Banta nutf procraingl in Parliament.
1. THE REFORM BILL. The House of Commons met on Saturday for about a couple of hours ; when some of the clauses which had been left unfinished were considered .in Committee, and a few additions made,—one to provide for the case of a dissolution from the demise of the Crown, or other accidental cause, previous to the passing of the Boundary Bill ; and another to provide a mode of assessing houses for the qualification of voters. An additional Schedule, L, was added, in explanation of the first amendment. It contains a precis of the Boun- dary Bill.
On Wednesday, when the order of the day was read for considering the report, Mr. Crtolua offered a long string of resolutions, embodying the whole of his objections urged at various periods.diving the discussions in Committee on the details of the Bill. His only object, he said, was to have the resolutions placed on thejournals of the House. Some conversation took place on the propriety of doing so ; but ultimately, it was agreed that Mr. Croker should be gratified ; and the resolutions being put pro forma, and negatived, appear in the Votes accordingly. They are divided into five general beads, and amount in all to forty. The first head refers to the Dis- franchisingSchedules, which are described as dependent on no fixed rule ; the second treats of theEnfranchising Schedules, which are described as framed equally without reference to any permanent principle ; the third refers to the Borough qualification, whose uniformity, it is declared, is equally indefensible with the irregularity of the four Schedules ; the fourth blames in toto the arrangements respecting the County repre- sentation ; 'and the fifth, after contending that the effect of the Bill, in respect of the candidate, cannot be clearly foreseen, blames it as im- posing a certain and heavy tax on the counsry. The resolutions con- clude— " That, for all these reasons (without adverting to the general principle of Pathamentary Reform), it appears that the Bill now bethre the House is, iu many of its most important provi-ions, partial, inconsistent, contradictory, awl unjust, likely to aggravate many f the evils which it professes to remedy, while it may produce new and serioli, and alm,es, and inadequate to the ac-
complishment of many of tic important purposes for which it has been especially recommended."
It was agreed to take the amendments in the same order as they had been taken in Committee ; that is, those of the clauses first, and then those of the Schedules.
When the Speaker came to Clause 31st, Mr. FRESHFIELD postponed his amendment for more effectually preserving the rights of freemen until- the third reading. This clause, as well as the others that follow, were agreed to without opposition.
On Minehead, Schedule A, being put, Mr. LUTTRELL moved its re- moval to Schedule E. The argument rested entirely on the assump- tion that Minchead included the parish of Enlister; which Lord J. E sEm. denied. Mr. Luttrell's amendment was negatived.
When Dartmouth, Schedule B, was put, Sir H. WILLOUGHBY again pressed upon Ministers its claim to consideration, but no division took place.
Schedules C and D were agreed to without remark.
When Cardiff, Schedule E, was read, Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, Ministers had given their most earnest consideration to the case of Merthyr- Tydvil, and had come to the resolution of placing it in Schedule 1). At the same time, they could not consent to take from that Sche- dule any of the towns now in it ; and they had therefore been compelled to procure a member fo; Merthyr-Tydvil by taking one from a county. The county they had fixed on for that purpose was Monmouth, the smallest of all those to which three members had been assigned.
This resolution of Ministers (of which information had been given, previous to going into Committee, in answer to a question of Colonel Wood) was strongly opposed by Lord G. SOMERSET, Colonel WOOD, Mr. GOULBURN, Sir CHARLES WETIIERELL, and others ; and de- fended by Lord D. STUART, Lord ALTHORP, Lord MILTON, and Mr. HUNT. The Committee divided on the motion : for Ministers, 191; against them, 146 ; majority, 45.
The rest of the Schedules were then agreed to.
Lord ALTHORP proposed a clause to remedy an inaccuracy in the wording of Clause $3d. He also proposed two other clauses-
1. To place burgage tenants in towns which are counties of themselves on the same footing, with respect to election purposes, as burgage tenants in other bo- roughs. 2. To give to Sheriffs the sameJurisdiction with respect to election purposes in the newly created boroughs, as they possessed in the old boroughs.
These were agreed to. .
Lord NEWARK offered his amendment—to place fifteen of the least towns in Schedule B in Schedule A, and to leave the remainder each its two members, as at present ; to proceed in the same way by Sche- dules C and D, placing nine of the largest towns of the latter in the former schedule, and disfranchising the rest; and lastly, to give the one member thus set free to the West Iliding of Yorkshire. Lord Newark argued for his amendment at some length ; and Lord JOHN Russai.r. replied very briefly. It was not pressed.
An amendment of Mr. HODGES, to add Ramsgate to Sandwich, was also negatived.
Mr. C. STUART offered, as an amendment for the words in lines 34- 37 inclusive of Clause 11th, the following-
" That no person nominated and appointed as returning officer for a borough now sending or hereafter to send members to Parliament, shall be appointed a churchwarden or overseer therein, during the time for which he shall be such re- turning officer."
It was agreed to.
On the insertion of Merthyr-Tydvil in Schedule D being regularly moved, a further conversation took place on the subject. The motion was ultimately agreed to.
Colonel SIBTHORP moved an adjournment of the report; which was rejected by 162 to 16.
The remainder of the Bill was then gone through; and it was or- dered to be engrossed and printed, and to be read a third time on Mon- day next.
2. THE MANCHESTER MASSACRE. On Thursday, Mr. HUNT made his motion for "a Select Committee, to inquire into the military execution inflicted on a peaceable and unarmed multitude, assembled in Manchester to petition for a Reform in Parliament, on the 16th of August 1819." Mr. Hunt described, as an eye-witness, many of the occurrences of that memorable day. In one instance— A portion of the crowd was driven into a small and narrow court, from which there was only one mode of exit ; at that passage the military stationed them- selves ; and while one of them, with a cocked pistol in his hand, called on the people to come forth or he would shoot them, another, with a drawn sword, cut at every one of them as they came out from it.
• The greater number of the amendments in Committee, are not alterations or ad- ditions to a bill as it appears on the second reading. but merely confirmations. Dates, numbers, and various other particulars, are either left blank, or, what is more common, printed in Italics ; and every filling up of a blank is called an amendment.
In proof that, as was alleged at the time, the swords of the Yeomanry were sharpened for the slaughter, Mr. Hunt mentioned that a man belonging to Stockport had a piece of his skull cut clean away ; and Mr. Hunt exhibited the piece of skull, about as big as a half-a-crown, to the House.
Many had been killed, many wounded ; and yet what had been the result? No legal inquiry had been instituted against the offenders ; but an inquiry had been instituted against himself, who had experienced ill usage in common with others among the peaceable assembly. Neither names nor witnesses were want- ing to make out a case. It could be proved that the Yeomanry had assailed and wounded helpless females. One female was knocked down in 'her flight down a hill, and part of her person was exposed. Some persons looking front a window called to a Yeoman to render her that assistance which any one with a sense of decency would naturally hasten to render on an occasion of the kind. What did this gallant Yeoman do?—Would the House, would Englishmen credit it ?— This brave, this loyal soldier, rode up to the prostrate woman and cut her across the thighs with his sabre !
Mr. Hunt next noticed the conduct of Meager, the Irish trumpeter— Ile had been informed by Mr. O'Connell, that Meager, on his return to Ireland, had made a boast among his countrymen;that lie had shed more Saxon blood on that day, than had ever been shed by any single Irishman before his time. Why was such a ruffian, after such a boast, to rosin at large unpunished? The honourable member went on— As to his own personal feeling on the subject, lie was quite willing to remem- ber, that twelve years had elapsed, and in that recollection to drown the memory of all he had himself sutthred in consequence of the transactions of that day. It was enough for him, when he recollected the object of that Meeting, to see the Ministry introduce such a measure of Reform as he hail never expected to see any Government in this country introduce ; and which, though it did not go the length that he could have desired, fully admitted the allegation, that the present House of Commons was not chosen by the People—the allegation on
which he had all along built his own proposition of Reform. This, he repeated, was quite enough to wipe away any personal resentment that he might ever have felt. lint if not—if he still were vindictive—what revenge might he not find in the events that had since taken place! Who was the Prime Minister of that day? The Earl of Liverpool—and where was the Earl of Liverpool? Who were the m incipal Officers of State of that day ? Lord Sidmouth, Mr. Canning,
and Lord Castlereagh ! Of these Lord Sidmouth alone remained. Where was Mr. Calming?—where Lord Castlereagh—and how did he go out of the world ? A remarkable fact it was, that two years afterwards, on the very anniversary of
that fatal 16th of A ugust, while lie was lying in prison, the very first letter that he opened detailed to him the end of that Minister. Who was the reigning Prince of that day?—George the Fourth—where was he? They had all gone to answer for their deeds, at a tribunal where no Jury could be packed, where no evidence could be stifled, and where unerring justice would be meted out to them.
He concluded— In making his proposition to the House, he had not provided himself with a seconder ; but after what had taken place, he would call on the noble Chancel-
lor of the Exchequer to second the motion. The noble lord had, twelve years ono, pretty freely expressed his opinion as to the transaction; and, he presumed, that that opinion had not been altered by the lapse of time. The laws of Eng- land, and of every comitil, had always been unanimous in expressing their ab- horrence of the crime of murder; and it was because he charged those parties with being guilty of a deliberate and cold-blooded murder, that he demanded an inquiry in the name of justice and of retribution.
Mr. HUME seconded the motion. He did not believe that the opinions of Lord Althorp on this question had altered, though it might not be considered prudent or politic for Government to reagitate it. He, however, had always considered that time could never outrun crime —that no lapse of years could or ought to shield murder from punish- ment. Mr. Hume alluded to the use of spies at the time of the massacre— He had himself been one of those who had seen Oliver inciting the people to acts of disturbance, and had actually assisted in carrying him in custody to the
Home Office ; but what became of the charge which they preferred against this individual? Nothing : the country heard no more of Mr. Oliver till they found him acting as a pensioned officer of the Government in a foreign colony.
Mr. GEORGE LAMB opposed the motion, on the ground of its inex- pediency. He agreed, that the day of justice never went by ; but the
courts of justice were as open now as they were twelve years ago. He deprecated the terms in which Mr. Hunt had described the meeting, as well as the wording of his motion ; both of which, lie maintained, prejudged the case for an inquiry into which they called. He alluded to the trial at York, as having settled the question of the illegality of the meeting, and yet more particularly to the case of Redford v. Birley, at Lancaster,—where all the evidence inculpatory of the Yeomanry was produced, and an acquittal notwithstanding was the result.
Lord MILTON said, he could have wished that the whole of the me- lancholy transaction were forgotten, nor could he help lamenting the motion for its revival; still, as it had been made, he felt it to be his duty to vote for it. Sir JOHN BYNG said, he arrived in Manchester a few hours after the unfortunate transaction : he bad the evidence of many impartial per- sons on it; and his conclusion was, that the troo_ps had not exceeded their duty. He made a report to Government to that effect. Mr. STRICKLAND deprecated the motion, merely because he feared that many of the witnesses whose testimony might have elucidated the transaction were gone to their long account: he should, however, vote for the Committee.
Lord ALTHORP_ rested his opposition to the motion on the lapse of time since the transaction took place. He took a distinction in respect to
the case,—if any individual or individuals were chargeable with murder, the courts were the best and the only place to try the charge ; it was political crimes alone that called for the interposition of the House of Commons. When he brought forward a motion for inquiry, he pro- ceeded on the ground that the Ministers, who were responsible, had given their protection to persons who were accused of certain crimes, and had made themselves responsible for them.
Sir HENRY HARDINGE hoped that no attempt would be made to stifle inquiry because Lord Castlereagh was not alive to meet it. Dr. LUSHINGTON said, the motion might now be defeated, but it would certainly come again before Parliament when the People were represented—
What were the reasons he had heard urged against the inquiry? It had been
fail that investigations had taken place, and trials had been had ; but he in- sisted that it remained for a Committee of the House to inquire whether any acts of insubordination had been committed—whether spies had been employed —and if employed, were they so with a view to incite those acts of insubordina- tion? • He did not wish to prejudge the question, but he would say, that if such facts were proved, it would be the duty of the Committee to report that these practices could not be pursued without exciting the indignation of Parliament and of the country at large. Whether there might have been fifteen persons killed and three hundred wounded, or not, it was the duty of the House to in- vestigate the matter, whether occurring at Manchester, Bristol, or elsewhere; and if the constituted authorities were entitled to praise, let it not be withheld ; but, at the same time, if their authority had been exceeded, let punishment be awarded to them.
Sir ROBERT PEEL expressed his surprise that Dr. Lushington's zeal for inquiry did not prompt him to move for one in the cases of Knock- topher and Merthyr-Tyclvil. Sir Robert contended for the -employ- ment of spies— If any Minister should employ a man as a spy for the purpose of exciting sedi- tion, and inculcating crimes with a view to obtain victims to the law, no punish- ment with which such a Minister should be visited would be too great to claim Sir Robert's support and approbation. But even supposing that spies had been parties to the conspiracies of Thistlewood and others, would the Secretary of State have been worthy of his high and important situation if he had either turned away the informer, or seized him for a not yet organized crime ? Par- liament itself had recognized the employment of such means and instruments of information of this nature ; and he would not unite in the universal clamour against such information,—though he would say, that in the ten years during which lie had held office, less had been expended for the secret service than at any period antecedent.
Sir Robert then alluded to the trials of Mr. Hunt at York and of Birley at Lancaster. In the latter case,
The suit, which was tried before Mr. Justice Holroyd, occupied five days; yet the Jury, after a consultation of between four and five minutes, fbund a ver- dict for the defendant. The inquiry did not even stop here ; for, in the ensuing term, Mr. Evans, the counsel for the plaintiff, applied to the Court of King's Bench for a new trial, alleging that justice had not been done his client. The motion was heard before the Judges at great length. On that occasion, the Judges gave their opinions seriatim, and overruled all the objections. Lord Chief Justice Abbott said that the magistrates were legally justifiable ; that they had acted with promptitude and spirit ; that their conduct deserved the thanks of the country ; and that they had behaved with great temper and forbearance during the whole transaction.
Sir Robert concluded— If this motion were carried, the necessary consequence would be, that in critical times, when powerful exertion was necessary, magistrates would be deterred from acting. Few gentlemen would come forward in times of emer- gency, if they saw that twelve or thirteen years afterwards, their conduct might undergo an inquisitorial examination by that House—an examination from which ev& the grave could not secure them.
After a few words from Mr. P. HOWARD, Colonel SIBTHORP, Mr. PETRE, and Mr. HEYWOOD against, and from Mr. GILLON for the motion, Mr. STANLEY rose to oppose it. He particularly adverted to the hint thrown out, that the motion would have a better chance of being entertained by a Reformed Parliament—
This was a most unhappy argument in favour of Reform : and if he thought that a Reformed Parliament would usurp the powers of the legal tribunals of the land, he would be as strong an opponent of Reform as he was now an ardent supporter.
Mr. JAMES and Mr. EWART declared their intention of supporting the motion.
Mr. Hum', in reply, spoke of the way in which the sentence of two and a half years' imprisonment passed on himself had been made out : his informant was Mr. Justice Bayley's clerk—
Judge Bayley declared, he would never consent that Mr. Hunt should suffer an hour's imprisonment. The Judges, when they differed as to a sentence, put their decisions upon paper; and in his case, Mr. Justice Best wrote five years' hn- prisonment, Judge Holroyd three, and Chief Justice Abbott two. Divide this by four, and it gave two and a half years, the imprisonment to which he had been condemned—a term which had never been heard of before.
No fewer than four speeches followed Mr. HUNT'S reply,--one from Sir ROBERT PEEL, one from the ATTORNEY-GENERAL, one from an unknown member, and one from Sir JAMES SeARLE-rr. Mr. Hum: complained of this ; but the Speaker observed, as new matter had been introduced into his reply, speeches in explanation from those affected by it should be allowed.
The House then divided : for the motion, 31; for the previous question, 206; majority against the inquiry, 175.
3. hum TITHES. On the question for the Speaker to leave the chair on Tuesday, with a view to the discussion of this adjourned ques- tion, Mr. WALLACE expressed his intention of dividing the House ; but he did not persist.
Mr. STANLEY was in consequence permitted without further oppo- sition to go into that statement which he had been precluded from giving last week. He now went over nearly the same ground as that trodden by the Marquis of Lansdowne, in speaking to the same subject, in the other House, on Wednesday sennight. The resolutions which he moved, are as follows.
" That it appears to this Committee, that in several parts of Ireland an organized and systematic opposition has been made to the payment of tithes, by which the law has been rendered unavailing, and many of the clergymen of the Established Church have been reOmeed to great pecuniary distress. " That, in order to afford relief to this distress, it is expedient that his Majesty should be empowered, upon application to the Lord Lieutenant or other Chief Governor or Go- vernors of Ireland, to direct that there be issued from the Consolidated Fund such sums as may be required for this purpose. " That the sums so issued, shall be distributed by the Lord Lieutenant or:other Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland, by and with the advice of the Privy Council, in ad- vances proportioned to the incomes of the incumbents of benefices, wherein the tithes or tithe composition lawfully due may have been withheld, according to a scale diminishing as the incomes of such incumbents increase; That for the more effectual vindication of the authority of the law, and as a security for the repayment of the sums so to be advanced, his Majesty be empowered to levy, under the authority of an act to be passed for the purpose, the amount of at rears for the tithes or tithe composition of the whole or any part of the year 1831, without preju- dice to the claims of the clergy for any arrear which may be dire for a longer period ; reserving, in the first instance, the amount of slack) advances, and paying over the re- maining balance to the legal claimants. "That it is the opinion of this Rouse, that with a view to secure both the interests of the Church and the lasting welfare of Ireland, a permanent change of system will be required ; and that such a change, to be satisfactory and secure, must involve a com- plete extinction of tithes, including those belonging to lay impropriators, by commuting them for a charge upon land, or an exchange for or investment in laud."
The causes which render tithe in Ireland peculiarly odious, Mr. Stanley stated with great distinctness— It was not the mere amount of the sum,—for he did not doubt, in the present competition for land, when tenants would promise more than they could ever expect to pay, and landlords let their land for more than they could ever expect to receive, that if the tithes were to be wholly abolished, in many cases the re- mission would ouly ,go to swell the amount of rent, and that the tenants would not be benefited. Nevertheless, tithes were a grievance. He put it promi- nently forward as a chief part of this grievance, that the tenant had to pay im- mediately to the minister of a religion in which he (lid not believe—that he did not follow—and who gave men no services in return for the payment. He would not say that they ought not to pay, nor would he say that the payment ought not to he enforced ; but he would say, that the direct and immediate payment—the transfer of property from the peasant to the ministers of a religion in which he himself did not believe—the payment by the Catholic peasantry to the Protestant clergy—was one and the chief source of the grievance. It was of no consequence whether the sum were 3d. or 1s.—on religious grounds, the objections must he equally strong to the payment of Is. or of 3d. ; and whatever remedies they might propose, unless they remedied the whole grievance, the objection to the payment, on religious grounds, would remain. That grievance was independent of the sum paid ; and it was also, in fact, that the smallness of the sum enhanced the difficulties. He did not assert, that if the charge were 5s. or 10s. an acre, it would not be felt as a greater evil than if it were only Is. ; but the greater sum would immediately demand consideration, while the amount of 4d. per acre was so small a sum, that a great number of people had to pay it, and it was including such a number which made it felt as a grievance. He said that the demands of the clergy were not exorbitant ; but it was the number of small sums claimed from small holdings, to swell the revenue of the clergy to its proper amount, that the people felt as a grievance, which was the per- petual blister, the constant annoyance of all those who had to pay. There were many witnesses to the fact among the clergy themselves. It appeared from a paper laid before the House, giving an account of the effects of the last Tithe Composition Act, that of fifty-two parishes, the average number of tithe-payers was very considerable. According to that return, 1'2,824 contributed to pay the tithe, amounting to 11,3001. ; or, in round numbers, nearly 13,000 persons paid 11,0001. The sum was not all paid at once, or to the same persons. It was paid to the Rector—to the Vicar; it was paid to other persons; and it was paid in half-yearly payments ; so that, according to the account, there were seven or eight payments made by each individual tenant before he completed that small sum he had to pay. The payments were made twice a year ; and it had happened that the payment of a single individual for which process had issued, for which expenses had been incurred, and on which fees had been charged, was only three farthings in one half year. It was not so in England ; and it arose in Ireland from that miserable system of subletting. and dividing land which the landlords of Ireland had encouraged, and which existed in no other country.
In concluding, Mr. Stanley said— If, before he proposed to bring the measure before the House, he had not called upon the House to give a distinct pledge to make an alteration he the present system, and if he called for any support for the Government previously to relieving the distress of the clergy, and before the Government had vindicated the authority of the law, and before that Government had enforced the law against that combination which he allowed to be most extensive, he should have thought himself not justified, it being impossible that the question of relief could be considered in detail, and a remedy applied until the authority of the law was vindicated. He called upon the House to apply that remedy; but he submitted, at the same time, that it should first vindicate the authority of the law. He Called upon it to teach Ireland a lesson, and show her that she might with safety look to England with a reliance on her justice, without attempting only to influence her by violence and turbulence, and act upon her fears.
Mr. JEPHSON said, he felt assured that the resolutions would not an- swer the purpose for which they were framed. Against the compulsory part of them he earnestly protested ; and as for the conversion scheme, if unaccompanied by other measures, it would make White feet of all the landed gentlemen in Ireland. The entire Irish Church must be revised before the Irish people would be satisfied.
Mr. BROWNI.OW approved of the three first resolutions, but wholly disapproved of the fourth— It might he satisfactory to those who'contemplated the continuance of the pre- sent state of the Established Church of Ireland; but lie must say at once, that the system could not last—that it was founded in a great mistake—that it was bottomed in delusion—that it was a gross anomaly. Of what advantage was it to the country. or the people? You could not hope it would give the people moral or religious instruction, for the great mass of them were Catholics; and how could they expect that there would be any exercise of charity or good-will
when the ministers of the Established Church lived in a state of perpetual war- fare with the great body of the population? If they hoped to put an end to the
dissensions of Ireland, and to give satisfaction to the people, they must at once make up their minds to deal with the property of the Church as they would with other public property, and to make it applicable to its original purposes— to the furtherance of charity by the support of the poor in conjunction with a proper maintenance for the clergy.
Mr. HUME reminded the House of the manner in which they had received a similar motion to that of Mr. Stanley, when he brought it forward, and how freely the epithets of plunderer and spoliator were applied to him. He only wished, as Government had adopted a great part, they would take the whole of his plan, and proceed to remodel the Church of Ireland entirely, without which, the people of Ireland would not be satisfied. Mr. Hume said, the resistance to tithe in Ireland was analogous to the resistance to the Stamp Act in America; and it would
be as vain to attempt coercion in the one case as it was found to be in the other. He rejoiced, however, to observe the determination of Go- vernment to purchase conciliation, while they threatened force. He did not grudge the money for that purpose, nor would the people of England— The question was not an Irieh, so much as it was an English question; be- cause it would enable England to conduct the Government of Ireland for the future without an immense expenditure, and that unfortunate spirit which had hitherto marked their connexion. Let the Government try to bring the Irish within the pale of the Constitution by acts of kindness. To the fourth resolution, Mr. Hume expressed his decided oppo- sition— He thought it would be both wisdom and prudence on the part of the Govern- ment, to declare their intention to go into a review of the whole Church Esta- blishment of Ireland. He knew that Ministers had business enough on their hands ; but if they were once to announce their intention, they might take their time with it ; and if they were to allow the Committee now sitting to take all the evidence they could collect, and make a report on it, he was certain that evidence would satisfy every impartial man in this country that all attempts at coercion would utterly fail for the collection of tithes.
.Mr. HUGH O'CONNOR said, of the thirteen millions of acres of land in Ireland, the clergy possessed one million : if this land were properly managed and duly apportioned, it would suffice for the maintenance of the whole establishment.
Mr. W. YATES PEEL said, the present was a moment when the Ministry ought to make a firm stand— If they did make it, they would be supported, not only in that House, but elsewhere. They must determine on making no surrender to illegal combina- tions. The King had taken an oath to support the Protestant establislunent, and God forbid that he should have aMinister who would advise him to violate it.
: The discussion was continued by Mr. CAREW, Colonel CONOLLY, Sir RICHARD MUSGRAVE, Captain JONES, and Mr. CRAMPTON.
O'CoNNon DON spoke to the argument derived from the necessity of vindicating the majesty of the law-
. Without at all meaning to detract from that revere: ce to which the law is entitled, may it not be questioned whether the law does not divest itself of half its majesty, from the moment that it forfeits that high attribute that best entitled it, to respect, namely, the attribute of justice? From that moment, it may still, it is true, retain power, but may it not too closely resemble the power of despo- tism ? and certainly there arises this worst of all possible consequences from its continuance, that the hatred it engenders, and the hostility it awakens, are ex tended to the most just, the most equitable authority. The remedies for th" grievances of the tithe system should have been earlier applied; delay has bete i dangerous ; the evils were known to exist, and yet they were not redresser until the people extorted from the country and this House the confession od their existence. The right honourable the Secretary for Ireland, when he firstf brought this questiou before the House, detailed some these grievances, and this House acquiesced in the truth of his statements; but it should not be for- gotten, that but for the reclamations of the people, the injustice with which they Avert: treated would have remained unnoticed. " I wish not to palliate the ex- cesses which they occasionally committed. I deplore their commission deeply, sincerely, unaffectedly ; but let those who condemn them remember the grounds of dissatisfaction so long allowed to remain unredressed ; and let them not lie disposed to undervalue just complaints because they have been attempted to be redressed, unhappiiy, through the infraction of the law. If their endu- rance has been long, it new be wise to make some remission of arrears that may be difficult to prove, and still more difficult to collect. At all events, before this House accedes to invest the Government with additional power, the Go- vernment should distinctly state what that measure •sf relief is which is to com- pensate for extraordinary coercion. If the measure be satisfactory, coercion will be unnecessary ; if it be unsatisfactory, coercion will be useless."
- Mr. SHELL noticed a distinction which had not been adverted to by the previous speakers. It was in the South of Ireland that the only ar- rears existed ; there the population was Catholic, and there alone was tithe on potato ground exacted ; in the North, where the population was Protestant, there were no arrears, and potato grounds were un- tithed. The House were about to make the Lord Lieutenant a tithe- proctor, not for Ireland, but for the potato-gardens of the South of Ireland. Mr. Sheil concluded by strongly deprecating any hasty steps in settling so important a question.
• Sir ROBERT PEEL said-
. In the year l652, that is four years after the death of Charles the First, a Commitose was appointed . to prepare a plan for the commutation of tithes for land. But it was said then that the lay impropriators in the House would never couseut to such an interference with their property, and, in fact, the plan was never acted upon. But even that House of Commons, which had abolished the House of Lords, accompanied the pledge of commutation with a resolution, that tithes should continue to be paid until the plan should be matured and brought into operation. If the resolutions now proposed to the Committee were agreed to, he trusted that they would be accompanied by sonic provision for the mainten- ance of the authority of the existing law, until that which was to supersede it should have been preparedand ready to be put in force. He was not unwilling to take into consideration some other mode of paying the clergy ; but whilst such a mode was under consideration, it was necessary that they should in the mean time re- ceive their tithes. He did not think that lie should act with a due regard to the se- curity of the Church of Ireland, if he were not prepared to go into the consideration of that question; but he thought that the introduction of the words " extinction of tithes" in the resolutions, was most unwise. If the Secretary for Ireland had his plan prepared—if he had the land, by means of which the commutation was to be effected, Sir Robert Peel would not object to his following the precedent of every enclosure act, in which it was stated that the tithes were extinct. But as the plate wasnotsproposed„ the effect of the introduction of the words extinc- tion of tulles" into the resolutions, would be considered by the peasantry of Ire- land as equivalent to a declaration that tithes were extinct, and that therefore they should no longer be paid. It would take not less than two years to bring into operation any .plan for the commutation of tithes; and he believed that the erroneous impression spreading in the mean time would extend the com- bination. He would give his support to the Government on this occasion, upon the full and clear understanding that it was meant to provide for the Church by an honourable and fair equivalent. He would give his assent to the resolutions, on the full understanding that the revenues of the Church would be appropri- ated to purposes strictly ecclesiastical.
. Sir Robert considered the first of all duties was to put down resist- ance to the law— If that was not done, Government would cease to be, and anarchy would exist in its stead. Having been formerly officially connected with Ireland, he would confess that he took a sort of melancholy interest in tracing the progress of those disturbances that for the last ninety years had defaced the fair pros- pects of that country ; and he thought that he had clearly traced this one fea- ture in the whole of those disturbances—that the object in view was not single, but that whether in the first instance it had reference to tithes, to Roman Ca- tholic dues, to road-rates, or to rent, it speedily ramified in every direction, and gave evidence that it arose from_ that restlessness and discontent which would never be satisfied until every thing was brought into discord and disunion. In support of this opinion, he might cite the testimony of Mr. Plowden ; from whose work it appeared, that the White Boys, the Oak Boys, the Steel Boys, or by whatever name the rioters might be called, were all unanimous in gra- dually extending their demands, and in never remaining stationary to the prin- ciple from which they set out. This was the case in 1736, when the Three Pastoral Letters of Mr. O'Leary were published; and it was in a similar way Pointed out by Mr. Bushe in 1811, when sent by the Government to prosecute at the Special Commission then appointed. The phrase then made use of by him was, Out of the apathy and indolence of the gentry, has grown the do- minim of the mob." That phrase contained an explanation of the whole mat- ter ' - and in the present day it might in like manner be said, " Out of our apathy, and indolence, and connivance, has grown the dominion of the mob."
It was the wish of Mr. STANLEY that the first three resolutions should be permitted to pass ; and he offered to postpone the fourth for further discussion; but Mr. WISE having stated his intention of di- viding on the whole, all four were in consequence postponed.
4. Alecosra. On Tuesday, the Earl of ABERDEEN put some ques- tions to Earl Grey respecting the French expedition to .Ancona. He commenced by protesting against " the new discipline" exercised by Government in respect of those Peers who felt called on to put ques- tions respecting public matters— He said n..w system of discipline, because he had been a member of their Lord- ships' House fur twenty-five years, and he knew that it had always been the prac- tice to put questions, and to call for explanations from the members of Government, i either with or without notice; and it was a practice of which, when he sat on the Ministerial side of the House, the Lords who then sat on the Opposition benches had not been slow in availing themselves. And it was a matter of great convenience that in this House there should be such a practice. In the other House, frequent opportunities occurred of putting questions, and calling for ex- planations when questions Were before the House suchas on occasions of Com- mittees of Supply, into which generally the House resolved itself twice a week, and on other occasions. But in this House there were no such opportunities ; and therefore it had been in every view found convenient dud useful that explanations should be called for on important subjects, and frankly given, without its being necessary to resort to the formality of a motion.
After alluding to the former discussion on the same subject; Lord Aberdeen went on to say, that it bad always been the polley of Eng- land to look watchfully and jealously to the conduct of France ; nor was there any thing in the present state of the latter that entitled us to dispense with our customary vigilance. This, he contended, proceeded from no injurious feeling towards France, nor any wish to provoke a general war, but was the best and most direct method of avoiding of- fence or quarrel. Lord Aberdeen vindicated himself from any im- putation of hostility towards the new French Government, by remind- ing their Lordships, that as Foreign Minister, he had been the first to acknowledge the legitimacy of its title, and to communicate the fact to oilier powers. Lord Aberdeen then alluded to Cardinal Benietti's note to the French Ambassador, and detailed the facts of the French lauding, as we gave them last week— Now, with what objects had such a step been taken by the French Govern- ment? NVas it in concert with or for the purpose of assisting the Pope? Was it in concert with or for the purpose of assistant Austria? Wa: it in concert with or for the purpose of supporting the rebels Or was it for the purpose of prometiag the views of Mister * Perier at home ? He was not called upon to give ;Lev opinion on the sufficiency of the grounds on which Austria interfered in the disputes between the Pupa and his subjects, and entered the Papal ter- itory ; thegrounds were intelligible, and the object was open and avowed. It eras communicated to the Allies, and openly proclaimed ; but nobody thought of imputing to Austria any other object than what she avowed. The interter- eliCe of Austria might be justified even upon the alleged new doctrines as to inturforena: and non-interference, promulgated by the Ministers, and which, after all, were nothing more than the principles promulgated by my Lord Castle- reagh ten years ago.
But he contended, that the justification or non-justification of the Austrian interference made out no ease for the French- Suppe.: the entrance of Austrian troops into the Papal territory could not be justified, was that any justification of time aggression on the part of France? This was, indeed, punishing the Pope for Caesar's crimes.
He had read over twice the elaborate speech lately pronounced by the French Miuister in the Chamber of Deputies ; and having done so, he remained, on the subject of Ancona, no wiserthan when he began— He Neel many fine winds there, but no explanation. He found that the ex-. 'sedition was undertaken for the interests of the Roman Catholic religion—for the interests of the Holy See--for the preservation of the integrity of the Pope's donduions—for the suppsrt of national institutions—fur the prevention of col- lision and the preservation of the.peace of the civilized world. He should ra- ther ftave thought that the object was to produce every one of those effects which the President of the Council contended it was meant to prevent.
He again reverted to the protest of Cardinal Bcrnetti, part of which he read. He observed that the surrender of the Papal troops, without striking a blow, did not in the slightest degree alter the character of the whole proceeding. It was impossible to look on the two powers as otherwise titan in a state of actual war with each other. He particu- larly remarked on the infraction of the sanitory laws by one of the French frigates— It was difficult for the people of this country to understand the effect upon the feelings of the Italians by a violation of these laws, and the alarm which an event of that kind was calculated to produce in that country. There was at that time among the French squadron, a frigate from Algiers, which waa performing quarantine; and every individual who landed in the Papal territory from that frigate was liable to suffer the punishment of death by the sanatory laws. This violation, therefore, of the sanatory laws, was an additional out- rage to the Papal States, calculated to produce anarchy and confusion, and to add the evils of pestilence to those of war. He mentioned this last circumstance„ in order to show the total absence of all consideration on the part of the French Government when they sent this expedition to Italy, and the just feelings of in- dignation and alarm which it was calculated to produce in the Papal Govern- ment. So that on the whole this was an outrage so strange and extraordinary, that it was unparalleled in the history of civilized nations.
Earl GREY said, he had never complained that questions were asked, but of the purpose for which they were asked. It was not for ex planation or information, but in order to found upon them 'charges against Government, which, from the peculiarity of their position, Government could not reply to, inasmuch as, without entering into questions which were not ripe for discussion, it was frequently im- possible to show that the assumptions on which such charges rested were wholly without foundation. He equally deprecated the practice of taking occasion of asking a question to make unfounded changes against foreign governments. If the noble earl was really disposed to preserve that good understanding be- tween Great Britain and France, upon which it was admitted that the (peace of the country would depend, why did the noble earl, under the pretence of asking questions, eater upon a declamatory attack on the conduct of the French Go- vernment, without waiting till the explanation could be given, or till it was ascertained whether at the moment it could be given or not? Was the course • His Lordship, it seems, did not use the customary word Monsieur, or its ordinary; equivalent iu English Mr., bat time slang word Mister, in speaking of the French When the news arrived, that the French troops had landed and had occupied Ancona, in the manner stated in the note and protest of the Pope's Minister, Cardinal Bernetti, he could only say, that the news had come by surprise on the Government of this country ; and that -it came equally by surprise on the French Government. ("Hear, hear ! ") The consequence was, that the act was immediately disavowed by the French Government, as being contrary to the instructions given to the commander of the expedition ; and that an immediate communication was made by the French Government to the Governments of the Pope and Austria ; that orders had been given for the meal of that officer ; and this communication was accompanied by assurances which were calculated to be satisfactory to them : and, upon the whole, what- ever might be the opinion of Lord Aberdeen as to this transaction, it was not likely to affect the general peace of Europe. He certainly was not disposed to dispute the principle of Lord Aberdeen, that every thing affecting the general peace of Europe must be a matter of anxiety to Great Britain. He had advo- cated and maintained that principle, and he still adhered to it, without at all pledging himself to carry it out to questions more or less remotely connected with the tranquillity of Europe. He would further say, that what had re- cently happened at Ancona, on its first appearance bore a character of that de- scription-it did appear to have an important bearing on the peace of Europe ; but what Ministers had done under that persuasion, they could not properly be called upon to state. Immediate measures were, however, taken, which were well received by the French Government ; and they were communicated to the Austrian Minister, who expressed his entire satisfaction. Nav, more-there was not the least doubt that they gave the same satisfaction at Vienna; for they were only an anticipation of a request since received from that Court. ( Cheers. )
The Earl of ABERDEEN expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the ample explanation given by Earl Grey ; and added, that in asking for that explanation, he had no wish to east a stigma on Government.
In the House of Commons, the same evening, the subject was in- troduced by Sir RICHARD ITYvYAN; and a similar reply to the question he put was given by Lord PALMERSTON.
5. BELGIAN AFFAIRS. Last night, the Duke of WELLINGTON moved for correspondence between the English and French Govern- ments, in order to correct certain assertions in the speech of the French Minister, M. Perier. The Duke alluded to the morbid desire of aggrandizement by force of arms which had existed in France for the last forty years ; and argued from that fact, the necessity of the
• greatest vigilance in the conduct of this country towards it— He entertained as strong an opinion as Earl Grey himself, of the advantages, nay, necessity, of a close union between the English and French Governments to the maintenance of the general peace ; but this conviction was second to his anxiety to preserve the honour and interests of England untarnished. But while he told the noble earl that his anxiety for a good understanding between the two countries was second only to his anxiety for the honour of the King's Go- vernment, he would also tell him that if he hoped to preserve the peace of Eu- rope by the cordial cooperation of France, he must not unite himself to that country singly, but in participation with the other great Powers of the Continent.
He passed a high eulogium on the French military character— He begged it clearly to be understood, that no man was more anxious than he was to promote peace and union between France and England ; that no man entertained a higher estimate of the immense resources, whether for peace or war, of the French people ; that no man thought higher of their ability to avail themselves of their immense resources ; that, in a word, no man was inure ready to testify to the fact, that perhaps no nation on the earth excelled, if indeed it equalled, France in the possession of those virtues, talents, and resources which were calculated to render a people truly great and prosperous at home, and for- midable and respected abroad. In these qualities, he repeated, France was per- haps more favoured than any other country on the earth ; but because she was so, he thought it the more bounden duty of an English minister to preserve with jealous care the honour and interests of this country from French encroachment.
He then proceeded to point out the' inaccuracies of M. Perier's speech (a passage of which he quoted in commencing)— As soon as the French Revolution was duly announced to the British Govern- ment, no time was lost in recognizing Louis Philip as King of the French. Louis Philip was admitted fully into all the treaties in force between the two countries, as also a party to all the treaties between this country and the other
• states of Europe. If M. Pirier's version of the conduct of the French Govern- - ment with respect to Belgium were the true one, Louis Philip had violated a
condition of his recognition. The treaty of peace of 1814, made over Belgium
to the King of Holland, and the King of France was an important party to that treaty. 'the man, therefore, who represented the King of the French as "en-
couraging and promoting" the revolution in Belgium, pro Canto represented that
monarch as a violator of a solemn compact ; but the error was M. Wrier's only. From the first moment of the breaking out of the Belgian Revolution, in August 1830, to the last moment of his quitting office, the French Government had faithfully observed the treaty to which the Five Great Powers were parties, and had, in fact, acted the very. reverse of what M. Wrier had represented. The
French Foreign Secretary had, at the very outset, disclaimed all interference with the affairs of Belgium. When the Prince of Orange entered Brussels, they declared their willingness to cooperate in preventing its consequences; they repeated their declaration when that Prince left that place ; and last of all, when Prince Frederick made that attack on Brussels in which he unfortunately failed The French Government not only did not encourage the Belgian Re- volution, but zealously offered to cooperate with the other Powers in preventing the separation of Belgium from the sovereignty of the House of Orange. He spoke confidently on this bead, having been then himself in office ; and he had reason to know, that even after he had left office, the French Government had expressed to the British Minister its anxiety to attempt again the restoration of the sovereignty of the House of Orange. The Duke concluded by moving for the correspondence.
Earl GREY said, he did not dispute the high authority of the speech of the French Minister ; but he must remind the Duke of Wellington, that it had no such official or authentic character as made it the proper object of a Parliamentary motion. On a perusal of the correspond- ence, he perfectly concurred with the Duke of Wellington in saying, that the French Government did not profess to encourage the Belgian Revolution ; and if they did encourage it in reality, they committed a breach of faith. But perhaps all that M. Perier meant to assert was, that they so far encouraged it, as to prevent other powers from inter- fering to put it down_.
adopted by the noble earl that which was most likely to be adopted by, one who was anxious to preserve the good understanding between Great Britain and France, and the consequent peaee of Europe?
After alluding to the expose of the French Minister,—many parts of which, Lord Grey said, were highly satisfactory, though on others it might have been more explicit,—he proceeded to the immediate sub- ject of Lord Aberdeen's speech— EarlGrey had no hesitation in sobscribitig iMplicitly to the statement of facts made by the noble Duke. The French Government not only did not profess to encourage, but expressly disclaimed all interposition. The whole correspond- ence, as the noble Dukehad stated, was conducted in an amicable spirit ; and if it were not presumptuous in him to say so, he might add, that the proceeding.; was highly to the honour of the Governinent.of the noble Duke. ( Cheers.) The production the papers was, however, objectionable, because it would naturally lead to a call for further disclosures. if. Perier might say, the fear of the French power kept other states from inter- fering; other states might say, they were kept from interfering from an adherence to principle ; who was to decide? Not the papers sought for—they would only provoke discussion— He would repeat, once for all, that the correspondence showed that there was no pretence for saying either that Great Britain had herself entertained the in- tention, or encouraged it in others, to interfere in the affairs of Belgium with an. armed force, or that the French Government had made representations which induced other states to desist from such an enterprise. ( Cheers.)
The Duke expressed himself satisfied with this declaration ; and the motion was withdrawn.
6. LORD ELDON AND LORD PLUNKETT. On Monday, the Earl of ELDON entered into the explanation of which he had given notice.. His Lordship strenuously denied that he had made the office of Chan- cellor subservient to his personal interests. He accepted it, he said, with much reluctance, the object of his professional ambition being the Chief Justiceship of the Common Pleas. Of the appointments for his family that were pressed upon him by his Sovereign, he had de-
clined all but one ; and of that he accepted the reversion for one life only, and the reversion had not yet fallen in—
Having accepted the office in 1801, lie had gone out for a short time in l806, but had returned to it in 1807, not, certainly, from any view to the advantness which it might afford him in providing for his family, but on public grounds..
In 1818, it pleased Parliament to create the office of Vice-Chancellor. The sa- lary of the Lord Chancellor was then 5,0001. a year; and yet the individual who, now addressed them gave up 2,5001. for the Vice- Chancellor, and had continued it from that time till 1827, when he quitted office; and this he believed to be considered as no small sacrifice. It had been thought proper to strengthen the Bankruptcy Office, where heavy duties were to be discharged, and fur that pur-- pose he had given up to those on whom the weight of those duties fell, 1,8001.
of the fees. He might have given a certain appointment for three lives, as his predecessors had done; but he had refused to take it for more than one life; and be ventured to say, that if all the value of all the offices received by his son were to be duly estimated, they would never reimburse him for the sums which. his father had been out of pocket for the purposes which he had mentioned.
He complained that, under such circumstances, he should be accused. of having all along acted from no motive but a love of filthy lucre in accepting and holding place. He concluded by moving for a copy of the return quoted in the House of Commons by Mr. Spring Rice last week.
The Marquis of CLANRICARDE next rose to perform for Lord Plun- kett what Lord Eldon had been left to perform for himself. The Marquis went over the list read by Mr. Dawson— In the first place, Mr. Dawson had accused Lord Plunkett of being Lord Chancellor of Ireland ; an accusation from which he did not mean to defend him,. and should, therefore, say nothing. Next in the list appeared "the Honourable P. Plunkett, Secretary of Bankrupts." Now, that Mr. Plunkett had been ap- pointed to the office was true; but Mr. Dawson was quite wrong as to emolu- ments, which were only about 3501. a year, with no salary nor regular fees. Then came " the Honourable D. Plunkett, Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas, with 1,5001. a year ;" and the same " Honourable D. Plunkett, Examiner taw the dourt of Common Pleas, 100/. ;" on which sum Mr. Dawson sagaciously observed, "nothing was too small for these gentlemen." But Mr. Dawson did not observe that these places were not in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. Then, said Mr. Dawson, "there were, besides, three offices under that gentleman, each worth 5001. a year; a second assistant 2001. a year ; and five other clerks,. whose united salaries amounted to one thousand pounds-in all 27,000/." This was the manner in which he made up his accusations-he classed together a. long list of clerks necessary, for the execution of the public business, and charged their salaries as money paid by the public to the Prothonotary, because he hap- pened to be a son of the Lord Chancellor. Then came the Honourable John Plun- kett, with a salary of 1,2001. as Commissioner of Inquiry into the Fees of the Courts of Justice. The fact was, that Mr. Plunkett had no salary; the emolu- ments went to Mr. Kemis, who had held the office ; and yet Mr. Dawson laid the whole of the emoluments to the account of Mr. Plunkett, though he could not well have been ignorant how the fact stood, as Mr. Kemis was a relative- or connexion of his in some way. Then Mr. Dawson accused Lord Plunkett of having made the Honourable and Reverend T. Plunkett Dean of Down and Vicar of Bray. But Mr. Dawson could not but know that clergymen had ditties to perform, and that if the persons appointed were competent to perform, these duties, and did perform them, it mattered not to the public whether the situations were held by one description of persons or another.. In none of all- these situations was any useless burden on the public. They were no sinecures,. but places of which the duties must be performed ; and the emoluments did not arise out of the public money at all, but came from another source. One would' think that this statement as to the emoluments of a clergyman had come from at confirmed Radical, who held the whole of the property of the Church to be in the strictest sense of the term public property. Did Mr. Dawson mean to saw that church property was public property in that sense? As to the vicarage of Bray, the right hcinourable gentleman bad also committed a mistake as to amount, for the income was only 4001. a year, and not 8001. a year, as he had stated. But the accusation' if it rested on any thing at all, could only be founded on this, that as the Dean of Down and Vicar of Bray received emolu- ments from their livings, this was to be considered as a direct and grievous tax on the public--a notion which could only be entertained by the most decided Radical in regard to church property.
Lord Clanricarde added, that Lord Plunkett had been a twelve- month in office, and his family had received but one favour since his accession to it. He vindicated Lord Plunkett from any neglect of his judicial duties; and pointed to the fewness of the appeals from his judgments, in proof of his attention to his high functions. In respect to the accusation that Lord Plunkett was a political judge, Lord Clan- tricarde said, when he held the Common Pleas, he paid 4001. out of hiss own pocket, on account of not going circuit, for the sole purpose of being present in Parliament during the discussion of the Catholic claims. Lord Clanricarde concluded with an appeal to their Lordships' sense of interest in repressing such charges as those against Lord Plunkett- If men of station, Privy Councillors, would lend themselves to such repre- sentations, the result must be injurious to the Aristocracy in the eyes of the
et untry. For Vais reason, if for no other, he would not enter into recrimination ; but he must say, that the course pursued with regard to his noble friend had been most unjustifiable—least of all in these times, and in reference to such a -country as Ireland, where the people were but too ready to be inflamed against those who were placed in authority over them. The attack in this instance had been made upon the head of the Magistracy of Ireland, and the charge was no- - thing less than venality and corruption. Of the character of his noble friend, it vas unnecessary for him to speak : it belonged to his country and to history ; . and as long as that history lasted, his glory would not pass away. ( Cheers.)
The Marquis of LONDONDERRY said, he bore anger "as the flint bears fire :" he would only recur to the debate of the previous week, to vindicate himself from the charge of having commenced it. A discus- . sion had occurred in the Commons, where there was a majority of 4 in favour of Lord Plunkett ; Lord Plunkett himself had moved for cer- Aain papers ; and in that motion Lord Londonderry's observations had originated— in whatever he had done, he had been influenced by no party motive : he had always been independent of party, algid lie had shown his independence on one - occasion by giving up the man whose talents and opinions he had long been ac- customed to admire. He repeated, that he had no unkindly feeling towards Lord Plunkett ; and what had passed on a former evening was at least forgiven, if it could not be entirely forgotten. The noble and learned lord had himself -originated all these personal discussions by moving for papers; and if they were presented, and if he (Lord Londonderry) should move upon them that the salary of the Secretary of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland be reduced by the sum of BOO/. a year, he expected to be supported by a Ministry professing such rigid ..economy.
Earl GREY remarked on one of the appointments—that of the Deanery of Down—that Mr. Plunkett, in accepting it, gave up a valuable living. He added, that the living had been conferred without Abe slightest solicitation on Lord Plunkett's part—
He could not recollect whether he (Lord Grey) or the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had first communicated the intelligence ; but the gift had not been made until after due inquiry into the manner in which the reverend gentleman had discharged his clerical duties. This appointment had been made one of the heavy catalogue of charges; but he wished the public to consider, whether it ought nut to be a matter of proud satisfaction with Lord Plunkett, that he had a son advanced solely from his deserts, and without the slightest application on his part.
The Duke of WELLINGTON observed, that the office of Chancellor would be very inadequately remunerated, if the occupant had not with the office the means of providing for the members of his family ; and the late reduction in its emoluments bad been such, that he feared it would be difficult hereafter to find persons of eminence to accept of it • with all its precariousness. Neither Lord Eldon nor Lord Plunkett . could be blamed for placing their sons in the situations they then held, provided they were equal to the duties— He agreed with Earl Grey in hoping, that that would be the last they should hear of this senseless outcry against public men for not having overlooked the ties of blood and nature in disposing of the patronage of office. The time of the House was but ill spent with such discussions : indeed he was sure that nothing could tend-more to injure its character in public estimation than these inquisi- tional investigations of the family affairs of men iu high stations: at all events, they tended more to lower the House than benefit the public, and the sooner they put an end to them the better.
Lord PLUNKETT defended himself from the charge of giving to Par- • liament the hours that ought to have been devoted to the duties of his office— He was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in December 1830; and com- menced his sittings in the ensuing January. A very great mass of arrcar of business having been left to he disposed of by his predecessor, he sat the whole of that Hilary term, till the 17th of March ; and on his rising on that day, not a single cause remained to lie disposed of, except at the express instance of the suitors, in order to be more prepared at the next term. The interval between Hilary and Easter terms he spent in Parliament ; and having been constantly engaged during Easter and Trinity terms in his court, rose three days before the termination of the last-named term, with not a single cause undisposed of, except one or two, which, as in the former instance, he consented to postpone at the instance of the suitors themselves. He might, if he so thought fit, have devoted _the four months of the ensuing long vacation to his domestic affairs; but, instead of doing so, he devoted them to the service of thepublic in that House, returning in time to his court when he sat during Michaelmas term. This brought him to the last Hilary term, during which he had been charged of totally absenting himself, and of leaving the business to he discharged by the Master of the Rolls. By an arrangement which he had made with the bar, he commenced his No- vember sittings a couple of days before the usual period ; by which means, and by sitting every day trum the commencement of Hilary term, he succeeded in disposing of every cause set down for hearing in his court, so as to be able to rise four or five days before the term was over. These four or five days he, in point of fact, spent in Dublin, having literally nothing to do in the Court of Chancery, so that he might, consistently with his judicial duties, have taken his seat here a week sooner than he did. And was this spending his time in Parliament to the injury of the suitors in the Court of Chancery ? With respect to the assertion that the Master of the Rolls was necessitated to assist him in disposing of his own arrears, he begged leave to state, that the Master of the Rolls never heard a case not belonging to his own immediate jurisdiction, except one, and that was a case in which he happened to have been originally employed as counsel, and therefore felt a delicacy to sit upon as judge.
Lord Plunkett added, that in appointing a secretary, he had done no more than Lord Manners and Sir Anthony Hart had done before him ; with this difference, that they bestowed an office of 3,0001. a year on • one individual-4e had bestowed one of 2,500/. on two individuals. With respect to the appointment of the elder Mr. NI' Causland, a man eighty years of age, it emanated from the late Bishop of Derry, Mr. 31‘Causland's old friend and schoolfellow ; and Lord Plunkett bad as . little to do with it as any of their Lordships had.
Lord Ham:Guam closed the conversation, by remarking that nothing could be more liberal and correct than the conduct of Lord Eldon, and - those connected with him, in their communications with the Lord Chancellor on the subject of compensation for offices affected by de late law. Lord Brougham noticed a fact which Lord Plunkett had • omitted to state, but which those Peers who took no part in the legal proceedings of the House should bear in mind—the great assistance - rendered by Lord Plunkett in the hearing and deciding of appeals.
. 7. -NAVY ESTIMATES. Last night, the Navy Estimates were con- _ sidered in Committee of Supply. Sir JAMES GRAHAM stated, that in the branch of the effective service for the year, he had produced a saving of 971,0001. He moved that 27,000 men be the number em- ployed for the ensuing year.
Sir GEORGE CLERK said, if investigated, he believed the reduction would be found not to exceed 200,0001. ; but be did not point out any inaccuracy in the statement, except in regard to the Paymaster of Ma- rines,—whose place, he observed, being supplied by an inspector, it was not correct to say that any reduction had been made. He noticed also the insertion of Sir George Cockburn's name as Major-General of Marines, while no mention was made of the General, Lieutenant- General, or Colonels. He expressed his disapproval of the reduction in the Coast Blockade.
In the conversation that ensued, Mr. P. THOMSON acknowledged the oversight respecting Sir George Cockburn.
Mr. HUME regretted that the reductions had not been carried farther. Thirty millions had been' spent, since 1816, in building ships : for sixty millions, he would engage to build anew all the ships in the service.
The vote for the men, and also a vote for their wages, 851,175/., were agreed to. •
8. WEST INDIES. When the second reading of the Sugar-duties Bill was moved, on Thursday, some conversation took place on the present state of the West Indies. Mr. BARING, Mr. K. DOUGLAS, and Mr. HUME, urged on Ministers the propriety of immediate inquiry. Mr. F. BUXTON said, he would shortly bring under the consideration of the House a motion for the extinction of negro slavery, in which he had not overlooked the best interests of the planters. Lord HowieK spoke of the Government measures, and the unfounded statements they had given rise to— Nothing like a threat had been held out. Government had held out a boon for the benefit of both slave and planter. Every one must recollect Mr. Canning's language, _who proposed if the West India colonies refused the measure he suggested, to harass their commerce, and restrict their navigation. That was a threat ; but in this instance Government had used no threat, but offered a boon, conditional indeed, of advantage to the slave.
Mr. BURGE spoke of the threatening language of Lord Howick last week.
The Sugar-duties Bill was then read a second time, with the under- standing that the debate would be taken on going into Committee.
9. FACTORIES BILL. Last night, Mr. SADLER, in a long and able speech, moved the second reading of this bill. He expressed himself a friend to machine labour, and anxious for its prosperity ; though he wished that infant labour should not be so extensively employed in pro- moting it.
In consequence of the system which prevailed, our improvements in ma- chinery, instead of being a blessing, were calculated to inflict a curse on the country. It was said, that the children thus employed were under the direction of their parents, who were free agents. No assertion could be more fallacious. There were two classes of persons whose children were employed. One of those classes was compelled to send their children to work in the factories, or they must starve. It was very well known that relief would be, in many instances, refused to those who had children able to work, if they did not allow them to be so employed. Could a man thus circumstanced be called a free agent ? There was, however, another class, who might be considered monsters—monsters pro- duced by this very system. He alluded to individuals who were profligate enough to live in idleness, supported by the unwholesome and exhausting labour of their young children. He would ask, was it to such parents as these that the physical, moral, and intellectual interests of innocent and unprotected children should be intrusted ? It was decided by the first court of justice in the country that where parents did not watch over their offspring with due atten- tion, the children might be withdrawn from their guardianship. Was he to be told, that while the children if the rich were thus protected, there was no law that should be applied to the protection of the poor man's offipring ? The pre- sent system was destructive of human life. Few of the spinners ever exceeded the age of forty, and the consequence was that the number of orphan children was very great. A reverend gentleman, who attended particularly to the Sun- day schools in the neighbourhood of the factories, made it a particular item—a particular subject of remark—that the number of orphans attending those schools was extremely large. When such was the case, he demanded whether that immense body of infant operatives, who, under the existing system, had been brought into the market,—some without natural protection, and others not receiving from their parents that care and attention which ought to be ex- tended to them,—he demanded whether those children ought not to be pro- tected, by a law which would shield them from that over-labour to which they were at present exposed?
He noticed the length of the labour imposed on children, sometimes ex- tending to fifteen hours a-day. He ridiculed the notion that an atmosphere of 80 degrees could be healthy or agreeable, as some witnesses had de- scribed it. He noticed the deformities which arose from such premature labour, the numerous accidents in the mills, the grievance of fines, the punishments inflicted. He produced a heavy strap, an instrument of punishment used in some mills ; and expressed a hope that it would not be too late to introduce a proviso by which those who amused them- selves with such weapons should be sent to amuse themselves on the tread-mill. Mr. Sadler alluded to the rate of mortality in Manchester, as indicating clearly the unhealthiness of the system. In London, the mean duration of life was, he said, 32 years 2-10tbs; in Paris, 31 years; in Manchester, only 24 years 2-lOths. He proposed ten hours a-day as the period of labour, because that term, according to the best medical authorities, was the utmost healthy limit. Even adult felons were only called on to work nine hours ands, half in summer and seven and a half in winter. Adult slaves in the Colonies, by act of Parliament, worked from six o'clock to six, with three hours of rest, only nine hours in all ; those from fourteen to sixteen years of age worked only six hours. Mr. Sadler concluded— He wished the rules of the House would permit him to present at the bar two or three of these helpless and suffering infants ; for he was sure that their pallid features and wretched appearance would make such a powerful appeal to the humane consideration of the House as could not be resisted. The Government had proclaimed a general fast ; and he thought they had acted right in so doing. But let them now consecrate that fast by doing an act of justice, by relieving the sufferings of the afflicted and letting the oppressed go free. Lord ALTHORP said, some of Mr. Sadler's statements appeared absolutely incredible—although he acquitted him of all intention of misrepresenting the case he had brought forward. There were diffi- culties on both sides. If the employment of children in factories were restricted, the effect might-bey that -no children would be employed at all, and thus greater injury would be inflicted by the remedy than by the disease it was meant to cure. His Lordship moved that the bill be referred to a Select Committee, as the best means of investigating its merits and demerits. • He could not support it in its present shape, but hoped the Committee might so alter it as to make his support of it possible.
Mr. J. T. HOPE thought no such measure could be carried in opera- tion ; and if it were, the only consequence would be to raise the price of the manufactured article. •- Mr. JAMES observed, that till the evils of oppressive taxation and dear corn were removed,- he feared the poor must bear the evil of heavy labour, or starve to avoid it.
Mr. LENNARD thought that the children of all classes, and more especially in our crowded towns, should have some leisure for mental improvement. This could not be where they were liable to be worked fourteen or sixteen or eighteen hours out of the twenty-four.
After some further conversation, the second reading took place ; and the bill was committed, agreeably to Lord Althorp's motion, to the following gentlemen,—Mr. Sadler, Lord Morpeth, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Heywood, Mr. Wilbraham, Mr. George Vernon, Mr. Benett, Sir Henry Bunbury, Mr. Poulett Tbomson, Mr. Dixon, Sir John Hobhouse, Mr. Horatio Ross, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Meynell, Mr. Per- ceval, Mr. Boldero, Lord Nugent, Mr. Shell, Sir George Rose, Mr. Attwood, Mr. Ridley Colborne Mr. Kenyon, Mr. Fowell Buxton, Mr. Estcourt (Oxford), Mr. john Smith, Mr. John Weyland, Lord Viscount Lowther, Mr. Hope, Mr. Moreton, Mr. Leman', Mr.
. "PLURALITIES LURALITIES BII.L. This bill was committed pro forma' last night. , Lord SUFFIELD prOtested against it, as interfering with the rights 'Of -Peers to appoint chaplains. In regard to its avowed ob- ject, it did not do what it ought to do, and it did what it ought not. ' It was altogether a gross' delusion. The principle on which to act in restraining pluralities, was that • of value. He would give a large dis- cretion in the use of the dispensing power, but he would allow of no pluralities. of greater amount than 3001. a year.
The Earl of ELDON begged for a.delay of two or three days, in order
to remedy some serious objections in the bill. ' • .
Lord HOLLAND expressed his surprise that Lord Eldon took any interest- in the Church, after his late declaration, that he would leave it to look after itself. The .Archbishim of . CANTERBURY. suggested the . commitment pro _forma", that the opposers of the -bill might state their objections, which might be discussed at a future stage. • The BiShop of •LoNno$1 defended the bill from the charge 'of in- juring poor clergymen. . He deprecated .the delay of-such a bill. If it were allowed to- hang over from session to session, it would be supposed there was a conspiracy to defeat the real intention of the public to have pluralities restrained, not abolished. Lord KING agreed, that value ought to be the standard, and not dis-
tance. • • .
After. some more conversation, Lord KENYON remarked on the Bishop. of . London's eagerness. to put, down. pluralities—he who had, previous to- his elevation, held a couple of livings in distant parts of the kingdom. 'The Bishop Of LONDON said, lie had laid out on Chesterford, while he held it, more than would have purchased the advowson ; but even if he had done wrong, that was no reason why others should be allowed
to do So.. .
The Committee was gone into pro forma; and the recommitment ordered for Friday next.
11. REMEDIES AGAINST THE HUNDRED. There is a bill in progress in the House of Lords on this 'subject; and the second reading was moved last nightby the Duke of RICHMOND.
Some conversation took place on the propriety of including thrashing- machines in the bill ; which was objected to by Lord MELBOURNE, as the object of the bill was consolidation merely.
'The Marquis of LONDONDERRY thought windows ought to be -in-
cluded. - •
The Duke of WELLINGTON concurred— As for himself and some others, if their windows were demolished, they could afford to pay for replacing them. But tradesmen and shopkeepers were pecu- liarly liable to have their windows demolished by mobs ; and as the window- tar often fell heavily on.them, it was hard that when their windows were de- molished, they should be left without a remedy.
Lord ELLENBOROUGH said, breaking of windows proceeded from the basest and most cowardly disposition to injure individuals. He gave notice of his intention to move the addition of thrashing-machines in Committee. .
The bill was then read a second time.