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and populous territories acquired hy France in this unfortu nate war, by the conquest of the rest of the Austrian Netherlands, which it is now in vain to think of wresting from them, though it is a great misfortune to us, as well as to the inhabitants of those provinces themselves, and to their late Sovereign, the Emperour of Germany, and to the Dutch, that those provinces have been conquered by them. For this unhappy event, we are to thank the arbitraryencroachments madeon the liberties of those inhabitants by the late Emperour Joseph II. in breach of the oath he had taken to maintain those liberties, and of the Treaty of Utrecht, by which alone he had
any right of sovereignty over those countries: perhaps also we may thank the fupineness and negligence of our own Government at that time, in not interfering with that rafh and tyrannical Emperour, in the best manner we could, to check his proceedings, and protect the liberties of those people, as being guarantees of the Treaty of Utrecht, by which those liberties were promised to be continued to them. These things, however, are now past, and the mischiefs of various kinds produced by them are irreparable. But, , though those provinces cannot now be recovered from France, yet, surely, we may hope to procure the small portions of them above mentioned to be restored and ceded to the Batavian Republick, in order to procure it a moderate degree of independence: and this would be of great importance towards the preservation of our own independence. Perhaps, also, as great changes are now making over all Europe, it might be expedient for us to give up Gibraltar to the Spaniards, in exchange for the island of Minorca, which, though not quite so strong as Gibraltar, could not have been taken from us, either in the year 1756, or the year 1781, if the garrison had been stronger than it was by only 1500 or 2000 men.
And, as the West-India Colonies will be of no use either to us or any other of the European States to which they be$ 3
long long, unless the negro Naves in them continue in a state of fubjection and industry, I could with that we should retain Martinico, and have all the other French Colonies there, such as Guadaloupe and St. Domingo, ceded to us, or ceded to the Spaniards, by the French; and, in consideration of such ceffions, we should be ready to pay to the French a sum of two or three millions of pounds sterling. This measure I should consider as expedient, not from an avaricious desire of monopolizing all the fugar-islands in the West-Indies, but for the sake of preserving our own former sugar-ilands, which will foon be rendered useless to us, and even become a nuisance both to us and to all the commercial States in the world, if Martinico, Guadaloupe, and the other French inands, thall be brought into the miserable state of St. Domingo, by the sudden emancipation of the negro flaves. I would not, however, be supposed to be a friend to the Slave-trade : for I heartily with it were abolished, according to Mr. Wilberforce's benevolent, and, as I think, prudent, plan, and that without further delay. But this is quite a different question from that of the emancipation of the negroes already in the West-India islands; for such an emancipation, besides being an enormous injury to the Planters who own them, would throw every thing into confusion, and bringon the general misery of all the inhabitants of those Colonies, the negroes themselves, as well as the white men, their masters.
It is only to avoid such general scenes of misery and desolation that I should wish to have the French islands ceded to us; and I should, therefore, be almost as well pleased to see the whole island of St. Domingo ceded to the Spaniards (who are said to be the mildest and most judicious masters of Naves of any of the European nations that have settled in America), as to the Crown of Great Britain. The preservation of our own independance and of our property, and not the acquisition of inore power, or wealth, or trade, ought now
to be our great object; and to this object the measures I have suggested would contribute.
As to the proposal of paying two or three millions of pounds sterling for those islands, I confess it is a mortifying and humiliating condition ; but we are not victorious in the present war, and must submit to the inconveniences resulting from the ill success of it: and we ought to recollect, that, at the enormous rate of expence at which this war has been carried-on, (whether such expence has been necessary or not, I do not pretend to determine;) three millions of pounds sterling is less then the expence of carrying-on the war for only two months; and, consequently, many a sum of three millions must be spent in consequence of our refusal to pay this, or some such, sum, if the French should be disposed to accept of it as the price of those islands and of an immediate peace.
If these conditions were complied-with by the French, I should think Great Britain ought to think herself happy to obtain the restoration of peace by the cession of the French factory of Pondicherry, the Dutch island of Ceylon, and the value of the ships destroyed at Toulon; and even of the Cape of Good Hope, and of every other place that we may have taken from either the French or the Dutch Republicks in the course of the war.
REFLECTIONS ON SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLES THAT IT WOULD BE REASONABLE TO ADOPT IN FORMING A LEGISLATIVE UNION OF THE TWO KINGDOMS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND; WHICH WAS A MEASURE THAT WAS MUCH THE SUBJECT OF CONVERSATION IN THE YEARS 1797 AND 1799, AND WHICH WAS AF TERTIARDS CARRIED INTO EXECÙ. TION IN THE YEAR 1800.
To the Editor of the Old ENGLISH MAN and
SIR, I Have read with great pleasure a pamphlet published at Dublin, and since republished at London, entitled, “ Arguments for and against an Union between Great-Britain and Ireland considered,” in which the writer sets-forth the great advantages that would accrue to both kingdoms from such a measure in so full and clear a light, that I hope it will overcome the prejudices that have been hitherto entertained on both sides the Irish Channel against the measure, and will prove the means of inducing both kingdoms to adopt it. Seventy or eighty years ago, I believe, a proposal of this kind made by Great Britain would have been chearfully and thankfully acceded-10 by the Irish Nation : but then the British Nation was too proud to offer it. And for these last twenty years, when Great Britain would probably have been willing to consent to it, the Irish Nation have been too proud to accept it. But now that a rebellion has been railed in Ireland upon the new French principles, or, rather, pretensions, of Liberty and Equality, that is, in truth, upon
the principles of robbery and murder, or with a view to rob the established church of Ireland of its tythes and other property, and the nobility and gentry of their estates, and that a great part of the peasantry of Ireland has been seduce edby Mr. Wolfe Tone, Mr. Napper Tandy, Mr. Archibald Rowan, and their other pretended patriots, to join in this rebellion, with out even the pretence of a real grievance, and to invite the republicans of France, (the destroyers and plunderers of the really free countries of Holland, Brabant, and Switzerland,) to invade their country and affist them in their project of forming themselves into a republick similar to that of France; and the Parliament and Government of Ireland have found themselves unable to repress this rebellion, without the help of many thousand British troops ;it may be hoped that they will see the necessity of a closer and more intimate connection with Greal-Britain, in order to prevent a return of the like dangers. Taking it therefore for granted that this wise, and indeed indispensable, measure of an Union between the two kingdoms will be thought reasonable on both sides the Irish Channel, I shall beg leave to mention some thoughts that have occurred to me concerning the terms of it.
In the first place then, as I ardently desire to see this great measure adopted, I would endeavour to make it palateable to the Irsh nation by allowing them a very ample number of representatives in the British Parliament, to wit, fifty members in the House of Lords, and a hundred members in the House of Commons. Of the fifty members in the House of Lords, eleven should be Irish Bishops, which is half the whole number of archbishops and bishops in Ireland; and these should be the four arch-bishops and the bishops of the seven richest bishopricks in Ireland, wbich should be enumerated in the act of Union. But, if the bishops of the sees did not attend the Parliament on the