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regard to this right of petitioning, ward the petitions. The malt and hopwhich, though ridiculed by Mr. Paine, taxes ought to stand at the head of is a right, under the existence of which, every petition for relief. Until these if it be freely enjoyed, and steadily ex- be entirely taken off, there can be no ercised, a tyranny never can exist for man in his senses to propose any alteraany length of time.
tion in the Corn-bill. They are the The next thing is, then, on what sub. cause of more and greater evils than jects the people ought now to petition are to be described in a volume. They the House of Commons. Every man have inainly assisted in breaking up who reflects but very little upon the that happiest of all communities that matter, will perceive, that the main the world ever saw; namely, the agri. thing to be accomplished is, a REDUC- cultural community of England. The TION OF THE TAXES. There are soap-tax is also excessively burdenother things that want to be attended some, and falling most heavy on those to.
Divers very crying grievances; who can least bear it; and, with regard grievances such as our forefathers never to the stamps and the assessed taxes, dreamed of the possibility of; and these independent of their pressure, their parmust all be redressed; or else, this re- tiality is so crying, that it is impossible form of the Parliament will have failed for any just man to look at them withof its object. But, the first thing of all out feeling himself swell with indignais, a reduction of the taxes; because tion. The whole of the taxes ought to the burden of taxation is the real source be repealed, and that, too, without loss of all the evils which the country has of tiine; but still the malt and hopto endure. It is the cause of the bodily taxes demand a preference; and it is sufferings of the people; it is the cause for a repeal of those taxes, which I must of the increase of crime; it is the cause strongly recommend all my countrymen of the profligacy of expenditure, not to petition without loss of time. For a only in public affairs, but in the private bushel of malt and a pound of hops we affairs of man; it is the cause of the are now paying about twelve shillings, new and severe laws that have been instead of having them for about five, passed ; and of the abridgment of our which we should have, were there no liberties of every description. There-tax upon either ; so that here are the fore, the first thing to do is, to obtain millions of England and Wales paying a reduction of these enormous taxes ; pretty nearly two hundred per cent. on and, taking these taxes in the order in account of tax, upon their drink, coming which they are cruel and mischievous, from the produce of our own soil, while they stand, in my opinion, in the fol- the great and the rich are paying about lowing order :
fifty per cent. tax upon their drink, 1. The taxes on malt and hops. which is the produce of a foreign soil. 2. The tax on soap.
Every one complains of the mischief of 3. The taxes on stamps.
the beer-shops, every one complains of 4. The taxes on houses, windows, and the groups of homeless and houseless
other things, coining under the young people in the country ; every one head of assessed taxes.
complains of the increase of crime; These taxes immediately concern us every one perceives that these evils all: they are on the growth of our have proceeded from the banishment of land, or on our transactions with one the young people from the farm-houses: another, or on our dwelling-places, or but no one seems to perceive the power on the things that we use. With regard which the mall-tax has had in producing to things which come from abroad, or that banishment. This malt-tax, therethings, the use of which is not common fore, is the first thing to be assailed ; to us all, there will be time enough to and the people should recollect, that speak hereafter.
At present these are their representatives have very little to the taxes to be petitioned against ; and do with regard to the expenditure of the no time should be lost in sending for- public money; that their business is to
present the money being taken impro- round of the six hundred and fifty-eight perly from the people. No exciseman members, and not get your petition can go into a malt-house without an act presented aster all. If a petition is to of Parliament to warrant him in so come from a distance, and does not, todoing. Therefore, it is to their repre- gether with a cover, weigh an ounce, sentatives in Parliament that the people a member's frank brings it postage are to apply, in order to be eased of this i free. If it be a larger parcel, it ought burden, and of all other burdens. It is to be done nicely up, sent by coach, the duty of the members to exert them- carriage paid, and sent to some memselves to their utmost to accomplish this ber, at his dwelling-place in London purpose; but it is alsą the duty of the or, directed to him, at the House of people to second the efforts of those Commons, where letters or parcels are members ; and the way for them to se- alway sure to find him. cond them is, to draw up, to sign as I do beseech my reallers well to think numerously as possible, and to send for- of these matters : ward, their petitions to their own mem
“ A man of words and not of deeds, bers, if they be ready to receive, to pre- “ Is like a garden full of weeds ;' sent, and to support them; or else to is a saying as old, in all probability, as some other members.
The rules con
gardens themselves; and I do beg my cerning petitions are these; first, a pe- readers to bethink them of it well now. tition must be on one piece of paper or parchment, or on two or more pieces of Paper, pen, and ink, are all that are
wanted, and a great deal less time and paper, pasted together: it must contain
pens than are wasted by almost every no expressions which are seditious, or
man in against the principles of the Christian life. Let this be borne in mind.
every twenty-four hours of his religion; it must contain no expres sure I shall not have to reproach my sions essentially slanderous on indivi- sensible and public-spirited constituduals, unaccompanied with facts to ents with a neglect of iheir duty in this render such expressions just. It must
case ; and I hope that I shall see the contain no expressions which are mani
whole kingdom follow their example. festly insulting or disrespectful to the A petition ought not to be a long, rig, House; and it must contain a proper marole, sentimental thing. A hundred prayer ; that is to say, it must pray for words are better than a thousand. A the House to do something which the short petition always produces more House can legally do, or to refrain from effect than a long one, unless it be upon doing something, from the doing of
a subject so large and so complicated which it can legally refrain. A petition
as to require statemenis of reasons as ought to state no fact which is not well as of facts. Again, I beg my strictly true ; but that is a matter which readers to bear in mind, that it is upon must rest with the peritioners them their conduct, in this crisis, that they selves : the member who presents a have to depend for their happiness. petition is not at all responsible for the
Nota bene. Any parcels sent to Bolttruth of its allegations. If a petition court, to be forwarded to any member have the abore attributes, positive as that is in town, will, if the carriage be well as negative, any member to whom it is carried and delivered, at a suitable paid, be received, and sent to him imtime and in a proper manner, is bound mediately. But the best way is to die to present it, whether he agree in opinion himself, at the House of Commons,
rect the letter or parcel to the member with the petitioners or not.
It it were
London. not thus, the right of petition would be a farce: the right would merely be a right to beg a member to present a pe
THE LIBELLERS. tition for you, it being wholly optional I TAKE from the Morning Chronicle with hin, whether he would present it of this day, 31. Jan. 1833, a short reor not; and, thus, you might go the port of what took place in the Court
yesterday, in the case of the Baynes' from the ministerial side of the House, went libel on me; and in the proceedings on away immediately, and soon afterwards rewhich it seems that a necessary formality House, but
turned. No announcement was made to the had not been complied with, which Mr. Hume rose to ask whether it was the rendered it impossible to proceed upon intention of his Majesty's Ministers to bring the rule obtained this term; and this in a bill to alter the act for grauting an adhappened too late for a fresh application inuity to the late Speaker? ľhat was a sub
ject of great importance. to be made before the next term.
Lord ALTHORP interrupted the honourable
Gentlemau. It was against all usage and
custom, he believed, to enter upon business. Rex v. BAYNES AND ANOTHER. - Mr. BAYnes showed cause against the rule, which cussion except that for electiog the Speaker.
They were not entitled to enter into any dis. had been granted on behalf of Mr. Cohbett, against the defendants, for publishing in a that opportunity of referring to the election of
Mr. Hume proceeded : He would then take Leeds Paper, of which they were supposed to the Speaker, and be would call the attention be proprietors, a libel on William Cobbett, of the House to that subject. That now apEsq., Member for Oldham. He believed it reared to him to be a measure of the utmost would be uonecessary for him to go into the importance which the House could attend to, circumstances, for he contended, that in the and he was well aware that, in doing so, he affidavits in support of the rule, po sufficient was undertaking a duty which was personally evidence was stated to show that the de- unpleasant. It was, however, a public duty, fendants were proprietors of the paper in and he craved the indulgence of the House question.
while he stated the reasons why it appeared to The Court was of that opinion.-Rule bim especially necessary that the individual discharged.
elected to that high and confidential situation
good opinion of the House and of the country PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT. at large. He was aware that it had been HOUSE OF COMMONS.–Tuesday.
customary to make arrangements for the
election of Speaker by the different parties in The members assembled here in great the House before the actual election, and numbers as early as half.past one o'clock. By that the arrangements for that nomination two o'clock we should suppose that there were met the judgment and the approbation of at least three hundred present, which is a the majority, and that it was a common promuch greater number than we ever remember ceeding for such previous arrangements to to have seen on the first day at the opening of meet the concurrence and be supported hy any former Parliament. Possibly the Act for the opinion of the House. On that ground abólishing the oaths to be taken before the it might be considered. presumption on Lord Steward might have contributed to this, his part to offer an opinion, and much as no other ceremony seemed to be vecessary more when he concluded, as he meant than for members to present themselves and to conclude, by propusing an individual walk into the House. “No oaths were taken whom he conceived as capable of filling there, and the members congregated on the the chair with honour, and deserving of the floor, or sat on the benches engaged iu con- confidence of the House and the country. It versátiun. Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Cobbett might be necessary at times to agree to such a were two of the earliest attendants. Mr. Cob-previous arrangement, but it was not proper hett took his seat upon the Treasury bench, on this occasion. They had met under peculiar close between Lord Althorp and the members circumstances; they had met at a time when, for the City of London, who usually sit, on the if ever the public attention was peculiarly first day, on the right of the Speaker's chair, directed to their proceedings, more so, Among the persons present wbom we noticed he believed, that on any occasion of which he were-Lord Althorp, Lord John Russell, Sirl had read in history. They were bound on the James Graham, Mr. Charles Grant, Mr. Man- part of the country, to electa man who should ners Sutton, the Attorney-General, and others. not only be capable of performing the ordinary The ministerial side of the House was much duties of Speaker, hut who enjoyed the confi. crowded. On the opposition benches we saw Sir dence of the majority of the House, and whom R. Peel, Sir R. Inglis, the Marquis of Chandos, the House would be ready to support. He Sir Richard Vyvyan, Mr. Hume, the Messrs. ought, as nearly as possible, to represent the O'Connell and others. Alderman Wood and opinions entertained by the majority of Sir John Key appeared in their robes. At the House. He is frequently called upon half-past two o'clock the Gentleman Usher of to inflict censure, to express appro. the Black Rod came and announced that the bation in the naine of the House ; and Lords, authorised by bis Majesty's Commis- he therefore should be by his feelings and sion to open the Parliament, requested the at opinions connected with the majority of the: tendance of the Commons. Lord Althorp and House, or it could not be expected that he the Ministers, with some few other members would do justice to their sentiments, and
wishes. On that principle it was usual for believed, directly the opposite to those emthe majority of the House to nominate some braced by the right huo. Gentleman whose person whose political opinions and feelings opinions had been operly avowed-and to were known to accord with thuse of the ma. whom he gave the credit of an honest conjority of the House, and whose opinions were viction, that those opinions, and the action's likely to meet with the approbation of the they dictated, were calculated to promote the people at large. Oo no occasion, he would happiness of the country-it was impossible venture to say, did the people take a greater for bim, in giving credit to the right hon. interest in their proceedings ; on no occasion | Gentleman and bis party, for the sincerity of was it more necessary that the gentlemaa no- their convictious, not to express a hope that minated for Speaker should enjoy the confi- they would give bim credit for the same sindence of the majority of that House and the cerity in the proposition he meant to make, country; and on ou occasion was the House and that it was made from no other motives ever placed in a more difficult situation than than thuse of the public good. He was one at present with regard to the person to be of those who had always advocated parliaeleeted to the high office in question. He mentary reform, not only as a great and incandidly admitted that there were good grounds portaut measure of itself, but as a means to for the course pursued, and that at first he was etfect those inportant changes which it was not inclined to offer any opposition to the in- necessary to give that relief to the people dividual to be proposed by his Majesty's Go wbieb they expected, and for which they had veroment, or by those who had taken part iu sought relorm. Onless further alterations the previous arrangement. It was in favour were made, they would not receive those ad. of the views of those members who made the vantages to which they were so well entitled previous arrangement, and it was a motive from the exertions which they had made to which made himn ineline to assent to it, that obtain their rights. To obtain all these ada it would not be attended with any expense. vantages, it was necessary to have a Speaker But when he considered the matter, he found who should represent the opinions of the mathat he could not acquiesce in it. Certainly jority of the House. If such were the case there was no man in that House more bound if a Speaker should be chosen who was not an to feel grateful towards another than he was advocate for reform, how could be, au advoto the late Speaker. When he considered the cate for reform, believing, too, that the majogreat urbanity of the Speaker's mannersrity of that House were reformers, and pre(cheers), the attention he had received from pared to fulfil the wishes of their constituents him-from one so bighly situated as was the - how could he believe that the majority of Speaker of that House--he should always feel that House would have their feelings and grateful for his behaviour. In undertaking sentiments properly represented by one who the task which had fallen on him, be boped was not a reformer ; 'and how could they that the House believed that he was actuated feel themselves contented with any course by nothiog but a sense of public duty. But adopted in regard to measures hereafter there were occasions when public duty made contemplated ? It was possible among the meo violate private feelings, and certainly, on varied duties which a Speaker might public questions all private feelings must have to perform, which made it proper that he yield to that paramount sense of the duty should be a reformer; it was possible that cirwhich every member of that House owed to cumstances might arise, when the Gentleman his country and his constituency. He had no who filled that situation might have to supa hesitation in saying, that all private consider- port the principles of reform. Certainly the ations were iu favour of the right hop. Gen- right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Manners Sutton) tleman, whose courtesy in giving him his sup- might express sentiments in accordance witá poft iu public business, both in that House the usages of the House, but not in accordand out of that House, merited his regard; ance with the sentiments and views of those and be hoped that no Genileman would sup- who were of opinion that other measures were pose that what be was about to do was actus necessary to secure the benefits of the imated by any feeling of hostility. It was quite portant change which had been made. He the contrary; and he hoped and trusted that, could not bring himself to think that it was whatever might be the result, no difference not of great importance that the individual would take place in the conduct of the right who filled the chair of that House, should not hon. Gent. towards him. Under the circum- be of the political opinions of the majority of stances of the present moment he must call the House, and should not have their full on the House, not only to consider what had confidence. He considered it most important, been the practice on former occasions, but when the public were anxiously looking at what ought to be their conduct on the present their proceedings, that the public should be occasion. Their acts were all open to ani- satisfied by their choice, and tbat there should madversion, and every member ought to be be no compromise of principle in placing an prepared to state the reasons which guided individual to preside over their deliberations, his vote, and be prepared, without hesitation, who did not agree in opinion with the majority to justify all his proceedings. It was impos- of the House. It was proper to elect an indisible for him, from the interest he took in vidual who entertained opinions coinciding those deep-rooted opinions, which were, he with those of the majority, which would give him a better chance of executing well the dif- had stated, that it was inconsistent with the ficult duty of expressing what was really the duty he owed to a reformed Parliament to supopinion of the House. Otherwise it was pos- port such a proposition, he had turned round sible, on all difficult questions, it might be to see in whom he could place confidence, aud doubted whether he justly expressed the opi- in whom the House and the country conld nions of the House, and did justice to its pro- place confidence, if raised to the digaity of ceedings. He challenged any gentleman pre-Speaker. At one time he considered that it sent to produce an instance of a large body of would be suficieat if he expressed his dissent men, who assembled to deliberate, placiog at from the nomination proposed, leaving the their bead, and giving power to regulate House to decide whether it would or not support their proceedings, and to preserve order in his views, and in case it had, then ouly proposing their business, a man who was opposed in his the individual whom he thought was likely to opinions to the majority. No instance could maintain the confidence of the House and the be found of men electing a president or chair- country: Looking, however, to the usual* man-an individual who professed opinions practice in such cases, and more parrowly to directly contrary to the opinions professed by the qualification of individuals, and judging the majority. He meant to make no reflec- that it would be preferable to name tbe iuditions on the opinions of the right hon. Geutle. vidual he thought qualified, to merely uegaman who had manfully maintained his pria- tiving the proposition-he meant, before sitciples; but he could not think it bis duty to ting down, to put into nomiuation one of the place in a situation of coufidence a gentlemau huo. members for the county of Stafford. IR who professert opinious directly opposite, he his opinion that individual was quite fit for believed, to the majority. The times were the station, though he did oot cume, in every full of difficulty. He believed that circum- respect, quite up to the mark. (Laughter). stances might arise which would require a He hoped, as he had been heard so far, that man of no ordinary firmuess, and a nan en- he might be further heard. He would caq. tertaining opinions like the majority, as the didly express his opinion, and explain the agent and organ of the House. He contem- reasons for it. The experience of the hun. plated as possible, a difference of opinion be- Member, his qualifications, and his high tween that House and the House of Peers, standing, fitted him, both publicly aod priand when it would be most important that the vately, for the important situation. Besides rights of that braoch of the legislature, which the hon. Member's high standing, he had had were the rights of the people, should be sup- great experience in all the business of that ported; and would not the House-would nut House; be bad been concerned in much of its the people think that danger might arise, important business, and he knew no man who; that their rights might be impeded, and that session afier session, and day after day, bad confusion might eosue from having as an so closely attended to those important duties organ a man whose sentiments did not accord which were acknowledged necessary to ena. with theirs ? He did not say that this would ble him to fill the important situation of be the case; he hoped it would not; but when Speaker in that House.If he might judge be considered that it was possible, that there from the experience previously obtained by was a great probability even of disputes, he other Gentlemen before they became Speakers, must say that it was necessary to have an in- he must say that he could not fiud one who dividual to fill the chair whose opinions ac. had equal experience in, and who had paid corded with those of the people, and possessed equal attention to, the business of Parliament, the other qualifications. The right hon. Gen- both public and private, to the hon. Member tleman who had so long filled ihe chair was for Staffordshire. The hon. Member's services eminently qualified by his taleuts for that situ- were sufficient to recommeud bim. As reation. (Hear, hear). He did not object to garded the standing of the hon. Member, he bim on the score of his abilities, but he was had been sent into Parliament by the almost anxious to see if he could not find another in- unanimous voice of a county, and a man re. dividual as well qualified as the right hun presenting such a constituency was, in his Gentleman, and who, during the long struggle opioion, peculiarly proper to express the opifor reform, had maintained those principles nions of the people, and be the organ for which the Ministers bad propagated and the expressing the opinions of the House. lo people had supported. He wished that House, firmuess of mind and experience, he was which represented the people, to elect a man satisfied the hon. Member for Staffordshire who had acted as if he thought thc reform would not be deficient. Finding that many proper, and who had been elected by a majo- others entertained the same decided potions of rity, he might almost say, unanimously re- his fitness to dischargeihe important duties of turned to Parliament by a constituency who a Speaker, he (Mr. Ħume) thought he might desired reform. There were such men, men be excused if he dwelt no longer on that part who had not indeed been tried in that sivua of the subject. There was, however, another tion, but had shown themselves in other situa: consideration deserving of notice the station tions capable of performing all the duties of of the hon. Member in life. As he (Ms. Hume) the Speaker of that House. Da understanding hoped that no future Speaker would be fouad that there was a proposition to re-elect the to apply for a retiring pension, the fortune and late Speaker, and thinking, for the reasons be station of a candidate for that office were not