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going into supply, not to overrule the House by a minority, but to get the majority of the House to agree with them; and though they might be defeated at first, he did not despair of ultimately getting a majority of the members of that House to maintain the principle for which he contended. He exonerated the present Government from the charge of being at all more guilty than other Governments in neglecting the national grievances. He concluded by moving
"That whereas complaints have been made to this House on various occasions, by petition, to the effect that the people are suffering under unjust and partial legislation, and under the effects of monopolies of various kinds, political and ecclesiastical, created and kept in existence for the benefit of favoured classes; that, by the taxes imposed on food, for the support of one of these monopolies, the supply is restricted and the price raised, whilst at the same time the demand for labour is diminished and wages reduced, and the profits of manufacturing and commercial industry deeply injured; that the burden of general taxation has been increased to an intolerable extent, by an extravagant expenditure in every department of the state, and that this taxation is so imposed as to press most oppressively and heavily on the industrial portion of the community; that laws have been passed injurious to the rights of the people, and arbitrary proceedings of government have taken place dangerous to public liberty; that, in order to sustain this system, an unconstitutional amount of standing army is kept up for the home service, and the ancient constitutional
constable superseded by hired police-all which would be wholly unnecessary if the grievances of the people were redressed, and just and impartial government established: it is further complained that these and other grievances are produced by the bad constitution of the Commons' House; that, by the limitations of the suffrage, the long duration of Parliaments, and corruption and undue influences in the election of representatives, this House, as at present constituted, does not truly represent, and is not responsible to the people, and therefore does not legislate for their interests; that, notwithstanding frequent rospectful petitions presented to this House, the complaints of the people have neither been inquired into nor redressed; that from these causes an alarming state of discontent prevails generally over the United Kingdom; it is therefore the immediate duty of this House to make inquiry into these complaints; and as this House can have no right to vote supplies except as being the representatives of the people, it is imperatively necessary that the charges brought against its present constitution and competency, in the petitions which have been received and recorded among its proceedings, should be inquired into, and, if found to be justly made, redressed, before this House shall proceed to the voting of supplies."
The motion was seconded by Mr. W. Williams. Mr. W. Williams. He quoted Lord John Russell's words on introducing the Reform Bill :
That the people should send to this House their real representatives, to deliberate on their wants, to consult on their interests, to
consider their grievances, and attend to their desires; to possess the vast power of holding the purse-strings of the monarchy; and to lay the foundation for most salutary changes in the well-being of the people.
There was nothing half so strong as this in Mr. Crawford's resolution; but had any of these important objects been attained by the Reform Act? The House of Commons had formerly resisted the arbitrary power of the Crown, as in 1642, when the supplies were put under the care of commissioners, and the struggle was commenced which brought Charles the First to the scaffold. When William the Third ascended the throne, the people entered into a compact with him, the result of which was the Triennial Parliaments Bill; but the king endeavoured, by all means, to evade his promise. At the present time, of six millions of the adult population of this country, five millions had no voice in the election of members of Parliament; yet the main weight of taxation fell on two thirds, at least, of the gross number. In proposing the Income-tax, Sir Robert Peel declared that the limits of taxation on consumption had been reached; proving the important fact, that the unrepresented five millions are taxed to the utmost of their strength. The reformed House of Commons treated the people worse than the old borough-mongering Parliament; and in fact, the disclosures of Mr. Roebuck's committee proved that the House was as corruptly elected as when Lord Castlereagh declared the sale of seats to be as notorious as the sun at noon-day. Mr. Williams produced a mass of figures to
show that, what with the alteration in the currency, and the deteriorated condition of the people, the pressure of taxation was greater than ever.
Sir Robert Peel opposed the motion of Mr. Crawford: giving full credit to the moderation with which that gentlemen had made his proposition, to accede to it would be for the House of Commons to declare itself criminal in the face of the country. first part of the resolution, taken in connexion with the speech, amounted to not less than an impeachment of the whole existing state of society, and to carry it into effect would involve the greatest revolution that had ever occurred in any country. The supplies were to be stopped until some twenty preliminary inquiries were had into the long list of grievances incapable of a satisfactory solution, and raising expectations that never could be gratified. Mr. Williams had argued for giving the franchise to every adult male in the country; but why exclude females, who exercise a franchise in many institutions of the country? or minors, who are subject to taxation and to militiaduty? Had he entered the House during part of Mr. Williams's speech, he should have deemed that he was contending for the repeal of the Reform Act; for a great part of the speech was directed to show that the infusion of more of the democratic element into the House had disappointed all public expectation, and inflicted grievances upon the country of which before they had not had any experience. Surely it would be a logical inference from Mr. Williams's premises, instead of saying, "Let us go further on
in the perilous path of progressive reform," rather to say, "Let us go back to those good old times, when the standing army and taxation were less, and when virtuous Parliaments, with a far less free Constitution than the present, controlled the will of the Crown." Sir R. Peel reiterated the impossibility of completing inquiries into complicated and vexed questions, like Church Establishments and currency, all other imperial questions being postponed ad Grakalendas-Parliament, too, avowing its own incapacity and criminality. He denied the apathy of Parliament, or the imposition of taxes without regard to the welfare of the lower classes.
Mr. Hume complained that Sir R. Peel had said nothing about the general destitution of the poor, which was the great question for the House to consider. He would admit that the suggestion made out of doors for stopping the supplies was an ignorant one.
But he agreed with the mover and with the statement of the petitions, that the House did not represent the people. The franchise had been so narrowed that the Reform Act had proved an utter failure; and this, perhaps, more by the corruption of the constituents than the fault of the House, who, in his opinion, were better than the electors. The general destitution had been mainly produced by monopoly and class
legislation. The whole number of electors was under 700,000 and they alone were freemen in any real sense; all the rest of the people were slaves. He gave an analysis of the composition of the House, showing that 347 members -being a majority of the wholewere returned by only 180,000 men, out of a population of twentyfour millions. Charities were now extensively set on foot to relieve destitution; but that was not the right course: the people wanted labour, not charity. The rich, after impoverishing the people by their monopolies, offered miserable amends in their charities. He recommended that a mittee should be appointed for every one of these grievances; and if there were forty committees sitting at once, he should see no harm in it.
Colonel Sibthorp stated, on the authority of a leading farmer in Lincolnshire, that in that county the labourers were now fully employed, and the only dissatisfaction was at the movements of the Anti-Corn Law League.
Mr. Trelawney objected to this motion, because he thought that to subject the majority to the minority was to reverse democratical principles.
The House divided
For the original motion, 130; for Mr. Crawford's, 22: majority for the original motion, 118.
Affairs of India-Lord Ashley's Motion relative to the dispossessed Ameers of Scinde-His Speech on proposing it—Mr. Roebuck moves an Amendment, which is negatived without a division-Speeches of Mr. E. Tennent, Sir John Hobhouse, and Commodore Napier-Sir Robert Peel vindicates the Indian Government-Lord John Russell opposes, and Mr. Hume supports the motion, which is rejected by a majority of 134-Thanks are proposed in both Houses to Sir Charles Napier and the Army employed in Scinde-The Earl of Ripon moves the vote in the House of Lords, which is seconded by the Earl of Auckland-Emphatic panegyric pronounced by the Duke of Wellington-The Vote is passed nem. con.-Sir R. Peel proposes the motion in the House of Commons, seconded by Lord John Russell— Viscount Howick expresses disapprobation of the proceedings in Scinde, and is followed by other Members-Mr. S. Crawford moves the previous question-The vote is eventually carried by 164 to 9-Recall of Lord Ellenborough from the Government of India by the DirectorsDiscussions in Parliament on the subject-Lord Colchester puts questions to the Government-Important Statement of the Duke of Wellington in answer-Remarks of Lord Brougham, the Marquess of Clanricarde, Lord Campbell, and other Peers-Mr. Roebuck, in the House of Commons, questions the Government respecting the Recall-Statement of Sir R. Peel-Renewal of the Discussion in the House of Lords by the Marquess of Normanby-The Earl of Ripon declines to produce Papers, and is supported by Lord Brougham-Explanation of the Duke of Wellington-Lord Campbell answers the Government— Motion of Mr. Hume for Copies of the Correspondence between the East India Directors and the Government respecting Lord Ellenborough's Recall-It is firmly opposed by Sir Robert Peel-Disapproved by Lord John Russell, Mr. Macaulay, and other Members, and rejected by a large majority-Affairs of Canada-Administration of Sir Charles Metcalfe impugned by motion of Mr. Roebuck-Defended by Lord Stanley-Speeches of Mr. Charles Buller, Mr. Hume, Lord John Russell, and Sir Robert Peel-Lord Palmerston criticises the Foreign Policy of the Government at the end of the Session-He is answered by Sir Robert Peel.
THE policy of the Government in Parliament during this ses
in relation to the affairs of sion. The military operations India, became on several occa- recently carried on in Scinde had sions the subject of discussion given rise to considerable differ
ence of opinion in the public mind, and the views of those who considered the proceedings of the British Government with reference to that measure liable to serious animadversion, were represented in the House of Commons by an advocate of distinguished ability and reputation.
ment and that of Scinde." It is again stipulated, "That enmity shall never appear between the two states." In the treaty of November, 1820, the relations were expressed in still stronger language:-"The two contracting Powers mutually bind themselves from generation to generation never to look with the eye of covetousness on the possessions of each other." The Ameers asserted that they had faithfully observed the conditions of the treaty, and their conduct was described as being generally peaceable, though they had been guilty of conduct to one of their own body that must be admitted indefensible. In 1840, when the insurrection in Gwalior broke out, they permitted the transit of British troops; while hostility on their part would seriously have injured our interests. Up to 1842, although strongly tempted by the disaffected, the same peaceable demeanour was continued, with the exception of some petty intrigues inevitable in Eastern courts. In November, 1840, Lord Auckland declared their conduct to be "most friendly;" in January, 1842, Lord Ellenborough expressed satisfaction at their friendly disposition. In May, 1842, however, Lord Ellenborough wrote to Major Outram-"The Governor-General is led to think you may reason to doubt the fidelity of some one or more of the Ameers of Scinde," and he imposed final conditions on them. But little time was allowed for deliberation, and the advance of an army resulted in the battle of Meeanee, and the captivity of the Ameers. Thus were the stipulations of the treaties fulfilled. It was said, indeed, that the Ameers were treacherous;
On the 8th of February Lord Ashley brought forward, pursuant to notice, the following motion relative to the case of the dispossessed Ameers of Scinde :-"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to take into her consideration the situation and treatment of the Ameers of Scinde; and that she will direct their immediate restoration to liberty, and the enjoyment of their estates, or such provision for their future maintenance as may be considered a just equivalent." He had given notice on the subject last session; but had determined to abandon it, lest he might compromise the interest of the Ameers. An extract of a letter by Sir Henry Pottinger, however, published in the Morning Chronicle, had made the case appear so irresistible, that he at once altered his determination. The Ameers of Scinde were a confederation of crowned heads, ruling jointly over a people differing from themselves in language and religion, and inhabiting a country which those princes had acquired, as the British did their Indian territory, by conquest. The East India Company sought friendly relations with them; and, after passing through every variety of disfavour and suspicion from 1758, obtained, in 1809, a treaty which declared, "There shall be eternal friendship between the British Govern