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any other declarations as to the future than those I have already made. I wish to draw no invidious contrasts with preceding administrations : I wish to make no allusions in a hostile spirit ; but I cannot surrender power without expressing the confident belief that, during the five years for which power has been committed to our hands neither the interests nor the honour of this country have been compromised. I can say with truth that, during that period the burden of taxation has been rendered more equal, and that the pressure which was unjust and severe on many classes of her Majesty's subjects has been greatly mitigated. I can say with truth, that many restrictions upon commerce injuriously affecting the trade of this country, have been removed. Without interfering with legitimate speculation, without paralysing, or at all deranging the credit of the State, stability has been given to the monetary systems of this country; and let me here acknowledge with gratitude the cordial support which (without reference to party distinctions) the measures I proposed with regard to the Bank of England, the joint-stock banks, and the private banks of this country, received in the year 1843. Sir, I trust also that the stability of our Indian Empire has not been weakened by the policy we have pursued; and that the glory and honour of the British arms both by sea and land in every part of the world have been maintained, not through our exertions but through the devoted gallantry of the soldiers and sailors of this country. Although there have been considerable reductions in the public burdens, yet I have the satisfaction of stating to the House, that the national defences both by sea and land have been greatly improved, and that the army and navy are in a most efficient state. I trust, likewise, that I may congratulate the House, that, notwithstanding a great diminution of the fiscal burdens of the empire, our finances are in a prosperous and a buoyant state, and that on the 5th of July next the return to be laid upon the table will prove that there has been an increased consumption of almost every article subject to custom and excise duties, and that general prosperity and the demand which it occasions have supplied the void to our finances that would otherwise have been created. Lastly, I can say with truth, that without any harsh enforcement of the law, without any curtailment of the liberty of the subject, or the freedom of the press, there has been, speaking at least of Great Britain, as much of submission and obedience to the law, as at any period of our history. Nay, I will say more—that in consequence of greater command over the necessaries and minor luxuries of life—in consequence, too, of confidence in the just administration of the law, and in the benevolent intentions of Parliament, there has been more content, less sedition and public crime, less necessity for the exercise of power for the repression of political disaffection or outrage, than was ever known at any antecedent period. I said " lastly,” but I have reserved one topic, for which I think, without any unseemly boast, or invidious comparison, I may claim credit for her Majesty's councils—at least for that distinguished man, less conspicuous, perhaps, in debate, than some others, but fully as deserving of public honour and respect-on account of the exertions he has made for the maintenance of peace-I mean my noble friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. My noble friend has dared to avow that there is a moral obligation upon the Christian minister of a Christian country to exhaust every effort in the maintenance of peace, before incurring the risk, not to say the guilt, of war. But while he has not shrunk from the manly avowal of that opinion, I will, in justice to him, add this—and it is perfectly consistent with that opinion, as to the moral obligation of maintaining peace while peace can be maintained with honour—that there never was a minister less inclined to sacrifice any essential interest, or to abate anything from the dignity and honour of this country, even for the purpose of securing that inestimable blessing. Sir, I do confidently trust that we leave the foreign relations of this country in a satisfactory state—that, speaking not only of France, but of the other great powers of Europe, there is entire confidence in the honourable intentions of this country, and a real desire on the part of the governments of other powers to co-operate with us in the maintenance of peace. Sir, it is the spirit of mutual confidence on the part of public men, the ministers of great countries, which most facilitates the maintenance of general peace. Let it be remembered that we necessarily and frequently come in contact with France in various, and sometimes very distant, quarters of the worldthat there are on both sides employed in the public service warm partisans, naturally, perhaps justly, jealous of the honour of their respective countries—that grounds of quarrel, small


in themselves, inflamed by the spirit of rivalry and keen sense of national honour might easily be fomented into the causes of war, desolating nations, unless the counsels of the great powers were presided over by ministers of comprehensive views, who, feeling peace to be the true interest of the civilized world, are determined that trifling disputes, and the excited passions of angry partisans, shall not involve their respective countries in the calamities of war.

Sir, if anything could have induced me to regret that decision on the part of the House, which terminates the existence of the Government, it would have been the wish that we could survive the day when intelligence might be received from the United States as to the result of our last attempt to adjust the differences with that country-differences which, unless speedily terminated, must probably involve both countries in the necessity of an appeal to arms. The House will probably recollect that, after we had offered to leave the dispute respecting the territory of the Oregon to arbitration, and that offer had been rejected, the President of the United States sent a message to the Congress, which led to discussions with regard to the termination of the convention entered into several years since, which provided for a temporary adjustment of our differences—at least for a temporary avoidance of quarrel --and enabled the two countries jointly to occupy the territory of the Oregon. The two Houses of the American Congress, advised the President of the United States to exercise his unquestionable power, and to signify to this country the desire of the United States to terminate after the lapse of a year the existing convention. They, however, added to that advice, which might, perhaps, otherwise have been considered of an unsatisfactory or hostile character, the declaration that they desired the notice for the termination of the convention to be given, in order that an amicable adjustment of the dispute between the two countries might therefore be facilitated. It appeared to us, that the addition of that conciliatory declaration—the expression of a hope that the termination of the convention might the more strongly impress upon the two countries the necessity of amicable adjustment—removed any barrier which diplomatic punctilios might have raised to a renewal by this country of the attempt to settle our difficulties with the United States. We did not hesitate, therefore,


within two days after receipt of that intelligence-we did not hesitate, although the offer of arbitration made by us had been rejected, to do that which, in the present state of the protracted dispute, it became essential to do-namely, not to propose renewed and lengthened negotiations, but to specify frankly and without reserve what were the terms on which we could consent to a partition of the country of the Oregon. Sir, the President of the United States met us in a corresponding spirit. Whatever might have been the expressions heretofore used by him, however strongly he might have been personally committed to the adoption of a different course, he most wisely and patriotically determined at once to refer our proposals to the Senate—that authority of the United States, whose consent is requisite for the conclusion of any negotiation of this kind, and the Senate, acting also in the same pacific spirit, has, I have the heartfelt satisfaction to state, at once advised acquiescence in the terms we offered. From the importance of the subject, and considering that this is the last day I shall have to address the House as a minister of the Crown, I may, perhaps, be allowed to state what are the proposals we made to the United States for the final settlement of the Oregon question. In order to prevent the necessity for renewed diplomatic negotiations, we prepared and sent out a form of convention, which we trusted the United States would accept. The first article of that convention was to this effect, that—“ From the point on the 49th parallel of north latitude, where the boundary laid down in existing treaties and conventions between Great Britain and the United States terminates, the line of boundary between the territories of her Britannic Majesty and those of the United States shall be continued westward along the said 49th parallel of north latitude, to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, and thence southerly through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca's Straits to the Pacific Ocean; provided, however, that the navigation of the said channel and straits, south of the 49th parallel of north latitude, remain free and open to both parties.”

Those who remember the local conformation of that country will understand that that which we proposed is in continuation of the 49th parallel of latitude, till it strikes the straits of Fuca ;


that that parallel should not be continued as a boundary across Vancouver's Island, thus depriving us of a part of Vancouver's Island, but that the middle of the channel shall be the future boundary, thus leaving us in possession of the whole of Vancouver's Island with equal right to the navigation of the Straits. Sir, the second article of the convention we sent for the acceptance of the United States was to this effect, that“ From the point at which the 49th parallel of north latitude shall be found to intersect the great northern branch of the Columbia river, the navigation of the said branch shall be free and open to the Hudson's Bay Company, and to all British subjects trading with the same, to the point where the said branch meets the main stream of the Columbia, and thence down the said main stream to the ocean, with free access into and through the said river or rivers, it being understood that all the usual postages along the line thus described, shall in like manner be free and open. In navigating the said river or rivers--British subjects, with their goods and produce, shall be treated on the same footing as citizens of the United States; it being, however, always understood, that nothing in this article shall be construed as preventing, or intended to prevent the government of the United States from making any regulations respecting the navigation of the said river or rivers not inconsistent with the present treaty.

Sir, I will not occupy the attention of the House with the mere details of this convention. I have read the important articles. On this very day, on my return from my mission to her Majesty, to offer the resignation of her Majesty's servants, I had the satisfaction of finding an official letter from Mr. Pakenham, intimating in the following terms the acceptance of our proposals, and giving an assurance of the immediate termination of our differences with the United States :

“WASHINGTON, June 13th, 1846. "My Lord,—In conformity with what I had the honour to state in my despatch, No. 68, of the 7th instant, the President sent a message on Wednesday last to the Senate, submitting for the opinion of that body the draught of a convention for the settlement of the Oregon question, which I was instructed by your lordship's despatch, No. 19, of the 18th of May, to propose for the acceptance of the United States.

After a few hours' deliberation on each of the three days, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the Senate, by a majority of 38 votes to

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