• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 February, 1823
 March, 1823
 April, 1823
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index of 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/UF00073533/00008
 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: VID00008
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
    February, 1823
        Page 1-2
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 4
            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
            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
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 4
            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
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 5
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
        House of Lords - Friday, February 7
            Page 87-88
        House of Commons - Monday, February 10
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 11
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 12
            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
        House of Commons - Friday, February 14
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
        House of Lords - Monday, February 17
            Page 123-124
        House of Commons - Monday, February 17
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 18
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 19
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
            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
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 20
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
            Page 185-186
        House of Commons - Friday, February 21
            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
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
        House of Lords - Monday, February 24
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
            Page 237-238
        House of Commons - Monday, February 24
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 25
            Page 247-248
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 26
            Page 253-254
            Page 255-256
            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
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 27
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
            Page 299-300
        House of Commons - Friday, February 28
            Page 301-302
            Page 303-304
            Page 305-306
            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
            Page 311-312
            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
            Page 319-320
            Page 321-322
            Page 323-324
            Page 325-326
            Page 327-328
            Page 329-330
            Page 331-332
            Page 333-334
            Page 335-336
    March, 1823
        Page 337-338
        House of Commons - Monday, March 3
            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 355-356
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
            Page 363-364
            Page 365-366
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 4
            Page 367-368
            Page 369-370
            Page 371-372
            Page 373-374
            Page 375-376
            Page 377-378
            Page 379-380
            Page 381-382
            Page 383-384
            Page 385-386
            Page 387-388
            Page 389-390
            Page 391-392
            Page 393-394
            Page 395-396
            Page 397-398
            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 409-410
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
            Page 421-422
            Page 423-424
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 429-430
            Page 431-432
            Page 433-434
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 5
            Page 435-436
            Page 437-438
            Page 439-440
            Page 441-442
            Page 443-444
            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
            Page 449-450
            Page 451-452
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            Page 471-472
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            Page 479-480
            Page 481-482
            Page 483-484
            Page 485-486
            Page 487-488
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 6
            Page 489-490
            Page 491-492
            Page 493-494
            Page 495-496
            Page 497-498
            Page 499-500
            Page 501-502
            Page 503-504
            Page 505-506
            Page 507-508
        House of Commons - Friday, March 7
            Page 509-510
            Page 511-512
            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
            Page 517-518
            Page 519-520
        House of Commons - Monday, March 10
            Page 521-522
            Page 523-524
            Page 525-526
            Page 527-528
            Page 529-530
            Page 531-532
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 11
            Page 533-534
            Page 535-536
            Page 537-538
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 13
            Page 539-540
            Page 541-542
            Page 543-544
            Page 545-546
            Page 547-548
            Page 549-550
        House of Commons - Friday, March 14
            Page 551-552
            Page 553-554
            Page 555-556
            Page 557-558
            Page 559-560
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            Page 563-564
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 18
            Page 599-600
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
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            Page 627-628
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            Page 633-634
        House of Lords - Friday, March 21
            Page 635-636
            Page 637-638
            Page 639-640
        House of Commons - Friday, March 21
            Page 641-642
            Page 643-644
            Page 645-646
            Page 647-648
        House of Lords - Monday, March 24
            Page 649-650
            Page 651-652
        House of Commons - Monday, March 24
            Page 653-654
            Page 655-656
            Page 657-658
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            Page 669-670
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            Page 675-676
            Page 677-678
            Page 679-680
            Page 681-682
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 25
            Page 683-684
            Page 685-686
            Page 687-688
            Page 689-690
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            Page 697-698
            Page 699-700
            Page 701-702
            Page 703-704
        House of Lords - Wednesday, March 26
            Page 705-706
            Page 707-708
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 26
            Page 709-710
            Page 711-712
            Page 713-714
            Page 715-716
            Page 717-718
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            Page 727-728
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            Page 731-732
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            Page 743-744
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 27
            Page 749-750
            Page 751-752
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            Page 755-756
            Page 757-758
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            Page 799-800
    April, 1823
        Page 801-802
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 10
            Page 801-802
            Page 803-804
            Page 805-806
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            Page 809-810
        House of Commons - Friday, April 11
            Page 811-812
            Page 813-814
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        House of Lords - Monday, April 14
            Page 839-840
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            Page 869-870
        House of Commons - Monday, April 14
            Page 871-872
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 15
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, April 16
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        House of Lords - Thursday, April 17
            Page 1059-1060
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        House of Commons - Thursday, April 17
            Page 1069-1070
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        House of Commons - Monday, April 21
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 22
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        House of Lords - Thursday, April 24
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        House of Commons - Thursday, April 24
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        House of Lords - Friday, April 25
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        House of Lords - Monday, April 28
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        House of Commons - Monday, April 28
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 29
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    Index to debates in the House of Lords
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    Index to debates in the House of Commons
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    Index of names - House of Lords
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    Index of names - House of Commons
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Full Text



THE



PAR LIAMENTARY


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.


Newo SeCries
COMMENCING WITH THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



VO L. VIII.

COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE FOURTH DAY OF FEBRUARY "
TO
THE THIRTIETH DAY OF T4L .7


\. '. o 0 )* ,:r
LONDO\./(
PRINTED BY T. C. HANSARD, PETERBOROU UiT;
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER, GMAN, HURST, REES, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; BLACK, KINGSBURY, AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON;
J. RIDGWAY AND SONS; E. JEFFERY AND SON; RODWELL AND MARTIN;
R. H. EVANS; BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.
1823.













TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME VIII.

NEW SERIES.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF IV. KING'S MESSAGES.
LORDS. V. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS. VI. PETITIONS.
IIL KING'S SPEECHES. VII. LISTS.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

1823. Page
Feb. 4. Address on the KinL s )peech at the Opening of the Session ... 1
7. Marriage Act Amendment Bill ................................... 87
17. Marriage Act Amendment Bill.........................................123
Austrian Loan........................................................ 124
24. Agricultural Distress .......... .... .............................. 284
Marriage Act Amendment Bill........................................... 235
Dispute between France and Spain .................................. 236
Mar.21. National Debt Reduction Bill ...................................... 635
24. National Debt Reduction Bill ....................................... 6649
King's Property Bill ................................................... 651
26. Bankrupt Laws ........................................................... 705
Negotiations relative to Spain ......................................... 706
Apr. 14. Negotiations relative to Spain ......................................... 839
17. Negotiations relative to Spain ......................................... 1059
24. Lord Ellenborough's Motion respecting the Negotiations rela-
tive to Spain ........................................................ 1175
25. Negotiations relative to Spain ....................................... 189
Appellate Jurisdiction .................................................. 1291
Apr. 28. Military and Naval Pensions Bill ......... ................... 1298







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
16. PETITION of the Edinburgh Free Thinkers' Zetetic Society, for .
the Liberty of free Discussion on all Subjects ...... 1014
- on Lord Althorp's Motion for the Repeal of the Fo-
reign Enlistment Bill............................ ....... 1058
24. - from Norfolk, for a Reform of Parliament, and an
Equitable Adjustment of Contracts ................... 1253
25. - of Richard Deller for an Alteration of the Game Laws 1292



VII. LISTS.

Feb. 19. LIST of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion respecting the
Appointment of Lord Berestbrd to the Office of Lieute-
nant General of the Ordnance............................... 171
20. of the Minority on Lord John Russell's Motion for a Select
Committee to inquire into the Right of Voting in the
Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales ............... 187
26. of the Minority on Mr. Whitmore's Motion fdr leave to
bring in a Bill to amend the Corn Laws................... 288
28. of the Minority on Mr. Maberley's Motion for a Reduction
of Taxation to the extent of Seven Millions.............. 308
Mar. 3. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion respecting the
Sinking Fund ................................................... 365
4. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for a Select Com-
mittee on the State of the Church Establishment in
Ireland ........................................................ 416
13. -of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Amendment to the
National Debt Reduction Bill............................... 550
14. of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Amendment to the
National Debt Reduction Bill ............................. 589
of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the
Four and a Half per Cent Leeward Island Duty......... 596
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Vote in the Ordnance Estimates relating to the Royal
Regiment of Artillery ........................................ 599
18. of the Minority on Mr. Maberly's Motion for the Repeal
of the Assessed Taxes ....................................... 609
21. of the Minority on the Motion for going into a Committee
on the Warehousing Bill........................... ....... 646
24. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Vote in the Estimate for the Army Extraordinaries re-
specting Colonial Agents.................................... 656
of the Minority on Mr. Ricardo's Amendment to the
Merchant Vessels Apprenticeship Bill .................... 666
of the Minority on Colonel Barry's Motion for Papers re-
lating to the Riot at the Dublin Theatre ................ 682
25. of the Minority on Mr. Lennard's Motion respecting the
Expense of Foreign Embassies ......................... 695
26. of the Minority on Lord Archibald Hamilton's Motion re-
specting the State of the Borough of Inverness ........ 744
Apr. 24 -of the Minority, in the House of Lords, on Lord Ellenbo-
rough's Motion respecting the Negotiations relative to
Spain.......,.............. .... o. ...... ...... ............... 1253






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Apr. 24. LIST of the Minority on Lord John Russell's Motion for a Re-
form of Parliament ............................................. 1287
30. -of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Motion for abolishing
the Punishment of Whipping ................................ 1442
of the Minority on Mr. Stuart Wortley's Amendment to
Mr. Macdonald's Motion respecting the Negotiations
relative to Spain ...................................... ..... 1548




















































PARLIAMENTARY








HE



ParliamentaryDebates


During the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fourth Day of
February 1823, in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 4, 1823.
T HE KrIN's SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SESSION.] This day the Session was
opened by Commission. The Commis-
sioners were, the Archbishop of Canter-
bury, the Lord Chancellor, and the
Earls of Harrowby, Westmorland, and
Shaftesbury. The usher of the black rod
having been ordered to require the attend-
ance of the House of Commons, he
withdrew. The Speaker, accompanied by
several members, having appeared at the
bar, the Lord Chancellor opened the Ses-
sion with the following Speech to both
Houses:-
My Lords and Gentlemen ;
We are commanded by his majesty
to inform you, that since he has met you
in parliament, his majesty's efforts have
been unremittingly exerted to preserve
the peace of Europe.
Faithful to the principles which his
majesty has promulgated to the world as
constituting the rule of his conduct, his
majesty declined being party to any pro-
ceedings at Verona, which could be
deemed an interference in the internal con-
cerns of Spain, on the part of Foreign
Powers; and his majesty has since used,
and continues to use his most anxious en-
deavours and good offices to allay the ir-
ritation unhappily subsisting between the
French and Spanish governments, and to
avert, if possible, the calamity of war
between France and Spain.
VOL. VIII. M }


In the east of Europe, his majesty
flatters himself that peace will be pre-
served; and his majesty continues to receive
from his Allies, and generally from other
powers, assurances of their unaltered dis-
position to cultivate with his majesty those
friendly relations which it is equally his
majesty's object on his part to maintain.
We are further commanded to apprize
you, that discussions having been long
pending with the court of Madrid respect-
ing depredations committed on the com-
merce of his majesty's subjects in the West-
Indian seas, and other grievances of which
his majesty had been under the necessity of
complaining, those discussions have ter-
minated in an admission by the Spanish
government of the justice of his majesty's
complaints, and in an engagement for
satisfactory reparation.
We are commanded to assure you,
that his majesty has not been unmindful
of the addresses presented to him by the
two Houses of Parliament with respect to
the foreign slave trade. Propositions for
the more effectual suppression of that
evil were brought forward by his majesty's
plenipotentiary in the conferences at Ve-
rona; and there have been added to the
treaties upon this subject already con-
cluded between his majesty and the go-
vernments of Spain and the Netherlands,
articles which will extend the operation of
those treaties, and greatly facilitate their
execution.
B








HE



ParliamentaryDebates


During the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fourth Day of
February 1823, in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 4, 1823.
T HE KrIN's SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SESSION.] This day the Session was
opened by Commission. The Commis-
sioners were, the Archbishop of Canter-
bury, the Lord Chancellor, and the
Earls of Harrowby, Westmorland, and
Shaftesbury. The usher of the black rod
having been ordered to require the attend-
ance of the House of Commons, he
withdrew. The Speaker, accompanied by
several members, having appeared at the
bar, the Lord Chancellor opened the Ses-
sion with the following Speech to both
Houses:-
My Lords and Gentlemen ;
We are commanded by his majesty
to inform you, that since he has met you
in parliament, his majesty's efforts have
been unremittingly exerted to preserve
the peace of Europe.
Faithful to the principles which his
majesty has promulgated to the world as
constituting the rule of his conduct, his
majesty declined being party to any pro-
ceedings at Verona, which could be
deemed an interference in the internal con-
cerns of Spain, on the part of Foreign
Powers; and his majesty has since used,
and continues to use his most anxious en-
deavours and good offices to allay the ir-
ritation unhappily subsisting between the
French and Spanish governments, and to
avert, if possible, the calamity of war
between France and Spain.
VOL. VIII. M }


In the east of Europe, his majesty
flatters himself that peace will be pre-
served; and his majesty continues to receive
from his Allies, and generally from other
powers, assurances of their unaltered dis-
position to cultivate with his majesty those
friendly relations which it is equally his
majesty's object on his part to maintain.
We are further commanded to apprize
you, that discussions having been long
pending with the court of Madrid respect-
ing depredations committed on the com-
merce of his majesty's subjects in the West-
Indian seas, and other grievances of which
his majesty had been under the necessity of
complaining, those discussions have ter-
minated in an admission by the Spanish
government of the justice of his majesty's
complaints, and in an engagement for
satisfactory reparation.
We are commanded to assure you,
that his majesty has not been unmindful
of the addresses presented to him by the
two Houses of Parliament with respect to
the foreign slave trade. Propositions for
the more effectual suppression of that
evil were brought forward by his majesty's
plenipotentiary in the conferences at Ve-
rona; and there have been added to the
treaties upon this subject already con-
cluded between his majesty and the go-
vernments of Spain and the Netherlands,
articles which will extend the operation of
those treaties, and greatly facilitate their
execution.
B







S] HOUSE OF LORDS,
Gentlemen of the House of Commons;
** His majesty has directed the estimates
of the current year to be laid before you.
They have been franred with every -atten-,
lion to ecoMnovy ; aad 'the total expendi*
ture will be found to be materially below
that of last year.
This diminution of charge, combined
.with the progressive improvement of the
revenue, has produced a surplus exceeding
his iaijesty's expectation; his majesty
trusts, therefore, that you will be able,
after providing for the services of the year,
and without affecting public credit, to
make a further considerable reduction in
the burthens of his people.
'My idrds and Gentlemen;
His majesty has commanded us to
state to you, that the manifestations of
loyalty and attachment to his person and
government, which his majesty received
in his late visit to Scotland, have made
the deepest impression on his heart.
S" The provisions which you made in the
last session of parliament for the relief of
the distresses in considerable districts in
Ireland, has been productive of the hap-
piest effects; and his majesty recommends
toyour consideration, such measures of
internal regulation as may be calculated
to promote and secure the tranquillity of
that country, and to improve the habits
and condition of the people.
i Deeply as his majesty regrets the
continued depression of the agricultural
interest, the satisfaction with which his
majesty contemplates the increasing acti-
vity which pervades the manufacturing
districts, and the flourishing condition of
our commerce in most of its principal
branches, is greatly enhanced by the con-
fident persuasion, that the progressive
prosperity of so many of the interests of
the country cannot fail to contribute to
the gradual improvement of that great
interest which is the most important of
them all."
The Commons then withdrew. After
which, the Speech being again read by
the Lord Chancellor, and also by the clerk
at the table,


Address on the King's Speech [4
Thl Earl of Morley rose. Hesaid, that
although, the day was past, when their
lordships for so many years, upon occa-
sions similar to the present, were in the
habit of hearing of the conflicts of fleets
and armies, and of the rise and d'wnrfall
of particular states, yet it might perhaps
nevertheless be stated, that upon no occa-
sion did the sovereign of these realms
ever address to parliament, a speech more
fraught with interesting matter, more
pregnant with topics eventually bearing
upon the future happiness of mankind,
more declaratory of principles and senti-
ments dear to the hearts of Englishmen,
than that which his majesty had that day
been graciously pleased to deliver by his
commissioners to their lordships and the
other House convened at their bar. In
proposing for the adoption of their lord-
ships an address to the throne, he should,
as a matter of course, feel it to be his
duty to expose those general grounds,
on which each paragraph in the address
might be considered as founded, and as
entitled to their favourable attention.
The convulsions by which Europe had
been agitated, during the last ten years
of the past century, and the first fifteen
years of the present, and the struggles to
which those convulsions gave rise, could
not but be fully impressed upon their
minds. Whatever difference of opinion
might have existed as to the territorial ar-
rangements and general provisions of the
treaties, by which, in 1815, thosecontests
were finally closed, no difference had
ever existed as to the fitness of abiding
by them; of henceforth, in common with
the rest of Europe, looking upon peace
as the system to be adhered to; and of
abstaining from all proceedings calculat-
ed, directly or indirectly, to disturb that
state of repose, which exertions beyond
all parallel had rendered essential to the
general welfare. It could not therefore
have been without the deepest regret, and
he might add astonishment, that they had
this day heard that, his most christian
majesty had considered the state of affairs
existingin Spain, as demanding the armed
interference of France. He would not
enter upon the principles upon which the
present constitution of Spain was founded,
nor upon the 'events of the 7th of July,
nor upon the -personal conduct of his
catholic majesty since his restoration to
his throne (a point which, if it was fit
to enter into a detail of Spanish affairs,
could not be passed over), nor upon the


1L







5] at the Opening qf the Session.
language held in the democratic clubs
of Madrid, nor generally upon the situ-
ation of Spain; still less could there be
any necessity for his attempting to ex-
pound the subtile and difficult question
of the right which one state may possess,
to interfere (by force of arms), in the
internal concerns of another. In the
statement of this, question, facts and opi-
nions were often confounded, and ground-
less apprehensions frequently held the
place of both. As far as matters of such
nicety could be rendered clear, such prin-
ciples had been laid down and promul,
gated to the world in the circular letter
sent by this government, to all the diffe-
rent ministers in Europe. His noble
friend at the head of his majesty's trea-
sury had last year taken a forcible distinc-
tion between the right of foreign inter-
ference which might exist in different
cases, and especially noticed the difference
existing in the cases of Naples and Spain.
It was however clear, that all cases must
claim, as they arose, their own particular
application of principles, and that all
attenlpts to apply rules upon a supposed
state of things could lead in practice to
nothing but error. It was therefore not
necessary to argue whether the king of
France had or had not a right to interfere
in the internal affairs of Spain, or whether
he took a correct view of his own affairs
in asserting that right at Verona, and
preparing to exercise it at present. It
was sufficient for the exposition of the
British government to state, that at Verona
his most christian majesty did prefer such
claim, and was unequivocally supported
in it by the three great continental sove-
reigns who were there assembled. His
wajesty's ministers did not only discou-
rage the assertion of this right of interfere,
ence on the part of France, but when
asserted, they did not admit its existence.
They were deeply impressed with the
paramount and transcendant necessity of
maintaining that which had ever been
declared by the confederated sovereigns
themselves to be the grand object of their
alliance-the general tranquillity of Eu-
rope. Appeals to the policy and mode-
ration of France were reiterated at Verona
and at Paris. No pains had been omit-
ted, no efforts (short of those by which
we ourselves might have instantly become
principals in the war) had been neglected
to impress upon France' the certain pre-
sent evil of war, in the existing circum-
stadces of the world, anh more especially


FEB, 4, 1823. [6
the calamities which- might result to
France herself from a contest undertaken
for the object in view, and under circum-
stances similar to those very peculiar
ones which now applied to France. Cer-
tainly, it could not be for this country,
and, above all,in the present century, t9
beinsensible to the imminent hazard which
must be incurred by any foreign army
entering in a hostile manner into that
part of the Peninsula. The peculiar and
efficient mode adopted for the defence of
their country by the great mass of the
Spanish population, could only have be-
come known to Europe for the purpose
of being forgotten, if it could for a mo-
ment be thought, that the entrance into
Spain by a foreign army did not, upon
that army, induce hazards of the most
serious character-
quae vos fortune quietos
Solicitat, suadetque expertalacessere bella."
It was not, however, from any idea of the
peril of the enterprize, that his majesty's
government receded. In their view no
necessity for foreign interference existed :
in their view, by such interference, the
first of blessings and of wants, the peace
of Europe, was instantly interrupted, and
to be restored at a period which no man
could foresee. Notwithstanding the an-
archical and disorganizing principles on
which the government of France had been
founded in 1793, and its direct interfer-
ence in the internal affairs of other
states, by the official and ever-riemorable
invitation to the disaffected in all coun-
tries against their rulers, the government
of this country never did, upon any 0o-
casion, avow the principle of interference
in the internal affairs of France as such;
so disinclined was the English govern-
ment at all times to bring discredit upon
that valuable general maxim, that the
conduct of all independent states, in
what related to their own internal admi-
nistration, belonged, of right, pxcluvely
to themselves. Upon this principle his
majesty's present servpats had acted at
Verona; upon this principle they had
acted and were still acting Pt Paris; upop
.this principle they claimed the confidence
of their lordships and the approbation of
the public. France, however, appeared
about to enter upon the contest. If she
did so (for fortunately the extremity qf
war might still he considered as upper-
tain), Europe and posterity would know
that she commences the war -uppn her
own responsibility, and with 'all th







7] HOUSE OF LORDS,
hazards and contingencies such as had
been described. The exertions of his
majesty, however, which could not have
been otherwise than beneficial to the
maintenance of peace, up to the present
moment were still employed, and hope
was not forbidden, that justice and true
policy might eventually triumph.-Their
lordships could not but approve the act
of vigour which it was well known accom-
panied our latter remonstrances to the
Spanish government, on the subject of
depredations committed in the West In-
dian seas. It was certainly time, as well
from regard to what was due to individual
sufferers, as to the honour of the British
flag itself, that effective measures should
at length be adopted, to arrest proceed-
ings so dishonourable and injurious. It
was not to be imagined that this step was
taken with any reference to the actual
state of affairs in Spain, or from an idea
that embarrassments in other quarters
might more readily lead to an acquies-
cence in our just demand. Such was
not the fact. The affair of the ship Lord
Collingwood had last year made a strong
impression in this country; and he was
empowered to state, that the reclamations
addressed to the Spanish government
upon this subject had become urgent
before the assembly of the congress at
Verona, and further, that the courier
who brought to London the acquiescence
of the Spanish government in our de-
mands, brought, at the same time, a
proposition which marked, in the strong-
est manner, the friendly and confiding
feelings of Spain towards this country,
and in so much her absolution from all
imputation of unfair dealing in this
transaction. If, adhering to that pacific
system prescribed by the unquestionable
'interest of all nations, the king lamented
the war which threatened the peninsula,
he could not do otherwise than feel
satisfaction that his efforts for the pre-
servation of peace in the eastern part of
Europe were likely to prove successful.
No Christian country could be insensible
to the sufferings of the Greeks, or to
the ravages of a civil war, which ex-
tended itself from the shores of the Adri-
atic to those of the Euxine. This govern-
ment had not omitted to impress upon
the Porte the necessity of a line of con-
duct more consistent with the dictates of
humanity. Now, however, that a little
'time for reflection had been accorded,
he thought that no Englishman could


Address on the King's Speech [8
seriously have wished that a war should
have been commenced for the ameliora-
tion of Turkey, or for securing a better
administration of affairs, even to those
regions to which are associated the
fondest recollections of literature and of
art, and to which all scholars and liberal
statesmen must ever look with sentiments
of affection and partiality.-Their lord-
ships would be glad to hear that the
parliamentary grants of last session for
the relief of the distresses in Ireland, had
answered their object. The extensive
private subscription which accompanied
those grants must, as a demonstration
of English feeling, have had the effect
of drawing still tighter the indissoluble
bonds by which the two countries were
united. Painful had been the discus-
sions which, for many years past, had
taken place on the subject of Ireland.
Let them this day hail with joy his
majesty's auspicious recommendation, to
consider of such measures as should be
calculated to promote the future tran-
quillity of that country, and permanently
improve the condition of her people. Let
them cherish the fond hope, that the
work of substantial, practical, and gra-
dual amelioration was about to be com-
menced. Let the real state of Ireland
be probed to the bottom. Let every
lurking grievance be exposed and re-
medied. Let the Irish proprietors, more
especially, co-operate in the beneficial
views of his majesty. Let such as are
not prevented by public duty, repair to
their native country, and by their
presence, example, and counsel, assist in
repairing the injuries which an unwise
expatriation may have contributed to
produce. He said nothing upon re-
moving the civil incapacities under which
a large portion of his majesty's Irish
subjects laboured, being anxious to carry
with him, upon the present occasion, not
only the unanimous vote, but the unani-
mous feeling of the House.-After all
the speculations which had been sub-
mitted to the public as to the cause of
the severe calamity which had befallen
that valuable class of the community,
connected with the cultivation of the
soil, he would not detain the House, at
any length, with any views of his own:
he might, however, say, that the pros-
perous state of agriculture, in 1818 and
1819, seemed to negative the opinion,
that this calamity was -produced by over
cultivation, or (the peace having been







9] at the Opening of the Session.
concluded several years) from government
having ceased to come as large purchasers
into the market. He would rather be
disposed to attribute the evil to the large
importation of foreign grain, in 1818 and
1819 (in consequence of which many
thousand quarters of grain must now be
in the country more than there otherwise
would be) to three abundant harvests
following that importation,-to the dimi-
nution of the circulation of country banks,
in consequence of the change of the
currency, and to the operation of the
act of 1806, by which the Irish cultivator,
who pays less tythe and no poor-rates,
comes into the market on the same
footing as the English grower. It might
be very well to say, that England and
Ireland being united, such ought to be
the case; but under such generalities
great injustice was frequently concealed.
The king's speech did not hold out the
expectation, that any particular mode of
relief would be proposed on the part of
government ; nor, on the other hand,
did it express any opinion that the united
energies of government and parliament
might not be able to devise measures
to mitigate the evil: he hoped such
might be the case: if on no othergrounds,
on this, that such has always been found
to be the admirable machinery and work-
ings of our laws, that no grievance has
ever weighed long upon any particular
class, without some measure of relief
having been devised. It would be idle
to suppose, that in the present crisis any
mode of relief could be brought forward,
to which not only plausible doubts, but
even just objections, might not be raised.
The usual course of our practice might
be changed, the dicta of the economists
might be violated, principles which,
under ordinary circumstances, should be
held sacred, might be suspended; but
these, perhaps, may scarcely be called
evils, with reference to that annihilation
of property, which it was to be feared
was making progress in different parts
of the country. The obvious interest and
duty of government must, of course, lead
them to recommend any plan which
afforded a chance of success, even at
some compromise of principle. But if
they were conscientiously satisfied, that
no plan could operate relief, they should
-not excite expectations on the part of
the public. No sovereign of the present
family had, antecedently to the last year,
ever visited that part of Great Britain


FEB. 4, 1823. [ 10
which lies to the northward of the Tweed.
Having advertence to some peculiar cir-
cumstances relative to Scotland, and
having ever in view, as a primary object,
the uniting the hearts of all descriptions
of his majesty's subjects, it would have
been difficult to have devised a step more
calculated to secure that object, than the
visit which his majesty made last summer
to his capital in Scotland ;-of the general
satisfaction and good order observable
upon that occasion, hespoke before many
who could confirm him as witnesses.
Not only, however, was it in Scotland
that loyalty and peaceable conduct had
been manifest; throughout the kingdom
might have been remarked an increased
general tranquillity, and a comparative
absence of that flagitious and seditious
spirit by which unfortunately latter years
have been characterized.-The House
could not but feel gratified at the steps
which had been taken for the abolition of
the foreign slave trade: it was now 35
years since the nations of Africa had first
to hail the name of Wilberforce: since
that period great had been the efforts
made by this country, in favour of this
great, this christian object of general
abolition. Some foreign governments
might have been luke warm; some might
not have given England credit for the
sincerity and disinterestedness to which
she was entitled. It was possible upon
the assembling of the sovereigns at
Verona, that his majesty's ministers might
have submitted to them something more
novel and attractive than the never-ending
subject of the abolition of the slave trade.
They, however, were not influenced by
any such considerations. They knew
what humanity dictated, and what the
public voice of England desired; and
they knew, unfortunately, that much yet
remained to be achieved; and it therefore
fell to the destiny of an illustrious duke,
who had already contended for the free-
dom of one continent in the field, to
contend at Verona for that of another in
council, and by negotiation. A recom-
mendation to the maritime powers to
declare all ships transporting slaves to be
pirates, was, at the instance of the noble
duke, sanctioned by the sovereigns, and,
if adopted by them, the maritime powers
would give a more effectual blow to this
detestable and degrading traffic, than
any antecedent measure had ever in-
flicted.-Upon the flourishing state of the
revenue, and upon the gratifying pros-







111 HOUSE OF LORDS,
pect of a further very considerable re-
duction in the taxes, and upon the pros-
perous,situation of our trade and manu-
factures, he would dwell but shortly:
these all offered separate and most im-
portant themes for congratulation. In
the present situation of the country, it
was impossible to rate too highly the
value-the immensity of these advantages,
virtually affecting, as they did, the
resources of the empire and the prosperity
of the people. With regard to trade, it
was difficult not to see in the events now
passing in the world, the probability of a
greatly increased trade with South
America; a country far exceeding the
whole of Europe in extent and also in
fertility, and occupying on the surface
of the globe, a situation unparalleled for
the commercial advantages which it ap.
peared to unite. If he had compressed
still .further what he had to state, he
should not have discharged his duty to
the House,-to his majesty's, ministers,
or to the momentous subjects which had
come under review. The situation of the
country was in many respects one of
anxiety ;-the depression of the agricul,
tural interests,-the anomalous state of
Ireland,-the uncertainty of continental
events were sources of watchfulness and
solicitude. If, however, on the one hand,
there were points on which the public
anxiety must still be protracted, there
were not wanting, on the other hand,
topics of just pride, and of well-grounded
hope. Let their lordships carry to the
foot of the throne, the expressions of
loyalty and attachment which it Was
always grateful to the princes of the
house of Hanover to receive from that
House. Let them with firmness support
the king on the pinnacle of glory, on
which, as with reference to the events of
the late wars, he might most fairly be
considered as standing. Let them, by
their unanimity, strengthen the arm of
his servants; and let them entertain a
confident hope, that their vigilance, their
moderation,-their love of England,-
would conduct the country through every
difficulty,-would surmount every thing
which might appear inauspicious in its
situation,-would turn to the largest
account the many important advantages
which now opened themselves,.-and
finally lay the basis for securing, for
times to come, the internal happiness and
external power,-to the enjoyment of
which, this country in every view is so


Address on the King': Speec [ (i
justly entitled.-His lordship concluded
by moving an address to his majesty, in
the usual terms.
TheEarlof Maya seconded the Address,
in a short speech, which was inaudible
below the bar. His lordship expressed
his great satisfaction, connected as he was
with Ireland, at the manner in which that
country had been noticed; and bone
testimony to the good which bad resulted
from all that had been done of late in
her behalf.
Earl Stanhope said :-.My lords; I am
aware, that on occasions like the present,
Unanimity is generally thought to be de.
sirable; but there are circumstances in
which all such considerations must give
Sway, and in which it, is consistent neither
with your dignity nor your duty, that
your Address should be nothing more
than a servile echo of the Speech. If ever
those circumstances existed, it is at the
present moment, when the distress which
afflicts the nation is universal and unex,
ampled; when the necessity of admioia.
tering relief is most urgent, and when
that relief cannot be delayed without
danger, nay, without destruction to the
country. This is the third session of par,
ligament which has been opened by a
speech from the throne, acknowledging
and lamenting the existence of distress;
and this is also the third session in which
you have been invited by the mover of
the address, to express in your answer
nothing more than general and unavailing
regret. The address which has been
moved gives no pledge for an inquiry,
and no expectation of relief, and it is
upon this ground that I intend to pro-
pose to your lordships an amendment.
If, according to the theory of the noble
earl who is at the head of the Treasury,
we have been cursed with too much
plenty ; if we have been afflicted with
too much abundance; perhaps the only
remedy that could be found under such
an unusual, nay, such an unheard of
calamity, would be, to adopt the recom-
mendation which has been so kindly and
liberally offered by some persons who are
connected with administration, and which
has, I am sorry to say, been repeated in
other quarters, and to discontinue the
cultivation of those lands which are of
inferior quality. I have no doubt that
such advice would be itry thankfully re-
ceived in the county of Norfolk, and in
several others which consist exclusively of
land of that description. The inhabitants







131 at the Opening of the Session.
of those extensive and populous districts
would learn with great :satisfaction, that
they would in future be relieved from the
labour of cultivating the land, and would
continue during the remainder of their
lives, to be pensioners upon the poor-rates.
Really, may lords, without intending to
pay any compliment to that noble earl, I
'must, however, say, that Ithink too favour-:
ably of his understanding to suppose that
-he is serious in maintaining such a doc-
trine; and I am ready to believe, not-
withstanding the gravity with which he
generally delivers his opinions, that he
meant nothing more than to make a sort
of experiment on the credulity of your
lordships, or what is vulgarly termed a
" hoax." But if the noble earl is
serious, I would ask, whether it is pos-
sible for the ingenuity of man to devise a,
severer satire .upon his own administra-
tion ? What my lords, is such the state
to which his course of policy has reduced
this once .happy and prosperous, but now
miserable and mis-governed country ? Is
such the glory of his administration ?
Are such the achievements of which he
can boast, that he has perverted even the
course of nature itself, and converted
into a calamity and a curse that bounty
of Providence 'which formerly was hailed;
as a blessing ? Can the noble earl state in
what period of history, ancient or modern,
any mention was made, or :any hint was
given, that abundance had been produc-
tive, I will not say of distress, but even*
of injury or inconvenience ? That abuii-
dant harvests tend to lower prices, is in-
deed obvious; but, far from being lthe
cause of distress, it was always found,
that the'deficiency of the price was com-
pensated, or more than compensated, by
the increase of the consumption. If the
noble earl will refer to the evidence before
the agricultural committee, he will find
that many witnesses denied the existence
of such abundance as he has represented;
and that they considered abundance to
be beneficial to those who cultivate, 'as it
undoubtedly must be to- those who con-
sume. One of these witnesses, Mr. Iveson,
who is a land agent, and a receiver of rents
in many counties, says, very truly, I
cannot conceive abundance to be-injurious
to any body;" and such was the opinion
entertained by all manikind'tillthese new
Spangled dodtrines were first promulgated.
Does the noble earl suppose that any
favourable seasons or abundant harvests
could, by -possibility, have had the effect


FEr. 4, 1823' [14
of lowering the price of corn fifty per
cent in three years ? Even if such could
have been .the case, would it also have
lowered, in the same proportion, the
price of cattle and of other agricul-
tural produce? The argument does not,
however, stop here; for, on referring to a
document which comes from the town of
which the noble earl bears the name, and
is entitled "The Liverpool Price Cur-
rents," it is found, that in the same period
of three years, several articles of com-
merce have fallen in price above 35 per
cent. For example: on the four sorts
of cotton which are there enumerated,
the average depression of price has been
above 41 per cent; on four sorts of silk,
above 37 per cent; while sugar aas fallen
31 per cent, and rum 50 per cent. Your
lordships see, that while the prices of
agricultural produce have fallen 50 per
cent, the prices of several articles of com-
merce have fallen above 35 per cent; and
.a similar depression is represented to have
taken place in articles of manufacture.
What, therefore, is the cause that all those
-articleshlave so much fallen in price, some
,of them being the produce and some the
-manufactures of this country, and some
being imported from abroad ? It cannot
be contended, that all those articles have
been produced at a smaller cost, or that
upon all those articles there has been
either an increased supply, or a dimi-
nished consumption; and, as the fall of
prices does not proceed from those causes,
it is, I maintain, a conclusive logical owgn-
ment, that it must proceed from the only
remaining cause; that is, from on altera-
tion in the value of the money in which
those articles are bought and 'sold. That
such is and must be the case is proved
also by the utter futility of all the other
causes which have been alleged. Of one
of those causes, that is, of excessive pro-
duction, I have already spoken; and I
need say nothing about another of those
'causes, that is, of *excessive importattion,
because the noble earl has avowed his
conviction, that it was not the cause df
the present distress. As for another of
those causes, .I mean the transition from
war to peace, it seems .to be 'forgotten,
thatipeace was not recently concluded; thtt
we have been for above seven years in. thie
enjoyment of that blessing, and that this
country did, in the year 1818, exhibit
symptoms of reviving prosperity, nat
indeed of such prosperity as existed in the
year 1792, but of such:a degree of :pros-







15] HOUSE OF LORDS,
perity as could have been experienced
after a war of such extraordinary duration
and of such excessive expense. That the
present unexampled distress is the effect
of the alteration of the currency, may be
proved by the same clear and demonstra-
tive evidence as a mathematical propo-
sition; and your lordships will perceive,
by the facts which are stated in the admir-
able pamphlet that has been recently
published by Mr. Western, that while
agricultural produce has fallen in price
50 per cent, and articles of commerce
and manufactures- above 35 per cent,
there has been, upon the average of
all of them, a depression of above 40
per cent. This shows to what amount
the currency was depreciated in 1819;
but I am ready to argue the question
upon the assumption, which however I
do not admit, that no depreciation ex-
isted, and I should arrive exactly at the
same conclusion. It was represented in
some quarters, when the bullion question
was first considered by a committee, that
bank notes were not depreciated, but
that gold had risen in value in conse-
quence of an extraordinary demand; and
it is stated by Mr. Jacob, who was exa-
mined before the agricultural committee,
that the supply of gold from the Spanish
mines was, during the ten years which
elapsed from 1811 to .1821, only one-
third of what it had been in the ten years
preceding. But if no depreciation of
paper had existed, it is, however, equal-
ly true, that the contraction of the cur-
rency, which was requisite to render
it convertible into gold, has been the
cause of that most extraordinary fall of
prices which we now witness. It was, I
know, said by one of the witnesses before
the Secret Committee, by Mr. Ricardo,
that the depreciation of the currency was
only four and a half per cent, and that
the fall of prices would not exceed five
per cent, and he endeavoured to prove
the proposition, by comparing the mint
price of gold with that which he called
the market price of that period. The
argument was most. fallacious, and has
been falsified by the event. Your lord-
ships will recollect, that in 1819, there
was po demand whatever for gold, neither
for foreign subsidies nor for the supply of
armies on the continent, both of which
had required enormous remittances during
the late war; and that there was no de-
mand for it in foreign trade, as the ex-
changes were generally, and almost con-


Address on the King's Speech [16
stantly in favour of this country; and
there was, in fact, very little, if any,
demand for it, except by jewellers and
goldsmiths. In considering the market
price of gold as compared with the mint
price, the question is not, what is the
price which is paid for that inconsiderable
quantity which is required by an insig-
nificant demand, but what is the price
which would be paid for an indefinite
quantity, and for such a demand as the
coinage would occasion? Upon this point,
I have very recently conversed with a Bank
director, of whom I asked this question :
"Supposing that government had in-
quired of the Bank of England, in 1819, at
what price it would have agreed to furnish
any quantity of gold that might have been
wanted; would you, the Bank Directors,
have named 41. 2s. per ounce, which was
then said to be the market price ?" His
answer was, Undoubtedly we should
have named a much higher price." Upon
the erroneous principle of Mr. Ricardo,
that measure was adopted which is known
by the name of Mr. Peel's Bill, and for
which no petition was presented from any
part of the population. Some reasons
have since been discovered for the mea-
sure, which were not stated at the time,
and which appear to be after thoughts.
It is now represented, that the measure
was adopted for the relief of the suffering
manufacturers. No person felt more sin-
cerely than myself for the distress under
which the manufacturers then laboured;
and with a view of procuring for them re-
lief, I submitted to this House a motion
for the appointment of a committee to
consider the means of providing them
with employment. Your lordships know
that it was the want of employment, and
not the dearness of provisions, which was
then the cause of their distress ; but when,
as might naturally be expected, they be-
came discontented, and were clamorous in
theircomplaints, parliament passed six acts
of coercion and restraint. I have the hap-
piness and honour of never having voted
for those acts, one of which abridged in a
manner which I most strongly reprobate,
the ancient, constitutional, and invaluable
right of holding popular assemblies. I
deny thatthe distress of the manufacturers
at that period proceeded from a high price
of provisions ; and I deny that the object
of Mr. Peel's bill was stated to be that of
lowering their price. I deny also thatany
practical relief could have been experi-
enced, if the prices of provisions had been







17] At the Opening of the Session.
reduced only five per cent, according to
the expectation which some persons then
entertained; that is, if the price of a
-quartern loaf, forexample, had been re-
lduced from tenpence to ninepence half-
penny. If it had been stated, that the
object of Mr. Peel's bill was to lower the
price of provisions 50 per cent, as we
have found to be the case, I do not believe
that it would have received such support
-as would'have enabled it to pass into a law.
The reasons which were then alleged for
it, were the importance of establishing
,what was called a wholesome currency;"
,of reverting to the ancient standard ;"
,and the other general arguments which we
'remember to have heard. Although the
'measure was pregnant with the most por-
itentous consequences, and has been pro-
ductive of the most calamitous effects, the
inquiry seemed to have been conducted
-without adue consideration of that which
'was 'the essence of the question, of its
,operation upon the internal condition of
:the country. The principle of that mea-
sure, the object which it had in view, and
the effect which it was intended to pro-
'duce, were to diminish the quantity of the
'circulating medium, and thereby to in-
,crease its value. Such being the case, it
followed as a necessary inference, that in
justice to all parties, the amount of pay-
ments ought to have been diminished, in
the same proportion as the value of the
currency had been increased. It hasbeen
found that heavy payments are, in private
transactions, incompatible with low prices;
and it will, I believe, be found by govern-
ment, that such prices are equally incom-
patiblewith high taxes. I am represented
to have said that low prices were advan-
tageous only to Jews and jobbers. Hea-
ven forbid that I should ever have
entertained or expressed such a prepos-
terous doctrine I said no such thing;
I said that Jews and jobbers alone were
prosperous at the present moment, and
that the assertion of the country being in
a state of general prosperity, was an un-
paralleled absurdity, which was worthy
only of the Jews and jobbers from whom
it proceeded. Far from wishing for high
prices, I wish that prices should continue
to be low; but I wish also that taxes and
all other payments should be proportion-
ably low. Whence does it arise that low
Prices are ruinous and destructive now,
when they were accompanied with- great
and general prosperity thirty' years ago;
or in the still more auspicious period of a
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 4, 1821. [18
century ago ? No other reason can be
assigned than the difference which exists
in the amount of taxation, and in the pri-
vate contracts that were formed in a
depreciated, or at least in a very different
currency. The landlords have been falsely
represented as wishing for high rents,
though they would gladly agree to be
restored to the moderate rents which they
received in 1792, provided that they could
be replaced in the same situation with
regard to the taxes and other payments,
to which they were then subject. In some
cases, no rent whatever is now received
from land ; and in other cases, the mon-
strous spectacle has been exhibited, of rent
being paid by the landlord to the tenant.
I am informed, by authority on which [
can rely, that cases are known in Essex,
where landlords have paid half-a-crownu
per acre to the tenants to induce them to
continue the cultivation of the soil. This
is an undeniable proof, that in some cases
the whole produce of the land, after pay-
ing the expenses of cultivation, is con-
sumed by taxation; and I consider as
taxes, the poor-rates and other local
assessments, which fall exclusively and
most unjustly on the agricultural inte-
rest.-If we contemplate the effects which
the changeof currency has produced upon
taxation, we find that the public annui-
tants now receive twice as much in the
produce of the earth as they did in 1819,
and nearly twice as much as they then did
in other commodities. Is not this to be
considered as a most nefarious fraud that
has been practised on the nation, and as
an act of public robbery ? We hear much
about public faith, but it did not, and
could not pledge the nation to pay the
public creditors twice as much as they
ought to receive, and as they did receive
three years ago. The reduction of the divi-
dends, which is imperiously required
by the safety of the country, is strictly
conformable to justice, in consequence of
the alteration of the currency in which
they are paid. I wish that the question
between the nation and its creditors could
be argued as one between two private indi-
viduals, before my noble and learned
friend upon the woolsack, whom I vene-
rate as a most wise and learned, as well as
a most honest and upright magistrate.
His virtues and talents render him an or-
nament to this House and to the country,
and even to the age in which we live.
Though he is inclined, from those con-
scientious feelings, which are so honour.
C







19] HOUSE OF LORDS,
able to him, to pause and hesitate and
doubt, I am convinced that upon such a
question, he would have no hesitation or
doubt whatever, and that he would decide
upon the principles of equity, that if you
increase by a legislative measure the value
of the currency, you ought in the same
proportion to diminish the amount of
the payments, whether they are public or
private. If ministers will not, however,
diminish, and to a very considerable
extent, the amount of taxes, it is to be ex-
pected that the taxes will reduce them-
selves; for the period may not be far
distant, when the noble earl at the head
of the Treasury, may be obliged to pro-
vide warehouses and magazines to lodge
the corn and cattle, and implements of
husbandry, which he may wrest by distress
From an impoverished or ruined tenantry.
It is my firm conviction, that if the pre-
sent system should be long continued,
a national bankruptcy may be anticipat-
ed, and I would entreat your lordships
to cast your eyes upon that abyss of
ruin which is now opening beneath your
feet. From that ruin you have no re-
treat, but by one or the other of
.these two alternatives; that of extend-
ing the circulation, or of reducing taxes
and other payments; in the same pro-
portion as the value of the currency has
been increased. If we consider the effect
which the change of the currency has pro-
.duced upon private contracts, we must
recollect,that those contracts were formed
during nearly a quarter of a century, in
.a currency of a very different value and
description, and upon the declaration
which I find recorded on the Journals of
the House of Commons, that a pound
note and a shilling were equivalent in
public estimation to a guinea, although
.it was known that guineas were sold for
twenty-eight shillings each. The altera-
tion of the currency has had the operation
in private contracts, of conferring upon
one party an advantage which he is not
entitled to receive, while it imposes upon
the other a burden which he did not
.stipulate to bear. The effect has, in some
cases, amounted to nothing less than a
total confiscation of the property, and
many instances might be adduced of the
most melancholy and afflicting nature, of
individuals who have been ruined by the
operation of this measure. This indeed
has been said to be only a transfer of
property." The complaint, however, is
.In sorte cases, not that there is a


Address on the King's Speech [20
"transfer," but a destruction of property;
and the land which is wholly unprofitable,
and yields no rent, will not become of
greater value by being transferred to
some monied man, who may purchase it
on speculation, or as an investment,
which though it is not at present lucrative,
may be ultimately secure. What is a
highway robbery but a forcible transfer
of property ? And of what nature are
the transfers to which I allude? I am
filled with .horror and indignation, when
I hear called by the mild and gentle
phrase of a transfer of property," an
act of gigantic injustice, and the most
systematic spoliation which ever yet dis-
graced a government or desolated a
country. It has been described as a
general confiscation of the property of
debtors for the profit of their creditors.
And here I must beg to submit to your
lordships a question which is most in-
teresting and most important, and which
deserves your most serious consideration.
I know that parliament is invested with
great and extensive powers, which it
holds for the benefit of the people, from
whom they were originally derived, and
which it ought to exercise only for the
furtherance of that object. 1 would ask,
whether any parliament, however con-
stituted, even with that perfect system of
representation which does not now exist,
can have the right to plunder one portion
of the community for the profit of the
other? If it has not that right, and if
it should assume and exercise a power
which does not lawfully belong to it, I
would then ask your lordships, what are
the rights which in such a case would
belong to an oppressed and injured
people ? To prevent such injustice, to
avert those calamities, which, if continued,
may terminate in convulsion, this House
has the remedy in its own hands. Let it
act upon true constitutional principles,
and according to the practices of ancient
times, in refusing any supplies until
those grievances are redressed, which are
now become intolerable, and which would
have appeared incredible to our ancestors,
as they will, I trust, appear also to our
descendants. The argument in favour
of parliamentary reform, has become
unanswerable, and may prove to be
irresistible. To parliamentary reforin,
if conducted upon proper principles, I
am a zealous friend, but the mode of
executing that object is of not less im-
portance than theobjectitself; and while,







21] at-the Opening of the Session.
on the one hand, I deprecate those inept
and inefficient plans of reform which seem
to have in view only the abolition of close
boroughs, I should, on the other hand,
condemn still more strongly that mis-
chievous project of universal suffrage,
which would give the whole weight to
numbers, and would deprive property of
its just and salutary influence, and even
of its necessary protection. But, my
lords, if the grievances which we now
suffer should not be redressed, a convul-
sion may ensue, which may render it
impracticable to effect a reform of par-
liament with due deliberation. What, if
a hurricane should arise which might
shake the empire to its basis, and en-
danger all the existing establishments
both in church and state, a reform of
parliament might arrive too late. The
constant object of my zealous, but, alas !
ineffectual exertions, has been to secure
the public tranquillity, to promote, and,
as far as possible, to perpetuate the pub-
lic prosperity. If I were so selfish, which
happily I anm not, as to wish that the
separate interests :of any class of the
community should be pursued at the
expense of the others, I would intreat
ministers to persevere in the course which
they have adopted, to shut their eyes and
ears to the complaints of the people, and
to continue the present currency, and all
the taxes and payments which now exist;
for I am thoroughly convinced, that the
result would be to grant to the agricul-
tural interests, a relief such as they never
asked, such even as they never desired, by
the total annihilation and extinction of
the national debt. We should not then
hear of an equitable adjustment" of the
debt, and I approve of that phrase, but
the tongequences might be, that no vest-
ige of it would remain. Such may be the
consequence if the evil is allowed to take
its own course, and to work its own cure.
It has been truly observed by a noble
earl, whose'absence I deeply regret, that
" your lordships possess every quality
which can command respect, and which
ought to secure independence." In
this great crisis of our fate, a dereliction
of your duty would not be forgotten or
forgiven by the people. You will imme-
diately institute an inquiry into the cause
and into the cure of the present griev-
S ances, unless you are disposed tocarry
bankruptcy and beggary into every parish,
and to extend throughout the empire,
distress, discontent, despair, and even


FEB. 4, 1823. [22
disaffection. You will support the mo-
tion which I shall propose, if you are not
willing to be driven from the mansions of
your ancestors, where you have lived in
splendor, diffusing comfort and happi-
ness around you; and if you are not
prepared to become an assembly of noble
and titled paupers, whose poverty and
degradation would be the more galling
as contrasted with the wealth which you
have enjoyed, and would be the more con-
spicuous as combined with the rank
which you will still continue to possess,
I call upon you by the duty which you
owe to your country, by every tie the
most sacred, and by every consideration
the most solemn, to institute an immedi-
ate inquiry. Such is the object of the
proposed amendment; and I feel so
strongly the vital importance of the sub-
ject, that I am determined to take the
sense of the House. I know not with how
many nor with how few I may divide, but
I should not be ashamed or afraid to
divide alone. Unconnected as I am with
any party, the observations which I have
made may have no other weight than that
which they may receive from the integrity
of my principles, from the independence
of my conduct, and from my ardent zeal
to promote the happiness and welfare and
prosperity of my country.-I move, that
the following words be inserted before the
last paragraph of the. Address: That
this House views with the deepest regret
and anxiety the severe and unexampled
distress which now afflicts the country
and will immediately proceed to examine
its nature and its causes, the results that
have arisen from altering the value of the
currency, and the means of administering
speedy and effectual relief."
The Marquis of Lansdown trusted, that
his noble friend would not imagine that
he intended any thing like disrespect to
him, or that he felt any indifference for
the important topics of his speech, when
he said, that having, for reasons which he
would presently state, brought his mind
to the conclusion, after a patient consider-
ation of his majesty's Speech,, that it was
desirable that their lordships should adopt
the Address which had been proposed
with unanimity, he meant to abstain from
entering into a protracted discussion upon
any of the various matters to which his
noble friend had. very regularly and very
naturally adverted, and many of which
must, at a future period, become the sub-
jects of grave consideration. It was cer-







23] HOUSE OF LORDS,
tainly impossible to describe the distresses
of the country in too strong colours.
Their magnitude and importance must
bi felt and acknowledged by their lord-
ships; and he was certain that no man
could have a deeper sense of them than
himself. lie believed that the unabated
pressure which continued to weigh upon
the most important interest of the coun-
try, even tended to destroy the frame of
society; yet, with this impression, and
with these feelings, he felt it his duty to
declare, that there was a crisis at present
impending on the continent, which ought
to fix their lordships' attention almost to
the exclusion of every other subject, and
which would justify them in referring to
a future day the consideration of those
topics which had been alluded to by his
noble friend, however important they were
in themselves. It was hardly possible
that any one of their lordships could fail to
perceive, that transactions had recently
taken place on the continent, out of which
a crisis had arisen, which must come
home to the interests of every free coun-
try of Europe-he had almost said the
interests of every individual inhabitant of
Europe. It must particularly affect the
most important interests of this country.
He was of opinion that this country,
although anxious for the preservation of
tranquillity, would soon be placed in a
situation in which, unless it was prepared
to abandon the whole course of policy
which it had pursued for centuries, and
to discharge itself from the obligations
arising out of existing compacts to which
it was bound either by treaty or policy,
would be compelled to depart from a
pacific system, in vindication of that place
which it ought to maintain in the scale of
European society, and in support of the
national independence of those countries
with which we were connected. Under
these circumstances, he was not disposed
to offer any opposition to the address
which had been proposed for their lord-
ships' adoption, though he wished that
it had been couched in stronger terms.
He Wished that, both in the Speech from
the throne, and in the address which was
proposed to his majesty, there had been a
stronger and more explicit declaration of
the sense which this country entertained
of those principles which had unfortu-
nately found their way into the councils
of some of the great powers of Europe;
and which, if acted upon to the extent to
'which they might be carried, would not


Address on the King's Speech [2.r
fail to involve Europe in confusion, and
to rouse the worst and most dangerous'
passions of human nature. Those princi-
ples had now, for the second time, been
promulgated, in a manner which left no
room for doubt as to their tendency. It
would be vain and useless for ministers to'
attempt to conceal, even if they were so
disposed, the character and extent of such
principles, and the crisis which their pro-
mulgation had induced. Far fromthink-
ing it an object of expediency to palter
with the sense of parliament and the
country, he was of opinion, that his majes-
ty's ministers would act wisely and judi-
ciously, to unite with the legislature and
the people in expressing their indignation,
rather than their disapprobation, of the
system which was founded upon the
principles to which he had adverted, if
there was any chance of averting the cala-'
mities which must grow out of it. Whe-
ther or not government would declare its
opinion of the conduct of the continental
powers as he thought it should do-and
he was willing to believe that, in some
degree, it already had done so-he was
sure that public feeling would find vent
through some channels, and that every'
part of the country would be eager to-
proclaim to the world the opinion which
it entertained, and the sense which it
cherished, of the rights of nations and the
important interests which England had
in maintaining them. The people of
England had often been told that they
had been the means of restoring and estab-
lishing in safety certain continental go-
vernments, and that of France was among
the number. The price at which that
safety and restoration had been purchased
would long be remembered by this coun-
try. Our sufferings under the burdens
which were the consequence of our exer-
tions in favour of the present government
of France, were embittered by the pain-
ful reflection, that it was the existence of
those very burdens which compelled us
to hesitate, as to whether we could or
not venture to act, at the present mo-
ment, as our interests and character as
a nation demanded. It must bemortifying
to ministers and to the country to find,
that notwithstanding the many monitory
counsels which appeared to have been
administered by the British government
to the great foreign powers, those powers,
totally unmindful of the debt of gratitude
which they owed to this country, and of
the part which she ought to take in assert-







25]| at the Opening of the Session.
ing the independence of nations,' were
prepared blindly to rush upon an enter-
prise, which England had declared to be
dangerous to the welfare of Europe, and
in opposition to that system which had
been agreed upon at, what a noble lord
had that evening called, the pacification
of Vienna. After what was generally
known of the conduct of the English
government, it was unnecessary for him to
argue the unprincipled character of the
invasion of an independent nation, which
had been pointed at in the manifesto of
the congress of Verona, and had lately
been spoken of in a more undisguised
manner in the speech of his most Christian
majesty ihe king of France. Neither in
that, norin the other House of parliament,
could there be found a man so base and
so bold as to entertain and avow, a feeling
of approbation for the system .by which
it was proposed to regulate'the great con-
cerns of Europe. On the ground on
which he stood, therefore, he felt that he
was without an opponent. In 'the speech
of the noble mover of the Address, he
could not find the slightest approxima-
tion to an approbation of the unprincipled
system of the continental powers. On the
contrary, he could perceive, that if that
noble lord had not found himself cramped
by the peculiar situation in which he stood,
and the task which he had undertaken, he
would not have failed to speak of that
system in more emphatic terms. Such
being the case, it was unnecessary to argue
the'sense in which the conduct ofthe allied
powers was viewed in this: country; and it
was equally unnecessary to argue the me-
rits of that government, the existence of
which was now threatened. .Whatever
were the merits or the demerits of the
Spanish constitution, was a question into
which he would not enter. He entertained
speculative opinions upon that subject,
as any other man might do; but he felt
that distrust which every person ought
to be conscious of, when his opinions
were applied to the internal concerns of
another country. But, supposing for a
moment, that defects did exist in the
Spanish-constitution, the means by which
they were least likely to be remedied
was foreign interference. That alone
would be sufficient to attach every
patriotic Spaniard to the constitution of
his country. Men of all parties would
rally round it, and reserve for -another
time the task of its amelioration, if it
required any Without discussing the


FEB. 4, 1823. [26
merits of the Spanish government, which:
formerly had been acknowledged by all
the governments of Europe, although
some of them now thought fit to make
it the object of attack, he would en-
deavour to show the inevitable conse-
quences that must follow from the sVstern
of the continental powers, if put into
action. It should be remembered, that
those sovereigns who were now conducting'
an attack upon the independent govern-'
ment of Spain, founding their aggression'
on the principle of putting down theories'
and experiments in governments, were
themselves great theorists .and 'experi-
mentalists. Would it not be supposedd,:
from the language of the continental
state papers and manifestoes, that the
system of interference in the internal'
concerns of other governments had been
regularly attended with the,:happiest;
effects, and that the best inistitdtions
and governments were those'ivhich had
grown out of such interference ? But it
would be found in every part of the
history of the world, that the greatest
instances of human perfidy had been,
brought into action, for the purpose of
supporting governments founded on'
foreign interference. Let them look at'
the effects of such interference in modern;
times; 'let :them consider, the. state of
Naples, Piedmont, and of Poland; and
then he would ask, whether the Spaniards,i
with the example of those unfortunate
countries, and the experience of all his-
tory, before their eyes, were likely to'
accept that species of happiness, and that
degree of liberty, from the .hand of a
foreign master ? He would'-request their
lordships to bear in mind the part which
England took in a former invasion of
Spain, and then consider what line of
conduct it might be necessary for her
to adopt upon a similar occasion. The
projected invasion of Spain might
be successful. If so, by what means
could the government of a despotic king
be maintained in that country, except
by its military occupation by France?
In that case, what would be the situation
of our own country, and particularly of
Ireland, with every province of Spain
occupied by foreign troops, ready to be
directed against our maritime interests
and domestic peace? He need not, he
apprehended, say any thing more on this
point. There was, however, another
view of the question, not less important.
In the event of complete success attending







27]; HOUSE OF LORDS,
the French designs upon Spaini, what
would awaitPortugal ? It would beincon-
sistent with the principle-if principle it
could be called-upon which the French
government proceeded to leave a free
government' existing in Portugal, after
having succeeded in putting down one in
Spain. The French government wold,
therefore, attack Portugal.' Then he
would ask, whether Portugal' was not a
country which we were bound by treaties
to defend .with our' arniies-a "country
whose interests had always been held t6 be
indissolubly connected ivith thoseof Great
Britain ? 'It appeared certain, therefore,
that, in the eient of'any'hostile noveement
against Portugal by France, we should be
forced ilito a war, probably under highly
disadvantageous circumstances.-But, if
France were only partially' successful in
her attack, a danger ofanbther description
would await this couritry, ind' the rest of
Europe. If France should succeeding
penetratinginto, but nbt'in overwhelming,
Spain-if it should be obliged to' ldave a
portion of the goveirment in existence,
and a part of the population attached to
it, these upconquered Spaniards, grown
desperate, wbuld be compelled to have
recourse to every, measure, 'however 'ex-
travagant, and toi every'priniciple,.'how-
ever revolting. There would be reason
to dredd, that'defence might be sought
ip' the spirit' of Jacobini'sm 'and that it
would: be sent forth 6ver the world,
probably'to take root and spread in other
countries. ..He felt bound, however, to
bear testimony to thf prudence, temper,
moderation, ahd dignity which' had eha-
racterized the 'conduct of the Spanish
people. From regard fo the great' duse
in which they were embarked, 'aid ini thli
hope of the glorious triumph ofthat cause,
he 'most fervently prayed that it might
remain un stained by those excesses, W.hich
a too fervent love of liberty had produced
in other countries, Bdt it Would be too
xmich that Spaih, 'abandoned by all. the
world, apd pressed by a- foreign fde,- and
possessinhg no resource but the passions
of an infuriated people, should' abstain
from' callinig int6 action that instrument
sd potent for 'the present pIurposes, but
at the same time .so mischievbois'in its
results. If the governmentt of Spaih
should resolve fo raise the'standard 'of
JacBbinism, Rnd lt- loose tle population
of'that country,' the consequefines would
be fatal to the peace, not only Of Spain,
but of all Europe. In any view of the


Address oni the Kiing's Speeck


[Qs8 ,


subject, the invasion of Spain would be
attended with great danger to the welfare
of Europe. Such'being the sense which
he entertained of the crisis which was
now threatening Europe, and of the cha-
racter of'the principles which had pro-
duced it, he wished that the Address' had'
contained a more explicit declaration of
the opinionn' which their lordships enter-'
tained of those principles in general, and
of their application in the particular case
of Spain. But, being bound to 'give
credit to ministers for having used their
exertibins to'avert the calamity of a war
oOn the 'Continent; and, for having ad-'
dressed ptotestations,' however vainly,
against'the conduct of France, he must
confess that"he, did: not, undei all the
circumstances. of the. ase," think the
present was a fit time for proposing any
further declaration, .f :Opinion than was
contained, inthe Address;: and if he had
no other objection to the amendment of
his noble "friend, the 'absence of,. :-iy
allusion to the important question of the
state of thlecontinent would bd sufficient
to induce him to'reject it.' It ought not
to be forgotten;' also, that negociations
were still pending; hopes were'still en-
tertaiiied of convincing those Who would
riot be convinced, and influencing those
who would not :be 'influenced. With
respect to the question o'f' the currency,
which was alluded to'in the amendment,
he entertained :an opinion, that part,
though perhaps a small part, of the diffi-
cutties arising 'out, of the 'return to a
metallic standard, 'arose from the unfor-
tunate' preference which was given to a
gold rather than to a silver currency.
He could not see what benefit could 'aiise
frbnia general examination of the question
of the currency; but' t6o an inquiry
limited to the 'sole purpose 6f ascertaining
whether gold or silver was the most proper
standard, he would give his support and
assistance.-The state' of Ireland formed
one of the topics of his majesty's Speech.
'He was sorry that' he could not, last
session, prevail upon their lordships to
enter into an inquiry :concerning, the
causes of the disasters' of that country.
He' was happy to find that the state of
Ireland' appeared .at length seriously to
occupy the : attention' 6f his majesty's
government; and he trustedtha't vigo-
rous:and effectual': measures would be
adopted for' the' amelioratidn of that
country. In conclusion, he must .repeat
his wish, that the conduct qf France







29] at ihe Opening of the Session.
.towards Spain had been described in
terms commensurate with the character
of the proceeding. The fact was not truly
.stated, when it was. said that there was
." irritation subsisting between the French
and Spanish governments." If the em-
,peror of Austria were to send 100,000
men over to England to alter the con-
stitution of the parliament, he should
like to know how the noble earl at the
head of the Treasury would describe such
a proceeding. 'Would he infer from that
circumstance, that there existed an irri-
.tation between the courts of Vienna and
St. James's ? There should be no softening
.down of facts. England should show that
she was not yet fallen so low, 'as to be
obliged to conceal her opinions. He was
certain, however, that the unanimous vote
:of that night would convince the French
as well as the Spanish nation, that there
was but one opinion among the people.
.of England, with respect to the conduct:
of the former power.,
The Earl of Liverpool said, he would
nothave addressed their lordships upon the
,present occasion, but for the amendment
.which had been proposed by the noble"
.earl. He regretted'that the noble earl
had thought it his duty to propose that
.amendment, because :he. considered .it
,calculated to. disturb that unanimity!
which might be of the most essential ser-
vice. He regretted that 'circumstance
the more, because he could see no neces-:
.sity for the motion of the noble lord being:
made upon that particular day. There!
was nothing contained in the Speech from
.the throne, or in the Address to his ma-
jesty, which could; preclude the noble
earl from moving for an. inquiry as to the
.state of agriculture or the currency,' on
the first open day. There was no senti-
ment in the speech of the noble mover of
the Address which militated against anyi
opinion which the noble earl might enter-
.tain. He therefore greatly regretted that
the noble, earl had seized that occasion
to move his'amendment. Their lordships,
were. always. unwilling to adopt any'
amendment, unless it were provoked bythe:
Speech of the' person who proposed the)
* address,'orby, the address itself; because
it might, as on the present occasion, lead
tb a discussion on some of the most intri-
cate questions of 'political economy,
v :which every body :knew' cquld not,: in
such debates as usually took place on the
first day of the session, receive the
-minute attention which was necessary.


,FEn, 4, 1823. [SO
If at any future time, the noble earl
should think fit to bring the internal
state of the country,, either with respect
to its agriculture or its currency, under
the distinct consideration of their lord-
ships, he should be prepared to meet the
question. The noble marquis seemed to
be of opinion, that parliament had corn-
mitted a great mistake in 1819, in pre-
ferring a gold to a silver, currency. But
the noble marquis ought to have con-
sidered one thing before he broached his
proposition .respecting the currency. It
was one question, whether gold or silver
were the better standard ; and it was ano-
ther, whether, having adopted a standard,
parliament would change it, at the risk of
augmenting the existing evils. He would
now revert to those other topics of the
noble marquis's'speech. The noble mar-
quis did not object either to the terms
or the views of the Speech, or of the
Address, but thought that they did not
go far enough, and wished for a more
istinct declaration of the opinions and
policy of his majesty's government. Now he
could not conceive a more distinct, clear,
and open statement of intentions, than
was made iri the first paragraph of the
Speech .from the throne, which was as
follows:-" Faithful to the principles
which his majesty has promulgated to the
world, as constituting the rule of his
conduct, his 'majesty declined being, a
party to any proceedings at Verona,
which could be deemed an interference
in the internal concerns of Spain." It
would be in their .lordships' recollection
where those principles". were to be
found : they were to be found in a docu-
ment which had been alluded to by the
noble lord who moved the Address; it
was a note written by a dear and lamented
friend of his, and issued.on the 19th of
January, 1821. In that note, the policy of
the British government was distinctly de-
clared,. and ;it .rested on the. principle
of the law, of nations, which allowed every
country to be the jidge of haw it could
be best governed, and what. ought.to
.be its institutions; and, if exceptions to
the rule might arise out of self-deferite
and, self-preseivation,, they' were to be
considered as exceptions, and: were' to
stand on their ,owri peculiar. merits. It
wduld 'be in the' recollection; of noble
*lords, that a comment had been made
upon that document 6n a former occasion,
in the course of certain debates in..thrt
House. When the opinion. of ministers








51' HOUSE OF LORDS,
Was at that time asked, in respect of
recent transactions in Spain, his majesty's
government had most explicitly given
their opinion, and in a manner with which
the noble baron who had asked the ques-
tion expressed himself perfectly satis-
fied. His majesty's government, he
had no hesitation in declaring, viewed the
question of Spain as one clearly and
purely Spanish. It was not mixed up
with any other. The question of her
constitution was, for this purpose, not
mixed up with any other consideration
about the country. The constitution had
been actually adopted by Spain during
a war that raged in that country, and it
had been acknowledged by Great Britain.
If that constitution was defective, or
required correction (as possibly, looking
to the circumstances under which it was
,originated, it might have done), correc-
tion was in the power of her lawful and
recognized sovereign, when he himself
accepted it. Correction, accordingly,
correction, but not abrogation, was ad-
vised: -and he might at the time have
objected to it. Had the sovereign then
corrected it, the country would have
thanked him for the modification-the
people would have received it with ap-
plause. It was therefore that he (lord L.)
did say, that Spain having acted in the
manner he had mentioned, whatever right
of interference there might, under other
circumstances, exist as to other countries,
nobody could honestly apply it to the
case of Spain. But the question did not
rest here. The conduct of Spain was
most important in another point of
view-in regard to the danger which had
in some quarters been apprehended, from
the extension of those principles that had
been acted upon within her own domi-
nions, to other existing governments;
and this conduct showed that they who
resisted foreign interference with their own
institutions, were by no means endea-
vouring to effect the same changes in
those of other countries : for not only did
they not wish to do so, but they had ex-
pressly offered.a disclaimer to this effect.
'He could not but think that, over and
above 'all :the considerations that: must
weigh with those who were to sit in judg-
Inent upon the affairs of Spain, there
-was one that, in the discussion of such a
,question as this, must always carry with
oit the greatest weight and influence; for,
(although he certainly conceived that the
case ofSpain was to be.looked at, and


Address on the King's Speech [32
dealt with differently from that of another
country which was some time since the
subject of much discussion), he must
concur with the noble lord in thinking,
that whatever objections might be offered
to,' and whatever defects might (and
doubtless did) exist in a constitution of
this nature, yet there iad been, and he
sincerely trusted there would be, through-
out the career of those who had the con-
duct of affairs in Spain, a less taint of
blood, of crime, and of violence, than
was afforded by almost every other ex-
ample of a similar revolution that had
occurred in modern history. Such being
the views that were entertained by his
majesty's ministers, he thought there
could be no doubt in the mind of any
noble lord, as to the justice by which the
policy of Great Britain would be guided on
this occasion. But their lordships must
observe, not only the justice, but the expe-
diency of that policy, as the noble mar-
quis had observed, in insisting upon the
question of expediency. That was a ques-
tion arising out of the danger that might
accrue to all Europe, from an attempt to
overthrow theSpanish constitution by force
of arms. What wasthewisdom of this coun-
try at the present moment ? Whatshoold
it continue to be? It would be our wisdom
to confine ourselves -within a position
where we might be careful and vigilant
observers of every operation-a position
in which, without in any degree shrinking
from the avowal of those great principles
of conduct upon which we had always
acted in great emergencies, we might be
enabled, upon the approach of danger,
to arrest the evil and to prevent it from
extending to this kingdom. Having
offered these remarks, he, for one, should
have thought that the use of stronger
language than was called for, either by
the occasion, or by any necessity that had
been shown, would have been, whether in
the Speech from the throne, or the pro-
posed Address, most improper, and most
unwise. To have gone farther, indeed,
upon this subject, was hardly within the
power of his majesty's ministers ; for he
would even now say, notwithstanding all
the threatening facts which had become
matter of public notoriety, that war was
not absolutely unavoidable. He would
not say,' indeed, that appearances were
not strong; but he must hold, that
whilst peace yet existed between the
two countries, it would ill become either
the'power or the dignity of our own-legis-







33] at the Opening of the Session.
lature, to use language that could only
tend to prevent the attainment of that
very end which they so much desired.
The noble marquis had alluded to that
paragraph of the Speech, in which his
majesty had declared that he had employed
his good offices to allay the irritation
unhappily subsisting between the French
and Spanish governments." Now, he
should be extremely sorry, if those
words were to be supposed by any one
to have reference to such an act as a
forcible attack by France on the consti-
tutional independence of Spain. But
their lordships were aware, that there had
long existed causes of irritation" on
both sides. There could be no doubt
that, in consequence of the military ope-
rations on the frontiers, and of various
other circumstances, a catalogue of little
complaints might easily be drawn out by
each country. He did not mean to deny,
that it was very probable the stronger
party might take hold of occurrences in-
trinsically insignificant, for the purpose
of oppressing the weaker; all that he
said was, that no doubt there were many
causes of complaint on both sides.
When, therefore, his majesty spoke of
" allaying the irritation unhappily sub-
sisting between the French and Spanish
governments," the expression had evi-
dently reference, not to the forcible entry
of Spain by France, but merely to all
those minor causes of complaint between
the two governments, the existence of
which might very easily be conceived by
any one; and which the British govern-
ment, in the character of a mediator,
might not despair of being able to remove.
He would trouble their lordships no fur-
ther on the present occasion. He trusted
he had spoken with sufficient explicitness
on the question of the justice of the cause
of Spain-He trusted he had spoken with
sufficient explicitness on the question of
the policy of the war with which Spain
was threatened. On that latter point he
probably felt more strongly than the
noble marquis-he meant with reference
to the probable effect of war-not on
Spain only, but on France-not on France
only, but on all Europe. For, much as
he dreaded and deprecated war as affect-
ing the interests of Spain, he had no hesi-
tation in saying, that he dreaded and de-
precated it still more as affecting the in-
terests of France, and through France of
all Europe. With respect to the conduct
of this country in the possible situation in
VOL. VIII.


FEB.4, 1823. [3-
which it might be placed, every man
must feel, that under our present circum-
stances, the policy of this country was
neutrality. But, while he said this, he
protested against being supposed for a
moment to admit the idea-come from
what quarter it might-that if unavoid-
able circumstances presented no alterna-
tive to this country but war or dishonour,
it was not in a state to go to war. On the
contrary, he was firmly convinced, that if
parliament refused to adopt any measures
calculated to sap the foundations of pub-
lic credit, and if a war should appear to
be necessary to the preservation of our
honour, the country was in a state to
meet it. Still, he readily allowed, that,
after the extraordinary efforts which
Great Britain had so recently made, and
taking into consideration the present
state of Europe, it was most desirable that
if we could do so with regard to justice,
with regard to our safety, with regard to
our honour, with regard to our engage-
ments with our allies, we should preserve
our neutral position.--The present, how-
ever, was not the time for the considera-
tion of that question. He had already
asserted, and he would re-assert it, that
whatever might be the existing proba-
bility of a rupture between France and
Spain, he did not consider the door abso-
lutely closed against negotiation and
amicable arrangement. Believing there
was still a chance of accomplishing an
amicable adjustment, he maintained, that
as long as such a chance did exist, it was
the interest and the duty of this country
to hold such language as might not inca-
pacitate it from furthering an object so
generally desirable.
Lord Ellenborough declared, that he
had heard the greater part of the noble
earl's speech with much pleasure and sa-
tisfaction. But, acknowledging (as the
noble earl had acknowledged), that Spain
had given a disclaimer of the mischievous
principles that had been imputed to her
constitution and government, he was the
more astonished that the noble earl could
be satisfied with the mere repetition, in
the Speech from the throne, of that cold
and inadequate protest, which his majes-
ty's ministers had entered in respect of
the case of Naples. Yet more astonished
he was, that the noble earl could be satis-
fled with the line of policy that he would
have the coi otry adopt, seeing he consii
dered the door of reconciliation to be still
open. Looking to the former conduct of
D







S5] HOUSE OF LORDS,
government, he could not think that the
Speech from the throne really contem-
plated the preservation of peace on the
continent. At such a time as the pre-
sent, he was unwilling to indulge in any
language, that might excite anger or ill-
feeling. He could not help remarking,
however, that the conduct of his majesty's
ministers had, for a long time, been such
as not to place it in unison with the feel-
ings of the people of this country. He
had long observed, that the people placed
no confidence in them. He felt, indeed,
more than this-he felt that, whatever
might be the expressions which his ma-
jesty's government, with a view to their
own interests, chose to.put forth as the
expressions of their zeal for the interests
of these kingdoms, and however much
they might apparently desire to induce
the allied powers to accept them as their
own opinions, on this and on other occa-
sions-he could not but apprehend that
to those allied powers it somehow did ap-
pear, that the opinions of our own govern-
ment were not in reality very different
from those of the deliberating sovereigns
who assembled at Laybach and Verona.
If his majesty's government were sincere
*in those feelings which the noble earl had
described them as being actuated by,
they conceived themselves, upon their own
representation, to be bound by the feel-
ings entertained by the people of this
country. Yet if so, he was astonished,.
that at the first opening of the proceed-
ings that were had in the congress of
Verona-on the first manifestation of
those feelings to which allusion was made
in the Speech from the throne, ministers
did not on the instant call parliament to-
gether, and obtain the sanction of their
public opinion on matters of which the
importance seemed to render such a step
absolutely necessary. He could not but
think that the simple repetition of. a pro-
test on this occasion, which was originally
made two years ago in respect of dangers
that had now passed away, could hardly
have been deemed sufficient by those who
repeated it. But if, notwithstanding the
speech delivered by the king of France to
the two chambers-if, notwithstanding
the march of hostile armies into Spain,
the door-of reconciliation was yet indeed
open, he could not suppose that the
noble earl really imagined that the lan-
guage of the Address was of such a nature
as to quiet the fears that must be enter-
tained for the result. Surely the noble


Address on the King's Speech, [30
earl knew, that during the whole course
of the revolutionary war, it was from the
expression, the strong expression, of pub-
lic feeling, that every great project was
agitated, and every great measure at-
tended with success. But if noble lords
really felt an anxious desire to save Spain
from the dangers threatened by the inva-
sion of France, the consideration of our
dangers ought to induce us to, carry for-
ward our negotiations in the manner and
tone most likely to give them effect. The
noble lord then adverted to that part of
the marquis of Lansdown's speech, in
which he had alluded to the relative situa-
tion of Portugal to Spain, in the event of
Spain being attacked by France. What
had been suggested by his noble friend
on this subject could not have failed to
impress their lordships with its import.
ance. He also would now wish to ask,
supposing that Russia, more zealous and
more persevering in effecting the pro,
posed interference than France herself,
should ever obtain a station in the Medi-
terranean-Minorca, for example-were
the Russians to be permitted to remaining
the Mediterranean ? Supposing that
Spain, from the operation of unfortunate
events, should find herself unable to pre-
vent the French from possessing them-
selves of her territory left of the Ebro,
was it meant that we were to prevent the
blockade of the coasts of Spain by.
Russia ? or was the supply of stores to
the Spanish army to be interdicted to us ?
Feeling that the allies had, in fact, de-
clared war against the principles of all
governments, derived, either in their
origin or in their constitution, from the
people-feeling that the principles upon
which they would now attack Spain,
might, in their effect, apply to this coun.
try-feeling that the existence of the par-
liament of England was infinitely more
dangerous to the despotic authority of
the sovereigns of Verona than any thing
which had been done in, or imputed to,
Naples, Piedmont, or Spain-feeling that
it was highly desirable for this country
to maintain its ancient union with states
governed, not by absolute monarchs, but
by wholesome laws, and happy institu-
tions-he protested that he looked to the
event of success on the part of France
with infinite dismay. Feeling, too, that
in the threatened struggle so many cases
might arise, in which, consistently with
our honour and our interests, it would be
impossible that we should not be in-







37] at the Opening of the Session.
evolved, he did conceive that the noble
earl might have done more than merely
reiterate the protest of two years ago,
adapted to the peculiar circumstances
that were considered to render it neces-
sary, and quite inapplicable to the present.
: The Earl -of Darnley declared his in-
ability to concur in the amendment of
his noble friend. What he now rose for
was, to state that he had intended to call
the earliest attention of parliament to the
state of Ireland, with a view to mitigate
the calamities with which that unhappy
country was afflicted. The' passage,
however, in his majesty's Speech on the
subject, induced him to postpone that
intention.
Their lordships then divided on earl
Stanhope's Amendment: Contents, 3;
Not-Contents, 62. After which, the ori-
ginal Address was agreed to, nem. dis.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 4.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
Speaker having reported the Speech of
the Lords Commissioners, and read it to
the House,
Mr. Childe rose to move an Address
to his majesty. He said, he could
safely declare, that it seldom fell to the
lot of an individual to stand in a situation
of greater embarrassment than he did at
that moment-a situation which strongly
called for that patience and favour, which
he was taught to believe the House never
denied to an individual addressing them
for the first time. He rejoiced that the
Speech of his majesty contained so frank
and so satisfactory a declaration of those
principles which admitted the right of
self government on the part of other
nations. 'He was sure that that admis-
sion would give satisfaction to all descrip-
tions of his majesty's subjects. He was
sure that it was, that it had been, and
that it ever would be, the wish of this
country to maintain the dignity and the
honour of the crown ; but, after the long
hostilities in which it had been engaged,
the House, he was persuaded, would
feel with him, that it would be the height
of impolicy to'rush into a war, unless
onn question mainly and deeply affecting
the interests of the country. A war
was to be avoided, on accounts of the
fresh burthens it would necessarily im-
pose, and on-accounto of, the injurious


FEB.'4, 1823. [S8
effect it would have on our improving
commerce. -All interference against
Spain was to be avoided, on account of
those principles of equity and of justice
which should actuate one free nation in
its conduct towards another : and here he
could not forbear expressing his opinion,
that the interference against Spain would
be most disgraceful to this country, were
she to become, in any degree, a party to
it. It was not for him to enter into a dis-
cussion of the merits or demerits of the
Spanish constitution. The Spaniards
alone ought to determine that question;
but he believed that there existed on the
part of Spain'a power to preserve that
liberty and that honour, so necessary to
its support. This spirit was, he hoped,
sufficient, unless the pressure of external
affairs should unfortunately lead to a mili-
tary government. He wished not to he
misunderstood upon this important point;
for he did not mean to assert, that there
might not exist a case in which one go.
vernment might interfere with another:
but that particular case ought to be
founded on principles to which all would
give their 'support, and when the very
existence of the country was at stake. He
confessed he saw nothing in the case of
Spain, which would justify any such in-
terference-nothing that would justify
either France, Austria, or Russia, in inter-
fering. Deeply impressed with these
feelings, he could not but sincerely re-
joice at the course which his majesty's
government'had adopted; and he hoped
the efforts of his majesty would be effec-
tual to prevent a war, which would have
the effect of disturbing the peace of Eu-
rope.-He could not but sincerely con-
gratulate the House upon that portion of
his majesty's Speech which expressed his
majesty's hopes, that peace would be
preserved in the east of Europe; and he
hoped that it might be restored by grant-
ing rational liberty to Greece. He was
convinced the House would derive satis-
faction from the prospect held out by his
majesty, of preventing further depreda-
tions in the West Indian seas, and obtain-
ing indemnity to British subjects. But
it was still more satisfactory, that these
justdemands had been pressed upon the
Spanish government in such a conciliatory
tone and spirit, as to convince that go-
vernment itself, that they had not been
brought forward with any desire to add
ito its embarrassments. It was not less
pleasing to hear, that further measures







S9] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
had been taken by our government, for
the suppression of that nefarious traffic,
the slave-trade. He regretted that doubts
had been entertained by foreign govern-
ments of the sincerity of this country ;
but he hoped that the steps which had
now been taken, for the more effectual
suppression of that trade, would tend to
the attainment of that object which this
country had so much at heart.-He might
also be permitted to congratulate the
House upon the reduction in the esti-
mates, and the satisfactory state of the
revenue. The former circumstance was
an evidence of the laudable attention of
government to the wishes of the people ;
and the latter was a satisfactory proof of
the prosperity of the country in the ag-
gregate, and held out a strong hope of
the continuance of this state of gradual
amelioration, and of the further assist-
ance to be afforded. Whether this as-
sistance could be best obtained by one
application of the surplus of the revenue,
or by another, was a point which it would
be premature in him to discuss; but it
was most satisfactory to know, that a sur-
plus to a considerable amount did actually
exist; and the great question hereafter
would be, in what manner that surplus
could be best applied.-He next alluded
to the distress under which the agricul-
turists had laboured, and still continued
to labour. They had submitted with
such patience and fortitude to these
sufferings, that they were entitled to
every degree of indulgence which could
possibly be extended to them. When he
called to mind the gloomy forebodings of
many intelligent individuals, with regard
to our commercial and agricultural in-
terests, and contrasted them with the pre-
sent admitted prosperity, he could not
help doubting the propriety of the
gloomy ideas so entertained, and was in-
duced to believe that great hopes of ame-
lioration might be entertained by every
owner and occupier of land.-When he
called to mind the reductions that were
made in the last session, as well as those
intended reductions of which they received
an intimation that day, he saw reason to
believe, that government were inclined, as
far as it was in their power, to lighten the
burthens of the people. The reduction
of rents that had been so generally made,
would of itself have given relief to' the
occupier, were it not for that great load of
debt, which, had been contracted in
another currency. Notwithstanding the


Address on the King's Speech [40
difficulties of their situation, he yet hoped
for better times for the agriculturists,
He looked forward to an equalization of
the growth of produce, and of the con-
sumption of the country, by which means
the agriculturists would derive that fair
profit, which every member, as well on
private as on public grounds, would wish
to see them receive.-The state of Ireland,
to which the Speech of his majesty ad-
verted, required the utmost attention
from the government and parliament.
No one who looked at the newspapers of
the day, could fail to see the state of dis,-
organization which existed in that coun-
try, or could help feeling for its suffer-
ings. He had the utmost respect for the
distinguished nobleman at the head of
the government.of that country, but he,
unassisted by parliament, could do but
little. He believed that it was the anxious
wish of the ministers and of parliament,
to ameliorate the condition of Ireland : he
believed both were anxious to afford her
every practical relief; and he had reason
to think, that the present session would
not be suffered to pass by without extend-
ing a gradual amelioration of her state to
that interesting part of the empire, -so
that she might be truly incorporated with
this country, and that an end might be
put to those civil and, religious feuds,
which had been the great source of her
misfortunes. He now hoped that he had
fulfilled the duty imposed upon him; and
that he had done so in no way unbecom-
ing a gentleman generally attached to the
principles of his majesty's government.-.
The hon. gentleman concluded by thank-
ing the House for the indulgence which
bad been shown to him, and by moving,
That an humble Address be presented
to his majesty, to return to his majesty
the thanks of this House for the gracious
Speech which he has commanded to be
made to us from the throne :
To acknowledge with gratitude the
unremitting efforts which his majesty has,
since his majesty last met us in parlia-
ment, exerted for the preservation of the
peace of Europe:
To assure his majesty that we learn
with the highest satisfaction that, faithful
to the principles which his majesty has
promulgated to the world, as constituting
the rule of his conduct, his majesty de-
clined being party to any proceedings at
Verona, which could be deemed an inter-
ference in the internal concerns of Spain,
on the part of foreign powers:







41] at the Opening of the Session.
"To express our anxious hope, that the
endeavours and good offices which his
majesty has used, and continues to use,
for the purpose of allaying the irritation
which unhappily exists between the French
and Spanish governments, may yet be
successful, in averting the calamity of.
war between France and Spain:
",That we are gratified by the informa-
tion that his majesty flatters himself that
peace will be preserved in the east of
Europe, and that his majesty continues
to receive from his allies, and generally
from other powers, assurances of their
unaltered disposition to cultivate with his
majesty those friendly relations which it
is equally his majesty's object on his part
to maintain:
That we rejoice to hear that the dis-
cussions which had been long pending
with the court of Madrid, respecting de-
predations committed upon the commerce
of his majesty's subjects in the West
Indian seas, and other grievances of
which his majesty had been under t e
necessity of complaining, have terminated
in an admission by the Spanish govern-
ment of the justice of his majesty's com-
plaints, and in an engagement for satis-
factory reparation :
That we.return our humble thanks
to his majesty for the assurance that his
majesty, in pursuance of the addresses
presented to him by the two Houses of
Parliament with respect to the foreign
slave trade, directed propositions for the
more effectual suppression of the evil to
be brought forward by his plenipotentiary
in the conferences at Verona: and for the
information that articles have been added
to the treaties on this subject already
concluded between his majesty and the
governments of Spain and the Nether-
lands, which will extend the operation of
those treaties, and greatly facilitate their
execution:
"To thank his majesty for having di-
rected the estimates of the current year to
be laid before us; and to express the sa-
tisfaction with which we learn that their
amount will be found, materially below
that of last year, and that this diminution
* of charge, combined with the progressive
improvement of the revenue, has produced
a surplus exceeding his majesty's expec-
tation:
S' "To assure his majesty that we shall
feel the utmost gratification in availing
ourselves of the opportunity further con-
siderably to reduce the burdens of the


FEB. 4, 1823. [42
people, after making due provision for
the services of the year, and without af-
fecting public credit:
'" To express our full participation in
the impression made upon his majesty by
the manifestations of loyalty and attach-
ment to his person and government which
his majesty received in his late visit to
Scotland:
That it gives us the greatest pleasure
to learn that the provision made in the
last session for the relief of the distresses
in considerable districts in Ireland, has
been productive of the happiest effects:
and to assure his majesty that he may
rely upon our willing and.careful consi-
deration of such measures of internal re-
gulation as may be calculated to promote
and secure the tranquillity of Ireland, and
to improve the habits and condition of the
people:
That we concur with his majesty in
deeply regretting the continued depression
of the agricultural interest; and that
while we share the satisfaction with which
his majesty contemplates the increasing
activity which pervades the manufacturing
districts, and the flourishing condition of
our commerce in most of its principal
branches, we trust,,with his majesty, that
the progressive prosperity of so many of
the interests of the country cannot fail to
contribute to the gradual improvement of
that great interest which is the most im-
portant of them all."
Mr. Wildman rose to second the Address,
and after alluding to his own embarrassed
feelings, observed, that it was to him a
matter of great consolation, that there
were so many points in his majesty's Speech
which afforded him an opportunity of
congratulating honourable members upon
the happy prospect of improvement held
out to the country. He adverted to the
course which his majesty's government
had wisely thought fit to adopt in the
councils at Verona, and felt convinced
that every honourable member would
agree with him, that it would have been
highly derogatory from the dignity of this
country to have interfered with the internal
affairs of Spain. He sincerely hoped that
the anxious endeavours of his majesty to
avert the calamity of war between France
and Spain would be successful. He enter-
tained sanguine expectations, that in the
east of Europe the mediation of his ma-
jesty would have a beneficial effect. He
then shortly alluded to the steps which
had been taken with the British go-








43] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
vernment with regard to the depreda-
tions in the West Indian seas. He next
called the attention of the House to the
improving state of the revenue, and offered
his sincere congratulations,-that a surplus
had been produced, exceeding the expec-
tation of government. The system of
economy which had been pursued in for-
mer years would, he doubted not, produce
a similar improvement in the revenue ac-
counts of the present year. Without in
any degree injuring the public credit,
every hope was held out that the burdens
of the people would be considerably les-
,sened, by a further reduction of taxation.
He adverted to the provisions which had-
been made by parliament for the reliefof Ire-
land, and expressed his great satisfaction
that the prompt assistance so afforded had
had a beneficial effect. He hoped that
further measures would be adopted, which
would have the effect of rendering the in-
dustry and energy of that country advan-
tageous to themselves and to surrounding
nations. With respect to the manufac-
turing and commercial interests, he might
be allowed to congratulate the House upon
their gradual state ofimprovement. From
this smiling prospect of,amelioration, he
drew the happiest auguries; and, after
having but lately been engaged in those
long and arduous struggles which had
conferred a lasting honour upon the Bri-
tish nation, it was a proud satisfaction to
reflect, that this country had recovered
from her difficulties, and was now in a
most prosperous state. He then adverted
to the propositions which had been brought
forward by his majesty's plenipotentiary
at Verona, for the more effectual suppres-
sion of the slave trade; and trusted, that
the interference of this country would
prove ultimately beneficial. This go-
vernment had acted upon the best and
wisest principles, and had gone so far as
even to sacrifice her own colonies, rather
than suffer other nations to carry on that
nefarious traffic. Other nations had en-
joyed the credit of having abolished the
slave trade equally with this country;
but he deeply regretted, that the declara-
tionsq of some of the foreign powers had
been merely nominal, and that they had
carried on the trade with redoubled ener-
gy, and with a tenfold degree of cruelty.
He hoped that ministers would continue
to exert every effort to suppress this ini-
quitous traffic, and thus prevent the total
destruction of the British colonies. In
tonsidering- the distresses endured by the


Address on the King's Speec 1 [44
agricultural interests, he could not but
sympathize with the regret so feelingly
expressed by his majesty. He however
trusted, that as the commercial interests
of the country were in such an improving
state, the agriculturists would derive be-
nefit therefrom, and gradually recover
their former prosperity. He thought that
a good understanding between landlord
and tenant would greatly tend to promote
the desired object. lHe felt, too, that a
portion of their sufferings might be alle-
viated, by adopting a different system of
agriculture: he particularly alluded to
the too general production of wheat by
farmers. If other grain were brought to
market in larger, and wheat in smaller
quantities, the effect, he thought, would
be extremely advantageous to the grower.
If the tenants could be induced to return
to those habits of economy with which
their forefathers conducted their concerns,
it would also tend to an alleviation of the
burdens now weighing so heavily upon
them. As connected with this important
subject, a revision of the poor laws, he
conceived, could not fail to be most bene-
ficial. This was a question which called
for the immediate consideration of the
House, and he hoped that the session
would not be allowed to be passed over,
without a minute investigation of the sub-
ject. He concluded by seconding the
Address.
Sir Joseph Yorke said, he was afraid he
should be accused of great presumption
in offering himself thus early to the notice
of the House, after the two speeches which
they had just heard; but though not
called upon, he should still offer a few
words, not to move or second, but to third
the Address. He would not, however,
detain the House by going over the gene-
ral topics to which it referred. It was
only upon that part of it which related to
the foreign policy of the country, that he
would raise his feeble voice. It was with
real satisfaction that he found ministers
following the good old feelings of the
country, and not advocating an inter-
ference in the internal concerns of another
state. He was glad to find that the in-
structions given to our ambassador at Ve-
rona were to be silent on the occasion when
the other states raised their voices in sup-
port of an interference with Spain. By
silence, he meant not acquiescence in, but
opposition to, that interference. He
thought this country was bound to show
to France and the world, the absurdity,







45) at the Opening of the Session.
impolicy, and injustice of a declaration of
war against Spain at the present moment.
For his own part, hewould say, that a
more outrageous act of violence never was,
and never could be committed, than the
present meditated attack upon that brave
nation. It should be recollected, thaf
these Spaniards were the very men who
placed the Bourbons on the throne-
who seated Ferdinand himself at the head
of the government; at a period when no
power could have forced him against their
will. And, was it against such men that
the Bourbons of France were now going
to war ? He trusted the evil might be yet
averted; for who could say, when blood
was once shed, and when cannon were
fired on this side of the Bidassoa-who
could say, that this country could long re-
main neuter ? Circumstanced as we were,
it might indeed be wished that ours should
be neutral station ; but with a commerce
extending from pole to pole; with inte-
rests which must be more or less affected
by every hostile movement between the
powers of Europe, and particularly be-
tween those two powers he had named, he
would ask any man, whose breast beat
with honest feelings of independence, how,
situated as we were, we could keep long
out of such a war, if once commenced ?
It was for this reason, and because he was
anxious to avert the evil if possible, by a
strong declaration of the feelings of this
country, that he would wish every member
of that House to rise in his place, and state
his opinion, as to whether France was right
in her present course or not. He would
wish even that every member was required
to get up in alphabetical order, and state
what were his sentiments on this occasion.
His hon. friend, the mover of the Address,
had expressed himself strongly and
warmly against all interference, and had
come to the House in full military attire,
as if war had been already declared. It
was not, however, and i4e trusted it would
not; for he thought the best course which
we could take was, if possible, to be
strictly and honourably neuter.
Mr. Brougham* rose, he said, in conse-
quence of the appeal made to every mem-
* ber of the House by the gallant officer
who had just sat down, to declare his sen-
timents. He answered to that appeal,
which did credit to the honour, to the
English feeling, of that gallant officer;

From the original edition, printed
for J. Ridgway.


FEn. 4, 1823. [46
and he joined with him, and with every
man who deserved the name of Briton, in
unqualified abhorrence and detestation of
the audacious interference to which he
had alluded ; or, if that detestation was
qualified, it could only be by contempt
and disgust at the canting hypocrisy
of the language in which the loathsome
principles of the tyrants were pronul-
gated to the world. He had risen to
make this declaration, called upon as he
was, in common with every member; but
he should ill discharge his duty, if he did
not mark his sense of the candour of the
two hon. gentlemen who had moved and
seconded the address, and express his
satisfaction at what, in the House, however
divided upon other points, would be
almost, and in the country certainly would
be quite, unanimously felt to be, tho
sound and liberal view which they had
taken of this great affair. Indeed, he
knew not, circumstanced as they were,
that they could go farther; or even that
his majesty's ministers, in the present
state of this very delicate question, ought
to have gone beyond the communication
of to-day. That communication, coupled
with the commentary of the honourable
mover, would be the tidings of joy, and
a signal for exultation to England-it
would spread joy and exultation over
Spain,-would be a source of comfort to
all other free states,-but would bring
confusion and dismay to the allies, who,>
with a pretended respect for, but a vile
mockery, of religion and morality, made
war upon liberty in the abstract, and en-
deavoured to crush national independence
wherever it was to be found;. and were
now preparing, with their armed hordes,
to carry their frightful projects into exe-
cution. That Spain would take comfort
from the principles avowed in the House
this evening, he was certain; and he was
not less clear, that the handful of men at
present surrounding the throne of our
nearest and most interesting neighbour,
(who, by the way, had, some how or
other, been induced to swerve from the
prudent counsels which had till of late
guided his course) would feel astonished
and dismayed with the proceedings of this
day, in. proportion as others would he en-
couraged. Cheering, however, as was
the prevalence of such sentiments; highly
as they raised the characterof the nation;
and much as might be augured from their
effects, still he thought no man could,
deny, that the country was at present ap.








471 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
preaching to a crisis such as had not oc-
curred perhaps for above a century, cer-
tainly not since the French revolution.
Whether he viewed the internal condition
of the kingdom, and the severe distress
which pressed upon that most important
and most useful branch of the commu-
nity, the farmers; or cast his eyes upon
our foreign relations, the circumstances
of this country appeared, to the mind of
every thinking man, critical and alarm-
ing. They might, it was true, soon wear
a better aspect, and we might escape the
calamities of war ; but he must be a bold
and possibly a rash man, certainly not a
very thoughtful one, who could take upon
him to foretell that we should have so
happy a fortune. It was the deep consi-
deration of these circumstances which in-
duced him to come forward and make a
declaration of his principles ; and to state,
that with a strict adherence to the most
rigid economy in every department-the
reduction of establishments which he was
at all times, if not the first, at least
amongst the foremost, to support, and
which was so necessary, under the ordi-
nary circumstances of the country, must
now be recommended, with a certain mo-
dification, in order to adapt our policy to
the present emergency. He was guilty
of no inconsistency whatever, in thus
qualifying the doctrine of unsparing re-
trenchment; indeed, the greater the
chance of some extraordinary demands
upon our resources, from the aspect of
affairs abroad, the more imperious was
the necessity of sparing every portion of
expense not absolutely requisite. Eco-
nomy to its utmost extent, he still recom-
mended as politic, and urged as due to
the people of right, and every useless ex-
pense was now to be regarded as more
inexcusable than ever, both because the
country was suffering more severely, and
because it might become necessary to in-
crease some parts of our establishment.
He said he was certainly not prepared to
propose, or to suffer, as far as his voice
went, any the least reduction of our naval
force, to the extent even of a single ship
or seaman ; on the contrary, he feared
the time might not be far distant, when
its increase would be required. Any
such augmentation of the army, he could
not conceive justifiable in almost any
circumstances; for, happen what would,
a war on our part, carried on with the
wasteful-and scandalous profusion of the
last, and upon the same vast scale, or any


Address on the King's Speech [48
thing like it, was wholly out of the ques-
tion.-Mr. B. here entered at some
length into the internal state of the coun-
try; the indications of distress at the
various meetings; the inconsistency of
the violent attacks made upon the Norfolk
petition, by those who had passed the
Gold Coin bill of 1811, which enacted
the parts of the Norfolk plan most liable
to objection-the inadequacy of any relief,
to be obtained from repeal of taxes that
only affected small districts,-the abso-
lute necessity of repealing a large amount
of the taxes pressing generally on all
classes-and, for this purpose, urged the
necessity of a saving wherever it could
he effected with safety; and, at any rate,
of giving up the sinking fund. He then
proceeded :-He thought that if war was
once commenced, we should -soon be
compelled to take some part in it, one
way or other, and that for such an emer-
gency, every shilling which could be saved
by the most rigid economy, should be
reserved. He thought our intervention in
some shape would become unavoidable.
We were bound, for instance, to assist
one party, our old ally Portugal, if she
should be attacked ; and it was not likely
thatshe could remain neuter, if the present
hateful conspiracy against Spain ended in
open hostility. It was in this view of the
question that he differed from the gallant
officer who last spoke; and he was glad
that he could not collect from the honour-
able mover or seconder, the ominous
words strict neutrality," as applied to
this country, in the threatened contest.
A state of declared neutrality on our part
would be nothing less than a practical
admission of those principles which we all
loudly condemned, and a licence to the
commission of all the atrocities which we
were unanimous in deprecating. He would
say, therefore, that it was the duty of his
majesty's ministers (with whom he should
rejoice to co-operate on the occasion-and
so, he was certain, would every one who
then heard him, waving. for a season all
differences of opinion on lesser matters)
to adopt and to announce the resolution,
that when certain things shall take place
on the continent, they will be ready to
assist the Spaniards-a measure necessary
to avert evils, which even those the least
prone to war (of whom he avowed himself
one) must admit to be inevitable, should
a wavering or pusillanimous course be
pursued.. Our-assistance would be neces-
sary to resist the wicked enforcement of







49] Ir the Opening of the Session.
'principles, contrary to the law of nations,
and repugnant to every idea of national
independence. To judge ofthe principles
now shamelessly promulgated, let any
man read patiently, if he could, the
declarations in the notes of Russia, Prus-
sia, and Austria; and, with all due re-
spect to those high authorities, he would
venture to say, that to produce any thing
more preposterous, more absurd, more
'extravagant, better calculated to excite a
mingled feeling of disgust and derision,
would baffle any chancery or state-paper
office in Europe. He should not drag
the House through the whole nauseous
details; he would only select a few pas-
sages by way of sample, from those nota-
'ble productions of legitimacy. In the
communication from the minister of his
Prussian majesty, the constitution of
1812, restored in 1820, and now esta-
blished, was described as a system which,
" confounding all elements, and all
power, and assuming only the single
principle of a permanent and legal oppo-
sition against the government, necessarily
destroyed that central and tutelary autho-
rity which constitutes the essence of the
monarchical system." Thus far the king
of Prussia, in terms, which, to say the
least, afforded some proof of the writer's
knowledge of the monarchical system, and
of the contrast which, in his opinion, it
bore to the present government of Spain.
The emperor of Russia, in terms not less
strong, called the constitutional govern-
ment of the cortes, "laws which the
public reason of Eutope, enlightened by
the'experience of all ages, stamped with
its disapprobation;" and complained of
its wanting the conservative principle
of social order." Where, in the conser-
vative character of keeper of the peace of
Europe, did his imperial rhajesty discover
that the constitution of Spain had been
stamped with the disapprobation of the
public reason of Europe ? Let the House
observe, that the public reason of
Europe, enlightened by the experience of
All ages," happened to be that of his
imperial majesty himself for the last ten
years exactly, and no more for, notwith-
standing that he had the '" experience of
all ages" before his eyes, he did, in the
year 1812, enter into a treaty 'with Spain,
with the same'cortes, the same 'constitu-
tion, not one iota of which had been
changed, up to that very hour. 'In
that treaty, liis imperial majesty 'the em-'
peror of all the Russias, speaking of the
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 4, 1823. [50
then government, did use the very word
by which he and his allies would them-
selves be designated-the word, by the
abuse of which they were known-he did
call the Spanish government of the cortes
"a legitimate government," that very
government, of the constitution of which,
the Spaniards had not changed one word;
and God forbid they should change even
a letter of it, while they had the bayonet
of the foreign soldier at their breast! Hi
hoped, if it had faults-and some faults
it might have-that when the hour of
undisturbed tranquillity arrived, the
Spaniards themselves would correct them.
If they would listen to the ardent wish of
their best friends-of those who had.
marked their progress, and gloried in the
strides they had made towards freedom
and happiness, and would go to the
world's end to serve them in their illus-
trious struggle-of those, above all, who
would not have them yield an iota to
force-it would be to disarm the reason-
able objections of their friends, but not
give up any thing to the menaces of their
enemies.-He should not go more into
detail at the present moment, for ample
opportunities would occur of discussing
this subject; but he would ask, in
the name of common sense, could any
thing be more absurd, more inconsistent,
than that Spain should now be repudiated
as illegitimate by those, some.of whom
had, in treaties with her, described her
government, in its present shape, by the
very term legitimate government ?" In
the treaty of friendship and alliance,
concluded in 1812 between the emperor
of all the Russias and the Spanish cortes,
Ferdinand being then a close prisoner in
France, his imperial majesty, :by the
third article, acknowledged in express
terms, the cortes "and the constitution
sanctioned and decreed by it."-But not
only was the conduct of the allies towiards
Spain inconsistent with the treaties of
some among them *ith Spain,-he would
show that their principle of interference,
was wholly at variance with treaties
recently made amongst themselves; He
would prove, that one of the fundamental
principles of a late treaty, was decidedly
opposed to any discussion' whatever
amongst: them, respecting the internal
situation of that country. By the 4th
article of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle,
dated Nov. 1818, it was laid down, that
a special doggress sight be held, from
time to time, on the -affairs of Europe :
E






1] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
or, to upp the words, and borrowing the
hypocritical cant of their predecessors,
the three power* who basely partitipnel
Pqland-w yo, while they despoiled a
helpless nation of it independence, kept
preaching about the quiet of Europe, the
i~tegity of its states, and the morality
and happiness of their people-who
talked daily about their desire of calm
repose, the atmosphere, he well knew,
in which elspotisM l1ved1 to breathe, but
which an ancient writer had eloquently
painted, when he said, that they mistook
for peace, the stillness of desolation-
following the vile cant pf their ancestors,
the allies declared, at Aix-ln-Chapelle,
ihat their object wa. to secure the tran-
uillity of Europe-th ththeir fundamental
principle should he, never to depart frpt
a strict adherence to tlet law of nations:
faithful to these principles," (continued
thin half-sermon, half-romance, and half-
state paper) they would only study the
happiness of their people, the progress of
the peaceful arts, and attend carefully tp
the interests of morality and religion, of
late years, unhappily too much neglected"
---lere, again, following the example of
ts autocratrix Catherine---the spoiler of
Poland, who, having wasted and pillaged
it, province after province, poured in
hordes of her barbarians--which hewed
helir way to the capital through myriads
of Poles, and there, for one whole day,
from the rising of the sun to the going
down thereof, butchered its unoffending
inhabitants, unarmed men and womfp,
ad ifants; and, not content with this
,ork of undistinguishing slaughter, after
qe pgase of the night had given time for
pooling, lose on the Wnorrow, renewed the
carnage, and continued it throughout
that day; qnd after .this, ordered a, Te
y,1, to be sung, to return thanks f9r
her Ysccess over the enewfis of Poland !--
'That mild and gentle sovereign, i1n th e
ipidst of these most horrible outrqges
'pon every feeling of human nature,
sued a proclamation, in which she
assured the Poles, that she felt towards
them, "the solicitude of a tender mother,
h, ebe .heart is only illeda with sentiments
f ngdnegs for all her children." Who
Puld, or who dared, doubt, that she was
,l ea so described herself; and who
.9puld, after the eperienp c of tie ist
g.disp u4te litime .eycift pf the
id powers, a he giy of thei
Ipteytions towards SpinI gut, aloPg
w4th this declaration of the loject of


,Address on the King's Spee.1A (Wi
future congresses, came the stippultipp
which he should like to see sme Germqp
statist, sore man versed in the manqffc-
tory of state-papers, compare wih, al,
reconcile to, the nptes fashioned at Yerpoa,
not unlikely by the very lands wiyic
had produced the treaty of Aix-la-
Chapelle. The stipulation was thi:--
Special congresses concerning the affair*
of states not parties to this alliapn, shall
not take place, except" (ard here he
shouldlike to know how Spain, whiW
was no party to the alliance, had brqugl,
herself within the exception)--' except
in consequence of a formal invitation frg,
such states;" and their amib)asidpor
shall assist at such congresss" Hnr
would any German stftist reconcile these
contradictions? Here the int fertepce i
thie internal affairs of Spain wqs npt only
not by special imitation from, hu$
was in downright opposition to, the xill
of Spain. Thus stood the pconp~t of
those holy allies diametrically opposed to
their own professions and. engag~entyg
and by such means was the attemppt q
made to crush the ipdepenepce of a
brave people !-But it was not ip the cmf
of Spain alone, that the considgratfi gf
tlihse papers was importapt-they fur,
nished grounds of rational fear tg all inr
dependent governments; for he shpnl4t
be glad to learp, what case it was (poqn
the doctrines no~ advanced) to whip thit
principle of interference might n e gex-
tended-on wl'ich the authority to cm-.
ment, criticie, and dictate, might not b
assured ? The House was not qware of
the latitudp to which the interfere-ce of
those armed legislators might be, nay
actually was, extended. The rev.ot of
the colonies was distinctly stated as one
ground of interposition. The allies ki]rlly
offered their "intervention," to reatqre
this great branch of "the strength qf
Spain." There was no end of the qqC-s
sips for interfering which they tok.
One was rather alarming-the accident oa
a sPoveregn having weak or bad ministers,
Russia, forsooth, was anxious to se,
Ferdinand surrounded with the most
enlightened, most faithful of his sub-
jects"-men 't of tried integrity and sy-
perior talents"-men, in a word, wbl,
should be every way worthy of hiwself.
SI that, according tq these wise men 9K
Yeron (aand this ,,gas a consadratjio
which should P.lo qid,to, ine some pthej
sfntries aswell aor pai) thpe diees9,
of an inefficiet or unprincipled adnPipi9.i







4M t ithe `Opening of je Sessione
ration, wofild be of itself a just ground
of iriterfeenbe. The principle did not
s6t'd here ruinous loans," formed and-
the grbdund, and" contributions unceas-
ingly rdne*ed;" taxes which, for year
tftdt year, exhausted the public treasures
dtid the fortunes of individuals." All
thfid were instances, in which the princi-
ple of inietfeehine rfiight apply to other
ObdittfieA beside Spaiti; and he had no
d'dttbt that vhlen the same doctrines were
Extended to certain countries, the prepd-
itory ainhifesto would make menfidn of
agfidtiltural distress and tie sinking
futid. But to complete all the charges
Agairist Spain, the tuissian einpetor finish-
ad his invective with the awful assettibh,
that, on the 7th of July, blood was seen
to fldo ii the palace of the king, and
a dcvil war raged throughout the penin-
sula." It was true, that a revolt had
been excited in some of the provinces.
Btr by whdm? An ally. It was pro-
duced by those cordons of troops, which
wete posted 6n the Spanish frontier, armed
ivith gold and with steel, and affording
Shelter and assistance by force, to those
in whose minds disaffection had been ex-
dited bi bribery. It was also true, that
blood had been shed. Bdt, Would it not
be supposed, by any person unacquainted
with the fact, and who only read the
statement in the manifesto, that this was
Bldod shed ih an attempt to dethrone
Ferdinand, and introduce some new and
inhea rd-df form of government ? At any
fate, did not this statement plainly intend
it to be supposed, that the constitutional
party had made the onset, and shed roy-
Alist, if hot royal blood? But, what was
the fact? A few persons e're killed whol
had first attacked the constittiorialists,
in dther words, mutinied against the
established government, the government
whieh the emperor Alexander himself had
redognized as legitimate in 1812; and
this he had now the audacity to call the
shedding of blood by Spaniards ih the
palace of the king! As wdll ihight he
accuse the people, the parlardient, and
the crown of Etglarid, df eausifig blood
to fl6o iin the palace of the king," for
ordering their sentinels to fire on some
person whom they might find attempting
to assassinate ile esoveeign, as accuse the
Spaniards' 6f such a crime, fdt the events
which happened in July 1822.-He
sihiuld pass over maNly other heay- charges
leveled at the Spaniards, in plifases of
terrible inipdrt, a~ hai bouring a *' disdr-


Fs 4, j8-3. (
ganized philosophy," indulging iii
dreams of fallacious liberty," and the
want of "' venerable and sacred rights,"'
with which the Prussian note was loaded
id repletion: and should proceed to the
Russian, which objected to the Spiniards
their want of the true conservative prid-
ciple of social order;" or, in other word,
of despotic power, in the hands of onte
man, for his own benefit, at the expeins
of all mankind besides; and to theii ndt
falling within the scope of those "grind
truths," which, though they Were ever
in their mouths, were no where explained
by any one of the three sovereigns. The
Austrian note discoursed largely of flih
solid and v8oirable claitiis" which thW
Spanish nation had upon the rest of Eu-
rope: prayed it to adopt a better fort
oi government than it had at present; ind
called upon it to reject a system which
was at once powerful and paraliied.'"
It would be disgusting to enter at any
length into papers, at once s6 despidablI
in their execution, and in their plan s6
abominably iniquitous. There was Bit
bne sentiment held regarding them o6t of
the House; and his exetise for taking in-
tice of them now, was his desire t6 call
forth a similar expression of feeling ftbfi
the House itself. Monstrousi and inisdlent
and utterly unbearable, as all of thedi
were, he considered that of Russia to bd
thore monstrous, more insolent, and rimoi
prodigiously beyond all endurance, thtii
the rest. It was difficult to deterniidd
Which most to admire-the murvelloan
incongruity of her language arid conduct
now, with her former most solemni tiWat-
ie ; or the iriredible presumption of fret
standing forward to lead the aggtessnih,
,upon the indepetdeice of all free' afd'
polished states. Gracioua God! Russii 1'
.-a power that wa drily half civilized-.
that, with all hei dolobssl mass of physi,
cal strength, was still qdite as miich Asi-
atic as Edropeanm--Whos oe principles df
policy, fdreigtt and doihestic; w re btilt-
pletely despotic, aiid whose practided
were altnst altogether orietital and bar-
barons !. hi all these precious documetiti,
there was, with a righty number of gene-
ral remarks, mixed up a wondrous affect-
ation of hohest prihcipeld-a great iidany
words covering ideas flia iiere ridt altoge-
ther clear and intelligible; or, if they
happeried to iE' so, only placing their own
defortifity if a utite hidtouk and defest-
able fight bit, for argitAfit, dr anh
thing like it, tfitrd was fitie'to e fbadd







k5] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
from the beginning to the end of them.-
They reasoned not, but spoke one plain
language to Spain and to Europe, and
this was its sum and substance: We
have hundreds of thousands of hired mer-
cenaries, and we will not stoop to reason
with those whom we would insult and en-
slave." He admired the equal frankness
with which this haughty language had been
met by the Spanish government: thepapers
which it had sent forth were plain and laco-
nic; and bluntly spoke this language:-
" We are millions of freemen, and will not
stoop to reason with those who threaten to
enslave us." They hurled back the men-
ace upon the head from which it issued,
little caring whether it came from Goth, or
Hun, or Calmuck ; with a frankness that
outwitted the craft of the Bohemian, and
a spirit that defied the ferocity of the
Tartar. If they found league against
them the tyrants by whom the world was
infested, they might console themselves
with this reflection, that wherever there
was an Englishman, either of the old
world or of the new-wherever there was
a Frenchman, with the miserable excep-
tion of that little band which now, for a
moment, swayed the destinies of.France,
in opposition to the wishes and interests
of its gallant and liberal people-a peo-
ple which, after enduring the miseries of
the, revolution, and wading through its
long. and bloody wars, were entitled, if
ever any people were, to a long enjoyment
of the blessings of peace and liberty-
wherever there breathed an Englishman
or a true born Frenchman-wherever
there existed a free heart or a virtuous
mind, there Spain had a natural ally, and
aninalienable friend. For his own part, he
could not but admire the mixture of firm-
ness and forbearance which the govern-
ment of Spain had exhibited. When the
allied monarchs were pleased to adopt a
system of interference with the internal
policy of Spain-when they thought, fit
to deal in minute and paltry criticisms
upon the whole course of its domestic ad-
ministration-when each sentence in their
manifestoes was a direct personal insult to
the government, nay, to every individual
Spaniard, and when the most glaring at-
tempts were made, in all their state
papers, to excite rebellion in the country,
and to stir up one class of the commu-
nity against the other, it would not have
surprised him, if, in the replies of the
Spanish government, some allusion had
been made to the domestic policy of the


Address on the King's Speech [50
allied sovereigns; or if some of the alle-
gations which had been so lavishly cast
upon it, had been scornfully retorted
upon those who had so falsely and so in-
solently called them forth. What could
have been more pardonable, nay, what
more natural, than for the Spanish go-
vernment to have besought his Prussian
majesty, who was so extremely anxious
for the welfare and good government of
Spain-who had shown himself so minute
a critic on its laws and institutions, and
who seemed so well versed in its recent
history-to remember the promises which
he had made some years ago to his own
people, by whose gallant exertions, on
the faith of those promises, he had re-
gained his lost crown? What would
have been. more natural than to have
suggested, that it would be better, aye,
and safer too in the end, to keep those
promises, than to maintain, at his peo-
ple's cost, and almost to their ruin, a
prodigious army, only safely employed
when in the act of ravaging the territories,
or putting down the liberties, of his
neighbours ? The government of Spain
would have had a right to make such re-
presentations; for his Prussian majesty
owed much, very much, to its exertions:
indeed, the gallant resistance which it
made to the invasion of Buonapart6, had
alone enabled Prussia to shake off the
yoke; while, on the other hand, the
Spaniards owed a debt of gratitude to the
brave and honest people of Prussia, for
beginning the resistance to Buonaparte in
the north. Could any thing, he would
also ask, have been more natural for the
Spanish government, than to have asked
the emperor of Austria, whether he, who
now pretended to be so scrupulously
fond of strict justice in Ferdinand's case,
when it cost him nothing, or must prove.
a gain, had always acted with equal jus-
tice towards others, when he was himself
concerned ? Could any thing have been
more natural, than to have suggested to
him, that before he was generous to Fer-
dinand, he ought to be just to George ;-
that he ought to return to him the whole,
or, at any rate, a considerable part of the
twenty millions which he had borrowed of
him ?-a debt which, remaining unpaid,
wasted the resources of a faithful ally of
Spain, and tended mightily to cripple his
exertions in her behalf ? He wished like-
wise to know, what could have been more.
natural-nay, if the doctrine of inter-
'ference in the internal concerns of neighl








bouring nations were at all admitted,- rather to try what he could say about
what could have been more rightful, in a Turkey, or Greece, or even Minorca, on
free people, than to have asked him how which he had of late been casting many an
it happened,that his dungeons were filled amorous glance-in short, any thing, and
with all that was noble, and accomplished, every thing, before he approached the
and virtuous, and patriotic in the Mi- subject of blood flowing within the pre-
lanese ?-to have called on him to account cincts of a royal palace," and placed his
for the innocent blood which he had shed allusion to it, like an artful rhetorician,
in the north of Italy ?-to have required upon the uppermost step of his climax.
at his hands satisfaction for the tortures He found, likewise, in these self-same
inflicted in the vaults and caverns where documents, a topic, for which the Spanish
the flower of his subjects were now lan- government, had it been so inclined, might
guishing-to have demanded of him some have read to the holy alliance another
explanation -of that iron policy by which severe lecture: he alluded to the glib
he has consigned fathers of families, the manner in which the three potentates now
most virtuous and exalted in Europe, not talked of an individual, who, let his fail-
to exile or death, but to a merciless im- ings, or even his crimes be what they
prisonment for ten, fifteen, and twenty might, must always be regarded as a
years-nay, even for life, without a great and a resplendent character-who,
knowledge of the charge against them, or because he was now no longer either upon
the crime for which they were punished ? a throne or at liberty, or even in life, was
Even the emperor Alexander himself, described by them, not merely as an am-
tender and sensitive as he was at the sight bitious ruler-not merely as an arbitrary
of blood flowing within the precincts of a tyrant, but as an upstart and an usurper.
royal palace-a sight so monstrous, that, if This was not the language, which those
his language could be credited, ithad never potentates had formerly employed; nor
before been seen in the history of the world was it the language which they were now
-might have been reminded of passages entitled to use, regarding this astonishing
in history, calculated to lessen his astonish- individual. Whatever epithets England,
ment, at least, if not to soothe his feelings; for instance, or Spain, might have a right
for the emperor Alexander, if the annals to apply to his conduct, their mouths at
of Russian story might be trusted, how- least were stopped: they could have no
ever pure in himself, and however happy right to call him usurper-they who, in
in always having agents equally innocent, his usurpations, had been most greedy
was nevertheless descended from an illus- accomplices, or willing tools. What en-
trious line of ancestors, who had, with titled the king of Prussia to hold such
exemplary uniformity, dethroned, impri- language now ?-he who had followed
soned, and slaughtered, husbands, bro- his fortunes with the most shameless sub-
thers, and children. Not that he could serviency, after the thorough beating
dream of imputing those enormities to the he received from him, when trampled
parents, or sisters, or consorts; but it upon and trodden down in the year 1806 ?
did happen, that those exalted and near No sooner had he risen again and reco-
relations had never failed to reap the vered the upright attitude of man, than
whole benefit of the atrocities, and had he fell upon his knees, and crouching
always failed to bring the perpetrators to before him who had made him crawl in
justice. In these circumstances, if he the dust, kissed the blood-stained hand of
had had the honour of being in the Buonapart6 for leave to keep his Britan-
confidence of his majesty of all the Rus- nic majesty's foreign dominions, the elec-
sias, he should have been the last person torate of Hanover, which he had snatched
in the world to have counselled his impe- hold of while at peace with England. So.
rial master to touch upon so tender a the emperor Alexander, after he had also
topic: he should humbly have besought undergone the like previous ceremony,
him to think twice or thrice, nay, even a did not disdain to lick up the crumbs
third, and a fourth time, before he ventured which fell from the table of his more suc-
to allude to so delicate a subject: he cessful rival in usurpation. Little, it was
should, with all proper deference,, have true, was left by the edge of Buonaparte's,
requested him to meddle with any other appetite; but, rather than have nothing,,
topic: he should have directed him by -rather than desert the true Russian,
preference to every other point of the principle of getting something on every:
compass: he should have implored him occasion, either in Europe, or in Asia,,


Pica. 4, 1823. [58


at the Opening of the Session.







601 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
(and of late years they had evei laid claim
to ad ltsmogt indefinite naval dominion in
Anrerita)- rather than forego the Calmnck
policy, of always adding something be it
eVer so little, to what was already ac,
qnirted, be it ever so great--he otide-
sbeilade to receive from the ha1d Of Buo-.
napatt4r & few square leagues of territory,
with an additional population of some two
or thlrt thousand serft. The object was
trifling ifteetd but it setied to keep alve
the priteiplet The tender heart of the
father, overflowing, as his imperial grand-
flitthe' had phrtitd it, with the milk of
Irman kiiidness for all his children, could
not be satisfied witherit receiving a fur-
theY addition to their numbers; and
therefore it was hot Sitrprising, that on
the very iieit ocstagoti, he should be ready
to etei, in aore effeettol kemplifieation
of the principle1 a shire of the booty,
htrge in proportion as hiA fo6rAet one had
heeb Aeal). The emperor of Austria,
tooo *ho had. entered before the others
into the face fo i pluder, aid had conti-
treed if it till the very end--he who, if
wot at aeoednpmliee with the Jacobins of
Fretee ii the spoliation of Velice, was at
larst a feceiert of the stolen po'ietty-it
felony of Which it had been welt said at
the tidle irf the House, that the reeeivet
*as N bad! a the thief-tlfat mntagqatiaf
Witovk pritiee1 who, dfter twenty yeirsa ali
tefitatlonr of ttuckling and tapotfri nig
now the feeble eLiety of Btonapadtt, rioW
his wirtfig aceomnplieeL-e-coristantly pacr
lishlted fr his resistance, by the diseiptine
idvitiably applied to those mighty princes,
in the ttendreAt places, their capitals,
frotf whith the'y Weqre sateessively driven
--4d dotltad&tly after ptltishment joiinng
tha Ipeteutor, like the test of there, in
att5Wkitig and plWtdeirig his allies-hadd
Aishiedmi ly eravid the honotur df giving
BUhafftpar~t his favedirite daughter in
iMiatffYge; 14y, after the genids of 3BuO-
rnparef had fa.leet auntder the still tiWore
pOwt rftt reatlessniss 6f his anibition-A
*hen thte ttr of his destiny had ratted,
tad tlie foraind 6f tite MWiLP #WS triatrvt
htttiir ththurghr the fetid energies of their'
-gallait ipople, the severity of the' ele-
,ients,hisoWn turbulerit passions, and that
withont Whieh the atorths of pbpulat fer-
Aent, atd fiuissiadi winters, arid his own
ARbitiony *onld hate raged ain vii, the aid
of E.glisha; ihms, and skill, And galldRti'y --
firange to 'ell, thede very meAite We the fitst
t6 imtiate that p6ticy against which they
had iriteighed d.at struggled, dnd to


Address o ithe King's SpeecA [6i
carry it farther than the enemy in all its
most detestable points. He maintained
that it was so; for, not even by his bit-
tedret blanderers had Buonapart6 been
ever etacdted of actions so attrocious as
was the spoliation of Norway, the parti-
tion of Saxony, the transfer of Genoa, arid
the cession of Ragusa, perpetrated by
those in whose youths no sound had been
heard for years, but that of lamentati6in
over the attacks uponti national independ-
ence. It was too mntdhl, after such deedl
as these-it wds tod much, after the
allied had submitted to a long course of
crouching before bionapart6, accorm-
panied by etery aggravation of disgrace
-it was too tnuch for them now to corm
forth and caltimhiate his memory, for trans-
actiotis in the benefits of which they had
participated dt the time as his accomplices,
and the infaiy of which they had since sur-
passed; He rejoiced that the Spaniards
had drily stih mten as these to contend
With he k ltie that therf were fearful
odds the battalions were Arrayed against
pfiritiplesi but it was g6me consolation
to reflect, fhat those embodied hosts were
not aided by the nlerits of their chiefs,
and that alf the weight of character was
happily on the' contrary side. It gave
hirdt howeter, some pain to find, that a
mrafdirch so enlightened as the king of
France had shown himself on vatiors oc-
esiois to be, should have yielded obe-
diende, even for a time, to the arbitrary
mairdatie of this tyrannical j unto. He
trusted, however, that it would only
prove a teinporary aberration, on his part,
ftoti' the sounder principles on which he
hId Mt hrtld d~ted. fle trusted that the
i1eri Who appeared to have acquired his
dtnfidentie Only to abuse it, would soon
be dismrissed from it; of, if not, that the
vdide of the t6uartry, WhOds interests they
Were ready to gaerifice, and whose rising
liberties they seetiid anxious to destroy,
would compel thedf' to purtse a more
maily and mote libotal poliey. Indeed,
the king of France had been persuaded,
by the parasite by w*hidn he was at pre-
Sent sutrotidded, to g6' evei beyond the
principle of the Hoiy Alliance. He had
beed persuaded to tell the world, that it
was front the hands of a tyrant alone that
a free people cdtold hdld a constitution.
That accorirlished piridce--and all En-
rbpe Acktnoledged him to be at once a
most finished gettlenrat and most able
sehtlaY-d-tild not but be aware that all
the wise nd good men of farmer time






il6] t tAe Openiqg of the Sefpion.
differed with him in opinipn upon this
point; and if he (Mr. B.) reminded him
of a sentence which he had found in a
recently recovered work, 9f one whose
eloquence was only to be surpassed by
his wisdom, apd whpse sill as 4 states-
man was only to be rivalled by his ob-
servation as a philosopher-if he reminded
hin' of an opinion of Cicerp, in direct
ytriapce with the doctrines which he. had
recently promulgated, it was in the sin-
cere hope that he would consider it with
all the attention that w"a due to sqch
high authority, That great man had spid,
,, Non in ulla civitate, nisi in quh summa
fo.test4s populi est, ullum. domiciliu.m
ibertas habet." He recommended to his
most catholic majesty to reflect, not 9nly
on the wisdom of sp great a philosApher,
but also pn the experience of so great a
statesm.aq. He recommended him to
consider, that he was one of the greatest
statesmen of the old world-that, like
himself, he lived in times of great danger
q9d f great difioplty.-,that he had had
to contendd with the most formidable coop-
piracy J t which the life apd liberty of
social man had ever hepp expose4--that,
under such circumstances, he had re-
co~rse only to the Roi.an constittion--
that he threw himself qn the good will of
lis patriotic cQPntrymen--that he only
put forth the vigour of bhi own genius
ndhe the ig of the law, ad that h
,ever thought of calling to his asis.t-
ance the Allobroges, the Tetones, or the
Scythiags of his day, '' and I now say,"
(coqptip ed 1Nr. irougham), 't that if the
king of France calls either on the mo-.
dern Teutones or the modern 8cythianp
to assist him in this unholy war, jud~g-
rpent will tbat l mownt go, fpth against
him anp his family, aj.a th- dynapty of
Gaul will be chqaged, ag once and for
ever,"-The hop. and learned, gentlve on
then asked, what were the groAungs on
which the neeosity of this war was de-.
fended ? It was said to be undertaken,
hecapse an ins.urectipn had brqkenv out
with sqcceess a Madrid. He denied this
to be the fact. What was called an in-
surrection, was an attempt to restore the
lawful constitution, of the country--a
constitution which had been its establish,
ed constitgtion, till Ferdinand overthrew
it, by means ofa mutiny in the arsy ; and
S therefore, when asiamilar mutiny enabled
the friends of liberty to recover what they
had lost, it wa an error in language to
call sach recovy.ry by the name of iasor-


-pg. 4, :*%. [I6
reaction, apd apn abuse of term, which
could only be intpeded to boodwipnk he
reason or coqciliate the prejudices pf 'th
hquept part of mnpgi d, Let the pre
tet, hpweger, fqr the war e what i
might, the real cause of it ~t np 9 hard
to *pi)jecture. It wpq pot froy hiareqd to
Spain o9 PovtugJ, Pconsidered simply a
Spain aqd Pqrtugal, that the allied gpYy
reigns were for mparcPiqg their hor4ds jq9a
the peqinsula--it was not against fre@4om
on the Ebro, or freedom on the lMingp
that they wegpe nmaing w ~a: no9, it wa
against frpedom in the aBtstrdt= it wa
against freedom wherever it \Yp to be
foqud--it was against frendeg. by what
ever men it was possessed-it was against
freedom by whatever checks j was ge-
cured, and by whatever sefeguqrd4s wkt
ggranteed, FrA4dop~r w the QjJepiof
their mpst inveterate hatep apd. gajpt
freedom they were ready to employ every
species both of fraud and of fopce.. Tth
dreaded its institgtipo$s-thpy qFbog!rg
its spirit. All the benefit which it has
conferred upon mpnkiOd, all thl paqA -r
mpents which have been raise in ita, hboa r
all the miracles which have been effvot,
by its influence, they hated with the Tks
lignity of demons, for they were epo m
peled to fear and tremble at the yerp
sqund of its name. It wa oen this apia
gons that, disguise it a, th.y might.
they c.uld feel no real friendship for tp
people of this country, As long .4, .ngq
land remained the country that ~e vea, qK
present; as long as parliament formed a
free and open tribunal, *t whieh the Sop
pressed of all nation. unrt er heawven.qold,
appeal, against their oppressors, howevAR
mighty and however exaltjed---an with ma
itsh ahnes. (and no m.an could laname them
Smore feelingly than he did), and with all
its inperfctiApns, (and no man cvmd h.
orpe anxious to remo.avead amend thliem
because no man wished more heartily to
make it worthy of the l~oe aad admiatiPwa
of the country), it was still too, fae to.
pleas the taste of tbh continental despots.
---s long would Englaud. be the.objeat
of their hatred and machirntions, asoner
times carried on in secret, sometimes caua,
ried on openly, but always carried on
with the same unremitting vigor, and
activity, It was idle to. suppose thOt
these atmed critics could be. bounded in,
their views by any limits of time or of
country. Could the Housessuppose, tha4
if there were any portion of territory it,
the neighbourhood df the.emperor qjP







S$3) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
under which appeared peculiarly suited
to his views, that he would not soon be
able to discover some fault or flaw in its
political institutions requiring his inter-
vention-supposing it even tobe a part of
the Turkish government ? Nay, if his
imperial majesty were met, with his con-
sistory of tyrants and armed critics, he
believed that it would be in vain for the
Ulemah, with all his tribe of learned
muftis, to plead to him that their govern-
ment was of the most sacred and venerable
description-that it had antiquity in its
favour-that it was in full possession of
" the conservative principle of social
order,"-that it was replete with grand
truths,"-that it had never listened to
" the fatal doctrines of a disorganized
philosophy," and that it had never been
visited by any such things as dreams
of fallacious liberty" [immense cheering
and laughter]-he believed that if the
learned Ulemah were to argue the point
just as if it was the holy Koran, still these
" three gentlemen of Verona" would not
turn away, in disgust, as he (Mr. B.)
should do,-but would pry about for an
avenue, by which to enter into the terri-
tory in question; and, if they could not
find a way, would not be very scrupulous
about making one; and the result, in
one point of view, would be, that in three
months from the time of deliberation, the
emperor Alexander would be at Constan-
tinople, or at Minorca-forhe had long
shown a desire to have some western pro-
vinces; and that Austria and Prussia
would be invited to look for an indem-
nity in any thing that England, or the
king of England, might have on the
continent to suit them. The principles
on which this band of congregated
despots had shown their readiness to act,
were dangerous in the extreme, not only
to free states, for reasons which he had
before explained, but also to the states
over which the very members of this un-
holy junto presided. Resistance to them
was a matter of duty; and the duty of
this country was in consequence plain.
It behoved us, however, to take care that
we did not rush blindly into a war. An
appeal to arms ought to be the last alter-
native we should try, but still it ought
never to be so foreign to our thoughts as
to be conceived impossible, or so foreign
from our counsels as to take us unpre-
pared. Already, if there was any force
in language, or any validity in public
engagements, were we committed by the


Address on the King's Speech [64
defensive treaties into which we had
entered. We were bound by various en-
gagements to prevent Portugal from being
overrun by a foreign enemy. If Spain
were to be overrun by foreign invaders,
what would be the situation of Portugal ?
Her frontiers on the side of Spain could
scarcely be said to exist at present : there
was no defence in them; they were a
mere imaginary line, and had no exist-
ence except in the map of the geographer:
her real frontiers were in the Pyrenees-
her real defence was in their fastnesses;
and whenever their passes were crossed,
the same danger which threatened Spain
would also threaten Portugal. If we were
bound by the force of treaties, though
we might-not be bound to send an army
of observation to watch the motions of the
French army, we were at least bound to
send a naval armament to Portugal, in
order that we might have the earliest in-
formation of what was occurring there,
and might be ready at any moment to
give assistance to our ancient ally. Above
all things, we ought to repeal, without
delay, the Foreign Enlistment bill-a
measure which, in his opinion, we ought
never to have enacted. He would not,
however, look back to measures, on the
propriety of which all of them might not
agree; but he would look forward, in
order to avoid all subject of vituperation ;
reserving his blame for the foreigners
whose tyrannical conduct obliged this na-
tion to hate them, and his co-operation
for whatever faithful servant of the crown,
would, in the performance of his duty to
his country, to freedom and to the world,
speak a language that was truly Britishi
-pursue a policy that was truly free-
and look to free states as our best and
most natural allies against all enemies
whatsoever; quarrelling with none, what-
soever might be the form of their govern-
ment;-keeping peace wherever we could,
but not leaving ourselves unprepared for
war;-not afraid of the issue, but calmly
resolved to brave it at all hazards ;-deter-
mined, at-the same time, to support,
amid every sacrifice, the honour and dig-
nity of the crown, the independence of
the country, and every principle that was
considered most valuable and sacred
amongst civilized nations.-The hon. and
learned gentleman sat down, amidst loud
cheers from all parts of the House.
Sir Francis Burdett rose, but the'cheer-
ing which followed Mr. Brougham's
speech, rendered the commencement of







65] at the Opening of the Session.
thehon. baronet's observations completely
inaudible. When we first heard him, he
was observing that he rose to make
his acknowledgments to the hon. and
learned gentleman, for a speech as able as
ever he had heard delivered, or as he be-
lieved ever had been delivered within the
walls of parliament-a speech that went
fully to support those principles on which
the honour and interest of England, and
he might also add, of Europe, materially
depended, and which, if acted up to,
would enable government to perform with
spirit, efficiency, and promptitude, the
part from which they ought not to shrink,
under any circumstances. He would put
aside, for the present, all considerations
of agricultural distress, all questions of
mere temporary interest, and would come
forward for the single purpose of main-
taining those valuable principles, on
which the independence and happiness of
nations must ever rest. He rose for the
purpose of saying of the hon. and learned
gentleman, that which had been previously
said. of a great and worthy man-" Nil
non laudandum, aut sensit aut dixit." He
was unable to pay the tribute which he
felt to be due to the wisdom, to the virtue,
to the patriotism, and to the force of
reasoning, which the hon. and learned
gentleman had that night displayed.
Sure he was, that there was no English
heart that would not feel what he had that
night done to avert from the civilized
world the greatest danger which had
threatened it for many years. lie also
had received great pleasure from the
manly and ingenious speech of the hon.
gentleman who had that day moved the
Address; and he trusted that the House
would come to an unanimous vote upon
it. In conclusion, he informed ministers,
that if they acted up to the principles laid
down by the hon. and learned gentleman
that evening, the despots of the conti-
nent would, in case things came to the
worst, witness that which they had not
witnessed for a number of years ; namely,
the opposition of a united parliament and
a united people.
Mr. Secretary Peel expressed his satis-
faction, that there was such a desire in
the House to concur with the sentiments
contained in the Speech from the throne,
and also with the sentiments which it was
proposed to embody in the Address in
answer thereto. After complimenting the
hon. mover and seconder for the ability
they had displayed, he proceeded to state,
VOL. VIllI.


FEB. 4, 1823. [66
that as the hon. and learned gentleman,
and also the hon. baronet who had fol-
lowed him, had confined their observations
to one point, he thought he should best
consult the feelings ofthe.House, by post-
poning any remarks which he had to make
upon other matters to a future opportuni-
ty. There had, however, been some obser-
vations made of such immense importance,
that he should be guilty of a dereliction of
duty, if he allowed them to pass entirely
'unnoticed. The greater part of the speech
of the hon. and learned member for Win-
chelsea, related to the policy, not of this
country, but of the allied sovereigns.
With regard to our own conduct, a time
would come when a full explanation
would be given of it; and he was sanguine
enough to hope, that that explanation
would be satisfactory to all parties. His
majesty had repeated his determination to
adhere to the principles which this govern-
ment had laid down, first in 1793, and
subsequently in 1821, respecting the right
of one nation to interfere in the concerns
of another. He conceived those princi-
ples to be, that every state was sovereign
and independent, and was the only judge
of the reforms and modifications which
were necessary in its government; that,
whatever course it might pursue in its
internal concerns, of that course it was
the sole and only judge; and that every
other doctrine was as subversive of nation-
al independence, as the attempt of one
individual to force upon another any spe-
cific line of conduct would be subversive
of individual independence. The rights
of states, however, like those of individu-
als, were subject to the interference of
other states, if the exercise of them tended
to the general injury. That injury, how-
ever, ought not to be of an imaginary or
speculative kind-it ought to be of a
nature clear to the feelings and palpable
to the sight of every man; and of the
necessity of making such an interference,
each state, for the reasons he had before
mentioned, ought to be the chief judge.
With regard to the affairs of Spain, he
could only observe, that as far as we were
concerned, there waa nothing in her pre-
sent institutions that could warrant otur
interference with them. He trusted,
however, that Spain would admit some
changes in what was called the Spanish
constitution; because he believed that
such changes would tend to the advance-
ment of her best interests, and the promo-
tion of her best rights. It was his opinion,
F







67} HOUSE OF COMMONS,
that it was not only an act ofjustice; but
idso an act of duty, for one friendly state
to reie.'ent to another, the expediency of
such changes; but, in making that state-
ment, he by no means intended to say,
that the grounds stated by the king of
France for interfering in the affairs of
Spain were such as warranted his inter-
ference; on the contrary, he meant to say,
that he thought them not adequate. It
was clear, that those who opposed the
principle on which he interfered, could
not approve of the mode of his interfer-
ence. Still he thought, that the House
ought to cherish the hope of peace; for
no man could doubt what the real interest
of England was, under the present cir-
ciumstances. If he spoke with reserve of
the line of policy which England was
likely to follow, it was because he still
indulged a hope that peace would be
preserved; and if it was not, he still
thought that every man would be satis-
'fied that every effort, consistent with the
independence of the country, would be
made for its preservation. In the speech
of the king of France, war was not stated
to be certain. The expression was, "if
war be inevitable." The hon. and learned
Gentleman said, that the condition at-
tached to that if" rendered it so; for
it was unless Ferdinand VII. he free
to give his people institutions." Now,
it appeared to him, that two mean,
ings might be attributed to those expres-
sions; and it was only fair to give France
the benefit of them. They might mean
that no institutions would be considered
legitimate, unless they were derived
from a king in the full possession of
absolute power, at liberty to give, and
Absolutely giving th'm, with his own free
will, to the riass of his subjects. Now,
if this were the'meaiing of'the words, they
contained doctrines to -whih no English-
man could agree, even for a moment.
Personal freedom, freedom from restraint,
was absolutely necessary on the part of
the monarch. Whatever construction the
Terms of the speech of the king of France
mightbear, he (Mr. P.) was~rixiotsthatit
*should not be misconstrued. As an*
'Ehglishman, he should undoubtedly say,
that the king of France had no sufficient
authority to interfere: as a Spaniard, he
should of roirse contend, the gamre; but,
if he were a Frenchman, hicoaild not at
all tell in what view the question night
present itself. He did rot tay it 46dwn,
that the principle adopted by France


Address on the King's Speech [09
warranted her interference as a foreign
power, in the internal affairs of Spain as
an independent kingdoin. Great Britain
was, therefore, no party to any proceedings,
direct or indirect, at Verona, that had
this object. He was confident, that the
House would excuse him from entering
into further details, both on account of
the absence of his right hon. friend, who
presided over this department of the
affairs of the state; and because, while,
as he had before skid, there was a
chance of maintaining peace-while thlie
was a hope that the irritation unfortu-
nately subsisting might be allayed-he
should repent, to the last moment of his
life, if he dropped a single word by which
that chance could be lessened. The
rooted conviction of his mind was, that
it was the policy of Europe that peace,
general peace, should be presieied. After
the devastation of the late thirty yeats
war, subjects and sovereigns oaght to
have an opportunity of directing their
attention to internal affairs. A war intst
now be injurious to Eufope'at large ; 'ut
especially to this country. Our great
object ought to be, at such a moment, to
maintain a strict neutrality. Undoubtedly,
it was not for Great Britain to rejoie "in
the deterioration of other states. On the
contrary, instead of viewing the-growirig
prosperity of neighboring kingdobfs with
jealousy or alarm, she had opened her
eyes to a more liberal and just 'dbetine :
she found that her interests viere riot in-
compatible with theirs, arid that their
increasing consumption gave to her an
increasing demand. The most dignified
position she could assume was that of'a
mediator, not between contending (for
they were not yet contending), but' bf-
tween angry parties. The highest duty
she could dischai-ge was, to the uftabst
of her power, to prevent the comraftmee-
nent of a new war, the termination bf
which no man could foresee. 'He ituld
not avoid expressing his regret,' that the
hon. and learned gentleman, in the heat
of argument, had been betrayed into the
use of too strong expressions with re-
spect to powers, the allies of this country.
As our allies, we might protest against
any principle of their policy; but, in
stating our feelings regarding their pr-
sorial character, caution ought to be! ob-
sertiVd, and 'certainly %pinions 'ught"not
to be expressed which, he believed, were
without foundation. It-ought not to be
forgotten, that-those whom the hon.'efid







69] at heI Opening of the Session.
learned gentleman had. arraigned with
such sarcastic severity, had joined with
us, by a common effort, to repel a corn-
mon danger. When, too, the hon. and
learned gentleman spp9e of that "great
and resplendent character" Buonqparte,
he confessed he had heard him with
regret. Let him remember the exertions
we had made with our allies against the
atrocious violence of that individual.
W'Yhe the hon. and learned gentleman
was speaking of Spain-when he was re-
probating so strongly the interference of
foreign powers-it was strange indeed
that he should call that man "a great
and resplendent character," who, with
regard to Spain, had notoriously been
guilty of the basest duplicity. Had the
hon. and learned gentleman forgotten,
while attempting to fasten on our allies
all the crimes to which he had adverted,
that the individual he had so panegyrised
had been guilty of every one of them ?
Ha) he forgotten that he had broken
all promises, disregarded all 'treaties,
murdered princes, and subjected inde-
pendent states to the most unjust op-
pression ? Above all, had he forgotten
that this great and resplendent cha-
racter" had borne a most ferocious ep-
mity towards this country, which had
ultimately been the case of his down-
fall? The hon. and learned gentleman
had said, that the whole object of the
congress of Verona was to take into con-
sideration the affairs of Spain. He begged
leave to remind him, that other great
questions had also occupied its attention,
-the affairs of Italy, the slave trade, and
the subsisting relations between Russia
and Turkey. The recent conduct of
Russia towards Turkey proved the in-
justice of the accusation respecting the
spirit of aggression by which she was
animated. Nothing could now be more
manifest than that the policy of Russia
of late had been marked by the greatest
forbearance, and a desire rather to avoid
than to promote war. With respect to
the interference of Austria in the affairs
of Italy, a stipulation had been entered
into for the withdrawing of her troops.
In his opinion, the step taken by Austria,
in the first irnsance, was clearly justifiable.
'But, whether it were or were not, the
conduct of Great Britain, both in the
cases of Naples and Spgin, had been per-
fectly consistent. Jer conduct had been
regulated, in both instances, by thg sane
principle. SlmI had left i4 to Austria to


FzB. 4, I823. [70
determine on the propriety of interposition
on the grounds she had assigned; and
at least she had shown, that her object
was what she had stated-not territorial
aggrandizement, but to prevent danger
to her own dominions. One purpose of
the congress was to decide the time when
the troops of Austria should be removed.
-The hon. and learned gentleman had
directed but little of his attention to the
internal affairs of this kingdom; no
doubt reserving himself for some future
occasion, when he would observe upon
them more at large. The House must
have heard with the utmost satisfaction,
both that there would be a reduction in
the estimates, for the service of the year,
and that his majesty would be enabled,
consistently with the maintenance of pubi
lie credit, to recommend a further and a
larger remission of taxation. Although,
perhaps, rather irregular, he would now
give notice, that it was the intention of
the chancellor of the exchequer, after his
return as a member, to take the earliest
opportunity of entering into a general
exposition of the financial state of the
country, in order to explain to the House
those details of reduction and remission
of taxation, which he was satisfied would
meet with the warmest approbation. It
might not be anticipating too much to
add, that a considerable part would apply
to a diminution of the assessed taxes.
He agreed, that it was most desirable to
afford relief to the agricultural interest;
but he did not concur in the notion, tha
that relief could be afforded by a remis-
sion of taxation. To the increasing pros-
perity of the manufacturing and com-
mercial interests, he looked for the most
material improvement. When so much
new activity had'been given to commerce
-when such an increase had taken place
in the manufacturing districts-it was
impossible that ere long agriculture
should not feel the benefit of the change,
and in the end recover from its depression,
As it was the wish of the House to come
to a vote, he should abstain from further
explanations, trusting that perfect una-
nimity would prevail.'
Sir James Mackintosh said, it was not
his intention at all adversely to meet and
discuss the speech just delivered, as he
applauded r anyof the just principles it
contained, and commended the reserve
which ministerial prudence dictated, as
to the application of future measure
adapted to particular circumstances. AS







71j HOUSE OF COMMONS,
to the incidental questions introduced'by
his hon. and learned friend, he could not
observe upon them without occupying a
larger portion of time than was at present
desirable. He should, perhaps, have been
contented to rest his opinion upon the
excellent speech of the hon. mover of the
Address, the principles it contained
having been expressed in terms, such as
neither he nor any man could improve.
They had been further enforced by the
eloquent, the irresistible speech, of his
hon. and learned friend who had ad-
verted, he would not say with sarcastic
severity, but with sarcastic justice, to the
conduct and character of those who
tliaimed a monopoly of all civil and reli-
gious principles, and who, without scruple,
felt themselves at liberty to violate those
principles whenever it suited their con-
venience. He should not now have risen,
after all that had been so well said, had
he not been influenced by the generous
appeal of the gallant officer to all mem-
bers, to deliver their opinions on the
state of Europe at the present critical and
awful moment-at a moment when a war
was about to be commenced subversive
of the law of nations-subversive of all
the rights of independent states-a war
tending to involve all Europe in general
hostility, and most especially affecting
the security of his majesty's dominions,
the honour of his crown, and the pros-
perity of his people. On one point only
he differed from his hon. and learned
friend; for he must deny that his most
christian majesty had carried the princi-
ple of foreign interference beyond his
allies at the congress of Verona. They
had all laid down what had been called
a monarchical principle. From the be-
ginning of their alliance, or rather of
their conspiracy, they had declared, that
no institution could be good, or ought to
exist, that did not flow from the will of
the sovereign. This principle, which was
avowed, contained in itself a declaration
of war against the character of this coun-
try-against all its best and noblest insti-
tutions : it was a libel upon all the gene-
rations of our ancestors, a slander upon
the very title to the crown. It declared,
ihat those who secured and established
British liberty were conspirators against
the holy rights of kings: that George
IV. himself was a usurper, and king
William only the chief of a lawless
banditti. It proclaimed as traitors those
who had extorted Magna Charta from a


Address on the King's Speech [72
tyrant, rendered the privileges of the
SHouse a mere assumption, and the occu-
Spation of the throne of these realms a
Violation of that great, just, profound,
Sliberal,and enlightened monarchical prin-
ciple which was to be applied to the
affairs of Spain. He was sorry to hear
such potentates called the allies of Great
Britain: he could not conceive how any
alliance could subsist between the govern-
ment which advised the royal Speech of
to-day, and those who held doctrines de-
structive of the hitherto acknowledged
law of nations, and inconsistent with the
rights of every state of civilized Europe.
On this monarchical principle, war was to
be declared against Spain; and it was
contended, 'that three or four great states
of Europe might combine to put down all
amended institutions, not flowing from
the mere will of the sovereign, and to
make war upon a free people, because it
thought fit, in the height of its arrogance,
to frame its own constitution, without
first consulting the combined wisdom of
the crowned heads of the north. Let it
be remembered too, that this war was to
be declared without a pretence of danger
to the dominions of any one of these great
dictators of mankind. Governments adopt-
ing such a principle were, in point of fact
and justice, at war with all independent
states: they were the enemies of all who
did not choose to submit to any yoke they
thought fit to impose; and it then be-
came only a question of policy and pru-
dence with independent states, what time
they would choose for asserting their
rights, in defiance of a band of haughty
and overbearing conspirators against the
liberties of the world. He was sorry not
to see the hon. member for Bossiny in his
place, who, on a former occasion, spoke
upon this subject with a degree of force
and zeal which could not be forgotten,
when he alluded to the overt acts 6f hos-
tility by the sovereigns against the free-
dom of mankind at large, and compared
them with the effects of the decree of the
Convention of 1792, which had been held
the grand authority for the resistance of
other nations to the proceedings of France.
The hon. gentleman had then applied this
doctrine to the case of Naples. In refer-
ence to what had just been said, he must
tell the right hon. secretary, that he was
inconsistent in approving of the aggres-
sion of Austria in the case of Naples, and
disapproving of the present interference
of France in the affairs of Spain. It was







at the Opening of the Session.'


a mistake to suppose that Austria had
rested her justification on the ground of
danger from vicinage. She had claimed
the right of overrunning Naples as one of
the lords paramount of Europe; because
Austria saw Naples adopting institutions
which were at variance with the system
she chose her to possess. In proof of this,
he referred the right hon. secretary to the
declaration of the sovereigns, who pro-
claimed in terms, that they would strike
rebellion wherever they could reach it;"
and, if they then confined themselves to
Naples and Piedmont, it was only because
they could reach no further. It was not
then their intention, as they professed, to
march any troops'into what, in the new
Muscovite geography, was called the
western territory of Europe," those ob-
scure and semi-barbarous realms of
France and Spain. It was not, however,
through moderation, abstinence, or mercy,
that they did not pour their hordes of
Calmucs and Croats into those kingdoms,
to subdue and civilize them to northern
notions of liberty and happiness. They
adjourned this beneficent project for two
years, and allowed Spain and Portugal
the privilege of being the last to be de-
voured. The king of France had now
adopted that principle; and on that prin-
ciple he was about to carry on the war
against Spain. He, like Austria, com-
plained of no danger from juxtaposition :
he did not condescend to pay the public
the compliment of conjuring up some
imaginary peril, as an excuse for his ag.
S gression. According to his speech, the
only object of his hostility was to enable
the sovereign of Spain to give his people
such institutions as he thought best for
them. The ultra royalists of France ol
late had been very fond of reminding
Europe of Louis XIV., and of saying, thai
the work which he had begun was now tc
be completed ; in fact, that the object ol
the war, under the pretence of preserving
social order, was to finish the subjugation
of Spain, which that monarch had con-
templated. He trusted that the House
would hear with due reverence, and thai
Europe would hiark with becoming atten-
S lion, the dying words of William III., in
his last speech from the throne, in which
he exposed clearly the designs, of. Louis
XIV. The significant threats of thai
* ambitious king were at this moment re-
vived by his restored successor, who wai
about to attempt to imitate the example
of 'his ancestor, the oppressor of Europe


whose whole life had been devoted to the
establishment of the principle of universal
monarchy. The words of king William
were delivered within two months of.his
death: they related to Spain and her re-
lations with this country, and might, be
looked upon as almost prophetic of the
situation in which Great Britain was now
placed. They were these: By the
French king's placing his grandson on the
throne of Spain, he is in a condition to
oppress the rest of Europe, unless speedy
and effectual measures be taken. Under
this pretence, he is become the real
master of the whole Spanish monarchy;
he has made it to be entirely depending
on France, and disposes of it as of his own
dominions; and by that means he has
surrounded his neighbours in such a
manner, that, though the name of peace
may be said to continue, yet they are put
to the expense and inconveniences of war.
' This must affect England in,the nearest
and most sensible manner in respect to
our trade, which will soon become pre-
carious in all the variable branches of it;
in respect to our peace and safety at
home, which we cannot hope should long
Continue; and in respect to that part
which England ought to take in the pre-
servation of the liberty of Europe." Thus
it appeared that king William placed
Above all other considerations and interests
Sthe glorious duty peculiarly incumbent
Supon this nation, of preserving the liberty
Sof Europe. If he were asked for more,
She would request the House to call to mind
Sthe unanimous address of both Houses
not long after the death of king William.
It should be borne in mind, that the dis-
solution of the parliament before that by
F which the address was voted, was resolved
Supon in 1707, for the purpose of more
t clearly ascertaining the sentiments.of the
people of England, as. to the propriety
F of endeavouring to rescue Spain from
France. The representatives, therefore,
Same directly fresh from their consti-
tuents, and they enabled the successor of
Asking William to complete that alliance
t which might have effected the deliverance
Sof Europe. Yet, in our day, the autho-
i rity of Louis XIV., the common enemy
i and oppressor of Europe, was cited in
s favour of a successor of the house of
t Bourbon-restored for his noderation-
Sreplaced upon his throne on' account of
s his pacific character, so well calculated
e to repress the military spirit and love of
aggrandizement prevalent in his newly


FeI3 4, 1823. [74lfi







7.5 HIOISE OF COMMONS,
recovered kingdom. That. successor
seemed now resolved to make a perilous
experiment, to ascertain whether he could
not accomplish by conquest what was yet
incomplete, by indulging that military
spiritand love of.aggrandizement, which he
was reinstated for the purpose of repressing.
The unanimous.address of both Houses to
which he had referred, contained the fol-
lowing, expressions :--YYour majesty is
pleased; to give us warning of the, danger
of being so. far deluded as to. depend
again, on the faith of treaties with an
enemy, who has never yet had any other
regard to them, than as they. served the
purposes of his interest and ambition;
and to inform us, that no, peace can be
lasting, safe, and honourable, till the
Spanish monarchy be fixed in the house of
Austria, and France reduced to, such a
degree, that the balance of power in
Europe be again restored. We humbly
concur with your majesty in these your
wise and: noble sentiments. And we
faithfully promise, that no dangers shall
deter us, nor any artifices divert us, from
doing all that is. in our power to assist
your majesty in carrying on the war, till
yoq shall be enabled to procure such a
peace for Europe." Did he say, that this
recommendation was now to be complied
with to the letter? Certainly not: ex-
perience, from the peace of Utrecht to
the family compact, was against it: but,
as soon as the family compact was con-
cluded, the very evil foreseen by king
William was revived, and, for all military
purposes, Spain became a province to
France. The only temperament the case
admitted-the only event that could pos-
sibly check the absolute power of France,
through a prince of the house of Bourbon,
was the establishment of a national legis-
lature. The application of the word
' legitimate'' was not confined, as the
emperor of Russia and his coadjutors
confined it, to sovereigns; for in 1812, the
late lord Londonderry stated it as a sine
qua non, that the authority of Ferdinand
VII. and of the cortes, the legitimate go-
vernment of Spain (Ferdinand being 'at
that time a prisoner at Valencey, and all
the powers of sovereignty being vested in
the cortes) should be acknowledged. All
Europe, excepting Buonaparte, had ac-
knowledged the legitimate government of
the cortes in 1812. And did not the
events of 1820 restore it Without dwell-
ing longer on this point, he should con-
tent himself with stating, that, for his


Address on Ithe King's, Speech ,[7(
own part, he considered the meditated
aggression by, France against Spain and
Portugal, in a geographical, military,
national, and every other sense, upon the
principle; promulgated by the king of
France, as the most unrighteous, unpro-
voked, wanton, lawless, and flagitious
attack ever made by one state upon the
liberties of another. The people of Spain
had shown the most magnanimous, for.
bearance, He prayed to God that they
might continue a line of conduct, that
reflected so much honour on their national
character; and he hoped that they would
not be betrayed into excesses, which
would only serve the. cause of their bit-
terest enemies. Upon this subject he
felt the strongest interest. He looked
upon the deliverance of. Spain as the
noblest monument of British valour, and
he saw that the object of this ungenerous
invasion was to rob this country, if pos-.
sible, of the laurels of Talavera, Vittoria,
and Salamnanca. It was an attempt, on
the part of France, to steal from Great
Britain the triumph which the one had
gloriously gained, and the other ignobly
lost, It was an attack upon the honour
and character of this country. He knew,
and was ever ready to acknowledge, that
in the late war much was to be attributed
to the invincible spirit and noble courage
of Spaniards; but he knew also, that
no nation had contributed more than
Great Britain to their happiness and inde-
pendence. He felt strongly and he spoke
strongly; he sought for no qualification of
his language, no retreat from respon-
sibility. He had embarked his powers
and his heat in the cause of Spain; if
was his most ardent hope that the people
might triumph over the detestable com-
bination against their liberties; but,
whatever might be the fate or fortune of
their, arms, he should never regret the
part he had taken, the sentiments he had
expressed. Bitter, indeed, would be his
grief, if he saw this fine, this brave, this
generous nation compelled to submit to
the haughty dictation of a conqueror;
for, in the history of the world, there
never was a holier struggle against a more
degrading tyranny. On the one side,
Wa S.all that was dear to man, his best
rights, his noblest privileges; on the
"other, all that was unjust, detestable,
and flagitious. In what he had said, he
believed fe had spoken the undivided
sentiments of the whole people of Great
Britain; from; one end of the kingdom to







77] at the Opening of'the Sessin.
the other, all impartial men felt alike--
sympathy for Spain, disgust at her con-
spiring enemies. As his hon. and learned
friend had already remarked, there was
scarcely an enlightened individual in all
Europe, out of the councils of these self-
elected arbiters of the fate of millions,
who did not join hand and heart in the
resistance the Spaniards were prepared to
*make. His hon. and learned friend had
already made a beautiful quotation from
-a fragment of a recently recovered tract
by Cicero; and he (Sir J. M.) would refer
the House to another passage from the
same author, most admirably adapted to
a situation like that he had been contem-
plating, in which Scipio Africanus was
made to draw a happy distinction between
the condition of a people qui sub lege
est et sub just domino," and of a people
'eip6sed to all the miseries of a cruel
tytanny. Yet such were the sentiments
-which an aristocratical writer of the
Rotran republic put into the mouth of
the leader of the senatorial party, daring
the sedition of the Gracehi, when passions
were nmst inflamed, and lifewaes exposed to
the fury of the plebeian faction. He should
conclude by 'repeating his regret at' hear-
'ing powers entertaining the projects attri-
'buted to them, nay, which tley 'had
'avowed and boasted, called the allies of
England. Having over-run 'Naples and
Piedmont, they were merciful enough to
'give a respite of two years to Spain : they
might still, perhaps, give a further respite
to'Portugal, in order to lull-that nation
into security, and to deter them from
'aiding their'ancient and near 'ally ;bt,
-by parity of reasoning, Portugal must'be
invaded, because she had 'followed the
example of 'England in obtaining aE
chatter of their rights. All eyes wast
gee that the three powers of'tihe noth, by
withdrawing their minisitbs 'from Madrid,
*and by their declarations, had:rmddethem.
Sselves parties to the war, and were read}
to pour their 'mytiads into the western
territory of Europe," should the troops o
Louis XVIII. be: unsuccessful, or should
discontents break out in the interior 0
France. It was high time, therefore, fo4
all men to cotrtenmplattethe impdrtancee
the crisis, and to be prepared to 'see i
'Muscovite army lining the shores of th,
continent, from Amsterdam to Cadiz.
a Mr. Dekman said,l that if peace could
be maintained, consistently 'with th
honour and security of the country, ii
God's name- let it 'be preserved; but i


Fi.B4, 1823. 178
not, though it-was enough 'to break the
heart of any man to reflect that the
horrors and calamities' of war were likely
to be renewed, we had but one course
left--that of manly and unanimous exer-
tion. They had been assured, in the
Speeeh from the throne, that hismajesty's
government had declined to interfere with
Spain; but he could -have wished for
further assurances, that they had solemnly
protested 'against the conduct of the
-allied powers, and that'every effort, re-
monstrance, and threat, -had been used to
deter France from issain'g that -manifesto,
the import 'of which it was Sirpossible' for
anty '.ingenuity to misdoistriue. Could
the intentions of the French -government
te doubted, when they declared theyJhad
100 000 men ready to' take the fitd? !He
gwas unWilling to 'enter itto any topic
"which might provoke discussion; yet he
could not 'help thinking that the House
ought to 'be informed tnder what instree-
'tions his majesty's plenipotentiary had
acted 'at Verona. What countenance
couldthat plenipotentiary have- atsamed,
when he was told that the allied powers
*were *about to over-run Spain, .because
the Spaniards had extorted from their
inoharch those institutions .which cold
only 'be obtained by extortion? He
could not help thinking that such
:remonstrances ought to have been
~mnade as would have 'prevented the
appeatarre of that disgusting speech
*which had issued from the :mouth of the

king :f:Franee. If the congress "had, in
-act, been the she neof: remonstrance on
the l part of England, the aggression of
- France against i Spain, in.the-teeth of that
S'remonstranCeivwas of.itself aw act of hosti-
'1ityagaiast:England. He hoped that war
S.~ight be averted; but he did not wish to
see it atdrted at the expense of those
principles upon which the happiness 'and
-security of the country depended. This
to occupy their attention. He hoped the
( opinion of that House would be nnani-
mously expressed. The details of those
measures which public economy required,
and all the facts connected, with the se-
'vere sufferings of almost important body
Sin the. community> must all come before
. that House; but he wished it -to go forth
to the world, that 'the British house of
I parliament, on the fist day of its meeting,
e was ready to go all lengths for the main-
a 'tenance of the rights of their country,
Threatened in the person of its nearest and







79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
best ally. It was not to be forgotten,
that the language-of the French speech
had been used by the emperor of Russia
in 1820:--" institutions for the people
ought only to emanate from the crown:"
in other words, the crown was to allow its
subjects only just as much liberty as suited
its arbitrary dogmas. The allied monarchs,
therefore, at least, deserved credit for con-
sistency. They had over-run the fertile
plains of Naples, and on the same prin-
ciple they were preparing to tame down
the haughty pride of Spain. He remem-
bered having said long since, though re-
boke'd for it at the time, that if the war in
Italy had lasted long enough for the
Russian army to 'march down from the
north, Spain would have been the next
object of attack. The allies had availed
themselves of the earliest opportunity of
invading Spain, and we could not shut
our eyes to the fact, that Great Britain
was in principle at this moment involved
in 'the struggle. The whole people of
this country must feel that there was but
one side to this question. The least fal-
tering at this momentous juncture might
be fatal. The effect of any hesitation on
our part might be most injurious to the
interests of Spain. Let the House look
narrowly to the present proceeding. The
:question which the continental powers
now put to Spain, they would next put
to England. It had been said again and
again, that if the war did break out,
England would, somehow or other, be
dragged into it. Then, if the country was
to go to war, let it go to war for some pur-
pose. Let it now shun the contest at the
expense of sacrificing its allies, and after-
wards strike for some trivial point of form
-some breach of diplomatic arrangement
or'decorum. If England must go to war,
let her choose her own time. Let govern-
ment speak out upon the present crisis,
and be ready to back its honest remon-
strance with all the power of this great
and free country. In such a cause,
there was no sacrifice which the coun-
try would not be prepared to make;
and as the course he recommended was
the just, so, eventually, it would be found
to be the economical one. He thought
thatthe rebuke his honourable and learned
friend had received for calling a great man
now-no more a "great and resplendent cha-
racter," might well have been spared, when
the conduct ofthe presentruling powers was
lodked at-men who, without the excuse
.of the warlike motives, if he might so ex-


Marriage Act Amendment Bill. [80
press himself; which had seemed to impel
that individual, outstepped his injustice,
upon a cold blooded calculation of their
strength. Let France recollect her own
struggles for independence; let her recol-
lect the declaration in which, at the com-
mencement of those struggles, she had
offered assistance to all nations willing to
follow her example. He should say no
more, than that he much regretted he was
not enabled to thank the crown for more
active efforts to avert the crisis which the
conduct of our allies threatened to bring
upon us.
The Address was then agreed to, nem.
con.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 5.
MARRIAGE ACT AMENDMENT BILL.]
-Dr. Phillimore said, he could assure
the House, that it was with considerable re-
gret he felt himself again obliged to trou-
ble it on the subject of the Marriage act;
but the House was so circumstanced with
respect to it, that he felt it a duty to submit
some alterations therein. It would bein the
recollection of hon. members, that after se-
veral years, during which bills on this
subject were sent up to, and rejected by
the other house of parliament, a bill was
last year sent up, which, in the opinion of
most members, was so well calculated to
answer its object, that it did not call for
that species of comment to which it had
been submitted in another place. He spoke
with the less delicacy on this subject; for
though he was one of those who were ac-
tive in promoting the measure, the princi-
pal parts of it were not his, but were
drawn up by persons the best calculated
for such a duty. In that state the bill
passed the House of Commons, and was
sent up to the other House. It pleased that
House, however, to leave only two clauses
of the original measure ; along with which
they sent back a code of amendments,
clogged with difficulties almost insupera-
ble, making the whole a piece of legisla-
tion extremely complicated and inconve-
nient. When the bill returned, it was
late in the session ; and the House was in
this difficulty-either to reject the mea-
sure altogether, and thereby delay the be-
nefit to be expected from those clauses
which could be operative in removing the
evil, or to allow the whole to pass, and wait
till the present session for the repeal of the
objectionable clauses. He being the hum-







811 Marriage Act Amendment Bill.
ble individual by whom the bill was first in-
troduced, now felt it his duty to ask for
leave to bring in another bill, to correct
what he believed would not be denied to
be the obnoxious parts of it. It was very
natural to expect that objections would
arise and clamour be excited against such
a measure as that sent down from the
Lords. In the first place, it gave great
additional trouble to several officers in va-
rious departments, to whom no reward
was given for such trouble. It also cut
off many suits pending in the ecclesiasti-
cal courts. These in themselves would be
sufficient to excite a clamour against any
measure; but besides this, there were se-
rious objections to the enactments of the
bill of last session, which it should be his
object to remove. The first of these was
the number of oaths required to be taken
by the parties to be married, and by
others connected with them. Many of
these were unnecessary and vexatious.
The next was the necessity which the bill
enacted of having extracts from the bap-
tismal registry of the parties to be married.
That was unnecessary, and ought to be
dispensed with. Another objectionable
part was that which required the several
affidavits to be stamped, which pressed
upon the poorer classes. Then came ano-
ther part of the bill which rendered it
imperative on the clergyman to read this
voluminous act in his church at certain
periods. That he considered unnecessary
and inconvenient. Besides these, the
bill went to take from certain peculiar
jurisdictions the power of granting licen-
ces. Now, he did not say that such a step
might not be a very wise one; but he
objected to the manner in which it was
done; for in many extensive districts it
was now very difficult to get a licence
at all. These were the general heads
under which he thought that a remedy
ought to be applied; but at the same time
he should observe, that the House had
done right in passing the bill last session.
Since its enactment, no such disgraceful
occurrences had been witnessed in our
ecclesiastical courts as frequently took
place before. They had not seen persons
who had cohabited together for several
years under a marriage, applying to have
that contract set aside, on the ground of
some technical informality.-The hon. and
* learned gentleman then moved, for leave
to bring in a bill to alter and amend the
said .act.
Leave was accordingly given,
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 5
ADDRESS ON THE
THE OPENING OF 'HE
Childe having brought up the
Address in answer to the King's
Sir R. Wilson said, it was
intention to disturb the unanimity
prevailed in the House on the p
aspect of foreign affairs; but he cou
suffer that opportunity to pass without
offering a few words. After the impres-
sion which the powerful address of his
hon. and learned friend (Mr. Brougham)
had produced on the House last night, it
was far from his intention to trespass on
their time for morethan a few moments; but,
a word had fallen from a right hon. gentle-
man last night which he thought called for
some remark. He had understood the
right hon. gentleman to mention the word
" neutrality." Now, he would anxiously
wish to guard the House against being too
confident that that would not be the course
adopted by this country. A more disas-
trous course could not be pursued, as far
as Spain was concerned; nor one less
honourable to the character of this coun-
try. If once that part were decided upon,
what was there to prevent France from
passing the Pyrenees, and attempting to
carry into effect her wicked, and he would
say, premeditated project? But if she
found the whole coast from Bayonne to
Dunkirk exposed to the operations of our
fleets, she would be more cautious how
she ventured to advance with a chance
of our being actively employed against
her. He had no doubt, if the right hon.
gentleman had given a pledge of neutra-
lity on the part of this country, that he
had done so in the expectation that it
could be rendered valid. That, however,
would be found to be a work of no little
difficulty. We should recollect, that the
approaching contest between France and
Spain would not be for a boundary line:
it was an attempt on the part of the
former to put down the constitution-the
free choice of the Spanish nation-that
constitution which the allied sovereigns
at Laybach had declared they would put
down wherever they met it within their
reach. But it was not Spain alone that
we had to look to. Portugal, too, must
be expected to be brought into the
contest. She also had a constitution
which the emperor Alexander would not
recognize; and she would no doubt be
anxious to defend it. But supposing
Portugal to be so unwise, and, hebwould
even say, so base, as to desert Spa in her
G *







COMMONS, Address on the King's Speec


supposing that by such
ere to add a force of 50,000
invading armies-and, as a
an of some small experience, he
that the desertion of the cause of
by Portugal would be equivalent
addition of 50,000 men to her in-
rs-still she would not rescue herself
from the approach of those dangers, by
which her ally of Spain was at present
menaced. France, reinforced by the suc-
cessful termination of her efforts on behalf
of the cause of fanaticism and tyranny in
Spain, and assisted by the exasperation
which the desertion of Portugal would
have excited in every honest Spanish
bosom, would soon, by her advances to
the Portuguese frontier, render it neces-
sary for the Portuguese government to
call upon the British cabinet to fulfil the
various pledges of assistance which it had
offered to it. But was it only external
enemies that Portugal had to fear ? Did
not the right hon. gentlemen opposite
know, that a regency of Portugal was
already organized in France, and that
some of its agents had even arrived in Eng-
land for the purpose of making proselytes ?
Supposing an army of the Faith to be
raised in Portugal by the intrigues and
machinations .of this body, and to be
backed by a French army of observation
stationed on the frontiers, would England,
in case of its advance into the interior, be
able to. throw a military force into the
lines of Torres Vedras with any chance of
success, or to maintain in the town of
Lisbon the immense mass of population
which would be cast upon it by such an
event? True it was, that England had
been able to support that population
during the last- war; but it ought to be
recollected that the supplies for it were
at that time drawn from the Brazils, and
that no assistance could now be expected
from such a quarter. He therefore con-
tended that, both in a political, a mili-
tary, and a financial point of view, this
country was bound to interfere with spirit
on the present occasion; especially as by
to doing she would only spend thousands
now, where she might be compelled to
spend millions in future. Nothing could
be more honourable to parliament, and
the nation in general, than the language
which had been employed last night in
condemnation of the policy of the allied
sovereigns, The annals of history could
not show a more wanton orwa more wicked
aggression upon the rights of nations, than


that which they at present contemplated,
He said that the aggression was wanton,
because every man, who considered that
the military force of Spain, previous to
the 7th of July, did not exceed 22,0001
men, must perceive that its government
could entertain no ideas of foreign con-
quest; and he said that it was wicked,
because the constitution of Spain had
been recognized, first of all by Russia,
and subsequently by Prussia and Austriaj
as each of them broke away from the
chains in which Buonapart6 had bound
them-chains, which they would never
have been able to have dashed asunder,
had it not been for the brave example and
gallant exertions of that nation, which
they were now straining every nerve to
reduce to servitude and vassalage. It
was stated, however, as one ground of
justification for the armed interference
in the affairs of Spain, that the authors
of the late revolution had stained their
triumph with an unnecessary profusionL
of human blood. But he would ask,
how far this assertion was justified by
fact? It was known that much blood
had been shed in the massacre at Cadiz.
But, was it shed by the friends or the
enemies of the revolution ? There could
be no doubt upon that point. It was an
undisputed fact, that that massacre had
been committed by the opponents of the
present system; and yet, up to this day,
no vengeance had been taken upon the
perpetrators of that scandalous outrage.
The only persons who had been put. to
death for offences against the existing
constitution, were the two assassins who
had murdered an officer of the guards for
discharging his duty a few days previous
to the 7th of July; and the convention
with the mutinous guards, though made
by an unauthorized officer, had. been
religiously observed. Another ground of
justification was, that the Spanish govern-
ment had exhibited a strong disposition
to secularize the property of the church.
But, if this were a sufficient cause for
armed interference, not even the allied
sovereigns, nor the pope, nor our own
government, which le trusted was soon
going to inquire into the state of church
property in England, would be safe from
it. A third ground was, that the present
governors of Spain were the creators of
anarchy. Of anarchy I Why, he was
himself at Paris when general Quesada
left it for Bayonne; to which place it was
avowed, that he went for the express pur-







85] at the Opening of the Session.
pose 'of organizing a 'counter-revolution
in Spain. On the road thither his car-
riage 'broke down, and it became neces-
sary to remove from it the boxes of gold
which he had received for the furtherance
of his enterprise. Besides, it was notorious
that, in almost all the frontier towns of
France, bands, armed, and paid by French
gold, had been formed, with the inten-
tion of promoting rebellion in Spain. In
Bayonne, bulletins of the army of the
Faith were regularly issued to the public,
and a bank was established, for the ran-
som of such as happened to fall into the
clutches of the constitutional party. He
was convinced, that the object of the
French government, in undertaking a war
against the Spanish nation, was not so
much to put down the rising liberties of
that country, as to overthrow the charter
of its own, and to restore the national
domains to their original proprietors-a
catastrophe which could never be pro-
duced without the assistance of an Aus-
trian and Russian army, even supposing
it could be produced with them. That
such was the object of the French govern-
ment had been openly avowed by count
de Jouffrov in his letter to the duke de
Montmorency; and that it was their
-objectto put down all freedom of opinion,
and all liberty of discussion, had been
made further evident by a declaration of
-one of their pensioned writers, that it was
almost a lamentable circumstance that
the Christian religion had been given to
the world, inasmuch as, in superseding
the superstitions of Paganism, it had
tended materially to unsettle the minds
and opinions of men. Such being the
intentions of the despots of the continent,
-it was the duty of the British government
to come manfully forward in behalf of
-the liberties of the world ; for they might
depend upon it, that should war be the
-result, the people of England would
gladly support them in it, if they pre-
sented themselves to their notice in the
'honourable character of the champions of
European liberty.
Colonel Davies expressed his concur-
rence in the sentiments of independence
which had been so generally expressed by
the House in the discussion of the former
evening. There was one point, however,
in which he differed from the gallant
officer who had addressed them with so
much spirit at an early period of the
,evening. That gallant officer had ex-
pressed a hope, that we should preserve


FeB. 5, 1823. [83
a strict neutrality, in case of a war break-
ing out between France and Spain. For
his own part, he could not conceive how
such a neutrality could be preserved by'
this country, consistently with honour.
He should say, that if France sent a single"
soldier across the Bidassoa, or tired a
single cannon on the other side of the Py-
renees, we ought to consider it as a decla-
ration of war against England. He could
not help thinking that, blind and bosotted
as the courtiers were by whom the king
of France was surrounded-even these
men, if they were told that we should
consider any aggression upon Spain as a
declaration of war against ourselves,would
pause before they ventured to make it.
If the people of France were made to see
that the destruction of liberty in Spain
could only be considered as a prelude to
the destruction of liberty among them-
selves, he thought that the impression
made upon them could not fail to pro-
duce a corresponding impression,' even
upon those to whose hands their destinies
were at present confided.
Mr. Hutchinson, though he agreed with
every syllable in the Address, contended,
that stronger language ought to have been
put into the king's mouth, in the present
critical situation of affairs. Such lan-
guage would have struck terror into the
congregated despots of the continent, and
would have shown the sons of freedom in
Spain, that the population of this country,
from the prince down to the peasant,
was determined to thwart the designs of
their oppressors. The whole continent
was at present looking up to the conduct
of this country ; and such a declaration
from so high a quarter, would have excited
it to a successful opposition against the
tyrants who were oppressing it. He
hoped ministers would be able to show,
that not only had this country not joined
at Verona in the unprincipled aggression
upon Spain, but that it had opposed
itself to it with all its influence. He
cordially agreed in every sentiment which
the hon. and learned member for Win-
chelsea had last night expressed, respecting
the iniquitous notes of the three great
continental powers. He rejoiced to hear
the king advising his parliament to take
into consideration the state of Ireland, and
to do, at last, something to improve the
habits and condition of its inhabitants.
An improvement in the habits and con-
dition of the people of lieland could nd.i,
however, be efected by words. alone,






87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
however conciliatory they might be : it
must be the result of great and salutary
measures. Amongst those measures, he
should reckon a fair and equitable conm-
mutation of tithes, and the admission of
the catholic part of the population to
the enjoyment of those privileges from
which they had so long been shut out.
The Address was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, February 7.
MARRIAGE ACT AMENDMENT BILL.]
-Lord Ellenborough said, that he was
anxious to take the first opportunity
which offered itself, to amend any defects
that might have been found to exist in
the Marriage act which was passed last
session. During the discussions on the
bill last year, it had been frequently in-
sinuated, that the supporters of the mea-
sure were only anxious to carry that part
of it which was retrospective in its opera-
tion. He had always denied the truth of
that statement; because he knew that
the supporters of the bill were anxious to
make the prospective part of it as perfect
as possible. He could assure the House,
that it was to him a subject of deep re-
gret, that any inconveniences should have
been found to arise from the operation of
that part of the act. At the time the
question was agitated, many of the warm-
est supporters of the bill imagined that
inconveniences might result from it; but,
-knowing that the House would have an
opportunity of remedying those inconve-
niences after an experience of six months,
they thought it advisable that the measure
should pass. It could not be denied that
.some inconveniences had arisen fiom the
.act of last session; but they had been
much exaggerated, and he could not help
thinking that there was something not
perfectly disinterested at the bottom of
the clamour which had been raised upon
the subject. The manner in which it
would be advisable to amend the act of
last session had been a subject of serious
consideration with himself and other
noble lords who felt an interest in the
question.. The first mode suggested was
to recite in a new bill, all the parts of the
present act which it was deemed expe-
dient to repeal; but it was considered
that this would render the new act a mass
of confusion. It was therefore deter-
mined to adopt a different course of pro-
*cceding, and the bill which he intended


Tke King's Answer to the Address. [88
to introduce was of this nature: in the
first clause, all the prospective part of
the present was repealed, except the first
clause, which nullified the old Marriage
act. The bill then proceeded to recite
such other clauses of the prospective part
of the present bill as it was thought expe-
dient to retain. By passing the act of
last session, their lordships had expressed
their decision upon two points; first, the
principle of the act; and secondly, the
nature of the securities which were re-
quired by it. The principle of the act
was, that marriages, when once solemnized,
should be indissoluble ; and the securities
which were required from the contracting
parties were to be given in the shape of
oaths. The oaths which would be re-
quired would not occupy more than two
minutes in reading, and therefore much
inconvenience could not arise from them.
A minister would be guilty of a misde--
meanor by marrying parties without ad-
ministering the oaths to them, and the
parties, by committing perjury, would
render themselves obnoxious to all the
penalties attached to that crime.
Lord Redesdale said, that the inconve-
nience of administering the oaths at the
solemnization of the marriage, and of
making that, as it were, a part of the
marriage ceremony, would be felt in
populous parishes, where several mar-
riages took place on the same day. It
would be better to administer the oaths
previously to the publication of the bans;
because the canons required that clergy-
men should be satisfied that the parties
about to be married were what they re-
presented themselves to be.
The Lord Chancellor said, he had
strongly opposed the act passed last ses-
sion. It had excited great clamour, per-
haps more than it ought; but it was evi-
dent that such a measure could not fail
to call forth a strong expression of dis-
content. He was desirous to bestow all
the attention in his power upon the bill
about to be introduced; and all he asked
for was, that their lordships might be al-
lowed sufficient time deliberately to con-
sider every part of it.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 10.
THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE AD-
D REss.]-The Speaker reported the King's
Answer to the Address as follows;-,






87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
however conciliatory they might be : it
must be the result of great and salutary
measures. Amongst those measures, he
should reckon a fair and equitable conm-
mutation of tithes, and the admission of
the catholic part of the population to
the enjoyment of those privileges from
which they had so long been shut out.
The Address was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, February 7.
MARRIAGE ACT AMENDMENT BILL.]
-Lord Ellenborough said, that he was
anxious to take the first opportunity
which offered itself, to amend any defects
that might have been found to exist in
the Marriage act which was passed last
session. During the discussions on the
bill last year, it had been frequently in-
sinuated, that the supporters of the mea-
sure were only anxious to carry that part
of it which was retrospective in its opera-
tion. He had always denied the truth of
that statement; because he knew that
the supporters of the bill were anxious to
make the prospective part of it as perfect
as possible. He could assure the House,
that it was to him a subject of deep re-
gret, that any inconveniences should have
been found to arise from the operation of
that part of the act. At the time the
question was agitated, many of the warm-
est supporters of the bill imagined that
inconveniences might result from it; but,
-knowing that the House would have an
opportunity of remedying those inconve-
niences after an experience of six months,
they thought it advisable that the measure
should pass. It could not be denied that
.some inconveniences had arisen fiom the
.act of last session; but they had been
much exaggerated, and he could not help
thinking that there was something not
perfectly disinterested at the bottom of
the clamour which had been raised upon
the subject. The manner in which it
would be advisable to amend the act of
last session had been a subject of serious
consideration with himself and other
noble lords who felt an interest in the
question.. The first mode suggested was
to recite in a new bill, all the parts of the
present act which it was deemed expe-
dient to repeal; but it was considered
that this would render the new act a mass
of confusion. It was therefore deter-
mined to adopt a different course of pro-
*cceding, and the bill which he intended


Tke King's Answer to the Address. [88
to introduce was of this nature: in the
first clause, all the prospective part of
the present was repealed, except the first
clause, which nullified the old Marriage
act. The bill then proceeded to recite
such other clauses of the prospective part
of the present bill as it was thought expe-
dient to retain. By passing the act of
last session, their lordships had expressed
their decision upon two points; first, the
principle of the act; and secondly, the
nature of the securities which were re-
quired by it. The principle of the act
was, that marriages, when once solemnized,
should be indissoluble ; and the securities
which were required from the contracting
parties were to be given in the shape of
oaths. The oaths which would be re-
quired would not occupy more than two
minutes in reading, and therefore much
inconvenience could not arise from them.
A minister would be guilty of a misde--
meanor by marrying parties without ad-
ministering the oaths to them, and the
parties, by committing perjury, would
render themselves obnoxious to all the
penalties attached to that crime.
Lord Redesdale said, that the inconve-
nience of administering the oaths at the
solemnization of the marriage, and of
making that, as it were, a part of the
marriage ceremony, would be felt in
populous parishes, where several mar-
riages took place on the same day. It
would be better to administer the oaths
previously to the publication of the bans;
because the canons required that clergy-
men should be satisfied that the parties
about to be married were what they re-
presented themselves to be.
The Lord Chancellor said, he had
strongly opposed the act passed last ses-
sion. It had excited great clamour, per-
haps more than it ought; but it was evi-
dent that such a measure could not fail
to call forth a strong expression of dis-
content. He was desirous to bestow all
the attention in his power upon the bill
about to be introduced; and all he asked
for was, that their lordships might be al-
lowed sufficient time deliberately to con-
sider every part of it.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 10.
THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE AD-
D REss.]-The Speaker reported the King's
Answer to the Address as follows;-,







89], Irish Tithes.
I return you my warmest thanks
for this loyal and dutiful Address.-I
receive with the greatest satisfaction the
assurance of your unanimous concur-
rence in the principles which I have de-
clared, and in the objects which I have
recommended to your attention.-I have
nothing so much at heart as the in-
terests and welfare of my people, and
the maintaining of this country at its
present eminence among the nations of
the world."

IRISH TITHEs.]-Sir H. Parnell pre-
'sented a petition from the grand jury of
Queen's County, praying for a commu-
tation of tithes. He said, he knew of no
measure more likely to put an end to the
unfortunate disturbances which had so
long distracted his ill-fated country, than
that which the petitioners prayed for. He
had been informed that the noble marquis
at the head of the Irish government, in-
tended to propose to parliament some
specific plan for effecting an alteration in
the tithe system of Ireland. If that plan
should fortunately prove successful, he
would confer one of the greatest benefits
upon Ireland. As the manner in which
tithe was at present exacted was produc-
tive of equal inconvenience both to the
payer and to the receiver, he trusted that
the clergy of Ireland would not oppose
the attempt which the noble marquis was
now.making to reform the system. He
likewise hoped that his hon. friend (Mr.
Hume) would postpone the motion of
which he had given notice, until that
which was to be submitted from the Irish
government had been introduced to the
House.
Colonel Trench cordially concurred in
the prayer of the petitioners. If that
prayer was granted, much would be done
towards securing the tranquillity of Ire-
land. The present system of church
government in that country was as inju-
rious to the protestant, as it was hostile
and oppressive to the catholic part of the
community.
Mr. V. Fitzgerald fully concurred ir
every syllable which had been said on thi:
I subject. Though he conceived the mea.
sure which had been passed last session t(
be completely inefficient and imprac.
ticable, he was of opinion, that the dis
S cussious which it had occasioned ha(
been of the greatest service. He trustee
.that the measure which government has
in contemplation, would meet with tha


FEB. 10, 1823. [9
calm and attentive consideration which
the magnitude of the question so impe-
riously demanded.
Mr. Goulburn said, that the govern-
ment of Ireland had, from the first mo-
ment of its arrival in that country, been
sedulously endeavouring to discover some
mode of removing the evils which arose
from the present system of collecting
tithes. In the last session, he had brought
forward a measure for that purpose; and
though it might not have been as efficient
as he could have wished, still he could
not join in condemning it as the useless
and impracticable measure which his hon.
friend had described it to be. The subi
ject had since that time been again taken
into the consideration of the Irish govern-
ment; and he trusted that when he should
submit it to the notice of the House, it
would be found worthy of its support and
approbation.
Mr. Spring Rice asserted, that a more
inefficient measure than that of last session
had never been passed. Not one indi.
vidual throughout Ireland had attempted
totakeadvantage of it. As the declarations
of the right hon. secretary were now of the
same vague and unsatisfactory nature that
they were last session, he trusted that his
hon. friend would on no consideration
postpone the motion of which he had
given notice.
Mr. Secretary Peel thought that the
hon. gentleman had no just reason to
complain of the vague declarations made
by his right hon. friend. The proposed
measure would be brought forward at a
period sufficiently early to enable the hon.
member for Aberdeen to obtain the fullest
discussion of his motion upon the same
subject. It was desirable that that
motion should be postponed, until the
Plan of the Irish government had been
introduced.
Mr. Htime saw no reason why he should
Give way upon this subject, especially
- after the long delays on the part of minis-
e tears. They, or their friends, had been
twenty-five years in office, during which
i they had done nothing to remedy the
s admitted evil. It was this delay of
- remedies that had rendered it necessary
Sto keep down the people of Ireland by
- military establishments. It was now
* understood that the clergy of Ireland,
I after a long and strong opposition, had
1 consented to commute their tithes for an
1 acreable assessment. He had no objec-
t lion to mention the general nature of his







91ff HOUSE OF COMMONS, Sinking Fund.-The late King's Library. f99


proposition. He should first contend,
that the church property in Ireland was
altogether too large for the purpose for
which it was intended: next, that there
should be no overpaid absentees of 1,0001.,
2,0001., or 3,0001. a year, and starved
curates of 501. 601. and 701. a year; but
that the acting clergyman should be
allowed enough for his maintenance as a
gentleman. He was opposed to the pay-
ment of any clergymen who were not
resident; and he should call upon the
House to declare this simple proposition-
that the church property was set aside by
the state for the maintenance of religion,
and that it was in the power of parlia-
ment to appropriate it in the way most
conducive to the interests of religion.
Ordered to lie on the table.

SINKING FUND.]-Mr. Hume, in rising
to move that a series of financial papers
which had been laid on the table of the
House, should be printed, was anxious to
preface his motion with a few observa-
tions. The title of one of these papers
was, "An Account of all Sums paid over
to the Commissioners for the Reduction of
the National Debt, for the year ending the
5th Jan. 1823;" and from that document
it appeared, that 15,853,0001. had been so
paid over. The system was, however,
a complete fallacy. It turned out to be
a mere transfer-a paying with one hand,
and borrowing with the other, without
liquidating any portion of the amount of
debt. It was as perfect a farce as was
ever played off by any juggler. As the
country was about to have a new chan-
cellor of the exchequer, it was to be
hoped that, with the old one, this pre-
posterous farce would die. If they must
have a sinking fund, let it be a real one,
clearly and plainly set forth; and not a
mere nominal fund, which could only
answer the purposes of delusion.
Mr. Grenfell concurred with his hon.
friend as to the folly of that system which
induced government to lay before the
House and the country this most idle and
unsatisfactory account. He thought,
however, that his hon. friend ought, in
justice to the late chancellor of the ex-
chequer, to have stated, that that right
hon. gentleman had pledged himself, that
the whole of that system which his hon.
friend reprobated would be re-modelled ;
and that in future, the account of the
sinking-fund should consist only of the
surplus of'income over expenditure.


Mr. Lushington said, that one of the
earliest objects of government would be
to bring the subject of the sinking fund
under the consideration of the House, for
the purpose of simplifying the system,
and rendering it more intelligible.
The Lord Mayor (Mr. Alderman Hey-
gate) deprecated any interference with the
sinking fund system, from which the
country had derived so much benefit.
The proposition to enable the commis-
sioners of the sinking fund to lend the
money paid over to them for the service
of the year, originated with one of the
greatest ministers this country ever saw.
It had been approved of by Mr. Fox, and
was supported by Mr. Sheridan, and other
eminent men, who usually sat on the op-
position side of the House. It was a
provision which arose from an act of the
legislature at the time to which he had
alluded ; and he confessed he heard with
great regret, that it was intended to de-
part from that system of financial arrange-
ment which had rendered the credit of
this country superior to thatof any other
state in the world. He would contend,
that the sinking fund, by the way in
which it had been managed, had enabled
Great Britain to cope with the most
powerful enemy that had ever been op-
posed to her. The system had been
adopted by America, France, Russia, and
Prussia; in short, it had been acted on
wherever there was any thing like a re-
presentative government. He trusted,
however anxious gentlemen might be to
reduce the taxes, that still there was a
spirit in that House which would, he was
going to say, compel government to keep
faith with the public creditor.
Mr. Lushington said, that the intention
was merely to bring in a bill to simplify
the system, and thereby to render it more
intelligible.

THE LATE KING's LIBRARY.]-Lord
John Russell begged to know whether it
was true, that his majesty meant to make
a gift of the late king's library to the
public. If such were the case, it was a
proceeding well calculated to strengthen
the attachment of the people to the House
of:Brunswick; -and he wished that the
high utility of the present might be pre-
served, by its being placed in such a
situation as should make it generally ac-
cessible. It was a general complaint, that
the metropolis had no sufficient public
library; for that of the. British Museum







93] Irish Yeomanry Corps.
could scarcely be deemed public. He
wished much to see a collection so thrown
open as to afford, universally, encourage-
ment to literature. If the country could
not, in its present state, afford such an
expense, he trusted that the object would
be kept in view ; and that the magnificent
donation now made would form the basis
upon which a future establishment might
be raised.
Mr. Peel said, that the report was well-
founded. No particular arrangement as
to the disposal of the gift had yet been
made; but he doubted not that the ob-
ject aimed at by the noble lord would be
duly attended to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 11.
IRISH YEOMANRY CORPS.] Mr.
Goulburn asked leave to bring in a bill
to continue and amend the acts for train-
ing the Irish Yeomanry. As these acts
would expire in a few weeks, he thought
it requisite to move for their renewal at as
early a period as possible.
Mr. Hume said, that before he gave his
consent to the introduction of this bill, he
must ask the right hon. secretary whether
the Irish Police act of the last session had
not, in a great degree, rendered it unie-
cessary ?. The acts which it was now in-
tended to renew, were productive of an
annual expense of 66,0001. As such was
the case, it behoved the House to look a
little into the manner in which these
yeomanry corps were constituted, and the
purposes for which they were kept up.
They were established in 1798; and,
whatever might be the services which they
then performed, he believed that since
the rebellion they had been productive of
much positive mischief to the, country.
These corps generally consisted of Orange-
men; and were so far from being useful
in keeping the peace, that all the tumults
in the north of Ireland arose from them.
During the last year, they had been called
out to quell the disturbances which ex-
isted ; but, instead of diminishing, they
had absolutely increased them. Indeed,
the formation of these corps had been a
gross job from their commencement down
to the present time. By a paper for
which he had moved during the last ses-
S sion, it appeared, that ten brigade-majors
of yeomanry corps had retired upon pen-
sions. He was given, to understand that
these men were by no means unfit for ser-


.FEB. 11, 1823. [94
vice; and if that were the case, ought
they to be placed upon pensions, either
because they wished to retire themselves,
or because ministers wished to bestow
their places upon other of their depen-
dents ? He had been informed' that some
individuals had been invalided, who were
not older than he was, and who, fortu-
nately for themselves, werein much better
health. To place such men on the in-
valid list was not an uncommon occurrence
with the government of Ireland. An in-
dividual named Collis, who, he under-
stood, was as free from infirmity as he
was, and not more than 45 years of age,
had been invalided on a pension, after ten
years service, though he was treasurer of
the county in which he resided, and had
a private fortune of 2,0001. a year. The
expense incurred for the present brigade
majors was 3,7501. a year; whilst 1,2751.
a year was paid in pensions to those who
had retired, and so made way for them.
This was one of the discoveries that had
taken place, in consequence of his motion
of last session, that an account should be
rendered of all monies paid out of the
civil list, previously to the estimates for
the year being presented to parliament;
and he could assure the House, that he
had other discoveries in store for them
from the same paper, each more appalling
than the other. He trusted that the
House would not allow this bill to pass,
until some detail was given of the services
for which these yeomanry corps were
wanted.
Mr. Goulburn said, he was not prepared
to explain, at that moment whether Mr.
Collis was as strong or as infirm as the
hon. member; but if it was his intention
to bring that grant under the notice of
the House, he should be prepared at a fit
opportunity to give the necessary expla-
nation regarding it. At present, lie should
confine himself to the mere explanation
of one circumstance, namely, how so
many brigade majors were found on the
list. At the close of the war, the number
which before had been very great, was
reduced to the state in which it existed
at present; and the supernumeraries were
placed on the half-pay. Since that time,
whenever any vacancy had occurred in
the brigade-majors which it was deter-
mined to keep up, it had been filled up
out of those supernumeraries; and there-
fore there was no ground for the, insinua-
tion of the hon. gentleman.
,Mr. Abercromby said, that the right







95] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
hon. secretary's argument appeared to be
this-that they ought to pass this bill
now, and to consider of the expense at
a future opportunity. Now, he took
this to be the wiser course-to consider
of the expense in the first instance, and
to pass the bill in the second. In the
present distressing state of Ireland, it was
impossible to treat as a mere matter of
course, a measure which tended to per-
petuate a corps, whose acts had been
viewed with much anxiety, and not with-
out a little suspicion. He trusted that
no attempt would be made to press this
measure hastily through the House,
especially as the attorney-general for Ire-
land would, in a short time, be obliged to
bring before their notice the present
situation of that unfortunate country.
SMr. Goulburn said, he could assure
honourable members, that he never en-
tertained the slightest intention of hurry-
ing this bill through the House. He had
placed it thus early upon the table, in
order that it might receive the fullest
:discngsion. He could assure the hon.
member for Calne, that the time would
soon come when the circumstances to
which he had alluded would be brought
under the consideration of parliament.
Mr. V. Fitzgerald condemned the at-
tack made upon the yeomanry corps of
Ireland, as most unfair and illiberal.
The corps which he had the honour to
command, instead of being composed
entirely of Otangemen, had not a single
Orangeman in it. Indeed, to the best of
his belief, in the yeomanry corps in the
south of Ireland, nine out of every ten
men were Catholics. In the county of
Clare there was one corps in which there
were only ten Protestants, and another
in which there was not even one; and
yet to that corps the government had
bee chiefly indebted, on a late occasion,
for the quiet of the county. Unless the
tion. member intended to assert that the
yeomanry corps were altogether useless,
he ought not to oppose the present bill,
$f which the sole object was to place
them under military control. The super-
annuations appeared to him to be made
upon the best principle, and certainly
not from corrupt and profligate views.
'The hn. member had alluded to the
superannuation of a major Collis. He
could not tell whether there were two
brigade majors of that name; but if the
major Collis alluded to was the same
tnijbr'jellis .whl had been' the inspector


Russian-Dutch Loan. [96
of his corps, he would tell the hon.
member for Aberdeen, that instead of
having only served ten years, he had
served nearly as many years as the hon.
member had stated him to have lived, and,
therefore, his was not a case which de-
served the reprobation that had been cast
upon it.
Mr. Spring Rice reminded the last
speaker, that his remarks on the manner
in which some yeomanry corps were con-
stituted only applied to those in the south
of Ireland. The yeomanry force of Ire-
land amounted, however, to 30,000 men,
and of these 20,000 were raised from the
single province of Ulster. Now, he would
contend, that all the objections to the
yeomanry corps, arising from the Orange
infusion by which they were tainted,
applied in full force to the yeomanry of
the province of Ulster. If some measure
was not proposed to put down the pro-
cessions of the Orange societies, which
were known to-be illegal, he should en-
deavour to add a clause to the present
bill, to prevent the yeomanry from join-
ing in them; because, alarming as they
were at all times, they became doubly
dangerous when men with arms in their
hands formed a part of them.
Mr. Hume said, that in the paper to
which he had before alluded, he found
this entry-" Edward Collis, 12IL. having
served upwards of ten years." He had
not served eleven years, otherwise it
would have been so stated.
Mr. Peel denied that the individual
in question, or indeed any other, had
been allowed to retire, for the purpose of
giving facility to the appointment of
another person in his stead.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

RussiAw-DurcH LOAN.---Mr. Hume,
in moving for various documents relating
to the Russian-Dutch loan, observed, that
few were aware that, by a convention
dated in May 1815, Great Britain agreed
to pay to the king of the Netherlands
a loan of three millions advanced to
Russia. Perhaps, therefore, at that very
moment, the emperor Alexander was pre-
paring to make war upon Spain, with the
funds of this country. The consideration
for this payment was the possession of the
Cape of Good Hope and Demerara, which
had since cost Great Britain about half
the original purchase-money, and they
mast always- remain a useless burden.
He wished- to know what amount of prin-







97] Foreign Trade of the Country.
cipal and interest had been paid by this
country since 1815. He did not know
whether it was possible for us to vitiate
this most impolitic engagement; but if
it was entered into under the implied
condition, that the emperor of Russia
was to do all in his power to preserve the
peace of Europe, we clearly were not
bound to adhere to it; inasmuch as he
was now straining every nerve to involve
Europe in a new and a nefarious war. He
concluded by moving for an Account of
the sums paid in British money, in pursu-
ance of the Convention, for Principal and
Interest of the Loan, and an estimate of the
sum remaining to be paid.-Ordered.

CROWN LANDS AND QUIT RENTS IN
IRELAND.]-Mr. Hume moved thataCopy
of the Report of the Commissioners ap-
pointed to inquire respecting the Crown
Lands and Quit Rents of Ireland, be laid
before the House. As he intended to
submit a motion to the House on the
subject, he thought that a copy of the
commissioners' report should be laid
before it. He intended to submit that
the whole of these crown lands and quit
rents should be sold, and the proceeds
appropriated to the payment of the
national debt. If put up to sale, he was
persuaded they would fetch two millions.
The hon. member complained, that the
triennial report relative to woods and
forests, which ought to have been laid
on the table last year, had been kept back.
It was intended, he said, that the whole
of the crown lands in Great Britain
should be available for the public service;
but at present they rather increased the
burdens of the country, being wholly
wasted in pensions. He then moved for
a Copy of the said Report; and an Account
of the Sums transferred to the Three per
Cents, on account of the crown lands, and
also of the Forfeited Estates, in Ireland.
Mr. Goulburn said, that an act had
been passed last session, to do the very
thing with regard to the crown lands of
Ireland, which the hon. member seemed
now only to find out would be a conve-.
nient thing. As for the measure in-
tended to be founded on these papers, it
had already been carried into execution.
Mr. Hume said, he was aware of the
act alluded to, directing the lands to be
* sold. What he complained of was, not
that the House did not make laws enough,
but that they.were not executed,
The motion was agreed to.
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 12, 1823. [98
VICE-TREASURER OF IRELAND.]-Mr.
Hume referred to the manner in which
the two exchequers of Great Britain and
Ireland had been consolidated and united
some years ago.' He saw no reason why
the same plan should not be pursued with
regard to all the other departments, as
was now the case with Scotland. A paper
laid upon the table last year showed the
enormous salaries of an immense number
of persons dependent upon the lord lieu-
tenant of Ireland, nearly the whole of
which expense might be saved, if the
system he recommended were adopted.
He should hereafter bring forward a pro-
position to remove the lord lieutenancy,
and all offices connected with it, to
London. He was anxious, particularly,
to call the attention of the House to the
office of vice-treasurer of Ireland, useless
expense of between 7,0001. and 8,0001. a
year, and for which nothing was done.
The right hon. gentleman who now filled
that sinecure passed half his time in that
House, voting for ministers, and one
quarter of it in Derry ; devoting scarcely
a month in the year to the public service.
In a motion for the abolition of the vice-
treasurer-ship, he felt assured of the sup-
port of some of the friends of the ministry ;
but above all, of the president of the
Board of Control, who had declared this
a most needless and expensive appoint-
ment. He would move for Copies of any
Correspondence between the Chief Secre-
tary for Ireland and the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, respecting the office of Vice-
treasurer.-Ordered.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 12.
FOREIGN TRADE OF THE COUNTRY.]
-Mr. Wallace rose, in pursuance of no-
tice, to move for the revival of the com-
mittee of last session, to consider of the
best means of maintaining and-improving
the Foreign Trade of the country. He
made this motion not merely upon the
general ground, that the commerce of the
country was likely to receive important
advantages from the labours of such a
committee, but also upon a special rea-
son, arising out of the circumstances
under which the committee had separated
at the close of last session. lie was sure
that the House would recollect, that when
the dock system was first. established in
this country, certain exclusive privileges
were granted to those who expended their
H







09] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
capital in promotingit. Those privileges,
however, were only granted for a limited
periodd, and many of them were about to
expire. The first to expire were those
granted to the West India Dock Com-
pany; and that body, contemplating
iheir approaching expiration, had pre-
sented a petition to parliament, praying
for their further continuance. That
petition had been met by others, of which
the prayer was directly the reverse; and
these conflicting petitions had been re-
ferred to the consideration of the com-
mittee upon foreign trade. The com-
.mittee, feeling the importance of the
question, not merely as it related to indi-
viduals, but also as it affected the com-
mercial interests of the country at large,
thought it to be their duty to suspend the
examination of the subject upon which
they were then engaged, and to devote
their attention to the inquiry which the
House had entrusted to its care. In con-
sequence, they prosecuted that inquiry
,with' the utmost diligence, and, before
the close of the session, collected all the
evidence which was material to it. By
.the time, however, that such evidence was
collected, the session was nearly brought
to a conclusion, and the committee then
.felt that they had neither time, nor indeed
,(owing to many members having left
,tlvp) numbers sufficient to offer an opi-
nion upon it, that was likely to prove
satisfactory either to the House, or to the
nation in general. That consideration
led them to defer the delivery of their
opinion to the present session, when they
trusted that they should be re-appointed;
and when they were more likely to come
to a satisfactory decision. Such, then,
was the. situation in which the question
rested at present. Evidence had been
.collected and materials for decision had
been prepared: it remained only for the
.House to place the committee once more
in such a situation as would enable it to
give, and the House to receive, the opi-
Snions which it had derived from a thorough
.examination of the whole subject.-
Having stated this special ground for the
re-appointment of the committee, he
deemed it unnecessary to enter into any
ofthe general. grounds. The principal
jects to which.the committee had direct-
its attention were well known to the
house ; the. course of its inquiries was.
a ysq'kopwn; and tlbe resut of them had
.beqn in saome, iStinces brought before it
in a lgil.atiZe Nlpe. N ithe dr d he feedl


Foreign Trade of the Country. [100
it to be necessary to enter into any de-
tailed account of the export trade of the
country : indeed, at the present moment,
the materials for such a discussion, were
not in his possession. Still, in bringing
forward a motion like the present, he
Could not avoid calling the attention of
the House to the very different situation
in which the commerce of the country
now stood, from that in which it stood at
the time when this committee was first
appointed. At that time, great distress
pervaded the nation, and a general feel-
ing of despondency prevailed among all
classes of society. The general export of
the country in the four years from 1815
to 1819, had decreased 14 millions in
official value; and he took the official
rather than the actual value, because the
official value was the measure of quantity,
and because it was from quantity that the
best measure was derived of the employ-
ment afforded to the different classes of
the community. In the year from the
5th Jan. 1819, to the 5th Jan. 1820, the
export trade fell no less than 11 mil-
lions; and in looking at that part of it
which was more completely of British and
Irish manufacture, he found that the dif-
ference in four years, was 8,414,7111.;
and that in the year from 5th Jan. 1820,
to 5th Jan. 1821, there was a decrease of
8,929,6291. Nobody, therefore, could be
surprised, that at that period the industry
of the country appeared to be in a state
of the utmost depression-that our manu-
facturers were most of them unemplpyed-
that our agriculturists were many of them
embarrassed-and that the country, to
use a phrase which an hon. friend of his
had employed in presenting a petition
from the merchants of London, exhibited
all the appearance of a dying nation.
Though the condition of the agricultural
interest was not at present as favourable
as he could wish, still it was most satis-
factory to him to state, that not only
did the exports of last year exceed
those of all the years to which he had
just been alluding, but also those of
the most flourishing year which the conn-
try had known during the continuance of
the war. In all the material articles, there
had been a considerable ipcreae. The
export of cotton had increased 10 per
cent; of hardware, 17 per cent; oflinels,
12 per cent; and of woolens, 13 per
cent; and the aggregate exports.of 1822
exceeded those of 1820, by 20 per cent;
and those of 1821, by 7 per cent; not-







101] Foreign Trade of the Country.
withstanding a deduction was to be made
from tile exports of one great article,
refined sugar, owing to a prohibitory
decree of Russia, amounting at least
to 35 per cent. Such was the state
of the export trade at the present mo-
ment, and he did not know that any
stronger reason could be given for the re-
vival of the committee on foreign trade,
than that which the flourishing state of
that trade naturally suggested. It could
not fail to strike the observation of every
member, that we held that trade at the
present'monment upon a very different te-
nure from that upon which we held it
during the war. At that time, we were
almost the only nation in the world that
had any foreign trade: at present, we had
to stand against the competition of every
other nation; and, happy was he to per-
ceive, that we could stand against it with
every prospect of success. To make that
prospect even more satisfactory, nothing
more was necessary than to institute a re-
vision of our commercial system, to re-
move the greater part of our prohibitory
lh's and restrictions, and to put ourselves
in a situation that would enable us to
avail ourselves of the chances and contin-
gencies which the state of the world seemed
ready ti open to the commercial skill and
enterprise of England. On many of the
subjects which had been originally sub-
mitted to the consideration of the com-
mittee, the opinions of the committee had
beer declared to the House, and the House
had adopted such measures upon them as
seemed best suited to the circumstances
of the case. If there had not yet been
sufficient time for the country to reap any
gieat benefits fromt those measures, there
had still been sufficient time to show, that
none of the evils which it was predicted
would arise from them, had been realized.
Whilst they had released the navigation
Taws from the mass of useless legislation by
which they had been formerly incumhbered,
if Was gratifying to observe, that the navi-
gation of the country had not at all dimi-
fiished, and that the effects which, it had
been confidently stated, would occur with
regadi to one particular branch of our
* tide had by no means taken place. tHe
had had a paper recently placed in his
hands, which showed, that instead of the
Levant trdde corning through Holland into
S the ports of this country, as had been pre-
dicted, Elglish vessels were n6w actually
d~0ortiag articles f that trade front Bri-
fist p6fti to thoatH of Holland. They fiand


FEB 12, 1823. [102
likewise been told, that the Norway trade,
as also that of the North American colo-
nies, would be cut up by the roots, if the
measures proposed were carried into exe-
cution. They had been carried into exe-
cution; and, from information which he
had received, he could assert that the Nor-
way trade had actually increased in the
last year; that debts there which had'been
thought desperate had recently been re-
covered; and that the North American
trade had been extended, instead of un-
dergoing the diminution which had beei
so loudly threatened.-The com mitten hid
also been inistricted to look at the great
question of opening further facilities to
our commerce with the east. They had
consequently taken it into their consideraL-
tion, and had offered their opinions upon it
to the House, which were found to conctr
with those formed by a committee of the
other house of parliament, that had been
deliberating upon the same subject. Th1
advantages which had been anticipated
from the measures which the committee
had proposed to the House, had not
proved so great as had been expected;
but still considerable advantage had bee'
derived from allowing English ships, of
certain burden, to be placed ot' the same'
footing with foreign ships, and to sail di-
rect from our ports to India. The com-
mittee was desirous that the saeie privi-
lege should be extended t6 ail' descriptions
6f ships, but they Could dot r&6dofimehd
such a measure to be adopted, as thet
*ere b~und dow~n by a specific act of pi a-
liaieiit, which, in cormm'oti fairiess to the
East India company, ought not to be inl.
fringed. He trusted, however, that that
great body, which received so much be-
fiefit from the act in question, woild, 't
dn early period evince, a disposition t'6
make some concession from its strict right
to the general good of the comlTidity.-
The last subject on which the comtdiittee
Was instructed to inqulre, was the bur-
dens imposed on the shipping of the
country. That subject had not been neg-
letted by the committee; and he filt
great pleasure in now returning his thbliks
to one great c6Oporatioh .foir the aldcritf
and zeal with which it had carried the
reconlmendatioris of the committee into
effect. In consequence of foreign ships
birig placed more nearly upon a fdotii
*ith our din, many of them hAd adleady
s-odght, in dangrods weathef, a shelter
itn our potts; and, if otik of the iti' i
vessels which hbd forniifly be&i gcated







103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
from our coasts by the heavy duties which
they had to pay on entering our harbours,
had been, or should be, saved from ship-
wreck by such an alteration in our com-
mercial policy, the labours of the com-
mittee would be amply repaid. Valuable
as all the measures to which he had been
alluding had proved to the country, they
were not more valuable than the declara-
tions which they had elicited from the
government and from the House, of the
real principles on which they thought that
British commerce ought to rest; namely,
that they ought to get rid of the old
restrictive system of commerce, and to
adopt one more liberal in its nature
and more beneficial to the intercourse
of foreign nations with this country.
Those declarations had had their full
weight both at home and abroad: they
had already made several of the nations of
Europe more liberal in their commercial
restrictions: many countries had already
placed English ships on the same footing
with their own, and had shown a disposi-
tion to act towards us, on a system of
complete reciprocity. He was convinced
that we could adopt the principle of reci-
procity with perfect safety to the naviga-
tion of the country. For his own part, he
had no doubt upon the subject; and he
trusted, that in a short time the country
would have none also. He was aware, how-
ever, of the difficulties with which they had
to struggle at every step in their endea-
yours to arrive at a free trade-difficulties
which arose, not merely from old and an-
tiquated prejudices, which, he trusted,
would gradually fade away; but also
from a morbid sensibility incident to the
manufacturers of this, and, he believed, of
every other country, which induced them
to believe, that every advantage granted
to the foreigner was a positive injury to
themselves. He was as much alive to the
real interests of the manufacturer as any
man could be; but, in discussing a great
question in which all the interests of the
country were concerned, he must be con-
vinced, before he was persuaded to
yield to their remonstrances, that it
was a real danger which they feared,
and not a mere idle alarm or visionary
apprehension. He therefore trusted,
that while the House showed a readi-
ness to give the protection that was at
all times due to the manufacturing in-
terests of the country, it would also re-
member its duty to the nation at large,
and to the commercial interests of the


Foreign Trade of the Country. [ 104
whole community.-The right hon. gen-
tleman concluded by moving, That a
Select Committee be appointed to consi-
der of the means of maintaining and im-
proving the Foreign Trade of the Country."
Mr. Baring rose to acknowledge the
obligations which the trade of the country
owed to the right hon. gentleman. The
merits of the right hon. gentleman were
fully appreciated by the merchants of
London. There was but one opinion
amongst them, and that was, that since
the first establishment of the Board of
Trade, all the exertions of all its former
presidents were not, when united, equal
to those which had been made by the
right hon. gentleman alone, during the
time he had filled that office with so much
honour to himself and so much advantage
to the community at large.
Mr. Ricardo rose for the purpose of
paying his tribute of respect to the merits
of the right hon. gentleman, who had so
lately filled theoffice of vice-president ofthe
Board of Trade. He would say this; that,
much as the right hon. gentleman's plans
had benefitted the commerce of the
coutnry, they would have benefitted it
still more, had all of them been fully car-
ried into effect. They had met, however,
with too many obstacles from interests
that were hostile to his improvements;
and, though he regretted the circum-
stance much, he must still observe, that
those interests ought to be tenderly dealt
with. He thought it would be wiser to
make a compensation to any parties who
might be injured by the alteration, than
to persist in a system which was proved
to be detrimental to the commercial in-
terests of the nation at large. He had
heard with the greatest pleasure, the very
liberal speech which the right hon. gentle-
man had made that evening; nor was it
with less satisfaction that he had heard
his flattering account of the export trade
of the country. It had been said, that
the exports were greater now than they
had been during the most flourishing
year of the war. It ought likewise to be
stated, that during the war our great
foreign exports went to meet our great
foreign expenditure; whereas at present
we received valuable returns for every
thing we exported. In looking at the
general state of the country, it was satis-
factory to find that, amid the gloom and
distress in which the agricultural interests
were involved, its foreign commerce was
in a flourishing condition. He was sure







105] Courts of Justice in Ireland, 8;c.
that it must be the wish of all who heard
him, that it might long go on, prosper-
ing and to prosper. His only reason for
rising was to bear his testimony to the ex-
traordinary merits of the right hon. gentle-
man.
Mr. Hume rose to express his deep re-
gret that the country was likely to lose
the services of the right hon. gentleman,
who, for the last two or three years, had
devoted his attention so beneficially to
the public. If ministers had had the in-
terest of the nation as much at heart, as
the making a provision for their friends,
they would have contrived, in some way,
to have secured the assistance of the vice-
president of the Board of Trade. It had
most fortunately of late become the ge-
neral opinion, that the interest of the
state was involved in the interests of indi-
viduals, and the labours of the right hon.
gentleman had been applied to carry this
principle into effect. It was, therefore,
deeply to be lamented, that he was com-
pelled by circumstances to retire from his
situation.
SMr. Secretary Canning cordially agreed
in what had just fallen from the hon.
member for Aberdeen. He regretted, as
much as any man, that any circumstances
should have occurred to induce his right
hon. friend to withdraw his aid from his
majesty's government. What those cir-
cumstances were was not perhaps a fit
subject for discussion: he could only say,
that there was no member of the govern-
ment who did not join with him in appre-
ciating most highly the talents of the co-
adjutor they were about to lose. Though
feelings of delicacy might induce his right
hon. friend to relinquish the situation he
now held, no effort would be left untried,
on the part of the king's government, to
replace him in an office equal to his high
abilities and eminent services.
The committee was then re-appointed.

COURTS OF JUSTICE IN IRELAND-
CHIEF BARON O'GRADY.]-Mr. Spring
Rice requested the attention of the House
while he brought before it a subject of
the greatest importance. He alluded to the
administration of justice in Ireland, and
particularly the charges contained in the
9th and llth reports of the commissioners
of inquiry against chief baron O'Grady.
He did not wish to go into the merits of
this great question at the present mo-
ment. He would now only state. spe-
cifically what had been done on this sub-


FEB. 12, 1823. [106
ject, and ask the government, what course
was by them intended to be pursued re-
garding it ? In 1814, his right hon.
friend, the member for Waterford, moved
an address to the crown for the appoint-
ment of commissioners to inquire into the
conduct of the officers connected with the
administration ofjustice in Ireland. Very,
few parliamentary efforts reflected more
honour on their author. Few public men
had been able to do more good to their
country than his right hon. friend had by
this single motion, and he would add, in
perfect sincerity that, as far as govern-
ment was concerned in the furtherance of
the inquiry, and with regard to the selec-
tion of commissioners, it had deserved well
of the country. A more painful duty
could hardly be imposed upon men,: nor
could any set of men have performed it
in a more fearless or uncompromising
manner than these commissioners had
done. In April 1821, a report was made
from these gentlemen, reflecting very
seriously on the chief baron of Ireland.
That learned lord was thereby involved
in charges of the gravest importance; for
they went the length of imputing to him
that, in the execution of his duties as a
judge, he had been guilty of extortion on
the suitors in his court, in taking as fees
more than was due, or that which was
not due at the time it was taken. In
June 1821, he (Mr. Rice) brought this
subject before parliament, and he then
moved a series of resolutions founded on
the report of the commissioners. The
noble marquis (Londonderry) then the
organ of government in that House, asked
him to suspend his measures, and pro-
mised to bring the subject forward in an-
other shape. At a future time a select
committee was appointed, to which the
whole subject was referred. The House
would recollect, that this committee was
appointed on the motion of the noble
marquis. The report of that committee
(of which two of the ministers were
members), was not conclusive on all the
points of inquiry. They required more
information to arrive at a decisive judg-
ment. The noble marquis pledged him-
self, that the subject should be referred
to the competent authorities in Ireland.
At the commencement of the last session
the subject was again referred to the same
commissioners of inquiry, who made an-
other report. These documents were now
on the table of the House. The charges,
it should be remembered, were against a







107]i HOUSE OF COMMONS,
high judicial personage, and were pre-
ferred by a commission of legal inquiry
issued by government, tinder a parlia-
rentaryauthority. To these charges the
lord chief baron had pleaded not guilty,
and the parties had joined issue on that
plea. During the last session he (Mr. S.
Rice) had given notice that he would
bring this important subject before par-
liament, and he was ready, if necessary,
to, fulfil his engagement. But such a
proceeding ought not fairly to be cast on
any one individual. Government ought
to interfere. They ought not to standby
as a neutral party in this great question.
Either they ought to protect the cha-
racter of the judge, from the attack of the
commissioners, or they ought to- protect
the administration of justice from the
abuses of an unworthy depository of
judicial power. If the chief baron wa's
correct in his assertions, the commissioners
ought to be regarded as a gang of caluri-
niators, not as a reputable body of im-
partial judges. If, on the other hand,
the commissioners were correct in their
charges, then the chief baron Was unfit to
continue in the administration of the law,
and ought forthwith to be dismissed from
the bench which he disgraced. There
never was, he believed, a more important
subject submitted to parliament. The
prosecution of the inquiry ought not to
be cast upon the shoulders of any indi-
vidual. The Irish government had lately
undertaken the task of revising the lists
of the magistracy; an act for which every
lover of his country felt grateful, though
perhaps it was valuable rather for the
admission of the principle of reform, thati
for the mode in which that principle was
carried into practice. However, having
admitted the principles that unworthy
magistrates ought to be dismissed from
trusts they could not execute, was the
government prepared to have it said, that
while, with much of parade and affec-
ttion, tliey struck off ignorant and cor-
rtpt magistrates, whose principal fault
was probably their folly, more exalted'
offetidetr, on whose character and con-
duct the highest interests of society were
dependent, should be passed by, not only
without punishment, but, as fat ad minis-
tet were concerned, without acctcsation ?
The c6lmmiission for inquiritig into the
administration of justice in Ireland, Was
now proceeding in its researches. It had
cost upwards of 100;6001. of public
ioney.. If all this money wad not actually


Courts of Justice in Iteland, 4c. [108
wasted; if the reports of that commission
were to be considered as any thing bettet-
than waste paper, Why were not these
reports made the foundation of measures
of practical reform ? It was clearly the
duty of government to have acted in this
case as they had in all others. Con-
fiding in the integrity and ability of this
commission, government had undertaken
an entire re modification and reform of
the administration of justice in the higher
courts of Ireland. They had legislated
on the faith of these reports: they had
dismissed clerks and regulated offices oi
the recommendation of the commissioner
of inquiry. Were they prepared now tb
desert their duty, and neglect to bring
higher personages to justice ? Why were
not judges as fit objects of reform as
inferior officers? He was perfectly willing"
to go on with this inquiry himself, paifirl
and invidious as it was; but he calledd
upon government to take the necessary
steps; and it Was only in their dehltt
that he would step forward. As to the
probable issue of the inquiry, he would
not say one word. If the charges were
not maintainable, no man was more
anxious than himself, that chief bard i
O'Grady might be honourably acquitted ;
but it was due to public justice, now that
he was accused by so respectable a body
of prosecutors, that he should at least be
tried. He moved, for Copies of all Cories.
pondence between the Irish government
and the judges and officers of the courts'
of justice in Ireland, on the subject of
the ninth and eleventh reports of the
Commission of Inquiry, and the Letters of
chief barotr O'Grady, siice the Ist od
June, 1822.
Mr. Goulburn was confident that the
hon, member must anticipate the feply
he should give to the inquiry contained
in what had been just stated, arid he
trusted that the House would codcir in
the propriety of the course which govern-
ment thought itself called upon to pursue.
True it was, that the marquis of London-
derty occasioned a further inquiry into t
part of the ease; but it did nibt follb,
that it was the duty of thinistees to pi6~-
ceed with the other parts of it. The tom-i
mittee had been appointed to 6bfdin
fu rather information for the general tafis
faetioh of the House; arid it seetted to6
him (Mr. .)', that for government to take
up the charge under the particuilar aiff
especial circumstaites, would be a g"r t'
injustice to the iWdividual inculpated,







o10]


Conimiicte of Supplyi, 4'c.


and a gross violation of an important
public principle. He saw no analogy be-
tween the cases of the inferior magistracy
and that of a judge. In the first case, it
was the undisputed right of the crown to
appoint and remove; but a high judicial
officer, though named by the crown, was
not removable by it, and stood quite
upon a different footing, For ministers
to proceed in the accusation, would be to
make this solemn question a party matter,
and would be highly prejudicial to the
interests of justice. He did not say that
cases might not occur in which the go-
vernment would be called upon to inter-
pose, but he contended that the present
was not one of them. It had been begun
by the hon. member for Limerick; he had
persevered in it through several sessions,
and he had even that night followed it up
by moving for additional documents.
The charge could not be in better hands.
Mr. Abercromby contended, that the
marquis of Londonderry, by the proceed-
ing he had recommended, and by the
committee he had appointed,had, in point
of fact, adopted this accusation. There
was no duty more important than for a
government to watch over the due admi-
nistration of justice. He also objected to
this being made a party question; but
the way to render it so, was to leave it in
the hands of an individual member, and
to direct against him all the influence of
ministers. This charge had for several
years been depending against the chief
baron, during which time he had gone
the circuit, and had tried criminals, when
perhaps he himself ought to have been
put upon his trial. If government did
not proceed, they would be guilty of an
abandonment of their duty. If the hon.
member for Limerick would take his ad,
vice, he would recommend him to drop
the subject, in order to see whether mi-
nisters would venture to remain passive
spectators.
Mr. Secretary Peel observed, that the
real question was, whether government
.ought to take the case out of the hands
of the hon. member for Limerick, who
had commenced the proceeding in 1821.
a Was there any reason why he should, re,
ligver himself, and throw the burthenr upon
.theshoulders of others ? Ministers must,
.of course, be at all times anxious to fair
S liitat these proceedings, and had done
their utmost to carry, the reform, re.om
.seded bhy the commissioneri into effect
Theywqrh by omrtesandesi 4witofa kinsk


FEB. 12, 123. f[Il
ing from their duty; but, because the
marquis of Londonderry wished to obtain
further information, it was not to be in-
ferred that he meant to undertake the
prosecution. He was then only acting in
his judicial capacity as a member of par,
liament. The ends of justice would be
best promoted, by leaving the case ir the
hands of the hon. gentleman who had ori-
ginally undertaken it.
Mr. Grant by no means agreed, that in
moving for a committee, the marquis of
Londonderry had pledged government to
prosecute the complaint. He thought,
however, that the best course which could
be taken at present, would be to refer the
whole matter to a committee anew.
Mr. S. Rice said, he never meant to
assert that the marquis of Londonderry
had given any distinct pledge on the part
of government; yet certainly the moving
a committee of his own nomination, was
a most extraordinary way of leaving the
matter in the management of himself
(Mr. Rice). Though he had been the
proposer of this inquiry, he had never
discussed it in any other way than by
calling on go-vernment to. do its duty.
Not that he shrunk from any xesponsi-
bility; but as this was a great public in-
quiry, and as it had now received the
sanction of a committee, and was; borne
out by facts and documents, he did think
that he might call upon the government
for a more marked and earnest declara.
tion of opinion than they had as yet
given. He protested against the suppo-
sition, that this was to be considered as
the charge of any individual, member.
It was the charge of the parliamentary
commissioners, after a judicial inquiry;
it was the charge of a, select committee
above stairs, and he was only the instru-
ment, on the present occasion, of bring-
ing the case under the notice of the
House.
The motion was agreed to,

COMMITTEE. OF SUPPI aLIBUTE-
NANT-GENERAL OF THE ORiDANCE.]..
On the order of the, day for going into a
Committee of Supply,
Mr. Hume said, he had been pleased,
and indeed every man in the House must
have been pleased;. with the promaisesheld
out in the Speech from the throne as; to
economy and lightening, the burthens of
the-people. ,But, however unpleasant it
was. to doubt theb words of the thrtwB,
when those words were 1rmaallpaddrassed







ill] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
to the House of Commons, he felt himself
under the necessity of taking that dis-
agreeable course. He had taken the
trouble to select from royal speeches, one
or two instances to show how little the de-
clarations of ministers in such speeches
were to be relied on. In 1817, after a
speech from the throne abounding in
promises of reduction in expenditure,
the estimates for the year had been
13,000,0001., and the actual disburse-
ments 14,000,0001., giving an expendi-
ture over the estimate of 1,000,0001. In
1819, after promises of reduction in our
naval and military establishments, the
estimate was 14,300,0001., and the dis-
bursement 15,155,0001. Again, in 1821,
the estimate was 14,300,0001., and the ex-
penditure upwards of 15,000,0001. In
spite, therefore, of all the protestations of
economy, the expenditure of 1821 was
more than 200,0001. greater than that of
1817. It was the duty, then, of the
House to look, not to the sweet and
honied words of ministers, but at the re-
sult of their measures. And this brought
him to the Speech from the throne in the
present session, upon which he was anxious
to make one or two observations. The
Speech declared, that the estimates of the
year had been framed with every atten-
tion to economy. This was the self-same
phrase which had gone through all the
speeches for the last twenty years; and
the House, from the experience of former
sessions, would judge what value was to
be attached to it. The hon. gentleman
then proceeded with calculations intended
to show, that the expenditure of the year
ending Jan. 1822, exceeded that of the
year 1817. But from general statement,
he would come to particular instances.
Let the House look at the recent appoint-
ment of lord George Beresford to the post
of lieutenant-general of the Ordnance.
Hon. members would recollect, that the
charge of that department had increased
from 400,0001. to 1,200,0001. a year;
that the expense of the office in the Tower
had risen from 16,0001. a year to 48,0001.:
and that the~ pay of the lieut.-general of
the Ordnance, instead of 1,1001. a year,
was now 1,9501. How often had minis-
ters declared their intention to bring down
salaries as near as possible to the level of
1792 He had forborn to press the reduc-
tion of the lieut.-general of the Ord-
nance's salary last session, because' it
might have seemed severe upon the then
incumbent, sir Hildebrand Oakes. But


Committee of Supply-


[112


who could ever have contemplated the
giving the existing salary to any subse-
quently-appointed officer ? If the House
would look back to the 13th report of
the commissioners of military inquiry in
1811, they would find that the office of
lieutenant-general of the Ordnance was
deemed unnecessary, provided the atten-
tion of the master-general of the Ordnance
was duly given to his charge. There had
certainly been a difference of opinion
upon this point, Lord Moira had consi-
dered the office of lieutenant-general
superfluous; lord Chatham had held it to
be useful; the commissioners, on deli-
beration, had agreed with lord Moira.
But, with that report upon the table of
the House, and with the positive declara-
tion of the commissioners that they consi-
dered the office unnecessary, upon what
ground could ministers justify the filling
it up in time of peace? He wished to
guard himself against being supposed to
cast any imputation upon the noble lord
who now filled the office in question. He
understood, indeed, that the noble lord
had known nothing of the arrangement
until the situation was pressed upon him.
He believed the noble lord's merits as
an officer were unrivalled; but allowing
them:to be so, they had not been forgotten
by the country. He must just name one
or two facts to guard himself against being
told that this situation was given to the
noble lord as a reward for his signal ser-
vices. He rejoiced to see the noble lord
enjoying all the honours and emoluments
which he had received from the Portu-
guese government, and from that of his
own country. The noble lord, on being
raised to the peerage, had obtained a pen-
sion of 2,0001. a year. He did not
grudge that pension. He thought it
right, that when the noble lord received
his title, he should also receive something
to enable him to support it. But, besides
this pension, the noble lord was governor
of Jersey, an appointment which produced
him 1,4221. a year; he was a lieut.-gene-
ral in the army, and a colonel of a regi-
ment, situations which gave him at least
1,0001. a year more; and, in addition to
these, by the Gazette of three nights back,
it appeared that he had taken a new ap-
pointment (the situation declared a use-
less one) of 1,9501. a year. Notwith-
standing the services of lord Beresford, he
could not help believing that he was in-
debted for his appointment to this office,
to the enormous influence possessed by







113] Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.


his family. The time would shortly
arrive, when he should show to the House
the thousands and the tens of thousands of
the public money, which was received by
that family, and particularly from the re-
venues of the church in Ireland. There
was exercised by them somewhere and
somehow, an influence which he had no
hesitation in saying ought to be diminish-
ed. For the present, he believed, he had
shown enough to convince the House that
ministers were bound to explain why, in
contradiction of the recommendation of
thb committee of military inquiry for the
abolition of the office of lieutenant-gene-
ral of the Ordnance, they had thought fit
to continue it. He should, therefore,
submit the following motion, by way of
amendment: That, as the Commis-
sioners of Military Inquiry have reported
in their 13th Report in 1811, that in their
belief, from the information given to
them, the appointment of Lieutenant-Ge-
neral of the Ordnance was not essential to
the constitution of that department, this
House are of opinion, that the recent ap-
pointment of lord Beresford to that office
is inconsistent with the professions of
economy from the throne, and therefore
request the fullest explanation as to the
necessity of that appointment in time of
peace, before they can grant any supply
to his majesty."
Mr. Canning said, he would submit to
the House, and to the hon. gentleman
himself, whether the question was in such
a shape at that moment as would justify
his pressing it. He did not mean to say
that it was not competent to the hon.
gentleman to pursue the course he was
now adopting; but it surely could not be
advisable to resort to the extreme remedy
of stopping the supplies, until he obtained
an answer to his question, without having
given previous notice of his intention to
submit it to the consideration of the
House. To say that it was unusual, he
knew was only to urge an argument which
the hon. gentleman was at liberty to re-
ject or to admit. But the House would
say, whether it would depart on this occa-
sion from its established usage, and in the
present stage of the business reprobate an
appointment, which the hon. gentleman
admitted was without the gravamen com-
monly attributed to appointments made
* from improper motives. The hon. gen-
tleman had thought fit to ascribe lord Be-
resford's appointment to the parliamen-
tary influence of his family. He would
VOL. VIII.


appeal to any man of candour, whether
the rank and services of that gallant offi-
cer were not more probable reasons for his
having been selected to fill an office, for
which they had so eminently qualified
him. It would be recollected with whom
the nomination lay. It could not fail to
occur to gentlemen, that the ties of mutual
esteem, of long acquaintance, of long ser-
vice together, of companionship in arms
and in glory, must have had no small ef-
fect with the duke of Wellington. Con-
sidering these things, no candid mind
would hesitate to admit, that other motives
had operated upon the noble duke, than
those suggested by the hon. gentleman;
and that, whatever weight the parliamen-
tary influence of lord Beresford's family
might have had, if the appointment had
been with ministers, those considerations
could not apply to the duke of Wellington.
But he would do more than offer reason-
ing on the subject: he would state two
facts; first, that it had been offered to lord
Hopetown, to whom the same objection
did not apply ; and 2ndly, it had been of-
fered to lord Hill. So that lord Beresford,
whose parliamentary influence the hon.
gentleman would have it believed could
command this office, came the third upon
the list; and the same motives of fellow-
ship and fitness for service, which had
placed it within the choice of others, gave
it at length to him. The selection of the
two first persons must have been prompted
by common motives; and yet the hon.
gentleman would have it thought that the
choice of a third arose from grounds not
applicable to the other two. He was nei-
ther prepared nor inclined to enter upon
the question of the necessity of the office.
It had, however, the presumption in its fa-
vour which was derived from long prac-
tice. He did not know what case the
hon. gentleman meant to submit to the
House; but surely it could not be denied
that previous notice was necessary. If the
subject was to be discussed, it was fit
that those persons should be prepared for
it, whose duty it was to defend the ap-
pointment, if it was capable of defence.
He took no shame to himself for being ig-
norant of the details of that department.
It was enough for him at present to direct
the attention of the House to these points
-that there had been no previous discon-
tinuance-that the appointment hhd been
filled up in the usual course-that it had
been given to a fit man, and bestowed by
an authority which could be the least sus-
I


FEB. 12, 1823. [114







115] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
pected of those corrupt motives which
were supposed by the hon. gentleman to
pervade every branch of the admipistra-
tion.
Mr. Brougham felt himself obliged to
oppose his hon. friend's motion. He did
so with regret; but the question was one
which it behoved the House to deliberate
upon seriously; and as this could not be
done without the assistance of the mem-
bers of that department to whom it be-
longed to defend the appointment, he
wished it should be postponed to a period
when their presence could be ensured.
It was far too important to be taken up
by the House thus incidentally; and if any
thing could tend to confirm him in the
opinion, that it should be postponed to a
more favourable opportunity, it was the
line of defence adopted by the right hon.
secretary'. He had given very satisfac-
tory reasons why lord Beresford had been
chosen; but he had not given the shadow
of a reason why the offer of the appoint-
ment had been made to any one. The
question did not, and could not, apply
personally to lord Beresford. No man
could be more ready than he was to admit
the services of that meritorious officer.
Nothing could be more natural than that
the duke of Wellington should offer this
appointment to him, as well as to two
others of his gallant companions in arms;
but still the information was wanting, why
the office was in existence to be offered to
the one or the other. When the vacancy
occasioned by the death of general Oakes
offered an opportunity of putting an end
to it, there could be no doubt that the
country had a right to be informed, why
that opportunity was not immediately,
seized upon. There was another objection,
besides that of stopping the supplies,
which occurred to him, against the further
discussion of this subject at the present
moment. It was not consistent with par-
liamentary usage. When information was
required, it was obtained, either by an or-
der that it should be laid before the House,
when it was within the power of the House,
or by an address to the throne; but it had
never been the practice to ask for informa-
tion, without stating by whom it ought to
be granted. He should be glad if his hon.
friend would postpone his motion for the
present, giving, at the same time, notice
of his intention to bring it before the
House at an early opportunity.
Mr. Hume said, that the House was
in no way taken by surprise. Any gen-


Commillee of Supply, &c.


[116


tleman who remembered what he had
said, in 1821 and 1822, on this subject,
must know that the vacancy was regarded
as one never to be filled up. The infor-
mation he asked might be furnished on
Friday. The delay in granting the sup-
plies would be only eight and forty hours.
If the gentlemen on his side of the House
intended to give up the subject in the
way proposed, they might as well walk
away from the House, and leave ministers
to dispose as they would of the public
money.
Sir R. Fergusson expressed his esteent
for lord Beresford's character, and his
sense of his public services; but he felt
that, on this occasion, private friendship
ought to give way. He would therefore
support the motion.
Mr. G. Bennet supported the motion.
IIe thought his hon. friend was perfectly
right in availing himself of every consti-
tutional opportunity of pursuing his use-
ful career. He wished the question to be
fairly put, that it might be seen whether
the House would support it or not.
Mr. Hutchinson, in rising to support
the motion, would neither be understood
to undervalue the merit of lord Beresford,
nor to withhold from the government those
supplies, which, at the present momen-
tous crisis, were necessary for the dignity
of the country. The motion was merely
one for information; and he would not
have it go abroad, that, at such ajuncture,
the House had neglected to support an
inquiry, the object of which was to lessen
the public burdens.
Mr. Abercromby had always been
taught to consider, that it was one of their
most valuable privileges to be able to
stop the supplies. He therefore thought
they ought not to call it into action, but
upon the most important occasions. His
hon. friend's motion stood upon strong
grounds. He would suggest to him the
propriety of disconnecting it from the
question of supply, and of letting it stand
upon its intrinsic merits.
Sir F. Burdett said :-I fully agree
with what has fallen from my hon. friend
who has just sat down. I think it quite
clear that no beneficial results can arise,
from a perseverance in the proposed
amendment. I am prepared to support
every proposition which 'has for its object
an expedient reduction of the public ex-
penditure; and I give to the hon. member
for Aberdeen all 'the merit to which his
resolute and unceasing attention to the







117] Agricultural Distress.
public interest so justly entitle him. But,
under the circumstances in which this
country is placed with regard to foreign
relations, I cannot accede to the amend-
ment. What, Sir, shall I, with one
voice, call upon the government to sup-
port the honour, and interest, and dig-
nity of the realm, and with another, and
at the interval of a few days, turn round
upon that government and say-" I have
called upon you to vindicate the national
honour and dignity; but I at the same
time withheld from you the means of sup-
porting that honour or upholding that
dignity. Sir, I cannot do this-I know
it is the privilege of this House to stop
the supply; but it is a privilege not to be
used on ordinary occasions. The griev-
ance which would call for such extraor-
dinary interposition, must be not only
acknowledged, but monstrous; and a
sound discretion would not call for such
a strong measure except under circumn-
stances where any other redress was un-
available. I think that the hon. member
for Aberdeen will best consult the success
of the object he has in view, and the in-
clination of those who are usually inclined
to support him, by not pressing a motion,
from which no good can arise.
Mr. Hume consented to withdraw his
amendment. After which, the House
went into the committee.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, February 14.
AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS.]-The re-
port of the Committee of Supply being
brought up,
Sir T. Lethbridge said, that not finding
any intimation from government of its in-
tention to bring forward measures for the
relief of the agricultural interest, he wish-
ed to put one or two questions to the
ministers of the crown. He was much
gratified to find the last paragraph in the
royal Speech, characterizing the landed
interest as the most important interest of
the country; but he regretted that that
sentiment was not followed up by a
pledge, that government would meet the
Great question of agricultural depression
in that manly way which its consequence
demanded. He dreaded lest the land-
owners of England were to be left during
* another session in their present depressed
-he had almost said degraded-situation.
It was impossible for government not to
he aware of their distress. The five hun-


FEB. 14, 1823. 1118
dred petitions could not possibly be for-
gotten, which had been laid last session
upon the table of the House. With all
his respect, and no man entertained more,
for the high talents and character of
ministers, he could not but take their for-
bearance to propose some measure upon
the subject, as an omission of their duty.
It should be recollected, that the landed
interest had become depressed by no
fault of their own; but by the impolitic
conduct of the legislature. With pro-
duce brought from foreign countries, and
sold in the English market, at a price with
which the home grower could not com-
pete-with the effect produced by the
return of the country to a metallic cur-
rency-it was scarcely necessary to look
farther into the main cause in which the
distress originated. After commenting
upon the unreasonableness of those
arrangements which threw the tithes, the
poor-rates, and the cost of criminal prose-
cutions, almost entirely upon the landed
property, the hon. baronet concluded by
asking, whether government lad mea-
sures in contemplation for the relief of
the agricultural interests ?
Mr. Secretary Canning said:-It is
quite impossible to find fault with the
hon. baronet, and nobody can be less dis-
posed to do so than myself, for having
availed himself of the opportunity of
bringing up the present report to express
his regret and disappointment at not
seeing introduced into his majesty's
Speech from the throne any specific pro-
mise of relief for the agricultural interest.
On the other hand, the hon. baronet does
great injustice to his majesty's ministers,
if he supposes that either on this, or on
any former occasion, they have been defi-
cient in a desire to give relief, if relief be
practicable, by any of those direct mea-
sures which the hon. baronet deems to be
beneficial; still less, if he supposes that
they do not look with the most 'sincere
sympathy to distresses, which have up-
doubtedly prevailed to a degree which
every man who is interested for the wel-
fare of the country must acknowledge
and deplore. If it had been in the power
of his majesty's ministers to afford relief,
they would not have waited for the call of
the hon. baronet. I regret, as much as
the hon. baronet, that it was not possible
to add to the concluding paragraph of the
king's,Speech a declaration of his majes-
ty's ministers' intention to propose some
specific measure of relief; but I am sure







119] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the hon. baronet will agree, that it would
be most unfair and injudicious to pur-
chase either his support, or a temporary
popularity, by holding out expectations
of relief, which, after the most anxious,
laborious, and conscientious considera-
tion, they could not themselves believe to
be attainable. I can assure the House,
that for the last four months during
which I have had the honour to sit in his
majesty's councils, and for many months
preceding that period, the attention of
the government in general, and especially
of some individual members of it, has
been anxiously directed to the considera-
tion of this subject. I will go further,
and own, that for a time I was sanguine
enough to believe that some direct mea-
sure might be devised ; and, if I at length
yielded to the complete conviction, that
the measure which was for a time in con-
templation could produce no beneficial
effect, it was an unwilling and reluctant
conviction, but still it was sincere; and
with that sincere conviction, it could have
done no service to the country, or to the
interest in question, but, on the contrary,
must have been of the greatest disservice
to both, to agitate any measure which
could end only in disappointment, and
which could have no other effect than that
of exciting hopes which it would be im-
possible to realise. With that conviction
-with the strong, though reluctant feel-
ing which I entertain, of the necessity of
arriving at such a conviction-I am com-
pelled to say, that with regard to any
direct measure for the immediate relief of
the distresses of the agricultural interest,
the government do not, under all the cir-
cumstances, profess to see their way.
If there be shame in this avowal, it is
shame which the government must share
with two consecutive committees of this
House, composed of men, the most capa-
ble, from their experience and practical
knowledge, of devising remedial measures
for the interest with which they were im-
mediately connected. In addition tothis,
if the hon. baronet thinks he can submit
any measure of his own to the considera-
tion of the House, I can assure him that
it will he received, on the part of the go-
vernment, as I am satisfied it will be on
the part of the House, with the most
anxious and deliberate attention. Con-
vinced, however, as the government is,
that they can advise no measures for the
immediate relief of the agriculture of the
country, they would not discharge their


Agricultural Distress.


[120


duty, if they did not at once declare this
their sincere, deliberate, and honest con-
viction. But, though no direct remedies
be practicable, it does not follow that
collateral remedies may not be applied.
It is a disputed point in this House, whe-
ther the remission of taxation will afford
direct relief, or whether its remedial
effect on the agriculture of the country
will only be collateral. Without entering
into this question, I will only observe,
that while there was a possibility of afford-
ing relief by this means, the government
would not have done their duty, if they
had not turned their attention to this
point; and, I am not afraid to say, that
the only measure directed to the relief of
the agriculture of the country, which it is
their intention to propose, will be com-
prised in the statement of my right hon.
friend, the chancellor of the exchequer,
on this day se'nnight, when he will sub-
mit a remission of direct taxation to the
consideration of the House. I trust, that
in any thing 1 have now said, I shall not
incur the imputation directed by the hon.
baronet against the government, of a want
of feeling for that interest which the
crown has justly pronounced to be the
most important of all. But, if this in-
terest be, as it undoubtedly is, the most
important of all, because it is the basis
upon which all others must stand, I trust
I may venture to indulge the hope, that
all those other interests cannot be ma-
terially and steadily advancing, without
operating a gradual relief to that great
interest which is the foundation of all;
and that this relief, though it may not be
so rapid and immediate as we could de-
sire, will at least be steady and permanent
in its operation.
Mr. Curwen said, he deeply lamented,
that his majesty's ministers had come at
last to this conclusion, that no relief but
that of time could be afforded to the dis-
tresses of the agricultural interest. lie
did not hesitate to say, that the country
was placed in a more perilous situation
than any in which it had yet stood, by
the declaration of the right hon. secre-
tary; nor did he see any prospect of
amelioration, except'from a remission of
the direct taxation, which immediately
affected the agricultural interest. It was
not sufficient to relieve the community in
general, ministers must come directly to
the point of relieving the burthens of the
agricultural interest. It was far from his
wish to break faith with the public credi-







Agricultiral Distress.


tor ; but he thought the funded interest
ought to be immediately charged with a
fair proportion of the poor-rates. Indeed,
the holders of funded property might
thank the House for calling their atten-
tion to this subject-the immediate carry-
ing of which into execution would avert
a crisis which every man would dread,
and which would fall heavier upon the
fundholders themselves, than upon any of
the other interests taken singly. The
property belonging to the fundholders
was more than that which belonged to
the owners of lands and houses. He
would, however, only say that they were
equal, and that, consequently 50 per cent
of the burthens should be laid upon
them. It would be better to do this at
once, than to wait till the agricultural in-
terest should be ruined. It would not
be fair that one interest in the country
should be absorbed, while another bore
no part of the burthens. He would not
wish to break taith with the fundholders,
but the agricultural interest had a right
to call for justice, considering the great
distress which that interest was suffering
-distress which, in his opinion, did not
arise from over-production, but from di-
minished consumption, which would ope-
rate a deterioration in the quantity pro-
duced, till that would be insufficient for
the demands of the country. He would
admit that some benefit would arise from
a diminution of taxation; but more would
be effected by making the burthens fall
equally upon all classes of the people.
Mr. Robertson was anxious, as he felt
deeply interested in this question, to offer
a few remarks for the consideration of the
House. He wished to bring the question
distinctly before them, and to state what
were his views and intentions with respect
to it. They had heard, from time to
time, different reasons assigned for the
prevailing distress. He, however, be-
lieved, that the system of credit which
had been adopted in this country for
many years, was one great cause of the
evils the people were now labouring
under. As this suggestion was new, he
threw it out for the consideration of
members, previously to the period when
he might bring it more formally under
their consideration. During the French
and Spanish war, from 1740 to 1749, the
government borrowed money at the rate
of 3 and 4 per cent. Now, he would
contend, that if their credit was as good
at present as it was then, they should not


1211


FEB. 14, 1823. [122
have been borrowing money, during the
late wars, at 7 or 8 per cent. He would
explain. There was no money borrowed
in the 3 per cents, during those recent
wars, but at the average rate of 5 per
cent for all sums paid into the exche-
quer; besides which, there was given, to
the loan contractors, a sum of 401. in ad-
dition. For what reason was that sum
given to them ? Why should it be pre-
sented to them, when they did not ad-
vance one farthing for it? Now, it was
quite evident to him, that it was this sys-
tem of borrowing on ruinous terms, which
had plunged the country into those diffi-
culties of which all classes were com-
plaining. They were now completely in
the hands of a great monied body in that
metropolis, who could, at their pleasure,
keep the interest of money at as high a rate
as they chose. [No; and hear, hear !] He
contended, in answer to the gentleman
who said No," that they could do so, in
a very great measure; else why could
they not obtain money now upon as ad-
vantageous terms as had been done at the
time to which he had alluded? That
war had not ceased for one year, when
the 3 per cent stock rose to 102; and
now that stock had not exceeded 80 per
cent. Was there any thing in the general
concerns of the country which would lead
to this result ? Were the profits on
capital employed in trade greater, or was
the quantity of capital less? No man
would say so. The fact was, that so
abundant was capital, that the monied
men were completely at a loss what to do
with it ; and therefore they were throwing
it into the hands of every desperate go-
vernment which might ask for it. The
fact was, that during the war we had,
though nominally borrowing money at
3 per cent, been actually paying 8 per
cent for it. At the rate at which the
stock was sold to the public, the interest
was above five per cent, and the bonus to
the contractors brought it to what he had
stated. Now, in his opinion, it would
have been better to have made all sums
of money borrowed be received imme-
diately into the exchequer, and all in-
terest paid immediately out of it. Had
this been done, it might have made the
nominal interest a little higher during
the war; but at present money could
have been raised at perhaps two per cent
for the purpose of paying it off, and thus
relieving the country. Say that, at the
present price of the 3 per cents, the in-







123] HOUSE OF LORDS,
terest was 31, and that the same could be
raised at 2 or 22, then there would be
a saving to the amount of the difference
in the whole annual charge on the debt.
If the public could come immediately
into the exchequer, and lend 1001. at 21
per cent, then 1001. of 3 per cent stock
could be purchased, and besides the se-
curing of one-sixth in the interest, every
4001. borrowed would pay off5001. This
would be a greater relief to the country
than any other measure which had been
proposed. The only just system would
be to bring all sums borrowed imme-
diately into the exchequer. He had
thrown out these hints now, and he in-
tended, in the course of the session, to
bring forward a motion for the reduction
of the interest of the national debt.
The report was then brought up, and
agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 17.
MARRIAGE AcT.]-Several petitions
were presented, complaining of the clause
in the new Marriage act, which took away
from peculiars the privilege of granting
marriage licences.
Lord Ellenborough observed, that with
regard to this point, no information had
been given to the House either by learned
lords, or by the right rev. bench, and
thus the House had been induced to
agree to a clause in the act of last ses-
sion, taking away from peculiars the
right of granting marriage licences with-
out being aware of the extent of the in-
convenience thus created, or the vested
rights with which they had thus inter-
fered.
Lord Redesdale said, he took the blame
of the clause to himself. The fact was,
that he was not aware of the number of
peculiars having the right of granting
licences, nor was it, he believed, at all
known in the House.
Lord Stowell observed, that though
immediately connected with the adminis-
tration of justice in the ecclesiastical
courts, he was not at all aware of the
number of peculiars having the right of
granting licences, nor was it known to the
right rev. bench, it not coming at all
under their cognizance.
Lord Ellenborough hoped there would
be no objection to restoring the rights of
these peculiars, founded as they were
upon immemorial usage.


Marriage Act.-Austrian Loan. [124
Lord Stowell said, he had no objection
to a clause of that nature.
The Earl of Liverpool said, he would
not pledge himself upon this question,
without knowing more of the nature of
these peculiars.
Lord Redesdale was of opinion, that
none of the rights of these peculiars could
be of older date than the Reformation,
and it was doubtful whether some of
them would bear the test of inquiry, or
whether the exercise of them had not
been assumed in consequence of grants
of property to ecclesiastical corporations
or individuals.
The Lord Chancellor was apprehensive,
that in some of those jurisdictions called
peculiar, licences had been granted,
which were not legal, before the parties
were aware of the operation of the act of
last session; and though he had felt it a
painful duty to oppose the retrospective
clauses in the act of last session, he should
be perfectly ready to agree to a retro-
spective clause, for the purpose of giving
a legal effect to the licences so illegally
granted, in order to prevent the unhappy
consequences that might otherwise arise,
with regard to the marriages solemnized
by virtue of such licences.
Lord Stowell, with the view of framing
a measure that should be generally and
clearly understood, moved the appoint-
ment of a committee, to consider the
present state of the law regarding mar-
riages, and whether any and what amend-
ment ought to be made therein.
The motion was agreed to, and a com-
mittee appointed.

AUsTRIAN LoAN.]-Several petitions
were presented, complaining of Agricul-
tural Distress.
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he
thought it a fit opportunity, when peti-
tions were presented, complaining of
distress which unfortunately was but too
well known to exist, to ask a question of
the noble earl opposite, regarding a large
sum of money which had, for a consider-
able period, been due to this country.
There was but too much reason to com-
plain of the sums which had been lavishly
wasted during the progress of the war,
and in particular of one large advance to
a continental power, which ought to have
been long since repaid. He alluded to
what had been called the Austrian Loan.
It had been understood last session, that
a negotiation was to take place respecting







125] Reform of Parliament-London Petition.


this loan, at the congress of Verona.
Now, as that congress had been for some
time broken up and dissolved, he wished
to know from the noble earl whether an
arrangement had been agreed upon, which
held out any hope of the repayment of the
loan.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that the
Austrian loan being merely a transaction
between the government of this country
and that of Austria, could not become a
subject of discussion, either at the con-
gress of Vienna or of Verona. It was true,
however, that a noble friend of his had
intimated in the last session, that a nego-
ciation was in progress with the court of
Vienna upon this subject; and he had no
hesitation in saying, that the principle of
an arrangement for the repayment of the
loan had been agreed to by the Austrian
government. He trusted he should soon
be enabled to announce, that the arrange-
ment had been concluded.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 17.
REFORM OF PARLIAMENT-LONDON
PEITITON.]-The Sheriffs of London pre-
sented at the bar the petition of the cor-
poration for a Reform of Parliament.
Mr. Alderman Wood said, that the pe-
tition was well deserving of attention.
He was sorry not to see any of his ma-
jesty's ministers in the House, as he was
desirous of hearing what support the pe-
tition was to receive from them, and what
answer they could make to its statements.
The petition complained of their conduct
as the cause of much suffering. It set
forth, that almost all of which it com-
plained arose from the line of conduct
pursued by ministers, and from the want
of a proper representative system. It was
not too much for him to say, that it ema-
nated from as respectable a set of men as
any in England. The members of the
corporation amounted to '262; and they
had all, with the exception of about 12,
agreed to this petition. Many of them
had been annually returned for fifty con-
secutive years ; .aud whatever gentlerner
might think of the city parliament, th(
elections were made in the different ward
without riot and confusion. 'He would
not then make all the use he might of thii
fact, in support of the principle of an.
nual elections; but he would say, thai
when men were annually re-elected t(
offices of trust by those to -whom the3


were well known, and among whom they
constantly resided, it was as strong a
proof as could be given that they were
very respectable. Their petition ex-
pressed sympathy with the distresses of
the agriculturists; but the distress of
which the petition complained, was not
confined to them : it was also true of all
the traders in London; profits were now
so much reduced, that it was scarcely
possible to bear up against the heavy
taxation. The petition referred all the
evils of the country to a want of a proper
representation in parliament; and it pray-
ed for economy in the public expendi-
ture.
The petition being read,
Mr. Alderman Wood apologised for
again troubling the House; but he now
saw some of his majesty's ministers in
their places, and should be glad to hear
them express their opinions on the peti-
tion.
Mr. Secretary Canning disclaimed any
intention of not doing full honour to the
worthy alderman and to the city; but he
could not conceive any necessity for him
to listen to the petition, as he had read it
in all the newspapers some months ago.
Mr. Creevey thought, that one of the
most important features in the petition
was the statement applying to the popu-
lation of England. It appeared, that
between the year 1700 and the present
time, our population had increased from
five to twelve millions; and yet, during
this increase of the population, the in-
dustry, and the wealth of the country,
the elective franchise (as regarded the
number of persons enjoying it) had been
stationary, if not abating. For instance,
S1,900 men in the county of Cornwall
Selected more members among them than
s were elected by one half the other
Scourties in England; and this while new
Towns of immense consideration had
Sprung up, which were kept without any
Selective franchise at all. If these new
Towns, with populations of three or four
hundred thousands-towns which con-
* tribute largely to the income, to the
i power, to the security of the state-if
! t~he inhabitants of these 'towns were
s totally shut out :from the elective fran-
I chise, while 1,900 (he believed he might
s say) of the most worthless individuals
Sin the country enjoyed an enormous
t monopoly of it, surely all this called
Sfor something like revision. That part
Sof the petition which complained of the


FEn. 17, 1823. [120







127] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
distribution of the elective franchise might
have gone on to show the manner in which
those privileges had been conferred. It
was nonsense to talk of the immunities of
these boroughs standing upon rights
ancient and immutable-upon grants
coeval with the existence of parliaments.
This was all fable. In one period of 115
years, from Henry 8th to James 1st, no
fewer than 190 members had been added
to the House of Commons. Surely there
was nothing sacred in privileges so given.
In the reign of Elizabeth such great
delicacy had not been observed, for a
committee of the House had been ap-
pointed expressly to inquire, why certain
members returned for a borough had
been so returned. Why, six or seven
boroughs in this very county of Cornwall
owed their elective privilege to Edward
6th, who had begun to reign at nine years
.old, and died at fifteen. Surely the
House which he was addressing was as
well able to dispose of the elective fran-
chise as Edward 6th could have been.
He was decidedly of opinion, that, before
the House discussed the question of re-
form, it ought to have upon the table an
account, from the returning officers, of
all the boroughs in England, containing
the date of each borough's charter, the
number of its electors, and the circum-
stances under which it first received the
right of sending members to parliament.
A committee appointed for the purpose
would have no difficulty in obtaining such
a return; and he believed that a noble
friend of his would move for it.
Mr. T. Wilson said, he would be in
his place at every discussion of reform,
and would give his opinion to the best
of his ability.
Lord John Russell said, he saw so little
objection to the proposal of Mr. Creevey,
that he would move for the committee in
question to-morrow. It gave him infinite
satisfaction to see the growing interest
which allclasses were taking in the question
of reform.

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.]-The order
of the day was read, for going into a
Committee of Supply. On the motion,
" That Mr. Speaker do now leave the
Chair,"
Mr. Creevey rose to express his surprise
at the mode in which ministers now-a-days
called upon the House for supplies. He
believed there was scarcely a difference
of opinion upon the state of the country;


Committee of Supply.


[128


scarcely a denial that persons were every
day falling from respectability, nay, from
opulence, into absolute beggary ; and
yet the officers of the crown came forward
for supplies as a matter of course. He
must really trespass shortly upon the
time of the House, to compare the course
which had been usual in days gone by-
in days, however, when the royal prero-
gative had been by no means so well
defined as at present, and when the bur-
dens borne by the people had been con-
siderably lighter;-he must compare the
course adopted in those times with that
taken in our days by the ministers of the
crown. In the reign of queen Elizabeth,
when sir E. Coke was speaker of the
House, and when such men as lord Bacon
and sir Walter Raleigh took part in the
debates; in that day, sir Walter Mildmiay,
chancellor of the exchequer, on asking
the House for a supply, expressed himself
in the following terms:-" But, least
that peradventure some may judge that
the contribution granted by us now five
years past, both frankly and dutifully,
might suffice for many years without any
new, I dare assure you, for the ac-
quaintance that I have (though I be un-
worthy) with those her majesty's affairs,
that the same hath not been sufficient to
answer the extraordinary charges, hap-
pened since then, especially those of
Ireland, by the one-half; but her majesty
hath supplied the rest out of her own
revenues, sparing from herself to serve the
necessity of the realm, and shunning
thereby loans upon interest, as a most
pestilential canker, that is able to devour
even the states of princes." The ge-
nerosity of the queen in that instance
was not less than the wisdom of the
minister. But now, although we had
a pestilential canker of eight hundred
millions devouring us, ministers came
down for money as though nothing were
the matter. But, to give the House a
second instance of the state in which such
matters were formerly conducted, in the
38th of Elizabeth, upon a question of
money, sir Robert Cecil brought forward
the motion for supply; and sir John
Fortescue, chancellor of the exchequer,
in supporting the motion,. after stating
all the queen had done at home and
abroad in defending her neighbours and
her kingdom against the power of Spain,
said-" Besides, when her majesty came
to the crown, she found it four millions
indebted; her navy, when she came to







129]


Committee of Supply.


view it, she found greatly decayed; yet
all this she has discharged, and, thanks
to God, is nothing indebted: and now
she is able to match any prince in Europe,
which the Spaniards found when they
came to invade us. Yea, she hath with
her ships compassed the whole world,
whereby this land is madefamous through-
out all places. As for her own private
expenses, they have been little in build-
ing; she hath consumed little or nothing
in her pleasures; as for her apparel, it is
royal and princely, beseeming her calling,
but not sumptuous nor excessive; the
charges of her house small; yea, never
less in any king'p time, and shortly, by
God's grace, she will free her subjects
from that trouble which hath come by
the means of purveyors. Wherefore she
trusteth that every good subject will
assist her majesty with his purse, seeing
it concerns his own good and the preser-
vation of his estate, and for these subsidies
which are granted, now they are less
by half than they were in Henry 8th's
time."-Now, all this took place just
after the defeat of the Spanish Armada,
and at a time, therefore, when the people
would probably have granted the queen
any thing she could have asked. Why,
when the ministers of the present day
came to ask for supply, did they
not come in the same tone, and with
something like the same assurances; with
statements of economy carried into prac-
tice, and promises of the abolition of
grievances ? When the agriculturists were
Involved in ruin-when they were suf-
fering from the change in the state of the
currency,-would it not be reasonable
that at least every official salary which
had been raised during the depreciation
should be reduced to its original level ?
Was the landed interest, in addition to
its other miseries, resulting from the
sudden and unjustifiable recourse which
was had to a metallic currency, to bear
also the burden of salaries which had been
increased on account of the former de-
preciation of that currency ? Ought they
not to be reduced, now that the currency
had so far increased in value? This
S applied to persons of all descriptions who
held places, from the highest to the lowest.
These sinecures had been tolerated long
enough. It was the duty of ministers
* to abolish them forthwith; and this they
ought especially to have done, before they
came to ask the House to vote fresh
supplies. If the ministers of Elizabeth
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 14, 1823. [130
thought it their duty to preface their
motion for supplies, with a communication
that the grievance of purveyances had
been abated, so much the more were we
now entitled to relief, from the no less
burdensome grievance of sinecures-that
immense load, which, for the enjoyment
of the privileged orders, was laid upon
the other members of the community.
It would have been far more consistent
with their duty, if ministers had recom-
mended the crown to sacrifice a part of
its revenue to the wants of the people.
No man living could tell what might be
the result of the country's situation. No
man could say whether the present dis-
tresses might not end in a conflict for the
possession of property. Let any one look
at the temper displayed at the county
meetings which were daily taking place:
let them look at the heart-burnings which
existed between persons having opposite
interests, and different descriptions of
property. He knew of only one thing
which could prevent a fatal termination
to this state of things, and that was
economy-strict and universal economy.
If the crown would give up part of the
civil list, he had no doubt that so noble
an example would be followed by the
most beneficial consequences. He was
naturally led to ask the reason of the
difference between the mode of granting
supplies now, and at the period to which
he had alluded. In the time of Elizabeth,
the supplies had been considered as sacri-
fices on the part of the subject, which
were to be appropriated to public pur-
poses. The members, and those whom
they represented, had one common ob-
ject. The House of Commons had not
then invented or discovered the means
of applying the supplies to their own
private benefit and emolument. A perfect
revolution had been effected in this respect
in the House and in the country. Eight
hundred millions of debt, conquests in
every quarter of the globe, with corres-
ponding establishments, had placed the
administration of the country in such a
condition as could not have been imagined.
in the time of queen Elizabeth. The
ministers of the crown had introduced the
patronage derived from all these sources
into the House of Commons. He did not
state this invidiously; but it was the
fact. It was known that ministers pos-
sessed the power of giving away all offices,
and members very naturally thought their
sons, their relations, or their friends, were
K







131] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
as fit to fill them as other persons. This
it was that had created a revolution in the
character of the House; and this he
maintained to be the true solution of
the difference between the manner of
asking supplies now, and then. To
ask for them now, was only to ask
members to help themselves, and to sup-
ply their families and friends. It was
known to every one, that in the report of
the committee relative to the offices of
receivers-general, it appeared that two or
three members had been scrambling for
the same place. In the time even of
Edward 1st, and in various subsequent
reigns, there was a constant clause in all
subsidy bills, that no member of the
House of Commons should be a collector,
whereas now, as had been just observed, we
had it in proof, that the collection of the
land-tax had become the regular patron-
age and property of this House. The
constitution was now no longer composed
of that equal and wholesome division of
power between the King, the Lords, and
the Commons; but between the minister
of the crown and this House, one of whom
held the power, and the other the patron-
age of the state. Much was said of the
splendor of the crown; but if it were to
be compared with that which was display-
ed by queen Elizabeth, it would be seen
that it was now reduced to a mere raree
show. We heard of the king being ill or
well, and of his making occasional excur-
sions; but we had no satisfactory, no
intimate knowledge of him. He was, in
fact, a mere splendid annuitant upon his
ministers; but, as for the sympathy be-
tween the court and the people, which
had distinguished the era to which he had
so often been compelled to refer, there
was not a vestige of it left. Not only had
this revolution taken place; but officers
of state had been introduced, whose
names had never been heard of before.
The manager of the House of Commons
was now talked of as familiarly as the first
lord of the Admiralty : he was a recognized
officer, and such a one as never could have
arisen but from the cause lie had stated.
lie would beg permission to quote to the
House a speech of lord Bacon, on this
subject, who, in that very place, had
treated as a chimera the attempt to man-
age the House of Commons. It was deli-
vered in the first year of the reign of
James 1st, who, when he came to thethrone,
was much more anxious to obtain money
than the House was willing to grant it to


Committee of Supply. [ISv
him. It was rumoured, that certain offi-
cious members had undertaken to get for
the king the supplies he wanted. The
debate was conducted with considerable
heat, and the matter treated as a violation
of the duty of the House. Lord Bacon,
who was then the attorney-general, and
sitting in parliament, made the following
speech :
Mr. Speaker;-I have been hitherto
silent in this matter of undertaking,
wherein the House is much enwrapped:
first, because, to be plain with you, I did
not well understand what it meant or
what it was, and I do not love to offer at
that that I do not thoroughly conceive-
that private men should undertake for the
Commons of England! Why, a man
might as well undertake for the four ele-
ments. It is a thing so giddy and so vast,
it cannot enter into the head of a sober
man, and especially in a new parliament,
when it was impossible to know who
should be of the parliament; and when all
men that know ever so little the consti-
tution of this House, do know it to be so
open to reason, as men do not know when
they enter into these doors, what mind
themselves will be of until they hear
things argued and debated; much less can
any man make a policy of assurance what
ship shall come safe into the harbour in
these seas. There were undertakers for
the plantations of Derry and Coleraine, in
Ireland, the better to command and bridle
those parts; but for the ancient parliament
of England, which moves in a certain
manner and sphere, to be undertaken, it
passes my reach to conceive what it
should be. Must there be some forts
built in this House that may command
and contain the rest? Mr. Speaker, I
know but two forts in this House, which
the king ever hath-the fort of affection,
and the fort of reason : the one commands
the hearts, and the other commands the
heads; and others I know none. Then
for the king, nothing can be more oppo-
site to his ends and hopes than this, for
you have heard him profess like a king,
and like a gracious king-that he doth
not so much respect his present supply as
the demonstration, that the people's hearts
are more knit to him than before. Now,
then, if the issue shall be this, that what-
soever shall be done for him, shall be
thought to be done but by a number
of persons that shall be laboured and
packed, this will be rather a sign of diffi-
dence and alienation, than of a natural







1331 Committee of Supply.
benevolence and affection in his people at
home; and rather matter of disreputation
-than of honour abroad. So that, to speak
plainly, the king had better call for a
new pair of cards than play upon these if
they be packed; and then for the people,
it is my manner ever to look as well be-
yond a parliament as upon a parliament;
and if they abroad shall think themselves
betrayed by those that are their deputies
and attorneys here, it is true we may bind
them and conclude them, but it will be
with such murmur and insatisfaction as I
would beloth to see. These things might
be dissembled, and so things left to bleed
inwardly; but that is not the way to cure
them: and therefore I have searched the
sore, in hope that you will endeavour the
medicine."-Now, that which lord Bacon
had discussed as a mere chimera, had ac-
tually come to pass. The cards were now
packed; that House was packed. His
hon. friend, the member for Shrewsbury,
had shown, by the report from that commit-
tee, which had been instituted upon his
motion, that there were 79 members of the
House who held offices to the amount in
value of 180,0001. per annum. These
members might be called the court cards
of the pack, and in all committees of
supply there would be found the same
cards. But these, numerous as they were,
were inconsiderable, compared with those
who were bound to ministers by benefits,
received by different parts of their fami-
lies. If a list could be shown of all the
persons who had applied for a share of the
advantages of this patronage, and added
to the 79 other persons, it would be seen
that the majority preponderated so far as
to render it vain to expect any relief foi
the necessities of the country. This, then,
was the manner in which supplies were
now voted. He would do all that the
forms in the House would allow him upor
the present occasion; and he would pro.
pose, by way of amendment, That it be
an instruction to the committee, that their
do consider of the grievances of the peo,
pie." This had been done, over and ove
again; and the right of discussing griev.
ances before supplies, had been always
S asserted in better times.
The Speaker having put the amend
ment, strangers were ordered to withdraw
when Mr. Creevey said, he should no
S give the House the trouble of dividing
but would content himself with recording
his own sentiments upon the Journals
and letting his amendment be negatived.


FE. 14, 1823. 134
Mr. Canning said, he did not propose
to answer what had fallen from the hon.
gentleman, because he believed no one
who had heard his speech, could under-
stand any practical benefit which he had
proposed by it. He did not mean, if the
amendment had not been withdrawn, to
have opposed it; nor should he have
added another word, but for the mention
which had been made of one exalted per-
sonage, whose name he could not use
consistently with the forms of parliament.
That personage had been singularly, and
he thought unconstitutionally, introduced
into the speech just delivered. He should
have thought, that, in common justice,
the sacrifices which had been made by
the crown for a series of years, and the
disposition which had been unceasingly
manifested for the reduction of every
unnecessary expense, deserved from the
hon. gentleman very different treatment.
Mr. W. Lamb expressed his surprise
at the line of argument adopted by the
hon. member for Appleby. It was most
unsatisfactory and inconclusive to go back
to the period when the privilege of pur-
veyance existed-that privilege which
gave to the agents of the monarch the
right to seize, in every market or other
place, provisions and other things neces-
sary for the supply of the court; and
which was, of all other branches of the
prerogative, the most tyrannical and in-
Stolerable. Nothing could be more marked
Than the distinction between those time.
and our own. The Revolution had altered
the situation in which the granting of
Supplies had previously been placed.
SBefore that period, the crown had been
Possessed of large territories, from which
Sit derived considerable revenues, and
Which could be made available in cases of
Emergency. The abolition of the feudal
i tenures had deprived it of this revenue,
-and had thrown it upon the liberality of
Parliament for the support of its honour
Sand dignity. To hesitate to vote the
-supplies, would be to doubt the pro-
r priety of giving effect to the operations of
- the government.
s Mr. Humesaid, thatthestateofthecrowa
lands was one of those subjects which
- called for the attention of the House, and
; which ought to be looked to before the sup-
t plies were granted. They had been given
; up by the crown; and, by an act of the
g first of queen Anne, they had been placed
s, apart, for the express purpose of relieving
the burdens of the people. He did not







J35] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
complain of this change, which was really
excellent; but he complained that, instead
of producing between 40 and 50,0001. per
annum, they were swallowed by pensions.
The evil, however, did not exist in one
department alone. He hoped some of the
members of the Irish committee were
present. By a paper then before the
House, it was pointed out, that in the cus-
toms of the port of Dublin, the collection
cost 84,0001. Mr. Richmond, judging
what the expense of the collection ought
to be, by that which was incurred in
London, had recommended it to be re-
duced 42,0001., and that of the out-ports
35,0001., making a reduction of 77,0001.
That report had remained a dead letter ;
and when he had submitted certain pro-
positions to the House on the subject,
they had been negatived by a large ma-
jority. He held in his hand a practical
proof how far ministers were inclined to
continue an overgrown establishment. A
committee, of which he had been a
member, had unanimously recommended
that 65 receivers-general should be re-
duced. To his surprise, a whole year had
been suffered to elapse, without any prac-
tical benefit resulting from that recom-
mendation. With respect to the sums
paid to the distributors of stamps, the
poundage amounted to 5 and 6 per cent,
when it ought only to he at the rate of 2
per cent; and the public were made to
pay 85,0001. when they ought only to pay
30,0001. He hoped his hon. friend would
take the sense of the House upon his'
motion, in order to impress upon mem-
bers the necessity of considering the
grievances of the people, before they voted
away the public money by millions.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr.
Robinson) begged to remind the hon.
gentleman, that the government had given
its cordial assent to one of the measures of
economy which had been recommended,
and had carried it into effect by an act of
parliament. As to the first topic, that of
the crown lands, the hon. gentleman was
entirely mistaken. The revenue arising.
from them was regularly carried to
account. He was no holder of crown
lands, but he knew many individuals'
who were; and he would venture to state,
that of all the severe landlords in the
country, the crown was the most so. It
was provided by law, that they should
be let to the highest bidder. The last
holder of the lease had the option of
taking a renewal at the rate fixed on by a


Bank Balances.


[136


sworn surveyor; but if he refused, it was
let by auction. It was impossible to
make a lease of the crown lands a matter
of favour in any instance. They certainly
did not bring in so large a revenue as
40,0001., although he knew that in one
of the reports, a hope had been held out
that they might ultimately amount to that
sum. But the hon. gentleman appeared
to forget that a large portion of them con-
sisied of forest land; and it had been
recommended by a committee of the
House, that the crown lands should be
employed in the growth of timber for the
use of the navy. The amount of the
revenue of the crown lands had, during
the last five or six years, been small; but
this circumstance was capable of satis-
factory explanation. A few years ago it
had been thought advisable to appropriate
the proceeds of the crown lands to build-
ing the new street in the neighbourhood
of Piccadilly. The produce of fines and
leases had been appropriated to the pur-
chase of the sites of houses in the line of
this street. The hon. gentleman might
think this an improper mode of applying
the money; but it was sanctioned by par-
liament, and no individual received the
smallest advantage from it.
The motion was negatived, and the
House resolved itself into the committee
of supply.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 18.
BANK BALANCES.]--Mr. Grenfell, in
moving for a return of the Balances of the
public money in the hands of the Bank of
England, observed, that in 1815, when he
first brought this subject under the con-
sideration of the House, the deposits
lodged with the Bank amounted to no less
a sum than eleven or twelve millions. The
loss to the public from this source was
estimated by the committee on the public
expenditure, at more than 500,0001. per
annum. The services performed by the
Bank were merely those discharged in an
ordinary banking transaction. The
amount of the deposits had been reduced
to about 4,000,0001.; but there was still
no necessity for leaving so large a sum as
this wholly unproductive in the hands of
the Bank. Nothing, in fact, would be more
easy than to make such an arrangement as
would -give the public a participation in
the .profits arising from these balances;
and, if the present chancellor of the ex-







1371


Bank Balances.


chequer would grant to him, what he
could never obtain from the last, a com-
mittee to examine into this subject, he
pledged himself, not only to prove the
insignificant nature of the services per-
formed by the Bank, but to suggest a
plan to the House, which would give the
public a fair participation in that profit.
The whole services which the Bank per-
formed to the public were the transfers
and the payments of the dividends. He
found no fault with the mode in which
this was managed; but, good as it was, it
was overpaid. The payment of 270,0001.
a year, which the Bank received for the
performance of this service, was surely
too much. He had no hesitation in say-
ing, that it might be done for 70,0001., and
thus a saving of 200,0001. a year to the
public would be effected. He had no
wish to provoke unpleasant discussion ;
but he had some hopes from the new
chancellor of the exchequer, to whose at-
tention he would earnestly recommend
the subject.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that as he had no objection to the pro-
duction of the papers, he should de-
cline entering at present into the sub-
ject. He stood in need of all the in-
formation which could be afforded him;
and he felt that none could be more va-
luable than that of the hon. gentleman.
When the papers should have been pro-
duced, if the hon. gentleman thought pro-
per to submit a motion on the subject to
the House, it would he his duty to state
S the conduct he proposed to pursue.
Mr. Baring expressed his surprise, that
his hon. friend had again made that state-
ment to the House which had been so often
refuted. The subject of the balances in
the hands of the Bank was one of which
he had not lost sight for many years. He
had stated, that these balances had for-
merly amounted 'to 11,0000001., but were
now reduced to 4,000,0001. or 5,000,0001.,
and had contended, that the public was
entitled to share the advantages arising
from the possession of these balances.
To that argument had frequently been
opposed the statement, that the Bank held
* the balances by virtue of their parliamen-
tary charter., When the renewal of that
charter had been negotiated, Mr. Pitt ex-
pressly enumerated, among the advantages
which the Bank were to enjoy, and for
which they then made the government a
remuneration, that of holding the public
balances, which were then estimated at


FEB. 18, 1823. [138
about five millions. His ron. friend
stated, that they now only amounted
to between four and five millions, and
yet he came there every year to state that
something was due on this account to the
public; when, in point of fact, the ad-
vantage had been estimated and paid for
by the Bank on the renewal of their char-
ter. Since that period they had advanced
sums of money to the government at small
interest, and others without any interest
at all. Whether too much was paid for
the management of the public debt or not,
was an entirely distinct question.
Mr. Manning said, that the deposits of
the balances of public money were neces-
sarily made with the Bank, because the
government could not safely intrust them
to any private hands. When the accounts
should be produced, he would show, and
he hoped satisfactorily, that the Bank was
justified, by their charter, in all they had
done.
Mr. Ricardo said, it was true the Bank
had made a compensation for the grant of
the charter; but it was not sufficiently
great for the advantages they had so long
possessed. If, during his continuance in
office, the Bank of England should apply
for a renewal of the charter, he hoped the
chancellor of the exchequer would be par-
ticularly careful that they did not over-
reach him. Before any such bargain
should be made, it would be the duty of
the right hon. gentleman to consult the
House as to the terms of it. If it should
be open to public competition, much
more would be given for it than had ever
yet been offered. From the advantages
which the Bank had derived, it was impos-
sible not to see, that the terms had been
very much in their favour.
Mr. Grenftll, in reply, said, that the
warmth with which his hon. friend (Mr.
Baring) defended the proceedings of the
Bank was not at all surprising, when it
was recollected, that he was a director
during the period of the transactions 6f
which he had so often complained. He
was a party to all that had been done,
whether it were good or ill. His hon.
friend went back to the charter, and the
terms upon which it had been made with
Mr. Pitt, and concluded, therefore, that
the question of balances was closed. But,
did he recollect that, eight years before
that period, the Bank had agreed to give
up three millions without any interest
whatever ? Did he recollect that Mr. Van-
sittart, after having always denied the







Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance. [140


principle for which he (Mr. G.) contended,
agreed to it at length, and brought in a
bill, by which he took away six millions
more from those balances ? Did any body
believe that the Bank would give up nine
millions, out of their spontaneous libera-
lity ? It was said that the charge for ma-
nagement amounted only to 7d. or 8d. per
hundred pounds. But, however small
this might appear in itself, when the
amount of the public debt was regard-
ed, it was much too large. The question
was not whether 7d. or Sd. was small, but
whether 270,0001. was not a sum totally
inadequate to the service performed. He
was confident that if justice were done to
the public, a saving of 200,0001. per an-
num might be effected-100,0001. by a
proper application of the balances in the
Bank, and 100,0001. by a reduction of the
expenses in the management, without any
injury to the establishment. He was
firmly convinced, that the subject ought
to be referred to a select committee.
Mr. Maberly wished the Bank to have
a good bargain, and thought they should
be liberally treated; but he thought also,
that it was the duty of the chancellor of
the exchequer to ascertain whether the
act relative to the rate to be paid for ma-
nagement was conclusive, upon which he
understood the highest legal opinions were
divided. He had no doubt that 100,0001.
might be saved without interfering with
the fair remuneration to the Bank; but
the reference to a committee would set that
matter at rest. He trusted that no new
charter would be granted, without due
deliberation as to its terms.
Mr. Hume would take that opportunity
of throwing out a suggestion, that it was
probable the Bank charter might never be
renewed. A million and a half might be
saved by the establishment of a national
bank. He knew some notions had got
abroad respecting the danger of such an
establishment; but when it was recol-
lected that they had an annual payment of
60,000,0001., he was confident ministers
would see the advantage of a national
bank, by which, in issuing 30 or 40 miln
lions of their own paper, they could effect
an annual saving of a million and a half.
He hoped the present chancellor of the
exchequer would be in office when the
charter should expire; and that he would
avail himself of the opportunity of adding
so much to the ways and means of the
country.
Mr. J. Martin wished to know, whether


it' was intended to lay before the House
an account of the unclaimed dividends.
No such return had been made for the
last eight years.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer could
not give at that moment a positive answer
to the question of the hon. member.
Mr. J. Martin intimated his intention
to make a motion on the subject.
Mr. Manning said, that the subject had
been under the consideration of the bank
directors, and that an order had been
issued to prepare such account.
Mr. Grenfell said, it had been observed,
that a difference of opinion existed be-
tween legal authorities, as to the liability
of the Bank to have the charge for the
management of the public debt re-exa-
mined and altered. He very well knew,
that an opinion had been given on this
subject. Sir Samuel Shepherd, when
attorney-general, and the present attorney-
general, at that period solicitor-general,
gave it as their opinion, on the case which
had been laid before them, that the system
could not be interfered with. But the
opinion of no legal man was infallible;
and the view which a lawyer took of any
question must depend on the way in
which the case was put. When he saw
that case and opinion, it struck him that
the question was not stated in the way
in which it ought to have been; and he
thought that if it had been drawn up
properly, the legal opinion would have
been, that the act of 1808, did not close
the question; but that the subject was
open to revision.
Mr. Manning said, it ought to be stated,
that that case was not drawn up by the
Bank, nor submitted to counsel, with the
privity of the Bank. It was the work of
other parties; they were not responsible
for it. After the opinion given, gentlemen
must feel considerable doubts whether
any alteration could take place in the
charge for managing the public debt.
The several motions were agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 19.
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL OF THE ORD-
NANCE.]-Mr. Hume, in rising to submit
the question he was about to propose to the
House, trusted he should have credit for
having given the subject much considera-
tion; and he assured the House it was
one well worthy its attention. By an act
of the 45th year of the late king, a con-


1391 HOUSE OF COMlMONS,







141] Lieutenant-General of he Ordnance.


mittee.had been appointed to inquire into
the public expenditure and business of
the various military departments, and to
report thereon from time to time. It was
important for the House to know the
object the committee had in view, and
the time they had occupied in accom-
plishing it. The number of reports they
had made, amounted tonineteen. Thecom-
mittee was composed of military officers,
whoseexperience qualified them pecu-
liarly for the discharge of the duty in-
trusted to them. Perhaps every member
of the House was not aware that the
board of ordnance, as it now existed, had
been formed in the reign of Charles 2nd.
The important light in which the subject
had been viewed by the committee might
be gathered from their having made seven
remarkably long reports upon this par-
ticular branch of their inquiry ; he meant
those from the 12th to the 18th inclusive.
The first was directed particularly to the
Treasury department, in which a system
of the most disgraceful mismanagement
had prevailed; but as this had now been
put an end to, it was not necessary any
further to allude to it. He should refer
more particularly to the 13th report of
the committee, which had been published
in 1811. The commissioners found it
necessary to apologize for the time which
they had taken up, in considering and
digesting the information they had pro-
cured. They had endeavoured to follow
with minuteness every branch of the
department, that all abuses might be
* detected. They proceeded to state, that
they found the board consisted of the
master-general, the lieutenant-general,
and four other officers; viz. the surveyor-
general, the clerk of the ordnance, the
principal store-keeper, and the clerk of the
deliveries. The attention of the com-
mittee was .next called to the duties as
well as the salaries of these officers.
They found the latter very considerably
increased. That of the master-general
had been raised from 1,5001. per ann.,
the amount in 1796, to 3,2351.; that of
the lieut.-general from 1,1001. to 1,5911.;
that of the surveyor-general from 8001.
to 1,2611.; that of the clerk of the ord-
nance from 6001. to 1,1401.; but this
included a commutation for fees, to which
he had previously been entitled ; the other
officers had also taken commutations, and
their salaries had been proportionably
raised. The committee, in the next place,
examined the different individuals as to


the nature of the business carried on by'
each of them. They found that the four
last-mentioned officers had performed
certain duties at the time of their appoint-
ment, but that they had ceased to do so
for several years; and it therefore became
a question how far it was expedient they
should be continued. They showed satis-
factorily that the surveyor-general no
longer examined the stores ; that the office
of the store-keeper had become a sine-
cure; and that the reasons which existed
at the establishment of the board for the
clerk of the deliveries, or one of his
sworn clerks, being present, did not now
prevail. They therefore saw no reason
why those offices should not be discon-
tinued, and recommended that a board of
four members should be appointed to
carry on the duty of the department,
and to manage its general concerns;
alotting the various branches of it as they
should see fit.-Before he alluded further
to the examination, he wofld state to
the House the nature of the original
warrant for the establishment. It ap-
peared by that, to be the duty of the
lieutenant-general, in the absence of the
master-general, to receive all letters, and
issue all warrants, and to keep a minute-
book of all such warrants. It appeared
also, that the master-general and the
lieutenant-general were intrusted with
the conduct of the department, and that
the four other officers were to act under
them; and not to be co-equal in power,
as they had now become. Th'e committee
then pursued their inquiry as to the
peculiar duties of the lieutenant-general.
Upon this subject they examined Mr.
Crewe, and from his evidence it seemed
that the lieutenant-general performed
no duties distinct from those of a member
of the board, except in the absence of the
inaster-general, or in case of a vacancy in
that office. Upon this subject they exa-
mined also lord Chatham and lord Moira,
both of whom had held the office of
master-general. The first of those noble-
men, when he had been asked as to 'the
utility of the duties of lieut.-general, had
requested to postpone his answer, and
had, in fact, not given it until the end of
his examination. The earl of Chatham
said, he did not see how the question
could be properly answered. It was
difficult to consider the doubt which this
question was meant to imply; more es-
pecially when the high and respectable
names which had filled the office were re-


Tv~i 10,-182. (41-







Lie.teent-Geeral of the Ordnance. [ 144


collected, and when reference was made
to the orders .and instructions which had.
been given, from the formation of the
board tb the present time, for the conduct
of the lieutenant-general. Mr. flume
proceeded tp say, he could find none of
the orders and .instructions to which the
noble lord had alluded, excepting those
contained in the commissions to hold the
office, and these he was bound to under-
stand him to mean. It was for the House,
however, to consider how far they would
think such reasoning conclusive on the
question of keeping up such anuoffice.
Iord VChatham stated, besides, that the
lieutenant-general had several important
duties to perform, particularly that of
presiding at the board, where his military
experience was extremely useful. This,
he would only observe, wa in .contradic-
tion to the evidenceof Mr.C fewe.; The
samne question as to the ,utility of' this,
officeof lieutenaat-general had beenput.
to lord lipira. He had replied, that he
qpprehended that the officewas created
in contemplagtion of the master-general
beipg sent abroad .with the command of
an ar my; in which cape, the lieutenant-.
general ,would have- to ,discharge his
functiorps,. Ip case of the illness of the
master-gen~ral,, he would become colonel
in chief of!the artillery: beyond these,
he had no other, dpty to perform than.
that of being a member pf the board.
Here the evidence on this point closed.-
He,would next consider how the coqi-
mittee had ifeeived this evidence. They
said, that it appears, the lieutenant-ge-
ei.al has now: no; duties to perform ex-
cepting in the absence of the master-ge-
neial, and that his clerks also have no
duties eyen in that event :, for it appeared
that when the master-general had been
abeP,tat -Walcherep, the duties of the
office.had,beep carried on by his clerks:
the comrppittee therefore very reasonably
inferred,. :that the lieutenant-general's
perks were useless, and ought to he abo-
lished. It was not likely, that any pcca-
sion for their services should .so frequently
pccu.r, as,would justify, the: charge of
7001. per annum, the expensee at .which
this part ofr the establishment was kept
pp. InJa ,late jgstauce where the.master-
goneral: had -been absent, and the lieu-
teaantgenpral died during ,his absence,
the business .hadbeep found to.go on just
as,well when. plrfprmed by the clerks of
AShe master-general. Having given, the
fullest consideration to the subject, the


committee were of opinion, that the office
oflieutenant-general was not essential to
the department, particularly if the atten-
tion of the master-general was not with-
drawn by his holding other offices. As
the four inferior officers did not perform
the duties originally allotted to them,
they also might be discontinued. The
committee proposed, that a general com-
mission should be constituted, to be
called the commission of the board of
ordnance; that the powers of the board
should be the same as they were at pre-
sent, and that the signature of each
should be of equal effect. The com-
mittee had, in the course of their inquiry,
asked lord Moira whether he thought the
members of this .board ought to be re-
movable with a change in the administra-
tion; and he said in answer, that he
thought a proportion 'should be fixed;
that one of them. should have a seat in
the House of Commons, for the purpose
of answering questions relative to the
affairs of the department, and to bring
forward any subject that might concern
it. The committee thought that not more
than two at the utmost,should have seats
in parliament,,and that the others should
devote themselves entirely to the duties
of their office. Now, we had three or
even four of these officers in the House,
contrary to the recommendation of the
committee, and, more than two to one
agaitt the opinion of lord Moira. This
did not include the treasurer of the de-
partment, wh, 'formed ,no part of the
board. It wasa distinct question whether
he poght to: sitthere, or. not, though he
thought that,,corisistently with the rules
of other departments, he ought not,. It
was a reasonable ground of complaint,
that, neither this, nor scarcely any other
of the recommendations of the committee,
had been attended to. The question now
for the consideration ofithe House was
whether, in the present situation of the
country, and in timeof peace, it was ne-
cessary that five officers should be conti-
nued in this small department, when four
were found.to be sufficjerit for the ma-
nagement of all the concerns of the British
navy? Was it consistent with the pro-
fessions of economy and. the recommenda-
tiona,of the,committee, to keep up this
establishment ? He was anxious to hear
from ministers, w3hy .the navy was un-
worthy ofas great a.nymj er of officers as
the:ordnance ? This, he deemed, to be
unanswerable. He knew he should be


1431 1OU9,F,, OP COWNBIONS,






145] Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.


told, that the business of the barrack
department had been added: but he
would reply, that it had formerly be-
longed to it, that it had been unjustly
taken away, and that with the servants
belonging to the department this addi-
tional business could not be felt. Let the
commissariat department be added to the
whole of the duties of the ordnance, and
still it bore no comparison to the navy.
If the House had been right last year with
respect to the latter establishment, they
could not refuse now to support his mo-
tion, and to declare that five officers were
unnecessary for the ordnance department.
The expenses had formerly amounted to
3,5001.: now they were 6,5611. per
annum, exclusive of the salary of the
master-general. Those of the navy were
only 4,0001.; and, if he stood upon this
point alone, he was in a situation to claim
their support. It was an insult to the
great naval establishment, that its remu-
neration should be less than that of so
inferior an office. After a vacancy of
three or four months in the office of
lieutenant-general, after his majesty's
answer to the Address of the House, that
he would reduce every unnecessary esta-
blishment, which pledge had been re-
peated in the Speech from the throne, the
recent appointment which had been made
four and twenty hours before the meeting
of the House was an insult to the people.
The House was ready to grant all that
might be necessary for the security of the
country, but they ought not to be called
on for one shilling beyond this. The
ordnance department was one of the most
wasteful under government, those of Ire-
land only excepted. The salary of the
private secretary to the master-general
was -much larger than the duties of the
office authorized. Mr. Crewe received
for this 1,5001. per annum. The House
in which he lived had cost 15,0001. build-
ing, and thus the country paid a rent of
1,200L/ a year for him. He did not wish
to undervalue that gentleman, whom he
understood to be an able servant of the
public; nor did he blame him for taking
as large a salary as was offered for his
services, but he did blame those who
gave it to him. Colonel Chapman, who
had previously held the office, retired on
a pension of 4001. a year to make room
for this gentleman, who received a salary
of 1,5001. per annum : so that this private
secretaryship cost the country 1,9001.
yearly. Here was an opportunity for re-
VOL. VIII.


trenchment, if gentlemen were really dis-
posed to adopt economical measures.
The office of secretary evidently could
not be of great importance, because the
individual who held it was frequently
absent. For what, then, should they pay
him 1,5001. a year? Yet, expensive as
he was to the public, it appeared that his
services at home could very well be dis-
pensed with, since he was now at Madrid.
He might be a very proper person to.be
sent there; but he would ask, was it
proper that an individual, who was paid
1,5001. a year for doing one duty, should
be employed in the performance of an-
other, wholly different in its nature ?
There were formerly two secretaries at-
tached to the master-general; but, in
consequence of the recommendation of
the commissioners, one of them was dis-
pensed with. The salary was 3001. a
year. When the office was suppressed,
the public had a right to benefit to that
amount: but government divided the
3001. amongst the clerks, and the public
gained nothing by the alteration. It ap-
peared quite plain, that no department
in the state required more looking after
than the ordnance; and therefore he
trusted the House would institute some
inquiry into it. He had shown what was
the expense of the Tower and the Pall-
Mall establishment in 1796. At that pe-
riod-a period of war-the charge was
18,7261. What was the return for 1822,
the sixth year of peace ? It was no less
than 63,2731., being an increase of
47,0001. in the period between 1796 and
the present day. The finance committee
had alluded to the allowances and gra-
tuities which were granted in this depart-
ment, and had expressed their disappro-
bation of them. One would, therefore,
expect to see a reduction, not an increase,
under that head. But he found that, in
1814, the gratuities were only 9,0001.,
whereas, in the last year, they amounted
to 30,0001. The commissioners of mili-
tary inquiry, perceiving the immense in-
crease of expense, recommended two most
important regulations, neither of which
had been attended to. They recom-
mended having the four junior officers
under one roof, instead of keeping one
portion of them in Pall-Mall, and the re-
mainder at the Tower, and paying them
their travelling expenses when they pro-
ceeded from the one station to the other.
The commissioners inquired whether the
business could be performed with facility
L


FEi3.19, 1823. [146,







Lieuteiant-General of the Ordnance. [148


if the officers were all under one roof.
They were informed by earl Moira that
it could, and they recommended the
alteration; but no such alteration had
been made. By keeping those separate
establishments, eight or ten clerks
were constantly employed in correspond-
ing with each other. There was no end
to the expense in this department. It
was impossible for any person to devise
a more effectual mode of squandering
money than was adopted in the ordnance.
In consequence of the store-keeper-general
ceasing to perform the duties attached to
his office, a number of store-keepers were
appointed. Here a saving might have
been effected, if the advice of earl Moira
had been attended to. He objected to
the stores being delivered at the Tower;
and he pointed out various benefits which
would arise from their being supplied at
Woolwich. By adopting this measure,
one delivery would be sufficient, and the
services of certain officers, who were em-
ployed in consequence of there being
more than one delivery, under the exist-
ing system, might be dispensed with.
It was the opinion of lord Moira, that,
with the exception of small arms alone,
all ordnance stores should be delivered at
Woolwich. If this recommendation had
been acted upon, there would no longer
be any excuse for not having all the bu-
siness done under one roof. In that
point, however, the recommendation of
the commissioners remained a dead letter.
He found that the increase of the ordnance
establishment, in the period to which he
had alluded, was full three-fourths. In
1792, the charge was 480,0001.; at pre-
sent it amounted to 1,447,0001. Nothing
had been done to reduce this enormous
establishment sufficiently; and, notwith-
standing all the professions of strict eco-
nomy which the people had heard, they
had a right to censure ministers for not
having diminished this extravagant ex-
penditure.-Another grievance to which
the commissioners had adverted, was the
number of houses which were attached to
this department. Instead of giving indi-
vidual store-keepers 401. or 501. a year, as
rent for a house, they caused houses to
be erected for them, which cost the public
3,0001. or 4,0001. There were not less
than three or four hundred houses and
apartments, in different quarters, belong-
ing to the ordnance. It was his intention
to bring this particular grievance dis-
tinctly before parliament. If all those


useless houses were sold, and some new
regulation adopted with respect to bar-
racks, a very great saving would be
effected. The ordnance department still
went on building, notwithstanding the
great number of houses they already had.
Houses could only be wanted in places
where individuals had duties to perform ;
but many instances could be adduced
where houses were built, although no
duty was to be done at the place in which
they were erected. He stated this, to im-
press on the minds of gentlemen, that the
recommendation of the commissioners
were not attended to by his majesty's
ministers. Why should five individuals
be required to manage the affairs of the
ordnance, when the House had decided
that four were sufficient to conduct those
of the navy? Why should those five
persons cost the country 6,5001., when
the business of the admiralty was trans-
acted for 4,0001. ? The whole of this de-
partment ought to be new-modelled, and
placed on a strictly economical basis;
and for the purpose of effecting that de-
sirable object, he would move-" That
as the Commissioners of Military Inquiry
have reported in their 13th report, that
in their belief, from the information given
to them, the appointment of Lieutenant-
general of the Ordnance was not essential
to the constitution of the Board of Ord-
nance, in time of war; this House are of
opinion, that the recent appointment of
lord Beresford in time of peace, is incon-
sistent with the recommendation of the
commissioners of military inquiry, at va-
riance with the professions of economy
from the throne, and without a due con-
sideration of the situation of the country,
which requires every possible reduction
of expenditure to be made in every de-
partment of the state, that is not abso-
lutely necessary for the service of the go-
vernment."
Mr. Ward said, he rose for the purpose
of opposing the motion of the hon.
gentleman on the most plain and palpable
ground. The hon. gentleman, in express
terms, stated, that the commissioners of
military inquiry had declared, that the
appointment of lieutenant-general of the
ordnance in time of war was unnecessary."
Now, out of the hon. member's own
mouth would he convict him; for, on
looking to the report from which he had
quoted, it would be found that his state-
ment of the declaration of the commis-
sioners was not the fact, but that the


1471 HOUSEOF 6 COMiMONS,







149) Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance,


direct contrary was. What did the mo-
tion say? It set forth, that the ap-
pointment of lieutenant-general of the
ordnance, in time of war, is unnecessary."
To render his reply to the hon. gentleman
perfectly clear, he would divide it into
three parts. He would first prove, that
the hon. gentleman had misrepresented
the declaration of the commissioners of
military inquiry; he would next show,
that the commissioners of military inquiry
had misunderstood the evidence on which
they formed their opinion; and lastly, he
was prepared to argue, that, supposing
both the hon. gentleman and the com-
missioners to be correct, yet such alter-
ations had taken place in the department,
such an increase had been made to the
business, that it was totally impossible to
attend to those recommendations. He
would, by referring to the report, make
it manifest, that the hon. gentleman had
garbled the statement of the commis-
sioners; and had recommended to the
House and the country, that which they
never intended to recommend. He would,
therefore, detain the House, while he
quoted certain extracts from the report;
and he called on gentlemen to compare
those extracts with what the hon. gen-
tleman had described the report. to be.
When on a former night, the hon. member
referred to this subject, hehad said,that the
commissioners had declared, that from
the information given to us, we are of
opinion, that the performance of the du-
ties of lieutenant-general of the ordnance
is not necessary to the constitution of the
department;" and there, to his utter
astonishment, the hon. member's motion,
on the present occasion, stopped. Now,
it must excite the surprise of gentlemen,
when he informed them, that after the
extract which he had just quoted, the
commissioners proceeded to say, espe-
cially, if it were to be understood, that
the attention of the master-general should
not be withdrawn from his regular duty,
by other appointments." This altered the
case altogether. It was a statement, that
"' the appointment of lieutenant-general
was not necessary to the constitution of
the department, especially if it were to
be understood that the master-general
should not be withdrawn from the per-
formance of his duty by other appoint-
* ments." The country went with the
commissioners on that point. They wish-
ed the master-general's office to be made
perfectly efficient. But yet, forgetting


this portion of the sentence, the hon,
gentleman stated broadly, that-it was his
belief that the commissioners had recom-
mended the reduction of the lieutenant-
generalship without any modification
whatever. The commissioners went on to
Essay, that unless this preliminary condi-
tion were admitted" (that of restricting
the master-general to the performance of
the duties of that office) they had no-
thing to offer with respect to the situation
of lieutenant-general." All this the hon.
gentleman had suppressed. He begged
his pardon fo; using that phrase; but he
had at least omitted it. It was, however,
astonishing to him that a gentleman of
such laborious research, and acting, as
no doubt he did, with the most honest
intention, should, on every subject of
debate, but particularly on the subject
of the ordnance, leave out passages of
very great importance, and quote only
those which answered his own purpose.-
His second proposition was, that the com-
missioners of military inquiry did not
understand the evidence. They stated,
that lord Moira had declared, in the most
unqualified manner, that the keeping up
the situation of lieutenant-general was
only necessary to prevent inconvenience
when the office of master-general was
vacant. Now, he would show, that lord
Moira said no such thing; and he was
ready to contend that his lordship in a
great measure asserted the contrary. He
would read what the commissioners stated,
and he would then turn to lord Moira's
evidence. The commissioners said, that
lord Moira gave it as his opinion that the
lieutenant-general was only useful pend-
ing a vacancy in the situation of master-
general: but if they looked to the evi-
dence, it would be found that lord
Moira did not state his opinion in that
way. He said, the lieutenant-gene-
ral has no other business but what
he performs as a member of the board."
Now, might there not be great and
important duties for him to perform
-duties that would absorb all his time?
For any thing which appeared in the re-
port of the commissioners, the lieutenant-
general might have duties to execute
which would consume the whole of his
time. This might be the case, for aught
the commissioners knew. Wttherefore, he
must say, that even with regard to lord
Moira's evidence, the commissioners were
not so correct as they ought to have been.
What did they state with respect to lord


Fou. 10, 1823- [150







Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance. [152


Chatham ? They admitted lord Chatham
to have said, that the office of lieu-
tenant-general was most material for car-
rying on the business of the board, and
the civil and military duties of the depart-
mnent;" and they allowed that the opinion
of a nobleman who had been so long at the
head of the department was most import-
ant. But then they proceed to say, that
lord Chatham founded his opinion on the
fact, that the master-general was frequent-
ly absent on other duties." Now, lord
Chatham's evidence was exactly on the
other side; for he said, that the lieutenant-
general was not merely necessary for the
purpose of doing the duty of the master-
general, but for presiding at the board
to transact the civil business of the ord-
nance." And here he must express his
astonishment at the easy credulity of the
hon. gentleman, in believing, without any
proof of the fact, that there was something
like criminality in the conduct of lord
Chatham, because, being surprised by a
question of this magnitude and import-
ance, and being examined on his oath, he
required time to consider, before he would
venture to put his evidence on record.
This was what the hon. gentleman called
Managing" the business; this was what
he made the subject of a charge against
lord Chatham. That noblelord never did
an act in the whole course of his life which
he would not openly avow-he never did
an act which deserved to be stigmatized as
the hon. gentleman had stigmatized his
caution and prudence on the occasion
referred to. He merely did that which
every man of virtue, of pure conscience,
and of honest feeling should do, when
asked to give his opinion on oath, with
respect to a matter of high importance-
he demanded time to consider the subject.
When his lordship did come forward,
what did he say? He declared (so emi-
nently necessary did he consider the office
of lieutenant-general) that "he was utter-
ly astonished how it could enter the mind
of any man, to ask a question as to its
utility." His lordship proceeded to ob-
serve-" It seems to me difficult, to find
on what ground the doubt as to the utility
of this office could have arisen; more
especially when the high and respectable
names who have filled the situation are
recollected, and the instructions which
have been given for its government, in
every reign, since the first institution of
the board of ordnance. I would not state
more on this point, if the commissioners


did not express a wish that I should state,
in detail, the duties in the performance of
which the lieutenant-general is useful,
and I will do so." His lordship was call-
ed on to explain the duties of the office;
he requested time to consider the subject;
and this was what the hon. gentleman
called management. He took a day to
answer the interrogatories of the commis-
sioners, and this was charged against him
as a crime. His lordship went on to say
-" In the first place, independent of
what the lieutenant-general is instructed
to do in the absence of the master-general,
he has several important and specific
duties allotted to him to perform, extend-
ing over the principal civil and military
business of the department, and particu-
larly before the board, where his military
knowledge must prove highly advanta-
geous." That the lieutenant-general's
exertions at the board were "highly advan-
tageous" remained to be shown; because
his lordship had not specified what the
exact nature of his duties at the board
were. He (Mr. W.) would therefore ob-
serve, that they were divided into two
heads, civil and military; and he could
state decidedly, that without considerable
military, civil, and local knowledge, those
duties could not be performed. If they
looked to those who had served in this
office, it would be found that it had con-
stantly been filled by men of talent and
experience. Sir T. Trigge, lord Amherst,
lord Howe, sir Hildebrand Oakes, and a
long list of gallant and distinguished
individuals, had filled the situation. This
was a proof of its great importance. In
his opinion, it would be better to call on
the House to abolish his (Mr. W.'s) office,
rather than suppress that of lieutenant-
general. Lord Chatham next stated, that
" in all communications between the board
and the higher branches of the ordnance,
the presence of such an officer is particu-
larly required." He (Mr. W.) knew, that
with respect to the disbursement of money,
and the regulation of stores, the civil
members of the board could do the busi-
ness as well as the lieutenant-general; but
when they came to estimate supplies, the
military knowledge of that officer was of
especial use. Lord Chatham then went
on to show the necessity of keeping up
the office of lieutenant-general, in conse-
quence of the great increase of business.
Then what appeared from all this ? Ac-
cording to this evidence (which the com-
missioners declared amounted to the fact,


151'1 HOUSE OF COMMONS,







1i3] Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.


that the lieutenant-general was in a
great measure occupied with the duties of
the master-general"), it was most appa-
rent, that he was occupied in performing
the civil duties of his office. So that, if
there were no master-general, he would
still be fully employed. He considered
the lieutenant-general of the ordnance as
the great link between the civil and mili-
tary departments of that establishment.
He had to perform duties which were
necessary to the due carrying on of the
business of the board, and which had
nothing to do with the functions of the
master-general.-So much, then, for the re-
port of the commissioners, founded on evi-
dence which, he had shown, absolutely con-
tradicted that report. The hon. gentleman
had bottomed some of his statements on the
evidence of Mr. Crewe, which he appeared
to consider equal to that of lord Chatham.
But what did Mr. Crewe's statement come
to? Precisely to that of lord Moira;
namely, that beyond the duties which
the lieutenant-general performs in the
absence of the master-general, he does
not know what other functions that officer
has to execute." But the lieutenant-
general had many other duties to perform.
He had to visit the arsenal at Woolwich,
and at other places; he had also to scru-
tinize persons who were invalided, in the
same way as a lord of the admiralty
scrutinized every one of those seamen
who were candidates for Greenwich. He
had these and many other duties to per-
form.-The hon. gentleman seemed to
have a second point in view, when he
brought forward Mr. Crewe's evidence.
He introduced it for the purpose of
putting down the lieutenant-general's
clerks. But here the hon. gentleman
was considerably behind time; for, long
before the hon. gentleman had a seat in
that House, he himself felt that it would
be proper to do away with those appoint-
ments; and they were actually abolished
ten years ago. The hon. member en-
deavoured to impress on the House, that
the lieutenant-general employed two
clerks, and that if the office of lieute-
nant-general were unnecessary, those
clerks must be also unnecessary. Now, he
(Mr. W.) found, that the lieutenant-
general was extremely necessary, but that
the clerks were unnecessary; and there-
S fore he had them abolished ten years ago.
-After what he had said, he imagined
the House would not expect he should,
repeat the refutation he had given, two


years ago, to the same species of attack
which the hon. member had made upon
the ordnance department-a refutation
which the integrity of that department
enabled him to give, from his general
knowledge of the official business it com-
prehended. Mark the manner in which
the hon. member widened his attacks:
his notice for that night was merely for the
abolition of the office of lieutenant-gene-
ral of the ordnance; but his speech was
nothing less than an unmitigated attack
upon the whole board, brought forward
in this sly way, without the parties who
were to be inculpated having any previous
opportunity of preparing for their vindi-
cation. The hon. member had called
upon the House to revert to what had
been the ordnance establishment in the
year 1796. Why not, at the same time,
have called upon the House to compare
the present business transacted by the
board, with that which they had to per-
form in 1796 ? Let the House listen to
that comparison, and then decide upon
the parallel. The present establishment
consisted of 8,000 men; that of 1796
was 4,000. Then, there were no horse
artillery; now, there was the finest body
of that force in the world. Then, there
were no sappers and miners; now, there
was an admirably equipped corps. In
1796 the half-pay of the ordnance
was only 20,0001. a-year; now, it was
400,0001. Besides, there was the wider
range of duties which, since 1796, had
devolved upon the ordnance, from the in-
crease of colonial business in the East and
West Indies. The hon. member had no
objection to call for the transfer of every
species of business to the board of ord-
nance; but such was his penury, that he
would stint them even in the number of
clerks necessary to make out the accounts.
But in what had fallen from the hon.
gentleman, there was one great and gross
misrepresentation, which was cruel and
unjust in its operation-he meant the
unqualified assertion, that colonel Chap-
man, the late private secretary to the
master-general, was pensioned off at the
rate of 4001. a-year, to make room for
another. Nothing could be more untrue
than the hon. member's imputation.
What was the real state of the case?
Colonel Chapman, when a captain, was
one of those able men by whose science
and skill the country had so much bene-
fitted, and by means of which the duke
of Wellington had been able to achieve so


Frim. 10, 1623. 154







Lieutenant General of the Ordnance. [156


much, in the construction of the celebrated
lines of Torres Vedras, near Lisbon. For
his eminent services on that occasion, he
was promised an eventual provision to the
amount of his present pension. Whilst
he held the office of secretary, he never
asked for this remuneration; but when he
retired from the office of secretary, then,
and not till then, did he receive it. Was
it unreasonable that, for such a service,
an officer of such science and merit should
be provided for? and was he wrong in
not requiring the pension which was pro-
mised him, until he retired from the situ-
ation which he filled in the office? He
must repeat, that nothing was more false,
more malignant, or more nefarious, than
to impute the stain of job to the conduct
of such an officer. He was sure the hon.
member must have been ignorant of the
real fact of the case, when he had made
his statement; and must now rejoice at
having his first impression removed.-The
hon. member had charged wasteful ex-
travagance against the board of ordnance;
and by way of economising, proposed, in
the room of the present system of the
office, that there shall be four com-
missioners, at salaries of 1,2001. a year
each, making a total of 4,8001. a year,
leaving the lieutenant-general to stand in
that case [Mr. Hume here said No."]
If not, then where was the economy-was
the lieutenant-general, or the military
assistant to receive nothing? He was at
a loss to discover in what way economy
would be promoted by substituting the
hon. member's plan; but, of this he was
sure, that the proposed change of system
would be detrimental, and entirely useless
in a practical sense. The hon. member
had favoured them with a comparison be-
tween the navy and the ordnance boards,
and had asked, whether they would con-
tent themselves with leaving only five
admiralty lords, and retaining the same
number, and better paid, for a compara-
tively smaller service. Here the hon.
member was either a great tactician, or
else he evinced what, without meaning
any reflection upon him, he might be per-
mitted to call a sort of ignorant honesty -
a defect of information which was almost
culpable in such a quarter. Was the hon.
member really serious, when he said, that
five lords managed the whole business of
the admiralty ? Had he never heard of
the ten con missioners of the navy? Had
he never heard of the commissioners for the
victualling board ? Had he never heard


of the paymasters of the navy? Had he
never heard of the commissioners for the
outports ? [Hear, hear!] Did the lords of
the admiralty audit their own accounts?
Did they make contracts for their branch
of service? Were they their own manu-
facturers ? Were they casters of guns,
manufacturers of powder, &c. ? All
these duties the ordnance department
had taken upon itself; and yet the hon.
member had suppressed all the labour
which such duties imposed, and had
apparently done so for the sake of a
ridiculous species of plausibility in his
speech. He ought to have known these
things; and, knowing them, ought not to
have suppressed them. If he did not
know them, where was his great informa-
tion with regard to the departments which
he sought to re-model ? With respect to
the remuneration of the lords of the ad-
miralty, it had always been the opinion of
Mr. Pitt, that they were inadequately
paid; but his observation was, that the
remuneration did not consist of a money
price; they had, he said, an office of high
honour, and were ultimately appointed to
naval commands of rank and profit. To
such ultimate preferments the members
of the board of ordnance could not pre-
tend; and there was certainly some con-
Ssideration to be allowed for that difference
between the two services. The hon.
member had said, that the clerks in the
ordnance department received a con-
siderable increase of salary since 1796.
For his part, he could assure the hon.
member of his gratitude, if he could
prove the fact in his own case. But he
was sorry to say, that, so far from his
salary having been increased since 1796,
it was exactly 3001. less than that which
had been received by his predecessor,
although he had to transact ten times the
business. That, in the returns, there was
an increase of some of the salaries was a
fact; but that increase was chiefly given
in lieu of fees, to which certain clerks were
previously entitled. He had omitted to
state, when he alluded to the great in-
crease of the ordnance department since
1796, that they had all the Irish ordnance
business to manage.-He thought he had
now demonstrated, that the lion. member
had garbled the report of the commis-
sioners; that the commissioners them-
selves were not borne out by the evidence
in the committee; and that the business
of the office had considerably increased,
by late reductions in other departments,


155] HOUSE OF COMMONS,






157] Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.


and transfers which had been made to the
ordnance. And having demonstrated
this, he thought he had laid sufficient
ground for the rejection of the motion,
Before he sat down, he wished also to say,
that since the making of the report, in
1811, a considerable increase of labour
had been thrown upon his department.
Indeed, the hon. member himself had, for
the last two or three years, been con-
stantly calling upon the House to reduce
this department and the other, and con-
sign the business of them to the board of
ordnance; and now, after having suc-
ceeded in many of these transfers, he
wanted to paralyze the effect of them, by
reducing the establishment to a state of
insufficiency for the performance of its
duties. At one time, his object was to
throw a great additional burthen upon
the office; and at another, to take away
the strength by which alone it could be
supported. The reduction of the bar-
rack-masters in Ireland had thrown a
great additional business upon the de-
partment, without the smallest additional
pay, whilst it at the same time effected a
great saving for the public: it saved the
salary of the barrack-comptroller, which
was 1,5001. a-year, and his deputy 1,0001.
And yet, after this weight of additional
duty thrown upon the board of ordnance,
the hon. member had the grace to come
down to that House, and say, Now that
we have worked you hard, we will take
away one of your most efficient officers."
In the course of the last year the ord-
nance business had been considerably en-
hanced, by some regulations of the
master-general, who had made some ad-
mirable regulations, with that energy and
decision, which characterized all his
actions. Formerly, it was the practice
for the chief clerks on foreign stations to
check the issues of money or stores within
their departments, and perpetual abuses
and defalcations attended this mode of
transacting the business ; but the present
master-general removed at once, all those
foreign check clerks, and ordered, upon
pain of immediate dismissed, that the
heads of offices abroad should every
a month return accounts of their issues;
for the purpose of having them constantly
compared with the amount of the out-
goings from home, and the different uses
to which they were applied abroad. The
lieutenant-general was in the daily habit
of examining these returns as often as
was necessary, and had as auch manual


FEB.49, 1823. [158


labour as anyclerk had before endured
whilst so employed. The House, in con-
sidering the state of the board of ord-
nance, should bear in mind, that the
transfer of the barrack department to the
ordnance comprehended the business of
101 barrack stations alone in Great Bri-
tain, and was divisible into four several
heads or branches; viz. the correspond-
ing, the accomptant, the stores, and the
building. Not a single day passed with-
out the superintendance of some accounts
under one of these heads, or without the
board having to consider some plan or
estimate of the particular business be-
longing to them. The colonial business
was equally extensive and minute; as a
proof of it, he could mention, that,
amongst other colonial items before them,
at the present moment, was a plan for the
erection of an iron steeple at Trinidad,
which must go through the board of ord-
nance before it could be erected. For all
this additional duty the officers of the
board had not only not one farthing ad-
ditional pay, but had lost 10 per cent of
their salaries. He trusted that he had
said enough to convince the House that
the motion ought to be rejected.
Mr. J. Williams said, that a feeling
was abroad, that, under existing circum-
stances, the expenditure of every unneces-
sary farthing was not merely a pressure
on the nation, hut an insult upon its un-
derstanding. Yet, this was the season in
which the hon. gentleman opposite, with
so much ingenuity and apparent triumph,
had thought proper to treat with so much
jocularity a subject of this important
nature. If the hon. gentleman, in speak-
ing of the report of the commissioners,
meant to say, that the distinguished per-
sons by whom it had been prepared, were
not, in truth, competent to report upon
the ordnance establishment, why did he
not at once move that the subject should
be re-consideled ? The hon. gentleman
had said, that the commissioners had ad-
hered to the opinion of lord Chatham in
the statement which they had made as
the result of that noble lord's evidence
before them. Now he (Mr. Williams)
contended, that, with the exception of
certain generalities in that evidence,
where the noble lord had not condescended
to make any specific statements, it re-
sulted, that the noble lord's opinion on
the subject was always delivered upon the
presumption of the absence of the mas-
ter-general of the ordnance. The hon.






Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance. [160


secretary of the ordnance could hardly be
serious in requiring the House to examine
now the evidence which he had referred
to, scattered as it was over a goodly
quarto volume. It was trifling with hon.
members to ask them to embark upon an
undertaking, which would occupy them
at least until midnight. It was, he con-
tended, the hon. gentleman himself, who
had made the garbled statement of which
he complained, in asserting that the mili-
tary commissioners had come to an unfair
and unfounded statement. The ground
upon which those able persons had pressed
the abolition of this office was, that the
master-general should be confined to the
duties of his office. "Our view would
be," they reported, to confine the mas-
ter-general wholly to his official duties."
Now, this passage the hon. gentleman op-
posite had not thought proper to read,
although it contained the very princi-
ple of their recommendation. The report
went on thus: We have nothing further
to offer, unless this preliminary be
adopted, respecting the office of the
lieutenant-general." And why, had it
not been adopted? In whose hands had
the government been placed in the mean
time? Was it not for them to have
effected the measure so recommended?
Was this commission altogether a sine-
cure? If not, why had not the govern-
ment abided by their recommendation?
Where was the evidence to show any thing
like a necessity for the longer continuance
of the office in question? The motion
was founded expressly on the report of
the commissioners. The question was
simply this: the abolition of an office
which had been filled up within eight and
forty hours of the declaration of that
House, that every possible economy in
the expenses of the state ought to be most
rigidly adopted. The hon. gentleman
had said, that ministers were as anxious
as his hon. friend, that every possible re-
trenchment should be effected in the
public expenditure. To such declara-
tions he must give just that precise quan-
tity of assent which experience had taught
him to give. This was by no means the
first time that ministers had made such
plausible professions. But how was it,
that two lords of the admiralty had at
length been reduced ? Was that a volun-
tary concession on the part of ministers ?
Or as the reduction made on account of
their having been driven from a strong
hold ? Was the office of one of the post-


masters-general given up on the volun-
tary concession of ministers ? No such
thing. It was not relinquished by the
government, but on hard necessity. It
was not until the opinion of the House
was declared by an adverse majority, that
one of those offices was abolished. Such
declarations, therefore, he received with
exactly that degree of allowance which
was due to them. On the present occa-
sion, he rested not on the mere statements
of the hon. gentleman, but on the report
of the military commissioners. He trusted
that the House, looking to the same
authority, would adopt the motion.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, that al-
though he should be perfectly content to
go to the vote upon this question in the
state in which it had been left by his hon.
friend, yet having himself, upon a former
evening, been particularly called on by
the hon. member for Aberdeen, to account
for the nomination that was now the
subject of inquiry-having been, at that
time, wholly unprepared to give an
answer to the demand so made-having
since made it his business to render him-
self fully acquainted with the real facts
of the case-and having, finally, come
to a most conscientious and determined
conviction, that a falser allegation was
never made, than had been made against
the office of lieutenant-general of the
ordnance-he could not content him-
self with a silent vote on the present oc-
casion. It would be in the recollection
of the House, that the hon. gentleman
had brought forward his charge on the
former night, with almost every possible
circumstance of aggravation. It was not
only that an useless office had been
revived and continued, after a committee
appointed to inquire into the ordnance
establishment had suggested its abolition
-not only that this had taken place in
defiance of all the general principles of
economy, and of a specific recommenda-
tion of retrenchment in this particular
-but that it had been done from the
corruptest of motives, with the basest of
purposes; that it had been given, at the
instance of the government, to an indivi-
dual wholly unworthy of the appointment.
It was imputed to them, that it had been
given to this individual for the sake of
his family and parliamentary connexions.
[Cries of" No, no," from the Opposition.]
He affirmed most confidently, that the
charge went forth, on that occasion,
against the government, and against lord


159] HOUSE OF COMMONS,







161], Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.


Beresford, not only as a charge of public
malversation, but as a charge of personal
favour, influence, and corruption. Was
it nothing, then, that, for the space even
of four and twenty hours, a noble and
meritorious individual, and a govern-
ment, conscious of having done its duty,
should labour under calumny so foul, and
imputations so unfounded? He said
calumny so foul," because he contend-
ed, that that charge was completely false
in every particular. It had been already
disproved by his hon. friend, so far as
related to the office itself, and the foun-
dation upon which it stood; and, before
he sat down, if it should be necessary to
remove from any mind the impressions
which that charge might have excited to
the prejudice of the noble lord in question,
he trusted.he should be able to remove it.
-The motion of the hon. member profes-
sed to be founded on the report of the
military commissioners; but before the
hon. gentleman could call upon the House
to affirm it, he should at least have been
prepared with the document from which
the grounds of his proposition were said to
be taken. Now that motion averred, that
the commissioners of military inquiry had
reported that, in their belief, from the
information given to them, the appoint-
ment of lieutenant-general of the ordnance
was not essential to the constitution of the
board of ordnance, in time of war," &c.
Now, he (Mr. C.) maintained, that the
proposition which was here made the
ground of the vote which the hon. mem-
ber called for, was not only not in the report
alluded to, but that, if the House affirmed
it, they would affirm that which was not
true. The only passage that bore a resem-
blance to the statement he had just read,
and the one which the hon. gentleman
must have intended to refer to in his mo-
tion, was couched in different terms. It
was to this effect:-" From the informa-
tion given to us respecting the actual
performance of any distinct duties by the
lieutenant-general of the ordnance, we
incline to the opinion, that this appoint-
ment is not essential to the constitution of
the board. Our view would be, to con-
fine the master-general wholly to his offi-
cial duties. We have nothing further to
offer, unless this preliminary respecting
the office of master-general should be
* adopted." The recommendation, there-
fore, was specifically upon the understand-
ing, that the master-general should be so
confined. Notwithstanding the caution
VOL. VIII.


of the learned gentleman who had spoken
last, he must be allowed to suggest to him,
that it was in some slight degree necessary
to know the nature of the documents on
which a proposition like the present was
founded, before it could be effectually
supported; and therefore, without any
risk of going on until midnight, he would
read the remainder of the documents that
had been brought before the House. [The
right hon. gentleman then read an extract
from the report, to the effect, that lord
Moira's opinion, as to the necessity of the
office of lieutenant-general, rested on the
possible absence or illness of the master-
general; but that lord Chatham thought
it was an office essentially necessary to the
constitution of the board.] Surely, so
decided an opinion, coming from an offi-
cer who had been so long at the head of
the ordnance department, was entitled to
great credit. The report, after proceed-
ing to state the further opinions of lord
Chatham and others, observed, it was
only under these representations that it
had occurred to the commissioners, that
the office of the lieutenant-general might
be dispensed with." At the bottom of
the same page, however, having first-if
the House would believe the words of the
motion-disposed completely of this of-
fice, and recommended its abolition ;-
what did these commissioners do, but
name a specific sum, in the way of salary,
for this defunct officer Not only did
they state the compensation to be made
for the discharge of functions which they
had declared there was no necessity for
exercising, but they went on to recom-
mend the salary and emoluments which
were to be allotted for his posthumous
services. They said in their report, "Our
proposition is, that with respect to the
emoluments and salary of the lieutenant-
general of the board of ordnance," such
and such arrangements ought to be made.
The hon. gentleman had seemed to think,
that by what the commissioners had said,
in respect of the lieutenant-general of the
ordnance, it was meant to abolish an office,
whereas it seemed rather their intention to
call it by another name; for there was, in
fact, no specific proposition for diminish-
ing the board. Now, if all that the hon.
gentleman's motion intended was, that the
lieutenant-general of the ordnance should
be no longer called so, but that there
should be no diminution of the board, his
motion might, in truth, be a very rational
one; but what became of economy in the
M


REB. 19, 182.3. [162







Lieutenait-General of the Ordnance; [ 164


mean time? Where was retrenchment?
The commissioners said nothing about a
reduction of the board, in point of num-
ber;. but they said that this officer should
not be called lieutenant-general. But the
hon. gentleman himself would doubtless
see, that the whole of this recommendation
proceeded on the persuasion, that a great
change might take place in the office of
the master-general himself. The learned
gentleman had asked, why had not the
suggested change taken place with re-
spect to this office of lieutenant-general?
Why, if the learned gentleman meant to
frame upon that any question to be dis-
cussed in that House, the motion should
have been to alter the constitution of the
board of ordnance." The commissioners
reported that, the office of lieutenant-
general of the ordnance should be abolish-
ed, "if" a certain change should take
place in the office of the master-general.
Let it be admitted, that it had not taken
place; and that it might be a matter of
question whether such a change should
take place or no. He would still contend,
that the hon. gentleman's proposition did
not touch these matters ; although these
were precisely the things to which his
motion should have gone. What he
maintained, therefore, was, that the re-
commendation of these commissioners did
not apply, so long as the master-general
of the ordnance continued to be the sort
of officer he now was, and had been, from
the first institution of his office.-To come
to the question, whether the office of lieu-
tenant-general should be filled, as it for-
merly had been, or by another sort of
person? Hitherto, it had always been
filled by one of the most eminent military
men in the country ; and one whose high
situation in public life, and whose services
to the state, had necessarily called him to
a share in the functions of the govern-,
ment, the councils of the sovereign, or
great military commands. The hon. gen-
tleman might think that this was wrong;
but, if so, it was for the honourable gen-
tleman to address the House upon the
subject specially. As the case stood, it
was obvious that it was only the change
contemplated in the office of master-ge-
neral which had produced the recommen-
dation from the commissioners in respect
to the lieutenant-general. But the mas-
ter-general, holding the high offices that
he held, and being liable to be called
away on other public appointments, it was
admitted, both by lord Moira and earl


Chatham, that the lieutenant-general must
be the great officer whom it was usual to
nominate to that situation, in order pro-
perly to supply the place of the master-
general, when he might happen to be
called away. He did not think there was
any thing in our past history, that should
induce parliament to change the princi-
ple which had always been acted on, in
the nomination of master-general of the
ordnance. The great Marlborough, who,
while he was master-general, achieved the
victory of Blenheim, formed no exception;
nor did he think that the living example
of the duke of Wellington, whose tran-
scendent talents had acquired for him that
commanding situation which he occupied
in the councils of Europe, would make
the House the less think that the master-
general of the ordnance should merge in
the mere discharge of the duties of the
office, those great qualities which might be
so essentially useful to his country. He did
think it would be found, upon inquiry,
that every succeeding age had not been
under a mistake; that light had not now
dawned on parliament for the first time;
but that experience had confirmed the
rule, that the post of master-general ought
to be filled by the most eminent military
man in the kingdom. If the House granted
this, then, in effect, they said, that the
recommendation of the military commis-
sioners was not with, but against the hon.
member on this occasion.-Again, upon
the fact of the office of master-general re-
maining what it now was, the House had
the distinct admission of these commis-
sioners themselves, that the office of the
lieutenant-general must stand on pre-
cisely the footing that it now did. But if,
notwithstanding all this, it could be shown,
that, in the recent filling up of this office,
there had been any thing like a corrupt
motive, that alone would be ground to
justify parliament, in carrying their com-
plaints to the foot of the throne. It re-
mained, then, that they should see how
this question really stood: and he would
assure the hon. gentleman, that of all the
feelings that he could excite in his (Mr.
Canning's) mind, by carrying this motion,
or obtaining for it the sanction of the
House, none could give him such pain as
the notion, that in relation to the appoint-
ment which had taken place, a suspicion
could enter any man's mind, that there
was any shadow of foundation for what
had been charged. It seemed, however,
that a great hesitation had been evinced in


16.1 HOUSE OF COMMONS,







J1651 Lieutenant-General of Ike Ordnarnce,


the filling up this office;-that the ap-
pointment was four months in being filled :
it was assumed, therefore, that there was,
at first, on the part of the government
some reluctance; but that, at length, the
spirit of corruption getting the better of
their feeling for the country, lord Beres-
ford was appointed-the imputed motive
being, his lordship's family influence.
The situation became vacant on the death
of its late estimable possessor. This was
on the 9th of September last, a few days
before the duke of Wellington set out for
Vienna, which was on the 17th of Sep-
tember. In that short interval, the duke,
although for a part of the time confined
by indisposition to his chamber, did see
his majesty once: and, so far from any
hesitation on the part of the duke, as to
whether he would wish to have the office
done away with, and no successor ap-
pointed, he took the liberty of recom-
mending to his majesty, not one, but three
several persons as successors to the late
lieutenant-general. His grace did so, be-
cause, being then about to leave the
country; and, not having any opportu-
nity of learning whether the first person
would accept the .office, before his depar-
ture, he thought it was necessary to name
three. And on the third of these indivi-
duals it was, that the selection ultimately
fell. The first was lord Hopetoun; the
second, lord Hill. They both refused ;
and failing lords Hopetoun and Hill, the
office reached the person who now filled
it. The duke of Wellington first com-
municated with lord Hopetoun; and it
was at Vienna that he received his lord-
ship's answer. From Vienna the duke
then wrote to lord Hill; and by the cour-
tesy of the noble person who wrote the
letter, and with the permission of the no-
ble person to whom it was addressed, he
(Mr. C.) had it now in his possession.
He begged the House, before he proceeded
to read it, to recollect the charge that had
been made against the duke of Welling-
ton-that he had been offering to these
noblemen a place without business-an
office marked for abolition, rendering no
service to the country; and nevertheless,
That he meant to make a job of it, and to
give it away to a particular individual for
family reasons. Among all the vices
which were attributed to the duke of
S Wellington, excessive hypocrisy certainly
-was not one. Yet he (Mr. C.) thought
that his hypocrisy must have been great,
Abat he must have suffered his diplomatic


functions greatly to affect the natural bias
of his character, when he wrote this letter,
in the perfect unconsciousness of its being
ever made public, addressed to his inti-
mate friend, and old companion in arms,
merely in order to make out a case for
the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, as
against the hon. gentleman. The letter
ran thus :-" My dear Hill;-You are
aware of the death of lieutenant-general
Oakes, late lieutenant-general of the ord-
nance; and it will be a great satisfaction
to me to recommend you to the king to
fill that office. I know that it will be sa-
tisfactory to his majesty. The office is
worth about 1,5001. per annum, but the
business is constant, and I am afraid will
render necessary your residence in London
during a great period of the year, prob-
ably the whole of it." In answer to this
letter lord Hill addressed one to the duke
of Wellington, dated October 21, 1822, in
which, after expressing his thanks for the
offer of the office that had been made to
him, his lordship says:-" Under all cir-
cumstances, however, I feel that I had
better decline the offer. In the first
place, I never have been accustomed to
office, and I fear I should but ill perform
the business which would be required of
me. Secondly, the constant residence in
town would not only be unpleasant to me,
but I really think the confinement, which
I have never been used to, would be very
injurious to my health."-Such was the
sinecure which had been offered to lord
Hill, and which his lordship had declined
on account of the severity of the duties !
Yes, he who had undergone the fatigues,
the hardships, the dangers of so many
campaigns, had declined to accept of this
sinecure, because the constant occupation
would be too severe for him, and because,
hardened as he was by actual service, it
would be injurious to his health. This
was the sinecure, of which .the hon. gen-
tleman had taken so just an estimate; this
was the office to which, because there were
no duties to perform, lord Beresford had
been appointed from corrupt motives, and
on account of family connexions But, so
it was. The tenour of the report of the
commissioners was violated: sentiments
were quoted which formed no one part of
that report; and lord Chatham was
charged almost with wilful perjury. But
to proceed with the appointment to the
office. Having failed in his applications
to both the noble lords mentioned, the
duke of Wellington wrote to lord Beres-


F~m. 10, 1823. 1 [IGG







Lieutenant-Geieral of the Ordnance. [168


ford from Verona. The letter ran thus:
-" Verona, Nov. 11, 1822.-My dear
Beresford ;-You are aware that the office
of lieutenant-general of the ordnance is
vacant, and I wish very much that you
would let me know if it would be agree-
able to you to fill it. You must be aware
of the respectability of the office in the
military world, and how happy I should
be to have your assistance. The value of
the office is 1,5001. per annum, and the
only drawback I know of is the constant
occupation and attendance required in
London." Thus went on this incorrigible
hypocrite; always mentioning the labo-
rious nature of the duties of the office,
and the necessity of a prolonged residence
in town; as if his letters had been written
expressly to serve a purpose, which it
could never have been in human sagacity
to foresee; namely, an answer to the mo-
tion of that evening, by affording a proof
of the laborious nature of the place, now
intendedd to be a sinecure, out of the
mouth of the duke of Wellington himself.
Then what was the House to think of this
false, foul, deliberate, and mischievous
calumny, on the best and bravest blood
in the land ? Personal merit, public cha-
racter, tried integrity, long years of faith-
ful service, must all be sacrificed, and
trampled on, and insulted, to pave the
way to the success of a motion like this.
The effect of this motion being carried
would be, that a malignant, false, and
scandalous imputation, would be cast on
all the parties concerned. The govern-
ment of the country was accused, the
duke of Wellington was accused, and the
noble lord was accused, of being parties
to the most corrupt and disgraceful trans-
actions. But, he was confident that, as
they were now put upon their trial, they
would, to the confusion of their accuser,
be acquitted by the unanimous verdict of
their country.
Mr. Hume rose to reply. He could
assure the House, it was not his intention,
in the few remarks he had to offer, to
imitate the example of the right hon.
gentleman, by putting himself in a pas-
sion. The right hon. gentleman had
talked of falsehood, and calumny, and
misrepresentation, and other epithets
which were wholly unworthy of him. Let
him not imagine, however, that he (Mr.
H.) was to be driven from his duty by
such a mode of argument. He could not
have imagined that the right hon. gentle-
man would have felt so much annoyed by


a proposition for economical reduction-
that he would have shown himself so in-
flammable-such touchstone [a laugh].
The right hon. gentleman might laugh,
but he must know what it was he meant
to have said. He denied that he had
stated what was false in the course of his
speech; but the right hon. gentleman
himself had made a false representation in
accusing him of uttering falsehoods in
support of the motion. It was false to
represent him as having accused lord
Beresford of having no claim to his situa-
tion but his family connexion. On the
contrary, he had paid him that tribute to
which he conceived his talents and brave-
ry entitled him; and he would not allow
the right hon. gentleman, or any man, to
accuse him of falsehood or misrepresenta-
tion. The right hon. gentleman might
flourish away about the glories of Blen-
heim, as connected with the mastership-
general of the ordnance; but he, if he
were disposed to flourish also, might call
back the recollection of the House to ano-
ther master-general of the ordnance, who
had figured at Walcheren. Let the right
hon. gentleman take his change out of
that if he pleased. The right hon. gentle-
man, in his eagerness to call the attention
of the House to one or two points, had
altogether omitted his argument about
the heavy expense of the office. He had
been accused of garhling. The accusa-
tion was unfounded. The garbling was
on the opposite side; and if any man
would look at the report, while he read
his motion, he would find the words were
the same. The position with which he had
set out was, that the commissioners had
recommended such a measure as that
which the present motion embraced; and
he would still contend, that it was impos-
sible to put any other construction upon
their report. With respect to lord Chat-
ham, it had been said that he had been
taken unprepared, and that no man could
be ready to answer off hand upon oath.
Was the like of this ever heard before?
But the fact was, that so far from lord
Chatham being unprepared, he had three
weeks previous notice of the intention of
the commissioners to examine him. From
the observations of the hon. gentleman
(Mr. Ward), one would have supposed
that he (Mr. H.) had made an attack on
col. Chapman. He had done no such
thing. He said, and he now repeated it,
that he had got a pension, for the purpose
of making way for another. What offence


167T HOUSsE OF ONMONScs







169] Lieuteiant-General of the Ordnand
was that to him ? He fully admitted that
col. Chapman was a most deserving offi-
cer. He concurred in all that had been
said respecting his long and efficient ser-
vices; but what was his reward for those
services ? He was turned out on a pen-
sion, small compared with the emolu-
ments of his office, to make way for a
young man who had been aide-de-camp
to the duke of Wellington, and who was
now thrust over the heads of five hundred
officers. And who was it that gave the
offence to col. Chapman-they who had
treated him thus, or the individual who
had noticed such injustice? The right
hon. gentleman had laid great stress upon
the letters which he had read; and had
observed, that they could not have been
written in anticipation of a case for the
House. He did not doubt but the letters
were as they were described; but, what
was the conclusion to be drawn from
them ? It was this-" If you accept the
office, you will have all the duties to per-
form." Or to this effect-" The situation
is at your service; for I want a proxy."
He repeated, this was in effect the case;
for, in order that the lieutenant-general
should be constantly employed, it would
be necessary that the duke of Wellington
should be continually absent. This, he
contended, was the opinion of the com-
missioners, and this must be the real
ground on which the situation was now to
be upheld. The hon. secretary to the
ordnance had dwelt upon the immense
business of that department, and had
a spoken as if he had to discharge the whole
of it. Now, he would assert, that there
was no attorney of any good practice, who
might not have consumed, in describing
the various duties he had to attend to,
even a longer time than the hon. secretary
had occupied in detailing his: but, there
was this difference between them; that
the hon. gentleman had twenty clerks to
assist him, for every one that such a per-
son as he had named could employ. To
hear the hon. gentleman talk of his va-
rious occupations, and the fatigue of bu-
siness, one would suppose that he was
acting in time of great personal danger,
* and that every duty was discharged at the
risk of his head. Did the hon. gentleman
forget that he had now three times the
number of assistants which were employed
S in the beginning of the war ?-that in one
office, where there were fourteen clerks in
1796, there werethirty-six at present ; and,
in another, where there were thirteen at


[170


the same period, there were now thirty-
one? Was all this nothing ? The hon.
gentleman rested upon our present great
expenditure-upon the increase of busi-
ness-upon the multiplication of barracks.
It was true, we had barracks spread all
over the kingdom. That was.one of his
causes of complaint. But if we had these,
we had also 150 commissariat clerks.
Was their assistance to be reckoned as
nothing? In conclusion, he repeated,
that he had no intention of disparaging
lord Beresford; but he would contend
that, whoever was appointed, the appoint-
ment was unnecessary. He would now
leave the question in the hands of the
House. Those who supported ministers
in their disposition to continue the bur-
dens of the country, would, of course,
oppose him; but those who thought that
every possible attempt should be made to
lighten those burdens, would vote with
him.
Mr. Macdonald said, that with a disposi-
tion to save every farthing that could be
spared, consistently with the efficient man-
agement of the several public departments,
he felt himself, in common with sundry
friends around him, somewhat embarrassed
by the wording of the present motion.
The motion had, it was said, for its
ground, the recommendation of a report
of the commissioners of military inquiry.
Now, before they decided upon that
ground, it would be necessary to ascertain
what was the object the commissioners
had in view in making this recommenda-
tion. It appeared to him that the recom-
mendation was a conditional one, and de-
pended upon the re-modelling of the board
of ordnance. How far such a measure
might or might not be of advantage to the
public service, he would not stop to in-
quire; but he knew that the re-modelling
had not taken place. This being so, and
having, on the one hand, a regard for
every possible saving of the public money,
as great as that of his hon. friend, and,
on the other, a disposition not to pass un-
deserved censure on the master-gefieral of
the ordnance, or on his majesty's minis-
ters, he could not vote for such a motion
without further inquiry. The commis-
sioners had examined lords Chatham and
Moira, who gave opinions not much un-
like; but the duke of Wellington might
have reasons for agreeing with, or differing
from both. With the experience which
his situation must have given him, he did
not see why the opinion of the duke should


Fas. 19; 1823.







171] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


not also be taken. He would therefore
suggest, that a committee should be ap-
pointed for the purpose of inquiring into
the office of lieutenant-general of the ord-
nance, and ascertaining whether its reduc-
tion might not be consistent with the pub-
lic service. He regretted that such a
motion should have been brought on
without such inquiry, and he was sorry
for the warmth which had been evinced
in the course of the discussion. He ad-
vised his hon. friend to withdraw his mo-
tion, for the purpose of adopting one for a
committeeof inquiry. If any other mem-
ber should be of the same opinion, he
would move, by way of amendment, "That
a Select Committee be appointed to inquire
into the duties of the Lieutenant-general
of the Ordnance, and the expediency of
abolishing that office."
Mr. Canning said, that he, for one,
could not consent to the motion being
withdrawn.
The amendment was negatived. After
which, the House divided on Mr. Hume's
motion: Ayes 73; Noes 200. Majority
against the motion, 127.
List of the Minority.


Allan, J. H.
Althorp, vise.
Astell, W.
Baring, H.
Barratt, S. M.
Benyon, B.
Bernal, R.
Birch, J.
Boughey, sir J.
Bright, H.
Byng, G.
Calvert, C.
Chaloner, R.
Creevey, T.
Curwen, J. C.
Cradock, S.
Davies, T. H.
Denison, W. J.
Denman, T.
Duncannon, vise.
Dundas, C.
Ebrington, vise.
Ellice, E.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Fitzgerald, lord W.
Glenorchy, vise.
Grattan, J.
Guise, sir W.
Haldimand, W.
Hamilton, lord A.
Herod, sir R.
Hobhouse, J. C.
Horiywood, W. P.
Hurst, R.
Hutchinson, hon. C. H.


James, W.
Jervoise, G. P.
Lemont sir W.
Lewis, W.
Maberly, J.
Maberly, W. L;
Mahon, hon. S.
Marjoribanks, S.
Martin, J.
Maxwell, J.
Milton, vise.
Monck, J. B.
Nugent, lord
Palmer, C. F.
Pelham, hon. C. A.
Pelham, J. C.
Pym, F.
Ramsbottom, John
Ricardo, D.
Rickford, W.
Roberts, A. W.
Robarts, G. J.
Robinson, sir G.
Rowley, sir W.
Sefton, earl
Smith, J.
Smith, G.
Smith, hon. R.
Stanley, lord
Tynte, C. K.
Webbe, E.
Wells, J.
Whitbread, S. C.
Williams, J.
Wilson, sir R.


Winnington, sir T.
Wood, M.
Wyvil, M.
Wigram, W.


TELLERS.
Bennet, hon. H, G.
Hume, Jos.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 20.
RIGH'r OF VOTING.]-Lord J. Russell
said, that if he were not aware that oppo-
sition was likely to be made to the motion
of which he had given notice, he should
not have troubled the House with a single
observation in support of it. He was
about to move for a plain arithmetical
statement, of the number of voters who
returned members to the several cities
and boroughs, and the right of voting as
it was usually exercised in those cities
and boroughs. To such a motion he
should not have conceived that any ob-
jection could be made. Understanding,
however, that it was to be opposed, he
should state shortly the grounds and pre-
cedents upon which he was entitled to
call for such a return. A remarkable fa-
cility had been afforded of late years, on
the other side of the House, in granting
papers and documents which were calcu-
lated to afford information on any subject
which was brought under its consideration.
He would mention one or two instances
of recent occurrence which were directly
in point. His noble friend (lord A.
Hamilton), who had shown so laudable
though so fruitless a zeal, for the reform
of the representation in Scotland, had a
short time ago movedcfor a return of the
number of freeholders who returned the
county members of Scotland. His no-
ble friend had obtained that paper, by
which itappeared, that the county members
of Scotland were returned on an average
by 70 or 80 constituents. No longer ago
than last night, his noble friend had obtain-
ed another return, showing the actual con-
dition of the royal burghs of Scotland.
Why, then, was he to be treated with
less courtesy than his noble friend ? Why
was a return to be denied to him which
was necessary for the consideration of the
great question of reform ? In the other
house of parliament a committee had
been appointed, in 1815, to search for
records and documents relative to all
matters touching the dignity of peers of
the realm. The House of Lords had no
fear for the investigation of the origin of
their dignity, and accordingly a report
came forth, under the auspices of lord


ILord John Rucssell's Motion


1172







173] respecting the Right of Voting.
Redesdale, remarkable for its length, the
industry of its research, and for every
merit-but that of accuracy. There were
other precedents which he might mention
in support of the present motion. His
hon. friend, the member for Shrewsbury,
had, under the advice of the Chair, moved
for a committee to inquirewhat members
of that House held places and pensions;
and a return had been made, showing the
number of members, and the places and
offices which they held. He could not
conceive why a committee to examine into
the number of voters and the right of
voting in the several cities and boroughs
might not proceed exactly in the same way.
If.it were objected, that there would be
difficulty in obtaining such a return, be-
cause the returning officer might not know
the exact number of voters, nor be able to
determine precisely the right of voting;
he answered, that the committee would
be satisfied with such a general return as
would enable them to form a tolerably
accurate judgment on the subject. It
should be recollected, that returns had
been made to the committee on education
from the clergyman of every parish in the
kingdom, stating the number of places of
education. If hon. members who opposed
reform, on the ground that the House, as
at present constituted, performed all its
functions, refused the present motion in
order to conceal the actual state of the
representation, they would abandon the
ground which they had originally taken.
Nor would the refusal of this return be of
any avail, unless they could also conceal
many other notorious circumstances which
injured the reputation of that House.
Could they conceal, for instance, a cir-
cumstance which took place last summer
in a borough of the county of Cornwall,
where, at a meeting of the municipality, a
letter was read from a noble lord, in which
he declined continuing to be patron of the
borough ? The common report was, that
he was disgusted with the borough, in
consequence of the frequent applications
for patronage with which he was impor-
tuned by his dependent burgesses. This,
however, was not the most interesting
* feature of this constitutional transaction.
What would the House think, if, after the
the reading of the noble lord's letter, a
member of that House proposed to this
S corporation-to this assembly of freemen
-another noble lord to officiate as their
patron; a noble lord, too, who had no
property within a hundred miles of the


FEB. 20, 1823. [114
borough, and with whom they had no
natural connection ? When such things
as these were perfectly notorious, it was
surely not too much to hope, that every
independent member of that House,
whether favourable or adverse to the
principle of parliamentary reform, would
support a motion, which merely went
to ascertain the number of voters in
the cities and boroughs, and the grounds
upon which they held and ascertained
their franchise. The objectof that return
was only to show what right of voting
prevailed, and what was the number of
constituents who returned members to
that House; so that when the main ques-
tion of reform should come to be considered,
every hon. gentleman might be able to say,
such and such is the state of the ques-
tion, and upon such ground do I advocate
or oppose reform." Every independent
member, who would not have it thought
the House was afraid that the manner in
which it was constituted, and that the
grounds upon which the authority of re-
turning members to it rested, should be
made public, would, he was sure, support
him. He therefore moved, That a
Select Committee be appointed to inquire
into and report to the House, the right
of Voting, at present exercised, and the
number of persons entitled to vote, in every
City and Borough of England and Wales,
sending members to parliament."
Mr. Secretary Canning said, he had
not refused to communicate to the noble
lord whatever information might be
necessary for the fair, candid, and dis-
passionate meeting of the great question
of parliamentary reform, which the noble
lord had brought before the House for
several years, and of which he had given
a notice for the present session. In the
remarks which he should take the liberty
of making upon the speech and motion
of the noble lord, he should not be drawn
into the larger question, but would con-
fine himself to the specific motion before
the House. Before he came to state the
objections which he had to the motion
itself, he could not help remarking that,
if the present motion were carried, it
would go to prejudice the people, with
regard to what hetrusted was the feeling,
and would be the decision of the House,
upon that great question. Undoubtedly,
it would be agreed, that the carrying of
the present motion, without opposition,
would give a false impression to the
public, on the subject of the great







175] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
question of reform: it would either lead
them to believe, that there had been a
progress in the House upon that question,
which no vote of the House had sanc-
tioned, or that there was a disposition to
adopt changes, which the noble lord
himself had not contemplated, and for
which he would not contend. It would
bias the judgment of the people in a way
which was quite unfounded; and in
consequence of that, a difficulty would
be felt in meeting the greater question,
with that calmness which its importance
deserved. It had been' described as a
very slight measure; but it would have
an influence which would draw con-
sequences far beyond those which the
noble lord anticipated. But he must
object to the motion, not merely on
account of the undue and unfair influence
that it would have upon the question of
reform; he must object to it upon its
own grounds. The noble lord had said,
that the appointment of this committee
was a matter of course; but, instead of
that, it was one which involved the most
serious and even the most tyrannical
consequences. It was proposed to ap-
point a committee to examine the nature
of the votes, and to ascertain the number
of voters in every town. There were, in-
deed, boroughs in which, from the re-
corded votes in cases of disputed elections,
the number of electors might, with some
degree of correctness, be ascertained, and
to these that part of the consequences
which he was bound to regard as tyran-
nical did not apply. But, when there
had been no disputed election, how was
the number of voters to be found out ?
Were they to go to every borough and
examine their private records-not their
private records only, but were the. Com-
mons of England to order in the charters
of the boroughs? Was it proposed to
resort, to a measure which had not been
resorted to since the reign of James
2nd ? A stretch of inquisitorial tyranny
which had not been resorted to but in
that and the preceding reign ? Why,
if they were to call for the charters of the
bbroughs, they might next, and with as
much justice, go to private individuals
and call for the title deeds of their estates.
It ought to be borne in mind, that upon
these charters depended other rights
besides those which the noble lord would
wish to ascertain. Upon the charters de-
pended, not only the right of voting, but
property of various descriptions, such as


Lord John Russell's Motion


[176


advowsons, for instance, which were in
the gift of the corporations. Was it meant
that the committee should have the
power of calling for and inspecting the
charters of unoffending corporations ?
Were their contents to be held up to the
public, and an opportunity afforded to
every attorney, who should have little
business and much leisure, to create an
occupation for himself, in finding out the
flaws of these charters ?
Lord J. Russell said, he did not mean
to call for the production of 'the charter.
The right hon. gentleman had misunder-
stood him if he supposed that such was
the object of his motion.
Mr. Secretary Canning was at a loss,
then, to know what the noble lord really
proposed to gain by his motion. The
right was in most instances contained in
the charters; and, unless he had strangely
forgotten, when the noble lord gave
notice of his motion some nights ago, the
subject of the charters had been particu-
larly put forward. In that notice, which
he then held in his hand, the return of
the charters had been specifically men-
tioned, together with the number of
voters. If he meant, however, now to
limit the power of the committee, and
not to give them authority to inspect the
charters, how would the result of their
investigation be more satisfactory than
the information already in the possession
of the noble lord ? The noble lord had
said, he did not expect perfect accuracy
in the return: his purpose, then, was
answered by those accounts which were
now floating about the country. He
agreed that, if on a debate as to the ex-
pediency of a reform in parliament, it
had been denied that the right of election
was vested in small corporations, and
placed in the power of a limited number
of voters, the noble lord would in that
case have had a right to call for infor-
mation; but it would be in the recollec-
tion of the House, that long before the
question of reform had been under the
protection of the noble lord, for the last
thirty years, during which the debates
upon this subject, though not quite
annual, had been very frequent, there
had never been one in which the fact of
these small corporations, and the limited
number of their voters, had been con-
tested. For himself, and for all those
who had taken the same view with him-
self of this question, they always set out
with this admission. He would give the







177] respecting the Right of Voting.
noblelord Old Sarum and its two voters.
He would give him all the contents of
those popular publications to which he
had alluded; the number of the con-
stituents should be as limited as he
pleased; for his objection to the question
was founded upon none of these points.
He and those who voted with him opposed
it, because they thought that, with all
these acknowledged imperfections, the
House of Commons was still adequate to
the discharge of those functions which
had been assigned to it by the constitu-
tion-because they dreaded change more
than they desired .improvement and
because they were content with the ope-
ration of the present system. He did
not, however, wish to throw this point
into the present debate. He did not
see how, by granting the present motion,
any degree of accuracy could be arrived
at, more than was already attained. He
could not consent to the violation of a
principle, for the accomplishment of an
object in every way so little desirable.
The return which the noble lord sought
would be defective; because it would
contain no information as to the counties.
Besides, if he had the returns of the last
elections, they must he null as to all
those places where the return had been
made without opposition; they must be
null in many of the most populous places
in England, where the poll had been
suddenly closed. How could the noble
lord arrive at any just conclusion, as to
the propriety of the form of the election,
S except by the practice ? How could he
judge of the practice but by an accurate
return ? And how could the return be
made accurate, unless it was evident, that
the contest had been pushed to a total
exhaustion of voters ? For example, if
the noble lord had made his motion in
the last session, and had carried it, and
had applied its operation to Liverpool,
he would then probably have had a return
nearly correct; but if it were to be
applied now, it would seem by the return
of the last election, that the voters
amounted only to about 200. The returns
must be made either by the fact or by
* estimation. The fact he had shown was
liable to change: the estimation never
could be accurate. The noble lord must
forgive him, therefore, if he could see
S no possible benefit from granting the
returns called for. The object of some
persons who advocated the cause of reform
was to cut off all the peccant parts of
VOL. VIII.


FEB. 20, 1823. [178
the borough representation. This was
not, however, the intention of the noble
lord: he proposed to preserve one-half
of the present representation, even though
it should be made up of those degraded
parts. It was not, therefore, very appa-
rent what good could he done in the
noble lord's own view of the subject, by
exhibiting in the colours he now pro-
posed, so large a part of the representation.
No man was so absurd as to deny the
existence of close boroughs: it was ad-
mitted that corruption did exist, that
many of them were small, and the number
of voters limited. The noble lord had
the full benefit of any argument he could
ground upon these admissions. He ob-
jected to the motion, first, for the main
reason he had stated, that to grant it
would be injuriously and unnecessarily
to expose the charters of' the many
boroughs in the kingdom; secondly,
because the appointment of such a com-
mittee would have the effect of raising a
prejudice very far beyond what the
noble lord stated to be his intention;
but what, in his judgment, must be its
result; because the House, in granting it,
would mainly decide on that question
which the noble lord had concurred in
keeping out of sight; and because,
lastly, whatever benefit he could derive
from it, he already had, as far as the
concessions he had then made could
extend. He disclaimed any intention,
by his refusal to coincide with the present
motion, of throwing obstacles in the way
of the promised question. When that
question came to be discussed, he should
meet it with candour, and without any
other hostility than that which he felt to
the principle on which it was founded.
Mr. Abercromby confessed, that he had
felt a considerable degree of curiosity to
know what could possibly be the grounds
upon which the right hon. gentleman
would oppose the motion of his noble
friend ; as the information required was
so perfectly harmless, and the motion
itself was in reality so detached from all
other subjects. He had thought that
there could be no rational opposition to
it; and the result had showed him that
this opinion was correct. The right hon.
gentleman had brought forward two ob-
jections; 'one of which existed wholly in:
his imagination; and the other proceeded
upon an exaggeration, or rather, he would
say, upon a misrepresentation; uninten-
tional he was very willing to grant, but
N







179] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
still it was, if not a misrepresentation, at
least a very gross exaggeration. The
right hon. gentleman had been at some
pains to persuade his noble friend, that
the information which he sought for could
not be obtained, and that if it could be
obtained, it would not be useful; but
surely his noble friend was the best judge
of what information would best suit his
own purpose. As to the right hon. gen-
tleman's argument, that if the committee
should be granted, a belief would be ge-
nerally received, that the House was ripe
for some alteration ; if it were really so,
it would show a great predisposition in
the public mind, to believe that it was
the duty of the House to adopt such a
measure. He should like to know why
the same objection had not been made
against the motion of the noble member
for Lanark, with respect to the Scotch
burghs. He had obtained a return of all
the persons in Scotland in whom the right
of electing was vested, and yet he feared
they were no nearer parliamentary reform.
Nor did he think, if the present motion
were granted, that any great benefit
would be gained to the main question.
The case of the Scotch returns was a pre-
cedent exactly in point; and to this the
right hon. gentleman had very discreetly
omitted to allude. The House knew the
real number of the electors in every town
there. And, was it of no importance to
procure the same information with regard
to England ? Before any plan could be
prepared for carrying the measure pro-
posed by his noble friend, was it not ne-
cessary to know the numbers of the elec-
tors? Was it not necessary to know the
changes which had taken place ? Was it
not necessary to examine the new towns ?
Was it not necessary to compare the small
towns which had many representatives,
with the large ones which had none?
Would any one presume to say, that such
information would be of no use ? The
noble lord thought, and he agreed with
him in thinking, that it would have a very
considerable effect, although they cer-
tainly were not prepared to believe, that
it would make the House with one con-
sent vote for the question of reform. The
right hon. gentleman had described the
committee as if it was intended that it
should sit in judgment upon the charters
of all the boroughs, and not satisfied with
their own prying, employ others in the
work of picking holes in them. Now, the
fact was, that there would be no such


Lord John Russell's Motion


thing. It was easy to show how the in-
formation could be obtained without any
of that prying and picking of holes, which
seemed so terrible to the right hon. gen-
tleman. There were in every town re-
turning officers, of whom the information
could be obtained. The motion, there-
fore, could do no harm to the charters.
The rights of the boroughs, their privi-
leges, however private, and however frail,
could not be in the least injured; and to
say that they would, was an exaggeration
without the slightest foundation in reason.
Even where the boroughs were the most
numerous, there could be small difficulty
in ascertaining the number of the electors.
Take Cornwall for instance. The num-
bers in each borough might be from 15 to
120, In Liverpool, the persons who were
recently the right hon. gentleman's own
electors, could, though more numerous,
be easily ascertained. They were the
freemen; and in every case where the
freemen were the electors, there could be
no difficulty. The only instances in
which difficulty could occur, would be in
some of the large potwalloping boroughs;.
and there the greatest number that had
voted at any one election could be ascer-
tained, and would be sufficient. There
was not, therefore, even a shadow of
doubt as to the obtaining of the informa-
tion; nor was there the least appearance
of danger to the boroughs. The whole of
the objections were therefore either mere
chimeras or violent exaggerations. The
question was a plain one, and the answer
might be the same. After all, it was a
matter of small moment, whether the
motion was granted or refused. Good
would result from- the agitation of the
question; and by having obtained the
sentiments of ministers upon it, his noble
friend would have attained his object.
More good would, indeed, be done by the
refusal, than by the compliance. The
reason of the refusal would be so plain,
that no man in the country could mistake
it. They would look at the proposition
and at the result; and they would put
this plain question-" What could induce
the House of Commons to refuse such a
request ?" What, but that the House
was afraid to make even one concession to
the advocates of parliamentary reform ?-
afraid to sanction the granting of a com-
mittee, which might find out how very
defective and how very rotten the repre-
sentation of the boroughs was? There
was, as the right hon. gentleman had said,


[180







181 ] respecting the Right of Voting.
a predisposition, on the part of the peo-
pie, to this question; and he was sure
that nothing could tend more to encourage
that feeling, than the refusal to grant the
present motion.
Mr. Secretary Peel thought that n6ne
of the objections of his right hon. friend
had been removed. The hon. and learned
gentleman had said, that these objections
were visionary, inapplicable, and founded
on exaggeration; but this he would deny.
The hon. and learned gentleman had
begun by throwing aside the general ob-
jection to the motion, and saying, that the
noble mover was the judge of what in-
formation was best for his purpose; but,
would any one say, that information which
was to be afforded by that House, should
be framed to answer the private purposes
of any member? If the object of the
noble lord were obtained, it might be pro-
ductive of the most serious consequences.
The object was to expose the deformity of
the boroughs; but, if the noble lord
meant, in his plan of reform, to retain the
whole, or a part of these boroughs, he
would ask if the exposure was prudent ?
The hon. and learned gentleman had
denied, that any part of the noble mover's
object was to expose the charters of the
towns. Why, then, could not the infor-
mation in that case be procured without
the intervention of a committee ? Did he
not propose to follow this up by a power
in. the committee to examine persons,
papers, and records ? How was it possi-
ble to limit a question which was in its
nature so sweeping? Why, under a
committee possessing such ample powers,
might not the charters be produced and
exposed ? The charters of private per-
sons were exposed only in cases of litiga-
tion, and those of the boroughs should be
so only in cases of disputed election.
The hon. and learned gentleman had said,
that there was a precedent, in the case of
the Scottish county representation; but
in that case there was no difficulty, and
nothing to disclose. The wh.o of the
voters were enrolled in the list of free-
holders;' and the information which had
been obtained with regard to them, was
Snot obtained through the medium of a
committee. In the appointment of this
committee, therefore, there must be some
ulterior object-some other end in view.
* If this were not the case, why had the
noble lord never thought of the committee
till the present session ? The House
ought to pause, and consider, that the


FEB. 20, 1823. [182
granting of this motion would prejudice
the question of parliamentary reform.
When that question came to be discussed,
he was anxious to meet it fairly; but he
was unwilling that it should be carried by
a side-wind. If it were carried, the
country would consider that the House
was committed; and for that, as well as
for the other reasons to which he had ad-
verted, he would oppose it. Had if been
merely the information that had been re-
quired, he would not have objected to it;
but he would oppose the committee.
Lord J. Russell said, that if the gentle-
men opposite would agree to afford the
returns for which he had moved, he would
give up the committee.
Mr. Peel could not pledge himself as
to the opinion he would give upon any
motion which was not before the House;
but he would meet it on its own merits
when it was brought forward.
Mr. Creevey said, that when he had on
a former evening addressed the House on
the subject of the petition of the city of
London, he had stated, that the population
of Great Britain had increased, from the
year 1700 to the present time, from
5,000,000 to 12,000,000; and yet that,
during this enormous addition to our
people, the monopoly of the elective fran-
chise in cities and boroughs had been sta-
tionary, or had rather decreased; that, by
way of example, whilst Manchester, Shef-
field, Birmingham, and Leeds, had arrived
at that degree of wealth and consequence,
that they might justly be considered
the strength of the nation, in talent,
enterprise, and industry, 1,900 voters in
the county of Cornwall retained a mono-
poly of the elective franchise, by which
they sent to parliament as many mem-
bers as were returned by one-half of the
counties of England, and the great towns
to which he had referred returned none at
all. They had the population returns laid
before them last session; and why, he
wished to know, should there not be pro-
duced as accurate a return as could be
possibly made out of the number of voters
in each borough ? The right hon. gentle-'
man, and his right hon. colleague, who
had supported him in opposing the mo-
tion, stood forward and said,. We will
admit the number of voters in boroughs
to be as few as you please to assert."
But, was the House to be thus satisfied ?
This was the first time he had ever heard
that, because a minister of the crown
thought proper to say, 1 admit such a







183] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
,point to be fact," therefore, the House wa!
to consider his declaration as sufficient foi
.the purpose of any contemplated motion
'If any other description of return wer
asked for, what would gentlemen say, ii
the answer given by ministers was, It if
not necessary to produce it; we admit the
fact to be as you state it ?" The House
had an indisputable right to this return;
and it was the only one which could pos-
sibly put them in possession of the neces-
sary information with respect to the repre-
sentation of boroughs. There was another
reason besides that, which grew out of the
population of those boroughs and towns,
which induced him to support the motion.
That reason was, the caprice with which
the elective franchise had been granted to
different bodies. He had stated on a
former night, that from the time of Henry
8th to .the reign of James 1st, no less
than 190 members were added to the
IHoise of Commons; and 44 were added
in the time of Edward 6th, an infant, who
was nine years of age when he ascended
the throne, and only fifteen when he died.
In his opinion, they had a right to have
this return laid before them, without
bringing the different charters of the
boroughs under the consideration of a
committee as a subject of debate and liti-
gation, but merely to show in what way
various kings and princes had granted
the elective franchise to various boroughs.
They had as good a right to a return of
this description as they had to the popu-
lation return. But gentlemen were not
aware of the law which related to those
boroughs; and he called their attention
particularly to it, because he had spoken
on the subject with many well-informed
persons, who were ignorant of it, and he
was sure the country at large were still
more so. An act was passed in the first
year of Henry 5th, by which it was pro-
vided (and this, be it observed, was the
common law before the period at which
the act was introduced), that no burgess
could be elected for any city or borough,
unless he was a resident therein." This
continued to be the law until the 13th of
Elizabeth, when a bill was brought in, the
title of which was A Bill for the Validity
of Burgesses not resident." That bill,
on being introduced to the House, was
warmly opposed ; and there was a speech
upon record, delivered by a member who
was hostile to the measure, in which he
stated all the objections that could be en-
tertained against this new spirit of legisla-


Lord John Russell's Mlotion


[I41


Stion, by which it was attempted to open
r those boroughs to strangers. Amongst
other things, he said,-" I run wholly
e with the pretence of the bill, that
F boroughs decayed may be eased or re-
s lived, knowing the same honourable for
Sthe realm, and in many respects profitable
e and commodious to those who do inhabit
the countries adjacent to such decayed
towns; that it is so I will not stand to
Dissuade. How far this law may help
them, I know not. To open my mean-
ing shortly, the question is, what sort of
men are to come to this court and public
consultation in parliament; whether from
every quarter, country, and town, there
should come (as I might say) home-
dwellers, or otherwise men chosen by di-
rections, it forceth not whom ? I am
surely of mind, that neither for the good
service of her majesty, safety of our coun-
try, or standing with the liberty, which,
of right, we may challenge (being born
subjects within the realm), this scope is
to be given; or such looseness in choice
to be permitted. That they should be
the very inhabiters of the several countries
of this kingdom, who should be here in
times certain employed, doubtless it was
the true meaning of ancient kings and our
forefathers, who first began and esta-
blished this court. The old precedent of
parliament writs do teach us, that ofevery
country their own burgesses should be
elected. The statute in the first Henry
5th, for the confirmation of the old laws,
was therefore made, and not to create a
new unknown law. I mean this wholly
to no other end ; but since we deal uni-
versally for all sorts and all places-that
there be here of all sorts and all countries,
and not (seeing you list so to term it) thus
to ease them of towns and boroughs, that
they may choose at liberty whom they list.
Mischiefs and inconveniencies there may
grow by this liberty; but a mischief it
may be to me, and inconvenient also to
utter the same; I will not speak thereof
but dutifully ; neither do I see any thing
that is amiss at this present. What was
done a hundred years since; I may safely
tell, and thus it was :-A duke of this
realm wrote his letters to a city, which I
know, to this effect; whereby he did sig-
nify, that a parliament was to be sum-
moned in short time, and that, for great
causes, he was to crave aid of all his
friends; and reckoning them amongst the
rest, he wished them, of four under nomi-
nated, to choose two. The letter under







185] respecting the Right of Voting.
the duke's seal is still preserved ; but hear:
you the answer. He was written to with
due humbleness, that they were prohibited
by law, they might choose none of them.
1 will'venture a little nearer. In queen
Mary's time, a council of this realm (not
the queen's privy council) did write to a
town to choose a bishop's brother (and a
great bishop's brother it was indeed)
whom they assured to be a good Catholic
man, and willed them to choose the like
of him, some other fit man. The coun-
cil was answered with law. And if all
towns in England had done the like in
their choice, the crown had not been so
wronged, nor the realm so robbed, with
such ease at that parliament,. and truth
banished as it was. Whathath been, may
be; there is no impossibility. It will be
said I mistake, it is not meant but that
towns shall be at liberty to choose whom
they list. I say, that liberty is the loss
of liberty; for when by law they may do
what they will, they may not well deny
what shall be required. It is too truly
said, rogaudo cogit qui rogat potentior.'
Surely law is the only fortress of the in-
ferior sort of people; and contrary to the
law, the greater sort will not desire to ex-
pect any thing."-This was the way (con-
tinued Mr. Creevey) by which boroughs
were protected from the invasion of
strangers, up to a very late period. The
bill to which he had just alluded, which
was brought into the House in the 13th
of Elizabeth, for the purpose of repealing
the Ist of Henry 5th, and dispensing with
residence in burgesses, was defeated. He
knew not whether the speech from which
he had read an extract, had or had not
occasioned its ill success; but it never
went beyond a second reading and com-
mitment, nor were its provisions carried
into effect till the passing of the act of
the 14th of Geo. 3rd, cap. 58. At this
day, the residence of a burgess was no
longer necessary in the city or borough
he represented-they were all open to
strangers. Peers,who were perfect strangers
to the.county of Cornwall, for instance,
went down in the face of day to take pos-
session of boroughs, and of electors, whom
they had purchased. The respectable
and philosophical member for Bodmin
(Mr. D. Gilbert) had, he believed, lately
given possession of a number of freemen
* to a noble lord. [Hear, and laughter].
He only knew this through the news-
papers ; but the ingenious and philoso-
phical representative of Bodmin seemed


IFE. 20, 1823. [186
to admit the fact. The noble peer went
down, and took possession of his purchase,
just as another man would take posses-
sion of an estate. The market was open
to all.who chose to go there for the pur-
pose of speculating in parliamentary in-
fluence. It was now a common question,
whether this or that peer had laid in any
new investment of freemen, in this or that
particular place. When things came to
such a pass as this, it was fitting that the
wealthy and enlightened population of
those great towns, which formed the
strength of the empire, should know, not
only who possessed the elective franchise,
but who were the universal venders of
borough influence. There was no ques-
tion about charters. They would not be
affected by the proceedings of the com-
mittee. The right hon. gentleman had
asked, how such a return could be made ?
It could only be made by assembling the
electors. He saw no difficulty in laying,
before the House the dates of the different
charters, the names of the different kings
and queens under whom the elective fran-
chise was granted, and the number of
electors in each borough. This was the
only way by which the true state of the
representation could be ascertained ; and,
if this motion were refused, it must strike
every body, as had been observed by his
learned friend, that the return was with-
held, because that House was really
ashamed to expose its present state.
Lord Milton said, he merely rose for
the purpose of ascertaining precisely what
the real ground was upon which his noble
friend's motion was to be resisted. He
felt it extremely difficult to reconcile the
ground of opposition laid down by the
right hon. member for Harwich, with that
which had been adopted by the right hon.
member for Oxford. The first defended
the present borough system, on the broad
ground that it was fitting such a state of
things should exist; while.the other right
hon. gentleman took quite a different
course, and asked, Will it be prudent
to expose the defective state of the repre-
sentation ?" Now, was the motion to be
resisted on the ground of its being im-
prudent to expose those defects, or for
the reasons advanced by the right hon.
member for Harwich? That right hon.
gentleman stated, that the.'House had at
present all the information which it was
possible to collect on the subject, and
that he would have no objection to more
accurate information, if he could devise




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