HC Deb 24 April 1815 vol 30 cc795-8
Mr. Whitbread,

seeing the noble lord in his place, rose to read the motion which he proposed to submit to the House. He then read his intended motion, viz. "That an humble Address be presented to his royal highness the Prince Regent, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions, that there be laid before this House, the substance of any treaty or engagement entered into at Vienna on or about the 25th day of March last between the ambassadors of his Majesty and his Majesty's Allies, together with the substance of any note of explanation of any article or articles of the said Treaty or engagement, or of any declaration transmitted by his Majesty's Government to the Court of Vienna explanatory of the views of his Majesty's Government touching such Treaty or engagement, together with the date of the receipt of the said Treaty, and the transmission of the answer thereto on the part of his Majesty's Government, and also of any subsidiary arrangements connected therewith."

Lord Castlereagh

said, he had no objection to give the substance of the Treaty made at Vienna. He would only protest for himself against the course pursued on this occasion being drawn into a precedent. It was the prerogative of the Crown to withhold such information till it could be communicated in a ratified form, and it was much for the public advantage that generally till that time arrived the substance of the engagements entered into should not be made known. At present, however, as he was extremely anxious to guard against any misrepresentation on this subject, he had no hesitation in agreeing to give the information called for by the hon. gentleman.

Mr. Whitbread,

as he understood the noble lord to consent to grant the papers be wished to be laid before the House, supposed he would have no objection to the Address.

motion was then read and agreed to.

The following is a copy of the Paper laid before the House in consequence of Mr. Whitbread's motion.

Substance of Treaties between his Britannic Majesty, and the Emperors of Austria and Russia, and the King of Prussia, respectively; signed at Vienna, on the 25th of March, 1815.

"His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and his Majesty the having taken into consideration the consequences which the invasion of France by Napoleon Buonapané, and the actual situation of that kingdom, may produce with respect to the safety of Europe, have resolved in conjunction with his Majesty the, &c. &c. Sec. to apply to that important circumstance, the principles of the Treaty of Chaumont.

"They have consequently resolved to renew, by a solemn Treaty, signed separately by each of the four Powers with each of the three others, the engagement to preserve, against every attack, the order of things so happily established in Europe, and to determine upon the most effectual means of fulfilling that engagement, as well as of giving it all the extension which the present circumstances so imperiously call for.

"Art. 1. The High Contracting Parties above mentioned, solemnly engage to unite the resources of their respective States for the purpose of maintaining entire the conditions of the Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris the 30th of May, 1314; as also, the stipulations determined upon and signed at the Congress of Vienna, with the view to complete the disposition of that Treaty, to preserve them against all infringement, and particularly against the designs of Napoleon Buonaparté. For this purpose they engage, in the spirit of the Declaration of the 13th March last, to direct in common, and with one accord, should the case require it, all their efforts against him, and against alt those who should already have joined his faction, or shall hereafter join it, in order to force him to desist from his projects, and to render him unable to disturb in future the tranquillity of Europe, and the general peace under the protection of which the rights, the liberty, and independence of nations had been recently placed and secured.

"Art. 2. Although the means destined for the attainment of so great and salutary an object ought not to be subjected to limitation, and although the High Contracting Parties are resolved to devote thereto all those means which, in their respective situations, they are enabled to dispose of, they have, nevertheless, agreed to keep constantly in the field, each, a force of 150,000 men complete, including cavalry, in the proportion of at least one-tenth, and a just proportion of artillery, not reckoning garrisons; and to employ the same actively and conjointly against the common enemy.

"Art. 3. The High Contracting Parties reciprocally engage, not to lay down their arms but by common consent, nor before the object of the war, designated in the 1st Article of the present Treaty, shall have been attained nor until Buonaparté shall have been rendered absolutely unable to create disturbance, and to renew his attempts for possessing himself of the supreme power in France.

"Art. 4. The present Treaty being principally applicable to the present circumstances, the stipulations of the Treaty of Chaumont, and particularly those contained in the sixteenth Article of the same shall be again in force, as soon as the object actually in view shall have been attained.

"Art. 5. Whatever relates to the command of the Combined Armies, to supplies, &c. shall be regulated by a particular Convention.

"Art. 6. The High Contracting Parties shall be allowed respectively to accredit to the generals commanding their armies, officers, who shall have the liberty of corresponding with their Governments, for the purpose of giving information of military events, and of every thing relating to the operations of the armies.

"Art. 7. The engagements entered into by the present Treaty, having for their object the maintenance of the general peace, the High Contracting Parties agree to invite all the Powers of Europe to accede to the same.

"Art. 8. The present Treaty having no other end in view but to support France, or any other country which may be invaded, against the enterprizes of Buonaparté and his adherents, his Most Christian Majesty shall be specially invited to accede hereunto; and in the event of his Majesty's requiring the forces stipulated in the 2nd Article, to make known what assistance circumstances will allow him to bring forward in furtherance of the object of the present Treaty.


"As circumstances might prevent his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from keeping constantly in the field the number of troops specified in the second Article, it is agreed, that his Britannic Majesty shall have the option, either of furnishing his contingent in men, or of paying at the rate of 30l. sterling per annum for each cavalry soldier, and 20l. per annum far each infantry soldier, that may be wanting to complete the number stipulated in the second Article.


"Foreign Office, April 25th, 1815.

"The Treaty of which the substance is above given, has been ordered to be ratified, and it has been notified on the part of the Prince Regent to the High Contacting Parties, that it is his Royal Highness's determination, acting in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, to direct the said ratifications to be exchanged in due course, against similar acts on the part of the respective Powers, under an explanatory Declaration of the following tenor, as to Article eight of the said Treaty:—


"The undersigned, on the exchange of the ratifications of the Treaty of the 25th of March last, on the part of his Court, is hereby commanded to declare, that the eighth Article of the said Treaty, wherein his Most Christian Majesty is invited to accede, under certain stipulations, is to be understood as binding the Contracting Parties, upon principles of mutual security, to a common effort against the power of Napoleon Buonaparté, in pursuance of the third Article of the said Treaty; but is not to be understood as binding his Britannic Majesty to prosecute the war with a view of imposing upon France any particular government.

"However solicitous the Prince Regent most be to see his Most Christian Majesty restored to the throne, and however anxious he is to contribute, in conjunction with his Allies, to so auspicious an event, he nevertheless deems himself called upon to make this Declaration, on the exchange of the ratifications, as well in consideration of what is due to his Most Christian Majesty's interests in France, as in conformity to the principles upon which the British Government has invariably regulated its conduct."

[The Treaty was received in London on the 5th instant; the answer thereto was dispatched to Vienna on the 8th. Authority and instructions have also been given to the earl of Clancarty to sign a subsidiary engagement consequent upon the said Treaty.]