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existed only in speculation, Mr. Powys into committee till the number was relooked upon in the light of the physician, strained; and that, if the order of the day sho certainly had some selfith end in was negatived, and that resolution should view, or he would not bave presled his come before them, if no body else did it, remedy upon one who wanted none of he would take the liberty to offer an ao his allistance. As to the peritioners," he mendment, by inserting the words aan looked upon most of them as unacquaint auginentation of one member to each ed with the principles of the conftiiution, Ar county in England and Wales;" and and therefore acting an under-part, 10 that he was determined to take the fenfe promote the views of those who hoped to of the House on that amendment. That profit by a change, by the popular name there was a spirit of difcontent and innoof reform. He was an enemy to all such varion abroad, that deserved to be taken reforms, and therefore should put his ne into confideration upon the present quelgative upon the present resolutions; and,
Brion, could not be denied. For his own in respect to the great character by whom part, he was bred up in a veneration for they were introduced, he should do it in the principles of a well-balanced, limited, the least offensive marner, by moving the and mitigated monarchy, which he had order of the day
always thought to be the effence of the Mr. T. Pilt obferved, tha: the resolu: British conftitution; and that as, on the tions now proposed by his hon. friend one hand, he thould dread a minister who were extremely different from the propo- C should dare to own an intention of throw fion he had felt himself, on a former ing all possible power into the scale of occalion, under the neceflicy of oppofing, the Crown, fo he should carefully sepafor realons which he now brought to the rate himself from one who avowed his recollection of the House (lee p. 59): -intention of throwing all power into the that though he was averse to a propofi- scale of the people. He was not to learn, tion by which the constitution was to behe said, that the external forms of goSubiniited, in a great degree, to a Com-Dvernment might remain, though an artmittee, to be new modelled at their dis- ful minister should abuse the confidence cretion,
yet he was by no means an ene of his prince, and find means, through ny to all reform or alteration that might the factions and corruptions of the times, Le propoled to meliorate the representa- to establish his authority against the sente tion on tafe, moderate, and constitutional of all mankind, and the experience of the principles; that he had therefore called e calamities which his mal-administration for specitic propofuions; nay, that he might draw upon his country. In such liad actually alluded to one specific pro- a cafe, he should not hesitate to pronounce pofition (Ld. Chatham's], which, as far such a government, while it lasted, an abas he then food informed, leemed liable solute monarchy; perhaps the more fo, to none of the objections he had for
as wearing the mark of freedom. On the merly stated, and would, he believed, be other hand, if in such a government as entitled to his hcarty concurrence. That Fours, the force of cabal and faction should the plan of reforın contained in the re so far prevail as to seize upon the execufolutions now under consideration held tive power against the sense of the prince forth specific remedies upon practical not upon the throne; if the titular monarch speculative grounds, he was ready to al should be so far reduced as to have no low; yet he must think that fo large an choice in the appointment of his minisauginentation of county members as had ters; no free-will as to granting or with. been suggesied would exceed the limits G holding the graces and farours of the that caution and prudence would di&tate. crown; he lould not scruple to call such That, however plauable and specious the
government a republic, and a republic cxpectations from tuch an acceflion of of the worst fort. But if the causes of independent members to the cause of such extremes were temporary, the misfreedoin, they ought not to forget the state chiefs would be temporary also. They of facts, almost within their own memo would be no more than the excentric mi. ry, when the liberties, and probably the H brations of a pendulum, which, being put seligion, of the country was rescued from in disorder by some external force, would che induence of the county members, by foon recover its truc place, when it was shat part of the representation which is
no longer acted upon by the tranfient cir. now reprobated as she rotten part of the cumstances by which it had been affected; conftitution. That he would, therefore, whereas, were its central position to be ou no account recoinmend it to the House changed, the whole æconomy of the maw Send that ictošution of his hou. friend chine it was intended to regulate would
be disordered, and could only be restored did not pay more than 20,000l. a year, by a new mechanism. Just so the consti- and they lent 42 members to parliament. tution, once altered, could never be re One fide of Oxford Strect had a right im stored, without having recourse to first rote, the other side had not. He thought principles. Were any one to ask if the it a hard case for those who held tenures grievances complained of were such as to for 99 years, to a great amount, thould induce the necessity of any change, he be excluded from voting, when freeholde would honestly answer, he' faw no such ers of 40s, a year enjoyed that privilege. necessity. If, however, he was to give his with regard to the story of the man with opinion whether the addition of one more the lame leg, Mr. Byng said, it bore_no knight of the shire to cach county would analogy. The inan' was a cripple born, be an additional security to the freedom of and consequently was as perfe&t as ever the subject, he would as honestly answer B he was in his life, and could not be made in the affirmative; however, experience, better than he then was; whereas the which is better than all the theories in the constitution was, in its original state, as world, has thewn, that, though we might perfect as human wisdom could frame it, probably be the better for it, we can cer but it is now so dcforined and debilitated tainly exist to every good purpose with by abuse and ill habits, that it scarce bears out it. And having now, he said, deli-' the features of its first deponiment. He fered his sentiinent: on this occafion with was happy, he said, to get any thing by the same freedom with which he expre-cway of restoring ii, though he was afraid sed himself when the same subject was lalt what was now intended would go but a year under discusion, it remained only little way to remove its deformity, for him to declare, as a pledge of his fin Lord Mulgrave observed, that before cerity, that, though he boldly profest to men should indulge the visionary fancies shink che burgage tenures in a particular of a perfect constitution, they should bemanner the fortreffes against the influence gin with reforming human naturc. As of ministers, he did most earnestly intreat honeft independent member of parliathat he might be permitted to surrender "ment, he muft reprolate all idcas of the most precious interests he poffefred as patching up the constitution. If it wants * voluntary sacrifice to be offered up at repair, che prefent mode was not the way the farine of the Constitution. The pre- to rettore it. Every precaution to precedent, he said, could affect no one but vent corruption and undue influence, that himself, volenti non fit injuria; and it could be taken, had already been takes. was of litle consequence, provided the What law can be devised more forcilola conftitution was confirmed, whether he e than that which obliges every memtues, or his pofterity should ever have a feat in who accepts a place, to vacate his teat in that house. He added that, should a re. this Houle? and yet how few placeinen form take place, he should presume so are excluded by that law! In a free far as to wish that those cwo members country, where every man has a leparate which he was to offer up, might be trans interest in view, to expect a perfect referred to the Bank of England.
presentation of the people is to expect a Sir G. Savile began to Ipeak in farour f representation such as we fee it. The of the motion, but finding himself so ill representatives of the people are not ex. that he could not proceed, he sat down, pected to be angels, but men, with paíto the great disappointment of the House. fions like their own. They are sent to
Mr. Byng took up the argument where parliament to consult the public interest, the last speaker left it. He contended, and so far as that coincides with their that innovations and incroachments had own they will pursue it. The propofibeen made on the part of the crown, and Gtions go to prevent bribery and corrupthat it behoved parliament to bring back tion at elections. But will that be the the constitution to its original form. He cafe? Will men, who have fitiller views begged leave to remind the House of a in voting for two members, tplinquith petition presented by him from the Tower those views because they have three to Hamlets, which petition was as strong a' vote for! To increase the number of reproof as could be adduced in favour of presentatives was, in his Lordship's opi. che resolutions proposed by the hon. nion, the ready, way to increase che eril znember (Mr. W. Pitt) opposite to himn. Hie was intended to redress ; for which The eaftern part of London, called The reason he lhould rore for the order of Tower Hamlets, paid 34,000l. a year the day. land tax, and they were unrepresented in Lord Nortb role, and the House was parliament. The county of Cornwall all attention. He began by paying a very
high compliment to the right hon. mem ment to discover. To remedy these sup: ber who moved the propolitions. He had posed grievances, one hundred knights are never listened, he said, with so much care demanded; but I say, Not fly! What! to any speech, and he must do that Hon. A not fifty! No, not one. Imult, said his Gent, the justice to say, he had never in Lordship, see better grounds for the dehis life been better paid for his attention. mand before I venture to comply with it. The gentleman had prefaced his motion The favourers of the measure, finding no by expreiling the dread he felt in touch real grounds to support it, have been ing lo vencrable a subject as the constitu fruitful in imaginary ones. The Ame tion, though for the purpose of amending rican war, with all its horrors and misit. The expression was the expresion of fortunes, have been pathetically dressed found sense. The attempt was of the B up, and laid at the door of a worn-out, nuolt delicate nature. It was to tamper battered, and enfeebled conftitution. The with that fabric which for ages had stood American, say they, was the war of the the boast of Britons, and the envy and Crown. I deny it. It was of Parlia. the adım acion of all the world belides. ment. It was the war of the people. It And on what ground? Ought not every was undertaken for the exprefs purpose Englifuman, blelled with such a pre-emí- of maintaining the rights of parliainent; nent form of government, to pause a mo or, in other words, of the people of Great ment before he proceeded to lay violent C Britain over the dependencies of the emhanels on such a confiitution, and that on pire. For this realon, it was popular at no better foundation than the more fancy its commencement, and cagerly embraced of its being difordered, independent of by the people and parliament. Could the any folid evidence of distemper? Neither influence of the Crown have produced the right hon. member who made the mo- such majorities as went almost io unania tion, nor any of those able gentlemen who mity? Or if it could have produced thela supported it, had adduced the smallest majorities within doors, could it have proof of the existence of the disorder D produced the almost unanimous approwhich they were so anxious to reinedy; bation bestowed upon it without doors? por did they offer to the House one in Nor did it cease to be popular till, by : fiance of any originating from a decay of series of the most unparalleled disasters the constitution which they affected lo to and calamities, the people, wearied out deplore. The force of declamation in- with ill success and misfortune, began to deed had been tried, to affe&t the pallions, call out as loudly for peace, as they had by representing evils, misfortunes, and formerly done for war. Had the consticalamities, which had no more to do tution been in fault, how comes it to pass with the constitution than the earthquake that the voice of the people prevailed aat Lisbon with the government of the gainst the influence of the Crown? This people. The American war, and the is a recent transaction. The war was the caules of it, have long been themes fruit.. war of the people. The peace has been ful of invective. As to himself, he was the peace of the people. Where then is free to acknowledge, at all times, the the influence of the Crown, against which hand which he had in it. [A cry of F fo great a clamour has been raised! Has Hrar him! Hear him!] By the cry of' it, Tince that period, broke beyond its Hear lim! said his Lordship, gentlemen bounds: Not a title of any fuch grounds, seem to think I am going to make a con is pretended, either by petition or in are feffion
they never were more mistaken gument. It was said, when the Rt. Hon. in their lives. Let guilt confess; I Gent. first brought forward this business, know of none.
An Hon. Gent. near that the aitempt was too precipitate. Les me [Mr. T. Pitt] has said, that the con it rest a little. Between that and the fol-. stitution is unsound, vibrating to and fro Glowing session, the people would have for want of founething to keep it steady. time to reflect, and their sense might be He describes the Crown, by virtue of its then more clearly collected. What has influence, as keeping a wicked ministry been the result? 'Why only fourteen out in oifice against the fense of the people; of forty-two counties have petitiţioned as and he describes the same powerful Crown all; and of thos: fourteen not a tenth of as stript of all power, and led into captie the freeholders have subscribed to the pevity: How the Hon. Gent. can reconcile titions. Upon the whole, there are nog such jarring descriptions is for him to more than 20,000 names to all the petia explaio; but that neither of them can tions; and from this comparatively inbe true, and that posibly both of them considerable number we are to colleět the may be falle, needs very little disceru. Iense of the people of England, and con
clude țhat they are friends to the propos. “ wild affertions, that there is no cor* od reform. But it is not to the paucity" rupt influence in the crown which deof the numbers that he would ground his “ stroys the independence of this House. chief objection; it is to the manner in “There is a bill now printed for the which those names were procured;
" use of the House, to remedy every
A from meetings for public utility, but grievance in point of expence and brifrom private cabals. The assizes are held “ bery at elections, and on that ground twice a year, the sessions four times. On « alone I should think myself justified all thofe occafions the inhabitants of each “ in putting my negative on the propocounty may be said to meet in the fairest “ fitions now under confideration; but and moft indiscriminate manner, at which " when to this circumstance is added the it may in candour be supposed the real
any proof of disorder in this sense of the mass of the people might beft B « glorious fábrick, as the right hon. be collected. Was this the manner in “ mover jully styled our confiitution; which the petitions were set on foot? By " when a remedy is sought for a dileale, no means. County meetings, as they are “I know not what; when the puny called, where projectors, with set speeches “ voice of a few discontented people and ready-framed petitions, were there " breaks in upon the tranquillity and reprepared to meet a number of prejudiced“ verend silence of the vast and satisfied people, who came incited to sign that C“ multitude; when the discontented are which was ready for their signature. The is ac variance among themselves with requestion was begged, or borrowed, or “ spect to the nature of their grievances, ftolen, hospitably to accommodate the rc and the modes of their redrels; when, craving appetites of luch craving guests. “ I say, all these things are considereil, a Those who liked neither the invitation, « doubt cannot remain a moment on my por the fare, very prudently remained at “ mind of the weakness of giving way their own homes. And the questions to this froward humour, this fpirit of pow, in short, is, To whom are we to persecution. A gentleman behind me pay respect, the few reformers, or the “ Mr. T. Pitt] says, Give the people contented multitude? Can this be a fe. "Fifty knights, and then make a stand.' I Tious question? [A cry of Hear him! “ oppose this idea: The addition of fifty Hear him!) I perceive, said his Lord county members would give a decided ship, it cannot. He then concluded that superiority to the landed interest over nothing more was necessary to convince “ the commercial; and it is the beauty the House that the sense of the people " of the constirution of the House of was against the reform.
E. Commons, that, like the general fabric He next adverted to an infinuation “ of the British Constirution, it provides thrown out respecting bad minifers he " for and preserves the due balance being continued in office against the voice "tween the several great interests of the of the people, by the over-ruling infu- "empire, the landed, the commercial, ence of the Crown. “This," said his " and the monied. Do not, therefore, Lordship, “is not a random stroke; from " let us begin. Principiis olla. Let us " the quarter from whence it comes, it Fact like men. We do not land here I'may be known. I will not affe it to as the deputies, but the representatives, " think it is not levelled at me; but I ir of the people. We are not to refer to " trust the candid and discerning part of " them before we determine. We stand “ the House will see that the attack is " here' as they would stand-to use out
most unjust. I was not, when I was lown discretion, without secking any " honoured with office, a minister of “ other guidance under heaven. Let me
chance, or a creature of whom parlia-G“ then conjure you to act like men, and "ment had no experience. I was found “ reject what to adopt mult inevitably
among you when I was so honoured. “ lead to ruin."--He concluded by cor " I had been long known to you. In dially voting for the order of the day. « consequence I obtained your support. Mr. T. Pitt, to explain, faid, That ! When that support was withdrawn, I when he hypothetically stated two oppo
ceased to be a minister. I was the fire extremes under the same form of gocreature of parliament in my rise; and Hvernment, he could not be supposed to when I fell 'I was it's victim. I have maintain their existence at the same time, been the creature of your opinion and and in the same circumstances. Thougli, your power; and the hillory of my were he to apply what the noble Lord in. political life is one proof, which will the blue ribband could not conceive poro and against and overturn a thousand fible in matters of state, to what was now
to be seen with respect to individuals, it merchant more than his gains, and swell would not be found impossible to recon the weekly list of the unfortunate; they cile the most glaring contradictions, and never would hare consented to impofi. the most opposite extremes.
tions so grievous that the country gentleMs. Beaufoy rose, for the first time, a man finds his tenants are beggars, and and addrelled the House in a most able that his rental is little less than a register and eloquent speech. If, he said, the of hopeless debts. The noble Lord has noble Lord who spoke last thought it alledged, that the plan which the Right necessary to apologize for having tref- Hon. Gent. has proposed to the House is passed on the indulgence of the House, it not consonant to the petitions of the peomight be thought presumption in him, ple. The petitions of the people pro. poffeffed of little information, and unac pose a variety of plans; that of the Right quainted with the forms of the House, to B Hon. Gent. coincides with the object of venture to deliver his sentiments on a them all. That object is the establishing subjcet so delicate and so important as a sameness of interest between the repre. that now under consideration. But, as an sentatives of the people and the people at Hon. Gent. (Mr. T. Pitt) has well ob- large. To obtain that object, it is proferved, that to reject, on one hand, all poled to make a large addition to that rcformation, would be to treat with con class of the people's representatives, of tempe the numerous petitions of the peo- whom it cannot indeed be said that they ple; so, he thought, on the other, to never will mistake the national intereft, adopt an inadequate expedient would be but of whom, with truth it may be said, to expose to hazard the civil and political they can have no temptation to depart blcllings we already enjoy. The peti• from it by design. An improvement rions on your table, however they may this, which, as it ofiers no violence to the váry about the remedy, all concur in rights of any description of men, it was this, That the representation of the peo- reasonable to conclude, would have beca ple is partial and inadequate. To this liable to no objection, yet the noble Lord defect, not the petitioners alone, as the D has objected: he has opposed it as an innoble Lord in the blue ribband would novation; and, in his opinion, all inno. have us believe, but the whole nation, are vations are dangerous; but that they are perfuaded the evils of the present times not dangerous, the advantages, civil and are to be imputed. To this cause, what political, which the people of England ever the noble' Lord may infinuate, the at this hour enjoy, are an incontrovertipeople ascribe the commencement and ble truth; for the noble Lord will not continuance of a contest in which loss E be hardy enough to affirm that the many was certain, advantage impossible -- the improvements made, and the changes Systematic extravagance with which, for that have happened for the better, werc a teries of years, the expenditure of the the immediate effects of the ancient Bris public money has been conducted the tilla constitution. In ancient times the exorbitant premiums that have been towos and cities were built on the de given on the public loans — and the mesne lands of the king, or some power• alarming increase of the national debt, Fful baron, and the lord had a right ra now rendered ir redeemable by fifty mil- confer upon his town the privileges of a lions of money being added to that debt, borough. In ancient times the fovereigns more than the nation had received. The of Britain had the right of increasing, ac people know that in private life the man pleasure, the number of boroughs fend, who should borrow on the same terms asing representatives to parliament. In an, the nation has borrowed, muf either bor• cient times, the sovereign frequently di, row but little,or his circumstances, what rected the principal manufacturing towns ever his income, muft foon become del-G to send representatives to the Council of perate. The people know too that the pre- Trade. This council was not the same sent state of their representation is radical- with that affembly which granted sup: jy defective. There is not a man within plies to his Majesty; and it was not till doors or without who has not acknowledge the reign of the third Edward, that the ed as much. Had it been otherwise, their House of Commons itself affumed the representatives never would have con power of rejecting laws to which they sented to that additional load of had not expressly given their consent, that weighs down the utmost industry of (Here Mr. B. enuinerated the several the manufacturer ; they never would changes the British constitution had unbave consented to those ruinous extremes dergone, from the Saxon times till the of legal extortion which force from the establigiment of Magna Charta, and from 7