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which had, doubtless, been urged on the in bringing matters to the last extremity part of the United Provinces, were cau were there faithfully recorded, and the tiously retained, not one of these had justice or injustice of the war might rebeen produced. How then could the ceive an immediate and certain decision House form a just and impartial idea by reference to that paper only. His what party had been wrong, in ultimate. Grace bad asked, Why the answers which ly producing these unfortunate hoftili- had at different periods been presented ties, if they were deprived of the power to the court of London, from the Statesof taking a complete view of the whole General, in reply to Sir Jofeph Yorke's proceedings; of comparing the original repeated memorials, had not been inclucomplaints with the replies that had been ded in the number of those papers which returned to them; and determining, by were laid before the House? - There such a prospect, whether they had been was the plainest and the most satisfactory just, or we insolent? Before he could reply in the world to that question : undertake to pronounce decisively one None bad been received ; - their High way or another, he Mould not only think Mightinesses had not condescended to it necessary that all the papers, in any transmit answers to these reiterated rerespect relative to the queltion, should be monftrances ; they pasied them over in submitted to their infpection; but that filent neglect, and perfevered in their indue time should be allowed for confider- juries and injustice, without an attempt ing them with attention, and for forming at explanation or defence. The papers their determination with care and deli- which had that day accompanied his Ma. beration. This was no time for empty jesty's message, were, if properly perucompliment; and if there was ever á sed, and attended to, entirely fufficient on subject that required the most serious at this subject. With their Lordihips pertention, that was it. He would there. mission he would just state in a brief fore read the motion he intended to manner, the leading tenor of the various make; and begged leave to apprise their intermediate steps that had been adoptLordships, that if he finally found it ne- ed with respect to the republic before the cessary to urge it, the House, by his recent rupture took place. - A treaty reading it, would be fairly put in poffef- had been made in 1714, stating, as the fion of it; and his motion would there. predominant and ruling principle which fore have the first claim to be decided it contained, that if either of the two upon, whatever subsequent one might nations should be attacked, the other be proposed by any other Noble Lord in should immediately suspend all amicable the course of the debate. His Grace's intercourse with the state which was the motion was to this purport, that instead aggreffor, and in two months be bound of the address which he expected to be to fupply its ally with certain ftipulated moved for, the following Mould be put': fuccours. Now, continued his Lord“ That an humble address be presented ship, when the hostilities commenced beto his Majesty, requesting him, that he tween this country and France, we nei. would be graciously pleased to give or ther infifted upon the one or the other of ders, that the several memorials, mani- these conditions. Though the States. feftoes, &c. which have been presented General were bound by the express terms to the court of G. Britain, from the of a positive treaty, we yet indulged them States-General, from the first commence in the liberty of trading with the power ment of the American war till the rup: in enmity with us, and made no requisiture between these two nations, be laid tion of the ftipulated supply. When before the House.”
Spain had also united in the perfidious Lord Stormont followed the Duke of confederacy that was formed for the purRichmond. His Grace, his Lordship pose of darkening the splendor, if not of obferved, had said, that the papers which annihilating the political existence, of this had been read to their Lordihips were country, we then thought it necessary defective, - that more were wanting. to make some application to our ally, In his opinion, if no papers had been But even at that time we did not attempt produced before the House but his Ma. to preclude every species of their comjefty's declaration alone, that would have merce, but only to prevent their afsifting been fufficient for the formation of their our foes with the illicit property of naval opinions upon the subject in question. ftores. We received no answer to these The different causes which had united applications; no thanks for these indul,
gences. When the increasing exigency were actually fighting for its foes; for. of our affairs required more direct and they were supplying them with the more urgent demands, our ambassador materials which were the linews of their had orders to make them, but with all power, the means without which they due decency and refpe&t. - No effect fol. could not have fought at all. Under lowed;- they still continued to furnish these circumstances, injurious, treachethe ftates at open war with their ally with rous, and aggravated as they were, his every kind of stores necessary for their Majesty was still reluctant to violate the conducting it, and even took off the duc amity which had sublisted between the ty from several naval articles, in order States General and this country, and the more effe&ually to expedite their im- which had been deemed by the greatest portation to the hostile countries in que- statesmen of each nation of reciprocal adftion. - They have lately attempted to vantage to both. - Mutuality of obligareconcile their conduct by an affertion, tion is certainly the grand basis of every that though the conditions of the treaty national compact, but so little had the of Breda were by no means to be disputed Dutch been disposed to practise a conor controverted, yet that the particular currence in this opinion, that their instance in question was not a casus fæde- treachery increased with our fidelity, sis, and that therefore they were not in and their injustice with our indulgence. any respect affected by it. Nothing could The immediate cause which had induced be so absurd : the literal terms of the his Majesty to take the step that he had treaty were, That the obligation on the so long refrained from, was the discoone power should instantly commence, very of a moft unjust and iniquitous when the other was inimically assailed treaty between the province of Amsterfrom any quarter whatever. – Was it dam, and the Congress of the American poffible to say, that we had not been at- Colonies, now in rebellion against this lacked unprovokedly by France ? was country. The copy of this agreement it poffible to say, that we had not been had been laid before the House, and their attacked in a fimilar manner by Spain?- Lordships had hcard the injurious tenor What then could they mean by a cafus of its contents. -- Wicked and unprecefederis? If these instances did not come dented as they were, however, what was uoder that description, none ever would the satisfaction which this court received, or could. Nay, as a full proof of the when application was made, through the reprehenfibility of their conduct in this medium of our ambassador, for redress respect, the French had conceived them- and punishment? - After having deferfelves under an obligation to pay some red for fome time paying any attention attention to a fimilar article. In the to our repeated remonstrances, we were at treaty of Utrecht, between that country last answered, that the States General had and this, the fame condition was inclu• left the matier ad referenduni; which was ded as that just mentioned as conftituting as much as to say, they did not care wheone article of the treaty of Breda. When ther any regard was to be paid to it or the subjects of America first thought pro. no. The grand principal on this occaper to revolt from their due allegiance to fion, the Pensioner Van Berkel himself, the parent-state, and when France of when he was interrogated for such a concourse became amenable for the condi- duct, had the impudence to avow it, nay, tion alluded to, they, faithless and un- not only to avow it, but to defend and just as they were, considered themselves glory in it. The inhabitants of Amsterbound to pay attention to it; and though dam, which now constitutes the reigning they aslifted the Americans privately, faction of the nation, were daring enough rever dared so far to forget the decency to inform the general assembly of the of respect due to a solemn treaty, as to States, that they looked upon this treaty give them open and avowed succour. with the Americans as the execution of an Yet the Dutch had done this; they had indispensable duty, and that they neither received an American pirate into their could nor would make any atonement for ports; – they had permitted him to mount what they had done, unless compelled to guard in one of their towns, and had pa. it. tronized and protected him ; – they had His Lordship was here interrupted by made it their daily practice to supply our the Duke of Richmond, who spoke to enemies with naval fores; and at the time order. He said, the Noble Viscount had that ihey were under the most positive no right to refer, in his official capacity en igements to aflift this country, they as a minister, to papers which were not
before the House. That paper, con- fity under which he has been of making taining an account of the proceedings of an hoftile declaration against the Statesthe States - General on this occalion, General of the United Provinces; but ought, beyond all dispute, to have been that they are perfectly conscious that he subjected to the inspection of their Lord. has exerted every posible expedient for fhips; but as the Noble Lord had not the prevention of it; and that the prethought proper to do that, he was not varication, injustice, and violation of authorised in introducing any allusion to treaty, of which the States have been it at all.
guilty, were the sole causes which influLord Stormont contended, that he was enced his Majesty in the step he has ta. in no respet out of order; because, in ken. – Convinced as they are that this the first place, he had alluded to nothing war is necessary, as well as for the hothat was not specifically mentioned in his nour of the crown, as for the eflential Majesty's declaration; and in the second, interests of the people, their Lordships the whole history of the transaction in esteem it their duty to assure his Majesty, question had been published in the ga- that they will readily and willingly affift zettes of Holland, which might certain. him with their counsels and support, and ly be looked upon as some foundation use their endcavours, in conjunction for an assertion respecting matters where with him, for effecting an honourable in the States-General themselves were so and permanent peace.” intimately concerned. - The Noble The Duke of Richmond now entered Lord now resumed the thread of his ar into a regular refutation of the argu. gument, and said a few words as to the ments which had been urged by the Noble policy and expediency of the war with Lord. — His Grace contended, in the the Dutch. It had been moft erroneously first place, that the Utrecht Gazette represented, that the question upon this was no authority to refer to for the auoccasion was, in fact, this : Is it or is it thenticity of any circumstance that might pot politic to quarrel with the States-Ge- occur in that House. How does his neral? Is it or is it not wise to make that LordAip know we read these Gazettes ? power at this time our enemy? This be May not fome of us resemble that Noble said was entirely a misconception. We Lord's uncle? He never reads a newspahave not been able to prevent the Dutch per of any kind, - never, — no never : from being hoftile to us; they have been why then does the Noble Lord presume our enemies for some years back, in spite upon the certainty of the fact, that e. of every indulgence, and every jutt mo. very other member of this House actual. tive to the contrary. Since, then, the ly does read them? As for the argument making them amicable, as experience respecting the treaty of Breda, that could has sufficiently evinced, is perfe&tly out not in any reason be supposed to have of our power, the question 'becomes any effect in inclining the Dutch to amimerely and fimply this: Is it better to ty: for as another treaty had been form. have them secret or avowed enemies ? ed, dispenfing, in a certain degree, with Enemies they will be ; and it is for your the conditions of that preceding one, Lordships to determine, fince that mult they very naturally felt themselves under be the case, which state of enmity you a difficulty how to proceed; and as the would prefer, - the open attack, which fupplying the hostile powers with naval you may prepare yourselves to refift; or stores was a matter of advantage to them, the dark blow, which brings death before they conceived themfelves guilty of no discovery. His Lordthip urged fome o- impropriety in pursuing it, as it was perther argments for the expediency and ne- mitted to a degree in one agreement, ceflity of the measure which had been though prohibited in another. - Repugpursued ; and, after expreffing a strong nant terms in treaties almoft unavoidably with, that it might have been practicable destroy the effect of each treaty; and, to have punished the province of Amster- in this instance, the fubsequent agreedam, where the great and governing fac- ment of permission to trade, produced tion of the state manifeAtly relided, con- only a very common effect, by making cluded with moving an address to the the previous condition to the contrary following purport:
perfe&tly nugatory. — But, what was “ That the thanks of this House be very extraordinary, continued his Grace, given to his Majesty for his most gracious though we fee no transcript of it here, a message: - That their Lord thips lament memorial (unless I am very much dewith his Majesty the disagreeable necef
ceived indeed) was fome time ago pre- was a violation of honesty on our part to
in the year 1777, was not included a but he should prefently submit to the mong those laid before the House, tho' House those circumstances which renderof great importance to their delibera- ed a rupture with Holland essential to tions, as it was said to have been the first the honour and interest of this country. cause of the disagreement with the States. Mean time, as to the Hon. Gentleman's General, it being couched in terms of. complaint, that hoftilities had been comfensive to the dignity of a sovereign menced during the recess, he must first power.
observe, that the adjournment was not Lord North informed the Hon. Gen- so much a measure of his own, but he tleman, that no papers were laid before would readily have acquiesced in a prothe House, except those immediately re- position for continuing longer the fitting ferred to in his Majesty's Manifesto; and of parliament, had any such been offer. the memorial alluded to not being of ed. However, it was not in the power that description, of course had not been of his Majesty's minifters to foresee, when included among the rest.
the recess took place, that future circumMr Burke did not think this reason fa. Atances would require a breach with Holtisfactory, and condemned the conduct land before parliament could reassemble. of administration for commencing a war It was expected, on the contrary, with against Holland, without the fanction of great ground of probability, that the U. parliamentary concurrence. The House, nited Provinces would not finally violate he said, had been adjourned for a longer the principles of ancient confederacy, but term than necessary, merely to afford an attend to the just complaints of our court, opportunity of entering on this measure and alter that conduct which had been without the consent of the people; and fo juftly deemed exceptionable. Deceithough he denied not the prerogative of ved in this expectation, and fully apprithe crown in making war or peace, yet fed of the designs which actuated the as the people were to bear the burthen councils of Holland, it became necessary of the war, they ought to be consulted for his Majesty to take decisive and im. previous to its commencement.- It was mediate measures; for if war was to be true they had now an opportunity of ex- fustained, beyond a doubt it became our ercising their judgement on the subject, interest to take the enemy in as defencebut in a situation widely different from lefs a ftate as posible.- His Lordship that in which they stood before the recess; proceeded to a full detail of those trani. for the question was not now, Whether actions to which the Manifesto and Mewe should go to war with Holland ? but, morial referred. The alliance between Whether, being already engaged in ho. Great Britain and the States-General was stilities with that country, we thall leave cemented by three different treaties ; all our sovereign unsupported ? This was a providing for a mutual support against procedure in minifters which he could the incroachments of the House of Bour. not but reprehend; for however unfa. bon; and on the part of this country shionable it might be, he confefled him. most faithfully adhered to ever since their seif such a foolish old man as to think formation. By the first of these comthat entering on a war was a very serious pacts, each of the contracting powers business.
engaged to declare war against any ene. The papers were then read by the clerk; my that Mould invade the dominions of after which Lord North rose to elucidate the other, within two months after the the subject of his Majesty's meflage, and aggression, if required fo to do. By the propose an address in answer toʻit. His second, that of 1684, it was provided, Lordlhip premised, that notwithstanding that the declaration of war might be dirhe saw the necessity of those measures pensed with by the party attacked, if which had been taken with Holland, he thought proper, and a determinate supviewed them with the deepest concern; ply of naval and military force be acceptbeing as well convinced as the Hon. Gen- ed in its ttead. The last treaty, that of tleman who spoke laft, that the com- 1714, explained the cafus frederis of both mencement of a war is a matter of serious the former, to include that species of moment. If such an opinion were to hostility in which cither country is in stamp the character of a foolish old fellow, danger of invasion, as when an enemy he merited that appellation as much as is drawing troops to the frontier or fea. any man; for nobody could be more coast. deeply impressed with it than himself; By each of thefe confederacies his Loreto