chatc4 anti Pratcrltingriill Parriantritt.
1. THE MUNICIPAL BILL.
In the House of Commons, on Monday, a great number of petitions were presented against the Lords' amendments, and a few in favour of them. Among the former, were petitions from Carlisle, Salford, Hull, Frome, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, .Bridgewater, Aylesbury, Nuneaton, Bolton, Coventry, Rochester, Chatham, Stroud, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Yeovil, Hastings, Bath, Lincoln, Bristol. (signed by 13,700 persons), Worcester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, Nairn, .Ayrshire, Annan, from several parishes in Westminster, London, and adjoining Metro- politan districts. Petitions to the House to arr°ive to the Lords' amendments were presented from Ludlow, Ipswich, Newcastle, King's Lynn, Bath, Norwich, Poole, Stroud and Chatham.
Colonel PERCEVAL endeavoured to read a letter respecting Orange Lodges ; but the House would not hear him, being impatient to pro- ceed with the proper business of the night.
Lord JOIN RUSSELL called the attention of the House to the amend- ments of the House of Lords in the Municipal Bill. He began by alluding to the excitement produced in the country by the Lords' alterations— "I must say that this feeling has arisen to a great degree of excitement in many places ; and if in some respects it has been carried beyond what I think the exact importance and value of the amendments we have to consider, I be- lieve it has been caused in a great degree by the manner no less than by the matter of these amendments. I feel persuaded that if a bill which had passed this House had been at once taken into consideration by the House of Lords, and if they had made simply such alterations in it as appeared to them to be neces- sary to correct any defects or to add any improvements to its framework, the temper with which those amendments would have been received would have been very different from the temper which now exists. But I am sorry to say, that though the bill now returned to us was not immediately opposed in the Rouse of Lords in principle, there were sent through the country opinions so disparaging to it as It had been approved of by this House, so injurious to the people whom it was to enfranchise, that great irritation was felt ; and that irri- tation, I must say, was increased tenfold when a gentleman was called to the bar of the House of Lords, and permitted—(Loud eleering)—to indulge in lan- guage, not only such as might be necessary for defending, as he might have a right to defend, the rights of any persons who might be affected or injured by the bill, but language which, I think, one House of Parliiment ought not to per- xnit to be used in respect to the proceedings of the other ; and which if any one should propose that we should permit counsel at our bar to use respecting the House of Lords, I should object to, because I would not allow the other branch of the Legislature to be insulted at our bar. Proceedings of this nature to begin, and followed by the calling of a number of persons as witnesses to the bar of the other House of Parliament—persons who could only have one opinion respecting these Corporations—did, as it seems to me, create, and I think justly create, a feeling of irritation among a large portion of the People, that instead of merely considering the injury or benefit of the provisions of the bill which we had sent up, an opportunity was taken to disparage us, the Representatives of the
i People, n the eyes of the country."
He then proceeded to speak of the amendments, and the right mode of dealing with them- " With respect to the amendments themselves, which are embodied in the bill which we have now before us, there is a great distinction to be taken—and I wish at once to take it—between those parts of the bill which go to constitute the future governing body for these Corporations, in the place of those bodies which are there placed by the old charters, and those other facts which neces- sarily came before us in the consideration of municipal reform. In the latter division, I should include the provisions respecting the property which has been hitherto enjoyed by freemen in common, the right of voting for Members of of Parliament, and some others to which I shall hereafter -allude. The first division—that referring to the governing body—is, in my opinion, the most im- portant for us to attend to; and if we can make up our minds that, by the in- troduction of certain alterations, and by the rejection of certain amendments Which have been proposed—the bill, as sent down to us by the House of Lords, night be moulded into such a shape as to give us a governing body which should for the future conduct the government of these towns in such a way that they may for ever be and remain well and quietly governed; and if we can convince ourselves that a great reform of past grievances and abuses can be so obtained ; and that, for the future, this country would have within it municipal corporations acting with integrity and vigour, capable at once of securing the interests of those inhabitants over whom they preside, and of preserving the peace within their boundaries to the general benefit of the King's subjects,— in that case, I should say that we ought to consider the bill with the sole view of endeavouring to obtain that great end." There were some of the amendments which in this view of the sub- ject might be received, but others it would be indispensable to reject. He objected strongly to keeping up the old Aldermen, by any title, and to retaining the Town- Clerks. He would not agree to the election of .Aldermen for life to the number of one-fourth of the Town-Council, but would propose that the Town-Council should elect the same number of persons out of their own body for the term of six years, one half to go out at the end of three years. He would agree to divide Phees osstEdning 6000 inhabitants into wards instead of 6000, as enacted by the Lords. He altogether objected to the amendment ..kiclideprived the Council of the privilege of recommending hakes of the Peace to the Crown. With respect to the boundaries of towns, and their division into wards, he should agree to the amendment of the Peers, as he thought it only inconvenient, not seriously injurious ; and he would also make no objection to the substitution of the Revising Banisters in the place of the Commissioners to divide the boroughs into wards, but he should move that their decisions be subject to re- vision by the King in Council. He came next to the qualification ; and here he was most strongly opposed to the first amendment of the Lords, by which Councillors were to be chosen only from among the richest class— The first amendment made by them provided that no person should be qualified to be a member of the Town-Council unless his name was contained in a list comprehending one .sixth of the highest rate-payers of the borough. This was a provision which in effect pointed out the number of those who were the aristocracy of the town, and was most objectionable in this point of view, that it was in fact saying to the smaller rate-payer, " You shall be excluded from the Town-Council unless you belong to the aristocracy of the town." Now, he must say he thought that rather a strange proposition, coming as it did from an " heieditary tribune of the poor." ( Great cheering ahd laughter.) It was certainly somewhat extraordinary, that with his regard for the poor, such a rule should have been attempted to be laid down. However, since the bill was printed, a recommitment had been made ; and when the bill was again printed, he found it contained another qualification, to which be must fairly say the same objection did not apply : this wa3, that the possession of real or personal estate to the value of 1000/. In certain boroughs, and of 5001. in other boroughs, should be a sufficient qualification. Now, if this qualification was proposed in a manner likely to be agreeable to the inhlitants of the towns, lie was prepared to say that he would give it every fair consideration : but look- ing at it, he found it was introduced in a very particular manner. The Over- seers were to make out a list comprehending one-sixth of the rate-payers in the town, paying the highest rates, and the names of persons worth 1000/. or 500/. as the case might be; but those who claimed to be insetted in right of their property must make their claim upon the Overseer ; which claim might be ob- jected to, and would be decided upon by the Roising Barrister before the Mayor. This must lead to the greatest confusion. If the qualification had been made tu consist in being worth a freehold of 40s. a year, or of paying 50/. rent, that might be easily ascertained ; but if you said the posvs-ion of real or personal estate to the amount of 1000/. should qualify, and that that was liable to exa- mination and rejection before the Revising Barrister—when you applied that principle which was totally new, to persons engaged in trade, that examination became Odious, and invaded the security of credit so much, that the most dis- agreeable consequences must follow. A man might come before the Revising Barrister to defend his claim, and might be asked, "Pray, do you not owe Mrs. Thomas 150/, and have you not sold some of the property you had lately?" and then if a man said he would rather not come forward, as the list was pub- lished, he would be exposed to this kind of taunt, " So, Williams, I find you are not worth 5001." Lord John, then, objected not to a qualification some- thing of this nature, but to this mode of claiming it, which was both novel, and would in our country towns produce the greatest dissatisfaction. He did not see himself that it was not possible to niake an amendment which would in some degree ameliorate these evils ; and Ile could wish therefore that when the House came to the consideratien of the amendments, this amendment might be postponed, as he was anxious to reserve the question how and in what manner the qualification was to be applied. He hoped, therefore, that all those gentle- men who were not disposed to reject all qualification whatever would agree to this course.
With respect to the preservation of the rights of freemen, Lord John proposed to ogee to it ; with the exception of the freedom from toll, which he considered most injurious, and unfair. He also refused to deprive Dissenters of their share of the ecclesiastical patronage of Corporations. In conclusion, he said-
" I have been anxious in protesting against any course taken by the other House to guard the rights and dignity of this House; but I think that no loss of dignity or character will ensue to us, if we are ready to discuss in a temperate tone, and retreating from some of our own professions, those amendments which have been made in the other House of Parliament. I think that if the present constitution of this country—the constitution of tha Three Estates—is to con- tinue, it is only in this manner that we can hope to see great legislative improve- ments effected. I have been of opinion, that before the Reform Bill, and since the Reform Bill, great reforms were necessary, and that there were great and notorious abuses which required to be corrected. But, Sir, it is my wish, and I believe it is the wish of the great majority of the Members of this House, and of the People of this country, that these reforms should be carried into effect in a spirit of peace ; not disturbing the occupations and not interfering with the industry of the People on the one hand, and without, on the other, curtailing the constitutional powers bestowed on either branch of the Legislature. I have seen nothing, notwithstanding the angry discussions which have occurred rela- tive to this measure, and with respect to some of the amendments which have been made in it, to induce me to give up the great and consoling hope that Re- form can be effected in this manner. But if it should not be so effected—if I be disappointed in this hope—it will never be a source of regret to me as the friend of reform and the advocate of improvement, that I have not insisted on any ex- treme right, and that I wished to carry these improvements into effect on terms of conciliation, and in the sincere desire that the Constitution of this country may be preserved and perpetuated." Sir ROBERT PEEL expressed his willingness to aid in a satisfactory adjustment of the differences between the two Houses. He highly ap- proved of the tone of a great part of Lord John Russell's speech ; but thought that he had alluded in a manner scarcely justifiable to the pro- ceedings of the House of Peers in regard to the hearing of counsel and examination of witnesses,— especially when he knew that Lord Brougham bad concurred in the hearing of counsel, and actually selected the gentlemen who defended the Corporations at the bar. As to the language of counsel, it should be remembered that it was extremely diffi- cult to restrain them, and intentional disrespect was not to be inferred because they were allowed to make use of certain offensive expressions. With regard to the alterations in the bill, he would entreat the House to recollect, that they did not affect the two great principles of the bill—popular control over the Councils, and annual election. He enforced the wisdom of mutual concession. For his own part, he admitted that there were some amendments of the Peers to which he could not agree. He did not hesitate to say, that he did not consider the introduction of Alder- men for life an improvement to the bill. (Much cheering from both sides.) i He felt bound further to say, that if that proposal were made n the House, strong as his objections were to many parts of the bill, he did not think he could have inpportiWi such an amendment. He did believe that the selection of a certain rumbir of existing Aldermen, to be elected by the existing Councillors (exist- ing at least in some cases), and constituting them by law a part of the new Council, to the amount of one-fourth, would Imply a distrust, without conveying • any security ; and it appeared to him, that it would place those Aldermen IV
selected for lire in a permanent minority, and would countervail those advan- tages of character and station which would secure their return as members of the Council, if placed upon a footing with the rest of the community, but which, sander the proposed arrangement, would be more than counterbalanced, and rendered completely nugatory by the fact that these Aldermen were forced into the corporate body without the consent of the community whose affairs they were there to manage. It seemed to him also that the placing for life those Aldermen to be selected by the existing Cuuncils amongst the new bodies, was an act which was not in conformity with the general provisions of this measure. The noble lord did not propose to do away altogether with the amenduients made by the House of Lord& but intended that a certain number of the Council should
be elected for six years ; an alteration which, as it coincided with the principle ef the present amendment, was, in his opinion, one which the House of Lords ought to agree to. He would not agree todispossess the Town-Clerks; especially when he remembered that they were retained under the Scotch Bill, and that it would be a considerable expense to pay compensation to the displaced Town. Clerks, and salaries to those who succeeded them. He approved of the amendment by which the right of selecting Justices was taken from the Town- Council ; and would not object to the decisions of the Revising Barristers being subjected to the revision of the King in Council. He agreed with Lord John Russell as to the qualification clause and proposed that a declaration of the value of a man's pro- perty should be taken' instead of an inquisition into it, which would not be submitted to. He spoke indistinctly with respect to freemen's rights ; but was decidedly in favour of the amendment which took eccle- siastical patronage from Dissenting members of Corporations— While he consented to the adoption of the principle that no distinction in point of religion should he made where any secular office was in question, or where civil rights, or rights of trading, or any thing in the nature of civil em- ployment or emolument were concerned, yet when the qualifications of the mi- nisters of the Church of England is the matter to be determined, if the right Waif to continue in Corporations, it was only proper and just to reserve It to the members of the Church of England who belonged to that body. ( Oppo- sition cheers.) And he could not, for the life of him, see the slightest reflec- tion on the Dissenters in disqualifying them for deciding on the capabilities of a minister of the Established Church. (Renewed cheers.) A cry of want of toleration was raised against this pi inciple ; but really there ought to be tole- ration towards the Church of England as much as to the Dissenters ( Cheers again.) He could not help expressing, that it was his belief that this tolera- tion was unilateral; and he ventured to say, that if certain chapels belonging to Presbyterians, Unitarians, or Independents, were endowed in this country, and that it was proposed that the choice of their ministers should be vested in him, it would be denounced as a proposition of the grossest intolerance ; and it would be most justly and fairly charged against him' that he had no right what- ever to appoint ministers of whose qualifications he could not possibly be a competent judge ( Continued cheer-tog.) He concluded by urging the House to come to a settlement of this great question— He believed it to be the prevailing and unanimous wish of the country, so wearied by political discussions and dissensions, that this measure should become law. They might depend upon it, that in supporting another branch of the Legislature in its independent character, they would best preserve their own character and dignity. 'Fhe points on which they were at variance were com- paratively iinmaterial : the great principles of popular control and annual elec- tron were approved of by both branches of the Legislature. After the bill had been sent down by the House of Lords, if this question were not now settled it must be settled in the course of the next year ; and in his conscience he believed that the measure would prove the more satisfactory to the inhabitants of the whole kingdom if it were asserted now, and thus prevent that excitement and those party differences in every town in which it was intended that a new municipal body should be established. There was an additional reason for the settlement of this question. There were many clauses in the bill which, perhaps unueces- eerily introduced, led many of the existing corporate bodies to believe that a serious encroachment on their rights would be attempted ; and the consequence was, that an opinion prevailed—which he considered to be one of great injustice to these bodies—that thiry.would oppose any aggression upon their rights and privileges. This implesincm, though he had no doubt unfortunate, was an additional reason why this settlement should be made. Under these circum- stances, his first wish on that occasion was, that they should uphold the perfect independence of the House of Lords, with the same zeal as they would defend and protect their own privileges; his second desire was, that he might be some- what Instrumental in promoting an amicable settlement of this question ; and if this were realized—if he should effect that object—he should certainly not regret his presence at their deliberations that night. (Loud and prolonged cheering.) Mr. HUME said, he was one of those who had been extremely anxious to reject the bill without discussion ; as it appeared to him to have been mutilated from a sheer desire to set at defiance the wishes of the country-- Perhaps, however, the course taken by his Majesty's Ministers was the best. They were desirous ;trove all things to give an efficient control over the property in the hands of corporators; and he should be as much disposed as any man to consent to the amendments, provided they did not interfere with the principle laid down towards reform. Many of the amendments the noble lord had stated his determination not to agree to; in which if be succeeded, the effect would be considerably to restore the bill to what it was, though not to the full extent. There was one of the amendments, however, which he thought the House of Commons could not pass, and that was in reference to the qualification • and if any speech could more effectually aboveground against retaining the qualification clause, it was the speech of Lord John Russell himself. It would have the un- doubted effect of making part of the citizens marked men. There had already been an example of how this clause would work : he believed there was not an elector in the county of Itliddlesex, of known Liberal principles, who had not been served with a notice that they will be required at the next election to prove their qualification. If there was one principle that originally more cordially recommended this bill to the feelings of the People than another, it was the entire removal of all qualification. In ancient times and by the charters which created the corporations, no qualification was required ; and why should the Peers now be allowed in this respect to violate the ancient institutions? It would be a disgrace to the House of Commons to allow the best principle of this bill to be thus destroyed by the Lords; and he would entreat his Majesty's Ministers not to allow the qualification clause to remain. The People of England would never rest satisfied till they bad the full complement of reform which the bill originally intended they should have. If the bill was made complete, then it would allay the irritation and excitement that now prevailed, and give satisfaction. He would ask what qualification the members of the House of Lords had ? Was it a property qualification? If there was no qualification required of them, why should they throw an obstacle in the way of others on account of a property qualification ? If the Peers went on unreasonably, as they had done, they would raise unreasonable wishes on the part of the People. If they opposed every act of important and requisite reform, and did not, endeavour to secure the peace of the country, how could Sir Robert Peel expect tranquillity ? Was it to be ex- pected that the members of that House should sit down contented and have all
their great measures of reform thrown out by the Lords ; and that they should
reform their own House, and not ere long set about reforming the other House of Parliament ? The essence of reform was responsibility ; and he would ask again, was the House of Commons to reform itself and leave the House of Lords unreformed? If the bill were to pass, mangled and mutilated as it was at pre- sent, it would be the means of raising a cry for a much more extensive reform than ever this bill had contemplated. The other House of Parliament ought to take a warning from the signs of the times, and not refuse the redresses that were required. He trusted the noble lord would reject the qualification clause; and as to talking of toleration, that word ought to be excluded from the language of that House ; they wanted no toleration, but equal rights. With the conces- sions that would yet be made, he believed the bill on the whole would be one likely to give considerable satisfaction. Mr. GROTE was of opinion that Ministers had conceded more than there was any necessity for ; and he did not think that the tone of Lord John Russell's speech was calculated to give satisfaction.
Whatever be migLc think of the House of Lords, they had certainly set an example which the House of Commons in this instance ought to follow. If there was in this or in any country two assemblies differing on a question of this great importance, it was not, in his opinion, becoming the dignity of the one House to yield or to abandon important prhiciples in order to bring about a reconciliation and harmony of both Houses. In yielding so much as they had done, for the purpose of conciliating the House of Lords, they had not in his opinion consulted either the tone of public feeling or the dignity of that House. lie did not mean to insinuate any thing against the independent authority of that assembly ; but when the wishes and inclinations of the People of England upon this question had been so backed by the deliberate judgment of their Re- presentatives, there should be no power in the State to stand against them ; and permanently, he believed, there never could. Lord John Russell also, as seemed to him, had not, in introducing the concessions, treated them as being made under protest,—nay, on oneoccasion he seemed to vindicate them as absolute improvements in the bill: he alluded particularly to the arguments which be made use of with respect to the one-third chosen for six years by the remainder of the Council.
He strongly disapproved of dividing towns with so small a popula- tion as 9000 into wards : it would render the Councils in many places mere instruments in the hands of a very small portion of the com- munity.
With respect to qualification, he shared all the feelings of Mr. Hume, and he was quite persuaded, that taken as it was, not as a concession made singly and alone, but in conjunction with others, which materially impaired the pi ineiple of .general public control over the Municipal Councils, it would be signally and universally unpopular. In particular it would be so in the city of Loodon, where up to the present moment no such thing as qualification in the election of Common-Councilmen had ever been recognized. If the principle of quali- fication was to be admitted at all, they ought to have a varying qualification, according to the size, population and other circumstances of the borough. He should very much regret being Obliged to oppose a Ministry for whom be per- sonally entertained a very high respect, and one of whose warmest supporters he considered it his pride to have been ; but it was impossible fur him to allow the concession with respect to qualification to pass without recording his opinion against it. He was as anxious as Lord John Russell could be that this bill should pass, and that, if possible, speedily ; but he was also anxious that it should pass sound, whole, and entire. Compared with that, the delay of a year was nothing. To that delay, if necessary, he would much rather at once accede, than consent to barter away, for the purpose of obtaining temporary concessions from the other House, any of those important principles which could alone render the bill useful when it did become law. He was far from being certain that, even after the concessions they had made, the other House would be inclined to give way upon those other amendments in the bill to which so much objection was felt : and assuming that they did so stand out, he for one should see great reason to regret that the Commons did so far sink the dignity of the People and their Representatives as to submit to so large a degree of con- cession as that which had been now proposed.
Mr. EWART spoke in the same strain ; and urged Lord John Rus- sell at any rate to hold fast to those points on which he had insisted, and, in addition, to strike out the qualification clause.
Mr. ROEBUCK said, that the bill had been checked, impeded, mu- tilated, and insulted, by a body of men whose interests were wholly opposed to the People for whom it was intended ; while the People, in apparent quiet, suffered the insults and contumely of that sm ill body. Why should they, the real Representatives of the People, boar the Insults of a body which they bad the power to crush? But there was a point at which human forbearance should cease, and turn round on its oppressor ; and it appeared to him that that point had been nigh attained. If the case of which complaint was so justly made were an isolated one, it might be passed over in silence, and with compassion or sorrow ; but it was only one of a series of similar attacks on Reform. The Irish Church Bill, the Irish Constabulary Bill, and other bills of the same nature—all of Reform, in fact, which had been effected this session—had been served in the same manner. Was such a course to be permitted any longer ? Was there no other body in the state which required reformation ? Was there no other body which required excision by the knife of Reform? The question in reality was, whether the wishes of the People or the wishes of the Lords were to govern the country. As he stood up for the People alone—as he was an advocate of the unmet ex- tent of democracy—he wished for a speedy settlement of that question. What the People desired should be law ; and no good Government would ever set itself in opposition to their wishes. Mr. Grote had said that there should be no body in the state with power permanently to resist the desires of the People; but be would go further, for he should say that there ought to exist no body in the state with the power to resist them at all. It was universally supposed that there would be a collision between the two Houses, because the one re- presented the interests of the People, whilst the other represented its own in- terests, which were in direct opposition to those of the People. The Lords were now teaching the People what their different interests were. The Lords wished to obtain by a side-wind what they had lost by the Reform Bill. The interests of the Lords were totally incompatible with those of the People. Nothing had as yet been done for the interests of the country ; for every thing that had been done by the House of Commons had been nullified by the House of Lords. He could not agree with Lord John Russell in avoiding difficulties by concessions, for he was convinced that the concessions which the noble lord now proposed would only subject the country to undergo a similar conflict at a future period. The House would have a recurrence of a similar difficulty with respect to the Irish Church Bill. The Government ought to stir up the People as he had stirred them up. The Lords now possessed a domination over the People which would produce a revolution. The House of Peers was doing all in its power to produce a revolution. The Municipal Bill had been virtually thrown out by the Lords because it trenched upon their own interests. The People would not be satisfied or happy if they had not goodgovernment, and the concessions which Ministers Were about to snake to the Lords woe.
prevent the establishment of good government, sad destroy the happiness of the People.
Mr. Roan:sox condemned the violent and somewhat unbecoming tone of Mr. Roebuck's speech ; and approved generally of the course adopted by Lord John Russell, though he was opposed to any quali- fication.
Mr. WARBURTON also was adverse to a qualification-clause- There were included within numerous boroughs certain agricultural districts ; and the farmers paying the highest rates, but having no concern whatever in the municipal government, would be the only eligible class, to the exclusion of all traders, manufacturers, and other parties, who ought mainly to be elected. Sir S. WHALLEY spoke a few words in condemnation of the Lords' amendments.
Mr. O'CONNELL said that the collision between the two Houses had commenced— The discussions which had hitherto taken place had partaken of what was called constitutional dissension—the discussion in each House bad found a ter- mination in each House; but a rebound had now taken place, and that was what he called collision. It was manifest that something must occur to place the British Legislature in such a situation, that instead of going forward, or instead of being met by a series Of checks, it should be actually stopped. See what an immense quantity of most useful matter had been stopped in the other House during the present session. Take England : What had become of the Executors and Administrators Bill—a bill of the utmost importance, doing away with some of the grossest absurdities of the law ?—It was cushioned. What had become of the Execution of Wills Bill ?—Cushioned. What of the Prisoners' Counsel Bill ?—Cushioned. What of the Abolition of the Punish- ment of Death Bill?—Cushioned. What of the Imprisonment for Debt Bill ?— Thrown out—(" No, no ! ")-013, the same thing then—it was cushioned. Turn next to Ireland : What had become of the Irish Church Reform Bill— the first honest experiment to conciliate the People of Ireland by the Govern- ment of England? It was treated with indignity—wholesale indignity—twenty- five clauses annihilated at one breath—not even the common decency of taking clause by clause—they were struck out by the gross, and wholesale contumely was cast upon Ireland. What had become of the Irish Marriage Bill ? It was thrown out ; and what was the result? Why, that in every instance white illegal marriages had been effected the innocent child alone was left to be punished. By the law as it stood, the parents were not only held free from guilt, but were even allowed to indulge in licentiousness—the parson was free from punishment—nobody suffered but the helpless child. What had become of the Irish"Constabulary Bill ?—Thrown out, on the most frivolous reason ever heard of-la reason so ridiculous as to be unworthy of even the meanest association of legislators. What had become of the Dublin Police Bill?—He supposed it was at that moment going through the same process as the others he had mentioned. What had become of the Irish Registry of Voters Bill?—He believed he need not boast much of the spirit of prophecy to foretell what would become of that bill. In short, as regarded England, the other House had evinced a determination to stop every thing that was useful ; and as to Ireland, they treated every thing of conciliation or justice with con- tumely and contempt. He repeated, the collision had begun. What then was the first duty of the House of Commons ? It was to be in the right--that was the only magic in policy. Lord John Russell did not feel himself perfectly in the right in making his con- cess:ons ; but next to being in the right yourself, the other great policy was to put your adversary in the wrong.
What would take place after the concessions proposed by the noble lord ? If the Lords should hold out after these concessions, was there any one in the - _
British Wadi; noi say iiia ile Lords were perfectly wrong ? If, after all, the Lords should refuse the bill, then indeed would begin the collision ; and the House of Commons ought to begin it by being as right as it could— wrong only when it conceded too much—and making its enemies perfectly, entirely, and excuselessly wrong. 'Well, would the Lords take the bill as it was sent back to them ? If they threw it out, then they meant a collision ; and were determined to try whether, by another fashion, they could not recover all that was taken from them by the Reform Bill. Every body knew that the Lords were dictatorial until the passing of the Reform Bill—Norwich, Har- wich, Ipswich, and many places of the like kind, enabled them to have a majo- rity in the Commons, and the nominees of the Lords really legislated for the country. The Reform Bill had changed that state of things, and had made the House of Commons an independent body. It remained to be seen whether the Lords appreciated the new character of the Commons. Thia would he proved by the fact of their refusal or acceptance of the bill when it was brought back to them. Then came the question for the Commons—" Is the bill worth taking with all these concessions?" He was decidedly of opinion that it was ; and he would explain why. In the first place it swept away all the old leaven of the old Corporations. He thought somebody had called this the tag-rag and bobtail. The tag-rag and bobtail it would sweep away. Every self-appointed,
self-elected body, would be swept aw i
ay. It would not cure, but t would cleanse the sore, and take out the gangrene for ever. The Aldermen for life the jobbing Town-Clerks—these it would aboiish. It would make a perfectly clear stage. It would get rid of all the old causes of abuse. He maintained, therefore, that if they should succeed by these concessions, they would be gaining one great and essential advantage. Any step towards poputarity was an improvement. The bill, as it stood, gave them universality of constituency as far as the rate-payers went.
Mr. O'Connell then went on to characterize several of the changes
made by the Lords, and their general conduct in regard to the bill, in very sarcastic language. He especially ridiculed and exposed their hypocritical pretensions to be deemed the friends of the poor! He dis- tinctly declared, that he disapproved most strongly of all that the Lords had done. Still he would agree to the concessions, for the sake of getting what would be left of the bill; and that the friends of abuses might have no excuse at all for rejecting it. The Member for Worcester had blamed the Member for Bath for using lan- guage of an extreme description. If what the Member for Bath had said was not founded in fact, it was vain as air ; but if it was founded in truth—if it was justified by the conduct of the Lords—if his speech was one of reason and not of declamation—then the Member for Worcester might call it mere declamation, if he pleased : but did he think that by his calling it declamation, the words of the Member for Bath would be less appreciated by the People ; or that the facts that they unfolded would not give to his words wings of fleetness, and Weapons not to be resisted ? (Loud cheers.) He put it to Mr. Robinson did be doubt the truth of the observations of the Member for Bath? Let him look at the proceedings of the Lords--let him look at the paltry ribaldry poured out upon them at the bar of that House. He had been told, forsooth, that they were not to restrain counsel in their observations, lest they should impair the freedom of speech. But were not appeals made before the House of Lords every day from the Exchequer Chamber, and from the King's Bench; and did ever any counsel OT judge at the bar of the Lords get up and Mail the King's Bench, or impute motives to the judges of that Court? Did they ever hear those judges accused of villany, of robbery, of peculation, of plunder, of the violation of every corporate right, and of the spoliation of every charter ; in short, of crimes so numerously strung together that he should not have been able to remember them if he had heard them, nor could he by any ingenuity have coined and linked such extraordinary phrases together? But all this had happened before the House of Lords. It never happened but once ; and that once was when the House of Comtnons was assailed for passing this bill of amelioration, to the principle of which every man of every party in the House had assented. He was therefore right when he affirmed, that the collision had at length come : we had only now to manage it properly. " Let us take care to put our enemies in the wrong. Let us concede every thing that it was possible to concede. Nay let us even go further than what might be strictly deemed right ; but when we have done that, let us appeal to the good sense of the British nation. ( Cheers from the Oppoyition, echoed Lack by the Minis. serial benches.) Yes—to the good sense of the British nation. (Renewed cheering from both sides of the House.) And would they be a sensible nation, if they consented that two or three hundred individuals, I care not who they may be, should have the absolute power, at their will and pleasure, or for their caprice, or at the suggestion of their good or bad passions, to control a nation of twenty-four millions? Is such a nation to be checked, controlled, and governed by two hundred individuals? ( Tremendous cheering.) I say again, therefore, let us appeal to the good sense of the People of England. They well understand when their Representatives deserve their support. Let us likewise, and I trust always, appeal, in all affection and confidence, to the Monarch who reigns over us—( Great cheering)—to whom, having the great honour of sanctioning the first step of reform, it will be the pride and glory of his reign to consummate that work in a peaceable, quiet, and constitutional manner, by rendering perfect the arrangements of the constitution of this country, and giving to the public voice, in all the ramifications of that constitution, such power as shall prevent the possibility of an unjust and selfish Oligarchy having any longer a control over the unanimous feelings and opinions of the People."
Mr. GLADSTONE denied that Mr. Roebuck or Mr. O'Connell spoke the sentiments of "the People" of England— The Member for Bath had talked about the People of England ; and the Member for Dublin had told them that it was monstrous that two hundred persons should control the opinions of twenty -four millions But he would venture to ask them, whether it was to be borne that the People of England, who sent a majority of their Representatives who held opinions directly the reverse of those just expressed, were to he slandered and maligned by those gentlemen ? ( Oppositiim cheers.) It was in vain to tell the People of Eng- land that they had got a Reforming Government, who were 4 ntitled to the support of a Reformed Parliament. The People of England knetv what a Re- forming Government was well enough. They knew the zeal whieh that Go- vernment had expressed to serve them ; but they knew also that this pretended zeal had not effected any thing for them. (64 Oh, oh !" and Opposition cheers.) Every measute of substantial and practical reform, which would by this time have been the law of the land, if Sir Robert Peel had continued in office, had been prevented ; while the Reforming Government had originated no bills, except those which they well knew at the time they hail not the power to carry. Was it meant to be said that the other House of Parliament was to have no control over the measures of the Legislature? If this monstrous doctrine was to be asserted, let it now be openly avowed. Let honourable gentlemen hasten on a collision. Ile was not afraid of it. The People of England would have no great difficulty in determining the relative merits of those who held such language, and of the men of rank, property, and intelligence of the country. (Opposition cheers, and ironical cheers from the Ministerial side.) Mr. CHARLES BULLER could not understand this Exceeding delicacy about speaking of the House of Peers— Three or four years ago, the Home of Lords spoke of the House of.Comm.ons_ in no measured terms. But God forbid that any one suoura thins of upserr.ing the House of Lords. All that he wished to do, was to call the attention of the House to a subject which had already engaged the attention of the People—he meant the necessity of a Reform of the House of Lords. (Loud cheering.) It was well to consider whether it was possible that an Unreformed House of Lords could go on with a Reformed House of Commons; whether it was pos- sible, after having done away with the irresponsibility of this House, they could go on with an irresponsible House of Lords, tempered as it was with very little respect for this House? A collision had taken place. It was not a collision of a moment; it was a perpetual collision between two irreconcileable branches of time Government; and it became wise and constitutional men to set themselves about devising a wise, moderate, and constitutional remedy of a permanent nature for an otherwise permanent evil. With regard to the amendments, it was said that they Lid left the principle of the bill intact. They had done so in words, but they bad violated the principle in fact. The whole of the amend- ments were hostile to the principle of the bill. The House, therefore, could not doubt the animus with which the amendments were made; our would the House be taken in by the paltry and odious pretext that they were made from a feeling of sympathy towards the poor ; a pretext which he never heard set up but he was sure the man who used it did so for the purpose of making these poor the degraded instruments of the corrupt designs of the rich. ( Great cheering.) Though he was per fectly convinced of the utter impossibility of working with the House of Lords, still he agreed with Mr. O'Connell that it was their duty, considering the important interests confided to them, to proceed as peaceably and temperately as possible; and never put themselves in the wrong, but put their opponents in the wrong in the eyes of' the country. He would therefore abandon his own opinions, and adopt the concessions of Lord John Russell; but he did so from a paramount necessity, and not because he did not entertain very strong objections to many of those concessions.
Mr. T. A rrwoon strongly condemned the conciliatory policy adopted by Ministers ; which he predicted would end in their downfal. If Lord John Russell would send back the bill to the Lords as it was originally sent from the Commons, he would gratefully support him.
The consideration of the amendments was then proceeded with. Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved to leave out the words" Aldermen for life," in clause E.
Mr. SCARLETT, Mr. CHARLTON, and Mr. LAW, opposed the mo- tion ; though Mr. LAW said, that after Sir Robert Peel's speech he was aware that his opposition was hopeless.
The motion was agreed to.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved that, in the clause relating to Town.. Councillors, words should be inserted to the effect that half of the Town-Councillors to be elected for six years should go out at the end of three years.
This was passed, after opposition by Mr. GROTE, Mr. HUME, and Dr. BALDWIN.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved to strike out the clause which provided for the preservation of the rights and titles of 4000 Aldermen ; winch was very absurd, as the bill only contemplated the existence of 110Q.
The clause was struck out, without discussion. The clause which prevents all teachers and preachers in places of worship from being Councillors was postponed.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved that the clause which provided for the continuance of Justices of the Peace for life should be restored to its original form, so that the Justices should go out of office on the let of May next.
This passed without opposition.
Another amendment was then carried, the object of which is to sub ject the decision of the Revising Banisters, relative to the divisions of boroughs into wards, to the revision of the Privy Council.
Mr. WARBURTON moved an omission of certain words in the clause, which empowered the Revising Barristers to apportion the number of Councillors to wards, on what he considered a wrong principle— Its the clause now stood, it would enact, that "in assigning the number of Town-Councillors, the Barrister or Barristers shall have regard to the number
of rated persons within the ward, and also to the aggregate amount of the rate paid." Now, he objected to this. It took away from the People the power, in fact, which it left to them in appearance. It went upon the principle which the King of Rome adopted when dividing the city into wards—" Ne quisquain in civitate privatus suffragio ease videretur, sed at apud primores potestas retna. neret." He thought the part of the clause he had read the most objectionable, and therefore would move that those words be omitted.
After a brief discussion, the consideration of the clause was post- poned, and the House adjourned.
On Tuesday, the discussion was continued.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, that as it would be necessary next session to pass a bill to fix the boundaries of boroughs, lie thought it best to allow the Revising Barristers to have the power of dividing the bo- roughs into wards, according to the clause passed by the Lords. " The clause was accordingly agreed to.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL then said, that he intended to move the omis- sion of the " Councillors' lists" from the qualification-clause. lie was disposed to take the qualification of 1000/. and 5001.
Sir ROBERT Peas. suggested, that it would be best to give an alter- native qualification—
He would propose, that in the first class of towns parties rated at 30/. a year, and in the second class of towns parties at la a year, should be eligible as
Town-Councillors. He ennui very well conceive the case ef a man of respecta- bility, of integrity, and consideration in one of those towns—a man possessing the confidence of his fellow townsmen—occupying premises of a certain value, and paying rates to a certain amount, and yet who might find it difficult to de- clare that he was worth 1000/.
Lord JOHN RUSSEI.I. was disposed to adopt this suggestion.
Mr. GROTE, Mr. ROFBUCK, and Mr. HARVEY, opposed the motion. Mr. GROTE said he would divide the House against the clause.
Lord Joins RUSSELL begged the House to remember, that he pro. posed these alterations solely with a view to secure the bill ; which, with all its glaring defects, would be a valuable measure—
He protested against its being considered that be thereby gave in his adhesion to the alterations made in the bill elsewhere. Ile should still consider himself at liberty, nay, be might feel it his duty, if by any chance the bill was not passed, to introduce the old bill in its perket integrity, lie totally denied that be had made any concession iu principle, or one that would be binding upon
him. rov..1 1 Mr. WARD hoped there would be no division on this clause— He felt that it woeld give no fair test of the real opinions of the House in a case like the present. No man was more sttongly opposed to qualification than himself, but he thought a division on the subject would lie impolitic. Though he thought the qualification-clause unjust, unwise, and wholly luoperative, as it would only affect the conscientious and scrupulous burgess, yet lie should op-
pose any division on it now ; bt cause his desire was, after making the bill as
perfect as circumstances would permit, to secure its passing into a law. A division' be would repeat, would in no respect give the real sense of the House.
They had already bad a division upon the same principle, and it was well known to the country that the new clause was none of theirs. Ile always with great regret differed with Mr. Grote ; but on this occasion, these amendments being taken both by the Ministry and that House under protest, and the concessions of Government being met in so conciliatory a spirit by the other side, the de.. bate had taken quite a different turn, and be would not like to see a division upon the point. The circumstances of the case had induced him not to give
expression to his opinions upon the practical difficulty which a Reformed House of Commons experienced in working with an Unreformed Hereditary House of Peers. Although he was satisfied that if that House had taken a
strong and decided course, they would have had the sense of the Country in their favour. Yet as the Members on the opposite side, bad, through Sir Robert Peel, whom they should always look up to as their legitimate leader, if
they consulted their own interests—(Ministerial cheers)—expressed their willingness to accept the concessions made by the Government in that House,
it put an end to all discussions upon that point. Ile disapproved of many of
the concessions which had been made; among others, the perpetuation of the rights of freemen, and the appointment of Aldermen for six years, which was
almost as bad as the present system; yet he was ready to pass over these objec-
tions, in order to show the spirit of conciliation that existed in the house, and that they did not wish to enforce their opinions without regard to those of
others. Nothing but considerations such as these should have induced him to assent to any amendment proceeding from that House which had thought proper to send down to them a clause so narrow-minded, so overbearing, so insolent, as that which constituted the Oligarchical Councillors' List—an oligarchy of the breeches' pocket, and not of probity, experience, or intelligence. To that por- tion of the " amendment " he should never consent.
Sir ROBERT PEEL wished it to be understood, that he spoke his own opinions only, and not those of the Members with whom he usually acted. His great wish was to effect an amicable arrangement.
Mr. BERNAL, Mr. BAINES, Mr. Sergeant WILDE, and Mr. O'Cosr- NELL, were all opposed to a qualification.
Mr. BERNAL thought the proposed rating too high, supposing the principle of qualification was yielded, 10/. was high enough.
Colonel Sonic:etre wished the House to divide on this point.
The present was a case of two dogs quarrelling about a bone. Now, those whom he should call the real constitutional blood-hounds of the country, the Lords- ( Immense laughter and cheers)—would-get, as they generally did, the picked and substantial part, while to the mongrel breed opposed to them would fall the less enviable relics. ( Great laughing.) Mr. LEADER said, that as Sir Robert Peel had resigned the important trust of leader of the Conservatives, he must salute Colonel Sibthorpe as chief of the " Constitutional Blood-hounds." He was utterly opposed to the qualification-clause- Suppose that there existed a law excluding from the office of Lord Chancel.. lor of England any man who was not possessed of a clear landed estate of 20,000/. a year—such a law would certainly be absurd, but not more absurd than this qualification-clause. Had such a law existed, a certain highly-distinguished individual must have been contented to remain a plain barrister—begetting none but plebeians—a Whig and something more than a Whig—instead of being, as he now is, a peusioned Ex. Chancellor of England, having the envi- able power of procreating Peers,—a Tory and something more than a Tory. ( Cheers.) He did not complain of that individual's high station : he raised himself, no doubt, as all lawyers in this country must raise themselves by his own merit and by his own exertions ; but he did complain that a qualification should be demanded of Town-Councillors, when no qualification is required of a Chancellor. Why, the property administered by the Lord Chancellor is surely of infinitely mere value and importance than that of which the Tone:- Councillors are to have the charge.
This preliminary conversation was then dropped.
On the motion of Lord JOHN RUSSELL, clause 25th was amended so as to exclude any " regular Minister," instead of " preacher or teacher" from the Council. Mr. Wises approved of this alteration.
Tile qualeicatiosaclause was then propreed by Lord JOHN RUSSELL, altered so as to make the sole qualification for Councillors the posses. sion of 1000/. in the first, and 500/. in the second class of towns. He would leave Sir Robert Peel to propose his own amendment.
Mr. GROTE said, that he had determined, when lie came down to the House, to divide against this clause ; but he had since been induced to alter his intention.
His object in taking the sense of the House on the question would have been to show the repugnance be felt to an amendment which would for ever exclude a man, whatever might be his other qualifications, merely because he did not possess a certain sum of money. The tone and temper of the debate on this occasion, and the concessions made, showed that the House of Lords, which formerly returned a majority of Members in this House, might even now, under the Reform Bill, legislate over the beads of the Commons, and invest the minority with a power over the majority ; for it was now admitted that the consent of Sir Robert Peel was necesssary to secure the assent ia another place to any amendment made by that house. He would have divided on this ground; but from what had transpired in the course of the discussion, he saw that a division such as must take place would not declare the real sense of the house, as it would seem to show that the qualification-clause was less unpopular than it really was in the House. But while lie thus gave way on this point, lie would reserve to himself the right of making any remark as to the extent to which in his opinion the qualification ought to go. Ile must say that be thought the amount named much too high. In the way in which the clause now stood, the declaration of a man that he was worth so much was held to be sufficient, but at the same time a power was given to him to render the principle nugatory, as it left the principle open to every kind of evasion. Mr. MARK PHILLIPS and Major BEAUCLERK protested against the clause.
Mr. HARVEY said, the real state of the case should be known—
It was well known that the stronghold of the House of Lords lay in this— that the majority in that House were supported by the largest minority which ever confederated together in the House of Conunons. This should go forth to the public, in or th der at they might know that if important measures, about which they were greatly anxious, were not carried ,it , t was not because that House had not the will, but because the People had not given them the power to carry rrrose_ot Ow People; and in proportion menu
as it did, their prayers would be attended to and their evils redressed. Let the People know this, and let them send to that House an overwhelming majority of those in whom they could confide, and they would have no cause to complain; they would have no concessions to make, of which they did not see the reason, beyond that of overruling necessity. He did hope, that before three years, the elective and the municipal frauchise would be coextensive, when the People would send to that House a stream of popular influence sufficiently strong to bear all the improvements which the public required. The SPEAKER put Lord John Russell's motion, coupled with Sir Robert Peel's alternative proposition, which makes rating at 301. or 15/., according to the size of the town, the qualification for a Councillor.
Mr. Rornircic moved that a rating of 101. should be a qualification in all towns.
After some discussion, the House divided on this motion—for it, 87; against it, 271; majority, 234.
Sir JOHN CAMPBELL then moved an amendment to the clause which renders the Mayor and Town-Councillors liable to a penalty for acting without a qualification. The object of the amendment was to do away with the necessity of " a continuous qualification," and to make those only liable to a penalty who falsely declared themselves worth the required sum at the time of the declaration.
This amendment was carried, by 167 to 53.
Mr. WYNN said, the qualification had been got rid of by a side-wind. Lord JOHN RUSSELL denied that he had any such intention. Mr. LAW proposed the addition of words which had the effect of requiring a continuous qualification. Lord JOHN RUSSELL agreed to take the words. Mr. Sergeant WILDE, Mr. WARBURTON, Mr. Jams, and Mr. ROBINSON, strongly objected to the alteration ; which would have the effect of rendering a tradesman's concerns liable to most galling in- quisition.
Finally, the consideration of the clause was postponed.
Clause 52d was amended so that the Town-Clerks should hold office during the .pleasure of the Town-Councils. Sir ROORT PEEL wished that an arrangement could have been made by which the Town-Clerks should be allowed to bold their offices on their present tenure : this would dispense with the necessity of giving them compensation. Some further discussion ensued ; and Sir ROBERT FEEL said, that rather than waste time by dividing, he would agree to Lord John Russell's amendment ; which was carried.
Clause M, the Lord's clause, provides that Dissenting members of Corporations should not share in the distribution of Church patronage.
Lord Joust RUSSELL moved that the House disagree to this amend- ment.
Mr. GOULBaN opposed the motion.
Mr. SPRING Rice suggested, that a clause might be introduced com- pelling the Councils to dispose of their Church patronage.
Mr. Turns, Mr. WILES, Sir JOHN CAMPBELL, Sir F. POLLOCK, and Mr. C. BARCLAY, approved of this suggestion.
Mr. POULTER suggested that the Crown should purchase these pre- ferments.
Sir ROBERT PEEL recommended delay for at least twenty-four hours, to consider of this recommendation— He would rather wish to avoid compelling, by law, either corporations or indi- viduals to sell property of that description. Whether, however, Mr. Rire's pro. position would be preferable to leaving the nomination to livings in the hands of Dissenters, was a question on which he was not prepaied at once to decide. Some of the corporations possessed very extensive Church patronage. The Corporations of Bristol and Norwich, to which he had before alluded, had, lie believed, no fewer than twenty.two livings in their gift. At so short a notice, be did not think the House ought to be called upon to deal with so considerable a property without doe consideration, Many points must he considered. Within what time were the Corporations expected to dispose of this property ? If they recognized that property as the property of the corporations, they certainly ought not to compel the proprietors to dispose of it under circumstauces which would not allow the proprietors to realize its value.
Mr. SPRING Rice agreed to postpone his clause till the next day.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved that the House disagree to the amend- ment which deprived the Councils of the power of recommending Justices of the Peace to the Crown.
Sir W. FOLLETT and Mr. GOULBURN opposed the motion ; which was supported by Mr. RICE, Mr. C. 13truert, and _Mr. STRUTT ; and carried by 164 to 69.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, he had an amendment to propose to the interpretation-clause- It had originally stood in the bill sent up from this House one of its earliest clauses, but the other House had changed its place, and fixed it the last in the amended bill, retaining in it the words "hereinafter to be proved to he done." (A laugh.) Now, as the bill contained no subsequent provisious of " thiogs hereinafter provided to be done," he should move to insert the word "herein- before" for "hereinafter." (Loud laughter.)
The further consideration of the bill was then postponed to Wed- nesday.
On Wednesday the discussion was continued.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL moved to amend clause A in the Lords' bill, so as to do away with the freemen's exemption from toll.
This was carried.
The next clause of importance was the 47th, or qualification-clause; which again came under discussion. Lord JOHN RUSSELL said— The question involved was, whether the qualification of the members of the Council should be a continuing qualification, or whether the person who had qualified, having given a bona fide qualification at the time of qualifying, should not afterwards be considered to have qualified according to the provisions of the act. He would state the question as fairly as he could. He admitted there were considerable difficulties either way. If the qualification was to be a continuing qualification, considerable inconvenience and annoyance might result from the circumstance of a person duly qualified when he entered upon his office, being subjected from casual losses in trade to come forward and declare that he had become disqualified. But at the same time he thought, that the House having agreed to a qualification, and the other House of Parliament having attached much importance to this point, and having endeavoured to make that qualifica- tion as perfect as possible, the House would be going backwards if they only made such a qualification necessary as might last for five minutes. With the view, therefore, to carry the principle of qualification into effect, he would propose an amendment, which would be followed up by another amendment, which the Solicitor-General, meant to propose on the subject of actions for costs, which would be necessary in order to guard persons from being vexed and harassed by parties under the influence of political or private motives. He proposed, there- tore, to add, as an amendment on the former part of the clause, after the words of qualification, "without being duly qualified at the time of making that de- claration," these words, "or during his continuance in office."
Mr. ROBINSON felt an insuperable objection to this clause, and would divide the House upon it— If a person became obnoxious to a political party, they might sue him with a 'pint purse, and a tradesman's reputation might thus be materially injured. The consequence would inevitably be, that timid and conscientious persons would not qualify at all.
Sir R. M. ROLFE (Solicitor-General) proposed to add a proviso to the clause, to the effect That it should be competent to any party against whom a prosecution should be instituted, to apply for a judge's order, to be obtained within fourteen days after the issuing of process, calling on the plaintiff to give security for the pay- ment of costs in such action ; and that, in default of such security being given, all further proceedings should be stayed, and the defendant in such cases should recover his full costs as between attorney and client.
Mr. WARBURTON proposed to limit the persons by whom actions might be brought--
At present any party might prosecute ; but why not limit the class of per- sons by whom actions might be brought? Why not confine the right of bring- ing these actions to the Attorney-General, or the Clerk of the Peace of the county, who would have no political bias? The Attorney-General could not be suspected of any improper bias—(A laugh)—but at present any qui tam at- torney, any common informer, might bring this action. Let the time also of bringing this action be limited.
Mr. Segeant WILDE was opposed to a continuous qualification : it would commit an injury on individuals which the House could not in- tend— He thought it better that the House should only require a qualification at the time of election, but at the same time that it ought to be, when the qualification was pecuniary, a real, and not a colourable, qualification. The party ought not to retire from the Council in consequence of any subsequent losses. If an ac- tion on these grounds were allowed to be brought, when it came to trial the tradesman would have to lay open his concerns ; he would have to call his servants, and to refer to his books; and this would be a most inconvenient, an- noying, and perhaps distressing exposure of his affairs. He thought it desirable also te limit the penalties much within what they were.
Mr. WARD said, that however the clause might be modified, its Operation would be so odious that it must soon be repealed.
Mr. LEMMA= said, that a new principle was introduced by the 'clause—.
What would be thought of calling upon Members of that House to make out
a qualification after having once proved it ? He had a proposition to make, that that part of the clause should be struck out which gave half the penalty ter the informer.
Sir ROBERT PEEL considered that as Lord John Russell bad con-. ceded the point of qualification, he was bound to make that qualifica- tion real. The inconveniences of requiring a qualification were greatly exaggerated— The proviso was inserted in a great many local acts, and no advantage was taken of it. The chance of retaliation would, in his opinion, practically con- trol vexatious proceedings in the first instance. Besides, this objection of vex- atious proceedings being likely to be instituted, would only apply to those cases where the qualification was on account of property, and not on account of rating, and this would narrow the sphere of inconvenience considerably.
After some further discussion, which elicited nothing new on the subject, the House divided : for the amended clause, l53; against, it, .56.
Sir R. M. ROLFE then moved another amendment to the same clause— That it should be lawful for a party against whom an action might be brought, upon obtaining a judge's order to serve the plaintiff with a notice requiring hini to give, within a limited time, security for costs in case he should fail in his proceediugs, and that the proceedings should be stayed till such security was given and approved of; also providing that no such action shall be brought except by a burgessof the bbrough, and only in case he shall give notice withia fourteen days after the ground of action accrued of his intention to bring suck action.
This amendment was agreed to.
The clause disqualifying Dissenters from sharing in the disposal of Church patronage was then taken into consideration.
Mr. SPRING RICE moved to amend it, in such a way as to compel the Town-Councils to sell their Ecclesiastical patronage, and invest the produce of the sale in Public Securities, for the benefit of the borough fund—the sales to be effected under the direction of the Ec. clesiastical Commissioners.
Sir W. FOLLETT proposed that the Bishop of the diocese shod& have the disposal of any patronage which accrued to the Councils between the time when the bill came into operation and the sale of the right of presentation.
Sir ROBERT PEEL acceded to these propositions ; and the claus4. as amended, was agreed to. The schedules were then proceeded with.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL thus explained the course he intended to propose— The scale originally adopted by the Commons commenced with towns having a population of 12,000; the commencement of their Lordships' scale was 6,000. He proposed that towns having a population of less than 9,000 should not be divided into wards ; and that towns of from 9,000 to 14,1/00 inhabitants should have two wards' six Aldermen, and 18 Councillors ; from 14,000 to 18,000, three wards, six Aldermen, 18 Councillors; from 18,000 to 24,000 four wards, eight Aldermen, 24 Councillors ; from 24,000 to 36,000, five wards, ten Alder- men, and :30 Councillors; from :36,000 to 48,000, six wards, 12 Aldermen' and 45 Councillors With respect to Liverpool and Bristol, be was understood Us adhere to the amendments of their Lordships.
This was agreed to.
On the motion of Lord Jolix RUSSELL, Alnwick, Llanelly, and Yeovil, which had been struck out of the bill by the Lords, were restored to it.
Lord Joinq RUSSELL then moved the appointment of a Committee of Conference with the Peers on these amendments ; which was car. red, and the Committee named.
Here the discussion was closed.
On Thursday, Lord JOIIN RUSSELL brought up the report of the Committee. A few of the reasons (which were very numerous) for disagreeing with the Lords' amendments were read ; and then Lord John moved that a conference with the Lords be desired. This being agreed to, most of the Members in the House accompanied Lord John. Russell to the bar of the House of Lords, and desired the conference.. The question was put by Lord Denman to their Lordships, and agreed to ; the Committee-room No. 5 being named for the place of meeting: The decision was communicated to the Members of the Commons at the bar, who then returned to their own,House ; and managers were ap- pointed to conduct the conference on behalf of the Comtnons. Soma afterwards, the managers proceeded to the conference-room, and re- turned in a quarter of an hour ; when Lord John Russell stated that they had delivered a list of reasons to the managers appointed by the Peers, and that they had left the bill with the Peers. After the Members of the House of Commons had left the bar of the House of Lords, Lord MELBOURNE asked the Duke of Wellington and Lord Lyndhurst, if they would attend the con- ference; which they both declined doing. Lord HOLLAND said, it was unusual for those who had moved the amendments to decline at- tending a conference where the reasons for those amendments were to be discussed. Lord Bnouettam said that Lord Lyndhurst had only requested that he might not be named ; which was very different front refusing to attend after having been named. Lord LYNDHURST thanked Lord Brougham for the clear explanation he had given on his behalf. (A laugh.) The Usher of the Black Rod announced that the managers for the Commons were ready for the conference. The following Peers were then appointed on behalf of the Lords, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Duke of Richmond, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Auckland, Bishop of Bristol, Lord Melbourne, and Lord Rather. ton. Their Lordships withdrew, and in about a quarter of an hour returned ; when, on the motion of Lord LAtesnowNE, the reasons and amendments of the Commons were read by the Clerk. Lord LANSDOWNE then moved that the reasons be printed, and taken taken into consideration next day. This was agreed to. Last night, Lord MELBOURNE called the attention of their Lord- ships to the amendments of the Commons. He stated the substance of the alterations, and enforced the necessity of agreeing to them; dwelling much on the spirit of conciliation manifested by the othet House.
Lord LYNDHURST reminded the Peers of the objections he bad made to many of the clauses • in the bill, and that he had been vehemently attacked for proposing to amend them. Yet it now appeared, that the Boum of Commons had thought it right to adopt several of the most important alterations which had been carried on his suggestion. He then proceeded to notice some of the principal amendments of the Commons on their Lordships' amendments. He regretted that the qualification-clause had been altered, as the number of persons quails lied to act as Town. Councillors would be greatly narrowed by the alteration— He had taken great pains to make inquiry into this subject. He had obtained re. tarns for the purpose of allowing the average amount at which persons wonld be rated who should have been admitted into the Council under the qualitication.clause, as it left their Lordships' floes° ; and he had ascertained that it would have been 171. a year. The other House had. however, adopted a different qualification. by which a large portion would be excluded. Ile thought he was safe in saying, that one half of those mho were admitted should be rated at 301. a year. The consequence was. that the alteration made in the other House excluded all between 17/. and 301. So that if he had drawn the line withiu which the choice was to be made too tight, the House of Commons had drawn the line still tighter.
He rejoiced to find that no objection whatever had been made to the expunging of the clause which gave the power of licensing public- houses to the Town- Councils. He also congratulated their Lordships, that on several other important points their amendments had been adopted by the Commons. With respect to the election of Aldermen
for six years instead of for life, he much regretted the course taken by the Commons ; for he felt that the amendment of their Lordships was the most important in the whole bill. However, as he found that several noble lords, who had agreed with him in opinion on this bead, were unwilling to abide by their first resolution, after Sir Robert Peel —a gentleman in whom they placed much confidence, both as to his judgment and experience—declared his opposition to the preservation of the Aldermen, be would not insist on retaining his amendment. With respect to the nomination of Justices of the Peace by the Councils, and the dismissal of the Town-Clerks, he never would agree to either. He concluded by denying the truth of the reports that he had been acting with ambitious views in regard to this bill. He had been solicited to undertake its management, and had acted to the best of his ability. As to ambition, his had been amply satisfied.
Lord BROUGHAM defended the amendments of the Commons, with the exception of the alteration in the qualification.clause ; which, he agreed with Lord Lyndhurst, lessened the number of eligible persons: he also strongly objected to the continuous qualification. tie hoped that the Town-Clerks would not be retained in defiance of the Councils ; and maintained that it was no infringement of the Crown's prerogative, for the Councils, a responsible body, to do what Lords- Lieutenant constantly did,—namely, nominate Justices of the Peace for appointment by the Crown. He next alluded to the conduct of Lord Lyndhurst, and ridiculed the idea of his being actuated by motives of personal ambition. He then at great length vindicated himself against a similar charge; declared that his ambition also had been satisfied ; that he had no wish to become Prime Minister; that he had had no share in the nomination of the Governor- General of India; and that he was satisfied with the approbation of his own conscience, and so forth.
The Duke of WELLINGTON spoke much in the same strain as Lord Lyndhurst; and said that he had solicited Lord Lyndhurst to undertake the management of the bill.
After a few words from Lord RIPON, their Lordships proceeded to consider the amendments.
A debate ensued on the clause which empowers the Councils to no- minate Justices of the Peace ; and the amendment of the Commons was struck out, by a majority of 144 to 82.
Lord ELLENnoRouGH moved that Barnstaple be divided into wards : his object was, that every town of 6000 inhabitants included in the bill should be divided into wards.
Lord MELBOURNE strongly objected to the motion; but it MILS car- ried, by 79 to 33.
The town of Alnwick was again struck out of the bill, at the in- stance of the Duke of NORTHUDIBERLAND, who said that lie owned fifteen-sixteenths of that town.
Yeovil was also again struck out.
Lord DEVON moved that the House should disagree to the Com- mons' amendment by which the Town. Clerks were to vacate their offices on the 9th of November next.
Lord MELBOURNE, Lord LANSDOWNE, the Duke of RICHMOND, and Lord CANTERBURY, opposed the amendment ; it was supported by the Marquis of SALISBURY; but ultimately withdrawn, on the understand- ing that the present Town-Clerks were to be fully compensated for the loss of their offices.
The Peers then adjourned to four o'clock this day.
2. IRISH CHURCH REFORM.
Lord LYNDHURST, on Thursday, presented a petition on the subject of the Irish Church ; and took the opportunity of asserting that Mi- nisters were responsible for all the consequences which might arise from the loss of the measure; as, if they used their influence in the House of Commons, they could procure the passage of the bill, not- withstanding the Appropriation clauses had been struck out of it.
Lord MELBOURNE utterly denied that Ministers were responsible for the consequences which might ensue from the loss of the bill—
No man in that House, no set of men in the country, were more earnestly anxious than Ministers to see that great question settled. They well knew the difficulties which stood in the way of an arrangement, and they proposed the only course which it was in their power to jiropose for the purpose of settling it. Their Lordships had had two opportunities offered to them fin settling that question, and those two they litul refused. They hail an opportunity in time last session to settle this question, by the bill which was then brought before the House ; but they had thought proper to reject that bill. The necessary consequence of that proceeding was, that the next opportu- nity given to them nes submitted in is different shape and character. The consequence of their Lordships' rejection of the first bill was, that the second was coupled wan ano- ther measure, which it was necessary to adopt in order effectually to secure the settlement of the question. Their Lordships had, however. thought fit also to reject that oppor- tunity, by wholly altering the measure that had been submitted to them. Whatever other opportunity might be given to them for the settlement of this question. lie did not know ; but this he %weld distinctly say, that the responsibility tor the situation in which they had left this great question. and in wide!' they hail left Ireland, rested entirely a ith time majority of their Lordships, who bad rejected those two opportunities.
The Duke of WELLINGTON said, that Ministers had power over the bill, and they were responsible for its loss, lie utterly denied that there was any connexion between the settlement of the 1 idle question
and the question of Appropriation. They ought to have been made the subject of two separate bills. Why had Lord Melbourne mixed those two questions together ?
In onler to accomplish the destruction of the Church of Ireland. (Cheers from the Oppositiors.) Yes, to accomplish the destruction of the Church of Ireland, under cover of the other measure; aud having failed ill attaining that purpose, he and his col. leagues had ahandened the beneficial part of the measure. (Cheers.) Their Lordsl 'pa were not to have it submitted to them. Their Lordships were told that they hullo. cursed responsibility by rejecting the measure of the former year ; but that was a measure for remitting two-fifths of the amount of tithes. and for paying to the clergy one-fifth from the Consolidated Fund. That measure placed the clergy—find thaiwis his strong objection to it—in a stipeucliary situation ; and lie had reposed an amend- ment to the first part of the present bill. because it involved a principle of the like nature, precisely on the same ground that he bad opposed the former bill. In conch]. sion, he would maintain that no responsibility rested a ilk hum or the majority of their Lordships in consequence of what they had done.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE said, it was very easy for the Duke of Wellington to make these assertions, but he distinctly denied their truth. The Duke of Wellington had asked why the two parts of the bill were coupled together ?
He would answer, for this plain reasan—because, by that bill, an immense boon, the gift of the People of England, was proposed to be •grauted to the Clergy of Ireland; and he did not know any means by %staidm that great boon could be secured, except by making that wise provision which the noble duke had asset ted was meant for the de- struction of the Church of Ireland.
Why did not the Opposition proceed with the bill ?—
If, differing from his Majesty's Government, they thought that a bill for the bone- fit of the Church of Ireland could have been introduced with effect after the vote to which they bad come, was it not open to any one uf those noble lords to take up the subject, and attempt, if possible, to carry the measure throligh? Were they not aban- doning, according to their own views and statements. the interests of the Chinch of Ireland. in not taking up this bill? He admitted that the settlement of this question was of inestimable importance; but he certainly could not assent to a measure grant- ing a boon on one side and requiring no concession on the other.
The Earl of RODEN said that the bill was one intended for the destruc- tion of the Church. It carried off 860 benefices, " at one fell swoop," and was intended as an instalment of the debt contracted to be paid to a " certain party in Ireland."
Lord WICKLOW asserted, that it was the duty of Ministers to go on with the Bill.
Lord BRouGnAm was sorry to see their Lordships so much moved— he must not say excited. a I am sorry for you," be continued ; " I am sorry for the painful feelings you must experience."
lint it is not my fault, for, just before the division, I took leave to state—to lay be- fore you rather fully—the inevitable consequences of coming to that vote which you appeared to me bent upon coming to. I feel strongly for you now : if you had only felt as now at the right time, before you did the deed, like some other persons in the same sit uatiou, you might have avoided it. After doing the deed, persons in this situ- ation are apt to throw blame upon others. lly such means they try to appease their conscieuces—to quell the remonstrances of their bitter feelings against their past mis- conduct. The attempt never succeeds. (A laugh.) The noble lords recommended his Majesty's linisters to carry the bill in its present state to the house of Commons. an to pass it there : it could not be done. The noble earl opposite as an answer to tho unanswerable statement of the noble marquis, and to the question, • Why don't sou take up the bill?' says, ' Oh, we cannot, but you ought ; it is the duty of a Govern- ment to carry through its own measures.' My lords, no man can more fully assent to that propositiou than I do : it has my plenary concurrence. It is the duty of any man. and still more of any Government. to carry through measures that are measures of their own. But they are not to carry through measures of other people—measures which they disapprove of—of which they have distinctly stated theirdi,spproval in every stage—of which they gave notice of their disapproval, and of their intention to act on that disapproval ; for not only I as an individual, but my noble friends near me, and the noble viscount in particular, gave you full notice on the subject ; he rose. as I thought needlessly, just as you were going to divide, to declare that if you came to the vote hich lie then foresaw, he would not go on with time bill."
Lord FARNHAM admitted, that after the resolution that had passed, the House of Commons could not take the bill without the Appropria- tion clauses. It was that resolution—the folly and wickedness of pledging themselves to an abstract principle—that was the cause of the
Lord HATIIERTON said, Lord Farnham had fairly stated the case. Sir Robert Peel's Government had respected the resolution of the Commons, and the present Government must do the same. Their Lordships were themselves to blame for the state of Ireland and of the Irish Clergy— Their Lordships had had the opportunity of settling the Tithe question last year. It was then told them, that if thee rejected that, the measure of the following year would Ile one of a different kind. 'they did reject it. and had done so again this year. Next year a further measute. with conditions, might be presented; and it would come with an increased feeling among the gentry of England that the conditions ought to be accepted, and with an increased desuetude of the pay ment of tithes,—which was deeply to be regretted, but which was their Lordships' own work ; and it would come, too, with the remonstrances of the working clergy of Ireland, eh° would then shake them- selves free from the authority which their diocesans had hitherto exercised over them, by they liail been controlled, and their Lordships misled. Ile believed that the measure of next year would not be modified, as their Lordships wished it, by the delay. Lords WINCHILSEA and FITZGERALD arraigned, and Lord PLUNKET defended, the motives and the conduct of Ministers.
Lord LYNDHURST said, with much solemnity— No would never consent that the revenues of the Church of Ireland should be plum. demi for the purpose of inculcating the tenets and doctrines of the Church of Rome. (" Hear, hear!")
The discussion ended, and the petition was laid on the table.
. 3. REGISTRATION OF hum VOTER-s.
In the House of Peers, on Wednesday, Lord DUNCANNON moved the second reading of the bill for improving the mode of registering voters in Ireland. Ile briefly explained the provisions of the bill ; the principal object of which was to assimilate the law of Ireland on the subject of registration to that of England. Lord LYNDHURST said, the bill went a great deal further; since it provided that all freemen admitted since 1832 were to be honorary freemen merely, and not to have the right of voting. Lord LIMERICK opposed the bill ; which, be said, was full of anomaly, difficulty, and danger. Lord PLUNKETT urged the House to allow the bill to go into Com- mittee. It was especially necessary to amend a clause in the Emanci- pation Act of l89— The oath under that act required the freeholder to swear that his freeliold was not only worth 10/, a year. but that a solvent tenant would give him 101. more for it ; this se-ass. in fact, requiring a 20/. qualification.whiell the Legislature never contemplated. inste of a 101. qualification. Now the Reform Bill made no alteration as to the freehold voter, but it did as to the leasehold voter. The leasehold voter was only called upon. to take the oath required by the Reform Bill, but the freehold voter was cumpellea to take the oath under the old act of 1829. It was to remedy this very inconvenient anomaly that clause 54 was introduced. The Earl of WicicLow said, that from the difficulty with which Lord puncannon explained the provisions of the bill, it was evident til'at he did not expect it to be jead a second time— lie thought that a measure more mischievously framed, more pregnant with danger to the welthre of the country, one which bore more the appearance of having been brought forward at the dictation of individuals whose great object was to hold the Dovernment of Ireland in their hande—(" Hear,hear 1")—had never been offered to the cOnsideration of Parliament. It had been remarked, that sonic of their Lordships were much in the habit of animadverting upon the power and influence exeleised by a certain Wielded. He had hitherto abstained as much as possible from introducing that individual's name into the discussions which took place in that House, because he thought that the allusion to him might possibly have the effect of increasing his in. fittence ; but his power and influence had now reached such a pitch, that it was useless any longer from prudential motives to a nin from alluding to them. If Lord Mel. bourne, in the height of his kindly feeling of gratitude towards that individual, hail addressed him in these terms—" You have been the main stay and prop of my Govern- ment ; to Ion I and my colleagues owe our places in the Administration ; it is to your wer and influence that we are indebted for eing able to stand for one moment before the feeling of the People of England ; and to evince our gratitude for the favour which you have shown us, we will enable you to draw up a measure such as will suit your purp es, such as will put the whole government of Ireland at your disposal,"—if, be repeated, such a proposition had been made and accepted, it was impossible that a bill could have been framed better calculated to effect the object in view. (Cheers.) Their Lordships were asked to allow the bill to go into a Committee, because some of its provisions were generally considered unobjectionable ; but for his part, lie would refuse lo go into a Committee on a bill of the vital principl of which he disapproved. The preamble of the bill stated that doubts existed with respect to the nature of freehold qualifications required to entitle persons to vote for the election of Members of Parlia- ment; but that was not the fact. Doubt once existed upon that point, but it was set at rest by the decision of the Twelve Judges, who declared that the qualification re- quired was that specified in the Act passed in the year 1829, in conjunction with the Act for the Emancipation of Roman Catholics. It was said that it was necessary to assimilate the mode of taking the register and the polls in the two countries ; but that Ile denied ; the system established in Ireland for the registration of freeholders was better and more convenient than that which existed in this country ; and he believed that it would be adopted here if it were possible.
He concluded by moving that the bill be read a second time that .day three months.
" My Lords, when similar allusions have come from other quarters, I have not taken the slightest notice of them. I have not considered it necessary for me to notice them ; but I must be permitted on this occasion to make a few remarks in reply to the observations which have been made by the noble earl. The noble earl, with a great deal of that sarcasm in which he is always extremely fortunate and felicitious, said lhat we owed a tribute of gratitude to Mr. O'Connell for the support he had afforded
us, and that we relied on him to protect us against the indignation of the People of England. (Great cheering. with a ery of " Hear, hear !" from the Opposition.) What ! by that cheer is that statement meant to be maintained. (Cheers.) Is it meant to say that we stand only on the support of Mr. O'Connell? (Much cheering.) Lord Melbourne paused for some seconds, after which he proceeded with great animation. " Are, then, the English Representatives nothing ? Is that body in the House of COInniOns who has honoured us with their support nothing ? Is the general voice and opinion of the People nothing ? Is the irepressron as to that opinion manifested by the great majority of this House having forborne to take direct measures for our removal, nothing ? (Long-continued cheering.) I say again, is that nothing ? And is the noble earl indeed justified in saying that we stand alone for support on the Irish Members to whom he thought proper to allude? He asserts that this measure is brought forward at the dictation of Mr. O'Connell, and he has attributed to me an at- tempt to give over the government of Ireland to Mr. O'Connell's guidance and his domination ; but I will ask your Lordships, whether any thing he has stated in the course of his specell—wbether any of the objections that have been urged to the pro- visions of this bill—whether any observation that has been made on this side of the /louse bears out the great and high-sounding pretension of the exordium of the noble earl's speech? I deny that I have any desire to increase the weight or extend the influence or power of the individual' who has been alluded loin Ireland But when the noble earl was speaking as he did of influence, power, and weight, lie forgot, surely, what ferm of government we live tinder : he forgot that we were governed by popular assemblies: he forgot that we live under a Government which is, in a great degree, popular, and whielt has become more so of late years ; this being the result, not so much of the measures which have been introduced, as of the general and still increasing feeling of the country. (Cheers.) And mere measures not having pro. duced altogether this state of things in which vie live, it is impossible that the opinions of persons possessing great influence, great weight, and great authority in the country, can be a matter of perfect indifference either to the Governments whom they supped or to the Governments to whom they are opposed. I am not willing to say any thing disrespectful of the Government which preceded that of which I have the honour of being at the head ; and I know not whether the noble earl was a friend or an enemy to that Government, or whether the Government was the friend of him or the enemy of him; but I will state this, that I never observed any such indisposition in that Government to popular support. (Great cheering.) I never observed any such unwillingness to court it—to seek for it—to throw themselves upon it. (Cheers.) It .appeared to me, that the whole object .of that Government was to try to manage and control the People—(Continued cheers)—the whole of their measures were, in my opinion, a series of claptraps —(Shouts of laughter and cheers)—such as were thought calculated to win and gain over the People. I say, then, that it is not fair in those who undoubtedly pursue that policy—it is not fair in them to cast on those who do not par sue that policy—who deny having oursued it—imputations which certainly they could not deserve, and which I for one entirely repel. ("Rear, heart") The noble earl has not stated a single fact which bore him out in the assertions which he made. The noble earl spoke as if the party of the learned gentleman to whom he adverted was the very extreme party in this country. I deny that we are led by them ; but I know this, that we are governed by other Ultras—(Cheers)—that we are subject to their domination and their guidance ; and that we are forced to adopt the measures of a majority who are led by the more violent, blind, and unyielding of themselves. The observations of the noble earl do not apply to us ; but, in my opinion, there is a party to whom they do apply. I say there is a party who are led by the most violent among them to the adoption of measures which they must themselves disapprove—measures which they -know to be extremely unwise and extremely imprudent. From the manner in which this House before conducted themselves with regard to bills which every body ad- mitted were for the benefit and advantage of I he country, I shall not be surprised, on the contrary I expect, to see them some day supporting the measures on this side which they have opposed on that. This is our consolation. It is encouraging to know that their opinions, though so vehemently expressed, are not irrevocably fixed or obstinately maintained. (Laughter and deers.) I say, then, that in my opinion, there is another party, and they exercise as injuriously the power which is unhappily placed in their hands, as would the party which was first the subject of remark, and whose opinions I as little approve as any man."
The Duke of WELLINGTON said, he believed it had never happened to him to mention the name of the "particular individual" alluded to by Lord Melbourne. He had his own opinion respecting that indivi- dual, but itwas not his practice to attack any one behind his back_ Lord Melbourne, however, hail been pleased to compare the violence of the party on whose conduct Lord Wicklow had animadverted, with the violence of another party on which lie (the Duke) and his friends—so Lord Melbuerne meant to insinuate—were de- pendent for support. All he could say in reply to this was, that they had not depended for support on any party,lent that one consisting of the loyal subjects of the King. Ile had never depended for support on any party or any individual who haul been con- victed of a misdemeanour, and si as afterwards promoted by the Ministers of the Crown . (Cheers.) With respect to this bill, appeared to repeal that which was considered, at the time it was enacted, in the year 1629, as a solemn compact— as a final arrangement entered into with reference to those individuals of whom this geteleman, who had been named, was supposed to be the leader. The measures adopie.I subsequently. iti the year 1832,—to which he wished not to refer, but he was called on to do so bv the way in which they had been spoken of by the noble lord,—those measures, in the ajar 11,32, had iplaced in the hands or that individual a political poa er notueiously sucli as never was heard of by any individual in this country. dewing all the different Ministerial re‘ol ut- Vous which had occurred from the earliest dean to the present. It was notorious that the individual in question exercised a power in another place such as never was know ii to exist before under any circumstances. W hat would be the necessary consequence of this bill which Lord Melbourne had brought forward, and accused them of having Lord MELBOURNE wished to say a few words in reply to what Lord 'Wicklow had said of Mr. O'Connell's influence over the Government. Irejected from this House? The consequence of it must be to increase still further that very power which was established by the Reform Bill. And this was what the noble lord came down and boasted of; and yet reproaelled them, forsooth, that they were locking out for popular support alien they were in office! It was true they did pro- pose i-everal measures, which, when they took office, they thought would be satisfac- tory toIL.,!te country ; but they were measures growing out of others which haul been passed preciously. They were not the result of measures which haul been introduced by themselves; but he believed that they would prove satisfactory as for as they went ; and they professed themselves ready to take into consideration any other measures which appeared necessary for the redress of grievances or the reform of abuses. As to courting popularity, that which the noble lord accused them of doing, he had not neglected to do himself—he brought forward in the first instance measures which were still further to establish an influeuce which he must know could not be otherwise than injurious to the country.
The Marquis of CLANRICARDE, after saying a few words in sup- port of the bill, referred to the attacks on Mr. O'Connell— Constant allusions were made to Mr. O'Connell, and the Government were cen- sured because they received the support of that gentleman. Thank God, in this free country, a man by the exercise of great talents and attainments must ultimately possess power and influence. Such was the case a ith Mr. O'Connell. But when the Government was charged with having given that person the influence ho possessed in Ireland, he would only reply, that it was his firm conviction that the great portion of the power possessed by Mr. O'Connell was ow ing to the conduct of the party on the opposite side of the House. When the noble lords alluded to the persons he had great influence over in another place, he would recommend them to recollect that those gentlemen were Representatives of thin People. (' Hear, hear !") In a great many of the measures advocated by Mr. O'Connell and his suet titers, it w as impossible to deny that he was supported by the opinion of the majority of the People of IrelanA Ile repeated, this was a free country, and public opinion must not only have great in- fluence, but. when expressed in the proper way—through the Representatives of tho People—must be attended to.
Lord FITZGERALD, in a speech of some length, arraigned the con- duct of Ministers ; and maintained that they were only kept in office, against the opinion of the English Representatives, by the support of Mr. O'Connell.
Lord WHARNCLIFFE spoke a few words against the policy of the Government.
The House then divided : for the second reading, 27; against it, 84; majority, 54.
4. REFORM or THE HOUSE or PEERS.
In the House of Commons, on Wednesday, Mr. SINCLAIR said, that as much had lately been said about the Reform of the House of Lords, he should be glad to know what was contemplated in that ex- pression?
Mr. ROEBUCK would answer the question, by stating the general nature of a proposition which he intended to bring forward next ses- His object in that proposition would be that the veto of the Lords in all matters of legislation should he taken away. (Ironical cheers front Mr. Sinclair.) Yes, that the veto should be entirely taken away; and that the Lords should, in place of it, be endowed with a suspensive power to a certain extent, that was to say, that they should have tic power of sending back a bill to the Commons ; but then, if it were again passed by the latter House in the same session, and received the Royal assent, it should become a law, notwith- standing its former rejection by the Lords. (" Oh, oh !" and " hear !") Honourable Members opposite seemed to look upon "the Lords" as a body so hedged in by divine immunity, that to hint even at their fallibility, to say nothing of a remedy for it, were a species of blasphemy ; but those honourable Members, as well as tithe Lords," would, before long, find that the same pres- sure from without which compelled the House of Commons to reform itself, would equally operate in compelling the House of Lords to reform itself, and to become an efficient and useful branch of the Legislature, instead of what it now was, an irresponsible, an ignorant, and an interested oligarchy.
[The following is the notice mentioned by Mr. Roebuck, as we find it in the Votes of the House.]
"Mr. Roebuck,—in order to give due credit [effect ?] to the wishes of the People in the great matter of legislation, will move for leave to bring in a bill to take away the veto now possessed by the House of Lords in all legislative measures ; and to substitute in lieu thereof a suspensive power in that House ; so that if bills which have been passed by the House of Commons, be rejected by the House of Lords, and again during the same session be passed by the Com- mons, such bills shall become law, on the Royal assent being thereunto given. [Next session.]" Mr. HUME felt proud in contrasting the conduct of the Reformed House of Commons with that of the Unreformed House of Lords, in reference particularly to the great measure of Municipal Reform— That contrast showed, more clearly than ever, the absolute necessity that some speedy and efficient reform al auld be brought about in the latter branch of the Legislature. He would take the opportunity, in answer to Mr. Sinclair, of making known what he too understood by such a reform, and what, moreover, it was his intention next session to propose on this subject. The first requisite for a system of good government was Cho re- sponsibility of those who governed. The House of Lords was not a re- sponsible body, and therefore good government was not to be confidently reckoned upon on the part of the Lords. The irresponsibility, powers, and privileges, which they possessed, might have been well enough in the times when the body was instituted, but the case was very different now. The House of Commons had been reformed, and was responsible: what possible reason could be assigned why the Lords, a coordinate branch of the Legislature, should not, in like manner, be reformed and become responsible ? He would nosy take the liberty of reading a notice which he intended to put on the list for next session, and which he had had by him ready for some time past. The notice was, that he should early next session move the appointment of a Select Committee "to inquire into the number of the Peers in Parliament, their qualification and privileges as such ; into the constitution of that House, its powers, privileges, and immunities; and to consider how far that House has fulfilled the important duties of a legislative body, and of the High Court of Appeal of Parliament; also, into the manner in which con-, ferences are held with and communications made between the House of Lords and Commons." The distinctions kept up by the House of Lords, as regarded the House of Commons, were as absurd as they wete degrading to the latter branch of the Legislature. The Commons, forsooth, were, by a standing reso- lution of the Lords, obliged in all conferences with the Lords, to stand un- covered, while the Peers sat with their hats on. (" Hear, hear! ") The Commons, that was to say, were treated by a coordinate branch of the Legis- lature as nothing better than a set of degraded petitioners. These " confer- ences," besides, were in fact but a mere mockery and farce, in which two bits of paper were handed about. It was a mere mockery, like every thing else connected with the House of Lords. The honourable Member opposite might smile; but it,was nevertheless the fact, that the whole thing was a, mockery, only equalled in its absurdity by its mischief. Masters of the community though the Lords were, they must, in their turn, yield to the march of intelligence, to the pressure front without, and condeseen1 to reform theniselvcs, as the Common* had done before them. (Cheer.) The House of Lords must Cor- rect its manifold defects. This was what the People universally demanded. But—and it was fit he should add this—no one, no body of men that he had had communication with, desised to see the House of Lords abolished. Every one agreed with himself in thinking that the Chamber of Peers, while every endeavour should be made to render it an effective instrument of good govern- ment, should be preserved. Publicly and privately, he had ever maintained that the' existence of two Chambers a Legislature was necessary to good govern- ment. Ile could not conceive of a better form of government than that of King, Lords, and Commons, provided that each kept within its proper sphere. But when he saw one branch of the Legislature absorb the powers of all three, and appear to stop all improvement and all reform, then he thought It high time that the People should have the matter looked to, and,. if possible, make that body abandon its usurped domination, and, by working in its own sphere, conduce to that purpose for which it was instituted—the maintenance of the li- berties and happiness of the People. (Much cheering.) Mr. CUTIIBERT Rrerosr also gave notice, that next session he would move for leave to bring in a bill to relieve the Archbishops and Bishops from their attendance in the House of Lords ; also for a measure pro- viding that where Deans and Chapters had not the cure of souls,. the profits thereof should be placed in the hands of Commissioners of the Crown.
5. IRISH TITHES: DEBTS OF THE CLERGY.
On Saturday, Mr. SPRING RICE moved the House of Commons for leave to bring in a bill to relieve Ministers from the necessity of enforcing repayment of the money advanced to the Irish clergy out of the Million Loan. This bill bad become necessary in consequence of the refusal of the Peers to pass the bill of Irish Church Reform sent up by the Commons- " It is my duty (said Mr. Rice) to enforce the operation of the law ; and I must do so, unless relieved from the painful necessity by the authority of the Legislature. I think and trust, however, that the House will agree with me in considering that it would be most unjust, oppressive, and useless, in those cases where it can be made to appear that the clergy have either not received any of the money from the tithe tenantry, or are wholly incapable of making a payment, to call upon tlizm at once to pay their proportion and proceed against them for the enforcement of it. The object of the bill I now beg leave to introduce is not to remit a single farthing of the amount, for I have no intention of making any such proposition ; but to authorize the Government, on receiving applications from the clergy, and on a satisfactory case being made out, to show that the parties are not in a condition to pay, in such cases to authorize the Government to suspend the claim for the instalment which is due until the reassembling of Parliament, say until the 5tli of April next." (Cheers.)
Several Members expressed their approbation of the object of the bill; and leave was given to bring it in. It was then read a first time.
On Monday, the bill was read a second time ; and on Tuesday, Mr. Bice moved that it be committed.
Mr. HUME said, he considered this a most improper measure. The clergy of Ireland were undeserving of this relief, since they had in-
structed their friends in the House of Peers to reject the Tithe Bill, by which they were well provided for. He hoped to be informed whether the military were to be employed in future in the collection of tithes ; and if the reply were unfavourable, he trusted that the House would assist him in stopping the bill.
Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, Mr. Hume had delivered a most illo- gical speech ; for he said that because the House of Lords threw out
the Tithe Bill, the Attorney-General should attack the Irish clergy, 8nd endeavour to force them to pay money which they had never re.. ceived. The grant bad relieved the landowners rather than the clergy. The bill was nothing but a bill of indemnity to Ministers.
Mr. SPRING RICE said, that Sir Henry Hardinge's speech was a happy illustration of his power of blundering. The bill was prospec- tive in its nature, and was intended to relieve Ministers from the ne- cessity of enforcing a certain Act of Parliament ? How could it be called a bill of indemnity? The time was coming when justice would be done to Ministers—when those who with pettifogging views, but good intent— Sir H. HARDINGE—" Aye, with good intent "— Mr. RICE, after a pause, said—
Martin, who set fire to the venerable Cathedral of York, was said fo have thought he acted wisely and with good intent in such his misdeed. Ile had also heard a statement of a man who with good intent, it was slid, had murdered his children, to secure to them, as he supposed, eternal happiness hereafter. Iturif fanatics like these committed crimes, Mr. Rice looked not at, neither would he deal with, their acts, but he would rather look to the consequences. Their intents might have been, as they conceived, benevolent, but what were the consequences?
[This speech of Mr. Rice, and indeed a great portion of what fol- lowed, is very badly reported.]
Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, he had been most unwarrantably at- tacked. With a sneering tone, Mr. Rice had applied the word "pet- tifogging" to him.
Mr. RicE—" I did not at all allude to you."
Sir HENRY HARDINGE cared not whether he or his colleagues were alluded to. He had not attacked Ministers—he had attacked Mr. Hume.. He would ask Mr. Rice, who denied that this was a bill of indemnity, how long it was since the money should have been collected from the clergy ? The clergy had acted honestly in refusing the bait held out to them. The bill which be had brought forward on the sub- ject of tithes had been approved of by Chief Baron Joy, then Irish Attorney- General. He retorted the expression "pettifogging," with the utmost contempt.
Mr. RICE said, that Sir Henry Hardinge made use of hard, very hard language ; but he would only say, that he should no more have thought of applying the term " pettifogging " to him, than that of 4, gallant officer" to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He had been in- terrupted in a most disorderly manner by Sir Henry Hardinge—but he %yowl let that pass. If this were really a bill of indemnity, it was one for Sir Henry Hardinge, not for the present Ministers ; for Sir Henry was in office at the time the payments became due from the clergy, and should have been enforced.
Sir HENRY HARDINGE thought that his speech had not deserved the heavy retribution it had entailed upon him ; and he was surprised that
Mr. Rice should have taken the, opportunity so smack him. It would be well if Mr. Rice reserved his philippics for more fitting occasions.
Mr. Rice rejoined-
" I made no attack upon the right honourable and gallant officer. I cannot conceive how he imagines that I applied the term "pettifogging " to him. I repeat that I did not make, and that I did not intend to make any attack upon him. If the right honourable and gallant officer would only take for his own conduct the rule which he has prescribed for mine, it would be better perhaps for all parties. No man could oh) better than recommend to the party with whom the right honourable and gallant officer acts, the propriety of acting upon such rule ; but at the same time I must say that the right honourable and I. lant officer is the very last person from whom such advice should come. if had made an attack upon the right honourable and gallant officer, I should be ready to avow it, to maintain, and, if need were, to repeat it And yet, after my explanation that I did not mean to make any attack upon him' he repeats that I did make an attack upon him; which I utterly and positively deny.
Sir HENRY HARDINGE again rose. He certainly thought that he had been attacked ; but as Mr. Rice denied that he had attacked him, he must suppose that no attack was intended.
Mr. HENRY GRATTAN said, that Sir Henry Hardinge would hear
stronger language from English, not merely Irish Members, than that used by Mr. Rice, on the subject of the Tithe Bill, which the Lords,
with their usual malignity, had thrown out. (Cries " Order I ") " I repeat it—with their usual malignitg." Sir Henry Hardinge ought to be made responsible for his:condect in this matter—
He was the Minister fur Ireland when the payments under the Million Act
first became due. "Two English Members of Parliament," continued Mr. Grattan, "have got extremely warm on an Irish subject : it is a novelty, and I am glad of it. I am an Irish Representative, and I hope that I shall remain quite cool." ( Great laughter.) Sir Henry Hardinge had accused the Mem- ber for Middlesex of being extremely illogical, and yet how had he himself argued ? He had blamed the Government in very wrathful terms, and why? —" Because," said he," the loan which you made to the clergy was in point of fact a boon to the landed iotcrestof Ireland." Now, he was one of the landown- ers of that country, and as a member of the landeiinterest of Ireland lie would say, " we received no boon." ( Cheers from the Irish Members.) What was it to him, whether the House gave one million or two millions to the Irish clergy ? How was he, how was the lauded interest, to benefit by it? The landed interest had nothing to do with that million. " But then,' said Sir Henry, " this is an act of indemnity." Now let us consider who it is that requires an act of indemnity? It is you—you, who rejected last year the very bill which you yourselves introduced this year. " Did not you "—(said Mr. Grattan, pointing to the Opposition benches)—" did not you commit the absurdity of introducing a bill more severe upon the clergy than that which . your friends in the House of Lords threw out last year ? With what face of modesty—for I must not, I suppose, say with what face of hypocrisy, but with what face of modesty—can you accuse this Government of hostility to the Church—you who brought in this year the very measure against which you protested last year—against which your friend and champion, the Recorder of Dublin, also protested, and which ou used as a lever to force the late Administration out of power, on the plea that it was calculated to pull down the Church you are so anxious to support ? You introduced that very measure yourselves, which you declared fatal to the best interests of the Church. Do you call that honesty? The People of Ireland look upon it, not with contempt, but with that placid in- difference which they bestow, not upon the Thimble-riggers, as you call them, but upon those who are pia% ing a desperate game at hazard with the passions, feelings, and prejudices of the People of Ireland. The right honourable and gallant officer is playing this game too deep, and I will add, too long. Though he is an officer, and I believe a gallant officer in the field, let him recollect that we are eight millions. (Laughter on the Opposition, and cries of "Hear, on the Ministerial benches.) Let roe tell him, that we will not be put down by this delay ofjustice, or by your incapacity to administer, not the affairs of the country, but any measure of benefit to it. You (stretching forth his hand and pointing to Sir H. Hardinge)—you were very wroth and indig- nant—( Cries of " Order, order! ")—yes, you were very indignant—( Cue's of" ! " repeated)--I have a right to say you, as I mention no names. But the gallant officer and his party were very indignant—you who on this side of the House said that with the assistance of thirty thousand soldiers you could not collect the tithes."
Sir HENRY HARDINGE—" I said no such thing."
Mr. GRATTAN—" You said it was impossible to collect tithes with military force."
Sir HENRY HARDINGE—" I said no such thing."
Mr. GRATTAN—" I may be mistaken, but I certainly thought you did- " You said that you could not collect the tithe—then, will you employ military force to collect it ? ( Cheers from the Ministerial benches.) You declined to try military force against Roman Catholic Emancipation—will you try it now to enforce the collection of tithe? I think the right honourable and gallant officer might be more modest in the terms he has applied to my honourable friend the Member for Middlesex. Never were arguments more illogical ; and the right honourable and gallant officer has shown how absurd it is to expect that a good soldier in the field will also be a good orator and an excellent prac- tical statesman in the senate."
Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, he would not defend himself against the absurd attack on him. If he wanted a specimen of absurdity, he %mild point to the speech of Mr. Grattan. Mr. GRATTAN said—" I would rather be absurd than affected ; as I prefer to be polite rather than impertinent." Mr. BERNAL, the Chairman, said that the word " impertinent " was disorderly, and should be retracted.
Mr. GRATTAN said, that if the word " absurdity " bad not been of- fensively used towards him—offensively, not in the word only, but the manner—he should not have used the word "impertinent."
Mr. BERNAL again said, the word should be retracted. A long and desultory conversation followed. Several Members were of opinion that Sir Henry Hardinge had not used the word "absur- dity "in a sense to justify Mr. Grattan in calling him "impertinent.
Mr. GRATTAN said, if Colonel Perceval, who sat next Sir Henry Hardilige, were of that opinion, he would retract the expression.
Colouel PERCEVAL said, he certainly was of that opinion.
Mr. GRATTAN then at once retracted the word "impertinent." Sir HENRY HARDINGE was called upon by the Chairman ; but he claimed a more unqualified and a fuller retmctation than the conditional one given by Mr. Grattan. Mr. BERNAL said, that he, the Chairman, was satisfied with the re.
Mr. HUME wished the third reading to be postponed till Monday ; for if this bill were passed, the House would let slip the opportunity of withholding the Supplies, and discussing the Municipal Bill again. Mr. SPRING RICE said, that if he stood alone, he would resist Mr.
Mr. Hume wished for an opportunity of discussing the Municipal Corporations Bill. just sent up to the Lords again: Mr. Rica earnestly hoped that there might be no need to discuss it again, and that the measure would not be returned. This House bad given it the must minions, candid, anti conciliatory at and whoever was friendly to its provisions, and thought they were of any value, would wish that it might never come back to the Commons. Hiller° were any decided enemy to its provisions, he could not do better than to promote its return. If it %%ere returned, then indeed the opportu- nity of discussion which Mr. Hume desired would be afforded. But at a moment like the present, preguant with important interests, lie entreated the House not, nixdi any imperfect and partial view, to take a step which would materially (and he spoke advisedly), most materially, prevent the completion of its wishes. Ile did not resort to any obvious arguments founded upon the fact that to defer the bill till Monday would necessarily prolong the session for another week ; but he relied upon the conviction, which he thought even Mr. Hume must feel, that to adopt his amendment would tend to defeat the very object he contemplated. Ile did not wish to avoid or to prevent dis- cussion, should it become necessary by the return of the WI from the Lords ; but he trusted that the calm tone observed and the conciliatory spirit evinced by honourable Members—and which did them infinite honour, considering the streneth or tbeir con- victions—would have its due effect ; since a firm but respectful attitude and demeanour were not likely to be misinterpreted, and would recommend the measure to the serious attention of the other branch of the Legislature. lie only asked honourable Memuers to persevere in this course--to be consistent with themselves, and, as friends to the bill, to give it the best chance of being passed into a law. Ile therefore humbly entreated the House not to postpone the third reading of the Appropriation Bill; or rather, he humbly .mtresited the honourable Member for Middlesex to is ithdraw his amendment. (Much cheering from all sides.)
Mr. O'CONNELL hoped that Mr. Hume would comply with the re-
quest of Mr. Rice— As to stopping the Supplies, that was out of the question : they had been voted by the house seriatim; and after having voted them, it ought Bever to be said that it had any ulterior thought of retracting them. He put it to Mr. Hume, that whatever he could gain by his amendment, he would at all events gain equally when the Appro- priation Bill had passed, if the Municipal Corporations Bill were to be returned from the House of Lords. Nay, he would then have an additional advantage, for it would be seen that all had been done with temper and conciliation. If he were not afraid that his own advocacy of the bill would be injurious to its passiug--(Cheers and Taughter)—lie should say that he supported it heartily and unequivocally. If poor, paltry considerations of this individual or of that were allowed elsewhere to interfere with the sober consideration of a legislative enactment, it might be taken that the postponement of the third reading was an intended insult; and it might be urged as a reason for rejecting the bill just sent to the Lords, that Mr. Hume hail ventured to ob- ject to the A pproptiation-clause. ( Chem. ) This might be taken as an indignity, and the consequences might be most injurious. The history of this country was come to an im- portant and an an ful crisis, when it was to be ascertained. not in this session, but in the next, whether every benefieiaLmeasure was lobe checked and controlled by those over Whom at present there was no check or control—(Cheers)—whether measures of im- mense utility were to be-stopped in their progress, not on the fair ground of their merits or defects, but on grounds that were too futile to be repeated. (Cheers.) Let this House net so as to leave all the fault elsewhere, and abstain from any thing like giving a pretext for a course which all dispassionate men must deprecate. the was sure that the country would not have less confidence in Mr. Hume, who had followed one undeviating nue of public conduct, because he forbore upon the present occasion, and allowed the Appropriation Bill to pass. (Much cheering.) tractation of Mr. Grattan. Several Menthcrs interfered, Sir HENRY HititylNGE persisted for a time ; but at length yielded.-.Mr. GRA'rTAN
not uttering another word. The business of the House was proceeded with ; and the bill went through the Committee. Last night, the bill was read a third time, and passed in the Com. mons ; and being taken to the House of Lords, was read a first time there. 6. THE APPROPRIATION ACT.
Mr. SrarNa RICE, on Thursday, moved the third reading of the Appropriation Bill.
Mr. HUME wished to know what was the use of the Appropriation Act : be had been told it was of no use. What good did it accomplish, if it did not enable the House to withdraw the Supplies— Ile did not wish the Municipal Corporations Bill to be returned ; on the contrary, lie bad done all that was consistent with his public duty to secure its adoption as a law— be had been as ready as any man to yield on many points. But he a-khed to be in a condition--ir the other House rejected the bill, and did not estimate properly the con- descension that had been shown and concession that had been made—to object to the final granting of the public money. He could not help looking hack to what had oc- curred last year. when men in full possession of the confidence of the ectintry had been excluded from office. By whose advice it Lad been done, he knew not ; but certainly not the individual who had been principally responsible in the new Government, for he was at a distance of some thousands of miles. There must, however, have been some adviser ; and, for aught he knew, what hail happened last year might occur again. Ile considered It the duty of the House to guard against the possible recurrence of slush a transaction. The House had the power—or if they had not, they ought to possess it —of putting, the Supplies into any hands they pleased. They had voted these Supplies to a liberal extent to his Majesty ; and in his opinion, lest his Majesty should be led by evil counsellors to repeat the course of last year, they ought to place the dispensing of the Supplies in hands on which they could depend. Ile could not indeed go so far as to say that he contemplated the dismissal of the present Administration, in the same manner as that of last year was dismissed but at the same time, he thought that they ought to guard against the possibility of such a proceeding.
Would Mr. Rice explain further, why he wished the.bill to be read at once ?
Mr.' SPRING RICE put it to. the House, whether, if the passing of the Appropriation Bill were postponed, an impression would not be created that they wished to reserve a power over the Supplies, in the event of the Municipal Bill being sent back from the Lords. ("Hear, hear!" from Mr. Home.) Now. (hat was a course which, of all others, would be most pregnant with danger. As had been said by Mr. O'Connell, do not let the debate in another place go off on a question of etiquette: let the discussion be one, and one only, on the merits of the amendments we have made in the bill. Mr Hume had said that he entertained con- fidence in his Majesty's present Ministers: if such were the case, let him allow them, pledged as they were on the question of Municipal Reform, to fight Chi ir own battle, and take their own chance of success. The step which be proposed was eminently qualified to weaken the Government in the public opinion ; and he called on the majo- rity of the House, composing the friends of the Municipal Reform Bill, not to peril its success by crying out it was in danger. A very unfounded statement had been put h out of doors, that he-the person charged with the superintendence of the finances of the country—had counselled, or taken a course which countenanced, the stopping of the Supplies; anti that had been made an argument against the Government. and against himself individually, as a member of it. It was scarcely necessary for him to say that lie had never countenanced such a course.
Mr. T. DUNCOMBE wished to know distinctly whether the House could now stop the Supplies ?
Mr. SPRING RICE—" No." Mr. DUNCOMBE resumed— There had been a great misapprehension existing. out of doors that the House was in a situation to stop the Supplies; and he himself had received a petition from &large portion of his constituents, with a request that he would rote for taking that course, in the event of the House'of Lords rejecting or injuring the Municipal Corporations Re- form Hill. The Chancellor of -the Exchequer, however, it now appeared, told them that they could not stop the Supplies ; awl such being the case, there would be no use in adopting Mr. Ilume's proposition.
Mr. WARBURTON observed, that
If the House possessed the power of inserting d clause for placing the money voted in the hands of Cenunissiorwrs, without the consent of the ether House—if they could of themselves give final effect to any proposition of that nature-then they would be able to exercise the cheek allioltxl to; but if they did not possess it, it would appear that that mysterious power of u bid, Mr. Hume talked was cut irely imaginary. Any coarse u Welt they could take would have no effect. There were already in the bands of Government, Exchequer Iti■ls sufficient to carry on the functions of the Govern- ment until Parliament should akiin meet. lf it were proper to exercise any power of stopping the Supplies, it ought to have been resorted to before they vs ere voted ; there was no sach power now.
Mr. HUME referred to the Appropriation Act of 1833, and said that he might easily move amendments to the effect of granting Supplies for nine months instead of twelve ; but after a few words from Lord JOHN RUSSELL, he withdrew his opposition.
The bill was then read a third time, and passed.
DUBLIN POLICE BILL. In the House of Lords, on Monday, Lord DUNCANNON moved lie sect"- 1 reading of this bill. It was opposed by Lord FARNHAAI, Lord HADDINGTON, Lord WINCHILSEA, and Lord FITZGERALD ; on the ground that the Corporation of Dublin had not received due notice of such a bill being in progress. Lord WiceLovr regretted that opposition should be given to so useful and necessary a measure. The Duke of RICHMOND strongly pressed the second reading. And it was agreed that the bill should be read, but not committed until Friday, in order that notice might be given to the Corporation of Dublin. The Marquis of LONDONDERRY said that the patronage created by the bill would be disposed of in the way recommended by Mr. O'Connell. Lord DUNCANNON asked, whether such a suspicion
was a sufficient reason for opposing any measure ? The bill was then read a second time.
On Tuesday, the Marquis of LONDONDERRY read part of a letter from Mr. O'Connell to a Committee at Glasgow who had invited him to a public entertainment, in which the sentiments expressed by the writer
were very hostile to the continuance of the house of Peers. This letter, he thought, justified his opposition to the Irish Constabulary and
the Dublin Police Bills ! Lord HATHERTON said, that the Constabu- lary Bill had been framed last year, when Mr. O'Connell was in oppo- sition; and that he had not introduced it because be feared that gentle- man's hostility to it. Lord DUNCANNON denied that Mr. O'Connell had had any thing to do with the Dublin Police Bill, beyond proposing an amendment to it. The Marquis of LONDONDERRY, in that case re- gretted his opposition to the bills: he wished to attack no man wrong- fully. Lord STRANG FORD said, that the fear of Mr. O'Connell's hos-
tility, just admitted by Lord Hatherton, justified the belief in the ex- tent of his influence. Lord HOLLAND asked, What it was that a constitutional Minister of the Crown should do when a matter came under his consideration, if he was not to weigh all the reasons for and against proposing it at a particular moment? Should he not consider what bill was likely to meet with opposition, and what was not likely to meet with it ? He should wish also to know whether the noble viscount was prepared to say whether a bill of this nature might not be materially injured by the oppo- sition of a man of the talents of Mr. O'Connell?
Here the conversation dropped.
Last night, their Lordships refused to go into Committee on the bill : so it is lost.
MUSIC AND DANCING BILL. This bill was thrown out on Thurs- day, in the House of Peers, on the motion of the Marquis of Salis- bury; who moved that it be read a third time that day three months, . —on the ground that the proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre, and others, should be heard in defence of their vested rights, on which the bill trenched.
WITNESSES BRIBERY INDEMNITY BILL. Last night, the Peers threw out this bill, on the second reading.
Omani- COMMISSIONERS BHA.. On the motion of the Marquis of LANSDOWNE, last night, this bill was.read a third time, and passed.
WORKHOUSE BII.L. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE moved the second reading of this bill, on Thursday ; and took the opportunity of making some statements respecting the working of the new Poor-law ; from which it appeared, that the measure had been put extensively into ope- ration, with great success. The bill was read a second time.
THE DUKE OF CUMBERLAND AND LORD PLUNKET. On Wednesday, some conversation arose in the House of Peers relative to a speech delivered at a meeting of the Grand Orange Lodge ; in the course of which, the Duke of Cumberland was reported to have charged Lord Plunket with virulent malignity. Lord PI.UNKET asked for an explana- tion of this language. The Duke of CUMBERLAND denied having used it ; and Lord PLUNKET expressed himself satisfied. The dispute originated in a mistake of Lord Plunket, who had stated that an Orange Lodge was formed in Dublin College ; whereas, though it was called the Trinity College Lodge, it was asserted to have no connexion with the College. The Duke of Cumberland was reported to have charged Lord Plunket with wilful misrepresentation on this head.
LAW OF PATENTS AMENDMENT BILL, On Tuesday, Lord BROUGHAM moved that their Lordships agree to the Commons' amend- ments on this bill; with the exception of one, which took from the bill one of its best provisions, and which be thus explained-- The difficulty under which a patentee chiefly laboured was this—that if the invention was of value, he was scarcely ever secure of a remuneration for his labour and his ; for the pirates—the men who pirated his in- vention, and pirated it the more in proportion to its greater value— formed a stock purse, and harassed him for years with disputes as to the validity of his patent, in courts of law. If the validity of the patent was in every instance established, it must be at an immense cost to the patentee ; who bad been employed perhaps during the whole of the fourteen years in expensive lawsuits, and had derived but little advantage from his patent. In this way, Watt, the great improver of the steam-engine—the man to whom society was so much indebted—had been almost ruined. To remedy this mischief, the pa- tentee generally applied for an act in cases where the patent was applicable to a subject of great value, in order to renew the patent for seven or fourteen years. This application was, in the first instance, generally made at their Lordshisd CONDUCT OF GENERAL DARLING. On Tuesday, INT. TOOKE brought up the report of the Committee on General Darling's conduct : it acquitted the General of improper treatment of -Sudds and Thompson, and stated that there was no evidence adduced in support of the other charges. Sir HENRY HARDINGE wished the report to be printed sepa- rately, for the sake of speedy circulation. The SPEAKER objected to this; and Sir HENRY gave way. Mr. AGLIONBY said— There was an allegation in the report that no evidence had been offered in support of the other charges against General Darling besides those involved in the case of Sudds and Thompson. That was true as a matter of fact ; but the inference ought not to be drawn from it, that the Committee had come deliberately to the same opinion the subject of the other charges, as in the case of the two soldiers.
Dr. BOWRING, one of a small minority in the Committee, was pro- ceeding to speak on the subject, but was called to order by Dr. Nicuor.r..
. Mr. TULK said, the Committee had been unfairly treated ; an addi- tion having been made to the report after several Members had left the room under the impression that it was complete.
THE SLAVERY LOAN. Last night, Mr. HUME submitted to the House a string of resolutions, containing long figure statements, in order to prove that Mr. RICE has borrowed the fifteen millions on disadvantageous terms. Mr. RICE maintained that Mr. Hume's calcu- lations were utterly wrong ; and after a brief discussion, the resolutions were negatived ; and a resolution moved by Mr. RICE approving of the terms of the loan, was carried without a division.
SESSIONAL ORDERS. On Wednesday, the House of Commons went into Committee on the Sessional Orders ; and agreed to the usual vote of 1200/. to Mr. Bernal, Chairman of the Ways and Means; on whom Mr. SPRING RICE pronounced a warm eillogium. A sum of 2001. was also voted to the Chaplain of the House, in lieu of request- ing the King to present him with some preferment. Mr. RUTHVEN said that 200/. was a paltry sum: it ought to have been 500/. Mr. WILKS observed, that it was not given as a remuneration, but a compli- ment. Douse; but, in cases which warranted it, they might easily imagine that the parties opposing the act would use all possible influence against its adoption. It was proposed in the present bill, that instead of corning to Parliament, where the parties might be put to the great expense of attending with counsel and wit- nesses for the space of sixty days; at the end of which time, twelve noble lords, tvho had not heard a word of the evidence, might come down and vote upon it ; a circumstance which might happen in a patent case as well as in any other- (" Order, order !")—a circumstance which might happen in a patent case, though he hoped that it could not happen in any other—( Laughter)—and the party might thus be defeated in obtaining what' he was fairly entitled to. It was proposed, therefore, to transfer the adjudication of a claim of this sort for a renewal of the patent, from their Lordships' House to the tribunal of the Judi- cial Committee of On Privy Council, where no such influence could ever pre- vail. This tribun..1 was admitted to be well contrived for the purpose; yet the proposition had been removed from the bill by the Commons. Now the public looked upon this as one of the best roarts of the bill, and on its removal as a jewel torn out of a crown. He should therefore recommend, that, with respect to this alteration, their Lordships should take the only proper course without negativing the amendment, which would, in fact, amount to throwing out the bill; and that they should at once adopt the other amendments.
The other amendments were agreed to ; and a conference with the Commons was requested on the subject of the one objected to by Lord Brougham.
TITHES ON TURNIPS AND TITHES RECOVERY BILL. These bills passed through the House of Peers, with some amendments, on Mon- day and Tuesday. On Wednesday the amendments were agreed to by the Commons, on the motion of Captain PECHELL.