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HISTORY OF EUROPE,

1816.

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CHAP. I.

Opening of the Session of Parliament.-Debates on the Address, and on the

Treaties concluded with Foreign Powers in 1815.- Motion for the production of the Christian Treaty." --Financial Exposition by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

THE peace of Europe being once rials of a too military nation, that again established, and the attention of firebrand which had before been pluckspeculative, as well as of active men ed from its position by the united among us being released, in some strength of Russia, Germany; and measure, from the contemplation of England. The people were prepared external affairs, the opening of parlia- to congratulate the government, by the ment was this year expected by the mouths of their representatives, upon people of England with a well-ground- the happy termination, to which a just, ed confidence, that the wisdom of the because a necessary, war had in so legislative bodies would be immediate- brief a space been conducted; but ly directed to the repair and alleviation they were chiefly anxious to see the of those dilapidations and distresses parliament re-assembled, by reason of which had been inflicted upon the re- the hopes which they built on the is. venue, and upon a very large part of sile of those interrupted investigations, the population of the empire, in con- , which had for their object the imsequence of the unequalled exertions provement of our domestic revenue to wbich our country had been so and polity—more particularly, the relong exposed. Deliberations of such lief of those classes of the community, a nature, begun during the last ses. to whose share, as was universally felt sion, had been at once forgotten and and regretted, an unequal pressure of dismissed in the tumult of that mo. the national burden had fallen.' That mentary and almost miraculous revo- the public expectation was not disaplution, which had expelled the French pointed, will be seen in the history of king from the throne to which he the busy and laborious session which had so lately been restored, and re- ensued. placed, amidst the combustible mate- Parliament' assembled on the 1st of

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February, and the speech was deliver. House of Lords by the Marquis of ed by commission. The principal to- Huntly. This nobleman, after com. pic was veryo naturally the splendid ' menting in general terms on the splen. nature of the public exertions of Great did state of our external relations, Britain in the preceding year, and the went on to state that the country, in happy prospect of a permanent peace the course of its long and arduous among the continental nations, arising contest, had been subjected to many out of the speedy and glorious success heavy burdens and privations that with which these exertions had been these it would be the business of the crowned. The commercial treaty con- Prince Regent's ministers to alleviate cluded with the United States of Ame- as far as circumstances would allow rica, and the results of the war in Cey- -and that he had no doubt in this lon, and on the continent of India, were as in all other respects, whatever permentioned as affording additional cause sons in their situation could do for for congratulation. His Royal High. the public benefit would be done by ness had given orders, that copies of them. Parliament, likewise, would, the different treaties should be laid be- he trusted, unite its endeavours with fore parliament, and confidently trust those of the Prince and his ministers ed that their stipulations would receive to promote the welfare of the agricul. unmingled approbation. The convul. tural and commercial classes of the sions which had agitated the Euro- community, that so, if possible, there pean states had been such, as it would might not remain one heavy heart in the be seen, that measures of precaution of British dominions. Lord Calthorp, no ordinary character had been deem- in seconding the address, enlarged uped indispensable by the allies. In on the liberal and unselfish character these measures, from a sense of their of the measures which the allies had justice and sound policy, his Royal adopted. “ These," said he, " had Highness had concurred, and he had no not been directed by any narrow views doubt that parliament, regarding them of local interests ; they had proceeded in the same view, would willingly lend on the largest scale, and aimed at the their co-operation for carrying them most extensive objects. This,” con. into effect. The speech concluded tinued he," was a sort of pledge that with expressions of gratitude for that proper caution would be observed in wisdom and firmness of the British providing for the future tranquillity of parliament and people, to which, un- Europe. He was induced to cherish der providence, his Royal Highness this hope the more from the spirit of considered himself as indebted for all forbearance which, in a peculiar manthe advantages with which his counselsner, had characterized the counsels, and arms had been crowned ; of his and even the armies of our own counresolution to preserve, by the justice try, changing, as it were, those who and moderation of his conduct, the usually were the instruments of venhigh character which the country had geance into guardians of liberty and every where obtained—and of hope repose ; as if it had been intended to that the same internal union and con- show the country, that our moderafidence which had enabled us to sur- tion in peace was as unrivalled as had mount so many dangers, might still been our perseverance in war.” continue to strengthen our prosperity, These sentiments were not shared and prolong the tranquillity of Eu- and expressed by the usual supporters rope.

of administration alone, Lord GrenThe address was moved in the ville, as he had approved the vigorous

measures adopted by government in which we are called this night to the preceding year, so now he cordial. come to a vote ; and I should have ly congratulated them upon the happy been wanting in justice to my own successes to which these measures had feelings, if I had not so far obtruded led. “ It gives me sincere pleasure,” myself upon the notice of the House said he, “ to find, that there is not a (however unnecessarily with reference single word in the speech from the to the decision), as to request its atthrone which does not meet with my tention to the sentiments I have just most hearty concurrence ; and I trust expressed." that the address which has been moved The Marquis of Lansdown was in consequence of it, will meet the una- equally cordial in his congratulations ; nimous approbation of this House. but he expressed some anxiety, that, Under such circumstances, I should by concurring with the very general think it scarcely necessary to trouble terms of the address, he might not be your lordships, did I not feel that it supposed to give any opinion with re. was a duty incumbent upon us all to spect to papers not yet laid before pare express our joy and gratitude to Provi. liament. Lord Liverpool relieved his dence, that the new

war, in which we lordship from any idea of this nature ; were so unexpectedly and so unwil- and, with the exception of Lord Hollingly involved, and the result of which land alone, (who asserted that the refor some time, and to some minds, ap- storation of King Louis had been una peared so doubtful, has terminated in warrantably effected by means of foa success unexampled in the annals of reign arms, and that, therefore, the the world. Such a triumph cannot whole of the measures which had terfail to excite the most vivid emotions minated in that event were worthy of of joy and gratitude in my breast ;- condemnation, not applause from the joy, that the calamities of war, at British senate), the address was unawhich we all shuddered, have been nimously agreed to--a rare and please concluded gratitude, that the bless- sing omen of harmony in the public ings of peace, for which we all panted, deliberations. have been secured. Those blessings, In the Lower House the address I trust, we shall continue to enjoy ; was moved by Sir Thomas Dyke and, in the hope that every measure Ackland, who, in a speech of much will be adopted to procure their con- eloquence, enlarged upon the same totinuance, it is my ardent wish that this pics to which allusion has already address should meet with the undivided been made ; and his motion was seassent of your lordships. I can no conded by Mr Methuen. Mr Brande less refrain from the expression of my rose to move an amendment, but presatisfaction at the great leading fea

faced his motion with many express ture of the situation of our country ; I sions of regret, that he should feel allude to the means by which the peace, compelled to disturb, even in appeare at which I rejoice, has been obtained ; ance, the unanimity of the assembly : it has been restored to us by what, I adding, that if, iadeed, the speech from confess, always appeared to me the the throne had avowed the wishes most probable mode, both of its resto. and intention of government to relieve ration and continuance-the re-esta- by every possible means the distressed blishment of that government in France state of the country, with the same which by commotion had been overe disinterestedness wherewith the friends thrown, and by violence was excluded. of government had in their own pera These are the two main points upon sons stated that intention, he should

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