14 MAY 1831, Page 15


"SOME apprehension has been felt during this week that Ministers had projected two most absurd steps as to the great question of Reform,—first, the adjournment of the new Parliament until next year ; and, secondly, some important alterations in "the Bill." On both points, however, public alarm has been allayed, we may say wholly removed, by the press, which has shown that the re- ports in question were altogether unfounded. Here is another proof that, for preserving the peace, there is no power so efficient as a free press. The late Anti-Reformers, it appears, are preparing a Reform Bill. We are all Reformers now. How delightful ! But why concoct a new Bill, when.it is so plain that the old one goes far enough for the present ? No one asks for the ballot just now ; and if electors shall be able to vote conscientiously without it, it will never be required. No one proposes that the duration of Parliaments should be shortened ; and if members shall be found sufficiently responsible without it, that change will never be desired. But if the Nation asks not more than "the Bill," it assuredly will not take less. Upon this point there can be no doubt, even in the mind of the latest convert to Reform. What, then, is to be in the new Bill, which shall induce the Nation (actually represented in Parlia- ment) to prefer it to the old one ? The plain truth of the case is, that the late converts to Reform want to oust the Ministers, and, of course, to take their places, by proposing a measure of Reform more agreable to the country than that which was brought for- ward by the Whigs. We have no objection to this scheme, ex- cept its impracticability. The first step towards its success would be, to excite the Nation to ask for more than the Whig Bill gives ; but for this the Whigs will manage that there shall not be time. The Tories could work with but one instrument, viz. HUNT; and it will take him seven years at the least to recover even a part of the but small degree of influence that he once possessed. In less than three months the Whig Bill will be law. Want of time, by itself, disinterested converts! renders your project utterly futile. Ah ! why did you oppose the most moderate Reform, even up to the famous First of March? Ah! why—do tell us why you laughed so merrily whilst Lord JOHN RUSSELL developed the Bill?