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tional liberty; but his Right Honourable Friend seemed to have forgotten that order was in its turn the guard of liberty also. Government could not sublitt without liberty and order, and liberty never could subsist if there was not a strong Government to protect good order, and keep it distinct from licentiousness. Upon all these accounts he hoped the House would not rafhly repeal the two Acts in question, and he himself would join them with his direct negative.
Major Ellford laid, that no rational man could deny that the Bills, the Repeal of which was now fought, had had the happy effect of stopping the propagation of opinions which disturbed the acquiescence of the people in those forms, and that Orders without which Government could not exist. If doctrines were preached hostile to the King, and a sacrilegious attempt was made on his perion, who would deny they ought to be restrained !---Any Administration who would supinely suffer it to pass unrestrained, would deserve execration; and he called God to witness that he was persuaded in his own mind, that if the Bills had not passed, they would not now be debating within those walls.
Sir R. C. Glynn admitted, that the Acts which it was proposed to repeal, shackled, in some degree, the liberty of the subject, and imposed some restraints on the exercise of the rights of individuals; but that was not the only light in which he viewed them. He could not avoid acknowledging the great benefits they had done to the country. The alarming meetings which had taken place in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis, had given serious cause of uneafiness to every thinking person who was interested in the prosperity and happiness of the country. He was convinced, from circumstances, that the object of those meetings was not, as they pretended, to obtain a Reform; but to overturn the Constitution. Before these Acts passed, Sedition and Treason were fast rising in every part of the country. The Bills were always thought unobjectionable by a great majority of that House; and he denied that ever they were uifapproved of by the great body of the people.
Colonel Fullarton said, he never had at any period of his life much intimacy with the Right Honourable Gentleman who had made the Motion; and he had differed in opinion on all political questions with him since the commencement of the present war. He had, however, never ceased to admire his great endowments and splendid talents; but if any thing could diminish his admiration of the Right Honourable Gentleman's abilities, it was to see him throw them away upon such questions as the present. While he made these observations, he wished it to be understood, that he was not one of those who opposed the extension of pub
lic liberty. He wished the liberties of the people to be improved in common with every thing that was capable of improvement. Improvements ought to take place in every part of the country; and if they were not proinoted, Delendo might be written upon the city of London, as it had been upon Carthage. The Motion which the Right Honourable Gentleman had brought forward was a tissue of that political web which he had been weaving for many years past, and which was calculated to bring that House into contempt in the eyes of all Europe. At the commencement of the present war with France, when the Demagogues of that country threatened to plant their tri-coloured Aag upon the Tower of London, the Right Honourable Gentleman endeavoured to persuade the House that we had no more right to interfere with the affairs of France, than with those of Morocco. He allowed that a country had no right to interfere in the concerns of its neighbours, so long as it was not likely to receive any injury from their proceedings; but if the dominions of the Emperor oi Morocco were as near to Great Britain as France is, and if he should venture to encourage attempts against the Constitution of this country, as France had done, there would then be strong reason for interfering with a Government which was disposed to disorganize or overthrow every other. He had censured the Alien Bill; he had ridiculed as visionaries all who expressed alarm for the safety of the Constitution. In every instance his language had been the same.--When it was necessary to guard against the designs of those who were proved to be hostile to the constitution, he had resisted every measure brought forward for the defence of the Government, and had proposed to do wonders by conciliation; like the musician, who conceived the idea of appeasing all the feuds and discords of mankind by the irresistible charms of harmony.
Mr. Pierrepoint observed, that he had already had occasion to say in a former Debate that he approved of the Acts which were now the subject of the Motion before the House. He was convinced, that to them the country was indebted for its present tranquillity and internal peace. He should, therefore, oppose the Motion for their repeal with all the energy he was capable of.
Lord Morpeth was perfectly convinced that there was an absolute neceility for passing the Bills. He was equally well convinced that this was not the period for repealing them. Could any confidence be placed in the good intentions of those Societies which had ventured to declare the Constitution radically vicious? Would the House destroy the intrenchments, and beat down all the fortifications they had erected, for the defence
of the Constitution at this moment of danger, when the Enemy was preparing to make his attack.
Mr. Ellison said, he should preface the few observations he had to offer to the House by returning them his thanks for the indulgent manner they listened to him upon a former occasion. There were some Gentlemen who had wilhed that this Motion should never be brought forward. He confessed he was of a contrary opinion: for if there was a man in that House who was willing, at such a moment, to bring forward such a Motion, he thought it better that the House should have a fair opportunity of expressing their opinion upon it. High as his opinion was of the talents of the Right Honourable Mover, he could not but regret that he bad deemed it prudent to make such a Motion :
or Who would not laugh if such a man there be,
“ Who would not laugh if Atticus were he.” The Bills which it was now proposed to repeal, appeared to haunt the Right Honourable Gentleman like the evil genius of Brutus, while to them, he (Mr. Ellison) owed the tranquillity he enjoyed by day, and the repose by night. The Right How nourable Gentleman had considered the R peal of these Bills as necessary for the preservation of liberty; he could not help ex. claiming « Oh, Liberty! under thy name what miteries have befallen mankind !” He was as anxious as any man that the time should arrive when those Bills might safely be repealed; and when that time did come, he hoped it would not be by a solitary motion on the one lide or the other that they would be repealed, but by the general content of Parliament. It seemed to be a maxim with the Right Honourable Gentleman who had brought forward the present Motion, that the more licentious people are, the better subjects they would make, and indeed he had often held language of this kind in the House.
The present Ministers had, in his opinion, been unjustly accused of being hostile to liberty, because they were obliged to lay on it fome temporary restrictions. If any particular Member were lame of an arm, for instance, would not his surgeon order it to be bound up, until it was restored ? and certainly fome reftrictions were necessary. Schools had absolutely been opened for the purpose of teaching sedition; the people were told that all Government was tyranny, and that they ought to do what they pleased, and the present Motion did not tend to eradicate those ideas. An Honourable Gentleman (Colonel Fullarton), had said, that the object of Opposition was to make the country contemptible abroad. He was inclined to think that the tendency and object of their conduct was to make Parliament con No. 39. 7U
temptible at home. They were constantly told, that the majo. rity were the slaves of Ministers, and a few Gentlemen arrogantly assumed to themselves all the patriotisın in the House. This was a claim he would not allow, and he invited the res. peetable and independent Members of the House to form a broad and firm phalanx round him, and let them exclaim to their conftituents, “Fere we are, as unbiased by Ministers as uninfluenced by faction, performing the duty we owe to our King, our country, and our God.” He admitted, that in some things he did not approve of the conduct of Minifiers ; but then it should be recollected they were acting upon a large theatre, and great allowances ought to be made. Gentlemen had constantly the words, “ the country,” “ liberty,” and “ freedom," in their mouths, while they were actuated by “ malice, hatred, and all uncharitableness” against Ministers, and treated those who had not the talent of talking, as the flaves of Ministers, But he would not suffer any set of Gentlemen to arrogate to themselves all the patriotism of the country; he conceived the majority in that House as acting upon the purest motives, and as a check upon the conduct of Ministers; particularly in the disposition of public money. He was going to speak upon a delicate subject, and as it was very likely he might make ule of some absurd expression, as he was not in the habit of public speaking, he supposed it would be taken advantage of, like the expression “kill. ing off,” and others; he therefore begged previously to enter his protest against it. These Acts had been called severe; but he knew that if the law was severe, the Government would exercise it with lenity; but, when severity was necessary for the preserva. tion of the Constitution, it was their duty to be severe. In fair weather the veslel of the State might be allowed to spread all her fails to the breeze; but when it began to blow it was necessary to take in a reef. It was certainly very wrong to disturb the minds of the lower orders of the people, by exciting in them ideas of rights and privileges, which never could be of any service to them. The only happiness they ought to enjoy was, that which resulted from their following their daily labours with diligence and fobriety. While they did this, they would be perfectly comfortable. He was proud to acknowledge, that he owed the means of having procured a feat in that Houle, to his father's having been a virtuous and industrious man. He would recommend to Gentlemen, instead of making their fellow subjects discontented with the station to which Providence had allotted them, to obey the Government by which they were protected. Those politicians who cheated the people out of their happiness, were, in his opinion, the worst of swindlers. Under These impressions he should give his vote against the Motion.
Mr. Mr. Fox.--.“ In rising, Sir, to make a few observations on what has fallen from dirferent Gentlemen in the course of the debate, I believe I shall not have occasion to detain the Houle by entering into any great length of argument. I feel myself however to particularly to have been alluded to, that it is necessary 1 should request the indulgence and attention of the House, till I answer the most material objections to the Motion which I have submitted to the confideration of the House, as well as to the mode in which, in the opinions of fome Honourable Members, I have made use of in so doing. A learned Friend of mine, Sir, (Mr. Serjeant Adair) has, in a very particular and especial manner called upon me to point out in what respet the Bill in question prevents the People at a public Meeting from putting another person in the Chair, if the Sheriit, or other perLon calling that Meeting, should quit it before the purposes of the Meeting are finished. I said, Sir, that the Sheriit, calling a Meeting under this Bill, might refuse to comply with the views of the people who requcited that Meeting, by refusing to declare the majority, or, having done fo, to put his official signature to it, in order to give it that legal weight and consequence which it required and was entitled to. The Sheriff of Surrey, Sir, is an instance dircctly in proof of what I have faid; and it is evident that every person at that Mecting thought that, according to the tenor of the Bill, the Meeting being called, according to its provisions, by the Sheriff, was no longer legal than while the Sheriff, whom the act appointed to call is, was in the Chair. My Learned Friend, however, by his argument of this night, has asierted the contrary, and I am very ready to yield to his fuperior judgment on this head. I wish, however, I had poffeffiad the knowledge of my Learned Friend's opinion before the Meeting, as in that case the proceedings at Eplom would in their conclufion have been very different to what they were. Another part of the argument of my Learned Friend, Sir, was an assertion that this House was not, and ought not to be, influenced by popular clamour. True, Sir, but it is at the same time almost admitted by my Learned Friend that the House is wholly influenced by the Executive Government, and what, Sir, must the people think, what must the opinion of the people be of a House of Commons wholly influenced by the Executive Government? I do not feel it necessary, Sir, to go much, at length into the seVeral arguments used by my Learned Friend, though there are one or two more which I shall take occalion to notice as I goon.