HC Deb 21 February 1821 vol 4 cc837-94

Sir J. Mackintosh rose to make his promised motion, when he was interrupted by Mr. Wynn, who requested precedence for a motion which he had on the paper; but the cries of "No" being loud and general,

Sir James Mackintosh

proceeded with his motion. He commenced by expressing the readiness with which he should have complied with the desire of his hon. and learned friend, were it not that he saw the anxiety of the House to permit him to go on with the important business of which he had given notice. Indeed, he should have wished to have postponed his motion, were it not for the strong and argent necessity which called upon him to proceed without delay to Jay before the House the grounds of the question he had been induced to undertake. Since he had given his notice, various circumstances had occurred which enabled him the better to explain the statement he was about to make. He had had an opportunity elsewhere of hearing the arguments of his opponents; he had seen the weapons with which he had to contend: and, although a bad player, he thought he had dexterity enough to parry off their point. The attack upon the independence of Naples he should ever consider as the most unprovoked and unrighteous aggression ever committed by a vicious government. Since he had given notice of this motion, the anticipated event had, as he perceived, taken place. Perhaps, before this time, the ruin of Naples was completed. But the great question which he had to submit to the House upon this subject, depended not upon the course of events, nor upon the chance of war. No; though the whole Neapolitan territories should be once more overrun by the barbarous hordes of the north; though the modern tyrants of regions, which were in former ages the cradle of those rude warriors who desolated Italy, should once more pour their countless forces up to the Faro of Messina; neither circumstance would alter for one moment the motion he had to submit, nor throw one obstacle in his way while he explained its principles. On the contrary, he conceived that if the principles of national independence had been trampled under foot by one nation of Europe, the more it behoved the others to look with jealous anxiety to the safety and the preservation of their own inviolable rights. If wrong, aggravated by every species of injustice and assumption, had been triumphant in one case, the more was it incumbent upon that House to ascertain that this country had had no share in their disgraceful victory. If a war had been commenced, that either in its success or in its failure might, and would perhaps, involve all Europe in hostilities and anarchy, it was time that the House should inquire whether the ministers of this country had done their utmost to quench that first fatal spark, which else might kindle the most destructive conflagration. What might be the event of this aggression to Naples herself; what she might deserve, according to the degree of spirit and energy she should display in her resist- ance; or what might be the issue of these tremendous preparations, he could not, of course, at this period determine. Undoubtedly, and he said it with a melancholy reluctance, upon all principles of human calculation, the chances were against that devoted country. They were in favour of a political alliance and a disciplined army; and though the present age had furnished, perhaps, the most illustrious examples of the success of nations against armies of popular enthusiasm against military power, yet the ordinary career of human events would not justify us in supposing any other issue, but that Naples would be too soon occupied by the army of the triple alliance. Whether the Neapolitans, who, in a perhaps doubtful policy, had thought fit to copy the constitution of the Spaniards would wisely copy also the system of defence adopted by the Spaniards against the invading power of France; whether they would retire to their fastnesses and their mountains; and from those inhospitable retreats wage the only kind of warfare which could efficiently protect a people so situated; these were matters upon which he could not pretend to speak with any certainty. But this he affirmed with confidence, that no measures of an iniquitous policy—no seizure of fortresses—no occupation of territories—no mischievous confederacy, of a nature like those which in all ages had been leagued against the assertors of their country's liberty, and of the rights of all mankind—no perseverance in acts which he thought of such a destructive tendency, should divert him from his position. The views which he took of those proceedings would not be in the least degree altered, even if the Austrian army, after traversing the whole country, should plant its victorious standard at the extremity of the Peninsula of Italy.

His great object was, to obtain full, accurate, and satisfactory information with respect to the conduct of his majesty's ministers, in the negotiations which had been entered into upon the commencement of this inauspicious proceeding. [Hear, hear.] His majesty's government, as honourable members would well know, had lately issued a circular dispatch, addressed to the British ministers at foreign courts, and occasioned by the conduct of the allied powers of Troppau. That circular would save him a great deal of argument; for it described the principles which the allied powers intended to apply to the case of Naples, so strongly, and clearly, that it left him nothing to observe as upon this part of the subject. On the other hand, the circular of the allied powers stated the principles upon which those imperial commissioners for exercising the office of dictator of Europe were prepared to exert that immeasurable power, for the first time, with respect to the Neapolitans; who had not yet learned to acknowledge their newly-assumed, but sacred authority. This sacred trio had issued a circular, (which, it appeared, had been betrayed by a certain minister at Hamburgh,) in which they informed, not only their present subjects in Europe—for that would have been nothing—but in which they published to their future subjects, on what principles their future vassals, whether emperors, kings, landgraves, margraves, dukes, or potentates of whatever other denomination, might wear their crowns, or govern their states. These three sovereigns, who took upon themselves the lordship paramount of the whole of Europe—who treated monarchs as their vassals, and nations as their slaves had arrived at a conclusion founded on that ancient and equitable maxim, that "might is right." They had issued, in the plenitude of a power newly usurped, but arrogantly vaunted, their mandate "for the better government of kingdoms." But, happily for the world, there were those who still had something left in the shape of that freedom which these despots would put down; who still spoke of a constitution, once so venerable in the eyes of all the world, and still so formidable, as it would seem, to the congress at Troppau; those who would deny the power so assumed, and check the aggressions thus begun. The House, and the whole country, however, owed them at least this debt ef gratitude—that, in their very first act, these allies had not disguised their intentions; had not concealed their principles. Perhaps some explanation was here necessary, as respected the exposition which he had given of those intentions and principles. "Let not the House" (continued the hon. gent.) "look upon these words as mine—non meus hic sermo." He had quoted from their own declarations; he appealed to the noble lord opposite; he appealed to the authority of the House itself; he appealed to his majesty's ministers who had so recently abandoned these royal triumvirs, in a manner to which he could add nothing.

He thought he had shown that the intentions of this new dictatorship of Europe were tyrannical, odious, and flagitious. He should now revert to the circular of his majesty's government; and he would abridge it, rather than detain the House too long by repeating it in detail. The first paragraph amounted to this—that the measures proposed by the allied powers were directly repugnant to the fundamental laws of this kingdom, directly subversive of the rights of mankind, and such as would render every man in Europe the subject or the slave of a royal triumvirate. The noble lord had denounced them so clearly and decidedly, as to make it impossible for him to strengthen the charge. They had heard various imputations against the sect called the Carbonari. He would say nothing on the present occasion as to the justice with which they were made, but he would defy any man to make a heavier charge against the Carbonari than the noble lord had thus brought against his allies. This royal and imperial triumvirate might deserve, and, no doubt, did deserve, every thing which was said against them; but what could be a more severe reprobation than what this paragraph expressed? He would even ask, whether every thing which was said, and rightly said, against Napoleon himself was not comprised in those few words which contained the indictment preferred by the noble lord against his late colleagues and friends assembled at the congress of Troppau? He was desirous in no respect to be wanting in proper courtesy to the noble lord, and would therefore abstain from making any observation which should call in question the accuracy or propriety of the language in which the circular was conceived; but he would say this, that the first article of the noble lord's impeachment of his former friends was not so solemnly alleged; nor were the terms in which it was couched so definite and serious as he, whose legal habits had rendered this a matter of importance to his judgment, was accustomed to see employed on other occasions of impeachment. The allied powers, Prussia, Russia, and Austria, were here charged with having made a proposition to his majesty's ministers which was of a nature directly contrary to the fundamental laws of this kingdom, No explanation had yet been given upon this subject. If he was rightly informed, from the face of the document itself, the intention of this article of impeachment against prince Metternich was, that he had proposed to the ministers of England a system of interference which, "if reciprocally acted upon," would require the king of Great Britain, or rather his ministers, to admit into this country foreign armies, with or without the consent of the parliament, and the people. He understood the noble lord to assent to this proposition; but, if he was wrong, he begged the noble lord would, in someway, indicate that he (Sir J. M.) was in error. [The hon. and learned gentleman paused for a few seconds.] As the noble lord abstained from giving him any sign or mark of assent, or the contrary, he must argue as though he agreed to it, This, then, was the greatest offence that could be committed, in contravention of that trivial instrument, the Bill of Rights, which especially prohibited the introduction of foreign troops, without the concurrence of parliament.

And now he must take the liberty of bespeaking particularly the attention of the House to this part of the impeachment against prince Metternich, which was so ably conducted by the noble lord. The case stood thus: prince Metternich, and the other ministers of the allied powers, had proposed to the government of great Britain a system of measures, which would enable the present, or any future administration, to invite into this country an army, for instance, of 100,000 Russians or Austrians. It was, in effect a proposition for encamping a whole horde of cossacks or Croats in Hyde-park, and for protecting the free and unbiassed deliberations of that House by an army of Germans and Russians. He begged permission to offer some observations upon this matter. A measure, for the first time since the reign of Charles 2nd had been proposed to his majesty's government by foreign courts, the object of which was no less than for this government to enter into a solemn agreement to receive mercenary armies from the continent to dictate laws to the people of England. In case of civil danger, or that which a bad minister might be pleased to call civil danger, such a proposition might possibly be entertained; but those foreign courts had the audacity to propose to ministers, that they should admit into the kingdom foreign troops, without limit or restriction. When he said, that such a case had not occurred since the reign of Charles 2nd, he should have added, that the present proceeding was, in one respect, at least, infinitely more audacious; far the mysterious communication which subsisted between Charles and Louis was involved, as such transactions should be, in darkness and obscurity. But, in the present instance, this scandalous proposition was published in the face of all Europe, and intimation of it had been given to every minister in every court. n the face of Europe great Britain was required to receive foreign armies, to compose our domestic quarrels, and to preserve the national tranquillity. Now he should be ashamed of himself, and of those whom he had the honour of addressing—he should blush for his country, and her parliament, if he could imagine that that there was a single Englishman among them whose blood did not boil with resentment at the bare suggestion of a foreign power interposing in our domestic government, or a foreign bayonet interfering in our private quarrels. From the highest visionary or enthusiast in the country, on the side of liberty, to the lowest and most humble labourer it contained, such a proposal would meet with indignant rejection.

He would pray the House to observe the manner in which this proposal of these great military powers was put forward. Not content with laying down in theory a principal which they described as applicable in practice to all stales, they dared to propose it to England. Upon the whole it appeared, then, that they had required the suppression of that which had been framed and instituted upon the greatest authority; that their proposal went to annihilate a sacred law which had existed for ages in this country, a corner stone of that venerable constitution around which so many trophies and memorials of its greatness and its policy had been reared in the lapse of centuries. This was the demand of those who had waged war upon the liberties of states, and had violated the rights of man. If this were so, as he had stated it, the most serious part of he matter before the House remained untold. These sovereigns, or their ministers, told us, in their circular, that they had no doubt of the assent of the British government to the principles which it contained; that is, to a system of measures which would reduce Great Britain to the state of a province—a miserable and infamous dependency on the despots of the continent. This was the plain inference. After so many of these demonstrations and declarations, and "abouchements des rois," all made in the true spirit of that holy alliance which fostered these just and virtuous and equitable maxims, the result was, that those courts gave us to understand that Great Britain must consent to a principle that should justify the landing of 100,000 Croats and Cossacks at Dover. Those courts would surely be very much aggrieved and irritated at the sudden desertion of the noble lord: they would now treat him—nay, they had already begun to denounce him, as one of the hostile party. It was always to be remarked, that when gentlemen of a certain calling and description got much together, and embarked on such enterprises as were generally undertaken by persons in their profession, some quarrel arose between them, which ended in very unfortunate discoveries. These were attended, with unpleasent consequences; and the seceders, and those before whom the parties had to appear, were equally objects of resentment and disgust to those who still remained the faithful companions of former adventures. And this recalled to his mind a very sensible observation made by the biographer of Jonathan Wild, of honourable memory. He said, that in the time of Charles the First there were certain cavaliers and good fellows, who kept the field a little longer than their brethren, and who, from their extreme gallantry, and fondness of action, not feeling themselves bound by the truces and compacts which sent their companions quietly to their homes, were at last secured, and infamously left for death by the arbitrary sentence of twelve men of the opposite faction. Now, in the case before the House, they had not only an impeachment of prince Metternich and baron Hardenberg from the noble lord, but a counter impeachment of the noble lord by those two very prime ministers.—This, then was his (sir J. Mackintosh's) first ground; and as it was necessary, in the case of absentees, to manifest a more than usual impartiality, it was requisite that he should now say something on behalf of baron Hardenberg and prince Metternich. Not only could he produce those two witnesses at the bar of the House, but he could produce against the noble lord a third person—a Russian minister, with a very hard name. Count Capo d'Istria said, that the noble lord had induced them all to expect the assent of the British government to their proposition. This expectation they entertained, either from the consenting silence of the noble lord, or from that sort of language which diplomatists so well understood. They maintained that, up to the 19th of January last, the noble lord had dissembled with them, had kept them in ignorance of this unlooked-for issue, and had not only taught them that lie would put into their hands the rights of Europe and the liberties of mankind, but further that he would receive into the county of Middlesex whole armies of Russians and Croats. Now, the noble lord, whose peculiar character it was, to remain calm and undisturbed through every discussion, however it might personally or politically relate to him, would not induce him (sir J. M) to suppose that he felt uninterested at that moment, for he rather thought that that silence was the result of agitation on the part of the noble lord, which agitation had perhaps led him to suppose that this was his (sir J. M) language. But it was not: it was the language of his colleagues, (for he would not call them his accomplices), the language of prince Metternich and baron Hardenberg. Here was a document (the foreign circular), in which the world was told that the noble lord's language to them had led them to expect a different kind of support from him; and really, if that was the fact, they had, as regarded themselves, reason to complain. But how stood the noble lord upon his own showing? It was a maxim "habe-mus confitentem reum;" and more than all this, they had seen that another noble lord, being himself to attempt an explanation of the conduct of government, had stated most candidly and eloquently all the facts, all the heinousness of this detestable proceeding on the part of the allied powers. It was not, however, the introduction of Cossacks and Croats into England which was commented on by the noble lord opposite in his circular, but the indictment of prince Metternich. The noble lord declared the prince's proposals to be contrary to the fundamental laws of this realm. What laws? What, but the Bill of Rights which our ancestors had providently enacted into a law, and which, thank God, down to our day, had been effectual in restraining the illegal exertion of ministerial power.

It was now clear, he supposed, that the language he had held was only a familiar commentary upon the expressions of the noble lord himself. To proceed, however: he did conceive that the noble lord's late allies must have had some reason, for making this charge. He would not say, they were justified, in so doing, for it had been strongly denied by the noble lord. But he begged to ask him, whether the public declaration of the three greatest powers of continental Europe formed no primâ facie ground for inquiring into the conduct of administration; or supposing they had not made any such promise of assent, for inquiring into the history of so flagitious a falsehood as the ministers of the allies must, in that case, have published to the world? The ministers of the Crown were therefore in this dilemma—they must either prove that negative, or on the other hand they must show upon what grounds they ventured to hold out such an expectation to foreign courts. Either the noble lord must have made some promise to the allies, or the allies had been guilty of the foulest calumnies; and it would be too much for the House to leave this matter without calling for and examining such documents as must prove either the one case or the other.

Having stated this charge, as made by the allies in reply to the noble lord's circular, he would now remark, that the expressions in which it was conveyed, inferred, that in some way or other the British minister had given [cause for such an expectation. The only way to ascertain whether the British ministry had been guilty of the greatest of all crimes to their country, or those of the allied powers of the greatest of all falsehoods, was to produce the communications that had taken place on the subject and this, in brief, was the object of his motion. He wished to know whether there were not some circumstances which the allied powers might urge in their own defence; and prince Metternich and baron Hardenberg being absent, and it being to be feared that the noble lord would desert his ancient friends he was anxious to see whether there was not some colour for their charge, some slight degree of toleration, on the part of the noble lord (he would not say connivance at) of the proposal in question. If the allied powers had observed on the part of England a behaviour towards Naples similar to their own, they might very reasonably infer that our intentions with respect to that power were not very dissimilar from theirs. This government refused to admit or entertain the new Neapolitan ambassador, prince Cimitelli; now, what more had the governments of Austria or Russia done in that respect? They did the self-same thing—they gave the prince the same refusal. He (sir J. M.) as a plain man, unacquainted with the forms of diplomacy, or matters of etiquette, wished to ask, whether it was customary to refuse audience to the ambassador of a government, in which the same kingly authority prevailed as in the time of the ambassador's predecessor, and in which no alteration had taken place, but in some limitations placed, with the consent of all parties, upon the kingly authority? As to the part taken by this country in the present unwarrantable proceeding of Austria, it had been already described with more humiliating eloquence than he could command; but what he inferred from the speeches made on that occasion, in another place, was, that we were to stand aloof from the strife; that we were to refuse that assistance which our strict neutrality required us to with old, to the suffering and the weaker party; but that we were to be ready to give as much moral, or as he should call it, immoral encouragement to the aggressor, as could be conveyed in the mysterious phraseology of diplomatic pedantry.

But, to return to the subject of the Neapolitan envoy, let him refer to the case of M. Chauvelin. Was not M. Chauvelin received as the abassador of Louis 16th, after the revolution; after the flight and return of that unfortunate monarch—after his deposition was complete, and perhaps his death. resolved on—was not M. Chauvelin, the National Convention sitting at the time, received as the ambassador of the French king, by those very hon. gentlemen on the other side, who excused themselves from acknowledging prince Cimitelli on account of a change in the government of Naples, of a kind infinitely less extensive. In cases of the change of the actual sovereign of a country, or the transfer of the Crown, either by death or any other event, such a conduct as his majesty's ministers had pursued might be justified; but a mere limitation of the kingly power never could excuse them. However abominable he considered the principles of the holy alliance to be; however destructive of all principles of human happiness; however subversive of private and public rights: and however injurious to the progress of human society; yet still they must be acknowledged to have acted at least consistently with themselves, and with those execrable principles. But this country had acted in a very different manner: she, who still, in the history of Europe claimed some respect and love for her unshaken attachment to liberty and national honour, how had she acted? Did any body hesitate to receive, in 1772, the ambassador of Gustavus, the king of Sweden, when he had subverted the liberties of his native land, and changed her limited monarchy into a military despotism? He never heard that the voice of government was raised against that ambassador. By the most scandalous treachery, supported by a large military force, that tyrant surrounded the deliberative assembly of his kingdom, and compelled them to change a limited monarchy into an absolute despotism. The House would remember, that, within the last century, the Crown prince of Denmark had been elected into a despotic monarch—a most dangerous precedent of the facility with which men will sometimes lightly part with the best safeguards of their freedom; and which alteration, no doubt for that very reason, was made a pretext by the allied sovereigns for; depriving this sovereign, at the Congress at Vienna, of his dominions in Norway.

His majesty's ministers had said, in justification of themselves, that they had felt themselves, called upon to express a necessary disapprobation of the measures taken in consequence of the revolution at Naples. And what did they do? Instead of making their disapprobation known to the Neapolitans, they communicated it to the allied powers. He remembered, before he had the honour of a seat in that House, being once present at a debate, through a breach of its privileges. An hon. friend of his, in the course of a speech he was then making, quoted a very splendid passage from Dr. Johnson, upon the subject of war. The remark made on that speech by the celebrated Mr. Burke was this:—"The speech of the hon. gentleman is admirable the invective against war most spirited; and the instruction it contains beyond dispute: but I really do not see that the House of Commons is so quarrelsome a party in the case, as to render it necessary to address to it this homily; but let the hon. gentleman take it to the Jacobin club at Paris, or the Convention, and there it will be applicable." So, too, ministers ought to have preached their homily to the holy alliance, and not have notified their censure in a different quarter. But they rested their defence on two principal grounds: first, the adoption by Naples, of the Spanish constitution; and secondly, her conduct towards Sicily. What the conduct towards Sicily had to do with the relations between England and Naples, or what it had to do with those of Naples and Austria, he was at a loss to know. In defending the liberties of a nation, he was not bound to defend her through every fault and for every particular part of her conduct. He defended only her independence. In the eyes of morality, her conduct towards Sicily was a stain upon the character of Naples. But this was not the object of the revolution; for that very conduct occurred subsequently to the revolution. Foreign nations could have nothing to do with it. What would have been, thought if any such representation had been made to William 3rd, when he levied war against Ireland? And yet that monarch was fighting against a people who were defending themselves upon principles pretty much the same as those of the glorious revolution of 1688, and were resisting the imposition of a foreign sovereign against their attachments and inclinations.

He would say nothing of the proceedings of Neapolitans in Sicily; he would say nothing of their severities or their confiscations. If they were not to be justified, he believed they might at least be excused. The ministers or this country were not called on to give an opinion. But it might be said, that we were bound to express our opposition to acts committed against our friends the Sicilians. There might be something in this, if Ferdinand the fourth had destroyed a free constitution which we had established in Sicily. But the government of Sicily, as well as of Naples, had been an absolute monarchy, and Ferdinand was the absolute sovereign of both kingdoms. The Neapolitans had reformed their government, and the king had agreed to a limited monarchy. This limited monarchy the absolute sovereign of Sicily offered to that part of his dominions. A rebellion ensued; and events, such as usually accompanied rebellion, followed. Those events were blame able, he admitted; but they called in no degree on his majesty's ministers for a declaration of their opinions. Suppose the emperor of Russia had committed acts of flagrant injustice and cruelty towards some of his subjects in Asia; were we called on to express our opinions and to remonstrate in behalf of the Calmucs and the Tonguisses? If such interferences were justified, there would be no end to them. Suppose some foreign government had complained of our conduct towards the Catholics in Ireland, and remonstrated on the ground that we had provoked a rebellion, and then suppressed it, in order to effect a union with Great Britain, should we have endured such intermeddling with our conduct towards any of our dependencies? upon what principle, then, could we consider ourselves called on to intermeddle with the conduct of the Neapolitan government towards Sicily.

A great deal had been said of the Neapolitans having adopted the Spanish constitution. Pretexts of this kind were always at hand when despots coloured their unprincipled aggressions by appearances of necessity. The partition of Poland, of which every man in the world complained, had been defended by similar pretexts. That unhappy country, had indeed been torn in pieces by those who first agitated her into factions, and afterwards divided her as a prey. But did it therefore follow, that the partition which ensued was not as execrable as it was unwarranted? Sweden had been agitated by factions in foreign pay, but did it follow that Gustavus was warranted in assuming absolute power? Yet, if France had then sent forces to Stockholm, in order to support a faction and compel the king to relinquish his assumed authority, would not the other powers of Europe have condemned such a scandalous invasion of national independence? But the Neapolitans had adopted the Spanish constitution! It seemed necessary to fix on some formal act as a point of union. When the nation called for a modified government from their king, it was thought necessary to present something to him for his adoption as a test of sincerity. That was not a time for deliberate writing. There was no opportunity of making paper constitutions. But a rallying point was to be pointed out to the nation, and a test to be presented by which the king should be bound, if any thing could bind him. The Neapolitans, for these purposes, chose the Spanish constitution. He would ask the noble lord whose fault it was that the Spanish constitution had been preferred as a rallying point? In 1811 the English constitution had been regarded as a model, and so it had continued to be regarded throughout Italy, till a new system of justice and liberty received the sanction and active co-operation of the ministers of England. The English constitution ceased not to be viewed with veneration till Genoa was betrayed—till the small and innocent states of Lucca and Ragusa, which had not the power of doing wrong if disposed to do wrong, had been given up to powers to whom they had the greatest repugnance. The same treaty he meant the treaty of Paris, had given up Parga to a savage barbarian. That conduct it was that had alienated Italy, and obliged the Neapolitans to take a far worse model for their political improvements. That conduct it was that had alienated the nations of Europe from us, and compelled them to regard our constitution no longer as a pattern for political amelioration, and as a model of liberty for mankind. The conduct of the noble lord and his colleagues had stripped England of brighter glory than the most splendid victories could give—of greater strength than the largest armies could boast; and, in return they had obtained nothing but an arraignment and condemnation from those to whom they had sacrificed the glory and strength of their country.

He would now proceed to two or three other matters connected with this question. It had been urged, as a grave charge against the Neapolitans, that the societies in which the revolution had originated had been secret. This was a most singular accusation. The Carbonari had been originally instituted against Murat, and had been persecuted by him for the same reason as now by the noble lord. Murat had made the same objection to them, that they did not hold their meetings in public. Murat, a prince of a liberal mind and of enlarged principles, would give them every indulgence provided only that their meetings were public, that they gave fair notice of their intended revolts, and that they proclaimed the day of their future march against his capital. [A laugh.] Murat, in common with the noble lord would have nothing arranged in secret. Ministers cared not how secret societies against liberty were held. The only societies whose secrecy incurred their censure, were societies for promoting the liberties of a nation. Another subject of severe censure was, that the army had taken part in the revolution. But of the Carbonari he had further to remark, that they consisted of members from every rank and order of men. If, therefore the revolution originated with the Carbonari, it originated with the nation, the great majority of which were Carbonari. Of the co-operation of the army he should say as little as possible without neglecting any point of the argument. He could not help wondering that any minister should be so bold as to give a challenge to justify the co-operation of the army in any form, or their interference in a revolution on any principles, however good. Was it to be contended, because the support of the army had been obtained, that therefore the revolution was unjust? Was it to be argued, because the revolution would have been unsuccessful without the support of the army, that therefore it must be condemned? On the first ground, it was unnecessary to consider the question, because the acquiescence of the army in a successful revolution could not on any principle be censured. On the second ground it was impolitic to argue the question. The interference of any soldiers in a free state he reprobated. He abhorred as much as any man the passage of Caesar's army over the Rubicon: but when a nation was struggling for freedom—when the alternative was liberty or slavery—the assistance of the military was of the highest value. "Et nomen pacis dulce est, et ipsa res salutaris; sed inter pacem et servitutem plurimum interest. Pax est tranquilla libertas; servitus malorum omnium postremum, non modo bello, sed morte etiam repellendum." A people were not only justified, they were called on to risk every thing, rather than suffer the "malorum omnium extremum."

Another question started on this subject was, whether the Carbonari were confined to the Neapolitan kingdom or extended to the neighbouring states. This was the only point in which ministers seemed doubtful as to the right of interference. If the Carbonari extended to the neighbouring states, ministers said it was right to attack Naples. In 1812, when the Carbonari had been founded, the wish for emancipation had not been confined to Naples. The Carbonari existed in Lombardy, in Etruria, in all parts of Italy, looking chiefly to England for encouragement. From England it was that they had derived their spirit; to England it was that they had looked for countenance and support. They had been encouraged legitimately and wisely; for in such a war such resistance was legitimate and wise: encouraged they had been to revolt against the common enemy of Europe; encouraged they bad been by this country—he did not say as Carbonari, but as partisans for liberty. What, then, was the meaning of this complaint so mysteriously let out? If there were Carbonari in Lombardy, Etruria, and the Venetian states, were the Neapolitans answerable? Had the Neapolitans formed the Carbonari there? Did they now encourage them? If there were any Carbonari in those states, they bad been encouraged by England in defence of their religion and their rights; and was it now a crime for which Naples was to be punished? The treaties of Paris and Vienna had alienated the lovers of liberty throughout Italy from England. The betraying of Genoa, of Lucca, Ragusa, and of Parga—these were the schools, these the lessons, by which the Italians had been taught that they were to expect nothing from England. A late member of that House, whose premature death he should never cease to lament, who entered with profound sagacity into the characters and views of nations, and who sometimes spoke out his convictions—he meant the late Mr. Horner—had said, in 1815, that Italy would deplore the conduct of England to the last hour of her bondage. Mr. Horner's words were prophetic. The Neapolitans bad now forsaken the English model, and "hewed out to themselves broken cisterns," which he feared would prove inadequate to the high purposes for which they were designed. The Neapolitans, in common with all Italy, had felt that they could not look for countenance or encouragement to England;—they bad felt a conviction that they could look only to their own exertions, if they would not submit to the worst form of despotic oppression. But it had been said, that they ought to have presented a petition praying for a revolution. That they ought to have formed monstrations des droits. This petition of Naples would have been an extraordinary instrument for future imitation. "We, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, feeling that unlimited power in your majesty's hands has produced the greatest evils, and caused the most grievous wrongs, pray that your majesty will be graciously pleased to impose restraints on yourself, to abdicate your prerogatives, to suffer yourself to be harassed every day by members in opposition to your ministers, who will make vexatious motions, inquire into grants of money, interrupt cabinet dinners, and inveigh against the conduct of your government towards Genoa, Parga, Norway, Saxony, and he knew not what." [A laugh.] Such were the absurdities which had crept into the reasoning of ministers on this subject. They had reasoned, they thought, very profoundly and constitutionally, upon the conduct of the barons in obtaining Magna Charta, and of the parliament in claiming the Bill of Rights. But those proceedings had so taken place in England, because the government had been anteriorly free. In their desperation ministers had slandered the government of their own country, which had never been but free, and had represented it as similar to that system of despotism which was the scourge, the stain, and the shame of Europe.

Those, then, were the charges against the Neapolitans: First, they had extorted a constitution from their king: second, their conduct might encourage others in their vicinity to follow their example; third, they had not held a public meeting to deliberate on their grievances; and, fourth, the army had supported their measures. The noble lord limited the justification of interference which he had suggested to those powers whose territories might by possibility be affected by the vicinity of Naples. Of course, then, he excepted Russia and Prussia, upon the very condition which might justify the interference of Austria, for they had no more right, interest, or duty in the interference than we had. Siberia was no more in danger from the revolution of Naples than from an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The plea of vicinity, which, was borrowed from Mr. Burke, was not the plea of the allied powers, but of the noble lord. Their plea was, any revolutionary movement in Europe. "No," said ministers, that will not do; we offer you a justification; we say yours is too large; it will not do in England; it will not be heard in the House of Commons; they are not trained sufficiently for that; even the ladies will not like so well to walk through an army of Cossacks in Hyde-park; only say that the Carbonari are not Neapolitan; do you give us the credit of the war. Quarrel with us, and we should be liberal to you, and give you all the profit." [Cheers.] If this mode of reasoning was not quite satisfactory to the House, he could not help it. Lord Castlereagh, an experienced barrister in such proceedings, had given a brief to his younger brother of Russia, because his own brief would not be endured by the judges who did not like to travel beyond the record. Ministers asserted, that if Lombardy or any parts of the Austrian territories in Italy were in danger, it was just is Austria to interfere. But had they any evidence, to prove the truth of this? Had they any overt acts, any correspondence, an judicial trials against state criminals in Lombardy? No; nil horum. They had only a possible case. Austria might have a just quarrel. The Carbonari might be active in Lombardy. It was a series of possibilities put by them in the hands of the allied powers, who disdained to take it in justification of being lords paramount over Europe. For this office they were candidates, and they acted already as if they had been long in possession.

Before, then, this great war should rage in Europe—great it was in its principle, great it might be in its consequences—it was the duty of the House to inquire, whether there was any reason or pretence for it. Upon the ground that it apprehended danger it was open to any government in the world to justify a war. Ministers did not censure the allied powers forgoing to war; but they furnished them with a pretence for it; they provided for them a series of possibilities, the one dependent on the other, and the first without the shadow of foundation. The present emergency had been compared to the crisis of 1792. No one who heard the debates—the splendid debates.—which distinguished the commencement of that, in his opinion, fatal war, could fail to remark the widely different pretences for that war and the war against Naples. There had been one overt act stated against France—it was the decree of the 19th of November 1792, encouraging states to change their government a decree of fraternity with all subjects who rebelled against their sovereigns. The conceptions of chimerical ambition—of power run mad—of despotism become drunk, which originated with the allies at Troppau never had been dreamt of then. The grounds on which the war had been defended, were the overt acts, the aggressions growing out of the revolution in France. The annexations of Savoy, the conquest of the Netherlands, the navigation of the Scheldt coupled with the decree of the 19th of November 1792, were the successive points of justification of the war. In the present case, no resemblance could be traced to the war against France. At non ille, satum quo te mentiris, Achilles "Talis in hoste fuit. There had been in 1792 at least specious grounds of quarrel. There was here nothing but open violation of every principle. He would be bold to affirm that the declaration of Laybach proceeded from the same malignant, dark, and dangerous principles as the decree of the 19th of November. That had declared that France would intermeddle in the affairs of any nation, where the subjects opposed their government: this declared that the allied powers would intermeddle in the affairs of any nation to prevent amendment and reform. The evil and malignity in both cases were precisely the same. True it was, that the popular assembly had declared their spirit and object more openly. But the assembly at Laybach had not less plainly dictated their wishes and intentions—and to us as well as to other nations—to prevent our amending or reforming our government. He did assert, without wishing to excite war, that the allied powers had given just cause of war by their declaration. They who invaded the security of a nation did, in effect, make war against it. The differences in that House, respecting the decree of the 19th of November, was not as lo its character and effect, but as to the propriety of requiring an explanation previously to going to war. Mr. Fox had argued, that if the decree could be explained, refuted, or repealed, war would become unnecessary; but if it were not so explained, refuted, or repealed, a war would be just and necessary. It was not, therefore, because he denied the aggressive character of the decree, that Mr. Fox had opposed the war, but because no opportunity for explanation had been given, and because no war should be rushed into, until every fair means of preserving peace should have been exhausted: "Justum bellum quibus necessarium, et pia arma quibus nisi in armis nulla relinquitur spes." It had been said by an ancient historian, that if one looked at the preambles to the proscriptions during the dictatorships and triumvirates in Rome, he would almost imagine that nothing could be more just than those proscriptions. The preambles contained, in fact, most specious reasons, most moral arguments—almost as moral as the arguments of the Holy Alliance—for the murder of innocent and patriotic men. He who read them might imagine that Marius had been a teacher of ethics, and Scylla a model of humanity. So might men now suppose, from their declarations and professions, that those who had perpetrated the partition of Poland had been eminent patrons of national morality. In 1772, when the first partition had been made, the reasons assigned for the necessity were, that anarchy and disorder had prevailed in Poland, and were propagated in the neighbouring states. To put an end to this evil, the only means discovered were, that the neighbouring states should take each a slice of the territory. The generous lovers of order and peace yielded to this necessity, and shared Poland among them. In 1791, a regular constitution had been established. There was an hereditary monarch; there were two Houses of Parliament; the veto of the king had been most properly abolished. What course did the empress Catharine, that guardian of the rights of mankind, take then? She published a manifesto, declaring that she would stand up against innovation, and in defence of the ancient liberties of Poland. The king of Prussia had recognised the hereditary monarchy, the two houses of legislature, and the other improvements of the Polish government; he had entered into an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Poland; yet next year he marched a body of soldiers into Great Prussia, declaring that he would put an end to the anarchy and jacobinism which prevailed there. In 1795, it was found that the principles of political philanthropy could not be supported without the annihilation of the republics. The neighbouring sovereigns were obliged to divide Poland into three parts, and to leave none to the abuse of the Poles. The diet of Poland assembled at Grodno, and, protected by 100,000 Russian soldiers, subscribed their names to the surrender of their existence as a nation—a deed which no force should have compelled them to do if they had had a thousand lives. The execration of mankind was due to them; but to the authors of the force applied to them, and of the partition of their country, terms were due which he could not venture to use in that House.

The hostilities with which Naples was threatened were, it was confessed, undertaken upon peculiar and extraordinary grounds: it was a war that could not be justified upon any of the usual principles by which the affairs of nations were directed. There had been no direct offence—no infraction of the rights of any other state on the part of the Neapolitan government. "Non hic agitur de vectigalibus, de sociorum injuriis, sed de libertate human æ gentis, de libertate nostra." What must be our own condition, if new principles like these were to be sanctioned and adopted into the policy of the greater states? He would say at once, that Europe could not retain its civilization, nor the different members of it their independence, in security one hour, if such a system were introduced. Prince Metternich himself could not he rendered so insensible to the natural operation of moral causes as not to see that, should the success of the allied armies be as complete as their own predictions would represent it to be certain, there must still remain a sense of indignation; that subsequent results must be yet apprehended; and that after they should have degraded a sovereign into a vassal, the empty decoration of the kingly title would scarcely serve to accomplish him as the instrument of their purposes. Was it expected that the present king of Naples could be so bound as that he should never enter into a treaty containing provisions utterly contrary to those which he might be induced to subscribe under the influence of compulsion? Let the House look at the character of those treaties which had succeeded each other, since it was vainly hoped that the treaty of Westphalia had fixed the balance of power on a stable foundation in Europe. As long as men continued men—as long as they retained human feelings in their hearts—so long as they were not a caput mortuum in the hands of despots, such changes and revocations would take place. He should like to hear from the noble lord what was the security contemplated by him and his colleagues against the entire absorption of Italy under the Austrian yoke. If such an event should occur, was it not likely that Russia would think it necessary that she should be indemnified by the possession of Gallicia and Romania? It was not even impossible that indemnity should be found in the north of Germany, or in his majesty's patrimonial dominions. A circumstance not dissimilar to this had already taken place in a former instance. It might occur as one of the results of that balanced system of power which had been so often and loudly eulogised, that the prince, who had been among the first to admit foreign troops into his dominions, should ultimately have to forfeit his foreign inheritance.

Much had been said on the subject of the right of vicinage; it was thrown as a subsidiary though important weight into the scale; and in this view he should submit a few observations respecting it. In the treaty of Vienna, the only danger explicitly declared with regard to Naples, as a danger which required certain guards and cautions, was that of the Neapolitan government adopting institutions subversive of monarchy, or measures hostile to the repose and interests of neighbouring powers. This was not to demand security for crushing the designs of the Carbonari; this was not pointed against the Spanish constitution. He feared that its object was, to prevent the slightest relaxation of a stern military despotism; and that, however obscurely expressed, we might regard the proceedings in Italy as only giving effect to intentions then entertained. It was well known by those at all acquainted with the actual state of Naples, and the condition of the Neapolitan people, that one of the heaviest grievances suffered in that country was arbitrary imprisonment. Some of the first families in Naples had felt the weight of this monstrous injustice. Allowing himself for a moment to suppose that a law equivalent to that of our Habeas Corpus had been introduced, or that a promise of what was tantamount to so great a blessing had been held out to the people, would not this have filled the people with delight—would it not have been viewed as one of the best securities on which their individual comfort and freedom could be made to rest? On the other side they could see nothing, under the yoke of Austria they could feel and dread nothing, but a continued military and foreign despotism. When the people of Naples therefore prepared to defend themselves against the united invasion of the allied powers, they were resisting an aggression made, not upon any doubtful political principles reduced to dangerous practice—not upon the new constitution of Spain—not upon any wild or impracticable mode of government, suggested in the ardour of their imaginations to men unskilled in human nature, or in the diversity of human action; but it was an open war on liberty itself, even under its best regulated form. What was it that the allied powers had combined their efforts to put down? What had the people of Naples hitherto done to show themselves unworthy of that freedom to which they aspired? Neither the anarchy which followed licentiousness, nor the military government which was its ordinary cure, had yet sprung up in the newly-cultivated soil. Nothing had yet appeared to show that the Neapolitans merited the censure of our great moral poet, always great, and not the least so in his political morality. License they mean when they cry liberty; For who means that must first be wise and good. The sin which they had committed was that of imitating our example—their unpardonable fault was, that they had endeavoured to establish amongst themselves a British constitution. No doubt this country was equally without excuse in the eyes of the allied sovereigns, for having set the example, and for still holding it forth to the world. It was indeed a lasting satire on their own power; it was of a nature to produce alarm in despotisms, and would, he hoped, continue till the latest period to tempt less fortunate nations to its imitation.

A practice had now for some time prevailed in the continental courts of setting forth to the public, as it accorded with their convenience, the views which they entertained at different periods, and the schemes which they were on the point of executing. Amongst the persons engaged in drawing up these papers was the celebrated M. Gentz, an individual whose talents and eloquence no man admired more than himself, but who had put the designs of the Austrian court in a most glaring light. In the "Austrian Observer" of the 10th of November last, a dissertation appeared, which seemed to inculcate nothing more nor less than that the rights of the armed triumvirate were superior to all other rights. It was said that the emperor of Austria would act in conformity with his own will, and that his will was, to perpetuate peace in Europe. Now, it would not, he believed, be considered fair amongst these royal gentlemen when they imposed treaties on a royal neighbour, if the latter afterwards set up the plea of duress as a justification for departing from such treaties. They were held to be just as binding as if they had originated in a spontaneous desire of making cessions. The principles assumed by the allied sovereigns admitted of no qualification; their authority, it was pretended, was supreme and uncontrollable. The right of interference claimed by this high magistracy—by this tribunal, composed as it were of the lords paramount of mankind, extended to the punishment of all rebellions. Let the House and let his majesty's ministers reflect a moment on the consequences that must inevitably flow from the admission of this doctrine. Unless they were prepared to taint the memory of their forefathers, and to confess themselves to be descended from a band of revolted slaves—if they would not apply to those mighty struggles by which our freedom has attained the name of popular usurpations, they would treat the doctrine with indignant contempt. No such principles had ever been recognised in this country; they were practically abjured from the earliest period when our government took a settled form. Since the reign of John, our constitution stood upon a basis which was the very reverse of those principles. When England's barons "clad in arms, and stern with conquest," tore from their reluctant monarch the great charter of our rights, did they imagine that their posterity would stigmatize them as rebels? Did the authors of the Revolution of 1688, or those who provided for the Protestant succession, ever entertain a fear that ministers of the House of Brunswick would brand similar events in other countries with the title of popular usurpation? He would appeal to every man who valued human freedom, or who had a drop of blood in his heart, to say whether he could endure the supposition. When the Petition of Right was at last sanctioned—when, after a tissue of feebleness and obstinacy, and a continued course of evasion, that instrument was ratified, our ancestors took care; to record that it proceeded from the exertions of a parliament which was the true, friend and representative of the people. If, however, he were called upon to refer to any act of the British parliament that combined in a peculiar degree the largest views of domestic policy with the noblest spirit of patriotism, he should undoubtedly select the statute of Habeas Corpus. Liberty of person had always been an original right under our constitution, but it was not previously secured. It was not at last secured until after a struggle of seventeen years duration; and, if the merit of it did really belong to lord Shaftesbury, as was sometimes asserted, it went far to redeem the faults of that great, though not blameless character. 13ut the law of Habeas Corpus was evidently as perfect in its kind as legislative wisdom could make it; and although we had been doomed to witness its too frequent suspension, it still existed for the benefit of the present age, however disagreeable it had been to Charles 2nd, and notwithstanding that his brother told Barillon, the French ambassador, that it was a law too good to be carried into execution. The care taken in establishing the Protestant succession proved how seriously our ancestors had laboured to prevent future ministers from degrading and dishonouring the country, by a departure from those general principles to which they themselves adhered.

He recollected, when the noble lord came from the continent, after being present at some of those conferences which followed close on the convivial meetings of kings, then so much the subject of eulogy, that an hon. friend of his had suffered a rebuke from that noble lord, for having said that he apprehended that such meetings of monarchs would only tend to expose them to the influence of rash counsels, and induce them, in the heat of the moment, to take steps which no able statesman would dare to advise. He could not look on theseabouchements des Rois in any other light than one of those drunken po- litical dinners in this country, where the language more savoured of conviviality than prudence. The result of the first of these abouchements, in later days, was the dismemberment of Poland. The royal interview, which was the foundation of the Holy Alliance, gave birth to a production which surpassed most modern productions in the nonsense with which it was filled. It began with an assertion, that sovereigns previously had departed from the sacred rule of government laid down by the Gospel, as to restraining themselves from views of self-aggrandisement, and concluded with stating, that it was their determination now to follow up this principle strictly. These royal professors of theology and ethics had, alas, forgotten, that one of the first inferences to be drawn from the Gospel was, that slavery was not to be tolerated; that the history of Christianity proved that in the sight of God all men were equal; that the Gospel was first preached to the poor by instruments as poor as their hearers; and, what was most strange of all was, that they had shut their eyes against the conclusion, that as the Christian religion had been the means of rescuing all the Christian world from slavery, it ought not now to be made the pretext for subjugating all its professors to the arbitrary will of any two or three exalted individuals. One of the first of these abouchements recorded in modern history was that of Catherine de Medicis and Philip of Spain, held at Bayonne; the object of which was, to maintain ancient establishments against the innovations of that time—to put down the Protestants, who were then beginning to exercise the long-forgotten rights of human reason. But, did England make herself a party to the league? No! It was opposed by three illustrious princes, and the cause of Protestantism became at length triumphant. Those princes placed themselves at the head of that great movement of the human mind. Queen Elizabeth, Henry the 4th of France, and William the 3rd, all acted on the same magnanimous policy. The last was inferior in talents; but Elizabeth and Henry, the immortal chiefs of the cause, were perhaps the greatest cotemporary princes who ever reigned; and, what was not less singular, the woman endowed with a superior genius, and the man with those milder virtues which had procured him the well-merited name of "father of his country." Those virtues had unhappily not saved him from the dagger of an assassin; but the reign of our own princess was as happy as it was splendid. He knew not how to express his admiration when he contemplated her, at one time braving the thunders of the Vatican and the intrigues of the Jesuits, at another the arms of Spain; beset continually with dangers, and, though scarcely conscious of her own greatness, dying at last full of years and glory. There were not wanting persons, however, who had represented her as tearing her country from the Christian Church—as the head of an unnatural as well as unholy union, and as an object of general execration. Yet had it not been for her successful maintenance of the policy which she adopted, we might at this moment have been obliged to submit to arbitrary imprisonment, to torture, and might have been rendering forced obedience to a hated yoke. These might have been our inheritance, instead of the Habeas Corpus act, the Bill of Rights, the Protestant Succession, and all that genius and virtue which those measured had carried in their train. We might at this day have been sunk in the most abject slavery and superstition. He did not mean to compare the Neapolitan revolution with our own; but our own might have been prevented by a coalition similar to that with which Naples was threatened. Pretexts might have been found by the Messrs. Gentz of 1688, quite equal to those on which the interference with Naples was justified. He, who admired the talents of M. Gentz, could have suggested topics of equal plausibility, and calculated to have the same effect as those by which the noble lord had heartened the present despots. He might have talked of treacherous statesmen, of impious daughters, of rebellious subjects, of a clergy faithless to its own creed, of unlimited obedience, and of a mutinous army. What was thus said might also have been repeated, and applied to many transactions in Ireland and Scotland, in which the ancestors of several whom he then saw before him had been actively engaged. He was sure, whatever might be the result of this night's debate, whatever might be the numbers which would dissent from him in voting for his motion, that on this occasion he spoke more completely the sentiments of that House and the people than he had ever done on any former occasion. Whatever might be, to use a phrase of the noble lord opposite, the "technical doom" of the motion he had made, he hoped, at least, that Europe would understand that in this country all men concurred on the main point; and that the grave, the honest, and intelligent people of England viewed the present aggression against Naples with indignation and abhorrence. Feeling, however, that the expression of this sentiment had been, if not concealed, at least softened in the official language employed, he should move, "That an humble address be presented to his majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions, that there be laid before this House, copies or extracts of such representations as have been made on the part of his majesty's government to the allied powers, respecting the interpretation given by them to the treaties subsisting between them and Great Britain, with reference to the right of general interference in the internal affairs of independent states, and respecting the measures proposed to be taken by them in the exercise of such right."

Lord Castlereagh

observed, that in proceeding to examine some of the positions of the hon. and learned gentleman he was perfectly willing to join in many of the sentiments and general principles which he had laid down. His duty Would be best discharged, however, by confining himself as strictly as the nature of the question would permit, to a discussion of those grounds which were immediately applicable to the vote to which the House would have to come. In the first place, then, he must say, that he could see no reason for the House to express any opinion at that moment, unless the state of Europe called for its interposition. It was not the practice of parliament to desire any disclosure of a pending negotiation with foreign powers; and as we were riot principals in the negotiation alluded to, it would be as inconsistent with good faith as with delicacy to compel his majesty's ministers to make any further disclosures on that subject at present. If he should now offer any general observations, it would still be with the view of stripping the main point in question of that colouring which the brilliant talents of the hon. and learned gentleman had thrown over it. He was himself placed in a somewhat whimsical situation by the argument of the hon. and learned gentleman. We were now at the end of a long course of policy, with regard to which very different opinions had been expressed on the other side of the House. It was now strange to him to find his majesty's ministers censured for not having committed this government to a war with the greatest military powers in Europe. The hon. gentleman and his friends, when we were recently engaged in war with a great military despotism that had overrun every smaller state, and threatened the independence of the greatest, were perpetually recommending that England should rest upon its oars. Ministers were then asked, why they persevered in a fruitless contest; and were told that our only Chance of safety consisted in husbanding our resources. Was it for them now to contend, that our resources were to be exposed for the sake of our moral duties? It was too much after all that he had heard from them on former occasions, after all that he had recently heard of the distressed state of the country, although he for one did not believe that our condition was such a3 not to enable us to support any just or necessary burthens; yet, when reduction of every kind, and especially of our army, had been called for again and again, it was too much, he repeated, to be told that the British government ought to dictate moral lessons to Europe. He must do the hon. and learned gentleman the justice to say that, whilst he exercised the right of a member of parliament freely to canvass the proceedings of foreign etates, he had abstained from all unjustifiable allusions to the personal character of their sovereign. Their ears had not been disgusted with such allusions; and he would say that no sovereigns were less deserving of any indecent attack than the two sovereigns who had been subjected to it in another place. No sovereign ruling over such extensive dominions as one of those illustrious persons, had ever gained a stronger title to estimation and respect. With regard to the alliance on which so many strictures had been passed, he was not at all disposed to shrink from its defence. It Was not surprising that hon. gentlemen on the other side should feel a little sore at an alliance which had disappointed all their lamentable forebodings. It was, perhaps, too much for human nature to behold with patience, what, so long as it should endure, must be a monument of their folly. This alliance, which he hoped would long continue to cement the peace of Europe, had proved to demonstration the absurdity of those prophecies in which the hon. gentlemen opposite had indulged, and of the schemes of policy which they had recommended. The people of England whose courage had nerved the arm of government in its military exertions, would not easily be induced to think that the views on which that alliance was formed had been departed from. It was but an act of justice to others to say, and he said it with the utmost solemnity, that as far as his own knowledge extended, and as far as his means which were derived from personal and confidential communications enabled him to judge, there had not been since the year 18li, the slightest indication on the part of any of the allied powers, of a wish for territorial aggrandizement.

Now, if he could declare that this opinion was founded upon his knowledge of the allied powers, the next question for the House to consider was, whether there 'was any thing in their conduct towards Naples which showed that they had departed from their former principles? From information which had been transmitted to him by persons residing on the continent, as well as from confidential communications which he had received from the cabinets of the allied powers, he was fully of opinion that they were sincere in the application of those principles to Italy. That, however, was a point which fortunately for Europe, could be ascertained by better criteria than personal assertions, or cabinet communications. It was one of the virtues of that alliance so vehemently decried by the hon. gentleman opposite, that it was hardly possible for the human mind to conceive any system of territorial aggrandizement which did not find in it a counteraction to its own impurity. With regard to Italy in. particular, any man who knew any thing of the rudiments of the balance of power must see that Austria could not, if she acted consistently with her own safety and policy, take any steps toward a permanent occupation of Naples by a military force. If Austria wished to obtain territorial aggrandizement at the expense of Naples, she was certain to meet with immediate opposition, both from Russia and France, not to say any thing of Sardinia, and the countries in the north of Italy, through which her forces were now allowed to march by special permission. The grant- ing of that permission proved most indisputably that Austria, in marching to Naples, was not even suspected of aiming at territorial aggrandizement. The real object for which she was moving her forces in that direction was of a very different nature, and one which, he should explain in another part of his speech. At present he should content himself with remarking, that it. was most improper to compare the expedition against Naples with that which had been sent some years ago against Poland; and the hon. and learned gentleman, in making the comparison, must have been aware that the cases were most dissimilar in point of fact, and did not bear the slightest analogy the one to the other.

With regard to the difference of principle which existed between the allied powers and the English government, he must take the liberty of observing, that the paper to which the English government had replied was by no means the final paper of the allied sovereigns on that important and difficult question, how far the interference of one government in the regulation of the internal administration of another is or is not a justifiable measure. That paper was a confidential document addressed to the different courts of Europe, informing them of the discussions that were then carried on at Troppau, but was not a document stating the manner in which those discussions had terminated. Indeed, it was a notorious fact, that the minister of England and the minister of France took no share whatsoever in them. The minister of England was indeed there, to notice any territorial aggrandizement, if any thing of that kind had been contemplated; but he was not there to commit his government by any acts or opinions of his own. The House would therefore see that it would be doing an act of injustice to the allied powers, if it assumed as fact, that the principles contained in that paper were published by them after a calm and deliberate consideration of their tendency. The English government, however, would have abandoned a duty which it owed to itself, to the country, and to the world, if it had not, when those principles were submitted to its notice, explicitly declared its dissent from them. The House would also be doing as gross an act of injustice towards ministers, if it did not give them credit for being sincere in that declaration, as it would be doing to the allied sovereigns in assuming that the paper which had caused that declaration was the final manifesto of their intentions. The allied powers had sent to the British government in order to obtain their acquiescence in it. The British government replied, that they could not acquiesce in the doctrines which it contained. If under such circumstances the allied powers had made answer, "You have pledged yourselves to the same principles that we have, and we call upon you to redeem that pledge," then the House might have some reason to doubt the sincerity of ministers, and might be justified in entering into a full examination of their conduct. But, when no such call had been made by the allied powers—when a direct negative had been given to the principles contained in their state-paper, recognised though they were, according to their statement, by the treaty of Paris in the first instance, and the treaties at Aix la Chapelle in the second, he did conceive that the House would feel it to be its duty not to accelerate the inquiry proposed, nor to neglect the other interests of the country, for the mere purpose of gratifying the hon. and learned gentleman. Whatever that hon. and learned gentleman might do, he was sure that the courts of the three sovereigns would do full justice to the British government, and would not at any rate impute to it a want of explicitness.

The noble lord then proceeded to observe, that he certainly was of opinion, that if the principle were once admitted that one government had a right to interfere in the domestic economy of another, whenever a revolution was effected displeasing to it, the principle must apply to this country as well as to any other; and as he could not admit the right of any foreign country to interfere with the administration of this country, or to express its satisfaction or dissatisfaction at any of its internal changes or arrangements; and as, in addition to that, he could not for one moment contemplate the possibility of any foreign potentate claiming a right to land his troops in this country without the permission of parliament, he apprehended that the principle asserted in the paper of the allied sovereigns was carried further than was consistent with prudence and sound policy. The British government had therefore been driven to lay down a general principle upon this point, but not without an exception. The hon. and learned gentleman had not attacked that exception; on the contrary, he had treated it with more fairness than it had met with in another place, and had founded upon other grounds his bill of indictment against his (lord C's.) colleagues on the continent. And here he begged leave to assure the hon. and learned gentleman that he did not think that he would be able to disturb the harmony which existed among them, notwithstanding the efforts which he had that night made for that purpose. Indeed, he could not help suspecting' that the hon. and learned gentleman had rather been more civil than he had originally intended to the English circular, in order that he might show more distinctly how much it differed from prince Metternich's manifesto. But, be that as it might, he must still maintain, that all states had a right to deliver their opinion, provided they delivered it with temper, upon any events that were passing in the world. There was, however, a very material difference in the manner of delivering such opinions; for it was one thing for a statesman to deliver it formally, either in his place in parliament, or in the course of his diplomatic functions, and quite another thing for him to deliver it as a remonstrance and representation between state and state. It was a new doctrine, and one that he was unaccustomed to hear from gentlemen on that side of the House, that we were to remonstrate with every government guilty of an act of injustice; that we were to rush forward as a divinity to cut the Gordian knot, whenever any act of seeming oppression was in contemplation. Surely, the hon. gentlemen were not now going to contend, that, when we chose to exert ourselves, we could come forward with such talismanic effect as would compel all the great military powers of the continent to bow before us. If we wished to live in peace, there was not a truth more obvious than that this country ought to think twice before it took any steps to commit itself. He was not one who thought meanly either of the resources, of the country, or of the influence which it possessed when it thought proper to exert it. But if we did speak, we ought to speak with effect; and he should deem it most pusillanimous conduct on our part, if, after interfering in a question of this nature, we limited our interference to the mere delivery of a scroll of paper, and did not follow it up with some more effectual measures. Were we to turn itinerant preachers of morality to the other nations of Europe, and to follow up the doctrines which we preached by nothing else but what was contained in our state papers? Nothing would compromise the safety of the nation, and the great name which it had acquired in foreign countries, so much as such a measure. The hon. and learned gentleman might smile at this assertion, but he must he aware that all the declamations which he had now for some years been in the habit of making against the late peace, had not shaken our character in the eyes of the nations of the continent; and that in spite of all the declamations which he might hereafter make on the same subject, we should still continue to enjoy the same high character, if we persevered during peace in the same career that we had so gloriously pursued during a time of war.

Considering, therefore, the relative situation of England and of Naples at the present juncture, he must say, that even if he had felt, which he did not, that Austria had been committing an act of unjust aggression upon Naples, he should not have stated that feeling in a remonstrance or state paper; because he should have deemed it necessary to follow that measure up by others of a harsher nature. The language which he had held to Naples was precisely the same as that which he had held to Austria. He had explained the same principles to count Ludolph as he had to the court of Austria. He had not, indeed, gone out of his way to write a declaration of them to the government of Naples, but he had not concealed them from its agents here. For though the British government had refused to receive the prince Cimitelli in his public capacity as minister of Naples, he (lord C.) had not refused to show those attentions, and to make those communications to that individual, in his private capacity which his high rank no less than the respectability of his personal character so justly demanded. He had never concealed from prince Cimitelli the wish of the British government to know more of the circumstances of the revolution at Naples before it fixed upon it the formal seal of its sanction. If the hon. and learned gentleman supposed that this declaration had been productive of umbrage between the English and Neapolitan governments, he laboured under considerable mistake. The Neapolitan go- vernment would have been very glad to have had its new minister received; but the refusal to receive him had not caused any interruption of friendship between the two states; on the contrary, count Ludolph, who had resigned his papers, was requested to re-assume them, and the diplomatic relations of the two countries remained on the same footing that they were before the revolution.

The noble lord then shortly recapitulated some of his former arguments. He had distinctly told the House, that looking from the first upon this transaction as one that involved great interests, it had appeared to him that it did not require us to wait the decision of another country. We did intimate in the first instance to Austria, because she was the party most interested in the transaction, that whatever influence the Neapolitan revolution might have upon her position, upon ours it had no bearing that would justify us in interfering to counteract it. We admitted that the situation of Austria was very different from the situation of England, but we did not decide that, because we had not a right to interfere, Austria had a right, and ought to interfere. The question with regard to Austria divided itself into one of right, and one of expediency: for the difficulty of it did not consist so much in the means to be employed for the occupation of Naples, as in the manner in which the elements of government were to be compounded after its occupations, so as to secure its future' independence. For honourable members were not to suppose that it was in contemplation to quarter an Austrian garrison for a perpetuity in Naples. Far from it: those who did so, laboured under very erroneous impressions, and did great injustice to the allied sovereigns, who were acting in this transaction, under the most painful circumstances, for the general benefit of mankind. He was ready to admit that great difficulty would arise after the occupation of Naples with regard to the manner in which it was hereafter to be governed; and that being his view of the case, nothing could be more impolitic in a British minister than to involve himself and his country in it. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Austria had a right to go to war, still he had never given her any intimation that he wished that she should go to war. On the contrary, he had always held out to the allied sovereigns, that Great Britain was not at all interested in the transaction, and had so far separated herself from it as to be no party to it whatsoever.

The noble lord then observed, that the hon. and learned gentleman seemed to him to have argued the whole question upon an unjust and unfounded prejudice; he had not argued it upon general grounds of policy or expediency, but had endeavoured to raise a horror in that House, and a detestation throughout the country, against the late government of Naples, by representing it of a nature so horrible, that the people, in self-defence, were obliged to destroy it; and by thence deducing, as a conclusion, that the destruction of it could not be formidable to the Austrians. As far as his information went, this was an unjust, unfounded, and cruel misrepresentation of the fact. Without meaning any offence to the sovereign who now sat upon the throne of Spain, he must say, that there was a wide difference between the circumstances which had led to the Spanish and those which had led to the Neapolitan revolution. For the Spanish revolution there were several plausible grounds. The Spaniards had formerly been in possession of a free constitution, and by their exertions during the late war, had again shown themselves worthy to enjoy it. They had obtained one by their blood and treasure, and Ferdinand had just promised to maintain it; and then, after destroying it, he held out hopes to the nation that be would give them another. This he had failed to do. The army, that was instrumental in Spain to the revolution, was extremely ill paid, was discontented, and, for some time previous to it, had been in a state of open mutiny. The case in Naples was very different. As far as he was acquainted with that country, it enjoyed the blessings of a free country, though it was not in the possession of a representative government. He deprecated, however, the doctrine, that the subjects of governments which did not possess a representative system were justified in throwing off their allegiance and resorting to arms in order to obtain one. Such an attempt to force the liberties of mankind was the very last method of which he should advise the adoption. A representative form of government, founded on the model of the British constitution, had been introduced into Sicily under the auspices of lord W. Bentinck, but had not been productive of the ad- vantages which had been anticipated. In short, it had entirely failed, and therefore it was too much to say, that a representative government was sure to put a stop to all the fraud, artifice, and oppression of a despotic power. But, even if it were likely to be attended with such beneficial results, he must look upon the introduction of it by an armed force as most injurious. To hold any other doctrine was to patronise principles calculated to loosen all the connexions of society, and to destroy all the security of social existence.

He must condemn as untrue and unjust every representation that the government lately overthrown at Naples was arbitrary and tyrannical. In support of this assertion, he asked permission to read extracts from some letters which he had received, not as official documents, or as public instruments of authority, but as opinions much better expressed than he could express them himself, and upon which the impressions on his mind were founded. The first letter which he should read to the House was dated in the March of last year, the revolution having taken place in the July following, and he would venture to say, that if any man had at that time asked any of the intelligent travellers then residing at Naples, what country in Europe they thought to be the least likely to admit a revolution, they would have replied, the kingdom of Naples. The letter was dated on the 31st of March, and the writer in speaking of those individuals who were looking with anxiety to the establishment of a representative government, used the following language:—"The more moderate men of this party admit the general prosperity of the country, and the liberality of the views of those by whom it is governed, and admit that there is a degree of liberty greater than any ever remembered here before. The existing government had done a great deal for the benefit of the nation. The privileges granted to the communes of fixing among themselves their quota of taxes, the annual departmental assemblies for the purpose of remonstrating against grievances, and pointing out such measures as were necessary to the good of the state"—the abolition of the feudal system and all its concomitant abuses—the rendering of all men equal in the eye of the law, the establishment of a new code, and the reformation of the tribunals—all these were considered as the first steps to liberal opinions, and as the foundation on which something better might be built when the nation had become prepared for the benefits of a free constitution." He would next read an extract from another letter dated 5th of July, just three days after the revolution had been effected—not a shadow of blame has been thrown upon the existing government by the proclamation of general Pepe: a diminution of half the duty on salt is the only benefit held out to the people. So mild and paternal a government was never before known in these kingdoms; with less security and more distrust the result would have been very different. An excess of liberality had, however, led to the same end in Naples as an excess of severity had elsewhere. The revolution was owing to the union between the troops and the Carbonari. The Carbonari was a sect which owed its origin to the late government, and was encouraged at its outset as a means of sapping and undermining the colossal power of France."

With regard to a proclamation which was said to have been issued by the king of Naples, he declared it to be a false document. He ought, in justice to say that from all he had heard of his character, he did not believe there was any sovereign more anxious to do justice to the sentiments which reigned in the breasts of his people. Much had been said of the arrangements made by the ministers upon the cession of Sicily to the king of Naples, at the peace. Now, these arrangements had been greatly misunderstood. They were, indeed, simply these:—the king of Naples was informed, that so long as England had stood in the situation of protector of Sicily, so long had she been compelled to mix herself up with the administration of its internal affairs, but that the moment the peace had enabled her to withdraw her armies from Sicily, from that moment she must be considered as withdrawing also her counsels. That declaration was, however, qualified by two conditions: the first was, that after the long period during which the English had occupied Sicily, they were entitled to feel such an interest in its situation as to require that the people would not be placed in a less favourable situation for the enjoyment of their liberties than they were placed in at the time when England took them under her protection: the other condition was, that no individual who had acted in aid of the British authorities should be exposed to any persecution or disfavour for their past acts. With these declarations and qualifications, the English resigned the government of Sicily; and he must say, injustice to the king of Naples, that, from 1816 up to the present period, he never heard a complaint from a single Sicilian against the government of that sovereign. That monarch had shown, so far as he was concerned, the most liberal anxiety to promote the good of his people; and had done nothing which could justify a desire to have his government put down by force and by a sudden and violent act of an armed body.

He would now come to that part of the hon. and learned gentleman's speech which comprehended the late transactions at Naples; and upon these he must again say it was Austria, and not England, which was passing judgment, and, therefore, when these events were to be considered as involving a part of European policy, it should be recollected that it was not what a British, but what an Austrian minister might think of them that they ought to consider. Before he, therefore, was called upon to stand forth as a mediator for Naples with the other powers of Europe, he was bound to consider what answer he could give to the statement of an Austrian minister. It was in vain for the hon. and learned gentleman to make Italy the theme of his eloquence. He was not loose upon that question; he should recollect that existing treaties, sanctioned by parliament, were in force for the regulation of the states of Italy as they stood, and not as the hon. and learned gentleman seemed to think they ought to stand. The hon. gentlemen opposite would in their pathetic declamations, represent his majesty's ministers as concurring with the allied sovereigns in putting down the free and independent republics of Italy; they would represent the government as subverting the free states of that fine country, forgetting, during all these speeches, that England found Italy not in possesion of those free republics, but without them. It was most singular that the hon. gentlemen should have been silent at the actual time when the French overran and annihilated these very states. When the French put down Venice and Genoa, not a voice was raised in behalf of these republics by the gentlemen opposite. All their anxiety was then to sue for peace with the great Napoleon, the grand subverter of the independence of free states. Not a word was uttered at that period; but all the efforts of the gentlemen opposite were directed to one point—that of unnerving the efforts of government, and compelling a peace with Buonaparté. Now their whole efforts were, to excite a complaint against congress, because it did not at once put down the government which Buonapartè had raised in Italy, amid their silent approbation. Reverting to what might be the answer of the Austrian minister to the interposition of England on the present occasion, it would be difficult to explain away the just apprehension which the acts of the Carbonari were calculated to excite. The hon. and learned gentlemen asked, what proof was there of this danger from the power of the Carbonari? He thought he could give satisfactory proof of the existence of that danger. The Carbonari were a sect, whose operations were not confined to Naples, but extended to other parts of Europe. The cause of revolution was not with them local; it was the cause of Europe. They dictated to the prince regent of Naples, as well as to the parliament. They controlled both. It was idle to say that they only required a free constitution for Naples: their aim was not Naples, but the consolidation of all Italy, under some form of government which they had not yet modelled. And was not a conspiracy having such an object in view, hatched within the territory of Austria, and acting with others in concert out of it, a ground of apprehension against which an Austrian minister might feel himself justly called upon to interfere? It was in vain, then, to urge that England should interpose to prevent Austria from guarding herself against the machinations of the Carbonari, whose designs were evidently calculated to the overthrow of the existing frame of government in Italy. The hon. and learned gentleman might declaim in fine language about the principles of liberty which England ought to cultivate in Naples, and might endeavour to reconcile the ears of his audience to such a tone of declamation; but the people of England would see through the delusion. Reverting again to these Carbonari—their strength amounted to hundreds of thousands; and he knew positively, that at the moment when the late events were going on in Naples, a simultaneous plan was matured at the other extremity, namely, in the north of Italy, at Bologna. Yet this was the sect into whose hands the consolidation of Italy was to be intrusted, and who were to rule over it in future as they now did over the parliament at Naples. Under such circumstances, he trusted England would not be called upon to interfere. Austria was engaged in her present course under the jealous supervision of the other powers whose interest it especially was that she should not aggrandize herself by any proceeding now pending, but simply guard herself against the intrigues of the sect to which he had alluded. The revolution against which Austria had now armed, had been brought about by fraud and secrecy, upon an organized plan between the military and the Carbonari, got up in the style of the worst period of the French Revolution. It was so completely managed by these means that it succeeded, although its commencement was by the act of 150 dragoons, three lieutenants of police and one priest. He could not consent with the hon. and learned gentleman to make such acts the subject of his unqualified admiration; for he thought no nation could conduct its affairs with advantage to itself or tranquillity to its neighbours, if its sovereign was to be surprised by a coup de main into any act prepared in this manner. It was ridiculous to talk of the time of deliberation afforded the king of Naples by this sect to frame a constitution. That monarch in his declaration, bearing date the 2nd of July, promised to give the people a constitution within eight days:—a time surely not too long for preparing such an act: but the very next day his palace was attacked by a mob, who insisted upon an immediate proclamation of a constitution. The sovereign thus attacked, and allowed not a moment for deliberation, was advised by his council to tender the Spanish constitution—not one line of which had ever been read by any member of that council, by whom it was now, in the emergency of the moment, recommended as a model for the king of Naples to adopt. Surely, under such circumstances, the British government were not much to blame if, they hesitated to recognize an authority thus violently imposed upon a sovereign prince! The people of England would not be deterred by the false glare of the hon. and learned gentleman's eloquence, from countenancing their government in the pursuit of a line of constitutional conduct instead of one pointed out by the new-fangled doctrines propounded by the Carbonari. The people would see through the delusion. They knew that all was not gold that glittered; and that a constitution was not free, because its advocates built it upon the ruins of an established government. They would feel that it was not because it grew out of confusion, which was the greatest of all tyrannies, that therefore it should immediately be cried up as a paragon of constitutional excellence.

The noble lord then proceeded to comment upon the manner in which the new authorities of Naples had treated the people of Sicily. If the people of Naples were free to choose their own form of government, the gentlemen opposite would hardly deny that the Sicilians were en-entitled to the same privilege. Now, what was the conduct of the Neapolitan Carbonari to the people of Sicily? After a great effusion of blood, deputies were sent from Sicily to Naples, and conditions agreed upon and mutually ratified. The principal terms were, that both countries should be governed by the same king, but that each should have the formation of its own representation in parliament. Yet, after Sicily had capitulated upon these terms with this model of an excellent government at Naples, the latter broke the treaty, disarmed the people, and garrisoned their towns. He concluded by repeating, that England had as yet taken no part in these proceedings, and he trusted that ministers would not now be called upon to take any part in them after what he had said respecting Austria. If she were called on, she must be prepared to enforce her remonstrance; and he trusted that this was not a situation in which it would be advisable to place his majesty's ministers at this crisis. At all times he should be ready to afford every explanation respecting the part which his majesty's government had taken in the affairs of the continent.

Sir Robert Wilson

said, that the noble lord had not in his long harangue shown himself to be any great economist of time at least, for he had entered largely into topics quite extraneous from the present debate. He should not follow the noble lord into these wanderings, but he must remove one great misapprehension into which he appeared to have fallen. The noble lord had directed it against his hon. and learned friend as a matter of reproach, that he was struggling to hasten this country into a war with Austria, and to blame his majesty's ministers for not rushing into the arms of the Carbonari. His hon. and learned friend had been urging no such thing, but quite the contrary, for his whole argument went to recommend a line of policy which, by the interposition of ministers in a firm but amicable manner, would, in all probability, prevent the ultimate recurrence of a war under circumstances of great disadvantage to the country. In commenting upon certain parts of the noble lord's speech, he must observe that he was not much predisposed to attend to the sincerity of the declarations of negotiators, as drawn from their documents and explained by themselves; and he would relate an anecdote in justification of his jealousy. In Paris, in 1814, he had conversed with a Russian minister and general of considerable eminence. That minister then told him, that a treaty had been just signed, in which the noble lord opposite had stipulated with the allies for the occupation of France by foreign and British troops for a term of years, and also for the determined maintenance of the Bourbon dynasty. He (sir R. Wilson) having reason to know the avowed sentiments of some of the ministers, not to dictate any government to France, against the will of the people, and not being then so well acquainted with the placid disposition of that House towards the treaties brought down to it by his majesty's ministers, at once affirmed that England could be no party to, or guarantee of such a treaty, for that the principle it asserted could never be recognized by ministers who would have to submit it to a British parliament. The Russian minister at once replied that the principle had been at once admitted by the noble lord opposite; there never had been any difficulty about that; the only deliberation had been as to the wording of it for the ear of parliament. If the policy of the British ministers in their recent communications with foreign powers was honest, why insert such a passage as this in the letter of instructions to the British ministers abroad? Why declare, if they intended to be so neutral, that "they fully admitted, that other European states, and especially Austria and the Italian pow- ers, might feel themselves differently circumstanced," and profess that it was "not their purpose to prejudge the question, as it might affect them, or to interfere with the course which such states might think fit to adopt, with a view to their own security," and then go on to say, "it should be clearly understood that no government can be more prepared than the British government is, to uphold the right of any state or states to interfere, when their own immediate security or essential interests call for it;" and again, "you will take care, however, in making such communication, to justice in the name of your government to the purity of intention which has, no doubt, actuated these august courts in the adoption of the course of measures which they are pursuing.'' Was that the language of ministers who sought to restrain the power of Austria from crushing the infant liberties of Naples? On the subject of the constitution, which was called for by the people of Naples, he had only to say that the necessity of it had been long admitted. How, then, could the government of Naples have been taken by surprise? He had himself been told by the present king of Naples, when that monarch was excluded from his dominions, that the moment he became repossessed of them, he would give his people the constitution they desired. The late king of Naples, Murat, had also told him that he saw a constitution could no longer be withheld from the people, and added his anxiety to give them a constitutional government; but foreseeing that by so doing he must fall into the disfavour of either Austria or France, just as their respective interests preponderated in Italy, he earnestly inquired whether he could reckon upon having the support of England in maintaining a constitutional government. That unhappy king foresaw the danger of his attempt, if he could not rely upon England for support; he foresaw, and to him (sir R. Wilson) had often expressed it, that the time might come when he should have to defend by the sword what that sword had won. And he also, with a prophetic truth, declared his belief of the near connexion between his deposition from the throne of Naples and his grave. When he alluded to that sad catastrophe, he had to ask a question of the noble lord opposite relative to the circumstances attending the last act of the tragedy in which king Murat was the victim, and the answer to which, he ear nestly hoped, would remove one imputation from the character of this country. He had heard it reported, that after he landed in Calabria, a British accredited agent had assisted at the council which determined that he should be tried before a military commission and suffer the sentence, that British agent not only not protesting against, but sanctioning the proceeding. He wished to know whether this was the fact.

Lord Castlereagh

assured the gallant general, that he had never heard a word about such a circumstance before.

Sir R. Wilson

begged to assure the noble lord that he rejoiced at this removal of such an imputation from the character of the country: he had felt it his duty to inquire respecting it thus publicly, because it had been communicated to him as a fact from very high authority, and because he was anxious, if it could be contradicted, that that contradiction should be most complete. The operations of the Carbonari were said to be secret: that was not extraordinary when they knew the powerful opponents with whom they had to combat. They were said to be numerous, and to amount to hundreds of thousands:—so they ought, if their object was the assertion of their liberties; and their numbers would soon, he trusted, become millions, if liberty were to be assailed by despotism. The gallant member then took a rapid review of the acts which at different periods of their respective reigns had marked the career of the allied sovereigns, and rendered their present indignation at a military revolution, effected suddenly and secretly, most extraordinary. The present emperor of Russia had ascended the throne by the means of a secret military revolution; and yet no complaint was made of his accession under such circumstances. Had not another of these sovereigns promoted the defection of general Yorck from his allegiance? And did not Austria induce the Saxon army to desert the colours of their sovereign in the battle of Leipsic? It was singular that these sovereigns, who had all in their turn promoted disaffection, should now threaten to decimate troops who only followed their example. But how did the present conduct of these allies accord with what they had done at Vienna, when, en the 12th of May, 1815, the ministers of the allied powers drew up a declaration, which they published to Europe, stating, "that the governments they represented knew too well the principles which should guide them in, their relations with an independent country, to attempt any imposition of laws upon it, to meddle with its internal affairs, to assign to it any form of government, or to give rulers in compliance with the interests or passions of its neighbours." His own opinion upon the transactions of Naples was, that the Neapolitans must ultimately succeed: they had with them in their struggle the cordial feelings of the generous and the brave, who loved freedom in every part of the earth; and they had at the outset three advantages; 1st, the occupation of Naples; 2ndly, the dislodgement of the strongest of their enemies; and 3dly, the possession of Sicily. That they had every thing to struggle for they must feel; and that they would struggle for their liberties he was satisfied. As a friend of freedom, he rejoiced at the struggle of the Neapolitans, and could not but anticipate from it eventual success, provided the people were determined to persevere.

Mr. Wilberforce

observed, that whether the constitution now established at Naples, in the way stated by his noble friend, was or was not likely to prove a good one, was not the question for consideration. His noble friend in his state paper had very properly divided the subject into two parts. The first, containing certain general principles; and the second, referring to the application of those principles. His noble friend had confined his argument to the latter subject; but the first part bore on his mind as being infinitely more important. That the three greatest military powers of Europe should assume to themselves the right of saying to other states—"You shall form no constitution, except that which we please to sanction," was a principle hostile to every idea of liberty. He could scarcely conceive any principle in itself so unjust or so abominable. His noble friend had distinctly set forth, in the state paper which had been laid on the table, that this principle was not only contrary to the constitution of the country, but to the general laws of nations; but still he felt indebted to his hon. and learned friend for bringing this question under consideration, in order that the principle to which he had adverted might receive the utter reprobation of the House. His noble friend would allow him to state, that it might be supposed, when those foreign powers made such a proposition to this court as was contained in their declaration, that they looked upon it as a principle which we were willing to adopt. It was sufficient to create jealousy in the mind of every man, when it was stated that the courts of London and Paris were likely to agree in the principle, and to tolerate the acts that would probably flow from it. What the hon. general had said, as well as what they knew of the state of Europe, might lead them to suppose that Europe would be a scene of trouble for some time to come. They knew that some monarchs, who, in their time of distress and danger, had held out to their subjects the expectation of a free constitution, had not effected that object. Now, when such a principle as this was publicly stated to their people—when it was said that no constitution should exist but that which they sanctioned, was it not likely that those people would begin to take the alarm, and feel their high spirits excited to action, by the exertions of individuals in other countries to obtain their liberties? This undoubtedly might be the case and war being once commenced, they all knew how easy it was to continue it. In such a state of things, it became the more necessary to object to such a principle, because the public acts of monarchs so powerful were in the highest degree important, and the promulgation by them of such a doctrine was calculated to fill with terror the mind of every man who cherished the love of national liberty. Let the House look to the fate of Poland. When the revolution took place in that country, it was eulogised as an event which Heaven itself might stoop down to admire. But Poland was afterwards conquered and partitioned; and he drew the attention of the House to the circumstance, in order to guard against a position which his noble friend, throughout his speech, had insisted on. His noble friend had argued, that it was not likely that the other powers would allow any one of their number to aggrandize itself. But gentlemen well knew that each monarch had a way of taking a slice. Each might receive a share; and thus the ruin of any country, as was the case with Poland, might be effected. He would say, that the liberties of England were not safe if such a doctrine were admitted. Neither could true morality nor true religion flourish, where the people were not allowed, in the strongest manner, to express their dissent from it. His noble friend had spoken of the manner in which the Neapolitan revolution had been effected, in terms of strong reprobation; but he had admitted that there was nothing in the case that called for our interference. This country had been so long in the school of suffering, her efforts had been so tremendous, that nothing ought to induce her again to plunge in war, except the most essential and indispensable necessity. His noble friend, in speaking of the conduct of those foreign powers, had expressed himself in a more guarded manner than accorded with his (Mr. W's) feelings on the subject. Now, though he was extremely jealous of continental alliances, yet he would be acting most ungratefully and unfairly, if he forgot the benefits which England had derived from the union with those powers; and he thought, that in this country they did not sufficiently remember the signal deliverance which they had experienced by their connexion with the allies in the late war, crowned by the victory of Waterloo, to which they owed the destruction of the great enemy of this country who had brought into action the most powerful engines for its subjugation. Recollecting these circumstances it was of course becoming in his noble friend to speak with more delicacy and with greater diplomatic civility of the conduct of those monarchs than could be expected of a member of parliament standing up in his place. He would only say further, that the welfare of this country depended not merely on looking with a watchful eye on the proceedings of foreign powers, as they affected each other, but on cultivating the blessings which Povidence had placed within our reach. By economy, by retrenchment of expense, by an application of relief to the people, in every way that could be conceived, this country would again become great and happy.

Mr. Stuart Wortley

said, it appeared to him, after the explanation given by the noble lord, that there remained no room for jealousy on this subject. When the noble lord stated that he had, before the 19th of January, expressed the same opinion which he now held, he conceived that declaration rendered the motion unnecessary. If it had not been made, it would, he thought, have afforded a good ground for dividing the House. His great reason for rising was, to lay before the House his protest against the doctrines contained in the paper to which the hon. and learned gentleman had alluded. If such a tribunal of monarchs was suffered to exist in Europe, then he would say, not only that Europe was not safe, but that the British constitution was not safe. He saw, in such a tribunal, danger without end—not only danger to others, but to the throne of this country. With respect to Austria marching against Naples, a case might, perhaps, be made out to justify her aggression; but with respect to the conduct of the allied monarchs, in summoning before them the monarch of a free country, because he gave to his people a constitution which that people were desirous of having, it was an act of tyranny against which, as a member of the British parliament, he must raise his voice.

Colonel Davies

defended the Neapolitans against the charge of endeavouring to draw the subjects of other states from their allegiance. The inhabitants of Ponte Corvo sent deputies, at the commencement of the revolution, with a desire to become parties, but the Neapolitans, so far from taking an advantage of that disposition, actually reconciled them to the Pope, and induced them to return to their allegiance.

Mr. Tierney

thought that the noble lord had granted too much or too little. If the circular of our government had not been on the journals—if the notice of it had occurred incidentally—he would then have agreed that a division was the thing most to be avoided. But he could not see how it was possible for the House, having a paper before it which was attacked on one side and defended on the other, could give any opinion on that paper, without further information. The House of Commons would present an extraordinary appearance abroad, if they were to be checked, not in taking any step, but in calling for information. He considered the paper which had given rise to this discussion as the most important that had been laid before parliament for many years; and coupling it with the speech of the noble lord, he viewed it with great anxiety. The noble lord had stated, that he had sent to the great powers on the continent such remonstrances, from time to time, as must convince them of the sincerity of his majesty's ministers in their determination to take a neutral course. Now, he meant nothing uncivil to the noble lord, but he certainly should be glad to see the re- monstrances themselves; because the statement of the noble lord convinced his mind that in his speech of neutrality there was not over much of sincerity. It appeared extraordinary to him, that in the situation in which this country stood with respect to foreign powers, the dignified attitude she took on this occasion was that of strict neutrality. [Hear, hear!] The noble lord declared—"I, the English minister, cannot do any thing; but I state to you, prince Metternich, that I wish you to do something. I cannot act, because there are persons here who, for some reason or other, are averse to it. But, if I were you, I would raise an army against these Carbonari, and proceed to attack them." And this, he was sure, must have been the impression made on the mind of prince Metternich. The noble lord had taken the greatest pains to convince the House that his sentiments were decidedly hostile to the Neapolitans, their army, and the Carbonari; but he felt that he could not concur with those royal personages at the congress, without adopting their principles, which were utterly reprobated. Nothing gave him (Mr. T.) greater pleasure than the two speeches which had that night been delivered by his hon. friend behind him, and his hon. friend opposite (Messrs. Wilberforce and Wortley), which contained many honest English sentiments. He was happy, when sovereigns raised themselves into such a congress, to find gentlemen not connected with his side of the House, ready to avow such honourably indignant feelings and sentiments. The noble lord, on all occasions, spoke of the blessings of the peace that had been conferred on this country. By the treaty of Vienna, the situation of the whole of the powers of Europe was settled; of which this country formed one, France another, and there were three others. Now, if he understood the noble lord rightly, he stated that those three powers informed the other two, that they were about to do something of great importance, and then a congress was formed, to see how it could be best done, or how best avoided. He further stated, that the ministers of France and of England went to this congress, without powers to enable them to prevent or to accelerate the performance of this act. It appeared, that they had only a seat in the gallery to be spectators of what passed below; and the moment it was settled that the army should march, "strangers were ordered to withdraw." [A laugh.] Was that the dignified attitude of Great Britain? The noble lord said that his object was, to prevent war; and he had expressed his astonishment at the change which had taken place in the sentiments of those who wished him to take a course that would have led to war. His (Mr. T's.) opinions were not at all changed. Nothing he dreaded more than war. He would not enter into a discussion on the finances of this country, with reference to their unfitness for a state of war; he would only generally say, that, almost under any circumstances we should endeavour to preserve peace. But peace was not peace, without honour; peace was not peace, if purchased by the degradation of England; peace was not peace, if we did not hold the commanding station we ought to hold, should it be necessary to go to war. If this motion were refused, they would be placed in a most extraordinary situation. A paper was laid on their table, referring to another, containing sentiments which every man must abhor, and yet they were told, that this was not a case which called for further information! The noble lord said, that the treaty of Troppau could not be considered as containing the definitive sentiments of those powers, because it was a mere private communication, and he went on to state, that the allied monarchs felt the strongest desire to preserve peace, and did not seek aggrandizement. But why should he not believe that private and confidential communication, as well as he believed the note of the noble lord? For his own part he believed that paper, which had been styled a confidential communication, to set forth the real views entertained by those three powers, and by their ministers. The noble lord said, be would not interrupt the harmony that subsisted between him and those powers. He believed the noble lord; because he believed there was not only a congress, but a cabinet of sovereigns for Europe; and, no doubt, they agreed very well. Indeed, he had been told, when some fears were entertained of a change in the administration of this country, that a remonstrance was made by a foreign court on the subject. [Lord Castlereagh inquired, where it was to be found?] The noble lord knew very well that he (Mr. T.) could not produce it; but he also knew that there was a mode of stating opinions on matters of that kind, which put it out of his power, and perhaps out of the power of the noble lord, to get at the document. There was, he believed, great fear at the time that the noble lord would not remain in office. Of course, the best efforts were made to keep him in; and the least he could now do for that assistance was, to give prince Metternich a turn. Under these circumstances, his firm conviction was, that the noble lord approved in his heart of the conduct of Austria.

Mr. Robinson

said, the right hon. gentleman had misrepresented the views of his noblefriend. His noble friend had presented a paper to the House; and any one would suppose from the argument of the right hon. gentleman, that the paper was laid on the table to justify the measures of the allied powers. The fact was, the paper was produced to convince the House, that whatever might be the course of proceeding adopted by the allies, this country was no party to the transaction. Then the right hon. gentleman said, the House ought to be put in possession of all communications. In the paper before the House there was allusion to the communication which the right hon. gentleman appeared to consider so mysterious. Unless the right hon. gentleman could show some good ground for bringing the communications to the test, it was too much to call upon the House to say that the true course had not been taken by his majesty's government. No opportunity had been omitted of stating the view which government took; and with respect to that view, he would say, that government would not have clone their duty if they had omitted to state it. The right hon. gentleman had alluded to some stories of prince Metternich having expressed a desire that the present ministers should remain in office. This was quite new to him. But he had heard a story relative to the sentiments which gentlemen of high consideration in this country entertained with respect to a celebrated individual, now in a remote quarter of the globe. And certainly it could not be surprising that prince Metternich should feel considerable alarm at the prospect of a change of ministry, which was to release Buonaparté from the island of St. Helena.

Mr. Tierney

hoped that as there could be no doubt that he had been personally alluded to by the right hon. gentleman, the House would indulge him with an opportunity of offering a few remarks in ex- planation. He had no objection in the world that the person with whom he had held the conversation alluded to by the right hon. gentleman should be called to the bar of that House, and examined as to what passed on the occasion. It was true that a conversation had been held by him with a distinguished person; and he understood that on its being reported to the emperor of Russia, he had incurred the displeasure of his imperial majesty. That a conversation did take place he would not deny; but the story was, that he had stated in this conversation, that he and his friends were to come into office, and that they meant to bring Buonaparté to England. Now, if any gentlemen believed that he at once made two such statements to a person whom he had never seen before, they must have a very extraordinary notion of his gossiping propensities. He hoped the emperor Alexander would think more kindly of him in future, when he was assured that he had no intention whatever of letting Buonaparté loose upon him. He understood the emperor, on being informed that this was a joke, had said he had heard that Mr. Tierney was much addicted to the vice of joking, but that such a joke as this deserved to be punished by the government. He hoped the person who had circulated this story would be so good as to say in his next despatch that it was all a joke.

The Hon. J. W. Ward

thought that the decision of the House that night would depend much on the confidence reposed in his majesty's ministers. The gentlemen opposite, who professed to entertain no such confidence, might vote for the motion; but he could not see how those who retained confidence in the noble lord could support it. If the motion were carried, he should say that the noble lord was pronounced by the House unworthy to retain his office; and therefore he, for one, should vote against it. He agreed, however, with his hon. and learned friend who had introduced this subject with a display of eloquence which he would not presume to praise, that the late proceedings of the allied sovereigns formed a precedent as dangerous in its consequences, as it was unwarrantable in principle. The march of the Austrian army towards Naples, and the steps preceding that movement, he looked upon as the most alarming circumstances that had occurred in Europe for a long period of time. He did not deny that cases might arise to justify the interference of one state with the internal government of another; but in such cases, the most urgent necessity must exist; non-interference was the principle; interference, the exception. It was truly an awful phenomenon that Europe was at present called on to contemplate—a tribunal of sovereigns instituted for the avowed purpose of controlling the conduct of other states, and that not occasionally or on any particular emergency, but permanently and systematically. He appealed to all who now heard him, if this was not a novelty in the history of the world. If the tyranny of the Holy Alliance was thus to be planted over all Europe, the European nations had no reason to congratulate themselves on their escape from the French revolution or from Napoleon Buonaparté. Ages on ages might arise before there appeared another individual like that astonishing man, who in the pursuit of his ambitious and despotic views, exhausted all the resources of possibility. He was a man such as could be expected to arise only once in a century; but the sovereigns assembled at Troppau were productions of every day and every country; and, therefore, there was no hope of any end to their system of tyranny, The dominion of Napoleon had been attended with a certain splendor which invested it with dignity, and had prepared the way, as far as despotism could prepare the way, for a better order of things; but, this new system of despotism was all gloom and darkness. His hon. and learned friend had, with great justice, compared the principles of the Jacobins in 1792 with those of the sovereigns at Troppau. The French at that time attempted to proscribe monarchy, which we considered, and which he hoped would ever be considered, a valuable part of our constitution. But what were the allied sovereigns doing? They were endeavouring to proscribe liberty; which he trusted was a part not less dear to us. This was not the hasty act of revolutionary demagogues, but the stern and deliberate act of statesmen who had publicly proclaimed a crusade against the liberty of Europe, and whose purpose was as immutable as it had been deliberate. If this country was safe from the maxims of the Congress, it was safe only because it was strong. Let no man deceive himself on that point; for, from the avowed principles of the congress, it was clear that England must be to them an object of aversion and hatred. If they were endeavouring to trample on all freedom, with what eyes must they look on a constitution framed on those very principles which they had proscribed and which they were attempting to put down by violence! [Hear.] He could not but think that this system was a cause for rendering our connexion with these countries less intimate. Austria, it was well known, had reaped the victories of Marlborough in former times; and she would also reap the more recent victories which had been achieved by the blood and treasure of this country. She owed us at present sixteen millions sterling; and he was sure it could not be proposed to the people of England under existing circumstances, to assist her with even the smallest subsidy, or to shed one drop of blood in her cause.

Mr. Brougham

rejoiced to hear the testimony which had been borne by the hon. gentleman who had last spoken, by the hon. member for Yorkshire, and by the gentleman who had spoken from his side of the House; and he rejoiced the more at that testimony, because Europe would now perceive, and the congress at Laybach would perceive, that this was not a decision of the English House of Commons in their favour; that it was not even a delay of judgment against them; that it was not an opinion pronounced on the mighty question which now agitated Europe, and which he hoped would at last end in general liberty. He hoped that it would produce liberty, if possible, by peace: but, if that were not possible, then by war—a war which he hoped! not to see this country engage in, but a war imposed as a necessary duty upon those on whose liberties an attack was about to be made. He was not sanguine enough to expect that the first results of that war would be favourable to Naples. But let the immediate result be what it might, though at first defeated, the seed would be sown, the foundation would be laid for better exertions, and for eventual success. Though defeated in the south, they would break out in the north; and though they might even then be quelled, yet Germany itself was not insensible to the struggle. After the part which he had taken five years ago in a debate upon a question in some degree allied to the present, he could not possibly reconcile it to himself to give a silent vote on the present occasion. Once more he entreated, that no mistake might be made as to the vote of the House that evening on a subject of such importance. Whatever the majority against the motion might be, it would not be a decision in favour of the conduct of the Holy Alliance. If there was any man in the House willing and able to defend the congress of Laybach, and the principles upon which that congress acted, he hoped that that man would rise and enter upon their exculpation. If no defence were attempted, it would be evident what was the opinion of the House. He hoped the hon. member who spoke last had overstated the dislike in which we were held on the continent. He believed, that long after our subsidies had ceased, the people of the continent looked with no little interest to the deliberations of that House; and he would venture to express his wish that it might go forth to those countries, that there was not one man in the House of Commons who approved of the proceedings of the congress at Laybach.

Sir J. Mackintosh

rose to reply. After all that had been said, he felt satisfied that in making his motion for further information, he had given to the members of the House an opportunity of expressing in a mild and safe manner, their condemnation of the principles upon which the Holy Alliance had proceeded. The president of the board of trade had observed, that there was no use in asking for information, unless it were intended to be followed by a motion for censure. Were there, then, sufficient grounds, it had been asked, on a prima facie view, for censure? He would reply, that there might not be grounds for censure; but, at all events, there were sufficient grounds for inquiry. He would remind the House, that the papers of the allies alluded to in the course of the evening had two characters, one theoretical, the other practical. In the first view, a new code of the law of nations had been proposed. The noble lord had done every thing but approve of the attack upon Naples. He had said, that it might be justified in a case of necessity. But the question was not whether the allies had a good case on the ground of necessity. The true way of stating the case was, to say, that this was the natural consequence, the first overt act of the new code of the law of nations. The case of Naples, by an unavoidable inference, was of importance to every other nation in Europe. Under the present state of things, the whole importance of the question turned upon the justification which had been offered by the allies themselves. If they had alleged the ground of necessity, he did not know where a case might not have been made out justifying their interference. But that was not the ground upon which their own justification rested. He had been surprised to hear in the course of the evening a statement from a gallant friend, that the British government was suspected of having countenanced and assisted in bringing the late king of Naples to a military trial and a military execution. Whether the charge were true or not, it was of too serious a nature to be made a subject of merriment; more particularly, as the noble lord had not denied in but merely said that he had never heard of it.

Lord Castlereagh

said, that it was impossible for him to give a more direct denial to the statement of the hon. gentleman than that which he had given. He had never heard of the circumstance; and he therefore could not be expected to speak to a circumstance of which he had till now been ignorant.

The House divided: Ayes 125. Noes 194. Majority 69.

List of the Minority.
Allen, J. H. Clifton, lord
Althorp, visc. Colborne, N. W. R.
Anson, hon. Geo. Concannon, L.
Beaumont, T. W. Crespigny, sir W.
Barham, J. F. jun. Crompton, Saml.
Baring, sir Thos. Creevey,Thos.
Baring, Alex. Corbett, P.
Barnard, visc. Davies, T. H.
Barratt, S. M. Denison, W. J.
Becher, W. W. Denman, T.
Benett, John Dundas, Chas.
Bennet, hon. H. G. Ellice, E.
Bentinck, lord W. Evans, Wm.
Benyon, Ben. Farquharson, A.
Birch, J. Fergusson, sir R. C.
Bernal, Ralph Fitzroy, lord J.
Brougham, Henry Fox, G. Lane
Bright, H. Glenorchy, visc.
Bury, visc. Gordon, Robt.
Byng, George Graham, S.
Calcraft, J. Grant, J. P.
Calcraft, J. H. Grenfell, P.
Calvert, C. Griffiths, J. W.
Campbell, hon. J. F. Guise, sir W.
Carew, R. S. Gurney, Hudson
Carter, John Hamilton, lord A.
Cavendish, lord G. Harbord, hon. Ed.
Cavendish, H. Hill, lord A.
Cavendish, Charles Hobhouse, J. C.
Caulfield, hon. H. Hornby, E.
Clifford, capt. Honywood, W. P.
Howard, hon. W. Robarts, Ab.
Hughes, W. L. Robarts, G.
Hume, Jos. Robinson, sir G.
Hutchinson, hon. C. Rumbold, C.
James, W. Russell, lord J.
Jervoise, G. P. Russell, R. G.
Kennedy, T. F. Scarlett, J.
Lennard, T. B. Smith, hon. R.
Lambton, J. G. Smith, J.
Lemon, sir W. Smith, W.
Langton, T. H. Smyth, J. H.
Macdonald, Jas. Sebright, sir J. G.
Mackintosh, sir J. Sefton, earl of
Marjoribanks, S. Shelley, sir John
Martin, John Stanley, lord
Monck, J. B. Stuart, lord J.
Moore, P. Talbot, R. W.
Newport, sir J. Tennyson, C.
Noel, sir G. Tierney, rt. hon. G.
O'Callaghan, Jas. Warre, J. A.
Ord, W. Western, C.C.
Ossulston, lord Wharton, John
Palmer, C. Wood, Matthew
Palmer, C. F. Wyvill, M.
Parnell, sir H. Wetherell, C.
Philips, G. Wilberforce, W.
Philips, Geo. jun. Williams, Wm.
Pierce, H. TELLERS.
Power, R. Duncannon, vise.
Price, Robt. Wilson, sir R.
Ramsay, sir A. PAIRED OFF.
Ramsden, J. C. Abercromby, hon. J.
Ricardo, David Aubrey, sir J.
Rice, T. S. Barham, J. F.
Rickford, W. Sykes, D.
Ridley, sir M. Taylor, M. A.