Page images


portunity of communicating the en. former administration as re-establishclosed papers to your lordship. The ed ? paper enclosed (No. 11) has not · 2d. Are the discussions, which are reached me until within this hour. now going on among them, directed It appeared to me to be important, to the ascertaining the possibility of that the intelligence which it contains the individual members of that admishould be conveyed to your lordship, nistration, or any of them, acceding to Lord Grenville, and to your re to an administration to be formed by spective friends, as soon as may be Lord Wellesley; or to some propopracticable.

sal to be made by them as a governI shall be happy to have an oppor- ment to Lord Wellesley and Mr Cantunity of stating to your lordship, ning? and to Lord Grenville, at any time If Lord Wellesley's commission that you may appoint, the whole is considered as at an end, it is essencourse of my conduct, since I had the tial to Lord Wellesley's honour that honour of seeing you.

the fact should be publicly known. I have the honour to be, with He has entered upon communications great respect, my lord, your lordwhich he could not terminate at the ship's most obedient and faithful ser point to which they were brought,

WELLESLEY, without distinctly stating his commis. I shall remain at home for some sion to be at an end. time, and shall be happy to see your If what is now in contemplation lordship and Lord Grenville, if it is, some new proposal to be made to should be convenient.

Lord Wellesley and Mr Canning,

from the former administration revi. No. 10.

ved, then the revival of that adminisMr Canning's Statement to Lord tration ought to be made matter of Melville, enclosed in No. 9. notoriety ; and the proposal itself

must be distinctly stated, before Park Lane, May 26th, 1812. Lord Wellesley and Mr Canning can Lord Melville having stated to Mr form any judgment upon it. : Canning that the ministers, his col. leagues, were considering, under the. special command of his royal high

No. 11. ness the prince regent, how far they Lord Melville's Communication to could advance to meet the first of the Mr Canning, enclosed in No. 9. two propositions laid down as the basis of the administration, proposed Glocester Lodge, May 27, 1812, to be formed by Lord Wellesley;

10 a. m. Mr Canning feels it necessary before Lord Melville called upon Mr he offers any observation on that Canning, and informed him, in anstatement, to enquire in what situa. swer to the questions which Mr Can. tion Lord Melville's colleagues con- ning put to Lord Melville yesterday, sider themselves as standing at the 1st. That Lord Wellesley's compresent moment.

mission is considered by the Prince 1st. Do they consider Lord Wel Regent as at an end. lesley's commission at an end, and the 2d. That the persons now holding offices, hold them only until their ed an earlier acknowledgment of the successors shall be appointed. honour of your lordship's letter of

Lord Melville had understood Mr yesterday, had I not thought it neCanning yesterday to say, that Lord cessary to see Mr Canning, before I Wellesley was of opinion that his troubled your lordship with any an. commission was at an end; but that swer to your observations on our re. he (Mr Canning) doubted it. spective minutes.

This was a mistake. What Mr Having carefully examined those Canning stated was, that Lord Wel papers, and compared them with our lesley was in doubt as to the prince view of the points to which they re. regent's intention ; and that he (Mr fer, we have drawn the enclosed paCanning) had no ineans of forming per for your lordship’s information, any opinion upon it.

and have authenticated it by our re

spective signatures. No. 12.

I have the honour to be, with the Letter of Lord Grey to Lord Wel- greatest respect, my lord, your lord. lesley.

ship's faithful humble servant,

(Signed) WELLESLEY. Portman Square, The Earl Grey.

May 27, 1812. My Lord, I have the honour of

No. 14. returning the papers which your Paper signed by Lord Wellesley and lordship was so good as to put into

Mr Canning. my hands this morning.

I observe a material difference be. The variance in point of phrase in tween the terms in which the two the two propositions as stated by principles, proposed as the basis of a Lord Wellesley and Mr Canning in new administration, are stated in Mr their minutes of conference arises Canning's minute, and in that sent to from this circumstance, that Lord Lord Grenville and me by your lord. Wellesley and Mr Canning went to ship. I think it necessary to call their respective conferences without your lordship's attention to this cir. having thought it necessary previouscumstance, because if these discus. ly to reduce into a written form the sions should proceed further, it may communications which they were to become of the utmost importance. make, being in full possession of each

I am, with the highest regard, my other's sentiments upon the subject lord, your lordship's very faithful and of them. humble servant,

The two minutes were written by . (Signed) Grey. them as containing the substance of The Marquis Wellesley.

their respective communications; that

of Mr Canning in Lord Liverpool's No. 13.

presence ; that of Lord Wellesley Letter of Lord Wellesley to Lord immediately after his return from Grey.

Lord Grey.

There does not appear to Lord Apsley House, Wellesley and Mr Canning to be any

May 28, 1812. substantial variance in the first proMy Lord, I should have return. position.

The word "early" in Mr Can- extinguishing discontent, only trans. ning's minute might be exchanged ferred it from the catholic to the profor the word “ immediate," used by testant. Lord Wellesley, without in any de. But they concur in entertaining a gree altering the sense : as with confident belief, that the great pura motion actually pending in the pose of securing the peace of the emHouse of Commons, which, (but for pire may be answered, not by giving the events that have recently taken a triumph to any one party, but by place) would have come on this very reconciling all. day, the object of which was to com. In the substance of the second pel the executive government to take proposition, there is no variance as to the subject of the catholic question any practical and prospective .purinto consideration, it cannot be neces- pose, though undoubtedly there is, sary to say that Mr Canning has no and it is natural there should be, wish to defer that consideration. On some as to the past, arising from the the other hand, consideration by the difference of Mr Canning's and Lord executive government is the object Wellesley's respective situations. which it is Lord Wellesley's intention When Mr Canning says, that the to recommend : nor does he conceive peninsular war is to be carried on any further parliamentary proceeding « with the best means of the coun. to be necessary or practicable this try," he intends the greatest scale of session than such as might be suffi. exertion which the means of the councient to insure, either by compulsion try may be found capable of sustainupon a hostile administration, or by ing. pledge from a friendly one, the con- · If Lord Wellesley's expression, “a sideration of the question during the scale of adequate vigour," may be recess with a view to its being brought construed to imply the proposition, before parliament, by the recommend that the late exertions of this counation of the crown, early in the ensu. try have not been proportioned to the ing session.

great object of the war, or have not A committee to enquire into the been duly distributed or apportionstate of the laws has been already ed, this proposition Mr Canning cere negatived in both houses this ses. tainly does not intend either to affirm, sion.

or to deny ; simply because, not haA « conciliatory adjustment” of ving been in the government during the claims of the Irish catholics is the last two years, he has not sufficithe object which Lord Wellesley and ent information to be able to proMr Canning have equally at heart : nounce an opinion, whether the exa and it enters equally into both their ertions of those two years have or views, that to be “ conciliatory” that have not been below the proper scale, adjustment must be so framed as to or have been well or ill administered ; embrace the interests and opinions of nor how far they may now admit of the English catholics,—also to obtain being extended or more judiciously the enlightened and deliberate con- applied. sent of the protestants of both coun. He concurs, however, entirely with tries. They would think any adjust. Lord Wellesley, in wishing to exment very imperfect which, instead of tend them to the utmost power of


the country, and to apply them in I hope it is unnecessary for me to the manner best calculated to answer state, that I can look at the situations their end.

of the catholics (both Irish and Eng. (Signed) WELLESLEY. lish) with no other view than that of GEORGE CANNING. the public interest ; and that nothing

can be further from my disposition, No. 15.

or my intention, in a matter of such Letter from Lord Grey to Lord pre-eminent importance, than to give Wellesley.

to any one party a triumph at the

expence of another. But I do not Portman Square, conceive, that the repeal of the disa.

May 29, 1812. bilities of which the catholics comMy Lord, I had last night the plain, can give any just cause for dis. honour of receiving your lordship's content to their protestant fellowletter, enclosing a paper explanatory subjects ; and I am strongly of opi. of the difference which I had remark. nion, that the efficacy of that mea. ed between your lordship's minute sure must in a great degree depend and Mr Canning's, together with a on its being carried into effect with copy of the latter.

the least possible delay, and with the I beg your lordship to be assured clearest demonstrations of a concilia. that in the observation to which I tory and confiding spirit. Under this had thought it necessary to call your impression I should very reluctantly lordship's attention, I could have no abandon the hope of passing a bill object but that of preventing the for such repeal, even during the prepossibility of any future misunder. sent session ; but if this cannot be standing. We had not entered into done, I hold it to be indispensable, any explanation, which, under the cir. that the most distinct and authentic cumstances of the moment, would pledge should be given of the intenperhaps have been premature, of the tion, both of the executive governdetails of conduct necessary to give ment and of parliament, to take this effect to the first of the propositions, matter up as one of the first measures offered by your lordship as the basis of the next. To a proceeding of of a new administration. From the this nature, from the paper signed by difference of the terms used by Mr your lordship and Mr Canning, I am Canning in stating that proposition, led to hope, that you would not be I was apprehensive that it might be adverse. his opinion, in concurrence with your As to the second proposition, the lordship's, that no parliamentary pro. difference which I had observed was ceeding with reference to the claims much less important. It is impossi. of the catholics, should take place ble to reduce a question of this na. during the present session. To such ture to any fixed principle. Whatan opinion I could not have assented; ever we can say with our present and I felt it to be due both to your means of information, must necessari. lordship and Mr Canning, immediate. ly be general and inconclusive, the iy to draw your attention to a point, whole subject being left open to fuon which it was so desirable that there ture consideration and decision. I should be a clear understanding be- can have no hesitation in subscribing tween us.

to the proposition, that, if it shall be

found expedient to continue the ex. have derived from the sentiments, so ertions we are now making in the justly expressed in your letter, a peninsula, they should be conducted firm expectation, that if the advice in the manner best calculated to an- which I have humbly offered to the swer their end.

prince regent, should be ultimately I have, I fear, troubled your lord- approved, a happy prospect will open ship much more than is necessary un. to the country of recovering internal der the circumstances of our present peace, and of prosecuting the war situation ; and I will only add, that with success, under an administration if we should be called upon to pursue worthy of the confidence of the prince, these considerations in their practical and of the people, and equal to the details, it will be my most anxious arduous charge of public affairs, amidst wish, that no difference of opinion all the difficulties and dangers of the may be found to exist between us, present crisis. respecting the conduct to be adopted I have the honour to be, with the by a government equally solicitous highest respect, my lord, your lord. for the internal peace and harmony of ship's most faithful and obedient serthe empire, and for the prosecution of vant,

WELLESLEY. military operations in such a mode as may appear most conducive to our ul.

No. 17. timate security. Lord Grenville, to Minute of a Communication made whom I have communicated your by Lord Wellesley to Lord Grey, lordship's letter, and its enclosures, at Lord Grey's House, June 1st, desires me to express his cordial con 1812. currence in this wish.

I have the honour to be, with the Lord Wellesley stated that he had highest regard, my lord, your lord- on that morning, received full autho. ship's very faithful humble servant, rity from the prince regent to form (Signed) GREY. an administration under his royal

highness's commands; and that he No. 16.

was specially authorised to communiLord Wellesley's Reply to Lord cate with Lords Grey and Grenville Grey, May 29th, 1812. on the subject.

That his royal highness entertained Apsley House, no wish to exclude from the proposed

May 29, 1812. administration, any person, or descripMy Lord I request your lord. tion of persons, who could unite in ship to accept my sincere thanks for the principles on which the adminis.your letter of this day's date. tration was to be founded.

In the actual state of affairs, it That the two positions stated in might be deemed premature to enter Lord Wellesley's minute of May 23d, into any more particular discussions, and subsequently explained in the let. than those already submitted to your ters which had passed between Lord lurdship on the points to which you Wellesley and Lord Grey, of the have adverted with so much perspi. dates of the 27th, 28th, and 29th of cuity, ability, and candour.

May, 1812, were intended by his But I cannot omit this opportuni- royal highness to constitute the ty of assuring your lordship, that I foundation of his administration,

« PreviousContinue »