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Let them attempt to fritter away the the gratitude of the people towards' efficiency of the bill. I.et them at the Government and the King, but will tempt to raise the qualification for do, under the contempt of the people, voting, or to retain the routen boroughs ; that which their opponents would have let them attempt anything of this sort, done with the gratitude of the people and they will hear what a peal will be towards all the powers of the state. wrung in their ears. The cause of the The first duty of a minister, who is people is infinitely stronger than it was sworn to advise the King to the best before ; they have now advocates such of his understanding, is to watch over as they had not before in the two the safety of the whole people ; his Houses ; those advocates are not re- next duty is (and, indeed, it is equal to strained in many respects as they were the former) to watch over the safety of restrained before. Hitherto they have the King; and, in that watching, he is had a double office to perform, namely, not only to attend to his master's immeto plead for the people's rights, and at diate personal safety ; but to his reputhe same time to check the zeal of the tation and to the upholding of all those people; the latter is no longer a part appearances, and cherishing in the of their business, and the former office minds of the people all those sentiments they are urged to perform by every mo- which tend to the maintenance of the tive that can animate inen, not by any authority, the dignity, of the King, and means leaving out of account the re- the love of the people towards him. sentment justly due to that double-deal- How will the Tory Alinister stand, ing which they have experienced at the then? He will have seen the King but hands of their adversaries; and if the the other day, the most popular of any King and his family should now ex- one that ever sat on the throne; he will perience inconvenience from the dis- have heard him called the “ patriot contents and claims of the people, the King"; and he will find him that which late Ministers can truly say that no part he may find described in the newspapers of that incon yenience, and that none of and at public meetings, which will the consequences, arising from the same serve his purpose better than any decause is ascribable to them. No oppo. scription from me. And, let not this sition that ever existed stood upon Tory Minister pretend that this truly ground so fair and so firm; and no mi- melancholy change is ascribable to Lord nistry upon ground so clearly that of GREY. He gave the advice, which, if faction, and, therefore, the most slip-it had been followed, would have prepery possible. What! now do that vented this change. He, instead of which they called it all but treason in causing this change with regard to his others for attempting to do; and yet, master, has exposed himself to a thouif they do not do it, they are at open sand disagreeable imputations in order war with the whole nation. I should to spare his master the mortification of not be at all surprised to see them, as experiencing such change. He has kept in the case of Catholic emancipation, go the secret undivulged to the last possible further than their rivals ever proposed moment; for the last moment it certo go. I should not be at all surprised tainly was, when he must either let out to see them lower that qualification, the secret, or himself be covered with which they have a thousand times over infanıy. Therefore, let the Tory Mideclared to be too low, and to lop off nister, be he who he may, not attempt rotten boroughs with a more unsparing to cast the blame upon Lord GREY : let hand than those whom they will have him take it all to himself: it is he, we succeeded. Something of this sort shall say, who has been the adviser of they must do, in order to be able the refusal to make the peers, and it is to keep the country at peace; and, to him that the King will have to address for which there are no words to ex- himself as to the responsibility for the press sufficient reprobation, they will consequences. The Tories, the enemies now, do, not only without exciting of reform, were so full of exultation at the thought of ousting their rivals for nature ; every man has a respect for power, that they wholly overlooked the the rights of his neighbour; they will consequences. They imagined that they neither tear their country to pieces, nor could step in, take to the bill, make it a suffer others to tear it to pieces. They little more popular, if necessary, and feel, as one man, in favour of Lord thereby make themselves more popular Grey, who has now done that which than their rivals had been. At first, and has removed away every fear with regard indeed, from the first of March, 1831, to his intentions, and has produced à until that day in April, 1832, when the restoration of confidence in him. All second reading of the bill took place, his long forbearance; all his useless ef. they had appeared before the nation forts at conciliation ; all his excessive and the world as a combined body, re- complaisance towards the enemies of solved at all hazards to combat a reform reform : all these we now forget, or of the Parliament. But, a year had remeniber them only as adding to the taught them that this combat could be savage baseness of the conduct of his carried on no longer ; that they must give enemies. Every drop of honest blood way; that the nation would have the in the nation has been roused for him, reform. For the reform to be finally and against his false and perfidious carried, and for them to remain opposed foes, in whom the people see their own to it to the last; for the reform to be implacable and deadly enemies. carried; for the people to get the power IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, last into their hands, and see in them still night, Lord EBRINGTON made the fola band of bitter enemies, was too mani- lowing motion for an address to the festly perilous. On the other hand, to King :-"That an humble address be turn about and to support these Minis “ presented to his Majesty, humbly to ters and their bill, was what their pride" represent to his Majesty the deep rem and their vindictive feeling would not " gret felt by this House at the change allow them to do. They therefore re-1" that has been announced in his Masolved to take possession of the bill " jesty's Councils by the retirement of themselves ; and, in order to gain over " those Ministers in whom this House the people, to give them as inuch, at “ continues to repose unabated confithe least, as their opponents would have“ dence. That this House, in conformgiven them. They did not consider, "ity with the recommendation conthat this change of place would lay“ tained in his Majesty's most gracious them at the mercy of those opponents : " speech from the throne, has framed. they did not consider that their motives " and sent up to the House of Lords, à would all be seen through; they did not“ bill for the reform of the representaconsider, that the people would always" tion of the people, by which they are regard them as enemies to reform in" convinced that the prerogative of the their hearts; and, above all things, “ Crown, the authority of both Houses they did not consider the vast conse- “ of Parliament, and the rights and liquence that this maneuvre of theirs“ berties of the people, are duly secured. must produce with respect to the King ! " That in the progress of this measure They did not consider that the words “ the House of Commons considers it" Patriot King” would not incom-“ self bound in duty to state to his Mamode their slumbers, though they were“ jesty, that his subjects are looking to give universal suffrage and voting by " with the most intense interest and ballot!
“ anxiety, and they cannot disguise from As to what the people will do, they “his Majesty, that the taking of any will do as they have always done when 1" step which would impair its efficiency they have not been deluded; that is," would be productive of the greatest act justly, and act with cool determina-“ disappointment. That this House is tion. However they may differ as to other" therefore impelled by an attachment feelings, they all love and honour their “ to his Majesty's person and throne, country, they are humane in their very " humbly, but most earnestly, tu implore “ bis Majesty to call to his councils such ! brought before, the House of Commons after 66 persone only as will carry into oleret' mature examination. On the introduction of
! the new bill, for the convenience of the pruunimpaired in all its essential provi
ceedings, they agreed to the number of 56, “ signs, that bill for the reform of the but deferred the cousideration of the schedules “ representation of the people which till the other clauses should be disposed of, " has recently passed this House."
Perhaps objection would be made in that The House, after a long debate, there were some who objected to their saying
| House to au arrangement of this kind. As divided upon this motion, and the num- in the first instance that the number of 56 bers were 288 for, and 208 against ! boroughs should be disfranchised, in order to There, then !the King has now to dis
obviate this objection, it was his intention solve the Parliament again, or to find
when they came to the clause to propose that
the words “ fifty-six" should be left out, and new Ministers to carry on the govern to propose that each of the boroughs equmement without supplies, or choose Mi- rated in schedule A should cease to send memnisters that will pass the Reform Bill!
bers to Parliament, that is, the different boI have no time for comment on the
roughs iu the schedule as they were to be
separately proposed to the House. This apdebate : I am compelled to go to press peared to him the best mode of proceeding, directly. I applaud the whole of this being calculated to obviate the objection to address, except the words “ humble " the clause as it at present stood. He should and “ humbly," which appear to me to
therefore adopt it, and would now move, that
the title and the preamble of the bill be postbe redundant. All the nation is in
poned, that they might come to the consideramotion : 'there is a mental convulsion tion of the first clause. in the country: if the King have one | The questions of the postponement of the single sincere friend upon earth, he will title aud preamble of the bill being severally
put and agreed to, go to him and implore him to take Lord
Lord LYNDHURST said, that he would proGrey back to his councils immediately, pose that the measure recommended by the WM, COBBETT. noble Earl should be carried farther, and that
the considerativn of the first clause should be altogether postponed. If he succeeded in ob
taining its postponement, it was his inteution HOUSE OF LORDS. to follow it up by proposing that the consider7th May, 1832.
ation of the clause immediately succeediug be
also postpoved. He took this course for the REFORM (ENGLAND) BILL.
purpose of submitting to tbeir Lurdships the Earl GREY moved the order of the day for question why certain places should be allowed the House going into committee on the Re ibe privilege of seuding members to. Parlia form Bill.
ment, which he was ui opinion ought to be · The LORD CHANCELLOR put the question, discussed before they eutered upou the queswhich being agreed to, his Lordship retiredition of disfranchisement. (Hear.) He begged from the woolsack, and the chair was taken for a moment to call their Lordships' attention by the Earl of SHAFTESBURY.
to the position in which they now stood. Their Earl Grey rose and addressed their Lord- Lordships had decided that the bill should be ships. The questiou of reform, said the noble read a second time, and cousidered in com. Earl, that important question haviny arrived mittee. They had decided for the priuciple of by the sanction of the House at the stage which the bill with reference to inquiry. What could was now, to nccupy them, the first niotion to fairly and , ruperly be deemed the priuciple of be made was for going into commutee, to the bill was a point that might educe much which they had assented; the next was, that discussion; but he would fraukly admit, have the consideration of the title and preainble of ing attended minutely to its progress, that he the hill be postponed; to which, as matters of regarded thuse, nuble Lords who had voted course, bę anticipated there would be no op- fus the secuud reading, as intending to esta. position. He next came to the provisions of blish the three principles of disfranchisement, the bill, and he would then take the opportu- eufrauchisement, and extension of suffrage. nity of announcing his interstion to propose au This he admitted fully, aud would act can. alteration in the first clause. The first clause, didly aud unitormly upon the admission. But accordio; to the general principle of the mea- although ouble Lurds had diviued ju favour sure, provided for the disfranchisemeut of a of the second reading, and had thereby accertain number of hurougbs. It set forth, that kuowledged these principles, yet he beyged to « each of the 56 - boronghs egunierated in remind them that they were out fettered in schedule A sball, from auid after the end of the slightest degree as to the extent to which this present Parliament, cease, tu returu auy they were to be urged; and they came iv de. member or members, to Parliament." This liberale as to the amount of distrapc..isemegt, clause "bad been introduced into the bill eufrauchisement, and extension of suffrage,
entirely free aud uptrammeled by their pre-approach the consideration of them unfettered vious vole. Still he must allow that, after all - unprejudiced-precisely as if they had not that had passed on this subject iu boih Houses / been postponed at all. The ground on which of Parliamen!,-looking at the state of the he would recommeud the postponement of the country avd the expectations that were abroad, clause was, that a bill of this description he felt bound to state, after the best consider- ought essentially to be a measure of enfran. ativn of this most important question, that he chiserneut. He objected to it because it ape, was not disposed, nor did he believe that those peared to him to be a measure of disfraiwho acted with hiin on that occasion were chisement. In his opigion it ought to be a disposed, to present to yoble Lords such alter- bill of eufranchisement, of which principles ations in the measure as, if adopted, would disfranchisement should be the consequent.. render it ultimately of such a character as He knew no other ground on which they ought not to satisfy, not Radicals, but all in- should be guided in framing a measure of the telligent reformers in the country, and (without kiud. If it were for the benefit of the state entering more into detail) even the noble Lord that a number of large and populous towns himself by whom the bill was brought for- should be enfranchised, disfranchisement ward. As to the manner in which the dis- might be required on account of the incon cussion was to be carried ou in commiitee, he venience resulting from too great a body of was sure that on their side it wvuld be marked menhers in the other House of Parliament. by temperance and candour, and he trusted to Ou this point lie would express no opinion, noble Lords opposite meeting them in the but he would repeat that disfranchisement same spirit, and to the noble Earl at the head should be consequent on enfranchisement: of his Majesty's Government, upon whose he would not say to the letter, but it should character and professions he relied. Much be so generally, and if a particular case arose. bad been said in that house and out of that let it be judged by its particular merits. As bouse as to the opponents of the bill being in- to disfranchising a certain number of places, fuenced by party feelings and party mea- the proper mode of proceeding was to begin sures. He would distinctly deny the imputa- by establishing the necessity of the occasion," tion. Noble Lords certainly had felt it their and by learning previously what places were duty to comment upon other proceedings of to be enfranchised. The proposition of the his Majesty's Goverument; but in so doing, noble Earl (Grey) met his objection in parte he could declare, with entire confidence, that but not altogether; for by coming to the confor the last 100 years never had any opposition sideration of the first clause they would allow been conducted with less of the spirit of party disfranchisement to precede enfranchisement. than the present. (A laugh from the minis- | If the noble Lord would not only leave out the terial benches.) He would repeat, that never words " fifty-six," but would abstain from inhad there been less concert, less co-operation, corporating schedule A in the clause, then his less of the machinery that characterized party, (Lord Lyndhurst's) amendment would not be than during the period of that opposition. necessary, (Earl Grey expressed sigos of dis--(Hear, hear, from The opposition.) This was sent,) nor would he feel called upon to press especially the case with respect to the mea- I his motion. The course he recommended apsure before the House. He had opposed peared to him the worthier of their adoption it bimself, as others had opposed it, upon as it was the more gracious to begin with an principle-having felt convinced, after using act of favour, or, if they would, of justice. his best endeavours to inform his mind, Now disfranchisement began hy depriving that if the bill passed into a law it would persons of a right. The very preamble of the have the effect of destroying the balance bill admitted that it was a right, and before of the mixed government of England, and touching upon it he conceived that they ought the just rights and privileges of their Lord- to establish enfranchisement as the foundaships' House. (Hear. This was his couvic- tion and justificatiou of the proceeding. The tion; and if it were so, what other course was authority of one of the most eminent Whig. he bound to pursue but that of opposing the lawyers--Chief Justice Holt-warranted the bill? Was it possible for him to take any view he had taken. There were other consi. other course ? Could he have acted other derations which pressed strongly on his mind. wise as a peer of Parliament ? Upon priuciple, If they pursued this course, they would disand principle alone, had he grounded his op: franchise as a matter of necessity; but if they position to the bill. (Hear.) It was his desire opposed this course, on what principle would that they should postpone the consideration of they disfranchise? They would proceed upon the clauses referred to until after they had the assumption that the boroughs were considered the clauses by which eufranchise- nuisances and stains upon the constitution. ment was to be conferred. In stating this (Cheers from the ministerial benches.) He: wish, he would most anxiously entreat their would ask their Lordships if it were advisable' Lordsbips not to misapprehend him. What he for them to pursue the lattere 'course ? proposed was simple, and would involve nu (“ Hear," from the opposition.) Would thing as to a prejudgment of the clauses. To not any man pretending to be a statesman borrow the language of his profession, he de prefer the healing plan. It had been prosired that the clauses should be postponed claimed at public meetings;--it had been bla-"" without prejudice ;" that in fact they shouldzoned on the corners of the streets '--that the
House of Commoos was but “a borough- part was to be a subsequent measure, and mougering Parliament; and what right had was not to be resorted to until they should it to make laws for the people ?-what right bave tried the effect of the first part of the had it to call on them and their children to plan, and seen how the addition of the sepay a debt which, but for Parliamentary cor- venty-two new members should operate. In the ruption, would never have been incurred ?” purchase of the boroughs it was intended to Was this a visionary statement? A noble give representatives to Birmingham and Shef. Baron opposite had presented a petition from field. To the plan introduced hy Mr. Flood, the National Political Union, and this was the it was proposed to alld two members to the language of the gentleman who had moved House of Commons; but in this plan there the fi.st resolution. “Let us get a reformed was no mention of disfranchisement. He Parliament-the delegates of the people-he next came to the plan proposed by the noble thanked the noble Duke for the term (hear); Earl (Grey) opposite, ihe main feature of and they should soon get delegates that would | which was the great increase of the members do good to themseives.” After touching upon returned by couuties. Ou the general merits the church, he proceeded to say, “ as to that of that plan it was not necessary for him to pretty affair, the 800,000,0001. of debt, --who make any observation, nor was he disposed to borrowed the money? The English borough- do so after what had been observed with mongers ? (Ministerial cheers.) And for respect to it by the noble Earl bimself-that what? To put down reform at home and re- much of it was to be ascribed to the heat volution abroad. Had they the right to sad- and inexperience of youth. This brought dle them and their children with the payment him to the plan introduced some years of this debt? He denied it io toto." The ago by the noble lord (Juha Russell), who orator was not disposed to be uumerciful to was the ostensible mover of the bill now the fundholders; he thought they ought to be on their Lordships' table, as well as of that paid " as far as public property could pay which had preceded it in a former session. them; as to the rest, some composition must The plan introduced by the noble Lord was in be made. That would be the work of a re- the shape of four resolutions, the second of formed Parliament, the thing was irrisistible, which declared it expedient to give representaand a reformed Parliament would effect it." tives to the large towns then unrepresented; Such was an example-a common example-of but the third resolutiou recommended the apthe doctrines that were every day promulgated, pointment of a comunittee to consider how and he would caution their Lordships against ihat entrauchisement might be best effected giving them the sanction of that House. without any inconvenient addition to the Without entering upon other topics that pre- number of members in the House of Comsented themselves to his mind, he would pro- mons. It was not, he (Lord Lyndhurst) ceed to point out to their Lordships the course thought, too much for him to iufer from this taken on the subject of reform hy those who proposition, that the noble Lord looked upon had made that question the subject of long enfranchisement as the principle and end of and deep consideration, from Lord Chatham his plan, and that be considered disfranchisedown to the present time, and when he stated meut as the means. He did uut quean to the several plans which they hail proposed, it impute any inconsistency to the noble Lord, would be seen that enfranchisement was the for whom he had a very high respect, but he end they had in view, and disfranchisement could not avoid nuticing the language of the the ineans. He would begin with Lord Chat. noble Lord on that occasion. His words ham. Seventy years ago, that noble Lord were, “ Let us first. agree as to what towos proposed bis plan, of which disfranchisement shall be enfranchised, and then we shall see formed no part. His plan was, that 100 mem- what is to be the extent of disfranchisementbers should be added to the representation, of what alterations it may be necessary to prowhich a part should be sent from the counties, pose.” But this hostility to disfranchise, or and, the others selected by the large towns. the principle of regarding it only as a ineaps, The next was Mr. Pitt's first plan, which, like not an end or object of reform, was not conthat of his father, was, that an addition of fined to the noble Lord whose name he had 100 members should be made to the represen-1 mentioned. He thought, that in the speecbes, tation in the House of Commons. iu this as well as the writings, of his noble and there was nothing of direct disfranchisement. learned Friend (the Lord Chancellor), the He spoke of the plan of 1783. The disfran- same principle was adhered to. His noble chisement was contingent, and made an ex- and learned Friend had, he couceived, given ceptivu to the general principle of the bill ; sufficient evidence that he also looked upon for it wa, except that it should be proved that eufranchiseneut as the great end of reform, at any time any borough should forfeit its and that, if he regarded disfranchisement at right to return members, and that, in that all, it was to be woly as a n.eans. In a cele case, the franchise should be thrown into the brated letter which his noble and learned general mass. Mr. Pitt's next plan in 1785 | Friend had writteu, he had made use of these was, that seveuty-two new members should words,-"Above all things, let us have no he added to the representation, and that after disfranchiseinent." He did not mean to wards a sum of money should be raised for charge his nuble and learned friend with inthe purchase of thirty-six boroughs ; but this consistency in this respect, but he was anxious