Tin: NATIONAL PoiaricAs UNION.—The first meeting of the Union was
held, in the Crown and Anchor Tavern, on Thursday night. The :511rg-e room was crowded. Sir Francis Burdett, as President, was in the Sir Francis repeated the observations he had formerly made on tile subject of different orders in the state—" he was one who would not et cognize any such distinctions. The constitution bestowed no privi- esges upon :my class of subjects except the House of Peers; none, therefore, were entitled to assume that they were above those termed the woeking classes, upon whose happiness depended the happiness of their
vicher fellow-subjects ; and there was but one class contemplated by the present union—namely, the People of England. This being the case, he crusted that all minor differences of opinion would merge into the one o-reat object—the supporting the Reform Bill of his Majesty's Ministers ; r.y which alone they could count on conquering the domineering Oligar- ally which had usurped the People's rights. Whether this victory over the Boroughmongers was all that was wanting, was another question ; were agreed that the Reform Bill was the essential foundation of what was wanted—equal rights, and as such was eminently calculated to pro- duce peace and happiness."
Mr. Murphy moved the first resolution—that of the Committee of 72, • ,tae-half should he persons belonging to the working classes, one-half belonging to the middle and higher classes. " The object of the framers f the resolution," he observed, "was to amalgamate Reformers of all .,:hades and differences—the so-called too violent, and the so-called too maid—in one moderate alliance in favour of the Reform Bill of Minis- gees, and to do away with all invidious distinctions. of the People. It rhight be that the Bill did not go so far as many—hinielf, for example- mig,ht desire ; but, as honest Reformers, they were bound to afford it their best support, were it only as part payment of their just rights. The tvorking classes were invited to state in whom of their own body they placed most confidence; and when it was found that the persons named were not objectionable on the score of moral or political dishonesty, they were inserted in the Council list. That Council, be it borne in mind, was to he but of temporary duration ; in three months the Union would Fiore the opportunity of dismissing them or continuing them in their trust, according to its opinion of their deserts.
Mr. Bowyer, one of the working class, seconded the resolution. " He hoped the timid wellwishers of a cheap and efficient government would learn from that meeting how groundless were their fears as to the ten- il'eney of nnim is of the working classes to lead to civil commotion. All tliat the working elass;.s songht for, was an honest and efficient House
Commons, truly and faithfully representing the wants and interests of the People ; and for the attainment of that they were anxious to extend their most cordial support to their patriot King and his Mi- L isters."
At this stage of the proceedings, a person whose name was understood to be Hayden, and who was stated to be one of Hunt's Rotunda-men, essayed a speech ; hut he had hardly finished the first sentence, whi ch imputed change of principles to Sir Francis Burdett, before he was put down amidst groans and hisses, and cries of "No Hunt ! No sham Reformers !" He was, or appeared to be, "very particularly tosticated with liquor."
Mr. Thelwall suggested an instruction to the Committee, that their efforts should be limited to the Bill ; but the proposal was very indiffer- cut!y received. Mr. Detrosier, of Manchester, expressed his surprise at Mr. Thel- w all's suggestion. It was beyond the Bill that the Reformers of England Should look for a cheap and efficient Government, involving the extinc- tion of the Pension and Sinecure Lists, and other monstrous abuses of the corrupt system. It was beyond the Bill they looked for that with- out which mere extension of suffrage might be an evil—he meant the abolition of all taxes on the diffusion of knowledge ; and it was beyond the Bill that they should look for a plan insuring the education of every poor man's child, not merely in what was called the elements of know- ledge, but the rights and duties of citizenship. Such were the glorious objects they had in view, which required only that union and firmness that he trusted would not be wanting for their entire fulfilment. The names of the Council having been read seriatim, the resolution, after a few remarks from the Chairman, was carried by acclamation.
A person named Osborne then moved the addition of certain names to the list. The first was, Mr. Wakley. (Great uproar, hisses, and cries of " .No, no !") The second was Mr. Warden. ("No, no P') The third was Mr. Cooper. (" No, no r) The fourth Mr. Henry Hunt, M.P. (Tremendous cries of "No, no—off, ! --No Rotunda If7ate Conduit !") Mr. Wakley, who wasPresent, came forward; but it was with great difficulty that he obtained an imperfect hearing. As soon as he attempted to speak, the hissing and cries of " Off, off !" became tremendous. The Chairman at length petitioned for a hearing for " the Editor of The Lancet." Partial calm being restored, Ur. Wakley then went on to say, that after the manner in which he had been attacked, he was astonished any one should. wish.to prevent his speaking. Why had his been hissed in that dastardly and cowardly manner ? He stood there on his trial, and must be heard. He was a public man, of some years standing; and he had thought it his duty to submit the motion that he had to the Lin- coln's Inn meeting, in order that harmony might prevail. (Laughter, and cries of" Oh !") As to being a member of the Council, he could not spare the time ; and, more than that, he would never form a part of any society to which Henry Hunt belonged—that heartless and cold- blooded traitor."
The names were then put, and one hand was held up for them. The partial confusion created by Mr. Osborne's motion and Mr. Wak- ley's speech having subsided, Mr. Shell addressed the meeting in his
most forcible manner. He began by observing that the Council ought not to be intrusted with absolute power. Matters ought to be left to their deliberation, but not to their decision. They should report, and
the Union should either revise or confirm. He should, therefore, move a resolution to that effect. lie had come among them that eveningfrom two motives. The first was, that lie thought that a representative of
the People should be in immediate contact with them, both for the pur- pose of advising them as to the course which they ought to pursue, and in order, by mingling in their proceedings, the better to appreciate their opinions, and sympathize with their feelings. The other reason was,
that he was not destitute of experience in the. working of that machinery which it now became necessary to put into action. The necessity was, perhaps, a disastrous one, but still it was necessity ; and if an opponent
of popular confederacies were to enter that vast assembly, and stand ap-
palled at beholding that huge and fiery mass of passion, he would tell him, that whatever evils might exist in such conventions, were referable
to the fatal policy through which Reform had been rejected, and the People had been thrown back on their own energies and resources. From whence did the Catholic Association derive its origin ?—From in-
justice ! From whence did this new league of the English people
arise ?—From the same source ! He had adverted to the Catholic Association : what a contrast did that great meeting afford to
those humble beginnings of Catholic agitation ! Here lie beheld an immense assembly of Englishmen, with a man of great station and great talents at their head. The Catholics, at the outset of their proceedings, could not muster then some dozen individuals ; but they were not to be daunted ; they knew the might that slumbered in the millions, whom it was their office to excite into success. By the exposition of their grievances—by a continual appeal made to the hearts of Ireland—by an unremitting invocation of the national feelings—in despite of every impediment—the Irish people had been conducted to those victories which belong to peace. How was all this done ?—By adopting three cardinal rules of action—first, by making a sacrifice of all personal and individual objects, to complete a perfect union. " We banished sliscord ;' we did not allow any petty jealousies or any con- temptible rivalries to intervene between us and the glorious object which we had in view. The next rule was to look at one thing, and one thing only. We fixed oureyes upon a single and =evolving star, and by its light we steered our Mliform and undeviating course. The last and the most essential of all our ordinances, was to enforce an .obedience to the consti. tuted authorities : we foiled them by our submission—we defeated them by yielding—and we achieved the repeal of the law by obedience to the law. And shall it be said that we Irishmen could overthrow the whole array of faction that was marshalled against us ; and that you will be discomfited by the most powerless antagonists that were ever opposed to the liberties of a people?" How did they use their success P—By becom- ing the auxiliaries of the Reformers of this country. There was not a single member returned by the Roman Catholic interest who was not devoted to the promotion of the freedom of England ; but the Roman Catholics had riot only given them their votes, but-what was almost equally important—the benefit of their example. By union, by singleness of purpose, and by the strenuous enforcement of the peace, the Catholics had attained their freedom. By similar means should Englishmen prose- cute Reform. He thought that they should look to Reform, and to nothing else. Reform would lead to the reformation of abuses ; but it was preposte- rous to discuss those abuses before the means of remedying them had been attained. The energies of the People would be dispersed and weakened by indulging in multifarious and indefinite pursuits. The Bill would, beyond all doubt, strengthen the power of the People. London would send twenty-one representatives to Parliament. Let them look to the Bill then, and sustain its advocates. The present Ministry were entitled to the public confidence. Lord Grey had an especial claim on the national reliance. What rule would men adopt in private life ? They would confide in those whose lives gave an earnest of their integrity—in whose dealings no deviation from honour and honesty could be found ; and above all, in those whose interests and whose duties rantogether. Apply that principle to public life. Lord Grey had been uniformly faithful to the popular cause ; he had been the cham- pion of the national rights from the outset of his career ; his political life was without a blemish ; and now his famewas interwoven with his fidelity to his country. But while they ought to place confidence even in the Minister, they should also tell the Minister that they expected boldness and decision on his part. They should tell him that he must create Peers ; for since the Lords would not reform the Commons, the Com- mons must reform the Lords. How ? By turbulence ?—No ! By tu- mult ?--No! By mad excesses—by midnight conflagration—by base atrocity ?—No ! But by the same means that the Lords threw out the Bill. How did they throw it out ?—By the constitutional power vested in their hands. How was it to be carried?—By the constitutional power vested in the King. If ever an exercise of that prerogative was justifi- able, it was surely now. How was Lord Grey expected to carry on the Government with such a majority in the Lords against him ? Look to the ingredients of that majority. What were they ? (Cries of "the Bishops!") Ay, the Bishops, the proud and lofty Prelates—who would be taught by Reform to practise the precepts of that Gospel for whose inculcation they were encompassed with the pomp and splendours of this world. But how was the residue of the,199 made up? . Of the old no- bility of England?—No! The majority of the English Peers had been in favour of Reform. The Bill was thrown out by the Scotch and Irish Peers, those representatives of provincial nobility who were a burlesque upon the genuine Aristocracy of the country. So that the people of
England were to be deprived of the object which above all others they had at heart, by a combination between the Sacerdotal Oligarchy and that portion of the Temporal Peerage which was actually created or no- minated by the Tory Government during their half century of legislative omnipotence in England. And could this be brooked ? If the blood of their forefathers beat in their hearts, as Englishmen they could not en- dure it. "The Bill," concluded the orator, "will pass. (Cries of "It will pass.") Did I say will? The word is too small—it is incommen- surate to the greatness and dignity of the anticipation. You cannot but —you must—you shall succeed." Mr. Shed's speech was greatly cheered throughout, and the applause that followed it shook the mansion.
The resolution that the Committee report their procoadings to the Union at large, was carried ; and at half-past eleven the meeti:Ig separated.