The Speech of the Right Honourable William Pitt, in the House of Commons on February 21, 1783

J. Debrett, 1783 - 39 pages

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Page 19 - ... in this unequal contest the sinews of the body-politic had been tried and strained. They did not know, as Mr. Pitt set forth, that while every ship of war which could be spared was sailing with Lord Howe for the relief of Gibraltar, the Baltic fleet, almost as valuable as Gibraltar itself, since it contained all the materials for future war, was on its way to England wholly unprotected, that twelve Dutch sail of the line had lain in wait to intercept it, and that it passed by them through some...
Page 31 - We have acknowledged American Independence — that, Sir, was a needless form : the incapacity of the noble Lord who conducted our affairs ; the events of war, and even a voice of this house, had already granted what it was impossible to withhold.
Page 23 - House, no transports had been prepared, or could have been assembled for their immediate embarkation. Where, Sir, should they have directed their course when they were at length embarked, but into the hazard of an enemy's fleet, which would have cruized with undisputed superiority in every part of the western world. No pressure of public accusation, nor heat of innocence in its own defence, shall ever tempt me to disclose a single circumstance which may tend to humiliate my country. What I am about...
Page 29 - Majesty's councils from a painful inspection of the truth, I might, I hope, without presumption, have been entitled to that indulgence. I feel, Sir, at this instant, how much I had been animated in my childhood by a recital of England's victories : — I was taught, Sir, by one whose memory I shall ever revere, that at the close of a war, far different indeed from this, she had dictated the terms of peace to submissive nations. This, in which I place something more than common interest, was the memorable...
Page 17 - Edward Hughes to the thanks of this House; but his success, if it may be termed a victory, had not prevented the enemy from landing a greater European force than we actually possess in India, and who at this instant are in conjunction with Hyder subduing and desolating ihe Carnatic.
Page 35 - The misfortunes of individuals and of king_ doms, that are laid open and examined with true wisdom, are more than half redressed ; and to this great object should be directed all the virtue and abilities of this House. Let us feel our calamities — let us bear them too, like men. But, Sir, I fear I have too long engaged your attention to no real purpose ; and that the public safety is this day risqued, without a blush, by the malice and disappointment of faction.
Page 27 - I will venture to require consistency for a single week, and shall remind him of his declaration in Monday's debate, " that even this peace was preferable to a continuance of the war." Will he then criminate his Majesty's ministers by the present motion, for preferring what he would have preferred ? or how will he presume to prove, that; if better terms could have been obtained, it was less their interest than their duty to have obtained them. Was this peace, Sir, concluded with the same indecent...

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