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THE

ANNUAL REGISTER,

For the YEAR 1803.

THE

HISTORY

OF

EUROPE.

CHAP. I.

Preliminary Observations.-Meeting of Parliament.—Election of a Speaker. -Mr. Abbot proposed.-Chosen without opposition.-King's Speech.Address moved by Lord Arden.-Seconded by Lord Nelson.-Speeches of the Marquis of Abercorn-Lord Carlisle-the Duke of Norfolk-Lords Grenville-Pelham-Carysfort—and Hobart.-Address carried nem. diss.—Moved the same day in the Lower House by Mr. Trench.—Seconded by Mr. Curzon.-Speeches of Mr. Cartwright-Sir John WrottesleyMr. Pytches-Fox-Canning-Lord Hawkesbury-Mr. WindhamAddington-T. Grenville-Lord Castlereagh-and Mr. Whitbread. -Address carried unanimously.

THE parliament, which assem

1802, was the first which had been summoned since the union between Great Britain and Ireland. By the provisions of the act of union, Ireand returned to the imperial parliament thirty-two peers (including four spiritual lords), and one hundred commoners. The addition Vol. XI.V.

of so many members, was a circum

duce a most powerful influence on the state of parties in Great Britain. It was on this ground, principally, that Mr. Fox opposed the legislative union with Ireland from the beginning; he apprehended, that from the manner in which the Irish representatives were returned, they

B

would

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ANNUAL REGISTER,

would be constantly found in the
ranks of whoever was the minister
of the day, and would give him a pre-
ponderating influence over every
constitutional opposition that could
be made in parliament; and, in
this point of view, he thought the
union between the two countries
injured most materially the consti-
tution of Great Britain. Whether
those fears were well or ill founded,
the history of the times we live in
will best evince; if however it should
prove, that the representatives of
Ireland were equally independent
of ministerial influence with those
of Great Britain; in that case it
must be allowed, that such was the
alarming aspect of affairs at the
opening of the first imperial parlia-
ment, that all the united talents of
the empire appeared necessary, not
only to secure its honour, but its
very existence. If the Irish repre-
sentation was so constituted, as to
call the best talents of their coun-
try to assist in the grand council of
the empire at this momentous crisis;
in such case the union would doubt-
less have been of immense advan-
tage to both countries, and to the
interests of the empire at large;
this however is a question that ra-
ther belongs to the page of history
than to the temporary nature of
a periodical work.

On Tuesday the 16th of Novem-
ber the parliament was called to-
gether. The lord chancellor, in
the mode usual on similar occa-
sions, communicated to the house
of lords that his majesty had ap-
pointed commissioners to open the
business of the sessions. The lords
commissioners who attended, were
the archbishop of Canterbury, the
lord chancellor, and the duke of

1803.

to hear the commission read, and
Portland. The commons attended
who were present, then
retired to choose their speaker.
The peers,
took the oaths, and the commons
proceeded to the election. The
members, who attended in the
house of commons, being sworn by
the clerk,

Sir W. Scott rose, and addressed
the house in a speech of uncommon
neatness. He pointed out the great
importance of a proper choice in
the person who was to be their
speaker: the various talents which
should be combined in the person
who was to fill that high office, the
principles which he ought to have
After
of loyalty and attachment to the
sovereign, and a profound venera-
tion for the constitution.
describing, with great eloquence,
the rare assemblage of talents and
virtues which were necessary to fill
such a situation, he concluded by
moving" that Mr. Abbot be again
elected to the discharge of the of
fice of speaker of this house."

The hon. Henry Lascelles second-
ed the motion. He observed, that
if this assemblage of virtues and ta-
lents were at all times necessary in
the person who was to fill the situ
ation of speaker of that house, they
were more peculiarly necessary at
a time when not only the fate of
this kingdom, but of Europe, might
be involved in the future delibera-
tions of parliament. He concluded
by warmly seconding the motion of
sir W. Scott.

Mr. Abbot then rose, and in a
very handsome manner expressed
his high sense of the honour that
was intended to be conferred upon
him. Although he declared that
discharge
he felt strongly his own inability to

discharge the important duties of the office, yet he put himself at the disposal of the house, and was satistied to act as they should direct. Mr. Abbot was then introduced into the chair, as speaker, and returning thanks for the honour that had been conferred upon him, hoped that the house would judge of his gratitude more by his future conduct, than by any words he could find to express himself.

Lord Castlereagh congratulated the speaker on his re-election, in an appropriate speech.-The house then adjourned.

On the 17th of November the house of commons attended at the bar of the house of lords, with their newly-elected speaker; who, after informing the lords commissioners of the choice of the commons having fallen upon him, expressed a hope (according to the usual form), that his majesty might allow the commons to go to a new election, in order that they might find a person worthier of that high office than himself.

The lord chancellor then expressed his majesty's entire approbation of the choice of the house of commons.

The speaker, after returning thanks, claimed, as usual, the freedom of speech and other privileges of the house of commons.

At half past two, on the 23d, his majesty came down to the house of peers. The commons being ordered to attend, he addressed his parliament in the following manner:

"My Lords and Gentlemen, "It is highly gratifying to me to resort to your advice and assistance, after the opportunity which has been recently afforded of collecting the sense of my people.

"The internal prosperity of the country has realized our most sanguine hopes; we have experienced the bounty of divine providence in the produce of an abundant harvest.

"The state of the manufactures, commerce, and revenue of my United Kingdom, is flourishing beyond example; and the loyalty and attachment which are manifested to my person and government, afford the strongest indications of the just sense that is entertained of the numerous blessings enjoyed under the protection of our happy constitu

tion.

"In my intercourse with foreign powers, I have been actuated by a sincere disposition for the maintenance of peace. It is nevertheless impossible for me to lose sight of that established and wise system of policy, by which the interests of other states are connected with our own; and I cannot be therefore indifferent to any material change in their relative condition or strength. My conduct will be invariably regulated by a due consideration of the actual situation of Europe, and by a watchful solicitude for the permanent welfare of our people.

"You will, I am persuaded, agree with me in thinking that it is incumbent on us to adopt those means of security which are best calculated to afford the prospect of preserving to my subjects the blessings of peace." "Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"I have ordered the estimates of the ensuing year to be laid before you, and I rely on your zeal and liberality in providing for the various branches of the public service, which it is a great satisfaction to me to think may be fully accomplished, without any considerable

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addition to the burdens of my peo-
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ANNUAL REGISTER,

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My Lords and Gentlemen, "I contemplate, with the utmost satisfaction, the great and increasing benefits produced by that important measure which has united the interests and consolidated the resources of Great Britain and Ireland. The improvement and extension of these advantages will be objects of your unremitting care and attention. The trade and commerce of my subjects, so essential to the support of public credit, and of our maritime strength, will, I am persuaded, receive from you every possible encouragement; and you will readily lend your assistance in affording to mercantile transactions, in every part of my United Kingdom, all the facility and accommodation that may be consistent with the security of the pub

lic revenue.

"To uphold the honour of the
country, to encourage its industry,
to improve its resources, and to
maintain the true principles of the
constitution in church and state, are
the great and leading duties which
you are called upon to discharge.
In the performance of them, you
may be assured of my uniform and
cordial support; it being my most
earnest wish to cultivate a perfect
harmony between me and my par-
liament, and to promote to the
utmost, the welfare of my faithful
subjects, whose interests and hap-
piness I shall ever consider as in-
own."
separable from my

The same day the address was
moved in the house of lords by
lord Arden, and in the cominons
by Mr. Trench (of Galway.)

Lord Arden, after stating that

1803.

or

the prosperity of our commerce and
manufactures, the abundance of
the necessaries of life, and the uni-
versal spirit of loyalty and attach-
ment to the king and constitution
which now prevailed, justified com-
pletely what had fallen from his
majesty in his most gracious speech,
took particular notice of that part
of it which referred to the situation
The order of domi-
of Europe.
nion could not be there indefinitely
changed, without endangering the
security of this country. Although
in the conclusion of the last war
we had reluctantly abandoned al-
power
lies, who had neither the
the will to make a stand for their
own political existence: yet there
were limits beyond which this plan
of conduct could not be extended.
He therefore thought the house
must approve of the resolution of
his majesty, to keep the vigilance of
the governmentawake to the changes
in the arrangement of continental
power; and that they would not
refuse such supplies, as the ncces-
sary vigor of such preparation
must require. His lordship con-
cluded by moving the address,
which as usual, was an echo of the
speech from the throne.

The hero of the Nile (lord
Nelson) seconded the address, and
declared his approbation of a plán
of

government, which promised to maintain the antient dignity of the country, without hastily throwing away the blessings of peace. War had not exhausted our resources; our national industry had not been slackened, nor had it been frustraThe condition ted of its rewards. of unexampled prosperity which the country enjoys, immediately after the late war, is such as would

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render us inexcusable were we to sacrifice its honor. He had himself seen much of the miseries of war: he had himself seen horrors of human distress which had made an indelible impression on his heart; He was therefore, in his inmost soul, a man of peace: yet could he not consent, for any peace however fortunate, to sacrifice one jot of England's honor. Our honor was the most valuable of our interests; it was what had always procured us the respect and regard of the nations on the continent. The nation had been satisfied with the sincere spirit of peace, in which the British government negociated the late treaty; and if now a restless and unjust ambition in those with whom we desired a sincere amity has given a new alarm; the country doubtless would rather press the government to assert its honor, than shrink from the supplies which a vigorous state of preparation would require.

The marquis of Abercorn wished to impress the house with the necessity of attending, with more than ordinary vigilance, to the awful and critical situation of the country. Upon the wisdom, policy, and resolution of Parliament for a few months, the very existence of this country appeared to him to depend. After adverting to the extraordinary aggrandizement of our ambitious and inveterate natural enemy, he declared he was ready to give his support to any ministers, who would manfully adopt that system which the exigency of the times required; but he should never give his countenance to any half measures, palliatives, or concessions. His Lordship then paid the highest

compliment to the vigorous mind and unrivalled talents of Mr. Pitt, and expressed his opinion to be in favour of peace, which however he thought was most likely to be preserved, by being prepared with such means of defence as would enable us to repel insult and agression. He concluded by hoping, that the unanimity of the house would convince Europe, of the unanimous determination of the nation, to support and maintain their weight and importance in the scale of nations.

The earl of Carlisle congratulated the house and the country on the tone of the address, which he hoped would have the happy effect of inspiring publick confidence, which was so peculiarly necessary in the present state of the country: he never had approved of the terms of the peace, and considered the present administration as weak in its original formation, and he had not expected them to gain any fresh energy in their progress. Ministers had hitherto appeared to view with indifference the aggrandizement of France: it was an indifference which, at the same time that it depressed the spirit of this country, inflated the pride and confidence of the French government so much, that they set no bounds. to their ambition. On whatever grounds his majesty's ministers had changed their opinions, he was glad to find that they were changed; and he could not help expressing his most cordial approbation of the present address.

The duke of Norfolk also cordially approved of the tone and terms of the address: it was such as became the dignity of the house, and would doubtless have its due

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