clamour most loudly for Independence do, in many instances, go against my satisfied with the exercise of it, when feelings. An honourable gentleman, it happens to make against themselves. (Mr Lamb,) who never speaks withWhen my honourable friend's vote out making a deep impression by his happens to be with gentlemen on the op- eloquence and ability, truly observed, posite side of the House, then his opi- last night, that retrenchment is not an nions are conclusive, and his authority unmixed good. Such a process necesan infallible guide ; but when his sen- sarily throws upon the world many metiments concur with those held on this ritorious and helpless individuals, who side of the House, he is stigmatised as are added to the numbers of the disa man who does not dare to act upon tressed, and augment the mass of dis. his own views—as equally corrupt and content throughout the country. lo servile with those who have actually truth, those whose duty does not call enlisted themselves under the banners them immediately to attend to the of the ministry.” Ministers had most detailed application of the principles anxiously considered the distresses of which we are all agreed in recommend. the nation, particularly those which ing, can have but a faint notion of the pressed on the agricultural classes of scenes of sorrow and suffering which the community ; plans had even been result from those very operations by devised for relieving them, but unbapo which the pu'»lic pressure is ultimately pily without any satisfactory result. to be relieved.” Sensible of the necessi. The

poor laws formed, no doubt, a ty of reduction, he yet owned that in most important subject of considera. cutting deep it was impossible not to tion—and he trusted MrCurwen would feel severely. To this extent he ownrenew his motion for a committee upon ed he was an unwilling reformer, and them ; but this was a question which trusted he would not suffer, in the escould not properly be mixed up with timation of the House, for being gaidother matters. Mr Brougham, as might ed by no harsher motive than a sense of be expected, had qualified the assertion public duty. He never had been more of the original mover of the amendment surprised than to hear the learned genby which taxation was represented as tleman, who spoke last, drawing the the only source of public distress, in most gloomy presages from there being conformity to a pamphlet (his own no new taxes. “ At the end of the published speech) on agricultural dis. American war," says the honourable tresses, in which he enumerated thir. and learned gentleman, “ taxes to a teen causes of the publicdistress, among considerable amount were imposed upwhich taxation was only one, and where on the people—now we could not, we he had also supported the doctrine now dared not impose taxes.” What might held by ministers that the distress would be done if necessary, it is happily bebe only temporary. Ministers were most side our present purpose to inquire. anxious to reduce the establishment as That there exists no necessity, and that low as possible ; their only principle there is therefore no intention of im. of limitation being safety --Colonies posing taxes, is the fact. There are cir. had their price, but the safety of the cumstances of distress enough, God kingdom had no price it was inesti. knows, in our situation ; but it seems mable it must be guarded against all a most perverse ingenuity that can hazards by all exertions. “Sir, for one, discover, in the absence of any necesI am not disposed to deny that the re- sity for new taxes, a symptom of pecu. ductions and dismissals to which we are liar and aggravated distress. With reunder the necessity of having recourse, gard to our employing an influence on



the contineat for the promotion of com- which was to feed the hungry, to remercial objects, ministers had concei. form the vicious, to diffuse affluence ved that a secure peace rather than a and contentment through all classes of profitable one was the object, and that the community, was parliamentary re. to have excited jealousy and hazarded form. Mr Canning declared his deterour good opinion in the great confedc. mination to resist this in every form, racy, by proposing such stipulations, observing, “ I deny the assumption would have been very unwise. The that the House of Commons, as it address was most unjustly censured as stands, is not to all practical purposes having branded the people with dis. an adequate representative of the peoloyalty, the distinction between the ple. I deny that it requires any amend. deluders and the deluded had been most ment or alteration, to enable it fitly to clearly drawn. “ The people at large discharge the functions which are leare warmly praised, but not more warm. gitimately its province. I deny that ly than justly, for the fortitude with there is any model, either in the theo, which they have borne all their priva. ry or in the practice of the constitu. tions. But is it not notorious that, of tion, to be traced in any period of our their privations, advantage has been ta- history, or to be found in our customs ken to endeavour (happily in vain) to or our laws, from which model the excite throughout the country a gene. House of Commons has degenerated, ral spirit of insurrection? The honour- and according to which it requires to able and learned gentleman has asked, be reformed. I do not deny that theo. whether those persons who assembled ries more splendidly popular may be to petition the legislature are to be con- devised by speculative philosophers, or sidered as guilty of insurrection ? Cer- held up by designing men to inflame tainly not—but for the sake of petition- the imaginations

of the multitude. I ing, is a waggon laden with ammuni- admit that, in erecting for the first tion a necessary basis? Are fire-arms time in other countries, a system of and tri-coloured flags the indispensible representative government, other bases accompaniments of

a resolution in fa- might be found more adapted to their vour of parliamentary reform? For wants, habits, and feelings. But I conmyself, I can truly say, that I feel as tend that our system, such as it is, has much compassion for those innocent, grown up with our freedom and with but mis-guided persons, whom their our power ; and that it satisfies the distresses expose to be the dupes and wants, the opinions, and the feelings of tools of every leader that addresses the great bulk and body of the nation.” himself to their wants, their prejudices He would be sorry, indeed, to see the and their passions, as I do of indigna- House of Commons the mere passive tion against the perverted heads and organ of popular volition. “Whenever hard hearts of those demagogues, who, it shall attempt to exchange this its far from sharing or relieving the suffer- sober and legitimate character, for the ings in which they pretend to sympa- wide and wild prerogative which mothise, retire to their own comfortable dern politicians claim

for it, some new homes, from a drenched and starving system of government-some strange auditory, after having irritated them variety of untried being—some mon. to madness, and stimulated them to strous growth planted in an inauspi. outrage, by ioculcating rebellion as a cious hour, watered with blood, and duty, and proscribing charity as a thriving amidst desolation, may take crime." The object of these proceed the place of the British constitutionings, the panacea for all grievances, but the British constitution will be no more! The name of England may re. The stamina of the nation, I am permain, but it will no longer be that suaded, are unbroken—the heart, I am England, the model of rational liberty, confident, is sound. It is not surely at the protectress of national independ the eve of dissolution, and as in the ence, venerable in her domestic institu- moment of lightning before death, that tions, powerful in foreign exertion be. I see visions of future glory! But I yond the natural proportions of her cannot, I will not believe that the brilphysical force,whose pigmy body' liant destinies of England are closed animated and o'er informed by the spi. for everrit of her free constitution, was strong “Think you yon sanguine cloud, enough to deliver Europe from the Raised by war's breath, has quench'd the grasp of the oppressor ; and whose

orb of day? greatness and happiness, whose free. To-morrow he repairs the golden flood, dom and power, the destruction of the And warms the nation with

redoubled ray.' constitution can alone destroy." There. To wait with patience for the turn of formers in the House, indeed, treated those unprosperous times—to bear and the advocates of universal suffrage and to forbear-to endeavour to restore annual parliaments as visionary and what Lord Clarendon, I think, somefanciful theorists ; but he was afraid where calls, the ancient good temper there was something much more sub- and good humour of the British nastantial in those theories that the tion' to abstain from hazardous inno. solid land itself was the object of their vations and experiments—to probe with desire. He held in his hand a pamph. a tender hand real grievances, with a let written with no inconsiderable abi- view to practical remedy-to cherish lity, (by Evans, Librarian to the the institutions, and to foster the reSpenceans,) in which it was stated that sources of the country; this is the all the lands, houses, and other proper. course which parliament has to pure ty, must return to the people, without sues and which, pursued through this which reform was unavailing. The fer. session, painful and laborious as it may ment occasioned by these doctrines be, will, I have no doubt, enable us to would not indeed be dangerous if due look back with self-congratulation at precautions were taken-but without the gloomy phantoms by which we are these the agents of mischief might avail now discouraged and appalled.” themselves of national distress to pro- Mr Tierney contended that the duce national confusion. The present House would not do its duty unless was the critical moment of our fate the amendment was adopted, and he through which if we passed unhurt, a had no hesitation in solemnly declaring

ew course of prosperity might open that the country was in a state of the upon us. “I cannot, (said Mr C.) I greatest, the most unexampled, and will not, join with those who despair of the most alarming danger. With that the fortunes of their country. Great, view of the question, how was it posI admit, is the exhaustion and severe, sible they could agree to an address I lament it, is the distress. In this which passed over that danger as lightmoment of exhaustion and distress, the ly as the speech delivered from the enemies of England again send forth throne? It was not true that a mere their terrible prophesyings, and pro- committee upon the income and exnounce her to be lost io herself and to penditure of the country, which was the world. False prophets may they now promised by the ministers, would prove--false prophets they will prove. meet every consideration which the

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present crisis demanded. He saw no and a reform in parliament. It was neprospect of any improvement in our gatived without a division. commerce. A diminution of the reve- The Commons had scarcely dispatchnue was inevitable from the general re. ed the preliminary business of the adduction of expenditure. If we reduced dress, when their attention was called our establishment to nineteen millions, to a vast crowd of petitions, presented there would be a deficiency of three from various quarters, chiefly by Lord millions, after giving up every particle Cochrane and Sir Francis Burdett. of the sinking fund. Was it not then a Their tenor was uniform, deploring the mockery to say that it was the duty of the distresses of the country, calling for House merely to echo back the speech economy and retrenchment, and, above from the throne ? Would the House all, for radical reform, particularly in lend itself to such a delusion as to say the constitution of the House itself. In that there would be any excess ? Could demonstrating the necessity of this last the deficiency be supplied by legerde. object, language was apt to be used, in main and hocus pocus ? The poor were which respect was by no means promisupported only by subscriptions too nent. There was often, too, so striking extensive to be long continued. Much an even verbal coincidence, as to give had been said about reductions ; but he rise to the allegation, that there was wished to be shewn one great man who a petition-manufactory in London, had been dismissed or even had his sa- whence these productions emanated, as lary reduced. From clerks of L.100 from a centre, to the different parts of 2-year, L.30 had been taken, leaving the kingdom. In consequence of these L:70 to keep soul and body together. observations, animated debates arose as But last year a grant of L.10,000 had to the reception of several of the peti. been made in the treasury department. tions. Ministers had cut out a new office in The first was presented by Lord the civil list bill, and had proposed a Cochrane, and stated to be signed by vice treasurer of Ireland, with a salary 15,700 inhabitants of Bristol and its of L. 3000 a-year. Mr Croker had vicinity. The members for Bristol, claimed about L.250 as war salary, on however, Mr Hart and Mr Protheroe, pretence of the expedition to Algiers. declared that,, to their certain know. The only security against the excesses ledge, it did not contain the sentiments of the people was by shewing them of any considerable body of their con. that we were ready to share their dis- stituents ; but the Chancellor of the tresses.

Exchequer observing that it contained After a few words from the Chan. no strikingly disrespectful language, cellor of the Exchequer and Mr Sa- made no objection to its being laid on vile, the vote was put, when there ap- the table. His lordship then produced peared

one from the township of Penrith, in

the parish of Saddleworth, Yorksbire, For the amendment,

112 which was in a different strain. It Against it,

264 stated, “ that the petitioners have a

full and immoveable conviction, a conMajority for ministers, 152 viction which they believe to be uni

versal throughout the kingdom, that After the vote Lord Cochrane mo. the House doth not in any constitutional red an amendment denying the exist- or rational sense represent the nation ; ence of any tendency to disturbance, that when the people have ceased to be recommending the strictest economy represented, the constitution is sub

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serted; that as the tremendous tempest language of petitions, could not concur of war is not to be staid at the bidding in the reception of one which contained of those in whose mad and wicked a direct incitement to resistance. Mr counsels it had its origin, so it is pro- Wynn and Mr Bathurst also opposed bable the authors of the late war did it, and it was rejected by a majority of 'not intend the magnitude and duration 135 to 48. Lord Cochrane then proit attained, which magnitude and dura. duced another, which, on being read, tion, by the portentous calamities now was found to be verbatim the same with found in their train, are fast opening the one just rejected. Upon the rethe eyes of a deluded nation to the evil presentation, therefore, of Mr Vansitdeeds of its authors ; that in such a tart and MrCanning, he agreed to withcondition of the country, the petition. draw it. Another was rejected on the ers are shocked to behold contending ground that there was no signature factions alike guilty of their country's upon the sheet of paper on which the wrongs, alike forgetful, mocking the petition was written. One was then public patience with repeated, pro- exhibited from Delph, in Yorkshire, tracted, and disgusting debates on when Lord C. being asked if it was questions of refinement in the compli- not the very same which had been cated and abstruse science of taxation, twice rejected, replied he did not think as if in such refinements, and not in a it was exactly the same ; but the reformed representation, as if in a con- Speaker stating that there was no dif. solidated corruption, and not in a re- ference whatever, Mr Canning endea. novated constitution, relief were to be voured to impress upon the noble lord found ; that in the discussions which the impropriety of pushing this petithey had witnessed, the petitioners see tion in so many shapes, contrary to the nought but what hath a direct tendency decided opinion of the house. Lord C. to place the English people in a situa- however, insisted on the question being tion, in which the unrelenting lash of put, when it was negatived without a unconstitutional taxation may in all division. times to come be laid on them, to the Two days after, (31st January,) Sir utmost extent of human endurance." W. Lemon presented a petition from They concluded by invoking, as the the freeholders and inhabitants of Cornonly

remedy, a free parliament, elected wall, which he stated to be couched in annually by the whole body of the such temperate language, that no obpeople.

jection could be made to it. It urged The Chancellor of the Exchequer that there could be no hope of freedom opposed the reception of the petition, or public economy, till the people were which appeared to him to present, adequately represented in the House ; direct libel-a gross attack upon the that the want of this had produced the privileges, the conduct, and character ruinous wars, enormous taxation, and of that House. Mr Brougham, Mr overgrown military establishment, unBrand, and Mr Lamb, while they cen- der which the nation suffered ; that the sured the language of the petition, and people were excluded from any subreprobated the principle of universal stantial influence in the election of the suffrage, yet did not wish to limit the House, and that an oligarchical faction power of petitioning. Sir S. Romilly had actually usurped the sovereignty did not think the petitioners had any of the country, to the equal danger of intention of insulting the house ; but King, Lords, and Commons. Mr Brande Mr Canning, though he by no means advised the reception of the petition, thought they ought to be nice as to the to which no opposition was made. Sir

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