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should content himself with referring to three papers which were produced ; and which, without any insinua. tion that others had been improperly withheld, he presumed to think did not contain so positive a justification of the conduct of the late government as other papers which miglii have been produced. The remarks he had to make on the present motion were few, for he did not believe there was another person in the house, but the hopourable inember who had made the motion, that viewed things in the same way in which they had occurred to him. The late government had acted on the same principles as that sbich preceded it. It saw the growing influence of France, and the decreased influence of this country and of Russia, with the Porte, and it wished to endeavour to give a check to so unfortunate a change of sentiment; Mr. Arbuthnot, aware of this circumstance, communicated to government the note of M. Sebastiani, the French minister, a note in which the honourable member was pleased to say he saw nothing objectionable. That there might be nothing objectionable in it to a French ear, he was far from disputing, but to a genuine English ear it was impossible it could prove entirely agreeable. It partook in the liighest degree possible of ihe violence of French diplomacy. It bore, that the ambassador had received positive orders that neutrality required not only that the Bosphorus should be shut against the fleets of England' and Russia, but also against their ships, arms, and provisions; allhongh it was well known that a treaty was then in existence, authorising the importation of such articles. But it Turkey should presume to insist on the observance of this treaty, then France, on the other hand, as ertid her right to march by land through the territories of Turkey, to contend with Russia on the banks of the Neister. This was the modest tenor of the French claim, which Mr. Arbuthnot immediately declared he should consider as an act of war. Ilore the right honourable gentleman read quotations from the note of the British ambasador, and the dispaichies of lord lo vick following thereon, and stated that in consequence of the communications made by Mr. Arbuthnot, of the increasing influCnce of the French, it appeared to be the duty of ministers to support undiminished that favour aid influence which they bai stipulated for by treaty. Mr. Arbuthnot fou wrote to lord Tlowick and suggested to himn the
propriety of sending a squadron of ships to give effect to the communications. Lord "Collingwood, with that good sense and energy which characterised all his conduct, imiediately took such measures as he thought might be most effectual to give a turn tv allairs; and sent three sail of the line under sir T. Louis, to endeavour to intluence the Porte in the measures it was likely to take. In consequence of Mr. Arbuthnots communications, and lord Colling, wood's sending a small squadron for this effect, it was resolved by the government of this country to send an additional force in furtherance of the negotiation. The right honourable gentleman proceeded to read some papers as to the facility with which an attack might be made on the Dardanelles, and the little risk which a British ship would run in passing the batteries. He sheved, that the quantum of force sent ont was suggested by lord Cole, lingwood, and was not a spontaneous idea of the late government. They did not take upon themselves to say what was a proper force. They took the opinion of somne of the first naval characters on the subject, and all of them agreed that a considerably smaller force than that which was dispatched was considerably more than adequate to the undertaking. They were fully ju-tified too in expecting co-operation and assistance from the Russians, by whose fleet they were joined four days afterwards. The right honourable gentleman proceeded to shew that the documents alluded to were not the only ones which might be produced; and in support of this assertion, he referred to a paper which he had formerly moved for, being a. letter from admiral Loniy to lord Collingwood, in which lre declares his conviction that three sail of the line would then have been suficient for the undertaking. The situ. ation, however, was such, and so capable of defence, that within a few days, instead of three sail, the same gallant admiral estimated the force necessary to succeed, at ten sail of the line. 'Troops were also talkeil of, as being necessary to the success of such an expedition. But he asked the house if it was at all likely that such a body of troops could have been sent as woull bave been equal 10 cncounter 900,000 men, who, had appeared in arms along the neighbouring coast, previous to leaving the Dardanelles ?
lle came now to that part of the honourable gentleman's motion, which concerned the expedition to and occupation of Alexandria.
The honourable gentleman
had said, this step was impolitic, and ill-advised. On what ground, however, this was contended for, the right hononrable gentleman could not conceive. It was a post of the utmost importance; for, though not intended to be used as the first step towards the conquering of Egypt, the capture of it was in this point of view an object of the highest importance. Let it not be for. got of what moment Buona parte regarded it, a persou who, gentlemen would allow, was no bad judge in these matters, While matters were growing daily and hourly worse at Constantinople, nothing seemed more to be dreaded, than that Alexandria, and probably, in consequence, Egypt, sho: ld fall into the hands of the French. The sole object of the expedition was Alexandria ; that object was accomplished, and it was accomplished in a creditable, not in a disgraceful manner.
If attempts were made to carry the conquest further, that was done without any instructions from government, and, of course, they could not be responsible for it. The right honourable gentleman proceeded to shew that there was no scarcity of provisions at. Alexandria. On the contrary great quantities of rice had been exported, while, at the same time, a quantity equal to a year's consumption of rice, and six months of wheat for the inhabitants, six months for the army, and four months for the navy, remained on hand. One thing only seemed disastrous and unaccountable, and this was the gratuitous abandonment of the place by the present government. Tbey found it taken, and why did they give it up? While the whole military force of the enemy did not exceed 6000, and the garrison of Alexandria was fully equal to that number, there could be nothing to render that step a mcasure of imperious necessity; unless indeed it could be said, that this was a great waste of the public force, and that it was proper that part of it should be let loose. It was to be observed, that at that very time the government had been treating with the Porte for a state of neutrality. At that moment to lay the possession of so important a place at the foot of their opponent, seemed to him to be rather an unaccountable mode of proceeding. But what had become of the troops so set at liberty? He believed, from that moment to the present, they had scarcely been heard of, or engaged in any enterprize of advantage to the country. The right honourable gentleman, on the
whole, submitted, that the conduct of the late government, in the whole of the business in question, had been correct and proper. He did not speak of the military merits of the late government as conferring any merit on himself. His share in the transactions was but small; and by the zeal and ability of others, the weakness of his hands had been strengthened.
Mr. Secretary Canning had listened with great attention to the statement which the right honourable gentle. man had made in defence of himself and his colleagues, and could not help being surprised at the manner in which he had kept to the declaration which he had made at the outset, that he would discard from his mind every idea of justification by recrimination. The right honourable gentleman had very properly, in his division of the question, considered it in a political and military view, the former of which he had defended by the example of the predecessors of the late ministers, and the latter he had vindicated by a comparison with the measures of their successors. He did not, however, mean to impute any blame to the right honourable gentleman for having departed from the declaration with which he had set out. The right honourable gentleman was undoubtedly warranted in his wish to hear the opinion of some of his majesty's ministers upon this subject. The right honourable gentleman had justified his own and his colleagues' conduct towards the Porte upon subsisting treaties, and particularly that of the triple alliance, and upon these he grounded the right of interference by an armed mediation. If any gentleman would but look into the treaty itself, he would perceive that the argument of the right honoure able gentleman could not be sustained. The triple alliance treaty had been concluded in 1793, and had reference to the situation and existing circumstances of the contracting parties, all equally at war with France at that period. The treaty had in it a stipulation, limiting its operation to eight years, after which it was to undergo a revision, and such alteration as the respective circumstances of the different countries night then render nccessary; and that the treaty had been understoodl, even in this country, to have reference to the existing situation of the contracting parties, he believed that proofs were not wanting. The preamble of t’ie treaty expressly stated these circumstances to which it applied ; and could the
right honourable gentleman mean to assert, that a treaty, mgotiated with a view to existing, bostilities in which all the parties were engaged, and followed, not by a joint peace, but by separate pacifications of cach of these parties, must necessarily survive? Or did he mean to say, that had it terminated with the war, it was necessarily to be revived on the renewal of another war, into which any of the parties might afterwards enter? If that were his view, it was contradicted by the facts ; because that bad not been the understanding of any of the parties, nor had the treaty ever been so acted upon. Great Britain renewed the war with France in 1803; but did Russia or did Turkey then go to war? The right honourable gentleman said, ibat the treaty continued during the peace; but had Great Britain called upon either Russia or thiet Porte to join her in the war? Did the right honourable gentleman therefore mean to say, that this treaty, so concluded with reference to existing circumstances, sunk under the peacc; and rose again, not at once but at three different times, and in three different parts? If they looked into the body of the treaty, they would find no better support for the argument of the right honourable yerleman. The treaty contained a stipulation guaranrécing the integrity of the Turkish dominions, as they were previous to the invasion of Egypt by the French. On this treaty the late ministers. justified their measures for the conservation of Egypt by the capture of Alexandria. He would not deny that there might be cases in which it would be justifiable to make war upon a power that was in alliance before. Ile would not pretend to deny that we might have had a right to call upon Turkey to fulfil the defensive alliance with us: but then, afier the lapses and laches which had taken place, we had no right to call upon this power for the fulfilment of that treaty. The right honourable gentleman had asserted that the refusal of the passage of the Dardanelles to the Russians had given to this country a rig!ıt to assume an arned mezliation; but as the passare was given by a subscquent conventio', to which this country was not a party, we had no right, in virtue of an anterior treaty, to insist pon the fullilment of that convention to which we were not a party; at least no wri'er upon the laws of mations that he had ever read, laid down such a doca trine. He admitied that the late ministers bad shown a