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the county, was unanimously called
object of the meeting, and said that
the fund for the relief of the un-
Colonel More stated that he had
had seventy people employed on his estate for eleven weeks.
Before I go further, let me remind Doctor BLACK of his re- to the Chair. He briefly stated the peated philippics against the poor laws, and of his repeated assertions, that the distresses of the labouring people of England arose from those poor laws. Let the Doctor look at the above picture; and then let him recollect that the Scotch are not afflicted with the English poor laws. With suffer; laws the poor may poor but, without them, they must starve, or, must take food by force; in consequence of this state of suffering in Scotland, there has been a meeting of the county of Renfrew. I shall give an account of this meeting, as I Mr. Campbell said he had commufind it published in the above nicated every week with Mr. Peel, mentioned Scotch paper. This Secretary of State, for the home deaccount is as follows. The reader partment, and his firm belief was that will please to mark the language it was not the intention of His Maof the speakers upon this occa-jesty's Ministers to give any Governsion. The Scotch are apt to be ment grant; and if they were forced very prudent upon such occa- to it, it would be the last shift. He sions; but their prudence seems here to have given way to their anger. It will be seen that their main object seems to be to get a grant out of the public money. But we shall have more to say upon this by and by. Let us first see an account of the meet
ing; for it is a most important
On Thursday a very respectable meeting of the noblemen, Gentlemen, Justices of the Peace, and Commissioners of Supply, and Magistrates of Towns, was held in the County Hall, Paisley, for the purpose of considering the best means of raising further relief for the distressed part of the manufacturing population at present out of employ
Mr. Campbell, Lord Lieutenant of
Provost Farquharson stated that Edinburgh ladies had sent 2001, which was on hand, besides the sum mentioned by Mr. Campbell.
then read a letter from Lord Glasgow, which stated his Lordship's regret, that he could not attend the meeting; but authorized Mr. Campbell to put down his Lordship's name for 100l., which Mr. Campbell immediately paid. Several other names were put down for considerable sums.
considering the long continued disMr. Spiers, of Elderslie, said, that tress of the country was evidently becoming worse, be was fully of opinion that nothing but a Government grant could be the means of restoring the country to its former state. His proposition was, that a full detail of the sufferings of the manufacturing classes should be laid at the feet of His Majesty's Government. If they conceded such a grant, it would be for the good of the country. If they withheld it, they did so at their peril, and they must abide the consequences.
Sir John Maxwell approved of the proposition of Mr. Spiers.
Sir W. M. Napier also concurred in what had fallen from Mr. Spiers, and hoped the proposal would be carried.
The Lord Lieutenant again stated that he had a regular communication with the Government on the state of the country, and he did not doubt that if the case was taken into consideration, and Mr. Canning saw no other remedy, a Government grant would be given.
want may be averted by the interpósition of the executive Government.
4th. That a Committee be appointed to carry the intentions of the foregoing resolutions into effect, and to co-operate with other Committees appointed for similar objects in Lanarkshire, or the the neighbouring counties.
These resolutions were finally passed unanimously. But, before Mr. Wallace, of Kelly, considered they were passed a Mr. WALLACE it absolutely necessary for Govern- proposed a Petition to the King, ment to grant a sum of money to which petition I shall now insert, alleviate the distress, because there as a specimen of what Scotchwas no prospect of its speedy ter-nien are capable of when once mination, and as the people of Largs, their backs are well set up; or, and the other towns in the district rather, when once their purses where he resided, were nearly in as bad a state as those here, the suband bellies are well squeezed. scriptions of himself and many The whole of this petition is well others, which had been hitherto ap. worthy of the greatest attention, propriated to the relief of Paisley, and particularly that of the readwould in future be required to relieve ers of the Register. I do betheir own neighbours. seech those readers to attend to every word of this petition. Here Mr. Marwell said he felt it to be Here are the Noblemen and Genis matter of exultation for me! his duty to do all he could for the mitigation of the present distress. tlemen of a Scotch county, reThis is a public duty to which every peating, like school-boys, all my private feeling must give way. He doctrines and assertions. had had a regular communication with those who had access to His Majesty's Government, and he believed that Mr. Canning would very probably accede to the proposition, and give a Government grant. He had prepared a few resolutions, which he begged leave to submit for the consideration of the meeting.
Several other gentlemen spoke to
the same effect.
1st. That the privations of the working classes continue, and the funds for affording them adequate and necessary relief in the county are exhausted.
2d. That their situation demands the most serious consideration of the nation, and of His Majesty's Council. Sd. That it is expedient that every measure be resorted to for making the case completely known, and exciting the sympathy of the public, in order that the consequences of
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1. We, the Noblemen, Freeholders, &c., of the County of Renfrew, have this day met, being convened by the Lord Lieutenant and Sheriff of the County, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means of obtaining employment for the operatives. Resolved, that we have viewed with unfeigned sorrow the train of bankruptcy and ruin that has so generally spread over the country; and the no less distressing condition in which the operative manufacturers have been placed, to whom we give every commendation for their orderly bebaviour and manly comportment, which has merited and obtained our approbation, and along with it our sincere sympathy. Such patient/en
durance is ever to be expected from those who are happily possessed of useful education, enabling them thereby to discover that no other course could benefit their condition, We cannot, however, in justice to the public and ourselves, conceal the fact of our not being able to discover a brighter prospect being near at hand, but rather cause to fear that a similar calamity may now, as formerly, overtake all classes of our labouring population, because it must be admitted by all, that this country at present is suffering under severe and general pressure.
S. That within the short period of ten years, we have now to deplore, for the third time, a similar visitation.
mitous state of this country to the causes it is the tact of our Government to ascribe it to. It might rest assured of our bearing too well in mind our recent misery, to allow of our being the sole cause of that now existing.
10. That admitting the accusation were well founded, of our gambling and dealing in delusive schemes, we can easily trace its adoption by the public to the evil example set them by the daily acts of our Government, who have trafficked with the public securities until they have mortgaged them for eight hundred millions of debt, while the delusion of the sinking fund is in constant practice.
11. That we deprecate as unbecoming of statesmen to deal out such 4. That during these the Agricul-injurious allegations as above alluded tural, Commercial, and Manufacturing interests, were reduced to a very low ebb, and then suffered, as they now are doing, great privations and incalculable loss.
to; and we beseech His Majesty's advisers to lay such aside,and manfully come forward to meet the eventful crisis, by measures calculated to restore confidence, and consequent employment to the people.
5. That various causes have, from time to time, been assigned for these 12. That the chief and foremost terrible visitations:-Too high prices interest in the State, the Agricultufor the produce of land; overtrading; | ral, being about once more to be retoo great an extent of manufactur-gulated so as to encourage trade, and ing; and an over issue of papermoney, are among the reasons now set forth by His Majesty's advisers, and their adherents, as the origin of our present distress.
6. That these may in part be to blame, we shall not deny; but we positively assert that they are not the main cause.
7. That no nation can be in a healthful or thriving condition which does not supply its labouring population with regular work, and at a rate of wages sufficient to give them a certain and wholesome subsistence.
8. That while our labouring classes, on an average of years, have not been anything like fully employed, those possessing capital or credit cannot justly be accused of doing a national injury by its investment in the produce of their toil.
foster every branch of manufacture, we, who are landholders, readily admit that the attainment of so desirable an object obtains our entire acquiescence, although we shall not conceal our knowledge of such being certain to diminish our incomes and the value of our property.
13. That we shall consent thereto, accompanied by the just demand of obtaining a corresponding reduction of taxation, which must either undergo a great diminution, or increase to an insupportable pitch the difficulties under which we have so long suffered.
14. That the recent changes, or those now in progress, in regard to our foreign trade, we look to with intense anxiety. We wish them the fullest success, but can see no good grounds to hope for it, unless our 9. That it is a gross and palpable whole taxation he modified and reerror to attribute the present cala-stricted; and while we express our
hopes, we cannot but couple them | noblemen, &c., being landholders, with remarking, that, up to this time, merchants, manufacturers, bankers, no practical good has accrued, nor ship-owners, or otherwise engaged has the new system as yet obtained in similar pursuits, have, with deep the approbation of many practical regret, to declare our inability to continue to support the unemployed artisans and labourers.
15. That our taxation is unequal, injurious, impolitic, invidious, unconstitutional and overwhelming.
That we hold it to be a paramount duty in those at the helm of the state to take especial care to govern it so as to ensure to the whole population their proper share of security and comfort.
16. Unequal, because it has been so constructed as to fall lightly on the dealers in Government and other public securities;-injurious, because it has already, and is daily, forcing 19. That we trust, therefore, that persons of every rank and calling to these our well-grounded remonbe deprived of many comforts, or to strances shall meet with earnest conseek relief from its baneful influ-sideration, and that we shall not be ences, by absence from their home trifled with in having the long hackneyor their country;-impolitic, because ed specifics of patience and time thrust it brings the cheapness of every com- on our view:-these we know the imfort in revolutionised France and port and the use of, and do not doubt America into constant comparison with that with their aid we shall witness our condition, and thereby arrays a temporary recovery, and even enjoy against the Government the great a time of prosperity; but in looking mass of the people, who are now-a- to the future, we cannot divest ourdays too wel informed not to see selves of the conviction, that the plainly through the once impervious convulsion under which we are now but now flimsy veil which is thrown labouring must periodically return, around our enormous indirect taxa. unless strong and decisive remedies tion;-invidious, because it places be prudently, but manfully, adthe consumers of taxes in ease, se. niinistered; such we hold to be abcurity and comfort, when compared solutely requisite; and as such can with the toils, and cares, and anxieties only emanate from the government, of those on whose abilities, activity we humbly, but earnestly, beseech and industry, they have the good for-you, Sire, immediately to assemble tune placidly to repose;-unconsti- the Parliament, and to direct their tutional, because it is measured, not first and best attention to the woful by the scale of what the nation can condition of the country-to the lastpay, and thrive under, but by that ing and fatal effects of such terrible which the Chancellor of the Exche- visitations-to the absolute necessity quer chooses to demand for the pay-of a great reduction of the existing ment of sums lavishly expended in | taxation—the providing for the effects maintaining needless wars, useless of Mr. Peel's bill of 1819-the replacemen, and blundering financiers, fraining from any kind of public exthe effect of Mr. Peel's Bill being to pense-the adoption of an uncommake us pay a bankrupt subject, full promising line of policy, and general thirty shillings for the pound);-over-retrenchment, calculated to restore whelming, because at all times it is confidence, give present relief, and found as a mill-stone on our neck, the prospect of a gradual return to and, especially in times like the pre-prosperity and comfort. sent, deprives us of much of those means we would gladly devote to the employment of the people.
That under its pressure, and a want of all profitable return, we, the
I have numbered the paragraphs of this petition, that I may refer to them the more easily if necessary. I request the reader
to look at paragraph 16. In fairly set forth, by a newspaper that paragraph a reduction of the called the Blackburn mail, which interest of the debt is clearly gives a very detailed account of: pointed out; and then, recollect, the manner in which the London that this petition was received with subscriptions have been made use loud cheering. It is a great pity of in a neighbouring parish, -to that Daddy COKE and BETTY SUPPLY THE PLACE OF HARBOURD were not at the Pais- POOR-RATES. For instance, ley Meeting to abuse these Lords a poor family, who are receiving and Gentlemen, and to call them six shillings a week out of the "Swindlers" and "Rogues." poor-rates, have two shillings a These hole-and-corner gentry week given them out of the Lonwill be taught better than this be- don subscription, and thereupon fore next winter is over. the overseer deducts two shillings a week from the parish allowance! Bravo, overseer!
But, since we see that the main object of this Renfrewshire meeting is, to get a grant out of But, how is any man in his the taxes, let me again remind senses to believe that this will not Doctor BLACK, that such grant be the case? Indeed, it is downnever could have been asked for, right nonsense to expect the conif there had been a regular sys- trary. Precious nonsense is it, tem of poor-rates. But, what therefore, to call it a charity to justice is there in taxing all the send money into the distressed people in England, in order to districts of Lancashire. It is sendrelieve the distresses in Scotland; ing money to give to the rich, and and, indeed, what justice is there not to give to the poor; and yet in taxing the people in Scotland, that stupid creature who conducts in order to send relief to the peo- a lump of dulness, called the ple in Ireland? Yet, in every Manchester Guardian, cries aloud case, it is as just to do this, as it for relief, out of the public funds. is to relieve any part of the Eng-"Lancashire," says he, " has had lish out of the taxes. The fact the honour of being the county, is, the real truth is, that the mo- "where the sum raised for the ney thus granted is not given to " poor, amounted to the lowest the poor, but TO THE LAND-"rate per head, on the populaOWNERS, whose land, in Eng-"tion of any county in the kingland, is compelled by law to" dom. And we would much maintain the poor, and whose" rather that an extraordinary land ought to be compelled to" difficulty should be met by an maintain them in Scotland and in "extraordinary and temporary Ireland. remedy, than that those feelings Just the same may be said" of independence, which have with regard to the subscriptions, "stood in the way of numerous raised in one part of the king-" and frequent applications for dom to be sent to another part of "parochial relief, should be it. This matter is most fully il-"broken down, and an extensive lustrated by the conduct of the" pauperizing of the population Parish Officers in Lancashire," take place."
which conduct has been pretty A pretty" honour," indeed, to