Изображения страниц

rattas had always had it in contemplation, ing up his hands, at a time when he ought ever since the death of Sujat UI Dowla, to to be left at full liberty to act in such extirpate the English from India. Mada-manner as to himself should seem most jee Scindeah had the same, and he thought proper. He should therefore vote for the the marquis Wellesley had the highest de-previous question.

gree of merit, in being able to frustrate Mr. Robert Thornton warmly approved their machinations, and by attacking them of the original motion. He was of opiseparately, preventing those mischievous nion, that the system now acted upon with consequences which a combination of their regard to India ought to be changed, and powers could not fail to produce. From that we should act on principles and inthe character of the noble marquis, if he dications of moderation and forbearance, could have preserved peace consistent- and not in the spirit of conquest and aggran ly with the interests of the company, he dizement. He trusted, that it was with was certain he would have done it. It that view, and with these intentions, that had been the favourite design of the Mah-marquis Cornwallis would set out for that -rattas, for upwards of twenty years, to ex-country. In sending out that noble marstirpate the English from India, and for this quis in lieu of lord Wellesley, we were express purpose they had been at a very substituting the olive branch for the - great expence in improving their tactics sword, and this at a time that such and engaging in their service as many Eu- a substitution was essentially necessary. ropeans as possible. He was decidedly Such a declaration as that now moved for against the original mation.. would shew that parliament are determined on a dereliction of the late system; and it would shew the marquis and the native


Mr. Chapman spoke in favour of the original motion. He said, that the mo:ment they entered into a treaty with the powers in India, that you do not send him Peishwah, they must expect a war without merely as a common governor-genethe Mahrattas. He had been resident in ral, but that the country might derive advantage from that conciliatory disposition which is so much wanted to heal the wounds which, he thought, had too rashly been inflicted there. If we were to hold India, and to keep the French out of it, we must not think of doing either by the sword, but by conciliating the minds of the native powers, and convincing them that justice and moderation should be the future rule of our conduct towards them. No one could deny that marquis Wellesley had acted with great energy and activity. In his opinion the noble marquis was too active, too energetic and too enterprising. The noble lord had pursued the warlike system too far, and had thus created a dis

the country of the Rajali of Berar, and there the Peishwah was not allowed to be the supreme chief over the other feudatory chiefs. Seindeah and Holkar could never be expected to agree to the treaty, and he thought, therefore, it was very impolitic to enter upon it. The war was very expensive, and he was afraid would be productive of considerable mischief to the company's affairs.


Mr. Princep thought the house indebted to the perseverance of the hon. member in calling their attention to so important a subject, and expressed his approbation of the magnanimous conduct of those official gentlemen, who, disregarding the restraints of office, so candidly and honourably avow-content and disposition to resistance among ed their sentiments. He trusted, as the the native powers, of which the French, or attention of the house seemed now directed any power hostile to us, could easily avail to the subject, they would not give it up itself, if it could obtain any footing in lutill they had fully investigated the manner dia. The conciliatory system was therein which the affairs of our Indian depen-fore become indispensable for our honour dencies had been administered. On the and security. For he feared that for some present occasion, however, when a noble years back we were become in India what inarquis was on the eve of setting off for the tyrant of France was in Europe. India, to take on him the supreme command and government of the country, he did not wish such a declaration as that moved for by the hon. gent. should be voted by the house, as he was afraid it would be the means of fettering and bind

The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted, that in one point of view the motion now before the house was such as nobody could object to in the abstract, because it was a principle expressed upon our statute-book, and founded upon natural justice, that we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

should not make war for the sake of ex-curity: he had gained a great extent of tending territory; but it did not thence valuable sea-coast, a matter of great confollow, that if we were forced into a just sideration with a view to preventing the and a necessary war, that we were not to designs of the enemy.-He must object conquer, and that, after conquest, an ex- most decidedly to a motion which cast a tent of dominion might become the result slur upon the justice, the magnanimity, of it, for that was the natural effect of su- and the good faith of the British govern periority in contest; our security might ment. Ile need not dwell on the last require it, or we might take by way of in- Mahratta war, after what had been said demnity. If it were not so, we should, by by his noble friend. He contended, that pusillanimity, unite all the world to attack lord Wellesley was fully justified respect us. The resolution, therefore, as it had an ing the treaty with the Peishwa. We aspect hostile to that principle, was unjust ought not to permit either Soindia or the to the noble marquis, because it was a ge- Peishwal to possess the whole of the Mah neral censure on the whole of his admini-ratta power. The right hon. gent. alluded stration, by now putting the whole of that to the attempt made on Egypt, as connectadministration together, and following up ed with the design of the enemy on the the historical account of it with a resolu- East Indies, and stated, that he knew tion, which either meant to censure that France had still been looking to the Mahadministration altogether-an administra- ratta states as the great instrument to be tion as full of excellent achievement as employed against us in India. If there any that ever preceded it, and in which the was any variety of opinion as to some noble marquis had done as many and as parts of the noble marquis's administra. glorious deeds as ever were done by any tion in India, and in an administration so man; or else the resolution was only a re-long and so full of incident, no wonder if petition of what was on the statute book there should, let the specific points be already, and meant nothing but an unne-stated on which the objections are taken, cessary repetition of an undisputed truth, and they should be met as they ought to and objection on that head. This resolu. be, but the present motion was either to tion taken as one that censured extension convey a general censure of the whole of of territory, in all events, was unjust, not the administration, which nobody would only for the reason he had stated already, avow, or it went to declare that which was but unjust to my lord Cornwallis himself, unnecessary, because declared already. who was to-night so highly and justly Mr. For vindicated the motion and the praised, for even he had extended our ter-objects of the honourable mover. The ritory in India after the conclusion of a right hon. gent. who had just sat down, war. The grand policy of this country in was completely mistaken, in supposing India was to keep down the power of that the meaning of his hon. friend, or of France. There might be fair ground for those by whom the motion of 1782 was difference of opinion on some points of drawn up, was, that parliament should Indian policy; but on the great leading make a declaration against unjustifiable features of the noble marquis's admini-wars, for that would be just such trash stration, there could exist no doubt on as the French assembly published at the the merits of those transactions, by which commencement of the revolution; but he had conferred such benefits on his upon which they did not afterwards act, country, had secured her interest, upheld "that they would not make war for her honour, and exalted her glory. He sake of conquest." No, the meaning of had dispelled a danger the most formida- the motion before the house, and of ble and menacing, which he never could that of 1782, was this, that an extenhave done on the principle of the hon. sion of territory in India was not the po gentlemen opposite; and dispelled it, dur-licy of this country; that is, that whatever ing a war in which France wished, through the grounds of war might be, a farther India, to strike a fatal blow against British addition to our territory in that quarter commerce and greatness. The wisdom of would be a mischief. But the right hou, the noble lord had been evinced in adopt-gent. on the other side, seemed to say, that ing the highest, most important, and fun- our situation was materially altered since damental policy of the British interests in 1782, with respect to India. Where, he India: he had procured, in the issue of would ask, was the material circumstance his brilliant campaigus, indemnity and se- of change? We were at war with France

in 1782 The French were as willing to tainly be the proper time to institute such excite an opposition to us in India, and inquiry. An hon. gent. (Mr. Princep) Tippoo was quite as willing to second such was of opinion that the adoption of this views as the Mahrattas can be supposed at motion would operate to fetter lord Cornpresent. Yet under all these circum-wallis. But he believed, on the contrary, stances we concluded the resolution of that it would serve to fortify the views and 1782. He called upon the house to come intentions of that noble lord. It would to some discussion upon this point. If the shew him that the policy he held was sancextension of territory were desirable, let tioned by the voice of parliament. He the motion be negatived at once, and let remembered it having been said with resome course be determined on. But let spect to his India bill, that the objection not such a line of policy be followed as was was not so much to the measure as to the calculated to keep alive doubt and suspi-man; but on this occasion he should say, cion, and forbid the possibility of confi- with respect to the motion and lord Corn dence in our views among the native wallis, that this measure was the man. powers. Every pretence seemed to be The hon. gent. on the other side entertain sought for to declare war in India, and it ed opinions directly the reverse of those appeared impossible to calculate when this professed by the three respectable direcpropensity to war would cease. As soon as tors of the India company, whom the house we had destroyed Tippoo, it was then stated had heard declare an unqualified adherence to be very desirable to forma close connection to the resolution of 1782. The right hon. with those Mahratta powers, which were gent. had advanced some statements previously pronounced our friends. This which shewed that he contemplated connexion we had soon formed with them, schemes of ambition far more wild and and we gave them something like what the mad than the governor of India was ever French used to term the "fraternal hug." suspected of. For the right hon. gent.'s We embraced the Mahrattas, just as the ideas would go to this, that we should French embraced Holland. We, in fact, possess ourselves of all India; and if posseemed in India, to be like Macbeth," so sessed of that vast empire, he contended steeped in blood" that we thought it vain that it would be an intolerable drain upou to go back. Sed revocare gradum, hic our military resource to preserve it, while Jabor, hoc opus est. After destroying its preservation would not be so conducive Tippoo, who formed a barrier between us to our benefit, as India governed upon and our friends the Mahrattas, we then pro- the principle laid down in the motion ceeded to destroy our friends themselves. would be. But the main pretence rested But, it is said, that you waged war against upon by the advocates for further conquests the Mahrattas, merely from a fear of the seems to be this, that they are necessary French; and a similar plea may be al- for our safety. Now this was precisely the leged with equal justice, against any state pretence of all conquerors and marauders, in India, until, in the work of destruction, in all ages. According to Livy, whenever the English force may make its way to the the Romans made war upon auy state, it wall of China, or farther if they could. was only to secure their own safety. Such War was declared against the Mahrattas, was the plea advanced and exactly the because they were the only power remain same was the ground frequently urged by ing in India. So that in other words, our Lewis XIV. and others entertaining simi govt. appeared to argue, that we could lar views. In the name of common sense not be safe until all India was our own. and justice, he would ask, where such a His opinion, the hon. member declared plea was likely to stop? Where was this to be decidedly different. The best way resort for safety to end, for, according as in his view to secure our interest and pos- it was applied, no man was likely to be at sessions, was to prohibit their extension. peace, for he could not calculate upon As to the allusion made to the character safety while there was another man alive of lord Wellesley, he could not admit who had strength enough to knock him that the motion was meant to reflect on down. Thus no state could be at peace, that noble lord, upon whose conduct he until every nation capable of attacking it was not now prepared to pronounce any was destroyed. Such was the tendency of opinion. If the administration of that the argument deducible from the abomina, noble lord was meant to be inquired into, ble principle laid down to excuse our wars when he should return home would cer- in India, respecting the means of securing

our safety, The operation of such a plea, Speaker of the House of Lords, during the struck him to have no end but in unbounded absence of the lord Chancellor, &c. The dominion. The hon. gent, concluded with same was read accordingly. The lord expressing a hope that whether the motion Chancellor then put the formal question before the house should be acceded to upon the proceedings, and retired from or not, something declaratory of the pro-the house, and lord Ellenborough shortly posed system with respect to India, would after took his seat upon the woolsack, as be adopted as a guide to our governors in Speaker pro tempore. India, as a rule by which our views might be judged of by the natives. If that sys-litia Enlisting bill, was then read the third time; and on the question being put that the bill do pass;


tem should be consonant with moderation and justice, it would be founded on the principle of this motion, and best calculated, he was confident, to promote our interests in Iudia.

Earl Spencer rose, not to oppose the passing of the bill, but merely to enquire of the noble secretary of state what ar rangement was intended with respect to a

Mr. Francis, in reply, insisted on the same motives of conduct as were recom-matter which his lordship conceived to be mended by Mr. Fox; and contended, that highly important, but for which no prothey would be most congenial to the feelings, vision was made in the present bill, that and most consonant to the policy upon he could observe; namely, with regard to which the noble marquis was likely to act, the officers now attached to the several and for the enforcement of which it was regiments of militia, but who would be sulikely that he was again induced to under-perfluous or supernumerary, when those take the government of our India posses-regiments should come to be reduced to sions. The question being loudly called their intended limitation; his object was, for, the house divided; to be informed whether they were to be continued on full, or reduced to half-pay.

For Mr. Francis's motion 46
For the previous question 105

Majority against the motion 59

Lord Hawkesbury answered, that the bill was not intended to affect the pay of any officer now attached as such to any regiment of militia, in consequence of the reduction, so long as the militia continued embodied.


Monday, April 8. [MINUTES.] Counsel were further heard Earl Spencer said, his only difficulty was relative to the Scotch Appeal, Cathcart, how such supernumerary officers could bart. v. the Earl of Cassilis, viz. Mr. Ers-legally continue to receive full pay after kine, at considerable length, as second the reduction of the militia to its original counsel, for the Respondent. The hear-standard. Such a principle he was sure ing of counsel was rather earlier postponed must be contrary to the spirit of the origithan usual, in consequence of the sudden nal Militia law; and without a special indisposition of the lord Chancellor, on ac- clause in the bill (which certainly might be count of which an adjournment of the amended any time in the course of the house, during pleasure, took place. In the present session) he did not see how that course of about half an hour, the house principle could be dispensed with.-The resumed, and the lord Chancellor took his question being put," that the bill do pass," seat on the Woolsack; and the farther con- the house divided; sideration of the appeal was adjourned till to-morrow. The bills upon the table were forwarded in their several stages: among these, the Neutral Ships and Innkeeper's Allowance bills were read a third time and passed, and the Irish Spirits Permit bill went through a committee of the whole house. -The indisposition of the lord Chancellor continuing, it was moved, his majesty's commission under the great seal, be read; [MINUTES.] Mr. Huskisson brought up authorising and appointing Edward Lord a bill for amending and rendering more Ellenborough, Chief Justice of the Court effectual the Property bill, which was read of King's Bench, to act and officiate as a first time.The house resolved itself into



Majority for the Bill


Monday, April S.


55 40

15. Adjourned.

a committee of supply. Mr. Foster mov-who had so often signalized his prowess in ed, that an account of the unfunded debt fighting the battles of his country. That of Ireland be referred to the said Com-noble lord, however, not satisfied with mittee. Ordered. He then moved, that combating and subduing her enemies a sum not exceeding 800,0001. be granted abroad, returned home to overturn her to his majesty for paying off Treasury bills, domestic foes, by exploding those mines for the year 1805, which was agreed to, of corruption which rendered all advanand the report ordered to be received to- tages of victory fruitless and unavailing. morrow. Mr. Stuckey, from the Excise The commissioners thus constituted have Office in Scotland, presented at the bar an already made a variety of reports, though account of the arrears and current balances I am sorry to say that on few have any in that department. Ordered to lie on the proceedings hitherto been founded. I cer table. tainly do take some degree of merit to myself for having moved for certain papers calculated to elucidate the first report,

Mr. Johnstone begged leave to ask Mr. Sheridan, whether he had abandoned his motion relative to the affairs of the Carna-and was then given to understand that a tic? If he meant to do it, he would, ina-commission had been appointed to carry dequate as he confessed his abilities to be into effect such suggestions in the report as to a subject of such vast importance, bring appeared likely to be adopted with advan it forward. tage. What progress has been made by this commission does not hitherto appear, though at a future time I may feel it my duty to bring the matter again under the consideration of the house. But to return to the Commissioners of Naval Inquiry,

[CENSURE OF LORD MELVILLE.] Mr. Whitbread rose to make his promised motion, founded on the tenth report of the Commissioners of Naval Enquiry, and spoke as follows:-When first, sir, I gave notice that I should call the attention of the house to the subject on which I am now to address you, it was my intention to follow the precedents by which the house have been generally guided, and to move that the tenth report of the commissioners of Naval Enquiry be taken into consideration in a committee. I have, however, since, on mature reflection, seen reason to alter this original resolution, and confining myself to the most important part of that report, to make that the foundation of certain propositions with which I shall have the honour to conclude. With perseverance they have discovered what due respect to all the commissioners which eluded the most diligent inquiries of varihave ever sat under the authority and ap-ous commissions appointed for the purpose pointment of this house, I must be per- of ascertaining the amount of various mitted to say, that none was ever more abuses in the public expenditure, what honourable in its origin, none had ever all the vigilance of committees of this house prosecuted its inquiries with more real could not fully bring to light. The comadvantage to the public interest. It is missioners having thus done their duty to well known that this commission originated the public, it falls to my lot to bring to from the late Board of Admiralty, at the justice the criminals whom they have exhead of which presided that noble lord posed. It is needless for me to insist on

Mr. Sheridan said, though the matter had long lain dormant, he certainly did not mean to abandon it; especially as a noble lord opposite had seemed to hint, some short time back, that these affairs had been so happily settled, that all inquiry I think it clearly demonstrated, that if they was unnecessary. He meant, immediately had greater difficulties to encounter than after the holidays, to fix a precise day for any former commission suffered; if they bringing forward his motion on that sub- have been attacked in a manner contrary ject. to all decency by the whole host of jobbers and depredators, whose villainies it was their object to expose; if they have been described as exercising the office of inqui sitors rather than of commissioners; if their views have been vilified not onlyin this house but throughout the public at large; ifevery possible obstacle has been thrown in the way of their investigations; if every thing in short, has been done to disgust them, and make them relinquish the great task entrusted to them by this house; and if, overlooking all these considerations, they have thought only of discharging their duty to their country, it will not surely be denied that their merit has been greatly enhanced, that they are entitled to the warmest gratitude of the best interests of this empire. By their firmness and their


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »