LORD BROUGHAM'S LETTER TO MR. BULWEL
Pat 61.3C1 Deeel)er ID DEAR SIR—Although I, of course, never have taken the trouble of replylvg to (lie., -f*-.• 7 m( s misrepresentations circulated respecting inc in one DC NO or new,:pe peek as thee .
is no end of controversy with couceale4 tolveraztries, ye. olio) a person of tcsketabt- lity like you. with your itame, shows that such misleptowittai ions have gaitied . mittance Into his belief. I have no hesitation at all in setting him light, by at once , addressing him.
else% here, 'there ever has been, for one moment. the slightest difference whatever of You must have, then, been very much misinformed by whomsoever told you, that •.
lvetweeu my opinions and those of my colleagues. either at the Edinburgh Dinner or
opinion in our wishes respecting meamirea of Reform. 1 will venture to say, that I never uttered one word in my tile. in public or in private. which could in !irate a doubt, that all abuses ought to be reforined, and all safe and awful measures or improvement
undertaken, with as much th snatch as the due preparation id their details would permit. If you read the sis‘ech I made at Edinburgh. you will tiumit that I expressed just as
much difference of opizaion with those alio are for resisting improvenieuts :Ind useful change. as with those whose impatience oil! be satisfied with no delay, how necessary scorer to perfect the schemes proposed. Indeed, I distinctly said, that I differed far
more widely midi the former than with the latter ; because the one \sent only faster and further than myself, but in the saute direction, whereas the other would arta go at all, or rather were for taking the opposite course. That my sentiment, were palatially received by the vast majority of the at hole of that meeting, no man who was present.- ant could see and hear, will express any doubt. But, in truth, I do not find that them. sentiments RTC opposed by any man of the Reform or Liberal party, who has sell reflected on the difficulty of icenHlueint: vast and complicated changes into the institutions of the country. Who, for example. would
have approved of my wisdom as a statesman—uho would not have complained of my rashness—it' I had pressed through the Municipal Reform Bill betide the Commis-
sioners had made their report ? 'film this great measure was one which I had the most, perhaps, of all at heart, I think no one eau doubt, who recollects. not only the
resimnaibility which rested on me, tamest singly, in issuittg the l7otionission, against the known wishes of one House of Parliament ; but that I was the author of the great measures ohich were introduced into the IIMISC of Lords in 1833, for giving popular constitutions to the new boroughs, and thus investing with numicipal functions many hundreds of thousands of persons ; a measure only not pressed through last session, as is well known, because the bill for new-modelling the old constitutiona of the existing boroughs could not then be ready, depending, as it thd, on the report ot the Lumens- sioners.
When you would represent me as a partial or doubt ful Reformer, you surely have been listening to one or two of the hostile newspapers, and nut reflecting on what you must immediately call to mind.
I think no one need fear being considered a timid Reformer, who carried through (without any other person ever taking any part whatever in its defence) the Scotch Borough Reform Bill—the first attempt at municipal reform ever yet mule in Eng- land; and which was the necessary basis of the great measure of Corporation Reform in preparation by the late Government. I should be only fatiguing you were I to name the other measures or large and uncompromising Reform malt winch my name is con- nected and 1 trill ask any one to point out any one instanve in the whoie coarse of my public life, in which 1 hare opposed. in any manner of way. any practind measure if riform—bel it its Church or in State, in the judicial. or In the financial. or in the political department ; I might almost say any measure at all, for—except that I was against An- nual Parliaments, Universal Suffrage. and Voting by Ballot—I really recollect no case in which I and even the stoutest and most unsyariny Reformers ever have been found to diAr. My whole life has been devoted to introducing changes of a useful and practical nature. and never at all of a timid or paltry extent, into our establishinents and our laws : and when I rely on the good sense and justice of my countrymen, and out their capacity to judge for themselves, and not allow their confidence in me, bestowed npon a uniform experience of above a quarter of n century. to be shaken by a few, paragraphs in news- papers. the motives of which all time world plainly sees. I know that 1 110 not indulge a vain hope that I shall continue to enjoy what has always been to me the dad' revs ant of my exertions, next to the approval of my own mind. That my effort, have been always very much less than 1 could have desired, and that they have onen been un- successful, I am most ready to grant ; but even Mere I have not been able to don't I would, I have done what I could to prepare a triumph in better times fur the principles which have uniformly, and without °tie siogle exception, guided my public life. '1'lle last occasion on which I took this course—none other being open to me—were the (forts whirls I lately made to abolish the taxes on newspapers (so hateful to those a'. Ito would at once instruct the People and purify the l'ress, hut so dear to all who protit. or fancy they profit by them), and to amend the Late of Libel; and I remind yenta this matter that you may be able the better to account for the attacks to which in cel lain quarters I have been exposed, and also to show you that my attempts at Reform were nut con- fined to what was done in Parliament.
Your pamphlet alludes to my speeches in Scotland. One of the most eminent judges of that country reminds me, in a letter which I have just received front him, of the origin of that tour, he having been present early in the spring, when I planned it iii concert o Rh him, to show the North of Scotland to one of nty children. They oho best know me, and that learned Lord among the rest, are, I do assure you, the most astonished, and, indeed, amused at the idea of a succession of speeches and public meet- ings being a thing at all to my taste; and they know that I dill all 1 pessibly could to avoid those occasions. But I own that this was from personal taste, and not From any sense of public duty ; for I ant, and always have been. of opinion, that it is a duty in- cumbent on statesmen to cultivate a friendly intercourse with the People, am! to appear occasionally in their assemblies for the purpose of mutual explanation and COIllISCIS. This duty I have not shrunk from; but personally —I appeal to all who know me per- sonally—it is not to me the most agreeable of duties. Else, indeed, why hall I conti- nually refused to attend all meetings from the moment I took the Great Seal ? That refusal is not very consistent with the desire so ridiculously ascribed tome, of speaking at meetings.
That you should allow yourself to call my conduct "uniutelligible," and a" riddle," and so forth, is really astonishing ; and show, that a Iverson may he condemn. d. not for any thing he has done, or left undone. but because another finds it easier to orite a sentence than to reflect calmly on the facts, awl the well-known, anti universally known facts. of the case he undertakes to judge. I should think that nothing can be more perfectly consistent than to be a steady reformer Mall abuses, and a warm, zaalons and unflinching friend to all improvements in our institutions; and )et. to conmlain of those whom no amount of change will satisfy, and who cry, out that nothing at all is done, if, from the absolute. even physical impossibility of doing every thing at once, any one thing remains undone. I should also hold it a perfeatly consiateot thing to coutend that great measures of reform are necessary. and to bring forward those mea-
sures when duly matured, and vet to be averse to bringing them form aril in a erode and unsafe shape. *Now. I would ask you just calmly to read any speech I ever made in or out of Parliament. in which I went one hair's-breadth further against spetaly reform than this. I unifiwmly have said. I will reform as I have refimmed—nay, I ant now oc- cupied in preparing reforms — but I will not change for the sake of eletnee, and I will
not bring all Reform into discredit by propounding crude measures. This, you are
pleased to call being as Conservative as the Court party Call desire. No man who knows any thing of our history for the last four years, dares reproach me with being a lukewarm Reformer, or very infirm of' purpose in the Govermnent, or very sparing in
t he measures with which I deal out political improvement. I say nothing now of law
Reform. All have allowed that there I have liORC e gh for the time I ball the power;
and all know. though I dare say alien it suits them they can forget it, that others pre- vented me introducing a far more sweeping reform than any yet attempted in our judi- eial system — I mean the Local Courts. All have, likewise. seen that even when I quitted office. I was so anxious to have the finishing haull put to my Chancery Itrform, t hat I ofTered to a ork for nothing. instead of hauling a life of absolute idleness : and
t his sacritiee 1 was ready to make (a great one, all oho kuow my pritaee pursuits are aa are it %stead have proved). n.4 may for the sake of S;11 ing the public above 12.0001. a
3,eas, but (what is tar more important) to enable the suitors in Chancery to avoid all the evils oft: double opyraL That I havb been rewarded fiw such an offer as I believe has not Mho., teen made to the eountry, by nothing hot abuae, is runty a proof that at a nioment of excitement no party MID ever can expect even the semblance ofjustice.
But though my efforts kw Law lieform are not dented (at least as far as I know— for far he it from me to doubt that I may likewise be represented as hostile to that). yet you and others, alto do Out sefliciently reflect on the facts, and hi- mitt at all um nsider boo- mischievous such statements are to the ,,orimott rause, are pleased to quest em n y being friendly to other reforms. Subsaptent events may perhaps have Magi t th se Zgaelpies lased of mat meanly doing* in Heroin., that oitJ)iu*ilioU wan tad 0110.11 Its . Bat this/ will avert. that had we mrt the Parliament. Iaolfic... no mom Vevied have *aid the vacation And heft) passed without al undont agetnpts to prt pore meg-
memos u(pdai.e usefulness - :Er A woe;.. illeoRTA ST itrronsis : / will odd. that 1 any
Nies sArs rippuif / owl 'whin 1 A try an It of inj roll,rt torsi in r. Won, HSI attire support, anoil in She assiduous prqerrafims of them, that mom be he whl he may. wit. ft.( bet., the prettiest mistake ever man eommilted. levee seen accounts of my having snid in q.catland that "I its a wild he done next ansaion than the tut." That I could say that. or any thing like that, is ti lint am pos. fore ; because no one knew better than (and Ott more thau two no well as) self, all•thelneasures in contemplai km, and in mine preparat bin. What I did aan —not iflee. 'bue even/ time I spoke. and was lulled *you to ansaer an address of my feltow. econitrymen; what I del say was this —I cottiplaimaltif the chargeagaime. na that siocethe firform Bill we had i101ie tiothing ; mut then I anked, if all that was& nein the t so nes. SiOtis of the Reformed Pit rliament was 11112 lug? I instanced sill those great mean sow which had lwen poised—from the Negro lituatwipation to the I•our.l.ao A in .1:(Imetit : and then I said, that it would be far more correct to say ton much hail been done than 100 hitle ; and I may have added hinigh I believe I do not), that less atoll I In thine next year ; auth tto dont.% that is true. Can nn y one suppose that suet, pro:Iig;ous changes its those of 1-33 auti Pt34 can be made again ? Hut is thew any fairness-- 4a there any thing like fairness—in the.ef re deseri lung me as having sai; that too much
been ...me : is that any thing short of a very gross misrepresentation? let me add,
one of the at absurd. RS Well RS grins perversions, that any eontroversy 1•Vel ga, e riot' to ; for if I was complaining (as these thought teas folks would have it of to itineli baring bren done, of %hum I pray you, must I have been eomplaining 1 Why. or try owaself ; for Isoirolly the stipposed **too much.- was done hy me as torah. if not nv.re tham by any fiery colleayues, from Mr accidental circumstance of my posit., MEI because' in reality. with the exzeption of certain points in the Reform Bill, as I stated in Pari.a. Meat. t here nen er was one single Measure proposed in Pa Lliament, no lade I was in mile...- which bad not mv zealous apploval, my cordial support, and my best assistance, in. preparing it beforehand. as well as in carrying it through publicly.
The same assertion %Welt I HOW make as to all former reforms. I repeat toot pnci lively an to all those new measures which were in pteparation. and in every use of which I took the warmest interest, and bore a most 'Wire part.
Now, while I trust that you will see nothing hut respect fur yoti, personally, in thin letter, I nmst add. without any departure from tilt: same feelings. that if you at con- sider me inconsistent. because I not a stanch awl unflinching Reformer, and net would have none but wholesome awl weIl devised reforms propounded --because I was ready with great inipmvements both in my own and in other depan Canto of the state— though happily such vast changes as Negro Emancipation and the Poor- Law A'Her1:1- went remained no longer to be made; because, being no Republirati hit at friend to Ihnitial Monarchy. I atn ag dust abolishing the noose of Lords. greatly as I may lament Alta criers and prel arli.:es, and even think that, no Rh all its impel feet ions, its labours have frequently improvel the measures sent from the Commons; via., with all their great and good qualities, are not exempt from error, when they have more work t • do than num can finish satisfactorily,—if, for holding these opinions, you. cud those with whom you act, and whom honesty and ability I sincerely respect —even where I May not unite ilgtee %Rh .Aott—are pleased still to deny me the small credit of holding a rational, intelligible. and consistent political faith,—all I can say is, that I shall be sorry still to IM under your censure, hat that before I can escape from the %%algid of it my reason mint be con% bred, for until then I must held fast by the same faith. In conclusion, let tue ask what right any one has to suspect my motives, when I happen to differ with him ? My life, excepting four years. was a continued sacrifice of Interest to my principles as a Reformer :ind friend of liberty ; Hint even in taking office four years ago, I made a sacrifice both of feeling and of interests, whiell some stint'. awl some, alas ! no more, well know the cost of. But all the time I was in Opposition. did errr show the bast slackness to do my duty in the cause off-roe opinion andeopposi!ion to the Conarft What dime did I erer spare ? What bad ;erasure did I ertr Imre abow What Minister did I ever suffer to rest whik the country u-as to be termed by opposinl
him It ith whom did I erer compromise. or treat, or do otherwise than ubso/utely 'Vase all parley,' SURELV, EVF.X WHERE Brri.R11F.RS DIFFER, TilEsis ARE PACTS Wirell, MI THEY GIVE TOIL REST FLEDDE OF SINCERITT ON Till ONE P•RT, twofer TO RECEIVE 'rue MOST FAVOURABLE CONsTRUCTIOX AS TO MOTIVE FROM THE strums.