Page images

by His Majesty's Plenipotentiary in the Conferences at Verona ; and there have been added to the Treaties upon this subject, already concluded between His Majesty and the Governments of Spain and The Netherlands, Articles which will extend the operation of those Treaties, and greatly facilitate their execution.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons, His Majesty has directed the Estimates of the current Year to be laid before you.

They have been framed with every attention to economy; and the total Expenditure will be found to be materially below that of the last Year.

This diminution of charge, combined with the progressive improvement of the Revenue, has produced a Surplus exceeding His Majesty's expectation ; His Majesty trusts, therefore, that you will be able, after providing for the Services of the Year, and without affecting Public Credit, to make a further considerable reduction in the burthens of His People.

My Lords, and Gentlemen, His Majesty has commanded us to state to you, that the manifestations of loyalty and attachment to His Person and Government, which His Majesty received in His late visit to Scotland, have made the deepest impression upon His heart.

The provision which you made in the last Session of Parliament for the relief of the distresses in considerable Districts in Ireland, has been productive of the happiest effects; and His Majesty recommends to your consideration, such Measures of internal regulation as may be calculated to promote and secure the tranquillity of that Country, and to improve the habits and condition of the People.

Deeply as His Majesty regrets the continued depression of the Agricultural Interest, the satisfaction with which His Majesty contemplates the increasing activity which pervades the Manufacturing Districts, and the flourishing condition of our Commerce in most of its principal branches, is greatly enhanced by the confident persuasion that the progressive prosperity of so many of the Interests of the Country can not fail to contribute to the gradual improvement of that great Interest, which is the most important of them all.

PAPERS relative to the Internal Affairs of Spain.Presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty,

April and July 1823.





Class A.

. Sept. 21


1822. Page 1. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Camping, Paris.....

4 2. Mr. Secretary Canning to the Duke of Wellingtop....

Foreign Office.... Sept. 27 4 3. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy.Canning, Verona... ..Oct. 22 5 Incl.-Questions of the French Plenipotentiary....

5 4. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Caoning, Verona. ..Nov. 5 5 Incl.- Answer of the Duke of Wellington.....

6 5. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Canning, Veropa.. Nov. 12 8 Incl.-Memorandum of the Duke of Wel. lington

9 6. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Camping, Verona.

Nov, 22 10 Incl.-Minute of the Duke of Wellington..

10 7. Mr. Secy. Canning to the Duke of Wellington, Foreign Office....Dec. 6 12 Incl.-M. de San Miguel to the Chevalier de Colomb, Madrid, Nov. 15.........

13 8. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy.Canning, Paris..

Dec. 9 16 9. Mr. Secy. Canning to the Duke of Wellington, Foreign Office.... Dec. 13 16 10. The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Canning, Paris..... Dec. 17 17 VERONA AND PARIS.

Incl.—The Duke of Wellington to M. de
Montmorency, Paris, Dec. 17......

17 11. The Dake de Montmorency to The Duke of Wellington


Dec. 26 17 12. Mr. Secy. Canning to The Vicomte de Mar

1823. cellus....

Foreign Office.... Jan. 10 19 13. The Vicomte de Chateaubriand to Mr. Secy. Canning .....

Paris.............Jan. 23 22 14. Mr. Secy. Camping to Sir Charles Stuart. Foreign Office....Jan. 28 25

No. 1.- The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Sery. Canning.-(Rec. Sept. 24.) (Extract.)

Paris, September 21, 1822. I had a long discussion with Monsieur de Villèle yesterday, on the relations of this Government with Spain.

It appears, that for a considerable time past, I believe since the alarm of infectious fever in Spain, the French Government have been collecting Troops in the Southern Departments of France. They have not, however, on the immediate Frontier, a larger body of men than are sufficient for the performance of the duties of the “ Cordon Sanitaire," so long as that precaution is necessary, in consequence of the prevalence of the Fever in the neighbouring Provinces of Spain; or than can fairly be deemed necessary for the purposes of Observation of a Country which is the seat of a Civil War, and for the protection of the French Frontier from insult, by the different Parties in operation immediately on the borders.

M. de Villèle said, that the Assembly of the Congress at the present moment was not a matter of indifference, in relation to the situation of affairs in Spain, or to that in which the two Countries stood towards each other. There was no doubt that expectations were formed respecting the result of the deliberations of the Congress on the Affairs of Spain, as well in Spain as elsewhere; and that if the Congress were to separate, and to come to no decision on those Affairs, it was probable that the existing evils would be greatly aggravated, and that the two Countries might be forced into a War.

Monsieur de Villèle wished that the Congress should take into consideration the actual position of the French Government in relation to Spain, and the hypothesis under which they might be forced into a War; and that the Four other Powers of the Alliance should declare wbat line they would each take, in case of the occurrence of any of the Events which they conceived would force them to War. I told Monsieur de Villèle that it would be quite impossible for us to declare beforehand what would be our conduct upon any hypothetical case.

I should wish to receive His Majesty's Instructions what line I shall take, and what arguments I shall use, in case the French Government should make the Proposition at the Congress, which M. de Villèle has made to me, respecting a Declaration by the Allies.

No. 2.-Mr. Secretury Canning to the Duke of Wellington.

Foreign Office, Sep'ember 27, 1822. If there be a determined Project to interfere by force or by menace in the present Struggle in Spain, so convinced are His Majesty's Govern

ment of the uselessness and danger of any such ir terference---s0-objectionable does it appear to them in principle, as well as utterly impracticable in execution, that when the necessity arises, or (I would rather say) when the opportunity offers, I am to instruct your Grace at once frankly and peremptorily to declare, that to any such interference, come what may, His Majesty will not be a Party.

No. 3.- The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Canning.-(Rec. Oct. 31.) (Extract.)

Verona, October 22, 1822. We had a Conference on Sunday night, at which the French Minister, M. de Montmorency, read a Paper, of which I inclose a Copy.

I imagine that each of the Ministers will answer this Paper. In my answer, I shall review our line of conduct since April 1820; and shall decline to engage ourselves to adopt any measure beforehand, or till we shall have a full knowledge of all the circumstances which bave occurred between the two countries. I propose, besides, to point out, that, considering the relative position of France and Spain, it is not probable that Spain will declare against them; if they explain as they ought, the meaning and object of their Corps of Observation, and make some allowance for the state of effervescence of men's minds in Spain in a state of Revolution and Civil War.

(Inclosure.)- Questions addressed by the French Plenipotentiary to the Plenipotentiaries of Austria, Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain.

Vérone, le 20me Octobre, 1822. 1. Dans le cas, où La France se verroit forcée de rappeler de Madrid le Ministre qu'Elle y a accrédité, et de rompre toute Relation diplomatique avec L'Espagne, les Hautes Cours seront-elles disposées à prendre une Mesure semblable et à rappeler leurs propres Légations ?

2. Si la Guerre doit éclater entre La France et L'Espagne, sous quelle forme, et par quels actes, Les Hautes Puissances prêterontElles à La France l'appui moral qui doit donner à son action la force de l'Alliance, et inspirer un salutaire effroi aux Révolutionnaires de tous les Pays?

3. Quelle est enfin l'intention des Hautes Puissances, quant au fond et à la forme du secours matériel qu'Elles seroient disposées à donner à La France, dans le cas, où, sur Sa demande, leur intervention active deviendrait nécessaire ?

No.4.- The Duke of Wellington to Mr. Secy. Canning.-(Rec. Nov. 14.) (Extract.)

Verona, November 5, 1822. PRINCE METTERNICH called together a Conference of the Five Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday evening, at which were delivered in,

Answers to the Demands of the French Minister of the 20th ultimo, from the Russian, Austrian, and Prussian Ministers; and that from myself, a Copy of which I inclose.

[ocr errors]

(Inclosure.)- Answer of the Duke of Wellington to the French


Verona, October 30, 1822. Since the month of April 1820, the British Government have availed themselves of every opportunity of recommending to His Majesty's Allies to abstain from all interference in the internal Affairs of Spain.

Without adverting to those Principles which His Majesty's Government must always consider the rule of their conduct, in relation to the internal affairs of other Countries, they considered that to whatéver degree either the origin of the Spanish Revolution, the System then established, or the conduct of those who have since had the management of the internal affairs of Spain, might be disapproved of, any amelioration which might be desired in the Spanish System, for the sake of Spain herself, ought to be sought for in measures to be adopted in Spain rather than Abroad; and particularly in the confidence which the People should be taught to feel in the character and measures of the King.

They considered that an interference, with a view to assist the Monarch on the Throne, to overturn that which had been settled, and which He had guaranteed, or to promote the establishment of any other Form of Government or Constitution, particularly by force, would only place that Monarch in a false position, and prevent Him from looking to the internal means of amelioration which might be within his reach.

Such an interference always appeared to the British Government an unnecessary assumption of responsibility ; which, considering all the circumstances, must expose the King of Spain to danger, and the Power or Powers which should interfere, to obloquy, certain risks, and possible disasters; to enormous expenses, and final disappointment in producing any result.

Upon these principles His Majesty has advised His Allies, and has acted Himself, from the month of April 1820, to the present day.

The Protocols and other Acts of the Congress at Aix la Chapelle, which established the Union at present existing between the Five Powers, so happily for the World, require the most unlimited confidence and communication on the part of Each ; and accordingly, His Majesty has never failed to communicate to His Allies, and particu. larly to France, every Instruction which he has sent to His Minister at Madrid ; and all the Communications made by His Majesty's com

« PreviousContinue »