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for an indemnity in any thing that With respect to the Spanish England, or the king of England, question, the right hon. gentleman might have to suit them. Resis- spoke to the same purport as lord tance to this band of congregated Liverpool did in the House of despots was a matter of duty, and Lords; though upon the whole, the duty of England was in con- with even more reserve, and greater sequence plain. It behoved us, caution of language. He thought, however, to take care that we did that the grounds assigned by France not rush blindly into a war. An for her interference
were not adeappeal to arms ought to be the last quate ; but, supposing himself to alternative we should try; but still be a Frenchman, he could not tell it ought never to be so foreign to in what light the question might our thoughts as to be conceived then present itself. There was inpossible, or so foreign from our still, he conceived, a chance, that counsels as to take us unprepared. peace might be preserved : and our
The thunders of applause from duty was, to maintain a strict both sides of the House, with which neutrality, and to mediate between this speech was received, and which angry parties, so as, if possible, to continued for some minutes after prevent the commencement of a Mr. Brougham sat down, gave a war, the termination of which no most unequivocal attestation, both man could foresee. of the unanimous sentiments of the The Address was carried unaHouse, and of the oratorical power nimously. which produced so strong a mani
The favourable feelings expressfestation of them. Sir Francis Bur- ed by the ministers towards Spain, dett, sir J. Mackintosh, and Mr. and the still greater liberality of Denman, followed on the same sentiment so unequivocally maniside, but with infinitely less effect. fested in the House of Commons
Mr. Canning, not having as yet by the enthusiastic reception of been elected and returned a mem- Mr. Brougham's sarcastic eloquence ber of the House, was not present and vehement invective, produced at the discussion. Mr. Peel was general satisfaction throughout the the only one of the ministers who country, and excited deep attenspoke. He regretted, that Mr. tion in every part of Europe. At Brougham should have used too Madrid, the intelligence of the disstrong expressions, and too sarcastic cusssion was received with exultaa severity against powers who were tion; the speeches of lord Liverin alliance with us, and who did pool and Mr. Brougham were not deserve the sweeping invective translated into Spanish, and were with which they had been loaded widely circulated, wherever, either The recent conduct of Russia to- in the old world or the new, that wards Turkey proved the injustice language was spoken. Their effect of the accusation respecting the at Paris, was no less visible in the spirit of aggression by which she terms of dislike and disrespect was animated : for nothing could with which lord Liverpool, and be more manifest, than that her po- still more Mr. Canning, were menlicy of late had been marked by tioned in the Chamber of Deputhe greatest forbearance, and by a ties, by the violent partisans of desire rather to avoid than to pro- Villèle and Chateaubriand. mote war.
Temporary suspension of Discussions in Parliament on the Negotia
tions relative to Spain—Questions put to the Ministers by Lord Lansdown and Mr. Brougham-Removal of the Prohibition of the Exportation of Arms to Spain-Papers relating to the Negotiations on the Spanish Question, laid before Parliament--Ministerial exposition of the course of Policy which the English Cabinet had followed: the first mention of diplomatic discussion relative to Spain: Proceedings at Verona: Negotiations at Paris : our communications with, and advice to, the Spanish Government : Proceedings subsequent to the publication of the Speech of the King of France at the Opening of the Session of the Chambers: justification of a Pacific Policy—Motion for the Repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Bill-Debate in the House of Lords on the Negotiations relative to Spain: an Address, disapproving of the Conduct of Ministers, moved by Lord Ellenborough: grounds on which it was supported; amendment moved by Lord Granville: arguments against the Address--Debate in the House of Commons, during three nights, on the Spanish Negotiations: the Address moved by Mr. Macdonald, and an Amendment to it by Mr. S. Wortley : Speech of Mr. Wilberforce; Speeches of the Chancellor of the Excheyuer, Sir James Mackintosh, Mr. Peel, and Sir Francis Burdett: Mr. Canning's Speech ; excellence of this Speech: Mr. Brougham's feeble Reply: maneuvre of the Opposition to avoid a Division of the House : result of the Division---Subsequent Motion of Lord Grey in the House of Lords---General state of feeling with respect to Spain throughout the progress of the Spanish War.
R. Canning took his seat on ters were pursuing, and a convic
the 12th of February, as one tion, that, as the parliament and of the members for the borough of people of England had already ex. Harwich: but, for some weeks, a pressed their opinion strongly on silence nearly complete was ob- the subject, further discussion served in both houses on the would only be injurious, while our relations between France and negotiations continued and any Spain. This did not arise from chance of peace remained. On indifference ; for the public mind the 24th of February, the marquis was all along fixed with eager an- of Lansdown inquired of lord xiety on the issue of the existing Liverpool, whether there was any crisis : but there prevailed a gene- hope that hostilities between France ral feeling of confidence in the and Spain would be averted. Lord course of policy which our minis- Liverpool stated in reply, that mat
ters had not yet arrived at the that they conveyed, as absolute, point which made the preservation propositions which, in fact, were of peace impossible; but deprecated stated with a qualification. The any further discussion, as the ne- right hon. gentleman admitted, that, gotiations were still continued. the grounds of hoping for a conHe added, that special circumstan- tinuance of peace had been greatly ees had occurred, some of them diminished; but he suggested, that very recently, which made him while any hope remained, it would more averse than before, to enter be improper to make a complete dismore fully into the subject. The closure of all the circumstances conforbearance, which parliament had nected with the late negotiations. already shown, had been of mate- Upon the conclusion of peace rial advantage to the ministers in between England and Spain, in their negotiations with foreign 1814, an article was introduced powers; and that forbearance, he into the treaty, which bound this hoped, would be extended some- country not to furnish succours to what longer. The marquis of the South American colonies. In Lansdown then inquired, whether 1818, the de facto independence of the country was perfectly un- these states having existed for shackled as to the course, which, several years, neutrality between under future circumstances, it them and the mother country remight be necessary to adopt with quired, either that the prohibition a view to its own interests or should be withdrawn, or that it honour. Lord Liverpool replied, should be extended to both parties. that we had entered into no en- The latter course was the one gagement whatever that could pre- which was adopted. But it was vent us from following any path obvious, that, if this state of things which our honour or interests were to remain unaltered upon the might prescribe.
eve, and during the continuance, M. de Chateaubriand, had, of a war between France and in one of his speeches, asserted, Spain, the latter power would that the principles on which be exposed to no small inFrance proceeded, were admitted convenience from a prohibition even by Mr. Canning; and, which did not operate upon the in proof of his assertion, he former.
former. Accordingly, when, from pretended to quote some passages the tide of events, war became profrom the official correspondence of bable, his majesty's government the secretary for the foreign de- stated to Spain, that there were partment. On the 28th of February, two modes in which the difference Mr. Brougham put a question to between the privilegesof France and Mr. Canning, with respect to the those of Spain might be equalized by colour given to the foreign policy an order in council; either by proof the British ministry in that hibiting the exportation of arms speech of M. de Chateaubriand's, and ammunition to France, or by and more particularly with respect removing the prohibition upon to a pretended quotation, given in their exportation to Spain; but it, from a note said to have been it was also stated, that his majesty's written by the right hon. secretary government could not remove that Mr. Canning replied, that the ex- prohibition as it respected Spain, tracts were not fairly given, and without removing it also as it ree VOL. LXV.
spected the South American colo- Peers, by lord Liverpool, and in nies.
The extension of the pro- the Commons, by Mr. Canning, hibition to France, would have On this occasion, these two leading been a prohibition in words only members of the cabinet entered and not in fact; for the vicinity of into an exposition of the course of the Belgic ports would have conduct which had been pursued rendered indirect exportation to by his majesty's government, and France so easy, that the prohibition of the principles by which that of direct exportation would have conduct had been guided. When been nugatory. Our government the duke of Wellington, said Mr. therefore, anxious to preserve a Canning, set out to join the Conreal and not merely a seeming gress of Verona, it was not underneutrality, adopted the other mode stood that it was in contemplation of proceeding and issued an order to discuss at that meeting the in council, taking off the pro- affairs of Spain. The matter, of hibition of exporting arms and which it was expected that the ammunition to Spain.
Congress would take cognizance, On the 26th of March, lord and to which the preparation of Liverpool gave notice, that he instructions had been particularly would on the 14th of April, lay directed, was the state of affairs in upon the table of the House the the east of Europe, and the compapers relative to the late negotia- plicated transactions between tions on the state of affairs between Russia and Turkey. It was only France and Spain. The interval be- on his arrival in Paris, that the tween this communication and the duke of Wellington found that the day appointed for the production of state of Spain was likely to occupy the
papers, was filled up by the a most important place in the deEaster holidays; for both houses ad. liberations of the Congress at Vejourned to the 10th of April, ---the rona ; and he instantly applied for Lords, from the 26th of March; specific instructions on that point. and the Commons, from the 27th. The requisition of the duke of A ridiculous enough attempt was Wellington (who left London, made in the House of Commons within about forty-eight hours to abridge, by a few days, the after Mr. Canning had acusual duration of the adjournment cepted the seals of the foreign under the pretext, that, in so critical office) was dated from Paris on a state of Europe, the sittings of the 21st of September; and the the house ought not to be suspended instructions transmitted in conseso long
quence were in the following On the 14th of April, the diplo- terms:-" If there be a determined matic papers, relative to the ne- project to interfere by force or by gotiations on the relations between menace in the present struggle in France and Spain, were laid before Spain, so convinced are his majesparliament ;* in the House of ty's government of the uselessness
and danger of any such interfeThese papers (with the exception of merely formal communications) will be found among the Public Documents praise for the united perspicnity, prein a subsequent part of this yolume. cision, and manly elegance, with which Mr. Canning's share in this diplomatic he states the principles and views of correspondence deserves unqualified the English cabinet.
rence, so objectionable does it ap- and when the propositions of the pear to them in principle, as well French government regarding as utterly impracticable in execu- Spain were brought forward, they tion, that when the necessity arises, were not directed to a hostile ob or (I would rather say) when the ject—they were in their nature opportunity offers, I am to instruct purely defensive, conditional, and your grace at once frankly and pe- hypothetical. They did not then remptorily to declare, that, to any call for the assistance of the allies such interference, come what may, against Spain: they asked merely his majesty will not be party." what would be the conduct of the These instructions did not go into allies in three given cases, which much detail, and admitted no quali- all presupposed some active offence fication ; they were positive and in the first instance on the part of peremptory, and from them the Spain. To these inquiries, anduke of Wellington never for one swers were given on the part of three moment swerved.
So far was
of the continental powers, profesthe British government at that sing their readiness to countenance, time from entertaining any idea that and, if necessary, to support France a proposition of a nature hostile to in the specified cases. The British Spain would be made by France, plenipotentiary gave no such anthat there was every previous reason swer. He said, that he was prefor believing, that France would be cluded from entering into any hythe last quarter from which such pothetical engagement. He dea prohibition would come. It was manded, before he was called a matter of public notoriety, that upon to give even a hypothetical the king of France, on the 5th of concurrence a hypothetical June, declared, in allusion to the promise in a hypothetical case, forse he had stationed on his Py- that he should be informed, disrenean frontier, that the precaution tinctly and practically, what ofthus adopted had kept from his fence Spain had actually given to provinces a contagion which had France, and what were the grounds ravaged a great part of Spain; that of future offence anticipated by with the same object only he meant France. The congress of Verona, to maintain the forces he had during the weeks of its sittings, stationed ; and that nothing but discussed the question in all its ill-will and calumny could find bearings; but the language of
pretext for ascribing to this the duke of Wellington was the precautionary measure dif- same on the last day of meeting as
Such was the on the first-a positive refusal to statement in the last document give any answer to the inquiries France had issued with rela- of France-a positive refusal to tion to the affairs of Spain; and have any thing to do with interthe right hon. secretary mentioned ference, by force or menace, in the it only to account for the fact, that internal affairs of Spain. the instructions of the British
At the conclusion of the convernment were not, in the first in- gress, the three great Continental stance, framed with a view to meet Powers agreed with France to propositions hostile to Spain on the transmit to their ministers at Mapart of the French government. drid several despatches, remonWhen the Congress of Verona met, strating with Spain on the state