• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 February, 1822
 March, 1822
 April, 1822
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to names - House of...
 Index of names - House of...














Group Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Title: The parliamentary debates
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073533/00006
 Material Information
Title: The parliamentary debates
Uniform Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Physical Description: 20 v. : ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: Published under the superintendence of T.C. Hansard
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1820-1829
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1820-1830   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 1 (1820)-v. 20 (1829).
Numbering Peculiarities: Covers Mar. 1820-Feb./Mar. 1829.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073533
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655703
lccn - sn 85062629
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates for the year 1803 to the present time
Succeeded by: Hansard's parliamentary debates

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 6
    February, 1822
        Page 1-2
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 5
            Page 1-2
            Page 3-4
            Page 5-6
            Page 7-8
            Page 9-10
            Page 11-12
            Page 13-14
            Page 15-16
            Page 17-18
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 5
            Page 19-20
            Page 21-22
            Page 23-24
            Page 25-26
            Page 27-28
            Page 29-30
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 7
            Page 93-94
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 7
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
        House of Commons - Friday, February 8
            Page 149-150
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
            Page 157-158
            Page 159-160
            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
        House of Lords - Saturday, February 10
            Page 185-186
            Page 187-188
            Page 189-190
            Page 191-192
            Page 193-194
            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
        House of Commons - Monday, February 11
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
            Page 237-238
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
            Page 247-248
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
            Page 253-254
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            Page 257-258
            Page 259-260
            Page 261-262
            Page 263-264
            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
            Page 269-270
            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
            Page 275-276
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 12
            Page 277-278
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 13
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
            Page 299-300
            Page 301-302
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            Page 305-306
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            Page 309-310
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            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
            Page 319-320
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            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
        House of Commons - Friday, February 15
            Page 345-346
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
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            Page 367-368
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            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 409-410
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
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            Page 425-426
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            Page 433-434
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            Page 439-440
            Page 441-442
            Page 443-444
            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
        House of Lords - Monday, February 18
            Page 449-450
            Page 451-452
        House of Commons - Monday, February 18
            Page 453-454
            Page 455-456
            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
            Page 461-462
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            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
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            Page 499-500
            Page 501-502
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            Page 505-506
            Page 507-508
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 20
            Page 509-510
            Page 511-512
            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
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            Page 537-538
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            Page 547-548
            Page 549-550
            Page 551-552
            Page 553-554
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 21
            Page 555-556
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 21
            Page 557-558
            Page 559-560
            Page 561-562
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            Page 605-606
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        House of Commons - Friday, February 22
            Page 611-612
            Page 613-614
            Page 615-616
            Page 617-618
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        House of Commons - Monday, February 25
            Page 643-644
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            Page 647-648
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 26
            Page 681-682
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 27
            Page 747-748
            Page 749-750
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        House of Commons - Thursday, February 28
            Page 799-800
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            Page 859-860
    March, 1822
        Page 861-862
        House of Commons - Friday, March
            Page 861-862
            Page 863-864
            Page 865-866
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 4
            Page 891-892
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        Hosue of Lords - Tuesday, March 5
            Page 915-916
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 5
            Page 915-916
            Page 917-918
            Page 919-920
            Page 921-922
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 6
            Page 923-924
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 7
            Page 983-984
            Page 985-986
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        House of Lords - Friday, March 8
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 8
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 11
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 12
            Page 1039-1040
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 12
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 13
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 14
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        House of Lords - Friday, March 15
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 15
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 18
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 20
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 21
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 22
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 25
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 26
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 27
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        House of Lords - Thursday, March 28
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 28
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        House of Lords - Friday, March 29
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    April, 1822
        Page 1399-1400
        House of Lords - Monday, April 1
            Page 1399-1400
        House of Commons - Monday, April 1
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, April 3
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        House of Commons - Thursday, April 18
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        House of Commons - Monday, April 22
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    Index to debates in the House of Lords
        Page 1559-1560
    Index to debates in the House of Commons
        Page 1559-1560
    Index to names - House of Lords
        Page 1561-1562
    Index of names - House of Commons
        Page 1561-1562
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        Page 1565-1566
Full Text



6/? THE


PARLIAMENTARY


DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.


We t rieo;
COMMENCING WITH THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



VOL. VI.
COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE FIFTH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 4a
TO <
THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY




LOND v
PRINTED BY T. C. HANSARD, PETCERgki[ oti'- Ot .rP tTR ,.
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKP, LO I)mtr-Htr- RI-S, ORME,
AND BROWN; J. M. RICHARDSON; BLACK KINGSBURY, PARBURY, AND ALLEN:
J. HATCHARD & SON; J. RIDGWAY & SONS; E. JEFFERY & SON; RODWELL &
MARTIN; R. H. EVANS; BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.
1822.
2, ,-. ,,













TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME VI.

NEW SERIES.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF III. KING'S SPEECHES.
LORDS. IV. PETITIONS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF V. REPORTS.
COMMONS. VI. LISTS.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
1822.... Page
Feb. 5. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session ... 3
7. State of Ireland ......................................... ........... 93
9. State of Ireland-Irish Insurrection -Bill-Irish Habeas Corpus
Suspension Bill ..... ... ............. .... ........................ 185
18. Agricultural Distress ........................;. .......................... 449
21. Agricultural Distress ..................................................... 555
26. Agricultural Distress, and the Financial Measures for its Relief 681
Mar. 5. Agricultural Distress...................................................... 915
8. Roasted Wheat-Breakfast Powder.................................. 992
12. Navy Five per Cents Bill ..................................... 1039
15. Ilchester Gaol-Treatment of Mr. Hunt .......................... 1166
Irish Tithes ............................. ............................... 1166
26. Agricultural Distress................................................... 1278
Lord King's Motion respecting the Civil List and Allowances to
Foreign Ministers .. .......... ..... ................................ 1279
28.. Board of Admiralty Quorum Bill.................................... 1368
29. Board of Admiralty Quorum Bill .................................... 1381
April 1. Roasted W heat ................ ...... ................... ............. 1400







TABLE OF CONTENTS.


II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Page
Feb. 5. Address on the King's Speech at'the Operiing of the Session ... 19
7. Agricultural Distress-Petition from Norfolk....................... 96
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session ... 102
State of Ireland-Irish Insurrection Bill-Irish Habeas Corpus
Suspension Bill .......................................... ...... 104
8. The King's Answer to the Address ................................... 151
Ilchester Gaol-Treatment of Mr. Hunt............................. 151
Knightsbridge Barracks-Petition of the Corporation of London 159
Irish Insurrection Bill .................................................. 163
Irish Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill ............................. 181
11. Mr. Brougham's Motion for such a Reduction of the Taxes as
may he suited to the Change in the Value of Money, and may
afford an immediate Relief to the Distresses of the Country... 220
12. Slave Trade Laws Consolidation Bill ................................ 278
Distributors of Stamps .................................................. 279
13. Agricultural Distress..................................................... 279
Petition of Thomas Flanagan, of Sligo ......... ......................... 281
Breach of Privilege-Opening of Letters addressed by or to
Members.................................................................. 281
Sir Robert Wilson's Motion respecting his Removal from the
A rmy ................................................................... 282
15. Agricultural Distress.................. ................... ....... 345
Agricultural Distress-and the Financial Measures for its Relief 350
18. Agricultural Distress.................................. ............ 454
Saving Banks ............................................................... 455
Committee of Supply-Navy Estimates ............................. 455
Scotch Commissary Courts ............................................ 458
The Marquis of Londonderry's Motion for a Committee on the
Agricultural Distress ...................................................... 462
20. Agricultural Distress.................................................. 509
Ilchester Gaol--Treatment of Mr. Hunt............................. 510
Lord Archibald Hamilton's Motion for going into a Committee
upon the Royal Burghs of Scotland......... .................... 519
21. Agricultural Distress ...................................................... 557
Lord Althorp's Resolution on the Plan proposed for the Relief
of the Country ........................................................ 558
22. Navy Estimates ............................................................ 612
25. Breach of Privilege-Opening of Letters addressed by or to
Members............................... ............................... 64
Navy Five per Cents ........... ......... .. ........................ 663
27. Hawkers, Pedlars, and Hackney Coach Licenses ................ 747
Ilchester.Gaol-Treatment of Mr. Hunt.......................... 749
Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the Civil Offices Pension Bill 753
Navy Estimates ......................................................... 783
28. Scotch Burghs Regulation Bill........ ............ ........ ...... 800







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Feb. 28. Knightsbridge Barracks-Complaint of an Outrage on Mr.
Sheriff Waithman ........................................ ........ 801
Mr. Calcraft's Motion for leave to bring in a Bill for the gradual
reduction of the Duties on Salt.................................. 837
Mar. 1. Ilchester Gaol-Treatment of Mr. Hunt ............................ 862
Sinking Fund .............................................................. 863
Navy Estimates-Lords of the Admiralty-Navy Pay Office ... 866
4. Ilchester Gaol-Petition of Mr. Hunt................................ 891
Navy Five per Cents Bill ..,.................... ....................... 894
Army Estimates............................................................ 895
5. Seditious Meetings Amendment Bill ................................ 916
Scotch Juries in Criminal Causes Bill ............................. 917
Agricultural Distress................................................... 918
Army Estimates........................ ............. ...................... 920
6. Mr. Bennet's Motion respecting the Funeral of Her late Majesty 923
Army Estimates ........................................................ 978
7. Agricultural Distress ................................................... 983
General Post Office ...................................................... 990
8. Banks of England, and of Ireland .................................. 992
Navy Five per Cents Bill ............................................ 997
11. Navy Five.per Cents Bill ............................................. 1011
Superannuation.Act Amendment Bill.................................. 1015
12. Vagrant Laws Amendment Bill ...................................... 1047
Colonel Davies's Motion respecting the Collection of the Revenue 1048
Mutiny Bill .................................................................. 1063
13. Distress in Canada-Petition from the House of Assembly ...... 1073
Ilchester Gaol-Treatment of Mr. Hunt........................... 1077
Lord Normanby's Motion respecting the Office of Joint Post
Master General ..................................................... 1082
14. Mr. Maberly's Motion respecting the Simplifying and better
Arrangement of the Public Accounts ........................ 1114
Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the Duties of the Board of
Control ................................................................. 1120
Police of the Metropolis ............................................... 1165
15. Breach of Privilege-Letter written to a Member by Mr.
Arbuthnot, the Secretary to the Treasury ..................... 1173
Army Estimates ........................................................... 1178
18. Malt Duty Repeal Bill .................................................. 1187
Navy Estimates ............................................................ 1190
20. Grenada-Petition for a Reduction of Taxes ....................... 1200
Mr. Curwen's Motion respecting the Duties on Tallow and
Candles .................................................................. 1206
Army Estimates............................................................ 1215
21. Navy Estimates ............................................................ 1228
22. Petition from Newcastle on behalf of Mr. Hunt, and imputing
notorious Corruption to the House .............................. 1231
Navy Estimates ....................................... .............. 1238
Army Estimates ........................................................ .. 1241
25. Petition of Captain Romeo ............................................ 1252
Ordnance Estimates ................... ....... ....... .............. 1264






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 27. Roasted Wheat ........................................................... 1309
Constitutional Association-Petition of John Barkley ......... 1310
Gaol Delivery-Petition from the Grand Jury of Essex ........ 1316
Marriage Act Amendment Bill........... ........................... 1326
Ordnance Estimates ..................................................... 1362
28. Ilchester Gaol-Petition from Bethnal Green...................... 1369
Reform of Parliament-Petition from Monmouth .............. 1371
Middlesex County Court ............................................... 1374
Army Estimates ........................................................... 1379
29. Vagrant Laws Amendment Bill......................................... 1382
Sheriffs Depute in Scotland ......................................... 1384
Roman Catholic Peers .................................................. 13S7
Miscellaneous Estimates-Commissariat-Barracks ............. 1390
April 1. Agricultural Distress-Rate of Interest ............................. 1402
Report from the Committee on the distressed State of Agricul-
ture .................................................................... 1406
Colonial Trade Bill ........................................... ....... 114
Miscellaneous Estimates-Secret Service Money .................. 1430
2. Bread ...................................................................... 1432
Extra-post-Petition of Mr. Burgess ............................... 1433
3. Agricultural Distress ....................... ........................ 1434
17. Accessories in Felonies ................................................ 1457
Manslaughter ............................................................... 1458
Beer Trade .................................................................. 1458
Marriages of Unitarian Dissenters ................................... 1460
18. Committee for Simplifying the Public Accounts .................... 1462
22. Agricultural Distress.............................................. 1466
Brazils-Conduct of the Consul General........................... 1467
Sir John Newport's Motion on the State of Ireland .............. 1469



III. KING'S SPEECHES.

Feb. 5. King's Speech on Opening the Session.................................



IV. PETITIONS.

Feb. 8. Petition of the Corporation of London, complaining of the con-
duct of the Military at the Knightsbridge Barracks ........... 159



V. REPORTS.

April 1. Report of the Select Coamnittee of the House of Ccmmonis on-
the distressed State of the Agriculture of the United Kingdom 1,10'






TABLE OF CONTENTS.


VI. LISTS.

Page
Feb. 5. LIST of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Amendment to the Ad-
dress on the King's Speech ................................... 93
7. of the Minority in the House of Commons, on the Irish
Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill ................................... 149
8. of the Minority in the House of Commons, on the Irish
Insurrection Bill ............................................181, 184, 185
11. of the Minority, and also of the Majority, on Mr.
Brougham's Motion on the distressed State of the Country ... 276
18. of the Minority on Sir Robert Wilson's Motion respecting
his Removal from the Army........................................ 344
20. of the Minority on Lord Archibald Hamilton's Motion for
a Committee on the Royal Burghs of Scotland .................. 555
21. of the Minority, and also of the Majority,' on Lord
Althorp's Resolution on the Plan proposed for the relief of
the Country........................................ .................. 609
22. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for a Detail of the
Estimates for the Wages of Seamen.............................634, 641
25. of the Minority on Mr. James's Motion, declaring it a
Breach of Privilege to open Letters addressed by or to Mem-
bers ...................................... ........................... 663
27. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for a Detail of the
Navy and Ordnance Estimates.................................... 800
28. of the Minority on Mr. Alderman Wood's Motion respect-
ing the Outrage committed on the person of Mr. Sheriff
W aithman .......................................................... 837
of the Minority on Mr. Calcraft's Motion for the gradual
Reduction of the Salt Duties....................................... 860
Mar. I. of the Majority on Sir M. W. Ridley's Motion for the Re-
duction of the Lords of the Admiralty.............................. 881
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Estimate of the Expense of the Navy Pay Office ............... 891
4. of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion for reducing
the Number of the Lani Forces .............................. 914
8. -.- of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Navy
Five per Cents Bill.................................. ............... 1011
12. of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion respecting the
Collection of the Revenue............................... ..... 1062
13. of the Majority, and also of the Minority, on Lord Nor-
manby's Motion respecting the Office of Joint Postmaster
G general .................................................................. 1111
14. -of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the
Duties of the Board of Control .................................... 1165
15. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Expenses of the Staff ........................................... ... 1182
18. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Expense of the Victualling Office.................................. 1195
20. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Office of Judge Advocate General .............. 1226
VOL. V. b






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 20. LIST of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Royal Military College ......................... 1228
22. of the Minority in the House of Commons, for receiving
the petition from Newcastle, on behalf of Mr. Hunt, and im-
puting notorious Corruption to the House ....................... 1237
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for Garrisons ................................................ 1-45
25. of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the
Four and a Half per Cent Duties raised in Barbadoes ......... 1265
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Ordnance Office ............... ................. 1278
27. of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the
Repair of Forts at Barbadoes ...................................... 1S6
28. of the Minority in the House of Commons, on bringing up
a Petition from Bethnal Green, in behalf of Mr. Hunt ......... 1:71
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Military College..................................... 1381
of the Minority on the Grant for the Expense of Works and
Repairs of Public Buildings ......................................... 100
April 1. of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Expense of the Offices of the Secretaries of
State, &c. ............................................................. 1452








L, -C "- : .' -. T
\K THE


ParliamentaryD debates


During the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of, Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fifth Day of
February 1822, in the Third Year of the Reign, of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 5, 1822.
THHE KsNG's SPEECH ON OPENING THE
*'SESSION.] This day his majesty came in
state to the House of Peers, and being
seated on the throne, the gentleman usher
of the black rod was directed to summon
*the Commons to attend. The Commons,
headed by their Speaker, having presented
themselves at the bar, his majesty deliver-
ed the following Speech to both Houses:
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have the satisfaction of informing
you, that I continue to receive from fo-
Sreign powers the strongest assurances of
their friendly disposition, towards this
country.
It is impossible for me not to feel
,.deeply interested in any event that, may
have a tendency to disturb the peace of
-Europe. My endeavours have, therefore,
been directed, in conjunction with my
Allies, to the settlement of the differences
which have unfortunately arisen between
the Court of St. Petersburgh and the
;Ottoman Porte ; and I have reason to en-
tertain hopes that these differences will be
Satisfactorily adjusted.
In my late visit to Ireland, I derived
the most sincere gratification from the
.loyalty and attachment manifested by all
classes of my subjects.
With this impression, it must be mat-
ter of the deepest concern to me, that a
VOL. V.L f N}W


spirit of outrage which has led to daring
and systematic violations of the law, has
arisen, and still prevails in some parts of
that country.
I am determined to use all the means
in my power for the protection of the per-
sons and property of my loyal and peace.
ble subjects. And it will be for your im-
mediate consideration, whetherthe exist-
ing laws are sufficient for this purpose.
Notwithstanding this serious interrup-
tion of public tranquillity. I have the satis-
faction of believing that my presence in
Ireland has been productive of very bene-
ficial effects; and all descriptions of my
people may confidently rely upon the just
and equal administration of the laws, and
upon my paternal solicitude for their
welfare.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
It is very gratifying to me to be able
to inform you, that during the last year
the revenue has exceeded that of the
year preceding, and appears to be in a
course of progressive improvement.
I:have directed the estimates of the
current year to be laid before you.' They
have been framed with every attention to
economy which the circumstances of the
country will permit; and it will be satis-
factory to you to learn, that I have been
,able.to make a large reduction in our
annual expenditure, particularly in our
Naval and Military establishments.
B








L, -C "- : .' -. T
\K THE


ParliamentaryD debates


During the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of, Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fifth Day of
February 1822, in the Third Year of the Reign, of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 5, 1822.
THHE KsNG's SPEECH ON OPENING THE
*'SESSION.] This day his majesty came in
state to the House of Peers, and being
seated on the throne, the gentleman usher
of the black rod was directed to summon
*the Commons to attend. The Commons,
headed by their Speaker, having presented
themselves at the bar, his majesty deliver-
ed the following Speech to both Houses:
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have the satisfaction of informing
you, that I continue to receive from fo-
Sreign powers the strongest assurances of
their friendly disposition, towards this
country.
It is impossible for me not to feel
,.deeply interested in any event that, may
have a tendency to disturb the peace of
-Europe. My endeavours have, therefore,
been directed, in conjunction with my
Allies, to the settlement of the differences
which have unfortunately arisen between
the Court of St. Petersburgh and the
;Ottoman Porte ; and I have reason to en-
tertain hopes that these differences will be
Satisfactorily adjusted.
In my late visit to Ireland, I derived
the most sincere gratification from the
.loyalty and attachment manifested by all
classes of my subjects.
With this impression, it must be mat-
ter of the deepest concern to me, that a
VOL. V.L f N}W


spirit of outrage which has led to daring
and systematic violations of the law, has
arisen, and still prevails in some parts of
that country.
I am determined to use all the means
in my power for the protection of the per-
sons and property of my loyal and peace.
ble subjects. And it will be for your im-
mediate consideration, whetherthe exist-
ing laws are sufficient for this purpose.
Notwithstanding this serious interrup-
tion of public tranquillity. I have the satis-
faction of believing that my presence in
Ireland has been productive of very bene-
ficial effects; and all descriptions of my
people may confidently rely upon the just
and equal administration of the laws, and
upon my paternal solicitude for their
welfare.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
It is very gratifying to me to be able
to inform you, that during the last year
the revenue has exceeded that of the
year preceding, and appears to be in a
course of progressive improvement.
I:have directed the estimates of the
current year to be laid before you.' They
have been framed with every attention to
economy which the circumstances of the
country will permit; and it will be satis-
factory to you to learn, that I have been
,able.to make a large reduction in our
annual expenditure, particularly in our
Naval and Military establishments.
B







3] HOUSE OF LORDS,
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have the greatest pleasure in ac-
quainting you, that a considerableimprove-
ment has:taken place in the course of the
last year, in the commerce and manufac-
tures of the United Kingdom, and that I
can now state them to be, in their impor.
tant branches, in a very flourishing con-

I must at, the same time deeply regret
the depressed state of the agricultural in-
terest.
". The condition of an interest, so essen-
tially connected with the prosperity of the
country, will, of course, attract your early
attention; and I.have the fullest reliance
on your wisdom in the consideration of
this important subject.
"I 'am persuaded thait, in 'whatever
in sure's you majy addpt, o6u 'will bear
constantly in mind, that, in 'hemainte-
'niai'at bf'ourfiblic credit, all the best
'intbress 'of this kingdoin are equally
involved; drid that t tis bya steady
Sadheience tb that principle,'thit 'w have
attained,and can"alone expect to preserve,
our high station amongst the i~ations of
'ithe world."
His minjesty then retired,' and the Coim-
mons returned to their owvn Hoste.

AO~DRnSS ON rTHE KING'S SPEECH AT
TnE 'OPENING OF THE SESSION.] His
majesty's Speech being-again read by the
lord chancellor, and .also by the clerk at
the table,
The Earl of Roden rose for the purpose
* ofinoving in-Add-ess of'thanks to;his'mas
jdsty. He -began .by observing, that he
Should assure their'lordships, that he'sin-
cerely iLshed the. duty he was about to
per form,had been undertaken by one'better
:able to discharge it, and, in parilcular,'bet.
ter qualified than'he Possibly could be, to
:ehter into all the details, which 'the full
eon'sideration of so.-gracious a'communica-
Stion -as that which ndw -called for their
lordships'attention, required. As the day
on which he appeared before, their lord-
hlips was the first on which he'had taken
hii seat in that House, it might,: perhaps,
Shave been expected 'hat 'he would have
waited for''a more remote-opportunity of
expressing his sentiments; 'but he freely
confessed, that he had undertaken to move


Address on the King's Speech [4
the Address' with particular satisfaction,
because he anticipated their lordships
concurrence in it; seeing that what he
was about to propose would contain no-
thing which they or any individual could
object to. It must have afforded much
gratification tb their lordships, as it wouTd
do' to the country, to hear from his ma-
jesty,.year after year, that he continues
to receive from foreign powers the strong-
est assurances of their friendly disposition
towards this country. It must indeed
afford much satisfaction to -learn, .that
those powers continued to maintain among
themselves, as well as with us, those ami-
cable relations which' had now subsisted
for seven years ; and which, after a long
war, permit the taking advantage of a
time of peace to cultivate those blessings
which can alone be secured in a period of
repose. But, notwithstanding the friendly
relations which subsisted among the Eu-
ropean powers, and the assurancess of the
friendly disposition of foreign powers to-
wards this country, differences had arisen
between the court of St. Petersburgh 'and
the Porte. Those differences, however,
his majesty had endeavoured, in conjunc-
tion with his allies, to reconcile. Hopes,
it was stated, were entertained that they
would be satisfactorily adjusted; and he
was sure their -lordships :would concur
with him in wishing that those hopes
might be speedily realized. But if, unfor-
tunately, the endeavors to store a good
'understanding between Russia and the
Porte should not be successful, their lord-
ships would, perhaps, be of opinion, that
,the proper line of conduct for the British
empire to observe, in.the first'instance,
'was, tokeep dlear of the dispute, and to
look on'the conflict as diftant:spectators.
,But, however advisable this-course might
be; a great interest wotld unavoidably be
excited by such-a contest. For his own
part, he was free-to declare, that he could
never look on a war between a Turkish
government and a Christian power with-
out feeling great arixidty for the result of
'the struggle. It 'was impossible to look
on a Christian government, acting on
Christian principles and influenced by
Christian motives, engaged in such a con-
test, without taking a strong interest in
all the events that might occur. Whether.
*the Russian government had, in the dis-
pute, acted on those principles and mo-
tives, was a question on which theirlord-
ships were not called upon to pronounce
any opinion. All that he would propose






aI the #Opeyling of Me Session.


-was, that they should return theirdutiful
thanks to his majesty for the exertions
be had made to.preserve tranquillity. -
In, Plluding to that part of the speech
which related to the revenue, it was with
great.pleasure he referred their lordships
to his majesty's declaration, that, during
the last year, there hapbeen a considera-
ble increase in the revenue, aqnd that it
appeared to be in a course of progressive
improvement.. His majesty had also ac-
quainted parliament,, that g considerable
improvement had taken place in the ma-
ljufactures and commerce of the country;
and that they were, in many important
-branches, in a very prosperous state. This
was a subject of congratulation in which
.their'lordships would be happy to concur
With him. It was true that the depressed!
,state of the agricultural interest was much
to be regretted and deeply to be deplored.,
In the distress and difficulty produced by
,this depression, their lordships were them-
.selves, in common with .all landed pro-
,prietors, involved. Into the state of this
distress, parliament, he was, confident,
.would, without delay, institute a dispas-
sionate inquiry, and he trusted the rL-sult
,would be, if not a total removal of the
evil, at least a considerable mitigation.
It was not necessary for him to enter far-
.ther into this important subject at present.
He should only observe, that in discussing
it, or any other question, of the kind, it
.would be necessary always to bear in
mind the duty of preserving public credit.
.Their lordships, he was.sure, would never
,allow any feelings of their own interest to
tenter into competition with public faith
and national honour. He was aware that
.the difficulties with which the agricultural
.interests had to contend were ascribed to
burthenss and national expenditure. He
.was aware that blame was by some at-
.tached to the government, which had, by
its measures, produced so large an ex-
,penditure; but what would have beep the
.state of the country now, had not those
measures been resorted to ? Without
'such measures, the war certainly could
,not have been successfully carried .on.
,He could not anticipate in his own mind
,w.hat: might :have been the state:of,the
.country, had another. course been ;fol-
:lowed; but he had no doubt that whatever
!saving,was practicable would be adopted;
-and their lordships were. assured, that the
-estimates for tie year had been framed
:with every:attention to economy which
.the circ.um tanc.s of the country would


permit. The. distress -of the agricultural
interestarose in partfrom difficulties which
were past. Parliament, he had io doubt,
would early in the session t ak the sub,
ject into consideration; and lie was con-
fident that no endeavour would be spared
to apply a remedy.
His majesty, in his gracious Speech,
had alluded to his visit to Ireland. In
his majesty's reception in that country,
he (Jord Roden) had.had the pleasure and
.the privilege, of participating. Hs mna-
jesty,was pleased- to state, that he had
derived the most sincere gratification fro'
theJ'oyalty and attachment manifested by
all classes of his, Irish subjects. Every
one who knew the loyalty ot Ireland mus,
.be sensible that such an occasion was cal-
,culated to call for, its expression. His
J.majety's viiit, not ithlltanding hnlat had
since occurred, had been .and would be
attended with rmpst advantageous results.
It had been the means of removing long-
.standing differences and he4rt-burnings.
Enmities which had. cxa.tilLd for many
years had been reconciled, .His majesty's
-parting advice to the Irish people, con1-
vetEd in a letterfrom lord Sidmouth, had
been followed by-most beneficial effects.
.With regard to w)at lvd bcen stated from
.the.throne op the condition-of Ireland,
lie might be permitted.to say, that in that
,part of the Speech he felt himself more
deeply interested :than any other. But,
.attached as he was to the hestinterests of
that country, in which a spirit of outrage,
as his majesty justlyreparked, hal led
tp.daring and systematiecy0olations of the
law,,still he was unwilling to entgr at pre-
sent:into any details on the subject; and
:the .more so, ,as an opportunity would
probably soon arise of which he could
.with more propriety avail himself, to state
.his opinion of the nature and extent of
.the.evils which afflicted Ireland, as well
.as of the remedies which, in his judgment;
ought to be applied. It, would, however,
be in him a dereliction of duty, .were he
not to state the conviction of his mind
that the great cause of these evils was
non-residence. It was the great number
of absentee landlords which formed the
principalevil. Ttleirabsencebroke those
link which were necessary to preserve
confidence between the different ranks
and relations of society. Many possessing
great property in that country remained
.strangers to it; and, .whatever might be
their rank and influcLicL, they did not
contribute' by their piccInce ,to the wel-







7 HOUSE OF LORDS,
fare of Ireland. He would most earnestly
entreat the absentee landlord to consider
the cause to which he had alluded, and not
to look with indifference on a country
from which he derived so much benefit.
Let him reflect on those scenes of outrage
which,. though his absence may not have
caused, his presence might haveprevented.
While adverting to the spirit of outrage
which unfortunately prevailed in Ireland,
he should be guilty of a great omission
were he not to acknowledge the vast im-
provement which had, particularly within
the last ten years, taken place in that
country. That improvement was chiefly
owing to an extended system of education
on the principle of general instruction,
supported by private funds and subscrip-
tions. The operation of this system of
instruction had been in itself most bene-
ficial ; but it had been powerfully assisted
by that great engine of the Reforma-
tion, which he was sure every noble lord
who leard him would be disposed to ap-
prove and support-he meant the Bible
society. 'Among the other benefits which
that society had conferred on Ireland, it
had greatly contributed to heal differences
which had subsisted for many years among
'different parts of the population. The
state of Ireland must, however, soon come,
under the consideration of parliament as a
whole. Among other questions which
must then be entered'into, would be that
of the existing powers of the law, in order
to ascertain how far those powers were
fitted to meet the'present exigency. He
was sensible, however, that any cure of
this kind which might be applied, could
only be in its nature temporary, and that
residence was' the great means by which
tranquillity was to be secured, and civili-
zation promoted., He was therefore anxi-
ous that their lordships' should look to
that as a permanent remedy. The in-
terest he naturally took in this part of the
subject had induced him to'trespass longer
on their lordships' attention than perhaps
such an occasion required; but he could
not be satisfied to return next week' to
Ireland, as he intended to' do, without
stating the conviction of his mind on this
important question' of residence. The
noble earl concluded by moving an Ad-
dress, thanking his majesty for his most
gracious Speech, and recapitulating its
several topics.
Lord Walsingham solicited their lord-
ships' indulgence, whilst he said a very
few words on seconding the Address


'Address on the King's Speech [8
which had just beenmoved. The noble earl
who had moved it, "had happily relieved
him from the necessity of saying much,
by his able and eloquent exposition of all
those points to which it was necessary to
advert. It was satisfactory to hear'from
his majesty the assurance of the continued
friendly disposition of foreign powers, the
continuance of peace being undoubtedly
of the greatest importance to the interests
and welfare of the country. It was also
satisfactory to learn that there was every
reason to believe that the differences be-
tween Russia and the Ottoman Porte
would be amicably adjusted. It was highly
gratifying to learn the prosperous state of
our commerce and manufactures; and
though, undoubtedly, the agricultural in-
terests of the country were at the present
moment suffering a great depression, it
might be fairly hoped that relief was at
no great distance.
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he was
anxious to offer a few explanations as to
the grounds of the vote he intended to
give. He should not have thought it
necessary to take that moment for making
those explanations, but no other noble
lord having presented himself to the
House, he thought it proper now to state
his view of the importance of the topics
touched on in the Speech from the throne
--topics, indeed, of the most distressing
nature' for this country, and which had
forced themselves into special notice, not-
withstanding the natural reluctance which
those who framed the Speech must have
felt to bring them' forward. Following
nearly the order taken' by the noble
earl who had, with so much propriety,
moved the Address, the few observa-
ti6ns which he had to make would be
divided chiefly between the topics which
related to the state of England ard Ire-
land; and here he could not but re-
-mark upon the melancholy circumstance,
that, although it was now twenty years
since the union' with Ireland was con-
cluded, still it appeared necessary for
persons, in discussing the interests df
the United Kingdom, to consider those
of Great Britain and Ireland separately,
as two distinct parts; and' this, too, at a
time when to'both countries there belong-
ed one common feature of agricultural
distress. Much as he rejoiced in the
prosperity stated in the Speech to be ex-
perienced by the manufactures arid com-
merce of the country, he could not but
consider the consolation thereby afforded






FEB. 5, 1822 .- [10


to' be greatly overbalanced by the dis-
tress in that branch of industry which
formed the solid foundation of national
wealth. He hoped he should not be re-
garded as undervaluing those sources of
prosperity which his majesty's Speech
stated to be'in a flourishing condition,
when he observed, that he chiefly estimat-
ed the advantages of that prosperity for
its influence in vivifying agriculture. He
wished their lordships, before they came
to the conclusion that this prosperity ex-
isted, to be sure that they reached that
conclusion on a solid foundation. He
did not mean to say that it did not exist;
bt when it was recollected that a great
portion of the commercial prosperity al-
luded to arose out of a new trade to
North and South America, it was of im-
portance to inquire upon what footing
that trade stood. It was obvious that
the advantages of the trade must depend
upon the nature of the speculations which
had been entered into; and some time
must elapse before the success of those
speculations could be ascertained. But,
be the result of the inquiry what it might,
still he must place the chief value of' this
commercial prosperity in the influence it
might have in stimulating to theicultiva-
tion of the soil, and in vivifying all the
branches of agriculture-with regard-to
,the means of relief for the existing agri-
Scultural distress, he should be ready to
-listen to any measure which might be
proposed; but he was happy to observe
that the Speech and the Address directly
-pointed to the only course by which that
object could with certainty be obtained.
This was the first time' since the peace,
that in an address from the throne, a
large reduction in the annual expenditure
to be produced by a diminution of the
great establishments of the country, had
been distinctly promised. To retrench-
ment of the expenditure their lordships
must look for any thing like real relief;
and it was with great satisfaction he had
heard, that on the present occasion some-
thing more than mere profession was
meant. But, after the experience he
had acquired on this subject, he must
beg to be allowed to see the extent of
the retrenchment, and the principle on
which'it was to proceed, before'he could
look with confidence to it asa means of
relief. He must also observe, that when
Slie should be called upon to -exercise any
species of gratitude for such retrench-
ment-;whichl he believed he was not


called upon to do by this address-he
should think it is duty to remind.those '
who made such a demand upon him, that
it -was much to be regretted that the
economy now found to-be so advan--
tageous had not been practised before.
They were now told that a system of re-
trenchment would be advantageous, and
that great economy was indispensable.
This reminded him : of an observation
which had 'been -made on a book written
by a 'noble lord, once a member of that
House. When lord 'Lyttleton published
his Dialogues of the Dead, Dr. Johnson
remarked, that his lordship had only told
the world, at the end of fifty years of his
life, what the world had for fifty years
been telling him. The reductions for-
merly proposed, had always been met with
defiance, and positive declarations' that
no farther reductions could take place
consistently with the public interest.
During the last summer, therefore, .some
new light must have broken in upon mi-
nisters, which enabled them to see that'
reductions formerly deemed impracticable
could now be effected. This new light
enabled them to discover, that Receivers-
general, who could not be dispensed with:
two years ago, were now fit subjects for
reduction. The address to the throne,
at the end of the last session, had pledged
ministers to measures of economy, and
the new light of last summer had enabled
them to carry them into execution.
Though he thought them tardy, he re-
joiced at last to see that their professions
of economy had been followed by'some
result; and he hoped that their measure
had been applied so as to effect the in-
tended object on a principle of impartial
justice. With the principle on which it
had been done, and theextent to which
it had been carried, he must be acquainted,
before he could pledge himself to an ap-
probation of the proceedings alluded: to,
and of the Speech from the throne. He
would not now enter into the question,
whether'economy was the only source, of
relief that could be pointed out for the
prevailing distress, or whether any other
means of alleviating it could be applied;
but if the paragraph in the address, hold-
ing: out other hopes of relief, had a re-
ference to a communication said to have
been made within these twenty-fiur hours,
by' the noble:lord at the head of the Trea-
sury, to certain bankers, whom he con-
sulted as to its tendency, he must protest
against the opinion, that such a measure


dt dje bj~eiiing ofihe Sessio'n.






'11] HOUSE OF LORDS,


would be productive of any beneficial
effect. He called upon the House, he
called even upon the noble earl himself,
to reflect whether it would not aggravate
the distress which it was intended to re-
Jieve. He need not inform their lordships
that he:alluded to a proposition, stated to
have been made by the noble earl opposite,
for issuing Exchequer bills to the amount
of 5,000,0001. to be advanced to the agri-
cultural interest, through the medium of
the country bankers. Their lordships
.would consider whether relief could be
found in offering to advance money, at a
time when money was abundant and
security rare. The great aggravation
of the farmer's distress was, that he could
-not find security; because if he produced
good security, there was not a banker in
SEfigland who would not advance him the
money he required. If, on the other
.hand, the advance was intended as a free
gift to the agriculturist, the effect of it,
-even on the. noble earl's own principle,
must be detrimental to the interests of
:the:country, not excepting the agricul-
tural itself. This, he thought, could not
be denied by the noble earl.himself, if he
still believed that the farmer's distress
*arose from a superabundance of produce
above the demand of the consumer. The
application of four or five millions of ad-
Zditional capital, to increase an amount of
produce already above the demand, seemed
-a strange mode iof remedying the dis-
*tresses.of the grower. On the noble
earl's principle, the remedy ought to
:consist in a diminution, and not in an in-
!crease of.the capital applied to agricul-
ture. But he need not enlarge upon this
topic: he was convinced that the measure
was already given up-that it would not
:be brought forward in parliament, and
*could not receive the sanction of their
-lordships. If advances were made to
distressed farmers upon good security, he
:saw no objection to it; but he was sure it
was unnecessary, and that it would pro-
,duce no -relief, considering that, if such
!security could be given, advances might
-be -obtained from private bankers, as
:well as from government. He had stated
Sthus much, not to withdraw their lordships
-attention from the subject of the agri-
:cultural distress, -or to discourage all
.hopes of its alleviation; but to direct their
-efforts to the only real, certain, and: ex-
-pedient amode of-relief--a reduction of
jthe public expenditure.-He came now
to -the second greattopiq -in the speech


of the hoble earl who moved the address;
namely, ,the state ,of Ireland. There
were none of their lordships who could
refrain from experiencing the deepest
feelings of pain and sorrow, on contem-
plating the scenes of outrage and violence
which had occurred in some districts of
that country; and all must look forward
to the means of removing them with the
greatest anxiety. And here he must ob-
serve, that he was most happy to express
.his approbation of the choice .which
government had made of the individual
whom they had deputed to superintend
the administration of Ireland. A more
wise or judicious selection could not have
taken place. In the marquis Wellesley
would be found, he was convinced, a
firmness and vigour sufficient to repress
existing disorders, and to restore speedy
tranquillity; at the same time that he
would display a reach of mind capable of
discovering future legislative and political
remedies; the causes of these afflicting
evils he would. not fail to probe to the
bottom, and, soaring above the prejudices
of the past and present, would lay the
ground -of general and lasting ameliora-
tion. He (lord L.) was not now prepared
to inquire into the causes of those frightful
disorders to which he had alluded. He
believed their removal must be effected,
-not by any single remedy, but by a com-
bination of remedies; as they were occa-
sioned not by a single cause, but by a
combination of .causes. The evil of ab-
sentee proprietors (within which number
he was included, from causes beyond his
own control) which the noble earl who
moved the address had deplored, was not
the sole or even the principal, evil to be
cured. An evil he admitted it to be, not
only'as a cause, but as the effect of others,
and which, in its combination with others,
rendered Ireland different in law, and
different in fact, .from any other country.
He did not look to the vigorous arm
to which its government was now
confided merely for a present and
immediate termination of outrage, -but
for -the commencement of a new.system
of policy. The liberal mind of the noble
marquis would discard the absurd,, though
by no means uncommon prejudice, that
there was something in the soil and
climate of Ireland which necessarily
:tended. to.produce a semi-barbarous race,
incapable of improvement, ard insensible
Sto the. advantages of civilization.. When
we looked :at the state and condition of


.. Address ona th~e King's Speech






Fizu.'5, ISM -2 E up


that people, we could easily discover that
it had: its origin in causes unconnected
:with their natural situation; that the
evils under which they laboured were
deeply fixed in the events of their history,
and, the system 'of government under
which they had been ruled. He would
not enlarge further on the subject, as it
was his intention to bring the state of
ireland on on early day under their con-
sideration, unless anticipated by his ma-
jesty's ministers. But, whether the sub-
ject was introduced by the ministers of
the Crown, or by so humble an individual
as himself, he trusted that the remedies
in view would not be confined to new
penal enactments alone. He did not
deny that additional powers might be ne-
cessary to check and repress the spirit of
disturbance which so unfortunately now
existed; but an immediate cessasion of
outrage produced by such-means ought
not to satisfy them.--The noble earl who
moved the address had alluded to the
state of eurrelations with foreign powers;
and the observations he 'had'made on that
subject, with the paragraph in the address
which embodied them, relieved him from
the necessity of expressing any opinion,
Which must be in'entire concurrence with
what had 'been already said. He fully
agreed with the noble earl that in a con-
test between Christians and infidels, and
between Greeks and their oppressors, there
could be but one feeling and one hope
amongst a civilized and Christian people.
-At the same time, he concurred with the
noble earl, that it was not by direct inter-
ference 'that any good could be ac-
tcomplished, or any progress made, towards
a result so generally desired. He was
'happy, however, in this opportunity of
expressing his hope-a hope which 'he
should be ashamed to disguise-that
Greece might be freed from the yoke of
its 'tyrants, and become happy -and in-
dependent. With these ,observations,
and with 'this reserve, he was willing to
,give 'his support to the address.
SThe Earl df Liverpool said, that, as the
noble marquis had made no positive ob-
jections to-the, Address, he should not
have felt himself called uponto offer any
remark, had it not been for one passage in
which the noble marquis had alluded to a
'transaction in: which he (lord Liverpool)
was concerned; namely, to the interview
'which he had had the day before with
-some of the London bankers. Although
called up by this circumstance alone, he


would, however, take the opporturiity of-
saying a few words on the other topics in-
troduced into the' speech of the noble
marquis. Adverting to the subject of
economy, the noble marquis had accused
his majesty's ministers of tardiness in
making the necessary reductions, and had
spoken of.the present as the first time in
which any practical retrenchment had
been effected. Now, it would be in the.
recollection of their lordships, that in.
the course of last year, reductions had
taken place to the amount of between one
and two millions; and that at the time
those reductions were announced, others
were promised for the present year. It
had been stated immediately after the,
conclusion:of peace, that our establish-
ments must be reduced, but that from the
nature of the case these reductions must,
in some instances, necessarily be gradual,
Government had accordingly proceeded
on that principle, and, both during last
year and the present, had fulfilled their
pledges. Whether.the reductions alluded
to in the Speech from the throne would
satisfy the expectations of the noble
marquis, he, of course, could not say, nor
did he now feel himself bound to state
either their amount, or the mode in which
they had been effected. He only wished
to guard himself from a suspicion hinted at
by the noble marquis, that, in carrying
them into execution, any of the principles
of justice or impartiality had been vio-
lated. He claimed only a candid suspen-
sion of their lordships judgment, until the
whole scheme should be laid before them;
and they would then see, that strict jus-
tice had characterized the arrangement-,
that the changes had not affected persons
in:inferior situations only-and that those
who were at the head of our different
establishments, and whose duty it was to
advise -the proceeding, had not exempted
themselves from the application of the rule
which they were prescribing for others.
Being on this subject, :and allowing :s
fully 'as. any of their lordships, :the pro-
priety and expediency of :all practicable
retrenchment, he could not, at the same
time, permit their lordships to go away
with the delusive idea, that any possible
reductions could afford any material .o
sensible relief to theistress Of the agri*
cultural classes. iafluctions of every
kind might, heacknowledged, be right:in
themselves: they mighi relieve the miids
of the people, and reconcile them to the
endurance of their temporary difficulties


a/ tZ, Vthrl~ibfle Sebszon.






15] HOUSki OF LORDS,


and might ultimately be of real advantage;
but, to hold out that they could imme-
diately remove the existing pressure by
such means, could only mislead the public
mind, and raise hopes which must be dis-
appointed.-The noble.marquis had con-
curred with that paragraph of his majesty's
Speech which represented the improving
state of our commerce and manufactures;
and he added, with perfect truth, that
such improvement was the more satisfac-
tory, as it must necessarily produce a be-
neficial influence on our agricultural in-
terests. In this sentiment he most cor-
dially joined. There was no idea so er-
roneous, or. so unworthy of a statesman,
as the supposition that the interests of any
of the great classes .of the community
could be separated from, or placed in
hostility to, each other. They were all-
agricultural, commercial, and manufactur-
,ing-linked together; they all flourished
or suffered from the same causes, and the
prosperity of one must finally extend its
beneficial influence to the rest. He
agreed with, the noble marquis, that not-
withstanding the importance of our com-
mercial and- manufacturing interests, agri-
culture must still be considered the great
source of our wealth and, greatness; but
prosperity could not exist for a long time,
or to any great extent, in the two former
Branches, without promoting the improve-
ment of the latter. Those, therefore, who
would depress one class in order to raise
another, who spoke of making one class
Spay the price of relief to another, were
striking a blow at the interests of both.
The advancement of, our trade must lead
to the relief of our agriculture, as an in-
jury to the former must be prejudicial to
the latter., No one understood better, no,
one would more readily admit this princi-
ple, than the noble marquis. The doubt
which the noble marquis had thrown out,
regarding the possible insecurity of our
present commercial transactions, and of
the danger of excessive speculation leading
to re-action, he trusted would prove un-
founded. He could not, indeed, say how
far the continuance of our recent commer-
cial successes could be relied on.. On for-
mer occasions, he was aware that over.tra-,
ding had produced serious calamities; but
there was this di&' ence between those
periods and the s went-that our mer-
chants were now more cautious, were,
satisfied with smaller profits, and were free
from that spirit of gambling enterprise,
natural in time of war and which.had pe-


vailed during the first years of the peace.
Although, therefore, their profits might
not be so great as heretofore, they were
raised upon more solid foundations, and
might fairly be regarded as more substan-
tial and durable. As connected with this
subject, he now returned to that topic
which was the cause of his rising-he
meant the proposition which the noble
marquis supposed him to have submitted
to certain bankers of the city of London,
with a view to the relief of agricultural
distress. That noble marquis stated him
to have proposed an issue of Exchequer-
bills to the amount of 5,000,0001., to be
applied, through the medium of the coun-
try bankers, in advances to the landed in-
terest. No such communication was made;
nor was the proposition, thus specified, in
contemplation. Government had taken,
undoubtedly, into'their serious considera-
tion, the best mode of extending the relief
in question; and a proposal for issuing
Exchequer bills was certainly in view, and
might yet be brought before parliament.
He, would not now enter into its details:
he admitted that the state of agriculture
must be judged of by the usual principles
of supply and demand, and that reference
must be had to those principles in every
proposed measure of relief. There were
some who thought that excessive importa-
tion in 1816 and 1817 was the cause of
the present distress. In this opinion:he
could not concur; because the distress
had continued and increased, after the
ports were shut against foreign grain.
There were others, and he was certainly
one of them, who ascribed it chiefly to
superabundant home production. When
the situation of Ireland was taken into the
account, this opinion was rendered the
more probable. In the course of the last
five years, seven and a half millions of
quarters had been imported into Great
Britain from that country; and even dur-
ing the last nine months the importation
amounted to a million and a half quarters.
The last Corn bill, which excluded foreign
competition, and allowed a free import
of.corn from Ireland, had (and he had
suggested the probability at the time)
caused an excessive increase in the pro-
duction of that part:of the United King-
dom, and must have, in some degree, ex-
tended cultivation throughout the whole.
It had been said by the, noble marquis,
that the advance of further capital to,
agriculture could not remove an evil that
arose from an already excessive produc-


-Address'nnl the Kinlgs-,Speech







:17] at the Opening f the Sessio,
tion; but there might be a natural evil of
this kind, and another that was artificial,
and which the principal of over-produc-
tion would not account for. The latter
might be removed by a measure like that
in contemplation.. Government had, on
severaloccasions, issued exchequer bills
for. the relief of commercial distress, in
cases where the objections were nearly
the:same. These issues had produced
their effects : they had been advanced
upon good security, and had been repaid
without the smallest loss. He was aware
of the difference between agriculture and
commerce in many respects. He con-
tended, however, that the difference be-
tween the: two cases did not consist in
the principle itself, but in the difficulty
of its application. In this instance, as
well as in the cases of commercial distress,
no assistance certainly could be granted
except upon good security, or without
,conditions, to be explained when the
measure should be brought forward. All
that he would now observe was, that there
was no; intention of applying it in the
mode described by the noble marquis.-
-He would now briefly allude to that por-
tion of the noble marquis's remarks which
.related to the state of Ireland, as it af-
forded him an occasion for mentioning,
that before, the House adjourned, he
should have to lay upon their table, papers
containing certain communications from
the noble marquis at the head of the Irish
government. These papers would be
-printed to-morrow, and upon their con-
-tents it was his intention to propose a
.measure for arming the executive govern-
ment with additional powers. This mea-
:sure was, however, to be confined in its
-duration to the present session of parlia-
.ment; so that their lordships, before they
.separated, would have an opportunity of
,ascertaining its results, and deciding on
-the propriety of its continuance.or expi-
ration.- It was allowed on all hands that
-government ought to be put in possession
,of the means of effectually protecting the
:lives and property of his majesty's loyal
subjects,,and of putting down that system
,of outrage. and violence which-prevailed.
He concurred with the noble marquis in
all the praise which he had bestowed on
the vigour and talents of the noble person
at the head of the Irish government; he
was sure that he would direct all the fa-
culties of his powerful mind to probe the
evils with which Ireland was afflicted to
,the bottom, and to find out the most ef-
VOL. VI.


1. FEB. 5, 1822. [18
fectual. remedy for .them. The noble
marquis had expressed a hope, that though
new penal measures might be necessary,
they would not be the only measures re-
sorted to. This hope he was happy to
think might be realized. The whole state
of the country ought to be looked into
for the purpose of applying the proper
remedy. This was;a subject, however,
into which he could not at present enter.
The effect of absentee proprietors, and
the other circumstances which charac-
terized the state of Ireland, and which had
been alluded to by the noble mover of
the Address, could not be then discussed,
But with regard to his majesty's visit to
that country, and the consequences at-
tending it, there could be but one opinion.
Though it had not prevented those scenes
of disturbance which commenced even
before his majesty quitted its shores, it
had increased the general loyalty and at-
tachment of his Irish subjects to his per-
son. No sovereign ever was received,
not merely with louder acclamations, but
with more, heartfelt gratification; and it
was a singular circumstance, that in the
disturbed districts; where the laws were
daily transgressed, no hostility was mani-
fested towards his majesty's government.
He had in his possession a letter which he
had received from a well-informed gentle-
man of that country,.which stated, that
notwithstanding all that had taken place
in the south of Ireland and some other
districts, yet, were his majesty now to ap-
pearin Limerick, he would be received with
demonstrations of satisfaction and delight
similar to those which welcomed him to
Dublin. It was, indeed, observable, that
in all their discontents and excesses, these
people never quarrelled with the govern-
ment, as a government; nor did religion
enter.largely into the motives or pretexts
of their outrages.. He made this obser-
vation, not to prejudge any question that
might afterwards 'come .before them, but
to suggest, for their lordships' considera-
tion, whether the evil might not lie deeper
in the frame of society,, than in any poli-
tical cause.or, relation between the go-
vernors and the governed. The situation
of that country was unlike that of any
Other in Europe; it.had been so for ages,
and continued to be so still. Though
penal measures might, therefore, be re-
sorted to for the purpose of putting down
the immediate disorder, they ought not to
place an exclusive reliance on the opera-
tion of them. In respect to our relation
C







.19] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
with foreign powers hle did not feel hinm-
self called upon to offer any remark, as
no objection was made to that part of his
majesty's Speech which referred to them.
The Earl of Blesington said, that on the
subject of Ireland, he was happy to be
relieved from a task to which he had
pledged himself last session, and rejoiced
that the state of that country would be
brought under their notice by a noble
lord so much better qualified to do it jus-
tice. He might, indeed, fairly remind their
lordships, however little inclined to listen
to him, that he had, so far back as the
year 1816, anticipated that, unless some-
thing was done, the present evils would
inevitably occur. In 1819 he had re-
peated the observation, and had implored
the attention of his majesty's government
to this subject. He had always main.
tained, that the existing evil of non-resi.
dence was to be attributed to the Union.
The war, too, had led to consequences
not anticipated during its continuance.
He did not, however, rise merely to give
vent to his complaint that the subject had
not been earlier investigated, but to ex-
press his thanks to the noble marquis, for
the notice which he had given, as well as
the gratification he felt at the prospect of
government at length interfering on behalf
of that country.
The Address was then agreed to nem.
diss.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 5.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
Speaker acquainted the House, that that
House had been in the House of Peers,
whei-e his Majesty had delivered a most
gracious Speech to both Houses of par-
liament, and of which, to prevent mis-
takes, lie had obtained a copy [Seep. 1.].
After the Speaker had read his majesty's
Speech,
Mr. Robert Clive rose to offer himself
to the attention of the House for the pur-
pose of moving an Address of thanks to
his majesty for his gracious Speech. He
would not apologise for his inability to do
justice to the subject, as he conceived he
should best consult the convenience of
the House by proceeding at once to those
points which he should submit to their
attention, and which he hoped would meet
with their unanimous concurrence. On
the first point of the Speech he appre-


Address on thW King's" Speech [20
ended there was but one opinion; namelyjr
satisfaction that his majesty continued to
receive from foreign powers the strongest
assurances of their friendly disposition to-
wards this country. It was to be la-
mented, that since parliament had last
met, the same friendly disposition on the
part of the European powers towards one
another had been endangered, and that
differences of a serious nature had arisen
between the court of Russia and the
Ottoman Porte. On such a subject, he
could not state more, than that as the
Turkish empire had always been consi-
dered as an European power, any change
affecting her territory must be the sub-
ject of deepest anxiety to the other states.
It was impossible to know where hostili-
ties, when once begun, might end, or how
far they might tend to the destruction of
the peace of Europe. It must be a source
of gratification to the House to learn, that
the other powers of Europe were, like our
own government, anxious to allay the
difference which had arisen between the
two countries he had named, and that
reasonable hopes might be entertained of
a favourable result to the pending nego-
tiations. He could not leave this part of
his subject without making an humble at-
tempt to show the House the command-
ing and elevated situation in which this
country now stood. She had proceeded
through a period of difficulty and danger
unparalleled in our history, and had re-
solutely fought for her independence: she
had been instrumental in preserving the
independence of other nations; and she
was now occupied in endeavouring to
maintain that general repose which her
exertions had contributed to establish
throughout Europe. In maintaining the
desired tranquillity, the House of Commons
would be a powerful instrument; its voice
would penetrate, however distant, the
-place where it might be necessary to make
it heard. Immediately after the death of
our late much revered and lamented so-
vereign, his present majesty had formed
the design of visiting different parts of his
kingdom. His first object was, to visit
Ireland: thither he had first directed his
course. He would not attempttodescribe
the affectionate enthusiasm which greeted
the arrival of the first sovereign of the
house of Brunswick .that had visited that
island, or theloyalty that was manifested
by all classes of his majesty's faithful sub-
jects, upon that occasion. Those circum-
stances would never, he would venture to







at the Opening ofthe Session.


say, be effaced from the recollection of
the illustrious individual by whose presence
they were elicited. Subsequently a cloud
had overspread that island. A spirit of
insubordination, which had led to syste-
.matic acts of outrage, had appeared abroad.
From the description of persons by whom
-those acts of violation had been conuitteu
it appeared that they had originated in
local causes; perhaps in individual mis-
management; productive ofdistressin a very
eminent degree. There was one observa-
tion, however, which he thought it neces-
sary to make with respect to the distur-
bances which prevailed in Ireland; namely
that they were unconnected with any
political or religious feelings. The House
had been told that his majesty was deter-
mined to make every attempt in his power
to protect the rights and property of his
loyal and peaceable subjects in the sister
island; and he trusted the House would
co-operate with his majesty, and enable
him to carry his intentions into effect.-
The communication which had been made
with respect to the state of the revenue
must give great satisfaction to the House.
The improvement in the revenue had been
considerable, and it was progressive up to
the present moment. The House would
.be glad to learn from his majesty's speech
.that every attention would be paid by
government to economy-important at all
.times, but now most important. It ap-
.peared that considerable reductions had
.been made in the scale of the annual ex-
penditure, particularly in the naval and
military departments. The weight which
had been pressing upon the manufactures
and commerce of the united kingdom was
nowgraduallydiminishing;andactivityagain
prevailed in the most important branches of
ourArade. He would not, however, dwell
upon that subject, but would leave it to be
discussed .by his hon. friend who sat near
.him, who was better qualified for the task.
It wasto be regretted that he could not
use.the same language of congratulation
with respect to the state of agriculture.
It was too true, that that important branch
of the national wealth was labouring under
.severe depression. There was no ,object,
.be was,certain, to effect which ministers
-ould more cordially co-operate, than that
*of endeavouring to relieve the agriculturist
of the burden which pressed upon him.
The subject would occupy the attention
of the House during the course of the ses-
sion, and it was to be hoped that investi-
gation wpuld lead to some remedy. The


House ought to bear in mind the compa-
rative state of trade two or three years
ago and at the present moment. They
should look at the gradual advancement of
the revenue. In 1820, the principal in-
crease was under the head of Excise; this
year it was under the head of Customs.
The House, too, would observe that the
revenue of Ireland had been gradually im-
proving up to that time. When, therefore,
.he knew that for the last two years com-
merce and manufactures had been grad.
ually improving, he trusted he should not
be thought too sanguine in expressing A
hope, that the agricultural interest would,
before the expiration of the year, experi-
ence a similar amendment.-There was
one other point to which he wished to call
the attention of the !House, and perhaps it
was the most important that could be of-
fered to its notice-he meant the necessity
of maintaining the public credit. It was
public credit that had advanced the coun-
try to that proud eminence on which she
now stood; and it was of the utmost im-
portance to the national character-per-
haps he might say to the future existence
of the country-to maintain it inviolate.
After returning thanks for the patience
with which the House had listened to him,
thehon. gentleman concluded withmoving,
" that an humble Address be presented to
his majesty, to return the thanks of this
House to his majesty for his most gracious
speech from the throne:-To assure his
majesty, that we learn with much satisfac-
tion the continued assurance of the friendly
disposition of Foreign Powers towards this
country:-To acknowledge with gratitude
the interest which his majesty takes in thd
preservation of the peace of Europe, and
the endeavours which his majesty has di-
rected, in conjunction with his allies, to
the settlement of the differences which
have unhappily arisen between the courts
of St. Petersburgh and the Ottoman Porte;
which differences we learn with pleasure
his majesty has reason to hope will be
satisfactorily adjusted :-To express the
participation which we feel in the gratifi-
cation his majesty derived in his late visit
to Ireland, from the loyalty and attach-
ment manifested by all classes of his
majesty's subjects, and at the same tine
in the concern which his majesty so gra-
ciously manifests, that a spirit of outrage
which has led to daring a.d systematic
violations of the law, has arisen and still
prevails in some parts of that country:-
To assure his majesty, that he may rely


Fza. 5, 1822. [2-9







23] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on ihe King's Speech [24
on our support in every measure necessary must claim all the indulgence of the
for the protection of the persons and pro- House, not only on the ground of his
perty of his loyal and peaceable subjects ; being unaccustomed to address the House,
and that we shall not fail to take into our but also because he was conscious of his
immediate consideration, whether the ex- incompetency to discharge effectually the
isting laws are sufficient for that purpose: duty which he had [undertaken. 'If, in
-That we rejoice to think that notwith- the course of what he had to offer, any
standing the serious interruption of public thing should fall from him which might
tranquillity, his majesty may enjoy the tend to interrupt that unanimity which it
satisfaction of believing, that his presence was so desirable to maintain, he trusted
in Ireland has been productive of very that the House would attribute it to his
beneficial effects; and to express our inexperience. However, after the able-
thanks to his majesty for his gracious as- speech they had just heard, it would be
surance, that all descriptions of his people unnecessary for him to trouble the House
may confidently rely upon the just and at any length. As to the first topic in
equal administration of the laws, and upon the Speech from the throne, he was cor'-
his paternal solicitude for their welfare: vinced there was but one feeling. Who-
-To express our satisfaction, that his ever had had an opportunity of witnessing
majesty is enabled to inform us, that du- the calamities of war, and had seen,
ring the last year the revenue has exceed- however gratifying the results, themiseries
ed that of the year preceding, and that it that were inflicted before those results
appears to be in a course of progressive were obtained, would be deeply impressed
improvement:-To thank his majesty with the blessings of peace, and on that
for having directed the estimates of the ground it was most gratifying that his
current year to be laid before us, and for majesty had received the assurances of
-the attention to economy with which his the friendly disposition of foreign powers.
majesty-informs us they have been framed: It was not necessary for him to make any
-To assure his majesty, that we learn observations upon the differences which
with the highest satisfaction that he has had arisen between the Court of St.-Peters-
been able to make a large reduction in burgh and the Ottoman government.
our annual expenditure, and in particular He was confident, however, that the
in our naval and military establishments: House would be glad Ito learn that those
-That we are highly gratified in being unfortunate differences were likely to be
informed, that a considerable improvement amicably adjusted. He. knew that the
has taken place in the course of the last House would participate-in the feelings
year in the commerce and manufactures of his majesty 'on account of the un-
of the Ufited Kingdom and that his ma- fortunate situation in! which Ireland was
jesty can now state them-to be, in their placed. It must, indeed, be a subject df
important branches, in a very flourishing deep concern that his majesty's visit to
condition:-That we must at the same that country, which was hailed with so
time most deeply regret the depressed much enthusiasm and which terminated
-state of the Agricultural Interest:-To under such auspicious circumstances,
'assure his majesty, that the condition of should have been succeeded by outrages
an interest so essentially connected with amounting to a daring and systematic
the prosperity of the country will attract violation of the law. ilf any consolation
'our early attention; and that his majesty was to be found in such an unfortunate
may ',ly upon our most careful and de- state of things, it was to be derived from
liberate consideration of this important knowing that the disturbances originated
'subject:-That, in whatever measures we in local causes, and not'in any general
Smay adopt, we shall not fail to bear in spirit of hostility to the established laws.
mind that all the best interests of this The House, however, would see the ne-
kingdom are equally involved in the main- cessity of seconding the measures of the
tenance of our public credit, fully persua- executive by vigorous laws, aided by the
ded as we are that it is by a steady adher- spirit of conciliation, to suppress thesb
ence to that principle that we have attain- serious disorders.-It was gratifying that
ed, and can alone expect to preserve, our the revenue had increased, and he was
high station amongst the nations of the sure the House would hear with satisfac-
world." tion that it was in a state of progressive
Mr. William Duacombe rose to second Improvement. It was satisfactory, too,
the address. In doing so, he felt that he to learn that his majesty's government had






FEB. 5, 1822. [26


tipade great reductions, particularly in the
naval and military departments. With
regard also to our manufactures and
commerce,'no doubt could be entertained
that they were in a flourishing condition.
With regard to agriculture, however, the
same flattering assurances would not be
given; and he should not perform his duty
if he did not observe that it was labour-
ing under general distress. Without
entering into the causes or details of it,
they were so satisfied of its importance
and connexion with the other great in-
terests of the country, that it must be the
earnest desire of his majesty's ministers
and the House to afford it all the protec-
tion in their power. He was aware that
there were those who contended that this
relief could not be afforded without a
great reduction of taxation, and rigid
economy; but he would ask, who were
those who were so ardent in this cause as
to follow up their object, without regard
to the security-of the country? Some
'immediate remedy however should be
-applied to the distress; and he had no
doubt that such remedy would be adopted.
He might be allowed before he concluded
to congratulate the House that the dis-
affection which some time ago had shewn
itself in the manufacturing districts had
entirely disappeared, and had been suc-
ceeded by perfect tranquillity. This ef-
-fect :was partly produced by the wise
measures of parliament, but in a great
measure, as he trusted and believed, by
the internal prosperity of the country.
But, while he stated this, he might be
permitted to add, that in his judgment
those persons must be very superficial ob-
servers of public events,' who could not
perceive that there were yet individuals
who were ready on every occasion to
attack the constitution of the country,
,and to bring into contempt the established
authorities of. the kingdom. That such
persons unfortunately existed, though
few in number, appeared to his mind to
admit of little doubt. Some of those
persons were anxious to supplant the
present order of things by some' theore-
tical'system of their' own. Others were
actuated merely by hatred of what was
established. Fortunately, however, the
constitution stood so firm on its basis,
-was so beautifully connected in all its
parts,' and was so admirably adapted to
all classes of society, that it was impoS-
sible but that all who enjoyed the bles-
sing of living under it'shQuld perceive'its


advantages Over any other system of go
vernment. So far, however, from being
injured by the arrows of malice which
had been directed against it, the constitu-
tion had derived new strength from'the
assault; and would, after surviving the
storms and attacks which it had suffered,
exhibit to the admiration of the world its
grandeur and stability:
Per damna, per cedes, ab ipso
Ducit opes animumque ferro.
Sir Francis Burdett- said,- that the very
modest and sensible speech of the mover
of the address, in answer to the Speech
from the throne, had given him very little
to comment on; as there was little in
it with which he did not cordially agree.
Of the speech of the hon. member who
seconded the address, he should have
been enabled to say the same, were it
not for the topic introduced at the end of
his speech, differing in tone and temper
both from the Speech from the throne
and the address in answer to it. That
hon. member had said, that there were
persons in England anxious to subvert
the constitution of the country. This
assertion was unfortunate, and in contra-
diction to the first part of his speech, in
which he had recommended and praised
the reduction of that large military force,
which there was, indeed, no honest pre-
tence for keeping up. As to the foreign
politics of the Speech from the throne
he should pass them over very, rapidly,
because in our present situation they were
comparatively of very small importance.
Of the territory now in contest, he would
only say, that he wished heartily it was out
of the Turkish possession, and in the pos-
session of the Greeks. In saying so, he
was convinced that it would be a great
benefit to the Christian European world,
if an independent state were erected in
that part of Europe by the great and
glorious exertions of that cruelly-oppres-
sed people in vindication of their ancient
liberties. He had a'short amendment to
propose; which was dictated by no dis-
respect to the throne, but by a desire to
give the royal Speech that consideration,
which, under the circumstances of the
country, was especially due to it. In
ancient times-and,t as he was rather old
fashioned in his opinions, in what he
would call better times-better -parlia-
mentary times-it was the custom for the
House of Commons to wish to deliberate
before it resolved: it was the practice of
our forefathers to understand before they


at the Opekzing ef the Session.






27] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
voted, and they held it no disrespect to
the throne to postpone, until a subsequent
day, the consideration of the Speech that
had been delivered from it. They thus
knew the topics it contained, and those
which it omitted; and were able to make
up their minds both upon the one and
upon the other. Since the Revolution,
this usage had been dispensed with; yet
still some courtesy was observed towards
parliament by the ministers of the day,
which, perhaps, secured the practical
benefits of the exploded system. The
royal Speech was read over-night at the
Cock-pit, to such members as chose to
attend, and its contents found their way
into the morning, or at least into the
evening, papers of the day, before the
Houses were convened. Thus, such as
felt an interest on the subject could
honestly arrive at a decision. But of late
years even this courtesy had not been ob-
served ; and the House of Commons was
expected to come to an instantaneous vote
of approbation of all that the ministers
thought fit to put into the mouth of the
sovereign. Now, he confessed thathis mind
was neither sufficiently quick nor capa-
cious to be competent to this duty. He
was not able on the instant to embrace
and decide upon all the various topics
just read from the chair. Not having,
therefore, the power of divination, or
the faculty of conjecturing, with any de-
gree of certainty, what would be the na-
ture of the King's Speech, he could not
,be prepared with an amendment to the
address ready cut and dried for the oc-
casion. The consequence therefore was,
either that the vote was made a mere
formal compliment, pledging no man, or
the House was taken by surprise and re-
quired to give its sweeping and instan-
taneous approbation of that, which under
other circumstances, it might be disposed
to object to. In the first case, the ad-
dress was not of the slightest value; and
in the last, after a great deal of talk about
conciliation and unanimity, the House
was entrapped and cajoled into an ap-
parent butinsincere acquiescence.-Under
such circumstances, it was his intention
to propose that the King's Speech should
be taken into consideration the day
after to-morrow. It was fit he should
observe, that as far as he could collect,
the Speech from the throne was by no
means suCh a full and satisfactory state-
nment as the countryhad a right to expect.
It laboured under grievances of all kinds.


Address on the King's Speecl4 [28
The people complained, not merely of
agricultural distress. There were nume-
rous violations of the law and constitution,
in his mind, superior to the sufferings of
the landed interest, which required re-
dress. The constitution was at this
moment, and had long been, in many im-
portant instances, infringed upon, and set
at open defiance. But, with regard to
agricultural distress, ministers were bound,
not merely in general terms, to declare
that they would observe economy. What
minister, time after time, had not done so ?
The first Speech, after the accession of
the late king, held out a promise of rigid
economy; and during that whole reign,
few speeches would be found without
such an undertaking, but fewer were the
instances in which it had been performed.
The House and the nation demanded more
than the idle delusion. Ministers ought
to point out how and when they would carry
their fine promises into effect. There was
also a point of omission, very important
in itself, and not at all in accordance with
that anxiety which was so loudly pro-
fessed, of observing the strictest economy.
Not a hint had been given regarding a
reduction of the monstrous expenditure
of the civil list. At a time when the
country was suffering under the severest
pressure-when ministers were playing
all sorts of tricks (for he could call them
nothing else) with the circulating me-
dium-at a time when they had succeeded
in depreciating the currency, they added
to the evil and the insult upon the nation
by augmenting the civil list and the
salaries of persons composing or connect-
ed with the government. They and their
friends alone throve and flourished amid
the general distress and ruin. They got
the country into this condition: when
the currency was at the lowest they raised
their expenses to the highest, and then,
without one thought of alleviating the
sufferings of the people, of their own
heads they all at once restored the cur-
rency to a fair metallic value, and, while
the incomes of every body else was re-
duced to a great amount, ministers said
not a syllable about reducing their own.
What was this but a most selfish and un-
feeling disregard of the national distress ?
To lessen the salaries of pensioners and
placemen at such a time, seemed a mea-
sure so equitable and so obvious, that he
wondered ministers were not ashamed of
bringing in a bill which put so much money
into their own pockets, while they took it,







at the Opening of the Session.


in an increased :proportion, from the
pockets of the impoverished people. At
the time when so much was said about re-
storing a healthful currency, and about
the solvency of the Bank, ministers were
often-told that the Bank would be able to
pay, but the real question was, whether
thie nation would be able to bear. It was
all in vain: ministers would not take the
trouble to think; the public welfare was
of no consequence, when compared with
their own: though the change they were
about to effect came home to every private
family in the kingdom, they never dreamt
of weighing the bearings of the measure,
with a view to put the whole population
in the same relative situation. Ifministers
were not aware of the consequences, they
showed themselves most incapable: if
they were aware of them, they proved
themselves most unworthy. Many persons
attributed to this change, the present dis-
tressed state of the country. That many
mischievous consequences had resulted
from it, there could be no doubt; and as
a whole, executed as it had been, it was
full of iniquity and injustice. The King's
ministers had brought it about: it was
their own sole doing, and they alone were
responsible.-Of all the topics introduced
into the royal Speech, the most prominent
and pressing was certainly the state of
Ireland. It was impossible to look at the
condition of that unfortunate island with-
out the deepest commiseration: a kind,
and industrious, and a generous people
had been driven to despair; and surely it
was fit on an occasion like the present,
that something else should be held out to
them than the sword. Their sufferings
were grievous in the extreme; in some
cases it had been seen they were so severe
that the inhabitants preferred death in any
shape to living under such complicated
miseries. Perhaps the noble marquis op-
posite would again employ his old asser.
tion, about a transition from war to peace;
but was not much of what was now en-
dured in Ireland to be -attributed to a
transition from a state of independence,
to what was miscalled a state of Union ?
The gentlemen of Ireland and the people
at large had been cajoled and hoaxed into
a belief that the Union was to be complete
-and beneficial; yet it had turned out a
mere parchment union, by which Ireland
had been so reduced to the last extremity
of distress, as to cause a danger even of
permanent separation. Ministers had not
made a single attempt to carry into effect


any of the idle promises by which the
Irish nation had been duped into a con-
sent to its own destruction and debase-
ment. What were the views of govern-
ment upon this important subject? It
was clear that something ought to be done
without a moment's delay; and it was
equally clear, that conciliation, as well as
force, ought to be employed. There
were three especial and striking griev-
ances that affected Ireland. The first was
the scandalous pretence on religious
grounds for excluding men from their
equal and just civil rights. This free and
unlimited participation had been proposed
at the time of the Union. This was an
obvious practical evil, and unless the
meetings of this House were mere matters
of senseless form, it was bound to afford a
speedy remedyv-a remedyat all times within
its power. The next grievance was the
manner and mode of the tithing system. In
the year 1782, what was the situation of
Ireland? If she was then distressed, at
least she had an ear bound to listen to the
public voice: she had a parliament, and
under thatparliament, though calumniated,
she had enjoyed a surplus revenue of about
a million sterling. Since the Union, what
had been the revenue of Ireland, and
what had become of her surplus? She
was a country enjoying every advantage
which prodigal nature could bestow. She
had, besides, an industrious, and ingenious,
and energetic people-a people as orderly
and as peaceable as any people on the
earth, if they were permitted to be so.
If any proof were wanting that they did
not shun labour, it might be found in our
own metropolis where all the severest
labour was performed by the Irish. So
far from being idle, they travelled many
hundred miles, often at the risk of starva-
tion, to procure, by thehardest drudgery,
an honest livelihood. True it was, that
the exchequers of England and Ireland
had been consolidated, but had the mea-
sure improved the revenues of the latter?
It had been said that the corruption in this
country was purity itself compared with
the corruption of Ireland: but whether
this were or were not the fact, it was un-
deniable that 'the revenues of Ireland
were all frittered away, and that literally
a civil war had been long waged against
the distillation of whiskey. Let gen-
tlemen read the statements in Mr. Chi-
'chester's pamphlet of the efforts to put
down illicit distillation, and they would
find it amply sufficient to perpetuate dis-


FEB. 5f 18222.' *[5







31] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
contents and heart:burnings. An exam.
inationinto the state of the Excise laws
in Ireland, might be another and an im-
portant mode of relief. At.present, the
unhappy people were driven to acts of
desperate retaliation; and were reduced
to such a deplorable condition, that they
were ready to run the hazard of any per-
sonal infliction for the sake of a moment's
respite. The Speech from the throne con-
tained not a syllable regarding Scotland;
yet, could any man believe that the people
there were satisfied? They were suffer-
ing under a monstrous evil. The Scotch
were a wise, a wary, and a calculating
nation; and though they suffered, they
were not easily driven to desperation;
yet it was well known by the inquiries of
the House, that the system ofburghs at the
self election of a littlenarrow committee,
engrossing all power and profit-was an
enormous evil. The burghs were to Scot-
land what that House was to the kingdom
at large. The noble lord beneath him
(A. Hamilton) had produced irresisti-
ble arguments against this detestable
system; many petitions had been present-
ed; and if he (Sir Francis Burdett)
had taken no part in the debates
upon them, it was not because he
was indifferent to the subject, but
because he feared that his interposition
might injure the cause and lead to
the neglect of their complaints. The
petitioners were much mistaken, if they
thpught.they could persuade the House of
Commons, compounded as it was, to set
its face against a system on which it was
itself established. The country now well
understood the undue and overbearing in-
fluence of ministers.in the House of Com-
mons, and that it.was vain to expect any
thing from such a body.. He knew not,
if he were indeed ;as wild and visionary
in his actions of reform as some had repre-
sented him to be; but of all reformers the
most wild and visionary, in his view, were
those who hoped to effect, what they ter-
med, an economical reform: such persons
expected that, which in the present con-
stitution of the House, could never be at-
tained: they looked for effects without
causes-" for grapes on thorns, and, figs
on thistles;" for until that House had been
effectually and thoroughly reformed, there
could be no permanent and efficient relief
for the sufferings of the people of these
kingdoms. Economical reform was put-
ting the cart before the horse, reform
must precede economy; for economy


Address on the King's Speech [32
could never precede reform. .In these
times, parties scarcely existed; or at least
there was but one great and strong dis-
tinction between men in this country-re-
formers and corruptionists. These were the
two great classes into which the people of
Great Britain were divided; and though
he acknowledged, in .the fullest manner,
the indefatigable labours and high merits of
his hon. friend, the member for Aberdeen,
though he admitted his claims upon the
nation for his ability, industry, and perse-
verance,
"--- Neque ego illi detrahere ausim
" Herentem capiti multa cum laude coronam ;
still he could not flatter himself with any
hope that his extraordinary exertions
would be attended with any thing like
proportionate success. His hon. friend
had, indeed, been the'great practical refor-
mer of the day,, he had laid bare, in many
places, the bloated carcass of corruption;
but if he looked for efficient economy by
any other mode than a thorough reform
of parliament, he must say, that his hon.
friend was one of the weakest and most vi-
sionary ofreformers. Ifa noble lord (Ebring-
ton) had not already given notice upon this
great paramount subject, it had been his in- .
tention to have closed what he had to say
that night,with anintimation that he would
bring it forward on a very early day. In
his view, it was superior to all other mat-
ters, and ought to take precedence of all
other questions. He became more im-
pressed with its absolute necessity every
our of the day; and as the.great Roman
had ended all his addresses to the senate
with the words "delenda est Carthago,"
so he felt disposed to terminate all his
speeches to the House of Commons with
the,words-" reform in parliament." At
present his purpose was the same, though
his means were different; and in order to
give time for the due and respectful con-
sideration of the Speech from the throne,
he should move, as an amendment,, that
the consideration of it be postponeduntil
Thursday next. .
Mr. Hobhouse, in rising to second the
motion, took occasion to express his en-
tire concurrence in the reasons assigned
by his hon. colleague for postponing any
reply to the Speech from the throne, until
the House should have some time to con-
sider its merits. His hon. colleague was
quite correct as to his quotationswith re-
gard to the practice of that House-in early
times, respecting its replies to king s
speeches; but even after the Revolution, it






FEB. 5, 1822. [3.


was the practice of the House, as appeared,
from the Journals, to take time for the
consideration of a speech from the throne
before any answer was made to it. This
particularly appeared from the conduct of
that House during the reign of William
3rd, and especially upon the speech from
the throne in 1697, when the country was
in circumstances somewhat similar to the
present. The speech of the sovereign did
not on that occasion intimate any inten-
tion to reduce any part of his military
force, which both parties in the House
desired, and therefore, in the reply, to the
speech, which the House took some time
to consider, they inserted an application
to the king to reduce the army to seven
thousand for Ireland and twelve thousand
for England. When the House then evin-
ced so much jealousy of the military power
of their great deliverer from slavery and
superstition, was it too much to say that
some jealousy should be felt as to the ex-
traordinary amount of our military force
at present? It was said that some reduc-
tion had taken place in the amount and
expense of our army since the last sessions.
Of this, however, that House had as yet
no regular cognizance. But he was posi-
tively assured, that no less than one hun-
dred first commissions had been granted
since the last sessions; and that fact cer-
tainly argued nothing of a disposition to
reduce the expense of our military depart-
ment [hear, hear, hear !]. Of itself this
seemed sufficient to show the folly of
blindly voting an address of thanks, while
the House was in total ignorance as to
what had been done to relieve the burthens
of the people. It seemed to him no high
compliment to what proceeded from the
throne, to say, that it would not bear re-
flection, and that approbation, if expressed
at all, must be expressed with unreflecting
precipitation., To postpone, to deliberate,
and then to vote ,was surely much more
becoming the wisdom of parliament and
the dignityofthe Crown. Theintercourse
between a king and his people ought not
to be a mere farce: it was a solemnity
which ought never to be burlesqued, and
it was now quite time to have done with
the ridiculous practice of making the ad-
dress a mere echo of the royal speech, a
mere machine to enable ministers to conr
gratulate themselves on all the good things
which they had put into the mouth of his
majesty. He begged leave to say, that
there was no time so fit as the present for
changing this absurd custom.. The coun-
VOL. VI.


try, from one end to the other, was now
satisfied that a change, not merely of mea-
sures, butof men, wasabsolutely necessary;
and, without meaning any thing harsh'to
the hon. seconder of the address, he (Mr.
Hobhouse) must say, that the hon. gen-
tleman was much mistaken if he thought
that the language he had used would have
any effect upon the people at large. Even
here, it had raised a smile among the
ranks of ministers, when the hon. gentle-
man attributed the prevailing distress and
disaffection to a wish to destroy the go-
vernment, and to overthrow the constitu-
ted authorities. The nation was not afraid
of the revolutionary plunderer, but of the
tax-gathering plunderer, of the man who
came to drag the beds from under them,
and to reduce them to the last stage of
poverty and wretchedness. [Hear, hear.3,
He trusted then that the House would
hear no more of any idle clamour about
revolution.. The people now knew well
into whose pockets fell the money that was
extorted from them, and that the greater
part of it was applied to the-purposes of
corruption. To cure these evils then he.
believed the great body of the people was
anxious for a change of measures, and not
for a change of men, as it was indifferent
to them by whom the powers of govern-
ment were possessed, if the country were
well governed.. But as to our foreign
politics there was a reason against, the
sudden adoption of the proposed answer
furnished by the example of an assembly
whose general conduct he could not res-
pect, although it might and probably was
respected,by ministers.. He meant the
example of the French chamber of depu-
ties, which took time to consider of a re-
ply to the king's speech, and had recently
shown that they dared dissent from the
sentiments therein contained. The House
was:called upon by the proposed reply,
to congratulate his majesty upon the peace
which at present prevailed in Europe, as
ministers alleged. But he would appeal
to any-unbiassed man who heard him,
what sort of peace that was ? It was, in-
deed, the peace;of the grave, but not that
of justice or independence; for, what was
the condition of, Greece, not one word
about which appeared in the king's speech,
or in the proposed reply to it, although
the Greeks were at present shedding their
best blood in order to recover their liberty
and independence ? Did the hon. secon-
der of the address consider that the peace
in which he exulted, had served to destroy
D


at the Opening Vthke Session..







35] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the independence of every state in Europe
which had hoped for freedom ? Or, was
the noble secretary for foreign affairs, who
had himself seen the continent, aware of
the consequences of the peace which he
had concluded ; that it had produced some
of the most unnatural and uncongenial
unions, that it had annexed Norway to
Sweden, Saxony to Prussia, Genoa to
Sardinia, Venice and all Italy to Austria
[hear, hear, hear !] ? The hon. seconder
had quoted some lines ffrom Horace, and
he would take leave to make a quotation
from the same author, whose Venus was
the very prototype of the noble lord:
-.- -cii place impares
SFormas atque ammos subjuga ahenea
Satvo mittere cum joco."
But when ministers spoke of the peace
of the continent, he would ask them where
that content which was indicative of peace
was to be found ? Was it in Italy, or in
France, or in the north of Germany ? Or
was it in that quarter of Europe where the
Greeks were so gallantly fighting for their
liberties? The cause of all the discontent
and agitation which prevailed in Europe
was not at all laid open to the House. He
was convinced when the subject was fairly
opened and examined, it would be found,
that in many instances there had been a
disgraceful invasion of the rights of man,
not to be paralleled in the history of
the civilized world. How, he would again
ask, could any man vote for this address,
congratulating his majesty upon the happy
peace prevailing in Europe, while the Ot-
toman crescent was displayed over the bo-
dies of those Greeks whom the Ottoman
scimitar had hewn down? In the last
session, charges of the gravest nature had
been made against sir T. Maitland for the
un-english part he had played against the
Greeks, and yet, while they were unrefu-
ted, this address was to be voted. This
was peace with a vengeance. What was
the fact? Great Britain had taken under
ier protection men who had long suffered
under the most cruel despotism; yet now
they were found to prefer that despo-
tism to our protection. One of our first
acts had been to disarm the population we
had taken under our protection. [Hear,
hear.] No wonder, then, that supporting
such a system' of tyranny and' oppression
his majesty's ministers when they framed
this speech had not a single tear to shed
for Greece. To revert to the delay for-
merly granted before the House voted an
address on an occasion like the present,


Address on the King's Speech [gSO
and to the subsequent courtesy of reading it
in the Cock-pit, to which the hon. bart. had
also adverted, he (Mr. Hobhouse) must
observe that he had in vain sought for any
cause for the discontinuance of the latter
practice: he had, however, heard that it
was owing to a piece of waggery in the
year 1797, when a pretended speech was
got up from the information thus obtained,
and trumpeted about the streets. But was
it fit that a mere joke of this kind should
degrade a solemn proceeding into a mere
farce and juggle ? It was neither respect-
ful to the throne nor to the House thus
tamely and blindly to acquiesce in the dic-
tation of the cabinet. It had formerly
been recorded on the journals, that thle
noise was so great that the address could
scarcely be heard: and it would be quite
as well if it could not be heard at all, if an
instantaneous vote were required upon it.
He would not compliment away the liber-
ties of parliament and the forms meant to
secure them; and he hoped his hon. col-
league would persevere in his amendment,
to give the House an opportunity of know.
ing what it was about, instead of at once
and precipitately, voting an address, as
was at present proposed, which was a
mere echo of the speech.
Mr. Grattan could not refrain from
trespassing shortly on the House, after
what had been said regarding the state of
Ireland. The visit of his majesty to that
unhappy island was a most beneficial pre-
cedent, and would tend unquestionably to
secure the loyalty and affection of its in-
habitants. That great distress prevailed
among them, was admitted on all hands;
and so long asIreland continued what she
was, crimes, perhaps of the blackest die,
were inevitable. The speech from the
throne adverted to the inefficiency of the
existing laws. He had the utmost dread
of Insurrection acts. Ireland was like the
poor wretch flogged by the drummer:
let him strike where he would, he could
not give satisfaction. The condition of a
country so important, so populous, but so
long despised and neglected, was most
extraordinary: she was not visited by the
curse of God, but of government. He
would concur with the most violent gen-
tlemen in Ireland, (where there were vio-
lent gentlemen enough) in punishing crime
severely; but he hoped that the whole
'country would not be denounced for the
offences of a'few banditti. His country-
men had, like other people, their virtues
and theirvices; but the latter were greatly






at the Opening of the Session.


aggravated bya systemof mis-government.
He knew there was a great deal of discon-
tent, of distress, and of dissatisfaction in
Ireland, which had its origin in moral cau-
ses. Sorry he was to say, that a con-
siderable part of the people disregarded
their gentry; and, what was worse, set at
nought the ministers of their religion. A
continual warfare was carrying on against
the military and the police. Such an un-
natural state of things could only be pro-
duced by mis-government. It was not so
in France: it was not so in England; .but
in Ireland, we heard of nothing but the
recurrence of such disastrous scenes. A
system of mis-g9vernment had long pre-
vailed there. From severe and immoral
laws, bad education, and the exercise of
local tyranny, arose the evils by which the
people of Ireland were visited. Nothing
could possibly be more wretched than their
condition. He would not look to the situa-
tion of the Irish previously to the reign
of Elizabeth. If it were examined from
that reign down to thepresent time, it would
appear, with little exception, to present
one series of suffering. When they con-
templated the confiscations of property that
had so frequently been resorted to, and
all the other means of annoyance which
were let loose against that people, they
would not find it difficult to account for
those crimes and atrocities of which Ire-
land had so often been the theatre. The
unfortunate labourer was himself worth
nothing: his furniture was worth nothing:
he possessed nothing that could give him
the smallest claim to the character of in-
dependence. He laboured for a few pence,
which were expended in the payment of
tithes, of taxes, and for the support of his
priest. All this, and a great deal more
than this, might be witnessed in Ireland.
When they perceived the situation in
which the Irish labourer was placed : when
they acknowledged that he was worthy of
being governed by mild and equal laws;
and then viewed the conduct which was
adopted towards him, they could not won-
der if his severe treatment gave rise to
feelings of disgust and dissatisfaction.
Great, he might say incalculable sums,
were received in this country from Ireland,
through various channels. He wished the
government would seriously set about
doing good to Ireland; and that all which
this country received from Ireland in the
way of exports and rents, should be paid
back in strenuous efforts to ameliorate the
condition of society there. The gentle-


FEB. 5, 1822. [38


man was the victim of the existing law as
well as the peasant. Both suffered by it.
If the Irish gentleman was found to be an
advocate for the system under which his
country had suffered so much, it arose
rather from the situation in which he had
so long been placed, than from any predi-
lection for a system which operated by
means of insurrection acts, and the enm
ployment of military force. The Irish
gentleman was, indeed, a great admirer of
the British constitution; but it appeared
to him that he had almost as little enjoy-
ment of it as the peasant. The twocoun-
tries were divided by religion, by the na-
ture of their respective laws, and by local
circumstances, as well as by the sea. The
peasant did not conceive that he was pro-
tected, and therefore he took no interest,
he felt not that warmth which the same
class of people felt here, in any thing that
concerned the measures of government.
Hence it was, that the execution of the
laws was frequently intrusted to the army.
He knew that the gentlemen of Ireland
had most important duties to perform, in
securing the peace, and protecting the
property of the different counties. But,
unfortunately, in their anxiety for the lat-
ter, they sometimes overlooked the former
They rarely thought of improving the mo-
rals and ameliorating the condition of the
peasantry. [Here the House manifested
some impatience.] He begged pardon
for detaining them so long; but he had
just arrived from Ireland, where he had
witnessed distress of the most lamentable
description, and he was anxious to state
what he conceived to be the best remedy.
The most unhappy feuds prevailed in that
country. The clergy and the people were
at variance. They were separated: they
were constantly atwar about the tithes,
and a more lamentable cause of dissention
could scarcely be conceived. The union
had not produced the benefits which the
people of Ireland had been taught to look
for; they were led to believe that, when
it was carried, much English capital would
be transferred to Ireland. But it had not
turned out so. Without meaning any per-
sonal reflection, he hoped that the justice
and generosity of parliament would re-
dress any evil which might have been pro-
duced by that measure. He called on the
legislature to devise some prompt and con-
ciliatory remedy for the evils by which
Ireland was now beset. The race of far-
mers had disappeared, and the class of gen-
tlemen was fast following them. How







39] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
long was such a state of things to be suf-
fered ? It was in vain to hope that the
evil could be removed by severe mea-
sures. It was in vain to pass Insurrection
acts, for the purpose of quieting the coun-
try. It was in vain to employ large armies
in the collection of rents. Other measures
must be adopted; and he was convinced
they might, by a careful revision of the
existing laws, restore the peace of Ireland,
and bind the hearts and minds of the peo-
ple to the government of the country.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, he
felt it necessary; in consequence of the
course the debate had taken, to trouble
the House with a very few observations;
rather with the view of giving a general
understanding of what ministers meant to
do, than for the purpose of discussing at
that moment any of the important topics
adverted to in his majesty's speech. In
the whole course of his parliamentary ex-
perience, he never recollected an address
to the Crown better calculated to concili-
ate all parties, and to produce a feeling of
temper and moderation, than that which
was now proposed; and he certainly did
regret that any thing should have occur-
red which was at all likely to interrupt
that conciliatory tone of feeling, the ne-
cessity of preserving which had been sug-
gested by his lion. friend who moved the
address. He begged to assure the House,
that in carrying up, as he hoped they
would do, unanimously, this address to the
throne, his majesty's government would
not consider any individual as pledged by
that vote to any specific line of conduct,
with reference to the important subjects
which were noticed in the address. He
could assure the gentlemen opposite, that
ministers did not expect to find, in conse-
quence of the vote of that night, any re-
laxation on the part of the House of that
disposition to scrutinize the conduct of
government, which undoubtedly was a
part of their duty, and which he hoped
they would perform severely, but at the
same time justly. He trusted the hon.
baronet would forgive him, if he reminded
him that it was customary on the first day
of the session for gentlemen to enter into
a sort of general protest, such as he and
his hon. colleague had thought fit to make,
lest it might be supposed that they were
pledged to a particular line of conduct at
a subsequent period, in consequence of
the adoption of any proposed address.
Perhaps it would have been as well if they
had stopped there: for'certainly it could


Address on the King's Speech [40
not be imagined, that the conductor min-
isters would not be open to investigation,
or that the institutions of the country
might not be made the subjects of inquiry,
because the address now before the House
was agreed to. From the tone assumed
by the hon. baronet it was easy to perceive
the course which he intended to pursue
during the present session. He collected
from the speech of the hon. baronet, that
he waved his more enlarged view of par-
liamentary reform-that which extended
to universal suffrage-in ordei to make
way for the more moderate plan of the
noble lord (John Russell) for the discus-
sion of which a day had been named. -He
would undoubtedly rather deal with the
moderate plan, than with that of a broader
and more extended character; but his sen-
timents on the subject had not varied, and
he could not flatter the noble lord that he
would support his intended proposition.
The hon. baronet would allow him to say,
that if the Address, in answer to the Speech
from the throne, were understood as im-
plying that, by agreeing to it, parliament
would be pledged to support certain opin-
ions and sentiments, then he conceived the
hon. baronet should not have moved that
the consideration of the Speech should
take place on Thursday, but that it should
be postponed for three months; because
he .thought that period would scarcely
carry them through the consideration of
all the subjects which were adverted to in
the Speech-alluding as it did to our fo-
reign policy, our revenue, expenditure,
commerce, manufactures, and, above all,
to that very important topic-a topic
which most deeply affected the country-
the state of the agricultural interest;
which, he trusted, would undergo a most
minute consideration. He, therefore,was
of opinion that the hon. baronet had taken
a false view of the time necessary to con-
sider the Speech from the throne, if it
were deemed necessary to make an imme-
diate reply to these various and highly im-
portant points. He thought he consulted
the feelings of the House, and did not at
all prejudice the public interest, when he
recommended the address proposed that
night, as a measure which did not pledge
gentlemen to any particular opinion, and
which left the subjects which he had enu-
merated to be discussed in theirnaturaland
ordinary course. He could not consent
to postpone until Thursday; the considera-
tion of his majesty's Speech, but, on that
day, if the House were so disposed he







fFEB. 5, 1822. 42


would propose for its consideration that
part of the Speech which applied to Ire-
land. Considering it as the point most
intimately connectedwith the peace and
prosperity of the empire, he thought the
House would best discharge its duty by
going at once to that question,'and enter-
ing into it, as fully as possible, on the
earliest day. He should not, however, be
doing his duty to the House, if he did not
point out more extensively what ministers
meant to do on other important topics;
and he trusted when he had done so, the
gentlemen opposite would see that there
was no disposition on the part of his ma-
jesty's government to blink any of those
questions, or to divest themselves of that
responsibility which dughtto attach tothem
in bringing those subjects forward. He
proposed then, on Fridayin the next week,
to call the attention of parliament to a
most important topic-that which stood
next in importance to the tranquillity of
the country-he alluded to the distress
existing amongst the agriculturists, with
the intention of opening to the House the
view which his majesty's ministers took of
that question, and also the nature of the
remedy which appeared to them to be the
most proper to meet the difficulty. A
very anxious and, he could assure the
House, a verylaborious consideration had
been given to this question. He next
begged leave to state that his right hon.
friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer
would not, beyond the beginning of the
ensuing week, (when he would introduce
a bill for repealing and altering the exist-
ing bill relative to the superannuation of
officers,) delay stating to the House the
nature and extent of the retrenchments
proposed to be made in the different pub.
lic offices. He would connect with that
statement a view of the retrenchments
that had been made in other branches of
the public service, particularly in the na-
val and military departments; and he
would put the House in possession of a
general statement of the revenue and ex-
penditure, as far as it could be made up.
Having said thus much, it would be evi-
dently seen that it was not the intention
of ministers to sleep on their post, in bring-
ing those great questionsbefore parliament,
in the only way in which they could be
advantageously disposed of. He was per-
fectly prepared that the House should
look scrupulously and anxiously into the
whole conduct of government; but, though
,he had every reason to believe that, on in-


qiiry, ministers would be found to have
given their best consideration to the pre-
sent state of the country, still it would be
presumption in him to suppose that the
remedies which they would propose where
not capable of improvement. However
gentlemen might differ in opinion from his
majesty's government, he believed all
would feel convinced, from the explana-
tion which they would be enabled to give,
that they had applied-their most serious
consideration to the state of the country,
in the way they had been enjoined by par-
liament to pursue, and that no pains had
been spared by them to go to the bottom
of those great questions, in order to arrive
at that conclusion which was best calcu-
lated to assist the country, by the adop-
tion of such retrenchments as circumstan-
ces would admit. : It was on these grounds
that he would be prepared to argue the
question of economy and retrenchment
when it was regularly introduced; and,
therefore, he conceived the House would
do well to proceed, according to the estab-
lished practice of parliament, by agreeing
to an address which pledged it to a speci-
fic line of conduct in future, instead of
postponing the consideration of his majes.
ty's Speech from the throne.
Mr. Hutchinson said, that if the noble
lord, in the address which he and his col-
leagues were anxious to lay before the
throne, meant to pledge the House to the
adoption of severe measures for the pro-
tection of persons and property in Ireland,
he, for one, would give it his decided
negative. If the noble lord and his col-
leagues meant to assert that the law, as it
now stood in Ireland, was not sufficiently
strong for that purpose, they stated that
which was not ithe fact. He should de-
ceive the House, and betray his duty to the
country, if he suffered it to go abroad, that
in agreeing to the address that night, he re-
cognized the necessity of enacting severe
measures with respect to Ireland. He was
ready to do no such thing. Such measures,
in his opinion, ,could not produce good.
He was sure that they would not restore
peace or security beyond the peace of the
passing moment. He would not state the
feelings which seized hold of his mind
when he reflected on the situation of his
native land ; but he would remind the no-
ble marquis, that he had, almost nineteen
years ago, in his place in that House,
called on him and on his majesty's minis-
ters to take into immediate consideration
the state and condition of the people of


Sat the Op~ening Vithe Session.







43] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Ireland. The Union was carried, on the
supposition that such an :inquiry would
take place, and that their grievances
would be redressed. They were told, that
the parliament of Ireland had overlooked
that momentous subject, but that in the
United parliament it would be fully dis-
cussed. In 1803, when that which was
called Emmet's rebellion broke out, he
reminded the noble marquis of that pro.
mise. He impressedon him the necessity
of making the discussion of questions con-
nected with the welfare of Ireland fashion-
able in the cabinet of England; and, when
that object was effected, he wished some
friendly and conciliatory measure to be
devised for the purpose of ameliorating
the.situation of the people. 1He was de-
sirous:that the state and condition of the
Irish people should be fully investigated,
and 'he pointed out the benefits which
such an investigation would produce: but,
from that:time to the present, the state of
Ireland had not been considered, nor had
the situation of that country been brought
before the cabinet, except for the purpose
of devising severe and restrictive laws.
'The colleagues of the noble marquis had
resisted the concession of that great ques-
tion, Catholic emancipation, the prospect
of obtaining which had greatly tended to
the success of the Union. He knew not
what measures the noble marquis and his
colleagues had in contemplation; but this
he would say, that, if they meant to do
their duty to Ireland and to the empire, it
could not be:by bringing forward severe
restrictive measures for the protection of
persons and property., If they meant to
take a wise and efficient course, they must
probe the situation of that country to the
very bottom. It was most true, as the
hon. baronet had observed, that the tithe
system was one great evil; and he might
add, that the non-residence of the gentry
was another. He was aware that the
whole question was a difficult one, and
that it would, consequently, be difficult to
devise a remedy for the different evils by
which Ireland was afflicted. But if it
were duly examined, it would be found s
that.an enactment of penal statutes was t
not the way to render Ireland a happy t
and contented portion of the empire. In t
anotherpartofthe Speech from the throne, t
he understood it to congratulate the I
country on the increase of the revenue, c
the flourishing state of our manufactures a
and .commerce, and the profound tran- p
quillity which prevailed in Europe, and b


Address on the King's Speech [44
which was unruffled, except by an appre-
hended difference between Russia and the
Ottoman Porte, which had happily been
removed by the exertions 'of his majesty
and his allies., Now, if he were correct in
believing that this latter point was con-
tained in the Speech, then he would say
that there never was a speech which more
completely deceived the empire and the
world. He admitted, with the hon. gen-
tleman who seconded the address, that
there was no country in the world which
boasted a happier constitution, or possessed
greater blessings, than England, and there-
fore he thought that all her efforts ought
to be exerted towards establishing the hap-
piness of other states: but, did the noble
marquis mean to tell the House and the
country, because he had been able to
preserve peace between Russia and the
Porte, that therefore perfect tranquillity,
unalloyed by discontent or dissatisfaction,
reigned throughout Europe? If he did,
he deceived himself, the House, and the
country. Europe never was in a more
perilous state; and if the noble marquis
knew any thing about foreign affairs, he
must be well aware of the fact. He hoped,
when the noble marquis came to discuss
the question of our foreign policy, that he
would be prepared to show what he had
done to support the high character of
Great Britain on -the continent. What,
he would ask, had the noble marquis and
his colleagues done to uphold the lofty
and independent character of this country
abroad? Had they assisted the efforts of
liberty against the assaults of oppression
and cruelty? He hoped they had. But
if they had indeed pursued that course,
he was ignorant of it. He trusted it
would not appear, in the end, that, for
the purpose of answering some interested
views, the noble marquis and his majesty's
allies on the continent had done their
utmost to continue tyranny and oppression,
and had4ent their best support to the un-
holy cause of slavery and injustice.
The Marquis of Londonderry observed,
:hatthe address did not pledge the House to
support any new penal laws with reference
:o Ireland. When the subject was before
:hem, gentlemen would dispose of it as
hey thought fit. He should be enabled
:o-morrow to lay on the table certain dis-
)atches from the marquis Wellesley, which
containedd a statement of the present situ-
ition of Ireland. He wished those des-
patches to be in the possession of members
before he called the attention of the House
o this subject.






at the Opening of the Session.


Sir J. Newport said, lie would not op-
pose the address, as he understood that on
Thursday the state of Ireland would be
regularly brought before the House. It
would then be matter for consideration,
whether any farther measures were neces-
sary for the purpose of strengthening the
laws ; and also, whether, if restrictive acts
were resorted to, they ought not to be ac-
companied by others of a healing and con-
ciliatory nature. He' could not give his
consent to any restrictive measure, unless
it was accompanied by a measure of con-
ciliation. His opinion, he was aware,
would not carry much weight with it; bnt
having for twenty sessions watched over
the interests of Ireland, he could not let
the present occasion pass without making
this observation.
Mr. Brougham said, that he, for one, if
it had seemed good to the-House, instead
of putting off for an indefinite period, or
even to the time to which the noble lord
had referred them, the consideration of
the unexampled distress which weighed
down the agricultural interest, could have
wished this, the first night of the session,
not to pass without their attention being
directly pointed to it. He felt more par-
ticularly anxious to have an opportunity
of delivering his sentiments on this sub-
ject, because, from accidental circumstan-
ces, he had been prevented on former oc-
casions from taking a part in the discus-
sion of one of the measures-lie meant the
resumption of cash payments-to which,
in his opinion, much-he would not say
the whole-but a very large proportion of
the present distress might be ascribed.
He would, however, yield to what he took
to be the sense of the House; namely,
that they should not that night go into the
discussion of this subject; and he would
reserve himself for another opportunity,
when he might fully state his sentiments.
He did not mean to wait for the period
which the noble lord had stated, because
he did not understand the purport of his
intended proposition, nor did he very
clearly collect the time when it would be
brought forward. He would, therefore,
to-morrow, on the bringing up of the re-
port, submit to the House an amendment,
touching the'present distressed state of
the country, and that which, he would
take leave to say, could afford the only
effectual relief. He was confident, whether
he regarded the nature of the evil or its
causes, that the only specific remedy for
it, in the present state of the country,


after they had resorted to cash payments,
was to be found in a reduction of taxes;
and a reduction to such an amount, as
would not merely show the people their
good-will towards; retrenchment, but
would demonstrate, that they meant to use
that power which 'they unquestionably
possessed in devising such measures as
would, as far as possible, relieve the exist-
ing distress. He could have wished that'
the House had not separated that night
without giving at least some general pledge
of their intention to enter into this inquiry
-without carrying up to the throne, in:
answer to the Speech, a declaration that'
they would lose no time in investigating
every retrenchment that could be made in
the expenditure of the country-not with
a view to the increase of the sinking-fund
by a million, or a million and a half; but
for the purpose of putting an end to it alto-
gether. Not to support'that popular de-
lusion-that arithmetical error-under'
which the country had so long laboured,
but still farther to reduce that sinking fund,'
until the finances of the state was able to
bear it; meaning by the finances of the
state the private income of individuals,
which was the only legitimate source of
taxation. When that period arrived, they
would be enabled to pay it in the only
way in which it could be paid, by the
amount of clear surplus revenue over the
annual expenditure. But no intention
existed to give such a pledge; and, though,
he might lament the circumstance, he
could not prevent it. In order, however,'
to satisfy himself,' he would to-morrow,
on the report being brought up, call the
attention of the House to what he looked
upon as the source of the mischief, and
as the only feasible and efficient remedy.
He, at the same time, entreated the House
not to separate with the impression (and,
in justice to his opinion, it was necessary
for him to notice the point particularly)
that he could point out any perfect reme-
dy. When he spoke of a reduction of
taxation as the 'only remedy, he did not
mean to assert that any thing which could
be done in that way would prove a coni-
plete and effectual remedy, such a remedy
as would remove the whole distress. He
was not visionary enough to suppose any
thing of that kind. Because he thought
the changes that had been made in the
currency-the various alterations- which
had been effected from 1797, downwards,
until the last, when a metallic currency
was restored, would still be found, after


FEB..5, 1822.






47]. HOUSE OF COMMONS,
all the relief which a reduction of taxes
could afford, to leave behind vast national
distress, and to derange all the relations
of the country, in a manner which he
would fain hope those who brought such
measures forward did not foresee. He
'had pointed out the probable effects of the
system, but he could now speak with the
grave authority of experience, which had
taught them, that the effects of the system
had been most ruinous.
SMr. Hume said, that, in order to satisfy
those gentlemen who wished for a pledge.
on the subject of retrenchment, he was.
prepared to introduce one. The proceed-
ings in that House ought not to be guided
by any man or any set of men. All ought
to look to the. distresses of the country,
to the causes which led to them, and to
the best mode :by which effectual, relief
could be provided. He was anxious that.
the motion of the hon. baronet should be
carried; but if it were negatived, he would
immediately submit to the House an
amendment to the address, and his reasons
for proposing it. That amendment'would
constitute a pledge, which, he was sure,
would be carried unanimously,. if the
House entertained sincere desire to adopt
an effectual system of retrenchment.
The House then divided on Sir Francis
Burdett's amendment: For the amendment
58. Against it 186. Majority 128. When
strangers were re-admitted to the gallery,
we found
SMr. Hume upon his legs.. He stated that
the House was to consider that the Speech
and the Address were both the production
of his majesty's ministers; if they were
not, he called upon the gentlemen op-
posite to deny the statement. If the hon.
mover and seconder could, let them state
that they did not receive the Address, and
move verbatim what they did receive from
his majesty's ministers; if, therefore, mi-
nisters had written the Address and also
written the Speech from the throne, could
there be a greater farce than that ministers
should both dictate the Speech and the
answer to it themselves, putting into his
majesty's mouth one set of words, and into
the mouths of the two gentlemen opposite
another set of words [hear, hear] ? This
was the practice which had prevailed for a
considerable time, but it was not the less
ridiculous on that account. He was
anxious that those gentlemen who were in
the habit of opposing whatever mea-
sures seemed to trench on the liberties
and rights of the subject, would now,


Address on the King's Speech [481
that the outcry of distress called upon
them from all parts of the country, have
taken up the subject, and have proposed
something better than any thing which.
could originate with him on the present
occasion. He begged, therefore, to be
understood, that it was only in default of
any pledge being called for'by others for
relieving the public distress, that it became
his duty to move an amendment to the
Address. Before he submitted theamend-
ment, he would frankly state, that to what.
had fallen from the mover of the Address
he had no objection to make: he had per-
formed theletter of his instructions strictly;
he had followed sentence by sentence the
substance of the Speech, and closely assi-
milated, to it every part of his answer:
he was very prudent in the line he took,.
and did not transgress those limits which
he knew it was dangerous to go beyond.
With respect to the other gentleman, he.
could not say so much. If he had adhered.
to the whole of his instructions, they had
certainly gone out of that course which
policy, and prudence would have dictated.
The worthy baronet had well observed,.
that the seconder of the Address had con-
tradicted himself when he touched .upon,
the subject, of loyalty, and spoke of the
faithful affection of the people to the.
sovereign, yet, in almost the same sen-
tence, asserted, that there was danger to
be apprehended from disaffected persons,
who were desirous to pull down the throne,
and, along with it, the institutions of the
country. There had been, indeed, symp-
toms of disaffection in the country some
time ago, but he (Mr. H.) denied that it
was the disaffection of disloyalty : it
arose merely from distress, from the state
of starvation in which such crowds of ma-
nufacturers found themselves, who were
then thrown out of employment; he would
ask, if it could be expected that starving
millions were to die without remonstrance,
or effort to obtain relief? He was sorry
that coercion had been made use of, as if
coercion could ever deliver,the country
from such a calamity: he thought the
harsh and precipitate-six acts, instead of
saving the country, had disgraced that
House [hear, hear!]. He begged par-
don if he used a word too strong, but
they certainly had that tendency. The
hon. members who voted for these six acts
would have done well to have placed them-
selves in the situation of the hungry and
naked individuals who were calling to them
for relief, and then they would not, when







49] at the Opening of the Sessio
they asked for bread, have given them
stone. When they called to them for sus-
tenac'e, they should have devised some
means of obtaining for them a livelihood
instead of answering their complaints by
coercion mid punishment.
SWith respect to the observations in
which the hon. mover and seconder of the
Address had indulged, on the subject of
our foreign relations, those observations
had been so ably answered by the hon.
baronet and the lion. gentleman near him,
that it was quite unnecessary for him to
trouble the House with a word on the sub-
ject. In the congratulations of the hon.
gentlemen opposite, on what they were
pleased to call the flourishing condition
of our commerce, they had carefully how-
ever abstained from taking any notice of
the state of our colonies. He would call
on any West India proprietors present to
answer, whether the state of those colo-
nies afforded any just ground for-congra-
tulation. It was deeply to be regretted,
that the House should hastily congratulate
his majesty on the flourishing condition
of our commerce, when the colonies were
in the state in which all who were ac-
quainted with them knew they were. The
great importance of this subject would
be evident, when it was considered, that
in one West India colony alone, above
sixty millions of capital were, by the
statements of those interested, at stake.
But he would not dwell on this subject,
he had merely adverted to it, to show
that the House would not be warranted in
the congratulations which they were called
upon to offer to the Crown relative thereto.
He was confident that inquiry would prove
that every department of our commerce
was march depressed by the excessive
charges upon it. Reverting to the sub-
ject of our foreign relations, he trusted
that he should be able, whenever the ques-
iion should come under the consideration
of the House, to submit such arguments
as would undeniably show, that the con-
duct of the British government had been
most disgraceful as Christians, and most
abominable as men, in supporting the
Turks against the Greeks as they had
done, and which the conduct of sir Thomas
Maitland in the Ioniiaii Islands and our
consul.at Patras would prove-- hear,
hear!.] .
To return, however, tothe Speech which
had that evening been delitcred from the'
throne, it was proper toadveit to that
which it did not contain, as well as to that
VOL. VI.


which it did: he c~uld not refrain from
observing that' this was the first time,
since the establishment of the English
Monarchy, at which, on such an occasion,
the death of the first subject of the realm
which had taken place since this House
last separated, had been wholly un-
noticed. It was as if his majesty's mi-
nisters'had determined to carry on by neg-
lect their persecution and insult,' even
after death. Such conduct was highly
disgraceful to ministers; it was disgrace-
ful to the throne, if the throne could be
disgraced by the acts of ministers.' Mi-
nisters had thus, in an unexampled man-
ner, carried their enmity to her majesty
beyond ihe grave. Even afterthe remains
of their illustrious victim had been con-
veyed from the country, they consum-
mated their injustice to her, by the omis-
sion, of which they had in the present in-
stance been guilty. This was a subject
which lie had now only slightly mentioned;
the time was coming when he hoped it
would meet with the more serious con-
sideration of the House; in the mean-
while, however, he felt himself called
upon to declare, that no ministers of this
country had ever been guilty of a similar
act. They might flatter themselves that
they would receive the sanction and sup-
port of the House for such conduct; but
he trusted that they would find themiselves4
disappointed.' At any rate he was con-
fident the great majority of thee nation
blamed them for their conduct towards
the Queeni botl before and after death.-
With reference to what was said in the
Address, of the high station which this
country maintained among the nations of
the world, so far was her situation from
being a matter of congratulation, that it
must actually be one of jest and ridicule
to every foreign power who observed the
state of her Income and Expenditure. But
before he entered that subject he would
observe upon that passage of the Address
ivhich related to his majesty's recent visit
to Ireland. He was one of those who
had rejoiced at that visit, because he had
hoped, and he still did hope, that the re-
sult would prove highly beneficial. He
had hoped, and he should most sincerely
rejoice if that hope should turn out to be
well-founded, that is majesty's visit.to Ire-
land might be made the means of healing
the unfortunate dissentions which, had so
long ,existed in that country, dissentions
which had separated man from man, and
which perpetually laid the seeds oif ih'


I [56


FiB. 5, 1822.






51] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
hostility and outrage which, year after
year, disturbed the peace of that unhappy
country. He did trust, that by the entire
removal of those disabilities under which
so large a portion ofthe population of Ire-
land at present laboured on account of
"religious opinions, the evils which existed
in that country would be materially di-
minished, if not entirely removed. In-
deed he was confident, that, from the mo-
ment at which a removal of those civil
disabilities should take place, unanimity
would be restored; and that, in addition to
that advantage the expenditure of Eng-
land would be most materially reduced;
for those who investigated this subject
would find, that, at the present moment,
more than half the military expenditure
of this country for its home protection
was occasioned by the necessity of having
a large military force to keep down those
whom a long continuation of misgovern-
ment'in Ireland constantly excited to dis-
content and insubordination. He owned,
therefore, that he did expect that those
who boasted of the advantages of his ma-
jesty's visit to Ireland, would state the
nature of the measures which they meant
to propose for the adoption of parliament,
with a view to heal the bleeding wounds
of that country, and thereby to warrant
an extensive reduction of the national-
expenditure, by withdrawing the ,large
military force, the employment of which
circumstances now rendered unfortunately
necessary. While on this subject he would
just observe, that the effects of the policy
which had been pursued in Ireland had
manifested themselves in an extraordinary
manner in the revenue of that country.
The disturbed state of the country occa-
sidoed a very large increase of military
expense- to enforce peace, whilst the re-
venue was at the same time decreased.
The misgovernment of that ill-fated coun-
try produced a deficiency of revenue to
this country and occasioned accumulated
miseries to the people of Ireland. If hon.
gentlemen would look at the annual finance
accounts laid before parliament, they
would find that the revenue of Ireland
had fallen above a million since 1818.
The revenue of Ireland for the year 1817
was 5,822,5501.; for the year 1818,
5,956,6061.; for the year 1819,5,576,5911.
and for the year 1820, only 4,938,3511.;
so that it was evident the revenue had
fallen above a million since 1818. They
were now told, however, that there was
an improvement in that revenue forlast


Address on the King's Speech [52
year of 400,0001. No stable improve-
ment, however could be expected to the
distresses or to the finances of the country
while ministers pursued their present tem-
porising and absurd policy; of which no
stronger instance could possibly be af-
forded than the proposition which they
had yesterday made in their conference
with the directors of the Bank of a loan
of five millions to the agricultural interest
[hear, hear!J. It was well known to
every person in the country, except, as
appeared by their proceedings, to his ma-
jesty's ministers, that there was no want
of capital in the country-every banker
had more money than they could lend on
good security, It was the security that
was wanted, and the distresses of the
people, in every class, were-gradually re-
ducig the means of giving security. The
least that could be expected from them,
while they boasted of the flourishing con-
dition of the country, was, that they
should adopt measures which might have
a tendency to place the finances on a stable
footing.
After what had passed last session, and
after the recommendation to the House of
Commons in the Speech from the throne,
they were bound to take an early opportu-
nity of examining the state of the revenue
-anof the public accounts, in order to
place the finances of the country on a foot-
ing which might support the commanding
situation which Great Britain held among
the nations of Europe, he expected that
his majesty's ministers would make some
explicit statement of their intentions on
the subject. What the commanding state
of England might be in political discussions
in Europe, he could riot state: But.
what the ', commanding situation" of
the country was, in'point of revenue, he
could very distinctly show the House from
the accounts on the table. The mainte-
nance of the public credit, by securing the
payment of the public, dividends, was
strongly recommended by'his majesty;
but if the Hoiise examined the accounts
they would 'find that the Consolidated
Fund was above nine millions in arrear;
and therefore that if the Bank of England
refused to make advances to government
the public creditor could not be paid.
[Hear, hear.] And here he must observe,
that every hon. member, on whichever
side of the House he sat, must lament to
see thecomplex state ofthe public accounts.
It was however, a curious, and at the same
time a correct statement, that in a country








53] at the Opening of the Sessio
placed in such a commanding situation"
and under the guidance of such" able
ministers' the people could not, amidst
'the intricacy and involution of the public
.accounts, distinguish the real situation of
the finances with accuracy; while, in
France or in America, every thing was
distinct, and placed under the simple head
of debtor and creditor, with a balance for
or against the public. He was extremely
anxious to call the attention of the House
to a subject of vital importance, as connec-
ted withthe revenue; a subject which, if
rightly understood, would enablehis majes-


n. Fn. 5, 1822. [54
try's ministers to make much greater reduc-
tons of expence than they had hitherto
been able to effect. He had taken the
trouble to make out three Statements with
reference to the national income and ex-
penditure from which he was about to
quote; and in order to enable the noble
marquis and the right lion. gentlemen
opposite to follow him, he would hand
over to them copies of that statement [a
laugh]. He regretted that he was not
able to give a copy to every hon. member
present. [Here Mr. Hume handed two
copies of a printed statement* of figures


* No. I.-Mr. Hume's STATEMENT of the ACTUAL EXPENDITURE of the UNITEDKINGDOM, for the Four
Years ending the 5th of Jan. 1821, as taken from the Annual Finance Accounts laid before Parliament.


HEADS OF EXPENDITURE.

.I. Interest on the Permanent Debt of the United
Kingdom .....................................
Charges of Management ..........................
-For Reduction of the National Debt ...........

if Interest on Exchequer, and Irish Treasury Bills

ToTA on account ofFunded and Unfunded Debt
HI J Civil List of England .............................
( of Ireland...... ...........................
VI. Civil government of Scotland .....................
TOTAL of Civil Lists in the United Kingdom..
"Courts of Justice (England):...................
M int............................ ...................
S Royal Family and other Pensions ...............
S Salaries and Allowances .........................
Bounties .......................................
Miscellaneous ...................................

TOTAL other Charges on the Consolidated Fund
'V. Permanent Charges in Ireland....................
SBounties to Fisheries, Manufactures, &c.......
F Ixciae
VII. Pensions on Hereditary Revenue Postfe...
PostOflic'e..
Militia and Deserters' Warrants ..................

Payments out of the Gross Revenue ............
{Navy Wages, &c. ................................
VIII. General Services ....................................
Victualling Department .........................
TOTAL Navy .....................................
Ordnance .. .....................................
IX. Army Ordinary Services ........................
Army Extraordinary Services ...................
TOTAL Army and Ordnance .......................


Year ending Year ending Year ending
Jan. 5tl. Jan. 5th. Jan. 5th.
1818. 1819. 1820.


Year ending
Jan. 5th.
1821.


o. o. I .
29,166,085 28,873,638 29,737,639 29,126,973
284,589 277.699 274,393 276,419
14,657,559 15,497,402 16,455,967 17,667,536
44,108,233 44,648,739 46,467,999 47,070,928
1,815,927 2,200,414 779,992 1,849,220

45,924,160 46,849,153 47,247 991 48,920,148
11,028,01 1,028,000 983,000 857,780
163,169 208,167 198,056 204,231
130,646 129,627 1129,988 132,081
1,321,815 1,365,794 1,311,044 1.194,092
64,542 67,967 63,157, 65,138
15,000 15,000 15,000 13,800
447,638 457,678 472,234 327.066
62,920 60,158; 58,755 56,948
3,841 29,676 6,541 2,849
133,270 135,135 372,833 224,897

727,211 765,614' 988.520 690,698

385,282 374,297 369,090 381,504
330,046 387,111 313,933 359,213
14,000 14,00 14,000 14,000
13,700 13,700 13,700 13,700
93,658 68,660 47,534 51,426
451,404 483,471 389,1671 438,339
2,524,000 2,424,800 ,81,000 3,454,000
2,793,586 2,696.798 2,949,728 11,801,086
1,155,476 1,400,116 1,164,824 1,132,713

6,473,062 6,521,714' 6,395,552 6.387,799
1,435,401 1,407,807 1,538,2091 1,401,585
7,014,491 7,255,646 7,719,924 7,941,513
2,600,370 1,261,398 1,730,77 984,911

.11,050,65 .9,924,851 10,988,So! 10,329,009







55] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
to the Treasury Bench, which.occasioned
considerable merriment in the House].
It appeared-and he was merely quoting
from those tables which had been extracted
from the public annual Finance Accounts
laid before parliament-that the total ex.
penditure (exclusive of the Sinking
Fund) was, for the year 1817, 58,544,
049.; for the year 1818, 57,872,4281.;
for.the year 1819, 57,392,5441.; and for
the year 1820, 57,476,7551.; and that the
total, expenditure, including the Sinking
Fund, was, for the year 1817,73,062,3401.;
for the year 1818, 73,225,1941.; for the
year 1819, 73,698,1351.; and for the year
1J20,74,987,3481. Itappeared, therefore
Whilst the Income was stationary, or had
rather decreased since 1817, that the total
expenditure had gone on gradually in-
creasing. Was there any justification for
such an increase? 'By no means. Had
the gross receipt of the revenue increased ?
No for although, in 1818 the right hon.
gentleman imposed on the country three
millions ofadditional taxation, yet, although
the revenue in England had in consequence
increased, the revenue in Ireland had pro-
portionably decreased. So that it appeared
that the people ofEngland wereadditionally
taxed to keep down the people of Ireland,


Address on tihe King's Speech [56
where the revenue was decreasing by the
misrule and oppression that was carrying on
there. He pledged himself to prove to any
man who was acquainted with the first four
rules of arithmetic, that the right hon. the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, had, by his
management, lost 15 millions to the coun-
try since he had taken the administration
of the Treasury. Such, at least, was the
amount which appeared to have been lost,
as far as can be made out from the public
accounts. This was no slight charge.
and he therefore begged the attention o
the House to the statement which he was
about to'make.* [See Statement, No. I1.
It appeared from the annual Finance
Accounts, that the total income of Great
Britain and Ireland (exclusive of loans )
for the four years, 1817, 1818, 1819 and
1820, was 235,768,4621.; and that the to-
tal expenditure for the same period, (ex-
clusive of Sinking Fund) was 231,285,7761.
exhibiting a total nett surplus of revenue
of the United Kingdom in those four years
of 4,482,6861. Since making' out that
statement, he (Mr. H.) had found that the
sum of 316,9931. paid for Quarantine
packet expenses ought to have bein de-
ducted from that amount and the neft sur-
plus of revenue over expenditure (loans


X. Loans, Remittances, Advances, &c. to other
Countries................... .... ...........
XL. Issues from appropriated Funds for Local
Purposes ............................... .
X 1I 1 Miscellaneous Seivices at Home...............
SMiscellaneous Services Abroad ...............
TOTAL Miscellaneous ..............................
Expenditure (less Charges of Management) ..
Deduct Sinking Fund of Loan to E..I. Company
repaid by them
Expenditure in the Year ................... .....
Charges of Management,. and Collection of .the
Revenue ...................................


1818. 1819. 1820. 1821.
33,273 206 1,230

...42,5 '60,079 .53,101 49,129
2,301,699 1,722,956 1,595,207 2,324,653
164,784 897,935 260,741 292,048
2,466,483 2,620,891 1,855.948 2,616,701
68,875,5421 68,966,073 69,599,276 71,007,649
165,039 144,636 150,376 156,907
--- 7-- -
68,710,503 68,821,437 69,443,899 70,850,742
4,351,837 4,403,757 4,249,236 4,136,642


TOTAL Expenditare in the Year.................. 73,062,3401 73,225,1941 73,698,135 74,987,384


For Interest on the Funded and Unfunded
Debt, and Charges of Management ......
Expenses ofthe Civil List, Military Establish-
inents, Civil Government, and Expenses
of Collection .............................
Amount of Expenditure, exclusive of the Sink-
ing Fund .. ..................... .........
Sinking Fund ...............................
Amount of Expenditure, including the Sinking
Fund ...,................ .,.............


As follows;
31,266,601 31,351,751 30,792,025 31,252,612

27,277,448 26,520,677 26,600,519 26i224,143


58,544,049 57,882,428 57,392,544 57,476,755
14,518,291 15,352,766 16,305,591 17,510;629

.73,062,340 73,225,194 73,698,185 74,987.384








57] at the Opening of the Session. FFB. 5, 1822. [58
and Sinking Fund excluded) would only for the present, tike the larger sum as the
havebeen 4,171,6931. IHe would, however, surplus. Had that four millions and a.


* No. .1I.--STATEMENT of the ACTUAL REVENUE of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
(Drawbacks, and Bounties of the Nature of Drawbacks, excluded) for the Years 1817 to 1820, both
inclusive, ending 5th 'of January, 1821; distinguishing the several Heads of Income, and Great
Britain from Ireland in each Year.


HiEADS-OF INCOME

Customs.....................
'Excise ....................
Stamps ...................
Land and Assessed Taxe.
W Post Office..................
Salaries and Pensions ..
Hackney Coaches and
Posting ................
Hereditary Revenues ...

Total Ordinary Revenues

Property Tax Arrears ...
Lottery ...... ........
Unclaimed Dividends
Imprests, &c. ..........

Total Extraordinary Re-
venues ............

Total of Great Britain ...
Total'of Ireland............

* Total of United Kingdom
exclusive of Loans......
Deduct Balances .........

Total Actual Revenue of
United Kingdom .....

Total Expenditure, exclu.
siveof the Sinking Fund


.1817
.. s.
12,206,870 3
21,553,311 13
6,720,747 3
8,074,258 14
2,129,995 12
31,864 0

54,785 18
159,630 10


1818
s.
12,265,342 16
24,712,148 17
6,775,985 2
8,271,990 1
2,185,654 17
34,628 19

54,468 4
144,579 0


1819
i s. d.
11,280,062 6 9j
24,860,345 1 8
6,581,856 8 11i
8,279,930 3 111
2,211,678 13 8
30,522 11 8

56,093, 9 104
148,192. 4 6


1820
s. d.
10,547,579 2 -4
28,055,314 2 81
6,538,895 17 11I
8,355,321 18 10.
2,122,928 7 6j
30,811 8 2,

.56,988 8 10
132,967 7 44


50,931,463 16 41 54,445,597 17 101 53,448,681 1 2 55,840,806 13101

2,568,654 0 3 658,337 14 0 183,134 6 8 57,043 5 61
189,958 8 4 211,225 0 0 679,150 0 0 175,154 10 2,
236,288 3 3 332,948 6 7 237,512 16 11 283,810 7 11
469,029 3 7 328,930 11 2 334,392 19 14 343,902 16 54


3,463,929 15 54 1,531,441 11 9 1,434,190 2 84 859,911 0 0j

54,395,393 11 101 55,977,039 9 74 54,882,871 3 10 56,700,717 13 l1
5,822,550 2 o 5,956,606 8 54 5,576,591 19 0 4,933,351 17 7


60,217,943 13 11 61,933,645 18 24 60,459,463 2 10 61,634,069 11 63
2,567,354 8 2i 2,265,704 13 44 1,779.211 10 0 1,864,389 6


57,650,539 5 84 59,667,941 4 10 58,680,251 12 10 59,769,680 4 11


58,544,049 0 0 57,872,428 0 0 57,392,544 0 0 57,476,755 0 0


Total Income, exclusive of Loans, for the 4 Years ............................. .235,768,462
Total Expenditure, exclusive of Sinking Fund, in the 4 Years .............. 231,985,776

Total Net Surplus of Revenue of the United Kingdom in the 4 Years ...... .4,482,686

If there had been no Sinking Fund, no Loans would have been required, as the Revenue of the 4 Years,
1817 to 1820 .(to the 5th of January, 1821) both inclusive, was 4,482,6861. more than the Expenditure,
which ought to have effected a Reduction (the 3 per Cents being on an .Average at 701. per 1001.) of
192,1171. of Annual Dividend; and, as 260,8121. of Annual Charge for Annuities and Land-tax redeemed
has been diminished, the Reduction of the Annual Charge of the Funded Debt ought to have been to the
Amount of 452,9291. in 1821,-whereas the Charge has been increased instead of decreased.

No. TII.-An ACCOUNT of INTEREST paid in each Year to the Public for the Funded and Unfunded Debt of
the United Kingdom, and for the Charge of Management at the Bank of England, for the Four Years
ending the 5th Jan. 1821 (exclusive of the Sinking Fund), as charged in the Annual Finance Accounts.

1817. 1 1818. 1819. 1820.
For Interest paid on Funded Debt ................ 29,166,085 28,873,638 29,737,640 29,126,973
Charges of Management ............................. 284,589 277,699 274,393 276,419


Amount of Interest and Charges........................... 29,450,674 29,151,337 :
Interest on Exchequer and Irish Treasury Bills ...... 1,815,927 2,200,414

Total Charge for the Funded and Unfunded Debt 31,266,601 31,351,751

Average of 1617, .181, and 1513............. 31,136,79. .


30,012,033 29,403,392
S779,992 1,849;220

30,792,025 31,252,612







59] HOUSE 'OF COMMONS,
half been properly husbanded, the debt
would have been reduced to that amount.
The 3 per cents. having been at an
averageabout70, the surplus of4,482,6861.
ought to have effected a reduction of 192,
1171. ofannual dividend; and as 260,8121.*
of annual charge for long annuities and
land tax redeemed had been reduced, the
reduction of the annual charge of the fun.
ded debt ought to have been to the amount
of 452,9291. in 1821; whereas the charge
had been increased instead of decreased.
By the management of the right hon. gen-
tleman, who borrowed money at, we will
say,460 per cent. to give to the commis-
sioners for the reduction of the national
debt, who afterwards bought at 70 or 80
per cent. the whole of this four millions
and odd had been lost to the country.
Such was the consequence of the compli-
cated and circuitous process attendant on
the Sinking Fund; a consequence which
would have been avoided had the simple
surplus of the revenue been directly ap-
plied to the liquidation of the debt. By
the account of interest paid in each year
to the public for the funded and unfunded
debt of the United Kingdom, and for the
charge of management at the Bank of
England for the four years ending the fifth
January, 1821 (exclusive of the Sinking
Fund), it appeared that the total charge
for the year 1817, was 31,266,6011.; for
the year 1818, 31,351,7511.; for the year
1819, 30,792,0251.; and for the year 1820,
31,252,6121. .Taking the average of the


Address on the King's Speech [(0
three years 1817, 1818, and 1819, viz. 31,
136,7921., it appeared that last year the
public creditor received 15,8201. more
than the amount of that average. How
different would the case have been if we
had not had the circuitous operation of
the Sinking Fund. By Mr. Haworth's
account from the Exchequer Office (and
here he begged to observe that the ac-
counts from the Exchequer were wholly
free from error, as far as he had been able
to observe, while those from the Treasury
could, in no single instance, be accurately
balanced), it appeared that the charge for
the funded debt for the year ending the
fifth of January, 1822, would be 30,180,
2131.; and that, taking by estimate the
interest on the Exchequer bills (34,728,
6911.) stated as outstanding on the fifth of
January, 1821, in the same proportion as
1,849,2191. was charged in 1820, for the
interest on 42,694,8821. of outstanding
bills, on the fifth of January, 1820, the
amount of interest for the year ended fifth
January, 1822, would be 1,300,0001.; ma-
king a total charge for funded and unfun-
ded debt of 31,480,2131. instead of (after
deducting the 452,9291. of dividends, re-
deemed and expired) only 30,812,6721. as
it ought to have been, if there had been
no Sinking Fund. He was perfectly con-
vinced, however, that it would be found,
that a much larger amount of Exchequer
bills was out than had been stated to the
House by the right hon. the Chancellor of
the Exchequer, and that a perpetual charge


And as it appears by the Account from the Exchequer Office, that the Charge for the
Funded Debt, for the Year ending 5th of January, 1822, will be................................. .0,180,213
And-taking, by Estimate, the Interest on the Exchequer Bills (34,728,6911.) stated as out-
standing on the 5th of January, 1821, in the same proportion as 1,849,2191. was charged
in 1820 for the Interest on 42,694,8821. of outstanding Bills on the 5th of January, 1820, the
Amount of Interest for the Year ended 5th of January, 1822, will be ......................... 1,300,000
Making a Total Charge for Funded and Unfunded Debt of................... .31,480,913
instead of (after deducting the 453,9291. of Dividends redeemed and expired), being only 30,812,6721. as
it ought to have been, if there had been no Sinking Fund;-consequently, a very great Loss to the
Country, and going on at the same Rate by the present absurd System of the Sinking Fund.
* STATEMENT Of the ITEMS of REDUCTION in the Annual Charge on the National Debt, independent of the
Sinking Fund, in the Four Years 1817 to 1820, both inclusive-viz.
In 1817. By Annuities expired ...................................... 1,229 10 91
Dividend on Loan of 1798 paid off, the Money for which is
charged in the Miscellaneous Expenditure ................ .............. .O091 9 5
Dividend on Capital cancelled by redemption of Land Tax........... 2,947 3 4


6,268 3 61


1818. By Land Tax .......... ...................... .................... 3,385 15 11
1819. Imperial Anuities expired ...................................... 243,157 15 6
By Land Tax.................................... ..... ......... 4,026 14 11~
247,184 10 5
4820. By Do. Do................................................... 2,696 9 7
Annuities expired .............................................. 1,276 14 10
S. 7. 1 3,973 4 5
- Total in the 4 Years (exclusive of what Annuities may have ex.
pired out of those created by act of 48 Geeo III.) ............ ...... 260,811 14 4


---_---






at the Opening of the Session.


of a much larger amount would be thereby
incurred. It was well known, that the
right hon. gentleman had used every means
in his power to force up the public funds,
although it was his interest, with a surplus
revenue, to have them low for his pur-
chases, speculations in this way had been
ruinous. He called on ministers, there-
fore, if they had in contemplation at
present the continuance of that ruinous
Sinking fund, to abstain from thus
throwing away the public money. He
called upon them also to take such mea-
sures as should prevent any other persons
from speculating in the public funds with
public money. He was sorry not to see-a
right hon. gentleman, a commissioner of
Woods and Forests, in his place, as it had
been reported that a considerable portion
of the proceeds of his department had been
occasionally vested in the funds to forward
the favourite object, a rise in the funds,"
of the right hon. the Chancellor of the
Exchequer. The right hon.gentleman and
the noble marquis ought to recollect that
it was Mr. Pitt's practice to keep every
-human being in ignorance of his financial
intentions, until the monient of their exe-
cution; whereas the intentions of the right
hon. gentleman opposite were commonly
known for three or four days to individuals
who'might make use of that knowledge for
their own private advantage.
Under all the circumstances, he put it
to the House, whether it would not
have been wise to listen to the hon.
baronet's recommendation to take time
to consider the address, to pause be-
fore they congratulated his majesty on
the condition of the country. The exist-
ing system of finance was temporising, and
must be ruinous, and as far as the last four
years went, his statements proved it. No
man was more desirous than himself, that
we should preserve our high station by
the maintenance of our public credit; and
he trusted, that whatever sacrifices it
would be necessary to make would be
made by all classes equally; and that there
would be no such unjust and unprincipled
proposition, as to injure the public credi-
tor for the advantage of any other class.
S If the House of Commons were under the
legitimate control of the people, he would
cheerfully give up half his fortune to the
exigencies of the state; but, under the
existing abuses-in the management of the
revenue and expenditure of the. country
he would not consent to give up one shil-
ling of his capital to free the country from


debt; he had no confidence in the econo-
my or wisdom of the present ministers, and
he believed that the confidence of the
people was also extinguished. He pledged
himself to prove that one hundred millions
would have been saved to the country had
the Sinking Fund never. existed. The
right hon. gentleman might smile; but
he was ready to show that the system of
the Sinking Fund, from its very establish-
ment by Mr. Pitt, was erroneous. ,He
implored his majesty's ministers, therefore,
to stop short in this absurd career: he
implored them to abandon the present
complicated and ruinous system, and to
return to a plain statement of Debtor and
Creditor-to a simple statement of the
receipt, the expenditure, and the surplus
of the revenue-[hear, hear l]. This
would do more, to conciliate the public
feeling, to give confidence to the people, as
well as to establish public credit, than any
plan that could by possibility be devised.
The next subject on which the hon.
gentleman had touched was the reduction
of expenditure. On that subject a pam-
phlet had recently been published, called
" the State of the Nation," which, from
beginning to end, did not contain a single
accurate statement. Never had there
been a more disgraceful attempt to impose
on the public; and he begged to guard
gentlemen against being led astray by it.
Among the misstatementsin that pamphlet
was the allegation, that in the navy, army,
ordnance, and miscellaneous services, there
had been, in the last four years, a reduction
effected of ten millions. On the subject
of the increase of revenue and the reduc-
tion of expenditure, he entreated the at-
tention of the House to the similar passa-
ges which had been introduced in the
various speecheswhich,insuccessive years,
had been made from the throne. Taking
those speeches as the productions of min-
isters, it would shew how valueless they
were. In the speech of that day was the
following passage:-" It is very gratifying
to me to be able to inform you, that du-
ring the last year the revenue has exceed-
ed that of the year preceding, and appears
to be in a course of progressive improve-
ment." In the speech of 1818, the same
assertion was made in the following words:.
-" His royal highness is most happy in.
being able to acquaint you, that since you
were last assembled in parliament, the
revenue has been in a state of progressive
improvement in its most important
branches." In the speech of that day his


* 61]


FrB.A~ 1822. G






r3i HOUSE OF COMMONS,
maijesty said, I I have directed the esti-
mates of the current year to be laid before
you. They have been framed with every
attention toeconomy which the circumstan-
ces of the country will permit." In 1820,
the words were: The estimates for the
present year will be laid before you.
They have been framed upon the princi-
ples of strict economy." So far, however,
from the expenditure being diminished, as
might have been expected from that decla-
ration, it had increased. In the speech of
thee-present day his majesty said, "It will
be satisfactory to you to learn that I hive
been able to make a large reduction in our
annual expenditure, particularly in our
naval and military establishments." In
the speech made on opening the last ses&
sion, his majesty was made to say-" It is
a satisfaction to me to have been enabled
to make some reduction in our military
establishments."' Such were the expecta-
tions invariably held out by his majesty's
ministers, and as invariably disappointed.
How long was the country to be thus tri-
fled with and insulted ? If the H6iuse of
Comimons were composed of five hundred
tradesmen taken at hazard froin those of
the metropolis instead of as many noble-
mentan'd gentlemen, they would scout any
furlherattempt to mislead and misrepresent.
[Ltiughter from the Treasury benches]
Let riot gentlemen hold the honest trades-
inmi and artisans of the country cheap.
They were very able arithmeticians; and
woe to that man of them who did not keep
his accounts more correctly than the iight
hon. gentleman opposite kept the accounts
of the country. Unless he did improve
and simplify the system of keeping the
public accounts, 'he mast, in a few years,
be involved in in'extricable ruin. He cal-
led upon the House, therefore, no longer
to b'e duped by this annual hypocrisy, and
worse than hypocrisy, on the part of his
majesty's ministers. If they did,' they
would justly subject themselves t6 a con-
tinuance 6f that opprobrium with'which
they had been loaded.' But, if they meati
to do thlir duty, let them all-let the gein
tlemen 'of the laid. d interest; unless' they
intended ever aft&r to hold their tongues,
fulfil their pledges, t6 their c6istituents,
and unite in giving, iy the adoptioil of his
motion,a distinct pledgeto reduce the lax-
ition of thb'eountiy. In successive y iair
had his majesty's ministers talked,, in th66
Speeh'.froin the throne, of the flourishing
condition: of th6 county: from year to
year.had ite public been deluded by'such


Address on the King's Speech [6 T
representations; from year to year had
the land-owners been thus lured ofward6,
to their own destruction. They had good-
naturedly listened to the assurances ot
1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820; they
had taken words for acts; and what was
the result ?--That the statements of his
majesty's ministers not having been in any
instance realized,' their difficulties had in-
creased to a degree, which, if noi checked
by some means or other, must speedily
terminate in their utter ruin.
The existing distress of the country
he (Mr. H.) attributed to a complication
of causes, the chief of which was, that
excessive taxation which deprived all
classes of a much larger proportion of
his income, than lad ever been taken
from them before, in the history of the
country. Reduced in value, as all pro-
perty was throughout the country, was it
possible that the same scal ol'taxation and
of expenditurecould be maintained? Was
it possible that parliament could continue
to repose confidence in ministers, by
whom the debt' of the Country and the
difficulties of the land-owners had been so
enormouslyincreased, by whom the people
had been so invariably deluded ? With
respect to the reductions which had been
effected, if they had deserved to be-par-
ticularised, did any maria believe that tlh
noble marquis or the right hon. gentleman
would not have been eager to mention
them? What was their nature and cha-
racter ? Some hundred and eighty of the
inferior clerks of office, without any re-
gard to their distress and sufferings, had
been displaced, while other individuals
were permitted to hold' situations of large
emolument that niigh't well be'dispensed
with. Were any additional circumstance
wanting to show the inefficiency of his
riajesty's present administration, it might
be found in the paltry prop6sitioi of as-
sistarice to the landed interest, alluded to
yesterday by the first lord of the Treasury,
and the. weak, childish, woriianish ques-
tios' ivhich were, on that obclasion, put
by that lord to the directors of the Bank of
England.: Nothing could more com-
pleit.lv cxhibir the ignorance of' those
who 'were unhappily entrusted with the
management of. the affairs of this great
iaii6n, than such an of'.r of plcuciniary
aid'. It w'as not 'ioone'y, as he h.d alrt adl
stated, that was wanted; it was that sound
and substantial credit on which money
would be.-advahced. He. believed that
many. members of that House did not







FeB.e Sj5, 1822. [601


know the amount of the expenditure of
the country in the year 1792 and this
year; indeed it was not an easy matter to
find it out. He would tell them that in
the year 1792, that golden number so
much scouted by ministers last year, be-
cause proposed by him-so much abused
by the secretary at war-yet after the
House separated those same ministers
were considerate enough to take the folly
off his head, and place it on their own
[hear, hear!]. In 1792, the civil list,
civil and military expence-indeed every
expense, except the interest of the public
debt, then about ten millions, adding the
expenses of Ireland, and the charges for
management of the revenue, amounted
to about seven millions. But what had
been the amount for the last four years?
The charges of management and collec-
tion of the revenue alone amounted
to 4,351,8371. The expenses of the
civil list, including military establishments;
civil government, and the expenses
of collection for the year 1818,
amounted to 27,277,4481; for' the
year 1819, 26,520,6771.; for the year
1820, 26,600,5191.; for the year 1821,
26,22441431. So that now having peace
at home, and having the Holy Alliance
abroad, to take care of the peace of the
world, we have an expense of twenty-
seven millions, whilst in the year 1792
we" had but an expenditure of seven mil-
lions [hear, hear!]. They heard much
about economy, and economy was prac-
tised in dismissing from employment minor
clerks who-had no other means of support
--economy was exercised in that wayi
but it did not reach the civil list.' For
the last year, the civil list alone.amounted
to 1,194,0921. In 1792, the civil list, then
much less, was burthened with pensions
for members of the royal family; but now,
though it is free from those pensions, it
exceeded the amount of 1792. He sup-
posed -that ministers rested perfectly
secure in their places, because by'recent
additions to their body they had acquired
a great accession of strength, [hear hear!]
but what was that strength ?-It was like
the accession of a number of hungry in-
dividuals breaking into the house of an
already distressed family and lending
their assistance to: consume the little that
remained [hear!]. Although ministers
rested so firmly on the Holy Alliance for
the maintenance of peace, yet they could
not be prevailed on to diminish the amount
of foreign expenditure. There was, for
VOL. VI.


instance, 6,0001. a year for a new am-
bassador to the Swiss Cantons, where no-
thing was to be done. Mr. Stratford
Canning received that salary formerly, but
a charge d'affaires had done all the business
there for one fourth of that amount, until
now that the new ambassador was ap-
pointed : was that economy? Why was
it permitted ? Why was a near relative
of a right hon. gentleman who had lately
joined the ranks of ministers sent out
there with'a salary of 3,9001. a year, 'with
1,5001. for an outfit, and of course a large
sum for travelling expenses? The ap-
pointment was gazetted; there was there-
fore no reason for'concealing the gen-
tleman-he meant Mr. Wynn, a brother
to the right hon. the president of the
board of Controul. He considered it a
most profuse waste of public money.
* He would now make an observation or
two on the Ordnance department laughgh.
He had recently taken a view of that de-
partment; he thought it right to see, what
certainly he could not believe without
seeing; he saw storekeepers and others
living in palaces, the like of which men
of large fortunes could not afford; there
was about them every mark of expence
and extravagance., From the Ordnance
a number of junior clerks had been dis-
missed-had been thrown upon the world
without a shilling.- There had been in
one branch twelve, young men dismissed in
one batch; and'why he would tell the
House-those twelve individuals were dis-
missed in order to preserve the salary and
establishment of 3 or4,000.a year toone sir
John Webb, director-general of the Ord-
nance medical department. In the navy
also the utmost disregard' to expense ex-
isted-as an example he would state the
fact, that since the peace there were not
less than six hundred promotions, whilst
in the marines there were but three; yet
he believed that no one would say that
the officers of the marines were not as
meritorious, as worthy of promotion, as
those of the navy ;-but they had not an
influence with ministers-they had not
fathers, brothers and uncles, members of
parliament [hear, hear!]. In the last
year alone there were ia the navy no less
than 241 new commissions.' The expense
to the country under that head, for the
half-pay of those officers alone was far
greater than any saving which could be
effected by the dismissal of junior clerks.
It was intolerable to think of the extent
of undue influence-in that House He
F


01 the Ol~ening of the Session.







67] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
lamented it much. He could have wished
to see the nobility of England raised above
such low pursuits; there was a time when
it was considered a reproach to a noble-
man or any of his family to be called a
pensioner of the public; but now it ap-
peared to be the most anxious desire of
many of the nobility to get as much as
possible from the public, He could not
but consider it in the last degree disgrace-
ful to the nobility, to be pensioners upon
the country-to see them, blessed as they
were with large possessions, adding to the
burthens of a distressed and harassed peo-
ple [hear, hear!]. To show the situa-
tion of the nobility-the ignoble views
which some of them were capable of tak-
ing-he would take the liberty of stating
to the House the substance of the last
will of a certain noble lord-he hoped to
have a copy of it soon in his possession.
That nobleman by his will gave a sum
of 2, or 5001. a year to certain members
of his family, until they should be better
provided for by government in some other
manner [hear, hear!]. They had been
so provided for according to that precious
testament; the last member of the family,
in the course of the last year, was made a
commissioner of the Customs [hear, hear!].
It was such things as these, that led to
the distresses of the people-to the de-
basement of noble feeling, and to t;heloss.
of public confidence.
. The retrenchment which had been made
by the ministers this year scarcelydeserved
that name. Labourers, carpenters, porters,
and such persons, were put out of bread.;
but did they learn that any of the junior
lords of the admiralty had been,dismissed ?
He had heard of a recent appointment
which was perfectly characteristic of the
ideas of ministers with respect to retrench.
ment. A gallant general, and a member
of that House,, who lhas already three
places and two pensions, had beep lately
promoted to the place of superintendent
of gas. In the navy, the army, is every
civil department, the same profusion ap-
peared in all the higher offices in the
household. Mr. so-and-so was a Cook, and
Mr. such-a-one clerk of theKitchen, none,
of them did any duty, although all received
large salaries; and this ministers calledsup-
porting the splendor of royalty. He
would tell them, however, that such de-
grading useless practices contributed as
little to the splendour of the throne, as
clothing the guards in the dress of Merry
Andrews, instead of the plain, substantial,


Address on the King's Speech [68
manly clothing of Englishmen and Eng,
lish soldiers [hear !] --that love of tinsel
-that chidish glittering gewgaw was only
worthy of France before the French revolu-
tion, was altogether unworthy of England
in the 19th century. He might be allowed
to observe, that the expense of the cui-
rasses prepared lately at Enfield for the
horse-guards, although an absurd dress
for England in. time of peace-profound
peace-amounted to a vast deal more than
the same articles would have cost if ma-
nufactured in Birmingham or in Sheffield,
There were other items to which he would
shortly allude. The hon. gentleman next
alluded to the conduct of the noble maria
quis (Londonderry), in carrying through
that House a bill (the Non-inlistment bill)
which was nothing more nor less than an
attempt to crush the rising liberties of
South America, and which at the same
time kept up the expence of our half,
pay list by the threat of dismissing every
ofhcer who should enter the service in the
cause of freedom. But the cause of
freedom in that country had triumphed;
as would, he hoped, the cause of the
Greeks, notwithstanding the efforts of
ministers to depress it--notwithstanding
that course of policy which was. so
well calculated to make the character
of England odious and despicable.
Again in the whole of our colonial ex-
penditure how did the economy of mi-
nisters appear? They dismissed a num,
her of poor clerks who received only
1001. or 2001. a year for constant works
but they preserved in their places those
who took thousands and tens of thousands
but of the pockets of the people and did
little for them [hear, hear!]. They pre,
served all the expense and abuses in
the Ionian islands-they gave sir Thomas
Maritland 10,0001. a year for doing what
was injurious and degrading to the country
-for disarming and enslaving the people,
It was thus that the parental protection
of the English government manifested
itself; the people were thrown into prisons,
they were hung up at the tops of their
hills-the first of their nobility-of their
clergy-of their gentry were transported
from their native soil without inquiry, and
without trial. The same prodigality was
practised at the Cape of Good Hope. A
noble lord, as governor of the place, had
his 10,0001. a year, with country houses
and large establishments-there was staff
and useless appointments of great expence
at Somers-town and at Cape-town. Mi-







]t the Opening of the iSession.


sisters would say that this expense was
tiecessary for the support of the colonies,
but he would call it a wanton profusion-
if the colonies were fairly treated-if they
had the protection of British law instead
of being a burthen upon this country,
they would be able to support themselves.
He was also surprised that gentlemen who
were above all others interested, the pro-
prietors of West India property, did not
absolutely compel ministers to alter their
system-a system, surely, more opposed to
the interest of the colonies and to common
sense was never upheld; to such an extent
were jobs, carried that noble lords, who
never in their lives saw those places-nay,
even boys at school received, some 3,0001.
some 5,0001 a year for their services
[hear, hear!]. With respect to Scotland
he hoped the expenses of that country
would be immediately taken into con-
sideration, with view to reduction, The
expense of the civil government of Scot-
land-of the law courts-of the salaries
of officers, deserved the strictest attention
of ministers. The country loudly called
for a reduction in the public expenditure,
the necessity of the times required it--
every man ought to be removed from
S place, unless those who had duties to per-
fortm no one should be allowed to bur-
then the country without contributing to
its service. It was with these views that
he had prepared the amendment which
he was about to submit to the Hohse.
He trusted, that it would meet with
the support of those who went there
to benefit their country; he did not hope
for much from those who went there to
benefit them selves [hear, hear, and
cries of order!]
SThe Speaker said, that the hon. mem-
ber must on reflection, feel that such lan-
guage was disorderly. It could not with-
out a breach of order, be imputed to
S honourable members, that they enter-
tained views contrary to the just discharge
of their public duties.
Mr. Hume said, he should be sorry to
say any thing disorderly. As it was out
of order to declare in that House that
gentlemen came there to benefit not their
country, but themselves, he would not say
so; but he could not be prevented from
thinking so.
The Speaker said, that he always felt it
a painful duty to interrupt members, but
it was his first duty to preserve order in
that House. The orders of the House
were-made, not for the advantage of one


party or the other, but for public purposes,
and to preserve the general freedom of
debate. He loped the hon. member
would believe, that it was far from
his wish to interrupt him-that his
sole wish, indeed, was, to preserve the
dignity of the House and the regularity
of debate.
Mr. Huhne said, he should be happy at
all times to bow to the decision of the
Chair. As there were not only objections
to his expressing the opinions which lie
held, but also to his entertaining them,
he would no longer trespass on the atten-
tion of the House. The li hon. gentleman
concluded by moving the following
amendment;
( That while We return his Majesty our
most grateful acknowledgments for the
various reductions which have been made
in the naval and military establishments
during the last year, by which some dimi-
nution of expense may be effected, yet
we should ill discharge the duty we owd
to his Majesty, if We did hot direct his
most serious attention td the present coni
edition of his faithful people .
That we feel it our duty to represent
to his Majesty, that the distresses, proved
to exist, before a committee of this
House, instituted for'the especial purpose
in the last session of parliament, have
considerably increased; aid that the
owners and occupiers of land throughout
a great part of the kingdom, and with
them the tradesmen and artizans usually
dependent on them for employment, are
labouring under unexampled difficulties:
That we cannot but express most re-
spectfully to his Majesty our opinion, that
an excessive taxation, disproportionate tor
the reduced value of all property, is -a
principal cause of those distresses; and
humbly to intreat that he will be graci-
ously pleased immediately to direct such
reductions in every branch of our expen-
diture, from the highest to the lowest de-
partment, as shall enable us forthwith to
relieve his Majesty's faithful people from
a large portion of that burthen of taxa-
tion, which, in their present impoverished
condition, presses so heavily upon all
classes."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he was sure that, before he adverted to
the other parts: of the hon. member's
speech, the House would allow him to
remark upon that part of it in which a
charge was made against him, of allowing
secrets of. finance to be known in certain


V B'D 5, 1 8Z. 2.


69]






71] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
quarters, before they were regularly made
public in the ordinary course of business.
That charge.he.begged, in the most dis-
tinct and positive manner to deny. It
was'not the first occasion on which he
had had to make a similar denial to
charges brought by the hon., member,
who seemed to lend a credulous ear to
such malevolent aspersions. .If he could
be guilty of such a practice as that im-
puted to him, he should be no longer
worthy to hold the important situation
which he filled; but against such unfound-
ed insinuations, he should place the repu.
station of. his whole life-a reputation
which, he hoped, had never yet been sul-
lied. As to certain financial statements,
it was necessary, by the,regulations es-
tablished in 1819, that they should be
made known; and he, should be ready to
produce them in a few days. .Whatever
was the nature of.the proposition which
had been said to have passed from the
first lord of the Treasury and himself, and
upon this he would.observe, that, great
misrepresentation had gone abroad-he
was certain' that the best relief, which
could be afforded to the distresses com-
plained of would be, an extension of the
currency of the country. However, he
would not then enter into the discussion
of that question; for he considered it a
bad practice to go into the discussion of
any important question by halves, where
no result could be obtained. Still less
was he inclined, on the present occasion,
to follow the hon. member through the
immense mass of figures which he had
opened to the House. It was not,.he
considered, consistent with the practice
of parliament, to go into the consideration
of financial statements, until the docu-
ments connected with them were in the
hands of members. If the hon. member
had chosen that course, and had delayed
his motion until time was allowed for.the
examination of its details, then he would
have been prepared to follow him, and to
point where he considered they might.
be wrong and where right. He was the
less willing to enter into the subjects upon
which the hon. member had touched, as
he considered that most of them were not
at all directly connected with the resolu-
tion with which he concluded. The hon.
gentleman's panacea for the evils of the
country was, a reduction of expendi-
ture; but, on his own showing, if for the
last four years the amount of the revenue
exceeded the expenditure ,only by four


Address on the King's Speech TS'
millions, would it be wise, would it be po-
litic, to diminish that small surplus which
might be so necessary to support public
credit-to meet accidental events--or
unexpected emergencies? He couid not
help thinking that the hon. gentleman had
discovered more zeal than fairness. .It
would have been as well if the hon. gen-
tleman, instead of condemning en masse
all the measures of government-if, instead
of accusing them of profusion-if, instead
of asserting that government were op-
posed to all reduction, he had waited to
see what reduction government intended
to propose. It was the intention of mi-
nisters in a few days to bring the state of
the country under the consideration of
parliament, when their measures might be
discussed successively and in detail. On
that discussion it would appear what go-
vernment had done ; and, what they had
omitted to do.. Then would it be open
for the hon. gentleman to make his objec-
tions, and for the members of the govern-
ment to meet those objections by facts,
by reason, and argument ;"ut the hon.
gentleman had that night, without waiting
for information, assumed the misconduct
of ministers, and argued on that assump-
tion. The hon. gentleman admitted that
reductions had been made, but he stated
that junior clerks had been dismissed and
left unprovided. The hon. gentleman
could not feel more for those persons
than ministers. They. felt acutely the
painful duty they had to perform. When
the hon. gentleman charged ministers, as
if it were matter of reproach, with having
dismissed junior clerks, he would ask,
what were they to do ? How much more
justly would they have been exposed to
reproach, had they dismissed men who had
been in office foryears, whose lives hadbeen
worn out in the service of the country;
and who, from age and habit, were inca-
pable of turning themselves to any other
occupation ? He begged of the House to
suspend their opinion on, these subjects
until they were put in possession of the
whole of what had been done. Another.
part of the hon. member's speech he would
just advert to; ministers had been accused
of making reductions only in the income
of those who held situations of compara-
tively small value. To this he would only,
say for the present, that.the proposed
reductions would extend to the highest as
well as the lowest,official situations. In
the variety of the hon. member's topics,
he had introduced the mention of those






73] at th Opening of theSession
hon. gentlemen who.had recently joined
his majesty's government. Those hon.
members were not .present; and in their
absence, it would have been better not to
say a word about them. He would, how-
ever, observe, that he anticipated an im-
portant benefit to the country from their
services; and it appeared to him, from
the tone of.the hon. member, that his
anxiety on this subject was excited, not
so much by the union of those hon. gen-
tlemen with his majesty's government, as
by the loss of their support on the oppo-
site side. As to the story of members of
parliament holding menial situations in his
majesty's household, he would just observe,
that however good a subject for joke it
might have been heretofore, it was at pre-
sent wholly without foundation; and he
would defy the hon. member to.bring a
proof in support of the statement. It was
rather curious to hear the hon. member
hash up in a speech on the first day of the
session, all the tale-bearing accounts which
had reached him during the recess.- They
would afford food enough for the amuse-
ment of the House in their separate dis-
cussion, in the course of the session, with-
out mixing them all up on the first day.
To their separate introduction, which, no
doubt, would be made in due co urse
of time, he would reserve himself, and leave
them for, the present.. ,The great question
which the lion. gentleman had called upon
Sthe House to: decide was, whether there
should be a pledge given for an immediate
and sweeping reduction of taxation,-
whether this reduction was to, be imme-
diate, and by the means which he had pro-
posed, or whether relief could be afforded
by those measures by which the honour
of the country would be supported. He
had no hesitation in saying, that:the mea-
sure proposed by the hon.. member would
be not only mischievous, .but ruinous in
its effects; and,,that whatever,hopes:it
might excite, it would not only.not relieve,
but tend to aggravate the distresses of the
suffering classes. He would say in the
first.place, that the plan of the hon. mem-
ber would, by involving the destruction of
the sinking fund, shake public credit, and
destroy all confidence in money transac-
tions; and, instead of being able to procure
advances of money at.a cheap rate,: it
would be difficult at even.5 or 6 per cent.
to procure any accommodation whatever,
a great fall in the stocks would also be a
consequence of the..measure, and he had
no hesitation in saying that the stock of


FEB. 5, 1822, [74
,every other. country, would be preferred
to that of England, and all the evils.of
which the landholders now.complained
would be considerably increased. .He
would add, that if the apprehension which
had gone abroad, of touching the sinking
fund, had not .created great alarm, he
would have been able in the present ses-
sion to propose the reduction of the five
per cents; but let parliament act with the
firmness which ought to characterize it,
and he should be much disappointed if he
should not still be able to propose: that
measure this session. He considered that
one of the. most efficient means of relie-
ving the landed interest was the facility of
borrowing money.at.a moderate rate of
interest; but that facility could not exist,
unless the credit of the country was pre-
served. There was another reason against.
the proposition of the hon. member; the
reduction of taxation would destroy the
credit of the country-but would it relieve
the people Relief from taxation on
articles of consumption was never imme-
diate: the benefit to be derived by the
consumer must necessarily be postponed
for a considerable time.. As.he intended
in a few days to bring the subject.more
fully under the consideration of parliament,
be only felt it necessary to add, that he
could not agree to support the hon. mem-
ber's resolution.
.Mr. Calcraft. said, that if the right hoii.
gentleman was to be considered as the or-
gan of government on financial matters,
they had it now distinctly avowed, that
there was to be no reduction of taxation.
Ministers had at last screwed up their cou-
rage to deny that any benefit would result
from such a measure; nay, the right hon.
gentleman had gone so far as to assert,
that the repeal of any tax, though he did
not say what, would not only not relieve,
but would be an aggravation of the distress
of the country.. Did the right hon. gen-
tleman mean to tell the House, that the
repeal of the tax on malt, on salt, on soap or
leather, would not relieve the country from;
a very great and almost intolerable pres-
sure? Did he'mean.to say, that the peo-
ple .were so ," ignorantly impatient of tax-
ation,"' that on the very first day of the
session, when they expected their distresses
would at least'be considered, they were
to be told that the repeal of any one of
those taxes would not only not relieve, but'
aggravate their misery ? Was there any
table in the country, except the table of
that House, over which such a doctrine







75] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
could be held ? He would venture to as-
sert, that if such a doctrine were to be
supported at any private table, it would
be immediately scouted, and the man who
should attempt to maintain it would, be-
fore the company quitted, have cause to
be ashamed of his opinion. The right hon.
gentleman had made it a charge against
his lion. friend, that he had introduced so
many topics which were afterwards to be
discussed separately. Now, such a charge
came with an ill grace from any member
who intended .3 take a part in their discus-
sion; for.:-urely it must be an advantage
to the opposite side, to know so early that
such subjects were to be brought forward
on some future day. He thought it was
very gallant in his hon. friend to have given
thus early a notice of what he intended to
do. It was what he himself would not
have done; and he very much doubted, if
before long the hon. member would not
have to regret his courtesy in this respect.
The right hon. gentleman had been quite
facetious on the present occasion. He
had never seen any one make so amusing
a speech with so grave a face. The right
hon. gentleman had said, that jobs to
which his hon. friend had alluded would
afford sufficient amusement for the session.
However, before the termination of their
proceedings, he might have occasion to
repent theintroduction of such amusement.
Did the right hon. gentleman recollect the
amusement which the hon. member had
afforded him last session, when he intro-
duced the receivers-general to the notice
of a committee? That might have been
very amusing, though certainly not to the
parties so introduced; for it was death to
some of them, and would, he believed, be
so in its effects to some of their successors.
By the exertions of his hon. friend on that
occasion, a sum of not less than 70,0001.
was saved to the country; and he hoped
more considerable savings would be made,
by a.repetition of similar exertions. The
saving alone was not to be considered,
though that was important; but the great
influence of the Crown, which was by so
much diminished. He would vote for the
amendment which his hon. friend had
moved, though not for all the reasons
which had, been advanced by him (for as
yet he was not in possession of all the
details upon which they were founded) ;
but because he was anxious that a reduc-
tion should be made of that taxation which
pressed so heavily on the people-of those
burthens, the repeal of which it was now


Address on the King's Speech [76
said would not relieve, but aggravate their
sufferings. It had been said, that the right
hon. gentleman was in the habit of letting
slip some of the secrets of his financial
arrangements. Now, he himself did not
believe that such was the fact; but cer-
tainly it was the fact that such an opinion
was held in the city. He had no doubt
it was unfounded, for he did not know a
more honest servant of the public than the
right hon. gentleman. He would not
press any farther remarks on the question
before the House, as other opportunities
would represent themselves of going more
fully into the subjects by which it was
introduced.
The Chancellor of the -Exchequer dis-
claimed having said that taxation was not
an evil, or that the repeal of taxation was
not a benefit. What he had stated was,
that the simple repeal of taxes proposed
by the hon. member, would be productive
of more harm to the country by shaking
the public credit, than would be com-
mensurate with the relief which such
a course might afford to particular classes.
Mr. Calcraft wished it to be understood,
that he would never vote for the repeal
of a tax, until he was convinced that
such repeal would not affect the public
credit of the country.
Mr. Robinson said, that the calculations
and figures brought forward by the hon.
member for Aberdeen were so compli-
cated and so various, that it was difficult
to pronounce any opinion of their accuracy
without previous inquiry. He could not
conceive any more unsatisfactory mode
of bringing this great question under dis-
cussion, than that adopted by the hon.
member. It was, he thought, extremely
unreasonable, to say the least of it, with-
out waiting to see what had been done
by ministers in the way of reduction, to
assume that they had done nothing. Let
the House examine into facts before they
decided. He objected to the proposed
amendment, because it went, with one
sweeping censure, to condemn a whole
system of finance as fallacious. But let
the House remember, if that system was
wrong, that they had been parties to it.
He did not mean to say that the House,
upon proper grounds, might not retrace
the steps they had taken with respect to
any measure. No wish for an appearance
of consistency should prevent them from
adopting such a course; but, at the same
-time, he hoped the House would give its
most serious and dispassionate considera-







FB. 5, 1822. [78


tion, to what he might be permitted to
call the most important question ever agi-
tated. He trusted that whatever faults
might be found with the conduct of go-
vernment, whatever means might be pro-
posed for the relief of the distresses com-
plained of (and he would admit that those
means were as various and divergent as
the grievances themselves), the House
would not consent to overturn a system
which they had solemnly adopted, and
simply upon the ground that the hon.
member had produced a variety of state-
ments, most of which bore very remotely
upon the important question before them.
Colonel Davies rose chiefly to put one
or two questions to the chancellor of
the exchequer. The first was, whether
or not he admitted the financial state-
ments of the hon. member for Aber-
deen to be correct; and the second was,
whether it was his intention to interfere
with the metallic currency of the country ?
The hon. member then went on to observe
upon the extraordinary conduct of mi-
nisers, who some time ago told the coun-
try, that not a single man could be spared
from the immense establishments which
they continued in time of peace, and now
admitted, by their proposed reductions,
the extravagance of which they had hi-
therto been guilty.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied,
that in the absence of the necessary docu-
ments, he would neither admit nor deny
the accuracy of the statements made by
the hon. member for Aberdeen. As to
the other question, he could give a most
positive answer. He could assure the
House, that government meant to make
no alteration in our circulating medium.
He felt convinced of the necessity of pre-
serving the standard currency of the
country.
Sir J. Newport observed, that he was:
not prepared, in the absence of the fullest
information, to go into the consideration
of the important question which had been
introduced, nor was he ready or willing
to condemn at once, what, before, the
House had so fully approved. He there-
fore, though he concurred in the general
principle of the amendment, could not
agree to those parts of it which went at
once to destroy a system upon which they
had already solemnly decided. Provided
the hon. member consented to an omission
of those passages, he would cordially sup-
port the amendment. The passages which
he would wish to have omitted were these


-" And aggravated by a ruinous and
temporising system of finance;" and also
-" The more alarming as it appears,
they do not arise from temporary causes."
The omission of those passages would not
destroy the general sense of the resolution.
He was also induced to rise, in conse-
quence of the peremptory tone assumed
by the right hon. gentleman, who now
distinctly told the House and the country,
that there was to be no relief from taxa-
tion. In the present distressed state of
the country, that alone would be a suffi-
cient ground for going up to the Throne
with an address, praying for an immediate
and an effectual reduction of the people's
burdens.
Mr. Hume said, he had no objection to
the proposed alterations. His object was,
to pledge the House to a reduction of the
burdens of the country.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, it
was not so much his intention to follow
the hon. member for Aberdeen through
the various topics to which he had ad-
verted, as to fix the attention of the
House upon the true principle on which
it ought to come to a vote on the present
evening. That principle was shortly this
-whether it would be creditable or not to
the deliberations of parliament to close so
large a question as the hon. member had
opened, in the indirect manner that was
now proposed. He for one was clearly
of opinion, that to decide with such haste
as that hon. member wished the House to
decide, on a subject that was as important
as it was complicated, would neither be
consistent with the practice, the dignity,
or the wisdom of parliament. He was
therefore surprised at hearing the right
hon. baronet, who bore a high reputation
for financial knowledge, not only come
forward to support the motion of the bon.
member for Aberdeen, but also to blame
his right hon. friend, the chancellor of
the exchequer, for having distinctly told
the House, that relief for the disrresses
of the country would be more effectually
obtained by supporting public credit than
by a reduction of taxation; when the
right bon. baronet must have known that
any great reduction of taxation could not
be made in the present state of affairs,
without committing a direct breach of
public faith. Not only. would his. right
hon. friend have shown an apathy to the
financial relations of the country, totally
unbecoming his high situation and; cha-
racter, if lie had concurred in the amend-


nt the Opening of the Session.







79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
ment brought forward by the hon. mem-
ber for Aberdeen, but he would also have
held out false hopes to the country, if he
had at all concurred in the practicability
of affording a remission of taxes, to the
extent demanded on the other side. In
making this observation he had no inten-
tion of calling upon gentlemen to pledge
themselves that night to support the scale
of expenditure which ministers felt it their
duty to propose to the House. On the
contrary, he must distinctly avow himself
to be of opinion, that they could vote
against the present amendment, without
precluding themselves from the right of
entering, on a future night, into a full dis-
cussion of the financial resources of the
country. Gentlemen on the other side
of the House, who had been in the cus-
tom of declaring that all surplus was a
waste of revenue, and of declaiming night
after 'night against the mockery and in-
utility of a sinking fund, might indeed be
ready, even on so sudden an emergency
as the present, to re-affirm all their for-
mer opinions; but he thought that gen-
tlemen who had been accustomed to main-
tain the policy and expediency of a per.
petual sinking fund, ought to pause
and exercise a little consideration, be-
fore they gave their concurrence to a
proposition, which contained doctrines in
direct opposition to those which they had
formerly supported. If gentlemen had
reason to believe that the principles on
which they had previously relied were er-
roneous, then he would admit that, in
point of public duty and public honour,
they were bound to retrace their steps
and to avow their errors. They were not
bound, however, to rescind in an indirect
manner resolutions to which they had
previously given a direct and formal sup-
port; they were not bound to vote away
the taxes which were set aside for the es-
tablishment of a sinking fund, without
taking into consideration the effect which
such a measure might produce upon pub-
lic credit.. They were bound to wait till
the repeal of some specific tax was pro-
posed to the House; and they ought to
consider two points with regard to it:
first, whether it was a tax which was ge-
nerally felt as an oppressive tax by the
community; and secondly, whether it
was one which the exigencies of the state
would allow to be dispensed with. When
the question came in that shape before
the consideration of parliament, it would
be enabled to decide with propriety whe-


Address on the King's Speech [80
other it was rational or becoming to conti-
nue such a tax; but he could not con-
ceive a case in which the House could be
more stultified or degraded than it would
be at present, if it were to accede to the
amendment then before it, upon the
speech of the hon. member for Aberdeen,
which, whatever solidity it might possess,
it was impossible for any member at the
instant'either to follow or to understand.
He repeated it, that under no circum-
stances could the House be more de-
graded in public estimation, than it would
be, if, after the financial course which
it had so long pursued, and the resolutions
which it had so lately sanctioned, relative
to the necessity of having a clear sinking
fund of five millions, it were now to ac-
cede to a proposal for the remission of
taxes, either to that or nearly that amount.
Indeed, he was almost ashamed to have
heard such a proposition gravely pro-
pounded to a House of Commons. He
was completely surprised to find that the
hon. member for Aberdeen could know
so little of the texture of parliament, as
to open to it such a case as he had done
-a case filled with a motley group of
figures and calculations, far beyond the
comprehension of any man at the instant;
replete with jobs, or stories of jobs, which
might or might not be true; but of which
if true, he (the marquis) was totally
ignorant, or they should have been re-
dressed. He was also much surprised
that the right hon. baronet who had pre-
ceded him, and for whose financial know.
ledge he must again profess his great res-
pect, should have been induced to become
a party to the present amendment, on the
correction of a few words, which, in his
opinion, made little difference as to the
absurdity of it. Had he not been a wit-
ness to the fact, he could not have be-
lieved that the right hon. baronet's vote
would have been so easily caught. He
should be wasting the time and insulting
the understanding of the House, were he
to combat for a moment with the idea,
that an assembly in whose wisdom the
country fully relied, and on whose deci-
sions not only its happiness, but, in all
probability, the happiness of the whole
civilized world depended, could accede to
the opinions which it was now wished to
insert in the address ; and that, too, not
upon sober argument-not upon mature
deliberation-but upon a series of calcu-
lations which it was impossible for any
man who had not previously seen to un.







FEB. 5, 1822. [82


derstand. It would, therefore, be sufficient
for him to state, that in voting for the ne-
gative of the present extraordinary
amendment, gentlemen would not pre-
clude themselves from a future considera-
tion of the great question of finance,
either as related to the public credit of
the country, the distress under which part
of it laboured, or the best means of re-
lieving that distress. Neither would they,
by voting in favour of the original address
that evening, deprive themselves of the
right of inquiring upon another occasion
whether a remission of certain taxes could
be made without injury to the public ser-
yice. As all these questions would still
be open for their discussion, he called
upon hon. gentlemen, as they valued their
character for consistency, to give their
negative to the present most extraordinary
amendment.
Mr. Tierney commenced by declaring,
that upon entering the House that even-
ing, it was his fixed intention not to ad-
dress it. The noble lord, however, by in-
dulging in the language which he had
done, and by observing that any man who
ventured to vote in favour of the amend-
ment would be committing an insult both
to the House and to the country, had
made a call upon him to speak, which he
found it totally impossible to resist. The
noble lord had stated that the words
which his right hon. friend had proposed
to leave out of the amendment were not
of the slightest importance. On that
point, however, as on many others, he
had the misfortune of differing with the
noble lord; for he certainly thought that
the omission of the words in question was
of very great importance, as it rendered
the amendment of such a nature as to de-
serve the unanimous support of the
House. The noble lord had also stated,
that the country was looking up to the
wisdom of parliament! He felt compelled
to observe that the country had been
looking for a long time, indeed, up to that
wisdom. But it was now beginning to
look at the manner in which parliament
sympathised with its feelings; and on the
present occasion he trusted that hon.
gentlemen would embrace the opportu-
nity of regaining its respect and confi-
dence. There was no difficulty in the
proposition submitted to the House. The
noble lord had indeed said, that there was
great difficulty attached to it; but that
was by no means the case. He therefore
called upon gentlemen to exercise their
VOL. VI.


own judgments in coming to a decision
upon it, and not to be led away by the in-
genious statements of the noble lord. He
cautioned them to look to the manner in
which they intended to vote that evening,
for they might depend upon it, that if
they voted against the amendment, the
noble lord would before the end of the
session, turn round upon them, when they
were inclined to support some plan of re-
trenchment, and say, that the present was
just such a proposition as they ought to
have supported, if they had not intended
to mislead the government. Let gentle-
men, and the country gentlemen espe-
cially, take care how they entangle them-
selves a second time with their constitu-
ents. Let them recollect that they were
not sent there to vote mere courtly ad-
dresses to the throne, but to carry up to
it the wishes and wants of those whom
they represented. Let them show by
their conduct that night, that they had
not been uselessly employed during the
vacation, but that they had returned to
their duties in that House, after a full de-
liberation upon the evils which were then
afflicting the country. He would explain
the sense in which he intended to vote
for the amendment. It was in the hope
that if it were carried, considerable reduc-
tions would be made in the expenditure
of every establishment in the state, from
the highest down to the lowest: and, en.
tertaining such a hope, he held it to be a
matter of duty, not to allow one moment
to elapse, after the re-assembling of par-
liament, without stating such to be the
deliberate conviction of his mind. Much
as he might pity those who might become
the sufferers from a strict retrenchment,
and much as he might feel for those who
might think themselves degraded by the
loss of a certain state, by which they
were at present surrounded, still he would,
so help him God! persevere, if it were in
his power, in making it. He was inclined
to vote for a reduction of taxation, first of
all; because he was convinced that it ought
to be made. How far that reduction should
extend, he did not exactly know; nor
was he called on to declare. A question
had been started-whether it might not
be advisable to repeal all the taxes which
went to support the sinking fund? He
would not pretend to give a decided opi-
nion at present on that subject; but his
firm conviction was, that in order to sup-
port public credit, which rested mainly
upon public feeling, it would be more be-
G


at the Opening of the Session.






83) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
neficial to abolish taxes to the amount of
the sinking fund, than to look forward to
the distant relief which was to be derived
from that source. But, said the right
lion. gentleman opposite, How can such
a measure be proposed? How can you
meddle with the sinking fund, without
doing, great injury to public credit?"
That argument came with peculiar grace
indeed from the right hon. the chancellor
of the exchequer, who, it might be sup-
posed from his language, had never
meddled with the sinking fund himself.
But, was this the case ? By no means.
The sinking fund, if it had not been for
the inroads which the right hon. gentle-
man had himself made upon it, would, at
the present time, have amounted to
22,000,0001.; whereas it had now become
a question between the right hon. gentle-
man and the hon. member for Aberdeen,
whether it even amounted to one million.
Then came the noble lord in support of
his right hon. friend; and, what did he
say ? Why, that the House of Commons
having come to a resolution that there
should be a sinking fund of 5,000,0001.,
it was fitting that such resolution should
be strictly adhered to. But here he
begged leave to ask the noble lord whe-
ther the sinking fund had at any one mo-
mnent amounted to 5,000,0001. even after
the 3,000,0001. of new taxes which had
been imposed upon the country to raise
it to that sum, and with all the conjurings
to which the right hon. gentleman had so
frequently subjected it? He believed
that more would be done for the country
in the way of present relief by abolishing
the sinking fund, than by keeping up a
sinking fund of not more than 2,000,0001.
to defray a debt of 800,000,0001. What
be would ask, would be the effect of such
a sinking fund, even supposing that the
country should enjoy (what he sincerely
hoped it might enjoy) five years more of
uninterrupted peace? Would it facilitate
us at all in entering upon a new war ? He
thought not. But the remission of two
or three millions of taxes would have such
an effect in satisfying the country-the
tone and temper which it would produce
would be so beneficial, that he conceived
it to be a much more advisable plan, than
the continuance of a sinking fund on the
present scale. He would not enter far-
ther into the discussion of the evening;
indeed, he had not intended to have taken
part in it at all; but when he saw the
noble lord getting upon his stilts-(and


Address on the King's Speech [84
when he was hard pressed, nobody got
upon them with greater ease) he felt an
inclination which he could not master, to
endeavour to take him a little down. He
warned the House not to place much
confidence in the promises which the
noble lord had made about retrenchment
and reduction; for, unfortunately, the
noble lord was not the fittest man to be
believed upon that subject. He would
state his reason for saying so. It was
shortly this-that the noble lord and his
colleagues had uniformly shown, that the
only way of getting them to make reduc-
tions, was to drive them to it. He there-
fore called upon the country gentlemen
not to allow themselves to be deluded
with fine promises. Let them only say
to the noble lord You must reduce, or
we will not give you our support," and
he should be very much surprised indeed,
if the noble lord did not say to them,
" Don't repeat that language again; it is
very disagreeable, you shall be satisfied,
gentlemen." If they meant the country
to believe that they felt for the distress
under which it suffered, they would not
defer their vote in favour of retrenchment
and reduction of taxation to a future oc-
casion, as the noble lord had advised; but
would come forward and manfully give it
in favour of the amendment that evening.
They would thus force ministers to every
possible reduction, and the country would
have the benefit of it in the shape of mi-
tigated taxation.
Mr. Huskisson stated, that he did not
intend to enter at large, on that occasion,
into so important and complicated a sub-
ject as the distressed state of agriculture,
or to consider how far taxation was one
of its causes, and applied to it more than
to any other part of the public interest.
He must say with the hon. member for
Wareham, that he could neither follow
nor understand the figures of the hon.
member for Aberdeen; but he intended
to be a little more consistent, and there-
fore should not join in his conclusion.
For that hon. member had stated,'that he
would give his opinion on the statements
of the hon. mover of the amendment on a
future occasion, but would give his vote
in favour of them that night. This he
himself could not do. He was surprised
to hear it said, that the alterations in the
amendment were important. They were
by no means so ; but merely of that inge-
nious nature, that was calculated to con-
ciliate wavering members, and catch a






at the Opening of the Session.


few stray votes. It was a little too much
to call upon his right hon. friend the
chancellor of the exchequer to condemn
the sinking fund, which was connected
with a system of finance which he had so
long advocated. He implored the House
to consider the situation in which they
were deliberating upon the amendment.
His majesty, in his Speech, had called
their attention to the state of distress to
which the agricultural interest was at pre-
sent reduced. The responsible advisers
of the Crown had stated, that, on an early
day, they would submit to parliament
what, in their -view of the subject was the
wisest and most expedient course to be
pursued in order to relieve and remedy
the agricultural distress. Now, in his
humble opinion, it would have been more
consistent with the ordinary usage of par-
liament to have deferred the present dis-
cussion till that day, and for the House to
have then voted in favour of some other
mode of relief, if that suggested by mi-
nisters appeared to be inefficient. Though
such were his opinions, he should not
have explained them to the House, had
he not been compelled to rise in conse-
quence of the slanderous insinuations
made by the hon. member for Aberdeen
against his right hon. friend the chancel-
lor of the exchequer, and the aspersions
which he had cast upon the conduct of
his office. [Loud cries of Order,
order."] He had understood the hon.
gentleman to state, that it was his intention
to submit a motion to the House regard-
ing certain monies which had passed
through his (Mr. Huskisson's) office
being vested in the funds. If the hon.
gentleman moved for any accounts con-
nected with those funds, he would gladly
produce them. He could assure the hon.
member that it was in strict conformity
with the injunctions of an act of parlia-
ment, and certain orders of the Treasury,
that the money in question, which had
arisen from the sale of some crown
estates, had been vested in the funds. He
assured the hon. member that he had,
neither directly or indirectly, received
any benefit from the money being so
placed in the funds.
Mr. Stuart Wortley said, the time was
now arrived when it was the duty of that
House to enforce the severest retrench-
ment, and to relieve those whom they re-
presented from a part of the burthens
under which they were labouring. In
the various discussions which must ensue,


he should endeavour so to direct his mind
to this subject, as to ascertain the extent
to which retrenchment was practicable,
and consequently the amount of relief
which the country had a right to expect.
There was one part of the observations
which had fallen from the chancellor of
the exchequer, which, he confessed, had
given him some surprise, and which he
could not help thinking a little extraor-
dinary, when considered with reference to
the distresses which now pressed upon
owners and occupiers of land. If he had
understood the right hon. gentleman cor-
rectly, he seemed to think that some
relief might be afforded to occupiers of
land by means of a loan from government,
in the same way as such loans had been
advanced on former occasions-[The
chancellor expressed dissent.]-He was
happy to find that he had mistaken the
right hon. gentleman's meaning. His
majesty's ministers had pledged them-
selves to take the subject into considera-
tion, and to make retrenchments. It was
but fair, therefore, to wait till they saw
how far that promise would be redeemed ;
and upon that ground he could not con-
sent to the present amendment.
Sir T. Lethbridge said, he could not see
any relief for the distresses of the country
except in retrenchment, and trusted that
if ministers did not fulfil the pledges which
they had given in favour of it, the House
would compel them to do so. He called
upon ministers to look the distress of the
country manfully in the face, and to col-
lect the best information they could rela-
tive to its nature and extent. He was
convinced, from the language of the
Speech from the throne, that ministers
were unacquainted with the frightful ra-
vages it had made. If they had seen the
individual and collective distress which he
had witnessed in that part of the country
with which he was connected, he was
confident they would have made some
more vigorous efforts to relieve it. He
felt it his painful duty to support the
amendment.
Sir John Sebright, after expressing the
obligation which he, in common with
every man in the country, felt to the
hon. member for Aberdeen, for the great
exertions he had made to produce a re-
duction in the public expenditure, stated
the -paramount necessity which at present
existed for enforcing a system of economy
in every branch of the public expenditure.
The noble marquis had called the resolu.


FEB. 5, 1822.







87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
tions of the hon. member for Aberdeen
ridiculous; but he had not said a word to
prove them so. They only called upon
the House to do its duty and retrench;
and, whether it did or no, he would tell
the noble marquis, that it would be soon
impossible for him and his colleagues to
spend money, inasmuch as they would
have none to spend.
Mr. Gipps also expressed his gratitude
to the hon. member for Aberdeen, and his
determination to vote in favour of the
amendment.
Mr. Ricardo, though he agreed with
every thing that had fallen from his hon.
friend, the member for Aberdeen, in favour
of economy and retrenchment, could not
yote in favour of his amendment, as he
differed widely from his hon. friend as to
the causes of the existing agricultural dis-
tress. His hon. friend stated, that the
cause of that distress was excessive taxa-
tion; but the real cause, it could not be
denied, was the low price of agricultural
produce. That taxation should be the
cause of low prices was so absurd and so
inconsistent with every principle of politi-
cal economy, that he could not assent
for a moment to the doctrine. Agreeing,
however, as he did, with his hon. friend,
as to the necessity of economy and re-
trenchment, and as to the impropriety of
making loans to the occupiers of lands, he
was sure they would be frequently found,
in the course of the session, pursuing
together that necessary object, a reduc-
tion of expenditure and taxation.
SMr. Astell would vote for the amend-
ment, as it pledged the House to a system
of retrenchment. If such a system were
rigidly enforced, there would, he was con-
vinced, be left a surplus of revenue to
form a sinking fund.
Mr. Benett, of Wilts, was surprised to
hear his hon. friend express an opinion,
that taxation was not the cause of
agricultural distress. If taxation was
not the cause of that distress, how happen.
ed it that the English farmer was unable
to compete with the foreign, when the
soil and climate of England and his own
industry, fully entitled him to a re-
munerating price ?
Mr. Bathurst contended, that the ques-
tion embraced by the amendment, was not
one of such mean importance as to be
taken up incidentally in the manner now
proposed.
Sir E. Knatchbull said, he felt some
difficulty in deciding upon the course


Address on the King's Speech [88
which he ought to pursue on the present
occasion. He could not, consistently with
his duty, in acknowledging the Speech
from the throne, put a negative upon the
proposition of the hon. mover of the ori-
ginal address; neither could he vote for
an amendment, which went hastily to an-
ticipate measures that would, in due course,
come more regularly before them. It was
agreed on all sides that great distress pre-
vailed among particular classes of the
community. The ministers pledged them-
selves to submit their view of the state of
the country. Had the hon. mover of the
amendment suffered ministers to suggest
their measures before he proposed his
own, then indeed the question would have
been fairly brought to issue; and the
House could determine upon the maturest
consideration of the views on both sides.
For his own part, he was very ready to
say, that had not ministers embodied in
the address an admission of the existing
agricultural distress, and similar principles
of economy with those disclosed in the
amendment, he should have felt it his
duty to vote against their proposition. It
had been said, that the government of the
country would not adopt the necessary
remedy, but must be driven to economise
by a certain party in that House. Upon
that observation he should merely ob-
serve, that whenever any measures were
adopted for the relief of the country, they
must emanate from the government; for,
unless they did so originate, he knew they
would be perfectly useless. It was there-
fore his anxious wish that the question
should be left in their hands. If the
noble marquis did not take the course he
had promised, then such an amendment
as was now proposed might be very pro-
perly considered. At present he thought
the amendment premature, for ministers
stood pledged to lose no time in submitting
their views to the House.
Mr. Brougham said, that if he wanted
any new argument to fix the vote which
he had determined to give-if he wanted
any additional reason to influence that
vote, it had been abundantly furnished by
tlh hon. baronet who spoke last, one of
the representatives for the county of Kent,
the most distressed of all the agricultural
counties in England. The reasoning of
the hon. baronet amounted to this-that
nothing from any quarter, save the minis-
ters, could hope for success in that House
-that, be the quarter ever so respectable,
be the measure ever so sound, be the







FEB. 5, 1822. [90


exigency ever so urgent, unless that
measure had the support of ministers,
vain were its hopes of success, useless its
chance of adoption. The country might
perish, the state of the county of Kent
might, if it were possible, become even
more wretched than it was-still, no
measure could ever hope for success, un-
less it originated with government. Such
was the opinion of the hon. baronet; from
which another consequence followed (for
it was part of the same proposition), that
if no measure, however useful, could suc-
ceed without the concurrence of govern-
ment, a measure not the most sound, not
the most beneficial, not the best suited to
the possible wants of the country-nay,
even detrimental to its interests, disap-
pointing its just hopes, and frustrating its
most needful expectations-had some
chance of success there, if it had the
countenance of the ministers of the Crown.
That being the hon. baronet's opinion-
that being his true and candid declaration
of the effective utility of the House of
which he was a member-such being the
fact respecting that House, which the
hon. baronet thought proper to proclaim
to the country, he the more marvelled at
the hon. baronet's conclusion, which was
the very reverse of the premises he had
laid down. Surely the hon. baronet's
conclusion ought to have been, that he
should take care how he voted against
any measure that would remedy the evil
of which he complained. The only reason
the hon. baronet assigned for not pledging
the House now to some measure of relief
was, that the ministers were planning a
remedy which they were to disclose ten
or twelve days hence. Entertaining that
opinion, the hon. baronet ought to have
seen that it became the House to take the
earliest possible opportunity of stating the
course of relief which ought to be taken
in the present crisis; because, if they
waited until the ministers were ready-if
they suffered ministers finally to make up
their minds, regardless of the wishes of
the country, then he had the authority of
the member for the county of Kent to say,
and his own opinion to fortify him in the
belief of it, that whatever measures such
ministers proposed would be infallibly
adopted. Should their measure of relief
be to operate an increase in the sinking
fund, or be any other expedient, then
would the House find it too late to inter-
pose : the measure of the minister would
undergo no modification, and thel conflict


could only terminate one way, between
ministers and that House. Not meaning
to place this confidence in ministers, he
should vote for the amendment; conceiv-
ing that by doing so he gave no offence,
not even the slightest to his sovereign;
for it was the ancient constitutional duty
of parliament well to advise his majesty in
the arduous (affairs of his realm. They
were to give counsel to the throne: not
to carry up the smooth language of
flattery in set phrases-not to re-echo
trite sentences of adulation, but to deliver
wholesome truths, regardless whether they
were agreeable or displeasing to the mi-
nisters, who were alone the authors of the
King's Speech, and who were also the
proposers of the Address, which was in
fact an answer to themselves. The
amendment did not pledge the House one
way or the other, respecting the disposal
of the sinking fund. It was the grossest
delusion to give it such an interpretation.
The only thing to which it pledged the
House was, to adopt a rigid system of re-
trenchment, to reduce unnecessary estab-
lishments, and to diminish taxation, for
the relief of a suffering people. Whether
that relief were to be obtained by an ap.
plication of the sinking fund or by a re-
duction of taxes, was an ultimate opinion,
not expressed or incorporated here. In
adopting the amendment, the House had
no more to do with that question, than
they had with the arithmetical calculations
of his hon. friend, which they of course
could not sum up or check at the instant,
and for one cipher of which they did not
commit their accuracy. They were his
hon. friend's calculations alone: they were
his reasons alone: and he alone was re-
sponsible for their accuracy and for the
interesting facts he had mixed up, with
them. Those who voted for the amend-
ment only acted in that spirit which the
exigencies of the case demanded, and
which that House would betray its duty
to the people, if it did not then adopt. He
should have felt that he had not dis-
charged his duty, if he had refrained from
stating, that the very reasons urged by
the hon. member for Kent for voting
against the amendment, were in them-
selves the strongest which could be ad-
duced in its support.
Sir E. Knatchbull said, in explanation,
that the learned gentleman had put such
an interpretation upon what had fallen
from him, as it could not in common fairness
bear. It was not his intention to say any


at the Opening of the Session.







91] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
thing inconsistent with the constitutional
privileges and rights of that House.
All he meant to say was, that a measure
in which the country was so vitally in-
terested as this, must of necessity be sup-
ported by government, otherwise it could
never be expected to succeed.
Lord Palmerston said, that the state-
ment of the learned gentleman, of what
had fallen from the hon. baronet, was the
greatest misrepresentation of the drift of
his argument that could possibly be con-
ceived. The hon. baronet had objected
to the amendment upon parliamentary and
perfectly constitutional grounds. He felt
that it was an attempt hastily to interpose
between that House and thefair considera-
tion of a most important question. The
original address acknowledged, not
only the necessity of retrenchment, but
that steps had been taken to make all pos-
sible reductions. The hon. member for
Aberdeen, however, was determined not
to wait to see the extent of those reduc-
tions, but wished hastily to drag the
House into a vague and general declara-
tion, that it was expedient to reduce taxa-
tion to an extent which would be incon-
sistent with the security of the empire.
Lord A. Hamilton observed, that the
supporters of ministers cast wholly out of
their view the inability of the people to
pay the oppressive taxes which weighed
them down, and talked of the necessity of
supporting their system, as if in the re-
sources of the country they had unlimited
funds to avail themselves of. If the
House looked at the conduct of ministers,
they must see what little reliance was to
be placed on their pledges of economy.
They had over and again made resolutions
and declarations, and (to use the noble
lord's phrase) had stultified themselves
by departing from them. The fact was,
they must either stultify their past con-
duct, or egregiously stultify their future
deliberations. In the report of the agri-
cultural committee, the extent of the dis-
tress was admitted, but the country was
left without remedy or hope. Those with
whom he acted saw no other remedy than
a practical reduction of the expenditure
of the country. It was the grossest in-
justice to his hon. friend's amendment, to
say that it pledged the House to an ab-
juration of the sinking fund. It did no
such thing. Those who voted for the
amendment, pledged themselves to no
specific mode of reduction; but those
who voted against it, not only discredited


Address on the King's Speech. [92
themselves, but disappointed the just ex-
pectations of economy and retrenchment,
which the ministers hadput into the mouth
of the sovereign at the close of the last
session.
Mr. Marryat observed, that the question
here was, whether the situation of the
country did not absolutely call for such
an amendment as that which had been
proposed? It was not only agriculture
that was suffering; the distress extended
itself to numerous classes of the com-
munity. It was objected to the amend-
ment, that it went to pledge those who
voted for it to an interference with the
sinking fund. He did not take it in that
light. It left that question as perfectly
open as the original address did. In plain
terms, all who thought reduction abso-
lutely necessary were bound to vote for
the amendment; all who were of the con-
trary opinion would vote for the original
address.
Mr. Lennard said, he had waited till
the debate was on the point of concluding,
in the hope that the object he had in view,
in the observation he should make, would
have been attained through the means of
some member of greater importance than
himself. He could not refrain from stat-
ing how much he lamented that in the
promises of retrenchment which they had
heard from the throne, no allusion had
been made to a revision of the civil list.
He thought that a reduction in that branch
of the establishment would be very im-
portant, both on account of the actual
saving which might be made in it, and
because it would be an assurance of the
sincerity of those professions of economy,
which could not now be listened to by the
House with much confidence. The true
dignity of the Crown, would not, in his
opinion, be at all impaired by a diminution,
in this time of need, of the expenditure.
On the contrary, he was sure the affec-
tions of the people would be more con-
firmed towards it, if his majesty, and
those who composed his court, should
show themselves ready to submit to those
privations which the present circumstances
made all other persons feel. Besides this,
it was to be recollected that the civil list
establishment had been formed when the
value of money was not nearly what it
now was. Concurring with the observa-
tion of the right lion. member for Knares-
borough, that from the conduct of the
House that night the country would re-
ceive an impression of its real disposition







93] State of Ireland.
to relieve the distresses of the country,
he should give notice, that he would, on
an early day, move an address to his ma-
jesty, humbly to request him to recom-
mend to the House a reduction of the
various expenses of the civil list establish-
ment.
The House divided: for the amend-
ment 89. Against it 171. The original
address was then put and agreed to
List of the Minority.


Abercromby, hon. J.
Astell, W.
Baring, Henry
Barret, S. M.
Benyon, Benj.
Birch, Joseph
Brougham, H.
Bright, Henry
Burdett, sir F.
Bury, vise.
Benett, John
Bentinck, lord W.
Blake, sir F.
Calcraft, John
Calvert, C.
Carter, John
Clifton, vise.
Curwen, J. C.
Creevy, T.
Curteis, E. J.
Claughton, T.
Denison, W. J.
Denman, T.
Duncannon, visc.
Ebrington, vise.
Ellice, Ed.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Folkestone, vise.
Fane,' John
Fox, G. Lane
Grattan, James
Grenfell, Pascoe
Gipps, George
Haldimand, W.
Hamilton, lord A.
Heathcote, sir G.
Heathcote, G. John
Heron, sir R.
Hill, lord Arthur
Hobhouse, J. C.
Honywood, W. P.
Hughes, W. L.
Hutchinson, heon.
C. H
James, W.
Johnson, col.
Lambton, J. G.


Lennard,T.B.
Lushington, Dr.
Lethbridge, sir T.
Maberly, John
Maberly, W. L.
Macdonald, J.
Madocks, W. A.
Martin, John
Monck, J. B.
Moore, Peter
Marjoribanks, S.
Marryat, Joseph
Neville, hon. R.
Newport, sir John
Nugent, lord
Ord, W.
Ossulston, lord
Palmer, col.
Palmer, C. F.
Phillips, G. R.
Price, R.
Robarts, A.
Robarts, G.
Robinson, sir G.
Rowley, sir W.
Rumbold, C.
Rice, T. S.
Rickford, W.
Smith, W.
Smith, Robt.
Smith, Sam.
Smith, hon. R.
Scarlett, J.
Sefton, earl of
Stuart, lord J.
Sebright, sir John
Tierney, rt. hon. G.
Tennyson, C.
Whitbread, W. II.
Whitbread, S.
Williams, W.
Wilson, sir R.
Wood, ald.
Wyvill, M.
TELLERS,
Hume, Joseph.
Bennet, hon. H. G.


Mr. Bernal and colonel Davies were acci-
dentally shut out.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, February 7.
STATE OF IRELAND.] The Earl of


FEB. 7, 1822. [94
Liverpool gave notice, of his intention to
move to morrow, that the Standing Orders,
26 and 105, relative to the passing of bills,
be suspended, and now moved that their
lordships be summoned.
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he
understood the motion of which the noble
earl had given notice, had reference to a
bill on the state of Ireland. He therefore
wished to take that opportunity of cal-
ling the attention of the House to the pa-
pers which had been laid before the House,
and on which the necessity for the bill
would be founded. He had understood
the noble earl to say in the debate on
Tuesday that his conviction of the
necessity of a legislative measure with re-
gard to Ireland was founded upon urgent
representations from the government of
Ireland, calling for an extension of the
law. Now, upon looking at the papers
on the table, he found in them no urgent
demand for additional authority-no re-
presentation that an extension of the
powers already vested in the executive
government was necessary. Their lord-
ships, before they passed any legislative
measure, ought to have the representation
of the Irish government distinctly before
them ; and be put in possession of all the
evidence upon which the application was
made. He hoped, therefore, that the
noble earl would consent to lay before the
House-not all the despatches he had
received from the lord-lieutenant on the
subject of the disturbances-but such part
of them as showed it to be the opinion of
the Irish government, that an increase of
authority was necessary to the restoration
of tranquillity. He was the more induced
to make this request, because, after rea-
ding the papers which had been laid on
the table, though he saw reason to suppose
that the Irish government considered the
present disposable military force insuffi-
cient for the suppression of the disorders,
he could no where find in those papers any
declaration of an opinion, that the existing
laws were insufficient. In one instance
only did an individual express a wish for
the revival of the Insurrection act. It
might certainly be the opinion of the lord
lieutenant that a farther extension of the
powers of the law was necessary, but
there existed no evidence of that opinion
in the papers.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that there
was evidence sufficient to warrant the pro-
position he should have to make to the
House, on a measure which he.expected







g5] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Agricultural Distress- [96
would come to their lordships to-morrow powers was asked by that government.
from another place. Upon the face of the He could no where see reason to conclude
papers, there certainly did not appear any that there was any deficiency in the exist-
demand of the kind alluded to by the noble ing law. The measure contemplated was
marquis; but it did not follow, that no equivalent to the establishment of martial
such application had been made. He had law; and their lordships ought to be fully
no difficulty in most distinctly stating, that satisfied of its necessity, before they gave
the measures which would be brought it their sanction. Much as he deplored
under the consideration of their lordships the employment of military force, his con-
came recommended by the opinion of the sent to an increase of that force would be
Irish government. Their lordships would more easily wrung from him, than that
easily understand, that this opinion might alteration of the law which the noble earl
be accompanied by communications which had in view. If the noble earl would show
it would not be convenient to lay before that the measures of rigour he had in view
parliament. Their lordships would recol- were demanded by the Irish government,
lect, that in passing measures similar to and that there were sufficient grounds for
that now intended, it had not been usual that demand, he would accede to his pro-
to ground them on that particular kind of position, painful as it was to think that
evidence required by the noble marquis. twenty-two years after the union with
In the present case, a general view of the Ireland, coercion was still to be employed
state of the country was sufficient; more in the government of that unfortunate
particularly as the whole subject of the country.
state of Ireland would at a future period Lord King could not understand for
come under the consideration of par- what reason the opinions of the Irish
ligament. government were not given. This was
Lord Ellenborough expressed his sur- one of those practices which prevented
prise, that in the information communica- their lordships from fixing responsibility
ted to the House, nothing had been said any where. The servants of the Crown
of the cause of the disorders. He thought here say they make a proposition on the
that when a remedy was contemplated, the application'of other servants of the Crown;
cause of the evil ought to be taken into but upon what authority the latter make
consideration. In the papers on the table the demand, was not in evidence before
there appeared no demand for increased their lordships.
powers. Farther information, certainly, Their lordships were then summoned for
ought to be afforded. He could not help to-morrow.
thinking it a very extraordinary circum- -
stance, that though the yeomanry had HOUSE OF COMMONS.
been formerly called out, it was the yeo-, F r
many of the north, not those of the south Thursday, February 7.
of Ireland, where the disturbances pre- AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-PETITION
vailed. FROM NORFOLK.] Mr. Cokerose to pre-
Lord Holland considered the course of sent a petition from the owners and occu-
argument taken by the noble earl opposite piers of land in the county of Norfolk-a
to be very extraordinary. He asserted county in which agriculture was carried on
that measures, such as that which was at less expense, and more corn was grown
about to be submitted to their lordships, on poor land, than in any other part of the
were not usually preceded by evidence kingdom. He was sorry to say that the
of the kind he had required. In his state of that county, in consequence of the
speech he professed, that the proceed- depression of the agricultural interest,
ings on the measure were in the usual was of the most heart-breaking descrip-
course, and yet his motion had for its tion; and to no man did that circumstance
object to enable their lordships to pass a give more pain than to himself, who had
bill in a way contrary to the usual prac. spent the greater part of his life in endea-
ticeofthe House. From what little atten- vouring to improve its condition. It was
tion he had paid to the state of Ireland, it dreadful to behold the distress and alarm
appeared there was reason to fear that an which pervaded every part of the county.
increased force might be required by the The requisition calling upon the sheriff to
Irish government; but there was nothing convene the meeting, at which the peti-
in the information before the House to tion which he held in his hand was agreed
warrant the opinion that an increase of to, was signed only by the yeomanry;







97] Petitionfrom Norfolk.
and a more respectable body of men did
not exist. He was inclined to believe
that three out of every five who had
signed the requisition were persons who
had formerly been the supporters of go-
vernment. Those persons were now con-
vinced of their error-perhaps reluc-
tantly; but distress had had a share in
bringing them to their present state of
mind. The county of Norfolk, he was
proud to say, was the first to set the
example of petitioning parliament-an
example which he trusted would be fol-
lowed by other counties, until they had
all brought their complaints before the
legislature. He hoped to hear the pub-
lic voice resound on this subject from
all quarters of the country. Unless
there should be an union of both whigs
and stories, unless the country gentlemen
on both sides of the House should com-
bine their efforts, the total destruction
of the agricultural interest must ensue.
The petition prayed for economy and
reform. It described the distress which
existed ; and declared that taxation, over-
whelming and all-devouring taxation,
was the cause of that distress. The pe-
tition prayed for the reduction of taxes,
and particularly of those which were im-
posed on malt, salt, leather, candles and
other necessary articles of consumption,
which would afford the country relief to
the amount of five millions, without any
real injury to the revenue. How asto-
Dished must the country be to hear the
declaration of the chancellor of the ex-
chequer, that the removal of any tax
would be an aggravation of the existing
distress! Gracious God! At a time
when the people, from one end of the
country to the other, were complaining
of distress, were they to be told by a
hard-hearted and callous government, on
the first day of the session too, that they
were to meet with no relief, and that
their complaints would be disregarded ?
He did not suppose that the petitions of
the people would be attended to by that
House; but he certainly did not expect
to hear that doctrine so openly avowed.
There had been persons who looked up
to that House as a.land of hope, corrupt
as it was, profligate as it was-[cries of
' Order."]
The Speaker said, he was sure that a
moment's reflection would convince the
hon. member that he had transgressed
the limits of fair debate.
SMr. Coke apologized for having said
VOL. VI.


FiB. 7, 1822. [98
what was considered improper. He knew
that he was warm, and it was natural
that he should be so. It was understood,
however, that the people were not likely
to obtain redress from that House. The
petition would perhaps better explain the
view which he entertained with regard
to the constitution of that House, than
he could himself. It stated that retrench-
ment would do much towards the relief
of all classes of the community; and he
must remind them, that although an hog.
member had shown last session that there
was no branch of the expenditure, either
foreign or domestic, in which reduction
mightnotbe made, yet large majorities had
always been found to reject his proposi-
tions. Therefore," said the petitioners,
" it is our decided conviction, that the
corrupt and defective state of the repre-
sentation is the true source of the pre-
vailing distress, and that until the peo-
ple shall be fairly represented in parlia.
ment, no relief is to be expected." The
hon. member for Kent had indeed told
the House, in pretty plain terms, the
other evening, that no measure could suc-
ceed in that House, which did not origi-
nate with ministers-a circumstance which
did not surprise him, when he reflected
on the number of persons who held situa-
tions of profit and emolument like that
lion. member.
Sir E. Knatchbull said, that after the
pointed allusion which the hon. member
had made to him, and the reproof to
which he had been subjected, he felt it, his
duty to explain what he conceived to be
a very considerable misrepresentation of
what he had said on a former evening, and
to deny in toto the unfounded charge which
the hon. member had thought fit to bring
against him. The hon. member had allud-
ed to what he described as the gains and
profits of his public situation. He felt
himself called upon to answer this allusion
in the name of the county which he re-
presented. If what was stated by the
hon. member were true, that county would
not have returned him to parliament as
its representative. With respect to what
had fallen 'from him on a former night,
he thought he could offer an explanation,
from the truth of which no man of can-
dour would dissent. If he had said any
thing from which it could be inferred that
he questioned the right of the House to
adopt any measure which it thought pro-
per, he should indeed be unworthy of a
seat in it; but in fact he had only stated
H







99] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
'that which had been a common observation
with gentlemen on the other side. He
.had said, with respect to the particular
question before the House at that time,
that it would be for the best interest of
the country, that the measure should be
first propounded by government; and if
it should appear not to be of a character
likely to attain the desired end, then
would be the time for gentlemen on the
other side to suggest what they might
think proper. He had not been properly
treated by hon. gentlemen on the other
side. One learnedmember (Mr. Brougham)
had replied with considerable warmth to
the observations which he had felt it his
duty to make. He was willing to pay that
deference to the learned gentleman which
'his commanding talents entitled him to,
and would not meet his reproof with an
angry feeling; but if he, or any other
lion. member, could, by making a per-
sonal attack upon him, think to deter him
from pursuing the line of conduct which
his duty required, he had formed a very
erroneous estimate of his character. He
had formerly expressed the opinion, which
he would now repeat, that it would be but
fair to leave ministers at liberty to bring
forward their measures, without being an-
ticipated by any ill-judged project, pro-
eeeding from any other quarter. The
hon. member for Norfolk might be assured.
that he would not allow any angry feeling
to prevent him from co-operating with
him in endeavouring to obtain relief for
the agricultural interest. They were
agreed upon the extent of the distress
which pressed upon agriculture. He
would vote with the hon. member, in
support of any measure calculated to pro-
duce that relief to the agricultural in-
terest of which it stood so much in need ;
but he must be allowed to say, that the
mixing up of other considerations with
the great question only tended to injure
the cause.
Mr. Brougham said, he need not remind
the House that it was as fitting for him to
make the observations which he had made
upon the hon. member's speech, as it was
within the scope of the hon. member's
duty to make that speech. He had as
perfect a right to state his unbiassed sen-
timents upon the public conduct of the
hon. member, provided he made use of no
misrepresentation, as the hon. member
had to hold that conduct. If he mis-
understood the hon. member, it was open
to the hon. member to set him right by


Agricultural Distress. [ 00
explanation. He could only say that he
had heard the hon. member explain on a
former evening, and had now heard his
new explanation; and still thought that
no man who had listened to the hon, mem-
ber could say that he (Mr. B.) had not
rightly understood, and rightly repre-
sented, his observations.
Mr. Wodehouse said, that the distress
under which the agricultural interest in the
county of Norfolk laboured was greater
than at any former period. The petition
prayed, and very properly, that reductions
might take place, not only in the military
and naval departments, but in every
branch of the public expenditure. The pe-
tition called for a reduction of the civil list,
and, in his opinion, such reduction ought
to take place immediately. He did not
expect that any great saving would be ef-
fected by the reductions which might be
made, but such measure would conciliate
the country, and this was an important
object. The hon. member particularly
urged the necessity of repealing the tax
on malt. The petition concluded with a
prayer for the reform of parliament. He
confessed he did not know what was the
nature of the reform that was asked for.
Before he could give an opinion on the
question, he must wait till it came before
the House in a definite shape. His hon.
colleague was in the habit of saying, that
he never deceived his constituents. He
did not know whether his hon colleague
meant to insinuate that others had not
acted so uprightly as himself; but he
thought his hon. colleague ought, in com-
mon manliness, to name the individual or
individuals at whom he pointed.
Mr. Lockhart contended, that some
speedy measures of relief must be adopted
to prevent the total ruin of the agricul-
tural interest. It was said by some persons,
that public credit and the agricultural in-
terest must stand or fall together-that
the stockholder and the agriculturists
must go hand in hand. But, how did they
go hand in hand? The rentals of the
kingdom had been reduced from fifty-one
millions, to ten millions, whilst the pub-
lic creditor still received the same amount
of interest as formerly. He did not at-
tribute any callosity of heart to ministers;
but he believed their judgment was not
sound. They contended that the main-
tenance of public credit would, of itself,
afford relief to the agriculturist. He be-
lieved the converse of that proposition to
be true. He implored the House to con-







Address on 1he King's Speeeh.


sider the way in which the public peace
might be affected, if the distress in which
the agricultural interest was plunged were
not removed. Might not the scenes which
were now acting in Ireland occur here?
Already, in the west and midland counties,
the farmers were unable to pay their rents;
and the time would soon arrive, when
they would not possess the means of pay-
ing their labourers. Then the conse-
quences would be alarming. Some remedy
might be found for the prevailing distress
in economy and retrenchment, as well as
by guarding against the too great impor-
tation of corn.
Mr. Lushington said, that his right hon.
friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
had not, as had been represented, been
so callous or hard-hearted as to declare
against thereduction of any taxes. What
his right hon. friend had contended was,
that the maintenance of public credit was
the best means of reducing the burdens
which pressed upon the country, and that
a sweeping reduction of taxes, which
would put public credit in jeopardy, must
have a bad effect upon the general interests
of the community. With respect to the
question before the House, he thought the
most reasonable course to pursue was, to
wait to hear what retrenchment govern-
ment intended to make before any mea-
sure was proposed similar to that brought
forward by the hon. member for Aberdeen,
which must have the effect of injuring
public credit.
Mr. Hume was sure the lion. gentleman
could not haveread the amendment which
he had felt it his duty to submit to the
House. It did not propose to reduce
taxation so as to endanger the public
credit. Indeed, he had already disclaim-
ed any such intention. The amendment
simply proposed, that reduction should
not be confined to one or two, but should
extend itself to all departments. He had
certainly understood the Chancellor of
the Exchequer to say, Do not reduce
taxation, for that will aggravate the bur-
dens of the country." He was happy,
however to receive the explanation which
ministers had thought proper to give, after
eight and forty hours deliberation; though
he believed that the declaration of his
right hon. friend (Mr. Tierney), that
ministers, whatever they might say, would
be compelled to reduce the taxes, had
conduced tp bring it about.
Ordered to lie on the table.


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] Mr.
Robert Clive appeared at the bar, with
the report of the Address on the King's
Speech. On the motion that it be
brought up,
Mr. Curwen said, that although it might
be held in the House, that no member
was at all pledged by the contents of the
address, yet, as that sort of doctrine was
not well understood in the country, he
wished to make a few remarks, lest by
silence it might be inferred that he for
one placed any confidence in his majesty's
ministers. In his conscience he believed
that ministers were not fully apprised of
the extent of the distresses of the agri-
culturists. Little, therefore, could be ex-
pected from them; and what had entitled
any man to hope any thing, or at least
any thing adequate to the existing evil,
from that House, he could not determine,.
Great sacrifices had been and must be
made by individuals; and he had been
much disappointed by the Speech, when
he found that it contained nothing to lead
to the supposition that the Crown would
be ready to follow, though not to set such
an example. He was glad, therefore, that
notice of a motion had been given, the
object of which was, to compel the Crown
to diminish its expenditure. Ministers
had required, that the vote for the Address
should be unanimous; but were they in a
situation to expect unanimity? They
differed amongst themselves most im-
portantly; at least, what had fallen from
the Secretary of the Treasury did not at
all accord with the statement of the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer on a former night.
The House had distinctly understood the
latter to assert, that nothing could be
more injurious than to reduce the amount
of taxation. Did he still retain that opi-
nion, or, within the last eight and forty
hours, had he seen reason to alter it ? It
seemed quite clear, either that the
currency must be altered, or the taxes be
reduced; and in his own view, after the
important change in the circulating me-
dium recently effected, the abandonment
of it was highly to be deprecated. He
did not ask that agriculture should be
preserved at the expense of manufactures;
and he admitted, that to raise the price
of grain by artificial means at the present
moment would be injurious to the im-
proved commercial condition. He re-
quired only such a reduction of taxes
affecting the farmer, as would put him on


101]


FEB. 7, 1822. L 102







103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
a level with other classes of the community.
Every word that fell from ministers on
this vital subject flew like lightning from
one end of the kingdom to the other. Ac-
cordingly, their proposed loan of five
millions of Exchequer bills was known by
this time in the remotest corners of the
empire. Did they mean to advance them
upon no security ? Probably not; and if
upon the security of land, what man would
be now mad enough to spend fresh capital
on land, which never could give him the
means of repaying the loan ? This remedy
surpassed what he fancied even the pre-
sent ministers to be capable of. He ad-
mitted that public credit ought to be sup-
ported, if possible; but would it be pre-
served by persevering in taxes that could
never be collected ? The Speech from
the throne was fallacious: the revenues
were not flourishing: he could not stultify
himself by believing that they were so,
when he saw that men were living upon
their capitals-not upon their incomes.
The supposed improvement, he was per-
suaded, arose only from accidental and
temporary causes, and ought rather to
excite alarm for the future, than joy for
the present. He maintained, that in some
way or other the assistance of the fund-
holder must be called in : he was for equal
taxation, and in no other way could the
'country be saved. It might be said that
there was an act of parliament to the con-
trary ; but let those who produced it be-
ware of what had happenedto the French
nobility and clergy, after they insisted on
their exemption from taxes. Had they
-been less obstinate, they might still have
been in possession of their estates. Was
no danger to be apprehended from a want
'of employment ? If no relief were given
to the agricultural interest, a great part
'of the lands of the country must be left
uncultivated. He hoped what had fallen
from the hon. member for Kent would
'have due weight with ministers. This
great subject ought to be discussed with
'no mixture of party feeling; and though
he was one of the firmest friends of par-
liamentary reform, he did not think the
present the fit time for introducing that
subject. The sentiment throughout the
kingdom was so strong, so irresistible,
that the warmest supporters of govern-
ment must here desert them; and when
once free from the influence of place and
-power, this question might itself be the
first step towards a reform in the House
of Conunons. The want of employment


must lead to internal commotions: it had
been the cause of them in Ireland, and
would be the cause of them here. If no
religious or political feeling operated in
Ireland, to what but the deepest distress
could the lawless proceedings there be
attributed ? Did ministers wish such
bloody scenes to be performed in England.
If they did, they could not pursue a better
course than that which they had begun.
The report was then brought up and
agreed to.

STATE OF IRELAND.] The Papers re-
lative to the disturbed state of Ireland
having been read,
The Marquis of Londonderry rose, in
pursuance of notice, to call the attention
of the House to that part of his majesty's
Speech which related to the internal state
of Ireland. He trusted the House would
think him sincere when he said, that he
never had been called upon to perform
any duty more painful to him, whether
he contemplated it in his public or in his
private character. From experience of
the manner in which Ireland had con-
ducted herself of late years, it was cer-
tainly to have been hoped, either that
tranquillity would have been preserved,
or if it were disturbed, that it might have
been restored without the melancholy
contemplation that it was necessary to re-
press outrage by the strong arm of power.
It was a cause of additional distress to
him, that it had fallen to his lot to bring
forward this subject: it more properly
belonged to right hon. friends, who, from
their offices, were particularly responsible
for the state of Ireland. He could not
give a more pregnant proof of the urgency
attaching to this business, than to state
that he had felt it his duty, not merely at
the instance of the administration on this
side of the water, but at the express soli-
citation of the individual now charged
with the government of Ireland, not to
delay its introduction, until his right hon.
friends, the secretary for Ireland, and the
secretary for the home department, were
able to assist in the deliberations of the
House. He therefore threw himself on
the indulgence of the House, while he
performed a task distressing to himself,
and which would come with greater
weight and authority from those who were
more immediately connected with the in-
terior state of Ireland.--He would now
endeavour to state, as shortly as possible,
the nature of his propositions, and the


I[04


State of Ireland.







105] Stale of Iretand.
grounds upon which he rested them. If
lie succeeded in conveying to the House,
briefly, his sense of what the case de-
manded, on every principle of public
policy and public safety, on every princi-
ple of public order, and mercy to the un-
fortunate and deluded beings engaged in
this rebellious insurrection, it would be
the more grateful to his feelings; because,
nothing could be so painful as to dwell
upon so melancholy a subject. He should
best execute his purpose by first stating
the nature of the measures he should
suggest; in the next place, the period for
which he proposed they should continue;
and thirdly, he should endeavour to es-
tablish the grounds on which those mea-
sures appeared to be of exigent necessity
to the government of which he was a
member. Upon the best view ministers
had been able to take of the whole ques-
tion, and at the immediate instance of the
lord lieutenant of Ireland and his advisers,
they had determined to propose, that par-
liament ought to proceed with the least
possible delay, to furnish the executive
authorities in Ireland with additional
powers for the restoration of the public
peace. They had, therefore, resolved to
recommend to the House the re-enact-
ment of the Insurrection bill, as well as
a former law, commonly known by the
title of the Habeas Corpus Suspension act,
under which persons suspected of being
dangerous might be apprehended and se-
cured. Before he proceeded to argue
how far the case was of a description to
induce parliament to comply with this ap-
plication, he wished to apprise them of
the duration it was intended to give these
re-enactments. He anxiously hoped it
would not be found necessary to renew
either of these bills beyond the 1st of Au-
gust; more especially that by which the
Habeas Corpus act was to be suspended.
He was prepared to admit, that of all
painful measures this last was the most
painful; and nothing but the strongest
impression of its absolute necessity could
induce him to propose it. He could not,
without the utmost reluctance, deny to
any class of his majdety's subjects the en-
joyment of that important writ, which had
and fitly long been considered one of the
best and dearest birth-rights of English-
men. He believed that the present was
the first occasion on which it had ever
been proposed to revive the Insurrection
act for a time so limited. Whenever par-
liament had adopted this precautionary


FEB. 7, 1822. [106
measure, to be applied locally, and on
the statement of an adequate emergency,
no shorter period for its duration than
three years had yet been fixed. As, how-
ever, he trusted to be able to persuade
the House to pass it now with the least
possible delay, he should be sorry to name
any time for its continuance beyond what
the undeniable necessity of the case fully
warranted. In a subsequent part of the
session, it would be open to the House
to consider whether a renewal of the bill
might or might not be expedient. Dis-
turbances had existed in the bosom of the
metropolis, and then it was that the House
had formerly, at one sitting, passed, not
only the Habeas Corpus Suspension act,but
a measure known by the title of the Martial
law bill, which in some respects was in-
finitely more strong than the Insurrection
act. The papers just laid upon the table
presented nothing short of absolute re-
bellion, prevailing in a considerable por-
tion of the south and south-west of Ire-
land. Rebellion was in the field: it was
characterized by every mark belonging to
Insurrection; resistance to the law, de-
fiance of the constituted authorities, and
every component principle of rebellion.
The judgment and discretion of his ma-
jesty's lieutenant in Ireland must carry
weight in every quarter of the House, and
he was most decidedly of opinion that
such extraordinary powers could not be
too soon communicated. He therefore
called for them, both on the responsibility
of the government, here and on the re-
sponsibility of thenoble marquis immediate-
ly chargedwith theadministration of theaf-
fairsofIreland. He claimedoftheHouse:that
it would not consider that these laws were
called for merely on 'the strength of the
evidence contained in the papers upon the
table. He apprehended that hon. gen-
tlemen had always held it consistent with
their duty to place a fair degree of con-
fidence in ministers in cases of public ex-
igency. Even before a secret committee
the disclosure of all the particulars known
to the cabinet had sometimes not been
thought expedient; and the cases were
not few in which parliament had taken the
exigency on the declaration of the re-
sponsible advisers of the Crown. He
had already stated that the papers con-
tained such details as proved the clear,
undoubted, but melancholy fact, that ac-
tual rebellion was at that moment in the
field in the south and south-west of Ire-
land. He could conceive nothing nore







107] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
calculated to encourage the spirit of dis-
affection, and to appal and dismay the
loyal subject, than for parliament to he-
sitate now in strengthening the hands of
government, as it had done in the time of
the predecessor of lord Wellesley, when
Ireland was exposed to peril, not of a more
serious nature than at the present moment.
It afforded him considerable satisfaction
to be enabled to state, that the existing
rebellion in Ireland was not characterised
by any of those wild and theoretical
principles of government which at this
moment might be said to pervade the
world [" Hear, hear," from the Oppo-
sition benches]. The spirit in which that
remark was received certainly did not
show that the measures now before the
House were unnecessary. There was a
clear distinction between a rebellion of
ignorance and of knowledge. Here pres-
sing need and distress were the source of
the calamity; and if politics had been in-
volved in the movements of the distractors
of the public tranquillity, it was certain
that such proceedings could not end in an
extension of liberty. But, because po-
litical motives were not now attributable
to the rebels, was certainly no reason
why the rebellion should not be met by
the strong arm of the law. If, in the pre-
sent Insurrection, those symptoms which
existed on other occasions were not to be
traced-if in this instance men of edu-
cation did not take part with the disaffect-
ed, and thereby accomplish more per-
manent injury-it did not follow that the
consequences were not to be dreaded, and
if possible avoided. The rebellion now
carried on was not indeed directed against
any particular constitution or form of go-
vernment under which we lived, but it
was directed against every principle of
government-against every tie by which
mankind was united-against the first
principles of social order. The object
was, by physical power, to overthrow and
destroy all the constituted authorities of
the country; and it called into aid the
most desperate crimes by which our na-
ture could be degraded-murder and as-
sassination. He was happy, nevertheless,
to be able to say, that as political feeling
was not mixed up with the existing dis-
turbances, so religious animosities had no
connexion with them. Let not the House,
however, be sure that if it delayed to act
with vigour and effect against these in-
fatuated traitors, the rebellion might not
acquire both a religious and a political


State of Ireland.


[10s


character. Holding as highly as any man
the propriety of conciliation in general,
he begged to declare that, to connect it
with the bills now under consideration,
would, in his view, be a course most fatal
to the public interest. He earnestly de-
precated the mixture of any such matters:
this was in no respect the fit opportunity
for the right hon. baronet to enter into
the consideration of any case of grie-
vance: this was not the time for dis-
cussing why Ireland was more suscep-
tible of commotion than Scotland, or any
other portion of the empire, or why a
better system of legislation might not be
pursued with regard to the Catholics.
The object now was, toput down all law, and
to dispose of all property; for this re-
bellion went to nothing short of that
point: every thing was to be regulated
according to the unknown system of some
invisible government: by that it was to
be decided how gentlemen were to let
their lands, or whether they should let
them at all. This, in short, was a re-
bellion of murder and plunder; and if the
House supported the motion of the right
hon. baronet, it would sow more deeply
than ever the seeds of perpetual dis-
turbance. He therefore most solemnly
protested against mixing up matters of
grievance with the question of the main-
tenance of the law: it was only in times
of tranquillity that the House could legis-
late with wisdom and effect -upon such
subjects. He felt much confidence, that
the right hon. baronet would give due
weight to these considerations, and assist
him in pursuing a course which all who
were interested in the welfare of Ireland
must, he thought, be disposed to follow-
a course which the distinguished in-
dividual who had not long since so ably
advocated the claims of the Roman Ca-
tholics would be anxious to second, and
which had been prudently and temperately
adopted on a former occasion. When
the country was in a state of disturbance
and confusion, the year before last, the
House had heard no desire from any
quarter, that the claims of the Catholics
should be taken info consideration; all
parties then studiously abstained from
their introduction, and it was not until
tranquillity had been perfectly restored in
this country (Ireland in the interval re-
maining undisturbed), that the question,
in which they were so deeply interested,
was brought under the notice of parlia-
ment. He trusted that the heads and







109] State of Ireland.
leaders of the Catholic body in Ireland
would not wish their disabilities to be
mixed up with this great and paramount,
object of enforcing the law, and of pro-
tecting the lives of the king's loyal sub-
jects. No course could be more fatal to
Ireland or to the expectations of the
Roman Catholics, than that which on the
former evening the right hon. baronet
seemed disposed to recommend. He
trusted that the House would look at this
question as one which was extremely pain-
ful to the executive government, on whom
the duty of bringing it forward necessarily
devolved. He hoped hon. gentlemen
would judge, from the course pursued by
government for many years towards the
sister country, how anxious those at the
head of the national affairs were to secure
its peace and tranquillity ; how desirous
they felt that the cloud which at present
darkened its prosperity should speedily
pass away. It was true, that many
pledges had been given to the people of
Ireland of the anxious desire entertained
by government, that they should enjoy
all the blessings of the law and constitu-
tion. The very delay which had taken
place in bringing this subject under the
consideration of parliament was, in itself,
a proof of the conciliatory spirit which
animated the breast of the executive go-
vernment. They were most anxious, be-
fore they demanded extraordinary powers
from parliament, that they should be pos-
sessed of a perfect knowledge of the state
of Ireland; and they were also desirous
of learning what effect was likely to be
produced by the application, in the South
of Ireland, of certain remedies which had
been found effectual in the West. The
county of Gaiway had manifested great
symptoms ofinsubordination-afact which,
he believed, an hen. friend opposite, to
whose exertions the preservation of the
peace in an adjacent county was chiefly
to be attributed, could fully substantiate :
the county of Galway had been, in fact,
most dangerously disturbed, but it was
restored to tranquillity by a due exercise
of the powers of the law, aided by a
large military force. In the same way a
special commission was sent into the
county of Limerick, and additional troops
were also marched there; but the effect
was not the same. These measures pro-
ved to be almost wholly inefficacious: and
therefore it was, that extraordinary powers
were now called for. He was quite sure
that the noble lord at the head of the go-


FEB. 7, 1822. [110
vernment of Ireland, however anxious he
must be to administer the law, as it now
stood-however desirous he must be, like
his predecessor, to make the people of
Ireland duly feel and appreciate the be-
nignant sway of the House of Hanover,
under which they lived, must at the same
time be convinced, that the first duty
which he owed to that country was, to
cause the law to be respected, and to show
that legal enactments were capable of
securing both persons and property. He
would, therefore, have been trifling with
the true principles of moderation and
of justice, if he had not come to that
House, when the necessity was so evident,
for those extraordinary powers which
were resorted to on former occasions, as
the only remedies against evils similar to
those which now existed, in an alarming
degree. He was under the painful neces-
sity of stating to the House, that since
the receipt of the despatches which had
been laid on the table, fresh accounts had
been transmitted from the Irish govern-
ment, which showed that the mischief
was considerably aggravated, both in cha-
racter and degree. Some transactions
had occurred, so horrible in themselves,
and so painfully distressing to the feelings
of those, who, like himself were intimately
connected with Ireland, that he could not
enter into a detail of the particulars. The
practice of attacking houses had increased
to an alarming degree, and, in some in-
stances, was accompanied by circumstances
of extreme barbarity. In one case, a
house in which there were 16 police-men,
was surrounded by a body of 2,000 insur-
gents; who, not being able to effect their
object by the use ot fire-arms, had re-
course to fire, in order to compel the
legal force to surrender. In that affray
those sixteen individuals who were em-
ployed to preserve the peace, were either
killed on the spot, or dangerously woun-
ded. The officer who commanded the
garrison of Cork stated, that he had seen
large bodies of men in the mountains in
the neighbourhood of that city; and,
though troops were sent into the western
district, and even marched into the moun-
tains, they had not been able to drive those
deluded people from their fastnesses. He
had therefore every reason to believe that,
unless the executive government was armed
with such powers as the Insurrection act
and the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus
act would confer, the present disturbances
could not be effectually put down. The







11l] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Insurrection act was peculiarly applicable
to the, existing evil. All the operations of
those misguided men were carried on by
night. The visiting of houses, the forcing
open dwellings, in more cases to obtain
arms, but in many to possess themselves of
other property, were effected in the night
time. Large parties of insurgents on
horseback travelled from one distant part
of a county to. another by night, for the
purpose of more securely effecting their
illegal designs. He trusted that the House
would not call on him to state all the rea-
sons which bad induced the lord lieutenant
to wish, for the adoption of the Insurrection
act, What he had stated was, he thought,
quite sufficient for his purpose. In his
opinion, the most advantageous view which
could be taken of this rebellion was, that
it was wholly confined to the ignorant
classes of the people-to those who were
without property, without personal influ.
ence, without education-with those, in
short, who were far removed from the
higher orders of society. None of the
latter were in any degree connected with
it; and he was happy to say, that the sin-
cerity of those ardent manifestations of
loyal and constitutional feeling which he
had recently witnessed in Ireland, was not
to be doubted, on account of the distur-
bances which unhappily prevailed in dif-
ferent. districts. The influence of time,
the extension of civilization, and the
encouragement of education, would render
triumphant that conciliatory feeling, which
the imprudence of individuals, who endea-
voured to push the principle too far, and
too suddenly, had shaken, but had not
destroyed. It was perfectly compatible
with the present state of affairs in Ireland,
(extraordinary as it might seem), that that
country was now in a better situation than
at any former period, although a portion
of its population was arrayed against the
legal authorities. Those who were in this
state of insubordination were put in mo-
tion, partly by distress, partly by evil ha-
bits, and partly by that system of cabal
and faction which was always resorted to
for the purpose of effecting particular ob-
jects, which nothing but time could re-
move. Still, lest such disturbances might
take the more dangerous tint of a political
aid religious rebellion, parliament was
called on to interpose its authority. The
mischief was, at present, confined to the
power orders; but it was not, therefore, to
be treated lightly; because, though the
crimes.of those deluded men, arising from


State of Ireland.


[112


the causes he had enumerated, formed a
happy contrast to a rebellion originating in
religious or political causes, still if such an
insurrection were allowed to rage in Ire-
land for any considerable period, individ-
uals connected with a better class of the
community might engage in those criminal
excesses. He hoped, therefore, that he
did not request any thing beyond what the
necessity of the case required, when he
called on the House to enable him to carry
these measures into effect with the least
possible delay. It was his duty to propose
the renewal of the Insurrection act, for a
period considerably less than that to which
it had been usually extended. When he
called on the House to agree to the mea-
sures which the state of Ireland rendered
necessary with the least possible delay, it
would be observed, that he did not demand
of them to place those laws out of the reach
of their consideration in the present ses-
sion. They would have an immediate
opportunity of judging of their operation
in restoring order; and at no distant day,
they would hear the sentiments of his right
hon. friend the secretary of state for the
home department, than whom no man pos-
sessed a more extensive knowledge of the
probable effect of those measures, as well
as the opinion of the chief secretary for
Ireland, who had arrived in town that day.
But after the representations which had
been made to government, from both sides
of the water, as to the necessity of adopt-
ing efficient and vigorous measures, to
check the farther growth of the existing
evil, it was not deemed advisable to post-
pone the introduction of the bills to which
he had adverted, until the assistance of
those gentlemen could be obtained. The
noble marquis concluded with moving.
" That leave be given to bring in a bill to
suppress Insurrections, and prevent the
disturbance of the public peace in Ireland."
Sir J. Newport hoped the House would
feel, after the appeal which had been so
pointedly made to him by the noble lord,
that it was absolutely necessary for him
to make a few observations. If the noble
lord, in his high situation, upheld as he
was by a powerful train of supporters felt
it necessary to throw himself on the indul-
gence of the House for a patient hearing,
how much more reason had he to entreat
their indulgence, whilst he stated as briefly.
as possible, his opinion on this vital ques-
tion. However painful might be the feel-
ings which the noble lord stated as actua-
ting him on this occasion, he could assure







1 IS State rf Ireland.
the House that they were met by feelings
on his part which were not less painful,
because he was afraid that he should be
compelled to differ on this occasion from
individuals whom he highly respected and
esteemed. The noble lord had called the
attention of the House to the hands in
which the executive government of Ire-
land was at present placed. In reference
to that point, he would take leave to say
that there was no man in that House, not
even the noble lord himself, who more
highly respected the individual now at the
head of the Irish government than he did,
or who was a greater admirer of his energy,
his political talent, his public spirit, or his
exalted humanity. Long as his public
duties had detained that noble lord from
his native country, and although peculiar
circumstances might induce him to call for
measures of coercion, still he felt the most
perfect conviction, that the noble lord bore
in his bosom a heart devoted to the inter-
ests of his native country. If the House
were now obliged to adopt a remedy of
the kind proposed by his majesty's govern-
ment, he could conscientiously say, that
the blame did not rest with him; and, for
the purpose of showing that the error lay
entirely with those who administered the
affairs of that country, he would refer gen-
tlemen to the Journals of the House, where
they would find that, on the 19th of June,
1817, a motion was made for an inquiry
into the state of Ireland, which motion was
negatived.-[The clerk here read the mo-
tion, which was, that an humble address
be presented to the Prince Regent, praying
that his royal highness would graciously
please to direct such a deliberate and ac-
curate inquiry, during the prorogation of
parliament, into the state and condition of
the people of Ireland, as would develop
the nature and point out the causes of the
evils which affected that part of the uni-
ted kingdom, and devise such efficacious
and salutary remedies as appeared most
adequate to accomplish that object; and,
in the emphatic words of the act of union,
"' promote the prosperity and consolidate
the strength and resources of the empire."]
Such was the motion made in June, 1817,
and that motion was negatived. It was
worthy of remark, that one of the tellers
who negatived that motion was now secre-
tary of State for the home department.
Those who supported that motion called
for nothing but that a patient and deliber-
ate inquiry should be made into the con-
dition of the people of Ireland during the
VOL. VI.


FEB. 7, 1822. [11
recess, so as to enable the House in the
next session to probe to the bottom the
evil under which that country suffered, and
to apply some adequate remedy. That
motion, fair and moderate as it was, was
negatived. Was he, then, under such cir-
cumstances, greatly to blame, if he hesita-
ted to give his confidence to an adminis-
tration which had acted in this manner ?
Would he be justified in blindly placing
his reliance on the wisdom or justice of
those who had refused to examine the ex-
tent and cause of the misfortunes which
afflicted Ireland, when they came and told
the House (he was sorry to say, with too
much truth,) that the evils required coer-
cive measures to put them down? No
man knew better than he did, that strong
measures were necessary. But the differ-
ence between the noble lord and himself
was, as to the nature and extent of those
measures. The noble lord had said, "let
us put down the rebellion." So, also, he
said; but he could not agree to the adop-
tion of most oppressive measures, wh ch
bore the deceitful semblance of constitu-
tional acts. If necessary, let recourse be
had to martial law. He would prefer even
that to the measures proposed by the no-
ble lord; because it was a plain and clear
proceeding, and did not pretend to uphold
the constitution, which, in fact, it super-
seded for a time. The noble lord said
much about the efficacy of the insurrection
act, but he had not uttered a word rela-

tive to the laws which at present existed in
Ireland, and were applicable to the circum-
stances of the times. He wished the noble
lord would give the English members some
information relative to the acts which were
to be found in the Irish Statute-book, the
White Boy act, for instance. He would
venture to affirm, that there were not five
members of that House who knew the na-
ture of that act. The noble lord had al-
luded strongly to the circumstances of the
peasantry going about at night. Now,
the White Boy act made that penal. Not
merely was the going about at night in
bodies, but individually, a penal offence
under that act. He knew that he differed
-unfortunately differed-from a great
body of his countrymen; but, while he
remained in that House, however painful
the duty which it might fall to his lot to
discharge, that duty he would fearlessly
perform. He could not bend his mind to
place confidence-he would not say in the
noble lord, for he had no right to expect
his confidence, he had never tendered his
I







115] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
confidence to him-but in some of those
whom he knew, and who formed compo-
nent parts ofhisadministration. The no.
ble lord had stated, that these coercive
measures were demanded by the executive
government of Ireland: but, there was
not a single word in the papers on their
table which bore out this statement. On
the contrary, there was one instance, in
which a police magistrate, who expressed
a wish for the Insurrection act, coupled it
with the alternative of employing more
troops. The noble lord had thrown out
an insinuation, that, if these coercive mea-
sures were not resorted to, the insurrection
in different parts of the country, would,
perhaps, assume a political or religious
character. This observation filled him
with very great concern; because, from
what he had himself seen, he did not think
the disturbances manifested any symptoms
of a political or religious association. The
best proof that no such danger existed was
to be found in this fact-that, at no period
in the history of Ireland, had the Roman
Catholic clergy and laity encountered
danger with greater firmness, or signalized
themselves by the exhibition of greater
spirit, than they had recently done, in
endeavouring to put down those distur-
bances, at the hazard of their lives. The
noble lord said, that he (sir J. N.) had
stated on a former evening, that he would
oppose all measures of severity, unless
accompanied by measures of conciliation.
No man was more devoted to the preser-
vation of order and tranquillity than he
was; and the noble lord mistook him, if
he supposed, that, under any circumstan-
ces, he could lend his aid to any thing that
savoured of a breach of the public peace.
The noble lord might say that the safety
of the state required the executive govern-
ment to be armed with those extraordinary
powers. He, on the other hand, who con-
ceived those powers to be too extensive,
would say, let the government have
what is necessary, and no more." If more
troops were required ; let them have more.
If larger powers were necessary, let their
powers be extended. Let a commission
be appointed, attended by a proper num-
ber of troops, to sit from hour to hour,
and day to day, until the insurrection was
put down. Though the House was as-
sembled to discuss the propriety of passing
qn insurrection bill, gentlemen were not,
perhaps, acquainted with the nature of
such a measure. They ought, when they
were required to place a penal law on the


State of Iretand. [1ll
Statute-book, to be thoroughly conversant
with its provisions. In the last year but
one, a renewal of this penal measure was
called for, under circumstances of as open
and violent insurbordination as were ever
stated to exist. The hon. member for
Galway described the situation of the
country, and contended that the Insurrec-
tion act ought to be renewed. The chief
secretary for Ireland, however, held a dif-
ferent opinion, and declared that the dis-
turbances could be put down without the
aid of that coercive measure. The House
agreed with him; and the consequence
was, that that formidable rebellion was
crushed without the assistance of the In-
surrection act. What was the feeling of
the judges on that subject ? Had not one
of them, at Limerick, stated that the laws
in existence were sufficient to put down
the malcontents? Now, what were the
provisions of the Insurrection act ? In the
first place, any person being out after sun-
set, and before sunrise, under any pretext,
whatever might be the cause of his being
absent from home during that period, was
liable, under the Insurrection act, to trans-
portation-not, be it remembered, by the
sentence or award of a jury (hear), but
under the uncontrolled direction of the
magistrates. The noble lord had depre-
cated any renewal of the Catholic ques-
tion during the present session. But,
however convenient it might be to his
majesty's cabinet, to postpone the consi-
deration of that subject, he believed it
would not be found practicable to put it
off. As he had been one of that party
who had stated, over and over again,
that the peace and tranquillity of Ireland
would never be effectually secured until
an equality of political rights was ex-
tended to the whole community, he would
not compromise his opinions and feelings
by adopting the sentiments of those who
told them, that because Ireland was in a
state approaching to rebellion, they ought
therefore not to entertain a question, the
success of which would greatly benefit,
and consequently assist in tranquillizing
that unfortunate country. He had now
stated the reasons which induced him to
oppose the noble lord's proposition. He
hoped he had done so without inflaming
any bad passion. He had divested him-
self, as far as he could of every impres-
sion that might lead him to revive the re-
collection of unpleasant transactions; and
he entreated the House to bear in mind,
above all things, that he wasmost anxious






117)


State of Ireland.


to avoid the supposition of giving any
shadow of countenance to those deluded
people who were filling Ireland with dis-
turbance.
Mr. Hutchinson said, that determined as
he was to oppose the two measures proposed
by the noble lord, he was anxious that the
motives by which he was actuated should
not be subject to any misrepresentation.
He was aware of the disgraceful outrages
in Ireland, and he agreed with the noble
lord as to the absolute necessity of put-
ting them down; but he did not agree
that the means proposed by the noble
lord would have that effect. In the first.
place they were not authorised by any
thing that was to be found in. the papers
which had been laid before the House.
It appeared that bodies of insurgents,
amounting to 2, 3, and 5,000 men, had
been invariably dispersed by parties of
the military not amounting to more than
30, 50, or 60 men. From these facts, he
inferred, that if the powers of the magis-
tracy were enforced by a sufficient num-
ber of troops, the insurrection might be
effectually put down. The suspension of
the Habeas Corpus act was a measure, in
his opinion, by no means applicable to
the present condition of Ireland; for such
a measure was only called for in case of
actual rebellion, or the apprehension of
rebellion. There was nothing political in
the disturbances of Ireland, whatever
might be said of their extent or atrocity ;
and therefore he could not conceive
either of the measures proposed by the
noble lord likely to do any good in that
country. The noble lord had quoted the
precedent of 1803, for the proceeding
which he at present pressed; but there
was no analogy whatever between the
two cases, the insurrection of 1803 being
actually rebellion, while the persons con-
cernedinit were of avery different descrip-
tion from those who now appeared to ex-
cite the conduct of the Irish peasantry.
He agreed with the noble lord and others,
that those who had violated the law
should be punished for that violation ; but
then he would call for inquiry as to the
causes which had driven the unfortunate
peasantry to such acts of desperation. It
must be recollected that none of the pro-
mises held out at the Union to the Irish
nation had been realized. He did not
mean the promises with respect to Catho-
lic emancipation and other measures of
great importance; but those of inquiry
into the general condition of Ireland,


FEB. 7, 1822. [lI
with a view to the application of an effec-
tual remedy, which the Irish were told
should immediately follow the enactment
of the Union. Such was distinctly the
promise made by the most distinguished
members of the government of.the day.
Such, indeed, was the language of Mr.
Pitt, of the noble marquis himself, and of
lord Clare, who pledged themselves, as
well as all their colleagues, to the insti-
tution of the inquiry which he had de-
scribed as soon as the Union was carried.
Yet this pledge was never redeemed: no
inquiry whatever as to the state of Ireland
had ever since been instituted or pro-
posed. How, then, were the Irish peo-
ple likely to feel towards the legislature
by which they had been so treated,.or tp-
wards the statesmen who had so scanda-
lously violated their positive promises?
But, while inquiry as to the state of Ire-
land was thus withheld, when any dis-
turbance arose in that country, nothing
was proposed by ministers to meet it but
measures of violence. He did not with-
hold his assent from the proposed mea-
sures through any distrust or disrespect,
with regard to the character of the no-
bleman who at present presided over the
government of Ireland. This observation
was not made with any view to join in
idle panegyric upon that nobleman, with
whom he had not the honour of any per-
sonal acquaintance. It did not, however,
appear, from any paper on the table, that
this noble lord had called for the extra-
ordinary powers with which it was pro-
posed to invest him; but if the noble
marquis had even made that call, he, for
one, would never accede to it. All that
could be collected from the papers before
the House, served to show that the grant
of such powers was unnecessary, and that
if an additional military force of 5,000
men were stationed in Ireland, the whole
of the disturbances which prevailed might
be effectually put down under the exist-
ing law. Yet ministers called for the
creation of these extraordinary powers
within a single night, and consequently
without affording any opportunity for
due deliberation. But, was it possible
that ministers or that parliament could
flatter themselves, that to invest the mar-
quis Wellesley with arbitrary power,
would be sufficient to restore the tran-
quillity of Ireland ? The Irish peasantry
had many and most severe grievances to
complain of; and unless those grievances
were redressed, it was in vain to look for







119] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
peace in Ireland. Government might go
on hanging, transporting, imprisoning, or
scourging those unhappy people; but
still, while their grievances existed, their
disposition to disturbance would be still
the same. The peasant, who might be
considered a plant of the soil, must be
conciliated by the granting of his just
claims, or he would ever continue an in-
surgent at heart. Of the great body of
the Irish landlords he wished to speak
with every possible respect, as, from his
own knowledge, they deserved it. But
still he must say, that they did not appear
duly to consider their own situation, or
the duties which appertained to them,
and which they most unfortunately neg-
lected. Much was expected from them
in favour of their unfortunate country-
men; but he was sorry to observe that
that expectation too often proved vain.
The system of tithes was an universal
subject of complaint in Ireland; and why
was not that complaint removed ? The
non-residence of landlords and clergymen
was also a source of complaint. But
through the various and peculiar causes
which oppressed Ireland, the peasantry
of that country were placed in a state of
wretchedness such as was not to be paral-
lelled in any nation of Europe. In cor-
roboration of this fact he could quote the
authority of strangers who were then pre-
sent in the House, exclusive of the autho-
rity of every Irish gentleman who heard
him. Upon these grounds, he thought it
not too much to require that before the
governor of Ireland was invested with ar-
bitrary dominion in order to suppress a
partial disturbance, a full inquiry should
be instituted into the general state of that
country, with a view to redress its
grievances, to rescue it from misery, and
thus effectually to remove the evils which
had so often rendered Ireland a scene of
disturbance and desolation.
Lord Mountcharles conceived, that no-
thing could have a prior claim upon the
attention of parliament than the devising
of measures foir the suppression of actual
rebellion; for it could not be disputed
that Ireland was at present in that un-
happy state; although the hon. member
for Cork had expressed some doubt upon
the subject, as if opposition to the king's
troops did not amount to rebellion and
treason. He differed very widely from
the right hon. baronet respecting his
conception of the White-boy act and
the Insurrection act, as the distinction


State of Ireland.


[120


between those laws was very mate-
rial indeed: the former entitling the
interposition of power only when men
appeared in a disorderly and disturbed
state out of doors, while the latter war-
ranted such interposition, when suspected
persons were not found at home at certain
hours. Thus the Insurrection act was
calculated to prevent disturbances, while
the White-boy act could only serve to
put them down when they appeared.
Which, then, was the more desirable law,
that which prevented, or that which
punished. It was, indeed, quite impossi-
ble to prevent insurrection in Ireland,
without some such measure as the Insur-
rection act. The magistrates felt that
they could not put down the disturbances
that prevailed in Ireland without some
such law; and from his own experience
as a magistrate in the disturbed districts,
he could support that impression. It
could not be doubted that the ordinary
administration of the law was insufficient
to meet the existing spirit of violence.
The commission at Limerick had noto-
riously no effect in quelling the disposi-
tion to tumult in that county; as the
very day after the commission terminated,
and after so many severe examples had
been made to the violated laws of the
kingdom, a person of the name of Slack
was assassinated in a chapel yard, in con-
sequence of his having given some infor-
mation to government. Thus, it ap-
peared, that these desperadoes were in no
degree under the influence of religion;
that religion of no kind had, in fact, any
connexion with their misconduct. He
agreed fully with the hon. member for
Cork, as to the state of distress in which
the peasantry of Ireland were involved;
and he hoped that ministers would grant
relief to that distress to the utmost extent
that their resources could afford. He had
himself endeavoured to mitigate this dis-
tress as far as his means enabled him;
and he most sincerely regretted that those
means were unequal to his wishes for re-
lieving his countrymen, many of whom
were actually starving. He spoke of the
misery of the people in the county of
Clare, with which he was more imme-
diately connected. The hon. member
for Cork had recommended the employ-
ment of more troops as the best means of
suppressing the disturbances; but he
could, from his own knowledge, state,
that it was impossible for any number of
troops to endure the harassing marches







121]


State of Ireland.


which the various straggling parties of in-
surgents required to disperse their force,
and to prevent the loyal inhabitants from
being attacked or destroyed at late hours
of the night, and in widely separated and
distant parts. The Insurrection act, in
compelling the inhabitants of each dis-
trict to be at home within certain hours,
would be a much more effectual means
of putting down the insurrection, of pre-
serving the peace, and protecting the
loyal inhabitants, than any amount of
military force that might be sent to Ire-
land. He was quite aware that the pro-
posed measures were unconstitutional;
but he was glad to hear that they were
only to exist for six months, and he felt
it much better to endure the existence
of such measures, particularly as they
were but temporary, than to have the
constitution itself placed in a state of
imminent peril. The hon. member for
Cork had objected to what he called the
hurry with which it was proposed to
press the measures brought forward by
the noble marquis; but his complaint
was, that those measures were not brought
forward much sooner.
Mr. Spring Rice said, that he should ill
discharge his duty if he did not take oc-
casion to express his opinion upon this
subject, especially from his local con-
nection with the district to which the dis-
cussion mainly referred. He felt some
difficulty in determining how to proceed
when the noble secretary of state so con-
fidently declared, You must pass these
two coercive measures, or the insur-
rection in Ireland cannot be put down,
and this you must do without any inquiry
into the cause of that insurrection." He
was as willing as any man to join in
putting down rebellion or insurrection;
but he must say, that it would be con-
solatory to his mind as an Irishman and a
friend to common justice, to hear from
the noble proposer of these measures,
that an inquiry as to the state of Ireland
was to be instituted before such measures
were passed. The noble lord had stated,
that such an inquiry would be gone into
at a future time, while he called upon the
House to agree to his propositions of co-
ercion merely upon the authority of the
papers before the House. But he could
not admit that the papers on the table by
any means- proved the necessity of the
measures alluded to, while the authority
of lord Wellesley did not appear in evi-
dence, any more than the grounds upon


FEB. 7, 1822 [122
which it rested. Let the disturbances in
Ireland be put down by coercion, if that
were sufficient ; but he hoped and trusted,
that some inquiry would be afterwards
gone into with respect to the general
state of Ireland, and the best mode of
managing its government, with a view to
the happiness of the people. The House
had been confidently told by the noble
marquis that the re-enactment of the in-
surrection law, with the passing of the
Habeas Corpus act, would serve effectu-
ally to put down the present disturbances
in Ireland. But how could the noble
lord rely so much upon the efficacy of
laws, which, having been already tried,
had proved totally ineffectual to the resto-
ration of tranquillity in Ireland? They
had been ineffectual, because, within the
long period that had elapsed since the
Union was carried, no inquiry had been
instituted, no attempt had been made to
ascertain or to remedy, the real and ge-
neral grievances of Ireland. Lord Bacon
had observed, that to allay sedition,
you must expel the matter of it." But,
he was sorry to say, that no measures
were taken to expel the matter of sedi-
tion in Ireland. With respect to the pro-
posed suspension of the Habeas Corpus
act, he could not help declaring that he
saw no necessity or utility for the passing
of such a law in the present state of Ire-
land, there being nothing whatever po-
litical in the disturbances which prevailed
in Ireland; and having gone to that coun-
try immediately after the last session, he
had had an opportunity of fully examining
the character of those disturbances. The
noble marquis must himself be aware,
that the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
act was a measure applied only to dis-
turbances exclusively political. Upon
what grounds, then, did the noble lord
introduce it upon this occasion ? Now,
as to the Insurrection act, without enter-
ing into any discussion respecting the ne-
cessity of some such measure in the pre-
sent circumstances of Ireland, he could
not admit that, under any circumstances,
the measure should be adopted in its pre-
sent shape. That measure was, indeed,
such as to call loudly for some alteration,
which might be discussed, and which he
thought must be agreed to, in a com-
mittee, if the noble lord were not deter-
mined to press it through the House with
such precipitancy, as to afford only one
night for deliberation. If the noble lord
would afford due time and opportunity







123] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
for the consideration of.this measure,
much of what he felt it necessary to say
upon this occasion might be spared. The
modification which he proposed in the
Insurrection act, and of the necessity of
adopting which he thought he could have
no difficulty in satisfying the House, re-
lated to the mode in which the law was
administered--that administration being
as different from what was right, and pre-
valent in this country, as any animal of
one species could be different from
another. By this act, which created a
new offence, the magistrates of the dis-
trict were armed with a new power, of
transporting for seven years any man
detected in that offence-which consisted
in a man's being found to be absent from
home within particular hours of the night,
that is, from sun-set to sun-rise. Now,
without canvassing the character of this
offence at present, he would state that he
most decidedly objected to the mode of
trying the alleged offender. That mode
.was, indeed, such as to imply a very
clumsy system of legislation, particu-
larly as it served to sow the seeds of per-
petual dissention between the magistracy
and the population of their respective
.districts. It was, no doubt, the practice
in Ireland, to send a barrister, sometimes
a serjeant at law, to assist the magistrates
in their deliberation upon such offences ;
but still the magistrates, who had the
power of calling in the aid of juries on
such trials if they thought fit, were found
uniformly to dispense with the exercise of
that power. What must Englishmen,
and particularly the English members of
that House, think of the constituted tri.
bunal invested with such extraordinary
power to transport their fellow-subjects,
for seven years, to Botany Bay, without
any reference of the case to the consider-
,ation of a jury ? He had himself attended,
as a magistrate, at several sittings of the
magistracy of his native county, when
engaged in administering this Insurrection
act, and he never knew a single instance
in which a jury was called in to aid in
trying the accused, and the same practice
he had reason to believe, prevailed in the
county of Tipperary at the meetings of
the magistracy. Was not this evil pecu-
.liarly to be deplored, especially consider-
,ing the character and constitution of the
magistracy in Ireland ? Upon this con-
stitution and character he would say
nothing himself, but merely quote the
words of the late Mr. G. Ponsonby, who


had been lord Chancellor of Ireland, and
who had particularly examined the sub-
ject. And what were the words of that
eminent individual ? Why, that he had
found many of them very ignorant, per-
sons who had been waiters at country
inns, and frequently in the habit of stand-
ing behind the chairs of the grand jury.
Upon this subject he should say nothing
more, but merely add the expression of
his earnest wish that the generality of the
magistracy of Ireland bore some resem-
blance to those of this country. The
magistrates of Limerick, who were pe-
culiarly respectable, had no doubt been
most meritoriously active in their endea-
yours to quell the disturbances in that
county. He had, indeed, been himself
two entire nights out of bed in pursuit
of the insurgents, and he could say, that
his friend the gallant officer behind him
(Captain O'Grady) was most indefati-
gably active upon the occasion. Yet at
a full meeting of the Limerick magistrates,
an address to government was agreed to,
quite in coincidence with the sentiments
which he had expressed with respect to
the Insurrection act. The preamble to
that address set forth the state of Ireland,
which was forcibly depicted; and this
preamble was followed by a prayer, that
parliament should be immediately assem-
bled, for the purpose of inquiring into
the causes and origin of the present dis.
turbances, a#tl devising adequate means
for their suppression, and placing the
tranquillity of the country upon a per-
manent basis. The address, adverting to
the Insurrection act, described it as a
measure well suited to the exigency of
the case; but suggested the expediency
of modifying the clause with respect to
the trial of offences under that act.
Such was the substance of the resolutions
and the address agreed to by the meeting
alluded to; and upon moving for the pro-
duction of that document, he hoped he
should meet no opposition from the noble
lord, as it was material to put the House
in possession of it, with a view to afford
information from an authority best quali-
fied to furnish it. The information of
these gentlemen was indeed entitled to
the utmost attention with regard to the
mode of administering the insurrection
law, coming as it did from those who
were magistrates themselves. To the re-
presentation of those magistrates, mi-
nisters, however, did not think proper to
attend; for their desire for inquiry was


State ofl reland.


[124







125] State of Ireland.
disregarded, while it was proposed to re-
enact the insurrection law of the 54th of
Geo. 3rd, without any modification what-
ever. The objectionable clause, as these
magistrates pronounced it, respecting the
mode of administering the law, was, it
appeared, still to be retained. But if re-
tained, he would ask any lawyer who
heard him, whether, since England had
any pretension to the enjoyment of a free
constitution, such a tribunal as this act
would create was ever before known to
exist ? There was this very material dif-
ference between such a tribunal and a
special commission, that a judge of the
land presided at the latter, who came
into the country without any local pre-
judice to gratify, and left the country,
after performing his duty, without en-
gendering or promoting any local dissen-
tions. But such could not be the case
with respect to the mode of administering
the Insurrection act, for the magistrates
who exercised its powers must become
odious to the people around them, or
serve to plant eternal discord between
the magistracy and the peasantry. It
could hardly be doubted, indeed, that
any magistrate who should transport a
peasant for the offence created by the In-
surrection act, would be but too likely to
have his person and residence pointed out
as objects of jealousy or revenge to the
children and connections of the unfortu-
nate transport. Thus a remedy was ap-
plied, accompanied by a danger which
must long continue, whatever might be
the effect of the remedy. The remedy
was indeed problematical, while the
danger was certain. The hon. and learn-
ed gentleman stated, that he should be
as ready as any man to invest government
with any powers necessary to put down
insurrection; but he could not accede to
the establishment of a power that went be-
yond the exigency of the case. It could
not be forgotten, however, that the re-
medy proposed by the noble marquis was
but temporary, while the evil which it
was meant to meet was permanent.
Among the great causes of the popular
discontent and disturbance in Ireland,
the tithe system was notoriously among
the first. But the mode of collecting
the revenue was also a prolific source of
discontent and violence; and especially
that part of the law which referred to the
distilleries. The chancellor of the exche-
quer must, he was sure, from his peculiar
feeling and habits of thinking, be quite


FEB. 7, 1622.


[126


shocked to learn that one-fourth of the
convictions which took place in Ireland
arose out of the distillery laws. Such
certainly was the fact during the last four
years; the whole of the convictions in
Ireland being 16,000, while those respect-
ing the distilleries amounted to 4,000.
Therefore he must take leave to say, that
the chancellor of the exchequer was the
most efficient ally of captain Rock.-
There was one objection, which he would
again press upon the attention of the
House, against the precipitate adoption of
the measures proposed by the noble lord;
namely, that one of those measures was
quite imperfect, as he thought he had
fully shown; while as to the suspension of
the Habeas Corpus act, he would appeal
to any English gentleman who heard him,
whether he would agree to the enactment
of such a measure for any part of Eng-
land, upon such documents as had been
produced, or such arguments as had been
adduced, by the noble marquis? He
called, then, upon the members for Eng-
land, to deal with Ireland as they would
with their own country. They would re-
collect, he hoped, that they were repre.
sentatives for Ireland as well as for Eng-
land, particularly as the Irish members
never forgot that they were as much bound
to attend to the interests of England as
to those of their own country. He called
then upon, nay he implored, the English
members not to allow the constitution to
be unnecessarily violated or suspended
with respect to Ireland; for, if they did,
they must prepare their minds for the con-
sequences. If the English members, in-
deed, allowed ministers to contract the
habit of suspending the constitution, or
trifle with its principles, their fate could
easily be predicted, and there was every
reason to apprehend that that House would
soon cease to be any thing like a free re-
presentative assembly.
Captain O'Grady said, he wished to
state his grounds for voting in favour of
theproposed measures. He had been re-
siding in a county since the last session
which was by far the most disturbed of
any in Ireland. He lamented that dis-
turbance, and the circumstances which
had contributed to its origin and progress;
but, for many reasons, he was of opinion
that the insurrection act was necessary to
its suppression, though the strongest mea-
sure that could be devised without ame-
lioration would not effectually answer the
purpose. The disturbance, he was con-







$2T? HOUSE OF COMMONS,
vinced had no reference to politics or re-
ligion generally, but was chiefly con-
nected with local circumstances, the re-
sult of which was rapidly spreading, and
must be met with vigour, or incalculable
mischief would ensue. It was a mistake
to suppose that the peasantry of Ireland
were not acquainted with the power of
the laws, and that of the magistracy: they
knew that power well, but, under existing
circumstances, they had the means of
eluding it. When magistrates took out
the military to enforce obedience to the
laws, it was seldom that they could meet
with the violators of them. They were
in the habit of assembling and carrying
on their depredations in small parties, and
in various places; they acted like banditti
-they went out in darkness, selected the
places which they supposed least defended
for their exploits, and it was almost im-
possible for the magistrates and the
soldiery to catch them. If, indeed, a
magistrate had the good fortune to fall in
with them, and take them in arms, he
might confine them for a time, but he
could do nothing more; he could not
rid the country of them; they might
come out again in six months upon the
magistrates, who had rendered themselves
obnoxious by their attempts to put them
down. He was satisfied the existing laws
were not sufficient to procure tranquillity.
The House was told that the first meeting
of the magistrates of the county of
Limerick relative to those disturbances
was not public: he would tell them why
it could not be public. The fact was,
that the country gentlemen were afraid,
by public advertisement, to acquaint the
disturbers of the peace, that they would,
on a certain day and hour, abandon their
houses to the mercy of the populace. The
meeting was held without public advertise-
ment, and could not therefore be a public
meeting. The magistrates assembled and
did what had been detailed to the House;
and in praying for the revival of the in-
surrection act, they wished the clause to
be dispensed with which took cases out of
the trial by the ordinary jury. But it ap-
peared that the ordinary laws were inade-
quate to the repression of those disorders.
The special commission had no effect in in-
timidating their perpetrators; for, on the
very night on which the judges arrived in
the town to open the commission, a soldier
who had straggled from his party was
knocked down and deprived of his arms.
But, in speaking of the power of the


State of Ireland.


[128


special commission, it was only necessary
to inform the House, that a panic had,
seized the witnesses for the Crown. Those
who were to act as jurymen were also in-
timidated; and excuses were returned,
stating that they were afraid to leave their
homes and families, lest all which they
held most dear should be sacrificed in their
absence. The consequence was, that if the
gentlemen who were usually sworn as
grand jurors, and never before acted as a
petty jury, had not come forward and
served as petty jurors, it would have been
impossible to have found a jury to put
the commission in force. When the ma-
gistrates, therefore, saw the inefficacy of
the existing laws, they assembled in the
jury room to petition for the revival
of the Insurrection act in its full powers,
which was accordingly done. This be-
came the more imperative, because in-
formation to convict offenders was not to
be procured. Every gentleman might get
a certain degree of information, but he
defied any one to obtain sworn informa-
tions. He had himself made great ex-
ertions to get informations on oath, but
could not succeed; the deponent would
state his belief, but would not swear or
sign papers which would make him a wit-
ness. It was certain that the peasantry
had now established a system of terror in
that part of the country, and gentlemen
could not go to bed but under an ex-
pectation of being disturbed with the report
of musketry before morning. Under the
existing laws, even if a magistrate came
to the house of a peasant by night, and
found that he was from home, and if he
waited until his return and saw evident
marks of a night's fatigue, yet he had no
power to take him into custody. If he
asked the man what he had been about, he
might answer as an English peasant would
-4" what is that to you ?" Where, then,
was there any law to prevent those men
from going out by night, and from ma-
rauding, murdering, and pillaging as they
pleased ? He thought the gentry of the
disturbed part of Ireland, the best judges
of the necessity of the proposed measures.
They had, in the first instance, prayed for
a modified insurrection act, and the in-
creased urgency of events caused them to
pray for an insurrection act without mo-
dification.-He did not mean then togo into
a detail of the grievances under which the
people of Ireland suffered; but he would
take the opportunity of stating, that there
was no man more anxious than he was to







12j] State of Ireland.
get rid of that intolerable nuisance, the
tithe system. He did not wish to put a
shilling out of the pocket of the clergy;
but he was convinced that if this system
was continued for any long time, its result
would be most ruinous; and he feared it
would produce the destruction of more pro-
perty than its own. Whoever would bring
forward his mind and labour to get rid of
that system, would deserve the thanks of
his country. He was far from thinking
that conciliation towards the people of
Ireland should not be adopted: he thought
it would be well that an anxiety should
be shown on the part of England for their
social welfare and moral improvement.
Conciliation had always been hailed by
Ireland as a blessing; and not less so now,
after the hopes which they had been led
to entertain. He begged leave to state in
conclusion, that in voting for the present
measures, he was not actuated by either
irritation or fear, but went upon the ground
of absolute necessity. He thought that
the measures proposed were those of hu-
manity towards the unfortunate people,
as in all probability they would save
them from the bayonet or the gallows.
He hoped the House would entrust the
government with the powers required,
which he had not the smallest doubt would
be well and usefully applied.
Mr. G. Dawson rose, principally with a
view to notice the observations of a right
lion. baronet, respecting his right hon.
friend, the Secretary of State for the home
department (Mr. Peel). The right hon.
baronet had referred to a resolution pro-
posed by him in 1817, for an inquiry into
the evils with which Ireland was then
afflicted, and which resolution had been
opposed by his right hon. friend. The
right hon. baronet must have forgotten
that his right hon. friend had proposed
several Committees in the course of that
* very year, all having for their object the
relief of Ireland from the subjects of
complaint. He need only mention the
Committee relating to Distillation, and
that respecting Grand Jury Presentments.
And, because his right hon. friend had, at
the end of a session, declined adopting a
sweeping motion of the right hon. baronet
he was now accused of an indisposition to
remove the evils alluded to. He was un-
able to judge, from the speech of the
right hon. baronet, whether he intended
to support the present bill or to oppose it,
but it certainly would be most extraordi-
nary if he didn't support it. He had, in
VOL. VI.


FEB. 7, 1822. [ISO
1817, supported the Insurrection bill, id
consequence of a single meeting which
had taken place some time before ; and,
surely, he would not resist the bill now,
when nearly the whole south of Ireland
was in a state of insurrection.
Sir H. Parnell said, he had lost no
opportunity to collect information on the
nature and extent of the disturbances in
Ireland, and he had come to the decision,
that nothing short of the measures pro-
posed could put them down: these mea-
sures had become absolutely necessary.
He would not at present enter into a de-
tail of the circumstances which justified
them; but he must say, that the papers
referred to by the noble lord, did not go
to the full explanation of the extent of
the evil. In voting for these measures,
he begged to be understood that he did
not agree with the noble lord as to the
condition on whieh these measures of se-
verity were to be passed. He thought
some time ought to be given to an inves-
tigation of the causes which had led to
such disastrous results. He was quite sa-
tisfied that whatever success attended the
proposed measures in the first instance, it
would be of a temporary character. If
permanent tranquillity was to be obtained,
the House must go into an early inquiry
as to the circumstances which have led td
the existing state of tumult and disorder.
Mr. Butler said, he did not concur
with the noble lord in thinking that strong
measures, to the extent which he had
demanded, were necessary to the sup-
pression of the disorders in Ireland. It
had been allowed on all hands, that they
did not originate in politics or religion.
Their origin was in local distress; and this
he conceived was a reason why magistrates
should not be impowered to act according
to the terms of the Insurrection act.
Those magistrates were not so often great
landed proprietors as middlemen: and
these men would, in case the Insurrec-
tion act passed, have, in the capacity of
jurors, the power of transporting insol-
vent tenants-a power with which they
ought not to be entrusted.
Mr. Grattan was persuaded, that coer-
cive measures of every description would,
in the end, be found ineffectual. They
might hang and shoot the people, but the
evil would still go on; and as for giving
increased power to the magistracy he
had no hesitation in saying, that consti-
tuted as the present magistracy were,
he should prefer seeing a bill for de-
K







131] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
driving them of all they had already.
To such a bill he would give his hearty
support.
Sir F. Burdett expressed his surprise at
the conduct of the noble lord, who, having
for upwards of twenty years had the op-
portunity of knowing the real state of
IrelaAd, of ascertaining the numerous
evils which pressed upon her, and of be-
coming acquainted with their causes, had
nevertheless neglected all inquiry, and
delayed every remedy, until now that he
called upon the House to put down by
force, those mischiefs which he had
thus negligently suffered to accumu-
late. He confessed he did not see
why the House should consent to go on
with measures, which were thus used for
a time, and then'laid aside until they
again became necessary. He was sur-
prised that the noble lord should have the
face to get up and call for the repetition
of measures of dreadful oppression, with-
out giving the legislature an opportunity
of inquiring into the nature and origin of
the evils for which these palliatives were
required. Was it to be tolerated, that
Ireland should know nothing of this coun-
try, but through bloodshed and the gib-
bet ? He for one did not think that the
evils of Ireland were to be remedied by
such means; and that this was the preva-
lent opinion in the House, he was con-
vinced from what he had heard on the
present occasion. He perceived that
every member who gave his support to
the proposed measures, had done so with
considerable reluctance, as if convinced
that the remedy of the evil did not lie in
them. He was glad to witness this sym-
pathy, and he trusted those gentlemen
would act up to its suggestions, by com-
pelling the noble lord to do what he had
so long neglected. It was said that the
disturbances in Ireland did not arise from
any political feelings. He firmly be-
lieved they did not. It was impossible
that greater affection towards the sove-
reign could be evinced, or that a stronger
sense could be entertained of the compli.
ment paid them, than was shewn by
the Irish people in the recent visit of his
majesty to their country. This feeling
was not limited-it was general through-
out the island. That visit had he be-
lieved, done some good; but it was im-
possible that his majesty should work mi-
racles. Had ministers taken advantage
of the royal visit, as they ought to have
done-had they instituted measures for


State of Ireland.


[132


ascertaining the causes of the evils which,
for many years had afflicted that country,
and taken pains to apply the proper re-
medy, the House might have been spared
the painful task which they were now
called upon to perform. But, supposing
the mischiefs existing in Ireland to be as
bad as they were represented-still he
would ask,what remedy was there in thesus-
pension of the Habeas Corpus act ? Surely
the government had already the power as
much as it would then have, of arresting
persons on suspicion. The suspension of
the Habeas Corpus act did not give them
more; for under that they had no autho-
rity to arrest any man without fair ground
of suspicion. He maintained that the
government ought to be ashamed of this
conduct; and he attributed the whole of
it to the system of the noble lord, who
had suffered those evils to increase, and
now came down with great complacency
to ask the House to trust his incapable
hands with a power which he had be-
fore grossly abused. It was said, that the
exercise of this great power was to
be confided to the magistrates. He
was not sufficiently acquainted with Ire-
land to be a competent judge in this re-
spect; but, from every thing which he had
heard in the course of the present discus-
sion, the magistrates were the last persons
to whom such a power should be con-
fided. A noble lord had stated, that, be-
fore the month of October last, ministers
were made acquainted with the disturbed
state of Ireland, and that they were at that
time intreated to call parliament together
to consider of the subject. Why had they
not done so ? Instead of this, they suf-
fered the mischief to reach its present in-
tolerable height, and then came down for
fresh powers. Now, with respect to a re-
medy, he had no hesitation in saying, that
the noble lord at the head of the Irish
government, from his great talents and
character-and his feelings being so much
in unison on the subject of their distresses
with those of the Irish people-was of all
persons the best calculated to fill that office.
He would much preferseeingextraordinary
powers put into the hands of that noble
lord for a time, than assent to the present
scandalous and disgraceful measure. The
noble lord would well know how to apply
that power, and would exercise it dis-
creetly for the benefit of his countrymen;
and he (Sir F. B.) would put more
confidence in the efficacy of his mea-
sures, when acting on his own cha*








racter, and from his own feeling, than
he could possibly have, when he was act-
ing as the organ of the present adminis.
tration. He would admit that acts of
great outrage had been committed, and
that their repetition ought to be pre-
vented. In common with all others, he
condemned them ; yet it should be known
that they were not the result of deep and
notorious wickedness, but arose from the
pressure of such accumulated miseries,
that no man, who lifted up his arm to
prevent the mischief, but must deplore
the fate of the unfortunate beings who
had been driven to its commission. The
hon. baronet again adverted to what he
declared to be gross neglect in the noble
lord (Londonderry), who had been a
main instrument, in effecting the union
between the two countries, and thereby
depriving Ireland of that which might
perhaps have worked her salvation; but
who had, during a series of years suffered
those evils to increase, and taken no one
step to prevent them. For the present
condition of Ireland, he agreed with the
noble marquis, that the only temporary
remedy was a large military force. But
more, much more, remained to be done.
Let his majesty's ministers take into their
most serious consideration the state of
that country. Let them come down to
parliament with whatever plans of amelio-
ration might, in their opinion, be best
calculated to remedy the evils which had
so long existed in that unhappy country.
It would be presumption in any individual
member of the House to imagine himself
sufficiently aware of the various causes in
which those evils originated. What was
the government of the country for ? Was
it merely to attend at the House of Com-
mons for the purpose of answering inqui-
ries on such a subject ? Unless ministers
entered into such a consideration, and
with such views, he was at a loss to con-
ceive how they would be able to apologize
for their gross and criminal negligence.
With respect to the measure now. pro-
posed, he would rather that ministers would
declare that Ireland was in such a state,
that justice could not be administered with-
out the temporary presence of a strong
military force; and he said this the more
readily, because he knew no man to whose
discretion he would the more confidently
intrust such a power, than to the noble
marquis at the head of the Irish govern-
Inent. The temporary use, therefore, of
a strong military force, with a perfect un-


133]


State of Ireland.


FEB. 7, 1822. [13
derstanding that the state of Ireland
should be taken into the most serious con-
sideration, he would not oppose; but he
would not consent to be led blindfolded
into the adoption of acts, the consequence
of which no one could foresee. If we
might judge from experience, they would
increase the dissentions of Ireland, instead
of re-establishing peace and safety. Again,
he said, that the only remedy which ap-
peared to him to be suited to the existing
state,of things was, the temporary appli-
cation of a strong military force, accom-
panied with the avowal of a determination
to go into an inquiry, with the view of
remedying all the evils which appeared to
be capable of remedy.
Mr. Abercromby begged to state shortly
the reasons by which his vote would be
influenced. In the first place, no suffi-
cient ground had been laid for the suspen-
sion of the Habeas Corpus act. To a large
proportion of the people of Ireland, the
noble marquis had himself admitted, that
the suspension of the Habeas Corpus act
would be inapplicable. The higher and
the educated classes were, by the noble
marquis's own assertion, loyal; and yet
parliament was now called upon to sus-
pend the liberties of the people of Ireland
in a way that would affect equally the loyal
and disloyal, the Protestant and the Ca.
tholic, the inhabitant of the North and
of the South of the Island. In the total
absence of all proof of the necessity of
such a proceeding, no conscientious man
could, in his opinion, vote for it. He con-
fessed himself very much disappointed at
the meagreness of the papers which had
been laid on the table. When the noble
lord described them as dispatches from
marquis Wellesley, he expected they.
would be found to contain a comprehen-
sive view of the causes of the present dis-
contents. Instead ofthat, they resembled
a newspaper journal of events. In no part
of them did the noble marquis state the
principles, the motives, and the views of
the discontented. But the noble lord op-
posite contended, that nothing further
should be asked after his declaration that
the country was in rebellion. That there
were very serious disturbances in various
parts of Ireland was too manifest; but
they were not of a character to which the
common acceptation of the term rebellion
could be applied. On the contrary, he
understood, by recent accounts, from per-
sons on whom he could rely, that the in-
surrection in Ireland, especially near Cork,







135] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
had almost ceased. And besides, there
was nothing in the papers on the table to
show that the passing of the Insurrection
act was the remedy most desirable in the
existing state of affairs. What was the
remedy for the evil pointed out by the
magistrates of the southern district of the
county of Cork, in their memorial to the
lord lieutenant ? Was it the Insurrection
ct ? Nosuch thing. What those magis-
trates wanted was, an increased military
force; and, unquestionably, if the pro..
ceedings in Ireland were really rebellious
a large military force was the true and
only remedy that ought to be applied.
before e passing such an act as that now
proposed, parliament ought to be quite
sure of what were the defects of the exist-
ing law, and whether the new measure
would afford an adequate remedy for those
defects. He would ask any lion. member
to declare, if he knew where the present
law failed; or if he conceived that the
passing of the Insurrection act would sup-
ply the deficiencies of the present law.
He had the authority of the learned judge
who addressed the grand jury in the dis-
turbed district of Limerick, for saying,
allthat was required was, that the law as
it now existed should be enforced. No
one could doubt that, in the present state
of Ireland, the greatest vigilance was in-
dispensable. He was not one to underva-
lue the danger; but he had yet to learn
that the present proposition was calculated
to avert it, It was with some surprise he
had heard the noble marquis declare that
they must not allow themselves to be in-
timidated. Certainly not. But, were they
because they would not allow themselves
to be intimidated, to refrain from being
just ? The noble marquis's argument was
not only that the Irish must bear the In-
surrection act, but that they must also
hear, that not a single step was taken by
the legislature towards conciliation or a
redress of their grievances. If he were
disposed to press this point maliciously,
he might say, that this declaration was
made by the noble marquis for the pur-
pose of obstructing, throughout the pre-
sent session, any proposition having for
its object the amelioration of the state of
the Irish people. No measure favourable
to the Catholics-no other measure gene-
rally beneficial to Ireland could be brought
forward, All the expectations so fondly
cherished from the king's visit to that
country-all the hopes entertained in con-
qequence of the appointment of the noble


State of Ireland. [136
marquis now at the head of the Irish
government must be foregone. Such a
statement was not calculated to inspire
confidence in the noble lord and his col-
leagues; especially when their conduct
towards Ireland in times of tranquillity was
considered. He could not vote for the
renewal of the Insurrection act, unless it
was clearly shown that it would be a
speedy and efficient remedy for the exist-
ing evil.
Mr. Hume wished to ask the noble
marquis a question upon the subject on
which all the House were united. He
could assure the noble marquis, that he
had never heard a single person who did
not concur in opinion, as to the necessity
of taking into serious consideration the
system of tithes in Ireland. The tithe
system, both in this country and in Ire-
land, had for many months past occupied
his most serious attention. He had care-
fully examined every parliamentary docu-
ment connected with the subject; and
he asked the noble marquis, who now
proposed measures of coercion with re-
spect to Ireland, whether he would sup-
port a motion for a committee to inquire
into the tithe system and the church es-
tablishment of Ireland ? He offered the
noble marquis and the House his services
on this subject, the importance of which was
announced by every post and every paper
from that country. He wished, there,
fore, to know whether he should receive
the noble lord's support in the motion
which, at a very early period, he should
feel it his duty to make on the subject ?
Mr. D. Browne said, that he should not
feel himself justified in voting for so
monstrous a measure as the Insurrection
act, except upon the most clear and over.
powering necessity. If it should be the
pleasure of the House to pass it, he trusted
they would immediately take into consi-
deration the grievances by which Ireland
had so long been afflicted.
Mr. C. Grant felt himself under the
painful and melancholy necessity of ac-
quiescing in the proposition before the
House. It was about a year and a half
since he had the honour of stating to the
House his sentiments respecting the act
in question. Those sentiments he still
retained. He was as hostile as ever to
making such an act a part of the perma-
nent system under which Ireland was to
be governed. He maintained this opi-
nion; but he also maintained, ts he al-
ways had done, that an exigecy might







137] State of Irelund.
arise to render such a measure necessary.
He had never argued that an extraordi-
nary case might not occur, in which he
and others might be called upon to sacri-
fice the principle which they loved, to the
pressing demand of the time. On the
occurrence of such a case, neither policy
nor good sense would justify a resistance
to severe necessity. It was, therefore,
that he felt compelled, however unwil-
lingly, and with whatever melancholy
feeling, to accede to the present propo-
sition. He knew well what was due to
those engaged in the government of Ire-
land. Experience had taught him the
difficulties, and the awful responsibility,
of those who were intrusted with the care
of the lives and property of the people of
Ireland; and, therefore, although he
frankly avowed, that when he left Ireland
there did not appear to him to be any
necessity for recommending such a pro-
position, yet he knew that since that
period a different spirit had arisen in that
country. He was deeply interested in
the peace and prosperity of Ireland, and
he could not shut his eyes to the evils
with which it was necessary to contend
in that country. Those evils had recently
spread in the most alarming manner. He
confessed that on this subject he did not
consider the papers laid on the table by
the noble lord to be satisfactory; and
had it not been for other information,
and particularly some intelligence which
reached him that day, he should not have
considered that a sufficient ground had
been laid for the proceeding. He now
granted those powers with the greater
willingness, because they were to be in-
trusted to a nobleman whose general in-
tentions towards Ireland fully concurred
with his own-a nobleman, who, he was
sure, would not allow any temporary cir-
cumstances to thwart the generous views
which he entertained towards that ill-
fated, but high-spirited people. He was
quite confident that the noble personage
to whom he alluded would never have
asked for any extraordinary powers with.
out deeming them absolutely necessary.
He was quite sure that having obtained
those powers, he would use them with
prudence and humanity, and would feel
stimulated to exert himself the more for
the welfare and happiness of his fellow-
countrymen. The government of Ireland
required the utmost vigour, wisdom, pru-
dence and humanity-qualities eminently
conspicuous in the noble marquis. An


FEB. 7, 1822. [138
additional reason for the vote which he
should that night give, was, his conviction
that the noble marquis was as hostile as
himself to making such measures a
part of the permanent system of govern-
ment in Ireland. Against any such inten-
tion he now solemnly protested. He
voted for the bill only for the present ses-
sion. He voted for it only because the
exigency of the case demanded it. He
voted for it only because he trusted that,
before the close of the session, parliament
would enter into a serious and extensive
consideration of the general state of Ire-
land. It was his wish that that should be
done even when he was in office; and on
this subject he appealed to those who
knew him, if it was not his declared in-
tention to bring forward in the present
session some plan for ameliorating the
condition of that great and interesting
country. If any thing could prove more
unequivocally than another the necessity
of such a proceeding, it was the proposi-
tion which it had been found indispensable
to make that night. He would not, now
enter into a detail of the various evils
which required redress. Of those, one of
the chief was the state of the tithes, than
which nothing had more materially con-
tributed to the deterioration of Ireland.
In his opinion, the whole of the tithe sys-
tem required complete revision; but he
would not enter on that subject at the
present moment. He supported the pro-
posed measures principally on account of
the confidence which he reposed in the
high character of the marquis Wellesley.
Lord Ebrington objected to the pro-
posed measures, because he saw nothing
in the papers laid before the House to
call for them. There was not 4 single
sentence in the communication of the
lord lieutenant which could be construed
into a call for any extraordinary powers,
much less for such frightful and oppres-
sive measures as those now before, the
House. Until he came into the House
that evening, he was not aware of the
powers conferred by the Insurrection act:
but, having heard the nature of that act,
as well as the description of magistrates
to whom its operation was to be entrusted,
he felt himself bound to oppose it. He
would ask the House, how they could en.
trust to such men, as the Irish magistrates
were described to be, the power of at
once transporting any individual who was
found absent from his house between sun-
set and sun-rise ? He was ready to go as







139] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
far as any man in supporting every mea-
sure necessary to preserve the tranquillity
of the sister country; but then he wished
to have the necessity of the case fully
established. He thought the most effec-
tual remedy would be, by sending an ad-
ditional number of military, and, at the
same time, giving the lord lieutenant addi-
tional powers to repress the disturbances'
which existed in several' parts of the
country.
Mr. Brougham said, he could assure
his right hon. friend opposite (Mr. Grant)
that it would have given him great satis-
faction if he could have agreed with him
in the view he had taken of this question,
especially as his right hon. friend was in-
formed by long experience, and enlight-
ened by large and liberal views of our true
policy towards Ireland-views which did
him immortal honour, which had conferred
great benefits upon the kingdom, and
which would have conferred still greater,
had his official residence there been pro-
longed. Indeed, he felt that the impres-
sion which his right hon. friend's speech
had made upon the House was only to be
exceeded by the favourable impression
which he had left with the inhabitants of
the sister kingdom. He was happy, how-
ever, to reflect, that the difference be-
tween himself and his right hon. friend
was not great. It extended only to the
vote, and not to the principle on which
that vote was to be given. He agreed
with his right hon. friend, that any con-
fidence which might be demanded for the
noble marquis, at present at the head of
the Irish government, was strictly his due,
considering his high talent, his energy as
a governor, or the enlightened principles
on which he had commenced, and no
doubt would continue, his administration.
It was because the proposed measures
were not indicative of confidence in the
noble marquis-it was because they did
not apply to the evil the remedy which
was required-it was because, if they were
necessary (which had been loudly as-
serted, though not satisfactorily proved),
he would much rather arm him with such
powers by a specific vote of confidence,
than apply a measure which was not the
specific remedy for the mischiefs now de-
vastating Ireland, that he felt himself
obliged to withhold his concurrence from
his right hon. friend. He would briefly
state his objections to the measure in
question; and first, as to the manner of
hurrying it through all its stages in one


State of Ireland.


[140


night. It was only by accident that this
had not been done. The delay which
must now inevitably take place, had not
been granted to gain time for deliberation,
or to allow knowledge to be acquired
from other sources by those who are to-
tally ignorant of the state of Ireland, ex-
cept so far as they had been informed of
it by the papers then before the House;
but it was attributable merely to the en-
grossment of the bill not having been com-
pleted, that they were to have another
opportunity of discussing its merits. Had
the noble lord a night to treat the House
and the country in this manner? Why
was no remedy proposed at an earlier
period ? According to the statements of
a noble lord, the state of the country had
for some time been such, that much mis-
chief would have been prevented had
parliament been called together in Octo-
ber. What was to be the system which
they must pursue in future? Wasthe pre-
vention of crime never to form part of their
policy ? Were they never to be called
upon to avert crime, but always to punish
it ? Were they to go on thus, until they
came to a state of things which all must
deplore, but which none could redress ?
He repeated, that if ministers had acted
with a due regard to the situation of the
sister country, they would have assem-
bled parliament four or five weeks ago.
But no! this had not been done. Nay,
notwithstanding the present declared ne-
cessity for this measure-notwithstanding
that the omission of a mechanical process
only prevented it from being passed
through all its stages in the course of one
evening-ministers, with all their load of
information about them, did not take the
ordinary precaution of coming down and
making a House yesterday. He was
aware that it was the duty of every mem-
ber to be present; but it was the pecu-
liar duty of ministers, who had a measure
of such vital importance to propose, to
see that no unnecessary delay should take
place. The result of their carelessness
was, that the House was prevented from
having a single day's consideration of the
question. He felt it necessary to say,
with his right hon. friend near him (sir
J. Newport), that he could not support
the proposed measure. He hoped he
should not for a moment be supposed to
give countenance to acts of lawless and
blood-thirsty violence. He was of opinion
that, if severe measures must be resorted
to, it would be better to increase the mi-






141] State of Ireland.
litary force, and at the same time to give
large and dictatorial powers to the mar-
quis Wellesley, in whose wisdom and mo-
deration he felt inclined to place the most
implicit confidence. But, the more he
looked at the present measure, the more
he felt convinced, not only of its incon-
sistency, but of its inefficacy. It was a
measure which went to repose confidence,
not in the lord lieutenant, but in the ma-
gistrates of Ireland. It would be only
necessary that two or three of those ma-
gistrates, should, upon their own views of
the subject, memorialize the Irish govern-
ment, in order to suspend all law ; to an-
nihilate the Constitution, and thereby
place at their own disposal, the liberties
and properties, the safety and comforts of
a considerable proportion of their fellow-
countrymen. Now, he would seriously
ask whether gentlemen perceived the ex-
tent of the power which they were thus
entrusting to the hands of others? They
gave to magistrates (such as they had
been described), a right to enter into the
most retired and delicate part of any
dwelling-house, and after a reasonable
time, if refused admittance, a power to
force the chambers even of females;
and should any person be found absent
upon this domiciliary visit, without reason
being assigned, he was liable to seven
years transportation. And all this they
did without the interference of a grand
jury by bill-without the petty jury by
their verdict-and without allowing the
aggrieved party any satisfactory appeal.
Was not this giving a large power to ma-
gistrates-was it not giving a frightful
discretion to a set of men, who were
acted upon by the party feuds and jea-
lousies of their neighbourhood They
ought to be the more cautious, too, when
they reflected that, in the event of any
complained-of violation of the law being
brought into court, the judge had the
power of deciding, that there was proba-
ble ground of proceeding on the part of
the officer; and then, though a verdict
might be given for the plaintiff, it would
carry no more than sixpence damages,
and no costs. But, who were the per-
sons to whom the exercise of this power
was to be entrusted? The House had
heard the description already given of
them, by some of their own countrymen.
They were not proprietors of land, but
middle men; they were men who were
looked upon as the scourges of the peo-
ple in lay matters, in the same manner as


FEB. 7, 1822. [142
the tithe-proctors were in ecclesiastical
matters. This was a proved and incon-
trovertible fact. Nay, such. was the care-
lessness with which persons were per-
mitted to get into the commission, that a
servant-man, who had been for some time
a waiter at an inn, and who had stood be-
hind the chairs of God knew how many
gentlemen, had actually become a magis-
trate. The hon. member for the county
of Wicklow had, with his hereditary love
for Ireland and Irishmen, said, that, in-
stead of giving them new powers, they
had better bring in a bill for abolishing
the existing magistracy altogether; and
the hon. member for Limerick, whose
speech, on this occasion, would be long
remembered and admired, not only for
the valuable information it contained, but
for the constitutional principles upon
which it was founded, had observed, that
while the magistracy of Ireland remained
on its present footing it was no figure of
speech to say, that justice was bought and
sold in that country. Were these the
men to whom parliament was prepared to
give additional powers ? Were these the
men to whom, without stopping to make
any inquiry, they were at once to surren-
der up the constitution and liberties of
the people of Ireland. It had been said,
that no greater encouragement could be
afforded to the disaffected than to resist
the adoption of these measures of severity.
The imputation was unjust. They who
thought with him, that the proposed
measures were severe and inadequate,
were ready to invest the proper authori-
ties with ample powers; but they com-
plained that when ministers came forward
with such propositions, they took no pains
to connect with them, contingent on the
suppression of the present disturbance,
measures calculated to heal deep-rooted
animosities, and allay the heart-burnings
which existed in that misgoverned coun-
try. What else but disorganization could
be expected in a society where misgovern-
ment was never checked, until its results
were demonstrated in the open violence of
.rebellion. He hoped the noble lord had
made an exaggerated statement; but on
his own shewing, the state of that country
exhibited the melancholy proofs of unjust
and impolitic measures. With a popula-
tion divided on religious subjects, they
had a Church establishment greater than
that of any Catholic country on the con-
tinent, and yet no religious instruction
was given by that church to one-tenth of







143] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the people-nay, not even to any thing
like that number; for the pluralities were
numerous, the clergy were non-residents.
With a non-resident clergy to reconcile
the people to the tithe-proctor, however,
-with an absentee gentry to reconcile
the middleman to the cultivator, the only
astonishment was, that the parliament
should so long stand by without afford-
ing one single remedy-without taking
one single step to stand between the
natural relation of causes and effects.
It was no wonder that such results
should attend such a state of things. The
only wonder was, how parliament could
have looked on so long, and not have
taken a single step to interpose be-
tween the cause and the necessary
effect. It was clear that his majesty's
government had planned no measure
of conciliation; and the noble lord had
plainly avowed, that, while things re-
mained in their present agitated state, it
was no time to talk of recommending
particular measures to the consideration
of the Irish government. Did the House
bear in mind the very principle upon
which the present ministers had accepted
place, and the compromise by which they
had been since kept together ? Was it not
notorious, that so scrupulously delicate
upon every question connected with Irish
policy-so nicely balanced and trimmed
was this cabinet, that if any one of its
members retired from office, the successor
was selected, not with reference to his
ability to fill the station, but on the un-
derstanding that, with respect to Irish
questions, he should hold the exact opi-
nions of his predecessors ? Any question
bearing upon Ireland-the question of
Irish Tithes, still more the important
question of Catholic Emancipation falling
amongst them, was certain to produce an
explosion. They had heard much of the
terrifying abuses of the tithe system in
that country-the fatal source of disorder
and of oppression; and he was glad to
hear his hon. friend put a question to the
noble marquis on that subject. Great as
was the industry of his hon. friend, and
powerful as were the exertions which he
,ad made with respect to other questions
of public importance, still he felt that
unless the question was taken up by mi-
nisters, any attempts to correct the evil
made by gentlemen on his side of the
House, would be so slow in their effects,
as 'to be nearly ineffectual. The noble
lord had drawn a most melancholy


State of Ireland, [144
picture of the state of Ireland, He had
described one part of that country to be
in a state of open rebellion. Now, either
that statement was exaggerated or it
was not. If it was exaggerated, then
there clearly would be no ground for the
present measure. An augmentation of
the military force of the country would be
quite sufficient to put down the public
disturbance. If, on the other hand, the
whole of the population had become
tainted, then he would appeal to the
House to consider how far the present
act was likely to remedy the evil; for,
after all the enactments they could
make, the magistracy would not be able
to visit every house, and to seize on every
person who should be found abroad after
sun-set, and therefore the military must be
called in at last. He should like to know
why the military might not be called in,
in the first instance ? It would not pro-
duce any additional expense to the coun-
try, and it would save to the constitution
theirreparable expense ofsofatal an inroad
on its most sacred principles. One word
as to the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
act. The noble lord had declared that
neither political nor religious animosities
were mixed up in the present disturb-
ances. If, then, a power were given to
imprison without trial, it was a measure
wholly inapplicable to the alleged mis-
chief; for the Suspension act was only
applicable to cases of political or religious
dissention, when some violent political or
religious agitator was stalking abroad, and
when it was desirable that the govern-
ment should have the power of removing
him from the center of his operations.
What, then, would the natural conse-
quence be when the people fund such an
act as this passed, which alone was ap-
plicable to political or religious contests?
They would infer that it was directed
against their leaders-men who probably
enjoyed that rank among them from the
part they took in their religious or poli-
tical controversies; and that was the
sure way to provoke and embody in the
disturbances that from which the noble
lord admitted they were now happily free;
and to promote that exasperating evil,
which happily did not at the present mo-
ment deform the condition of society in
Ireland.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, that
the course which the hon. and learned
gentleman had taken, imposed upon him
the necessity of stating a few reasons in






145J State ~rIreland.
support of the present measure. From
what had been already said, it was clear
that the bill, if at all necessary, should be
passed without delay; and here he would
observe, that the difficulty in the early
part of the evening, with respect to the
engrossing, having been removed, there
was no obstacle to the bill passing through
its several stages that night. The hon.
and learned member had found fault with
ministers for having, with the knowledge
of all the facts, delayed the introduction
of the measure. But if this proved any
thing, it proved that ministers were
anxious, as long as possible, to avoid the
introduction of coercive measures. He
had hoped that the introduction of the
military, the appointment of a special
commission to the disturbed districts,
would have had the desired effect. The
insurrection (if that term suited the hon.
and learned gentleman better than re-
bellion) had at last assumed a new charac-
ter, and required the enforcement of a
more prompt and exemplary measure.
The bills had been so often passed, that
no delay was necessary to enable the
House more perfectly to comprehend
their provisions. The only question, then,
was, as to their expediency. Their ne-
cessity he had already affirmed ; he de-
plored it as much as any man, and he
admitted that they were great inroads
upon the constitution. It was said that
they were unaccompanied by any measures
of conciliation, and an inference was
raised, that government was averse to the
due consideration of such measures as the
state of Ireland required. He denied that
inference, and declared his readiness to
hear and discuss whatever propositions
the right hon. baronet, or any other
member, had to propose for the relief of
that country; and as to the Catholic
question, the hon. and learned gentleman
had talked of the cabinet, as if it present-
ed a novel spectacle in being divided upon
that great subject. Did he not know that
the cabinet which had preceded them had
been also, though not in the same degree,
divided on that subject? The hon, and
learned gentleman's discovery had not,
therefore, the claim of novelty upon that
point. He was perfectly ready to discuss
the Catholic question whenever it was in-
troduced; but he hoped and believed that
the Catholics themselves were not dis-
posed to adopt a tone of menace, or to
seek, in moments of civil tumult, the at-
tainment of their claims. It was a little
VOL. VI.


FEB. 7, 1822. [146
whimsical to mark the constitutional fpel-
ing which the learned gentleman, and
those who thought with him, adopted to
suit their own purposes; they talked of
balancing constitutional principles in the
cabinet; and yet these modern Whigs
were ready to create a dictator, and invest
him with the full exercise of those powers
which they were at the same time ready
to deny to an act of the legislature, setting
forth the evil, and specifying the remedy,
and restraining and limiting the scope and
period of its operation. He had the ut-
most deference and respect for the mar-
quis Wellesley; but he was not prepared
to erect him, or any other human being,
into a dictator, as the Whigs of the
modern school were so ready to do. The
good people of this land wanted no dictator;
they preferred the letter of the law, how-
ever harsh, to the will of any individual,
however gifted.-He now begged to say
a few words in answer to the bill of in-
dictment which the hon. member for
Limerick had put forth against the magis-
trates of Ireland. God forbid that he
should deny that there were in that, as in
other countries, persons not fitted for the
situation; but he declared most solemnly,
that he had heard for the first time that
night, that justice was sold for money,
and that the decision of magistrates could
be purchased by bribes. He had, indeed,
heard it brought forward more than once,
that magistrates were prejudiced, were
inclined to favour one party above
another; but he had never heard until
that night, that any man holding the com-
mission of the peace, degraded his station
and his character by accepting bribes.
He never would assent to the assertion,
that the magistrates of Ireland were a de-
graded body, unfit to be entrusted with
the administration of the laws. As far as
his knowledge extended of the Irish ma-
gistrates, and he was well acquainted with
the magistrates in the north of Ireland,
their conduct by no means justified the
imputations thrown out against them.
They were men of respectable station.
He knew not what the hon. gentleman
meant exactly by middlemen; but the
magistrates of the country must, by the
very terms of the patent, be possessed of
freehold property. He could by no
means agree with hon. gentlemen with
respect to several clauses of the bill. That
clausewhich gave the power of domiciliary
visits: visits to the part of the House
where females might be reposing, had
L






.47.j HOUSE OF COMMONS,
given an opportunity for the eloquent ob-
servations of gentlemen; but those were
extreme cases, and were not fairly stated.
It had been also argued, that a man found
abroad after sun-set, was for that act
alone to be transported. But that was
not the fact: a man found abroad after a
certain hour was indeed liable to be
brought before a magistrate, and bound
to give a rational account of his conduct;
and if he should not be able to give a full
explanation of his conduct, he would un-
doubtedly be liable to the penalties of the
law. In fact, the law would only throw
the onus of proof upon the accused. He
knew that that was a sort of law which
was not to be approved of, and the ne-
cessity of it he much deplored; but let it
not be said that every one found abroad
after sun-set was, without trial or inquiry
of any kind, to be sent off to Botany Bay.
Such an assertion was a gross misrepre-
sentation of the law. The administration
of the law was not left solely to the
magistrates; there were strong correctives
in that respect. If the magistrates were
ever so corrupt, still they could not com-
mit oppression upon individuals; for the
law required, not merely the presence of
magistrates, but also that a king's counsel
and a serjeant-at-law should preside, and
that the assistant barrister of the county
should be also present. And if the
magistrates, and even the assistant barris-
ter should be found corrupt and unjust,
the king's serjeant, had, by the bill, the
power to supersede their judgment, and
to lay the case before the lord lieutenant,
before whom an appeal lay. Such was
the state of the law: it was not a state of
things under which he would wish to pass
the remainder of his days: he hoped to
live to see that law repealed, and Ireland
restored to tranquillity; but, at the pre-
sent moment, whilst the rebel stalked
abroad, whilst he was actually in the field,
whilst neither the life nor property of
any honest man was safe, could par-
liament hesitate to deny protection to
the loyal and well-disposed ? With
respect to the other law, he had a still
stronger objection to it than to that to
which he had just applied himself; for if
there was one provision of the law which
it would go most to his heart to infringe
upon,it was thatwhich protected the liberty
of the subject. He agreed, that where dis-
turbance and rebellion raged, it was not to
be arrested by the suspension act; but in
other parts more tranquil, where the emis-


State of Ireland.


(148


series of rebellion might be found corrupt-
ing and enflaming the people, as was the
case in England some years ago, the sus-
pension bill would be the most proper
power in the hands of the executive, to
protect the unwary and to lay hold of the
delinquent. That was the view taken by
the marquis Wellesley; who had the man-
liness and the wisdom, whilst he wished to
govern that country in the true spirit of
justice and of mercy, yet to let it be seen
that he felt it to be his first duty to pro-
tect the loyal and the well-disposed, and
to assert the dignity of the laws. Hon.
gentlemen, indeed, had said, that in the
papers on the table, no traces could be
found of the opinions and views of that
noble marquis. But ministers would have
betrayed their duty to the noble marquis
and to the country, if, for the purpose of
giving the sanction of his high name to
such measures as they felt it right to pro-
pose to parliament, they had exposed in
too naked a shape the views of the noble
marquis, his opinions with respect to the
state of the country, and the dangers with
which itwas assailed. Ministers laid before
that House a narrative of transactions which
had taken place to enable it to guide its
course; and here he would say, as a mi-
nister of the Crown, standing in his place
in parliament, and responsible for his acts,
that no steps whatever were taken by
ministers, with respect to Ireland, except
at the earnest request of the noble person
at the head of the government of that
country, it was the solemn request of the
marquis Wellesley to ministers, to give him,
without delay, those powers which they
called upon parliament to grant him, pow-
ers which had been granted, in times of
public danger, to his predecessors. The
government at home viewed that excellent
and distinguished person as worthy of
great confidence; but they would not
view him as a demi-god; they would not,
with the hon. and learned gentleman, in-
vest him with absolute power, and place
him as a dictator over the lives and liber-
ties of the people of Ireland. His majes-
ty's ministers would take the concession of
thehon. gentlemen opposite, but they would
not apply it as they wished. The noble
marquis himself looked not for arbitrary
power: he did not wish to play the despot
in Ireland. As the representative of a
constitutional monarch, he wished to ad-
minister the laws of the land in the spirit
of conciliation. He felt it to be his first
duty to tranquillize the country; but there







The King's Answer to the Address.


could be little hope of ameliorating its
condition, as long as the property and the
lives of the loyal and well-disposed were
at stake. The present differed from the
former bills only in one clause, which he
intended to read to the committee. It
was a clause to render persons liable to the
penalties of the law who should be found
guilty of writing, sending, or posting
threatening letters to procure arms or
money. Yor Ithat offence no provision
had been made by the former acts. He
would only beg, in conclusion, to say, that
the bills which he now proposed were
strongly recommended by the marquis
Wellesley, and were prepared and settled
by the present attorney-general.
Mr. Brougham said, he never dreamt of
conferring dictatorial power on the marquis
Wellesley or on any other man. What he
said was, that sooner than give extraor-
dinary power to the local magistrates, he
would give extraordinary, nay, dictatorial
power for temporary purposes, to the
noble marquis, placed at the head of
the government, and responsible for his
acts.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.
On the motion, that leave be given to
bring-in a bill to empower the lord lieu-
tenant, or otherchiefgovernor or governors
of Ireland, to apprehend and detain for a
certain time such persons as. he or they
shall suspect of conspiring against his
majesty's person and government," the
House divided: Ayes, 195. Noes, 68.
List of the Minority,


Abercromby, hon. J.
Barret, S. B. M.
Beaumont, T. W.
Benyon, Benj.
Bernal, R.
Birch, Joseph
Bright, Henry
Brougham, Henry
Burdett, sir F.
Bury, lord
Calvert, N.
Calvert, -C.
Carter, John
Clifton, lord
-Creevy, T.
Crompton, S.
Davies, col.
Denman, T.
Denison, W. J.
Ebrington, vise.
Ellice, E.
'Ferrand, R.
Fergusson, sir R.
Fitzgerald, lord W.


Fitzgibbon, hon. R:
Fitzroy, lord C.
Folkestone, lord
Forbes,lord
Grattan, J.
Gurney, H.
Hamilton, lord A.
Heron, sir R.
Hill, lord Arthur
Honywood, W. P.
Hobhouse, J. C.
Hume, J.
James, W.
Johnson, col.
Lambton, J. G.
Lennard, T. B.
Lushington, Dr.
Maberly, John
Maberly, col.
Mackintosh, sir J.
Marjoribanks, S.
Moore, Peter
Nugent, lord
Newport, sir J.


Ord, W.
Ossulston, lord
Palmer, col.
Price, Robert
Ricardo, D.
Robarts, A. W.
Robarts, col.
Rickford, W.
Rice, T. S.
Scarlett, J.
Sefton, earl


Smith, W.
Smith, hon. R,
Stuart, lord J.
Tierney, rt.-hon. G.
Tennyson, C.
Wilson, sir R.
Wood, aid.
Winnington, sir T. E
TELLERS.
Bennett, hon. H. G.
Hutchinson, hon. C. H.


On the motion, that the Insurrection
bill be now read the first time, the House
divided: Ayes 202. Noes 44. On the
motion, that the bill be printed, the House
divided: Ayes 22. Noes 149. The bill
was then read a second time.
Mr. Spring Rice said, he should feel
bound to take the sense of the House upon
the bill now going into a committee.
The Marquis of Londonderry expressed
a wish, that the hon gentleman would al-
low the bill to pass its several stages that
night, so that it might be sent up to the
other House to-morrow, receive the royal
sanction on Saturday, and be transmitted
to Ireland this week. The hon. gentleman
could not, he thought, gravely persist in
his motion of adjournment.
Mr. Denman said, he would oppose
the passing of the bill that night, if the
noble lord persisted in his determination
of pressing it. Such a measure as this,
involving the liberties and rights of a
great country, ought not to pass like a
bill, to which no objections could be made,
and on which no information was required.
Powers like those granted by this bill
ought not to be granted without the fullest
deliberation. If the noble lord persisted
in his motion, he would employ the forms
of the House to prevent such a precipi-
tate vote.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, as
the learned gentleman intended to employ
those forms which might stop the passing
of the Insurrection bill that night, he
would not press it, but would only beg
that the other bill might be allowed with-
out opposition to pass through the same
stages, that both might proceed together.
This motion was agreed to ; and the two
bills were ordered to be committed to-
morrow.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, February S.
THE KIN 's ANswER To THE An-


149]


FEB. 8, 1822.







151] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Ilchester Gaol-Mr. Hunt. [152
DRESS.] Mr. Speakerreported the king's that, in consequence of a petition of Mr.
Answer to the Address as follows: Hunt, the House had ordered a com-
Gentlemen, mission to investigate the circumstances
I thank you for this dutiful and loyal of which Mr. Hunt complained, and that
Address. The attachment which you that commission found it necessary to dis-
have always shown to my person, family, charge the gaoler, whom an hon. mem-
and government, and the anxious zeal with ber had declared to be immaculate. He
which you have constantly watched over expected that the hon. member to whom
the interests of my people, satisfy me that he alluded would acknowledge that he had
everypracticablealleviationtrtheirexisting been deceived when he spoke so loud in
distresses, consistent with their permanent the praise of that man. When the evi-
welfare, willbe afforded. You may rely at dence which was given before the con-
all times upon my cordial support in the mission should be in the hands of mem-
discharge of your arduous public duties." bers, he should feel it his duty to bring
the whole question under the considera-
ILCHESTER GAOL-Mr. HUNT.] Mr. tion of the House. The evidence would
Alderman Wood rose to present a Petition show that the former gaoler had been
from Thomas Hunt, the son of Mr. Henry guilty of foul and criminal offences. He
Hunt, at present a prisoner in Ilchester trusted that the House would not suffer
gaol. The petitioner complained, that he Mr. Hunt, who, according to the declara-
had been preventedfromvisitinghisfather. tion of the judge who sentenced him, was
The alderman said, he understood, that not to be held in solitary confinement, to
Mr. Hunt had been placed in a very ex- be treated in the cruel manner of which
traordinary situation: he had been pre- he complained.
cluded from all intercourse even with his The Solicitor-General said, that the in-
solicitor or his son. Mr. Hunt had like- dividual whose petition was before the
wise been very ill, and was prevented from House had made an application to the
obtaining medical aid so early as the ne- Court of King's-Bench, complaining that
cessity of the case required; the medical his father was not allowed to have in-
gentleman who attended the prison tercourse with his solicitor, or with his
living at the distance of five miles. medical adviser. The moment this corn-
There were some rules made for the munication was made to the court, the
regulation of the prison under an act judges met, to determine upon what course
of parliament. It was necessary, be- of proceeding it would be necessary to
fore those rules could be enforced, that pursue. The result of their deliberation
they should be signed by two or three was, the issuing of an order, the object
judges. The rules had been in existence of which was, to cause an investigation
for several years ; but whether it was that into the circumstances which formed the
they were considered too severe, or from subject of complaint. That investigation
any other reason, he could not say, but was pending, and the moment the evi-
the judges had never signed them until dence arrived, it would form the subject
some time since, during the last session of consideration with the court of King's-
of parliament. It certainly appeared very Bench; and if it should appear that there
extraordinary, that rules, which had not had been any improper conduct on the
been signed for so many years, should all part of the gaoler, or any other individual
at once be signed and put in practice. connected with the gaol, the court
The petitioner set forth, that his father would doubtless correct it.
,was debarred from all intercourse with his Sir F. Burdett said, that the subject
family, and his medical attendant. The before the House was one of the most im-
House might be aware, that Mr. Hunt had portant that could occupy its attention.
made an application to the court of King's What the Solicitor-general had stated with
Bench, and that the court had made an respect to the proceedings of the court of
order, that Mr. Hunt should see his so- King's Bench was all very well; but there
licitor and his surgeon; but beyond that, still existed a question for the considera-
he was to receive no indulgence. He had tion of parliament. Surely the individual
not seen the rules, but he understood they was not to be confined in the manner
were very severe. Mr. Hunt was placed stated, until he could obtain an order
at an iron grating, and was allowed to see from the court of King's-Bench. The
his friends only once for a short time in the sentence which had been passed upon
24 hours. It ought to be remembered, Mr. Hunt was, under all the circumstances







Ilcchester Gaol-Mr. Hunt.


of the case, most disgraceful. That sen-
tence was calculated to bring the judicial
character into disrepute. It was a sen-
tence more severe than any that had been
delivered since the infamous time of the
Stuarts. If such sentences as that which
was pronounced upon Mr. Hunt fre-
quently occurred, the character of our
judges would be brought into the disre-
pute which lord Clarendon described it to
have been in at the period to which he
alluded, and which that great writer
stated to have resulted from the infliction
of punishments disproportionate to the of-
fences. The sentence pronounced upon
Mr. Hunt seemed not to have been ap-
plied to the offence, but to the individual.
It was not an act of justice, but of ven-
geance. It was a paying off of old scores.
They had got an individual who had
offended them in their grasp, and they
could not let slip the opportunity of
wreaking their vengeance on him. The
sentence of Mr. Hunt was dreadful. For
his own part he would as soon be dead as
suffer three years imprisonment. The
health of Mr. Hunt must be affected by
his long imprisonment, which was still
further aggravated by a species of torture
which was even worse than another spe-
cies, because all the sufferings of the
victim were hidden from the eyes of the
public. It was impossible for him to
avoid expressing his abhorrence of the
treatment of Mr. Hunt. The judge who
presided at his trial seemed to think that
he ought to have been acquitted. He
was, indeed, acquitted on all the counts
but one; and his conviction upon that one,
turned on a point of law, rather than any
thing else. How could Mr. Hunt know
that the meeting at which he presided
was an illegal assembly? No violence
took place upon that occasion; and, as
far as Mr. Hunt was concerned, no man
could have conducted himself with more
prudence, discretion or merit. The judge,
in summing up the evidence, had said as
much; and if Mr. Hunt had not had the
misfortune to be tried by a jury-for it was
a misfortune upon that occasion-if it had
depended on the judge for his acquittal
or conviction, the former would certainly
have occurred. However, he was only
convicted of that which he did not know
to be a crime. All the individuals who
attended the meeting thought they were
acting legally; and so did Mr. Hunt.
Whether the meeting itself was prudent
or not, was another question. All the


individuals who attended it, with their
wives and children, supposed they were
acting under the protection of the laws.
Even the magistrates, who afterwards
accused Mr. Hunt, sanctioned the lega-
lity of the meeting by their opinion. It
would be recollected, that a meeting
which had been proposed to take place
was abandoned upon an intimation from
the magistrates that it was illegal. The
meeting, for being present at which Mr.
Hunt was now suffering punishment, was
then announced, and no intimation of its
illegality having been given by the ma-
gistrates, it accordingly took place. The
people met, as it were, under the sanc-
tion of the magistrates: who, it was
evident, did not at the time think the
meeting was illegal, and could not after-
wards prove it to be so. Be that as it
might, Mr. Hunt was only convicted of
having caused so large a number of per-
sons to assemble as was calculated to ex-
cite alarm in the minds of other persons.
Under those circumstances, the slightest
possible punishment should have been in-
flicted. But when the heavy sentence
under which Mr. Hunt was suffering was
passed, and that gentleman had, during
his confinement, effected the public service
of bringing to light a public grievance,
by exposing the cruel and disgraceful
conduct of his gaoler-a task which
would appear the more difficult, when it
was considered that that individual (the
gaoler) veiled his improper proceedings
under circumstances which imposed upon
the magistrates of the county-it was
quite scandalous to allow a gaoler, or
magistrate, to aggravate the severity of
his punishment. With respect to the
rules which had been referred to, he con-
ceived they were intended only for the
regulation of the prison, and that Mr.
Hunt did not come within the scope of
their application. During the course of
last session, Mr. Hunt had complained of
certain proceedings which had been in-
stituted against him for selling roasted
corn. Upon that occasion, the law offi-
cers of the Crown had declared that they
did not mean to sue him for the fine
which was imposed upon him: but it
seemed they had since done so. That
circumstance had nothing to do with the
question then before the House; but it
was important, as showing the quo animo
with which government regarded that in-
dividual. He had no connexion with Mr.
Hunt; but he stood before the House as


153]


FEB. 8, 1822.







4~55] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
an aggrieved person, and in that cha-
racter he knew him. He could not know
the feelings with which some persons
might regard him; but if he were objec-
tionable to any, that circumstance should
only render them more cautious not to
suffer him to be unjustly treated, lest his
case should hereafter be made a precedent.
Mr. Bathurst said, that the magistrates
had the power of making regulations for
their several gaols, and when they were
certified by the judges they became the
law for the government of those gaols.
,He complained of the mode in which the
hon. baronet had impugned the sentence
passed upon Mr. Hunt. If that sentence
was improper, it should have been made
the subject of regular discussion; but
the hon. baronet had thought fit now for
the first time, and in an indirect manner,
to load it with unqualified reprobation.
The individual alluded to had himself
sought out the quarter, where he would
find redress; he had appealed to the
court of King's-Bench, that very Court
which the hon. members opposite were
now holding up to obloquy. But they
ought to remember that at the period
when the crime, of which that sentence
was the punishment, was committed, this
country was in a state similar to that of
Ireland at the present moment. The
;state of the manufacturing districts made
it necessary to let the country know the
strength of the law. The offence was
most serious, and the judges had done
their duty fearlessly. Nay, it appeared
that the country would support the law;
for according to the hon. baronet, Mr.
Hunt had been acquitted by the judge,
but condemned by the jury.
Mr. Bennet wished to know who those
magistrates or judges were, who had
made the order complained of. He was
confident there were no gaol-rules which
would authorize a gaoler to act as the
gaoler of Mr. Hunt had acted. What!
prevent him from seeing his solicitor, or
his son ? Gracious God he should have
thought it impossible that any men, hav-
ing the feelings of fathers, could have
proposed such an order. They were told
4hat the court of King's-Bench would
was, by what right the orders complained
fofwere originally made? He would take
Ait upon him to say, that no law had ever
been passed which would authorize such
orders. It could not be pretended that
the measures which had been adopted


flchester 'Gao--Mr. Hunt.


[156


Were necessary for the security of Mr.
Hunt. If he meditated escape from con-
finement, it was not necessary that he
should consult his solicitor, his surgeon,
or his son, upon the means of putting his
design into execution. Upon the same
pretence, he might have been placed in
irons. He viewed the affair with sus-
picion, and could not help thinking that
.the treatment which Mr. Hunt was ex-
periencing was intended as a punishment
for the investigation which he had caused,
the guilt which he had detected, and the
mismanagement which he had exposed.
Looking at Mr. Hunt as an individual,
oppressed by an iniquitous judgment, he
had desired to take the decision of the
House upon his case; but he had ab-
stained from doing so, because he knew
that no person connected, as Mr. Hunt
had been, with the disturbances which
had arisen some time back, would obtain
justice in that House. Had he known
any House of Commons that was willing
to have afforded redress, he and many
others would have been anxious, in the
first instance, to have come forward upon
the subject. The persuasion that no such
house existed, bad deterred him from
publicly stating his opinion; but in private
he had always avowed his detestation of
that sentence of iniquity and folly pro-
nounced by the court of King's.Bench-
of iniquity, because the punishment far
exceeded any offence imputed; of folly,
because it converted an object of perhaps
just reprehension into a public martyr.
Mr. Dickinson denied, that any of the
complaints of .Mr. Hunt arose out of ill-
treatment he received because he had oc-
casioned the recent investigation and ex-
posure at Ilchester. With regard to the
rules of which so much had been said, it
was proper to observe, thatthough they had
existence they had no operational the time
Mr. Hunt was first sent to the gaol: they
had been long prepared, but had never
:been signed by any of the judges. They
had been postponed from assize to assize,
by the different judges; and Mr. Justice
Burrough and Mr. Justice Holroyd hav-
ing declined to inspect them, they had
very recently met with the approval and
signature of Mr. Baron Graham and Mr.
Justice Best. He had waited upon Mr.
Justice Best with the rules, and had
pointed out particularly the effect of one
of them upon Mr. Hunt, who wished to
be visited by what he called his family,
which meant nothing else than that he







157] Ilhester Gaal-Mr. Hut
wanted the company of the wife of an-
other man, of the name of Vince, who, as
was well known, had long been living
with him. After the rules had been once
approved by the judges, he conceived,
that the magistrates of the quarter sessions
had no power to alter them.
Sir I. Cffin was merely desirous of
saying, that when he formerly bore testi-
mony to the character of the keeper of
Ilchester gaol, lie had not the slightest
suspicion that thumb-screws were ever
employed in it.
Sir T. Lethbridge maintained, that no-
thing but the indulgence granted to Mr.
Hunt had led to the complaints of which
the House had already heard too much.
If he had been treated like other prisoners
charged with similar offences, all the
troubles that had lately arisen would have
been avoided. As to the magistracy of
Somerset, they were a body of men inca-
pable of acting from impure or unworthy
motives, and were as respectable a bench
as any in the kingdom. With respect to
the petition, if any ulterior proceeding
were proposed he should steadily oppose
it; for he thought it unconstitutional for
that House to attempt to reverse the sen-
tence of a court of law.
Mr. Hobhouse said, he should be glad
to be informed whether Mr. Hunt's son
was to be considered as an improper per-
son to have access to him. With regard
to the female in question, he knew no-
thing of her, and he would not stand up
in that House to defend immoral conduct;
but he would say that exclusion from the
society of that female was no part of Mr.
Hunt's sentence. The hon. baronet had
attributed much of the mischief to the
concessions which had been made to Mr.
Hunt. Was the removing of the thumb.
screws a concession? Or was it in the
eyes of the hon. baronet a mischief?
Surely, the hon. baronet could not have
known of the existence of these practices,
or he never would have justified such
conduct. In a list of sentences for poli-
tical libels he observed a judgment upor
one man of four years and a half. This
was a sentence unknown even in the atro-
cious times of Charles the ]st. It had
been said that an improper time was se-
lected for the present complaint, but, ir
his opinion, complaints of such a nature
ought to be brought forward at all times
He thought ministers would be high3
culpable if they did not send down ar
order to relax the severities complained


it. FEB. 8 1822. [15S
o The sentence upon Mr. Hunt he had
always condemned; and as long as he had
a seat in that House, or a tongue in his
head, he would pronounce it to be one of
the most outrageous sentences which had
ever disgraced the Bench. The judge
who tried the case, he believed did not
expect a conviction.
The Attorney General said, that the
hon. member for Shrewsbury, had made a
most unwarrantable and unprovoked at-
tack upon the judges of the court of
King's Bench. If the gentlemen oppo-
site entertained the opinion they had ex-
pressed, why had they not brought for-
ward a specific charge. The hon. mem-
ber for Westminster had selected a case
of heavy punishment for political libel.
He (Mr. Attorney General) did not know
the case, but he presumed it was that of
the much injured" Carlile. That in-
dividual had been punished, not for one
libel, but for a series of libels of the most
aggravated description, The hon. mem-
ber for Westminster was mistaken in sup-
posing that Mr. Justice Bayley, who tried
Mr. Hunt, did not expect a conviction.
The charge of that learned judge to the
jury, impartial as it was, clearly showed
the opinion of the judge upon the count
in the indictment on which the jury re-
turned a verdict. Mr. Hunt had had a
Most impartial trial: he was tried in a
county of his own selection, by a jury of
Shis own selection, and after the trial he had
complimented the judge on the impar-
; tiality he had displayed on the trial. And
now that learned judge was arraigned for
Sthe sentence he had afterwards passed;
To remove any doubt as to the opinion of
Mr. Justice Bayley on the case itself, it
Should be only necessary to refer to the
- language of the sentence, which declared
that the offence approached very nearly
to the crime of high treason. Perhaps
the hon. gentlemen opposite thought the
SManchester meeting was legal. [Hear.]
i But the jury, the judges, and the majority
- of the country thought otherwise. How-
Sever it was unnecessary to discuss that
question at the present moment. All that
- hecompiained of was, that thehon.member
Shad not brought the subject before par-
- liament in a proper shape. With respect
i to the rules of the prison, he did not pro-
fess to know any thing about them; but
She knew that the moment Mr. Hunt comr
plained to the court of King's-bench by
letter, that court had made an order, for
I giving him redress ; a circumstance which







159] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
showed that Mr. Hunt himself had not that
opinion of the court of King's-bench which
appeared to be entertained by hon. mem-
bers. It was, therefore, unfair to arraign
the conduct of the judges of that court
upon general censure, without reducing
them to a specific charge.
Mr. Hobhouse said, it was not Carlile's
case to which he had alluded, though he
knew very well the motive of the learned
member in mentioning Carlile with refer-
ence to him. The case he alluded to
was, a sentence passed, not by the court
of King's-bench, but by the quarter-ses-
sions.
The Attorney General declared, upon
his "honour, that he had no motive what-
ever in mentioning the name of Carlile,
with reference to the hon. member. As
the hon. member was complaining of the
conduct of the court of King's-bench,
and as the case of Carlile was that in
which the court had passed the heaviest
of its sentences, he naturally concluded
that his was the case alluded to.
Ordered to lie on the table.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE BARRACKS-PETI-
TION OF THE CORPORATION OF LON-
DON.] The Sheriffs of London presented
the following Petition:
To the hon. the Commons of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, in parliament assembled." The
humble Petition of the lord mayor,
Aldermen, and Commons of the City of
London, in Common-council assembled,
Sheweth-That it is with feelings of
serious pain and regret that your peti-
tioners should have occasion again to
approach the bar of your hon. House in
the language of complaint, and to be
compelled, as well on their own behalf
as on that of the civil authorities through-
out the country, to call upon your hon.
House for protection against that lawless
and Unconstitutional spirit recently mani-
fested in the frequent attacks made by
the military against his majesty's unarmed
and peaceable subjects, and which your
petitioners lament to state, has even
extended itself to an outrage, and an
attempt at assassination of the head of
the civil power of the metropolitan
county :
That upon the melancholy occasion
of the funeral of her late majesty queen
Caroline, two persons of the names of
Francis and Honey unfortunately lost
their lives, in consequence, as it would


Knightsbridge Barracks-


[160


appear from the inquests of the coroner,
of the illegal and unjustifiable violence of
some of the life-guardsmen, against one
or more of whom a verdict in the one
case has been returned of Wilful Murder,'
and in the other of Manslaughter:
That notice having been extensively
circulated of the intention of interring the
bodies of those unfortunate individuals at
Hammersmith, on Sunday the 26th day
of August last, and of having a public
funeral, Mr. Alderman Waithman, one of
the then sheriffs, and a conservator of the
public peace of the county of Middlesex,
felt it his duty to direct the attendance of
the constables and officers of the divisions
nearest to and through which the funeral
procession was expected to pass, and also
to attend in person to prevent or quell any
tumult or disorder:
That the sheriff, being necessarily
apprehensive, under the existing irritation
of the people, and the melancholy occasion
for which they were assembled, that some
insult might be offered to the life-guards
in their barracks, disposed of the consta-
bles chiefly in that vicinity, and actually
ranged a body of them in front of the
barracks, with instructions to apprehend
every individual who should attempt to
commit any act of outrage or disorder:
That the funeral in consequence of
these precautions, passed the barracks in
an orderly and quiet manner, marked by
no other peculiar circumstance than that
of a brick being thrown from the barracks.
The sheriff's admonitions, and the presence
of the constables, succeeded in repressing
the provocation which such a wanton
act was but too well calculated to
excite:
That when the procession had passed
and while the road continued to be
crowded with people, the gates of the
barracks were thrown open, and the avenue
filled with soldiers; that the people
gathered round the spot and expressed
their displeasure; that a tumult appearing
inevitable, the sheriff requested to speak
with the officer on duty, but without
effect; and it was only by repeated
expostulation with the soldiers that he
prevailed upon them to- retire within
the barracks, and to close the exterior
gates:
That shortly after the gates were
unexpectedly thrown open, and the
soldiers rushed out armed with swords,
carbines, and sticks, and attacked the
people most furiously, without distinction







I31] Petition of the Corporation of London.


of age or sex. That the sheriff, finding
matters in this serious state, rode directly
upon the cause-way, and interposed
between the parties, and succeeded in
separating them. While thus engaged,
a soldier, with whom he had been before
expostulating, and who was therefore
acquainted with his official situation,
started forward at a man, and knocked
him down. At the same time, while the
sheriff was using his utmost endeavours
to prevail upon the soldiers to retire
within their barracks, and the people to
desist and keep the peace, the bridle of
his horse was violently seized on the one
side by an officer in undress, and on the
other side by a soldier, whose violence
he had just noticed, and who endeavoured
to throw his horse over the causeway.
That the sheriff only preserved himself
by striking the soldier with his stick, and
making his horse plunge. That imme-
diately several of the soldiers rushed at
the sheriff with their swords drawn, and
one actually loaded his carbine, and
directed it towards the sheriff; but this
ruffian was prevented by the brave inter-
position of one of the constables, who
knocked the carbine from his shoulder.
That during the affray the sheriff could
not obtain an interview with any of the
officers of the life-guards, and when he
desired some of the constables to repre-
sent to them in the most respectful terms
his desire that the soldiers should be
kept within the barracks, the message
returned was in language most unwar-
rantable and gross, and stating, that they
would not make their men prisoners for
him :
That your petitioners observe with
surprise and regret, that although his
majesty's government apprehended a
breach of the peace between the life-
guardsmen and the people, from the
state of irritation in which the minds of
both parties were known to be from the
unhappy catastrophe on the day of her
majesty's remains leaving Hammersmith,
a verdict of Wilful Murder having been
given against a life-guardsman in respect
of one of the individuals, and the jury
remaining then impanelled in the other,
yet that no efficient measures were taken
by his majesty's government or the officer
commanding the troops at Knightsbridge
to prevent the same by guarding against
a collision of the irritated parties, and
that the sheriff of the county was left not
only to preserve the public peace, but to
VQL. VI.


defend the people against the merciless
outrages of an infuriated and armed
soldiery, unaided by any means but the
constitutional ones, and without any
assistance or support from the police and
county magistrates:
That your petitioners, from a careful,
minute, and full examination of the affair,
through the medium of a report of a
committee of your petitioners, together
with the evidence taken by such com-
mittee, all which they beg permission to
lay before your hon. House, do find,
that not only a furious attack was made
by'the life-guardsmen on the people, thus
placing the lives of his majesty's subjects
in imminent danger, but that a violent
and personal outrage was likewise com-
mitted by the soldiers on the sheriff, while
in the exemplary execution of his duties,
by laudably exerting himself, at the great
hazard of his life, to preserve the public
peace, and in his person in the high and
important station which he filled, thus
contemning and defying the civil authority
with which he was invested, and planting
a military power above the law:
That the day following the sheriff
addressed a letter to the right hon. earl
Bathurst, one of his majesty's principal
secretaries of state, detailing the events
that had taken place, and although his
majesty's government, as represented by
the noble earl in his reply to the sheriff's
letter, deemed an inquiry necessary, yet
your petitioners, with astonishment, take
leave to inform your hon. House, that, as
far as they can learn, no proceedings or
inquiry have hitherto taken place, or the
sheriff been required to produce any evi-
dence, or in anywise called upon to sub-
stantiate the circumstances and represen-
tations contained in his said letter to earl
Bathurst; and, notwithstanding the doubts
which the noble earl has thought proper
to entertain with respect to the correctness
of the sheriff's statement, your petitioners
cannot forbear impressing upon your hon.
House their decided conviction (founded
upon the concurrent testimony of the
evidence) of the full truth of the sheriff's
letter to lord Bathurst, and that it was
wholly to the exertions of the sheriff
that much mischief and bloodshed were
prevented:
Your petitioners, therefore, humbly
pray your hon. House to institute an
immediate and effectual inquiry into the
origin, progress, and termination of the
transactions and outrage above alluded to,
M


FEB. 8, 1822. [1lc2







163] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
and adopt such measures as in your wisdom
shall seem meet, to prevent a recurrence
of the like violation of the laws; and that
your hon. House will take such steps as
will protect the rights and privileges of
the City of London, in the persons of its
officers, the sheriffs, from military force
and insubordination, uphold the liberties
of the subject, and preserve to the civil
authorities throughout the nation their
personal security, rights and immunities."
On the motion of alderman Wood, the
petition was ordered to lie on the table, and
to be printed.

IRISH INSURRECTION BILL.] On the
order of the day for going into a com-
mittee on this bill,
Sir J. Newport said, that he understood,
from the noble lord opposite, that the
noble marquis at the head of the Irish go-
vernment had recommended the adoption
of the Insurrection bill and of the Habeas
Corpus suspension bill, without alteration
or modification; and having in every for-
mer transaction of that noble person's life
admired his talents and entertained the
highest opinion of his public conduct, he
was disposed to wave his own opinion, and
not to press for the modification of mea-
sures which, it was said, the noble mar-
quis demanded without modification. He
took this course, also, on the conviction,
that if he were to persist in calling for
modifications, and if the House gave way
to his representations, then, should the
measure be found inapplicable to the pre-
sent state of Ireland (as, however modi-
fied, he believed it would be), he should
be accused of having rendered the act
inoperative by the introduction of those
modifications. Under such circumstances,
the responsibility (and an awful respon-
sibility it was) rested with the head of
the Irish government, who required these
measures in their most potent form.
Lord Folkestone said, he felt himself im-
periously called upon to enter his protest
against the measures proposed by the no-
ble marquis. His right hon. friend had
thought proper to wave his objections to
the proposed measures, on the ground of
his great confidence in the disposition and
character of the marquis Wellesley. But
for himself, he must say, that upon no
authority whatever could he deem it con-
sistent to invest any individual with such
authority as these measures were meant to
create. Where was the evidence of lord
Wellesley's authority for the adoption of


Irish Insurrection Bill. [164
these measures ? There was, in fact, no
evidence whatever to warrant the adoption
of such extraordinary measures. To find,
then, that no less than 190 gentlemen had
voted last night for the passing of these
measures, without any evidence to shew
that they were necessary, had, he must
say, filled his mind with horror, shame
disgust, and he would add indignation.
That so many gentlemen could be found
thus to surrender to ministers the liberties
of Ireland, must be matter of surprise with
every man who had any regard for public
freedom: for these measures involved a
sacrifice of the very bulkwark of liberty ;
and what must the public think of those
ministers and their adherents, who would
thus tamely surrender the constitutional
privileges of the people ? He hoped the
people would bear in mind how they had
been treated on this occasion. The meet-
ing of parliament had been postponed to
an unprecedentedly late period and when
it was assembled, they were addressed by
a Speech from the throne remarkable for
its omissions with respect to the state of
the country. One-fourth of that Speech
related to the affairs of Ireland; and it
spoke of that country in such terms, as
must render it impossible for any one who
had read the passage to believe that Ire-
land was in that state of outrage and re-
bellion which the noble lord had described.
That the people of that country should
be up in arms-that they should have
taken the field, as it were, against the
military force-in short, that they should
be in a state of open rebellion, and yet

that his majesty, at the opening of the
session, should speak of them as he had
done, was to him quite inconceivable.
His majesty said, that a spirit of out-
rage, which had led to daring and sys-
tematic violations of the law, had arisen,
and still prevailed, in some parts of the
country." But outrage and systematic
violations of the law, were very different
from rebellion, and were perfectly dis-
tinguishable from what the noble lord had
described. The papers which had been
presented to the House (and they were
the most meagre, the most unsatisfactory
things that could possibly be conceived,
on which to found any measure) did not
support the sweeping statement of the
noble lord. But, if the country were in
a state of rebellion, it was in that state, as
was observed by a noble lord (Mount-
charles) who was generally a supporter
of ministers, and whose authority was







* Irish Insurrection Bill.


therefore entitled to consideration, in
consequence of the negligence and the apa-
thy of his majesty's Government. Thenoble
representative for Donegal had told them,
that this state of outrage had continued
for months, and that if ministers had
called parliament together in October or
November, much mischief would have
been avoided, and much bloodshed been
spared. If that were the case, who was
accountable for the state of rebellion in
which the noble lord described Ireland to
be? None but himself and his colleagues.
And, were these the individuals to whom
the House, in its confidence, would in-
trust these powers? Were these the
persons whom they were bound to believe,
when they declared that those powers
were necessary ? Besides, these remedies
were not applicable to the state of things
which the noble lord had described. With
respect to the Habeas Corpus Suspension
act, he could not see how it applied in
any way whatever to the situation of Ire-
land as described by the noble lord. In-
deed, the noble lord had not said that it
did apply. His observation was, that a
state of things might possibly occur, in
which the operation of such a measure
would be useful. Was, then, the Habeas
Corpus act of so little importance, that
it was to be dispensed with, in expecta-
tion of some contingency, and in the ab-
sence of any adequate cause for its sus-
pension ? Was it of so little consequence,
that parliament might suspend it as a mea-
sure of anticipation ? One hon. gentle-
man had stated, that he considered the
Insurrection act a very proper measure,
but that he looked on the Habeas Corpus
Suspension act as improper and unne-
cessary. But that gentleman had added,
that he would support the latter, because
be approved of the former, and he did
not like to divide his votes. This was the
way in which such incongruous measures
were carried. There was no evidence
whatsoever of the existence of rebellion.
Where was it to be found? Certainly not
in the King's Speech, nor in the papers
on their table. But, if disturbances ex-
isted in some small districts, was that to
be advanced as a sufficient reason for sus-
pending the liberties of the whole people
of Ireland? His right hon. friend had
said that he would not oppose these mea-
sures if they were called for by the mar-
quis Wellesley. Now, to the assertion
that the marquis Wellesley had called for
those powers, he would give the answer


which an hon. gentleman had given last
night, namely, that he did not.believe the
marquis Wellesley wanted such'powers to
be placed in his hands by parliament.
If he had requested them, they would
have been favoured with some evidence to
prove that such was his wish. It would,
indeed, have been the manifest interest
of ministers to lay that evidence before
the House. But the spirit of the noble
lord's observations, and the statement
contained in these papers, would bear the
inference, that the noble marquis did not
desire these powers, and that he did not
conceive the country to be in a state of
rebellion. This was a plain view of the
case; and he could never agree to con-
cede such extraordinary powers to the
Crown, or indeed any powers whatever,
on the mere ipse dixit of a minister, which
was nothing more than air, and might be
uttered at one moment and forgotten the
very next. The temper and character of
the marquis Wellesley had been frequently
alluded to as an argument for fearlessly
intrusting those powers to his hands.
This argument had no weight with him.
Power was a very tempting possession;
and it had always been found that, when
individuals were invested with extensive
authority, the more they had, the more
they wished to have. The active and ar-
dent mind of the marquis Wellesley was
precisely of that description which de-
lighted in the acquirement and exercise of
power : and it should not be forgotten
that, at one period, he enjoyed despotic
power. He had, it was true, ran a very
brilliant career; but that circumstance did
not lessen the danger of intrusting him
with absolute authority. Buonaparte had
also run a brilliant career; but he was a
great tyrant. The splendor ofhis achieve-
ments might be admired; but, would any
one be inclined, on account of that splen-
dor, to clothe him with despotic power?
The mind of the marquis Wellesley was
of that lofty description, his character was
of that determined nature-which might
lead him to render his already brilliant
career still more brilliant, by the exercise
of despotic power. Such power, in his
opinion, ought to be confided to no per-
son; and least of all was it calculated for
such a man as the marquis Wellesley, who,
from his long habits, would perhaps be
the most anxious to possess it. He meant
nothing disrespectful to the noble marquis;
but he thought he had shown that the
reasons given by his right hon. friend for


165]


[166


FEB. 8, 1822.







167] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
freely conceding those great powers to the
head of the Irish government were not
valid ones. He recollected, in the early
period of his parliamentary life, that the
mode, in which the noble marquis had
formerly exercised power, became the
subject of inquiry in that House; and he
must say, that the manner in which he ap-
peared to have used his authority was not
of such a nature as would tempt him to
place power in the hands of that noble-
man again. Transactions, it appeared,
had taken place in India-transactions
with which the marquis Wellesley was in-
timately connected-which could not be
remembered without exciting feelings of
pain. Never could he forget the line of
conduct which the noble marquis pursued
towards the unfortunate princes who came
within his grasp, and towards the un-
fortunate countries which he subjugated
for the East India Company. His pro-
ceedings with respect to the Nabob of
Oude, the Nabob of the Carnatic, the
Peishwa, and other princes, were memo-
rable instances of the gross abuse of
power, and of tile greatest cruelty. His
conduct partook of the spirit which dis-
tinguished the proceedings of all those
who were possessed of despotic power.
The same conduct was pursued by Buona-
parte, when he wielded the power and re-
sources of France, towards all the go-
vernments which lie subjugated. Having
acquired this knowledge of the noble mar-
quis's conduct in India, he confessed that
he did not feel very willing to place those
extraordinary powers in his hands. He
had, he believed, stated his sentiments in
a parliamentary way; and he thought he
had said enough to show, that there was
nothing in the conduct of the noble mar-
quis tojustify the House in placing these
exorbitant powers at his disposal.-Ano-
ther point of argument had been used on
this occasion, which appeared to him to
be equally fallacious; and it, too, rested
on personal character. The noble lord
had told them that the Insurrection act
was drawn up and prepared by Mr. Plun-
kett, the present Attorney.general for Ire-
land, and formerly a member of that
House. It was said, that, as he had sided
on many public questions with those who
opposed ministers, therefore, his au-
thority must have considerable weight, in
proving that government were actuated
by a just and liberal spirit. But this
authority also failed; for two years ago,
when the celebrated six acts were passed,


Irish Insurrection Bill. [168
he recollected the definition that learned
gentleman gave of liberty. He stated,
that liberty was the power of doing that
which the law enabled a man to do;"
under which definition the Turkish, the
Hindoo, the Algerine people-but not
the people of Ireland, when the Habeas
Corpus act was suspended-would enjoy
as much liberty as the people of England,
notwithstanding all the securities and safe-
guards with which our forefathers had
surrounded our rights and privileges.
That learned gentleman, thinking, per-
haps, that the people of England had too
much liberty, treated them with the In-
surrection act. With the respect to the
application of these laws, not one indivi-
dual amongst those who supported them
could show how they applied to the state
of thecountry. They wanted something,
it seemed; and they were willing to put
up with these bills, without troubling
themselves about the efficacy of their
operation. It was melancholy to see the
House of Commons brought to this situa-
tion-that in the absence of all reason and
evidence, at the mere beck and invitation
of the minister, they were willing, on
the preceding night, to force these bills
through all their stages. The House was
now running a career most fatal to the
country. Viewing, with feelings of alarm,
the inroads which were daily making on
the constitution, he should oppose both
these bills, but most particularly that
which suspended the Habeas Corpus act.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, the
noble lord had thought fit to assert, that
the declaration of a minister of the Crown,
in his place in parliament, was not to be
received as evidence-that the House
ought not to legislate upon it. He, how-
ever, begged leave to combat that position.
A minister of the Crown making a state-
ment in his place, and pledging his official
responsibility for its accuracy, was as
liable to be challenged and impeached, if
his statement were incorrect, as if he had
laid a false dispatch on the table of the
House. If a minister could so far forget
himself as to assert that which was not
matter of fact, his conduct would deserve
the severest animadversion, and would be
justly visited by the contempt and detesta-
tion of mankind. And surely the man
who could have the hardihood to proclaim
a false fact to the House, would be equally
capable of forging a dispatch. He, there-
fore, questioned the noble lord's constitu-
tional authorities on this subject.. This







169]


Irish Insurrection Bill.


was not the first time the noble lord had
manifested a disposition to form a contrast
with those whose principles he generally
advocated; and that evening he had ex-
hibited a most notable contrast to the
gentlemen around him. He appeared to
have risen more for the purpose of attack-
ing the marquis Wellesley, than of im-
parting any information to the House.
Now, he would, in a few words, state how
the facts stood to which the noble lord
had alluded, and he would then leave
them, like other facts in our history, to
carry their conviction with them, per-
fectly convinced that the character of the
noble marquis would not suffer in public
estimation thereby. It was matter of no-
toriety that parliamentary proceedings re-
lative to the conduct of marquis Wellesley
were instituted some years ago. He did
not know whether the noble lord was the
prosecutor in his own person on that oc-
casion, or whether he was the associate
of an individual of the name of Paull,who
had found his way into that House. The
marquis Wellesley had, at that time,
terminated his brilliant career in India.
He had returned crowned with laurels
from the seat of that government which
he had so long and so ably administered,
and he had brought with him the love and
admiration of all who had witnessed his
exertions. He found, however, on his
arrival here, that instead of sitting down
to enjoy the well-earned fruits of his
honourable labours, he had to travel
through a long investigation of his con-
duct, at the instance of the individual
whom he had just named. Considerable
delay in consequence intervened before
lie received that homage which was justly
due to his talents and integrity, and which
he did ultimately receive, in spite of all
opposition. He believed there never was
an accusation brought within the walls of
that House which imparted more painful
sensations to men of dignified feelings;
nor one, the defeat of which was hailed
with greater pleasure. The noble lord
had applied the word "cruelty" to the
conduct of the marquis Wellesley: but
he would assert, and he would appeal to
the right hon. baronet who sat on the
noble lord's right, whether the noble
marquis was not the last man in the world
to whose conduct such an epithet ought
to be applied. The noble lord afforded a
solitary instance of a desire to promulgate
opinions which were at variance with
those held by all other men. To-night,


FE. 8, 1822. [170
while all those around him were warm in
their admiration of the public and private
conduct of the marquis Wellesley---when
they appeared almost ready to confide
supreme power to him-the noble lord
stood forward to attack his character.
He congratulated the noble lord on the
solitary distinction which he had acquired
-a distinction, in the enjoyment of which
he was sure no person would disturb him.
With respect to the objections of the
right hon. baronet, it was fitting that he
should make an observation or two. The
right hon. baronet said, he would rather
pass the Martial Law bill than the Insur-
rection act. What was the Martial Law
bill. A measure that applied to all Ire-
land; and was therefore unlike the In-
surrection act, which remained inoperative,
unless it was put in force on the applica-
tion of seven magistrates. The Martial
Law bill was only applicable to a state
" flagrante bello;" whereas, the Insurrec-
tion act was applicable to a country, a
part only of which was in a state of in-
surrection. To that part its provisions
could be applied, when the magistrates
called for it, while the other portion of
the country, which was in a peaceable
state, were not affected by it. The
reverse was the case with the Martial
Law bill. Martial law was the suspension
of the Habeas Corpus into the bargain.
It was the suspension of the Habeas
Corpus placed in military hands. The
functions of the King's-bench were placed
in the hands of military officers. It was,
therefore, a suspension of the Habeas
Corpus of the worst kind. He was not
disposed to take this flight with the right
lion. baronet, and to trust the execution
of the laws to marching regiments, rather
than to the judges. Whatever gloom of
mind or exaltation of confidence in-
fluenced the right hon. baronet in bring-
ing him to the conclusion that the whole
of Ireland ought to be handed over to
marching regiments, he could not partici-
pate in his conclusions. A more temperate
and more judicious course had been
chosen. He could conceive a case in
which military law ought to cover the face
of the country; but this was not such a
case. He was, therefore, as little disposed
to concur with the right hon. baronet for
resorting to military law, as he had been
last night to agree with an hon. and
learned gentleman in conferring absolute
power on the noble lord at the head of the
Irish government. The suspension of the







171) HOUSE'OF COMMONS,
Habeas Corpus acthad never been intended
to apply to acts of outrage and rebellion.
He had stated the evil to which it was a
corrective, and the only corrective. It
was not for rebellion in the field, but for
cases where emissaries were inflaming men
into rebellion. In such cases, it was the
only mode of saving the country from
their pernicious labour. He therefore did
not lament that lord Wellesley had come
to the decision of not applying for martial
law. It had formerly been of great utility,
but it was not the proper measure for the
present exigency.
Dr. Lushington said, that in whatever
view he contemplated this obnoxious bill,
he never could recognize the necessity
for its enactment, nor believe that it was
calculated to work the result which its
supporters anticipated. It was, in the
first place, very extraordinary, that the
noble marquis, on the discussion of the
King's Speech, had not betrayed the
slightest indication of the measures pro-
posed. He would go further, and state
his belief that, up to Tuesday night, the
noble marquis had not made up his mind
on the subject. But last night the noble
marquis was determined; he proceeded
to the accomplishment of his object with
a diligence not, as it would seem, pro-
portioned to the necessity of the case,
but to the expedition of the engrosser.
If the urgency was so pressing in the
minds of the king's ministers, how came
it that no order had been given to the clerk
to take a copy of the bill from the Statute-
book. It was impossible, therefore, for
him not to doubt the necessity for such
a bill, even from the conduct of the noble
marquis himself. But, after he had de-
termined on the measure, what had the
noble lord done to induce the House to
accede to it ? He had referred it to the
papers placed on the table, and to a jus-
tifiable confidence in the character of the
marquis Wellesley. With respect to the
papers, he would admit that they con-
tained information of outrages in different
,counties of Ireland. To check such acts
of insubordination some remedial measures
,were admitted to be necessary; but he
never could believe that either prevention
or remedy could be found in an Insurrec-
tion bill, or any bill of a similar tendency.
Far better, in his contemplation, would
be the prompt interposition of the consti-
tutional tribunal of those special commis-
sions which should be forthwith assembled
at Limerick, Cork and Tralee, prepared


Irish'Insurrection Bill. [172
to proceed to the trial of .ill those crimi.
nals which the military force should bring
in, and thus vindicate the power of the
law by the immediate conviction of its trans-
gressors. With such commissions sitting
in the respective districts, and the military
force actively employed, thepublic security
might be maintained, and all those viola-
tions of the liberties of the subject avoided.
His right hon. friend (Sir J. Newport)
was contented to give to the lord lieute-
nant all the powers necessary to remove
the existing evils. To that extent he was
not prepared to go: he could not, either
on the evidence contained in the informa-
tion on the table, or in any confidence in the
marquis Wellesley, consent to passthe two
bills at present under discussion. And
here he must be allowed to advert to the
animadversions which the noble marquis
opposite had cast so unjustly on his noble
friend's (Folkstone) conduct that night.
In every word that his noble friend uttered
he agreed. When the noble marquis op-
posite arraigned his noble friend for his
hesitation to confide extraordinary powers
to the marquis Wellesley, did it escape his
recollection, that the conduct which his
noble friend arraigned, had been made the
subject of impeachment, censure, and
blame in the House of Commons. If the
noble marquis's memory failed him on that
point, he begged to remind him, that he
himself had heard the same opinion sup-
ported by the late sir Samuel Romilly,
in as able, as powerful, and as eloquent a
speech, as was ever heard within the walls
of parliament, and ending in the con-
demnation of the conduct of lord Welles-
ley. The same conviction was enter-
tained by Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Sheridan,
and Mr. Windham. If, then, his noble
friend was in error, he was in error with
names as distinguished as ever graced, or
ever would grace the roll of parliament-
men whose very presence amongst them
had retrieved the character of the House,
when other recollections of its proceed-
ings had merited reprobation. When
therefore, the noble marquis threw out
his animadversions on his noble friend, he
(Dr. L.) had a right to revert to the facts,
in order to repel them. It had been his
duty, in reference to those proceedings
to have put a question to Mr. Sheridan.
That question had for its object, to learn
from him whether or not he had aban-
doned the farther proceedings on his mo.
tion relative to the marquis of Wellesley.
The answer he gave was, that though he







173] Irish Insurrection Bill.
retained all his former opinions, he did
not mean by proceeding to run the risque
of dissolving the Grenville administration.
The conduct of Mr. Sheridan on that oc-
casion he considered extremely culpable,
as well as that of the administration; be-
lieving, though politically attached to
that party, that it was a compact between
the constituent parts of that administra-
tion, to screen, at all events, the marquis
Wellesley. That determination he had
then, as he did now, arraign. Out of
power it was all vigour, zeal and energy
in support of the charges, when in place,
these qualities were exchanged for cold-
ness, apathy, and oblivion. No political
predilections could induce him to approve
of such a line of conduct. The opinions
he then entertained as to certain parts of
the conduct of the marquis Wellesley in
India, he now retained. Giving him the
fullest credit for vigour, talent, and
energy, he still was disposed to contend,
that the noble marquis had overlooked
the obligations of public faith in the bril-
liant prospects of extended dominion;
and therefore it was that now he would
not consent, on the personal credit of the
lord lieutenant of Ireland, to invest him
with extraordinary and despotic powers.
In the name of every constitutional prin-
ciple he would ask, whether such alarm-
ing powers ought to be vested in any man
on personal confidence ?-powers which
surrendered the whole administration of
justice in Ireland to an arbitrary decision
-without any ability of investigation,
and with the moral certainty that a bill
of Indemnity was the certain and undis-
puted consequence even of an oppressive
abuse ? He would give credit to the in-
clinations of the lord lieutenant strictly
and truly to discharge such a duty, but
in the many and various claims upon his
official attention, it was almost impossible
that he could in every instance have the
means or the power to exercise a sound
discretion. He would call to the atten-
tion of the noble marquis opposite, a case
to which the noble marquis himself was a
party; innocently he was convinced, but
which, in the distractions which agitated
Ireland, illustrated the impossibility of
preventing the abuse of extraordinary
powers. The case he alluded to, he had
from the most respectable authority-
from the son of the gentleman who had
been nearly made the victim of the mis-
take. The son had heard that his father,
a Roman Catholic, a man of high charac-


FEB. 8, 1822. [174
ter, and a property of 5,0001. a-year, was
about to be arrested on a warrant for
high treason, signed by the noble mar-
quis himself. On hearing of such inten-
tion, the son proceeded to Dublin, and
made the necessary inquiries at the
castle. He was there assured that he
was misinformed, as there was no such
intention. The warrant was, however,
signed and issued, and was about to be
executed, when the son again set out for
Dublin, and was at length obliged to ob-
tain a warrant, to set aside the original war-
rant signed by the noble marquis himself,
in mistake. Here, then, was an instance
where a respectable individual was near
being subjected to all the miseries of an
Irish gaol. With respect to the magis-
tracy to whom these bills gave such unli-
mited power, he would implore the House
to reflect on the information it had
received from those best qualified to
afford it. Would they, after all they had
heard, confide such laws to the persons
invested with that authority ? He would
ask the noble marquis, or the late secre-
tary for Ireland, whether it was not a
fact, that a murderer of the name of
Scanlan, was not only not taken into
custody after the perpetration of his
crime, but was actually known to have
been in the company of the magistrates
of Limerick, although his crime was noto-
rious and his person was identified; more-
over, that he was suffered to remain at
large, until by the zeal and activity of
the hon. member for Limerick, the crimi-
nal was arrested and convicted? He
would ask further, whether the accom-
plices of the murderer were not per-
mitted to escape? Besides, when he
heard such a character of the Irish magis-
tracy, from Irish members, how could he
consent to entrust the execution of such
laws to such instruments? But then the
noble marquis interposed, and assured the
House that he had a palliative! The trial
by jury, that sound so dear to the ears of
Englishmen, lad no attractions for Ire-
land. The noble marquis was ready with
his king's serjeant, which was to stand in2
its stead for ever and for aye. What an
Irish serjeant might be he knew not, as
he never saw one; but, with all due re-
spect to his majesty's serjeants-at-law in
this country, he would rather entrust his
life to any jury that could be collected in
England, than to any serjeant amongst
them. It was not that they were not
honourable and learned men, but that,







175] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
thus selected, they must be influenced,
in some degree, by a political bias, fiom
which it was not in human nature to
divest themselves. It was not presuming
too much to think, that if by their deci-
sion eight or ten poor Irish peasants were
transported improperly, such an exercise
of their discretion would be overlooked in
the character they would acquire for
vigour and activity in enforcing the pro-
visions of the law [hear, hear! from the
ministerial benches.] He would ask
those from whom the cry came, whether
the experience they had had of legal pro-
motions, even in this country, did not
justify that conclusion ? He agreed with
the noble marquis, that it would not be
consistent to blend any conciliatory mea-
sures with these penal acts. But he, at
the same time, implored the noble mar-
quis to carry his reflections to the unfor-
tunate extent to which the spirit of in-
subordination and outrage had so fre-
quently arisen in Ireland for the last
thirty years, and that at length the period
had arrived, when the most searching in-
vestigation into the causes of these deso-
latingebullitions of popular outrage should
take place. Let him not be told of the
difficulties that interposed. Doubtless,
there were difficulties arising from causes
beyond human control, such as pestilence
and famine, which could not be prevented,
but in the political world there were no
difficulties with which human reason could
not contend. The state of Ireland had
never been investigated; and it was the
want, or the postponement, of such inves-
tigation that aggravated all the evils under
which Ireland suffered. He would ask
the noble lord, whether the marquis
Wellesley had asked for these bills whole
and entire ? Or whether, if modified by
some clauses, as to the intervention of
juries, the same beneficial results might
not follow, as its supporters expected from
its adoption ?
Mr. Lockhart could not agree, that to
pass these bills was to sacrifice the con-
stitution of this country. The constitu-
tion was already sacrificed in many of
the districts of Ireland under the most
aggravating circumstances, by those
against whom the measures were directed.
These persons had set at defiance the
constitution, by secret nightly meetings,
and by carrying fire and sword into the
dwellings of defenceless innocence. The
measures might not be exactly what many
hon. members might wish; but if their


Irish Insurrection Bill.


[176


merits overbalanced their defects, that
that was sufficient in such cases. With
respect to the loss of the trial by jury, it
should be remembered that if means of
intimidation had not been resorted to,
that would not be necessary. But he did
not see any ground for jealousy of the
hands into which the power was to be en-
trusted, as, unless the lord lieutenant, the
king's serjeant, and the bench of ma-
gistrates conspired together, the liberty
of the subject could not be endangered.
Mr. Spring Rice said, that if the right
hon. baronet had given his authority to
the bills, he would have yielded to that
authority ; but the right hon. baronet had
rested his assent on his confidence in the
head of the Irish government. Now, he
neither joined in this confidence, nor dis-
claimed it. Facts and circumstances, and
not confidence in any man or set of men,
formed the ground of his conduct. He
admitted the pressure of the evil, but the
Suspension bill was not at all applicable to
it. The Insurrection act, if modified,
might be found a remedy. If no jury
could be found to act, he would have
voted for the bill as it was. But juries
had acted and done their duty at Limerick.
On the bringing up of the report, he
would propose a clause to enable the
king's serjeant to admit to bail. He
would also propose a clause to enable the
crown to authorize persons in remote or
detached districts to act as justices of the
peace. With respect to juries, he would
propose to commit the alternative of try-
ing by jury or not to the king's serjeant,
who was divested of local passions and
animosities.
Mr. Calcraft felt it necessary to state,
the reasons upon which his vote would be
founded. He had yesterday come down
to the House with a strong bias upon his
mind on this question; and, from all that
he had since heard, he felt it his painful
duty to state, that, however he might be
compelled to differ from many of his
friends, he should compromise his judg-
ment if he declined to support the pro-
posed measures. He must say, that in
the many eloquent speeches which he had
heard upon this question, gentlemen
dwelt much upon the horrors of the In-
surrection act, and the unconstitutional
doctrine of suspending the Habeas
Corpus act, while they kept outof sight the
barbarous atrocities which made such
measures necessary. He admitted that
both measures were unconstitutional; butr







Irish Insurrection Bill.


the question was, whether recourse must
be had to those remedies most applicable
to the disorder, or whether they were to
allow the continuance of outrage, a mas-
sacre, and the dissolution of society?
He thought the proposed measures not
only proper, but the best calculated to
effect the objects in view. Some gentle-
men had advocated the introduction of
martial law into Ireland. Now, he con-
sidered martial law, not only more ex-
pensive, but by far more arbitrary than
the proposed bills. Compared to martial
law, the operation of the Insurrection act
was mild and gentle. He was glad that
his right hon. friend (sir J. Newport) had
withdrawn his opposition to the present
measures; for, had that right hon. baronet
continued to oppose them, he should
have doubted much his own opinions to
the contrary. He had some acquaintance
with gentlemen in different parts of
Ireland, and he could not, from his know-
ledge of them, help expressing his sur-
prise at the sweeping censure which had
been cast upon the magistracy of that
country. No doubt there were in Ireland,
as well as in this country, some persons
in the commission who were unfit to hold
such a situation; but he could not see
any reason why the confidence of the
country was'to be withdrawn from those
gentlemen, merely because they had the
misfortune to have in their body some
few who were a disgrace to them. It was
truly stated, that an absentee gentry was
the misfortune of Ireland; but the evil
would not be cured, if, when murder,
outrage, and rebellion were at the doors
of the Irish gentry, parliament were to
turn upon them, and say, We know
you are threatened; we know you are in
danger; but then we cannot entrust to
you the enforcement of the necessary re-
medy; we do, in fact, think you un-
worthy.of our confidence." Here was
encouragement for residence in that coun-
try-here was the reward of those gen-
tlemen who resided on their estates; and
who, by so doing were placed in hourly.
danger of their lives and properties. He
hoped the House would not thus withdraw
its confidence from a set of gentlemen
possessing as much integrity, as much
perseverance, as much courage as any
gentlemen in. the country. He could
never bring himself to believe that a noble-
man of 'the marquis Wellesley's high
character and love of fame, would com-
mence his career in that country by the
VOL. VI.


improper exercise of measures which
would tarnish his whole public life.
Mr Lamb said, he was inclined to sup-
port the proposed measures, upon the
ground of the confidence which he reposed
in the open statement of ministers. He
had heard gentlemen say, on former oc-
casions, that nothing was more abominable
than any proposal to parliament upon
secret papers, or a sealed bag. It was
said, that ministers ought to ask for addi-
tional powers upon their own responsibility,
This was his opinion; and he was ready
to support the proposed measures from
his confidence both in ministers and in the
noble lord at the head of the Irish govern-
ment. He did not agree in the allusions
thrown out against that noble lord at an
early part of the evening, though it was
not his intention at that moment to enter
into a defence of the noble lord's conduct
in India. This, however, he must say,
that that noble lord was not more distin-
guished for energy of character, than for
a zealous and ardent love of public liberty
and an anxious desire to advance the
interests and happiness of that part of the
empire committed to his care. Much,
however, as he esteemed and respected
that noble lord, he was not, in this instance
reposing in him a confidence greater than
he should be inclined to bestow upon any
other lord lieutenant placed in the same
situation, and to whom he had no reason
to object on other grounds. He had
heard from the gentleman who represented
the sister country, that a present and
efficacious remedy was necessary, and
that, therefore, they should not delay the
proposed measures. With respect to the
melancholy situation in which Ireland
was now placed, and the conclusions to
be drawn from that situation, he fully
concurred in what had fallen from several
hon. gentlemen last 'night. Many severe
reflections had been made upon the noble
marquis opposite respecting the govern-
ment of. Ireland. It was true that as far
as the evils were known to exist, and the
remedies were within the power of the
noble lord, he was responsible for not
having applied them. But it should be
recollected, that evils often took their rise
from circumstances, over which neither
the noble lord, nor the laws, nor the par-
liament could-have any immediate control.
They were told,'in the present instance,
that bad government and misrule, that
bad laws and bad institutions, had produ-
ced the present character of the deluded
N


177J


FB. 8, 1822.


[178







179] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
people of Ireland. Whatever might be
the cause, they were all agreed as to the
effect. And it should be remembered,
that when the character of a people be-
came so corrupted, the evil was so inde-
lible, and as difficult to be eradicated as
if it were their original character. It was
certainly the duty of parliament to use its
best efforts to put an end to the present
disturbances, by removing the evils-which
caused them ; .but Irish gentlemen should
at the same time recollect, that much,
very much depended upon their own
exertions. Indeed, they must know, that
without their efforts it would be difficult,
if not impossible, totally to eradicate the
disease. It was not uncommon to find
persons who looked to others as the cause
of their errors, and in doing so they looked
to them also for what they could not give
-a remedy for those errors, The prin-
cipal causes of the present disturbed state
of Ireland were, the middlemen who held
lands between the proprietor and cultiva-
tor, and., the newly introduced laws of
election. But there were evils for which
neither England nor parliament were res-
ponsible. If Irish gentlemen were so
anxious to sit in parliament that they cut
up their properties into forty-shilling
freeholds to create votes, and thereby
surrounded themselves with paupers, how
were the legislature or the government of
this country to blame ? If this were the
case, it only proved that a law which was
productive of great benefits in one country
might be productive of much mischief in
another. He threw this out as a general
observation, without meaning to cast cen-
sure in any quarter. He was only anxious
to shew that even from the wisest and best
laws, no advantage' could be derived unless
by a sound and temperate administration
of them.
Mr. IHutchinson said, he must repeat
what he had stated last night; namely,
that no case had been made out to justify
either of the present measures. What he
should recommend would be an increase
of military force. The hon. member here
read several extracts from the dispatches
ofrmarquis Wellesley, in order to shew, that
in all the contests between the people and
the soldiery, the latter, though twenty-fold
greater in number,. uniformly gave way
and fled. From this he arguedd. that
nothing- but an increased military force
was, necessary to suppress the outrages
altogether. God forbid that, in saying
this, he should be thought to under-value


Irish Insurrection Bill. [ ISO
the lives and properties of the peaceable
inhabitants of the disturbed districts in
Ireland He was aware that they were in
much peril; but he thought they would
derive greater protection from an increased
military force than they could do from the
proposed measures. He was convinced
that the suspension of the constitution
would never have the effect of restoring
Ireland to permanent tranquillity. If the
noble lord was really anxious to eradicate
the evils of which he complained, be must
have recourse to earnest inquiry and sin-
cere conciliation.
Colonel Davies was of opinion that the
present bills were necessary to put down
the existing disturbances; but when that
effect was produced, he thought they
ought to be followed up by investigation
and conciliatory measures.
The bill then went through the com-
mittee. On the report being brought up,
Mr. Spring Rice, moved that the words
Sof the bill shall proceed without any,
grand jury, and'without any bill being
found," should be omitted. Thiswasput
and negatived. He then moved, that the
following words be also left out of the bill
-" In such case where conviction, or judgA
ment, or acquittal shall be had without
the verdict of any petty jury, it shall stand
good, as if the grand jury had found a
bill, and a petty jury had pronounced
upon it." This proposition was also put
and negatived. The hon. member next
moved for the insertion of a clause, au-
thorizing the magistrates, under the special
commissions, to issue their warrants to the
sheriff, who should be thereby authorized
to issue out his precept for summoning fit
and proper persons for a petty jury, the
same as were summoned to courts of oyer
and terminer, and that the sheriff be bound
to attend the sittings of the special court
in the same manner as if it were a court
of general sessions of the peace. The
other parts of the clause went- to establish
a regulation for the sitting of the'court
from day to day, and for the greater
facility of taking bail for parties accused;
The Marquis of Londonderry opposed
the clause, and observed that it'was under-'
stood the sittings of the commission should
be from day to day, and that the difficulty
respecting the taking of bail could not be
so great as the hon. member had stated it
to be.
Mr. S. Rice said, he had attended every
court of special commission in his county
and had found that delays of days, weeks







FEB. 8, 1822. [ 18


and in one case a month had taken place.
Now, as by the present act bail could only
be taken by the king's serjeant who
should preside, a man against whom, per-
haps, only a charge of being out of his
house after a certain hour was brought,
might be kept without bail for two or
three weeks. Upon the adoption or rejec-
tion of the clause depended, whether the
trials should be by the magistrates without
a jury, or by a jury alone.
, On the question being put, that the
words be there inserted," the House
divided: Ayes, 30. Noes, 139.
List of the Minority.


Bright, Henry
Benett, John
Brougham, H.
Burdett, sir F.
Creevy, T.
Clarke, hon. C. B.
Denison, W. J.
Duncarinon, vise.
Ellice, Ed.
Fitzgibbon, hon. R.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Folkestone, vise.
Honywood, W. P.
I-ill, lord Arthur
Hughes, W. L.
* eron, sir R.
Hobhouse, J. C.


Hutchinson, hon.
C. H
James, W.
Lennard,T. B.
Lushington, Dr.
Lambton, J. G.
Martin, John
Macdonald, J.
Madocks, W. A.
Nugent, lord
Robinson, sir G.
Rice, T. S.
Sefton, earl of
Wood, aid.
TELLERS,
Bennet, hon. H. G.
Wilson, sir R.


On the motion for going into a com-
mittee on the Irish Habeas Corpus Sus-
pension bill, the House divided: Ayes,
127. Noes, 33. The bill then passed
through- the committee. On the motion,
that the Irish Insurrection bill be read a
third time,
Sir F. Burdett expressed a hope that
ministers, before they passed it, would
pledge themselves to the Irish nation to
pursue a conciliatory line of policy in
future, and not to introduce a bill of
indemnity, to shelter the outrages which
might be committed under it.
Mr. Denman said, that the bill con-
tained a clause which was equivalent to a
bill of indemnity. He then proceeded to
observe upon the precipitancy with which
the bills were forwarded through the
House, by which members who expected
an exposition were taken by surprise. It
was certainly the first duty of parliament
to put down insurrection, and repress the
violence of men who were misled by their
own passions or those of others; the only
question was, whether the present mea-
sures were applicable to the case, or whe-
ther- other measures more effective to that


end and less mischievous to the constitu-
tion might not be adopted ? For his part,
he had not heard a single argument to
show that the abolition of the trial by jury
was called for. On the contrary, the ar-
gument of the lion. member for Limerick
was, in his opinion, conclusiveagainst the
abolition. There was another point towhich
he wished to call the attention of the
House. The presence of a king's serjeant
or king's counsel was considered by
the supporters of the bill as calculated
to neutralize the mischief of. placing
power in the hands of the ordinary
magistracy; but the phraseology of
the bill was, that a king's serjeant, ;ora
king's counsel should preside at the quar-
ter sessions, if such could be procured.'"
If, therefore, such an individual could
not be procured, then the magistrates
would act without the control of any
legal adviser whatever. Had he been in
time to propose such an amendment, he
would have recommended the introduction
of the words-" or.Barrister of ten years
standing;" by which provision the magis-
trates would always have had the benefit
of good legal advice. As to the assistant-
barrister, as there was only one in each
county, and as different courts might be
simultaneously sitting in different parts of
the same county, some of those courts
must in that case be necessarily deprived
of his aid. With respect to the noble
marquis at the head of the Irish govern-
ment, he was not disposed to show less
confidence in that noble individual than
had been expressed by other lion. mem-
bers;, but he must say, that parliament
had been left strangely in the dark with
respect to that noble marquis's precise
wishes on the subject. The argument of
his hon. friends near him had been mis-
represented, as if they had recommended
the adoption of martial law in Ireland.
All that they advised was, that a larger
military force should be applied to the
correction of the existing evil. When
a proposition was made, such as the pre-
sent, attention ought to be paid, first to
the necessity of the case, next to the ap-
plicability of the means proposed to meet
it, and lastly to the danger of an abuse
of those means. To him it appeared, that
any new legislation on the present occa-
sion was uncalled for. To what was the
existing distress in Ireland attribu ed?
To two circumstances-namely, that the
fuel had been washed away, and that the
crop of potatoes had failed. Had those


181]


Irish IPnsurrection Bill,







183] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
two unfortunate occurrences not taken
place, it was not probable that any po-
litical or religious feeling would have dis-
turbed the country. Now it appeared to
him, that, whenever any insurrection was
divested of all political or religious cha-
racter, it was precisely the kind which
ought to be put down by the arm of mi-
litary power, and that it ought not to be
made the subject oflegislativeinterference.
If, however, the present bill must pass,
he hoped to God that it would prove
effectual.
The Attorney-General said, it was agreed
6n all hands, that the state of Ireland was
such as to require vigorous measures of
some kind or other. The hon. gentlemen
opposite seem to think that the applica-
tion of an additional military force was
the best remedy that could be adopted.
For himself, he thought, that however all
might deplore the necessity of such a mea-
sure, the best course was, to renew an
act from which the most beneficial effects
had formerly resulted. In answer to that
part of his learned friend's speech, in which
he asserted that several courts of magis-
tracy might. be sitting simultaneously in
the same county, he begged to refer him
to the bill, in which he would find that
only one special session could sit in a
county at one time. .At that session,
therefore, either a king's serjeant or a
king's counsel, or at least an assistant
barrister, who must have been six years
at the bar, would preside, and give to the
magistrates the benefit of his legal know-
ledge. As to the question of indemnity,
the bill gave no greater indemnity than
the general law in England already in-
volved.
Mr. Brougham said, his learned friend
had stated, that the clause in question gave
no more protection to the magistrates in
.Ireland than was already given to him by
the law in England. If this was the case,
there could be no harm in leaving out the
clause altogether.
The Attorney-General said, that in
England this power was given to the ma-
gistrates by a a specific act of parliament;
but it was not so in Ireland.
Mr. Brougham was surprised to hear
that magistrates in Ireland had been left
so unprotected as to make this special
provision necessary.
Mr. Bright contended, that an act by
which the constitution was overturned for
the time, ought to be so worded as to ad-
mit of no doubt whatever with respect to


Irish Insurrection Bill.


[184


its construction. He considered the
clause of indemnity as monstrous in its
nature. It was most material also, that
when such powers were given to thejudges,
the people should have no reason to sus-
pect their purity. It appeared by the bill,
however, that after the trials of the mi-
serable wretches who were its objects, the:
lord lieutenant was to issue any sum he'
pleased in payment of the assistant barris-
ters. Instead of that, the sum ought to.
be fixed; for there ought not to be even
the slightest suspicion of undue influence.
The Solicitor-General did not, under-
stand that the government was to provide
for the attendance of a king's serjeant, or
counsel; but, if he happened to be there,
he was to preside. If neither was there,
then the court would be formed by the
magistrates and the assistant barrister.
By the constitution of the courts of Ire-
land, the assistant barrister, in such a case,
would preside; and, therefore, any fur-
ther provision on this subject was un-
necessary.
The bill was read the third time. Mr.
S. Rice proposed a clause, authorizing
the king's counsel or serjeant, and
assistant barrister, to take bail for offen-
ces under the act." The clause was
rejected. The hon. member then moved
a clause, for appointment of justices in
counties of cities, and counties of towns."
The Marquis of Londonderry declared-
his dislike to the principle of creating a
local magistracy, for a temporary purpose.
The House divided: Ayes 31. Noes
110.
List of the Minority.


Bury, vise.
Bright, II.
Brougham, H.
Burdett, sir F.
Bennet, hon. H. G.
Barret, S. M.
Calvert, C.
Denman, T.
Ellice, Ed.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Folkestone, vise.
Hutchinson,hon. C.H.
Hurst, R.
Hughes, W. L.
Hill,'lord A.
Heron, sir Robert
Hobhouse, J. C.


Hume, Joseph
Honywood, W. P.
James, W.
Lambton, J. G.
Moore, Peter
Nugent, lord
Phillips, G. I.
Robarts, A.
Robarts, col.
Ricardo, D.
Robinson, sir G.
Smith, W.
Wyvill, M.
Wilson, sir R.
TELLERS,
Rice, T. S.
Duncannon, vise.


Mr. Denman then proposed to omit the
clause for the indemnity of persons car,
trying the Act into effect. Upon which
the House divided; Ayes 30. Noes 109,




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