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Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Somerville, Sir W. M.
Wilmot, Sir J. E.
In clause 16, Lord G. Somerset moved the insertion of the following proviso: "Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall invalidate the appointment, or interfere with the payment, of parochial constables."
The House divided, when there appeared-For the proviso 30; Against it 32: Majority 2.
Donkin, Sir R. S.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.
Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Stanley, hon. E. J.
Vigors, N. A.
On the question, that the bill do pass, Mr. D'Israeli had opposed this bill on its original stages, although he had offered no factious opposition. Now that the measure had arrived at its last stage, he thought he was justified in entering his protest against it, and dividing the House against its passing. Her Majesty's Government, and those who supported this measure, seemed to have taken up the view, that the first and sole duty of a police was to maintain order; but he (Mr. D'Israeli) apprehended, that, in a free country like England, there was a co-ordimerely to maintain order, but to respect nate duty for a police, and that was, not liberty. He could not bring himself to believe that the rural police, as it was proposed to constitute the body by this bill, and as it had been brought into opefulfil both those duties. He wished to ration in some districts already, could call the attention of the House to a document, which seemed to have been studiously kept out of sight in the course of the discussion on this bill-the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Constabulary Force of the Country. There were some curious details in the evidence annexed to that report, which he thought it was the duty of the House not to overlook, clearly showing what must be the character of a rural police formed upon the principles of this bill. It was proved, that the practice of the police, in those rural districts where the force had been called into existence, was to enter cottages, and order lights to be extinguished, because, according to one of the witnesses examined, cottagers had no right to have lights to serve as signals
to poachers and marauders. It was also proved to be their practice, in other districts, to enter cottages in the daytime, and see if there was mutton boiling in the pot on the fire, because a sheep might have been killed in the neighbourhood. He asked the House, if these practices were sanctioned, what would become of the celebrated national dogma, that every Englishman's house was his castle? It might be said that these were very salutary regula. tions, and referred only to the labouring classes; but he (Mr. D'Israeli) looked upon their rights as equally sacred with those of the rest of the community. Another part of the evidence was to the effect, that the magistrates of Chelmsford regretted extremely that trampers, as they were called, were not exposed to be rested for hiring beds in lodging-houses, whereas, if they only slept in the open air, they might be apprehended; but they congratulated themselves that the police, under their direction, had entered houses, and examined beds, to ascertain the character of the occupants. How was this to be reconciled with the sanctity of private dwellings, which had always been considered a very important principle of our social arrangements? He could not support this bill, when he looked to the burried and unsatisfactory manner in which, at the end of the Session, this and other measures of police had been introduced. Although there might be a variation in the circumstances of the cases to meet which they were brought forward, yet, when he considered the manner in which they had been introduced, he must believe that there was an identity of purpose and a similarity of principle in all. The Birmingham Police Bill, on its introduction, was founded on a popular principle; in a very few days that was changed, and the principle of centralization adopted. The present bill was founded on a report which recommended centralization. When he saw that Government adopted that prin ciple with avidity when they were sure of a majority to carry it, and gave it up only when they could not induce the House to agree with them, it was quite clear to him that the principle on which they were proceeding was that of centralization, and which, he believed, would be fatal to the liberties of the country. Under these circumstances, he should take the sense of the House against the passing of the bill, believing that its principle, however it
might be veiled, was hostile to the liberties of the people.
The House then divided, when the numbers were-For the motion 45; Against it 13: Majority 32.
List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Baring, F. T. Bernal, R. Blackburne, I. Broadley, II. Brownrigg, S. Bryan, C. Buller, C. Calcraft, J. H. Cochrane, Sir T. J. Currie, R. Dalmeny, Lord Dick, Q. Donkin, Sir R. S. Dirett, E. Douglas, Sir C. E. Ellis, J. Freemantle, Sir T. Gisborne, T. Grey, right hon. Sir C. Hobhouse, T. B. Lushington, C. Lushington, rt. hon. S. Mildmay, P. St. J.
BANK OF IRELAND.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the Order of the Day for a Committee on the Bank of Ireland Bill.
On the question, that the Speaker do leave the chair,
Mr. O'Connell moved, that the House resolve itself into a Committee that day three months. He declared, that, in the present thin attendance of Members, it was not fitting that a bill of so much importance to Ireland should be proceeded with.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that as the bill was for the public interest, he was determined to persevere with it. This was what he was determined to do; for, until the measure were disposed of on its merits, and by way of fair argument,
very object of the privilege of Members to divide the House at any stage of the bill, was precisely to meet a case like the present, and Heaven forbid that he should shrink from the performance of his duty. The right hon. Gentleman had himself told a meeting of fifteen Members, in Downing-street, that notice had been given to the Bank of Ireland that the charter was to be discontinued.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer: I beg to contradict the hon. Gentleman in the most distinct manner I can.
Mr. O'Connell: And I beg to contradict the right hon. Gentleman in the most distinct manner I can. (Cries of "Order!" "Chair!")
Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Stanley, E. J.
List of the NOES.
Lincoln, Earl of
House in Committee.
Mr. O'Connell moved, that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again. He should lose no opportunity of dividing the House on the remainder of the bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had taunted him with not making a call of the House on this bill; if he had had the least chance of success, he would have moved for a call of the House, but he had not, and had therefore abandoned that intention. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had the power to prevent his succeeding in that motion through the aid of the Ministerial Members, and now taunted him with not making it. The
Mr. O'Connell said, he had been taunted for not having the House full; he should do all he could to have the House full. It was said that by postponing this measure the Bank of Ireland would continue; he admitted it. It was said there would be no inconvenience from this
Mr. Finch: I rise to order. I think I see a gentleman under the gallery taking
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, there was no power of taking notes at all in the House. If the objection of the hon. Member were to taking notes, it would extend to other parties in the House. Unquestionably, persons below the Bar of the House were considered as out of Parliament. If the act of taking notes were objected to, the gentlemen in the gallery taking notes must be objected to.
Mr. Finch said, the right hon. Gentleman had not made the distinction between the cases, which must be obvious to every Gentleman in the House. His objection was not to the gentlemen in the gallery taking notes, but to individuals under the gallery taking notes. That course was not the proper one. He saw on the other side the hon. Member for Oxford University, to whose opinion, in questions of this kind, he paid the greatest deference, and to whom he would appeal, and he thought he should have his support.
Sir R. Inglis was not prepared to give an opinion upon it. The objection, ac
cording to the rules of the House, was not to strangers taking notes, but to strangers being in the gallery, and it was in the power of any hon. Member to say, "I spy a stranger in the gallery," and it was then the old practice for the Chairman to move "that strangers do withdraw." He apprehended that the hon. Member did not intend his motion to go that extent.
Mr. Finch said, he believed the proper course in this matter must rather rest with another Gentleman, who usually sat at the other end of the House (we believe the Serjeant-at-Arms); therefore, having called the attention of the House to it, he had done.
Sir T. Fremantle believed the hon. Gentleman was under a mistake. He believed, it was as consistent for the strangers sitting at one end of the House to take notes as for the strangers sitting at
Mr. Baring believed the old practice was for strangers to take notes in the old gallery for strangers. He did not know that they had given any particular privilege to any one part of the House.
Mr. Finch hoped it would be understood, that any gentleman who went below the Bar in the strangers' part of the House, might in future be permitted
to take notes.
Mr. O'Connell resumed. Never had there been a more gross neglect of duty than the non-service of the notice on the Bank. He had not called for petitions on this subject from the city of Dublin, because he had not time to do so. The country was in a sad state; he believed it was never in a worse state, financial and political, and the right hon. Gentleman seemed disposed to revenge all this upon unfortunate Ireland; like the man who, finding himself embarrassed in the world, went home and beat his wife and children. The hon. and learned Member proceeded to explain the causes which had kept away some Irish Members. Whilst he accounted for their absence, he might taunt the right hon. Gentleman with bringing forward the measure at so late a period. From first to last he had been in fault; he was in fault for keeping the people of Ireland in ignorance for twelve months; he was in fault for not bringing in the measure sooner, and the arguments which he had used damaged his own case. He should move that the Chairman report progress.-House counted out.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Friday, August 16, 1839.
Bills. Read a second time:-Joint Stock
Banking Companies.-Read a third time :-Assaults (Ire
land); Sale of Spirits (Ireland); Constabulary Force (Ircland).
Petitions presented. By the Earl of Gosford, from Armagh,
against the Repeal of the Corn-laws; also for a Uniform Penny Postage; from a number of places, for allowing Presbyterian Soldiers to attend Places of Worship of their own Persuasion.-By the Earl of Stanhope, from the Shoreham Working Men's Association, for an Inquiry into the Birmingham Riots.-By the Marquess of Lansdowne, from the Kensington Union, in favour of a Collection of Poor-Rates Bill; and from Halifax, for a Uniform Penny Postage.-By Lord Lyndhurst, from Lambeth, against a Clause in the Collection of Poor-Rates Bill.
BIRMINGHAM RIOTS.] Earl Stanhope wished for a few minutes to draw the attention of the House, and particularly the noble Lord at the head of her Majesty's Government, to the contents of a petition which had been placed in his hands. It came from a number of persons at Birmingham, denominated the Working Men's Association, and related to the conduct of the Metropolitan Police in that town on the 4th of July last. The petitioners complained, that the Metropolitan. Police had on that day made a most wanton and unjustifiable attack on the people of Birmingham. They denounced that force as unconstitutional, and contended that the employment of such a body by the Government evinced a design to destroy the right of the people to assemble at public meetings, and was calculated to subvert every principle of constitutional freedom. The petitioners, therefore, earnestly entreated their Lordships to institute a serious and searching inquiry into the allegations contained in their petition. Before he presented the petition, he (Earl Stanhope) had an opportunity of conversing with the party to whom it had been intrusted, who, he believed, was a person of great respectability, and who was described by those who had long known him as a man of a strictly moral character. He alluded to Mr. Taylor. That individual was present when the attack was made on the people. He had seen the party that morning. had questioned him on the subject, and he had committed to writing what his informant had described as having occurred. That minute he should take the liberty to read to their Lordships. The noble Earl read as follows:
"The informant was at Birmingham on the
4th of July last, and returning from the postoffice about a quarter before nine in the evening, he passed through the Bullring, which is a space capable of containing many thousand persons, and in which, round Nelson's monument in the centre thereof, was assembled a crowd of persons, in number, as he believes, between 500 and 800, who were listening to a person reading a newspaper, but without obstructing the thoroughfare, and leaving a wide open space all round them. He did not per ceive that they were armed or carried sticks, and he did not hear any shouts, or groans, or hissing, or menacing language. They intended to separate, as was usual for them, at nine o'clock. At four minutes before nine o'clock, Dr. Booth and the Mayor came, attended by London policemen. He heard Dr. Booth say to the policemen, and pointing to the man who was reading the newspaper, 'There is the man, do your duty;' upon which the policemen drew their staves, and began to beat the people, some of whom were knocked down, some had their heads broken, and the blood flowed. The people fled in all directions, but afterwards rallied, having procured staves of casks, and shutters taken from the shops, and then the riot began. He was told the next day, by two of the policemen who were employed on that occasion, that they were ashamed of having been so employed, and one of them said that he would leave the service, which was different from what it was when he entered it. He believes that the above-mentioned proceedings created pathy in Birmingham, in behalf of the Chartists. He was present on the 5th of July last, in New-street, Birmingham, when a bricklayer, who was returning from work, at a little past 9 o'clock in the evening, was desired by a London policeman to move on. The bricklayer said he was moving on, and was struck by the policeman on his mouth, knocking out six of his teeth, and felling him to the ground. The bricklayer rose from the ground, and exclaimed, Gentlemen, am I in England?'”
From this statement it appeared very doubtful whether any commotion would have taken place had it not been for the appearance of the Metropolitan Police. He questioned whether any disturbance would have occurred but for the violent interference of that force. He did not know what particular charge there might have been against the individual who was reading the newspaper, and he was yet to learn whether reading a newspaper of any description was to be considered as a misdemeanour, leading to a breach of the peace. But, if it even were an offence, the person committing it should have been arrested in a different manner, and the parties assembled ought not to have been treated with such violence. Injudi
Lord Lyndhurst moved, that the 9th Clause, providing a salary of 1,2001. ayear for each of the magistrates under the bill be expunged. The reason assigned for granting this increase of salary was, that the magistrates would have additional duties to perform. But, as they had already omitted the clause by which the additional duties would be imposed, he thought that the salaries ought to remain as they were. It would be time enough
grant an addition of salary next Session when the additional duties should be imposed.
Viscount Duncannon opposed the amendment, which, if it were agreed to, would hazard the loss of the whole measure, as this was a money clause.
Their Lordships divided on the question, that the clause stand:-Contents 30; Not-Contents 18: Majority 12.
List of the CONTENTS.
Gosford Bathurst Uxbridge Ilchester Albermarle
Devon Stanhope Leitrim Minto.
Bill read a third time..