Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914

Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914, Edited by Edgar JonesThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914Editor: Edgar JonesRelease Date: February 8, 2004 [eBook #10990]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SELECTED SPEECHES ON BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY1738-1914***E-text prepared by Charles Aldarondo, Bradley Norton, and Project Gutenberg Distributed ProofreadersSELECTED SPEECHES ON BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY 1738-1914EDITED BY EDGAR R. JONES, M.P.This volume of 'Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy' was first published in 'The World's Classics' in 1914PREFACEA selection of speeches made for the purpose of illustrating the best rhetorical form of British Oratory has alreadybeen published in 'The World's Classics'. The governing principle of this volume is not rhetorical quality, but historicalinterest. Speeches have been selected from the earliest days of reporting downwards, dealing with such phases offoreign policy as are of exceptional interest at present. They have been chosen so as to cover a variety ofinternational crises affecting various states.In such a selection some very interesting speeches have had to be set aside, ...

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Selected Speeches
on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914, Edited by
Edgar Jones
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy
1738-1914
Editor: Edgar Jones
Release Date: February 8, 2004 [eBook #10990]
Language: English
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK SELECTED SPEECHES ON BRITISH
FOREIGN POLICY 1738-1914***
E-text prepared by Charles Aldarondo, Bradley
Norton, and Project Gutenberg Distributed
ProofreadersSELECTED SPEECHES ON BRITISH
FOREIGN POLICY 1738-1914
EDITED BY EDGAR R. JONES, M.P.
This volume of 'Selected Speeches on British
Foreign Policy' was first published in 'The World's
Classics' in 1914
PREFACE
A selection of speeches made for the purpose of
illustrating the best rhetorical form of British
Oratory has already been published in 'The World's
Classics'. The governing principle of this volume is
not rhetorical quality, but historical interest.
Speeches have been selected from the earliest
days of reporting downwards, dealing with such
phases of foreign policy as are of exceptional
interest at present. They have been chosen so asto cover a variety of international crises affecting
various states.
In such a selection some very interesting speeches
have had to be set aside, because they
represented temporary or individual and sectional
views rather than permanent national and official
views, and in order to avoid disproportionate
reference to the same situation or country.
It is to be hoped that the selection, such as it is,
may, through the words of the statesmen of the
past, help to prepare our minds for the sound and
worthy consideration of the problems of European
re-settlement which will arise at the termination of
the War.
EDGAR R. JONES.
CONTENTS
WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM (1708-78)
The Convention with Spain (House of Lords,
March 8, 1738)
The Defence of Weaker States (House ofLords,
January 22, 1770)
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN (1751-1816)
The Partition of Poland (House of Commons,
April 25, 1793)
The Prussian Subsidy (House of Commons,
February 5, 1795)
Grant to the Emperor of Germany (House of
Commons,
February 17, 1800)
WILLIAM PITT (1769-1806)
Overtures of Peace with France (House of
Commons,
February 3, 1800)
GEORGE CANNING (1770-1827)
Negotiations Relative to Spain (House of
Commons,
April 30, 1823)
SIR ROBERT PEEL (1788-1850)
Portugal—Don Miguel (House of Commons,
June 1, 1828)
Belgium (House of Commons, July 16, 1832)
Russian Dutch Loan (House of Commons,
July 20, 1832)
LORD JOHN RUSSELL, afterwards EARL
RUSSELL (1792-1878)
The Annexation of Cracow (House of
Commons,
March 4, 1847) VISCOUNT PALMERSTON (1784-1865)
The Polish Question (House of Commons,
March 1, 1848)
HENRY, LORD BROUGHAM (1778-1868)
Italian Affairs (House of Lords, July 20, 1849)
EARL RUSSELL, previously LORD JOHN
RUSSELL (1792-1878)
Denmark and Germany (House of Lords,
June 27, 1864)
LORD STANLEY, afterwards EARL OF DERBY
(1826-93)
Austria and Prussia (House of Commons,
July 20, 1866)
JOHN BRIGHT (1811-89)
Principles of Foreign Policy (Birmingham,
October 29, 1858)
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE (1809-98)
The Neutrality of Belgium (House of Commons,
August 8 and 10, 1870)
[By kind permission of Mr. H.N. Gladstone and
Messrs. Wyman & Sons, Ltd.]
Right Principles of Foreign Policy (West Calder,
Midlothian, November 27, 1879)
The Aggrandizement of Russia (West Calder,
Midlothian, April 2, 1880)
[By kind permission of Mr. H.N. Gladstone.]
BENJAMIN DISRAELI (1804-81)
Denmark and Germany (House of Commons,
July 4, 1864) BENJAMIN DISRAELI, EARL OF
BEACONSFIELD (1804-81)
Treaty of Berlin (House of Lords, July 18,
1878)
[By kind permission of Messrs. Longmans,
Green & Co.]
SIR EDWARD GREY (1862- )
Negotiations (House of Commons, August 3,
1914)
[By kind permission of Sir Edward Grey and
Messrs.
Wyman & Sons, Ltd.]
HERBERT HENRY ASQUITH (1852- )
Infamous Proposals (House of Commons,
August 6, 1914)
[By kind permission of Mr. Asquith and Messrs.
Wyman & Sons, Ltd.]
DAVID LLOYD GEORGE (1863- )
International Honour (Queen's Hall, London,
September 19, 1914)
[By kind permission of Mr. Lloyd George and
Messrs.
Methuen & Co., Ltd.]
WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM
MARCH 8, 1738THE CONVENTION WITH SPAIN
You have been moved to vote an humble address
of thanks to His Majesty, for a measure which (I
will appeal to gentlemen's conversation in the
world) is odious throughout the kingdom. Such
thanks are only due to the fatal influence that
framed it, as are due for that low, unallied condition
abroad, which is now made a plea for this
convention. To what are gentlemen reduced in
support of it? First, try a little to defend it upon its
own merits; if that is not tenable, throw out general
terrors—the House of Bourbon is united—who
knows the consequence of a war? Sir, Spain
knows the consequence of a war in America;
whoever gains, it must prove fatal to her; she
knows it, and must therefore avoid it; but she
knows England does not dare to make it; and what
is a delay, which is all this magnified convention is
sometimes called, to produce? Can it produce such
conjunctures as those you lost, while you were
giving kingdoms to Spain, and all to bring her back
again to that great branch of the House of Bourbon
which is now thrown out to you with so much
terror? If this union be formidable, are we to delay
only till it becomes more formidable, by being
carried farther into execution, and more strongly
cemented? But be it what it will, is this any longer a
nation, or what is an English Parliament, if, with
more ships in your harbours than in all the navies
of Europe, with above two millions of people in your
American colonies, you will bear to hear of the
expediency of receiving from Spain an insecure,unsatisfactory, dishonourable convention? Sir, I call
it no more than it has been proved in this debate; it
carries fallacy, or downright subjection, in almost
every line. It has been laid open and exposed in so
many strong and glaring lights, that I can pretend
to add nothing to the conviction and indignation it
has raised.
Sir, as to the great national objection—the
searching your ships—that favourite word, as it
was called, is not omitted, indeed, in the preamble
to the convention, but it stands there as the
reproach, of the whole—as the strongest evidence
of the fatal submission that follows. On the part of
Spain, an usurpation, an inhuman tyranny, claimed
and exercised over the American seas; on the part
of England, an undoubted right, by treaties, and
from God and nature, declared and asserted in the
resolutions of Parliament, are referred to the
discussion of plenipotentiaries, upon one and the
same equal foot. Sir, I say this undoubted right is
to be discussed and to be regulated. And if to
regulate be to prescribe rules (as in all construction
it is), this right is, by the express words of this
convention, to be given up and sacrificed; for it
must cease to be anything from the moment it is
submitted to limits.
The Court of Spain has plainly told you (as appears
by papers upon the table) you shall steer a due
course; you shall navigate by a line to and from
your plantations in America; if you draw near to her
coasts (though from the circumstances of that
navigation you are under an unavoidable necessityof doing it) you shall be seized and confiscated. If,
then, upon these terms only she has consented to
refer, what becomes at once of all the security we
are flattered with in consequence of this reference?
Plenipotentiaries are to regulate finally the
respective pretensions of the two crowns with
regard to trade and navigation in America; but
does a man in Spain reason that these pretensions
must be regulated to the satisfaction and honour of
England? No, Sir, they conclude, and with reason,
from the high spirit of their administration, from the
superiority with which they have so long treated
you, that this reference must end, as it has begun,
to their honour and advantage.
But gentlemen say, the treaties subsisting are to
be the measure of this regulation. Sir, as to
treaties, I will take part of the words of Sir William
Temple, quoted by the honourable gentleman near
me; 'It is vain to negotiate and make treaties, if
there is not dignity and vigour to enforce the
observance of them'; for under the misconstruction
and misrepresentation of these very treaties
subsisting, this intolerable grievance has arisen; it
has been growing upon you, treaty after treaty,
through twenty years of negotiation, and even
under the discussion of commissaries, to whom it
was referred. You have heard from Captain
Vaughan, at your bar,[1] at what time these injuries
and indignities were continued. As a kind of
explanatory comment upon the convention Spain
has thought fit to grant you, as another insolent
protest, under the validity and force of which she
has suffered this convention to be proceeded