NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THE PARLIAMENT—OPENING OF THE SESSION.
THE overture is finished; but, had it not been for some more certain indications from other quarters, we should have still been at a- loss to discover the theme. The King's Speech is a docu- ment of little meaning. Sir CHARLES WETHERELL did not ex- aggerate, when he said, that the existence of the Cholera—towards which, it seems, our good King, whom we had thought safe at 'Windsor, has been directing his attention "in the east of Europe" —was the only positive announcement in it. Why the most originating Ministry that the nation ever beheld, should put into the mouth of the most straightforward Monarch that ever a Mi- nistry served, such a string of commonplaces, we cannot guess ; unless it were their intention, on the first day of the session, to meet their opponents on that ground where their opponents are peculiarly at home—the vague, the general, and the inconse- quential.
The leaders of the Tories, in both Houses, seem to have been sorely disappointed by the meekness of Ministers. They had bottled up their wrath with much care against the day of Parlia- ment's opening for business; and it is amusing to observe the ex- pedients by which they sought to deliver themselves of the fruits of their long labours. The Speech, as it stands, presents no point on which to hang an objection. It was necessary to supposessuch a Speech as would. The language, therefore, of the Anti-Reformers hasbeen—" If the Ministers had said so, we should have said so."
Under shelter of this "if,". the various arguments which were meant to have been used, came forth, like long-drawn champaign —fiat, dull, and unprofitable, deprived of all that sharpness which might have given them a momentary zest. Every one has heard of the frugal widower, who drank the remains of the medicine which had been made up for his partner, on the principle that no- thing should be lost. The Tories, in the debate on the Address, acted on the same praiseworthy rule, with this difference, that in- stead of swallowing the draughts that had been prepared for their patients, they kindly forced them on their friends. The whole of Tuesday in the Lords, and Tuesday with a por- tion of Wednesday in the Commons, were occupied in talking of the Speech, which nobody ventured to impugn. We give the de- bate in both Houses at unwonted length, after taking great pains to sift the matter of every speech, and to perform strict justice to all. •
Thursday produced only desultory and conversational remarks in both Houses—on the intended business of the Session ; on
Taxes ; on the State of Ireland; on an incredible charge ven- tured by Sir ROBERT BATESON against the Irish Government, and more especially against Lord PLUNKETT, on no better evi- dence than club-house rumour, which Lord PLUNKETT has de- nounced as utterly false.
The Reform Bill was introduced last night by Lord Jonis Rus- smia., and "leave given," after a few observations from Sir ROBERT PEEL, rather remarkable for their subdued tone. The only alterations in the Bill are the extensions (all the alterations hitherto proposed have been extensions) of the franchise to seven years leaseholders of 50/., which was fomaerly limited to fourteen years ; and the insertion of Downton and St. Germain's in Sche- dule A (the former by the express desire of the noble patron), because, although each possessing above 2,000 inhabitants, neither offers the means in itself or its neighbourhood of obtaining a full or free constituency. All opposition to the Bill, in the House of Commons, is reserved for the second reading, on Monday, the 4th July. It will evidently be feeble.
In the House of Lords last night, Lord ABERDEEN made a long and laboured speech on the state of our Foreign relations; apolo- gizing for the non-delivery of it before; because of the superior in- terest of our domestic affairs, on which the debate on the Speech had turned. The fact is, the noble Earl, with good judgment, had taken home his sOech, and recast it to the occasion, determined as were his colleagues that it should be delivered in some shape.
On this occasion, the Duke of WELLINGTON tendered to Ministers the prudent advice to get out of their difficulties with respect to Portugal as soon as possible. The debates have not passed without exhibiting a few of those little traits which, better than long harangues, serve to character- ize the various members. Lord FARNHAM, on Tuesday, made a grievous complaint of the clergyman in Newtownbarry being withstood in an attempt to levy tithes; but gave not the slightest hint that a dozen of the recusants has been shot for their resistance.
Sir ROBERT INGLIS'S only objection to the Speech was, that it contained no special acknowledgment of Providence. Sir ROBERT PEEL blamed Ministers chiefly for venturing. to take off taxes without consent of Parliament ; a practice which, both in itself and its consequences, Sir ROBERT deems much more injurious than laying them on. Sir CHARLES WETHERELL complained of the fervour of Lord BROUGHAM'S fancy, and the abundance of his
tropes ; and Alderman WAITHMAN gave Mr. HUNT a severe lecture
on the dullness and length of his speeches.
I. THE KING'S SPEECH. The two Houses of Parliament had been cccupied on Monday in swearing in their respective mem- bers. On Tuesday also, in the House of Commons, a number of members were sworn in, the Speaker having taken the chair at twelve o'clock for that purprOse. The body of the House of Lords was occupied by a mimeious assemblage of Peeresses and other ladies, whose waving plumes and many-coloured attire contrasted gaily with the monotonous and somewhat sombre appearance of its ordinary occupants. The various members of the Royal Fa- mily arrived soon after one o'clock. Precisely at two o'clock, the second salute of artillery from St. James's Park announced the arrival of his Majesty at the House of Lords; • where he was re- ceived by the Lord Chancellor, and proceeded to the robing-room, and thence, accompanied by the Great Officers of State, to the Throne. The Commons having been summoned to the bar, his Majesty, in a clear and distinct tone, read to Parliament the follow- ing gracious Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen—I have availed myself of the earliest op- portunity of resorting to your advice and assistance, after the dissolution of the late Parliament.
"Having had recourse to that measure for the purpose of ascertaining the sense of my people-on the expediency of a Reform in the representa- tion, I have now to recommend that important question to your earliest and most attentive consideration; confident that in any measures which you may propose for its adjustment, you will carefully adhere to the ac- knowledged principles of the Constitution, by which the prerogative of the Crown, the authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people, are equally secured.
"The assurances of a friendly disposition, which I continue to receive from all Foreign Powers, encourage the hope that, notwithstanding the civil commOtions which have disturbed some parts of Europe, and the contest now existing in Poland, the general peace will be maintained.
"To the preservation of this blessing my most anxious care will be constantly directed.
"The discussions which have taken place on the affairs of Belgium have not yet been brought to a conclusion ; but the most complete agree- ment continues to subsist between the Powers whose plenipotentiaries have been engaged in the conferences of London. The principle on which these conferences - has been conducted, has been that of not interfering with the right of the people of Belgium to regulate their internal affairs, and to establish their Government according to their own views of what may be Most conducive to their future welfare and independence, under
the sole condition, sanctioned by the practices of nations, and founded on the principles of public law, that, in the exercise of that undoubted right,
the security of neighbouring States should not be endangered. .
"A Series of injocies and insults, for which, notwithstanding repeated remonstrances, all reparation was withheld, compelled me at last to order a squadron of my fleet to appear before Lisbon, with a peremptory de- mand of satisfaction. A prompt compliance with that demand prevented the necessity of further measures, but I have not yet been enabled to re- establish my diplomatic relations with the Portuguese Government.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons—I have ordered Estimates of the expenses of' the current year to be laid before you; and I rely with confidence on your loyalty and zeal to make adequate provision for the public service, as well as for the further application of the sum granted by the last Parliament ; always keeping in view the necessity of a wise and wholesome economy in every branch of the public expenditure.
"My Lords and Gentlemen—It gives me great satisfaction to state to you, that the large reduction of taxes which took place in the last and in the present year, with a view to the relief of the labouring classes of the community, has not been attended with a proportionate diminution of
p blic income. I trust that such additional means as may be requirecit– r supply a part of the deficiency occasioned by these reductions, in , ,, ..,.if:;iff. found without any material abridgment of the comforts of my peop .4 --V.T; " To assist the industry, to improve the resources, and to maintai lb`kil! credit of the country on sound principles; and on a safe and lastingtfinfo-.1:V dation, will be at all times the object of. my solicitude, in the promopo 41 r: 4 .11
of which I look with confidence to your zealous cooperation.-04ti
"It is with deep concern that I have to announce to you the con progress of a formidable disease; to which my attention had been #tlyt: _--i,- &meted, in the eastern parts of Europe. Information having been
recently received that it had extended its ravages to ports in the Baltic, from whence there is a great commercial intercourse with my dominions. I have directed that all the precautions should be taken which experience has recommended as most effectual for guarding against the introduction of so dangerous a malady into this country. " Great distress has unhappily prevailed in some districts, and more particularly in a part of the Western counties of Ireland ; to relieve which, in the most pressing cases, I have not hesitated to authorize the application of such means as were immediately available for that pur- pose. But assistance of this nature is necessarily limited in its amount, and can only be temporary in its effect. The possibility, therefore, of introducing any measures which, by assisting the improvement of the natural resources of the country, may tend to prevent the recurrence of such evils, must be a subject of the most anxious interest to me, and to you of the most grave and cautious consideration. Local disturbances, unconnected with political causes, have taken place both in this part of the United Kingdom and in Ireland. In the county of Clare, and in the adjoining parts of Roscommon and Galway, a system of violence and outrage had for some time been carried on to an alarming extent, for the repression of which the constitutional authority of the law has been ri- gorously and successfully exerted. By these means, the necessity of enact- ing new laws to strengthen the Executive Government with further powers will, I trust, be prevented. To avert such a necessity has been, and ever will be, my most earnest desire ; but if it should unfortunately arise, I do not doubt your firm resolution to maintain the peace and order of society by the adoption of such measures as may be required for their most effectual protection."
The Speech concluded, his Majesty withdrew, and in a few minutes after returned to the Palace, 2. THE ADDRESS. The King having left the House of Lords, their Lordships adjourned until five o'clock. At that hour the LORD CHANCELLOR was about to read over the Speech to their Lordships, when Lord ELLENBOROUGH suggested, that custom required they should first agree to the reading of some bill. The first reading of the Select Vestries Bill was then moved and agreed to ; after which, the Speech was read by Lord BROUGHAM, and again by the Clerk.
The Address was moved by the Duke of NORFOLK. His Grace began by an allusion to the change in the law by which he was permitted on that occasion to address the House.
"My Lords, in rising to move that an humble Address be presented to bis Majesty, expressive of the hearty concurrence of this House in the sentiments and views expressed in his Majesty's most gracious speech, this day delivered from the Throne, I feel that I stand in need of your Lordships' kind indulgence, which I trust will be extended to me. I claim it, my Lords, on stronger grounds than are usually alleged on such occasions; because till, by an act of justice of the Legislature, I was re- stored to the full enjoyment of the blessings of civil and religious liberty, .—the pride of Englishmen,—I had been little accustomed to address any public meetings, much less such an assembly as that in whose presence I now stand. Attached, as I have been from the earliest period of my life, to the institutions of my country. I have now, therefore, the additional ties of gratitude to support and defend those institutions."
His Grace proceeded to commend the several clauses of the Speech in their order ; and ended by proposing an Address, which was, as is usual, an echo of the Speech. On the Address being handed to the Lord Chancellor, in order that his Lordship might put the question upon it, it appeared that, instead of running in the usual form of resolutions to be submitted to a Committee of their Lordships, in order that the Committee should draw it up in proper form for presentation to the King, the Duke of Norfolk had arranged it in the first instance in the form in which it was the Committee's duty to arrange it. When the Lord Chancellor had read the words "We, your.Ma- jesty's loyal and dutiful subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Tem- poral, humbly assure your Majesty"—he was immediately assailed by loud cries of "Order!" followed by cries, not les& loud, of "Proceed !" His Lordship paused in consequence ; and a debate arose, whether the Address should be read as the Duke of Norfolk bad moved it, or whether it should be withdrawn, and a form similar to that in which noble Lords on former occasions had moved addresses be substituted. The Duke of BUCKINGHAM called for the reading of the Address as it stood. Lord ELLEN- BOROUGH said, if read in that form, a reference to a committee would be unnecessary. Earl GREY saw nothing in the form to snpersede such a reference ; although, if it were deemed of any importance, it was easy to alter the form to that usually adopted. LOrds anosr and SHA.FTESBURY concurred with Lord Ellen. borough in stating, that the proper form was that of resolution. Lord BROUGHAM observed— One noble lord told him to read the Address in the first person; another said it must be read in the third person; and he no sooner began to read it than he was directly stopped ; so that there was no possibility of his learning what he was to do. He would venture to suggest, that, without being called upon to change the language of the Address, he might be al- lowed to read it as proposed, and then put the question upon it. He understood that, when adopted, it would be sent to a committee to be considered and drawn up ; and therefore he conceived, with great sub mission to others of their Lordships better conversant with the forms and privileges of the House, that no harm could arise from his reading the Address which had been moved, and put the question for its adoption to their Lordships.
Lord ELLENBOROUGH having repeated his objection, Lord .Gazy declared himself unable to understand it. He thought the discussion a most unprofitable one. There was no wish nor design of precluding any kind or extent of discussion; .nor did lie perceive that the slightest inconvenience could result from it. If there was blame in its adoption, Lord Grey added, he must bear it, for he had recommended it to the Duke of Nor- folk, on the supposition that it was the course usually followed. He would put it to the candour of Lord Ellenborough and the House, whether an important discussion ought to be delayed on so Insignificant a point of form.
He hoped that their Lordships would suffer the Address to be read in the w i
ay n which it had been proposed, so that every member of the House might be enabled to form a judgment upon it—that the Lord Chancellor
would be allowed to proceed without experiencing any further interrup- tion ; which could not have any other purpose but that of creating delay, and which would not conduce to the dignity of the House or to the main- tenance of its privileges.
Lord ELLENBOROUGH again spoke in maintenance of the forms of the House ; in which, he insisted, though only forms, there was yet reason—they maintained the privileges of the House, and by so doing secured the interests of the kingdom. Two errors of in. advertence had already occurred in the course of that evening,— the first in the Chancellor's beginning to read the Speech before the first reading of a bill was moved ; the second, that which they were still discussing. These might be drawn into precedent ; and this was not a time when it was consistent with the duty of a Peer to allow any privilege of the Peerage to be infringed. If the Address were agreed to in its present form, there was no reason why it should be sent to a committee ; and if not sent to a coinmittee, one of the occasions invariably enjoyed by their Lordships, of dis- cussing the address on bringing up the report, as well as on its being referred, would be lost. The Duke of BUCKINGHAM remarked on a third inadvertence, —namely, on the Lord Chancellor's having put the question on the Address being read. The Duke of Norfolk could call for its being read, as matter of right. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE—" I do not think it possible that the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack should put any ques- tion to your Lordships as to the reading of the Address." The Duke of BUCKINGHAM—" I heard the noble and learned Lord do so." (Laughter.) Lord BROUGHAM was still desirous of knowing from the House what he was to do. One noble Lord cried" Read !" another cried "No !" Then he was told this and that must be done. " Must be done," was easily said, but where such opposite directions were given, he would like to know which must be done ? Lord Brougham said, if the House would indulge him, he would read' the Address in the third person; which seemed all that was re- quired. (Loud cries of" Order 1") It was here suggested, that as the Duke of Norfolk had moved the Address, he was the fittest person to mend it. Lord HOLLAND stated the rule on such occasions. When a Peer made a motion, he was considered first to read it as part of his speech, and afterwards to write it at the Table. If any mistake accidentally occurred in the motion, it was usual to permit the mover to correct it.
The Duke of NORFOLK and the Marquis of LONDONDERRY rose together. The Marquis seemed disposed to dispute prece- dence with the Duke, but gave way to the remonstrance of Lord Holland. The Duke of NORFOLK then withdrew the informal do- cument, and substituted a resolution in the usual form. This done— The Marquis of LONDONDERRY said—
He thought it a most extraordinary circumstance that the members of Government, which was so very tenacious in urging points of order on futile pretences at the close of last session, should find fault with the noble Baron Ellenborough for standing up in defence of the principles of the House, which were infringed by the Government's want of official
knowledge or negligence ; which had prevented the noble Duke from being properly prompted as to the manner of shaping his motion. (Cries of" Order!") Lord HOLLAND-" My Lords, it is a very trite and old saying, that no- thing is so unlike as a simile. So, from what I have observed within the last hour, if I were to make any criticism on Parliamentary proceedings, I should say that nothing was so disorderly as a debate on order. (Laugh- ter.) The noble Lord who has just sat down has drawn this observation more particularly from me, by carrying disorder to its complete summit ;
beyond which disorder can no further go. The noble Lord has, in the course of a single sentence, contrived to violate three distinct orders of the House. The most prominent of these violations was his alluding to what had passed not only in a former debate, nor even in a former ses- sion, but in a former Parliament."
The point of form at length satisfactorily settled, the Earl of MULGRAVE was permitted to second the Address. On the sub- ject of Reform he said— His opinion on the necessity of promoting measures of religious and political freedom had been long formed. The presence of the noble Duke in that House was a proof of the advantage which had resulted from the too tardy concession of the claims of the Catholics. Could any man pos- sessing feeling have heard, without emotion, the noble Duke, in express- ing those sentiments which he had long entertained, touchingly allude to the length of time during which he had been kept out of the practice of Parliamentary speaking, and have seen him struggling against an embar- rassment which was so becoming when so explained, to give utterance to- his sentiments? He trusted that, with such disinterested support as that of the noble Duke, the great question of Reform would be carried to a. happy issue. When he recollected the vituperations which had been. thrown out against its advocates, he could not help thinking that the support of the noble Duke was a most fortunate circumstance. The Re- formers were accused of a desire to level all distinctions ; and yet the. measure they brought forward was supported by the first subject of the land ; they were attacked as enemies to all vested interests ; and the noble Duke was the first to come forward to make a sacrifice of what were deemed vested interests in order to give accomplishment to their wishes. Lord Mulgrave defended the interference in regard to Bel- gium, by the precedent of the interference to prevent Louis the Fourteenth from placing his grandson on the throne of Spain, on which occasion Parliament called by address on William the Third to interfere. Lord Mulgrave was of opinion, that if minor details could be arranged, the best guarantee of the future tran- quillity and prosperity would be found in the personal character of the Prince whom they had selected as their Sovereign.
The good sound sense of that Prince, and his long resider ce in this Country, had, he was sure, taught him the wise tolerance of [arty feel- ing, and the induleent regard to wide, though honest differenc es of poli- tical opinions. With such a Sovereign; he had no doubt that Belgium would enjoy a tranquil position amongst the states of Europa.
Having proceeded to notice, in a cursory way, the vat ous topics Of the Speech, he returned to the important topic with which it opened— They who, in common v:ith himself, advocated a reform in Parliament, had been accused of a disposition to favour a revolution. Those who took up this opiniou \mit upon an argument with respect to the elective franchise, which was altoeether fallacious. The elective fr: nchise was given to particular 1)0,Ile.; for tic benefit of the whole community, not from any original claim of right in certain parties iudivicii ally, or as a body; and it', in the course of time, the franchise so placed failed of its intended effect, it was not only in the power, but it was the duty of Par- liament to modify or extend it as it might think proper. Anc,ther accu- sation against the advocates of Reform was, that the reform which they proposed would overthrow the constitution. Tu this lie should not feel it necessary to reply, till he heard it proved that the House of Commons was not intended to be a House of Commons representing the people, but the property of some few of their Lordships, or other individuals of considerable influence. If any attempt were made to prove th:s position, the accusation would call for some reply. Another objection was this— that the system of representation, as it now existed, was coincident with the prosperity of the country. The argument of coincidence was most fallacious, when the prosperity of the country was assumed as a conse- quence of the existence of such places as Gatton and Old Sarum. When they referred to the prosperity of the country, let them look at the ma- nufacturing districts which had grown up since the franchise had been given to particular towns which had long since gone to decay. Nothing was more conclusive as to the question of Reform than this,—that though the measure was opposed by a large and powerful party, not one of them -would stand up and say that he was not a Reformer. But as most of those Reformers held that the franchise was inviolable, there was an end at once of all Reform, except they waited for that slow and tedious kind of reform which was to result from the discovery of the corruption of particular boroughs. The period at which such reform could he rendered efficient was, at best, extremely remote, and at all times undefined. Amongst the other arguments used against the measure was, that it would expose the property of individuals to danger ; but there was a vast .distinction between that property which might be alienated and that which it was unconstitutional even to call property. The right of send- ing a member to the House of Commons was not a right conferred for individual advantage, but a public trust delegated for the public good, and removable if that good required it. There was an immense difference between the right which was conferred on a member of the other House and that enjoyed by a Peer. The great privilege of a Peer was its indivi- duality; though, like other public rights, it was supposed to be conferred for the public good: but there were two parties to the right conferred on the members of the House of Commons—the party choosing and the person chosen; and the one held his right only by the right of the other to send him. The right of the one might be taken away by expediency, but that of the other could not be taken away without a revolution. There was no foundation, then, for saying that the right of the elective franchise in particular bodies was as indefeasible as that of the House of Peers, or that the modification of one was only a step towards the destruc- tion of the other. It had been asserted, he knew not with what shadow of reason, that the House of Peers could not preserve its station in the country, unless its battles were fought by its nominees in the other House of Parliament. (Hear!) He had taken occasion to advert, in a former part of his speech, to the principle of non-intervention in the internal af- fairs of other countries ; but he must say, that the worst kind of inter- ference which their f.ordships could adopt was that of interferins,° in the internal concerns of the other House of Parliament. They would find, as had been found by certain ambitious states, that the worst security they could have for the continuance of their influence in another coun- try, was that of an army of occupation.
Lord Mulgrave here alluded to a remark of Lord Rolle in the course of the preliminary discussion, as indicating an intention of that Lord to move an amendment ; but Lord ROLLE denied that he had any such intention. Lord Mulgrave then concluded by saying— He had embraced the opinion at great personal sacrifice, because he was convinced of its necessity. He need not remind their Lordships of the remark of Lord Bacon, that Time was a great Reformer ; but he might add to' that remark, that Time was a most unsparing creditor, and that in proportion as his demand was delayed, was increased the demand for Interest; in that he was a very usurer; those who looked to Time for Reform did not seem to take into consideration the extravagant interest they should have to pay for the delay. Had Reform been granted at a much earlier period, it might have been satisfactory and sufficient on a less extensive scale than was now required and was necessary.
The Earl of WINCIIILSE A rose for the purpose of declaring, that he must thenceforth withdraw the unqualified support which on a former occasion he had stated himself ready to give to the Govern- ment of Earl Grey. That support he had tendered, not because he had adopted the opinions of many members of the Cabinet, or from any attachment to Whig prin- ciples, many of which he had always considered to be most injurious to the best interests of the country, but from his entire confidence in the character of the noble Earl at its head,—a character marked as his had ever been by honesty and consistency, and adorned by some of the highest gifts and attainments. He now withdrew it, not from any difference of opinion on the subject of Reform— To the principle of the Reform Bill he was friendly ; though there were parts of it which, after the best consideration, he was still determined to oppose. His change of feeling was not to be attributed to this; but he would honestly and fairly say, that he perceived the differences said to have once existed between Whigs and Tories were not wholly at an end. He would honestly say, that after the passing of those two great mea- sures, the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts and of the Roman Ca- tholic disabilities, he bad thought that all distinctions of Whig and Tory Ceased to exist, and that, having both professed themselves anxious for the maintenance of the Constitution, they were now thoroughly united in their desire to support it.
Nor had he changed because he had the slightest suspicion of the integrity of the Ministers, but because Ministers were con- nected with a large party which advocated the extension of the
privileges of the people to a degree that must endanger the balance of the constitution—who sought to dissolve the connexion between the Church and State, which had been productive of so many ad- vantages, and to put down that Protestant ascendancy which he deemed essential to its wellbeing. His Lordship adverted, in gene- nil terms, to gross attacks on the House of Lords within the last two months by the Daily Press, which pretended to support Minis- ters; to the aim, under cover of correcting abuses in sonic parts of it, to destroy the constitution altogether, and to establish a republic on its ruins ; and above all, which he could hardly believe, to Minis- ters having allowed Mr. O'Connell to escape condemnation and punishinent,—a man whom, Lord Winehilsea said, he would call " one of the most unprincipled agitators that ever disturbed the peace of the country." He wished that his words might be wafted far abroad, for lie spoke of that which was his honest conviction, and which he would never re- tract. He repeated, that that person had excited the people till they were now in some places in open rebellion. His Lordship concluded by declaring himself ready to forget and forgive what was past, and professing himself once more a true Protestant Tory as he was.
After the Earl of Winchilsea had finished his political recanta- tion, there was a marked pause, which no one seemed inclined to break. The Lord Chancellor was called on by several members to put the question ; and his Lordship was about to do so, when
Earl GREY rose, and said, that as no one seemed inclined to follow Lord Winchilsea, he felt himself compelled to do so, in order to set himself right with the House and the public. While he re- gretted the withdrawing of Lord Winchilsea's support, lie must state, that, anxiously as he had waited for them, he had heard no grounds assigned for it that did not rest on facts and circumstances with which his Majesty's Government had no connexion. Lord Winchilsea had spoken of contemplated measures which would destroy the due weight of that House in the constitution. What were they ? Not Reform, because he had promised Government his support on that subject. Not in reference to Reform, then, could the noble Earl have refused his confidence to Ministers ; but, as it seemed, because he thought there were certain persons who, under the mask of Reform, and under the pre- tence of supporting his Majesty's Government, aimed at the destruction of the constitution. (" Hear, hear!" front the Duke of Cumberland.) The noble Duke, the illustrious individual who echoed that sentiment, how could he unite with the noble Earl ? That illustrious personage was one who did not think any Reform necessary (" Hear, hear ! "from the Minis- terial Benches) ; on the contrary, he prided himself on his consistent-op- position, at all times, and under every circumstance, to any consolidation or extension of the rights of the people. (Renewed cheering.) The Marquis of LONDONDERRY rose to order. It was irrega- lar, he said, in any noble earl to attack an illustrious personage= account of imputed principles—he had not himself stated themto the House.
Earl GREY—" IS it inconsistent with order ? is it not the right of any earl, of any viscount, or any baron in the House to state what he thinks of the public conduct of any peer of Parliament?" (Cheers.)
He went on to comment on the doctrine of Lord Winchilsea, that he could no longer support the Ministry because the Ministry were also supported by persons who entertained designs against the constitution.
He remembered well, that Lord Winchilsea had announced himself a convert to Reform, in consequence of the conduct of the two Houses of Parliament. Now, suppose the noble Earl had then proposed a plan of Re- form, would that plan have been less a mask for the designs of the ene- mies of the constitution than the Reform proposed by the Government? And would not the noble Earl have denounced with indignation those who charged him with a design to introduce anarchy and confusion, be- cause such persons might be found among the supporters of his plait?
Lord Grey had been all his life a Whig; he had been educated in Whig principles—those principles which he equally professiid when Lord Winchilsea proffered him his support, as he now did when Lord Winchilsea came forward to withdraw it. When he arrived in town previous to last session of Parliament, he found that Reform was, by many who up to that period had opposed it, generally looked on as that which could no longer be safely op- posed. They all recollected what, under these circumstances, was the effect of the declaration against Reform made by the Duke 'o
With the firm conviction that Reform was necessary—that theta existed in its favour a feeling such as could not be very safely repelled— (and subsequent events had proved the correctness of this conviction)— he undertook the formation of a Government on the principle of Reform in Parliament—such a Reform as would not overthrow the Constitution, but preserve it—a Reform constructed not with a view to court the favour of revolutionists, or assist the objects of parties hostile to the Constitution, but calculated to enable the Government to support the prerogatives of the Crown, the rights and privileges of both Houses of Parliament, and the institutions of the country, and to establish the liberties of the people on a firm and secure basis, and construct a House of Commons which would pass measures beneficial to the community. He and his colleagues acted upon this principle, and had nothing to -do with those matters which induced the noble Earl to withdraw his coal- dence from the present Cabinet ; matters to which the noble Earl would have been equally exposed, and liable to an imputation of a connexion with them, if he had been the individual to propose a plan of Reform. Lord Winchilsea had insinuated that the Government was eon - meted with persons who were hostile to the Church establish- ment —that some of the members of Government were hostile to tt. Who were they ? For him elf, he was heart and soul a Protestant; an affectionate member of the Ch .rch of England, believing it to be the very best Church that had evc. ex in the v:orld. But when the noble Earl stated his opinion of 1..; oecessity of what lie called an intimate union between Church aou otate, he begged to know precisely what it was that the noble Earl meant by an expression which was rather vague and general. If the noble Earl meant by an intimate union lsetween Church and State, that support from the Government to the Church which might he reasonably looked for with a view to a due performance and exercise of Church rites and privileges, and that sup.. port which the Church could afford the Government by the inculcation of such maxims of morality and religion as might render the people obedient to the established authorities, and happy and contented in their respec- tive situations, Ile perle tly concurrsd with the Noble Earl in his view of the union that ought to subsist between Church and State ; and to such a connexion he was a fisis.-sal as well as the noble Earl. But if the noble Earl meant by his expression a political union between Church and State, with a view to the political support of the Government, through the agc ncy of the Church, he dissented from the noble Earl in his approba- tion of such a union, and thought that when the Church interfered in politics, it seldom interfered with advantage to itself, and often with great detriment arid injury to the public.
Lord Winchilsea had spoken of Protestant ascendancy—a 'phrase which Earl Grey could not approve :
He deprecated all religious distinctions, which be considered calculated to impair the interests of the Church ; and here was the difference be- tween Lord Winchilsea and himself. Lord Winchilsea had not yet got ovc! his objections to the great and healing measure that was carried through Parliament three years ago, the intent of which was to abolish religious distinctions. On that principle Earl Grey at least had sup- ported it—on that principle he thought no sacrifice too great to effect it. If Lord Winchilsea thought to support Protestant ascendancy by keeping alive religious distinctions and religious discord, long fatal to the peace and wellbeing of Ireland, he was very much mistaken. The object could not be effected by means such as these, which too many—Oh, short- sighted men !—had employed to promote the interests of the Church. Earl Grey was not a friend to attempts at maintaining Protestant ascend- ancy by suds means as tended to continue feelings of separation and ani- mosity between the members of different religious sects.
With respect to the means of preserving the ascendancy of the Hou,e of Lords,—or, he should rather say, the due influence of the House, and its fair preponderance in the balance of the Con- stitution, to which also Lord Winchilsea deemed the Government hostile,—he was also at issue with that noble Lord. He could not think that the interests of the Peers would be best consulted by rendering them odious to the people.
He did not think that the act of taking away power which was ob- noxious from some members of the House, and giving to the whole that species of influence which was wholesome and salutary, could be fairly considered as being dangerous to the House or to the just balance of the Constitution. Was it the House of Peers as a body that would be affected by Reform in Parliament ? By no means ; it was a certain number of individuals comparatively small in that and the other House of Parlia- ment, that would be deprived of privileges which they now possessed and exercised with no advantage to the country, but the contrary. These persons would no longer be able to go to a Minister and say, 'We are seven I" (Cheers and laughter). No longer could they he able to carry their point by threats of desertion if their demands, perhaps exorbitant and unreasonable, were not instantly complied with.
After noticing the charge of Lord Winchilsea against the Press, and the difficulty, and, where there was no difficulty, the 'inexpe- diency in many cases, of punishing such publications, Lord Grey adverted to the case of Mr. O'Connell.
The noble Earl had alluded to this case in terms which it might have been as well to abstain from applying to any person in his absence ; and he seemed to say that in this instance there had been something like an evasion or compromise of a prosecution instituted by Government. Ildinisters had certainly instituted a prosecution against Mr. O'Connell at a time when they thought such a course necessary ; and as certainly, if the dissolution of Parliament had not intervened, the prosecution would have been allowed to take its course ; but at the dissolution of Parliament the law under which the prosecution had been instituted expired, and the opinion of the law officers of the Crown in Ireland and in this country being to the effect that the prosecution could not be maintained, it was necessarily abandoned. There was no compromise, nor any thing like corn promise contemplated.
The Earl of WiNciiii.ssA, in explanation of his charge against the immediate supporters of Government as advocates of Revolu- tion and enemies to the Church, said, he alluded to a toast given by the Sheriff of Northumberland at a dinner where Lord Howick was present,—namely, "The sovereignty of the people, the source
of all legitimate power;" and to another, given at a Northampton election dinner,—" The liberal Clergy of the Church of England," which was followed up by "The Dissenters of England." Earl GREY thought it somewhat strange, that a grave charge, such as Lord Winchilsea had brought forward, should have no
better foundation than an election-dinner toast, and that toast a misreported one. It was "The people, from whom all sovereignty is derived," that was drunk. He did not, nor did his son, approve of abstract truths (and this was one) being embodied as toasts, and Lord Howick was sorry for its introduction at the Northumber- land dinner. As to the other toasts, he thought them very inno- cent. If some of the Clergy had shown themselves illiberal, he hoped they were but a small part of the Church.
The Duke of CUMBERLAND, adverting to the expressions made use of by Earl Grey in the commencement of his speech, asked, in what part of the thirty years he had sat in Parliament he had shown a spirit of hostility to the liberties of the people ?
Acting with the friends around him, who were all strenuous friends of liberty, he felt it necessary to vindicate himself from the charge of being an enemy to freedom. He was for maintaining the Constitution as it then stood, and for preserving to the King, to the Aristocracy, and to the Commons, the enjoyment of just and equal rights and privileges.
On the Reform Bill, he would make up his mind when he had heard the arguments for and against it.
Earl GREY said he was not aware that he had spoken of the Royal Duke as an enemy to the liberties of the people. "What I think I said was, that the illustrious Duke prided himself on his consistent opposition to every measure for improving the rights, consoli- dating or extending the.litierties, of the country ; and that on that ground /te concurred in the opposition to the Reform Bill, These, I believe, were the words which I used; and these words I can neither retract nor modify. 'Every measure that has been brought forward, whether for the extension of religious or civil liberty, has uniformly met the de. cided opposition of the illustrious Duke."
• Earl TaLmouTH complained of the allusion to an alleged ex- pression of one of his family—" there are seven of us." It was a malicious tale, circulated in the libellous newspapers, for the pur- pose of casting obloquy on his house. Earl GREY said, his avocations necessarily rendered him a very irregular newspaper reader—he quoted it from Bubb Doddington's Diary. The ancestors of Lord Falmouth, for any thing he pre- tended to know about them, might deserve any eulogium their descendant saw fit to pass upon them. Lord WHARNCL1FFE expressed a hope, that they would come to the consideration of Reform in that spirit of candour which was requisite to its due discussion. There would be no violence on the Opposition side of the House. In respect of the Reform Bill, if they were to confide in the speech which they were then discuss- ing, it could never be renewed ; for it went to denude lime Peers.cif their privileges, and to compel them at all times, and on every occasion, to succumb to the House of Commons. Lord Wham- cliffe went on to comment on the late dissolution, and especially on the speech of the Lord Chancellor on the day on which the dissolution took place.
On the day previous to that memorable dissolution, he had heard by the voice of common report, that such a measure was in agitation, and that at a moment of peculiar interest when the public service was likely. to sustain injury from its operation. Under such circumstances, he felt it his duty to move an address to the King praying that his Majesty would abstain from the exercise of his Royal prerogative of dissolving Parliament, and accordingly gave notice of a motion to that effect. The next day, when he came down to the House, he found that the slissolu. tion (if he might so speak) was actually in progress. He, nevertheless, contrived to have the address which he had moved inserted in the jour. oats of the House ; and then it was that he heard the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack assign a reason for the dissolution that seemed to have gained credit with himself, owing to some perversion of mind for which Lord Wharncliffe could not account, but which; at the same time, was entirely contrary to the fact. It was, in reality, as untrue as any thing which had ever been uttered in either House of Parliament; and he had, therefore, looked forward with some anxiety to the time when he could legitimately call on him for an explanation. "What !" said the noble and learned Lord, " will any one pretend to assert that the King has not an undoubted right to resort to his Royal prerogative of dis- solving Parliament, when the House of Commons have adopted the un- precedented course of refusing the Supplies?" Now this was decidedly untrue, for they were not even presented with an opportiinity of refusing the Supplies. The Ordnance Estimates were, indeed, to have been brought forward on the previous evening ; but they had not come on prior to the division against Ministers ; so that the imputation of such an offence (for an offence it would be if they were influenced by factious motives) was undeservedly prejudicial to the Anti-Reform Members in its
Lord Wharneliffe proceeded to argue, that this charge of' stop, ping the Supplies, so untruly made by Lord Brougham, had essen-
tially served Ministers at the elections ; and Lord Brougham. when he made it, was quite aware of its importance in that point of view. There were other points on which Lord Wharncliff'e said thai Ministers were severely reprehensible, and in none. More than in the use which they had made and sanctioned, of the name of the King, first in Parliament and afterwards in the country. Could it be denied that the use of the King's name had materially influenced the returns ?
In fact, when the friends of the Constitution, or he would plainly say the high Tories, presented themselves to the electors requesting their support, they were generally answered by a refusal couched in some such terms as these—" We're for the King and the Reform Bill: he has shown us that he wishes to have it carried, and we shall therefore support it." Conduct such as this, Lord Wharncliffe insisted, was sufficient to destroy every feeling of confidence in the present Administration. They had evinced a willingness to make use of the excitement produced amongst the common people of the country, and were, consequently, in his opi, nion, unfit to be intrusted with the government of the state.
His Lordship considered the conduct of Ministers after the disso- lution as improper as it was before— On the Monday after, the Lord Mayor of the city of London gave notice of illuminations, and it was at the same time announced that the King intended on a certain day to honour the citizens with his company to dinner. The illumination was attempted,- but proved a failure; and -a second illumination was consequently appointed for the Wednesday • fol- lowing. The riots which grew out of this celebration elicited a display of what he would call the greatest imbecility on the part of the Secretary of State.
The result of the elections had been—not a House of Commons, but a Chamber of Delegates, commissioned to vote for "the Bill; the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill."
Should the measure pass the House of Commons, then he would say, God direct their Lordships I for never before was an assembly placid in so difficult and embarrassing a situation. There was no disguising. the truth, that it behoved them to fortify themselves with temper, prudence, and moderation, as there was a body of men amongst them whose mo- tives for opposition to the Reform measure were • so liable to miscon. struction. For his own part, he would rather forfeit ten thousand fiMei the amount of property that he happened to possess—he.would rather resign his rank, and descend to the station of a common English gentle; man—than vote for this Reform Bill as now constituted. (Cheers front
the Opposition.) •
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE thought the best defence of. the dissolution, so much complained of, was to be found in the result of the elections. With respect to the introduction of the King's name,. it had never been introduced until it became necessary to rebut the assertions, both false and unconstitutional, that his Majesty did not approve of what his servar.;:s had .counselled. Montesquieu had 'examined, 'and Burke. had eulLigized the British constitiit ion-77 the Reform Bill Would only tend to. Make it more and more worthy amderlines ; and Ministers adopted it becauset hey could not get any spoliation of property ; to eithet which, they wente.I nonong ' ut thing better.- The Mat quis expressed his regret, that on the last a plansand a leader. Ile eoneluled by mentionieg, as a p •.-a- day of the late session any difference should have occurred be- liarity of every scheme of Refosm. that it was suppoeted by tlasse
tween hire and any of their Lordships. The blame of the whole who were opposed to the institutions of the country. r
affair lay with the Lord Chancellor, who threw down his hat on The Marquis of CiseVELAND ,ail that Lool London lerry yes
the woolsack, and rushed out of the House in so strange a way, not correct in stating that. the ‘vindows of those only who •, ..'re after saying the House of Commons. had stopped the Sup- opposed to Ministers and the Bill were latoken by the populace on plies—all assertion which was negatived by the Speech, in which the occasion of the illumination. His windows were brokea.
the disselution wets assigned to quite a different cause. although his opinions ia favour of the 13ill were well known.
oughtto he an exa:nple of decorum to that House, departing in this man- to the circumstance of the Marquis of Cleveland having lent his ner from the honest truth of the transaction—was it to be wondered that ethers should feel, and he roused from their ordinary meekness ? support to so many governments lately, that the people did not The Marquis :went on to find fault with the Belgian interference know to which he belonged.
—with Loid Ponsonby's letter—the conduct of Government in the The LORD CHANCELLOR said, that after the speech of Lord Irish elections ; ‘vhere Ministers, the Marquis said, had so coupled Mansfield--a speech which had evidently been preeared, and with the Bill and the name of the King, that the electors thoueht they which, therefore, it was the inure aereeahle to grapple, he must would commit Noll treason by voting against a Reform candidate. say a few words, in order to set him mid other Lords rig it on cur- His Lordship concluded by stating, that he did not intend to move tain matters of fact, in respect of winch the Earl had shown him- any amendment to the Address ; the only alarming part of which, self somewhat ignorant and somewhat forgetful. Tlo ee noble he said, was the allusion to the Cholera Morbus—as the Seeech Lords had charged him with stating that the Parliament was affirmed nothing, it was impossible to hang an amendment dissolved because the House of Commons had stopped the Sup-
upon it. plies. Had he done so, lie must have been lie veriest idiot that Lord Mzenotrastz, who was suffering from indisposition, spoke ever addressed an assembly. On the previous night, a debate on to the particulars of the illumination; which, he complained, the very question of the dissolution had raeed for five hours in the had been greatly misrepresented. A representation was made to House of Commons. He himself had already advised the dissolu- the Lord Mayor on the Saturday, that an illumination was con- tion ; it was known that he had, by at least a dozen in the room. sidered desirable ; his Lordship appointed Monday ; but on a se- The Commission necessary for the dissolution had been prepared cond representation that there would not be time for preparation, the night before. Under such circumstances, no man, with a head be fixed on Wednesday for that purpose. A proclamation ap- on his shoulders, could make such a declaration as was attributed peared in certain newspapers, which indeed it would have been to him. . highly culpable in the Lord Mayor to issue ; but the plain answer "I will now tell your Lordships," continued Lord Brougham, "what
to this was, that he did nut issue it, nor did he know any thing I did say (Loud cries from the Opposition of Rear, hear !). I have before taining that such sounds as I have just now heard cannot much move me. illumination was postponed from Monday to Wednesday. He (Cheers.) I will not be urged by such cheers to say that which I would lad communicated with the Lord Mayor as soon as he knew that not have said without any such excitement. (.4 marked silence.) What an illumination was centemplated, and was informed that the de- I said was, that if any thing were necessary to justify the dissolution, the sire for such a ceremony was too strong for suppression ; nor, conduct of the House of Commons on the preceding night was such as indeed, did he know of any means by which that which was per- to afford that justification. (Continued cheering. on both miles.) Although fleetly legal was to be suppressed. With respect to the destruc- that to which the noble Lord has referred; and I will say, that in the tion of property, he was not aware that any occasion of the kind construction which, in common candour, must be put on the words—re- had occurred without it. When Mr. Cobbett refused to illuminate ferring to the facts known all over London—those words cannot be under. at the celebratioihof the peace of Amiens, he was not aware that stood as they have been explained this evenino.. 1 hold in my hand the those who now displayed so morbid a sensibility when the case paper referred to by the noble Lord, and I wilrread the words : ' He had
was their own, were at all deeply affected; the observation then never heard it disputed that the Sovereign had the right to dissolve Par'-
was, that Mr. Cobbett deserved the treatment he received by his particularly' have been commented on (Loud cries from the Opposition of obstinacy and folly. On the late occasion, every expedient to pre- 'Read, read!')—with submission I will say, that although! am Speaker of vent outrage was had recourse to that the limited number of the your Lordships' House, I will be treated with the respect due to any Peer police rendered practicable; and whoever affirmed that Govern- in it. Placed by the favour of his Majesty in the highest seat in this
corn- House, I will not be interrupted by calls such as no person is assailed with ment had not done its utmost to preserve the property of the co
smunity, affirmed what was wholly false. in either House of Parliament, or in any public meeting even." (Cheer- of the criticism of the philosopher and the panegyric of the orator. meant to compare the peace of Amiens wit+, the late dissolution--. There were in the Funds no !es s than 300,000 investments below the issue of a . great war with the issue of a contest between t we 100/., while those above 300/. amounted only to 20,000 ; did their parties in Parliament ? Lordships think, with wealth so diffused, and with education and Lord MELBOURNE meant no such thing ; but if the feeling of a desire of political power so universal among the population of the public mind in favour of an illumination was equal, then -the England, it would be safe or practicable to exclude large masses cases were in every respect similar. It nuotered not that a elm% much longer from a share in the franchise ? When Lord Wham- refused to illumin.ite his windows from pci versify or.obstrime- of cliffe spoke of the Reform Bill as destructive to the privileges of the disposition—he had a right to be protected even in his lervr y Peers, Lord Lansdowne would tell him that the best security for and obstinacy. The lyre:skims of Mr. Coble!' t's wiadows, Br ..es those privileges was the giving to the people an interest in their pre- years ago, was exaetly analogsms to the breaking the Other (ley. servation, by admitting them also to a share in the representation Lord WHARNCLIFFE again observed, that the Home S -cr. 'my of the empire. Lord Wharncliffe had painted the difficulties of ought to have prevented touch of the miseltief that occurred ; ' et their Lordships, should the Reform Bill be passed by the Corn- did not, so far as lie was heard, explain how. mons, in verystrong and very exaggerated colours. If they aban- The Earl of MANSFtELD and the Marquis of CLEVELAND ' > doned those claims which they could neither justly retain nor ex- together ; when Lord Wit .rnclitfe sat down, and after some ..., ercise—if they came to the consideration of Reform without heat, cussion, the Earl was allowed to proceed, on the ground th there was not the slightest reason for supposing that the people had so:nettling paitieelar to slate. The only new part i. hLr would not respect their Lordships in the conscientious discharge of stated by Earl Manslield was, thet on the night el the Wine' es- their high du'ies. The Speech recommended such a Reform as tion he had called on Lord Melhourne, and that Lsrd Melle was consistent with the privileges of their Lordships ; and the had stated theo what he on Tuesday stated in tile Ilouse. ' el Speech did not, he could assure them, deal in unmeaning words. Mansfield then \vent on to not lee the fact and ma:m.1 of th Ils- No encroachment on these privileges was contemplated or intended. solution ; he stated the pledges of Ministers, ths stages e lord Wharnciffe had alluded to the illuminations, and to the Reform I3111, the majoeity on the secemd rhelioo. the prosee '• .1 Lord Mayor ; and in that allusion he had, unintentionally no against Mr. O'Connell, the husried manner in wri ell :he King .s doubt, misrepresented the conduct of the latter. It was surely un- advised to come down to Parlimnent —in nolicine ,vhe-h, iis I: nl- necessary to say that the idea of an illumination did not originate ship alluded, of course, to Oliver Cronoxe.r. dis,olution 0: :710 'with the Lord Mayor, any more than with the Ministry. He had Long Parliament. He asked Ministers, if thy cotinnuni, . :..si postponed it from one day to another, and that was all the con- Lord Wharnclitfe's motion to Ins Majesty ? If they did, f! i nexi n he had with it. The damage in the City, he had been as- were bold; if they did not, they were umaiteful servants. .e sured did not exceed 1001.; he did not know the amount of da- noble Earl then adverted to the Lord Chancellor's pastille sp. • Triage in the \Vest end of the town, but he believed it was much and particularly to the glaneh whieh, Pal-linen-like. he s's ' ! s- less than had been at first reported. hind him when he left the Heuse —a glance whico, Lrol The Marquis Or LONDONDERRY claimed a hearing, as one of field said, still rankled in his breast. The Earl rep.oste:i 'I;e the parties injured on the night of the illumination. He had not Chancellor's Nvonti, and insisted that there was a doilo enc • mended, nor nor did he intend to mend his windows ; he would pre- tween stopping the Supplies, and refusing them. He con les . I serve them as a monument of the lawless power by which the city the circulation of the story of the stoop:ere through tlw c‘ori. se -- was on that evening ruled. It was no doubt singular, that all the use of the King's name in the debates and out oi do; se — those who had opposed Reform were sought out and marked by instanced Mr. Fox's India 13111, in proof that a King inieht coe et the rabble on that occasion. The Marlins went on to remark on to the introduetion of a measure and yet oppose its pile; .5- the Ministerial professions of moderation. The fact was, that the Every act of the King- was of course suggested by his c anise" e Ministry had presented to Parliament a measure which was not His Majesty was now popular, and the Bill was popular, tom le only chimerical, but out. of the accomplishment of which it was quite he and the Bill were connected with each oilier; hut populat.ts :'..s impossible to say what might grow. This measure, the Marquis not always good. He lamented the excitement that had prep . A said, was not concocted by Ministers, but by some of their hired even in Scotland, where the eopulace went so thr as to conten amderlines ; and Ministers adopted it becauset hey could not get any spoliation of property ; to eithet which, they wente.I nonong ' ut thing better.- The Mat quis expressed his regret, that on the last a plansand a leader. Ile eoneluled by mentionieg, as a p •.-a- day of the late session any difference should have occurred be- liarity of every scheme of Refosm. that it was suppoeted by tlasse
tween hire and any of their Lordships. The blame of the whole who were opposed to the institutions of the country. r the woolsack, and rushed out of the House in so strange a way, not correct in stating that. the ‘vindows of those only who •, ..'re after saying the House of Commons. had stopped the Sup- opposed to Ministers and the Bill were latoken by the populace on plies—all assertion which was negatived by the Speech, in which the occasion of the illumination. His windows were brokea.
- Was it to be woadered at, th it when they found th;.• noble Lord, who The Marquis of Losmostointav sold he must attrihute the fact oughtto he an exa:nple of decorum to that House, departing in this man- to the circumstance of the Marquis of Cleveland having lent his ner from the honest truth of the transaction—was it to be wondered that ethers should feel, and he roused from their ordinary meekness ? support to so many governments lately, that the people did not
—with Loid Ponsonby's letter—the conduct of Government in the The LORD CHANCELLOR said, that after the speech of Lord Irish elections ; ‘vhere Ministers, the Marquis said, had so coupled Mansfield--a speech which had evidently been preeared, and with the Bill and the name of the King, that the electors thoueht they which, therefore, it was the inure aereeahle to grapple, he must would commit Noll treason by voting against a Reform candidate. say a few words, in order to set him mid other Lords rig it on cur- His Lordship concluded by stating, that he did not intend to move tain matters of fact, in respect of winch the Earl had shown him- any amendment to the Address ; the only alarming part of which, self somewhat ignorant and somewhat forgetful. Tlo ee noble he said, was the allusion to the Cholera Morbus—as the Seeech Lords had charged him with stating that the Parliament was affirmed nothing, it was impossible to hang an amendment dissolved because the House of Commons had stopped the Sup-
this evening sat in this House—I have before had opportunities of ascer- I am not bound to acknowledge reports, I will even adopt the words of liament ; more particularly'—and here I will say, as these words 'more
ing.) His Lordship then proceeded: 'He had never heard it disputed Lord WHARNCLIFFE wished to know, whether Lord Melbourne that the Sovereign had the right to dissolve Parliament; moreparticularly when the House of Commons had adopted the unusual course of stopping the Supplies.' " I will say," added Lord Brougham, " that if any twelve seen were taken, knowing all the facts, they would interpret those words d them." (Cheers.) Lord Brougham admitted, that, technically speaking, the Com- mons had not refused the Supplies ; but the House had met to re- ceive the report on the Ordnance Estimates; Ministers were in their places ready to have it brought up, and the House insisted on adjourning without permitting it to be brought up. It was not of the slightest practical difference, whether a man, when applied to for money, refused to give it, or walked away without vouchsafing an answer, and, having thus adjourned himself, left the applicant to gaze on the wall instead of the cash. Lord Londonderry had spoken of his tossing down his hat and flouncing out of the House when the King was still at the Horse Guards ; and other Lords had alluded to the same supposed indecorum. The account of his be- haviour given by these noble historians was untrue from beginning to end.
He did not leave the House until he received a positive order from the rung, communicated to him by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod Ii these words—" The King doth command the Lord Chancellor instantly
to give his attendance upon his Majesty, who waits at the bottom of the staircase." It appeared to him that the only person who had any right to be offended on that occasion, was the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod; who, finding him slow to obey the summons, pulled him, with his usual courtesy, by the sleeve, and added, "Did you hear what I said ? The King has arrived, and is at the bottom of the staircase." Where- upon indeed, he ran, or rather walked as swiftly as he could, to meet his
Lord Brougham went on to advert to the illumination, about which so many complaints had been made. He ridiculed the no- tion that the feelings of the people were to be controlled by no- tices from Lord Melbourne or the Lord Mayor.
Prevent the illumination !—Repress the demonstration of popular feel- ing I—Bridle the joy with which all London was exulting !—Chain down the minds of 600,000 citizens, by throwing a little of the Home Office dust in their eyes!
"tree certamina tanta, Pulveris oxigui jactu comprcssa, quiescent I"
He knew, indeed, the effect of popular feeling on that head, and he had suffered from it; for missiles were no respecters of persons,—they smote Whig as well as Tory. He remembered when a certain bill, after sixty- four days' debate, was laid aside, there was a ferment in the public mind, which led to an illumination ; and he, from no disinclination to show a respect for that deeply-injured and persecuted individual, and from no desire to conceal his unbounded joy at the great triumph of justice, but by accident, forgot to illuminate, and he was pelted and his house was pelted. Who were his Majesty's Ministers in those days? Men with whom he had no connexion, nor his noble friends. Did they send to counsel the magistrates to tell the people not to put up lights ? No; they knew their duty better than to think of such nonsense.
There were but two other points that it was necessary to notice, —the use of the King's name, and the influence exercised by Go- vernment in the elections. The latter had never been used more sparingly. With respect to the Sovereign's name, the most remark- able allusion he had heard to it was that made by the Earl of Mansfield that very night. The case mentioned by the noble Earl was not the only one in which private influence had been used with George the Third.
When his noble friends had been turned out of power, on the question of Catholic emancipation, which had since been carried, some advice had been given to the Crown ; but in the present case there were no secret advisers, or if there were, they would be treated with scorn by an honest, upright, and straightforward prince. Lord FARNHAM (who was very imperfectly heard, from the Peers rising to quit the House) adverted to a copy of the speech from the Throne, which had appeared in the Times of that morning, before it was made known to the members of Parliament ; from which he argued a connexion of Government with that journal, and he asked whether it did not work on the public mind in favour isf a dissolution. His Lordship went on to notice the state of Ire- land, where a clergyman, distraining for his tithes, had been as- sailed by a mob. If the Government could not put down such doings with the powers they possessed, they ought to ask for greater. Lord Farnham alluded to the exertions of Mr. O'Con- nell at the Irish elections, by his personal exertions and by writings ; and contended, that if opportunity were given, it could be easily proved that Government had been equally busy. Lord PLUNKETT said, Lord Farnham was so steeped in incu- rable prejudice in regard to Leland, that his knowledge of it and its affairs was worse than absolute ignorance of either. Ireland was not disturbed, as Lord Farnham imagined, because of Ca- tholic emancipation, but because Catholic emancipation was so long in being conceded. It was equally absurd to look on eman- cipation as a concession to Mr. O'Connell—it was a concession to justice, and was supported on that ground alone. Mr. O'Connell was the greatest foe to emancipation, and yet the people of Ireland were to be told, on the highest authority, that it was of his sole procuring: was it to be wondered that, in such circumstances, his power for mischief was great? With respect to the prosecution against him, Lord Plunkett denied that any compromise, or any thing like a compromise, had taken place; in proof of which, his Lordship detailed the various steps of the action against him. The expiry of the act rendered the pronouncing of judgment impossible, and with the act expired all the common law powers arising out of it. The disturbances in Clare, Lord Plunkett said, had been purely a servile war, and had happily yielded to ordinary remedies. The principal cause of the evils of Ireland was a surplus popula- tion; and the employment of that population—not the introduc- tion of poor-laws, which would be attended with interminable diffi- calties—was the proper remedy. Lord RODEN said, the tranquillity of Clare was like that of a barrel of eimpowder, that waited only for the application of the torch to explode.
The (in .stion was then put on the Address, and agreed to; and after the sessional orders had been moved and the Earl of Shaftes- bury had been appointed Chairman of Committees for the seven. teenth ti.tu.•, the House adjourmd, at the late hour of three o'clock.
In the House of Commons, the Address was moved by Mr. PELHAM, ul,Anber for Lincolnshire ; and seconded by Sir J. B. JOHNSTONE, member for Yorkshire. Mr. PELHAM, in commenting on the reommendation to Parliament of the question of Reform, took occ:tsion to remark on the very decided manner in which that question had hem xvelcomed by the people. " Out of 82 county members, 76 had been returned pledged to support the Ref r i Bill. (Loud cries of • Hcar !' from the Opi.oition, re-echoed from the Mini st ,riat benches.) Out of 50 members for cities, 42 had been re- turned pledged also to support the Bill. He might be accused of vanity in speaking of himself, and yet when he recollected that in the last Par- liament he had represented a small borough, and that he now sat for a large county, he did think that his case furnished 'an illustration a the feeline. &Lit of doors in favour of Reform. He had been called upon by the freeholders of one of the largest counties in England to represent them. Hc had been called upon to accept this honour against his own wish, and against the wishes of his family. He, an inexperienced man, had been called upon to supersede in the representation of the county a gentleman of ability and experience, whose father before him had also been One of the representatives of those freeholders who had now selected Mr. Pelham for that trust. That he should have been so selected, to the exclusion of a gentleman of so much greater ability and experience, was, in his opinion, a very strong proof of the anxiety for Reform out of doors." (Hear, hear !) The rej-ction of the enemies of Reform was as strong a proof of the feelings of the people as the return of its friends. 'He particu- larly alludd to the cases of Sir Richard Vy vyan and General Gas- coyne,-1i12 former the mover of the amenrInie;A on the second re I ding, the latter of the amendment that had thrown out the Bill. Alcr conuneWinz on the other topics of the Speech, Mr. Pelham again resNrled to the subject of Reform ; which he implored the -House Li reeve and entertain in the spirit of moderation.
If ever there was a measure which demanded a fair, an attentive, and a moderate dkeussion, the measure of Reform was that measure; and no. ig could be more unwise than to debate its provisions in an angry spirit. The people out of doors, notwithstanding all the anxiety they had demonstrated for Reform, had conducted themselves with the greatest moderation ; and he felt assured that the members of the House of Com- mons would do no less.
In alluding to the .:,great and leading topic of the Speech, Sir JOHN JOHNSTONE said— He could not but consider it a subject of high congratulation to this country, that, under the blessing of God, at a period like the present, when Europe was convulsed with a contest of opinions, and when the principles of the feudal age were crumbling around them, the sceptre of these realms should be swayed by a monarch who seemed anxious to direct rather than oppose the current of public feeling, and whose sole object was to zecure the happiness of his people, and the permanency of our institutions by placing them in harmouy with the progress of events, and the first willes of no enlightened community. (Cheers.) If, previ- ous to the dissolution of the late Parliament, any doubts existed as to the nature and extent of these wishes, such doubts Must now be entirely re- moved by the manner in which the country had responded to the appeal of its so..%Ireign. Sir John concluded, as Mr. Pelham had done, by expressing a strong wisli that no acrimony would be allowed to mingle in the discussion of the great question.
For some moments after the motion had been read by the Sneaker, no one seemed inclined to address the House. At length Sir ROBERT PEEL rose. He observed, that the Speech was di- visible into two great branches—that which related to our foreign, and that which related to our domestic policy. On the former, Sir Robert said he would decline entering,—partly because he was as yet without the requisite information, partly because of the ab- senc—the necessary absence—of the Foreign _Secretary. On this last topic, Sir Robert was very facetious.
lie presumed that his noble friend would be returned by some popular place. (:1 laug-h.) Ile thought it hardly possible that he would knock at the cond;:mnC:l schedules A • and B for an admission to that House.
(Ch■-ens and laughter front the Opposition.) He could not help thinking that this was a case which exhibited a practical proof of the advantageous working- of that system of boroughs which afforded at present an oppor- tunity for effecting the return of a member of Parliament, who was also a responsible member of the Administration of the country ; and he could not but think that danger might be apprehended from the total de- struction of them. Sir Robert did not intend to enter on any premature debate; these observations had been called forth solely by the absence of Lord Palmerston. He thought the recent. conduct of the French Government towards Portugal required explanation. On the subject of Reform, the language of the Speech was so very general, that it bound no man to any thing. No consideration should re- strain him from the performance of his duty in commenting on the dissolution of Parliament. He did not question the King's right ; although, in 1807, something like that was done by Lord Holland, partly founding on an opinion of Lord Somers, when Lord Hob. land took occasion to draw a distinction between the dissolution of Parliament during the currency and at the termination of a ses- sion. He was quite aware of what Ministers had gained by the dissolution ; but though the opinions of the people of-England and his own might differ, that did not affect his view of the measure. One consequence of the sudden dissolution had been the remission of taxes without the consent of Parliament—for instance, the coal, slate, and barilla duties. .There was no necessity for a dissolution until the authority of Parliament was procured to that remission
He thought that the fact of taxes being taken off, not imposed, and the remission being thus an act of favour to the people, in- creased instead of diminishing the danger. Sir Robert next ad-
verted to the assertion that Parliament was dissolved .because the Commons had refused the Supplies. This allegation was con- tained in the address of Sir James Graham to his constituents. If
it had been well founded, there would certainly have been a most suffieient ground for the dissolution ; yet he did not believe that that act was at all connected with the vote of the 21st March, but was founded on the vote on General Giscoyne's motion. It never had been the practice to construe an adjourned debate on the Esti- mates into a stoppage of the Supplies. Mr. Hume had repeatedly adjourned a debate on the Estimates without any such construc- tion. But the cause of the dissolution was put beyond all doubt by the declaration of Lord Althorp in his address to the electors of Northampton, in which he stated that it was determined the day before the division on the Liverpool question. The mover of the Address had said that 72 county and 42 city members were pledged to support the Bill.
If gentlemen had given any such pledge, they might possibly find them- selves in a very awkward predicament, for it might occur that no such bill would be presented. (Laughter.) The Speech from the Throne had spoken of Reform in such a manner as to lead him to hope that the words were meant to convey a delicate censure on the last, and a just compli- ment on the future, Bill. (Laughter.) Where the Speech referred to "the authority of both Houses of Parliament," it seemed to him to con- vey a severe rebuke upon all those who had been telling the House of Peers, and in no equivocal language, that in point of fact they had no discretion to exercise on the subject, and that if they did not at once ac- cede to the Bill, the interval would be very short before they might be struck out of all power to interfere at all. He saw with great satisfaction the same words used in the present Speech as in the last, with the addi- tional passage, " that you will carefully adhere to the acknowledged prin- ciples of the constitution, by which the prerogatives of the Crown, the authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people, are equally secured." He did hope that he was not wrong when he expressed his confidence that these words, "the authority of both Houses of Parliament," had not been lightly or fortuitously adopted, but that they were meant to declare, that in the new Bill to be introduced there would be some things different from the last Bill—some new pro- visions calculated to maintain the influence of the constitution, the main- tenance of which he considered to be guaranteed for the true and per- manent interests of the people. Lord ALTHORP replied to the observations of Sir Robert Peel on the propriety of the dissolution. That act of Ministers had been fully justified by the event. The adjournment of the debate on the Ordnance Estimates could not be confounded with ordinary cases of adjournment ; it was part of a combined system of war- fare, which showed that it was impossible for Ministers to proceed with that House of Commons. With respect to the difference in the two Speeches, which Sir Robert had so ingeniously criticised, Lord Althorp said, that if any one, in consequence of that difference, expected a bill at all different from the last, he would find himself mistaken. Sir Robert had claimed a right, though he differed from his countrymen, to defend his Opinions: Lord Althorn claimed the same right when he differed from Sir Robert. With regard to the charge against Ministers of exciting the people, Lord Althorp wholly denied it. The people of England were attached to the institutions of the country, and had given every proof of their attachment ; but for a long time they had seen defects in those institutions, and it was not surprising that they wished for a Reform, by which alone they could be preserved to them. It was not in the power of any Ministers to raise in the people such an enthusiasm asthe country had just evinced, if there had not been a deep and general cause of the public unanimity of feeling. All that Ministers had done, was to give the people hopes that their wishes would be complied with ; and their hopes kindled, all the feelings which had before existed were poured out, and rose to that pitch of enthusiasm which they had all witnessed.
. Lord MAHON said, Ministers had talked a great deal of reduc- tions, but the only real reduction which they had attempted was of the number of English representatives ; which his Lordship termed a reductio ad absurdtun. He passed a high eulogium on the late Parliament; and deeply regretted that he did not see its shining lights illuminating the present. He looked round in vain for the classic knowledge of Vyvyan, the practical abilities of Acland—the popular torrent had not even spared Mr. Bankes! Lord Mahon denied that the people were satisfied with the Bill : one party accepted of it in deference solely to the supposed will of the Sovereign—a second because they imagined that they must—a third because it might lead to something else. The Radicals were not satisfied with it, though they were content to take it in the mean while. Lord Mahon did not pretend to be in the confidence of these people—he held no seat in their unholy Sanhedrim ; but they spoke loud of their dissatisfaction even to the uninitiated. Mr. Hume had only conciliated their acquiescence by stating, that the Bill, though it did not provide for ballot and universal suffrage, naturally led to them. Mr. HUMS defended the conduct of Ministers in having recourse to the dissolution.
He recollected that honourable members, on his right and on his left, had dared his Majesty's Ministers to appeal to the people. He recollected it being said that they would go to the hustings with the Bill in their hands and claim the merit of having opposed it. Where had this been done? Was it in Oxfordshire? Was it in Dorsetshire t Was it in any other place where a contest had taken place? Instead of wasting the time of the House in complaints against Ministers, the plain course for their opponents, now they saw what the sentiments of the country were, would be to acknowledge their mistaken opinions. They ought to take their beating in good part. The success that Ministers had met with was a proof they were right, and he hoped it would continue.
Mr. Arrw000 deprecated the dissolution, as having led to the remission of taxes withoutthe consent of Parliament.
Mr. TREVOR (member for Durham) contended, that although there was a feeling in favour of Reform, it was by no means uni- versal, and already a reaction had taken place. Mr. TRANT condemned the unprecedented, unconstitutional, and mischievous use of the King's name, and declared, if he thought he could get a single member to second him, he would move an amendment in order to put his sentiments in that respect on record.
Mr. HUNT e that no intention existed of an interference on behalf of the Poles, to relieve whom he would willingly give up half his possessions. He alluded to the story of arms being deli- vered from the Tower for the use of the Russians; and complained of the bodies of the men killed at Merthyr being buried without a coroner's inquest. ‘Vith respect to the Reform Bill, he would give it his support, though he ‘vished it had gone farther. If any of the Tories, with whom he was represented as in alliance, would propose a bill on a broader basis, he would vote for it in pre-, ference.
Mr. GEORGE LAMB said, the story of the arms was wholly with- out foundation ; none had been, nor would any be, given out for the purpose alleged. The cause why an inquest was not held on some of the bodies at Merthyr was plain. When the military re- tired after the first suppression of the riot, the mob took posses- sion of the town, and carried off the bodies and buried them. On two bodies, however, an inquest had been held ; and the evidence proved that the firing was justifiable and necessary ; in fact, it did not take place until thirty of the soldiers' muskets had been wrested from as many of the party, and was purely in self-defence. Mr. SADLER regretted that the Speech took no notice of any legal provision for the Irish poor. Hilo Irish member took up the question, lie would himself submit a proposition to the House on, the subject. Mr. Sadler said he had the authority of an Irish pre- late for stating that nineteen-twentieths of the landed proprietors of Ireland were absentees.
Mr. SHEIL said, it was easy to fit Reform to Ireland, but not easy to fit Ireland to Reform. The minds of the people had been goaded by the wrongs of centuries, and it required delicate and skilful treatment to convert their agitation into the elements of national prosperity. Mr. Sadler seemed to contemplate a tax on absentees ; but to relieve the poor by that means, was, Mr. Shell feared, impracticable. The population required to be instructed, as well as relieved. The time was gone by when the Catholie clergy might have been connected with the state by pecuniary ties; but they might still be employed as the channels for diffusing education among the people. Mr. GEORGE DAWSON reverted to the question of the dissolu- tion, and the alleged stopping of the Supplies. After telling over the events of the evening previous to the dissolution—the ques- tion of Sir Richard Vy-vyan to Lord Althorp at five o'clock—the answer of his Lordship—the commencement and close of the debate on the Liverpool election case—the speech of Lord Brougham, which, he contended, completely contradicted the speech of Lord Althorp—Mr. Dawson went on to read and com- ment on the address of Sir James Graham to his constituents in Cumberland.
The last division, which had the effect of delaying the Supplies"— (Cheers from the Opposition, answered by cheering. from the Ministerial benches)—"I doubt much," said Mr. Dawson, "whether the right honour. able Baronet will cheer when he hears the whole of the sentence. The last division, which had the effect of delaying the Supplies, left no alternative'—(Cheers renewed from the Ministerial benches)—• left no alter- native.' (Renewed and vehement cheering.) Gentlemen have cheered that quite enough—(A laugh, and cheering continued)—` left no alternative.' (Renewed laughter and cheers.) Gentlemen mistake if they think they can get rid of the sentence in this manner—` left no alternative but that of abandoning the Bill, and appealing to the sense of the people.' (Loud and continued cheering from the Ministerial side of the House.) From this, then, it appears that the last division which took place, at one in the morning, left no alternative but that of abandoning the Bill, which, ac- cording to the noble Lord, was abandoned at five o'clock in the after- noon."
Mr. Dawson went on to contend, that not a man who voted against Ministers on the occasion in question had an idea that he was refusing the Supplies, or that he was doing any more than Mr. Hume had done a hundred times. The assertion could only have been broached for paltry election purposes. And what was the result of the dissolution, so hastily adopted?
No act of appropriation had been passed ; and, with respect to the Ordnance Estimates, none of them had been voted. The Government were in an awkward situation ; for if they had gone on paying the Ord- nance expenses, they must come to that House for an act of indemnity; or if they had funds to meet the expenditure, either from the sale of stores, or from a residue of last year's votes, the absurdity of the clamour that had been raised about the public service having suffered from the postponement of the votes was aggravated in a tenfold degree. They had heard a great deal about the triumphant result of the elections, and the majority which the Ministry had in that House : he could only say, that wherever he had exercised any franchise, he had found himself met by the most unfair, perverted, and improper influence on the part of the Government. He particularly alluded to the election for the City of Dublin, where the most abandoned use was made of the Government in- fluence that ever disgraced any election. He had received letter after letter from gentlemen, explaining why they had voted for the Reform candidates, and stating that they had no alternative between voting for the Reform candidates and giving up their situations under the kith Government. These facts should be borne in mind when honourable members opposite vaunted themselves upon being the actual representa- tives, freely chosen, of the people ; and that, too, when it would be easy to show that influence had been exercised by Ministers, to the total
disregard of even the exteriors of decency. 4
Sir JAMES GRAHAM said— Mr. Dawson had spoken in atone of personality which it seemed to be 'the desire of the House to he laid aside. He felt that if such personali- ties were directed to him, that was not the place for him- to call for an explanation of their,. (" Hear, hear !" from Lord Stormont.) The noble Lord (Sir James went on) who cheered so loudly, and who, on a former oc- casion, had produced from his pocket a volume of Shakspeare, to show what crows would do in a Reformed Parliament, himself exhibited; even in an unreformed Parliament, something of the kind : when he talked of crows, he should recollect that there were dawi, who would peck at a character which they attempted to soil, but which they could not destroy. (Loud and continued cheering.) In quoting his address previous to the Cumberland election, Mr. Dawson had a decided superiority Over him„ for he possessed the document, while Sir James had nearly forgotten its tenor, and altogether forgotten its language. He recollected, however, enough to know that three causes were mentioned in it for the dissolution, only one of which was' that dwelt On by Mr. Dawson. It was impossible to say whether the motion of Mr. W. Bankes was meant to stop the Supplies, or not ; but he might appeal to every one that heard him, whether such an intention was not fairly 'deducible from it. Sir Robert Peel seemed aware of the character of the vote ; for, though present 'at the discussion, he did not join in it.
The effect of delaying the Supplies was conclusive with the Ministers as to the necessity of dissolving the Parliament. They had previously felt strongly inclined to do so ; but after that, the dissolution became a mat- ter of unavoidable necessity. Parliament was dissolved without the Ord- nance Supplies beino's voted. But it,po happened, that it was discovered there was a sum voted and appropriated, but not expended ; and the diffi- culty which at first sight seemed insuperable, was thus unexpectedly got over. The discovery of this unappropriated surplus was not made until Friday morning. Up to this moment, the Army and Navy have been supplied from money voted by that House? and the Ordnance had been provided for out of a sum of money voted in the preceding year, and ap- propriated for that purpose, but not expended. Under these circum- stances, he was justified in saying, that it was the vote of Thursday night which had convinced the Ministry that they would betray what they con- ceived to he.their duty to their Sovereign and their country, if they did not advise the Kinc, to dissolve the Parliament, That was the plain unvarnished tale he had to tell them; he told it without the opportunity of referring to documents, or consulting any person whatever—he told it upon his recollection of what had occurred; and having done so, he threw himself upon the consideration of the House, and asked them fairly, whether what he had stated was not a sufficient explanation, and whether (he was almost ashamed to ask it) the truth of his assertions was not amply proved by their own recollection of the circumstances to which he had referred. (Cheering.) With respect to Ireland, Sir James went on to say, that Govern- ment had:neither been inattentive nor negligent. A responsible agent, one of the Commissioners of Victualling —a captain in the Army, had been sent to Westport with most ample credit, and with directions, using due caution whom he trusted,' to grant relief wherever he found that relief could not be obtained else- - where. He had (keyed these instructions, and was now employed in granting them as far as just feeling and sound judgment per- mitted.
Mr. Joust SMITH observed, that various appeals had been made to the public, and he was happy to observe that the contributions, which had at first seemed to remain stationary at 5,0001., had within a few days past swelled to 20,000/. The Government had, he believed, done as much to relieve the distress by temporary expedients as was at all practicable. He thought, however, some permanent plan was absolutely necessary ; and if no one proposed such a plan, he himself would. Lord STORMONT wished to know if he must be held as standing in the House in the character of a " claw ?" (Laughter.) He had never made any personal attack on Sir James Graham, nor made any observations that other members had not equally made. To the question of Sir James, whether the vote on Mr. Bankes's motion was meant to retard the Supplies, he would manfully an- swer, he voted on that occasion with the perfect consciousness that it was. Would Sir James answer as manfully, whether it was not the dread of Lord WharnclitWs mfition in the other House that led to the dissolution ? Lord Stormont went on to argue against the dissolution, because of the predicament in which it placed the Ministers in relation to the member for Waterford. He complained of the Government influence everywhere used in the elections The health given by the High Sheriff at the Northumberland dinner he thought required an explanation. All that were present at that dinner were subject to blame, but more particularly was his noble friend ; who, being one of the Ministers, and the son of the Premier, sat quietly by and heard the King insulted. (Cheers, and much laughter.) Yes, insulted,—for an insult to the King that toast had, on other occasions, been very properly considered.
Lord Howicx defended the .High Sheriff from any intention of insulting his Majesty ; and set the noble Lord right as to the terms of the toast in question, as Lord Grey had done Lord Winehelsea the same evening on a similar complaint. Lord Howick said, that the name of the King was in fact received on the occasion in question with more enthusiasm than had ever hailed it at any Pitt club in the Kingdom. The noble Lord might quiet his fears of the loyalty of the people ; indeed it was only ne- cessary to praise the King in order to insure their approbation.
Mr. STANLEY thought the commencement of a session of un- paralleled .impoltance might be better signalized than by idle dis- cussions Of after-dinner toasts. The case of Mr. O'Connell, it had been insinuated, was one of collusion between that gentleman and Ministers: He would state at once, and without preface or circumlocution, that upon his solemn word of honour, t here never was a charge more utterly destitute of foundation than this. He -would say, that .not only had there been no collusion or compromise, but that he should have been most glad if Mr. O'Connell could have been brought up forjudgment, and that such also was the feeling of the Government.
It had been said they ought not to have dissolved Parliament until Mr. O'Connell had been brought up for judgment:,
No man could have been more sensible than he was of the importance of showing to the people of Ireland, that although Mr. O'Connell chose to go beyond the law, yet he was not above the law ; but, without mean- ing the slightest disrespect to Mr. O'Connell, he must say that if he put on the one hand the success of a great and important measure like the Reform Bill, and on the other hand the confinement of Mr. O'Connell in Kilmainham gaol for three, or six, or nine months, he must say that wheat became of Mr. O'Connell was as dust in the balance. (Cheers.)
Mr. Stanley denied, in opposition to what had been 'asserted by Mr. Dawson, that the Government influence had been improperly exercised in Ireland, or that it had been exercised inon extraordi- nary manner. On the contrary, on no formerbccasion had it been less shown. No one had been discharged—no one had been threatened with dismissal, for voting against Government. .
Nay, he would go farther, and say that men who recollected the good old times of Ireland were struck with horror at the apathy which the Government exhibited towards their own friends, and held up their hands in wonder and amazement at the abstlice of that mild and •constitutional exercise of Government authority in elections with which, in other days, they had been so familiar. (Cheers and laughter.) To give one instance of the conduct which the Government had pursued with regard to the election, he would mention, that a private circular had been sent to the police, through the inspectors, stating that no inquiry would be made as to how they voted ; that they might vote for whom they pleased ; and that the only restriction intended to be placed upon them was, that they should not act as partisans for either party. (Cheers.) SirRossfer BATESON affirmed that greater influence had been exercised than at any election for fifty years past. Against him- self the Commander of the Forces was started ; and a ruffianly mob, armed with knives and sticks, was hired to support him ; to which Sir Robert's colleague had nearly fallen a victim. Sir Robert saw one of the General's aides-de-canzp clapping these ruffians on the shoulders and encouraging them. Orders were is- sued from the Castle, warning all persons how they voted—there was hardly a half-pay surgeon in the country who had not received such a notice. The Lord Chancellor himsAf and his family inter- fered in the elections; places in the Church, and in the lawejudge— - ships even, were offered for votes. An assistant-barrister's place was bartered for thirty votes. Being called on by Mr. STANLEY to produce some evidence of these serious charges, Sir ROBERT BATESON said that he saw the. aide-de-camp, an officer in green uniform, clap' a man's back a few minutes after the mob had attacked him with stones : for the other particulars, he did not speak of his own knowledge, but he had been told of them. He refused to mention names, as it would expose individuals to the vengeance of Government. Sir CHARLES WETHERELL said, as the Address pledged the. HouSe to nothing, he would not oppose it. The Speech was a long document—the longest that the present or any other Speaker had ever had to wade through : It began with Reform in Parliament, and ended with Cholera Morbus,. — having Ireland, Belgium, and what not, in the middle,—and seemed in- tended to communicate to the people just nothing at all. (Laughter.) It was a considerable waste of words, not to say of paper; but still the Ad- dress pledged them to nothing, so that lie was content to let it pass.
Sir Charles proceeded at great length to comment on the alleged stoppage of the Supplies, and the successful use of the ar- gument which it supplied in the elections—on the illumination and the "defalcation of duty" displayed by Ministers in not pro- tecting the public from the outrages consequent on it—on the riots at Carmarthen, at Rye, and on the violence that predominated at the election contests throughout the country.
After all they had heard of nomination authority, he would say that there was nothinob near so imperative in it as there was in the cuckoo note of" the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill." In fact, the Bill had been forced down the throats of the candidates throughout the country. Sir Charles said, the Duke of Richmond had described him as the agent of the Duke of Newcastle ; but the Duke of Richmond was as much an agent of the Cabinet he belonged to as he was of the Doke of Newcastle—uniformity of sentiment was the bond of union in both cases. Sir Charles pledged himself to oppose the Bill, whenever introduced, collectively and distributively. After a few observations from Mr. JOHN BROWN, Major MACNAMARA, Mr. M. O'CONNELL, and Colonel EVANS,—who said the riot at Rye was begun by Dr. Baldwin. bringing down _ from London a coach-load of prizefighters to keep the peace,—the Address was agreed to.
'Ile Address of the Lords was carried up at two o'clock on Wednesday. On the same day, on the report being brought up in the Com- mons, Mr. Hums complained of that part which referred to Belgium and Portugal. He also asked, in respect to another clause, whe- ther it was meant to impose any new laxes ? Mr. Hume approved generally of the Budget ; he objected only to the steam-boat tax.
Lord ALTHORP explained, that by the expression" make good tlle deficiency," in the Speech, it was only meant that the .House should proceed with those parts of the Budget which had been stopped but not abandoned,—namely, the substitution of a duty on raw cotton for that on calicoes, the regulation of the wine-duties, and the modification of the timber-duties, the principleof.which he could not abandon notwithstanding, his. being outvotedrthough he should not propose anything likely to lead to angry feelings in the
present session. . , .
Sir Emma INGLIS regreited the omission in the Speech of all expressions of gratitude to Providence for the blessings it had con- ferred on the nation. Mr. BRISCOE, Mr. THANT, Mr. ESTCOURT, and Mr. GOULBURN, concurred with Sir Robert. .• Lord ALTHORP did not think the omission of the words indicated any absence of the feeling: he deprecated discussions on such points. Mr. HUNT hoped the omission was intentional : he had observed, when any misfortune happened to the country, Ministers always threw the blame on Providence, while of all the good they took
the credit to themselves. .
Colonel TORRENS- " The people of England are a religious and a moral people : they are ask° a.sensible and discerning people. They do not believe that a prude ids:slways chaste, or that a bully is always brave; nor do they believe that dhow persons are the most seriously religious who deliver sermons in :political assemblies, and introduce the language of devotion into public , documents."
Mr. SADLER said, if England once lost sight of religion, she would relapse into her earliest state of barbarism. Sir GEORGE CLERK was of opinion that the people of Scotland would be seriously alarmed at the manner in which such a subject was treated at the commencement of a new Parliament, when such :important changes were contemplated. Mr. ROBERT GRANT thought they had heard enough to support 'Lord Althorp's opinion of the impropriety of prolonging such a
discussion. Doubtless, expressions, the absence of which were .regretted, had been often used where the feelings of the heart did not correspond with them ; and, by parity of reason, it was riot just to conclude that irreverence must be felt where they happened to be omitted.
Mr. O'CONNELL excused himself for stating his sentiments on the Address then, on the ground of indisposition the previous even- ing. After regretting that there was no expression of sympathy with the struggle in Poland, and advising Ministers to endeavour to.conciliate the Belgians, who were contending for no more than the statu quo of 1 790, Mr. O'Connell went on to remark on the -state of Ireland. He Was at one time strongly convinced of the detrimental character of the Poor-laws ; but he now saw no remedy of Irish distress but their introduction. The country was starving in the midst of abundance. In Galway, the people were living on garbage, while vessels laden with provisions were daily leaving the shores. In fact, there was a want of nothing but of .agood government. Mr. O'Connell explained, that he did not mean to impute that want to the present Ministers :
.Their conduct had had the happiest results : the country was now as quiet as it wastwelve months ago. Seven-eighths of the arms had been returned by the people to those from whom they had been taken, and the oor were rebuilding the walls and reconstructing the fences they had destroyed. And why ? Government were about to annihilate the bo- roughmonger system, which had been one great source of the miseries of Ireland.
Colonel TORRENS thought such a modification of the tithe sys- tem as would permit the application of capital to agricultural im- provement, would do much tbr Ireland. Mr. SADLER thought it was not the want of agricultural capital, but of its proper distribution, under which Ireland laboured. If its native industry had fair play, and its native resources fair encouragement, it would ask no more. He did not mean the sup- port of the poor to fall on the resident landholder and resident clergyman, but on the great absentee proprietor, who spent on foreign luxury the hard earnings of the poor tiller of the soil. 'Sir R. HARTY said, it was not surprising that Ireland should suffer, with five millions of taxes, and three millions and a half abstracted from its productive capital by absentee proprietors. -Lord ALTHORP said, every one must admit that the present dis- tress on the West coast, whatever might be alleged in other cases, must at least be admitted as arising from a local cause—the defi- ciency of the crops. He thought that the greatest caution was necessary in applyins,' such an innovation as the Poor-laws to the state of society in Ireland. Go- verment was prepared to do every thing in its power for the benefit of that country. If it should be driven •unwillingly to the application of the Poor-laws to Ireland,—to which he was apprehensive that it would be driven,—it must be after doing all they otherwise could for the ameliora- tion of that country.
The report on the Address was then brought up, and agreed to. It was presented to the King on Thursday. The answer of his Majesty was reported in the Lords onThurs- day, and i the Commons yesterday.
3. THE REFORM BILL. Last night, in the House of Commons, leave was given to introduce the Reform Bill.
Lord Jour./ RusseLL, alluding to the words of the Speech, which were read on the occasion by the Clerk, stated, that, "in the name of the Government," he rose to propose such a measure as was calculated "to maintain unimpaired the prerogatives of the Crown, the authority of Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people." Lord John entreated a patient attention, and espe- cially deprecated that species of interruption to which he had last session been on a similar occasion exposed. Be trusted that honourable gentlemen would favour him so far as not to-repeat those gestures and those convulsions, and that demeanour, from which it would seem that they thought he measure was notto be se- riously entertained for a moment, but that it was to be scouted out of the House at once by jeers; and taunts, and ridicule. Whatever might be the reception of the measure, those honourable gentlemen might be assured that the Government would not yield, as those gentlemen must strongly feel the Government had not yielded nor abated, one iota in consequence of the opposition that had been raised against them. (Cheersj Neither the taunts nor the jeers which marked the first recep- tion of the measure, nor the misrepresentations and the libels by which it had been sought to disfigure it, nor thd ftkif, add able, and manly op- pOsition which men. of talent and of honour ha'd tho'dght it their duty to give to it, nor those more dangerous weapons, thoSe unwerrantable and slanderous imputations,—that the Sovereign had an opirrioir upon it dif- ferent from that of his., constitutional and responsible adviSets,—none of these obstacles had prevented the Sovereign, the Ministers, or the people, from steadily pursuing an object which they considered (night to be dear at once to all those who loved the ancient ways of the constitu- tion, and to all those who were sincerely attached to the rights and liberties of the people. • Of the conduct of the Sovereign and the Ministers, Lord John did not think it became him to speak ; but he could not pass by the noble and disinterested conduct of the people,—a conduct which, without reference to the merits of the measure, was deserv- ing of being held in eternal remembrance. It had been said that the late elections had been governed, not by rea- son, but by passion. (Cheers from the Opposition, loudly reechoed from the ltrinistetial Benches.) That the electors had been moved by passion, he would not deny for love to one's country was a passion, and by that love the electors had undoubtedly been moved. (Cheers.) That love, that passion, had kindled in them that high and noble degree of enthusiasm which made men forget their own petty interests ; and nothing but such a passion could have induced men who could earn by their industry but a few shillings a week, to refuse the bribes that were within their reach, to withstand the temptations that were thrown in their way, and to give up the prospect of themselves and their children continuing to enjoy a valuable privilege. And for what had men done this ? Why, for the sake of a measure which was not for their own personal benefit and advantage, but which they believed would be for the future benefit and advantage of the millions of these kingdoms.
He trusted that no man would hereafter make use of dispa- raging epithets when he mentioned the people of England ; the poorest of whom, acting independently and conscientiously, was as worthy as the proudest and wealthiest.
It was unnecessary, Lord John said, to enter on the general features or details of the Bill, as they were precisely the same as those of the last. But he would endeavour to show in what the ancient principles of the representation they were about to reform consisted. The direction to the Sheriffs to return two citizens for each city, and two burgesses for each borough, had been inter- - preted with a large discretion—
Ile held in his hand a return made by the Sheriff of the county of York, in the reign of Henry the Sixth,—a return for Scarborough ; and in which it was said, that there was no other town in the county from which the sheriff could return members to serve in Parliament. The words of the return were these :—" And there are not any cities or city, or more boroughs in the county of York, from whence I can make any citizens or more burgesses at present, to come to the aforesaid Parliament." In the same reign, it appeared that Bodmin, Truro, and Lostwithiel, Launceston, Liskeard, and Helstone, were the only places in the county of Cornwall that returned members to Parliament ; and the sheriff, in his return, said, that there were no other towns in his bailiwick from which he could send representatives. Such was the constitution of the Commons House for two hun- dred and fifty years.
The second period in the history of our representation commenced with the reign of Henry the Sixth, and ended with the race of the Tudors. During period the authority of the crown was paramount, but new boroughs were created and old ones were restored. Looking over the list of these, it was a striking fact, that a large proportion of them were not .places which had increased and become large in the course of time, but that, on the contrary, the boroughs of Cornwall, and small boroughs in other parts o f the kingdom, were the places upon which the right of returning members to Parliament was conferred in the reigns of the Tu- dors. It appeared, that of the 55 boroughs in schedule A, w;lich it was proposed to disfranchise, 45 were boroughs which had been created in those reigns. He did not mean to argue that this was a reason for the disfranchisement of those boroughs, or that boroughs which were not the most ancient were those which ought to be disfranchised. No; he stated this fact for the purpose of showing that the Tudor princes were actuated rather by a desire of conferring the elective franchise upon dependents of the Crown than by any view of improving the state of the representa- tion. During the whole of this period, the right of the King to create boroughs, and to call new places into the representation, was undisputed. He instanced the case of East Looe, where it was held that the House could not question the charter' the only point being whether the borough had a charter or not. What was his object in adverting to these facts ?
He stated them in order to demonstrate that the constitution of that House, instead of being that perpetual, settled, invariable, and certain constitution which they had been told it was,—which they had been told had not been subject to variation or alteration, and which it was said that they (the Ministers) were now about to violate with unhallowed and de- secrating hands for the first time,—he had stated these facts, he said, and he should state other facts, with the view of demonstrating that the con- stitution of that House, instead of answering to this description of the gentlemen opposite, had been a constitution which had not existed for any fifty years without such alterations as the times required, and as cir- cumstances as they arose rendered, or were thought to render necessary.
The condition of the representation remained, it miglit he sup- posed, equally unsettled during the " fitly years' revolution" of the St carts. Alter alluding to the change introduced by Cromwell, and to Lord Clarendon's judgment upon it, Lord John proceeded to exemplify, by the case of the Exclusion Bill, the state of the re- presentation in the time of the Second Charles. The Commons passed the Exclusion Bill, and the members of that House were generally in favour of it ; but the bill was rejected in the House of Lords by a majority as large, he believed, as 2 to I. The King immediately had recourse to his prerogative of dissolution, and, upon the assembling of a new Parliament, one of thc King's Ministers, a Secretary of State, havin,-, proposed an amendment to the Exclusion Bill, which had been again brought forward, he could not find a single member in the House who would second that amendment. This single fact was a proof that the House of Commons was not constituted as it was at present. They bad the same names; the same forms, the same appearance,•but it was quite evident that they no longer had the same popular control.
The importance of a free election of the Commons had been dis- tinetly recognized at the Revolution of 1688, and during the period that immediately succeeded it. He would read to the House the preamble of an act which had been passed in the reign of George the Second, and which recited an act of
Edward the First. By the way, it had been thought great pedantry in him, on a former occasion, to quote a law of Edward the First, but the legislators of the time of George the Second had not considered it the part of pedants to recite an act of that prince in one of their own mea- sures. The preamble to which he alluded ran as follows:—" Whereas by the ancient common law of this land, all elections ought to be free ; and whereas by an act passed in the reign of King Edward the First, of famous memory, it is commanded upon great forfeiture, that no man, by force of arms, nor by malice, or menacing, shall disturb any to make free election ; and forasmuch as the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament is of the utmost consequence to the preservation of the rights and liberties of this kingdom," &c. Now, when this and so many other acts and declarations of that House had laid it down as a principle that elections ought to be free, could it have been intended to say, that if a gentleman's gardener nominated at his pleasure two persons to represent a particular place, such an election was a free election? He ridiculed the notion that it was any longer possible to retain the law and the practice, as they were at present, in direct apposi- tion to each other.
The language which they held to the people was in effect this—" We will change neither the law, which is one way, nor the practice, which is another way; we will retain both ; the greater the violence which is done to your understanding, the more credulous you ought to be ; and the darker and the deeper the mystery may be, the more worthy it is of your worship." (Cheers, and a slight cry of "Hear, hear ! "from some honour- able member of the Opposition.) The honourable members for Oxford might think this was quite right ; but seein,, neither justice nor good sense in it, they (the Ministers) would never seeing to govern by such means; and while they scorned to appeal to passion or to prejudice, they never would embark in the hopeless work of practising a delusion upon the common sense of the nation.
Having heard the history of the representation generally, Lord John went on to state its variations in certain boroughs. The abuses which were now about to be remedied were some of them of ancient standing-, but many of them had crept in not more than a century ago. Lord John quoted from Mr. Brown Willis's book the case of Taviitock, as one in point.
According to Mr. Willis, in the year 1716 there were 110 electors polled at the election for Tavistock. Now, looking at the return of that borough then, arid the amount of its population, it would certainly ap- pear to have been fairly represented. Of the members whom the electors then returned to represent that borough, one, he believed, was a resident of the town, and the other member was, as was generally the case, one of the gentry of the county in which that borough was situated. At some period, however,—he could not tell exactly when,—the Duke of Bedford, having a great property in the neighbourhood, bought up the freehold- ers, and in the course of time the constituency in the borough of Tavistock became so diminished, . that, according to a return which had been made to Parliament this year, the number of electors there amounted in 1827 to from 27 to 35.
Cambridge borough was another instance. In 1716, it had 200 voters, and elected its members freely. It had been placed by a banker, one of its inhabitants, under the patronage of the Duke of Rutland ; and now, in fact and effect, the Duke nominated the members. In remarking on the birth-place of Colonel Trench, (Ireland), Lord John rebutted the argument brought forward last session, that the Bill went to diminish the number of English representatives.
The new members of the present Parliament would perhaps scarcely believe it to he a fact, but a fact it was, that his Majesty's Ministers had been charged, in the last Parliament, with the intention and view of en- deavouring to diminish the English representation, and to rob England of her due proportion of members. Now, that the contrary would be the effect of the Bill proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, would be plain from a moment's consideration. For whereas at present, under the existing system, certain individuals of great property, and possessed of influence in certain boroughs, had the power of rt turnino.; as members for them, gentlemen from Ireland, or Scotland, the West Indies, the East Indies, or any other place they pleased, the obvious effect of the measure proposed by his Majesty's Ministers would be to restore the power of choosing their representatives to those towns from which it had been taken, who bad enjoyed that privilege during the course of centuries, and of which they had been deprived only within the last fifty or sixty years. Now that might not be a very wise thing to do ; but to say that it was robbing England of her fair share and proportion of representation was, of all pretences, the most unfounded assertion that had ever been made in the Parliament of this country. He next-alluded to Sir John Walsh's argument, that under the Bill the smaller towns would become wholly subject to the neigh- bouring large proprietors; which, he observed, was negatived by the factbtlhat while these towns retained a moderately extended constituency, they had constantly returned gentlemen of small estates, or persons connected with themselves. He went on to mention some other instances in which the constituency of bo- roughs had been diminished.
The electors of Plymouth, in 1696, amounted to 200; they subsequently increased, he believed, to about 300, hut they were not now near so many. The number of electors in Portsmouth, which had been a century ago 400, had been diminished to 59. He could mention various instances of other places in which the constituency was much larger a.century ago than it was at present. It appeared, therefore, that while those towns themselves became enlarged,—while their population was augmented,— while their trade and wealth had been increased,—and while, in short, they were in continual progress towards prosperity and augmentation, their most valuable corporate' rights and privileges connected with the re- turn of representatives to Parliament bad been lessoned, and their con- stituent body had sustained a considerable diminution. In fact, while a great increase had taken place of those who ought to be electors, a great decrease has taken place of those who were.
He next adverted to the argument from authority in favour of Reform—to the opinions of the elder Pitt, of Fox, of the younger rift, not in his boyhood, but six years after he had been Prime Minister. He noticed the changes that had been already effected in the constitution of Parliament, and particularly at the Union with Scotland. There was a remarkable protest of certain of the Lords against that Union, which he would read, the rather that it was connected with the name of Lord Somers, whom the opponents of Reform were in the habit of quoting as an authority on their side. " Because the constitution of this kingdom has been so very excellent, and therefore justly applauded by all our neighbours for so many ages that we cannot conceive it prudent to change it, and to venture at all those alterations made by this Bill, some of them especially bei rig of suc, a nature that, as the inconvenience and danger of them (in our humbn opinion) is already but too obvious, some think it more proper and decent to avoid entering further into the particular apprehension we have from. the passing of this law." The protest, couched an this language, had at- tached to it the names of Beaufort, Buckingham, and Stowell. Was Lord Somers deterred from his purpose by this protest ? Did he go back Irons . the project which he had undertaken of effecting an union between the two countries because those peers had denounced it as a dangerous change ? Quite the contrary,—he persevered in effecting his purpose ; and in a speech which he left behind him, he completely answered the objec- tions which had been raised in this protest to the plan of the Union. As to the first objection, " That too sudden alterations are dangerous," he says, " this is certainly true, unless where the most manifest danger arises from the delay itself." (Loud and repeated cheers.)
Lord John then noticed the more recent case of the Irish Union, and the disfranchisement only three years ago of the Ibrty-shilling
freeholders of Ireland—a precedent which more than justified the disfranchisement of boroughs which the Reform Bill proposed. Having observed that his argument from this; disfranchisement had never been met, he went on briefly to describe the present state of the representation.
It consisted, in the first place, of all those boroughs which returned members to Parliament at the will of individuals. Nine Peers possessed 32 of those boroughs, returning 64 members. These were boroughs where the number of voters was small, but where they disposed of their votes as they pleased. There were some other boroughs and towns where there was freedom of election, and some counties where the elections were free and open, but where the expense of a contest was so great and heavy as to deter many from contesting them, and to nearly ruin those who did so.
He next stated what it was meant to make the representation.
According to their scheme, about 150 members would be sent from the counties, the great majority of which counties would be separated into two divisions, thus affording a large population to each division, and presenting many advantages to the people in the exercise of their elective rights. He was aware that some persons had imagined that the proposed
divisions of the counties, so far from being advantageous to the extension.
of popular rights or popular influence, would have the effect of giving to a small number of persons in those districts the means of carry in every thing. Now, that such would not be the effect, 'right be gathered from the fact that those counties which it was proposed to erect into divi- sions, possessed an average population of from 70,000 to 120,000 per sons. The next change, according to their scheme, would bring perhaps 180 members from the great cities and towns, not omitting such towns as Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield, which were excluded from the pre- sent system of representation. They proposed to give members to the great towns, and to the great manufacturing districts.
The advantage, from a set of representatives who could give the House and the Government that practical knowledge of whichboth, were so often in need, would be great.
They would obtain a number of members in that House who might not perhaps amuse them with declamatory and eloquent speeches, but who would be capable of rendering practical and substantial service to the country, and to their constituents who sent them to Parliament.
The extension of the constituency would be effected in very nearly the same way as was proposed in the last Bill. In the first instance they proposed, as he had before explained, to give the right of voting to 10/. householders in cities and towns; and in counties they proposed to extend it to freeholders, copyholders, and leaseholders. They proposed to extend the right of voting in counties to those persons who were leaseholders for a long term of years, thus recti- fying an omission in the former Bill ; and they proposed that instead of the term of fourteen years, the term of seven years should be sufficient for leaseholders paying a rent of 501. a-year to entitle them to vote. Such would be the constituency which would send members from the counties. With regard to towns, as he had already stated, the suffrage would be vested in householders and houses of the value or rent of 10/. a-year.
Against corruption and bribery, Lord John said, he de- pended much on the provision for taking the poll in two days, and other provisions of the Bill ; it was also the intention of Govern- ment to introduce a bill this session for the better prevention of bribery; and the grand bar to its punishment once removed, which the buying of seats presented, there seemed no reason for doubting that such a bill might be framed so as to prove effectual. Of the objections to the Bill, the first was, that it was too ex- tensive.
The only answer which he could make to that objection was, that it was only on the conviction that it was the only plan that would satisfy the expectations of the people, that his Majesty's Ministers had proposed it. It was to be recollected that those who introduced it were not pledged previously to propose or defend any particular measure of reform so ex- tensive as that which had been brought forward. Neither Lord Grey, nor the Lord Chancellor, nor any other member of the Cabinet, who for- merly advocated Reform, had ever expressed themselves in favour of a reform so extensive as this was. He thought it but fair to state this, in order to show that, being bound by no promise or pledge, and having the opportunity 9f doing less than they had proposed, then proposing what they did was a proof of the conviction on their minds that it was abso- lutely necessary to introduce so extensive a measure, in order to satisfy the just expectations of the people, and to lay the foundation of a reform of that House, which would secure the permanent stability of the Throne, and preserve the authority of both Houses of Parliament.
The next objection was the want of uniformity in the Ministerial plan.
Did those who raised such an objection propose it with a view that the plan should be made more equal? It would be curious enough if they
' did, seeing that they were the defenders of the existing system. It might be some inequality that Tavistoek with 4,000 or 5,000 Inhabitants should send as many members as Halifax with 20,000 inhabitants, but was it not worse that such places as Gatton and Old Sarum should send as many members as many of the most populous places ?
, Lord John remarked on the bad,logic of such a mode of arguing; and on the triumph which such heedlessness gave to the advo- cates of the Bill.
The strone° ground thus taken by Mr. Canning and the Duke of Wel- lington was abandoned by their less skilful successors, who railed against irregularity and anomaly, while they were the defenders of a system which was filled with both. He would confess that when he saw them take this line of conduct, he was disposed to aay, like Oliver Cromwell upon seeing the Scotch army descend from the hills into the plains, " the Lord has delivered them into my hands." He defended the basis of his calculations—the Population Re- turns—against those who would have had him prefer the returns to the Tax-office. Of the errors of the latter, he gave a few speci- mens.
In the borough of Amersham, according to the Tax-office returns, there were 25 10/. houses' but upon examination the number proved to be 126. It was found that Ashburton, instead of 54,.had 314 10/. houses, if not 327. Christchurch, instead of 80, had about 300. Shaftesbury, instead 01 75, had 155. Think, instead of 75, had 110. Wilton, instead of 34, had 150; Wycomb, instead of 206, had 446; and Westbury, instead of 14, had 318 houses. He held in his hand a list of 67 boroughs, in which these discrepancies had been proved between the Tax-office returns and the actual fact.
Had he acted on such returns, he would have laid himself open in a much greater degree to the charge of unfairness. There were two places only in respect to which he had departed from the rule of population— The first of these places was the borough- of Downton, and the noble Earl who possessed the borough was the person to call his attention to it. (Hear, hear !) He had made inquiries, and he had thought it consistent with his duty to make this borough an exception to the general rule, and include it in the schedule of disfranchisement. The other borough was a mere straggling village of fishermen,—he alluded to the borough of St. Germains. (Hear ! and laughter.) He should be told, no doubt, that in including these two boroughs within the line of disfranchisement, he was departing from the rule which he had so strictly laid down, and be should be unable to deny that in these two particular instances he had un- doubtedly done so.
In fact, no line could be drawn so as to hit every case. It had been said by those who call themselves " practical men," what advantage would the people, after all, get from Reform ?
To those who asked whether Reform would give the people more to eat and drink, he would say that this was totally irrelevant to the matter. The question was one of constitutional principles. He should think it as reasonable to say to his noble friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, :when he took off the tax on coals, "this taking off of taxes will not im- prove the constitution," as to have it said to him, "this Reform Bill will not tend to give the people superior comforts."
The late Earl of Liverpool had said, in the words of the poet, " How small, of all the ills which men endure,
The part that kings or laws can cause or cure 1"
Lord John begged the House to look to the state of countries where kings were despots, and laws were their will, for the best an- swer to this false doctrine. He concluded thus—
When he proposed a Reform of Parliament—when he proposed that the people should send into that House their real representatives, to delibe- rate on their wants, and to consult for their interests, to consider their grievances, and attend to their desires—when he proposed that they should, in fact, as they hitherto had in theory, possess the vast power of holding the purse-strings of the Monarch,—he felt convinced that he was laying the foundation of effecting the greatest changes in the comforts and wellbeing of the people. Laws would no longer be passed in such an assembly for the benefit of Government, or classes, or individuals,— they would be no longer passed by men roused at twelve o'clock at night to vote for what they knew not or against that of which they had heard not a single syllable, merely because the leader of their party told them so to vote. Laws in a Reformed Parliament would be cautiously proposed, and seriously considered, and deliberated. Who would maintain that go- vernments could do nothing with respect to the misery or happiness of a people? Let those who made the assertion look at Ireland. What was the cause of the wretched state of Ireland but the want of 4 due, parental, kind attention on the part of Government to the conditidri of the people —a want of a fellow-feeling on the part of the supreme legislature towards the great mass of the population of Ireland ? If they indentified that House with the people of the three kingdoms, they might hope that the prosperity of the country was accomplished. In exerting themselves to give to an enlightened and powerful people the benefit of having their representatives assembled within the walls of Parliament, they would furnish the means of carrying on unimpaired the constitution, without endangering the prerogatives of the Crown, without injuring the authority of the houses of Parliament, and according to the rights, liberties, and interests of the nation. Those rights would be duly protected by the faithful represen- tatives of a free people, and by the loyal subjects of a generous Sovereign.
Lord John was frequently cheered th,ring his speech, and sat down amidst very markel, loud, awl general applause. Sir Rost PEEL said, he merely rose to make a few observa-
tions which might be for the convenience of all part Lord John Russell must not expect that so important a measure could go to a Committee without discussion.
The noble Lord had concluded his speech by saving that he ead summed up the arguments in favour of the Bill, as well as the main objections that had been made to it; but Sir Robert trusted that the noble Lord would permit him and his friends to state for themselves their objections, though, at the same time, he had no further wish at the present moment than to advance his claim to a full, free, and fair discussion Up c n the prin- ciples of the Bill, and upon the manner and the degree in which it involved all the permanent and essential interests of the country. He tses willingto take the discussion,if it should appear to he the general sense of theHouse, on the second reading. (Hear hear !) In the last session of Parliament leave was given to introduce the Bill without any division of the House. Although he did not perceive any essential alteration in the character of the Bill, he could not but recollect that there were in the present Parlia- ment many members who had not been present at the discussion of the former,bill in the last Parliament. The House could not but tear in mind that his Majesty's recommendation from the Throne had produced front them an answer that they would give an early and attentive considera- tion to this subject. This, with the affairs of the House combined, did induce him to wave any opposition upon the first stage of the Bill, and permit it to be brought in without any division. If this should be the opinion of other gentlemen, he should say that he did think that to commence a debate which was not to end in a division was a most inconvenient proceeding. He did not wish the House again to be be.. trayed into a debate of six or seven nights, which was to terminate without any division. He would permit the bill to be read a first time, and he was even ready to forego the great temptation which the noble Lord had given to reply to some parts of his speech. (Hear, hear !) He would forbear answering the satirical allusions of the noble Lord, for once to begin a discussion would lead to a protraction of a debate which he very much wished to avoid ; but if he abstained from making any re- ply to the noble Lord's taunts or satire, he trusted that no inference would be drawn that he abandoned the right of answering those allusions
which were applicable to himself and to others who were united with him in his opposition to the measure. For his purpose, he wished but for one effectual discussion on the principles of the Bill, previously to its going into the Committee. He spoke, however, merely as an individual. He wished but for one full and fair discussion; but he also declared, that when mat discussion did take place, nothing should prevent his takin,g the sent c of the House upon the question. (Cheers from the Opposition.)
Sir Robert went on to say, that usage required that both the argument and division should take place on the second reading. He trusted ample space would be given for that purpose, that the Bill might undergo a real discussion.
He hoped that before the House was called to the discussion, it would. in fairness, be put in possession of the intention of his Majesty's Govern- ment with respect to the Bills of Reform for Ireland and Scotland. lit his speech the Noble Lord had said nothing of these bills. In the last session he believed that the Irish Reform Bill was not brought in until after the main discussion, but yet the House was aware of what really were the intentions of his Majesty's Government with respect to the Reform in Ireland. Without insisting on all the technical details oft bill in a matter of such importance, it was material that before the House discussed the English bill, it should know what his Majesiy's Ministers proposed with respect to the reform of the representation of Scotland. The King's speech had recommended the house to consider the general question of reform with reference to Ireland and to Scotland, as well as to England; and if the House proceeded to fulfil the promises they had given in the address, that they would proceed immediately to take into consideration the question of reform, they were bound in compliance with that address not certainly to proceed with the bills pan i passe, but still to seek to know what was to be done with respect to Ireland and Scotland.
Sir Robert concluded by expressing a hope that a distant day would be fixed for the second reading ; and that, in the interim, some information would be afforded respecting the Scotch and Irish Bills.
After a brief conversation between Sir ROBERT PEEL, Lord JOHN RUSSELL, Lord ALTHORP, and Mr. STANLEY, it was agreed that the second reading should take place on Monday week. Mr. STANLEY, who is to introduce the Irish Bill, said it would be laid on the table in the interval. The Lord Advocate is to introduce the Scotch Bill.
When the Speaker put. the question for leave to bring in the Bill, one voice cried "No"; it was not ascertained who owned it. The Bill is to be laid on the table to-day. Mr. SIBTHORP has given notice of a motion to confer the fran- chise on all 501. leaseholders ; in which Mr. PORTMAN said he would receive his support.
4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Last night, the Earl of ABERDEEN made a long speech on the subject of the Foreign relations of the country ; but did not conclude with any motion or resolution. After noticing the facts in the more recent conduct of the London Conference and the Belgian Congress, eord Aberdeen went on to notice the language of the Speech respecting Portugal. He denied that it gave an accurate description of the behaviour of that slate— The injuries and insults, so far from being committed by the Portu- guese Government, were always deprecated by it; and reparation, so far from being refused, was never refused. He had admitted, that in some instances it had been culpably delayed ; but so far front being refused, it had, to a great degree, been granted before the squadron was sent to Lis- bon. Therefore it was incorrect to say that the Government had either permitted, injuries, or refused reparation. That therehad been vexatiousde- lays in granting satisfaction, no person knew better titan he did ; but some allowance ought to be made for the state of that Government, and the diffi- culties under which it was placed. At any rate he did think that the men- tion of the subject in the manner in1which it had been &mein his Majesty's Speech, was but little suited to the dignity of this country, and not com- patible with the Retire of the alliance at the present moment existing with Portugal.
His Lordship deprecated the continuance of that state of diplo- matic alienation in which this couniry and Portugal had long been placed, and recommended 'Ministers to put an end to it as speedily as possible. He also alluded to the demand of reparation made by France to Portugal, and to the seizure of a British vessel by the Regency ,of Terceira ; hol Ii of which matters lie thought well de- served the consideration of Government. He apologited for not noticing- these topics on Tuesday, on the ground that affairs at home had, on that day, seemed to deserve, as they had received, their Lordships' chief attention. Earl GREY thought the noble Lord might as well have discussed these matters on Tuesday as now. "It appeared to him that the House would have consulted its dignity quite as much in discussing matters of Foreign policy, as in occupying itself in debates on illuminations, broken windows, the addresses of mem- bets of Parliament to their constituents, or toasts given at public din- ners; all of which, their Lordships would recollect, had been introduced as subjects of comment, and had occupied some portion of ther Lordships" time.
Lord Grey deprecated such discussions as the Earl of Aberdeen had indulged in ; carried on as they must be in ignorance of diplo- was to move an address to the Throne for its removal. In respect to the late negotiations with Belgium, and the elevation of Prince Leopold, Earl Grey said—
The good sense, wise views., and sound policy of that illustriousperson were such, as that, if he should ascend the throne of Belgium, it would be fortunate alike for that country. and for the peace of Europe. At the same time, he must state, that in his election to the throne of that country, the Government of England had had nothing whatever to do. No
influence of ours bad in any way been exercised -to produce that re-
sult. .It was the free choice of the people of Belgium, and from his view of the condition of that country, and his knowledge of the charac • ter of the Prince, he thought it a wise one; but his opinion of it was not formed from any vain notion that Belgium would be in any way under the influence of British counsels. He was convinced, that if his Royal' ttighness should ascend the throne of Belgium, he would be neither English nor French in his predilections, but Belgian in every thing which could promote the interests of that country. With respect to France and Portugal, he did not see that we had any title to interfere. He hoped Portugal would at lewgth do what was right, and then this country would be ready to fulfil all that treaties call on it to fulfil.
The Duke of WELLINGTON admitted that the present state of the Continent imposed great difficulties on any Ministry. After stating the grounds which led to the incorporation of Belgium with Holland in 1814, and after adverting to the dissolution which took place in September, the Duke proceeded as follows—
With respect to the negotiations that had been carried on for the settlement of Belgium, he approved of all the steps the noble Lord had taken, to give that security to other Powers which they hada right to require with respect to the state of Belgium. He gave the noble Lord full credit for all he had done on this subject, and was ready to believe that Ile had acted in full accord with France and our other allies. Having done so, he entreated the noble Lord not to depart from the course he had hitherto pursued ; but to persevere till the last moment to act in cordial alliance with France and our allies, and let the Noble Lord rely upon it, whatever difficulties might exist, he would get the better of them, and do himself and the country immortal honour. In respect to Portugal, the treaties which bound us to that country and our own interests lay in the same direction. It became his Majesty's Government ta look at the serious situation in which not only Portugal but all Europe might be placed if a proper course were not taken. They would do well to consider how important it was that all questions of disputed sovereignty should be put an end to without loss of time, more particularly this question relating to Don Miguel ; for if it caused the invasion of Portugal by France, the consequence would be, to involve the whole Peninsula in one confla- gration. Such an occurrence was to be deprecated at all times, more particularly now, when Spain was in a state of complete tranquillity, and, as far as he understood, in a state of prosperity. The questidit of the disputed sitccession of Don Miguel was no longer a question between this country and Brazil. Some time had elapsed since Don Pedro could assert the claims of his daughter, and it was evident that he could now give no assistance (being in need of assistance himself) in placing her upon the throne of Portugal. Under all the circumstances of the case, he thought it incumbent on us to endeavour to settle the question, and take steps to get out of the difficulty in which we and our allies found ourselves placed with respect to Portugal. Here the discussion, or conversation rather, ended.
5.. SIR ROBERT BATESON AND LORD PLUNKETT. In conse- quence of the charge made by Sir Robert Bateson in the Com- mons on Tuesday, Lord Chancellor Plunkett signified, on Thurs- day, his . intention of calling the attention of their Lord- ships to the subject. He declared the whole statement to be from beginning to end a gross and abselute falsehood. The NI arquis of LONDONDERRY said, Sir Robert had called on him that morning, and stated, that he had been told by a person at Daly's Club-house, that a person harl been promised a situation if he gave his vote for a paiticular candidate. He was certain that Sir Robert would be al le to satisfy Lord Plunkett, so far as be was concerned in the statement.
Lord BROUGHAM observed, that a member of the House of Commons might state in his place any thing he liked—it mattered not how gross or base ; but if any one published what a member said, the publisher might be made amenable to their Lordships. Lord ELLENBOROUGH observed, that the House of Peers had no right to question an editor of a newspaper, unless for reflec- tions on acts done in the House. Lord BROUGHAM concurred in this. '
Lord PLUNKETT said, he was charged with bartering a judicial office, and with exclian.=ing Church patronage for political votes. Was it to be endured that such charges sholild be made, and, when evidence was called for, that the person making them should say he himself knew nothing about them?
The Marquis of LONDONDERRY thought Sir Robert must have some foundation for his charge.
Lord PLUNKETT repeated that it was absolutely false. Lord PLUNKETT repeated his denial last night, in the strongest terms that language affords. It was, his Lordship said, a colour- less falsehood.
He could only look on it as a part of the system wh;ch had been adopted by persons opposing the present measures of his Majesty's Government, and which evinced an utter disregard of truth and decency, and of the observance of the common courtesies of life.
The Duke of BUCKINGHAM, in the name of their Lordships, assured Lord PLUNKETT that no man in the House, and he be- lieved no man. in the country, looked on the accusation but as utterly groundless : he thought the simple denial of it sufficient. Lord PLUNKETT again repeated his denial, and finished by say- ing that he would there let the matter rest. Lord LONDONDERRY said, Sir Robert Bateson had stated that Lord ELLENBOROUGH thought Sir Robert ought to bring for- ward his charge if he had grounds for it, or apologize if he had not. Lord LONDONDERRY said, a man might know many things,anol
not be able to prove them. The noble baron is not warranted in -prescribing the course of conduct which my friend ought to pursue. My friend is as good a judge of what he ought to do as the noble baron, and perhaps a better. (A laugh.)
6. SLAUGHTER AT NEWTOWNBARRY. In the House of Cam- mons on Thursday, Mr. HUNT took notice of this case. Mr. H. MAXWELL said, the clergyman was a humane and ex- cellent man ; but he could not get his tithes from the Catholic farmers, and in consequence he resolved to send in a distress.
The sale was fixed for Saturday last. .
The cattle was rescued from the pound, and a mob of 1,000 or 2,000 assembled. Upon this the Magistrate came up with the Yeomanry.and the Pollee.The Yeomanry were immediately fired upon by the people; one of their number was killed, and others were mortally wounded. Then it was that the Yeomanry thought themSelves justified in firing in self-defence ; and the consequence was, he grieved to say, that many of the people were killed.
Lord MILTON earnestlyentreated members to refrain front
offering any opinion on the subject until they had the facts before them. He had a very different account from that which Mr. Maxwell had given. In one sense, perhaps, it might be said that the people "fired," but it was a volley of stones only. The House would not receive the word "fire" in this sense. His Lordship had left Newtownbarry only on Friday, and at that time the town
and district were perfectlytranquil.
Mr. LEADER agreed with Lord Milton in the propriety of sus-
pending their judgment.
Mr. LEFROY deemed it equally proper to defend the character of the clergyman. The difficulty of collecting tithes in that part of the country was extremely great. Mr. Lefroy cited a case where a clergyman had been kept out of his tithes for nine months; another had been obliged to sell his books to support his family. Mr. LAMBERT knew many clergymen who had no books to self, nor means of getting them. He believed that in Ireland there was a party anxiously labouring to bring on a rebellion there, in order to bring back the old state of things : " but," added he, "the .days of rebellion are gone by, and the age of' revolution is come." (Loud cheers from the Opposition, echoed by the Ministe- rial benches.) Mr. GRATTAN blamed the calling out of the Yeomanry, which
was 'an exceedingly odious force, generally employed from party motives.
Mr. O'CONNELL observed, that the Government had proceeded
with commendable promptness to make the necessary inquiries ; he thought the present discussion of the case premature.
7. AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS. A lengthened and desultory discussion took place, on Thursday, on the question of agricul- tural distress ; arising out of a question put by the Earl of Wiri chilsea—whet her Ministers meant to propose any measure of 're- lief for those parishes where there was a surplus of population ? Lords GODERICH, MALMESBURY, SUFFIELD, and MELBOURNE
took part in it.
Lord BROUGHAM deprecated discussions when there was no
question before the House, a practice which he thought the House would do well to discontinue. When their Lordships indulged in these irregular debates, they got into a conversation quite as rambling and desultory as a talk round a fireside, and not half so amusing. (Laughter.) Lord Brougham (as is usual after such deprecations) proceeded to lengthen out the discussion of which he complained. Alluding
to the attempts of Lord 1Vinchilsea, he said— God knew whether any good effect would result from those attempts ; but they had no right to despair. He always thought it time enough; to say " I can't," when he had tried and failed. Whenever a man said "I can't" before he had tried, their Lordships might safely conclude that he meant " I won't." (Cheers.)
Even in the present session, something might be effected; and he spoke of a plan which he had long pondered over, and had recently submitted to Government, and re:Tivecl for it their approbation. So early as the years 1816 and 1817, he had applied his mind to this subject. From that time downwards, he had not given up the investi- gation ; and at length he believed that he saw daylight amidst the dark- ness which had hitherto enveloped the subject. He would not promise that it would be brought forward this session, but he hoped it would not be delayed later than the next. It was intended to be preparatory to an- other measure for the consolidation and simplification ef the existing acts on the subject of the Poor-Laws.
Lord STOURTON strongly recommended prompt applications in
the case of Ireland. He remembered the story of a woman who had fallen down exhausted in the streets of Paris. Two doctors attended the sick woman. One said that there was no remedy for the case; the other thought that there was, but it was only to be got in Constantinople. "Give her some bread," said a looker-on, who saw the woman about to be left to die, 'and send for your remedy afterwards." That was just the sort of relief which Ireland required.
8. Coaw-Laws. Lord MILTON, on Thursday, gave notice of his intention to move certain resolutions on the subject of the Corn-laws, preparatory to a bill, for next session. Mr. Huerr said, Parliament should have an opportunity during the present session: of expressing its opinion on these laws, as he meant to move for their repeal. On Thursday, he gave a formal notice of a motion • to this effect, for the 15th July.• Mr. PORTMAN and several other members deprecated the idea of a total repeal ;' but the general *pillion seemed to be in favour of a revision, with a view to the imposition of a fixed duty.
9. TITHES. The Archbishop of CANTERBURY introduced, last night, two bills to facilitate composition of tithes ; and Lord DACRE introduced a bill for their commutation. The introduction of Lord Deere's bill called forth the following remarks from Earl Grey— : A commutation of tithes, if established, so to settle the question for ever, be considered would be the more desirable measure; but reverting to what he had said of the extreme difficulty of the question, he was inclined to think that the best step towards an arrangement would be, first, to adopt a plan similar to that of the Archbishop, providing facilities for the composition of tithes. By the working of such a measure the way would be cleared for further improvement, and additional measures might afterwards be taken if their Lordships thought proper. With respect to the time, he doubted whether any measure on this important and diffiealt subject, requiring of necessity great complication in its arrangement, could be completed during the present session ; and therefore, perhaps, the best course that could be taken with respect to a. subject of such magnitude, would be, after the right reverend Prelate andthe noble Lordhad stated to the House the provisions of their bills on the second reading, to leave the matter for consideration during the in- terval which would elapse after the present and before another session of Parlianient. (Hear, hear !) He did not make this proposition for the purpose of delay, or to avoid the discussion of this difficult question, even during the present session, when so many important matters were to be diseuSsed; but under all the circumstances of the case, he thought that the m9st haste would not be the best speed, and time employed in con- sideration would enable their Lordships to come more satifactorily, and evin more expeditiously, to the conclusion which they all desired. (fleet', hear !)
Lord Grey added, that the bills of the Archbishop proved satis- factorily that there was no disposition in the heads of the Church to resist any reform which the state of the Church might require, and which was not inconsistent with the existence of the Church itself.
Q. THE NEW BEER ACT. On Thursday, a conversation took place on this act, and its consequences on the morals of the people. The Bishop of BATH and WELLS complained much of its injurious effects, and called on the Ministers, as they talked so much of Reform, to reform the vicious courses of the people by its repeal.
'Lord MELBOURNE said, the complaint of immorality was at least twenty years old. There was, no increase of crime since the pasSin.;- of the act.
The Marquis of SALISBURY said, the houses opened under the act were falling fast into the hands of the great brewers. He 'thought the prices would soon be raised, and that Would care the evil..
41. -METROPOLITAN IMPROVEMENTS. To a question put by Mr: R. COLBORNE, respecting the nature of the grant to King's College, Mr. GOULBURN replied, that it had been made on the condition that the front of the College towards the River should correspond with the other parts of Somerset House, and that space bad been left to complete it agreeably to the grant. Leave was given to renew the Bill of last session for running a new street from the Strand to Long Acre ; which Lord DUNCAN- NON Said would occasion very little expense to the public. Some complaint was made of the Pavilion at Charing Cross for exhibiting the great whale. Lord DUNCANNON observed, that the erection would not remain long, and it ought to be known that the wh le so accommodated was "the Prince of Whales."
12, MR. HUNT'S SPEECHES. In presenting, on Thursday, a peti- tion from Preston, praying for the continuance of the present form of franchise in that town, Mr. HUNT said, this was an answer in full to those who accused him of unpopularity with his con- stituents.
It was true that a large majority of the people of the country was favourable to the plan of Reform of Ministers ; but they were so, as he Was himself, not because it satisfied their expectations, hut because it was a step towards the attainment of more extensive objects. (Cheers from the Opposition.)
MT. JAMES and Mr. SLANEY spoke in contradiction of Mr. Hunt's assertion.
Mr. HUNT afterwards went into a long argument to prove that he had not been bought over by the Tories. The Parliamentary Candidate Society, he said, had tried to unseat him, but could not. Ahlerman"WainimAN. complained of the honourable member's lengthiness and egotism ; and commended the reporters for omit- ting many of his everlasting. speeches. The other evening lie heard the honourable member make use of not less than seventy five " l's' "—" I did this," and " 1 did that,"—in twelve
minutes by the clock. If the honourable member proceeded at this rate, the honourable member for Kerry (O'Connell) would have to complain of his monopoly of long-winded egotism being invaded. (Laughter.)
Mt. HUNT retorted by saying, that the Alderman's oratory always set his audience to sleep. .
Colonel Evaass regretted he could not arrive at Preston in time—he would have effected a great public benefit in turnine- out Mr. Hunt.
11 GENERAL BUSINESS. It has been arranged, that during this session the old hours of business shall be reverted to ; the Speaker comingllown at a quarter before four, instead of a quarter before three o'clock.
It has been agreed that no Private Bill shall be received after the, 4th 'of July, and that no report will be received after the 25th of July. Private Bills.presented last' session will, it is understood, beTermitted to advance to, the :stage where they were stopped by the dissolution, without any additional expense. No new evidence will he required of matters proved before Committees during last sessical.
Mr. STANLEY'S Bill to promote and extend Public Works in Ireland, Will be introduced on Monday. On Tuesday, Mr. CHARLES 0.11ANT moves the appointment of a Select Commitee on the affairs of India. Alderman WOOD'S motion for a general reduction of s'alaries stands for Thursday. Mr. J. CAM#BELL'S General Registq Bill is to be introduced once more on the same day. Mr. Santzetshas a notice for a resolution, approving of Poor- laws for Ireland, for the 7th of July. Mr. EWART will ask leave to bring in a bill for. amending the laws respecting Capital Punish- ment, on the 12th of July. Lord ALTHORP introduces a • bill affainst the growth of Irish Tobacco, on the 27th of June.' . The Waterloo Bridge New Street Bill has been read a first time. There are no less than nine railway bills petitioned for.
Election Petitions have been presented in the cases of Great Grimsby, Petersfield, Monmouth, and Jedburgh. * '