« PoprzedniaDalej »
that beautiful country, and her brave peo-, est-ce la paix; est-ce la tranquillité; ple under a government like that of the est-ce le contentement que Yous House of Commons 2 Look, then, I désirez procurer au peuple de France, pray you, Sir, at the situation of England en plaçant ce beau pays et ses braves and Ireland now: Read, if you can have habitants sous un gouvernement patience to read, read, if indignation do, semblable à celui de la Maison des not smother your voice; read the things Communes? Examinez, Monsieur, je called Debates which are at this moment vous prie, la situation actuelle de l'Angoing on in that very House of Com-, gleterre et de l'Irlande ? Lisez, si vous mons itself. There you will learn that avez la patience de lire, lisez, si l'indigthe Ministers know not what to do, nor nation ne vous étouffe pas la voix ; lisez which way to turn themselves; there ce qu'on appelle les débats qui dans te you will see, that in their fiscal affairs, moment-ci ont lieu dans cette Maison all is embarrassment and confusion; in mêmes des Communes. Vous y verrez their foreign affairs, all timidity and que les ministres ne savent que faire ni uncertainty and dread, and that with a de quel côté se tourner; vous y verrez hundred thousand men at their com que dans leurs affaires fiscales tout est mand, and a Fleet more expensive than embarras et confusion; et que dans leurs that with which England fought, in the relations extérieures il n'y a que timidité, war of 1779, France, Spain and Holland, incertitude et crainte, et qu'avec une single-handed; there you will see armée de cent mille hommes à leurs them, with all this military and naval ordres, et une flotte plus dispendieuse force in their hands, not daring even que celle avec laquelle l'Angleterre fit to whisper anay nay" to the proposi- seule la guerre en 1779 contre la France, tion for uniting Belgium with France. l'Espagne et la Hollande; vous y verrez In their domestic affairs, there you hear qu'avec toutes leurs forces militaires et them talking of raising fresh troops in maritimes à leur disposition, ils n'osent England to be sent to keep down Irish pas souffler un non" à la proposition insurgents: there you hear scheme after qui se fait d'unir la Belgique à la scheme propounded, to prevent the France. Vous y apprendrez que dans working people from starving; there leur administration intérieure ils parlent you ear an Irish member declar- de lever de nouvelles troupes pour les ing, that, in one district of Ireland, envoyer contenir les Irlandais en insurthere are 200,000 persons upon the rection; vous y verrez projet sur projet point of starvation; and there you hear pour empêcher la classe ouvrière de Lord Howick, the bright son of our mourir de faim; vous y entendrez un lofty and superb prime Minister, broach- membre Irlandais déclarer que dans un ing a plan for MORTGAGING THE district de l'Irlande il y a 200,000 perPOOR-TAXES of England in order to sonnes sur le point de mourir de faim; raise money to send the working people et vous y entendrez Lord HowICK, le fils out of the Country! glorieux de notre superbe premier ministre, proposer un plan pour HYPOTHEQUER LES TAXES DES PAUVRES de l'Angleterre, afin d'obtenir de l'argent pour envoyer la classe ouvrière hors du pays!
Frenchmen! This is the sort of Français! telle est la sorte de gouGovernment which Mr. Guizor proposes vernement à laquelle M. Guizor prothat you shall be compelled to submit pose qu'on vous force de vous soumettre. to! Such are the effects of the Govern- Tels sont les effets du gouvernement which is the object of his ador- ment qui est l'objet de son adoration. ation. Understand, clearly, I pray you, Comprenez bien, je vous prie, ce projet this scheme for sending Englishmen d'envoyer les Anglais hors de leur pays. away from their country, All the Toutes les maisons ainsi que toutes les houses and all the land are, as I observed terres, ainsi que je vous l'ai déjà dit, sont
before, subjected, and justly subjected, soumises, et soumises avec justice, à une ©to an amual tax for the relief of the taxe annuelle pour le soulagement des poor Under this Government of a pauvres. Sous ce gouvernement d'une House of Commons, so much adored by Maison des Communes tant vénérée par Mr. Gurzor, hundreds of thousands of M. Guizot, des milliers de fainéants ont illers have been created to live upon été créés pour vivre des taxes. Ceux-ci the taxes. These have made the poor ont fait multiplier les pauvres jusqu'à increase to such an extent, that the un tel point, que les propriétaires des owners of the houses and the land are maisons et des terres sont effrayés qu'on afraid that they will finally take away ne finisse par leur enlever leur propriété so much of their property as to leave et les réduire eux-mêmes dans la pauthem poor also; but this House of vreté; mais cette Maison des Communes Commons, so much admired by Mr: si admirée de M. Guizot, au lieu de Gurzor, instead of diminishing the state diminuer les taxes de l'état et le nomtaxes and the number of the idlers, are bre des paresseux, complote le projet entertaining a project for sending the d'envoyer pour jamais la classe ouvrière working people away out of the country hors du pays; et afin d'avoir de l'arfor ever; and, to raise the money to do gent pour le mettre à exécution, ell❤ that, they are proposing to mortgage the propose d'hypothéquer les taxes mêmes poor taxes-themselves! des pauvres !
› Such, Frenchmen, are the effects of Tels sont, Français, les effets de cette that species of Government which Mr. espèce de gouvernement que M. Guizot Gutzor wishes to introduce into France, désire introduire en France et vous imand to force upon you. I need not tell poser. Je n'ai pas besoin de vous dire you to reject his advice; for I perceive de rejeter son avis; car je vois aveé with pleasure that you heard it with plaisir que vous ne l'avez entendu indignation. He presses this scheme qu'avec indignation. Il s'efforce de upon you, too, at the very moment de vous imposer son projet au moment when the people of this kingdom, from même, qui plus est, où les peuples de ce one end to the other, are crying aloud royaume demandent, à grands cris, d'un for a total change in the constitution of bout à l'autre, un changement total dans this House of Commons, ascribing to la constitution de cette Maison des that house and to that house alone, all Communes, attribuant à cette Maison, et the fatal changes of which I have above à cette Maison seule, tous les changespoken, and all the disgraces which our ments funestes dont je vous ai déjà parlé, country now suffers; all the trouble, all et tous les malheurs qui maintenant acthe calamities, all the uncertainty, all cablent notre pays; toutes les inthe agitation which now shakes it to its quiétudes, toutes les calamités toutes les very centre. incertitudes, toute l'agitation qui maintenant le remuent jusque dans ses fonde
No, Frenchmen, you are not so fool- Non, Français, vous n'êtes pas assez ish; you are not so credulous; you are insensés; vous n'êtes pas assez crénot so grossly ignorant; and, above all dules; vous n'êtes pas d'une ignorance things, you are not so superlatively base assez grossière; et surtout vous n'êtes as to listen to this advice of Mr. Gu pas d'une bassesse assez consommée, ZOT. The whole world is filled with pour écouter les conseils d'un M. Guizot. admiration of your valour; every honest Toute la terre est pleine d'admiration heart, from pole to pole, beats with yours pour votre valeur; tous les cœurs honin anxious wishes for the establishment nêtes, d'un pôle à l'autre, partagent of your liberties and your happiness; vos vives inquiétudes pour l'établisseand every man of sense is convinced ment de vos libertés et de votre bonthat those liberties and that happiness heur; et tous les hommes éclairés can exist for one single hour sont convaincus que ces libertés et ce until the people of France be fully and bonheur ne peuvent jamais exister une
fairly represented by those who are to heure entière, si le peuple de France d'est make the laws affecting their properties pas pleinement et loyalement representé and, their lives. You have laid down par ceux qui doivent faire les lois d'ou the great principle; you have shed your dépendent leurs propriétés et leurs vies. blood for the great principle of the Vous avez jeté les fondements du grand sovereignty of the people; but, the principe; vous avez versé votre sang Sovereignty of the people is a mockery pour le grand principe de la souveraineté unless the people choose who are to du peuple; mais la souveraineté du peuexercise that sovereignty; and that ple est une moquerie, si le peuple ne Sovereignty consists wholly and solely choisit pas ceux qui doivent exercer in the making of the laws. cette souveraineté ; et eette souveraineté consiste entièrement et seulement dans de pouvoir de faire les lois et fido
Frenchmen! from those to whom much is given, much is required; not for yourselves only, but for the whole of the oppressed part of mankind you are now about to act. With your example to cite, every oppressed man on earth has an answer to his despot. la terre aura une réponse pour son desGod has given you the fairest spot in the world to inhabit; he has blessed it with all his choicest blessings; he has given you as much valour as the hearts of human beings can contain; and oppressed millions in all parts of the world are now raising their hands to you, to set that example that shall rescue them from-bondage.
Français ! On demande beaucoup à ceux à qui beaucoup a été donné. Ce n'est pas pour vous seuls que vous devez agir, mais pour cette partie du genre hu main qui est opprimée. Avec votre ex* emple à citer, tout individu opprimé sur
PARLIAMENTARY REFORM. Lord JOHN RUSSELL: I rise, Sif, with feelings of the deepest anxiety to bring forward a question which, unparalleled as it is iu importance, is as unparelleled in difficulties. Nor is my anxiety in approaching this question lessened by reflecting, that on former occasions I have brought this subject before the consideration of the House. For if, on other occasions, I have invited the attention of the House of Commons to this most important subject, it has been upon my own responsibility, unaided by any one involving no one in the consequences of defeat; and I have sometimes been gratified with a partial success. Hear, hear. But this measure, which I am now about to bring forward, is not mine, but that of the Government, in whose name appear to-night. (Cheers.) It is the deliber
pote. Dieu vous a donné pour habita tion la plus belle partie du monde ; il l'a comblée de ses dons les plus doux ; il vous a donné autant de valeur que le cœur humain peut en contenir ; et des millions d'opprimés dans toutes les parties de la terre lèvent maintenant leurs mains vers vous, pour que vous leur donniez cet exemple qui doit les délivrer de l'esclavage. GME. COBBETT.
ate measure of the whole cabinet, unanimous upon this subject; and it has only been reserved to me to place this measure before the House as their measure, and in redemption of the solemn pledge which they have given to their sovereign, to Parliament, and to the country. (Hear, hear.) It is, therefore, with the greatest anxiety, that I venture to explain their intentions to this House on a subject, the interest of which is shown by the crowded andience who have assembled here; but still more by the deep interest which is felt by millions out of this House, who look with anxiety, with hope, and with expectation, to the result of this day's debate. (Cheers.) I am sure it will not be necessary for me to say more to do away with the notion which the honourable and learned Member opposite has endeavoured to excite, that this question, not being brought forward by a member of the cabinet, is not the measure of the King's Ministers. (Hear, hear.) assure the House, that what I am about to propose is the measure that they have determined on; but though I cannot say that it is one of my originating, neither can I pretend that I have been kept in ignorance of its nature. The measure itself, after the noble Lord who is at the head of the Government had framed itin nis mind, and
communicated it to his colleagues in the cabi- [ some historical doubts had been thrown upon net, was explained to me, and I have been it, its legal meaning had never been disputed. ever since consulting individually or collect- It included "all the freemen of the land," ively with the members of that cabinet on the and provided that each county should send to subject. I only wish that the noble Lord to the Commons of the Realm two Knights, each whom I have alluded could have been per- city two Burgesses, and each borough two mitted, by any law of Parliament, to have ex-Members. Thus about a hundred places sent plained this measure in his own clear and in-representatives, and some thirty or forty telligible language; but as that is impossible, others occasionally enjoyed the privilege, but I trust that the House will fayour me with its it was discontinued or revived as they rose or indulgence while I perform the task of laying fell in the scale of wealth and importance. before the House the details of the measure-Thus, no doubt, at that early period the House inadequately, I fear, but with a most sincere of Commons did represent the people of Engand earnest prayer for its efficiency and suc- land: there is no doubt, likewise, that the cess. (Cheers.) Much cavil has been made House of Commons, as it now subsists, withupon an expression used by the noble Lord to out entering into the history of the alterations whom I have before alluded-that he would it has from time to time undergone, does not endeavour to frame such a measure as would represent the people of England. (Hear, hear, satisfy the public mind without endangering answered by a few loud cries of No, uo.) the settled institutions of the country. Some Therefore, if we look to the question of right, persons have said, that one part of the the Reformers have right in their favour. settled institutions of composed of the close and rotten boroughs, shall find a similar result. It will be imposthe country was Then, if we consider what is reasonable, we but all must be convinced, I think, that sible to keep the Constitution of the House the close and rotten boroughs were what was intended by his Lordship. (Hear, heard-as who has not-of the fame of this not as it exists at present. (Hear.) We have hear, hear.) "But can you," said this party, country-that in wealth it is unparalleled― "pretend to satisfy the public mind without in civilization unrivalled-and in freedom unshaking the settled institutions of the coun-equalled in the history of the empires of the try?" We are of an opinion the reverse of world; and suppose a foreigner, well acwhat is expressed in this question. We think quainted with these facts, were told that in that, attempting to satisfy the public mind this most wealthy, most civilized, and most will not endanger the institutions of the country, but that not to attempt to satisfy it would most certainly endanger them. (Cheers.) We are of opinion that these institutions rest, as they have always hitherto done, upon the confidence and the love of Englishmen-that they must continue to rest on the same foundation; and while we desire not to comply with extravagant demands, at the same time we are anxious to bring forward such a measure as every reasonable man may be satisfied should pass into a law. We wish to place ourselves between the two hostile parties-not agreeing with those who assert that no reform is necessary-not following in the path with others, who declare that some particular reform will aloue be satisfactory to the people, or wholesome in its effect upon the state of the representation in this House; but placing ourselves between both, and between we wish to and the convulsion we hope to avert. (Cheers.) not be necessary, on this occasion, that I It will should go over the grounds which have frequently before been stated as arguments in favour of a change in the state of the representation; but it is due to the House that I shortly the points on which re
free country, the representatives of the people, the guardians of her liberties, were chosen only every six years, would he not be very curious and very anxious to hear in what way that operation was performed by which this great and wise nation selected the members who were to represent them, and upon whom depended their fortunes and their rights? Would not such a foreigner be much astonished if he were taken to a green mound and informed that it sent two British Parliament?-if he were shown a stone wall, and told that that also sent two Memreshers to the bers to the British Parliament or, if he were walked into a park, without the vestige of a dwelling, and told that that, too, sent two Members to the British Parliament? Still more would he be astonished if he were carried into the north of England, where he would see large flourishing towns, full of trade and vast of wealth and no representatives to Parliament? But his manufactures, and were told these places send wonder would not end here: he would be astonished if he were carried to such a place as Liverpool (there can be no sufficient reason for not naming it by way of illustration), and there told that he might see a specimen of a
should rest their case. In the first place, popular election, and at the same time witness
imposition of these e taxes. The well-known possibly perform the functions of a Legisla
non concedendo, re
De Tallagio non
Lalthough the 2439y, then, that if we appeal to reason,
Statue same languagond,"
reformers have reason on their
may be said by the opponents of a change, complain are these. First, the Nomination "We agree that in point of right, the House of Members by individuals; second, of Commons does not represent the people, Elections by close Corporations; third, the and that in point of reason, nothing can be Expense of Elections. With regard to the more absurd than the constitution of such a first, the nomination by individuals, it may body; but Government is a matter of practice be exercised in one or two ways; either over and worldly wisdom-of experience of life; a place containing scarcely any inhabitants, and as long as the House of Commons enjoys and with a very extensive right of election, or the respect of the people, it would be unwise over a place of wide extent and numerous poto change the system." In this argument Ipulation, but where the franchise is confined must confess there is much weight; and so to very few residents. Gatton is an example long as the people did not answer the appeals of the first, and Bath of the second. At Gatof the friends of Reform (among whom I was ton the right was popular, but there was noalways one), I felt that the argument was not body to exercise it: at Bath the inhabitants to be resisted. But what is the case at this were numerous, but very few of them had moment? The whole people call loudly for any concern in the result of an election. We Reform. (Hear, hear, No, no, and much cou- have addressed ourselves to both these evils, fusion.) That confidence, whatever it was, because we have thought it essential to apply which formerly existed in the constitution of a remedy to both; but they must, of course, this House, exists no longer-it is completely be dealt with in different ways. With regard at an end. (Loud cheers, with cries of "No, to boroughs, where there are scarcely any inno," from the opposition benches, answered habitants, and where the elective franchise is by redoubled cheers from the ministerial such as to enable many individuals to give side.) Whatever may be thought of particular their voices in the choice of Members for this acts of the House of Commons, 1 repeat that House, it would be evidently a mere farce to the confidence of the country in the construc- take away the right from the person exercistion and constitution of the House of Com-ing it, and to give it to the borough; and the mons is gone (hear, hear, and No), and only reform that cau be justly recommended gone for ever. (Much cheering, and continued is to deprive the borough of its franchise altodisturbance.) I will say more-I will say gether. (Hear, hear.) I am perfectly aware, that it would be easier to transfer the flourish that in making this proposition we are proing manufactures of Leeds and Manchester to posing a bold and decisive measure. (Loud Gatton and Old Sarum, than to re-establish cheers.) I am perfectly aware, and I should the confidence and sympathy between this myself vote upon that persuasion, that on all House and those whom it calls its constitu-ordinary occasions rights of this kind ought ents. (Hear, hear, hear.) I end this argu- to be respected. (Hear, hear.) For no ment, therefore, by saying, that if the question trifling interest, for no small consideration, be one of right, right is in favour of Re- ought they to be touched or injured; but I form; if it be a question of reason, rea- perfectly remember an occasion on which the son is in favour of Reform; if it be a right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir R. Peel) question of policy and expediency, policy and proposed a great and important measure with expediency are in favour of reform. (Loud this effect. Two years ago, the right hon. and lasting cheers.) I come now to that Gentleman, standing here as a Minister of difficult part of the subject-the explanation the Crown, proposed the measure of Catholic of the measure, which, representing the Mi- Emancipation. It was accompanied by annisters of the King, I am about to propose to other measure for the disfranchisement of the House. Those Ministers have thought, 200,000 unoffending freeholders, who had and, in my opinion, justly thought, that it broken no law, corrupted no right, but exerwould not be sufficient to propose a member cised their privilege, ignorantly, perhaps, but which should merely lop off some excres-independently, and according to the best light cences, or cure some notorious defects; but they could obtain from their consciences. would still leave the battle to be fought here- Now, if I am about to quote his words, it is after. (Hear, hear.) They have thought not because I think he is bound to be consisthat no half measures would be sufficient, tent. (Hear, and some laughter.) On great (hear, hear), that no trifling, no paltering questions of this kind, men must act as the with Reform (hear, hear), could give stability interests of the country demand; but I beg to the Crown, strength to the Parliament-or the House to recollect that he stood here as satisfaction to the country. (Much cheering.) the servant of the Crown, representing the Let us look, then, at what have been the chief Ministry which has gone out of office, and decomplaints of the people; and in my mind claring in their name what principles ought there is much difference between complaints to bind Parliament in the decision of a great of grievances and propositions of remedy. question at an important crisis. I remember We ought to look with deference to the opin- he told us that on fit occasions the House was lons of the people on a matter of grievance; bound to step beyond its ordinary rules, and but, with regard to remedies, I should endea- that it did so on the dicussion of the Union, of vour to discover, in communication with my the Septennial Act, and some others. To friends, the relief that ought to be afforded. avoid great dangers by extraordinary remeThe chief grievances of which the people dies, the House has not unfrequently dis