HC Deb 14 March 1808 vol 10 c1077

The order of the day being read,

Lord Hawkesbury

rose to move an address of thanks to his majesty for his most gracious message. After the proofs of unshaken firmness and fidelity which his Swedish majesty had displayed to his engagements with this country, there could scarcely be any other sentiment in the minds of noble lords, but that the conduct of this country towards Sweden should be marked by that justice, generosity, and good faith, which characterised the relations of this country with its allies, and which were so signally called for and deserved by the uniform steadiness and spirit exhibited by his Swedish majesty. The object of the subsidies and of the support which it was proposed now to afford to Sweden, was not the formation of any confederacy, but to enable his Swedish majesty to defend his dominions against the formidable confederate attacks with which he was threatened. He should repeat it, that it was to enable that gallant monarch to make a stand in the defence of his kingdom, and not with a view to entangle him in any alliance that should prevent him from making peace with the enemy if any opportunity occurred of his obtaining terms he might consider as equitable and honourable. His maj's. government had never interfered to prevent his availing himself of Such an occasion. The subsidy of 1,200,000l. which was to be furnished to Sweden, would not be paid, in one sum, as had been that formerly to Prussia, but in monthly instalments, to be continued as long as it was probable its object could be accomplished. His lordship concluded with moving an-address to his majesty, which was an echo of the message.

Lord Grenville

was satisfied with the ground on which the noble secretary rested his motion; and so far he was not disposed to make any opposition to it. He heard with pleasure and approbation, that no attempt was made by ministers to prevent Sweden from making what peace it might be in her power to negotiate; and that the subsidy now offered her was promoted only by justice, generosity, and good faith. So far it was endeavoured to uphold the character of the country in the eyes of Europe. He was sorry, however, to see the treaty encumbered with the article that provided that the two countries should negotiate conjointly. There was no reciprocity between the interests and situation of the two powers; and where there was no reciprocity, it was idle to tie down either of them to a joint negotiation; besides, there was a sort of contradiction in saying that Sweden was left free to negotiate if an opportunity offered to enable her to make peace, and next, to require that she should not make peace except in conjunction with Great Britain.—The motion was then agreed to.