6 MARCH 1852, Page 12


To be moved at the proper time, by a Member of sufficient ability, independence, and courage.

"May it please your Majesty—We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, approach the Throne at the present critical conjuncture of affairs with feelings of loyal solicitude for your Ma- jesty's dignity and the welfare of our common country. "We congratulate your Majesty on the recent exercise of the prero- gative intrusted to the Sovereign by our constitution, which has filled up the offices of Executive Administration vacated by your Majesty's late servants, with so much facility, with so little interruption to public busi- ness, and with no anxiety to the nation. From that happy result, your Majesty will have received another example of the confidence reposed by the country in the just exercise of the Royal functions, and of the benefit which the State derives from the firm and prompt action of its Chief. "Your Majest"s Commons indulge the hope, that you, Madam, have discovered how little it is necessary, either for the dignity of the Threne or the welfare of the State, to restrict your Royal trust to any one party of statesmen how much less to any particular families. "With these congratulations your Majesty's Commons are constrained to couple an expression of regret, that for a considerable time past your Majesty's late servants had laboured under an incapacity to discharge their public duties in a manner to satisfy the requirements of the country or to justify the confidence of this House. Our regret is deepened by the recollection, that they originally came into office by virtue of a factious combination to remove from power, on a pretext which their own con- duct afterwards refuted, a Minister in full possession of your Majesty's confidence, gifted with the highest qualities of statesmanship, and of un- exampled devotion to his country's service.

"'While rejoicing at the occasion which has enabled your Majesty, in the just exercise of the Royal prerogative, to relieve the public service from one of the effects of that combination, your Majesty's Commons regret that the Sovereign should be exposed to the indignity which such combina- tions induce. Referring to the Speech which your Majesty so graciously delivered at the commencement of the present session by the advice of your late Ministers, we regret that the lips of the Sovereign should have been rendered the medium for the announcement of a policy, containing many fair promises, which those advisers have been wholly unable to make good. We regret that, after so short an interval as must occur before the assem- bling of the next Parliament, the same august lips will in all probability give sanction to political views materially different, though not more 'wel- come to the nation. And this our regret is heightened in looking forward to the time, beyond the existence of the present Ministry, when the same lips may have yet again to utter new declarations of policy not less un- fruitful nor less changeable. " It is not the part of true loyalty to conceal the effect of such apparent variableness of purpose on the respect which the people of this country ought to feel for the exalted office of the Sovereign and for the institutions of these realms. We fear, Madam, you may have been induced to accept as a constitutional axiom, a doctrine invented by the principal leaders in the divisions that unhappily distract this House that necessity of state %obliges you to choose your servants alternately irom among themselves. Such has been, indeed, a commonly-received principle of political action, not without its use in times suited for its application; but it is a doctrine foreign to the principles of our ancient constitution, and unrecognized by publicists. Its evil working has been aggravated by the practice of leav- ing the formation of Ministries to one person as a common contractor for the rest ; a practice so novel and unknown to our constitution, that there is no name existing in our older language for such an officer. Those leaders of parties, forgetting their duty of conveying to the Sovereign true information for the governance of affairs, have untruly set forth that they exclusively possess the confidence of Parliament. It is fit that your Majesty should know the truth : and to that end it is our duty to declare, that no man has possessed that confidence since the statesman to whom we have referred was removed from office by factious combination ; that there exists no definite majority in this House; and that all opportunity has ceased for applying the modern rule in guiding the selection of your Majesty's Ministers. Added to the incapacity of those who by accident have become party leaders, we are fur- ther bound to represent to your Majesty, that through many causes, this House itself fails adequately to represent the people of this land ; and that, through the unhappy divisions which distract our own body, we are unable to fulfil the functions of true representatives of the people bypass- ing measures which the exigencies of the state require. Thus it has come to pass, that we have ceased to possess any but a nominal control over the public monies ; that projects of social improvement, imperatively de- manded and long promised, die in their conception, and have not, as it would seem, strength to be brought to the birth ; and that, while our country is exposed to dangers threatening us from the disorders in other countries of Europe, and especially in a neighbouring powerful state, the defence of the land is confessedly unprovided for, and the shores of Eng- land are left open to the risk of invasion, whilst the quarrels of faction are obstructing the public business of the country.

"Such a state of things, unbecoming to your Majesty, vexing to the nation, riskful to the public safety, and dangerous even to the sta- bility of our institutions, calls on us to approach our Sovereign Lady, en- treating her to complete the work which has been half accomplished. We beseech your Majesty to break loose from the thraldom into which you have been led. The divisions which prevail in this House have no claim to bind your Majesty in the exercise of your undoubted pre- rogative. The Sovereign has a full right to the choice of each and every one of the Ministers ; and it is only by appointing to each post the fittest person, trusting to their common patriotism for united action, that the administration of the affairs of this country can be placed on a sound foundation, and the progress of social improvement suffered to have safe and free course. Wisdom in contriving and ability in executing good measures, thus brought into active play in the public service, will of themselves stamp the men deserving of their country's confidence, and give an impulse to public opinion which we ourselves shall be compelled to obey. We therefore pray your Majesty to exercise such your un- doubted right; we on our part humbly assuring you of our loyal and dutiful support, and of our readiness to concur in all measures needful to effectuate the desired object."