HC Deb 20 January 1809 vol 12 cc91-2

Mr. Robinson brought up the Report of the Address, which was read a first time. On the motion for the second reading,

Mr. W. Smith

took the opportunity of briefly expressing his sentiments on the subject. In concurring with the Address, he by no means understood himself to be precluded from making any future observations on the various topics which it embraced. For instance, while he heartily concurred in the propriety of rejecting the terms upon which the last offer of negotiation was made, he by no means meant to declare it as his opinion, that this country ought never to consent to the commencement of another negotiation, while Spain should continue in the hands of the French government.—On the subject of Sweden also he conceived that there was much room for further remark. We might probably be paying our 100,000l. a month, merely for the purpose of having that sum used, however reluctantly, by Sweden to assist in the endeavour to exclude us from the Baltic. He condemned the levity with which the subjects of Spain and Portugal had last night been treated by the gentlemen opposite. Those gentlemen did not think they could possibly be called upon to answer for their conduct as culprits. When the day of investigation should come, he hoped that they would be able to exculpate themselves; but if it should turn out that the country was involved in a very great calamity; if the result should be that one of the finest armies that this country could ever boast, would be compelled to pass sub furca,then unquestionabiy it would become a matter of serious investigation, whether the fault lay with those who planned or with those who executed; for to one of the parties it must necessarily attach.

The Report was then read a second time and agreed to.