31 OCTOBER 1840, Page 9

A public meeting "of the friends of peace" in Manchester,

" for the purpose of giving expression to an opinion favourable to the preservation of peace at the present crisis," is advertised to be held in the Town- Ilan on Wednesday next.

[mom A CORRESPONDENT.] It WON to have been expected that the excellent letter of Sir William .Molesworth to the inhabitants of Leeds, (quoted in last week's Spec- .tator,) would have led to a public demonstration against war, and in favour of peace with France, in which all parties—Whig, Tory, and Radical—might have conscientiously joined. It appears, however, Yrom a circumstance which has transpired during the past week that the leaders of what goes by the name of "Liberal opinion" in week, tire content to enact the part of "thumb dogs" upon the occasion. A select meeting of those gentry took place in the Court-house on Monday ; when, after a lengthened discussion, they at length came to the vigorous resolution of—doing nothing! But it was by a tortuous .course that they arrived evsn at this decision. First, it was proposed and carried that a public meeting should take place ; and then, • "fright- ened at the sound themselves bad made," it was proposed and carried that the resolution thus arrived at should be rescinded, and that no meeting whatever should take place. This was managed by a fresh body of the old be Whigs having been drafted into the meeting for the express purpose of thus stumnarily quashing the proceedings. And what, think you, were the reaons for this conduct on the part of -these "good Reformers"? Why, the old reasons, to be sure, of .` Keep out the Tories," and '6 We must not damage the present Ministry." It was dolorously represented that the declaration of a public meeting in favour of peace with France at the present time, would be tantamount -to a censure upon the " Reform " Ministry ; while the people of France, it was assumed, would be encouraged in their bluster by the friendly and pacific advances of the people of England! Above all, however, was the plea of "damage to the Ministry." And thus throat. cutting may prosper, provided only that Whig officials be allowed to draw their salaries unmolested.

In resolving that there should be "no meeting" in Leeds, it will, it is loped, yet be found that the 11'hig manufacturers have reckoned some- what without their host ; and that the dictum of mere " Reform- Bill Reformers" is no longer competent, as heretofore, to influence and di ree t .public opinion. A meeting of the middle and industrious classes is now in contemplation ; and front the strong feeling which now prevails against war with France, there can be no question as to its being a most triumphant demonstration.