Page images

do so. The concessions, already made to be allowed to be constitutional. Whatever the Catholies in Ireland, prove that the dif tends to strengthen the Eapire, and estaficulties which have fluwed from the oath blish the union of his Niajesty's dominions, are of modern date. But, even if the King must be so advantageous as to require all had specifically promised Parliament al matters of less importance to give way to their reque t, not to make concessions to the obtaining such a desideratum. It is the Catholics, this promise would be ab generally known that grievances exist in solved if Parliament themselves proposed Ireland, the redress of which it is as univerthe concessions for his Majesty's ratifica sally believed, could be procured by the tion. Thus, in whatever point of view this repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts. oath is contemplated, whether as affecting Such repeal would throw open the doors of the prerogative of the King as independent the Cabinet and Senate to the Catholic subof Parliament, or his prerogative as acting jects of eminence in Ireland, to many of as á com porent part of the legislature; or those loyal and powerful individuals, who, whether, as having excited expectations of by the removal of the present restrictions, a particularly cogent description, it has the might assist towards the welfare of the Soappearance of being of such a nature as not vereign and the security of the Constituto form any reasonable impediment to the tion, and towards the accomplishment of wished-for and necessary measure of Catho. the excellent purposes proposed by the lic emancipation. It is so important a to. Union of Ireland with Great Britain : and pic as standing in the way of those mea from these premises I conclude the repeal bures which alone are best calculated to to be constitutional. But it is said, by such conciliaie the affection of so large a por a measure the fundanenial and essential tion of bis Majesty's subjects to the support article of the Union between England and of his Majesty's throne, and the connexion Scotland would be violated, because the with Great Britain, that it becomes the duty forms of Protestant and Presbyterian reliof every one who can honestly construe the gion are established thereby. To this I coronation oath in favour of the Catholics, 10 answer, if an act should be enacted for the make public his opinion, and the reasons purpose of removing the difficulties of the for it, in order that the repeated discussion Catholics, as far as those difficulties depend of the subject may lead to such a final judg on the Corporation and Test Acts, might ment upon it, that may either remove the pot such act consistently contain a clause, difficulties by promoting a change of opi. confirming the modes of religion established nion, or by contributing to such legislative in the respective parts of the empire! Yet, alterations in regard to it, as may prevent should that fundamental and essential arti. similar difficulties in future times,

cle be disturbed, convenience, policy, and Liverpool, Nou. 19, 1804.

justice requiring such disturbance, in order REPEAL OF THE CORPORATION

more fully to carry into execution, the in tent and design of the acts (u hich contain

the article) namely, the security and hap; LETTER II. (For Letter I. see p. 810)

piness of the Incorporated Countries, and

the improvement of their Constitution, SIR,---- In pursuance of my promise, I where would be the violation any more now send you a few reflections, which have than that of every act imposing a tax on occurred to me, on the second objection, part of our property, which is to be paid viz. The danger of violating one of the for the security of the remainder? Or, articles of the Union between England and where would be the violation in sacrificing Scotland, expressly declared to be a fun one section wbich appears inconsistent with « damental and essential article, and so to the general view of the whole act of Para so be held in all time coming,” and the lisment? Why should the Legislature be reasons for which I deem the repeal of the denied the power of altering part of the Corporation and Test Acts to be a consti. Constitution, if even that were necessary, tutional ineasure, Whatever, advances since it has been allowed the competency the purposes for which Parliament assem of altering the whole, and even of destroy. bles, and which are, as we learn from the ing itself? Such article, then, if it pre. antient writs of summons, “ for the wel vents the redress of the grievances suffered i fare of the King, the prosperity of the in Ireland, and thereby retards the securny “ Siate, the defence of the Kingdom, and of the Empire, must be considered a mal. « thc bojour, of the Church, and for the ter of smaller importance than, and should “ reddress of divers grievances in general, give way to a measure of greater and more só and divers nuischịçfs in particular"--must beneficial extent, namely, the repeal of the



acts in question and the prosperity of the granted to the Irish, there is so much to Constitution of the united dominions. Again, hope for and so lille to fear, in the present from the law of nations, and the justice case, that I must presume the repeal of the of considering as most important a religion prohibitory acts will surmount all difficul(not containing doctrines prejudicial to lies, will promote the happiness of his MaMorality or the State) adopted by the ma jesty's people, and the prosperity of the jority of a country under his Majesty's pro- empire, and advance the honour of God tection, I might argue, that the repeal and his holy church.-With great respect, won'd be constitutional and advantageous, I remain, Sir, yours, &c.--BRITANNICUS -and, following my former mode of reasoning, I should conclude, there was no viola

SIR JAMES CRAU FURD. tion committed against the fundamental SIR,_However I may differ from you and essential article before mentioned, by in opinion on the subject relating to which - such repeal. But I could add nothing to I am now about to address you, I can, but the Archdeacon Paley's excellent Chapter feel a degree of satisfaction in knowing, on Religious Establishments and Toleration that that subject should have been admitted (2d vol. of his Philosophy), which points by you, to be of “ considerable public out the necessity of exclusion in some ca if not political importance." If, Sir, the . ses, and the advantages of a compleat tole escape of Sir James Craufurd had been a ration in all. With your permission, I question, important in its result only to will now advert to the third objection, the welfare of the individuals who had namely, the fear of re-establishing Popery | abandoned their native country to find 'or Presbyterianism within his Majesty's do an abode in the bosom of the most inminious. The time in which tlie Corpora. veterate of ber enemies, you would not tion and Test Acts were enacted, suffi have been troubled with the perusal of ciently declare the purposes of such laws, these lines ; but viewing as I must that and there is no doubt that individuals were question extending itself in some degree not then excluded from offices of influence over the honour of the country, and involand trust, so much on account of their re. ving in its immediate, as well as in its religious tenets as for their political opinions ; mote consequences, the very existence of but the enemies of the State being gene those laws and principles which by the comrally known by their dissent from the esta mon consentof nations in any degree advanced blished church, all dissenters were for that in civilization have for many ages been made reason excluded.--Applying, therefore, the engines of mitigation to the ravages of war, the purposes of those laws to the present I can but consider it as one which ought at times, we should consider, whether by a

least to be seriously and minutely investigasepeal we should defeat them, and whe ted. The engagement of Sir James insertther (in the words of the act of 13 Ch. II.) ed in your Register, must as you say, while it “ the succession of members in Corpora- remains uncontradicted, be taken for grant.

tions will not probably be perpetuated in ed; and I fully agree with you, in the pre" the hands of persons well affected to his linioary acknowledgment you have made,

Majesty and the Established Govern. that " as a gentleman and a servant of the " meni." As to Presbyterians, no thought “ King he must look strict justice in the facc, of alarm is suggested from that quarter; " and if she acquit him not, he must be conand the Union of England and Scotland “ demned of a breach of parole," than which establishing their form of religion has not you have truly declared " nothing could be produced any formidable enemies from that more dishonourable ;" and you might sect. And as to the Catholics, all ground have added, wben protected and encouraged, of apprehension must be considerably, if more inportant at any period, but particunot entirely, removed by their declarations larly at the eveniful crisis in which we live, accurately transcribed in a letter of Z's to ihe interests of humanity and the allevi. which appeared in your Register of the ation of the calamities of contending na. 10th of last month. However, much in tions.--Before I proceed farther in my innovation must be dreaded in all matters of investigation, I feel myself called upon to state, particularly in those which regard inquire what inference you would draw religion. Yet, from the expectation of fur. when you affirm, “ considering Sir James's ther indulgence the Caiholics have reason “ conduct as a question of public law, emto 'entertain, from the present state of the “bracing his obligations towards the French Empire, from the great probability of ani " and towards his own country, there would mosities ceasing and the spirit of rebellion be great difficulty in coming to a decision dying, if: the promised satisfaction be “ if his own government had not already

“ settled the point." The natural sopposi-, major of your proposition, you proceed for a tion certainly is, that you would alude to the minor to affirm, sihat there are few persons circumstances of the detention : but, laying “ who, if seized by banditii, would scruple aside ibe declarations of Lord Hawkesbury, " to tender i hem a promise of any sort to get I really confess try-elf unable to discover “ out of their power ;" thereby, and from what reference can therefrom be brought to the context, I apprehend meaoing that probear upon the sabject before us The mises made to banditi are not to be cooEnglish residents were detained not individu sidered as binding; and from these two syle ally as men, but collectively as subjects of logisms, (having however previously pro. Great-Britain ; and if this nation had not ved that the duties of a husband and a declared their detention to be contrary to

father to his family in England were, upon the law of nations, its silence must have a que-tion of feeling, to be regarded as inbeen considered as a tacit admission that they finitely preferable to any obligation that were in every sense of the word prisoners could arise from the situation of his fellow of war. Public ministers are, Sir, as you prisoners in France) you come to your conbave yourself asserted, the only channels clusion, namely, that the conduct of Sir through which nations con either speak or James Craufurd, fupposing the engagements be addressed therefore their individual to exist, is justifiable.--As to the minor of complaints could bave availed them nothing. your proposition, that promises made to banThe government of their ow'n country had ditt are not to be considered as binding, I admitted them to be prisoners, and as such readily admit the conclusion; and though they must have been bound to regard them the paths by which we arrive at this same selves. It may however be, that you would point do most essentially differ, I certainrefer this “ difficulty of coming to a de. ly should not trouble you with a more “ cision" to the situation of prisoners of war metaphysical deduction, if that deducin general, but after hav ng explicitly de tion did not enable me to shew the clared that nothing can be more dishonour fallacy of the assertions upon which you able iban a breach of parede, I can scarcely have grounded the major of your proposio bring myself to believe, that such can be the tion, viz. that the French goveroment ought, basis on which you would rest your argument; in this particular instance, to be considered and as the limits even of this particular case as nothing better than banditti; and, of course, inay extend to some length of discussion, I inasmuch as we are able to be treated will not at present enier upon that subject. as such. I will premise with an author*,

The hinge of the argument turns, Sir, who e sentiments are sometimes consonant to upon this question ; whether the official as your own, that promises are to be interpreted sertion of a public minister of one belli. in the sense in which they are received by gerent nation, that its subjects are anjostly the promisee ; that the obligation to perdetained prisoners of war by another, is a form them arises from the confidence man. sufficient justification for a breach of parole; kind

repose in them; and that that obliga. that is, in this case, upon the influence to tion is taken away when the performance is be attached to the bare ipse dixil of Lord illegal, or when contradicted by a prior proHawkesbury; you exclaim, God forbid, you mise. The sentiments of ihis writer upon should take upon you to decide between his our present subject are, however, so vague lordship ant the French government; but and indeterminate, that it is impossible to you see in to have torgottin, that when you come to any decision from them. But, Sir, Lave become the advocate of those who have a better ore may be extracted from the rich previously made that decision, and acted though ill digested mine of Grotiust, illaupon it as the rule of their conduct, you mined as are the words of that discerning bave already laid low your former animosi writer by the reflexions of the father of ties, and eulis'ed yourself the volunteer un ethical and political science. « Ego omder the triomphant banner of your hero of “ nino illorum accedo sententiæ, qui existAviens. The tollowing is the substance of “ mant, se positâ lege civili, quæ obliga. the argunsent you have advanced ; « that « tionem potest tollere aut minuere, eum " the minisier for foreign affairs in England " qui metu promisit aliquid obligari : quia " having declared the government of France consensus hic adfuit, nec conditionalis, “ did not act according to the law of na "s ut modo in errante dicebarpus, sed abso.

tous, that government, aud, as a neces “ lulus. Nam, ut rectè ab Aristotele 113“ sırt conclusion, the wbole French nation, “ ditum est, qui naufragii metu res spas jac" are in this particular iostance to be re" garded as nothing better than banditi.” * Dr. Paley.-Lib. ii. Tit. vii. $ 3 Ilaving, as you conceive, established this the

and 3.

s tat, vellet res servare, sub conditione si the violation of the municipal laws of one “ naufragium non imminerer, at absolute pation by another, that can place the latter “ valt res perdere, spectatâ scilicet temporis in the situation of banditti? and where,

ac loci circumstansia.” He proceeds, in then, the prior obligation that can arise the next paragraph, to state that the pro to the parole of a declared prisoner of war. misste is morally bound to release the pro Are the edicts of the government of his own missor from his obligation :

“ Non quod

country or the assertions of that to which he « iveficax fuerit promissis, sed ob daninum is a captive, be they ever so unjust, (if the 66 jujuria datum." This does not, however, interpretations of ihe law of nations will alapply, to the p:esent case; neither the rob low me the use of that expression), to deber has released the object of his injustice, termine his conduct. An.enninent *writer nor the French government their declared on public law, and whom you have introto be lawful captive; the obligation, there. duced among us in the garb of your native fore, as well to the one as to the other, language, bas, with every other author on remains in full force. Grotius, in the fol the same subject who has gone before him, lowing section, adds : “ Materiam promissi been obliged to bring his proof of the exis6. quod attinet, eam oportet esse, aut esse tence of a positive law of nations to this

posse in jure promittentis, ut promissium point, that " in gerieral all nations give a 6 sit efficax. Quare primum non valent “ certain degree of attention to be customs " promissa facti per se illiciti; quia ad illa " admitied by others." But supposing one

pemo jus habet, nec polest habere. All nation to withdraw this consent, who is to s promissio, ut supra diximus, vim accipit , determine the injury, and what possible re$* ex jure promittentis, nec ultra esten medy can be had but retaliation as far as that "ditur. Agesilaus de promisso interpel is in your power. The complaints of Lord $ latiis respondit xxì dito, ið isi dinalov, | Hawkesbury cannot, but as they may inτι ει δε μη έλεξα μεν, ώμολόγησα δε ού.

tluence other nations to inake a coinmon The offences of bangitti are criminal, not as

cause in ihe war, and the exient of that inthey concern the individuals attacked, but as

fluence I should be sorry to presume to they are injurious to the community at large;

trace, be even of the value of the paper as they militate against the priorary object of upon wiich they are written. To what the existence of civil society, protection

tribunal does he appeal? Nations, Sir, you from violence; against the bond which ce well know admit of but one, and that is the ments the society together, property ; and

tribunal of the strongest sword. It must thereby against the sovereign power of the therefore be the assertions of the governstate, which eitlier has or must be supposed ment to which he is a captive that are to to have been established by the common

determine the conduct of a prisoner of war. consent at some remote period ; in England, He holds his lite but conditionally, and to as the words are, in contempt of our Lord every thing but his honour, his integrity, the King, and his laws, and against the and those duties of allegiance which can on peace of our said Lord the King, his crown earth never be lost or abandoned be must and dignity. Here, then, it is a direct in consider himself as dead. The short but terference with the first of all moral duties, beautifully expressive septinent of the capthe duty to the state ; for no man, taking live monarcht of France to his mother the such a view of the case, can make a pro. Queen Regeot, after the battle of Pavia, mise or other compact with a robber, or you no doubt remember: “ Madame, tout any other public offender; because he can. est perdu, hormis l'honneur.” And, Sir, pot enter into a state of peace wiih a man, the prisoner of war who, dreading the shipwith whom, without violating the greatest wreck of captivity, throws orerboard and of all human duties, he can, as a member of abandons to ibe fury of the waves his cargo the community, never put himself out of a of honour and integrity would, I doubt pot, state of war. On the principle, therefore, be willing to preserve it, si naufragium non that a posterior cannot controvert a prior immineret, an absoluté vult res perdere, obligation, but upon that only, I agree with spectată s-cilicet temporis ac locis circumyou, that promises made to banditii are pot stantiâ. I might, Sir, enter farther into the io be considered as binding. But, without monstron idea of considering thirty millions the prior obligation to the state, such a pro of men as banditii, but what I have already mise must be valid ; because, as Grotius ar said is suficient for my purpose. I have gues, it is agreed to, not conditionally, but proved ibey could not be treated as such in absolutely ; and the banditti have a confi this particular case, and of course that your dence in the obligation, or they wonld riot be at the trouble to exact it. But where is

* Martens.

† Francis I.



conclusion falls to the ground. But, Sir, 1 perspicuous or obscure, I decline pursuing though upon every principle of argument I ihe subject farther. You observe, that in am obliged to consider the engagement in commenting upon the extracis from Mr. your Register to be in existence; yet, look. Howisou's work. I do not seem to have per. ing back to the station this gentleman once ceived, that in passing through your hands, held, even degraded as that sacred character the positions of that gentleman received, as has publicly been at Munich, I will not al to the detail, some degree of qualification; Jow myself to believe it can ever personally and af erwards, ip, p. 556, you say, that it is fall so low. It must, Sir, be a forgery of evident that ibe article of the Register, when the French government to answer its own fairly considered as a whole, did not tend to desestable purposes, io drgrade and vilify encourage the notion of any thing more than the British character, and to enable it to in a transitory influence on the price of corn. I vade still farlier the rights and privileges of certaioly did not perceive, that Mr. How. Beutral nations. To contradict it is a duty ison's positioos received any qualifications Sir James Crawfurd owes to bis own reputa in passing through your hands, for you said rion, and to the honour of his insulted coun. that the principle was laid down in a man. ly; and a duty in which that country hopes' per so satisfactory to your mind, that you and trusis she wiil oot be disappointed. I was induced to believe that those who bad semain, Sir, yours, &c.- REGULUS. not perused the pamphlet, would thank you London, 2011 Nov. 1804.

for the extract you was about to make from

it. Several of your remarks did seem indeed, LETTER II.

at variance with Mr. Howison's opinions ; See the 1st i12 p. 545 et seq.)

but there was no direct qualification even of

the most intemperate of his expressions, and SCARCITY.

alihough in your reply to my letter, you SIR. - Various avocations have prevent complain that it is rather cruel in me to pour ed me from answering you so soon as I in argument upon argument upon you, to prove tended. I have now read very attentively that it is in possible for she cora dealers to your remarks upon the letter which I sent raise the price of corn as high as they please you, and, as I io not think that iht truih of by the assistance of discounts; yet, in the The main po-ition, for which I contend, is af passage you quote from Mr. Howison, it is fected by the arguments which you urge affirmed in the most unqualified manner, against it; I shall, with your indulgence, that “ any means which enable the possessubmit to you a few observations on the to “ sors of such commodities (articles of ne. pics which have been incidentally involved “cessity) in times of scarcity, to with hold in the discussion, and I shall then state to “ the articles from market, enable him to you my reasons for still differing with you " raise the price just as bigb as he may opinion. ----I observe, that I have mistaken " choose, or as the last shilling of the user Mr. Howison's meaning; which, I assure can reach." You object to the express you is not owing to any carelessness of mine, sion, “ uofair means," as applied to the ope; nor to the detect of incorrect punctuation ration of a paper currency on the price of which you point out, but is entirely imputa- | provisions, and refer me to page 309 and 310 ble to the inaccuracy and obscurity of his of your Register, where I find many judicious expressions, and to the insidious consiruction observations; but, after reading that passage of ille sentence. When commercial confi. in wbich you observe of the paper-money dence is high, and when credit can be ob. system, that it has set the staff of life upon tained by men possessed of no capital, then, the cast of the dye, I did not think that you it seems the paper inoney is in a fictitious would object to the term, unfair sucans, by state, and the depreciation of money means which, however, I meant no more than that in the new nożnenclature of political econo the price was raised above its natural level my, a currency constantly depreciating. To by the influence of capital. After review. me the expressions conveyed a meaning to ing the whole of your observations, and cod. tally different; and, I still think, that the sidering them as they are explained in your fictitious state of paper money, though in reply to my letter, I cannot help thinking, any sease not very intelligible, is more ap. that the quotation from Mr. Howisop, not plicable in a depreciated state of the cur only tends to give a false impression of your rency, than to the imprudent investiture of opinions, but leads to consequences which loans, or to the creation of fictitious capital. had at first escaped your observation, and, I Oiher instances of faulty expression might have no doubt ihat the subject would have be pointed ont, but as it is a matter of small been much better' elucidated, had you ex. importance, whether Mr. Howison's stile be pressed your thoughts in your owu vigorous


« PreviousContinue »