Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

general advantage than it can grow these articles, is it not better to be on friendly terms with these countries, than to shut ourselves out from a communication attended with manifest advantage; because we can and will be independent of foreign commerce. In what light, Sir, can we look upon those circumstances of different countries; that the productions of one country are so useful and desirable to another; but as a bond of union and friendship ordained by Providence? And for what reason should we haughtily dissolve this bond? It is undoubtedly proper that every nation should be independent of all others for its chief necessaries; and so I believe it invariably is. And as hemp and flaxare not necessary to our comfort, but to our power, our dependence on a foreign country for the article ought to teach us a use of that power consistent with the interests of the world. In what way it may be asked is commerce the cause of all the mischiefs we deplore? Does it require the establishment of a foreign office, which we are told costs the country from two to three hundred thousand pounds a year? I see no such necessity. Does it require a secretary of state for the home department—a war secretary-a chancellor of the exchequer lords of the treasury-an host of revenue officers-120,000 seamen, with a train of national expence which has brought the debt of the nation to the amount of £540,000,000? No. Commerce requires scarcely any of this. But war requires the whole, or is at least a pretence for them. War has been the cause of the whole. War has been the cause of all our evils, while commerce is innocent of them all. Yet you who deprecate the evils of the country are for cherishing this destructive practice, and for banishing that intercourse which requires habits of peace and friendship to maintain; and to cultivate which, we must avoid those quarrels which are the sources of our growing evils. The policy of this and of every country ought to be to supply a home consumption first; but when the fertility of the land, and the industry of its inhabitants afford them a superfluity, it is certainly advantageous for them to dispose of this superfluity to other countries, and receive produce or manufacture in exchange, such as they can use; therefore, if we send cloth and hardware abroad, and receive wine and spirits, coffee and tea, or more perishable fruits, it is an advantage although the articles exchanged by us are more durable: for our own articles being an excess are of no value, but as they are exchangeable. It is only for this purpose they are made; and, therefore,

1

A trades

would not have had existence without it. If liability to consumption forms an objection to the value of any thing, our corn and beef are open to the objection. But, although foreign commerce is useful to its natural extent, it does not follow that we are to fight all the world to monopolize it; and still less should we adopt this maxim if we are resolved to abandon it. The policy of this country has been as mad as that of rival coach proprietors, who sometimes will carry their passengers for one half what it costs them, because their neighbouring proprietor wishes to have a share of the run. man who should form an establishment of £1000 a year, to prosecute a trade that could not produce him more than £500 per annum, would be justly deemed a fool. Yet this has been the practice of this country. We have been carrying on war for the maintenance of commerce, while we are annually obliged to borrow 12 millions to supply the expences created over and above the annual revenue, which is consequently a dead loss of 12 millions annually. I beg, Sir, you will reconsider the matter, and I entertain a hope that you will acknowledge that foreign commerce divested of war, and of chartered companies would be a beeft to the country. I will conclude this epistle. with a remark on your illustration of the inutility of commerce, in the case of Mr. Nokes and the Timkin race. You observe, that if Mr. Nokes gains £10,000 a year by the Timkins in selling tea to them; if this article be prohibited Mr. Nokes's profits are gone, but the purchasers have their money to furnish both a revenge to government, and to spend among other people, and that none but Mr. Nokes would be a loser.Now, Sir, Mr. Spence has stated what to me appears very probable, and that is, that though a person may save the money usually laid out in foreign produce, he might not lay it out in home, manufacture; the consequence would therefore be, that having less occasion for expence he would-be less care. ful to procure the income boy considered necessary. And though you have confined your statement to a single tradesman, the supposition must be, that to gain £10,000 a year, £100,000 is expended, which would be lost by its being unnecessary to those with whom wealth originates. Besides, we must generally consider foreign produce as brought to this country in lieu of a superfluous quantity of British manufacture, whether it be done directly by barter, or through the me dium of money; therefore, if any article of consumption be by the abolition of com merce kept out of the country, our own pro

duce must be taken instead, whereby the general allowance must be reduced by so much as is excluded. Tea is not only a luxury, it is become the chief beverage of the poor; and frequently constitutes a part of every meal. An article in such universal use cannot be regarded as of trifling conse quence, and could not be excluded without increasing the sufferings of the poor. These remarks though hostile to your views, are submitted to you in perfect good will; if they are untenable, they will afford you means of confirming your doctrines to your readers; and if they lay just claim to truth. and sound argument, I rely on your generosity to acknowledge the receipt of them.Remaining, Sir, yours.-D.- Falmouth, Dec. 11, 1807.

of my people (a matter which I am essentially bound to provide for); and having duly made all the reflections presented by the occasion, I have resolved to nominate as Go vernor and Regent of these Kingdoms during my absence, my truly and beloved cousin the Marquis de Abrantio Francisco da Cunha de Menezes, Lieutenant General of my Forces, the principal Castro (one of my Council, and a Regidor de Justica); Paetrode Mello Breyner, also of my Council, who will act as President of my Treasury, during the incapa: city of Luis de Vasconcellos e San zi, (who is unable so to do at present on account of illness); Don Francisco de Nerocha, President .. of the Board of Conscience and Religious Orders; and in the absence of any of them, the Conde de Castro Mazim, (Grand Huntsman), whom I have nominated President of the Senate, with the assistance of the Secretaries thereof, the Conde de Sampaye, and in his absence Don Miguel Perrura Forfaz, and of my Attorney General Joas Antonio Salter de Mendenca, on account of the great confiHaving tried by all possible means to dence which I have in them, and of the expreserve the neutrality hitherto enjoyed by perience which they possess in matters of my faithful and beloved subjects, having ex- government, being certain that my people. hausted my royal treasury, and made innu- and kingdom will be governed and directed merable other sacrifices, even going to the in such a manner that my conscience shall be extremity of shutting the ports of my domi- clear, and that this Regency will entirely fulnions to the subjects of my ancient and royal fil its duty, so long as it shall please God that, ally, the King of Great Britain, this expo- I should be absent from this capital, admi-.. sing the commerce of my people to total nistering justice with impartiality, distriburuin, and consequently suffering the greatest ting rewards and punishments according to losses in the collection of my royal revenues deserts. And these Regents will further. of the crown, I find that troops of the Em- take this as my pleasure, and fulfil my order peror of the French and King of Italy, to in the form thus mentioned, and in conform whom I had united myself on the Continent,ity to the instructions signed by me, and ac

OFFICIAL PAPERS. PORTUGAL.- -Proclamation of the Prince Regent, dated at the Palace of Ajuda, Nov. 27, 1807; and issued just upon his embarkation for the Brazils.

in the hope of being no more disturbed, are actually marching into the interior of my kingdom, and are even on their way to this capital; and desiring to avoid the fatal consequences of a defence, which would be far more dangerous than profitable, serving only to create an effusion of blood, dreadful to humanity, and to inflame the animosity of the troops which have entered this kingdom, with the declaration and promise of not committing any the smallest hostility; and Knowing also, that they are most particularly destined against my royal person, and that my faithful subjects would be less alarmed were I absent from this kingdom, I have resolved for the benefit of my subjects, to retire with the Queen my mother, and all my royal family, to my dominions in America, there to establish myself in the City of Rio de Janeiro, until a general peace. And moreover, considering the importance of leaving the government of these kingdoms in that good. order, which is for its advantage, and for that

companying this decree, which they will
communicate to the proper department..

PORTUGUESE EMIGRATION. The follow-
ing Letters were published in London, un-
der the authority of Government, on the
19th of Dec. 1807.

His Majesty's Ship Hibernia, off the
Tagus, Nov. 29, 1807.
Sir, I have the honour of announcing
to you, that the Prince Regent of Portugal
has effected the wise and magnanimous pur-
pose of retiring from a kingdom which he
could no longer retain, except as the vassal
of France; and that his Royal Highness and,
family, accompanied by most of his ships of
war, and by a multitude of his faithful sub-
jects and adherents, have this day departed
from Lisbon, and are now on their way to
the Brazils, under the escort of a British
fleet.-This grand and memorable event is
not to be attributed only to the sudden alarm
excited by the appearance of a French army

[ocr errors]

t

Those dispatches were drawn up under the idea that I was still resident at Lisbon, and though I did not receive them until I had actually taken my departure from that court, still, upon a careful consideration of the tenor of your instructions, I thought that it would be right to act as if that case had not occurred. I resolved, therefore, to proceed forthwith to ascertain the effect produced by the blockade of Lisbon, and to propose to the Portuguese government, as the only condition upon which that blockade could cease, the alternative (stated by you) either of surrendering the fleet to his Majesty, or of immediately employing it to remove the Prince Regent and his family to the Brazils. I took upon myself this responsibility in renewing negociations after my public functions had actually ceased, convinced that, although it was the fixed determination of his Majesty not to suffer the fleet of Portugal-to fall into the possession of his enemies, still his Majesty's first object continued to be the application of that fleet to the original purpose, of saving the Royal Family of Bragau-1 za from the tyranny of France I accord

within the frontiers of Portugal. It has been the geunine result of the system of persevering confidence and moderation adopt ed by his Majesty towards that country; for the ultimate success of which I had in a manner rendered myself responsible; and which, in obedience to your instructions, I had uniformly continued to support, even under appearances of the most discouraging nature.—I had frequently and distinctly stated to the Cabinet of Lisbon, that in agreeing not to resent the exclusion of British commerce from the ports of Portugal, his Majesty bad exhausted the means of forbearance; that in making that concession to the peculiar circumstances of the Prince Regent's situation, bis Majesty had done all that friendship and the remembrance of ancient alliance could justly require; but that a single step beyond the line of modified hostility, thus most reluctantly consented to, must necessarily lead to the extremity of actual war. The Prince Regent, however, suffered himself for a moment to forget that, in the present state of Europe, no country could be permitted to be an enemy to England with impunity, and that however much his Ma-ingly requested an audience of the Prince jesty might be disposed to make allowance for the deficiency of the means possessed by Portugal of resistance to the power of France, neither his own dignity, nor the interests of his people, would permit his Majesty to accept that excuse for a compliance with the full extent of her unprincipled demands. On the Sth inst. H. R. H. was induced to sign an order for the detention of the few British subjects, and of the inconsiderable portion of British property which yet remained at Lisbon: On the publication of this order I caused the arms of England to be removed from the gates of my resi dence, demanded my passports, presented a final remonstrance against the recent conduct of the Court of Lisbon, and proceeded to the squadron commanded by Sir Sidney Smith, which arrived off the coast of Portugal some days after I had received my passports, and which I joined on the 17th instant - immediately suggested to Sir Sidney Smith the expediency of establishing the most rigorous blockade at the mouth of the Tagus; and I had the high satisfaction of afterwards finding, that I had thus anticipated the intentions of his Majesty; your dispatches, which I received by the messenger Sylvester on the 234, directing me to authorise that measure, in case the Portuguese government should pass the bounds which his Majesty had thought fit to set to his forbearance, and atempt to take any farther step injurious to the honour or interests of G. Britain.

Regent, together with due assurances of
protection and security; and upon receiving
his Royal Highness's answer, I proceeded to
Lisbon on the 27th, in his Majesty's ship
Confiance, bearing a flag of trace. I had
immediately most interesting communica-
tions with the Court of Lisbon, the particn
lars of which shall be fully detailed in a fu-,
ture dispatch. It suffices to mention in this
place, that the Prince Regent wisely directed
all his apprehensions to a French army, and.
all his hopes to an English fleet; that he re-
ceived the most explicit assurances from ine.
that his Majesty would generously overlook
those acts of unwilling and momentary hos-
tility to which H. R. H.'s consent had been
extorted; and that I promised to H. R. H.,
on the faith of my Sovereign, that the Bri-
tish squadron before the Tagus should be
employed to protect his retreat from Lisbon,
and his voyage to the Brazils -A decree
was published yesterday, in which the Prince
Regent announced his intention of retiring
to the City of Rio de Janeiro until the con-
clusion of a general peace, and of appointing
a regency to transact the administration of
government at Lisbon during H, R. H's ab,
sence from Europe. Thus morning the Por..
tuguese fleet left tlfe Tagus. I had the ho
nour to accompany the Prince in his passage.
over the Bar. The fleet consisted of S sail
of the line, 4 large frigates, several armed.
brigs, sloops, and corvettes, and a number of
Brazil ships, amounting, I believe, to ahout

36 sail in all. They passed through the British squadron, and his Majesty's ships fired a salute of 21 guns, which was returned with an equal number. A more interesting spectacle than that afforded by the junction of the two fleets has been rarely beheld.——On quitting the Prince Regent's ship, repaired on board of the Hibernia, but returned immediately accompanied by Sir Sidney Smith, whom I presented to the Prince, and who was received by H. R. H' with the most marked and gracious condescension. I have the honour to inclose lists of the ships of war which were known to have left Lisbon this morning, and which were in sight a few hours ago. There remain at Lisbon 4 ships of the line, and the same number of frigates, but only one of each sort is serviceable. I have thought it expedient to lose no time in communicating to his Majesty's government the important intelligence contained in this dispatch. I have therefore to apologise for the hasty and imperfect manner in which it is written.I have the honour to be, &c.-STRANGFORD.

His Majesty's Ship Hibernia, 22 Leagues West of the Tagus, Dec. 1, 1807. Sir,-In a former Dispatch, dated the 22d Nov. with a postscript of the 26th, I conveyed to you, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the proofs contained in various documents of the Portuguese government being so much influenced by terror of the French arms, as to have acquiesced to certain demands of France operating against G. Britain. The distribution of the Portuguese force was made wholly on the coast, while the land side was left totally unguarded. British subjects of all descriptions were detained'; and it therefore became necessary to inform the Portuguese government, that the case had arisen which required, in obedience to my instructions, that I should declare the Tagus in a state of blockade; and Lord Strangford agreeing with me that hostility should be met with hostility, the blockade was instituted, and the instructions we had received were acted upon to their full extent; still, however, bearing in recollection the first object adopted by his Majesty's government of opening a refuge for the head of the Portuguese government, menaced as it was by the powerful arm, and baneful influence of the enemy, I thought it my duty to adopt the means open to us, of endeavouring to induce the Prince Regent of Portugal to reconsider his decision to unite himself with the Continent of Europe," and to recollect that he

had possessions on that of America, affording an er pie belance for any sacrifice he might make here, an fom which he would be cut off by the nature of maritime warfare, the termination of which could not be dictated by the combination of the continental powers of Europe.In this view Lord Strangford having received an acquiescence to the proposition which had been made by us, for his Lordship to land and confer with the Prince Regent under the guarantee of a flag of truce, I furnished his Lordship with that conveyance and security, in order that he might give to the Prince, that confidence which his word of honour as the King's Minister Plenipotentiary, united with that of a British Admiral, could not fail to inspire towards inducing H. R. H. to throw himself and his flee into the arms of G. Britain, in perfect reliance on the King's overlooking a forced act of apparent hostility against his flag and subjects, and establishing H. R. H's government in his ultra-marine possessions as originally promised. I have now the heartfelt satisfaction of announcing to you, that our hopes and expectations have been realised to the utmost extent. On the morn ing of the 29th, the Portuguese fleet (as per list annexed) came out of the Tagus with H. R. H. the Prince of Brazil and the whole of the Royal Family of Braganza on board, together with many of his faithful counsel. lors and adherents, as well as other persons attached to his present fortunes.-This fleet of 8 sail of the line, 4 frigates, 2 brigs, and 1 schooner, with a croud of large armed merchant ships, arranged itself under the protection of that of his Majesty, while the firing of a reciprocal salute of 21 guns an nounced the friendly meeting of those who but the day before were on terms of hostility; the scene impressing every holder (except the French army on the hills) with the most lively emotions of gratitude to Providence, that there yet existed a power in the world able, as well as willing, to protect the oppressed.I have the honour to be, &c.-W. SIDNEY SMITH.

List of the Portuguese Fleet that came out of the Tagus on the 29th Nov. 1807. Principe Real, 84; Rainha de Portugal, 74; Comte Henrique, 74; Meduza, 74; Alfonso d'Albuquerque, 64; D'Joao de Castro, 64, Principe de Brazil, 74; Martino, de Freitos, 64.Frigates-Minerva, 44; Golfinho, 36; Urania, 32; and one other, name not as yet known.-Brigs.-Vondor, 22; Vinganea, 20; Lebre, 22.Schooner.-Curioza, 12.

Printed by Cox and Baylis, No. 75. Great Queen Street, and published by R. Bagshaw, Brydges Street, Covent Garden, where former Numbers maybe had; soid also by J. Budd, Crown and Mitre, Pan-Mall.

VOL. XIII. No. 2.] LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 1808.

[PRICE 10D.

"the

The declaration of King Charles I., issued in the year 1670, contains the following passage: right of the flag is so ancient, that it was one of the first prerogatives of our royal predecessors, and ought to be the last, from which this kingdom should depart. It was never questioned and it was expressly act knowledged in the treaty of Breda; and yet, this last summer, it was not only violated by the Dutch commanders at sea, and that violation afterwards justified at the Hague, but it was also represented by them in most courts of Christendom, as ridiculous for us to demand. An ungrateful insolence! That they should contend with us about the dominion of the seas, who, even in the reign of our royal father (in the years 1635, 1636, and 1637), thought it an obligation to be permitted to fish on them, by taking of licences, and for a tribute; and who owe their being now in a condition to make this dispute, to the protection of our ancestors and the valour and blood of their subjects."

33]

[34

pounds a year, payable out of the taxes raised upon the people of this kingdom. Having put these facts safely upon record, let us now turn our eyes towards the West,

SUMMARY OF POLITICS. AMERICAN STATES.As the dispute with America is now become a matter of great-public interest and importance, it may not be amiss, before I proceed to my intend-and see a little what the Congress has been ed observations of this week, to enable the reader to refer to the articles already published by me relating thereunto. They will be found as follows: in the preceding volume, at pages, 181, 236, 257, 523, 594, 673, 641, 720, 902, 961, 999, and, in the present volume, at page 16.-The whole of these articles will not cost above two hours in the reading, and the reading of them, will put any one in possession of most of the facts and arguments relating to the dispute. Thus prepared, he will enter upon the further progress of the discussion with much greater satisfaction to himself, and with much greater likelihood of forming a just opinion as to what ought now to be the line of conduct to be adopted by England towards America.In the article, last referred to, notice was taken of the motion, made in the Congress respecting the monies of Baron Erskine of Clackmannan, in the American funds, the son of that noble lord, which son is also our minister plenipotentiary at the American States, having, as it was declared in the Congress, just transferred large sums in stock, belonging to his father. This was noticed, and very well worthy of notice it was; it being only necessary to add here, for the information of some persons, that Baron Erskine of Clackmannan is no other than the identical Mr. Thomas Erskine, who was so famed for his patriotism, during the opposition of Mr. Fox, who, in February, 1900, became Lord High Chancellor of Eugland, with an income, from the public, of about 10,000 pounds a year, and who, upon being put out of that office, in April, 1807, had a pension settled on him for life, of 4,000

doing.On the 17th of November, we find a committee of the House of Repre sentatives making a report upon the affair of the Chesapeake, which report will, as an "Official Document," be inserted either in this sheet, or the next. The report con cludes with recommending a resolution, condemning the conduct of the English com mander, as a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the American States; and adds, that the continuation of the British squar dron in the waters of the States, after the issuing of the President's Proclamation, was a further violation of that sovereignty. In the body of the report, the communitiee observe, that three of the seamen, taken out of the Chesapeake, were, as they might say, proved to be American citizens. They also observe, that the act of taking them by force was without a parallel in the history of civilized nations; that, if disavowed by the English government, it must be considered, as a detestable act of piracy;" and, if not disavowed, as a "premeditated act of hostility against the sovereignty and independence of the American States." This is a pretty alternative. If our government do not choose to acknowledge itself-guilty of a flagrant act of violation of good faith, our gallant officers, concerned in the affair in question, are to be considered as pirates; that is to say, as felons; that is to say, as men worthy of the gibbet. The Morning Chronicle and its faction would hardly wish us to go to this depth in the way of self-debasement.- Previous to the making of this report in the Congress, there had been a report made, by a Court of Inquiry, upeit the conduct of Commodore Barron, the

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

B

« VorigeDoorgaan »