§ Sir James Mackintosh
rose and observed, that, in consequence of having observed in the London Gazette of last Saturday, a new designation given, to his Majesty's ambassador at the Hague, and a new sovereignty announced as subsisting in the territory which, in the ancient order of Europe, had been subject to the Republic of the United Provinces (a government which after two centuries, generally of the closest amity with England, had at length been destroyed upon the sole and avowed ground of alliance with his Majesty), he had deemed it his duty to come to the House yesterday, as soon as he had seen official and authentic evidence of so great a revolution, to put a question respecting it to the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Circumstances known to that noble lord had induced him to postpone the question till to-day. He was aware that he was precluded by the usage of parliament from introducing it by any preliminary observations; and if he had not been so, he should have imposed the same restraint voluntarily upon himself; for he could assure the noble lord, that, though he trusted he should always boldly perform his public duty whenever he thought that he clearly perceived it, yet be felt, as strongly as the noble lord could, the painful delicacy of the subject; and he should assuredly, do nothing, either now or hereafter, to aggravate the difficulty which naturally be longed to it. He then stated his question as follows:
Was it known to his Majesty's govern- 283 ment, before the departure of his serene highness the Prince of Orange from England, that his serene highness intended to assume or to accept titles and authorities unknown to the legal constitution of the United Provinces, and manifesting a determination not to re-establish the ancient and lawful government of that republic? Were these measures adopted by his serene highness with the approbation of his Majesty's government, and with the concurrence of his allies?
said, that he was not privy, before the Prince of Orange's departure, to any determination on the part of his serene highness with respect to the government that was to be established; nor did he believe that his serene highness had come to any such determination; as what was called the provisional government already exercised the administration from which he had received the invitation. That the form of government which had been adopted was the result of the spontaneous and unanimous wish of the people of Holland of all parties; as much of those who were formerly the enemies of the House of Orange, and who were now among its most, zealous partizans, as of those who had always been attached to it. That what appeared in the Gazette was a notice of the appointment of our ambassador to the government of Holland. That in making this appointment the King's government had an anxious desire to abstain from any interference with the domestic concerns of that country. That the credentials to lord Clancarty had been purposely delayed, until his Majesty's government knew what form of government was established in Holland; and it was not until it was communicated to our ambassador, under what title the Prince of Orange was to exercise the government, that the credentials were sent to him in the form it had appeared.
§ Sir James Mackintosh
rose to state, that in consequence of what had passed, and upon other grounds of constitutional and parliamentary policy, he should, with his present views of public duty, feel himself bound to resist an adjournment for a much longer period than, the usual recess of parliament; unless the mover should lay as strong ground for such a proceeding, before the House, as a minister would think necessary, if upon his ministerial responsibility he had brought down a recommendation to the same effect from the crown.
said, that it was his 284 intention to move, that the House should, at its rising, adjourn to Friday next. It was probable, that on Monday, the ulterior adjournment would take place. The hon. and learned gentleman might, therefore, take that opportunity of expressing his sentiments in opposition to the adjournment.
§ Here the conversation ended; and upon the motion of lord Castlereagh, the House was ordered to adjourn, at its rising, till Friday.