HC Deb 15 June 1824 vol 11 cc1344-406
Sir James Mackintosh

rose and said:*

Mr. Speaker

I hold in my hand a petition from the Merchants of the city of London who are engaged in trade with the countries of America formerly subject to the crown of Spain, praying that the House would adopt such measures as to them may seem meet, to induce his majesty's government to Recognize the Independence of the states in those countries who have in fact established independent governments. In presenting this petition, I think it right to give the House such information as I possess relating to the number and character of the petitioners, that it may be seen how far they are what they profess to be; what are their means of knowledge; what are likely to be the motives of their application; *From the original edition, printed for Messrs. Longman. what faith is due to their testimony; and what weight ought to be allowed to their judgment. Their number is one hundred and seventeen. Each of them is a member of a considerable commercial house interested in the trade to America. The petition therefore conveys the sentiments of three or four hundred merchants. The signatures were collected in two days: without a public meeting or even an advertisement: it was confined to the American merchants, but the petitioners have no reason to believe that any merchant in London would have declined to put his name to it. I am but imperfectly qualified to estimate the importance and station of the petitioners. Judging from common information, I should consider many of them as in the first rank of the mercantile community. I see among them the firm of Baring and company, which, without disparagement to any others, may be placed at the head of the commercial establishments of the world. I see also the firms of Herring, Powles and company; of Richardson and company; Goldsmith and company; Montefiori and company; of Mr. Benjamin Shaw, who as chairman of Lloyd's coffeehouse represents the most numerous and diversified interests of traffic; together with many others not equally known to me, but whom, if I did know, I have no doubt that I might with truth describe as persons of the highest mercantile respectability. I perceive among them the name of Ricardo, which I shall ever honour, and cannot now pronounce without emotion. In a word, the petitioners are the city of London. They contain individuals of all political parties; they are deeply interested in the subject, perfectly conversant with all its commercial bearings; and they could not fill the high place where they stand, if they were not as much distinguished by intelligence and probity, as by those inferior advantages of wealth, which with them are not fortunate accidents, but proofs of personal worth and professional merit.

If it had been my intention to enter fully on this subject, and especially to discuss it adversely to the king's government, I might have chosen a different form of presenting it to the House. But though I am and ever shall be a member of a patty associated, as I conceive, for preserving the liberties of the kingdom, I present this petition in the spirit of those by whom it is subscribed, in the hope of relieving that anxious desire which pervades the commercial world—and which is also shared by the people of England,—that the present session may not close without some discussion or some explanation on this important subject, as far as that explanation can be given without inconvenience to the public service. For such a purpose the presentation of a petition affords a convenient opportunity, both because it implies the absence of any intention to blame the past measures of government as foreign from the wishes of the petitioners, and because it does not naturally require to be followed by any motion which might be represented as an invasion of the prerogative of the Crown, or as a restraint on the discretion of its constitutional advisers.

At the same time I must add, that in whatever form or at whatever period of the session I had brought this subject forward, I do not think that I should have felt myself called upon to discuss it in a tone very different from that which the nature of the present occasion appears to me to require. On a question of policy, where various opinions may be formed about the past, and where the only important part is necessarily prospective, I should naturally have wished to speak in a deliberative temper. However much I might lament the delays which had occurred in the recognition of the American states, I could hardly have gone further than strongly to urge that the time was now, at least, come for more decisive measures. With respect indeed to the State Papers laid before us, I see nothing in them to blame or to regret, unless it be that excess of tenderness and forbearance towards the feelings and pretensions of European Spain which the dispatches themselves acknowledge. In all other respects I can only describe them as containing a body of liberal maxims of policy and just principles of public law, expressed with a precision, a circumspection, and a dignity which will always render them models and masterpieces of diplomatic composition. Far from assailing these valuable documents, it is my object to uphold their doctrines, to reason from their principles, and to contend for no-thing more than that the future policy of England on this subject may be governed by them. On them I rest. From them seems to me to flow every consequence respecting the future which I think most desirable. I should naturally have had no other task than that of quoting them, of showing the stage to which they had conducted the question, of unfolding their import where they are too short for the generality of readers, and of enforcing their application to all that yet remains undone. But something more is made necessary by the confusion and misconception which prevail on one part of this subject. I have observed with astonishment, that persons otherwise well informed should here betray a forget fulness of the most celebrated events in history, and an unacquaintance with the plainest principles of international law, which I should not have thought possible if I had not known to be real. I am therefore obliged to justify these State Papers before I appeal to them. I must go back for a moment to those elementary principles which are so grossly misunderstood. And first, with respect to the term "Recognition," the introduction of which into these discussions has proved the principal occasion of darkness and error. It is a term which is used in two senses so different from each other as to have nothing very important in common. The first, which is the true and legitimate sense of the word "Recognition" as a technical term of international law, is that in which it denotes the explicit acknowledgment of the independence of a country by a state which formerly exercised sovereignty over it. Spain has been doomed to exhibit more examples of this species of recognition than any other European state, of which the most memorable cases are the acknowledgment of the independence of Portugal and Holland. This country also paid the penalty of evil counsels in that hour of folly and infatuation which led to a hostile separation between the American colonies and their mother country. Such recognitions are renunciations of sovereignty. They are a surrender of the power or of the claim to govern. They are of the utmost importance, as quieting possession and extinguishing a foreign pretension to authority: they free a nation from the evils of a disputed sovereignty: they remove the only competitor who can with any colour of right contend against the actual government; and they secure to a country the advantage of undisputed independence.

But we, who are as foreign to the Spanish states in America as we are to Spain herself, who never had any more authority over them than over her, have in this case no claims to renounce, no power to abdicate, no sovereignty to resign, no legal rights to confer. They are as independent without our acknowledgment of their independence as with it. No act of ours can even remove an obstacle which stands in the way of their independence, or withdraw any force which disturbs its exercise. What we have to do, is therefore not recognition in its first and most strictly proper sense. It is not by formal stipulations or solemn declarations that we are to recognize the American states; but by measures of practical policy which imply that we acknowledge their independence. Our recognition is virtual. We are called upon to treat them as independent; to establish with them the same relations and the same intercourse which we are accustomed to maintain with other governments; to deal with them in every respect as commonwealths entitled to admission into the great society of civilized states. The most conspicuous part of such a practical recognition, is the act of sending and receiving diplomatic agents. It implies no guarantee, no alliance, no aid, no approbation of the successful revolt; no intimation of an opinion concerning the justice or injustice of the means by which it has been accomplished. These are matters beyond our jurisdiction. It would be usurpation in us to sit in judgment upon them. As a state, we can neither condemn nor justify revolutions which do not affect our safety and are not amenable to our laws. We deal with the authorities of new states, on the same principles and for the same object as with those of old. We consider them as governments actually exercising authority over the people of a country, with whom we are called upon to maintain a regular intercourse by diplomatic agents for the interests of Great Britain and for the security of British subjects. The principle which requires such an intercourse is the same, whether governments be old or new. Antiquity affords a presumption of stability, which, like all other presumptions, may and does fail in particular instances. But in itself it is nothing; and when it ceases to indicate stability, it ought to be regarded by a foreign country as of no account. The tacit recognition of a new state, with which alone I am now concerned, not being a judgment for the new government, or against the old, is not a deviation from perfect neutrality, or a cause of just offence to the dispossessed ruler.* When Great Britain recognized the United States, it was a concession by the recognizing power of which the object was the advantage and security of the government recognized. But when Great Britain (I hope very soon) recognizes the states of Spanish America, it will not be as a concession to them, for they need no such recognition; but it will be for her own sake, to promote her own interest; to protect the trade and navigation of her subjects; to

*These doctrines are so indisputable that they are not controverted even by the jurists of the Holy Alliance, whose writings in every other respect bear the most ignominious marks of the servitude of the human understanding under the empire of that confederacy. Martens, who in the last edition of his Summary of International law has sacrificed even the principle of national independence (Liv. III. c. ii. s. 74.), without which no such law could be conceived, yet speaks as follows on recognitions:—"Quant ála simple reconnoissance, il semble qu'une nation etrangère, n'étant pas obligée á juger de la légitimité, peut toutes les fois qu'elle est douteuse se permettre de s'attacher au seul fait de la possession, et traiter comme indépendant de son ancien Gouvernement, l'état on la province qui jouit dans le fait de l'indépendance, sans blesser par la les devoirs d'une rigoureuse neutralité."— Martens, Précis du droit des Gens, Liv. III. c. ii. s. 80. Goett. 1821. Yet a comparison of the above sentence with the parallel passage of the same book in the edition of 1789 is a mortifying specimen of the decline of liberty of opinion in Europe.

Even Kluber, the publisher of the proceedings of the congress of Vienna, assents to the same doctrine, though he insidiously contrives the means of evading it by the insertion of one or two ambiguous words: "La souverainetéest acquise par un état, ou lors de sa fondation ou bien lorsqu'il se dégage légitimement de la dépendance dans laquelle il se trouvait. Pour être valide, elle n'a pas besoin d'être reconnue ou garantie par une puissance quelconque; pourvu que la possession ne soit pas vicieuse."—Kluber, Droit des Gens, Part i. c. i. s. 23. Stutgard, 1819.

Mr. Kluber would find it difficult to answer the question "Who is to judge whether the acquisition of independence be legitimate or its possession vicious?" and it is evident that the latter qualification is utterly unmeaning; for if there be an original fault which vitiates the possession of independence, it cannot be removed by foreign recognition, which, according to this writer himself, is needless where the independence is lawful, and must therefore be useless in those cases where he insinuates, rather than asserts, that foreign states are bound or entitled to treat it as unlawful.

acquire the best means of cultivating friendly relations with important countries, and of cumposing by immediate negotiation those differences which might otherwise terminate in war. The first species of recognition is for the benefit of the state which is acknowledged. The second is for the benefit of the state which makes the acknowledgment. The first is the waiver of a legal pretension. The second, only the acknowledgment of a fact, together with a policy required by that acknowledgment. Are these new doctrines? Quite the contrary. They are founded on the ancient practice of Europe. They have been acted upon for more than two centuries by England, as well as other nations.

I have already generally alluded to the memorable and glorious revolt by which the United Provinces of the Netherlands threw off the yoke of Spain. Nearly fourscore years passed from the beginning of that just insurrection, to the time when, a recognition of independence was at last, extorted from Castilian pride and obstinacy.

The people of the Netherlands first took up arms to obtain the redress of intolerable grievances, and for many years they forbore from proceeding to the last extremity against their tyrannical king.* It was not till Philip had formally proscribed the prince of Orange (the purest, and most perfect model of a patriotic hero), putting a price on his head, and promising not only pardon for every crime, but the honours of nobility † to any one who should assassinate him, that the states-general declared the king of

* The following are, the words of their illustrious historian:—"Post longam dubitationem—ab ordinibus Belgarum Philippo, ob violatas leges, imperium abrogatum est; lataque in ilium sententia cum quo, si verum fatemur, novem jam per annos bellatum erat; sed tunc primum desitum nomen ejus et insignia usurpari, mutataque verba solennis jurisjurandi, ut qui princeps hactenus erat, hostis vocaretur. Hoc consilium vicinas apud gentes necessitate et tot irritis ante precibus excusatum, haud desiere Hispani ut scelus insectari, parum memores, pulsum a majorious suis regno invisæe crudelitatis regem, eique prælatam stirpem non ex legibus genitam; ut jam taceantur Vetera apud Francos, minus veteraapud Anglos, recentiora apud Danos et Sueonas dejectorum regum exerapla."—Grotii Ann. Lib. iii. sub an. 1581.

† March 15, 1580. Dumont, Corps Diplom. v. 368.

Spain to have forfeited, by a long course of merciless tyranny, his rights of sovereignty over the Netherlands.* Several assassins attempted the life of the good and great prince of Orange: one wounded him dangerously; another consummated the murder—a zealot of what was then, as it is now, called legitimacy. He suffered the punishment due to his crime; but the king of Spain bestowed on his family the infamous nobility which had been earned by the assassin; an example which has also disgraced our age. Before and after that murder, the greatest vicissitudes of fortune had attended the arms of those who fought for the liberties of their country. Their chiefs were driven into exile; their armies were dispersed; the greatest and most opulent of the Belgic provinces, misled by priests, had made their peace with the tyrant. The greatest captains of the age commanded against them. The duke of Alva employed his valour and experience to quell the revolts which had been produced by his cruelty. The genius of the prince of Parma long threatened the infant liberty of Holland. Spinola balanced the consummate ability of prince Maurice, and kept up an equal contest, till Gustavus Adolphus rescued Europe from the holy allies of that age. The insurgents had seen with dread the armament called Invincible, which was designed, by the conquest of England, to destroy the last hopes of the Netherlands. Their independence appeared more than once to be annihilated—it was often endangered—it was to the last fiercely contested. The fortune of war was as often adverse as favourable to their arms.

It was not till the 30th of January 1648, nearly eighty years after the revolt, nearly seventy after the declaration of independence, that the crown of Spain, by the treaty of Munster, recognised the republic of the United Provinces, and renounced all pretensions to sovereignty over their territory. What, during that long period, was the policy of the European states? Did they wait for eighty years, till the obstinate punctilio or lazy pedantry of the Escurial was subdued? Did they forego all the advantages of friendly intercourse with a powerful and flourishing republic? Did they withhold from that republic the ordinary courtesy of keeping up a regular and open correspondence with her through

* July 15, 1581. Id. 413.

avowed and honourable ministers? Did they refuse to their own subjects that protection for their lives and properties, which such a correspondence alone could afford? All this they ought to have done, according to the principles of those who would resist the prayer of the petition in my hand.

But nothing of this was then done or dreamt of. Every state in Europe, except the German branch of the house of Austria, sent ministers to the Hague, and received those of the states-general. Their friendship was prized, their alliance courted, and defensive treaties formed with them by powers at peace with Spain, from the heroic Gustavus Adolphus to the barbarians of Persia and Muscovy. I say nothing of Elizabeth, herself proscribed as an usurper, the stay of Holland, and the leader of the liberal party throughout Europe. But no one can question the authority, on this point, of her successor, the great professor of legitimacy, the founder of that doctrine of the divine right of kings, which led his family to destruction. As king of Scotland, In 1594, fifty-four years before the recognition by Spain, he recognised the states-general as the successors of the houses of Austria and Burgundy, by stipulating with them the renewal of a treaty concluded between his mother queen Mary and the emperor Charles 5th.

In 1604, when James made peace with Spain, eager as he was by that transaction to be admitted into the fraternity of legitimate kings, he was so far curbed by the counsellors of Elizabeth, that he adhered to his own and to her recognition of the independence of Holland; the court of Madrid virtually acknowledging by several articles* of the treaty, that such perseverance in the recognition was no breach of neutrality and no obstacle to friendship with Spain. At the very moment of the negotiation, Win wood was dispatched with new instructions as minister to the states-general. It is needless to add that England, at peace with Spain, continued to treat Holland as an independent state for the forty-four years which passed from that treaty to the recognition of Munster.

*See particularly Art. xii. and xiv. in Rymer xvi. The extreme anxiety of the English to adhere to their connexion with Holland, appears from the Instructions and Dispatches in Winwood, L. i.

The policy of England towards Portugal, though in itself far less memorable, is still more strikingly pertinent to the purpose of this argument. On the 1st of December 1640, the people of Portugal rose in arms against the tyranny of Spain, under which they had groaned about sixty years. They seated the duke of Braganza on the throne. In January 1641, the Cortes of the kingdom were assembled to legalize his authority, though seldom convoked by his successors after their power was consolidated. Did England then wait the pleasure of Spain? Did she desist from connexion with Portugal, till it appeared from long experience that the attempts of Spain to recover that country must be unavailing? Did she even require that the Braganza government should stand the test of time before she recognised its independent authority? No: within a year of the proclamation of the duke of Braganza by the Cortes, a treaty of peace and alliance was signed at Windsor between Chas. 1st, and John 4th. which not only treats with the latter as an independent sovereign, but expressly speaks of the king of Castile as a dispossessed ruler; and alleges on the part of the king of England, that he was moved to conclude this treaty "by his solicitude to preserve the tranquillity of his kingdoms, and to secure the liberty of trade of his beloved subjects."* The contest was carried on; the Spaniards obtained victories; they excited conspiracies; they created divisions. The palace of the king of Portugal was the scene of domestic discord, court intrigue, and meditated usurpation. There is no trace of any complaint or remonstrance, or even murmur, against the early recognition by England, though it was not till twenty-six years afterwards that Spain herself acknowledged the independence of Portugal, and (what is remarkable) made that acknowledgment in a treaty concluded under the mediation of England, †

To these examples let me add an observation upon a part of the practice of nations, strongly illustrative of the principles which ought to decide this question. All the powers of Europe treated England under the commonwealth and the protectorate, as retaining her rights of sovereignty. They recognised these govern-

*Dumont, vi. 238.

† Treaty of Lisbon, February 23, 1668. Dumont, vii. 70.

ments as much as they had recognised the monarchy. The friends of Charles 2nd did not complain of this policy. That monarch, when restored, did not disallow the treaties of foreign powers with the republic or with Cromwell. Why? Because these powers were obliged, for the interest of their own subjects, to negotiate with the government which, whatever might be its character, was actually obeyed by the British nation. They pronounced no opinion on the legitimacy of that government; no judgment unfavourable to the claims of the exiled prince; they consulted only the security of the commerce and intercourse of their own subjects with the British islands.

It was quite otherwise with the recognition, by Louis 14th, of the son of James 2nd, when his father died, as king of Great Britain. As that prince was not acknowledged and obeyed in England, he interest of France required that Louis should maintain an intercourse or take any notice of his pretensions. A correspondence with the son of James 2nd could neither preserve peace between the two countries, nor protect the persons and properties of Frenchmen in England. That recognition was therefore justly resented by England as a wanton insult; as a direct interference in her internal affairs, as an assumption of authority to pronounce against the lawfulness of her government. * The recognition of the ruler in possession, however he may be called or thought an usurper, is therefore no wrong to the dispossessed claimant; but great wrong is done to the government which exercises authority by the recognition of a pretender

*"Le Comte de Manchester, ambassadeur d'Angleterre, ne parut plus àVersailles aprèa la reconnoissance du Prince de Galles, et partit, sans prendre congé quelques jours après l'arrivée du Roi à Fontainbleau. Le Roi Guillaume recut en sa maison de Loo en Hollande la nouvelle de la mort du Roi Jacques et de cette reconnoissance. Il étoit alors a table avec quelques autres seigneurs. Il ne proféra pas une seule parole outre la nouvelle; mais il rougit, enfonca son chapeau, et ne put contenir son visage. Il envoya ordre à Londres d'en chasser sur le champ Poussin, et de lui faire repasser la mer aussi-tôt après. Il faisoit les affaires du Roi en l'absence d'un ambassadeur et d'un envoy. Cet éclat fat sum de près de la signature de la grande alliance défensive et offensive contre la France et l'Espagne, entre l'Empereur et l'Empire, l'Angleterre et la Hollande."—Mem de St. Simon.

who is without actual power, however just his pretensions to it may be believed to be.

I am aware, Sir, that our complaints of the interference of France in the American war may be quoted against my argument. Those who glance over the surface of history may see some likeness between that case and the present. But the resemblance is merely superficial. It disappears on the slightest examination. It was not of the establishment of diplomatic relations with America by France in 1778 that Great Britain complained. We now know from the last edition of the memoirs of the marquis de Bouille, that from the first appearance of discontent in 1765, the due de Choiseul employed secret agents to excite commotion in North America. That gallant and accomplished officer himself was no stranger to these intrigues after the year 1768, when he became governor of Guadaloupe. * It is well known that the same clandestine and treacherous machinations were continued to the last in a time of profound peace, and in spite of professions of amity so repeated and so solemn, that the breach of them produced a more than political resentment in the mind of king George 3rd, against the house of Bourbon. We also learn, from no contemptible authority, that at the very time that the preliminaries of peace were signed at Fontainebleau in 1762 by the due de Choiseul and the duke of Bedford, the former of these ministers concluded a secret treaty with Spain, by which it was stipulated, that in eight years both powers should attack England; a design of which the removal of Choiseul defeated the execution †. The recognition was no more than the consummation and avowal of those dark designs which had so long been carried on. So conscious was the court of Versailles of their own perfidy, that they expected war to be the immediate consequence of it. On the same day with the treaty of commerce ‡ they signed another secret treaty, eventual and defensive, with North America, by which it was stipulated, that in case of war between France and England during the war then waging, France and America should make common

*Mém. de Bouille, p. 15. Paris, 1821, Relation du Voyage de Louis XVI. a Varennes, par M. le Due de Choiseul, p. 14. Paris, 1822.

† Ferrand, Trois Démembremens de la Pologne, i. 76.

‡ Martens, Recueil, i. 701, February 6,1773.

cause. The division of the territories to be conquered was even provided for. Negligent and supine as were the English ministers, they can hardly be supposed to have been altogether ignorant of these secret treaties. The cause of war was not a mere recognition after a long warning to the mother country; after a more than generous forbearance shown to her dignity and claims, as it would be in the case with Spanish America; it was, that France, in defiance of the most solemn assurances of her ministers, and it is said of her sovereign, at length openly avowed those machinations to destroy the union between the British nation and the people of America—Englishmen by blood, and freemen by principle, dear to us by both ties, but most dear by the last—which they had carried on during so many years of peace and pretended friendship, and of which they themselves felt that this concluding act must produce war.

I now proceed to review the progress which we have already made towards the recognition of the states of Spanish America, as it appears in the papers before the House. I will not dwell on the statute 3 Geo. 4th, c. 43., which provides, "that the merchandize of countries in America or the West Indies, being or having been a part of the dominions of the king of Spain, may be imported into Great Britain in ships which are the built of these countries;" though that clause must be allowed to be an acknowledgment of independence, unless it could be said that the provinces separated from Spain were either countries without inhabitants, or inhabited by men without a government. Neither will I say any thing of the declaration made to Spain in November, that consuls must be immediately sent to South America, though I shall hereafter argue, that the appointment of consuls is as much an act of recognition as the appointment of higher ministers. Lord Liverpool indeed said, that it was "treating South America as independent," which is the only species of recognition which we have a right to make. I should be the last to blame the suspension of that purpose during the lawless and faithless invasion of Spain, then threatened, and soon after executed, which was undoubtedly a legitimate reason fordoing nothing, however otherwise just and desirable, which could tend to weaken the Spanish government. So strongly was I convinced of the sacredness of that duty,

that I at that time declined to present a petition of a nature similar to that which now offer to your consideration. Nothing under heaven could have induced me to give the slightest aid to the unrighteous violence which then menaced the independence of Spain.

The dispatch of Mr. Secretary Canning to Sir Charles Stuart, of the 31st of March 1823, is the first paper which I wish to recall to the remembrance and recommend to the serious attention of the House.* It declares, that time and events have decided the separation of Spanish America; that various circumstances in their internal condition may accelerate or retard the recognition of their independence; and it concludes with intelligibly intimating that Great Britain would resist the conquest of any part of these provinces by France. The most explicit warning was thus given to Spain, to France, and to all Europe, as well as to the states of Spanish America, that Great Britain considered their independence as certain; that she regarded the time of recognizing it as a question only of policy; and that she would not suffer foreign powers to interfere for preventing its establishment. France, indeed, is the only power named; but the reason of the case applied to every other, and extended as much to conquest under the name of Spain as if it were made avowedly for France.

The next document to which I shall refer is the memorandum of a conference between M. de Polignac and Mr. Secretary Canning on the 9th of October, 1823;† and I cannot help earnestly recommending to all persons who have any doubt with respect to the present state of this question, or to the footing on which it has stood for many months, who do not see or do not own that our determination has long been made and announced, to observe with care the force and extent of the language of the British government on this important occasion. "The British government," it is there said, "were of opinion that any attempt to bring Spanish America under its ancient submission must be utterly hopeless; that all negotiation for that purpose would be unsuccessful; and that the prolongation or renewal of war for the same object could be only a waste of human life, and an infliction of calamities on both parties to

*See Vol. viii. p. 959.

† See Vol. x. p. 708.

no end." Language cannot more strongly declare the conviction of Great Britain that the issue of the contest was even then no longer doubtful; that there was indeed no longer any such contest as could affect the policy of foreign states towards America. As soon as we had made known our opinion in terms so positive to the European and American states, the pretensions of Spain could not in point of justice be any reason for a delay of recognition. It would be absurd to speak of equal contest after declaring the event to be certain, or to consider any measure of ours as capable of lessening the probability of the success of Spain when we had pronounced that all her attempts must be utterly hopeless. After declaring that we should remain, however, "strictly neutral if war should be unhappily prolonged," we go on to state more explicitly than before, 'that the junction of any power in an enterprise of Spain against the colonies would be viewed as an entirely new question, upon which they must take such decision as the interest of Great Britain must require"—language which, however cautious and moderate in its forms, is in substance too clear to be misunderstood.

After this paragraph, no state in Europe had a right to affect surprise at the recognition, if it had been proclaimed on the following day. Still more clearly, if possible, is the same principle avowed in a subsequent paragraph, "that the British government had no desire to precipitate the recognition, so long as there was any reasonable chance of an accommodation with the mother country, by which such a recognition might come first from Spain. But that it could not wait indefinitely for that result; that it could not consent to make its recognition of the new states dependent on that of Spain; "and that it would consider any foreign interference, either by force or by menace, in the dispute between Spain and the colonies, as a motive for recognising the latter without delay." And here in a matter less important I should be willing to stop, and to rest ray case on this passage alone. Words cannot be more explicit. It is needless to comment on them, and impossible to evade them. We declare, that the only accommodation which we contemplate, is one which is to terminate in recognition by Spain; that we cannot indefinitely wait even for that result. We assert our right to recognise, whether Spain recognises or not; and we state a case in which we should immediately recognise, independently of the consent of the Spanish government, and without regard to the internal state of the American provinces. As a natural consequence of these positions, we decline any part in a proposed congress of European powers for regulating the affairs of America.

I cannot quit this document without paying a just tribute to that part which relates to commerce—to the firmness with which it asserts the right of this country to continue her important trade with America, as well as the necessity of the appointment of consuls for the protection of that trade; and the distinct annunciation, "that an attempt to renew the obsolete interdictions would be best cut short by a speedy and unqualified recognition of the independence of the South American states." Still more do I applaud the declaration, "that Great Britain had no desire to set up any separate right to the free enjoyment of this trade; that she considered the force of circumstances and the irreversible progress of events to have already determined the question of the existence of that freedom for all the world." These are declarations equally wise and admirable. They coincide indeed so evidently with the well-understood interest of every state, that it is mortifying to be compelled to speak of them as generous; but they are so much at variance with the base and short-sighted policy of governments, that it is refreshing and consolatory to meet them in the acts of state: at least when, as here, they must be sincere, because the circumstances of their promulgation secure their observance, and indeed render deviation from them impossible. I read them over and over with the utmost pleasure. They breathe the spirit of that just policy and sound philosophy, which teaches us to regard the interest of our country as best promoted by an increase of the industry, wealth and happiness of other nations.

Although the attention of the House is chiefly directed to the acts of our own government, it is not foreign from the purpose of my argument to solicit them for a few minutes to consider the admirable, message sent, on the 2nd of December 1823, by the president of the United States to the Congress of that great Republic. I heartily rejoice in the perfect agreement of that message with the principles professed by us to the French minister, and afterwards to all the great powers of Europe, whether military or maritime, and to the great English state beyond the Atlantic. I am not anxious to ascertain whether the message was influenced by our communication, or was the mere result of similarity of principle and coincidence of interest. The United States had at all events long preceded us in the recognition. They sent consuls and commissioners two years before us. They found the greater part of South America quiet and secure; and in the agitations of the remainder, they found no obstacles to friendly intercourse with them. Their recognition of these States neither interrupted their amicable relations with Spain, nor occasioned remonstrances from any power in Europe. They declared their neutrality at the moment of recognition. They solemnly renew that declaration in the message before me. "With the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have on great consideration and on just principles acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or in any way controlling their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States. In the war between Spain and those new governments, we have declared our neutrality, and shall adhere to it, provided no change shall take place which shall make a corresponding change in the policy of the United Slates indispensable to their security. To what extent the allied powers may carry their system of interference in the internal affairs of nations, is a question in which all independent powers, whose governments differ from theirs, are interested; even those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States. It is impossible that they should extend their policy to any portion of either America, without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold this interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain, and of those new governments, and to their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them."

Thus does that wise government, in grave but determined language, and with that reasonable and deliberate tone which becomes true courage, proclaim the principles of her policy, and make known the cases in which the care of her own safety will compel her to take up arms for the defence of other states. I have already observed its coincidence with the declarations of England; which indeed is perfect, if allowance be made for the deeper, or at least more immediate, interest in the independence of South America, which near neighbourhood gives to the United States. This coincidence of the two great English commonwealths (for so I delight to call them, and I heartily pray that they may be for ever united in the cause of justice and liberty) cannot be contemplated without the utmost pleasure by every enlightened citizen of cither. Above all, Sir, there is one coincidence between them, which is, I trust, of happy augury to the whole civilized world. They have both declared their neutrality in the American contest as long as it shall be confined to Spain and her former colonies. But both require that it shall be limited to these original combatants. Both declare that no foreign power shall interfere; that if Spain should be converted into one of the fangs of the Holy' Alliance, that beast of prey shall not be suffered to plunge it into the heart of America, nor to spread the baleful influence over the new Continent, under which the old already groans; that English liberty will resist it in America as English liberty will resist it in Europe. I will be bold enough to say that no minister ever existed who could now persuade England to connive at such new usurpations of the Holy Alliance. If any minister were to fail in the attempt to resist them, he would be speedily carried back to power with glory by the people. If any slave or bigot were found mean and hardy enough to purchase office by acquiescing in such connivance, the English nation would ignominiously hurl him from a station which he would disgrace.

On the 25th of December 1823, M. Ofalia, the Spanish minister for foreign affairs, proposed to the principle powers of Europe a conference at Paris on the best means of enabling his Catholic majesty to re-establish his legitimate authority, and to spread the blessings of his paternal government over the vast provinces of America which once acknowledged the supremacy of Spain. To this communication, which was made also to this government, an answer was given which cannot be read without approbation and pleasure. Had it indeed been of an opposite sort, it would have caused the blood of every true Englishman to boil with indignation. In this answer, the proposition of a congress is once more rejected; the British government adheres to its original declaration, that it would wait for a time, but a limited time only, and would rejoice to see his Catholic majesty have the grace and advantage of taking the lead among the powers of Europe in the recognition of the American states, as well for the greater benefit and security of these states themselves, as from the generous disposition felt by Great Britain to spare the remains of dignity and grandeur, however infinitesimally small, which may still be fancied to belong to the thing called the crown of Spain. Even the shadow of long-departed greatness was treated with compassionate forbearance: but all these courtesies and decorums were to have their limit. The interest of Europe and America imposed higher duties, which were not to be violated for the sake of leaving undisturbed the precedents copied by public offices at Madrid, from the power of Charles 5th, or the arrogance of Philip 2nd. The principal circumstance in which this dispatch added to the proceeding, was, that it both laid a wider foundation for the policy of recognition, and made a much nearer approach to exactness in fixing the time beyond which it could not be delayed. "It appears manifest to the British government," says the dispatch, "that if so large a portion of the globe should remain much longer without any recognised political existence, or any definite political connexion with the established governments of Europe, the consequence of such a state of things must be at once most embarrassing to those governments, and most injurious to the interests of all European nations. For these reasons, and not from mere views of commercial policy, the British government is decidedly of opinion that the recognition of such of the new states as have established dc facto their separate political existence, cannot be much longer delayed. The court of Madrid must be aware that the discretion of his majesty cannot be indefinitely bound up by that of his Catholic majesty, and that even before many months elapse, the desire now sincerely felt by the British government to leave this precedency to Spain may be over- borne by considerations of a more comprehensive nature—considerations regarding not only the essential interests of his majesty's subjects, but the relations of the old world with the new."

The House can require nothing but to be reminded of these declarations. They are too explicit, precise, and even minute, to need the least explanation. The purport of the dispatch is, to warn Spain that the recognition cannot be delayed for many months; and the force of that warning is very much strengthened by the reasons which are assigned against delay. They distinguish it from a mere threat—and are of such a nature, that they render it impossible for a government to retreat from its declaration without sacrificing its honour, and incurring the imputation of being driven from its principles and interests by fear. I entreat the House to meditate on the grounds which are stated for early recognition. Are they not such, that, if they were sincerely and deliberately employed, they cannot be abandoned without dishonour, and without the danger which dishonour never fails to bring on great nations? But there can be no excuse for levity (if excuse in that case were possible), none for insincerity; for the dispatch of the 30th January is the consummation and conclusion of a series of measures and declarations which continued for nearly two critical and eventful years.

Subsequent to the 30th of January, I can have no official information, I have heard, and I believe, that Spain has answered this dispatch; that she repeats her invitation to England to send a minister to the proposed congress; and that she has notified the assent of Russia, Austria, France and Prussia to be parties to that proceeding. I have heard, and I also believe, that England on this occasion has proved true to herself; that, in conformity to her ancient character and inconsistency with her repeated declarations, she has declined all discussion of this question with the Holy or unholy Alliance. Would to God that we had from the beginning kept aloof from these congresses, in which we have made shipwreck of our ancient honour If that were not possible, would to God that we had protested at least by silence and absence against that conspiracy at Verona, which has annihilated the liberties of continental Europe! In confirmation of the review which I have taken of the documents, I may also here mention the declaration made in this House, that during the occupation of Spain by a French army, every armament against the Spanish ports must be considered as having a French character, and being therefore within the principle repeatedly laid down in the papers. Spain indeed, as a belligerent, can be now considered only as a fang of the Holy Alliance, powerless in itself, but which that monster has the power to arm with three-fold steel.

As the case now stands, I conceive it to be declared by Great Britain, that the acknowledgment of the independence of Spanish America is no breach of faith or neutrality towards Spain; that such an acknowledgment might long ago have been made without any violation of her rights or interposition in her affairs; that we have been for at least two years entitled to make it by all the rules of international law; that we have delayed it, from friendly consideration for the feelings and claims of the Spanish Government; that we have now carried our forbearance to the utmost verge of reasonable generosity; and, having exhausted all the offices of friendship and good neighbourhood, are at perfect liberty to consult only the interest of our own subjects, and the just pretensions of the American states. The time allowed to Spain for consideration of this great question is expired. Generosity towards her would now be injustice to the rest of the world. Having thus excluded Spain from any influence on our future policy, we still more clearly protest against the influence of other states, who never had any right to be consulted or heard by us on a subject absolutely foreign to them. We have refused to be a party to any congress of the Holy or unholy Alliance; we have, I hope, at length dissolved our unnatural union with them; and having resolutely declared our determination not to be influenced by their counsels, we should certainly not endure their insolent injustice if they dared to require that we should abstain from recognizing the independence of Spanish America. I cast from me, therefore, with scorn and disdain, the supposition that any other power will presume to interfere in our policy, or to question our undoubted right to use the best means of cultivating friendship with the American states.

In adopting this recognition now, we shall give just offence to no power; and if we once suffer ourselves to be influenced by the apprehension of the danger of resisting unjust pretensions, we destroy the only bulwark of principle that guards a nation against falling into unconditional submission. There never was a time when it would be more perilous to make concessions, or to shew feebleness and fear. We live in an age of the most extravagant and monstrous pretensions supported by tremendous force. A confederacy of absolute monarchs claim the right of controlling the internal government of all nations. In the exercise of that usurped power they have already taken military possession of the whole continent of Europe. All continental governments either obey their laws or tremble at their displeasure. England has condemned their principles; she is independent of their power; they ascribe all the misfortunes of the present age to the example of her institutions; and they know that her laws must to the last moment of her independence protect that liberty of political discussion from which they profess to dread confusion, revolution, rapine and bloodshed. On England, therefore, they must look with irreconcilable hatred. They must desire her destruction. As long as she is free and powerful, their system is incomplete, all the precautions of their tyrannical policy are imperfect, and their oppressed subjects may once more turn their eyes to this island, indulging the hope that circumstances will one day compel us to exchange the alliance of kings for the friendship of nations.

I will not say that such a state of the world does not require a considerate and circumspect policy. I acknowledge, and should earnestly contend, that there never was a moment at which the continuance of peace was more desirable. After passing through all the sufferings of twenty years universal war, and feeling its internal evils perhaps more severely since its close than when it raged most widely and fiercely, we are only now beginning to taste the natural and genuine fruits of peace. The robust constitution of a free community is just showing its power to heal the deepest wounds, to compose obstinate convulsions, and to restore health and vigour to every disordered function or disabled member. I deprecate the occurrence of what must disturb this noble process—one of the miracles of liberty. But I am also firmly convinced, that prudence in the present circumstances of Europe forbids every measure that can be represented as having the appearance of fear. If we carry our caution further than strict abstinence from injustice, we cannot doubt to what motive our forbearance will be imputed. It is very dangerous to yield to those whose pretensions are exorbitant. It is hard to compromise with those, whose safety may in their opinion require that we should be weakened and dishonoured. Let us not adopt any ambiguous policy, which may enable the Holy Alliance to cry out triumphantly, that after having declared to the world that we are entitled to recognize South America, and that it is our interest to cultivate her friendship; that the claims of Spain even on our generosity are now at an end, and that we set at nought all interposition of other powers; we still abstain from the advantageous exercise of an undisputed rigid, lest we should incur the displeasure of monarchs whose interference we profess to reject with indignation. Every delay is liable to that interpretation. The least scrupulous politicians condemn falsehood when it wears the appearance of fear. It may be sometimes unsafe to fire at the royal tiger who suddenly crosses your path in an eastern forest; but it is thought, fully as dangerous to betray your fear by running away. Prudent men quietly pursue their road without altering their pace, without provoking or tempting the ferocious animal.

Having thus traced the progress of measures which have led us to the very verge of recognition, the question naturally presents itself, Why do we not now recognize? It is not so much my part to show cause for a new measure, as it is the duty of the government to tell us why they do not complete their own system. Every preparation is made, every adverse claim is rejected, ample notice is given to all parties. Why is the determination delayed? We are irrevocably pledged to maintain our principles, and to act on them towards America. We have cut off all honourable retreat. Why should we seem to hesitate? America expects from us the common marks of amity and respect. Spain cannot complain at their being granted. No other state can intimate an opinion or the subject, without an open attack on the independence of Great Britain. What then hinders the decisive word from being spoken?

We have already, indeed, taken one step more in addition to those on which I have too long dwelt. We have sent consuls to all the ports of Spanish America to which we trade, as well as to the seats of the new governments in that country. We have seen in the public papers, that the consul at Buenos Ayres has presented a letter from the secretary of state for foreign affairs in this country, to the secretary of that government, desiring that they would grant the permission to the consul, without which he cannot exercise his powers.* Does not this act acknowledge the independence of the state of Buenos Ayres? An independent state alone can appoint consuls. An independent state only can receive consuls. We have not only sent consuls, but commissioners. What is their character? can it be any other than that of an envoy with a new title? Every agent publicly accredited to a foreign government, and not limited by his commission to commercial affairs, must, in reality, be a diplomatic minister, whatever may be his official name. We read of the public and joyful reception of these commissioners, of presents made by them to the American administrators, and of speeches in which they announce the good will of the government and people of England towards the infant republics. I allude to the speech of colonel Hamilton at Bogota, on which, as I have seen it only in a translation, I can only venture to conjecture, after making some allowance for the overflow of courtesy and kindness which is apt to occur on such occasions, that it expressed the anxious wishes and earnest hopes of this country, that he might find Columbia in a state capable of maintaining those relations of amity which we were sincerely desirous to establish. But surely the whole of these missions amounts to a virtual recognition of the independence of these states.

Where should we apply for redress, if a Columbian privateer were to capture an

*"Ce n'est pas assez d'être nominé et muni de Lettres de Provision de la part du Souverain. Le Consul doit aussi obtenir l'approba-tion ct l'admission du Souverain du pays, ou il doit résider ct exercer les fonctions de cet emploi. Cette admission du Consul dépend du bon plaisir du Souverain du lieu de son établissement." Steck, Essai sur les Consuls, 56. Berlin, 1790.

"Le Consul doit présenter ses Lettres de Provision au Souverain du pays ou il va résider pour obtenir son approbation, son agrdment et ses ordresde le reconnoitre en cette qualityé; ce que l'on appellc Exequatur." Id. 58.

English merchant-man? Not at Madrid, but at Bogota. Does not this answer decide the whole question? Docs it not declare that the government of Spain has lost the sovereignty of Caraccas, and that the government of Columbia has succeeded to it? From the moment when the cabinet of Madrid could afford no redress for wrongs done to an Englishman on the Rio de la Plata, it became lawful for the English government to seek that redress where alone it could be found, from the government of Buenos Ayres; and the government of Great Britain owed it to their own subjects to provide the means of obtaining that redress.

It could not be obtained at all without agents on the spot, secret or avowed, expressly or tacitly authorised and instructed by the British government. But British subjects have a right to expect not merely that their government shall provide some means of redress, but that they should provide adequate and effectual means; those which universal experience has proved to be the best; those in which long usage has taught all nations to place confidence. They are not bound to be content with the unavowed agency and precarious good offices of naval officers, nor even with the inferior and imperfect protection of an agent whose commission is limited to the security of trade.

The power of a consul is confined to commercial affairs; and there are many of the severest wrongs which the merchant suffers, which, as they may not directly affect him in his trading concerns, are not within the proper province of the consul. Merchants are insufficiently secured by a disguised, a clandestine, or a subaltern minister. The English trader at Buenos Ayres ought not to feel his safety less perfect than that of other foreign merchants. Why should he be condemned to envy the North American merchant, who feels that all his private as well as commercial interests are protected by a diplomatic minister who represents the Republic, and whose presence is a constant and visible pledge that her power every where protects her unoffending citizens? The American trader is not left to gather information, so essential to his comfort, from conjecture or reasoning: he daily sees it and feels it: he is assured of it by the view of those badges of national protection which mankind have in all ages regarded with veneration. The inferiority of the English trader is con- siderably aggravated, by the consciousness that the policy of his country in this respect cannot be contemplated with friendly eyes by the state to which he is for a time subject. Mexico and Peru, Columbia and Buenos Ayres, will not easily perceive the equity of the principle which requires them to grant the ordinary protection to Englishmen, without requiring at the same time that they should receive the ordinary marks of friendship from England. It is not the mere absence of an English minister that they will consider; it is the policy of systematically refusing to hold diplomatic intercourse with them, on the avowed ground that it is at least doubtful whether they are independent nations. The English merchant has no minister to whom he can represent his wrongs with confidence; and his complaints must be addressed to a government, who, to say the least, must think themselves not so much honoured by England as by North America. You have no right to deprive British subjects of such important advantages, and to expose them at least to disfavour in the country where they trade, or travel, or reside. You ought not without the weightiest reasons to continue a policy, sure, even in the first instance, to excite some suspicion and alienation, which in time may grow into distrust and displeasure, and at length rankle into anger and hostility. The habit of trusting to an ambassador for security, has a tendency to reconcile the spirit of adventurous industry, with a constant affection for the place of a man's birth. The adventurer is cured of prejudices against other nations, without feeling the ties loosened which bind him to his own. Followed over the globe by the protection of his native rulers, he preserves his attachment to his country, and perhaps often finds it strengthened instead of being extinguished by long absence. If these advantages are not inconsiderable to any European nation, they must be important to the most commercial and maritime people of the world. The American governments at present rate our friendship too high to be jealous and punctilious in their intercourse with us. But a little longer delay may give rise to an unfavourable judgment of our conduct. They may even doubt our neutrality itself. Instead of admitting that the acknowledgment of their independence would be a breach of neutrality towards Spain, they may much more naturally conceive, that the delay to acknowledge it is a breach of neutrality towards them. Do we in truth deal equally by both the contending parties? We do not content ourselves with consuls at Cadiz and Barcelona. If we expect justice to our subjects from the government of Ferdinand 7th, we in return pay every honour to that government as a power of the first class. We lend it every aid that it can desire from the presence of a British minister of the highest rank. We do not inquire whether he legitimately deposed his father, or legally dispersed the Cortes who preserved his throne. Is it equality towards the American states, to expect the same returns from them, without showing the same respect to them, or lending the same countenance to their government? The inequality becomes the more strikingly offensive, when it is considered that the number of English in the American states is far greater, and our commerce with them much more important, and that we therefore need diplomatic relations with them far more than with European Spain.

Another circumstance will render our delay more surprising to them and to all mankind. We have long since advised Spain to acknowledge the independence of her late provinces in America; we have told her that it is the only basis on which negociations can be carried on, and that it affords her the only chance of preserving some of the advantages of friendship and commerce with these vast territories. But if we have spoken sincerely we must consider them now, we must have considered them a year ago, as ripe for recognition. There can be no obstacle to it in their internal state; for if there had, it would have as much stood in the way of Spain as in ours. Whatever rendered it right for Spain to recognise them, must also render it right for us. If we now delay, Spain may very speciously charge us with insincerity. "It now," she may say, "appears from your own conduct, that under pretence of friendship you advised us to do that from which you yourselves recoil. You advised us to abdicate a great empire, though you now treat it as containing not one government capable of keeping faith and observing justice. For the vile purpose of extending your own commerce, you would have betrayed Spain into a surrender of all her American subjects, to those whom by your acts you now pronounce to be incapable or unwilling to afford them the ordinary benefits of civilized government." Let us hasten to prevent these calumnies, by showing that we have advised nothing which we are not ourselves willing to do.

They will not fail to discover, that all delay founded on the internal state of America is in another respect grossly inconsistent with our express declarations. We have declared that we should immediately proceed to recognition, either if Spain were to invade the liberty of trade which we now possess, or if any other power were to take a part in the contest between her and the American states. But do not these declarations necessarily imply that they are in fact independent? Surely no injustice of Spain, or France, or Russia could authorize England to acknowledge that to be a fact which we do not know to be so. Either, therefore, we have threatened to do what ought not to be done, or these states are now in a condition to be treated as independent.

One observation more on the peculiar circumstances of this case will perhaps be excused. It is now many months since it was declared to M. de Polignac, that we should consider "any foreign interference by force or menace, in the dispute between Spain and her colonies, as a motive for recognizing the latter without delay." I ask whether the interference "by menace" has not now occurred? M. Ofalia on the 26th of December proposed a congress on the affairs of America, in hopes that the allies of king Ferdinand "will assist him in accomplishing the worthy object of upholding the principles of order and legitimacy, the subversion of which once commenced in America would speedily communicate." Now I have already said that; if I am rightly informed, this proposition, happily rejected by Great Britain, has been acceded to by the allied powers. Preparations for the congress are said to be already made. Can there be a more distinct case of interference by menace in the American contest, than the agreement to assemble a congress for the purpose described in the dispatch of M. Ofalia? A case has therefore now occurred, in which we have pledged our national honour that we should immediately recognize the American states.

But it is said that we ought not to recognize where a contest is still maintained, or where governments of some apparent stability do not exist. Both these ideas seem to be comprehended in the proposition, that we ought to recognize only where independence is actually enjoyed, though that proposition properly only affirms the former. But it is said that we are called upon only to acknowledge the fact of independence, and that before we make the acknowledgment we ought to have evidence of the fact. To this single point the discussion is now confined—all considerations of European policy are (I cannot repeat it too often) excluded. The policy of Spain, or France, or Russia, is no longer an element in the problem. The fact of independence is now the sole object of consideration. If there be no independence, we cannot acknowledge it. If there be, we must. For this reason commissioners are sent to America to inquire into the fact; and by the mere act of sending such commissioners, we once more pledge ourselves solemnly and irrevocably that our determination shall be influenced by nothing but the result of their inquiry. We thus pledge ourselves to the merchants of Great Britain and to the states of America, who have both a right to expect that we shall not deceive them. We have also by the same act, though not with the same feelings, pledged ourselves to the European allies, who will know how to appreciate our steadiness of purpose by our adherence to it. It is therefore of the last importance to the general question, that this part of the policy of the British government should be rightly and thoroughly understood.

To understand it rightly, we must consider separately what is often confounded in argument: the first question, Whether there be a contest with Spain still pending; and the second, Whether internal tranquillity be securely established. In the first, we must mean such a contest as exhibits some equality of force, of which, if the combatants were left to themselves, the issue would be in some degree doubtful. It never can be understood so as to include a bare chance, that Spain might recover her ancient dominions at some distant and absolutely uncertain period: for such a possibility must always remain; it is incident to all human affairs; and we must on that principle postpone our recognition indefinitely, which we have expressly and repeatedly declared that we will not do. Now, before I proceed to examine the facts, I must observe that we have already determined this question more than once. We determined it when we said that time and circumstances had decided the separation; we determined it when we said that recognition could succeed only on the basis of independence; we determined it by notifying to the world that we could not delay our recognition many months; and we determined it most unequivocally by fixing a period beyond which our recognition should not be delayed by the contrary policy of Spain. For it is impossible to justify the last measure, unless we either hold that recognition is no interference in the contest, or that no real and effective contest now exists: either of these propositions is sufficient for my purpose. I think I have already demonstrated the former. His majesty's ministers, who (somewhat inconsistently as I think) hold the latter also to be necessary, must upon their own showing already believe it; since, if it was not true, they must consider their own measures as unjustifiable.

But, as an argument only conclusive against men who previously acknowledge certain opinions, and in which the whole effect depends on the rare occurrence of any men being consistent with themselves, must necessarily be of a partial and precarious character, I am willing to enter into the inquiry concerning the independence of America, and prepared to contend that, without waiting for the investigations of the commissioners, the result is decisively favourable to the measure which I recommend. Let me be allowed to offer a dilemma (not indeed so terrible a dilemma as that with which, in the late debate on Mr. Smith, the missionary, my learned friend (Mr. Brougham) so pressed another very acute and ingenious friend of mine (Mr. Tindal), that the latter with all his skill found it impossible to escape from being gored by either of its horns)—one of a more calm and more pacific, and I fear less severely logical, character—but which affords at least a commodious means of distinguishing the separate parts of this case clearly from each other, and of detecting the fallacy which lurks beneath the specious cover of general language.

When you inquire, whether any contest approaching to equality now subsists, do you consider Spanish America as one mass or do you apply your inquiry to the peculiar situation of each individual state? For the purposes of the present war you may view them in either light—in the latter, because they are sovereign commonwealths, as independent of each other as they all are of Europe—or in the former, because they are united by a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, which binds them to make common cause in this contest, and to conclude no separate peace with Spain.

If I look on Spanish America as one vast mass, the question of the existence of any serious contest is too simple to admit the slightest doubt. What proportion does the contest bear to the country in which it prevails? My geography, or at least my recollection, does not serve me so far, that I could enumerate the degrees of latitude and longitude over which that vast country extends. On the western coast it reaches from the northern point of New California to the utmost limit of cultivation towards Cape Horn. On the eastern it extends from the mouth of the Mississippi to that of the Orinoco; and, after the immense exception of Guiana and Brazil, from the Rio de la Plata to the southern footsteps of civilized man. The prodigious varieties of its elevation exhibit in the same parallel of latitude all the climates and products of the globe. It is the only abundant source of the metals justly called precious, the most generally and permanently useful of all commodities, except those which are necessary to the preservation of human life. It is unequally and most scantily peopled by sixteen or eighteen millions, whose numbers, freedom of industry, and security of property must quadruple in a century. Its length on the Pacific coast is equal to that of the whole continent of Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Gibraltar. It is more extensive than the vast possessions of Russia or of Great Britain in Asia. The Spanish language is spoken over a line of nearly 6000 miles. The State of Mexico alone is five times larger than European Spain. A single communication cut through these territories between the Atlantic and Pacific would bring China 6000 miles nearer to Europe*, and the Republic of Columbia or that of Mexico may open and command that new road for the commerce of the world.

After this faint sketch of the extent, the force, the resources and the prospects of Spanish America, it is time to ask what is the contest maintained for by Spain. I

*See M. V. Humboldt's admirable Essay on New Spain.

lay aside for the present all contending parties among the Americans, and inquire only who, throughout this vastempire, are in arms for the cause of Spain? What is the Spanish strength? A single castle in Mexico, an island on the coast of Chili, and a small army in Upper Peru! Is this a contest approaching to equality? Is it sufficient to render the independence of such a country doubtful? Does it deserve the name of contest? It is very little more than what in some of the wretched governments of the East is thought desirable to keep alive the vigilance of the rulers, and to exercise the martial spirit of the people. No impartial and well-informed man has the least disposition to believe that such revolts, though they may for some time be expected to prevail with occasional success and with constant mischief can have any tendency to restore the Spanish authority. There is nothing therefore now, which deserves the name of contest between Spain and South America considered as a whole. There is no present appearance that the country can be reduced by the power of Spain alone; and if any other power were to interfere, it is acknowledged that such an interference would impose new duties on Great Britain.

If, on the other hand, we consider the American states as separate, the fact of independence is undisputed with respect at least to some of them. What doubts can be entertained of the independence of the immense provinces of Caraccas, New Grenada and Quito, which now form the republic of Columbia? There, not a royalist soldier remains. A considerable Spanish army has been defeated. They have all either been destroyed, or expelled from the territory of the republic. Three congresses have successively been assembled. They have formed a reasonable and promising constitution. They have endeavoured to establish a wise system and a just administration of law. In the midst of their difficulties they have ventured (and hitherto with perfect success) to encounter the arduous and perilous but noble problem of a pacific emancipation of slaves. They have been able to observe good faith to their creditors, and thus to preserve the greatest of all resources in times of danger. Their tranquillity has stood the test of the long absence of Bolivar in Peru. Englishmen who have lately traversed their territories in various directions, are unanimous in stating that their journeys were made in the most undisturbed security. Every where they saw the laws obeyed, justice administered, armies disciplined, and the revenue peaceably collected. Many British subjects have indeed given practical proofs of their faith in the power and will of the Columbian government to protect industry and property: they have established houses of trade; they have undertaken to work mines; and they are establishing steamboats on the Orinoco and the Maddalena. Where is the state which can give better proofs of secure independence?

The republic of Buenos Ayres has an equally undisputed enjoyment of independence. There no Spanish soldier has set his foot for fourteen years. It would be as difficult to find a royalist there, as it would be a Jacobite in England (I mean only a personal adherent of the house of Stuart, for as to Jacobites in principle, I fear they never were more abundant). It has not even been attacked by Spaniards since the declaration of independence: and its rulers are so conscious of internal security, that they have crossed the Andes, and interposed with vigour and effect in the revolutions of Chili and Peru. Whoever wishes to know the state of Chili, will find it in a very valuable book lately published by Mrs. Graham, a lady whom I have the happiness to call my friend, who, by the faithful and picturesque minuteness of her descriptions, places her reader in the midst of the country, and introduces him to the familiar acquaintance of the inhabitants. Whatever seeds of internal discord may be perceived, we do not discover the vestige of any party friendly to the dominion of Spain. Even in Peru, where the spirit of independence has most recently appeared, and appears most to fluctuate, no formidable body of Spanish partisans has been observed by the most intelligent observers; and it is very doubtful whether even the army which keeps the field in that province against the American cause, be devoted to the restored despotism of Spain. Mexico, the greatest, doubtless, and most populous, but not perhaps the most enlightened, portion of Spanish America has passed through severe trials, and seems hitherto far from showing a disposition again to fall under the authority of Spain. Even the party who long bore the name of Spain on their banners, were unassisted by her arms. They fought for the mother country, it is true; but being taught to rely solely on their own unaided force, they imbibed in that very contest the spirit of independence. It was a contest between two Mexican parties, in which even the partisans of the foreign cause, having no hope of succour from without, at length ceased to look abroad for a sovereign. They were accordingly completely routed, without the interference of any other American state. The last viceroy who was sent from Spain was compelled to acknowledge the independence of Mexico; and the royalist officer, who appeared for a time so fortunate, could not win his way to a transient power without declaring against the pretensions of the mother country.

If, then, we consider these states as one mass, there cannot be said to be any remaining contest. If, on the other hand, we consider them separately, why do we not immediately comply with the prayer of this petition, by recognising the independence of those whom we must allow to be in fact independent? Where is the objection to the instantaneous recognition at least of Columbia and Buenos Ayres?

But here I shall be reminded of the second condition (as applicable to Mexico and Peru), the necessity of a stable government and of internal tranquillity: without these advantages, we are told that no state has a claim to be recognised.—On what principle this doctrine rests I cannot discover. Independence and good government are unfortunately very different things. Most countries have enjoyed the former; not above three or four since the beginning of history have had any pretensions to the latter. Many grossly misgoverned countries have performed duties of justice and good-will to neighbouring states; I do not say so well as more wisely ordered commonwealths, but still tolerably, and always much better than if they had not been controlled by the influence of opinion acting through a regular intercourse with other nations.

We really do not deal with Spain and America by the same weight and measure. We exact proofs of independence and tranquillity from America. We dispense both with independence and tranquillity in Old Spain. We have an ambassador at Madrid though the whole kingdom be in the hands of France. We treat Spain with all the honours due to a civilized state of the first rank; though we have been told in this House, that the continuance of the French army there is an act of humanity, necessary to prevent the faction of frantic royalists from destroying not only the friends of liberty, but every Spaniard who hesitates to carry on a war of persecution and extirpation against all who are not the zealous sup-porters of unbounded tyranny:—although we have been told all this, we continue to treat Spain as if she were independent, as if she were under the government of civilized men, and not under the tyranny of ignorant and ferocious barbarians.

On the other hand, we require from the new-born states of America, a condition incompatible with human nature, and which if they were able to fulfil, they would be unlike every other community that ever shook off the yoke of foreign or domestic tyrants. We refuse them the honour of formal admission into the society of independent nations, unless they shall immediately solve the awful problem of reconciling liberty with order; unless infant governments shall in a moment shoot up into manhood; unless all the efforts incident to a fearful struggle shall at once subside into the most perfect and undisturbed tranquillity. We expect that every interest which great changes have wounded shall yield without resistance, and that every visionary or ambitious hope which they have kindled shall submit without a murmur to the counsels of wisdom and the authority of the laws. Who are we who exact the performance of such hard conditions? Are we, the English nation, to look thus coldly on rising liberty? We have indulgence enough for tyrants; we make ample allowance for the difficulties of their situation; we are ready enough to deprecate the censure of their worst acts. And are we, who spent ages of blood in struggling for freedom, to treat with such severity the nations who now follow our example? Are we to refuse that indulgence to the errors and faults of other nations, which was so long needed by our own ancestors? The English people waded through despotism and anarchy, through civil war and revolution on their road to freedom. They passed through every form of civil and religious tyranny; they persecuted Protestants under Mary; I blush to add, they persecuted Catholics under Elizabeth. It was said by the great satirist, in those nervous invectives which he poured out against them for their love of liberty, that they were a people whom No king could govern, and no God could please.

Within a few years after these invectives, this abused people established the first system of civil and religious liberty which had ever been attempted in. a great empire We justly revere our forefathers for having accounted all the evils through which they passed, as nothing in comparison with the high object which they pursued. We never think of these evils further than as they endeared to us the liberty of which they were the price. And shall we now inconsistently, unreasonably, basely hold that distractions so much fewer and milder and shorter, endured in the same glorious cause, will unfit other nations for its attainment, and preclude them from the enjoyment of that rank and those privileges which we at the same moment recognize as belonging to slaves and barbarians?

I call upon my right hon. friend-distinctly to tell us, on what principle he considers the perfect enjoyment of internal quiet as a condition necessary for the acknowledgment by foreign states of an independence which cannot be denied to exist lean discover none, unless the confusions of a country were such as to endanger the personal safety of a foreign minister. In such a case, indeed, there would be a sufficient reason for interrupting diplomatic intercourse till it could be safely carried on. Yet the European powers have always had ministers at Constantinople, though it was well known that the barbarians who ruled there would, on the approach of a quarrel, send these unfortunate gentlemen to a prison in which they might remain during a long war. Short of this extreme case, I see no connexion between diplomatic intercourse and the internal state of a country. As long as foreign ministers are secure, no confusion can be such as to require the interruption or to prevent the establishment of intercourse through them. But if there were any such insecurity in the new States, how do the ministers of the United States of North America reside in their capitals? or why do we trust our own consuls and commissioners among them? Is there any physical peculiarity in a consul, which renders him invulnerable where an ambassador or an envoy would be in danger? Is a consul bullet-proof or bayonet-proof, or do consuls wear coats of mail which secure them from violence? The appointment of consuls implies our belief that there are governments existing in Spanish America, who are actually independent, and to whom our consuls may apply in cases of mercantile grievance with the same reasonable prospect of success as in other countries. It rests on the foundation that these governments are obeyed by their subjects, and have the power and the will to compel them to do justice to foreigners. What more do we require for ministers of a higher character? The same government which redresses an individual grievance, on the application of a consul, may remove a cause of national difference after listening to the remonstrance of an envoy. Whatever may be the succession of factions, however these states may be agitated by divisions, whatever form their governments may assume, they must be as competent, and as much disposed, to negociate on high national interests as to do justice to an aggrieved trader or mariner; they must in the one case, as in the other, all be equally inclined to continue on terms of amity and friendly intercourse with the greatest maritime power of the world.

I will venture even to contend, that internal distractions, instead of being an impediment to diplomatic intercourse, are rather an additional reason for it. An ambassador is more necessary in a disturbed than in a tranquil country, inasmuch as the evils against which his presence is intended -to guard are more likely to occur in the former than in the latter. It is in the midst of civil commotions that the foreign trader is the most likely to be wronged; and it is then that he therefore requires not only the good offices of a consul, but the weightier interposition of a higher minister. In a perfectly well ordered country the laws and the tribunals-might be sufficient. It is in a state where their operation is disturbed, that he cannot be safe without aid from the representative of his native country. In the same manner it is obvious, that if an ambassador be an important security for the preservation and good understanding between the best regulated governments, his presence must be far more requisite to prevent the angry passions of exasperated factions from breaking out into war. Whether, therefore, we consider the individual or the public interests which are secured by embassies, it seems no paradox to maintain, that if they could be dispensed with at all, it would rather be in quiet than in disturbed countries.

The interests here at stake may be said to be rather individual than national. But a wrong done to the humblest British subject, an insult offered to the British flag flying on the slightest skiff, is, if unrepaired, a dishonour to the British nation. It is a great national interest as well as duty to watch over the international rights of every Briton, and to claim them from every government. It is only when states treat the wrongs of their subjects as public injuries, that every individual learns to feel the violation of his country's rights as a private wrong.

But the mass of private interest engaged in our trade with Spanish America, is so great as to render it a large part of the national interest. There are already at least a hundred English houses of trade established in various parts of that immense country. A great body of skilful miners have lately left this country, to restore and increase the working of the mines of Mexico. Botanists and Geologists and Zoologists are preparing to explore regions too vast to be exhausted by the Condamines and Humboldts. These missionaries of civilization, who are about to spread European and especially English opinions and habits, and to teach industry and the arts, with their natural consequences of love of order and desire of quiet, are at the same time opening new markets for the produce of British labour, and new sources of improvement as well as enjoyment to the people of America.

The excellent petition from Liverpool to the king, sets forth the value of the South American commerce very clearly with respect to its present extent, its rapid increase, and its probable permanence. In 1819, the official returns represent the value of exported British produce at thirty-five millions sterling; in 1822, at forty-six millions; and, in the opinion of the petitioners, who are witnesses of the highest authority, a great part of this prodigious increase is to be ascribed to the progress of the South American trade. On this point, however, they are not content with probabilities. In 1822, they tell us that the British produce exported to the late Spanish colonies amounted in value to three millions eight hundred thousand pounds sterling; and in 1823, to five millions six hundred thousand; an increase of near two millions in one year. As both the years compared are subsequent to the opening of the American ports, we may lay out of the account the indirect trade formerly carried on with the Spanish Main through the West Indies, the far greater part of which must now be transferred to a cheaper, shorter and more convenient channel. In the year 1820 and the three following years, the annual average of ships which sailed from the port of Liverpool to Spanish America was 189; and the number of those which have so sailed in five months of the present year is already 124; being, an increase in the proportion of thirty to nineteen. Another criterion of the importance of this trade, on which the traders of Liverpool are peculiarly well qualified to judge, is the export of cotton goods from their own port. The result of the comparison of that export to the United States of America, and to certain parts* of Spanish and Portuguese America, is peculiarly instructive and striking.—Year ending Jan. 5, 1820. Actual value of cotton goods exported from Liverpool, to United States 882,029l. to Spanish and Portuguese America 852,651l. Year ending Jan. 5, 1821. Actual value of cotton goods exported from Liverpool, to United States 1,033,206l. to Spanish and Portuguese America 1,111,574l.

It is observed, that this last extraordinary statement relates to the comparative infancy of this trade; that it comprehends neither Vera Cruz nor the ports of Columbia; and that the striking disproportion in the rate of increase does not arise from the abatement of the North American demand (for that has increased), but from the rapid progress of demand in the South American market Already, then, this new commerce surpasses in amount and still more in progress, that trade with the United States which is one of the oldest and most extensive as well as most progressive branches of the traffic of this great, commercial country.

If I consult another respectable authority, and look at the subject in a somewhat different light, I find the annual value of our whole exports estimated in lord Liverpool's speech on this subject at forty-three millions sterling,* of which about twenty-millions worth goes to Europe, and about the value of seventeen millions to North and South America: leaving between four, and five millions to Africa and Asia. According to this statement, I may reckon * Viz. Brazil, Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, Chili, and the West Coast of America, † See Vol, X. p. 993. the trade to the new independent states as one-eighth of the trade of the whole British empire. It is more than our trade to all our possessions on the continent and islands of America before the beginning of the fatal American war in 1774–for fatal I call it, not because I lament the independence of America, but because I deeply deplore the hostile separation of the two great nations of English race.

The official accounts of exports and imports laid before this House on the 3rd of May 1824, present another view of this subject, in which the Spanish colonies are carefully separated from Brazil. By these accounts it appears the exports to the Spanish colonies were as follows. In 1818,735, 344l.; in 1819,850,943l; in 1820, 431, 615l.; in 1821, 917, 916l.; in 1822, 1,210,825l.;in 1823, 2,016,276l. I quote all these statements of this commerce, though they do not entirely agree with each other, because I well know the difficulty of attaining exactness on such subjects; because the least of them is perfectly sufficient for my purpose; and because the last, though not so large as others in amount, shows more clearly than any other its rapid progress, and the proportion which its acceleration bears to the extension and acceleration of American independence.

If it were important to swell this account, I might follow the example of the Liverpool petitioners (who are to be heard with more respect, because on this subject they have no interest), by adding to the general amount of commerce the supply of money to the American States of about twelve millions sterling; for though I of course allow that such contracts cannot be enforced by the arms of this country against a foreign state, yet I consider the commerce in money as equally legitimate and honourable with any other sort of commercial dealing, and equally advantageous to the country of the lenders, wherever it is profitable to the lenders themselves. I see no difference in principle between a loan on the security of public revenue, and a loan on a mortgage of private property; and the protection of such dealings is in my opinion a perfectly good additional reason for hastening to do that which is previously determined to be politic and just.

To use any further arguments to prove the importance of a trade which has been declared to be important by London, Liverpool, and Manchester, may seem superfluous. For, if they are not worthy of credit on a commercial question, where is authentic information concerning such matters to be found? On the principles and theory of commerce I have dissented from merchants, and I have generally been laughed at as a visionary for my pains. I have, at length, however, lived to see the day when merchants, and even statesmen (a still more obstinate and conceited race), have become the disciples of philosophers. But on the extent, the particulars, and the profits, of a single branch of trade, I have seldom known any economist so hardy as to question the testimony of the whole body of English merchants and manufacturers.

If I were further called to illustrate the value of a free intercourse with South America, I should refer the House to a valuable work, which I hope all who hear me have read, and which I know they ought to read—I mean captain Basil Hall's Travels in that country. The whole book is one continued proof of the importance of the free trade to England, to America, and to mankind. No man knows better how to extract information from the most seemingly trifling conversations, and to make them the means of conveying the most just conception of the opinions, interests, and feelings of a people. Though he can weigh interests in the scales of Smith, he also seizes, with the skill of Plutarch, on those small circumstances and expressions which characterize not only individuals but nations. "While we were admiring the scenery," says he, "our people had established themselves in a hut, and were preparing supper under the direction of a peasant—a tall copper-coloured semi-barbarous native of the forest—but who, notwithstanding his uncivilized appearance, turned out to be a very shrewd fellow, and gave us sufficiently pertinent answers to most of our queries. A young Spaniard of our party, a royalist by birth, and half a patriot in sentiment, asked the mountaineer what harm the king had done. 'Why,' answered he 'as for the king, his only fault, at least that I know of, was his living too far off; if a king be really good for a country, it appears to me that he ought to live in that country, not two thousand leagues away from it.' On asking him what was his opinion of the free trade, 'My opinion,' said he, 'is this—formerly I paid nine dollars for the piece of cloth of which this shirt is made, I now pay two—that is my opinion of the free trade.*"

This simple story illustrates better than a thousand arguments the sense which the American consumer has of the consequences of free trade to him. If we ask how it affects the American producer, we shall find a decisive answer in the same admirable work. His interest is, to produce his commodities at less expense, and to sell them at a higher price, as well as in greater quantity. All these objects he has obtained. Before the Revolution, he sold his copper at seven dollars a quintal. In 1821, he sold it at thirteen dollars a quintal. The articles which he uses in the mines are, on the other hand, reduced —steel from 50 dollars a quintal to 16 dollars; iron from 25 to 8. The provisions of his labourers are lowered in the proportion of 21 to 14. The fine cloth which he himself wears, from 23 dollars a yard to 12. His crockery from 350 reals per crate to 40; his hardware from 300 reals to 100; and his glass from 200 to 100.† It is justly observed by captain Hall, that, however incompetent a Peruvian might be, to appreciate the benefits of political liberty, he can have no difficulty in estimating such sensible and palpable improvements in the condition of himself and his countrymen. With Spanish authority he connects the remembrance of restriction, monopoly, degradation, poverty, discomfort, privation. In those who struggle to restore it, we may be assured that the majority of Americans can see only enemies who come to rob them of private enjoyments and personal accommodations.

It will perhaps be said, that Spain is willing to abandon the monopoly: but if she did, might she not by the same authority restore it? If her sovereignty be restored, she must possess abundant means of evading the execution of any concessions now made in the hour of her distress. The faith of Ferdinand is the only security for the observance of a stipulation for keeping open the trade, or any part of it. On the other hand, if America continues independent, our security is the strong sense of a most palpable interest already spread among the people. The interest of the miner of Chili in selling his copper, and of the *Hall. ii. 188. † Hall, ii. 47. This curious table relates to Chili—the previous anecdote to Mexico. peasant of Mexico in buying his shirt, is in that case our security. I prefer it to the royal word of Ferdinand. But do we not know that the royalist general Canterac in the summer 1823 declared the old prohibitory laws to be still in force in Peru, and announced his intention of accordingly confiscating all English merchandize which he had before generously spared? Do we not know that English commerce every where flies from the Royalists, and hails with security and joy the appearance of the American flag?*

But it is needless to reason on this subject, or to refer to the conduct of local agents. We have a decree of Ferdinand himself to appeal to. It bears date at Madrid on the 9th February, 1824. It is a very curious document, and very agreeable to the general character of his most important edicts, in which there is more than the usual repugnance between the title and the purport. As he published a table of proscription under the name of a decree of amnesty, so his professed grant of free trade is, in truth, an establishment of monopoly. The first article does indeed promise a free trade to Spanish America: the second, however, hastens to declare that this free trade is to be "regulated by a future law, that is to be confined to certain ports, and that it shall be subjected to duties which are to be regulated by the same law. The third also declares that the preference to be granted to Spain shall be regulated in like manner. As if the duties, limitations, and preferences thus announced had not provided such means of evasion as were equivalent to a repeal of the first article, the royal lawgiver proceeds in the fourth article to enact, that "till the two foregoing articles can receive their perfect execution, there shall be nothing innovated in the state of America:" which, as the court of Madrid does not recognise the legality of what has been done in America since the revolt, may be plausibly and perhaps reasonably interpreted to import a re-establishment of the Spanish laws of absolute monopoly, till the government of Spain shall be disposed to promulgate that code of restriction, of preference, and of duties, perhaps prohibitory, which, according to them, constitutes free trade. It is not said whether the innovation relates to law or to fact. Even on the *As in the evacuation of Lima in the Spring of 1824. most favourable construction, it cannot be denied that the second and third articles distinctly point out the means of rendering nugatory the apparent concession promised in the first. The decree itself gives fair warning of the disposition of Spain, and demonstrates that, if she regains her sovereignty, she cannot be deprived of the means of re-establishing her monopoly with no other change but that of forms and names.

But it will be said elsewhere, though not here, that I now argue on the selfish and sordid principle of exclusive regard to British interest—that I would sacrifice every higher consideration to the extension of our traffic, and to the increase of our profits: for this is the insolent language, in which those who gratify their ambition by plundering and destroying their fellow creatures have in all ages dared to speak of those who better their own condition by multiplying the enjoyments of mankind. In answer, I might content myself with saying, that, having proved the recognition to be conformable to justice, I have a perfect right to recommend it as conducive to the welfare of this nation. But I deny altogether the doctrine, that commerce has a selfish character—that it can benefit one party without being advantageous to the other. It is twice blessed—it blesses the giver as well as the receiver. It consists in the interchange of the means of enjoyment, and its very essence is, to employ one part of mankind in contributing to the happiness of others. It is absolutely impossible to conceive an instance of its permanent extension, as long as it is confined within the limits of morality, which does not render it the interest of a greater number of men to contribute to the subsistence or relief, or security or pleasure, or improvement or refinement, of a larger and larger body of their fellow men. What is the instrument by which a savage is to be raised from a state in which he has nothing human but the form, but commerce, by exciting in his mind the desire of accommodation and enjoyment, and by presenting to him the means of obtaining these advantages? It is thus only that he is gradually raised to industry, to foresight, to a respect for property, to a sense of justice, to a perception of the necessity of laws. What corrects his prejudices against foreign nations and dissimilar races?— Commercial intercourse. What slowly teaches him that the quiet and well-being of the most distant regions have some tendency to promote the prosperity of his own? What at length disposes him even to tolerate those religious differences which led him to regard the greater part of the species with abhorrence?—Nothing but the intercourse and familiarity into which commerce alone could have tempted him. What diffuses wealth, and thereby increases the leisure which calls into existence the works of genius, the discoveries of science, and the inventions of art? What transports just opinions of government into enslaved countries, raises the importance of the middle and lower classes of society, and thus reforms social institutions, and establishes equal liberty?—What but commerce—the real civilizer and emancipator of mankind? To open South America to the commerce of the world, is in reality not merely to multiply the enjoyments and comforts of her people, but to render them partakers of the arts, and knowledge, and morality, and liberty, of civilized men.

A delay of recognition would be an important breach of justice to the American States. We send consuls to their territory, in the confidence that their government and their judges will do justice to British subjects. But we receive no authorised agents from them to secure the attainment of justice here by their subjects, for that would be recognition. Until they shall be recognised by the king, our courts of law will not acknowledge their existence; so that these governments may have large dealings in this country, which are put out of the protection of the law. Our statutes allow certain privileges to ships from the provinces in America lately subject to Spain; but our courts will not acknowledge that these provinces are subject to any government. The effect of our present position is even to take away the protection of law from the dealings of British subjects with them or on their account.

A vast commercial property has not the advantage which is professed by enjoyed by all property in almost every state. If the maritime war which has lately commenced should long continue, many questions of international law may arise out of our anomalous situation, which it will be impossible to determine by any established principles. The law of nations never contemplates a case in which a vast empire is engaged, of which we do not recognise the government, or, in other words, of which we do not acknowledge the legal existence. If we escape this difficulty by recognising the actual governments in courts of prize, how absurd, inconsistent, and inconvenient it is, not to extend the same recognition to all our tribunals!

It would not be neutrality, but gross partiality towards Spain, to withhold from the American States the advantages which would arise from our recognition, while we enjoy all the benefits of a secure and friendly intercourse with them. Recognition, indeed, confers no legal rights, but it gives great advantages in general opinion, which a recent government feels very sensibly, both at home and abroad.

These moral interests of a state may be as important as many of its positive rights. By withholding them without necessity from a struggling community, we may give the most effectual aid to their enemies. We teach their subjects and their enemies to despise them; we inspire a general distrust of their permanence; and we may discourage other nations from treating them with respect and good will. All that is thus taken out of their scale is thrown into that of their enemies.

The reception of a new state into the society of civilized nations by those acts which amount to recognition, is a proceeding which, as it has no legal character, and is purely of a moral nature, must vary very much in its value, according to the name and authority of the nation who, upon such occasions, act as the representatives of civilized men. I will say nothing of England, but that she is the only anciently free state in the world. For her to refuse her moral aid to communities struggling for liberty, is an act of unnatural harshness, which, if it does not recoil on England, must injure America in the estimation of mankind. The injury is aggravated by the reason assigned for the delay. If we wait till so vast a country, inhabited by so many various classes of men, all of whom have so little political experience, shall exhibit a scene of universal tranquillity, how many years may pass ere we adopt a measure which we have already declared must be done before many; months have elapsed!

This is not all: the delay of recognition tends to prolong and exasperate the disorders which are the reason alleged for it. Recognition is a proof of general goodwill and confidence, which will strengthen these governments, and consequently tends to shorten and mitigate the agitations of infant liberty. Every delay encourages Spain to waste herself, in desperate efforts; it encourages the Holy Alliance to sow division; to employ intrigue and corruption; to threaten, perhaps to equip and dispatch, armaments. It encourages every incendiary to excite revolt, and every ambitious adventurer to embark in projects of usurpation. It is a cruel policy, which has the strongest tendency to continue, for a time of which we cannot foresee the limits, rapine and blood, commotions and civil wars, throughout the larger portion of the New World. By maintaining an outlawry against them, we may give them the character of outlaws. The long continuance of confusion, in part arising from refusing to countenance their governments, to impose on them the mild yoke of civilized opinion, and to teach them respect for themselves by associating them with other free communities, may at length unfit them for liberty or order, and destroy in America that capacity to maintain the usual relations of peace and amity which undoubtedly exists there at present. This state of things will indeed deeply affect not only the interests of this country, but, as it is well said in the papers before us, "the relations of the Old World with the New." It is justly added, that it "is embarrassing to these governments," and most injurious to the interests of all European nations. It embarrasses the governments of America, because it leaves them without regular means of cultivating the friendship of European nations, and of amicably adjusting differences which may arise with them. It embarrasses them, by withholding from them that incidental but important aid which friendly nations afford to each other, by that diplomatic intercourse, which is a mark of respect as well as a channel of friendly intercourse. To European interests it is injurious, both for the same reasons, and because in its consequences it lessens the security and convenience of their general intercourse with America; because the longer it is continued, the greater risk there is that it may render the American nations less qualified to imbibe the feelings and adhere to the principles which regulate the relations of civilized communities.

It is vain to expect that Spain, even if she were to conquer America, could establish in that country a vigorous government capable of securing an useful intercourse with other countries. America is too determined, and Spain is too feeble. The only possible result of so unhappy an event would be, that governments both weak and violent would exhibit the wretched spectacle of beggary, plunder, bloodshed, alternate anarchy and despotism in a country almost depopulated, and among the remains of a people without the means of carrying on commerce or the disposition to protect it. It may require time to give firmness to native governments. But it is impossible that a Spanish government should ever acquire it. While we delay our recognition till we ascertain the internal condition of America, we, in truth, refuse to do all that depends on us for rendering the intercourse of Europe with that country advantageous, regular and safe. I desire not to be misunderstood. I am far from foretelling that the American nations will not speedily and completely subdue the agitations which are in some degree, perhaps, inseparable from a struggle for independence. I have no such gloomy forebodings; though even if I were to yield to them, I should not speak the language once grateful to the ears of this House, if I were not to say that the chance of liberty is worth the agitations of centuries; and if any Englishman were to speak opposite doctrines to new nations, the present power and prosperity and glory of England would enable them to detect his slavish sophistry. I do not say, that long anarchy will prevail in America, nor even that, if it should, it may not arise from other causes. But I will confidently affirm, that a delay of recognition by us has a tendency to contribute to this evil; and if that should exist (which God forbid!), we shall be answerable for some portion of it. Our own conduct alone deeply concerns us. What may arise from other causes, is an object of curiosity and a matter for speculation. As a man, I trust that the virtue and fortune of the American States will spare them many of the sufferings which appear to be the price set on liberty: but as a Briton, I am desirous that we should aid them in that most arduous and glorious part of their undertaking, by early treating them with the honour and kindness which they have well deserved by justice, humanity, valour, and magnanimity, displayed for the attainment of the most noble object of human pursuit.

To conclude:—The delay of recognition is not due to Spain. It is injurious to America. It is inconvenient to all European nations; and only most incon- venient to Great Britain, because she has a greater intercourse with America than any other nation. I would not endanger the safety of my own country for the advantage of other communities. I would not violate the rules of duty to promote its interest. I would not take unlawful means even (for the purpose of diffusing liberty among men. I would not violate neutrality to serve America, nor commit injustice to extend the commerce of England. But I would do an act consistent with neutrality and warranted by impartial justice, tending to mature the liberty and to consolidate the internal quiet of a vast continent; to increase the probability that the benefits of free and just government will be attained by so great a portion of mankind; to procure for England the honour of a becoming share in contributing to so unspeakable a blessing; to prevent the dictators of Europe from becoming the masters of the New World; to re-establish some balance of opinions and force, by placing the republics of America, with the wealth and maritime power of the world, in the scale opposite to that of the European allies; to establish beyond the Atlantic an asylum which may preserve, till happier times, the remains of the Spanish name; to save nations, who have proved their generous spirit by their pursuit of liberty, from becoming the slaves of the Holy Alliance; and to rescue sixteen millions of American Spaniards from the fate of their European brethren, from sharing that sort of law and justice, of peace and order, which now prevails from the Pyrenees to the Rock of Gibraltar.

The following Petition was then brought up, and read:

"To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom in Parliament assembled. The Petition of the undersigned merchants of the City of London,

"Showeth—That your Petitioners aye engaged in trade with the countries in America formerly under the dominion of Spain:

"That the entire extinction of Spanish authority in the greater part of that Continent, and the encouragement by the government at home, induced your petitioners to embark in that extensive commerce, with full confidence that it would receive the most complete protection, and ultimately prove most beneficial to them- selves and the country at large. The measures adopted by government most decisively demonstrated the anxiety to acquire and secure this intercourse.

"In the session of 1822, an act of parliament was passed, cap. 43, authorizing the importation of goods, the growth, production, or manufacture, of 'any country or place in America, being or having been a part of the dominions of the king of Spain,' either in British ships or in ships the built of those countries. In the following year, consuls were appointed to proceed to the ports thereof, and subsequently there has been made public the declaration of his majesty's government, that in its opinion, the recognition of such of the new states as have established, de facto, their separate political existence cannot be much longer delayed.'

"Your petitioners further humbly represent, that many millions of capital have already been embarked in this trade; that large commercial establishments have been formed both in South America and at home: and that past experience affords the strongest ground for believing that this commercial intercourse will admit of great extension, the reciprocal demand for the productions of the respective countries being constantly increasing.

"Your petitioners consequently end themselves greatly embarrassed by those countries remaining 'without any recognised political existence.' Not a week passes but they are assailed with rumours of the most alarming kind, involving their proceedings in doubt, hesitation, and distraction, and grievously destructive of that confidence so essential to the success of all commercial undertakings. Your honourable House must be well aware that no commercial intercourse can be permanently carried on with security and advantage to those concerned, if it is rendered liable to fluctuation by constant alarms of political changes, necessarily producing sudden and excessive alterations in the value of the property embarked.

"That your petitioners are enabled to state, and to prove unequivocally to your honourable House, that in the several states of Columbia, Buenos Ayres, and Chili, there does not remain the smallest vestige of Spanish dominion in any shape: each state enjoying its own government separate and independent from all interference of a hostile force.

"That the revolution which has pro- duced this alteration in the political condition of these countries, has now been in progress fifteen years. In Buenos Ayres there has not been a Spanish soldier in hostility for eight years. In Chili there has been none for four years; and in Columbia the third annual constitutional congress is now sitting. In none of these states does there exist any party, or persons in possession of power or authority excepting the constituted executive government.

"Your petitioners, therefore, humbly submit that these states have established, de facto, their separate political existence; and are, according to the practice of nations in former instances, entitled to be recognized as independent governments; but they would not have presumed to have addressed your honourable House on a question of this nature, if the continued delay in recognizing this political existence did not produce the most detrimental consequences to the commercial transactions in which they are concerned.

"Your petitioners, therefore, most humbly pray that your honourable House will take this question into its serious consideration, and adopt such measures as to its wisdom may seem fit, for promoting the immediate recognition of the independence of such of the states of South America as have, de facto, established the same. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray."

On the question that it do lie on the table,

Mr. Secretary Canning

said:—Unquestionably, Sir, I am very far from having any thing to complain of, either with respect to the tone or topics with which my hon. and learned friend has introduced his speech; and if the observations which I shall feel it my duty to make upon that speech, or the petition upon which it is founded, shall bear but a small proportion to his address, I hope he will do me the justice to believe, that it is not in consequence of any offence at what he has said, or any disrespect for his opinions. But, my hon. and learned friend must be fully aware, that though there are, in what he believed might be called the late Spanish colonies great questions involved, any thing which may fall from me on the part of his majesty's government would be likely to produce effects, which neither he nor I could wish to witness. I, therefore, must rather restrain every disposition which I feel to follow my hon. and learned friend through the various topics upon which he has touched, and confine myself, as much as possible, to a simple statement of facts, with no other qualification than a full and clear understanding of them. My hon. and learned friend has gone over the papers, formerly laid on the table, and given a just analysis of the course hitherto pursued by his majesty's government, with respect to the South American colonies. He has justly stated, that the first question in point of order for their consideration, was the question between the parent state and her colonies; and that the course laid down by ministers was one of strict neutrality. In doing this, it was also right to observe, that allowing the colonists to assume an equal belligerent rank with the parent country, we did, pro tanto, raise them in the scale of nations. His hon. and learned friend had justly said, and it was also stated by the petitioners, that, in the year 1822, the extent of the commerce then existing between this country and the colonies of Spain, led to another de facto recognition of their separate political existence: were cognized their commercial flag, which was admitted to the same advantages as the flags of independent states in amity with England. He has also most correctly remarked, that the next step was taken before the breaking out of the war between France and Spain: an intimation was at that period given to Spain, privately in the first instance, and afterwards publicly to the whole world, that to the British government it appeared, that time and events had very substantially decided the question of separation; but that the fact of recognition must be determined by various circumstances, and, among others, by the internal state of each of the colonies so claiming recognition. My hon. and learned friend further stated, with the same accuracy, that after that declaration made to Spain, after the publication of that declaration, which left neither to Spain, nor to any other power, cause of complaint, if Great Britain should think fit to act practically upon it, the circumstances of the last year induced this country to suspend even the consideration of that question—to suspend the mission of commercial agents to South America—and to remain inactive and undecided, until the decision of the contest in which France and Spain were engaged. Immediately after the decision of that contest, or rather, I should say, at the moment of its decision, and before any consequences could arise, and any step be taken by France or by other powers of Europe, a warning was given by this country, in the clearest terms, as to the course she would pursue on any proposal for a joint conference or congress on the affairs of Spanish America. My hon. and learned friend has faithfully recalled to the recollection of the House the particular expressions of that warning. The next stage in the course of these transactions was the proposal, on the part of Spain, that this country should become a member of such a congress, and join in such a conference. That proposal was followed by our refusal. On the mode in which that refusal was made, first as it related to Spain, and next as it referred to the colonies, the House is already so perfectly advised, that it is not necessary for me to dwell upon it. Since that period (and this forms the last stage of these transactions), a public discussion has taken place in this House. The state in which things remained the last time the question was agitated within these walls, was this. It was stated, that the king's government, though reserving to themselves the right of acting as they should think fit, in reference to the interests of Great Britain involved in those colonies, yet thought it not merely politically expedient, but just and generous, to afford Spain the opportunity of precedency, and absolutely to suspend any decision, until they knew in what way she would avail herself of that opportunity. What I have now to state is, that that condition is at an end, and that, with respect to any further steps to be taken by this country towards the Spanish American colonies, she must act for herself. What has passed upon this point between the two cabinets, it is not necessary for me to particularize; but the result is, that the British government is left to act upon its own decision, without further reference to Spain. Such is the result I have to state, and the only communication I have to make to the House ends. I trust honourable gentlemen will see, that in stating what is a fact, I avoid rather than incur the danger to which I referred, and which might arise from the agitation of this question. I apprehend that I should run the risk of that peril, if I were to state any ulterior, conjectural, or even hypothecal case, I shall therefore carefully shun it.—Here I should conclude what I have to address to the House, were I not glad of the opportunity afforded me by the speech of my hon. and learned friend, and which opportunity I undoubtedly thanked him for, of putting on its true ground, and in its just light, the expression of "recognition" which has been so much mistaken. It is perfectly true, as has been mentioned, that the term "recognition" has been much abused; and, unfortunately, that abuse has perhaps been supported by some authority: it has clearly two senses, in which it is to be differently understood. If the colonies say to the mother country, "We assert our independence," and the mother country answers, "I admit it," that is recognition in one sense. If the colonies say to another state, "We are independent," and that other state replies, "I allow that you are so," that is recognition in another sense of the term. That other state simply acknowledges the fact, or rather its opinion of the fact; but she confers nothing, unless under particular circumstances; she may be considered as conferring a favour. Therefore, it is one question, whether the recognition of the independence of the colonies shall take place, Spain being a party to such recognition; and another question, whether Spain, withholding what no power on earth can necessarily extort by fire, sword, or conquest, if she maintain silence without a positive refusal, other countries should acknowledge that independence. I am sure, that my hon. and learned friend will agree with me in thinking, that his exposition of the different senses of the word "recognition" is the clearest argument in favour of the course we originally took: namely, that of wishing that the recognition in the minor sense should carry with it recognition by the mother country in the major sense. The recognition by a neutral power alone cannot, in the very nature of things, carry with it the same degree of authority, as if it were accompanied by the recognition by the mother country also. If therefore the government of Great Britain had looked exclusively to the interests of the colonial states, she would reasonably pursue the course we have in fact taken -, it must have been an object of higher importance to those states, that the recognition by Great Britain should be delayed, in the hope of bringing with it a similar concession: from Spain, rather than that the recognition by Great Britain should be so precipitate as to postpone, if not prevent, the recognition by the mother country. Whether all hope is over of any such step, on tire part of Spain, is another question. Our obligation, then, as a matter of fact, is at an end—I am enabled to state that positively.—The rest is matter of opinion, and must depend upon a balance of probabilities. But, as my hon. and learned friend has said, this simple sense of the term "recognition" has been very much misunderstood, both here and in other places; because, though there is nothing more plain and easy than the act of acknowledging a fact (if fact it be), that such a government is independent, yet I am quite certain he will agree with me, that it may make a difference, if that acknowledgment be asked, which implies an expectation of consequences which do not necessarily belong to it. I am sure he will feel, that great as the boon of recognition in its simplest sense might be to any new government, it would be greater if, though given in one sense, it were accepted in another. It might be given as a mere acknowledgment of a fact, and accepted as a sort of treaty of alliance and co-operation. I am not ignorant of the many commercial interests that call for this proceeding; but, if what is required were granted, some suppose that it would necessarily have the effect of tranquillizing the state, establishing and confirming its independence. The simple recognition by any neutral power, if it were not misunderstood, could have no such effect. I am, therefore, anxious that exaggerated expectations should not be indulged, as to what might be the immediate consequences of recognition.— My hon. and learned friend has put two cases, the possibility of the existence of one of which I certainly do not feel. He says, that South America must either be considered as one great mass, and then the contest in any part bears but a very small proportion to the tranquillity of the whole; or that each separate state must be considered by itself, and then only the state in which the contest exists can fairly be excluded from recognition. I have no sort of difficulty in saying, that to lake South America as a mass, presents a physical impossibility; and my hon. and learned friend does not pretend that there is any government established which had authority over the whole. That position will, therefore, certainly be of no assistance to his argument. The other point of view he has presented deserves more consideration; namely, how far we are to consider each separate state entitled to recognition. Into this part of the argument I do not go at present: this is a horn of his dilemma, with which I am not, for various reasons, now prepared to contend. I will state only, that though I agree with him, that we have no pretence to be so difficult and scrupulous as to insist that a new government shall have all the stability of an old one before we acknowledge its independence, yet we must act with some degree of caution, before we can give our fiat, even if it be understood to amount to no more than a declaration of opinion. We are not bound, indeed, to be so sure of our ground, as to be able to answer for it, that our opinion shall turn out to be true; but we are bound to take care to have the chances in its favour. The principle to guide us is this:—that as the whole of our conduct should be essentially neutral, we ought not to acknowledge the separate and independent existence of any government, which is so doubtfully established, that the mere effect of that acknowledgment shall be to mix parties again in internal squabbles, if not in open hostilities. My hon. and learned friend is aware, that before we can act, information as to matters of fact is necessary. We have taken the means to obtain that information; but we are not yet in possession of that official intelligence which will enable us to arrive at a decision. Even with regard to the particular state last alluded to, Columbia, I know what has passed there only through the same channels of information my hon. and learned friend seems to have consulted; I mean the newspapers. I have seen much that I think must be rather exaggerated; but I have yet no authentic record, by which I can correct the public statements. This is all that I think it consistent with my duty to state to my hon. and learned friend. To every principle laid down in the papers he has read, and on which he has bestowed commendation, the king's government steadfastly adheres. The progress made since we last had any communication on the subject, is a proof that we have proceeded in the execution of those principles; and as my hon. and learned friend approves of all that is stated in those documents, he must, I apprehend, approve equally of what subsequently occurred. The House will judge whether it is expedient, in the present state of af- fairs, necessarily partaking of so much uncertainty, to press the discussion beyond the information I have been able to give, or whether it would not complicate, and perhaps retard rather than accelerate, the object in view. I have only to add, that the proposal originally made by Spain to this country, to become a party to a congress on the affairs of South America, had been repeated, and again refused by the government of Great Britain.

Mr. T. Wilson

said, that, as one of the members for the city of London, he thanked the hon. and learned member for the masterly manner in which he had discharged his duty to the petitioners.

Mr. Ellice

concurred with the hon. member for London, in the well-deserved praise which he had bestowed upon his hon. and learned friend for bringing this subject forward. Had parliament prorogued without some declaration or discussion upon this most important subject, that neglect must have imparted the greatest uneasiness to all the commercial ranks in the country. In the out-ports, no less than in the city of London, did the deepest anxiety prevail as to the assurances which might follow from the government upon the presenting of this petition. All that he would say for the present was, that the simple recognition of their independence by Great Britain would do more to quell the disturbances and restore order to the colonies, than the recognition by Spain herself. He trusted, therefore, that he was not wrong in expecting that recognition would speedily flow from the lips of the right hon. secretary himself, convinced as he was, that it was high time that the British government should think of some means for putting upon a safe and solid footing the very considerable mercantile transactions which were now transacting between this country and the Spanish American colonies. He felt more anxiety on behalf of the commercial persons whose interests were involved, than on account of those who had accommodated the new governments with loans; the first case being one, which, from the present extent of the transactions, must more or less affect all the mercantile interests of every species whatsoever in this country. The recognition ought, therefore, to be no longer delayed than was absolutely necessary to the security and peace of this country. Already government had appointed commissioners who were sent out to inquire into the state of those colonies. But, while they pursued their investigations, questions of the gravest importance were agitating in the courts of this country, where doubts were continually opposed to the very existence of the governments which were to be the subjects of that inquiry. These were circumstances which could not but shake all confidence in mercantile transactions effected under them. It was much to be desired that the expressions made by ministers in parliament might not be neutralized and destroyed in their effect, by parties elsewhere, to the destruction of all reasonable confidence among commercial men in the security of that traffic.

Mr. Brougham

said:—I do not rise to prolong this discussion beyond a few minutes; but I cannot help expressing my gratitude to my hon. and learned friend, for the masterly and comprehensive view which he has taken of this question, second to none in the importance of the principles which it involves. I am exceedingly well satisfied also with a great part of the statement made by the right hon. secretary of state, and I rather think that the parties from whom this petition proceeds, as well as those whom they virtually represent, and whose welfare is so materially concerned in the security of commerce, will feel that they have no reason to complain. Nothing, undoubtedly, can be more satisfactory than the information conveyed in the sort of supplement made by the right hon. gentleman. To have consented to join in any congress would certainly, independent of other objections, have fettered the British government in its proceedings towards South America, including also the former Spanish province of Mexico. But, the most satisfactory portion of what fell from the right hon. gentleman I take to be this:—that though, from the want of official, not authentic, information (for I freely admit the distinction between authentic news that cannot be doubted, and official intelligence on which alone a government can proceed) the British cabinet cannot yet pronounce a formal acknowledgment of the independence of the states of South America; yet, when official assurance shall have been communicated to it from its accredited agents, that one of these great and now free countries is so established as to be able to maintain her own separate and substantive existence, then that formal recognition shall proceed from this kingdom. When I speak of separate substantive existence without connexion with the mother country, I do not mean that the tranquillity of the state may not be broken, in some parts, by internal dissention, fomented by threatened attempts on the part of Old Spain; in which, however, if made, she will be sure to fail. That acknowledgment must, of course, be taken in the sense given to it by the luminous explanation of my hon. and learned friend, and acceded to by the right hon. gentleman, and in which it must have been understood by all who have properly considered the subject. There is, unquestionably, all the difference in the world between recognition by the mother country, implying a renunciation of her claim of right, and that bare acknowledgment for the interests and purposes of your own subjects, and for the convenience of your own foreign relations, which renounces no right, and gives no aid, but which may eventually secure the highest advantages. Viewing the subject in this light as an acknowledgment, and avoiding the word "recognition," about which some dispute may arise, it can be considered as no breach of neutrality towards the mother country, and can by possibility involve us in no hostile discussion with any other power. To me it seems utterly impossible to contemplate for one moment the idea, that Russia, Austria, or France, can have the slightest pretence to interfere, or to question this country upon the course she thinks proper to pursue. I trust that the official information to which the right hon. gentleman alludes may speedily arrive, by which it may appear that some, if not all, the states of South America have assumed that permanent form which shall warrant Great Britain in admitting their independence. Such is the only difficulty now standing in the way of what we all desire. An hon. friend has referred to the difficulties prevailing in our courts of law on this point, and which have produced so much insecurity. That insecurity to our commercial interests must prevail, until the concession be made. For these reasons, and for the others stated by my hon. and learned friend, I beg to express my entire concurrence in the prayer of the petition.

Sir James Mackintosh,

in moving that the petition be printed, said:—I feel great satisfaction that the hon. member for London, with the knowledge he must possess, has expressed his approbation of what I have clone on the present occasion. I believe I should have been condemned by all who take an interest in this great subject, and have occasioned much disappointment, if I had not brought on the present discussion. I do not blame my right hon. friend for the comparative brevity of his reply, as I am aware that his situation may be one of some difficulty. I will state one fact which strikes me as of some moment. In the speech of the earl of Liverpool, I find the exports of the kingdom stated at forty-one millions, seventeen millions of which are sent to the continent and islands of America; of these, six millions are imported into the colonies lately belonging to the Crown of Spain. There ought, therefore, to exist some strong reason to justify the non-establishment of political relations with countries consuming more than one-seventh of the whole exports of the kingdom. In one sense, I acknowledge the principles stated by the right hon. gentleman; but I still feel myself at liberty to deny them in another. No man alive can think that Spain has the slightest chance of recovering any of her possessions in America; and even the appearance of contest is kept up only in Peru. To Peru, then, the remark of the right hon. gentleman may be applicable; but to no other part of the great continent. With regard to the influence of what may be said here upon the loans to the independent states, I can only say, that I have not the slightest interest in them. I find ample employment for the whole of my capital at home; and, however I may speculate in other matters, I certainly am not a speculator of that sort. I do not at all mean to join in any reprobation of that mode of employing the wealth of the country; for I consider it as fair, as honest, as laudable, and as beneficial an application of capital as any other. It strikes me, that the trade in money is just as honourable as the trade in any other commodity. It is thus that the general wealth of the nation is increased; and, if a roan be not to blame for lending his funds upon private mortgage, I do not see why he should be censured who advances it upon the mortgage of the revenues of a state. The discussion of to-night was necessary, and I trust that it will be useful. Certain I am, that the petitioners are entitled to all the satisfaction that can be given them.

Mr. Canning

said, he did not mean to throw the slightest blame on those who employed their capital in loans to the states of South America. All men had a perfect right to advance their capital in foreign governments, if they thought fit; but he honestly owned, that he could not understand how those who had so employed their capital, were not interested in the question of recognition. The House must allow him to say, that parties so engaged ought not to carry with them the force and influence of the British government, in order to compel foreign states to fulfil their contracts.

Sir J. Mackintosh

—I wish to add one striking fact on the subject of recognition. The United States of America accompanied their acknowledgment with a declaration of their determination to adhere to neutrality in the contest between Spain and her colonies. A stronger instance cannot be adduced of the compatibility of recognition and neutrality.

Sir F. Burdett

said:—I confess I have been quite at a loss to collect any precise and distinct idea from the explanations of the right hon. secretary. He seems to me to have shown great ingenuity in heaping together a vast number of words with very little meaning; for nothing like positive information is to be gathered from what he has uttered. I will not follow him through his nice distinctions between one kind of recognition and another. It appears to me to be a very simple word, with a very plain meaning. Whatever it be, it is clear that it is withheld; and, unfortunately, the recognition by the British government is infinitely a greater boon than the recognition by the parent state—an event, by the by, very little to be apprehended. That Spain will ever be able to subdue her revolted colonies, and replace the yoke they have thrown off, is, I am happy to say, even less to be apprehended. It is by no means a question of little moment to Great Britain; for our commercial interests connected with South America have grown of late into an enormous size: it is our policy, our interest, to take the lead in recognizing her independence; and, in recognizing South America, we confer an obligation not less upon ourselves than upon the independent states. It seems to me, then, that there must be some reason in the back ground, why the recognition has not hitherto been made—some other cause than any that has been avowed—why the king's minister is to speak so ambiguously. Why do they wish to shelter themselves under these pretences of diplomatic difficulties, when none, in fact, exist? May it not be, that no wars in Europe or in America have occasioned this hitch, but a civil dissention nearer home, the existence of which has been proved by the proceedings in Chancery. This seems to me to be the light in which the policy of ministers towards the South American states is to be viewed; but the commercial world will not, and ought not to be satisfied, until it knows distinctly what is the line which the government intends to follow. The hon. and learned gentleman who has this night treated the subject with so much ability, will, I hope, pursue it further, and bring it forward in a distinct motion before the House. The right hon. secretary will then be bound to show us in what manner the interests of England can be benefitted by the mysterious policy which is now pursued; and what inconvenience, on the other hand, could result from that manly and straight-forward policy which the government is called on to follow? There should be something very plain, some very distinct reason—to prove that England should longer abstain from recognizing those new states. Unless something very distinct be stated as a reason for the course pursued, we must be compelled to believe, that the commercial world is kept in a state of uncertainty and suspense on a matter of punctilio. With respect to the effects of the recognition on those who have advanced their capital in the trade with those new states, it has been said, that the government cannot engage to guaranty it against the changes which may lake place there. This, Sir, is true; but the government can give it greater security, by giving greater security to those states themselves—a security to which they are well entitled—the recognition of the independence they have, de facto, acquired. I repeat, that I think the House has no reason to be satisfied with the no-explanation which has just been given them on this subject.

Mr. Hume

observed on the impolicy of this country in withholding a recognition of independence from states absolutely independent. He thought it extraordinary that government should persist in refusing to admit the independence of St. Domingo, which had been established upwards of twenty years. He recommended this subject to the attention of the hon. member for Bramber, and wondered that he had not thought of it before, in his zeal for the welfare of the negroes, when this perhaps was the only way open to lead them into the customs and habits of civilised nations.

The petition was ordered to be printed.