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Mr. Pitt's enlarged views on the relation between this country and France.-Perceives that peace and amicable intercourse is the intereft of both countries.-Thinks paft enmity not an unfurmountable bar to permanent reconciliation.-Projects a commercial intercourse, to be mutually beneficial by a reciprocal exchange of furplus for supply.—Seeks the best afiftance, and employs the most fkilful agents.-Principle and details of the treaty.-Meeting of parliament and the king's Speech.-Treaty fubmitted to parliament.-Mr. Fox and his co-adjutors oppose the treaty.-Arguments.-France the analterable enemy of Great Britain.-Mutual intereft can never eradicate that fentiment.-Every commercial connection with France has been injurious to Britain.-For the treaty, denied that there is any unalterable enmity between France and this country.-Not always enemies.-The repeated difcomfiture of France, warring against the navy of England, at length taught her the policy of peace.-The treaty Supported by a great majority.-Convention with Spain.-Confolidation of the customs.Application of the diffenters for the repeal of the test act.-Number and respectability of the diffenters as a body.-Diftinguished talents of fome of their leaders.-Diffenters favourable to Mr. Pitt, and thence expect his fupport of their application.-Previous Steps to prepoffefs the public in their favour.-Mr. Beaufoy demonftrates their zeal for liberty and the prefent establishment.-Lord North, a moderate tory, opposes their application, as inimical to the church.-Mr. Pitt opposes it on the grounds of political expediency.-The test no infringement of toleration, merely a condition of admiffibility to certain offices of truft.-Eminent dissenters had avowed themselves defirous of fubverting the church; therefore not expedient VOL. IV.




1786. Enlarged

views of Mr

Pitt on the tween Bri

relations be

tain and France.

to extend their power.—Application rejected.—Bill for the relief of infolvent debtors.-Lord Rawdon's enlightened and liberal policy.-Bill negatived.-Enquiry about Scotch peerages.-Magnanimous facrifice by the prince of Wales of fplendor to juftice.-Situation of his highness.—Satisfactory adjustments.-Proceedings refpecting Mr. Haftings. Writings in his defence.—The nation long averfe to his impeachment.-Haflings's caufe generally popular.-Eloquence gives a turn to public opinion.-Celebrated fpeech of Mr. Sheridan on the Begum charge.-Its effects on the house of commons and the public.-Singular inftance of its impreffion on a literary defender of Mr. Haftings.-A committee appointed to prepare articles of impeachment.—The commons impeach Warren Haftings a the bar of the house of lords. -Supplies-Favourable ftate of the finances.-Mr. Dundas brings forward the financial state of British India. Promifing afpect of affairs.


ISTORY recorded that France and England had been usually jealous, and often hoftile: ftatefmen on both fides acted upon an affumption, that rivalry and enmity were unavoidable confequences of their fituation; and, therefore, that the chief objects of external policy to both, were reciprocal fufpicion, and provision for probable enmity. The bold and foaring genius of Pitt was not to be trammelled by precedent: he investigated principle, and combining generalization with the experience of political fyftems and events, cafily traced effects, either good or bad, to their causes; and could difcover in what cafes and circumstances, continuance, or change of plan or of practice, was expedient or unwife. The fagacity of this minister analized the history and fpirit of the wars which had been carried on between Britain and France, fince trade and na




vigation became fo much the objects of European CHAP. purfuits and faw that they had commonly arisen from a defire on the fide of France.of equalling, and even furpaffing, Britain on her peculiar element. He confidered the event, as well as the origin: every endeavour of our neighbour to triumph by fea had diminished the riches and power which'fhe fought to increase by a contest: both her commerce and naval force had been uniformly reduced by the very wars, through which fhe attempted their extenfion. The resources of Britain had risen in proportion to the power which she was compelled to combat; and all the confederacies which her rival could form, were incapable of depriving this island of her maritime pre-eminence: hence it was evident, that no state which fought opulence and ftrength, through commercial efforts, acted wisely in provoking to conflict the mistress of the ocean, who could fo effectually destroy the trade of her foes: it was, therefore, the intereft of France. to defift from that hoftile policy which had so much obftructed the improvements of her immenfe refources. Peace with France was no lefs beneficial to Britain, which had so far confulted her advantage, as to abstain from offenfive hoftility against her neighbour within the period of great commercial enterprise in northern and western Europe, England had never gone to war, but to repel aggreffion, direct or circuitous. Concord being the Perceives mutual interest of the parties, Mr. Pitt conceived the noble design of changing the contentious fyftem of policy which had fo long prevailed; and the execution, though difficult, he had folid reasons not

that peace and amicable

intercourfe tereft of

is the in




enmity not

an unfurmountable

bar to permanent reconciliation.

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CHAP to believe impracticable. That hereditary enmity was not an unfurmountable obftacle to reconciliation and close alliance, was clearly demonstrated from the former and recent. relations between France and Spain, and between France and Auftria. Those powers, which had been the conftant enemies of France throughout the feventeenth century, and one of them during more than one half of the eighteenth, were now her fafteft friends; why might not permanent amity be established between Britain and her Thinks paft former rival? The most effectual means of inducing the two countries to purfue objects fo conducive to their mutual benefit, he thought, would be a commercial intercourfe, which fhould reciprocally increase the value of productive labour. The minister derived his knowledge and philofophy from the pureft fources: he fought information, either particular or general, wherever it was to be found authentic and important; and was peculiarly happy in arranging details, and, from either maffes or systems, selecting and applying what was best fitted for his purpose. Political economy and commercial science he learned from Smith: he agreed with that illuftrious writer in his estimate of the reciprocal advantage that might accrue to induftrious and fkilful nations, from an unfettered trade, which should stimulate their respective efforts. Before he formed his scheme for promoting an intercourse between the two chief nations of the world, he made himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of facts, the actual productions, and the probable refources of the refpective countries. The minister poffeffed that ability and skill in chufing co-adjutors,



Seeks the ance, and

beft affift

employs the

which results from a thorough comprehenfion of CHAP characters, and a nice difcernment of the appropri ate talents and knowledge, difpofitions and conduct, peculiarly adapted to any specific end. For commercial information and science, especially the history and actual state of modern trade, no man exceeded lord Hawkesbury: from that able statesman he derived very important affistance in preparing his scheme. Greatly did he also profit by Mr. Eden, whofe acuteness and converfancy with every fubject of commerce and diplomatic experience, rendered him a most valuable auxiliary in digefting and compofing the plan at home, and the ablest agent for negotiating and concluding an advantageous agreement with France. Eden accordingly repaired to Paris; where he conducted and completed the defired arrangement with the minifters of Louis.

The treaty in question established reciprocal liberty of commerce between the two countries. The subjects of each power were to navigate and refort to the dominions of the other, without any disturbance or question, except for tranfgreffing the laws. The prohibitory duties in each kingdom, by enhancing the price, had reciprocally dif couraged the fale of their principal commodities; these were now modified to the fatisfaction of both by a tariff. The wines of France, to be imported into England, were fubjected to no higher duty than the productions of Portugal; the duties on brandies and various other articles were to be lowered in proportion; and he commodities of Britain were to be equally favoured in France. On the fame bafis of reciprocity were the articles refpecting difputes K 3 between

moft skilful



and details

of the treaty.

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