• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 February, 1825
 March, 1825
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index of names - House of...
 Index to 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/UF00073533/00010
 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: VID00010
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 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 6
        Table of Contents 7
        Table of Contents 8
    February, 1825
        Page 1-2
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 3
            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
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 3
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 4
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
        House of Lords - Monday, February 9
            Page 105-106
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 10
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 11
            Page 123-124
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 135-136
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 12
            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
            Page 149-150
        House of Lords - Friday, February 13
            Page 151-152
        House of Commons - Friday, February 13
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
        House of Commons - Monday, February 16
            Page 157-158
            Page 159-160
            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
            Page 185-186
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 17
            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
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 18
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 19
            Page 223-224
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 19
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
            Page 237-238
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
            Page 247-248
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
            Page 253-254
            Page 255-256
            Page 257-258
            Page 259-260
            Page 261-262
            Page 263-264
        House of Lords - Friday, February 20
            Page 265-266
        House of Commons - Friday, February 20
            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
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
            Page 299-300
        House of Commons - Monday, February 23
            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
            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, February 24
            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
            Page 435-436
            Page 437-438
            Page 439-440
            Page 441-442
        House of Lords - Wednesday, February 25
            Page 443-444
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 25
            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
            Page 449-450
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 26
            Page 451-452
            Page 453-454
            Page 455-456
            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
            Page 461-462
            Page 463-464
            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
            Page 475-476
            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
            Page 481-482
            Page 483-484
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            Page 487-488
            Page 489-490
            Page 491-492
            Page 493-494
            Page 495-496
            Page 497-498
            Page 499-500
            Page 501-502
        House of Commons - Friday, February 27
            Page 503-504
            Page 505-506
            Page 507-508
            Page 509-510
            Page 511-512
            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
            Page 517-518
            Page 519-520
            Page 521-522
            Page 523-524
            Page 525-526
            Page 527-528
            Page 529-530
            Page 531-532
            Page 533-534
            Page 535-536
            Page 537-538
            Page 539-540
            Page 541-542
            Page 543-544
            Page 545-546
            Page 547-548
            Page 549-550
            Page 551-552
            Page 553-554
            Page 555-556
            Page 557-558
            Page 559-560
            Page 561-562
            Page 563-564
            Page 565-566
            Page 567-568
            Page 569-570
    March, 1825
        Page 571-572
        House of Commons - Monday, March 1
            Page 571-572
            Page 573-574
            Page 575-576
            Page 577-578
            Page 579-580
            Page 581-582
            Page 583-584
            Page 585-586
            Page 587-588
            Page 589-590
            Page 591-592
            Page 593-594
            Page 595-596
            Page 597-598
            Page 599-600
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
            Page 607-608
            Page 609-610
            Page 611-612
            Page 613-614
            Page 615-616
            Page 617-618
            Page 619-620
            Page 621-622
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            Page 625-626
            Page 627-628
            Page 629-630
            Page 631-632
            Page 633-634
            Page 635-636
            Page 637-638
        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 2
            Page 639-640
            Page 641-642
            Page 643-644
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 2
            Page 645-646
            Page 647-648
            Page 649-650
            Page 651-652
            Page 653-654
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            Page 665-666
            Page 667-668
            Page 669-670
            Page 671-672
            Page 673-674
            Page 675-676
            Page 677-678
            Page 679-680
            Page 681-682
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            Page 689-690
            Page 691-692
            Page 693-694
            Page 695-696
            Page 697-698
            Page 699-700
            Page 701-702
        House of Lords - Thursday, March 4
            Page 703-704
            Page 705-706
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 4
            Page 707-708
            Page 709-710
            Page 711-712
            Page 713-714
            Page 715-716
            Page 717-718
            Page 719-720
            Page 721-722
            Page 723-724
            Page 725-726
            Page 727-728
        House of Commons - Friday, March 5
            Page 729-730
            Page 731-732
            Page 733-734
            Page 735-736
            Page 737-738
            Page 739-740
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            Page 743-744
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            Page 761-762
            Page 763-764
            Page 765-766
            Page 767-768
            Page 769-770
            Page 771-772
            Page 773-774
        House of Lords - Monday, March 8
            Page 775-776
            Page 777-778
        House of Commons - Monday, March 8
            Page 779-780
            Page 781-782
            Page 783-784
            Page 785-786
            Page 787-788
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            Page 799-800
            Page 801-802
            Page 803-804
            Page 805-806
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            Page 809-810
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            Page 815-816
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            Page 819-820
            Page 821-822
            Page 823-824
            Page 825-826
            Page 827-828
        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 9
            Page 829-830
            Page 831-832
            Page 833-834
            Page 835-836
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 9
            Page 837-838
            Page 839-840
            Page 841-842
            Page 843-844
            Page 845-846
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            Page 861-862
            Page 863-864
            Page 865-866
            Page 867-868
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 10
            Page 869-870
        House of Lords - Thursday, May 11
            Page 871-872
            Page 873-874
            Page 875-876
            Page 877-878
            Page 879-880
            Page 881-882
            Page 883-884
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 11
            Page 885-886
            Page 887-888
            Page 889-890
            Page 891-892
            Page 893-894
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            Page 897-898
            Page 899-900
            Page 901-902
            Page 903-904
            Page 905-906
            Page 907-908
            Page 909-910
            Page 911-912
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            Page 927-928
            Page 929-930
            Page 931-932
            Page 933-934
        House of Lords - Friday, March 12
            Page 935-936
        House of Commons - Friday, March 12
            Page 935-936
            Page 937-938
            Page 939-940
            Page 941-942
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            Page 961-962
            Page 963-964
            Page 965-966
            Page 967-968
        House of Lords - Monday, March 15
            Page 969-970
            Page 971-972
            Page 973-974
            Page 975-976
            Page 977-978
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            Page 999-1000
            Page 1001-1002
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 15
            Page 1009-1010
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            Page 1015-1016
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            Page 1027-1028
            Page 1029-1030
            Page 1031-1032
            Page 1033-1034
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            Page 1037-1038
            Page 1039-1040
            Page 1041-1042
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 16
            Page 1045-1046
            Page 1047-1048
            Page 1049-1050
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            Page 1053-1054
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 16
            Page 1061-1062
            Page 1063-1064
            Page 1065-1066
            Page 1067-1068
            Page 1069-1070
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 17
            Page 1197-1198
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        House of Lords - Thursday, March 18
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 19
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 22
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 23
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        House of Lords - Wednesday, March 24
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        House of Lords - Thursday, March 25
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 25
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 26
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        House of Lords - Monday, March 29
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 29
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    Index to debates in the House of Lords
        Page 1489-1490
    Index to debates in the House of Commons
        Page 1489-1490
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    Index of names - House of Lords
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    Index to names - House of Commons
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Full Text




T IIE
A n l J,, ..A ^. U




PARLIAMENTARY



DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

TIE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER TIE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.




COMMENCING WITI THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



VOL. X.

COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE THIRD DAY OF FEBRUARY, .,
TO
THE TWENTY-NINTH DAY 0 Ff1iT
.. 4 v ob r -





printeb bp (X. 4. aangarb at tlte ate tit .'
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LO MAN, HURST, REES, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; 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.

1821.















TABLE OF CONTENTS


TO

VOLUME X.

NE W SERIES.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF III. KING'S SPEECHES.
LORDS. IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF V. PETITIONS.
CoMMONS. VI. LISTS.




I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

1824. Page
Feb. 3. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session.. 5
9. Recognition of the Independence of South America.......... 105
Trade of Ireland ...................................... 106
13. Sinecure Offices-King's Remembrancer .................. 151
Tread Mill ........................................... 152
19. Game Laws .......................................... 224
20. Game Laws .......................................... 266
25. Game Laws ............................... ........... 444
Mar. 2. Appeals-Hearing of .................................. 640
State of Ireland ..................................... 641
4. Abolition of Slavery .................................... 703
Recognition of the Independence of South America........... 705
Bounties on Irish Linen ................................ 706
8. South America ....................................... 776
9. Office of Clerk of Parliament ....................... .... 829
Appellate Jurisdiction ................................. 830
11. Austrian Loan Bill .................................... 871
12. Survey of Ireland ...................................... 935
15. The Marquis of Lansdown's Motion for the Recognition of the
Independence of South America ........................ 970

A- (.' ,, '
'' '2 '' .' r


i







TABLE OF CON I'LNS.

Mar. 16. Amelioration of the Condition of the Slave Population in te e
W est Indies ........................................ 1046
18. Abolition of Slavery ........... ......................... 1215
Mutiny Bill-Flogging in the Army ............... ..... 1216
24. Monopoly of Tea-East India Company ................... 1385
25. Irish Tithes ................................... ..... 1385
29. Silk Trade ........... ...... ... .................... 1446


II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Feb. 3. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 45
4. Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act...................... 86
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 86
6. Consuls .............................................. 101
Austrian Loan ...... ................................. 101
Spain- Foreign Policy ................... ....... ....... 102
Roman Catholic Burials ............................... 103
10. Imprisonment under the Vagrant, Act........... ......... 106
State of Ireland ......................................... 119
11. Bank of England Notes in Circulation ................... 123
Qualification of Jurors Bill ......... ...... ........... 124
Cattle Ill-Treatment Bill ................................ 130
Bear-Baiting ................. ........................ 131
Legacy Duties ......................................... 134
Conduct of Irish Police Officers-Case of Michael M'Can .... 137
12. Tread Mill before Trial ................................ 138
Artizans-Machinery- Combination Laws ................ 141
13. Reciprocity of Duties-Shipping Interest ................. 154,
Distraining on Growing Crops in Ireland ................. 155
Recognition of the Independence of South America.......... 157
16. Usury Laws Repeal Bill .................. ............... 157
Deputy Remembrancer of the Exchequer .................. 165
Dry Rot in Ships ..................................... 166
Navy Estimates ....................................... 167
Irish Clergy Residence Bill ............................. 183
17. Game Laws Amendment Bill ............................ 187
Lord Nugent's Motion on the Conduct of Ministers with regard
to the Neutrality betwccn France and Spain .............. 190
18. County Courts Regulation Bill-lRecovery of Small Debts .... 210
Recovery of Penalties before Magistrates ................. 212
Bankrupt Laws ..................... .................. 213
Criminal Judicature of the Isle of Man .................... 215
19. W ine D uties .......................................... 226
Bank of England-Balances of Public Money and Charge of
M management ........................................ 226
Gaol Laws Amendment Bill-Tread Mill .................. 241
Juries Laws Consolidation Bill ............................ 247
Catholic Disab;l;tisc;-Persons holding Offices in Ireland ..... 5
"0, W ool Til-P titCioiii fIr I 'pcal iof ........................ 267







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Feb. 20. Coal Duties-Petitions against .......................... 270
Army Estimates ..................................... 271
Navy Estimates ...................................... 296
23. Coal Duties-Petitions for Repeal of .................... 301
County Courts Bill-Recovery of Small Debts ............ 303
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Exposition of the Financial
Situation of the Country ............................ 304
Army Estimates ..................................... 366
24. Bear-Baiting ........... ..... ......... ............. .. 368
Tobacco Duties ................ ..................... 369
W ool Tax ................. .... .... ... ........ ....... 370
Silk Trade-Duties on Foreign Silk ...................... 371
Mr. John Williams's Motion on the Delays and Expenses in the
Court of Chancery .................................. 372
Austrian Loan Convention ............................. 437
25. Spirits Intercourse-Petition of Scotch Distillers ............. 445
Adaptation of the Coinage of the Realm to the Decimal Scale.. 445
Inquiry into the Public Revenue ....................... 449
Delays in Chancery ............................. .... .... 450
Poor-Laws........................................... 450
Weights and Measures ..... ...... .... ...... .......... ... 450
Commercial Intercourse between Great Britain and Ireland .. 451
Excise .............................................. 451
26. Olive Guelph, styling herself Princess of Cumberland ........ 452
Linen Trade-Bounty .............. ....... ........... 4152
Mr. Abercromby's Motion on the State of the Representation
of Edinburgh .................................... .. .. 455
Bear-Baiting and other Cruel Sports ...................... 486
Church Rates in Ireland ................................ 496
Austrian Loan Convention .......................... .. 497
Postage Rates-Newspapers in the Colonies-New Post Office 501
27. Conduct of Mr. Chetwynd, a Member-Case of Charles Flint.. 504
Ordnance Estimates .................................... 525
Usury Laws Repeal Bill ................................ 551
Mar. 1. Breach of Privilege-Mr. Abercromby's Complaint against the
Lord Chancellor .................................... 571
Public Buildings in Westminster-Palaces, &c............... 623
Caledonian Canal ...................................... 630
New Courts of Justice in Westminster Hall ................ 632
British M useum ... ............. ..... .................. 635
Penitentiary House at Milbank .......................... 636
2. Irish Mining Company................................. 645
Fisheries of Scotland .................................. 645
Commitments by Magistrates ............................ 646
Exportation of British W ool ............................ 650
Excise Licences ...................................... 651
Mr. Hobhouse's Motion for the Repeal of the Window Tax .. 652
4. Communications with France and Spain relative to the Spanish
American Provinces ............................... .. 708







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 4. French Pecuniary Indemnity ............................ 721
Renewal of Offices on the Demise of the Crown ............ 722
Poyais Emigration ..................................... 727
County Courts Bill ................................... 728
5. Protestant Church in Ireland-Tithe Composition ......... 729
Silk Trade........................................... 731
Exportation of Wool-Petition from Norwich against ........ 751
Recognition of the Independence of South America ........ 752
Gaol Act Amendment Bill-Tread Mill.................... 755
Mutiny Bill .......................................... 766
8. Silk-Petitions against the Importation of Manufactured .... 780
Sugar Duties .......................................... 782
Silk Trade ............................................ 800
9. Education of Catholic Poor in Ireland-Petition of Catholic
Bishops ............................................ 837
Catholic Charities ...................................... 847
Silk Trade .......................................... 849
Irish Tithes Composition Bill ........................... 851
Salary of the Clerk of the Ordnance ...................... 861
Barrack Department.................................. 861
Cattle Ill-Treatment Bill .................. ............... 865
10. Silk Trade .............................................. 869
Survey and Valuation of Ireland .......................... 870
11. Lord Althorp's Motion respecting Ribbon Men and Ribbon
Lodges ............................................ 885
Game Laws Amendment Bill ............................ 902
Welch Judicature Bill ................................. 926
Mutiny Bill-Flogging in the Army ...................... 927
12. Remission of Taxation, and Sinking Fund-Petition from West-
minster respecting ................................... 936
Irish Linen Trade-Bounties .................................. 94
Irish Bankers............................................ 944
Annual Duties Bill-Foreign Brandies .......... ...... 945
Civil Establishment of Dominica ......................... 953
Civil Establishment of Upper Canada ...................... 955
Civil Establishment of Sierra Leone ...................... 962
Settlements on the Gold Coast .......................... 962
Colonial Services ..................................... 963
Propagation of the Gospel in the Colonies.................. 964
15. Distilleries-Petition of Rectifiers to convert Rum into Gin ... 1009
Abolition of Slavery .................................... 1011
Mr. Maberly's Motion respecting the Mode of Collecting the
the Beer and Malt Duties separately .................... 1013
Mutiny Bill-Corporal Punishment in the Army ............ 1031
Irish Protestant Charter Schools ......................... 1043
16. Consolidation of the Criminal Law of England .............. 1062
Amelioration of the Condition of the Slave Population in the
West Indies ....................................... 1091
17. Petition of Henry Dundas Perrott, complaining of Ill-Treatment
from the Admiralty Board ............................ 1198







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 17. Reform of Parliament-Petition of Mr. Worgman suggesting a
Plan .............................................. 1206
Stock Purse of the Foot Guards ........................ 1209
18. Irish Linen Trade-Bounties ........................... 1216
Impressment of Seamen-Petition of G. W. Butler .......... 1220
Silk Trade London Petition against the Reduction of the
D uty ............................................ 1221
Lord John Russell's Motion respecting the Evacuation of Spain
by the French Army................................. 1232
Prisons-Select Committee on the Laws relating to.......... 1283
Public Buildings in Westminster ........................ 1283
19. Silk Trade ...... ............... .......... ...... 1285
Silk Trade Bill ....................................... 1290
Irish Miscellaneous Estimates ............................ 1293
22. Linen Bounties .. ........ ............................. 1309
Wine Duties ........................................... 1310
Silk Trade ....................... ....... ..... ........... 1312
23. Game Laws Amendment Bill ............................ 1329
Newfoundland Fisheries Bill ........................... 1331
Abolition of Slavery ................................... 1331
Alien Bill ....... .............. ........ .................. 1332
Westminster Hall-New Courts .......................... 1381
25. Recognition of the Independence of the South American States 1393
Assessed Taxes-Repeal of the .......................... 1395
Turnpike Road Bill .................................... 1397
Sir John Newport's Motion respecting Education in Ireland .. 1399
Labourers' Wages.................................... 1413
Game Laws Amendment Bill ............................ 1415
26. Wool-Petition against the Exportation of British .......... 1423
Slave Trade Piracy Bill ............................... 1424
Compensation to Officers in Courts of Justice, for losses in con-
sequence of the County Courts Bill ................... 1425
County Courts Bill ..................................... 1437
W ool Duties ......................................... 1442
29. W ool Duties ................... ............. ......... 1447
Coal Duties .......................................... 1448
Burials in Ireland Bill ................................... 1453
Milton's Manuscript......... ....................... 1465
British Museum.............. ........ ................. 1466
Education of the Poor in Ireland.......................... 1476
ADDENDUM.-Welsh Judicature Bill ...................... 1484


III. KING'S SPEECHES.

Feb. 3. KING'S SPEECH on Opening the Session ... 4 ........... 1


VOL. X.







TABLE OF CONTENTS.


IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
Page
Mar. 4. Communications with France and Spain relating to the Spanish
American Provinces ................................. 708
Mar. 16. Draught of an Order in Council for improving the Condition of
the Slaves in Trinidad ................................ 1064


V. PETITIONS.

Feb. 10. PETITION of William Lotcho, respecting his Imprisonment
under the Vagrant Act........................ 116
Mar. 2. - of the Inhabitants of St. Anne's, Westminster, for the
Repeal of the Window Tax .................... 653
9. - of Catholic Bishops and Clergy, respecting the Edu-
cation of the Catholic Poor in Ireland .......... 843
12. -- of the Inhabitants of Westminster for the Remission
of Taxes ................................ 941
17. -- --- of Mr. Worgman, suggesting a Plan for a Reform of
Parliament .......................... ...... 1207
23. - of Mr. William Cobbett against the Game Laws
Amendment Bill.............................. 1329


VI. LISTS.

Feb. 6. LIST of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Sir J. New-
port's Motion for Papers relating to Roman Catholic
Burials................................. ....... 105
17. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Lord
Nugent's Motion for Papers relating to the Conduct of
Ministers in the War between France and Spain ...... 209
18. of The Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Cur-
wen's Motion for Papers relating to the Criminal Judica-
ture of the Isle of Man ............................ 224
19. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Grat-
tan's Motion respecting Catholic Disabilities .......... 266
20. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr.
Hume's Motion against any increase of the Standing
Army ........................................ 296
26. of the Majority, and also of the Minority, in the House of
Commons, on Mr. Abercromby's Motion on the State of
the Representation of Edinburgh.................... 485
27. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for the Civil Establish-
ment of the Ordnance ........................... 535
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for the Ordnance Barrack
Department .................................. 549
Mar. 1. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Aber-
cromby's Complaint against the Lord Chancellor ...... 622







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 2. LsrT of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hob-
house's Motion for the Repeal of the Window Tax .... 702
5. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion respecting Corporal Punishment in the Army .. 776
11. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Welsh
Judicature Bill .................................. 927
12. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for Colonial Services.... 964
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, o* the Grant
for the Propagation of the Gospel in the Coldnies...... 970
15. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Ma-
berly's Motion respecting the Mode of collecting the
Beer and Malt Duties separately.................... 1030
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for prohibiting Corporal Punishment in the Army 1039
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for the Irish Protestant
Charter Schools................................. 1046
19. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for the Expense of pub-
lishing Proclamations in the Dublin Gazette and other
Newspapers ................................... 1306
23. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Alien
Bill ......................... ..... ........... 1376













Par amentaryD debates


During the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1824, in the Fifth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
'Tuesday, February 3, 1824.
THE KING'S SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SESSION.] This day the Session was
opened' by Commission. The Commis-
sioners were, the archbishop of Canter.
bury, lord chancellor Eldon, and the earls
of Westmorland, Harrowby and Shaftes-
bury. The usher of the black rod having
been ordered to require the attendance
of the House of Commons, he withdrew.
In a few minutes after, the Speaker, ac-
companied by several members, having
appeared at the bar, the Lord Chancellor
opened the Session with the following
Speech to both Houses:
*, My Lords and Gentlemen,
We are commanded by his majesty
to express to you his majesty's deep re-
gret, that, in consequence of indisposition,
he is prevented from meeting you in par-
liament upon the present occasion.
It would have been a peculiar satis-
faction to his majesty, to be enabled in
person, to congratulate you on the pros-
perous condition of the country.
Trade and commerce ate extending
themnstlves both at home and abroad.
An increasing activity pervades al-
most every branch of manufacture.
The growth of the revenue is such as
nrot only to sustain public credit, and to
prove the unimpaired productiveness of
our resourdes, but (what is yet more gra-
tfying to his majesty's feelings) to evince
VOL. X. {,,}


a diffusion of comfort among the great
body of his people.
Agriculture is recovering from the
depression under which it laboured; and,
by the steady operation of natural causes,
is gradually re-assuming the station to
which its importance entitles it, among
the great interests of the nation.
At no former period has there pre-
vailed throughout all classes of the com-
munity in this island, a more cheerful
spirit of order, or a more just sense of the
advantages which, under the blessing of
Providence, they enjoy.
In Ireland, which has for some time
past been the subject of his majesty's par-
ticular solicitude, there are many indica-
tions of amendment, and his majesty re-
lies upon your continued endeavours to
secure the welfare and happiness of that
part of the United Kingdom.
His majesty has commanded us fur-
ther to inform you, that he has every
reason to believe that the progress of our
internal prosperity and improvement will
not be disturbed by any interruption of
tranquillity abroad.
His majesty continues to receive from
the powers his allies, and generally from
all princes and states, assurances of their
earnest desire to maintain and cultivate
the relations of friendship with'his'ma-
jesty; and nothing is omitted on his ma-
jesty's hrat, ts well to preserve general
B













Par amentaryD debates


During the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1824, in the Fifth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
'Tuesday, February 3, 1824.
THE KING'S SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SESSION.] This day the Session was
opened' by Commission. The Commis-
sioners were, the archbishop of Canter.
bury, lord chancellor Eldon, and the earls
of Westmorland, Harrowby and Shaftes-
bury. The usher of the black rod having
been ordered to require the attendance
of the House of Commons, he withdrew.
In a few minutes after, the Speaker, ac-
companied by several members, having
appeared at the bar, the Lord Chancellor
opened the Session with the following
Speech to both Houses:
*, My Lords and Gentlemen,
We are commanded by his majesty
to express to you his majesty's deep re-
gret, that, in consequence of indisposition,
he is prevented from meeting you in par-
liament upon the present occasion.
It would have been a peculiar satis-
faction to his majesty, to be enabled in
person, to congratulate you on the pros-
perous condition of the country.
Trade and commerce ate extending
themnstlves both at home and abroad.
An increasing activity pervades al-
most every branch of manufacture.
The growth of the revenue is such as
nrot only to sustain public credit, and to
prove the unimpaired productiveness of
our resourdes, but (what is yet more gra-
tfying to his majesty's feelings) to evince
VOL. X. {,,}


a diffusion of comfort among the great
body of his people.
Agriculture is recovering from the
depression under which it laboured; and,
by the steady operation of natural causes,
is gradually re-assuming the station to
which its importance entitles it, among
the great interests of the nation.
At no former period has there pre-
vailed throughout all classes of the com-
munity in this island, a more cheerful
spirit of order, or a more just sense of the
advantages which, under the blessing of
Providence, they enjoy.
In Ireland, which has for some time
past been the subject of his majesty's par-
ticular solicitude, there are many indica-
tions of amendment, and his majesty re-
lies upon your continued endeavours to
secure the welfare and happiness of that
part of the United Kingdom.
His majesty has commanded us fur-
ther to inform you, that he has every
reason to believe that the progress of our
internal prosperity and improvement will
not be disturbed by any interruption of
tranquillity abroad.
His majesty continues to receive from
the powers his allies, and generally from
all princes and states, assurances of their
earnest desire to maintain and cultivate
the relations of friendship with'his'ma-
jesty; and nothing is omitted on his ma-
jesty's hrat, ts well to preserve general
B







3] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [4


peace as to remove any causes of dis-
agreement, and to draw closer the bonds
of amity between other nations and Great
Britain.
The negotiations which have been so
long carried on through his majesty's
ambassador at Constantinople, for the ar-
rangement of differences between Russia
and the Ottoman Porte are, as his majesty
flatters himself, drawing near to a favour-
able termination.
A Convention has been concluded
between his majesty and the emperor of
Austria, for the settlement of the pecu-
niary claims of the country upon the
court of Vienna.
His majesty has directed, that a copy
of this Convention shall be laid before
you, and he relies on your assistance for
the execution of some of its provisions.
Anxiously as his majesty deprecated
the commencement of the war in Spain,
he is every day more satisfied that, in the
strict neutrality which he determined to
observe in that contest (and which you
so cordially approved), he best consulted
the true interests of his people.
With respect to the provinces of
America which have declared their sepa-
ration from Spain, his majesty's conduct
has been open and consistent, and his
opinions have been at all times frankly
avowed to Spain and to other powers.
His majesty has appointed consuls to
reside at the principal ports and places of
those provinces, for the protection of the
trade of his subjects.
As to any further measures, his ma-
jesty has reserved to himself an unfettered
discretion, to be exercised as the circum-
stances of those countries, and the in-
terests of his own people, may appear to
his majesty to require.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
His majesty has directed us to inform
you that the Estimates for the year are
prepared, and shall be forthwith laid be-
fore you.
The numerous points at which, under
present circumstances, his majesty's naval
force is necessarily distributed, and the


occasion which has arisen for strengthen-
ing his.garrisons in the West Indies, have
rendered unavoidable some augmentation
of his establishments, by sea and land.
His majesty has,, however, the grati-
fication of believing, that, notwithstanding
the increase of expense incident to these
augmentations, it will still be in your
power, after providing for the services of
the year, to make arrangements, in some
parts of our system of taxation, which may
afford relief to certain important branches
of the national industry.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
His majesty has commanded us to
acquaint you, that he has not been inat-
tentive to the desire expressed by the
House of Commons in the last session of
Parliament, that means should be devised
for ameliorating the condition of the
negro slaves in the West Indies.
His majesty has directed the neces-
sary information relating to this subject
to be laid before you.
His majesty is confident that you
will afford your best attention and assist-
ance to any proposition which may be
submitted to you, for promoting the moral
improvement of the negroes, by an ex-
tended plan of religious instruction, and
by such other measures as may gradually
conduce to the same end.
But his majesty earnestly recom-
mends to you to treat this whole subject
with the calmness and discretion which it
demands.
It is a subject perplexed with diffi-
culties, which no sudden effort can disen-
tangle.
To excite exaggerated expectations
in those who are the objects of your be-
nevolence, would be as fatal to their wel-
fare as to that of their employers.
,' And his majesty assures himself you
will bear in mind, that, where the correc-
tion of a long-standing and complicated
system, in which the fortunes and the
safety of large classes of his majesty's
subjects are involved, that course of pro-
ceeding is alone likely to attain practical
good, and to avoid aggravation of evil, in







5J The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


which due regard shall be paid to consi-
derations of justice, and in which caution
shall temper zeal."
The Commons then withdrew. After
which, the Speech being again read by
the Lord Chancellor, and also by the
clerk at the table,
Earl Somers rose to move an Address
of thanks to his majesty, in answer to the
Speech from the throne. The noble earl
expressed his conviction, that every mem-
ber of the House would share with him in
the satisfaction he felt at the state of
public prosperity which prevailed on their
present meeting, as described in his ma-
jesty's Speech. The recollection of this
state of things, compared with that from
which the country had recently recovered,
must be most gratifying to their lordships'
minds. This pleasing subject of congra-
tulation was, however, accompanied by
one circumstance which all their lordships
would concur with him in deeply regret-
ting : he meant the lamented indisposition
of his majesty, which had prevented him
from opening the session in person. The
expression of their lordships' regret would
on this occasion be felt to be the more
particularly called for, when they con-
sidered the earnest terms in which the
Speech described the peculiar satisfaction
his majesty would have experienced, had
he been enabled to congratulate their
lordships in person on the prosperous
condition of the country. He was certain,
that on this topic their lordships would
not neglect to avail themselves of the op-
portunity which the address afforded, of
expressing to his majesty their sentiments
of attachment and gratitude.-He hoped
he should be excused if he now recalled
to their lordships' recollection what had
been the situation of, and the difficulty
and peril in which the country had been
placed, and if he also reminded them of
the short period which had been required,
since the conclusion of the peace, to en-
able it to recover from its embarrassments.
The country had been involved in a
tremendous conflict with a people in a
state of revolution, with a new republic
naturally of great power, but which had
acquired an immense additional force from
the proclamation of the liberty on which
it was supposed to be founded, though
that pretended liberty was boon found to
be the worst of tyrannies. Under all the
circumstances of the principles adopted
by France, and the objtinacy with which


those principles were maintained, the
struggle had been most awful, and it was
necessary to call forth all the resources
of this country to oppose it. After a few
years the whole power of this hostile state
was concentrated in the hands of one man,
who set no bounds to his ambition, and
soon showed himself to be the greatest
enemy of the liberties and rights of man-
kind that the world had ever produced.
The part of the war which came under
the conduct of this man continued for a
long period, and was carried on with such
inveterate fury on the part of the enemy,
that our very existence as a nation was
put to stake. This man, however, who,
like the Cmsars of Rome, grasped at the
whole world, and had got nearly all its-
power into his hands, was, by the spirit
and perseverance of this country, hurled
from his throne, and thus our peace and
security had been at length firmly estab-
lished. In this arduous struggle, he was
proud to say, England never succumbed.
We had, it was true, once made peace,
but it was concluded on honourable prin-
ciples, and watched over with a determi-
nation never to yield to any of the en-
croachments of the enemy. Atla.t,'when,
by the efforts of this nation, Napoleon
Buonaparte was overthrown, peace, as lie
had already said, was secured; but the
efforts which the country had made being
almost beyond her powers, left her in a
state of exhaustion. Accordingly, instead
of obtaining those comforts which peace
was usually expected to bring with it, the
sudden revulsion had produced great dis-
tress amongst the agricultural and manu-
facturing interests; in short, the whole
country might be said to have groaned
under peace. The effect of this state of
things was a very great degree of dissatis-
faction and discontent, the evils of which
had been wisely guarded against.
Now, however, a very different picture
presented itself. Our manufactures
were reviving, our commerce was flourish-
ing, and our credit had risen to a state
of unprecedented and unparalleled great-
ness. Agriculture, which, of all the great
national interests, had sustained the sever-
est shock on the return of peace, he
was happy to say was now rapidly re-
covering, He was glad to bear witness to
the correctness of what was stated in the
Speech from the throne on this subject-
that agriculture was recovering from the
depression under which it had laboured.
It had, indeed, been gradually improving


FEB. 3, 1824.







73 HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [8


for some time past; but, within a vbry
recent period, its improvement had been
singularly great. On this point, his ma-
jestys Speech certainly held out a most
encouraging prospect for the landed in.
terest, by assuring them that agricul-
ture was re-assuming the station to which
its importance entitles it among the great
interests of the nation." It had been
predicted, that the Jand would change
masters; but, notwithstanding all that
had been said on this subject, he thought
it a very great mistake to suppose, that if
the landed property of the country were
to change hands, things would go on
equally well [Hear, hear]. This was a
proposition to which he never could as-
sent. He was perfectly aware, that, in a
great commercial country, changes of
property would frequently occur. He
was among those who rejoiced that the
great feudal institutions, by which pro-
perty was tied up, and which prevented
the passing of land from one family to
another, had been done away with; but
the removal of these obstacles to the
transmission of property, was quite a
different thing from a change which would
have the effect of making the whole of
the land pass from the hands of its pre-
sent owners. This he thought would be
an alteration of a most fatal kind; for it
would be quite impossible that the persons
now engaged in agricultural labours could
feel the same happiness in a connexion
with strangers, as they now did under
landlords to whom they had been attached
from their infancy. All the accustomed
sympathy between the parties would thus
be annihilated. Such a change, too,
would be an ill return for all that the
agricultural interest had already suffered
for the benefit and salvation of the state.-
HIe had already alluded to the exertions
which had been made during the war;
and, in looking back to those exertions,
it would be found, that no interest had
done more towards securing the safety of
the country than the landed interest had
done. The noblemen and country gen-
tlemen had always been ready to act in
any military or civil capacity in which
they couldserve the state. In their capa-
city of magistrates, they executed a great
portion of'the judicial business of the
country; and they had zealously formed
themselves into military corps to resist
the threatened invasion. To there, then,
th4e statement in his majesty's Speech
must afford great consolation.


Having said thus much,* it was scarcely
necessary for him to suggest to their
lordships, that, since their situation was
now changed from the melancholy state
which they had so recently experienced,
they were particularly called upon to ac-
knowledge that his majesty's government,
under which this improvement had taken
place, must have been wisely and steadily
and ably conducted. The next topic of
his majesty's Speech to which he should
allude was one which could not fail to be
as satisfactory to all their lordships as it
was to himself. It was stated, that at
no former period had there prevailed
throughout all classes of the community
in this island, a more cheerful spirit of
order." Certainly to that spirit of order,
and to the just sense entertained by the
great body of the people of the advantages
they enjoy, this country was much in-
debted. That spirit was one great cause
of the happy result of the contest in which
the country had been engaged. He was
sorry that circumstances had existed in
the sister country, which rendered the
statement in the Speech from the throne
less applicable to it; but he was happy to
learn, that Ireland, within the last few
months, was greatly amended, both in its
condition and in its temper. He had
himself once been for some time in that
country with his regiment, and might,
therefore, pretend to have some know-
ledge of Ireland. He, therefore, would
have dwelt more upon that important sub-
ject, were he not confident that the noble
lord who, he understood, intended to
second his motion for an address, would
not fail to call their lordships' attention
to it, and would discuss it much better
than he could be expected to do. He
must observe, however, that he was happy
to hear that the measure which had been
adopted last session, relative to tithes,
had, upon the whole, done much good.
Their lordships would, with him, be-
happy to hear from his majesty's Speech,
that there was little apprehension of the
prosperity of the country being disturbed
by any interruption of tranquillity on the
continent of Europe. With respect to the
differences between Russia and the Porte,
it appeared that they were likely soon,
to terminate favourably, in consequence
of the active exertions of our ambassador
at Constantinople. Their lordships were
also informed, that a convention had been
concluded between his majesty and the
emperor of Austria, for he settlemerit of







9] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


the pecuniary claims of this country on
the court of Vienna; and that a copy of
this treaty would be laid before parlia-
ment. Thus it appeared that the atten-
tion of his majesty's government applied
itself in all directions for the advantage of
the country-a circumstance which could
not fail to be very gratifying to their lord-
ships. The next topic which occurred in
the Speech from the throne was that of
Spain. With regard to Spain, the fact
was, that this country had with great pro-
priety avoided entering into a contest in
which, had she engaged, she would have
had to be the principal. Considering the
great weakness of Spain, if England had
opposed the French invasion, she must
have sustained all the burthen of the war.
His majesty's ministers, therefore, had
acted most wisely in the caution they had
exercised. They did not feel that the in-
ternal affairs of this country were in such
a state as to warrant their involving it in
a war. But, independently of the difficult
situation of the country, what would have
been the object of such a war? Why
should England have attempted to main-
tain a constitution, of which the great
bulk of the Spanish people disapproved ?
Was it not a constitution with a nominal
king at its head-a frame of government
which could not stand? He was not con-
tending that a good republic could not
exist, but such a constitution as that of
Spain with a king at its head, was one not
likely to last. He was convinced their
lordships would agree with him in think-
ing, that his majesty's government had
done right in refusing to sacrifice the in-
terests of this country to a mere phantom.
Spain was at present in a very unhappy
state. The government had run from one
extreme to the other; but their lordships
could not accuse themselves of causing its
misfortunes. It would have been contrary
to every principle of prudence to have
plunged this country into a war for the
protection of Spain. He was, however,
no ultra, nor did he defend ultraism.
And here he -could not help remarking,
that one great cause of the evils which
afflicted Spain was the court system, by
which the nobility were discouraged from
living on their estates: and when he said
this he need not remind their lordships of
the great advantages which were to be
derived from the intimate connexion which
subsisted between the higher and the lower
orders in this country; the maintenance
of which he hoped would. never be neg-
lected.


With respect to what was stated in the
Speech on the'subject of the provinces of
South America, he trusted that the cone
duct which his majesty's government had
pursued on that delicate and important
question would meet with their lordships'
full and unanimous approbation. For the
provinces separated from Spain, every
thing had been done which ought to be
done consistent with the commercial in,
terests of this country: but further his
majesty's ministers had not as yet thought
it advisable to go; and most certainly they
were right in refraining from positively
pledging themselves to any future mea.
sure. They had appointed consuls to the
provinces which had declared their sepa-
ration from Spain; and further than thpt
it would have been wrong, under,the pre-
sent circumstances, to have gone.-Their
lordships were informed by the Speech,
that some augmentation of the land and
sea forces was intended; but that, not.
withstanding the increased expense which
would thereby be incurred, it would still
be in the power of parliament to make
some reduction of the public burthens.
One of the circumstances which called for
the intended increase was the necessity of
strengthening the garrisons in the West
Indies. The mention of that quarter of
the world, naturally led him to the last
topic in the Speech, namely, the conduct
which had been observed by the govern-
ment, on the state of negro slaves in the
colonies. This subject was one which re,
quired to be handled with great delicacy;
but with respect to it thehi lordships were
not placed in the same situation as the
other House, since they had adopted no
proceeding respecting it. The Speech
held out an intention of ameliorating the
condition of the slaves. The situation of
these unfortunate creatures was one which
their lordships must lament; but, while
every thing ought to be done for the im-
provement of the negroes, the greatest
care ought to be taken not to infringe on
the just rights of the planters; who, as
well as their lordships, were British sub-
jects, and had been encouraged by acts of
parliament to acquire this species of pro-
perty.-He was now about to conclude
but he must beg leave to recur to a topic
to which he had already alluded. If the
country had so rapidly recovered from the
state of distress into which it had fallen,
their lordships might conclude that:vth
government had conducted itself wisely.
Miniters had acted under the inAtlrice


FEB. 3, 189A5. [10







IOUSE OF LORD .The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [12


of the constitution; and the advantages
which their lordships had, in thi instance,
derived from it, afforded them E new mo-
tive for resolving to maintain t in all its
purity. They knew that it was the prin-
ciple of their legislature to improve in
every case in which improvement was re-
quisite. It was by following tl at practi-
cal course, and avoiding vain theories,
that so much benefit had been conferred
on the country. He therefo e trusted
that their lordships would alwa s remem-
ber the lesson taught by the ex ellent old
fable, and never, like the dog, lose the
substance by grasping at the shadow.--
His lordship concluded by mov ng an ad-
dress, which was, as usual, an e ho of the
Speech from the Throne.
Viscount Lorton said :-My words, it is
with extreme diffidence, but a the same
time with very sincere satisfact on, that I
rise to second the Address so a ly moved
by the noble earl. The several topics in
his majesty's most gracious speech, are
truly of an exhilarating nature, and such
as to demand our warmest gratitude.
The flourishing state of our fin nces, and
the activity so apparent in tle various
branches 9f our extensive manufactures,
and all our commercial pursuits together
with the improvement in our agricultural
concerns, are subjects of high ;onsidera-
tion, and sufficient to authorize the most
sanguine hopes and expectations, that all
the difficulties which natural3 followed
the late most arduous and successful war,
have been happily brought to a termina-
tion, and that the time has at ength ar-
rived for congratulating your lordships
and the. country upon that glorious era
which has been so impatiently I oked for.
-Thus, my lords, we see in out domestic
affairs, all that is prosperous; nd if we
take a view of our foreign relations, we
have as much reason to be satisfied. But,
my lords, these subjects havy been so
well animadverted upon by the i oble earl,
that it becomes unnecessary ar me to
occupy your lordships' time with what
must be a repetition.
However, there is one topic n his ma-
jesty's most gracious speech, w ich it may
be permitted me to say a few w rds upon,
as being more immediately coon acted with
that portion of the empire to w ich it al-
ludes. Ireland, my lords, I im; gine, has
always been considered difficu t to go-
vern; and I am aware that in s making on
the subject, some caution is requ site; but,
I trust, that in undertaking t make a


very few observations, no feeling of party
spirit will operate upon my mind; and I
would take this opportunity of exhorting
noble lords, when the affairs of Ireland are
under discussion, to preserve their under-
standings unshackled from all prejudice.
It is quite obvious, my lords, that there
are existing causes for the melancholy
state of Ireland, and that many of them
are far beyond the control of any ministers
that ever yet guided the political helm of
this great nation. The first grand evil is,
perhaps, to be found in the moral state of
the people; a people, I may here observe,
without speaking too much in the super-
lative, who are capable, from their natural
endowments, of being made a strength
and an ornament to any country: but,
my lords, this fine population does not
possess the advantages which the more
happily circumstanced peasantry on this
side of the channel have for centuries en-
joyed; and therefore great allowance
should be made for my unfortunate coun-
trymen, who have many difficulties to en-
counter. It has often struck me, how
much aware they are of their own defici-
encies and wants, and how much alive
they are to the advantages that must arise
from a liberal system of education and a
free circulation of the Scriptures; but, my
lords, this last blessing, I lament to say,
is prohibited nearly throughout Ireland;
and consequently the grossest bigotry and
most abominable superstitions prevail in
every part, paralyzing both the body and
mind, and leaving the wretched creatures
a prey to the machinations of every de-
signing man, hostile to British connexion
and the established religion of the realm.
However, upon these points, it is not
necessary to say any more at present.
Though it may be allowable here to re-
mark that the noble marquis at the head
of the Irish government, has more obsta-
cles to surmount than perhaps he ever
could have foreseen, but from which he
has never flinched; on the contrary, he
has devoted his splendid talents and his
utmost exertions to overcome them, and
I trust in the end may succeed. Your
lordships cannot be aware, I apprehend,
of the power which is brought forward to
thwart the constitutional efforts of the
government, and to pervert the under-
standings of the people. In fact, my
lords, there is to be ffound in Ireland,
what may be fairly denominated an im-.
perium in imperio, which must be got
under, before we can expect to see that







13] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


portion of the empire what it might be-
come from its natural advantages, and the
fine qualities of its inhabitants. My lords,
the population of Ireland is immense, and
generally speaking, without employment;
which tremendous evil, for tremendous it
is in its effects, is mainly to be attributed
to a want of resident landlords. The I
property annually drawn from Ireland
amounts, upon a calculation, to about two
millions, and the absentees who occasion
this enormous drain may be considered
under two heads. The one (if I may be
allowed to use the expression) legitimate,
and the other illegitimate: the first pos-
sessing large hereditary properties in
England, together with their Irish estates,
have a fair apology for non-residence, but
they should consider that they have a
duty to perform, and should therefore
make occasional visits to Ireland, and lay
out a portion of their Irish revenues in
giving employment to their poor tenants,
by a variety of works, and by the encou-
ragement of manufactures, which in the
end would materially benefit themselves
by the improvement of their estates; but,
above all, my lords, they should be
most particular in the selection of those
persons whom they appoint to the respon-
sible situation of agents, who have so much
within their power, and to whom their
employers must look for information upon
all points. By some few these matters
are attended to, and in that very small
number I feel happy in recognizing some
noble lords, who require no advice from
me; but I could wish it were in their
power to prevail upon any of their friends
who are in similar circumstances with
themselves, to act as they do. We now
come to the second description of absen-
tees, who from not possessing hereditary
properties in England have, in general, no
fair apology for deserting their country,
and should therefore be exhorted to re-
turn and lay out a part at least of their
incomes among those from whom they
derive them; thus making themselves use-
ful and of more consequence than ever
they can expect to be while resident in
a distant part of the empire, or perhaps
altogether out of it. By the way I could
here state, and I do so with very great
pleasure, that a short time previously to
my leaving Ireland, I heard of the return
of some, who had not been resident on
their estates for many years, I trust their
example may have a beneficial effect.
Having said thus much respecting our


absentees, I would here observe, that of
late much has been done for Ireland,
much is doing, but much, very much,
remains to be done; and I am free to con-
fess, that I feel the utmost confidence in
the good wishes of his majesty's ministers,
and in their anxiety for the improvement
and amelioration of Ireland; but here I
must decidedly repeat, that much is beyond
their control, and must depend upon our
being true to ourselves, and attentive to
the wants of our tenantry. My lords, it
is a most pleasing and encouraging cir-
cumstance to observe theverygeneral spirit
of inquiry which now prevails throughout
England, as to the state of Ireland, and
the best mode for effecting a radicalchange
in the habits of the people. This appears
to have been particularly excited by the
visitation which it pleased: the Almighty
to inflict upon the land in the year 1822,
and which, though at the time a most se-
vere scourge, must be considered as a
blessing, in as much as it has called forth
the philanthropic feelings of England, in
a manner never to be forgotten, and has
done more to eradicate old and inveterate
prejudices than any act of the legislature
ever could do. Indeed, my lords, were
it not for the inflammatoryspeeches of cer-
tain orators, scarcely a shadeof them would
remain. However, one lasting benefit has
arisen from this spirit of inquiry, in the
formation of several most useful institu-
tions, and among the number, I shall beg
leave to mention one, as being likely to
have much influence; it is designated,
the British and Irish Ladies Society for
improving the condition of the female
peasantry in Ireland, and is under the
patronage of two of our illustrious
princesses, and a most amiable and noble
lady, whose example I trust will stimulate,
the exertions of those ladies, who have
influence on both sides of the channel.
The principal object of this society, my
lords, is to give employment to the female
peasantry in the spinning and manufactur-
ing of flax, and in attention to personal
and domestic cleanliness and economy:
the first will much benefit our great staple
manufacture, and both together must ra-
pidly improve the condition of the poor
creatures, for whose relief this society
has been established, and who have here-
tofore been nearly, if not altogether,
neglected and more degraded in their
domestic habits, than can be imagined in
this happy land.-But, my lords, as civi.
lization, advances, this must cease, and


VgisA,3 1824.,- [14







15] HOtUS OF LOR
the women W*il hah~ their pro
in *tudety.
aniing thus, *hy l6ads, takk
cursory view of the State of ton
ih Ireland, I would agaid entreat
to meet All questions upon Iris
with candour, andstudiouslyto a
speeches any expressions that
to induce the people to imagine
*retchedness proceeds from t
herit under which they live;
truth, is not the case, but must
for nearer home, and will con
we find it out own interest, indu
of higher principles, to cherish
sentry, to place them on a leave
British fellow-subjects, and thu
them from the power of those
gues, who would urge them iht
must eventually bring destru
perdition on themselves and th
My lords; it now becomes m
apologise for having encroache
lordships' time by the intro
matter that t'ay not appear a
relevant; but I trust some all v
be made for the feelings of a
who has taken the opportuni y
upon a subject that he knows is c
misrepresented, and toofreque t
forward in the spirit of party.
SThe Marquig of Lansdown
expressing his entire concurred
cotagrtulations contained in h
from the throne -on the prosp r
of the country. It was, he b
great satisfaction to him to n
iftprovenrent had taken place i
ahti itnmierce but it was it ti
oiSd tb perceive that that i p
hi*hbeen the result of the ver
rigululti'ons which had rec n
adopted with respect to both. H
wirh the greater pleasure upon
stuit, wtich' had been dicta e
viifbe o- reason, because he a
theae *ho never desponded o t
of the-country to rescue hers f
diffifttltias, if her resources wre
dirirted, hbd her commerce rlie
niany of the absurd restraints t
ir had long laboured. He no, t
sidW With unmixedsatisfaction, t e
ofh rt rte liberal commercial ol
d'uiing its natural consequence s
prbveineht of our trade, an
the iacteane in our finincia r
Ii thh view of our situation, h
with the noble mover inthe tw -f
ot congratulation; the first, ha


S, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [ 16


et station

i a Very
te swalters
ioblelords
business
oidintheir
may tend
that their
e govern-
which, in
be looked
inue until
pendently
Sour pea-
with their
to rescue
Sdemago-
acts that
tion and
r families.
duty to
upon your
action of
altogether
rance will
Irishman,
Sto speak
:onstantly
brought

began by
ce in' the
e address
'ous state
served, a
d that an
out trade
11 greater
movement
excellent
tly been
Ie looked
these re-
d by the
is one of
he power
from her
properly
ved from
der which'
therefore,
adoption
icy, pro-
-the im-
of course
sources.
e agreed
old-cause
it the in-


crease in our sourcess proceeded froti a
remisaibn of taxation; and the second,
that it arose from a material improvement
in utr trade. On both these points lie
had frequently had occasion to deliver hit
6pliion before their lordships, and h&
no*w rejoiced that the frequent discussion
of such topics had produced that renova-
tion in circumstances which must always
be proportionate to the increased freedom
of trade. Long had the shackles under
which a great portion of our trade laboured .
been opposed in that House; and now
that many of them had been removed, and
that the others were likely to follow, it
was but justice to the individuals who
contended for their inutility to state, that
many of those who had been foremost in
supporting their continuance were not
less conspicuous for their zeal in endea-
vouring to procure a removal of the whole.
Some of those ill-founded regulations had
long existed in many branches of trade
between this country and Ireland, and
being upheld by the prejudices of those
who did not sufficiently understand their
own interest, were countenanced by his
majesty's ministers. They had long been
adopted by the noble lord opposite (Bex-
ley), while chancellor of the exchequer;
but, when last year they had been par-
tially removed by his successor in office,
petitions came from many of those per-
sons whose previous prejudices had con-
tributed to maintain them, praying for
their removal altogether. So sensible
were the parties made of the disadvantages
attending the former system-so much did
they become alive to the benefits, result-
ing from the operation of the new regh-
lations-that they were now ready with
petitions to the legislature, praying for the
total abolition of those which remained.
Upon this important subject he agreed
with the noble mover of the address, that
there was ample ground for congratula-
tion ; and he trusted that at an early period
of the session, they might become agati
the subject of their lordships' delibera-
tions. As to the other point which had
been touched upon-the remission of op-
pressive taxation-there could be but ohe
opinion. As far as the experiment had
hitherto been tried, the result was in all
cases the same-an increased consump-
tion. Every attempt of the kind went
farther to remove the error into which
some statesmen had fallen-that taxation
afforded a support to government by the
increase of cohsumnption caused by it in







173 The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEB. 3, 1894.


different branches of our commerce. In
the allusions which had been made to
these gratifying topics he fully concurred,
because he thought the matters connected
with them not uninstructive in themselves;
and because a strict attention to the prin-
ciples from which they arose would be
productive of the most important benefits
to the country. He agreed that there
was a material improvement in the con-
dition of the agricultural interest; and
(excluding that portion of it which arose
from a partial failure of the crops in some
districts) he thought it a fair subject of
congratulation, as it showed an increased
consumption and demand.
He had thus briefly adverted to the
more gratifying topics of the Speech
from the throne, which related to the state
of commerce at home; and he felt he
could not pass over those which related
to our situation as connected with foreign
powers, and-particularly with the powers
on the continent of Europe. He was
rather surprised and disappointed at the
silence of the Speech on many interesting
topics connected with our foreign rela-
tions, and at the slight allusions to others
not less important. He thought it did
not become the king's ministers, when
they deprecated the origin of the late war
in Spain, to conceal their regret-if re-
gret they felt-at the manner in which
that war had terminated. He regretted,
and he was sure the majority of the
country concurred in the regret, that his
majesty's ministers should appear so inat-
tentive to the right of free nations to
govern themselves by such laws as they
thought proper, as they had shown them-
selves on this occasion. He regretted to
see them treat so lightly a practice (for
it now unfortunately had become a prac-
tice in Europe), so subversive of the
Space of nations, as that of one state
interfering, by an armed force, to alter
the constitution of another. When he
saw last summer a nation sending forth a
numerous army to destroy, by force, a
constitution established in another, with
which it was till then at peace-when he
found that such interference had ended in
establishing a complete despotism over
the whole country-and when he found
ministers deprecating the origin of that
war, he.confessed he did not expect that
they could have passed over the result in
such courtly silence as they had observed
on the present occasion. He did expect
that they would at the least have stated,
VOL. X.


whether the military occupation of Spain
by France gave satisfaction or not. It
would not, he thought, have been unbe-
coming in the advisers of the Crown to
have put words into the mouth of the
Sovereign of a free people, expressive of
regret at the violent subversion of the
hitherto sacred principle, the right of
nations to govern themselves by a consti-
tution of their own choice-of regret,
that the country of an ally should have
been plunged into the horrors which now
reigned throughout Spain. The noble
lord who moved the address had expressed
himself unfavourable to Ultraism of any
kind; but he would ask whether Spain,
at the present moment, was not the seat
of the most disgraceful Ultraism ? Was
she not in the hands of a great military
nation whose power it was not our interest
to see thus increased ? Were these mat-
ters of such trivial import as not.to be
deemed worthy of notice in the Speech
from the throne ? He would repeat to
their lordships, that, in the present state
of Europe, when the opposition to the
great principle before mentioned was
brought to its climax, it did not become
his majesty's ministers to be silent. Let
them not think that, when the law of
Europe and of other nations, had once
been departed from-when that funda-
mental principle upon which national
freedom rested, had been violated with
impunity, matters would rest there; for it
was the character of such aggressions to
produce repeated violations, if any one of
them were suffered to be successful. Let
ministers not think that the balance of
power, as they call it, being once broken,
the state of things would be such as not
to call for their most vigilant attention.
Let their lordships look back for a short
period, and see what had been the state
of Europe, and what changes had taken
place within a few years-what had hap-
pened since the termination of that war
which had ended by the overthrow of.the
power of Buonaparte? Immediately after
that event, there came forth a declaration
from several of the great powers, that the
peace and independence of nations were
in future to be placed on the most solid
footing, by which the natural rights of
each would be respected and preserved.
But, how had that declaration been ob-
served ? Why, since then, he would ask,
had not almost the whole of Europe come
under the domination of three or four
great military powers ?-powers acting
C







191 HOUSE OF LORD
under a pretence of moderation
tice, but, in reality, exercising a
tyranny over states which they
ed to call free and independent
hear]. It was absurd to use
when it was known that those
not the power to refuse the abso
tion of those despots, or the
protect themselves from the con
of such refusal. Where was
state on the continent of Eur
had not since the period he ha
ed, come under the domination
one or other of those great
powers, by whom they might b
upon to alter, to change, or
their form of government ac c
their capricious dictation ? T
had now been carried to such
that the most unqualified interf r
entered upon without even an e :
being given beyond this-that s
the will and pleasure of the des
fering. It was seen that neith r
narchical character of the g v
of Wurtumberg, nor the m n
character of that of Bavaria, o
dependent form of the ancient
of Switzerland, could preserve h
an interference in their intern I
ment, which, if.offered to thi
would be resented as a want)r
And why an insult to us, mo e
those other countries? What d
was there between the applicant o
principle of interference to n
the other? The only different e
-that we possessed the power
ance to such interference.
then, to admit the despotic p
sought to be established by uc
ference ? Were we to be told th
was to be no law between th s
Europe but that of force-that on
might be destroyed, or its ind p
outraged, at the will of another;
there was' to be no rule by wl
weaker state was to be support ed
the aggressions of the power 1?
not he imagined that such des o
ciples ought not to affect us nl
were applied to ourselves. W
deeply interested in preserving th
of Europe; but it was utterly im
that that peace, or that the in ep
of nations, should be rest o
grounds, while such principle s
lowed to be acted upon witl in
When he saw, that, upon th
which had taken place in te


(1 Zho-Kings. Spec,4 on Opening' the session [90


and jus-
complete
ill affect-
? [Hear,
te terms,
states had
ute dicta-
neans to
equences
he small
pe which
mention-
of some
despotic
,e called
Smnodify
riding to
e system
a height,
ence was
lanation
such was
ot inter-
the mo-
'ernment
larchical
r the in-
republic
em from
govern-
country,
Insult.
Than to
difference
n of this
e or to
was this
f resist-
ere we,
principle
:h inter-
at there
states of
e nation
endence
and that
uich the
against
Let it
tic prin-
ess they
re were
e peace
possible
endence
n solid
rere al-
ipunity.
changes
political


state, of. Europe, in .consequepe. of the
assertion of this monstrous principle, mil
nisters were silent, he could not but ex.
press his regret at their apathy, and his
fears for the consequences.
He also observed with regret, that the
affairs of South America, teeming as those
affairs did with importance to the commer-
cial interest of this country, were touched
upon so very slightly.in the Speech from
the throne. The civil, political, and com.
mercial improvements which were be.
coming daily manifest in that part of the
world, were, he knew, an object of fear
and of jealousy to some of the despots
of Europe; as if no improvement were
to be allowed to creep forth, or not to be
considered as such, unless at the will of
one of the corporation of kings, who
arrogated to themselves the power of dic-
tating what they thought proper for the
rest of mankind. It was, however, a
satisfaction to find, that there was a part
of the globe where very different feelings
and principles prevailed, and were likely to
prevail still more extensively-where the
principles of free government and free
trade were beginning to be understood
and practised. He was glad to find that
his majesty's ministers had made a recom-
mendation which would tend to improve
those principles. He was not prepared
to say whether, at the present moment,
they ought to have gone further, but he
hoped they would be disposed to do so at

the proper time. When it was known
that a disposition existed in Europe to
check the rising powers.of South Ame-
rica, he thought that we ought to have
taken the step which we had now taken
at an earlier period; but still he trusted
that we should be found ready to avail
ourselves of every opportunity of in-
creasing the advantages'which' that step
was calculated to give us. But if we had;
been tardy, it was a satisfaction to find
that America had, on this occasion, taken.
that decisive step which so well became
its character and its interest. As that
important decision was of the utmost.con-
sequence to every portion of the world
where freedom was valued, he could not
grudge to the United States the glory of
having thus early thrown her shield over
those struggles for freedom, which were
so important, not merely to America her-
self, but to the whole world. This great
question should be viewed by us, not
merely with reference to its advantages
to South America, but to the British







21] The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEB. 3, 1824.


empire; and particularly as there might
exist a disposition to exclude, as much as
possible, our manufactures from the Eu-
ropean markets. Let their lordships look
to what had happened in the United States.
THerd a population of three millions had,
in the course of forty years, been increas-
ed to ten millions. In the united pro-
vinces of Spanish America, there was at
present a population of sixteen millions,
exclusive of about four millions in the
Brazils; and,' assuming the same ratio of
improvement in the course of forty years
to come, we might have an intercourse
with a population of from fifty to sixty
inilli6ns, and that, too, a population of a
consuming character; for from recent
calculations it was estimated, that each
person consumed to the value of 21. 10s.
of British manufactures annually. He
trusted, therefore, that government, view-
ing the magnitude of the relations which
might, by timely cultivation, be brought
to exist between this country and the
Spanish provinces, would neglect no op-
portunity of improving the advantages
which were now thrown open to them.
When it was now ascertained that the
South American provinces were in that
state which precluded all hope of the mo-
ther country ever regaining any power or
influence over them,, he trusted that mi-
nisters would neglect no occasion of im-
proving every circumstance calculated to
givesovast an extension to our commerce;
and thus, by serving the best interest of
their own country, they would let in that
of those upon whose freedom and pros-
perity so much depended.
There were other topics in the speech
from the throne, which could not be fully
gone into on the first day of the session,
but which he could not pass over altoge-
ther. One, which had been alluded to by
the noble mover, was the question of our
West India colonies; and a most impor-
tant one it was. Upon this topic he fully
concurred in what had been said, that a
great deal should be done, for a great
deal was required to be done, but that
as little should be said on it as possi-
ble. This was a question upon which it
was better to act than to speak. He
hoped that every thing which could be
done to relieve the negro population
would be effected. With regard to the
state of Ireland, he would freely admit
that much had been done to remove some
of the evils which oppressed that country;
but he could wish that government would


hold out a hope, that some further and
more effectual methods would be tried to
remove the evils of that country, the
roots of which, he thought, lay deeper
than was believed by many. There were
two instances in which attempts at im-
provement had been made; one was in
the forming a new police, and the other
in the collection of tithes. Upon the for-
mer, great difficulties had always occur-
red; but he thought they had not been
fully met by the late regulations. A good
deal yet remained to be done; and he had
hopes that the evils arising from the want
of an effective police would be fully met
at last. As to the tithe system, he agreed
that the late measure on that subject had
made a great approximation towards an
adjustment of the many differences to
which the system had given rise. The
measure which had been adopted as a
partial remedy had been successful in
many instances; but still there were
some important points on which it re-
quired revision. That revision would be
made, and he was satisfied that in the able
hands in which it would be placed, every
attention would be paid which its great
importance demanded. He had now
touched upon the leading topics of the
Speech from the throne. .It was not his
intention to offer ahy amendment to the
address which had been moved, though he
confessed there were some parts of the
Speech in which he could have wished
that a more liberal, frank, and explicit lan-
guage had been adopted; and particularly
with respect to South America. How-
ever, one step had been gained in the ap-
pointment of Consuls, and he trusted it
was only a prelude to measures which
would at once remove all doubt with re-
spect to the light in which we wished
those colonies to be viewed.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that after the
very able manner in which the address had
been moved by his noble friend behind
him, and seconded by his other noble
friend, he did not think he should have
been called upon to offer any observations
to their lordships upon the present occa-
sion. The noble marquis having, how-
ever, thought it right to touch upon, arid
advert to, the leading points in his ma-
jesty's Speech, he should be sorry that
the House should come to a vote, and
their lordships separate, without his offer-
ing a few observations in answer to what
had been stated. He was the more
anxious to do this lest his silence should







23] HOUSE OF LORE
for a moment be considered as
sion of the justice of the nobl
observations. Taking the first
noble marquis's speech, name
ternal state of the country, he
to find, that even the noble mz
self admitted it to be most I
Hebelieved, that, with a very
tions, there could be found in
'try but one opinion upon this I
deed, he might venture to sa
one word of exaggeration or
that at no former period did t
enjoy a more general state
happiness and prosperity than
present. This, he believed,
found to be the universal feeling
great interests of the country.
he joined the noble marquis in
his satisfaction at finding that
beneficial had been brought ab
tural causes. Their lordships
-the other House of parlia
knew-the executive govern
knew-the applications made
day, arid session after session.
from the various distresses un
the country laboured. Every
tion was given to these comp
nothing was, because nothing
done for their relief. That reli
afforded by the operation ofnatt
the* distresses of the country
tually, and he trusted perma
anoved; and he rejoiced to sa
any tampering interference of
This, he had repeatedly sta
course of former discussions,
medy, the only remedy, which
applied to the distresses under
different branches of our indus
time laboured. It had been s
noble mover of the Address,
assertion he fully concurred, tl
have been impossible for this
go through the arduous strugg
it had been engaged, both for
ovation and the preservation i
except by making efforts by
must, at one time or other, s
their lordships look to other co
every state in Europe the eff
war were more or less felt dur
tinuance; but they were mor
its close,because, though he d
teqd to compare the prosperity
of war to the prosperity in tim
though he did not mean to c
artificial with a natural,prospe
would be f oundthat the proi


S, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [24


an admis-
marquis's
part of the
y, the in-
was happy
rquis him-
rosperous.
ew excep-
the coun-
ioint. In-
y, without
inflation,
ie country
if internal
it did at
would be
of all the
And here
expressing
i result so
out by na-
well knew
meant well
nent well
day after
for relief
der which
considera-
laints, but
could be,
f was now
ral causes;
vere effec..
gently, re-
y, without
parliament .
:ed in the
ras the re-
1 could be
which the
try at that
iid by the
and in the
at it would
country to
le in which
3ur preser-
if Europe,
which we
affer. Let
entries: in
cts of the
ng its con-
C felt after
id not pre-
r in a time
of peace;
compare an
*ity; yet it
use expen-


diture of war frequently counteracted the
effects of taxation. This would appear
from the accounts which were laid upon
their lordships' table, showing the im-
mense increase in our manufacturing and
other branches of industry during the last
war. This had been found to be the case
in former wars, but in a less degree, inas-
much as former wars were conducted
upon a much more limited scale. But
when markets, which had been created
by the war, were closed by peace-when
the immense demand for our produce was,
to a certain extent, at an end, it was
the natural result that a great proportion
of property should remain on hand, and
that the parties engaged in its manufac-
ture and sale should suffer. This was the
difficulty which the several great interests
of this country had to encounter-a diffi-
culty mainly arising out of a transition
from a state of war to a state of peace.
But, there was another difficulty, and
that too a most serious one, which the
country had to encounter; he meant the
change from a paper to a metallic curren-
cy. It was not now necessary to enter
into a discussion upon the policy or im-
policy of passing the Bank Restriction
act. Whether that measure was a sound
or an unsound policy was not now the
question, though for himself he might be
allowed to say, that upon it he had never
concealed his opinion; which was, that
without such a measure Great Britain
could never have made her way through
that arduous, that glorious struggle, out
of which she had so triumphantly come.
At the same time it was always his inva-
riable opinion, that as soon as possible
after the war we ought to return to a me-
tallic currency. It would be remembered,
that certain classes in the country had de-
nied the possibility of this return: some
predicted from the measure a national
bankruptcy, and others declared that, if
carried into effect, it must strike at the
root of our national prosperity, and ren-
der necessary a change of all our social
relations, and a new adjustment of all con-
tracts. But, what had been the result? We
now enjoyed the benefits and the security
of a metallic circulation without any na-
tional bankruptcy, without any adjust-
ment of contracts, and without any vio-
lation of the rights of the national credit,
tor. We had suffered for a time from
those causes, from the exhaustion of the
war, and from a change in our currency.;
but things had now resumed their natural









course; and we had recovered our former which had no right to demand one-but
prosperity, not by temporary expedients, a concession of Spain to herself: in short,
by artificial means, or by violations of our by a compromise which might have taken
engagements, but by the natural course away the motive for invasion. The British
of events, and a strict adherence to pub- cabinet had advised this, and could do no
lic faith. We had thus learned by expe- more. He might now ask, whether the
rience, that firmness in adhering to a most zealous advocate of the constitu-
course of action which least interfered tional party which then held the reins of
with the sources of public prosperity was government, did not regret that it had
better than temporary expedients for re- not followed this advice? This view was
lief; that honesty, in states as well as in resisted by the Spaniards; and what had
individuals, was the best policy; and followed? The French army entered
that all classes of society were best served Spain, and the ease with which they ob-
by refraining from violations of the rights tained possession of the country, showed
of some for the benefit of others. He the wisdom of our having abstained from
alluded more particularly at present to interfering in the policy of a divided na-
the subject of the currency, because too tion. Could their lordships look at the
much could not be said in praise of the present state of Spain, and recollect the
wise and temperate course pursued by manner in which the French were every
parliament in effecting the change, in spite where received, and say that the constitu-
of the clamours of some, and the fears of tion-even allowing it to be a model of
others; and because, next to the deliver- perfection-had fixed its roots in the
ance of Europe, he regarded it as one of minds of any considerable body of the
the greatest efforts of legislative courage people, or that it was the object for which
and firmness. any large portion of them was disposed
The next topic to which the noble mar- to contend ? On the contrary, was it not
quis had alluded, was our foreign relations, evident, not only that the great majority,
and particularly the invasion of Spain; but a majority so great as to leave the
andhere the noblemarquisdid not concur, minority an object of surprise with us,
as he had done on the internal state of hailed the French as friends who came to
the nation, with his majesty's' ministers, overthrow that constitution? What did
Into the details of the question respecting this arise from ? Was there a country on
Spain he (lord Liverpool) would not now earth more jealous of foreigners than
enter, because in defence of the policy Spain? Was there a country on earth
pursued by this country, in reference to it, that had greater reason to resist the French
he had nothing to add to what he had than Spain ? Yet, notwithstanding this
stated last session, except that every thing jealousy of foreigners, and this dislike to
he had then said had been confirmed by Frenchmen, they hailed the French army
the course of events. He never had he- as deliverers, and thus showed that they
stated to declare that, in his opinion, hated the constitution more than either.
France had no right to invade Spain. He Would it have been wise, then, in this
had disapproved of that interference, and country to have engaged in a war to sup-
deprecated that attack-not on abstract port a form of government which was
principles of non-intervention, and the detested by the great body of the people,
right of every nation to frame its own and only supported by a very small pro-
constitution and arrange its own internal portion of the Spanish people? The no-
affairs, because he was aware that every ble marquis had 'alluded to an expression
general principle admitted of exceptions of the noble mover, and had stated, that
-but because France could make out no the Ultraism which he disliked had now
specific case which gave her any title to been established in Spain. But, by whom
interfere with the internal regulations of had that Ultraism been established ? Not
Spain. It was always his opinion,. that by the illustrious prince who commanded
Spain should have been left to herself, and the French army; for here he must say,
that the factions which were alleged to be that however much he (lord Liverpool)
agitating her, should have been allowed had at first deprecated the invasion of
to settle their differences without foreign Spain, he could not withhold his praise
intervention. At the same time he felt from that illustrious prince, whose wise,
he danger of the attack, and was desirous firm, and moderate conduct had been.
that the evil might be averted by some conspicuous during the whole campaign--
concession-not a concession to France, who, instead of encouraging Ultraism


2551 Thee Kingsi Speech on Opening: thi '&ision-


FEE'. g,'1824. [2







27] HOUSE OF LOR
dm6ng the Spaniards, had d
thing to check it; and who ga
mise, in that mission, of wha
expected of him, when he sho
the throne of his fathers [H
The Ultraism complained of w
timent of the Spaniards, and
invaders; and' he (lord L.) ha
idea df sending British bayone
people free against their will, t
slave them against their will.
He had arrived now at a top
interest-the policy pursued b
fry in regard to South America
subject the noble marquis test
gret at what he termed the res
royal speech, and wished for
formation. In a general exp
that of the speech from the t
did not know what more could
said. In explaining the w r
use of, he was prepared to I
the' utmost frankness. If h
ships remembered the various
that had taken place, and tl e
proposals that were made up
invasion of Spain by Buona a
would not require to be re ir
two courses were recommend d
respective partizans, as fit for t l
thn te pursue. The firstwas,to e
into'Spain, and to assist the 'p
expelling the invader; the sec n
live the ruler of-France to
chose in Spain, and to direct c
tr the establishment of Sout
independence. Those who d s
access in Spain, made no do b
could succeed in detaching fr mn
colotfies which she then po e
therefore pressed the prosecu i
measure as our only rational p li
however, was not the policy of h
nient; and for this, among o e
-that our efforts, however si
could not thus have terminate i
liverance of Europe. The sv
therefore drawn in Spain, nd
great exploits of his noble i
duke of Wellington) the inva er
pelled, and Europe freed fro
When the contest was brought t
ard the government of Ferdi an
ed, the state of the colonies, w ic
the continuancee of the war ha
off their allegiance, present gr
culties. We then offered ou m
riot for the purpose of rest ri
which had declared themselv s
dent, ana were determined o


>S, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [28


me every
e fair pro-
might be
ld ascend
:ai, hear].
is the sen-
not of the
Sno more
s to make
ian to en-

c of great
this coun-
On this
ed his re-
rve of the
further in-
sition like
hrone, he
have been
ds made
)eak with
eir lord.
discussions
different
n the first
rte, they
ided, that
Sby their
is country
ud troops
aniards in
d was, to
a what he
nur efforts
American
paired of
t that we
Sher the
ssed, and
n of this
cy. This,
e govern-
r reasons
successful,
n the de-
cord was
1 by the
end (the
was ex-
his yoke.
o a close,
d restor-
h during
d thrown.
great diffi-
ediation,
ng those
indepen-
maintain


that independence, but to reconcile those
that were still willing to be reconciled to
the mother country. That mediation was
rejected; but, had it been accepted in
time, Spain might have saved half her
Trans-Atlantic possessions. She hhad now
seen all her colonies separated from her,
and in the new circumstances in which
they were placed, we had proceeded
openly and frankly. The noble marquis
had said, that we had taken the first step
in acknowledging their independence by
sending consuls; and he had asked, what
further steps had been taken ? The
speech from the throne was explicit on
this head. Its object was, to announce to
the House, to the country, and to Europe,
that we were wholly unfettered by engage-
ments, either to Spain or to our allies,
and perfectly free to take that course
which our own prudence or policy might
dictate. But, while he made this expli-
cit declaration, he was free to confess,
that practical difficulties would present
themselves in our relations or intercourse
with those possessions, until Spain should
have renounced all claim to their obe-
dience, and recognized that independence
de jure which they enjoyed de facto. If
a recognition of them, therefore, could
be obtained from Spain herself, he should
think it a great object gained. This was,
however, what could not easily be -ex-
pected ; but we were not bound either by
the concession or the refusal of Spain.
It was an important fact to know, that
this government was perfectly free and
unfettered in her policy towards'South
America, whatever course it should in
future-pursue.
He came now to a topic on which the
noble marquis had not touched, and which
he hoped would be treated with temperate
care by others-he meant the state of our
West-India possessions. On this subject
he hoped their lordships would do what
was right-that they would obey the dic-
tates of duty, both in consulting the im-
provement and protection of the slave,
and the security and rights of the planter,
who had acquired property under our
laws; but that they would avoid all.angry
discussion-that they would use no intem-
perate language-that they would avoid
all topics of inflammation, not knowing
to what evils intemperate or imprudent
language might lead.
On another important point to which
the address alluded, he meant the state of
Ireland, he would not at present say much,







29'] The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEB. 3, 1.82. ,


as it was a subject which frequent oppor-
tunities would arise of discussing. He
could not, however, refrain from express-
ing the pleasure which he felt in hearing
what had been said with regard to the
improved condition of that country, by
the noble viscount who seconded the ad-
dress; every opinion from whom on that
subject was entitled to the greater weight
from the circumstance of his having been
so constant a resident there. He would
confine himself to the declaration, that the
attention of his majesty's government had
been, and would continue to be, most
anxiously directed to the means of dimi-
nishing, if not of wholly eradicating, some
of those which might be considered not
merely the most crying, but at the same
time the most practically tangible evils
with which Ireland was afflicted. He said
this, because it was well known, that some
of the evils, and of the great evils too,
under which Ireland laboured, were of
such a nature, that they were not tangible
by legislative interference, but must be in
a great measure left to the operation of
time and circumstances. Among those,
however, to which the vigilance of go-
vernment, and the wisdom of parliament,
might advantageously be applied, were
the state of education, and the state of the
police in that country. There was an-
other point of infinite importance-the
question of tithes in Ireland. It was one,
to the arrangement of which every effort
ought to be directed; bearing constantly
in mind, that church property was as much
entitled to respect as any other property,
and that any insecurity in the tenure of
church property, would naturally lead to
similar insecurity in the tenure of.every
other description of property. The mea-
sure which he had last year had the ho-
nour to introduce into that House was
founded on a most anxious consideration
of the subject, on the part of those whose
duty it was so to consider it. On intro-
ducing it, he had stated to their lordships,
that it might not produce any immediate,
or extensive effect; that it could not pos-
sibly be expected to be a perfect mea-
sure; but that he trusted it would be
found .to proceed on a sound principle.
He had contended that, when the princi-
ple came to be tried, its excellence would
manifest itself. He had now the satisfac-
tion of being enabled to inform their
lordships, that the success of the measure,
under all the difficulties aad obstacles
which it had encountered-some of a na-


tural character, and others artificially
created-had far exceeded his most san-
guine expectations. By documents which
would be submitted to their lordships, it
would appear, that, in 966 parishes "in
which endeavours had been made to, carry
that measure into effect, in 216 it had been'
completely successful; and that during
the. very few months which had elapsed
since it had received the royal assenj.
This was a result which, he owned, he did
not anticipate; and it was the more gra-
tifying, as it appeared that the measure
had been the most completely executed
in those parts of Ireland, in which the
evils which it tended to alleviate had been
the most oppressively felt. Much having
thus been already effected, there was
every reason to hope that a great deal
more would ultimately be accomplished;
and it would be for their lordships, and
for the other House of Parliament, to con-
sider what further legislative proceeding
might be beneficially adopted, in aid of
those already in operation ;,-whether
there was a prospect that the existing
measures would work their way, advanta-
geously, through Ireland; or, whether it
would be wise and expedient to give them
the assistance of others, conformably to
the spirit of the constitution, and to the
most general and enlightened views of
what would be beneficial to the country.
Lord Holland claimed the indulgence
of their lordships, for the short time he
might detain them in discussing a few of
the topics of the royal speech, to which
he felt it necessary, after what had, fallen
from the noble lords who had preceded
him, to advert. He felt it necessary.to
express his own conviction, that the ge-
neral tone, and temper, and spirit of the
address were not such, as, in the present
state of Europe, ought to be adopted.
But, their lordships would allow him to
notice, in the first place, one part of that
address in which he had the pleasureto
say he perfectly concurred ; and that was,
the portion that related to the present im,
proved state of the country. He. was
most happy and ready to acknowledged
that the internal condition of the country
was much more flourishing-than it had
been at any former period within his.re,
collection. He was ready to acknowledge
also, that this prosperity had been, in some
measure, owing to the wisdom and the
firmness of parliament; and he was willing
even to confess that, as the noble earl had
stated, it was mainly attributable to the







-31] HOUSE OF LORDS,' The King's Speeeh on Opening the Session. 032
wisdom-and firmness with which the mea- quite rooted out of the bosoms of our
'sure for the resumption of casi payments young men the passion of love, nor had
had been carried into complete effect, operated, well as he knew its extraordi-
Indeed, hefelt the more anxious to express nary powers, to intercept the rains from
this opinion, because he had been one Heaven that fertilized the globe, he re-
of those, who, when that gre t measure collected what the kingdom had suffered;
was agitated in parliament, most warmly and therefore, now that the country was
opposed it. Appalled at tte possible recovering, and enjoying a prosperity
consequences that might ens e, he cer- which he trusted in God she would long
tainly had been far from frie dly to the continue to enjoy, it was in truth a little
execution of a measure which ie did then unfair for the noble earl to call upon the
believe to be fraught with danger; and House for such a species of approbation;
which he now acknowledged to have been and to say, "Look at our works; look
thus instrumental in restoring prosperity what government have done now." It
to the kingdom. But, while he felt it was a little unfair in the noble earl, for-
proper, and but fair, to say thus much, he getting the preceding distress, to cry out,
was by no means equally prepared to co- on these manifestations of returning pros.
inside with the noble lord who iad moved perity-" Look, my lords, at the prodi.
the address, in maintaining, t at it was gious services that have been rendered
:likewise fair to give to his majesty's go- by his majesty's ministers."-It was ne-
vernment some degree of me it for the cessary, however, after these observations,
increasing prosperity of the empire. that he (lord H.) should address himself
Fair, indeed! Why, considering under to a part of the Speech from the throne,
what circumstances it was, tha the pros- which seemed to require some remark.
perity of the country had been of late It appeared to form one of the communi-
years so shaken; and, looking o the lan- cations made in the Speech, or at least
guage which the government hen held, something to that effect was said, that a
and remembering the measures that they convention had been entered into with
then adopted, he, for one, thou ht it any- Austria, for the repayment of a part of the
thing but fair to give them any such cre- sums advanced her by this country. A
dit. What! with the noble ear 's own ac- noble friend who sat near him, had just
knowledgment still in their ear that the reminded him, that this part was but a
past distresses of the country had been small part of the whole amount, of such
mainly owing to those wars in which they advances. He thanked his noble friend
had engaged her, were their lordships to for the suggestion; but he was well
give to his majesty's ministers credit for pleased to find that we were likely to get
her present prosperity ? What had been back even a small part. There was, be-
the noble earl's uniform answer, when he sides, an old but very sensible proverb,
had been so often charged in hat house which told us, "not to look a gift horse
with the existence of those stresses ? in the mouth;" and therefore he was quite
The noble earl, as their lords ips could willing to accept of the part. Now, this
not fail to remember, had been constantlyy partial repayment, to be sure, was any
pleased to throw the whole blame of the thing but a gift horse; and, indeed, if he
evil upon Providence. That was always might be permitted to compare this un-
his excuse, modified, indeed, an varied a fortunate loan to a horse at all, he fancied,
little from time to time. Sometimes the that if they ventured to look into his
immediate cause of public distr ss was re- mouth, they would discover that the mark
ferred to the passions; and the noble earl had been out of it a long time. And if
discovered, that the people of his coun- their lordships would permit him to bor-
try were too amorous-that the females row once more from the same sort of
were too prolific-that too large a quan- phraseology, perhaps a political jockey
tity of people was produced. At others, would say that a good deal of work had
the whole evil was deduced front the hor- been taken out of him in the way of inte-
rors of plenty-from a desper te abun- rest." [a laugh.] For his own part, he
dance; and the noble earl, surrounded should be well contented, if it should turn
with all the gifts of Providence to man, out that they got back enough to pay for
exclaimed with the poet-" Inopem me the expenses of lord Stewart's embassy to
copia fecit." Now, though he (lord H.) Vienna. A noble friend of his had said
really did not think that the n( ble earl's that it was to lord Stewart that this.pro-
eloquence, highly as he respect, d it, had posed repayment was principally owing;







3,] The King's Speech on Opening the Sessiqn.


and though very possibly that noble lord
might have had some share in effecting the
business, he (lord H.) felt inclined to be-
lieve, that as great a part, or a greater
part of the merit rested with the noble
duke who had first set on foot the nego-
tiation. But in the name of candour, let
all parties have a little of the merit al-
lotted to them. Something might be due
to his majesty's ministers, in the first place,
for negotiating about the matter; and
that share he freely conceded to the go.
vernment. Some merit, again, must be
due to the emperor of Austria; and that
he (lord H.) referred to the emperor
personally; for where in a country like
Austria, where there existed no consti-
tution,he was compelled to believe that
it was the monarch's own act; and done,
not only without the advice, but in a spirit
entirely contrary to the wishes, of his mi-
nisters. But, having thus apportioned out
the merit, by giving a little credit to his
majesty's government, a little to their am-
bassador, a little to the noble duke, and a
little to the emperor of Austria, he did hope
that his own side of the House would come
in also for a trifling share. He did hope
that this matter would have a good effect
in making his majesty's ministers think
differently about the opinions and public
conduct of noble lords around him. He
trusted that the noble president of the
council, for instance (the earl of Har-
rowby), would not now say-as he had
formerly so strenuously contended-that
at all times, and under all circumstances,
and in whatever condition the political
relations of the country might be, it be-
hoved noble lords to observe all the prim
proprieties of debate. The strong opi-
nions which he (lord Holland), and his
noble relation, and so many other noble
lords, had lately expressed, might have
occasionally violated the prim proprieties
of debate; but clear it was, that the lan-
guage which had been held in Parliament,
very objectionable as to some it seemed
to be, had led to the refunding of no in-
considerable sum of money.
The next topic upon which he would
touch was one of great moment; and one
in respect of which he fully concurred
with the observation that had been made
by his noble friend, that it was wiser to
act than to speak. It was a subject upon
which, if noble lords came to estimate the
comparative degrees of praise or blame
that were to be attributed to parties,
every candid person must acknowledge
VOL. X.


that his majesty's ministers, and that
House, and, he was sorry to say, the body
to which he belonged; the West-India
colonists, and the African association, and,
if he might dare to say so, the House of
Commons itself, were liable to serious
blame. He should not have dwelt so much
on this subject, had it not occupied so
large a portion of the Speech as it did,
It afforded him satisfaction, however, to
say, that of this portion generally he highly
approved. Perhaps, indeed, he might
question, in some degree, the policy or
the propriety of his majesty's ministers in
dwelling so much, in such a speech, upon
a subject of this nature. He could very
well understand the propriety and even
prudence of his majesty coming down to
his parliament, or communicating with
them, in order that they might advise the
executive government how to act, in re-
gard to any extraordinary emergency
arising within his extensive empire; but
he did not understand upon what principle
it was that his majesty, upon this occasion,
came to the parliament of Great Britain,
asking them to proceed in the measures
to be taken with regard to the civilization
of the West-India slaves. If this was
meant, as most probably it was, to allude
to an augmentation of troops in those
colonies, he (lord H.) could have wished,
considering the present feverish state of
men's minds there, that while the govern-,
ment were recommending caution, they
had themselves observed it better in the
language of their recommendation. If it
was meant merely to call upon their lord-
ships and the other House of Parliament
to augment the force in the island lately
alluded to, and the other British West,
India islands, in that call he most readily
concurred; and he was the more induced,
to say this, because as he had been ready
on former occasions to oppose, and might
hereafter oppose, as in other parts of the
empire, the increase of the army, so he was
ready to admit, that, in the present state of
things, it might be necessary that the"
military force of the empire should be in-
creased. Nor could he help observing
that with respect to that island, with
which he himself was more particularly
connected, Jamaica, and speaking with
reference to its security from internal in-,
surrection and external attack, and to the
morals and comforts, and most especially,
the health of his majesty's soldiers, he
could much wish that the attention of his
majesty's government, and of the illus-
D


FLB.- 39 1 IS







The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [L3


trious commander-in-chief, n
turned to the effecting a better
tion of forces in that country.
tribution might be made with
vantage. The measures whicl
heard suggested in this respect,
destruction of the batteries
erected on various parts of the c
quartering the European trool
the Blue Mountains, which alonc
the springs of the country; an
mration of a naval arsenal at
called Fort Antonio. This in
he had derived from a gallant ai
gent friend, of whom he coi
speak but in terms of the high
and approbation, but who was r
he believed, a member of the oth
of Parliament,-major-general
He entertained this feeling for
individual, not merely because
all times pleasant to speak hand
one's friend, but because such apt
due to his exalted public charac
very superior talents, his experik
above all, to the humanity evinco
in the care of his men. This ge
experience had well qualified hi
gest to the government at home
provementsasmightmostadvanta
made in the defence and governor
island. His information was der
the evidence of his own senses,
during a long and fatiguing
Jamaica. Noble lords would per
he was speaking of the Maroon
result of which was, that the Mv
the skilful management, and the
proceedings, and the good faith
Walpole, were reduced and brc
obedience to the government.
British troops in Jamaica shou
quired to act there upon any
casion, as he earnestly hoped t
would be, he could ask nothing
his country nor for them, than
might be commanded by some
equal humanity, skill, and enter
his friend general Walpole. [I
' He would now advert to thoi
the Speech from the throne, wh
justify the vote he should give t
and he confessed that, upon I
the tone and temper of that s]
disappointed him. Much more
had he been disappointed by the
that he had heard upon it. HE
that the state in which this court
with relation to the other
Europe, was any thing but


eight be
distribu-
This dis-
great ad.
She had
'ere-the
nd forts
oast; the
s among
Supplied
d the for-
Sposition
formation
id intelli-
ild never
t respect
o longer,
er House
Walpole.
a gallant
it was at
homely of
lause was
;er, to his
nee, and,
d by him
ntleman's
m to sug-
such im-
,eouslybe
ent of the
ived from
furnished
service in
ceive that
war; the
roons, by
equitable
)f general
ought into
[fever the
ld be re-
imilar oc-
hey never
better for
that they
officer of
prise with
[ear.]
e parts of
ich would
rat night;
he whole,
eech had
however,
-omments
Sdid hold
try stood,
Powers of
ne which


would justify exultation, joy, or self-
congratulation. That it was fraught
with inevitably disastrous consequences
to this country, he was not, possibly,
prepared to say; but he was very sure
that it was a state at once new and awful.
Since their lordships had last met in
that House, what had befallen the con-
stitution of Spain? For, torture the thing
as they would, it was the Spanish consti-
tution; and as to what had been :said
about its being democratical, the fact was,
it was considerably less so than our own.
But whether'it was so or not, or whether
it incurred the dislike, or met with the ap-
probation of the Spanish people, this fact
at least was but too well known; namely,
that the government of France was at this
moment in military possession of Spain.
That it should be so, and that we should
not interfere to prevent it, might be ex-
pedient, or it might be unadvisable : but,
that the noble lord who had moved the
address should say that this circumstance
was matter of satisfaction and joy to their
lordships; this did seem truly wonderful.
To him (Lord H.) it seemed, that the
present state of Europe was calculated to
awaken the liveliest and most painful an-
xiety in every English mind. Putting
aside all considerations attaching to the
interests and intrigues of Russia and the
other powers, the present state of Europe,
to his mind, was fraught with conse-
quences the most terrible to this country.
The noble lord who had seconded the ad-
dress had made some allusion to the early
period of the French revolution, and to
the respective condition of France and
England at that time. But, let noble
lords compare the two periods a little,
and he thought they would concur with
him (lord H.) who contended, that
within the last five or seven years this
government had frequently departed from
that which was the ancient policy of
England: aye, and from the very policy
that they had adopted at the commence-
ment of the French revolution. That de-
parture, he did maintain, had led to an
event which it had been at all times our
great object to prevent; and in that event
there were many signs that threatened the
peace and happiness of these kingdoms, and
upon the aspect of which it was highly
important that those who were intrusted
with the government of the empire should
pause and deliberate before they deter-
mined what plan they would finally pur-
sue. What had been that ancient policy,


HOUSE OF LORD$,







37] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


a deviation from which had produced so
threatening an event ? Their lordships
well knew that it had ever been to pre-
vent the too great preponderance of any
power in Europe, and especially of those
countries which border on the ocean.
Opposite to us were the coasts of France
and Spain; but it must be unnecessary to
shew that it was ever held in England,
that if the powers and resources of those
two countries were wielded by one hand,
one power, their united energies must be
exerted to the injury and the peril of this
empire. Such being the case, it appeared
to him of little consequence in what name
they were so wielded; or whether they
were put in commission, or sustained in
one name; whether the wielder of them
were called the Grand Monarque, or La
Grande Nation, the Mock Christian king,
Napoleon Buonapart6, or the Holy Alli-
ance. It was all the same thing, if the
power of the two countries was governed
by one will. The noble lord had alluded
to the commencement of the French Re-
volution, at a period preceding the cele-
brated decree of the 19th of November.
That decree held out to every nation that
might .be disposed to throw off its alle-
giance, a promise of assistance against its
government. The war declared by Eng-
land in consequence, was allowed to be,
if not a wise one, a just one; just, if not
with Spain and Holland, yet at least with
France. But why ? Because the French
government was a democratical one?
No; but because this proceeding of theirs
went to establish the right of interference
with the government of other states. It
mattered not what might be the effect or
the form of that interference. If, at this
day, the people of France chose to say to
us in England, "we will establish over
you a tyranny, or a monarchy;" or even
if they were to say, we will prepare for
you a beautiful and unimpeachable con-
stitution; and we will do so by force and
by our bayonets," that would be a good
and justifiable cause of war; for, in the
cases he had put, wherein consisted the
difference? It was of no moment
whether the constitution were democra-
tical or monarchical; the objection lay to
that domineering and intolerable principle,
that the people of one country have a
right to interfere with the government of
those of another. At present, moreover,
the case was, not that there had been a
decree passed on the 19th of November,
which was afterwards to be enforced; but


that the king of France 'had enforced it
by the evasion of an ancient treaty, the
invasion of another kingdom, and his
present actual possession of it. Equally
clear it was, that it made no difference
whether these effects were worked by a
league or by an individual; by one man
or by more than one. That it was for-
merly our object to prevent this dangerous
union of power, was as little to be doubted,
as the fact of such an union now existing
was to be denied That fact was ac-
knowledged in the title set up by the
party, and commented on intelligibly
enough, by their conduct. It was true,
that England might be said to have de-
clined becoming a party to such a league.
She herself had once been divided between
two different political sects, calling them-
selves Whigs and Tories; but both of
them professing to act for the welfare of
their country, and at least concurring in
that principal object. The Whigs con-
ceived it necessary to her prosperity that
the Crown of Great Britain should form a
part of the alliance in which the greater
number of the European states were en-
gaged for the preservation of the balance
of power. This was the principle on
which the great lord Somers engaged in a
war in king William the Srd's time; it was
the principle of George the st'swar; of the
great lord Chatham s; and in some sort,
it was adopted even by the great lord
Chatham's great son. It was again re-
cognized in the time of sir Robert Wal-
pole. The government of those days
hoped to hold the balance of Europe even
between contending nations; and both
parties, Whigs as well as Tories, com-
bined for the attainment of this common
object. Since the year 1815, however,
this ancient system had been set aside;
and it was clear, from the existing state of
things, that, under the confederacy which
was then formed, it could have no exist-
ence. Where all the powerful states of
Europe were to be the arbiters, there
could be no equitable arbitration: where
all the weight of European power was
thrown int6 one scale, there could be no
counterpoise. To his majesty's ministers,
who first consented to that confederacy,
and particularly to the late foreign secre-
tary, he was willing to give full credit for
good intentions. When Buonapart6 had
still arrayed around him all the resources
of France, with all her energies at his
command, he (lord H.) should have con-
curred in thinking that some effectual


FEB. 3, 18%~. [38







391 HOUSE OF LORD The king's Speech on Opening the Session. t40


counterpoise was necessary; es
looking to those resources
temper of the extraordinary ma
they were wielded, the securi
land seemed to demand it. T
meant of that day thought pr
fore to arm against him Spa
Prussia, and the other cc
powers. But when, by a course
which he (lord H.) should ev
most unfortunate, France becat
tion of a nominee of that conf
became hostile to the welfare
Whether the king of France
member by accident or design
not. It was only too clear, t
become a party. Why then, w
meaning of this portentous
monarchs? That the soverei
'kind should league together
'new; for it was one of the
leagues. But league they
against whom ? If all the sove
league, against whom could
their own subjects ? With
purpose could they confedera
support each other in governing
subjects by their own will, in
every institution that might h
their people freedom of actic
divesting themselves of all ref
*whatever, under any possible c
government or incapacity?
lords mark what had been the
The noble foreign secretary o
assured the parliament that it
harmless alliance indeed; that
nothing in its principle whici
injurious to the interests of Gre
but that, owing to some peci
the constitution, the king o
pould not become a party to it.
of fact, it turned out that this
in form as the noble secretary
an objection in law, and to
question; for, fortunately, th<
'tion of England had provide
could have no such connexio
reign powers without having
sponsible agent. But the mea
other parties was soon know
explained it by their own cih
was, forsooth, an alliance for
ovationn of the monarchical princ
what was this monarchical prince
right of one man to govern n
was legitimacy, not in the trt
that word, but the establi
military power in every could
hereditary princes were estab


specially, as
nd to the
n by whom
:y of Eng-
he govern-
)per there-
n, Russia,
federated
e of events
'r consider
ie the por-
deracy, it
if Europe.
became a
,he knew
at lie had
hat was the
alliance of
ns of man-
'as nothing
oldest of
were, and
'eigns were
it be but
vhat other
te, but to
Y their own
[repressing
old out to
n: and in
ponsibility
ase of mis-
Let noble
r conduct.
that day
as a very
there was
Appeared
at Britain ;
iliarities in
SEngland
In point
objection,
put it, was
the whole
constitu-
that we
s with fo-
some re-
aing of the
, for they
culars. It
he conser-
ple. And
iple? The
millions. It
e sense of
ihment of
btry where
lishedl for


their support even after, by their mis-
government they should have forfeited
their hereditary right, or the circumstances
of the time should have required a change
of dynasty.
The noble lord next adverted to the
case of Naples, and to the conduct of the
late noble foreign secretary, who dis-
approving partially of some of the pro-
ceedings of the holy alliance, seemed
kindly to have furnished Austria with
some hints as to the measures she should
adopt, in order to prevent a rupture with
this country. He (lord H.) was very
sure that his majesty's ministers would
think with him, that, from that time they
were no members of the confederacy.
They retired from it, in truth, but it was
with something like an ill-grace; for they
resembled her who, "not accepting, did
but half refuse."-The noble lord ob-
served, in respect of the conquest of
Naples, that with whatever view it might
have been projected and achieved, there
was nothing in it that could put the safety
of this country in jeopardy; for doubtless,
of all the members of that confederacy,
that one which was least likely to produce
harm to Great Britain was Austria. The
same principles on which Austria had
acted, had led other arms to the invasion
of Spain. Russia, at first covertly, but
afterwards more openly, expressed her
opinion, that, according to the principles
of the alliance, they were bound to inter-
fere with the revolutionists of Spain.
I know not," continued his lordship,
what was the motive which actuated
Russia upon this occasion, whether it was
fanaticism or zeal, or whether it was in
pursuance of that system of aggrandize-
ment and interference, upon which after
embroiling a neighboring country,
Poland, she has succeeded in possessing
herself of the larger portion of her
territory-of one of the finest parts of
what she calls the western territory of
Europe." Having taken these resolutions,
these holy allies issued their anathemas
against constitutional Spain, and sum-
moned their troops to the crusade which
they proclaimed against the enemies of
the monarchical principle. The' other
princes of Europe, if they did waver,
wavered not from any distaste for this cru-
sade, but from a fear of the consequences
of their embarking in it. It was not that
they distrusted the fidelity of their 'own
armies, but that they doubted the op-
position of Great Britain. When, how-







41] The King's Speech on Opening the
ever, they had surmounted these fears,
they fell at once to the execution of those
projects which were most congenial to
the principles of their association. To
their banners repaired ultras and priests,
zealous for the monarchical principle;
furious fanatics, and a licentious soldiery;
in short, every description of bold and
bad men, who were allured by hopes of
plunder, or by the confidence that they
might insult the authority of Great
Britain with impunity. M. Chateaubriand,
who well understood the character of his
own countrymen, knew that by holding
out any prospect of conquest in a foreign
country, he secured the favour and good
wishes of almost all France, and even of
the greater part of the Napoleonists
themselves. He perfectly understood, as
applied to Frenchmen, the value of that
maxim, Dominationem super alios, ad
servitium suum, mercedem dant." But
a noble lord had that night spoken of
the freedom at present enjoyed in France.
Why, was there any thing like freedom in
any part of France at this moment? He
might be told of their legislative chambers
and their debates; of their President, and
their forms. But did he look to these ex-
ternals ? Did he look to the mere magis-
tratuum nomina? Did he look to their
forum, or to that place in which their
folly committed its most disgusting ex-
cesses? Why," added the noble lord,
with much emphasis, is there any place
in France, where a man would dare to
stand up and say what I have been just
saying ? I do not think, indeed, that the
noble earl opposite, even if he were a
despot, could so far overcome the natural
goodness of his disposition as to send me
to prison for the warmth of my language,
but, thank God, my lords, I know that
'he cannot." [a laugh.] He did contend,
that the noble lord insulted the sacred
name of freedom, when he named a
'country in which the language of freemen
could not be spoken in the presence of
power. Where men could not speak,
and speak out, upon their own concerns,
there was no freedom-there was no
country-there was no law; and on what
spot was it upon the continent of Europe,
that a man might so speak in public?
A noble lord near him, to whom he was
much obliged for the suggestion, had just
intimated to him, that he ought to except
the kingdom of the Netherlands. And
this was true; for never was there a
country where the government had shewn


Session. FEB. 3, 1824. [42
itself more anxious to preservethe free-
dom it possessed, than that of the Nether-
lands-an anxiety which was to be traced
to a similarity in the habits and the cha-
racter of the people, to the character and
the habits of our own countrymen.
But he now besought the house to
mark what the actual government of
France had done. It had placed that
nation in a situation by which it was en-
abled to produce greater danger to
Europe, than ever Napoleon in the pte-
nitude of his power, could have effected.
It was in the full possession of Spain;
it possessed at least a preponderating in-
fluence in the councils of Portugal; its
army was flushed with recent success,
and was led on by a prince who, as
the noble earl had truly said, possessed
considerable talent, and who had dis-
played character and conduct sufficient to
lead him on to other successes, which
might tend, as those in Spain had done,
to the glory and aggrandizement of
France. It had, besides, a clergy and
priesthood of vehement zeal, and devoted
to the government. Its legislative body
had just power enough to lay the re-
sources of the people at the feet of the
ruling power, but not fellow-feeling
enough with the people to direct those re-
sources wisely and resolutely. It was,
moreover, the head of a confederacy,
which united all the powers of the con-
tinent of Europe. Such was the con-
dition of France; and was this, he asked,
a state of things at all satisfactory to
the feelings of those who were interested
in the liberties of Europe? And here he
felt it necessary to allude to an assertion
of the noble earl, who said, that he had
deprecated the invasion of Spain by
France. It was true he had done so; but,
in what way ? It was merely by insisting
upon the great improbability of the
success of that invasion. The whole
tenor of the despatches and remon,
strances was to this effect. The language
of the government was constantly full of
the inevitable great loss of men, the un-
certainty of the conquest, the nature of
the Spanish people. All these points
were repeatedly urged to the French
Government, and particularly by that
noble duke (Wellington), who so well
knew their force, and who he was sure
would spurn the imputation that he used
any arguments contrary to his most stead-
fast conviction. Why, then, although the
noble earl had deprecated this'war, what






43] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [44


bad been the result of this deprecation?
This deportation, or remons rance, or
admonition, on the part of Great Britain,
had produced no effect at a I. It had
been frequently said, in allus on to that
long war which began with he French
revolution, that one of its best con-
sequences, was, that the dignity of
England had been exalted, a d that she
had been placed in such a situation among
the powers of Europe, as ena led her to
decide, on the fate of nat ons. Let
this assertion be tried in the instance of
Spain. What had been done there re-
cently, was done indeper dently of
England: it mattered not whether it was
good or bad: for if it were $ood, then
the good had been effected without the
assistance of England; if e il, it had
been wrought in spite of er remon-
strances, and against her interests.
Was.this not so?
This, then, brought him t that part
of the address which tou hed upon
the affairs of Spain, in all o which he
could see no ground for that elf-congra-
tulation which his majesty's government
derived from the policy they h d adopted.
They, might have said that f rmer wars
had so exhausted our resour es that' we
could no longer keep up o r old cha-
racter, as the champion of t e freedom
of all Europe: they might have said
(though that would have be n a strange
doctrine indeed), that we ha nothing to
do with the contest: they ight have
borrowed words from that eloq ent person
who tricks out eloquence in all its
drapery," and have describe d the hap-
piness and advantages whi h we had
derived from standing by i strict and
immoveable neutrality: they might have
told us, as that same eloquen person had
formerly done, that it wpuld e Quixotic
to interfere. But, although h (Lord H.)
thought that they would wisely to
renounce even all that high- minded and
disinterested chivalry; yet till, at the
same time that they would fling away
all, the crazy follies which distinguished
,the knight of La Mancha,, there was one
part of his character which they might
have assumed with decency and pro.
priety--they might have appeared at
least ap the Knights of the son wful Coun-
tenance. If they could not p event, they
pught to regret this war: an to express
their bitter disappointment 4t its result.
When he thought of what 1England had
formerly done; and the sacrifices she


had made in causes similar to this of
Spain; when he remembered that it was
to unspotted honesty in her transactions
with other countries, that she was indebted
for her high station in Europe, he could
not but think that it would have been
more fitting for the ministers to have
come down to the .house, and to have
said, with respect to this confederacy,-
" 0 peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this contract, cancelling your fame;
Blotting your names from books of memory;
Razing the characters of your renown,
Reversing monuments of conquered France;
Undoing all, as all had never been!"
Instead of this, however, they found
cause of congratulation; and neither
keeping up the character of the romantic
knight, nor adopting the sentiments of
the poet, they sought to make Noodles
and Doodles of every body, and required
that the face of Europe should, as the
author of Tom Thumb had it, "wear one
universal grin." The ministers, however,
might perhaps, say, that they thought the
success of France of no consequence at
all; he (lord H.) thought very differently.
So important did he consider that success,
that he thought it would behove the
government of England to consider
deeply and promptly, whether it was con-
sistent with her reputation and her interest
to form a part of the confederacy. They
should be prepared to decide whether
they ought to remain in it; and to think
well, whether its operations were not, in
fact, directed against the security of
Europe. Upon this subject he could
submit many important points to the con-
sideration of their lordships, but .at
the present moment he should forbear to
do so. It was, however, notorious that
in that confederacy, there were persons
who were the avowed enemies to the
freedom of discussion and the freedom of
the press which existed in this country,
and to the free language which was used
in that house. He had no doubt there
were many persons in the cabinets of
the Governments which composed that
league, who felt in no small degree angry,
that men in England should not hesitate to
call bankruptcy, and want of faith by their
right names. It would be recollected, too,
that certain members of that confederacy
owed the success of some of. their
plans in a great measure to their having
engaged religious fanaticism in their
cause; and that although their means of
hurting our commerce were haply limited,







Address on the King's Speech.


they had not hesitated to throw as many
impediments in its way as they could. It
might then be a question whether it would
not be wise to divide this confederacy,
and return to the old policy of preserving
the balance of power in Europe; or it
might be adviseable to keep up a power
similar to that of the Protestant party,
which in former times had answered the
same purpose; or it might seem expedient
to separate and sever our interests from
the old world; and looking to the United
States and the Republics of South
America, to form some new system of
alliance, and create some new balance of
power. This, however, was not the
moment nor the place for agitating such
questions; but the time was approaching
when the choice must be made-when
some system must be adopted; and any
would be better than none. It would
be impossible effectually to contend with
the power of that system which was
uniformly, silently, and ably pursued.
In the long run, the resources even of
the people of England, brave and
patient as they were, would not be equal
to that power. He sincerely hoped that
those persons, whoever they might be,
who should have the directions of the
councils of the kingdom, would, when
the time for making that choice should
come, choose wisely; and he trusted it
would come soon. If they did not, the
nation would certainly be brought to dis-
grace, possibly to ruin and extinction;
and this fate, if the opportunity of
averting it were neglected, would be fully
deserved.
Earl Darnley pressed upon the House
the necessity of taking into its earliest
consideration the state of Ireland. The
evils that afflicted that unhappy country
must be probed to the bottom. They
were of a magnitude to allow of no longer
delay. He therefore took that opportu-
nity of stating, that on a very early day,
he should bring the subject under the con-
sideration of that House.
The Address was agreed to, nem. diss.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 3.
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. Rowtland Hill rose to move an ad.


dress of thanks, and'spoke nearly'astfd-
lows:-" Mr. Speaker, I should not have
ventured to present myself to the House,
for the first time, on this important occa-
sion, if I were not convinced that the in-
dulgence to those who undertake to move
the Address to the Throne is always in
proportion to the necessity there may be
for showing it. With a full sense of
my own inability to perform this task, I
trust I may rely on even a larger portion
of their kindness than they have been
called upon to show on any former occa-
sion. Nothing, indeed, should have in-
duced me to undertake it, but the full
persuasion that the Address of Thanks I
shall have to move to his majesty, for the
most gracious Speech which we have just
heard, will be received with, the una-
nimous approbation of this House. Sir,
I think myself particularly fortunate that
this duty has fallen to my lot at a time
when, from the very gracious sentiments
contained in his majesty's Speech, it will
be extremely difficult for any man to find
the means of raising a discordant voice
[Hear, hear!]. Sir, when I look back to
the last few years of our history; when I
recur to the stupendous exertions and un-
equalled difficulties of the long war in
which this country has been engaged, and
the consequent distress arising from those
exertions and those difficulties; I say,
when I contrast that state of the country
with its present condition, I am filled with
admiration and astonishment; and the
suddenness of the change and rapid con-
trast in our situation appear to be more
like the creation of some superior power,
than to flow from the ordinary influence
of human councils. [Cheers.] Within
seven years of a war, which has endured
for a quarter of a century, in which all
Europe was engaged; but the resources
mainly supplied by Great Britain; we find
our commerce extended to the remotest
corners of the globe; our manufactures
in the highest prosperity, and public cre-
dit, the life blood of the state, full of
animation and vigour; while that which
is the most important interest of them all,
the agricultural, with which my own, and
the fortunes and welfare of those I have
the honour to represent, is in a gradual
state of amelioration.-In addition to this
gratifying prospect, I am happy to be
able to add, that from Ireland, hitherto
the dark quarter in our political horizon,
a ray of light has broken forth, which L
hail as the augury of future improvement.


IFEB. 3, i924.






471 HOUSE OF COMIM NS,
By the wise removal of invidi us distinct.
tiop and restrictions in our mutual com-
merce, by an extension of th blessings
of education, and by a cordi sympathy
in her sufferings in times of c lamity, the
reflecting part of the people of Ireland
have been convinced of the d ep interest
which Englishmen take in her welfare; a
conviction which will ultimate ly tend to
make her a large participate r in that
happy state which makes us th; envy and
admiration of the world. In co non with
every lover of peace and of n y country,
I rejoice at the continued as urances of
the friendly disposition entertained by
foreign powers towards his maj sty; and
it is an act of justice in me to fer up my
humble tribute of applause an gratitude
to his majesty and his minister s, for the
undeviating neutrality which ths country
has maintained during thelate partial agi-
tation of the Continent; a eutrality,
which I am persuaded has pre ented the
rekindling of a war throughout the states
of Europe, and has established the peace
of the world on a foundation a no ordi-
nary stability.-In referring t that part
of his majesty's Speech in wh ch he has
commanded, the estimates of t e present
year to be laid before the Hou e, I have
to congratulate you; affording s it does,
a striking proof of the prosperity of the
public finances, that even after provision
is made for the expenses incid ntal to an
augmentation, his majesty has b 'en under
the necessity of making in bot his naval
and military force, an expectat on is held
out, that some means maybe found of
relieving several branches of our national
industry. The expediency of this aug-
mentation is unhappily found on the
state of the West-India Isles. I cannot,
however, but indulge the hop that a
steady and calm investigation will prove
that the true interests of the Colonists
are inseparably connected with the moral
improvement and meliorated co edition of
the.slave population; and that the chief
cause of the military augment tion will
soon cease to exist. Offering, therefore,
my grateful thanks to the Hou e for the
kindness with which they have leard me,
I shall move that an humble Address be
presented to his majesty.-The on. mem-
ber then moved an Address, which as
usual, was an echo of his majesty's
Speech.
Mr. James Daly rose to second the
Address. He said, that although i he con-
sidered himself inadequate to h ndle the


Adrass on the King's Speeci [48
various and important topics contained in
the address, he yet conceived that he
should better consult the wishes and the
convenience of the House, by entering a6
once into the discussion of the subject
before them, than he should do by wasting
their time in making apologies. He was
induced to second the Address moved by
his hon. friend, from a consideration of
the various topics contained in the speech
of which it was an echo, from the tone
and temper with which they were intro-
duced, and from a belief that there would
be little or no opposition from any part of
the House. To him it appeared, that the
internal state of the country, as well as
its foreign relations, were calculated,
upon a fair and impartial view of the
whole, to give great and sincere satisfac-
tion. For a vast number of years, Eng-
land, almost single-handed, had had to
struggle against all the powers of Europe,
guided and impelled by the genius and
activity of one of the most extraordinary,
and one of the ablest men that the world
ever produced. It was, on the part of
this country, a, struggle, not for strength,
not for ambition, it was a struggle for
independence-the question was, whether
she should fall under the feet of the
conqueror of Europe, or whether she
should remain a free nation ? It was not
his intention to detain the House by en,
tering into a detail of the glorious.
achievements of the army and navy of
England during that memorable struggle.
Great Britain at length had triumphed in
the contest, and Europe, through her
means, was delivered from the ascendancy
of the man who had conquered, and who
would have enslaved her. After the ter-
mination of the war, England, at the
Congress which was held by the powers
of Europe, was as conspicuous for mo-
deration in the cabinet as she had been
for valour in the field: her ministers,
wisely considering her real welfare, saw,
that to promote that end, it was necessary
to establish and to secure the permanent
tranquillity of Europe. They went, there-
fore, to the Congress, prepared to sacri-
fice petty interests, and to place Europe
in such a situation as was best calculated
to avoid all future grounds and causes of
disagreement and of quarrel. Such having
been the liberal and the wise determina-
tion! of ministers, it was not a matter of
surprise, although it was of congratula-
tion, that with respect to England the re-
lations of Europe remained undisturbed.







at the Opening of the Session.


He was glad to find, from the Speech
of his majesty, that the relations of peace
and amity between England and foreign
powers remained in full force; and he
hoped they would long continue undis-
turbed. At all times such a state of
things was most desirable: at the pre-
sent moment most particularly was it a
matter of public congratulation. Parlia-
ment had met after the conclusion of a
war in another country, the termination
of which certainly could not be consider-
ed agreeable to the wishes of any British
subject [Hear, hear!]. No one who
lived in a free country, and who knew
what freedom meant-no one who enjoy-
ed the invaluable blessings of liberty-
but must regret the extinguishment of the
slightest spark of that liberty, no matter
in what part of the world it might have
been accomplished. Such was his feeling;
but still he was bound to say, that the
slight struggle which the people of Spain
had made, afforded the strongest proof,
that the policy pursued by the govern-
ment of England was sound and wise.
The manliness and determination which
our ministers had shown, contrary, he
would say, to the feeling of the country,
reflected the highest credit upon them.
The miserable resistance that had been
made in Spain, afforded but too melan-
choly a proof, that the people of that
country had not the hearts to fight for
liberty, even if they had souls to value its
blessings. England, during the great
struggles that she had made, had afforded
many noble proofs, that where her in-
terests and her honour were concerned,
she would not hesitate to go to war; but,
after those struggles had ceased-after
the blessings of peace had been happily
earned and were about to be enjoyed-to
throw those blessings away, to dash the
cup from her lips, would not have been
the way to promote the real glory or the
permanent interest of the country.
To those ministers who had pre-
served the country, the acknowledgments
of the country were due; the effects of
their policy were before the world, and
no candid man would condemn them.
During the pressure which the country
laboured under after the termination of
the war, the ministers acknowledged the
fact of that depression; but at the same
time they ventured to predict its rapid
improvement and its future prosperity.
The state at that period might have been
compared to a ship in a storm: she had
VOL. X.


much to encounter, but bu6yed up by
her native energies, she rode triumphantly
over the waves, and reached the destined
port. The various branches of her com-
merce had increased, and extended them-
selves. The agricultural interest, than
which none was more important, and
none had been so much depressed, it was
gratifying to think was reviving. And
happily, the increasing prosperity of the
agricultural interest was not owing to any
peculiar circumstance, to any political
and unlocked for event, but to the in-
creasing wealth and affluence of the coun-
try-to that wealth and affluence which
every day created new wants, and enabled
the people to gratify them.-He would
now, slightly, advert to other topics of the
address. The House was aware that for
the last eight years, most enormous sums
had been remitted, in the way of taxation.
The remission of taxes had relieved the
people, and had placed the financial
system of the country upon an effective
footing. It was to the operation of that
system that England owed the proposed
arrangement of her debt at the hands of
Austria. Nor would France, were it not
for the aid of English capital, have been
able to march her armies into Spain-a
monstrous aggression, which he con-
demned; but he noticed the fact merely
to show the influence and power of this
country. IHe had heard at different times,
both in and out of that House, observa-
tions as to the power of England, and her
influence as regarded foreign states; but
it was his opinion, that that influence was
never more conspicuous, that England
had never held the balance of power with
a more even or steady hand than she did
at the present day.
Looking at the state of South America,
it was gratifying, in the highest degree,
to mark the progress of freedom in that
country: it was gratifying to see millions
throwing off the most abject yoke of
slavery that ever disgraced the world, and
pressing forward to vindicate the dignity
and the independence of human nature,
and to rank themselves amongst the na-
tions of the earth [Elear, hear!]. The
establishment, upon the part of England,
of consuls in different parts of South
America, was one step, at least, and a
most important step, in favour of her li-
berties. He hailed it as such: but, whilst
he did so, he would have it understood,
that he would not wish lightly to en-
courage rebellion: he recollected that
E


FrR. 3, 1921l. LBO







51] HOUSE OF COMMN.S,


Bngland, during the contest b
and America, loudly complain
interference of other powers,
fraction of those general laws
nation was bound to preserve w
to another.
With regard to the West
thought that parliament coul
with too much caution, or witt
delicacy, as to the measures
might be deemed necessary to
the purpose of promoting the an
and of ensuring the tranquil
West Indies. They would hi
sider the system which for a I
of years had been pursued in 1
try; they would have to review,
ous acts of parliament that had
as regarding it; they would ha
sider the interests and the rig
proprietors; and to adopt theii
with a slow and cautious hand.
this, not from any want of go
towards the slaves; the first v
given in that House was a vo
total and complete emancipati
negroes, and he always looked
act of emancipation as an orn
glory to the English statute-I
was an anxious friend to the em
of slaves in every country; bu
not, at the same time, shut his f
situation of proprietors, nor
justice of what would be neither
less than an interference with
of private property. Under
cumstances, parliament would
to weigh well the state of the W
before they proceeded to overt
tem which had existed for so n
in that country.
There was another subject tc
would advert-a subject which
no doubt, interested the feeling
House-he meant the situation
country. Gifted highly by na
sessing a soil superior to that ol
it was a most melancholy and h
fact, that in every other part
was far behind her: it was pai
lude to the various proofs of r
ment-of oppression-which
for the constant disturbances m
failed in that country. He did
that much had been done for Ire
large sums had been given tc
education. He hoped they had
perly appropriated. The, splen
ficence of England two years
done more to strengthen British


itween her
;ed of the
as an in-
which one
ith respect

Indies, he
i not act
too much
which it
apply, for
elioration,
ity of the
ve to con-
>ng course
hat coun-
v the vari-
)een made
ve to con-
hts of the
measures
He said
3d feeling
)te he had
e for the
on of the
upon that
iment and
ook. He
ncipation
t he could
yes to the
o the in-
more nor
the rights
11 the cir-
ict wisely
st Indies,
urn a sys-
tany years

which he
i, he had
gs of that
of his own
:ure, pos-
England,
imiliating
cular she
nful to al-
isgovern-
iccounted
which pre-
not deny
and; that
promote
been pro-
did muni-
ago, had
influence,


Address on the King's Speech [52
and to place the people of England in a
true light before the people of Ireland,
than any circumstance which had ever
occurred. The assembling of magistrates
in petty sessions, instead of administering
justice or injustice in their own houses,
he knew had been attended with the most
beneficial results. Justice so administer-
ed, impressed the people with the belief
that at length the laws were about to be
dealt out with an even hand to the great
man and to the poor man. The want of
employment of the population was one of
the prominent evils of Ireland, but he
hoped that that evil would soon be reme-
died. But it could be only remedied by
the circulation of English capital; and it
was a pleasing fact within his own know-
ledge, that during the last six months
large sums of British capital had found
their way into Ireland [Hear, hear!].
He hailed this as the commencement of a
great good, for it was his opinion, that
one British merchant employing his capi-
tal in manufactures in Ireland, would be
of greater benefit to that country than
whole volumes of laws [Cheers]. But
when he said this he meant not to deny
the influence of wise and wholesome laws,
or the influence of wise and able men
called upon to administer those laws.
The measures that had been recently
taken had not improved the situation of
the people: indeed, so rapid an improve-
ment could not have been expected. But
it was his hope that Ireland would im-
prove-that measures would be taken to
bind the people to the laws, to remove
the causes of disgust and dissatisfaction,
and to ensure the public tranquillity. He
was convinced that British capitalists,
once assured of safety and protection,
would employ their money in that coun-
try, and under their influence he had as
little doubt that Ireland would rapidly
improve [Hear, hear!]. There was an-
other great benefit which might be easily
conferred on Ireland, and which it was
injustice not to confer. To what, he
would ask, were the British people in-
debted for their superiority, their pros-
perity, and their happiness ? They were
indebted for those great blessings to the
union that prevailed amongst them, found-
ed, as that union was, upon the full and
equal enjoyment of their common coun-
try, and the blessings of their common
constitution [Cheers]. He believed that
any measures which might be taken, how-
ever well intended, would be of no ss en







at the Opening ofthe Session.


tial benefit to Ireland, as long as the
people were kept divided by means of the
very laws by which they were governed.
These laws could only be looked upon in
the light of a disgrace and misfortune;
they went to bar out the great majority of
the people from the rights of their coun-
try; they went to arm one party against
another, and to depress and degrade the
whole. He had felt it necessary to say
thus much, because he would have ill dis-
charged his duty, if, whilst he alluded to
the measures of improvement which had
taken place, he did not say that, unac-
companied by the great measure of jus-
tice to which he alluded, they would turn
out to be of very little value; he did not
mean to say that they would be of no
value. As the supporter of the policy of
the present ministry, he trusted that he
should be excused in seconding an Ad-
dress to the Throne on a royal Speech,
which pointed out the fortunate results of
that policy, in the continued peace of
Europe, and in the increasing happiness
and prosperity of the empire at large.
(Hear, hear !]
Mr. Brougham said, that he rose thus
early to press himself upon the attention
of the House, chiefly in consequence of
the observations which had fallen from
the hon. member who had so eloquently
seconded the motion for the address.
With respect to the Speech itself, he was
in the same situation in which he believed
the great majority of the members of that
House found themselves on the present
night, when they had heard for the first
time of the topics of the speech, save
what they had gleaned by hearsay in the
morning, through the various channels of
communication open to them; partly, in-
deed, through the English newspapers,
partly, also, through the foreign; for
through the one, as through the other,
they had anticipations of, he believed,
equal accuracy. He should therefore
wish, considering the great importance
of the occasion, the greater importance
of the crisis, and the magnitude of the
topics which such a speech must neces-
sarily embrace-he could wish, he said,
on this occasion, and now more than on
any other within his memory, to be al-
lowed to recur to the good old establish-
ed practice of consideration before they
discussed the Speech from the Throne,
and not to be driven prematurely, and in a
state of comparative ignorance, to do that
which, in whatever way it could be view-


ed, amounted to nothing more nor less
than a committal of themselves to the
adoption of certain propositions, which
were precipitated into their view by his
majesty's ministers on the very first day
of the session. But, as he knew little of
the contents of the Speech, except from
the sources to which he had already re-
ferred, and as he had only heard the sub-
jects therein referred to glanced at and
elucidated in the speech of the hon. se-
conder, not having had the advantage of
hearing the hon. mover's speech, he had
only the power, upon the spur of the oc-
casion, to notice such arguments as he
had heard in support of the topics, in a
speech which he had not had the oppor-
tunity of considering; and the considera-
tion of which he was afraid he had no
chance of inducing the House, according
to the good old practice, to postpone.
There were, indeed, certain expressions
and opinions which had fallen from the
lips of the hon. seconder, which he had
heard with great delight.; and so, on the
other hand, there were others which the
hon. seconder had used, to which he could
not defer his opposition one moment, and
the policy and principle of which he must
positively contradict. For the former-
namely, the parts of the hon. member's
speech which gave him the warmest plea-
sure-he had to refer to his concluding
observations, which, considering the oc-
casion when he uttered them, his situa-
tion, and the circumstances under which
he avowed such principles, were not only
worthy of the age in which the hon.
member lived, but afforded some presage
that the time had at length arrived, when
that disgraceful system under which Ire-
land had been so long misgoverned was
to be abandoned, and when that unhappy
country was at length to be ruled upon
some constitutional, intelligible, and con-
sistent mode of government; and not by
having one officer in its administration so
placed and so acting, as to thwart another,
or both of them so relatively situated in
the scale of their system, as to be neutral-
ized by a power which worked at home,
and which they were afraid to strike; or
by not being allowed to carry with them
any settled determination to act entirely
for the benefit of the people and the tran-
quillity of the state. It was time that an
avowal should be made of some. wish to
give to Ireland the benefit ot constitu.*
tional freedom-of that practical adminis-
tration of good laws, which was the real


FEB. 1824.







551 HOUSE OF COMM NS,
and best mode of securing the public co-
operation in their:behalf: it as time to
hold out that hope to a suffer and long
misgoverned people, who had, to use the
eloquent language of the hon seconder,
only -known the British cons itution by
the bars which shut it out from them. If
this were the new and sound p licy which
was to dawn upon Ireland, h hailed its
approach, not only as the gre test bless-
ing which could be bestowed upon that
afflicted people, but as the m st certain
means of extending concord among all
classes of his majesty's subje ts, and of
making them more generally u eful to the
empire at large. This chang however,
to be effective must not be elayed: it
must be promptly taken up b an effec-
tive and honest effort of the g vernment,
emanating directly from them and pro-
mulgated with an avowed de termination
to have it strictly and inflexible applied.
Concurring as he did in this part of the
hon. member's speech, it was ith regret
that he had to follow up his their obser-
vations with the most decided expression
of dissent from many of the sentiments
uttered by him. Indeed, he c uld hardly
understand some of the com ents which
he had made upon the policy a d conduct
of this country towards her f reign iela-
tions:-he hardly knew on w iat portion
of her late intercourse with fo eign states
Engjand ought to felicitate I erself-the
cursory expression of regret which the
hon. member had applied to tl e infamous
invasion of Spain, following hi, allusion to
the single sentence which the speech con-
tained respecting that event, and which
was one congratulating the s vereign on
the line of policy he had beer advised to
adopt. Good God! what w s that line
of policy ? It might have bee. right, or it
might have been wrong-it as now too
late to argue the question of hat policy;
but was its effect that upon wl ich the par-
liament had a right now to congratulate
their sovereign ? To have ad pted a dif-
ferent policy might, perhaps, as the hon.
member supposed, have led to defeat; but
even in that view of it, tha' were only
one degree better off than they would
have been had they made the experiment
of their interference. This c untry might
have been, under one alterna ve, doomed
to witness, notwithstanding h r interposi-
tion, the conquest of Spain by France,
and the ultimate possibility f being in-
volved in a war, without ma ing the at-
tempt to frustrate the aggre sion of the


Address on the King's Speech [56
invader. That course she had not taken,
but had remained a witness of the aggres-
sion. Was that a topic of congratulation?
It might have been wise not to have gone
to war; but he must repeat, that of all
topics of self-congratulation, and of all
times to urge them in the face of the
world, this was the most extraordinary,
the most incredible, when the avowed ob-
ject of France, and those with whom that
power was in conjunction, was, to put
down the spark of liberty wherever it
dawned. Was that the moment for Engs
land to congratulate herself upon her
non-interference to save the rights and li-
berties of independent states? At least,
it became a free nation like this, not to
withhold her remonstrance from being
heard, rather than her congratulation
upon her own passiveness, by the sup-
porters of that league of despots, who, ia
the first instance, through the agency of
France against Spain, have avowed their
armed conspiracy against the liberties of
the world. That such a moment should
be taken by a British Parliament to con-
gratulate the Crown, that matters have
not gone worse with the people of Eng-
land, would hardly be credited, unless by
those who had heard the words of the ad.
dress. Let the House recollect what it
was which had happened since they had
last met; it was only the conquest of
Spain by France-only that France had,
by force of arms, possessed herself of that
ancient and once powerful nation-and
only that Great Britain had suffered, al-
most without remonstrance, that French
achievement to be performed. And yet
England was now to congratulate herself
upon what she had done, or rather had
failed to do, for the preservation of the li-
berties of an independent state. There
was a time when that event (the conquest
of Spain) was much more distant than it
lately looked-when the situation of Eng.
land at home was most different from what
it now was-when the necessary mode of
conducting the particular war was the
most expensive of all the expensive wars
that had ever been undertaken-and yet,
at that time the struggle of Spain was by
England manfully and victoriously de-
fended, and her victories in that cause
celebrated throughout the world. But,
of what avail, he now asked, had been
that expense and that-bloodshed? It was
now indeed (and sorry was he to say it),
useless to discuss the different policy
which the government had on the late oc-







at the Opening of the Session.


casion pursued; but, for God's sake, if it invaders, although she claimed the aid of
cannot be the subject of remonstrance, let other free countries for a support that
it not be put forth on parliamentary re- would have been trifling-to them, yet
cord as a fit source for expressing felici- adequate to her exigencies-a trifling pe-
tations to the throne. cuniary aid, a small naval co-operation,
The hon. member had dwelt upon the the resources which she might have de-
inadequate resistance made by the people rived from the individual services of en*
of Spain to their invaders, and had from terprising individuals by the repeal of the
thence inferred, that the Spaniards had foreign enlistment bill-these, with her
altered their attachment to a free consti- own efforts, might have had a fair trial,
tution, and, to say the least of it, had although it was impossible to foresee the
evinced but a very moderate desire for a actual result. There was no getting rid
species of liberty for which they were not of the dilemma which he had pointed out.
prepared, and manifested no feeling to He believed the cause of the disasters of
make any sacrifice for the maintenance of Spain had arisen from the conduct of both
the new constitution provided for them. parties, who were affected by ihe dilem-
This argument of the hon. member cut ma. He believed that Spain had been
two ways; and, viewed in either, carried prepared to defend her constitution,
with it many difficulties. He should like though left to herself, without leaders
to know if Spain was not against the pre- and external support, and that still she
sent restored government-if the feelings was kept down by the overwhelming
and principles of an immense part of the power of France-that she had suffered
Spanish population were not decidedly a conquest of her national independence,
favourable to the system which the allies the worst and most dangerous of all con-
had subverted-if such had not been, and quests, in the face of a civilized world.
still was the predominant desire of that This was an overt act in the conspiracy
people, why was France compelled to of the great band of tyrants against the
keep 60 or 70,000 troops in Spain to prop liberties of free states; and it had been
the throne of Ferdinand? The hon. mem- done while another great nation, herself
ber's argument, to say the least of it, the cradle of freedom, remained a passive
placed him in this dilemma-either the spectator of that blew, which, by the
Spaniards loved a free constitution, and least active interposition, she might have
must be kept down from the enjoyment of repelled.
it by an overawing force; or France has What had this country gained by the
conquered Spain, and is prepared to hold policy on which they were now called
it as a conquered country. There was no upon to felicitate themselves ? The hon.
getting rid of that dilemma. There was gentleman had asserted, that at no former
one of two conclusions to which the argu- period of her history had Great Britain
ment, as put by the hon. member inevit- held a more commanding attitude in the
ably led-one of them was most hostile to eyes of the world, or one in which she
the plighted faith of a great nation, most more completely held the balance of
dangerous to the safety of surrounding power in the scale of human politics.
states, and mo' deeply committing the Where was this shown? Where was this
public honour of France; who, but the preponderating control of influence
spring before her invasion, had disavowed visible? They once, indeed, could boast
all idea of a direct attack upon Spain. In of that proud pre-eminency; but he
the face of Europe, France had disavowed challenged any man to point out its ex-
that aggression formed any part of her istence now, in governing the destinies of
views towards Spain. The British go- states, Either, they had the power, and
vernment had been duped by the disgust- refrained from using it, or they had
ing hypocrisy which then veiled the de- suffered the beam which upheld liberty
signs of France; and being so duped, the and the independence of nations to be
means were overlooked of doing what kicked by a herd of despots, and the
could be done to avert the fate of Spain. balance to be overpowered; or they had
But, on the other hand, if that were not suffered -themselves to be duped and
the alternative to which Spain was reduc- cajoled, and shut out from the European
ed, and that she had a desire to maintain system; or, what was, if possible, still
her constitution, but compelled to yield worse, to be called into it, when (and
to the force of circumstances, was herself indeed upon [no other occasion) they
unable to present a sufficient front to her were wanted as brokers, when the bills


FEB. 3, 1824.







S'9 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
were to be paid, and the mo ley was to
ue supplied to meet the exige cy of the
scheme. One mode of estimating the
sense entertained by the continental
powers of the conduct and station of
England was, to see in what light
foreigners treated them. It w s now the
proverbial talk abroad, when the politics
of England were discussed, that she was
no longer entitled to rate herself as a first-
rate controlling power-no, no even as a
second-rate; but must take h r place as
an insular power, where natu e had put
her, or where she had put h self. It
might be said, that the dangers which
were imputed to the svstei of the
foreign despots were fanciful, distant,
and chimerical. He was pri pared to
maintain the contrary from tl e avowed
principles of the conspirators, commonly
called The Holy Alliance." A cry of
6" Hear."] What! was this d signation
of these Sovereigns! doubted ? Why, it
was not his, but that which they had
given themselves. There was but one
view which could be taken of t at league
of conspirators, and of the motives of
their alliance. He did not e pect that
any measure would proceed from these
conspirators during the course of either
the present year or of the nex year, or
even of the year after that, expressly
designed to wound the pride, r outrage
the feelings of the people of this
country; for though that pe ple were
prevented by many considerate ons from
plunging hastily into the misery s of war,
though they were bound over to keep
the peace in recognizances of eight
hundred millions sterling; yet, as in the
case of private individuals, th re were
insults which compelled them to forfeit
the recognizances into which they had
entered, so also, in the case of nations,
there were circumstances so in urious to
-their honour, so galling to their ride, and
even so alarming to their fea s, as to
'induce them to forfeit the reco gfizances
by which they were bound, a d to say,
in language more warranted by high
feeling than by sound discretion, Let
the debt go; let the storm come; we are
prepared for the worst; and hap what
hap may, we will submit no lon er to the
contumely and outrage of these o pressors
of mankind." Therefore, it was, he
conceived, that the imperial personages
abroad would proceed slowly nd gra-
dually, but still silently and surely in
their: infernal work; that they would


Address on the King's Speech [60
not assail us by any direct and immediate
measures, but would accustom us by
degrees, to bear, first one thing and then
another, till at last, when they had come
to that point at which we necessarily must
stop, we should find that we had lost the
golden opportunity of resisting them with
success; and having lost with it, that
which to individuals was every thing, and
to nations almost every thing, namely,
our honour, should be driven at their good
time, and not at our own, to wage a
long and sanguinary, and perhaps, un-
successful struggle against those whom
we could have resisted successfully had
we resisted them in the outset of their
aggressions.
In making these assertions, he was not
indulging in empty and unsupported de-
clamation. He had only to ask the
house to look at the conduct of these
crowned conspirators abroad, and then
request it to judge of what their inten-
tions, and feelings, and conduct must
soon be toward us. He had been treated
during the last session-and as it was a
most important point, and one of which
he had a most vivid recollection, he
would proceed to it first-he had. been
treated with a sneer of contempt, by
a right lion. secretary, when he had
stated, that, according to information
which he had received, the allied
sovereigns had commenced a system of
unwarrantable interference with the in-
ternal government of the Swiss cantons.
He had said at the time that he did not
believe all the information which he had
received, but had added, that if the least
part of the least statement which he had
heard were founded upon fact, it was
much too much. The right hon. secre-
tary, in reply, contented himself with
parodying the expression which he had
used, and did not venture to say, there
is no foundation for such a story,!' which
would have been satisfactory, or we do
not ourselves know of any such thing,"
which to him would have been more satis-
factory; for he should have supposed that
as the well-paid minister, whom we had
residing in that country, with all the in-
telligence which it was his duty and his
business to collect, had not heard any
thing of such a measure, there could not
be any truth in the information which he
had received regarding it. The right
hon. secretary, however, ventured to say,
" If the least part of the least'statement
which the hon. and learned gentleman has







at the Opening of the Session.


made, is much too much for him to dis-
close, it may be a satisfaction to him to
know, that that least part is much more
than his Majesty's Government are in-
formed of." From the epigrammatic
turn of the expressions which the right
hon. secretary had then used, he had an
entire recollection of the reply which
he had then made; and yet, notwith-
standing that reply, it now turned out
beyond all dispute, that the intelligence
which he had received, was much more
correct than that which had been trans-
mitted to his Majesty's government: for
though, hitherto, he had not been proved
to be correct in what he had asserted
regarding the offer of placing Switzerland
under the protectorate of an Austrian
prince, still he had been more than borne
out by facts, in what he had asserted re-
garding the restrictions which were to be
placed upon the freedom of its press, and
the regulations by which it was proposed
to send all emigrants out of its territories ;
or, in other words, by imperial mandate,
to convert Switzerland, which in all former
time had been an inviolable asylum to all
persons persecuted for their religious and
political opinions, into a mere province and
appanage to Austria. Sorry was he to
state, but it was a matter too important to
be passed over in silence, that those indi-
viduals whom the calamities of their
country and the oppression of its rulers
had induced to seek refuge in Switzerland,
had been driven from its confines, with
an aggravation of suffering that was
totally unnecessary even to accomplish
the infernal purposes of their per-
secutors; and that the press had been put
down with a degree of superfluous
violence, for which it was impossible to
account upon any rational principle: for,
not content with putting down those
journals which communicated political
intelligence, or those journals of intel-
ligence in which certain matters of
political discussion were mixed, they had
even put down those journals of which
the object was mere literary and scientific
discussion, for no other reason, that he
could learn, than that they savoured of
discussion, and that discussion and con-
spiracy could not stand together. He
might be told in reply, that notwith-
standing all these circumstances, the
finances of Switzerland, though small
in amount, were flourishing, that its
people were contented and cheerful, and
almost free from taxation; that there was


tranquillity within, and no disturbance
from without; but yet, though all this
were true, he would still call Switzerland
an unhappy country, placed as it was at
the beck of foreign despots, and there-
fore forced to connive at the wrongs,
which those public conspirators, against
all that was free, and virtuous, and holy,
were daily inflicting against the liberties
of mankind. The people of Switzerland
were made their accomplices, and thus
contrived to preserve nominal freedom,
whilst practically suffering all the indig-
nities of the most abject slavery. By
such conduct they trusted to escape
those evils, which open resistance would
immediately bring upon them; and all
they gained by such obedience to the
mandates of their masters was a post-
ponement-a short postponement of the
misfortunes which they dreaded.
Nor was it in Switzerland alone, that
these conspirators made .their power to
be felt and feared. In Germany they
exercised similar control; and it was not
too much to say, that they acted as a
police; a kind of royal, imperial, and
military police-all over the continent of
Europe. Indeed, they acted like that
unseen body which formerly exercised its
influence over Germany, to counteract.
principles and practices as detestable as
their own. Like that unseen body, these
conspirators met in secret conclave to
effect their objects: like them, they de-
liberated on their decrees in private, and
afterwards appointed individual members
to execute them in public. For instance,
sentence went forth against Italy, and
Austria was appointed to desolate and over-
run that beautiful country. On a subse-
quent occasion, Spain and Portugal became
the object of their rage, and to France was
allotted the task of punishing and enslaving
them. On one day Austria, and on
another France, was the power selected to
execute the orders of this confederation of
despots; and that, too, without any de-
ference to us or to our interests (indeed, as
to our interests, it would only enhance the
merit of the deed, if it were decidedly
hostile to them); without any regard to
our feelings, principles, customs, or.
opinions; and the bitter fruits of those:
orders, were reaped by their victims, or
by ourselves, without any question being
made as to their effects, or any objection
being urged by us as to their coose-.
quences [Hear, hear]. And this, he was
to be told, was subject of congratulation


FIB. $, 1824.







63) HOUSE OF COMMC NS,
to the people of England! This was
holding the balance of power swaying
the destinies of Europe, and executing
our own purposes as absolut ly as we
ever did in the high and pal y state" of
our national glory!
To return, however, to the boint from
which he had digressed. He Iad before
described to the house the corn lete state
of vassalage to which the presi had been
reduced in Switzerland. If any man
doubted of its being in a similar state of
subjection and degradation in Germany,
he would merely remind him of what had
occurred a short time ago,in th kingdom
of Wurtemburg, where a mandate was
given to the government to s ippress an
obnoxious journal, and where the ob-
noxious journal was suppressed accord-
ingly. He had been told upor authority
which he could not dispute, tha there was
no part of Germany in which the editor
of a journal durst publish any thing that
was calculated to give umbrage he would
not say to the sovereign of his own
country-for that was a matter of muni-
cipal law and domestic arrangement-but
to the Czar of Muscovy, the King of
France, or the Emperor of Austria-
foreign powers, natural enemies to each
other, between whom no alliance could
exist that was not founded upor the prin-
ciple of conspiring against the iberties of
nations; and who had no mo e right or
title to interfere with the press of
Germany, than the Commons f England
had to interfere with the press f France,
or to command the suppressing of any
journal published in its metropolis. He
was afraid that this was the ca e in Italy
also. An Austrian army, as they all
knew, had over-run that beautiful yet
miserable country. The south of it was
still occupied by a body of 30 000 men,
whilst the north had recently witnessed a
scene of horror, [' hear" from all sides
of the house], of which the mere re-
collection made the blood cu -dle in the
veins, and filled every feeling breast with
the strongest emotions of di gust and
abhorrence. Despotism had tl ere added
new horrors to the cruelty which rit always
exhibited in the execution of i s decrees,
andhad aggravated, by the most ingenious
barbarity, the mental tortures which it
was in the habit of inflicting n its un-
happy victims. He wished no: to excite
the feelings of the house by a y glowing
appeal to their passions; but he could not
help asking them, whether ar language


Address on the Kings Speech [64
of condemnation could be too strong for
a government, which, when individuals
had been sentenced to death after three
years' confinement in a fortress, remote
from their friends, unacquainted with their
crime, and unconfronted with their accu-
sers,lcould, after their relatives had under-
taken a week's journey to apply for mercy,
send them back without any answer, -and
withhold from them the knowledge that
an order had been already issued to re-
mit the capital part of the sentence, and
to change it-he could not say whether
in mercy or not-into protracted im-
prisonment, for ten or twenty years, in
an Austrian fortress? Let them reflect
on the mental agony in which those un-
happy females must have travelled back to
their unhappy relatives, in ignorance of
the commutation of their sentence, and
expecting to arrive at the place of their
imprisonment too late to catch their last
sigh, or to pay the last offices of affection
to their bleeding remains: let them re-
flect on the mass of wanton and un-
necessary suffering to which they had thus
been exposed; and then, if they could,
let them withhold from those who inflicted
it, their disgust, their hatred, and their
deepest execration. This was a sample,
and he was sorry to say, not a solitary
sample, of what was daily going on in that
conquered country. He spoke of it, not
as an evil caused by its municipal law,
but by the presence of a foreign and in-
sulting enemy. It was not, however, the
only grievance to which the Austrian sub-
jects of Italy were exposed. It was true,
that torture had been abolished, and that
the rack was no longer in use; but, un-
fortunately, the judge of police was in-
vested with a power, which enabled him,
if his victim did not answer as he wished,
to aggravate his sufferings in whatever
proportion he thought fit. For instance,
he could place him in a dark instead bf a
light dungeon ; he could feed him on bread
and water, instead of the usual prison
allowance; he could confine him for ten
or even twenty days in a cell, which he
was authorised to render more or less
damp and unwholesome, according as the
prisoner showed a greater or a less sense
of the enormity of his offence; in other
words, according to the honesty, or
obstinacy, or strength of nerve of his
victim; and thus he was enabled to ex-
tort by a slower, though not a less effective
torment than the rack, an avowal of guilt
where the individual was not guilty, and







'hi Me Openihg qftYhe Session.


a denunciation of crime against those who
had never committed it. These practices,
they were aware, had been now carried
on in Italy, under Austrian superin-
tehdence, for upwards of three years. In
some cases, the victim had sunk under
them; in others, he had been so com-
pletely worn down by his sufferings, as
to have sought to escape from them and
from life together, by confessing guilt
which he had never perpetrated; and in
many, the nearest relations had inculpated
each other of crimes, which it was after-
wards proved, upon the clearest evidence,
it was not possible that they could have
committed. This, he repeated, was daily
done in Italy under Austrian superinten-
dence, in conformity with the mandates
of the conspirators, whom he had before
described. They need not order it to be
done in Spain by the satellites of France,
because they had a more active and ap-
propriate agent for their purposes in that
country, in the person of Ferdinand its
beloved monarch [a laugh], who, he de-
fied any man to deny it, was more the
object of the contempt, disgust, and
abhorrence of civilized Europe, than any
other man now living in it. There he
is," continued the hon. and learned gen-
tleman, a fit companion for the unholy
band of kings, who have restored him to
the power which he has so often abused,
in order to give him an opportunity of
abusing it once more: there he is, with
the blood of the murdered Riego yet
dripping on his head, seeking fresh
victims for the scaffold, and ready to pro-
ceed, on the first summons, to the torture
of the helpless women and unoffending
children, whom fortune may have placed
in his power. I believe that in this house,
as well as in this country, there is only one
feeling regarding the conduct of these
despots. I believe that if the country
were polled man by man, though there
might be some who think it unfit to give
vent at present to such sentiments as I
have expressed regarding them, there
would be none to dispute their propriety
or correctness. I believe that I might
call upon the house now, as I did three
years ago, in the case of the unprincipled
aggression upon Naples, and with the
same success. I believe that I might even
call upon those gentlemen who think me
unwise in making the declaration I have
done, and put the question to them, one
after another, without any fear as to their
answer, do you, or do you not, abhor the
VOL. X.


whole conduct, character, and principles
of those conspirators, who are now ex-
erting their utmost power to degrade the
moral dignity of man, to bring back the
times of intellectual darkness, and to de-
luge the fairest portions of Europe with
the blood of all who opposed themselves
to the completion of their infamotd
designs ?" [Loud cheers.]
The hon. and learned gentleman theft
reminded the House, that it behoved it to
consider the difficulties into which the re-
cent policy of the continental monarchs
was calculated, at no very distant period,
to plunge this country, However insen-
sible we had shown ourselves to the aggres-
sion upon Old Spain, it appeared that we
were likely to be a little more sensitive to
any aggression upon New Spain. He
knew that there was a party in the state
-he trusted an insignificant one-which
had said, "let France rule old Spain; let
all the resources of that magnanimous and
once powerful nation be placed iti the
hands of our ancient enemy and rival; let
all the sea-coast of Spain, with its differ-
ent harbours and arsenals, be in her un-
disturbed and undisputed.control: let her
have possession, as long as she pleases, of
those parts of Spain from which an enemy
can most easily invade Ireland-that
country in which, as the hon. seconder of
the address had well remarked, it has long
been our plan and our policy to keep the'
people divided and disconnected-let all
the advantages of Spain, natural as well
as adventitious, after they have been im-
proved to the utmost by the intellect of
France, a power the least likely in Europe
to neglect them, be employed against us;
let all this be done; still, all the danger
that can arise from them is a distant ap-
prehension, an idle fear; if we do quarrel
with France, it is no matter; we have
beat her once, when she was mightier
than she is now, and if need be, we can
beat, and will beat her again." All this
might be very true: we might, and he
trusted we should be successful in such a
struggle; still he thought it might be as
well to avoid even the cause of quarrel, in
a case where, if quarrel did occur, we
must necessarily run up a bill of 100 mil-
lions, to say nothing of the many thousand'
lives which must be sacrificed during its
continuance. It was all very well that
such a calamity-for war under any cir-
cumstances was a calamity-should hap-
pen, where the honour as well as the in-
terestof the country was at stake; but still
F


VEn. 3, 1814.






,67J HOUSE OF COMM NS,
if it was to occur, we'shoul not allow
our adversary 4o take undisp ted posses.
sion beforehand of every ad atage that
was calculated tp annoy up. ome indivi-
duals,however, acted-andhe as not now
alluding to his majesty's mii ters-as if
the honour of the country wer not worthy
ofegard, .and as if its interest were the
only legitimate cause for its pgaging in
war. They considered that our honour
had not been tarnished by th aggression
of France on Spain; yet th y saw our
dearest interests endangered y the very
suggestion that a similar ag session was
contemplated by France, u on Spanish
America. Theirlanguagealm amounted
to this-"' I care not for my character, I
value not my honour; but touch my
pocket, and you touch my li e. Touch
what you will, but for God's sake touch
not the colonies; if you do, outouchthe
manufacturers of England.; you place
yqurselfin collision with one of our most
delicate interests," and, as some said,
though he again repeated, ot his ma-
jesty's ministers, "4 You giv us cause,
and .mak it time for us to arm." He
cold not understand by wha misapplica-
tion of ingenuity, or by wha subtilty of
argument; such persons co Id persuade
themselves that we had a rig t to protest
against the aggressions of rance upon
South America, after we ha not uttered
a word of protest against he aggressions
upon Spain. At the present moment the
colonies belonged dejure t Ferdinand.
According to the doctrines danced by
France before she invaded pain he was
not more out of possession of Mexico
than he was out of possess n of Madrid.
It was to relieve him from the power of
the constitutionalists, and t restore him
Sto his legitimate authority i Spain, that
French troops were march into Spain.
This pretext was not quarrel ed with; and
what was there to prevent a similar excuse
from being as good in the c se of Spanish
America, as it had been in e case of Old
Spain Besides, it might b asked, had
not Ferdinand, a right to ta e back colo-
nies which were undoubte ly his before
the commencement of the ar ? To that
question he knew that the ight hon. se-
cretary opposite had give a decisive
answer. In one of his st te papers he
had said Time, and the co are of events
appear to have substantially decided the
separation of the colonies fr m.themother
country." But he would sk, had not.
" time and the course of e ents," at the.


address on the King's Speech [68
period of the French invasion, more '' sub
stantially" decided, that the Spanish con-
stitution was the constitution of that
country. Had not that constitution re-
sisted all the attempts of its assailants,
from its establishment in 1820, down to
the year 1823? The fact was beyond
dispute. Until French gold and French
intrigue set up the army of the faith, the
constitutional government of Spain was
clearly an independent one; indeed, it
had been recognized more than once by
our own cabinet, and had been more for-
mally recognized several years before by
the imperial autocrat of Russia himself.
If we ever went to war to prevent France
from taking possession of the former con-
lonies of Spain, there would be an incon-
sistency in our policy, which ought to be
reconciled, but which, in his humble opi-
nion, it would be beyond the wit of man
to reconcile. He knew that he was ex-
pressing the hope of every man in the
country, when he said, that he trusted that
the colonies of Spain would never, under
any circumstances, return under the do-,
minion of the mother country, no- matter
whether she was to exist under a consti-
tutional government, or an absolute des-
potism, or whether England, France, or
Russia, was to hold the preponderating
power in her councils. He trusted that
the inconsistency which he had pointed
out in our policy admitted of reconcilia-
tion; but whether it could or could not,
he trusted that we should not neglect our
duty to America, although we had grossly
neglected it towards Spain. The question,
however, with regard to South America,
he believed, was now disposed of, or
nearly so; for an event had recently hap-
pened, than which no event had ever dis-
persed greater joy, exultation, and grati-
tude over all the freemen in Europe-an
event in which he, as an Englishman,:
connected by ties of blood and language
with America, took peculiar pride and sa-
tisfaction-an event, he repeated, had
happened, which was decisive on the sub-
ject; and that event was the speech and
and message of the president of the,
United States to Congress. The line of
policy which that speech disclosed became
a great, a free, and an independent nation;
and he hoped that his majesty's ministers
would.be prevented by no mean pride, no
paltry jealousy, from following so noble
and illustrious an example. He trusted
that as the United States had had the
glory of setting, we should have the good







FrB. 3, 1824. t70


taste to follow, the examinle of ldrdhig
fast by free institutions, and' of assisting
our brother freemen, in whatever part of
the globe they should be found, in plating
bounds to that impious alliance, which, if
it ever succeeded: in bringing down the
old, world to its-own degraded'level, would
not hesitate to attempt to master the new
world too. [Cheers.] On'this'pbint there
was no occasion to have recourse to con-
jecture, as they had facts before them.
Ferdinand had, been expressly told by the
emperor Alexander, that if he would
throw off- the constitutional fetters by
which he was traimmelled, he would assist
him in recovering his trans-Atlantie domi-
nions. In this-case they would send out
no arrmy,.they would equip no fleet, they
would not appear to take an active part
in the struggle; but they would most as-
suredly give assistance, in an underhand
.and covert manner,' to the efforts of the
Spanish Government. Treasure would
be privately supplied; arms arid ammuni-
tion would be sent out,- secretly, but
in the abundance required to meet the
views of Spain; and, above-all, that would
be done with respect to South- America,-
which had already been successfully prac-
tisedin the Peninsula; bodies of intriguers
amply supplied with money, would be sent
out ;. the priesthood of the country would
be found most willing allies in creating
suspicion and sowing dissension; and un-
less'an effectual resistance were made (and
to expose the danger in the first instance
was the most effectual step towards resis-
tance), those colbnies would be again
brought under the iron rule of the mother
country. If the declaration of America
did not, as he hoped it would, put an end
to those attempts on the independence of
the colonies; if a vigorous resistance
were not opposed to those machinations;
sooner or later their liberties would fall a
sacrifice to the intrigues of Spain and of
the allied powers.
He could have wished that the hon. se-
conder had omitted one expression which
had fallen from him in the course of his
speech. He alluded to that part in which
he had spoken of the unfortunate termina-
tion 'of the contest in Spain, and to the
little resistaneewhich had been madebvthe
Spabish people. He would not then enter
intoan inquiry, whether that result was
occasioned by the influence of foreign
p'wers,-or by the conduct of the people'
themselves: Undotbtedly, blunders had
betn coniiittedr The. Want ofa set-tled


constitution, arid somewhat 6f a too sCru-
pulobs policy, had led' the6 in'a crisis of
affairs delicate and critical beyond all pre.
vious example, to sfand' ori fornmi, whdni
they should rather have attenided' to sub-
stance; added to this, werd tle efforts 6f
the priesthood whosb mischievous influ-
ence was deeply to ie lamented in Old
Spain. Of theseinterial evils, aggravated
by external aggressibn, the liberties 6o
Spain became the victim. With respectt
to those distinguished individuals who hai
left that country to avoid the tyrainy
which they must have experienced had
they remained in it, it must be admitted
by all parties, that they retired from tiK
contest with hands unstained with blood,
and with reputations untainted even by-the
breath of suspicion. They possessed noi
resources to save Spain, but they had'thori
than ample resources to save therhselved
from contumely. Those great men had ie.-
tired, subject to no charge; but co6ispi-
cuous for that honest, illustrious,' and in
this country, he hoped, honoured poveity1
which they preferred to wealth, when ac-
quired by an abandonment of priticiple.
He hoped to God that they would find,
wherever they went, the same sympathy,
and kindness which had been extended
towards them iti England. The people
who- had squandered such sums of mdney
on projects that were worse than usel'es
might well extend the hand of assistance"
to those high-minded men; and he anxi-
ously hoped to see the day, when they
might do justice to their transcendent'
merits, by treating them in that generous'
way which their virtue deserved. He
begged pardon for detaining the house at
such length. He had, indeed, occupied:a'
much longer portion 'of its time than hiN
at first intended; but he felt so strongly'
on some of the points introduced by the
hon. seconder into his speech, that hie
could not avoid noticing them. He should
only add, that the pleasure which he felt'
at the admission contained in the conclud-
ing part of the hon. gentleman's speech,
was as great as the gratification he expe-
rienced in having discharged his duty, by'
entering his protest against other portions
of it.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, he rose
with some degree of diffidence, becauseo
hIe had-not previouslyintended to present'
himself to the House immediately'after'
the-lon. and learned gentleman, in 'con,
seqaenerebf the impression created by a
rhmoiur which' Ie had lierd, namely, that


at. the Opening 6fthek S'ession.







71] HOUSE OF COMM NS,
jt was the intention of some hn. member
on the other side to propos an amend-
ment to the address. Howe er, as that
intention seemed not to be entertained,
and although the hon. and le ned gentle-
map had thrown no obstacle in the way
of that practical conclusion t which he
believed the House would arri e, yet there
were some points in his spee h, which it
would be neither respectful t the House,
nor just towards his majest 's govern.
ment, to pass over in silence Whatever
might have fallen from the h n. seconder,
which appeared objectionable to the hon.
and learned gentleman, he ust request,
in fairness, that the whole o the Speech
from the throne should be c nsidered to-
gether-that it should not b taken in its
separate topics, but should be viewed
with reference to the general tenor of the
matters under consideration and to the
general state of the country in all its re-
lations, He entirely agreed in the senti-
ment, that the present was ot the mo-
ment to consider with the be t advantage,
or with reference to the im ediate busi-
ness of the day, the by-gon question of
the policy which had been adopted to-
wards Spain. That question must refer
Dlely to the address carrie in the last
session of.parliament-he eed not say
with how large a majority, or with how
general a concurrence of th public voice
throughout the country. Te policy then
recommended had been stri tly adhered
to; and the events which ere then in
progress had now been brou ht to a con-
clusion. It was impossible fr the Speech
from the throne to omit 411 otice of that
subject; and it was equally impossible to
have noticed it in a manner I ss calculated
to revive extinguished feeling gs, or to ex,
cite any of those angry emot ons to which
the introduction of such a topic might
be supposed to lead. He was not in-
clined to follow the critics of the hon.
and learned gentleman, w o had gone
over the whole of the spee Ic of the hon.
seconder; situated as he w s, any other
person would be more prope to undertake
that task than himself; an therefore he
should not enter into a disc ssion as to the
causes to which were to be attributed the
failure ofthe efforts which ha been recently
trade in Spain. God forbid hat he should
eyult over those who had b en discomfit-
ed God forbid that he s would utter an
unkind sentiment towards t ose who were
now mourning in anguish ver their de-
feated hopes, and whose ipfortunes no


Address on the King's Spoeth L[7
individual talent, virtue, or exertion, could
avert Undoubtedly, the issue of that
contest must have been seen to depend on
events and circumstances which no hu-
man being could estimate with certainty
or confidence. One great consideration
was, the degree of support which the ex-
isting constitutional system was likely to
receive from the feelings and affections of
the people of Spain-that people on whom
it had always been said so much depend-
ence might be placed. As this country
had not any thing to do with the struggle
-as his majesty's government felt that a
strict neutrality was the wisest and best
course to pursue-he was prevented from
stating what the opinion of ministers were
with respect to that constitutional sys-
tem. He was not desirous to point out its
defects-he was not desirous to point out
its unfitness in many respects for that
country-he was not desirous to point out
how far it was unsuitable for monarchical
and Catholic Spain. It had failed; and
with its failure a state of things had grown
up, respecting which, standing in the si-
tuation he then held, he would not utter
an opinion. It was, however, satisfactory
to state, that, in the contest for its estab-
lishment, no British army, no British
navy, no British treasure, was employed.
So far as this country was concerned, the
Spanish people were left to act for them-
selves.
Then came the question, for what pur-
pose were they to have interfered, and to
what extent was that interference to pro.
ceed ? Now, it was not merely neces-
sary that they should send fleets, and
armies, and supplies to Spain; but, to
have been of use, they must also have
carried into that country, unanimity, firm.
ness, and confidence-qualities, of all
others, which strangers never carried into
a state where they were about to employ
their arms qualities which, money,
fleets, and armies having been sup-
plied, the people must, after all, acquire
for themselves. Now, if unanimity and
confidence-requisites so necessary for
carrying on the contest-did not exist,
was it possible, even with our assistance,
that the effort to establish the constitu.
tional system could have succeeded? or
that any thing beyond a protraction of the
struggle would have been effected ? But
the hon, and learned gentleman had con-
nected the affairs of Spain with another
question, which was not yet decided; and
lie had declared, that lie could not under,






FEB. 8, 1824. .. 74


stand how it was possible that this coun-
try could raise a barrier against the in-
vasion of Spanish America by a foreign
state, unless she was prepared to exert
her power against the war which France
was waging with Spain. But, the dis-
tinction was very plain. Precisely on the
same principle that they determined not
to consider the internal affairs of Spain as
a fit subject for their interference, they
would be justified in preventing foreign
powers from interfering with the affairs of
the colonies. They must consider the
mother country and the colonies, accord-
ing to the peculiar circumstances of the
case; and he must say, that there never
had been an instance in the history of the
world, where the separation of the mother
country and the colony had taken place,
where a neighboring state had not a clear
right to exercise its judgment on the ques-
tion of recognition. Undoubtedly, the
mother country might protest against that
recognition; and it was equally clear, that
the foreign power, while in a state of
friendship with the mother country, had
no right to give that aid to the colony,
which was not recognition but support
and encouragement. It might be difficult
to state the point where the period of re-
cognition should commence-where the
recognition would not be connected with
previous encouragement, and where to
withhold it would be unjust. But, when
that period arrived, it was not the state in
which the mother country then stood that
should influence the decision. It must
rest on its own peculiar grounds, without
taking into consideration whether the
constitution of the mother country was a
mitigated monarchy, as was the former
constitution of Spain, or a monarchy of a
more absolute and unlimited nature. The
question, he repeated, must be decided on
its own special merits, and with no refer-
ence to the constitutional changes which
Spain herself had undergone. If they
were prone to deal with others as
others had dealt with them, there would
be no necessity for so much caution and
forbearance. They had only to look back
to the loss of their own colonies in Ame-
rica, and they would see that others did
not hesitate to deal with them in a manner
very different from that which they had
adopted. But, not to do precisely as we
have been done by, but to do as we would
be done by, was the true political as well
as moral maxim [Hear, hear!].
.The hon. and learned gentleman had


observed, that if they were now to recog-
nize the independence of South Ame-
rica, they would only be following the
example which had been set in another
quarter; alluding to the message of the
President of the United States. In
some of the principles laid-down in that
document, he entirely agreed; and he
might be permitted to say, that, long be-
fore the message was sent forth, it
was distinctly admitted, in the state pa-
pers of Great Britain, that the question
between the mother country and the co-
lonies was not a fit subject for foreign in-
terference; but he did not agree in the
principle, that the parent state had not a
right, if she could, to recover her own
colonial dominions. [Mr. Brougham mo-
tioned, that such a principle was not laid
down.] In the paper to which the hon.
and learned gentleman referred, there
was a passage which many individuals
construed in that way, and he certainly
understood the hon. and learned gentle-
man so to have construed it. He was
clearly of opinion, with the President of
the United States, that no foreign state
had a right to interfere, pending the dis.
pute between the colonies and the mother
country; but he was as strongly of opi-
nion, that the mother country had a right
to attempt to recover her colonies if she
thought proper. At the same time, he
was not blind to the difficulty of making
such an effort with any prospect of suc-
cess. Looking to the question in this
point of view-and he thought it was the
correct one-it appeared to him, that it
would be unkind, unjust, unfair, and, he
would add, ungenerous, if this country had
not afforded an interval, to allow Spain an
opportunity of selecting that course which
appeared to be most beneficial for her
colonial interests. He contended, that
Great Britain would have acted unfairly
and ungenerously, if, while Spain was
convulsed by a dreadful struggle, while
the whole force of the country was ab-
sorbed in a civil war (one of the parties
in that war having called in a foreign
army),-that Great Britain would, under
such circumstances, have acted unfairly,
if she had taken advantage of this unto-
ward state of things, to make an inroad
on the colonial possessions of her ally.
Even if the time and opportunity had
been wholly lost by the delay, still he
must rejoice that they had been suffered
to go by, and that nothing had been at-
tempted to be done until Spain was as


at the.Opening ofthe Session.






xJ HOUSE OF COM ONS,
much in possession of hersr o Ifter the
confusion.into which she had eenthrowna
as it was possible for her to b Even on
that part of the speech from the throne.
he thought the hon. and lea ned gentle-.
man would bestow his approbation, if he.
calmly considered it. Wha was there;
stated I Ten months ago, in paper laid,
on the table of that House, it was stated,!
that the situation of those dependent.
states depended in a great measure, on
external circumstances. N after a,
lapse of ten months,, when Spain was:
restored to her power as sub tantially as.
she could be, under her peoul a circum-
stances,, came this speech from the,
throne, which, told the House "that his
majesty had reserved to him elf an un-
fettered discretion of acting to ards those;
colonies, as their circumstance s and the
interests of his own people m ht appear
to require." The hon. and e rned gen-
tleman surely did not want his (Mr. C's,)
interpretation of this passage he knew
the-meaning of it to be, that isi majesty
had declined overtures for any joint con-
sideration of this subject-th t he had
kept his discretion completely unfettered
on question in which he fel that the
interests of his people were c ncerned-
that;he had' entered into no co promise,
and was. perfectly at liberty t act "'as
the circumstances of those oi entries and
the interests, of England might require."
What more could the country desire,
under these circumstances ut. that a
question of such magnitude should be
temperately and fairly consider ed ? He
would.appeal to any mania how ver eager,
he might be for the accompli hment of
his wish in this respect, whether they had
not: acted wisely towards: the elves:and
generously, towards Spain, in all wing this
delay ? Was, it not just tha a pause
should, be granted to the par nt state,
during which she might have t e advan-
tageof learning the sentiments f the dif-
feneattpowers of Europe ? Coul any one
doubt, that by allowing this cause, by
suffering this, subject to be te perately
discussed, byt giving an oppo tunipy to
Spain herself, perhaps, to aek owledge
the independence of those states they did
no bestowa greater boon on th colonies
themselves,, than the-immediat recogni-
tioa off England would bestow n them?
And,,mould not such a pause r der any,
sttpiithiah they might: themsel es: here-
after talrirtos rbperiandlmore efficient ?
Wouldiatriot appeal to:bb such- step;as


Address an te King's Speech [76
might be justified both in the eyes of God
and man, as the best and most prudent
that could be adopted? Such, really, was
the fact, precisely as he had stated it. A
proposition had been made by the gow
vernmnet Df Spainm to the government of
this country, and. an answer had been
returned. That answer was on, the road
to Madrid; and after it had been dis-
posed of, the time would arrive when
government would be enabled to speak
with more explicitness on' the subject
CHear!.],
He did apprehend with the. hon. and
learned gentleman, that of all the topics
on which the speech from, the throne
touched, this was the most important.
He might, perhaps, say, except one-on
which, as the hon. and learned gentleman
had not noticed it, he should also remain
silent; as he had no wish to provoke un-
necessary discussion. He believed that
the subject of the South American colo-
inies was so prominent in the minds, the
feelings, and the wishes of the country,,
that he was perfectly justified. inputting
it forward as he had'done, in the little
with which he felt it necessary to trouble
the House. As to the generaliquestion,
with respect to the station in which this
country stood towards- Europe and the
world, he would make a very few observa-
tions. He said, Europe and the'world;"
'and'in using that phrase, he felt that it
was perfectly applicable to.the time: in
which they lived, When he spoke of
Europe and the world, the phrase had rei
ference to Europe and America-the old
world and the new, the different interests'
of which must be nicely balanced by every
person who wished to attain the character
of a.British statesman. He-could not take
to himself the praise which the hon.
seconder, in addressing, himself to this'
point, had conferred on the government;
but he must, on the other hand, repel the
blame which the hon. and learned gentle-
man had cast on his majesty's ministers,
and contend, that England stood in as'
proud a situation to maintain her just
rights-to maintain her own.proper in-
terests-that she was as much courted,
as much respected, and that her opi-
nion was as anxiously desired by other
powers,, as had ever been the case.
He, agreed, indeed, in the' observation
of the hon. and learned gentleman,
that', she' was. not now in the same'
state as she had been, in, some:other pe-
riods of her history. But, why. was this ?







at the Opening of the Session.


Because the whole state of the world had
changed,-because (whether right or
wrong, he would not inquire) there were
now great preponderating powers which
possessed within themselves more strength
and resources than they could command
in former times-more strength, perhaps,
than ought properly to belong to them :
but, asthose elements were in being, they
were compelled to deal with them, in
proportion to their weight and import-
ance in the general system. His majesty's
ministers had been taunted for the pati-
ence with which they had viewed the
conduct of those powers. They had been
taunted on account of the internal abuses
which existed in those countries; but he
should be glad to know at what time it
was customary to interfere in the internal
regulations of foreign states ? He would
look back to the reign of king William or
queen'Anne, and he would ask, if an alli-
ance were then made with the emperor
of Germany or with the most despotic
prince that ever sat on the throne, whe-
ther their ancestors would have criticised
the conduct of those who had carried
on the negotiation, because they had en-
tered into a compact with the sovereign
of a country, the constitution of which
was different from their own ? They could
not alter the constitution of state. They
could not make a new world, They could
not form another world, of one entire
and perfect chrysolite." They must deal
with the world as it was; they could not
figure and fashion it to suit their own
convenience. Was it policy, he would
ask, to hold no communion except with
states which possessed free constitutions.
If it were so, then our alliances must
be extremely narrowed indeed! If there
were to be" no alliance with those who
were termed despots, would they ever
have been able to have overthrown that
colossus of despotism, before whose throne
almost the whole world had bowed the
knee? The hon. and learned member
had stated, that things were going on in
Austrian Italy which were sufficient to
make one's blood curdle and run cold, He
(Mr. C.) confessed he was ignorant of
the particular transactions; but he be-
lieved he knew sufficient to direct his
mind to the proceedings to which the
hon. and learned member alluded. Trials
for conspiracy, he understood, had taken
place at Milan, convictions had followed,
and sentences had been pronounced. The
testimony might be false; the witnesses


might have been' perjured; the judges
might be corrupt. He did not know that
this was the case, but he would-even as-
sume it to have been so; and even if it
had been so, did the hon. and learned
gentleman mean to say that this country
was therefore to break off all communica-
tion with Austria ? What was to be
done, he wished to know, with Austria,
in the view of the hon. and learned gen-
tleman ? How was the gap which her
absence would leave to be filled after
we had lost her? Were we to abolish her
as a power, or to take up arms against
her, because her internal arrangements
did not meet our approval. This was
surely too absurd and extravagant a pro-
position to be listened to. Let us rather
maintain all our external relations, andt
preserve our connection with the great
powers of Europe, with reference to the
corpus imperii, on broad and general
principles of state policy, without ex-
amining too minutely into abuses which
may exist in foreign governments, or into
practices which our better government
and happier institutions enable us to
criticise with asperity, or denounce with
abhorrence.
He believed, however, that the hon.
and learned gentleman had been greatly
misinformed in some of the circumstances
to which he had adverted. He perfectly
well knew, that about twenty of the chief
persons concerned in the conspiracy at
Milan, of whose guilt or innocence he
did not pretend to offer any opinion, were
convicted and condemned to death, upon
their own confession; and he knew also,
that the Emperor of Austria had extended
to them his mercy, not without a struggle
against the opinions of some of his ads
visers, who thought that the interests of
the empire would be endangered by that-
extension of mercy. As to the particular
statement made by the hon. and learned
gentleman, with respect to the relation of
one of the culprits, he. could say, with all'
sincerity, that he was ignorant of the
transaction to which he alluded; but, if
the hon. and learned gentleman imputed'
to the Austrian government any undue
'severity, in the admini'stratifor of the law
on that occasion, le conscientiously be-
ilieved that he was mistaken. The-hon. and'
learned gentleman had proceeded to allude
to other malpractices which existed in the
Austrian government, and' to comment
with much severity on imprisonment, and'
dungeons, and on the cruelty of extorting


FiB. 1824.






993 HOUSE OF COMM NS,
confessions; but the hon.. ad learned
gentleman did not seem to be aware,
that by the law in that country sentence
could not be executed on a cri final unless
he confessed his guilt. To us this might
seem a very absurd lavw as t was con-
stantly the practice in this country to
hang criminals who died prot sting their
innocence, and we did not thin confession
necessary; yet, on the first s atement of
the law, as it existed in Aust ia, it could
not be denied, that it seems t be rather
a humane provision than oth wise. He
believed it to be an absurd provision;
because the confession ust either
be unfairly extorted, or if th proof was
sufficient without such confess ion, it was
unnecessary. He did not, ho ever, think
it was quite fair to state the fa t, that these
persons were goaded on to confession,
without also stating the fact, that by the
Austrian law, sentence could not be ex-
ecuted on a criminal without uch a con-
fession. He did not wish to b considered
as advocating the expedienc of such a
provision. He did not dee it a part of
his duty to vindicate the la s of a par-
ticular state, with which we we e politically
connected. He did' not feel it to be his
duty to make himself master o the details
of a particular trial, which eight have
taken place in that state. ut, if other
nations were to judge of us, as the hon.
and learned gentleman was ow judging
of the Emperor of Austria, with what
barbarity and coarseness of f eling might
they not charge us, when the referred to
what they had all witnessed, ith so much
disgust, during the last three months ? He
alluded to the recent trial an execution
at Hertford. What imput ions might
not be cast on the national character, if
they judged of us as critical as the hon.
and learned gentleman was ow judging
of the Emperor of Austria, when they
read the eulogiums which ha been pub-
lished in this country on a ha denied, un-
confessing, convicted murder r ? Would
it be fair to make use of this transaction,
as an argument to impeach the national
character of this country ? hat would
the hon. and learned gentle an think, if
as apendant to the picture ich he had
drawn of the trials at Mila the trans-
actions at Hertford were to be critically
commented upon in a forei n assembly,
and converted into an argue t against the
character of the British pe ple ? Such
an argument would be quit as fair, and
quite as much to the purpose as the ar-


Address on the kihg's Speech [80
gument which had been employed by the
hon. and learned gentleman.
The next point to which he would ad-
vert, and he should do it in a word, was
the observation of the hon. and learned
member upon his question last session, on
the subject of Switzerland. The answer
which he had given to the hon, and learned
gentleman's question, he had given at the
time, in perfect sincerity; and when the
hon. and learned gentleman said, that he
ought to have been better informed, by
so well paid a mission, upon the subject,
that argument certainly did not apply ad
hominem, whatever other merits it might
lay claim to. If the quantity of infor-
mation derived, was to depend upon the
payment of the mission, he, upon that
principle, ought not to have been in-,
formed, for he had reduced the costs of the
mission by one-half [a laugh]. In point
of fact, however, he had not been informed.
in the slightest degree as to the reports
in question, when he had given his answer
to that effect, to the hon. and learned
gentleman, and it was only on going to
his office, about a quarter of an hour after,'
that he had found the same detail of facts
upon his table, which the hon. and learned-
gentleman had opened in his speech,
coming, perhaps, from the very same
source from which they had come to the
hon. and learned gentleman. As to the
reports of an Austrian prince having been
in view at any time for Switzerland, he
believed there was not a shadow of a foun-
dation for the story. For the charge of
harbouring conspirators, and the remon-
strances, he would only thus much, that
if the accusations had been true, the re-
monstrances were justifiable. But he be-
lieved, that both the hon. and learned
gentleman and himself, had been misled
in what that statement of facts, as it was,
called, contained; and that a great part
.of the stories circulated abroad had been
founded upon the solicitations of ill.
disposed persons in Switzerland herself,
who desired-and there were some whom
he knew to be capable of such a purpose,
-who desired to bring the great powers of
Europe upon their country; because they
themselves, in the objects of some par-
ticular faction, had been defeated. The
more he reflected upon the subject, the
more he was convinced that such had been
the fact; and as to the Austrian prince,
he believed such an idea had never existed
but in the brain of the drawer up of those
state papers, which had furnished him







at the Opening of the Session.


with his information as well as the hon. and
learned gentleman opposite; and had, in
fact, teased every court in Europe which
would takethe trouble to look at the writer's
lucubrations. With respect to Germany
herself, as regarded those circumstances
upon which the hon. and learned
gentleman had commented, he certainly
could hardly conceive a more inconvenient
arrangement, than that power of the
German diet to interfere with all the states
of which Germany was composed. But,
the independent state (Wurtemberg) to
which the hon. and learned gentleman
alluded, this independent state which had
been interfered with, was part, let it be
recollected, of the German federation.
He himself thought the principle was bad ;
but it was not fair to call an application
of it a flagrant outrage. The power in
question might, or might not, have been
exercised improperly as regarded a par-
ticular state ; but still it was the law.
And, even under any circumstances, was
it to be said, that, wherever there had been
an improper interference with a paragraph
in a newspaper, we, England, were to blot
out of the map of that state, Europe, and
to say we would have no alliance with it ?
The hon. and learned gentleman must give
up the old world,and look only to the new,
if he meant to establish any such a prin-
ciple. He knew that it was maintained
by some, that England ought to set her-
self up as a barrier for all Europe, against
principles of a despotic tendency; but
he could not be persuaded, that it was
the policy of England to do lightly any
act which might plunge herself and all
Europe into a bloody and unceasing war.
Of all the wars-and unhappily we had
experienced but too many varieties of
them-of all the wars which we had seen,
and which had brought desolation in their
train, the wars of opinion had been de-
cidedly the most fatal; and a single spark
flashing unhappily from the hasty zeal of
England, might light up a conflagration
on the continent, which no after-exertions
could extinguish; might lead to a con-
test of opinions and principles, which
would divide all the nations of Europe,
and only terminate, probably, with the
total destruction of one of the contending
factions. Was this, then, an object for
England to aim at ? Was this to be laid
down as the intent by which ministers
were to regulate their conduct ? Or might
they be allowed to say, that their object
was peace; be the component parts of that
VOL. X.


peace more or less perfect? To see
England moving steadily on in her own
orbit, without looking too nicely to the
conduct of the powers in alliance with
her: to see her content with her own
glory, and by that glory exciting other
nations to arrive at the same advantages
which her peculiar system had bestowed
upon her; but not, by a wild crusade, or
endeavour, to force those advantages upon
free countries, converting blessings into
curses as respected them, and courting
danger and difficulty as regarded herself?
It was this course which he took to be the
true policy of England. It was with this
view to peace, while peace might be main-
tained, that his Majesty's government
had acted, and were prepared to act. But
it did not follow, because they forbore to
seek for difference, that when it came, it
would not find them on the alert; or that
the strength which had slumbered would
be the less effective when called into
action.
He did not know that, in what had fallen
from the hon. and learned gentleman oppo-
site, there were any other points, on
which he needed to detain the House; but
he would just say a very few words, with
reference to those observations respecting
Ireland, which had been made by the hon.
seconder of the address, at the conclusion
of his speech. With regard to Ireland,
he wished it to be understood, that his
sentiments were what they had ever been.
He retained all his old opinions with re-
spect to that great question; and fully
believed, that sooner or later, those
opinions would make their way in that
House; but he differed from the opinions
which had been laid down by the hon. and
learned gentleman opposite. There was
no word, which, in parliamentary oratory,
was more bandied about than the word
" inconsistency;" and, in general, the
person who charged another with that
offence, did not measure the consistency
of the accused by his own, but by some
arbitrary standard that he had chosen to
set up. Now, it might be an absurd
opinion to hold, that in the present state
of public feeling in England, the Ca-
tholic concession could not (to use the
common parlance) be carried as a" go-
vernment" question, and that the public
men of the country did not afford the
materials for an administration, united
upon that point, and upon other questions
of paramount importance. But, if that
opinion of his was absurd, it was not. an
G


81]


Fe~a. 3, 1824. [82






83] HOUSE OF COMM NS,
opinion of the present day; t was the
opinion which he had always ex dressed in
that house; and inconsistent y," as be
took it, was the differing, not fr m others,
but from one's self. The hon. a d learned
gentleman, however, on the opposite
bench, and another individual n another
place, had thought it expedient to charge
him with inconsistency in hi conduct,
with respect to the catholic que tion; and,
by rather a whimsical choice, they had
both laid hold of that particular period of
his public life, in which he had e joyed the
best opportunity for showing what his
sentiments upon that question r ally were.
It was said of him, that in the ear 1812,
le had been willing to become 'art of an
administration, which was to consist of
the marquis Wellesley and hi self, and
other gentlemen on the same s de of the
House; that that administration would
have been an administration u ited upon
the Catholic question; and tha therefore
it was inconsistency for him tact with
any government otherwise c instituted.
Now, whoever might be the his orian that
had referred to this passage o his (Mr.
C's) life, he had looked, by s me acci-
dent, at only part of the trans action. If
he had examined one side of te page as
carefully as he had the other, he would
have found (continued the ight hon.
Secretary) that, in the year 1 12, when
his royal highness the Prince egent was
graciously pleased to instruct t e marquis
Wellesley and myself to form a govern-
ment, the stipulation of marquis Wellesley
had been, that he should mak proposals
to some of the gentlemen on th opposite
side, and my stipulation-wh t was it ?
Was it to exclude the Protesta t faction,
as it is called, altogether ? No; but it was
that I should be at liberty to m ke similar
proposals to lord Liverpool, which, ac-
cordingly, I did." Such, then had been
his (the right lion. secretary's) expressionn
of his opinions; not when he had been
called upon to join a government nt, but to
form one. It was true, that lord Liverpool
and his friends had declined ta ling office
with that government; and al o that he
himself had not thought it necessary,
upon that refusal, to give the thing up
altogether: but his choice hbd been a
government composed of mixe elements ;
and his opinion was still, that if the Ca-
tholic question was to be carrie it would
be carried by an administra ion which
made it, not a government qu stion, but
a general one. He did still ho e that the


Address on the King's Speech [84
prejudices of Englishmen might in time be
reasoned down; and that in time the Ca-
tholic question might find that support in
the country, which, he was sorry to say,
he did not think it found at present. But,
by whatever hand, or at whatever period,
that question should be brought forward,
it would receive from him, whether in or
out of office, the best support which he was
able to give it. But it would still find him
believing, that nothing was to be gained
by attempting to carry the point in theway
of a government question; and that (if
that were necessary) there did not, more-
over, exist materials at the present mo-
ment, sufficient to form an administration
.concurring upon that subject, and upon
others also on which it would be necessary
for them to agree.
He had said, and he meant to keep his
word, that he would not travel into any
part of the Speech from the throne, which
had not been touched upon by the hon.
and learned gentleman. There was one
most important point in it, which he
should therefore leave at rest, feeling that
it was not because its value was under-
rated, that it had for the present been
passed over by the gentlemen on the
other side. The speech of the hon. and
'learned member opposite, had gone chiefly
to matters of foreign policy; and he had
endeavoured to explain to the House, the
course which, upon that head, Govern-
ment had pursued. The Speech from the
throne contained an account by ministers
of their stewardship, and of the policy
which they had pursued, since the House
had last met; and if, upon that statement,
they did not come forward to challenge
approbation, at least, they were prepared
to meet criticism without dread or
apprehension.
Mr. Bright protested against being un-
derstood to concur in the system of
policy which had been adopted with res-
pect to our West-India Colonies. I
Mr. Canning said, that the language of
the Speech from the Throne was, of
course, to be understood as compre-
hending the sentiments of ministers on
that subject, and that the whole question
would be open to discussion at a future
opportunity.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, that as the
hon. and learned gentleman opposite had
inferred, from apart of the Speech from.
the Throne, that measures were recom-
mended introductory to the admission of
the Catholic claims, he was anxious not to







FEB. 4, U424. [86


be misunderstood on a question of so much-
importance. As his right hon. friend had
taken an opportunity of expressing the
opinions which be was known to maintain
on that subject, and his intention and per-
severance in them; he (Mr. P.) trusted
that he might also be permitted to take
the same opportunity of repeating the de-
termination, which le had so often ex-
pressed in that House, of opposing those
claims, whenever they might be brought
under the consideration of Parliament.
Mr. lume expressed his regret at
hearing the observations which had fallen
from the right hon. Secretary opposite,
with respect to that unfortunate country,
Ireland. He had, in effect, declared,
that the same ruinous system of policy
which had so long distracted, and divided
Ireland, was still to be persisted in. This
was a lamentable declaration, on the part
of ministers, in whom that House was
called upon to place its confidence. He
complained that there was no distinct
statement in the Speech from the Throne
as to what taxes were to be taken off, and
what amount of relief was to be afforded
to the country. The Speech was as lame
in its composition, as it was possible for any
public document to be. They were told,
that arrangements had been made for that
purpose, but there was no mention of any
thing to lead them to conjecture what
class would have the immediate advantage
of the intended relief. The fears of the
country ought to be instantly assuaged by
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by
stating what taxes would be taken off.
Not a moment should be lost in giving the
House and the country proper satisfaction
upon this part of the Speech. His object
in rising was merely to protest against its
being understood, that because they were
silent, they felt no disapprobation what-
ever.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that it was his intention at a very early
period of the session, to lay before the
House the view which his majesty's mi-
nisters had taken of the state of the fi-
nances, and of the course of measures which
they thought it advisable to adopt for
the future. He therefore thought, that
under these circumstances, neither the
hon. gentleman, nor the, House would
consider that he was wanting in proper
respect, if he declined entering at present
into any specific statement of the mea-
sures. which it was his intention so shortly
to submit, and which he trusted would


prove satisfactory both to the House aid
the country.
The Address was agreed to nem. con.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 4.
VAGRANT ACT.] Mr. Littleton said,
that he was requested by his hon. friend,
the member for Stafford (Mr. Chetwynd),
to move for certain papers which were
intended to show what had been the ope-
ration of the Vagrant act, which had
been passed last session. That act had
been the object of much clamour, which
arose from the said act having been mis.-
understood. By obtaining the passing of
that act, his hon. friend had saved the
counties of England and Wales the sum
of 100,0001. annually, which' had been
heretofore expended in passing vagrants
from one part of the country to another.'
To his hon. friend also belonged the
credit of having consolidated about fifty
acts relative to vagrancy into one act.
When the subject should be discussed, he.
believed it would be found that the'
clamour to which he had alluded had
been excited, not so much by the law, as
by the indiscretion of some magistrates
who had administered it. He then moved
for a return of the number of persons
committed under the vagrant laws to the
respective prisons in England and Wales,
specifying the particular act of vagrancy
for which each person was committed,
from the 1st Jan. 1820, to the 1st Jan.
1824; likewise for a return of the sums
of money paid by the treasurers of coun-
ties in England and Wales, for the pass--
ing of vagrants, from the 1st Jan. 1820,1
to the 1st Jan. 1824.-Ordered.

ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] Mr.
Rowland Hill having brought up the re-
port of the Address in answer to the
King's Speech,
Mr..Hobhouse said, that with respect,
to that most important part of the Speech
from the Throne which related to foreign
affairs, he rose to protest against it being
supposed that he, as an independent
member of parliament, had concurred in
the least degree in the Address. If he
could have agreed .to that address, he
would have considered that he had dis-
graced himself-he would consider him-
self unworthy the constituents he had the


at the Openin~g Sfthe Session.







87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


honour to represent-he would
himself unmindful of the reno%
ancestors. He had two quest
to the right hon. gentleman op
had attended with the utmost
the speech of the right hon.
all Europe, indeed, was attend
he said; conscious that, on his
pended, in some degree, their
The point to which he would,
place, direct himself to the
gentleman, was with respect
America. The right hon. ge
the course of his speech had
that important point so lightly
satisfy any person who had
save his own colleagues, who
Sthe policy or the convenience
the thing kept secret. The
gentleman had said, that he
it a matter of grace and fav
Spain that she should be allow
portunity of attempting to r
possession of her colonies in S
rica; He certainly agreed wit
hon. gentleman, that Spain
should have the right of recc
colonies if she could exercise
king of Spain were master
sources of his country-were
his capital-were master of I
of none of which he consider
ter-he might, under such circ
be allowed, without any i
on the part of any other sti
tempt to recover his trans-atla
sions. But, when 70,000 Fre
were stationed in Spain-
port of any consequence fror
to Cadiz was in the hands of I
-when every fortress was in
Aession-he would ask the rigl
tleman, whether it was not
talk of the Spanish govern
He hoped the right hon. gen
not mean to say, that beca
present moment there was no
in Spain-because the constitu
was put down, and the express
dom was for a moment suppr
therefore the king of Spain wa
contrary was obvious to every
he were a prisoner in the h
Cortes, how much more so w;
He was hemmed round w
bayonets; and every body wh
quainted, with the state of Sp
that if the French army we
draw From that country to-m
unfortunate king-unfortunate


I consider
,n of their
ions to put
posite. He
anxiety to
gentleman;
ng to what
words de-
very fate.
in the first
right hon.
to South
tleman, in
ouched on
, as not to
heard him,
perhaps felt
Sof having
right hon.
considered
)ur to Old
red the op-
ecover the
outh Ame-
h the right
of herself
vering her
it-if the
of the re-
master of
is crown-
I him mas,
umstances,
iterference
Lte, to at-
itic posses-
ach troops
hen every
I Gibraltar
he French
their pos,
thon. gen-
a farce to
ant at all?
tleman did
ise at the
movement
ional party
ion of free-
!ssed, that,
free. The
body. If
nds of the
s he now?
th foreign
to was ac-
ain, knew,
e to with-
arrow, the
he meant,


Address on the King's Speech [88
only with respect to his bad character,
and his loss of all possible respect-+-would
be driven from his throne. Under these
circumstances, without wishing to extract
from the right hon. gentleman any secrets,
which he might not feel himself at liberty
to disclose, he would yet ask him, and he
conceived that the right hon. gentleman
was bound to give a decisive and satis-
factory answer, whether the nominal king
of Spain would be allowed by this coun-
try to seek to recover his trans-atlantic
possessions, whilst French troops remain-
ed in possession of Spain? The House
had heard a great deal during the last
session from the right hon. gentleman,
disclaiming and denouncing the idea, that
French troops should be permitted to
occupy Spain. State papers to that effect
had also been published; yet the right
hon. gentleman, now that the, French
troops actually did occupy that country,
did not say one word on the subject; he
did not intimate that he had even asked
the French minister, viscount Chateau-
briand, how long it was the intention of
France to keep possession of that coun-
try. Of 100,000 who had marched to
invade Spain, 70,000 were left behind:
that army occupied the capital, and every
position of the slightest importance. It
certainly was a matter of great import-
ance to ascertain whether the French
troops were to remain in the permanent
occupation of Spain. The right hon.
gentleman, although he had not impart-
ed any information to the House on that
most interesting subject, had nevertheless,
he hoped, not overlooked it. He hoped,
too, that the right hon. gentleman, as an
English minister, would take care to have
better assurances on that head, than the
word of the French minister, or even of
the French king-that king, who had
pledged his sacred word and honour, that
the army, which was called the Army of
Occupation, should never be suffered to
cross the Pyrenees to act offensively
against Spain [Hear, hear!]. After the
scandalous violation of that solemn pledge
-after the open breach of faith and ho-
nour-after the commission of a palpable
and downright falsehood, such as would
have covered any gentleman in private
life with shame, little, if any reliance was
to be placed on the word of that king, or,
of his minister Chateaubriand, however
solemnly and gravely pledged.-The next
point to which he would wish to call the
attention of the right hon. gentleman, re-






FJEma 4, 1824. [90


lated to a proclamation issued by sir
Thomas Maitland, Lord High Commis-
sioner of the loniat Islands. Now, con-
sidering the importance of this personage,
and the many titles which in regular gra-
dation were attached to his name, it was
really a matter almost difficult of belief,
that he could have published a document
such as that to which he was now
alluding. It was a document which one
would be almost disposed to think was
written in a drunken frolic, bearing about
it nothing but signs of intemperance and
folly. His excellency had thought proper,
by that proclamation, on account of
something which had occurred, and which
he had not distinctly stated, to put two
islands under a quarantine of thirty days;
but he had done worse, he had taken oc-
casion in that proclamation to thunder
forth his anamethas against men who were
struggling for freedom-who were fight-
ing for that which even sir Thomas Mait-
land might be supposed to have some
respect for [Hear, hear!]. The procla-
mation complained, that some Greek ves-
sels, under the command of a person, who
called himself prince Maurocordato, had
committed a flagrant violation of territory,
and to prevent the government of the
Ionian Islands from being in any manner
accountable for the terrible slaughters
and atrocities which on that occasion,
and on many others, had marked the con-
duct of the persons engaged in the war,
the, measure of quarantine had been
'resorted to. He (Mr. H.) considered
that as a direct attack upon the Greeks;
it was a most uncalled-for attack, and he
would wish to know, whether his majesty's
government at home had received that
proclamation, and whether such a mea-
sure was authorised or approved of by
them ? He had received a letter very
recently from Ithaca on the subject, and
from that letter, it appeared, that the
flagrant violation of territory to which
the proclamation alluded, was caused, not
by the Greek chief, but by the conduct
of the Turks. Prince Maurocordato, of
whom sir T. Maitland thought fit to
speak in so slight and so insulting a tone,
had done every thing he could on the oc-
casion to restrain his men, and had made,
and was willing to make, every possible
apology to the government of Great Bri-
tain. The facts of the case were these:
-a Greek squadron had taken a vessel
belonging to the Turks: whilst the
Greeks were in the act of boarding, they


were fired upon by a detachment of Turks
from the shore at Ithaca: the Greeks
upon this landed,and infair fightput anum-
ber of their assailants to death. That Was
the whole of the case; that was the viola-
tion which sir T. Maitland so vehemently
condemned; taking care, at the same
time to pass over in perfect silence vari-
ous infractions of the violation of territory
committed by the Turks. The hon. gen-
tleman concluded by saying, that in
stating, the matter, as it came under his
immediate observation, to the House, he
did not mean, in any possible way, to
throw blame upon the government at
home: he did not mean to say, that they
in deed or in thought had sanctioned
this extraordinary act; and he trusted
that they would show that they did not
participate-that they did not approve of
the denunciation of sir T. Maitland; be-
cause a denunciation of that public nature,
if suffered to go abroad uncontradicted,
might be of the most serious injury to the
cause of the Greeks at this most interest-
ing period of their fate. He had the bri-
ginal Italian proclamation in his hand,
and was ready to present it to the right
hon. secretary.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, that hd
should feel happy to give to the hon. gen-
tleman who had just sat down, or to any
member of that House, every information
in his power to give, which he could with
safety disclose. He should confine him-:
self simply to the questions put by the;
hon. member: and, first, with respect to
the independence of South America, the
hon. gentleman complained, that he had
not last night entered more minutely into
details; and here he must say, that the
hon. gentleman seemed to have confound-
ed a statement of principles with a state-
ment of facts. The part of his speech to
which the hon. gentleman alluded, had
been in reply to that part of the speech
of the hon. and learned member which re-
lated to South America. What he hbad
said last night respecting the relative in-
ternational situation of a mother country
and her colonies was this,-4hat in princi-
ple, a mother country had a right, if she
thought she had the power, to etdeavaor
to recover possession of any colonies,
which had, by any effort of their own,
thrown. off her dominion; and that no
other country in amity with her, wouidd,
upon the naked principle, be justified:in
intercepting her effort, or interfering, in
the first stance, to ehdoavour to prevent


at the Openink~ qfthe Seision.






91J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
them. She bad a right, bon fide, to a
resumption of her colonial po sessions, if
she were in a condition to reclaim them,
and it would not be correct inr a friendly
power to prevent her. When he said
correct, he meant upon the strict principle
of the law of nations, for circumstances
might render it correct to go 3 war, and
the interference, in the first instance,
might be deemed a declaration of war.
This was the abstract princi le he had
stated, and which he maintain d; other-
wise they would be avowedly interfering
with a legitimate right not abjdred by the
mother country, and would be aiding the
governed against the governor. i The hon.
gentleman had gone on to put certain
possible violations of neutrality. Now,
he would not follow the hon. gentleman
by arguing upon assumed probabilities, or
possibilities, which might demand a de-
parture from the abstract principle he had
laid down; but he would most distinctly
state, that Spain, that Europe, knew most
unequivocally, that whilst E gland ad-
mitted the right of Spain to recover her
late American possessions, she denied the
right of any foreign power to interfere in
aid of the mother country in the attempt
[Hear, hear!]. With respect to the ul-
timate, intentions of France, w th regard
to the military occupation of Spain, he
felt a difficulty in satisfying th hon. gen-
tleman, in consequence of his o servation,
that the British government otght not to
give credence to the declarations of the
French king, or of his minister; for he
knew not how to satisfy the hon. gentle-
man if he refused him access to the offi-
cial channels of communication which the
government had always maintained with
the. other powers in amity with them.
But, if the hon. gentleman wo uld permit
him to resort to the regular information
of his office, he could inform I im in re-
ply, that the government had the most
positive assurances from the court of
France, that they did not contemplate the
permanent occupation of Spain. He gave
credit to those assurances, and would
continue to do so, notwithstanding the
doubt which the hon. gentleman had cast
upon them. And when he stat d this, he
begged also to say, that he retained all
the sentiments he had last year expressed,
respecting the French aggression upon
Spain;. but, whilst he retained those sen-
titments, he must be permitted to add, that,
the vice of the aggression apart, the con-
duct of the French armies (always sepa-


Address on the Kigg's SpWech [92
rating their conduct from the principle of
their entrance) was as unexceptionable as
it could possibly have been, under any
circumstances of military conflict. He
doubted whether history furnished a si-
milar example of the discipline of a fo-
reign army engaged in the invasion of an-
other state; or rather, as in this instance,
called in by invitation, to assist a predo-
minating party in putting down a rival
faction. He hoped he had said enough
to explain the principle he had laid down
respecting Spain and her colonies: he de-
nied the right of England to interfere: he
equally denied the right of any other
power to interfere in the contest. How
far a species of connivance to blind the
plain meaning of his principle might here-
after be set up by one power or another,
he could not say, and he would not now
argue. He wished to be judged solely
upon the principle, according to its plain
and fair construction, and that he thought
enough to argue on the present occasion.
As to the hon. gentleman's second ques-
tion, he had only to repeat, with the same
confidence he had stated it last year, that.
he apprehended there was no danger of
the permanent occupation of Spain by
France. If a question were put to him,
how long the duration of that occupancy
would continue, he should reply, that that
was an event so entirely dependent upon
circumstances, as to render it impossible
for him to give an immediate answer; but
there was one question to which he was
ready at the moment to give an explicit
answer. If he were asked, Ought the
French army to evacuate Spain to-
morrow ?-as a friend to humanity, he
must say no. With respect to the affairs
of Greece, he believed he was in posses-
sion of the requisite information upon that
subject. He had not at present, although
he had received the document, an exact
impression upon his memory of the facts
of the outrage to which sir Thomas Mait-
land's proclamation referred; but he be-
lieved them to be these: A small Greek
squadron had pursued some Turkish ves-
sels into the harbour of Ithaca, where the
crews of one of the latter landed; they
were pursued ashore by the Greeks, who
butchered, in cold blood, 90 out of 120
Turks, of whom the crew was composed.
This scene occurred on an island guarded
by British neutrality; and he left it to the
House-he left it even to the hon. mem-
ber-to say, whether the government of.
the Ionian Isles could possibly pass over






FEB. 4, 1$24. [94


in silence a transaction of that descrip.
tion. He had only, in conclusion, to say,
that his majesty's government, at home
and abroad, had endeavoured, under all
circumstances, to act between the con-
tending parties with an even and impartial
hand, ever since its neutrality had been
declared. That outrages on both sides
had been committed was as clear as it
was to be lamented; but not' the smallest
desire had been evinced by the British
authorities, to incline the balance either
to one side or the other.
Mr. Western expressed his surprise at
the declaration of the right hon. gentle-
man, that, if he were asked, whether the
French army ought to evacuate Spain to-
morrow, his answer would be no. Such
a declaration opened the door to other
powers to prolong the continuance of a
daring aggression upon the rights of an
independent state, according to their no-
tions of the indefinite duration of motives
of humanity. It was his intention, last
evening, to have moved an amendment to
the address, had not his hon. and learned
friend (Mr. Brougham) anticipated what
he had to say, in the able and eloquent
speechwhich he had made on the occasion.
He was decidedly opposed to the policy of
the present cabinet respecting our foreign
relations, founded as it was upon a deter-
mination to preserve peace at all events.
He appreciated the value of peace as
much as any man could do; but still he
could not go the length of the right hon.
secretary, in looking calmly upon aggres-
sions like that of France against Spain,
and in considering the infringement of the
right of an independent nation to regulate
its own concerns, as a matter of little im.
portance to the interest and security of
the British empire. Such an interference
with the internal policy of an independent
state, as it had been our misfortune re-
cently to witness, would have called forth
the strong reprobation and decided op-
position of our sturdy ancestors; and he,
for one could see no reason why we should
abandon the heroic policy which they had
bravely pursued at every hazard, in vari-
ous periods of our history. The princi-
ples which the Holy Alliance had avowed
on different occasions, 'and particularly
in the state papers which they had sent
forth from Laybach, had opened the eyes
of every man in the country, except his
majesty's ministers, to the. infamous na-
ture of their designs. It would be in the
recollection of the House, that when the


hon. member for Yorkshire had moved
for the production of those papers, lord
Castlereagh had objected to the motion,
on the ground, that the papers in ques-
tion contained nothing more than a pro-
mulgation of principles on which there
was no intention of acting, and.the mo-
tion was in consequence negatived. The
House had, however, recently seen the
principles then promulgated carried into
practice; and, what was more important,
had seen them carried into practice, with-
out any attempt at resistance from the
British government. He should not press
this point any farther at present: he mere-
ly mentioned it, that it might not be sup-
posed that he concurred in the approba-
tion which had been bestowed on the po-
licy of the present cabinet. He could
not describe the painful mixture of sur-
prise and indignation by which he was af-
fected, when he had heard the right hon.
secretary declare last night, that we oughq
not to interfere, even if the minor states
were going to be annihilated. He agreed
with him fully, when he said that it would
be Quixotic in us to become the cham-
pion of all the minor states upon every
case of grievance which they had to ad-
duce; but it was one thing to become
their champion, and another to remon-
strate against manifest injuries which were
inflicted upon them. To uphold the
cause of the weak against the strong, to
watch over the relative interests of the
different states of Europe, and to hold
the balance of power between them with
an impartial hand, was formerly the dis-
tinguishing pride and policy of Great
Britain; and he trusted that we should
soon return to it, notwithstanding the
temporary aberration we had made from
sound principles, under the guidance of
the present cabinet.
Colonel Palmer said, that he rose under
the strongest feelings of shame and indig-
nation, to protest against the conduct of
his majesty's government: he had not
opposed the address against the general
sense of the House, but being convinced
that not only Europe, but the world'at
large, had never yet been reduced to
such a state of actual and prospective:
misery as at the present moment, and that
such state was to be imputed solely to the
conduct of the British government, he
considered it to be a duty to his country,
as a member of that House, to declare his
opinion upon the subject. If it were true,
as the ministers had told them, both in;


. at te ~Opening of the Session.







95) HOUSE' OF COfMMONS,
and out of'parliament, and n dre especi-
ally in a late speech of the ri ht hon. se-
cretary, that the country had been so long
prepared for war, they had sacrificed its
honour and most vital inter ts, by suf.
fearing France to:conquer Spai : if it were
false, they had equally betrayed their
duty, by deceiving the country to support
the system of their government. But,
whatever the real state of the nation, the
conduct of his majesty's minis ers towards
Spain .had been wholly inde nsible; as,
looking to the avowed intentions of France
and the Holy Alliance, neutrality on the
part of England was impossible andcould
not be maintained: for what I ad been the
late measure of the minister in sending
eonsuls to South America, bit an act of
hostility to those powers, which, if not re-
sented, would be a further proof, if any
were wanting, that if England had acted
with firmness at theSCongress, and de-
clared herself the ally of Spain, France
would not have dared to inside her ? If,
dn the other hand, after abandoning
Spain, the country was to be involved in
war for the independence of ler colonies,
what excuse could be made fr the minis-
ters, who might have secured the liberties
of both at a less expence to the nation,
than had already been incurred by the
active measures to which their crooked
and inconsistent policy at last compelled
then The ministers in the last session,
to tool the ardour of the people in the
cause of Spain, had declared, that any in-
terference in her behalf woull involve all
the expenses of the former contest. But
he (colonel Palmer) had then stated to
the right hon. gentleman, what he now
repeated, that no such expence was ne-
cessary: all that honour and policy re-
quired of England was, to render Spain
the assistance which her means afforded;
and those means were more thn adequate
to the object; for to have s~nt but half
the force of our naval peace establish-
ment, lying ready in our p rts, to the
defence of Cadiz, would have prevented
all the disasters to the cause of Spanish
liberty, which the consummate folly or
treachery of the British government ne-

prudent policy, which every consideration
for the honour and interests of the nation
demanded, had been termed Quixotism
by the right hon. gentlemapa Would
that his conduct, as minister, could have
borne the same comparison! but, unfor-
tunately, it had betrayed all the insanity


Address on the King's Speech [96
of.the character, without a spark of that
chivalrous feeling, which, however roman-
tic in its origin, or thankless in the end
to the mind of the right hon. gentleman,
was, in his (col. P's) opinion, the best
foundation of a great or good name,
either for states or individuals. The
right hon. gentleman, too, in, his late
speech, further to mark the distinction
between his Quixotic opponents and him-
self, had openly declared, as the minister
of England, that in the conduct of poli-
tical affairs, the grand object of his con-
templation was the interest of his own
country. And what had been the result
of this most wise and liberal policy, but
to combine the whole world against her P
For, where was the nation wherein, both
with the government and people, the name
of England was not justly held in detes-
tation ? She was necessarily hated by all
the governments of Europe, as the only
nation wherein that liberty of the press
existed, which, if not destroyed itself
must eventually destroy their tyranny;
and she was equally hated by all other
nations, because, in every instance of a
struggle for liberty, whether in.France,
since the commencement of her revolu-
tion, or latterly in South America, in
Greece, in Italy, or in Spain, the British
government had invariably opposed it.
Thus England, through the system of its
ministers, was the enemy of the whole
human race; and, whilst the right hone
gentleman had been exhibiting himself
about the kingdom, trumpeting in all di-
rections the praises of himself and col-
leagues, there was not a nation but ab-
horred them, nor a power in Europe that
was not pledged to destroy the liberties
of the country committed to their hands.
And, after all his fine speeches, what, in
fact, had been the measures of the right
hon. gentleman to oppose France and the
Holy Alliance up to the total destruction
of Spanish liberty by the fall of Cadiz?
Nothing whatever, but intemperate abuse
of their conduct, and a positive declara-
tion of strict neutrality, This was not a
Quixotism certainly; nor did he: know a
parallel to such conduct in history or ro-
mance. The only resemblance he could
find to it was in the case of the late atro-,
cious murder, wherein the Holy Alliance
was the bold villain who went straight to:
his purpose, whilst the right hon. gentle-,
man was the humane- and consistent ac-
complice, who, after furnishing the rope
and sack, resolved, come what may," to







atthee Opening of the Snsion.


have no share in the transaction; for pre-
cisely with 'the same feelings that this
miscreant had hung back whilst the deed
was perpetrating, so the ministers of Eng-
land, who had gone hand-in-hand with
their accomplices in their plot against li-
berty for the last thirty years, now stood
aloof, whilst their victim was expiring
under the blows of its assassins. As to
their accomplices, compared with them-
selves, they were honourable, upright
characters; for their conduct had been
consistent throughout; and whilst he de-
tested their policy, in justice to their
private characters, and what he believed
and knew upon the subject, he could not
agree in all the odium cast on persons, to
whom every allowance was to be made
for those prejudices and impressions
which, however hostile to the liberties of
mankind, were inseparable from human
nature, and would be felt equally by
others, under similar circumstances. For
the same reason he could excuse the mi-
nisters of those despotic powers, who
were, in fact,. their slaves; but he could
find no excuse for the ministers of Eng-
land, who were not the slaves, but the
tyrants of the Crown and people, and
of all others the most base and cruel that
qver infested the earth. Even the king
of Spain, madman or monster as he was,
had been less base and inhuman; for his
conduct had been consistent with the feel-
ing of bigotry and divine right; but,
where had been the consistency or the
humanity of ministers? For at once to
have declared against Spain would have
prevented a struggle equally disgraceful
and deplorable in its consequences to the
victors and the vanquished. But,.what
had been the refined policy of England's
minister, and of that heart which, by its
own account, beat so high for the interests
of humanity, but to create this confusion
of horrors in Spain by the means of a
treacherous neutrality; and, having so far
succeeded, it was now to perpetuate the
miseries of that wretched country, to pre-
vent France from reaping the fruits of
her victory. So much for the humanity
of the right hon. gentleman; and as to
consistency, let him reconcile his prayers
for, the, Spanish, constitution, and; his con-
temptuous answer to, the Regency, with
his, subsequent congratulations to Ferdi-
nand on his success, and the treatment of
the patriots who sought for refuge in
Gibraltar. When he had answered this
charge of apostasy from radicalism to
VOL. X.


divine right, let him answer the charge
of ultra-apostacy from divine right back
to radicalism, in now declaring for the
patriots of South America, in the teeth
of the Foreign Enlistment bill, expressly
enacted against them. And now as to
the real situation of the country, he re-
membered that long since, upon a ques-
tion of the same nature in that House, it
had been told by an hon. and leading
member of the landed interest, that "it
was time to speak out, and look the dan-
ger in the face." If that had been his
opinion then, what did he think now?
when during eight years of a peace esta-
blishment, no reduction whatever had
been made of the burthen of the public
debt; when, in spite of all the retrench-
ment which,session after session,had been
forced upon the ministers, the load of
taxation still pressed too heavily upon all
classes to admit of any increase; when,
such was our state of real weakness, that
the ministers, who in the last war expend-
ed millions upon millions to deliver Spain
from the. power of France, now suffered
her to fall without even an attempt to
save her: when France herself, whom so
lately in conjunction with our allies, we
had humbled to the dust, was now again
on foot, more great, more powerful, and
more inveterately our enemy than ever;
and lastly, when these same allies, who
first combined with us against her liber-
ties, were now combined with France
against the liberties of England-and the
storm so long gathering around, was now
at last ready at any moment to burst
upon its head;-if, in such a state of
things, so humble an individual as him-
self might venture to speak out, and look
the danger in the face, the hon. member
believed he could state the cause, and the.
only means to remove it; but he should
no longer trespass on the House on the
present occasion, but reserve for a future
opportunity the delivery of his sentiments
on that subject.
Mr. Hume said, that he merely rose
for the purpose of preventing a miscon-
ception from prevailing with the-public,
in consequence of what had fallen that
evening from the right hon. secretary. He
had himself received information from the
Ionian Islands, fully corroborating that
which had just been stated to the House
by the hon. member for Westminster. A.
letter, which he had received from Ithaca;
led him o believe, that the-statement of
the right hon. secretary was far from cor-
H


AS, 4, 1884.







99} HOUSE OF COMM NS,
rect; for, instead of the Greek firing first
upon the Turks, the fact wa that the
Turks had first fired upon the Greeks from
the shore. The objection to the Procla-
mation of sir T. Maitland was, that it held
up the Greeks, not merely as the first, but
as the only violators. In the course of
the hostilities between the Turks and their
noble and gallant adversaries, many atro-
cities had undoubtedly been committed on
both sides; but they did not legin with
the Greeks, but with their enemies. No
man in England had at one time been a
warmer friend to revolutionary principles
than sir T. Maitland, and all that he (Mr.
Hume) wished was, that he should hold
the balance evenly, and not allow it to in-
cline to the stronger side. He felt per-
suaded that it was the desire of ministers
that the neutrality should be equally ob-
served towards both the contending par-
ties. He knew that the Greek govern-
ment had with the utmost readiness, stated
their anxiety to make amends for every
violation of that neutrality which had
been alluded to; and certainly they could
not do more. He most sincerely wished,
in justice to those brave men who were
now gallantly struggling for their freedom
that sir Thomas Maitland had inot issued
his proclamation, until all the acts of the
case had been regularly laid before the
government. In conclusion, le felt it to
be his duty to protest against the parti-
ality which the Ionian Goverhment had
ihown, in opposition to the cause of genu-
ine freedom,
Sir T. Lethbridge said, he should not
have addressed the House on the present
occasion, had it not been for the allusion
which had been made by the hon. colonel
to an expression which he had used in the
course of the preceding session He was
well aware of the observation he had then
inade, when speaking of the situation of
the landed interest. He certainly had
said, that he considered it thewisest course
if the country were in danger, to look that
singer in the face, and to meet it resolutely
and manfully. He had felt as strongly as
any person in the House or out of it could
feel, the severe distress that pressed on
the landed interest; and he ws happy to
find, that a great change for the better
had taken plee in the situation of that
important class of society. le entirely
approved of what was said in the Speech
from the throne on that subject. It was
pleasing to himr to observe thatla consider-
able amendment had taken place in the


Address on the King's Speech.


[100


state of agriculture. He hoped, and he'
believed there was every reason to sup;
pose, that that great interest was not im-
proving by mere accident, or through the
agency of temporary circumstances; but
that it was advancing in prosperity, in con-
sequence of causes that would give per-
manency to that prosperity. With res-
pect to our situation as it regarded our
foreign relations, he must say, that he
thought this country stood high in the
opinion of Europe, and of every other
part of the world. Instead of the British
character being detested (as his hon.
friend had rather strongly stated) by the
other nations of Europe, and by the world
in general, he must contend, that at no
former period did the character of Great
Britain stand on higher or more enviable
ground. As to the affairs of Spain, he
should have considered it a most fatal de-
termination of this country, if she had
interfered with the Spanish cause ; and he
thought the result of the policy pursued
by England had been most fortunate for
Spain and for this country. The line of
conduct pursued by ministers had been
the best for England, as well as for the
parties concerned in the contest; and
however strong the feeling of a party in
this country (he believed avery small one)
might be for war, he conceived that it was
the duty of the representatives of the
people to give to ministers all the.support
in their power, when they saw them exer-
cising their functions, in that prudent
manner which had conferred such signal
advantages on the country. He cordially
approved of the Address, in answer to the
Speech from the throne.
Mr. W. Smith said, he could not let
this opportunity pass without expressing
his most anxious hope and wish, 'that no
negotiation for the termination of the dif-
ferences between Russia and the Porte
might be successful, which did not lehve
the Greeks in a better situation than that
in which it found them. He regretted
that the situation of the right hon. secre-
tary did not permit him to do that
which he was sure would: have been con-
sistent with his inclination; namely, to
give an assurance to the House, that this
country would not be a party to any ar-
rangement which did not protect the
Greeks from the barbarous revenue of one
power, and the insatiable ambition of the
other.
The address was then agreed to, nem.
con.







101]


Spain-Foreign Policy.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, February 6.
CONSULS.] Mr. Hume asked the right
hon. secretary for foreign affairs, when he
intended to effect his long promised re-
form, respecting British Consuls abroad ?
: Mr. Canning replied, that he would
submit a motion on the subject to which
the hon. member alluded, during the pre-
pent session, and at no distant period. In
the mean time, he might perhaps remove
the hon. gentleman's uneasiness on one
particular point, by telling him that he
had already reduced the consular salaries.
Mr. Hume said, that it was not so much
the amount of the salaries, as the manner
in which they were paid, that he objected
to. He disliked the system of consular
charges upon goods imported.


FEB. 6, 1824. [10
intention, and not proceed to discuss a
matter connected with the privileges of
the Crown, at a moment when the House
was quite unprepared to entertain such a
delicate question.
Mr.James said, that he was not compel-
led to give a notice, and as it was not likely
that any business would come before the
House that evening, he thought the mat-
ter might as well be discussed at that time.
He repeated that he considered the con-
duct of the right hon. secretary illegal.
If ministers had the right to give up the
claim of the people of England to a large
sum of money justly due to them, without
consulting the House of Commons, then,
pari ratione, they were entitled to levy
taxes in like manner. It was stated, in
one of the articles of the convention that
his majesty was entitled to sue the empe-
ror of Austria in his own court for the re-


-AUSTRIAN LOAN.] Mr. James begged cover of the debt.' Had that been done?
to direct the attention of the right hon. He supposed it was very unlikely that any
secretary, for a few moments, to the sub- thing further would be obtained from Aus-
ject of the Austrian Loan. When the right tria, and he therefore hoped, that in justice
hon. gentlemen laid on the table a copy of to other bankrupts, the name of the em-
a convention entered into between the peror would appear in the Gazette.
Emperor of Austria and his Britannic
Majesty, respecting the settlement of the SPAIN-FOREIGN POLICY.] Lord Nu-
Austrian Loan, he fully expected that it gent observed, that since the House had,
was the intention of the right hon. gentle- by agreeing to the address to his majesty,
man merely to submit that document to sanctioned the policy which government
the House for its sanction. But he had had adopted with regard to Spain, he
since ascertained, to his great surprise, thought they ought to be put in posses-
that the agreement had actually been ra- sion of the means of judging how far that
tified by both the contracting parties. He policy had been fairly carried into effect.
wished the right hon. gentleman to answer For that purpose, he considered that the
this question-whether he did not think production of some papers was necessary;
that he had acted illegally and unconsti- namely, copies of all the correspondence
tutionally, in advising his majesty to agree which had taken place between thisgovern-
to that convention without consulting the ment and sir William A'Court during the
House? [A laugh]. That might, per- period intervening between the entrance.
haps, appear to be a very radical view of of the French troops into Spain, and the
the case; but he felt it his duty to state, surrender of Cadiz ; and also copies of all
that he conceived the right hon. secretary communications made by the Spanish Go-
to have assumed a power which even Mr. vernment to sir William A'Court, during
Pitt, in the plenitude of his authority, had the same period, with his answers. IHe
never dared to assume. wished to know whether the right hon.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, he would secretary intended to lay those papers be-
give the hon. member the answer which fore the House, or whether he would con-
he required. The hon. member had asked sent to their production.
whether he (Mr. C.) did not think that he Mr. Canning replied, that he did not
had acted illegally and unconstitutionally intend to lay the papers alluded to upon
in regard to the convention, a copy of the table, and that his vote, if they were
which had been laid upon the table. The moved for, must depend upon the case
answer was decidedly not." If the hon. which the noble lord might make out for
member thought otherwise he was of their production.
course at liberty to bring the subject be- Lord Nugent then gave notice, that on
fore the House; but then he hoped that Thursday next he would submit a motion
the hon. member would give notice of his on the conduct of ministers with respect







108] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
to the late war in Spain, and with re-
ference to their professed neutrality.

ROMAN CATHOLIC BURIALS.] Sir
John Newport moved for copies of the
communications which had been received
by. the lord lieutenant, respecting the
right of burial in Ireland, as regards
Roman Catholics and Dissent rs from the
Established Church. The Iright hon.
bardnet anticipated no resistance to his
motion, as he was convinced the tran-
quillity of Ireland depended materially
upon the question to which it related.
Mr. Goulburn said, he wa's always loth
to appear to withhold information; but
the house would be aware that there
might be circumstances under which dis-
closure could only tend to do mischief.
He relied upon the candour Of the right
hon. baronet in giving credit tb him (Mr.
G.) for sincerity, when hel stated his
belief, that the papers in question were
likely to revive disputes, without for-
warding the object which the right hon.
baronet had in view. The right hon.
baronet wished to repeal the statute of
the 9th William III., which applied to
burials in the church-yards Attached to
decayed monasteries. He said nothing
upon the main question, whether the
statute ought to be repealed, I or whether
it ought not; but it was an object which
could no way be aided by the production
of the papers in the possession of the
lord lieutenant; while their publication
would certainly revive differences which
were now in a way to be forgotten.
Sir John Newport, since .the matter
was referred to his candor, thought
it due to public justice, and tb the people
of Ireland, that the papers sh uld be pro.
duced. If there had been imprudences
committed, let them lie upo those who
ought to bear them, namely, that part of
the episcopal and ecclesiastical body in
Ireland, which had attempted to strip the
people of the right of burial according to
the forms of their religion. His object
was not that which the right hon. secretary
had stated, He wished certainly to re-
peal the statute, the 9th William III.;
but he wished also to secure the right of
burial, generally, according ;o the forms
of their religion, to the Cditholics and
Dissenters from the Establishled Church
of Ireland, When it was considered, that
this question was of all others the most
calculated to excite public feeling, and
.l)at sixotenths of the Irish population


Roman Catholic Burials.


[104


were interested in it, the house, he
trusted, would go with him, if he pressed
the production of the papers to a division.
Mr. Grattan thought it would be better
to postpone the question, and give a re-
gular notice. The gentlemen on his side
the house were taken by surprise, not
having conceived that the papers would
be refused. The question was one, as he
viewed it, of the highest importance to
Ireland. If it was not soon put at rest,
there would be no burial without an affray.
Mr. Abercromby said, that of all the
frightful questions which had been mooted
in Ireland, this was decidedly the most
terrific. He so far went along with the
right hon. Secretary for Ireland, that if
he thought the question likely to be
settled satisfactorily, he would not call
for the production of papers which con.
trained an inflamed view, perhaps, of past
disputes; but then, so far from seeing
any disposition on the part of government
to take measures of itself for putting, the
difference at rest, he understood the right
hon. Secretary to suggest, that what had
passed had set it at rest already.
Mr. Goulbur said, that he was mis-
understood by the hon. and learned
gentleman. He had spoken only of par-
ticular differences as in a way to be set
at rest; not of the general question.
Mr. Abercromby said, that the right
hon. gentleman still stated no intention on
the part of government to take measures
Under such circumstances, the house was
bound to proceed itself, and consequently
to call for the fullest information, The
vital importance of the question was
admitted. There were doubts upon it in
every way: doubts as to the law; doubts
as to the practice. A specific course by
parliament was necessary ; and he there-
fore should support the motion for the
production of documents.
Mr. Peel thought it would be well to
separate the general question, ofburial,
from the immediate question before the
house, namely, the production of papers.
Upon the general question he should
reserve his opinion; but he thought that
the papers ought not to be produced,
Mr. Calcraft supported the motion.
The documents in question were not
private; and the only difference was,
whether members should obtain them
personally, or whether they should come
regularly before the House.
The House then divided: For producing
the papers, 39,-Against it, 56,







Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act.


List of the Minority.
Abercromby, hon. J. James, W.
Althorp, vis. Lamb, hon. G.
Baring, H. Lushington, S.
Benyon, B. Maberly, J.
Bernal, R. Mackintosh, sir J.
Birch, J. Nugent, lord
Buxton, T. F. Ord, W.
Coffin, sir I. Prendergast, G.
Crompton, S. Robinson, sir G.
Curwen, J. C. Russell, lord J.
Davies, T. Robertson, Alex.
Duncannon, vis. Staunton, sir G.
Ellice, E. Tennyson, C.
Fleming, J. Tierney, G.
Grattan J. Wilkins, Walter
Grenfell, P. Williams, John
Gordon, R. Wood, Matthew
Haldimand, W. Wrottesley, sir J.
Hamilton, lord A. TELLERS.
Hume, J. Calcraft, J.
Hutchinson,hon.C. H. Newport, sir J.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 9.
SOUTH AMERICA.] The Marquis of
Lansdown wished to say a few words
upon a subject, to which their lordships'
attention had been drawn some days ago
by his Majesty's Speech: he meant that
part of the Speech which alluded to the
independent provinces of South America.
It was by no meanshiswish to run anyrace
with his Majesty's ministers on this ques-
tion; and if it appeared to be their in-
tention to take that step which good
policy seemed to require, namely, the
recognition of the provinces which had
separated themselves from Spain, he would
be found most anxious to afford every
facility for that purpose; but being im-
pressed with the great importance of
the independence of these provinces to
the commercial interests of this country,
he must deprecate any thing like un-
necessary delay. With the view, how-
ever, which he had taken of this question,
he could. not now venture to make any
motion for promoting the important object
to which he had referred; but, calculating
on what he had heard, not so much in
their lordships' House as elsewhere, that a
communication had been made to the
government of Spain, an answer to which
might in a short time be expected, and
also that some communication, would, pro-
bably, soon be received from the consuls
who had been sent out from this country to
South America, he thought it could not
be long before he should feel himself at


liberty to submitwome proposition to their
lordships on the subject, if his Majesty's
ministers did not, as he wished should be
the case, bring forward some measure
themselves. He was well aware, that, in
the actual state of affairs, sufficient reasons
might exist for preventing his Majesty's
ministers from coming to an immediate de-
cision on this question, and was therefore
desirous of avoiding any thing like pre-
cipitation. He would accordingly now
give notice; that on some day in the
month of March, he would, i' not an-
ticipated by his majesty's ministers, move
an address to his Majesty, praying him
to take such measures as may be necessary
for the recognition of the provinces of
South America which have separated
themselves from Spain.
IRISH TRADE.] The Marquis of
Lansdown stated, that he wished to move
for copies of two papers, the first of
which was calculated to show the state of
the intercourse between this country and
Ireland, with respect to the cotton trade,
and the increased intercourse, notwith-
standing the distress which had prevailed
in Ireland. He meant to move for an
account of the cotton goods imported
into, and exported from Ireland, between
the 10th July, 1822, and 22nd February,
1823. The other paper would exhibit the
extraordinary effect which had been pro-
duced by the reduction of the duty on
spirits, and to which he wished to call the
attention of all those who doubted the pos-
sibility of improving the revenue by taking
off taxes. The account he meant to move
for was, for the quantity of spirits which
had paid duty between the 10th Oct. 1822,
and the llth February, 1823;.and he was
informed that it would be found that the
sum paid in the last quarter of the account,
at only two shillings per gallon, exceeded
that which had been paid during the same
quarter of the preceding year, when the

duty was five shillings. Thus the effect
of taking off three shillings per gallon of
duty on spirits, had been not only to in-
crease the consumption, but to produce
an augmentation of the revenue. The
noble marquis concluded by moving for
the accounts he had described, which
were ordered.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 10.
IMPRISONMENT UNIER THE VAGRANT
AcT.] Mr. Huni:,said, that he had a


105]


FE1B. 10, 1824!. [106







Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act.


List of the Minority.
Abercromby, hon. J. James, W.
Althorp, vis. Lamb, hon. G.
Baring, H. Lushington, S.
Benyon, B. Maberly, J.
Bernal, R. Mackintosh, sir J.
Birch, J. Nugent, lord
Buxton, T. F. Ord, W.
Coffin, sir I. Prendergast, G.
Crompton, S. Robinson, sir G.
Curwen, J. C. Russell, lord J.
Davies, T. Robertson, Alex.
Duncannon, vis. Staunton, sir G.
Ellice, E. Tennyson, C.
Fleming, J. Tierney, G.
Grattan J. Wilkins, Walter
Grenfell, P. Williams, John
Gordon, R. Wood, Matthew
Haldimand, W. Wrottesley, sir J.
Hamilton, lord A. TELLERS.
Hume, J. Calcraft, J.
Hutchinson,hon.C. H. Newport, sir J.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 9.
SOUTH AMERICA.] The Marquis of
Lansdown wished to say a few words
upon a subject, to which their lordships'
attention had been drawn some days ago
by his Majesty's Speech: he meant that
part of the Speech which alluded to the
independent provinces of South America.
It was by no meanshiswish to run anyrace
with his Majesty's ministers on this ques-
tion; and if it appeared to be their in-
tention to take that step which good
policy seemed to require, namely, the
recognition of the provinces which had
separated themselves from Spain, he would
be found most anxious to afford every
facility for that purpose; but being im-
pressed with the great importance of
the independence of these provinces to
the commercial interests of this country,
he must deprecate any thing like un-
necessary delay. With the view, how-
ever, which he had taken of this question,
he could. not now venture to make any
motion for promoting the important object
to which he had referred; but, calculating
on what he had heard, not so much in
their lordships' House as elsewhere, that a
communication had been made to the
government of Spain, an answer to which
might in a short time be expected, and
also that some communication, would, pro-
bably, soon be received from the consuls
who had been sent out from this country to
South America, he thought it could not
be long before he should feel himself at


liberty to submitwome proposition to their
lordships on the subject, if his Majesty's
ministers did not, as he wished should be
the case, bring forward some measure
themselves. He was well aware, that, in
the actual state of affairs, sufficient reasons
might exist for preventing his Majesty's
ministers from coming to an immediate de-
cision on this question, and was therefore
desirous of avoiding any thing like pre-
cipitation. He would accordingly now
give notice; that on some day in the
month of March, he would, i' not an-
ticipated by his majesty's ministers, move
an address to his Majesty, praying him
to take such measures as may be necessary
for the recognition of the provinces of
South America which have separated
themselves from Spain.
IRISH TRADE.] The Marquis of
Lansdown stated, that he wished to move
for copies of two papers, the first of
which was calculated to show the state of
the intercourse between this country and
Ireland, with respect to the cotton trade,
and the increased intercourse, notwith-
standing the distress which had prevailed
in Ireland. He meant to move for an
account of the cotton goods imported
into, and exported from Ireland, between
the 10th July, 1822, and 22nd February,
1823. The other paper would exhibit the
extraordinary effect which had been pro-
duced by the reduction of the duty on
spirits, and to which he wished to call the
attention of all those who doubted the pos-
sibility of improving the revenue by taking
off taxes. The account he meant to move
for was, for the quantity of spirits which
had paid duty between the 10th Oct. 1822,
and the llth February, 1823;.and he was
informed that it would be found that the
sum paid in the last quarter of the account,
at only two shillings per gallon, exceeded
that which had been paid during the same
quarter of the preceding year, when the

duty was five shillings. Thus the effect
of taking off three shillings per gallon of
duty on spirits, had been not only to in-
crease the consumption, but to produce
an augmentation of the revenue. The
noble marquis concluded by moving for
the accounts he had described, which
were ordered.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 10.
IMPRISONMENT UNIER THE VAGRANT
AcT.] Mr. Huni:,said, that he had a


105]


FE1B. 10, 1824!. [106







107J HOUSE OF COMMpNS, Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act. [108


petition to present, to the Hcuse, which
he considered of peculiar imp rtance, as
it related to an interference with the
liberty of the subject, to which i the coun-
try of late had unfortunately become too
much accustomed. The petition came
from. an individual who complained of the
improper use made of the discretionary
power vested in the magistrates by the
vagrant act of last session. The petitioner,
on the 7th of last September, was return-
ing in the evening to his ownihouse from
Clapham, where he had been upon private
business. In passing through one of the
alleys of the metropolis, he was accosted
by a woman, who asked him if he knew
the way to Brick-lane. Whilst he was
answering her question, the watchman
came up, accused them of violating the
decency of the place, and took them both
off immediately to the watchhouse. It
was evident, from what the watchman
said as he was taking the parties to the
watch-house, that he had apprehended
them for no other purpose than to extort
money; for he repeatedly observed to
them, that he only got five shillings for
apprehending them, an observation which
led the petitioner to believe that, if he had
happened to have had ten shillings in his
pocket, and to have offered them to the
watchman, he could have freed himself
from the charge without any difficulty.
The point to which he chiefly wished to
call the attention of the House, was the
conduct of sir Daniel Williams, the ma-
gistrate before whom the petitioner was
brought the ensuing day. The watchman
was sworn, and toldhis story ; and upon his
qath alone, both the petitioner and the
woman who had accosted him, were con-
demnedto one month's imprisonment and
hard labour at the tread-mill; both of
them disclaiming all exposure of their
persons, and the watchman himself admit-
ing, that the alley in which he found them,
was a dark lonely place ; that there was no
light either from the moon or lamps; and
that he had been obliged to look at them
closely with his lamp, before he could disco-
ver what they were doing. Now, under any
interpretation of the clauses of the vagrant
act, relative to indecent exposures of the
person, he thought this was a harsh deci-
sion; especially as both the parties whom
it affected, affirmed that there was nothing
indecent in their dress and gestures. The
conduct of Mr. Swabey and sir D. Wil-
liams, with respect to cases of this nature
had iben fully detailed to the public by


the press; and he was satisfied that there
was no man, let his opinion be what it
might regarding the vagrant act, who
would state his approbation of the man-
ner in which those justices had exercised
the discretionary powers which they re-
ceived under it. [Hear, hear.] He was
sorry to say, that there was no regulation
by which it could be ascertained when
bail could be taken and when not,' but
that it remained a question which the ma-
gistrate determined according to his own
pleasure. They all knew that in a recent
case, which excited general disgust and
abhorrence, an eminent prelate was ad-
mitted to bail, though his guilt was esta-
blished by the most satisfactory evidence.
In a case, however, of still more recent
date he believed it occurred only three
days ago, an individual who had hitherto
borne an unimpeachable character was
apprehended, on a charge of receiving
plants into his nursery, knowingthat they
were stolen from the royal gardens at
Kew. Men of the first respectability
came forward to speak to the general cor-
rectness of his conduct, and bail was
tendered to any amount for his appearance
to answer the charge at the sessions. But
no; the magistrate would not hear of
bail, and to prison the man went like a
common felon. Such a surprising diffe-
rence in the practice of the magistrates
made it necessary that some superintend-
ing power should be diligently employed
in observing it. As the secretary of state
for the home department was the person
who appointed the magistrates, and who
was authorised to suspend them in case of
misconduct, he thought that this superin-
tending power should be exercised by, as
it was undoubtedly vested in, that depart-
ment. He knew that it was impossible
to lay down rules for the guidance of
magistrates in all cases; but that very
impossibility rendered it doubly impera-
tive on those who appointed them, to
employ great care and diligence in select-
ing proper persons to fill such situations.
It was well worthy of notice, that in every
case but the present, in.which parties had
been committed to prison under the vag-
rant act, for improper exposure of their
persons, relief had been granted them up-
on application to the home secretary. In
this case, however, no relief had been
granted by the right hon. secretary; per-
haps because none had been ever asked
for. The petitioner, after his case was
decided by sir D. Williams, was taken to







109] Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act.


the tread-mill. He was sent there on the
Monday, and it was Thursday before he
was enabled to give any of his family inti-
mation of the fate which had befallen him.
His friends, knowing him to be a man of
gopd character, immediately obtained a
warrant, and brought him again before sir
D. Williams, for the purpose of appealing
from his decision to the sessions. This
step could not, however, be taken without
incurring an expense of 151., and for the
repayment of that sum his labour for the
next year was mortgaged to his friends.
The sessions came on: the appeal was
heard, and the prosecution was in conse-
quence quashed. Such was the case with
respect to the petitioner; but what was it
with respect to the woman, who was
committed along with him? She could
not muster 151. to pay for the liberty to
appeal, and was in consequence compel-
led to submit to the punishment to which
she had been sentenced. "I ask," con-
tinued the lion. member, "what kind of
justice this is ? We have laws to protect
us from injury, but if we have not money
to purchase their protection, it appears
that their protection will not be given to
us." He contended, that if the right hon.
secretary, would not, or did not, superin-
tend the conduct of the magistrates whom
he himself appointed, the house must
undertake that duty. He did not mean
to say that the right hon. gentleman
would not have given relief to the petiti-
oner, if it had been applied for; but he
meant to say this, that the house was
bound to prevent the recurrence of cases
which rendered application to him neces-
sary on this part of the subject. He had
put this petition some time ago into the
hands of the right hon. secretary, in order
that he might inquire into the particulars
which it detailed; and if, in the course of
that inquiry, the right hon. secretary had
discovered, any circumstances of extenu-
ation in this infraction of the law of the
land and the liberty of the subject, he
should be happy to hear them. The cir-
cumstances which this case developed
could not fail to suggest certain conside-
rations,. as to the manner in which the
paid magistrates of the metropolis per-
formed their duties. He was sorry to say
that:they appeared lax in their duty, when
compared with the magistrates of the city
of London. He had received a printed
paper from one of the sheriffs, which
showed how cautious- the latter magistrates
were of sending individuals to a place


where their character must almost inevit-
ably contract a stain, and where, if virtu-
ous, they ran a great hazard- of being
contaminated by the infamous society
with which they were compelled to min-
gle. The paper to which he had alluded
was a comparative statement of the number
of commitments and convictions from
London and from Middlesex. During
the year ending in last December, there
had been 1,652 persons committed by the
magistrates of middlesex. Of the persons
brought to trial out of this number, after
suffering all the contagion of bad exam-
ple, 478 were acquitted: against 195
bills were not found: and 26 were not
prosecuted; so that there was an aggre-
gate of 699 commitments in one year,
without adequate cause, to that sink of
iniquity the Old Bailey. Now he would
ask, was it nothing that 700 persons should
be thus submitted to the hazard of moral
pollution ? Would those call it nothing
who were always preaching up the neces-
sity of giving a high tone to the moral
feelings of the lower orders ? What he
principally complained of was this,-that
the stipendiary magistrates were guilty of
inattention to the cases which came before
them, and that they did not employ requi.
site diligence in sifting the evidence sub-
mitted to them. During the same period
of time in which these 1,652 commitments
took place in Middlesex, there had been
420 commitments by the magistrates of
London. Out of this number only 79
were acquitted, though there were 35
cases in which bills were not found. Hewas
informed that the proportion of acquittals
to commitments, was larger in the last
year than it had been for many previous
years; but even so, it was not one-fourth
of the number of commitments, whereas
in Middlesex it was very nearly one-half.
Ashewas uponthis subject, he would cur-
sorily remark, that it was his intention, in a
very short time, to move for a return of the
number of persons committed from each
police-office, specifying the numbers com-
mitted by each'magistrate; and he should
make that motion, in order to give the
public proper materials on which to form
their opinion of such men as Mr. Dyer,
Mr. Swabey, and sir D. Williams. In
making these observations, he had no
wish to cramp the magistrate in the
proper discharge of his duty; all he;want-
ed was,' to make them.feel that their
authority ought to be kept under proper
control. The sole object for; which hie


FEB. 10, 1924;., Clio







1113 HOUSB OF COMMONS, Inprisonment under the Vagrant Act. [112
had addressed the, House was,.to submit the petitioner, di4 not venture to deny
to it what recompence it.would afford, the them; all he said was, that the watchman
petitioner, for the stigma. which had been had trumped up the story to extort
fired on his character by the inconsiderate money. That could not, however, be the
conduct of sir U. Williams. That was one case, as he was not entitled to, nor did
of the.pointswhich the.petitioner urged in he receive the five shillings for their ap-
his petition. He also implored the House, prehension. He therefore trusted that
to affordihim such redress as would enable the House would not think that the ma-
him t. repay his friends for the pecuniary gistrate had acted improperly upon this
exertions which they had kindly made.in occasion. He would only add, that the
his behalf, without mortgaging his labour merits of the case had not been entered
for the ensuing year. As, to the woman, into at the sessions; since it was quashed
let, them; again and again consider the:un- upon a legal technicality.
fortunate.situation in which she had been Mr. Littleton rose to caution the House
placed. The person with whom she was against attributing to his hon. friend, the
accusedof having violated public decency member for Stafford (Mr. Chetwynd),
was declared to be not guilty of such an who had framed the vagrant act, any
offence. .What, then, was her crime, and harshness which the magistrates had shown
for what was she to. be imprisoned? If in carrying it into execution. The.object
she was! innocent, could any thing be of his hon. friend had been to mitigate
more:unmerited than the treatment which the severity of the former vagrant act;
she had received? He was aware, that and he was sure that any gentleman who
before the last vagrant act, it was left in would turn his attention to the subject,
the discretion of the magistrate to corn- would see that it was considerably miti-
mitindividuals as vagrants on the oath of gated. Formerly, the magistrates had
a single person. That discretion, he the power of sentencing to transportation
thought, ought not to he continued: and for seven years; at present, they could
ag the actwould expire next September, not sentence to more than two years' im-
if it were not renewed this session, he prisonment. Formerly, whipping could
trusted that some amendment would. be be inflicted by the order of one magis-
made toit, depriving the magistrate of this trate; now, it could not,be inflicted, ex-
discretionarypower. Thepowerwasnotso cept by an order of a bench of magis-
likelytorbeexercised under thelateacts, as trates at the quarter sessions. He then
it was under the present: for it ought not proceeded to defend the principle of the
to be forgotten, that the present gave the vagrant act, and to request hon. gentle-
police.officer a reward of five shillings for men to withhold their attacks upon it un-
every vagrant he apprehended, and thus til his hon. friend, the member for Staf-
offered him a premium for every infraction ford, who was now absent from indisposi-
hemight make on thelibertyof the subject. tion, was present to answer them.
Me. then moved that the petition be Mr. Secretary Peel observed, that the
brought up. ihon. member for Aberdeen had adverted
Mr. Dawson, declared his intention of to a great many subjects, the importance
not replying at present to the arguments of which he did not mean to undervalue;
which.the hon. member had urged against but he was sorry, on account of their im-
the vagrant act. That act would expire portance, that he should have introduced
in the course of the year, and on the mo- them when presenting a petition, without
tion to renew it, if any such were made, giving a previous intimation to those who
its merits, and demerits would be fairly might have afforded some explanation, if
taken into consideration. He had in- the facts had been clearly stated to them.
quired into the circumstances of this case, The communication, of the hon. gentle-
and he could assure the House that the man to him (Mr. Peel) had rather misled
petitioner, had no hardship to complain of. him than otherwise. He certainly had
It appeared that he was going to his home placed the petition in his hands, and had
at a very, late hour in the night, when he stated that he was going to present it;
met with the woman in question, who was but he did not say that he intended to
well known as a common prostitute. At comment on the conduct of the magis-
the.time'the watchman, caught them, they rates, or to introduce any observations
were guilty .of as open an exposure of with reference to the home department.
their persons as could possibly be imagin- This individual had never sent any peti-
ed. The watchman deposed to the facts: tion, praying for a remission of his sen-







IMpriotminenIt uider the Vagrant Act,


tence, neither had .the woman made any
representation on the subject; and there-
fore he had no opportunity of applying
to the Crown. Some cases had, undoubt-
edly occurred under the Vagrant act,
which he had deemed worthy of exami-
nation and interference; but of the case
now under consideration, he knew no-
thing, and therefore he had not taken any
steps respecting it. He wondered, how-
ever, that the hon. member should at-
tack the discretion of the magistrates on
this occasion; at the same time he ad-
mitted, that the subject was very proper
to be inquired into, but not in this inci-
dental manner. The petitioner was ac-
cused of an indecent exposure of his per-
son; and, the fact having been sworn to,
he was committed. Now, what did he
allege against the witness in his petition ?
He said, that watchmen were proverbial
for their poverty, cupidity, and ignorance.
Therefore, as it was a common proverb,
that watchmen were distinguished by po-
verty, cupidity, and ignorance, no person
ought to be convicted on the oath of one
of them [A laugh !]. It was very well
for the petitioner to explain his idea of
the probity of those persons; but, if a
watchman of good character swore before
a magistrate that he saw persons offend-
ing against the law, the magistrate must
of necessity convict. It was another
matter, whether it was fitting that the ma-
gistracy should have such a discretion as
that which they enjoyed under this act.
That was a very different question. The
hon. member had referred to the home
department, with respect to the reward
which was allowed for convictions under
this act. Now, it was very true, that by
the late act, the sum of 5s. was allowed :
but by the former act, the reward was
10s.; so that there was a diminu-
tion, instead of an increase of reward,
upon conviction. He, however, thought
that this was not to be considered a- a
positive fine, to go to the minor officers
of justice in all cases; and, soon after the
passing of the act he had seen the ma-
gistrates, and had impressed on their
minds, that it was a matter of discretion
whether the fine should or should not be
granted to the officer. It was for them,
in exercising that discretion, to consider
whether the individual had acted from a
sense of public justice, or merely from a
desire of receiving the reward; and he had
directed them not to certify to the parish,
in any case where the individual making
VOL. X.


Sthe allegation seemed to be actuated by
the desire of gain. Certainly, when the
Vagrant act came under the considera-
tion of the House,-although he knew
the intention of the hon. member who
brought it in was entirely to benefit the
public, and the public, he conceived,
ought to be much obliged to him-still
there were some parts of it on which he
meant to submit certain amendments;
and particularly the clause relative to in-
decent exposure [Hear!]. He thought
there was not a more flagrant offence than
that of indecently exposing the person,"
which had been carried to an immense
extent in the parks, where virtuous fe-
males had been shamefully insulted: but
wanton exposure was a very different
thing from accidental exposure. There
ought, therefore, to be a more distinct
and definite line drawn between exposure,
the effect of accident, and exposure, the
result of intention. At present, there
was no discretion. On conviction, the
magistrate must commit for a month. His'
object was to invest the magistrate with a
discretionary power, which would enable
him to commit for a shorter period, Such-
an alteration might be effected without
trenching on the principle. He agreed
in the observation of the hon. gentleman,
that great care ought to be taken in the
selection of persons to act as stipendiary
magistrates; and he must take some cre-
dit, both on behalf of his predecessor and
himself, for acting on those principles
which were likely to ensure a proper and
efficient selection. Formerly, almost any

individual was considered eligible for the
office. But lord Sidmouth and himself
had laidit downasa sine qui non,that those
who were placed in the situation of sti-
pendiary magistrates should have prac-
tised three years at the bar, and must,
therefore, enter on the duties of their of-
fice with a competent knowledge of the
law. He never knew of any arrangement,
with respect to the appointment of sti-
pendiary magistrates, except that of se-
lecting those persons who'were the best
recommended, and requiring that the
parties should have practised at the bar.
The hon. gentleman had commented on
the conduct of some of those who held
this situation, when acting in their magis-
terial capacity. He had introduced the
names of Mr. Dyer and of Mr. Swabey.
He thought it would have been as well,
when the hon. gentleman had mentioned
to him, that he would present this peti-
I


1EB: 10, 1824. 'fl/4


113]







.I151 HOUSE OF COMMONS, Imprisonment under the Vagrant Act. [Ir6


tion, if he had also stated, I mean -to
introduce those cases, and I now give
you the intimation, that you may have an
opportunity of arranging what you may
have to say on the subject." But, as
these cases were not properly before the
House, he thought it would be as unwise
as it was unnecessary to notice them fur-
ther; and therefore he would avoid that
topic.. The hon. gentleman had observed,
that Mr. Dyer had taken moderate bail
rom one individual, whilst he had refused
to receive bail from another. But the
ton. gentleman did not seem to have in-
quired as to the distinction that might
have existed between the cases. He had
not stated, whether the one case might
not have been a misdemeanor, and
therefore bailable; whilst the other might
have come under the provision of a sta-
tute that was imperative on the magis-
trates. Now, he must contend, that in,
the case where bail was refused, the ma-
gistrate had no discretion to exercise;
and, though in the.other case the moral
offence might have been deeper and more
degrading, yet the magistrate must deal
with it as the law directed; he could
not proceed to consider the moral dis-
tinctiobs between crimes. As to the
eommittalsby the magistrates, the prima
facie statement of the difference was very
important, and deserved inquiry. But,
on account of its importance, the hon.
gentleman ought to have given notice
that he meant to bring it forward. He
had not stated whether any of the com-
mittals were in execution in a point
which was of great importance. He
had merely said-so many were com-
mitted, and so many convicted. But,
supposing that a part of those persons
were committed in execution, it was im-
possible that there could be any subse-
quent conviction. This was important to
be considered, and the hon. gentleman
ought to have ascertained the fact. As,
however, the hon. gentleman would, in
the course of a few days, move for ac-
counts on the subject, it would be better
that the whole question should then be
debated. When the hon. gentleman
brought forward a distinct motion on the
subject, he should be ready to meet it,
and to give to the House every informa-
tion which could, with propriety, be call-
ed for; as he could assure the House,
that government had no motive what-
ever, for mystery or concealment.
The petition was then brought up. It


purported to be the petition of William
Lotcho, a labourer; and set forth,
That the Petitioner-is a young man
who has been bred up under an uncle as
a-labourer; that, until the 8th of last
September, his sobriety, diligence, and
honesty were never called in question,.
nor his character impeached for any one
blameable act in the neighbourhood where
he was born and bred; that the Petitioner,
on Sunday the 7th of last September, paid
a visit to a friend at Clapton, with whom
he stayed till past eleven in the evening,
when, on passing through a thoroughfare
called Angel Alley, on his way home to
Essex-street, Whitechapel, he was ac-
costed by a female, who inquired of him
her nearest road to Brick-lane, Spital-
fields; that, while he was giving her the
required direction, the watchman came
up, and, charging the woman and the
Petitioner with an indecent exposure of
their .persons, took them both to the
watch-house; that the petitioner, on the
same day, was taken before sir Daniel
Williams, knight, Justice of the Peace,
sitting at Lanibeth-street, Whitechapel,
who, upon the single oath of the watch-
man, convicted the Petitioner, under the
Vagrant Act, of being a rogue and
a vagabond, and adjudged him, with the
unfortunate woman, to one month's con-
finement and hard labour in the House
of Correction, Cold Bath Fields; that
the Petitioner (with the woman) was
accordingly committed on the same day to
the House of Correction, where he was
confined until the next succeeding
Thursday, during which time be was daily
compelled to work at the Tread Mill; in
the interval between Monday the 8th and
Thursday the 11th, the friends of the
petitioner having been informed of his
distressing situation, waited upon sir
Daniel Williams, and from their repre-
sentation of his past conduct and cha-
racter, he was, on the latter day, brought
from prison to Lambeth-street office, and
was allowed, with two friends, to enter
into a recognizance to prosecute an appeal
against the conviction; the Petitioner's
appeal came on to be heard at the Quarter
Sessions on Thursday the 4th day of last
December, when the conviction was
quashed; the Petitioner humbly but ear-
nestly implores the attention of the
House to the serious and crushing inju-
ries of which he has to complain; in the
first place the Petitioner solemny affirms
that the oath of the watchman was wholly







11 7J Imprisonment under the 'Vagrant Asti


false, and a very slight attention to the
facts of the case must convince every
reasonable man that nothing like indecent
exposure could possibly, in such a situa.
tion, have taken place; the offence was
sworn to have been committed between
twelve and one o'clock in the morning, in
a narrow, dark alley, when the inhabi-
tants had retired to rest, when no win-
,dow-lights were to be seen, and when the
moon was only three days old; indeed
the watchman distinctly admitted, on
oath, that but for the light of his lant-
horn he should not have been able to
,perceive either the woman or the Peti-
tioner; second, that the Petitioner was
not left in doubt as to the real motive of
his accuser, for, as the latter conveyed
him to the watchhouse, he complained of
being allowed no more than five shillings
,for all his extra trouble; and the Peti-
tioner is well persuaded that, had he
possessed ten shillings at the time, he and
the woman might have gone where they
pleased; the character and liberties of
British subjects being thus made to de.
pend on the single and unsupported oath
.of a watchman, who belongs to a class of
men proverbial for their poverty, cupidity,
and ignorance, is to reduce Englishmen
to the alternative of either submitting to
extortion or to the infamous Jabours of
the Tread Mill; third, that the Petition-
er, although innocent of any offence, has
been convicted, and branded with the
odious character of rogue and vagabond,
bywhich he has been undeservedly sunk in
the estimation of those whose good opinion
it was his pride as well as his interest to
preserve; fourth, that the Petitioner
being too poor to prosecute an appeal
without assistance, is now indebted to
another person in the sum of fifteen
pounds, advanced for that purpose, for
which the earnings of his daily labour is
mortgaged for at least a year to cope;
while the unfortunate woman, destitute
of all pecuniary resources, was compelled
to work out her month at the Tread Mill;
the Petitioner having been thus injured
in his character, and ruined in his circum-
stances, without being guilty of offence,
humbly prays, That the House, which is
constituted as the best refuge for the
poor and the oppressed, will grant him
such redresss and relief as to its wisdom
.and justice shall seem meet."
SMr. Hume, in rising to move that the
petition be laid on the table and printed,
wished to make a few observations on


what had fallen from the right hon. secre-
tary. The petition averred; that the ac-
cusation rested on the statement of one
man, and le argued, that his voice, in
rebutting the accusation, was as good as
that of the person who advanced it: he
denied the correctness of the accusation
altogether. In what he had addressed to
the House, he begged leave to say, that
he had not attached the slightest blame
to the Home-office. On the contrary, he
had observed that he believed every thing
to be properly conducted. As to the
course of proceeding which was to be
adopted when a motion or a petition was
to be brought forward, if the right hon.
secretary wished to hear his (Mr. H's)
speech before he delivered it to the
House, he would readily oblige him. It
would, however, be somewhat inconve-
nient, if all the observations which must
necessarily grow out of such a subject
were submitted to the right hon. secre-
tary. With respect to the committals,
the individuals he had mentioned were
committed for trial. As to the case im-
mediately before the House, they had,
he thought, heard enough from the right
hon. secretary to show that the individual
had been hardly treated. The law, if
allowed to remain in its present state, was
calculated to produce very great incon-
venience. He would ask, in going through
the streets of London, crowded as they
were with females, whether one of them-
selves might not be placed in the same
situation as this individual? If any
of them were asked by a woman to point
out her road, he would not be much of a
gentleman if he refused that. act of
politeness. The petitioner stated, that
le was so accosted, and there was no evi-
dence to prove that such was not the
fact. The right hon. secretary had ad-
mitted, that the law wanted revision, and
he hoped the public would benefit by the
admission.
Mr. Peel had never meant to say, that
the petitioner's was an accidental expo-
sure. There were some exposures which
might be accidental: but, he thought,
assuming the guilt of the petitioner-
[Mr. Hume- "Assuming the guilt!"]
-Yes, the hon. gentleman had assumed
the petitioner's innocence on his.own al-
legation. Now, assuming his guilt, he
could not think he had been hardly dealt
with.
Ordered to be printed.


,TiB. 10, I24,.







S!10]. HOUSE Of COMMONS,
STATin OF IRELAND.] Lord Al-
'thorp said, that perhaps some apology
wduld be required of him, for calling
the notice of parliament to a portion
of the empire with which he had no
connexion whatever. But he thought
'he had an opportunity of doing some
'good, by seriously applying himself to the
'consideration of the state of Ireland ; and
'he felt that it was as much the business
'nd the duty of English as of Irish mem-
:bers of parliament to use their utmost ex-
ertions for the benefit of the people of
that country. He hoped, therefore, he
shouldd not be supposed to have travelled
-out of his line, in undertaking the intro-
:duction of this subject [Hear !]. It was
his intention at a later period of the ses-
sion, to submit a motion on the state of
"Ireland generally, and therefore he now
called for certain papers which were in-
:timately connected with that subject.
"The chief points on which he required
information were-the amount of the re-
venue of Ireland-the situation of the
'church, as to the number of resident
clergymen-and the mode in which the
laws, allowing Roman Catholics to hold
.certain offices, had been executed, toge-
ther with a specification of the offices
whioh they were so entitled to fill. As
'to the revenue of Ireland, it might be
said; that information on that head could
be procured from the papers now before
the House. But, every one must know,
that unless it were brought together in a
smaller compass for general observation,
it would not be attended with that good
.effect which ought to be derived from it.
If, therefore, there was ho objection, he
would move for a return of the gross
and nett amount of the revenue of customs
and excise in Ireland, for two years, end-
ing 5th Jan. 1824; distinguishing the dif-
ferent articles on which it was charged."
He would next move for a return of the
amount of money levied by grand jury
presentments, for the same period." To
that he conceived there could be no ob-
jection, as those presentments formed a
part of the charge of Ireland,' and it was
desirable that its extent should be known.
The next point on which he would call
for information respected the residence of
the clergy. He conceived it tobe impos-
sible for any man to look to the state of
Ireland, and not feel the necessity of hav-
ing a resident clergy. If, as they must
all be convinced,' it was.of great import-
Ance to have a good resident clergy in


Slate of Ireland.


this country, it was infinitely more im-
portant, situated as Ireland was, that
there should be an efficient resident clergy
there. The landed proprietors in Erng
land were far more numerous than those in
Ireland, and it was of primary importance,
that men of fortune should be induced, as
far as possible, to reside in the latter
country, and to do every thing in their
power to promote its welfare. He could
quote the instance of a reverend person
who had lately, and he believed very pro-
perly, been promoted to the see of Lime-
rick, to prove the utility of a resident
clergy. That reverend person, during
his residence in his parish in Limerick,
had acted so prudently, that notwith-
standing the confusion which reigned
around, no outrages had occurred in that
particular parish. He was not at all ac-
quainted with Dr. Jebb, the bishop to
whom he alluded: but he knew that
what he had stated was founded on fact.
He should move for a list of the pa-
rishes in Ireland, with the names of their
respective incumbents, and distinguish-
ing those where the incumbents were
non-residents." Another point, and a
very great one, on which he would move
for information, was the state of the
church property in Ireland. No person
could suppose that he cherished any wish
to weaken or overturn the church estab-
lishment of Ireland or England. On the
contrary, in any arrangement which he
could possibly propose relative to the
church property in Ireland, his whole de-
sire would be, not to injure but to benefit
the church establishment. He, therefore,
thought it very important to know what
quantity of land was at present the pro.
perty of the church ; and with that view,
he would move for an account of the
number of acres belonging to the church
in Ireland, distinguishing such as form
part of gleberlands. His next motion
would be for a paper to show how many
Roman Catholics had been employed in
those official situations which by law they
were empowered to fill. By the act of
1793, there were only seven exceptions,
with respect to offices which Roman Ca-
tholics might fill. All offices, but those
specially excepted, they were eligible to
hold., He wished, therefore, to have it
stated, how many Roman Catholics had
been appointed to those offices; because
it would very much depend on the mode
in which government had appointed Ro-
tman Catholics to such offices, -whether


t120







J 1]


State of Ireland.


that body were likely to be satisfied
with the situation in which they were
now placed, so far as related to the
execution of the law in question. He
should therefore move for an ac-
count of the number of Roman Catholics
appointed to the situation of assistant
barrister in Ireland, with the dates of
their appointments; and an account of
the number of Roman Catholic barristers
who have enjoyed patents of precedence
in Ireland, for the last five years."
The account relative to the Irish reve-
nue, and that respecting presentments by
the grand jury, were ordered, without
observation. On the motion, for an ac-
count of the number of parishes in Ire-
land, distinguishing those in which the
incumbent was not resident, being put,
Mr. Goulburn said, he did not rise to
offer any opposition to the motion, be-
cause no person who had heard the sen-
timents uttered by him when the affairs of
Ireland were under discussion last session,
could doubt that he felt very deeply the
importance of the residence of the clergy
in Ireland, and that he was most anxious
for the enforcement of that system. He
had pledged himself, in a former session,
to do every thing in his power, and the
lord lieutenant had given him every as-
sistance to enforce the residence of the
clergy. It would be his duty, in a few
days, to give notice to the House that he
would introduce a bill, containing such
provisions as he hoped would prove com-
pletely effectual for that purpose.
Mr. Hume suggested the necessity of
making some alteration in this motion.
If carried as it was now worded, a clergy-
man might be returned as resident who
remained only one month on his living,
although he was absent during the other
eleven. He wished the return to be made
under four distinctive classes, specifying
those incumbents who had been resident
for 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.
Mr. Croker did not know how a return
of this kind could be made, without ap-
plying to each individual clergyman. If
the clergyman resided long enough to sa-
tisfy the general law, lie must be returned
as a resident. The bishop could only take
notice of those clergymen who did not
comply with the law.
Mr. Hume observed, that the clergy.
men might make the returns. There
wepe only 1,280 parishes, and one post
might carry out all the blank returns.
Mrt. V. Fitzgerald said, if the amend-


FEB. 10, 1824. [122
ment were agreed to, founded, as it evi-
dently was, on the argument, that some
clergymen who resided but amonthon their
livings might be returned as regular resi-
dents, it would be casting a most unde-
served stigma on the bishops of Ireland.
The pains that had been taken by the go-
vernment of Ireland to enforce residence,
the division of parishes, and the appoint-
ing resident incumbents to do the duty of
those cures which were formerly united,
sufficiently proved the anxiety of the go-
vernment of Ireland on this subject.
Mr. Hume defended his proposed
amendment, and denied that he was cast-
ing any stigma on the bishops of Ireland.
As to the delicacy of calling for such an
account, he thought the House ought to
observe little or no delicacy in. calling for
returns.
The amendment was withdrawn, and
the original motion agreed to. On the
motion for the papers giving the number
of acres belonging to the church of Ire-
land, distinguishing the glebe lands,
Mr. Goulburn doubted whether such
returns could be produced under the pre-
sent imperfect admeasurement of districts
in Ireland.
Sir J. Newport believed there wp not
a bishop in Ireland who could not tell
pretty nearly what land he let to his te-
nants. The information, he thought,
might be obtained without the smallest
difficulty.
The motion was agreed to. On the
motion for a list of Roman Catholics ap-
pointed assistant barristers in Ireland,
Mr. Goulburn asked how government
should know whether persons were Ro-
man Catholics or otherwise, unless in
those cases where the law had imposed an
oath ?
Mr. Hume said, that nothing was more
easy than to put the question to each in-
dividual.
Lord Althorp believed the return would
be short. He thought no Roman Catfio-
lies had been appointed; but he saw no
difficulty in making it. A man's religion,
in Ireland, was as much a matter of noto-
riety as his profession.
Mr. Croker was not sure that the pa-
per called for might not be obtainable;
but he knew that the state of the law as
to religious profession in Ireland would
throw serious difficulties in the way of
other objects contemplated by the noble
lord opposite. The act of 1793 was the
only act which gave the means of 'ascer-







123J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
training whether a man was a Protestant
or a Papist. He had himself witnessed a
curious instance of the general impossibi-
lity of getting at that fact. Formerly, a
Protestaht could not vote at an election
in Ireland without taking an oath that he
,was not a Papist. Subsequently, the law
upon that point had been altered, and a
Papist was allowed to vote upon taking
the oath of allegiance. A Catholic, on
.coming up to vote towards the close of an
election, found, when he had got upon the
hustings, that he had lost his certificate of
the oath of allegiance. It happened that,
as the numbers stood, every vote was of
consequence. Upon which the man said,
. If 1 cannot vote as a Papist, I will vote
,As a Protestant;" and actually did so;
there being no law which bound him to
declare his faith. As to the return, how-
ever, now called for, he believed it was to
be got at ; because Catholic assistant-bar-
risters in Ireland took an oath, as they did
in England.
Mr, Secretary Peel said, that the infor-
mation might be obtained, and there was
no objection to giving it; but he de-
cidedly objected to establishing a pre-
cedent for putting questions to individuals
as to the religion they professed.
Sir F. Burdett saw a great diversity in
the objections of the gentlemen on the
other side, and no force whatever in any
of their objections. The right hon. se-
cretary seemed to fear the establishment
of a species of inquisition, which was to
demand men's opinions and professions,
calling them forth against their will; but,
in fact, the inquiry now contemplated
would be gratifying to every person con-
cerned in it.
SThe motion was agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 11.
BANK NOTES IN CIRCULATION.]
Mr. Manning regretted, that he had not
been present yesterday, when an lion.
member had moved for a return of the
amount of Bank notes and Bank post bills
in circulation. He had not the slightest
wish to conceal any thing on the subject
of the motion of the lion. member; but,
after the Bank Restriction act had expir-
ed, he was not aware that the House had
any right to call upon that establishment
*for any such returns. It had been pro-
vided by the bill .of 1797, that certain ac-


QualtyJcation of Jrors Bill. [ 124
counts should be laid before pIrliament,
quarterly, and should also be inserted in
the Gazette; but, since the circulating
medium had been changed to gold, of
course those documents were no longer
needed. The Directors were perfectly
ready to give the hon. gentleman any
information he desired, for his private
satisfaction; but they were clearly of
opinion, that he had no more right -to
demand the account he had moved for,
than he had to call for copies of the
books of any private merchant or banking-
house. He hoped thispractice would not
be drawn into precedent; but he had no
reluctance in stating that the amount of
Bank notes, and Bank post bills now in
circulation somewhat exceeded twenty
millions.
Mr. Grenfell said, he difered at all
points from the hon. gentleman as to the
duty of the Bank of England. It seemed
to him, that in the present state of the
country, it was the imperious duty of the
House of Commons, for the sake of the
public interest, from time to time to as-
certain the amount of Bank notes in cir-
culation. In moving for the paper now
alluded to, he had been influenced by no
feeling of hostility towards the Bank, but
by a strong sense of public duty. It
seemed as if the lion. gentleman had totally
forgotten the millions of money with
which the public entrusted the Bank of
England, and for the satisfaction and se-
curity of the public, it was absolutely ne-
cessary to know how the Bank conducted
its business, and whether it was or was not
in a state of solvency. If, before 1797,
the House had been better informed upon
the subject to which the motion referred,
the catastrophe which had then happened,
would never have occurred. It was very
important that this point should be
brought to issue, and for this purpose he
would move on Tuesday next, for the ac-
counts he had annually applied for, re-
specting the issue of notes by the Bank of
England.
Mr. Manning repeated, that, as a mat-
ter of courtesy, the directors'had no ob-
jection to furnish hon. gentlemen with
such information as they might need for
any parliamentary purpose.

QUALIFICATION OF JURORS BILL.]
Mr. Western rose for the purpose of
moving for leave to bring in a bill to make
an alteration in the law respecting the
Qualification ofJurors. The honmember







Qualification of Jurors Bil


said, that though the alterations he had
to propose were important, he did not ap.
prehend that any strong objection would
be urged against them. Various changes
in the qualifications of jurors had taken
place, from time to time, as the value of
money had altered, but they had never
been less adapted to the circumstances of
the country than at the present moment.
The qualification, in the country, now
consisted of land, and it might be either
freehold or copyhold. In London and in
Southwark it was different; for there per-
sonal property conferred a right to sit
upon juries: in the City the amount was
1001., and in the Borpugh only 401., but
this was regulated by a special provision.
Out of those places, personal property to
any amount conferred no qualification;
and 101. value, whether of freehold or co-
pyhold, was often attended with extreme
poverty, so as to render it impossible for
the party to attend without great loss and
inconvenience. The hon. gentleman went
on, from documents before him, to detail
several instances of parishes in which the
number of persons qualified to act as
jurors bore no proportion to the amount
of property; in one instance the rental of
a parish was above four thousand pounds,
and only one person residing in it was
qualified to serve as a juryman. In the
last year the bill he now proposed to in-
troduce had gone through its second
reading, and the blanks had been filled up
with the qualifications he wished to sub-
stitute for those now in operation. He
did not see that any great difficulty could
arise in ascertaining the amount of the
personal property of an individual, in
order that it might be decided whether he
was or was not liable to be called upon to
attend the assizes, or elsewhere, where his
services might be useful to his country.
If the holding of land to the extent of
801. a-year were not deemed too much, he
thought the amount of personal property
might be fairly enough fixed at 4001. in-
asmuch as a tenant of land of the yearly
rent of 801. per annum, to cultivate it
properly must at least possess a personal
estate to the extent of 4001. The hon.
member then stated the various clauses of
his bill, and said, that the measure which
he had to propose, besides adapting the
responsibility of serving on juries to the
property and respectability of the popula-
tion in a more just ratio, would include a
trifling alteration as to the age required
by the existing regulations; and he trust-


125]


l. FP 11, 1824. (l2(e
ed that it would have the effect of calling
forth an enlightened andextremely eligible
class of persons to serve on juries, who
were at present excluded, but who were
well able to add to the support and strength
of those laws which had raised this coun-
try to the proud station which we at
present held among the nations of the
world. The right hon. secretary had in.
formed the house last evening, that the'
object of the bill which it was his inten-
tion to introduce was the consolidation of
numerous laws which were now scattered
over the Statute-book. But, in fact, al-
though inv all times, from the Conquest
down to the present moment, the legisla.
ture had turned its attention occasionally
to this subject, there was very little to
complain of as to the vagueness of the laws
for there was scarcely any law respect,
ing juries which was not comprised in
those two acts passed in the 4th and 5th
William and Mary, and the 1st Geo. II.
Certainly, as far as principle was concern-
ed, there was nothing to be found outside
those two acts. He would not detain the
House longer at present, but reserve him-
self for any discussion which might arise
upon the details of the bill, for the bring,
ing in of which he now asked the permis-
sion of the House.
Mr. Leycester seconded the motion of
his hon. friend with much cordiality. The
principle upon which the qualification of
jurors had been fixed might be classed
among the antiquated prejudices of the
feudal system, and was totally at variance
with the present advanced state of civili-
zation; because it went to exclude a large
body of nmen, who were not only well
qualified by education, station, and in-
tellect, but were also willing to take their
share in the burtlensome duties of that
service. Another strong recommendation
of this measure was, the prospect it would
afford of speedily establishing a third
assize. This measure would render the
duties of juries in the aggregate less
onerous with a third assize, than before
they had been with only two. It would
remove the only obstacle which at pre.
sent impeded the establishment of a third
assize. He did not anticipate any diffi-
culty upon this last point on account of
the judges; for, without adding.any ex-
pense in the way of salary, or a single
member to the number of the judges, it
was only to make a more economical use
of their judicial means-it was only to
dispose with, more prudence of their






l]) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Judicial forces. They had only to get ri
of the unaccountable respect which hac
prevailed for the number four, as being
the best suited for judicial decision. Wh3
it should be so, any more than five, three
or one, he could not discover. As it was
an even number, it would seem to be less
suited for decision than three, which, in
case of differing opinions, must leave a
majority. It was clear that four judges
were not necessary to sit in each court;
and, fortunately for the present question,
the custom upon which that number pre-
vailed was by no means invariable. The
number had been reduced within the time
of legal memory, from six or seven down
to four. Why not reduce it to one ? But
supposing objections to be taken to that
reduction, there, could be none to the
plan of leaving three judges on each of
the benches, and by that means there
would be three judges whose services
would be available for the circuit on the
third assize, without producing the least
inconvenience to the business of West-
i~thster-hall. Upon the question of the
usefulness' of a third assise, there could
not be doubt remaining. In the present
winter they had seen the advantages of a
third assize in the home circuit; for not
only had many innocent men been set at
liberty, but an atrocious murderer had
been brought to punishment who would
otherwise have been allowed to have dis-
graced society for months longer. The
motion of his hon. friend was of great
importance, and he was anxious for its
success, not only on its own account,
but as a sure and safe stepping-stone
to that most important measure, a third
assize.
Captain Maberly said, it was necessary
for the House to consider what a situation
they might be placed in by the bill which
the hon. mover proposed to introduce,
and that which the home secretary of state
had also given notice of. The right hon.
secretary proposed to consolidate all the
laws relating to juries while the hon. gen-
tleman was bringing in a bill to amend a
particular disposition of those laws. Let
them suppose the hon. gentleman's bill
to have passed into a law, and the bill of
the right hon. secretary introduced. Now,
either the bill of the right hon. secretary
would contain the provisions of the hon.
gentleman's bill, or it would not. If it
contained them, there would be two bills
with the same enactments: if not, there
would be all the laws respecting juries


Qualification ofJurors Bill.


[12r


I consolidated in one bill, with the excep-
I tion of one bill.
Mr. Western undertook that no incon-
venience, like.that which had been anti-
cipated by his hon. friend, should arise
from the introduction and progress of his
bill.
Mr. Lockhart would, not oppose the in-
troduction of the bill: but it was a measure
Which required great deliberation, and it
was important that the House should hear
the observations of all the members upon
it. The remarks of an hon. member upon
the general composition of juries were
such, that he could not yield his entire
concurrence to them. He could not
agree that the old principle of juries was
founded in prejudice, or that it was merely
an error of the feudal system, which con-
fined the selection of special juries to the
class of freeholders. He rather thought
that their ancestors had acted from a just
and proper sense of the subject. Expe-
rience had shown, that the view which
had been taken of the subject in ancient
times was a sound one, and perhaps the
best which could be devised, to protect
people from the encroachments of des-
potism; to secure the rights of subjects
against the power and influence of the
Crown, and the interests of their property
from injustice one among another. The
epithet prejudice could only be ascribed
fairly to that which had produced evi-
dently bad consequences; whereas that
system had proved to be efficient above
all others, in opposing the intellect and
public virtue of the community to the
tyranny of rulers; and it had secured to
us the only free constitution,, worthy. of
the name, which existed in the world. He
did not feel inclined to oppose the propo-
sition of the hon. gentleman, because it:
went to place the system of juries in a
position more fairly proportioned to the
property and intelligence of the people.,
All he feared was, that the class by which
that most invaluable blessing had been
maintained hitherto might be too far
overlooked. He admitted that they might
not equal in expertness and ingenuity
some of the enlightened classes which the
kingdom contained. Their understanding.
was of a peculiar kind: there was in it a
sort of vis inertie, which was not likely to,
run after the prevailing follies and fancies
of the times. The old yeoman was a
sturdy character, not easily.tobe moved,
even by the threats of power, when power
was more dangerous than it was in these







Cattle ll-treatment Bill.


days, as many instances in history proved.
He wished the house to guard itself against
the exclusion of that old and valuable
character. In that point of view he
'dreaded any alteration which would in-
duce a laxity of attendance by the yeo-
nen upon the assize and sessions courts;
and it would be seen in the course of the
discussion upon the details, how far they
might expect that result, by an alteration
whichh made personal property an equal
qualification with real property, in the
'qualification of jurors. There was another
consideration, of vital importance as to
this part of the subject; which was, that
the attendance of the yeomen on the
assize courts, to witness the administra-
tion of justice, was of the greatest ser-
vice in enlightening their minds upon the
subject of theit just rights, by which
means they were enabled to enhance, on
returning to their homes, the common
Stock of common sense, which had sup-
ported the prosperity and happiness of the
country in times past, and contributed
greatly to its present glory arid strength.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, he did not
intend to oppose the introduction of the
bill of the hon. gentleman; in fact, in
many parts of it he concurred; at least
le thought the whole subject well worthy
of serious consideration. He thought at
the same time, with his hon. friend who
had just spoken, that no alteration should
be made in the system without much con-
sideration; though some of the reasons
urged by his hon. friend against an altera-
tion, tended to bring him (Mr. Peel) to a
directly contrary conclusion. If his hon.
friend contended, and as no one would
doubt, that the trial by jury was an im-
portant instrument for a diffusion of the
knowledge of the law throughout all parts
of the community, this was surely a
reason for extending the privilege of
serving on juries beyond the class to which
it was now confined. The hen. mover
had proposed to admit, as a qualification
for serving on juries, the possession of
personal property to a certain extent ;and
he had observed, that this principle was
admitted already in corporate towns. But,
he doubted in the first place, whether the
hon, gentleman did not propoee atfirst to
admit too large a dlass, and whether the
psessioni of a particular amount of per-
srnal property would not be found a-very
uncertain and embarrassing rule to go by.
The hon. gentleman proposed, that the
possession of 1001. of personal property
VOL. X.


I% I]


FEB. 11, 1824. [13SO
should not only be a sufficient qualificia
tion, but that the owner should be entitled,
or, if he pleased, compelled, to serve on
the juries. But, would it not be a very
delicate point to leave to the subordinate
officers of any parish or borough to as,.
certain whether or not each man claiming
or being compelled to serve was worth
1001.? [Mr. Western said across the
table 4001."] It was no matter: he
was arguing upon the principle; which?
implied something too inquisitorial in the
functions of the summoning officers
Surely it would be better to adopt some'
known test by which qualifications were
now ascertained-either the book of ass-
sessments to the parochial and county
rates, or those of parliamentary taxation;r
Every one rated at 1001. or 2001. house
rent, should be eligible. There were
other questions of difficult solution which
would meet with proper discussion when'
the House should come to the details of
the bill; but into which it would be very
inconvenient to go, during the absence
of the attorney and solicitor-general.- The
bill might be introduced and allowed to
the committee, and rest there until the
arrival of the bill of which he had given
notice at the same stage; at which time,
to save the inconvenience to which allu-
sion had been made by another hon.
member, if the House thought fit, the
bill of the hon. member for Essex might
be incorporated with the other.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

CATTLE ILL-TREATMENT BILL.] Mr.
Martin, of Galway, rose to move for leave
to bring in a bill to extend to other ani-
mals the privilege arid protection which
the House, under a bill which he had
brought in, had afforded to cattle. To this
bill he did not apprehend much objection,
as it merely would extend the principle of
the bill for preventing cruelty to cattle, to
dogs and cats, and monkies, and other
animals. [A member asked Mr. Martin
whether he included rats !] No, he did
not mean to include rats. Gentlemen
must have read in the public papers many
horrible instances of cruelty perpetrated
upon animals with impunity; and one in
particular, of an unfortunate dog that
went into a shop, and was scalded with a
kettle of boiling water, and sent' out to die
in the streets. In other instances, dogs
had been rubbed with oil of vitriol, and
sent out to perish in excruciating tor-
ments. Without pretending to more sen-
K







131) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
siblity than other gentlemen, there Was
no man who heard him, he imagined, who
would not wish the same protection to be
applied to other animals, as to battle.
Another object he had in view,-was to
make cruelty to cattle a misdemeanor.
It was an offence that might be often tried
with advantage before a jury and a bench
of: magistrates; and though a fine of 51.
or imprisonment for three months, on
summary conviction before a magistrate,
might be punishment sufficient in ordinary
cases, there were some atrocities that
would deserve more signal punishment.
Only a few weeks ago, a set of ruffians
Rad amused themselves with driving some
worn-out horses into a fire; and he himself
remembered a case in which a wretch had
lighted a fire under a horse, and actually
kept it up until the bowels were burned
out. The hon. member quoted severalin-
stances in which barbarities of a very
horrible description had been perpetrated
upon animals: and concluded by stating
that his object was, to make such conduct
misdemeanor.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

BEAR BAITING.] Mr. Martin said,
that the second bill which he should move
for leave to bring in, would require little
detail. He would move for ,' leave to
bring in a bill to prevent Bear-baiting and
ether cruel practices." There was some
hesitation in putting the question, as Mr.
Martin had not provided a seconder. Mr.
Martin expressed a hope that some gen-
tleman would second it. Some one
having seconded it, and the question being
put,.
Mr. Secretary Peel- said, he was as
ready as any one to do justice to the mo-
tives of his hon. friend, and. he did not
object to the first of the bills that had
been proposed to amend the law for the
protection of cattle from wanton cruelty ;
but the bill which it was the purpose of
the present motion to introduce, was an
extension so important, that he was sur-
prised his hon. friend did not- think proper
to enter into the details by which he might
conceive it was called for. The hon.
gentleman proposed to prohibit certain
cruel sports. Now, if the hon. gentleman
laid down the general principle, that no
pain should be inflicted on animals, be-
y'ond such as was necessary in putting
them to death for the support of man, his
legislation would be consistent; but he
was certainly not fair in selecting partial


Sear Baiting, ,[1
instances to legislate on; in which the
members of the House, the parties legis-
- lating, did not happen to be interested
[hear !]. It was impossible for him to,
vindicate the cruelty with which the
sports in question were probably accom-
panied; but at the same time it was im-
possible for him to forget, that those who
would have to pass this bill, for the pur-
pose of putting an 'end to the sports in
which the poor found amusement, were in
the habit of pursuing other sports at-
tended with just the same cruelty to
animals. The House had last session re-
fused to amend the Game laws, on the
express ground, that, by affording a mode
of amusement to country gentlemen, they
afforded them a motive to residence on
their estates. The advantages of this re-
sidence he did not mean to undervalue;
but, while they thus directly encouraged
the wounding of animals in shootifig and
hunting, they could not with any decency
pass a partial law against the same sort of
cruelty, when perpetrated by a lower
class of people, nor could they make it
penal to encourage the antipathies of two
animals-in Bear-baiting, when they encou-
raged precisely the same antipathies in
fox-hunting. Let them abolish fox-
hunting and partridge shooting, and they
might then abolish Bear-baiting. If, in-
deed, the hon. member alleged that, for
purposes of police, it was necessary to
abolish a particular kind of amusement,
because it brought together disorderly
characters, or led to riots, he should have
given the allegation the consideration it
might deserve; but on the ground of
cruelty, it was manifestly partial and un-
just to propose it. Who could say that
hawking was less cruel than Bear-baiting
or fishing ? Nay, fishing added treachery
to cruelty; while, in Bear-baiting,. the
victim was at any rate brought fairly to
the stake, and the late Mr. Windham
used to assert, had a sort of pleasure in
contending against his natural enemies
the dogs. Fishing was a cruel fraud prac-
tised on innocent and defenceless animals.
On what principle, too, did we retain
animals in confinement at all ? An un-
fortunate monkey, that was taken and
shut up in a cage, and exhibited for gain,
was surely ill-treated; and it might be
questioned, whether the condition of such
a monkey was not as wretched as that of
the bear. He should protest against any
partial measure on, the subject, which
would interfere with the amusements of








the poor, while it did not interfere with
the sports of the rich as, by making such
:a distinction, they opened the door to
great injustice and oppression.
Mr. Martin said, he should defend those
gentlemen who amused themselves with
shooting, hunting, and fishing, against
being confounded with the miserable
wretches who pursued the brutal sports
which he proposed to prohibit. He
wished to stop cruelty as far as he was
able: he wished to prohibit those cruel-
ties which public opinion would follow
him in saying ought to be prohibited. It
.was the opinion of all well thinking people
out of these walls (and he was happy to
say, that there were out of the House,
millions of .well-thinking people in this
country), that cruel sports ought to be
prohibited. There was not a part of the
kingdom that he was not in correspond-
ence with, and he knew that to be the
general opinion. There was no incon-
sistency in not prohibiting field-sports and
in putting down the gross and atrocious
cruelties which depraved the morals of
the people. Bull-baiting was already pre-
vented. He begged to call to the recol-
lection of the right hon. gentleman a
law now existing, which prevented every
one of these sports, or rather of these de-
liberate acts of cruelty, in a particular
part of the metropolis. He alluded to
the Mary-la-bonne act, which made it ille-
gal to bait a bull, or to hold a bear fight,
monkey fight, or dog fight in the parish
of Marylabonne. He wished to know
whether his right hon. friend meant to re-
peal that act; and, if he did not mean to
repeal that clause in the Marylabonne
act, which made it illegal for bears, dogs,
and monkeys to fight and massacre each
other, he saw no reason why those dis-
graceful sports ought not to be abolished
in every other part of the kingdom.
Hunting and shooting, in his opinion, were
amusements of a totally differentcharacter.
Many gentlemen who indulged in those
recreations had been the foremost to sup-
port his bill for preventing cruelty to
animals. A gentleman of his acquaint-
ance, remarkable for the strength of his
nerves, had, nevertheless, experienced
nausea at the stomach, upon seeing a bull
which had been baited. The upper lip
was torn, and part of the tongue hung in
shreds down the wretched animal's cheek.
Honourable gentlemen ought really to at-
tend these sports themselves, before they
decided that a bill.of this kind ought not


. Eegacy D~s.


1333


FEB. 11, 182'4. t184
to be introduced. He was informed by
the police-officers, that the greatest vaga-
bonds in the world were in the habit of
attending these sports. He felt satisfied,
that such sights tended to degrade the
character of Englishmen; and he was
convinced also, that if the House did not
accede to his motion, their decision would
not be supported by the general voice of
the country. He was persuaded that, if
the population of London could be polled
on this subject, there would be a thour.
sand to one in favour of his bill.
Mr. Lockhart thought he could relieve
the lion. gentleman from the necessity of
pressing the House to any decision on
the subject. The hon. gentleman had al-
ready obtained leave to bring in a bill to
amend his act for preventing cruelty to
cattle, by extending protection to other
animals. Now, as he himself admitted,
that bull-baiting was illegal by the ole-
ration of his own measure, it was evident
that if his amendment were carried, the
bears to which the hon. gentleman wish-
ed to extend protection, would be in-
cluded in the words other animals."
It would be wholly unnecessary, there-
fore, to protect bears by a specific enact-
ment.
Mr. Martin acquiesced in the sugges-
tion of the hon. gentleman, and consented
to withdraw his motion.

LEGACY DUTIES.] Mr. I-Iume rose
to move for several returns, with a view
of bringing the subject of the Legacy
Duties under the consideration of the
House at a future period. The right hon.
the chancellor of the exchequer had, he
said, shewn an anxiety to place commer-
cial regulations on a footing of sounder
policy thap had been hitherto acquiesced
in, and he trusted that he would not deem
the subject to which he now adverted un-
worthy of his attention. Legacy taxes
had been admitted by all who had written
on the subject, to be taxes on the capital
of the country, and they ought, therefore,
to be repealed at as early a period as pos-
sible. The extent to which these taxes
were levied, was not perhaps generally
known. He had moved last year for re.
turns of the amount of nett revenue de-
rived from probates and administrations
of wills, and the House would perhaps
be surprised to learn that from the year
1797 to the year 1806, no less a sum than
22,124.,0001. had been levied from the
public in the legacy duties, which, up.os







I35j HOUSE OF COMMONS,
sound principles of political ecdnortiy,'
might be considered as so much taken
from the capital of the country. The
amount of legacy duties for the year
1822 was 1,000,7931., and one of the ob-
jects of his present motion was, to obtain.
.the return for the year 1823, in order to
ascertain the amount of capital taken an-
p ally from the public. There was ano-
ther circumstance to which he wished to
,all the attention of the House. Not
only was this tax pernicious and impolitic
in itself, but, from some neglect on the
part of the public officers, the mode of
levying it was extremely vexatious to the
public. It had recently come to his
knowledge, that claims of 12, 14, and 15
years standing had been made upon the
public, for duties on the probate and ad-
ministration of wills. A gentleman told
him yesterday of a case in which an in-
dividual, who was the fourth in succession
to whom the property devolved, had been
obliged to pay 801. legacy duty, the ori-
ginal executor and the two succeeding
executors having died without any notice
to pay the duties being given, and a
period of upwards of twenty years having
elapsed. If the government suffered ar-
rears to accrue in this manner from the
neglectand carelessness of its own officers,
the public ought not to be subjected to
those harassing and vexatious claims. If
individuals were prevented by the statute
,of limitations from recovering a debt un-
less claimed within a given period, the
government ought not to possess the
right of harassing individuals, after a
lapse of seven years, for arrears which
had not been claimed, through the neg-
lect of the public officers. Another ob-
ject of his present motion was, to obtain
a return of the number of probates and
administrations which had been taken out
in England in the last three years, and of
the number of inventories, as they were
termed, which had been taken out in
Scotland. It ought to be known, that
bylaw, the officer was bound to report
the probate from Doctors' Commons with-
in fourteen days from the time of admi-
nistration, yet, for some reasons for which
he could not account, and for which he
believed there was no excuse, six weeks
generally elapsed before the probate was
reported. A case had been mentioned to
him, yesterday, of a gentleman who had
come up to London, from a considerable
distance, to administer to.a large proper-
ty, and who wished to pay the legacy


legcvy Dagfes. i
duty before he returned into the country,
He was told, however, qt the Stamp
Office, that he could.not do this, until the
probate was reported from Doctors' Com-
mons, and he was obliged to wait five or
six weeks Jiefore he was allowed to pay
the tax. This was a grievance which
ought undoubtedly to be redressed; inqce
it was the interest of the public that taxes
should be paid as speedily as possible,
and that no impediment should be thrown
in the way of their payment. He was
.quite satisfied that the chancellor of the
.exchequer would see the necessity of re-
medying this inconvenience, and that he
would also acquiesce in the expediency of
limiting the period ,at which the public
should be liable to claims for arrears of
legacy duties. He concluded by moving
for "a return of the amount of revenue
derived from the stamp duties on legar
cies, probates, administrations, and testa-
mentary inventories, in the year 1823, for
England and Wales, Scotland and Ire-
land."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had
no objection to the motion of the hon.
gentleman, and he did not think it neces-
sary, on the present occasion, to trouble
the House with any observations on the
general question of the policy of legacy
duties. The House would naturally see
that this was a subject of very consider.
able importance, affecting, as it did, a
revenue of not less than a million per
annum. With respect, however, to the
particular point to which the hon. mem-
ber had adverted, namely, the grievance
to which individuals were exposed in con.
sequence of being called upon to pay ar.
rears of legacy duty, which had not been
claimed for many years, he was ready to
admit that some strong cases of hardship
had been brought under his notice. These
cases had arisen, not from any disposition
in the parties to evade the payment of
the legacy duties, but from the imperfect
provisions of the law at its first enact.
ment, and the imperfect regulations under
which the law had been acted upon, so
that that notice had not been given which
every public body, whose duty it was to
collect taxes, was bound to give. In the
year 1812, many alterations and improve-
ments in the mode of collecting the lega-
cy duties had been adopted, the result of
which was, that every person now received\
a fair and immediate notice of the amoQnt
of duty he had to pay. It was perfectly
true that the officers, acting under the






Tread Mill before Trial.


new system, had called upon parties to,
pay arrears of legacy duty, which had
not been claimed under the old regula-
tions, and this was no doubt in some in-
stances, a grievance, because the execu-
tors, who were in strictness of law liable
to pay, might not be liable to find the
legatees. The Treasury had, however
taken steps, which he trusted would
effectually remove all cause of complaint
,n this subject.
The motion was agreed to.

CONDUCT OF POLICE OF.ICERS-MI-
CHAEL M'CAN.] Mr. Grattan rose, to
move for copies of the proceedings before
a coroner's jury on an inquest held on the
body of one M'Can. It appeared from
the information which he had received,
that the unfortunate sufferer was an agent
employed in the collection of rents, in the
barony of Strathbane. He was returning
to his home, when he entered a public-
house, where he met several of the te-
nants from whom he was to receive rent.
Two police-officers came afterwards into
the same house, and caused a riot and af-
fray, in the course of which the agent was
killed. The hon. gentleman said his in-
formation went on to state, that an inquest
had been held on the body, at which two
surgeons attended, who swore that the
death of the deceased was occasioned by
an inflammation of the bowels; and that
upon this evidence the jury acquitted the
police-officer, notwithstanding the dying
declaration of the victim, who said that he
had been killed by the police-man. The
hon. gentleman did not know whether the
police-man was still at large, or whether
any proceedings had been taken against
him. He was, however, induced to make
the present motion, in the hope of calling
the attention of the magistrates to the
conduct of this description of men, who,
in the county where this transaction oc-
curred, were notorious for the commission
of violent and illegal acts. They were
often taken up, and sometimes removed;
but never, that he had been able to learn,
discharged. The consequence was, that
the public had no confidence in the admin-
istration of justice, as regarded them;
and it was with a view to remedy the ex-
isting abuses, by the adoption of some ul-
terior measures, that he now moved for
copies of the proceedings on the coroner's
inquest held on thebody of Michael M'Can,
at Vicarstown in the Queen's County."
Mr. Goulburn thought, that without


going into the facts of the case, -.the h uo
gentleman would agree that it was opt at
present adviseable to adopt such megsurec
as he had proposed. He had received n.o
information from Ireland respeting this
case; but even supposigg the s,,itenment pt
the hon. gentleman to he, as it probably
was, quite correct, still he thought thgt
upon general principles, his paQtion ought
not to be acceded to. An individual had
come by his death in a public-house jad
the coroner's jury had been of OpiiAgg
that he died in the course ofnature. S)p-
pose the police-officer bad actually mt4.
dered this man; he would ask the boa,
gentleman, whether he thought by the
publication of the evidence on the inque
he was more likely to obtain justice on the
criminal, or whether he would not rather
enable him to shape his defence so .p to
evade it? The hon. gentleman knew very
well, that the verdictof the jury did ppt
preclude the trial of the police-officer;
and even at this moment he might be ,in
dicted by the family of the deceased, or
the local government might interfere, if
they saw any necessity for doing so. He
would ask the hon. gentleman, knowing
as he did, the state of the part of Ireland,
now alluded to, whether he did not think
that the publication of the evidence which
henowsought, mightnot be highlyinjurious
by giving the accused an opportunity .f
getting out of the way, or adopting some
of the other expedients which ,were too
frequent in that part of the country for
eluding the pursuit of justice ? IHe .was s
anxious as the hon. gentleman could be:to'
see the police-officers punished whenever
they acted improperly, and no less desir-
ous that they should be protected in the
faithful discharge of their duty.
Mr. Grattan was only desirous to excite
a proper degree of attention.to this sub-
ject, and if the right hon. gentleman would
promise to take the case under his ,wna
care, and adopt such proceedings as might
be necessary, he would gladly leave it in
his hands, and withdraw his motion.
Mr. Goulburn, would not pledge hirm-
self to commence a prosecution in a case
of which he knew nothing, but be would
make inquiries into it, and what the jus-
tice of the affair required should be dqne,
Mr. Grattan expressed himself satisfied,
and withdrew his motion.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 12.
TREAD MILL BEFORE TRIAL.) -Sir;F.


1373


'F~B. 1~, fS2~







139] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Burdelt said, that seeing the secretary for
the home department in his place, he
wotildpresent a petition with which be had
been entrusted by Mr. Martin Stapylton,
magistrate in the North Riding of York-
shire. The right hon. gentleman had
probably seen and heard something of dis-
putes regarding the tread-mill among the
magistracy at Northallerton, the majority
of whom had been in the habit of sending
persons before trial to this very degrading
ind.laborious employment. An act had
been passed during the last session upon
this subject, and it had been accompanied
,by a general explanation, that prisoners
committed for trial were not fit objects of
such a punishment. Nevertheless, the in-
dividuals in question had persevered in the
former practice, which appeared to the
petitioner both illegal and oppressive. He
therefore prayed the interposition of par-
liament: and in the opinion of the hon.
baronet, it was loudly called for, to put a
stop to a proceeding unwarranted by the
spirit of the law of the land, as it inflicted
punishment before a jury had decided that
any guilt existed. He trusted that some
effectual steps would be taken without
delay to correct the misinterpretation that
prevailed in some quarters, and which was
daily leading to acts of the grossest in-
justice. He hoped that some effective
measures would be adopted, either to
amend the law, if a mistake prevailed upon
the subject, or to correct the practice if it
were illegally persevered in. It ought not
for a moment to be suffered to exist after
this exposure of its oppression and in-
justice.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, that the sub-
ject had been recently before the court of
King's Bench, and it would be premature
to discuss it at present, more particularly
as the hon. member for Shrewsbury had
given notice of a specific motion upon the
subject. He readily agreed, that if the
application of the tread-mill before trial
were not illegal, it was at all events deci-
dedly impolitic. The chief benefit of its
discipline was, that it inflicted a stigma,
and a disgrace, a moral punishment, which
would be lost if it were used before trial.
Upon a principle of justice therefore as
well as of expediency, he thought the
punishment of the tread-mill ought not
to be indicted before trial.
Sir F. Burdett said, he could not con-
ceive the slightest doubt upon the illega-
lity of the punishment before trial. It
was a compulsory punishment upon men


Tread Mill before Trial. [140
not proved guilty of any offence. The
Judges of the Court of King's bench had
evaded the real question, and had not de-
termined upon the main point at all ; they
had merely said, that a prisoner was only
entitled to the county allowance if he re-
fused to work. But, suppose the case of
a person so refusing to work; the mis-
chief of this sort of punishment was worse
in its principle to society, than the injury
sustained by the example of the inability
and obstinacy of any prisoner. He would
repeat, that the practice was highly ille-
gal, because the prisoner was in general
entitled to bail before trial, if he could ob-
tain it. If it was his misfortune to be un-
able to obtain the necessary bail, was it
not quite enough that his lot must be im-
prisonment, without painful labour being
coercively superadded ? If it was the lot
of a prisoner to be long committed before
trial, his confinement and this tread-mill
might amount to a far greater punishment
than could be inflicted upon him, even if
guilt were legally established against him.
Besides, they should bear in mind, that
the new system of prison discipline pre-
cluded the prisoner from receiving what-
ever sustenance his friends could afford
him; and, was he before trial to be so
placed, as to have to encounter the pri-
vation of a gaol allowance inadequate to
fair human sustenance, or be exposed to
a severe personal punishment? After this
he hoped that common sense and decent
feeling would prevent a repetition of such
injustice.
Mr. Peel said, that between him and
the hon. baronet there was no material
difference of opinion. Whatever, he re-
peated, might be the strict law, upon
which he was not prepared or qualified to
decide, he had not a moment's doubt as
to the inexpediency of placing persons on
the tread-mill before they had been found
guilty of any crime.
Mr. Stuart Wortley said, that the ma-
gistrates at Northallerton felt a strong
conviction that they were acting legally
in the course they had pursued. The
Court of King's-bench had satisfied them
that they were right [" No, no"]. Such
appeared to him to be the result of the
decision of the judges. The hon. member,
however, agreed in the inexpediency of
such committals, and should be happy to
see the matter finally settled by a distinct
enactment.
Mr. James contended, that it was not
correct, to state that the Court of King's-






14Jl Artizans-Machinery--Combination Laws, VEB. 12, 1841.


bench had decided the question. The
judges had not met it, but had determined
most humanely, that the magistrates might
starve the prisoners to death, if they did
not consent to work at the Tread-mill.
Ordered to lie on the table.

ARTIZANS -MAcHINERY-COMBINA-
TION LAWS.] Mr. Hume said, he was
well aware that the subject he was about
to bring forward was one of the greatest
importance, and attended, perhaps, with
more difficulties than any he had hitherto
ventured to touch. His object was no
less than to submit to the House the pro-
priety of appointing a committee to take
into consideration the various laws which
intimately concerned, in fact, the major
part of the population of the empire.
Two years ago, after presenting a petition
signed by 15,000 persons, in London only,
besides several other petitions from the
country, he had given notice, that he
should bring forward this question in the
session that had last expired. He had
found, however, that the subject had
already been partially taken up by others,
and that it was surrounded with more
formidable difficulties than he had at first
anticipated. At the end of last session he
had given notice that he would, early in
the present, fulfil his undertaking; and he
had done so by the advice, and in hopes
of the assistance, of a distinguished indi-
vidual, whose recent loss the kingdom had
to deplore [hear, hear!]. The late Mr.
Ricardo was so well acquainted with every
branch of the science of political economy,
formerly, and until he had thrown light
upon it, so ill understood, that his aid on
such a question would have been of the
utmost value. When he remembered the
manner in which his lamented friend had
always delivered his opinions, and the
candour of moderation he invariably dis-
played towards his opponents, he might
boldly assert, that there was not a mem-
ber on any side of the House, who would
for a moment deny the extent of the loss
the country had thus sustained [hear,
hear! from all parts of the House]. The
general interest of the community was the
single object he ever had in view, and
through good report and bad report, he
had pursued it with the meekest spirit of
humility, and the most liberal spirit of
inquiry. With regard to the principles
which Mr. Ricardo was so capable of ex-
pounding, now that time had worn away
many of the ruder prejudices against them,


he might say, that not a few of those op-
ponents, who had long theoretically re-
sisted his doctrines, would at this time,
though perhaps somewhat unwillingly,
allow, that many of his predictions had
been fulfilled. It was doubtless pre-
sumptuous in him to touch matters which
his late friend had already so ably treated;
and he only had given notice originally of
his intention to bring this great subject
under the consideration of the House, in
the hope and expectation, that he should
have enjoyed the benefit of his aid and
counsel.
He was well aware that ministers, during
the last session, had manifested a dispo-
sition to simplify the more complicated
laws, and to repeal others which, though
venerable from their antiquity, were no
longer suited to the altered circumstances
of the country. He therefore introduced
the present question under favourable
auspices; and, although it certainly was
involved, that difficulty ought not to pre-
vent the House from entertaining it for
the public benefit. It would not be for-
gotten, that one of the most important
measures to which Mr. Ricardo had di-
rected his attention, was the Spitalfields-
act, and those who were friendly to the
principle of the change he suggested, still
did not wish to remove the restriction,
until it was seen what parliament intended
to do on the subject of the emigration of
artizans. In some points he (Mr. Hume)
fully concurred with those adversaries of
its repeal, and he was not less satisfied,
that it was the'duty of the House to take
care that the question of the emigration
of artizans was fully, and by no means
hastily considered [hear, hear !]. His
proposition was more comprehensive than
he had originally intended it to be. It
had been his design to review, in the first
place, the laws preventing artizans from
leaving the country; and, in the second
instance, to consider how far the laws re-
stricting the exportation of machinery
ought to be continued, modified, or re-
pealed. At the request of various mem-
bers on all sides of the House, he had
since agreed to add a third branch of in-
quiry, by no means the least important;
namely, those statutes which interfered
with contracts between master and servant,
commonly called the Combination laws,
they would be found to be more widely
extended than was generally supposed.
He hoped that at this time of day it was
unnecessary for him to dwell upon the






'143]HOUSE rF COayommONS, Attizans.-Machssijlcombinatioi .tLani. [J144


a;dvantageS of af inquiry of this kind;
ut it might be satisfactory to some hon.
inembers, to state a few of the circum-
'stances, that would be fully established by
investigation, and on which would mainly
rcst the arguments in favour of a'chan'ge in,
lthe present system.
As to the first head of inquiry, he had
nio hesitation in asserting, that every law
dught to be repealed which shackled any
tihdai in the free disposition of his labour,
provided that free disposition did not in-
"terfere with any vital interest, and thereby
endanger the political existence of the
state. As far as possible every man ought
to b'e allowed free agency. He could not
express his notions upon this poiht in any
langudge so appropriate as that employed
Zy r. Adami Smith, when adverting to
te question of labour. His words were
the property which every man has in
his own labour, as it is the original foun-
dation of all other property, so it is the
most 'sacred and inviolable. The patri-
liony of a poor man lies in the. strength
.hd dexterity of his hands; abd to hinder
him from employing this strength and
dexterity in what manner he thinks
proper, without injury to his neighbour,
is a plain violation of his most sacred pro-
perty." As the law stood at present, a
gentleinan of property might go over to
Frhice, oi to any other country, and there
spend his whole substance, or he might
.hfniially d.raw his income from England
Scotland, or Ireland, and disperse it
ib-road without the slightest responsibility.
d6W, la*s, to be just, ought to be general;
but Ihe poor man, whose whole wealth
consisted in the art he had learned, and
the strength he enjoyed, was unable to
apply that art and that strength to the
best advantage. By law, he could not
go abroad, where greater encouragement
night be offered. He was liable to be
stopped on his road: and if any man be-
fore a magistrate ventured to depose that
he had reason to believe that a certain
arfizan intended to go abroad, that magis-
trate might imprison the artizan, until he
hhd given good security that he would not
quit the country. He was thus unjustly
leprived of those rights which others of
more property, but of less intrinsic value,
hnjoyed. Such a principle at the present
day could riot be defended; though the
tiine had been, when the sound doctrines
oltpolitical economy were not understood,
Oahd when a permission to artizans to emi-
grate was looked upon as injurious. In


despite of all penalties, it was now found,
that artizans could not be restrained: a
fine of one, two, or even five hundred
pounds was insufficient to restrain them.
If the mechanics were starving, and po-
pulation redundant, the law was still inex-
orable; and he was compelled to remain
in wretchedness in his own country, in--
stead of being allowed to earn an honest'
subsistence abroad. Of late years, emi-
gration had been recognized: nay, it had
been countenanced by the legislature.
Large portions of our redundant popula-
tion had been sent to the Cape, to Ame--
rica, and elsewhere; because it was found
that the labour of these people could
not be beneficially applied in Great
Britain. He maintained, that it 'was
grievously unjust not to allow artisans to-
make the best use of their time and their
talents, by removing to countries where
they could find employment. This was
certain, that the individuals would never
think of leaving their native country, un-
less they were induced to do so by increase
of wages or a general improvement of
their condition; so that all those of the
same class whom they left behind would
be in a better situation by their absence.
This was an unchallengeable, and most
satisfactory conclusion. The restrictive
laws had long existed; but of late they
had only existed to be violated; and it
was the business of parliament to take
care that such acts as were not, and ought
not to be obeyed were repealed.
The second branch of inquiry might
appear to many of a more doubtful nature;
namely, the propriety of allowing ma-
chinery to be exported; but it would be
found on inquiry, as a part of our com-
mercial system, to give way before the
sounder, more liberal, and more en-
lightened principles of late years adopted,
Perhaps this division of the subject might
require more time and more testimony
than either of the others; but every
facility would, of course, be afforded, both
to those who opposed, and to those who
supported the modification of the law;
and it would be for the House at large
finally to decide upon the important
question. He was quite satisfied that
the change ought to be made : it was well
known that machinery was now exported,
and that great establishments had been
raised in various parts of the world. Why
then, instead of clandestine exportation,
should not this country become the
great manufacturer of machinery, thus







145] Artizans-Machinery-Combination Laws. Fr.. 12, 1S82.


adding to the rest a most important
application of ingenious industry? The
rude materials were cheap; and upon
no branch of trade was there so large
a profit; so that, by a change of sys-
tem in this respect, we should at once
employ capital, engage industry, encou-
rage ingenuity, and promote even the
general commerce of the nation. If,
therefore, it could be shown, as he had no
doubt it would be shown, that the policy
of our laws had compelled foreign states
to erect manufactures of machinery at a
very high rate, and that they would wil-
lingly purchase machinery from us if they
could do it free from danger, the valuable
addition which would be so made to our
commerce would be a sufficient reason for
making some alteration in the present
system. He could not help mentioning
another strong inducement to the taking
of some such measure. There was
scarcely a single mechanical improvement
that was not immediately protected by a
patent. To obtain that patent a specifi-
cation of the improvement discovered
must be made out in such clear terms, as
to enable any other machinist to under-
stand it. Our own manufacturers could
not, it was true, infringe the patent; but
the Patent-office was open to the world,
any foreigner that chose might obtain a
copy of the specification; and, on re-
turning to his own country, might take
advantage of the skill of English workmen,
to carry into effect the directions it con-
tained. Thus, in fact, by our present re-
strictive law, we deprived ourselves of the
profit we might otherwise acquire by the
manufacture of machinery. He hoped
he had made his intentions on this head
sufficiently clear.
On the next branch of the subject,
which related to what were usually termed
the Combination-laws, he intended to be
very brief. For many years past, the
country had been burthened by a system
of laws preventing the labouring classes
of the community from combining toge-
ther against their employers. Their em-
ployers, who, though few in number, were
powerful in wealth, might combine against
them, and might determine not to give
them more than a certain sum for their
labour. The workmen could not, how-
ever, consult together about the rate they
ought to fix on that labour, without ren-
dering themselves liable to fine and im-
prisonment, and a thousand other incon-
veniences which the law had reserved for
VOL. X.


them. The masters, on the other hand,
could combine against the men ; they were
comparatively few in number, possessed
every advantage of power and station,
and could, at any time, agree among
themselves, what rate of wages they would
allow. The master shoemakers, the
master saddlers, and many others, had
adopted resolutions for this purpose ; so
that, in fact, the operators were com-
pletely at the mercy of their employers,
Of course, this gross inequality in the law
had been a source of perpetual dissatis.
faction. Some of those persons, who were
well satisfied with the state of things,
without knowing exactly what that
state was, professed to feel pride that, in
the eye of the British law, all were equal
-that high and low, rich and poor, were
alike protected. It might be so theoreti-
cally ; but, practically, and, in many in-
stances, the case was directly otherwise.-
In this instance, the men were not pro-
tected against the injustice of their mas-
ters, while the masters were protected
from the combinations of the men. It
was said, that if these laws were repealed,
there would be nothing but rioting and
quarrelling between the masters and the
men ; but this he denied, on the authority
of persons conversant in trade, who in-
formed him, that a strike for wages never
took place, except in cases where the men
found their wages insufficient for their
support, or under other circumstances of
severe extremity. They were compelled
to strike; so that the masters brought
the evil upon themselves. It was also
very important, in relation to this point,
to mention, that it was the decided
opinion of the hon. and learned member
for Peterborough (Mr. Scarlett) that if
all the penal laws against combinations
by workmen for increase of wages were
struck out of the Statute-book, the com-
mon law of the land would still be amply
sufficient to prevent the mischievous
effects of such combinations [hear, hear !].
The hon. and learned member had pro-
mised to be in his place to state this opinion,
and he was sorry to observe that he was
absent. However, among lawyers he be-
lieved there was no doubt upon the point.
It was of great importance to consider,
therefore, whether these needless laws,
creating so many heartburnings, and so
much discontent, might not be safely ab-
rogated. If the common law was adequate
to all useful purposes, why had not these
statutes been repealed long ago? The
L


[146







147J HOUSE OF COMMONS, Artizans-Machinery-Combination Latws. [148


common, but not the very sensible, an-
swer was, that it was difficult to deal with
the subject; but he doubted whether so
much difficulty would be found as was an-
ticipated. It was clear that the workmen
liked the present system ; for at a meeting
of the Spitalfields' weavers within the last
fortnight, it had been carried by accla-
mation, that they were content that no
change should be made. If there were
any gentlemen who were aware of any dis-
advantages that would result from the
sweeping away of the whole system of
combination laws, he hoped they would
take the trouble to lay them before the
committee. He was fully aware of the
difficulty of the subject, and of the pre-
judices which they would have to en-
counter in the examination; but he
trusted that they should be able to over-
come them all, if they met with the as-
sistance of his majesty's ministers, and es-
pecially of that right hon. gentleman the
president of the board of trade, who had
taken such an effective part in removing
the restrictions by which the commerce of
the country had been long fettered.
Without that assistance, he was aware
that they could do nothing; but with it
he was sure that they could effect a great
and lasting benefit to the community.-
The hon. gentleman concluded with
moving,
That a select committee be appointed
to inquire into the state of the law in the
United Kingdom, and its consequences,
respecting artizans leaving the kingdom,
and residing abroad; also, into the state
of the law, and its consequences, re-
specting the exportation of tools and
machinery; and into the state of the law,
and its effects, so far as relates to the com-
bination of workmen, and others, to raise
wages, or to regulate their wages and
hours of working; and to report their
opinion and observations thereupon to the
House."
Mr. IHuskisson rose, not for the pur-
pose bf opposing, but of concurring in
the present motion. He wished, however,
to have it distinctly understood, that he
held himself at liberty, on every part of
this subject, to form his opinion upon the
evidence which might hereafter be sub-
mitted to the committee. He acknow-
ledged that, in much of the general
reasoning of the hon. member for Aber-
deen, he fully concurred. On the first
head of the proposed inquiry which re-
lated to the granting permission to arti-


zans to go abroad, he mist confess that
he entertained but little doubt. It ap-
peared to him, that from the moment that
the policy of our laws, no matter how
numerous or how long enacted, wag
called into question, the onus of proving
their necessity rested with those who un-
dertook to maintain them; and when he
spoke of necessity, he used the term in
reference to the great and paramount in-
terest of the community, and not to the
convenience of any body of individuals,
who either had, or fancied that they had,
an interest in the employment of our
artizans. He said, that every man was
entitled to carry that talent which nature
had given him, and those acquirements
which his diligence had attained, to any
market in which he was likely to obtain
the highest remuneration, unless it could
be shown that there was some paramount
and overwhelming necessity against it.
With respect, therefore, to the law on this
subject, the question was, first, whether
it was necessary, and then whether it wis
just and practicable ? With regard to its
necessity, he did not feel himself called
upon to say a single word more than this;
namely, that it had led to nothing else
but perjury, as any man might now go
abroad, who chose to swallow the custom-
house oath. It was not just; because, the
severe penalties it contained prevented
those artizans, who had failed in turning
their acquirements to advantage abroad,
from returning back with them to their
native country. He knew that at this
very moment there were many manufac-
tories in France, in which not merely the
workmen, but also the masters who em-
ployed them, were British-born subjects;
and he also knew, that many of the indi-
viduals so engaged abroad, would, in the
fluctuations to which their trade had been
exposed, have willingly returned to Eng-
land, had they not considered themselves
proscribed by this very law. He therefore
repeated, that upon this branch of the
subject he himself entertained but little
doubt; he thought, however, that it ought
to undergo investigation, if for no other
reason, at least for this-that it would
tend to remove many idle prejudices
which at present prevailed regarding it.-
With regard to the free exportation ot
machinery, he agreed with the hon. mem-
ber, in thinking, that public opinion was
more divided. For his own part, he hal.
no hesitation in stating, that in general
he concurred in the opinions which the







149] Artizans-Machinery-Combination Laws. FEB. 12, 1824.


hon. member had expressed upon it; and
he would further observe, that if it were
determined to permit the emigration of
artizans, it would be more difficult than
ever to prevent the exportation of ma-
chinery, as the machinery was in general
of their invention. He could wish the
attention of the committee to be directed
to this point-can this part of the law be
made effectual? He knew that at this
very moment, machinery of the most
cumbrous nature was exported from the
country; and he agreed with the hon.
member, in saying, that with the supe-
riority which our artizans possessed over
those of other countries in the manufac-
ture and erection of machinery, we ought
to take into consideration the demand
for it which would be immediately created
by allowing it to be freely exported. On
that part of the subject, however, he
wished to reserve himself until he had
heard all that could be stated by those who
were most interested in it; at present he
had a strong opinion, that the country
would be much benefitted by such a mea-
sure as the hon. member for Aberdeen
appeared to contemplate.
With regard to the combination laws,
he must observe, that it was a question
of great extent and of great difficulty,
and one which would require great in-
dustry, on account of the complicated
system of law which it would be necessary
to unravel. From the best attention which
he had been able to bestow upon it, he
was convinced, that the laws against com-
binations had tended to multiply combina-
tions, and that they had greatly aggra-
vated the evil they were intended to re-
move. From the moment those laws were
made, the workmen saw the injury which
they inflicted on them, and immediately
began to consider by what means they
could be best evaded. It was no slight
objection to those laws, that they created
between the employer and the employed,
relations diametrically opposite to those
which ought to exist, for they created
jealousy, ill-will, and discontent, instead
of that feeling of good-will that was cal-
culated to make each party stand by the
pther in any period of mutual distress.
To relieve itself from the numerous ap-
plications which the House received in
periods of distress from the manufacturing
interest, calling upon it to interfere be-
tween the masters and the men-to re-
move from the Statute-book some laws
which were too oppressive to be executed,


and others which it was impossible to
execute--he thought that this inquiry
ought to be instituted. He had not
studied the question sufficiently to be able
to say, that if all the combination laws
were removed from the Statute-book, the
common law would be able to meet all
combination ; but he should suppose that
if a workman engaged to finish a given
quantity of work in a given time, and did
not finish it, there must be some law to
punish him for his breach of engagement.
So, too, in case of a conspiracy to deter
individuals from working at a given rate
of wages. It would be incumbent on the
House to look narrowly into the subject:
strong prejudices existed regarding it in
the manufacturing districts, many ofwhich
had been engendered by the law itself,
and ought therefore to be carefully and
tenderly removed. He could not conclude
without thanking the hon. member for
Aberdeen, whose industry and diligence
could be exceeded by no man's [hear,
hear] for having undertaken this arduous
task. He was not at all surprised that the
hon. member for Aberdeen, in proposing
this inquiry, should have regretted the
loss which the House had sustained by the
death of his valued friend, the late Mr.
Ricardo-a gentleman, whom he had
also had the pleasure of reckoning among
his friends. There was no man who
esteemed more highly the acuteness and
ability of Mr. Ricardo than he did, and
no man who more sincerely lamented his
loss. In all his public conduct there was
an evident anxiety to do what he thought
right, to seek the good of the country,
and to pursue no other object;,and his
speeches were always distinguished by a
spirit of firmness and conciliation that did
equal honour to himself and to his country.
In conclusion, he remarked,, that he was
convinced that the diligent inquiry of the
committee would produce a report which
would enable the House to retain what
was useful in the laws to which the motion
referred, to clear from the Statute-book
such of them as were useless, unnecessary,
and impracticable, and to substitute in
their stead such amendments as would
best promote the commercial interest and
glory of the country. [Hear, hear.]
The motion being agreed to, Mr. Hume
named the following committee, observing
that he should be happy to receive the
assistance of any other members who
were disposed to attend it-Mr. Hume,
Mr. Huskisson, Mr. C. Grant, Mr. S.








Bourne, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Treasury, its duties had also hither-
Grey Bennet, Mr. Dawson, Mr. D. Gil- to been wholly executed by deputy; but
bert, Mr. Bernal, Mr. F. Lewis, Sir H. it was the intention of government that
Parnell, Mr. G. Philips, Mr. P. Moore, this course should no longer be observed,
Mr. Littleton, Mr. Stuart Wortley, Mr. but that it should be executed altogether
Birch, Mr. Pares, Mr. T. Wilson, Mr. by the principal. The measures recom-
Egerton, sir T. Acland, and Mr. Hob- mended by the committee being now un-
house, dergoing a revision in order to their being
carried into effect, a gentleman of the
HOUSE OF LORDS. Treasury had, in the mean time, been ap-
pointed to the office of King's Remem-
Friday, February 13. brancer. But this was a temporary ap-
SINECURE PLACES KING'S REMEM- pointment, which had solely for its object
3BRANCER.] Earl Grosvenor moved for an the execution of certain duties which,
account of pensions, sinecures, and re- by law, must be performed until the
versions granted during the last year. The office be finally regulated. With regard
motion, he observed, waspreciselythesame to the office of Justice-general of Scot-
as that which he had made last session, land, that was also one in which regula-
with the exception of the necessary dif- tion was to be applied as speedily as pos-
ference of the dates. This motion being sible. The regulation of the office of
agreed to, the noble earl proceeded to ad- Clerk of Parliament lay chiefly with their
vert to certain offices, the abolition of lordships' House, and he had no objection
which had been recommended by the to the subject being taken into considera-
report of the finance committee. Ac- tion in the present session.
cording to public rumour, a new appoint- The Marquis of Lansdowu observed,
ment to the office of King's Remembrancer that it had been recommended, that bills
of the Exchequer had been made, in direct should be introduced for regulating the
violation of the principle laid down in the offices referred to in the report of the fi-
report of the committee, which recom- nance committee, and he should have ex-
mended, that that and other offices exe- pected that they would have been brought
cuted by deputy should be abolished when in for that purpose as soon as possible, in
the present interest vested in them should order that the regulations might be made
cease. 'The noble earl also referred to the by act of parliament. As yet, however
offices of Clerk of the Pells and of the no such bills had come before the House.
lord justice general of Scotland, and The Earl of Liverpool reminded the
wished to know whether any regulations noble marquis, that by the act of Parlia-
had been adopted with respect to them. ment already passed, it was competent for
As to the office of Clerk of Parliament, the Treasury to make, in the offices pointed
he recollected that the noble lord oppo- out, such regulations as appeared to be
site had last year recommended the ap- called for. This was to be done on the
pointment of a committee, which would responsibility of the Treasury. What
have to inquire into the duties of that regulations ought to be made in the office
office, parts of which, he understood, it of Remembrancer of the Exchequer, or
would be proper to preserve; but he any other office, could not be explained,
thought that no time ought to be lost in until the alterations which might be ne-
regulating it, and every other office of the cessary should be ascertained. In the
same description, mean time, it was certain, that no ap-
The Earl of Liverpool said, that the pointments were made to offices of this
whole of the circumstances to which the description, except such as were perfectly
noble earl had alluded, as exhibiting a temporary, and indispensable for the exe-
violation of the principle established in cution of particular duties.
the finance report, were unfounded. Some
of the offices referred to were to be regu- TREAD-MILL.] The Marquis of Lans-
lated under the authority of parliament. down wished to take notice of a report
One of these offices, that of Clerk of the which had reached him, connected with
Pells, had very important duties, which the subject of prison discipline in general,
had hitherto been discharged by deputy. but more particularly with the enforce-
With regard to the office of King's Re. ment of hard labour previous to convic-
membrancer of the Exchequer, the regu- tion. Nothing of this kind was understood
nation of which was undertaken by the to be contemplated by the act whichcame


154]3 HOUSE OF LORDS,


Tread-Mill.


[i52







1531 Reciproity of Duties-Shipping Intersei.


from the other house of parliament, and HOUSE OF COMMONS.
he was certain that none of their lordships February 13.
who sat on the connmittee to which the bill Frida, Februar 1
was referred ever supposed that such an RECIPROCITY OF DUTIES-SHIPPING
interpretation was to be given to the law. INTEREST.] The House having resolved
It was clearly understood, that the punish- itself into a Committee on the Reprocity
ment of the tread-mill was never to be of Duties act,
enforced except on conviction. On this Mr. Huskisson adverted to the object
subject, there had been no difference of of the Bill of last session on this subject,
opinion in the committee, and had it ever enabling the king in council to place the
been supposed that any doubt could arise shipping of a foreign state on the satne
in the breast of the magistrates as to the footing as the shipping of Great Britain,
sense of the clause authorising the em- provided in the ports of that foreign state
ployment of the tread-mill, he was fully British shippingexperienced similar advan-
convinced that it would not have hesitated tages. His majesty had been also empow-
to add a clause, making it penal for ered by the same statute toimposecounter-
any magistrate to sanction such a princi- vailing duties in case any foreign stateim-
ple as that of punishment before convic- posed duties upon any goods or shipping of
tion. He would refer to the words of the thiscountry arrivingin the ports of thatfe-
clause, which had been adopted in the reign state. It had been found necessary to
presence of twenty peers, among whom no exercise this last power with regard to the
doubt, whatever, prevailed as to its mean- United States. Notwithstanding the act
ing. The clause made provision for the en- of 1822 had settled the permanent inter-
forcement of hard labour as a punish- course between our West India Islands
ment for convicts in prisons, and for the and the United States, it appeared that
fair employment of others. The word the latter had continued the alien duty on
,* employment," being contradistinguished the tonnage of the vessels as well as on
from hard labour, was a sufficient expla- the cargo, and it became requisite, there-
nation of the meaning of the clause. He fore, for our own protection, to impose
knew not whether any correspondence had countervailing duties to the extent ofthose
taken place between the magistrates who enforced in America. An order in coun-
entertained doubts on this question, and cil had accordingly been issued, establish-
the home secretary, but certainly there ing a duty equal to 94 cents per ton upon
could be in the legislature only one opi- the ship, and of 60 cents per ton upon
nion on the meaning of the act. He hoped the cargo. This step had certainly been
this misunderstanding would be corrected, taken by the British government with re-
and that a species of punishment, liableto gret and reluctance, for it was of course
no objection in itself, should not be per- very desirous that the duty should be
averted by an undistinguishing application, abated in both countries. He was hap-
It was of the utmost importance, that the py to say, however, that the difference
ignominious stamp of the punishment was at this time a matter of negotiation
should be held up as a disgrace to be at- between the two countries, and that it
tached exclusively to guilt; and all per- had been entered ,into on both sides
sons in authority ought to be restrained in an amicable spirit, with a view merely
by an express law, from otherwise apply- to secure mutual interests. The step taken
ing it. by the king in council had not been the
The Earl of Liverpool completely con- result of, nor intended to produce, ill-will
curred with the noble marquis in all that in the United States. It had been called
he had stated on this subject. He per- for by the justice of the case, and would
fectly agreed with him, that if the punish- be gladly retraced whenever the opportu-
ment of the tread-mill was applied pre- nity was afforded. The right hon. gentle-
vious to sentence, such application was a tleman proposed three resolutions, for-
violation of the letter of the law. The mally to effect the objects he had stated.
distinction between employment before, Mr. Robertson expressed his decided
and punishment after conviction, was most disapprobation of the whole system of re-
material; and he would freely say, that if ciprocity of duties. He insisted that the
any doubts really existed among the ma- course ministers were pursuing would be
gistrates, they ought to be removed alto- the ruin of the shipping interest, and es-
gether by an act of parliament, if neces- pecially called the attention of the House
sary. to the opinions delivered by the late Mr.


FEB. 13, 1824. 151







155] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Marryat, whose long experience had sup-
plied him with practical knowledge of the
utmost value upon this great question.
To the visionary theories of a speculative
cabinet he had opposed the clear deduc-
tions of fact, and had shewn incontrover-
tibly that in the years 1821 and 1822,
22,000 ton of shipping had been built less
than in the two preceding years; that
125,000 ton less had been employed, and
8,000 fewer seamen employed as a school
for our navy. The president of the Board
of Trade had combated this statement by
a reference to the arrivals in Great Britain,
Forgetting that the increase in those arri-
vals was to be attributed partly to the im-
proved intercourse with Ireland, and
'partly to our connection with the Con-
tinent, which enabled hundreds of small
vessels to make many short voyages in the
course of the year. As to reciprocity of
duties, Prussia, Russia, and the northern
powers, might be happy to join in the
scheme, because it promoted their inte-
rests essentially; they could find mate-
rials and labour for ship-building at half
our expence, and yet their vessels would
be admitted upon the same terms as our
own. With America, however, the case
was different; she had already seen that
her interests drew the other way, and
while she laughed at the simplicity of
Great Britain, she was too wary not to
avail herself of the advantage it afforded.
It had from time immemorial been the po-
litic practice of every nation to tax foreign
shipping, in order to prevent interference
in any particular branch of trade. The
carrying trade was the life and soul of the
British navy, and the system now pursued
would cut it up root and branch, and it
Swas astonishing that the president of the
Board of Trade was not aware of the con-
Ssequences of the course he recommended.
He yet trusted to see the House roused to
a sense of the danger of the country from
gross inattention to the interests of our
shipping and seamen.
Mr. Huskisson said, he had not ex-
pected that on this occasion the principle
of the bill of last year would be disputed;
and, though quite prepared to justify all
that had been done, he did not think that
he was now called upon to do so. What
the regolutionsproposed to do was, in fact,
in favour of the system which the hon.
member so strenuously advocated.
The resolutions were then agreed to.

GaowiNG CROPS--IRELAND.] Lord


Growing Crops-Ireland.


[156


SAlthorp rose to move for leave to bring
in a bill to amend an act passed in the
year 1816, enabling landlords in Ireland
to distrain, as in England, the growing
crops of their tenants. To this measure
he could see no objection; for he was
sure that the landlords themselves could
have no desire to exercise this odious
power, although, perhaps, their agents
might. The object which he had in view
was, to take from the effect of the act of
1816 all farms, the rent of which did not
amount to 101. a year. The landlord
should still be left the same power as be-
fore of distraining cattle. This appeared
to him to be an act of humanity to the
poorer classes in Ireland; and it would
have also a collateral advantage; for it
must be manifest to every one acquainted
with the condition of that country, that
one of its principal evils arose from the
great subdivision of farms, and the ten-
dency of this measure would be to 'pre-
vent so great a subdivision, and thereby
remove to that extent one of the griev-
ances under which Ireland laboured. He
should therefore move, That leave be
granted to bring in a bill to amend so
much of the 56th of Geo. 3. c. 88, in so
far as it applies to the distraining on
growing crops in Ireland."
Sir J. Newport seconded the motion,
and remarked that, as an act of justice
and humanity to the people of Ireland,
the House should remove the power of
oppression which at present existed.
Mr. Goulburn said, he did not rise for
the purpose of opposing the motion. He
should be sorry to oppose any motion
which it was alleged was likely to afford
relief to the people of Ireland ; but at the
same time, he did not mean to pledge
himself to give his support to the measure
in its future stages, or, on the other hand,
to state that he should give it his opposi-
tion. But it was worth the consideration
of those who introduced the measure, to
examine whether there were any circum-
stances that rendered the extension of
the measure necessary to Ireland and not
to this country; and they should also
consider whether in giving what appeared
an advantage to the suffering tenant, by
depriving the landlord of the means of
recovering the sum which was due to
him, they did not impose a greater evil
upon the tenant himself, by destroying
that credit which the landlord might
otherwise have been disposed to give him.
It was perfectly true, that the process of







157]


Usury Laws Repeal Bill.


distraining was one of those cases which
might easily be depicted as extremely op-
pressive; but if you deprive the landlord
of the power of recovering, let it also be
remembered that you destroy, in a great
degree, the confidence which he might
be disposed to place in his tenant. How-
ever, he should offer no opinion at present
on the merits of the bill, nor as to the
course which he might feel it necessary
to adopt at a future period.
Mr. Grattan said, the measure proposed
by the noble lord would not take away
from the landlord the power of recover-
ing his rent; it only altered the time.
What the noble lord had proposed, was
perfectly fair; namely, that a keeper
might be retained on the crop whilst it
was growing. In the part of Ireland to
which he belonged, and where there were
resident gentlemen, there was no disposi-
tion to distrain the growing crops; so
that whatever it might be in other parts
of Ireland, the neighbourhood to which
he belonged was exempt from the evil.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

SOUTH AMERICA.] Sir J. Mackin-
tosh rose to give notice of a conditional
motion of a very extensive and general
nature. He did not know when he should
bring it forward, but he believed it would
be on an early day in March. It had re-
ference to the relations existing at pre-
sent between this kingdom and those
countries in South America which had
formerly belonged to the throne of Spain,
and which had now, and indeed for some
time past, become independent. He was
unable to specify what the nature of his
motion would be, or on what day he
should bring it forward. He should
therefore allow his majesty's ministers
further time to make their arrangements;
and should be happy to be relieved from
the necessity of making his motion at all,
by their taking some salutary measures
on the subject in the interim.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 16.
USURY LAWS REPEAL BILL.] On the
motion, that this bill be read a second time,
Mr. Davenport rose to give to it his
most decided opposition. The country
had grown great and had flourished
under the present system of law: where,
then, was the necessity of altering t ?
Besides, the alteration proposed would


FEB. 16, 1824. [158
be particularly disastrous to persons
with small landed estates, and would
absolutely ruin all those who had bought
them ten years ago, when land was
high, and when there was no objec-
tion to leaving part of the purchase
money unpaid upon them. This bill might
raise, but it could not lower, the present
rate of interest; and as he felt more for
the borrower than he did for the lender,
he could do no less than move, as an
amendment, that this bill be read a second
time this day six months.
Mr. Bransby Cooper rose to second the
amendment. The laws for the regulation
of the interest of money, which it was the
object of the bill to destroy, were, he
said, in consistence with the whole of the
English laws which had reference to em-
ployments in which chance was concern-
ed. The same principle applied to' in-
surances. In the preamble of the bill,
there were no arguments in its favour. He
thought it much better that the interest
of money should be regulated by the pre-
sent laws than, that all those salutary pro-
visions should be swept away.
Mr. Hume said, after the observations
which had fallen from the hon. member
who spoke last, he should be sorry that
the bill should go to a division, without
some explanation being afforded of the
mistake he had fallen into. The hon.
member had said, that the Usury laws
were consistent with the laws of England.
Now, the whole tendency of modern le-
gislation, as of the ancientlaws, was, to
give the greatest freedom to bargains,
and, to all sorts of mercantile transac-
tions. The greatest benefit that had been
conferred upon the country by any admi-
nistration for the last thirty years, was
that which had resulted from the enlight-
ened policy of the present administration,
in breaking down the absurd restrictions
with which commerce had been previously
shackled. The hon. member had referred
to insurances; and it certainly did sur-
prise him, that any one should adduce a
reason which would lead to a result so
contrary to that which he aimed at.
There was no law to prevent underwriters
from taking any premium on a policy
which they might agree on with the in-
sured. The analogy of the Usury laws
indeed, should lead them to fix certain
rates of insurance, without reference to
circumstances; as, for instance, that the
premium to the West Indies should be 8
per cent, to. the East 7, and so on, which






1593 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
should never be varied according to the
vessel, or to the season, or to a state of
war and peace. The opposition to this
bill was dictated by an erroneous view of
the interests of the borrowers of money;
whereas it was evident, that the freedom
of contract was as advantageous to the
borrower as it was to the lender, in the
same manner as the freedom in policies of
insurance was beneficial to the under-
writers and to the insured. What would
their situation be if, according to the
idea of the hon. member, the rate of pre-
mium were fixed, instead of varying, as it
now did, from 1 to 50 per cent? He
agreed that in the cases of contracts for
lending money as in other contracts, they
should be such as could bear to meet the
public eye, and that fraud and deception
should be punished; but this they would
be under the common law. He entreat-
ed the House, therefore, to press forward
this measure, as the season for passing it
was peculiarly favourable, at a time when
the ordinary rate of interest was at be-
tween three and four per cent, and thus
much below the rate fixed by law. The
country was much indebted to the hon.
and learned serjeant, for his perseverance
in urging forward this bill, and he hoped
he would now reap the reward of it.
Sir J. Wrottesley said, he should take
leave to say a few words on the subject
before the House, which'was one of the
most important that could be agitated,
especially to the landed interest. The
measure now before them was, to sweep
aay the laws which had been sanctioned
by the~experience of years. During that
time, the uniform practice of the govern-
ment of this country had been to prevent
extortion and usury, by enacting those
laws which some individuals now wished
to be repealed. This country, instead of
being injured, had been greatly benefitted
by the Usury laws. Since the period of
the last act, that of queen Anne, there
was no country in which capital had
accumulated to so great an extent as it
had done in England; and yet they were
now called upon to repeal laws, which
brought the whole capital of the coun-
try into the metropolis. If they were re-
pealed, it ought not to be on mere
theoretical grounds: some practical good
should be pointed out as likely to be ef-
fected by the measure. He contended,
that those laws had done no practical in-
jury to the landed interest. In times
eft:distressi it was true, they borrowed


Uiry Latus Repeal Bill. [160
money at a great disadvantage. But, it
should not be forgotten, that when they
gave redeemable annuities, those annuities
might, in time, be taken up. The per-
sons who now lent money to the landed
interest at 3 per cent, would, if those
laws were repealed, change their demand
with every fluctuation. Now they would
have four, now five, now six per cent. In
short, there would be no certainty in the
money market. If, in, time of distress,
the landed interest could borrow money
at 5 per cent, what would become of the
commercial interest? In proportion as
the security they had to offer was worse
than that afforded by the landed interest,
would the lender demand a more exorbi-
tant rate-not less, perhaps, than ten or
twelve per cent. In fact, the mercantile
and manufacturing interests would be re-
duced to the utmost distress, if those laws
were repealed. Let the House also con-
sider the situation in which the govern-
ment would be placed. During the last
war, whilst the mutiny at the Nore was
raging, when the Bank Restriction act
was passed, and when the public funds
were under 50, no difficulty was experi-
enced in borrowing money: but he was
convinced, if those laws had not then
existed, that government would not have
been able to raise the money which was
absolutely necessary to carry on the af-
fairs of the nation. They would not have
had that preference in the market which
they ought always to have; and they
would have been compelled to pay an in-
terest of 10 or 12 per cent. If, therefore,
the repeal of those laws was calculated to
starve the merchant and manufacturer,
arid to beggar the government, the House
ought to tirow out this bill, and that, too,
by such a majority as would induce the
learned gentleman never again to bring it
forward.
Mr. .. Smith said, that the hon. baronet
seemed to fear that the mercantile and
manufacturing classes, and even the go-
vernment itself, must suffer by the repeal
of those laws. Now, without entering
into much argument on those points, it
might be enough to -state, that the laws
against usury had been done away all
over Europe, and that no harm had oc-
curred either to governments or to indivi-
duals; but, on the contrary, it was to be
believed that the interest of all parties
were much improved by that repeal. One
or two circumstances had come under his
own observation, which proved that those







101 Usury Laws Repeal Bill. FEB. 16, 1824. [ 2
laws had occasioned the most destructive that the moment had arrived when parlia-
effects to families in this country, by cor- ment ought to repeal those laws. He did
spelling them to raise money by way of not think that the opposition to the mea-
annuity. Money, like every other cor- sure was now so strong as it was last year;
modity, ought to be allowed to fetch its and if it were desirable at all that those
just value in the market. Now, if an in- laws should be altered, he conceived the
dividual wanted to borrow money, which, present period was as good as could be
if these laws were not in existence, he selected.
might procure for seven per cent., he Mr. Calcraft said, it would be very dif-
would be obliged, in his endeavour to ficult, he was aware, to defend those laws
evade those laws, to pay 13, 14, or even in point of principle; but, in point of
15 per cent. The hon. baronet had only practice, he must say that it would be
to refer to the evidence given before the dangerous, without a great deal more con-
committee, and there he would find those sideration, to alter those laws in a coun-
facts distinctly proved. The hon. baronet try where there was so general and so be-
expressed some fears as to the situation neficial a distribution of capital, and where
in which the commercial body would be money was to be had at all times at a low
placed, if this bill passed. Now he (Mr. rate of interest. If the learned gentle-
S.), as one of that body, must say, that man with whom this measure originated
he had not the slightest apprehension on thought, while government was in the
the subject. He could solemnly assert, market, that any change of the law would
that he never had met a man for whose make the loan of money cheaper to indi-.
judgment he had any respect, who enter- viduals, he was very much mistaken. He
trained a doubt on the question. believed the repeal of those laws would
Mr. Grenfell said, that the chief argu- raise the price of money to government,
ment against the bill was, that the effect instead of reducing it. Gentlemen seemed
of the repeal of the usury laws would be, to suppose, that by carrying this measure,
to raise the interest of money. Now, in individuals would be saved from ruin, be-
Holland, there never had been any re- cause they would not then be obliged to
straint on money dealings; and he could get into those annuity contracts under
state from his own experience, as well as which so many families suffered: they be-
from history, that there was no country in lived that a complete end would be put
Europe where the rate of interest had to all ruinous money contracts. But it
been and was so low as in the United was utterly impossible to hope for any
Provinces. He hoped, therefore, that his such result, unless, at the same time that
majesty's government would countenance those laws were repealed, they contrived
this measure, which was in perfect unison to alter the conduct and temper of indivi-
with the liberal course of policy they had duals. By repealing those laws they
recently adopted. would facilitate the borrowing of money
Mr. Huskisson said, he had been a mem- by extravagant persons, without confer-
ber of the committee to whom this subject ring any advantage on the steady and in-
was referred in 1818, and who had re- dustrious part of the community, whom
ported their sentiments to the House. they ought especially to protect. He was
The opinion he had formed in that com- not on the committee-[The hon. member
mittee he still entertained. Indeed, he was here reminded that he was a member
had never varied from it. He need hardly of the committee.] If he was on the
say that it was entirely in unison with the committee, he had certainly forgotten the
object of the learned serjeant. He con- circumstance. He had, however, read
sidered the Usury laws as only calculated the evidence; and if he had known that
to add to the difficulties of borrowing mo- the learned serjeant's brat, which had
ney, to increase litigation, and to encou- been bandied about from session to ses-
rage fraud. sion, was to have been taken up by go-
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, vernment, he would have brought down
that when this question was brought be- that evidence, and proved that it did not
fore the House last session he voted bear out the view of those who supported
against the proposition, inot because there this measure. No advantage had been
was any advantage in the principle of the pointed out that would at all warrant
existing laws, against which, on the con- them in embarking on such a speculation.
trary, many arguments could be advanced; There was no country, not even Holland
but because he was not prepared to say itself, in which wealth had so greatly ;in-
VOL. X. M







l a] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
creased as It had done in England, during
the period when those laws were in ope-
ration.
: Mr. Serjeant Onslow certainly could
not congratulate the hon. gentleman op-
posite on the strength of his memory, for
he had undoubtedly been a member of the
committee; and it was equally certain that
he had attended it. It was scarcely ne-
cessary for him to make any observations
on the objections which had been made to
this measure, after what had fallen from
hon. gentlemen opposite, and his right
hon. friends near him. The hon. gentle-
man who seconded the amendment had
fallen into a great mistake about the origin
of the Usury laws. Much of his venera-
tion for those laws seemed to be founded
upon a notion of their great antiquity;
but he would probably be surprised to
learn, that the taking of interest for mo-
ney at all was proscribed by our early
statutes as being contrary to Christianity.
This was the uniform language of our
early statutes. It had been said by the
hon. baronet opposite, that the landed in-
terest would be borne down by this mea-
sure; that in ordinary times money might
be readily obtained upon mortgage; and
that in seasons of difficulty recourse might
be had to the system of raising money by
redeemable annuities. Undoubtedly re-
deemable annuities could be resorted to:
they had, in point of fact, been resorted
to; but at what rate of interest ? Why, at
the ruinous rate of 10, 12, 13, and 14 per
cent., for two, three, or four lives. This
was the remedy which the hon. baronet
preferred; this was the ruinous expedient
of which he was so much enamoured!
Not only had this expedient been resorted
to at a period of difficulty, but estates had
been actually sold at a time when scarcely
a purchaser could be found in the market.
He was satisfied, that the repeal of the
Usury laws would be so far from being in-
jurious to the landed interest, that no class
of the communitywould derive more essen-
tial benefit from that repeal than the agricul-
tural class. The objections which had been
made to the measure, on the ground of its
being injurious to the commercial interest,
were equally unfounded. As to the ex-
pedient of borrowing stock to replace it,
it had been no less ruinous than that of
resorting to redeemable annuities. An
hen. friend near him had mentioned a case
to him-and this was far from being a so-
litary instance-in which a person had lost
SO per cent by borrowing stock to re-


Usury Laws Repeal Bill. [164
place it. The object of his bill was, to
place money contracts on the same footing
as all other commercial transactions; to
afford a full, fair, and open competition in
the money market, and to allow persons
to make their own bargains with respect
to money, as they were at present allowed
to make them with respect to all other
commodities.
Mr. Baring said, that, after the general
concurrence of sentiment which seemed
to prevail on this subject, it was scarcely
necessary for him to trouble the House
with any observations. He could not,
however, forbear saying a few words on a
subject of such importance, involving, as
it undoubtedly did, a change in our laws
of very considerable importance. But
though it was a change of considerable
importance, it was a change which would
produce no immediate effect; and it was.
because it would produce no immediate
effect, that he conceived this to be the
proper time for legislating on the subject.
They were not now legislating on the
subject of fixing the value of money; and,
perhaps, a more favourable opportunity of
doing away with those laws had not oc-
curred in the last half century. It had
been said, that a vast accumulation of
capital had taken place, notwithstanding
the existence of these laws. The fact'
was, that the accumulation of capital
had gone on increasing, because the
Usury laws as far as capitalists and monied
men were concerned, were wholly in-
operative. The invasion of these laws
was so easy, that the monied interest had
never been affected by them. Not so,
however, the agricultural interest; and it
was not without surprise, therefore, that
he found this measure most vehemently
opposed by that very class of the com-
munity, which, above all others, it was
most calculated to benefit-he meant the:
country gentlemen. He really hoped, if
it were only for the advantage of hearing
what could be urged against this measure
and that an opportunity might be afforded
of removing the prejudices which were
entertained against it, that this bill would
be suffered to go further. Even if it were
not possible to remove the prejudices of
the country gentlemen, and to satisfy
them that the measure was calculated to
promote their interests, nothing would be
more easy, when this bill came into the
committee, than to restrict its operation
to all classes of the community, except
the agricultural; so that it might not ex-







165] Dry.Rot in Ships.
tend to the loan of money upon mortgages.
With respect to the interests of the mer-
chant and the manufacturer, there could
be no doubt of the utility of the repeal of
these laws. It was equally certain, that
the landed interest would be relieved,
even above all other classes, by this
measure; but, if they could not be per-
suaded of it, they might be exempted
from its operation. What was the pre-
dicament in which the landed interest
stood, during the whole of the last war,
by the effect of the existing laws? While
these laws were wholly inoperative upon
capitalists, who could evade them, and
upon the government who were borrowing
at an usurious interest during the whole
progress of the war, the landed proprietor
could never raise a sixpence except by
the most desperate usury, and while the
rate of interest passed from 5 per cent to
5L or 6 per cent with respect to other
capital, it passed at once from 5 to 14 per
cent with respect to landed security. The
country gentlemen, therefore, were, in fact,
more interested in the repeal of this
measure, than any other class of the com-
munity.
Captain Maberley said, the hon. member
for Wareham had asserted that, the policy
of this measure was not borne out by the
evidence given before the committee.
Now, he had within these few days re-
ferred to that evidence, and he begged
leave to differ entirely from the opinion of
the hon. member. He should give his
cordial support to a measure, which he
believed to be founded on the soundest
principles of commercial policy, and in
the expediency of which the most en-
lightened statesmen, as well as practical
men, had equally concurred. He need
only refer to such names as those of the
late sir Samuel Romilly, the late Mr.
Ricardo, Mr. Sugden, and Mr. Roths-
child.
Sir W. de Crespigny expressed his en-
tire concurrence in the policy of the mea-
sure.
Mr. J. Martin considered the Usury
laws injurious to all classes of the commu-
nity; but more especially to the agricul-
tural interest.
The House divided: For the second
reading 120. For the Amendment 23.
The bill was then read a second time.

DEPUTY REMEMBRANCERSHIP OF THE
EXCHEQUER.] Mr. Baring requested to
be informed of the circumstances under


FEB. 16, 1824. r161
which Mr. Vincent, after the death ofthe
late deputy remembrancer, Mr. 'Steele,
had been appointed to this office.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that Mr. Vincent's appointment was tem-
porary. The law which came into ope-
ration at the death of Mr. Steele, did not
provide for the abolition of the office of
deputy remembrancer, or fix the manner
in which the duties of that office should
henceforward be performed. It only re-
quired that, whenever that event took
place, the lords of the Treasury should
determine what should be the future du-
ties of the office, and what should be the
extent of the emolument arising from it.
The lords of the Treasury, accordingly,
upon the death of Mr. Steele, lost no time
in calling upon the barons of the Exche-
quer and on the chancellor of the Ex-
chequer,' to report to them as to the na-
ture of the office; but the fact was, that
the duties of it, from the nature and con.
stitution of the Exchequer, wereabsolutely
necessary to be continued until some new
system could be arranged; and it was not
very easy to decide by what system the
business would be best done, and with
least expense to the public. Pending this
inquiry, however, Mr. Vincent had been
appointed. He was required himself to
perform the duties of the place, and al-
lowed no deputy; and he was directed to
receive the accustomed fees for the pre-
sent, not keeping them for himself, but
paying them into the consolidated fund;
the lords of the Treasury of course re-
serving to themselves the power of giving
him an adequate compensation for his
labour. For himself, he was most anxious
to regulate the office in that way which
should be most conducive to the public
service; and, whatever difficulty there
might be in determining the precise mode
in which the necessary duties should be
executed, there could be no doubt they
would be performed at agonsiderably less
expense than they had been heretofore.
Mr. Baring professed himself satisfied
with the explanation, and trusted that the
new arrangement would amount to a
complete remodelling of the Exchequer.
It was high time that the country should
get rid of a system of keeping accounts so
cumbrous and so inefficient, that it might
almost disgrace a tribe of Indian savages.

DRY ROT IN SHIPS.] Mr. Hume rose
to present a petition connected with the
charges for the navy, The petitioner was







f67] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Ir gentleman, of the name of Burridge,
who had lately written upon the subject of
"Dry Rot;" and the petition stated very
extensive injury accruing of late years
from that disease to our shipping; inso-
much, that nearly one-half the vessels in
tlie navy were more or less visited by it;
and several ships, the Lord Nelson, the
Lord Howe, the Queen Charlotte, and
others, had lately, upon a survey, been
found to be entirely destroyed. The pe-
titioner added, that it would appear, upon
calculation, that, owing to this disease, the
number of sea-worthy ships which at pre-
sent composed our navy, was smaller than
that which we had maintained in the year
1793; and prayed that the board of ad-
miralty would take means to repress the
evil. He (Mr. Hume) was desirous to
know what the admiralty was prepared to
do in this matter, which seemed to him to
be one of the very highest importance. It
was quite certain, that the English oak
had not been used formerly to decay, as
it did now. As for the coal tar, which
had been supposed a remedy, he under-
stood that it did nothing but mischief; it
injured the health of the men, and did no
good to the timber. He was informed
that ships built in America, from wood
felled at the season when the sap was not
in the tree, were not subject to dry rot;
or at least, not in the same degree with
those built by us, from wood felled when
the sap was in it. Whatever might be
the merits of the petition, he thought
there could be no doubt that the subject
was one which demanded the fullest at-
tention and discussion.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he would put it to the hon. member, whe-
ther this was a convenient moment for
presenting such a petition.
Mr. Hume said, he had no wish what-
ever to interfere with other business; and
would therefore present the petition upon
another occasion.

NAVY ESTIMATES.] The House hav-
ing resolved itself into a committee of
supply,
Sir George Clerk rose, to bring forward
the Navy Estimates for the present year.
He said, that after the great reductions
which had already taken place in our
naval 'department, he did not apprehend
that any further ones were likely to be
proposed.' The vote called for this year
was Abotit 320,0001. more than had been
take last, because it was necessary to


Navy Estimates.


[168


make some small addition to our present
force. He anticipated no objection to
this from the gentlemen on the other side,
because their complaint for some time
had been rather that our naval establish-
ment was too low. The unsettled state
of some parts of the world to which the
commerce of England was now, with
every prospect of advantage, extending
itself, would fully account for the trifling
additional expense which was contem-
plated; and in addition to this considera-
tion, there was the probability that the
piratical depredations in the West Indies,
which now were entirely stopped, would
recommence if our strength in that quarter
was withdrawn; and the necessity for
maintaining our power in the Mediter-
ranean, as long as the present disputes
existed between Turkey and her Greek
dependencies. With respect to the peti-
tion which had been presented by the hon,
member for Aberdeen, the subject was
already under the consideration of the
board of admiralty, who were not blind
to its importance. The fact was, in some
measure, that from the great exigencies
of the late war, it had been found neces-
sary to build ships without those precau-
tions which would have been used under
circumstances of full leisure. Timber
had been used, in many cases, which was
not sufficiently seasoned. We were now,
however, using every means to avoid the
evil to which the hon. member had alluded.
Ships were built under cover; the timber
employed was perfectly dry; and the coal-
tar-as to the harmlessness of which he
had understood the hon. member to be
satisfied-was made use of, and, as was
believed, with good effect. Independent
of these precautions, an experiment was
now making, whether the dry rot might
not be prevented by immersing the wood
in'salt water before it was worked up; and
he begged to state, that the comptroller
of the navy, whose information upon the
matter was much better than his own,
would be fully prepared to answer, if ne-
cessary, all the allegations in the hon.
member for Aberdeen's petition. The
hon. baronet concluded by stating, that
the extra charge of 320,0001. incurred,
was to meet the cost of 4,000 additional
seamen (making our establishment, from
25,000 men, 29,000, including a force of
9,000 royal marines), together with cer-
tain expenses arising out of the increased
price of provisions; and by moving That
a sum not exceeding 885,9501. be granted







169]


Navy Estimates.


for wages of the said 29,000 for 13 lunar
months, at the rate of 21. 7s. per man
per month."
Mr. Warre wished to put a question
with respect to the arrangements respect-
ing the preventive service, which had
established a sort of gendarmerie upon
our shores. The high duties imposed in
time of war were, now that France and
England were at peace, operating as such
a bounty upon contraband trade as no
vigilance could withstand, and producing
actually a regular guerilla warfare between
the government force and the smugglers.
We had now no fewer than 1,700 men
employed in the preventive service, patrol-
ling upon our coast. He wished also to
know if, in case of any addition being
made to the force appointed to the coast
blockade, the additional forces would be
put under the same commands as at pre-
sent. There was one ship of war sta-
tioned in the Downs to watch over a line
of coast so extensive, that the officer who
there held control was either on horse-
back or in the boat, night and day con-
tinually, for weeks together. This he
might do from his zeal and anxiety to
complete a system of his own creation;
but it was too much for the country to
receive from the service of any one man.
His only object, however, in rising, was,
to know if any, and what portion of this
additional force was to be put under the
command of the gallant officer to whom
he had alluded.
Sir G. Cleri said, that it certainly was
the intention of government to continue
the system of the preventive service as at
present established, which, notwithstand-
ing the remarks of the hon. member, had
operated with most complete success.
There had been one violent and bloody
affray upon the coast of Kent, which had
been much dwelt on by the opponents of
the system; but it was merely the last
desperate effort of the smugglers in that
part, to defend their unlawful occupation
against the encroachments of the preven-
tive service. It was very true that cap-
tain M'Culloch had his whole heart in the
success of the system, of which he was
the contriver, and that his duties were of
a very weighty kind, his command reach-
ing in extent from Chichester, westward,
to the Isle of Sheppy, eastward. Of the
additional force now asked for, 630 sea-
men were to be placed under the super-
intendence and direction of that officer.
The-narrowness of the channel in this


FE, 16, 1824. [170
division made the running of spirits more
easy than in other places. But he could
safely say, that the greater part of the
smuggling now carried on took place
without the limits of the coast blockade.
He admitted, that the high duties on
spirits, rendered necessary by the large
amount of taxes which must of necessity
be raised, offered a great inducement for
smuggling, and therefore the preventive
service naturally operated less effectively
in those parts of the coast which offered
the greatest facilities for the introduction
of spirits.
Colonel Davies doubted the last propo-
sition of the gallant officer, that the
amount of taxes could be augmented by
such enormous duties on foreign spirits.
And whether the surest mode of aug-
mentation would not be considerably to
reduce the duties; which would also enable
them to get rid of that most expensive
system of coast-blockade. By returns
for which he had moved last session, it
appeared that the expense was no less
than 600,0001. in the collection of that
branch of the revenue only. It was his
intention, before long, to show how the
revenue might be benefited, and the es.
tablishment reduced, by the adoption of
a more reasonable policy. It was in vain
to look for the extinction of smuggling to
the preventive service. Those who vior
lated the laws by the introduction of con-
traband goods considered that there was
no moral offence; consequently there was
no direct dread of ignominy in the pun,
ishments which they had to fear. There
was nothing so prolific of crime (the laws
concerning poachers always excepted) as
the laws which went to the prevention of
smuggling. As to the interests of the
revenue, he pledged himself on a future
day to prove that they were materially
injured by the continuance of the present
high duties.
Mr. Hume said, he was not satisfied
with the addition of the navy, nor did he
like the mode in which the accounts were
laid before the House. It was impossible
to choose any method in which mischief
would be more likely to arise, than the
combining of the preventive service, with
the regular means of defence for the coun-
try. The House was kept from knowing
the limits of either branch of the service ;
and if it were not so, it was next to im-
possible to ascertain the expense of col.
lecting the revenue, and consequently,
They were without the power of deliberat-








ing upon the propriety of keeping up par- the manliness to speak out, much that had
ticular kinds of duties: they were pro- passed would have been prevented. But
ceeding altogether upon an erroneousprin- we were afraid to speak out: we were
ciple. Formerly the naval estimates were afraid of the Holy Alliance, who seemed
kept entirely distinct from the charges for determined to extend their arbitrary pow-
collecting the revenue. The naval offi- er over all the countries of Europe. But,
cers on their different stations were at if we were afraid to speak out our opinions
hand, and frequently assisted in the cap- and, if ministers had made up their minds
tion of smugglers. It was no advantage that come what may, the interests of the
to the character of English seamen to be country must be attended to; and, if they
identified with the collectors of the reve- were still of opinion, that those interests
nue: it was calculated to lower, rather were best consulted by preserving peace,
than improve them. They would be then he would say, that unless the govern-
anxious, for the sake of the additional pay ment were in possession of some informa-
and the milder kind of discipline, to get tion (and the House had seen how defici-
into that line of the service. He was ent they had sometimes been in that re-
anxious the House should know what was spect) which they had not disclosed,
required for the defence of the country, there could be no necessity whatever
and the exact force that was employed in for maintaining such a fleet. If, in-
the prevention of smuggling ? and he deed, they had any such information,
should also be glad to have specified the let them speak out boldly, and not talk of
expense attending the coasts of Scotland the paltry necessity of a coast blockade.
andIreland, and whether it was to continue He was as anxious as any man to see our
the same or to be reduced. He should be navy on a respectable footing; but before-
glad to hear it stated why it was necessary it was further augmented, he should like
in the present year, to maintain a navy to hear some good reason assigned. It
of 29,000 men. He remembered very was irreconcilable in those who had pro-
well that, in the year 1817 or 1818, claimed the prosperous state of the coun-
when ministers were urged to reduce the try, and the probability of that prosperity
then existing establishment, a noble lord, not being disturbed, to call for this aug-
now no more, used to say, Recollect mentation of men. He considered it a
the situation in which we are placed: we wise policy to have preserved peace, and
cannot come back to the peace establish- he wished, by husbanding our resources,
ment of 1814, the affairs of the country to place the country in a condition best
are not yet settled;"' but he also remem- calculated to secure the continuance of
bered that the noble lord invariably held peace, or to vindicate its interests and cha-
out the prospect that, when that tranquil- racter, in the event of its being attacked
lity should be established which he ex- by any foreign power. What motive, what
pected would have been the result of his apprehension, justified the proposed in-
measures, then a considerable reduction crease, he was at a loss to discover ; as
would be made; and now he could see no yet no reason had been given by those
reason why this augmentation should take who proposed it. England at this mo-
place. Last year the House consented ment had more ships and more men em-
to an increase of 4,000 men, in conse- played in her navy, than all the other
quence of the situation in which the coun- powers of the world could, if united, fur-
try was supposed to be placed. At that nish. Surely, then, the country had a
time a confidence was reposed in minis- right to know upon what grounds an in-
ters, because no one could say how soon creased expenditure, to such a consider-
hostilities might have been commenced; able amount, was called for. The fact
the House were then ignorant of the in- was, that from the system lately carried
tentions of ministers, and it was impossi- into effect in the management of the navy,
ble to say how soon the country might parliament might pass resolutions, and the
be called upon to arm. But now things Board of Admiralty might issue orders,
were quite different. Peace had been re- but it was impossible to get men. That
stored in Spain. The South American difficulty had been felt very considerably
provinces were likely to remain undis- for some time past; and, in consequence,
turbed and unmolested. The manifesto ships commissioned for foreign service,
of the president of the United States has had been detained for weeks, not, having
set that question at rest. Thanks to him been able to obtain their complement of
for that-but not to us. If we had had seamen. What was the reason of this dis-


171), HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Navy Estimates.


[172







1731 Navy Estimates. -
inclination to enter a service once the
pride and boast of the British people?
Hewasconvincedthat itiproceededfrom the
regulations that had recently been acted
upon with regard to that branch of the
public service. By the tendency of those
regulations seamen found themselves shut
out from even the hope of promotion; no
matter how distinguished and exemplary
their services. All hope and energy was
destroyed in that class of officers, from
whom formerly our most experienced, and
most valuable officers were taken. It was,
however, but fair to say, that some devi-
ation had, within the last three months,
taken place on that head, and that some
old officers had been appointed to ships.
But the principle must be altogether
changed, if the character of our navy was
to be maintained. We must get rid alto-
gether of that radical evil, which confined
promotion to rank and influence. It was
formerly the pride and the boast of every
man who entered the navy, that he had
open to him all the gradations of promo-
tion-that talent and service were sure
to conduct to reward and distinction.
We were wont to contrast the character
of our service with those of France and
Spain, where no man was promoted unless
he could boast high connexions at court,
or could display a certain number of quar-
terings on his escutcheon. And yet, that
very principle ofexclusion which was then
so much deprecated, was now acted upon,
and constituted the radical defect in the
management of our navy. Would it be
believed that there were actually Orders
in Council existing at this moment, which
disqualified certain classes of officers from
ever looking to promotion ? He held a
copy of one of them in his hand, and be-
fore he read it, he took upon himself to
say, that if twelve naval officers were cho-
sen by lot out of 500 in our service, ele-
ven out of that twelve would declare, that
such a principle of management must
speedily bring utter ruin to that valuable
branch of service. The order to which
he alluded, was dated the 19th of January
1803. It was provided by that order,
that no master or other warrant officer
should look forward to promotion beyond
that grade, with the exception of the
schoolmaster. It was most strange that
the schoolmaster, a man from his pursuits
not devoted to the duties of a sailor, was
the person in whose favour the exception
was made, while masters, quarter-masters,
and seamen, expert and conversant with


FEIB. 16, 1824. -[174
all the necessary qualifications, were ex-
cluded. For them, -no matter what was
the nature of their deserts or services,
there was no hope; and yet that had not
been the opinion or the practice of some
of the most distinguished officers in that
branch of service. What had been the
conduct of lord Howe with regard to that /
description of officers? That meritorious
and highly distinguished commander ac-
tually promoted his master, on the victory'
of June, 1794, acknowledging that the
success of the action was more to be attri-
buted to the master than to himself. In
what a situation should we find ourselves,
if, by. acting on a principle of exclusion,
except where rank and connexion inter-
posed, we closed every prospect of better-
ing their condition, and of obtaining
promotion in the profession to which they
had devoted themselves, to the great
body of British seamen! It had been the
subject of deep regret with the country at
large, that a principle so opposed to
those proud feelings which, in former
times, had given an impulse to our naval
arms, was so generally brought into prac-
tice. These were the practices which
demanded the consideration of parliament,
and the reform of which would give great-
er efficiency to our naval force, thdn any
resolutions which went to increase the
numerical amount. Remove those radi-
cal defects, and with 20,000 seamen, well
officered, arid the corresponding number
of ships, the country would have an effi-
cient navy, fitted for any exigency. He
believed, that that principle of exclusion,
as affecting warrant officers, was confined
to the naval service, and was not acted upon
in the army. Was there any bar to a ser-
jeant being made a commissioned officer ?
He understood there was none; and that
it was the practice, when such a person
signally distinguished himself, to promote
him. Upon what principle, then, was the
warrant officer in the navy to have all
hopes of preferment shut out, while pro-
motion was open to military non-commis-
sioned officers ? These were considera-
tions which must be brought before that
House, until a complete change in the
system was effected. Were that change
effected, and proper advantages held out
to seamen, in place of difficulty in making
up the complement of men, numbers
would flock to the standard of that first
arm of our defence, whenever the public
exigencies required an increase. But ad-
ministered as it now was, with their hopes







175] HOUSt OF COMMONS,
andexpectations paralysed, the navy was
unhappily looked upon as a kind of for-
lorn hope. Many causes contributed to
produce that impression : first, the abo-
minable system of being compelled to
serve for life; next, that of impressment,
the remembrance of the dreadful effects of
which (though not acted upon in peace)
it was impossible to efface. Then came
the system of discipline, which placed at
the discretion of unfledged boys, the pow-
er of flogging any man they pleased, with-
out the intervention of a court-martial.
He felt quite aware of the difficulty that
attended the discussion of such a question;
but, 'whatever were the difficulties, it
would become the duty of that House to
grapple with them. He must repeat, that
he saw no ground for the proposed in-
crease; and though he 'knew that many
members of'that House (himself equally
prepossessed) felt a strong disinclination
to reduce such a favourite branch of ser-
vice; yet, under all the circumstances,
though he. stood alone, he would, unless
good reasons were assigned, divide the
House. Better at once agree to a naval
war establishment, than to go on from
year to year, in passing resolutions for a
progressive augmentation. He should
therefore meet ,the proposition with an
Amendment, that 25,000 men be substi-
tuted for the 29,000 proposed, in the
grant before the committee.
Sir George Clerk observed, in reference
to the statement of the hon. member for
Aberdeen, that in the year 1817, his
majesty's ministers had held out the hope
of still further reduction in the naval
branch, he could positively say the hon.
member was mistaken. Indeed, there
was no sentiment more general in that
House, and with the gentlemen on the
other side, who generally voted with the
hon. member, than the apprehension that
at that period the naval force was reduced
lower than the public service warranted.
It was, in fact, reduced below the state in
which it stood at the hon. gentleman's
favourite epoch, the year 1792. The hon.
gentleman had assumed, that no reason
had or could be assigned for the augmen-
tation at present proposed, except the de.
mands of the coast blockade. Now, it
was in the recollection of the committee,
that in proposing the resolution, he had
adverted to the necessity of such an aug-
mentation, from the state of affairs which,
without any prospect of hostilities on our
part, naturally grew out of the condition


Navy Estimates. [176
of the South American continent, our own
colonies in the West Indies, and the
actual war waging between Greece and
Turkey. It was impossible for so formid-
able a power as Great Britain to allow
the quarrels arising between inferior bel-
ligerents to interrupt her merchandise in
the other hemisphere; and as large a force
as the whole of the addition now asked,
would be less than was required to restrain
the petty piracies within the West-India
seas. The difficulty of getting men for
the ships, he was happy to inform the hon.
member, was only imaginary-no ship had
suffered any considerable delay on that
account. As to the impressment which
bound men to the service for life, the hon.
member must be ignorant of the regula-
tion which limited the period of service,
in time of peace, to three years. When
the exigencies of the state required it,
men must be compelled to serve in the
navy. In referring to the orders in
council, the hon. member had neglected
to quote a very important exception,
which opened the line of promotion to
masters whoshould distinguish themselves.
The fact was, that no class of naval officers
was so valuable as the masters, and there-
fore all that could be done in the fair re-
gulations of the service, was done to re-
tain them in their situations; but this was
not without duly warning them, that ii
accepting the master's warrant, they ex-
cluded themselves from the direct line of
promotion. The rules of the service gave
as much facility to a foremast-man to ad-
vance himself as ever. As to unfledged
boys enjoying too much power in the
service, the present regulations did away
all grounds for any such complaint. No
midshipman could pass for lieutenant, un-
less he was nineteen years of age; and no
officer could obtain a captain's commission
unless he had served two years as lieuten-
ant. This was all that he thought it
necessary to say at present. If the hon.
member chose to make the other matters
of his speech the subject of a specific
motion, of course he was at liberty so to
do; but, after the triumphant answer
which had been given to him in the course
of last session by his gallant friend behind
him (sir G. Cockburn), it was not very
likely that he would return to the attack.
[Cheers].
Mr. Bernal said, that if those cheers
were intended to signalize the triumph of
the gallant officer over his hon. friend,
that opinion was allowable to those who




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