A numerous party of Liberals, residing in the neighbourhood of
Dukenfield and Staley Bridge, gave a dinner to Mr. Edward John Stanley, the Member for North Cheshire and Secretary of the Treasury, on Wednesday, at Staley Bridge. Mr. Stanley replied to the toast of "Her Majesty's Ministers ;" but told the company, that not being member of the Government, he had no information to give them respecting the Ministerial measures. He felt full confidence, how. ever, that they would be such as deserved the approbation of the country ; and he advised the people of England "to take all they could get," and remember that "there were difficulties in the way which it would not be easy to avoid." The other speakers were Mr. George Wilbraham, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. George William Wood, the Reve- rend R. Brooke Aspland, Mr. Thornely, and Mr. Wyse. The speeches are not fully reported. Mr. Thornely spoke in favour of the Ballot. Mr. Brotherton avowed himself a Radical Reformer, who thought the Whigs did not go far enough ; but still he would support them, till there was a prospect of having a Radical Ministry; and he would not, "like a flesh fly, pass over the sound parts of his friends, and settle oe their sores." Mr. Wyse's subject was national education.
At a Tory dinner at Ormskirk in Lancashire, on Tuesday, Lord Francis Egerton spoke in moderate terms of the prospects of the Tories.
He congratulated them on the victory they had achieved and on the strength of Conservatism throughout the country. He cautioned them, however, not to overrate their strength in the House of Commons; nor yet was it tube ure derrated ; for, according to the opinions of persons well versed in such matters, they had a sufficient number to enable them to check any evil measures brought in by the Government.
The Tories have bad public dinners at Edmonton in Middlesex, the Potteries in Staffordshire, Halesworth in Suffolk, and at Liver- pool ; but nothing worth especial notice was said or done at any of these meetings.
A meeting was held at Rotherham on Thursday week, for the pur- pose of voting a church-rate. The motion for the rate was earnestly supported by Earl Fitz william ; who used the following arguments in reply to the objection that rates were levied on persons dissenting from the Church, for the exclusive benefit of Churchmen—
It was clear that there ought not to be two forms of worship encouraged by the Legislature. No—it was their duty to uphold that form of worship in the edifice which was conformable to the most numerous class of the people ; not the one which was of absolute majority over all the others, but the simple nolo jority over each other separate sect ; and that one which was in the majority ought to be established. It had been said that those who used the church ought to repair it ; but, by the same argument, it might be said that because they did not use a certain road or certain bridge they had no right to maintain it. 'This, however, could not stand : if none but those belonging to the Church were called upon to pay for its support, let it be recollected that that building ceased then to belong to the public, and was private property.
[Lord Fitzwilliam's reasoning powers have not been improved by age. Suppose Dissenters were to call upon Churchmen to contribute
to the repairs of their chapels : the Churchmen would object, that they never used the chapels : but the fair rejoinder, according to Earl Fitz- wflliam, would be—you repair bridges which you never cross, ergo you should repair our chapels which you never enter.]
At Sheffield, on Wednesday week, there was a numerous meeting in the Town-hall, to petition Parliament in favour of a system of na- tional education. Some clergymen of the Church of England, aided by a Dissenting minister, got up a clamour in opposition to the object of the meeting ; but, on a show of hands an amendment they brought forward was rejected, by a majority of 500 to 10.
On the same day, a meeting at Cheltenham was held for the same purpose. Mr. Wyse M.P., was present, and delivered an eloquent speech in illustration of the necessity and advantage of national educe. tion.