Abbildungen der Seite


upon my seeing a reasonable prospect of being appeared in Parliament, by far the best I am pledged, as I think, by every tie of.pri. speaker that England has possessed vate honour, and by every obligation of pub. during my time; and I say all this lic duty, both to my Sovereigu and to the without forgetting that he would have people. (Hear, hear, hear.) I wish your utterly destroyed me if he could ; and Lordships distinctly to understand (as I have that it is no excuse for such a man to say with some apparent eagerness), that it is my that he was induced to make the atdeliberate conviction, that the dangers to be tempt by the base importunities of incurred by the rejection of this bill cannot be others. obviated by any measure of less force and efficiency. If such a plan be proposed, it

There was, however, something far is not by me that it will be supported: beyond the ability displayed by Lord I never will consent to hold out to the Grey; far beyond his clear and powerpeople a delusive measure of reform-1 ful statement, his unanswerable arguam convinced that they have a right to ex. pect constitutional reformn to the full extent of ments, and his judicious appeal to the the bill upon the table, and their earnest wishes justice and prudence of the Peers; I in its favour have beeu zealously expressed. mean, his bold, and honest declaration, I have set before your Lordships examples that he would not keep his place an hour which should teach you how to avoid perils, if deprived of the means of carrying which in my view must inevitably follow re: this great measure complete. That iş jection. I advocate this bill as a measure of peace and conciliation ; and in the words of precisely what the country wanted, and the prayer we daily offer, I hope that Providence also what it expected from him. Now,

prosper all your consultations to the we all know how we stand. We all advancement of his glory-to the good of the church, and to the safety, honour, and welfare know that this bill will pass, or, that of the empire." (Much cheering.) I am the powers of the state are to pass into aware that I have already too long detained other hands. your Lordships, but I cannot conclude without expressing a hope-would I could say a WHARNCLIFs, better known to the

The opposition was begun by Lord sanguine expectation that this measure may receive your sanction : I entreat your Lord country by the name of Stuart WortSiships to take into view the situation of the ley, who was one of the messengers to

country, and I trust that you will then see the Queen Caroline, along with Banks, Wil' necessity for coufirming by your vote a measure calculated not only to produce immeasurable

berforce, and Ackland. He moved at good, but to prevent incalculable evil. (General once that the bill be rejected ; but he and reiterated cheers.)

afterwards wished to withdraw that motion ; and after a great deal of talk

about the matter ; a great deal of ability It is now Wednesday morning, the shown by the Ministers, and a great 5th of October. The debate was ad- deal of feebleness shown by the Opposijourned on Monday night, and again tion, he was allowed to new model it last night, and it may not terminate into a motion, " That the bill be read before this Register goes to press. But a second time this day six months.there are some observa:ions called for, The speech of Lord Wharncliffe was a upon the part of the debate, which is speech of detail rather than of principle. now before me. Upon the speech of It had no argument in it worthy of atLord Grey it would be useless to waste tention. Lori Mansfield, however, time in praises : it is a speech, imperfect who came next on the same side, dwelt as the report must necessarily be, such a good deal on the effects of the bill as the oldest of us have never heard be- upon the character and proceedings of fore; but then it is the speech of a future Houses of Commons. He said man whom I have for more than twenty that he believed, “ that men of talent years past always held up to my readers" and character, active and enterprising as a man possessing greater talent and " men, who held opinions contrary to knowledge, with regard to the major “ the interests of the country, would get part of public matters, than any other “ into Parliament;" and that these man in the kingdom. He has always men would reduce the taxes, wipe away been, in my opinion, ever since he first the National Debt, and abolish the


tithes. He also alluded to an abolition only about half a century has elapsed of the pensions, sinecures, and grants ; since the peerage stood in need of such and his great objection to the bill support : instead of upholding a peerseemed to be that it prepared the way age, they tend directly to destroy it, by for an abolition of the peerage and an showing the people that the peerage is interference with the succession of the thus made the cause of their burdens

and their misery. When the people are Now, I will deal frankly with his told, as they were by the result of the Lordship. I am for a government of motion of Sir James Graham, that a King, Lords and Coinmons; and, if hundred and thirteen of the Aristocracy this bill pass, it is my settled opinion swallow up as much money, taken out that that government will still remain, of the taxes, as is equal in amount to and will be more respected and more the poor-rates of nine of the counties of honoured than it ever was before ; but England, how are the people to love I am not for a government of King, that aristocracy? Not one sixpence of Lords, and boroughmongers and loan- this money would be voted by a reformed inongers, and with such government I Parliament; or, at least, that is my never will rest contented. It is quite hope; and if it were not my expectapossible that I myself may be one of the tion as well as my hope, I would not men of “talent, activity, and enter- give a straw for that bill for which the prise” that this bill may let into the nation now is so eagerly contending. Parliament; and I can assure his Lord. They expect to have the taxes reship that, if that should be the case, no duced.” Expect! We are sure of it ; exertion within my power shall be aye, and to see the national debt wanting to cause to be done the very wiped off;" justly, mind; but, wiped thiogs, the rendering of which things off to a certainty; "and to see the possible makes him object to the bill. tithes abolished." To be sure we do, In all the just prerogatives of the King, and if we did not, I tell Lord Mansfield in the dignity and privileges of the that I verily believe that nine hundred peerage, I see the greatest utility, not and ninety-nine out of every thousand only in maintaining the honour of the of the people would wish the bill to be country, but in promoting the happiness rejected, and never heard of more; for of the people themselves. These high what is it to us that a thing called restations, beyond the reach of mere form take place, if the same burdens riches, serve effectually to check the upon us be to continue? The petition everlasting rivalship in the masses of for reform which was presented by Lord money; to be sure, I am to be under- Grey in the year 1793, contained this stood as supposing that they are not to passage :

:-"Your petitioners must now be purchased with money. They are, beg leave to call the attention of your indeed, no harm to the people, and in “ honourable House to the greatest certain cases they do them a great deal" evil produced by these defects in the of good. They are attended with soine representation of which they comevils; but, after long thinking and long “plain, namely, the extent of PRIVATE observation, I am satisfied that, if ju- " PARLIAMENTARY PATRONAGE ; diciously used, the good of these insti- « abuse which obviously tends to extutions very far surpasses their evil. “ clude the great mass of the people But if a peerage cannot be supported “ from any substantial imfluence in the without pensions, sinecures, grants, “election of the House of Commons, half-pay, allowances, and salaries, such “ and which, in its progress, threatens as we now behold, and such as we feel “ to usurp the sovereignty of the counthe effects of, then where is the man try, to the equal danger of the King, who will hold up his head in defence of “ of the Lords, and of the Commons." a peerage? A peerage can be upheld without


of these : it has, for many I am compelled here to throw my centuries, been upheld without them commentary aside, and let it wait for


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

apother week, if indeed, events should it with great attention, and particularly
not arise which may make it quité ob- to notice the clever manner in which
solete and of no use. This is THURS- my Lord Holland blowed up the story
DAY MORNING. Last night the de- of Lord Wharncliffe about the inhubi-
bate was renewed and continued from lants of B nd-street. But the great
Tuesday, night; but there was something to notice is the resolution at Bir-
thing which took place before the debate mingham to refuse to pay taxes, and
began, which was of infinitely greater Lord Eldon's appeal to the Lord Chief
importance than the debate itself; Justice upon the subject. I hope that
namely, a debate on the presenting, or all appeals of that sort will be rendered
rather on the subject of the BIRMING- unnecessary by the speedy passing of
HAM PETITION. I shall here insert the bill, which, after all, I think the
this debate at full length. It shows Lords will pass, notwithstanding all the
that things are coming to that point | big talk we hear against it.
which I always said they would come
to; namely, to a general refusal to pay
the direct taxes, if this bill did not pass.
Last year I gave lectures in most of the Lord WHARNCLIFFe had another petition to
principal towns of thirty out of the forty present from merchants, hankers, and other
counties of England. In every one of wealthy inhabitants of the city of London, the

of which he would have read at the those counties, with the exception of table, in order that he might avoid falling into two, I was asked, in the most serious a similar.mistahe as be had fallen into in remanner, by graves sensible, and even gard to the prayer of the other petition. But rich men, whether I would not recom-sidered it as being agaiust the whole bill, since

as to that petition, he might fairly have conmend a refusal to pay the assessed it prayed for alterations, whereas ministers taxes ;

to which I always answered that had declared against all alterations. (No, no.) I would give no recommendation on. He understood that such was the declaration the subject. I was then asked, gene- tration. But, however, as to the present per

of the noble Earl at the head of the Adminisrally, to give my advice as to the mode titiull, he was instructed to say that it had of proceeding if the parties should re- been signed between two o'clock on Saturday, solve to do it. I always answered, that and the same time oo Tuesday, hy 800 persons. it was a thing about which I could offer It had been agreed to at a meeting of mer.

ebauts and bankers, held in cousequence of no advice; and that, I thought it was another petition, agreed to at another meetiøg, better for us to petition with great per- and said to be the petition of the merchants severance fora reform of the Parliament, and hankers of the city of London, and which and to wait patiently for the effect of had been presented to this House as such. those petitions, lest, in our eagerness to was signed by many of the partners of the

The petition which he bad now to present obtain redress, we should cause the de- most respectable houses in Loudon; and struction of things which we wished to although the greater numbers might be on uphold.

the other side, yet the men of the greatest Now, let it be observed, that this was Even among those who were friendly to the

property in London were adverse to the bill. not only many months before the Duke bill, the feeling in its favour was by nu means of Wellington threw the country into a so strong as it had originally been, and as a ferment by his daringly expressed reso proof of illis be need only state, that the petilution against all reform; but the far bankers, and traders of Lundua bad been

tion formerly presented from the merchants, greater part of these conversations took signed by 9,600 individuals, whereas the petiplace six months before the last French tion last presented had been signed by only Revolution took place; and yet the 4,700 persons. He was instructed to state Duke now ascribes the

universal cry for that the signatures to this petition included a reform to the French Revolution. If it telligence of the City of London. But now he had not been for my advice, the refusal would take the opportunity to advert to what : would actually have taken place, in one bad been said with respect to some remarks of county, so early as the month of March. his the other night, to the effect that the feels I shall now insert this debate, praying this Reform Bill had very much abated. It

ing in London and Westminster in favour of my readers to go through every part of was said that he bad taken as his criterion llye

inhabitants of Bond-street and St. James's-st. 1" Bill. (Hear, hear) The question has been But be would asacrt with confidence, that if " frequently asked, "Will the Lords pass the they were to apply not only to the inhabitants" Bili?' I answer the question by proposing of Bond-street and St. James's street, but to “ another-Dare they refuse it? (Loud cheers. inquire at the shops in all the streets in Lon. “ If they do refuse, upon what can they ground don, Southwark, Westminster, and Mary " their refusal? Is it upon right? If it oumes bonne, they would find that the people had not " to a matter of right, they have no right to only become cool towards the mičasure, but " interfere at all in the case, for the reform we that they generally blamed the ministers (“ seek is the reform of the House of Commons, for proposing such a bill. When they " aod the House of Commons is not their House were told that to pass this Bill was the only " but ours. (Hear.) Observe, that the greatest Way to prevent a 'revolution, it might be more " legal ornaments of the Law and Courts of justly said their passing it under the present" our country have declared that the Peers circumstances would occasion a revolution;" have no such right. Su Simon D. Ewes, and and when he looked at the proceediugs at the " Coke upon Lyttleton, bave decided, that in Meeting of the Birmingham Political Union, “ cases which concern exclusively either House, in order to vote their petition, he might say " the other House has no right to ioterfere. that the revolution was not only threatened, “ (Hear, hear.) Upon this priociple it is, that but actually begun. (Hear, hear.) These “ihe House of Commons does not interfere people were not contented with the accounis “..with the election of the representative of their proceedings given in the newspapers, “ peers of Scotlaud. (Hear.). Cao the Peers but they published them for themselves, with refuse the bill, because their trust is in the medals attached to them; and if the language “ army? No. They cannot have an army to used by the orators at such meetings was not s figlit for them withont they pay that army; that of intimidation, he did not know what " and if the people refuse to pay taxes, how was; for in case the Bill did not pass, they will that army be paid? (Loud cheers.) But openly threatened to employ physical force to " supposing the English people were foolish carry their measure. One person-he believed" enough to consent to pay taxes for the supply a person of the name of Haynes, had said that " of such an army, where iwould it be fuuod? they were met to the uumber of 150,000, to “ (Hear.) Would the gallant men who have petition the Lords to pass the Bill, and this “ reaped immortal honours in foreiga laods was the style in which he addressed these “ consent to taroish those honours, by mur. 150,000 men :-"] agree that the power of " dering their wives, their friends, and rela"the people is greatest, not when it strikes, tives : (Loud cries of No, no.) To support " but when it holds in awe; not when the " the tyranny of four hundred men over six“blow is actually struck, but when it is sus. “ teen millions, would they imbrue their "pended. As Manlius said to the Roman peo“ swords in the blood of their countrymen ? “ple, Osterdite brllum, pacem habebetis ;' so " There is not a lown, nor village, por even "I say to you, show that you can figbt, and “ a hamlet, which had not contributed one or

you will never be under the necessity of " more brave men to fill up the ranks of our fighting. (Loud cheers.) It is to the calm “ army; and will these mea, at the call of the mander in which the people have exerted (“ boroughmongers, come furth to shed the "their power that their success has been de "blood of their relatives upon their fathers' "Tived. As Mr. Attwood had said, the Le-“graves The suppositiou is ridiculous." “ viathan is 'hooked in the nose, and with Here this man lad dared the Lords to refuse $ 150,000 men at the foot of Newball Hill to pass the bill. Was not this the language of "to hold the rope, the Leviathan could not intimidatiou? If it was not, be could not up

escape. (Loud cheers.) When the Reform derstand what was the language of intimida

Bill was carried into the House of Lords, tion. The whole tenor of the language ap"they were surprised like Belsbazzar at bis plied to physical force; aud he might therca

unboly feast. They were not, like him, fore say,' that revolution was not only threat* profaning the vessels of God's altar, but ened but begun. Mr. Attwood, who was at

they were profaning that which, next' uuto the head of this meeting, told them," that the " bis altar, the Almighty prizes the most- “ upholy dominatiou of the Oligarchy was pamely,

, the happiness and liberty of his " now coming to au end. He (Mr. Attwood) people. (Loud cheers.) But now their dy- " did not mean to say that they could live nasty is nodding to its fall-the hand-writ- “ without labour, and hard labour too. But

ing has appeared against them they have " he meant to say, that every honest labouret * beer weighed and have been found wanting, “ in England had as good a right to a reason"and if they do not speedily give us that " able maintenance for his family in exchange “ which is our own, it will be taken from for bis labour as the King had to the crown € them. (Loud cheers.) The power of the “ upvp bij head; and this was the right which 4 people is triumphant- they caunot stand “ he was determiued to enforce. If lie bad against it; as well might the devils in bell “ seen this right secured--if he had seen nise ia opposition to the decrees of Divine * every houest man in England possessing an justice. (Loud cheers.) As you are aware, “ undoubted security for an honest bit of my countryineu, we are met to the number “ breaid for his family--if be had seen every of 150,000, to petition the Lords to pass the “honest labourer possessing abundaut wages

[ocr errors]



" for himself, and at the same time leaving putting to the test the expediency and cons : a reasonable profit to his employer, he would venience of this course, and with that view he

never have assisted in the formation of the laid iu his claiin to take advantage of the “ Political Union." Was this the way in principle. If, therefore, he should happen to which to address a meeting of 150,000 people ? speak on the bill this night, and any one anOught they to be told that they oughi always swered in such a manner as to gall him, he, to have abundant wages for their labour, and to be sure, would uot reply to that answer; that the employer ought always to have a but then he would have a petition to present, reasonable profit on his capital? It was and this would give bin an opportunity of impossible that the wages of labour should making another speech, without waiting for amount to more than its value in the market; another stage of the bill. (Hear, hear, hear.) and if wages were to be higher, it was im. The objection was the inconvenience, but he possible that the employer could have a rea- admitted the right, and meaut to take the sonable profit on his capital. It was merely benefit of it. (Hear, hear, hear.) Now, as to practising a delusion on the people to per- the observations of his noble Friend on the suade then that the passing of this bill would subject of the proceedings of the Birminge bring them higher wages, or a larger profit on ham Political Union meeting, which, when their capital. He hoped, however, that they joined by other Political Unions in the would not be influenced in their proceedings neighbourhood, was said to consist of 150,000 by intimidation, or a dread of physical force. meu; it had often been represented as a He repeated his belief, that the feeling in and very hard measure that a great and numerabout London in favour of this bill was not so ous assembly should be held to be responsible strong as it was represented to be. But it was for such improper and unjustifiable expresthe object of the London press to magnify this sions as nighi fall from one or two persons. feeling, and to say that it was very strong in It

fitting that, the great body London and its vicinity, in order to produce should be answerable for the intemperate ex., the stronger impression on the country. He pressions of ove individual, or of a few india had seen the Westminster meeting and some viduals, who might attend the meeting. He others in and about London, and he confessed claimed the benefit of that maxim in favour that they appeared to him quite ridiculous; of these petitioners, and protested against so much so, that the respectable persons who their being held responsible for intemperate attended them appeared to be ashamed of expressions, which were not only improper, them. Still, he believed that a vast majority. but contrary to law and common sense-not were looking for a reform. (Hear.) He ad merely seditious, but perhaps amounting to mitted it. lle had said so before, and he re. little less than a capital felony. (Hear, bear, peated it, and in that object he was willing to hear.) Ite protested agaiust the iujustice of go along with them as far as he safely could. supposing that those who found thein selves in But he maintained that there was anjong the a situation where they could not avoid listen. ; people of London and its vicinity, a great ing to these grossly improper expressions, shrinking from ayd great dread of this bill, were responsible for such expressions, when and that now few comparatively would cor- in all probability they highly disapproved of dially support it.

them. Let the meeting be judged of, not by The LORD CHANCELLOR :--As he had had the intemperate language of one or a few, but the honour to present to their Lordships the by its acts; and so far was its conduct from other London petition, unanimously agreed manifesting any thing like sedition or disto at a public meeting, and also the petition loyalty, that more than 100,000 people took ; of the Birmingham Political Union, also off their hats simultaneously, and solemnly unanimously agreed to at a meeting repre. prayed for a blessing on the head of their sented as consisting of from 100 to 150,000 Suvereign. (Hear, hear.) That was persons, he hoped their Lordships would allow vindication of the speaker who spoke so inhim to say a few words on the remarks of his temperately, but it was a proof that the asnoble Friend. But first as to the course sembly neither meant to begin nor to comwhich his noble Friend was pursuing. His plete a revolution. (llear, hear.) He did not noble Friend had been heard at great length mean to follow his noble Friend through his against this bill--although not at greater remarks as to the feelings of the people in length than his talents and weight entitled London and its vicinity. His noble Friend him to. But he had had his speech against had said that not merely the people of Bondo. the bill, and he had been answered. But his street and St. James-street were now adverse noble Friend did not wait for another stage of to this bill, but that even those of London, the bill, or for another proper opportunity, Southwark, and Marybonne, as well as the to reply to that answer; but he took ad- people of Westminster, were shrinking with vantage of the presentation of a petition, in dread from the bill. But suppose that before order to make another speech against the bill. his uoble Friend was five minutes older a peHis noble Friend had a perfect right to do so. Lition even from tlie inhabitants of Bond-street (Hear, hear, from the Duke of Cumberland.) should be presented in favour of the bill (hear, He admitted the right and sanctioned the and a laugh); and suppose that to-morrow a principle, and he now laid in his claiın to take petition in its favour should be preseuted from advantage of it for himself. He was now the iu habitants of St. James-street (hear,

pot a

« ZurückWeiter »