Thursday, May 2.
[Debate on the Treaties resumed.]
Mr Powle.] This matter will not bear a palliative
cure. It is plain, that Holland is jealous of us on one side,
and Spain on the other. We are told that we are to send
30,000 men into Flanders, and 90 ships to sea, for our
concert, and this for a pretence to ask money; and this
has infused great jealousy amongst them.—Such a paper
in print—Who could think we could ever go into war—
And we fall upon Scotland, and they are arguments as if
they might do the same here. This is the result of secret
dealing with France, and underhand in Holland. This is
plain by the denial of a sight of Lord Feversham's papers.
This is strange that our advice should be asked, and, yet they
will show us no papers. This is to show us things by half
lights, and it will create jealousies in us, and we can say
nothing till we are thoroughly informed.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] What Lord Feversham has done
in France, and Mr Churchill in Holland, we see not. So
that the Question is now, not what advice we shall give,
but whether we should advise, or no. This going underhand insuses great jealousies, (as if there was some designs
to alter the Government in Holland,) raised unnecessarily
betwixt the States of Holland and us, about the Prince of
Orange—Like such a design of making the Prince of
Orange absolute, and that of Guelderland, if he interpose, to
ruin him. These matters are secret to us; there are prints
of this; I have seen them. Holland cannot find 90 capital ships, and we were cozened by Bankert, who negotiated it, and he cozened the States—'Tis said, that these
30,000 men to be sent over, will breed a jealousy in Flanders; when we might easily have saved it by auxiliaries,
from other places—This has created jealousies justly.
Col. Birch.] I agree fully that we have not so much matter
before us, as we expected, and, therefore, I would more
particularly say what I think we want. I take it for
granted, that this is a business which cannot stay long. The
King of France has given a day for the Dutch to accept
of the Treaty, and the Dutch tell us, they have a great tendency to accept of what is offered. If they make this
Peace, or any thing like it now, they must fall wholly into
the hands of the French King; and I would be told what
we shall do when that day comes. Their poverty and jealousy are two main things that they insist upon. Of their
poverty we heard little till the raising the siege of Charleroy, and soon after was the Marriage of the Prince of
Orange. To call it jealousy, I see no reason, but why called
demonstration? About ten years since, the time Sir Wm
Coventry was laid aside, from that time what public thing
has been done, but demonstration? Draw it down from
the Triple League; see if not more like demonstration than
jealousy. I have heard, and seen it, that one part of the
agreement was, one to assist the other against Rebels. Therefore, I would have a time to see those papers, for truth,
and the bottom of those things. As for the conduct of our
Ministers, that in due time may be thought of. I do agree to an Adjournment of this Debate till to-morrow,
but yet something more may be done. I take it for
granted, that till the jealousies be cured, 'tis to no purpose to do any thing to gain their assistance, and not so
much for that as to prevent their conjunction with the
French King. This being the case, a day is a great matter. Foreign Ministers stay here to observe us. If any of
them are jealous of altering the Government, or we of one
another, I would cure that. If any thing be said that
interfered with the Prerogative, I would remove that.
Part of the Chancellor's Speech is of the King's taking
the advice of this House; the other not. I move that persons of both Houses meet to confer, to cure this jealousy,
with the foreign Ministers. I say it only to be thought of,
not insisted upon.
Mr Sec. Williamson.] As to the unfortunate thing of
jealousy, I cannot agree to some things spoken to.
As for foreign jealousies, I will say nothing to them, but
to our own part of it, as that of instructions to set up the
Prince of Orange absolute, they are unfortunate mistakes,
he insisted only upon the Stadtholdership perpetual. The
matter the States liked, but the motion from a foreign
Prince was a scandal to their Government. This was all
the King ever interposed in that affair, in the agreement
in the first War; and in the last War, the King would leave
that to the States. There were propositions, as to Rebellion, as well as Invasion, &c. and this shows you that
this has not given jealousy, since the jealousies were already that gave them. In fact and practice, Treaties
were always so as to Rebels in each others countries. In
1667, it was at Breda the same. I will never allege
fact to lessen my credit. That Article was in regard to the
Messina Rebels, &c. and is universally in all Treaties.
The King offered not to come out of the War without
the consent of the Allies—I desire to clear the matter of
fact—But I would not adjourn the Debate upon a point,
and leave it upon a thing that you may not be answered in.
Sir Tho. Meres.] Now the thing is owned, that the demand of the Stadtholdership perpetual for the Prince of
Orange was a matter of jealousy, and calling each others
Forces into one another's Country, was a matter of
great jealousy. If Williamson must rise as often he thinks
we mistake him, or he us, he must do it often. If Water
and Oyl be applied to a Wound, I would pour in Water
before Oyl, else we must never expect to have it clear for
the Oyl. But what is it we were to advise, if the thing
was nothing but a plain Negative, or Affirmative? We
must have things clear. I will never give occasion to be
told that we have gone beyond our power. I would be told
first, and informed, that we may not be sent away with
Papers pinned upon our Backs. It is plain we have shown
it, that, in these things, we are in the dark, as to manner
and matter. The Negotiation, Employ, Concert, that
Col. Churchill brought from Holland, I wish we might
see that, to know and approve what that is, together
with Lord Feversham's Answer from France.
Mr Williams.] I rise up upon one Article, that of
reducing each others Rebels, &c. The fear and jealousy
of arbitrary Power, this gives occasion of jealousy, that
such Persons will be esteemed rebellious whom the King's
Council tells him are so: Perhaps they may say the
House of Commons is rebellious, and that Army raised
may go against them. I find jealousy of Counsels in
plain connection in the Chancellor's Speech, that Counsels are amiss; that the King has been cheated—How
can we be just to our Country, if these Persons that have
thus misled the King and us, are not punished! Your Adjournment now is for a clear light, which I expect from
the good Counsel, and I hope they will expose those that
are otherwise, and for that purpose I would now adjourn.
Sir Wm Coventry.] I will only offer a word to Adjournment. When I heard it called for first, I thought it
too early, but much has been said since, which possibly
may be very useful. But he is not a good Surgeon
that will heal up a wound the first day he lays it open.
The plaister that must heal, must come from another
hand, and much better without our asking than with;
and I believe it will come much sooner; and, therefore,
without any farther ado, I would adjourn.
After the Treaties were read, [viz. the League offensive
and defensive, and the League of perpetual Defence, with
their separate Articles, (for the particulars of which see the
Mr Secretary Williamson, said] As for the Treaty, or Proposals, for ascertaining the Proportions of
Ships and Men to be provided by England and the
States, with the Answers thereunto, his Majesty does not
think fit to let Papers of that concern be exposed to
The Lord Chancellor's Speech was then read.
The House sat silent for some time.
Sir Edward Dering.] By this silence, we sit as if we
had nothing to do; as if all were safe, or all desperate.
I will not offer my opinion in what is before you, but
leave it to wiser men.
Sir Henry Capel.] I desire to know (as to Order) to
what points we are to advise, to War, or to Peace?
If to War, as to the Modus, I am not very much delighted with the sight of these Treaties, I must confess.
But I should be glad if affairs were taken care of, to
be upon a sure bottom for our interest abroad, and then
there is no need of seeing the Papers here; that we
might have nothing to do but to make wholesome Laws.
But since these Treaties are before us, I would take all
the care at home for the safety of the King and Kingdoms, that it may be seen we have a care of the Government, and a fondness for the King's Person. Let
every man lay his hand upon his heart, as he must
account to God for his actions; and, therefore, let us go
on a clear bottom in our method.
Mr Sec. Williamson.] Now we are upon a Modus, and
Capel desires to know what we are to advise upon. I
answer, these Treaties you have had communicated, &c.
I know not, for my part, the King's mind farther than
what my Lord Chancellor has delivered in his Narrative;
and it is this, "That notwithstanding the Alliances that
are made, the States of Holland are going into
a worse course of Peace." This is the state of the
case, and the King desires to know from you what to
do; whether he shall close with these things, or not.
I concur with Gentlemen that think this is one of the
weightiest affairs that ever came into this House, and I
hope your advice will be for the safety of the King and
Sir Thomas Lee.] This looks as if your advice was
asked upon the Leagues before you, or what this last return
from Holland has brought you; and we had as good
say nothing as go upon either of them.
Sir Wm Coventry.] According to the clearness and sincerity of my Lord Chancellor's Speech, we shall judge
of the lights given us by it. But pardon me, if I say,
when the King speaks to us, or sends us a Message, I
look upon it as the advice of others written for him by
some inferior penman. What the King says, or signs, is
the work of other men. No man can imagine any thing
so low, as that the King should be the penman of other
men's Speeches. That part of the King's Messages, or
Speeches, in which are gracious expressions of the care
he has of his people, is the King's own, and I will govern myself by it. The gracious part is the King's only.
The glosses, and varnish upon it, are of his penman's
doing. The Lord Chancellor began at the 1st of March
1676, and from thence he dated Alliances; as if no care
had been taken of Alliances before the Parliament met
here; and then we were told, "That it was not our part to
meddle with Alliances." 'Tis no harsh thing to say,
that before March, the Ministers ought to have taken
care of Alliances; and before that time, had the Ministers done their duty, things would not have been at
this pass; and now they can tell you in private converse, that the thing is almost too late to be remedied.
The Chancellor, in his Speech, has given us a reproach,
for not speaking plainly our minds. "The 16th of
March," he told us, "the King could not go out of
his figure of mediatorship;" but if his Ministers look to
the 29th of March, they will find our repeated desires
of Alliances, and we promised aids. That promise, it
seems, was only to pay for the parchment on which the
Alliances were drawn, but I hope we shall speak loud
enough now to awaken the Ministers out of their sleep.
It seems, we spoke not loud enough then; in April, it
seems, we were understood too well, and therefore were
senthome; and then we were told, "That nothing could be
done till the mind of the Prince of Orange was known."
But I would fain know why his mind was not known sooner.
There was no difficulty in that, but the reason, we are told,
was, "That the Prince of Orange was in so great a
hurry upon action, that he could not enter into Treaty."
But I would ask the reason, (I do not speak of March, April, or May.) But suppose, an abrupt Question should
have been put to the Prince of Orange, of this nature,
"Sir, would it do your Highness any harm to have 10
or 12,000 good English foot to assist you?" That Question
would not have been so unreasonable, but that, surely the
Pr. of Orange would have invited the messenger to dinner;
and, perhaps, he might have taken Charleroy, and prevented
the defeat at St Omer's: 10 or 12,000 foot would have
done him no hurt, surely. At last, Mr Hyde is employed
to the Prince, either to write, send, or to come over into
England himself (fn. 1) . Many a man was capable of asking
him this Question surely, there needed no such extraordinary sending—All this, we must suppose, was in order to
Alliances. But vox populi spoke that the Prince had another errand into England. I will not say, that vox populi is
vox Dei, because the Ministers think not so.—The Prince
came hither to love, and, like a lover, did abandon his
own interest, to facilitate his suit. He brought a project
of a Peace, when the mark was set up—And that gave
the first light to a separate Peace with France. By conversation with the Prince, the King heard, we were told,
how low the States were; which might have been known
by any man; and no wonder the Dutch were exhausted
by the War in their great Taxes that they imposed upon
their people. I have reason to fear that nothing of Alliances was then thought of. I lay this down, that nothing
could be done with the States but by Parliament; and
that convinces me that nothing was intended; and so
the Message re-coiled from France, and then the Parliament was called. I observe, that from May (which was
the time of our Address) there was no desire of Peace
from the States, till September; and then they told us,
"If you'll not enter into War, help us to a Peace."
From May was our unlucky Address, for which we were so
reprehended; and then the States sought after a Peace,
and from May to December at one leap, [we were adjourned.]
The Parliament promised aids from time to time to support
Alliances; the Dutch find no hopes of Alliances, and they
seek for Peace. Suppose we had met in April, we should
have been in Debate upon things, and that summer
would have been lost, and the Confederates might have
been over-run by the French. I open these things with
intent to show, that till the French had rejected the Propositions, we thought not of Alliances; and so the Parliament came to sit in January. Whatever the Chancellor's Speech may insinuate to you, there were no
thoughts of Alliances till the Propositions sent to the
French King were rejected. Now I will come to that
part, whether you will advise the King to accept of the
Peace modelled at Nimeguen, or to go into War? This
is a strange Question. Has any man here light requisite to
give advice upon? If we must declare War, without help
of Alliances, we had as good save our money till we
have a War, and rather have the War abroad than at
home. Does any man know why the States of Holland
draw out of the War? Not that they like the Peace,
but from their inability to support so vast a charge with
so little help; and, perhaps, they are jealous of the
Prince of Orange's power amongst them. 'Tis now no
time to lose the Nation on a compliment; 'tis no compliment to the King that he and the Nation be lost. I am
sorry, that anything that looks like advantage to the Prince
of Orange's greatness, should be to hinder our safety; and
if that jealousy of Holland be of the Prince, some
means must be thought off to remove that jealousy. If
indeed the States cannot carry on the War, on account of
their poverty and inability, I am sorry we must stretch
our purses; but rather than leave them out, we must do
it. But till we have farther light, I know not how to
advise. I am of opinion that the French King has a
weak side, and if the War be held on a while, that weak
side would be seen. He has, we see, quitted Sicily; and
there's some defect, surely, and he hastens his project of
Peace at Nimeguen. By his œconomy of treasure for
the War, and his magazines, he designs his army for
winter exploits; so that one army, by this œconomy, is as
good as two. But when this army comes to be divided, in
Spain, in Flanders, and Germany, he will quickly show
his blind side. If any Gentleman can show me any
Leagues, or Alliances, with the Confederates, to keep
them together that we may help them, then 'tis time to
give advice upon them. 'Till then, I see not how we
can advise, &c.
Sir Philip Warwick.] Being unacquainted with any
thing of this till this morning, I am not able to say much
to it. It falls short, I confess, of what I expected. As I have
ever had Mr Coventry in great esteem, so now, most especially for his frankness in this matter. I believe that
if ever the Nation was in danger, it is now. I could have
wished that this clearness, he speaks of, might have been.
If it were possible to redeem time, I would sacrifice myself, to have come up to this of Alliances, two years
since. I speak with no relation, but to my Prince and
Country equally in my eye. And I would address the
King to resume the Treaty, and I believe all the
Powers in Christendom will stand by us, if we enter into
a War with the King of France.
Mr Sec. Williamson.] Upon entering into Debate of
the matter, Capel opened it well, viz. "Whether upon
what is before you, you will advise War, or no War;"
and consider what Alliances we have, or may have, and
next, what makes the Dutch start from this Alliance.
We know, they have frankly offered to come into it, but
'tis at a stop, whether Holland will come in, or no; without whom the King cannot be safe in the Alliances.
This is a master-point, and a great fundamental. Most
of the Allies derive succours from Spain and Holland,
and they are as impatient to know what Holland will do,
as we are. But as to the reasons of Holland's impotence
and jealousies; as for their disability, they are at the
same expence they were before. That being so, succours
are expected out of Germany; for Flanders depends upon the supply from Holland. They had told us farther,
besides their impotence, to come in with the Emperor
and Spain. How can you expect they should come up
to them who have so ill performed? They have promised
all things, and done nothing; they and the Emperor
have not paid their quota to Germany. They have drawn
so much that the Admiralty of Amsterdam is three millions of florins in arrear, for the Straits ships. These
are things, we can see, they own. But there's another
thing more fatal than all this; they are jealous of that,
which this House and Nation thought so sovereign a good
to us. Of all the ties that make them nearer to us, I
may say that (except Trade) as to Religion and Power,
&c. no other Alliance is natural and proper but that.
Had this thing been proceeded in so happily—but that
thing of the Prince of Orange, and the defensive Alliance then treated by the Prince, is plainly the matter of
jealousy, that turns that cordial of the Marriage into
poison. And the root is the old competition in Holland
betwixt France and England, in competition which shall
have interests in their Counsels. There is still, as in
this man's grandfather's time, all the thing of remonstrators, &c. called Religion. And I am afraid that
a jealousy is revived by France, that the liberty of their
union is in danger by the aspiring of the House of Orange;
otherwise there could not appear, in so few days, so absolute a change in affairs, and the defensive Alliance never
met with such a rub as this. If Holland makes a Peace,
at the instance of France, and they have not the molding of it—I pray God that jealousy has not been fomented elsewhere. That of Guelderland, &c. gave
occasion also of jealousy. I have heard fatal glances and
touches, that that matter was fomented from hence, tho'
certainly it never was done in the least measure. The
States say that the Propositions of France are in some
measure tolerable; so that you may try whether your
putting them upon a War may procure a better Peace.
And you are told by this man (the Ambassador) "that that
Alliance his Master ever had, and then did prefer
to the continuation of the War." They have sent
now, and stay in impatience of the King's Answer.
France tells them they must sign the Peace by a day,
or else the French will proceed to the War, &c. and now
they are upon their march—A town is now taken, and
Liege is one of the frontier towns; and what may not
this work in Holland? The suddennest place in the world
to take impressions, and that retains them longest? If
you'll enter upon the point, it is great; but I believe this
that I have told you, is the true cause of their inclination
to Peace, and of their going back from Treaties, that they
have made. This is a great thing, and only fit for this place.
Mr Vaughan.] It is said, to be "a great grace, and
favour in the King to communicate these Treaties to us;"
but all records will tell you it has been usually done.
The King, by bad Counsels, has been brought into difficulties, and he calls for advice of the Parliament; and
now we desire light to advise him by, and the papers are
denied us—Then our advice is desired in a more narrow
manner—I think that this advice amounts to this, for the
King of France against the King of Spain—When youths
have leave to play, they have done their business first;
but these have played truant, and brought in their business ill done. When we are dealt plainly with, without
deluding us, we are ready, &c. but for this time I would
adjourn, till we are in better condition to give advice.
Mr Sacheverell.] By what I see before us to day, the
Gentlemen that cry "Adjourn, Adjourn," have great reason for it. It seems, the Ministers are not prepared to
give us full information, &c. yet they would go forward
though they have that which would prevent it—And,
perhaps, we [shall be] called Knaves and Fanatics for
our pains; and now when 'twas all our opinion to show
the King the state of the Nation, then "'twas like 1641."
But now we must not be frightened with "bugbears, Prerogative, and 1641." I am ever for supporting the Government as it is, but the Ministers have stretched Prerogative so far as to lose it. All their Counsels have
tended to what we ever would have avoided. Can
these Gentlemen say, but that we have continually been
for having the forces recalled out of France? But they
stop their eyes; we cannot, but must think they have
been for France. The plain truth is, if the Question
singly be, Whether this Peace, or Alliance, we must rest
upon, I am one of those that scorn it; for it will ruin
both England and Holland. I think, the Ministers are
not converted by what we said, and that they are past
any conversion. Now they come to ask us which of
the two ill things we would take. Did not you give
Money for the defence of the Nation, and lessening
the growth of France, when he had but a few towns, that
he held wrongfully? And now we ought to consider to
take care of the King, since the prevalent number of the
Ministers of State have taken none. I have seen several
shifting of Ministers, one and another, and yet all carry on this principle, that fate, that as soon as they come
in they must be so, or nothing; they have brought it
to this pass; they have confessed that we are near ruin;
they have hazarded all; and if you can make up this
bad business for them, you must. They tell us of the
poverty; and jealousy of Holland? I appeal, whether they
have not done it to Holland. They fell into a War
against Holland with the French, and those forces were
continued in France. And now the Chancellor, in his
Speech, tells you, "nothing shall be secret, &c." The
King tells you in a late Speech, "He will take care
of the Prince of Orange particularly;" and can the States
be any thing reasonably but jealous? All I put it to is
this: I desire to know how far we are to advise; whether we are barely limited to this League, or the Treaty
of Nimeguen; and I would have that point opened, and
I would willingly forget what is past, if we may be
plainly dealt with in this.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I am far from being provided to tell you what the King has not given me order
to do. I have told you all I have order for.
Lord Obrien mis-recited Sacheverell, and was dexterously taken down by Musgrave, to prevent his running
Mr Garroway.] I am one of those that are as sorry
to see this day as any man. Seven years together, I
told you things would come to this, unless Holland
would do as we did; that is to weigh nothing. But
when you were told things manifestly untrue, I think
we have no reason to believe those Gentlemen again by
word of mouth. Therefore I would have the matter
in writing. I dread making the Proposition here, but
I would pray those Gentlemen, the Ministers, to tell us
what they would be at, and whether they will stand
to the Propositions in writing; but I would look no
more upon their words, and I would leave them to farther time of consideration. I would put oyl and water
into the thing, and for the present adjourn.
The House adjourned without adjourning the Debate.
Friday, May 3.
Debate on the Treaties resumed.
Mr Sacheverell.] Yesterday we had a great Debate,
and I hear nothing of it to-day; it seems as if all
things were well, and to our satisfaction. I hear nothing
from the Privy Counsellors. I would know what they
have farther to inform us.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I wish we could find a
way for Holland to come up to us. This afternoon the
King has appointed a Conference with those from Holland,
with some of the Lords of the Council, and I suppose
the thing will be summed up, and some resolution taken.
Mr Sacheverell.] I desire to know whether that Conference be in reference to the Treaty before us? If so,
we need not stay for that: I think we are all satisfied
what that is.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] That matter will be treated
of, and every thing relating to the occasion of the King's
calling for your Advice.
Mr Powle.] Yesterday we desired a farther Answer
of Lord Feversham's Negotiation in France. I was in
hopes of that to-day; but it not being produced, I would
know whether those honourable persons have any satisfaction to give us in that point.
Mr Garroway.] I confess, I am much troubled what
to do in this case. If these arguments were pressed upon
then, much more now. But to go clearly on, I would
not have any mistake, for want of understanding our
meaning, to put us backward. Yesterday you rose abruptly; clear yourselves now. I think it necessary to
declare something upon what was done yesterday, viz.
"That those Leagues, showed you yesterday, are not
answerable to your Addresses for lessening the Growth
of the Power of the French King."
Mr Vaughan.] 'Tis said, "we are not to meddle with
Peace and War, but as the King communicates it to
us." Now we are to give our advice, whether those
Leagues communicated to us are for the benefit of the
Nation in general. If we have no Answer of Lord Feversham's Negotiation, then we are to go only upon
what is before us.
Sir Robert Carr.] To that of Lord Feversham you
have had a full Answer. It was but for Aye, or No,
from the King of France.
Sir John Knight.] I differ from what is moved for the
Question. 'Tis not for us now to fall upon such a Question. When Hannibal is at the gates, we should consider
what at present is to be done. Here have been Forces
raised by Act of Parliament, in order to an actual War
with France. The Confederates did depend upon it. Do
you intend to have them lost, and Flanders totally lost,
this summer? If you go not on, what will you do with
this Army you have raised? This Treaty is not indeed
pursuant to your advice, but it is seasonable at this time
to advise the King, and he now will stand by your advice. It is every man's safety that is now the case. If
you intend good to the Church, State, King, and Kingdom, speedily help yourselves. Therefore I humbly pray
you to resolve somewhat on this business.
Sir Nicholas Carew.] Those Leagues are for Peace,
and that Peace, so and so grounded, is not satisfactory
to the House. What has caused this jealousy of the Prince
of Orange with Holland, and Holland on our Ministers,
but those Leagues? All our fears are of our Ministers
trucking with France. Our business is to remove those
jealousies from foreigners, and to remove our own
Ministers, and to desire the King to suffer a Committee
of Lords and Commons to settle this matter.
Sir Thomas Lee.] Something fell from Williamson
about "meeting Commissioners about treating, &c."
And he well observed, "that when you did not speak
out, you were not understood." If that be the matter
of this Treaty, as you have heard, now is your time to
speak out. I observe in what a ruinous condition Flanders
was, in January and February last, by your miscarriages.
It has made you declare War by Act of Parliament, and
put you in condition of enmity with France, and you
call for all to join with you. It looks as if you must
bear the blame, odium, and shame on you; and you
to bear the burden of the whole War—You to show
that 'tis a War for no man's interest but France!
That provokes me to say, I would have you, by some
way or other, show the King, that War, or Peace, grounded upon what is before you, is destructive to the interest of the Nation.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] How far this is an Alliance
to please the House, or if it be a War, I leave it to the
House, when it comes to be debated. The meeting
this evening with the Ambassadors is to know, solemnly
and finally, from Holland, what they will do as to
War, &c. who speak, and talk, and act contrary to
it—Another part of it, their retracting. If any thing
in the world will justify the Ministers of Holland
in what they have done, it will be such a Vote as is
proposed. They will say, "This is your Alliance in that
Treaty," and you will in a Vote plainly tell the King
that you will not stand by him in it. Then what will
be the consequence of the progress of the French King?
Holland will not run into the French Peace in any
other hands than ours. This is not vain in me, nor an
ill-intended meaning. As to the Peace, but two words;
that we were not for a Peace, and yet not for suffering
France to go on: I say in fact it was not so, but Holland
would not come up to you—but there would be a Peace
in the belly of the Treaty. They tell you, "that parties in War come not out, but hand in hand, and they
will come up to no more, but promise that, if they go out
of the War, they will tell you, and will make no cessation of Arms without you; and if they will make
Peace, it shall be on reasonable conditions:" And who
shall be judge of reasonable Peace?—Reasonable Peace
is reasonable Peace; and do you think that 'tis the Interest of England to close with them on these conditions?
The King thought these were not conditions to enter
upon; and the impatience of their Country is such,
together with the French Forces coming upon them,
that they will not stay their accepting the Peace for above
another Post; and what has brought them to it,
was the driving on of this House, which has put these
people towards Peace. With what face can they start
aside from what they have done already? It seemed to
me yesterday to be a tacit resolution, if any possible
means and ways could be found, to keep Holland up to
us. To remove one jealousy this morning, I take leave to
say this; if any one thing in the world has done the Prince
of Orange prejudice in the minds of the people of
Holland, it has been his over-haste to the War. It
is our interest to preserve the interest of the Prince of
Orange in Holland, and if any one thing in the world hinders his interest, it is their apprehension that the Prince
of Orange would keep up the War to a continuance;
and that thing will inevitably throw Holland from you,
if you persist in it.
Sir Charles Wheeler.] Who knows what one summer
may do? I say we are too hasty to pass that Vote,
moved, to preclude the Dutch by these Treaties; and
I would not put any dissatisfaction upon these Treaties.
Sir George Downing.] I will give my Negative to this
Treaty. I like it not at all. No Treaty of War was
ever made, but that it might end in Peace. No man is
a man-eater, to make War for War's sake. Peace is
still propounded in all Treaties of War. As for this
Treaty, I think it is very destructive both to Holland and
England. Shall all this Alliance be dissolved to get eight
pitiful towns (fn. 2) ? This never was, and is not, for the Interest of the Kingdom, and shall never have a penny of
my Money to support it. I have been a long time foreseeing the growth of France—But if nothing be done,
you must expect they will land upon us, and the War
will be in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The King
of France, upon pretence of an Edict, has found out a
necessity to conquer his own people and laws, and no
other but necessity of War is his law. He tells you, that
things will not please his people, and yet he oppresses
them by carrying on his Arms. I will go farther; by
this Treaty eight Towns are to be delivered to the Spaniards, pitiful, inland Towns! And what is left? St
Omers, Ghent, Ypres, and Cambray; these are near us;
and we shall never be quiet till Dunkirk be out of his
hands, in the very mouth of the Thames, a new Algiers
set up in Christendom; the midway betwixt your great
rendesvous, Northward and Westward, of all your Navigation! Shall we make Peace for eight pitiful Towns,
and we not have Dunkirk? He be hanged upon a tree
first! Here is another Article: If France accept this
Treaty, and the Spaniard shall withdraw, Holland must
not help Spain, &c. and we must compell Spain to accept (fn. 3) . This Treaty will be the basest Ingratitude in
the world to the Spaniards from the Hollanders. When
I heard this, I thought it very extraordinary. I have
told you what I would not do, and more than this I
will not do. If they be worse propositions than this,
I will spit upon them; and rather fight against Holland,
if they will not do it, than with them. If the Dutch will
be perfidious, Denmark, England, Spain, and the Empire,
are able to tell them, that they shall have no Trade out
with France. Their poverty is but a story. I have
examined the thing, and I find not one individual wealthy man that has removed his habitation. What condition were they in, when three entire Provinces were in
the French hands, and part of Holland, and part of Friezland?
They want no Money, only Will; and their Army is
maintained in another Prince's Country—Vast Fleets, if
we join with them, are needless. Moderate sea-forces
will do it; such as England and Holland can bear. If
the management were prudent, and 'tis not too late to
do it—And rather in the Spaniards Country than in our
own. Therefore I am for not approving of this Treaty.
But I am not for voting against it this day. 'Tis not
now pressed upon us to approve it. If it was so, I
would vote against it to-day. Let it lie upon the Table,
and not give occasion of despair in popular apprehensions. Let this Treaty pass to-day, and let them know
that Spain, Sweden, and Denmark are ready to come
in upon good terms, and pass no Vote upon it to-day.
Mr Secretary Coventry.] I concur, that the Treaty is
not to be accepted, and 'tis no hard matter to bring the
French King to reason, if the Confederates will come
in; and I concur at the present to put no Vote nor
brand upon it. The thing before us is not in our
justice to judge it right or wrong; you may have recourse to your condemnation when you please: Our
discourses seem no way to approve of it, and this will
be an argument to screw the Dutch up to a better Treaty,
as in Law the latter abrogates the former; and I would
hold them to what is the good of Europe. But all are
satisfied, that if it were not a very difficult case, it had never
been sent to us. Let us not be rash, and resolve precipitately to pull the French King down, and not know
how to do it. The case is, we are asked advice by the
King; and if you put any Question upon it, let it go in
hopes of information to be clear upon our doubts. Now
put the Question, Whether the House is possessed with
light enough to go upon the matter, and I will give
Mr Vaughan.] Gentlemen that know affairs, may
stand justified to themselves, but not we that know not.
Our Addresses have been for lessening the Growth of
the Power of the French King, and for making Alliances, but these Treaties we have seen are all for Peace:
Those abroad will not come up to these Treaties, and I
would set a brand upon them.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I wonder Downing should arraign this Treaty, and yet pass no censure upon it. If
we forbear to pass a censure upon it, the Dutch Ambassador and our Ministers will never come up higher.
They will say, "the House of Commons kept it in their
fingers, and so will we too." If this Treaty ends in
Peace, we are left with Peace, and an Army, and then
what figure are we in? I would vote therefore, "that
this Treaty is not satisfactory to the House, nor pursuant to our Addresses, &c."
Sir John Ernly.] I say, this League, as bad as it is,
is better than none; and the Confederates may thank
God for it. For till now a better could not be had.
But this may be made better. If this League be not
made, the Dutch will fall in to the French, and be free
from us. Somewhere they will be, and best for them
with the French; and where are we then? If we would
improve this Treaty, you put the King upon this, and
Holland will say, "your people will not come up to you,
and we must do all as well as we can." I would therefore improve the Alliance, but not throw it away.
Mr Swynfin.] The Question offered to you is, "That
this League, offensive and defensive, &c. and the Treaty
upon it, are not according to your Addresses, &c." By
all I have heard yesterday and to-day, the thing may
be fixed amongst ourselves. It is apparent that this
League is the all in consideration here or any where,
That of Lord Feversham you have here, with that of
the Dutch, which, you are told, the Dutch will not come
up to. I would distinguish, &c. because 'tis said,
"better this than none." But I am considering whether
this is that War you gave your Money for, and raised
your Army for; otherwise, if you say nothing now of
this Treaty, the Army [may be] kept up as a warranty
to keep up that Peace; something of this was discoursed
then. In order to giving Money you were told, "what
was in print of the Dutch Treaty with France, was not
a Treaty." But wherein does it differ? I hope this
Army must not be a warranty for this Treaty. Another Question is proposed, viz. "That the matter before you is not satisfactory." I am not against this
Question—But will you let that fall without putting in
some qualification, that the Army is not raised for the
purpose of the Peace? It is said, "that the Dutch have
so much encouragement from the King of England,
that 'tis a question whether they make their own Peace,
or we for them." But when they plainly understand
that this is not the War we intended in the Addresses,
and gave Aid for, when the Dutch see that, it seems
to me they should not so soon fall in to France with a
Peace. When we say that this War is not according to
our end intended, I hope we shall be united, and that
is my end in the Question.
Sir Thomas Clarges.] The main drift of the Chancellor is to expose those Treaties to you, &c. The
Confederate Ministers tell the King, that they desist from
these Treaties, and detest them, and exclaim against them;
for when three of the Dutch Provinces were lost, and
Spain came to their help, they agreed with the King of
Spain and the Emperor never to make a Treaty with
France without them. Our Addresses to the King, and
his Answers to them, must appear before we can conclude our Advice, and in all things that must lead us
into it In Henry V's time, when he moved the Parliament for Advice, he sent all his Treaties from the
King of the Romans to them, and I would have Acts
not to treat of such things, without Parliament. If we
are sincerely dealt with in this matter, we may advise.
But one thing is represented to us at one time, another
at another time: I would therefore have our memories
refreshed, by reading our Addresses in this matter, and
the King's Answers to them.
Mr Garroway.] I was the first mover of a Question,
and I did think I had moved it with sincerity. You were
told yesterday, "Enter not any Question upon your
Books, and to-morrow you shall debate it;" and now,
"Do it at your perils;" and thus we have been fooled
with. This League, that we have had communicated,
is most pernicious, and here is a standing Army to perpetuity for a caution of this League, and all the ill consequences that attend it. If the Dutch can do us no
good, pray let them do us no hurt. They say they are
poor, and that is a reason too why they can do us
less hurt. I am not afraid of any thing of this, but I
the ill acts that persons have done hinder you from your
proceedings, &c. and this League is a justification of
all the ill actions they have done these seven years,
if you set not a brand upon this League. Therefore I
Mr Secretary Williamson.] If you think what I shall
say is to shroud any man, or myself, I renounce my
share of it. If any one of us, or I myself am guilty of
any crime in this matter, I humbly present myself here
to judgment. As I have thought it my happiness (as
none is so high, but there is an established Government
that he must be judged by) that those that have done
their duty may be justified; so these general reflections
are things that terrify any man from the King's service.
I dare think as much, and say as much, for every man
that serves with me, as for my self. I have still laid
my claim to Patience and Merit, in bearing so long
these things beyond all Patience. I must be plain in
vindicating my own innocence, and this is the day.
If that be so, go on, and if those crimes alleged be
in generals, put them into particulars. I do in justice
demand it for myself. Part of the Government of England is the Prerogative of the Crown, in making Treaties, &c. The King in this calls for your Advice, and
you are not to go off from it. It is a mistake to think
that the People are obliged to support that Treaty. If
that be, all is at end, and your Question is at an end.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] I am far from reflecting on
the Ministers, but if we approve of these things, we
do of the Authors, and I would know whether Williamson will justify himself to be the adviser of the King's
Answer to our Address?
Mr Secretary Williamson.] I am not bound to accuse
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Williamson said, "he could
answer for himself, and those who acted with him."
Sir Thomas Meres.] I think Williamson has a hard
task, to justify the Leagues, and the Contrivers of them.
I am sorry he is alone, and has but one shoulder to support him. He tells you, "he has had great Patience
to hear reflections upon Ministers, &c." and so has
this House likewise, upon many occasions. I will find
you out the Projectors of these Treaties. Whoever
were the Contrivers of the King's Answers to our Addresses, so sharp, this House certainly had therein great
Patience. Now the King sees they have led him along,
shall not we brand those Counsels and Counsellors?
(which you will give first) will you let that man give
Counsel again? From May to May, we have been from
year to year, and still there is the old Counsel, and we
have Patience still. We are brought very near to ruin
by it, I am sure. I move therefore, that seeing half
England can never defend England, if a Question be
carried by four or five Voices and when we had an
unanimous Vote we had not an Answer of our Vote from
the King,—Now I would have the Confederates see
they have all the House for them, and we may go on,
and by this time twelvemonth do as much good, as from
this time twelvemonth we have done ill.
Mr Powle.] I have always found that when the
House has had great matters in hand, there has been
art used to adjourn the House, that things may flow
from the King's Grace and Favour. But it has still
been made use of to another end. Was it not so yesterday? The Debate was put off, that balsam might
come from some other hand. And now the Debate
comes round again, the Chancellor's Speech all palliating the matter—But if you rise without speaking
plainly—This is the crisis of the afternoon, and it may
be told us to-morrow morning "that the King knew
nothing of our minds, that this project has ruined the
Confederates." And I must say, with some zeal, that
our masters have been carrying on the blackest design
that ever was attempted; that they have raised an
Army in England, and finely carried on Peace; but that
does not hit yet, and if that project of Treaty be carried on to-day, we are bridled and saddled to perpetuity, and in Scotland, and I think, if they carry on this,
that we are all undone.
Mr Goring.] I desire a Test from those Gentlemen,
on that side of the House, that they have no design of
creeping into the Ministers places, when they are out;
and if they will give the House security that they will
act better, I will then be on their side. Till then, I
think the Ministers have done well.
Sir Thomas Lee.] I would have that Gentleman explain himself. He speaks of "Gentlemen on this side of
the House having a Test, &c." They desire not to come
into another man's office. I desire that Goring, who
seems to like and know these Counsels so well, will
tell you who were against them.
Col. Birch.] I was in hopes that Goring would have said
something to have allayed this matter. When Gentlemen,
in this nick of time, and this vast business in hand, have
such an affront cast upon that side of the House (though
I was not on that side) it may be next on this side.
Gentlemen must not say (as some did) "No, no," as
if they were laughing in a play-house. I would have
the House lay aside all Debates, till they have satisfaction in this point.
Sir Henry Capel.] I did yesterday take some sort of
liberty to think of moderation for our safety. Possibly,
no men are more prepared to speak their minds than
we are now; but I would not let these words pass, but
write them down, and then afterwards proceed upon them
The words were then asserted, as Goring spoke them before.
Mr Goring thus explained himself.] I meant by what
I said no particular person; and I am sorry if I
gave the House offence.
There was some Debate whether his Explanation was satisfactory.
Sir Thomas Meres recriminating something that Goring
bad said, the other day, of the Committee of Popery,
Sir John Talbot said.] If we call a Gentleman to account
for things said the other day, why may not the King
call Members hereafter to account for what they have
said here? I will not justify what Goring has said, but
I believe his excuse is satisfactory. I am for his withdrawing, but would have a Question for it. I could not
bear the misfortune to be under the displeasure of the
Nation. I think it is a misfortune. We must bear
with one another, and not be extreme to mark what is
Sir Thomas Meres.] When Talbot condemns me for
recriminating, and tells you of another thing likewise
of this nature that he misliked, it is not orderly. I
urged it not at all to the Gentleman's prejudice, but to
remind the Speaker and the House of the too great frequency of these things.
Sir Robert Howard.] I hear it said, "'Tis a punishment and disgrace to withdraw." If there be a disputable Election depending, the Gentlemen concerned must
withdraw, and no man will say 'tis a punishment. I
am on this side of the House, and I myself am in an
office. This side is the major part of the House, and,
for ought I know, here is a reflection on the whole
House. The thing was ill done, and Goring tells you,
"He has liked all that the Ministers have done," when
the Commons of England have not liked it. For the
indiscretion he has asked your pardon, and I heartily
desire the House would give it him.
Mr Secretary Williamson.] These things are incident
to any man, but should all things be taken notice of in
great Debates, business would never go on.
Sir Thomas Lee.] There is more in this than in all
the matter of the Debate; but it must be a Precedent
for the future. Where the words are once written down,
you cannot show me a Precedent in the Journal that a
Question has been put for withdrawing; but 'tis done
by direction of the Chair. I would not have it a Precedent for future Parliaments.
Sir George Downing.] So long as a Gentleman will
speak to it, he is not to withdraw. The Gentleman is
well descended, and but young in years and experience; and I desire the thing may go over.
The Speaker.] If it be insisted upon, whether the
House be satisfied, &c. [he must withdraw.]
Sir Thomas Meres.] You state the Question well, and
then you go off from it. If the House be satisfied,
there is no need then of withdrawing. You cannot let
him be here present when the Question is put. He
may then vote to it, and it may come to a Question,
and therefore he must withdraw.
Sir William Coventry.] I would spend no longer time
about this, for we have spent a great deal of time unpleasantly in this matter. The words are stated and
agreed, and the next thing is to consider the crime, and
'tis a most natural thing that the Gentleman should not
be present at the Debate of this supposition of a crime.
If the House be satisfied—few speak against him, and
those few acquiesce in it. If twenty more desire to be
heard before he withdraws, those that speak against him
may give occasion of answering, and few are backward
to defend a man present. In an Election, after the
matter is tried by Counsel, the party ought to withdraw
of himself: There is no fundamental Order in it, but it
usually consists in the modesty of the Gentleman. If it
be affirmed, in calculating Arithmetic in a Tax, that two
and three do not make five, if any Gentleman will be
so obstinate as to contend it, he must have a Question
for it. The Question cannot be put whilst the Gentleman is here, but if a Question be put, the Gentleman
must withdraw. In Nowark Election, Sir Paul Neale
was returned Burgess into the Crown-Office, and he was
sworn by the Commissioners. There was a nicety arose
whether he was a Member or not; he would have spoken
for himself in his place, but he was not suffered to do
it in his place, because by it he was admitted as a Member; but he withdrew of himself (fn. 4) .
Mr Goring then said.] I am sorry I have given the
House occasion of this dispute, but since I find that
my company is troublesome to the House, I will withdraw without a Question. And he withdrew.
Sir Thomas Meres.] Alderman Foote said some words
in the passing the Militia, Act, which gave offence; he
had acknowleged the words, and was called in to his
place, and the House admitted his excuse, "that he
was sorry he had given occasion of offence, &c."
Sir Christopher Musgrave.] As it was a great offence
that Goring has committed, so he has given the House
satisfaction by asking their pardon. I think it is satisfactory, and I would have you pardon him.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Alderman Foote was judged to
have his reprimand on his knees at the Bar; but in this
I would not go so far. This Gentleman (Goring) sat
a great while in his place, smiling and laughing. (Some
say, it is his custom.) One said, "his words were not so
black as those he reflected on." It is an odd way this
of excusing. The young Gentleman is forward and zealous,
but I would have no more said to him, but an admonition in his place to forbear the like for the future.
Mr Powle.] The words that fell from the Gentleman
were spoken immediately after what I had said; but I
declare, that you may pass it over; and as Goring desires, "there may be a Test against Offices," so I
desire there may be a Test against receiving Pensions.
Mr Howe.] I am glad to hear the word "Pensions."
We are named to be the greatest rogues and villains,
and 'tis said commonly, "we are the greatest in nature,
and that we take Money to betray our Country." I
would have some Committee to draw up a Test, about
persons that receive Pensions.
It passed over
Mr Boscawen.] You are to ask Goring no more Questions, but to reprimand him in his place, and no more.
Mr Goring being come to his place, Sir Christopher Musgrave
offered to speak. But
Sir Thomas Meres said,] If Musgrave speaks, Goring
The Speaker.] The House has considered your Words,
Mr Goring, and, as they are displeased with your Words,
so they are pleased with your Submission; and I admonish you to forbear the like for the future.
The Debate on the Treaties was adjourned to the next day.