§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
presented two Petitions—one from the Glasgow Political Association, and the other from the inhabitants of Birmingham—praying the House to interfere in order that the Polish nation might be restored to independence.
§ Petition laid on the Table.
§ The hon. Member was proceeding to make his Motion on the subject to which the Petition related, when
§ Lord Ebrington
interrupted the hon. Member and said, he had a petition to present which he was afraid could not be received, but as he had been asked to present it he could not do otherwise than mention it to the House. It was from the members of the National Committee of Polish Emigrants at Paris. It was signed by several distinguished persons but he 395 would not present it, as the forms of the House would not allow it to be received.
§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
said, that it was now twelve months since he had for the second time called the attention of the House to the present unfortunate condition of Poland, to the wrongs and sufferings of her brave and heroic people, and to the claims which they had to the protection of this country, which was by a solemn treaty pledged to the independence of Poland. He rose once more to submit a Motion upon that subject, which he hoped that the Ministers would not consider it either their duty or their interest to oppose. He had no wish to embarrass the Government, nor did he think that the success of his Motion would have that effect, but on the contrary, it would strengthen their position as regarded Russia, and enable them more effectually to obtain redress for Poland, if they had it in their power to say, that the British House of Commons considered the conduct of Russia towards Poland to be in contravention of the tenor of existing treaties. The Motion which he intended to conclude with was as follows:—"That a humble address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased not to recognize, or in any way give the sanction of his Government, to the present political state and condition of Poland, the same having been brought about in violation of the Treaty of Vienna to which Great Britain was a party." When the Hungarian Diet at the very gates of Vienna had ventured to protest against the attempt of Russia to blot Poland out of the map of Europe, surely the British House of Commons would not hesitate to act the same liberal part. The world expected of England, and of England's House of Commons, that they should raise their voices against the usurpation thus daringly perpetrated in the face of Europe. It was expected by the whole nation, it was expected by all Europe that the Parliament of Britain should declare its reprobation of the outrage committed against the laws of nations and in violation of a treaty to which Great Britain had been a party. The question before the House was not that they should engage in war, but merely that a declaration to the effect which he had stated, should be put forth, and that they should state, that Russia had been guilty of a shameful infraction of treaties. He felt 396 great difficulty in addressing the House for the third time on this subject, as he feared it would be necessary for him to repeat much that he had already said. The points, however, which he conceived it necessary to establish, and which, by the terms of his Motion, he had undertaken to make out, were—first, that the Treaty of Vienna, to which this country was a party, had been violated by Russia; and secondly, that the House of Commons might, without public inconvenience, be called upon—and that a sense of justice, as well as policy demanded of them—to record their solemn judgment of that transaction. On the first point, he should have little difficulty in satisfying the House that the terms of the Treaty of Vienna, under which the emperor of Russia obtained the sovereignty of Poland, and by which alone he held, or could hold it, had openly, and without disguise—in contempt of the law of nations, and of the authority of the other contracting powers—been broken by the emperor of Russia. He would not trace back the history of Poland to the ages of her former glory; nor dwell upon her services to Europe, in which religion and independence were more than once saved by her valour; nor would he bring-back the House to the recollection of her former wrongs, exhibited in that series of nefarious and detestable transactions—the successive partitions of Poland; he would take the affairs of Poland as they stood at the time of the Treaty of Vienna. It was well known, that the question of the restoration of Poland to its ancient independence and power, was entertained by several of the great powers, parties to the Treaty of Vienna; such as England, France, and also Austria, the minister of which declared, that the re-establishment of Poland, as an independent state, with a national administration of its own, would accomplish the wishes of the Emperor of Austria, and that he would be willing to make the greatest sacrifice to promote the restoration of that ancient and beneficial arrangement. The restoration of ancient Poland was, in fact, proposed, and was made a subject of formal deliberation at Vienna among the ambassadors of the great Powers assembled in Congress. When that object could not be accomplished. Lord Castlereagh declared, that it was the wish of England, to see some independent State 397 (of more or less extent) established in Poland, under a distinet government of its own, as a separation between the three great Powers of Europe. The emperor of Russia proposed, that the duchy of Warsaw should be ceded to him, and become a part of his dominion. Napoleon had just lauded from Elba, and the ambassadors being pressed, the conclusion was a compromise. The duchy of Warsaw was ceded to the emperor of Russia, not as an integral part of his empire, but to be erected into a distinct and separate kingdom, upon certain specific conditions, conditions which were essential lo, and inseparable from, the holding of Poland in sovereignty by the emperor of Russia. After this had been concluded. Lord Castlereagh, without retracting his former representations with regard to Poland, expressed a hope, that the arrangement proposed by Russia, would not be followed by any interruption to the tranquillity of the North, or the balance of power in Europe. He entreated the Powers, on whom the fate of Poland depended, not to leave Vienna till they had pledged themselves, that the Poles, in their respective dominions, should be treated as Poles; that their customs and manners should be respected. It was thus, he said, that the Poles would become peace-fid and contented; and his royal highness the Prince Regent would not have to fear any danger to the liberties of Europe from the union of Poland with the Russian empire; a danger which would not be imaginary, if the military force of the two countries should be united under the command of an ambitions and warlike prince. These were memorable words, and seemed to have been uttered in a prophetic spirit. The Poles, since that period, had not been treated as Poles; their manners and customs had not been respected; au ambitious and warlike prince was at the head of both countries; and the liberties of Europe were endangered. By the Congress of Vienna it was intended that the nationality of Poland should be preserved, both for the happiness of the Poles themselves, and for the security of Europe. It was stipulated, that the duchy of Warsaw should be erected into a distinct and separate kingdom, with a Constitution of its own, and a distinct and separate administration; and that the other Polish provinces should obtain representative and national institutions from the respective 398 Powers to which they were subject. These different stipulations, although they had all been violated since, were guaranteed by the Powers at Vienna, less for the sake of the Poles (for they were not consulted) than for securing the rest of Europe against the dangers contemplated by Lord Castlereagh. The arrangement, uniting the duchy of Warsaw to Russia, was a concession by the other Powers, upon certain conditions, and under certain securities, clearly specified. In the general Ads of Congress, the arrangement respecting Poland was the first in order, as It was admitted lo be the first in importance. It was this:—'The duchy of Warsaw, with the exception of the provinces which have been otherwise disposed of, in the following Articles, is re-united to the empire of Russia. It shall be irrevocably bound to it by its constitution, and to be possessed by his majesty, the emperor of all the Russia", his heirs and successors in perpetuity. His imperial majesty reserves to himself to give to this State, enjoying a distinct administration, the territorial extension which he shall deem lit; he will take, with his other titles, that of "Czar, king of Poland," according to the customary formula used for his other possessions.' As to the other Poles, it was said:—'The Polish subjects of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, shall enjoy a representative and national institution, regulated according to the mode of political existence, which each of the governments to which they belong, shall judge useful and fitting to grant them.' Poland was to be irrevocably bound to Russia, not by hereditary descent, not by conquest, not by right of any description on the part of Russia, but by the constitution secured to it by treaty, and by the concessions of the other Powers. The other Polish provinces were to receive representative and national institutions. It was for the security of Europe, that the duchy of Warsaw was to form an independent kingdom, under the emperor of Russia, but protected and guarded by its constitution, and strengthened by a powerful mass of nationality, contained in the other Polish provinces. It was clear, that Lord Castlereagh looked to this body of Polish feeling and Polish nationality, as a check upon the ambitious designs of Russia, and as a security to Europe against the dangers which might otherwise arise from the union of Poland. 399 The engagements of the emperor of Russia, that the duchy of Warsaw should be erected into a distinct and separate kingdom, with its own Constitution, and that the other provinces should have representative and national institutions, were engagements made, not with the Poles, but with the other Powers, for the security of Europe. The emperor Alexander, and his brother Nicholas, had subsequently bound themselves, by the most sacred engagements, to the Poles; but the engagements specified by the Treaty of Vienna were altered into with the Powers of Europe, including Great Britain. All those engagements had been broken. The engagements of the emperor of Russia towards the Polish nation might be collected from his own acts. He gave to the kingdom of Poland a constitution, in fulfilment of his engagements with the other Powers. In a letter, addressed by the emperor Alexander to count Ostrowski, president of the Senate, dated the 30th of April, 1815, he said:—'It is with peculiar satisfaction that I announce to you, that your destiny is about to be fixed by the concurrence of all the Powers assembled at the Congress of Vienna. The kingdom of Poland shall be united to the empire of Russia by the title of its own Constitution, on which I am desirous of founding the happiness of the country.' And in a proclamation, dated in May, 1815, after enumerating the benefits to be secured by the Constitution—a constitution adapted to their wants, and localities, and their character—Alexander said:—"Such are the advantages which you will enjoy under our dominion, and which you will transmit, as a patriotic inheritance, to your descendants." A free constitution was given to Poland: but it should be remembered, that the duchy of Warsaw, which became the kingdom of Poland, previously had a free constitution; and it had been argued, with some force, that "its constitution," mentioned in the Treaty of Vienna, whereby it was to be united and bound to Russia, was the constitution which it had received when it was erected into an independent State, under the government of the king of Saxony, by the Treaty of Tilsit, and which constitution existed by right at the time of the Treaty of Vienna, it mattered little, whether a constitution then existing, or a constitution promised, was meant by the term of the first article of the latter Treaty. A constitution 400 having been, in fact, given to Poland by the emperor Alexander, the first Diet was opened by a speech from the emperor, containing an important passage, to which he would solicit the attention of the House. Alexander said:—'Your restoration is defined by solemn treaties; it is sanctioned by the Constitutional Charter. The inviolability of those external engagements, and of the fundamental law, assures henceforward to Poland an honourable rank among the nations of Europe.' The words "Inviolability of external engagements, and of the fundamental law," that was, of the Treaty of Vienna and the Constitutional Charter, through the inviolability of which, Poland was thenceforward to hold an honourable rank among the nations of Europe, deserved great attention. The proclamation of the emperor Nicholas, on his accession to the throne in the year 1825, contained these words:—'We declare to you, that the institutions which he (Alexander) gave to you, shall remain without any change. I, therefore, promise, and swear before God, that I will observe the Constitutional Act, and that I will bestow all my care in maintaining the observance of it.' Did any prince upon earth ever contract a more sacred and binding engagement towards his subjects, than the emperors Alexander and Nicholas did, to preserve the constitutional liberties of Poland—and that condition was inseparable from the right to the allegiance of the Polish people. It was provided by the Constitutional Charter, that the successors of Alexander should swear to maintain and execute it to the utmost of their power. The oath of the subject was an oath of fidelity to the king and the Constitutional Charter. They swore allegiance, upon the condition of the king maintaining and executing the charter of their liberties. It would be quite superfluous to repeat the details formerly stated, to show the violations of the Constitution, which were commenced by the emperor Alexander himself, and continued under his successor, till not a vestige of liberty remained in Poland. Unhappy Poland was delivered over to the cruelty and caprice of Constantine, who had been declared unfit to govern the empire, to the throne of which he had, by birth, been destined to succeed. Alexander had, of his own authority, abrogated the article of the Charter, which provided 401 for the open deliberation of the two Chambers. Constantine imprisoned such of the members as indulged in the constitutional liberty of speech to which they were entitled. The liberty of the Press—the personal liberty of the subject—the independence of the Judges—the regular holding of Diets—the right to impose taxes—in short, every security given to the Poles by their Constitution was annihilated and destroyed. Councils of war were substituted for the constitutional tribunals of the land; and their sentences were set aside, because they were not sufficiently severe;—prisoners were sent from one council of war to another, till a sentence was obtained sufficiently severe to please Constantine. At length, the high court of justice was assembled to try a multitude of the prisoners, with whom the gaols at Warsaw had long been crowded, under the suspicion of offences against the State. They were tried and acquitted; but not discharged—they were sent into Russia, and detained in the fortresses and dungeons of that country, whilst the Judges who had acquitted them were kept under surveillance at Warsaw?, and publicly reprimanded for having done their duty in a manner which was not approved of by the tyrannical government! This course of tyranny was unrelentingly pursued, till further forbearance was impossible. The Poles had recourse to arms. In the glorious but deadly struggle which ensued, they were defeated; but not till they had performed deeds of valour, and heroic devotion, such as, in the same period of time, were not to be equalled in number, or in brilliancy, in the history of any nation. Poland, abandoned by the rest of Europe, succumbed in a contest against a power which she had miraculously, for ten months, single-handed and successfully, resisted. Had England and France, during that period, made a bold and decided demonstration in favour of Poland, the independence of that country might have been preserved. That they had a right to interfere could not be questioned, any more than the policy which would have dictated such interference could. Before the taking of Warsaw, the Poles received encouragement from France. They were told, "Hold out for two months, and you will be acknowledged by Europe." The address of the Chamber of Deputies of France, in July, 1831, in accordance with the speech of the king, 402 conveyed the assurance, that "the nationality of Poland should not perish." On the 19th of September, of the same year, general Sebastiani, the minister for foreign affairs, said, in the Chamber of Deputies, 'that the French government had given the Court of St. Petersburgh to understand, that the stipulation of the Congress of Vienna had created a kingdom, and that that kingdom of European creation ought to continue to exist; that, on that very day, the government had received assurances from St. Petersburgh, that Poland should be preserved; and that, therefore, the assurances made by the Chamber, that the nationality of Poland should not perish, the formal and reiterated promises of the emperor authorized to be considered as well founded.' In March, 1832, M. Casimir Perier, that great minister, whose loss France still deplored, in the Chamber of Deputies, expressed himself thus:—'One political question, only, arises out of these events—that of the nationality of Poland. It is the question of the maintenance of treaties. By the result of these events, Poland is, in fact, subject to a provisional regime, but she has not lost the rights which she holds under treaties.' Almost at the moment when this speech was uttered by the prime minister of France, and when Europe had received so many, and such solemn assurances, that the nationality of Poland should be preserved, the emperor of Russia, utterly regardless even of his own promises, promulgated his famous "Organic Statute," whereby those treaties were torn in pieces, and the rights of Poland and her nationality were sought to be for ever extinguished. But the rights of Poland were not lost. "Facts change," as was well said by M. Bignon, in his amendment to the address to the king, in the Chamber of Deputies—"Facts change, but right and justice cannot change." The Organic Statute was accompanied by a Manifesto, wherein the emperor of Russia stated the return of his misled subjects to their duties, and the restoration of public tranquillity. And what did he, in consequence, resolve? To restore to the nation her constitutional liberties? No; he resolved, that "a new form and order of things should be introduced into Poland." The Constitutional Charter, to the observance of which he had sworn, was to be taken away, and the nationality of Poland, 403 which that Charter, and the Treaty upon which it was founded, had guarded and secured, was to be annihilated for ever. Hon. Members might easily satisfy themselves, by the slightest reference to the Organic Statute and the Charter, that the Constitution of Poland was, in every material point, subverted and destroyed by the provisions of the former. It was not even contended, that the Constitution of Poland, and the liberties intended to be secured by it, were not taken away by Nicholas; it was said, that he had a right to take away the constitution to which he had sworn—to strip of their liberties a whole nation, because part of it had rebelled—though tranquillity had been restored, and the misled had returned to their duties. It had been also said, that although the constitution was taken away, the nationality was not destroyed. What! a people once free, left without a constitution, and without a legislature! Was that not sufficient to extinguish its nationality? If the parliament of Scotland or of Ireland had been forcibly taken from them, in consequence of insurrection or rebellion, could it be said, that although their parliaments had been destroyed, their nationality was preserved? Rebellions had broken out and been suppressed in Scotland and in Ireland, yet their constitutions survived. But what signified to Russia the constitution or the nationality of Poland, the law of nations, or the faith of treaties? Russia arrogated to herself the right, by her own authority, without conference, or even communication, with other contracting Powers, to reject the stipulations of the most solemn treaties; assuming a supremacy in Europe, insulting those other Powers, and endangering the security and independence of every Stale. But how had Nicholas observed the terms of the Organic Statute itself? The Catholic religion was placed under the special protection of the State. Had it been protected? No; its property had been confiscated—its churches plundered—its priests persecuted—its religious institutions suppressed—its schools shut up; in short, every species of persecution exercised towards that religion which was to be specially protected. By the Organic Statute no one was to be arrested or judged but by the forms prescribed by law; yet the governor of Warsaw had been authorized, by a ukase of the emperor, to send whom he pleased to be 404 tried by councils of war. Had the atrocities—some of which, on a former occasion, he had detailed to the House—ceased since the promulgation of the Organic Statute? So far from it, that they had gone on increasing in number and enormity. On a former occasion he had mentioned the carrying away of children; not on light authority—not on vague rumour, nor on the loose statements of newspapers—but upon original and authentic information, which had since, on every point, been confirmed. The right hon. Baronet, the member for Tamworth, had doubted the correctness of his statement; but he would satisfy the right hon. Member, by official documents, that orders had been given which could have no other result, and that atrocities, such as he had stated, had been continued up to the very last accounts received, and were the necessary consequence of the execution of those orders. The orders themselves, independently of the execution of them, were barbarous, unnatural, and cruel. The first which he would mention was, an official communication from the chief of the general staff, Gorcrakoff, general aide-de-camp of the emperor, addressed to the councillor of state, Tymowski, exercising the functions of secretary of state in the Council of Administration of the kingdom of Poland. It was dated the 24th of March, 1832, and was in these terms:—'The chief of the staff in the military colonies, general Tolsty, communicated, on the 19th February last, to the commander-in-chief of the array, the order of his majesty the emperor, to collect together, in the kingdom of Poland, all the male vagrant, orphan, and poor children, to direct them towards Minsk, and there to deliver them to the commanders of the garrison, that they might be placed in the battalions of military cantonists, and sent to the places pointed out by the regulation of the general staff of the military colonies. The Commander-in-chief of the active army has ordered all the military commanders of the Palatinates to execute rigorously the order.' A copy of the order issued by his Highness, the Prince Lieutenant of the kingdom, was at the same time communicated to the Governor of Podolia, in order that it might be presented at the sitting of the Council. On the 29th of March (10th of 405 April), the Council assembled, and in the procès verbal of their sitting, the foregoing communication was referred to, as containing the order of his Majesty the emperor, to seize, in the kingdom of Poland, the male vagrant, orphan, and poor children, and to send them to Minsk, in order that they might be placed in the battalions of the military cantonists, and afterwards despatched for the colonial companies. Then, again, there was an order of the Commander-in-chief, Prince Paskewitsch, which stated, that all the infants, male vagrant, orphan, or poor in Poland, should be incorporated in the battalion of the military cantonists. All male infants, vagrant, orphan, or poor! What a frightful latitude given to the agents charged with the execution of these inhuman orders! It was sufficient that the children should be deemed by them to be vagrants, orphans, or poor. Nineteen-twentieths of the infants in Warsaw and in Poland might be brought within one or other of these denominations. Orphans were such as had lost their father: it mattered not that their mother remained to them, or what was their means of support,—they were considered orphans, and, included in the terms of the order. The right hon. Baronet, the member for. Tamworth, stated on a former occasion, that he had it from authentic information, that the children carried away were orphans,—made orphans by the calamities of war,—and that they had been placed in Russian schools, not for the purpose of separating them from their parents, for they had none,—but for the purpose of providing for their helplessness and giving them education. The right hon. Baronet, whose observations were always entitled to respect, would find, that the information he had received was incorrect; and that other Polish children, and in great numbers, besides orphans, had been carried away, and sent to the military colonies of Russia, not for education,—for that they might have had in Poland,—but that they might become Russians, and forget their country. Look also at the means taken to carry these orders into execution. A notice was published by the Administration of Warsaw, stating that as his imperial majesty, in his paternal solicitude, was desirous of coming to the relief of his indigent subjects, all parents whose means were inadequate to the maintenance of their children were invited to inscribe their 406 names in a register to be opened for that purpose. It might well be imagined that the number was not small of the inhabitants of Warsaw who were desirous of obtaining, and who were in a situation to require, assistance for the maintenance of their children. Numerous applications having been made, and the names of the children of such parents as had applied having been inscribed on the register, would it be credited that those lists were resorted to, not for the purpose of administering relief, and affording assistance to the parents to maintain their children, but to enable the public officers to proceed to carry off the children whose names had been so inscribed? Never was there a more nefarious system of kidnapping-resorted to in any country. In the beginning of the month of May, 600 children were carried away in the night in four different detachments. On the 17th of May a convoy of children was despatched in open day. Every where were heard the cries and lamentations of the unhappy mothers running after the waggons on which their children were placed, some of them attempting to throw themselves under the wheels, that they might not outlive the separation from all that was dear to them in the world. It was there that might have been heard the exclamation of the Polish mother which had resounded throughout Europe.—"Oh! that he could be drowned in our tears! "On the 18th, the children found in the streets at work, or selling different wares, were carried off'; and, on the 19th, the parochial and charily schools, and the orphan institution, called the Infant Jesus, in which alone there were several hundred children, were emptied, and the whole of their infant inmates hurried away, never to return. That many must have perished on the march could not well be doubted, for the caravan could not stop for them, if taken sick, or worn out with fatigue; but this was not a matter of conjecture. Eyewitnesses had borne testimony to their having seen the dead bodies of children extended near the public roads, near to the crust of bread which had been left with them, but which they had not had the strength to touch. Nature had no part in the death of those unhappy children—those slaughtered innocents. Oh! since the days of Herod no such scenes had been acted on the theatre of the world! To add, possible, to the frightful picture, 407 it was stated, that notwithstanding the loss of children, calculated to be upwards of three-fourths during the journey, the number arrived almost complete, as the Cossacks seized and carried off any children they met with, to replace those who had died during the journey, and that the account current of death and robbery was settled daily. The latter fact, of the replacing of children by the robbery of others was stated in accounts which had obtained credit; but the fact of the enormous loss of children by death was ascertained beyond a doubt; and, indeed, must necessarily have ensued to a great extent, from the nature of the transaction itself. But the forcible abduction of children, in the manner stated, was not all that Poland suffered from this horrible system. There appeared to be a regular conscription of children of all ranks. The letter to which he was about to refer was from a Polish father—a man of rank, and an exile from his country. It stated, that he had just learnt, that by an order which there was no means of resisting, his son, a child of tender years, had been taken from his home to be sent to join a corps of cadets in a distant part of Russia. He continued thus:—I have lost my child! The only consolation which could flatter me with hope—could mitigate the pains of exile, and the thousand adversities and sufferings of my sad existence—has been torn from me. There remains only for me to make this vow, as I do it sincerely, that my son may die, before they can make him forget that he is a Pole, and of right free, or that they shall be able to make of him a machine of Russian despotism. This vow, I trust, will be heard in heaven, and that Divine Providence will preserve in the bosom of my son the sentiments of his father.' These were the sentiments of every Pole; never, no never, could they be eradicated from his breast. He might be exterminated, but he would still die a Pole. The indignities offered to the Poles of every rank had not been diminished, if they had not increased, since he had last had the honour of addressing the House. He had then mentioned the treatment of a noble youth, Prince Roman Tangousky. An additional fact on that subject had been related: the Prince condemned to be degraded from his rank and name, and to be seat "on foot" (the addition made to the sentence with his own hand by the emperor himself) 408 to Siberia, there to work in the mines, being about to depart on this journey of eight months, chained with convicts, and branded on the back with a number like a beast, was desirous of receiving the consolation of his religion. Being, like his countrymen, a sincere Catholic, he desired that a priest of that persuasion might be permitted to attend him for the purpose of confession. He was answered, "You are a serf, and the religion of a serf is the religion of his master." This request was refused, and a Greek priest was sent to him, whose ministry was of course rejected. Another outrage was "the transplantation of families." This had taken place in the Polish province to which a representation and national institution had been promised by the Treaty of Vienna, and which treaty had been as grossly violated by Russia, in respect of the provinces, as of the kingdom of Poland. The first official document, by which the transplantation of families, as it was called, was ordered and regulated, was an order addressed by the Minister of Finance to the Governor of Podolia, dated the 9th (21st) of November, 1831; in these terms:—'His majesty, the emperor, has deigned to issue a supreme order to make the necessary regulations for transplanting, in the first instance, 5,000 families of Polish gentlemen of the government of Podolia to the Steppes of Tartary, and, in preference, on the line, or in the district of Caucasus, that those transplanted may be enrolled in the public services.' It would, of course, be expected that the persons so sent should be criminals under the sentence of the law, and that this transplanting was intended in mercy, as a commutation of a sentence which would otherwise have been carried into execution. Not at all. The official documents said, To effect the said transplantation, there must be chosen, first, persons who, having taken part in the late insurrection, have returned within the time fixed to testify their repentance—those, also, who have been comprised in the third class of offenders, and who, in consequence, have obtained the grace and pardon of his Majesty. Secondly, the persons whose manner of living, in the opinion of the local authorities, excite the distrust of the Government.' Those persons who had come in under the faith of the amnesty of the emperor, who had been pardoned, and were as if they had never 409 offended, and persons whom the local authorities looked to with distrust—that meant, all persons whom they chose, at their discretion, to select for punishment—were, with their families, to be the victims of this barbarous order. The order went on to enjoin the governor of Podolia as follows:—'Your excellency will make use of all necessary means (without publishing or making known the tenor of this order) to register the families that are to be transplanted, in order that you may begin, without delay, the execution of this order, according to the rules which will be afterwards communicated to you.' In the answer of the governor of Podolia, dated the 29th of November (11th December 1831), he divided the Polish gentlemen into four classes, ending with the advocates and men of the law, whose interest, it was stated,—'is to prolong civil suits: who acquire their fortunes to the injury of the citizens, and possess so much more influence over them; and it is desirable, for the good even of the country, that their number should be immediately diminished by transplantation.' He was sorry he did not see his friend, the Solicitor-General, in the House, that he might ask him his opinion on this part of the case. The class of proprietors was not much better treated than that of the gentlemen of the long robe; for it was stated in the order, that that class did not promise much good for the prosperity of the country. But all classes of gentlemen seemed to have been equally subject to this order; although pardoned, amnestied, and suspected persons were in preference to be selected, at all events, 5,000 families in the first instance were to be transplanted from the province of Podolia alone. But the transplanting was not to be confined to the province of Podolia. By an order of the Minister of the Interior, it was extended to the whole of the provinces. This order dated the 6th (18th) of April 1832, stated that his Majesty, in confirming the regulation that had been made, had deigned to add, in his own hand-writing, that those regulations were to serve not only for the government of Podolia, but for all the eastern governments. The number of provinces was eight, and thus the number of families to be transplanted "in the first instance," from the Polish provinces, was 40,000. It had already been executed in the case of the province of Podolia, and was now 410 in the course of execution in the other provinces. It might be added, that the order last referred to, stated that his Majesty had ordained, that in no one case would the government be responsible for the debts of the persons transplanted; nevertheless, those who were to be transplanted should not be previously apprized of it; that the creditors should act according to the laws, but that that should be no obstacle to transplantation. Another order of the minister of the interior to the governor of Podolia, of the 14th (26th) of August 1832, stated, that the governor of Caucasus had received a supreme order to be ready to receive the ci-devant Polish gentlemen destined to be incorporated into the corps of Cossacs, and added: "If the Polish gentlemen have no desire to be transplanted, you are authorized to constrain them to do so by force." These orders were given to root up 40,000 families from their native soil; to carry them off by force, without notice, to remote and barbarous regions. Transplant they could not. They might root up and destroy; but the plant would never take root again. The Pole would perish, but never would become a Russian. Never were the horrors of despotism depicted in their native colours more truly, than in the official orders which he had read, and in the acts which he had related; and he would leave these detestable proceedings to the indignation and disgust which they must excite in every human breast. But he would next refer to a document called an amnesty, for which the clemency of the emperor of Russia had been much lauded. It was dated the 7th of June, of the present year, and respected the officers and others of the former Polish army, then in Russia. It stated, that the emperor had, on the 20th of October, 1831, granted a most gracious amnesty, from which he had not excluded the superior officers of the Polish army, who had participated in the clemency shown to the less guilty, "their punishment" (mark the word "punishment,") being confined to their being conveyed into the interior of Russia." It then granted leave to all such persons, and the officers of all ranks, of the former Polish army (with some exceptions) who had been removed from Poland, and had not been taken into the Russian service (or in other words forced into the Russian service), to return to their country. This was, in fact, an amnesty to persons who 411 had been already amnestied, and who had been detained in Russia, in violation of the former amnesty. But it was very doubtful whether these persons would be willing to avail themselves of this new amnesty, whilst Poland remained under its present government. There were 1,000 Polish soldiers who preferred working with convicts at the fortifications of Russia to returning to their country under its present tyranny. He hoped he had clearly shown, that Russia had violated a treaty to which this country was a party—had broken her solemn engagements with Great Britain and the other Powers of Europe. That this breach of treaty involved in it consequences dangerous to the security and independence of Europe could not well be doubted. The subjugation of Poland left Russia at full liberty to pursue her schemes of aggrandizement, and to advance, with rapid strides, towards that unusual domination in the affairs of Europe, which she looked to as the means not merely of increasing her own power, but of subverting the independence of all free states, and destroying all free institutions. The foreign policy of Russia, founded on a system which knew no change, had, during more than half a century, been pursued with a steadiness, an ability, and a success unequalled, in the history of modern times. Her territories had been extended on every side—everywhere Russia was to be found—and everywhere her power and influence were dominant. She was more than suspected of having encouraged the king of Holland to resist the settlement of the Belgic question. No one could believe, that if she had been sincere in her wishes for that settlement, and had pressed with the force of her influence on the king of Holland—as for an object, in the success of which she herself felt an interest—the question between Holland and Belgium would not have been settled at an early period, and much expense of blood and treasure would" have been saved. It was curious to observe, in reference to the policy of Russia respecting Belgium, that the convention between that power and Great Britain, for the continuation of the payment of the Russo-Dutch loan of the 16th of November, 1831, recited, that the object of the former convention was to afford, on the one hand, to Great Britain, a guarantee that Russia would, in all questions concerning Belgium, identify her policy with 412 that of Great Britain; and, on the other hand, to secure to Russia the payment of a portion of her just debt, "in consideration—(let the House mark this well) in consideration of the general arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, to which she had given her adhesion—arrangements which remain in full force." So that whilst Russia was trampling under foot the Treaty of Vienna, we paid her our money in consideration of the general arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, and of her having given her adhesion to that treaty, and of its remaining in full force? Was not the nationality of Poland a part of the general arrangements of the Treaty of Vienna; and was it not a mockery to speak of the adhesion of the emperor of Russia to those general arrangements, and of their remaining in full force? In Germany, Russia was seen aiding and abetting, and protecting Austria and Prussia in their attempt to crush the liberties of that country, whilst she intrigued in the same cause in Portugal and in Spain. In respect to Austria and Prussia, she maintained a supremacy over those powers, apparent in every public transaction that occurred in the north of Europe; and whilst she was suffered to destroy Poland, in the independence of which Austria and Prussia were so peculiarly interested, she seemed to meet with no opposition from them in her designs on Turkey. Whilst the other powers of Europe seemed sunk in security and repose, Russia, with her fleets and armies, appeared suddenly in the Bosphorus as the ally and protector of the Sultan, whose dominions were at her mercy, and would be incorporated into her empire, as Poland had been, whenever it might suit the views of her policy. She commanded in Persia still more absolutely than in Turkey; and she turned her views, beyond all question, towards our Indian possessions, for the dominion of which, should Russia meet with no check in her career, we might yet have to fight on the plains of Hindoostan. The master principle of Russian policy was its fearlessness. She violated treaties, put her will in the place of the law of nations, and set the nations of Europe at defiance. Whilst a voice was not raised—he had almost said dared not be raised—above a whisper by other nations, lest it should involve them in a war with Russia, she broke her solemn compacts with other powers, and had no 413 such fear. She gave just cause of war, and war was not made upon her; nor did he call for war now. What then did his Motion call for? Not for war certainly—not for a demonstration of war—not even for a remonstrance—but he wished the House to call upon the Government to abstain from any act by which the present state of Poland might be recognised, or treated as a part of the law of nations, or of the admitted system of European policy. That the emperor of Russia would attempt to obtain the recognition of the other Powers of Europe to the great change in the public law of Europe, which of his own authority he had made, could not be doubted; that he would obtain the recognition of some of the Powers of Europe, if they had not in fact already recognized that change, was possible. But France and England would never submit to such a degradation. They would not, he trusted, even be guilty of a silent acquiescence in that usurpation. He called on the House of Commons of England to proclaim, in the face of their country and of Europe, their sense of this flagrant violation of a treaty, and of the law of nations. Let not the rights of Poland, by treaty, and by the law of nations, still in full force and untouched, be affected, or weakened by the formal or even silent acquiescence of this country, in those acts by which it was attempted to destroy them. If nothing could be done for Poland at the present moment, let her wait for events, and rest upon her rights. Let the rights of France and England, in respect of this great question, also continue unimpaired,—and the fate of Poland might yet be changed. Sooner or later the Powers of Europe must intervene, to put an end to the state of things that now existed in Poland. The civilized world could not suffer it to go on. Had the war been protracted, and had it continued to the present time, those Powers would have intervened to stop the effusion of human blood. Well! the war did continue, and blood still flowed. It was true, that it was the blood of the vanquished; but humanity commanded that that blood should cease to How. Nicholas had one of two courses to pursue—unbounded clemency towards the Poles, or their extirpation as a people. He embraced the latter course—he had pursued it, until it had become a system—a system of necessity: reconciliation 414 he had rendered impossible; every Pole must become a Russian, or he must die; resistance everywhere appeared where resistance was pssible—where it was not, the sentiment of resistance remained, and waited only for the opportunity of showing itself in action. It was a war of extermination—nothing could end it, but the intervention of the other Powers of Europe. Belgium was thought deserving of that intervention. The affair of Belgium, in the eye of a statesman, was of parochial importance compared with that of Poland. His Motion tended in that direction. He desired the British Government to abstain from any act which might fetter them in their course towards the object which they could not but desire—the restoration of Poland. He entreated them not to oppose this motion. The nation had its eyes upon them; the Press was unanimous in favour of the cause of Poland. This was a circumstance which proved above all others, the general interest which was taken in the question by the people of this country. In the town of Hull, a periodical publication of great merit, the Polish Record was exclusively directed to that cause. There was no other example of the kind in this or any other country. Let not Ministers resist, either by a direct negative or by the previous question, the Motion which he had to submit to the House. If it was to be opposed, let it be opposed by a direct negative, and not by the previous question. Let his Motion be negatived, if he had not made out his case; but if he had, he asked the support of Ministers. If he could not obtain this, he would ask his noble friend, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to follow the example of the Due do Broglio, in the Chamber of Deputies of France. So late as the 3rd of December last, M. Bignon (one of the first of French diplomatists, a person, too, whose character stood deservedly high, not merely for his excellent talent, but for the moderation and good sense for which he was distinguished) moved an amendment to the address to the king, in which amendment the cause of Polish nationality was stated to be "guaranteed by the law of nations and by treaty," and it conveyed the sense of the Chamber that both had been violated by The emperor of Russia. The Due de Broglio, minister for foreign affairs, did not oppose this amendment— 415 he said the government referred itself in that respect to the wisdom of the Chamber. He would ask his Majesty's Government to do the same in this instance, and he could have no fear as to the fate of his Motion. If the noble person, now at the head of the Government of the country, whom he respected above all living; statesmen—a man who, during a public life of half a century, had at all times shown himself the protector of the oppressed, and the enemy of the oppressor,—were now a Member of that House, of which he was long so distinguished an ornament;—he should not hesitate, for a moment, in claiming his support, and should be confident of obtaining it. He would call the attention of the House to the Address moved by Lord Grey, on the 21st of February, 1793, It was shortly after the second partition of Poland, and ran thus:—'We have been called upon to resist views of conquest and aggrandizement on the part of France. We admit that it is the interest and duty of every member of the commonwealth of Europe to support the established system and distribution of power among the independent sovereignties which actually subsist, and to prevent the aggrandizement of any state, especially the most powerful, at the expense of any other; and for the honour of his Majesty's Councils, we do most earnestly wish, that the Ministers had manifested a just sense of the importance of the principle to which they now appeal, in the course of late events which seemed to us to threaten destruction. When Poland was beginning to recover from the long calamities of anarchy, combined with oppression—after she had established an hereditary and limited monarchy like our own, and was peaceably employed in settling her internal government, his Majesty's Ministers, with apparent indifference and unconcern, have seen her become the victim of the most unprovoked and unprincipled invasion;—her territory overrun—her free constitution subverted—her national independence annihilated—and the general principles of the security of nations wounded through her side.* He would ask the friends and supporters, and colleagues of Lord Grey, would they resist his Motion? He earnestly trusted that they would not.* Parliamentary History, xxx, p. 456.416 He trusted that they would see, that their character, and that of the Government was at stake. But, above all, he looked for support to the independent Members of that House—he called upon them to speak the sense of the whole of the Commons of England, by pronouncing judgment on a question in which were involved not only the rights of the Polish nation, and the national peace of this country, but the cause of freedom throughout the world. He should move,—"That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that his Majesty will be pleased not to recognise, or in any way give the sanction of his Government to the present political state and condition of Poland, the same having been brought about in violation of the Treaty of Vienna, to which Great Britain was a party."
§ Mr. Thomas Attwood
seconded the Motion. The history of Poland inspired the most heroic sentiments. So imbued was her soil with the blood of Patriots, that John Sobieski once said, if you grasp a handful of it, it will distil drops of gore. It was customary in England to speak of Poland as a land of slaves. But it was a great mistake to suppose that slavery was common in Poland. That kingdom had never been reduced to slavery. There was no word in the language to express "slave;" they had no nearer approach to it than the words expressing "prisoner of war." It was only from choice the serf was attached to the soil—not from the operation of slavery. Poland had suffered much—she had contended in many wars—she had attained most glorious distinction; but she had, till her friends destroyed her, always been free. The very motto which had been adopted by Poland, and which, he hoped, would yet bring her through her difficulties, proved the love of liberty—"Poland is not lost as long as we have life." Poland had always, until the usurpation of Russia, enjoyed national and political independence. He would not speak of the horrible cruelties of the emperor Nicholas, he would only remind the House of the vast encroachments of Russia, and of the necessity of England, for her own safety, setting bounds to the further aggrandisement of the barbarian. He had, within the last 150 years extended his arms on all sides, and now embraced half the world. England ought now to interfere, because, as the hon. and learned Member had 417 proved, she was a party to the Treaty of Vienna, and by that Treaty the independence of Poland was guaranteed. The duchy of Warsaw was attached to Russia. Hanover was attached to England by the golden link of the crown, but was independent of her Government. By what right did Russia destroy that independence, and set at nought all the treaties of Vienna? By the violation of the Treaty of Vienna, the insurrection of the Poles was no rebellion. It might be said, that the Poles should have appealed to England: but had they done so, they would have been punished by the Russians with the knout. Hon. Members probably knew but little of the nature of this terrible punishment. It was an instrument of torture, which, he trusted, would never be applied to Englishmen, though, he must say, they would deserve it, if they should yield to the encroachments which Russia was endeavouring to make on all Europe. Hon. Gentlemen might not be aware, that the knout was about seven times as severe an instrument of torture as the cat used is this country, and the only good he (Mr. Attwood) knew of it was, that in the hands of a skilful executioner it would kill a man, and end his miseries, in three blows. It was Russia which rebelled against principle, and against all the powers of Europe, and not the Poles who rebelled against Russia. Such were the horrible outrages committed by the Russians against the Poles, violating the laws, extorting their property, refusing them all redress, ever punishing the judges when they objected to be the instruments of tyranny—that the Poles had no alternative but to take up arms or submit to a degree of tyranny which would first have degraded, and ultimately have extirpated the people. France was, perhaps, under greater obligations to Poland than England, for resisting the northern barbarians in 1782, and, therefore, greater shame was to her than to England for not having interfered. But we had shame enough. A declaration had been made by the French king, and followed up by his ministry in 1831, of their intention to maintain the nationality of Poland, and a similar sentiment had been expressed by the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the noble Lord, the Secretary at the head of Foreign Affairs, in April, 1832; yet nothing had been done. A French gentleman deputed 418 by the French cabinet, had, he understood, asked our Cabinet to join the French in going to war, and he received a decided negative. The Government ought to have demanded of Russia that she should discharge her duty in the same honourable and upright manner that we had done ours—to fulfil her treaties in the same manner as we had kept our compacts. It was very probable that Russia would have refused, but if England sent a fleet to the Baltic, and another to the Black Sea, it would have been impossible for Russia to have resisted such a force. If this had been done, he was satisfied Poland would have been restored to the Poland of 1772. Russia, however, was allowed to pursue her own course. He could not think, without regret and disgust, upon the series of insults, which England had endured from that Power. He had warned the noble Lord opposite last year, that Constantinople was in danger. The noble Lord disregarded the warning. Constantinople was now in the possession of the Russians. Scutari was also in their hands, and before long they would obtain possession of the Castles of the Dardanelles, which it would cost this country 100,000,000l. of money to wrest from them. But recover them she must, if she would not see the Russian arms paramount all over Europe. Gentlemen were very ready to resent any thing which might be said in that House affecting their honour. Why were they not equally sensitive with regard to the honour of their country? The giant Russia was at present weak, but, once possessed of the Dardanelles, she would indeed become truly formidable. Now, then, he would say, was the time to strike, when in a moment Persia could be raised against her, and Poland would not be inert, and Russsia might be broken like a potter's vessel. But give her fifty years, and her empire would acquire cohesion and unity, and she would become irresistible. The hon. Member then, entered at great length into a history of the past conduct of Russia; contending, that she had fur a series of years, insulted England and aggrandized herself, at the expense of honour and humanity. In 1827, he said, Russia had entered into a treaty with France and England, stipulating that they should assist her in compelling Turkey to give independence to Greece, each party binding itself not to seek for any private advantage. But no sooner was this com- 419 pact entered into, than Russia seduced England to destroy the Turkish fleet at Navarino. She immediately set France and England at defiance, and declared war upon Turkey. The treaty was entered into in December 1827, and this violation took place in April, 1828. The Duke of Wellington remonstrated against this abandonment of all national good faith, but the only satisfaction he received from Nesselrode was, that Russia would confine the war to the Black Sea. Notwithstanding the stipulations of December, 1827, she now declared that she had commenced hostilities, not to compel Turkey to emancipate Greece, but on account of her own quarrel, which had subsisted since the treaty of Bucharest. Having declared that she would not carry the war into the Mediterranean, she again broke her word, within three months from the time she pledged it, by ordering a fleet to blockade the Dardanelles. All this the Duke of Wellington pocketed. And yet this was the man who went out to fight duels. Would to God that he were as much alive to insults offered to the honour of his country, as to those which affected his own honour as an individual, The Duke of Wellington took credit to himself for having saved Constantinople from the Russians at that time, and he believed, that such was the case. But of what use was it to preserve Constantinople from the Russians in 1829, if it was to fall into their hands in 1833. he wished the Duke of Wellington had stopped Russia at the Pruth. It would have been as easy to stop her there as at Adrianople. It was said, that if we interfered in behalf of Poland or Turkey, it would lead to a general war. He did not believe it would, He believed the present state of things more likely to lead to a general war. If England, supported by France, and, as he took for granted, she would be by Austria, said to Russia, "You shall deliver up Turkey and Poland," she would meet with no resistance—she could command Russia to do what she pleased. But, even supposing it should lead to a general war—if we could not preserve the honour and the political interests of England without war, let war come. We had never shrunk from war before, why should we now? Russia was ready to go to war, although her resources would not bear any comparison with ours. Why then should we fear to go to war? Was it that the people of 420 England could not pay the taxes whose fault was that—He had evidence that the people could, under a proper system of Government, pay 40,000,000l. of taxes per annum more than at present, with less suffering. Did Gentlemen recollect that the people had paid 80,000,000l. a-year, for three years together during the war. And did they then suffer more than at present, paying 45,000,000l. The Government had emasculated England. He would tell his Majesty's Ministers, that they were no Government for the people of England, unless they were prepared to go to war if necessary, or to protect the honour and interests of the country without war. The people did not want war for its own sake; but they wished to protect the honour and the political interests of the country, and they would protect them under this Government, or under another. It was not thirty-five years since Mr. Pitt declared, that sooner than let Russia have a single village on the Black Sea, he would risk the whole empire on a war. The words Mr. Pitt used were, toto imperio certare: and such was the interpretation which he affixed to those words; and yet we are now going to let the Russians have the whole of the Black Sea, and the whole of the Turkish empire! Did hon. Gentlemen recollect, that, seventy or eighty years ago, a poor English sailor came home from the Havannah, and told a piteous story of the injuries he had received, and of the manner in which he had been tortured by the Spaniards. He said to this House that—"in his agonies he commended his soul to God, and looked up to his country for revenge." How did that House act? Why, they one and all took up his cause, and, upon this single insult, war was declared against Spain, and carried to a triumphant issue. He was rather surprised to see the present hydrophobic dread of war; he suspected it was a mere fear of the fall of Consols; he would rather see Consols abolished than the honour of England insulted. But he was quite satisfied, that if this country once took its proper stand, and resolutely declared that the system of Russia should have an end, Russia, with her nobles, would at once submit—the march of tyranny would be stopped—and the ruthless hand of oppression would be stayed. But, if Europe remained quiet, if England and Frame did not combine, it was in vain to expect that Russia would not go on, step 421 by step, increasing her power and committing new enormities. If this state of things was to go on, what was to prevent Austria from falling under the surveillance of Russia? What was to prevent Austria becoming as much a part of Russia as Poland was, if Russia exercised a despotic influence uncontrolled and unrestrained over Turkey? She would embrace Austria in a crescent. On the present occasion, the Resolution which had been moved by the hon. and learned Gentleman, the member for Kirkcudbright, was so very moderate, so prudent, and so guarded, that he hoped there was no Gentleman in this House who would oppose it. He trusted the noble Lord would not oppose it, and would use his influence to prevent its being negatived. No man could possibly be more attached to the noble Lord and the Ministry than he was, until they brought forward the Coercion Bill for Ireland, and no one would more willingly forget and forgive than he would, if they would revert to their old sentiments, and return to the support of the great cause of liberty and humanity all over the world! He should then be their humble follower and advocate; and they would have no more sincere, zealous, and ready supporter; and he was sure, that in such a case they would have the support of the people. The people of England were rich and powerful, and full of virtue and public spirit; and was it possible after voting a sum of 20,000,000l. to save 800,000 negroes (a vote of which he approved), that we could not spare one-tenth of the money to save 20,000,000 of Poles. He did not wish to undervalue any portion of the human race, but he did not hesitate to say, that for the life of one Pole be would sacrifice the lives of ten of these negroes. He knew, that in the eye of the law a negroe a Pole, and an Englishman, were all equal, but in the eye of honour and humanity, and common sense, these uneducated black men could not be placed upon a level with a gallant, intelligent, and a noble race. The persecution which many noble Poles endured, was as bad as the worst sufferings that the slaves were compelled to undergo. The hon. Gentleman then read a paper with which he had the honour to be intrusted, being an address to the Representatives of Great Britain and Ireland, from the National Polish Committee, depicting the unhappy condition of their country, and imploring them to lift up 422 their voice in behalf of Poland. It was dated, he said, Paris, June 30th, 1833, and was signed by the celebrated General Dwernicki and a committee of glorious patriots. He hoped the House would not turn a deaf ear to this affecting appeal. He said, with truth and sincerity, that any sacrifice that he could make as a man, he would most readily make, to regain the liberties and the independence of Poland. He had four sons, and if their services, or even their lives could benefit the cause of the Poles, to that cause they should willingly be devoted. He was sure the majority of the English people entertained similar opinions. He hoped the House would not be behind the people in honour and liberality. He could not believe, that the Reformed House of Commons would separate, without expressing in a voice of thunder, and in a way that could not be misunderstood, the determination that Poland should be free. The hon. Gentleman also read an extract from the "Official Gazette" of Moscow, which spoke of the impotence of England, encumbered as she was with debt. He hoped, that these repeated insults would not be submitted to. They could not be, without degrading England. The hon. Member again repeated, that England was better able to sustain the exertion of war than Russia. He hoped, that the name of William 4th would not go down to posterity, with the stigma of having tamely endured the overbearing insulting conduct of Russia. Insulted humanity, the true policy of England, the outraged liberty of Europe—all called upon the people of this country to interfere. He hoped and trusted, that where such great interests were at stake, that call would not be disregarded. The House was merely required by the Resolution to address the Sovereign, requesting him not to do that which he had notdone—not to give his sanction to the present state of Poland. They would thus only confirm his Majesty's own conduct, and suggest to him to express, in a little bolder and more decided language, the sentiments of his royal mind. Let his Majesty's wishes be strengthened by the declaration of Parliament, and encouraged by that to declare to Russia, that he would never recognize the present political state of Poland, and that sooner or later she must be restored to the state in which she existed, as to liberty and independence, in 1772. He called on Ministers not to 423 suffer the barbarian power to fortify itself at scutari, but, if necessary, to send an English fleet and an English army to drive the Russians away. He hoped, that the Ministers would not move the previous question on the Resolution, and it they did, be prayed that they might be defeated. He again repeated, that the cause of Poland was the cause of liberty and humanity; and as England must fight against Russia in its behalf at some time or other, it would be better that she fought now, before Poland was finally and completely subdued, and incorporated with the Russian empire.
§ Sir Harry Verney
complimented the hon. and learned member for Kircudbright, for the excellent manner in which he had introduced the question to the House, and regretted, that the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had taken such a different view, and should have represented this question as a question of making war upon Russia, and as if he were prepared for that alternative. Certainly, if England had any thing to fear from any power, it was from Russia; and he regretted, that the hon. Member should have described her as a barbarian power. He wished she was a barbarian power. There was, however, no power which adopted such wise means to attain its ends as Russia. She was intent on promoting civilization, extending commerce, and establishing in every part of her empire the most useful institutions. She sent abroad the most enlightened of her citizens to collect correct information of the improvements of other countries. Did the hon. member for Birmingham know, that steam-boats were navigating on the Wolga, and that you might travel in Russia with almost as much facility as in the United States of America? The hon. Member had libelled Mr. Canning, for never, in that statesman's time, did any power insult England without that insult being resented. He regretted, that the House should have been diverted, by the observations of the hon. Member, from the excellent speech of the hon. and learned Member who brought forward the Motion; for it was of great importance to give a temperate and firm support to the cause of Poland. Poland was the only power which could form a barrier against Russia, and preserve that balance of power which it was the interest of England, and all other European states to preserve. Napoleon had said, that 424 Russia would succeed him in the empire of Europe, and the Abbé du Pradt had said, that Russia and England must contend for supremacy; that there were only two powers in Europe; and if Britain was the power that was to contend, as she had always contended, for liberal institutions and freedom against barbarism, it was of consequence that she should support the good cause by good means. The hon. Member concluded by reminding the House of the terms of the Motion, and by again expressing his regret, that the House had been diverted from them by the speech of the hon. member for Birmingham.
§ Sir Robert Inglis
, after eulogising the speech of the hon. and learned member for Kircudbright, expressed his regret that any person should have diverted the attention of the House from that speech:—a speech combining better taste, better feeling, and higher talent he had never heard. On a former occasion when the subject was introduced, he felt reluctant to come forward and state his opinion, particularly after the language used towards the Sovereign of Russia—language unblamed by his Majesty's Ministers. He regretted to hear it, because he thought that no language ought to be used in that House respecting any of the Sovereigns of Europe, allies of the King, which could not be uttered in the presence of their representatives. He had on that occasion carefully abstained from giving any opinion on the subject of Poland itself. He would now say, that he thought the cause of Poland was the cause of Europe and of Christian civilization. The Emperor had unwarrantably assumed a power over it which was equally condemned by the law of nations and repudiated by facts. He had assumed that he possessed it by right of conquest; and he might as well have applied that assumption to Paris, or to any other place which his armies had ever entered. The phrase applied to it in the Organic Statute, which was on the Table of the House, was, that Poland, by the law of conquest, was possessed by Russia. The phrase was: "The Kingdom of Poland once heretofore conquered by the victorious arms of Russia." But the fact was, as it had been stated by his hon. friend, that Russia held Poland by a compact with other powers. The Emperor Nicholas held it by the same right as the Emperor Alexander; and Alexander held it on the ground to which 425 he and his allies, at Vienna, were alike parties, that a constitution was to be given to Poland. Since the last discussion, papers on the subject bad been laid on the Table, with an extract from a despatch of Lord Heytesbury, inclosing what was called, by the courtesy of diplomacy, the new Constitution. If the new Constitution approached at all in principle to that given by the Emperor Alexander—though he should regard it as an untoward event, that the Constitution which on the 21st of May, 1829, the Emperor Nicholas had sworn to maintain, should have been subverted by his single will—still, if the substantial ends of justice had been obtained, he should say, that the contracting powers to the Treaty of Vienna would have no right to complain; but when he compared the two documents, he found that the new Constitution was nothing more than the mere decree of a despotic Sovereign. The House would feel, that this new Constitution was drawn up in singular terms. By the Treaty of Vienna, by which Poland was committed to the care of Alexander, he was bound to give it a Constitution; and there would be ground of complaint if that had not been the case. And so careful were the powers who were parties to that treaty, that in the first phrase in which Poland was mentioned, it was stated that her nationality should be preserved. But he must observe, that the very first word in the Organic Statute was an unfortunate word; for it said, that Poland should be "re-united" to the empire of Russia. The use of the word might open the question of the former union; but he contended that, in all history, Poland never was united to Russia, except when Russia was subdued by Poland; with the exception, however, of that unfortunate term, the first phrase was a recognition of Poland as a distinct state—meaning a distinct kingdom. The Emperor Alexander and the Emperor Nicholas were both crowned at Warsaw, and were both bound to be crowned at Warsaw by the Constitution. By the Organic Statute, however, or the new Constitution, Poland was declared an integral part of the Russian Empire. How was that to be reconciled to the principle that Poland was to be an integral state, and that the Sovereign was to be crowned at Warsaw? Why, Poland now was not different from Siberia or any other dependent province incorporated with Russia, and had lost all the distinctive 426 characteristics of a separate kingdom. The Constitution of 1815 was completely violated by the Organic Statute. He would proceed to compare the two.
By the Constitution, a regency was to be appointed, which gave something like nationality, and that regency was taken away. By the Constitution of 1815, four members of the regency were to be elected by the Senate; and that regency, so elected by the Senate, gave a separate existence to the state. Now the Polish nation was to be regulated by a regency, appointed wholly by Russia.
Again, by the Constitution of 1815, the Diet was to be assembled every two years, and it was declared illegal to suspend it; but that was totally disregarded; it was not even mentioned; it was superseded without a word; and the Diet was swept away as if it had never existed. If there were any one thing which better than another preserved a national character, and which was a distinct mark of nationality, it was a separate language. A national language was a consolation under oppression, and an honour when independent. But now the Polish language which, by the original Constitution, was to be employed in all public proceedings, administrative, judicial, and military, was guaranteed in the administrative and judicial proceedings only; and it appeared that even in these, the Russian language, so far as the bulletin of the laws was concerned, had become equally the original.
By the Constitution of 1815, none but Poles were eligible to office in Poland. That gave nationality to the Poles; but now any persons, natives of Russia, and subjects of its many governments, were equally eligible with the Poles to any employment in Poland. The question was not as to the abstract expediency of the principle, or as to the fitness of the people for the offices; but as to the conformity of the new Statute to the Constitution originally granted to Poland by the Government in 1815. By that Constitution, all offices in Poland were secured to the Poles; by the Organic Statute, they were thrown open to all the inhabitants of Russia, and now any of the subjects of the forty dependent provinces of that empire might hold office in Poland. Let the House always recollect that it was only upon the faith of the stipulations that Russia should give a Constitution to Po- 427 land, that Alexander had received Poland. Let it then be recollected, that he did give a Constitution to Poland; and that Poland, with such Constitution, had been secured to Nicholas. He did not object to the changes in an abstract point of view, but mentioned them to show that the promises of a Constitution—a Constitution, too, which had been actually given—were broken by the present government of Russia, and these promises had been guaranteed by this country and the principal powers of Europe. What, however, he wished particularly to call the attention of the House to was the Treaty of Vienna; and every one who attended to the substance of that treaty must see, that this Government was pledged, as one of the parties, to see it fulfilled. Poland had, for a long time, been the barrier of Christendom; and if, as the Abbé de Pradt had said, England and Russia were the only two powers which, hereafter, were to contend for superiority, it ought to be one of the first objects of this country to recognise the kingdom of Poland. No man regretted more than he did the speech of the hon. member for Birmingham—a speech which so directly tended to provoke war between the two countries. Disapproving, as he did, of that speech, he would, at the same time, say, that the great difficulty of the question was to ascertain when they had gone far enough, without doing too much. Burke said, that no word was so difficult as the word "enough." It was difficult when the circumstances were all within one's own power; but it was infinitely more difficult when other persons, or other states and powers, were involved in the question. Difficult as the question, however, was, he must say, that, looking at the Treaty of Vienna, it was the duty of this country to call on every power who was a party to that treaty, to see it carried into effect agreeably to the terms agreed upon before assembled Europe. When the powers of Europe committed Poland to the care of Russia, they did it on certain conditions. The army was to be distinctly Polish, the nationality was to be preserved, and the Polish Diet was to assemble at stated times. All these were now to be abolished. That army, too, which was so blended with the chivalry of Europe—which had ever been foremost in the most gallant actions—was it nothing to say, that it was to be annihilated? He could not speak from personal 428 knowledge of the character of the French army; but this he might safely say, that if the Polish squadrons were not the flower of the French army, they at least were not surpassed in bravery and skill by any corps of it.
It was said by the hon. member for Birmingham, referring to an article in the Moscow Gazette, that, from the relative situation of newspapers in Russia to the Government, such article was of great importance. Though too much importance was, perhaps, attached to that particular article; still, to a certain extent, whatever appeared in a Russian paper, must be considered as an authorized declaration of the mind and will of the Sovereign; or, at least permitted, since not prohibited. Now, he had lately read in some extracts, he believed, from papers under the Russian Government, that the estates of a particular individual prominent in the late events in Poland had not been confiscated. This was most delusive, if not untrue, since the individual in question had been equally deprived of the property. By the original Constitution, there could be no confiscation. By the 159th clause of that compact, the Emperor Alexander engaged, that no confiscation should take place under any circumstances. By the Organic Statute part of that contract was repealed, and it was declared, that confiscation of property could be made but only on account of state crimes, to be determined by a specific law. Now, what security could there be for property by such a decree? No property, in fact, could be secure. He had seen two advertisements in The Morning Post, of the 26th of February of this year—and he believed that was the only paper in which they had appeared—offering for sale some estates which had been confiscated in Podolia and Volhynia. From these it appeared that 200,000 serf's had been confiscated, and were offered for sale under the order of General Sacken. It might be necessary here to state, that every Polish estate was valued, as in the West Indies, by the number of slaves on it. In the list of these forfeitures, he recognized Czartorinski and many other great Polish names.
Another of the clauses of the Constitution was, to prevent deportation or banishment from Poland; yet that had been violated, and violated too by the deportation of infants. He had the circumstances of the case from authorities on which he could 429 rely. When the subject was formerly be fore the House, he had expressed his disbelief of such conduct on the part of Russia; but when he found that other acts of the Russian Government, which had been officially denied, had turned out to be correctly given, he therefore could not be to blame in giving credit to such statements regarding; the banishment of children, particularly when they were communicated to him from such authority.
But he would ask, above all, what had been the conduct of Russia to that gallant army which had so bravely defended its rights? No civilized state had ever, for the last 300 years, refused to treat prisoners of war according; to the regulations laid down by the law of nations. But had Russia done this? No! She had not treated them as prisoners of war, but had sent them to serve on board fleets in remote regions of the empire. No civilized nation ever degraded its prisoners, or employed them in base and servile work. But the Poles were sent off to Siberia, and to labour in the fleets and galleys of Russia, both to the Black Sea and to Cronstadt. 4,600 had been sent to the Black Sea; 3,500 to the Baltic; 7,000 Polish troops had been incorporated in the corps of the Ural and Siberia, while the Polish artillery had been sent to the Caucasus, to garrison the block-houses, if even, as it was contended by Russia, the Poles were to be considered as rebels, all that she was at liberty to do in that case was, to punish them as rebels in the country where the rebellion took place. But she was not at liberty to destroy the nationality of a whole people for the offences of a few; and even if the offence were universal, no conduct of such a kind could, on any principle whatever, be justified; more especially was this the case when it was considered that Poland was an ancient and an independent nation; that she was not part of the great empire of Russia; that at the settlement of Europe in the Congress of Vienna, the kingdom of Poland was not given to the emperor of Russia in absolute subjection and sovereignty, but rather as a precious deposit intrusted to his care by all the Powers of Europe.
what, too, had taken place in Poland with regard to religion? he was a sincere member of the Protestant Establishment; and as he should view with the Strongest disapprobation, any attack upon 430 the religion which he professed, so did he regard, with equal disapprobation, any injury or insult inficted upon a nation professing a religion different from his own. The House would boar in mind, that Poland was essentially a Roman Catholic country; and perhaps no nation in Europe was more ardent or sincere in its attachment to that form of worship. What was the conduct of Russia with regard to the religion of Inland? She had exerted herself to the utmost to destroy and overthrow it. In whole provinces, all the convents had been suppressed, and I he priests banished. Russia thought proper to declare the convents to be nurseries of sedition and of anti-Russian feeling; and as Poland was to be incorporated with the empire, she felt it necessary Id transform its inhabitants from Catholics into followers of the Greek Church. When he saw conduct such as this to a nation, whose religious faith had been guaranteed in the strongest manner, not only by Russia, but by all the nations of Europe, he must say, such wilful uprooting of all the religious institutions of the country demanded an expression of feeling on the part of that House which he would not trust himself to niter. He would give one instance of the manner in which the Church of Rome was persecuted by Russia in some parts of the Polish provinces. He bad in his hand a letter from Warsaw of the 5th of January last, by which the writer (on whose information he could depend) slated, that in one province 200 Roman Catholic convents had been suppressed, and between 2,000 and 3,000 priests banished. In one of these convents, near Bialystock, the monks requested permission, for the last time previous to their departure, to celebrate mass, which was granted notice was given for a certain day, when an immense concourse of people attended mass was celebrated. (He would translate, as he proceeded) "And when the service was over, amid the tears and sobs of the multitude, the Priests carrying the Host, moved forwards in procession, towards Bialystock, where they were to deposit the Holy Sacrament. Their march was slow, the way was long, and the crowd augmented at every step, and with it the cries and lamentations augmented. The Governor of Bialystock was informed of the approach; alarmed at the number and at the; tumult, he ordered a squadron of cavalry to disperse 431 the people at all hazards. The commander set forth; but when he saw the venerable men, some eighty years of age, bearing the Host; when he saw the multitudes following, whose silence was interrupted only by sobs and groans; he, far from scattering them by force, threw himself from his horse, with his face on the ground, and joined his prayers with theirs: and when they had passed, rose, and followed them on foot, and bare-headed with his troop. On reaching Bialystock, he was arrested, degraded, and exiled to Siberia. I would have had 1,000 deaths before mc (said he) rather than have acted otherwise." He would not occupy the House any longer by these details; but he could not help feeling that no great national sin had ever been perpetrated without bringing down national punishment. For our individual sins we were individually responsible, and our punishment was, doubtless, wisely deferred to a future state; but national sins involved national punishments, which could be inflicted only in this life. He firmly believed, that the great national crime of Europe in the eighteenth century was the partition of Poland. He saw there three mighty Powers combined to perpetrate one of the greatest acts of injustice ever heard of. But on examining further into the history of those Powers, he saw the hand of the oppressor and spoiler fall heavily on them. He saw their Capitals, in succession, made the prey of a great and hostile Power—so surely did national punishments follow national crimes. All the military reputation of Prussia, perhaps at the moment before its fall, unrivalled in Europe, could not preserve its capital. Austria, the most ancient of European empires, twice yielded its capital to the mercy of the conqueror; and Russia, even, the mistress of so many nations, was saved as a nation but by the loss of her capital. When he saw these things, he asked, was he not justified in saying-, that national crimes involved national punishments? He could not, therefore, but indulge the hope that this crime—indeed it might be said in the language of a distinguished diplomatist, that it was worse than a crime, for it was a fault;—he repeated, that when he reviewed the conduct of Russia towards Poland, he could not but believe, that the day of retribution must shortly come. It was, at least, a matter of some consolation, that this country had not by any false 432 encouragement been a party to the present prostration of Poland. He did flatter himself with the belief, that a recognition by that House, in the face of Europe, of the right of Poland to different treatment, would not be without its use; and his only apprehension had been hitherto lest such a proposition should have had the effect of doing more harm to the Poles than good. R would be a consolation to ourselves to make this recognition, and thus to liberate our own souls; it was consistent with the purest and best feelings of human nature; and if it should, as he hoped and believed it would, eventually serve the cause of Poland, he, for one, should most sincerely rejoice that his hon. and learned friend had brought forward the present Motion.
§ Viscount Palmerston
thought, that his hon. and learned friend needed no apology for having introduced the present question, for he knew of no subject which deserved more to command the attention and engage the sympathy of an English assembly than anything connected with a nation distinguished for its gallantry and devotion as well as its misfortunes; and if any Member more than another was qualified to bring this question forward in such a way as to secure the goodwill and attention of the House, it was his hon. and learned friend, who, with those generous feelings which peculiarly characterized him, combined talents adequate to do justice to any subject, however difficult, and who brought to its discussion that good temper, discretion, and judgment, which never failed him. In most of the arguments—he might say almost all, of his hon. and learned friend, he was prepared to say, that he was willing to concur. It was true, as stated by his hon. and learned friend, that the kingdom of Poland was not an ancient part of the Russian empire—it was not held by old right, but bore the date of the Treaty of Vienna, and the possession of it was founded on the sanction of Europe. The British Government, therefore, felt, as one of the contracting parties to that treaty, that they had a right to entertain and express an opinion on any Act which tended to a violation of or a departure from those stipulations to which they were pledged in common with the other contracting parties. The first article of that treaty stated, that the kingdom of Poland was inseparably united with Russia by its constitution; and if he were called on 433 to interpret the meaning of that article, he should say, that its true intent and spirit were, that the constitution, whatever it might be, which should be given to Poland in pursuance of that article, was the connecting link between that country and Russia. Therefore the constitution given by the Emperor Alexander, in pursuance and after the execution of that treaty, was and ought to be, considered as resting upon the sanction of that treaty, and Russia was bound in good faith to its maintenance. He did not think that the revolt of the Poles absolved the Russian Government from the obligations which, he contended, were imposed upon it by that treaty. In the first place, he was not prepared to say, that the revolt of a people (and be it remembered, that the Russian government always maintained in all its proclamations that the revolt in Poland was partial and not participated in by the whole nation)—but he repeated, he was not prepared to say, that the revolt of a people would entitle the sovereign, after having re-established his authority by force of arms, to abrogate the constitution which such people previously enjoyed; he should therefore say, that if the matter lay simply between Russia and Poland, and no other parties were concerned in the question, he did not think the Polish revolt justified the Russian government in abrogating the constitution, when the authority of the Emperor had been restored. Even though the Poles had taken the uncalled-for, and, in his opinion, unjustifiable step, of not merely asserting their rights and claiming the maintenance of the privileges guaranteed to them, but declaring the dethronement of the emperor. But in this case there were other parties concerned in the matter. By the treaty of Vienna the assignment of Poland to Russia was regarded as a European arrangement, to which the European powers were parties. That treaty defined the relation in which Poland should stand to Russia, and on that ground alone, he contended, the other powers had a right to require of Russia that the constitution should not be touched. This opinion was one which had not been concealed from the Russian government. It had been communicated by anticipation to the Russian government previously to the capture of Warsaw, and whilst the contest was yet undecided. When Warsaw fell, and Poland was at the disposal 434 of the conqueror, before any definitive arrangement was made, that opinion was again distinctly and unreservedly conveyed to the Russian government. Russia, however, took a different view of the question, and contended, that, by the revolution and by the reconquest of Poland, it was put in the same situation as that in which, according to their argument, it stood prior to the treaty of Vienna and the grant of a constitution. The Russian government contended that all the institutions of the country must be considered as having been swept away by the revolution; and that it rested solely with the Emperor to determine what form of government should be substituted in their place, and to what institutions he would give his sanction. The reply of the English Government was, that having taken into full consideration the statements of the Russian Ministry in support of their view of the case, England still adhered to the opinions before expressed; and thought that the true interpretation of the Treaty of Vienna required that the constitution of Poland should remain as it did before the revolution, Russia having no right to touch it. Austria and Prussia, however, took the same view of the case with Russia, whilst France supported the opinion of England. The question, then, which the British Government had to consider was not what they had a strict right to do—not to what extent they might be justified in enforcing their interposition—but what, on a general view of the whole circumstances of the case, in reference to the state of Europe, and more especially to the interests of Poland herself, would be the wisest course of policy for Great Britain to pursue. Upon a full consideration of those circumstances, certainly, it was not deemed prudent to support by force of arms the view taken by England. He could not but think, that however the House might concur in the exposition of the treaty made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, however they might have wished to see a different result of the contest, and however strong might be their sympathy with the English people on this subject in lamenting the fate of Poland, yet upon a calm, deliberate, and dispassionate view of the then existing state of Europe, they would agree with him, that it was wise on the part of his Majesty's Ministers not to involve Europe in a 435 general war in the hope and expectation of ultimately rescuing Poland from the oppression under which it suffered. A general war it must certainly have been, when Austria, Russia, and Prussia, would have taken one side, and England, France, and Poland the other. Austria and Prussia both possessed Polish provinces, and had, or, what was the same thing, fancied they had an interest in upholding the opinions of Russia. These great Powers were ready to maintain their opinions at all risks. They had each of them large armies assembled on their respective frontiers next to Poland, ready to march at a moment's notice, and long before England or France could come to the assistance of Poland, they could have overwhelmed the unfortunate Poles, who could scarcely bear up as it was against the single power of Russia. If, therefore, the Government wished to render the fate of the Poles certain, by involving them in a contest with forces greatly superior to their own, they had but to declare their determination of enforcing the Treaty of Vienna by arms. He thought, therefore, whether he considered the question in reference to the general results of a war in Europe, or in reference to the interests of the Poles themselves, that his Majesty's Government had adopted the wisest policy by contenting themselves at that time with expressing their sentiments as they did, clearly and decidedly, to the Russian Government. The question now under consideration was, whether at the present moment it was expedient for the House to agree to the Motion before it. It was not to be disguised that, however they might lament the change that had taken place in the national organization of Poland, no vote of that House would have the slightest effect in reversing the decision of Russia. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not ask the House to go to war for the purpose of enforcing his views. But he would ask them was it likely that a mere vote of that House would have such weight with the Russian government as to induce it now to retrace steps which had been taken in opposition to the strong and repeated remonstrances of England and France—steps, too, founded not on the personal feeling of individuals, but on a general and national feeling of resentment on the part of the Russians towards the Poles. He was not prepared to deny the statement of the 436 hon. and learned Gentleman with regard to the cruelties practised towards the Poles; but he thought it not unlikely that the accounts which had reached England had exaggerated the degree of their severity. With regard to the transportation of families, he believed that, in some instances at least, they were induced to remove voluntarily, by the otter of grants of land. He was strongly inclined to think that these removals were not altogether compulsory but were in some degree optional with the parties. Most of these cases, however, happened in the provinces which were incorporated with Russia, and which did not belong to the kingdom of Poland. They, therefore, were not subject in the same degree to the stipulations of the Treaty of Vienna, and consequently this country had no right to interfere. For instance, many of these cases occurred in Podolia and Volhynia, which were strictly part of the Russian territory. His hon. and learned friend had stated that England had quailed before the power of Russia. He assured the House, that it was not the fear of Russia, which determined the conduct of the British Government on that question. He trusted, that the British Government knew too well the power and resources of this country, to entertain any apprehensions of encountering in a just cause, and with the support of the people, any war with any power, however formidable. No apprehension, therefore, of Russia, or of any power in Europe, would induce the Government to shrink from any course of proceeding which was just in itself, or wise in respect to the interest or honour of the country. It was on general considerations connected with the peace of Europe, and from a conviction that any demonstration or attack on our part would not have any effect on the immediate scene of action, or if any, that it would occasion the union of the armies of Austria, Prussia, and Russia, who would then have crushed Poland in the shortest possible time, that the British Government were prevented from interfering, knowing, as they did, that their interposition would have been too late to save the Poles from destruction. His hon. and learned friend had stated, that it was not his object to launch this country into war, but only to prevent any formal acknowledgment on the part of the Government of this country, of arrangements inconsistent with the stipula- 437 tions of the Treaty of Vienna. The Motion of his hon. and learned friend was perfectly unnecessary for this purpose; for no circumstances could arise under which the English Government could give their sanction or acquiescence to the arrangements which the emperor had made in Poland. The arrangement was one which the Russian Government considered they were competent to make of themselves; and so far from asking the consent of other powers to it, they denied the right of other powers to interfere at ail. Therefore the Russian government would not ask the sanction of England, if that had not been already entirely precluded by the communications of the British Government with the Court of Russia. For these reasons he thought it was not necessary for his hon. and learned friend to call on the House to interpose to prevent the British Government from acknowledging the disposition made by Russia with regard to Poland. Some expressions had dropped in the course of the Debate with regard to the persecutions of the Poles, which required some little notice. He thought no blame on this score attached to the emperor of Russia personally. It was well known, that the present emperor of Russia was a man of high and generous feelings, and if it were possible for the emperor to follow the bent of his own inclination, he was convinced that none of the atrocities which had been spoken of would have been practised against the Poles. It was well known that in the course of the contest the emperor personally had shown a disposition to more lenient measures. It might, perhaps, be observed, that the emperor of Russia was a despotic monarch; but when persons spoke of arbitrary and despotic governments, they should remember, that even in such governments things were not conducted according to the mere will and pleasure of the individual sovereign. A despot depended nearly as much upon the opinions and wishes of others as a limited monarch. The only difference was (and a very important difference certainly) that the despotic monarch was controlled in his actions by the opinions and wishes of a few, while the limited or constitutional monarch was guided by the opinions and wishes of the many—of the nation at large. The seventies which had been practised upon the Poles were, in his mind, the 438 clearest proof that the power of the emperor of Russia was by no means unlimited, and that on many occasions he was compelled to follow the dictates of others. The hon. member for Birmingham, who seconded the Motion, did not appear to him to be a good ally of the hon. and learned mover. He had taken a view of the question which was certainly more extensive than that which had been taken by any other hon. Member, but in his (Lord Palmerston's) opinion, it was a most extraordinary view. His voice was all for war—a general war; and he was generous enough, while he made his declaration, to offer the Government what he considered ample means for the prosecution of such a war. He offered the whole of the National Debt—40,000,000l. a-year of additional taxes, and his four sons. These were the ways and means which the hon. Member proposed for carrying on this general war. He doubted however much whether the public creditors would agree to waive their claims on the country in order to carry into execution the projects of the hon. Member. Nor could he say whether the people of England were prepared to pay 40,000,000l. a-year of fresh taxes for the purpose of carrying on a war in favour of the Poles; nor did the warlike member for Birmingham state whether he had consulted his four sons about the sacrifice which he was ready to make of them upon the altar of liberty. The hon. Member, no doubt, had splendid ideas of the manner in which the affairs of Europe ought to be conducted. His views, indeed, were not less extensive than his resources; and while he denounced the crime of partition of Poland, and censured the arrangements of 1815, he proposed a reconstruction of Europe more extensive than the changes made by the Congress of Vienna. Could the plan of the hon. member for Birmingham only be carried into effect, his name would indeed be immortalized! The hon. Member proposed to take from Russia the kingdom of Poland and probably some part of Lithuania; and to take from Austria, Gallicia, and to erect these countries into a new Polish state. He would then take Moldavia and Wallachia from Turkey, and give them to Austria, and would probably compensate Turkey by bestowing upon her the Crimea, and all this was to have been done by a squadron in the Baltic and another in the Black Sea. As to the 439 practicability of the hon. Member's views, the House had the hon. Member's word. But if they were to plunge into war at the bidding of the hon. Member, no doubt his constituents would supply them with guns and cannon ad libitum; and so far as the consent of the hon. Member went, there would be no difficulty in obtaining an abundance of paper money. For his part he could not so easily consent to involve the country in such a war as that which the hon. Member proposed. Nor could he admit, though the hon. Member asserted it, that this country had been the mere tool of Russia for the last fifteen years. With respect to the conduct of Russia in her late war with Turkey, he was quite satisfied that there did not exist any just ground for our interference. Turkey had in 1827, broken her engagements to Russia, and given her just cause of war. The Turkish government had expelled Russian subjects, seized upon Russian ships, and declared they would not execute the Treaty of Ackermann. Russia in that war was right and Turkey wrong. With respect to the present occupation of Turkey by Russian troops, he firmly believed, that the Russian troops, if they had not already left Constantinople, would leave it in a very short time, and he had no doubt of the good faith with which the Russian government would fulfil the engagements which it had entered into upon that subject, not with England only, but with all Europe. He did not believe that it entered into the views of the Cabinet of St. Petersburgh (as it seemed to be believed by some parties) at present to make a partition of Turkey. If she were to make the attempt it must be unsuccessful; but he was perfectly confident that no such attempt would at present be made, and that the Russian troops would speedily evacuate all that portion of the Ottoman territories which they occupied. After the warlike speech of the hon. member for Birmingham, the speech of the hon. Baronet, the member for the University of Oxford, was quite refreshing. That hon. Member did not appeal to the passions, but to the reason of the House. That was the way in which such a subject ought to be discussed; and he (Lord Palmerston) was happy to say, that he concurred in many of the hon. Baronet's observations. With regard to the Motion immediately before the House—having stated that his Majesty's 440 Government had not only refused to acquiesce in the arrangements which had been made, but that it had done more than his hon. and learned friend required, since it had formally expressed its dissent from the arrangements established by Russia, and had denied the right of Russia to make the changes in Poland which she had effected. He would put it to his hon. and learned friend's judgment and discretion, whether it was proper to press the Motion at present? Would the hon. and learned Member not be satisfied by the present declaration? After what he had said, it could not be necessary to proceed to a division, and he put it, therefore, to his hon. and learned friend, whether, even for the sake of those of whom he was the advocate, it would not be better to with-draw his Motion? To persist would only increase that exasperation which already rankled in the breasts of the Russians without effecting any thing towards the redress of the wrongs of the Poles. The House knew, the country knew, all Europe would know, what the opinion of the British Government was upon the subject. Every object which could be gained by the Motion had been already attained. He was confident that the appeal which he now made to his hon. and learned friend would not be made in vain.
was extremely glad to find, that the noble Lord who had just sat down did not directly oppose the Motion; but that, as far as feelings went, there was perfect unanimity upon this most important subject. Many of the observations of the noble Lord deserved the highest applause. Some of them were, perhaps, to be regretted; but he (Mr. O'Connell) would not say, that there was anything to be censured. He was sincerely glad to find, that all parties in the British House of Commons joined in condemning the cruel, barbarous, and abominable conduct of Russia towards the people of Poland. He (Mr. O'Connell) had on a former occasion applied the term miscreant to the Emperor Nicholas, and though an hon. Baronet then thought proper to censure him for the use of such an epithet, the hon. Baronet's own description of the conduct of this individual—this miscreant—justified the application which he had made of the term, unless indeed a stronger epithet, an epithet more expressive of the atrocity of his conduct, could 441 be found in the English language. According to the accounts of the on. Baronet, and according to the authenticated statements of the facts, the emperor of Russia had violated every religious feeling, and had sacrificed every principle of humanity at the shrine of ambition. The Motion would not at all commit the Government; but he thanked God it would commit the British nation, and he was of opinion, that the expression of the feelings of the British nation, through that House, would teach the ruthless despot of Russia, that he could not violate the rights of humanity with impunity. The Treaty of Vienna conferred upon this country a right of interference in the arrangements made by Russia in the state of Poland; but the rights of the people of that unfortunate country rested upon higher grounds than any Treaty. They existed long before, and he trusted they would exist long after, every trace of that infamous Treaty should be entirely destroyed. The noble Lord perhaps recollected, that he was Secretary-at-War to a Ministry which concurred in all the measures of spoliation and robbery perpetrated by that Treaty, when he commented so severely upon the remarks of the hon. member for Birmingham. It was said, that the emperor of Russia was a man of a good natured disposition, and that he was not personally responsible for the severities to which the Poles had been subjected. Was not the emperor of Russia an autocrat, and had he not the power of selecting his own instruments? He had no House of Commons to restrain him in his conduct if he were inclined to employ bad instruments, and no House of Lords to control him if he should feel inclined to employ instruments of a better class. If the emperor of Russia was a good man, how came he to drop upon such bad Ministers? He (Mr. O'Connell) was of opinion, that he had chosen such instruments as were likely to carry his purposes into effect, and that he had chosen men who were worse than himself. The noble Lord had asserted, that 40,000 families, who were said to have been transported, had gone of their own accord. Never had he heard a more fantastic idea. The Poles were not likely to wish to quit their native country; and who could be supposed to desire a change from a fertile and a cultivated soil to a barren desert? It was idle to talk of the personal 442 humanity of the emperor of all the Russias. Had not the severest and the cruelest ukases against the Poles been signed with Nicholas's own hand? Those who surrounded him were no worse men than himself; and there was nothing monstrous of which he was not in his own person perfectly capable. What could be a stronger proof of his disposition than the case of prince Tongousky—who was degraded from his rank, stripped of his property, and sent as a slave to Siberia; and, when his wife petitioned for a mitigation of his punishment—a mitigation was ordered by the generous, the humane Nicholas;—but how? Why the wretched man was made to march on foot, and in chains, every inch of the journey, instead of being, as before, conveyed in a carriage. Such acts, and they were numerous, were derogatory to the national character of the whole people of Russia. For his own part, he would as soon keep company with a thief who had been tried at the Old Bailey, as with Nicholas, or any of the nobles who were the instruments of his abominable cruelties. Shame on the nobility of Russia! Were they men, and suffered such deeds to pass unnoticed? If such conduct was tolerated in Russia, it was the only country in Europe in which it would be so. A great moral feeling was now abroad. The autocrat must be taught that these are not days when that outrageous public prostitute, the notorious Catherine, the grandmother of this emperor, could display her profligacy in the face of day—when the prostitute of 5,000 lovers had her praises sung by poets—was celebrated by philosophers—and lauded by orators. That most infamous of women—placed as she was in a situation in which her example could not fail to be most mischievous—was allowed to continue upon a throne; while, had she been one of those unfortunate creatures who walk the streets at midnight, she would, and justly, have been consigned to the tread-mill or the ducking-stool. But she was enthroned, and she lived applauded, and died surrounded by honours, to be enshrined as a model of human virtue. The days when such things were tolerated had now, however, passed. The days of rash wars had also gone by. Every Statesman now felt that war was an evil to be avoided by every possible means. Napoleon rose and shone like a meteor, but, like a meteor too, he fell in a moment, and was extinguished for ever. With all his faults, 443 he had one redeeming quality—he had generosity. England had Generals who had no generosity. England had Generals whom neither the malice of enemies nor the sycophancy of friends had ever charged with the possession of one generous weakness. The world was now beginning to appreciate these great Commanders. It was not by a certain number of horse, foot, and artillery, that the world was in these days to be governed. The mode of war fare would in future be totally different from what it had been in former times. It would be a war of opinions, not of swords. It would only be necessary to direct the artillery of public indignation against the most powerful Monarch, and he would be compelled to submit. That artillery would open upon the Russian autocrat upon the present occasion. The miserable stock-jobbing government of France had disappointed the expectations of all Europe, for the noble purpose of keeping up the funds one and a-half per cent. All parties, however, he was happy to say, appeared to be unanimous in this country upon the subject of Poland. The hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Inglis), who belonged to what was called the Opposition, and he (Mr. O'Connell) who was of the Movement, or Radical party, fully and cordially concurred with ail the people of Europe, not in the disavowal, but in the reprobation, of the atrocious and cruel conduct of Russia towards Poland. In conclusion, he had only to observe, that the manner in which the subject had been introduced was extremely creditable to the hon. and learned member for Kircudbright, and met his (Mr. O'Connell's) entire approbation.
§ Lord John Russell
said, that although his Majesty's Ministers might possibly concur in the sentiments which had been expressed by the hon. and learned Member who had brought forward the Motion, it was their duty to protest against the language made use of by the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down. He agreed with his hon. and learned friend, who brought forward the Motion, that there had been a violation of the Treaty of Vienna on the part of Russia; but, nevertheless, the hon. and learned member for Dublin was not justified in applying the epithets "wretch," "brute," and "monster," to a Sovereign with whom his Majesty was on terms of amity. Were the Motion carried accompanied by such 444 remarks as had been indulged in, it would go a great way to destroy the good understanding which at present existed between countries which were now happily at amity. He trusted, therefore, that his hon. and learned friend (Mr. Cutlar Fergusson), after the turn which the discussion had taken, would see the expediency of withdrawing his Motion. The beneficial consequences which might be anticipated from the knowledge, that the opinion already expressed by the Government was unanimously embraced by that House, and by the whole people, would not ensue, if the House were divided, and Ministers were compelled to resist the Motion. At the same time the terms of the Motion were an insuperable obstacle to its being adopted. The Resolution declared, that Poland has been reduced to its present situation in violation of the Treaty of Vienna, to which Great Britain was a party. He appealed to hon. Members, whether, after such a Motion should have been carried, the British Government would not be bound to use such a tone of angry remonstrance towards Russia, as would be incompatible with the maintenance of peace—the more especially as the Motion had been seconded by one hon. Member, who avowed a desire to support his views by war, and by another hon. and learned Member, who had indulged in an eloquent, but a violent, and, somewhat course philippic against the individual exercising the legal powers of government in Russia. He implored the House to consider whether, after the success of this Motion, it would be possible for the British Government to conduct negotiations with Russia on those terms which ought to be employed between friendly Powers. He took it for granted, that, notwithstanding the conduct of Russia towards Poland, it was the wish of the House to preserve the peace of Europe. He hoped he was not assuming too much in saying, that the object of the House was not to produce a war. If a hope were entertained after the contest in Poland had ceased for many months of re-exciting the nation, and by hostilities restoring Poland to what she was in 1782, his argument would certainly go for nothing; but the object of the Motion being, to elicit an expression of the sentiments, in the first place of the King's Ministers, and in the second place of the independent Members of that House, in order that no sanction might be given on the part of 445 England to the present arrangements respecting Poland, and that her honour might by kept pure from any participation in the violation of the Treaty which had taken place, that object would be better attained by his hon. and learned friend's letting the matter rest where it was, than by pressing his Motion to a division, and causing it to make less impression on the government of Russia than it otherwise would.
§ Mr. Buckingham
said, that the deep interest which he felt in the subject now before the House, had made him anxious to deliver his sentiments upon it at an earlier stage of the debate. But he did not at all regret his having given way to others, as every successive speech delivered, only tended to confirm him more and more in the propriety of supporting the Motion now submitted to their consideration. If the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman who had introduced this question (Mr. Cutlar Fergus-son) had convinced his judgment, by the historical evidence which he had produced, and interested his feelings by the melancholy and touching details with which he followed this up, in support of his Motion, he must say, that the speech of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, had served even still more to satisfy him of the necessity of such a Motion as that now proposed; and if the speech of the hon. and learned member for Dublin had roused his indignation at the atrocities to which he alluded—the speech of the noble Lord the Paymaster of the Forces (Lord John Russell) had strengthened his conviction of the necessity of pronouncing a solemn opinion on the conduct thus brought under review. With the permission of the House, then, he would briefly state the reason which induced him to give his cordial support to the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman; and the grounds on which he would entreat him not to withdraw it, however strongly he might be urged to such a course, but to persevere in his determination to press it to a division, by whomsoever it might be opposed. I He conceived it to be both the duty and the interest of England to exert the full weight of her influence on behalf of the unhappy Poles; first on the broad principles of justice and humanity; secondly, on the grounds of national honour and national safety; and thirdly, for the preservation 446 of that moral force which a noble and a generous policy could alone secure to us. He would ask the House to consider what it was, that constituted the difference between men living in a state of nature, and men living in civilised society. Was it not that in the former every man considered his own selfish interests, and pursued them in hostility to, and in defiance of, the rights of others; while, in the latter, every man considered himself as a member of a social community, bound by the strongest ties to protect the rights of others, in order to secure his own, and ready to make some sacrifice of ids own enjoyments for the common good, by extending his aid to all who had a just claim upon his succour in the hour of their distress Such was the difference, also, between barbarous and civilized nations. The former thought and acted only for themselves, in defiance of the rights of others. The latter bound themselves in social compact, not merely by treaties, and by international law, but by that still stronger bond of public justice and public honour, which knit them together in a union that it was the interest, as well as the duly, of each of them to maintain. It was in accordance with this feeling, that while uncivilized tribes made war upon each other, by piracies at sea, and incursions by land, the civilized countries of Europe interfered to put them down, as outrages to the common rights of humanity. It was on this principle alone that we ventured to interfere in the suppression of the slave trade, by whomsoever carried on, and for the extinction of piracy, wherever it should be found. If, then, the cruelties practised by the Russians upon the Polish people equalled in atrocity any that the horrors of the slave trade or of piracy could produce, he would ask, whether we were not equally bound to stretch forth our arm for their delivery from their oppressors? These cruelties had been so eloquently detailed by the hon. and learned mover of the address proposed, and had been so distinctly admitted by the noble Lord, whose official station made that admission of so much importance to the case, that he would not say a word in addition to what had been already stated; although, if there were ever a subject on which it might be pardon-able to enlarge, it was this of the unparalleled cruelties practised on a high-minded and a gallant people, by the most 447 oppressive and the most relentless, of rulers. In addition, however, to the claims which this unhappy people had on our justice and our humanity, there was a strong legal claim, if he might use the term, on our fulfilment of a treaty to which we had been a party, and the violation of which, though distinctly admitted by the ministers of the Crown, the Government of this country had submitted to with a degree of weakness altogether unbecoming the character of the country, as one of the great European powers. The noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) had detailed the progress of the events connected with the Russian and Polish contests, with an ability and clearness which left nothing in doubt, and to which he had listened with pleasure as well as attention; but he confessed that this feeling was soon changed to one of shame as well as pain, when he heard the noble Lord avow, that though his Majesty's Government considered the destruction of the Polish constitution to be a violation of the Treaty of Vienna, and though the government of France concurred in this interpretation, yet that, because Austria and Prussia did not take the same view of the subject, they did not deem it prudent to do more than state these views, and were influenced in their forbearing to enforce the observance of this violated treaty, by the fear of provoking a general war in Europe. He used the term fear, because, divested of the courteous phraseology of diplomatic communications—translated into the plain language of ordinary life, it was admitted, that this fear, and this alone, prevented the enforcement of the treaty thus broken. To what a humiliating degradation was England reduced; impeded in her progress of domestic improvement and reform at home, by the fear of a collision between the two branches of the Legislature that House bending itself in humble submission to the other, shaping its measures, not as the House conceived they should be shaped, but in that subdued and humbled form in which it hoped the Lords would accept them; and paralyzed in her foreign policy by the fear of a collision with other countries, which we condemned as violators of solemn treaties, and oppressors of a gallant people, whom England had solemnly undertaken to protect and defend—yet taking no steps whatever to enforce those duties, for fear either of the powers opposed to us, or of the cost at which justice 448 was to be obtained. It was not thus that the rulers of England had always acted; and it was not thus that they should act now. Time was, when the hour for demanding redress was the hour in which the injury was received—when years were not consumed in fruitless negotiations and endless protocols, but when justice was demanded in a tone that could not be mistaken, and redress insisted on in a spirit that could not be dismayed. It was not thus that solemn engagements should be treated—to be enforced, if no sacrifices were required, but to be disregarded, if costs were to ensue. Our first duty was to ask whether we had bound ourselves in a compact to effect a certain object; and next, whether that compact had been fulfilled. If we had so bound ourselves, and had not fully redeemed our pledge, it was our duty so to do, cost what it might—for justice was above all earthly price; and no consideration whatever should absolve us from the solemn engagements to which we stood publicly pledged. It was the interest, however, as well as the duty of England, to interfere in the present case; and this he hoped he should be able to show satisfactorily and briefly. There was no man who travelled much beyond the limits of his own country, but must have been struck with the uniformly high character which England and Englishmen enjoyed abroad. If England were party to a treaty, and the national honour pledged to its observance, the greatest reliance was placed upon its fulfilment; and the universal sentiment was, that whatever England had undertaken, England would complete. The same sentiment was extended to individuals as to the nation. The word of an English gentleman was regarded as his bond; and whatsoever he had promised, the strongest belief was entertained, that he would, to the letter, as well as in the spirit, perform. It was to this general sentiment of her high superiority to other nations in unblemished honour, that England owed the moral force connected with her very name. She was not powerful from her extent of territory, for that in Europe was insignificant. She was not irresistible, because of her gallant army, undaunted as it had proved itself in many a well-fought field: nor was she omnipotent, even through her unconquered navy, though it still floated in triumph on an element peculiarly its own. No! the proud and exalted station 449 which Great Britain enjoyed at the head of the nations of the world, was more attributable to the moral influence exercised by her reputation for unsullied honour, and uncompromising integrity, than from all other causes combined. He would ask the House, whether, already there were not symptoms of that influence beginning to wane and decline; whether, in the saloons of Paris, and the circles of the other capitals of Europe, there were not already to he heard whispers of suspicion that England had passed the summit of her glory, and that, either from the pressure of her enormous debt, or from some unaccountable pusillanimity which had infected her councils, she was no longer the undaunted protector of the weak against the strong—no longer the scourge of the oppressor and the shield of the oppressed. It was time then to hush these whispers, and to calm these fears, and this could only be done by the bold and spirited declaration of this House, speaking, as the voice of the country, on behalf of the insulted, the oppressed, and the cruelly-persecuted Poles. In addition, however, to the claim of justice and humanity, and the sense of national honour and reputation, which should each impel us to the glorious work—a regard to the national safety should influence us to make a stand. In characterizing the policy of the Russian Government, there had been some difference of opinion among the Members who had spoken upon the subject. One hon. Gentleman (Sir Harry Verney) had spoken of the great efforts made by Russia to extend civilization, and to give to her own people, at least, the benefit of valuable institutions; while other hon. Gentlemen had spoken of Russia as a purely barbarous and despotic state. He (Mr. Buckingham) would venture to give a different character from either of these; and to say, that the policy of Russia was pre-eminent for the vastness of its ambition, which desired to bring every other country within its grasp, and for the cunning with which it systematically pursued its views of aggrandizement in every quarter. As to the first, it was notorious that to whatever point of the horizon the Russian Cabinet directed its attention, it was chiefly with a view to conquest. In every part of the track, from India onward to Europe, through Persia, and the countries lying between Constantinople and Calcutta, were to be found traces of Russian in- 450 fluence, Russian agents, and Russian spies; and, although one hon. Gentleman had treated as chimerical the assertions hazarded in the Moscow Gazette, that the Russians might one day dictate terms to England in her Indian capital of Calcutta; and had thought that the moon might as reasonably be assigned as the scene of such a treaty—yet it was not quite so inconceivable that a Russian army might find its way to India, when it was remembered that Alexander of Macedon had penetrated across the Tigris and Euphrates, given battle to Porus on the banks of the Indus, and left colonies behind him in Bactria, to perpetuate the memory of his Indian conquests. But it was not on the route to India only that Russian agency was employed. In every country in Europe and Asia, as well as in America, were to be found men of acuteness and intelligence employed by the Russian government, all acting as promoters of one great, general, and systematic plan, to promote Russian interests in every quarter, and to leave nothing undone that could advance or promote Russian influence and Russian dominion. In pursuit of this national object, Constantinople had recently been taken under Russian protection; and now that the ambitions ruler of Egypt, Mohammed Ali Pacha, had added Syria to his dominions, nothing was more probable, than that these two chiefs might arrange between themselves a partition of the Turkish empire, giving Asia Minor and Mesopotamia to the Egyptians, leaving European Turkey, with Georgia and Circassia to the Russians; and by an alliance of both, adding the command of the Red Sea to that of the: Caspian, and the Euxine, the Baltic, and the Mediterranean, and thus making India as accessible to their fleets as Europe was to their armies in Asia, so as to facilitate the ambitious plans of Russia to subjugate the entire Eastern world to her dominion. It was high time, then, to make a stand at some point, to prevent our being overwhelmed by this unchecked torrent of Russian domination; and that point was to be found in the independent nationality of Poland. It might be thought by some a matter of indifference to yield a little here and a little there, and thus pass quietly on in our career. But it should he remembered, that no nations were subdued, and no people were enslaved at once. It was only step by step, link by 451 link, that, the chains of slavery were riveted around the necks of the free. A resistance to the first aggression generally prevented the second; a yielding to one injustice invariably provoked another; and though, on many considerations, but, above all, in consequence of the heavy debt which weighed us down and paralyzed all our energies, there would be a great reluctance on the part of the people of England to give unnecessary provocation to any foreign power—yet, to enforce the fulfilment of a solemn treaty—to fulfil our national engagements—to rescue an oppressed and gallant people—and to defend the helpless and unprotected—he believed that the people of England would readily afford the necessary support to the Government of their country, and hail such a declaration as the carrying of this Motion would convey, as one of the most popular and redeeming ads of the present Administration. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Fergusson) had adduced, in proof of the deep interest felt on be half of the Poles, the fact of a publication existing in Hull, a provincial town, devoted exclusively to that object, he was happy to bear testimony to the intense feeling that pervaded every part of England, Scotland, and Ireland that he had visited, on this subject—having been present at many of the public meetings that had taken place on behalf of the Polish people, and nowhere was that feeling more deep and general than among the inhabitants of Sheffield, the borough he had the honour to represent. The town of Hull, however, partly, perhaps, from its position as a port of frequent communication with the Continent of Europe, and partly also, undoubtedly from the intelligence and public spirit of its inhabitants, possessed a Polish Literary Association, in which most of the respectable families of the town were enrolled; it published "The Hull Polish Record," a work of which he had been a constant reader, and which contained a degree of talent, of patriotism, and of benevolence, that placed it in the highest rank of public journals, and the profits of which, with a judgment and a disinterestedness that reflected on its conductors and supporters the highest honour, were devoted to the great and holy purpose of educating the Polish youth now in this country, perpetuating in their infant minds the detestation of Russian tyranny, and keeping alive the sacred flame of 452 Polish patriotism, and love of universal liberty. A word or two in reference to what had fallen from the two noble Lords who had spoken from the Ministerial benches, and he would conclude. The noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs had endeavoured to impress the House with a belief that the Emperor Nicholas himself, was personally a kind-hearted and an amiable man, and that the cruelties practised in the name of his Government, were rather the acts of the wicked counsellors by whom he was surrounded, than his own. If this were so, he would say, that for the sake of Nicholas himself, in order to rescue him from this disgraceful thraldom, and to furnish him with the means of overawing, if not of discarding, those counsellors, and acting on his own behalf, the House should hasten to record its solemn denunciations of the cruelties thus perpetrated, and the violations of solemn engagements thus committed. And as, when the Ministers of England were desirous of doing good, but were prevented by the evil influences in higher places, it was of the utmost importance to bear them up in their good intentions, by the declaration of the popular will—so when humane, but weak and feeble monarchs, were well-disposed themselves, but were overruled by evil counsellors, it was but just to them, and useful to the world, to support their good intentions, and denounce the evil-doers by the strongest and most unequivocal expression of public opinion that the Legislature of the country, backed by the press and the people could give. The other noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had said, that if this Motion were carried, it must be followed up by an angry remonstrance from this Government to the Court of Russia, which would be answered by another, and that the inevitable result must be war. Now, that a remonstrance should follow the carrying of this Motion, he did not think unreasonable—how much or how little of anger might be infused into it, he would not now inquire; but he thought, that the declaration of what we really thought and felt, was a solemn duty; and that if the utterance of truth, and the advocacy of justice, led to consequences which we would not willingly provoke, it was our first duty to be true and just; and when that duty was per-formed, we might safely leave the issue to Heaven. On the grounds that he had 453 thus briefly and imperfectly stated, he intreated the hon. and learned mover not to be prevailed upon to withdraw his Motion, to which he had thus given his humble but most hearty and cordial support, in the assurance that not merely the people of Poland, but those of England also, would hail its success with intense delight, and in the conviction that its moral influence would be felt and acknowledged wherever the English name was known, or intelligence of its proceedings extended.
§ Lord Althorp
had trusted, that his hon. and learned friend would have been content with the statements of his two noble friends, and that he would not have pressed his Motion. The House was well aware, that one of the principles upon which his Majesty's present Government took office was, the preservation of peace. His hon. and learned friend, however, seemed disappointed by the tone which his Majesty's Government assumed towards Russia respecting Poland. He seemed to think that his Majesty's Government ought to have gone further. How they could have gone further without involving this country in war, he (Lord Althorp) knew not. He could assure his hon. and learned friend, that his Majesty's Government had not been actuated by any pusillanimous fear of war. But when they knew, that the governments of Prussia and Austria differed from them, they felt, that if war were entered into at all, it would extend over Europe; that, in fact, it would be a war between England and France on the one side, and all the northern Powers of Europe on the other. He did not mean to say that he should entertain any fear of success in such a contest; for he always felt, that if France and England were united, they need not fear all the Powers in the world. But although he did not fear the event of such a contest, he well knew, that it must be attended with such calamities, that he sincerely hoped, such an event would never occur. What was the Address? A statement of the opinion of that House, that the emperor of Russia had been guilty of a violation of the treaty of Vienna. Now, what answer could his Majesty be advised to give to such an Address; or what conduct could he be advised to pursue? It was quite impossible that his Majesty's Government should consent to become parties to such a vote, and not follow it up by some strong measure, 454 It was for that reason, that his noble friends had urged his hon. and learned friend not to press his Motion. It was with the greatest regret that he took the course which he now must take, and which he had been most desirous to avoid; but as he could not possibly agree to such a proposition, under such circumstances, he was under the necessity of moving the previous question on his hon. and learned friend's Motion.
§ Mr. Warburton
said, there was not one word in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who brought forward this question, and not one step in his argument, in which he did not concur: but it was one thing to entertain such opinions as an individual, and another thing for the Legislature to express them in a recorded vote, unless it was prepared to follow up the vote by an appeal to arms. The question, therefore, which he put to the House was this; was it prepared to support the vote by an appeal to arms? Was it prepared to see the Government come down to the House with a proposal to take such a course in the present state of this country and of Europe? The pledges which his Majesty's Government had given to the country on taking office he had approved of; and as the vote must compel the Government to hold a language towards Russia, which would be anything but conciliatory, and must lead to warfare, he could not support it. If the House were to say, that the Poles shall be free, that they shall have a Constitution, was that an attainable object? Did those who looked to an alliance with France against Russia, Prussia, and Austria, think the object attainable? He doubted whether it was. If we went to war, we ought to have a precise object in view; that object was not to ward off an invasion of India, or a partition of Turkey, but to secure to Poland independence and a constitution. Even if the object were attainable, it could be attained only at a vast sacrifice, and all hopes of internal improvement must be adjourned to a distant day. He could not concur a vote which would lead to such a result as war, of all possible evils the greatest.
§ Mr. Hume
protested, that there was no-body more anxious to keep the country from getting into war than himself; but he was surprised at the course just taken by his hon. friend, the member for Bridport. Did his hon. and learned friend, who made the 455 Motion, propose any recourse to arms? By no means. There was nothing which required such a proposition. He really could not understand by what train of reasoning his hon. friend, the member for Bridport, had arrived at the conclusion, that if they agreed to the Motion, they would pledge themselves to war. He (Mr. Hume) could see nothing in the Motion, but a declaration of the determination of that House not to be a party to the violation of the Treaty of Vienna. It was the moral effect of the Motion to which he looked for benefit. Strong as had been the speech of his hon. and learned friend, the member for Dublin, yet nothing-could be more distinctly insisted upon in that speech, than the expediency of avoiding the evils and horrors of war, and of preserving the relations of peace and amity, looking to moral influence alone to attain the object in view. The conduct of Russia ought to be reprobated by that House in the face of all Europe. It was a violation of treaties and an outrage on humanity. The annals of history did not afford any instance of more cruel and persevering persecution of a nation, than that which Poland had sustained at the hands of Russia. Why was the noble Lord so unwilling to allow this? The proposition of his hon. and learned friend, was in strict conformity with the statements of the noble Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whose speech was one of the most satisfactory that he (Mr. Hume) had ever heard.
Mr. Secretary Stanley
, far from condemning the warmth of expression which had been used in reference to the treatment of the unfortunate Poles, considered it honourable to the House and to the country. But they were bound to ask what effect the course which they were by this Motion called upon to pursue, was likely to have on our already delicate and complicated foreign relations. The hon. member for Middlesex, and his hon. and learned friend who had introduced the Motion, declared they had no wish whatever to force the country into a war; but the House was bound to look, not at intentions, but at probable consequences. And he would ask, if it were probable, that the proposed Address, coupled as it was with speeches, in which the Emperor of Russia was so personally attacked, by the grossest abuse, could go forth otherwise than as a direct offence and personal insult, and as a provocation to war and enmity? 456 The hon. member for Birmingham had, indeed, expressly said, "Go to war;" but in that he really believed, the hon. Gentleman was pursuing the single object to which all his efforts tended. The hon. Gentleman thought, that if we went to war, we must again have a plethora of paper-money. War, no doubt, would be anything but disadvantageous to certain trades in the great town of Birmingham, though it might not prove equally advantageous to other towns, quite as much entitled to their sympathy and consideration as Birmingham. But he did not hesitate to express his belief, that the hon. member for Birmingham, supported the present Motion only as a simple means to lead to that state of things which, as he thought, would compel an unlimited paper currency. What was the great principle of Ministers, when they first entered upon their situations?—Peace at all hazards—at all risks—at all sacrifices—save that of national honour. Now, he asserted, that the treatment of the Poles by the Russians, was not only no cause for our entering on a war, but would be no justification whatever for any such a step. But he should say more than that, and contend, that we were bound by every political motive, to abstain from rushing into any war, the chief recommendation of which would be, that it had been taken up from chivalrous feelings. And let it be remembered by the House, that though we interpreted the spirit of the treaty of Vienna in a certain way, there were other Powers, whose relations, territorial and otherwise, with Russia, were of a much more delicate character than ours, who took a different view of it. And though he should never counsel that House to resign our own principles, still, in common foresight, in common prudence, and in common reason, we should not be justified in adopting measures which the other contracting parties—much more interested than we were—did not approve and would not agree to. He asked them, then, if they were prepared to take any steps which might lead to a war—a war of principles, the commencement of which would be fatal—the termination of which no human foresight could tell? Then, supposing they consented to pass this declaration, how did they propose to back it? You send a remonstrance to Russia, and, perhaps, receive in return a contemptuous and angry refusal. Were they then to go to war? 457 Did he hear any man say they must go to war? Let that man stand up and avow his opinions. Let the advocate of war, he said, stand up and appear as the disturber of that peace in Europe, the infraction of which Ministers had pledged themselves to postpone to the latest moment. Was there none such, then [An Hon. Member: Yes.] Well, the question, he admitted, had been fairly answered; and he hoped, before the conclusion of the debate, to hear the grounds on which the hon. Gentleman justified his opinions. Did the hon. Member suppose that a general war would be advantageous to our manufacturers? Would it be consistent with the honour of that House—would it be consistent with the honour of the country—would it be consistent with the high character England had hitherto maintained amongst the nations of the earth, that we should provoke a war, and afterwards flinch from it? There could not but be a great moral impression produced throughout, not only England, but all Europe, by that night's discussion, and by the unanimous expression of the feelings of the people of England on the conduct pursued by Russia towards Poland. This he himself rejoiced in. But with this he should rest satisfied, and he trusted hon. Members would not, in their legislative capacity, lead the country to what assuredly might produce danger, if not degradation. He trusted, that after all that had passed, the hon. member for Kircudbright, would yet consent to withdraw his Motion, satisfied with the moral impression the debate could not fail to produce in every quarter of the globe.
§ Lord Dudley Stuart
said, that the expression of detestation of the conduct of Russia which had been heard in the House that evening, only echoed the sentiments of the country at large. It was, in his opinion, a proof of the weakness of the position which Ministers had thought proper to assume upon this question, that they had done little else than endeavour to ridicule the opinions expressed by the hon. member for Birmingham. The constant appeals which they had made respecting the danger of war, when nothing of the kind was contemplated, were merely ad captandum, and quite unworthy of consideration. Did not the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies know, that the man who pocketed an affront, was, after all, much more likely to be dragged into hostilities, than he who boldly repelled the 458 first approach to insult. Why should the world be told that England was the only nation afraid of going to war. Might not Russia also fear to embark in hostilities? Ministers had, throughout the discussion, manifested an unwillingness to meet the question fairly. The noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had attacked the hon. member for Birmingham for his notions respecting paper money, and the hon. Secretary for the Colonies could do nothing better than repeat the stale joke. This showed, that Ministers must have been hard pushed for arguments against the Motion. The contest between Poland and Russia was not yet at an end. Poland might be stunned with the blow she had received, but when an opportunity arrived, she would start up and shake off the odious, galling, and never-to-be-endured yoke. He hoped the hon. member for Kircudbright, would not withdraw his Motion, but would go to a division; for if the Motion should be withdrawn, what would be said by foreign nations, but that Ministers came down to bamboozle the House on questions suiting their own views, but when there was any practical measure they shrunk from it?
§ Mr. Sheil
said, that he thought the Government ought rather to have dissuaded the hon. member for Kircudbright, from bringing forward his Motion at all, than now to suggest the propriety of withdrawing it. The noble Lord, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, had made two most important admissions—first, that the greatest horrors had been perpetrated and committed in Poland; and, secondly, that a treaty had been violated. Such admissions being made, was it proper that the House of Commons should not come to some decision upon the subject? Or, should not such a decision be come to, it might well be said, that the British Legislature refused to interfere, when the most monstrous outrages upon humanity by Russia were permitted to pass without notice. The hazard of a war had been urged upon one side as an argument against the Motion; but it should be remembered, that, on the other hand, the certainty of the loss of national honour presented itself in opposition. The inferiority of Russia, as compared with this country, was acknowledged; and could it then be said, that the British Legislature was only to make speeches, and leave Poland to perish? There had been expressed a convenient sympathy for the 459 miseries of Poland; but if the Motion were withdrawn, such sympathy, barren as it was, would be all that was achieved. The present Ministry, when they came into office, had called for a weir establishment, equal to meet an European war, and having such a force, could they submit to the indignities which had been heaped upon the nation by Russia? That nation, with Prussia, were engaged on the one side, while England and France appeared on the other; and it had been said, that the latter ought to give way, notwithstanding the horrors which it had been admitted had been practised, and still were persevered in, against Poland. The fear of war had been the ground of all the arguments against the Motion, but it could not be tolerated that this country should tacitly submit. Perhaps his hon. friend, the member for Kircudbright, ought not to have brought forward his Motion, but having now done so, he should not consent to withdraw it.
§ Mr. Cutlar Fergusson
said, that he had brought forward the Motion after due and deliberate consideration, and having done so, it was his intention to adhere to it. The step he had taken in submitting the Resolution he had moved was one which he was justified in taking, and having done so, he should not hesitate to bring the question to the test of a division. The right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for the Colonies, had, instead of answering his (Mr. Fergusson's) arguments, addressed his observations entirely to the hon. Gentleman who had most widely departed from the question before the House, and the whole tenor of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was calculated to deter Members from bringing any Motion of such a nature before the House. He must, however, remind hon. Members, that neither in his speech nor by the terms of his Motion, did he call for war; indeed, the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had gone much further than he had done. The noble Lord's declaration was most extraordinary, because the noble Lord had acknowledged, that he would have gone much further than the Resolution, and had voluntarily declared to Russia that she had violated a treaty, and had persisted in that declaration after such an interpretation of the treaty had been denied by that power. What he wanted was, a record of the solemn opinion of the House upon this topic, and to gain the 460 moral effect which such a declaration would, he was sure, produce throughout Europe. His Motion had been supported by reasons which remained unanswered, and he should, therefore, not withdraw it.
§ Sir Robert Peel
had not the slightest notion that the hon. and learned Member had risen to reply, but merely to answer a question put to him, or he should have interposed before the hon. Gentleman had spoken. He was aware of the inconvenience of speaking after a reply, but the hon. Gentleman having expressed his determination to press the Motion to a division, that circumstance imposed upon him the duty of stating the grounds upon which he could not acquiesce in the Motion. He did not deny the right of the House to offer advice to the Crown with reference to the diplomatic relations of the country. He could conceive circumstances to arise of so grave a nature as to impose upon the House the duty of declaring its opinion and tendering its advice to the Crown; but he must contend, that the House ought to have a clear foresight of all the consequences which might ensue from their intercession. Care ought to betaken not to trench upon the royal prerogative, without a clear perception of the necessity of such a step: nor without scrupulously and carefully weighing the probable results of the interposition. Above all there ought to be nothing equivocal or ambiguous in the advice tendered to the Crown. The import of the present Motion, however, was in his judgment equivocal and ambiguous. It contained two distinct propositions; first, that this country was party to the Treaty of Vienna; and secondly, that that treaty had been violated. If the House were prepared to place this Motion upon record, the next step surely ought to be to offer some advice to the Crown, in language, clear and decisive, as to the course to be pursued. If this question related distinctly to any interest of our own, what language, consistently with the dignity and honour of England, would be used by the House? It would say to his Majesty—"Your Majesty is a party to a treaty—that treaty has been violated—the national honour is implicated—and we, the House of Commons, demand redress." But what was the Resolution of the hon. Gentleman in which advice was tendered? Not that the Crown should enforce the observance of those rights of Poland of which Eng- 461 land was the guarantee, but that the King should not recognise, or in any way give the sanction of his Government to the present political slate and condition of Poland. If the House were satisfied that the treaty had been violated, and were prepared to record their opinion to that effect, then, in consideration of its own character—in consideration of what was due to the Crown—and in consideration of what was due to the people of Poland—there ought to be no misconception as to the real intentions of the House of commons. But as he had already said, the language of the Resolution was ambiguous; they merely asked the Crown not to recognise or sanction the political situation and condition of poland. But was the recognition or sanction of England in any way required? If withheld, how did the refusal better the condition of Poland? The emperor of Russia claimed for himself—whether right or wrong, he stopped not to inquire—an authority to control his subjects, who were in a slate of revolt; and the hon. Gentleman contented himself with calling upon the Crown not to give its sanction to the present state of Poland, he did not comprehend what the hon. gentleman meant; and when he referred to the language used in the debate, be was left still more in doubt. One hon. Gentleman said, that the Motion meant nothing—that it was of a negative character. Be it so, but surely it was not befitting the dignity of the House of Commons to place, upon the Journals a record, that a treaty, to which England was a party, had been violated; and then to offer to the Crown advice of a negative character as it was termed. The hon. Gentleman said, that he expected no advantage from this address, and that the condition of the unhappy Poles would not be ameliorated by its adoption, Then why adopt it? The hon. and learned member for Tipperary said, that it was a question of ignominy or war, and that he had no hesitation in declaring for war in preference to ignominy. Yet he deprecated war, and said that this was not a step toward it. What then was it? Was it a mere brutum fulmen? Were no steps to be taken in consequence of this address If not, then he implored the House not to set the example of an interposition, from which no fruits were to be expected. But if those who supported the Motion expected any fruits, he had a right to ask 462 the nature and character of them. One hon. Gentleman said, let Government make a strong remonstrance to Russia, and if Russia made a strong remonstrance in return, then he had no doubt the people would support the Government in a war. But he for one would not involve the country in this collision of angry remonstrances, if war was to be the probable result. The Gentlemen who supported the address were much divided in opinion—some looked lo war as a consequence scarcely lo he deplored; others denounced war; but he deprecated making hostile remonstrances to a power like Russia, on a subject of this nature, unless they were prepared to follow them up by some decisive measure, in the event of their failure. All hon. and learned Gentleman said, that the time was come when the illusions of military glory were dissipated, and the true character of military heroes was justly appreciated. From such a declaration, he expected that the hon. Gentleman would have been a strenuous advocate for the maintenance of peace. But he found him among the most reckless partisans of war. Me could not acquiesce in the address. If the national faith required the interposition of that House, he should be prepared to advise much stronger measures. He would have asked the Crown to remonstrate in the first instance, and, if necessary, to enforce that remonstrance by maintaining the rights of Poland. While he could not support the Resolution, he begged distinctly to state, that he participated in all the sentiments of admiration which had been expressed on the gallantly of Poland; and, at the same time, to express his sympathy and deep regret for the sufferings of that nation, by supposing the statements of the hon. Gentleman founded on fact. On a former occasion, when the hon. Gentleman had introduced the subject before the House, he bad deprecated a too ready belife of the hon. and learned Member's statements, though be did not undertake to contradict, those statements, and particularly that with regard to the removal of orphan children; but if the statement was well founded, that children, not orphans, were forcibly removed—not, as he had supposed, for the purposes of protection—it were really true, that 5,000 families had been driven into exile without any proof of guilt, while he could not conceive the policy of such a course of conduct, yet if such was pursued, no man was 463 prepared in stronger terms than him self to express his deep regret and indignation, at such a violation of the rights of common humanity. He would remind Russia of her own expressions as to the existence of those rights, and the claims of powerful nations to enforce them, during the war between Turkey and Greece, when the Porte threatened to remove the inhabitants of the Morea. Russia then declared, that such a proceeding was a violation of all the rights of humanity, and that it should not be allowed. After such an opinion pronounced and acted on by Russia, he still clung to the hope that the statements were exaggerated. If, however, the statements were true, he begged that his non-acquiescence in the present Motion should not be considered as a proof that he was indifferent to the wrongs and sufferings of a gallant people, or that he did not share in those feelings of indignation, which, if the conduct of Russia were truly described, would be unanimous throughout the House and the country.
§ Lord Sandon
feared much lest the arguments of the hon. mover's supporters might be taken as a part of his Motion, and that its passing would only add to the difficulty which now prevailed, and perhaps excite delusive hopes amongst the Poles, which might be productive of dangerous consequences. These were the reasons which would oblige him to vote against a Motion which he had formerly supported.
§ The House divided on the previous question or, that Mr. Fergusson's Motion be put. For the Motion 95—Against it 177.
|List of the AYES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Godson, K.|
|Attwood, T.||Guest, J. J.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Halse, J.|
|Beauclerk, Major||Harvey, D. W.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Buckingham, J. S.||Howard, hon. F. G.|
|Bulwer, H. L.||Hughes, H.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Hume, J.|
|Clive, E. B.||Hutt, W.|
|Cobbett, W.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Cornish, T.||Jervis, J.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Kemp, T. R.|
|Curteis, E. B.||Kennedy, J.|
|Darlington, Earl of||King, E. B.|
|Dashwood, G. H.||Langdale, Hon. C.|
|Dawson, E. S.||Langton, Colonel G.|
|Denison, W. T.||Lowther, Hon. Col.|
|Dykes, F. L.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Evans Colonel||Parrott, J.|
|Ewart, W.||Philips, M.|
|Faithfull, G.||Poulter, J.|
|Robinson, G. R.||Bellew, R. M.|
|Romilly, E.||Browne, D.|
|Scholefield, J.||Butler, hon. P.|
|Stavely, J. K.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Tayleur, W.||Finn, W. F.|
|Tennyson, Rt. Hn. C.||Fitzgerald, T.|
|Thompson, P'. B.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Throckmorton, R. G.||Jephson, C. D. G.|
|Townshend, Lord C.||Macnamara, Major|
|Tynte, C. J. K.||Martin, J.|
|Verney, Sir H.||O'Brien, C.|
|Welby, G. E.||O'Connell, D.|
|Whalley, Sir S.||O'Connell, J.|
|Wilks, J.||O'Connell, M.|
|Williams, Colonel||O'Connor, F.|
|Wilmot, Sir J. E.||O'Dwyer, A. C.|
|Wood, Alderman||Perceval, Colonel|
|Young, G. F.||Roe, J.|
|SCOTLAND.||Ruthven, E. S.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Ruthven, E.|
|Johnston, A.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Marjoribanks, C.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Maxwell, Sir J.||Walker, C. A.|
|Oswald, R. A.||Wallace, T.|
|Sinclair, G.||Fergusson, R. C.|
|Wallace, R.||Stuart, Lord D. C.|
|List of the NOES.|
|ENGLAND.||Fitzroy, Lord J.|
|Althorp, Lord||Forster, C. S.|
|Atherley, A.||Fox, Lieut.-Colonel|
|Baring, F. T.||Frankland, Sir R.|
|Baring, H. B.||Gladstone, W. E.|
|Barnett, C. J.||Gordon, R.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Graham, Rt. Hn. Sir J.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Grant, Right Hon. R.|
|Blamire, W.||Greene, T. G.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Grey, Hon. Colonel|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Grey, Sir G.|
|Brotherton, J.||Gronow, Captain|
|Butler, J. W.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Duller, E.||Grote, G.|
|Bulteel, J. C.||Hanmer, Colonel H.|
|Burdett, Sir F.||Hardinge, Sir H.|
|Burton, II.||Harland, W. C.|
|Byng, G.||Hawes, B.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Heathcote, J. J.|
|Carter, J. B.||Herries, Rt. Hn. J. C.|
|Cavendish, Hon. C.||Hodges, T. L.|
|Cavendish, Hon. Col.||Hodgson, J.|
|Chandos, Marquess of||Hoskins, K.|
|Chaytor, Sir W.||Howard, P. H.|
|Clive, Viscount||Howick, Viscount|
|Crawley, S.||Hudson, C.|
|Dilwyn, L. W.||Hurst, R. H.|
|Divett, E.||Hyett, W.|
|Dundas, Capt. J. W.||Irton, J.|
|Dundas, Hon. Sir R.||James, W.|
|Ebrington, Viscount||Johnstone, Sir J. V.|
|Ellice, Right Hon. E.||Key, Sir J.|
|Estcourt, T. G. B.||Knatchbull, Sir E.|
|Fancourt, Major||Langston, J. H.|
|Fazakerly, J. N.||Lee, J. L.|
|Fenton, J.||Leech, J.|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Lennox, Lord G.||Vernon, G. H.|
|Lester, B. L.||Walker, R.|
|Littleton, E. J.||Warburton, H.|
|Lumley, Viscount||Ward, H G.|
|Lyall, G.||Warre, J. A.|
|Mabcrley, Colonel||Waterpark, Lord|
|Macaulay, T. B.||Watson, Hon. R.|
|Mangles, J.||Whitmore, W. W.|
|Mildmay, P. St. John||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Molyneux, Lord||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Mostyn, Hn. E. M. L.||Winnington, Sir T.|
|Newark, Viscount||Wood, G. W.|
|Nicholl, J.||Wood, C.|
|North, F.||Wrottesley, Sir J.|
|Peel, Rt. hon. Sir R.||Abereroraby, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Patten, J. W.||Adam, Admiral|
|Pendarves, E. W.||Bannerman, A.|
|Peter, w.||Callander, J. H.|
|Pigot, R.||Colquhoun, J. C.|
|Plumptre, J. P.||Dulmeny, Lord|
|Poyntz, W. S.||Elliot, Capt. G.|
|Price, Sir R.||Ewing, J.|
|Rickford, W.||Ferguson, Capt.|
|Rider, T.||Fleming, Hn. Admiral|
|Ridley, Sir M. W.||Grant, Rt. hon. C.|
|Rolfe, R. M.||Haliburton, Hn. D. G.|
|Rooper, J. B.||Hay, Col. A. Leith|
|Russell, Lord J.||Jeffrey, Rt. Hon. F.|
|Russell, C.||Kennedy, Thomas T.|
|Scrope, C. P.||Mackenzie, J. A. S.|
|Sandon, Lord||Macleod, R.|
|Sanford, E. A.||Maxwell, J.|
|Scarlett, Sir J.||Murray, J. A.|
|Scale, Col.||Ormaelie, Earl of|
|Shawe, R. N.||Sharpe, General|
|Slaney, R. A.||Stewart, R.|
|Smith, J. A.||Stewart, E.|
|Smith, J.||Stewart, Sir M. S.|
|Smith, R. V.||Trail, G.|
|Somerset, Lord G.||IRELAND.|
|Stanley, Rt. Hn. E. G. S.||Acheson, Viscount|
|Stanley, hon. H. T.||Cole, Hon. A.|
|Stanley, E.||Gladstone, T.|
|Stewart, P. M.||Hill, Lord A.|
|Strutt, E.||Howard, R.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Jones, Capt. T.|
|Thicknesse, R.||Lefroy, D. T.|
|Todd, R.||Mullins, F.|
|Torrens, Col.||O'Callaghan, Hon. C.|
|Tracy, C. IL||TELLERS.|
|Trelawney, W. L. S.||Duncannon, Lord|
|Thompson, Alderman||Rice, T. S.|
|Vennon, hon. G. J.|