« ElőzőTovább »
in a cause, and cannot be supposed to be | The only rational thing about the Riband under any improper influence, should be Society is their nomination of me to a set aside purely on account of his religion high office. But I am sorry to say, that or politics? I should be glad to see the all my forces disappeared as I run my eye man who had the audacity to make such through the evidence. Mr. Rowan aran assertion in any English assembly. ranged a foul conspiracy in his own mind, What! set a man aside for his religious but it disappeared like an idle dream the opinions! Say to one man, stand aside moment the tangible tests of date, party, because you are Protestant to another, and place were applied to it. Though stand aside because you are a Presbyterian month after month was spent in this fool-to a third, stand aside because you are ish inquiry, so far from establishing that an Unitarian-and to a fourth, stand aside property was insecure and life unsafe under because you are a Papist! What is this Lord Normanby's government, it proved but to introduce a niserable conflict into directly the reverse. I am glad of the a court of justice? And yet the other exhibition on that account; but I confess House of Parliament has solemnly re- I tremble at the thought of persons, in the corded a vote, condemning a man who confidence of the assembly which instimaintains that religious feud and political tuted that inquiry, could in any way agree animosity shall not pollute the temple of to hold the reins of power in this country. justice, and that no jury shall be packed, There may be many things disagreeable and no jurors set aside without some in the position of Ministers; and not the ascertained cause. What a frightful least is the unreasonable urgency of their prospect does the restoration of Gentlemen Friends. But they have a great duty to of the other side present? Then the old perform. They have to preserve Ireland system of packing juries would be again to the Crown of our gracious Sovereign, called into existence. You must in such God bless her. I, therefore, hope that cases send regiment after regiment to pre- they, at least, will not desert the responserve the peace, which is now secured by sible position in which they are the confidence of the people in the Go-placed. Though I see nothing done for vernment. And heaven knows the poor my country-though those who assert her people are not without provocation to vio- rights may be treated with ridicule much lence. One noble Lord (the Earl of more than respect-I do not feel the least Courtown), the other day turned fifty-apprehension, or the smallest tendency to three families out of their homes and off his estate. Not a farthing of rent was due to him. The tenants were ready to secure him the highest value of the land. This offer had no effect. This large number of people were turned out on some dreary and deserted common, without a morsel of food to sustain, or covering to shelter them. They intended-God help them!-to resist. Seeing their houses torn down, and themselves thrown on the world, without a refuge, is it wonderful that they should be driven to distraction? Their priest interfered, and assuaged their anger. They promised him to bear their wretched lot with quietness, and they are keeping their promise. But are you surprised at disturbances when such is the treatment of the people? Can you not suppose it possible, that the people would rush into any association which promised them some defence for their holdings? Do you not think that they may even be induced to join the Riband Society, of which we have heard a great deal, but of which nobody can say what it means.
despair. I know how the public mind in Ireland is concentrated not on the maniac movements of the Chartists, but on a determination to obtain her rights. And here let me ask you, if Ireland had chosen to encourage Chartism-if the people had appeared in arms at different places-and if they had talked of the torch and the dagger-what security would the proudest amongst you have at the present moment? I don't mean to terrify nor even threaten, but the stoutest heart might well be alarmed if the Chartist violence gained that firmness and courage which a reinforcement from Ireland would naturally impart. I rose to protest against the manner in which this country treats Ireland. I rose to declare that we demanded not what this aristocrat or that may be pleased to assign us, but the common privileges of Englishmen. I think the noble Lord ought to distinctly meet the question of freemen next year; and if the other House think fit to reject this proposal, on them be the folly and crime of such a course. I call for the English franchise,
Viscount Morpeth did not mean to go into the question of the Poor-law; but, in answer to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Shaw), he thought it right to say, that though, undoubtedly, in some instances, there was an exhibition of party feeling with regard to guardians (which was inevitable in such a state of society), yet the general proceedings by no means justified the imputation of a partizan or sectarian spirit. This was the opinion of those actually engaged in the administration of the law.
Sir W. Somerville expressed his deep regret that this bill was still further delayed. Notwithstanding what was said on the opposite side, he knew that the loss of this measure would excite a deep feeling of disappointment. He deprecated party-spirit in the administration of the Poor-law, but violent proceedings were not confined to one side.
Mr. Shaw, in explanation, begged to state that he had not asserted that the Poor-law guardians of Dublin were not persons of respectability; what he said was, that their election was governed by a violent and angry party spirit. With respect to what had been said by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin in reference to the Earl of Courtown, he requested the House to suspend its judgment until he had the opportunity of explaining the circumstances to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred, and of which he had as yet heard nothing. Motion agreed to. Consideration of the amendments put off for three months.
COLLECTION OF POOR-RATES.] The Poor-Rates Collection Bill was read a third time,
Mr. T. Duncombe moved to add a clause to exempt parishes with local acts from the operation of the bill.
Lord John Russell must oppose the clause upon the ground that it would further than he contemplated, when he stated that he did not mean the bill to extend to parishes with local acts.
The House divided on the question that the clause be read a second time: Ayes 21; Noes 45: Majority 24.
On the question that the bill do pass, Mr. T. Duncombe said, that he should oppose the motion. He thought of all the breaches of faith ever committed, the conduct of the Government in the present
instance was the most outrageous. The parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, ten years ago, obtained at an expense of 3,500l. a local act for the management of its parochial affairs. The noble Lord had more than twice or thrice declared that no local Act would be affected by this bill. He believed the noble Lord made that declaration in good faith; but he also thought that those who drew the bill did it in the dark, against those parishes having local acts. This he had since found out to be the fact, and he now again asked the noble Lord to keep faith with those parishes, and not violate the pledge he had given to them.
Mr. Hume, considering with his hon. Friend that this was a direct breach of faith in the face of the House, though that the measure ought not to pass; and if his hon. Friend should divide the House he would vote with him.
Lord J. Russell observed, that if he had ever said that he would agree to a clause enacting that this bill should not effect any parish in which there existed a local act, and now opposed it, then the hon. Gen tleman might with justice accuse him of a breach of faith; but he had never said anything of the sort; therefore, he knew not why he should be bound to vote for the clause which had been proposed. When he was asked whether this bill would affect any local acts, he answered that it was not his intention to affect those parishes; and he now declared that in introducing this bill he never intended thereby to apply the New Poor-law Act to parishes having local acts. But that declaration did not bind him to accept any form of words to be introduced into the bill which any Gentleman might frame. How his conduct on this occasion could be said to be a breach of faith he could not conceive.
Viscount Howick understood his noble Friend merely to have pledged himself that this bill should not be the means of introducing the Poor-law into those parishes which were not yet under the operation of that law; but his noble Friend never assented to introduce a clause excepting those parishes where there were local acts for the collection of poor-rates merely. The House divided.-Ayes 37; Noes 18: Majority 19.
Baring, F. T.
List of the AYES.
Briscoe, J. I.
Russell, Lord J.
Stanley, E. J.
Pigot, D. R.
List of the NOES.
Douglas, Sir C. E.
Freshfield, J. W
Langdale, hon. C.
[We give the lists on the second division [We give the lists on the second division only.]
Mr. Thomas Attwood seconded the amendment. Whatever the noble Lord might think of his politics, he was sure that there was not one member of the council
whose politics went as far as his would, and very few had belonged to the political union over which he had presided. With regard to Mr. Edmonds in particular, he was the first man in the Birmingham poli. tical union who denounced the recourse to arms and physical force. In the autumn of the last year, when two Tories, set on by others, he knew not whom, the rev. J R. Stephens and Mr. Oastler recom. mended, or were reported to have recom mended, the use of arms and the applica tion of physical force, Mr. Edmonds was the first to denounce the illegality and the injustice of such a course. The consequence was that he was attacked by many parties in a most unfair manner; he was accused of being a traitor to the principles he had professed throughout life, because he would not stand by the recommendaquestions which had been held out to a deluded people. It should be considered that Mr. Edmonds was the first man attacked and Mr. Scholefield said, it was his impera- injured; the minds of his neighbours tive duty to oppose the motion. He and were poisoned against him, but he had his hon. Colleague had been desired to displayed strict Conservatism, much upresist the bill in every stage. On the rightness and integrity, and great truth former debate one of the reasons given for and loyalty of character. But Mr. Dougwithholding the confidence of this House las and Mr. Muntz had been also attacked from the town-council of Birmingham was, for the same cause. These were the printhat they had acted with extreme impro- cipal Radicals in the Birmingham counpriety in appointing Mr. Edmonds as clerk cil, being Whigs. Birmingham, then, of the peace, he having at a public meet- was to be insulted, in consequence of a ing advocated physical force. Now, Mr. clique of local Tories having misrepreEdmonds declared that it was a gross mis-sented the character of the people of representation to say that he ever advocated physical force. He could not conceive that Sir R. Peel (who had made the accusation) was capable of misrepresenting any person; but most certainly he
BIRMINGHAM POLICE.] On the tion that the report of the Birmingham Police Bill, (No. 2.) be received,
Mr. Speaker, Order! order! The hon. Member is at present alluding to what passed on a former debate, which is against the rules of the House.
Mr. Scholefield wished merely to say, that Mr. Edmonds, so far from advocating physical force, admonished the people
Birmingham to the noble Lord. He hoped that the noble Lord would not persevere; but if he did, he (Mr. Attwood) must vote against him, and endeavour to prevent the bill becoming law; for he firmly believed, that instead of making peace it would create anarchy. Having the bad example of the introduction of the London police before him, the noble Lord said, "I will give you a police of your own, but I will make it most objectionable." Now, he warned the noble Lord, that Birming ham was the last place in which to try a
political experiment; let him go, if he Mr. Hume inquired whether the noble pleased, to a town in the dark, to a town Lord had seen the proceedings of the in which the people were not educated, town-council, unanimously objecting to where the people did not think for them- this bill?-and whether he expected by selves, and he might have some chance this bill to preserve peace in the town, of carrying out his Tory doctrines, and when all the magistrates were hostile to driving in the edge of his wedge; but he its provisions? This bill seemed to him did not think that the noble Lord would the most effectual means of all others to succeed in driving in the wedge in Birm- prevent that desirable end, by causing ingham. Sometimes he was spoken of distrust. Indeed, it would be better to as an incendiary, and if he told the plain take away the charter altogether than to truth he was called singular; he was, place an individual in office in opposition therefore, obliged to be very guarded in to the town-council. He appealed to the what he said, and must take care that the noble Lord, whose object he was sure such food only should be administered as was to preserve the peace, whether this would suit the tender stomachs of those was not calculated to do mischief, and if who were to receive it. He believed that it was so calculated, the noble Lord, he the whole bill was based on a wrong prin- knew, was the last man who would sancciple; that it was to be carried out in a tion it. wrong way; and that it would produce very different results from those the noble Lord expected. If the noble Lord would withdraw this bill, and go on with the former bill, it would give great satisfaction. For of what use was this bill? If the noble Lord should dragoon it through that House it would not effect the end aimed at-it would not preserve the public peace. He hoped, therefore, that the noble Lord would admit that he had been deceived by the Birmingham Tories, and give up the bill.
Mr. Finch believed that there was no objection on the part of the members of the town.council of Birmingham to the establishment of a police force; but they did object to the appointment of the chief commissioner by her Majesty's Government. He wished also to ask the noble Lord, whether the whole of the powers of the 10th of Geo. 4th were to be transferred to Birmingham? When the bill was in committee he understood that the Government would look close into the clauses before another stage was taken on the bill; and he did hope that all the powers of that Act would not be transferred to Birmingham.
Lord John Russell did not know whether the hon. Gentleman had any particular objection to any power given by 10 Geo. 4th; he had not stated any, and he (Lord J. Russell) was not aware that any change in the bill was necessary. If one point were intended, he would say that he had no objection to depriving the police constables appointed under this bill from voting for the borough of Birmingham.
Lord John Russell said, that the hon. Gentleman was right when he said that his object was to maintain peace. To carry out that object with general consent, he owned, was a very difficult task. He had at first proposed to place the police under the town-council, and that was objected to by many of the inhabitants. Another way of preserving the peace was, as he had done, by undertaking, at the request of the magistrates, to allow the use of the London police. The towncouncil had come to a resolution condemning that proceeding, and they did not like to have their town under the London police. At the same time he was informed by the mayor, that till there was a police they had to rely entirely on a military force. Now, they could not tranquillize the town if they did not have the London police, if they did not have a police under the town-council, if they did not have a military force, or if they would not have the force proposed by this bill. It was his wish to effect the object proposed in the least objectionable way, and he was not aware that this bill was objectionable. He was sure that if he had gone on with the other bill, not only would it have been objected to, but that it would not have passed the two Houses of Parliament, and he was satisfied that the hon. Gentleman was the last who would say, that the peace of the town should be preserved by a military force.
The House divided on the original motion-Ayes 38; Noes 10:-Majority 28
RAILWAYS AND STEAM COMMUNICATION (IRELAND).] The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for receiving the report of the Committee of Ways and Means.
Mr. O'Connell rose to move, pursuant to notice, that an address should be presented to her Majesty, praying her Majesty to give directions for the appointment of a commissioner to examine forthwith and to report on the best of the four railroads, already made or surveyed, to the nearest ports to Dublin, and upon the best means of communication by steam between such port and Dublin. This could not be drawn into a precedent, because the line depended principally on the goodness of the harbours, and no other line would be so connected.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had been in communication with a great number of Members from Ireland, England, and Wales, on this subject, which would not militate against any general principle. If it had rested with the Treasury alone to make the arrangement, he would have felt no difficulty; but as a similar question in another direction had been before Parlia.
EXCISE LICENSES, (SALE OF SPIRITS).] On the further consideration of the report on the Excise Licenses (Sale of Spirits) Bill,
Dr. Lushington objected to the princi ple of the first clause of the bill, the object of which was to enable wholesale dealers to sell any quantity of foreign spirits or liqueurs exceeding one bottle in quantity, on taking out a license, which should cost them five guineas. The law which now existed was, that no less a quantity than two gallons should be sold at once; and licensed victuallers complained that the effect of the proposed provision would be to take away from them what they con sidered to be the most respectable part of their trade. They declared also, that that attention to which the respectability of their body entitled them had not been paid to their interests, and that they had not been consulted, and had not been heard in opposition to or in support of the measure. It was impossible to compare the retail dealer with the licensed victualler. If the former were possessed of his cellar, and those means only which were requisite to enable him to carry on his trade, he was in a condition to support his business, while the latter was placed under numberless restrictions. He must have public rooms for the accommodation of his customers, and beds must also be prepared for the reception of his guests. The mischief would be more particularly felt in the seaport towns, for there the retail trade was carried on to an extent much greater than in those inland, and he conceived that this bill, should it pass into a law, would introduce a petty innovation in the existing condition of the licensed victuallers, important, however, to them, as depriving them of their most respectable, as well as their most profitable business. He could see no reason why the clause