HC Deb 07 January 1812 vol 21 cc17-49

The Speaker informed the House, that the House had been in the House of Lords, and had heard a Speech read by the Lord Chancellor, one of the Lords Commissioners, to both Houses of Parliament, of which he had, for greater convenience, procured a copy, and which, with the leave of the House, he should then read to them. The Speech was accordingly read, [for which see p. 1.]

Sir F. Burdett

immediately rose and observed that he felt it his duty to take the earliest possible opportunity of addressing the House and his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, on a subject which seemed to him to be of the utmost importance to the country.

Lord Jocelyn

rose at the same time with the hon. baronet, but Sir Francis having first caught the eye of the Speaker,

The Speaker

decided that the hon. bart was in possession of the House.

Sir Francis Burdett

said he could not forego the opportunity now afforded him of offering himself thus early to the attention of the House, and of proposing, for their adoption, such an Address as, in the situation in which the country was placed, seemed to him to be imperiously and peculiarly called for. In addressing his royal highness the Prince Regent in the language of truth, and telling him what were the feelings of the people of these kingdoms at the present moment, he was conscious of discharging a duty of the most important kind, both to the Prince and the people. From what he knew of the feelings and declarations of the Prince Regent, he was persuaded that he was not one of those princes who wished to hear nothing but what was sweet, pleasing, and agreeable. The conduct and declarations of his royal highness were of a very different kind, and he felt that he should not do his duty to his constituents, to the country, or to the Prince Regent himself, if he let go the present opportunity of addressing his royal highness, and expressing to him what were the real feelings of the country at the present moment, and what were the grievances of which we had to complain. The exertions of the Spanish people against our common enemy were, no doubt, to be regarded by us as of consequence, nor were their losses to be attributed to any failure on our part; and it most afford us pleasure and gratification to know that we had a brave army, who did not disgrace the spirit of their forefathers. But, in the course of the compliments so largely and justly bestowed on our army, we never once heard mention of that word, as the spring of our exertions, the word 'freedom,' to the love of which, in old times, we were so much accustomed to attribute the bravery and courage of our armies. It could not be contradicted, that for the last 18 years, every succeeding year in which the members of that House met each other in their places, was more calamitous than that which had pre ceded it. He was afraid he might even go farther back, and declare that this had been the case from the very beginning of the present reign—that our calamities had been begun from the commencement of the American war, and had been going on in a progressive increase for nearly half a century. And if, for the last fifty years, the situation of this country had always been growing worse and worse—was it not now time to reflect? Must we not, at length, be convinced that there was something in our system radically wrong? It should be his duty, this being the case, to endeavour to point out to the attention of his Royal Highness in what this fundamental error consisted. The effects of the American war, he contended, were felt at this day, in the war in which we were now engaged. It was a war commenced on the very principles of the American war. A detestation of the principles of liberty which had broken out in France, first involved us in a war with that country; and on the same system, he was afraid, we were proceeding at the present moment. The former war was undertaken, as it was alledged, for the protection of the navigation of the Scheldt, which the Dutch admitted to be a miserable pretext. After that crusade was finished, we now found ourselves engaged in another seemingly endless contest; and he did not believe that any one of the persons who defended it, could say what we were fighting for. Not for liberty—that was a word which never once escaped their lips. Was it for the independence of Spain? No. They talked, indeed, of the enemy of the sovereign of that country; but the rights of the people of Spain was a thing they never thought of. Those rights of the sovereign of Spain, however, which gentlemen might say we were now contending for, had been, by that sovereign himself, resigned into the hands of Buonaparté, and were now completely frittered away. The Speech on the present occasion, the hon. bart, must, in a peculiar degree, consider the speech of the minister. So long as there was any hope of a successful issue to the struggle by the people of Spain, he had no objection that every assistance in our power should be rendered them. The language held in the Speech, however, on this subject, he did not believe; nor was he by any means convinced that gentlemen entertained those hopes which they expressed. The laurels earned by our gallant soldiers he sincerely rejoiced in. Their bravery had been great, and the honour they had thereby purchased was proportionate; but, after all, the victories they had achieved were barren, and were followed by something very like defeats. It was true that general Hill had gallantly surprised a small division of the enemy: still the French were making regular and rapid strides towards the subjugation of the country; while, for our triumphs, we had nothing to shew. The cause of this failure was the radically vicious principle of supporting despotism in this instance, as we did all over the world,—the attempt to support desperate, falling, and not to be supported, states, instead of the good old British reason of maintaining the cause of freedom. To this it would be said, Do the French proclaim liberty? No; but they endeavoured to conciliate the minds of the people by such concessions a" might please them; while it was a serious fact, that the Inquisition remained in existence in those parts only of the country of which the English had possession. But there was a curious contrast to which he must call the attention of the House. We were fighting strenuously to maintain the Catholic religion in the country of our Spanish allies; though, at the same time, those whom he should conceive to be our more valuable allies at home—the Irish—a generous, brave, and long-suffering people, were, for a trifling condition, withheld from their best and dearest rights. This exclusion of our most natural allies, he could not but consider as an act of gross treachery. The speech of the right hon. gent. opposite, (for so he must call the Regent's speech) contained all faults by being guilty of all omissions. It was not sufficient to call together the supposed representatives of the people of England, and to tell them—(cries of Order, order!)

The Speaker

called the hon. baronet to order, and observed the House could not hear such language as applied to itself.

Sir Francis Burdett

said, that nothing could give him greater pleasure than to hear that from the chair; since it proved, that there was a firm conviction that the House of Commons ought to represent the people of England, when to hint a contrary opinion was considered as an insult not to be borne: and yet, on the 11th of May, 1808, a minister was detected in the traffic of seats,—a practice which was not only not denied, but unblushingly avowed to be as notorious as the sun at noon-day; and, therefore, it might have-been conceived that gentlemen would not have been over delicate at hearing such things suggested.—The hon. baronet then called the attention of the House to the shackles imposed on the Prince Regent—restrictions, than which nothing more insulting could be conceived, as they-supposed that the son was capable of using his power contrary to the interests of his father: but, happily for the country, those restrictions would soon expire; an event to which they would look with anxiety, as the Prince had by many gratuitous professions, long pledged himself to those enlarged principles, and that liberal system of policy, which had raised the nation to the lofty pinnacle of happiness and glory on which it stood at the close of the reign of George II. He had the greater hopes and confidence in the Prince, because he had felt the power which was so much complained of. Able writers had, indeed, written in praise of different forms of government,—the absolute, the democratical, and the mixed; but none had been found hardy enough, in the worst of times, to be the advocates of oligarchy: and the present oligarchy was one of the worst species,—not of a few of the best men, and of the greatest interest in the state, but an oligarchy of rotten borough mongers,—a sort of men known in the history of no other country except our own. The consequences of this destructive system were, that abroad, the monarchs, our allies, were either chased from their crowns, or, after an immense' exhaustion of-blood and treasure, held their sovereignties at the will of Buonaparté, or depended for support on a scanty and eleemosynary pittance—Such was their fate. Look at the continent, there was the book in which all might read it. Was it possible that the House could be so insensible and blind to danger, as to flatter themselves within these walls, that by calling themselves the greatest and the wisest, and the best nation, they could counteract evils such as had never before threatened the country?—If the House turned its eyes from the continent, and from abroad, and looked to the internal state of the country, there was nothing consolatory to rest upon. There existed a system of taxation, the deprivations of which prevented the strictest industry from procuring a livelihood, and generated a pauperism throughout the land,—a pauperism aggravated by pillage. Formerly the exactions of an Empson and a Dudley called forth the indignation of a whole land; nor did our forefathers allow the plea, that they had acted under the sanction or an act of parliament, as any exculpation of their infamous proceedings. But now, look at our surveyors, and our surchargers; whose conduct was such, that the payment of money (however great that evil) was the least inconvenient and offensive part of the system. There were now Empsons and Dudleys in every county; and the trial by jury, which was here more than ever necessary, was before these fiscal tribunals disallowed by special act of parliament, which even denied to the suitors at those courts the assistance of attorney or counsel. In short, the whole land was in a state of terror. Military possession was taken of the country; depôts, and barracks, and fortifications, were formed; and mercenary Germans and foreigners were scattered over the kingdom, as if England could not defend itself, and must have recourse to Germans, who had not been able to defend their own country. The jealousy of our ancestors was such, that a remonstrance was presented to Charles 1, for having 1,000 foreigners in his pay; but now, not only was the country overspread with foreigners, but even our own soldiers were compelled to wear the German dress and whiskers; as if the whiskered face of a German was more formidable to the enemy than the smooth open countenance of au Englishman, though it had been found that the French were never scared by whiskers. But he must say, that the plain red coat excited more respect, and was more associated with our ideas of courage and endurance, than all that military finery and foppery of which the soldiers themselves who were it seemed ashamed. All this evinced such a mass of absurdity and folly, that he was sometimes tempted to acquit ministers of any worse intention, though, perhaps, this was merely thrown out as a blind to more pernicious motives.—Another grievance to which be should call their attention, was the system of military discipline which oppressed the country, and which subjected every soldier for the most trifling misconduct to be corporally punished at the miserable caprice of almost every officer. He was glad to mention this so early in the session; for the reform of it would doubtless form a very important part of its business. There was some justice in its now coming home, as it were, to the backs of our countrymen; for, now, by the local militia system, almost every man in England, every father of a family, was subject to this punishment; so that he had no hesitation in repeating what he had before said in this House, that this was a flogged nation. No exertions of his, the hon. baronet pledged himself, should be wanting to wipe off this stigma from the nation. Some people were pleased to say, that this-was a punishment which could not be entirely dispensed with, and that it was only inflicted in few instances. Let the offences, however, for which it was to be inflicted, be defined, so that it might not be an arbitrary punishment; or let a substitute, whatever it might be, be found for it: officers were exempt from such a punishment; and why should the soldier be exposed to it? This was another complaint, under the head of grievances, to which he wished to call the Prince Regent's attention.—Amongst other grievances, to which he felt it now to be his duty to call the attention of the House, and of the Prince Regent, was one which operated both in the nature of a tax, and of a grievance and imposition on the liberty of the subject. A power had been lodged of late years in the Attorney General, by which the law of the land was set aside; and he was invested with an authority of filing criminal informations, as they were technically called. This was a power of a novel and most dangerous kind, one which could not safely be for a moment entrusted to any man. The exercise of such a power could on no principle be reconciled to the idea of law, of justice, or of common sense or feeling. It depended on the humour, or caprice, of the person with whom the power was entrusted. It would be absurd to doubt the illegality of such proceedings. Nothing could be legal which was not defined. How this power had been used, he should not now inquire. It was sufficient for him at present to say, that more informations of this kind had been filed within the last two or three years than in all the period before, since the Revolution, It was impossible not to see, that, in the exercise of this arbitrary discretion, great partiality must take place; that some persons were called up for judgment and others not. In one recent case, he alluded to that of White, for a libel, even the judge had gone the length of anticipating condemnation, before the jury had given their verdict. When the House saw these things; when they saw, that, in virtue of these criminal informations, many persons had, in the most arbitrary and unjust manner, been sent to distant jails, must they not be convinced that the liberty of the press, one of the grandest bulwarks of the freedom of these kingdoms, was in the utmost danger of being annihilated? When they saw the conductors of the press held to bail, time after time, at the pleasure of the person entrusted with the power of filing these criminal informations, must they not be surprized that the press was at all free? This the hon. baronet conceived was another great grievance; and he felt surprized that the persons connected with the press were not terrified into complete silence, after the terrible examples they had seen. Even in case of acquittal, the punishment, in the way of costs, was severe. For though by law they would have been free from any farther expence, in the event of the Bill not being found, yet, by this mode of proceeding by criminal information, they were obliged to give bail, to renew it from time to time, and to proceed till they obtained a verdict of acquittal; so much so, that the costs of obtaining the verdict of acquittal amounted of themselves to a most severe punishment. From the crown no costs could be obtained. He confessed he saw no ground for any such rule; but, if the crown would carry on unjust prosecutions, particularly if the Attorney General would file groundless ex-officio informations, he thought that the party accused was well entitled to his costs. If such an officer was necessary, an an ex-officio filer of informations, he was also of opinion that there was more, or at least equal ground for making his an office for life, as that a judge should be for life. Some of the sentences recently imposed, too, operated most unjustly; as for instance, in the cases of White and Hart, where Hart was sentenced to the same period of imprisonment with White, although Hart was only the servant. There was this additional hardship too, in Hart's case, as he understood it, that he was even deprived the use of small beer, and was confined to the common jail allowance of water. The hon. baronet contended that the unnecessary severity of a government never failed to brutalize the people; and when that was produced, it would be found a never-failing observation, that the conduct of the government was at the bottom of it. The education of a nation consisted not in teaching the people to read and write, though those were advantages which he was far from undervaluing, and which he heartily wished to see afforded to all; but still he must say, that in them did not consist the essential education of a people. These, indeed, were calculated to produce great advantages; but the real education of a nation was produced and matured by the fairness, justice and mildness of its government. By all the various grievances which he had enumerated, more particularly by extending the military character to all, and by the sufferings and burdens under which we laboured, was this education greatly checked, if not annihilated; and sympathy and feeling were almost extinguished from the breasts of our oppressed countrymen.—On these various topics he should move, That an humble Address be presented to his royal Highness the Prince Regent. He had framed his Address with all respect to the illustrious person to whom it was meant to be presented; and at the same time embracing every point which his own sense of duty to his constituents, and to the country in general, pointed out to him as essential. The great and important point, he conceived to be, a full and fair representation of the people in that House. To the want of that full and fair representation of the people in Parliament, he, with full confidence that his assertion was correct, attributed the debt of the hundreds of millions sterling with which we were now loaded, and the numerous other calamities which had been daily accumulating on the country. He was happy to think that his royal highness the Prince Regent had a short interval before he should be entirely freed from the shackles with which he was now loaded, during which he might have leisure to reflect on the different topics to which he had felt it to be his duty to allude in the Address which he now held in his hand. He had the fullest confidence in his Royal Highness, that they would receive his serious consideration; and, on a mind so constituted as that which his Royal Highness was known to possess, he entertained not a doubt that the grievances of a faithful and suffering people could not fail of making an impression corresponding with their weight and importance; satisfied as he trusted his Royal Highness would be, that on a due attention to, and on the redressing of those grievances, depended the lasting glory of his Royal Highness's throne and that of his family. His ego gratiora dictu alia esse scio, Sed me vera pro gratis loqui, Si meum ingenium non moneret Necessitas coget. The hon. baronet then moved the following Address:

"We, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, return your Royal Highness the humble thanks of this House, for the most gracious Speech delivered by the Lords Commissioners, by your Royal Highness's command.

"We assure your Royal Highness that we shall, without delay, take into our serious consideration all the matters to which your Royal Highness has been pleased to direct our attention, and endeavour to adopt such measures as are best calculated to meet the exigencies of the times.

"But we should deem it a failure in our duty, were we on this solemn occasion to omit expressing to your Royal Highness with the frankness suggested by a due sense of our functions, the sentiments we entertain on the present situation of our country, and to point out to your Royal Highness the remedy, which, in our opinion, is called for by the evils already experienced, and by the dangers which appear to be impending.

"We always hear with great satisfaction, though not with surprise, that our countrymen in arms, whether by land or by sea, maintain the character of their ancestors; but, we cannot, at the same time, dismiss from our minds all consideration of the little effect with which their valour-has been exerted; and, in the cause, in which it has been displayed, we lament to see nothing characteristic of that love of freedom, for which this nation has heretofore been so highly renowned in the world. In looking through the history of the last eighteen years of war, we find the valour and resources of our country in no instance employed in the defence or restoration of freedom; but almost constantly in endeavours to prevent the oppressed from becoming free, or to replunge them into slavery, to re-harden the grasp of despotism, and to sharpen the half-blunted fangs of persecution; so that, the British flag, formerly the dread of tyranny, appears, through this long and disgraceful period, to have waved only in hostility to the liberties and happiness of mankind.

"From a line of conduct so repugnant to justice, to the common sense and common feeling of men, the natural results have ensued. In those distant regions, where ignorance and feebleness have rendered the people an easy prey to successive usurpations, we have uniformly been conquerors, and, in overturning one despotism, have, for the purposes necessary to the maintenance of corruption at home, uniformly erected another in its stead; while, in all those countries, where men have attained a knowledge of their rights, and hare possessed courage to avenge themselves on their oppressors, we have found few and treacherous friends, and many and implacable foes.

"The Sovereigns, our Allies, subdued not less by that abuse of their power, which we endeavoured to support, than by the arms of their and our enemy, have either been driven from their thrones, or have abandoned our cause and disclaimed our connection, as the only means of retaining even a scanty portion of their former dominions; so that, after having stirred up, in hostility to freedom, almost every sovereign of the continent of Europe; after having expended hundreds of millions in support of that formidable but unprincipled league, we are, at last, reduced to contend alone with the conqueror of that continent, upon a spot, which we have only assisted to desolate and ravage, in defence of sovereigns, who, unable to rely on the affection of their subjects, have sought their personal safety in abdication or in flight.

"To the regret at having seen the national resources exhausted in the prosecution of measures so fraught, at once, with wickedness and folly, we have not, however, to add the shame of having seen the people of this kingdom voluntarily lend their aid to those measures. Their sense of justice and love of freedom revolted at so inhuman a crusade, which, at the outset, they condemned, and against which many had the virtue openly to protest, well knowing, that a war against freedom, in other countries, was, in reality, a war against the people of England themselves.

"To counteract the effect of opinions so obviously just, a system of terror was resorted to; false alarms were excited; spies and informers were hired; plots were invented; constructive treasons were revived, and new-fangled treasons were en acted; the safeguards of personal liberty were removed; fortresses, under the name of barracks, were established throughout The land; and the fame and the person of every man were placed at the absolute disposal of those, who, calling themselves The servants of the king, were, in fact, the agents of that rapacious and haughty oligarchy, who had long fattened on the mi series of the country, and who in the progress of the principles of liberty, saw the seeds of a destruction of their ill-gotten power.

"Under the operation of this system we have beheld much that remained of our liberties wholly swept away; we have seen practised, under the name of collecting a revenue and in the guise of legal proceedings, acts of oppression and insult, which our forefathers would have perished rather than endure. The dwellings, the books, the most private recesses and concerns of Englishmen, once so sacred, are now exposed to the intrusion and inquisitorial scrutiny of numberless mercenary agents, appointed and removable at the pleasure of the crown. Financial rapacity breaks in between landlord and tenant, and, in violation of every principle of property, makes the crown co-proprietor in every man's estate, having a prior claim upon his tenant.

"Under the name of redeeming the land tax it makes a general confiscation of landed property; while, in the form of a stamp duty, it seizes the bequests of the dead in their passage to the living; so that, at last, there is no man in England who can be said to be the owner or proprietor of any thing, the government having, by degrees, assumed a controul and mastership over property of every description.

"There was a time, in English history, when the extortions of an Empson and a Dudley, though under the sanction of an act of parliament, brought the principals to the block and consigned their subaltern agents to public vengeance in the pillory; but, now we have many Empsons and Dudleys in every county, who, under "the name of surchargers, supervisors, &c. inflict amercements and fines at their pleasure, the parties so amerced being denied not only an appeal to a jury, but even the aid of counsel or attorney to speak in their defence before those fiscal tribunals, which, to the terror of the people, are established in every corner of the land.

"In exact proportion to the increase of these extortions have we seen the increase of the military force, and the multiplication of means calculated to divest the soldier of all fellow-feeling with the citizen. Cooped up in Barracks and Depots, flogged for the most trifling offences, the former loses, by degrees, all regard for those rights of which he is deprived, all attachment to that constitution out of the pale of which he is placed, and becomes the passive and unconscious instrument of tyrannical coercion. But, mistrustful of Englishmen' feelings, many thousands of German and other foreign mercenaries have been introduced and placed on our military, establishment with privileges not possessed by the troops of our own country; whole districts of England and large portions of the English army have been put under the command of German officers; and, the more effectually to estrange the people from the native soldiers, the latter have, in many instances, been compelled to assume a German garb. The Militia, heretofore regarded as the sole constitutional force of the country, upon the principle, that, as men had most interest, so they would be most stout, in defending their liberties and properties; the Militia, having been long perverted from its legitimate purpose, has, at last, by the interchange of the English and Irish Militias, been converted, with respect to the two countries, into the too convenient instrument of reciprocal oppression; and especially with regard to Ireland, where the just remonstrances and complaints of a generous, a gallant, and long-suffering people have uniformly been met with repulsion and disdain.

"In the institution of the Local Militia we behold all the severities of a military conscription without its impartiality and without a chance of its rewards; and, in the assumed prerogative of calling upon the people to perform military duty under that system of discipline which is now in practice, we see every man in England, when commanded to take up arms in what is termed the defence of his country, liable to experience the degradation and torture of the lash.

"That a people, formerly so proud of their liberties, would be silent under such an accumulation of oppression, and that the communication of indignant feeling would not, in the end, produce resistance, was too much for even an insolent and obdurate oligarchy to expect. Therefore, the Press, never the last to suffer when freedom is assailed, has become, in proportion to the augmentation of these oppressions, more and more an object of jealousy and of vengeance. And, after having beheld the use that bas been made of the unconstitutional assumption of power by the Attorney General to file Ex Officio Informations, to accuse, to arraign, to amerce, to hold to bail, to ruin, or to pardon, whomsoever he pleases; after having seen that this accuser, an officer of the crown removable at its pleasure, has also the power of demanding a jury, not taken out of an impartial pannel, but selected by another officer of the crown; after having seen a judge so eager to convict as openly to anticipate guilt before hearing the evidence in defence; after having seen the sentences in cases of political libel gradually become more and more severe, till they have far surpassed in severity those for the greater part of felonies, including long imprisonment, heavy fines, banishment to distant jails, and confinement in solitary cells, going to the almost certain ruin and the probable death of the persecuted parties; after having seen all this, and taken a view of the number of persons thus suffering at this moment we cannot, we confess, see much room for repeating the congratulation of our forefathers upon the abolition of the cruel and accursed Court of Star Chamber, which did, without a Jury, that which is now done by means of a Jury chosen by an officer of the Crown; an alteration which only serves to screen a corrupt political Judge from his due share of public odium, and to deprive the victim of that public compassion, which is always called forth in behalf of those who suffer, from undisguised tyranny.

"To particularise the fatal effects of this course of misrule would, if it were possible, be useless, they being too visible in the multiplied embarrassments and abject state of the country, whether in its affairs at home or abroad. But, to the great cause of all these evils we cannot, without a shameful neglect of our duty, refrain from beseeching the attention of your Royal Highness, who will, at once, perceive that we allude to the want of a real representation of the people in the Commons' House of Parliament. With a fair representation, the people are never in danger; because, from whatever quarter they feel grievance approaching, here is their court of appeal, here their means of immediate redress. Without such a representation, the people are never safe; they have no court of appeal, no friend in government, no means of redress or of protection.

"To the want of such a Representation, to the want of a House of Commons emanating from the peoples' choice and speaking their sentiments, we owe the eighteen years of war against France, lest example should produce a reform of corruption and abuses at home.

"To the want of such a Representation we owe the hundreds of millions of debt, which have debased our currency, sapped the foundations of covenants, annihilated confidence, and added new crimes to our already sanguinary criminal code.

"To the want of such a representation we owe the unpunished rapacity of prize courts, the insults and injuries innumerable against friendly nations, the ruin of commerce and manufactures, and the countless number of paupers, whose state, when contrasted with the luxury proceeding from the public money lavished on placemen and pensioners, would be beyond human endurance without the ever-awing aspect of military force.

"If any thing be yet wanting to work conviction of these truths, we implore your Royal Highness to cast your eyes over the Continent of Europe. Not a Sovereign has there been dethroned, not a state has there been subdued, where the way of the conqueror was not paved by corruption in the government, and by the tyranny which corruption never fails, sooner or later, to call to its support.

"And, when we see the same causes at work amongst ourselves; when we bear the worst sort of corruption not only not denied, but unblushingly avowed and vindicated, upon the ground of its being as notorious as the sun at noon-day, it were presumption unparalleled to hope, that similar effects will not follow.

"To put an end, therefore, to Corruptions and Abuses, by a constitutional Re-formation of the Commons House of Parliament, appears to us to be the only means of reconciling the people to their government, of rekindling their zeal, of invigorating their exertions, and of insuring the independence of the country, and the safety and stability of the throne."

Lord Cochrane

rose, for the purpose of seconding the Address of the hon. baronet. He agreed with the Speech delivered in the name of the Prince Regent, in lamenting the continued indisposition of his Majesty; and thought that a high tribute was due to the bravery of our army in Portugal, and to the conduct of the commander id chief; but he would deny that the war as conducted in the peninsula, could prove ultimately successful. His lordship proceeded to maintain, that the forces of Great Britain were not sufficient to cope with those which Buonaparté could bring against us as soon as he had completed the subjugation of, Spain, and obtained the command of its resources. Of this we were quiet spectators. To what, he would ask, was our army indebt- ed for its success and for maintaining it self in Portugal, but to the total unproductiveness of that country. He agreed that every credit was due to lord Wellington, for the manner in which he had conducted affairs,; but was inclined to expect very little of the Portuguese, who were conducted in chains to the army, more like slaves than soldiers, and dragged from their homes to support they did not know what. At Peniche he had seen ten thousand of wretched beings collected, in want of every necessary, and in a state of nakedness.—The noble lord then proceeded to make some strong remarks on the conduct of the Portuguese government. The gaols and dungeons of the Inquisition, he said, were crowded with victims; and the British minister, who at present formed a part of the Regency, was lately under the necessity of retiring from Lisbon for some time, that he might not appear to countenance arrests and imprisonments which he could not approve. He would not scruple to assert, that the Portuguese government, as now constituted, was completely obnoxious to every class of society in that country: nay, farther, that both in Sicily and in Portugal the British name was detested, because of the support which this country gave to the respective government of each, with all its abuses. With regard to Sicily, he could not help thinking that the real purpose of ministers was not so much to keep the French out of that island, as to keep the people subject to one of the most despicable governments that ever existed.—With regard to the defence of Portugal, which had been held out as of such great importance, he would ask, how long would our army defend that country? Only till the French had made themselves masters of Spain; and then it would be obliged to retire within its fortified lines,—the whole extent of which would not afford grass enough to feed the bullocks for six weeks subsistence of the troops alone! He would assert, as a fact, though it might appear extraordinary; that, even at present, the bullocks and flour for the supply of Lord Wellington's troops, passed through the French army with licences, from the interior of Spain. This was a notorious fact; and he would leave the House to make their reflections-upon it.—The noble lord then adverted to that part of the hon. baronet's proposed Address which referred to the internal state of the country; and professed his concurrence in the greater part of the sen- timents which it contained. All, he thought, must own, that the freedom of the people had been greatly encroached upon, particularly by the oppressive mode of levying taxes, which he regretted to say were grossly misapplied. No part of a man's house was now free from the visits of tax-gatherers; and a man could not transport even articles that had paid duty on importation, a dozen of wine from one place to another, without a permit from revenue officers. He trusted that in this session of parliament a Committee would be appointed to take the conduct of the war, the objects for which we are contending, and the state of the nation, into consideration—The noble lord then adverted to that part of the Speech which referred to the naval defence of the country, and maintained that our naval force was not rendered efficient, in annoying the enemy. Commanding the seas as this country did, our navy ought to be employed in threatening the coasts of France in all directions, by which means Buonaparté would be compelled to keep his armies at home, instead of sending them to be fed, clothed and paid by our allies for the purpose of their own subjugation. Were the gigantic naval power of England used as it ought to be, the whole force of France, vast as it was, would prove inadequate to the defence of its extended shores. Perhaps demonstrations of attack might prove sufficient, which if the enemy despised, then it would be, as it was at this moment, quite easy to annihilate the common ships of war, and destroy every thing on the shores of France; for England could, let the enemy do his utmost, bring a force to a given point far superior to any that the enemy could assemble against it, and thus operate a most powerful diversion. The noble lord concluded with seconding the Address.

The Address having been read by the Speaker,

Lord Jocelyn

rose and said:—In rising, Sir, to move an Amendment to the Address proposed by the hon. bart to his royal highness the Prince Regent, in answer to his most gracious Speech, I have to differ from the hon. bart. in every point of view, lamenting, at the same time, that it has fallen to the lot of a person so incapable either of doing sufficient justice to the sentiment; of his Royal Highness, or of dwelling sufficiently strong upon those particular points to which his Royal Highness has referred us. I, however, shall throw myself upon the kind indulgence of the House, trusting that I may receive from them now, the same forbearance I have more than once before so gratefully experienced, hoping that it will condole with me on that subject, in particular, which the hon. bart. has omitted to mention, namely, the state of his Majesty's health. The House must most sincerely condole, in common with his Royal Highness and the country, at the calamitous state in which his Majesty still remains; we must lament it the more, as every day's experience gives us additional reason to despair of his ultimate recoyery; but if so bumble an individual as myself dare offer consolation to the wounded feelings to the House, upon so melancholy a subject, it would be by referring them to a grateful remembrance of those virtues—to a grateful recollection of that attachment to the constitution he so eminently possessed, and which the House will agree with me is no less conspicuous in the conduct of his royal representative. I am sure the House will most heartily concur in the anxious wishes of his Royal Highness, by making such arrangements for the care and com-fort of his Majesty's person, as may be most suitable to his high and exalted rank, so that if it should please Providence to restore him again to the prayers of his people, he may find himself, upon waking from his trance, surrounded, not by the glare of pomp, but by that solemn splendour so due to his royal person, in whatever situation, or under whatever circumstances it may have pleased Providence to place him; for our anxious solicitude for his comforts is but a debt we largely owe for those years of care and anxiety he has passed in watching over the best interests of his people. The time now draws near, when those Restrictions, which the legislature thought fit to place on the power of the Regent, are about to expire, and however I differ from the right hon. gent. on the restrictive clauses in the Regency Bill, I have some satisfaction in thinking, that they have given the country an opportunity of proving that his royal highness, although placed in the most difficult situation, never for one moment lost sight of the advantages of the country, never had but one object in view, the happiness and the welfare of his people.

But, in calling the attention of the House to our affairs in the peninsula, no man, of whatever party he may be, can venture to withhold his praise and admiration at the persevering bravery of our army in Portugal; neither can any man, at this time of day, deny that praise so justly due to the merits of my illustrious countryman, lord Wellington, who, at the head of that army, has proved to Europe and to the world, that the ambitious views of Buonaparté may be checked, and that the independence of a brave nation is still to be preserved by British example, and by British valour. In turning to the rest of the peninsula, and considering the situation of Spain, we certainly have to lament that her struggles for freedom and independence have not been attended with equal success, as the efforts' of Portugal; but it is a sincere satisfaction to think, that her ardour is not damped, as by the accounts received from Catalonia, and other provinces, there is every reason to believe there still exists in the country a most decided hatred, and determined animosity to their French oppressors. But, Sir, it must be so, for the French have kindled a flame in Spain, which they never can extinguish; they have raised up a spirit against themselves, which they never can subdue; and whatever may be the opinion of hon. members with regard to the policy of the Spanish cause; whatever may be the general sentiment on the subject, it always must be a proud sensation to the hearts of the British people, that Spain, goaded by insults, assailed by treachery, and almost overcome by power, found, in the arras of the British nation, a champion for her freedom, an avenger for her insults, and an advocate for her cause. Her armies, it is true, have been repulsed, and still may be again overcome by the better disciplined troops of France; her ardour may for a moment be appalled by the victories of her enemies; but, I trust, there cannot be found any man able to persuade the British nation, that the Spanish people, formed in the same mould, and sprung from the same stock as those heroes who bled at Saragossa and Gerona, can be traitors to that sacred cause of liberty and independence, which they have so gloriously embraced. But, Sir, we should recollect, that it is not the cause of Spain and Portugal, alone, we are fighting in the peninsula, but the cause of England too. It is not a war merely for the protection of the freedom of the Portuguese; but it is also a contest for the preservation of the liberties of Englishmen. It was the opinion of many of our most enlightened statesmen, that the battles of England should be fought on a distant land; nor will you ever sufficiently know the policy of that sentiment, till you have felt the horrors of a contest at home. In Ireland, unfortunately, we have felt them: we speak from experience, and our opinion is positive.

The next circumstance which claims the attention of the House is, with regard to the late gallant achievement in India; we cannot but give every praise to the governor-general, lord Minto, for having so ably planned that expedition, which has been so gallantly executed by Sir Samuel Auchmuty, and the array under his command. I am aware there may be a difference of opinion, as to the advantages likely to arise from this capture to Great Britain, but I should conceive there can be no difference of opinion in thinking, that the French nation should not be the possessors of Java. It is a proud feeling to us all, that, notwithstanding the wrecks of ancient governments and ancient systems, by which we are surrounded—notwithstanding the threats of Buonaparté, or his vain boasts of ships, commerce, and colonies, his Royal Highness is able to declare to his parliament this day, to use his own words, 'by the conquest of Java, the colonial powers of France are extinguished in every part of the world.'

With regard to America, it must be with great satisfaction we learn, that the differences which existed between the two nations, concerning the affair of the Chesapeake, have been amicably adjusted; and let me humbly hope, that this adjustment may be the forerunner of an ultimate, arrangement for that permanent friendship between the two nations, which must equally redound to the benefit of America, as it will to the advantage of Great Britain.

Having, in a very cursory manner, attempted to allude to some of our foreign affairs, I feel extremely anxious to call the attention of the House to a subject, which directly interests us more than any. I have yet ventured to submit, I mean with regard to the internal condition of the empire. Notwithstanding the effects of the war, the wealth of England never was more visible than at the present time; notwithstanding the heavy burthens necessarily imposed upon the people, we find them submitting with cheerfuluess in support of that constitution, under which they have experienced the very essence of liberty and freedom. With regard to Ire- land, I cannot but congratulate the House on the internal tranquillity of the country, especially as much has been said about some threatened disturbances in the county of Down, and I feel happy in being able to state, that by the zeal of the magistrates, by the interference and advice of a numerous resident gentry, all apprehensions, however slight they might have been, have completely subsided. I feel I have trespassed longer upon the House than I am entitled. There is but one more observation I must beg leave to offer, touching the nature of the Address I am about to propose. It is so framed and constructed, to prevent any objections, that I trust it will meet with the unanimous adoption of the House. Unanimity, at all times, is a most desirable object, but especially in times like these, when we are engaged in a struggle which requires the united efforts of the whole nation to assist—when we are engaged in a contest, not for power, not for ambition, but for our independence as a nation, our existence as a free people. We have an enemy to contend with, whose resources are great, and who would sacrifice every object in the world to attain the destruction of Great Britain. Amongst ourselves, partial bankruptcies and individual inconveniences must be felt—they are the natural consequences of a long, an expensive, and a necessary war; but 'Justum bellum quibus necessarium, et pia arma quibus, nulla nisi in armis relin-quitur spes.'—The noble lord concluded with moving,

"That an humble Address be presented to his royal highness the Prince Regent, to thank his Royal Highness for the gracious Speech which he has directed to be delivered by the lords commissioners:

"To assure his Royal Highness, that we deeply participate in the sorrow felt by his Royal Highness upon the continuance of his Majesty's lamented indisposition, and the unhappy disappointment of those hopes of his Majesty's early recovery, which had been cherished by the dutiful affection of his family, and the loyal attachment of his people:

"To return his Royal Highness our humble thanks for having been graciously pleased to direct copies of the last reports of her majesty the Queen's council to be laid before us; and to assure his Royal Highness, that we will adopt such measures as the present melancholy exigency may appear to require; and that, in securing a suitable and ample provision for the support of his Majesty's royal dignity, and for the attendance upon his Majesty's sacred person, during his illness, we will not fail to bear in mind the indispensable duty of continuing to preserve for his Majesty the facility of resuming the personal exercise of his royal authority, in the happy event of his recovery, so earnestly desired by the wishes and prayers of his family and his subjects:

"Humbly to express our satisfaction in learning that the measures which have been pursued for the defence and security of the kingdom of Portugal have proved completely effectual, and that, en the several occasions in which the British or Portuguese troops have been engaged with the enemy, the reputation already acquired by them has been fully maintained:

"To offer our humble congratulations to his Royal Highness on the successful and brilliant enterprize which terminated in the surprize in Spanish Estremadura of a French corps by a detachment of the allied army under lieutenant general Hill, so highly creditable to that distinguished officer, and to the troops under his command:

"Humbly to assure his Royal Highness, that, while we reflect with pride and satisfaction, on the conduct of his Majesty's troops, and of the allies, in these various and important services, we concur with his Royal Highness in rendering justice to the consummate judgment and skill displayed by general lord viscount Wellington in the direction of the campaign:

"That we rejoice to find, that in Spain the spirit of the people remains unsubdued, and that a system of warfare, peculiarly adapted to the actual condition of the Spanish nation, has been recently extended and improved, under the advantages which result from the operations of the allied armies on the frontier, and from the countenance and assistance of his Majesty's navy on the coast:

"That, although the great exertions of the enemy have, in some quarters, been attended with success, we cordially concur with his Royal Highness in admiring the perseverance and gallantry manifested by the Spanish armies; and have received, with pleasure, the information that, even in those provinces, principally occupied by the French forces, new energy has arisen among the people, and the increase of difficulty and danger has produced more connected efforts of general resistance:

"To assure his Royal Highness, that we will not fail to continue to afford the most effectual aid and assistance in support of the contest which the brave nations of the peninsula still maintain with such unabated zeal and resolution:

"To offer his Royal Highness our hearty congratulations on the success of the British arms in the island of Java; and to assure his Royal Highness of our concurrence in his approbation of the wisdom and ability with which this enterprize, as well as the capture of the islands of Bourbon and Mauritius, has been conducted under the immediate direction of the governor-general of India; and that we agree with his Royal Highness in applauding the decision, gallantry, and spirit conspicuously displayed in the late operations of the brave army under the command of that distinguished officer, lieutenant-general Sir Samuel Auchmuty, so powerfully and ably supported by his Majesty's naval forces:

"To express the pleasure which we derive from considering that, by the completion of this system of operations, great additional security will have been given to the British commerce and possessions in the East Indies, and the colonial power of France will have been entirely extinguished:

"That we will not fail to take into our consideration the propriety of providing such measures for the future government of the British possessions in India, as shall appear from experience, and upon mature deliberation, to be calculated to secure their internal prosperity, and to derive from those flourishing dominions the utmost degree of advantage to the commerce and revenue of the United Kingdom:

"To convey our humble thanks to his Royal Highness, for the information, that while his Royal Highness regrets that various important subjects of difference with the government of the United States of America still remain unadjusted, the difficulties which the affair of the Chesapeake frigate had occasioned, have been finally removed; and to express our gratitude to his Royal Highness for his gracious assurance that, in the further progress of the discussions with the United States, his Royal Highness will continue to employ such means of conciliation as may be consistent with the honour and dignity of his Majesty's crown, and with the due maintenance of the maritime and commercial rights and interests of the British empire:

"To return our humble thanks to his Royal Highness for having directed the estimates for the service of the current year to be laid before us, and to assure his Royal Highness that we will cheerfully furnish him with such supplies as may be necessary to enable him to continue the contest in which his Majesty is engaged, with that spirit and exertion which will afford the best prospect of its successful termination:

"To assure his Royal Highness of our readiness to resume the consideration of the state of the finances of Ireland, and to express our satisfaction in learning that the improved receipt of the revenue of Ireland, in the last as compared with the preceding year, affords reason to believe that the depression which that revenue had experienced is to be attributed to accidental and temporary causes:

"To assure his Royal Highness, that this House is fully impressed with the sense of the arduous duties which his Royal Highness has been called upon to fulfil, in consequence of his Majesty's continued indisposition; and, whilst we offer our most humble acknowledgements to his Royal Highness for the confidence which he is graciously pleased to repose in us, to convey to him our warmest assurance, that in every difficulty his Royal Highness may rely on the ready assistance and support of this House; and finally, to express our confident persuasion that the wisdom and energy of his Royal Highness will enable him, under the blessing of divine Providence, successfully to discharge the functions of his high office, and, in the name and on the behalf of our beloved sovereign, to maintain unimpaired the honour of his Majesty's crown and the prosperity of his people."

Mr. Vyse

seconded the Amendment: in doing which, he said he would not trespass at any length upon the time of the House, nor travel from the Speech into any extraneous matter. He Was sensible of his own inability, and that no arguments in his power to urge could have any great weight on their decision; but he trusted, that any errors of which he might be guilty, would be rather imputed to this canse, than to any want of zeal for the welfare of the country. The hon. gent, then took a view of the nature of the Prince Regent's office, as holding the executive power in behalf of his father, in 'whom the dignity of royalty continued to rest; and passed a high eulogy on the conduct of the prince of Wales in this capacity, which would long be remembered by a generous nation, filled with gratitude for the sovereign, who for so long a period had swayed them with a paternal sceptre. With regard to the provision to be made for his Majesty in retirement from the cares of state, every one must unite with him in thinking that it ought to be accompanied with every honour, respect, and circumstance of royalty; and however he might agree with the hon. baronet, as to the necessity of economy in the expenditure of the public purse, it never could be the desire of a noble minded people to make a parsimonious and niggardly saving out of the comforts of an aged monarch, so much and so deservedly beloved.—That monarch, as had been excellently said in the speech by his Son, ought to have the resumption of his powers open to him and secured, if ever it should please heaven to restore him to the prayers of his subjects. The hon. gent. warmly commended what had been done in this respect, as a precedent which would go down for the guidance of posterity, in the event of any like calamity ever occurring hereafter.—The next topic touched on in the Speech was that connected with Portugal, and, in this, the fact spoke for itself. The exertions of Great Britain had not only achieved the freedom of an ancient ally, but had secured her independence, and guarded her against the invasion of her enemies. This point would never bear the construction put upon it by the hon. baronet; for we were fighting for no despots or despotism, and if we had boldly stood up the champions of the liberties of Europe, the glory, of which nothing could rob us, was entirely our own. Portugal might ultimately be overwhelmed by the power of the tyrant, who could embattle too much of Europe in order to carry his ambitious designs into effect; but, even were this to happen, the ministers of Great Britain would enjoy the consolation of having acted a part in the contest, in conformity with the wishes of the. people of England, in a manner worthy the character of a great nation, rising gloriously in the cause of the civilised world. But he entertained no such gloomy apprehensions; and as the spirit of a people was their strength, he relied on the spirit of Portugal to rescue itself from foreign slavery and domination.—The next point in the Speech related to Spain; and in this, too, he was of opinion there were well-grounded causes for congratulation. After all the destruction and desolation of its invaders; after all the horrors acted by the armies of the tyrant; they only possessed the ground on which they stood. When they ventured to come in contact with the armies of Britain, defeat and disaster were their lot; defeat, from those very troops so described by the hon. baronet—those flogged soldiers, and those foreign mercenaries who gave him so much offence. For his part, he considered them as men expatriated from their country by tyranny and injustice; and every dispatch from the seat of war, in which they were mentioned, shewed that they were worthy of the nation they had adopted—The next topic in the speech was the conquest of Java, on which he gladly joined in the general congratulation. It was, indeed, an object of heartfelt pleasure to every Briton to see the insatiate enemy of her greatness dispossessed of his last colonial settlement, and not a vestage of his boasted "ships, colonies, and commerce" remaining.—With respect to America, he also had great delight in observing from the Speech, that though an arrangement entirely and completely satisfactory had not yet taken place between the countries, yet that a happy disposition prevailed. The tone-and manner of the Speech shewed, that-conciliation was most desired by the British government, and from this spirit he indulged a hope of the happiest and most favourable termination to all existing differences. But whatever the result might be, it was evident, that, on our part, nothing had been left undone, that could lead to harmony and friendship. Peace with America, and not only with America, but with all the world, must undoubtedly be the wish of every rational mind; and, if we were engaged in a war, it ought to be remembered that it was a war of necessity-It was a war against an inveterate tyrant, whose power arose from usurped dominion, maintained by predatory invasion and bitter despotism. However success might throw a lustre over him, for the present, history would present him in hit true colours, a monster of unbounded rapacity, without his mind being ennobled by one dignified, heroic, or virtuous sentiment. Was it too sanguine in him, then, to express a hope, that a dominion so established and supported, would not be of long continuance, and that, ultimately, the exertions of Great Britain, in the common cause of nations, would be crowned with success, and the world restored to tranquillity? It was this hope, and the consideration that our pressures were unavoidable, that should teach us, however great our difficulties were, to meet them with firmness, constancy, and fortitude; and in order to prove our resolution in this respect, he begged most earnestly to recommend an unanimous assurance to his royal highness the Prince Regent, of the readiness of parliament to second every object contained in the excellent and constitutional Speech which he had this day delivered to them, through the medium of the Lords Commissioners.—The hon. gent. concluded with thanking the House for the kind attention with which they had honoured him, and seconding the Amendment moved by lord Jocelyn, with which he entirely coincided.

The Speaker

put the question, and the gallery was ordered to be cleared for a division, when

Mr. Whitbread

rose, and said, as he observed the hon. baronet was determined to press the question to a division, he would briefly state why, concurring with him as he did, on many of the points connected with the present calamitous state of the country, he could not give his vote in favour of the Address he had proposed. He could not give him his vote, because, though he did concur in many of these points, there were others on which he could not agree. There were, indeed, many topics introduced, which might better have been withheld for future opportunities, and others which involved the character of individuals, on which he was not competent as yet to make up his judgment. But, as on the one hand, he could not go with the hon. baronet, so neither on the other hand could he accede to the Amendment of the noble lord, which also went to carry him much further than he had as yet seen reason for proceeding.

The Attorney General

said, he was not present when the hon. baronet made his speech; but he had heard the Address read, and in it there were particular words which impelled him to offer to the House a few observations. The whole of that Address he certainly reprobated; but the particular words to which he alluded, were those which went to stigmatize the character of a learned judge, and were, in substance, that that learned judge, in his eagerness to convict, had anticipated a verdict of Guilty on the trial of Mr. White. He would take upon himself to say, that this statement of the hon. baronet, with respect to lord Ellenborough, was wholly unfounded. It was well known, that he man could discharge the duties of his high station with more liberal justice than that learned lord; and as to the trial which was particularly adduced, he would venture to say, that no defence could be heard more patiently than that which Mr. White thought proper to make, irregular as it was in many of its points. Mr. White made many objections on the legality of what was urged against him: those objections he argued by his counsel, but he did not commit his defence to his legal assistant. Both his counsel and himself were heard with singular forbearance: their objections were heard over and over again; and he was confident, that during the whole of the trial not one word fell from the noble lord which could in the slightest manner justify the assertion, that he was so eager for a conviction as to anticipate the verdict. Indeed, he was at a loss to conceive what part it was of the language of the noble lord on that occasion, which gave rise to the severe comment of the hon. baronet.

Sir F. Burdett

, in explanation, said, that what he founded his assertion upon, was that part of lord Ellenborough's language to Mr. White, where his lordship advised that gentleman to reserve his evidence until he should be brought up for judgment.

The Attorney General.

It is evident, from the explanation of the hon. baronet himself, that lord Ellenhorough acted even a humane part. It is plain, that lord Ellenborough only advised Mr. White to reserve his evidence for affidavits, in mitigation of punishment: which, though they would not serve him as evidence on the trial, might be advantageous to him should he be brought up for judgment.

Sir F. Burdett

replied, that he did not think the noble lord much benefitted by this triumphant explanation of the right hon. gentleman. One thing was certain, that the remark of the judge was made before the evidence was heard in defence of Mr. White.

Mr. Ponsonby

observed, that he felt himself in the same predicament as his hon. friend (Mr. Whitbread): he could neither vote for the original Address nor the Amendment, but should think it his duty to vote against both. He would state, in a very few words, his objections to the Amendment; but as to the original Address, he would be silent, because he did not think the matter of it proper to be discussed at this particular moment. It travelled wide of the topics in the Speech delivered in the name of the Prince Regent; and the Amendment which embraced those topics, was what he felt himself obliged to remark upon. The first topic of the Amendment was that which related to the establishment of a provision for the care and comfort of his Majesty's royal person: and though no person was more inclined than he was to go farther in every thing which ought to be done in furtherance of this almost sacred object, yet he would reserve a right of assent or dissent fur that time when the arrangements to be proposed should be laid in detail before the House.—The second topic of the Address was that which related to Spain and Portugal. No person was more inclined than he to give a cordial tribute of applause to the troops and generals employed in the prosecution of the war in those countries; but he could not go so far as to pledge himself by his vote that night, to sanction the granting of those supplies which might be proposed hereafter as necessary for its continuance. That our army had behaved with extraordinary bravery, he would willingly agree to; he was even sure that the honour of the country never was better supported by any other army: but though no one doubted this, yet doubts might be entertained of the expediency of proceeding in this great contest at the vast expence which it continued to cost us. It was certainly true, that in our smaller enterprizes we were highly successful; but, in our greater ones, it was equally true, that we were eminently unfortunate. If it should appear hereafter, that to prosecute the war, even at so vast an expence, was a wise system of conduct; and if he should see the necessity and the usefulness of granting such enormous supplies, then he would not only agree to them, but would give his vote with that cheerfulness which always followed conviction.—The next important part of the Amendment, and it was, if possible, superior in importance to our connection with Spain and Portugal, was that paragraph which alluded to our relations with America. He heard with great satisfaction that part of the Speech which stated the amicable settlement of the affair between the Leopard and the Chesapeake; and he was pleased also to know that a hope was expressed of a like final adjustment of all the differences between this country and the United States. It was his wish, therefore, to abstain from any discussion which might not be in unison with the temper of the Speech; and he would reserve whateyer he had to say on this subject, until the event of the negociations which were said to be now pending should be made known.—The last, and by far the most important topic of the Speech, was that which related to the affairs of Ireland. Ireland was of more moment to Great Britain, than any thing which regarded our external relations with Spain or the United States; and sorry was he, that, on this subject of primary and vital importance, the Speech had confined itself to a paltry mention of the state of its revenue. It was, to be sure, satisfactory to hear that the finances of Ireland were in an improving state; but was it not infinitely more important to enquire into the state of the people from whom that revenue was drawn? If it was right to cultivate the financial resources of Ireland, was it not of far greater consequence to attempt to secure the affections of its people? to endeavour to strengthen the British empire by establishing harmony in all its parts? He confessed, that the present time was most unfit for entering into the discussion of the question of Ireland; and particularly so, as he understood that the right hon. gentleman, the secretary for Ireland (Mr. W. Pole), could net attend in his place on account of illness. He would not wish to press the business of Ireland to a premature discussion, in the absence of that right hon. gentleman; but it was his firm conviction, that a solemn and speedy inquiry into the state of that country was absolutely necessary. When he stated generally the necessity of inquiring into the state of Ireland, he begged not to be understood as even hinting that any other measure short of that great one called Emancipation could effectually save that country. It was that, and that alone, which could compose her discontents, and lay the foundation of her prosperity, as well as render the empire in general what it was capable of being. Under this conviction, he thought that no time ought to be lost in bringing the affairs of Ireland before the House; and, indeed, he knew that no time would be lost, as an hon. friend of his was determined to give notice of a motion for that purpose on a very near day.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he had hoped that the mode pursued by an hon. gent, in stating his reasons for not agreeing with the Amendment, would have been generally adopted, and all discussion thereby prevented. But as something had fallen from the right hon. gent. who had last addressed them, which might probably give rise to some observation, he thought it necessary just to say a few words on those subjects which he had touched upon. If, however, the debate should extend to any length, and he had no means of judging that it would not, he hoped the privilege would be granted him of remarking on any subjects which might be started. As to the first point on which the right hon. gent, had observed, he felt it proper to state, that, by the terms of the Amendment, the House would be pledged to nothing more than an opinion, that, under the circumstances of his Majesty's present indisposition, it was right that an arrangement for his convenience and comfort should be made. But, as to the extent and mode of that arrangement, it must be the subject of future consideration, when the proposition was regularly made. The same observation would apply to the second point. In voting for the Amendment, couched in its present language, nothing else could be supposed, than that the House would give such supplies to carry on the great contest in Spain and Portugal, as they should think fit, when the subject was brought fully before them. In what manner that contest was to be maintained and supported, to what extent supplies should be granted, and in what direction they should be particularly applied, were questions which would be open to the animadversion of every gentleman in that House, as completely as if he had not voted for the Amendment. He agreed with the remark which the right hon. gent. had made on the subject of the American negociations. It certainly was not desire-able that any discussion should take place on that topic, while the business was still pending, as stated in the Speech they had recently heard read—still, however, it would unquestionably be competent for any hon. member, at a future time, to introduce whatever observations he thought proper, on the state of the relations between the two countries.—The right hon. gent. complained, that the Speech had not taken any notice of the affairs of Ireland, farther than the statement of an improved revenue in the present year, compared with that which had passed. Now, it appeared to him, that the right hon. gent. had himself, by his own admission, given strong evidence of the propriety of abstaining from any specific and particular statement relative to the situation of Ireland; for having, in the first instance, mentioned it as a blameable omission, in the very next sentence, he observed, that he would not then go at large into the subject, as he conceived it would not be right, when the Speech, Address, and Amendment, were before the House. Surely, if the right hon. gent. was of that opinion, he might have thought that those whose duty it was to frame the Speech, would feel the propriety of excluding from it, as premature, at the present period, the subject to which he had alluded. Surely, if he now considered such a discussion unadvisable, he might also believe, that it would not have been right for the officers of the crown to press the subject in such a manner on the House, as would, in all probability, have provoked that debate he had deprecated. It must be evident to every impartial man, that it would be peculiarly-improper to bring forward the state of Ireland at present; to force it, as it were, upon the attention of parliament, when the great question which agitated that country was on the point of undergoing legal discussion.—He hoped these few observations would be looked upon as a full answer to what the right hon. gent. had said. As to the notice which he had given, it undoubtedly was competent for every gentleman to bring forward, for the consideration of the House, any subject which he thought fit; but he trusted, that, on so important a topic, such a fair and liberal notice would be given, as to insure the attendance of the right hon. gent. to whom he had alluded. In the present situation of the debate, he did not feel it necessary to say more. He would only state, that it had been the anxious wish of the noble lord who moved, and of the hon. gent. who seconded, the Amendment, so to form the Address, that no pledge should be required or given by it, except that the cause of Spain, constituted as it now was, should not be abandoned. But, as he had before observed, how that cause was to be supported, what supplies were to be granted, and in what manner those aids were to be applied, were points left open for future discussion. He hoped, by surveying and treating the Speech in that manner, he had removed the objections which the right hon. gent. had stated against voting for the Amendment.

Mr. Ponsonby

, in explanation, said, the right hon. gent. seemed, from the observations he bad made, to have misunderstood what bad fallen from him on the manner in which Ireland was mentioned in the Speech and in the Amendment, which of course was originally intended for the Address. He (Mr. Ponsonby) had observed, that the Speech and the Address of the noble lord were entirely silent as to any recommendation to parliament to inquire into the general state of Ireland. This he conceived blameable. Such mention might, however, have been made, without then going into the subject; for a discussion on the situation of Ireland, on the present occasion, would, in his opinion, be wrong. But the right hon. gent. having entirely forborne to recommend to the House the consideration of the state of Ireland, he thought it absolutely necessary that the subject should be brought before them; and at an early day an hon. friend of his would press it on their attention.

Colonel Dillon

said, that, with respect to the war in the peninsula, so far from objecting to those supplies which had been granted, he was willing to pledge himself to any future support which the exigencies of the cause might demand. But he disapproved of the Address of the noble lord, on account of a proper mention of the state of Ireland being omitted.

The question being now loudly called for, strangers were ordered to withdraw. The House then divided on Sir P. Burdett's Address, when there appeared

For it 1
Against it 238
Majority —237

The Amendment of lord Jocelyn was then put and carried without a division.

List of the Minority.
Cuthbert, J. R.
Burdett, Sir F.
Cochrane, Lord