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were continued in order to obtain military | from her by the conditions of peace. Security glory, we should tempt the justice of Him in for Turkey for the future as well as for the whose hands was the fate of armies to launch present was the object of the war. So deterupon us his wrath.
mined was the speech of the ex-plenipotentiary Mr. Gladstone was accused of inconsistency, that it was taken as an assurance that the and his attitude in relation to the war was government would adopt a course rendering denounced in severe terms, but he was not Mr. Disraeli's motion unnecessary, and a great alone in the opinions which he had so unhesi- many votes against it (including Mr. Roetatingly expressed. While the Derbyites had buck's) were influenced by this vigorous decombined with Layard and his friends and nunciation of Russia. with Lord Ellenborough to overturn the min- These arguments were of course entirely istry without success, and the motion brought contradicted by Mr. Bright and Mr. Cobden. forward by Lord Grey had been concerted The latter had moved the adjournment of the with Lord Aberdeen, it was suspected that debate till after the holidays, and the former the “ peace party” would obtain the adherence rose to ask the government what really were not only of Mr. Gladstone but of the Peelites the objects of the war, whether these objects with Gladstone and Graham at their head.1 had been secured and accomplished, and The debate on Mr. Milner Gibson's motion, whether there could be anything in prospect resumed after the recess, was to clear up the which would justify the government and the state of parties. The house and the country house in proceeding further with the war. were to know whether Lord John Russell He showed from their own declarations that had actually approved the proposals of Aus- there was no kind of sympathy that could lead tria. Lord Palmerston could not explain the them into war for the oppressed nationalities situation fully while communications were of Europe, for Hungary or Poland, and prostill proceeding, but Mr. Disraeli, Sir Bulwer bably they would also repudiate interference Lytton, and others, were determined, if pos- on behalf of Italy. It was for Turkey and the sible, to draw the government into a de- general system of Europe that we were strugclaration.
gling, and in fact the whole matter always reRussell himself replied to Gladstone with
solved itself into some general mystification. considerable force, and in quite a warlike
Without charging Lord John Russell with spirit. The naval power of Russia in the dishonesty he asked whether the terms which Black Sea must be restricted, and to restrict
were offered to Russia at the conference were it was no more of an indignity than it was offered in earnest, or whether the statement when Mr. Gladstone had joined his colleagues made by the Times was correct, that the object in the measure. The refusal of Russia to sub- of the conference was not to bring about a mit to it was a sure indication that she con- peace but to shame Austria into becoming a tinued to cherish designs against Constan
faithful and warlike ally.? tinople, and that the peace of Europe would “When the Aberdeen government, of which again be disturbed at no distant date if the the noble lords were members," said Mr. means of aggression were not taken away Bright, “originally agreed upon these terms,
their object was that the Black Sea should be 1 Four years afterwards Sir James Graham, speaking to Mr. Bright about the attack he (Mr. Bright) had made upon him and the government after the Napier dinner at ? It may be noticed with no other emphasis than belongs the Reform Club, said, “You were entirely right about to a peculiar coincidence, that Lord Palmerston, writing that war and we were entirely wrong, and we should never (May 28th) to the Emperor of the French, who was more have gone into it."
inclined for hastening a peace and attached more value Sir George Cornewall Lewis, after he had succeeded Mr. to the active co-operation of Austria than we did, had Gladstone in the Palmerston government, wrote, "This said: “Victorieux en Crimée, nous commanderons l'amiwar has been distasteful to me from the beginning, and tié, peut-être même l'épée de l'Autriche; manquant de especially so from the time when it ceased to be defensive succès en Crimée, nous n'avons pas même sa plume." and the Russian territory was invaded. My dislike of it, (“Victorious in the Crimea, we shall command the friend. and my conviction of its repugnance to the interests of ship, perhaps even the sword of Austria ; failing there, England and Europe, was only increased with its progress." we have not even her pen.")
BRIGHT'S WARNINGS–COBDEN AND MOLESWORTH.
thrown open, or at least that the closing of the these things to be accounted nothing? We straits should be relaxed; and I presume that have had for twelve years past a gradual reit was not until after it was known that while duction of taxation, and there has been an Russia had no objection to the opening of the immense improvement in the physical, intelstraits, Turkey was very much opposed to it, lectual, and moral condition of the people of that it was found necessary to change the this country; while for the last two years we terms and bring them forward in another have commenced a career of reimposing taxes, form. But surely, if this be so, the house and have had to apply for a loan, and no doubt, if the government should be chary indeed of this war goes on, extensive loans are still in carrying on a prolonged war with Russia, prospect. Russia having been willing to accept a pro- “Honourable members may think this is position made originally by us, and which I nothing. They say it is a 'low' view of the believe to be the best for Turkey and for the But these things are the foundation of interests of Europe. If this be so, was the gov- your national greatness, and of your national ernment justified in breaking off these negotia- duration; and you may be following visionary tions, because that really is the issue which this phantoms in all parts of the world, while your house is called upon to try? Can they obtain own country is becoming rotten within, and better terms? If the terms are sufficent for calamities may be in store for the monarchy Turkey, they ought not to ask for better ones. and the nation of which now it appears you I do not say they may not get better terms. take no heed. Every man connected with I agree with my
honourable friend the mem- trade knows how much trade has suffered, ber for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) that how much profits in every branch of tradeEngland and France, if they choose to sacrifice except in contracts arising out of the war500,000 men and to throw away £200,000,000 have diminished, how industry is becoming or £300,000,000 of treasure, may dismember more precarious, and the reward for industry the Russian Empire. But I doubt whether less, how the price of food is raised, and how this would give better terms to Turkey. I am much there is of a growing pressure of all sure it would not give better terms for Eng- classes, especially upon the poorest of the land and France. Now what has it cost to people--a pressure which by-and-by-not just obtain all this? ... Is war the only thing now, when the popular frenzy is lashed into a nation enters upon in which the cost is fury morning after morning by the newspapers never to be reckoned? Is it nothing that in ---but I say by-and-by,thisdiscontent will grow twelve months you have sacrificed 20,000 or rapidly, and you (here he pointed to the min30,000 men, who a year ago were your own isterial bench), who now fancy you are fulfilfellow-citizens, living in your midst, andling the behests of the national will, will find interested, as you are, in all the social and yourselves pointed to as the men who ought political occurrences of the day? Is it nothing to have taught the nation better." that in addition to these lives a sum of—I am It will be seen that Mr. Bright had not almost afraid to say how much, but £30,000,000 been daunted either by the abuse or by the or £40,000,000 will not be beyond the mark more cultured criticism with which he had ---has already been expended? And let the been assailed. He would not consent to regard house bear in mind this solemn fact—that the the “ blood-red blossom of war," as it was then four nations engaged in this war have already in bloom, as anything but a Dead Sea growth. lost so many men, that if you were to go from He naturally regarded the declarations of Chelsea to Blackwall, and from Highgate and Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Milner Gibson, and Sir Hampstead to Norwood, and take every man James Graham as an accession to the side of of a fighting age and put him to death, if you the "peace party.” The conduct of these did this you would not sacrifice a larger num- gentlemen on that question had, he said, ber of lives than have already been sacrificed been the cause of great debate and of lanin these twelve months of war.
Are guage which the state of the case had not
wholly justified. He presumed it would be the temptations which had been presented for almitted that they knew the object of the the conclusion of a recreant peace, contending war as well as any other men in the house, that the safety, as well as the glory, of the and that entertaining as they did a very seri- British Empire would be perilled by any signs ous idea of the results of a prolonged war, of cowardice or surrender of the high printhey were at liberty to come to the conclusion ciples which constituted the real bond of union that certain terms, to which they themselves among the scattered elements of our national were parties, were sufficient. If this was the grandeur. conviction at which they had arrived, surely In the adjourned debate, Mr. Cobden reno member of the house would say that, be- ferred to the slanderous charges against him cause they had been members of a cabinet and his friends, that they were Russian emissome time before, which went into the war, saries, and reminded the house that similar therefore they should be forbidden to endea- charges were thrown out against Burke and vour to avert the incalculable calamities which Fox. For himself, he had no object in view threatened their country, but should be ex- but the just interests of England. He characpected to maintain a show of consistency for terized the speech of the right honourable barwhich they must sacrifice everything that an onet the member for Southwark as the most honest man would hold dear. Had these inconsistent with his former opinions that had men, he asked, gained anything in popularity ever been delivered in that house. “Does with the country, or even with the members the right honourable gentleman remember a of that house, by the course they had taken? jeu d'esprit of the poet Moore, when dealing
Hopeless as the prospects appeared to be in 1833 with the Whig occupants of those of a change in the view of the government benches, shortly after they had emerged from and the people of England, the advocates of a long penance in the dreary wilderness of a pacific policy were doubtless encouraged by opposition, and when the Whigs showed themthe attitude of the so-called “ Peelites,” and selves to be Tories when in office? Does he they spoke with vigour and effect. It was in remember the jeu d'esprit ? Why, I think he this debate that Mr. Cobden in reply to Sir and I have laughed over it when we have W. Molesworth made a humorous allusion been talking over the sudden conversions of which for some years remained famous. Sir right honourable gentlenien. The poet illusWilliam opposed the conclusion, that in that trated the matter by a story of an Irishman stage of the war, the country was bound to who went over to the West Indies, and before accept the same terms which would have landing, heard some of the blacks speaking satisfied it before hostilities were proclaimed. tolerably bad English, whereupon, mistaking In order to maintain peace and avert the them for his own countrymen, he exclaimed, calamities of war as long as possible, the allied “What! black and curly already?' Now, we governments in the first instance lowered have all seen metamorphoses upon these their demands upon Russia, as long as they benches--how colours have changed and feacould do so with honour. But, having been tures became deformed when men came under once compelled to draw the sword, and having the influence of the treasury atmosphere; but expended in this war a vast amount of trea- I must say that never to my knowledge have sure and sacrificed so many valuable lives, the I seen a change in which there has been so chief reason for abating their demands as deep a black and so stiff a curl.” much as possible no longer existed, and they received by the house with signs of great were now entitled to stand upon their rights, amusement, and the speech was regarded as and to demand that these should be fully having been peculiarly damaging to the gorsecured to them; they were even entitled, if ernment. they thought proper, to increase their demands The general transposition which had taken in proportion to the continuance of the war place among the men who had held a part in and the success of their arms. IIe denounced the first prosecution of the war made the
GRAHAM AND RUSSELL-DEBATE ON THE NEGOTIATIONS.
debate a very remarkable one. It was not the government what was the nature of the forgotten that Mr. Disraeli had offered to Austrian proposition which the allied powers serve in a Derby government, which, had it had rejected; and next, whether the four been formed, would have included Mr. Glad-points were still to be considered the basis of stone and Mr. Sidney Herbert, and that the future negotiations, or whether they were men who were now strongly advocating the now to be altogether discarded. This was the adoption of a basis of negotiation, which more important, as he had observed the might, by conceding somewhat to the demand remarkable disposition in the house to raise of Russia, put an end to the war, had retired their ternis of negotiation, till he had become from the existing ministry rather than submit altogether at a loss to understand what were to an inquiry as to the manner in which that the objects of the war. It was a popular war had been conducted. Nor was it for- thing to commence a war, but it was difficult gotten that they had also formed part of the to maintain it in its popularity. He did not former government which had been accused mean to say they ought never to vary the of a lack of energy in prosecuting hostilities terms of peace according to the fortunes of because of a dislike to oppose Russia. Sir the war; but he did say that they ought not Edward Bulwer Lytton had referred to the to extend their object. The question then inconsistency of Mr. Gladstone, and had asked, was, Had not that object been gained? He “When Mr. Gladstone was dwelling, in a proceeded, at great length, to state the original Christian spirit that moved them all, on the demands of Russia, and to contrast them with gallant blood that had been shed by England, the terms which she was willing to accept at by her allies, and by her foemen in that Vienna, contending that Russia had abated quarrel, did it never occur to him, that all the all her original demands, and had been suffiwhile he was speaking, this one question was ciently humbled both in arms and diplomacy. forcing itself upon the minds of his English But the Vienna conferences were already audience, ' And shall all this blood have been at an end. Lord John Russell replied that shed in vain?'”
they would never have been entered into but There were numerous attacks on the men for the obligations imposed upon us by our who refused to concur in the abandonment of treaty with Austria. He defended the limithe negotiations on that disputed"third point" | tations imposed upon the Danubian princiwhich was to limit the power of Russia in the palities, by the arrangement on the first proBlack Sea.
position, as the best which could have been Sir J. Graham pleaded for an indulgent adopted under the very delicate circumstances hearing, on the ground that he formed one
of the case.
The principalities could not be of a small minority. It was painful to him independent. If they were to have selfto be taunted as the friend of Russia; his only government under the protection of the Porte, consolation was that wiser and better men it was necessary to stipulate that they should than he, in similar circumstances, had been not intrigue against the tranquillity of their subjected to the same taunts. He still be- neighbours. With regard to the third prolieved that the war at its commencement was position, he thought the opposite party took just and necessary; the only question was, advantage of the moderation of the Western whether Russia had not since afforded the powers, and argued, because we had conceded means of obtaining an honourable peace. It so much, therefore we ought to have conceded had been said, in the house, that his conduct more and still more, till the negotiations bein office, with his opinions as now expressed, came perfectly nugatory. It was impossible was a sufficient explanation of our disasters. to see, in the Russian proposition, any differAll he could say in reply was, that he exerted ence between Russian preponderance before himself to the utmost to equip the fleet; and and after its acceptance. He believed that he believed his successor had not found those Russia refused the Western terms, not on the means
ans inadequate. He wished to know from question of honour, but because she had not
yet sustained reverses enough to induce her to “As to the first, any such declaration as abandon her aggressive intentions. The ques- Mr. Gladstone has made upon Mr. Disraeli's tion then came to be, For what object was the motion, must not only weaken us abroad in war to be continued ? His answer must be gen- public estimation, and give a wrong opinion eral, that it still continued to be the mainten- as to the determination of the nation to supance of the independence of Turkey, and con- port the queen in the war in which she has sequently the security of Europe. He believed been involved, but render all chance of obtainthat was the general feeling of this country; ing an honourable peace without great fresh and the only blame he apprehended was that sacrifices of blood and treasure impossible, by the government had not insisted on stronger giving new hopes and spirit to the enemy. terms. But the negotiations were now over; “As to the second, a proceeding which must and the events of war must determine what appear to many as unpatriotic in any Englishnew terms they must insist on to attain the man, but difficult to explain even by the most one object. In conclusion, he commented on consummate oratory on the part of statesmen the anomalous position of this debate, discuss- who have, up to a very recent period, shared ing the propriety of continuing negotiations the responsibility of all the measures of the which were now finally closed; and suggested war, and that have led to the war, must serithat it would be much more regular now to ously damage them in public estimation. The wait till the closing papers of the Vienna con- more so, as having been publicly suspected ferences were produced, when the minister and falsely accused by their opponents of havwould propose an address to her majesty, ing, by their secret hostility to the war, led to which would then properly and regularly open all the omissions, mistakes, and disasters, up the whole question.
which have attended the last campaign, they The Nemesis for that speech was approach- now seem to exert themselves to prove the ing. It was inevitable in such a division of truth of these accusations, and (as Americans parties that the minister who could make would say) to realize the whole capital of such a statement, and yet was believed to the unpopularity attaching to the authors of have gone very near pledging himself to the our misfortunes, whom the public has for so clause which would have given to Russia long a time been vainly endeavouring to diswhat he now denied, should be subjected to a sharp and searching attack, but that was “However much on private and personal deferred for the present.
grounds I grieve for this, I must do so still As to Mr. Gladstone, he was no more likely more on the queen's behalf, who cannot afford than Mr. Bright or Mr. Cobden to recede in these times of trial and difficulty to see the from a position which he had taken under a best men in the country damaging themselves sense of duty, and the probable loss of popu- in its opinion, to an extent that seriously imlarity or the sarcasms of those who charged pairs their usefulness for the service of the him with inconsistency failed to elicit any
state.” token of uncertainty in his determination. This was a pretty accurate representation Prince Albert, like most of those who advo- of the general view of the course taken by cated the vigorous prosecution of the war as the Peelites; but Mr. Gladstone held to his the best means of obtaining permanent and resolve, and in the course of the ensuing satisfactory terms of peace, was much con- debates, argued with his usual power against cerned at the political situation. He wrote to the further strenuous prosecution of the war the Earl of Aberdeen :-“The line which your for the purpose of exacting unnecessarily former friends and colleagues, with the excep- stringent conditions. He did not occupy tion of the Duke of Newcastle, have taken about much time in defending his personal reputathe war question has caused the queen and my- tion, and he has, much more recently, been self great anxiety, both on account of the posi- able dispassionately to explain the situation tion of public affairs and on their own account. of affairs and the circumstances that con