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that event, which would be dreadful to fore his majesty's pleasure that you should
The Report of the Committee was manifest, by all the means in his power, agreed to; after which Mr. Pitt moved his solicitude for the personal situation of for “a Copy of Instructions sent to earl | their most christian majesties, and their Gower, signifying his majesty's pleasure royal family; and he earnestly and anxthat he should leave Paris," which was iously hopes that they will, at least, be agreed to.
secure from any acts of violence, which
could not fail to produce one universal Instructions to Earl Gower signifying sentiment of indignation through every that he should quit Paris.] December 21. country of Europe. Mr. Secretary Dundas presented the fol- (Signed) Henry DUNDAS. lowing
The Paper having been read, Copy of the Instructions sent to Earl
Mr. Pitt said, that from the paper Gower, his Majesty's ambassador to the most Christian king, signifying
the House would perceive what then his Majesty's pleasure that he should were the sentiments of his majesty, with quit Paris.
respect to the transactions which had oc
curred in France; and these, he presumed, Whitehall, August 17th, 1792. were the sentiments of every British heart My lord ;- In the absence of lord Gren- upon the same occasion. What now ville, I have received and laid before the must be those sentiments, when cruelties king your excellency's dispatch, No. XL. had been exercised, when a spirit of the
His majesty learns, with the deepest utmost barbarity had been displayed, concern, the height to which the distrac- and nothing remained for us to look fortions in Paris have been carried, and the ward to, but that dreadful and final condeplorable consequences to which they summation which could not fail to excite have led, which are doubly affecting to universal horror and indignation. The his majesty, from the regard which his only difficulty that had occurred to him majesty invariably feels for the persons was, in what terms that House could exof their most christian majesties, and his press itself suitably to the occasion. interest in their welfare, as well as from Considering the unanimity of sentiment the wishes which he forms for the tran- which prevailed upon the subject, he had quillity
, and prosperity of a kingdom with at first thought, that the best mode in which he is in amity.
which the sense of that House could be Under the present circumstances, as it expressed, would be by a vote-ra vote appears that the exercise of the executive which might reach the whole of Europe, power has been withdrawn from his most the influence of which should extend to christian majesty, the credential, under France, and might perhaps there produce which your excellency has hitherto acted, the effect which was so much to be decan be no longer available. And his ma- sired. But in turning the business over jesty judges it proper, on this account, in his mind, a doubt had occurred to him, as well as most conformable to the prin- whether this would be the best mode of ciples of neutrality, which his majesty proceeding. This doubt arose not from has hitherto observed, that you should any suspicion of the unanimity of that no longer remain at Paris. It is there. House in expressing their indignation at
a conduct which at once united the charged as criminal.” He thought now, highest degree of cruelty and insanity; as he had on a former occasion expressed, but from a reflection, that as that House, that if the sentiment of that House was in giving their vote, would feel themselves perfectly unanimous, and that of the bound to adopt terms the most strong other House also, to communicate that and indignant, whether, by this circum- circumstance to France would have a destance national pride and jealousy might cided influence on persons of all descripnot be alarmed, whether these might not : tions there. He had assigned some reahave the effect, in that state of fury to ' sons for being of that opinion, but he which the minds of the people were should say no more upon the subject at worked up, to mask and disguise the present. If there was a point on which atrocity of their conduct, and hurry them his opinion was more clear than on any on to the commission of that very crime other, it was upon the abstract rule of which it was the intention of that House justice with respect to the trial of persons to exert their influence to prevent. In for offences against law, and he was fuenced by this consideration, it had ap- sure it was impossible to keep up that peared to him to be a better mode simply rule without condemning, from the beto allow the paper to remain on the table ginning to the end, the proceedings of the House. This mode would fully imply against the unfortunate king of France. the concurrence of that House, in the Mr. Sheridan said, that this subject expression of his majesty's sentiments. appeared to him one of great difficulty,
Mr. Windham expressed his entire importance, and delicacy. After the .concurrence with the right hon. gentle- best attention he could give the subject, man in every syllable he had uttered. he must confess he knew of nothing If the sense of that House, the organ of better than that which was proposed by the public voice at home, was to be ex- the chancellor of the exchequer, and pressed to a foreign power, the only therefore he concurred in it. However, organ this country could have for that he rejoiced to think that their common purpose was its sovereign. He agreed object was obtained in a great degree. also, that any formal communication to Mr. Burke observed, that the manly Paris might irritate and provoke the des- declarations of the two gentlemen who peration of some persons, who might spoke last deserved the highest approbahave their sovereign in their power, and tion. He highly applauded the princiby such means we should contribute to ple of our constitution, that the king produce what we were all so anxious to was the only organ by which the sentiprevent.
ments of this country could be conveyed Mr. For expressed his concurrence to any foreign power. He observed it with the proposal. His opinion upon would have been impossible to send a this subject was, he believed, the opinion message to Paris that would not counterof the whole House and the whole coun- act the purpose of averting the cruelty try. It was better that we should pro- so much deprecated. There were two ceed no further than that we should en parties there, equally the enemies of the gage ourselves too deeply. He had heard king, the irritable and furious and the it said that the proceedings against the malicious and timid. If a message in unhappy king of France were unnecessary. the imperious style was to be sent, the He would go a great deal further, and irritable and furious would become dessay he believed them to be highly unjust, perate. If in a mild tone, the timid would and not only repugnant to all the com- take courage, and become more dangermon feelings of mankind, but contrary to ous than ever. The House, he said, was all the fundamental principles of law; for about to do itself great hononr by its mohe regarded it as a principle of natural deration and its dignity. justice, an essential part of all human The Paper was ordered to lie upon the policy, never to be departed from under table, to be perused by the members of any circumstances or pretence whatever, the House. in any country, “ that the criminal law shall be rigidly construed according to its Debate on the Marquis of Lansdown's letter-that subsequent laws shall be Motion for sending a Minister to Parisadapted to crimes, but that all persons And on the Condition of the French Emishall be tried according to the laws in grants.] Dec. 19. Lord Grenville brought being at the time of committing the acts in a Bill “ for establishing regulations re[VOL. XXX.]
specting Aliens arriving in this kingdom, the ruling powers in that nation had or residing therein in certain cases. He thought proper to banish. Possibly she said, that the vast influx of foreigners might consent to receive them back again, into this country, in consequence of the or contribute to the means of their supdistractions on the continent, had excited port in exile. How the opinion ef France no small alarm in the minds of his ma- on this subject might be procured was jesty's ministers, who had reason to ap- the only difficulty that could be seen in prehend, that among them were persons the case. For his own part, he did not disaffected to the government of this consider the difficulty as insurmountable ; country. For the preservation therefore for we might do that to which he was of the public tranquillity, it had been sorry to find there was an objection-we thought expedient to make this provision might send a minister to Paris to treat by means of an act. Although he con- directly on this head. His lordship said, ceived that his majesty, by virtue of his that it was not for this purpose alone that prerogative, might compass this end, yet he wished to have a communication with as that extension of power had not been France : there was another object which exerted for a long period of years, it was interested every man of feeling, every almost obsolete, and required a revisal. man of virtue, justice, and humanity-he This bill had no reference to that sub- meant the impending fate of the unfortuject; it neither increased nor diminished nate king of France, whom it must be the the prerogative of the crown ; the law on wish of every man in the nation, to save that point would remain entirely un from the horrors of that fate which it was touched by this bill. The bill was read a to be feared awaited him. He was not first time.
disposed to flatter that prince, though if
fattery could ever be excusable, it would Dec. 21. On the order of the day for be when it was offered to a person in dis. the second reading of the Alien Bill, tress; but truth compelled him to say,
The Marquis of Lansdown rose. His that if ever prince had merits to plead lordship observed, that the disturbances with his people, it was Louis 16th. Dur. in a neighbouring kingdom having driven ing a reign of sixteen years, it was his a very considerable number of its inha. constant study to make them happy; and bitants into this, it certainly was become during that period he never once, till within a subject of serious consideration what the last six months, entertained a thought should be done with them. Since his ar- of consulting his own interest, as distinct rival in town he had attended a meeting from that of his subjects. Such a king of one of the charitable societies estaba was not a fit object for punishment, and lished for procuring these friendless fo to screen him from it every nation ought reigners relief; and he found that more to interpose its good offices; but England, than a month ago, there were near 8,000 above all, was bound to do so, because he persons of this description who had taken had reason to believe that what had enshelter in England. Their only resource couraged the French to bring him to trial was in the humanity and generosity of the was the precedent established by England English nation, which had certainly been in the unfortunate and disgraceful case of nobly exercised in their behalf; but when Charles Ist. He believed at the same he should state that the expense of sup- time that no nation could interpose with porting them amounted to nearly 1,0001. so much effect in behalf of the ill-fated a week, their lordships must be convinced, monarch at Paris, as the English ; for he that the benevolence of individuals must was fully persuaded that the French ensoon become inadequate to the claims tertained a high opinion of the judgment upon it, which were daily increasing. He of the English, of their justice and of their had heard that ministers had it in con- honour, which had been so strongly matemplation to send these unfortunate re- nifested by the exact neutrality observed fugees to the western part of Canada, by the British government during the there to give them grants of lands, and course of the French revolution. It was enable them to form settlements. He the duty of England to stand forward on very much approved of the measure, but this occasion, to prevent a catastrophe was of opinion, that, before it was carried which probably would never have been into execution, this country ought to take thought of, had not she brought one of some step to try what France might ulti- her monarchs to the block; and it was mately do for these poor people, whoun doubly their duty, as it was probable that, were she to negociate for the life of the find it an easy matter to provide the unfortunate prince to whom he alluded, means of carrying on another at so great she would not negociate in vain. He was a distance from the centre of their strength. happy in having received the intelligence Germany, he believed, was not prepared to this day of a nature which gave him resist the torrent of French opinions, even ground for hoping, that we should not be from the stations which the French armies called upon to act hostilely against France; at this moment occupied, and though for by a letter from Holland he was as they should proceed no farther. Prussured that our allies, the Dutch, did not sia, he would venture to say, would consider the opening of the Scheldt as a soon return to her old prejudices in favour matter of such consequence, as to make of an alliance with France, and negociate them run the hazard of a war for the pur- | a peace. Austria would soon be without pose of preventing it, and that they there resources ; for though she was usually tore had determined not to call upon strong when she was at war with the England to assist her in maintaining the Turks, it was not the case when she was exclusive navigation of that river. He at war with France. The reason was did not hesitate to pronounce this a wise obvious ; for when she took the field determination ; and he believed it would against the former, her capital generally have been prudent had they never thought Aowed back into her own country; but of shutting up the Scheldt. Every one when she acted against the French, her knew that, down from the time of sir Wm. money was spent at such a distance from Temple, the great strength of Holland, home, that it was scarcely possible it the principal source of her wealth, was should find its way back. One of the the fishery, for which Amsterdam was great causes of the present immense much more commodiously situated than wealth of England, was the new system Antwerp. He was not able to see how of keeping her capital at home, instead of England had been brought to concur in sending it abroad to enrich the lands, shutting up rivers ; for what nation could commerce, and manufactures of foreign derive so much advantage from an open nations. Hence it was, that when there and free navigation, as that which carried was a question of making canals, or openon the most extensive trade in the world ? ing a new road to speculation, the sums Of late years a policy hostile to exclusion which individuals were ready to adventure had begun to gain ground: in the treaty were astonishingly great. These advanwhich he had had the fortune to conclude, tages would be lost by a foreign' war, and which put an end to the last war, he which would carry the capital out of the had not lost sight of this policy, for he country, and enrich other powers at our had stipulated for a free navigation of the expense. Our ministers should, thereMississippi, though the possessions which fore, be very careful how they encouraged we had on its banks were so insignificant, Austria and Prussia to prosecute the preas scarcely to be worth mentioning. It sent war, because it was impossible that was from the navigation of the river, and those powers should be able to do so not from these possessions, that he looked without our millions, which, once sent to in time for solid advantages to the trade Germany, would never find their way and prosperity of England. He rejoiced back to England. For these reasons he that the Dutch had given up the exclu- was strongly for adhering to the syssive navigation of the Scheldt, not merely tem of neutrality, hitherto observed by on account of the advantages which we Great Britain. His voice was for peace might derive from the opening of it, but abroad, and union at home; and for the chiefly because we should by such a mea- attainment of these objects, he thought it sure be freed from the necessity of going would be sound policy in us to negociate to war. In that case, therefore, ministers with France. We were great, we were might not find it a difficult matter to re- powerful: the French esteemed us, and concile it to their feelings, to open a consequently we might be sure that we communication with France, and nego should be able to negociate with effect. ciate with her, not merely on our account, He had, with much care, drawn up two but on that of other powers of Europe resolutions on two points, which he would actually at war, and endeavour to prevent strongly recommend to the serious consithe carnage and expense of another cam- deration of their lordships. He had two paign. Austria and Prussia must have objects in view; one was to save the suffered so much from the last, as not to life of an unfortunate and deserving prince, which he trusted might be attain- | members of the French nation, as, on ed, when it should be known in France, various accounts, have taken refuge in that it was the unanimous wish of all de- this country, and for engaging their comscriptions of men in England that he passion in favour of so many thousands of should not suffer; the other, to try if it their countrymen, many of whom, unless was not possible to procure for the French
some permanent measures be taken for refugees in this country some relief from their relief, must inevitably perish by the government of their own. Both ob- famine ; and for expressing his majesty's jects he considered as attainable. With readiness to lend his royal assistance torespect to the former, he meant that who-wards the accomplishment of so desirable ever should be sent to France by his ma- an end, by granting them lands in the jesty should be allowed all the means western parts of Canada, if it should be likely to render his mission successful ; | judged expedient to preclude them from he meant, he should be empowered to returning to their native country." employ all means short of war to save The first motion being put, France, to save Europe, to save human Lord Grenville said, that though the nature from the disgrace of the act which noble marquis had taken such pains to all would deplore, and every one would render the wording of his resolution unobwish to avert. With respect to the refu- jectionable, he never in his life heard gees, he declared he was influenced by words that conveyed so much horror to no one motive that was personal to him his mind as those which he had adopted. self. He must, however, acknowledge, The manner in which the unfortunate that himself and his family, in common monarch in question was described, was with all Englishmen of any distinction precisely that which was used by those had experienced at the hands of many of who were at present heaping upon that those unfortunate people the greatest amiable prince every species of indignity. kindness, attention, and hospitality; to The only appellation they gave him was the French clergy in particular they were that of “ Louis 16th."-an appellation greatly indebted on this head ; for it was purposely meant to point out the man as well known by all foreigners, that in distinct from the kingly office and dignity, France it was chiefly the clergy who did which they themselves had sworn to mainthe honours of the nation. These worthy tain to him and to his posterity. This was and hospitable men, driven from their not the way in which England was accushouses, and from their property had claims tomed to treat the sovereigns of Europe ; upon the generosity of Englishmen, which and he trusted their lordships would have had been most handsomely admitted, and too much regard for their own honour which, he trusted, would continue to be and for that of their country, to adopt admitted until such time as France should the language of men whose actions were become more just to a most deserving calculated to inspire horror and detestabody of subjects, or until England should tion. The objection which he had to the have furnished them with the means of wording went also to the form, without forming settlements in Canada, and of which a negociation could not be carried thus providing for their future support.- He would suppose for a moment, The noble marquis concluded by moving, but merely for the sake of argument, for 1. " That an humble address be presented he considered the thing as really untrue, to his majesty, praying that he may be that it was possible to find an Englishman graciously pleased to pursue such mea- so lost to a sense of honour, virtue, and sures as in his wisdom he may deem meet, humanity, as to undertake to negociate by sending a minister, or otherwise, to with persons of this description. He France, to represent his feelings for the would ask to whom he should address unhappy situation of Louis 16th, and to himself, with whom should he negociate, use his best endeavours in exhorting them where should he find the persons on not to suffer any danger to arise to his whom the fate of Louis 16th actually person. 2. That an humble address depends ? He believed that any man be presented to his majesty, requesting who had attentively considered the flucthat his majesty will be graciously pleased tuation of affairs in France for some time to take such measures as to his royal past, would find it a very difficult matter wisdom may seem meet, for conveying to to answer these questions. He had anothe proper persons in France a represen- ther substantial objection to the resolu. tation of the deplorable state of such tion, and that was, that, however guarded