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have forbore to enter into any detail on tribute to the security of the Austrian their account; but in order to avoid Netherlands. The means of accompliihany details prejudicial to the great ob- ing this object will be found in ihe cefa ject which the King has in view, and to lions which France has excted in her accelerate the work of a general peace, treaty of peace with Holland, and the his Majesty will not refuse to explain poffefion of which, by that power, would himself in the first instance on the points in any case be absolutely incompatible which concern those powers. If, then, with the fecurity of the Austrian Netherthe Catholic King should defire to be lands in the hands of his Imperial Macomprehended in this negotiation, or to jesty. be allowed to accede to the definitive It is on these principles that his Bri. treaty, this would meet with no obstacle tannic Majelty would be ready to treat on the part of his Majesty: Nothing for the re-establishment of peace with the having been conquered by either of the Republic of Holland in its present state, two Sovereigns from the other, no other The details of such a discussion must nee point could, at the present moment, come cessarily lead to the confideretion of what into the question but that of the re- would be due to the interest and the establishment of peace, simply, and rights of the House of Orange.
without any reftitution or compensation 1"} whatever, except such as might possibly MY LORD,
Paris, Dec. 20. result from the application of the prin Mr Evis returned here from London ciple declared at the end of the fourth on Thursday last, the 15th instant, at five article of the memorial, already deliver- P. M. and delivered to me the dispatched to the Minter for Foreign Affairs. es with which he was charged by your
But if, during the negtiation, any Lordlip. alterati 'n shall take place in the state of Although nothing can be clearer, more things in this respect, it will then be pro. aly drau n up, or more satisfactory than per to agree upon the restitutions and the instructions they contain, yet as it compensations to be made on each side. was of the last importance that I should
With regard to the Republic of the be completely master of the subject beUnited Provinces, his Britannic Majes. fore I saw the French Minister, I delayed ty, and his allies, find themselves too asking for a conference till late on Friday nearly interested in the political fitua- evening, with a view that it should not tion of those provinces to be able to con- take place till Saturday morning. sent in their favour to the re-establish He appointed the hour of leven A. M. ment of the status ante bellum, as with on that day, and it was wear one before refpe&t to territorial possessions; unless we parted. Although what is said by France could, on her part, reinstate them M. Delacroix before he has communicate in all respects in the same political situa- ed with the Directory cannot be con, tion in which they stood before the war. fidered as officially binding, and proba.
If at least it were pofsible to re-establish bly may, in the event, be very different in those provinces, agreeably to what is from what I may hear when he speaks to believed to be the wiih of a great majo. me in their name, yet as it is impoflible rity of the inhabitants, their ancient they should not nearly conjecture the conftitution and form of government, his nature of the overtures I fould make, Majesty might then be disposed to relax, and of course be prepared in some dein their favour, from a very considerable gree for them, it is material that your part of the conditions on which the pre- Lordship should be accurately acquaintsent state of things obliges him to inlift. ed with the first impressions they appear
But if, on the contrary, it is with the to make on M. Delacroix, Republic of Holland, in its present state, I prefaced what I had to communicate that their Britannic and Imperial Ma- with saying, that I now came authorised jesties will have to treat, they will feel to enter into deliberation upon one of themselves obliged to seek, in territorial the most important subjects that perhaps acquisitions, those compensations, and ever was brought into discussion; that that fecurity, which such a state of things its magnitude forbade all finefle, excludwill have rendered indifpenfible to them. ed all prevarication, suspended all pre
Reftitutions of any kind, in favour of judices; and that as I had it in command Holland, could in that cafe be admitted to speak and act with freedom and truth; in fo far only as they shall be compensat. I expected that he, on his part, would ed by arrangements calculated to con- consider these as the only means which
could or ought to be employed, if he forward as the governing condition of wished to see a negotiation, in which the the treaty, since he thought he had, in happiness of millions were involved, ter- some of our late conversations, fully exminate successfully: That, for greater plained the nature of their Conftitution precision, and with a view to be clearly to me. I replied, that every thing I had understood in what he was about to pro- heard from him on this point was perfectpose, I would give him a confidential ly in my recollection, as it probably was memorial, accompanied by an official in his, that though I had listened to him note, both which, when he had perused with that attention I always afforded to them, would speak for themselves. The every thing he faid, yet I had never memorial contained the conditions, on made him any fort of reply, and had the accomplishment of which bis Majef- neither admitted nor controverted his ty considered the restoration of peace opinion: That although I believed I to depend. The note was expreslive of could easily disprove this opinion from his Majesty's readiness to enter into any the spirit of the French confitution itexplanation required by the Directory on felf; yet the discussion of that conthe subject, orto receive any contre projet, ftitution was perfectly foreign to the resting on the same basis, which the Dio object of my mission ; fince, even allowrectory might be disposed to give it : ing his two pofitions, viz. that the re. That,' moreover, I did not hesitate de- troceflion of the Austrian Netherlands claring to him, in conformity to the was incompatible with their laws, and negotiation, that I was prepared to an- that we ought to have known that before. swer any questionsexplain and elucidate hand; yet that there existed a droit pube any points, on which it was possible to lic in Europe, paramount to any droit foresee that doubts or misconceptions public they might think proper to efta. could arise on the confideration of these blish within their own dominions; and papers. And having said thus much, 1 that if their conftitution was publicly had only to remark, that I believed, in known, the treaties existing between no fimilar negotiation which had ever his Majesty and the Emperor were at taken place, any Minister was authoriz- least equally public, and in these it was ed, in the first instance, to go so fully clearly and distinctly announced, that into the discussion as I now was: That the two contracting parties reciprocally I was fure neither the truth of this re- promife not to lay down their arms withmark, nor the manifest conclusion to be out the restitution of all the dominions, drawn from it, would escape M. Dela- territories, &c. which may have belong. croix's obfervation.
ed to either of them before the war. ! I then put the two papers into his That the date of this stipulation was prehands: He began by reading the note, vious to their annexing the Austrian Ne! on which of course be began to express therlands to France ; and the notoriety satisfaction. After perusing the confi- of this ought at the very moment when dential memorial with all the attention they had passed that law, to have con. it deferved, he, after a short pause, faid, 'vinced them, that, if adhered to, it mult that it appeared to him to be liable to prove an insurmountable obstacle to infurmountable objections; that it seem- peace. I applied his maxim to the ed to him to require much more than it West India Inands, and to the settle: conceded, and, in the event, not to leave ments in the East Indies; and asked France in a situation of proportional him, Whether it was expected that we greatness to the Powers of Europe. He were to wave our right of poffeffion, and faid, the Act of their Constitution, ac- be required still ia conlider them as incording to the manner in which it was tegral parts of the French Republic interpreted by the bett Publicists (and which must be restored, and on which this phrase is worthy remark) made it no value was to be fet in the balance of impoffible for the Republic to do what compensation ? we required. The Austrian Netherlands I also stated the possible case of France were annexed to it; they could not be having loft part of what the deemed her disposed of without flinging the nation integral dominions, instead of having into all the confusion which must follow. added to them in the course of the war, a convocation of the Primary Affem- and whether then, under the apprehenfiblies; and he said, he was rather surpris on of still greater lofles, the Government, ed that Great Britain should bring this as it was now composed, should confider
itself as not vefted with powers sufficient terous doctrine ; I contented myself to save their country from the impend with reminding him of what he had said ing danger, by making peace on the to me in one of our last conférences, conditions of sacrificing a portion of when he made a comparison of the their dominions to save the remainder? weakness of France under its Monarchs, M. Delacroix faid, this was stating a caic and its strength and vigour under its of necessity, and such a mode of reason. Republican form of government. “Nous ing did not attach to the present circum- 'né fommes plus dane la decrepitude de stances. I readily admitted the first la France Monarchique, mais dans toute part of this propolition, but contended, la force d’une Republique adolescentet,” that if the power existed in a case of ne was his expression; and I inferred frono cellity, it equally exifted in all others, this, according to his own reasoning, that and particularly in the case before us ; the force and power, France had acquirsince he himself had repeatedly told me, ed by its change of government, was that peace was what this country and much greater than it could derive from its Government wilhed for, and even any acquisition of territory; and that it wanted.
followed, if France when under a regal M. Delacroix, in reply, shifted his form of government was a very juft and ground, and by a string of arguments, constant object of attention, not to say founded on premisses calculated for this of jealousy, to the other powers of Eupurpose, attempted to prove, that, from rope, France (admitting her axiom) was ihe relative situation of the adjacent a much more reasonable object of jea-' countries, the present Government of lousy and attention under its, present France would be reprehensible in the ex. conftitution, than it' ever had yet been, treme, and deserve impeachinent, if they, and that no addition to its dominions ever permitted the Netherlands to be could be seen by its neighbours but un. separated from their dominions; that by der impressions of alarm for their own the partition of Poland, Russia, Austria, future safety, and for the general tranand Prussia had increased their power to quillity of Europe. · M. Delacroix's an. a moft formidable degree; that Eng. swer to this was so remarkable, that I land, by its conquests, and by the acti- must beg leave to insert it in what I bevity and judgement with which it go- lieve to be nearly his own words :verned its colonies, had doubled its “ Dans le tems revolutionaire tout ce strength.
que vous dites, my Lord, etoit vraiYour Indian empire alone; faid M. rien n'egaloit notre puissance; mais ce Delacroix with vehemence, has enabled tems n'existe plus. Nous ne pouvons you to subsidize all the Powers of Eu- plus lever la nation en maffe pour voler rope against us, and your monopoly of au secours de la patrie en danger. Nous trade has put you in possession of a fund ne pouvons plus engager nos concitoyens of inexhaustible wealth. His words d'ouvrir leurs bourses pour les verser were, Votre empire dans l'Inde vous dans le tresor national, et de se priver a fourni les Moyens de falarir toutes les meme du neceffaire pour le bien de la Puissances contre nous, et vous avez ac- chose publiquet.” And he ended by capare le commerce de maniere que saying, that the French Republic, when toutes les richesses du monde se versent at peace, necessarily must become the dans vos coffres.”
molt quiet and pacific power in Europe. From the necessity that France should I only observed, that in this case the keep the Netherlands and the left bank pallage of the Republic from youth to of the Rhine, for the purpose of preserve ing its relative fituation in Europe, he + We are no longer in the dotage of the passed to the advantages which he con- French Monarchy, but in all the vigour of tended would result to the other powers a young republic. by such an addition to the French do. During the Revolution, my Lord, all minions. Belgium (to use his word), that you say was true; nothing could equal by belonging to France, would remove our power.
But that time is now over. We what had been the source of all wars for can no longer raise the nation in a body to two centuries past; and the Rhine be- defend their country, though in danger ; we ing the natural boundary of France, can no longer persuade our fellow citizens would ensure the tranquillity of Europe to open their purses to pour them into the for two centuries to come.
I did not national treasury, or deprive themselves of feel it necessary to combate this prepof the necessaries of life for the public good.
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decrepitude had been very sudden; but 'cessarily become subject matter for nethat still I never could admit that it gociation, and be balanced againft each could be matter of indifference to its other in the final arrangement of a ge. neighbours, much less a neceffary se- neral peace. “ You then perfift," faid curity to itself, to acquire such a very M. Delacroix,“ in applying this prinextensive addition to its frontiers as that ciple to Belgium ?" I anfwered, be had hinted at.
certainly; and I should not deal fairly This led M. Delacroix to talk of of- with you if I hesitated to declare, in fering an equivalent to the Emperor for the outset of our negotiation, that on the Austrian Netherlands; and it was this point you must entertain no expecto be found, according to his plan, in tation that his Majetty will relax, or the secularization of the three Ecclefiaf- ever confent to see the Netherlands retical Electorates, and several Bithoprics main a part of France.' in Germany and in Italy.
M. Delacroix replied, he saw no prof. He talked upon this subject as one pect in this cafe of our ideas ever meetvery familiar to him, and on which his ing, and he despaired of the success of thoughts had been frequently employed. our negociation. He returned again,
He spoke of making new Electors, and however, to his idea of a poffible equinamed, probably with a view to render valent to be found for the Emperor; his scheme more palatable, the Stadt- but as all he proposed was the alienation holder, and the Dukes of Brunswick and or dismemberment of countries not be Wurtemberg as persons proper to re- longing to France, even by conqueft, I place the three Ecclefiaftical Electors did not consider it as deferving attenwhich were to be reformed.
tion, and it is certainly not worth reIt would be making an ill use of your peating to your Lordship. Lordship's time to endeavour to repeat I need not observe that all the equito you all he said on this subject; it valents proposed, however inadequate went in fubftance (as he himself confef- to the exchange, were offered as a resed) to the total subversion of the present turn for our consent that the Netherconftitution of the Germanic Body ; lands Mould remain part of France; of and as it militated directly against the course the admitting them in any shape principle which both his Majesty and the would have been in direct contradiction Emperor laid down fo distinctly as the to my instructions. bafis of the peace to be made for the M. Delacroix touched very nightly on Empire, I contented myself with re- Italy, and the course of our conversaminding him of this circumftance, par- tion did not bring this part of the subticularly as it is impoflible to discuss this ject more into difcuffion. point with any propriety till his Imperi I must add, that whenever I mentional Majesty becomes a party to the ne. ed the restoration of the Netherlands to ģuciation. I took this opportunity of the Emperor, I always took care it hinting, that if, on all the other points, should be understood that these were to France agreed to the proposals now be accompanied by such further ceffions made, it would not be impoflible' that as should form a competent line of desome increase of territory might be ced- fence, and that France could not be pered to her on the Germanic fide of her mitted to keep possession of all the infrontiers, and that this, in addition to termediate country to the Rhine ; and I the Duchy of Savoy, Nice, and Avignon, particularly dwelt on this point, when would be a very great acquisition of I held out the possibility of admitting an strength and power. M. Delacroix here extenfion of the limits of France on the again reverted to the conftitution, and side of Germany. But as the French faid, that these countries were already Minister no less strenuously opposed the constituționally annexed to France. I reftitution of the Netherlands to the replied, that it was impossible, in the Emperor, than I tenaciously infifted upnegociation which we were beginning, on it, the further extension of my claim for the other powers to take it up from could not of course become a subject of any period but that which immediately argument. preceded the war, and that any acquisi
I believe I have now, with a tolerable tion or diminution of territory, which degree of accuracy, informed your Lordhad taken place among the belligerent ship of all that the French Minifter said powers fince it first broke out, must ne- on my opening myself to him on that
part of my instructions which more im. however, appear quite impossible that mediately relates to peace between this point might be lettled without much Great Britain, his Imperial Majesty, and difficulty; and that means might be deFrance. It remains with me to inform vised that his Catholic Majelly should your Lordihip what paffed between us not break his faith, and both England on the subject of our respective allies. and France be equally satisfied. I then
On the articles reserving a right to the held out to him, but in general terms, Court of St Petersburgh, and to that of that either Spain might regain her part Lisbon, to accede to the treaty of peace of St Domingo, by making fome confia on the strict status ante bellum, the French derable collion to Great Britain and Minister made no other remark than France, as the price of peace, or that, mentioning the allies of the Republic, in return for leaving the whole of St Doand by enquiring whether I was prepar. mingo to France, we should retain eied to say any thing relative to their in- ther Martinico, or St Lucia and Toba. terests, which certainly the Republic go. M. Delacroix listened with a de. could never abandon. This afforded me gree of attention to these proposals, but the opportunity of giving in the confi- he was fearful of committing himself by dential memorial B. relative to Spain any expression of approbation, and he and Holland, and I prefaced it by re- dismissed the subject of the Court of peating to him the substance of the first Madrid by observing, that France never part of your Lordship’s No 12.
would forsake the interests of its allies. Although I had touched upon the Our conversation on those of its other Spanish part of St Domingo, when I ally, Holland, was much longer, as the had been speaking to M. Delacroix on wording of the memorial inevitably led the peace with France, yet, as it did at once deep into the subject. not become a matter of discuslion be. M. Delacroix affecied to treat any detween us till I came to mention the peace viation from the treaty of peace conwith Spain, thought it better to place cluded between France and that counall that passed on the subject in this part try, or any restoration of territories acof my dispatch ; it was the only point quired, under that treaty, to France, as on which he entered, but I by no means quite impracticable. He treated as einfer, from his not bringing forward some qually impracticable any attempt at refclaims for Spain, that we are not to toring the ancient form of government hear of any in the course of the nego- in the Seven United Provinces. He talktiation ; on the contrary I have little ed with an air of triumph of the extadoubt that many, and most of them in- blishment of a National Convention at admislible, will be made before it can be the Hague, and with an affectation of ended. He, however, was silent on them feeling, that by it the cause of freedom at this moment, and confined all, that had extended itfelf over such a large he had to say to combating the idea that nuinber of people. He, however, was Spain was bound by the treaty of U- ready to confess, that from the great trecht, not to alienate her poffeffions in losses the Dutch Republic had sustained America. I had the article copied in in its colonies, and particularly from the my pocket, and I read it to him. He weak manner in which they had defendconfeffed it was clear and explicit, but ed them, it could not be expected that that circumstances had so materially al- his Majesty would consent to a full and tered since the year 1714, that engage- complete restitution of them, and that ments made then ought not to be con- it was reasonable that fome should be fidered as in force now. I said that the sacrificed; and he asked me if I could fpirit of the article itself went to provide inform him how far our views extended for diftant contingencies, not for what on this point ?-I faid I had reason to was expected to happen at or near the believe that what his Majesty would retime when the treaty was made, and quire, would be possessions and settlethat it was because the alteration of cir- ments which would not add either to cumstances he alluded to as poflible that the power or wealth of our Indian do. the clause was inserted; and that if Spain minions, but only tend to fecure to us paid any regard to the faith of treaties, their fafe and unmolefted poffeffion, The must consider herself as no less stric. You mean by this, said M. Delacroix, tly bound by this clause now, than at the Cape and Trincomale ? I said, they the moment it was drawn up.
certainly came under that defcription ; I went on by saying, that it did not, and I saw little prospect of their being