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mankind cannot present a period in mightinesses on the thirteenth of November which, in so short a space, so many crimes last, and the arrival of a small squadron, have been committed, so many misfor- destined to protect the coasts of the retunes produced, and so many tears shed : public until their own maritime force in a word, at this very moment these should be assembled, are strong proofs of horrors appear to have attained their ut- this fact. Your high mightinesses have most height,
witnessed this disposition of the king in During all this time the king, sur- every thing which his majesty has hitherto rounded by his people, who enjoyed under done. You will not be less sensible of it, the favour of providence a degree of pros- in the measures which are now preperity without example, could not behold paring: in consequence, his majesty is the misfortunes of others without the persuaded that he shall continue to exstrongest emotions of pity and indignation; perience on the part of your high mightibut, faithful to his principles, his majesty nesses, a perfect conformity of principles has never permitted himself to interfere and conduct. This conformity can alone in the internal affairs of a foreign nation, give to the united efforts of the two counhe has never departed from that system of tries, energy necessary for their common neutrality which he had adopted. defence, to oppose a barrier to those evils
This conduct, which the king has seen with which Europe is menaced, and to prewith satisfaction to have been equally ob- serve against every attempt, the security, served by your high mightinesses, the the tranquillity, and the independence of good faith of which all Europe has ac- a state the happiness of which your high knowledged, and which ought to have mightinesses ensure by the wisdom and been respected on many other accounts, firmness of your government. has not been sufficient to secure his ma- Done at the Hague,
AUCKLAND, jesty, his people, and the republic, from the 25th of January, 1793. the most dangerous and the most criminal conspiracies.
The King's Message respecting the De For several months past projects of am- claration of War with France.] Feb. 11. bition and aggrandizement, dangerous to Mr. Secretary Dundas presented the folthe tranquillity and the security of all Eu- lowing Message from his Majesty : rope, have been openly avowed : attempts “George R. have been made to spread throughout Eng. “ His Majesty thinks proper to acquaint land, and this country, maxims subversive the House of Commons, that the assembly of all social order; and they have not now exercising the powers of government scrupled to give to these detestable at- in France, have, without previous notice, tempts, the name of revolutionary power. directed acts of hostility to be committed Ancient and solemn treaties, guaranteed against the persons and property of his by the king, have been infringed, and the majesty's subjects, in breach of the law of
ghts and territory of the republic have nations, and of the most positive stipulabeen violated. His majesty has therefore tions of treaty, and have since, on the in his wisdom judged it necessary to make most groundless pretences, actually depreparations proportioned to the nature clared war against his majesty and the of the circumstances. The king has con- United Provinces. Under the circumsulted his parliament; and the measures stances of this wanton and unprovoked agwhich his majesty has thought fit to take, gression, his majesty has taken the neceshave been received with the most lively sary steps to maintain the honour of his and unanimous approbation of a people, crown, and to vindicate the rights of his who abhor anarchy and irreligion, who people ; and his majesty relies with confi. love their king, and will maintain their dence on the firm and effectual support of constitution.
the House of Commons, and on the zeaSuch, high and mighty lords, are the lous exertions of a brave and loyal people, motives of a conduct, the wisdom and in prosecuting a just and necessary
, war, equity of which have hitherto insured to and in endeavouring, under the blessing of the king your concert and co-operation. Providence, to oppose an effectual barrier
His majesty, in all that he has done, to the farther progress of a system which has ever been vigilant in the support of the strikes at the security and peace of all inrights and security of the united provinces. dependent nations, and is pursued in open The declaration which the undersigned defiance of every principle of moderation, had the honour to deliver to your high good faith, humanity, and justice.
“ In a cause of such general concern, every attack. War now was not only dehis majesty has every reason to hope for clared, but carried on at our very doors ; the cordial co-operation of those powers a war which aimed at an object no less dewho are united with his majesty by the structive than the total ruin of the freedom ties of alliance, or who feel an interest in and independence of this country. In this preventing the extension of anarchy and situation of affairs, he would not do so confusion, and in contributing to the secu- much injustice to the members of that rity and tranquillity of Europe.
House, whatever differences of opinion
“G. R." might formerly have existed, as to suppose The Message was ordered to be taken there could be any but one decision, one into consideration to-morrow.
fixed resolution, in this so urgent necessity,
in this imminent and common danger, by the Debate in the Commons on the King's ardour and firmness of their support, to Message respecting the Declaration of War testify their loyalty to their sovereign, with France.] Feb. 12. The order of the their attachment to the constitution, and day being read for taking his Majesty's their sense of those inestimable blessings Message into consideration,
which they had so long enjoyed under its Mr. Pilt rose and observed, that in pro- influence.' Confident, however, as he was, posing to the House an address in answer that such would be their unanimous decito his majesty's message, he did not con- sion, that such would be their determined ceive that there could be any necessity, in and unalterable resolution, he should not the present instance, at least in one view consider it as altogether useless to take a of the subject, for troubling them much at view of the situation of the country at the large. Whatever difference of opinion time of his majesty's last message, of the might formerly have existed with respect circumstances which had preceded and acto subjects, on which, however, the great companied it, and of the situation in which majority both of that House and the nation we now stood, in consequence of what had had coincided in sentiment, whatever occurred during that interval. doubts might be entertained as to the in- When his majesty, by his message, interest which this country had in the re- formed them, that in the present situation cent transactions on the continent, what- of affairs he conceived it indispensably neever question might be made of the satis- cessary to make a farther augmentation of faction to which this country was entitled, his forces, they had cheerfully concurred for whatever question might be made of the in that object, and returned in answer, mode of conduct which had been pursued what then was the feeling of the House, by government, which lately had not been the expression of their affection and zeal, carried so far as to produce even a division; and their readiness to support his majesty yet when the situation in which we now in those purposes, for which he had stated stood was considered, when those circum- an augmentation of force to be necessary. stances which had occurred to produce an They saw the justice of the alarm which alteration in the state of affairs since the was then entertained, and the propriety of last address, were taken into the account, affording that support which was required. he could not doubt but that there would be He should shortly state the grounds upon one unanimous sentiment and voice ex. which they had then given their concurpressed on the present occasion. The rence. They considered that whatever question now was, not what degree of dan- temptations might have existed to this ger or insult we should find it necessary country from ancient enmity and rivalship, to repel, from a regard to our safety, or paltry motives indeed! or whatever opporfrom a sense of honour ; it was, not whe- tunity might have been afforded by the tuther we should adopt in our measures a multuous and distracted state of France, system of promptitude and vigour, or of or whatever sentiments might be excited tameness and procrastination; whether we by the transactions which had taken place should sacrifice every other consideration in that nation, his majesty had uniformly to the continuance of an uncertain and in- abstained from all interference in its inter. "secure peace.—When war was declared, nal government, and had maintained, with and the event no longer in our option, it respect to it, on every occasion, the strictTemained only to be considered, whether est and most inviolable neutrality. we should prepare to meet it with a firm Such being his conduct towards France, 'determination, and support his majesty's he had a right to expect on their part a government with zeal and courage against suitable return; more especially, as this return had been expressly conditioned for | duct was such, as in every instance had by a compact, into which they entered, militated against the dearest and most and by which they engaged to respect the valuable interests of this country. rights of his majesty and his allies, not to The next consideration was, that under interfere in the government of any neutral | all the provocations which had been suscountry, and not to pursue any system of tained from France, provocations which, aggrandizement, or make any addition to in ordinary times, and in different cirtheir dominions, but to confine themselves, cumstances, could not have failed to have at the conclusion of the war, within their been regarded as acts of hostility, and own territories. These conditions they which formerly, not even a delay of twenhad all grossly violated, and had adopted ty-four hours would have been wanting a system of ambitious and destructive po- to have treated as such, by commencing licy, fatal to the peace and security of an immediate war of retaliation, his maevery government, and which, in its con- jesty's ministers had prudently and temsequences, had shaken Europe itself to its perately advised all the means to be prefoundation. Their decree of the 19th of viously employed of obtaining reasonable November, which had been so much talked satisfaction, before recourse should be of, offering fraternity and affiance to all had to extremities. Means had been people who wish to recover their liberty, taken to inform their agents, even though was a decree not levelled against parti- not accredited, of the grounds of jealouscular nations, but against every country ly and complaint on the part of this coun. where there was any form of government try, and an opportunity had been afforded established; a decree not hostile to indi- through them of bringing forward any viduals, but to the human race; which circumstances of explanation, or offering was calculated every where to sow the any terms of satisfaction. Whether the seeds of rebellion and civil contention, facts and explanations which these agents and to spread war from one end of Europe had brought forward were such as conto the other, from one end of the globe to tained any proper satisfaction for the the other. While they were bound to this past, or could afford any reasonable ascountry by the engagements which he had surance with respect to the future, every mentioned, they had showed no intention member might judge from the inspection to exempt it from the consequences of this of the papers. He had already given it decree. Nay, a directly contrary opinion as his opinion, that if there was no other might be formed, and it might be sup- alternative than either to make war or posed that this country was more particu- depart from our principles, rather than larly aimed at by this very
decree, if we recede from our principles a war was prewere to judge from the exultation with ferable to a peace; because a peace, purwhich they had received from different so- chased upon such terms, must be uncercieties in England every address expres- tain, precarious, and liable to be contisive of sedition and disloyalty, and from nually interrupted by the repetition of the eager desire which they had testified fresh injuries and insults. War was preto encourage and cherish the growth of ferable to such a peace, because it was a such sentiments. Not only had they shorter and a surer way to that end which showed no inclination to fulfil their en- the House had undoubtedly in view as its gagements, but had even put it out of ultimate object-a secure and lasting their own power, by taking the first op- peace. What sort of peace must that be portunity to make additions to their terri- in which there was no security ? Peace tory in contradiction to their own express he regarded as desirable only so far as it stipulations. By express resolutions for was secure. If, said Mr. Pitt,
enterthe destruction of the existing government tain a sense of the many blessings which of all invaded countries, by the means of you enjoy, if you value the continuance jacobin societies, by orders given to their and safety of that commerce which is a generals, by the whole system adopted in source of so much opulence, if you wish this respect by the National Assembly, and to preserve and render permanent that by the actual connexion of the whole high state of prosperity by which this country of Savoy, they had marked their country has for some years past been so determination to add to the dominions of eminently distinguished, you hazard all France, and to provide means, through the these advantages more, and are medium of every new conquest, to carry likely to forfeit them, by submitting to a their principles over Europe. Their con precarious and disgraceful peace, than - by a timely and vigorous interposition of explanation still it would have been re
your arms.-By tameness and delay you ceived. Had any disposition been testisuffer that evil which might now be fied to comply with the requisitions of checked, to gain ground, and which, lord Grenville, still an opportunity was afwhen it becomes indispensable to oppose, forded of intimating this disposition. Thus may perhaps be found irresistible. had our government pursued to the last
It had on former debates been alleged, a conciliatory system, and left every open. that by going to war we expose our com- ing for accommodation, had the French merce. Is there, he would ask, any man been disposed to embrace it. M. Chau. 80 blind and irrational, who does not velin, however, instantly quitted the know that the inevitable consequence of country, without making any proposition. every war must be much interruption and Another agent had succeeded (M. Mainjury to commerce? But, because our ret), who, on his arrival in this country, commerce was exposed to suffer, was that had notified himself as the chargé-d'afa reason why we should never go to war? faires on the part of the French republic, Was there do combination of circum- but had never, during his residence in the stances, was there no situation in the af- kingdom, afforded the smallest communifairs of Europe, such as to render it ex- cation. pedient to hazard, for a time, a part of What was the next event which had our commercial interests? Was there no succeeded ? An embargo was laid on all evil greater, and which a war might be the vessels and persons of his majesty's necessary to avoid, than the partial in- subjects who were then in France. This convenience to which our commerce was embargo was to be considered as not subjected, during the continuance of only a symptom, but as an act of hostility. hostile operations? But he begged par. It certainly had taken place without any don of the House for the digression into notice being given, contrary to treaty, which he had been led—while he talked and against all the laws of nations. Here as if they were debating about the expe- perhaps, it might be said, that on account diency of a war, war was actually de- of their stopping certain ships loaded clared : we were at this moment engaged with corn for France, the government of in a war.
Great Britain might be under the same He now came to state what had occur charge; to this point he should come prered since his majesty's last message ; and sently. He believed if government were to notice those grounds which had served chargeable with any thing, it might rather as a pretext for the declaration of war. be, that they were even too slow in asWhen his majesty had dismissed M. serting the honour and vindicating the Chauvelin, what were then the hopes of rights of this country. If he thought that peace? He was by no means sanguine his majesty's ministers wanted any justifiin such hopes, and he had stated to the cation, it would be for their forbearance, House that he then saw but little probabi. and not for their promptitude, since to lity that a war could be avoided. Such the last moment they had testified a disthen was his sentiment, because the ex. position to receive terms of accommodaplanations and conduct of the French tion, and left open the means of explanaagent were such as afforded him but lit- tion. Notwithstanding this violent and tle room to expect any terms which this outrageous act, such was the disposition country could, either consistently with to peace in his majesty's ministers, that honour or a regard to its safety, accept. the channels of communication, even after Still, however, the last moment had been this period, were not shut : a most singukept open to receive any satisfactory ex- lar circumstance happened, which was planation which might be offered. But the arrival of intelligence from his majes. what, it might be asked, was to be the ty’s minister at the Hague on the very mode of receiving such explanation ? day when the embargo became known When his majesty had dismissed M. here, that he had received an intimation Chauvelin, as, by the melancholy catas- from general Dumourier, that the general trophe of the French monarch, the only wished an interview, in order to see if it character in which he had ever been ac- were yet possible to adjust the differences knowledged at the British court had en- between the two countries, and to promote tirely ceased, eight days had been allowed a general pacification. Instead of treat. him for his departure, and if, during that ing the embargo as an act of hostility, and period, he had sent any more satisfactory forbearing from any communication, even after this aggression, his majesty's minis- | nation, and of his attachment to the coalters, on the same day on which the em- ition of crowned heads.” Notwithstandbargo was made known to them, gave in- ing the assertion that his majesty had not structions to the ambassador at the Hague ceased to show his evil dispositions toto enter into a communication with gene- wards the French nation, they had not atral Dumourier ; and they did this with tempted to show any acts of hostility great satisfaction, on several accounts : previous to the 10th of August ; nor in first, because it might be done without support of the charge of his attachment committing the king's dignity; for the ge- to the coalition of crowned heads, had neral of an army might, even in the very they been able to allege any fact, except midst of war, without any recognition of his supposed accession to the treaty behis authority, open any negociation of tween the emperor of Germany and the peace. But this sort of communication king of Prussia. This treaty had already was desirable also, because, if successful, this evening been the subject of converit would be attended with the most imme- sation ; it had then been mentioned, diate effects, as its tendency was, imme- which he should now repeat, that the fact, diately to stop the progress of war, in the thus alleged, was false, and entirely destimost practical, and perhaps, in the only tute of foundation; and that no accession practical way. No time was therefore to any such treaty had ever taken place lost in authorizing the king's minister at on the part of his majesty. And not only the Hague to proceed in the pursuit of so had he entered into no such treaty, but desirable an object, if it could be done no step had been taken, and no engage: in a safe and honourable mode, but not ment formed on the part of our governotherwise. But before the answer of go- ment, to interfere in the internal affairs of vernment could reach the ambassador, or France, or attempt to dictate to them any any means be adopted for carrying the form of constitution. He declared that object proposed into execution, war was the whole of the interference of Great declared, on the part of the French, Britain had been in consequence of against this country. If then we were to French aggressions, with the general view debate at all, we were to debate whether of seeing whether it was possible, either or not we were to repel those principles, by our own exertions, or in concert with which not only were inimical to this, and any other powers, to repress this French to every other government, but which system of aggrandizement and aggression, had been followed up in acts of hostility with the view of seeing whether we could to this country. We were to debate whe- not re-establish the blessings of peace, ther or not we were to resist an aggres- whether we could not, either separately, sion which had already been commenced. or jointly with other powers, provide for He would however refer the House, not to the security of our own country, and the observations of reasoning, but to the general security of Europe. grounds which had been assigned by the The next charge brought by the Naassembly themselves in their declaration tional Assembly was, “ That, at the period of war.
But first, he must again revert aforesaid, he ordered his ambassador at for a moment to the embargo. He then Paris to withdraw, because he would not stated, that a detention of ships, if no acknowledge the provisional Executive ground of hostility had been given, was, Council, created by the legislative assemin the first place, contrary to the law of bly." It was hardly necessary for him to pations. In the second place, there was discuss a subject with which all were alan actual treaty between the two coun- ready so well acquainted. After the hortries, providing for this very circum- rors of the 10th of August, which were stance: and this treaty (if not set aside parelleled but not eclipsed by those of the by our breach of it, which he should come 2nd of September, and the suspension of to presently) expressly said, that, “in the French monarch, to whom alone the case of a rupture, time shall be given for ambassador had been sent, it certainly bethe removal of persons and effects.” came proper to recall him. He could
He should now proceed to the declara- not remain to treat with any government tion itself. It began with declaring, to whom he was not accredited; and the “ That the king of England has not ceas- propriety of his being recalled would aped, especially since the revolution of the pear still more evident, when it was con10th of August, 1792, to give proofs of sidered that it was probable that the banhis being evil-disposed towards the French ditti who had seized upon the government