commenced his speech by reading the Resolutions which it was his intention to submit Jo the House, and which were as follow:— "That prior to the 12th of December, 1828, her Majesty the Queen Donna Maria 2nd had been recognized by his Majesty, and the other great powers of Europe, to be legitimate Queen of Portugal; and that at the period above-named the said Queen was residing in this country, and had been received by his Majesty with the accustomed honours of her royal rank.
"That on the said 12th of December, the Island of Terceira, part of the dominions of the Queen of Portugal was governed by authorities, civil and military, in allegiance to her Majesty.
"That on the said 12th of December instructions were given by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, stating that a considerable number of Portuguese soldiers, and other foreigners, were about to sail in transports from Plymouth to Falmouth, and it is supposed they intend making an attack on Terceira, or other of the Western Isles; and his Majesty having been pleased to command that a naval force should be immediately despatched to interrupt any such attempt, you are hereby required and directed to take the ship and sloop named in the margin under your command, and to proceed with all practical expedition to Terceira; and having ascertained that you have succeeded in reach- 127 ing that Island before the transports alluded to, you will remain yourself at Angra or Praia, or cruising close to the island in the most advisable position for intercepting any vessels arriving off it; and you will detach the other ships as you shall deem best for preventing the aforesaid force from reaching any of the other islands.'
"That on the arrival of the naval force sent to Terceira, in pursuance of these instructions, the commanding officer found that island in possession of and governed by the authorities above-mentioned.
"That in the beginning of January, 1829, a number of Portuguese, subjects or soldiers of her said Majesty, voluntarily left this country, with a view of repairing to the said island, and that their departure and destination were known to his Majesty's Government; that they appear to have embarked and sailed in unarmed merchant ships, to have been unaccompanied by any naval force, and themselves without any arms or ammunition of war.
"That these unarmed merchant ships and passengers were prevented by his Majesty's naval forces, sent for the purpose, from entering the harbour of Porto Praia; and that after they had been fired into, and blood had been spilled, they were compelled, under the threat of the further use of force, again to proceed to sea, and warned to quit the neighbourhood of Terceira and the rest of the Azores, but that they might proceed wherever else they might think proper.
"That the use of force in intercepting these unarmed vessels, and preventing them anchoring and landing their passengers in the harbour of Porto Praia, was a violation of the sovereignty of the state to which the Island of Terceira belonged; and that the further interference to compel those merchant ships or transports to quit the neighbourhood of the Azores, was an assumption of jurisdiction upon the high seas, neither justified by the necessity of the case, nor sanctioned by the general law of nations."
The hon. Member stated, that he read the Resolutions in order to make the whole subject impressively known to the House. He then proceeded to observe, that some discussion had taken place on it during the last Session, on the Motion for Papers respecting it, which had been made by his hon. and learned friend, the member for Knaresborough. Ministers 128 had consented to give the papers, and they were now on the Table. But they by no means afforded all the information which was necessary, and the House had a right to complain of their vague and unsatisfactory character. It was no disparagement of Ministers to require papers in corroboration of their assertions; and as they had already produced some papers, they had established this proposition—that the question was no longer one of confidence, but one of proof. That being the case, he thought the House, with respect to some important points, was left without any information, except what rested on the mere declarations of Ministers, which could only be explained by the production of further papers. The House had not been fairly dealt with on the subject. Still, however defective the papers already produced were, they afforded sufficient ground for his Resolutions; and he should, therefore, proceed to point out to the House the reasons on which they were founded. Before, however, he entered on the main question, he wished to make one remark. His Majesty's Government had resolved that this country should maintain a strict neutrality between the two parties in Portugal. On the wisdom or the expediency of that resolution he would offer no remarks, nor would he give any opinion, because he did not wish to draw the attention of the House from the topic which he was more particularly desirous of bringing before it. He would therefore assume that we were in a strictly neutral position between the parties, and on that assumption his remarks would be based. But he begged to observe, that neutrality, as all the great writers on national law had stated, was of two kinds—voluntary and stipulated. It might exist with reference to two belligerents, with one of whom we had, and with the other of whom we had not, any previous alliance or friendship. What then was our position in respect of neutrality with the two parties in Portugal? With Don Miguel we had never had any treaty of alliance, or any compact whatever. More than that, we had denounced the cause of Don Miguel as unjust; we had denounced Don Miguel himself as a usurper, and as deserving of every opprobrium which could be cast on the most profligate person who had ever unjustly acquired a throne. It was clear, therefore, that our neutrality, as it respected 129 Don Miguel, was voluntary; that it was a neutrality which we observed for our own interests, not for those of Don Miguel, with whom we had no compact nor understanding. What resulted from this? Why, if it pleased us to-morrow to convert our neutrality with reference to Don Miguel into hostile relations, he would have no right to complain, and the character of England would be untarnished. But how different was the case with respect to the Queen Donna Maria! She was the descendant and representative of a long line of Sovereigns with whom this country had concluded several treaties of alliance, and had long maintained the most intimate intercourse. We had acknowledged her cause to be just. We had recognized her as the lawful Queen of Portugal. To her we were bound by compact to be at least neutral. What resulted from this? That if we were to convert our neutrality with reference to Queen Donna Maria into hostile relations, she would have a right to complain, our faith would be broken, and the character of England would be tarnished. Nothing could be more clear than our relations with the two contending parties. With the usurper of Portugal our neutrality was voluntary, and the maintenance of it was optional; with the lawful Queen of Portugal our neutrality was the effect of previous stipulations, and we could not abandon it without dishonour. To Don Miguel we had shown every degree of alienation short of actual war: to the Queen Donna Maria we had shown every degree of friendship short of actively espousing her cause. It followed, that if circumstances should compel us to depart from the strict line of neutrality which we had prescribed to ourselves, the departure ought to be in favour of the party with whom we had previous engagements of amity, and not in favour of the party with whom we had no such previous engagements. If any doubt whatever existed on the subject, that doubt ought to be thrown into the scale of the former. He would now proceed to consider the course of conduct which had been pursued by his Majesty's Government; and in so doing, he would adhere to the order of time, as calculated to render the statement more perspicuous. In the first place, he could not help thinking it rather extraordinary that, although the Portuguese refugees came to this country in August, their presence did not seem to have at- 130 tracted the attention of his Majesty's Government until it was brought under their notice, in the middle of October, by the letter of the Marquis Barbacena. Professing neutrality, it was undoubtedly the right of our Government to require that the refugees should leave this country; it was natural that our Government should wish these refugees not to remain embodied ready for war; as far then as obliging them to leave this country, the Government, he admitted, was quite right; but it had no right to direct the course of these refugees, and in prohibiting them to go either to Portugal or the Azores, it had plainly overstepped the limits of its rights. Neutrals could not possibly interfere with any contending parties beyond the bounds of their own territories. The duty of a neutral was to be passive, not active; neutrals ought to be abstinent, and not interfere beyond their proper jurisdiction. A great writer has said, that neutrals ought not to interfere on the principle of rendering equal justice to both parties; they ought not to interfere at all. It was impossible for any neutral to know what equal assistance is, for he could not form any accurate judgment of the situation of the parties. If a neutral had a right to interfere, he must have a right to enforce his interference. A weak neutral would respect the law of nations, but a strong neutral would disregard them. The English Constitution said, that if a slave entered her territory he was free; but Ministers said, that when the martyrs to liberty put foot upon her shores they became slaves; and this they termed the law of nations. But they proceeded further, and prevented them going to their own country. Not contented even with controlling their actions here, the Ministers wished to sever the connection between these refugees and their country and their Queen. At every step a new principle started up. The Minister wished to establish in all cases the dependence of colonies on the mother country, and to lay it down as the law of nations that the fate of the latter ought always to determine the fate of the former. The Portuguese colonies were, therefore, to follow the example of the mother country, and the usurper who was de facto Sovereign of Portugal, was also legitimate sovereign of the colonies de jure. According to their despatches, the Sovereign de facto of Portugal, was de jure the Sovereign of the colonies, while at the same 131 time they acknowledged a Sovereign de facto of these colonies, whom they also recognized as the Sovereign de jure of Portugal itself. Such was at least the language held in the papers submitted to Parliament, and it was an inconsistency Government could not extricate itself from. The only justification of Government was, that civil war was raging in Terceira; but the papers before the House proved directly the reverse. The first proof of the internal condition of Terceira was the letter of the Marquis Barbacena. This was dated the 15th of October, and it stated, that. Terceira remained faithful to its Sovereign. On the 18th of October this was answered by the Duke of Wellington, who did not, even by implication, deny this statement. The next evidence was the letter of the Marquis Palmella, of 20th December. This stated that Terceira remained perfectly true to its legal Sovereign, and had never swerved from its allegiance. It in closed an address from the authorities of the island, professing the strongest fidelity to their Sovereign. On the 23rd December the Duke of Wellington answered this letter. In that answer nothing was said about Terceira being in a state of civil war, although it was written under an impression that the Marquis had abused his good faith. If the Duke of Wellington had thought that civil war had raged in the island, that would have formed the climax of his assertions; but the letter showed that Government was not at that time in a condition to refute the statement of the Marquis Palmella. His Grace said, the troops referred to were the same that the Marquis Barbacena wanted a convoy for, to Terceira, and of which General Stubbs was in the command, and the same that Marquis Palmella wanted to send to the Brazils. The Duke therefore said, that he should not advise his Majesty to give the Marquis the permission he asked, but he did not say one word about Terceira being in a state of insubordination. It was not till the 30th of December that the Duke of Wellington found out that Terceira was in a state of civil war. He wished to know from whom, and at what precise period, the Government obtained this information. Captain Walpole first communicated the information of his arrival off the island in a letter dated February 14th, one month after he received his orders. He then said, that the country was in possession of Guerillas, 132 favourable to Don Miguel, but that the garrison consisting of 750 men remained faithful to Donna Maria. This was, according to the ordinary rules of diplomacy, sufficient to establish the fact that the island was obedient to Donna Maria. But at the time the population amounted to 20,000 persons, and was it to be believed that this population would continue tranquil and submissive, if they had been devoted adherents to Don Miguel. The tranquillity of this population was more remarkable when it was known that Tova, the Governor of Terceira, was a creature of Don Miguel's, who had displaced all the officers favourable to Donna Maria, and was not himself removed till he had done much mischief. This person had endeavoured to get a few persons together and to proclaim Don Miguel, but it was also true, that he was eminently unsuccessful. An invasion was subsequently attempted, but the peasantry, far from assisting the invaders, resisted them. The information then possessed by the Government was incorrect, which was also the characteristic of what it had stated respecting money being coined at Terceira with republican emblems. This money, it was subsequently proved, bore the inscription of Donna Maria. There never was any design of establishing a republic entertained, and neither the people nor the garrison had ever swerved from their allegiance to the legitimate Sovereign. Our Government described the departure of a few unarmed men as a hostile attack on Don Miguel, but as Terceira never was in his possession, a more incorrect expression was never used to cover a wanton aggression. The Duke of Wellington, in one of his letters, described this country as having been asked to convoy a hostile expedition to Terceira; but this was obviously a mistake of that great man. The Marquis de Barbacena wrote to him to say that Terceira was then in the possession of the legitimate Sovereign, and he proposed that if, on the arrival of the men it was found to be occupied for Don Miguel, that then the men should not land, and he proposed that the convoy should go with them to sec that this was performed; to him this appeared very like good faith, and the least like a hostile attack of any expedidition he had ever heard of. In the first place, the island was in possession of friends, and in the next place, if it were not, the Marquis asked for a convoy of a 133 man of war to prevent any hostile attack. This mistake, though, perhaps ludicrous enough, was not half so laughable as the terms used in the instructions given to Captain Walpole, which were such a farrago of nonsense as he had never before read, "Whereas," they said, "a considerable number of Portuguese troops are about to sail in transports from Plymouth or Falmouth, and it is supposed that they intend to make an attack on Terceira, or some other of the Western islands;" but these troops who were going to make this supposed attack, were without arms, equipments, or ammunition. Well might the Marquis Palmella say, in a letter which, for its fidelity and dignity of expression, placed him high in the ranks of diplomacy, "I had hoped, that you would have taken into consideration the distinction I had drawn in my letter of the 20th of this month, namely, the essential difference which exists between the intention entertained by the Portuguese refugees, of proceeding to the island of Terceira, and that which you attribute to them, of going to attack some part of the Portuguese territory. I do not find in your Excellency's answer a single word relative to this distinction, although it appears to me evident." The document went on to observe, "that the refugees will leave the country as they came, without arms, and successively, as the transports are ready to receive them." Here then was an invading expedition, not only sailing without arms, but successively, as transports could be provided for them. It had been urged, however, that arms had been sent from this country to Terceira in the first instance; but if this had been permitted, he asked, would it violate neutrality to let these persons follow? It was notorious that arms and ammunition had been purchased, both at Gibraltar and in this country, and sent both to Portugal and Terceira, but because there were arms at Terceira, that did not seem to him a reason for stopping those persons in proceeding to that place. It was said, that the arms were sent by a Brazilian frigate: but surely it made no difference whether they were sent by a merchant ship or a vessel of war. According to the doctrines of Ministers, however, he must conclude that the whole question turned on the kind of vessel, which conveyed the arms, and that our neutrality was violated by the single fact of their having been sent by a Bra- 134 zilian frigate. The arms appeared, however, to have nothing to do with the question, for Captain Walpole was ordered to stop these people should they proceed to Madeira, and Madeira was in possession of Don Miguel, and no arms had been sent thither. On that place they could make no attack. The plain fact was, whether the interference were just and proper or not, it was another question, that our Government had resolved, that these people should quit England, and should not be allowed to go to Terceira. He would then speak of the conduct of Government in enforcing its prohibition; and here its proceedings were tantamount to war—to direct and positive war. If those persons had had the power to defend themselves, what would have been the consequence? Our Government chose a victim, well knowing whom it could insult and trample upon. It knew that it was not dealing with France, Russia or the United States, but with fugitives, and these were the victims on whom our Government showered its gratuitous neutrality. Even war itself ought not to be commenced in such a summary manner; the law of nations required something to be said before the blow was struck: and although we had commenced war without the usual preliminaries in the attack on the Spanish frigates in 1804, and on Copenhagen in 1807—the persons we attacked being nominally our friends, but actually our enemies—our acquittal had not yet been pronounced by the nations of Europe. Two or three of these vessels had their boats out to land the people at Terceira when the English frigate appeared. Now nothing could be a more gross outrage of the law of nations than for a neutral to interfere within the territory of another country, or within that distance from the shore to which all writers considered the territory of a country to extend. This was not enough too, it appeared; for Captain Walpole had a roving commission given him, with instructions to stop these people wherever he might meet with them They were not to be allowed to land in other places, they were to be chased from every spot they might select for their security, particularly if that spot were within the territory that acknowledged the sway of their own Sovereign, and he did not believe that the most determined partizan of Don Miguel, unless animated by the most rancorous hostility towards these 135 unhappy fugitives, could have done more to support the cause of that prince. On what grounds our Navy had a right to interfere with these unarmed, defenceless men, and chace them over the ocean, he had yet to learn, being certain that no authority could be found for it in the laws of nations. This attack on the subjects of the Queen of Portugal took place at the very time that she was welcomed in this country with the honours due to her rank. It was a strange thing, as part of the conduct of the Government in this proceeding, that it chose, the very moment when Donna Maria was received in the Palace of our ancient Kings, to turn back her own subjects from the only spot of earth which acknowledged her control. He did not impute any blame to our gallant Officers upon the occasion; they only acted under orders, which were not the less reprehensible because they had not been followed by great bloodshed. The ships might have been compelled, by resistance or flight, to fire broadsides instead of a single shot, upon those unfortunate individuals, when the destruction of life would have been appalling, and therefore although the loss was trifling, no argument in favour either of the justice or the humanity of Ministers could be founded upon it. There was another point connected with this transaction which appeared to him still more inexcusable. It appeared by the letter written on the 18th of October by the Duke of Wellington to the Marquis Barbacena, that his Grace had actually given these refugees permission to go to Terceira. In that letter it was said, that if the Portuguese subjects of Donna Maria desired to make war upon the Azores, instead of Portugal, they were at liberty to do so, provided they went as individuals. Nobody could put any other construction on this passage, but that his Grace gave his assent to the refugees going unarmed and unprovided with all the munitions of war to Terceira. They so understood this passage; they did go unarmed, and as individuals, and they were repulsed. Being without arms, and without warlike stores, they were as little like a hostile armament as any body of settlers going to the Swan River or New South Wales. He would venture to contradict the assertion which had been made that one-half of this body of men consisted of Germans, He admitted that 260 men, raised in, Germany had touched at Plymouth, but they received 136 neither arms nor provisions, nor had they spoken to anybody, except two of the officers of the dâpoôts. These Germans then went to Madeira, and from thence to Terceira, whence they, after having been received in the name of the lawful Sovereign of that island, were driven away by the armed vessels of a neutral power. Many insinuations had been thrown out, and many charges had been made against the persons who had conducted this expedition. They were refugees. They were unfortunate, and they were now absent; and this, he thought, might have occasioned some little delicacy in condemning them. But what had they done? Did they, in the face of Europe, take oaths which they forthwith laughed at—steeping themselves in the guilt of fourfold perjury? Did they violate the Majesty of our King by entering into solemn obligations, which they at the earliest opportunity tossed to the winds? Did they go to Portugal and take oaths innumerable, which they subsequently trampled under foot, in the presence of a betrayed, an insulted, and oppressed people? Did they desecrate Thrones by the commission of the basest and most revolting crimes? No; and yet. he had heard of such things having been done, which had not excited any feeling of anger or resentment, and had not led to any breach of neutrality. A charge of falsehood and treachery had been brought against these unfortunate men. He had looked into the papers, and could not see anything in the least suspicious, except the change of destination. On the 15th of October the Marquis Barbacena proposed to lead the refugees to Terceira; on the 20th of November the Marquis Palmella proposed the Brazils—and what could have been more natural? An expedition had been sent from Portugal against Madeira, and it was known at the time that it had succeeded, and consequently the presumption was, that Terceira, which was a sort of dependence on Madeira, had also fallen into Don Miguel's hands; but then, on the 20th of December, it was ascertained that Terceira was still safe, and what could be more proper than for the Marquis Palmella to again propose to direct his course towards the only place which continued to acknowledge the sway of his Sovereign? He could not admit that any treachery had been used; but supposing that some disingenuousness had been employed, it was, after all, but the struggle of patriotism 137 against power; and certainly the charge of ill-faith came with a very bad grace from those who had themselves forced the parties thus accused into it. There was another argument now much insisted upon, although formerly it had been never urged. It was said, that if the Government were by fraud betrayed into a violation of the neutrality it professed, it might follow the guilty parties into any foreign port. Now if this were so, the law of nations had lost that inflexible character it formerly possessed; it was no longer the protection of the strong against the weak, it was a mere rule, to be formed by a view of expediency alone, subject to all the follies and caprices of those who judged of the expediency. The law of nations, in that case, would be altogether uprooted, and society would be driven back to that state of confusion and violence from which it had been rescued by this international compact. But he would ask, was this case of neutrality a new one? Certainly not. He would, however, only allude to the case of 1819, which was the latest. The Foreign Enlistment Bill was then passed; prior to that, vessels laden with warlike stores, in contravention of our neutrality, openly left our ports: after that, vessels similarly laden left our ports under false pretences; and it never occurred to Spain, or even Turkey, to demand that we should follow those vessels to a foreign port. At that period, too, it was laid down by Mr. Canning, respecting the municipal law, that it did not extend beyond our own ports; and doubtless this was much more true of international law. From that principle we could not depart without infringing on the rights of other nations: in the case under consideration, we had departed from it and, our proceedings were condemned, both in the new world and the old. Reflecting men had expressed their opinion of our conduct, and the nature of it was proved by the satisfaction of all the enemies of freedom, and by the sorrow of all its friends. The practical question was, why we had not stopped those persons in our own ports? But the defence was, that they had left this country under false pretences, and had sailed for Terceira before we could stop them, or knew anything about it. Was this so, or was sufficient time allowed for Government to be aware of their intentions? If there was anything of correctness in the dates, Government had ample time; for on the 138 20th of December, the Marquis Barbacena gave notice to the Duke of Wellington that it was the intention of the refugees to proceed to Terceira, and a correspondence of a fortnight took place, the one urging their right to go to that place, the other denying it: what then became of the defence as to time? It was blown away by the dates of the Minister's own correspondence. The right hon. Gentleman, in conclusion, stated, that he had adverted to the prohibition for the refugees to proceed to Terceira, he had shown that the reasons given by the Ministers to justify that policy were without foundation, and he concluded that there was visible, throughout the transaction, the same narrow and illiberal spirit which had for some time marked our foreign policy; which had made us submit to the insults and endure the humiliation of being the servants of foreign despots, which had lowered us in the eyes of the world, and destroyed the moral influence of England. The course of the Ministers, he contended, had been to endeavour to induce the Emperor of Brazil to sacrifice Donna Maria to the usurper of her rights, and the enemy of her branch of the family. They had reversed the ancient and honourable policy of Great Britain; they had extended friendship to the traitor and the tyrant, and had treated with cruelty the proscribed patriot. To Don Miguel they had shown every friendship short of an avowed recognition of his usurpation, and to Donna Maria they had shewn nothing but indifference and neglect—not to say hostility. Words had, indeed, been used in another place to justify a stronger assertion; for it had been stated, that the question of recognizing him was one not of right but of policy; implying that his usurpation was to be considered lawful, now that Great Britain had contributed to ensure its success. He did not envy France and the Netherlands the glory they had acquired by their conduct to the refugees; but he regretted that England had been found wanting in those qualities which were considered peculiarly her own. If England were anti-liberal, England could never be more than a secondary power. She never could maintain her ascendancy—and he spoke not of the vain ascendancy secured by conquests and bloodshed, but of that secured by the buoyancy of her principles—unless she placed herself in the van of liberal opinions. Then would she vise to her 139 native place, which was in the front of the enlightened portion of Europe. Great hopes had been formerly entertained that, by the influence of England, nations already in the career of freedom might have been assisted, and others might be led into the same glorious course. It had been hoped that Austria, with its vassal thrones, and Spain with its banished patriots and enslaved states, might have been set free, and that the great crime by which Poland had been blotted from the map of Europe might be retrieved; but now the friends of freedom throughout the world were dismayed, and its enemies exulted. It was in the power of the House to check the one, and extinguish the other feeling; and he now called upon it to record its opinion in agreeing to resolutions touching this transaction which had inflicted a greater stain upon the English character than any he was aware of, and which every lover of his country would wish to see wiped away. The right hon. Gentleman then moved his first Resolution.
Lord F. L. Gower
feared he might be charged with presumption in rising to address the House immediately after the eloquent appeal which had been made to it by the right hon. Gentleman; but he trusted his usual disinclination to trouble it, except in concerns connected with his office, and the zeal which he felt for the honour of the country, might be considered to form a sufficient excuse. He had for some time looked with considerable anxiety upon the laconic notice which had been so long on the Paper of the House, which was so well calculated by its obscurity to conjure up phantoms of cases, which individuals might suppose would be brought forward; he apprehended a great deal more from the experience and ability which the right hon. Gentleman was confessedly so able to bring forward in support of his view of the question, than from any conclusions which he could draw from the papers themselves. The right hon. Gentleman had entered into a subtle discussion respecting the difference between stipulated and voluntary neutrality. In this it was unnecessary to follow him, as neutrality had been, by his own confession, agreed upon as the policy of the State. It had also been remarked, that it was singular those Portuguese should have remained so long in this country without having attracted the notice of Government; but in fact, there was a disinclination to enter upon any obnox- 140 ions course of proceeding respecting those unfortunate occurrences. He wished to supply an omission of his right hon. friend's, and to observe, that the good offices of England had been used in Spain in favour of these refugees, and the result was, that they were treated with greater kindness than before, and longer time was allowed them to leave the Spanish territory. They were afterwards received in this country with hospitality, which they subsequently abused. His right hon. friend had said, that these people were treated like slaves, and that Government had no right to dictate where they should go. He denied that Government had done so: it had only declared where they should not go. Many of the right hon. Gentleman's arguments were founded on very questionable facts. Captain Walpole's report as to the state of Terceira rendered his right hon. friend's second Resolution very questionable in point of fact, and therefore it could not be classed with some of his other propositions, from which, though containing incontrovertible facts, his right hon. friend had drawn very questionable conclusions. The right hon. Gentleman was mistaken in stating that Terceira was at the time under the actual government of Donna Maria. There was a party in her favour, and probably her adherents were much stronger than their opponents; but still there was a division in the place. The right hon. Gentleman had been at great pains, but, as it seemed to him, very unsuccessfully, to divest the persons who went out to Terceira of a military character. The garrison there had effected a military revolution, and arms were provided for the use of these refugees on their arrival. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken as if these persons were perfectly guiltless of drawing these proceedings on themselves; and as if, when they had once quitted the ports of England, they were fully entitled to all me benefits of neutrality. Did the right hon. Gentleman forget the three-fold warnings of the Duke of Wellington; and did not their inattention to those warnings take from the force of the right hon. Gentleman's assumption? In the letter of the Duke of Wellington, giving the permission to depart, the expression, "as individuals," had been employed, and the noble Duke much regretted the misconstruction which these persons had put upon that expression—a misconstruction which the right hon. Gentleman bad also unfortu- 141 nately attached to it. Rightly understood that passage could not be taken as implying a permission to go to Terceira. He thought that in this discussion the merits or demerits of the opposing parties ought not to be considered. His right hon. friend had, however, introduced them, and the cheers given to that part of the speech convinced him, that if the parties had been reversed—if Donna Maria had been in possession of the throne, and Don Miguel had gone from this country to gain over Terceira to his party, and if he had been sunk in the port of Praia, nothing would have been said of the matter in that House. He knew it was said, both in and out of the House, that this country had been lowered in public opinion in Europe, by her conduct towards Portugal. The credit of this country with foreigners depended on two considerations; first, the state of our internal prosperity and power; and secondly, on the opinion entertained abroad, as to the disposition of this Government to make use of all its resources, whatever they might be. With respect to the first there was then no question, and Government was not called on to answer for any want of national power; and with respect to the second, he confessed he entertained no very high estimate of its worth—knowing, as he did, how much it was influenced by erroneous notions as to the nature of our people and our institutions. He knew how greatly difficult Mr. Canning had found it to prevent, on the one hand, that which was called the liberal party from entertaining unfounded expectations, and on the other to defend himself from the charge of unwillingness to support them. That right hon. Gentleman had been praised for planting the standard of the constitution in Portugal, and blamed for not planting it in Spain? and he had been accused, with reference to the latter country, of tarnishing the national honour by truckling to France. Opinions thus unsteady and inconsistent deserved little notice, and he cared little for those of men who, when not able to maintain their own Government, quarrelled with us for not expending English blood and treasure in its support. He must say, that he had often heard promises of national gratitude, but had never been happy enough to see them observed. They might be kept through the brief intoxication of a pageant or a review, but was soon forgotten in the actual business of political life. He believed, too, 142 that much of the national affection, of which so much had been said, would, upon examination, be found to smell rather, strongly of the wine casks of Oporto. The noble Lord here read a letter from Lord Aberdeen to the Admiralty, dated Jan. 24, 1829, and directing that a quick sailing vessel might be dispatched to prevent the vessels of Don Miguel from sinking or destroying those of the emigrants. His Lordship added, that in fact, additional instructions had been sent out to the commanders of our ships to supply the refugees with whatever they might want, and that those instructions had been fully obeyed. He contended that these facts showed the liberal disposition of this Government in its conduct towards the refugees. Considering, therefore, there was no ground whatever to call for the passing of the Resolutions of the right hon. Gentleman, there was no other course open to him but to give them a decided negative. He therefore moved the previous Question.
§ Dr. Phillimore
said, that he had been extremely anxious to ascertain how the person put forward by the Government on that great occasion, would deal with arguments as powerful, and combat propositions such as those which had fallen from his right hon. friend who had introduced this discussion, which appeared to him as incontrovertible; but, after paying the utmost attention to what had fallen from the noble Lord, he could not but complain that the noble Lord had declined the real argument in the case, and had confined his defence of the Government to the merely petty technical parts of the subject. The noble Lord had totally misapprehended the point at issue, which was, whether, on the papers now before the House, there was not enough to show that the Government of this country had been guilty of a gross violation of the law of nations? On all the principles of those laws, without going out of these papers to seek for evidence, without travelling either to the right or to the left out of the brief, if he might be allowed so professional an expression, which the Government had put into his hands, he feared he must answer that question in the affirmative. Since he had the honour of a seat in Parliament, no question had exceeded this in importance; inasmuch as for a century and a half since the reign of Charles the 2nd, up to this time, there had been no imputation on the public conduct of this Government 143 so strong as was conveyed in these papers. It was the glory of the times in which we lived, and it was the happiness of the great commonwealth of Christendom, that the law of nations had now throughout Europe acquired the stability and precision of positive enactments: its precepts were of universal obligation, and not of difficult comprehension. Great lawyers and publicists might expound and apply its abstruse parts; but no statesman could be ignorant of its general principles. The present case involved merely the elements of international law, which he was desirous of stating in the plainest manner. Those who argued on the same side with him might be deemed pedants for supporting their views by a reference to the law of nations; and for his own part, being satisfied that a conformity to that law was the sure way to maintain our high national character he should be content to bear this reproach, even if it could be justly urged, when his object was to bring back the Government to the path of rectitude and honour, though in this case the mere elementary principles of international law were concerned; to refer to which, like referring to the rules of morality, might be called trite, but could never with propriety-be called pedantic. The only principles to which he should have occasion to refer, were like the a-b-c of the laws of nations. All the great writers on those laws—all the eminent Judges who had expounded and administered them, had agreed upon three propositions which he would now state. The first was—that in time of peace it was not allowed to any State whatever to search, stop, or chase any vessel on the high seas, if that vessel had proceeded beyond those limits which common convenience had assigned as the boundaries of each country. The second was, that the above principle was to be applied in the spirit of the strictest equality. All States were, with reference to its operation, equal—the smallest and the greatest were entitled to the same protection from it. The same learned authorities had unanimously determined the third proposition—namely, that the ports and harbours of each country were the same as the body of the land itself, and that, in fact, they were an integral part of the country. We had no more right, therefore, to commit acts of hostility in a port, than in the center of the territories of a foreign State. To these three propositions he begged to direct the atten- 144 tion of the House. There were many remarkable instances of the adherence of this country to these principles in the course of the last war; and he would quote two cases to shew in what manner the first of these propositions had been acted on. Every one knew how earnest this country had been with respect to the Slave-trade. During the last war an American vessel engaged in that traffic had been detained by one of the King's cruisers. That vessel was brought in for adjudication, and the two countries having both prohibited the trade, and declared it to be contrary to justice, and the right of search being justified by the existence of war, the Court of Admiralty condemned the vessel to be confiscated. But let the House mark the difference of the jurisdiction exercised in time of peace. France also had agreed with us as to the propriety of abolishing the Slave-trade, and on the coast of Africa one of our ships found a French vessel, after the pacification of Europe, engaged in the trade. The slave-ship was brought in for adjudication; but the Court laid it down, that although the traffic was illegal, and contrary to law and justice, any exercise of the right of search was, during peace, contrary to the law of nations; and though it stated that this trade was undoubtedly as contrary to humanity and justice as it was to the laws of the two countries, yet that in a time of peace there was no right of search existing on the high seas, and the French-ship was ordered to be restored to its owners. The former case, that of the American ship, was pressed upon the consideration of the Judge; but the answer was, that the existence of hostilities gave in that case the right of search; but in time of peace, whatever might be the illegality of any traffic, it was of so much importance to prevent every interruption to free-traversing the high seas, that the seizure was unjustifiable, and the vessel must be restored to its owners, because there was no warrant, in the absence of hostilities, for any party to stop the vessel. He did not think that any stronger illustration could be produced of the proposition, that during peace no State had a right to search, stop, or chace any vessel on the high seas. With respect to the rule relative to the ports and harbours of a country, and to some distance from the shore being considered part of the territory of that country, he should quote an ordinance taken from the code of 145 maritime law given to the Belgians so early as the year 1563, and a breach of which was rendered capital. It was as follows: "Positâ capitis pœnâ neque in mari vis fieret vel suis subditis, vel sociis vel peregrinis, sive belli sive alterius rei causâ intra conspectum a terrâ vel potius a portu." Bynkershoeck's reasoning upon this was worthy of attention:—"Intellexit igitur imperium porrigi quousque e terrâ prospici datum est, et sunt auctores qui sic sentiunt, sed id nimis laxum vagumque esse ostendii, ratus imperium finir, ubi finitur armorum potestas. That was now the rule of international law throughout Europe, and the jurisdiction of a country was taken to extend (since the invention of fire-arms) to within cannon-shot of the shore (supposed to be a distance of about three miles.) Lord Stowell's decisions on questions of this description were quite clear. The principle was laid down by him, in the case of the "Twee Gebroeders," 3rd Admiralty Reports, in the following words:—"In the sea, out of the reach of cannon-shot, universal use is presumed." In the case of the "Anna," 5th Admiralty Reports, it was laid down as follows:—" The capture was made, it seems, at the mouth of the River Mississippi, and as it is contended in the claim, within the boundaries of the United States. We all know that the rule of law on this head is—'Terrœ dominium finitur ubi finitur armorum vis;' and since the introduction of fire-arms, that distance has usually been recognized to be about three miles from the shore." In another case, that of "Le Louis," which was decided twelve years ago by Lord Stowell, that learned Judge said, "Upon the first question, whether the right of search exists in time of peace, I have to observe, that two principles of public law are generally recognized as fundamental. One is, the perfect equality and entire independence of all distinct States. Relative magnitude creates no distinction of right: relative imbecility, whether permanent or casual, gives no additional right to the more powerful neighbour; and any advantage seized upon that ground is mere usurpation. This is the great foundation of public law, which it mainly concerns the peace of mankind, both in their politic and private capacities, to preserve inviolate. The second is, that all nations being equal, all have an equal right to the uninterrupted use of the unappropriated parts of the 146 ocean for their navigation. In places where no local authority exists,—where the subjects of all States meet upon a footing of entire equality and independence,—no one State, or any of its subjects, has a right to assume or exercise authority over the subjects of another. I can find no authority that gives the right of interruption to the navigation of States in amity on the high seas, excepting that which the rights of war give to both belligerents against neutrals." Further down in the same judgment Lord Stowell observed—"Upon a principle much more just in itself, and more temperately applied, maritime States have claimed a right of visitation and inquiry within those parts of the ocean adjoining their shores, which the common courtesy of nations has, for their common convenience, allowed to be considered as parts of their dominions for various domestic purposes, and particularly for local or defensive regulations, more immediately affecting their safety or welfare. Such are our hovering laws, which within certain limited distances, more or less moderately assigned, subject foreign vessels to such examinations. This has nothing in common with a right of visitation and search upon the unappropriated parts of the occean." He had now shown therefore, upon unquestionable authority, that the three propositions which he had laid down at the commencement were fully sustained by the plainest and best understood principles of international law. In time of war, all belligerents clearly possessed a right of search, but nations had no such right when they were not engaged in hostilities; next, the territory of every nation was held to extend to within a cannonshot of its shores; and lastly, it was clear, from the language of Lord Stowell, that all nations, however strong or weak, were equal before the laws of nations. Such being the law, he should now briefly advert to the facts of the case. In the first place, it was impossible for any one who read the correspondence between the Duke of Wellington and the Marquis of Palmella, not to be struck with the entire want of sympathy manifested by the Duke of Wellington with the distinguished individuals to whom his letters were addressed—he called them routed and dispirited troops, who fled at the first sight of the enemy. From the beginning to the end of these letters there was no expression of kindness used, no feeling of compassion 147 shown, to these unfortunate exiles. Surely the noble Duke ought to have recollected the ancient treaties of alliance which bound the two countries together, and the reciprocity of feeling and interest which had long existed between them, and almost identified the subjects of one state with those of the other. It was impossible not to recollect that the granting of the charter in Portugal had drawn forth blessings and benedictions from the Minister of the Crown in that House, as the first attempt to obtain free institutions for Portugal. The protocol of Vienna, between England and Austria, was of a similar tenor. It stated that the parties might remain perfectly tranquil on the head of the abdication of Don Pedro, and the sending of the young Queen to Portugal, seeing that Austria and England were convinced of the importance of not suffering a longer time to elapse without deciding upon questions of so high an interest for the future tranquillity of Portugal, and that these two powers were determined to unite their efforts to urge and obtain the decision of them at Rio Janeiro. The protocol of the conferences at London, in which the Courts of Vienna and London bound themselves, in case of the abdication of Don Pedro—which it declared both governments were anxious for—to use their good offices in order to induce the governments of Brazil and Portugal conjointly to announce this arrangement to all the powers of Europe, and procure their recognition of it. They also bound themselves to use their good offices to procure, by means of a treaty, a settlement of the order of succession of the two branches of the House of Braganza. It was, however, a known fact, that the usurpation of Don Miguel was so conducted as to be a violation of all these arrangements, and a personal insult to the Sovereign of this country. An insult to the Sovereign had always been esteemed an insult to the State, and therefore, he was justified in asserting, that the usurper of the throne of Portugal had offered an insult to the people of England, which it was inconsistent with their dignity and character as a nation to bear. It should be recollected who the Marquis Palmella was, and the relation in which he stood to his countrymen who had sought an asylum in England—a distinguished statesman, and a man high in the confidence of his Sovereign and his own country. He was the 148 person who had called upon us, in the fulfilment of our treaties, to send troops to Portugal to succour those who were struggling for freedom. We had obeyed the call. The men therefore whom Marquis Palmella regarded as the subjects of his Sovereign were in truth the allies of Britain. Though now reduced by defeat and misfortune to be few in numbers and powerless wanderers, whatever name might be given them by the Government in the correspondence laid before the House, and though the noble Lord had called them a routed and disbanded crew, he could but consider them as illustrious exiles suffering in the cause of liberty and of their country.I laugh, when those who at the spear are boldAnd venturous, if that fail them, shriek and fearWhat yet they know must follow—to endureExile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,The sentence of their conqueror.In examining the letters laid upon the Table of the House, he could not but consider it as peculiarly devoid of that sympathy for the suffering portion of the Portuguese nation, which they had a right to expect, and which it reflected but little credit upon the writers of those letters to refuse them. There was to be found, however, one exception to that general tone—it was to be found in the letters of a right hon. Gentleman, who within two years had filled the office of Prime Minister of this country: there was a marked difference between the letters of Mr. Canning and those of the present Foreign Secretary, and the noble Duke at the head of the Government; such was the nature and character of the difference, that it reminded the reader of the illustrious Queen of the heroic age, who anxious, on a high solemnity, to propitiate an adverse Deity by presenting to her, as a votive offering, the most beautiful of all the robes she possessed, on opening her repository where her choicest treasures of this description were preserved, one garment, we are told by the Poet, so far exceeded all the others in splendour and brilliancy, that though it was deposited at the bottom of the chest, it emitted a ray of light which eclipsed all the others, and entitled it to decided preference: so it was with respect to the letters of Mr. Canning; though they were at the bottom, as it were of their repositories, though they did not relate to the most prominent parts of this transaction, yet they emitted rays of light, they blazed beyond all the rest, they were eminently 149 characterized by perspicuity of style and felicity of expression; and above all, by an elaborate and scrupulous adherence to those great principles of public law which ought to guide the public communications of every British statesman—indeed, not a single position contended for in the letters of that right hon. Gentleman would, upon the strictest examination, be found inconsistent with the acknowledged and recognised law of Europe. Again, he thought that the letters of the Marquis of Palmella were likewise deserving the most serious attention, for he appeared to be fully master of the subject; but though he was so,—he must say that throughout he rather understated than overstated his case. Either his opponents were wholly forgetful of the law of nations, or wholly ignorant of the principles of them. They seem disposed to over-ride arguments they could not refute, and left the statements of the Marquis unanswered and unanswerable. As the Government had not even opened a case that evening, he was at a loss to know whether it was to be insisted upon or not, that the conduct of our Government towards the Portuguese troops was the consequence of their own acts, or of the acts of those on board the Brazilian frigate. If that frigate was guilty of a breach of public law or our municipal law, the government of the Brazils alone was responsible for it. When the Duke of Wellington therefore referred to the acts of those on board the frigate, he referred to a matter over which the Marquis Palmella and the Portuguese officers had no control, and for which they could not be made amenable. This brought him to the correspondence between the Duke of Wellington and the Marquis of Barbacena, whom the conduct of the Brazilian frigate, he being the Brazilian minister, particularly concerned. The Marquis stated, than an application had been made, to obtain permission to embark a certain number of stand of arms on board the Brazilian frigate. That was a question of municipal not national law; and he saw no reason why the frigate should not be allowed to take those arms on board; for he meant to contend that carrying them to Terceira would be no violation of international law. On this point he took the law of nations to be most clear and distinct—the principle had never been controverted, and could not be misunderstood; it was this—that during 150 the war a neutral could not supply either belligerent with arms or with other means of carrying on hostilities; but there was nothing in the law of nations to prevent people not at war from purchasing in the territories of foreign nations, arms, or whatever else they might require. On that point the language of Bynkershoeck was explicit. He said, "Idque in instrumentis bellicis comparandis vulgò servamus; utùt enim et ad utrumque amicum non rectè vendamus—sine fraude tamen vendimus utrique amico, quamvis invicem hosti, et quamvis sciamus alterum contra alterum his in bello esse usurum." There was nothing in the case under consideration to take it out of the rule here laid down. If the subjects of Portugal even took out arms, which is not alleged, they acted contrary to none of the laws of nations, for they were not at war with us; and by allowing them to do so we contravened none of those laws. Nor was the course taken by the noble Lord supported by saying that the whole thing was a subterfuge of Count Itabayana, for that could not affect the conduct of persons in a case that happened fourmonths after the subterfuge had been practised. Great stress had been laid upon the alleged fraud and secrecy practised by those Portuguese in their expedition to Terceira. On that point he begged to challenge inquiry—he begged that hon. Members would look into the correspondence of the Marquis Palmella, and if, after that, they imputed to him, or to the Portuguese, the secrecy in question, he would abandon the argument altogether. The Marquis Palmella made no secret of the intended expedition—on the contrary, throughout the correspondence, he gave frequent and distinct notice that such an expedition was contemplated. The British Government therefore had been, from the beginning, perfectly aware of the proposed expedition to Terceira, and when it did sail, it could not cause us any matter of surprise; but then the false clearances were adverted to as affording grounds of accusation against the Portuguese—false clearances were a matter of every day's practice—they were amongst the most common transactions—they were intended to deceive some other party than the country from which the vessels sailed; that could not be injured by them—and then came the question, the most important and real question at issue in this case, had we a right to follow the refugees upon the high seas? Within our 151 own ports we might perhaps deal with these people as we liked, but having allowed them to leave the country the case was different. They were no longer in any manner amenable to our Government. In one of the cases to which he had already referred Lord Stowell had laid down the principle of law applicable to this case very clearly. "It is contended," he said, "that every State has a right to enforce its own navigation law, and so it has on its own subjects, and in certain cases on ships of other States within its own ports; but no nation is justified in searching, in time of peace, the vessel of another State on the high seas, to ascertain if it is in-tended to commit any offence against her municipal laws." Lord Stowell also added, that however laudable the object of such a search, it could not be justified in the case of a vessel belonging to an independent State with which we were at peace. If this general rule were good, if we had no right to visit or search the ships carrying the troops to Terceira, we could have no right to pursue or stop them; above all, we could have no right to stop them within cannon-shot of their own shores, within the ports and waters of a friendly state—in a position recognized by the law of nations to be an integral part of the territory of another power. It was not his intention to go through the correspondence in all its details, but he could not avoid referring to that part of it contained in page 106. He alluded to the instructions given to the naval officers with respect to the vessels bound to Terceira, and they were well deserving a most attentive perusal. He did not imagine that the annals of civilized Europe afforded a parallel to those instructions given to a commander in time of peace. He was instructed to pursue the vessels, to attack them if necessary, and to prevent those on board from effecting the purposes with which they sailed. These instructions bore the signature of Lords of the Admiralty who had seats in this House, but the act, as far as they were concerned, was only ministerial—they certainly were not responsible for it—the Government alone was responsible for that most gross violation of public law—a violation of its first principles, further aggravated by subsequent circumstances. It was a most unprovoked and most wanton attack, a most violent act of aggression committed on a friendly neutral. The question was not, as sug- 152 gested, one of mere feeling, to be supported by declamation, but of facts; but feeling also was on the side of facts. Nothing could be more touching, more natural, or more forcible, than Count Saldanha's appeal to Captain Walpole. "You are going," he said, "to discharge your arms against 500 friendly and defenceless Portuguese, embarked in British and Russian vessels." He might have exclaimed—Troës te miseri, ventis maria omnia vecti,Oramus: prohibe infandos a navibus ignes,The attack on these refugees was as unjust and as unprovoked a violation of the laws of nations towards the subjects of a friendly power, as could be met with in history. When he had stated that he was not aware of any act of aggression, bearing a semblance to the one in question, having occurred for upwards of a century and a half, he alluded of course to the attempted seizure of the Dutch Smyrna fleet, within the port of Bergen; but execrable as that act had been to all posterity, this exceeded it in atrocity; that was the act of a profligate Sovereign, when the law of nations was yet in its infancy—this was the act of the Cabinet of England, when the law of nations was universally recognized and understood: that was directed against an open and avowed enemy—this was pointed against an ancient ally, in a moment of extreme difficulty and distress. It was a painful consideration connected with this matter, that the same individual should now be at the head of the civil government of this country, who, by a series of unparalleled achievements in war, had liberated Portugal from the tyranny of the ruler of Fiance. It was, he repeated, much to be regretted, that history should have to record that the same individual, when placed at the head of the civil government of England, sanctioned an act of insult and outrage against the same Portugal; which must ever be a blot upon the fair fame of this country, and the most violent breach of the laws of nations upon record. It was much to be regretted that Great Britain, who had on many occasions prided herself on being the protector of the weak and the defenceless, should on this occasion have become their oppressor. For these reasons, then, he should most certainly give his vote for the Motion of his right hon. friend, for he thought such a case had been made out as fully entitled him to support.
Mr. Harrison Battley
would oppose 153 the Motion, for he believed that the conduct of Government was in perfect accordance with the law of nations, and that it would have betrayed the trust reposed in it had it pursued a different course.
§ Mr. Courtenay
said, that the arguments of his right hon. friend, and also of his learned friend, had failed to convince him that the conduct of the Government had been contrary to the laws of nations, and he was sure that those who supported an opposite view would find it difficult to extract from the papers on the Table the materials to warrant such a conclusion. He contended that the principle of neutrality was not new to the present Government; the Government of Mr. Canning had acted upon it; and the present Administration had only copied it from his. In support of that assertion, he could quote from numberless speeches of that right hon. Gentleman to show that such had been the principle upon which his government had acted. There could be no doubt that this country was in a state of the most perfect neutrality; and he put it to the House whether it would not be the grossest breach of that neutrality, and of the law of nations, as respected the conduct of neutrals, for this country to allow any one of the belligerents to fit out here an expedition, for the purpose of carrying on hostilities—if that were not a breach of neutrality, he confessed he was incapable of understanding wherein that breach could consist. The forces were in this country; they were about to embark, for the purposes of attack or relief, or the invasion of some part of the disputed territory; were they then at liberty to make this country a port from which to embark that which could not be called otherwise than a warlike expedition? It had been his chance to observe, as individuals, many of the persons composing that expedition; he had likewise viewed them as a body, and a more complete corps of men he had never seen. They could therefore be considered in no other light than as soldiers calculated to effect military objects. It was justly and naturally that the Marquis Palmella attached importance to their remaining at Plymouth in a collected form, as calculated to give encouragement to the party of Donna Maria; while, on the other hand, he regarded their dispersion as likely to bring despair and dismay among the friends of 154 that Princess. But the Government of this country was perfectly warranted in requiring that body of men to disperse throughout the country; and it was also perfectly warranted, on finding that they were going to Terceira, in resisting the wrong attempted on that occasion. The right hon. Mover had said, that the present was an act of hostility without notice, and had so been considered by all. The reason why declarations of war were unusual in modern times on the part of this country was, that England seldom went to war except for the purpose of defending itself from aggression, therefore notice in such cases was not required. The case on the part of the refugees was a violation of the law of nations, and he believed that no man, impartial and informed upon the subject, could doubt that it was the duty of this country to prevent it. He was perfectly willing to admit, that what had happened at Terceira was an untoward event, but on the whole, Government could not avoid taking the course which it had done. England had maintained the position which her honour and her interests required, and throughout the whole of his foreign policy it was his opinion, that the Duke of Wellington was but following the footsteps of Mr. Canning.
§ Mr. Horace Twiss
—I hope, Sir, that the House will grant me its indulgence if, in the silence of others who would be more competent than I am to the statement of this case, I endeavour to lay before them an outline of the facts on which the vindication of the Government rests. On the 15th of October, 1828, it was requested by the Marquis Barbacena, that the Portuguese refugees, who are the subjects of this Motion, should proceed to the Azores under a British convoy. The language he uses in this application is extremely different from that of his parliamentary advocates. He does not pray that the suffering individuals—the scattered wanderers of the Queen's followers, who were sojourners here, might be forwarded, after all their troubles, to a refuge and peaceful home in the little Archipelago of the Azores; but he plainly acquaints the Duke of Wellington, that the Secretary of the government of the Azores is come to London, authorised to demand with the greatest urgency, the immediate despatch of a part of the faithful Portuguese troops, whose presence in the above-mentioned islands would ensure their 155 defence, as well as their tranquillity, against the attack menaced by the illegitimate government of Portugal. He goes on to declare, that these succours—for so he describes them (ces secours)—when once landed at Terceira, will be sufficient to put that island out of danger: he states that the succour is not to be landed in the event of the Island having fallen under the aggression threatened. The question, therefore, he says, is not of an hostile undertaking, but simply of a measure of defence. Sir, the only island of the Azores which was ever pretended to be in the possession of Donna Maria at the time when the Marquis Barbacena wrote, was Terceira; the other islands were under the dominion of Don Miguel: and it was known to the British Government, that a quantity of English arms and ammunition, shipped from this country by the Brazilian minister in the previous August, for which he had obtained a license from the Crown, under an assurance that they were not to be used in the civil dissensions either of Portugal or of its dependencies, and consequently, not in the contests at the Azores, which form part of those dependencies,—had nevertheless been sent to Terceira. In this state of things it was obvious, that if the Portuguese, then at Plymouth set sail from England to Terceira, there to take up and use those arms and this ammunition, either for the purpose of capturing those of the Azores which were in Don Miguel's possession, or for the purpose of reinforcing Terceira against the descent with which the Marquis Barbacena states Don Miguel was then threatening that island, the Portuguese so sailing from Plymouth to Terceira were neither more nor less than troops leaving England for purposes of hostility between Donna Maria and another Sovereign, with neither of whom we were at war. No, say the Marquises Pahnella and Barbacena, not for the purposes of hostility, but only for purposes of defence. But what do you, the Portuguese, yourselves allege as the objects of your expedition? Why, one of those objects, as you state them, is to secure the tranquility of the Azores in general under Donna Maria's government, which you entitle generally the government, not of Terceira only, but of the Azores. Why, then, as the Azores in general were at that time in the possession of Don Miguel, it is clear, on your own shewing, that so far as the 156 Azores in general were concerned, you meditated an actual attack; for before you could govern and tranquillize, you had to capture them. But suppose you had made no claim on any one of the Azores, except Terceira,—suppose your only object had been to throw a reinforcement into that one place, for its defence against the threatened invasion of Miguel, how could that have warranted England in allowing your expedition to go forth from her shores? What substance is there, as far as the duty of the neutral is concerned, in the nice distinctions which the Marquises de Barbacena and Pahnella seek to draw, between the defensive and offensive hostility of the belligerents? If you may not allow troops to reinforce the besieger, on what principle can you allow them to reinforce the besieged? If you could not have forwarded a body of soldiers to assist the expedition of Don Miguel against Terceira, on what principle could you forward troops and ammunition to assist Terceira against Don Miguel? The spirit and object of that law of nations which we are now considering, are to preclude, by a strict impartiality, all cause of umbrage to either belligerent, and prevent the unnecessary spread of war among the states which may be contiguous to the theatre of it; and it would be therefore an extraordinary perversion indeed of the true intent, if a neutral state were at liberty to cavil upon words, in the manner contended for by the Marquises de Barbacena and Palmella, and to assume the right of authorizing all hostility against an obnoxious belligerent which did not bear the form of actual aggression, Consider too the difficulty—nay, the impossibility of discriminating, in a vast variety of cases, what measures of war are offensive, aad what defensive. The party which was retreating yesterday may be advancing to-day—the garrison which, when the succours went out to its aid, was struggling for existence in the citadel of a blockaded town, may, before those succours can arrive, be the van of a victorious army; nay, the spot on which the contest is carried on, as in the instance of this very Terceira, may change its masters from time to time, so that the reinforcement, for example, which Donna Maria may have sought in the last week for defending her possession, may have been wanting by her, in the next week, for attacking and recovering it. How 157 frequent, in a few short months, were the vicissitudes of the government of Terceira? In the early part of 1828, the sovereignty belonged to the Brazilian family. In May a rising had taken place in favour of Don Miguel, and a part of the inhabitants had embraced his cause. In June a counter-revolution took place, the ringleaders of Don Miguel's party were arrested, and the Brazilian family again proclaimed. In September, by the influence of the priests, another revolt was stirred up. These insurgents again were afterwards suppressed: and in the beginning of December, the Brazilian interest was once more successful, and Donna Maria proclaimed as Queen. This is the island, of which we are told, that at the time of the expedition it was, and that for a great length of time theretofore it had been, in the uninterrupted possession of Donna Maria, or of her father, the Emperor of Brazil. Why, Sir, if the troops had gone from England early enough to arrive at Terceira in May, they would have been wanted for a purpose of attack, to quell the force of Don Miguel's friends. If they had arrived in the beginning of September, they would have been wanted for a purpose of defence, to prevent the revolt tinder the priests. If it had been late in September before they arrived, they would have been wanted again for a purpose of attack to reduce that revolt. If they could have been landed later still, when that revolt was already put down, they would have been wanted for a purpose of defence, to protect the government of Donna Maria against the threatened invasion of Don Miguel. Can any thing more clearly expose the fallacy of the assumed distinction between allowing an expedition to go from your coast for the purpose of attack, and allowing it to go for the purpose of defence? Suppose that in a war between France and England the French had possessed themselves of Ireland, and that after they had held it for a little while, this country were making an effort to regain it, but that Spain, a neutral country, should allow the French to fit out an armament from Ferrol, for the defence of their Irish possession against the English attempt to recapture it, should we think it a sufficient excuse in neutral Spain that the object of the French was merely defensive? Now, Sir, I beg my right hon. friend to pause a moment upon 158 the letter of the Marquis Barbacena, and to ask himself what course it behoved the government of a neutral country like ours to take, on receiving this undisguised intimation that a body of Portuguese troops was about to set sail from our shores for the purpose of throwing succours, that is, reinforcements, into a station occupied by one of the belligerents, and threatened with an attack by the other. Not merely to consider whether Don Miguel, by whom this attack had been so threatened, was estimable as a monarch, or popular in this country as a man; not to consider by what connivance we might favour Donna Maria, without actually breaking the letter of our obligations as against Don Miguel, but the manly course which it became the Government of a great country like England to take and abide by, was that of preserving the spirit as well as the forms of neutrality; to deal, in the instance of Donna Maria's troops, the same measure which she would have dealt if the Portuguese at Plymouth had been the adherents of Don Miguel: for, to talk about the righteous cause of the one party, or the usurpations and vices of the other party, in a contest where you profess neutrality,—to assume the dignity and independence of being neutral, and yet lack the integrity to be impartial, this, Sir, may be a captivating and popular morality with those who love better to be liberal than just—but can never be the policy of a nation that has, or hopes to have, a character for public faith. I am sure it would not have been the policy of my right hon. friend. Now, Mr. Speaker, let us suppose for a moment, that instead of their being the body destined by Donna Maria's party for the defence of Terceira, the troops at Plymouth had been the body destined by Don Miguel for the attack on that island, what would my right hon. friend then have said was the duty of a government bearing a neutral character?—to say one thing and connive at another?—to tell those Miguelites, in set language, that they must not start an expedition against Donna Maria from England, yet allow them in fact to send their forces against her by English Transports from Plymouth?—to take no note of the arms already lodged, under circumstances of deceit, at Terceira, and to presume that the soldiers who were going out unarmed to the place where those arms had preceded them, would religiously abstain 159 from employing a single gun? Was this the line which, if the refugees had been the partisans of Don Miguel, my right hon. friend would have had the Government adopt? And if such acquiescence on the part of our neutral Government would have been intolerable in favour of Don Miguel, whose cause is unpopular, would it have been allowable in favour of Donna Maria, because our wishes may be on her side? Sir, the House will give me leave to observe, that the language of the Marquis de Barbacena's letter is very important in this discussion; because that letter, being written before the objections of the British Government were expressed, is unentangled with any sophistries for colouring or concealing from the King's Ministers the real object, but plainly tells the Duke of Wellington, that the Secretary to Donna Maria's government at the Azores is come to desire that a body of Portuguese troops may be sent from England to those islands, for the purpose of defending the young Queen's interests there against an expected attack from her adversary Don Miguel. Here then was an expedition (for so in substance it must be considered) preparing to set sail in English transports, from an English harbour; to employ arms bought on English ground, in reinforcing the hostilities of one of two belligerents against the other, with neither of whom England was at war. Thus far on this state of facts, the course of England was the clearest that can be conceived; and it was taken and announced by the Duke of Wellington with his usual promptitude and fairness. He wrote to the Marquis Barbacena, and told him that the Portuguese in England could not be recognised as troops, but only as individuals; and that any of them, meaning to retain the character of troops, must quit the country without loss of time. Upon the same established principle, of forbidding the use of the neutral territory for the purpose of recruiting the military strength of one belligerent against the other, the Duke proceeds to inform the Marquis Barbacena, that the Portuguese, if they go to the Azores from England, must go as private individuals, and not as an expedition; since his Majesty cannot allow England to be made an arsenal, whence foreigners may carry on their wars; and still less, he adds, can the British navy be permitted to 160 give safety to such expeditions by its convoy. Finding, however, after the lapse of more than four months from the date of this intimation, that no step was yet taken towards the removal of the Portuguese, the Duke of Wellington acquainted the Marquis Palmella, under whose direction they were, that all their military must quit Plymouth, where they were then assembled, and disperse themselves as individuals through other towns and villages. Against the right which England had, as a neutral state, to direct the dispersion of the military part of this Portuguese assemblage, no valid objection was offered, or could have been attempted by the Marquis Palmella: that experienced statesman was too well acquainted with international law, and the duties of neutrals, to state so untenable a proposition. Now, Sir, except the illicit conveyance of arms to Terceira, under a license obtained through an assurance that they were not to be so employed, nothing had occurred until some days after the time when the order for dispersion was given, which could reasonably be complained of, either by the British Government or by the Portuguese. The Marquis Barbacena's object in sending the troops to Terceira, which he explicitly avowed, was no doubt a fair one for him to attempt, if he could persuade the British Government to allow it; and the objection of the British Government against so allowing it, was equally fair and plain on their part. The subsequent communications and movements, which were conducted by the Marquis Palmella, were of a much more artful kind; and though I shall not take the liberty to pronounce whether the address, which was exercised by that very skilful negociator, went beyond the limits which the rules of diplomacy allow to a statesman, who has an important point to carry for his Sovereign; yet, if it shall be made to appear, as to me I own it does appear, from the papers and facts before us, that the Marquis Palmella, from the time when he commenced his correspondence on this subject, was endeavouring, by a series of stratagems, however venial they may be deemed in such affairs, to mislead and outwit the Government of England, that he might slip the Portuguese reinforcements into the island of Terceira, I do apprehend that the House will hardly think the Government of England to blame for not allowing this contrivance and artifice to achieve what 161 they had conscientiously refused to a frank application. Nor can I attach any weight to the charge which my right hon. friend has made against the Government, of cruelty in taxing the Marquis Palmella with bad faith; for if, in the debates which have recently taken place on this subject, they have spoken openly of the Marquis's conduct, it has by no means been a gratuitous censure, but was demanded of them for their own vindication against motives of censure, which have been aimed at them by the advocates of that nobleman himself. Sir, on learning the intention of his Majesty's Government to disperse the assembled troops at Plymouth, the Marquis Palmella, in a personal interview, acquainted the Duke of Wellington that the troops, rather than acquiesce in that dispersion, would leave England entirely, and betake themselves to Brazil. The announcement of such a resolution as this, when coupled with the statement before made by the Marquis Barbacena, that these troops were wanted at the Azores, made it natural to doubt whether the Azores were not still their real aim, though their nominal destination was Brazil, especially when it was remembered that the arms and ammunition, for which a license had been taken out by the Brazilian minister, on the assurance that they were not intended for the civil wars between the claimants of the Crown of Portugal, had in fact been conveyed to Terceira. It was natural, I say, to apprehend that the stratagem which had been practised about the destination of the arms, might be repeated about the destination of the troops: and against this it behoved a neutral government to guard. Accordingly the Duke of Wellington said to the Marquis Palmella, your troops are free to set sail from England, bonâ fide, for the Brazils: but to any of the colonies of Portugal, as for example, to the Azores, we cannot permit any military force to proceed from our coast. If, therefore, these refugees were to go to the Azores at all, they must go as private individuals, and not as an officered, organized body. The Marquis Palmella then asked some protection for these people of his on their voyage to Brazil. He stated that he wished merely for a verbal guarantee from the British Government for their safety; but this the British Government declined, on the ground that a mere verbal guarantee, if Don Miguel should be inclined to disregard 162 it, and attack these unprotected Portuguese on their voyage, might implicate this country with that Prince; but they expressed their willingness, in order to effect the safe transmission of the refugees to the Brazils, that the British navy should give to these strangers, when thus peaceably proceeding to their home, that convoy which it had been found necessary to refuse them when seeking to reinforce a belligerent party at the Azores; a substantial protection, which it was not very likely that Don Miguel would violate. England was certainly not bound to offer this convoy, although it may seem to have been a reasonable protection on her part to the Portuguese, against the dangers of a voyage, which she had in some measure compelled, by her refusal to allow their continuance in England in their accustomed capacity of troops. Perhaps even in strictness such a convoy was a favour to the Marquis Palmella's people, of which Don Miguel might be entitled to complain, as depriving him of the power to intercept those troops in their way to the Brazils; but would any one have imagined that the objection to it would come from the Marquis Palmella? Yet he did object; and why? Because, alleged he, it would look as if England were distrusting these Portuguese, or expelling them by force from her shelter. Surely, Sir, such objections were very far fetched; so far indeed that it is impossible to avoid suspecting that they could be only colourable. This part of the case the more particularly deserves attention, because my right hon. friend has dwelt on the request of convoy, on the former occasion, by the Marquis Barbacena, as a proof of good faith in the Portuguese. I believe there is not a man in Europe who would not have said, on hearing of such a convoy as was offered by the Duke to the Marquis Palmella, that instead of looking like hostility to the cause of the Portuguese, it looked, on the contrary not a little like partiality to that cause—like favour to Donna Maria's objects, and hostility to the objects of Don Miguel. What interest, then, it may be asked, could the Marquis Palmella be supposed to have in declining so valuable an assistance? Why, Sir, this interest; that his party being destined only in name for the Brazils, but in reality for the Azores, would not have found it at all convenient to be accompanied by a British force, which would see to the due fulfil- 163 merit of their voyage to the Brazils, and prevent their shipping any of their soldiers into the harbour of Terceira. The convoy was accordingly declined by the Marquis Palmella in a letter dated the 3rd of December; but the Duke of Wellington having two or three days afterwards learned that more troops had been enlisted in foreign countries for Donna Maria's cause, and ordered to Plymouth, and in a few days more, that an officer, General Stubbs, had taken the military command of the Portuguese troops, who were still lingering in the depot at Plymouth, deemed it necessary to send directions to Captain Walpole, of his Majesty's ship Ranger, to prevent the landing of the troops at any of the western islands. These orders were issued from the Admiralty on the 12th of December, and on the very same day the Duke of Wellington unequivocally acquainted the Marquis Palmella, that his Majesty had been advised to give orders for effectual measures, to prevent any attack upon the Portuguese dominions in Europe, by any of these troops. The Marquis Palmella must have perceived upon this, that notwithstanding the address with which he had eluded the incumbrance of a convoy, all hope of getting his forces at all safely or openly into the harbour of Terceira was effectually cut off, unless some new stratagem could be devised to lull the Government of England into a permission for their transit to the Azores. On the 20th of December, therefore, he writes to the Duke of Wellington, and tells him that, by fresh advices which he had then just received, he finds Terceira is tranquil, and entirely under Donna Maria's government; and this state of things opens a new prospect; and that the refugees propose, therefore, to sail unarmed for Terceira, which as their lawful Queen is recognised there, is in fact, he says, to return to their own home; and by way of shewing that this is really a new resolution produced by the new state of a flairs, and not a mere revival of the old proposal under a new pretence, he encloses an address of certain loyal Terceirans to Donna Maria. The question then is, which supposition is the probable one? Was this a mere pretext to get permission for the renewal of the old design of sending out reinforcements to Terceira, or was it bonâ fide a proposal for the departure of unarmed men to a place which was really the undisputed territory of their Queen, 164 and which they meant, therefore, to adopt as their home? Sir, I will not pretend to define precisely what period of uninterrupted peace should have elapsed, before a place long agitated and divided by fierce combatants, might be deemed to have subsided into repose; but really on the most liberal construction, it is too much to talk of Terceira as being an undisputed possession of Donna Maria, as being a place to which her subjects, or any subject of Portugal, could possibly dream of going, with a view to obtain a home or a refuge from war. Not only was it a dependency belonging to the Crown of Portugal, which Crown was at that moment de facto on another's brow—not only was it one of a cluster of islands of which all except itself were in the allegiance of Don Miguel, but even in this very Terceira itself, the ascendancy had been shifting between the partizans of Donna Maria and of Don Miguel, not less than five times within the compass of that very year. The Marquis Barbacena, in his letter of the 15th of October, had spoken of the danger in which that island then was; a danger so pressing that the partizans of the Queen seem to have felt that they could not insure the defence without the troops, which the Secretary therefore demanded, as the Marquis Barbacena states it, with the greatest urgency. The Marquis Palmella, in the very letter which proposes this return of his people as to their home, speaks of the tranquillity of Terceira as a new prospect opened to him by the intelligence then lately received by him; thus admitting expressly that until the arrival of these last news, no nearer spot than Brazil appeared to him to be capable of affording them an asylum; and what then was the favourable settlement of affairs from which the Marquis Palmella inferred that the sovereignty of his Queen was now secure? Captain Walpole, who arrived on the 13th of December, found that Angra indeed was possessed by the Queen's party, but that the country at large was principally in the possession of a Guerilla force, favourable to the government of Don Miguel. But what says the Marquis Pahnella's own intelligence? What says that address of certain loyal Terceirans to the Queen, which he transmits to the Duke, as the sole voucher for his statement? Does it inform her Majesty that all is settled there, that war, and discord, and discontent are no more—that 165 the minds of all the inhabitants of Terceira are united in her favour? No; it solicits her to accept the hearts of a number of warriors, who defend her rights under a provisional government, and then gives her this very cordial, but certainly not very quieting assurance against her enemies—"To day, covered with the royal aegis of your Majesty, and determined to enter into no compromise with them, nothing but the death of the last of us shall be capable of opening a passage to them for the completion of their triumph." Surely, Sir, in the face of such a document as this—to say nothing of Captain Walpole's report—the allegation that Terceira was a tranquil spot, inviting by its peaceful attractions the long-wearied wanderers of Portugal, as to a resting-place and a home, was one which a statesman of the Marquis Palmella's sagacity could hardly expect the Government to believe. But according to the Marquis Palmella, the Portuguese at Plymouth were now no longer to proceed in the character of an armament; they were no longer called troops as the Marquis Barbacena had called them; the Marquis Palmella had more adroitly denominated them refugees, and urged that they were to leave England unarmed. Why, Sir, it is a mere quibble to allege that the expedition was less an armament, because the arms had been sent on before; it would matter nothing whether the soldiers went with their arms or to their arms, if at the end of the voyage the arms were to come into the soldiers' hands. It is no more than if the arms had come in a different vessel of the flotilla. "But how were they to get the arms" says my right hon. friend, "if this expedition of their's was a hostile one against the island where those arms were deposited? Were they to begin by forcing the arms from their enemies, that they might afterwards conquer those enemies with them?" By no means: for though the island at large was in the interest of their enemies, my right. hon. friend forgets that Angra, the place where the arms were secured, was in the possession of their own partisans. But they were not to go out as troops; they were to go only as refugees returning home—that must mean, if it is to mean anything, as individual and private men; as civil, and not as military persons. Indeed! Why what had happened so suddenly to change their character? In October, when the Marquis Barbacena wrote, 166 they had borne the title of troops. Had they since been disbanded? Had the order been executed for their dispersion into other towns? Had the military depot at Plymouth been broken up? Had the command of their officers ceased? Had their pay been discontinued? Had they been released from the superintendence of Donna Maria's minister, and committed each man to his own individual discretion in his future movements, either to remain in the service of their Queen, or to retire from it? Such circumstances as these would have been evidence, no doubt, that the parties were now no more than private individuals, but not one of these circumstances had occurred. They were still commanded by their officers, still quartered in their accustomed dâpoôt, still regulated by the Marquis Palmella, as agent for the young Queen, still provided through his hands with military pay, still directed by him in the destination they were to take. There was no one characteristic of soldiers in a Sovereign's service which did not fully exist in the case of these troops. Does my right hon. friend think that the emigrants to Canada and Swan River, to whom he likens these passengers, go out with military officers, and military discipline, and military pay? or is there the least resemblance in the purposes or in the preparations of the peaceful and of the warlike enterprise? The Duke of Wellington therefore instantly acquainted the Marquis Palmella, "That his Majesty was not to be deceived as to the real intention of the proposed voyage to Terceira, and that Government had taken measures to prevent these troops from proceeding in a hostile character from England to any part of the dominions or colonies of Portugal." This was the second distinct notification which the Government of Great Britain had given to the Marquis Palmella; and it might have been reasonably expected, that after the hospitable reception and the long protection which his people had received from England, he would have felt it incumbent on him to abstain from the further prosecution of a design, which he found to be regarded as a breach of the obligations due from him to this country. But he still made no change in his arrangements. He gained some further time by another elaborate and ingenious argument in vindication of his own views; and the Duke of Wellington answered him by another distinct notification in these words: 167 —"There can be no doubt in the mind of any man acquainted with the circumstances, of the object in view in sending these troops to Terceira; and I repeat to you, that they will not be allowed to land there." Now comes the termination of the Marquis Palmella's correspondence. He replies, that the determination so announced gives him great pain (as if he had not been acquainted with it by the Duke's preceding letters of the 12th and 23rd), but he flatters himself that at the moment of his writing, there will have sailed for Terceira four transports, to which it will be too late for him then to send fresh orders. So that in spite of the repeated and distinct prohibition of the British Sovereign, and in breach of the express conditions which, in the exercise of his undoubted right, he had annexed to his protection of these strangers, all the arrangements for the voyage to Terceira had been going on; and at the last moment, when the Marquis Palmella felt assured that it was too late to detain them in the British seas, and that he might, therefore, very safely throw aside even the shew of respect for the requisition of England, then he slipped the cables of his vessels, with their complements of troops shipped on board for Terceira, regularly organized and officered, and kept in pay, having first increased their force by engaging an auxiliary body of German soldiers to accompany the expedition from Plymouth to the Azores. My right hon. friend complains, that we enforced our prohibition of entering Terceira against these Germans, who were not fitted out in England, as well as against the Portuguese who were; but I answer, that if a set of persons with whom, in their separate character, we should have had no title to interfere, think fit to make themselves a part of an expedition against which our interference is lawful, they must bear the consequences of their own act, and submit to be treated as members of the body with which they have associated themselves. Sir, the better to cover the departure of these four transports for Terceira, a set of clearances had been provided them, made out for oilier parts of the globe; in order that, if a direction should have been issued by the British Government to stop all vessels bound for Terceira, these transports might evade that embargo. There were still some other transports which were not ready quite so soon as the first four, and 168 with respect to such of these as required concealment, the same system of false clearances was pursued. Three of them, having but 103 passengers on board, cleared out, avowedly for Terceira: so small a number of persons distributed into three ships, being likely enough to escape detection; but another left England with six brass eighteen pounders and carriages complete; another with eighteen pieces of cannon and ammunition; another with 315 troops, including thirty officers; and so on: and when these arrived at Terceira, it was found that they had left England with clearances for Bahia, Virginia, and other places. Now, Sir, on these facts the question is, whether the British Government, having a right (as I think it has been shewn they clearly had) to prevent the transit of this expedition to Terceira, were guilty of any abuse in the exercise of that right. It is said, that if Government were right in their view of the facts, they should have taken their remedy by stopping the ships at Plymouth, and not in the Atlantic. Sir, I think I can shew satisfactorily, that if both remedies had been equally practicable, we should have been as fully justified in selecting the one as the other; but in fact, the remedy of detaining the vessels here was not left so much within our power as the argument on the other side would re- present it. So long as the Marquis Palmella continued his correspondence upon the subject, pressing the British Government to withdraw its opposition, so long it was impossible for the British Government to infer that he intended at all events, to deny that opposition, especially when he fully understood that his troops would not be suffered to land at Terceira. If it had been intended to deal fairly with England, these strangers, who were under such great obligations to her for her support, should, at least, have distinctly apprised her that whether she deemed their purpose to be lawful or not, whether she opposed its execution or not, they intended in every case to fulfil it. If they meant to be ungrateful, at least they should have been explicit. But for the Marquis Palmella to go on discussing, and arguing, and gaining time, by repeated correspondence, and never to communicate the eventual intent, until he had reached the period when, as he himself says to the Duke, it was too late to send fresh orders to the ships,—this was to deprive us of the 169 opportunity for effecting the detention in port, which is recommended as the legitimate course, until the period was past for attempting it. The remedy, therefore, which the Portuguese thus uniformly prevented England from taking against them in Plymouth Sound, their own evasion warranted her, even if she had not been otherwise well warranted, in taking upon the Atlantic Ocean; for surely, if a neutral state may, in the first instance, stop a belligerent, who is making his outfit openly, it will not be maintained that she is precluded from stopping him afterwards because he has contrived to do the same thing clandestinely and unfairly. My right hon. friend talks about the law of nations as if it lay in a statute-book, where the rule must be the written text, to the word, and the very letter; but even a written statute, when it is remedial, is construed liberally to advance the remedy, not strictly to confine it; and really when so much has been said about the importance of the present question to the rights of all the States of Europe, it is due to that whole international community, that we should look to the spirit and object of the law of nations upon this subject, and not merely to the letter of text-books and decided cases, even if texts and decided cases were to be found. The neutral state in those matters has a duty to the adverse belligerents; and if the expedition have, by artifice, evaded the determination announced by the neutral of detaining it, then unless she be at liberty to follow it to sea, there is no remedy against that expedition at all, and the adverse belligerent sustains a damage of which the neutral is unfairly made the instrument. If the neutral willingly connived at the damage, the belligerent so injured has no remedy but a war against such injurious neutral. But it is precisely to prevent neutral States from being absorbed into the vortex of an existing war, that the rule of their conduct has been prescribed by the law of nations, and if they mean to take the benefits and immunities of that rule, they must also be strict in their fulfilment of its obligation. If we, the neutral power, had really been from the beginning unsuspicious of the intention to enter Terceira, no doubt we should have been absolved, as against Don Miguel, by the plea, that we were unconscious of any purpose injurious to him; but that was not our case; we had entertained the apprehension from the beginning. Don 170 Miguel would have had a right to say to us, while these troops lay at Plymouth "You have notice that they have it in contemplation, if you will allow them, to go and reinforce my enemies at Terceira; I call on you, therefore, to take effectual means to prevent their transit thither." To this our answer would have been, "Perhaps, indeed, you have strictly a right to require that, after what the Portuguese have said, through the Marquis Palmella, we shall put an embargo upon their ships; but really, while he is only arguing the question with us, whether we are fairly entitled to detain his people, when they are only urging us to withdraw our prohibition, and have not given us the slightest hint, that if we persevere in our refusal, they will execute this project in contempt of us, their protectors—it would be too strong a measure for us to put an actual forcible detainer upon them, because we suspect a possible bad faith on their part." If we had been told in reply, that it was a mere suspicion of bad faith which had induced us, while yet Brazil was the alleged destination, to send orders that Captain Walpole should prevent the fraudulent landing of the Brazilian-bound force at Terceira, the plain answer is, "that those orders were not to be executed except upon proof, upon our suspicion being made good by the event; but to act on the suspicion beforehand, to impose an actual force in contemplation of contingent fraud, that would be a course which we think, under all the circumstances, we are bound, in common forbearance and respect for the Portuguese Minister and his Sovereign, to abstain from adopting at present. Moreover we have reason to expect, that if we persist, as we shall do, in refusing them permission to enter Terceira, they will recur to their original proposal of returning to Brazil, a proposal which (avoiding at once the objection you have against their going: to Terceira, and the objection they have against dispersing themselves through our country towns,) it is on every account our duty to promote, as being in the spirit of a strict neutrality, but which we run the risk of entirely frustrating if we lay an embargo on the transports in our harbours. But then, Sir, if forbearance was shewn to the Portuguese in giving them credit for some degree of fair intention, and in therefore not imposing this embargo while the Marquis Palmella was still pleading against it, who was to pay the price of 171 that forbearance—Don Miguel, or the Portuguese who were benefitted by it? Surely not Don Miguel; if our leniency at that time should be productive of any danger to him, by ultimately enabling his enemies to slip out of our harbours, they surely, and not Miguel, must bear the inconvenience consequent upon their own want of fairness. "Oh," but say the opponents of Government, "You arc not to transgress general principles for particular eases. The principle is, that you must; detain, if at all, in the harbour, and you had no right to follow the fugitives to sea." Sir, that principle is very broadly asserted, but I want to hear some proof that it exists,—some satisfactory argument to demonstrate that it is either reasonable in itself, or obligatory by the agreement of nations. That a stoppage made by a neutral state has usually been made within the limits of her own harbours, may be very true; and there is this cogent reason for it, that most neutrals are without, means to effect such a stoppage beyond the waters of their own harbours, but what is there in principle to confine the remedy thus? If the belligerent sustained a greater inconvenience by being told on the coast of the country to which he is sailing that his entrance there cannot be permitted, than he sustains by being told the same thing in the neutral harbour where he has fitted out his expedition, that might be some argument; but the balance of advantage is the other way. So long as he is detained by the embargo of a neutral state in her ports (there seems no clear rule for determining the duration of such an embargo), he is prevented from employing his resources at all; he can go neither to his intended destination, nor to any other; whereas, if he is warned off the forbidden coast on his arrival in its neighbourhood, he has the choice of any other destination which he may select. These troops, if they had been detained in England, might have complained that England assisted Don Miguel by locking up their forces, not only from unlawful, but even from all lawful undertakings. But by stopping them off Terceira, instead of detaining them here, we left them at liberty to go to Rio Janeiro, or to any of the places to which they pretended in their clearances that they sought to go—we no longer excluded them (as in our ports we should have excluded them) from all other countries whatever; we excluded them 172 only from Terceira, leaving all other countries open to them. But the belligerent would sometimes perhaps consider himself aggrieved if he were allowed to take the risk and trouble of a long voyage in vain, when a detention at the outset would have spared him from these disadvantages. Having transgressed the law of nations in the neutral state, by perverting its shelter into a place of warlike outfit, he, the belligerent, would not perhaps be entitled, with a very good grace, to claim that his convenience should be much considered by the neutral state, in her mode of frustrating his undue measures; but surely, if before he sets out, she gives him notice, as in the present instance we repeatedly did, that he will not be allowed to execute his illegal purpose, he receives not only all the justice that he can strictly ask, but a courtesy to which he is really not entitled. Again, if a greater chance of bloodshed were to be apprehended from a stoppage at sea, than from an embargo in port, that objection to a stoppage at sea would be a strong one; but for such an apprehension, there can be no sort of ground; since the chance of bloodshed must always depend, not upon the place where the interference is made, but upon the degree of strength which the interfering party may have, to render resistance hopeless. Now a neutral state, a state not at war, will not usually have any overwhelming force in any but her two or three principal arsenals; and a single well-armed man of war, sent by her purposely to sea, may be more efficacious to overawe the wrongdoer's flotilla, than all the small craft which may have happened to be lying in any one of her out ports from which he may have taken his departure. In the present instance, one person was killed; but why? Because the Portuguese commander, though two previous shots had been fired as signals over his head, had refused to give any attention to those signals. If he had been similarly rash in running out of any British harbour against the orders of the British authorities, a similar mischance might have occurred. All that the neutral state can be expected, or ought to do, whether at sea or in port, is to give notice of her prohibition, before the belligerent quits the harbour; and then, if that prohibition be neglected, to enforce it by such a strength, as a reasonable commander will not think it prudent to resist; if he do resist such a 173 strength, it is he, and not the neutral, who must be blamed. For, the life, therefore, which was lost off Terceira, by the fire of the English vessel, it is not, I venture to say, the British Government which is responsible—for they could never apprehend that in the teeth of such repeated notices, and of so overpowering a naval strength, the Portuguese commanders unarmed as their people were always asserted to be, would obstinately press for Terceira; but the responsible parties are the Portuguese themselves, who having committed one breach of neutrality by sending a hostile party from our shores, compelled a second breach of neutrality, by defying our notices in England, and disregarding our naval force off Terceira. It seems, therefore, Sir, to me, that on the score of justness or fairness to the belligerent, no greater objection can exist against the principle of a stoppage at sea, than against the principle of a detention in port. But there arc very good reasons, in respect of the neutral himself, and of the general interests of nations, why the stoppage at sea is the more eligible course. If the neutral detain the parties in port, how is he to dispose of them? What restrictions are to be placed upon their freedom, with a view both to the promotion of the object they contemplated, and to the just security of the neutral's own towns and people? At whose cost during their detention are they to be lodged and maintained? All these considerations, though they go only to the question of convenience, and not to that of right, arc yet of some weight, if, as I believe, there is no reason of actual law or justice which requires that the stoppage shall be in port. Again, with respect to the general interests of nations, it is clearly for the common good that these extreme remedies should be exercised as seldom as possible. Now, the later the stage in in which they are to be applied, the greater the chance that their application may be finally spared. If the ships be detained in the harbour, the evil, be it more or less, is absolute and immediate; but if they sail for a distant coast, with notice that they will not be suffered to land there, an opportunity of better consideration, a locus pœnitentœ, is given them to the last: their commander may relax in his purpose; other exigencies may arise to require the presence of the force elsewhere; contrary winds may im- 174 pede their arrival, till too late for the object; and in any of these cases, or in any other case like these, the mischievous necessity of applying constraint will be avoided altogether. Sir, if the troops in question had been acting for Don Miguel, instead of against him; and if we had allowed them to escape us without prevention or pursuit, what charges would not have been made against the Government, of conspiracy and collusion; of wilful intention to be deceived about the license of the arms, of wilful intention to be deceived about the departure of the transports? Why, then, if the English people have a bias against Don Miguel,—and I do not mean to deny that it may be a natural and a justifiable aversion—is not that the stronger reason why the Government should take care to avoid any course which would subject us to the imputation of having swerved from our duty in order to gratify our dislike? Lastly, Sir, it has been alleged, that even if we had the right to intercept this expedition in the Atlantic, we had no right to meddle with it in the waters of Terceira, where the firing actually took place; because that was within the jurisdiction of an independent sovereign, which no neutral state could have a right to disturb. Sir, in order to make that argument applicable, our gun should have been fired within a port belonging to some other power than one of these two belligerents, for as to them no such distinction could take place. Terceira must be taken to have belonged, when our shot was fired, cither to Miguel or to Maria. If to Miguel, as to him there could be no disturbance of his territories or other titles; for the measure taken was to prevent an injury designed against himself [cheers]. I understand what is meant by that cheer; but can I allow myself to be told that the injury then designed to be inflicted upon that individual, in violation not only of his rights, but of those of all neutral nations in the world, was to be submitted to by the country whom he might justly charge with being the occasion of that injury, merely because his cause or his person may be unpopular? If it was our duty to interfere at all, that duty was not changed because the performance of it happened to operate in his favour. Having put the question as if Terceira belonged to Don Miguel, let us now examine the other alternative. If Terceira belonged to 175 Maria, then so far from disturbing any independent right, of hers by our entrance into the waters of Terceira, we were entering only into the limits of the very power by which the wrongful expedition had been contrived, and into the very spot where the wrong was intended to be executed. Sir, it seems to me that those considerations, which I am sorry to have occupied so much time in presenting to the House, are conclusive to shew that the conduct of England, on this occasion, was such as befitted so great a country; a conduct due not only to the rights of others, but to her own character and faith. Had we allowed these refugees, after escaping from our territorial jurisdiction by a trick, to take advantage of their own fraud, and expose us to the censure of having connived at their expedition, we should in my apprehension, have permitted what our honour in a most peculiar manner enjoined us to prevent; for if it be a point of honour not to endure that any wrong be done to ourselves, it is a point of honour, in my opinion, higher still, not to allow that we be made the instruments of any wrong to others.
Lord John Russell
spoke to order, The hon. Gentleman appeared to him to have been reading a speech. He did not know whether that were the case—but if so, it was certainly against the rules of the House;
§ Mr. Twiss
said, that he certainly had not been reading his speech. It was true, that in the course of the day he had turned the matter over in his mind, and had made rather copious notes on the subject; at the same time he begged to state, that whenever he was aware that he should have occasion to address the House, he adopted a similar course. The practice of his profession necessarily inured him to extemporaneous declamation, and he therefore stood in no need of exculpation from such a charge.
§ Lord Sandon
said, that he did not mean to follow the learned Gentleman who had just addressed the House through the whole of the lecture he had read it on the laws of nations, he was content with the broad admission of the advocates of Government, that none of the texts or precedents to be found in those laws justified the conduct pursued towards the refugees. He would admit, for the sake of argument, but for the sake of argument only, that the Marquis Barbacena, and the Marquis 176 Palmella had behaved with perfidy, that the Portuguese refugees were an armed body of men, and that they were bound to make an attack on a possession of Don Miguel's; all these things he would admit, and yet he would deny that this country had any right whatever to exercise authority over them, or assume any sovereign power whatever on the high seas, to control the movements of these independent men. He would defy any lawyer to say that this country was justified in the attack made upon the Portuguese, or that it had any right whatever, by the laws of nations, to attack troops in waters appertaining to the dominions of another power. It seemed to be contended, that because we gave a triple warning, we had a right to interfere; but what business had we to make use of the term "allow;" we did not say so with respect to Russia, or France; indeed, very little was this Government in the habit of using such terms to Powers that were able to defend themselves. It was only to an unprotected individual, like the Marquis Palmella, that such a course was adopted. The spirit that pervaded the whole correspondence on the part of our Government was arbitrary and imperious, as well as at variance with the acknowledged law of nations. If the Portuguese had persisted in landing, and our ships had sunk their vessels, and destroyed them, what would have been the cry then? He must confess that he felt that a blot had been thrown on the character of England, by the course that had been adopted, and as an expression of that feeling he must say that he concurred most cordially in the Motion of his right hon. friend.
The Solicitor General
was of opinion that the Government of this country was not only justified, but was called on by every principle of the law of nations, to prevent armed troops going from this country for the purpose of attacking a belligerent. The first question to be considered was, whether or not the men arrested in their progress were a military body. The Portuguese minister always treated them as troops. He applied to the Government for a passage for them as troops in a British man-of-war, and this was also shown by General Stubbs going to Plymouth, and addressing them as troops. The latter circumstance had particularly attracted the attention of the Duke of Wellington; and to this was to be added, 177 that they were joined by men levied and organized in Germany. The mere reception of those persons too in this country had placed us in a doubtful position, and the Government was compelled to act as it did to convince Don Miguel, and all Europe, that we were guided by the principles of the strictest neutrality. He was ready to join the right hon. Gentleman who opened the debate in expressing the warmest sympathy for one of the contending parties, and of dislike to the other; but the present question had no reference to our feelings, it was simply to ascertain whether we were not bound to steer a straight-forward neutral course between both. Our conduct in allowing those troops to collect here was inconsistent with neutrality, and if we had not interfered, Don Miguel would have had a right to say that we were preparing an armed force on the shores of this country for the purpose of attacking his territories. The question simply was, whether the circumstances were such as to justify us sending a naval force off Terceira? The law of nations required the Government to prevent an armament going from our shores, and therefore the Ministers were justified in preventing the thing being accomplished by fraud. The troops not choosing to disperse, it was agreed that they should be allowed to go to the Brazils, and the clearances of the vessels were made out for Rio de Janeiro. In the course of the affair the conduct of this Government had nothing in it ambiguous or doubtful; and he wished he could say the same of the conduct which had been pursued by the Marquis Palmella. Notice was sent to him to say that any attempt to proceed to Terceira would be resisted; and, therefore, it was quite evident that the Portuguese were made acquainted with what the intentions of this Government were. The Marquis, therefore, wantonly placed himself in a situation of danger—either expecting that he would escape our ships altogether, or that they would not interfere to obstruct the progress of his followers. He did not argue the question at all on general principles, he looked merely at the circumstances of the case, and they, he contended, justified the Government. A large body of armed men was collected in this country, who, by means of a subterfuge, set forth to make an attack on another state, which the Government, while it professed neutrality, was bound 178 not to allow. If these troops had been permitted to reach Terceira, would this country stand as it now did in the face of Europe? He contended that it would have been quite impossible for this country to have justified itself to Europe at large; while now the conduct of this country was irreproachable, and its neutrality undeniable.
Sir James Macintosh
said, that the question had been so well, and so ably discussed, that it required no aid from him; but he should consider himself disgraced if he abstained from delivering his sentiments on the subject on every occasion. Amidst all the singular circumstances belonging to the whole transaction, he knew of none more remarkable than the address of his hon. and learned friend, the Solicitor General. When a lawyer like him, holding such a high station in his Majesty's councils, standing in the first rank of his profession, having made his way to the exalted eminence on which he stands by the only means by which a man can rise to eminence in this country—the exercise of profound legal knowledge, and the possession of great talents; when a Gentleman in his station, and of his character and profession, rose to address the House on one of the most important questions of international law that ever was agitated within the walls of Parliament, it was certainly to be expected that he would have treated it in a manner becoming the gravity of his profession, and with the learning belonging to his high station. Hearing him say that the Government was called upon to act as it had done by the laws of nations, he heard words which might not have excited expectations of a serious sequel, if they had been uttered by any other person, more accustomed to popular speaking than to legal discussion; but hearing them fall from his hon. and learned friend, he did naturally expect that the learned Gentleman would have told the House where to find one single principle stated, laid down by any writer, acknowledged in any treaty, adverted to by any Judge, sanctioned by any authority, which could in any manner be made to justify what, in his conscience, he conceived to be nothing less than an act of lawless violence. The hon. and learned Gentleman had stated, that it was justified because a fraud had been committed by certain Portuguese and Brazilian ministers, and that his Majesty's Government had thereby acquired a right 179 to interfere with the parties guilty of the fraud, and contracted a duty towards the other belligerent to prevent the parties practising the fraud from profiting by it. With the exception of a most marvellous paradox, propounded by the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the mistake of the Vice-President of the Board of Trade; this seemed to him to be the only ground of justification that was worthy of a moment's attention. But the weight of this argument, if it had any, was, that when once fraud had been committed, every violence and aggression was justifiable. Was this true in international law? Was it true in municipal law? Was it adjudged by any decided cases? He defied any lawyer, however subtle or acute, to cite any one instance that could bear out so monstrous a proposition. The general rule on this subject—the maxim always relied on—was, not only that you are not to make war in a friendly territory, but you are not to make war in a neutral territory, or in that high sea which is the common road of nations, and is a neutral territory to all: you were excluded from a friendly and a neutral territory, and could only make war on an enemy's territory. This was the doctrine laid down by Bynkershoeck. This did not justify any act of hostility committed in the waters of a neutral power; on the contrary, it expressly forbade any such act. It was a maxim of the law of nations, that one belligerent was not even to attack another within gun-shot of a neutral territory. Every page of the law of nations expressly forbade any such acts of hostility. These maxims had, on that occasion, only been opposed by some general reasoning; and general reasoning not employed to diminish the horrors of war, not to set bounds to extermination, but to justify extending it further than it had ever before been extended. To such general reasoning he would give an answer from the highest authority—not from any reasoning of his own, but from the very highest authority England possessed on such subjects, and he need hardly add that he meant the authority of Lord Stowell. In a case well known to those gentlemen who studied that branch of the law, the case of the Flaydoyen, to be found in the first volume of Sir Christopher Robinson's Reports, Lord Stowell said, "In my opinion, if it could be shown that regarding mere speculative general principles, such a con- 180 demnation, or such an act was lawful, that would not be enough. More must be proved, it must be shewn that the act is conformable to the usage and practice of nations. A great part of the law of nations has no other foundation, it is introduced by general principles; but it travels with these only to a certain extent, and if it stops there, we are not to go any farther. On these general principles it is lawful to destroy an enemy, and it makes no difference in what manner it is done; but the practice of mankind must make the distinction, and prohibits other modes than those authorised by it." The object of the noble Lord was, to show that general reasoning could not justify every act that fell within the law of nations, but it must be also justified by the received practices of nations, to which it must conform. The Law of Nations had, in fact, no other foundation than the practices of nations, and an act that did not conform to those practices could not be valid. He would not, on that occasion, quit the vantage ground of Lord Stowell's authority to run a race for the prize of paradox with the hon. member for Wootton Basset—he would rely upon that authority, upon the authority of Bynkershoeck, and of all writers on this subject, that these laws were not determined by reason alone, they were regulated ratione et usu. He contended, that the laws of nations were determined by the usages of the civilized nations of Europe. The right hon. Gentleman illustrated this view by referring to a case in which the Imaum of Muscat was surprised to find his property protected by the laws of European nations, which he did not understand, and which were contrary to his own usages when engaged in war. It was necessary to adhere to those rules and practices, and not make others, by a process of reasoning; they must be adopted as they had been practised, though they might sometimes be restrictions on ourselves. The argument of his right hon. friend, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, was, that we had a right of war against Portugal, though he did not say against which Sovereign of Portugal; and, having that right of war, his right hon. friend had contended that we had a right to carry it into execution as we had done at Terceira. But had we ever demanded reparation of the Sovereign who was said to have injured us? If that demand bad been made, and reparation 181 refused, then we might go to war. In this case the insult was offered by a minister; and what a state would the world be in if every error of a minister were made a ground of war, without first asking for reparation from the Sovereign! He would not vindicate the Marquis Palmella, whom he had the honour to know, and knew to be as honourable a man as any in the world, from any of those accusations which had been made against him; he was content to allow that necessity had sometimes driven that nobleman to the very frontier of propriety; but he would say, that the conduct of those parties in England, which had been long and elaborately dwelt on by an hon. Gentleman over the way, who had abstained from doing any thing so impertinent as touch upon the question at issue, had nothing to do with the conduct of the English Government at Terceira. But on that, there seemed to be some mistake, for during two months all the exertions of the Marquis Palmella and Count Itabayana were employed to prevent those troops going to Terceira. They considered their leaving England as a calamity, and instead of making exertions to bring the troops and the arms together, they tried to keep them asunder. The object kept in view for two months, both by the Marquis Barbacena, and the Marquis Palmella was to retain those troops in England, and away from the arms sent to Terceira by Viscount Itabayana. The conduct of the ambassadors, supposing it to be as represented, and the stoppage of the Portuguese refugees were not, therefore, parts of the same transaction, and the former did not justify the latter. With reference to our relations with Don Miguel, he would remind the House that there was a Revolution in Portugal in 1668, and that then a Don Pedro dethroned his elder brother, Don Alphonso; on which occasion, Charles 2nd, who was not supposed to be over scrupulous, refused to acknowledge the usurper for upwards of twelve years. There was a letter extant, written by Sir Leonine Jenkins, in 1680, which stated the reasons why the Sovereign of England would not recognise Don Pedro; and those reasons were that the King had not yet received sufficient information as to the legality of his possession of the Throne; that there were, certain circumstances in his family history which were not so well explained as to authorise Charles 2nd, to acknow- 182 ledge him; and that his Majesty of England must, as a Christian King, be satisfied on all those points before he could recognise the legal authority of Don Pedro. Charles 2nd was perhaps too scrupulous, for Don Pedro did not appear to be quite as bad as his successor in usurpation; and he could not help expressing his satisfaction that a man was not yet admitted into the Club of Monarchs who would be blackballed by every Club of Gentlemen in Europe. He could conceive nothing worse for legitimate monarchy than that those who exercised its high functions should be of so bad a private character that no gentleman in Europe would associate with them. Don Pedro was not accused of being a tyrant. There was no Marquis Loulé, and no story of the floor of a palace stained with noble blood, by the hand of a royal tyrant. It was never charged against Don Pedro 2nd that he had been engaged in a parricidal rebellion, and had accepted a pardon for such a rebellion in the face of all Europe. Great Britain, too, had not engaged herself to give any support to the adherents of a Don Alphonso. She had not promised them assistance; nor encouraged them to make an attack on Don Pedro, only to lure them to ruin. Don Alphonso had never been taught to look to her for support. There was another difference also. It was not charged against the usurper of the seventeenth century, that he had insinuated himself into the confidence of the King of Great Britain, and had practised the foulest frauds on him, not in the character of a diplomatist, for that might be excused, but in the character of a gentleman and in the intimacy of personal intercourse, and confidential friendship; he had not inveigled himself into the confidence of the King of Great Britain, and, by promises that he never meant to! perform, been permitted to return to Portugal; he had not abused that confidence; he had not vouched for his own good conduct, and obtained the support of pecuniary credit to establish himself in Portugal. The Don Pedro of the seventeenth century had been guilty of none of these frauds, worthy only of a man of the most despicable character. Don Miguel had insulted the King of Great Britain, and he was perfectly convinced that the King of Great Britain, could he lay aside the restraints of royalty, would have found himself called on personally to resent it; 183 but he was prevented by his high station. His Majesty not being allowed the privileges of private life, his subjects were bound to revenge the insults offered to him. He did not say that the character of Don Miguel could give us any reason to interfere, but it was a great aggravation of the insult, and of the usurpation, that the usurper was a monster. It was an old saying of a pithy English writer—who was not, however, very popular—that no man declared against reason till reason had declared against him. This was the case with many of his opponents. They could find in all the laws of nations not one precedent to justify the affair of Terceira, and they turned round, therefore, and decryed the laws of nations. An able writer, who had treated this subject with a view to justify the conduct of Government, had said, that he would not refer to the laws of nations, they were so flexible and various, which meant that he could find nothing in them to defend or justify the proceeding So said he. He considered that the conduct of the British Government off Terceira was a most flagrant breach of the law of nations.
§ Mr. Croker
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had censured his hon. and learned friend, the Solicitor General, for treating this subject with levity, but the right hon. Gentleman himself had not observed a becoming and serious gravity. The right hon. Gentleman, too, assuming the tone and character of a grave expounder of the law of nations, said, that he would treat it with legal ratiocination; but he had conjured up a bloody usurper, and robed him in the most odious colours, to enlist the sympathies of the House against him and make reason be disregarded. There was, however, the highest authority for saying that the character of one of two belligerents ought not to influence the conduct of a neutral. The right hon. Member had a great respect for Bynkershoeck, and what did that learned civilian say on this very point:—"According to my judgment, the justice or injustice of the cause of the belligerents is no question for a neutral. It is not his business to erect himself into a judge between two parties who are arrayed in hostility against each other, and upon account of the justice or injustice of their respective causes, to give or to deny more to one than to another." The sentiment he observed was received with satisfaction 184 on the other side, and therefore he was astonished that attacks on the character of one belligerent should have been received with approbation from the same quarter. The supporters of the Motion contended that there was nothing in the history of the law of nations which justified the course pursued by his Majesty's Government. The reason was, that the case was unprecedented. The Portuguese refugees were received in this country from motives of humanity; but when they began to organize and arm themselves, they were not only dangerous to our own peace, but it would have been an infraction of our neutrality to Don Miguel to have allowed them to proceed. All that they were asked to do was, to divest themselves of their military character and to disperse; but this the Marquis Palmella refused, on the ground that he should then lose the hold he had upon the apprehensions of the usurper. He had a perfect right to say so—but we had also a perfect right to say, "Then you must go away." We should not have been justified, however, in permitting them to go away otherwise than as they came: they came as individuals, and as individuals alone could they be allowed to depart. The hon. Member seemed to have a strange notion of the meaning of the word individual, when he spoke of men organized into a military body as individuals. He must maintain, in opposition to such an assertion, that men going out in transports, paid for by their minister, and under the command of officers, did not go out as individuals. This strange interpretation of the word "individual," reminded him, he said, of the joke of the comic writer, "I am no more an individual than yourself." If, abusing our hospitality, the Portuguese had collected themselves into an armed body, and had also levied troops on the Continent, for the purpose of forming a combined expedition against Portugal, we were bound by our neutrality to prevent them from availing themselves of that abuse. They knew that if they sent out the men armed we should at once interfere; and to avoid that, they proposed to separate the men from the arms. From the first moment it was evident that their object was, to make an attack on the island of Terceira. He said an attack—for the citadel at Angra was the only spot of the island that was at that time loyal 185 to Donna Maria. To Angra, therefore, they sent the arms, and the men were to follow, and from Angra they were to conquer the whole island. There was no blunder in doing that. It was said, indeed, that as the island of Terceira remained faithful to Donna Maria, the idea of an attack to be made on it by these troops was absurd. But the Marquis Barbacena stated, on October 12th that, the island was in want of assistance, and on the 20th of December the Marquis Palmella applied for leave to send the troops thither to take possession of the island for Donna Maria. He stated that the enemy had disappeared from the western islands, and that nothing was required but the presence of the troops to secure them for the young Queen. Did that statement shew that the island had previously been obedient and faithful to her? Certainly not. At first it was proposed that these troops should be sent to Rio Janeiro, and to that the Duke of Wellington said, he had no objections. But on the 20th of December the Marquis Palmella wrote to the Duke of Wellington, and among other things he said, "The communications which I have lately received from the island of Terceira open a new prospect, and assure me that this island remains tranquil and entirely under the legitimate government; that her Majesty, the Queen Donna Maria the 2nd, has been proclaimed there by virtue of the abdication of her august father; and that the expedition which the Government de facto of Portugal had sent for the purpose of invading it, has entirely disappeared from the latitude of the Azores. Under such circumstances, I cannot doubt that the Portuguese refugees who are about to leave England may direct their course towards the island of Terceira, without any infraction of the principle of strict neutrality which it is the desire of his Britannic Majesty's Government to preserve." It was in consequence, therefore, of this information that he changed his mind, and resolved to send the troops to the island of Terceira instead of sending them to the Brazils. Who therefore could pretend to say that the island had always been in the possession of the friends of Donna Maria? But it was said, that if we had a right to prevent those persons arming themselves here, we had no right to follow them over the sea. Who was it, however, that first suggested to the English Government to extend the pro- 186 tection of her neutrality over the high seas? Who first proposed to send our ships to sea for the purpose of taking any part in the proceeding? The Marquis Barbacena. He proposed that we should send a convoy with the Portuguese, which would have been as great a violation of neutrality as could be imagined. This proposition was rejected indeed by the Duke of Wellington; but by what right did the Marquis Barbacena complain of that rule being applied to him which he desired to have applied to another. It was an old maxim—volenti non fit injuria. By whom was an extraordinary interference on the part of England again proposed? By the Marquis Palmella. He asked first for a convoy, and then for a guarantee. The Duke of Wellington agreed to give a convoy, but on condition that the Portuguese went to Rio de Janeiro. Subsequently, however, the Marquis Palmella was led to exchange a convoy for a guarantee. Now as a guarantee was much the less efficient protection, he should have been at a loss to understand why the Marquis Palmella preferred it, but for the following circumstance—In a daily paper, published in London, which in general was extremely well informed, he meant The Times, there was inserted on the 10th of December, 1829, an article which let him into the whole secret. Whether it had been suggested by the Marquis Palmella to the Editor of The Times, or whether it was the suggestion of that ingenious gentleman's own mind, he did not know, but the article was as follows:—"Without entering further into the question, we may observe, that there is a current report on this subject which is not likely to be true. The report to which we allude is, that the English Government insists upon escorting the transports with the emigrants on board to Brazil, in order to prevent them from effecting a landing at the Portuguese island of Terceira." This was on the 10th of December; and, a few days after, the Marquis Palmella refused the convoy, and asked for the guarantee. The impression on the Duke of Wellington's mind, however, had been, that the object, from the first was Terceira; and he was determined that what they could not do honestly they should not do by trick or fraud. That was no hardship. Departing from what might be called strict neutrality, his Grace, with statesman-like humanity, had 187 permitted those unfortunate persons to find an asylum on our shores; but was he therefore to permit them, under the semblance of a peaceful return home, to carry bloodshed into an island in which civil war prevailed? As it was, one life had been lost; if a contrary course had been pursued, the consequence might have been the loss of hundreds and thousands of lives, in Portugal as well as at Terceira. Terceira was not, in fact, in the hands of their party, and if the endeavour to obtain possession of it had drawn down desolation on the island, and the slaughter of its inhabitants, who would have been to blame but those who, with insane obstinacy, sought to effect the conquest of it? His right hon. friend had alluded to the German auxiliaries, and he might be disposed to admit, that under ordinary circumstances, our interference with those auxiliaries might not have been justifiable, but they were so mixed up with the refugees, that it was impossible to separate one from the other; at the same time he must affirm, that the junction of those mercenaries was the most flagrant part of the transaction. The Portuguese refugees might be looked on with some indulgence, they might long for home, they might be anxious to escape from a spot where he admitted their presence was not acceptable after they had begun to assume the attitude of a military body, but what excuse could be found for engaging an armed band of mercenaries in the same cause? An attack by such a force had no possible justification or excuse; he might sympathize with the suffering Portuguese, and allow them the hospitality of our country, but who could sympathize with their hired mercenaries, or allow them to harbour here, in order to concert an attack on a power towards which we professed neutrality. The noble Lord who spoke from under the gallery (Lord Sandon) had asked upon what authority the Duke of Wellington said, he would allow those persons to leave this country, but not to go to Terceira; and he would tell the noble Lord why the noble Duke used the word allow. He had previously allowed this military force to embody itself in England, the charity and sympathy of the Government for the Portuguese having been carried further than the principles of the neutrality it professed would warrant. The Duke having done wrong in the first instance, as he himself 188 admitted, was obliged to continue the exercise of his assumed power in order to prevent, as much as possible, the evil consequences of his first false step. The Duke of Wellington was charged with cold-blooded severity towards those men; our deviations from neutrality were said to be all against them; when the fact was, that our principal deviation from the strict line of neutrality was entirely in their favour, and led to the consequences of which they complained. How it could be gravely asserted that the act of hostility—the cruel act of hostility as it had been called—had taken place without notice, was what he could not comprehend, when the Portuguese were officially and peremptorily apprized that they must not go to Terceira, and that effectual means had been taken to prevent them if they attempted it. All the observations of his right hon. friend on this point might be delightful eloquence, but they meant nothing; they represented no fact, they only represented the glowing feelings, and the humane sentiments of his right, hon. friend. The Government was reproached too with something like cowardice and bullying. It was said, "you knew whom you had to deal with; you chose your victim, you knew it was not France or Russia you were attacking, you dared not do as much to them; you are like children, you only beat them that cannot resist." But when did the Russians or the French put themselves in the same position with regard to this country? and till they did, such analogies were anything but argumentative or instructive. The question was, whether we ought to allow a body of men to arm and organize themselves in our ports in order to attack a power with whom we were at peace? We chose no victim—we gave supplies to the necessitous, and when we found them arming for war, we told them that there were certain places where they could not go to commit their devastations. They were thrice told that our ships were off Terceira, and that they would not be allowed to proceed thither; and if they were victims, therefore, they immolated themselves. Not only were they warned here, our frigates warned them also off Terceira, and if they persisted, the fault was their own, and the consequences the result of their own folly. By the Government of this country those unfortunate men were treated with indulgence and 189 with the greatest humanity; and when it was rumoured that Don Miguel had sent a squadron from Lisbon to intercept them a vessel was instantly despatched, with orders to our men-of-war in that neighbourhood to resist the squadron, should it make any such attempt, and convoy the refugees beyond its power. If this were a deviation from neutrality it was not in favour of Don Miguel, and it shewed the disposition of the Government of this country towards those unfortunate persons. With a magnanimity which had not often been witnessed in governments, when they quitted England their previous faults were forgotten; when it was rumoured that they were in danger, protection was granted them, and before it was even rumoured that they might suffer from famine, the Government, with careful humanity, supplied them with provisions. This was another deviation from neutrality, but it was not in favour of the usurper. With such examples before the House—with these people permitted to land and arm on our shores—with our granting them protection, and supplying them with provisions—it was monstrous to assert that we had been hostile to them and friendly to their opponent. In the arguments and statements of his right hon. friend he could see nothing but analogies and anomalies which involved the whole subject in confusion. All we had done was, to maintain our neutrality; and the plain facts of the case would make it quite clear. A body of men came here in distress, begging charity and protection; they received both; they then grew strong and wanton, and began to think of war; they armed and organized themselves; and then, without ceasing our hospitality, we informed them that they must not quit this peaceful and neutral country as warlike invaders; we had a right to say, no military force shall leave our shores to attack either a king de facto or a king de jure, but his right hon. friend thought this was going too far; and that our neutrality should be like a Quaker's humility, who suffered his nose to be tweaked and his ear to be pulled, and that we should do nothing more than say with all submissiveness, "Friend thou painest me." His doctrine was, that we might advise and suggest, but not restrain; that we might give hints, but whatever the belligerents might do, neutrality bound our hands, and we had no alternative but to suffer our- 190 selves to be insulted; in what his right hon. friend described as neutrality, he could find nothing but degraded and degrading impotency. It had been said, that the character of the country was lowered by these transactions; would it have been raised by allowing ourselves to be insulted by a foreign armament? The governments of the Continent might well complain if, either out of impotency or ill will, we suffered military expeditions to sail from our shores, and converted Great Britain into a place for organizing hostile armaments. Whatever degradation might be the consequence of our proceedings, he was sure that we should have been ten times more degraded had we suffered these men to effect by fraud what our own municipal laws forbad. If we had not stopped the designs of these men, if the Government had been guilty of such an act of culpable negligence, it might perhaps only have hazarded the safety of the State, but certainly it would have ruined our honour as a nation.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
contended, that it was ridiculous to call these men who came unarmed to this country, who left it unarmed, and who never had any arms, a military armament; what propositions had been made by the Marquis Barbacena or the Marquis Palmella, or what had been their acts, had nothing to do with the present Motion, which related wholly to the conduct of the British Government. The arguments of the right hon. Secretary of the Admiralty seemed to furnish additional ground of complaint; for according to his shewing, that interference, which had been refused at the request of the Marquis Barbacena, had been voluntarily undertaken against him when, after the refusal, he could not possibly anticipate that the Government would act on such a principle. That House was not bound to examine the conduct of foreign ambassadors, but it was bound to vindicate the country from the imputation of injustice. Unless some explanation should be given, much more satisfactory than any he had yet heard; unless some arguments should be stated, more forcible than he could conceive, he should continue to think that the Government of this country had committed an act of injustice, and that it would be becoming in that House to rescue the country, by its vote from the stigma cast on it by the act of the Government.
Sir Francis Burdett
complimented the right hon. Gentleman who had brought forward, the Motion, to whose exertions he said, every Englishman must feel himself indebted, and contended, that the right hon. Gentleman who had last addressed the House, had only stated a number of facts, foreign to the question at issue, from which he had himself forgotten to draw any inference. The professional Gentlemen who had addressed the House had not been successful; they lost sight of the general principles the question involved, and argued it on so narrow a foundation, that he was inclined to think it confirmed the observation usually made as to gentlemen of the long robe. It was said, that however ingenious they might be in argument, and however ready in debate, they seldom took a comprehensive view of any question, and Seldom threw much light on those questions of general policy which they sometimes undertook to discuss. One hon. and learned Member favoured the House with a well-considered and voluminous dissertation, delivered with a kind of maidenly modesty which seldom appertained to gentlemen of his profession and robe, going through the whole ordeal which he imposed on himself with singular dexterity and great memory, but with so little satisfaction or instruction to the House, that most of the Members, like himself, were at a loss to find out what part of the question then before the House the hon. and learned Member meant to elucidate, or whether he did not mean rather to confuse and perplex the whole, than illustrate any particular part of it. The noble Lord who had followed the hon. Member, had in a very plain and manly way stated every proposition, so that every Gentleman, whether he assented to it or not, could at least understand what the noble Lord meant—he had destroyed all those lucubrations which had employed the hon. and learned Member so long a period to prepare. The right hon. Gentleman who had last spoken had charged the Portuguese refugees with deceit in their endeavours to get back to their own country; but he had unjustly charged them, for they had been guilty of no deceit. They Hew to this country as an asylum in their misfortunes—they expected sympathy and support—and disappointed in this, they asked for a convoy to protect them beyond the reach of their enemies. When that 192 was refused, were they not bound to try other means of returning to their own country; and when they ascertained that a large island still obeyed their own sovereign, that was their country, and to that they were bound to steer. It was not by shirking their duty, and remaining here in security while their services might be useful elsewhere, that these men could have merited the praise of honour and patriotism. To prevent them returning to their country did appear to him a most outrageous act on the part of our Government. To him it appeared that a fallacy pervaded all the reasoning on this subject, and every Member who had spoken had contended that the Government had or had not a right to do as it had done. But the question was not only whether this country had a right to act as she had done; but whether it were magnanimous to use that right. The use of a right sometimes inflicted a great wrong. England owed her liberties to the Dutch having behaved more liberally to English patriots formerly than the English Government had now behaved to the Portuguese lovers of freedom. Those hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who thought that England had not lost character by forgetting her customary maxims of magnanimity, only proved that they knew nothing either of Englishmen or foreigners beyond the purlieus of St. James's or Whitehall, and if they once travelled beyond these they would soon become sensible how much England had lost by the transaction. He was astonished to hear such sentiments and such principles in a British House of Commons, where they never would have been expressed had not its Members degenerated in disposition and mind from their ancestors. Britain, who owed her own liberties to the protection her exiled patriots received, should be the foremost in protecting the exiled patriots of other countries. Was it right, then, to banish these people from our shores—to pursue them into the territories of their own sovereign, and prevent them even from attempting to recover their country? It was said there was civil war; but he could tell the learned Doctors of the Law, that a nation might side with either party, in a civil war, which it thought had right on its side. That was both a principle of international law, and it had been the practice of the wisest nations; it was one, too, which this Govenment had acted on in the 193 present case, but it had unfortunately taken the wrong side; Don Miguel was the child of England, and had Mr. Canning been spared, Don Miguel, he believed, would never have usurped the crown of Portugal. Here he learnt the secret wishes of the English Cabinet—here he learnt that usurpation had nothing to dread from the English Ministry—and here he was able to form those schemes which he had since successfully carried into execution. The right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of the Admiralty, had spoken of the calumnies thrown on Don Miguel; whether he deserved what was said of him or not, he would not stop to inquire, being satisfied that he would have escaped those calumnies, and Great Britain would have been spared some insults, had the language and conduct of her Government been what they ought. We might now regret the past, and Miguel might say—Had'st thou but shook thy head, or made a pause,When I spake darkly what I purposed,Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,Or bid me tell my tale in express words,Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me.But thou didst understand me by my signs,And did'st in signs again parley with sin.But we could not turn upon him and say, we gave him no encouragement. Had we frowned upon his project, it would, it must have failed. Such a line of policy as ours was justified by no necessity, it was defended by nothing but the pusillanimity of the Ministry, who seemed afraid to preserve the national honour, as if so great a burthen would sink them. According to the law of nations, this free country had a right to assist a people struggling for freedom. Justice, humanity, common-sense, and self-interest, sanctioned such a course. We were not bound to remain neutral in a contest between freedom and despotism; but we did worse than remain neutral, we made ourselves into a sort of police for Don Miguel. We were not bound by any principle of neutrality to blockade the Western Islands for him—we were not bound to disperse his opponents when they visited our shores; we might have the right to do so, but it was neither wise nor magnanimous to anticipate the wishes of a tyrant, and aid him in accomplishing the slavery of his country. It never was, he believed, asserted till now, at least it had never been asserted in Britain, that a free 194 government should treat men, struggling for freedom, like wild beasts, and worry them. The principle on which these Portuguese refugees acted had, in ancient times, made men heroes and demi-gods; it gave lustre to the names of Sidney and Hampden, and had illumined with glory the pages of Grecian and Roman history. Even according to the principle of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Government went beyond its duty; it had no dominion on the sea, and yet it assumed power there, and played the part of an executioner. By what right did it murder men in their own ports? If that were the law of nations, according to the construction of the English Government, he hoped that law might never be applied to Englishmen in their adversity. To justify the transaction complained of, it must be maintained that we were bound to commit acts of hostility; but no person had gone the length of maintaining that. It was well; known that Sir Robert Walpole was remarkable for intrepidity of countenance, and on one occasion he gravely stated, that in his opinion no gentleman could be influenced in his public conduct by the mere fact of his holding office under the Crown. To him it always appeared, that the observation of Sir Robert could not be surpassed, but he did think it had now been outdone by what had fallen from the right hon. the Secretary to the Admiralty. That right hon. Gentleman candidly admitted that there had been some slight deviations from the principle of a strict neutrality, but to the surprise of the whole House, even including the Gentlemen who! surrounded the right hon. Secretary, he asserted, that all those deviations were in favour of the refugees, that alt the sympathy of the Government had been shewn to them, and that they were the objects of its humane and fostering care. If such were the wishes of the Government, the result was most unfortunate, and Government, like the man in the story, must be destined to be the ruin of its friends. Those deviations from neutrality had first raised and established the power of Don Miguel, and afterwards destroyed even the hopes of the unhappy persons who were the peculiar objects of the sympathy of the Government. The question before the House lay within a very narrow compass. No sophistry could pervert or disguise the fact, that we had followed those persons over the seas, into their own ports, and there 195 committed acts of hostility and war upon them, disgracing the character of this country and injuring the cause of liberty; and he knew no way in which what had been lost might be partially recovered, but for that House so to mark its sense of the transaction, that all future Ministers might be made a ware that such a course of policy, inconsistent alike with the welfare of Great Britain, and the progress of liberty throughout the world, would ever be visited by the severe condemnation of that House.
Mr. Secretary Peel
said, that he felt great obligations to the hon. Baronet for the new light he had thrown upon the discussion. In a manner the most generous, if not the most discreet, he had disclosed the real tendency and object of the Motion. He flung to the winds the dry abstract question of the law of nations; away, he says, with your Vattels and your Bynkershoecks—away with all inquiries into the jurisdiction yon have exercised under the laws of nations; I impugn the policy of your neutrality; the principles which animated the patriots of Greece and Rome ought to have guided you; and you ought to have upheld the principles of liberty by making, war on Don Miguel. And that, however disguised, was the real ground for the attack now made on his Majesty's Ministers; their neutral policy was impugned through the affair which happened at Terceira. Like the hon. Baronet, he would not involve himself in legal subtleties—he would only appeal to the plain good sense and common understanding of hon. Gentlemen, having thus merely reminded those who were prepared to vote upon the abstract right of the question, what, according to the views of the hon. Baronet, ought to have been the policy of this country in order to promote the general principles of liberty. He was disposed to speak of the Portuguese refugees with sympathy for their sufferings, and respect for their misfortunes: they came to our shores claiming our hospitality, and they were kindly received; they had since left it, and perhaps all of them had not even yet found a place of refuge. When they came to this country, Government recollected the circumstances under which Don Miguel had usurped the government of Portugal—he repeated, usurped the government of Portugal—and though we consented to afford them a temporary asylum we resolved to maintain a strict neutrality. It was for the interest of Great 196 Britain not to foment civil dissensions in Portugal. The decision of his Majesty's Ministers had on several occasions received the sanction of that House, a majority of which had more than once declared, that it was wise for the country to maintain a strict neutrality between the contending parties in Portugal. He admitted the distinction drawn by his right hon. friend who opened the debate, between a voluntary and a stipulated neutrality; but that distinction had nothing to do with the present question. We were not bound, he would also admit, to remain neutral, but having chosen neutrality as our best policy, we were bound rigidly to observe its principles. In that respect voluntary neutrality did not differ from stipulated neutrality, and both equally conferred some privileges, but imposed important duties. To Don Miguel, who was King of Portugal dc facto, this country was bound to look, to maintain the engagements entered into by Portugal towards this country. Whenever Don Miguel displayed a disposition to violate the engagements subsisting between England and that country, even so far as regarded the rights of an individual, he had been threatened; and consequently, when the Government enforced the strict performance of treaties on the one hand, it was bound to maintain a perfect neutrality on the other. The House would recollect that an attempt was made to oppose the government of Don Miguel by force, and that attempt having failed, most signally, the persons engaged in it sought refuge in Spain. Did the Government of this country, then, shew no sympathy with these persons? It was not bound to interfere for them, it might have left them to the Government of Spain, but it took a more active and generous part. Messengers were despatched to the Spanish government, requesting it to extend the time granted to these refugees to remain in Spain; that request was granted, all means short of actual interference by force to protect these people were adopted, and it was upon an understanding with the British Government, if not upon its invitation, that they came into this country. In short, every measure, except a breach of neutrality, was resorted to for the benefit of the refugees. When they came here we told them, in the most friendly but candid manner, that we would do every thing for them in our power but commit a breach of neutrality; such as 197 recognizing them as a military force, or allowing them to act as such. They found an asylum here, and the conduct of his Majesty's Government displayed any thing but a want of sympathy for their sufferings. When the Marquis Barbacena first applied to the Government for facilities to fit out an hostile expedition, the Government was obliged to look on the refugees as an organized body of troops. As such they could not be allowed to remain in England, and they were told that if their object was to threaten the Azores or any other portion of the territories that acknowledged the government of Don Miguel, that would be a breach of our neutrality, and we must decidedly oppose it. His right hon. friend had accused his Majesty's Government of having availed itself of the existence of civil war in Terceira as a justification of its conduct, when, as he asserted, that civil war did not commence till after we had stopped the expedition going to Terceira. But he held in his hand the most indisputable proofs of the existence of civil war at Terceira antecedently to that time, and which were in the possession of his Majesty's Government at the period when it gave orders for stopping that expedition. It was not necessary for him to refer to those proofs, they were on the Table of the House, and would soon be in the hands of hon. Members. He would only observe, that it was well known that the port of Terceira is a strong position, within the limits of which, on a memorable occasion, the Spanish and Portuguese vessels found refuge; it was equally well known that soon after Don Miguel ascended the throne of Portugal his authority was recognized in every part of the Portuguese dominions except this island, and there also his authority would have been recognized but for the presence of five regiments, who were in the interest of Donna Maria, and held the fortress in her name. There was a despatch on the Table from General Caffiera, dated October 3rd, 1828, and he could not conceive how it was possible for any person to read that despatch and doubt for one moment that civil dissensions had existed at Terceira antecedently to that time, and that but for these regiments the whole island would have acknowledged Don Miguel. He had, he thought, fully justified his Majesty's Government from the accusation of seeking a pretext in subsequent disturbances for its own antecedent conduct. The dis- 198 turbances existed long prior to that part of the conduct of the Government which the Motion went to censure. The next question for consideration was, the character of the expedition, and his right hon. friend contended that, going unarmed from our shores, the refugees were not to be considered as a military body, and that their conduct was no breach of our neutrality. Was it then to be contended, that no expedition was a military expedition except the troops had their arms on board the same vessels with them? If they were on board one vessel, and their arms in another, did that make any difference? Was such a pretence to be tolerated by that common sense to which the hon. Baronet had appealed? During the whole time the refugees were in this country the Marquis Barbacena spoke of them as troops, and General Stubbs addressed them as such in a military order of the day. Would it do then for the Government of this country to tell all Europe that it had no knowledge of their character and no cognizance of their departure? Arms were already provided for them at Terceira; the men were proceeding thither for the purpose of using the arms, and no person could for one moment doubt what was the real nature and character of the expedition. Some time before the Marquis Barbacena requested permission to send some arms and ammunition out of the country, and he then distinctly declared, in answer to the Foreign Secretary, that they were intended for the Brazils. It was on that declaration that permission was given. The Emperor Don Pedro, it was said, was not desirous of being the Brutus of Portugal, and he was aware of the danger of committing the Brazils in the civil dissensions of her ancient European dominions. Don Pedro left the defence of the principles of liberty in Europe to the Members of the English Parliament. After the assurance to which he had alluded had been given—after the declaration thus made, the arms and ammunition were taken, not to the Brazils, but to Terceira, and deposited in the fort at Angra. The arms were sent previously to sending the troops, and would any man say that this did not make the expedition as completely a military expedition as ever left the shores of any country? The Marquis Palmella admitted that the arms had been sent to Angra, and he stated unequivocally that he was preparing a further supply if the 199 quantity already sent should be insufficient for the troops. The troops were embarked on board eleven transports, and it was not possible for the Government of this country, knowing all the facts of the case, to shut its eyes to the real objects of the expedition. The question had been argued as if it were a strictly legal question, and Gentlemen seemed to suppose that they could settle a question of national policy by their law books. The opinions of jurists had been referred to, and the judgments of Lord Stowell had been cited with a triumphant but useless display of learning. Surely the hon. and learned Member who had referred to that noble Lord's opinion ought to have recollected that, in one of the very cases mentioned, that noble Lord had distinctly declared, that any persons who made use of a neutral country for the purpose of fitting out a warlike armament, to be directed against a country with which that neutral was at peace, were guilty of a breach of its neutrality. He would not, however, dwell longer on that point; he would rather take up the same ground as the hon. Baronet; he would leave the law of the case to the professional Gentlemen, and look at the question with a plain understanding. Would any person then say that it made any difference that this expedition was going to defend not attack a fortress? Was not defence the act of a belligerent as well as attack, and did not the neutral who assisted the defence as much commit a breach of neutrality as if he aided an attack? Suppose Gibraltar were invested, and two or three of our battalions, in order to assist their brethren, should repair to a neutral state, and say to its Government, "we are veterans, we are the subjects of one of the belligerents, we desire to assist the besieged, but in order to elude the other party, we have pulled off our red coats; we are therefore now peaceful citizens, private innocent persons; we go only as individuals, we shall find arms and ammunition there: do yon only allow us to indulge the amor patriœ which we feel; allow us to refresh and recruit ourselves here, and then to proceed from your territory into the fortress of our own sovereign." That might be a very good ruse; but if such practices were to be the doctrines and principles of states, he did not see how they could preserve amicable relations with each other, or how any one of them could long remain neutral in 200 any quarrel between two other states. Suppose the case reversed, and that Don Miguel were substituted for Donna Maria; that he had assembled troops at Plymouth, and had proceeded to attack some part of the Queen's dominions, and suppose that Ministers had stood up to defend the conduct of the Government in allowing him to collect a force at Plymouth, would not such a paltry distinction as that urged to justify the sailing of this expedition be scouted with indignant derision by every patriotic Member who should hear it employed to justify the Government for not interfering with the expedition of Don Miguel. It was not necessary, he believed, further to discuss the question, whether the expedition were or not a breach of our neutrality, and conceiving that it was, the next question which required to be settled was, whether or not we were justified, after that expedition had left our ports, in preventing it from reaching the place of its destination. On that point, he thought, a complete answer to the statement of his right hon. friend who opened the debate, had been given by his right hon. friend who sat near him. The Portuguese refugees and their leaders had throughout been guilty of the grossest deception towards the British Government. It had been such as justly to subject them to the treatment they had received. They had made representations that were untrue—they had entered into engagements which they had not kept; and in short, they had attempted to practise a fraud on the Government of the country where they had received the rites of hospitality. On their heads, therefore, and not on the head of any one of his Majesty's Ministers, ought the consequences of these transactions to be visited. Were the Government of this country to allow itself to be deceived in the way these refugees had deceived it, the ports of England would be selected by all the discontented people of Europe to fit out and prepare expeditions against their governments; or even expeditions to plunder and devastate other countries. It might be true, that we had no right to punish the Portuguese for their fraud, but we had a right to prevent them profiting by their fraud, particularly when doing that might have involved us in a contest with another power on account of the breach of our neutrality committed by these people. In a speech made by the brother of his right hon. friend, on the 201 Foreign Enlistment Bill, that Gentleman quoted the following passage from Vattel, which he presumed was correctly quoted: "Neutrals shall not suffer themselves or their possessions to be made instrumental in doing injury to other nations. There is no law of nature or of nations—no obligations of justice—which condemn us to be the dupes of those who would lead us into such wrong." That was the doctrine he would apply to the present case—we were not to be made the dupes of these people, to commit wrong against another power. But the consequences, he believed, of such proceedings, did we permit them, would be fatal to ourselves. If we supported, or allowed fraud, we should have no remedy but to submit to it when our own rights were in question. If we allowed one hostile expedition to be prepared within our territory, ten years would not elapse, to use the remarkable words of Mr. Canning, in the debate on the Alien Bill, "before this country will be made the workshop of intrigue, and the arsenal of every malcontent faction in Europe. Placed, as this country is, on the confines of the old world and the new, possessing such facilities in her manufactures, and in her natural advantages, and, above all, in her free institutions, for the purposes of hostility—it becomes her, to watch with the narrowest scrutiny that the facilities she affords are not abused to her own injury." Was it possible, when such was the language of Mr. Canning, that he should now be invoked as an authority for the opinions of those who supported the present Motion. He remembered that when he was sitting by the side of Mr. Canning, as his colleague in office, that it was stated by that right hon. Gentleman, shortly before the Alien Act was brought forward, and when Ministers were considering of the propriety of abandoning it altogether, that information had been obtained, and he knew it to be correct, that the Spanish constitutionalists—the martyrs to liberty, as the hon. Baronet called them—had resolved to foment internal disorders in the dominions of Spain. Mr. Canning stated in the House, that he did not allow a day to elapse, after learning this fact, without notifying to the persons carrying on these intrigues, that "the Government would not allow them to desecrate the asylum they had chosen for their protection," and at the same time, he gave information to the governor of the Spanish province threatened by these 202 machinations of what was going on. Mr. Canning said, that it was ridiculous to suppose that if we authorized such a line of conduct, we should not have to pay the penalties of hostility. For the interest and peace of this country—not less than for the interest and peace of other countries, he enforced on all those who resided here the strictest neutrality. "God knew," he said, "when we should see the end of the prevailing agitation—when the struggle of opinions would terminate; and no man could wish for it more than he did; but he claimed these bills in order that we might not be fooled, gulled, bullied, cheated, or deceived into hostilities, into which we never intended to enter." It could not be supposed, it would be indeed deceiving ourselves to suppose, that the champions of freedom, and the friends of unquietness would not make use of our ports and our means; we had parted with the Alien Bill, we could not prevent foreigners having access to our shores—we had no longer a means of sending them summarily out of the country, and could it be believed then that there was a law of nations so absurd as to interdict us from using our own discretion whether hostilities, in which we had no interest, should or should not be carried on from our ports. For fifteen years we had been at peace—for fifteen years not an armament had left our shores, and if, during that period, the tranquillity of our ports and arsenals had not been disturbed by the necessity of supporting any British interest, or resenting any insult offered to the British dominions; it was too much that Portuguese refugees, who had been received here with hospitality and kindness, were to endanger our repose and the repose of all Europe, it was too much to suppose that England was to suffer herself to be made the starting post of their animosities, and that, herself seeking and desiring peace, she was to be launched into hostilities by those who had sought refuge on her shores. As long as England remained at peace, she might be an asylum to the Unfortunate, a refuge to the distressed, and a retreat to those who were weary and heavily laden, where they might lay down their burthen and be at rest. But to maintain our independence, to preserve the power of being this place of refuge, it was necessary, to use the words of Mr. Canning, that "we should not be fooled, gulled, bullied, cheated, or deceived into hostilities;" and in order to 203 prevent such a result, he hoped the House would join with him in rejecting the Resolutions which had been proposed, and which were neither more nor less than a severe censure on the conduct of those who had prevented England from being cheated into hostilities.
begged, though it was late, and the House was impatient, to be allowed to make a few remarks on the discrepancies in the speeches of those who opposed the Motion, some contending that there had been no breach of neutrality, while others avowed that there had been such a breach, which they justified; and others again, which was to him most marvellous, asserted that the breach had been committed in favour of the Portuguese. On a former occasion, the Government regretted that it could not submit to the House all the information respecting the state of our relations with Portugal; and if, by withholding the papers relating to the present subject, it could have silenced the voice of indignation, which was everywhere ready to break forth against Britain for its conduct in this transaction, he should have applauded the Government for having done so—but the papers were all before the House, and unfortunately they were as plain and as conclusive—if not as satisfactory as could be desired. He would endeavour to guide himself by these documents in the few brief remarks he meant to offer to the House. The right hon. Gentleman had taken credit to himself and the Government, for not having left the Portuguese refugees altogether at the mercy of Spain; but he could not have done that without exciting indignation from one end of the country to the other, which would have taught him, however high the station of Ministers, that they were responsible to public opinion—and to that they must bend. They dared not close England, the asylum of persecuted freemen, against those who, on account of political misfortunes, came here for refuge. The Under Secretary for the Colonies had referred to a communication from the Marquis Barbacena, to shew that the Portuguese went to the island of Terceira as a military body. He might have read the next passage in that communication, to prove that they would probably put an end to the dissensions of which the Ministers complained, and restore tranquillity to the island. The Marquis Barbacena, in requesting the interposition of our Govern- 204 ment, says, "The secretary to the government of the islands of the Azores has just arrived in London, authorised to demand, with the greatest urgency, the immediate despatch of a part of the faithful Portuguese troops which are now in England; and whose presence in the above-mentioned islands would ensure their defence as well as their tranquillity, under the government of the legitimate sovereign, against the attack with which they are menaced by the illegitimate government established in Portugal." That was a passage which the hon. Gentleman omitted to notice though it shewed that if there were those dissensions at Terceira which the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues were so desirous to suppress, the best means of accomplishing it would be, to allow the Portuguese to repair thither. The great and important point, however, of the whole defence of the right hon. Secretary was the assertion, that the manner in which the refugees left this country was a breach of our neutrality. In his opinion they sailed from hence in conformity to the law of nations, and what was of more consequence in the eyes of some—in strict conformity to the law of the Duke of Wellington. In his correspondence, that nobleman said, not very courteously, "if the Portuguese desire to make war in the Azores, instead of doing so in Portugal, of which they have the choice, let them go as individuals if they please." They did go as individuals, and at successive intervals. The right hon. Gentleman, however, maintained that they did not go as individuals—but as troops; and he treated with great contempt the quibble, as he seemed to regard it, about the arms; but notwithstanding his contempt, there was a broad distinction between men going with arms in their hands, and going to a place where they would find them. It was at least clear, if these arms had been sent to Terceira five months before the men went thither—that they did not go to make an hostile attack. They could only enter the island as friends, and in peace, and to compare such a body of men to a force setting out for the purpose of attack or invasion was absurd. Admitting the statements of the right hon. Gentleman to the fullest extent, it was, nevertheless, very hard upon these Portuguese that they should suffer for the sins of Count Itabayana. The Marquis Palmella and his friends were not very civilly taunted by our Ministers, because they 205 were disowned by that minister; but when he pursued a course of conduct favourable to their interests, that was made a ground of accusation against them. The right hon. Gentleman had asked, with an air of triumph, "what would have been the outcry, had the case been reversed;" but he had put a circumstance in his supposition, which did not exist in the real case. He had supposed Don Miguel arming troops here, and sending out an expedition against Donna Maria; but Donna Maria armed no troops here, and sent out no expedition against Don Miguel. The Portuguese refugees went unarmed to a place in possession of their own sovereign; and if the right hon. Gentleman had wished to state the analogy fairly, he would have asked, "what an outcry would be made if we were to suffer the subjects of Don Miguel to repair from Falmouth to Lisbon?" But that actually occurred every day, and there was no outcry at all. There was a much closer analogy between the daily passage of persons from Falmouth to Lisbon by the packets, and the Portuguese going to Terceira, than between this latter and the supposititious attack of the right hon. Gentleman. In turn, he would ask, what would be the clamour, and the outcry, should the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues stop the willing subjects of Don Miguel on their way to Lisbon? But it was said, that Terceira was in a state of civil war; he would not deny that there had been contests there, but so there had been in Portugal, and there were none at Terceira on the 12th of December, when the orders were issued for stopping the Portuguese refugees. Supposing, however, all the allegations of the right hon. Secretary to be true—supposing that the Portuguese had recourse to fraud, the general weapon of oppressed weakness—did that give us the right to stop their ships, and fire into them—not upon the high seas, which it is admitted are not under our dominion, but in. the ports and waters of an independent sovereign—the very sovereign of the people whom we so treated? The right hon. Gentleman who appealed to the common sense of the House had the candour to admit that no precedents could be found to justify this conduct, because an exactly similar case had never before arisen. When the right hon. Gentleman made that appeal, it would have become him not to have shocked the tribunal to which he appealed, by so monstrous a conclusion as that we were justi- 206 fied,—even admitting the alleged frauds of the parties—in pursuing and arresting them within the jurisdiction of their own sovereign—violating the territory of another power; and not merely risking, but actually causing the loss of life. The right hon. Gentleman concluded his ingenious speech by asking what would be the consequences to the world, if we had acted in a different manner? "In ten years, he said, (quoting the language of Mr. Canning), this country would become the workshop of intrigue, and the arsenal of every malcontent faction in Europe." That was obviously the imagination—and the imagination only of the right hon. Gentleman. Let the House look at what had actually been the result of the conduct of the government. Great Britain had exhibited, under the repeated insults of Don Miguel, a patience, which had made her the bye word of nations. Had we gained his friendship by our mean forbearance? No. He treated us only as his dupes; though perhaps it was as honourable to be the dupe as the friend of such a prince. We had gained nothing but the odium of having the name of England connected throughout Europe with that of Don Miguel. We had been a friend to him, and "as a friend should bear a friend's infirmities," so we had borne those of Don Miguel,—"even when that rash humour which his mother gave him made him forgetful,"—even though it had made him forgetful of sex—of blood of kindred—of plighted faith—of oaths pledged in the hands of two mighty sovereigns—of solemn promises to support that cause for which the Portuguese, the allies of Britain, were driven into foreign lands; forgetful too that hereafter, if not here,—but even here, it might be hoped, for the benefit of Europe,—forgetful that vengeance was sure to follow perjury, and wait on blood-stained usurpation. And what had we gained by this? The Portuguese had reached Terceira; though this was made a reproach to other governments, which were not guided by the same principles as our Government. The noble Duke at the head of the Government could not imagine, great as was his power in this country, that his missives would be obeyed in the Tuilleries, or at the Hague, as implicitly as at Whitehall or in Downing-street. He might be assured that his ipsc dixit would never be adopted as the international law of Europe. But though 207 France, or the Netherlands, had acted differently from England towards Portugal, were either of those powers less respected by the usurpers? Were our merchants favoured? was our flag honoured? were our countrymen secure in their persons and property under the sway of Don Miguel? No rumours of that kind were in circulation, but others were, of a totally opposite character, and he wished he could believe that they were false and calumnious, and that our merchants were neither plundered nor imprisoned by the usurper. It might happen that ere long the island of Terceira might be merged in the empire of Don Miguel, and he might become de facto what de jure he never could, the sovereign of the whole Portuguese dominions: but should we be so disgraced as to be under the necessity of recognising him as the monarch of Portugal, let it never be forgotten by us—it never would be forgotten by the rest of Europe—that he had mounted the throne of Portugal by English assistance—a throne stained with the blood of his countrymen, who were lured to destruction by the vain hope of finding sympathy and assistance from Britain, and were finally deserted and betrayed, under the specious pretext of preserving British neutrality.
§ Mr. Huskisson
said, that he was principally induced to trouble the House by what fell from his right hon. friend, the Secretary for the Home-Department, in reference to his late right hon. friend, Mr. Canning. His right hon. friend had admitted, that in our conduct we had not followed the laws of nations; and, therefore, that conduct was only to be justified, if it were dictated by necessity, and he thought that his right hon. friend meant to settle the whole question, by shewing that the conduct of the Marquis Barbacena had made our proceeding against the refugees unavoidable. But what did the Marquis Barbacena call upon the government to do? To commit he would reply a breach of neutrality, and was that, he would ask, a justification for actually committing a breach of neutrality against the opposite party? He thought not; on the contrary, the condemnation pronounced by the Ministers, on the acts requested to be done, was a condemnation of the act performed. His right hon. friend said, that the parties had contrived to evade the municipal laws of this country, and violated its neutrality by pro- 208 ceeding to Terceira. But having evaded our laws, we had no right to punish them; we might have some authority over them as long as they were within our jurisdiction, but the complaint made against them proved that they had escaped beyond the limits which the laws of nations recognised as the limits of our power. His right hon. friend had referred to an opinion of Mr. Canning, delivered on the memorable debate on the Alien Bill, and it was principally to correct his right hon. friend's views on that point that he rose. He must remind his right hon. friend, therefore, that the object of that bill was, to give the government of this country a municipal power within its recognised limits, which the Government otherwise could not exercise. Mr. Canning did then allude to the machinations of individuals to disturb the peace of Spain; but to make that case strictly analogous to the present case, it must be shewn that the individuals of whom Mr. Canning complained, had evaded our laws; and that we had pursued and arrested them in a place not under our jurisdiction, and had punished them for the evasion. These circumstances, however, were wanting in the case alluded to by Mr. Canning, and he took care, by warning the parties concerned, to prevent a breach of neutrality; while the present Ministers permitted, according to their statements, a breach of our neutrality towards one party; and afterwards, to remedy that, they themselves committed a still more flagrant breach towards the other party. It being admitted, that the waters of Terceira were the dominions of an independent sovereign, it was necessary to shew that we were justified in violating his sovereignty, and committing an act of hostility within his territory. What was the justification of that? Why, nothing more than this—"If you do not" said his right hon. friend, "punish these infractions of your law, in ten years you will become the resort of all the machinators of Europe, and have reason to repent of your forbearance." The difference of opinion between himself and his right hon. friend was, that, in his opinion, we ought to prevent these infractions rigidly, to maintain our neutrality within our dominion, which would effectually guard against what his right hon. friend apprehended, while his right hon. friend consented to the breach being committed within our dominion, and only sent to punish those who had committed 209 it, after they had gone from under our sway. It might be supposed, from his right hon. friend's remarks, that during the fifteen years we had been at peace, our neutrality had never before been violated. Had he forgotten, then, the repeated complaints made by Turkey, and had he forgotten that to those complaints we had constantly replied, "We will preserve our neutrality within our dominions,—but we will go no further." Turkey did not understand our explanation, and thought we might summarily dispose of Lord Cochrane, and those other subjects of his Majesty, who were assisting the Greeks. To its remonstrances Mr. Canning replied; and his right hon. friend, being then a colleague of Mr. Canning's—must be considered as a party to his opinions—"Arms may leave this country as matter of merchandise, and however strong the general inconvenience, the law cannot interfere to stop them. It is only when the elements of armaments arc combined that they come within the purview of the law, and if that combination docs not take place till they have left this country, we have no right to interfere with them," These were the words of Mr. Canning, who extended the doctrine to steam-vessels and yachts, that might afterwards be converted into vessels of war, and they appeared quite consistent with the acknowledged laws of nations. When his right hon. friend placed so much reliance on the authority of Mr. Canning, he could only account for his having overlooked this remarkable passage by his perceiving that it contained within it a complete contradiction of the doctrine laid down by his right hon. friend. His right hon. friend made it part of his case, that the elements of armament were not combined when the refugees left our shores for Terceira, and according to the opinion of Mr. Canning, therefore, the Government had no right to interfere with them. Up to the time when the Portuguese refugees were required to disperse, he considered that the conduct of this Government towards them had been correct. But it was laid down by all writers on the laws of nations, that if any state imposed conditions on foreigners, with regard to their residence within that state, with which they did not choose to comply, they should be at liberty to retire from it. We had a right undoubtedly to prescribe to the Portuguese the conditions on which they 210 might remain here, but they had an equal right to withdraw if they did not like those conditions, and we were bound to allow them to go freely away. Perhaps it would have been a breach of neutrality had they gone away armed from the country, combining within themselves the means of making an hostile attack, but they had not even side-arms, and no means of defence, had they been assailed on the high seas. Being unprovided with arms, their departure was not a breach of our neutrality. His hon. friend, the Under Secretary of State, laid it down as a principle, that it made no difference whether these refugees intended to go peaceably to a part of their own country, or to make a hostile attack on some others; but this principle was much too broad for his right hon. friend to adopt. What, he would ask, would be the consequences of such a doctrine? All the Portuguese must be adherents either of Don Miguel or of-Donna Maria, and this new doctrine of neutrality, prohibiting them from leaving this country, even unarmed, whether they were going to unite themselves to the sovereign de facto or the sovereign de jure, would prevent them getting home at all. Was it for evading such absurd laws as these that we were to enter into that career of policy which he had that night heard for the first time proclaimed with alarm? He would tell his right hon. friend, that if he acted on these doctrines, and pursued such policy, he would not keep for ten months, much less ten years, this country out of war. At the very moment he was speaking, arms and clothing were about to be sent out of this country to belligerents. Were they to be stopped, or were they to be followed and brought back? He believed the answer would be No: and if it were Yes, of what use, he would ask would be our skill in building ships, manufacturing arms, and preparing the instruments of war, if equally, to sell them to all belligerents were a breach of neutrality? Should France, in the prosecution of a war against Algiers, send here for transports, and rockets, and other species of assistance, he did not believe that the Government would feel itself under a necessity of detaining the vessels intended to carry out those supplies—though this we might do—much less which we might not do, would the Government think of sending a squadron to Algiers to prevent the junction of these vessels with the 211 French fleet. Such a doctrine, then, was so absurd, it involved a subversion of all national law so alarming, it would so certainly lead us into immediate hostilities, that he was astonished to hear it broached, and was quite sure that it never could be acted on, except under circumstances that made hostilities unavoidable, and acting on it necessary to self-preservation. He concurred with his right hon. friend, the Secretary to the Admiralty, in valuing little the gratitude of foreign states, particularly if, in using that expression, Don Miguel and King Ferdinand were present to his mind, together with that gratitude they had shewn for our exertions to restore one to his dominions, and bring the other from his tharldom at Vienna, to place him in an important station, which he might to this hour, have filled with distinction if he had not forfeited his honour; but he did not concur with him if, in using that expression, he meant the good opinion of the people of Europe. To that we could never be indifferent, and hitherto it had been our highest boast to have deserved it for our rigid adherence to the laws of nations, and our firm determination never to depart from them for any national convenience or occasional advantage. An adherence to that determination was one of the proudest distinctions of England—the source of much of her moral power, and the main principle of her high renown amongst the nations of the earth; and if we departed from that determination—if we ever acted upon the principle of interference beyond our own jurisdiction, now for the first time advocated, we should for ever forfeit that honourable and enviable fame, and become one of the most meddling, mischievous, and unjust people that ever appeared in the world. He was less anxious about obtaining a majority than that the Resolutions proposed by his right hon. friend should be placed on the Journals of the House, and after that were done, he should have no apprehensions that any proceeding, similar to that he now complained of, would ever again be adopted: he should have no more fear that the doctrine of a jurisdiction upon the high seas, and of interference within the territory of an independent nation, would ever again be revived, than he should be afraid that Parliament would again renew the declaration that still stood upon its Journals, a monument of legislative folly, that a one pound 212 note and a shilling were equal to twenty-nine shillings.
Mr. Charles Grant
, in reply, said, he had to thank his right hon. friend for vindicating his notions of neutrality, and relieving him from the charge of founding his Motion on the character of Don Miguel, though his right hon. friend had not done justice to his opinions in supposing that he favoured one side more than another. He was no advocate for such left-handed neutrality, and condemned the case under consideration because the deviation from neutrality towards the side which we might be supposed most especially to favour, was a violation of the general principle. His right hon. friend had described the argument, urged in behalf of the Portuguese, from the arms going in one vessel and the men in another, as sophistry, but his right hon. friend had forgotten that all the arms at Terceira were not carried in the Brazilian frigate—they were exported in merchant vessels, which made the sending the arms, and the sending of the men not necessarily parts of the same transaction. He did not agree, therefore, with his right hon. friend, that cither separately was a breach of our neutrality, which we were bound to prevent, much less to punish after it had been accomplished in an unwarrantable manner. The right hon. the Secretary to the Admiralty seemed to think that it was enough to exonerate us from blame, that we warned the refugees of what we meant to do, as if a man could be exonerated from the guilt of a crime by giving notice that he meant to commit it. He observed that a case of this kind had lately actually occurred: a gentleman, who saw a man in his fields, gave him notice that if he intruded there again he would shoot him, and afterwards kept his word. According to the doctrine of his opponents, the gentleman was not to blame, but the man, who persisted, with obstinate imprudence, in coming to be shot; though he was afraid that the diplomatic argument would not avail the unfortunate gentleman before the tribunals of the country. Looking at the whole arguments of his opponents, he must say, that if he had wanted any more support than he had had the honour to receive; if he had sought any other arguments in favour of his propositions than had been stated by his friends, in order to carry conviction through the whole country, he should have found both support and arguments in the statement of his 213 opponents. The right hon. Secretary admitted that there was no law to justify the proceedings, and that the rule on which the Government acted was created for the first time to meet this particular case. What then had become of the law of nations, the ancient glory of this country, and the foundation of her maritime rights? All were scattered to the winds, all the authorities we had so anxiously cherished were abrogated by this new rule; and it was now, for the first time, avowed by a Cabinet Minister in this country, because the Government could find no rule to justify its conduct, that what pleased a government became the law of nations. That might serve our purpose in this instance, but admitting the principle was to justify much of the maritime usurpation against which we had, with in a few years, successfully contended, and was exposing our maritime rights to violation, whenever any power should feel inclined to contend against them. The name of Mr. Canning had been brought forward in defence of such conduct; but that great man, who had exalted the glory of England, did not imagine that our neutrality was to be maintained by laying down rules in defiance of every principle of the law of nations, nor that the reputation and honour of England were to be preserved by oppressing the weak and the unfortunate, because they happened to contend for that liberty which was dear to ourselves.
§ The House then divided, when there appeared—For the Motion 78; Against it 191: Majority 113.
|List of the Minority.|
|Acland, Sir T.||Easthope, J.|
|Althorp, Lord||Ewart, W.|
|Baring, F.||Fazakerley, J. N.|
|Baring, B.||Foley, J. H.|
|Blandford, Lord||Fyler, T.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Grant, R.|
|Bernal, R.||Grattan, H.|
|Bourne, right hon. S.||Graham, Sir J.|
|Buller, C.||Guise, Sir Wm.|
|Canning, S.||Gordon, R.|
|Cavendish, C.||Heathcote, E.|
|Cavendish, W.||Hobhouse, J. C.|
|Clements, Lord||Howick, Lord|
|Cave, O.||Howard, H.|
|Cradock, Colonel||Huskisson, rt. hon. W.|
|Clive, E. B.||Inglis, Sir R.|
|Crompton, J.||Knight, A.|
|Calthorpe, F.||Labouchere, H.|
|Calthorpe, A.||Lamb, G.|
|Dundas, J.||Lascelles, W.|
|Davies, Colonel||Laugston, G. H.|
|Denison, E.||Lambert, J. S,|
|Macauley, T. B.||Strutt, Colonel|
|Marshall, W.||Tennyson, C.|
|Marjoribanks, S.||Thompson, B.|
|Morpeth, Lord||Webb, Mr.|
|Macdonald, Sir J.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Milton, Lord||Warrender, Sir G.|
|Macintosh, rt. hn. Sir J.||Wall, B.|
|Nugent, Lord||Wynne, Sir W. W.|
|Ord, W.||Wynn, C|
|O'Grady, F.||Warburton, H.|
|Price, Sir R.||Wood, C|
|Ponsonby, G.||Grant, right hon. C.|
|Philips, G. R.||Phillimore, Dr. PAIRED OFF|
|Phillimore, Dr.||Carter, B.|
|Palmerston, Lord||Colborne, R.|
|Robinson, Sir George||Davenport, E.|
|Rice, S.||Ellis, A.|
|Rumbold, J. C.||Fortescue, Hon. G.|
|Russell, Lord J.||Newport, Sir J.|
|Stanley, Lord||O'Connell, D.|
|Stanley, E. G. S.||Philips, Sir George|
|Sandon, Lord||Slaney, R. A.|