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//;'; Mn/rfij's most gracious Sptrch to kth Houses of Pnrl'iair.ent, iq'b May, 1796.
My Lords, and Gentlemen,
THE public business being now concluded, I think it proper to close this session,and at the fame time to acquaint you with my intention of giving immediate directions for calling a new parliament.
The objects which have engaged your attention during the present session, have been of peculiar importance; and the measures which you have adopted, have manifested pur contiimrd regard to the safety and welfare of the people.
The happiest effects have been experienced from the provisions which you have made, for repressing sedition and civil tumult, and for restraining the progrels of principles subversive os all established government.
The difficulties arising to my subjects from the high price of corn, have formed a principal object of your deliberation ; and your assiduity in investigating that subject, has strongly proved your aux ious desire to omit nothing which could tend to the relief of my people, in a matter of such general concern. I have the greatest satisfaction in observing that the pressure of those difficulties is in a great degree removed.
Gentlemen of the House of
ner return you my thanks for the liberal supplies which you have granted to meet the exigencies of .the war. — While I regret the exlent of those demands which the present circumstances necessarily occasion, it is a great consolation to me to observe the increasing resources by which the countrv is enabled to support them. These resources are particularly manifested in the state of the different branches of the revenue, in the? continued and progressive state of our navigation and commerce, in the steps which have been taken for maintaining and improving the public credit, and in the additional provision which has been made, for the reduction of the national debt.
My T.ords and Centlrmcn, I shall ever rellect with heartfelt satisfaction on the uniform wisdom, temper, aud firmness which have appeared in all your proceedings since I first met you in this place. Called to deliberate on thu public affairs of your country in a period of foreign and domestic tranquillity, you had the happiness of contributing to raise this kingdom to a Itate of unexampled prosperity. You were suddenly compelled to relinquish the full advantages of this situation, in order to relist the unprovoked aggression of an enemy whose hostility was directed against all civil society, but more particularly against" the 13 happv
happy union of order and liberty established in these kingdoms. The nature of the system introduced into France, afforded lo that country, in the rnidst of its calamities, the means of exertion beyond the experience of any former time. Under the pressure of the new and unprecedented difficulties arising from such a contest, you bave lhe\vn yourselves worthy of all the blessings that you inherit. By your counsels and conduct, the
constitution has bee^ir preserved in- dear to us
His Majesty's most grarious Ssteel to both Houses of Parliament, bib Oclliber, 1796.
My Lords and Gentlemen, IT is a peculiar satisfaction to me, in the present conjuncture of affairs, to recur to your advice, after the recent opportunity which has been given for collecting the fense of my people, engaged in a difficult and arduous contest, for the preservation of all that is most
violate against the designs of foreign and domesticenemies; the honor of the British name has been asserted; the rank'and station which we have hitherto held in Europe has been maintained; and the decided superiority of our naval power has
I have omitted no endeavours for setting on foot negotiations to restore peace to Europe, and to secure for the future the general tranquillity. The steps which I have taken for this purpose have at length opened the way to an ira
been established in every quarter of mediate and direct negotiation, the
issue of which must either produce the desirable end of a just, honourable, aDd solid peace for us, and for our allies, or must prove, beyond dispute, to what cause aloDe the prolongation of the calamities of war must be ascribed.
I shall immediately send a person to Paris, with full powers to treat for this object, and it is my anxious wish that this measure may lead to the restoration of general peace: but you must be sensible that nothing can so much contribute to give effect to this desire, as your manifesting that we possess both the determination and the resources to oppose, with increased
You have omitted no opportunity to prove your just anxiety for the re-establishment of general peace on secure and honourable terms; but you have at the fame time rendered it manifest to the world, that while our enemies shall persist in dispositions incompatible with that object, neither the resources nor the spirit of Englishmen will be wanting to the support of a just cause, and to the defence of all their dearest interests.
A due fense of this conduct is deeply impressed on my heart. I trnlt that all my subjects are animated with the fame sentiment,
and that their loyalty and public activity and energy, the farther es
spirit will ensure the continuance forts with which we may have to
ot that union and mutual confi- contend.
dence between me and my parlia- You will feel thispeculiarlyneces
mt-nt, which best promote the true sary at a moment when the enemy
dimity and glory of my crown, has openly manifested the intention
and the genuine happiness of my of attempting a descent on these
people. kingdoms. It cannot be doubted
what would be tl\e istue of such an coterprize; but it befits your wisdom to neglect no precautions that may either preclude the attempt, or secure the speediest means of turning it to the confusion and ruin ot the enemy.
In reviewing the events of the year, you will have observed that, by the skill and exertions of my navy, our extensive and increasing commerce has been protected to a degree almost beyond example, and the fleets of the enemy have, for the greatest part of the year, been blocked up in their own ports.
The operations in the East and West Indies have been highly honourable to the Britilh arms, and productive of great natioual advantage; aud the valour and good conduct of my forces, both by sea and land, have been eminently conspicuous.
The fortune of war on the continent has been more various j and the progress of the French armies threatened, at one period, the utmost danger to all Europe; but from the honourable and dignified perseverance of my ally the Emperor, and from the intrepidity, discipline, and invincible spirit of the Austrian forces, under the auspicious conduct of the archduke Charles, such a turn has lately been given to the course of the war,as may inspire a well-grounded confidence that the final resultofthe campaign will prove more disastrous to the enemy than its commencement and progress tor a time were favourable to their hopes.
The apparently hostile dispositions and conduct of the court of Madrid have led to discussions, of vhich I am not yet enabled to ac
quaint you with the final result; but I am confident that whatever may be their issue, I shall have given to Europe a farther proof of my moderation and forbearance; and I can have no doubt of your determination to defend ngainst every aggression, the dignity, rights, and interests, of the British empire.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I rely on your zeal and public spirit for such supplies as you may think necessary for the service of the year. It is a great satisfaction to me to observe, that, notwithstanding the temporary embarrassments which have been experienced, the state of the commerce, manufactures, and revenue, of the country, proves the real extent and solidity of our resources, and furnishes you with such means as must be equal to any exertions which the present crisis may require.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
The distresses, which were in the last year experienced from the scarcity of corn, are now, by the blelling of God, happily removed, and au abundant harvest assords the pleasing prospect of relics in that important article to the labouring classes of the community. Our internal tranquillity has also continued undisturbed; the general attachment of my people to the British constitution has appeared on every occasion, and the endeavours of those who wislied to introduce, anarchy and contusion into this country, have been repressed by the energy and wisdom of the laws.
I 4. To
To defeat all th ■ desgns of onr enemies, to restive r> my people the blessings of a fe i;re and honourable peace, to maintain inviolate their religion, laws, mid liberty, and to deliver down unimpaired to the latest posterity the glory and happiness of these kingdoms, is the constant wisti of my heart, and the uniform end of all my actions. In every measure that can conduce to these objects, I am confident of receiving the firm, zealous and affedtionate support of my parliament.
Protest of Earl Fitzivilliam again/}
the Address of the House if Lords
to the Throne on his Mesjrfljs
Spiech announcing the opening of a
Negotiation for Peace ivilb the
1st. Because, by this address, amended as it stands, the sanction of the lords is given to a series of measures, as ill judged, with regard to their object, as they are derogatory from the dignity of his majesty's crown, and from the honour of this kingdom. The reiteration of solicitations for peace to a species of power, with whole very existence all fair and equitable accommodat on is incompatible, can have no other effect than that ■which it is notorious nil our solicitations have hitherto had. They mull increase the arrogance and ferocity of the common enemy of all nations; they must fortify the credit, and fix the autborit) of an odious government over an enslaved people; they must impair the confidence os all other powers in t he magnanimity, constancy, and fidelity of the British cpunc Is; and it is much to be apprehended it will
inevitably tend to break the spring of that energy, and to lower that spirit which has characterised in former times this high-minded nation, and which, far from sinking under misfortune, has even rifrri with the difficulties and dangers in which our country has been involved.
sd. Because no peace, such as may be capable of recruiting the strength, œcononiizing the means, augmenting the resources, and providing for the safely of this kingdom, and its inseparable connections and dependencies, can be had with the usurped power now exercising authority in France, considering the description, the character, and the conduct, of those who compose that government; the methods by which they have obtained their power, the policy by which they hold it, and the maxims they have adopted, openly professed, and uniformly acted on, towards the destruction ol all governments not formed on their model and subservient to their domination.
3d. Because the idea that this kingdom is competent to defend itself, its laws, liberties, and religion, under the general subjugation of all Europe, is presumptuous in the extreme, contradictory to the supposed motives for our present eager solicitations for peace, and is certainly contrary to the standing policy both of state and commerce, by which Great Britain has hitherto flourished.
4th. Because, while the common enemy exercises his power over the several states of Europe in the way we have seen, it is impossible long to preserve our trade, or, what cannot exist without it,
oar nw naval power. This hostile system seizes on the keys of the dominions of these powers, without any consideration of their friendlliip, their enmity, or their neutrality; prescribes laws to them as to conquered provinces; mulcts and fines tliem at pleasure; forces them, without any particular quarrel, into direct hostility with this kingdom, and expels us from such ports mid markets as flie thinks fit; insomuch that (Europe remaining tinder its present slavery) there is no harbour which we can enter without her permillion, either in a commercial or a naval character. This general interdict cannot be begged oft"; we mult resist it by our power, or we are already in a state of vassiiiage.
51I1. Because, whilst this usurped power shall continue thus constituted, and thus disposed, no security whatever can be hoped for in our colonies and plantations, those invaluable sources of our national wealth and our naval power. Tins war has (hewn that the power prevalent in France, by intentionally disorganizing the plantation system (which France had in common with all other European nation'O, and by inverting ihe order and relations therein established, has been able with a naval force, altogether contemptible, aud with very inconliderable succours from Europe, to baffle in a great measure
valuable and necessary for cultivation, throughout several os our islands, lately among the most flourisliing and productive. The new system, by which these things have been effected, leaves our colonies equally endangered in peace as in war. It is therefore with this general system (of which the West India scheme is but a ramification) that all ancient establishments are estentially at war for the fake of self preservation. 1
6th. Because it has been declared from the throne, and in effect the principle has been adopted by Parliament, that there was no way likely to obtain a peace, commonly safe and honourable, but through the ancient and legitimate government long established in France. That government in its lawful succession has been solemnlyrecognized, and assistance and protection as solemnly promised to those Frenchmen whoihould exert themselves in its restoration. The political principle upon which this recognition was made is very far from being weakened by the conduct of the newly-invented government. Nor are our obligations of good faith, pledged on such strong motives of policy to those who have been sound in their allegiance dissolved, nor can they be so, until fairly directed eftbrts have been made to secure this great fundamental point. None have yet been
the most powerful armament ever employed with the smallest degree sent from this country ihto I he West of vigour and perfeverence.
Indies, and at an expence hitherto unparalleled, and has, by the force of example, and by the effects of her machinations, produced, at little or no. expence to herself either of blood or treasure, universal desolation and ruin, by the geneial destruction of every thing
71I1. L'ecause the example of the great change made by the usurpation in the moral and political world (more dangerous than al! he; conquests) is by the present procedure confirmed in all its force. It is the first successful example furnished by history of the subversion