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on the feelings of others on a former day. danger, and therefore it was that he op. The whole subject had been explained by posed the present bill. If ministers would the noble marquis with so much propriety, prove the internal danger to exist, he dignity, and perspicuity, that he could would consider himself bound to vote for not entertain a doubt as to his principles it on the third reading. and sentiments. He had so properly Colonel Hartley observed, that as he come forward to state his opinion as a believed the country to be at this time in member of that House (which, by the danger, whatever opinion he might have way, was more regular than alluding to of administration, he thought he could the opinion of other persons who were not do better than confide in them in the not members), that no doubt could now present instance, and give his assent to remain ; all that he had to say on that sub- the present bill. When the danger was ject was, that he concurred entirely with over, the House would expect ministers the noble marquis in every thing he had to give a very good account of the whole said that night, except his approbation of proceedings, and if they did not satisfy the present bill. The committee might, the House, proper steps could be taken perhaps, be the proper stage for him to to express disapprobation; but at present, deliver his sentiments upon the subject. under all the circumstances, he was for At present, he must confess, he was not passing the bill as the best measure that ready to give his assent to the bill. He could be adopted. was not surprised that there was a dif- The House then resolved itself into the ference of opinion between the noble committee. The bill was read clause by marquis and himself upon the bill. They clause, and a great number of amendhad formed different opinions on the state ments made and additional clauses inof the country: the noble marquis had troduced. thought the country in danger, and therefore very properly thought that the exe- January 4, 1793. The order of the day cative power should be strengthened. being read for taking into consideration He, on the contrary, was not aware of the report of the committee on the Alien such danger, and saw no necessity for Bill, the bill; and therefore, when the case was Mr. M. A. Taylor said, that the printhus explained, it was not surprising that ciple of the bill appeared to him of the they differed in opinion. The bill must, most dangerous tendency. If once estahe apprehended, be discussed on two blished, he did not well see where it was grounds. The first was, whether any to stop, or why it might not be extended danger did exist? If that was determined to British subjects as well as foreigners, in the negative, there would be an end of and lead to a total repeal of the Habeas the bill; if in the affirmative, then, se. Corpus act, upon grounds of danger tocondly, whether the bill contained the tally ideal, or at least unsupported by any proper remedy for such danger? The evidence. His majesty's ministers had felt present was not a question of general it necessary, in order to justify themselves support of administration, as had been for calling parliament together so unexvery erroneously stated: it was, whether pectedly, to state not only that there exany thing was necessary in the present isted a formidable body of men in this case; and if any thing was necessary, country, who professed principles inimical whether the bill was adapted to the end to the constitution, but that there bad proposed ? He was ready to say, that if actually happened in various parts of the the circumstances of the time were such kingdom riots and insurrections. That as ministers described them to be, it would there had existed riots and insurrections be necessary for him to support govern- of a very alarming nature, he was very ment, and he would support government ready to admit. But they were composed if there was really danger in this country. of men who, while they were acting in the He was always ready to support govern- most outrageous manner, had the words ment when he thought it wanted support. “ Church and King" constantly in their As a proof of this, he had given his vote mouths. These however were not the for the augmentation both of the army kind of riots to which ministers had aland navy this year. He had done so be- luded: they had spoken of insurrections, cause he believed this country was threat. fomented by disaffected persons at home, ened with external danger. But he did for the purpose of subverting the constitu. not belive that there was any internal tion. Ministers had been repeatedly called [VOL, XXX.]


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upon to state where and when these riots had | from disaffection to the constitution ; but existed; but in vain. The right hon. se- he was not equally free from alarm at the cretary had mentioned four or five in- conduct of ministers. He was yet to stances, every one of which had been dis- learn that there existed any external danproved. Then came the present bill, ger. We were not menaced, nor were we brought in with as little argument, and I likely to be attacked. He would not enter supported by as few facts, as any into a detail of the internal situation of measure of the kind ever was. It ap- France, but it appeared to him that to enpeared to him, that it violated in its prin- gage this country in a war at present, ciple, the most sacred rights of our consti- would be a most ruinous measure. Our tution, without any cause to justify such adversaries had unquestionably much less violation; it violated the rights of aliens. to lose than we had; What could we gain It left them entirely in the power of the by possessing ourselves of any of their king, and that power might go even as

West-India islands ? On the contrary, he far as death ; which would be the certain rather thought it would be advantageous consequence to an emigrant from France, to this country, if our own West-India if sent back to his own country. He said, islands were independent of it. Expehe never would agree to leave any man rience had, in repeated instances, shown at the mercy of ministers, without evi- of how little advantage colonies were to a dence of guilt, though he did not mean mother country. Every day made him to doubt their humanity. But, amidst all more clearly of opinion, that there was this dreadful alarm, had any man been not any necessity for our going to war. taken up; had any prosecutions been An explanation had been given of the debrought ? No such thing ; all was bare cree of the 19th of November : and shall assertion. Of late, the great body of the we, said the noble lord, embark in a war people had been held of no account what in defence of aliens, who are not ready to ever ; but the law and constitution of go to war themselves? Holland seemed this country, and the bill of rights, re- by no means disposed to go to war. His cognised the rights of the people. He lordship then adverted to the conduct of hoped that the friends with whom he had the Dutch towards Great Britain in the the honour to act, would steadily pursue year 1780, and read a variety of instances that line of conduct which had hitherto of their having given to our enemies every distinguished them. He knew they were assistance in their power, while they penot to be terrified ; and he trusted that if remptorily refused to us the assistance deprived, for the present, of some of those which they were engaged to afford us. friends who had been accustomed to agree. Until he heard some better argument with them those who remained would be brought forward in support of the conduct the more firm and determined. The words of ministry, than well-turned phrases and of his right hon. friend (Mr. Fox) were specious declamation he would give his of sterling weight, and he was convinced most determined opposition to measures would be found in the end to be of sound which appeared to him in the highest depolicy. It appeared to him, that it would gree detrimental to the public interest. be much wiser to exercise the king's pre- Lord Fielding observed, that having rogative, of sending aliens out of the king- given notice on the very first day of the dom, should circumstances render such session, of his intention to move for leave exercise of it necessary, than to have re- to bring in a bill for suspending the Hacourse to the present bill.

beas Corpus act, as far as might relate to The Earl of Wycombe said, that no facts the persons of foreigners, no one could had been brought forward to justify the suppose that he was not a friend to the

restrictions proposed by this present bill; and yet it so happened, that bill to be imposed on aliens. He would the bill itself did not very much please him. rather wish that all the benefits of our Several new clauses, framed without preconstitution should be extended to fo. vious deliberation, had been added to it reigners resident here. Let them have a in the committee; and one in particular fair trial, and if proved to be guilty, let respecting alien merchants ; which he them be punished. He disapproved of the greatly feared would completely defeat bill as being unjust, and leading to the the whole object of the bill, as under the most dangerous consequences as a prece exception which was enacted in favour of dent. He was decidedly of opinion, that persons of such a description, the very there ground for any alarm men against whom the bill was intended

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to operate, might be able to escape. An been dispersed through this kingdom to hon. member had said much about the effect those dreadful disasters; he had no rights of aliens: no man was more ready hesitation in supporting any measure to respect them than he was ; but his first which could tend to prevent the threatobject was to secure the safety of the ened mischief. It was needless to refer state : and that being once out of danger, to M. le Brun's letter, in which he mehe would be happy to see aliens in the naced an appeal to the people of England fullest enjoyment of every right which against the government. · He would conthe law and constitution of England al- tent himself with a reference to his letter lowed them. Gentlemen had called for to the American states, in which he says, evidence of the facts on which the bill " we will establish liberty among all sur. was grounded; but he, for one, would not rounding nations, or perish in the atpress for the production of such evidence tempt." Let not gentlemen vainly imapending either a negociation or prepara- gine, if France be permitted to add coun, tions for war. He was disposed to hope try to country by her conquests, that she that war might be avoided; but should it will spare Great Britain. Let us not become inevitable, he trusted, that every neglect to adopt modes of averting the Englishman would be ready to sacrifice storm : let us not look supinely on, till both life and fortune in the defence of London contains more French soldiers his country and its constitution.

than British guards. It had been fashionLord Beauchamp warmly supported the able to ridicule the proclamation. In his bill. The present discussion was, he said, opinion it was prudent. Seditious pracimpatiently expected by the public. tices he was convinced existed. “The There was no period in our history dis- snake was scotched, not killed. It was a tinguished for such an uncommon influx crisis of great delicacy, and whatever of foreigners ; many of whom were the might be his opinion of those who commost questionable characters. If this posed the present administration, public bill were not adopted, this would be the duty called upon him, at this moment, to only country to which the mal-contents give them a fair, reasonable, and honourabroad would direct themselves, under able support ; and he begged to be underpretext of an asylum; by which the go- stood that he pledged himself to no more vernment might be endangered, and our than to do so in this instance. liberties exposed to the wanton innova- Major Maitland thought it his duty to tions of projectors. There were numbers oppose the bill, because the reasons which who inundated our coasts, in quest of had been assigned for its introduction new crimes, or to conceal themselves were not founded on fact, and because it with impunity for the abominable deeds went to give powers to government, which, of which they had been guilty. These considering the prejudice that was at prewretches ought to be expelled society, sent generally entertained against aliens, with the strongest marks of reprobation. ought not to be delegated. If he could the bill was, in his opinion, well calcu- beinduced to believe that the danger which lated to preserve us from the calamities was so much talked of really existed, he which France had experienced. The should have no objection to giving his supclause relating to passports he highly port to the executive government; but commended. If France, in times of the he saw no danger, except that which had greatest tranquillity, had exercised this been created by ministers themselves, and power against natives of this country, as which they wished to be generally propa. well as others, the same system could not gated and believed, in order that, taking give offence to those who now came to us advantage of the ferment of the people, for relief. The bill merely refused resi- they might carry measures which they dence to any foreigner who did not assign would not dare to bring forward at any satisfactory reasons for his abode in this other period. He declared that he could country. Several cases occurred, which i not conceive the utility of going to war. justified the measure at this alarming If a war was entered into for the pur. crisis. When he found every where men pose of preventing the circulation of looking upon our constitution with jaun- French principles, it would have an effect diced eyes; when he had heard them an- directly opposite. The troops who might nounce their abandoned designs to over- be sent to France would imbibe those turo all government; when he learnt that principles, and bring them back again into foreign money and foreign agents had this country. Such had been the case with the French troops who had been sent | sure prompted by a just impression of an to America, and who had thus proved the alarm and peril, universally felt, and cause of the recent revolution. With re- prompted as a defence, not only of the exgard to the bill, it went to vest ministers ecutive government for the day, but of with powers which he should always op- those great principles which every ingepose; but a view of their uniform conduct, nuous mind, upon either side of the House, and an ill opinion of their intentions, was in the habit of cherishing the most ; formed in his mind an irresistible objec- the defence of liberty and religion (to say tion. When the late proclamations came nothing of property and life, in compariout, he believed the nation at large were son) against incendiaries abroad, conspirastonished; but it was hoped that, at the ing with incendiaries at home, to des. meeting of parliament, government would troy, in one flame, every order of governgive a satisfactory explanation of their ment, ecclesiastical or civil, in our conconduct. That House had heard of no stitution. He had once hoped that opsuch explanation, nor had any proofs been position would come forward, as one man given of the existence of the danger. at such an awful crisis of national danger, Whatever alarm ministers might have af- friends, and auxiliaries to the executive fected with respect to aliens, they were government, without prejudice to their themselves assidiously creating ground for dislike of the minister's conduct, or of the that alarm, by the importation of aliens, mode in which he was appointed, and duty free, into this country. He had without prejudice to their general hope of heard, that a number of foreigners had continuing together, a phalanx against him; lately arrived at Harwich, by means of a phalanx, by the way, a little more compact passports from the British ambassador at than it has been, which may be an ad. the Hague, who had assured them of vantage to it. He had hoped they would admission into this country free of any say, as a party, what some of them had duty at the custom-house. "Of this alarm, said as individuals, when they seceded what had been the consequence ? Not from the rest : “ We dislike the minister, that the prisons were crowded with fo- we like ourselves better (a very natural reigners, but that a reward of 1001. had preference !) but we support the minister been offered for apprehending an indivi- to defend the country:" Such, to his imdual, Mr. Frost, who had been educated mortal honour, were the emphatical words in the school of the present minister, and of a noble marquis (Titchfield). He had who, it was understood, was shortly com- hoped, that such of the party, at least as ing over to take his trial. As a reason the had signed papers, confessing the existmajor ridiculed the story which had been ence and prevalency of opinions dangepropagated relating to the nineteen as- rous to the government, would confess it sassins, whom lord Grenville had repre- in parliament; that such of them as were sented as having arrived here ; and whom friends of the people would be anxious to Mr. Burke, in the plenitude of his indig- exculpate the popular character in this nation, had affirmed to have come for the kingdom, from the original sin of those purpose of murdering his majesty and the levelling opinions, assigning it, as they royal family. He concluded, by giving could, with more truth, to artifice and mothe bill his negative; at the same time ney, imported from the continent ;-that maintaining, that if any real cause of dan- confessing the danger and the origin of it ger existed, either to the king or the in conformity with such notorious facts, constitution, he would show as much ala- they would either support this bill, or sugcrity as any man either within or without gest a wiser and a better. In all these the House to repel the attack.

hopes, he had been cruelly disappointed ; Mr. Hardinge rose to give, in the most and he was timid enough to lament, as a unequivocal and clear manner, his own disadvantage to the public interest, Mr. sentiments upon the necessity of the bill, Fox's persevering opposition to such a and upon the bill itself. He had once

That as to the bill itself, if it hoped, that instead of the animated oppo- had a fault, it was the fault of inadequacy, sition which this bill had already encoun- not excess, in the powers given to the tered, and the able opposition it was likely executive government; that he had in the to encounter, he should attest, in support committee entered his protest against the of it here, not a bare unanimity, but the exception of alien merchants, from the most cordial, that parliament had ever power to send mischievous aliens out of known. It was, in his view of it, a mea- the kingdom, and had been fortunato enough to see that exception removed. If | and refugee from the desolations and cruquarantine was thought expedient upon elties of Paris, that emigrant was our the apprehension of plague, before the friend; he had come to us for shelter and suspected vessel could land her goods- mercy; he had come to us, appealing to if by the law of nations we can send even a government by law, against a governa ship in distress, by cannon from the ment by the sword; he had merited our shore, when plague infects her cargo, how sympathy, and we had given him unequiinfinitely more expedient is the safeguard vocal proofs of it. Without compliment of this bill, against the most infernal pesti- to the minister, could it be imagined that lence that ever scourged a nation—the he would be so mad as to go out of his creed and profession of anarchy, which way in shaking, by the oppression of such every day poured in upon us from the an alien, that center of union which incontinent! Was he to be challenged here, corporated the public interest and the as in a court of justice, with two impor public opinion, and formed his own ? The tant little words, in that scene of action, only other class that remained was the but ridiculous here? To the words “prove indifferent alien, the by-stander, who it,” he would answer, first, that it was not took no part in the conflict, but was a juridical but prudential inquiry; next, blameless, and, as an alien, was entitled that it would or might be dangerous, to by that character alone to an hospitable go into the detail, perhaps impracticable, reception. That a minister could oppress from the nature of the subject, but most him, that he could oppress an alien mer. of all he would answer, that it was a bold chant for the sake of oppressing him, and and rash contumely upon the sense of the with no possible temptation of interest, whole kingdom, to call in question the he confessed, and, thinking all discrefact of disaffection, which a people so en tionary powers dangerous, he lamented it, lightened had believed, and had resisted but it was a necessary evil because, withwith such patriotism and public spirit. out an indefinite power over aliens of all He would therefore say, upon these descriptions, the mischievous could grounds, “ I will not prove it. He then never be separated from the good. He stated, the power given by the bill, and said, the report of M. le Brun, read the said, he would follow it up against those other night, would, of itself, in his opinion who could alone be the objects of it, in justify this bill. That minister had stated order to see what power it gave to oppress in the national assembly, that Paris emthe innocent. If the bill should operate ployed political agents here (not of with restraint and punishment upon the course accredited by us); and he adds a emissaries of atheism and sedition, it would direct menace to appeal from what he affall where it should. If it should punish fects to call “ the palace,” and “ the mior discover and exclude, the leveller in nister,” (but knowing it well to be the principle, who was an incendiary at heart, sense of parliament) ad populum, by which it would fall where it should; whether it he means the lowest classes of the mob. found him with or without a dagger in his This report was the signal of rebellion to hand, with or without French money or the disaffected here, and the bill would French paper in his pocket, it would find him act with a salutary effect in averting that at least with French principles in his head mischief. The libels of the day would of --principles of rebellion against all go themselves justify this bill. They were vernment—and an avowed and boasted French to the bone, in connexion as well contempt for every oath of allegiance in as principle. They had given birth to the world. If the name of an emigrant doctrines upon the subject of public libel, should be the mask of an emissary and a which he made no scruple to condemn as leveller, this act would pull it off


, and at once ignorant and mischievous; nor would catch the emissary or the leveller could sedition of the worst kind receive a again. If it should be the case of an emi. more powerful help. It had been asserted grant here, from the emigrants abroad, for example, that intention proved the lifrom the emigrant army, for example, he bel, instead of libel proving the intention, considered such an alien as the just ob- and that all opinions upon government ject of suspicion; because if he should were “ free,” that is, free in the sense of negociate his reinstatement in France, his legal impunity, after publication, as well interest may tempt him to make proselytes as before it, « let the seditious tendency here as a merit and plea to urge at Paris. of such opinions be ever so apparent.” If it should be the case of an emigrant The most eminent republican of his day,

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