§ The House having resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to take into consideration his royal highness the Prince Regent's Message of Tuesday last, [see p. 842.]
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
addressed the Chairman to the following effect; Mr. Lushington; I cannot think that it will be necessary for me to trouble the committee with many observations in order to induce them to give their most cordial consent to the Resolution which I shall have the honour to propose, in conformity to the gracious Message of his royal highness the Prince Regent. It is, indeed, impossible that the House of Commons should fail to recollect, or that the nation at large should fail duly to appreciate the various great and distinguished services which have marked the brilliant career of my lord Wellington in the course of the late campaigns in Spain and Portugal. Although differences of opinion may exist with respect to the expediency and policy of the efforts which Great Britain has been, and is now making in the peninsula, although different views may be entertained of the wisdom of their efforts, I am persuaded Sir, that those differences of opinion, and those different views, will form no ground of dissent from the present motion. The question before us is, whether the officer selected in the first instance by his Majesty, and subsequently confirmed by his royal highness the Prince Regent, to direct the military operations in the peninsula, has, or has not conducted himself with such distinguished zeal, and such consummate professional ability, as while it does infinite honour to himself, does infinite honour to the country, whose armies he was appointed to command? Sir, the impression of the House on this subject is evident; and, under such an impression, I feel that it would be a gratuitous trespass on their time, to enter into any detail of those various achievements of the gallant earl, which have on former occasions received the distinct and repeated approbation of parliament. The circumstances under which his royal highness the Prince Regent has, for the last twelve months, exercised the royal authority, have prevented him at an earlier period from adequately marking the high sense which he entertained of the merits of that distinguished 870 general. His Royal Highness, however, has availed himself of the first opportunity of conferring on lord Wellington the honours which are so justly his due. It is a singular coincidence, that as the services of the gallant earl were the latest object of reward to the royal authority, which for the last year has been in abeyance, so they are the first object of reward to the illustrious personage who has assumed the unrestricted exercise of that authority. Our own conviction of the merits of lord Wellington is well known. But the committee will observe that Great Britain does not stand single in the opinion which she entertains of his deserts. They have been the uniform theme of the applause of our allies, an applause peculiarly manifested at the close of the last distinguished operation in which lord Wellington was engaged; for when the tidings of that great victory reached the Spanish government, they marked their sense of its value by a signal and honourable stamp of their high approbation. To the merit of this service indeed, the recent dispatches of the enemy themselves afford ample testimony. Those dispatches declare that the occurrence appears incomprehensible. In the first instance, the French general speaks of the great importance of the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo, and boasts of the preparations which he has made to relieve it, holding out to his master expectations of the most glorious result to the French arms. But when he subsequently learns that this fortress, which he had calculated that it would take nine or ten days to subdue, was reduced in as many minutes, astonishment and dismay take the place of confidence and elation.—Sir, I am convinced that the committee will unanimously agree with me, that we have but one duty to perform on the present occasion, and that is, to adopt the recommendation of his royal highness the Prince Regent, with respect to the proposed grant to the earl of Wellington, for the purpose of enabling him to support the dignity which has been so richly earned, and so promptly conferred. I therefore move, "That it is the opinion of this committee, That the annual sum of 2,000l. net, be granted to his Majesty out of the consolidated fund of Great Britain, to enable his Majesty to grant the said annuity to general the earl of Wellington, in addition to the annuity already granted by parliament to the said earl, subject to the same limitations as con- 871 tained in that grant, in consideration of the eminent and signal services performed by him in the course of a long series of distinguished exploits in the campaigns in Spain and Portugal."
§ Mr. Whitshed Keene
.—Sir, I do not rise to oppose the right hon. gentleman's motion as I agree to its principle, but as I am not satisfied with the manner it is proposed to carry it into effect, I beg leave to trouble the committee with the reasons of my disagreement. It is well known that the commanders of armies under all governments possess the means of enriching themselves by various modes, which attend the power of the sword, and we are not without examples of this power having been effectually exercised both in this island and on the continent by British commanders. In the East, where this illustrious soldier began his active military career, where power peculiarly affords those means, he was invested with high command. During a series of successful and glorious achievements which afforded him opportunities of enriching himself according to the usage of India, it is well known he did not yield to such temptations, but made the service of his country and his own fair fame his only objects. The acknowledgments of the people of those countries, and the sentiments of the armies he commanded, bear unequivocal testimony to his conduct. What has been his conduct since he has been employed in Europe? In the first of the four years of our military operations in the peninsula, by the most brilliant achievements he acquired the thanks of this House, and the gratitude of his country, and had he not been disturbed by an incomprehensible jumble of commanders, those achievements would have been as profitable to his country as they were glorious to himself. During the last three campaigns, being freed from such impediments, he has raised the military character of Great Britain to stand foremost in Europe, having by skilful combinations and bold manœuvres, baffled and defeated the most boasted generals and the best armies of France. During this career the same disinterestedness has marked his conduct. The crown of Portugal appointed him its captain general, and placed him in the Regency. The governing power of Spain gave him high rank in their armies; both these countries desired that he would accept the large emoluments attached to those situations. He refused those emoluments from both those 872 governments; he disdained to receive any but from his own, when at the same time he drew on his private fortune, to supply the deficiency of his British appointment, to support the expensive hospitality, &c. becoming in his situation. His claims on the justice and liberality of this House do not end here. This House well knows the enormous unavoidable expence inseparable from the Commissariat Department attached to a British army serving abroad. It is also well known, that enormous fortunes have been accumulated (perhaps in some instances fairly) by contractors for its various necessary supplies. It is known that lord Wellington has now under his command the largest British force (taken in all its branches) that ever was employed in one service out of Great Britain. But perhaps it is not known that this illustrious soldier, in addition to his military talents, is a most able commissary general; and while he forms and directs those combinations and movements so glorious to his country and himself, superintends and controls the measures for supplying his army. The same military skill by which he defeats the enemy's tactics in the day of battle, enables him in most cases to foresee their measures, and anticipate the points and the times where supplies will be wanted. His own pure spirit, incessantly exerted, pervades all the branches of this department, and prevents the abuses to which it may be subject. This House has seen by the frequent regulations introduced into it, the difficulties attending the establishment of order and settling accounts of this expenditure. There is every reason to expect that what is incurred under his controul, will be attended with an œconomy hitherto unknown in that line, and at the same time will be so simplified as to require no delay in going through the accounts. The House will be able by comparing the relative expenditures under his command in this army, with those of former armies, to determine the degree of obligation which his country has to him in point of œconomy. It is on these grounds, Mr. Chairman, that I cannot avoid expressing regret at the inadequacy of what the right hon. gentleman proposes. But I, in some degree, console myself, from the persuasion, that if Divine Providence shall preserve a life, of which he is too prodigal, his further services will so force themselves on this House, as to oblige it to compensate the narrowness of the present proposed vote.
§ Mr. Fremantle
declared, that he had seldom experienced an occasion in which the discharge of his public duty corresponded so completely with the gratification of his private feeling. The conduct of the gallant earl who was the subject of the motion had always been most exemplary; but in the present instance he was persuaded that there would not be a dissenting voice in the committee. The desert of lord Wellington was acknowledged by the whole world. It was quite unnecessary to go into a detail of his manifold services. He had been a soldier from his earliest youth, and his country had ever derived the greatest benefits from his exertions. It was not merely by strict discipline that he was enabled to secure the self-devotion of his soldiers, it was by his attention to their wants, and by his kind and condescending conduct towards them. Invariably persevering and zealous, lord Wellington never allowed personal convenience or advantage to tempt him from the line of his public duty. When to fight was necessary, he bravely fought; but he never permitted any artful or affected demonstration of the enemy to induce him to lead his army into a contest, the consequences of which he could not clearly anticipate. It was useless, however, to dilate on the merits of this distinguished general; and he should therefore content himself with expressing his most cordial concurrence in the motion.
Sir F. Burdett
said, that although he was the last man who would oppose any proper remuneration to those from whose exertions the country had derived benefit, yet he could not agree to the motion on the grounds upon which it was attempted to be supported. He allowed that he, as well as the House at large, was a very incompetent judge of the merits of a military commander, more especially in the comparative ignorance of the facts under which he necessarily laboured; but from all he did know from the army list, and from the estimates on the table, it appeared to him that lord Wellington had under his command a very large force. Now he had always understood that the merit of a military commander consisted in the being able to accomplish a great object with inadequate means. In his opinion, it was impossible to conceive less done with such ample means than that which lord Wellington had achieved. [Laughter, and cries of hear, hear!] He had no wish to detract from the well-earned reputation 874 of any man; but marks of disapprobation were no proof of the fallacy of his statements. Let the committee recollect the force which lord Wellington had commanded. In the first place, 54,000 English troops of the line, and 30,000 regular Portuguese troops in British pay, and said to be equal in discipline, making in the whole 84,000 troops of the line. To these were afterwards added 30,000 more regular Portuguese troops in British pay, making above 110,000 troops of the line. It had also been stated that the Portuguese government maintained 10,000 troops, being in the whole above 120,000 regular soldiers. To these were likewise to be added the Portuguese militia, consisting of 80,000 men, forming the grand aggregate of an army of above 200,000 men. It must also be recollected that the ordinanza of Portugal amounted to 15,000 men. Under such circumstances, and with such a force at his command, he was really at a loss to conceive how lord Wellington could justly be entitled to the praises bestowed upon him by the right hon. gentleman. Did the committee recollect the entrance into Portugal of general Massena with 60,000 men, who advanced 300 miles in an enemy's country, the most difficult and inaccessible in the world, who maintained their ground for such a considerable period of time; whom famine alone compelled to retreat, and who, when they did retreat, although they retired in the face of a superior army, and through an hostile population, lost no single advantage, but maintained themselves unbroken and untouched? Was there much cause of triumph on that occasion? And in the present campaign what had been obtained? Ciudad Rodrigo! He had been informed by military men, that this was a fortress which any army preponderating at the moment must inevitably reduce; that the outworks were of little avail, and that it required a garrison of 4,000 men. The garrison which it contained, however, when attacked by the British, did not exceed 1,500 in number. The place was assaulted by 12,000 troops, and as a proof of its weakness lord Wellington himself said in his dispatches, that the feint, which was not meant actually to operate, had really succeeded in taking the place. (Hear, hear!) Gentlemen cried "Hear, hear!" What he had stated might shew valour in the troops; but it was a strong proof of the weakness of the place. To 875 lay such stress on a victory like that, to ring the bells and fire the guns for it, was to shew the country to be in a most fallen and degraded situation. In another quarter the French had achieved considerable advantages. Suchet had conquered Tarragona, Murviedro, Valencia and other important places, and in the course of the campaign, had sent to France 47,000 prisoners, including 2,000 officers, among whom were Blake and some of the most distinguished individuals in the Spanish army. Badajos, notwithstanding the evident anxiety of the British general to relieve it, had fallen. In the attempt to succour that place, 12,000 men had been lost at the battle of Albuera.—(Hear, hear!) He presumed that his statement was an exaggeration.—(Hear, hear!) At any rate lord Wellington had been compelled to retreat. And yet of how much greater importance was Badajoz than Ciudad Rodrigo! The former only 120 miles from Lisbon, and the access to that city easy and unmolested; the latter 320 miles distant from it, and the approach guarded by formidable passes. Badajos, however, had been left to its fate by lord Wellington, and we ought to balance accounts with him. A pension of 2,000l. had been conferred upon him before the loss of that important place, but it had not been withdrawn since the loss. The joy manifested on the reduction of Ciudad Rodrigo, was for the purpose of public delusion; but even had that fortress been of much greater importance, he thought few would contend that its reduction would materially influence the final issue of the war in Spain. In the mean while if the people of England were to pay so dearly for such advantages, as they were termed, the sooner that war was ever the better. He was decidedly hostile to the war, as a cheat upon the country, professing as it did to be for other objects, while it really went to support bigotry and despotism. There was one fact which, in his opinion, was decisive with respect to the probable termination of the contest. It was notorious, that wherever the English had power in Spain, the Inquisition was established; wherever the French had power, that detestable institution existed no longer. Was that the kind of liberty which Englishmen were called upon to maintain with their blood and treasure? He had already described what in his opinion would be sufficient grounds for rejecting the motion; but his 876 strongest and most insuperable objection remained behind—the state of the people of England. Driven to desperation by the oppressiveness of the taxes, and the general stagnation of trade, was this a season for loading them with additional burdens? In his opinion it would be most indefensible to grant such a sum from the public revenue, at a moment when the situation of the empire had forced itself on the consideration of parliament; and when parliament had been able to devise no better means of counteracting the effects of hunger and despair, than by increasing the number of capital punishments. The people called for relief, and parliament had given them a halter. Far better would the money which was now moved for be applied in the alleviation of those distresses; and he had hoped that, before parliament had consented to hang men for offences prompted by necessity, it would have at least inquired into the mode of preventing a recurrence of such events. In the present state of the country, therefore, he could by no means agree to the motion; but if the reverse of this melancholy picture were true he should still object to it. If the hope which existed with respect to the issue of the contest in the peninsula were as flattering, as in his opinion the despondency was just—if the achievements dwelt upon with such emphasis had been as great as in his opinion they were unimportant—if the state of the country was as flourishing as it was depressed, and, in his opinion, almost hopeless—still he should oppose the motion, while government possessed other funds from which the grant might with more propriety be derived—funds from which pensions and allowances were issued unfit to meet the public eye. At least, until those funds were expended, and not even then, would he consent, for such a purpose, to draw upon the already exhausted pockets of the people. The object of the grant was to confer additional splendour on lord Wellington. If this splendour were transparent as well as brilliant, if the situation of the country could be seen through it, what a mass of human misery would it disclose!
declared, that had he anticipated any possible difference of opinion on the motion before the committee, it would have been on the amount of the grant, which, in compliance with the gracious message of the Prince Regent, it 877 was proposed to make to the noble and gallant earl who was the just object of his Royal Highness's favour and recommendation. In this view of the subject, had the suggestion of an hon. gentleman (Mr. Whitshed Keene) to increase the grant, been reduced to a formal proposition, he should certainly have voted for it, had he not been withheld by the wish that such a question should pass the House with unanimity. But really for the species of dissent which the hon. baronet had adopted, he confessed that he was wholly unprepared. He did not pretend any more than the hon. baronet to be capable of judging with the skill of a tactician the conduct of military men and military measures; but it was impossible for any man, however ignorant of military affairs, to look at what had been, and what was—to consider the former and the present state of the peninsula—to recollect the existing feelings of the country, and those feelings when that eminent and distinguished commander, lord Wellington, was appointed to direct the energies of the British army—without paying him that homage of applause which his unrivalled talents and unwearied exertions so loudly demanded. Little would the observations of the hon. baronet avail in persuading Englishmen not to reward one who had contributed so essentially to the advantage and to the honour of the empire.—The hon. baronet had introduced into his speech several topics, on which, although he (Mr. C.) owned that they were but remotely connected with the question, the House would perhaps permit him to touch. He would begin with the allusion of the hon. baronet to the distresses of the manufacturers. "Good God!" exclaimed Mr. Canning, "let the stale of commerce and manufactures be what they may, and no man laments the depression which they suffer more than myself, is this a period when Englishmen are to be advised—not to purchase military glory, for that is already our own—but to abstain from expressing gratitude for such services as lord Wellington has performed, because, forsooth! there is a class of the community whose distresses we pity—whose distresses we would most willingly relieve—but whose distresses, I believe from my soul, would be infinitely aggravated, if, by listening to the suggestions of the hon. baronet we were to consent to degrade the national character,"—The hon. baronet had next contended, 878 that if this grant were made at all, it ought to be made out of those funds which, according to him, government had abused. Was it so? Were these funds proper subjects of the jealousy and suspicion of parliament? Were they lavished on persons without merit or pretensions? If so, he, for one, would not agree that out of those funds such a man as lord Wellington should be rewarded: he, for one, would not agree that the baseness of the purpose to which (according to the hon. baronet) they had hitherto been applied, should be ennobled by such a dignified appropriation of them.—The next subject on which the hon. baronet had indulged the House with his opinion, was the merit of Suchet. The hon. baronet, after having (let it be observed) disclaimed any military skill or knowledge, had placed Suchet in a much higher rank as a general than lord Wellington; and had blazoned out, with great apparent satisfaction, deeds, which, as he said, had extorted the applause and admiration of mankind. In answer to all this, it would be sufficient for him to observe, that Suchet's military skill was not the subject of the present motion. As he was not yet aware that it was the intention of the hon. baronet to move an amendment to omit the name of Wellington, and insert that of Suchet, he would abstain from further observation on the subject; assuring the hon. baronet, however, that whenever he chose to bring forward such a proposition, he was prepared to meet him; and disclaiming all ungenerous solicitude to diminish the deserved reputation even of an enemy.—Generally, however, the hon. baronet characterised the exertions of the noble and gallant earl, as unworthy of the rewards which a grateful country was anxious to bestow upon him; and he particularly described the immediate achievement in which the present question originated, as unimportant and unavailing. He (Mr. Canning) looked upon that great man in a very different light. He considered him as a pre-eminently able and successful commander. Let the committee recollect that lord Wellington was sent out to save Portugal, at a moment when Portugal was in extreme danger, and that at the present moment there was no question with respect to her safety. Let the committee recollect, that when lord Wellington was sent out to endeavour to save Portugal, he was empowered 879 after that first service to extend his exertions to Spain, then in a state approaching to desperation, and that after having performed that first service in Portugal, the noble and gallant lord did extend, and successfully extend, his operations to Spain. To the one country he had given salvation—to the other hope. When such homage had been paid to this distinguished individual by the countries which he had so essentially assisted, was it becoming in his own country to doubt his desert? For his part, he could not persuade himself that there was a second man in the House of Commons, who, when he saw that the first act of those prerogatives which had lain dormant so long, (how properly he would not now argue) was to mark with distinguished honour the individual whom, by a singular and illustrious coincidence, it was the last act of those prerogatives to mark with distinguished honour, would hesitate to hail with joy the opportunity afforded him of sharing in that general sentiment of applause and gratitude which pervaded the whole community. The hon. baronet grudged the noble and gallant earl the paltry sum of 2,000l. per annum. Far different was the conduct of the countries who had the most immediate means of ascertaining his merits. In addition to the title of Conde de Vimiera granted him in Portugal, was a revenue of 5,000l. a year. As captain-general of Spain, lord Wellington had a salary offered to him of 5,000I. a year; and as marshal of Portugal, 7,000l. a year. These sums, amounting to 17,000l. a year, were granted for services by the foreign countries in which those services had been performed. It was proposed to give him 2,000l. a year, in his own country, and the hon. baronet lifted up his hands and eyes at such a gross violation of public economy! These rewards, however, offered by foreign gratitude, were declined by the distinguished person on whom they were bestowed. "No," said that truly noble lord, "in the present situation of Spain and Portugal I will not receive these rewards. I have only done my duty to my country; and to my country alone I will look for recompense." (Hear, hear!) The hon. baronet, it seemed, knew the interests of Spain and Portugal better than those countries did themselves. The hon. baronet contended that the one had purchased her salvation, and the other her hopes, at too dear a rate: he was apprehensive 880 that our allies were running riot with joy, and was solicitous to correct their exuberant feeling, and to shew them that they had not the just grounds for exultation of which they fondly imagined themselves to be possessed, by endeavouring to persuade the economical parliament of Great Britain—the legislators of this mighty empire—that the services of lord Wellington were not worth 2,000l. a year! The hon. baronet had taken an opportunity, not perfectly in order, of going into the policy of the war in the peninsula. With this lord Wellington had nothing to do. The crown and the parliament had sanctioned the system; and it was only for him to execute their orders in the most skilful and advantageous manner. From the vote of this night no fair inference could be drawn either in approval or disapproval of the war: the two subjects were entirely separate and unconnected. But, guarding himself from being supposed to ground the vote which he should give on that consideration, he might, perhaps, be permitted to say, that the last achievement of the noble and gallant earl, whatever might be its military merit, would have a moral effect, which, at the present critical moment, must operate most powerfully throughout the peninsula, by preventing those dazzling consequences which the glories of a rival general might otherwise occasion. It was an event happy and auspicious, and he was persuaded that it would be difficult to find its parallel in military history, out-running as it did, not more the sober expectations of those who were friends to its successful termination, than the fears of a provident enemy. With respect to the cause of Spain, of that cause he did by no means despair. On the contrary, he thought there were some recent circumstances, and more particularly the renovation and reinvigoration of the Spanish government, which held out a brighter hope than any which could hitherto have been cherished, which called upon the British government not to contract, but to extend their operations, and which not merely justified them for the exertions which they had hitherto made, but reflected on their efforts the highest commendation. (Hear, hear!) But this matter was foreign to the question, and the only excuse he could make for having touched upon it was, that he was not answerable for its introduction.—He repeated his wish, that 881 the sum to be granted to the noble and gallant earl was larger. It was far from being adequate to the extent of his services, more especially when it was considered how much he had had in his power, and how much he had rejected; but being anxious to avoid any thing like dissent on such a question, he would not press the adoption of a larger sum. He was sure, however, that the committee would cheerfully and unanimously join with his royal highness the Prince Regent in the noblest exercise of the regal prerogatives, by evincing the gratitude of the country to a distinguished individual who had rendered himself an honour to the present age, and an example to posterity.
Sir F. Burdett,
in explanation, complained that the right hon. gentleman had chosen entirely to misrepresent him. The right hon. gentleman first disclaimed all knowledge of military tactics, but immediately afterwards,Mark the humility of Shepherd Norval!he pronounced a decided opinion on the conduct of the war in the peninsula. As for himself he had only contrasted as matters of fact the exploits of lord Wellington, with what had been done by the French general, who in the course of one campaign had sent 47,000 prisoners to France, and had taken Tarragona, Saguntum, and Valencia: and even though Suchet was the enemy of this country, he must be allowed to admire the great military talents which he had displayed. During the same period, we had little else to set off against such signal successes but the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo, a town that might be taken three or four times in the course of a campaign, and produce very little effect on the fate of the war. The right hon. gentleman had totally misrepresented him, when he thought fit to hold him up as a blazoner of the merit of the French general, and the depressor of that of the English one; and the attempt of the right hon. gentleman to place him in such a situation was completely unjustifiable. The right hon. gentleman seemed, however, to scout the idea of taking this grant to lord Wellington from those sources of revenue that were at the immediate disposal of the crown. He seemed to consider these sources as disgraceful, and that it would be infamous to apply them when real merit was to be rewarded. This being the right hon. gentleman's reasoning, he trusted he should have his vote for the abolition of these 882 sources of influence, when the subject of sinecure offices was brought under the consideration of the House.
replied, that the hon. baronet had mistaken the nature of his reasoning on the subject of the pecuniary grants which it was in the power of the crown to bestow. The hon. baronet had been in the habit of calling such grants disgraceful to the receiver; and yet had proposed that the present annuity to lord Wellington should come from revenue immediately at the disposal of the crown; and when he used the term "disgraceful," as applicable to them, it was only to shew that the hon. baronet was prepared to reward lord Wellington from a source which he, the hon. baronet, thought disgraceful. On the subject of sinecures, he had delivered his opinion on a former occasion, and would now state it to be simply this; that the crown should have at its disposal the means of rewarding merit, but that it would be better if the funds for that purpose were not of the nature of sinecure offices, on which it was natural for the country to throw considerable obloquy. The hon. baronet complained, that he had been misrepresented as the blazoner of Suchet; and that he did not mean to contrast that general with lord Wellington. In reply to this, he would say that he had carefully avoided misrepresentation. "Comparisons were odious," but since the hon. baronet had disclaimed the idea of contrasting the British with the French commander, he would content himself with observing, that though such an effect was doubtlessly not meant, yet certainly what had fallen from the hon. baronet tended, as much as anything that ever fell from the hon. baronet could tend to do any thing, to lower lord Wellington in public estimation. He had seen several military men of high character, who had witnessed the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo, and who concurred in describing the exploit in the most glowing language, and in considering it as the most brilliant achievement of the war.
§ Earl Temple
took that opportunity of declaring his hearty assent to the present motion. He had hoped from the manner in which the subject had been introduced by the right hon. gentleman, that while the members of the House were unfortunately divided on so many points, at least they might rest on this with unanimity. He would not enter at all into the policy of the war in Spain, for the House had now only to determine whether lord Welling- 883 ton had deserved well of his country; and as to the argument against the vote drawn from the distressed state of our manufacturers, he conceived, that if allowed at all to operate, it would only produce a still further depression of the spirits of the nation. As to the importance of the recapture of Ciudad Rodrigo, he would refer to the opinion manifested of it by lord Wellington's opponent. That officer said, it had been so fortified, that the outwork" alone might have stood a ten days' siege and he pronounced its rapid reduction an incomprehensible event. This was a sufficient answer to what had fallen from the hon. baronet on this subject; and he must say, that if two separate sums had been proposed to the House, he should have voted for the larger.
Sir C. Burrell
would not have arisen, but for the observations of the hon. baronet; at the same time he was aware that those observations had been most ably and successfully answered by the right hon. gentleman. The hon. baronet had stated the comparative merits of Suchet and of the earl of Wellington; that comparison was not to be endured. What had been the conduct of Suchet? At Tarragona there were between 7 and 800 men, women and children wantonly put to the sword by his orders. (Hear, hear!) What had been the conduct of the earl of Wellington in the late glorious service? Not a single life was lost in the city, with the exception of those on the ramparts. He had not dragged forth the defenceless to be inhumanly butchered and murdered. He had spared their lives after the conquest, and 1,700 prisoners were marched out of the place. The comparison of the merits of the two commanders was so strikingly erroneous, that he could not avoid the expression of his feeling, in common with other gentlemen so diametrically opposite to those of the hon. baronet, and to give his testimony in favour of the noble earl. He thought that he should ill deserve the support of his constituents in Sussex, if he went down among them without having marked the sense which he entertained of principles such as had just been avowed by the honourable baronet.
§ The motion was then put and agreed to, with the single negative of sir F. Burdett.