§ Lord J. Manners,
in rising to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice, said he begged leave to assure the House that it was not without much hesitation that he rose to bring before its notice a subject in which many of its Members took little interest, and imagined England to have little concern. Indeed, if he saw any prospect of otherwise obtaining justice for the illustrious object of the Address which he was about to move, be should not do so, but, after availing himself in vain of every casual opportunity that had presented itself to make known, and to protest against the injustice committed by the French—alas, that he should have to add, with the consent of the English Government—seeing year after year roll by with that injustice un-abrogated, and that Prince still a prisoner, he could no longer hesitate to adopt the most decided course that was open to him, and flying from petty tyrants to the Throne, he asked that House to join with him in imploring Her Majesty's gracious intercession in behalf of the Royal victim of liberal oppression. It was, he was well aware, a matter of no ordinary occurrence—of no ordinary delicacy—for that House to ask the Sovereign to interfere for the purpose of procuring the liberation of a Mince confined by one of the Sovereign's allies; but there were instances and authorities enough to justify such a course where the character and honour of the country demanded it; and, calling for a moment to the recollection of the House the Motion of General Fitzpatrick on the imprisonment of La Fayette and his companions in 1794, he should endeavour to establish the fact, that the honour of England had been and was intimately involved by assisting, abetting, and, lastly, by in- 336 sisting upon the detention of Don Carlos at Bourges. La Fayette, then, and his friends, flying from their own troops, took refuge in Prussia, and were by the King of Prussia committed to a fortress, as enemies with whom he was at war, as the causers of all the horrors which had occurred, and the dreadful hostilities by which those horrors were to be prolonged and avenged. England at that moment was at peace with Prussia, at peace with France. England had neither directly nor indirectly procured the flight of La Fayette, nor his consequent imprisonment; but so strong was the feeling of indignation excited in this country by the apparent injustice of the deed, that every admirer of what was then fondly imagined to be liberty, advocated English interference for them, who, be it remembered, up to the moment of their flight, had borne arms against the country they fled to—which was not Don Carlos's case—and General Fitzpatrick moved an Address to the King with that intent. That Address was not carried; no; but he grounded his claim for their support on the very reasons which were adduced for that defeat. Mr. Pitt, in opposing that Motion opposed it on the broad, intelligible English ground, that England being altogether unconcerned with the transaction, could not be called upon to interfere, and proceeded to assert that England could have no sympathies whatever with the men or with their principles. Mr. Pitt said,—The simple question is, has any case been made out whereby this country is implicated, so as to be bound to interfere from motives of justice, honour, or policy?Clearly admitting, that if such a case had been proved, he would not have opposed the Motion. With this allusion to the precedent of 1794, he should proceed to show that we were bound from motives of justice and honour to interfere with this unjust and dishonouring captivity. Policy, for the present, he left out of the question, because he ventured to believe that if justice and honour demanded the adoption of a certain course, true policy would not be found opposing it. He asserted that, on motives of justice we were compelled to take the step he proposed. He said emphatically and sincerely, that this detention was opposed to justice; there was the punishment—punishment as severe as miscreants in this country who shoot at their Sovereign are 337 subjected to. Where was the crime? What crime is alleged against this State prisoner? What offence is laid to his charge? Where are the proofs? Where the tribunal? Where the verdict? The punishment they knew, and heard of; the crime which should have occasioned and justified it existed not. The noble Lord opposite, indeed, when last Session a debate occurred on this subject, seemed to insinuate, for he did not broadly state it, that it was just to incarcerate Don Carlos, because, when, after the Convention of Evora Monte, he resided in this country, it was on an understanding that he should not disturb the peace of the Peninsula, and that, as he had departed from that understanding, France and England had now a right to shut him up in prison. He could find no stipulation of the sort in that Convention; but, be that as it might, he could well enter into and appreciate the feelings of a gallant man, who believing himself and his children to be defrauded of a Crown, such as that of chivalrous Spain, by an intrigue the basest and most disgraceful that the annals of any country could afford, who, guiltless of all intrigues himself, suddenly finds a people whom he loved, because he knew them, and who loved him because they knew him, proving their hearty gratitude and zealous loyalty by rising in their might to vindicate his claim, and to place him by their Spanish swords and their unbought exertions on the Throne of Spain. He said he could conceive the feelings of a gallant man at such a crisis, and he could not conceive such a man acting otherwise than Don Carlos then did. But, even admitting the noble Lord to be right, and he was almost loth to deprive him of that one slender apology for his Spanish policy, the Ministers now in power could not use that justification; by a respect for their own character they were debarred from it. As long as the war so commenced was continued, as long as the gallant efforts of Spaniards maintained a struggle against the combination of Jews and stockjobbers, and legions from Algeria and the Isle of Dogs—so long did they, as the leaders of the great Tory party in England, applaud their efforts and vindicate the cause of Don Carlos. Therefore, whatever right the noble Lord might have to press this musty antecedent argument into his service, they who now administered the affairs of this country, they who now formed the ma- 338 jority of this House, might not avail themselves of it; and, he proceeded to ask, if there being, by the unanimous opinion of this party, no antecedent pretext, however flimsy, to justify the injustice of which he complained, any subsequent event had occurred to render that just which otherwise was admitted to be unjust? The whole conduct of the war which ensued was so intimately bound up with the honour of this country, that for the moment he passed it by, and contented himself with asserting in the most broad distinct manner possible, that no act was committed by Don Carlos, under provocations the most urgent, and injuries the most unprovoked, during the course of the war, which could for a moment be allowed to justify our conduct towards him. Well, then, if nothing previous to the commencement of that war, if nothing during its continuance could be held to justify his detention at Bourges, was it alleged that the terms on which he entered France, or his conduct since, afforded that justification He maintained, that, on the contrary, the terms on which he entered France warranted him in expecting a very different treatment from that which he was experiencing. He was told he would be received as an unfortunate Prince. He knew what an interpretation an Assembly of English Gentlemen would give to such a phrase. Don Carlos did not know, could not anticipate, what such words meant, when used by a King of the French. You, Sir, and this House, would imagine that sympathy, respect, and freedom, were the portion of unfortunate Princes. Don Carlos too late discovered that insult, hardships, and imprisonment, was the measure meted out to him by Liberal Governments. But what had been his conduct since, against all right, contrary to his just expectations, against the usages of civilised monarchical Europe, he was incarcerated? He might naturally and fairly have retaliated by intriguing from his prison, and thus made himself a thorn in the side of his oppressors; and no one could deny that opportunities in plenty for such a course had been presented to him. When Queen Christina hazarded the peace of Spain, and risked even the life of her daughter, in her vain endeavour to overthrow Espartero, were no overtures made to Bourges, and to those loyal spirits who still looked, and who still do look thither for orders? It was notorious, that had 339 Don Carlos consented, had he merely permitted his faithful followers to act as they pleased, that attempt might have ended very differently; but, with that manly honesty which is his characteristic, he rejected all those offers, and by his express commands, his adherents to a man, he (Lord J. Manners) believed, took no part in the insurrection; nor would even the noble Lord pretend to assert, that in any of the subsequent revolutions which his policy had occasioned, Don Carlos had had any, the slightest, part. But what a contrast in the fate of those two personages! Queen Christina, avowedly to the knowledge of all Europe, the instigator of revolution and bloodshed—she, the sad Erinnys of her time—is now returning with regal pomp and elaborate procession to Madrid: Don Carlos who refused to join in her cruel schemes of ambition, still lingers a captive at Bourges,Aude aliquid brevibus Gyaris vet carcere dignum, Si vis esse aliquis: Probitas laudatur et al-get.Need he to these reasons on which he denounced the incarceration of Don Carlos to be unjust, add the palpable truth, that Don Carlos was never at war with France, never at war with England, and that by the laws of France, by the common consent of all countries, a man who had never injured them, from whom they dreaded nothing, had a right to liberty; thus, then, he denounced the detention of Don Carlos to be unjust, and in the sacred name of justice, never invoked without success within these walls, he demanded his liberation. He had said that the honour of England was implicated in the manner in which the war was carried on and termiminated, and he should now proceed to establish that a regard for that honour compelled them to interfere as he proposed. In the first place, the formation of the English Legion, contrary, as General Evans himself admits, to the opinion of the highest military authorities of the Kingdom (the late King, the Duke of Wellington, and the late Commander of the Forces), and which required an existing law to be repealed, was a direct infringement of neutrality and non-intervention, and bore an important, though not very honourable share in procuring the triumph of Liberal tyranny. It was clear that had the Legion not been planted on the Cantabrian coast, Don Carlos would 340 long ago have been at Madrid; its action, if he might so say, was that of a drag-chain on his advance to victory; and thus, even had we interfered in no other way against him, the interference of that Legion, so often denounced by those now in power, would, to use Mr. Pitt's words, so implicate us as to bind us in honour to interfere for his liberation. But more dishonourable because less open, more injurious because less easily met, were the operations of our Navy and Marines during that period; with every wish to think and speak well of any service in which the soldiers and sailors of England were engaged, he said with regret, that from the moment our squadron arrived off the Cantabrian coast to the climax at Bergara, deceit, treachery, and double-dealing seemed to he written on the English flag. In the history of war or peace (he knew not which to call it—it was war without its glory, and peace without its blessings), no more disgraceful transaction was recorded than the conduct of our ships at the siege of Bilboa. For neatly two months, while the Carlists were be-leaguring that city, under their guns, exposed to their batteries, lay two English brigs, peaceable, neutral spectators of the strife; strict neutrality was our profession, total immunity from danger was the result. Over and over again did the Car-list General forbear to take advantage of opportunities to harass the enemy, lest a casual shot might annoy the flag of neutral, passive England; and how was this confidence merited? How was this forbearance rewarded? When victory was, beyond all doubt, on the eve of crowning the Carlist arms, when Bilboa had already virtually surrendered, in the middle of the night did the boats belonging to those English ships carry over the reluctant General and his dispirited troops to an unexpected, undeserved success. A neutrality observed so long, so advantageous to the stronger nation, so wantonly, disgracefully, and perfidiously violated at the last, never was recorded before; and by the dishonour which that transaction attached to England, he asked them to vote for this Address. But did even this suffice?—were we satisfied with thus having sacrificed every title to a character for English fair play and honour? By no means; a year and a half went by; the Legion was no more, its cruelties, excesses, and injuries, were avenged, if not forgotten, and success, 341 according to the official paper presented to that House, was as likely to incline to the one party as to the other; then again were our underhand intrigues put into requisition, and Lord John Hay, a Captain in the English navy, with the approbation of the English Government, consented to be the medium of communication between the traitor Maroto and Espartero; and he would beg the House to remark well what followed, because it showed how completely England was involved in all the disgrace which attached to the unjust detention of Don Carlos. Lord John Hay was the go-between—he did not use the word in an offensive sense, but in its literal meaning—the go-between of the traitor and Espartero; he revised the Articles of the Convention—he recommended this, he suggested that. Did he take care in arranging that honourable transaction, that the life of its Royal victim should be saved? Would it be believed that in a report to Lord Palmerston it is stated, apparently as a matter of congratulation, that the name of Don Carlos is not even mentioned in the articles of the Convention? Would to God that this were all; but let the House remember that some time previously to this the noble Lord had issued his positive injunctions to the Captains off the Cantabrian Coast that should Don Carlos apply to them for shelter, it should be refused him. Let the House bear these facts in mind, and say whether or not we are responsible for his flight into France and subsequent imprisonment. And thus, when after five years of underhand opposition, pitiful animosity, and dishonourable interference, we had brought Don Carlos to the desperate alternative of falling, without any guarantee for his life or that of his wife and child, into the hands of his cruel enemies, or seeking an asylum in a foreign country, by the farsighted malevolence of our Government we compelled him to take refuge in France. In every stage, therefore, of that series of events which ended in the captivity of Don Carlos at Bourges, we, the English people, had part; it was we who destroyed the liberties of the Basques; it was we who despoiled the Church in Spain; it was we who called into dread activity that revolutionary spirit which is still devastating Spain. Did he ask, then, implicated as we were in all this—did he ask them to restore freedom to the Basques, tranquillity to Spain, property 342 to the Church? No; he contented himself with making a far humbler request. He asked them to restore to liberty and freedom that Prince, whom he had shown, by each and every step of that unjust policy, they had conducted to a prison, and by whose continued detention the honour of England is sullied. But if we had been so directly implicated in procuring the imprisonment of Don Carlos how had our responsibility been aggravated since? So intense was the hatred borne by the noble Lord opposite to that Prince whom he had injured, that one of the last acts of his official reign, when power was quickly departing from him, was to prevent the French Government doing a tardy partial justice to their victim. In June, 1841, it was reported to the noble Lord that it was not impossible that the French Government would set Don Carlos at liberty. The noble Lord instantly, with that intense love of liberty which always characterises liberalism, demanded, on the part of England, that Don Carlos should still be kept a prisoner. If, then, the noble Lord, could interfere with the King of the French to demand the perpetuation of injustice and oppression, was he not justified in asking the House to declare, on the part of England, that she reprobates that demand and denounces that oppression; Thus, to the best of his ability, he had laid before the House the grounds on which he maintained that this country was bound, to use Mr. Pitt's words, by motives of justice and of honour, to interfere in favour of Don Carlos. He had shown that it was our interference which lost him his crown—it was our interference that forced him to take refuge in France—it was our interference which deprived him of liberty—and lastly, and above all, it was our interference that now, after five years of a cruel, rigorous, and vindictive imprisonment, still detained him. Away with the cant and jargon of liberalism which would prate of the danger which might arise to the tranquillity of Spain from justice being done to them; had their imprisonment procured it? Had a regard for it compelled the French Government to imprison Queen Christina, or induced ours to shut up Espartero in the Tower? Could any one pretend to say that Spanish tranquillity, if there be such a thing apart from a legitimate Government, during the last four years, had not had far more to dread from Christina 343 than from Don Carlos; for the last year, from the fêted of the Mansion-house than from the captive of Bourges? Yet did this regard for the tranquillity of Spain lay an embargo on the ex-Regent's movements, or induce our Ministers to show towards him any of those petty acts of discourtesy which a complaisance for the reigning dynasty of France dictated towards Henri V.? No; the City of London might feast Espartero, and do honour to the butcher of Cabrera's mother—Ministers might toast their speedy return to Spain, and drink confusion to the men who had supplanted them, but Don Carlos must be kept a prisoner—for the tranquillity of Spain. Away with such flimsy inconsistencies! Rather avow the real motive—proclaim it to the world that you detain Don Carlos, not because he has offended or injured you, not because he has offended or injured France—not because he has failed to bear his unjust captivity with heroic resignation—not because his liberty would be dangerous to the peace of Spain—but because he has ventured to oppose the tyrannical, sacrilegious spirit of Liberalism! This—disguise it as they would—was his real offence; this it was that made him odious to the present ruler of France; this it was that armed against him the noble Lord opposite and the rabble of Westminster, and this it was which made and still kept him a prisoner. Strange and honourable was the history of that Prince, strange and honourable were his consistent misfortunes. In his youth imprisoned in France for the crime of being born a Spanish Bourbon, in his old age the same cause had produced the same punishment. In 1808 Napoleon had the satisfaction of incarcerating Don Carlos at Vallencay, in 1841 his dust returns from St. Helena, and finds his former victim a prisoner at Bourges. So true it was that Liberalism was ever the same, ever false and tyrannical whether it be exhibited by Emperor, Citizen King, or Liberal Diplomatist. He turned from the heartless, cruel, and faithless Liberalism of the day, and asked the gentlemen of England to disavow all connection with it. Too long had they suffered the honour of Monarchical England to be prostituted at the shrine of Foreign Democracy; too long had they pandered to the jealous fears of every usurping dynasty; too long had they consented to act as gaolers for French and Spanish Liberalism; let them 344 at last recover their proper position; let Spain, let Europe be told that they entered into no war against the principles of Legitimacy; let France be told they do not require her to detain one of their most consistent and virtuous exponents; but, rising to the height of our old dignity and former renown, let them vindicate the claim of England to the confidence of the old Monarchies of Europe; and, above all, let them now undo, so far as they can—for alas! they could not restore thousands to the homes and happiness of which they had deprived them—the wrong which they had committed towards a Prince who never injured this country—who never harboured an ungenerous thought against England—and whose continued detention, he believed in his conscience to be a foul insult to justice, and a still fouler dishonour to this country. He moved—That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, representing to Her Majesty that the continued detention of Don Carlos and his family in a town belonging to Her Majesty's ally, the King of the French, is opposed to justice, and the honor of this country, and humbly praying Her Majesty to intercede with the Court of the Tuileries for their deliverance therefrom.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, he felt it to be his duty to express his hope that the House would not accede to the Motion of the noble Lord, and that it would not think it consistent with its duty to present an Address to Her Majesty representingThat the detention of Don Carlos and his family in a town belonging to Her Majesty's Ally, the King of the French, is opposed to justice and to the honour of this country.What! "to justice and to the honour of this country"! The noble Lord proposed that the House of Commons of England should present an Address to Her Majesty, denouncing an Act of the French Government—an act of Her Ally the King of the French, and declaring that act to be inconsistent—not with the honour of the French Government of the King of the French—but with the honour of this country. Although he opposed the Motion of the noble Lord, yet still he trusted that in opposing it, the noble Lord would not consider that he was devoid of those sentiments of natural sympathy with which every one must contemplate a Sovereign Prince in misfortune. No one could contemplate the present position of a member of the Illustrious 345 House of Bourbon without feeling that sympathy, and without wishing, whatever course policy might dictate, that that course might be reconcileable to the claims of humanity, and to a due consideration of the dignity of an unfortunate Prince. But he did deprecate, on great public principles, the idea of this House interfering in respect to the conduct of the French Government. This matter was brought under discussion in the French Chamber last year. A member of the French House of Peers then called its attention to the detention of Don Carlos. The peer asked these two questions of the French Government:—Was the restraint imposed on Don Carlos imposed on him in consequence of obligations growing out of the Treaty of Quadruple Alliance? And was this restraint imposed on Don Carlos by the French Government, not because the Government of France thought that restraint politic or desirable, but at the instance and in consequence of the application of the Government of England?The answer given to these questions was this:—The Quadruple Treaty has ceased to exist, the object of that Treaty has been attained; it is not, therefore, in consequence of any obligations arising from that compact that Don Carlos is put under restraint.In answer to the question whether the restraint was imposed at the instance of the English Government, the answer of the French Minister is—and he had in the original the statement of the organ of the French Government, distinctly stated:—That the French Government is acting with regard to Don Carlos on views of French policy, and in consideration only of the interests of France.That Minister added also, on a similar question being again put to him that he would take no notice of debates which had passed upon the subject in the Parliament of England—it was sufficient for him to say that the detention of Don Carlos had its origin in the interests of France (dans les interets Francaises), and was justified by the laws of France. If this was true—if the French Government placed a person under restraint for the interests of, and according to the laws of France, would anybody think it desirable that they should present an Address to the Crown, calling upon it to interfere with the actions of the French Govern- 346 ment, but, above all, that the House of Commons should stigmatise the actions of the French Government as "opposed to justice, and to the honour of this country." Yet that was what the noble Lord called upon the House to do. What was the position of Don Carlos in Bourges? The noble Lord stated that he was a prisoner—he represented him as a prisoner of war, detained under unnecessary and unjust restraints by the French Government, within a walled town. He thought the noble Lord was mistaken. In this country, certainly the law would not justify the Government in imposing restraint upon Don Carlos, or upon any foreigner. The Alien Act had expired, and he knew of no authority by which the Government of England could impose any restraint upon a foreigner not disobeying the laws of the country. But they must not infer that the law of France was the same as that of England in this respect. No restraint was placed upon Don Carlos, which was not justified, he apprehended, by the existing law of France: so said the French Minister. He stated that, although a person of exalted rank, Don Carlos was still a refugee. Pressed by the calamities and dangers of war, he had sought a refuge within the territory of France. He had claimed the hospitality of France, and that claim had been acknowledged. But there was a law in France, which enabled the Government of that country, when it tendered its hospitality, and admitted the claim preferred by the unfortunate—there was a law which empowered the Government to place foreign refugees under distinct superintendence and strict surveillance. Now, there were at present upwards of 12,000 refugees from Spain, who were receiving the rights of hospitality—at least so far as the protection was concerned within the territory of France. Many of the general officers who had taken part in the struggle upon the side of Don Carlos—Cabrera, he believed, as well as several other brave men of rank and distinction similarly circumstanced—were residing in France. Now, surely, it could be well conceived—considering the vicinity of Spain to France—considering that they were separated only by an imaginary boundary—that, while France conceded protection to unfortunate Spanish Refugees, it was absolutely necessary that, in order to prevent her territory being made the focus of intrigue 347 against a neighbouring and friendly power to prevent it from being made a spot from which might be directed the cabals and the efforts of hostility; that that law of France, which enabled the Government to subject refugees to a most vigilant control, should be strictly, but, at the same time, most justifiably acted upon. The law of France, which subjects those parties to a certain degree of control, may be a law perfectly justifiable upon the first principles of equity. But we were not entitled to discuss the question of, whether it is equitable or not. It was enough for us that the law existed in France, and that the French Government had deemed it right to apply it to all to whom it was applicable indiscriminately—to the lowest as well as to the highest;—to the peasant Refugee as well as to Don Carlos. The French Government subjected him to a certain degree of restraint, not, as it had been said, upon the application, and at the instance of the English Government, but because they considered themselves justified in so doing, by the laws, as well as by the interests of France. What right had the House to interfere, and to address the Crown? What right had they to pronounce it inconsistent with the honour of England, that the French Government should exercise its own discretion in administering its own laws. By adopting such a course, they would be offering the French Government an example for it to interfere in our own internal policy; and how, he would ask, was it possible to respect the independence of a Government, if, because we thought that some person had—truly or not—some cause of grievance under another Government, that he was detained unjustly, or, at all events, in a manner not sanctioned by the laws of our country—if, because of all that, we called upon the Crown to interfere. To sanction such a procedure would involve the sanction of interference of the most dangerous kind—interference almost without a limit—and where the power interfered with was the weaker, perfectly destructive of the legitimate authority of the country. Suppose that the Address to Her Majesty should be carried—suppose that the French Government should decline to accede to it—suppose that Her Majesty should, in the first place, inform the Government of the King of the French, that their detention of Don Carlos was inconsistent with justice, and with the honour of England, 348 might not and would not the reply be, "We care nothing about your consideration of your own honour; your honour is not to dictate our course in the advance of our interests, and in the administration of our laws; and in answer to your interference, we have only to return a peremptory denial of your request. Not only in consideration of our interests, but in consideration of other grounds we resist, and resent an interference with the independent exercise of our authority." In what position would such an answer place the Government, and what might not grow out of it? Would they follow up proceedings, or acquiesce in the reply? What would be the position of the Foreign Secretary of England, when he stated to France, that the detention of a Refugee from another country was inconsistent with the honour of England? But at the same time, when he said that the French Government would not consent to justify their conduct in the face of the Chambers, by stating that it was pursued at the instance of England, he would add, that when he remembered the condition of France and of Spain, and the obligations mutually contracted by both countries, he must say, that he thought France was justified in appealing to the law which she could enforce against humble Refugees, to restrain a person whose power of disturbing the peace of Spain was so much greater than that of any other. Thus, then, although France had not adopted her policy at our instance, yet he could not say, looking at the state of Spain—how it had been so long torn by civil wars—how horrible was its condition—how unfit, under the present circumstances, for the exercise of great power—how party had been arrayed against party—how savage had been the warfare waged in it—how tremendous had been the attack made by the late civil contests on the liberties of Spain; looking at all these circumstances, he repeated, that if they asked him whether this new element of confusion should be allowed to proceed to Spain, there to light up the flames of civil war—he would reply, that the Government of France, from considerations of the tranquillity of Spain, and the interests of France should, if a law restraining foreign Refugees, existed, put it in force in the present case. He thought that a comprehensive consideration of the true and paramount interests of Spain, and 349 not only of Spain, but of France, and of this country—wishing as both did for the restoration of constitutional government in Spain—but wishing most of all for the termination of those horrible civil conflicts which impeded the return of tranquillity and obstructed the advances of national prosperity; he repeated, that such a comprehensive consideration, induced him not to disapprove of any exercise of legitimate authority upon the part of France which might prevent the return to his country of Don Carlos. There was, they must consider, au infant Queen, just declared capable of sovereignty, whom this country and France had lately recognised, and the natural effect of the success of this Motion would certainly be to disturb the prospect of returning peace, were Don Carlos to be permitted—without any engagements on his part for his future behaviour, and with him all his adherents—to return to Spain. But it was unnecessary for him to go into these circumstances, for here was a French law, and the execution of a French law proposed to be interfered with. This was the leading principle of the proposition, and the principle on which he protested against the Motion, believing, as he did, that they could make no application to France of the kind which would not lead either to humiliation or to war. At the same time, he would express a hope now, as he had done before, that every attention would be paid to the comforts, and consideration made for the dignity of Don Carlos. Harsh acts of authority might be sometimes justified by considerations of policy; but nothing could justify any unnecessarily and personally harsh measures. Let them, however, recollect that Don Carlos was a member of the Bourbon family; and surely the presumption was, that the King of the French, himself a scion of that House, would treat Don Carlos with that respect and natural sympathy which might, under the circumstances, be expected; and that those considerations which must weigh with Sovereigns, would impart to that monarch that feeling which would make him seek to reconcile acts of public policy, with a sense of what was due to the dignity and the misfortunes of the captive. The only ground upon which they could possibly make any representation to France, was when they could withhold their approbation from the way in which Don Carlos was treated, in the case of any unnecessary and personal harshness 350 being applied. Now, no man could view the position of Don Carlos with more sympathy than he did, but he could positively assert, that so far from being in prison, the unfortunate prince had free permission to go anywhere within four leagues of Bourges—that he had free permission to visit any house in the neighbourhood, and that the residence of the Archbishop had been offered to him, an offer which, had it been accepted, would have obviated the necessity of much of the restraint under which he was placed. It was painful for him to have to answer for any acts of the French Government; but still he was desirous that no unjust prejudice should attach to those acts—more particularly as they had been united in promoting the interests of the ruling family in France, who could have no wish for the detention of Don Carlos, or for subjecting him to the slightest personal restraint inconsistent with preventing him from exciting fresh disturbances in Spain. If, indeed, Don Carlos would give his engagement that he would go to some other part of Europe—if he would frankly state on the honour of a prince—and if he did so he was sure Don Carlos would honourably preserve his engagement—if he would state that he would abandon all thoughts of attempts to enter Spain, and would go to some part of Europe, where he could harmlessly enjoy his liberty, then he would say, that as far as this country was concerned, and he believed that so far as France was concerned, there could be no objection to such a course. He hoped that he had said enough to show, that whatever the House might think of the position of Don Carlos, nothing could be more contrary to precedent, or more dangerous, than to agree to an Address to Her Majesty of the nature proposed. He hoped that the Motion would not be pressed to a division; that they would not risk the present relations of amity between this country and France; that the noble Lord would not subject England to such a risk, because certainly a reply to a demand for the liberation of Don Carlos, must, as he said before, subject the country, on the part of France, to either humiliation or resentment.
§ Mr. Smythe
said, that nothing in the world would induce him to support the Motion of the noble Lord did he believe, with the right hon. Baronet who had just spoken, that it was purely, solely, and exclusively 351 a French question. As he had understood the right hon. Baronet, he said that the adoption of the course suggested by the noble Lord would involve the country in a most mischievous interference in the affairs of France. It appeared, however, that on a former occasion, upon a report reaching this country, that it was the intention of the French Government to release Don Carlos from imprisonment, England remonstrated with, and protested against, such a step being taken; and it was almost on the dictation of England that France had then acquiesced in the course which was then suggested on the part of this country. Such a report could not have been without foundation. Remonstrances were not addressed by Governments upon such reports as that of yesterday, that the Dublin had been blown up by a French squadron. He had a right, then, to assume, that there was something real in this report and that it had been the probable intention of France to release Don Carlos until the remonstrances of England prevented its so doing. He would, then, say, that no other Ministry in France, he would not call it a French Ministry, would have acquiesced in this most unwonted dictation. What had the English Government asked M. Guizot to do? To stultify and compromise, and degrade the free character of his country.. And what country was invited to this act of degradation? France! France, the foremost of the nations, who had fought the great battle of freedom of opinion, and who had conquered the great right of private judgment. Yet England insisted upon her persecuting freedom of opinion, and visiting the right of private judgment with penalties and prisons. He had been curious to hear upon what pretext this would be justified; upon what pretence they had sanctioned the continued imprisonment of him whom he was glad to hear the right hon. Baronet call "a Sovereign Prince." The pretence was, that it was imperative upon British Statesmen to prevent the introduction of any new element of discord into the Peninsula. But this argument, they should recollect, told with ten times as much force against Christina as against Don Carlos. No one could doubt, that she at least would be a new element of distractions and disturbances, and that in their motives and their object these would be more unworthy, because they could not be national, than any Don Carlos could promote. Christina was more French than the French Ambas- 352 sador—she would be the cynosure of French adventure—the rallying point of French intrigue—the new Des Ursins beneath the influence of whose intrigues the Pyrenees were again to disappear. Why, then, had not the Government protested the other day against her voyage?——Dum Capitolio "Regina dementes ruinas, "Funus et imperio parabat, "Contaminato cum grege turpium "Morbo virorum; quidlibet impotens "Sperare, fortunâque dulci "Ebria.Because, it would he answered, Governments had one justice for the strong, and another justice for the weak; one justice for the poor, and another for the rich; one justice for Don Carlos—poor, discrowned, abandoned—and another for Queen Christina, the royal defaulter of unaccounted millions, and the protegêe of the Tuileries. But, as they were thus determined to maltreat Don Carlos, as they were virtually his gaolers, they might as well become so in reality and in effect. They might thus have another candidate for the honours of Carrickfergus; they might present the spectacle of a country which boasted her own freedom—the freedom of her every institution—persecuting with the most strict impartiality the extremes of all opinions,—the extreme of democracy on the one hand, and the extreme of absolutism on the other. But if they had no shame for these things, let them look at their interests. Was it their interest to disgust and make enemies of every party in the Peninsula? When a Spaniard saw these flourishing declarations of attachment for Spain on the part of British Statesmen, he might think of Madame de Sevigne's attachment to Provence, of which she said, that one would have liked Provence very well if there had been no Provençals. So, their Government might have liked Spain very much if there had been no Spaniards. Why, they had disgusted and made enemies alike of Moderado, Exaltado, and Carlist. The Moderados they had flung into the arms of France by their abetment of that series of outrages which began at La Granja and ended at Barcelona. The Exaltados, a more national party, a strong ally against French influence, they had abandoned and deserted. Espartero they had not had the courage to uphold, although he was the very type and symbol of English necessities and wants. There remained another national party—the Carlists—with their 353 Basque provinces, their peasantry, and their priests. Was it well that Louis Philippe should say to them, "It is not France, it is free England which is thus insulting and outraging Spain by the detention of a Spanish Infante?" Louis Philippe was perfectly aware of the value of such a fact. He knew that history sometimes repeated itself; that there was once a Charles, and a Bourbon, a common ancestor of Don Carlos and himself, who, relegated to this same city of Bourges, recovered his kingdom in spite of English arms and English influence. Such things might happen again in the person of Don Carlos or his son. Some military adventurer—of those now or hereafter high placed in Spain—might prefer the rôle of Monk to that of Espartero; and if so, why France would again have the advantage. In no possible contingency could they hope for a commercial treaty for any of those just claims so conducive to the interests of both countries. It was always to be the old story of Fontenoy over again. They were always to give France the first fire. But he knew he was speaking to ears that had been charmed by the voice of the charmer. He knew there was little chance of persuading the House, even as a matter of interest. If it was a question of property—a Northampton and Peterborough Railway Bill—he might hope for something; but in a question of mere justice like this, he knew the fate of his noble Friend's Motion. He would, however, even from that floor, make an appeal from them to that high person to whose hands the perpetration of this foul wrong was committed. He would beg him not to abet this harsh, this blind, this selfish policy. He would abjure him not to be indifferent to that fame which would soon be with other generations. He believed then, that when party heats had passed away, they would not echo the sneers of the right hon. Member for Dungarvon. They would not taunt Louis Philippe with being a King of the Barricades. They would say, that at least, if he did not inherit the legitimacy of the Bourbons, he inherited the fairer portions of their character. They would add that he had given proof of signal military talent, and at as early an age as the great Condê. They would remember that he had suffered exile with as much fortitude and less stain to his honour than Francis I. They would bear in mind that he had ruled over a disunited people with as much skill, and scarcely less success, than Henry of Navarre. They would know that he had 354 founded mighty works with a munificence second only to that of Louis XIV.; but, above all, they would record of him that he gave in himself and in his family an example of domestic happiness and unassuming worth which was looked fur in vain among his ancestors, and to which there could only be a parallel in the English Contemporary Court. But, whilst they remembered that such were among the great and princely qualities of Louis Phillippe, let them not also have it to say that these qualities were tarnished and obscured by a constant and cruel persecution of opinion. Least of all let them have an opportunity of declaring that, among his many victims, was that royal kinsman who, failing but two lives, was the head of his illustrious family—who had, like the French King himself, known poverty, and exile, and persecution; but who, unlike him so interpreted the obligations of an oath that he forebore to conspire against a Monarch, although that Monarch was not his benefactor, and who, therefore, had nothing to leave to his children but the inheritance of his misfortunes, and, it might be, the redressal of his wrongs.
§ Viscount Palmerston
said, that he was desirous of making a few remarks on what had fallen from the noble Lord with reference to the affairs of Spain at the time that he (Viscount Palmerston) was connected with the Government of this country. The noble Lord had said, that Isabella was placed upon the Throne of Spain by an intrigue, and that Don Carlos was the legitimate heir. But there could be no doubt that, by the laws of Spain, by the will of her father and by the decision of the Spanish nation Isabella was the rightful Sovereign. The questions had been before fully discussed in that House. The use of the British Legion, and such aid as had been afforded by the British Fleet, had been given in pursuance of the Quadruple Treaty. The noble Lord who had brought forward this Motion, had said that the Carlists were for a long time ignorant that the British Squadron was to take part in the contest, and were taken by surprise when it did so, and he had given a picturesque description of some boats issuing forth in the darkness of the night, and firing on the unsuspecting troops of Don Carlos; but had the noble Lord ever read the Quadruple Treaty, and the additional Articles, in which it was distinctly promised, that the British Navy should aid the cause of the Queen of Spain. The noble Lord could not be igno- 355 rant of what our engagements were under that Treaty. The terms of that Treaty were plain and open to every one, and nobody could justly plead ignorance of them. The noble Lord had done the late Government the honour to say, that they had faithfully and successfully fulfilled those engagements. The noble Lord had said, that it could not be doubted, that the interference of the British Government was the great agency by which the cause of the Queen had triumphed over the cause of Don Carlos. He accepted the compliment, which was just, as far as regarded the intentions of the Government; but the noble Lord carried his assertion too far, for though the assistance of England was a most important and efficient aid to the cause of the Queen, nothing but the enthusiasm of the Spanish people in favour of that cause, could have rendered it finally triumphant. There was no doubt that the late Government had been sincerely zealous. It was true that they had a naval force on the coast, but that force and the few marines they had with it would not have been sufficient to turn the contest in favour of the Queen, had not the majority of the Spanish people supported her cause. The noble Lord had spoken in a manner not very fitting of the conduct of British officers employed on that service, and he had talked of Lord John Hay as "a go-between." It was true that the noble Lord had said, he did not mean any offence in using that term, but if the noble Lord did not mean offence, why did he not make use of the term "mediator," which was a proper English word, and one which correctly described the capacity in which Lord John Hay acted. It was due to Lord John Hay to say, that he ably and well discharged his duties as a British officer, and successfully executed the instructions which he had received. When the noble Lord had informed them that Lord John Hay, by his mediation in the Basque Provinces, had contributed to put an end to a war marked by atrocities and cruelties greater than had ever stained the annals of civil war in modern times, he (Viscount Palmerston) considered, that it was an act to which that gallant Officer would ever look back with the greatest pride, and to which his country would bestow their unqualified approbation. The noble Lord had censured the conduct of the late Government in having, at the time when Don Carlos was in Spain, 356 given orders to the British ships off the coast of Spain not to receive him on board in case he demanded their protection. He avowed that they had done so by British interference. Don Carlos had been rescued when he was on the point of falling into the hands of Rodil; from the fate that threatened him in Portugal. He had been hospitably received by a British officer on hoard a British ship, and conveyed to the shores of this country, where every attention was paid to him by the British Government during his stay, and could it be forgotten, that the way in which Don Carlos had repaid that generous treatment was by issuing the Durango decree, and by ordering to be put to death, in cold blood, gallant soldiers our fellow-countrymen, taken bravely fighting on the field of battle, he (Viscount Palmerston) would have been ashamed of himself if, after such a base return for the kindness of this country, Don Carlos should again have been allowed to shelter himself under the protection of the British flag. Instead of feeling it a reproach, that such an order had been issued, he (Viscount Palmerston) thought, that he had only discharged his duty towards brave British subjects who had engaged in the British Legion, not only by the formal consent of the Sovereign, but, with the encouragement of the British Government. So much upon that subject. The noble Lord had said, that the British Government had interfered afterwards, when Don Carlos entered France, to prevent the return of Don Carlos to Spain. The noble Lord, of course, alluded to the communications that had taken place in 1837. Certainly the British Government thought, that it would not be consistent with that regard which both Governments had for the internal tranquillity of Spain to allow Don Carlos to leave France, unless under an engagement, that he would not return to Spain, and again light up in that country the flames of civil war. But it was not the intention of the French Government to set Don Carlos at liberty even without any interference on our part, and he was bound to say, that they did not adopt the course they did out of any deference to the wishes of England, but because they felt, that it would be for the interest of France herself, that he should not he allowed to return to disturb the tranquillity of Spain. It was upon a like principle that France had acted originally in concluding the Treaty into which she had entered with respect to the affairs of Spain and Portugal. 357 Now, with respect to the present Motion, he agreed that it would be a most unbecoming thing, that this Government should state to a foreign Government that the honour of the British Nation required that something should be done which it depended entirely on that foreign Government to do. He could not conceive anything more absurd, more undignified, than that our Government should say to another Government, "Our honour requires that you should do so and so." Why they would answer, "You are certainly the best judges of your own honour, but with that we have nothing to do. We are however the best judges of our own interests—look after your own honour and we will mind our own interests." They would either have to submit to a humiliating answer of this kind, or their demand must be enforced by arms, and they would be compelled to go to war for that which was not sufficient to call for such an alternative. The noble Lord had urged upon the right hon. Baronet the propriety, that Don Carlos should be treated with that consideration, which was due to a person brought up as a member of a Royal family—with high expectations which had been disappointed—and who, instead of sitting upon a Throne which he had been taught to expect, was now subjected to that restraint which belonged to the condition of a refugee in a foreign country. Undoubtedly this situation was one which ought to be viewed with every possible indulgence. He agreed with the right hon. Baronet in the hope—he would say the confident hope, that the French Government not only would, but did, observe in their treatment of Don Carlos, every degree of indulgence suitable to his condition, and compatible with the single point of preventing his return to Spain. He had no doubt, that if even now, Don Carlos would pledge his word of honour—a pledge which he was sure he would not break—that, if he was set at liberty, he would not return to Spain; he had no doubt, that if that promise was solemnly given, his detention would cease, and he would be at liberty to go to any other part of Europe which he might think fit to choose for his residence. But, it was understood, that so far from giving any of these assurances, Don Carlos would not surrender his claims in favour of his own son, and that if he was set free from restraint at, the present moment, there was every reason to 358 believe that he would return immediately to Spain, and that unhappy country, now torn by parties, would be still further convulsed by that additional element of disturbance. The noble Lord, in his speech, implied that England ought to support in Spain that party, and that party alone, which was favourable to British interests. Now, that was to suppose, that the interests of this country in Spain were identified with some particular party in Spain. Now, this was not the policy of the late, and he believed he was correct in thinking, that it was not the policy of the present Government. The only party which it was the interest of the British Government to support in Spain was the Spanish nation. They had no interest to carry in Spain by supporting one division of the country more than another. The interest of England was, that the Spanish nation should be strong, independent and prosperous. What they wanted was, that Spain should be a strong and substantial State, and an element of the balance of power in Europe. They had no party interest to maintain in Spain. The interest of England was to maintain whatever party was best capable of supporting and maintaining the real independence of the Spanish nation. As to supporting one party rather than another in the hope of getting a better commercial Treaty he thought, that any petty object of that kind would be unworthy of their consideration. The wise and proper policy of this country was to support in Spain the perfect independence of the Spanish nation. That wars the only wise policy to be pursued, and such policy was generous as well as wise, and must in the end he successful.
§ Mr. B. Cochrane
said, that he was happy to hear the last words that had fallen from the noble Lord—he was happy to hear the opinions he had just expressed as to the policy that would be adopted towards Spain, and he (Mr. Cochrane) could only say, that he could not sea how those declarations could be made consistent with the policy that had been pursued by the noble Lord. The noble Lord had referred to some observations that had fallen from his noble Friend who introduced the Motion with respect to Lord J. Hay. He was sure that those observations could have had no relation to the conduct of Lord J. Hay, personally, but to those who gave the orders which 359 Lord J. Hay had merely fulfilled. The noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) had moreover said, that the time when Lord J. Hay interfered, the feelings of the country was in favour of the Queen, but if the papers that were before the House were true, he did not see how that statement was consistent with the noble Lord's own correspondence with that officer. This correspondence extended from the time when Lord J. Hay went to Spain, until the period when he interfered with Maroto in that foul act of treachery, in that foul treason which Maroto had perpetrated. He found that Lord J. Hay, writing to the noble Lord on the subject of the state of Spain, in the summer of 1839, distinctly stated—At this time parties are so equally balanced in Spain, that it would be very difficult to say what would he the result of the existing contest, or how long that contest might continue.There was another point of the noble Lord's speech which he wished to notice. The noble Lord had stated that he thought that if Don Carlos was set at liberty, he would act like a man of honour. Now, he was glad to hear that declaration coming from the noble Lord, because he had heard it stated by some hon. Gentlemen that, on one occasion, Don Carlos had forfeited his personal honour. He was glad to hear it now stated, on the authority of the noble Lord, that if Don Carlos was now liberated on the faith of his personal honour that he would not violate that pledge. The noble Lord had said that he was sure Don Carlos would not. In former years he (Mr. Cochrane) had heard declarations that representations had been made with respect to the treatment of Don Carlos, and that the consequence was, that his treatment had been much improved. He had been lately at Bourges and he thought that it was the best way to have a personal communication with Don Carlos himself upon the subject, and the condition of that Prince, as His Royal Highness described it to him, was worse than it had been before. One of the articles agreed upon between Maroto and Espartero was that Don Carlos was to be treated as an Infanta of Spain. Now what, did they think, was the allowance granted him? Why, 15,000 francs per year, a little more than 600l. a-year of our money—irrespective of the rent of a House, and this was the whole 360 of the expense which was incurred on his account. He was lodged in a most miserable room, and he believed that the whole accommodation of the Prince consisted of three rooms for himself. It had been asserted that he might ride about to the distance of four leagues limn Bourges. It was true that he might, but then he was followed by gens d'armes. Wherever he went there were four gens d'armes and two agents of police to follow him and watch his movements. He had heard that during the five years which Don Carlos had been shot up in that place, he had never been allowed to enter one house in the town. Last year, when he and the noble Lord visited Don Carlos at Bourges, they had been allowed to enter his apartments at once, but this time they were obliged to obtain permission from the authorities in the town before they could see him. The feeling of Don Carlos was, that the manner in which he was treated there was sanctioned by England. He was sure that the right hon. Baronet would do his best to ameliorate his condition, but the feeling of Don Carlos was, that both the French and English Governments were leagued to keep him in his present state. Now, it must be remembered, that when Napoleon was sent to St. Helena the expense annually to this country was between 12,000l. and 20,000l. a-year, and surely this was not the occasion in which miserable motives of economy were to operate, and allowance of this kind was to be doled out to ore who was not only a Prince of the Blood in Spain, but who was also a relation of the present King of France. There had not been one insurrection, nor one state of excitement in Spain that had not been promoted by the means of French intrigue. Christina, by the aid of foreign intervention had been placed on the Throne of Spain, and she might have secured peace in Spain. But her Government was induced by French intrigue, to make war on her municipalities; Calatrava was succeeded by Espartero; then came another French intrigue, headed by Diego Leon, and others, in which the palace was entered and invaded, to very near the apartments of the Queen, until Espartero, with that gallantry that distinguished him, whatever might be his faults, had put down that outbreak, and arrested the out-rage. There had been another insurrection last year, which had been better managed than the former, as only a few 361 taverns had been bombarded, and the result of this last insurrection was, that Espartero had been turned out of Spain, and Narvaez become almost absolute. Then Olozaga became Prime Minister of Spain, but Olozaga was turned out of office and out of Spain on some absurd allegations, and they had at length the Ministry of Gonzales Bravo, ex-editor of the Satirist of Spain, and now they had Queen Christina returned hack to Spain, not with the Crown jewels, but no doubt with a great deal of judicious and delicate advice from France. The whole history of the policy of France towards Spain, from the time when the Bourbon family first entered that country from the time when Louis Quatorze made use of that remarkable expression, "There is now an end to the Pyreness"—from that time to the present—whether under the Monarchy—under the Consulate, or under the Empire—the whole policy of France with respect to that country had had but one object—to make Spain a province of France. Well, Louis Philippe had been placed on the Throne of France—and his object seemed to be to overturn dynasties, and to put down what he appeared to consider to be the mischievous and traitorous doctrine of National Sovereignty. It was not his intention to enter much into the subject, but many who were refused the support of Governments in the present day had been respected in the olden time. He would say, that let them look around Europe, and see how few of those who were respected in the olden time now enjoyed that respect and support to which they were entitled. It was the interest of the King of the French to advocate his own opinions—but still he ought to recollect that as there had been great changes, so other great changes might still happen. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvon when he said that the Crown of the "King of the Barricades was not established either on the principles of legitimacy or on the principles of democracy." He should recollect that the Due de Reichstadt and the Due de Bourdeaux had been born under circumstances not less glorious, and had been surrounded in their early years by courtiers not less obsequious than the youthful Members of the present Family of France. One of these Princes died in exile, and the other was now a wanderer about Europe, and whose misfortunes did not render him secure of 362 a hospitable retreat even in England Therefore, who was to say that where such great changes had happened, there might not be some further changes still? He would ask the House and the country to consider the conduct of those who endeavoured to reconcile inconsistent and discordant principles. The right hon. Baronet supported Christina in Spain and Espartero in London. At the time that he acknowledged Espartero he sent a Minister to Madrid, and he explained this on the principle, that he recognised Espartero as de jure Regent of Spain, whilst he recognised the Government to which he accredited a Minister as the de facto Government of Spain. Well, then, why not apply the same principle to the case of the Due de Bordeaux, and, while they admitted the present King of France to be the de facto King of that country, why not acknowledge the Due de Bordeaux as the de jure King of France? For his (Mr. Cochrane's) part, he could not understand that sort of Toryism which could attempt to combine the support of the principles of legitimate monarchy with the support of the principles of democracy. That was not the Toryism of the olden time. That was not the Toryism that was understood when Mr. Pitt was alive, and that great man never acknowledged Napoleon to be the Emperor of France, and our blood was shed, and our treasure expended, and our energies exerted, under the guidance of Mr. Pitt, in support of the principle of legitimacy. It was the duty and the interest of a great country like this to encourage and maintain a high public morality. He had witnessed a strange scene the other day in the French Chambers, when the Prime Minister of France uttered the words "moralité publique." There was not one man who heard them, whether upholder of the Empire, of the Restoration, or of the Usurpation, who did not receive the expression with contemptuous cries. He wished to see this country maintain a high public morality, but where were they to look for the high public morality of former days? He found that in February 1830, his Majesty came to Parliament, and declared in his Speech from the Throne, that his relations with Foreign Rowers, and amongst others Most Christian France were uninterrupted, and at the end of that same Session the Prime Minister of that day came and informed misfortunes did not render him secure of the House that the elder branch of the 363 Bourbons had ceased to reign in France, but that that event would not lead to any change in our diplomatic relations with that country. Now, if the people of France by their free will, placed the Due de Bourdeaux on the Throne of France, and the people of Spain placed Don Carlos or his son upon the Throne of Spain, would not the British Government acknowledge them? He believed that they would, and he believed that they would do so for this good reason, that there was great virtue in success, and that misfortune was generally disregarded. He would say, in conclusion, that it was a dangerous principle in our own country to talk so much of revolution. He thought it would be better to conceal from the people the basis on which these modern Thrones were founded, because a generation of men might rise up stronger than the present generation and say that their idea was in favour of national sovereignty, and that the people ought to have a sovereignty for themselves. He had spoken warmly—perhaps too warmly—but he did so because he spoke on behalf of a Prince who was unfortunate, and who, if he were not unfortunate, but successful, they would, he was sure, have been delighted to honour.
§ Sir C. Napier
regretted that he was not present when the noble Lord brought forward his Motion; for he would have been glad to hear the noble Lord's reasons for taking up the case of Don Carlos. He thought the noble Lord could not be acquainted with the atrocities Don Carlos had committed in the north of Spain, or he would have been the last man to wish for his release from prison, or, rather, from a comfortable retirement. He believed the career of Don Carlos was pretty well known. When Don Ferdinand wished his daughter to be acknowledged as his legal successor, Don Carlos, by stealth, or without permission, took up his residence in Portugal. After the Cortes had taken the oaths of allegiance to Don Ferdinand's daughter, Don Carlos was invited to return, and take the same oaths; and, if he did not think proper to do so, a frigate was sent to Lisbon to convey him to Italy. Don Carlos had promised the Spanish Minister not to leave the place where he then was; but he broke his promise and went to Cintra, where he met Don Miguel, who had quitted his headquarters to meet him. After a short interview Don Miguel—who did not wish the 364 circumstance of the conference to be known—returned to his head-quarters, unaccompanied by his staff, and in a naval uniform. Don Carlos then went to the frontier of Spain, where an army under General Rodil was collected; he thought, no doubt, to play a great part, and advanced towards the frontier with a small escort, but the Spaniards would have nothing to do with him, and with some difficulty he retired to the interior of Portugal. After the destruction of the Miguelite fleet before Oporto, and the occupation of Lisbon, Don Carlos still remained in the interior of Portugal. During the winter, when it was uncertain which party might be successful, Don Carlos endeavoured, under various pretexts, to introduce a Spanish force into Portugal. Don Carlos joined Don Miguel, and in a short time afterwards the insurrection in Portugal was repressed. A ship was then sent to the coast of Portugal to receive Don Miguel, and, with great difficulty, he contrived to embark, and was rescued from his perilous situation. At this time, a Frenchman attached to Don Carlos, the Baron Roncesvalles, wrote to Sir W. Parker, the British Admiral, on the part of Don Carlos, praying for an interview. The request was granted, and an interview took place secretly, on board the flag-ship. The Admiral and the British Minister fell into the snare which had been laid for them. Don Carlos professed his wish to go to Italy, but the Admiral and the Minister told him he must go to England, and that was just what he wanted. Don Carlos was asked to give a pledge, but he refused to do so; and, in this case, therefore, he was free from the charge of having broken his word. There was not, however, any doubt that he succeeded in bamboozling our Minister. He said at the time, that Don Carlos ought not to have been received on board a British man-of-war; there ought to have been no interference either on the part of the British or of the French Government—if the French Government did then interfere, of which he was not certain; but, at all events, Don Carlos ought not to have been allowed to quit this country until the decision of the Allied Powers was known. Don Carlos was, then, embarked on board the Donegal, without having given any pledge; he was brought to this country; the then existing Government again wished him to give a 365 pledge, but he declined. He was allowed to live quietly in England; but the Government little knew what a cunning fellow he was. In fourteen days after his arrival in this country, Don Carlos was across the Channel; and in a few clays afterwards he was in the Basque provinces. Did the hon. Member wish Don Carlos to return again to Spain? Did the hon. Gentleman remember how much blood Don Carlos had been the cause of shedding, in a useless attempt to become the Monarch of a people who did not wish to have him for a Sovereign? It was true Don Carlos was popular in the Basque provinces, but would any hon. Gentleman assert, that he was popular in any other part of Spain? Did not Don Carlos send 3,000 or 4,000 men under a very active and experienced General, who went throughout Spain, plundering every province they visited, laughing at the Queen's troops, and who afterwards returned with their plunder to the Basque provinces, where they were ill received by their master? It was known that an army of English auxiliaries thought proper to enlist themselves against Don Carlos. He (Sir C. Napier) considered this a very improper interference; and he certainly thought, that English troops were generally the worst auxiliaries to be found anywhere. Don Carlos issued a Decree that every prisoner taken should be put to death. Had hon. Gentlemen opposite never heard of the Durango Decree? Not only was this order given, but it was carried into effect. Did the English auxiliaries retaliate? He defied hon. Gentlemen opposite to show that General Evans, who commanded the English auxiliaries, had ever issued an order, or even given a hint, that prisoners taken from the party to whom he was opposed should be put to death. He believed, that if Don Carlos had fallen into the hands of General Evans, he would have been treated with every consideration and respect; while if General Evans had been taken by Don Carlos he might have anticipated far different treatment. Lord John Hay had been mentioned; and be (Sir C. Napier) must say, that he considered the conduct of that noble Lord throughout had not only been that of a brave and excellent Officer, but also of an admirable diplomatist. Lord John Hay had, in fact, conducted the whole business, and though, as he (Sir C. Napier) believed, that gal- 366 lant Officer was a Conservative in politics, the Government had such confidence in him, that he was selected by them to discharge this duty, and he fulfilled it to the entire satisfaction not only of the noble Lord (Lord Palmerston), but of the Conservative party, who were opposed to the then Government. He conceived, that too much credit could not be given to Lord John Hay for his conduct; and he was astonished that a man who had rendered such extraordinary services remained without any reward from the Government, although an extensive promotion of the Order of the Bath had taken place. Lord J. Hay sent to the Government a list of Officers who had distinguished themselves under his orders, and whom he recommended for promotion, but he asked nothing for himself. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. B. Cochrane) had complained that in France Don Carlos received only 15,000f. a-year and his house-rent. Who was to give him an increased allowance? Could he expect it from the English Government? Could a man who sanctioned the most horrid murders under the Durango Decree expect anything from the English Government? He conceived, that the British Government would act most unjustifiably if they made any provision for him. If Don Carlos had a claim upon any one, he conceived that it was upon his relations of the Bourbons family; and he certainly thought they would evince their liberality by making him an allowance in conformity with his dignity, always having due regard to his security. He (Sir C. Napier) would give his roost decided opposition to the Motion of the noble Lord opposite.
§ Mr. P. Borthwick
supported most cordially the Motion of his noble Friend. The question it involved was one not merely personal to the fortune of Don Carlos, but one which affected the interests of his children, and his children's children, as well as our own in all time to come: because it was a question of legitimate succession. He (Mr. Borthwick) denied that Don Carlos had ever given any engagement not to return to Spain, as the noble Lord, the late Foreign Secretary, had alleged; and he maintained, therefore, the distinct right of that illustrious Prince to leave this country and go hack to his own, on the invitation of a portion of its people. In 1835, Don. Carlos joined General Zumalacarregui, who had but 200 men under 367 his command, with not as many pounds to provide for them, and no horses; but nevertheless they defeated and disarmed an entire army of the Christinos. It was that great man who, when he was asked where were his arsenals, replied, pointing to the 30,000 enemies encamped before him, "There they are." And sure enough his troops were soon armed with muskets proved in the Tower of London, which had been supplied to the troops of the Queen of Spain. He had travelled in Spain on that occasion, and he maintained, that at all times, and in all places, the supporters of Don Carlos had expressed themselves to the effect, that if the moral influence of England was withdrawn from the side of the Queen of Spain, Don Carlos would be seated on the Throne in six months, notwithstanding the efforts of the Legion, and even of an army three times its numbers. He admitted that the Legion, from its original constitution, from the fact of its not being officered by English officers, and from its being hurried about at a disadvantage, was not, perhaps, of a character best qualified to sustain the credit of England or the English name; but even if it were, and even if it were trebled in numbers, he had no doubt in his own mind that it was the moral influence of England alone that decided the struggle against Don Carlos. All the hon. Gentlemen who had spoken on the other side had declared that the reason why Don Carlos was confined so closely, and treated with so much rigour, was to establish peace in Spain, and thereby to keep it intact in the rest of Europe. But had they succeeded in effecting that object—if such was their object in reality? No; peace had no residence in Spain. Even now there is not a village not at war with its neighbour or with the Government—and not a father of a family who could calculate for a single night upon the lives of those dearest to him being safe. If peace had any residence in the Peninsula, it was in those chateaux en Espagne, whose name was synonymous with self delusion; it had no reality. In the debate on the Address to the Crown in 1838—the first year of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne—he had called the attention of the House to the State of Spain; and he would be pardoned for adverting on this occasion to what he had then said. In that debate he told the noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) that the question was one—not as of Don Carlos, or of his Generals, because if they were all im- 368 prisoned in France, it would be the same in the issue—but of the people at large, and the principle of monarchical government; and, he added, that until that was satisfactorily settled, there would be as little tranquillity found in that country as before. The result had verified his predictions—amply verified them—for there was now as little peace there as there had been then. That most infamous convention had been concluded. He did not mean to cast reflections upon those engaged in it on the part of this country; but the papers on which it was based—papers laid before the House by the noble Lord—exposed to the view of Europe, and to the whole world at large, a mass of treason so black that the page of history was never blotted with its equal. These were the records of the convention of Bergara. He did not impute this treason to Lord J. Hay, but he did maintain that the British Government of that day had purchased the prospect of peace for Spain at a price which should not be paid for anything in the world, viz., good faith and honour. These principles, which should actuate all nations, were grossly violated by the convention of Bergara, and the result was peace less than ever. The Treaty of Bergara, however, and the present detention of Don Carlos, had been attempted to be justified by the Durango decree. It was asked what could be done after that decree? In his (Mr. Borthwick's) opinion, that decree was a decree of mercy. It was a decree of mercy to General Evans, and to every one of those unfortunate men who had been deluded by the hollow pretences of the Government then in power to take part in that unhappy struggle in Spain. The Durango decree however, was no invention of Don Carlos. It was no inure and no less than the simple promulgation of a law fundamental not only to Spain, but to England, and to every other country; and it was the law in Spain and in England before Don Carlos was born. He (Mr. Borthwick) would put a parallel case. Suppose a foreign force had landed to support, he would say, the Orange lodges, accused by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of wishing to change the succession to the Throne of this country, and to place upon it a usurper; would any quarter be granted to them? Would they not be shot when taken? Would they be allowed the rights of war? Would it not be the duty of those in command to hang them on the first tree they met with? That was the law of Spain also, General Evans 369 had stated repeatedly that the English in the service of Don Carlos were fighting against the forces of the Queen of England; but such was not the fact. The auxiliary British Legion was not in the service of the Queen of England; it was not officered by English officers holding Her Majesty's Commission, and it was not fighting under English colours. It was a force permitted to be raised by the suspension of the Foreign Enlistment Act—fighting for Spanish pay, which, unluckily for them, they never got—in a quarrel disgraceful to those who originated it, as well as to those who supported it, and under colours alien to those of England. To that Don Carlos gave notice that they were not entitled to the rights of war, as they neither fought under the banners of England, nor were in the service of the Queen of England, nor were even officered by English officers. He told them that they were unlicensed invaders of the Spanish soil, unwelcome intruders in a national quarrel, and that, therefore, by the law of the land, they should be punished with death. That was the notice—was it not a decree of mercy rather than cruelty? He had heard with much surprise from the gallant Officer who spoke before him, that numbers of Englishmen had been subjected to that decree. He knew of several who were treated as prisoners of war, notwithstanding that decree, but he had never heard of any who were brought under its operation. He was not there to palliate the dreadful system of reprisals which took place during that war, nor to justify the cruelty of Cabrera. But he would ask those who made the accusation of cruelty against Don Carlos, who began those horrors? Was not the very first victim to that fearful system General Santo Ladron—was he not shot—a prisoner of war, taken from his sick bed—in a ditch before the walls of Pampeluna? The immortal memory of Zumalacarregui had been attempted to be sullied by those who knew nothing of the history of that war, or of its consequences. Allowances being made for the national temperament of the people of Spain, a country in which life was considered with far less care than in England—a people among whom its loss was the least that they heeded, there was not a stain of cruelty or crime upon the unexampled career of that hero; for unexampled it was to dispel an army of 30,000 men with only an un-provided force of 200. Again, with respect to Cabrera's butcheries, as they were called. 370 Look at the provocation, and then call them by that name if possible. He did not believe that there was a man in the House who, if his mother had been butchered, and his sisters treated in the manner Cabrera's were, would not have done as he did. What were the facts of that General's career? He was a student at law in the university. In that capacity he took part in a debate, the thesis of which was whether Don Carlos or Isabella had the best right to the throne; and in that debate he espoused the side of the former. He did not think this subject was the most prudently selected; but it was, after all, but a boyish debate. The consequences were, however, serious to Cabrera. He had to fly to save himself. His mother—a widow lady—who lived near the University, was applied to for information of his abode; but she did not know or would not tell it. On this she was taken out into the Plaza, being placed in the centre of a battalion formed on three sides of a square, she was shot by order, it was stated, of Nogueras, but certainly with the sanction of General Mina. That, to say nothing of the treatment of his sisters—of which every hon. Member in the House had heard—was sufficient to madden any man, and almost to justify any act of reprisals, and it was a gallant action of Cabrera when he signed the Elliott Convention to exclude himself and Nogueras from its operation. These cruelties began, it would be seen, on the side of the innocent Isabella, and, perhaps the noble Lord would say, the still more innocent Christina. But it was all to procure peace for Spain. Was there peace in Spain now? Were there no shootings, no wholesale slaughter? Where was Diego Leon, who won for Espartero laurels which Espartero could never have won for himself? What had become of him? Espartero wore on his brow the laurels of the Duke of Victory, but it was a well-known fact that he never met a Car-list force, front the time of Zumalacarregui to the days of Cabrera, without leaving it the victory. Diego Leon was shot in the public Plaza, and the Newspapers of that morning announce a number of executions of a similar nature, of recent date in Spain. He would read a specimen to the House.