TOPICS OF THE DAY.
THE LONDON ELECTIONS.
OUR anticipations of the past week have been realized by the events of the present e as far, at least, as they related to the defeat of the'Conservatives. Out of the sixteen members returned for ..ej the Metropolitan cities' and 'boroughs, there is not one who •would not indignantly reject the imputation of belonging to their party. The foes to improvement will doubtless account for their dis- comfiture, to the satisfaction of the few who trust them, by declar- ingithat no exertions were made to prevent it—that they considered it wiser to wait until the public mind had recover id its former healthy tone--until Monopolists and Boroughmongers should once again come into fashion. But what is the fact ? Have they in- deed been idle and uninterested' spectators of the contests which have just terminated ?—or, on the contrary, have they not been striving, might and main, to bolster Up the pretensions, and force the election, of their partisans'? Have the Bank and the East India monopolists—the London and\Vest India Dock Companies —been indifferent to the success of Mr. LYALL or Captain MAR- `+‘: RYATT ? Have not their dependents received an intimation per- fectly well understood, that their votes were to be given to the Conservative candidates, or that the ensuing Christmas would be any thing but a merry one to them ? The fact is, that wherever there was the least probability of intimidation or corrupt influence being effectually employed for the return of a Conservative candidate, they have been unscrupulously employed for that Turpose. The Toriesbave not been defeated without a struggle. They die hard, though they fight with unlawful weapons.
We are proud and thankful to see Mr. GrIROTE at the head of the poll for the city of London. It is the place which Irk taleats,-. in- dependence, and clear and sagacious Sense, entitle him to occupy. There has been uo concealment on his .part of the paincieles and measures which he intends to support in Parliament. .Neither, ;- indeed, can any fault be found with his three colleagues on that score. The duty of coming to a full understanding with their constituents, on all important points, is frankly admitted and fairly performed by them all. The electors in the City; then, have chosen their representatives with their eves 'open. Aldermen Woon and WAITHMAN have reasserted their adherence to their well-known political principles ; and Mr. GROTE and Sir JoHar KEY, the new members, have given their -constituents el cry reasonable assurance, that their endeavours shall be unceasinaly directed to procure cheap and good government for their felle‘ w subjects at home and abroad.
The result of the Westminster election cannot in every point of view be considered quite so satisfactory,—though, here, it is plea- sant to find that the disunion of the Reformers, and the ill-ma- nage:1,ff not also ill-judged, attempt to substitute Colonel Ev atas for Sir JOHN HOEHOUSE, did not lead, as some apprehended that it would have done, to the introduction 6f a Tory candidate. These unfortunate gentry are indeed sadly out of place among large and extended constituencies ; and it may safely be predicted, that three-fourths of the few who will find their way into the Reformed Parliament will owe that honour to the rotten boroughs, which were suffered to survive the general slaughter of their companions in corruption.
Sir FRANCIS BURDETT and Sir JOHN HOTHIOUSE have been re- turned by considerable majorities ; notwithstanding their absolute refusal before, during, and subsequent to the election, to give even a decided opinion on any one of those interesting and important subjects which they will be called upon to dismiss in the Reformed Parliament. 'They go to the House of Commons r not merely unpledged, but absolutely at perfect liberty to vote' on any question, in any way which at the time may happen to suit their private inclination, or the views of the Minister. We do not mean to insinuate that they are likely to turn traitors to their party or their principles; but they have positively refused to give the electors any assurance that they will not do so. Hitherto, no constituency in the empire has been more determined to ex- :t.A act from their candidates a full and open • declaration of their political sentiments and intentions, than the electors of Westmin- ster. Both the present members, at former elections, have pledged themselves in the most unqualified manner, to advocate and sup- ;Cr port the most searching measures of Retrenchment and Reform. ;!! But now, they even consider themselves insulted by an intimation g of a desire on the part of their constituents, to learn bow they f: mean to vote, when the introduction of the Ballot and the Repeal of the Septennial Act shall be brought under discussion in Parliament. Never, indeed, was any Roman mob more severely lectured by a haughty patrician, than the electors of Westminster have been, by the very men who owe all their importance to popular support, and have hitherto been the foremost to acknowledge the obligation. The electors, however, have kissed the rod ; and after a feeble at- tempt to bar them out, the authority of their masters is reesta- blished, for the present.
Sir FRANCIS BURDETT will probably ere long take his departure for the House of Incurables. But 'Sir JOHN HOHHOESE is yet in a the prime of life ; and has a long course of ambition, and we trust of usefulness, before him. We advise him, therefore, to be cir- cumspect in his movements—to take especial care that he does ;4 not trip—for he is a marked man, and will be closely watched. It e• is quite impossible that his late conduct should not have awakened . suspicions, which.will, not soon or easily be laid to rest. If his political opinions remain unchanged, why, in the name of common• . ... , .. honesty, should he shrink from,saying so ? If he still perseveres be had for a trifle : will no one bid ? - in his determination, so repeatedly expressed, to cut down the Army Estimates, and abolish Military Flogging—to repeal the Septennial Act and the Taxes on Knowledge—why not say so, PROGRESS OF FREE TRADE PRINCIPLES IN like" an independent man, in the face of his constituents, and in AMERICA AND FRANCE. - the teeth of the Ministry ? There was no occasion whatever toD . . ' have " tied himself hand and foot" to vote for any particular mea- instead of complying with the insatiable demands of the itestric- sure at any particular time. But it was. necessary to his character tionists for increased duties on foreign goods, the American legis- • (thongh not, it appears, to his election), that his sentiments'. and lators reduced, in many instances, those which were already levied. intentions on important points should have been given without In so doing, they abandoned their high prohibitory grounti„ and concealment or equivocation. It is as dear as daylight in the made a step towards the adoption of a more liberal commercial country, that the possession of place has hampered the honourable policy. They had made a fair trial of the restrictive system, and Baronet in the expression of his opinions. Should it also hamper found it to be a suicidal one. The Southern States would no longer nim in his votes, notwithstanding his recent triumph, we firmly submit to be fleeced for, the exclusive beoefit of the monopolists ofe" believe that he will be unseated at the next election. His oppo- the North and East ; and with the assistance of the:enlightened corn- Inuits will manage matters better another time—They cannot by mercial interests of Boston and New York, they struck a blow at any stretch of human ingenuity contrive to manage them worse the staggering manufacturers, from which they have not, it would than they have done lately. seem, been able to recover. For the Presidential contest is consi- We regret to find so few. independent members returned for the dered as one .between the advocates for high and those for low du- Metropolitan districts. They are nearly all Ministerialists-Lex- ties; and the latest electioneering intelligence proves, that Mr. cellent and honourable men certainly, in whose hands the liberties CLAY, the High Tariff candidate, will be defeated, and that Pre- of the country are safe, and who would scorn to turn their seats in sident JACKSON, who is in favour of moderate duties on feign Parliament into sources of private advantage, according to the old products, will almost certainly be reelected by a very great majo- aiistocratic and corrupt custom. But, wart one or two exceptions, rity. We may, therefore, expect to find the American commmial we see none who would be ready to press disagreeable measures code speedily undergoing .a revision, which will assimilate. it to the of retrenchment and reform upon a Whig Ministry. Mr. HUME more rational system which has lately been, to a certain extent,. will find, we have no doubt, efficient allies in Mr. GROTE and Mr. adopted in this country. Men who would fain, by arbitrary regu--- Tgrus-vsox ; but sturdy opposition to a Ministerial job can hardly lations, convert an agricultural country into a manufacturing one,. be expected from Dr. LUSHINGTON, or Messrs. GRANT, HORNE, or the reverse—men who appear to think themselves wiser than and. SPANEIE. We fear, indeed, that this last-named gentleman Providence, and stronoer than the course of Nature—will no doubt will be found but a poor substitute for Mr.BABDAGE. He certainly be grievously annoyed by the contemplated change in the commer- will require looking after. His addresses and professions are very cial policy of America; but they who earnestly desire to promote like those of a trading politician. He has a.character yet to earn. the greatest happiness of the greatest number, Will hail it with It may be very proper for an old and honest member, like Alder- sinoere rejoicing. man WOOD, to refer to his past, and speak as to his future conduct, So much for the United States. Now what are the manufac in somewhat vague and general terms ; but an untried man, like turers and financiers about to do in France? Sergeant SPANKIE, vehemently suspected, too, of having pinned it has been well known for some time, by those who take an in his conscience to a brief from the India House, should be clear and terest in these subjects, and watch the course of trade abroad as explicit in the exposition of his political creed. We wish that the well as at home, that the French merchants and manufactusers electors had exacted A promise from him to resign his seat when- have been suffering, beyond all comparison more than- our own, ever he should be required to do so by a majority of his consti- in spite of their adoption of the restrictive system in its-fullest ex- -tuents. But in Finsbury, as elsewhere, there was too much taken tent—by the uncertainty of prices, the stagnation of demand, and, -upon trust. If it is necessary, however, to watch Sir JOHN Hon- above all, by the increase of smuggling. For some time past, the HOUSE, the learned Sergeant assuredly must not be suffered, more discerning among our neighbours have been sensible, that a through his comparative insignificance, to escape without a search- perseverance in their present course would lead to rein. Rut, ing scrotiny into his Parliamentary conduct. partly in consequence of the distress which a return to, a more ra-