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conquerors pre-eminently distinguish- or not, was another question ; but he ed by those feelings which Christian- must say, that if that spirit which it ity should inspire. The war against breathed was one which sincerely ani. Poland, and the subsequent partition mated the emperor of Russia, and for of that devoted country, had been himself he could not entertain a doubt prefaced by language very similar to upon the subject, there was nothing that which this treaty contained, and upon which he should more sincerely the proclamation of the empress Ca. congratulate turope and the world. therine which wound up that fatal If the Emperor of Russia chuse to tragedy (for fatal that unprincipled found his glory upon such a basis, partition had proved, and fatal it posterity would do justice to the no. would prove, to the peace of Europe ble determination. Having already till justice was rendered,) had almost done so much for mankind by his arms, the same words."
to what better purpose could he apply The circumstance of this treaty ha- his great influence, in the councils of ving been entered into by these great the sovereigns of Europe, than to se. military sovereigns, without the con cure for it a long and beneficial peace ? currence of England, was enlarged up. It was the only glory which was now on by Mr Brougham, as affording ad. left him to acquire, after the great ditional room for doubt; and he ex- personal glory which he had already pressed his suspicion that the whole acquired. With respect to the docu. was meant to be the forerunner of some ment itself, Lord Castelreagh opposed crusade against the Ottoman Porte. its production upon a parliamenary
Lord Castlereagh explained, that at ground, as it was contrary to the the time of its being concluded, a practice of parliament to call for the draft of the treaty had been put into production of treaties to which this his hands by the ministers of the con country was no party. tracting parties, and that the non Mr Brougham's motion was lost by concurrence of England had been oc a majority of 104 to 30. casioned merely by the forms of diplo On the 12th of February, the most macy. The abouchemens des rois, important business of the Lower House stigmatized by Mr Brougham, had, commenced. The House having formas he believed, been attended with the ed itself into a Committee of Supply, most salutary efforts in the course of the Chancellor of the Exchequer rose, the late momentous struggles upon the and offered, in a very long and interestcontinent of Europe. The brotherlying speech, a variety of observations dispositions manifested by those great calculated to explain the vote of cresovereigns, were not, he contended, to dit, which it was his intention to probe wantonly branded with the name of
“ His object,” he said, “ was hypocrisy, nor was there any thing soap- in the first place to provide for the parently absurd in some strong expres- payment of different exchequer bills sions of regard for the Christian faith, outstanding, and which, in the ordion the part of those who had just been nary course, should now be provided employed in combating a sanguinary for. The first was a sum of 11 milpower, whose schemes of conquest and lions of exchequer bills, which remain. sapire had been so eminently assisted ed of a sum of 12 millions and a half, by the diffusion of a spirit of immora- voted in November 1814 ; also another lity and irreligion. Whether the of 4 millions and a half of exchequer instrument,” said he, “ was necessary bills which were now become due, and
lastly, a sum of a million and a half favourable appearances, it was not atwhich had usually been carried on from tempted to be concealed that the comyear to year. He should also propose munity at large were labouring under to make provision for the exchequer many embarrassments. Of these the bills outstanding on the aids of the year distress of the agricultural classes was 1815, and amounting to 18,600,0001. ; universally acknowledged to be the carrying to the amount of the ways principal cause. According to the and means of 1816, an equal sum from Chancellor of the Exchequer, the fucthose of 1815, which still remained to tuations in the corn market, occasionbe received. The object of this ar. ed by the long want, and then the rangement, which was similar to the sudden pouring in of foreign corn, topractice of several years past, was to gether with the withdrawing of the make all sums received into the exche. immense purchases formerly made by quer applicable to the service of either the government, had thrown the farmyear, as occasion might require.” ers into a state of uneasiness, from
With regard to the actual state of which no effectual recovery could be the revenue, which, in the course of expected till the progress of time should the preceding debates, some of the op- have enabled things to reach once more position members had expressed their their natural level.* The remedies suspicions might be found less flou- which he proposed for these embar. rishing than the speech from the throne rassments were two-fold ; first, a dihad represented it, the Chancellor en minution in taxation, viz. the reductered into a number of details, the re tion of the property-tax from ten to sult of which was to shew, that so far five per cent, and the remission of from any falling off in the productive- some minor taxes particularly affectness of taxation, the net revenue of ing the agricultural interest. Second. 1815 had exceeded that of any former ly, a system of measures for the supyear by more than a million, and that port of public credit. By abstaining therefore there was no occasion to de- from any demands upon the money spond respecting the future condition market, and by throwing into that of the public purse. He stated also, market an additional capital of fourthat of the sums granted for the last teen millions for the sinking fund, year, a large surplus had been benefi- (which he thought could easily be cially employed in reducing the exche. done,) such an impulse would, he apquer bills and the navy debt, so that prehended, be given to the commerce the whole unfunded debt had been of money, as would tend far more efbrought down from 6-4,547,0001. to fectually to relieve those most under 47,700,0001. The view which he pre- the pressure of temporary difficulties, sented of the commerce of the coun than could possibly be accomplished try, particularly of the exportation of by withdrawing a sum of the same the linen, cotton, and woollen manu extent from the general produce of factures, was equally satisfactory. In taxation. the three quarters ending October 10, With respect to the public expendi. 1814, the value of our exports had ture of the year, the principal heads been 37,167,294. ; in the three quar. upon which the Chancellor touched ters ending October 10, 1815, they were the
were the navy and army. In regard had been 42,425,3571.
to both of these, the statement he had Notwithstanding, however, all these to offer might, he said, appear extra* See the subsequent Chapter, on the distresses of the Agricultural Interest.
vagant, when compared with the peace that they might safely take credit for establishments known in preceding three millions more, as applicable to years; but it should be recollected, the public service of the country in that after the conclusion of every war, the present year. The next item was more particularly one of such a charac. the surplus of the consolidated fund, ter as that just terminated, a consider and although it was impossible to deable time must be permitted to elapse termine the precise sum at which that before the country could be supposed surplus might be taken, until after the to have settled down into its posture 5th of April, yet he was sure he might of perfect tranquillity, or to have got safely estimate it at 2,500,000). The rid of the expensive establishments ordinary annual taxes he would estiwith which its warlike necessities had mate at 3,000,0001. He also intended burdened it. A vote would be pro- to propose the prolongation of some of posed for 33,000 seamen, 10,000 of the war taxes on customs and excise, whom might be set down to the ac. which had not yet expired. The next count of squadrons on foreign stations, item was a five per cent. property-tax ; which it had not yet been in the pow ?ut having in view some reductions, of government to recall and pay off. and bearing in mind also some proThe army estimates would, in like bable diminutions from other causes, manner, be much greater this year he should not estimate its
produce at than hereafter. Twenty-five thousand more than 6,000,000). The lottery would be required for Great Britain, he should take at 200,000). The on, and Guernsey and Jersey, including ly remaining item was one with which the depots necessary for relieving gar- he should not trouble the committee risons abroad. An equal number would at any length: he alluded to an ad be required for Ireland. The troops vance from the Bank of 6,000,0001. necessary for the colonies and garri. at four per cent. sons in Europe and America would This financial exposition was attacke bring up the number requisite for the ed on many points by Mr Ponsonby, British and Irish establishment to M. Brougham, Mr Tierney, and some 90,000. Twenty thousand, requisite other members. The extent of the for India, would be paid by the East army to be kept up, the proposed India Company; and 30,000, form- continuance of the property-tax, and ing part of the allied force in France, the nature of the transactions with the would be supported at the expence of Bank, formed the principal grounds of
objection ; but the observations made The Chancellor concluded his speech upon this occasion were only the prewith a statement of the ways and means, lude to more full and formal discuswhereby he judged it would be most sions of the same subjects taken sepa. expedient to meet the expenditure. He rately in posterior debates. A number mentioned, that “ he should have the of remarks were made in respect to pleasure of beginning this with a very the distressed state of the agricultural novel and satisfactory item, namely, á bodies, but these, in like manner, were surplus of the unapplied grants of the repeated and enlarged upon on subsepreceding year. He had already sta- quent occasions. "Lord Castlereagh ted what considerable sums of the un- defended the exposition ; and the refunded debt of the country had been sulutions proposed by the Chancellor liquidated by the application of the of the Exchequer were carried with surplus of those grants, and he had out a vote. now the further pleasure of stating,
Debates on the Army Estimates.-Petitions against the Property-Tai.- Vote
against its continuance:— The War Malt-Tax is abandoned by the Minister. - The Budget.
The discussion of the army estimates, my had been made in that House, it as has already been hinted, was pur- had been resisted on a principle whol. sued to a great length. In the House ly unconnected with any party feelof Commons in particular, the debates ing—it had been resisted by a body of on this subject were protracted from men acting independently of any ad. night to night, and were not termina. ministration—he meant the country ted till the 6th of March. We shall gentlemen of England, who had invagive some sketches of the principal riably united in their hostility to a speeches delivered on these occasions, measure of that nature. As for his because, although they did not lead own motives on this particular occato any change in the original proposal sion, he could solemnly assure the of the ministry, they are valuable as House, that he was wholly uninfuen. records of the state of public feeling ced by any personal feeling towards with respect to the consequences of any individual whatever. In compa. military force and splendour, at a time rison with such a question as that be. when the glory of our arms might have fore them, he cared not who was in or been supposed likely to make us relax who was out of power ; but he called somewhat of our ancient prejudices. It on the country at large to think and will be seen, that a salutary suspicious. to act for themselves to look at the ness was still kept alive among us, and extent of the means they possessed, that the ministry, no less than the op- and at the extent of the danger to be position, reprobated in the main every apprehended, and to decide on the esidea of departing permanently from tablishment that was advisable with the old and constitutional jealousy of reference to both those considerations, extensive military establishments. In
In Without desiring the House to go far an early stage of the discussion, some back to precedents, without referring very striking observations were made, them to the sterner periods of British in a speech of much candour and man- history, he thought it might do no liness, by Mr Frankland Lewis. This harm to remind them of one instance gentleman observed, that," whenever of the inflexible manner in which par. the proposition of a large standing ar. liament formerly discharged its duty
on this subject. He alluded to their ducting from the returns all that was conduct towards King William--that derived, as by the professional man, sovereign who had been the seal and from the mere employment of time, the confirmation of our liberties or as by the farmer from mere personal from whom, nevertheless, the parlia. labour, it would appear that the rement of his time tore those Dutch venue actuallyproceeding from the land guards, who had been his companions and stock of the country, did not exceed in all bis victories. But without 130 or at least 140 millions. When going so far back for examples of the it thus appeared, that even in time of conduct of the country gentlemen in peace the country was called upon by parliament, he would refer to a period the state for half its revenue, that of between thirty and forty years ago, there was danger of its soon arriving at when Mr Pitt, with all his eloquence, the end of its resources, let the House with the force of his government, and consider what must happen, should we with a case incomparably stronger unfortunately be plunged into another than that of the present time, attempt. war. Last year the right honourable ed to press the expediency of expend. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as ing 400 000l. of the public money in an apology for touching that sacred fortifications. What was the event ? deposit the sinking fund, had declared It was not Mr Fox or his party by that taxation had found its limits. It whom the proposition was effectúally appeared, then, that the expence of resisted. It was by the country gen; our peace establishment was nearly tlemen of England, headed by Mr equal to that which, under any cire Bastard, then member for Devonshire. cumstances, the country could defray. The numbers on the division respect. How was this situation of things coming it being equal, Mr Cornwall, the patible with that high tone which it Speaker, gave that casting vote which behoved the country to maintain, and secured the country from the danger which could only be maintained by that with which it had been threatened.* economy in peace, which would afford The same spirit of liberty, the same us the means of waging war with suclove for their country, and for its con- cess? These considerations pressed stitution, would, he trusted, animate the more nearly, when the House the country gentlemen of the present looked at the mass of petitions on their day. In bis opinion, the estimates table. He verily believed, that the proposed by his Majesty's govern- distresses of the people at the present ment were founded on a perfectly false moment were of a magnitude not sufview of our means, and of our danger. ficiently appreciated. And in what What were our means ? the interest consisted the danger which required of the national debt was forty mil. this immense peace establishment ? lions ; from this we could not relieve We were, as far as the assurances of ourselves. It was proposed to vote a ministers went, confirmed in our alli. peace establishment of nearly twenty- ances, and being thus bound cordially one millions. To pay these conjoint together, there was less danger of this sums, the annual peace taxes must ex union being dissevered from jealousy, ceed sixty millions. If the income. than there was of any alliance ever tax had any one good quality, it was, made in Europe, of which England that it afforded the opportunity of formed a part. Where, then, was the estimating the national property. De- need of this establishment ? As the
* See New Parliamentary History, vol. xxv. p. 1096.