noble Lords in assuming that'he contemplated cumstances, he bad only two courses open to a fresh appeal to the people antecedently to that him-to resigu, or to offer the advice against exercise of the Royal prerogative, which he which the noble Earl inveighed. That addeemed necessary to prevent a collision be. vice he humbly tendered, and as it was not tween the hereditary and the representative udopted, he, with the utmost gratitude for branches of the legislature. He particularly past favours, entreated his Majesty to accept recol ected that he spoke of a probable colli- his resignation. Was that trampling "on sion between the two Houses, and intimated the Crown or the House of Lords ? Was tbat he should certainly feel it his duty to re- it not, on the contrary, abiding by that priocommend the exercise of that prerogative, ciple even dearer to him than his heart's not to remedy a collision after it took place, blood, for be believed it necessary to the sebut to prevent it in due time. The noble Earl curity of the country? Noble Lords had who had spoken of their common age might charged him with a determination to force the remember the debates on the regency, though bill without any alteration ; he could assure neither of them was in Parliament at the them, that so far from sucb a wish, be had time; and it could not have escaped his recol. been throughout willing to attend to all objeclection, that, on those debates, the prerogative tions in the committee, wbich would not affect of the Crown, to prevent a collision between the principles or the efficiency of the bill. Ho the Houses, had been frequently insisted on. then proceeded to defend the metropolitan It was, therefore, with him no new doctrine, clause, the 101. franchise, and to express a conand the only question was, whether the emer- fideut hope, that when the bill should have gency to justify it had arisen ? There could been read a third time, public repose and genot be a more dangerous error thao to suppose neral satisfaction would be its sure consethat emergency was the actual and not the quences. Should it be necessary to say more probable collision between the two branches in its defence, he would leave it in the bands of the legislature. Surely no man of prudence of those whose strength was less impaired would wait until danger, confessedly foreseen, than his, aud he would trespass no more on had arrived. Common sense dictated that it their Lordships. Whut might be the result of should be provided against as speedily as pos- the Reform Bill it was not for man to decide, sible. He would pow come to the noble Earl's but in the present state of the coupiry, they notice of the first point on which the House might be well assured it was impossible to avoid had divided in committee.. It was asserted reform. If reform did not come in due time that was uo question of principle. To decide from within, it would come with a vengeance between those who held this opinion and the from without. The public mind had been so contrary, he would leave to an impartial ob- long bent upon it, that he believed there was server. This, however, must be acknowledged, no noble Lord in that House who would conthat if they had conceded the point then de- sciously say there was not the greatest danger manded, they must have resigned to the in delaying it. He contended that although enemies of the measure the whole conduct of the nomination borouglas were destroyed, the the bill. That, he felt, was inconsisteut with great interests of the country would ali be adeevery principle he had ever professed, and he quately represented; the agricultural, the was resolved at all hazards to resist it. He commercial, the manufacturing, and even the did this from po vain pride, from no morbid colonial interests. It had beeu over and over sense of personal dignity. The noble Earl again said, that much excitement prevailed; then enlarged on the injurious cousequences but be would appeal to the House whether be of rotten boroughs : he devied that the House or his friends had been guilty of creating that of Commops worked well in practice, that it excitemeot. He hoped the time was at hand failed in producing confidence between itself wlien repose would succeed to that excitement: and the people, the representatives and the he hoped that a new ern was at hand, and be represented; contending that the main prin. anticipated that the noble Earl opposite would ciple of the bill was the disfranchisement of be amongst the first to rejoice at ihe falsificarotten boroughs, from which no consideration tion of his own gloomy forebodings. Amongst could induce him to swerve. Neither could be advantages which he anticipated from the he ever consent to any change in the order of speedy adoption of the measure, was that Poproceeding which bad for its object to limit litical Unions would no longer exist. "He felt the disfranchisement. The first motiou thus as fully as any noble Lord iu that House that made in the committee was made without any they could not co-exist with any well reguluted previous communication to him, and when its or efficient Government ; but he did not look purport was stated to him for the first time in to the same means for putting an end to them That House, he felt instantly that it was a pro- which seemed to be in the contemplation of position which, if agreed to, must prove fatal sorne Members of that House. The noble to the bill. This motion was brought forward Earl on the other side probably remembered by those who were shocked and indignant at the associations which were formed in this the notion of a party trick. (Hear, hear.) He country at the close of the Americau war; imputed nothing to this; he only sought to be could not fail to remember that they trans. delend himself, and be owned that, to his acted business by means of delegates, and miud, no other course presented itself except that they were in constant correspondence ing that he had pursued. Under these cir- with each other ; but that when the exciting

cause was removed, the societies disappeared at noble Friend had justly said, the poble Earl the same time. So he expected it would be had made use of the result of the motion of with the associations to which the necessity his no!:le and learned Friend with great skil

for reform bad giveu rise. One of the results | fulness, as if the destruction of the bill had • of the Reform Bilt would be, to extinguish been previously concerted. No such concert those societies. He then proceeded to defend had, however, existed. With respect to the himself from the imputation of any feeliog recent proceedings in the commitiee, be (Lord but that of the most disinterested desire for Wharncliffe) baviny voted for the second the public good; at bis time of fire, he could reading of the bill on the ground that it was feel no personal interest; and be believed susceptible of beneficial alteration in the comthere could be no man in the country aware mittee, had felt it his duty to attend in the of his own relation to society at large, who committee, and endeavour to improve the bill could feel otherwise than anxious for the as much as possible. They all knew the result, . public; the humblest mechanic in the land and the determination evinced by the noble had the same interest in its well-being that he Lords opposite not to give up a single point had, and he made no doubt that every class of the measure. Looking back at the whole of the community would see the expediency of the proceedings, he could not take to himof instantly returning to that peace and self any blame for the share which he had had

good order, without which they could not in them. Before the debate on his noble and · hope to enjoy that prosperity which, he learned Friend's motion in the committee, he

trusted, would soon, and for a period of long had told a noble duke, a member of his Maduration, fall to our lot. He would then say jesty's Government, his noble and learned tbat the measure of reform, so far from being Friend's intention. But if the committee had revolutionary, was, in the highest degree, not decided in favour of his noble and learned cons rvative.

| Friend's motion, it was possible that they Lord WUARNCLIFFE gave the noble Earl wonld have decided against his Majesty's Mifuit credit for the uprightness of his inten- nisters on schedule B; and that would have tions and the purity of his motives, but yet brought their Lordships into still greater col. accused his policy as tending wantonly to put lision with the House of Commons. Everythe public affairs in jeopardy. He complained thing proved that, wbatever might have been that that House had been deprived of its in- the nature of any amendments proposed in the de peudence. He contended, that if the sense committee, the proposition would have been in of the country could now once more he taken vain. He hoped, however, that when the bill upop the subject, it would be found that the was passed, the noble Lords opposite would great body of the properly, the intelligence, and really turn their attention' to the state of the the character of the country, were opposed to it. country. The noble Earl had admitted that He cevied the interpretation put upon his own the systematic operation of Political Unions former speech by the noble Earl at the head would be inconsistent with the good government of his Majesty's Government, and couteuiled of the country.' He (Lord Wharncliffe) howfor that of his nob:e Friend (Lord Harrowby); fever, very much doubted whether the settlement and he strenuously maintained, that no colli. of this question would have the effect of putting sion had arisen between the two Houses of an end to the Political Unions. When the Parliament. The noble Earl had said that the Catholic Bill was going through the House, intention of niaking the motion which his one of the great arguments in its favour was, poble and learned Friend had made in the that it would put an end to the agitation which conmittee was a secret to bim. On his (Lord existed in Ireland ; yet, from the period of Wharucliffe's) part he could say, that nothing the passing of that measure, Ireland had which he had previously heard had induced been in constant agitation. Having become him to believe that the nuble Earl would con-conscious of their power, he doubted whether sider the success of that motion to be conclu- the Political Unions would be disposed to resive with respect to his continuance in office. linquish it, or to break up that machinery Whatever else might be a secret to the noble which had proved so effective in the attainment Earl, the feelings which he (Lord Wharncliffe) of their object. On the contrary, he looked and his noble Friends entertained with respect to see a House of Conimons elected under the to the bill could be no secret to him. What influence of the Political Unions, and of the could they do other than that which they bad press. Nothing, however, was so dangerous done? From the time at which the noble Earl as political prophecy; and he would, theredeclared io bis snecch on the second readios fore. express bis earnest hope of the bill that the bill was in the hands of their Earl, that after the heats and animosities Lordships, he thought that propositions for wbich the discussion of this measure had amending the bill in the committee would be occasioned had subsided, beneficial consedispassivuately received and considered. And quences might be the result. He could not he had also thought that tie noble Lords op- but confess that he looked with great appreposite were disposed to go a great way will hension to what he conceived was the dauger them in amending the bill what he and his of lodying a prepunderaut power in the hands nuble Prieuds had been trying to do was to of one part of the community, but he trusted make the bill safer and more satisfactory to that lris fears would prove groundless; and the majority of the commuuity. But as bis that the measure would be productive of all


the public advantage which the noble Earl sent. They seem to look upon these : anticipated from it. . The question " That the bill be now read a

Political Unions as something that will third time," was then put from the woolsack. supersede the Government altogether ; The Lord Chancellor declared that he thought or, at least, have great weight in de the contents had it; but a noble lord (we ciding upon measures to be adopted. non-contents had it, strangers were ordered ! :

Peel expressed his alarm in the follow, to withdraw.

ing words : Although there could be no rational doubt!

| The character of all future measures de

The charane as to the result of the division, yet considerable agitation prevailed ainong the excluded Let

pended on the character of the new Parliament. strangers, until they were informed that the

Let the noble Lord take the course which he

de might think most conducive to the speedy numbers (Do proxies we uoderstood having

48 passing of those measures, and he assured him been presented) were as follows:

that no one on that side of the House would Contents ...106

throw any factious obstacle in his way. Above Non-contents, ... 22

all, he felt it his duty to call the attention of . Majority . . 84

his Majesty's Government to the continued er· As soon as the decision of their Lordships

istence of these political associations. It was

quite clear that the Unions had no intention of was communicated to the people assembled in Palace Yard, they rent the air with shouts,

dissolving: they intended to continue their

existence for the purpose of extorting further which were distinctly heard in the House. On our re-admission, we found the Lord

advantages. He had heard it said that this

bill was to be accepted as a final and satisfacChancellor proposing several verbal amendments in the bill, which, after a brief con

| tory measure. The hon. Gentleman behind versation, were adopted.

him (Mr. Hume), the Member for the metro. The question « That this bill do pass," was

politan county, had himself said the same then put and agreed to.

thing; yet be declared only a few nights back, A number of noble lords immediately sur

in reference to the 101. franchise, that, give

p him but that and he would soon extort the 5l. rounded Earl Grey, and appeared to be congratulating him on the successful termination

(Hear.) This was the principle on which the

Political Unions proceeded. What man inteof his arduous labours.

rested in the well-being of the country could Upon this dehate. I must remarkaq advocate the existence of these political asso. far as I think it necessary to remark | trol the

ciations, whose object and desire was to con-' ecessary to remark trol the right of voting. He understood that upon it, in conjunction with the debate, there was no intention on the part of Governo in the House of Commons upon the ment to interfere with these Political Unions; amendments made by the Lords to but they expressed their confident hope in the the bill, except in as far as relates to

good sense of the people for their suppression,

But if the Political Unions made their sittings the speech ot Lord WHARNCLIFFE, who permanent, if they obtained the control over appears to be the only man left in the the rights of voting conferred by the billnation, who stilt believes that there is a.

whatever hon. Gentlemen might think of the

form of society under wbich we had lived for majority of people of property against

the last fifty years—in his opinion, that there the bill. The main anxiety of Haro was no party in the state whose domina ROWBY, WHARNCLIFFE, and Wincail-tion could be so intolerable as that which SEA ; the main subject of their appre. was to come. (Hear.) He hoped that his hension, appears to be, that the POLITI

Majesty's, Government would have suffi

cient confidence in themselves-be hoped CAL UNIONS will still continue to exist they would have sufficient confidence in the Lord GREY answered this very well. good sense of the people of England ; and if Certainly, it will not be necessary to they were disappointed in their expectations have Political Unions when the reform

of that good sense, he hoped they would have has been made ; but it will be very ne- legislature and the strength of the constitu.

sufficient confidence in the good sense of the cessary to have them until it has been tional powers to vindicate the authority of the made. PEEL'S-BILL Peel, and his law, and rescue them from the wretched and worthy associate CROKER. whose degraded tyranny under which they would

otherwise be compelled to live. (Cheers from adopted child has had a pension allotted the opposition. By the King's speech, made to her, seem to have been perfectly hor- at the opening of the session, the Ministers rified at the thought of the continuance were in some measure pledged to this. Ia of these Political Unions after the bill this speech bis Majesty says, “ Sincerely at.

tached to our free constitution, I never can has been passed; and passed it now is

sanction any interference with the legitimate (6 June) all but receiving the royal as- exercise of those rights which secure to 'nay

people the privilege of discussing and makiọg (not the people have associations for a known their grievances; but in respecting similar purpose? But, before I proceed these rights, it is also my duty to prevent

hich further, let us have the words of Lawyer combinations, under whatever pretext, which "urner, ict us in their form aod character are incompatible CROKER, who quoted WASHINGTON ! with alt regular government, and are equally opposed to the spirit and to the provisions of There was no part of the conduct of his Mathe law; and I know that I shall not appeal jesty's present Government which he more in vain to my faithful subjects to second my deeply lamented than their conduct towards determined resolution to repress all illegal the Political Unions. Nor was that conduct proceedings by which the peace and security free from the marks of duplicity, as well as of my dominions may be endangered." They of neglect of duty. They might for a time were, then, about to give their final assent to check the eruptions of those volcanic Unions, that bill which was said to be the chief cause but he very much feared that the earthquake.. and justification of political unious. With would be stifled only for a time, and that eventhe cause, then, the effect ought also to cease ; tually monarchy, in this country would totter and be would call upon the House to consider, to its fall. Even at the present moment Polibefore the separation of this Parliament, the tical Unions, by the mere change of a word, propriety of redeeming the pledges placed in were about to become legally organized. the mouth of his Majesty's Ministers, and to They were about to call themselves Électoral put an end to the proceedings, the continuance Unions, aud to assume the functions of conof which, under any forın, are inconsistent | ductors of elections throughout the country; with all good government, and opposed alike pointing out to the voters of popular places to the provisions and spirit of the law, and to the persons whom they thought best qualified to give that protection to property and liberty sit in the House of Commons. And this system which is quite incomputible with the continu was to last for ever. It would be a perpetual ance of those associations. (Cheers.) , circle of political excitement. Was it too

much to believe that these Unions would sucThis is very terrific, to be sure. Pitt

ceert in obtaining a bona fide and permanent

influence over the Government of the country? clubs, Conservative Clubs, Loyal Asso

Let those who thought so recollect what 0cciations against Jacobins and levellers, I curred in France at the period of the revoluopenly employing bands of spies and in tion; and recollect the division of Paris into formers; all these were right enough;

Electoral Sections, which, having set thembut unions for the purpose of obtaining vernment, and in a short time destroyed it.

selves above all law, first controlled the Go-, reform, frighten Peel's-BILL Peel out He would on this subject appeal to an anthoof his senses. If there be anything rīty which he supposed would be allowed to be which common sense bids everý man entitled to respect by all who admired high

'} public character obtained in the establishment to believe, and with respect to which it there can be no difference of opinion rity pointed out the dangers which might beset amongst sane persons, it is this : that, if constituted order even in a republic. The there be anything which your notorious / great Washington, in the year 1796, when,

as it were, taking leave of the American naand deadly enemy dislikes more than

tion as a public man, wrote a letter in which every thing else, that is a thing which he warued his countrymen of the great danger you ought to like Upon this principle to which even a popular state was liable from we ought to judge now with regard to political associations. Having observed that POLITICAL UNIONS. We may be sure,

when a government was once established it was

the duty of every individual to obey it, Washthat Peel and CROKER dislike 'them, lington thus proceeded: 2 because they are favourable to us. If “ All obstructions to the execution of the they saw in these Unions things which “ laws, all combinations and associations, could be easily corrupted, they would **

“ under whatever plausible character, with

" the real design to direct, control,counternot have such a dislike to them. They “ act, or awe the regular deliberation and think, and they think truly, that these “ action of the constituted authorities, are Unions will have a good deal to say in 1“ destructive of this fundamental principle,

" and of fatal tendency. They serve to organpointing out the proper members to be

"ize faction, to give it an artificial and exelected, and, why should they not? Are " traurdinary force-to put in the place of the there not "county.clubs,” sitting from delegated will of the nation the will of a. teven years to seven years ; regularly 1“ party, often a small but artful and euterfitted out with chairmen, secretaries, and a

1"prising minority of the community; and, corresponding coinmittees; have not « ferent parties, to make the public adminis

“according to the alternate triumphs of difboth Whigs and Torics these; and shall “tration the mirror of the ill-concerted and



[ocr errors]

" incongruous projects of faction, rather than ! by showing the dissimilarits? Do we " the organ of consistent and wholesome combine for the purpose of dictating to “plans, digested by common councils, and o modified by mutual interests. However the King and his Ministers measures of “ combinations or associations of the above war and of peace? Have those who “ description may, now and then, answer rule us been chosen by ourselves, from the “popular ends, they are likely, in the course King down to the justice of the peace. “ of time and things, to become potent/ “ engines, by which cunning, ambitious, apd| “unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert have the rechoosing of the whole of " the power of the people, and to usurp furthem? Have we no rights to recover; " themselves the reins of Government; de- and have we no burdens imposed upon “stroying afterwards the very enemies which “ bave lifted them to unjust dominion."

us? Oh! Lawyer CROKER, there wanted

a man with a head upon his shoulders, * LAWYER CROKER, this passage from to remark upon your learned quotation what was called Washington's legacy, from WASHINGTON. Oh ! Lawyer! The will make against you when properly glorious days of MOTHER CLARKE are explained. I was an actor, and a pretty gone never to return ! important actor, too, on the stage, when I was not much delighted with what this legacy came forth, War was going the Ministers said upon the subject of on between England and France. Wash- these Political Unions. They, in both INGTON was anxious to keep America Houses, expressed a hope, that the good in a state of neutrality; “ Democratic sense of the people would put an end to Societies". were formed to force the the Unions when the reform was comCongress into a war against England. pleted. Agreed, if by completion, they I had a very considerable hand in keep mean the Reformed Parliament actually ing down these societies. The object of assembled, and proving by its conduct' these societies was far different from that that it is resolved to make the changes of our Political Unions, the object of which the circumstances of the country which is to obtain a restoration of our demand ; but wholly do I disagree with rights, and a relief from our burdens. them, if they mean, that the Unions The Democratic Societies" of America ought to cease upon the mere passing of had no complaint to make against their the Bill. Why, here is this Parliament Government, which laid not one single still sitting with the members of the tax upom them, and which never had fifty-six cashiered boroughs in it; and, attempted to withhold from them the what is more, the Ministers do not think enjoyment of one single right. The proper to give us even a hint with re-, form of the Government, was a form. gard to the time when it is to cease to which the people themselves had chosen, sit ! Nay, Lawyer CROKER, my real the president and the members of the belief is, that, if the Political Unions' Congress, had, at the time we are speak were to dissolve themselves, and the ing of, recently been chosen by the peo- people were to sink down into a state ple. At the end of about a year and a of confiding apathy, and were to hold half, the right of choosing would again their tongues upon the subject, this Pare revert into the hands of the people. It liament would continue to sit for years was upon these grounds that WASH- yet to come, unless put an end to by the INGTON objected to clubs whose mani- demise of the crown. Oh, no! I am fest intention was, to coerce the Go- not for a government of clubs : I never vernment ; to 'overrule those whom the have been. A nation cannot be well gopeople, had chosen to carry on their af verned by such means; it is all caprice, fairs; and, in this particular case, to and all confusion : but, I am for our compel them to go to war, to gratify the keeping together, and not slackening in wild and vindicative whims of the any one of our exertions, until we see leaders of these societies.

the members of the Reformed Parlia- Is there any similarity in the two ment fairly seated in the House. cases, Lawyer Croker; and ought not Besides, while proud and pert STANLEY some one to have put you down at once tells us that HE will take this reform asa

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »