it were nion. Such a circumstance exhin the result of rational reflection, bited the most decided proof that founded on a careful consideration the steps which his majesty had of the situation of the country, taken for negotiation, and the clear and prepared to meet every conand explicit declaration he had juncture, it could not be too highly made, were in themselves so unex- prized. We ought not to put out ceptionable, and so well calculated of view those means of exertion for the end in view, that they must which we yet possessed; we ought command assent from any man to compare our state with that of who retained the smallest care for the enemy; and the amount of our the interest and honour of his coun- own acquisitions with the losses of try.
our allies : we ought to estimate the The honourable gentleman had extent of those sacrifices, which, justly stated, that what hitherto under all these circumstances, it. bad been done only amounted to may be fitting for us to make, to an overture for peace; it was indeed effect the restoration of peace. The impossible to state what would right honourable gentleman had inbe the result, what would be the timated that we ought to change disposition of the enemy, or what the whole system of our interior circumstances would occur to in. policy, considering it as inconsiste fluence the fate of the negotiation. ent with the constitution of our We ought to look fairly to our country, yet professing himself so own situation; it held out to us well satisfied with the constitution as a chance of peace if the evemy to ascribe to it that internal and were disposed to accede to it on aundisturbed order and tranquillity just and reasonable terms; but, if which for some time past had been not, --if they were actuated by am- enjoyed; at the same time reprobitious projects, we should gain bating the laws which were passed another object by the course we in the last parliament, and refusing had pursued; we should unmask to subscribe to any construction of them in the eyes of Europe; we that part of the speech which inshould expose the injustice of their cluded these amongst the meants policy, and their insatiable thirst which had secured tranquillity. He, for aggrandizement; and if no other on the contrary, was of opinion advantage were gained, we should that, exclusive of the influence of these laws, the peace of the coun- adopting those measures, which, if try could not have been maintain- we had listened to hiin, might have ed; nor could he suffer reproach been adopted long ago. But did it to fall on the last parliament, who follow, that the measure was right displayed their wisdom and energy then, because it was so now? Might in providing a remedy suited to not a period of four years have prothe alarming crisis. If there should duced many events to justify a ma. be any ambiguity in the address re- terial change of policy, and to render specting them, it was, because they measures wise and expedient which were so consistent with the spirit of at another time would not have the constitution, so blended with been so ? As to the question of our the system of jurisprudence, so con- resources, they furnished, in a mogenial to the practice of former ment like the present, a subject of times, and so conformable even to well-grounded confidence. the letter of former acts, that it If the revenue, after a four years' was impossible to make any discrie war, which might have been exmination; they had been passed in a pected to have injured it so mamoment of alarm and turbulence, terially in so many branches; after and they had been found admirably the additional burthens which had calculated to meet the emergency been imposed, still kept up at the of the time.
rate at which it was stated last year; There were some other points if the commerce, notwithstanding upon which the right honourable the embai rassments which it had to gentleman had touched: he had encounter, had attained, and conseenied to think that endeavours had tinued to enjoy, a pitch of unexonly been made of late to procure ampled prosperity; if such had peace; he, for his own part, was been the state of things during a eonfident, that no endeavours had period when the country had to been wanting for that purpose on contend for every thing dear to it; the side of his majesty's ministers; if, notwithstanding the obstacles but what might be admitted as an which had clogged the machinery, endeavour depended on a variety of the spring had retained so much circumstances, and would be diffe- force and vigour, we might prerently appreciated by individuals of sume, that if by the obstinacy and opposite sentiments: it depended ambition of the enemy we should on the relative state of parties, on be called to still greater exertions, the number of allies with whom our resources yet remained unwe might be engaged to act, on the touched; we might presume, that attention which we paid to their we should be able to bring them interests, and on the concert we into action with a degree of conwished to preserve with them. cert and effect worthy of the British Taking all these considerations into nation. view, he pledged himself that it These resources (be observed) would be found on inquiry, that had nothing in them hollow or deministers bad neglected no opportu- lusive; they were the result of an nity which could have been improve accumulated capital, of increasing ed for accelerating peace.
commerce, of high and established The right honourable gentleman credit; they were the fruits of asserted, that we were at last come fair exertion, of laudable ingenuity, to the period which he at first had of successful industry; they had pointed ont, and were only now been produced under a system of order and justice, whilst we had part of Europe, and carrying debeen contending against a country solation in its progress, our naval in every point the reverse of the exertions had enabled us to counterpicture. He said, that the right balance their successes by acquisihonourable geutleman had been tions in different parts of the globe, suggesting what lessons we ought and to pave the way for the restorato derive from the experience of tion of peace to our allies on terms adversity; but when he added that which their own strength might the situation of this country was have been unable to procure. If, that of adversity, he could by no indeed, we looked into the geomeans agree to the truih of the pro- graphical situation of the seat of position. How far it deserved to war, the emperor had not regained be ranked under that description, by his victories all that he had lost; be called upon those to pronounce but did we count for nothing the who were best acquainted with our destruction of those armies by whom resources. It could not surely be all previous successes of the enemy termed a state of adversity from any had been achieved ? Did we count Josses of our trade, the diminution for nothing the glorious testimony of our capital, or the reduction of which had been exhibited to manany of our foreign possessions. We kind—that disciplined valour finally had not been greatly impoverished must triumph over those principles by the events of the war in the which the war was undertaken to East and West Indies; we could oppose, and which owed all their not be much weakened in our na- extraordinary success to the violence tional strength by having our navy in which they originated, and the raised to a greater degree of glory excesses with which they were acand fame than it had ever before companied? A memorable warnattained. Where then were we to ing had been afforded by those foJook for the symptoms of this ad- reign powers, who, in opposition to versity? In the losses and disasters their irue interests, had courted the of our allies? Did the right honour- alliance of that enemy, and expect. able gentleman hold out these ed to find security in disgraceful as a criterion of adversity, and in tranquillity. the same breath as a source of com- Recent events have served also to plaint that we were not sure of exculpate those who had been caa triumphant peace? And whylumniated, as desirous to embrace could we not command such a their principles, and receive their peace? Because we would not se. laws; and in Germany they had left parate our own greatness and our behind them nothing but the memoown commerce from the fate of our ry of wrongs, and the feelings of reallies; because we refused to pur- sentment. Germany had furnished chase peace for ourselves on any a striking instance of fortitude and terms but those which would secure perseverance; he trusted that these the tranquillity of Europe, and con- were virtues which our country bad sidered the situation of Great Bri. not to learn: England had never tain as chained to that of the con- shown itself deficient in firmness tinent, by the bonds of a liberal and and magnanimity; it was unrivalcomprehensive policy.
led in resource, it was foremost in Whilst the violence of France exertion, and it had only to main. had been over-running so great a tain its accustoined vigour to effect
the restoration of general tranquil- self to prevent the attempt if pos. lity upon terms consistent with the sible, and, at the same time, to dignity of its character and the se- take such measures of defence as curity and interest of Europe. should cause the invasion, if it
Mr. Fox said a few words in ex- should be attempted, lo terminate planation, in which he complained in the confusion and ruin of the that Mr. Pitt had misrepresented
enemy. He said the natural de. argument respecting the time fence of this kingdom was its nafor negociation. He did not ar- val force, which, at that moment, gue, that, because it was right to was more formidable ihan ever it negociate now, it was right to ne- had been at any other period in the gociate at any former period, but, history of the country. But, strong (and he had not altered his opinion and powerful as it was, it was from any thing he had heard) that, capable of considerable increase, if it were prudent and wise to send could an additional supply of seaan ambassador to Paris now, when men, or even landsmen, bu prothe French had carried their arms cured. For this purpose he suginto the heart of Germany, it gested a levy upon the different would not have been dastardly and parishes throughout the kingdom, pusillanimous to have adopted that an expedient similar to that which measure when they had not one had been practised with so much foot of that territory. He said, success about two years before. He that he still retained his opinion observed that it must be evident respecting the new laws; and when to every one, that, as great numhe voted for the address, he did bers in the old regiments had fallen not include them in his construc
in the defence of our foreign postion of that part of it in which sessions, it was necessary to adopt mention is made of the wisdom a more expeditious mode for their and energy of the laws.
completion than the ordinary me. question upon the address thod of recruiting. He therefore was then put, and carried nemine proposed, in the first place, a levy
of fifteen thousand men from the On the 18th of October the different parishes for the sea serhouse of commons resolved itself vice, and for recruiting the regio into a committee, to consider that ments of the line. clause of his majesty's speech which In digesting this plan, he said, alluded to the intention manifested there were two considerations, the by the enemy to attempt a descent first the means of calling together on these kingdoms. The clause a land force, sufficiently strong to being read, the chancellor of the frustrate the attempt, keeping our exchequer observed, that, after the paval force entirely out of view; unanimous vote which the house and, secondly, to adopt such meahad given upon the first day of the sures in raising this force as should session, and their universal concur- not materially interfere with the rence in that part of the address industry, the agriculture, and the which respected a foreign invasion, commerce of the country. The it would be unnecessary to make primary object was to raise, and any apology for calling their atten- gradually to train, such a force 28, tion to the subject. That it was might in a short time be fit for the duty of every one to exert him- service. The most expeditions,