19 FEBRUARY 1842, Page 8

he _Metropolis.

The meeting of the Anti-Corn-law Conference, on Saturday, was finaL Besides a vast number of Delegates, there were on the platform Mr. O'Connell, M.P., Mr. Ewart, M.P., Mr. Scholefield, M.P., Mr. Cobden, M.P., Sir George Strickland, M.P., Dr. Bowring, M.P., Mr. Dennistoun, M.P., Mr. Sharman Crawford, ALP., Mr. W. Williams, M.P., Mr. Hume, Mr. Sturge, Mr. George Thompson, and many other of the friends of free trade. Mr. P. A. Taylor occupied the chair. He reminded the Delegates, that when they returned to their own districts their work would recommence. Expatiating on the demerits of Sir Robert Peel's plan, he observed that in the agitation of the Corn-laws lay the germ of the reform of the franchise. There was another reform that had received a great impulse—

One of the great evilsuf mental and moral obligations in this country had been a servile kind of reverence for Aristocracy. A man no sooner rises a little in trade above his fellow merchants, than he looks over the place whence he sprung, and approaches with veneration the purlieus of aristocracy. The poor

until lately had always respected the rank and tinsel and power of great men. Had not this received a great shock ? He believed it had. It was seen that the considerations of the aristocracy had always been based on sordid and selfish views : this Conference had tended to destroy that preatige, and much good might be expected from that.

Communications were read, from Mr. Caleb Angus, who called him- self" a plain farmer," recapitulating the history of the Corn-laws, and showing how each successive effort to fix the price of corn had failed; from the Anti-Corn-law Association of Nottingham, the Bradford United Club, Coventry, Manchester, Warrington, Stockton (Bucking- hamshire), and Stroud. The Nottingham Association denounced Sir Robert Peel's measure" with reprobation and scorn," and warned the House of Commons that "unless the Corn and Provision laws are forth- with totally and immediately abolished, the security of property and the assumed privileges of a heartless aristocracy will be greatly and deservedly endangered." In the Bradford Club it was proposed to re- solve, that " since Government had stopped the supplies of the people, and refused relief to their distress, it was time to stop the supplies of the Government" ; but that resolution was postponed, to see how the House of Commons would deal with the measure. A meeting of ladies, held at the Manchester Bazaar on Friday, recorded their resolution-

" We, the undersigned ladies of the Bazaar Committee, resolve that we will form ourselves into a provisional committee to carry out a plan of passive re- sistance, and for forwarding such other measures as the Conference at present sitting in London may deem best, for the obtaining the total and immediate re- peal of the Corn and Provision laws. By passive resistance' we understand that we will allow our furniture to be seized for the payment of Assessed Taxes without offering any resistance to the collecting-officers, urging the people not to purchase the artiCles so seized ; and we further mean abstinence from the several taxed luxuries annexed to our names. We adopt the above pledge for three months ; and further pledge ourselves during that time to use our utmost exertions to preserve perfect peace among the people."

Mr Hume addressed the meeting at considerable length. The plan of agitation which he proposed was this— Let them bring the subject forward in every town and village ; let every anan come forward and assist in the object ; and let them not satisfy themselves with a simple meeting, but let every man get up and record his aye or no with Respect to the principle of this taxation.

Mr. Hume urged the Whigs to take the opportunity of coming for- ward and joining the people; "Let them demand the repeal of these laws—no holding back, no fixed duty, but a total and immediate repeal." He cautioned the meeting against adopting any resolution to resist tax- ation, for it might be illegal; but he recommended them to refrain from the use of ardent spirits, which produced a revenue of 5,000,0001.; with that, the articles of beer, tobacco, sugar, and wine, placed a reve- nue of 20,000,000/. at the command of the people to withhold or greatly to reduce. The electors, indeed, had it all in their own power ; but what was to be expected of the electoral body who had turned him out in such a town as Leeds, and had returned a Corn-law man ?

Mr. O'Connell made a speech which is said to have told well with the meeting. It was, he said, a disgrace to the English people that Mr. Hume was not in Parliament-

" And why is he not ? Because the constituency is not extensive enough ; because in those which are called open places, in general there are one hundred or fifty persons who turn the scale ; and it requires a sacrifice of private pro- perty, which my friend is too honest to himself and others to make, in order to buy the votes. Formerly seats in Parliament were bought openly and at once from a single individual, but now they were bought from many. At the last election, was there not, as it was pretty generally known, 1,500/. given for two votes in a certain borough? (Cries of "Name I ") I have no objection to name—Harwich. I always call things by their proper names. Oh! the Members had nothing to do with it ; but some good-natured friends did it with- out their knowledge.'

He gave a new turn to Mr. flume's objection against resistance to taxation- " My friend, and the friend of every measure favourable to the extension of civil and religious freedom, says that he did not approve of the avowed combi- nation of the Manchester ladies not to pay taxes. He is right, in point of law. A public agreement not to pay taxes is a wrong thing ; such an association may be the subject of prosecution. Oh, I wish they would prosecute the Lan- cashire ladies ; I should like to hear one of the landed aristocracy dare to talk of prosecuting the ladies of Manchester ! I tell him, the ghosts of the murdered operatives, whom the laws made for his benefit have starved to death, would not terrify his class half so much as the idea of prosecuting Mrs. Brooks and the ladies associated with her."

He said that the middle-class, in inviting the working-class to pro- cure them a victory on the Corn-laws, ought to agree to some declara- tion respecting the suffrage : he recommended "manhood suffrage."

It was resolved,

"That the Delegates attending this Conference, at the present crisis of the Anti-Corn-law movement, would strongly recommend to the various Associa- tions throughout the country the necessity of meeting throughout the ensuing week, to especially confirm the resolutions adopted at this Conference, pledging the Delegates not to vote for any Members of Parliament who will not vote for the total and immediate removal of all restrictions on the importation of food, and protesting against all the laws which tamper with the subsistence of the people ; and also to memorialize her Majesty, expressing an utter want of confidence in her present advisers, or in any Ministers who will not propose to Parliament the entire and immediate repeal of the Corn and Provision laws."

By a subsequent resolution, a perpetual Executive Committee was appointed, with power to add to their number ; thirteen to be a quorum. Mr. Sharman Crawford, who seconded this resolution, declared his con- viction, that they never would get rid of class-legislation until the whole people were fully and fairly represented in Parliament. Dr. Bowring followed; he referred to Sir Robert Peel's having quoted his testimony as to the comparative comforts of the English and Prussian people ; and averred that he had visited most of the cities in the North of Europe, and he could assure the meeting that he never witnessed any thing like the extreme poverty and distress which existed in the town of Bolton.

The Chairman having formally closed the Conference, a vote of thanks to him was passed, and the meeting separated.

The Executive Committee sat on Monday, at Brown's Hotel. It dis- solved on Tuesday, that the members might proceed to their several dis- tricts.

The Ministerial Corn-law project has produced some activity in London.

. On Friday evening, there was a Vestry-meeting of the inhabitants of Bt. Mary, Newington. A resolution was moved, declaring that

"the Corn-laws are an intolerable tax on the capital and enterprise of our manufacturing, commercial, and trading interests" ; that the meet- ing " set its face against all sliding scale systems, and is of opinion that the alteration announced by Sir Robert Peel on Wednesday night last exhibits a total incapacity or disinclination in that Minister to meet the present exigency, and that his abortive and delusive scheme is a creel insult and mockery upon the just demands of the people." An amend- ment, against the repeal of the Corn-laws, and for the Charter, was re- jected; and the original resolution was carried by a large majority. The inhabitants of Southwark held a public meeting in the Town- hall, on Monday ; the High Bailiff in the chair. Mr. Western, a Con- servative, said that he had not attended the last meeting on the subject, because Sir Robert Peel had undertaken to consider the Corn-laws ; and he then thought it only fair to abstain from interfering. He de- nounced the confederation of landowners and clergy to support the Corn-laws. The last season had been worse than it was expected to be ; but the very distress kept down the price of food by restricting the demand : the people starved, and so the price kept moderate. Sir Ro- bert Peel's measure was merely nugatory. The Hall being crowded, the meeting adjourned to a large room on Alderman Humphery's pre- mises, in Montague Close. Here the Chartists, headed by Mr. Feargus O'Connor, moved an amendment to the motion of a petition, a resolu- tion in favour of the Charter. After a tumultuous altercation, the amendment was carried.

Indignant resolutions demanding total repeal have been passed at an Anti-Corn-law tea-conference in Stepney and Whitechapel. attended by Dr. Pye Smith and Mr. Curtis of Ohio ; by a meeting in Christchurch, Marylebone ; by a Vestry-meeting of Clerkenwell ; a public meeting in Cripplegate Ward Within ; and a meeting at Mitcham.

At a meeting of Middlesex Magistrates, in Clerkenwell Sessions- house, on Thursday, Mr. Laurie announced the Duke of Portland's re- signation of the Lord-Lieutenancy of the county. An address of thanks for his services as Lord-Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum during nearly half a century was carried unanimously. Mr. Pownall carried a motion for a committee to negotiate with the Home Secretary respect- ing a salary for the Chairman of the Court. Sergeant Adams ; and on the motion of the same Magistrate, a Committee was appointed to in- quire into the expenses incurred by the county in criminal prosecutions.

On Wednesday week, Mr. Hananel De Castro was elected Deputy Chairman of the United Kt. gdom Life Assurance Company, in place of Mr. William Plasket, lately deceased ; and Mr. William Balaton, the eminent architect, was elected a Director of the Company.

The commission of inquiry into the sanity of Mr. Grundry's mind closed on Saturday, the seventh day of his examination. The Jury found, "That Mr. Grundry was of unsound mind, and incapable of taking care of himself and his affairs, and had been so since the month of September 1841."

In the ease of William Hitchcock, in the Court of Bankruptcy on Saturday, Mr. Ashurst, on behalf of Messrs. Cooke and Gladstone, consented to have his client's claim delayed for three months, to allow the assignees time to examine more minutely into the case. It was then stated that the assets amounted to 5,0001. After a short conversa- tion, it was arranged that a dividend of 2s. in the pound should be de- clared. Mr. Ashurst said that the dividend was like an ounce of silver spread over Salisbury Plain.