• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Title Page
 November 1826
 December 1826
 February 1827
 March 1827
 Index to debates
 Index of names














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/UF00073533/00016
 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: VID00016
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
    Title Page
        Title Page
    November 1826
        House of Lords - Tuesday, November 14
            Page 1
        House of Commons - Tuesday, November 14
            Page 1
            Page 3-4
            Page 5
            Page 7-8
        House of Lords - Wednesday, November 15
            Page 7-8
        House of Commons - Wednesday, November 15
            Page 9-10
            Page 7-8
        House of Lords - Tuesday, November 21
            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
        House of Commons - Tuesday, November 21
            Page 27-28
            Page 29-30
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 25-26
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
        House of Commons - Wednesday, November 22
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 95-96
        House of Commons - Friday, November 24
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 115-116
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
        House of Commons - Monday, November 27
            Page 143-144
            Page 141-142
        House of Lords - Tuesday, November 28
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
        House of Commons - Tuesday, November 28
            Page 147-148
            Page 149-150
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
            Page 157-158
            Page 159-160
            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
        House of Lords - Wednesday, November 29
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 163-164
        House of Commons - Wednesday, November 29
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 171-172
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
        House of Commons - Thursday, November 30
            Page 185-186
            Page 187-188
            Page 189-190
            Page 191-192
            Page 193-194
            Page 183-184
            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
    December 1826
        House of Commons - Friday, December 1
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
            Page 207-208
        House of Lords - Monday, December 4
            Page 221-222
            Page 219-220
        House of Commons - Monday, December 4
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
        House of Commons - Tuesday, December 5
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 227-228
            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
            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
            Page 269-270
            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
            Page 275-276
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
        House of Commons - Wednesday, December 6
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
            Page 283-284
        House of Commons - Thursday, December 7
            Page 299-300
            Page 301-302
            Page 303-304
            Page 305-306
            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
            Page 297-298
            Page 311-312
            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
        House of Lords - Friday, December 8
            Page 319-320
            Page 317-318
        House of Commons - Friday, December 8
            Page 319-320
            Page 321-322
            Page 323-324
            Page 325-326
            Page 327-328
            Page 329-330
        House of Lords - Monday, December 11
            Page 331-332
            Page 333-334
            Page 329-330
        House of Commons - Monday, December 11
            Page 335-336
            Page 333-334
        House of Lords - Tuesday, December 12
            Page 335-336
            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
        House of Commons - Tuesday, December 12
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 355-356
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
            Page 349-350
            Page 363-364
            Page 365-366
            Page 367-368
            Page 369-370
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            Page 373-374
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            Page 377-378
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            Page 389-390
            Page 391-392
            Page 393-394
            Page 395-396
            Page 397-398
        House of Commons - Wednesday, December 13
            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 397-398
    February 1827
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 8
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 403-404
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 8
            Page 409-410
            Page 407-408
            Page 411-412
        House of Commons - Friday, February 9
            Page 413-414
            Page 411-412
        House of Lords - Monday, February 12
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
        House of Commons - Monday, February 12
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
            Page 421-422
            Page 423-424
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 429-430
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            Page 433-434
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            Page 437-438
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            Page 443-444
            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
            Page 449-450
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 13
            Page 451-452
            Page 453-454
            Page 455-456
            Page 449-450
        House of Lords - Wednesday, February 14
            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
            Page 455-456
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 14
            Page 461-462
            Page 459-460
            Page 463-464
            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
            Page 475-476
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 15
            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
            Page 481-482
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            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
        House of Lords - Friday, February 16
            Page 517-518
            Page 515-516
        House of Commons - Friday, February 16
            Page 517-518
            Page 519-520
            Page 521-522
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            Page 565-566
        House of Commons - Monday, February 19
            Page 567-568
            Page 569-570
            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 565-566
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 20
            Page 587-588
            Page 589-590
            Page 591-592
            Page 593-594
            Page 595-596
            Page 597-598
            Page 599-600
            Page 585-586
        House of Lords - Wednesday, February 21
            Page 601-602
            Page 599-600
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 21
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
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        House of Lords - Thursday, February 22
            Page 625-626
            Page 627-628
            Page 629-630
            Page 623-624
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 22
            Page 631-632
            Page 633-634
            Page 629-630
            Page 635-636
            Page 637-638
            Page 639-640
            Page 641-642
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            Page 645-646
        House of Lords - Friday, February 23
            Page 647-648
            Page 649-650
            Page 645-646
        House of Commons - Monday, February 26
            Page 651-652
            Page 649-650
            Page 653-654
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            Page 673-674
            Page 675-676
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            Page 679-680
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 27
            Page 681-682
            Page 683-684
            Page 685-686
            Page 687-688
            Page 689-690
            Page 691-692
            Page 679-680
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 27
            Page 693-694
            Page 695-696
            Page 697-698
            Page 699-700
            Page 701-702
            Page 691-692
            Page 703-704
            Page 705-706
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            Page 757-758
    March 1827
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 1
            Page 759-760
            Page 761-762
            Page 763-764
            Page 765-766
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            Page 787-788
            Page 757-758
        House of Commons - Friday, March 2
            Page 789-790
            Page 791-792
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            Page 787-788
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            Page 819-820
        House of Lords - Monday, March 5
            Page 821-822
            Page 823-824
            Page 825-826
            Page 819-820
        House of Commons - Monday, March 5
            Page 827-828
            Page 829-830
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 6
            Page 901-902
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    Index to debates
        Index
    Index of names
        Index 1
        Index 2
        Index 3
Full Text









THE
PARLIAMENTARY

DEBATES,

Nwr *erie.,
VOL. XVI.












/






THE


PARLIAMENTARY


DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

"THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.


Nel *criv;
COMMENCING WITH TIE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.


VOL. XVI.
COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1826,
TO
THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1827.



LONDON:
printb I6 (X. e. iWangarb at tbe Paterwnoaterffow' pre#,
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, REES, ORME, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; PARBURY, ALLEN, AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON;
J. RIDGWAY; E. JEFFERY AND SON; J. RODWELL; R. H. EVANS; BUDD AND
CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.
1827.


/1












TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME XVI.

NEW SERIES.





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



I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
1826. Page
Nov. 14. Meeting of the New Parliament .......................... 1
21. The King's Speech on Opening the Session ................ 9
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 11
28. Corn Laws .......................................... 145
Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 146
29. Corn Laws .......................................... 164
Dec. 4. Corn Laws .......................................... 220
8. Emigration of the Poor to the British Colonies.............. 317
11. Indemnity Bill-Oats Importation........................ 330
12. King's Message respecting Portugal ...................... 336
1827.
Feb. 8. Corn Laws .......................................... 404
Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 405
12. Death of the Duke of York-Address of Condolence to his
M ajesty .......................................... 413
14. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 456
16. Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence................ 516
21. Corn Laws .......................................... 599
Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 600
22. Corn Laws .......................................... 624
23. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 646
27. Game Laws .......................................... 680





TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Paqe
Mar. 5. Roman Catholic Emancipation-Irish Vestries .............. 820
8. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 1013
Corn Laws-New Scale of Duties ....................... 1020
9. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 1082
13. Corn Laws-New Weights and Measures ................. 1154
16. Roman Catholic Emancipation ......................... 1218
20. Navigation Laws-State of the Ministry .................. 1280
Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 1281
Game Laws .......................................... 1286
22. Corn and Wool Trade. ................................. 1293


II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
1826.
Nov. 14. Meeting of the New Parliament .......................... 1
Choice of a Speaker .................................. 2
15. The Speaker approved of by his Majesty .................. 8
21. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 26
22. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 95
Corn Laws .......................................... 97
Bribery at Elections ................................... 99
Dr. Southey's Return for Downton......................... 111
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 111
24. King's Answer to the Address ........................... 115
Return for the Borough of Tregony ...................... 115
Corn Importation Acts-Order in Council ............... 126
Chairman of Committees of the House-Mr. Brogden ........ 137
27. Poor Laws and Emigration-Petition of Mr. Gourlay ........ 142
Corn Laws .......................................... 143
28. Arigna Mining Company-Petition of Roger Flattery ........ 147
Resolutions relative to Committees on Private Bills .......... 152
29. Deism-Oaths in Courts of Justice-Petition of Robert Taylor 171
Tregony Borough Election ............................. 178
30. Army Commissions .................................... 184
Joint Stock Companies-Arigna Mining Company-Case of
M r. Brogden ...................................... 196
Foreign Goods imported into the United Kingdom in 1824 and
1826 ............................................ 200
Dec. 1. Arigna Mining Company-Case of Mr. Brogden ............ 207
Currency and the Corn Laws ............................ 208
Customs and Excise Informations ........................ 216
4. Athlone Election ..................................... 221
Private Bills Committees ................................ 224
5. Distress of Weavers in Scotland-Emigration of the Poor .... 227
Joint Stock Companies-Uncertainty of the Law-Petition of
Thomas Parkin ..................................... 232
Joint Stock Companies-Arigna Mining Company-Case of
M r. Brogden ...................................... 243





TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Dec. 6. Roman Catholic Emancipation-Excommunication by Catholic
Priests .................................. ......... 284
Exportation of Machinery .............................. 291
7. Emigration of the Poor ................................ 298
Cape of Good Hope-Conduct of Lord Charles Somerset .... 303
Arigna Mining Company-Case of Mr. Brogden ............ 313
8. Cape of Good Hope-Conduct of Lord Charles Somerset .... 320
Case of Colonel Bradley ................................ 321
Arigna Mining Company-Case of Mr. Brogden ............ 330
11. King's Message respecting Portugal ...................... 334
12. Address on the King's Message respecting Portugal.......... 350
13. Corn Laws-Adjournment of the House .................. 398
Stamp Duties on Newspapers and Pamphlets .............. 400
1827.
Feb. 8. Roman Catholic Emancipation-General Petition of the Roman
Catholics of Ireland .................................. 407
9. Roman Catholic Emancipation ................. ......... 411
Corn Laws-Petition of the Starving Weavers of Blackburn .. 412
12. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 417
Death of the Duke of York-Address of Condolence to his
M ajesty .......................................... 425
Navy Estimates ...................................... 434
13. Corn Laws ......................................... 449
Navy Estimates-Impressment of Seamen .................. 450
14. Colonel Bradley's Case ................................ 460
Writ of Right-Dower ............................... 471
15. King's Message for a further Provision for the Duke and Duchess
of Clarence ........................................ 475
Emigration from the United Kingdom .................... 475
Committees of Appeals on Private Bills.................... 513
16. Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence................ 517
Expenditure and Income of the Country ................. 541
Ordnance Estimates .................................. 559
19. Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence.................. 565
Army Estimates ...................... ....... ...... 570
20. Canada Clergy Reserves ................................ 586
Private Bill Committees ................................ 590
Army Estimates ...................................... 591
21. Corn Laws .......................................... 601
Slave Trade at the Mauritius ............................ 605
Northampton Election-Conduct of the Corporation ........ 606
22. Corn Laws-Equalization of Contracts .................... 630
Criminal Laws-Bills for the Consolidation of .............. 632
26. Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence-Petition from
M anchester against .................................. 650
Double Land Tax-Petition of the Earl of Shrewsbury and other
Roman Catholics.................. ................ 651
Emigration Committee ................................ 653
Bribery at Elections .................................... 654





TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Feb. 26. Mutiny Bill-Flogging in the Army ...................... 679
27. Administration of Justice in the Court of Chancery .......... 692
Mar: 1. Corn Laws ......................................... 758
2. Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 787
Roman Catholic Emancipation-Petition of the Roman Catholic
Bishops of Ireland .................................. 792
Petition of the Roman Catholics of Great Britain............ 816
Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence................ 818
5. Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting the Claims of the Roman
Catholics ........................................... 825
6. Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting the Claims of the Roman
Catholics-Adjourned Debate ........................ 899
8. Corn Laws .......................................... 1033
9. Poor Laws'in Ireland .................................. 1086
Corn Laws .......................................... 1091
12. Mutiny Bill-Corporal Punishments in the Army............ 1123
Corn-Laws .......................................... 1144
13. Criminal Laws Consolidation Bills ........................ 1165
Roman Catholic Emancipation-State of Ireland ............ 1168
Athlone Election-Forged Petition ...................... 1165
Jamaica-Attack on the Wesleyan Missionary Meeting-House.. 1166
Court of Chancery-Bankrupt Fees ...................... 1173
Exchequer Prosecutions under the Customs Laws........... 1178
Galway Election--Charge against the Marquis of Clanricarde.. 1184
14. Hackney Coaches and Cabriolets ........................ 1186
15. County Elections-Mode of taking the Poll ................ 1187
Leicester Election-Conduct of the Corporation ............ 1198
16. Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence ............... 1236
Stipendiary Magistracy in Ireland ........................ 1247
19. Supply of Water to the Metropolis ...................... 1258
Roman Catholic Emancipation .......................... 1258
Education of the Poor in Ireland ........................ 1259
Shipping Interest-Navigation Laws ...................... 1266
Corn Laws .......................................... 1271
22. Galway County Election-Breach of Privilege-Assault of a
W witness .......................................... 1305
Penryn Election-Case of John Stanbury .................. 1311
Shipping Interest-Navigation Laws ...................... 1312
Mutiny at Barrackpore ............................... 1313
Grant to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence................ 1340
Salmon Fisheries Bill ................................. 1342




III. KING'S SPEECHES.

1826.
Nov. 21. KING'S SPEECH on Opening the Session .................. 9





TABLE OF CONTENTS.


Dec. 11.
1827.
Feb. 18.


IV. KING'S MESSAGES.
Page
KINO's MESSAoG respecting Portugal .................... 334

- - -for a further Provision for the Duke and
Duchess of Clarence ................. 475


V. PETITIONS.


Nov. 27. PETITION of Mr. Gourlay on the Poor Laws, and on Emigration 142
28. - of Mr. Roger Flattery, respecting the Arigna Mining
Company ................................... 148
29. - of Robert Taylor,.respecting Oaths in Courts of Justice 176
Dec. 4. - from Athlone, respecting the Right of Freedom of
Election for that Borough .................... 221
5. - of Thomas Parkin, respecting Joint Stock Companies,
and the Uncertainty of the Law ................ 233
1827.
Feb. 8. - (General), of the Roman Catholics of Ireland ...... 407
9. -. of the Starving Weavers of Blackburn, respecting the
Corn Laws ................................ 412
Mar. 2. - of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Ireland, for a
Repeal of the Laws which aggrieve the Catholics .. 799
- of the Roman Catholics of Great Britain, for Relief
from Civil Disabilities ........................ 816
19. - from Athlone, respecting a forged Petition to the
House .................................... 1165


VI. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.


1826.
Nov. 28.
1827.
Mar. 22.


Resolutions relative to Committees on Private Bills .......... 154

Convention between his Majesty and the Infanta Regent of Por-
tugal, for providing for the Maintenance of a Corps of British
Troops, sent to Portugal, Dec. 1826, signed at Brighthelm-
stone, Jan. 19, 1827 ................................ 1302


VII. LISTS.


Nov. 21. LIST of the Minority, in the House Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Amendment to the Address on the King's Speech......
1827.
Feb. 16. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Grant
to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence .............
20. of the Minority, on the Army Estimates ..............





TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 6. LIST of the Majority, and also of the Minority, on Sir Francis
Burdett's Motion, for taking into consideration the Civil
Disabilities of the Roman Catholics .................. 1009
9. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Corn
Resolutions .................................... 1122
12. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Corn
Resolutions .................................... 1153
15. of the Minority, on the Conduct of the Corporation of
Leicester, with regard to the recent Election .......... 1217
16. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Grant
to the Duke and Duchess of Clarence .............. 1247
22. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion respecting the Mutiny at Barrackpore ........ 1340


















PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES.










Parliamentary Debates


During the FIRST SESSION of the EIGHTH PARLIAMENT
of the United Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND,
appointed to meet at Westminster the 14th of November,
1826, in the Seventh Year of the Reign of His Majesty
King GEORGE THE FOURTH.




HOUSE OF LORDS. return to the place where they usually
Tuesday, November 14, 1826. held their sittings, and there proceed to
choose a fit and proper person to be their
MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIA- Speaker; and that they should present the
MENT.] This being the day appointed person so chosen at the bar of their Lord-
for the meeting of the New Parliament, ships' House to-morrow at two o'clock, for
several Peers assembled at two o'clock. his Majesty's approbation.-The Con-
Soon after thathour, lord chancellor Eldon mons then withdrew, and their Lordships
the duke of Wellington, the earl of West- heard prayers. After which, the oaths
morland, the earl of Liverpool, and the were taken in the usual form by the Lords
earl of Harrowby took their seats in front present.
of the Throne, as his Majesty's Commis-
sioners. The Lord Chancellor then di- HOUSE OF COMMONS.
rected the Deputy Usher of the Black Rod Tuesday, November 14.
to proceed to the Commons and summon
that House to attend at their Lordships' CHOICE OF A SPEAKER.] The mem-
bar forthwith. The Deputy Usher pro- hers being returned from the House of
needed accordingly to the House of Com- Peers,
mons, and soon after returned, accom- Mr. Sturges Bourne rose and said, that
panied by the clerks of that House and it now devolved on the House to proceed
a considerable number of the members, to the discharge of a most important
The Lord Chancellor stated to the Com- duty, namely the election of a member to
mons, that his Majesty had been pleased fill in the ensuing parliament, one of the
to issue a Commission under the great most honourable, and at the same time one
seal, appointing certain lords therein of the most arduous offices, that could be
named to open the Parliament; which conferred upon an individual in this coun-
Commission the clerk would then read.- try-that of Speaker of the House of
The Commission having accordingly been Commons. Happily, the House had not,
read, the Lord Chancellor said, that in upon the present occasion, to encounter
obedience to his Majesty's commands, he the difficulty of selecting from their body
had to inform the Lords and Gentlemen any'untried member, who might inade-
thenin attendance,that assoonas a sufficient quately discharge the duties of that high
number of members of both Houses should and arduous office. They possessed a
be sworn, his Majesty would declare the member whom they had already elected
causes which had induced him to call the to fill the office of their Speaker in three
parliament together. In the mean time it successive parliaments, and the experience
was his Majesty's pleasure, that the Gen- of those successive parliaments had abun-
tlemen of the House of Commons should dantly confirmed the wisdom of their
VOL. XVI. { N.W } B










Parliamentary Debates


During the FIRST SESSION of the EIGHTH PARLIAMENT
of the United Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND,
appointed to meet at Westminster the 14th of November,
1826, in the Seventh Year of the Reign of His Majesty
King GEORGE THE FOURTH.




HOUSE OF LORDS. return to the place where they usually
Tuesday, November 14, 1826. held their sittings, and there proceed to
choose a fit and proper person to be their
MEETING OF THE NEW PARLIA- Speaker; and that they should present the
MENT.] This being the day appointed person so chosen at the bar of their Lord-
for the meeting of the New Parliament, ships' House to-morrow at two o'clock, for
several Peers assembled at two o'clock. his Majesty's approbation.-The Con-
Soon after thathour, lord chancellor Eldon mons then withdrew, and their Lordships
the duke of Wellington, the earl of West- heard prayers. After which, the oaths
morland, the earl of Liverpool, and the were taken in the usual form by the Lords
earl of Harrowby took their seats in front present.
of the Throne, as his Majesty's Commis-
sioners. The Lord Chancellor then di- HOUSE OF COMMONS.
rected the Deputy Usher of the Black Rod Tuesday, November 14.
to proceed to the Commons and summon
that House to attend at their Lordships' CHOICE OF A SPEAKER.] The mem-
bar forthwith. The Deputy Usher pro- hers being returned from the House of
needed accordingly to the House of Com- Peers,
mons, and soon after returned, accom- Mr. Sturges Bourne rose and said, that
panied by the clerks of that House and it now devolved on the House to proceed
a considerable number of the members, to the discharge of a most important
The Lord Chancellor stated to the Com- duty, namely the election of a member to
mons, that his Majesty had been pleased fill in the ensuing parliament, one of the
to issue a Commission under the great most honourable, and at the same time one
seal, appointing certain lords therein of the most arduous offices, that could be
named to open the Parliament; which conferred upon an individual in this coun-
Commission the clerk would then read.- try-that of Speaker of the House of
The Commission having accordingly been Commons. Happily, the House had not,
read, the Lord Chancellor said, that in upon the present occasion, to encounter
obedience to his Majesty's commands, he the difficulty of selecting from their body
had to inform the Lords and Gentlemen any'untried member, who might inade-
thenin attendance,that assoonas a sufficient quately discharge the duties of that high
number of members of both Houses should and arduous office. They possessed a
be sworn, his Majesty would declare the member whom they had already elected
causes which had induced him to call the to fill the office of their Speaker in three
parliament together. In the mean time it successive parliaments, and the experience
was his Majesty's pleasure, that the Gen- of those successive parliaments had abun-
tlemen of the House of Commons should dantly confirmed the wisdom of their
VOL. XVI. { N.W } B





3 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
choice. In order duly to estimate the
value, and appreciate the advantages of
possessing such a member, it was neces-
sary only to reflect on the importance and
on the difficulty of the functions which
the Speaker of that House was- called
upon to discharge. It was not talents,
however great, nor acquirements, however
extensive, which might be derived from
the best general education, that could
qualify a person for the discharge of the
duties of that high office. It required an
accurate acquaintance with the details of
parliamentary law, a minute knowledge of
the usages of parliament, and of the
general maxims and rules by which the
proceedings of that House were governed,
which could be acquired only by patient
and laborious investigation, and pos-
sessed only by those who had made
it the peculiar object of their research:
the task of directing the deliberations
of that House, and of expressing, on
particular occasions, opinions which
might give effect and consistency to
the form of their proceedings, required, he
need not say, no ordinary share of judg-
ment and discrimination. In all these
respects, the House required not to be
reminded with what distinguished ability
the high office of Speaker had been filled
by his right hon. friend [hear, hear!].
Besides these more ostensible duties of the
office, it was often necessary to repress
the extravagancies of debate, and to allay
the heats which occasionally arose amidst
the ardour and vehemence of public dis-
cussion. It was necessary, also, on many
occasions, to give advice, assistance, and
information, to members of the House, in
matters connected with its forms and pro-
ceedings; and he need not remind them
of the readiness and the ability with which
such advice and such information had
been uniformly afforded by his right hon.
friend. There were other subordinate
qualifications, and other personal recom-
mendations, which no man possessed in a
more eminent degree than the right hon.
gentleman. Among these, he could not
but advert with gratification to the uniform
courtesy of his manners, and to his digni-
fied hospitality. Nor were those personal
qualifications, which enabled his right
hon. friend to support with such indefati-
gable zeal the labours of his office, of light
moment, in estimating his claims to the
honourable distinction which it conferred.
Let it be recollected; that upon the un-


Choice of a Speaker. 4
wearied personal exertions of the Speaker
of the House of Commons depended the
uninterrupted discharge of the most im-
portant public duties; and that the whole
business of the state, however urgent,
must be suspended,, until his place should
be supplied. He could not adduce a
stronger instance to show the value of his
right honourable friend's services, or the
importance of those personal qualifications
which had enabled him to discharge the
duties of his office with such unremitted
assiduity and zeal. He need not remind
the House how anxiously his right hon.
friend had at all times maintained their
rights and privileges-how scrupulously
he had enforced the forms and; regulations.
of that House-on which those rights and
privileges, and with them, the rights and
privileges of the people, most essentially
depended. Under such circumstances,
he doubted not, that the motion which he
should now make would be unanimously
adopted; he doubted not that when his right
hon. friend should be again placed in the
Chair, he would discharge its duties with
the zeal and ability he had ever displayed,
and that the House would give to his au-
thority an uniform and effective support.
The recorded opinion of three successive
parliaments had rendered it superfluous to
bear further testimony to the distinguished
merits of his right hon. friend; he should,
therefore, without trespassing any longer
on the time of the House conclude with,
moving, "That the right honourable
Charles Manners Sutton do take the
Chair of this House as Speaker."
Mr. Portman, in rising to second the
motion, said, he was sensible that the feel-
ing of the House was so entirely with the
right hon. gentleman who had just been
proposed to fill the office of Speaker, that
it was unnecessary for him to occupy
much of the attention of the House, or to
add any thing to the eulogiumi which had
been so justly pronounced by the right
hon. mover. He was aware, indeed, that
it had been the usage both for the mover
and seconder, on these occasions, to make
some observations on the nature, and the
important duties, of the office. It would
ill become him, however, to address any
observations of that kind to members who
had long sat in that House; and members
who had now, for the first time, taken their
seats in it, must, as English gentlemen,
be so well acquainted with the arduous
nature of the office of Speaker, and with






5 Choice of a Speaker.
the qualifications requisite for its efficient
discharge, that it would be equally un-
necessary.to address any observations on
the subject to that portion of the House.
He might, perhaps, be allowed to say,
that it was an office which required not
only great talents-not only strict inte-
grity-not only the most perfect impar-
tiality in the person called to discharge its
functions-but that'the House further ex-
pected to find in that person a temper not
to be ruffled, a judgment not to be shaken,
and a resolution to maintain, to the best
of his abilities, the rights and privileges of
the Commons of England, and to preserve
order and dignity in their proceedings. In
an assembly such as that which he now
addressed, in which so much brilliant
talent and splendid ability was to be
found on all sides, it might, in any com-
mon time, or under any ordinary circum-
stances, be difficult to point out any one
member more qualified than another to
fill the Chair; and, under such circum-
stances, he should be the last man in the
world who would presume to press his
opinion upon the House on so important
an occasion. He was now, however, able
to congratulate the House on a selection
which met with their unanimous concur-
rence; for the finger of experience pointed
out to them the right hon. gentleman,
who had for many successive years filled
the office, and who had shewn himself
,possessed of integrity, of impartiality, and
of temper-of judgment to discern what
was right, and of resolution to enforce his
decisions. He felt that it would be pre-
sumptuous in him to occupy any longer
the time of the House, and that he ought
rather to apologise for having detained
them so long from the gratification of
adopting, as he was sure they would adopt
with one voice of acclamation, the propo-
tion, that the right hon. Charles Manners
Sutton should take the Chair of that
House."
Mr. Manners Sutton rose and said, that
he felt his inability to express, as he ought,
the thanks which he owed to his right hon.
friend who proposed, and to his hon.
friend, the member for Dorsetshire, who
seconded, the motion; still less could he
hope to be able to express the obligation
and the gratitude which he owed to that
House, for the cordial manner in which
they had received it. To be elevated to
that Chair, had been the first object of his
ambition, and as long as his health and


Nov, 14, 1826. .. 6
strength continued, it would continue to
be that first object. He could assure the
House, with the strictest truth, that it had
been the greatest object of all his endea-
yours, while in that Chair, to justify their
choice by faithfully discharging his duties
to them and to the public. The reception
which the motion of his right hon. friend
had met with from the House, and the
testimonies of their satisfaction-as far as
his abilities could produce satisfaction-at
the result of his exertions, were the best
and proudest rewards of any services
which he might have performed. His
right hon. friend, and his hon. friend the
member for Dorsetshire, had both remark-
ed upon the difficulty and importance of
the duties attached to the office, and both
had given him credit, in the warmth' of
friendship, for personal qualifications,
which he was conscious he did not possess.
He relied not, however, upon his owit
strength, but upon the cordial support of
that House; and as he might hope to
carry with him the same good opinion
and cordial co-operation-as he might
look forward to a continuance of the same
favour and indulgence, which had been so
abundantly extended to him during three
parliaments, he submitted himself, without
hesitation, most respectfully to their judg-
ment and decision.
The motion having been unanimously
carried, amidst the cheers of the House,
the right hon. gentleman was conducted
to the Chair, by the mover and seconder,
where, standing on the upper step,
'The Speaker said;-I beg most respect-
fully to express my acknowledgments to
the House for this renewal of their coun-
tenance. They shall find me diligent,
zealous, and impartial in the discharge of
the duties which have devolved upon me.
I have not the arrogance to presume, that,
unassisted, I am equal to the task; but I
implore of the House to correct me when
I am wrong, to support me when I am
right; and I pledge myself to make every
exertion my powers can command to merit
the renewal of that sanction and protec-
tion which, for three parliaments I have
had the good fortune to obtain.
Mr. Wynn, in rising to move the ad-
journment of the House, said, he could
not forbear expressing his congratulations,
both to his right hon. friend who had just
taken the Chair, and to the House. He
congratulated the right hon. gentleman
on having received the highest reward
B2






7 HOUSE OF'COMMONS,
which his services could obtain in the
unanimous approbation of that House,
and he congratulated the House on the
choice they had made, since the arduous
and laborious situation to which his right
hon. friend had been elevated, was filled
by a gentleman whose impartiality had
'never been questioned, even in the most
stormy sessions, and whose patience, tem-
,per, and courtesy had been equally ex-
perienced and approved by all. This was
a subject on which he could dilate with
'great pleasure to himself; but the topics
suggested by it had been so ably touched
upon by the mover and seconder, that he
'felt it unnecessary to occupy the time of
ithe House by the expression of feelings in
which he was sure every member of that
House participated.
'Sir Joseph Yorke congratulated the
dHouse on the selection they had made,
,and would only express his hope, that
every man who took office in the House,
i .iLht enter upon it with as much integrity
as thil right hon. gentleman in the Chair.
The House then adjourned.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Lords Commissioners having taken
their seat onthe wool-sack, the deputy
Ausher of the Black Rod was sent to the
House of Commons to desire their attend-
ance. Shortly after,
The *Speaker, followed by a consider-
.able number of members, presented him-
self at their lordships' bar. The right
hon. gentleman then said, that he was
Commanded by his Majesty's faithful Com-
.mons, to inform their lordships.that in
,obedience to his Majesty's commands, they
had in the exercise of their ancient and
undoubted privilege proceeded to elect a
Speal.er, and their choice had fallen upon
liim. For his own part, he could only
say, that he was fully aware of the greal
Importance of the situation to which he
had been appointed, and'was also aware
.of his many imperfections. If, however
his Majesty should be pleased to disap.
.prove'of the choice' made by his mos
,-faithful Commons, there'would be little
.difficulty in selecting: some' other person
more competent than ,hewas, to fill s<
,ardtlii:us and dignified a situation.
T1he Lord Chancellor, -in reply to thi
: ad..Ir'., said, th- his Majesty was full:


Choice ofa Speaker. 8
sensible of Mr. Speaker's zeal, as also'of
his ability to fill the high office to whichh
he had been elected. His zeal and ability
had been tried and proved in tlree suc-
cessive parliaments, and his Majesty fully
and readily confirmed the choice made by
his faithful Commons. '
The Speaker then said;- My lords,
with all gratitude and respect, I submit to
his Majesty's royal pleasure. It therefore
becomes my duty, in the name of the
Commons of the united kingdom, to
claim, by humble petition, all the ancient
rights and privileges granted to: that
branch of the constitution, more 'espe-
cially, freedom of arrest for themselves
and their servants; freedom in debate;
and freedom of access to his Majesty, on
all requisite occasions; and also; that a
favourable interpretation may be given to
all their proceedings. If any involuntary
error should occur on their part,' I hope
that to me, and not to his majesty's faith-
ful Commons, the blame may be imputed.
The Lord Chancellor.-I am commanded
by his Majesty to declare his readiness to
confirm' to his faithful Commons all the
rights and privileges that have ever:been
granted to the Commons by any of his
Majesty's royal predecessors; and I am
also commanded to inform you, that his
Majesty will at all times put the !most
favourable construction on all the words
and actions of his faithful Commons.
The Speaker and the other members of
the House of Commons then bowed, and
retired.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Speaker having taken the chair on
.his return from the House of Peers, said;
SIhave to state to the House, that this
House has been in the House of Peers,
where the lords, authorized by his Majes-
ty's commission, signified his Majesty's
Royal approbation and confirmation ofme,
Sas the Speaker of this House. I proceed-
, ed to lay claim, by humble petition, to all
Their, undoubted: rights and privileges,
t especially those, of fieedom''from arrest
e for themselves, their servants, and estates;
i free access to his Majesty when occasion
o should require, and that all tl,,ir proc:ed-
ings should 'receive 'the most favourable
s construction. The lords, authorized by
y his Majesty's commission, siiii.rd li-.






7 HOUSE OF'COMMONS,
which his services could obtain in the
unanimous approbation of that House,
and he congratulated the House on the
choice they had made, since the arduous
and laborious situation to which his right
hon. friend had been elevated, was filled
by a gentleman whose impartiality had
'never been questioned, even in the most
stormy sessions, and whose patience, tem-
,per, and courtesy had been equally ex-
perienced and approved by all. This was
a subject on which he could dilate with
'great pleasure to himself; but the topics
suggested by it had been so ably touched
upon by the mover and seconder, that he
'felt it unnecessary to occupy the time of
ithe House by the expression of feelings in
which he was sure every member of that
House participated.
'Sir Joseph Yorke congratulated the
dHouse on the selection they had made,
,and would only express his hope, that
every man who took office in the House,
i .iLht enter upon it with as much integrity
as thil right hon. gentleman in the Chair.
The House then adjourned.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Lords Commissioners having taken
their seat onthe wool-sack, the deputy
Ausher of the Black Rod was sent to the
House of Commons to desire their attend-
ance. Shortly after,
The *Speaker, followed by a consider-
.able number of members, presented him-
self at their lordships' bar. The right
hon. gentleman then said, that he was
Commanded by his Majesty's faithful Com-
.mons, to inform their lordships.that in
,obedience to his Majesty's commands, they
had in the exercise of their ancient and
undoubted privilege proceeded to elect a
Speal.er, and their choice had fallen upon
liim. For his own part, he could only
say, that he was fully aware of the greal
Importance of the situation to which he
had been appointed, and'was also aware
.of his many imperfections. If, however
his Majesty should be pleased to disap.
.prove'of the choice' made by his mos
,-faithful Commons, there'would be little
.difficulty in selecting: some' other person
more competent than ,hewas, to fill s<
,ardtlii:us and dignified a situation.
T1he Lord Chancellor, -in reply to thi
: ad..Ir'., said, th- his Majesty was full:


Choice ofa Speaker. 8
sensible of Mr. Speaker's zeal, as also'of
his ability to fill the high office to whichh
he had been elected. His zeal and ability
had been tried and proved in tlree suc-
cessive parliaments, and his Majesty fully
and readily confirmed the choice made by
his faithful Commons. '
The Speaker then said;- My lords,
with all gratitude and respect, I submit to
his Majesty's royal pleasure. It therefore
becomes my duty, in the name of the
Commons of the united kingdom, to
claim, by humble petition, all the ancient
rights and privileges granted to: that
branch of the constitution, more 'espe-
cially, freedom of arrest for themselves
and their servants; freedom in debate;
and freedom of access to his Majesty, on
all requisite occasions; and also; that a
favourable interpretation may be given to
all their proceedings. If any involuntary
error should occur on their part,' I hope
that to me, and not to his majesty's faith-
ful Commons, the blame may be imputed.
The Lord Chancellor.-I am commanded
by his Majesty to declare his readiness to
confirm' to his faithful Commons all the
rights and privileges that have ever:been
granted to the Commons by any of his
Majesty's royal predecessors; and I am
also commanded to inform you, that his
Majesty will at all times put the !most
favourable construction on all the words
and actions of his faithful Commons.
The Speaker and the other members of
the House of Commons then bowed, and
retired.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Speaker having taken the chair on
.his return from the House of Peers, said;
SIhave to state to the House, that this
House has been in the House of Peers,
where the lords, authorized by his Majes-
ty's commission, signified his Majesty's
Royal approbation and confirmation ofme,
Sas the Speaker of this House. I proceed-
, ed to lay claim, by humble petition, to all
Their, undoubted: rights and privileges,
t especially those, of fieedom''from arrest
e for themselves, their servants, and estates;
i free access to his Majesty when occasion
o should require, and that all tl,,ir proc:ed-
ings should 'receive 'the most favourable
s construction. The lords, authorized by
y his Majesty's commission, siiii.rd li-.





9 The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


Majesty's assurance that all those privileges
should be granted, and confirmed by him,
in as ample a manner as they had ever
been confirmed or granted by any of his
predecessors. I may now avail myself of
this opportunity of again expressing the
most thankful acknowledgments for the
high honour you have conferred upon me.
I know well how to estimate that honour,
and I will struggle to deserve it. The
House shall find me ever watchful and
determined in co-operation with them, for
the preservation of our privileges; not
ours alone, but the privileges of all the
Commons, and I implore of the House to
assist me in maintaining a strict attention
to all established rules and ordinances,
not only as they are essential for the due
and convenient despatch of business, but
as they are most important safeguards for
the property and best interests of the
people. I have now to submit to the
House, that the proceeding on which we
are to enter, is to take and subscribe the
oaths and declarations as prescribed by
law.
The Speaker himself then took and
subscribed the usual oaths and declara-
tions; and was followed by numerous
other members.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, November 21.
THE KING's SPEECH ON OPENING
THlE SESSION.] This day his Majesty
came in state to the House of Peers, and
being seated on the Throne, the gentleman
usher of the black rod was directed to
summon the Commons to attend. The
Speaker immediately presented himself at
the bar, attended by a great number of
members. His Majesty then delivered
the following Speech to both Houses:
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have called you together at this
lime for the special purpose of communi-
cating to you the measure which I judged
it necessary to take, in the month of Sep-
tember, for the admission into the ports of
the United Kingdom of certain sorts of
foreign grain not then admissible by law.
I have directed a copy of the Order in
Council issued on that occasion to be laid
before you, and I confidently trust that
you will see sufficient reason for giving


your sanction to the provisions of that
order, and for carrying them into effec-
tual execution.
"I have great satisfaction in being able
to inform you, that the hopes entertained
at the close of the last session of parlia-
ment, respecting the termination of the
war in the Burmese territories, have been
fulfilled, and that a peace has been con-
cluded in that quarter highly honourable
to the British arms, and to the councils of
the British government in India.
I continue to receive from all foreign
powers assurances of their earnest desire
to cultivate the relations of peace and
friendly understanding with me.
I am exerting myself with unremitting
anxiety, either singly or in conjunction
with my allies, as well to arrest the pro-
gress of existing hostilities as to prevent
the interruption of peace in different parts
of the world.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
I have directed the Estimates for the
ensuing year to be prepared, and they
will, in due time, be laid before you.
"I will take care that they shall be
formed with as much attention to economy,
as the exigencies of the public service will
permit.
The distress which has pervaded the
commercial and manufacturing classes of
my subjects, during the last twelve months,
has affected some important branches of
the Revenue; but I have the satisfaction
of informing you, that there has been no
such diminution in the internal consump-
tion of the country, as to excite any ap-
prehensions that the great sources of our
wealth and prosperity have been impaired.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I have deeply sympathised with the
sufferings which have been, for some time
past, so severely felt in the manufacturing
districts of this country; and I have con-
templated with great satisfaction the ex-
emplary patience with which those suffer-
ings have been generally borne.
The depression under which the trade
and manufactures of the country have


Nov. 21, 1826. 10-






7 HOUSE OF'COMMONS,
which his services could obtain in the
unanimous approbation of that House,
and he congratulated the House on the
choice they had made, since the arduous
and laborious situation to which his right
hon. friend had been elevated, was filled
by a gentleman whose impartiality had
'never been questioned, even in the most
stormy sessions, and whose patience, tem-
,per, and courtesy had been equally ex-
perienced and approved by all. This was
a subject on which he could dilate with
'great pleasure to himself; but the topics
suggested by it had been so ably touched
upon by the mover and seconder, that he
'felt it unnecessary to occupy the time of
ithe House by the expression of feelings in
which he was sure every member of that
House participated.
'Sir Joseph Yorke congratulated the
dHouse on the selection they had made,
,and would only express his hope, that
every man who took office in the House,
i .iLht enter upon it with as much integrity
as thil right hon. gentleman in the Chair.
The House then adjourned.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Lords Commissioners having taken
their seat onthe wool-sack, the deputy
Ausher of the Black Rod was sent to the
House of Commons to desire their attend-
ance. Shortly after,
The *Speaker, followed by a consider-
.able number of members, presented him-
self at their lordships' bar. The right
hon. gentleman then said, that he was
Commanded by his Majesty's faithful Com-
.mons, to inform their lordships.that in
,obedience to his Majesty's commands, they
had in the exercise of their ancient and
undoubted privilege proceeded to elect a
Speal.er, and their choice had fallen upon
liim. For his own part, he could only
say, that he was fully aware of the greal
Importance of the situation to which he
had been appointed, and'was also aware
.of his many imperfections. If, however
his Majesty should be pleased to disap.
.prove'of the choice' made by his mos
,-faithful Commons, there'would be little
.difficulty in selecting: some' other person
more competent than ,hewas, to fill s<
,ardtlii:us and dignified a situation.
T1he Lord Chancellor, -in reply to thi
: ad..Ir'., said, th- his Majesty was full:


Choice ofa Speaker. 8
sensible of Mr. Speaker's zeal, as also'of
his ability to fill the high office to whichh
he had been elected. His zeal and ability
had been tried and proved in tlree suc-
cessive parliaments, and his Majesty fully
and readily confirmed the choice made by
his faithful Commons. '
The Speaker then said;- My lords,
with all gratitude and respect, I submit to
his Majesty's royal pleasure. It therefore
becomes my duty, in the name of the
Commons of the united kingdom, to
claim, by humble petition, all the ancient
rights and privileges granted to: that
branch of the constitution, more 'espe-
cially, freedom of arrest for themselves
and their servants; freedom in debate;
and freedom of access to his Majesty, on
all requisite occasions; and also; that a
favourable interpretation may be given to
all their proceedings. If any involuntary
error should occur on their part,' I hope
that to me, and not to his majesty's faith-
ful Commons, the blame may be imputed.
The Lord Chancellor.-I am commanded
by his Majesty to declare his readiness to
confirm' to his faithful Commons all the
rights and privileges that have ever:been
granted to the Commons by any of his
Majesty's royal predecessors; and I am
also commanded to inform you, that his
Majesty will at all times put the !most
favourable construction on all the words
and actions of his faithful Commons.
The Speaker and the other members of
the House of Commons then bowed, and
retired.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, November 15.
The Speaker having taken the chair on
.his return from the House of Peers, said;
SIhave to state to the House, that this
House has been in the House of Peers,
where the lords, authorized by his Majes-
ty's commission, signified his Majesty's
Royal approbation and confirmation ofme,
Sas the Speaker of this House. I proceed-
, ed to lay claim, by humble petition, to all
Their, undoubted: rights and privileges,
t especially those, of fieedom''from arrest
e for themselves, their servants, and estates;
i free access to his Majesty when occasion
o should require, and that all tl,,ir proc:ed-
ings should 'receive 'the most favourable
s construction. The lords, authorized by
y his Majesty's commission, siiii.rd li-.





9 The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


Majesty's assurance that all those privileges
should be granted, and confirmed by him,
in as ample a manner as they had ever
been confirmed or granted by any of his
predecessors. I may now avail myself of
this opportunity of again expressing the
most thankful acknowledgments for the
high honour you have conferred upon me.
I know well how to estimate that honour,
and I will struggle to deserve it. The
House shall find me ever watchful and
determined in co-operation with them, for
the preservation of our privileges; not
ours alone, but the privileges of all the
Commons, and I implore of the House to
assist me in maintaining a strict attention
to all established rules and ordinances,
not only as they are essential for the due
and convenient despatch of business, but
as they are most important safeguards for
the property and best interests of the
people. I have now to submit to the
House, that the proceeding on which we
are to enter, is to take and subscribe the
oaths and declarations as prescribed by
law.
The Speaker himself then took and
subscribed the usual oaths and declara-
tions; and was followed by numerous
other members.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, November 21.
THE KING's SPEECH ON OPENING
THlE SESSION.] This day his Majesty
came in state to the House of Peers, and
being seated on the Throne, the gentleman
usher of the black rod was directed to
summon the Commons to attend. The
Speaker immediately presented himself at
the bar, attended by a great number of
members. His Majesty then delivered
the following Speech to both Houses:
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have called you together at this
lime for the special purpose of communi-
cating to you the measure which I judged
it necessary to take, in the month of Sep-
tember, for the admission into the ports of
the United Kingdom of certain sorts of
foreign grain not then admissible by law.
I have directed a copy of the Order in
Council issued on that occasion to be laid
before you, and I confidently trust that
you will see sufficient reason for giving


your sanction to the provisions of that
order, and for carrying them into effec-
tual execution.
"I have great satisfaction in being able
to inform you, that the hopes entertained
at the close of the last session of parlia-
ment, respecting the termination of the
war in the Burmese territories, have been
fulfilled, and that a peace has been con-
cluded in that quarter highly honourable
to the British arms, and to the councils of
the British government in India.
I continue to receive from all foreign
powers assurances of their earnest desire
to cultivate the relations of peace and
friendly understanding with me.
I am exerting myself with unremitting
anxiety, either singly or in conjunction
with my allies, as well to arrest the pro-
gress of existing hostilities as to prevent
the interruption of peace in different parts
of the world.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
I have directed the Estimates for the
ensuing year to be prepared, and they
will, in due time, be laid before you.
"I will take care that they shall be
formed with as much attention to economy,
as the exigencies of the public service will
permit.
The distress which has pervaded the
commercial and manufacturing classes of
my subjects, during the last twelve months,
has affected some important branches of
the Revenue; but I have the satisfaction
of informing you, that there has been no
such diminution in the internal consump-
tion of the country, as to excite any ap-
prehensions that the great sources of our
wealth and prosperity have been impaired.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I have deeply sympathised with the
sufferings which have been, for some time
past, so severely felt in the manufacturing
districts of this country; and I have con-
templated with great satisfaction the ex-
emplary patience with which those suffer-
ings have been generally borne.
The depression under which the trade
and manufactures of the country have


Nov. 21, 1826. 10-





11 HOUSE OF LORDS,
been labouring has abated more slowly
than I had thought myself warranted in
anticipating; but I retain a firm expect-
ation that this abatement will be progres-
sive, and that the time is not distant
when, under the blessing of Divine Pro-
vidence, the commerce and industry of
the United Kingdom will have resumed
their wonted activity."
His Majesty then retired, and the Com-
mons returned to their House.

ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] His
Majesty's Speech to both Houses having
been read by the Lord Chancellor, and
also by the reading clerk at the table,
Earl Cornwallis rose, and spoke as
follows :-My lords, in rising to move an
Address of Thanks, I trust I shall meet
with that kind indulgence which others,
standing in my place, have invariably ex-
perienced. For the communication re-
specting the admission of some descrip-
tions of foreign grain, before the time
allowed by law, there can, I should hope,
be no objection to thank his Majesty; as
it will be no bar to future discussion,
when the Order in Council shall be laid
upon your table. In looking to the East
Indies, the termination of the Burmese
war affords ample scope for congratula-
tion ; as I trust that our vast possessions
in that quarter will no longer be exposed
to inroads of a similar description. In
turning to the continent, it is highly
gratifying to be told of the friendly dis-
position existing there towards this coun-
try; which I attribute, in a great measure,
to the wise policy which his Majesty's
ministers pursued respecting the war be-
tween France and Spain. There were
two parties-the one the ever faithful
supporters of existing abuses ; the other,
the no less dangerous abettors of revolu-
tionary movements, who were anxious to
enlist this country under their banners.
Each was telling his Majesty's ministers
what tone they should hold, and what
position they should take up; but they
wisely chose their own position, and that
upon neutral ground. The late war
will, I trust, be a pretty good lesson to
the present, and to all future ministers,
not hastily to embark their country in a
continental conflict; and t is most satis-
factory to be told, that his Majesty, in


Address on the King's Speech 12
conjunction with his allies, is endeavour-
ing, not only to arrest the progress of hos-
tilities, but also to put an end to those
which already exist. In referring to that
part of his Majesty's most gracious Speech
which relates to the finances, I see much
ground for hope, and none for despon-
dency. During the last eight years, taxes
to the amount of twenty-six millions have
been repealed, and still the income, up to
January, 1826, has been equal to the
demand upon it, and since that time the
deficiency has been less in each succeed-
ing quarter. In connexion with the
distress in the manufacturing districts,
I will briefly recur to the internal state of
the country at different periods since the
conclusion of the late war. The restora-
tion of peace did not at first bring with it
its usual blessings, security, and content;
but, on the contrary, poverty, distress,
and a long train of ills. Our manufac-
tures were diminished, and want of em-
ployment had engendered a great degree
of dissatisfaction in different classes of the
community. Since that period the pic-
ture was for a short time most pleasingly
reversed; our manufacturers were fully
employed; our credit had reached its
highest pitch; agriculture, too, was re-t
suming its proper position in the different
interests of the country; and that from
natural causes, and without any inter-
ference of parliament, not that parliament
was unwilling to interfere, but that par-
liament declined interfering, because it
could not interfere with effect. This was
the state of things, when, owing to a
plethora of riches, speculations, which for
number, folly and absurdity never were
exceeded, produced a panic in the mer-
cantile world, and a run upon all the
country, and most of the London, bankers.
These, my lords, and not the Corn-bill
(though I am no friend to the Corn-bill
in its present form), were the real causes
of those heart-rending distresses, which
have been borne with such exemplary
firmness in the manufacturing districts,
and which, we are to-day told, from the
throne, are, in some degree, abating. This
would not have been the case had there
been much resemblance between the panic
of 1825 and that of 1797. In 1797, dis-
astrous events followed in quick succes-
sion: a rebellion in Ireland, a mutiny in
the navy, a run upon the Bank, and war
in its most appalling aspects:-in 1825,
we were in a state of peace, and order







and due submission to the laws prevailed sarily been a departure from the system
(with very little exception) in every part established by the existinglaw, but I cannot,
of the country. I cannot sit down with- for a moment, anticipate any objection to
out reminding your lordships of his Ma- the measure on that account; for, had the
jesty's parental anxiety for his people. At Order in Council alluded to, not issued
an early period of his reign, when every till the quarterly average prices had been
class of the community was suffering from obtained, the country could not, whatever
the transition from war to peace, he gave distress might have prevailed, have bene-
up part of his income for their relief, and fitted by the importation of the grain re-
what he has done within the last year is quired, at so advanced a season of the
too well known to your lordships, and 1 year, from the northern ports of Europe.-
hope too deeply engraven in the hearts It certainly does appear to me to be matter
of his subjects to require any comment of congratulation that peace has been
from me.-The noble earl concluded by concluded, on terms so honourable and so
moving an Address of Thanks to his Ma- satisfactory, with the Burmese. Your
jesty, which was, as usual, an echo of the lordships are well aware that the war
Speech from the Throne. against that people, however just and
Lord Colville rose, and spoke as follows: necessary, commenced under circumstances
-My lords, in presenting myself to your of peculiar difficulty. Thelittle intercourse
lordships, for the purpose of seconding the which had subsisted between Europeans
motion which has been made by the noble and the Burmese country had afforded
earl, for an Address of thanks to his hardly any means of obtaining much topo-
Majesty. I cannot but feel how much I graphical knowledge of it, and it was soon
shall require that kind and patient indul- discovered that, to an invading army,
gence, which you are always disposed to obstacles were opposed of an almost un-
shew to those who, like myself, arelittle in precedented nature; added to which, our
the habit of addressing you, and who, con- forces had to contend against an enemy
sequently, must rise under some degree of much more powerful than the Burmese
embarrassment. If I had thought, my themselves, in the effects of the climate of
lords, that the task I have undertaken was their country, generally considered one of
one which required the powers of eloquence the worst in India. Nevertheless, my
to support it, I should have been-as I lords, it appears by his Majesty's most
certainly ought to have been-the last gracious communication, that these obsta-
person in your lordships' House to have cles have all been surmounted; and we
undertaken it; but such is not my opinion, have now the satisfaction of knowing that,
and I therefore trust, that the motion of by the energy of the British government in
the noble earl will not suffer by not having India, by the zeal, ability, and perseverance,
had a more able supporter. Under the of the commanders of the forces, by land
present circumstances of the country, I and sea, by the valour and discipline of the
think, my lords, our gratitude is due to his officers, troops, andseamen,both British and
Majesty for having called his parliament native, a peace has been concluded, on such
together. In regard to the first topic to terms as seem to ensure the duration of it.
which the Address alludes-I mean the This event, combined with the brilliant
special purpose for which parliament has success of our arms in the capture of the
been assembled at this time-I trust there fortress of Bhurtpoor, in the north-western
can be no difference of opinion, and that quarter of India, holds out, I trust, reason-
your lordships will approve of the conduct able grounds for the hope, that the tran-
pursued by the ministers of the Crown- quillity of our Eastern empire will not again
first, in recommending, on their own be speedily disturbed.-Considering, my
responsibility, a measure which I think I lords, how desirable it is, that the nations
may safely assert that circumstances, up to of Europe should continue to enjoy that
the present hour, have proved the neces- repose, still so necessary, after the exer-
sity of; and, secondly, in theirhavinghad tions of a war, unprecedented in its dura-
recourse, as speedily as possible, to parlia- tion, it must be highly satisfactory to your
ment for that sanction to the measure, lordships to know, that "his majesty con-
which the constitution requires it should tinues to receive from all foreign powers
have, and to which, in my opinion, it is so assurances of their earnest desire to culti-
justly entitled. I am aware, my lords, that vate the relations of peace and friendly
in the measure alluded to, there has neces- understanding with his Majesty;" and our


at the Opening of the Sesgion.


Nov. 21, 1826. 14





15 HOUSE OF LORDS,
gratitude is due to his Majesty for the ex-
ertions, which his Speech, delivered this
day from the throne, informs us his Ma-
jesty is making, either singly, or in con-
junction with his allies, as well to arrest
the progress of hostilities, as to prevent
the interruption of peace in different parts
of the world." Your lordships will, I am
sure, feel grateful to his Majesty for the
deep sympathy which he has expressed
for the sufferings which have been so se-
verely felt in the manufacturing districts
of the kingdom, and it is highly gratifying
to know, that the depression under
which the trade and manufactures of our
country have been labouring, and which
has led to that distress, has, in some de-
gree, abated, and that there is reason to
believe that that abatement will be pro-
gressive." From a topic which alludes
to the sufferings of any class of our fellow-
subjects, it is indeed a difficult task to find
subject for consolation; yet, my lords, I can-
not but think thateven there some consola-
tion is to be found: I mean, my lords, in
that patience with which those sufferings
have been borne; because that patience, and
the implicit obedience to the laws, which
have been every where observed, afford the
strongest proofs, that the operative classes
of the kingdom are well aware, that their
sufferings do not proceed from causes,
which it is in the power of man imme-
diately to remove; and that they enter-
tain a full reliance on receiving all that
aid which can be afforded in the paternal
anxiety of their sovereign, and in the
watchful attention of his ministers to avail
themselves of every means, that offer to-
wards alleviating their distress. The
feverish excitement consequent upon the
sudden changes which arose from the
transition from war to peace,. appears to
have subsided, and the illusions which it
gave birth to have disappeared. Time
and patience will, by the blessing of Pro-
vidence, soon, I trust, restore our com-
mercial pursuits to their wonted prospe-
rity-that prosperity which has placed our
country on the proud eminence on which
she stands amidst the surrounding nations
of Europe. I shall not, my lords, avail
myself of your kindness any longer; but
beg to add, that I have the honour to se-
cond the motion of the noble earl.
Lord King rose to assure their lordships,
that he had no objection either to the Ad-
dress proposed by the noble earl, or to the
Speech which his Majesty had delivered


Address on the King's Speech 16
that day from the throne. All the fault
which he had to find was, that the Speech
did not go far enough-that it omitted
the most material occurrences. As far as
it went, it was good enough, but it did
not say enough: it did not describe the
real state of the country, and it was there-
fore his intention to move an Amendment.
Their lordships had been told, both in the
Speech from the throne, and in the speech
of the noble seconder, a great deal about
the distress which had prevailed; and this
was repeated in the proposed Address, so
that it was a seven-times repeated tale.
To speak of that deep distress in such a
manner was to no purpose. It was not a
bit more manly or more useful, than the
proclamation published yearly, at every
assize town, in the name of his Majesty
George 4th. Talking of the distress did
no more to relieve it than that proclama-
tion could do. He would rather see some
remedial measures; a determination to
reduce the expenditure of the country; a
determination to diminish the army, to
diminish the national burthens, and to get
rid of the Corn-laws. It was all vox et
preterea nihil-mere opiates to lull them
asleep, and what parliament wanted was,
not opiates, but something to rouse it to
examine the state of the country. The
beginning of a new parliament was a fa-
vourable opportunity to revise their past
acts, to repent their manifold sins and
transgressions, and to resolve to lead a
new life. The last parliament had done
something good; but it might have done
more, if they had adopted the Corn-bill of
the noble earl opposite, and the economy
recommended by that side of the House.
That parliament did many things it ought
not to have done, and it left undone many
things it ought to have done. That par-
liament voted a profligate expenditure,
and for that he found fault with it. It
was also an army-voting parliament, and
for that he condemned it. It was a pa-
lace-voting parliament, and he hoped this
would not be a palace-voting parliament.
That parliament did many incorrect and
many foolish things; but the worst and
most foolish thing it did was that relative
to the Dead Weight, which surpassed in
mystery the mystery of transubstantiation.
The Catholics were often derided in that
House for their absurd faith; but they
might now retort on the Protestant chan-
cellor of the Exchequer of that day,
who had proposed the extraordinary mys-





17 at the Opening of the Session.
tery of the Dead Weight, and persuaded
parliament to agree to his proposition. He
hoped that this mystery would be got rid
of on the first opportunity. It would be
no great exertion of the present parliament
to grant ministers that indemnity they
asked for; namely, allowing the importa-
tion of that grain which had been described
as food for man in Scotland, and for horses
in England, and the importation of other
corn that was fit to be eaten by other
animals. But he hoped the present
parliament would do more than this.
Parliament was, however, the slowest
learner, the most backward and perverse
scholar, he ever knew. It took ten years
to teach it some few of the truths of
political economy, of which some gentle-
men even yet entertained so much dread.
For two years it was drilled into, and then
seemed scarcely to comprehend, the
doctrine of transition from war to peace,
which was frequently and forcibly incul-
cated on it, that it might not insist on
reducing the expenditure, and that it
might not suppose excessive taxation was
the cause of the distress at that time. A
whole year and more it was taught without
ever learning, he believed, the great truth
of over-production. For a long time it
listened with surprise to the great merit
of digging holes and filling them up
again, and then again digging holes and
then refilling them. But the most difficult
lesson of all, was the Canada Corn-bill,
the doctrines of which many persons still
refused to assent to. Then there was
that other Corn-bill, which the other
parliament had never comprehended, and
which he hoped this parliament would.
Much was said about the bad system of
Eton and Westminster, where people
passed ten years of their lives learning
two languages; but these two languages
were effectually taught; the boys did not
learn much, but they did learn to read an
old song. Homer and Virgil were good
old songs. But the parliament, with all
the teaching it got, did not learn an old
song. Their lordships had heard what
the last parliament had done; and he
would now turn to what ministers were
doing. They were learning too-they
were taking lessons of the noble and learn-
ed lord on the woolsack, and had not
done any thing. They were taking a
lesson of doubting and pausing. If' in
riding through the country one saw an
estate falling to ruin, the fences broken


Nov. 21, 1826. 18
down, the land over-run with weeds, the
house falling to decay, there was hardly
any occasion to ask the reason-that
estate was in Chancery. In like manner,
when the country was in a state of distress,
that was because the ministers were
doubting and pausing. An estate was
ruined because it was in Chancery [That
was when lord King was chancellor, from
the lord chancellor-hear I and a laugh],
and the country was involved in distress
because ministers were doubting. If our
intelligent artizans were emigrating, and
carrying with them that knowledge which
would establish manufactories in other
countries, it was because ministers were
pausing. If capital was driven out of the
country-if profits were low-if our
manufacturers could no longer compete
with those of other countries-it was also
because ministers were doubting and
pausing. They were the most extraordinary
doubters and pausers, excepting lord
chancellors- whether lord chancellor
King or lord chancellor Eldon-he had
ever witnessed. He must say, however,
in favour of the noble earl, that his delays
only ruined the suitors in his court, while
nothing less than the ruin of the country
was caused by the doubts and pausings of
ministers. It was yet doubtful whether
the Corn-bill was to be a cabinet question
or not; and, like the Catholic question,
he believed it was not, because no mea-
sure of importance was made a cabinet
question. The famous Corn-bill of 1815
was not a cabinet measure; it was got up
by Irish jobbers, well seconded, indeed,
by the jobbers both of England and Scot-
land. They fixed the importation price
at eighty shillings ; at which sum they, in
their great mercy, would allow the people
to get bread. They had not, indeed, always
obtained this sum, but they intended to
wring it from the people. If parliament
wished to see in what light its conduct
was received, let members look at the
different public meetings. Their lordships
and the other house of parliament were
considered as a body of landlords, who
had the power to make what laws they
pleased; and made use of that power to
levy a tax on the people. Of the other
House it was said, that the country gen-
tlemen had entered into an implied con-
tract with ministers to support extravagant
establishments, if ministers would secure
them high prices. It was in this manner
the parliament was spoken and thought of





19 HOUSE OF LORDS,
in the country. In this way was the
extraordinary expenditure of the govern-
ment accounted for. The country gentle-
men sanctioned a taxation of upwards of
fifty millions a year. This was the cause
why, in the twelfth year of peace, there
was no reduction of the national debt;
and why the peace, or rather war, establish-
ments still cost upwards of twenty
millions sterling per annum. It seemed
as if the object of government was to try
by experiment, not how cheaply, but how
dearly and costly, government could be
carried on. We enjoyed the bad pre-
eminence of being the most taxed people,
and having the most expensive govern-
ment, in the world. His Majesty, though
it was so generally allowed that this
enormous taxation was a cause of distress,
said nothing in his Speech about reducing
it. The estimates were to be framed with
a consideration to the exigencies of the
public service, but not with any regard to
the distress of the people. Under this
view of the matter, he had drawn up an
Amendment, which he should move should
be added to the Address.--His lordship
sat down with moving, that the following
Amendment be added to the Address:--
We trust that a steady adherence to
just and liberal principles of policy will
prevent a repetition of those distresses
which, in the course of the last ten years,
have repeatedly and severely afflicted all
classes of your Majesty's subjects.
We have observed, with the utmost
anxiety, those vicissitudes in the state
and condition of the landed, commercial,
and manufacturing, interests, those alter-
nate seasons of prosperity and adversity, of
a short and fallacious prosperity followed by
wide-spread calamity and ruin, so unusual
and so unnatural in a period of profound
peace. We cannot avoid comparing the
condition of all the great leading interests
of the country during the last ten years of
peace, and contrasting it with the unin-
terrupted prosperity and comfort enjoyed
by all classes of our fellow-subjects during
the ten years which followed the conclu-
sion of the American war. At that period
the civil and military establishments were
fixed on the most economical scale of ex-
pense; the advantages of our insular
situation were duly appreciated; a state of
peace was then a state also of repose from
unnecessary taxation; the wise economy
which afforded ease to the subject, prepared,
at the same time, for the government the


Address on- the King's Speeck 20
means of those astonishing exertions which
were called forth in the course of the last
war. At the present time, with a taxation
exceeding fifty millions, little if any pro-
gress has been made in the reduction of
the national debt; and, with a peace
establishment of twenty millions, nearly
quadruple that of the former peace, we
fear that, from the state of our finances,
this kingdom is very ill prepared to resist
the aggressions of foreign states.
During the former peace, the prohi-
bitory system did not apply in practice to
the most important article of produce-to
the trade in corn. The ports of Great
Britain were then constantly open to the
admission of foreign wheat at a low and
almost nominal duty, and at no period of
our history did the landed interest, aswell
as the whole community, enjoy greater
security and prosperity.
The existing laws, which prohibit the
importation of foreign corn, except when
the price of grain shall have risen to an
extravagant height in the home market,
are found to be highly detrimental to the
public prosperity. They cause an unne-
cessary waste of labour in the cultivation
of poor lands; they enhance the cost of
food; they diminish the profits of stock;
they have a strong tendency to drive
capital abroad; they are most injurious to
trade, by limiting the beneficial exchange
of foreign raw produce with the manufac-
tured produce of British industry; they
encourage the establishment of rival manu-
factures in foreign countries ; and, lastly,
they are unjust, inasmuch as they prevent
the people from obtaining a supply of the
first necessary of life at the cheapest mar
ket.
"During the former peace, and until
the unfortunate era of 1797, the currency
of the country was in a fixed and perfect
state, being composed, in a large propor-
tion, of the lawful gold coin of the realm,
in its nature not liable to excessive issues
and sudden contractions. We have since
endured all the evils arising from a large,
and, in many instances, from an insecure
circulation of paper, creating at one time,
by an undue extension, an artificial and
delusive prosperity, and producing at an-
other time, most sudden and severe re-
verses, destructive alike to property and
industry.
In the course of ten years of uninter-
rupted peace, we have observed, with the
utmost pain, the frequent recurrence of a





Nov. 21, 1826. 22


state of calamity and ruin, unexampled in
the midst of war, and feel convinced that
the only substantial security for the future
will be found in reducing and retrenching
the public expenditure, in the full and
entire restoration of a secure currency, by
the removal of all traces of those innova-
tions in our monetary system made in
1797, together with such additional secu-
rities as may be necessary to place all that
part of the currency consisting of the pro-
missory notes of private bankers on a
solid foundation; and, above all, in a re-
peal of the Corn-laws, and in the abolition
of all that is still suffered to remain of
that impolitic prohibitory system, which
sacrifices the interests of the many to the
few, and favours the producers at the ex-
pense of the great body of consumers, who
are the community at large."
The Amendment was put and negatived.
On the question upon the original Address
being put,
The Earl of Lauderdale rose, not to
object to the Address, but to say a few
words on the subject of the Order in
Council, alluded to in his Majesty's
Speech. He should not have troubled
their lordships, had it not been from what
fell from the noble seconder. His Ma-
jesty's Speech, in reference to the Order of
the Council, said, that it should be laid on
their lordships' table; and when it was
laid on the table was the proper time,
according to usage, to take it into consi-
deration. When that took place, the
noble earl opposite would probably move
an Address to his Majesty. [The earl of
Liverpool expressed his dissent.] If the
noble earl did not, it was competent for
any other noble lord to do so; and when
that time came, he should be ready to give
his opinion upon the subject. He wished,
in consequence of the noble seconder hav-
ing thought proper prematurely, to praise
that Order in Council, to guard himself
from being supposed to approve of it. He
should be ready to state his opinion when
the proper time came; but it was not yet
before their lordships, and could not with
propriety be discussed.
The Duke of Buckingham said, that,
agreeing, as he did, with the Address, he
wished to state, in a very few words, the
grounds upon which he gave his assent to
it, and the limits within which he confined
his approbation of it. He could not
approve of the policy or propriety of
painting in deeper colours than neces-


sary, the difficulties and the distresses
under which the country laboured, yet the
magnitude of those difficulties and dis-
tresses could not be denied. It was not
his wish to exaggerate them, nor could it
be the wish of their lordships to do so; all
he wished was, a discreet, sober, and steady
view of those difficulties, in order that
not a moment might be lost--and he felt
that not a moment was to be lost-in alter-
ingthat system to which he firmlybelievedall
the distresses and calamities of the country
were to be traced. The difficulties under
which the country laboured were not to be
attributed to any administration in parti-
cular-they were wholly attributable to
the system which had subsisted ever since
the year 1793-which, ever since that
time, had been working mischief-which
had twice thrown the country from the
highest pitch of prosperity down to the
lowest depths of distress. So long as that
system was continued, he was persuaded
the country could never prosper. Nothing,
he was persuaded, could save the country
from ruin, but an entire alteration of that
system. Of that system it might be said-
if he might be allowed to use so figurative
an expression-that it had again plunged
us into the depths of ruin, from the top of
the wave to which the commercial tempest
had raised us. It would be impossible
for him in that desultory discussion to
enter into any detailed views of the sub.
ject. He wished, on the present occasion,
merely to express his belief and conviction,
that our commercial and agricultural diffi-
culties arose out of the state of the cur-
rency of the country, and that to an alter-
ation in the state of that currency they
could alone look for relief. It was the
disproportion between the paper and the
metallic currency that had occasioned
high prices, and produced commercial dif-
ficulties, which could only be remedied
by an open competition in the market,
instead of the system of treating with the
Bank alone, which the government had
hitherto pursued. He was persuaded
that the true principle of relief was to be
found in the adjustment of the metallic
and paper currency, in such proportions
as experience might prove to be necessary,
in order to prevent gold from being driven
out of the country. To restore the cur-
rency to that healthy state, and to settle
the proportions which ought to be estab-
lished between the metallic and paper cur-
rency, the government ought not to com-


at the Openling of the Session.





23 HOUSE OF LORDS,


municate merely with the governor and
company of the Bank of England, but
with the merchants and traders of the
city. His feelings on this part of the
subject had been excited by the manner
in which his Majesty's ministers had acted
on the question of free trade. He could
not see, nor had he ever been able to see,
the reason why the question of the trade
in farming should be separated from the
question of the other trades and manufac-
turing interests of the country. What
had been the principle on which his Ma-
jesty's ministers acted in establishing
what, in common parlance, was called the
free trade of the country? They were
not starting in a fair race with the rest of
Europe; for, unfortunately, when the
amount of taxation under which this
country laboured was taken into consider-
ation, it would be found that our manu-
facturers were wholly unable to compete
with the foreigner. The country looked
to his majesty's ministers for relief, and it
became absolutely imperative upon them
to bring forward some specific measure, in
order to effect that relief. His Majesty's
ministers possessed the confidence of the
country, and in return for that confidence
it was hoped, expected, and believed, that
they would bring forward some measure
-not to provide for high or low prices,
for it was neither the interest nor the wish
of the farmer to have high prices, but to
place the trade in corn on the same footing
as the other trades and manufactures of the
country, protected only by such duties as
might enable the British farmer to com-
pete with the foreigner. Every man who
knew any thing of this important subject,
knew well that the farmers did not wish
for high prices; what they wanted was,
not high prices, but stability of prices;
such a stability as might enable them, in
common with other traders, to buy and
sell their commodities with confidence and
security. He repeated, that what the
country looked for-and he wished again
and again to impress it on his Majesty's
ministers -was, that they would bring
forward some specific measures which
might attain the great end of putting our
commercial, manufacturing, and agri-
cultural, interests on the same footing of
free trade, regulated by such protecting
duties as would enable them to enter into
fair competition with the foreigner. All
measures short of this would be inadequate
to relieve the distresses of the country.


Such a measure could alone save the
country from ruin, and without it, it would
be in vain to look for a restoration of that
prosperity and pre-eminence, which this
country once enjoyed above the rest of the
nations of Europe.
The Earl of Darnley said, he did not
rise to enter into any discussion of the
merits of the Order in Council, for he
agreed that that question could only be
properly discussed when it came regularly
before their lordships; but as the sub-
ject had been incidentally mentioned, he
should not do justice to his own feelings,
if he did not say, that, taking into con-
sideration the time at which the Order
was issued,the aspect of the crops in Ire-
land, and the effect which a deficient
harvest was likely to have on the popula-
tion in that country, his Majesty's ministers
were perfectly justified in the measure
they had adopted. He would go further,
and say, that they were not only perfectly
justified in adopting that measure, but
that they would have deserved repro-
bation if they had not adopted it. The
calamity anticipated had, by the bounty
of Providence, been averted; but ministers
were not the less entitled to the approba-
tion of the country, for mitigating the
expected evil. For his own part, he
heartily approved and commended the
measure.
Lord Clifden said, that ministers were
perfectly justified in issuing the Order in
Council, though, by a fortunate dispen-
sation of Providence, the rains, which had
fallen in August, had averted the expected
calamity. The failure of the potato crops
in Ireland would have made the price of
oats and barley enormous. No rents
could possibly have been paid under such
circumstances; the farmers must have
eaten their rents, for they could not be
expected to starve, in order to pay their
landlords. Ministers had his hearty
thanks for the provident and judicious
measure they had adopted to mitigate a
calamity which the bounty of Providence
had happily averted.
The Earl of Liverpool said, he did not
rise for the purpose of entering into the
discussion of any of the topics which the
noble lord opposite had introduced into
his amendment. The Address had, in-
deed, been framed in such a way as to
render any observations on the topics in-
troduced by the noble lord unnecessary,
and many of those topics were of such an


Address on th~e King's Spleech





25 at the Opening of the Session.
extent, and such a character, that if any
administration had embodied their opinions
upon them, in a Speech from the Throne,
theywould havejustly subjected themselves
to the censure of the House, for having pro-
posed them in so exceptionable a shape,
on the first day of the session, without
any previous notice. With respect to the
observations which had fallen from the
noble earl, he could only say, that the
Address did not pledge the House to any
opinion of the propriety of the Order in
Council, but merely to an early considera-
tion of the propriety of that measure. It
had not been the usual course to move
an Address upon the Order in Council.
The Order must be followed by an act of
indemnity, in some degree conveying an
approbation of the measure; and when
that bill came regularly before the House,
it would be the fit time to discuss the pro-
priety of the measure. He admitted,
however, that as soon as the Order should
be laid upon the table of the House, it
would be open to any member either to
move an Address upon it, or to make any
other motion he might think proper. It
was not necessary to say anything more
on this subject, but he would remind their
lordships of one fact, which ought not to
be forgotten-though facts of this kind
were apt to be forgotten, when a time of
difficulty and danger was past-that there
was about one fortnight in the course of
the last summer, as alarming with respect
to the produce of the earth, as any period
that had ever been remembered. He did
not mean to rest the propriety of the Order
in Council upon that fact alone, but he
begged to call to the recollection of the
House what was the state of this country
with respect to the crops towards the end
of August, and thebeginning of September,
and what change took place, fortunately
for this country, and still more for-
tunately for Ireland, in the course of
the ensuing weeks. Having said thus
much, it was not his intention to make
any observations on what had been thrown
out by the noble duke, with respectto the
important subjects of the currency and the
Corn-laws. From the noble duke's opinions
with respect to the currency, he had the
misfortune entirely to differ. This,however,
was not the moment for entering into the dis-
cussion of that subject; neither was it the
time for discussing another important sub-
ject, which would require the most serious
consideration of parliament; namely, the


Nov. 21, 1826. 26
Corn-laws. Looking to the peculiar cir-
cumstances under which parliament was
assembled, and to the attendance which
was to be expected at that period of the
year, it certainly would not be consistent
with what the government owed to the
country, if, in a parliament convened in
the month of November for a specific
object, they were to bring forward so ex-
tensive and important a measure. He
now gave notice, and he wished it to be
distinctly understood, that at the earliest
convenient day after the recess, it was his
intention to call the attention of that
House to the important subject of the
Corn-laws.
The Address was then agreed to nem.
diss.
The Earl of Liverpool moved, that the
noble earl who had so long acted as
Chairman of their committees, with so
much honour to himself, and benefit to the
country, should continue to take the Chair
in all committees of that House.
The Lord Chancellor said, the House
fully appreciated the services of the noble
earl, and no man was more sensible than
himself of the able manner in which he
had discharged the duties of the office ,
The Earl of Shaftesbury expressed his
high sense of the approbation which his
endeavours to discharge faithfully the
duties of the office had received from
their lordships, and relied upon the indul-
gence and assistance of the House to
enable him to deserve a continuance of
that approbation.
The motion was agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, November 21.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
TIHE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
Speaker acquainted the House, that the
House had been in the House of Peers,
where his Majesty had delivered a most
gracious Speech to both Houses of Par-
liament, and of which, to prevent mis-
takes, he had obtained a copy. After the
Speaker had read the Speech,
The Hon. T. Liddell said, that, in per-
forming the task which had been allotted
him, of moving the thanks of that House
to his Majesty, for his Majesty's most
gracious Speech from the Throne, he
could not deny that he felt a considerable
degree of difficulty. If the task of ad-
dressing that House for the first time was,





27 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
even on the most simple occurrence, and
on subjects the most light and easy, one
which created diffidence and distrust, how
much more must he feel upon such an
important occasion, and under circum-
stances of such peculiar interest; and he
begged leave to assure them, that the
situation alone in which he had been
placed in that House could have induced
him to undertake the performance of so
trying and arduous a duty. Beseeching,
therefore, the indulgence of the House, he
would proceed briefly to direct their atten-
tion to the leading topics in the Speech
which they had just heard read from
the Chair. That Speech might be pro-
perly considered under four heads. The
first related to the Order in Council for
the permission of the importation of
foreign grain; the second, to the glo-
rious conclusion of the long-protracted
war in India; the third, to our foreign
relations, and the prospect of the con-
tinuance of tranquillity; and the fourth
led to a consideration of the internal
situation of the country. In the first sen-
tence of the Speech, his Majesty expresses
a confident hope, that the legislative
government will see reason to sanction
the provisions of the Order in Council
relating to the importation of foreign
grain, and to the measures taken for car-
rying them into effectual execution. When
they considered the beneficial conse-
quences which resulted from the measures
carried into execution by the government
on this occasion, and the dangers which
might have arisen by delaying such a
necessary exertion of authority, he con-
ceived there could be no difference of
opinion with regard to the propriety of
the course which had been adopted.
When they recollected the small quantity
of grain in the market, and the prospect
of a very inadequate supply from the late
harvest-when they reflected, that the
supply from both was by no means suffi-
cient for the consumption of the popula-
tion-when they considered how very
large a portion of that population was
placed in a situation of the most trying
distress-when they called to their minds
how much that distress, which unhappily
continued to exist, might have been aggra-
vated by any want or any extraordinary
price of that description of grain more
immediately necessary to their subsistence
-when they considered all these things,
he would say, that if his Majesty's minis-


Address on the King's Speech 28
ters had remained in a state of apathy,
unmindful of the wishes or the wants of
his Majesty's subjects, or dreading the
responsibility which a compliance with
their desires might throw upon them, they
would have proved themselves objects of
censure and condemnation, as they now
were of approbation and regard. No
course could have been pursued more
adequate to the end proposed, nor more
becoming the high station which they
were called upon to fill. In the hour of
trial they had not shrunk from their duty
-they had not feared the responsibility-
they did not close their ears to the com-
plaints, or shut their eyes upon the suffer-
ings of their fellow subjects; but at once,
by a decided and manly interference, pro-
duced a free supply of grain, at a time'
the most needful and most important, and
in a manner the least injurious to the
interests of the other classes of the com-
munity. Upon a measure, therefore, so
beneficial to all the great interests, he
confidently hoped that there could be no
opposition to the concurrence which was
required from them.-The next topic to
which the Speech adverted was, the glo-
rious termination of the war in which
this country had been engaged with the
powers of the Burmese empire. What-
ever conflicting opinions there might have
been with regard to the commencement
of that war, he was confident that all must
consider its conclusion to be as advanta-
geous to the country which was compelled
to engage in it, as honourable to those
gallant armies which had brought it to
such a successful conclusion. It ought
to be recollected, that it was, on the part
of the government of India, a war of
invasion, resisted, on the part of the
invaded, by all those peculiar means of
defence, for which the Burmese had at all
times been remarkable; and that that
war had not been entered into until nego-
tiation had failed, until remonstrance had
been neglected, and menaces despised.
He need not remind the House of the
importance of public opinion in India, or
of the necessity of preserving that moral
influence over the minds of the people,
by which alone our right of control could
be effectually secured. The experience of
more than half a century had proved the
necessity of that course of policy which
had been pursued; and when, in the pre-
sent case, as in every other difference with
the native powers, it became necessary to





29 at the Opening of the Session.
have recourse to arms, to obtain that
redress for insult or aggression which had
been refused to remonstrance or complaint,
the result had proved, that they were in a
situation to resent insult and chastise
aggression, from whatever quarter it might
proceed; and he had an earnest confi-
dence, that this had been done in a man-
ner so effectual as to prevent any disturb-
ance of their tranquillity in future.-The
next topic alluded to in the Speech was,
the assurance his Majesty gave of his
exertions to allay the distrust, or appease
the hostility of his allies in different parts
of the world. He was sure the House
would do justice to the feelings of his
Majesty's government on this subject, in
their attempt to allay hostility; and he
hoped that he might upon that point be
permitted to allude to the late proceedings
in Spain and Portugal, and to express a
confident hope, that the late events in the
western quarter would lead to the ultimate
establishment of representative govern-
ments over the whole peninsula. And
here he was free to confess, that when he
looked to the able and indefatigable minis-
ter who presided over the foreign affairs
of the country, and who had, by his
courage and conduct, so ably maintained
its interests at home and its dignity abroad;
and when he recollected the prompt and
decided recognition by that right hon.
gentleman of the independence of the
States of South America-when he re-
membered the great privileges which he
had obtained for our trade and commerce
by that recognition, he felt bound, on
acknowledging the debt of gratitude that
was due to him, to say, that while he saw
him still occupying the situation he had
thus honourably sustained, he felt that his
claims to present approbation entitled him
to future confidence. And here he could
not forbear expressing a hope, that the
time was not far distant when it might be
permitted to renovate the drooping spirits,
and support the tottering banners, of those
gallant men who had been engaged in
such a long-protracted struggle; and to
express a hope, that, dishonoured and
insulted as Greece had been, she would
be raised, ere long, from her present pros-
trate condition, to that station which she
was so well qualified to occupy among the
nations of the earth [hear!]. He was
afraid he had, in this instance, gone be-
yond the bounds of that discretion which
ought to be exercised on such occasions


Nov. 21, 1826. 30
as the present; but, if he had erred, he
trusted his error would not be unpar-
donable, and that no sincere wish breath-
ed in favour of freedom would ever
be heard in that House with anger or
indifference [hear, hear].-He now ap-
proached the last division of his Majes-
ty's Speech, in which he spoke of the
sufferings of his people in their late
distresses, and of his sincere sympathy
with their affliction, and his firm expect-
ations that the time was not distant when
their commerce and industry would re-
sume their wonted activity. The country
knew well the sympathy of that royal
person in their sufferings, and had wit-
nessed with so much gratitude, his gene-
rous exertions and his bountiful donations
for their relief, that he would not attempt,
by any praise of his, to weaken those
expressions of feeling which were con,
veyed in the unqualified attachment of
every class of his subjects. He was,
however, but too well aware that some
interests in the country still laboured
under very great depression, although he
trusted, that before any long period
elapsed, the united wisdom and talent
which he saw collected around him would
devise such measures as would procure for
them an adequate and effectual relief,
He was not disposed to state any thing
unfairly, or to regard the state of the
country with any prejudiced eye; but he
must say, there appeared to him to be
two things which seemed to gild the pro-
spect-which kept alive hope, and nourish-
ed expectation-and these were, first, the
undoubted fact, that internal consumption
had not materially diminished, in despite
of all the suffering they had witnessed;
and, secondly, the patience, the unex-
ampled patience, with which the unem-
ployed had endured their privations,
amidst temptations of no common de-
scription. For, in their situation, tempta-
tion had not been absent. There had
been then, as formerly, no want of sedu-
cers; but the talisman had lost its influ-
ence, and the seducers and their objects
had been held in equal abhorrence.-The
hon. gentleman then proceeded to observe,
that he had avowed himself a friend
to the present administration, but he
begged to say, that he was pledged neither
to .men nor measures. His Majesty's
ministers he considered to be entitled to
his support upon general principles; but
he retained to himself the full exercise of





31 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
his own discretion upon every question
which might be submitted to the House ;
and, as long as he continued to be honour-
ed by the confidence of the great county
which had sent him there, he would
adhere to the same rule of inviolable in-
dependence.-It only remained for him to
say, that their prospect, although gloomy,
was not, in his opinion, by any means
devoid of hope. He trusted, trade itself
might derive some benefit from a refer-
ence to the causes of those evils by which
the country had lately been agitated;
and that, as our natural atmosphere was
said to be cleared by a violent conflict of
the elements, so our political horizon
would assume a brighter aspect after the
convulsions by which it had been agitated.
He trusted that, in the course of the
ensuing year, there would, with increased
confidence, spring up increased activity,
and a return to a more sound and health-
ful state. He had now drawn the atten-
tion of the House to the arduous task he
had undertaken; and if, in so doing, he
had deviated into irrelevant topics, he
trusted he might be permitted to throw
himself on the indulgence of the House.
That indulgence had been extended
towards him in a manner he little merited;
and, for the attention with which he had
been heard, and the encouragement with
which he had been cheered, he returned
the House his most heartfelt thanks. It
only remained for him to move, That an
humble Address be presented to his
Majesty, in answer to his Majesty's most
gracious Speech.-The hon. member then
moved the Address, which was, as usual,
an echo of the Speech from the Throne,
and sat down amidst loud cheers.
Mr. George Winn (member for Maldon),
in rising to second the Address, said, that
he did so with feelings of great anxiety
and of great pleasure also. The anxiety
that he felt was relieved by the gratifica-
tion it afforded him, that the first words
which he had an opportunity of uttering
in that House were in the expression of
sentiments of loyalty towards the sovereign,
and of thanks to him on the occasion of
the exercise of one of the most important
branches of the royal prerogative. In this
feeling of loyalty he was satisfied that all
who heard him cordially participated.
They had that day had an opportunity
of witnessing the parental regard the
sovereign had manifested for the preserva-
tion of the rights and liberties of the


Address on the King's Speech 32
people; and they must feel that so far
from the royal prerogatives being incon-
sistent with those rights and liberties, they
mutually supported each other. Among
the topics of congratulation afforded by
the Speech from the Throne, was the an-
nouncement of peace, and the gratifying
prospect of its continuance. The termi-
nation of a war, such as we had been
engaged in in the East, was attended with
many and peculiar advantages, on which
it was needless to expatiate. The pro-
spect of the continuance of this peace, how-
ever, was more to be relied on from our
internal means of preserving it, than from
any external causes. Within ourselves
we must look for its preservation, as well
as for the prosecution of war, if war
should at any time be found necessary.
England was a country, powerful in more
respects than one; it was a commercial,
an agricultural, and a martial, country;
and, unlike the dangerous beauty of Italy,
which, whilst it presented a temptation,
presented no formidable resistance to
invasion; it possessed ample and varied
means to repel invasion, and on any and
every occasion, to vindicate itself. Our
commercial importance imparted habits
of diligence, and brought with it know-
ledge to direct that commerce in useful
and profitable channels. We had an
active and industrious agricultural com-
munity-a fertile soil-presenting a flat
face, favourable to the growth of corn, and
ofevery kind ofagricultu ral produce. More-
over, we had a warlike sword and a mar-
tial spirit to protect us, and these com-
bined resources raised us above appre-
hension from the gripe of foreign aggres-
sion. As long as the foreign interests of
the nation should continue to be con-
ducted in the exemplary manner in which
they had been directed by the right hon.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, he
had no doubt that the honour and dignity
of the nation would be maintained, and
the country effectually preserved from the
miseries of war. In justification of this
eulogium, which the subject had extracted
from him, he would allude to two instances
in which the wise and upright policy of
that right hon. gentleman had been most
conspicuous. When the admirers of the
well-regulated balance of power in Eu-
rope had justly apprehended that the
interference by France in the affairs of
Spain was calculated to impair or to destroy
it, and when the slightest encouragement





at the 'Opening of the Session.


would have induced the whole people of
England, smarting as they were under the
effects of former wars, to engage in that
which seemed to invite them, the exertions
of the right hon. gentleman had prevented
any indiscreet display of the martial ar-
dour of the country, and had, at the same
time, preserved the national honour invio-
late. The other instance to which he al-
luded was the recognition of the indepen-
dence of the South American states. No
measure required, in his opinion, more
profound diplomatic skill than this. Not
only was it necessary to have great know-
ledge of the law of nations, but the nicest
and most accurate skill in the application
of that knowledge to the struggling inter-
ests of the colonies and the power of the
mother country. The manner in which
this great measure had been effected,
proved that the right hon. gentleman pos-
sessed the first qualities of a statesman,
and the result had proved that it was wise
and just in its conception, not only by the
advantages which had ensued, but by the
fact that the other nations of Europe, how-
ever slowly and reluctantly, were compelled
to follow the example which England had
set them, of recognizing the independence
of those states. He called these facts to
mind, not because it was necessary, but
because, in the present feverish state
of things, it was a consolation to know that
whatever exigencies might arrive, we had
the advantage of that commanding and
enlightened mind, the wolth and power
of which had already been proved under
circumstances of the most trying descrip-
tion. Let the House look to the situation
of the newly-recognized colonies, the peo-
ple of which hardly knew (so unsettled was
the present state of affairs in them) to what
government they belonged: let the House
look to the condition of Portugal and
Spain, burning with feelings of old
antipathy and national aversion against
each other; or to Greece, that oppressed
country, struggling against domestic and
foreign foes, the former more fearful than
the latter, and against whose crimes he
could not trust himself to express the in-
dignation he felt-and all would concur in
proving the advantages which had already
resulted from the conduct pursued by the
government, and the policy of persisting
in the same course. But, in order to
effect as much as would be necessary to be
done, be feared that when they came to
consider the funds that must be supplied
VOL. XVIL


for those purposes, they would be very
considerable, and that it would be impos-
sible to consider the country as safe, if the
estimates were framed on as low a scale as
strictly belonged to a peace establishment.
The unsettled condition of the countries he
had mentioned, the circumstance of their
fleets not being under proper control, and
the necessity of protecting the interests
and property of British subjects, would
make it impossible, he feared, to reduce
the expenditure to so low a rate as every
friend of the country must devoutly wish.
The next point to which he came was the
internal concerns of the country, and of
these the first in importance was the late
Order in Council. He had given to this
subject the best attention he was able; and
the result of his deliberations was, that
the step taken by the government had been,
in every point of view, expedient and ne-
cessary. There had appeared to be a de-
ficiency in the crop of oats, and there was
every reason to believe that there would
consequently be a great increase in the
price of this article of universal consump-
tion, and which formed the chief food of
the inhabitants of the northern parts of
the kingdom. A failure had also take
place in the potato crop; and the dis-
tress which that must have occasioned in
Ireland would have been so great, if mea-
sures had not been adopted to avert it,
that he could not bear to think of it.
Having named Ireland, he would say that
he felt the deepest interest in the concerns
of that beautiful, interesting, and lovely
country, and of the noble race of men she
produced, and that he would be, upon all
occasions, the warm supporter of any mea-
sure which might be proposed for her
benefit, excepting such as might endanger
the present establishment in church and
state. Perhaps the House was not aware
of the importance of the crop of potatoes
in Ireland ; buthebelieved that the failure
of the crops, and the disturbances of that
country, had always been simultaneous.
The residence of Irish proprietors on their
estates, coupled with the introduction of
English capital, were the measures best
calculated to restore Ireland to prosperity ;
and he wished Irish gentlemen to believe,
that, however their opinions might differ
as to the causes of the distress which ex-
isted in that country, the greatest evil
which could be done to it would be to
prevent the introduction of English capital.
He found that he had diverged a little from
C


Nov. 21, 1826. 34






the subject of the importation of oats, to complain of the very different practice
which he begged leave to return. He re- which, of late years, had crept into the
peated, that he thought that measure ne- construction and management of these
cessary, and he rejoiced to find that, as speeches from the throne, from that which
the prices proved, it had not interfered formerly prevailed. Under the former
with the agricultural interests of the coun- practice, it was usual to give to members,
try. This was not, perhaps, the proper especially to the younger ones, the oppor-
opportunity for mentioning the subject of tunity of knowing, and of considering be-
corn. While he did so, he avowed that forehand, the principal topics adverted to
his mind was open to conviction, but at the in the Speech to be delivered at the open-
same time he must say, that as far as he had ing of a session ; and he should still main-
been able to form an opinion on the sub- tain, that the former practice was by much
ject, he did not see any occasion for alter- the safer and more convenient one, and
ing the existing laws, and he was not that very serious evils, in a variety of cases,
aware that it could be effected with safety had arisen out of the departure from it.
to the agricultural interest, and to the Yet, often as he had felt it necessary to
commercial prosperity of the nation. He urge this matter upon the attention of the
approved of the conduct which ministers House, it was a topic, of which, at least,
had pursued in this respect; because he the Speech from the throne, on this occa-
would much rather see an occasional ex- sion, had deprived him. For, undoubtedly,
ercise of that power, for which the mi- he could not expect the House to listen to
nisters were responsible, than any perma- him with a grave countenance-even were
nent alteration of the Corn-laws. With he himself able, with a grave face, to corn-
the distress of the country every one must plain of not having been allowed three or
sympathize, because every one must feel four days, for the purpose of considering,
it in a greater or a lessdegree. He trusted, studying, weighing,anddigesting, a Speech,
however, that it was considerably abated ; that was composed-(so far as he had been
and he rejoiced to find that the diminu- able to catch its import, by hearing it read
tion of the revenue had not been found from the Chair, and by the echo of it in
where it might have been most naturally the speeches which the House had just
expected, and where it would have been heard from the hon. mover and seconder
most frightful, namely, in the articles of of the Address)-composed, from begin-
internal consumption. He rejoiced that ning to end, of blanks. Never before had
the eminent talents, such as he saw around he heard Speeches, delivered either by his
and before him, were not absolutely ne- Majesty from the throne, or by any one of
cessary for the discharge of the duty his Majesty's ministers, which touched so
which he had undertaken; but that the lightly-which said such nothings-upon
common education of an English gentle- some of the important subjects it alluded
man, and that second and better educa- to; while it left out others, of the highest
tion which every man who lived in the moment, entirely, though such were pre-
world gave himself (if he thought at all) cisely the topics it ought most clearly to
by habits of reflection and observation, have discussed. And really, judging from
with a mind free from prejudice on all the appearance of that House-from the
subjects, as he hoped his was, accompanied manner in which it had heard this Speech
by a zealous and earnest desire to do what read, and from the sort of impression pro-
was right, and laborious exertion, would duced by the observations of the two hon.
enable him to perform that duty satisfac- gentlemen who had so ably moved and
torily to himself and usefully to his con- seconded the address-he was fidly per-
stituents. He trusted that the day was suaded, that such also was the convic-
at hand, when the burthens of the people tion of all who had heard the Speech in
would be lightened, and would be borne question. But when he spoke thus of the
by the people more cheerfully; and when defects and omissions in it, he begged it
the clouds which had ex aled from tem- might not be supposed that he attributed
porary causes, would be drawn up by the any blame to the preparers of the Speech.
sun of the country's glory.-The hon. gen- They were defects incident more or less to
tleman concluded by seconding the Ad- the prevailing passion for making these
dress. Speeches; and the Speeches themselves
Mr, Brougham said, it had often fallen were, more or less, a mere civility on the
VD his lot, on occasions of this kind, to part of the Crown to the parliament. They


35 H-OUSE OF COMMONS,


Address on the King's Speechi





at the Opening of the Session.


generally, too, as had been observed for
many successive sessions, were so framed,
as to say as little as possible upon the
most difficult circumstances of the times;
but, in no instance, had a speech from the
throne ever so completely failed to notice
such subjects, as the present one had done,
He hoped, however, that he should live
to see the day when this species of intro-
duction to the business of the session, this
most useless, and, because useless, most un -
seemly (he would not use a harsher epithet)
ceremony dispensed with. The best thing
in the Speech which had been delivered
on the present occasion was, that the hon.
mover himself, who must have had all
the necessary opportunities of considering
it before hand, could find no other way
to dispose of it but by escaping from it.
And far, indeed, was he, from finding fault
with the hon. member on that score, be-
cause such a course, in relation to such a
Speech, was matter of absolute necessity.
If his hon. and learned friend, who spoke
last, and who belonged to that profession
which was supposed especially to possess
the faculty of speaking about nothing at
all, had discovered that here was a Speech
upon which even that faculty could not
avail him, and had been obliged to make
a digression to subjects that had been al-
together omitted out of that Speech, his
hon. and learned friend was justified in
his digression ; but the very same omissions
formed one of the grounds of his (Mr.
B.'s) complaints. He really was bound,
at the same time, to observe, after the
praises in which his hon. friend had in-
dulged, of the smoothness and the
richness of the agricultural soil of this
country, that the Speech itself possessed,
at least, one similar good quality, for it
was fertile as well as flat [a laugh.] It
embraced a great number of topics, if it
was explicit upon nope, or upon none of
the more important ones. His hon. and
learned friend had just directed their at-
tention, with some anxiety, to one part of
the Speech, in which, as he stated it, they
were instructed to proceed in the business
of economy and retrenchment in the pub-
lic expenditure. It did appear to him,
that his hon. and learned friend, before he
proceeded to make those observations
which this passage had elicited,- should
have recollected that rule -of law, which
held, '" that deception is apt to lurk under
generalities." Now, that rule ought to be
,p yeryrgrpat; comfort to.his hon. and


learned friend; and should operate to re-
lieve him from the alarm which he had
evidently conceived at the bare suggestion
of economy and retrenchment, in preparing
the estimates for the current year. His
hon. and learned friend had had less ex-
perience than himself, in the matters of
king's speeches and estimates, otherwise
the very last alarm which he could ever
have been subject to, would have been a
dread of those estimates being framed on
too reduced or too economical a scale [a
laugh.] Even had the Speech from the
throne specifically pledged the government
to frame them upon the most modest
scale, the apprehensions of his hon. and
learned friend would have been quite un-
founded. In point of fact, this produc-
tion employed the most vague and general
expressions, in order to intimate the in-
tention of ministers to frame the estimates
after a low rate, that he had ever heard
used, even in a king's Speech. The lan-
guage was to this effect:-that his Ma-
jesty will take care that the estimates shall
be formed with as much attention to eco-
nomy, as the exigencies of the public ser-
vicewill admit." Why-nobody ever heard
the word economy" employed in a
king's speech, or retrenchment mention-
ed in the speech of one of his Majesty's
ministers, without such a qualification
as that; and even in the most wasteful
and extravagant times of the govern-
ment, intentions of retrenchment and
economy had never been hinted at in any
other way. He would fain have his hon.
and learned friend comforted, moreover,
by the assurance that, even when the
strictest economy was professed to be the
favourite object of administration-when
the nation expressed, unanimously, its
earnest desire that it should be practised
in every department of the state-when a
firm resolution was declared on the part
of his Majesty's government that the
wishes of the whole population of the
country should be listened to, and, as far
as possible, complied with, by the adop-
tion of every practicable retrenchment (for
he had even heard such language as this
from the government, on some occasions);
-alarming as all this would have been,
at such times, to his hon. and learned
friend, yet if the period for producing the
estimates had not then arrived, those
alarms of his hon. and learned friend
would subsequently have proved to be as
unfounded as they now were. Those


Nov. 21, 1826. 38





39 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
alarms would afterwards have been dissi-
pated by the very first page of the very
first estimates laid upon the table ; for it
would have clearly demonstrated what was
the real value of professions of economy
so made, and what the vanity of alarms
founded upon such professions. Among
the omissions that he had to charge upon
this Speech from the throne, there were
two, of which he must especially complain
-the one (which had been but ill sup-
plied by his hon. and learned friend in
that part of his digression that extended
to her affairs) was that which regarded
the present state of Ireland-the other
respected this very topic of retrenchment.
Now, it did strike him as one of the most
extraordinary incidents he ever remem-
bered to have happened upon an occasion
of this kind, that when, in the minds of all
men-whether in the sister kingdom, or
in this part of the united empire-there
prevailed but one common opinion on the
present aspect of public affairs; and that
next in importance only to those measures
which related to the food of the people,
and, in many minds, even above those in
importance-the urgent, imperious, neces-
sity was felt of having the affairs of Ire-
land speedily, though maturely and dili-
gently, considered-that from beginning
to end of this Speech the name of Ireland
should never once occur. He had not a
very distinct recollection of the matter;
but this circumstance reminded him of an
extraordinary and analogous fact, that dis-
tinguished the commencement of the
American war. At that period-at the
very moment when we had already arrived
at the crisis in which all men's eyes were
turned towards America-when the word
" America" was on the quivering lip of
every man, who thought of the condition,
or felt for the welfare of his country-
among all the topics to which the Speech
from the throne, then delivered, directed
the attention of the House, the name of
America, either by specific mention, or
implied allusion, was not to be found.
So Ireland was a name altogether omitted
on the present occasion. In the instance
he had just adverted to, so far was the
omission of America from being congenial
to the hopes or the expectations of men,
on either side of the Atlantic, that a most
remarkable circumstance (as he had heard,
but a few minutes before from a gentle-
man who was in America at the time)
took place in one of her cities on the ar-


Address on the King's Speech 40
rival of a copy of the royal speech there.
It was thought in America to be a bitter
satire upon the monarch and the parlia-
ment of this country; insomuch, that the
man who first ventured to promulgate
it was cast into prison as a gross libeller,
and was confined there until his vindica-
tion arrived in the shape of official de-
spatches to the representative of the Bri-
tish government in that place. He would
venture to say, with respect to Ireland,
that no man, not being acquainted with
the contents of this document-no man
who remembered what had passed within
the last few years, or the events which still
were passing in that country-would be-
lieve that such a speech could have been
pronounced at this time. Obvious reasons
prevented him from at present enlarging
on this unfortunate subject; but he pro-
tested against the omission, and should
expect to hear-not at present, perhaps,
but certainly hereafter-some strong rea-
sons assigned in justification of that omis-
sion. By much the best, and by far the
most satisfactory, would be,-the proposi-
tion on the part of his Majesty's govern-
ment, of some measure of sound, and li,
beral, and enlightened policy-calculated
to effect the end of doing justice to Ire,
land, and of saving the Irish people from
the combined horrors of civil and religious
warfare: of protecting the country inwhat
had been made its weakest point, but what,
well managed, ought to be the very right
arm of its strength, and of the strength
of the united empire. As to the question
of retrenchment, it might be said by some,
" When the estimates come before us, it
will be time enough to think of that."
But, taking into account the vague import
of terms like those employed in the Speech
-of all which was to be found there on
this topic-and listening a little to the re-
ports which he heard circulating around
him (some of them, by the bye, verified
by outward and visible signs), he must con-
fess, that he could not help feeling strongly
impressed with the conviction, that. one
reason why no more direct and specific
pledge, binding the House to effect fur,
their retrenchments in the public expendi-
ture, had been given on this occasion, was
-that certain propositions might be ex-
pected.to be speedily laid before it, sa-
vouring of any thing rather than of re.
trenchment-of any thing rather than a dis-
position to economise our resources-of
any thing rather than a due regard-r-h.





25 at the Opening of the Session.
extent, and such a character, that if any
administration had embodied their opinions
upon them, in a Speech from the Throne,
theywould havejustly subjected themselves
to the censure of the House, for having pro-
posed them in so exceptionable a shape,
on the first day of the session, without
any previous notice. With respect to the
observations which had fallen from the
noble earl, he could only say, that the
Address did not pledge the House to any
opinion of the propriety of the Order in
Council, but merely to an early considera-
tion of the propriety of that measure. It
had not been the usual course to move
an Address upon the Order in Council.
The Order must be followed by an act of
indemnity, in some degree conveying an
approbation of the measure; and when
that bill came regularly before the House,
it would be the fit time to discuss the pro-
priety of the measure. He admitted,
however, that as soon as the Order should
be laid upon the table of the House, it
would be open to any member either to
move an Address upon it, or to make any
other motion he might think proper. It
was not necessary to say anything more
on this subject, but he would remind their
lordships of one fact, which ought not to
be forgotten-though facts of this kind
were apt to be forgotten, when a time of
difficulty and danger was past-that there
was about one fortnight in the course of
the last summer, as alarming with respect
to the produce of the earth, as any period
that had ever been remembered. He did
not mean to rest the propriety of the Order
in Council upon that fact alone, but he
begged to call to the recollection of the
House what was the state of this country
with respect to the crops towards the end
of August, and thebeginning of September,
and what change took place, fortunately
for this country, and still more for-
tunately for Ireland, in the course of
the ensuing weeks. Having said thus
much, it was not his intention to make
any observations on what had been thrown
out by the noble duke, with respectto the
important subjects of the currency and the
Corn-laws. From the noble duke's opinions
with respect to the currency, he had the
misfortune entirely to differ. This,however,
was not the moment for entering into the dis-
cussion of that subject; neither was it the
time for discussing another important sub-
ject, which would require the most serious
consideration of parliament; namely, the


Nov. 21, 1826. 26
Corn-laws. Looking to the peculiar cir-
cumstances under which parliament was
assembled, and to the attendance which
was to be expected at that period of the
year, it certainly would not be consistent
with what the government owed to the
country, if, in a parliament convened in
the month of November for a specific
object, they were to bring forward so ex-
tensive and important a measure. He
now gave notice, and he wished it to be
distinctly understood, that at the earliest
convenient day after the recess, it was his
intention to call the attention of that
House to the important subject of the
Corn-laws.
The Address was then agreed to nem.
diss.
The Earl of Liverpool moved, that the
noble earl who had so long acted as
Chairman of their committees, with so
much honour to himself, and benefit to the
country, should continue to take the Chair
in all committees of that House.
The Lord Chancellor said, the House
fully appreciated the services of the noble
earl, and no man was more sensible than
himself of the able manner in which he
had discharged the duties of the office ,
The Earl of Shaftesbury expressed his
high sense of the approbation which his
endeavours to discharge faithfully the
duties of the office had received from
their lordships, and relied upon the indul-
gence and assistance of the House to
enable him to deserve a continuance of
that approbation.
The motion was agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, November 21.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
TIHE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
Speaker acquainted the House, that the
House had been in the House of Peers,
where his Majesty had delivered a most
gracious Speech to both Houses of Par-
liament, and of which, to prevent mis-
takes, he had obtained a copy. After the
Speaker had read the Speech,
The Hon. T. Liddell said, that, in per-
forming the task which had been allotted
him, of moving the thanks of that House
to his Majesty, for his Majesty's most
gracious Speech from the Throne, he
could not deny that he felt a considerable
degree of difficulty. If the task of ad-
dressing that House for the first time was,





Nov. 21, 1826. 42


would not say to the prejudices, but to
the just and natural feelings of the peo-
ple of this country propositions, in
short, which, once submitted, it might
be a hazardous thing to predict the
consequence of carrying. But he doubt-
ed whether they ever could be car-
ried through the House; but, if carried,
he was sure they would be so, with the
deep, unanimous, and loudly-expressed
reprobation of the people of England.
These were not times for tampering with
the feelings, or the opinions, of the people
of England. The people were in a condi-
tion of extreme distress, and that distress
extended not to any one class, but effect-
ed the farming as well as the manufac-
turing and commercial classes. Foolish
theories had been set afloat, the effect of
which was, to attribute the prevailing dis-
tress to causes that, instead of having
heightened, had rather, in truth, alleviated
it; causes, part of which were, by the na-
ture of things, absolutely unconnected with
it; while another part supplied a real set-
off against those afflictions, and tended to
mitigate rather than to increase them. But
let the real causes of such distress be what
they might-and whatever might be the
collateral evils, by some expected to result
from the application of the remedies which
had been proposed-or assuming that the
distresses which it was anticipated would
arise from them to the agricultural interest
might be as severe as ever their alarms
had predicted-in all, in any, and in every
case, one method remained to us-there
were means within our power which must,
at any rate, alleviate these distresses.
These were retrenchment; the saving
of the public money ; the repeal of
noxious taxes; the reduction of public
burthens; the cutting down of every es-
timate, not merely to the rate at which the
most moderate of them was nov framed,
but to that rate to which the people of
England felt they had a right (aye and
would make that assembly too, feel, that
it had the right, and owed the duty) to cut
them down. This was the very least
which parliament, under the circumstances
of the country, could do. Not one single
sixpence must be uselessly spent. The
reduction of every salary of the public
functionaries, in the civil, naval, and
military departments, from the highest to
the lowest; the allowing not a single far-
thing of the money which was wrung,
hardly wrung, from, though still content-


edly paid by, the suffering people of this
empire, to be expended but upon services,
the absolute, indispensable, necessity of
which would justify such expenditure. This
course of proceeding only would satisfy
the people of England. If such a course
would relieve them-and as far as it went,
it must relieve them-that relief they had
a clear right to. But, even if it should
fail to do so, it would still be giving them
that which they had an undoubted right
to demand; and that which, as their right,
the House ought not to dream of refusing
them. It would give to the people the
satisfaction of knowing that, while they
were suffering under the pressure of almost
unendurable torments, the members of the
legislature and of the government were not
squandering their hard earnings, or per-
mitting the wasteful expenditure of their
resources. But he had heard of great
public works which were carrying on-of
new palaces. Talk of new palaces at such
a moment as this talk of architectural
improvements, of architectural beauty, and
taste, and ornaments, at such a moment
as this! Let hon. gentlemen believe him,
that, if they had the feelings of an English
House of Commons-of such men as had
sat there before them-they would direct
their attention to other subjects, with a view
to satisfy the country, and to secure her
safety. Let them believe him when he
told them, that of all the architectural
ornaments, or decorations, which, at that
time, could attract to the metropolis, the
eyes of the whole country-the very best,
and purest,and most honourable, would be,
unfiniq'ed palaces-unfinished palaces,
while the people of England were suffering.
He had now expressed his own conviction on
this subject, without allowing himself to be
deterred by the risk of exciting dissatisfac-
tion in any quarter. He had deemed it to
be his bounden duty not to suffer the pre-
sent occasion to pass by, without declaring
his strong and decided impression, that
they could do their duty to the people
only by pursuing the two courses which
he had endeavoured to point out; first that
of tranquillizing Ireland by doing her
justice; and, secondly, that of keeping
England peaceable, by every possible re-
duction of the public expenditure.
Mr. Secretary Canning said-I am
really, Sir, somewhat at a loss to know
what the hon. and learned gentleman re-
quires, when he speaks of the barrenness
of information in the Speech from the


ait the Opening of thle Session.





43 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Throne, and of the necessity of amplifica-
tion under which, as he says, the hon.
mover and seconder of the Address felt
themselves in consequence. Nor can I
exactly understand the justice of the com-
plaint which we have heard, in such loud
tones from the hon. and learned gentle-
man, with respect to the discontinuance
of the usage of communicating the con-
tents of the royal Speech on the evening
before its delivery from the Throne. I
undoubtedly recollect that, during the
early period of my experience in parlia-
ment, it was the custom the night before
the commencement of a session, to read to
such members as might think proper to
assemble to hear it, at a place called the Cock
Pit, the Speech with which the king'sminis-
ters had advised his Majesty to open the
session. Various inconveniences, however,
which resulted from that practice have
long occasioned its discontinuance; nor
can I now understand the tendency of the
complaint made by the hon. and learned
gentleman; nor conjecture what advantage
would have been derived from bringing
the Speech prematurely before the public.
Let it, also, Sir, be recollected, that, with
the discontinuance of a communication of
the intended Speech, a few hours before
its delivery, has grown up another custom,
which must materially counteract any evil,
if evil there be, resulting from such dis-
continuance; namely, that it is not now
usual to insert in the Speech any passages
which may call in the Address for any
pledge by the House of the precise course
which they may deem itexpedient to adopt;
and, therefore, that, in the present day,
the Speech requires nothing in the Address
beyond an ordinary and courteous recipro-
cation of good dispositions. If the hon.
and learned gentleman thinks there is any
thing in the Address which will preclude
any hon. gentleman who may assent to it
from taking whatever parliamentary course
he may deem most advisable, with respect
to any of the important questions that may
come under our discussion, he opposes it
on fair and intelligible grounds. But it is
notorious, that that is not the case; and
that on this, the first day of the first ses-
sion of a new parliament, no attempt what-
ever has been made to pledge beforehand
those who may concur in the Address to
the support of any measures which his
Majesty's ministers may think it their duty
to propose or advocate. There really
never was a Speech from the Throne


Address on the King's Speech 44
which, in compliance with the modern
usage to which I have been adverting, less
distinctly called for any such pledge, than
the Speech which is now under our con-
sideration. The truth is, Sir, that par-
liament has been assembled at the present
season, which, especially since the Union,
is undoubtedly a very inconvenient period
of the year, not for the purpose of pre-
cipitating any of those important discus-
sions which require the fullest attendance
and the most patient deliberation, but be-
cause, in defence of the laws and of the
constitution of the country, it has been
thought right to call parliament together
to provide an indemnity for his Majesty's
government, in consequence of the mea-
sure by which, although under what ap-
peared to them to be a great and urgent
necessity, they violated those laws, and
that constitution. It is true, Sir, that,
without offering any very great insult to
the laws or to the constitution, and that,
without any very extravagant stretch of
the royal prerogative, the meeting of par-
liament might, perhaps, in the present
instance, have been deferred. But, al-
though his Majesty's ministers felt that the
postponement might, in this case, have
taken place without any great impropriety,
they also felt that the precedent of post-
ponement mightbe mischievous. Although
they felt as sure of the approbation of par-
liament for the step which they took, as
men can be who are conscious that they
only did that to which they were prompted
by an over-ruling necessity, they also felt
that they should have been wanting in
duty to the king, and in respect to the
constitution, if they did not advise his
Majesty to summon parliament expressly
for the purpose of passing judgment on
the extent of the necessity to which they
submitted, and on the soundness of the
discretion which they had exercised. On
this subject, Sir, much as I have reason,
in common with the House at large, to
admire the speech of the hon. seconder of
the Address, and much as I have reason to
be personally thankful to the hon. gentle-
man for many of the sentiments which he
so ably expressed, I cannot say that I
shall be disposed to claim the approba-
tion of the House, precisely on the grounds
stated by my hon. friend. I am very far
from thinking that that is the best pos-
sible state of the law on this important
question, which requires this occasional
and irregular interposition of his Majesty's





Nov. 21, 1826. 46


government. I am the last man in this
House to argue, that such a condition of
the law is desirable; for it may be re-
membered, that among the motives which
were urged by me, towards the conclusion
of the last session of parliament, to induce
the House to agree to the bill for the in-
troduction of bonded corn, was the ex-
pediency of diminishing, as much as pos-
sible, the necessity for the exercise of any
discretion on the subject, on the part of
his Majesty's government. The object,
therefore, which we have in view in the
proposed bill of Indemnity is not to
elicit the approbation of parliament of any
general measure, but to obtain a par-
ticular sanction for a particular measure,
arising from an evident and unavoidable
necessity. If, however, the hon. and
learned gentleman complains, that his Ma-
jesty's Speech does not contain any direct
intimation of the course which it is his
Majesty's ministers' intention to pursue,
with respect to a subject which at present
agitates the feeling of so large a portion of
the community, he will perhaps be satis-
fied when I assure him and the House,
that at a very early period after our next
meeting, I shall be prepared, on the part
of his Majesty's government, to propose
such measures with regard to the Corn-
laws, as in their opinion will be beneficial
to the country, and conciliatory towards
all the great interests involved in the de-
termination of the question [hear, hear !].
At least, Sir, it shall be shown, that his
Majesty's ministers have no disposition to
shrink from the subject; and I again
pledge myself as the organ of his Majesty's
government, that many weeks shall not
elapse after our meeting again, before I
.ring it under the consideration of the
House. Such being the case, I trust that
I shall not be considered as saying any
thing disrespectful to the House, when I
declare, that I will not be provoked into
any premature or partial discussion of a
question, which demands the most full
and deliberate consideration. The hon.
and learned gentleman has said, that
the hon. seconder of the Address, in ad-
verting to that passage of the king's
Speech which declares, that "the Esti-
mates for the ensuing year shall be formed
with as much attention to economy as the
exigencies of the public service will admit,"
appeared to entertain an alarm, that the
economy alluded to would be excessive,
while, on the other hand, he himself was


exceedingly apprehensive that it would
fall infinitely short of what was requisite.
Really, Sir, we ought to feel some satisfac-
tion at having framed a paragraph with
such skill as to excite opinions so contra-
dictory [a laugh]. The hon. and learned
gentleman, however, says that it is an
indefinite expression. Indefinite it neces-
sarily must be, unless it had been prac-
ticable to introduce details; but I do
assure the hon. and learned gentleman,
that the most extravagant construction
which his powerful imagination can put
on the apprehension of the hon. seconder
of the Address is not more extravagant
than the antagonist apprehension which
the hon. and learned gentleman himself
professes to entertain. The hon. and
learned gentleman appears to have "some
monster in his thoughts," the nature of
which it is impossible for me to conjecture.
All I can say is, that there is nothing in
the contemplation of his Majesty's minis-
ters which can justify the hon. and learned
gentleman's alarm at that, whatever it may
be, for which, having no place in his
Majesty's Speech, the hon. and learned
gentleman imagines a place elsewhere.
[Mr. Brougham said something across the
table, which we were unable to hear].
Then really, Sir, the hon. and learned
gentleman has thrown a great deal of very
good intonation away [a laugh]. I should
be glad to know on what terms his Ma-
jesty's government could secure themselves
from the imputation of criminal expense,
on the part of the hon. and learned gen-
tleman. I grant, Sir, that if the hon.
and learned gentleman thinks we ought,
on the spur of a temporary pressure, to
cut down and change all the existing
establishments of the country,-I grant
that, if that is the hon. and learned gen-
Stleman's project, no such thing is in our
intention; nor I am sure would any such
proceeding receive the sanction of this
House, nor of the people at large, whom
it professed to benefit. The hon. and
learned gentleman thinks that the best ac-
companiment and consolation to a suffer-
ing people is the suspension of all public
buildings. I am of a contrary opinion.
I think that a prosecution of public works
must be available to their relief. To me
it appears that, if people want bread, it is
a strange remedy for their distress, to
suspend the employment by which alone
they can procure it. While the character
of the country remains what it is, the de-


at the Opening of the Se~ssion.





47 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
cent splendor of the Crown, and the com-
fort of the people, will never be considered
incompatible objects : the dignity of high
stations will not be regarded with an
envious eye; nor will one class of the
community find any consolation for their
own evils in pulling down another. Not
apprehending that any such disposition
exists in any part of the public, I can
assure the hon. and learned gentleman,
that it is not the intention of his Majesty's
government to carry economy to such an
extent, as to induce that public to turn
round and charge us with going into an
extreme. The hon. and learned gentle-
man is dissatisfied with the declaration in
the Speech, that the Estimates shall be
formed with as much attention to economy
as the exigencies of the public service will
permit." Does the hon. and learned gen-
tleman suppose that there are no exigencies
in the public service ? Has this country
no station to maintain ? Is nothing re-
quired from us towards the maintenance
of tranquillity in Europe? May we not,
at a moderate charge, prevent the occur-
rence of an evil which, in a single twelve-
month, would plunge us into an expense,
greater than an ill-judged economy would
balance in a course of years? His Ma-
jesty says in his Speech, that he is ex-
erting himself with unremitting anxiety,
either singly, or in conjunction with his
Allies, as well to arrest the progress of
existing hostilities, as to prevent the in-
terruption of peace in different parts of
the world." Does the hon. and learned
gentleman believe, that, in order to effect
this object, it is not necessary to maintain
'considerable establishments? If we look
at the new world. Are there not contests
going on which humanity requires should
be put an end to? In Europe have we
not an ally whose condition solicits our
aid; an ally in such a situation, that any
hesitation or fluctuation of policy, on our
part, might invite an attack upon her?
May not our presence on the spot prevent
an aggression on the power to which I
allude? Is not the English fleet now in
the Tagus, an obviously wise and econo-
mical expense? Will it not be advisable
to continue that expense, if it is calculated
to prevent an explosion, the consequences
of which no one can foresee ? Do not let
it be supposed, by my adopting this illus-
tration of the necessity of a certain estab-
lishment, that it is the policy of his Ma-
jesty's government to meddle with the


Address on the King's Spdcch 48
internal affairs of other countries. I trust
we know the limits of our duty too well.
It is our duty to take care that the fron-
tiers of Portugal shall not be crossed by
an offensive army; but it is not our duty
to give one faction, or party, an ascend-
ancy over the rest. The force which we
maintain at Lisbon, therefore, is main-
tained; not with any view of interfering
in the internal affairs of Portugal; not
with any view of intimidating any party
in Portugal; but simply with a view to
prevent such acts of foreign hostility as,
in their consequences, might involve
Europe in the horrors of war. It is on
that ground, Sir, that I take our conduct
towards Portugal as an illustration of the
wisdom and necessity of maintaining cer-
tain establishments; and I challenge the
hon. and learned gentleman, who desires
us to cut down all our establishments, to
put his hand 'at this moment on any of
our establishments as unnecessary, in
which I will not shew that there are the
seeds of safety ; in which I will not shew
that there are the roots of a well-ordered,
a well-regulated, and a permanent eco-
nomy. That is the sense in which the
Speech from the Throne adverts to pos-
sible exigencies of the public service.
There is no intention, under that name,
to shelter any of those extravagant propo-
sitions, the probability of which the hon.
and learned gentleman appears to con-
template. There is no part of the policy
now pursued by his Majesty's government,
dependent on the establishments of the
country, which I am not ready to go
through, point by point, and show its real
efficacy and ultimate economy; and that,
Sir, as I conceive, is the only possible
answer which I can give to the conjectures
of the hon. and learned gentleman.-With
regard to the condition of Ireland, I shall
only observe, that the absence of any topic
in the Speech from the Throne does not
at all preclude parliament from entertain-
ing the consideration of that topic, if it
should think fit so to do. The Speech
states those points alone, respecting which
it is intended by his Majesty's government
to call on parliament to adopt some pro-
ceeding. It is not our intention at pre-
sent to bring before parliament any specific
measure respecting Ireland; but that will
not prevent any individual member from
agitating the subject. I will not, however,
be tempted, by what has fallen from the
hon. and learned gentleman, to say another





Nov. 21, 1826. 50


word about it. The hon. and learned
gentleman knows as well as I do, that if,
in the course of the session, the question
to which I allude should come under con-
sideration, I shall be ready to meet-not
the hon. and learned gentleman, for our
opinions on the question agree-but the
question itself, as I always have met it,
with the most anxious and determined
attention. Sir, not having been able
exactly to understand the purpose of the
hon. and learned gentleman's speech, but
understanding that he does not mean to
object to the Address, I have perhaps said
enough on the present occasion; but I
cannot sit down without congratulating
the House on the accession of talent
which they have gained in the hon. mem-
ber who opened the debate of this evening.
I trust, from the promising commencement
of that hon. member's parliamentary career,
that he will not confine himself to an
occasional display, but that he will illus-
trate by the display of his abilities the
various important questions which, from
time to time, come under our considera-
tion. I may also be allowed to say, that
so far from my feeling the part which the
hon. mover and seconder have taken this
night the less acceptable, in consequence
of their declarations that they are deter-
mined to exercise their own judgments on
the subjects which may come under their
consideration, that they will endeavour to
keep their minds free from prejudice and
open to conviction, and that they are re-
solved to mix a general support of his
najesty's government with a general spirit
of independence; I experience the greatest
pleasure in hearing the statement. Such
are the minds from whom we hope for the
Inest beneficial, because the most honour-
able, aid; and it is only with such qualifi-
cations, and under such restrictions, that
his Majesty's government ask the support
of any man who now sits in this House
for the first time.
Mr. Brougham, in explanation, denied
that he had any wish to see the estimates
Reduced below what the exigencies of the
public service would permit.
Mr. Heme reprobated the indisposition
constantly exhibited, on the part of his
Majesty's government, to diminish the
naval, military and civil establishments of
the country. Even where they had ex-
pressed any intention to do so, their acts
had not corresponded with their declara-
tions. If the hon. seconder of the Ad-


dress would read the Speech from the
Throne, in February 1822, he would find
in it an unequivocal recommendation to
parliament to relieve the burthens of the
people; and the result would show the?
hon. member, that he need not entertain
any fears that economy and retrenchment
would be carried to too great length; for
by referring to the estimates, the hon.
gentleman would find, that they had gone
on increasing in amount from that time
to the present moment. Notwithstanding
the Address of the House in 1821, calling
on the Crown to effect every possible re-
duction of expenditure; notwithstanding
the answer to that Address promising
relief; notwithstanding the Speech of
1822, the army, navy and ordnance esti-
mates of the present period exceeded by
1,700,0001. the estimates of the period to
which he alluded. As to the necessity of
maintaining establishments, with a view
to watch the conduct of foreign powers,
what could be the benefit of interfering
with other states, if by that interference
our own population were to be loaded
with excessive and intolerable burthens ?
It was impossible that the people of this'
country could be exposed to the taxation
which they now endured, without expe-
riencing a degree of misery, which wisdom
would teach us to make every effort to
prevent. What was the object of all
good government? To make the great
mass of the people happy; to give them
every enjoyment consistent with their own
security. Was the House to be told by
the right hon. gentleman, that because out
interference in the affairs of Portugal
might or might not be incidentally bene-
ficial, government were warranted in keep-
ing up our present immense establish-
ments ? If it were fitting to keep them
up, let not the right hon. gentleman post-
pone his explanation. The present was
the proper time. The prospects were
most gloomy to the merchant, to the agri-
culturist, and to the manufacturer, whilst
in all those branches of industry the la-
bourers were placed in situations of ex-
treme wretchedness. If any proofs of this
assertion were wanted, it was only necessary
to advert to the general wish that prevailed
amongst the labourers, to be banished to
some distant country. Every possible re-
lief ought to be afforded to people so
situated. Was the House to be drawn
aside from this subject, by a declaration
made by the right hon. gentleman, that


at the Operting of the Ses~zqon.





51 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
there could not be any reductions in the
burthens of the people? Would the
country be satisfied with the mere asser-
tion of the right hon. gentleman, that the
sufferings of the people would admit of no
alleviation? He had observed, that when-
ever the government saw an opportunity,
however distant, of reducing the taxes,
they never lost any occasion of blazing
forth their intentions to the House.
They had made no allusion to any relief
from taxation in the present instance, and
his experience taught him not to expect
any. The government seemed to think
that the difficulties and distresses were
partial and temporary. So far from being
of this opinion, he had every reason to
believe that those distresses were general,
deep-rooted, and increasing. He would
therefore ask, if the House ought not to
proceed, without delay, to inquire into the
subject. He did not complain of any one
thing stated in the Speech. All he com-
plained of was, the omissions. He would
not quarrel with one single expression
that had fallen from the hon. gentleman
who moved the address, but he would
enter his protest against the doctrine, that
the late war in India could not have been
avoided. He maintained, that, with only
a little moderation, the war might have
been altogether avoided; for we were both
the invaders and the aggressors. But it
would be found a poor consolation, that
the war was unavoidable, if those who
thought so reflected, that no war had been
ever carried on with greater loss to the
country. He would say, that no men had
ever conducted themselves with greater
bravery, or suffered more in active service,
than our troops had done in the Burmese
campaigns. But, whilst he acknowledged
the gallant conduct of our army, he would
deny, that the wisdom of our councils in
India was deserving of praise.-He would
now request the attention of the House to
a most important fact. We had now, for
eleven years of peace, been supporting a
full war establishment. We were keeping
up a large standing army, unequalled in
any former period of our history. Our
military establishment was much larger
than the military force we maintained
during the American war, which was con-
sidered a war of great extravagance. He
would call on the House, if they wished
to see any relief afforded to the people-if
they wished to see the property of the
country protected from the hands of the


Address on the King's Speech 62
tax-gatherer-to pledge themselves to an
honest and scrupulous revision of the pub-
lic expenditure. He wished the House to
proceed, without any delay, to the ex-
amination and revision of every one of
those public establishments, which the
right hon. gentleman said he would be
able to defend. When multitudes were
wanting bread, it was not, to say the least
of it, courteous in the government to put
off the consideration of the complaints of
the sufferers to an indefinite period. If
gentlemen would revert to the proceedings
of the last parliament, they might recol-
lect the anticipations that were held out
by the Opposition side of the House, that,
by a continued reduction of each head of
taxes, they should find the country, after
a peace of ten years, prepared, in case of
necessity, to vindicate its character, and
to defend its rights against all aggression,
It was then alleged, that by continuing
our war establishments in time of peace
we eventually should not be able to act
with spirit and independence in our foreign
relations. That period had now arrived.
We were not at this moment in a situation
to treat foreign insults as we ought to
have done. It might appear to the right
hon. gentleman a mere trifle, that govern-
ment only exacted, at the present moment,
ten millions for the army, or that the ag-
gregate demand upon the country was
fifty-nine millions a year. Let the right
hon. gentleman look back, and conceive
the situation in which the country was
placed by his refusing to make those re-
ductions, which ought to have been made
in the year 1817, agreeably to the recom-
mendation of the Finance committee. By
this retrospect, he would at once see what
great and important services he could
have rendered to his country, had he
stopped the lavish expenditure then going
on. In the last nine years, the amount of
taxes had been enormous. From 1817
to 1825, the tax-gatherers had collected
not less than 531,000,0001. sterling, that
was to say, on an average, 59,000,0001.
a-year had been taken from the produc-
tive industry of the country. The ques-
tion now was, whether they ought not
to stop short, and avert the evils into
which this system of extravagance had
thrown it? One hundred and forty-two
millions had been paid for what was called
the peace establishment of the country. To
his mind, the cause of all the distresses of
the country was so evident, that he was





at the Opening of the Session.


surprised that that class-the agricultu-
ral-whose property must so materially
suffer, did not see that taxation was the
canker-worm-the dry-rot, that under-
mined their property. This was the evil
to which they ought to apply the remedy.
The extravagant expenditure of which he
complained had not been confined to the
army and navy. The civil establishments
had averaged more than 26,000,0001. a-
year; whilst our debt, on an average, had
increased by three millions a-year. It
ought to consider whether parliament, in
its first Address to the Crown, should not
manfully pledge itself to a scrupulous and
rigid examination of all the public ex-
penses, with a view to effect every reduc-
tion consistent with the safety of the coun-
try. The House ought not to be, and the
country would not be, led aside from this
paramount object, by the high-sounding
words of the right hon. gentleman. Good
God, what a situation did the country
stand in! He would ask any hon. mem-
ber to name the country where privation,
distress, and positive starvation, were equal
to those which at present pressed upon
the population of this empire. The evil
had arrived to such a magnitude, that it
endangered the very existence of the state.
However exemplary the conduct of the
people had been under the cruel circum-
stances into which they had been thrown,
it was impossible for the evil to continue
much longer. Would government expect
the people to lie down and starve ? The
table of the House would be loaded with
petitions upon this subject. Some peti-
tioners would pray for banishment-others
would pray for any possible relief from the
acuteness of their sufferings. Could the
House refuse to such people the declara-
tion that it would immediately direct its
attention to their wants? If, upon in-
quiry, it should appear that the present
expenditure was proper, he would not ob-
ject to things remaining as they were;
if otherwise, they were in duty bound to
relieve the sufferings of those who sur-
rounded them.-He would say, that tax-
ation was not reduced, and that the pub-
lic establishments were even increased.
He would state one instance. The great
war expenditure was in the army, navy,
and ordnance. A reference to the papers
*on the table of the House, would show,
that these heads of expenditure were
brought to the lowest pitch in 1822;
agreeably to the wish of the House, and


the Address to the Throne. In that year,
1822, the army, navy, and ordnance,
amounted to sixteen millions, in round,
numbers. In 1823, when they had a
Speech stating to the House, that great
reductions would be made in the estimates
-in that very year, those estimates were
increased by half a million sterling. In
the following year, these estimates were
raised to 17,500,0001. In 1825, the
same amount was continued; and, in the
present year, those very estimates, which in
1822 amounted to only sixteen millions,
were no less than 17,800,0001. being an
increase to an amount which ought to
induce the House not to let the present
moment pass, without expressing their
opinion, that it was by taxation that the
present evils had been brought on. An
hon. friend on his left (Mr. Baring) was
frequently introducing the subject of the
currency to the House. He would ask
that hon. gentleman, and the country gen-
tlemen at large, who it was that had to
bear the load of this continued taxation ?
Let them compare the relative situations
of England in 1817 and 1818, after the
termination of the war, when their pro-
perty was of high value, in relation to
the currency. He would ask these
country gentlemen whether, now that the
currency was raised in value by twenty-
five per cent, they were able to pay the
same amount of taxation which they be-
fore paid? He would beg these gentle-
men to consider the manner in which
they had to discharge their obligations,
In 1817, the amount of taxation might be
estimated to equal 15,000,000 quarters
of corn. They were now called upon to
pay 17,000,000 quarters. The actual
difference was at least 1,500,000 quar-
ters, and which was to be paid for taxes,
in many cases, quite unnecessary and ex-
travagant. He would advise the country
gentlemen to look well to their situation,
and not to be led astray by false or empty
boasting, that the country had been re-
lieved from taxation. When they settle
their accounts at the end of the year, they
will find themselves much worse off than
at the end of former years. Was there a
man in that House who could say that the
situation of agricultural labourers was to
be envied, in comparison to that of other
classes? Every class and interest was
suffering, and such deep and general evil
could not depend, as was pretended, upon
a casual cause. The source of the evil


Nov. 21, 1826.






was deeply rooted. It was lamentable to this were so, what necessity was there to
see the sufferings of a people that were keep up a standing army of 86,000 men ?
enlightened by instruction, and placed in If the right hon. Secretary would direct
a situation to appreciate benefits, or to his agents at each foreign port to send
feel the evils that press upon them. It him an account of the population and
was afflicting to see such a people raised to taxes of the country in which he resided,
pride and the keenness of sensibility, by he would find that England stood un-
knowledge and intelligence, and yet equalled in amount of taxation. Every
pressed down by want and every sort of English person, man, woman, and child,
mortification. This was to be accounted paid every year at the rate of 31. 10s. a
fbr only by taxation. If no relief could be head in taxes. In no other country did
afforded to them, let them have at least the people pay half as much. When the
the consolation to feel that the House had French revolution led us into war in 1793,
done its duty. There was nota merchant, the taxes amounted to only 16,000,0001.,
a manufacturer, or an agriculturist, who and every individual was comfortable in
could deny that property was depreciated. his class. Let gentlemen look at France
Profits were reduced, if not totally anni- at the present moment. She was pros-
hilated. He should repeat that, if minis- perous and happy: every man there had
ters were not able to give relief to the enough, whilst in England it was directly
country, they ought at once to say so. the reverse; scarcely any of the labouring
They wished to get over the evil day, and classes had more than the bare means of
leave the result to the chapter of acci- existence. The rental of England was
dents. The final evil might fall upon their estimated at 40,000,0001., and more than
successors. This might be very well for the rental by one half was extracted from
those who calculated solely upon the the people.-He would now advert to the
tenure of office, and viewed the possibility Corn-laws. The ministers had promised
of removal; but it was not so for those to meet this subject, and the plan they
whose capital and property were affected now proposed was trifling with the peo-
by such conduct.-With respect to our ple : it was equally an insult to those who
foreign relations, he conceived that Eng- supported, and those who opposed the
land had no business to meddle with fo- Corn-laws. If the Corn-laws ought not
reign countries. She had enough to do to be maintained, what time could be
with her own affairs. She had it in her more proper than the present to alter
power to be comfortable and secure within them? Every man in England looked
herself, and therefore need not interfere for that alteration at the present juncture.
with other countries. The people would Every public assembly had agreed on this
not bear to be taxed so enormously, topur- subject, not as formerly, by divisions, or
sue the present line of foreign policy. With with difficulty; but each meeting had car-
respect to Portugal, the House would not ried its Address unanimously, for taking-
do its duty if it did not inquire whether these laws into consideration. Landlords,
such conduct ought to be pursued. This like other people, were bound to take
being his opinion, he was led to believe care of their own interests; but, on the
that ministers were not aware of the situa- other hand, he entreated them to consi-
tion in which the country was placed. If der, whether it was not material to all
they were, it would be impossible for them connected with them, to have the ques-
to speak in so cool a manner of the gene- tion decided ?-There was another subject
ral distress; nor could they maintain so on which he had wished to expatiate.
great an army, merely to cope with the There ought, in his opinion) to have been
military despots of the continent. He a statement from the Throne, recommend-
saw in government a disposition to render ing a revision of the whole of the civil
the military power paramount in England. law. At present, the process at law was
The institutions of the country were all endless, expensive, and most uncertain.
civil, but the military was tampering with Its evils had never been exceeded. Could
the civil power, and interfering in a man- any people sit down content under such
ner that ought to be stopped. He spoke a state of civil law ? The criminal law
not of any individuals, but of the system had been, by every body, condemned as
generally. Ministers had thought proper severe beyond reason, and in every respect
tor congratulate the country, that there improper to exist in a Christian country.
existed no apprehensions of a war. If It would be a sad reproach to parliament


5s nom -or commOM~dm,


Address on ttLe King'sS Speallhl





Nov. 21, 1826. 58


if some measures were not taken upon this
subject. Upon this point, it was his in-
tention to place upon record his opinions,
however humble.-One other topic, and
he should have done. He meant the
state of Ireland. Any man, looking round
him, and anxious to select that place upon
the globe most subject to misgovernment
and abuse, would, at once, select Ireland
as the unhappy spot. Taking into consi-
deration the circumstances and situation
of that country, one was at a loss where to
begin, or what to say. The entire state
of things in Ireland called for revision;
and he hoped that that revision would be
both speedy and effectual. There was a
viceroy established in Ireland, which there
ought not to be. That office ought to
have been removed at the Union, and he
hoped it would not be allowed to continue
much longer. But the viceroy was not
all. There was, in addition, an Irish
secretary, who was placed as a check upon
the former; and his Majesty's ministers
thus succeeded in obtaining that which
had been so long the wish of all the na-
tions of Europe-the establishment of a
balance of power; nay, after this doctrine
had been scouted by other nations, it
had, by the wisdom of our government,
been transferred to Ireland. While the
present system was pursued in Ireland, it
was impossible that the people of that
country could obtain a full and equal
share of those rights and liberties to which,
as British subjects, they were entitled.
Ministers had not, on the present occasion,
advised his Majesty to recommend a single
measure, even, of inquiry into the present
state of Ireland. It appeared that they
had not made up their minds upon that
question. But, if they had not made up,
or could not make up, their minds upon
it, they ought not to stand in the way of
others. He was aware that a part of his
Majesty's ministers were willing to extend
to Ireland the blessings of the British
constitution, and thus put an end to the
anarchy which at present reigned in
that country. Was it to be tolerated, that
England should be obliged to keep an
army of 22,000 men continually in Ire-
land, in order to govern and keep her
in the situation of a conquered state?
This army too, be it remembered, was
paid and supported by England. Why
not at once take away 15,000 of these
22,000 men? He maintained, that if all
t e branches of unnecessary expenditure


in Ireland were cut off, a saving of no less
than three millions might be made. Ireland
might then be made a source of profit,
instead of being not only a millstone round
our necks at present, but a check and im-
pediment hereafter to future exertions,
It was the duty of that House to compel
ministers to this inquiry; it was their duty
to compel them to probe the wound and
to apply the remedy. The people of Ire-
land were led to expect this, from what
took place in the last parliament;
and he implored the House not to let
their expectations be disappointed. Let
them not go on experiencing delay after
delay, until the bitterness of hope deferred
should drive them to the phrenzy of de-
spair. He cautioned government not to
go too far in neglecting the complaints
and the sufferings of that misgoverned
country, but at once to come manfully
forward, and grant to them those rights
and privileges which the constitution be-
stowed equally upon all British subjects.
By doing this, they would prevent England
from being any longer the scoff of Europe.
" Where," said the other European nations,
"is the boasted equality of England?
How dares she to hold herself up as a free
and generous nation, while she denies
to Ireland an equal participation in her
rights and privileges ?" It was the duty
of parliament to call upon ministers not to
delay a single hour the removal of this foul
injustice to Ireland, and of this blot upon
the English name and character. How
could we expect peace and unanimity in
Ireland while she was kept in the situation
of a military garrison ? But let the legis-
lature remove the cause of irritation in
that island, and it might also remove the
garrison : let equal rights and privileges be
given to all classes, and then instead of a
discontented and irritated population, we
should have a set of loyal and valuable
fellow-subjects. It was not, however, to
be expected, that without such concessions
Ireland could be satisfied. The great
mass of the inhabitants of that country
could not be satisfied while they were ex-
cluded from their birthright as British
subjects. And for what? What was
their crime ? The only one was that of
adhering to the religion of their fore-
fathers. This, he contended, was a sub-
ject which ought to engage the attention
of the new parliament. At all events, he
would give them an opportunity of ex-
pressing their opinions upon it. Would


at the Openikng of the S'ession.





59 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
it be contended, that the system we had
pursued, and were still pursuing, towards
that unfortunate country, was consistent
with sound policy? He had not heard
any man hold such an argument. The
system was, he would maintain, unjust: it
was decidedly contrary to the dictates of
the religion we professed, and therefore he
called on the House to join with him in
pledging themselves to do to that country
what was only an act of common justice,
Looking at the state of Ireland, and the
condition of part of our country, could
any one say that our situation was an
envious one ?-with famine staring us in
the face; with a people divided against
each other, and with an enormous military
establishment, which might be saved if
conciliatory measures were adopted, He
did not mean to say that our case was
desperate; but it might be rendered so,
by retarding measures which would be acts
of justice, and which must produce con-
ciliation Let the legislature act in a
straight-forward manner; let them unite the
interests of the two countries in reality as
well as in name; and by so doing enlist in
their support a population with hearts as
bold and generous as ever warmed the
breasts of men. He implored the House
not to give such a population cause to
entertain adverse sentiments towards them,
by the continuance of measures which
must drive them to despair. He had
stated his opinions on this subject with
warmth; but he had stated them with
sincerity. He had spoken what he felt,
because he thought it was the duty of the
legislature to meet the difficulties of the*
country boldly, and not to shrink from the
important task of endeavouring to find a
remedy. It had been suggested to him,
that as an Amendment, his resolution nu it
be moved in place of the Address, or part
of it; but as there was no part of the
Address, from which he dissented, he
would move that his own be added at the
end of the one already before the House.
It was as follows;
"That we rejoice with his Majesty in
the happy understanding that subsists be-
tween his Majesty and Foreign Powers,
and confide in the continuance of a peace
which it promises for many years to be the
interest both of the Sovereigns and the
Nations to maintain: and we the more
rejoice in this state of the public affairs,
because it takes away all ground and pre-
text for maintairiiig a large standing army,


Address on the King's Speech 60
which we cannot help regarding with ex-
treme jealousy, as being contrary to the
spirit of our institutions.
That we should ill discharge the duty
we owe to his Majesty, if we did not direct
his most serious attention to the present
condition of his faithful people, which we
are bound to represent as one of grievous
suffering and privation, unequalled, per-
haps, in this country; and as inconsistent
with its peace as with its happiness and
prosperity.
That the situation of the country, with
an embarrassed trade, a greatly declining
revenue, and an enormous debt, does not
warrant the longer continuance of the ex-
pense at present incurred in the support
of the pensions, sinecures, and the different
establishments of his Majesty's govern,
ment.
"That we most respectfully represent
to his Majesty, that an excessive taxation
disproportionate to the reduced value of
property, and to the diminished return for
the capital employed in the land, in ma-
nufactures, and in commerce, is a principle
cause of the existing distresses; and in
order to relieve his Majesty's loyal peaceable
and suffering people, his faithful Commons
will proceed immediately to the examina-
tion and revision of every establishment at
home and abroad, from the highest to the
lowest, with the view of effecting the
largest possible reductions consistent with
the security of the commonwealth:
"To assure his Majesty that we fully
appreciate the progress made by the late
parliament in removing restrictions on
trade and commerce; but we, at the same
time, deeply lament that his Majesty has
not been advised to call our immediate
attention to the repeal of those injurious
laws, which prevent a free trade in corn,
so essentially necessary to the sustenance
and comfort of the people, and to the
prosperity of the state; and to assure his
Majesty, that we will proceed without the
least delay to the consideration of that
most important subject:
"'To congratulate his Majesty on the
progress made in the last parliament, in
the revision of the civil and criminal laws,
and to assure his Majesty, that this House
will assiduously direct their attention to
the further correction of the severity of the
criminal laws, and to the revision of a
system, in which a great degree of uncer-
tainty exists, as to men's rights, and under
which justice can 4oly be: obtained at an







enormous expense, and with vexatious extraordinary situation in which the coun-
delay: try was now placed-a situation, which,
To express to his Majesty the neces- in his opinion, required their immediate
sity of our taking into early consideration and particular consideration. We had
the constitution of this House, with a view now been, for a considerable period, in the
of rendering it what it ought to be-the enjoyment of a profound peace, when we
real representative of the people, instead had a right to expect a diminution of the
of its being, as at present, to a consider- country's burthens, and an increase of
able extent, the representative of partial general happiness and prosperity; and
interests, and of a comparatively small yet, in his own neighbourhood, the work-
number of individuals: ing classes of society were reduced to the
"To express to his Majesty our regret, most severe and unequalled degree of
that his Majesty has not been advised to want and suffering: they were subject to
recommend the state of Ireland to the the greatest privations, and were in want
consideration of this House; and to assure even of the common necessaries of life:
his Majesty that of all the subjects of our and yet the nation was subjected to a
deepest interest, there is none we have scarcely supportable burthen of taxation.
more at heart than the oppressed and That taxation was, it was true, reduced a
alarming condition of the Irish nation: little in nominal amount; but, at no time
excluded from their rights as British sub- was it greater in value, or more severely
jects, for no other crime than an adherence felt; and this, too, at a period when the
to the worship of their fathers, their feel- higher ranks were relieving themselves
ings are excited and exasperated; and, from the pressure of taxation, by a mono.
while the majority of the people are stig- poly of the greatest necessary of life; he
matized and degraded for their religion, meant, that of wheat; a monopoly which
the nation enjoys neither mutual confi- must injure and press upon the great bulk
dence nor domestic quiet; and must of the nation. He was sure he was ex-
continue in a state of disaffection, discord, pressing the almost unanimous opinion of
and anarchy, until their grievances are the great county which he had the honour
redressed: to represent, when he stated, that they
That your faithful Commons further wished for a revision of the Corn-laws,
regard with the most serious apprehension, and were anxious that the House should
the continuance of a policy which tends to take the subject into its immediate consi-
produce in the Irish people a feeling of deration. The distress and deprivations
alienation from the English government, existing in the manufacturing districts
inconsistent with that unity of interest were at this moment very great; and he
which should subsist in an united kingdom; seconded the motion of his hon. friend
and this House will, therefore, take into with the utmost sincerity, as he considered
immediate consideration the best means the suggestions which it contained were
for speedily redressing their grievances, as most suitable to the present occasion, and
the only effectual mode of conciliating merited the utmost attention and consider-
their affections, and inseparably cement- ation from the new parliament.
ing the union of the two countries: The original Address, together with the
"" To thank his Majesty for having been addition of the amendment having been
graciously pleased to call Parliament read at length, and put by the Speaker,
together at this early period; that with Mr. Maberly expressed his regret at
these important labours and duties in con- finding, by the King's Speech, that minis-
templation, we may have time to make ters had not advised his Majesty to recom-
the requisite inquiries into all the estimates mend any inquiry into, or remedy for, the
before the usual time of voting the supplies distresses which were, upon all hands
of the year." admitted to exist in the country. It had,
Mr. Marshall, member for Yorkshire, indeed, been stated by the right hon.
rose to second the amendment. He secretary, that it was the intention of
observed, that he had no ambition to ministers to propose a permanent law with
trespass on the indulgence of the House, respect to the introduction of corn, which
by going into all the topics introduced law would, at a future period, be brought
into the amendment moved by the hon. under discussion. But he would ask the
member for Aberdeen, but he begged to House, whether, after this meeting, they
"call the attention of the House to the ought to separate without giving the


at the Opening of the Session.


Nov. 21, 1826. ;62





63 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


country a pledge of their intention to do it was silent upon all the topics which
something upon the important point were likely to be brought forward. Under
touched upon by his hon. friend; and these circumstances; he thought it was
whether they were not the more bound to the duty of the House to support the
do this, because of that great subject hav- Amendment moved by his hon. friend. He
ing been, he must say, most improperly would ask any hon. member, whether he
postponed last session. The right hon. could, on retiring from the House, say he
gentleman opposite had, he thought, corn- had faithfully performed his duty to his
mitted himself, as far as man could with- constituents, if he refused to support the
out a positive pledge, that this question addition now proposed ? The disease
should have been discussed in the last under which the country laboured was
parliament; and yet the session had passed admitted; and yet not a word was said
away without any proposition of the kind about the remedy. If the remedy was not
being laid before the House. It was ob- proposed in the amendment, they had at
vious that the law could not be allowed to least a means of coming at it by the in-
remain in its present very unsatisfactory quiries to which the House was there
state. He had last year voted with the pledged; for he would contend, that if all
right hon. gentleman for the repeal of the topics there mentioned were gone into,
prohibitory duties, and for allowing the the result would be most advantageous
free export and import of articles subject for the country. Considering the divided
only to certain fixed duties; and he had state of the cabinet on that subject, he was
asked then, why corn should have been not surprised that the state of Ireland was
exempted, and be the only article sub- not noticed in the Speech; but still he
jected to a prohibitory duty? And had must lament that that large arm of the
not, he would ask, the public a right to empire should be almost paralysed by the
complain that this subject had not been system practised towards it; for he could
brought on for discussion before? He not but believe that a state of anarchy
had fully supported the measures which must be the result of a continuance in
relaxed the system of prohibitory duties, such measures. Under these circumstances,
but he thought that they ought to have lie did not think he should perform his
been the last, and not the first. The first duty if he did not support the amendment;
.article from the import of which the pro- and therefore he would vote for it with
hibitory duties should have been removed pleasure, for he never heard a Speech
was that which constituted a necessary of from the throne less satisfactory, or which
life. They were told that this subject was would lead the public to expect less,
to be introduced; but what guarantee had They were told that the condition of the
they that it would be brought forward? people was improving; but the great
The right hon. Secretary had given a disease under which they laboured was
pledge to that effect, and he felt glad that taxation, and a reduction of expenditure
they had his pledge, but the pledge ought would be the only cure. Yet not a word
to have been in the Speech from the was said of any prospective reduction.
throne. It had also been stated, that They had been repeatedly told, that the
taxation would be reduced; but that was country had been relieved from taxation
a pledge which was given every session, to the annual amount of 20,000,0001.
without being productive of much reduc- This he most positively denied. The
tion of expenditure. If any reduction assertion was incapable of proof. Suppose,
were really intended, it ought to have for a moment, that the amount of our taxes
been noticed in the Speech from the in time of war was 70,000,0001., what, he
throne, from which quarter the proposition would ask, was the currency in which that
would have been graciously received; but amount of taxation was paid ? The taxes
in that Speech not a word was said about were paid in a currency, the value of
reduction. In fact, it was in that, and which a resolution of the then chancellor
many other respects, most unsatisfactorily of the Exchequer at once stamped and
deficient. It was to have been expected regulated ; for that right hon. gentleman
that, at the opening of the first session of declared, in 1811, that a one-pound note
a new parliament, the Speech from the and a shilling were worth a metallic guinea,
throne would have alluded to some of the whereas the metallic guinea was at that
leading topics which were to become the time selling for 27s. or 28s.; so that, in
subject of discussion ; but, instead of that, point of fact, the one-pound note wa


Address on thle Kin2g's. Speech







-worth no more than 15s,, and, therefore, duty of ministers, who must from their
for every one-pound note extracted from situation be acquainted with the condition
the pocket of each individual, he paid no of Ireland, to have informed his Majesty,
more than 15s. taxes. How, then, could and to have advised his Majesty to inform
it be said that 20,000,0001. had been the House, that the present state of Ire-
taken off, when we were now paying 20s. land called for the attention of the legis-
for each pound of taxes; no matter lature as forcibly as the distresses of
whether we paid in paper or in a metallic Manchester and the other manufacturing
currency? So that 60,000,0001. of taxes towns of England. It was true that in
of this time would exceed 72,000,0001. Ireland the people did not feel so severely
during the war. These were subjects the deficiency of the necessaries of life,
which were unpleasant to some gentlemen but then they felt distress of another de-
to hear, but their explanation was of the scription, which pervaded all ranks of so-
greatest importance to the country. In city, and wrung the bosom of every re-
the most prosperous state of a nation's fleeting man in Ireland. There existed in
affairs a reduction of all unnecessary ex- that unfortunate country an alienation
penditure was requisite. How much more of feeling, an estrangement of man from
necessary was it, in a period of distress man, which rendered it disagreeable to
and privation like the present? If the live in Ireland. In vain would English
original Address was carried, no doubt par- capital flow into it ; in vain would schemes
liament would, in a few days, be adjourn- of amelioration be projected and tried; as
ed over the holidays-ministers merely long as one class of its inhabitants was
taking a grant of perhaps 10,000,0001. on busied in inquiring into the religion of the
the estimates, which would be submitted other. That consideration made him feel,
to them at a future period. But, if they that though the pecuniary distresses of
carried the amendment of his hon. friend, the people of England were a proper sub-
they might go on sitting, and thus they ject for legislative interference, the other
would have time to examine the estimates distresses of the people of Ireland were
minutely before they granted a single not a whit less deserving the notice of
vote. By adopting this course, they would parliament. It was not enough for min-
also avoid the charge so frequently made sisters to get up in their places and say,
against them by ministers; namely, that that any individual member might bring
of having advanced money on account of the state of Ireland under the consideration
the estimates for the public service, and of the House; for any man, who had the
then objected to its application. For him- least parliamentary experience, must know,
self, he was determined to resist any grant, that no important practical measure had
on account or otherwise, until he had any chance of success, unless it came to
submitted to the House the motions the House recommended from the throne,
which he intended to make for the reduc- or supported by the influence of his Ma-
tion of taxation, before any of the esti- jesty's ministers. It was their duty to
mates were voted. propose specific remedies, when specific
Mr. Alexander Dawson, member for grievances forced themselves on the atten-
Louth, said, that though he fully agreed tion of the public. It had been said, that
with many of the points contained in no ministers had greater skill in reconcil-
the gracious Speech which the Househad ing jarring interests than those who at
that day heard delivered from the throne, present directed his Majesty's councils;
he was, as an Irish member, obliged to and, that they had shown that skill
deplore the omission of one subject which eminently in their management of the
he conceived ought to have been mention- clashing interests of Portugal. He wished
ed in it, and that was the present state of to God they would give the country a
Ireland. He fully agreed in all that had specimen of it, in reconciling the clashing
been said by the hon. mover and seconder interests which existed in Ireland. He
of the Address, respecting the sympathy entreated the right hon. Secretary for
which his Majesty felt for the distresses of Foreign Affairs to use his unrivalled
the people of England; but, at the same talents for conciliation in pacifying that
time that he did this, he could not but re- portion of the British empire situated
gret that the sympathy of his Majesty had so near home, and so closely connected
not been extended to his people in Ireland. with the well being of England. He was
He, conceived that it was the bounden sorry to say that, since his arrival in Eng-,
VOL. XVI. D


art the Opening of the Session.


Nov. 21, 1826. 66





67 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
land-and he had not been more than
two or three days in London-he had
seen accounts in the newspapers stating,
that the different parties in Ireland were
.anxious to come to open war. He had
seen accounts, in which it was declared,
that one party had said, that at Armagh
or some other place, We wish for a civil
war, we wish our opponents to take up
arms, for we know that if they did, we
could crush them," whilst the other
party was equally ready to reply, We,
too, wish to have a little bloodshed ; for
we know that we could put down our an-
tagonists : we do not object to war, but
to the time of waging it; that time has
not yet arrived; it will, however, arrive
soon; therefore, we advise you to mind
what you do." Such was the sum and
substance of the latest accounts from Ire-
land ;. and being so, he would ask the
House, whether ministers ought to shut
their eyes to it, and adopt mere temporary
expedients for the safety of the empire,
overlooking the great principle of all wise
statesmen ; namely, that of uniting man to
man in society, and making each individual
labour, not only for his own private ad-
vantage but for that of the public at large ?
He contended, that the discontents now
prevailing in Ireland ought to be submit-
ted to the consideration of parliament, and
that if ministers were not provided with
specific measures to allay them, they ought
to recommend to parliament an im-
mediate investigation into their origin,
nature, and extent.-Much had been said,
in the course of the debate, about economy.
Hle allowed economy to be a virtue; but
still it was necessary that the dignity, as
well as the safety, of the government
should be maintained. There were many
ways, however, of consulting economy,
without at all injuring either the safety or
the dignity of the government; and one
of them was by making the country go-
verned happy, and by rendering its in-
habitants contented with their institutions.
If such a plan were adopted towards Ire-
land, the people of England might get rid
of a great part of the enormous expendi-
ture they incurred, in supporting a large
military establishment: they might get
rid of at least 15,000 troops, the mainte-
nance of which was not only a heavy in-
cumbrance on their resources, but a deep
disgrace of their national character; for
amongst a free people every man ought
to be ready to act as constable without


Address on the King's Speech 68
having any occasion to call in a man in a
red coat to assist and defend him. The
hon. gentleman next proceeded to con-
tend, that there were not only considera-
tions arising out of the internal condition
of England and Ireland, but also con-
siderations derivable from the external
circumstances and condition of foreign
powers, which required the House to en-
ter into an immediate investigation of the
religious differences in Ireland. Let them
look around at the other nations of the
world, and see how they had disposed of
their religious disputes. Let them look
first of all at America. There had been
some quarrelling on religious grounds
among the inhabitants of that country,
but it had never proceeded to the length
of murder, firing, assassination, and all
the other dreadful evils which had been
perpetrated in Ireland. Those quarrels
were now happily appeased ; for every man
in that country had been recently placed
upon an equality as to political rights.
That was the plain and simple state of the
case; and he defied any one to deny it.
It had been said, that America was a new
country, and that the institutions which
were most beneficial there were not, on
that account, to be deemed equally ap-
plicable here. The observation might
be true; but he could hardly suppose that
what was in good theory, and was also
advantageous when reduced into practice,
was not applicable in every country under
Heaven. Passing, however, from America,
let them look at what had occurred in
France. At the present moment there
were no religious disputes there. He al-
lowed that shortly after the Bourbons were
restored, there had been some religious
excesses in the south of France, but they
were soon put down, and nothing of the
kind had been heard of since. And why?
Because there was in France no distinc-
tion about the admission of persons to
civil offices founded on the difference of
religious creeds. France, Catholic France,
had not only done that, but she had gone
further; and while she afforded a com-
petent maintenance to her Catholic clergy,
she had also afforded a sufficient revenue
for her support of the Protestant clergy
in her empire. That fact shewed most
clearly that there was nothing in Catho-
licism itself which would prevent its fol-
lowers from living in perfect harmony
with their Protestant fellow subjects.
From France he would go to the Nether-






lands, and there we might see an example temporalities of either.--He hoped he had
which was worthy of our attention. The now made out a case sufficient to prove
king of the Netherlands, little more than that his Majesty's Speech ought to have
three weeks since, had opened his parlia- alluded to the state of Ireland, not only
ment with a Speech, in a manner some- on account of its internal, but also on
what similar to that in which our gracious account of external circumstances. With
sovereign had, this day, addressed the respect to the Corn-laws, he had only to
new parliament here, and, in that Speech, observe, that the present system had been
the king of the Netherlands congratulated proved to be prejudicial, by the necessity
them, that all religious dissentions in his which had compelled ministers to come
kingdom were at an end, owing to some forward with a practical measure, in direct
communications which had recently taken contravention of the existing law. He
place between the church of the Nether- did not approve of the postponement of
landsandthe SeeofRome; and had further the discussion upon them; because he
stated, that, in his dominions, no difference thought that ministers.ought to have con-
should be suffered to exist, in any manner, sidered the question thoroughly during
between his Catholic and Protestant sub- the late vacation; especially as they had
jects. How long was it possible that this sent out agents to different parts of
country could look on these examples Europe to collect every kind of informa-
with indifference ? The hon. seconder of tion upon the subject. The hon. gentle-
the Address had agreed, that the case of man sat down amidst loud cheering, with
the Catholics deserved consideration, but thanking the House for the indulgence
hehadalso expressedhisfear ofhavingany- with which they had attended to his ob-
thing further done, lest it should destroy servations.
the establishment oftheChurch of England. Mr. Western said, that, with all the
If the concessions were likely to produce respect which he felt for his hon. friend,
such an effect, he was sure there was not the member for Aberdeen, it was impossi-
one man in that House who would ap- ble for him to come at once to a sweeping
prove them; but he contended, that they condemnation of the whole system of
would not injure either church or state; Corn-laws, on which the country had so
and, indeed, if the church were founded, long acted. He trusted that, whenever
as he believed it to be, upon the rock of the House entered upon the discussion of
truth, he should like to know how it could those laws, it would do so with calmness
be injured by them. If, then, the con- and temperance ; for upon no subject was
cessions were likely to do any injury to it more necessary that they should set an
the church, it must be an injury to the example of calmness and temperance to
temporalities of the church. Now, those the public. He conceived his hon. friend
temporalities were in the hands of the to be egregiously mistaken in supposing
clergy, and from all that he had ever heard that the higher classes of the country, and
of them, they were not a class of men likely more especially the landholders, were
to part with them without a struggle. anxious to shift the burthens of taxation
The Catholics of Ireland did not ask for from their own shoulders to those of their
any share of those temporalities; all they poorer fellow-subjects. In entertaining
asked for was, to be put upon an such a supposition, his hon. friend had
equality with their Protestant brethren. been led astray by prejudices which he
How that could, by possibility, harm must be permitted to call illiberal. For
the temporalities of the church, no his own part, he could not help wishing
man could see, except the clergy, who, that it had been convenient for the House
somehow or other, had been distinguished to go forthwith into the discussion of the
in all ages by a peculiar sensitiveness to Corn-laws; and therefore he agreed with
every thing which seemed to affect their that part of the amendment which depre-
interests. He trusted that, before the end cated the postponement of that important
of the present session, it would be proved, question. He was likewise of opinion,
to the satisfaction of the hon. seconder of that the House ought to give to the pub,
the Address, that the privileges asked by the lie a more formal pledge than usual, that
Catholics could be granted to them, and it would enter without delay into the re-.
not only to them, but to all classes of trenchment of all unnecessary expen-
Dissenters [loud cries of hear"] without diture; but he would not go the length of
any danger to church or state, or to the his hon. friend in reducing our establish,
PD


at lite Openingy of thre S'ession.


Nov. 21, 1826. 70





71 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


ments so low as to disable us from defend- but he could not do so unless some altera-
ing our old ally, Portugal, if she were tion were made in a particular part of it.
assailed from any quarter. He did not He did not know whether he should not
think it (wise to disunite the interest of move an amendment upon the amend-
England entirely from that of the con- ment.
tinent, nor to lessen that influence which Mr. Alderman Waithman said, he
we ought to exercise upon it, and which would only trouble the House with a few
we had exercised so beneficially to the observations; but it did appear to him,
rights and independence of the various that there was a total omission in the
nations of Europe. He conceived that Speech from the throne of every subject
the House was bound to institute an in- which it ought to have contained. He
quiry into the cause of the distress which contended that the distress of the country
at present pervaded the commercial, ma- at the present time was as great as that
nufacturing, and agricultural, classes of which it had suffered at the worst period
the community; for, by so doing, we of the war, and argued therefrom, that it
should be enabled to guard against the was particularly necessary to enter into
recurrence of it. The House was also an immediate consideration of the corn
bound to inquire into the state of Ireland. question. He believed it would not be
It was unnecessary for him to say a word denied, that during the war the value of
upon that subject, as it had been pressed land had risen in value full one-half, if
most ably upon the House by the hon. not two-thirds; that every species of com-
gentleman who had just addressed it with modity had risen in a similar manner; and
so much effect. His hon. friend had re- that the great inconvenience and distress
ferred to the present state of the currency. which had been felt during its continu-
Had he been blessed with health and ance, arose from the price of labour not
strength, he would beyond doubt have keeping pace with the price of commo-
brought that subject once again before dities. Now he would ask, whether it
the consideration of parliament; for, in was reasonable, that, when there was a
his opinion, whatever calamities had sur- reduction in every article except that of
rounded us for some time past, and were food, when ministers were reducing the
surrounding us still, until some such five per cents to four per cents, and play-
steps were taken, the country would never ing other tricks with the currency, the
be free from those alternations of high House should uphold laws, which had no
and low prices which it had been subject other object than to keep up the price of
to since the conclusion of the peace in land and of the productions of the land ?
1815. He contended, that it was the He contended, that the present system of
vicious state of the currency that rendered Corn-laws, upheld the land full forty per
the taxes so intolerable. They were paid cent, and thereby created distress, and
in a shape which made them twice the its general concomitant, dissatisfaction,
amount in value, of what they were throughout the country, for who could
when first imposed. If the act of 1819 endure with patience that his own pro-
had been carried into complete operation, perty should be depreciated in order to
and had not been frittered away by sub- uphold that of the landholder? He main-
sequent enactments, the commerce of the tained, that ministers ought to have taken
country would have been overwhelmed by notice of the spirit of gambling and spe-
the duties placed upon it, and the taxes culation which prevailed during the last
could not have been paid. If the country year, and which had filled the Gazette
merely had to pay the taxes in the same with more bankruptcies than any other
amount of value with that in which they cause. The bubbles in 1720 had often been
had been imposed, it would have been in referred to, as forming a parallel to those
as proud and palmy a state of prosperity, which had recently exploded; but he
as it had ever enjoyed at any antecedent contended, that the parallel was by no
period. If we were paying our taxes in means a just one, as there had been a loss
the standard of the last ten years of the upon one scheme alone in the last year,
war, we should feel them, he would not which was more than equal to all the
say light as air, but so light that no in- losses put together, upon all the schemes
terest of the country could be at all affected which were devised in 1720. No mea-
by them. In conclusion he said, that he sures, however, had been taken to punish
was anxious to support the amendment, the fraudulent projectors of these ruinous


Address on the King's Speech






Nov. 21, 1826. 74


schemes. In the year 1720, a proclama-
tion was issued by the Crown, and sub-
sequently a bill was passed by parliament,
for the punishment of those who had of-
fended, and for the prevention of such
offences in future. In the Address agreed
to on that occasion, the House expressly
pledged itself to apply its most strenuous
efforts, with firmness and resolution,
to discover and redress those manifold
grievances. A vote was then passed by
that House, declaring, that it would not
only inquire into those great public
nuisances, but also that it would devise
proper means for the due punishment of
their authors and abettors. He said this,
because he thought the House ought, in
the present instance, to feel it to be a
duty imperatively imposed on it to insti-
tute a similar inquiry; and if such an in-
quiry were directed, he believed he could
produce such evidence of the enormity of
many of these speculations-of the ill
effects which had flowed from them
throughout the country-of the gambling,
the loss, and the ruin, to which they had
given rise-as would induce the House to
take some decisive steps, with respect to
those who had projected and supported
them. This, he was sure, he should be
enabled to do, if the House thought pro-
per to investigate the subject. He was
sorry to say, that in touching on this
question he felt a great deal of difficulty.
And why? Because the names of many
honourable members of that House-the
names of several gentlemen who had been
long esteemed and respected-were mixed
up with some of those transactions. But,
however blameable they might be for want
of foresight-however blameable they
might be for rashly lending their names
to such speculations-he hoped they
would be enabled to get rid of any charge
connected with the fraud and trickery by
which some of these schemes were cha-
racterized. And here he felt it right to
declare, with respect to one individual, an
honourable member of that House, that if
it were proposed again to place him in the
situation which he had recently held, he,
for one, would call upon him for a full
and satisfactory explanation of his con-
duct, with respect to some of the transac-
tions to which he had alluded, before he
would give that hon. gentleman his vote
for again performing the duties of that
situation.
Mr. Brogden rose, but, from the buz


which pervaded the House, his earlier ob-
servations were not audible. As the hon.
alderman had so pointedly alluded to him,
he felt it necessary to say, that he had
unfortunately become connected with some
of those speculations to which the hon.
alderman had referred-speculations which,
he conceived, had grown out of the exces-
sive circulation of the country, the small
value of money, and the low rate of
interest. Some of these, he believed,
were of a beneficial nature, and some, he
thought, were connected with circum-
stances of a nefarious description. With
one of the latter kind-the Arigna Mining
company-he was undoubtedly connected
-but it should not be forgotten, that he
was not the projector of that plan. He
was induced to join it from the represen-
tations of persons in whose integrity he
placed the highest confidence. This fact
he was prepared to prove. When com-
plaints were made as to certain proceed-
ings of the company, he, as one of the di-
rectors, consulted with the rest, as to the
course to be pursued. The consequence
was, that a committee was immediately
appointed-a committee of active and
intelligent persons, who well understood
the questions that were to be referred to
it-for the purpose of investigating all the
facts. The points-brought forward were
examined most strictly; and the result
was, that he received from that com-
mittee the most positive testimonials of
his complete innocence. The proceedings
of that committee were laid before a
general meeting; and by that general
meeting the report of the committee was
unanimously confirmed. There was, sub-
sequently, another meeting called, for the
purpose of removing those directors who
appeared to have been concerned in the
objectionable part of this transaction;
and the result of that meeting was,
to confirm, almost unanimously, the
former proceedings with respect to him.
He said almost unanimously," because
some few individuals opposed a resolu-
tion which exculpated him, while it in-
culpated those who held up their hands
against it. The obnoxious directors were
removed accordingly; there being a mi-
nority of only seven persons against the
general resolution to which he had referred.
It was afterwards found that there was
some irregularity in this proceeding, which,
it was supposed, might occasion it to be
set aside; and another general meeting


at ihe 'Opening of thLe Session.







was therefore convened. At thatmeeting, wealth and importance; and he must say,
he was the object of much, and he must that it was only in these latter days that
say, of undeserved, obloquy and abuse; but such speculations were discountenanced-
still the result of this last meeting was, to that such sweeping odium was thrown on
give full effect to the former resolution, joint-stock companies. He called on the
Thedirectors,whoseconductwasimpugned, House to mark the advantages which the
were rejected; others were appointed in country had derived from such associa-
their room; and he (Mr. Brogden) was tions. He would argue, with confidence,
placed in the chair of that company. that the empire had been much benefitted
The proceedings had given him so much by them. Let them look to the East
disgust, had so harassed his mind and India company, let them look to the
wounded his feelings, that it was much Bank, let them look to their numerous
against his will that he undertook the I bridges and canals, and then decide upon
situation. He did so, however, injustice this point. All these were joint-stock
to his own character ; because he wished to companies, and were most beneficial to
prove to the world, that he possessed the the country. He admitted, that a great
confidence which ever belonged to inno- many most absurd and nefarious schemes
cence. With respect to the company had recently been set on foot; but he
itself, he must say that it was not a denied that those to which he belonged
bubble. He never viewed it as such. were visionary. He had been charged
There was a rage at the time for companies ; with having connection with a great num-
and undoubtedly he might have experi- ber of companies; but some of them-the
.enced something of the prevalent feeling. Russia company, for instance-had existed
.He had been engaged in several of those since the time of queen Mary. When he
companies; and, he would say, that with was elected the chairman of the committees
one or two exceptions-(that of the of that House, he was a young man, and
Strand-bridge, for instance)-they had all he felt that the distinction was a proud
been beneficial, not only to the public but one. Now,whenhisconductwasimpugned,
to the proprietors. With respect to the when his character was at stake, he felt it
Strand-bridge, it should be observed, that due to himself not to shrink from, but to
be was not the original projector of that court investigation; and he must say,
speculation. He came into it several when he found it reported that the worthy
years, after it was undertaken, and any alderman had elsewhere accused him
loss connected with it was, in no degree, with having improperly possessed himself
attributable to him. He spoke warmly on of thousands of pounds, that it was a
this subject, because he could not but feel direct and positive falsehood [Cries of
-and it would be ridiculous in him if he order].
pretended not to be aware of the fact- Mr. Alderman Waithman said, it was
that, on the first day of the session, a impossible for him to sit silently under
plain allusion was made to him by a such gross personalities.
gallant officer (sir Joseph Yorke). He re- The Speaker dared to say, that the
gretted the way in which that hon. and offensive words were not intended, but had
gallant officer, while remarking on the escaped from the hon. member in the
compliments which had been paid to the heat of discussion.
Speaker, had thought proper to allude to Mr. Brogden begged pardon of the
him. That hon. and gallant member had Speaker and of the House, if he had
been, as well as himself, a member of that inadvertently been guilty of a breach of
House for many years; and from the in- order. But he must say, that he saw it
tercourse of civility which had taken place reported in a public newspaper, as part of
between them, he was rather unprepared the speech of the hon. alderman, that he
for such an observation. He was not had pocketed thousands of pounds, with-
hypocritical enough to say that he joined out any inquiry or investigation. He did
the speculations that had been referred to not impute this observation to the hon.
without indulging any hope of deriving alderman. It might have been an exagge-
benefit from them; but he could most ration; but, as he had seen the statement,
sincerely declare, that he never was influ- lie thought that he was bound to repel it.
enced by any base or improper feeling. The greatest prejudice had been excited
He had belonged to the West India Dock against him through the medium of the
company, and to many other companies of public papers; and, therefore, he called


Address on the Kinig's Speech


75 HOUSE OF COMMONS,





Nov. 21, 1826. 78


for full, but calm and deliberate, inquiry.
He begged pardon of the House if he had
said any thing improper; but his feelings
had been so harassed during the past
year, so many malicious statements had
been sent abroad, that, as an innocent
man, he could not avoid calling for
justice loudly and warmly. After the
animadversion of the hon. alderman, he
felt himself called on to trespass a little
longer on the attention of the House.
He begged again to draw their attention
to the circumstances connected with the
Arigna company, because they were
infinitely important to his justification.
At the time when certain proceedings of
the directors attracted the notice of the
proprietors, a committee was, as he had
said before, appointed for the purpose of
investigation. That intelligent committee
met, and they proceeded, as they were
instructed, to inquire into the whole of the
transactions of the society. The report
which was made by them on his conduct,
he would take the liberty of reading,
in opposition to the calumnies that had
been sent forth-that report, it should be
recollected, being agreed to by the most
competent tribunal that could be selected
for the examination of his conduct. He
conceived it was the most competent tri-
bunal, because it was composed of per-
sons who were thoroughly conversant with
all the affairs of the company. Their re-
port was most conclusive in his favour: it
was subsequently adopted by the proprie-
tors at large; and the same persons, after
the real delinquents were removed, and
new directors appointed, called upon him
to fill the office of chairman. He thanked
the worthy alderman for having given him
an opportunity of making this statement;
and he would take the liberty of reading
the report to which he had alluded, for
the information of the House. There
were, even now, proceedings in Chancery
with respect to this company; and the
very first notice he receive. of them was
through the solicitor, who stated, that
though he was included in them, yet he
was not at all included in the imputed
guilt. He would now read the report of
the committee, which was afterwards
adopted by the proprietors. [Mr. Brog-
den here read a report from the committee
of the Arigna Coal and Iron Company,
No. 11, Throgmorton-street, February 2,
1826, in which they state, that Mr. Brog-
den has throughout the whole of these


proceedings, acted with strict honour and
integrity."] In addition to that exculpa-
tory document, he had the consolatory
testimony of the chairman of that com-
mittee, that up to the month of July, he
(Mr. Brogden) never was cognizant of the
proceedings of the accused parties. The
very day notice was received of those pro-
ceedings he did all in his power to con-
vene a meeting of the proprietors, to con-
sider of the conduct of those parties-that
those who were really innocent might be
distinguished from those who might be
guilty. Of his own integrity and inno-
cence he was conscious; and, up to the
time when the disclosure was made, he
knew nothing of the conduct of those per-
sons. For two parliaments he had had the
honour of filling the situation of chairman
of committees in that House. It was a
situation of great labour, and not of that
high dignity to which gentlemen were
now disposed to raise it. It required
great and laborious exertion. Hehaden-
deavoured, to the utmost of his power, to
perform his duty, and to perform it with
zeal and impartiality. During those two
parliaments he had never absented himself
from the performance of his duties. He
had attended in his place early and late:
he believed he had acquired the confi-
dence of the House by his assiduity; and
he could most sincerely and conscien-
tiously state, that he had never, at any
time, done aught to deprive him of that
confidence. He thanked the House for
the attention that had been paid to him;
and felt perfectly convinced, that if his
conduct were brought before it, he could
effectually clear his character from every
imputation. He was placed in a most
peculiar situation; but he would not act
like some of those who preferred com-
plaints-he would not inculpate persons
who were absent-he would not attack
men who could not defend themselves.
He hoped some opportunity would be
afforded, where witnesses might be ex-
amined, and those who brought charges
might be fairly confronted with the ac-
cused. He trusted that that justice which
was due to every person, of every degree,
in this country, would not be refused
to individuals against whom many at-
tempts had been made to excite public
prejudice, but that their defence would be
heard before they were condemned. His
conduct, he repeated, had been investi-
gated and approved by the most compe-


atE the Openinag of the Session..





79 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
tent tribunals, first, by a committee, and
next, by the whole body of proprietors.
That some most nefarious transactions had
taken place, he admitted ; but he was not
privy to them. He had been acquitted
by the unanimous votes of the committee,
and by nearly the unanimous votes of four
or five general meetings of the Arigna
Company; and, finally, instead of being
condemned, he had been absolutely placed
in the chair of that company.
Mr. Alderman Waithman begged to as-
sure the hon. member, that the words
attributed to him were not used, neither
did he mean to allude particularly to those
transactions to which the hon. member
had referred. He only meant to say,
that various transactions had taken place
with respect to different companies with
which the hon. member was connected,
that, in his opinion, called for the animad-
version of that House; and, if he could
vindicate himself from them, no man
would rejoice more sincerely than he
would do. He had known the hon. mem-
ber, though not intimately, for several
years; and in making those observations
he certainly was not actuated by any
thing like personal hostility towards him.
Mr. Brogden said, he was conscious
that the words which he quoted from the
papers were not true. They were, how-
ever, attributed to the worthy alderman,
and he therefore felt it necessary to notice
them.
Sir Joseph Yorke said, he believed that
such a debate had never before arisen on
the question of voting an Address in
answer to a King's Speech. As, how-
ever, he had been alluded to by the hon.
member, he felt it necessary to say a
word in explanation. When he heard, on
a former evening, the right hon. the
Speaker described as possessing all the
cardinal virtues,-as having, in fact, as
many virtues as there were points of the
compass-surely it was not strange for
him to express a wish, that the other offi-
cers of the House should manifest equal
purity and integrity. The plain charge
brought against the hon. gentleman was
this-that he, as a director of the Arigna
Company, purchased from a man, named
Flattery (a very flattering name) certain
mines, full of iron and coal-with which
valuable commodities Ireland was to be
supplied-for the sum of 10,0001., while
the .company was charged 25,0001., by
which means 15,0001. were pocketed


Address on the King's Speech 80
amongst a few individuals; that of this
sum the hon. member received 1,0471.;
that, being asked to refund it, he refused,
and actually kept it at the present moment.
Mr. Brogden admitted, that certain
members of the company did act as the
gallant officer had stated. Undoubtedly,
an agreement was entered into that 25,0001.
should be charged to the company as
the price of those works, for which only
10,0001. had been paid. Of that circum-
stance, he, however, was wholly ignorant.
He was first requested to belong to that
company in September, 1824, when he
had himself a small mining property of
his own in Wales. He went down to his
place there, and while in that country he
received a letter from London, relative
to the new company. He desired to have
nothing to do with it; but, as reference
was given to a person who was competent
to give a character of the property, and as
he was informed, that that person was in
the neighbourhood, he applied to him on
the subject. That individual gave to him
such a flattering account of the project,
that he was induced, in an evil moment,
to change his mind. He opened the let-
ter which he had written declining the
offer, and returned a different answer.
This was in the month of September, and
he heard no more of the matter till the
January following, when he learned that
he had been elected a director. He then
found, that 25,0001. had been stated be-
fore a meeting as having been paid for the
property, and he saw the bohd or instru-
ment, with a regular stamp, for 25,0001.
It was, therefore, utterly impossible for
him to suspect any such transaction as
that which had really taken place; and
the very day, it was developed (and it was
only done when Mr. Flattery threatened to
impeach the conduct of others), he, as he
had before stated, called a meeting of the
directors, and required of them to state the
true nature of the transaction. This they
refused; and he, on the same day, went to
other proprietors, and stated all thathe had
done. Mr. Bent also declared what had
occurred. This took place in the month
of July, and not till then was a discovery
made of the proceedings which occurred
in the preceding October. He was ori-
ginally asked to take a hundred shares;
and, full of the conviction that the specu-
lation was a good one, he requested a
second hunJred. These were granted; and
he fully believed that the sum paid to him







arose from those hundred shares, and was reference to which an hon. member had
not abstracted from the money fraudulently made a most forcible and touching ap-
procured. He had been absolved from any peal to the House, he certainly was pre-
knowledge of the transaction. He never pared to give an opinion. That opinion
suspected it--he never could have sus- was, that no civil disability should be at-
pected it. He called on the proprietors tached to spiritual belief; that it was
to hold a general meeting at the London the general principle that ought to be
Tavern, and he was there publicly excul- pursued; and such was the opinion which
pated. In the court of Chancery he had he had formed. But could he dare to say,
sworn to the truth of this statement; and without mature deliberation, that the pre-
those who instituted the suit had not sent system of the Corn-laws must be
dared to say that it was not true. They altered ? He declared that, if called on,
had not dared to assert that he was privyto he should think, as an honest member of
the abstraction of this 15,0001., or that he parliament, that he was not in a condi-
was, in the most remote degree, connected tion to support such a proposition. It
with it [hear]. would require long and painful investiga-
Mr. Fergusson, member for Kircud- tion before that question could be decided.
bright, wished to bring the House back to Indeed, he was not prepared for a free
the real question in debate. In his opi- importation of grain, even with a rate of
union, the Address, which was so ably and duty as the laws at present stood, al-
eloquently moved and seconded, was not though his opinion rather inclined that
objectionable; and that ground was, he way. Subjects of this nature could only
thought, sufficient to enable them to say be understood by long discussion and
that they agreed to it. When the topics serious attention; and therefore he was
adverted to in it were unobjectionable, he not prepared to vote on them.
would not oppose it on account of certain Sir Robert Wilson said, that he hoped
omissions; especially after the assurance the question relating to the Corn-laws
of the right hon. Secretary of State, that would be considered by the House, not
the question of the Corn-laws would be as it affected particular interests, but with
deliberately considered, and that the still a view to the general welfare of the
more important question, which involved empire; and he was also anxious that the
the happiness and prosperity of Ireland, earliest opportunity possible should be
and also of England, would receive the taken of discussing and setting it at rest,
same serious attention. He would now as the deferring it would only contribute
shortly state why he must withhold his to keep alive animosities which unfortu-
assent from the amendment of the hon. nately existed between two parties in the
member for Aberdeen, to whom the coun- country, who fancied that their interests
try was greatly indebted. He withheld respecting it were diametrically opposed
that assent, because the amendment in- to each other. He had great pleasure in
volved a great many topics which he was expressing his approbation of the speech
not prepared-neither could the House be which had been delivered by the hon.
prepared-to discuss at so short a notice, gentleman who had moved the Address.
They could not pledge themselves on the It gave the most undoubted proof of his
moment to come to a decision on five of ability and his liberal sentiments, and was
the most important questions that were at once an honour to his heart and his
ever submitted to a British parliament, head. That hon. gentleman had divided
These subjects were, that the taxes should the subject into four distinct topics ; and,
be reduced; that the expenditure should as he himself conceived that those topics
be lessened; that the Corn-laws should were the most important which could at
be abolished; that Catholic emancipation present be offered for the consideration of
should be granted; and that there should the House, he would follow that example.
be a contraction of sinecures and pensions. With regard to the first-the indemnity
When, at the proper time, those questions to be granted to ministers for their admis-
came regularly before the House, he should sion of foreign oats-it was a matter
notbe deterred, by any consequences, from which could admit of no discussion, as
avowing his opinion, and voting according it was not possible that two opinions could
to the dictates of his judgment; but it was be entertained respecting the propriety of
impossible for him to entertain them now. a measure so evidently beneficial, and,
With respect to one of those subjects, with indeed, so absolutely necessary for the


at the Opening of the Session.


Nov. 21, 1826. 82





83 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
preservation of the country. With regard
to the second-that of the Indian war-
whatever difference of opinion there might
be respecting the origin of this war, there
could be no doubt either as to the merits
of the troops who were engaged in it, or
as to the propriety of its happy cessation.
He now came to the third point, which,
he must confess, interested him still more
than either of the former-this was, our
foreign relations, which were intimately
connected with the dignity, the independ-
ence, and the security of the empire.
The right hon. Secretary had justly told
the House, that this was a most important
subject for consideration; inasmuch as it
was essentially connected with the estab-
lishments of the country, and must have
a great influence upon the measures to be
submitted to the House. The hon. mem-
ber for Montrose took a different view of
the question. He thought, that as this
country was an island, it had nothing to
do with foreign relations. He (sir R.
Wilson), however, was of opinion, that
no consideration could release the govern-
ment of England from the duty of watch-
ing over the interests of the nations of the
continent, and of this country, relatively
to the former. The wisest statesmen had
found the protection of foreign nations an
object worthy of their most sedulous atten-
tion. The economy which would deprive
a government of the means of exercising
that vigilance and control, would be an
economy of national dishonour, and, to-
gether with disgrace, would bring a ruin-
ous expenditure. He and his friends had
refrained, during the last session, from
pressing this subject upon ministers, being
unwilling to embarrass them with prema-
ture discussions, or to give occasion to the
unfavourable impressions which their si-
lence on questions of such moment would
produce. They had hoped that events
would arise which would justify their
forbearance, and relieve them from any
censure for a supposed remissness in this
branch of their duty. But the time had
now come when it was impossible for him
to continue longer silent, and to suffer it
to go forth to the world, that he took the
same complacent and delusive view of the
state of Europe in which ministers and
others were so much disposed to indulge.
He did not mean to question the eminent
services which the right hon. gentleman
had rendered to his country. He did not
mean to deny that he had raised her from


Address on the King's Speech 84
a low state of obloquy to a very high
degree of estimation; and he was con-
vinced, that the right hon. gentleman, on
the occasion of his recent visit to the
capital of a neighboring country, must
have felt satisfaction and pride, and must
have found motives of encouragement to
a perseverance in the system of proceed-
ings which he had commenced. He must
have seen that he had secured the appro-
bation and the respect of all who really
wished for the good of mankind, and that
his measures were felt as those which
resulted from a correct view of the in-
terests of humanity. But the right hon.
gentleman must know, that, although
much had been done, much still remained
to be done; and he would have a mean
opinion of that House, and of his country-
men generally, if they could be indiffer-
ent to the state of Europe. Instead of
the condition of European affairs present-
ing a subject for complacency or congratu-
lation it appeared to him that their aspect
never, at any period, was more cloudy,
more cheerless, more menacing, and more
injurious to the system of domestic
economy which it was so desirable to see
put in practice. The right hon. gentle-
man had spoken of the dangers arising
from the political condition of Portugal;
but he had not told the House the causes
of those effects. It would have been
more consistent with the feelings, as well
as the interests, of the British people, if
the right hon. gentleman had told them
of the cessation of those causes, by the
army of France being withdrawn from the
territory which it continued to occupy
contrary to justice and good faith. Was
not the time now come when the promises
of evacuation made by France should be
fulfilled? The House could not forget
the avowal of the French government,
that the purpose of their invasion of Spain
was to overthrow a government which
they falsely called revolutionary. One
of their own governments partook more
of that character, when the scaffold con-
stituted the throne, and the sword was
the sceptre. The government of Spain
had displayed more clemency, perhaps,
than any other government under similar
circumstances. France had promised to
retire as soon as measures should have
been effected to prevent the vindictive re-
action which was to be apprehended from
the unsettled state of Spain. Having
effected this, she still declined. quitting





at the Opening of the Session.


the country, under the pretence that it
was necessary for her to release the king
from all undue influence, and that she
would go as soon as he had been able to
organize a force sufficient for his protec-
tion. But this promise she kept no better
than the former. How had she preserved
her faith with regard to any one of the
garrisons that had surrendered to her?
Had the proscriptions ceased ? Did we
not daily see hundreds of Spanish exiles
wandering about our streets in the lowest
state of misery and wretchedness? The
plea which France now set up for continu-
ing her troops in Spain was, that she must
keep them there until that kingdom had
paid the debt she claimed from it. But
why did not the right hon. Secretary in-
sist, that in lieu of remaining there, she
should have some island ceded to her for
her occupation, and where she might be
more under the control of England ? He
had heard it stated, that the French
themselves were desirous of quitting Spain,
and that they were only induced to re-
main there by the express wish of the
king of Spain himself; but the king had
no right to make any such application;
and, if it were at all necessary for his pro-
tection, it was the French alone who had
created such necessity. He could readily
believe that the French minister himself
wished the troops to be withdrawn: for
it could not be forgotten, that at the great
Congress he had expressed sentiments not
very friendly to the principles of the Holy
Alliance; but, he unfortunately had not
the power to act, in this respect, accord-
ing to his own inclinations and opinions:
he had been obliged, notwithstanding his
frequent protestations in favour of a more
liberal course of policy, to suffer his own
plans to be overruled and counteracted
by the influence of the churchmen of
France, who possessed a power the more
to be dreaded, inasmuch as it did not
present itself openly, but worked in
secret: therefore we could not hope that
Spain would be relieved from the intru-
sion of the French until England shall
exert her direct interference for the ac-
complishment of this object. Would it
not be better for us, then, to do this at
once; had we not seen events lately take
place with regard to Portugal, which con-
firm the necessity of our taking such a
step ; for had not the authorities of Spain
been daily publishing the strongest in-
vectives against the constitutional govern-


ment which the emperor of Brazil had
thought proper to confer on Portugal?
The French had been in reality, the con-
cealed promoters of these invectives, and
had not failed to secretly exert their in-
fluence to the utmost to bring this con-
stitutional government into disrepute, and
produce its overthrow. And were we not
obliged to maintain a fleet for the pro-
tection of the Portuguese government ?
For how many years had we been obliged
to be at the expense of supporting
three sail of the line and 800 marines, in
the Tagus ? This state of things ought
not to be suffered to last. Sound policy
imperatively demanded that we should
immediately put an end to it. We are
told, indeed, that the French had only
17,000 troops in Barcelona and Cadiz;
but, as long as they were permitted to
have a single flag flying in that country,
we could never feel ourselves secure that
the repose of Europe would not be dis-
turbed at any moment. No time, there-
fore, ought to be lost. France ought
to be made to remove her troops from
Spain; and then, and not till then, could
we put our forces on a peace establish-
ment. But even if we looked at this ques-
tion in a commercial point of view, we
should find ourselves excited to the same
policy; for it was a mistake to suppose
that Spain and Portugal were not good
markets, or that they were such despicably
poor countries. We ought to recollect
the enormous sums which had lately been
poured into Spain; all of which would be
speedily put into circulation, if the French
army were removed. So that in every
point of view, it was our interest to in-
sist on the French evacuating Spain. He
believed that the right hon. gentleman
viewed this question in the same light, and
that he was prepared to do his duty re-
specting it: but should ministers neglect
the performance of their duty, it would
then be incumbent on that House to re-
quire that we should no longer be at the
expense of maintaining ambassadors at
foreign courts for their protection, nor of
keeping up so large a force on foreign
coasts, and making so bad a use of it. He
well recollected the answer returned by
the right hon. gentleman, when he was
asked by the hon. member for Montrose,
why we sent ambassadors to small states;
namely, that it was our duty to protect
small states, and give them consideration.
This was a liberal line of policy, and one


Nov. 21, 1826. 86





87 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


of which he highly approved; and he and cunning, and knew well how to cover
thought it would be a disgrace to that the lion's heart under the fox's skin. He
House not to act up to the spirit of it, or had lately concluded a disadvantageous
to permit any foreign state to usurp an treaty with Russia; but, could any one
authority over another independent king- think that a man who had proved himself
dom.-Having said thus much regarding capable of doing as much as the Ottoman
Spain, he must now say a word in reference sovereign had done, was not, whilst he was
to Naples. It was four years since the drinking the cup of humiliation to the
troops of France had entered Spain; but dregs, sweetening it with anticipated re-
the Austrians had been six years in pos- venge. Let the millions which this so-
session of Naples. In the latter case, as vereign had at his disposal be once or-
inthe former, promises had been repeatedly ganized, and, much as he estimated the
made, and as repeatedly broken. There power of Russia, he would say, that he
was yet no appearance of their departure. considered the Ottoman power would be
The inhabitants were kept in a state of the more formidable power of the two.
the most abject subserviency by the in- The right hon. gentleman need say nothing
vaders. There was actually an order in more to the pacha of Egypt than this-
existence, authorizing any Austrian soldier You must not put a ship to sea for the
to punish the slightest appearance of purpose of carrying warlike stores to
offence or provocation, either by word or Greece." That prohibition would be
gesture, by the infliction of one hundred quite sufficient to enable the Greeks to
blows. It was true the Neapolitans merit- master the Turkish power in Greece. If
ed this treatment by their submission; but the Greeks could not effect that, they
did it become this country to permit it ? were not worthy of liberty. He could see
-With regard to another subject, it was no objection to the interference of this
impossible to reflect without shame and country between Greece and the Pacha of
remorse upon the policy pursued towards Egypt, who carried Greek women into
a country not only endeared by the me- slavery. The principle upon which this,
mory of the sages and great men whom country attacked Algiers was, the car-
it had produced, but rendered valuable trying Europeans into slavery. Now
and important by its maritime position. was the time, or never. Every assist-
The Egyptian was suffered to overrun this ance ought to be given by our govern-
region, to devastate its territory, and to ment to the Greeks; and then that people
extirpate its population. The sovereign would achieve their independence if the
of that nation had shown himself a man right hon. gentleman could persuade his
of extraordinary endowments, combined colleagues to change their policy with re-
with great ferocity of disposition. In spect to that country. In America, the
Egypt 30,000 Arabs' and Nubians were right hon. gentleman was hailed as the
organized by means of French officers, benefactor of the South American States.
and brought-into as high a state of dis- In Europe, he was extolled as the severer
cipline as our East Indian sepoys. But of the Holy Alliance. But the right hon.
we had our Foreign Enlistment act, and gentleman ought to go still further, and
while the French went in shoals to the use his utmost endeavours for the libera-
enemies of the Greeks, we would not allow tion of Greece. Let the right hon. gentle-
our officers to go to their assistance. This man do this, and he would secure for
was disgraceful and shameful conduct in himself an imperishable wreath of fame,
us, towards a people which ought, for so grounded on the gratitude of mankind,
many reasons, to be dear to us. This was and the best feelings of human nature.
our conduct to them, when we saw the Though last, not least, let his Majesty's
utmost efforts used by the Porte and by the ministers consolidate the interests of the,
pacha of Egypt, for four years,to exterminate empire at home: let them secure it against
with the assistance of other European foreign invasions and internal machina-
nations, the manhood of Greece, and to tions, by granting as a boon to Ireland, a
carry off the women and children as slaves, measure which, if long delayed, must be
The present Sultan of the Sublime Porte ultimately wrested by such violence as
had exhibited the utmost energy and might not only rend this mighty empire
vigour, in carrying into effect his measures in twain, but would, he firmly believed,
for the organization of his troops. He break it into fragments, which could never
had shown himself a man of great ability be reunited.


Address on the XPing's Speech~





Nov. 21, 1826. 90


Mr. Henry Grattan, member for Dub-
lin, said, that he should betray the duty
which he owed to his sovereign, to his
country, and to the solemn oath of fidelity
which he had taken at that table, if he
were to remain silent on the present occa-
sion. He had been most anxious to find
reason to agree with the Address; but he
was sorry to say that he could find no such
reason. He could not agree to it; and yet,
if ministers had introduced into it one sin-
gle sentence, which ought to have been
there, they would have had many addi-
tional votes in their favour. When the
House considered the communications
which they had from Ireland, it was doubly
their duty to take care that all mention of
that country should not be excluded from
the Address. A certain confidential pub-
lic functionary, who had lately arrived from
Ireland, and who must be well acquainted
with the situation of that country, had
stated, that the great evil of Ireland, and
especially of Dublin, was poverty-a po-
verty which might be banished, if the peo-
ple of Ireland were put into such a situa-
tion, that they could enjoy the benefit of
British enterprise, British industry, and
British capital; but that they could not
enjoy without the adoption of such mea-
sures as would ensure conciliation and
peace between the two countries. All this
would be effected, if only one single mea-
sure were adopted. He had that day seen
the crown on the king's head, and he
thought that Ireland was the brightest gem
of the diadem, and that the brightest mea-
sure the sovereign could adopt would be
Catholic emancipation. At present go-
vernment was forced to keep a large army
in Ireland ; and such was the situation of
that country, that the inhabitants could
not sit down in safety by their own fire
sides; and yet, while the ministers re-
quired from them allegiance to the king,
they would not, in return, afford them de-
fence and security. He had documents
in his hands, which showed that in the
speeches from the throne, in the sessions
of 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, and 1826,
Ireland had been prominently mentioned :
and yet, although mentioned at the close
of the last parliament, the subject was al-
together omitted in the present royal
Speech. The ministers had asked indemnity
for having permitted the importation of
corn. Why did they not ask for indem-
nity for not having given peace to Ireland ?
For his part he could not easily bring him-


self to vote for the one indemnity, since
the other had not been introduced. Even
when Ireland had manifested the best dis-
position, and had shown the best conduct,
the troops had not been withdrawn; be-
cause it was felt, that without emancipa-
tion Ireland was not secure. Conciliation
and emancipation were the only sure means
of giving permanent peace to Ireland.
Let government adopt those means, and
they might safely withdraw their -troops.
But, unfortunately, the mover and se-
conder of the Address could not agree
among themselves; one of them thinking
that the subject of Ireland ought to be
introduced into the Speech, the other
thinking that it ought to be omitted. The
seconder of the Address-had said, that if
the measure of conciliation towards Ire-
land had been mentioned, it would have
received his most anxious-here he had
hesitated, as if he had meant to say sup-
port"--but he had at length said-" con-
sideration." But on this part of the sub-
ject, the hon. seconder's Speech had, in
one respect, reached the very climax of
eloquence; for, instead of all the most im-
portant topics which he might have intro-
duced into his Speech with reference to
Ireland, he had mentioned one, and that
was the subject of potatoes. An Eastern
king was once very ill, and sent for his
physician; the physician happened to be
an Irishman, and undertook to cure his
majesty by means of potatoes. So the
hon. seconder thought that every thing
was to be done for Ireland by means of
potatoes: and he assured the hon. gen-
tleman, that potatoes were a sound and
good root, and articles which would grow
in the precincts of the Horse-guards and
the Palace as readily as in Ireland. It
was a base calumny to say, that the peo-
ple of Ireland in general were ill affected
to the government, they were generally well
affected to the government, and only asked
for that which, by the laws of God and na-
ture, was their due, and ought tobe granted
them: and he hoped the people of Eng-
land would not think the worse of them
for not being so lost to a sense of the
value of their institutions, as not to desire
an equal share in them. Equal rights and
equal privileges, were what they required;
and with less they ought not to be satis-
fied. They asked no change with refer-
ence to religious institutions: all they
asked was, to be exempted from civil and
political disabilities, merely on account of


at the Openinzg of the Session.




91 HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech 92


their own religion, and to share in the
advantages of the constitution, equally
with their Protestant fellow-subjects.
This was nothing more than bare justice,
and could not be resisted except upon a
principle of exclusion. Had it not been
for the amendment proposed by the hon.
member for Montrose, he would himself
have proposed an amendment to the Ad-
dress, alluding to the present situation of
Ireland. He begged to remind the House
of the words of one of the greatest men
this country had ever produced. He
meant lord Chatham; and he could not
help expressing a hope, that gentlemen
who held that great man's son in venera-
tion would extend their admiration from
the son to the father. Lord Chatham,
speaking of Ireland, had said, "Whenever
the safety of Ireland is at stake, the ques-
tion is no longer a point of honour, but
becomes a contention for our very exist-
ence." It was in vain to attempt to evade
the question of the state of Ireland. The
subject would be forced, over and over
again, on the attention of the House.
He should have felt that he had deserted
his duty if he had not stated his senti-
ments on this subject; for the danger was
increasing every day. He begged leave
to say, in conclusion, that it was but fair
and just, that if Ireland gave to England
her blood and her money, that England
should give to her what, he thought, she
was entitled to, and what, he trusted, the
good sense of parliament would ultimately
grant; namely, equal rights and equal
privileges.
Mr. Winn, in explanation, said, that
whatever measures would tend to promote
the interests of Ireland, and of the noble
race of men by whom that fine country
was peopled, would always receive his cor-
dial support, if he were convinced that
those measures could be carried into exe-
cution with safety to the church and
state.
Mr. Moore, member for Dublin, was of
opinion, that the diversity of sentiments
which had been expressed in the course
of the debate, had arisen from the absence
of several topics from the King's Speech,
which, in the judgment of different mem-
bers, ought to have been introduced into
it. He himself thought, that the state of
Ireland had been sufficiently adverted to,
in the present stage of parliamentary pro-
ceedings. On that subject he had never
had but one opinion, and that was, that


the prosperity of Ireland was vitally con-
nected with the prosperity of England.
This opinion had been demonstrated by
experience. In the same proportion as
the great interests of England had ad-
vanced, so had those of Ireland. When
the agriculture and manufactures of this
country were flourishing, both those inter-
ests were thriving in Ireland. Nor did he
think that there was any ground for the
imputation, that the distresses of Ireland
had been overlooked. In the passage in
which his Majesty alluded to "the depres-
sion under which the trade and manufac-
tures of the country had been labouring,"
his Majesty must be understood expressly
to speak of the distress in Ireland as much
as of that in England. He would have
preferred that evening to have cautiously
abstained from any reference to the Ca-
tholic claims; but he felt compelled to
touch upon the subject, in order to dis-
abuse the House of the impression, that
the sentiments uttered that evening by the
hon. member for Louth, and by his hon.
colleague, expressed the unanimous feel-
ings of the people of Ireland. For his
own part, he felt that, in common with
every British subject, they were entitled
to equal rights on giving equal securities.
It was only by adhering to that condition,,
that parliament could really promote the
civil and religious liberties of the empire.
He was convinced that that portion of the
Irish constituency who were opposed to
what was improperly called Catholic eman-
cipation, were actuated by the truest and
most genuine conception of the principles
of the British constitution. It was an er-
roneous expression, to call the concession
of the demands set up by the Catholics,
an act of Justice towards Ireland. Ire-
land was not an independent kingdom,
having a right to make terms for her own:
advantage, but an integral portion of the
British empire, and therefore entitled to
share the blessings of the British consti-
tution; but he could assure the House,
that the prevailing sentiments of the most
influential portion of the constituency of
Ireland were, that the best justice that
could be rendered to that country, would
be to secure to it the strict and inviolable
maintenance of the essential principles of
the Protestant establishment, which he
sincerely believed were the safest bulwarks
and the strongest defence of the British.
constitution.
Sir Joseph Yorke regretted that, th






King's Speech had not been more clearly I taxes, and the reduction of the army; and
and strongly expressed. After eleven he would even go the length of saying,
years of peace, he confessed he saw none that he considered the Corn-laws, as they
of those earnests of economy, which he at present stood, to be injurious, and was
would have been glad to have witnessed, ready to vote for an alteration of the sys-
A right hon. gentleman, during the last ter. He thought that 86,000 men were
session, had brought up a flaming report an enormous force for a peace establish-
from the commissioners of inquiry, which ment under any point of view ; but, until
blew the whole Stamp-office to-he would he saw some system of government
not say where, yet, what had been the adopted in Ireland, which would give
result ? The members of the Stamp board tranquillity to that country, he believed,
who were dismissed were immediately re- melancholy as was the admission, that a
placed by others, and four or five of the force of that amount must be maintained,
dismissed parties had had pensions given in order to preserve the peace of the
to them. That was the way in which empire. It was not his fault that the
economical reductions were made, for the system under which Ireland was governed
good of the public! The great burthen had not been altered; but if the present
resulted from the number of persons to House of Commons should persist in the
be paid for their services behind the scenes, course which former parliaments had pur-
In thecaseof the Stamp board, it appeared sued, he must confess he thought that
that not above three of the commissioners our present large military force could not
had been in the habit of attending ; yet, be diminished. It was also necessary to
when dismissed, they were rewarded for consider many other important topics in
their negligence by pensions. He did not relation to the question of reducing the
find fault with the extent of our military army; such for instance, as our colonial
establishment. He believed that the system in all its branches, and our foreign
civility lately shewn abroad to the right relations. Agreeing, therefore, with many
hon. Secretary, arose altogether from his of the topics contained in the amendment,
having the sword in his hand. he, nevertheless, could not pledge himself
Mr. Richard Martin was sorry that the to support them in detail, without a more
condition of the Catholics of Ireland had ample examination, both of them, and of
not been mentioned in the Speech from the objects of the hon. mover, than he
the throne. If his hon. friend, the member had now the opportunity of entering upon.
for Dublin, would propose the amendment Resting upon his character with the public,
to which he had alluded, he would give it and not fearing to have it thrown in his
his cordial support. teeth that he was no longer the friend of
Mr. Calcraft said, that though he retrenchment and economy, he would
agreed with the hon. member for Aberdeen take the course by which he would be
in the opinion which he had expressed, least fettered in the forthcoming discus-
with respect to many of the topics sions, and vote for the Address to which
alluded to in his amendment, yet he could there was no objection, rather than for
not, without an opportunity for more the amendment, by which he should
ample discussion, give his support to that pledge himself as to points which he had
amendment. No one had expressed the not yet had time distinctly to consider
slightest objection to the Address which and decide upon.
had been moved, but the hon. member Sir R. Fergusson would vote for the
proposed to tack to it an amendment, amendment, because, as he conceived, it
coupled with a speech, full of the most did not pledge the House to any opinion
important considerations, and the House with respect to the topics introduced into
was called upon, in a new parliament, it, but merely to take them into considera-
many of the members, probably, never tion.
having had an opportunity of considering The House then divided: For Mr.
many of the topics which had been brought Hume's amendment 24. For the original
before them, to vote for this amendment, address 107. Majority 83.
which he really believed was longer than
the long speech by which it was intro- List of the Minority.
duced. For his own part, he generally Birch, J. Cradock, col.
voted against ministers on all questions of Burdett, sir F. Davies, col.
economy, such as the retrenchment of Clive, E. B. Dawson, A.


alt the Openinly of the Session.


Nov. 21, 1826. 94





95 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Fergusson, sir R. Thomson, J. P.
Grattan, J. Warburton, H.
Harvey, D.W. Williams, J.
Hobhouse, J. C. Wilson, sir R.
Maberly, J. Winnington, sir E.
Marshall, J. Wood, J.
Marshall, W. Wyvill, M.
Monck, J. B. TELLERS.
Philips, G. Hume, J.
Philips, G. R. Wood, M.
Robarts, A. W.
Mr. Henry Grattan then moved, that the
following words be added to the Address:-
"That this House desires to express to
his Majesty their deep regret at the present
state of Ireland, and to assure his Majesty
of their determination to direct their
attention towards that subject, with a view
to the redress of the grievances under
which his Majesty's subjects there labour :
-That this House will apply their most
serious attention to the investigation of the
estimates which may be laid before them ;
and will take the most effectual measures
for reducing the expenditure of the coun-
try in all its branches, civil and military,
to the lowest scale consistent with the good
government and the honour of the nation."
On the question, that these words be
added to the Address, the House divided :
Ayes 58. Noes 135. The original Address
was then put and agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, November 22.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] Sir John
Brydges presented a petition from the
parish of Wootton, in Kent, against any
further concessions to the Roman Catho-
lics, and for putting down the new Roman
Catholic Association. He said, that he
could not remain quite silent upon a sub-
ject of such vital importance, lest he should
incur the charge of supineness in a cause
he was most desirous to advocate. He
concurred in the prayer of the petition,
and cordially rejoiced that the parish of
Wootton was thus early in the field to ex-
press its opposition to popery, and its
determination to uphold unimpaired our
Protestant constitution; for he was firmly
convinced that if the legislature did not
promptly interpose its authority, and
quickly make use of the power it possessed
effectually to suppress the existing popish
faction, and at once to shut the door
against farther concession to the Roman
Catholics, it must be expected, that that
portion of the benches of that assembly,


Roman Catholic Claims. 96
which were now allotted to the Irish
members, would no longer be filled with
the representatives of the landed and com-
mercial interests of that part of the em-
pire but with the representatives of the
popish priesthood. The petition which he
now held in his hand was but from a small
number of his Majesty's subjects; but it
was from a whole parish, which, though
little in extent, was large in loyalty and
attachment to the constitution, and in
abhorrence of popery; and consisted of
intelligent and respectable inhabitants,
deprecating the evils that must infallibly
arise from an admission of the Roman
Catholics to temporal power in the state.
Earnestly did he hope to see the example
of this petition followed by every county,
town, and parish, in the empire : thus, as
the streamlet quickly became a stream,
enlarging until it covered a vast expanse,
so might the petition be followed by
others, multiplying as they arose, so as
wholly to extinguish every hope of Catho-
lic emancipation. If any man had had
any doubts of the ulterior views of the Ro-
man Catholics, those doubts must now be
removed by the unjustifiable proceedings,
since the dissolution of parliament, of that
faction denominated the New Catholic
Association, and by the part the parish
priests had taken at the late elections in
Ireland. The cloven foot was no longer
concealed. The mask was removed ; and
if temporal power was to be conceded to
the papists, they would soon become strong
enough to seize upon spiritual; and then
farewell to our Protestant religion and
laws He called upon the country through
the legislature, before it was too late, for
an expression of Protestant feeling, by
petitions to annihilate the present wicked
attempt to overthrow the Protestant
establishment in church and state; de-
claring that this was the time to remind
the empire of the words of the immortal
Nelson:-" England expects every man
to do his duty !" and he trusted he should
see presented to that House, without loss
of time, petitions similar to the present,
from one end of the kingdom to the other,
more numerous than had been offered
upon any other question. Whenever the
question of Catholic emancipation should
come before the House, he should be pre-
pared to state his reasons for the opposi-
tion he should give to that measure. In
the mean time, he implored those who had
lately become members of that House, to





97 Corn-Laws.
guard themselves against being incon-
siderately influenced by the eloquent and
impassioned language made use of by
members from the sister kingdom, in ad-
vocating a cause on which, they were
pleased to assert, depended the happiness
and tranquillity of Ireland ; but which, if
they were as well acquainted with that
country as he was, in his conscience he
believed they would be satisfied had
nothing at all to do with it.
Ordered to lie on the table.

CoRN-LAws.] Sir T. Lethbridge pre-
sented a petition from the inhabitants of
Abdick, Bulstone, and Ilminster, in So-
merset, praying that the House would
not permit any alteration in the Corn-
laws, without the fullest investigation.
He had in his possession many petitions
on this subject, but from what had been
said last night by the Secretary for
Foreign Affairs, who had intimated the in-
tention of government to bring the subject
before the House shortly after the adjourn-
ment, he should, for the present, withhold
them. For the same reason, and as the
right hon. gentleman had said, that he
would not be drawn into any discussion at
present, he would forbear from making any
of the observations which forced themselves
upon his mind at this moment. He did
not ask his Majesty's government to state
what was their intention on any part of it;
but feeling the importance of the subject,
he could not help insisting upon the ne-
cessity of obtaining all the information that
could be come at respecting the operation
of the Corn-laws as they at present existed.
If any inconvenience hadbeen experienced,
which he very much doubted, because the
laws which existed had not been put into
execution, it could only be satisfactorily
ascertained by means of the inquiry to
which he now alluded. He wished the
whole system of the laws on this subject to
be put on a different footing; but what he
wasmost desirous to impress on his Majesty's
government was, the necessity of procur-
ing full and complete information, before
any new enactment should be resolved
upon. It was not for him to suggest to
ministers the course that they ought to
pursue; but, as far as his own opinion
went, he was decidedly in favour of the
appointment of a committee, without
which he thought the question could not
be fairly and usefully re-agitated and re-
discussed. Wheq this question had last
VOL, XVI,


Nov. 22, 18262 98
been the subject of discussion before the
House, a committee was appointed, and an
examination instituted, which, although it
was not carried as far as he could have
wished, obtained a great deal of useful
information on the subject. Great altera-
tions had taken place since that period,
not only in the amount of taxation, but in
the circumstances relating to foreign corn;
and the only new information of which the
country was in possession, was that which
had been obtained from the report made
last on this subject by Mr. Jacob.. That
report was certainly a most important
document; but, it did not contain infor-
mation enough to enable the government
to adopt any regulations which should have
the effect of changing the present laws.
He had no wish the discussion should
now be pressed; and when the time at
which it was to be entered upon should
have arrived, he hoped it would be con-
ducted with temper and moderation. In
the mean time, he hoped that none of the
charges which had been so unfairly brought
against landowners or occupiers would be
repeated, or that the unjust tone which had
been assumed towards them should be in-
dulged in; and he was induced to make
this observation because he was sure that,
in the minds of all thinking men, there
could be only one wish; namely, that the
question might be disposed of so as to suit
the interests of the whole of the inhabit-
ants of the united kingdom.
Lord Althorp said, he had heard the
announcement made last night by his
Majesty's ministers, that they would not at
present enter upon this subject, with con-
siderable regret. If they were aware of the
agitation which the notion of any alteration
in the Corn-laws had occasioned, not only
in the agricultural, but in the manufacturing,
interests of the country, he was sure they
would not have formed any such resolution.
He thought it was too much for ministers
to call parliament together in November,
and tell them then that they had a plan
to propose, but which they did not intend
to bring forward until February. He was
aware that it might be inconvenient to
them to disclose that plan at present; but,
however inconvenient it might be, their
duty left them no alternative but to do so.
It was inconvenient to him, and he had no
doubt it was equally so to many other
members, to be in town at this season;
but being here, he should think he failed
in his duty if he neglected to press upon
1*





99 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
government the necessity of a speedy ex-
pression of their opinion on the subject of
the Corn-laws. He thought it would be
better that they should bring forward at
once whatever measures they intended to
propose, because he was not one of those
who felt alarm as to the nature of the pro-
position; nor did he believe, whatever it
might be, that it involved the ruin of
the landed proprietors in the kingdom. For
this reason he was extremely anxious that
the subject should be immediately entered
upon.
Ordered to lie on the table.

BRIBERY AT ELECTIONS.] Lord Al-
thorp rose, in pursuance of the notice he
had given, to move for the renewal of the
resolutions passed on the 26th of May last,
relating to bribery and corruption in re-
turning members to serve in parliament.
But it might be necessary for him, before
he did so, to explain to the House, for the
information of those members who were
not in parliament when these resolutions
were adopted, the nature of the measure
which he meant to submit to their notice.
If his noble friend (lord John Russell) who
first introduced them, were a member of
this parliament, he should have left the
task of bringing them forward to him, but
his noble friend not having at present a
seat, he felt it to be his duty to propose
them. In all the discussions which had
taken place on this subject, it had been
constantly stated by its opponents that
their opposition was founded upon hostility
to any sweeping measure which went to
change the constituted body, but that
whenever an instance of gross bribery or
corruption was made out against any par-
ticular borough, the place ought to be dis-
franchised, and that they were ready to act
upon that principle as often as such a case
should be brought forward. Yet, not-
withstanding such a declaration, it was
quite notoriousthatmany boroughs, wherein
gross and open corruption was practised,
were not as yet disfranchised. Hence the
necessity for the introduction of those reso-
lutions which were proposed, by his noble
friend, at the close of the last session of par-
liament, and which hehad nowthe honour to
call upon the House to sanction by its vote.
Very few cases of corruption, comparatively
speaking, had been brought before the
House, although every one seemed to agree
in the necessity of putting a stop to a
system which was admitted, on all hands,


Bribery at Elections. 100
to be a very great grievance. Cases of
individual corruption were so general, that
proofs were difficult to be brought forward
to establish particular facts. From the
arrangements of the House, and the present
law relating to bribery and corruption, the
facilities to prosecute inquiry were not
sufficiently open, owing to the expense
attendant on such inquiries, and other con-
siderations which combined to produce
that effect. The chief object, therefore,
of these resolutions was, to point out a
proper tribunal, where petitions complain-
ing of acts of bribery and corruption in the
return of members to serve in parliament,
should be fully examined. There were no
new powers proposed by these resolutions ;
it was only sought to point out a mode by
which old powers should be acted on. It
was perfectly competent to him, as a
member of that House, to present a petition
against a particular case of bribery and
corruption; but he wished the House to
adopt some mode by which that petition
should undergo an impartial examination.
He believed that the adoption of the reso-
lutions of last session had produced a
beneficial effect during the late elections;
and he felt perfectly convinced, that if
those resolutions were adopted by the pre-
sent parliament, many peculiar cases of
corruption that most required reform
would be brought to light, and consider-
able good would thereby be effected.
Doubtless, great advantage would be felt,
if those boroughs in which open and
shameless violations of the law were prac-
tised, were disfranchised, and the elective
franchise! extended to more important
places. The law said, that no petition
against the return of a member of parlia-
ment should be received by the House
after fourteen days from the time of the
assembling of parliament; but these reso-
lutions referred only to petitions presented
after that term. The great objection made
to these resolutions was the expense which
would be incurred by the public in prose-
cuting cases of bribery and corruption;
but all public committees incurred expense;
and surely, if ever there arose a necessity
for a committee of that House to examine
into the merits of a question, with a view
to the correction of abuses for the public
good, the House should not pause from the
fear of expense, when the object to be
attained was, to check and put down a
system of shameless bribery and corruption
in the election of its own members. These





101 Bribery at Elections.
resolutions provided, that the House would
not take into consideration any petition,
complaining of bribery and corruption,
until the merits of such petition, and the
specific grounds on which it was preferred,
were first ascertained by a select committee
appointed for that purpose. It was argued
against that provision, that private feelings
would influence such committee, and that
the party petitioned against would find
sufficient favour amongst its members to
counteract the design of the petitioners.
But if a case ofgross corruption were made
out on clear and satisfactory evidence, he
had too good, and he hoped too just, an
opinion of that House, to suppose that any
portion of its members would, under such
circumstances, refuse inquiry. And if that
inquiry were once set on footby the House,
the resolutions provided the means by
which that inquiry could be prosecuted
with effect. He was not aware of any
other objections against the resolutions
which he should now have the honour to
propose; and he was free to own, that he
could not conceive on what possible
grounds the House could object to his
motion. Certainly, if the measure should
be rejected by those whom he had now
the honour to address, after having been
agreed to last session, he should say it
would be a most extraordinary thing; and
he could not bring himself to believe that
such could be the fact. The noble lord
sat down with moving the first of the
following resolutions:--
"1. That whenever a petition shall be
presented to this House, after the expira-
tion of the time allowed for presenting
petitions against the validity of the return
of any member of this House, by any
person or persons, affirming that at any
time within eighteen calendar months
previous to presenting the said petition,
general bribery or corruption has been
practised, for the purpose of procuring
the election or return of any member or
members to serve in parliament for any
borough, cinque port, or place, and it shall
appear to this House that such petition
contains allegations sufficiently specific to
require further investigation, this House
will appoint a day and hour for taking the
said petition into consideration, so that the
space of twenty days shall intervene be-
tween the day on which the said petition
shall have beet presented, and the day
appointed by this House for taking the
eame into consideration; and notice of


Nov. 22, 1826. 102
such day and hour shall be inserted, by
order of the Speaker, in one of the two
next London Gazettes, and shall also be
sent by him to the returning officer of the
borough, cinque port, or place, to which
such petition shall relate; and a true copy
of such notice shall by such returning
officer be affixed to the door of the town-
hall or parish church nearest to the place
where the election of members to serve in
parliament for such borough, cinque port,
or place, has been usually held.
2. That at the hour appointed by
this House for taking such petition into
consideration, this House will proceed to
appoint a select committee to inquire
i;to the truth of the matters contained in
the said petition, and report the result
of their inquiry to this House; and such
select committee shall consist of thirteen
members, to be chosen by lot, according
to the directions, provisions, rules, and
regulations, and subject to the exemptions
for choosing forty-nine members by lot,
contained in the various acts to regulate
the trials of controverted elections, or re-
turns of members to serve in parliament,
so far as they are applicable thereto, and
of two other members to be appointed by
this House, out of the members then
present in this House; and the thirteen
members so chosen by lot, together with
the two members to be so appointed by
this House, shall be a select committee,
and shall inquire into and try the matter
of such petition, and shall report their
opinion thereof, together with the evidence
given before then, to this House.
3. That this House will not appoint
such select committee so long as any trial
is pending before a select committee of
this House to try the validity of the return,
or so long as a day is named in the orders
of this House for appointing a select
committee to try the validity of the return,
for the borough, cinque port, or place to
which the petition refers."
On the first resolution being put from
the Chair,
Mr. Wynn said, that he certainly did
not mean to differ on general principles
from the noble lord who had just sat
down, although he should feel it his duty
to object to the modein which he proposed
to carry his resolutions into effect. He
agreed with the noble lord in conceiving
it to be the bounden duty of the House to
inquire into every case where gross bribery
and corruption were said to have been
E2





103 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
practised; but he had too much reliance
on the honour and integrity of the House,
not to feel confident that there existed no
disinclination among its members to in-
quire into and investigate, with effect, any
case of open violation of the law that
might be brought before it. Agreeing as
he did .on principle with the noble lord, he
only differed from him with regard to
the proposed resolutions. According to
the existing law, it was competent not only
to any voter at an election, but to any
,one of his Majesty's subjects, to petition
the House of Commons against any par-
~cular case of bribery and corruption that
came within his observation. That right
,.ad, been exerted with advantage; and
.4 sances had occurred of persons going
,down to elections withouthaving had a vote
to bestow, who were, nevertheless, proved
to be competent to petition against the
return of the successful candidate, on the
grounds of bribery and corruption having
taken place at the election. But the law
Sof the land was also open to complaining
,parties; and he could not avoid observing,
that that was the best and most legitimate
mode to pursue in such cases, and was
,even to be preferred to any legislative
.enactment that the House might think
proper to adopt. By the first resolution,
it was proposed, that at any time, within
eighteen calendar months, any person
was at liberty, without incurring the
slightest expense, and without risking
the least responsibility, to advance charges
of bribery and corruption, that perhaps
were totally unfounded and unjust, while
the members against whom they were
directed must defend themselves at their
own expense. Now,hewould ask, was that
just or reasonable? Was it fair that the
Accusing party should be relieved from all
.expense attending proceedings, and from
all the consequences of the responsibility
which he himself incurred, while the
.accused was thrown on his defence, which
he must conduct at his own expense ?
These were amongst the principal objec-
tions to the resolutions of the noble lord
that occurred to him at that moment.
The power which these resolutions would
give to parliament was one which might,
on all proper occasions, be beneficially
exerted. If these resolutions were passed,
there would be no want of petitioners to
aver, that gross and corrupt perjury had
Existed in certain, boroughs during the last
election, Ap4 there was no doubt but


Bribery at Elections. 104
there would be enough of persons found
to prefer complaints, without any just
ground to warrant their application, solely
with a view to raise a contribution on the
fears of those against whom their complaints
were directed; and it would be but reason-
able to suppose that, rather than incur the
expense of a defence, and the odium
which would result from a public imputa-
tion of bribery and corruption, however
that imputation might have been un-
worthily urged, the party accused would
rather choose to accede to the proposition
of the petitioner, by buying him over at
his own price, than incur the expense,of
prosecuting his defence in public, and
risking the odium of the contest. He had
no hesitation in saying, that many would
rather accede to almost any proposition,
however base and mercenary, than adopt
the other alternative. The noble lord
contended, not only that a borough in
which bribery and corruption had been at
work should be disfranchised, but that the
member condemned of wilfully suffering
such bribery and corruption to be exerted
in his behalf, should both lose his seat and
be expelled the House. Cases of great
aggravation might arise to render these
measures necessary: but the House should
pause before it afforded an opportunity to
designing men to play upon the fears of
others. How many petitions, he would
ask, might not eighteen months bring
forward? If the first failed, would not
several shoot up while the temptation of
aggrandizement existed? The Grenville
act proceeded to legislate on a distrust of
the House. It had all the effect of a de-
cision of parliament; and it was therefore
unnecessary while that act existed, to call
for other powers. Supposing a case, in
which members should disagree with
respect to the amount of corruption
practised in a particular case. One of
the committee might say that corruption
had been proved in one instance out of a
hundred charges that had been made, and
therefore that the guilt of the accused was
evident; while another might say, if ten
charges were proved out of a hundred,
that those ten charges were insufficient to
establish a guilty intention, while so many
more required to be substantiated. It
was, therefore, the more desirable, in his
opinion, that the feeling of the committee
appointed to investigate charges of this
description should be reported tq the
House, as was usual ouWvther qocios,







Entertaining, therefore, as strong a desire be neither good for the representation of
as the noble lord himself could have, the House nor for the electors themselves;
to adopt some tangible remedy for the as he believed, in most cases, that charity
evil, which all admitted and deplored, he would find its way to the ale-house. The
must be allowed to say, that it would be resolutions were adopted solemnly at
safer and wiser to deal with particular the close of the last parliament. Of that
cases, as they should arise, than to adopt parliament he wished to say very little,
the whole of the proposed resolutions, either of its sins of omission or commis-
For his own part, he felt no inclination to sion; but it appeared that it had, like
distrust the present committees of the other sinners, a death-bed repentance, and
House of Commons; and he was convinced had left the House a legacy, in those resd-
that when occasion offered, it would do its lutions, calculated to sweeten its memory
duty. If the resolutions passed, he would and to do the country some good. The right
certainly object to that part of them which hon. gentleman said, it was easy for the
took from the petitioner any responsibility House, when a special case arose, to take
which his own acts might draw upon him; it into its consideration. No doubt the
and he should also object to the expenses House was competent to do so; but the
incurred in the prosecution of petitions question was, would it do so? Was not
being paid by the public, For himself the right hon. gentleman aware of the
and his right hon. colleagues he begged jealousy with which the House of Corn-
to say, that his Majesty's ministers had mons regarded the interference of a peer?
no other feeling in the present discussion, and did he not recollect, with all its
than that the House should act according jealousy, how the subject was got rid of,
to its wisdom and discretion, on a late occasion, under the pretence that
Mr. Batley, member for Beverley, said, the petition was presented out of date?
that he quite agreed with what had fallen That was a reason why the House should
from the right hon. gentleman, and con- pledge itself to a reasonably extended
ceived that the statute law afforded a suffi- time; for he knew, whenever a strong
cient provision against bribery and cor- case could be made out, it could be got rid
ruption in the election of members of par- of, by statements that it was irregular, and
liament, without having recourse to the out of time. Suppose a petition was pre-
resolutions proposed by the noble lord. sented in a case of gross corruption. Why,
Colonel Davies said, he was quite cer- the person who brought it forward was
tain that the right hon. gentleman would most likely influenced by selfish motives;
not! so soon have put forth his strength his object being to eject a person from a
against the resolutions which the House seat which he himself desired to fill.
had adopted at the close of the last ses- Would such a person spend sums of
sion, if he were not certain of being sup- money from the mere love of the inde-
ported by the strong phalanx which was pendence of a county? No; every shil-
about him. In his opinion, it would have ling spent was for the purpose of procuring
been much better for the right hon. gen- his own object. He would be content to
tleman to have displayed his ingenuity in make out his charge of bribery; but that
correcting the faults of those resolutions was not what the country wanted. It was
than to have exercised it in attempting to the duty of the House to sift the whole
get rid of them altogether. If ever there truth, and to cut away the sources of the
was a time which called for interference of mischief. To do so with effect was what
the House to correct the abuses with which the present resolutions proposed. If the
the business of elections was conducted, right hon. gentleman thought the resolu-
itwas the present; for after the experience tions unequal to effect so great a purpose,
which every person had had of the late it would be easy for him to add that which
elections, it was evident how little terror would make them perfect. It was quite
the resolutions of the House inspired. impossible to look for purity of election
There never were so many cases of gross until the system was altered. No indi-
and flagrant corruption, against the recur- vidual, however high his virtues or talents,
rence of which it was the duty of the could engage in an election without an
House to take all practicable precautions, infraction of the law, as it at present
The charity of the last speaker towards stood. In many places, the electors
the persons to be affected by these resolu- hunted after candidates who had money
tions was most suspicious. It would to spend, and were dispose tog pend it


Bi~bery at Blections.


Nov.* 22,' 1826. 166





107 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
freely. Let any man of pure and unso-
phisticated principles try what chance
he stood in opposition to the person
answering one of those invitations, and he
would soon find out whether virtue or
money was the more powerful in this coun-
try, or which would best insure a return to
that House. The right hon. gentleman
was well informed of the nature of the
evil. It would therefore be easy for him
to allow the resolutions to pass, and then
to offer anycorrections which his experience
might suggest.
Mr, Secretary Peel observed, that the
House was called upon to affirm or to re-
ject resolutions, which went to create a
new offence anda new mode of trial. The
end might be a very proper one; but it
would, he conceived, be infinitely better
that this new jurisdiction should be sanc-
tioned by a bill, rather than by a resolu-
tion of the House of Commons. Such a
mode of proceeding would admit of con-
sideration and discussion in the different
stages, whereby errors might be corrected
and improvements introduced. But the
House was called upon by the noble
lord to adopt at once resolutions on a
subject of infinite importance. Did not
the noble lord think it a serious matter,
that a committee of the House should
be empowered to administer an oath?
Was it not a serious matter that a common
informer might keep in his pocket, for
seventeen months and twenty-eight days,
a petition affecting the interest of indivi-
duals and of corporate bodies; that, at the
end of seventeen months he might, if he
pleased, prefer his charge against a corpo-
ration, or an individual to the House,
without expense to himself, and without
one word being inserted in the resolutions
as to a penalty in case of vexatious or
malicious charges ? He was surprised to
hear the hon. member, who spoke last,
assert, that there had been more gross
bribery during the last election than at
any former period; and this in the face
of the resolutions. The fact proved, then,
theinsufficiency of the resolutions; although
the hon. member considered it as a suffi-
cient reason for adopting them. He was
not contending against the principle of the
noble lord. He repeated what he had
stated last session, that this measure should
be introduced by bill, and that the nature
and the extent of this new jurisdiction
should be carefully determined. The
House should have the opportunity of ma-.


Bribery at Elections. 108
turely deliberating upon a subject so
seriously affecting the privileges of parlia-
ment. He would not deny that it might
be right that the law should be altered to
meet cases of corruption, when it had
been evaded by the lapse of time; but
then it should be done by bill. The pe--
riod likewise might be six weeks, or even a
fortnight; but not eighteen months. He
merely threw out these observations to
show that he was not hostile to the prin-
ciple of the resolutions; but he protested
against a party being permitted to petition,
without giving security that he should
be indemnified, and that he need only
allege general bribery. He protested
against the House being called upon to-
night, to say by what jurisdiction the ob-
ject should be attained. He protested
against such precipitate and premature
legislation. He must, therefore, oppose,
not the principle, but the expediency of
the resolutions.
Mr. Scarlett doubted whether the reso-
lutions of the noble lord would meet all
the objects he had in view, and felt that
there was some weight in the arguments
urged on the other side of the House;
though the right hon. gentleman who
spoke last had taken rather a partial view
of the question. It had been urged by an
hon. member, that the existing laws were-
sufficient for punishing bribery, provided
they were properly executed. The reso-
lutions of the House enabled them to do
it, if they were exerted. The right hon.
gentleman had dwelt upon the long period
during which a common informer might
keep a petition in his pocket; but it was
in the discretion of the House, if such a
case occurred, to deal with it in a proper
manner, and reject the petition altogether.
Another argument of the right hon. gen-
tleman was just, and showed the infirmity
of the resolutions ; namely, that the party
petitioning incurred no peril. He thought
that this was a serious defect, and that it
could not be remedied by a resolution of
the House. This House could not inflict
a penalty: it could not even inflict costs
upon the party. This power did not be-
long to a separate branch of the legislature.
Moreover, if the defect were attempted to
be supplied by a bill, was the House sure
that the other House would pass it ? This
House might adopt it; but this House
depended in some measure, for the pure
exercise of its functions, upon the other
House, and might propose for that- object





109 Bribery at Elections.
what that House would not adopt. He
could not, therefore, approve of the reso-
lutions, whilst no penalty attached to a
person presenting a malicious petition ;
and this House could not provide a
penalty, or even require a recognizance,
though such an object might be accom-
plished. The power of the House, how-
ever, depended upon its freedom from re-
proach; and it was their interest that
mankind should know that the House
would proceed by some certain method to
reach corrupt practices. At present, after
the lapse of fourteen days, there was no
method of touching a case of bribery and
corruption. If a law was introduced to
regulate this subject, even to meet a par-
ticular case, such as the disfranchisement
of a borough for bribery, he was afraid,
from past experience, that there might be
a difficulty in obtaining the concurrence
of the other House. He did not mean to
say that the House would not punish cases
of gross corruption; but he referred to
general cases. He must state, that he
did not feel quite satisfied with the noble
lord's resolutions ; but his chief object in
rising was to recommend, that some cer-
tain rules should be laid down upon this
important subject. He felt that there
was some force in the objections urged
against the resolutions; but if his noble
friend would withdraw them, they might
be modified so as to meet with general
concurrence. But if his noble friend per-
sisted in pressing them, he would feel
some difficulty in opposing them; not be-
cause he entirely approved of them, but
because he considered them as a step to-
wards a very desirable object.
Mr. Pallmer, member for Surrey, said,
that the importance of the question and a
sense of duty impelled him to offer a few
observations to the House. He was the
more induced to do so, because, with
reference to the subject involved in the
resolutions; namely, the purity of election,
hon. gentlemen must be, so soon after the
general election, strongly impressed with
the necessity of some measure, to enforce
the principle contained in them. His
gratitude, as an independent member of
parliament, was due to the noble lord who
brought forward the propositions, as well
as to the noble lord with whom they ori-
ginated, because he was proud to see the
aristocracy of the country advocating the
rights and privileges of the people. But,
much as he felt indebted to those noble


Nov. 22, 1826. 110
lords, his humble opinion was, that the
real, effective, and complete removal of
the obstructions which impeded the free
exercise of the elective franchise, could
only be effected by the interference of
a wise and liberal administration; and he
hoped to see the day when, instead of
objections being brought forward, as on
the present occasion, to such measures,
his Majesty's ministers would take into
their consideration the inconveniencies
that obstructed the exercise of the elective
franchise, and give to such a measure the
weight that an administration alone could
give. Whilst employed on measures giv-
ing freedom to conscience and to com-
merce, it was not beneath them to give
freedom to the constitution. There was
no man he would look to with more con-
fidence, with this view, than the right
hon. Secretary who had so distinguished
himself by his attention to the ameliora-
tion of the criminal law. The country
expected it from him. He hoped that, in
his judicious hands, the constitution might
be restored to its original purity, and be
freed from all impediments. He hoped
that the other right hon. gentleman, who
had adverted to the legislative measures of
the Grenvilles on this subject, would not
Forget that the chief praise of the family
to which he belonged was their efforts to
preserve the freedom of election. He
hoped that the present government would
imitate their example, and do all in their
power to secure to the country an unob-
structed freedom and purity of election.
Lord Althorp said, that if the present
resolutions were to be embodied in a bill,
there was not the slightest chance of its
passing the other House. The only hope
of adopting the present rules was by a
resolution of the House. The most ma-
terial objection which had been urged
against the resolutions, was founded upon
the power which it gave of presenting
petitions without expense. This was the
unavoidable consequence of founding the
measure upon resolutions, and not upon a
bill. But he did not think, that, prac-
tically, any such effects would result as
were suggested, and if they did occur, it
would be easy to find a remedy for such
a practical evil. However, as it seemed
to be the general wish of the House that
the resolutions, in their present state,
should be withdrawn, he would, with the
consent of the House, withdraw them. -
The motion was then withdraw.





111 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
DR. SOUTHEY'S RETURN FOR DOWN.
TON.] The Speaker acquainted the
House, that he had received a letter from
a member of the House, which, if it were
the pleasure of the House, he would read.
It was as follows:
"Keswick, 15th November, 1826.
Sir;-Having, while I was on the
continent, been, without my knowledge,
elected a burgess to serve in the present
parliament for the borough of Downton,
it has become my duty to take the earliest
opportunity of requesting you to inform
the honourable House, that I am not
qualified to take a seat therein, inasmuch
as I am not possessed of such an estate
as is required by the act passed in the 9th
year of queen Anne. I am, Sir, with all
due respect, &c. ROBERT SOUTHEY."

ADDRESS ON THE KINGo' SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
Address, on the King's Speech was re-
ported to the House. On its being read
a second time,
Mr. Western rose for the purpose of
submitting an amendment, by way of
addition to the Address. This he felt to
be necessary, not that he was hostile to
any part of the Address, but that he was
desirous to fill up an omission on a ques-
tion most important to the country. The
Address adverted to the distressed situation
of the manufacturing districts, but it
omitted to state, in any particular man-
ner, the condition of the agriculturists,
who, he would say, though not as de-
pressed as the manufacturers, were still
labouring under severe pressure, arising
from the burthens to which they were
subject. It became the more necessary
to advert to the situation of the agricul-
turists, because the omission of that sub-
ject from the royal Speech went to con-
firm an opinion too prevalent in the coun-
try, that the agriculturists were in pros-
perity, and that they were flourishing at
the expense of the manufacturers. This
opinion he knew prevailed among the ma-
nufacturing classes, and it had even been
stated in that House by an hon. alder-
man. It was necessary that such an
opinion should not go forth as sanctioned
by that House, and therefore he felt
bound, publicly, to deny its justice. The
farmers, he could state, were in distress,
and their condition generally declining.
They were scarcely able to struggle against
the burthens by which they were oppressed,


Address on the King's Speech 112
They could with difficulty pay the very
reduced rents. Capital employed in agri-
culture was never known to bring so
low a return as at present. The situation
of the agricultural labourer was also one
of great distress. They were never worse
paid than at present. Instead of finding
full employment at a good price as here-
tofore, they were obliged to entreat for it
at a greatly reduced rate. The numbers,
for whom no employment could be found,
were daily increasing. The poor rates, as
a necessary consequence, were increas-
ing; and he feared that, unless some
remedy was devised, they would, in a
short time, be in a worse situation than
the manufacturing poor. He did not
complain that the present price of grain
was inadequate; but then the value of
that price to the farmer must depend on
the burthens to which he was subject.
He was prepared to contend that, com-
pared with those burthens, the prices were
much lower now than for a period of
several years previous to the beginning of
the late war. If he compared the present
price of corn with that which it bore be-
fore 1792, he found that the quarter of
wheat was then within 3s. or 4s. of what
it sold for at present; and yet there were
then only 17,000,0001. of taxes annually
taken from the people, while at this mo-
ment there were nearly 60,000,0001. Did
any doubt that the difference pressed
heavily on the agriculturist of this day?
He was prepared to contend, that the
price of corn was not the cause of the
distress suffered by the manufacturers.
It arose from other causes to which he
would not then particularly advert. He
had stated them before, and should have
another opportunity of submitting them
to the House; but he wished the manu-
facturers to recollect, that twelve months
ago, when they were in a state of admitted
prosperity, the price of corn was 10s. a
quarter more than it was at present. It
was too much, under these circumstances,
to endeavour to persuade the country,
that the price of corn had any thing to do
with the cause of the distress. He felt it
his duty, under these circumstances, to
submit an amendment to the Address, as-
suring his Majesty, that while the House
regretted the present distressed state of
the country, it would take immediate
steps to inquire into its cause. This he
felt to be the first duty of the new parlia-
ment; namely, to trace the extraordinary







causes which had contributed to produce corn to the manufacturers; for, as soon as
such an extraordinary change in the state foreign corn had driven some of our lands
of society, as they had witnessed within out of cultivation, the price would be
the last ten years. It was well known higher than ever. But even supposing
that, during the war, this country was in the price reduced, it should be considered
a state of commercial, manufacturing, and that wages would be reduced in the same
agricultural, prosperity, which had pro- proportion; and he maintained that wages
gressively improved. Was it not the proportioned to a high price of corn would
duty of members to inquire what had be much more beneficial to the artisan
interrupted this prosperity, and what had than those proportioned to a low price.
brought the country to a state of calamity Another delusion on the public was the
greater than any produced by any for- assertion, that 8s. added to the price of
ner war in which we had been engaged? corn by non-importation was a clear loss
He would not now state what the causes to the public of 15,000,0001. He should
of it were, but would content himself with be glad to learn, from those who maintained
moving the following amendment, by way this opinion, where these millions went?
of addition to the Address: Did they go up to the moon, whither so
Your Majesty's faithful Commons feel many lost articles were said to ascend;
it their duty to represent to your Majesty, or did they sink into the earth, to be again
and at the same time to express their deep dug up in congenial silver and gold?
regret, that the agricultural classes, though These were questions which he should
not suffering in the degree they did a few wish to have answered. The hon. mem-
years ago, particularly in the year 1822, ber went on to contend, that there was
are yet in a state of severe pressure of dis- only one way of settling the question, and
tress, from the heavy burthens to which that was, by a reduction of taxation. If
they are exposed. They will endeavour they removed the assessed taxes, which
to trace the causes which have led to the pressed on the farmer; if they removed
dreadful alternations of prosperity and ad- the leather-tax; if they removed the malt-
versity which all the industrious classes tax; if they removed the tax on tenants'
have experienced since the termination of leases; if they removed these and other
the war in the year 1815, and they trust burthens which pressed with peculiar se-
they shall discover the means of restoring verity on agriculturists, then they might
the agriculture, commerce, and manufac- hope to conciliate the landed interest, and
tures, of the country to the same condition to have their assent to a repeal of the
of progressive improvement, in which they Corn-laws ; but, if ministers talked of the
were steadily advancing antecedent to distressed state of the Treasury, he would
that period." remind them, that revenue removed was
Mr. Leycester seconded the amend- not always revenue lost, and that increase
ment. He could not but regret that the of consumption almost always followed
subject of the Corn-laws had not formed a diminution of taxation. If, however, they
part of the Speech from the Throne ; the persisted in adhering to the present exor-
more particularly on account of the bitant rate of taxation, and wished for an
strange delusion which filled the public alteration of the Corn-laws, he begged to
mind on that subject. That it was a de- inform them, that the landed interest
lusion to suppose that the distress was would not be tamely sacrificed (not for the
owing to the Corn-laws would be proved benefit of the manufacturing poor, for to
by the fact, that under those laws, and accomplish that they would willingly make
even at higher prices than the present, every sacrifice); but they would not be
the manufacturers, masters and journey- sacrificed for the benefit of the fundholder,
men, had prospered to a degree thereto- who was already well off-or for the bene-
fore unexampled. He contended, that fit of the army and navy, who were already
the distress arose from the impolitic con- very well off-or for the benefit of place-
duct of government in tampering with the men and pensioners, who were already too
currency, from thegreatissueofsmallnotes, well off-or for the advantage of the mas-
and from the fact of ministers never allow- ter-manufacturers, who were endeavouring
ing the country to enjoy the benefit of a real to become noblemen and gentlemen, by
sinking fund. He maintained that it was turning the nobility and gentry into beg-
another delusion to suppose that the re- gars; and lastly, not for the benefit of the
peal of the Corn-laws would produce cheap Germans, who were just now in high


alt the Opening~ of the Session.


Nov. 22, 1826. 114







spirits at the idea of once more picking the House. It was well known that the
the pockets of John Bull. course of proceeding, in the election of a
Sir J. Sebright opposed the amend- member of parliament, was this: the writ,
meant; not because he was indifferent to in the first place, issues from the Crown-
the interests of the landlords, but because office to the sheriff of the county, and he,
he was convinced that the introduction of in compliance with the order contained in
the subject at the present moment was it, again issues what is called a precept
extremely ill-timed. He could not agree to the returning officer of each borough
that it was a fault in the Speech from the within his county, in which he calls upon
throne to have omitted the several topics that officer to hold the election, and make
yesterday alluded to. On the contrary the return to him by a certain time.
he thought those omissions formed its When the election has been held in virtue
great merit, of this precept, the returning officer an-
Mr. Western said, that he would not take nexes the indenture of the return to the
the sense of the House on the amend- precept, and sends it to the sheriff, who
ment; but he wished it to be put, as he transmits it with such indenture to the
was anxious to have it placed on record. clerk of the Crown. This was .the
The amendment was then put, and ne- ordinary and established course of pro-
gatived; after which, the original address ceeding, from which, he conceived, they
was agreed to, never had departed, and from which no
-__-- departure could, with any regard to the
HOUSE OF COMMONS. preservation of their own privileges or the
rights of the electors, take place. This
Friday, November 24. ordinary and established practice had
KInG's ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS.] been strictly followed, as regarded one of
The Speaker reported his Majesty's Answer the indentures. The sheriff had directed
to the Address, as follows: his precept to the mayor of Tregony, an
Gentlemen of the House of Commons: officer who had been duly sworn in by
-I thank you for this loyal and dutiful virtue of a writ of Mandamus; and this
Address. I rely with confidence on your alone, he conceived, was sufficient for the
affectionate support; and you may depend purpose he had in view, because, as it was
upon my continued exertions to uphold acknowledged that it was the duty of the
the honour and interests of the nation, to sheriff to select that person who was, in
cultivate the blessings of peace abroad, his judgment, the proper returning officer,
and to promote, at home, the welfare of the indenture which that officer returned
all classes of my subjects." along with the precept must be considered
as the legal return to the sheriff; and
Bonovac or TREGONY.] Mr. Aber- therefore Dr. Lushington and James
cromby said, that, as the subject of his Brougham, esq. must be considered as the
present motion was intimately connected duly elected members for the borough of
with the privileges of that House, it would, Tregony. There had been, however, a
of course, take precedence of every other, great error committed, which it was the
He would commence by requesting the duty of that House to correct. The first
clerk to read the return to the Crown- return stated, upon the face of it, that it
office relative to the borough of Tregony. was made by virtue of a precept issued
The clerk then read the entry, in which from the sheriff; while the second was
there appeared the names of Stephen only described as being in virtue of the
Lushington and James Brougham, return- writ, and therefore could not be maintain-
ed with, and annexed to, the writ; and of ed. This return was also invalid, as it
James Adam Gordon and James Mackil- was represented to be made by the de-
lop, returned with, but not annexed to, puty of the mayor; an officer not selected
the writ. by the sheriff for the performance of the
Mr. Abercromby then proceeded to ob- duty. That gentleman had before issued
serve, that the simple reading of that his precept to the mayor, and it had been
entry might be almost sufficient to esta- complied with by the first return of an
blish beyond contradiction, that there had indenture annexed to the writ; while the
been no double return for the borough in second return, made by an officer not ap-
question, and that the entry in the book pointed by him, and avowedly by virtue
ought to be forthwith rectified, by order of of the writ, could not for a moment be


115~ HOUSE OF COMMONS,


King's Anstier to the Address.





95 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Fergusson, sir R. Thomson, J. P.
Grattan, J. Warburton, H.
Harvey, D.W. Williams, J.
Hobhouse, J. C. Wilson, sir R.
Maberly, J. Winnington, sir E.
Marshall, J. Wood, J.
Marshall, W. Wyvill, M.
Monck, J. B. TELLERS.
Philips, G. Hume, J.
Philips, G. R. Wood, M.
Robarts, A. W.
Mr. Henry Grattan then moved, that the
following words be added to the Address:-
"That this House desires to express to
his Majesty their deep regret at the present
state of Ireland, and to assure his Majesty
of their determination to direct their
attention towards that subject, with a view
to the redress of the grievances under
which his Majesty's subjects there labour :
-That this House will apply their most
serious attention to the investigation of the
estimates which may be laid before them ;
and will take the most effectual measures
for reducing the expenditure of the coun-
try in all its branches, civil and military,
to the lowest scale consistent with the good
government and the honour of the nation."
On the question, that these words be
added to the Address, the House divided :
Ayes 58. Noes 135. The original Address
was then put and agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, November 22.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] Sir John
Brydges presented a petition from the
parish of Wootton, in Kent, against any
further concessions to the Roman Catho-
lics, and for putting down the new Roman
Catholic Association. He said, that he
could not remain quite silent upon a sub-
ject of such vital importance, lest he should
incur the charge of supineness in a cause
he was most desirous to advocate. He
concurred in the prayer of the petition,
and cordially rejoiced that the parish of
Wootton was thus early in the field to ex-
press its opposition to popery, and its
determination to uphold unimpaired our
Protestant constitution; for he was firmly
convinced that if the legislature did not
promptly interpose its authority, and
quickly make use of the power it possessed
effectually to suppress the existing popish
faction, and at once to shut the door
against farther concession to the Roman
Catholics, it must be expected, that that
portion of the benches of that assembly,


Roman Catholic Claims. 96
which were now allotted to the Irish
members, would no longer be filled with
the representatives of the landed and com-
mercial interests of that part of the em-
pire but with the representatives of the
popish priesthood. The petition which he
now held in his hand was but from a small
number of his Majesty's subjects; but it
was from a whole parish, which, though
little in extent, was large in loyalty and
attachment to the constitution, and in
abhorrence of popery; and consisted of
intelligent and respectable inhabitants,
deprecating the evils that must infallibly
arise from an admission of the Roman
Catholics to temporal power in the state.
Earnestly did he hope to see the example
of this petition followed by every county,
town, and parish, in the empire : thus, as
the streamlet quickly became a stream,
enlarging until it covered a vast expanse,
so might the petition be followed by
others, multiplying as they arose, so as
wholly to extinguish every hope of Catho-
lic emancipation. If any man had had
any doubts of the ulterior views of the Ro-
man Catholics, those doubts must now be
removed by the unjustifiable proceedings,
since the dissolution of parliament, of that
faction denominated the New Catholic
Association, and by the part the parish
priests had taken at the late elections in
Ireland. The cloven foot was no longer
concealed. The mask was removed ; and
if temporal power was to be conceded to
the papists, they would soon become strong
enough to seize upon spiritual; and then
farewell to our Protestant religion and
laws He called upon the country through
the legislature, before it was too late, for
an expression of Protestant feeling, by
petitions to annihilate the present wicked
attempt to overthrow the Protestant
establishment in church and state; de-
claring that this was the time to remind
the empire of the words of the immortal
Nelson:-" England expects every man
to do his duty !" and he trusted he should
see presented to that House, without loss
of time, petitions similar to the present,
from one end of the kingdom to the other,
more numerous than had been offered
upon any other question. Whenever the
question of Catholic emancipation should
come before the House, he should be pre-
pared to state his reasons for the opposi-
tion he should give to that measure. In
the mean time, he implored those who had
lately become members of that House, to





117 Borough of Tregony.
considered in the light of a double return.
The sheriff, it was obvious, had not so
considered it; for if he had done so, it
was plain that he would have felt himself
bound to return it, as well as the other
annexed to the writ. He apprehended
that the case of the borough of Helstone
was a perfect illustration of the principle
which he wished to maintain for the
guidance of their decision. In that case
there was one return made by virtue of a
precept, and the other by virtue of a writ.
The sheriff, in that case, did not presume
to act upon his own responsibility, but
took the advice of two of the most
eminent lawyers of the day-Mr. Serjeant
Davy and Mr. Buller-as to the course
which he ought to pursue. These gen-
tlemen gave what he considered a safe
rather than a manly advice. They desired
the sheriff not to take upon himself the
responsibility of rejecting persons returned
to him in that manner, but to send the
names to the clerk of the Crown, and
throw upon him the whole burthen of
acting as he thought his duty might
direct. They did not take the true manly
course and say to him, you have issued
your precept-you have received a return
-and any thing else which accompanies
must be considered as mere waste of
paper." No: they threw the responsi-
bility on the clerk of the Crown, and left
the parties afterwards to prove their re-
spective titles. This, he repeated, was the
safe but not the manly or the correct
course; for it was competent for any per-
son, by a very small sum of money, to
keep out of parliament any two men he
thought proper, on the most critical occa-
sion. If that House had been assembled
for any vitally interesting purpose, instead
of being called together to give their
assent to a measure upon which all were
agreed, it might have been in the power
of any man to keep out any number of
the hon. gentlemen opposite, from the
present period until the ensuing March,
by precisely the same expedient. The
learned gentleman then contended, that it
was the bounden duty of the sheriff to
have returned those names only which
were annexed to the precept he had issued,
and to have presumed that the others
were not legally elected, until they had
been enabled to establish their title else-
where. It might be agreeable to those
who were always applauding the wisdom
of their ancestors to know, that this doc-


Nov. 24, 1826. 118
trine of presumption, in such cases, had
been held to be the proper course, as far
back as the reign of James the 1st. In
that reign, a person named Holford had
been elected for Pontefract and for Stock-
bridge. He made his election for Stock-
bridge, and in some discussions respecting
the election upon the new writ, to which
a return was made by virtue of precept
and of writ, the House decided, that the
sheriff was bound to presume the return
to the precept to be correct, until some-
thing was proved to the contrary. The
case of Liskeard was somewhat different;
but Helleston was quite in point; and he
now contended that the House was bound,
for the protection of its own rights, to
shew that the sheriff was bound to return
the indenture of his office, and that alone.
-There was another extraordinary cir-
cumstance connected with this matter,
which he would mention without com-
ment; and that was, that when the agent,
of the sheriff carried the precepts for his
county to the Crown-office, one of the
clerks there told him, that there was ano-
ther return for Tregony, and wished him
to fix it to the precept. The agent re-
plied, that he was directed to leave that
precept with the indenture separately and
distinctly, as the return of the sheriff, and
he would leave it in the state he had re-
ceived it, without alteration. Subse-
quently there appeared in the Gazette,
a notice of the members elected for Tre-
gony, in which the names of Gordon and
Mackillop appeared before those of Lush-
ington and Brougham, who had been re-
turned on the precept; and when this
matter was mentioned in the course of
the proceedings, the agent was told, that
it did not signify what appeared in the
Gazette, the entry would be found to be
correct in the book returned to the clerk
of the House.-The thing of which he
principally complained was, that the first
return, that of the earliest date, was
superseded in the Crown-office, and that
the return of which he complained was
substituted for it. And this was the more
the subject of just complaint, as one was
on the 13th of June, and the other on the
17th, and still more as the precept was
affixed to the writ in one instance, and
not in the other. Such a return, he con-
tended, could not be maintained or sup-
poited by the House. He therefore
thought, that the obvious proceeding for
the House to adopt was, to reject the





119 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
return which was informal, and therefore
nugatory; and to leave to any party
which might feel itself aggrieved, the op-
portunity of appealing to the House for
redress for any injury it might sustain
from the decision of the House; a redress
which, on a representation of just ground
of complaint, he was satisfied the House
would be ready to afford. He concluded,
by moving, That the Indenture by which
James Adam Gordon and James Mackil-
lop esquires, were returned to serve in
parliament for the borough of Tregony, be
taken off the file."
Mr. Wynn assured the hon. and learned
member that he should not have thought
himself at all disorderly in interrupting
him before he had concluded his speech,
had he been aware that his motion would
have taken the shape which he had
eventually given it. The hon. and learned
member commenced by telling them, that
he had a motion to submit on a matter
connected with their privileges; but, in
fact, he had concluded with a proposition
which was against law, and against the
usage of that House. The details with
which the learned gentleman had favoured
them, would have been perfectly in place,
before an election committee, legally con-
stituted for the investigation of the alleged
irregularity; but when addressed to that
House, which had no power to entertain
the subject, theywere useless to all purpose,
but to prejudge the question. What was
the substance of the motion ? That that
House should of its own authority, order
a return to be taken off the file. If the
learned member could persuade the House
to such a course, the next thing he must
do, would be to bring in a bill to repeal
all the acts relating to elections passed
by that House since the commencement
of legislation on the subject. If the House
were to controvert a return made to it, in
the manner now proposed, it would lead to
the greatest inconveniences. For if, under
any pretence, they were once to arrogate
to themselves such a power, there would
be always plenty of cases, with circum-
stances of a special and peculiar nature,
to demand their interference. It was the
established practice of the House, in cases
of this kind,' to refer the matter in the
first instance, to a committee of privileges.
That was the course pursued in the case
of Pomfret, in the time of James the 1st.
In that case it was decided, that the pro-
per course to be pursued was, to refer mat-


Borough of Tregony. 120
ters of disputed election to an election
committee. He knew nothing of the par-
ties in this case; but he must say, that an
election committee would be the only
tribunal in which justice could be done,
and an opportunity given of defending
the return complained of, and shewing
that it was legal, and one which the
House ought to adopt. The learned mem-
ber had found a precedent for the course he
recommended in the time of William and
Mary, about the year 1690. At that time
the House exercised jurisdiction over re-
turns, and felt no hesitation whatever at
acting, if a clear case was brought before
it, without the aid of a committee. But
the object of the Grenville act was, that
in no case the House should act of itself.
The greatest danger would arise from the
House exercising such a power: and even
if it were to assume the jurisdiction, it
would not proceed to exercise it, without
first referring the matter to a committee
of precedents. There were several cases
on the subject, but he would not then go
into them, as he thought there was but
one in which the House interfered with a
return to which the sheriff was no party.
There was, however, one case which bore
a strong analogy to the present: it was
that of the borough of Liskeard. There
the party to whom the precept was issued
by the sheriff made a regular return, and
another return was made by other parties.
The one return was under the regular seal
of the corporation, while the other was
without that requisite, and under the seals
of parties to whom no precept was issued.
There could be no doubt of the irregularity
of the latter return, but still he was of
opinion, that to interfere in the manner
required by the lion. mover, in the present
instance, would be improper, and the more
so, because it could be decided by an
election petition. It could not be done
without the examination of evidence at the
bar of the House ; and it would be unusual
and inconvenient to examine and cross-
examine a number of persons at that
bar. By the election laws there was a
committee expressly appointed to try the
merits of election petitions and returns.
In the case of the city of Westminster, in
1784, the high bailiff made a return, not
of certain persons to sit in that House, but
that certain candidates had such and such
a number of votes. Against that return
Mr. Fox petitioned, and the House de-
cided, that they could take no cognizance





121 Borough of Tregony.
of it, because they could only come to a
decision upon a return, but in that case
there.was no return at all. The House
there felt a difficulty as to how it should
act, and an act was immediately passed,
giving the House power to decide on peti-
tions in cases where there had been no
return. There were no grounds upon
which the House could proceed to do what
was required of them. There were a
number of facts no doubt stated; but it
would be much better to refer the case to
an election committee, which had power'
to examine witnesses upon oath. In that
case the House, if there were any breach of
duty, either on the part of the sheriff, the
returning officer, or the clerk of the Crown,
could visit it upon the party offending, or
the aggrieved party might have his remedy
by action, against whoever was in fault.
The House ought certainly, as far as pos-
sible, to discourage double returns; be-
cause, of the two persons returned neither
could act, and the place which they both
sought to represent was literally with-
out a representative so long as the case
was undecided. For these reasons, he
must object to the motion, and he en-
treated the House to pause before they
consented to a proceeding which might
form a precedent capable of leading to
considerable mischief.
Mr. Lockhart was not disposed to con-
cur fully with the hon. and learned mover,
although he certainly had not heard any-
thing from the right hon. gentleman to
affect his statement. He thought the
House ought to exercise its utmost vigi-
lance to guard against fictitious returns.
Suppose, for instance, that in some of the
boroughs or popular places of England,
where persons voted by scot and lot, some
person on the part of the scot and lot
voters assumed to officiate as the return-
ing officer, and that his return was for-
warded to the sheriff, and accompanied
the writ to the clerk of the Crown's office ;
great difficulty might arise from setting
aside such a return. He, therefore,
thought it necessary to adopt some mea-
sure to provide against the inconvenience
that might arise from undue returns in
such a case, or in a case similar to the pre-
sent. When it was considered what ex-
pense arose from prosecuting petitions in
cases of controverted elections, every pre-
caution should, be taken to prevent ficti-
tious returns. He would support a mo-
tiho .at went to Offect suci an Qbject,


Nov. 24, 1826. 122
Mr. Brougham differed entirely from
the right hon. gentleman in the observa-
tion, that an acquiescence in the present
motion would infringe upon the Grenville
act. The right hon. gentleman was not
more disposed than he himself was, to
bestow hearty commendation upon that
act, than which no one more wise or
virtuous had ever been framed by that or
any other assembly. For what was the
object of that act? It was to make a
voluntary surrender, on the part of this
branch of the legislature, of a jurisdiction
which it found itself not capable of wisely
and impartially exercising. So far, there-
fore, as the Grenville act went to take
From that House, in its collective capacity,
the right of determining upon cases of
controverted elections, and to refer such
cases to a more satisfactory tribunal, it
had his approval. But this provision for
a competent tribunal to decide upon such
cases, did not go to take away from par-
liament the right and power of self-defence
and protection, in the event of circum-
stances totally unconnected with those
under which that act was originally passed.
Did his hon. and learned friend propose,
that that act should, in this particular
case, be infringed on, or did he propose
that inquiry and examination should be
abandoned, where investigation could be
attended with advantage ? No such thing.
There was here no necessity for such in-
quiry; for the decision was to be formed
on an inspection of the returns themselves.
They were both before them. It was un-
necessary to examine into the details of
the election; for there were documents
before the House which, without reference
to such details, would enable them to
come to a decision. Here were two
returns. In one, the indenture was an-
nexed to the writ by the sheriff; in the
other, it was not. In the one all the ne-
cessary forms were complied with; in the
other, they were not. The question for
the House to determine was, which of these
returns the House should adopt? Wit-
nesses were not necessary. They had the
evidence of their own senses to regulate
them in the course most proper to pursue.
The case of the election of Liskeard had
been adverted to; but, in his opinion, the
cases were by no means analogous. Even
in that case he had the high constitutional
authority of Mr. Pitt to support him in
the opinion, that that case did not fall
within the Grenville act, and that thq






House went too far, when they referred it House; but having been concerned in the
to a committee, and neglected to decide Liskeard case, he felt it necessary to say a
upon it themselves immediately. But if few words,' in reference to the proceedings
that was a case which called for the in- on that occasion. He was proposed as a
terference of the House, how much more candidate, and a majority of votes tendered
strongly did the present do so ? For there for him. For the other candidates, votes
was this difference between these cases, were also tendered, many of which were
that in the case of Liskeard both returns rejected. The agent of the other party
were annexed to the writ, but in the pre- procured a piece of parchment, to which
sent there was only one; and it was there- he obtained the signatures of several per-
fore more imperative on the House to come sons who were rejected voters, and that
to a decision. The two cases were toto parchment was received by the under
ccelo different. The most satisfactory sheriff, and by him attached to the precept.
test of the validity of the return was, that It was contended in the House, that it was
of its being annexed to the writ. If such a case not necessary to be referred to an
a practice as that now complained of was election committee, and the general con-
permitted, it would be competent for any sideration of it was as it had been repre-
person who might wish to prevent the sented by the learned gentleman. What
properly elected members from sitting for the circumstances which accompanied that
any place for some months after the elec- case had to do with the present question,
tion, to send returns to the sheriff; who, was for the House to determine. There
for his own security, would probably for- was no double return. There was no re-
ward them to the Crown-office, and thus turn at all, or any thing partaking of that
the duly elected members would for a character. The distinction between it and
time be debarred from sitting. By such the present case was, that the matter was
means, it would be competent for him, then determined by a simple inspection of
with two hundred pieces of paper forward- the document; but here there were two
ed to the sheriff, and by the sheriff trans- returns; each of them pretending to be a
mittedto the Crown-office, to embarrass return. It appeared to him that this case
the returns of two hundred members; and could not, like the former, be decided by a
he owned there were times in that House, simple inspection of the returns. It was
when he would be glad that he could per- not competent for him to say how far the
form some operation that could effect clerk of the Crown was, in the present
such a reduction of members [a laugh]. case, in fault, but he was certain, that
However desirous he or any other person officer would be able satisfactorily to ac-
might be, to possess the power of making count for his conduct. Whether the
such fictitious returns, he thought that question was similar to the former, was for
that capability in him, or in any other per the House to decide. All he knew was,
son, would very inadequately compensate that he had been, in that instance, kept for
for the mischief arising from making mock some time out of his seat.
returns to that House. Among the many Mr. Abercromby wished to explain that
other disadvantages which the return of nothing could be taken as a return to the
which the present motion complained was, I ing's writ, except the return made by the
that it was not made until four days after sheriff to the Crown-office, and by the
the correct return. The motion of his officer of the Crown to the House. There
learned friend did not go to deprive any was the book on the table, stating that
party of a right which they might suppose one return was annexed to the precept,
they were entitled to; it only went to de- and annexed by the sheriff to the writ;
clare which of the returns, upon the evi- and also stating, that the other return was
dence of the returns themselves, was the not annexed to the precept or to the writ,
one that that House ought to sanction and as well as that it was not regularly received,
approve of. It did not deprive any party in point of time. From the manner in
of the opportunity of petitioning against it, which the entry was made no further evi-
or of adopting any ulterior measure they dence was necessary for the House to
might think proper, decide the question.
Mr. Huskisson said, that nothing was Mr. Wynn said, he had never contended
further from his intention than to take any that any return should be received by the
part in this discussion, nor was he aware House, except such as had been made
of its nature until he had entered the through the sheriff; nor did he think the


123 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Borough of Treygony.





125 Corn Importation Acts-Order in Council.


House would treat that as a return which
had not been regularly annexed to the
writ. He only contended, that it would
not be safe for the House to decide at once
without any inquiry.
Mr. Horace Twiss thought the House
ought to decide from the documents before
them. If they went out of those docu-
ments, they would travel out of the record.
Mr. Carter thought the House had no
power to alter the return made by the
sheriff, except it was decided by a compe-
tent tribunal that he had acted corruptly
or illegally. He thought, therefore, that
the book on their table was quite sufficient
to decide the case. The second return, it
was clear, was never mentioned as a return
by the sheriff himself.
Mr. D. Gilbert thought the whole ques-
tion was, whether the second return could
be called a legal return. In his opinion,
it was no return at all, though he did not
think that any blame was attributable to
the sheriff.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, he must
make a confession, and take to himself
whatever shame attached to it; namely,
that he was ignorant of the course which
ought to be pursued in this case, and if
called on to vote, he must oppose the
motion ; because, in his present state of
information on the subject, he was unwil-
ling to assent to a vote which would decide
it all at once and for ever. He was not
prepared to go the whole length with the
hon. and learned gentleman in saying that
want of annexation to the writ constituted
a nullity. If that were so, undoubtedly the
learned gentleman's case would be a very
strong one. However, as it would be
better to decide by precedents, and as this
would decide future cases, he would sug-
gest the propriety of adjourning the ques-
tion for farther discussion, when they
would come better prepared to give it that
attention which its importance required.
He had at first thought that it would be
better to call the clerk of the Crown to the
bar, to give explanation, if necessary ; but
on consideration, he thought that might be
deciding the case at one side. He would
move, that the debate be adjourned to
Wednesday, and that the clerk of the
Crown be ordered to be in attendance.-
Agreed to.

CORN IMPOftTATION ACTS--ORDER IN
COUNCIL.] The House having resolved
itself into a committee on the Corn Impor-


station acts, to which the Order in Council
of the 1st of September was referred,
Mr. Huskisson addressed the committee.
He began by observing, that as the Orders
in Council for the opening of the ports for
the admission of oats, oatmeal, peas, beans,
and rye, which had just been referred to
the committee, was issued, not only with-
out the authority of law, but in direct con-
travention of existing statutes, and as his
Majesty had called parliament together at
this time chiefly for the purpose of having
that order submitted for their consideration,
he thus took the earliest opportunity of
submitting to the House the grounds on
which his Majesty had been advised to issue
that order. This was a duty which
ministers owed to parliament, to the
country, and to themselves; and if it
should be the pleasure of the legislature to
grant them the indemnity for which they
sued, so far from its becoming a dangerous
precedent, it would rather tend to
strengthen and confirm the precise bounds
by which the different authorities in the
state were limited. They owed it also to
themselves to seek the indemnity of parlia-
ment, as they would otherwise be subject
to certain legal consequences for having so
advised the Crown; and they likewise
owed it to those subordinate officers who
acted under their orders in opening the
ports. The date of the Order in Council
was the 1st of September. At that time
most of the members of parliament were
resident in the country, and had opportuni-
ties, in their several districts, of observing
the state of the harvest. That circum-
stance would render it the less necessary
for him to go into any lengthened state-
ment on the present occasion; and he was
certain the recollection of those members
would bear him out in the assertion, that
never was there a period when the reports
from the different parts of the country so
entirely concurred as to the harvest, and
he hoped that those reports would be suf-
ficient to justify ministers in the course
they had pursued. With respect to the
state of the crops at that time, he would
say first, that wheat, taken as a whole, was
deficient in quantity and quality; and the
quality of course affected the value of the
quantity. Barley, on the whole, would not
make more than about two thirds of an
average crop. Oats were generally defi-
cient, and beans and peas much more so;
and such had been the appearance of those
crops in the ground, that in the month of


Nov. 24, 1826. 126





127 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
July the prices were rapidly rising. About
the middle of June, when the price ought
to be at the highest, as the old stock would
at that time be nearly exhausted, the
average price was 22s. lid. On the 4th
of August, taking the average of the whole
kingdom, it had risen to 27s. 3d., and had
considerably exceeded that price in many
districts. The House were aware that the
two weeks from that date were the only
weeks which were left to be included in
the general quarterly average. The last
of those two weeks it had risen Is. 6d.
above that price, at which, if it were the
general average of the quarter, the ports
would be open for the importation of
foreign oats. With this information as to
the general deficiency of the crop, and the
consequent apprehended scarcity, they
waited to see what would be the price in
the two remaining weeks. In the week
ending the 18th, the general average price
was 28s. 2d.; in that ending the 25th, it
was 29s. 4d.; and in the last days of the
month it rose above 30s. On the 1st of
September it was 30s. 7d., and was con-
tinuing to rise rapidly. The committee
would bear in mind, that in several districts
where oatmeal, and not flour, constituted
a very large proportion of the food of the
people, its price rose very much above that
which had been quoted as the general
average. Besides the knowledge of these
facts, his Majesty's ministers had also the
information, that the crop of oats was in
general a failure in several foreign countries
from which oats were usually imported.
Knowing this, and seeing that great
scarcity was to be apprehended at home,
not merely from the deficiency of the oat
crop, but from the general failure of legu-
minousproductionsthroughoutthe country,
owing to the great drought which pre-
vailed, it became necessary to take steps
to obtain a timely supply of food, not
merely for the cattle, but for that large
portion of the people who were dependent
on oatmeal for food. But another circum-
stance which operated on his Majesty's
ministers was, that the accounts from Lan-,
cashire and from Ireland were of such an
alarming nature, as almostto excite despair;
and if the drought had continued, if Pro-
vidence had not lent its aid by a timely
fall of rain, the potato crops must have
been ruined. In that case, they would
have had to fall back on the scanty supply
of oats which remained, and must have found
themselves in a state of the utmost distress


Corn Importation Acts- 128
for a supply of food for the great mass
of the people. During the whole of his
experience, never did the country appear
in a situation more alarming. To add to
the grounds of apprehension, the hay crop,
in the richest parts of England, was in a
condition to call forth fears of the utmost
scarcity, and the fact was, that at the sea-
son of the year in question, such was the
miserable state of vegetation, that it was
absolutely necessary to feed cattle with
green fodder, as in the depth of winter.
In such a condition of the country, with
such prospects, could there be the slightest
hesitation in taking any step that might
be requisite for securing to the country a
supply of the first necessary of existence ?
Could his Majesty's ministers, for a single
moment, entertain a doubt that their first
duty was, at whatever risk, to guard
against the impending scarcity, by the ad-
mission of peas, beans, and grain? The
statements he had made, verified as they
must have been by the observation of hon.
gentlemen, fully warranted him in asserting
that had ministers waited till the 15th of
November, when by law the ports might
have been opened, the consequences would
probably have proved most calamitous.
From the rapid rise of prices before the
first of September, their continued eleva-
tion subsequent to that period, the condi-
tion of the crops at home, and the pros-
pects of supply from abroad, he had not
the slightest difficulty in saying, that the
minister who should hesitate to advise the
admission of foreign grain, would be un-
worthy equally of the favour of the mo-
narch, and of that fair and liberal confi-
dence which was reposed in the ministers of
the Crown, whileparliament was not sitting.
He put it to the committee, whether it could
for a moment be thought, that any minister
deserved to be trusted by the .Crown, or
supported by parliament, who could for a
single instant hesitate to choose between
a breach of the law on the one hand, or
the risk, nay the certainty, of famine on
the other. Having submitted to the com-
mittee these observations, he trusted he
had said enough to justify the measure
that had been adopted, so far as it related
to removing the prohibition, which would
have excluded grain until the 15th.of
November, and he would havte conr, nted
himself with having said thus much, had
that measure been confined to simple re-
moval; but there was another feature of
the case which required notice, He al





129 Order in Council.
luded to the duty to be imposed on the
grain admitted, or rather, he should say,
undertaken to be -paid thereon. The ad-
visers of the Crown, on this occasion, had
departed as little as possible from the
spirit of the existing Corn-laws. They
required the parties importing to pay cer-
tain duties; that is, the order in council
imposed upon the importers the necessity
of entering into an engagement to pay a
specified duty, provided that duty should
be sanctioned by parliament; and, in pur-
suance thereof, bonds had been entered
into. Therefore, the act necessary to be
passed on the present occasion, should
not merely indemnify the parties who in-
curred this responsibility, but should, if
parliament took the view of the subject
which he did, empower the Crown to re-
cover those duties. Honourable gentle-
men might differ as to the amount of duty
tobe imposed. The principles upon which
ministers had acted in settling these du-
ties, he would now explain. It was enact-
ed already, that if the price of oats was
above 28s. the duty was to be two shil-
lings permanently, and two shillings addi-
tional for the first three months.
It must be obvious, that the only inten-
tion for which the additional duty of two
shillings had been imposed for the first
three months was, to check the amount
imported, lest it should exceed the wants
of the country, and thus be injurious to
the home-grower. If they had taken a
right estimate of the harvest of the year,
such a check would have been deemed un-
necessary. The whole oat crop had hard-
ly exceeded one half of an average crop.
Instead, therefore, of checking the import-
ation of this species of corn, ministers were
called upon to give encouragement to the
largest importation. On the 8th of Sep-
tember, the average price of the whole
kingdom exceeded 30s. a quarter; on the
5th of August it had exceeded 30s. 4d.
in not less than six districts. If no foreign
corn had been introduced into the country
until the 15th of November, the time at
which it might have been imported by law,
it was impossible to conceive that the
price would not have gone on rapidly in-
creasing, until by the 15th of November,
the return would have been very consider-
ably above the legal importation price.-
On the subject of the amount of the duty,
he would observe, that he thought it
should not have exceeded 2s.; for had 4s.
teen imposed, thrQe cVld hae been but
VOL. XVI,


Nov. 24, 1826. 136
little doubt that the importers would have
waited until the 15th of November, and
taken their chance of being then able to
introduce it at the nominal duty of 4d.
per quarter. In confirmation of this, he
would observe, that of the quantity im-
ported, 600,000 quarters of wheat, 150,000
were actually overheld, the owners de-
clining to pay the duty of 2s., and-rather
desiring to take their chance on the 15th
of November. In the last week, the prices
were 29s. and 30s., in thirteen or fourteen
counties out of the twenty-four, from which
he had received reports; and these re-
ports, he could inform the committee,
were from counties where the great mass of
the population were, in a considerable de-
gree, dependent on oats for their food;
amongst which might be included Dur-
ham, Cumberland, Northumberland, Ches-
ter, Gloucester, and Lancashire, and a few
others. In Lancashire the price was 35s.;
affording another strong proof of the ne-
cessity there was for opening the ports,
and of obtaining a supply of that article.
Under all these circumstances, he trusted
he had made out a case to justify minis-,
ters in taking off the prohibition, and in.
securing the country from the dangers by
which it was threatened-dangers, from
which, he trusted, the decision of the
House would encourage the advisers of the
Crown, at all times, to guard the country.
What, in addition to the indemnity, he
intended to conclude with proposing to
the committee was, that the duty speci-
fied in the order in council should con-,
tinue till the 15th February, when the
next averages would be struck, and, in the
mean time, that corn should be permitted
to be introduced on the payment of that
duty, as it had been done since the issue
of the order in council. When the com-
mittee looked at the price of grain gene-
rally, and of wheat in particular-when
they considered the scarcity of food for
cattle, and for the great mass of the popu-
lation-they would, he was satisfied, con-
cur with him in thinking, that not only
had a sound discretion been exercised as
to the past, but that a continuation of the
system would be highly expedient. H e
would conclude by moving,
1. That all persons concerned in is-
suing, or advising the issue, or acting in
execution of, an Order of Council of the
1st day of February, 1826, for allowing
the importation of certain sorts of foreign
corn, hall be indemnified,
Sf.





1 1- HOUS1 E OF COMMONS,
-2. That the importation of foreign
eats, oatmeal, rye, pease, and beans, be
permitted for a time to be limited, on pay-
ment of the duties hereinafter mentioned:
that is to say, for every quarter of oats
2s.; for every boll of oatmeal 2s. 2d.;
for every quarter of rye, pease, and beans,
3s. 6d.; and that all bonds which may
have been taken for the payment of such
duties shall be duly discharged."
Sir E. Knatkhbull said, that in looking
at the situation in which the country was
placed at the period alluded to, his
Majesty's ministers were perfectly justified
in the course they had adopted. This
was his own opinion, and it was also the
opinion of many gentlemen with whom
he concurred in the general view of the
Corn-laws. But, in saying this, he begged
not to be understood as meaning to retract
any thing he had formerly said with re-
spect to that question. His sentiments
remained unaltered on that subject; but
he tho'Lljt the case now before the com-
mittee formed no part of that general
question. He was ready to admit, that
a sufficient case had been made out for
the measure adopted by ministers. In
expressing that, he believed that he only
spoke the feelings of the landed interest.
He would go further, and say, that he
only spoke their sentiments in declaring,
that all the country gentlemen were greatly
indebted to ministers for that which they
had done, He made this observation,
because it was asserted, most unjustly,
that the landed interest were the only
persons who differed from public opinion
upon this most important subject. He
knew it was a principle generally admitted
among persons concerned in commerce,
that, after any unusual depression, they
were at liberty to seek for a remuneration
of their losses in advanced prices. That
was, as he understood, a general principle
in trade and manufactures, and it was not
at oil unfair. But it was not applicable,
at all times, to the agricultural interest.
That interest had been as depressed as
any class in the kingdom, and no good
could result from exciting jealousy between
them and tli manufacturers. The best
remedy for the evils of the country was
to look them fairly in the face; and iot
to enter into any recrimination between
the different classes of society. When
the great question came under considera-
tion, he hoped the lHouici would not be
told that landlord, wex oppressive, ad


Corn Importation Acts- 132
exacted rents that their tenants could not
pay. He trusted, that all declamation
addressed to the passions of the people'
would be avoided, and that the question
would be discussed without any mixture
of prejudice. He did not think this a
proper time for entering upon the question
of the Corn-laws, and he was glad that
ministers had confined themselves to the
immediate question before the House.
Mr. Whitmore did not rise to oppose
the measure now under consideration.
He believed it was the only course minis-
ters could have pursued. But it was
most desirable, without now a ntmptring
to enter on the merits of the great question
of the Corn-laws, that an early settlement
of it should take place. He could not
help pointing out to the House the strange
nature of the law by which the corn trade
was to have been regulated. They were
now deliberating upon the third instance
of its infraction within the last three
years. Could a heavier censure fall upon
any law than that simple fact? They
passed a law which suffered repeated in-
fractions from the executive government:
they were suddenly convened to consider
of the infraction, and they all felt satisfied
that the breach of the law was the only
safe conduct which government could
adopt. The year before last thelic d.:.pted
resolutions in direct contradiction to this
law: they did the same last year: and
now they were assembled to pass an act
of indemnity to ministers for breaking
through it. He put it to the House, if
such a law ought any longer to disgrace
the Statute-book. He was prepared to
show, at the proper time, that it' was not
only in hostility to the general prosperity
of the country, but that it acted most
injuriously on that interest for whose
benefit it had been enacted. He concur-
red with the hon. baronet in hoping, that
no recrimination or angry IWciings would
be allowed to mix themselves up with
the consideration of this question. It
was one of vast importance to all interests,
affecting, as it did, not only tlle prosperity
of the agricultural, but the manufacturing
and trading classes. It was likewise a
question of great difficulty, which it be-
came all to approach with calmness aand
he trusted, the passions dnd iiiter'cts of
individuals would not be miked up in a
matter so iitim ii.ilyvaletr i!n' tihe universal
safety and well-being of tlhe l;tce. With
respect to the recent act of niini.itei, it





133 Order in Council.
was one forced on them by circumstances,
and of which the strongest advocates of
the existing system did not venture to
complain.
Colonel Wood wished the hon. gentle-
man had followed the example of the hon.
baronet who preceded him, and refrained
fiom any animadversion on the Corn-law,
As he had made many allusions to it on
different occasions, it would have been
wall if the hon. gentleman had taken the
trouble to ascertain what that law was.
Among the various publications which had
appeared upon it, he had perused one
which had been put forth by the hon.
gentleman. In that pamphlet he found
it asserted, that the principle of the law
of 1815 was, to cut off all intercourse, as
to the trade in grain, with foreign coun-
tries; that the trade in corn was rendered,
by that law, the exception, and not the
rule; and that the object of it was, to
screw up the prices at home to an un-
natural elevation. Now, so far was the
trade in corn made the rule of the law in
1814-,-so far was it from being made the
exception, that it was established, that
when the averages were at 63s. and under,
the import duty should be 25s., and when
above 63s., then the import duty was to
be only 2s. 6d. He would leave it, then,
to the House to determine, how just had
been the assertion of the hon. gentleman,
that the object of the law and its effect
had been to cut off all intercourse in
foreign grain. He begged the committee
to look at the three resolutions then pass-
ed; the first of which declared, that all
corn, come from where it would, should
be landed and housed for exportation
duty free; and that it should be exported
also duty free. He noticed this to show
how necessary it was for those who under-
took to write upon any law, first of all to
understand it. This most valuable regu-
lation they owed to the late Mr. Rose;
and the declared object of it was, that
whether the country was engaged in war
on her own account, or remained neutral
in the wars of other countries, there should
still be a resource for times of difficulty,
in the importation of foreign grain; that
the factors of the Baltic mightbe induced,
as it were, to transport their warehouses
from Dantzic to our own shores. So much
for the design of cutting off all trade in
grain. Now, as to the second argument,
that of screwing up prices. This was a
charge made, by the boa. gentleman


Nov. 24, 1826. 184
This had been a subject upon which the
press had been incessantly at work for
six months, and such was the mieprpre-
sentation to which they had recourse to
bring down the Corn-law. The arranger
meant made by that law went to give the
home-growers a remunerating price, and
the command of the home-market, while
enough grain was produced to feed the
whole population; and the average price.
had been, during five or six years past, not
80s,, as it bad been assumed by the op-:
ponents of that time, but 60s. The prieg
of bread for four or five years past had not
been complained of nor could it be
complained of. As to the measure now
under consideration, he agreed, that
there was not the slightest objection to the
step taken by government, in opening the
ports on their own responsibility. There was
one thing which he did not exactly under-
stand in the statement of the right hon. gen-
tleman. He did not know, as oats had risen
to 30s, at the time of publishing these or-
ders in council, why the ports had not
been opened at once at the duty of 4s.
Again, as on the 15th of November, about
the time of striking the averages, the ports
had been opened till forty days after
the opening of parliament, were they to
remain open, as under the operation of
the law in opening them they would have
been, till February, the next period for
striking the averages ? Upon that question
depended another; namely, whether there
was any necessity for passing this bill of
indemnity now, or whether it could not
have been as well done in February? He
deprecated the aggravating attempts of
the press to dissever the manufacturing
and agricultural interests, and hoped that
the House would adopt measures which
would have the effect of putting a stop to
them.
Mr. Warburton, member for Bridport,
expressed a hope, that the intimation
thrown out by the Foreign Secretary of
State would be rigidly adhered to, and
that any measure relative to an alteration
of the Corn-laws would be brought for-
ward in that House without any previous
intimation elsewhere; so that every mem-
ber would come equally unprepared and
equally unprejudiced to the discussion of
this important subject,
Colonel Torrens, member for Ipswich,
said, he was aware it was irregular to al-
lude to any discussion which had taken
place in that House on a previous oeoa-
F







spirits at the idea of once more picking the House. It was well known that the
the pockets of John Bull. course of proceeding, in the election of a
Sir J. Sebright opposed the amend- member of parliament, was this: the writ,
meant; not because he was indifferent to in the first place, issues from the Crown-
the interests of the landlords, but because office to the sheriff of the county, and he,
he was convinced that the introduction of in compliance with the order contained in
the subject at the present moment was it, again issues what is called a precept
extremely ill-timed. He could not agree to the returning officer of each borough
that it was a fault in the Speech from the within his county, in which he calls upon
throne to have omitted the several topics that officer to hold the election, and make
yesterday alluded to. On the contrary the return to him by a certain time.
he thought those omissions formed its When the election has been held in virtue
great merit, of this precept, the returning officer an-
Mr. Western said, that he would not take nexes the indenture of the return to the
the sense of the House on the amend- precept, and sends it to the sheriff, who
ment; but he wished it to be put, as he transmits it with such indenture to the
was anxious to have it placed on record. clerk of the Crown. This was .the
The amendment was then put, and ne- ordinary and established course of pro-
gatived; after which, the original address ceeding, from which, he conceived, they
was agreed to, never had departed, and from which no
-__-- departure could, with any regard to the
HOUSE OF COMMONS. preservation of their own privileges or the
rights of the electors, take place. This
Friday, November 24. ordinary and established practice had
KInG's ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS.] been strictly followed, as regarded one of
The Speaker reported his Majesty's Answer the indentures. The sheriff had directed
to the Address, as follows: his precept to the mayor of Tregony, an
Gentlemen of the House of Commons: officer who had been duly sworn in by
-I thank you for this loyal and dutiful virtue of a writ of Mandamus; and this
Address. I rely with confidence on your alone, he conceived, was sufficient for the
affectionate support; and you may depend purpose he had in view, because, as it was
upon my continued exertions to uphold acknowledged that it was the duty of the
the honour and interests of the nation, to sheriff to select that person who was, in
cultivate the blessings of peace abroad, his judgment, the proper returning officer,
and to promote, at home, the welfare of the indenture which that officer returned
all classes of my subjects." along with the precept must be considered
as the legal return to the sheriff; and
Bonovac or TREGONY.] Mr. Aber- therefore Dr. Lushington and James
cromby said, that, as the subject of his Brougham, esq. must be considered as the
present motion was intimately connected duly elected members for the borough of
with the privileges of that House, it would, Tregony. There had been, however, a
of course, take precedence of every other, great error committed, which it was the
He would commence by requesting the duty of that House to correct. The first
clerk to read the return to the Crown- return stated, upon the face of it, that it
office relative to the borough of Tregony. was made by virtue of a precept issued
The clerk then read the entry, in which from the sheriff; while the second was
there appeared the names of Stephen only described as being in virtue of the
Lushington and James Brougham, return- writ, and therefore could not be maintain-
ed with, and annexed to, the writ; and of ed. This return was also invalid, as it
James Adam Gordon and James Mackil- was represented to be made by the de-
lop, returned with, but not annexed to, puty of the mayor; an officer not selected
the writ. by the sheriff for the performance of the
Mr. Abercromby then proceeded to ob- duty. That gentleman had before issued
serve, that the simple reading of that his precept to the mayor, and it had been
entry might be almost sufficient to esta- complied with by the first return of an
blish beyond contradiction, that there had indenture annexed to the writ; while the
been no double return for the borough in second return, made by an officer not ap-
question, and that the entry in the book pointed by him, and avowedly by virtue
ought to be forthwith rectified, by order of of the writ, could not for a moment be


115~ HOUSE OF COMMONS,


King's Anstier to the Address.





135 HOUSE OF COMMONS, Corn Importation Acts-Order in Council. 136


sion, but he might, perhaps, be allowed to
assume that, at another time, no matter
when, and in a certain place, no matter
where, an hon. gentleman had used ex-
pressions something similar to the follow-
ing:-that the traders and manufacturers
were seeking to convert themselves into
lords and gentlemen, by turning lords and
gentlemen, into beggars. Now, if he had
heard any such expressions used by any
gentleman, he should immediately con-
clude, that the party so using them de-
served to be ranked among the exclusive
Advocates of the landed interests. For
hims'cf, he must object to any attempt to
s.ver the feelings and interests of one class
A subjects from those of another. All the
great inrcrests were so united and bound
together in interests, that they could not
levate one 'or any length of time but at
the expense of the other. He considered
the value of land as the true barometer
o' iiational opulence. He rejoiced to see
that value increased, because it indicated
national prosperity. The difference be-
tween the agricultural gentlemen and him-
self was, that he would surround it by
a natural and congenial atmosphere of
iiational wealth, while they were anxious
occasionally to make the mercury ascend
in'the scale, and to preserve its precarious
elevation by an artificial pressure. If the
prices of land should, by these means, be
brought so high as to raise the prices of
grain and cattle much beyond the level
of the European markets, capital would
emigrate to more happy climes, and leave
the agriculturist to lament over the deso-
lation which he had brought upon him-
self. It would not be the pulling down
alone of the trade and manufactures, but
it would resemble the last effort of de-
spairing frenzy, which would drag down
the pillars of the temple, and bury itself in
the ruins.
Mr. Western said, he considered that mi-
nisters were justified in the course they
had pursued, and that, seeing the temper
and feeling of the House, he would not at
present enter into the general question of
the Corn-laws.
Mr. Wodehouse concurred with the last
speaker in approving of the conduct of
ministers. It was his intention to have
gone more at large into the general ques-
'oti of the Corn-laws, but, observing the
temper and disposition of the House on
the subject, he forbore doing so for the
present.


Mr. Calcraft thought that ministers
could not have acted otherwise than they
had done. He would not anticipate 'the
general discussion. He was one of those,
who felt great inconvenience at the post-
ponement of the question; yet he could
discover many good reasons for that posts
ponement. He approved, therefore, of the
determination of government to promul-
gate nothing until after the holidays. He
advised every member to use his best
endeavoursto allay animosities, and abstain
from any observations, until the opportunity
should arrive for a full and conclusive
discussion of the subject.
Mr. Benett deprecated the appointment
of any more committees to examine into
the operation of the Corn-laws. He con-
ceived such a step to be utterly needless,
after the mass of information which had
been collected on the subject.
Mr. Alderman Waithman observed, that
all the interests of the country were so
closely connected, that any measure which
tended to uphold one of them exclusively,
was certain, in the long run, to be injuri-
ous to that very interest. In avowing
himself friendly to some alteration in the
Corn-laws, he did not consider himself to
be seeking the advantage of his own con-
stituents at the expense of any other class
of the community. He fully agreed with
an hon. gentleman who once represented
the city of London, that he was not so
much sent to parliament to guard the
interests of the city, as to guard those of
the country at large, and, indeed, he might
say, of posterity. In conclusion, he would
not compliment ministers on the policy
which they had pursued with regard to
this question, for he thought that if they
had any feeling, they must be nauseated
with the compliments they had received
already. However, this much he would
say, that they would have been highly
criminal if they had abstained from acting
as they had done.
Mr. Hume asserted, that, both in the
House and out of it, there was. a unani-
mous opinion, that the question of the
Corn-laws ought to undergo immediate
discussion. Such being the case, the
conduct of ministers appeared very extra-
ordinary. There were hundreds of peti-
tions to be presented from the manufactur-
ing districts against those laws;, andino
gentleman would perform his duty. in
presenting them, if he did not state dilly
the nature of their c'ntvate. Discussion





137 Chairman of Committees of the House.


would-thereby arise upon the subject daily;
and the certainty that it would do so
ought to induce ministers to assign a
reason for wishing to avoid it. If they
expected further information on the sub-
ject, the avowal of such expectation would
be a fair reason for postponing the discus-
sion of it; but if they did not, they were
not consulting the wishes of the country
in not proceeding with it immediately.
They had heard much of the interest of
the manufacturer, and of the agriculturist,
but there was one interest of which they
had not heard one word of, and that was
the interest of the people.

CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES OF THE
HOuSE-MR. BROGDEX.] On the order
of the day for the House resolving itself
into a committee of supply,
Mr. Brogden addressed the House.
He said, that he had now had the honour
of filling the important and honourable
situation of Chairman of the Committees
of the House for nearly two whole parlia-
ments; and he was not conscious of hav-
ing done any act, during that period,
which was either dishonourable in itself or
derogatory from the situation which he
filled in that House and in society at large.
Within the few last months, however, he
had been assailed by public and private
calumnies, the most unjustifiable and un-
founded. He had rebutted those calum-
nies as far as was in his power; but they
were still circulated to his disadvantage,
in consequence of the prejudices which
had been excited against him. He was
happy, however, in having it in his power
to say, that from those who knew him best,
he had received, not blame, but thanks;
he had met, not with accusation, but
applause; whilst, on the other hand, he
was sorry to say, that among the public
at large his character had been torn from
him by anonymous publications of the
most scandalous and virulent description.
He would venture to affirm, that there
was no gentleman on either side of the
House, let his politics be what they might,
who- had investigated the merits of his
case, and possessed sufficient knowledge
of it to decide on the accusations which
had been preferred against him. In such
a;condition, though he felt himself per-
fectly guiltless, he could not think of
,presenting himself as a candidate for the
.office which he had filled in the two last
/parliaments, until he had removed the


calumnies which had been propagated
against him [loud cheers]. He was
sure that the House would do him justice
when an inquiry into the charges against
him should be instituted, and that it would,
in the mean time, appreciate the motives
which induced him to act as he then
acted. All that he would say further was,
that he was guiltless of all fraud, and that
he wished the transaction alluded to by
the hon. alderman who had brought it be-
fore the House to be fully investigated. At
present, he bowed before the storm which
had been excited against him; but he was
convinced that fair weather would soon
return, and that his character would shine
with undiminished brightness in spite of
the clouds which now obscured it. He
would not trespass further on the attention
of the House. On former occasions he
had often received its indulgence: all
that he now asked for was its justice. In
conclusion he challenged the worthy
alderman, who had been the first to assail
his character, to give him a speedy oppor-
tunity of vindicating it from the charge
which he had brought against it.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, he .was
sure that only one impression could have
been generated in the House by the address
which the hon. gentleman had delivered-
an address which was as creditable to
that hon. gentleman's sense of what was
due to himself, as it was consonant to the
honour of the House, and to the feelings
of those whose duty it was to surge est a fi.
person to fill the chair of the (onmiittees.
For his own part, he felt that the House,
although it might avail itself of the hon.
member's determination to withdraw him-
self at present from the chair, which he
had filled with so much credit to himself
and advantage to the public business-
and he could assure it, that he did not
intend to propose the hon. gentleman for
its chairman, after what he had just said,-
he felt, he repeated, that the House, if the
hon. gentleman came out of the inquiry
which he had challenged, free from moral
taint, would be sorry to make any arrange-
ment which would preclude him from
again filling that situation. At the same
time, he must observe, that if it had been
possible-if it had been either respectful
to the House, or kind to the individual-
to press him against his own disclaimer,
he should have been reluctant to place the
hon. member at present in the chair, be-
cause he felt that a thousand opportunities


Nov. 4, 126,,-. 138





1-39 HOUSE OF COMMONS, ChaMirla of tCoMiciics of the Iloose, 140
during the ordinarybusiness of parliament tioil of the hon. mieifbe to the situation
.might arise, in which the vague rumours, of chairman of the committees tf the
which had necessarily reached the ears of House. He had seen so much of the
every member in the House, might prove gambling speculations which had recently
impediments to the progress of business, disgraced and exhausted the country--he
and matter of unpleasantness to the hon. knew so much of the manner in which
member himself. The course which the they were concocted and subsequently
hon. member had taken was, in his opinion, managed-that he considered it derogatory
manly, wise, and honourable. He was from the honour of the House to have any
confident that the hon. alderman who had man connected with so many of them, as
menaced that hon. member-and he did the hon. member was, placed in the re-
not use the word menaced" in an offen- spectable situation of chairman of their
sive sense-perhaps he ought rather to committees. Indeed," continued the
have said, who had given that hon. hon. alderman, "had it been possible for
member notice of his intention to oppose you, Mr. Speaker, to have been connected
his re-election to the office of chairman of as the hon. member is with numbers of
the committees of the House, would feel these joint-stock companies, I should have
himself bound to give him as early as felt it to be my duty, upon public grounds,
possible the opportunity which he sought to have made the same objection to your
of exculpating his character. Until that re-election to the office which you now so
eacnlpatiohn was complete, he should not honourably fill, as I ventured to say that
deem it respectful to the House to propose I should make to the re-election of the
to place the hon. member in that situation, hon. member to the post which he filled
Which he could not fill to the public it the last parliament." He declared that
advantage; unless he took it free from all he should not have said a word bearing
moral taint. When the proper opportu- upon the hon. member, had not the hon.
nity arrived, he should propose as chair- member been likely to be again called to
man, pro tempore, another hon. gentleman, the situation which he had twice before
who had long been a member of the House, had the honour of filling; and though he
who was conversant with its forms and might have felt it his duty to have brought
modes of transacting business, and whom the whole of the joint-stock companies
he could venture to recommend to their under the notice of parliament, he should
notice as a man of unblemished honour. not have placed the hon. member's con-
He would also say this of that gentleman, nexion with them under its consideration,
that though the chairmanship of their unless it had arisen naturally out of the
committees would be to him, as it must investigation. He knew that many hon.
be to every member, an object of honour- members of that House had lent their
able ambition, he would be more happy names to those speculations; and that by
in restoring it to its ancient possessor, free so doing they had inflicted considerable
from all reproach, than he would be in mischief on unsuspecting individuals,
holding it himself, whilst that gentleman though they had had no participation in
was labouring, unjustly, under the obloquy the fraudulent gains. If such an inquiry
of the public, as he proposed should take place, he
Mr, Alderman Waithman said, he felt trusted that the House (even though some
himself in as painful a situation-indeed hon. members of it should be implicated
he might say, in a more painful situation by it, and should be proved to have ex-
-than he had ever before felt in address- traced money out of the pockets of the
ing a public assembly. He wished it to people, by raising the price of shares by
be distinctly understood by the House, unfair and dishonourable artifices) would
that he did not come forward as the ac- do its duty to the country, and would in-
cuset of the hon. gentleman. With re- stitute a rigid investigation into every cir-
gard to the transactions which he had cumstance connected with the subject.
brought before it, and which the hon. It might perhaps be asked, why he had
member had acknowledged to be fraudu- put himself so prominently forward on this
lent, the hon. member said that he knew occasion. He could give many reasons;
nothing. He gave the hon. member credit but one should suffice. It was his fortune
for that assertion; and he now informed to be placed in a high and dignified situa-
the House, that it was not upon that tion in the year 1824, when this mania
grotind alone that he opposed the re-elec- was at its height. He was at that time






lord mayor of Londori, and in conse- Alexander Grant, as chairmnit of com-
queiice, had numberless applications from mittees. On taking the chair, sir A.
tht various parties in getting up the Grant addressed the committee. He ex-
bubbles, to give his sanction to them. He pressed his concurrence in what had fallen
believed that by putting his name to those from his right hon. friend, the Secretary
applications he might have put thousands for Foreign Affairs, respecting the late
of pounds in his pocket. He saw, how- chairman, and said that no man would be
ever, through the views of the parties who more rejoiced than himself to see him re-
iaplied to him: he saw the mischief which stored with honour to the situation which
their schemes were certain to produce; he had filled so ably in the two previous
and he determined to enter his protest parliaments.
against them. It was, perhaps, that very
determination which induced him to watch HOUSEOFCOMMONS.
the progress of those bubbles more nar-
rowly than he otherwise should have done; Monday, November 27.
and the knowledge which he acquired by Poon LAWS AND EMIGIaATION--PE-
so watching them, convinced him of the TTIrON or MR. GOUt.RAY.] Mr. Hume
necessity of entering into an investigation presented the following petition :-
of their nature, in case the hon. member, To the Honourable the Commonsof the
or any other gentleman, connected with "To the Honourable the Commons of the
equal numbers of them, should aspire to United Kingdom of Great Britain aid
the chairmanship of the committees of that Ireland, in Parliament assembled, th6
Hotise, in order to enable the House to Petition of Robert Gourlay,
decide whether they were or were not Humbly showeth, That your peti-
qualified to perform its functions. He tioner, while travelling through England,
thought it right to observe here, once in the year 1800, became acquainted with
for all, that he had no sort of personal ill Mr. Arthur Young, secretary to the Board
will to the hon. member. He had known of Agriculture, and was prevailed on by
him many years : he had had some com- him to visit certain counties, examine and
fnercial dealings with him; and from the report concerning the condition of the
time when his acquaintance commenced labouring poor; that he then saw that
with the hon. member down to the present substantial benefits were required to better
imment, he had never had any ground to their condition, and thenceforth made the
complain of him as a man of honour. He subject his leading pursuit.
felt it his duty, however, on public grounds, "That, in the year 1809, your peti-
to bring the subject before the House. He tioner removed from Scotland, and rented
had observed these gambling speculations a farm in Wiltshire, chiefly to ascertain
from their commencement to their close : more correctly how the system of the
he had witnessed the ruin which they had poor-laws could be reformed; and by the
diffused throughout the country : he had year 1817 had nearly satisfied himself,
seen men of large property stripped of when he had occasion to go abroad to
their all, and their names in the Gazette, Canada, where his views of such reform
owing to their dabbling in them; and he, were expanded, and became clear, by
therefore, thought, that a full examination connecting this with a grand system of
ought to be instituted into them, not an emigration.
examination confined to the hon. member, "That, ever since then, your petitioner
and letting others go free, but one which has been overwhelmed with misfortune,
should embrace all who had become direc- but never for a moment has he relinquished
tors of these various companies. If the the great object of his life; and now feels
hon. member should be able to exonerate confident that, by simple means, and
himself from the charges which had been within twenty years, the poor-laws of
publicly brought against him, he should England may become a dead letter, and
e as well pleased as any of the hon. all need for such in Ireland be done
member's friends, and should not offer away.
any opposition to his re-election to that "Having had petitions presented to the
chair, which the hon. member had filled House of Commons every session of last
with so much satisfaction. parliament, on the subjects of Poor-law,
The House having gone into the com- Reform, and Emigration, your petitioner
mittee, Mr. Secretary Canning named sir now intreats that a select committee may


Poor Llibi tifid migration.


$av-A,126. 1





143 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
be appointed to examine these petitions,
and gravely consider these subjects, as by
far the most important and pressing busi-
ness of the present time. And he will
ever pray."
Ordered to lie on the table.

Conx LAWS.] Mr. Hume said, he
held in his hand a petition from the in-
corporation of guildry of the city of
Brechin, praying for a speedy revision of
the Corn-laws. The petition stated, that
the admission by ministers of foreign grain,
was a measure of prudence and necessity,
and the petitioners were unanimous in
their expression of that opinion. The
concluding part of the petition prayed the
House hot to adopt half measures with
reaitd to the Corn-laws, but so to deal
rith them as to remove the necessity of
minister having again to claim an in-
ddifiiftjy from parliament for effecting a
public good. The hon. member then
claimed the indulgence of the House while
he referred to a report in a daily paper,
tending, as he said, to injure him in the
eyes of the country. He was well aware
of the malice and inveterate rancour pur-
sued towards him by some individuals
connected with the public press, who gave
publication to a series of calumnies that
seriously affected his character. He hoped,
however, that the time was not far distant
when the imputations under which he
laboured would be satisfactorily cleared
up, by a full explanation of the circum-
stances which had given rise to them.
The hon. member then said, in alluding
to the report in question, that at the close
of his observations respecting the corn
question, a few nights ago, when he called
upon ministers not to postpone the con-
sideration of that important measure, as
the peace of the country and the interest
of the people at large would not admit of
delay, it was asserted that he wis coughed
down. Had such been the case, it would
certainly not have been the first time that
the House had signified a wish that he
should not say more; but he begged to
state, 'that his meaning on the occasion
alluded to was only partly given, and to
say that he experienced in that House
such treatment was only adding to the
calumnies with which he was constantly
assailed. He had too much confidence
in the indulgence of the House, and the
fav6ur of the Speaker, to suppose that
such treatment would have been pursued


Cornrlaws. 144-
towards him. He stated then, and he
now begged leave to repeat the sentence,
which at the time he delivered it, did not
appear to have been understood. His
words were, The broad principle of the
Corn-laws involved not only the interest
of the people, but the peace of the coun-
try," and that, therefore, the consider.
tion of that question could not with safety,
be postponed." The latter part of that
sentence was not given, and he felt it a
duty to himself that his meaning should,
not be withheld. He regretted that he
did not see the Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs in his place, as he wished
to have asked the right hon. gentleman.
whether it was the serious intention of
government to postpone the question of
the Corn-laws. It was notorious that the
country was labouring under the greatest
distress; and if any serious mischief should
arise from an over pressure of calamity,
that mischief might fairly be attributed to
the postponement of this most vital ques-
tion. So earnestly did he feel the necessity
of an early consideration of the Corn-laws,
that if ministers should determine to defer
its discussion, he would himself endeavour
to induce the House to bring in a bill for
the admission of foreign corn. The hon.
gentleman proceeded to contend, that the
fears of the country gentlemen were con-
siderably over-stated with reference to the
corn question; and nothing, he maintained,
but a fair and full discussion of the sub-
ject could bring its bearings fairly before
the public, with a view to the interest of
all classes. He hoped the observations
which he threw thus loosely together,
would not be lost upon the House; and
that it would not separate for three months
without coming to some decision on a
question of such paramount importance as
the Corn-laws.
Mr. Hurst said, he could assure the.
House that the landed interest did not by.
any means feel the alarm on the subject
of the Corn-laws which was attributed to
them. He for one had a full confidence
in the wisdom of the House, and was
satisfied that, it would not proceed to
legislate on such a subject without ma-
turely weighing the interests of all.parties
concerned. It was desirable that it should
be soon disposed of, as landlords at present ;t
were embarrassed upon what terms to let .
their lands..
Ordered to lie on the table. :






lord mayor of Londori, and in conse- Alexander Grant, as chairmnit of com-
queiice, had numberless applications from mittees. On taking the chair, sir A.
tht various parties in getting up the Grant addressed the committee. He ex-
bubbles, to give his sanction to them. He pressed his concurrence in what had fallen
believed that by putting his name to those from his right hon. friend, the Secretary
applications he might have put thousands for Foreign Affairs, respecting the late
of pounds in his pocket. He saw, how- chairman, and said that no man would be
ever, through the views of the parties who more rejoiced than himself to see him re-
iaplied to him: he saw the mischief which stored with honour to the situation which
their schemes were certain to produce; he had filled so ably in the two previous
and he determined to enter his protest parliaments.
against them. It was, perhaps, that very
determination which induced him to watch HOUSEOFCOMMONS.
the progress of those bubbles more nar-
rowly than he otherwise should have done; Monday, November 27.
and the knowledge which he acquired by Poon LAWS AND EMIGIaATION--PE-
so watching them, convinced him of the TTIrON or MR. GOUt.RAY.] Mr. Hume
necessity of entering into an investigation presented the following petition :-
of their nature, in case the hon. member, To the Honourable the Commonsof the
or any other gentleman, connected with "To the Honourable the Commons of the
equal numbers of them, should aspire to United Kingdom of Great Britain aid
the chairmanship of the committees of that Ireland, in Parliament assembled, th6
Hotise, in order to enable the House to Petition of Robert Gourlay,
decide whether they were or were not Humbly showeth, That your peti-
qualified to perform its functions. He tioner, while travelling through England,
thought it right to observe here, once in the year 1800, became acquainted with
for all, that he had no sort of personal ill Mr. Arthur Young, secretary to the Board
will to the hon. member. He had known of Agriculture, and was prevailed on by
him many years : he had had some com- him to visit certain counties, examine and
fnercial dealings with him; and from the report concerning the condition of the
time when his acquaintance commenced labouring poor; that he then saw that
with the hon. member down to the present substantial benefits were required to better
imment, he had never had any ground to their condition, and thenceforth made the
complain of him as a man of honour. He subject his leading pursuit.
felt it his duty, however, on public grounds, "That, in the year 1809, your peti-
to bring the subject before the House. He tioner removed from Scotland, and rented
had observed these gambling speculations a farm in Wiltshire, chiefly to ascertain
from their commencement to their close : more correctly how the system of the
he had witnessed the ruin which they had poor-laws could be reformed; and by the
diffused throughout the country : he had year 1817 had nearly satisfied himself,
seen men of large property stripped of when he had occasion to go abroad to
their all, and their names in the Gazette, Canada, where his views of such reform
owing to their dabbling in them; and he, were expanded, and became clear, by
therefore, thought, that a full examination connecting this with a grand system of
ought to be instituted into them, not an emigration.
examination confined to the hon. member, "That, ever since then, your petitioner
and letting others go free, but one which has been overwhelmed with misfortune,
should embrace all who had become direc- but never for a moment has he relinquished
tors of these various companies. If the the great object of his life; and now feels
hon. member should be able to exonerate confident that, by simple means, and
himself from the charges which had been within twenty years, the poor-laws of
publicly brought against him, he should England may become a dead letter, and
e as well pleased as any of the hon. all need for such in Ireland be done
member's friends, and should not offer away.
any opposition to his re-election to that "Having had petitions presented to the
chair, which the hon. member had filled House of Commons every session of last
with so much satisfaction. parliament, on the subjects of Poor-law,
The House having gone into the com- Reform, and Emigration, your petitioner
mittee, Mr. Secretary Canning named sir now intreats that a select committee may


Poor Llibi tifid migration.


$av-A,126. 1





CatholkC .Bmancipation.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, November 28.
CORN-LAws.] Lord King said, he had
several petitions to present on the subject
of the Corn-laws; and he was very sorry,
on that occasion, that he could not follow
the recommendation of the noble and
learned earl on the woolsack, who had
stated it to be more conformable to par-
liamentary usage to present petitions with-
out any comment. If it were his wish to
perpetuate all kinds of abuses, he certainly
would follow the prudent example which
the noble and learned lord had set; but
his object being the direct contrary, he
should take the liberty of now making a
few observations. The first petition which
he should present, was one from the
weavers of Carlisle, which he had selected
on account of its importance and the
sufferings which the petitioners had en-
dured. Those sufferings 'would be an
ample excuse for the language which they
had used. It was, indeed, most extra-
ordinary that so large a number of the
king's subjects should put their names to
a petition containing these words; namely
-" that thousands, and probably hundreds
of thousands, frequently addressed each
other, coolly inquiring whether it was not
as well to die on the scaffold as of hunger ?"
Excuse for this was alone to be found in
the extremity of their sufferings. He had
inquired of gentlemen capable of giving
the best information on the subject, and
he found that the petitioners had given
but too true a picture of their sufferings.
Nothing but great suffering could have
induced such language, and the petition
might, therefore, be regarded as displaying
the feelings of the people. The petitioners
prayed for the abolition of the Corn-laws;
and, as drowning men catch at straws,
they prayed besides for an appropriation
of that property called church property,
to the payment of the national debt, and
also for a reform in parliament. The
petition was worded with all proper ex-
pressions of humility to their lordships.
The Earl of Lauderdale supposed this
to be a petition for the repeal of the;Corn-
laws; but he now found that it was one
for the confiicatioii of church property,
and for reform in parliament.
Lord King said, the petition was for the
abolition of the Corn-laws, though it sug-
gested other measures in addition to that


Nov. 28, 1826. 146.
abolition. He had another petition to
present on the same subject. It was from
the royal borough of Arbroath. The pe-
titioners highly approved of the measure
adopted by ministers for the introduction
of foreign grain. And prayed for a re-
visal of the Corn-laws. He should not
then trouble the House with any more pe-
titions, as it appeared that their lordships
did not wish to have too many at a time.
The Earl of Lauderdale wished to ob-
serve, that he never remembered to have
seen the House in the situation in which
it appeared to be placed at present. To
be sure the noble earl on the woolsack and
another noble earl opposite (Westmorland)
were in the House; but these were not
the usual persons of whom answers to any
questions which their lordships might have
to put were expected. He should much wish,
to have the opportunity of seeing another
noble earl (Liverpool) in his place, as he
had a motion to submit to the House,
which he wished to make when the noble
earl was present, and he knew that other
noble lords were equally desirous of seeing.
the noble earl in the House.
The Earl of Westmorland believed it
was the usual practice for noble lords to
give notice of any motion of importance
which they might intend to bring forward.
He was confident that, if his noble friend
were made acquainted with the wish of
any of their lordships to see him in his
place, he would not fail to attend.

CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.] Earl
Spencer presented a petition from the
county of Mayo, praying for Catholic
Emancipation. The noble earl said, he
entirely concurred in the object which the
petition had in view. Ever since the
Union of the two kingdoms, which was
now upwards of a quarter of a century, he
had never altered his opinion on the sub-
ject of the Catholic claims. On the con-
trary, every year tended more and more
to add to the conviction he entertained,
that neither the interests of strict justice,
nor of sound policy could be duly regarded,
until those claims were conceded. In fact,
without concession there could be no hope
of peace or security for the empire, and
he felt persuaded that continued resistance
to those claims must ultimately be at-
tended by some tremendous disaster. He
trusted, however, that when the question
should again be brought forward, the re-,
sult would be different from that which





t1 HOUSE OF diMMONS,
their lordships had witnessed hitherto.
Ordered to lie on the table.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, November 28.
AAIGNA MINING CO3iPANY-PaTI-
TioN or RoiER FLATTERY.] Mr. Alder-
man Waithman said, he had a petition to
present to the House, which was of great
importance to the public, and involved
also the honour and independence of the
H6use. The petition was from Mr. Roger
Flattery, of Dublin, who was formerly a
civil engineer in the employment of go-
vernment, and whose name must be
familiar to many gentlemen present, as
connected with the Arigna Mining Com-
pany. The petitioner complained of a
vatiety of grievances which he suffered
ili consequence of his connexion with that
mischievous and ruinous undertaking. It
appeared that Mr. Flattery had sold his in-
terest in the Arigna mines to the under-
takers of that scheme, for the sum of
10,0001., reserving to himself one fifth of
the profits thereof, making his interest in
the company to amount to 25,0001. Ofthat
sutim, however, he complained that he had
been unjustly defrauded, in consequence
of the malpractices of the directors of the
company. The petitioner therefore prayed
the House to take the conduct of those
persons into consideration, and also to in-
stitute an inquiry with respect to the part
which some honourable members of that
House had taken with regard to that con-
cern. The worthy alderman said, that
the presenting of this petition had, in some
measure, anticipated his intefition of bring-
ing the whole of the proceedings of the
Arigna company before the House, some
day in the nbxt week. With respect to
ari lon. gentleman, whose name was con-
nected with the company (Mr. Brogden), he
should certainly have fulfilled his intention
of bringing forwarded to the notice of the
House the conduct of that gentleman, and
it was his fixed determination to have
siown that he could not, consistently
with the dignity and honour of parliament,
-have filled the situation to which he had
been appointed. That hon. gentleman,
however, having declined to act as chair-
man of the committees of the House, he
would not have felt himself called upon
to proceed ary farther at present, nor did
he wish to bring forward charges either
against the hon. gentleman or against any


Arighd Miniing ompiahy- li
other individual, but that facts had lately
come to his knowledge which he should
feel it his duty to submit to the House on
an early occasion, and he hoped that a
committee would be appointed to whom
the case would be referred, ard that that
committee wouldbe composed of grntlemhen
who were not interested in companies of
this deci'iption. With respect to the pre-
sent petitioner, he could assure the House'
that he had never seen him until that day,
nor had he ever had any connexion
directlyor indirectly tith him. The worthy
alderman concluded by moving that the
petition be brought up.
The Speaker wished to ask the hon.
alderman whether the petition implicated
any member of that Hotise by name.
Mr. Alderman Waithmdn replied, that
it did not. It merely prayed for ar inquiry
into the conduct of the persons connected
with a certain company.
The petition, which ran as follows, Waas
then brought up and read:--
STo the Right Honourable and Honour-
able the Commons of the United King-
dom of great Britain and Ireland, in
Parliament assembled. The humble
Petition of Roger Flattery of the city of
Dublin, Civil Engineer, formerly in the
employ of his Majesty's government
"Showeth,-that your petitioner having
read in The Times,' and other newspapers,
reports of the proceedings in your honour-
able House on Tuesday last, the 22id No-
vember instant, when mention of your peti-
tioner was made by name, and the conduct
and character of one or more of the members
of your honourable House were, in the
opinion of your petitioner, justly called in
question, your petitioner humbly hopes
that your honourable House will be pleased
to accept a short detail of facts at the
hands of your petitioner, whereby the con-
duct of certain members of your hohour-
able House may be investigated, and
justice rewarded.
Your petitioner finds that the fact of
a certain sum of money, 15,0001., having
been unjustly taken and secreted by cer-
tain individuals, acting as directors or
otherwise, of the Arigna Iron and Coal
company, is happily made known to your
honourable House; and while the distress
and ruin which have spread over different
parts of the United Kingdom, from the.
many fraudulent schemes and joint stock
associations, either concocted by, or having





t1 HOUSE OF diMMONS,
their lordships had witnessed hitherto.
Ordered to lie on the table.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, November 28.
AAIGNA MINING CO3iPANY-PaTI-
TioN or RoiER FLATTERY.] Mr. Alder-
man Waithman said, he had a petition to
present to the House, which was of great
importance to the public, and involved
also the honour and independence of the
H6use. The petition was from Mr. Roger
Flattery, of Dublin, who was formerly a
civil engineer in the employment of go-
vernment, and whose name must be
familiar to many gentlemen present, as
connected with the Arigna Mining Com-
pany. The petitioner complained of a
vatiety of grievances which he suffered
ili consequence of his connexion with that
mischievous and ruinous undertaking. It
appeared that Mr. Flattery had sold his in-
terest in the Arigna mines to the under-
takers of that scheme, for the sum of
10,0001., reserving to himself one fifth of
the profits thereof, making his interest in
the company to amount to 25,0001. Ofthat
sutim, however, he complained that he had
been unjustly defrauded, in consequence
of the malpractices of the directors of the
company. The petitioner therefore prayed
the House to take the conduct of those
persons into consideration, and also to in-
stitute an inquiry with respect to the part
which some honourable members of that
House had taken with regard to that con-
cern. The worthy alderman said, that
the presenting of this petition had, in some
measure, anticipated his intefition of bring-
ing the whole of the proceedings of the
Arigna company before the House, some
day in the nbxt week. With respect to
ari lon. gentleman, whose name was con-
nected with the company (Mr. Brogden), he
should certainly have fulfilled his intention
of bringing forwarded to the notice of the
House the conduct of that gentleman, and
it was his fixed determination to have
siown that he could not, consistently
with the dignity and honour of parliament,
-have filled the situation to which he had
been appointed. That hon. gentleman,
however, having declined to act as chair-
man of the committees of the House, he
would not have felt himself called upon
to proceed ary farther at present, nor did
he wish to bring forward charges either
against the hon. gentleman or against any


Arighd Miniing ompiahy- li
other individual, but that facts had lately
come to his knowledge which he should
feel it his duty to submit to the House on
an early occasion, and he hoped that a
committee would be appointed to whom
the case would be referred, ard that that
committee wouldbe composed of grntlemhen
who were not interested in companies of
this deci'iption. With respect to the pre-
sent petitioner, he could assure the House'
that he had never seen him until that day,
nor had he ever had any connexion
directlyor indirectly tith him. The worthy
alderman concluded by moving that the
petition be brought up.
The Speaker wished to ask the hon.
alderman whether the petition implicated
any member of that Hotise by name.
Mr. Alderman Waithmdn replied, that
it did not. It merely prayed for ar inquiry
into the conduct of the persons connected
with a certain company.
The petition, which ran as follows, Waas
then brought up and read:--
STo the Right Honourable and Honour-
able the Commons of the United King-
dom of great Britain and Ireland, in
Parliament assembled. The humble
Petition of Roger Flattery of the city of
Dublin, Civil Engineer, formerly in the
employ of his Majesty's government
"Showeth,-that your petitioner having
read in The Times,' and other newspapers,
reports of the proceedings in your honour-
able House on Tuesday last, the 22id No-
vember instant, when mention of your peti-
tioner was made by name, and the conduct
and character of one or more of the members
of your honourable House were, in the
opinion of your petitioner, justly called in
question, your petitioner humbly hopes
that your honourable House will be pleased
to accept a short detail of facts at the
hands of your petitioner, whereby the con-
duct of certain members of your hohour-
able House may be investigated, and
justice rewarded.
Your petitioner finds that the fact of
a certain sum of money, 15,0001., having
been unjustly taken and secreted by cer-
tain individuals, acting as directors or
otherwise, of the Arigna Iron and Coal
company, is happily made known to your
honourable House; and while the distress
and ruin which have spread over different
parts of the United Kingdom, from the.
many fraudulent schemes and joint stock
associations, either concocted by, or having





W^ pdtioffi of fojer Faittery.
thb patronage of, members of the legisla-
tire, cannot Be unknown to your honour-
ible House, your petitioned humbly trusts
that a full inquiry will be forthwith in-
stituted; and with reference to the Arigila
Iron and Coal Company, your petitioner
humbly prays the attention of your honour-
able House to the contents of the following
affidavit, sworn by your petitioner before
the lord mayor of the city of London:-
SIn the matter of the Arigna Iron and
Coal Company.
Roger Flattery, of the city of Dublii,
'civil engineer, formerly in the employ of
'his Majesty's government, maketh oath
and saith, that having certain mineral
'properties, situated in the counties of
'Roscommon and Leitrim, suitable for the
Manufacture of Iron, in aid of the works
Soi which this deponent wanted a loan of
'itoney, this deponent came over to London
'in May, 1824, and shortly afterwards made
'the acquaintance ofsirW. Congreve,bart.;
'this deponent was introduced by sir W.
'Congreve to John Schneider, esq., a re-
Sspectable merchant of the city of London,
'and this deponent had for some time rea-
son to believe that a sum of money suf-
'ficient for his necessities would be ad-
vanced to him by that gentleman, but
About that period there existed so strong a
Sbias in favour of Joint-stock associations,
'that this deponent was induced to listen
Sto the representations of sir W. Congreve
and others to some plans for forming a
'Joint-stock company, in aid of this de-
'ponent's iron works. While the plans
'for forming a company were maturing, it
' was understood that this deponent should
' have a temporary advance of 3,0001. from
'the aforesaid John Schneider; but two
'individuals, named Henry Clarke and
'Joseph Clarke, brothers, having de-
'termined on being directors in the pro-
'posed company, the said John Schneider
'declined to act. Sir W. Congreve
'then authorized Henry Clarke to raise a
'sum of money in aid of the works,
'until he, sir W. Congreve, then on the
continent, on the concerns of the Gas
'Association, should be able to return to
'form the company. This deponent met
'the said Henry Clarke on the 30th of Oc-
'tober, in the same year, who undertook to
'let this deponent have a sum of money in
'the early part of the following month,
'and to send over a captain Vivian, with
'full powers for carrying on the works upon
'a large scale. On this understanding


Nov. 28, 126; 10
deporietit, a few days afterward', gigied
a deed, a: kiion ledi;nh to have received i
sum of 25,0001., and gave up his deeds.
The trustees in the deed, then executed,
were P. Moore, esq. M. P. Barrett,
esq., M.P., and John Dunston, esq.
This deponent saith, that he signed the
'said deed in a full reliance on the honour
Sof the parties, was then hastening to Ire-
'land to go to the works, but did actually
'receive at the time only 1501. in earnest.
'This deponent saith, that the said Henry
SClarke and others, having thus possessed
'themselves of this deponent's deeds and
'writifigs, then immediately formed a
'company. In the months of December
and January following, this deponent re-
'ceived a sum of 3,7501. in cash, and had
also 1,250 shares allotted to him, to
make up the sum of 6,2501. more. This
deponent saith, that a pledge niade by
'the said Henry Clarke to advance money
was not fulfilled, and that the money
paid to deponent in December and Ja-
nuary aforesaid, was from the sale of
shares. This deponent also saith, that
he has only about 10,0001. in money
shares, instead of the sum of 25,0001.
which this deponent signed. And this
deponentt verily believes, that the sum of
15,0001., being the difference between
'the 10,0001. paid to him and the 25,0001.
'charged to the shareholders of the Arigna
'Iron and Coal company, was taken and
'shared in manner following, and such
'division was made by the said Henry
'Clarke-viz. the sum of 5,0001. to him-
'self, Henry Clarke, a director; the sum of
5,0001. to Joseph Clarke, a director; the
'sum of 3,0001. to sir W. Congreve, a
'director, and chairman of the company;
'the sum of 1,0001. to John Hinde, an
'agent in the company; and the sum of
1,0001. to H. D. Branbirn, agent to the
company, and brother-in-law to sir W.
'Congreve, making up the said sum of
15,0001., which this deponent considers
'the shareholders in the Arigna Iron and
'Coal company to have been unjustly de-
'prived of. And this deponent further
'saith, that he verily believes a sum, ex-
'ceding 30,0001. was also gained by the
directors of the Arigna Iron and Coal
'company by trafficking in and on pre-
'miums upon the shares of the said com-
'pany. And this deponent holds at the
' present moment from 500 to 600 shares
'of the said company, which are to this
' deponent quite valueless.'





151 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Your petitioner humbly prays the at-
tentive consideration of your honourable
House to his peculiar case; for, in conse-
quence of the delusions practised, neither
royalty nor product has ever been paid to
your petitioner, notwithstanding the large
sums of money taken from the pockets of
the public, and the works are in a perish-
able state.
S"Your petitioner now humbly throws
himself on your honourable House praying
that the conduct of those members of your
honourable House who have been engaged
in the affairs of the Arigna Iron and Coal
company may be investigated, for your
petitioner has suffered great losses by the
peculations committed, and will be obliged
to file bills in the court of chancery, in
Dublin, for the recovery of his property.
And your petitioner, as in duty bound,
will ever pray."
Mr. Wynn said, it was contrary to all
rule that the House could entertain this
petition. Besides other obvious objections
to its being received, the petition referred
to certain debates which had taken place
in that House, and hon. gentlemen must
be aware that such a proceeding was highly
irregular.
The Speaker was of opinion, that the
petition was one which the House could
not with propriety entertain. In the first
place, if the petitioner complained of the
conduct of certain hon. members by name,
it was but just and reasonable that those
members should have had due notice of
the charge against them. If, in the se-
cond place, the petitioner made a general
complaint, how was it possible to say
which of the 658 members were meant to
be accused ? The petition, moreover, re-
ferred to certain unauthorized reports of
the proceedings of the House, which could
only find their way to the public by a
breach of privilege. An affidavit was also
referred to by the petitioner ; but, could
the House depart so far from its establish-
ed usage as to admit affidavits in one
shape and not in another? Under all the
circumstances, he was of opinion that the
petition was one that could not be received
by the House, and he therefore recom-
mended the hon. alderman to withdraw
it, and, if he pleased, to bring it forward in
an amended form.
:Mr. Alderman Waithman said, that see-
ing the disinclination of the House to en-
tertain this petition, he felt it to be his
duty to yield to the suggestion of the


Speaker, and withdraw it. At the same
time he thought it necessary to state, that
the petition did not accuse members of
that House generally; but only those
members who were connected with the
company to which the petitioner referred;
The petition was then withdrawn.

RESOLUTIONS RELATIVE TO COMMIT-
TEES ON PRIVATE BILLS.] Mr. Little-
ton rose for the purpose of submitting
to the House certain Resolutions on the
subject of Committees on Private Bills.
They were, he observed, the same as those
which he had submitted in the last session
of the last parliament. It was not his in-
tention, at present, to propose that they
should form part of the standing orders of
the House; but merely that they should
continue in force during the present ses-
sion, by way of experiment. If, at the
end of that time, they should be found to
have answered the object in view, it would
be for the House afterwards to decide whe-
ther they should be enrolled amongst its
general standing orders. As there were
many members in this parliament who, he
supposed, were not acquainted with the
reasons which had urged the introduction
of those resolutions in the last session, he
would briefly state, that it had in that ses-
sion been found necessary to provide some
remedy for what was admitted to be an
evil in the mode of carrying private bills
through the committees. Complaints had
been unsparingly made against the con-
duct of many members; and it was al-
leged, that very many of them had voted
on committees where their own interests
were concerned. He was aware that most
of such complaints rested on very weak
foundations; that they were frequently
made by parties who had been foiled in
the prosecution of improper projects;
and sometimes were urged by profes-
sional men, who felt their character at
stake by the course they had advised in
the prosecution of those measures. Still,
however, it could not be denied, that there
were some instances in which members,
either by the influence of personal interest,
or by other causes, had suffered them-
selves to be warped from the straight line
of their duty. This undoubtedly was an
evil, and an evil for which it was neces-
sary that some remedy should be provided.
A private bill, it should be recollected,
called for the suspension of some general
law in a case alleged and presumed to be


Resolultions relative to Committees





153 on Private Bills.
forthe public good; and it therefore re-
quired the particular attention of the
House, in order that no measure should
obtain its sanction which was not clearly
proved to be for the public advantage.
The measures which he should propose
were-[Here the hon. member went over
the leading points of the resolutions with
which he intended to conclude.] He then
went on to observe, that, after the expe-
rience of the last two sessions, it could
not be denied that some measure of the
kind now proposed was absolutely neces-
sary. He was aware that two other modes
of remedy were preferred by some hon.
members. One was, to refer each private
bill to a select committee; and the other,
to allow each case of abuse to be brought
forward for a particular remedy. He did
not think that either of those modes would
correct the evil complained of. With re-
spect to select committees on which it
would be obligatory on the members cho-
sen to serve, he thought it would be im-
possible to secure the attendance of a suffi-
cient number of members, particularly
where many members might be required.
Some would be prevented by their pro-
fessional pursuits, others by their official
duties, and many by their age; but on
the whole, so many causes would daily
operate against attendance, that it would
be almost impossible to make that mode
of deciding of private bills effective. With
respect to the other plan, of leaving each
case of individual abuse to its particular
remedy by the House, he thought it would
be inefficient, as this plan had hitherto
been followed, and yet, in the last two
years, they had found the number of com-
plaints daily increase. Should the course
which he pointed out be adopted, no com-
plaint of injustice could be without its
remedy, for the party making it would
have the power of appeal, and the case
wouldbe decided by the select committee,
who, would be acting in the nature of a
jury, and in their decision the utmost im-
partiality must be expected. According
to the present mode of making out the
lists of persons to serve on private com-
mittees, there were two kinds of lists.
Some consisted of fifty or sixty members,
while others contained as many as two
hundred. What was the cause of the
discrepancy he could not state, but it was
one which required amendment. He had
known instances where a majority of the
,rembe r in a committee on a private bill


Nov. 28, 1826. 154
had a direct pecuniary interest in its suc-
cess. What chance could there be that
the parties coming before such a commit-
tee would be satisfied with their decision ?
To avoid any inconvenience from such a
cause, his resolution would propose that
one hundred and twenty members should
be chosen on a committee; of these sixty
should be chosen from the county and its
vicinity immediately connected with the
object of the bill, and sixty more from
distant parts of the kingdom. This would
secure an impartial committee. He would
now propose the following resolutions:: :
1. That the present distribution: of
Counties in the several Lists, for the pur-
pose of forming Committees on Petitions
for Private Bills, and on Private Bills;pre-
pared under the direction of the Speaker
some years ago, has, from the great in-
equality of the numbers of members con-
tained in such lists respectively, and from
other causes, been found not to answer
the object for which it was framed.,
2. That, with a view more nearly to
equalize members, and to correct too strong
a prevalence of local interests on commit,
tees on petitions for private bills, it is ex-
pedient that a new distribution of counties
should be made, containing in each list, as
nearly as may be, one hundred and twenty
members; one half only, or thereabouts,
to be taken from the county immediately
connected with the object of the bill, and
the adjoining counties; and the other half
from other more distact counties of Great
Britain and Ireland; and that the memi
bers serving for such counties, and the
places within such counties, should con-
stitute the committee on each bill.
3. That Mr. Speaker be requested to
direct a new distribution of counties to be
prepared in such manner as shall be ap;
proved of by him, conformably to the
principle of the foregoing resolution.,
4. That every committee on a private
bill be required to report to the House the
bill referred to it, with the evidence and.
minutes of the proceedings.
5. That a committee be appointed, to
be called The Committee of Appeals upon
Private Bills,' which committee shall.con-
sist of all the knights of the shire, all the
members for cities, and such other:mem-
bers as may be named therein; so.that
the whole number appointed to serve upon
such committee shall amount to two hune
dred at least.
6, That where any party interested ia





155 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


a private bill, who shall have appeared in
support of his petition, by himself, his
counsel, or agent, in the committee upon
such bill, or where the promoters of a
private bill shall be dissatisfied with any
vote of the committee upon such bill, and
shall petition the House, setting forft the
particular vote or votes objected to, and
praying that they may be heard, by them-
selves, their counsel, or agent, against such
vote or votes, the House shall, if they so
think fit, refer such petition, together with
the report of the committee upon the bill,
and the minutes and evidence taken before
such committees, to a select committee of
seven members of the House, to be chosen
liy ballot from the committee of appeals
upon private bills, which select committee
shall hear the arguments of the parties
complaining of, and also of the parties
supporting, such vote or votes, and shall
report their opinion thereon to the House.
'I 7. That whenever a petition shall be
referred to such select committee, com-
plaining of any vote of a committee upon
a private bill, the House shall fix a day
whereon to ballot for a select committee,
to which such petition shall be referred,
upon which day, at a quarter past four
o'clock, or as near thereto as the question
which may be then before the House will
permit, the Speaker shall order the doors
of the House to be locked, and the names
of the members composing the committee
of appeals upon private bills being written
upon separate pieces of paper, and put
into the glass, the clerk shall draw there-
from thenames, until seven members of such
committee who shall be then present, and
who shall not have voted in the committee
upon the private bill to which the petition
refers, or shall not be excused by the
House, shall have answered to their names;
which seven members shall be the select
committee to whom such petition shall be
referred, and such select committee shall
meet for business the following day at
11 o'clock, and continue to sit, de die in
diem, until they shall have reported upon
the same; and that only one counsel or
agent shall be heard in support of the
petition of any one party.
8. That no member of such select
committee shall absent himself therefrom
during its sitting, without the permission
of the House.
9. That the party or parties complain-
ing shall, previously to the balloting for
such select committee, deposit with the


clerk of the fees, the sum of 5001., for the
payment of such costs as may be awarded,
against him, her, or them."
Mr. Yates Peel rose to second the reso-
lutions, and observed, that great thanks
were due to the hon. gentleman who had
introduced them. If any member who was
not in thelast parliament had any scruple in
voting for them, he could assure him that
any change in the mode of constituting
committees on private bills must be a'
change for the better. It might be said,
that it would be improper to prevent mem-
bers from coming in to vote in a private
committee in which they had not heard
the previous proceedings, seeing that they
were allowed to do so in the House on im-
portant questions. He did not mean to
justify one course by citing the other, but
there was this difference between the two
cases. In the committee they voted on
evidence; while, in the House, they voted
on argument. He could easily conceive
that a man might not like to sit out a long
argument, or what was worse, along speech
without any argument at all; buthe could
not conceive the propriety of a member
coming in and voting on the conclusive-
ness or inconclusiveness of evidence which
he had not heard. Recollecting what had
taken place in former committees, he
was convinced that the course now pointed
out would be a great saving of time and
expense to parties connected with private
bills, and he hoped the House would con-
sent to it as an experiment. If it suc-
ceeded, the resolutions could be made part
of the standing orders. If it failed, they
would not be in a worse situation than they
were at present.
Colonel Davies admitted that great
inconvenience arose from the former course
with respect to private bills, but the one
now proposed would, he thought, be
much worse, and therefore he would give
it all the opposition in his power. First,
with respect to the hundred and twenty
members to be on a committee, he
thought it would be extremely difficult to
obtain that number, unless they resorted
to the former objectionable course of hav-
ing members named on different commit-
tees sitting at the same time. Last ses-
sion, there were thirty committees on pri-
vate bills sitting at the same time. How
could such a number be provided for in
the mode proposed? The hon. mover
seemed to think that it would be extremely
difficult to get a select committee on each


Resolutions retivtae to Committees





157 on Private Bills:
private bill. Now, to him it appeared that
the difficulty would not be insuperable.
They had frequently a great many election
committees, and they found little diffi-
culty in securing the attendance of mem-
bers. But, according to the hon. member's
resolutions, a person dissatisfied with the
decision of a private committee might ap-
peal, and the House had no discretion but
to send it to a select committee, so that
they were to have a select committee after
all. It was proposed, that to prevent
vexatious appeals, the person appealing
should, in the first instance, deposit 5001.
to secure costs, should the committee
decide the appeal to be vexatious. This
he thought was a course which the House
had no right to adopt. It was, in effect,
taxing the appellants to that extent; and
if, as had been contended on a former
evening, the House had no power to com-
pel a petitioner to enter into recognizances,
how could they compel him to deposit
money ? While he admitted that nothing
called more loudly for remedy than the
present course, with respect to private bill
committees, he could not support the one
now proposed, as he thought it would be
worse than the disease.
Mr. Maberly admitted that some
remedy was necessary, but could not con-
cur in that now proposed. He thought
it would be absurd to prevent members
from doing that in a committee; namely,
voting on subjects which they had not
heard discussed, which was ever permitted
to them in the House.
Lord Althorp observed, that it was
agreed on all hands that the present sys-
tem required amendment, and the question
was what course ought they to adopt. It
was said, that the better way to proceed
would be by a select committee on each
private bill. That, he admitted, would be
an improvement on the present mode, but
he thought it would be extremely difficult to
procure as many select committees as the
number of private bills would require. It
was said that they had no difficulty in
procuring election committees. That
might be the fact; but those committees
were not often required. If their appoint-
ment was to run through a whole parlia-
ment as frequently as committees on pri-
vate bills, it would, he thought, be a mat-
ter of some difficulty to procure the at-
tendance of members. As to the nomina-
tion of sixty members from the counties
adjoining that with which the object of


Nov. 28, 1826. 18
the bill was connected, he thought that,
with the addition of sixty from distant
parts of the country, an ample security
was given for an impartial decision, and
that from such decision they would have
very few appeals. Some of his hon.
friends had objected to the resolution
which required a deposit of 5001. from the
appellant, but he conceived there would
be no difficulty in getting such deposit
from any party who thought he had a good
ground of appeal, and the same reason
which would induce him to make the de-
posit would make him assent to its appli-
cation to pay the costs, should the com-
mittee so decide. Taking all the resolu-
tions together, he did not mean to say
that they established a perfect system, but
he would vote for their being tried, satis-
fied that they would be found a great im-
provement.
Mr. Alderman Waithman said, that as it
was admitted that the present system of
private committees was extremely defec-
tive, he thought the hon. member who
had endeavoured to introduce some amend-
ment was entitled to thanks, and he, for
one, thanked him, though at the same time
he did not think the remedy pointed out
was such as the case required. Indeed,
he did not see how the House, without
passing a censure on itself, could sanction
resolutions founded on alleged corruption
in committees of its own members. He
knew that in speaking of any thing which
passed in the present parliament, he must
be particularly guarded. He should be
careful, therefore, of what he said of the
living, but a much greater latitude was
allowed him with respect to the dead.
And, speaking of the late parliament, he
would complain, and that loudly, of the
conduct of some members of it, for their
veryunjust and partial conducting acommit-
tee on a private bill. A petition had been
presented from the corporation of Lon-
don against the Equitable Loan bill, and
it was referred to the committee on that
bill; and though the preamble of that bill
asserted that it would be a public benefit,
and though the petitioners offered to
prove that it would be greatly injurious to
the trade of London, and had prayed to
be heard by themselves or their agents,
the committee at first decided that they
ought not to be heard; and on the singu-
lar ground, that the petitioners had no
interest in opposing the bill. How dif-
ferent was such conduct from that pursued





159 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


by the parliament of 1721, which had re-
ceived the petition of the corporation of
London, and allowed them to be heard by
themselves or counsel, at the bar of the
House against a bill of an objectionable
character, as tending to injure the trade
of the city! How different was the con-
duct of that parliament, which, on dis-
covering the improper conduct of some of
their own body, as connected with pub-
lic companies, had, notwithstanding the
solemn protestations of innocence of those
members, and their loud calls for inquiry,
expelled them from the House! The
hon. member then proceeded to comment
on the conduct of the committee in the
last parliament, on the Equitable Loan
bill, in having at first refused to hear him,
on the part of the corporation, against the
bill. After having decided that the cor-
poration should not be heard,. except on
one point, they afterwards heard counsel
and evidence in support of the bill. Then,
one of their members stated, that as they
had heard evidence on one side, they
would consent to hear him, but it would
be only as a matter of grace and favour.
He got until the next day to decide what
course he should take; but the next day
he came down and protested against that
being conceded to him only by way of
grace and favour, to which he had an un-
doubted right. After this, he and those
who attended with him were ordered to
withdraw, and some discussion took place
in the committee. So confounded was he
by the order to withdraw, and the objec-
tions that were taken to this mode of pro-
ceeding, that when he was again admitted
to the committee, after an absence of half
an hour, and was told that he was allowed
to proceed as matter, not of right, but of
grace and favour, he protested loudly
against the injustice of the'decision adopted
by the committee, and determined not to
open his case in an imperfect and muti-
lated state. He either had a right to be
heard, or he had not: if he had a right,
he was determined to use it uncontrolled;
and if he had not a right, he was deter-
mined not to act upon powers, which he
did not possess. He, therefore, thought
it expedient, considering the circumstances
in which he was placed, to withdraw; not,
however, without protesting against the
injustice of the measure which had com-
pelled him to come to such a resolution.
Now, he would ask the House, what opi-
nion they would form of the committee to


which he was alluding, supposing it poE-
sible that the members of it were directors
of the company against which he had been
petitioning-that they held shares in it-"
that they sold them publicly and openly--
and that they adopted all the artifices
which were used to give to shares an ex-
orbitant value in the market ? The case
which he was putting was not one of sup-
position, but of fact. Let the House but
go into the committee which he had pro-
posed, and he would pledge his life, his
character, his reputation, and every thing
that he held dear, that he would prove-
beyond all contradiction that it was so.
The worthy alderman was proceeding to
discuss the conduct of the committee on
the Equitable-Loan-bill towards other peti-
tioners, when he was called to order. He
spoke under correction of the Speaker,
and if he was out of order, he regretted it
deeply; for the subject on which he was
addressing the House was of great import-
ance to the public. But he contended
that he was not out of order. A proposi-
tion was made to remedy certain proceed-
ings, which he had not called by the title
of disgraceful, though some other members
had applied the term to them. He was
only telling the House what the conduct
of one committee had been, and in so
doing, he had given a striking instance of
the injustice with which such committees
too often acted. Surely, it was not a
deviation from order to enter into a full
description of an abuse, at a time when
they were seeking to find a remedy for it!
With regard to the remedy proposed, he
did not consider it adequate to the object
in view; and he therefore trusted that the
hon. mover would endeavour to devise
something more effective. He considered
that the exacting of 5001. as a deposit
from petitioners, previous to the balloting
for the committee of appeal, was a harsh
and unnecessary provision. For instance,
in the Equitable-Loan Company, which
was put forth as a matter of charity, and
as a check against the pawnbrokers, but
which, in point of fact, was a measure of
greater hypocrisy than any which had- ever
been previously brought forward-the pe-
titioners against it might have spent 5,0001.
in prosecuting their first petition, and yet,
after all the injustice they had stltfered,
must have found security for 5001. moire, -
before they could have applied for red ess -
to a committee of appeal, which, irnallU-
probability, would act, to a certain dep cee


Resolutionsrelative to Committees





161 -on Private Bills.
under the influence of the former commit-
tee. He likewise contended, that the
House ought to take care that its com-
mittees acted as much like juries as possi-
ble, and exhorted it to devise some mea-
sure which would prevent the repetition of
such injustice in future.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, that, though
he was by no means so satisfied as the
hon. gentleman opposite seemed to be, of
the gross misconduct of the committees on
private bills, still it was his intention to
vote in favour of the resolutions of his
hon. friend, as a precautionary experiment,
for the present session, against any mis-
conduct that might by possibility arise.
He did not believe the committees on
private bills to be that mass of corruption
which some members asserted them to be.
There might have been some cases, in
which members who had not been present
at the evidence, had entered the com-
mittee-room, and overwhelmed the voices
of those who had been present; but he had
not heard of any instance of gross injustice
in their disposal of private property.
The worthy alderman had said, that as the
last parliament was dead he had a right to
abuse it; but, though that parliament was
dead, the members who composed it were
living, and he, as one of them, must beg
leave to vindicate its conduct. What the
present parliament might turn out, he
could not tell; bat with the benefit of the
worthy alderman's bright example, he had
no doubt but that it would be much
better than that of which he had spoken
with so much reprobation. Though he
he could not agree in every point with the
proposed resolutions, he must repeat that
he was not unwilling to adopt them as a
precautionary experiment for the present
session. His reason for so doing was not
founded so much on the misconduct of
the committees on private bills, as upon
the standing orders themselves. He dis-
approved of the method of referring
private bills to the consideration of a com-
mittee formed of the members of that
county to which the bill applied, and the
adjoining counties, because the number
of persons on such a committee varied
very greatly. In the case of the
county of Derby, the number of members
for that and the adjoining counties,
to whom private, bills might be referred,
was .80. In the county of Warwick the
number was 87; in that of Leicester 69;
ancd ir that of Staffordshire 66; and he
VOL, XVI,


Noir. 28, 1826. 166
believed that a case had occurred in which
the proposition for a canal bill was referred
to a committee, of which every member
was either a director, or a person largely
concerned in the canal. In the county
of Devon the number was 168; in Wilt-
shire 194; and in Hampshire 234. So
that the number of persons composing the
committee on a private bill relating to
Hampshire, was four times as great as that
on a private bill relating to Staffordshire.
That statement formed a sufficient reason
for adopting some arrangement better
than the present, and would justify them
in adopting the three first resolutions.
He conceived that there would be great
difficulty in obtaining select committees, if
they were to be chosen like election com-
mittees. In the first session of a new par-
liament, supposing there were ten electiori
committees, and twenty or thirty private
bills, it would be impossible for the House
to act. It was therefore better to adopt
the remedy proposed by his hon. friend;
which gave to any petitioner who con-
ceived himself injured the liberty to appeal
to another committee. He likewise
thought it right that of the hundred
and twenty members placed in each list,
sixty should be connected by locality with
the county which the bill affected, and
that the other sixty should be persons who
were not under the influence of local bias.
He conceived .that the most effectual
remedy to the abuses incident to com-
mittees on private bills, would be by letting
the light of day in upon them; and that
the appointment of a committee of appeal
would in itself be a tacit correction of the
evil complained of. He could not see-
how the long story which the worthy
alderman had told them respecting the
Equitable-Loan-bill Committee bore upon
the present question; for he was quite
certain, that if the facts which the worthy
alderman had mentioned were correct,
and had been stated to the House, he
would have obtained an appeal against
that committee. The worthy alderman
had also objected to the deposit of the
5001. as a hardship; but he was strongly
inclined to think, that if the worthy alder-
man had felt one half the indignation
against the members of the committee
which he had that night expressed, he
would have gladly laid down the sum -for
the petitioners whom he had taken under
his protection. ,
Mr. W, Smith said, that though he-had
0




163 HOUSE OF LORDS,
several objections to the proposed resolu-
tions, he would support them until some
better proposition was submitted in their
stead.
Mr. G. Bankes suggested the propriety
of giving a power to wave that part of the
resolutions which rendered it necessary to
deposit 5001. before any appeal could be
made from one committee to another.
Unless such a power were vested some-
where, some parties must be seriously
injured by the resolution.
Mr. Wynn said, there was no analogy
between election committees and com-
mittees on private bills; for the questions
submitted to the first were mixed questions
of law and fact, while those submitted
to the latter were questions of policy
and expediency. He did not believe
that any such extent of evil as was now
pretended had arisen from the mis-
conduct of private committees; and he
was of opinion, that they were oftener
prejudiced against advantageous bills than
biassed in favour of improper bills by un-
worthy motives. It had been suggested,
that the nomination of the committees by
ballot would often exclude from them
useful local knowledge. He was himself
of that opinion, and would have great
difficulty in believing that fifteen gentle-
men of Hampshire could legislate easily
on the local interests of Northumberland.
He conceived that great advantage would
arise from acceding to the resolutions.
At present it was prudent to bring them
in experimentally. If, upon trial, they
should be found beneficial, they might be
made standing orders of the House.
The injury done by committees on private
hills was not, in his opinion, great, but the
scandal of them was extreme; for suppos-
ing the committees to come to a right
decision, still, if it were seen that numbers,
who had not previously attended, flocked in
to give their vote, it never could give satis-
faction to the parties defeated by it, and
thus became detrimental to the dignity
and character of the House.
The first eight resolutions were then
agreed to. On the ninth being put,
Mr. G. Lamb said, he much doubted
the propriety of this resolution, and hoped
the hon. gentleman would postpone it
until it could be more maturely considered.
He understood on a former evening, that
one of the great objections urged against
the resolutions of his noble friend (lord
Althoxpj relative to bribery at elections,


Corn Laws. 164
rested upon the ground, that security was
demanded before the parties complaining
should be allowed to prove their case.
The same objection, he conceived, applied
to the resolution now before them. He
knew not that the House had the power of
enforcing any such resolution. If a
litigious person were, after an award had
been made, to bring an action against the
clerk of the Fees, then the validity of this
resolution would be subject to the decision
of a court of law; a state of :hini: which
certainly ought to be avoided. For his
own part, he could not conceive what
right one branch of the legislature had to
levy money in this manner; and therefore,
he thought the hon. gentleman would do
well to postpone the resolution.
Mr. Wynn looked upon the proposition
embraced by the resolution, as similar to a
case of arbitration, where the parties con--
tending agreed to abide by any order or
award which might be decided on by
those to whom the matter in dispute was
referred.
The resolution was withdrawn.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Wednesday, Nov. 29.
CoRN LAws.] Lord King said, he had
some more petitions to present on a sub-
ject on which some persons thought that,
the less was said the better, but on which,
in his opinion, the more was said the
better. They were given to understand
that no alteration was to take place ip the
Corn-laws till after the holidays, but they
were told, at the same time, that some
alteration was decided upon, though God
only knew what it was to be. It ap-
peared that his majesty's ministers had a
good deal of difficulty in settling with their
friends on the subject, and no small share

in settling with their colleagues. One fact
seemed certain; namely, that in whatever
should be done, nothing but the minimum
of improvement was likely to be adopted.
Various reports were in circulation, sopG
of which had reached his ears. One report
was, that when the price of corn was at
55s. a duty of 17s. was to be imposed,
For his own part, he would much rather it
be left at the mercy of ministers, acting on,
their own responsibility, than at the uercy
of so merciless a law as that. HeQ be,
lived there was a malignant party in the
cabinet, who were hostile to all imprpve.,
S#ant4, nd at yariance with t~be 9wA CQ.o.




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