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tion, inasmuch as the positive stipu. history of our wars, that bore the
lation of a treaty then subsisting smallest resemblance to the present
between this country and Denmark, transaction.
was intended to provide against a The motion was opposed by the
delay, which, however unavoidable lord chancellor Eldon, and lord
in the present instance, has proved Hawkesbury.
so injurious to the interests of the Lord Eldon maintained, that as
subjects of Denmark,

the law stood, a vessel detained, "That it is equally essential to although there might be no reason justice and to the honour of the for the detention at the time, beBritish name, that the crews, or came forfeited to the crown. This such part of them as had remained might operate as a hard case in in this kingdom, for the better cus

many instances on individuals ; but tody and protection of the ships he had great doubts, whether there and cargoes so as aforesaid ordered could be any thing like a comto be restored, should no longer be mercial peace, and a political war considered as prisoners of war. at the same time. Such a system,

That the principles of the fore- and the idea of compensation for going resolutions be considered as losses, would only lead towards speextending to the proceedings of all culations on the part of individuals. his majesty's courts of prize, wher Lord Hawkesbury went over the ever the facts of the case, which at

same ground, contended that the present are not before this house, war on the part of Denmark was shall warrant their application." entirely optional, and in fact court

Lord Sidmouth's motion ed by that country, and also, that supported by lord Erskine, lord the seizing of the Danish ships was Ellenborough, earl Stanhope, and not without precedent. the earl of Lauderdale.

Lord Sidmouth's first resolution Lord Erskine maintained, that being moved, the house divided. those who combated the present Contents 16-Against it 36. proposition must show that there And on the fourth resolution, was an actual necessity for detain. which related to the ships that had ing and keeping these trading ves. been previously ordered by the adsels ; otherwise the owners were en. miralty courts to be restored, anotitled, in justice, to a compensation, ther division took place. Contents

Lord Lauderdale maintained, that 16-Non-contents 37. there was never any thing in the

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and tion




Relations between Great Britain and Russia, with other Powers, par

ticularly Russia.Motion in the House of Commons by Mr. Whitbread for sundry Papers relating to this Subject.Motion by Mr. Whitbread, after reviewing the Information now before the House, for entering immediately into a Negotiation for Peace.- Opposed by Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. Canning, &c. &c.— Supported by Mr. Sheridan-negatived.-Resolutions moved by Mr. Adam respecting the Law of Parliament.- Supported by Mr. Windham and Mr. WhitbreadOpposed by Mr. Canning, Mr. Perceval, Lord Castlereagh, and Mr. Sturges Bourne.-Expedition to the Dardanelles, brought into Discussion in the House of Commons by Mr. W. Tuylor.- Motion for sundry Papers relating to that Affair.- The Expedition defended by Mr. Í. Grenville - Censured by Mr. Canning. --- The previous Ques

tion put and carried. VE

CERY near akin to the long by Russia to the specific request, it

agitated question of the Bal- could not be done, as there was no tic expedition, was that respecting such paper in existence. our relations to Russia. In some Mr. Ponsonby then moved, that instances they ran into one another an humble address should be preand became the same ; on the 26th sented, praying that his majesty of January, Mr. Secretary Canning would be graciously pleased to presented to the house of commons cause that there should be laid be. the papers relative to the Russian fore the house, copies of extracts and the Austrian offers of media- from the correspondence between tion, which were ordered to lie on his majesty's principal secretary of the table.

state for foreign affairs, and his acMr. Ponsonby wished to know credited minister of the court of St. whether it was Mr. Canning's in. Petersburgh, as far as related to tention to lay before the house the the request of his majesty to his papers relative to the application imperial majesty to mediate a peace made by the British government to between this country and Denmark. the court of St. Petersburgh, to Ordered.* mediate between this country and Mr. Whitbread wished to be inDenmark.

formed whether it was Mr. PonsonMr. Canning replied, that though by's intention to move, that these this had not been the intention of papers should be taken into conministers, he had no objection to sideration on any particular day; their production, provided any and on receiving an answer in the motion for them should be so ge- negative, he gave notice of his innerally worded as to admit of it. tention, without naming the day, For if it went the length of re to take an early opportunity of quiring the specific answer given bringing the foreign relations of the

country • See State Papers.

thus other



tory kno



country under discussion, with the an accredited minister: though, as view of inducing the House to come a private individual, he maintained to a resolution on the propriety of a communication with the emperor commencing a negotiation for of Russia, with the knowledge of peace with France at the present our accredited minister. The conmoment. Accordingly, on the 16th versation which he held with the of February, Mr. Whitbread rose, emperor on the 23d of August, was pursuant to notice, to move for cer- known wellat the time, and had been tain papers, necessary to be before conveyed to this country in a disthe house, previous to the discus. patch from lord Leveson Gower, sions which he intended to intro- to whom it had been communicated duce on Monday se'nnight. Minis, for this express purpose. Why ters, after various transactions, in then should it not be communicated which they had been engaged in the in an authentic and regular form to course of last summer, had laid the house? The emperor confidupon the table, notes, dispatches, ing in the judgment and integrity and extracts of dispatches, expla- of lord Hutchinson, asked him, natory of their conduct. This he whether, considering the situation considered as deficient; and his de- of affairs, peace ought not to be sign was, to call on ministers to concluded. Lord H. asserted that make up the chasm. His first it ought. The emperor then said motion would be for copics and ex that he had offered his mediation tracts of dispatches from the secre- for a peace with England, stating tary of state for foreign affairs to at the same time, that, from what our ministers at Vienna, relative to he knew, peace might be concluded the proffered mediation of Austria, on honourable terms. Was not this as he understood that this was to document necessary ? Could there be granted, he would say nothing be any thing indiscreet in commuon that point. His second motion nicating it? The noble lord was was of great and paramount im. not prevented by any obligation portance. It was for an extract of whatever of duty or expediency, the dispatch containing the sub- to conceal the conversation. He stance of the conversation that took then proceeded to state instances in place between the emperor of which communications of conversa, Russia, and lord Hutchinson, on the tions with sovereigos had been laid 23d of August 1807, relative to before the house. Mr. W. also the offer of the Russian mediation wanted have the substance of for peace, &c.

It had been insi- the verbal assurances, relative to nuated, that it was a breach of peace between Russia and France, duty, in any accredited minister, to mentioned in the note of our ambas. mention the conversations he might sador of the 30th of June, 1807 ; have had with a sovereign. This the dispatch, containing assurances was not the case in all circum- of satisfaction for a promised costances ; but at any rate, lord Hut- operation after a change of minischinson, a most distinguished indi. try; with several other papers, revidual, renowned for his military lative to the Russian loan, Sweden, talents, and not less celebrated for &c. After a short debate, Mr. his high sense of honour, was not Whitbread withdrew his first mo

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tion, which related to the proffered have been far different from what mediation of Austria. The second, it was. All projects were now given calling for extracts from lord Leve- up of obtaining indemnity for the son Gower's dispatch, containing past, of dictating a constitution to the assurances referred to Mr. Bude France, or of curbing the power berg, 28th of June, was negatived. and ambition of Buonaparte. Our That, for copies of all assurances only aim now was, to defend ourof co-operation given to the courts selves. And what probability was of St. Petersburgh and Stock. there of obtaining a more honour. holm, was, with some modifica- able peace ihan might be concludtions acceded to, as were all the ed at the present moment ? He others.

called the attention of the house to House of Commons, February the present situation of the country 29th.-Mr. Whitbread rose to with regard to foreign powers. make his announced motion, for The peace of Tilsit had been treatentering immediately into a negotied in his majesty's declaration, and ation for peace. After some prefa. in the speech of the commissioners tory observations respecting the ac as most disastrous to Russia, and knowledged danger of the present represented as the effect of desponcrisis, be said that his present in. dency and alarm. But Mr. W. tention was, to take a review of the contended, that this peace had information now before the house, been the salvation of Russia, and respecting the conduct of ministers had prevented the army from bein refusing to enter into negotiation ing totally and completely extinwith France, thereon to ground a guished. Before the peace of Tilresolution expressive of what the sit, however, was concluded, an of. state of the country might have fer had been made by Russia, to been, had a different course been mediate a peace between Great pursued. He had, a month ago, Britain and France : an offer which stated some of the symptoms of he had always considered as an efthe present crisis of the country. fusion of Alexander's heart towards Since that time, several petitions this country. Here Mr. Whitbread had been presented to the House, entered into a detailed analysis of of which the statements were most the papers which had been laid on distressing, the prayer most mode- the table relative to this offer, on rate, and the general tone most;pa. the part of Russia, and the refusal triotic. He did not bring forward of ministers to accept of it. In the the motion he was about to make, course of many observations and in consequence of these petitions; comments, he adverted to general but he was not sorry that they had Budberg's letter of the 20th June, been presented, because he was a in which he complains of Russia friend to petitioning; much good had having been left unaided in the conbeen produced by petitions. It was test. On the justice or injustice of by the petitions of the people, that these complaints, he did not now an end had been put to the Ameri. mean to enter ; but he contended can war; and if the petitions of that the language held in this note, the people had been attended to in which was that of a man who seem. the early part of the last war against edito feel that he had been ill-used France, our situation now would was itself a proof of the fidelity of th


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The petu

per og e pe Sent try

pre wa POE cha

the emperor of Russia ; or at form, but to common sense. They
least, of a persuasion on his part, seemed also to have confounded the
that he had acted with fidelity in character of a mediator with that
his engagements, and that his con- of an umpire. He next proceeded
duct was not dictated by the petu. to an analysis of the correspondence
lant feelings of the moment. And with Austria. If ministers had had
even this note was concluded with a disposition towards peace, they
an offer of mediation, accompanied would have accepted the proffered
not merely with a belief, but with mediation of Austria, with that
an assurance that it would be ac- confidence and good-will towards
cepted by France. He did not her, which her former conduct
mean to say that lord L. Gower towards us had merited. But
was empowered to accept of this here, too, they had manifested a
mediation, or that he was wrong in disposition to start instead of
not accepting of it. He only wished smoothing difficulties.
the house to observe, that this offer lance of Mr. Secretary Canning, he
was made before the peace of Til- said, the difficulties, which he was
sit was concluded; and that it was constantly raising, the obstacles he
an offer proceeding from a sincere threw in the way, and the false
wish, on the part of the emperor constructions he was apt to fall into,
of Russia, to facilitate a pacific ar- proved clearly that no negotiation
rangement between this country could be conducted by hin with
and France, accompanied with a any reasonable chance of success.
moral certainty of France being The ruler of France had, at three
ready to meet us half way in the distinct periods, made offers of
proposed negotiation. This, then, peace to this country, in terms un.
was one of those golden opportuni- objectionable. The first was re-
ties, which, when once lost, are ir. jected. The second was not abso.
retrievable. But it had been said, lutely rejected; but lord Mulgrave
that " no intimation of the basis on had written a contumelious letter,
which France proposed to treat had informing him, that his majesty
been given;" on which Mr. W. had consulted his allies.” We had
observed, that if it could ever have then an opportunity of selling a
been a matter of doubt whether the recognition to him: and we might
previous settlement of a basis was have sold many before he had esta-
necessary to the hope of a success. blished himself as he had now done
ful negotiation, the experience of in defiance of us. Notwithstanding
the last negotiation with France, however, the manner in which his
would have placed that question former offers had been treated,
beyond controversy. Mr. W. pro- another offer, and that after bis
ceeded to animadvert on lord L. power had been greatly increased,
Gower's dispatches of the 2d Sep had been made through the inter.
tember and on the dispatches in vention of other powers. That
answer to them by Mr. Secretary offer had been accepted ; and what
Canning; and on a review of the did gentlemen on the other side
whole, contended that ministers, in- mean to do? Were they, as was
stead of smoothing, had been assi- stated in the king's speech, looking
duous only in raising difficulties, about for an impartial mediator?
and acted not only contrary to There was no such mcdialor noir


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