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House, but not the national interests. It was this neglect of the national interests that occasioned the national discontent. For the security of the country it was necessary that the middle and working classes should be satisfied with the legislation of Parliament. He believed, indeed, that it was only the lowest and most ignorant of the people that talked of violence against property, and he believed that their violent and criminal intentions, as expressed at public meetings, need be treated with no other feeling than entire disregard, and the absence of all apprehension, if the classes immediately above them were not discontented; but there was much cause for alarm when it was considered that these classes, too, were dissatisfied. He trusted these resolutions would be agreed to, in order that the country might derive some hope for the future, from the admission which the House would thus make, that all had not been done which ought to have been done.
persisted in refusing to do so, some other Ministers must be found who would take a contrary course.
Mr. D'Israeli said, that when the hon. Member for Birmingham ascribed the present condition of the country to the state of the currency, he thought he would find a more obvious cause in the systematic attacks which had been made since the Reform Bill upon the civil rights of England. Of late years, the Government of the country had been engaged in assailing the rights of the people, and the people had turned round with an instinctive spirit, and assailed the constitution of the realm. That he believed to be the real state of the country at the present moment. If hon. Gentlemen would only take a retrospective glance at what had passed during the last seven years, and see what the Government of this country had done in attacking the civil rights of the people, they would not be surprised at the effect which had been produced. Mr. Warburton would support the reso- Within the last seven years they had atlutions most cordially. They went nearly tacked the Church; they had totally reon the same grounds which he himself took volutionized the parochial jurisdiction of in opposing the extension of the standing the country-that most ancient jurisdicarmy. The discontents which prevailed tion, an institution bringing much finer were not confined to the lowest or most ig- and nearer relations between the people norant classes. There was a large number than any political institution they could of steady and thinking persons in the coun- boast of; they had attacked the ancient try who had been the supporters of moderate police of the country; they had attacked reform from the time when the Whigs last the old local administration of justice, came into power, and a very considerable and confiscated the ancient patrimony of portion of these were entirely dissatisfied the people. They had attacked trial by with the course of legislation which that jury, and had destroyed old corporations. House had pursued. The noble Lord He should like to know what could create said, that it was the Chartists themselves discontent throughout the country, if conwho had interrupted the progress of the duct such as that would not. Every pubCorn-law question; but this was not be lic sedition, that had spread, had always cause they were in favour of the continu- originated from an attack upon the civil ance of these laws, but because they con- rights of the people. Generally speaking, sidered that to petition the House, in its sections of the aristocracy had taken adpresent constitution, to abolish those laws, vantage of the circumstance, and placed would be utterly useless. Looking to the themselves at the head of the people in non-progress of the measures brought in the political movement. It was a most for the good of the people, the people had remarkable fact, however, that in the a right to conclude, that the constitution present instance there was no portion of of the House was not what it ought to be. the aristocracy whatever connected with It was because of the finality principle, the movement of the people; and yet and of the discontent which it caused, there was a deep and a wide spread oralienating from the Government the affec-ganization. What might be the cause of tions of the middle classes, the best supporters of order and the public peace, that violence had been supposed to exist. He hoped that principle would be abandoned, and that her Majesty's Government would advance the cause of reform. If they
that, it was the duty of the House to inquire. The noble Lord was not only a political student, but an eminent historian. The noble Lord, it seemed, had discovered the cause of sedition. Far be it from him to cope with the noble Lord in endeavour
ing to trace the pedigree of sedition; but | in carrying on a great revolution, found, he readily confessed, that he felt disposed that the change had only effected a systo trace it to a higher source than Mr. tematic attack upon their rights-surOastler. Yet true it was, that the noble prised at the result, they turned round Lord had traced it to the single efforts of upon their instigators, used the very that now celebrated personage. When weapons with which they had armed the noble Lord ascribed the present dis- them, and had recourse to the arts and content to the agitation which had taken devices which they had taught them. place upon the Poor-law Amendment Act, They might depend upon it, that they he quite forgot the support and the means had not that hold upon the mind of the by which the Reform Bill had been car- people which would enable them to arrest ried. So far from the outbreak in Bir- their course whenever they pleased. It mingham, for instance, being attributable might not be flattering to their self-comto that agitation, every one who was at placency to say, but it nevertheless must all acquainted with Birmingham, knew, not be forgotten, that they were the that it was a subject which had produced youngest representative assembly in the less effect in that town than almost any world. They were younger even than the other which had become matter of public Chamber of Deputies in France. They discussion. There was a time, as they bore the ancient title, it was true, of the were all aware-namely, after the Reform House of Commons, but they had no preBill had passed that House-when they scriptive right to it. They could not apwere told 200,000 men were to march peal to what Lord Bacon styled "reverend from Birmingham, to assist the decision antiquity." Instead of cultivating the afof the other House of Parliament. That fections of the people, and exciting their was before Mr. Oastler's time. Well, it respect for antiquity which they naturally seemed that this great body militant were admired, they were perpetually taking now about to arrive to assist the noble away their rights, and disturbing the Lord in his decision; in what spirit the foundation of everything ancient in the noble Lord would receive them, it was nation. Formerly they were supported not for him to project. But when the by an overwhelming majority of that noble Lord ascribed the present disturb- House. ances to a few demagogues, and to an Act passed more recently than the Reform Bill, he ought first to remember, that his predecessor had received a deputation from Birmingham, headed by a tricoloured flag. The noble Lord regarded the Chartists of England, as if they were the first body of men who had appealed to physical force, and as if physical force bad not previously hastened many a man into place and power. With that idea, the noble Lord called upon all parties in that House to adhere together, and to invest the Government with fresh and invigorating powers. He talked as if the hon. and learned Member for Dublin had never appealed to the support of 500,000 fighting men. That, he must suppose, was an appeal on the part of the hon. and learned Gentleman, to the intellect, the vigour, and the moral energy of his country. The people of this country, had, in fact, been debauched by agitation, or Tories power, one thing was which it had been the interest of a par- certain, that the country required a ticular party to encourage. He did not Government. Unless they had a Gomean to say, that that morbid feeling vernment which could pass measures alone, would have produced the presenta Government in nature, not in name result. But when those men who assisted (for who could pretend that the noble Lord
What had since reduced the constitution of the country to a state of political paralysis, for that was the state which it was in at present? Who could deny, that all that could now be said of the once celebrated constitution of England, which certainly had been the pride of Englishmen, and which he believed had also been the admiration of Europe, was, that it was a system of polity under which the Sovereign could do no wrong, and the Government no right? paralyzed state of the constitution was owing, as had been confessed by the hon. Member for Bridport himself, to the weakness of the Government, who he contended should either make larger concessions, or allow themselves to be displaced. A beneficial change from the present state of things, could only be effected by a strong Government. Whether Chartists required an agrarian republic-whether Whigs required place
Mr. Ewart thought, that the hon. Member, in his stock of grievances, might have omitted the abolition of the ancient constabulary, who had gone to their political grave-the brethren of Dogberry and Verges. With one part of the hon. Member's speech he agreed, and that was, it was desirable to have a strong government
that it must be a government strong, not by coercion, by having enlisted in its favour the affections of the people. He deeply deplored that one of the characteristics of these times should be a division between the friends of a sound and rational reform. He regretted that the middle class of Reformers should be unhappily at variance with the more popular class, who seemed recently to have run wild-severing their connexion with those who might have guided them. He could not but lament, what seemed to be approaching, an isolation between the different parties, in which the extremes of wild liberalism drawing off on one side, and the high aristocracy on the other, the middle classes would be left alone. But he trusted that this would not be lasting, and that the spread of education would teach those who were disposed to violence, that it was not by a sanguinary movement that they could
and his colleagues were a Governmentwhat did they govern, or what did they administer?) they could not expect the people to return to tranquillity. He was not ascribing this state of things to the personal faults of the noble Lord and his colleagues, but to the faults of their party. That state of things was the necessary consequences of a party which was opposed to the national institutions of the country. He did not so much accuse the Ministers of the Crown of attacking the institutions of the country, as of attacking the habits, manners, prejudices, and feelings of the people. Not a week passed in which some bill was not produced which outraged the prejudices of the nation. It was with views like these that he looked upon the present discontents, and it was with a mind occupied by reflections of this nature, that he considered them to be much more serious than his hon. Friends seemed disposed to admit. He was rendered the more alive to these dangers from seeing that the discontented portion of the people were without leaders. If a man of great and commanding abilities, of subtle mind, and of loose principles, appeared to stand forward as the instructor and the guide of the popular party, much of the existing discontent might be imputed to the influ-altain their end, but by a steady progress, ence of personal character; and when such founded on claims of substantial justice. a man disappeared, the great causes of Whatever wildness and enthusiasm might popular commotion generally disappeared prevail, he believed there was some injuswith him. The absence of this species of tice at the bottom of it all; and where chief it was, which rendered the present that was an ingredient in the condition of feelings and sentiments manifested by the society, there could be no content. The real people in many parts of the country so cause of discontent was the undue ascendmuch the more fearful, which imparted to ancy of the landed interest, who had exthem evidence of being in a far more in-clusive power in one House of Parliament, flamed state than if led on by an individual. and a predominance in the other. He, A great portion of those who might be for his own part, abjured violence, and included amongst the discontented, were hoped for improvements through the denot men who could be reckoned on the termination and energy of the really liberal fingers as those might, who had signed part of the community. Believing the what was called the National Petition.motion of his hon. Friend to be in accordThere could be no doubt that a great sec-ance with these principles, he would give tion of the country-some three or four it his cordial support. millions of the people-were under the influence of great discontent, and Parliament was about to prorogue, under circumstances which rendered it necessary that Parliament should be assembled. They had done nothing since they were called together. They had entered upon the business of the Session under circumstances of alarming colonial disturbance, and now they were on the point of separating, the whole nation was disaffected.
Sir H. Verney expressed his belief that the present disturbances had arisen entirely from the increase in the population not having been followed up by an adequate increase in that moral and religious instruction which the people ought to receive. These alone were the means by which peace and tranquillity could be obtained; and it was well known that in the disturbed districts sufficient moral and religious instruction were not afforded to the people.
He hoped, therefore, that the number of churches and chapels would be multiplied in the manufacturing districts, and that proper schools, for the education of all children, whether in connexion with the Established Church or Dissenters, would be established by the Government with as little loss of time as possible.
Mr. Hume rose amidst loud cries of "Divide." He thought that the hon. Baronet had misrepresented the cause which the people had for discontent. The truth was that the contest now going on was one between the aristocracy and the democracy. The laws were made by the aristocracy, and what was the consequence? Why, that they oppressed the poor, and favoured the rich. In this country it might be said that industry was unprotected and oppressed, and sure he was, that unless they gave the people a larger share in the representation than they now had, discontent must continue.
Mr. W. Stanley said, that he believed the present disturbances were owing to the conduct of certain parties in that House in connexion with certain other parties out of it. These parties pressed for alterations in the constitution which it would be neither wise nor safe to make, and it was because they were unable to attain their object that they set the people against the laws. This was the true way in which to account for the present state of discontent which existed.
The House divided on the original motion: Ayes 51; Noes 29: Majority
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Monday, August 12, 1839.
MINUTES.] Bills. Read a first time :-Soap Duties; Me
tropolis Improvements; Stage Carriages; Bastardy.Read a second time :-Assaults (Ireland); Constabulary Force; Admiralty Court; Slave-Trade Treaties. Petitions presented. By the Earl of Stanhope, from Vestrymen of Marylebone, and Inhabitants of Yeovil, for the Total Repeal of the New Poor-law Act; from Electors, and Rate-payers of the Metropolis, against the Poor-law Commission Continuance Bill; and from Inhabitants of Yeovil, against a Rural Police.
OF THE SHANNON.] House in Committee on the Shannon Navigation Bill.
Lord Ellenborough thought that little effect would be produced by the bill upon the market of labour in Ireland, as not more than 80,000l. a year would be expended.
The Marquess of Lansdowne said, that while the public works would be beneficial, from the employment which they would afford as far as they went, there could be little doubt but that they would give rise to a great number of other undertakings, not under the control of the Government, and thus produce indirectly, a great additional demand for labour.
Viscount Duncannon wished to make an observation, with reference to a question put to him on a former evening, upon the subject of a new commission having been appointed to superintend these works.
A noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord | prisons, without being at all subject to the Lyndhurst) had, on a former evening, read supervision of the judges. The 27th secpart of a letter, from which he inferred tion was also most objectionable, which that this new commission was not in conformity with the recommendations of Sir J. Burgoyne. He would read to the House passages from letters of Sir J. Burgoyne, showing that his suggestions could not have been carried into effect without the appointment of a new commission. The noble Lord proceeded to read the passages to which he referred, and which confirmed his statement.
The Marquess of Lansdowne said, that it was entirely in consequence of the advice of Colonel Burgoyne that a separate commission had been appointed to discharge the functions which were to be performed under the present bill. To impose these additional functions on the Board of Works would be extremely injudicious, for that board had too much to do already.
subjected any man, in whose house goods might be deposited without his knowledge, to be treated as a receiver of stolen goods. Was not this almost incredible? Nobody ever heard of so monstrous a law. He had objections to the other provisions of the bill, and he would certainly take the sense of the House upon them.
Viscount Duncannon observed, that with respect to the power given by the bill to the Secretary of State to remove police magistrates, he could only say that he believed, both in the report of the committee of this and the other House of Parliament, it was considered that some alteration was necessary to adapt the police-offices and police magistrates to the metropolitan districts. Therefore it was, that power was now proposed to be given to the Secretary of State to remove the whole of those magistrates on superannuations. It was only by some clause of this description that superannuations could be given, for under the present law there was no power to grant superannuations. It could not be supposed that the Secretary of State would, Viscount Duncannon assured the noble on his responsibility, remove the whole of and learned Baron that this would be the the present magistrates. It was only incase, and that no expense would be in- tended to remove some of them, and to curred for an office, inasmuch as an apart-appoint others of a different class,-barment would be provided for the use of the commissioners under the roof of the Custom-house.
Lord Lyndhurst said, that he would not oppose the bill, if the noble Viscount would assure him that Colonel Burgoyne would be one of the commissioners under the bill, that there would be but one paid commissioner, and the only other officer a paid secretary.
House resumed; Bill reported.
METROPOLITAN POLICE COURTS.] Upon the Order of the Day for the House to resolve itself into Committee on the Metropolitan Police Courts Bill being moved,
Lord Brougham objected to the principle of the measure, as conferring an entirely new jurisdiction upon the police magistrates. He alluded to the power which it was proposed by the bill to concede to them of trying parties on charges of what was described as petty theft, without the intervention of either a grand or petit jury, and of either inflicting a fine to the extent of 51., or sending the parties to prison for three months, with or without hard labour. Their Lordships never could pass this bill. He further objected to the 17th clause, which gave new powers to the Secretary of State to regulate the whole administration of the law in these
risters, with salaries of 1,2001. per annum, an amount which could not be considered too much, when it is remembered, that their labours would be much increased, and still further increased by the Small Debts Bill, under which it was contemplated they should sit as judges, and which would be brought in next Session. With regard to expense, this bill enacted, that there should be only two, instead of three magistrates, at each police-office; and, therefore, if the number of police-offices remained the same, the proposed additional salary would not increase the present expense; but, owing to the increased population, it was proposed to add new districts, such as Kensington and Hackney, and thus increase the number of offices; in that case, of course, the expense would be greater than at present. On the subject of the alteration of the criminal jurisdiction of these magistrates, he was not able to enter into a discussion with his noble and learned Friend, and he must, therefore, leave that objection to be an swered by his noble and learned Friend on