Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 5. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
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Tuesday, February 5.
[The Clerk of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, according to the Order of the House (See p. 47.) delivered in the Conviction of Sir Solomon Swale for Popish Recusancy; and a Petition of Sir Solomon Swale being tendered, he was ordered to attend the House, on the 19th (fn. 1). Journal of the Day.]
In a Grand Committee. [On the Supply.]
Sir Thomas Littleton.] 'Tis the first time an Aid has been called for "to support Alliances, &c." when the Treaty is so shut up from us. Should we not apply ourselves to the King for some farther light in this matter, that we may satisfy ourselves, and do our duty, too, to his Majesty? There seems to be a necessity to do so, we have been so unanimous in the last Address for it. Therefore I move that you would appoint a Committee to search for precedents, that we may do nothing which may misbecome us in this business.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Why should we demand farther what is already told us? You desire a Treaty and Alliances, and the King has told you he has performed that Treaty. You are only now to consider the charge the King must be at for the performance of it.
Mr Pepys.] I hope I am prepared to inform you of those measures requisite, as to the number of ships the King has named, which are ninety. The rates are these.
Mr Mallet.] Interrupts him to Order, and would have the King's Speech read.
Mr Sacheverell.] I am one of those that are of opinion that there needs no Supply, because 'tis only for the preservation of Flanders. I would not give money for that barely; and I would know whether the Alliances be worth any thing, before we consider whether we shall give Supply, or no.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] You must consider things according to Order, as the House has directed the Debate "to support Alliances." If they be one sort of Alliances we must give more, if another sort less. This of ninety ships is more than will sustain all the War, if it were upon us alone; we have 800,000 l. a year from the Customs granted towards the ordinary charge of the fleet, and we have fifty ships already, and we must compare our strength to give with our duty.
Mr Garroway.] I thought what is moved was the sense of the House. 'Tis yet no new matter, we are still in the dark, and I will not give my consent to I know not what. I hope Gentlemen have better considered. We have no measures to go by, and for ought I see, there is yet nothing worth a Supply.
Sir John Ernly.] The King has told you "he has made an Alliance with Holland, (according as you desired it) for the preservation of the Netherlands." I am sorry that when the King has made Alliances accordingly, men say they will rather give money against it. Col. Morgan sends word he expects to be attacked at Jersey by the French, and desires Horse and Foot for his recruit.
Mr Garroway.] Now we have got farther than "Flanders." Ernly tells you, the League is for "the Netherlands." If you come to consider of a Supply you are told, "if there be a War"—But if certainly a War, I would come presently to it; and if it be Peace, then there is nothing to know but the charge of that—And to express our duty in the Expence of the War. When this is made clear, I am as ready as any to give; but till then I am of the same mind I was of before.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would have us all reminded of our words, and I would have the Address of May last read, to see what performance has been made of that, to ground our Debate upon.
Mr Powle.] I am of the same opinion with Lee. We will not fail on our parts in the least particular, but I would see upon what terms we have promised to aid the King, and I desire the Address may be read, &c.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] It has been moved to make the Question, "whether the King shall have a Supply to support the Alliances, &c." I am persuaded, that he that spoke most against it will not give his negative to it, when the Question shall be put. God give the Success to it all that honest hearts wish! and pray put that Question.
Col. Birch] Those Gentlemen that desire to be better informed of the Alliances, have not had the advantage of Gentlemen who belong to the Court, to know these things. When we are better informed of them, I would freely give. If you set down your business upon such grounds, as that those scruples may be removed, indeed we shall do strangely. It is prayed, and 'tis most natural, that our Address may be read. 'Tis told us, "Did you not promise the King to support him, in these Alliances, and will you not perform it?" These are high charges—If this Aid seems forced, 'twill not be carried on with that greatness this great thing ought to be carried on. Pray read our Address, and that paragraph in the King's Speech relating to that Address.
Sir Henry Capel.] I would have no negative in this matter. 'Tis so reasonable a motion, as never was denied, for us to see our promises to the King. You are a great body and must go by steps, and I move that the Addresses may be read.
Sir John Ernly.] If you will read the Addresses, rather for reply than supply, I am against reading them. I move that the Question may be now put, whether you will grant the King a Supply for supporting the Alliances he has entered into. Pray stick to your Order, and let that Question be put.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Now we debate concerning reading our Addresses, and the King's Answer to them. If it be for no other reason but to show you are obliged by it, and where not, I am not against it.
The Speaker.] I am one of those who think time is too precious to be spent by debating. If any thing arises out of the Debate that may refer to the Address, seeing it pressed, I desire it may be read.
The Address and Answer were read.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The principal thing I observe is, that this refers to other Treaties, and imparting them in Parliament, and thereby explains our meaning; which is, War with the French King, joining with Holland, keeping up the Triple League, reducing things to the Pyrenean Treaty, &c. which is a declaration to us of all particulars relating to it, bating secrets not to be revealed. If there be modern examples that do justify imparting Leagues, in Parliament, &c. why can they not be imparted now?
Mr Secretary Coventry.] If it be dangerous for you to omit doing what you have formerly done, so it is for the King to do what he has never done before, to endanger his Prerogative, as he tells you in his Speech.
Mr Sacheverell.] Coventry has made his observation, and I'll make mine. If you cannot find that in the King's Speech, I hope he'll tell me where it is. If there be no Alliances by virtue of those Addresses, 'tis no wonder that we enquire after them. We are told, "They are for the preservation of the Netherlands." Flanders is but a single province—I would have showed me any clause in the League "for preservation of the Netherlands, and against the growth and power of the French King."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Flanders is but a province, but where one calls the Duke of Villa Hermosa "Governor of the Netherlands," five hundred call him "Governor of Flanders." This is as if we should do any thing for preservation of England, and leave out Berwick upon Tweed. As far as I can judge, the King shows you that it is for preservation of the Netherlands—For the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle 300,000 l.
Mr Garroway.] I shall answer one part of Coventry's discourse. If there was Peace to-morrow, what will be the consequence? Will this do it? When the Confederation ceases, is there any thing to keep [the King of] France from falling upon us with his army? He is grown the common Enemy of the World—And I would have Coventry show us what provision is made for our safety. What has been said, I think not satisfactory; and I desire to know something farther.
Mr Secretary Coventry] Every body is left with men after a War, and it is not to be helped. There must be time to dispose of them. But if you have no such Alliance, and the King is mistaken in his Parliament, and they stand not by him, you are alone then; and then 130 sail of ships, and the French army, may put you in a fright.
Mr Garroway.] Spain may like the conditions you have made so ill, that he may leave you and Holland alone to bear the brunt. If provision of so much a month be according to the nature of the Treaty, or a sum in gross, then the Treaty must inform you of your method for the Aid.
Mr Powle.] If the officers of the King and the Government did always look after the safety of the nation, before it be known to the generality of the people, the danger would be nipped in the bud; but if forborne, and not foreseen, and the people call out for Alliances, and none are made, &c. I would have precedents shown whenever the people gave money before such Alliances were produced.
Lord Cavendish.] I hear nothing objected against showing us these Alliances, but the word "Prerogative." I am sorry that word is so abused, as to be thrown into our Debate, to hinder any thing for the safety and honour of the nation. "Prerogative" protects us, but those abuse it, who speak of it, without telling us how 'tis our safety. I am for it, as it is by law, but not for "Prerogative" to be swayed by ill Councils. I am not for the Ministers having money to employ it, either for a short War, or no War. Let us be showed that a War is intended in earnest. I am sorry I cannot suspect the contrary. Till that be plain, I cannot give money. Till it be showed us, I cannot give a penny.
Sir Robert Howard. I know that Kings have communicated Treaties to their Parliaments ('twas done in Henry V.'s glorious reign) and Parliaments have refused to meddle with them. Precedents abound on all sides. The King says, " 'Tis now a War, and leagues offensive and defensive are made with Holland." If a traveller has lost his way, or be led out of his way, will he never resolve to stir more? Will he sit down here, and perish? You may easily imagine the consequence of that. 'Tis impossible to satisfy the nation, if we defer doing something, because all is not showed us that is done, Here is but one argument left, "This money may be ill used, and not applied to the use you intend it." Suppose a sum be given, and employed as ill as mankind can imagine—And should a Peace be made less than you desire, and the thing passed with all the trust and expectation of a Parliament, the prudence of the House may be so in appropriating it to the use you intend it, that you may not be deceived, and you will find satisfaction in so much already performed, as to double the sum—The Hollanders else will see they are forsaken, and will make Peace, as ill as can be imagined by man for us, and so we [shall be] put upon extremities. Let the quantum be appropriated, and there is no danger.
Sir Tho. Meres.] 'Tis not according to usage of Parliament to grant Supply before Alliances are declared in Parliament. 'Twas not intended by our Address, to have them signified in general terms; this is plain by all the discourse at that time. 'Twas then said, "That Holland made figuratively the seventh part of the whole Treaty;" but I will not take any single man's word for it. The project we are upon is a Peace as good as that of Aix la Chapelle. The King says, "He has made an Alliance with the States of the United Provinces." But, in matter of fact, is the Peace so good as that of Aix la Chapelle? We must be governed by the opinion of the House, and not by the saying of one man. "Forward" in our Address is "imparting such Alliances, &c." which means more than barely telling us such a one. By "imparting," we must see it. "This Alliance is for our good (it has been said) or not." Let us see it, whether it be so good as that of Aix la Chapelle—And that is against another Vote of the House directly—That of the Pyrenean Treaty will do us good, and less than that will do us none. This Treaty, now on foot, is much less than the Pyrenean Treaty, and has not the House declared that that will do you no good? Either the House did not understand what they addressed for, or you now go against the understanding of the House, I would therefore have a Question to this purpose, "That the House be moved to desire the King to impart the Alliances to us that he has entered into." And if we go the way now propounded, we may make England unanimous; if not, mankind cannot be led hoodwinked with a napkin—And if we are over numbered in the Vote, that number will not go away with the Vote, which satisfied the whole nation. I think this project of the Peace we hear of, is not so good as that of Aix la Chapelle; and I would see a reason to make it good here. I demand the Question of going to the King for farther light, and of right I ought to ask it.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Let the Gentleman that spoke last, make it appear how bad the Treaty is. How can he do it? He knows it not.
Sir Thomas Meres.] If any thing more of this Treaty be to be seen, I would have it produced. Till I see new matter, more than the French giving up a few towns, as talked of, I must be of the same mind. You all agreed to the Address, nemine contradicente; and think now, whether this is consonant to the wisdom of this House, to carry men on, after an unanimous Vote, to we know not what. That project of the giving up a few towns to the Spaniards was confuted, when you made the Address to the King, out of reason and prudence. Show us some new thing in this Treaty, and then out-reason us as far as we did out-reason the project of the Treaty, by the Address.
Mr Williams.] If you proceed without farther light into Treaties, in doing this you establish the Prerogative by the Commons of England. The Question is, how far our Addresses have been pursued. We would not be driven into money, but by fair day-light. We desire to be satisfied in this matter of the league offensive and defensive, &c. I wish the Gentlemen that know, would declare whether really we shall have a War, or no, categorically; and then you may declare your mind. For my part, I cannot believe this to be a War. The repeated Counsels we have given, are the safe Counsels of the nation. The King, in his Speech, is of the same opinion with us, and still here are the same Counsels continued about him. Are we the great Council of England? Have we advised lowering of France, and a War with him? And have preparations been made pursuant thereunto? And now, when we desire to see what is done, we are answered; "you must not see nor hear the Treaties, nor what is done." That is, we have eyes, and ears, and we must not use them. No doubt but we have been in some Confederacy, and have been mediators. In reason we ought, and may have, satisfaction in these things, and till that be done, I am not for Supply. My jealousy is, that showing the Treaty here will be only for our money; and my fear is, that by giving our money we shall have arbitrary power set up. By comparing things with things, in this very time, I fear it. For when we made these Addresses, we had no effectual answer. In the manner of Adjournment of the House, never was a thing more arbitrary. The King, in his Speech, tells us, "That we may adjourn our selves," and one Gentleman (the Speaker) will not suffer us—And if we suffer it to be so, it will go about the Kingdom, that 'tis the first House of Commons that ever suffered it—And then 'twill fall upon the people. You were of opinion that you ought to have satisfaction in the ends of these leagues. By Law of Parliament, this Paper we are debating is not a Message, 'tis but a Writing from the King; and such Writings are not obligatory, and persuading; they are not binding—And God forbid they should! If a Message should sway us merely by being a message, the King (by that consequence) must bear the blame of all the Council that advises him to it. In short, whensoever Kings have called for Supply to support Treaties, they have always communicated those Treaties. "The Prerogative to be imposed upon in showing them" is not the punctilio, but the fear of showing them. If that be established upon us, I fear that more than the money. I would plainly know, whether it must be War, or Peace. Till then, I can give no vote for money.
Mr Sollicitor Winnington.] This matter we are debating upon is of the highest concernment that ever came here. All of us join hearts and hands together to suppress the growth of the French King; and we differ about mediums. There is jealousy of the Alliances, that they are not for that end; not being known by us, nor signified in Parliament, &c. Williams has given you reasons for his jealousy, and asks, "What has been done since the House met?" And expands his hands, and says nothing at all. But I can tell you what [has been done;] as great an action as can be done; the marriage of the Prince of Orange to the Lady Mary—And there has been as speedy a progress in building ships and of fitting out the navy, as the shortness of the time would permit. I would have no man's passion transported here, but let us be unanimous. Williams tells you of "arbitrary Power." — Does he mean France? Can any man believe that the King will comply with those Counsels that would set up France, to make the King of England as little as one of us? 'Tis plain in the King's Speech, that his Adversary is France, and that he would balance Europe. Is it rational to believe that there will be such a War, or Alliances, as will make our King small and France great? All our Addresses are, when Alliances are declared in Parliament, and now the King signifies, "That he has made a league offensive and defensive with the States General". If particulars should be told here, it would not be long before it be in the Councils of France. Therefore particulars are dangerous to be told here. Such as Privilege is for this House, the same is for the Prerogative, and I would have those Gentlemen show you by Precedents (which are never to be found) that, when the King has shown Treaties to the House, in the generals, the House ever called for particulars. I never found that it was contended that we ought to know all particulars, when the King has showed us generals. If we contend for part, the whole may be lost. Therefore I propose this, with all submission, that we are disputing mediums, and reason tells you 'tis for the common safety what the King has done, and yet it tends to the same end you desired. I hope you will believe the King.
Mr Pepys.] Has the Treasurer and the Lords of the Admiralty slept all this time, and done nothing? (As Williams seems to suggest.) The Lords of the Admiralty are industrious, and with such fruits as England never saw yet. [Time was] when there was a noise that the ships were rotten like rats. We are in another condition now. If this House [had been] full of Gold then to have given towards the Navy, 'twas not in your Power to have done any thing. 'Twas not Col. Birch's "Cudgel" that he told you of (fn. 2), would have done it then—But now the King has made great advance. Some of your ships (that you gave money for at your last meeting) are ready, and will be floating this summer. Ninety sail of ships may be floating this summer, by your concurrence for Supply, and God's blessing. But I hear "the fears of arbitrary Government" urged as a jealousy, and that the Gentleman is afraid of; but who does most to set up arbitrary Government? They that depress what ways may most keep out the danger from France, or they that promote them? The best expression of the divinity (fn. 3) of a Prince, is to take good Counsel; the King has taken it, and executed it, and it stays with you to enable the King to go through with it. The King has made an Alliance as great as with all the world besides. The King has done it, and with great success, and it remains with you to support him in it.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I know not whether it be the effects of good Counsel to let so many great men this summer go into the French service. 'Tis told you by Pepys, "that great things have been done in the Navy." But I think the Victualler of the Navy is asleep in our Country, for beef was never cheaper. How comes it to pass, that arbitrary Power must lie at the door of this House still, when we were adjourned to May, and this House might have met sooner, and prevented these delays? After the gift of some money several times, and when this 240,000 l. per mensem was given for ships, and now according to the words of the King's Speech, ninety ships for this War, &c. when that is given, and this Peace made that we hear of, if we must keep all these men in arms, that the King mentions, (40,000 men) to be as strong as the King of France with men and ships, this gives occasion of jealousy. If we are not obliged to keep them up in time of Peace, no man is more ready than myself to give money. This confirms my fears, that England is more in danger, that a force must be kept in England, than the danger from the French King, &c.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Those "great men" spoken of "gone into France," are gone only to fetch back their regiments out of France, according to the capitulation when they carried them thither. If you call that "arbitrary Power," for the King to take money when the Parliament gives it him, I know not what that means. Land forces must be kept up for recruiting the army as it diminishes in Flanders, or you are lost.
Sir Thomas Lee.] It was no wilful mistake of mine. I mean not that noble Lord, Lord Douglas (whose regiment is in France) who went over the other day; but those that went over in the summer Campaign. The keeping up of an army after the Chatham business was apprehended to be a standing army, and you addressed for disbanding it. So we apprehend it may be now—These are my fears.
Mr Pepys.] I challenge any man alive, and his books to help him, to show me that in any January there were ever more stores in the victualling house than now.
Sir George Downing.] Pray take not that Authority upon you, in the Committee, that the House has not given you. Where's your Authority? Who bid you meddle with the Speaker's adjourning the House, &c. and these things that have been discoursed of "Prerogative?"
Lord Cavendish takes him down to Orders of the House. Some Gentlemen think the scruples have been made about the Speaker's adjourning the House, and Prerogative, very reasonable scruples. When there is an aversion shown to resolve scruples, it makes our scruples the greater. As for this offensive and defensive League, that we are told of, we might as well have gone into a Committee at first as now, and now if we have no satisfaction given us in this League, we have as little reason to give money now as then. The proper Question is, whether there be a League offensive and defensive now made.
Sir George Downing.] I was taken down to Order, and I expected the Chair would have taken down Lord Cavendish to Order, for ending with a motion. When the House had referred it to a Committee to consider of Supply, 'twas never known that the Committee went back with a negative. Here is a jealousy as if the King had pawned the nation to the Hollanders, and a Treaty that England is bound to make it good. 'Tis a great thing insisted on not to show the Treaty—Let any man show what right the Commons have to demand a fight of it from the King. The Commons have been showed Treaties, and have advised the King upon them; but not at their demand, as a right from the Commons. If it be their right, I will give no money till that is done. Is it then convenient to be showed us? He that says 'tis convenient, must have seen the Treaty, and no man can say so I must think it not convenient when the King does not show it us. The King is our life, and the breath of our nostrils. I can never expect unanimity in the nation, when the House of Commons are not unanimous, now when the prayers and tears of the nation are for it—But I will give money blindfold to the King on this occasion, wherein lies his trust, and we have not a right to demand a sight of these Treaties. Suppose the King should grant you a sight of them, and have all his Counsels discovered—I think the King has gone fairly and overtly with us—But will you give no money without the sine qua non, sine qua non? (twice)
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I did not expect from the Chairman that the Question should be altered that was first moved, and was the ground of the Debate. The natural Question, is, Whether we should do any thing in order to support this Treaty of a League offensive and defensive. A Question was asked by one, "Whether this League was for a War against the French King?" 'Twas answered, "That this League was a taking him by the beard." But the Gentleman said not whom by the beard, not the French King. We hear a noise about a project of Peace, and therefore I would not lose a moment's time. This puts me in mind of the character of Bethlehem Gabor, an enemy to the House of Austria, who made a great deal of noise about him, but did him no hurt We make a great noise, and do the French little hurt, by this Treaty. The Question proposed is natural to the Debate, for 'twas moved, upon the Debate, that something might be previous for our satisfaction, that a Committee might draw an Address, (I mean it tenderly) to the King, to give us farther light into this matter. For, whenever an Aid is desired for a foreign War, it may be more largely imparted to us; and I hope if we make such an Address, the King will not answer us as we have been answered here—This is an instance which cannot be in all particulars—Idem per idem. As if, in a Bill of Popery, it be only enacted, "Popery shall be suppressed." I would have application made to the King, to acquaint him "that, in money demanded for support of Treaties, more particulars of the Treaty have been imparted than now are."
Mr Garroway.] Bate me grains of allowance, and I will offer you my thoughts. If you will put the Question "for a Supply for the King, for the charge he has been at towards making this Alliance, and by this earnest, to give his Majesty farther assistance, for support of it," that I offer, if you will not insist on the Question to see the Treaties.
Mr Waller.] I see, as far as I understand, that this will be the Question, "Whether we shall give the King Supply, or no, to maintain the Treaty, &c." And 'tis not only my Vote that we should do it, but my reason. This No will be the fatallest that was ever given in Parliament. A No, here, would make the Alliances to no purpose. In our Address to the King we desire the Pyrenean Treaty, &c. and I wish it too, but 'tis more desirable than hopeful. No man of honour can ask a thing of a man, not in his power to do. I have served long in Parliament (fifty years,) and all these things are to follow the rule of the Government. 'Tis true that the persons in the light are not informed by those in the dark. So that it comes to that at last, whether we have reason to supply the King for these Treaties, or no. There was no War, at the time that we gave the King money for his fleet, and now the Alliance is desired, to know what that fleet was for. This went a great way with me. The King tells you, "he has made a match for his Niece with the Prince of Orange;" and says the King, "I have entered into an Alliance before I know whether I shall have your help, or no, to support it." The King relies upon us before hand, and now in Peace and War we must rely upon the King—In all my reading I could never find, but they that were superior at sea, make any conqueror weary of the War, in this part of the World. We were superior both to Spain and France, and made them weary of War with us. It is asked by some, "What shall be done with the money if we have no War?" (The rest the Compiler could not hear.)
Mr Papillon.] The Question is, Whether we shall give the King Supply, without naming Alliances. If the Prince of Orange take the power of Holland upon him, (I suppose it only) shall we be obliged to maintain that Alliance? So that the doubt lies, whether we shall grant a Supply to maintain these Alliances; and some others would know the Alliances better. We have had a Peace hitherto to aggrandize the King of France, rather than to lessen him. 800,000 l. France gains upon us in Trade every year. The King has been the greatest friend to Trade that ever was, but his Ministers have not done their part, and France has made their War with our money; and now on a sudden, we must have War with France, and no stop of that inundation of money thither. I would know whether by this Peace, (we here talk of) that be stopped. If there be nothing in this Alliance to prevent this, or the greatness of France; if I am left thus in the dark, I cannot give my Vote in this case. I move therefore to address the King, to know "Whether these Alliances have been made pursuant to our Address."
Mr William Harbord.] A negative in this matter would be of fatal consequence; I think as fatal as an affirmative. If we give more than the nation can bear, I would consult my conscience first. Suppose we gave an affirmative that we will supply the King to support the Alliances he has entered into; and a great sum be demanded of us, and after that misemployed by the Ministers, and a Peace be made; will it not be the most fatal thing in the world for the King to lose the affections of his people, though he gain that of foreigners? Suppose the Article of the League shall be to secure a proportion of Flanders in the Spaniards hands, and it may be the French will consent to it, will you send thirty thousand men to support such a League? I will suppose that 'tis the interest of mankind to keep this business dark, and of the Statesmen to make the better bargain for our interest. Suppose your quota so much, &c. To the end we may be unanimous and the Question penned so, I will never be against a Supply. But I will never trust a great sum of money in the Ministers hands, till the King has need of it.
Mr Sacheverell.] I would have the Gentleman put the Question, as it is penned. Then 'tis they that enforce us upon a Negative—Since that hardship is put upon us, to give money without seeing the Alliances, we must be put upon some other course; and must have the previous Question; and, therefore, I would be unwilling to give a Negative, that we may come entirely up to the money, and give no Negative.
Col. Birch.] Those that remove all doubts do most effectually towards the end you aim at, because they desire the means to attain that end. I cannot but much wonder, that, when no Gentleman has yet said, he has more satisfaction concerning the Alliances than he had some days ago, we now should be so forward to give money to support them. As for Ships, Horse, Foot and Dragoons for a War with France, that is another thing; but for Alliances, I believe one is made, but when I hear nothing of it, but in the Amsterdam Gazette, I wonder at it! Is it an Alliance against any attack of France upon us? If any person of honour (foreign Ministers know it) will say, "That this Alliance is against the growing power of the French King, if he shall attack the United Provinces," 'twill go a great way with me. I hope, before this business is over, we shall convince the world that our Father (the King) is angry with his children without cause. Foreign Ministers know this Treaty; and Downing tells us, "England is pawned for it." I would know how long "England has been pawned." If it be only for a general Peace, I am afraid of it. The restoring of Towns is a great thing for the States of Holland, but not for us. If the League be offensive and defensive, against him that attacks each of us, or both of us, surely this may be easily told us, and I desire no more. If this be thus, 'twill be a great step to our unity, for if this be not one, it cannot be carried on. I would have the word "present" out of the Question, and would have it, "To support Alliances for suppreising the Growth and Power of the French King."
Mr Secretary Coventry.] Is this an ingenuous way of proceeding? You tell the King, if he will do those things in your Paper, you will aid him, &c. And he tells you, "they are done." Says one Gentleman, "This Treaty is to set the Prince of Orange up absolute in Holland." That is as remote as to say, "The King of France will deliver up his Kingdom to Spain to be absolute."
Mr Secretary Williamson.] The Treaty cannot be supposed to lessen the power of the French, if it be not offensive. Holland and England are to be common defences to each other, when the Peace is made.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] The delivery of Towns is a security for the Peace; but a few Towns will do little good. I would know how many Towns are to be delivered up by the French; and what this Treaty will be to that of Aix la Chapelle, that kept Burgundy to the Spaniards, and the vicinity of these Towns cut off from France, which that Treaty utterly cut off. The Treaty went hard with the Spaniard, but he did take it, because no body was in arms at that time for him. The Treaty of Aix la Chapelle was infinitely better than this Treaty, as much as we understand of it. I would then have the Question, "for supporting these Alliances, as far as they are consistent with our Address."
Sir Thomas Lee.] The main Question ought first to be stated to your content, and not till then. Must there be any substractions, or additions, when that is done, their way?
Mr Boscawen.] The Addition is to the Question stated, which is orderly, viz. "In pursuance of Alliances;" and you ought to put the Question, whether that Addition shall be, or no.
It passed in the Negative.
The Speaker.] I believe Sacheverell has as little reason for this his accusation of the Ministers, &c. as he had for another (meaning his Articles against the Speaker. (See p. 5.) The rest the Compiler could not hear.)
Col. Birch.] I will endeavour to be one to make us all of a piece. It was said, that the Alliances are not only for such a League, as that the French King shall not offend his neighbours; but that we should assist one another, and that this should be the handle to bring in all the Treaties, is not intended—Unless this be done, we cannot come to a clear understanding of the thing.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I fear, when the Question is over with the Addition, we shall enter into a long Debate, whether the Treaty be so, or not.
The Speaker.] When you shall find that Additions are only for delay, you are not to put a particular Addition till you have determined the general Question.
Sir Thomas Meres.] If that practice be followed, you will destroy all methods of Parliament. You may as well put this Question, whether there shall be any more Debate. It is far from me to encourage any thing impertinent to breach of such a general Question—You will else destroy all method of Parliament. Therefore I would have the Addition put to the Question.
Mr Garroway.] 'Tis a strange thing, when a general Question shall be put, whether an Addition to a Question, it should be denied—There is an end of all Debates.
Mr Sacheverell.] If Alliances be general in the Question, it may be to Denmark, Sweden, and France too, if it be not distinguished; and so [we may] be engaged to support them in the way that your inclination is not to do.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] You went yesterday to the House to enlarge your Order, and 'twas done; and now you will enlarge it here, without recourse thither—Therefore I desire fair play.
Sir John Ernly.] These jealousies of Peace, I am sure, will make a danger of no War. Put the first Question, whether we shall give the King Supply, or no, to support the Treaties, &c. Then, with all my heart, I am for an Addition of the words, &c.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I fear this Addition moved for, if it be passed by the House, may induce that fatal thing of pressing to see the Alliances. Therefore I would not agree with the Committee.
Mr Powle.] If this Treaty appear not to be to suppress the growth of France, we cannot be willing to support it.
Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee, that a Supply be given to his Majesty for the Support of his present Alliances made with the States General of the United Provinces, for the preservation of the Spanish Netherlands, and lessening the power of France.