NEWS OF THE 'WEEK.
pied since the 1st of March. On Tuesday, Lord Jonsr-Russsoi.
adverted to some intended corrections and possible alterations, neither of which, he said, would affect the principle of the mea- sure. On Wednesday, Lord ALTHORP, and on 'Thursday, Earl GREY, went over the same -ground. The Ministers will not, it seems, abandon the Bill, even though the Anti-Reform part of the House compel.them to extend its provisions twice as far as the Ministers at first intended ; a stretch of poWer on the part of the Opposition, which, apparently, was the last that the advocates of the Bill had to fear. We are to hear all about this concession to "non-existents and impossibles" on Monday. Mr. HUNT has joined Sir ROBERT PEEL; and is to have a peerage when the candid Ex-Secretary becomes Premier. In the course of the debates on Reform, Sir-EDWARD SUGDEN and Weymouth have come in for their share of attention ; and the Scotch counties, to which the Tories haVe had recourse as a pis (Eller, have also been favoured with some twenty speeches of various lengths and quality. In the Lords last night, the disquisitions were limited to Boroughbridge and Sir CHARLES WETHERELL ; in the Commons, they strayed to Beeralston, Marlborough, Aid- borough, and Caine. The first vote on theIrst clause in the Bill, -Of Which the SPEAKER has declared schedule A to be an integral portion (we arranged it as such), will decide the fate of the measure, of the Ministry, and it may be of the King, Lords, and Commons of England. The stake is enormous ! The great question of Colonial Slavery was agitated in the House of Commons last night ; when Mr. POWELL BUXTON moved a resolution, binding the House itself to adopt measures for effecting the abolition which the colonists evaded. Lord AoTnoito offered an amendment, in the shape also of .a resolution, by which the colonies that in future do not act on the Government recom- mendation, will be subjected to a higher rate of duty than those that do. The further consideration of this question was postponed to Tuesday sennight. The amendment—if the House sit through the next ten days—will probably be carried without opposition. A provision for the Queen, in case of the decease of the King— which Heaven forefend !=has been agreed to. The state of Clare, and incidentally of Ireland, was talked to on Wednesday, on a motion of Mr. O'BuiEN ; and the Beer Bill, the best, if not the greatest, of the measures of the late Ministry, was talkeffagainst, on the motion of the Marquis of SALISBURY, the same night. The Civil List Bill has passed the Commons ; and the Ordnance Estimates have been agreed to. The Truck Bill has advanced, in spite of principle, another step ; and a bill to suppress Excise and Customhouse blasphemy, in the shape of oaths which no one believes or is expected to believe, has been introduced by Lord NUGENT.
I. THE RErciRm BILL: On the presenting of a petition on Tues- day, from certain persons of Liverpool against certain parts of the Reform Bill, —after a few observations from General GASCOYNE, Lord ENCOMBE, and Mr: O'CONNELL,' Lord JOHN Rumor. rose to announce some intended altera- tions. In framing the sehedules A (the disfranchisement sche- dule), and B. (the reduction schedule), the .Cabinet had no other data than those furnished by the population returns of 1821. They had,.in consequence of the objections to the accuracy of those returns, sent circular letters to each of the boroughs proposed to be disfranchised or reduced; by the answers to which they pro- posed to correct them as far as might be ; memorials presented to the Secretary of State furnished another' means of insuring their accuracy; and lastly, the petitions presented to the House afforded additional materials for the same purpose. Lord John mentioned particularly,- as instances of called-for corrections, the eases of Buckmgham and Truro ; and as an instance of an objection not at á, warranted by evidence, the case - of Guildford, where an omission in the return was complained of, but no evidence given of its reality or extent. He said, that on Monday, in moving the committal of the Bill, he would remove from schedule A-such • boroughs as had satisfactorily shown that their population in 1821 exceeded 2,000 ; and from schedule B such boroughs as had shown that in 1821 they exceeded 4,000. The wording of the Bill, he added, had been carefully considered during the recess ; and numerous alterations—none of them, however, involving any prin- ciple—had been made in it. The points which had been altered, he would explain on Monday: Notice had been given (by Mr. , Hodgson of Newcastle) of an instruction to the Committee for the insertion of a clause reserving to freemen, by birth or apprentice- ship, under certain restrictions, the right of voting. This motion had received the consideration of Ministers, and they would en- deavour to frame a clause so as to reconcile what might be due to the parties in question without hazarding the principle of the Bill. There was another point on which Ministers were not dis- posed to insist, if the House showed a strong indisposition towards. it,—namely, the reduction of the number of members. Lord John Russell concluded by stating, that from what the Government daily saw, they felt more and more convinced that the principle of the Bill was eminently calculated " to promote the liberty, the happiness, and the prosperity of the country." Sir EDWARD SUGDEN thought, from the imperfect nature of the information on which they proceeded, they might go on alter- . ing until they changed the whole Bill. Sir -Edward objected to giving more members to Ireland or Scotland than were fixed at the Union of those countries with England. The changes now • announced by Ministers clearly proved thewant of deliberation in the concoction of the measure.
In answer to these objections and to others by Mr. G. BANN.Es, Lord JOHN RUSSELL repeated, that the only alterations contem- . plated were the preservation of the638 members, if it were deemed most convenient, and the correction of the schedules A and B, where a case for correction was made out.
Sir CHARLES FORBES alluded to the disturbances in Edinburgh and Dundee ; which Mr. HOME said he had reason to believe were the work of the Anti-Reformers.
Colonel SIBTHORP declared against the Bill, even with the al- terations ; and Mr. KEITH DOUGLAS regretted that they had not been proposed.
Mr. HUNT escribed the gratification that the Bill had so ge- nerallyexcited throughout the country as on the wane.
He had been recently .in Staffordshire and Warwickshire, and other populous places, where he was called upon to address the people, and he knew the sentiments of 200,000 of them, and he had not met one marl who was left out of the franchise who approved of the measure, and not one who was included who did not approve of it. So that he might say there were 700,000 or 800,000 in favour of the measure, and 7,000,000 or 8,000,000 against it. (Cheers from the Opposition.) . Let not, those gentle- men who cheered him, imagine that in this he was objecting to the Bill : lie would give it bissupport. All he objected to was, that it did not go far enough. If it had extended the franchise to all who paid scot anti lot, there would be some principle.in it, but here there was none. . At the . same time, he hoped it would pass; for it would make one great inroad into that accursed system which had brought that House into the con- tempt of every man of common sense—of the whole world: (Cheers from both sides.) So far he rejoiced at the measure, hut he must own the truth, that a great reaction had taken place in the public mind on the subject of the Bill. He had met the people of Manchester, of Birming- ham, of Bolton, of Preston, and other plates, and, notwithstanding what fell from the honourable member for Middlesex, that the people were all run mad for joy on the subject, he must say that, with one exception, the people thought they were deluded by it. (Cheers from the Opposition.) •
Colonel DaviES hoped the good people of Preston had recovered from their delusion. They imagined that they had sent a great Reformer to Parliament, but they had sent one who was in reality one of the greatest enemies in the House to all Reform. His speech had been hailed by the opponents of the Bill as one which . had done more for their cause than any speech pronounced in the House on the subject.
Mr. HUNT repeated, that the people had been deluded, but they had now discovered their error.
The presentation, on Wednesday, of the Kent county petition in favour of the Reform Bill, afforded to Ministers an Opportunity of entering into farther explanations respecting the contemplated alterations in it. Mr. STANLEY and Lord ALTHORP (for Lord John Russell did not enter the House until the discussion was nearly Over) stated, that the alterations in schedules A.and B- were merely intended to correct any errors into which the framers of those schedules had been led from the defective orinacourate in- formation contained in the population returns of 182-1 ; That sell chile A would still contain all borougha whose population, incl ing that of the town part of the parish in Which they were si ated, fell below 2,000; and similarly, that schedule B would a Contain all boroughs whose population exceeded 2,000, and short of 4,000. They stated, that the corrections which the. in =lion received since the Bill was read a first time rendered ne- cessary, were few and small, and had no bearing whatever on the principle of the Bill. They also stated, that it was not the inten- tion of Ministers to propose or to permit the seats which would still remain vacant to be filled up at all ; but if they were defeated in their attempt to reduce the numbers of the House, they would not consider such a defeat as fatal to the principle of the Bill, but only as an extension of it, and that they would in that case pro- ceed to distribute the seats among such large unrepresented towns and populous districts, chiefly in England, as had been omitted in the clauses of the original Bill. Sir EDWARD SUGDEN said, that the principle of the Bill had been essentially departed from, and that on Monday the House would be called on to go into Committee on the details of a Bill altogether different from that which had been previously read a second time. He proceeded to contend, on the evidence of Mr. Hunt, that the Bill would not, either in its old or in its new shape, be acceptable to the people. They had been told that the Bill would give them cheap bread and cheap beer ; and having been undeceived on that point, they now declared against it. Mr. CAMPBELL observed, that Sir Edward Sugden pursued a curious course in his opposition. On the second reading, he busied himself wholly with the details of the Bill ; and now, when they were about to go into Committee on its details, he was equally busy in discussing its principle. Mr. Campbell denied that the alterations stated by the Ministers in the slightest degree affected the principle of the Bill. The rule at first laid down for disfran- chisement and reduction, was founded on population ; and from that rule no departure was made. He had been all along friendly to the preserving of the rights of existing apprentices and sons of freemen ; the recognition of their rights went to complete, not to mar the measure. Mr. Hunt had talked of the people rejecting the Bill ; but Mr. Campbell, who had been lately much among them, had witnessed a wholly opposite feeling. They expected cheaper bread, and cheaper beer, and higher wages ; and from economy, and from such a system of legislation as a Reformed Parliament would not fail to give them, they would not be disap- pointed, Mr. O'CONNELL followed the same line of argument as Mr. Campbell. In noticing the consequences which would not fail to flow from the measure, he took occasion to allude to the recent exposure of the Weymouth case. The Bill had for its object to put an end to that corrupt system by which not only members got into that House, not by the choice of the people, but by the nomination of Peers and others, but also by which persons found their way into the other House as Peers, through the me- dium of borough influence in this ;—that system of traffic for the pay- ment of election expenses, which made seats and the influence over them the objects of bargain and sale. An end would be put by this Bill to all such practices; and he was not, therefore, surprised at the irrita- tion manifested in certain quarters against a measure which was to de- stroy so odious a traffic ;—a traffic which had been carried, in some in- stances, to so great an extent, and which might have gone on to tarnish even the seat of justice itself. He must own he was surprised at what had fallen from the honourable member for Preston as to the opinion of the people on the subject of this Bill. Those who would oppose a mea- sure which put an end to such odious practices as a traffic for a Peerage by means of seats in that House, merely because they themselves had not been included in the elective franchise, could not be genuine Re- formers.
Mr. Hurrr repeated, that all the people he had addressed on the subject were against the Bill : the whole of his constituents were for universal suffrage and vote by ballot. p General GASCOYNE believed, that the dislike of the Bill was not confined to the lower classes—many of the merchants, banxers, and others, were equally hostile to it ; and in the course of the week he had no doubt petitions from several parts of the country would be presented against it. Mr. Alderman WOOD, while he maintained that Ministers were in no respect puzzled about the Bill, admitted that the enemies of the Bill, some of them connected with the late Administration, had been wonderfully elated with the idea of the alterations announced on Tuesday by Lord JOHN RUSSELL. Their countenances had wonderfully changed from the picture of terror and dismay they exhibited the morning after the second reading, when they were as long as human faces could well be.
Sir EDWARD SUGDEN--" Name them."
Alderman WOOD said, he did not mean to give any name, for that was rather a delicate affair; but as the learned gentleman had shown so much warmth on the subject, it was probable that he was himself one of them. (Laughter.) Mr. C. FERGUSSON rejoiced at the contemplated alterations, which would afford an opportunity of giving members to places where they were justly due ; as, for instance, the towns of Inverness, Dumfries, and Perth. The disfranchisement of the Anstruther burghs also, which had been much complainedof, as well as the ar- rangements respecting the Scotch counties, might be thus avoided. With respect to Mr. Hunt, Mr. Fergusson said, he was ever pro- fessing himself a friend to Reform, yet he never opened his lips that he was not vehemently cheered by its bitterest enemies. Sir ROBERT PEEL,—after some questions to Lord ALTRORP, Which elicited a repetition of the explanation previously given,— said, the Bill was now wholly a new bill. By some towns, which it had been proposed to disfranchise, it now tip- /feared that the privilege of returning members was to be retained; and, be- sides considering this alteration, the House would have, so soon asplonday meat, to determine whether a parish in which a given town stood was a town parish or country one. On Monday next, too, it would be pro- posed to give the privilege of returning members to a certain number of new places. Was it not only consistent with strict justice that the House should have four or five days to consider those matters, in order to ascer- tain whether no new mistakes had been made ? If, after four months' deliberation, the Government had proved to be fallible, was it not possi- ble for the House to fall into error, if it should be called upon to decide on these important subjects without full time for consideration ? Lord ALTHORP repeated, that on Monday a full statement would be given ; and that there would be nothing in that statement to call for such a delay as Sir Robert Peel appeared to think necessary. After a few words from General GASCOYNE, respecting his motion which stands for Monday, and which he declared his in- tention of pressing, Sir EDWARD SUGDEN rose to complain of what had fallen from Mr. O'Connell. He expressed extreme surprise at the manner in which the charge against him had been insinuated : it ought to have been brought forward in a direct and manly manner. He was equally surprised that Mr. O'Connell should quote from the public newspapers letters as his, the authenticity of none of which had been admitted.
He was ready to meet any charge whenever it should be brought for- ward ; and he felt he had a right to complain of the honourable and learned member in directly quoting passages from letters, and making what he must call a base and scandalous application of them. He had been charged with trafficking in seats for that House—of not having paid his election expenses, and of allowing himself to be influenced by a desire to be placed in a judicial situation, where the property and in- terest of the people of this country would be placed at his disposal. This was a charge not now heard for the first time from the honourable and learned member, for the honourable and learned member had often pressed the very same charge against other members of that House. He threw it back upon the honourable and learned gentleman with contempt and disdain. (Cheers.) Those who were acquainted with his feelings, knew that he had no desire to be advanced at all ; that he was per- fectly well content with his present condition. He had not the slightest desire for judicial promotion. (Hear, hear ! from 31r. O'Connell.) He had had the offer of a judicial situation over and over again. It had often been tendered to him, and as often rejected ; because he desired to go on in his own course. It was therefore hard for him to be accused of wishing, by indirect and vile means, to obtain a situation which he might, had he chosen, have gained in an honourable manner. Mr. O'CONNELL said, the observations under which Sir Edward Sugden felt so sure, had been elicited by Sir Edward's conduct in the House—his steady and unvarying advocacy of Parliamentary corruption had been noticed ; and in adverting to it, he was justi- fied in using the language of letters whose authenticity had not been denied, and could not be denied, for he had seen the originals in Sir Edward's own handwriting. When he spoke of traffic in seats, and election expenses paid out of that traffic, he merely used the language which Sir Edward himself had put on record. He used public documents as public property. He had no personal animosity against Sir Edikard, not even a feeling of contempt ; he attacked him solely as an advocate of the boroughmongermg system. Sir Edward had desired an inquiry, and he should have it. Sir EDWARD SUGDEN said, Mr. O'Connell had aggravated the offence of his former speech, when he declared that he attacked him because he was opposed to Reform.
If the House were content to have such language addressed to one of its members, who had quite as deep a stake in the country as the indi- vidual who made use of it, it was indeed quite time that a reform should take place, but not of such a nature as the honourable and learned mem- ber advocated. The honourable and learned member had repeated his attack after he had beard him declare that he had no copies of the letters to which the honourable and learned member had alluded. From the great pressure of his business, nineteen-twentieths of the letters which he wrote were written in court. He had not, to his knowledge, kept copies of half-a-dozen letters in the course of his life. He challenged the honourable member to produce the originals, and to bring forward any charge against him in a direct and manly way. He begged the House to observe, that the honourable and learned member now said he would bring the subject before the House, not from a sense of duty, but only because he felt that he had acted unjustly on the present occasion, and that it was necessary he should do something to vindicate his character. He was extremely sorry to see members of that House leaguing them- selves with persons out of doors. The charge which had been brought against him with respect to the payment of the expenses of his election, was scandalously false. It had been said that he did not pay his election expenses in 1829 and 1830. He declared upon his honour that he paid them all. Therefore the statement in the papers on this point was about as well founded as the statements of the honourable and learned member. He had denied the whole statement which had appeared in the news- papers in every leading particular. The honourable and learned member said that he had seen the original letters. He could not give the honour- able and learned member credit for speaking correctly on this point.
Mr. HUME called on the Speaker to interpose : he thought it most irregular in any member to question the veracity of another, as Sir Edward Sugden had done. The SPEAKER did not think Sir Edward irregular in ex- pressing a belief that letters had not been seen which he did not believe to have been written. That there had been considerable irregularity, was, however, true ; and, in his opinion, it began with Mr. O'Connell.
Lord JOHN- RUSSELL thought some inquiry into the case of Weymouth due to the character of the House. He did not impute to Sir Edward Sugden what had been charged against him, but as little could he allow that the denial of the charge had removed the belief in the imputation from the public mind. Sir EDWARD SUGDEN hoped, as Lord John Russell was so sen- sitive, he would not rest satisfied with the case of Weymouth, but carry his inquiries to other boroughs—he might take Bletchingly for another example. It would be well, instead of a personal at- tack on him, to look these abuses fairly in the face, and devise some plan for getting rid of them. Lord Rolm RUSSELL said, he was so engaged at that very moment, of so much complaint. The opportunity is now given him, and he may Reform, and had never changed his opinions on the subject. the strong feeling in Scotland against the Bill.
his hostility. dependent on contingent circumstances ?
He did not say the honourable gentleman had sold himself to the Tories,
—probably the honourable member was as little disposed to sell, as the Ministers returned no answer to Mr. Fane's query.
Mr. JOHN CAMPBELL perfectly concurred in what had fallen of Mr. Harvey and Mr. Western at the Kent meeting,—Mr. from Mr. Cutlar Fergusson, whom Mr. Hunt had most unfairly BLACKETT, member for Beeralston, asked if, under the contem- attacked in his absence. For the conduct of Mr. Hunt, he must plated alterations, that borough would be removed from Schedule declare, to say the least of it, it appeared to be not a little sus- A to Schedule B. On a negative being returned to this question, vicious. Mr. GEORGE DAWSON expressed a hope that Beeralston would be Mr. Alderman Warrnmarc said, from all he had seen and heard, transferred to Schedule B, and Caine to Schedule A. he had no doubt of the Bill's being generally acceptable. Lord JOHN RUSSELL asked on what principle he would place Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, if Mr. Hunt had gone over to the Caine on Schedule A? Tories, it would appear that Mr. O'Connell had gone over to the Mr. DAWSON denied that he was bound to answer. All he had Whigs. to do with the measure was. to vote against it, and point out its Mr. KENNEDY said, the whole of the manufacturing districts in Scotland were decidedly favourable to the Bill. absurdities. Mr. HUNT retorted on Mr. O'Connell the charge of deserting his be done. If the honourable member saw absurdities in the mea- principles ; he also charged 'Mr. O'Connell with having, previous sure, he believed that they originated and rested with the honour- to the Christmas recess, trafficked, by means of Mr. Benett, with able member himself. the Marquis of Anglesey, for the seat on the bench whiCh had been Sir CHARLES WETHERELL said, the Bill was fraught with gross given to Mr. Doherty. Mr. Hunt concluded by expressing- his injustice. Ministers had been guilty, in the case in question, of a opinion, that the great mass of the seven millions of adult popula- gross and unworthy trick, to save a borough because it belonged lion would, on consideration, view the Bill with any thing but pleasure. So partial and inefficient a measure was calculated to make a bad impression, not only throughout the country, but sehedules were framed on the population return of 1821, a public throughout the world. Mr. Hunt went on to complain, that the awl Parliamentary document ; a test which no person possessed alterations in the Bill had made it a new measure; and finished of a particle of candour or fairness could possibly object to. He by declaring his readiness to accept the Chiltern Hundreds as soon defied the member for Boroughbridge, notwithstanding the loud- as his constituents were tired of him. ness and confidence of his tones, to show that in the least particu- Mr. CUTLAR FERGUSSON, who entered the House during the lar the conduct of Ministers had been marked by partiality. discussion, adverted to a speech of Mr. Hunt's at Manchester, in Those frequent charges from the gentlemen opposite rather pointed which Mr. Hunt was made to say that the Bill was a conspiracy to the manner in which they themselves would have proceeded—rather of one million of the middle classes to keep down the lower, and showed the manner in which they themselves would have acted, had they that the fact had been admitted in the House. No such fact had been placed in the situation of his Majesty's Ministers—than impugned ever been hinted at either by Ministers or any one else. the honour and integrity of the Government. They only convicted them- sion, denied that Mr. O'Connell had made any pledges at Clare Mr. GEORGE BANKES spoke of Marlborough as well entitled to tvhich he afterwards departed from. consideration—it contained nearly 300 houses that paid 10/. rent, Mr. F. BARING, in allusion to certain opinions in the New while Caine had only 124, and Dovvnton only 9. Lanark petition, begged the House to remember, that it was agreed Mr. H. GURNEY urged delay, on the authority of a letter from to before the Ministerial Bill was knoivn. America, which advised, that whatever was done, Parliament Mr. O'CoNNELL denied that he had ever made any application, should take a year to think of it. direct or indirect, to the Marquis of Anglesey concerning a judge- Mr. G. DAWSON again introduced the case of Beeralston • which ship; for which, in fact, his long political habits had, in a great contained, he asserted, 2,198 inhabitants ; and contrasted with Measure, disqualified him ; nor did he believe Mr. Benett had, that of Caine, which, he contended from the returns on the table, The Marquis of GRAHAM presented on the same evening the did not appear to contain even 2,000. The return said- Anti-Reform petition of Dumbarton. " i. The limits of the borough of Caine are not the same as those men- Mr. JEFFREY remarked on the insignificant majority by which tioned in the population return of 1821—viz., the parish of Caine. 2. it was carried; there were 21 against it and only 33 for it. The real The borough of Caine is only a part of the parish named in the population sentiments of the county were decidedly in its favour • and this, return. The borough comprises only 885 acres ; but the parish, including a petition, which he should have to present in a few days, would the borough, contains 7,964 acres. 3. The population return of 1821 does prove. not distinguish the borough from the other parts of the parish, nor can the Mr. KENNEDY said nothing was easier than to get up as many at the present time, the borough contains 461 houses, and 997 male inha- Scotch county petitions as they liked. There were petitions from bitants reckoning all children as well as men." the city and county of Edinburgh: the parties who voted the first Mr:Dawson complained of the harshness of the terms that had met in one room for the city, and when they had finished their been used on the occasion. business there, they slipped into the next as freeholders of the Mr. HOBHOUSE said this had originated with Mr. Dawson and county. The freeholders, individually, were very respectable, but his coadjutors. They had no right to charge Ministers with they formed a very minute portion of the general community. "gross injustice," and "tricks," and then to complain of harsh • In Roxburghshire, the county meeting, as it was called, voted language. The complaints about Caine amounted to this, that against the Bill one day by a majority of 47 to 23, and next day, Ministers had been guilty of gross partiality to serve the Marquis at an open meeting, the Bill was unanimously approved of. From of Lansdowne : would any one come forward and make such a their limited numbers, the counties of Scotland might be properly charge directly ? termed the rotten boroughs of that country. Lord STORMONT thought if the parish were included in one Sir GEORGE MoR,Rbay said, Sir Thomas Brisbane, who presided case, it ought to be included in all. Aldborough, which was to " The honourable and learned gentleman has referred to tie borough at the second Roxburgh meeting, was not aware, when he did so, of Bletchingly, and said that some inquiry ought to be made into the of the sweeping nature of the Ministerial plan. He was at a manner in which the seats of that borough have been disposed of. If he loss to understand on what principle Mr. Kennedy should decry will take the trouble of looking into schedule A of a certain bill that is now before the House, he will find, that however the seats for that bo- property, and hold up numbers as he did when he talked of the rough have hitherto been disposed of, all opportunity of their being again Scotch counties as rotten boroughs. made the subject of sale will be most effectually destroyed. If the ho- Mr. KENNEDY said, the term rotten was properly- applied to nourable and learned gentleman be really anxious for the purity of the that part of the county franchise which had no connexion with House, let him assist in destroying that practice which is now the subject property.
at once prove himself the friend of the purity which he so much admires, Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH, Sir GEORGE CLERIC, and Mr. C. FER• by voting for a measure which he has as yet opposed—by making him- G'UssoN said each a few words on the state of Scotch representation. self as celebrated as a supporter of Reform as he has hitherto teen as its k. Sir GEORGE WARRENDER observed, that from all he had heard, opponent." (Cheers.) and from all the communications he had received respecting the The business of the House of Commons was suspended for a state of public feeling in Scotland, he felt convinced that popular considerable time on Thursday, by a discussion which the Anti- elections must be introduced into that country. The present sys- Ministerial speeches of Mr. Hunt gave rise to. In presentine-6 tem'could not go on. (Hear, hear !) He hoped the Lord Advo- a petition from Manchester in favour of the Reform Bill, he cafe would attend to the modifications which had been suggested complained, that on the previous clay he ha...1 both Hibernia in the Bill ; but he fairly owned that he thought som.3 measure of and Caledonia, both Sawney and Blarney (Mr. Cutler Fergusson the kind necessary. and Mr. O'Connell), on his back. He was, he said, a friend to Colonel LYNDSAY, Mr. SCOTT, and Colonel BAILLIE, spoke of Mr. O'CONNELL congr,thilated Mr. Hunt on having become the General GASCOYNE Urged, that as Ministers were now bringing oracle of the Tories. Mr. Hunt, he said, was a man who advised forward an entirely new measure, a day or two should be allowed John Bull to quit a substance to grasp at a shadow—he was not for its consideration. a real, but a mock Reformer. Mr. O'Connell had been an advo- Lord JOHN RUSSELL thought, when they heard the explanation cate for universal suffrage and vote by ballot ; but seeing the which he intended to give on Monday, they would be better able Ministry bring forward a measure of large and practicable im- to judge of what they ought to do. provement, he quitted the unattainable to welcome the attainable Mr. FANE considered the Bill as " a national insult to the United good. As for Mr. Hunt, he must in future disclaim all brother- Kingdom." He asked Ministers, if they meant to make any alte- hood with him, and, instead of claiming his friendship, he invited rations in the Bill ; and if so, whether they were to be absolute or Tories would be to buy ; all he should say was, that if they did purchase Last night, after a desultory and rather sharp conversation be- the honourable gentleman, they would have a lumping pen'orth of him. tween Mr. W. HARVEY, Mr. TYRRELL, and Mr. WESTERN, on (A laugh.). the subject of the irregular allusions by Mr. Tyrrell to the speeches Mr. JOHN CAMPBELL perfectly concurred in what had fallen of Mr. Harvey and Mr. Western at the Kent meeting,—Mr. from Mr. Cutlar Fergusson, whom Mr. Hunt had most unfairly BLACKETT, member for Beeralston, asked if, under the contem- attacked in his absence. For the conduct of Mr. Hunt, he must plated alterations, that borough would be removed from Schedule declare, to say the least of it, it appeared to be not a little sus- A to Schedule B. On a negative being returned to this question, vicious. Mr. GEORGE DAWSON expressed a hope that Beeralston would be Mr. Alderman Warrnmarc said, from all he had seen and heard, transferred to Schedule B, and Caine to Schedule A. he had no doubt of the Bill's being generally acceptable. Lord JOHN RUSSELL asked on what principle he would place Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, if Mr. Hunt had gone over to the Caine on Schedule A?
Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, assuredly justice should in all cases to a friend.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL must repeat for the fiftieth time, that the
selves of want of candour, of want of justice, and of want of impartiality,
Mn MACNAMA.RA, who had been on the hustings on the occa- in their manner of conducting their attacks upon Reform. (Hear, hear!)
population of the borough be collected from the account then taken ; but,
be wholly disfranchised, contained in the borough and parish. .
tended to disfranchise : it thus becomes a part of the clause. Iti ordinary
feuars and freeholders ; but it did not object to all reform,— The Marquis of LONDONDERRY rose to ask for information and this, Lord Binning observed, constituted a new feature touching the'recently announced alterations in the Bill; and was in a Scotch county petition. The question now at issue was proceeding to read an extract from Lord John Russell's speech, not one of principle, but of degree. Lord Binning went on when he was called to order. He then said he wofild confine to remark, that, in his private opinion, the principle of popular elec- himself to a simple question- tion could no longer be refused to Scotland ; and in conceding it, Did Ministers mean to reduce the number of the House of Commons it was essential that it should go far enough to satisfy the great from 658 to 396, as they had originally proposed, or not ? If not, how bulk of the intellect and property of the country ; but the present did they intend to fill up the deficiency which their disfranchising clause, schedules A and B, would occasion ? In fact, -did they mean to issue bill, he thought, went farther than was required, and if not modi- these seats at once, or to retain them like so many old notes, to be issued fled, he must give his vote against it. The extension of the fran- at convenience? (Hear ! and a laugh.) chise, he concluded, would give the preponderance in returning Earl GREY said, he had observed, when this question was first members for counties wholly to the smaller proprietors.
The inhabited houses in Scotland amounted.to 331,000 odd hundreds.
The inhabited house-tax upon such of these as were rated at above 101: the measure introduced by Ministers ; but he never said or meant a year amounted to 35,7001. Of this, 25,036& was levied upon houses to say any thing so presumptuous as that the details were intapa- rated at between 101. and 20/. a year. The whole constituency of Scot- ble of improvement. What Ministers rained at, in bringing for- land was calculated by the noble Lord who had introduced the Bill at ward the Reform Bill, was to adapt the state of the representation about 60,000 ; and by the inhabited house-tax it would appear that more to the institutions, the intelligence, the property, the wants of the than one half of this constituency would consist of householders, and of these 25,000 would consist of very small householders. people. Whatever provisions went to effect that adaptation, by The decision of the franchise would lead to endless litigation. It these he would stand or fall. The disfranchisement of certain ho- was first of all to be detelmined by the Sheriff', it might then be roughs had been resolved on as a means to this end, and by that handed over to the Sheriff and a jury, and it might even be ae- disfranchisement he would stand or fall. A reduction of the - pealed to the House of Lords. The case of Scotland, Lord numbers of the House of Commons, he and his colleagues had Binning said, required much more deliberation and caution than considered as desirable, but they did not consider it as at all that of England : in England the Reform would work a partial an essential part of the measure. Such a reduction he had recom- change of great importance but in Scotland it would work an en- mended at the period of the Irish Union ; and the chief objection tire change from any thing ;hat had existed there for the last four to its being made, arose from the principle of compensation to hundred years. There was no country in the world where the re- certain boroughholders in Ireland being recognized by Govern- lations of life were more happily preserved than in Scotland, and ment. he hoped that nothing would be done which might hazard their Since the plan and objects of the Bill had been first announced to Par- continuance. liament, Ministers had obtained more correct returns of the population The Earl of ROSEBERY admitted the respectability of the meet- be a modification, in two or three instances, of the schedules A and.B ; Mg from which the petition emanated ; but there were two points but, as he had before said no departure from the principle of the measure. connected with the Scotch counties which ought not lobe forgotten The noble Marquis.asked, whether Ministers meant to propose that the in estimating the value of the present or any similar petition. number of the Commons should be kept up to 655, the present number'; Scotch count; meetings were not constituted as English county and if so, how they meant to fill up the deficiency which the disfranchis- ing clauses would occasion ? His answer was, that Ministers • would not meetings were : they comprehended but one class of the corn- originate any proposition to make good this. deficiency. . Their individual munity—a very limited one—the members of which very frequently opinions were, as he had stated, in favour of a reduction of theriumber ; had no interest in the county which they claimed to represent. hut if the House of Commons should, contrary to this opinion, agree that The second point was, that the great majority of the persons that the full complement of 658 members was expedient, he and his colleagues constituted a Scotch county meeting were directly and personally did not feel that they should therefore abandon the Bill, of which this interested in opposing the change which the Bill was meant to in- reduction was not an essential feature. If the deficiency should be thus filled up, lie was not called upon to say how it might be done so with ad- troduce. The number of persons who signed the Edinburgh peti- vantage to the public. All he would say was, that he would not consent to tion were 62, and this in a county where the number of proprietors its Lem. filled up from schedule A, that is, from the boroughs proposed to rated at 10/. and upwards was 464, and the entire population, ex- be disfranchised altogether ; nor from schedule B, that is, from those eluding Edinburgh and Leith, 53,000. Until the 464 proprietors boroughs which the Bill would deprive of the power of returning more rated at 10/. met and deliberated, as well as the present freeholders, than one member, but only in such a way as would conduce to the great oldeet of the measure—the giving the property andintelligencerf the country it was impossible to say what were the sentiments of the county of its due share of representation. Edinburgh on the Bill. Lord Rosebery had made out a list of the The Earl of CARNARVON said, he had examined the Bill since it number of persons who had attended the county meetings held was last discussed by their Lordships ; and a more extraordinary against the Bill, and the results were not a little curious. In the and extravagantly mischievous document he had never perused. great and wealthy county of Perth, where the population was He could find no principle in it but the principle of confiscation. It 140,00,0, and where the 10/. freeholders amounted to 700 or 800, was a measure evidently got up in a hurry—he supposed by a corn- 94 persons attended the county meeting, of whom 58 voted against
and 36 for the Bill; in Banff; mittee of superannuated schoolboys—it certainly bore no traces of
were 17 individuals at the county meeting, of Whom 4 voted for e masterly hand of the head of the Government. He hoped Minis- the Bill ; in Selkirk, a small county, containing only 7,000 inhabi- ters would abandon it, as they had done their Budget. The breath- the Bill; 6 men met, of whom 3 voted for and 3 against Reform ; in • The Standard remarks, that the London Petition against the Ciththie claims was Haddington, a large and wealthy county of 36,000 inhabitants, signed by exactly 50 times as many, that is, by 450,000. In the first place, there 20 freeholders met, and made speeches, and passed resolutions, by no London anti-Catholic petition at all and, n the-second place, the *hole popula-
a majonty of 12 to 8. ' The conclusion he came to was this; that
2,500. - neither the Edinburgh county petition, nor any Other Scotch ' Lord EASTNOR said, either the vicinity should in every case county petition, 'afforded the slightest evidence of the feelings either be let in, or in every case excluded. of the population or of the property of the country on the subject Lord JOHN RUSSELL declined entering into particulars, as it of Reform. would necessarily provoke discussion, and lead him to anticipate The Duke of BUCCLEIIGH said, very mistaken notions prevailed to
all that he meant to state on Monday. among the Scot:di about the Reform Bill : the general opinion *as, A conversation ensued on a point of order,—whether, in dis- that if it passed, there would be no more excisemen, and that cussing the disfranchisement and reduction clauses of the Bill, the trade would be free and whisky cheap. Such were the notions en- clause should be first discussed, and then the schedule, or the tertained by the lower classes, and they had been industriously schedule first and then the clause, or whether they should be clis- propagated by the persons who travelled the country promoting an
cussed t)gether. agitation, the fruits of which had recently been seen in Edinburgh. , The SPEAKER, who was appealed to, declared for the third The Duke of WELLINGTON, in presenting the Dumbarton peti- method : tion, quoted the words of the late Lord Liverpool—that Scotland " The clause says, that all the boroughs in schedule A shall be disfran- was one of the best-conditioned countries in the world; yet this chised, and schedule A has the names of the boroughs which it is so in-
was the country into which a sweeping plan of Reform was now
cases, the practice is to leave the schedule annexed to a bill to the last, sought to be introduced. On account of the extreme importance but that is only in cases where the schedule contains nothing which does Of the Dumbarton petition, the Duke moved that it should be not properly belong to it. I own I do not see why the clause should not printed. contain the names of the boroughs, as in some of the other clauses, where Lord KING—" From the importance attached to this petition, I new members are given, as to York and Lincolnshire; but the Commit- tee must deal with the Bill as it finds it ; and as the whole are referred to as in the schedule A, it strikes me that that schedule should be taken as a meeting at least was not a farce." part of the first clause, and its so many lines in it. The question then The Marquis of LANSDOWN E said, he had a petition for Reform, vill begin with Aldborough, the first named in the schedule, and so on to which, on account of its importance; he must beg, notwithstanding the end. If any amendment be deemed necessary in the schedule A, it the many petitions already presented, a little of the attention of tile may thus be made, treating that schedule as a part of the first clause ; House—it was the petition of the merchants, bankers, and traders and if it be the opinion or the Committee that none of the boroughs named in the schedule should be disfranchised, then the clause will ne- of the city of London, held by public advertisement in the Egyp- cessarily be struck out of the Bill." tian Hall in the Mansionhouse, presided over by the Chief Magi- In the House of Lords, Lord BINNING presented, on Thursday, strate of the metropolis, and signed by 9,000 * individuals, all of the Anti-Reform petition of the freeholders of the county of them carrying on business within the bounds of the City, to an Edinburgh. The meeting at which the petition had been got immense aggregate extent. His Lordship said that the proprie- up, he said, was publicly called and publicly holden, and there tors of land were deeply interested in the welthre of the country, were few persons at it who did not hold property in the county. but not so deeply as men engaged in trade and commerce : for, It prayed that the present Reform Bill might not pass into should a storm arise, when it had passed over the land, the real a law : it particularly objected to the provisions respecting the property would Still remain, while the chattels which it touched in Scotch counties, and the extension of the franchise to 10/. its progress would be destroyed for ever.
mooted, that he was determined to stand or fall by the principle of
of the boroughs and towns which it would affect ; and the result would
with a population of 45,000, there . th i was
tion of London, male and female, young and old, amounts to but 115,434.
less haste with which the Bill, had been pressed forward might place the House in great jeopardy—they had had only six weeks to deliberate upon a measure which was to do away with the con- stitution of the country as far as related to the representation of the House of Commons. which had existed for as many centuries of years. He gave the Ministers all joy of their out-of-doors allies, —they had the advocates of the' Ballot and of the Repeal Of the Union, the English Radicals, and. the Irish Agitators ; the Bir- mingham Union was all their own—that Union which could fur- nish a couple of armies as numerous as those which fought at Wa- terloo, to combat the Oligarchy, at the biddina of the Sovereign, as though the King were to become the chief retiel in his own do- minions. Then the Ministers had all the twopenny trash on their side; the grand, confederate array of the noble Premier marched against all the institutions of the country, supported by all the se- dition and blasphemy which it contained. The sober part of the community universaly looked on the Minister as the Neckar of an- other revolution, wheh was to lead the country to the edge of an abyss, rom which he could neither save it nor himself from being hurled clown, by the hand of some ruthless ruffian, to utter and end- less destruction.
The Bishop of BRISTOL said, if the Bill had merely gone to shorten the poll at elections, he would have voted for it ; but the disfranchising of boroughs was a spoliation of property which he must resist. If Birmingham and Manchester wished for repre- sentatives, they ought to purchase them from some of the smaller and decayed boroughs. The Bishop said he was speaking his own sentiments only, and not those of the cl,rgy. The LORD CHANCELLOR complained, in a strain of most amusing ridicule, of the House being dragged, or rather, as he would de- signate it, seduced, into listening so long and so irregularly to a speech on the Reform Bill, on the occasion of uresenting a peti- tion—a speech introduced by the never-failing exordium of such lengthy irregularities, a strong deprecation of the course which the orator had previously and on deliberation determined on pursuing. "My noble friend, and the right reverend Prelate who followed him, both state that they are Reformers, and that they will not stand up for acknowledged abuses. Only prove to us,' says the right reverend Pre- late, echoing the wcrds of my noble friend, 'that these things are abuses, and we will be among the first to lop them off? Is it, then, in the opi- nion of my noble friend, who advertises himself as a Reformer in one of the most anti-Reform speeches that I ever heard in the whole course of my life, and whose advertisement contains as correct an account of his Reforming propensities as the advertisements in the daily journals do of
the wares announced for sale,—is it, in the eye of a Reformer like my noble friend, no abuse that the most populous, the most opulent, the most enterprising, and the most intelligent cities in this empire should
be wholly unrepresented, whilst the mouldering mounds of Old Sarum, and the barren walls of Midhorst each send two members to Parliament?
'Oh, but then,' says he, • if your plan had been confined to that, Bir- mingham and Manchester might have been permitted to return members to the House of Commons.' Be it so. But then, is it no abuse,—mind, I am addressing myself ail this time to a sincere, thoroughgoing Reformer, for such my noble friend professes himself to be,—is it no abuse, I ask, in the eyes of my noble friend, that the power of giving laws to a great
empire, w,11 millions of subjects at home, and tens of millions of sub- jects abroad,—the power of giving laws to this great and intelligent
° country, and of all but giving laws, as my noble friend said, through this country to all the world hesides,—is it no abuse, I say, that the power of making such laws should be vested as property in private indi- viduals ? Is it no abuse in his eyes, that the power should he given, not by the choice of the people, hut according to the caprice, inclination, or good will of a Peer, or other powerful patron ? Is it no abuse in his eyes, that this power should be set up to auction in our public marts ; that it should be sold as notoriously as the beasts in Stoithficld ; that it should be let for a term of years, like a stall or a stable; and that it should be so openly treated as an article of traffic, that when a question arose, as 1 stated the other night regarding 'prompt,' the payment of discount was defrayed, not in money, hut in the return of a member—I speak from my own knowledge—to the Parliament now assembled ? "
Lord Brougham went on to remark on the inconsistency of the opponents of the Bill. At present they complained of a measure being hurried forward, which had been announced three months before it was introduced to Parliament ; yet if Ministers had de- layed it till next session. they would have been the first to com- plain of the dangers resulting from the lengthened delay. All they had made up their minds to, was to find the Ministry in the wrong, or to make them so. The Cabinet, according to their view, were in the same predicament as the fair sex were said to be by the satirist--
The men have many faults; poor women have but two— There's nothing right they say, there's nothing tight they do."
Lord Carnarvon had said he would oppose the Bill because it must prove injurious to the commercial and monied interests : were not the merchants of London, and the manufacturers of Manchester and Leeds and Sheffield, as good judges of these in- terests as any one else; and were Ministers to be treated with contempt and ridicule, because they did not pretend to more knowledge on the subject than the parties themselves ? The noble Lord sad that property was the basis of the constitution : if it were, what became of his darling close corporations ? Did they represent the property of the country? The Earl of Carnaryon
had spoken of the Ministerial allies out of doors— -- Did the noble Lord mean to judge of the principle ox the measure oy this rule of perveited adage and broken charity ? By this nonsense rather than sense did he wish to pass a condemnation upon the Bill ? He had yet to learn that a measure recommended by its principle—a measure which Went to restore, not destroy—to improve, not impair—was to be at once abandoned, becau:e it happened to enjoy this additional quality —recommendation he did not call it—that it had been honestly and sin- cerely greeted with the approbation of a large body of our fellow-sub- jects. So much as to the sentiments of the people generally. But if it was said that he was now nak.ng, int of the agitators, but of the people at large, then he said he was also yet to learn, that a measure good m principle, and having the additional accideat of being universally a favourite of the people of England, was to be condemned, because it had also the quality of having pacified even that portion of our fellow-sub- jects, of whom the noble Lord spoke as if he were disposed to think that it was impossible for any exertion of human power to satisfy them. The measure had worked most favout ably upon public feeling in England; he hoped it had also produced good effects in many parts of Ireland. Since it had been made known there, a great change had been effected in the Anti-Union feeling, which was no longer to prevalent in that country. Still he did not call upon the Legislature to adopt the measure merely be- cause it happened to be consistent with the popular voice ; but he was persuaded that by yielding to the prejudices of the noble Lord they would bring the security of the country, the King's peace, and the whole frame of society, from Cornwall to Sutherland—and not only England, but Ire- land—into a state of jeopardy, which he prayed Heaven that the longest liver might not see.
Lord WyerFoan said, the only effect of the Bill would be to in- troduce into the House of Commons persons who, having nothing to lose in the shape of principle or property, would render them- selves ready instruments to destroy and pull down the long-esta- blished institutions of the country.
Lord KING last night presented a number of petitions on Re- form ; and among others, one from Hugh Jones, praying for a law to reform refractory wives. The Duke of NEWCASTLE, after some interruptions on a point of order, was permitted to reply to the observations of the Duke of RICHMOND respecting Boroughbridge on the night of Lord Wharncliffe's motion. The Duke said, that no conditions were exacted of the members for Boroughbridge, and that both of them were as independent gentlemen as any in the House of Commons. He said the attack on his pigmy acts at Newark came with a bad grace from an Administration that had exercised so rigorous a control over the inferior officers of the Household, the dismissal of whom he considered to be a much grosser attempt to control Par- liament than any thing that could he laid to his charge. The Duke went on to allude to certain attacks on the King in the public prints [which ?], and called on Ministers to put them down. He concluded by declaring, himself determined not to give up any of his boroughs ; but he did not object to others giving up theirs if they pleased. The Duke of RICHMOND wished to ask the noble Duke, whe- ther, if Sir Charles Wetherell should, on Monday next, vote for the Ministerial plan of Reform, he would any longer continue to sit as member for Poroughbridge? The Duke of NEWCASTLE=• I dare say that he would not wish himself to retain his seat for that borough any longer if he did so vote." (Great Laaghkr.) 2. THE Civil. Liss. The Bill, conferring 510,0001. on his Majesty, during his life, for the support of the Civil List, was com- mitted on Tuesday - the report was brought up on Wednesday, and the Bill was relic' a third time on Thursday. On the motion for the third reading, Mr. GOULBURN objected to the complexity of the accounts. For the King's plate, 2,400/. was charged on the Civil List ; 100/. was to be provided for by an annual vote, and 2207. was charged on the Consolidated Fund. Of the expenditure for the Royal Palaces, 51,400/. came out of the Civil List, and 1,300/. out of the Consolidated Fund ; the chari- table funds were divided between the two.
Mr. HustE said, if he had anticipated such observations, he would have brought down some of the confused and unintelligible statements of the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, with a view to comparison with those of the present. Any one who took the present bill in his hand, could perceive the principle on which it proceeded, while no one could understand the principle of appropriation laid down in the further. Mr. Hume said, he had striven all he could to (set the Pension List removed from the Civil List, for it was -tinted, not by the King, but by his Ministers ; and he .sould at least put on record his sentiments respecting it. Lord ALTHORP defended the arrangement of the bill; and Sir M. W. RIDLEY and Mr. Mane:Rey its principle.
The bill having been read a third time, Mr. Timm proposed, as a rider, his amendment for separating the pensions payable under. the bill from the Civil List altogether. This was seconded by Mr HUNT, and supported by Mr. 'Alderman Woo]) and Mr. WAR- BURTON, and opposed by Mr. D. W. HARVEY. It was lost, on a division, by 72 to 17.
On the business being resumed, Mr. HumE was about to move a reduction in the allowances to the junior branches of the Royal Family ; but desisted on being informed that these allowances were secured by act of Parliament.
Colonel DAVIES moved, that the resolution recommended by the Civil List Committee, of 11,5007., should be taken from Schedule A, the schedule of allowances to the officers of the Household, and added to Schedule B, his Majesty's allowances. Sir ROBERT RATESON moved simply, that that sum be taken from Schedule A.
The SPEAKER said, as the amount of the Civil List was already voted, the effect of such an amendment would be to leave the 11,5007. unappropriated. After some conversation on Colonel DAVIES.S rider and Sir ROBERT BATESON'S amendment, a division was called, but none took place—the former being withdrawn, and the latter negatived. The Bill was then passed.
3. QUEEN'S DOWER. A message on this subject, brought down to the Commons on Thursday, was considered last night ; when the House, on the motion of Lord ALTHORP, came unanimously to the following resolution :
" That there be granted, as a provision for her Majesty, in case she should survive his Majesty, the sum of 100,0001. per annum, for life, to support her royal dignity ; and that Bushy Park and Marlborough House be also assigned as residences for her Majesty for her life."
Marlborough House is at present on lease ; but the lease ex- pires in 1835. The dower is the same as that voted to Queen Caroline (wife of George the Second), and to Queen Charlotte. The resolution was ordered to be reported on Monday.
4. ORDNANCE ESTIMATES. These estimates, On the motion of Mr. TENNYSON, went through a Committee on Thursday. The difference between the estimates of 1831 and 1830, Mr. Tennyson stated to be 166,0004, while Sir Henry Hardinge insisted that it was only 3,0001. A fact of some interest was elicited in the course of the conversation : it appears that, so abundantly is that article supplied or so carelessly is it kept, that there are at present no less than ten thousand naval gun-carriages so decayed as to be unfit for service!
.5. CUSTOMHOUSE AND EXCISE OATHS. 011 introducing a Bill, on Wednesday, to regulate these oaths, Lord NUGENT stated, that in the Customs during the last year the number had been 101,596, and in the Excise the number had been 194,612. Perjury was in either department as common as it was difficult to prove, and it was accordingly never prosecuted. Both boards agreed, that in ninety-two cases out of ninety-four, a simple declaration of the truth; with a penalty of 100/. if the declaration were found to be false, would he much more useful and binding than an oath. Lord Nugent's Bill proposes to adopt and embody this recommen- dation. It has been drawn up by the two solicitors of the Customs and Excise.
. 6. STATE OF CLARE. On Wednesday, Mr. O'BRIEN entered into a detailed statement of the present condition of the county of Clare. An organized system prevailed there, and parties of four or five thousand assembled in open day, in defiance of the law and the authorities, and had regular out-posts to give them notice of the approach of the civil power to disperse them. Mr. O'Brien thought that nothing but a military force, backed by the Insurrec- tion Act, would put down the disturbances, the worst feature of which was the absolute impossibility of procuring evidence to con- vict even the greatest offenders. A party lately attacked a house near the mansion of Sir Edward O'Brien, in the open day, with the peasantry of the neighbourhood looking on ; and yet not one man could be found to declare either the names of the parties or even the direction in which they had retired when the outrage was over. Mr. O'Brien denied that the Clare landlords were to blame for the distresses of the people : "they only took one half of what was offered them for their land ; for such was the competition for land in that county, that any thing was offered to obtain it." The dis- turbances of the county arose out of the poverty of the people, the religious dissensions, and the impunity with which the first outt rages had been passed over. He thought that measures of vigoui were in the first place imperatively called for, and that these ough- to be followed up by such relief as could be afforded by emigration and a modified system of poor-laws. Mr. STANLEY said, the charge against Government was, that they did not, on the first complaint of local disorder, suspend altogether the constitution of the country, by having recourse to the provisions of the Insurrection Act. Such a step might ulti- mately be necessary, but nothing short of the most urgent neces- sity could ever justify it. The Government had increased the military force, augmented the number of the constabulary, and sent four stipendiary magistrates into the county. The Lord- Lieutenant, moreover, determined to inspect the state of the county with his own eyes, and had visited it for that purpose. Go- vernment had now perfect information of the state of the county; which, deplorable as it was, did not originate in religious or poli- tical feelings, but was a war of the poor against the rich—of the low against the high. He trusted that measures might be yet adopted which would spare Ministers the necessity of hav- ing recourse to the Insurrection Act—a step which nothing but sheer necessity could at all justify. Mr. MAURICE O'CONNELL, in a maiden speech of much mo- desty as well as interest, entered into a detailed statement of the evils which had, in the county of Clare, led to so deplorable re- sults. These were the abuses of the tithe-laws—the oppressive modes of letting land—the absentee system—the proselytizing zeal of various Protestant gentlemen, which had induced one Mr. Synge to banish even from his estates such persons as would not send their children to his Protestant schools—above all, the per- secution so generally carried on by all the landlords against the disfranchised forty-shilling freeholders for their votes in 1828. He strongly deprecated placing in the hands of such magistrates as those of Clare, who had already so grievously abused their legal powers, so large and uncontrolled authority as that conferred by the Insurrection Act. He could, if necessary, detail many instances of oppression and im- proper conduct upon the part of the Magistrates in Clare. There was - one man amongst-them, a Mr. Tomkins Brew, who was both a justice of pease and a chief constable of police. He, in fact, conveniently combined thc.two characters. He seized the wretched peasant as a police constable —as a magistrate be committed him to prison. In more than one in- stance it happened that people were carried to gaol on informations that were not swam; and in one he had to state, that the magistrate (Mr. TOmkins13tew, we believe) actually descended from the judgment-seat to best the unfertunate peasant he lad caused, to be dragged before him. In another district of Clare, there was another magistrate to whom • he wished particularly to allude—a Mr. Remy Borough. This magistrate sat in one room, but a higher authority sat in another room, to which. he was compelled to refer, and under whose authority he was bound to decide. He might hear, the case himself, but before he attempted to de- cide upon it lie was obliged to ask his lady what he should do. Four years ago, a memorial was sent to the Castle in Dublin, stating these facts, and others which had ultimately reduced the county to its present state ; and not the slightest attention wag paid to it. The visit of the Marquis of Anglesey was, no doubts well inten:led, but, unfortunately, it had inspired the people with a notion that something was at length to be done for them, and had led them to revoke a promise made to Mr. Seele, which would otherwise have been observed, to deliver up all the arms in their possession. Had the Marquis not visited the county, in a month the whole of the disturbances would have terminated.
Mr. RUTIIVEN thought strong measures were necessary to pre- vent the evil from spreading to other districts. Colonel TRENCH was disposed to attribute much of the disturb- ances to political agitation. Mr. STANLEY assured Mr. O'CoNxra.e, if the facts he had stated could be brought home to Mr. Brew, he should not long re- main on the roll of the peace. Mr. BROWNLOW said, the riots in Clare were the effects of in- tolerable distress, and that one great cause of the distress was the grinding exactions in the shape of rent. He declared himself most friendly to a modified system of poor-laws for Ireland, and lie thought that the proposal was already making great way. Mr. O'CONNELL said, the opinion that the disturbances in Clare were owing to political causes, was entertained by Colonel Trench alone ; they arose solely and wholly out of the poverty of the people. He disliked the poor-laws, for he knew their abuses ; but he was satisfied that, unless the people of Ireland would lie down and starve in quiet—which they neither would do nor should do —poor-laws must be introduced into Ireland. Mr. LEADER spoke of the falling off in the Irish exports, which were, he said, at present limited -to three or four hundred thou- sand quarters of wheat ; and Mr. MAunicE FITZGERALD called on Ministers to support the law as it at present stood. Mr. JAMEE GRATTAN thought absenteeism the great evil of Ireland, and that nothing but a poor-law would mend it. Mr. -HUNT—" All the members from Ireland agree that distress exists in that country, and that poor-laws should be introduced there. Then why are they not proposed ? There was a period when none would have voted for them ; now every member from Ireland is for poor-laws. Then, in God's name, why do not some of them propose the measure ?"
6. Pooa-LAws — IRELA.ND. The Earl of ROSEBERY presented last night a petition from a society, said to meet in the Poultry Tavern, for the purpose of devising the best means of encouraging the industry of the poor ; it prayed that poor-laws might be intro- duced into Ireland. This gave occasion to the Earl of Lt:wealcm to enter on a long deprecation of societies of every kind.
"My Lords," cried the Earl, "Oh, my Lords, my Lords ! the Lord de-; liver me from societies ! Every thing is now to be done by means of societies. Perhaps the petitioners form a part of that notable and necr society which is to save the people the trouble of thinking about who are fit to he their representatives, and to fit them with candidates of all colours and of all sizes. What are now the effects of the poor-laws ? The poor make improvident marriages ; they get children; and then the cry is, that the children must be supported.'
7. IRISH SPECIAL JURIES. Mr. CRAMPTON, having asked leave to bring in a bill for the purpose of amending the adminis- tration of the law in Ireland, Mr. O'CONNELL said, it was the play of Hamlet with the part of the Prince left out. This was a bill to amend the administration of the law, which said not a word of the jury-laws. Why welt not they assimilated to those of England ?
The lists of the special juries were all made out by the deputy of Lord Seymour Conway, who always put in them members of the corporation, mostly of little property, and as little expectations. This deputy had the selection of all special juries for the law courts of Dublin, including the Court of King's Bench. This was considered an evil by the last Admi- nistration, and they therefore prepared a bill for the purpose of putting an end to it. By a report made to that House, it appeared that any per- son, on giving twenty guineas to the sub-sheriff; might have whatever jury he pleased. There had been a bill prepared to remedy this evil by the late Administration ; he wished to know if Mr. Crampton were pre- pared to go on with it. Mr. CRAMPTON returned an ambiguous answer; of which Mr. HUME complained, when Lord ALTHORP stated, that as soon as Ministers could turn their attention to the subject, a bill would be introduced to a:fford the remedy asked by Mr. O'Connell, and pro- posed to be supplied by the bill alluded to.
8. Timm BILL. This bill was recommitted. Mr. HUME, Mr. WARBURTON, MT. WESTERN, Mr. TENNANT, severally objected to the principle of the bill. Mr. MORRISON (of Fore Street) said it could do labourers no good, and very probably would do them much harm. In some parts of the country, it would throw hun- dreds out of employment. Mr. W. WHITMORE defended the bill, on the ground that truck bargains were not voluntary. Mr. O'CoNNELL thought its best feature was its impracticability. Mr.IVIA.sznLv opposed the principle of the bill, while he ridi- culed the not extending it to Scotland,—though in that country all agricultural labourers were paid on the principle of truck. Se-.7 veral other members spoke against the bill ; which Lord ALTHORP defended, on the same grounds as those assumed by Mr. W. WHITMORE. An amendment of Mr. HUME'S, that the Chairman should leave the chair,—that is, that the recommittal of the bill should be indefinitely postponed,—was put and negatived by 40 to 15. The bill was in consequence considered, as it is termed, and reported—the further consideration being postponed till Monday.
9. THE BEER BILL. The Earl of IVIALMESBURY having on Thursday moved for certain returns connected with this bill, and spoken of its pernicious tendency, particularly in the agricultural districts, Lord BROUGHAM said, he must take the opportunity of stating, that the only object of Ministers was to have the operation of the bill properly and fairly inquired into, and to ascertain whether the charges brought against it were merited, or if they were merely the result of prejudice and interest in its opponents. He admitted, that in Hants, Wilts, and Somerset, the bill had been productive of mischief: in the North, on the contrary, no complaint was made of it. The question was, whether the evil was not temporary, and consequent on the change. After a few words from Lords CARNARVON and SKELMERSD ALE, his Lordship went on to observe, that the evidence of magistrates must be re- ceived with caution—they were but men, and had of course their biases ; and the bill took from the justices almost their only remain- ing privilege, that of granting licences. The Earl of MALMESBURY vindicated the magistrates from the charge of being influenced by any personal motives in the reports they might make to Government, and ridiculed the notion of send- ing circulars for information to men who were thought capable of being so actuated. Lord BROUGHAM denied that he had made or meant to make the smallest charge against the country Magistrates—he had merely stated, that they were open to the influences which operated on all other men, and that, in estimating their evidence, a due re- gard ought to be paid to that fact. Lord MELBOURNE said, the complaints of the operation of the bill had been so numerous, that Government were compelled to notice them. He had not, however, confined his inquiries to jus- tices of the peace solely, but, keeping in view the fact stated by the Lord Chancellor, he had addressed other bodies of men also. He certainly hoped that the bill would be found to be ultimately beneficial.
The motion, which was for a return of the houses licensed under the new bill, was agreed to.
0. COLONIAL SLAVERY. Mr. FONVELL BUXTON brought forward last night his motion upon Negro Slavery. He disclaimed any hostility to the West India planters, who were involuntarily entangled in the existing system ; he only complained of the sys- tem to which they belonged. He would not refer on this occasion to individual cases of atrocity; his case was, that the whole slave population of the West Indies was in a miserable condition—that slavery was so destructive to moral and physical improvement that it ought to be abolished. It was not to be concealed that it was difficult to ascertain the real condition of the negroes : one class of witnesses declared that they were in a state of surpassing comfort ; another class stated that the slave was in the lowest state of moral debasement and physical wretchedness. Under this conflicting evidence it was extremely desirable to obtain a test. That test was the rate of the increase and decrease of the population. It was an admitted doctrine, that, under all circumstances except extreme misery, population must increase. That law of increase might be interrupted, but only in cases of extreme misery. Of the twenty West India colonies, four produced no sugar, and one a very small quantity. In the fourteen colonies which remained, the slave population had not increased, it had not even been stationary, but it had decreased in ten years by the number of 45,800 persons.
"In the year 1819, the slave population of Tobago was 15,415. By the returns of 1829, it appeared that it amounted only to 12,556; being a de- crease, in the ten years, of a sixth of the whole. The slave population of Demerara, in 1817, was 83,372; in 1829 it was only 69,466; so that 13,906 went in the interval. In Trinidad there were, in 1816, 25,000 slaves, of which number 6000 went in twelve years—a rate of mortality which, in a few years, would render the crowded city of London—would render the whole world—desolate. Since the abolition of the Slave Trade, 100,000, that is to say, a seventh part of the slave population of the West Indies, has been destroyed. At that period the number was upwards of 700,000; ten years afterwards it was 650,000; it was now less than 600,000."
Mr. Buxton contended that the fact of the increase of the popu- lation of Hayti was of great importance. The black inhabitants of that island were in a state of great demoralization ; were slothful, sensual, and improvident. Yet, under such disadvantageous circum- stances, the population had increased. The difference between slave and free negroes in that respect, was not caused by any disproportion of the sexes ; nor by war, nor by the climate, nor by the soil. The real cause was the forced labour of the sugar colonies. "The law of nature would be too strong for any other cause. It is too strong for climate, witness Bencoolen. It is too strong for war, witness Africa. It is too strong for savage life, witness the Ma- roons of Jamaica. It is too strong for vice and misery, witness Hayti. It is forced labour in the sugar colonies and nothing else, that has so destructive an influence on the population. That in- fluence, so fatal to human life is confined to the field slaves—it does not affect the domestic slaves. The children of slaves do not feel this influence until after a certain time of life. Up to ten years of age the number of deaths is not larger than a just pro- portion ; they then enter on the cultivation of sugar, and the waste of life begins." Mr. Buxton could not say that the destruction among the slaves was attributable to the whip, yet punishments took place in the West Indies, with a frequency which it was pain- ful to notice.
" In Trinidad, there were 11,131 plantation punishments in two yearS: In Demerara 21,000 cases. If such severity be necessary, in what a de- graded condition most the unfortunate negroes be placed ! if not neces.. sary, words cannot express, or the heart of man conceive the wickedness of those by whom it is inflicted !"
Mr. Buxton had argued the question as if a population ought to maintain its numbers ; he had said nothing of the increase which ought to have taken place. " The free black and coloured population of Demerara, in 1814' amounted to 2,980, in !825, to 4,700, being an increase of 1.720, or, de- ducting tbe manumissions, of 1,282. The free black population of Hayti, which, in 1804, was only 423,000, was found, twenty years afterwards, to have increased to 935,000. In slavery the blacks have not been able to maintain their numbers—in freedom they have doubled their num.. tiers."
" Look at Barbadoes," observed a Gentleman on the opposite side Of the House.
"The honourable Gentleman," said Mr. Buxton, " desires me to look at Barbadoes. There is a great difference between the two islands. Although the population of Barbadoes, as compared with the population of Tri.. nidad, is 78,000 to 25,000, yet there is not a quarter of the sugar grown at the former island that there is at the latter. I do not mean to allude to the colonies which are small sugar growers. One Trinidad merchant does as much business in the article of sugar, as four or five in 13arbadoes. The average quantity of sugar exported annually from Trinidad, is 394,00G hogsheads, while the average quantity of sugar exported annually front Barbadoes is only 298,000 hogsheads.
Mr. Buxton concluded by moving the following resolution " That the House had, on the 15th of May, 1823, recognised, to the full extent, the expediency of abolishing colonial slavery, and passed a Reso- lution, recommending measures to be taken with that view; but that, during the eight years which had since passed, the Colonial Assemblies had not adopted adequate measures to carry this recommendation into effect ; that the House was impressed with a conviction of the impolicy, inhumanity, and injustice of colonial slavery, and would proceed forth- with to devise means for abolishing it throughout the British domi.. nions."
LORD MORPETH seconded the motion.
Mr. KEITH DOUGLAS expressed his satisfaction at the modera- tion of Mr. Buxton and Lord Morpeth. It was thus only that this embarrassing and difficult question could be satisfactorily discussed. Mr. Douglas contended that an inquiry should be directed to establish the grounds from Which Mr. Buxton's inferences were drawn. He had taken quite a new ground, by abandoning cases of individual cruelty, which had formerly been put forth very pro- minently. The decrease of population was an uncertain argument Though it had decreased in some colonies, it had increased in others, as in Barbadoes, St. Christopher's, and St. Lucie. Mr. Buxton had spoken of the great decrease in the field negroes, whilst. there had been none in -the domestic slavery. Now the fact was that the apparent difference arose from the circumstance of any vacancies occurring among the domestic slaves being filled up by field negroes. Mr. Douglas expressed his willingness to support a motion for a Committee, which might relieve the question of some of its difficulties. Lord ALTHORP objected to Mr. Buxton's resolution. His Lord- ship was not prepared to adopt measures, forthwith, for the eman- cipation of the slaves. They were not in a fit state for it. The resolution was also vague, and therefore liable to misconstruction. It would be impossible, were it adopted, to avoid raising expec- tations injurious to the West India interests. Lord Althorp ad- mitted there had been great delay. None of the Colonial Legis- latures had wholly adopted the recommendations of Parliament ; some new reeadations had been made, but excepting in the Crown Colonies the principal recommendations had not been adopted. The time was come to give notice to the colonies by other mea- sures than mere recommendations. This might be done by direct legislative interference but this was a step which his Lordship would wish to take mix after due warning, although, if the Colo- nies persevered in refusing to act, it would be the duty of Parlia- ment to act for them. Lord Althorp said he would feel it his duty to negative the Resolution, but having done so, he would move others to the following purport: " That this House, in its Resolutions of the 15th of May, 1823, dis- tinctly recapitulated the evils under which the slaves in the colonies la- boured, and the duty of the colonies to take such decisive measures to relieve the slave population, and to prepare the negroes for participating in the privileges enjoyed by the other subjects of those colonies. That in those colonies in which there are no Legislative Assemblies, laws have been promulgated for amelioratirr, and improving the condition of the slave population, but in those which have Legislative Assemblies, though eight years have elapsed since this House passed the Resolutions referred to, and though these colonies have been repeatedly urged to enact similar laws, no such laws have been enacted, nor have any measures been adopted to give effect to the Resolutions of this • House to the urgent opinions of the Government, nor to the wishes of the British nation.' Lord Althorp would then propose a resolution- " That in the rate of duties levied on the produce of the labour of slaves, such a distinction shall be made as will operate in favour of those colonies in which the resolutions of this House have been adopted, and the wishes of the Government complied with." Allusion had been made to the appointment of a Committee. Lord Althorpe thought they were sufficiently assured of the evils of slavery; he did not see the advantage of-a committee. He put his ease upon the plain fact that the colonists had not attended to the recommendations unanimously agreed to eight years ago. Mr. BURGE contended for inquiry. There had been no real inquiry since 1799. Much had been done since by the colonies to ameliorate the condition of the slave. He contended ttkat respect should be paid to the rights of property which had been re- cognized by statutes and by the decisions of the Courts. Lord -Althorp had spoken of what had been done in the Crown colonies, , but he seemed to forget that in Jamaica the condition of the slaves ", had been ameliorated without any invitation from-the Government. . The distinction of colour had been an Objection to emancipa- . tion, but the local legislature had removed the objection ; and, by putting men of all colours upon the same footing, they had ,done more for the emancipation of slaves than Government had done. The means of religious instruction had been extended. The number of clergymen had been increased, and the chapels
• augmented. Mr. Btu-ge reminded those who complained of non- compliance with the resolutions of the House, that they had been ..frequently departed from by Government since 1823, and they had
• been in operation in the Crown colonies for nine months only. Mr. Burge contended that no calculation could fairly be in- .. stituted with regard to the slave population until the new " race of slaves had descendants, for none could be formed -on the habits and character of those who had been brought . to the colonies under the operation of the slave-trade. Mr. - Burge questioned the accuracy of Mr. Buxton's information. He doubted if any accurate returns had been or could be procured. In Jamaica, it had been found extremely difficult to obtain a cor- rect census of the free inhabitants. Mr. Burge deprecated both the resolution of Mr. Buxton and those of Lord Althorp. He thought both of them calculated to retard emancipation. If the amendment of Lord Althorpe were preferred to Mr. Buxton's re- solution, Mr. Burge would move, as a further amendment, for a Committee of Inquiry.
Lord Howicit said, in Jamaica a Slave Bill was passed with two : clauses, to which Mr. Huskisson decidedly objected ; they were afterwards struck out, but what amenclments_avere introduced ? . Why, the penalties for breaches of the law were reduced in one case from 100/. to 501., and in another from 501. to 20/. On the other hand, the punishments to be inflicted upon the slaves were augmented, in one case from three days' imprisonment to a whole month.
It was worth while to inquire how far the Jamaica Slave Bill
• carried into effect the principles of Mr. Canning when he moved • the Resolutions in 1823.
That right honourable gentleman had talked of the fitness of keeping . tip the observance of the sexes—of the consideration that was due to the , weaker, and of the indecency and degradation of exposing women to the infliction of the lash. What Englishman did not join in this sentiment, as just and politic as it was humane? Yet it found no echo in the bosoms " of the West India planters, for the Bill to which he had referred made no . provision that the cart-whip should not be applied to females. (Thar, hear !) The next principle advocated by Mr. Canning was, that families ought not to be separated—that the first step toward civilization was to
• teach the slave to respect his domestic relations. (Hear, hear!) Had the legislators of Jamaica acted on that suggestion ? Lord Howick went on.-
' Mr. Burge had asked if Ministers were prepared to abandon the prin-
' ciples of 1823, and to sacrifice the private property of the West India plant-ers? He was not prepared for that. He would maintain the rights of property, but not at the expense of the slave. (Hear, Freer!) He objected to the resolution of Mr. Buxton, because it would not be for the benefit of the slave himself to pass it. It would excite the slave while it irritated the master. Emancipation must come gradually, and through the plant- • era, to be safe and effectual. The yoke of the slave must be removed by degrees, the links of his fetters one by one, until he was prepared for the enjoyment of perfect liberty. He would not set free a tenth part of the slave population today, and another tenth part at some future period, while each tenth might be equally unfit for the great change.
Lord Howick went on to state the details of the plan which
• Government meant to recommend— It was proposed, that in cases of punishing nlen, not more than fifteen lashes should be inflicted in the space of twenty-four hours, and that this punishment should not take place until six hours after the coin- • mission of the offence. It was not to be hoped, at present, that the master would give his slave wages: but if he gave him task-work to a reasonable amount, much good would be effected. The whip would be an instrument of punishment,—it would he no longer, as it was now, a stimulus to " labour. (Hear !) The next point was the separation of families, which would be effectually guarded against. In the same manner the right of . compulsory manumission would be fully established. But it was the in- tention of the Government to go farther, and to give to the slave the power of purchasing his freedom, not only in the gross, but, if he might be allowed to use the expression, in the retail also. It was their intention • to revive and to enforce an old law which had formerly obtained in Cuba, and which enabled the slave to purchase one day in the week. (Hear, hear !) This arrangement would enable him to acquire the first step. Again, slaves would not only have the power of purchasing their own freedom, but the power of purchasing the freedom of their children also. The regulations with regard to Sunday would he, that no manner of labour should be required of the slaves on that day, and, which as of more importance, that every care should be taken that the slaves might have free access to places of public worship. Lord Howick concluded by observing, that he trusted the House would see that these arrangements tended to a practical and substantial good, and that they were not a mere device to enable the Government to extricate themselves from a popular question, but that they constituted an important step in that course to which the Legislature was pledged.
Mr. STUART, Mr. SYKES, MY. HORACE TWISS, Dr. LUSH- INGTON, Sir ROBERT PEEL, Mr. A. BARING, and Sir THOMAS DENMAN, took part in the discussion ; but no decision was come to, as the House, on the motion of Mr. HUNT, agreed to adjourn ; and the further consideration of the question is postponed to Tuesday sennight.