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them to be martyrs, and elevated them into heroes. (Hear.) He had, at one time, in vain pressed the House to pass over a vote of the same description as that which was then recommended. An hon. Member had written a pamphlet which gave great offence to that committed to Newgate; and what was the result? He was returned most triumphantly as Member for Westminster at the next election. (Hear.) If he could suppose that, by supporting the motion of the hon. Member for Oxford, he could deter others from similar of fences, then he should not hesitate; but as they could not hope that, he thought that the preservation of freedom of discussion would be materially affected by consenting to the course which was proposed.
and that the number of his constituents were at no period less than 1,200. (Hear.) He now, however, represented a place where the constituency was not so numerous, but he could conscientiously declare that he was as free to speak his opinion and to give his vote on any subject at that moment as he was be-House. It was determined that he should be fore. What right, then, had the honourable Baronet to stigmatise him as unfit to sit in that House from being a boroughmonger? (Hear, hear, hear.) If it was possible for him to forget the courtesy which was due to the hon. Bart. (the Member for Westminster), he would say, that if the hon. Baronet presumed to insinuate he (Sir H. Hardinge) was not at liberty to express his opinions freely and fairly in that House, be flung back the imputation with scorn. (Hear, hear.) He regretted the debate which had now taken Sir F. BURDETT said, he was always displace. He regretted that the hon. Member posed to adopt that course which he thought for Oxford had brought the question before best fitted to secure the rights of the people. them, and he was sorry for the occasion of it. The hon. Gentleman (Sir. H. Hardinge) said He was not, however, to be deterred by cla- he had no constituents (Cries of no! and mour from the expression of his feelings with spoke! during which the right hon. Baronet, respect to the Reform Bill. He respected the resumed his seat; but he immediately rose opinions of the people and their claims; but again, in obedience to the louder and more when the constitution of the country was at general call from his own side of the House.) issue, he was prepared to come before the However much he might be disposed to regard people and resist the fulfilment of their view the hon. Member, he must be permitted to say of the subject. The right hon. Gentleman without intending to give him any offence, concluded by declaring that he was deter-that when the state of the representation and mined to do his duty, and to express his opinions fearlessly and conscientiously, in spite of the taunts of the Honourable Member for Westminster, or the clamours and attempts at intimidation of any party either within or without that House. (Hear.)
had in the year 1688, when the representative system was settled, at the Revolution; and he might add, that, for the last fifty years, the number had gone on increasing every year. (Hear, bear.)
the vital interests of the people were under consideration, as he understood them now to be on the question of Reform, he was determined to do his duty, in spite of all the clamour and in defiance of all consequences. The hon. Member had placed him in the situLord JoHN RUSSELL defended the expres-ation of one of those who had no constituents. sions of his honourable Friend (Sir James (Cries of no.) Graham), and denied that his right honourable Sir H. HARDINGE, in explanation, said the Friend intended to draw any comparison be hon. Baronet made a mistake in persisting to tween the expressions of the right honourable assert that he had no constituents. The Gentleman (Sir H. Hardinge), and those of borough he now represented had now, in the the writer in the newspaper. His right hon. year 1831, a greater number of voters than it Friend merely wished to show the heat and possessed at the time the franchise was first strength of expression which had been oc-conferred on them, and many more than it casionally drawn forth by the discussions in which they were engaged. The noble Lord then proceeded to observe, that the House should pause before they committed theniselves to sanction the proceedings now recommended · for they who pro- Sir F. BURDETT said, that however distinclaimed the language of the Newspaper guished the honourable Gentleman might to be false and seditious-they who were at-be as a Member of that House, and however tacked were now about to inflict the punishment; and, with their passions inflamed by hearing the offensive passage read to them by the hon. Member, they refused even a day for consideration before they came to their vote of censure and condemnation. (Hear) He confessed that he thought the course they were pursuing would have an effect the reverse of that which they anticipated. The people at large, who disapproved of that House constituting itself at once an accuser and judge, were too much in the habit of taking a very different view of such proceedings, for they frequently pronounced those who suffered by
honestly and efficiently he might fulfil the duties of office, still be wanted the essential quality of a representative of the people-a large hody of constituents. With respect to the Reform Bill shaking the Crown from the head of the King he must say that in his opinion, it would fix it more firmly on his brow without that dimming of its lustre which was the consequence of its participating in the abuses of those who had properties in boroughs. (Hear.)
Sir R. INGLIS, in reply, said, he might have concurred in the proposal of the noble Lord if there had been a single individual found in
But were they not true? (Hear.) The hon. Member for Boroughbridge (Sir C. Wethereli) had himself partly admitted that they were so. He condemned the whole proceeding as impolitic and unjust, and as a gross attempt to accuse and punish at the same instant. In his opinion, it would be much more decent not to go to a vote on such a question. The House was following the practice of Rhadamanthus they pronounced the guilt of the accused, and then sent him to be tried. (Hear, hear.)
that House to defend the language of the passages he had brought under its attention. He could not abandon his motion, for, if he did so, he thought he should be abandoning his duty. The House had a jurisdiction on the question of its own privileges which it was bound to support; and unless it was prepared to renounce the rights it possessed on such occasions, it must, when a subject of this kind was brought before it, be prepared to do its duty. It might be a question whether he had exercised a proper discretion in bringing the matter before the House. In his own Sir R. PEEL said he regarded the present opinion he believed he had done his duty, and proceeding as purely preliminary, and it he therefore persisted in his original motion, should be marked by a spirit of regularity as adding, as an amendment, that certain pas-well as justice. Reference had been made to sages in The Times Newspaper of the 1st, 2d, 7th, 8th, and 14th of March are false and scandalous libels, aud that they be handed over to the Attorney-General, with instructions to prosecute the writer.
Strangers were then ordered to withdraw,
Mr. HUNT rose amidst loud cries of "Question," and persisted in addressing the House, nothwithstanding the noise by which he was assailed. He said their patience must be great to overcome his, for he was determined to speak unless the Speaker told him he was not in order. The hon. Baronet who brought forward the Motion wished the AttorneyGeneral to prosecute; but were they sure, al though they might pronounce, the articles to be libellous, and the Judges agreed with them, that twelve Jurymen could be found to agree with them? Notwithstanding the coarseness of the language used by the writer in The Times, he (Mr. Hunt) asserted that every word of the article was true. (Hear and no.) The question was, whether they would agree to a Resolution declaring assertions false which every man in that House knew to be true? (Hear) A Member behind him (Mr. Home, we believe) intimated to him that he would only do The Times mischief, (Hear, and a laugh.) He repeated what he had said, and he thought that House, in the last act of its life, would be true to the character it had maintained through its career, if it came to a vote pronouncing that false which every man in the kingdom knew to be true.
other papers which were not before the House; and he confessed he could not make up his mind on the question with respect to them, for he had not read them until they were placed in a connected series before him. He had heard the first, but the House was about to commit itself on several others, of which it was presumed they knew nothing. He sug gested that these papers be also read. (Hear.)
Sir R. INGLIS said they were all of the same character and tendency, and he wished to save the time of the House by abstaining from reading them.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL expressed his.surprise that the hon. Baronet (Siv. R. Inglis) complained now, for the first time, of language contained in papers not one of which was less than a week old, and said nothing offensive in any of the succeeding day's papers; and he was the more surprised, because the hon. Baronet had spoken to him on the subject, and even put the papers into his hand, without intimating his intention to proceed in that manner. He would not say he had expressed an opinion that it was or was not a libel; but coarse he had admitted it to be, although false he really could not call it. (Hear.) He thought it, and he now said, it was highly desirable that no proceedings should be taken on it with respect to any supposed breach of privilege; and so far from believing that language of that kind would induce any Member to abstain from opposing Reform, be thought it would have a directly opposite teulency, inasmuch as it induced men, from a sense of pride and of honour, to persist in supporting that system which had subjected them to such Sir R. PEEL rose and said, that as the attacks from their connection with it. He bon. Baronet (Sir R. Inglis) had in his Motion thought on the contrary, that attacks in lanreferred to Papers which he had not read, guage such as that of which the hon. Baronet these Papers should be also read and laid on complained were calculated to defeat the carrythe Table before the House, came to a deing of the measure of Reform, and to confirm cision on their contents.ond bache san the oppposition of those, Members who, aldir k. Maguis said (as we understood) that though not accountable to large bodies of conthey contained passages of the same tendency stituents, were, he believed, acting on Motion
Strangers were again ordered to withdraw;
that they be delivered to the Attorney General to consider the nature of their contents, and to prosecute, if he found that a prosecution could be supported.
Mr. O'CONNELL said the expressions in The Tunes were course, and not to be justified.
that say he thought their opinions were Trable to be, biassed by their situation. He concluded by expressing bis regret that a question of this, kiud had been brought forward on the eve of the greater debate, and under circumstances which bore the appearance of a disposition
26TH MARCH, 1831.
to delay the decision on the most important men's minds with regard to the great topic which ever came under their consider- question that now agitates the country,
After a few words from Sir C. Wetherell, Sir R. PEEL disowned, for himself, au intention to obstruct the debate which was expected, and observed, that he had not even heard of an intention to make such a motion until he entered that House, and heard that it was commenced. He trusted this explanation would clear that side of the House from the prejudice which might be raised against them by the learned Gentleman's observations. Mr. SLANEY, amid loud cries of “ Question," contended, that the people would look on the whole proceeding as an attempt to set aside the decision on the Reform Bill. (Hear.)
Sir R. INGLIS thought the learned Gentle man (the Attorney-General) should not have referred to the conversation he held with him on the subject of these papers, unless he had also repeated the nature of that conversation. He (Sir R. Inglis) would not follow his example by detailing the nature of that conver sation. All she would say, was, that he had seen some of the papers that day for the first time, and he was ready now to read the pas sages to which bei alluded; if the House thought proper. (Cries of no.)
The Gallery was then cleared; but we understood that the Motion was withdrawn.. On re-entering the Gallery we found
you will expect at my hands an account
With regard to the proceedings in Parliament relative to this bill, on Mon day the 14th instant, leave was given to bring it in without any division. On Monday, the 21st instant, the second reading was moved for, and on Tuesday, the 22d, the House divided on the question, when there appeared, according to the reports in the newspapers, three hundred and two for it, and three hundred and one against it; so that the second reading was carried by a majority of only one.
Every body was of opinion that, if the Ministers lost the bill, they ought instantly to dissolve the Parliament, in which case we know well that the two
Sir G. CLERK on his legs, with a petition, we believe, against the Parliamentary Reform Billy but the anxiety of the House to proceed County members for Hampshire, for to the discussion occasioned loud cries of "No, no," upon which the hon. Baronet postponed presenting his Petition; observing, however, that that was the first time that be had heard any objectionb made to the presentation of a petition upon the subject.
REFORM BILL. To the Readers of THE REGISTER. Kensington, March 23, 1831. MY FRIENDS,,mnalelf sul-agen Sixce the date of my last, I have been into HAM and SURREY, and at the county-meetings in those counties, neither of which meetings the Prince of Waterloo will, finally, call a I should like very much to give you a full account of any journey, which all the circumstances taken into consideration, was the very pleasantest I ever had in my life. I had to pass i through the whole of the country that had been the scenes of my childhood and my youth; but before Í1
instance, and, indeed, that every county
a description of my journée and in allegiance to the United States Thi
the question, as plain as any nos in giving an account of the state of upon any man's face; and yet, by
majority of forty-six, the House determined that the people of England, Ireland, and Scotland, should have bad wood dear. It is evident, then, that the Ministry cannot go on without a dissolution of the Parliament.
Observe, too, that there are several, who have voted for the second reading of the bill, who will vote against the material clauses of it in the committee; and they have even intimated already that they shall do so. There are three hundred and one who have been bold enough to vote against the whole of the bill all taken together; and, perhaps, there are another hundred to vote against those clauses of the bill which make it valuable in the eyes of the people. These call themselves reformers; but are for a different sort of reform; that is to say, in effect, no reform at all! So that it is nonsense to suppose that this reform of Lord GREY'S can be carried with the present men in the House of Commons and yet if it be not carried who is to carry on any Government at all any longer?
the way. He must, therefore, dissolve the Parliament, which is now become absolutely necessary as a test of his earnestness and sincerity. The committee on the bill is, as the repoft states, put off to the 14th of April. Between this and that there is plenty of time to dissolve the Parliament, "When this Parliament will be two months older than that Parliament which PERCEVAL dissolved" in the spring of 1807. The ground alleged for that dissolution was, that the King wished to appeal to the sense of his people, after the recent attempt on the part of his Ministers to carry the measure of Catholic Emancipation. SWAT great reat deal better ground exists for a dissolution at this time; for, here are the people, with Voice unanimous, calling for a measure which the House of Commons will not pass, and which the Minister has p presented to that House in accordance with that call. The dissolution, therefore, is now perfectly natural; it is a thing-imperiously called for by the circumstances of the country it is a thing which Then we come to this; there must every just man is calling aloud for. be a dissolution, or the Reform of Lord The nation wants the Reform Bill to be GREY must be abandoned. It is im- carried; it sees that the Minister canpossible that he can consent to remain not carry it with the present House in office without carrying the whole of knows that he can carry it with such a this bill. That is impossible; because House as a dissolution would give him'; it is not to be done without covering and, therefore, it says that, if the Bill himself with shame and infamy; and be not carried, the fault is solely that of it is therefore declared to be impossible the Minister. Lord Grey must perupon the some ground that we say it is impossible that a man should willingly jump from the top of a high house into the street. In short, the whole nation knows enough of him to know that he would scorn to remain in office an hour, having the same Parliament to deal with, after having lost this bill or any material part of it. But to retire from office would not be sufficient to the preservation of his character and his honour. To get out of the way quietly, and let others come and carry on the Government with an unreformed Parliament, would be very little better than remaining in office without carrying the reform. Indeed, it would be no better, but rather worse it would argue a desire to save himself by shuffling out of end grod 5 mo la
ceive that the nation reasons and concludes thus; and, therefore, if after all that we have seen; if, after all the proof that we have had of his sincerity in this cause; if we could still doubt of that sincerity, every one must perceive, that the preservation of his character absolutely commands him to dissolve the Parliament. bibiwe
But, CAN be dissolve the Parliament ? He can, if it be true that the King wishes that this Bill should be passed, To dissolve the Parliament there must be the consent of the King, and will the King refuse to give that consent? This is the question, it is, indeed, the only question at present; and it is perhaps the most important question, a question of the most fearful magnitude that one !” is to nošiadoryga dul
Yet, as I have observed before, the King changed his mind, and turned out Lord GREY and his colleagues. Therefore, though the Ministers have brought forward the present measure in like manner, with the approbation of the King, you see, my friends, that that does not make it amount to a positive certainly that the King will dissolve the Parliament for the sake of carrying a measure to which he had given his sanction, I do not doubt myself, I do not suspect, I do not fear, but in
Englishman ever put to another, in any period of the history of our country! But, I may be asked, how I can doubt of the King's readiness to give his consent to the dissolution of the Parliament, that being so obviously necessary to the success of this measure I may be asked how I can doubt of this, seeing that all the newspapers have assured us, over and over again, that the King was full as much in favour of the thing as his Ministers. I should rather disbelieve than believe the fact, if we had no better authority than that; but, the Ministers truth I know nothing, of the matter, themselves have declared in Parliament, that they have brought forward the measure with the entire sanction of the King. This is a great deal; there is no question of their having spoken truth as to this matter; there is no question of their having had the complete sanction of the King for the bringing forward of this measure. But, alas, kings, though kings, are still but men; and men can change their minds, whether they be kings or shepherds.
except, as I said before, that kings are men, and that all men are liable to change their minds; and that Lord GREY's twenty-four years' exile from that political power of which nature formed him for always having a large share, is a striking instance of the effects of the change in the mind of a King. Upon the occasion here referred to, the King was ready enough to dissolve the Parliament, and did dissolve it, when it was only four months It would be curious indeed, if this old; but, observe, he dissolved it to very LORD GREY should (which I trust keep in his new minister, and to keep will not be the case), twice in kis life-out the one that had brought in the time, have had to experience a change bill: he dissolved it, not for the purof this sort in the mind of a King. By pose of causing to be carried the meaturning to page 419 of this present vo- sure to which he had given his sanction, lume of the Register, where will be but in order to defeat the measure to found No. 3 of the History of George which he had given his sanction; he IV,, the reader will find, in paragraphs dissolved it, however, when the sensefrom 74 to 82 inclusive, the whole his-less and hypocritical cry of "no-popery" tory of the change of the mind of had placed at his back the unreflecting GEORGE HI. in 1807, He will there millions of England and Wales and find that EARL GREY, then LORD Ho- Scotland, led on by the parsons and WICK, brought in the Catholic Bill with the corporate bodies. In this latter the King's approbation, and sanction; respect, great indeed is the différence that it was brought in and read a first in the two cases. Then it was the miltime without a division; that it was lions who wished the measure to be afterwards withdrawn by the Ministers defeated: now it is the millions who themselves without opposition; and wished the measure not to be defeated: that the ministry were turned out now it is the millions who wish the thereupon and the Parliament-dis-measure to be carried. Dissolution was solved. Upon that occasion LORD then necessary to defeat the measure; GREY declared in the House of Com-dissolution is now necessary to carry mons, that, before he attempted to the measurevil gozod bluew grymuit submit the consideration of the men- With regard to the King having nsure to the House, be laid before his given his sanction to this measure, there Majesty all the particulars with re-can be uo doubt: that must be so; for, "gard to it, and obtained his Majes-if that but not been the case, it would ty's approbation of it "! at once have been contradicted in both