« PoprzedniaDalej »
Houses of Parliament; but, with regard people if they voted against this Bill, to the King still continuing in the same would they have voted against it? mind, we have no such authority to rest Would they have voted against it, if they on. And, now, let me stop here just to had believed that such vote would have indulge my vanity for a moment. PEEL'S sent them packing? Look well at the father had a presentiment, you know, matter, my friends, take time to conand why should not I? In talking, sider, and then answer that question to many times, with friends, about the way yourselves. These men are, to be that I would go to work in making sure, neither Solomons nor Solons; a parliamentary reform, if I were prime but, they are not madmen; they are so minister, I have, on such occasions, al- far from being regardless of their own ways said, that I never would accept of interests and safety, that these are obthe office, unless the king would first jects which always appear to be upperput into my hand, signed by himself, a most in their minds. Would they, MESSAGE to both Houses of Parlia- then, have voted thus, purely for the ment, recommending them to make a pleasure and honour attending the pubparliamentary reform, and containing lication of their names throughout the some words describing the great princi- country? They knew to a certainty ple of such reform. I always said that, that, if the King dissolved the Parlia"Put not your trust in princes" was a ment after that vote, scarcely a man of precept that never should be disobeyed them would ever enter the House again. by me; a précept implanted in my mind They could have no hope in out-voting by that which occurred to LORD GREY the ministry; because a dissolution of in 1807. How much better would it the Parliament would render their vote have been if Lord Grey had proceeded of no use. It is, therefore, CERTAIN by message in this case! Then all that these three hundred and one men would have been straightforward work: then there would have been no idle rumours, no suspicions among the people, no intrigues at court, no cabals of any sort. In short, the measure would have been carried long ago; and the nation, all the people being in perfect harmony and good humour, would have been preparing for the election of a reformed parliament.
believed, that, if there were a majority against the second reading, the King would not dissolve the Parliament.
Now, my friends, I do not say that' the thing is so, because they believed it to be so; but, at the same time, here are three hundred and one men all acting upon this one and same belief; and there are amongst them a considerable number who know very well But to what does all this tend? Do what is passing at the court and I suspect that the King has changed his amongst all those who are likely mind? I suspect nothing; but, at the to possess influence with the King. same time, I know nothing. I can only Pray observe, too, that in 1807, the judge from appearances and circumstan- King was defended against his Minis ces; and, I cannot help putting to my- ters by an assertion, that, though! self this question: Is it possible that the they had his sanction to a bill in favour three hundred and one men, who voted of the Catholics, they had not clearly against the second reading of the Bill explained to him the full extent of that. could believe that the King would dis- bill! This was a very ugly assertion solve the parliament unless this Bill were because it did not admit of disproof ri carried by this parliament? This is the there was no calling upon the King to question which put to myself; and I give evidence in the ease: the Ministers, beg you, my friends, to put the same therefore, had no defence against this question to yourselves, in a very serious and, if the king should listen to advicea and deliberatenmanderzod Iřw these such as would prevent his peonsentito ay three hundred and one men. believed dissolution of Parliament; LorpuGRyla that the spathamentodwbuldohendis- would find himself as far as relates tow salveil, and alleybrechtilto fitcesthetisis point, just in the situation in which
he found himself in 1807. Remark, I abandonment of the bill on the part of the pray you, that the opposers of the bill Ministers. And, to abandon it in this have already laid the ground for this way would be a disgrace not to be enaccusation against him. They have dured by any man with English blood repeatedly, said, that the bill, in its pre-in hs veins; and certainly not to be sent shape, was not agreed upon by the endured by LORD GREY, who has passed cabinet until the eleventh hour: they a whole long life amidst this turmoil of have repeatedly insinuated that the factions, and never yet did a mean thing, King's name ought not to have been never abased himself in one single inmentioned as connected with the bill; stance. To be in place at all, he can, and you can see that they have been at his age and after all that has passed, constantly endeavouring to cause it to have no possible motive other than that be believed that the King has not been of the good of his country; he has progiven clearly to understand the extent posed the good, and in the most specific and drift of the bill, This is a very and full and clear nanner; and, if ugly circumstance; and, though I re- the King shall not permit him to peat that these men are neither Solo- do the good, the only thing left for mons nor Solons, they are not, down him to do is, to give up his post, right fools or idiots. and at the same time to declare, These observations, my friends, would in the most full and clear manner, be useless if they pointed at no practical THE CAUSE OF HIS RESIGNAresult, if they afforded no lesson to the TION OF THAT POST!.. To do people to teach them how to act. The this, not in speech in Parliament, which question is not, now, whether this re- may be disfigured at the pleasure of form bill ought to be carried; but the boroughmongers, but in some whether the Parliament ought to be dis-formal document, signed with his name; solved, seeing that, without such disso- and thus prevent a repetition of the lution, the reform bill cannot be carried! tricks that were played him in 1807. This, therefore, is now the business of Then, indeed, he was not the PRIME the people, The King is legally endued MINISTER; he was merely a member with a power of dissolving Parliament of the ministry, and, in fact, he was at his pleasure,; this prerogative, under the GRENVILLES, who, however like all the rest which he possesses, provoked, had, amongst them, sinecures has been given him for the good of his to the amount of thirty thousand pounds people; the good of his people demand a year. This was the power that kept the exercise of it at this time, and it is him quiet under the load of obloquy, therefore the right as well as the duty cast on him by the transactions of that of bis people earnestly to implore him period. He is now prime-minister to exercise that power. Hitherto it has himself. He is weighed down by no been sufficient to express gratitude to Grenvilles nor by any-body else. The him for having given his sanction to people know that the bill is his, and this s great measure; but,, now, when it solely his; and if the King will not is found that it is impossible to carry let him use the only means by which it this measure without a dissolution of the can be carried, it will be a duty to the Parliament, duty to themselves as well country as well as to himself to state as to the King calls upon them to the fact, in the fullest and most authen. petition him to dissolve the Parliament. tic manner, to the nation, quite regard It is nonsense to talk of waiting to less of whom it may effect. The nation see what the House will do in the Com- must be told the truth now, and the mittee. We are apprized beforehand whole truth, let the telling of it affect that there will be a great majority, as what and whom it may and then the gainst the material parts of the bill in nation will have Lord Grey, at any rate the Committee To go into the com-ptowalud.com ero bus byibank si mittee at all, under such circumstances, I am stopped short here by a sight of must be looked upon, in fact, as an the debate in the Lords last night (it is
now Thursday morning), every word of "Earl GREY, although he had alwhich is of importance. I beg you to " ways thought and said that it was a read it with attention. Mark particu- most inconvenient course to be disJarly the words of LORD GREY. This" cussing this measure incidentally on debate, on which I shall add some re- "the presenting of petitions, yet he marks, is of vital importance at this" could not sit silent and hear it said moment. It enables us to see clearly "that the measure of Reform proposed what is the duty which the people have" by his Majesty's Ministers was a reNOW to perform! volutionary measure, and one which "LORD FARNHAM presented a pe- "would end in the destruction of the "tition from the Corporation of Dublin," constitution. He did not mean at "against the Ministerial plan of Re-" present to enter upon the discussion "form proposed by the Ministers :- "of the subject at length, but he could
1st, Because it went to alter the rela-"not hear that assertion-for assertion "tive situation of the different political" it was, and not argument-without "bodies of the country, giving too much" meeting it with a contrary and most power to one at the expense of the "confident assertion, that the measure "rest; and, 2dly, Because it would" in question had no such tendency. "have a material tendency, if extended" He asserted that its tendency was "to Ireland, to promote the views of " directly the reverse of that which had "those who were desirous of a Re-" been ascribed to it by the noble Earl, "peal of the Union. His Lordship" and it was on that account that it had presented another to the same effect" been introduced, and it was for that "from the Master and Wardens of the "reason that he would support it to the "Guild of Merchants of Dublin. "utmost of his power. The noble Earl "The Earl of RODEN had received" said that the petitioners had made out "letters requesting him to support the "their case; that this measure had a "prayer of the petitions, which he " tendency to lead to repeal of the thought himself bound to do. He was "Union. But they had only made it not, however, one of those who were "out in the same manner as the noble hostile to all reform, but he was for a "Earl had made out his case and "safe change and not a revolutionary" that was by confident assertion, but reform; and it would be a revolu-" by no argument. When the measure રા tionary reform that would be effected" should be assailed by argument, he if Parliament were to pass the present" should feel no difficulty in defending measure. If extended to Ireland, heit, and showing that it was liable to fully agreed
it would bWith the petitioners that none of those imputations that had
the strongest tendency" been cast upon it. As to the assertion to dissolve the union with Great Bri-" that it would have a tendency to protain, a consequences of which would "duce a dissolution of the Union bebe a dismemberment of the empire, "" tween Great Britain and Ireland, he and the total destruction of the Pro-" felt so powerfully the necessity, for testant Church in Ireland. Viewing "the sake of both countries, to main"the measure in that light, it of course" tain that Union, that if the measure met with his strongest disapprobation." in question had that tendency, he "Hence the inconsistency and vacilla-" should think that circumstance a tion of public men that had led to "strong objection to it. But, on the these evils, and opened the flood-gates contrary, as the bill was calculated which let in these sweeping and dan-"not to promote, but to prevent revogerous schemes of revolutionary re- "lution here, and to allay if not tolexform, which must end in the destrue- tinguish the discontents, and to calm tion of the constitution. He thought the irritation which threatened to the petitioners had made out their produce revolution in Ireland, its case, that this would lead to a repeal" tendency would be, not to lead to the of the Union. repeal of the Union, but to allay those
"discontents and that irritation which 66 tionary measure-a constitutional "occasioned the clamours for the re- "Reform which had given general satis66 peal. Such, he was persuaded, would" faction, and which would contribute "be the effect of the measure in Ire-" equally to the strength of the Govern"land as well as in England. With ment and to the prosperity of the 68 respect to the observation of the " country. (Hear, hear.) "noble Earl, that it was the 'incon- "The Earl of RODEN, in explanation, "sistencies of public men that led to "said, that he had given no occasion to "these measures; from that imputa-" the noble Earl to suppose that when "tion of inconsistency he was not called" he spoke of the inconsistencies of "upon to defend himself. It was well public men, he had alluded to him. "known that he had retained the prin- He certainly did not allude to whether "ciples which he had always held with his opinion of the measure was right "reference to another measure of Re-" or wrong, he meant no disrespect to "form, when for these principles he had the noble Earl. When the time came "been driven from office twenty-six for arguing the question, he would years ago; and yet those by whom "state his reasons for his opinion. "these principles had been most ar"The Earl of CAERNARVON hoped "dently combated, had been compelled "that the measure, if it came to this "at last to pass these very measures" House at all, would at least be so al"which he had then so strongly advo-"tered that their Lordships would find "cated, and to pass them under far" that it was not revolutionary. But "less favourable circumstances than that, as it stood at present, it bore the "then existed, and with far less" impress of that character, was, he bebeneficial results than would have "lieved, the opinion of one half of the "attended their adoption at that time." people of property in this country, "As to the question of Parliamentary Re-"That there must be a reform of some "form, which more immediately con- "kind without delay, might be taken "cerned the present subject, it was well to be decided by the vote of last "knowit that he had from his earliest night. But it had always been his years supported it, and that at the com- opinion that any measure of reform "mencement of his Parliamentary ca-" ought to be entertained with great "reer, he had introduced into the other" caution, and proceeded with slowly, so "House a measure on the subject.He" as to give the most ample time for had always retained the same opinions" consideration and for discussion, and ond that question, although he had that it ought not to be brought for "failed in effecting his object. its "ward and carried on with that breath“But if this measure were to fuil in his "less haste with which his Majesty's "hands now, and the present Govern- Ministers had proceeded with their "ment should be dissolved on that prinmeasure. They were scarce scarcely settled "ciple, the consequence would be, that in their seats when they came down Reform would be afterwards forced "with this scheme, which, would, if upon men in office; and such a reform," passed into law, have the effect of and under such circumstances, that " unsettling and changing all the insti there was great reason to fear that "tutions and constituency of the country, "then the reform would indeed be revolu-"except in the Universities-institutions tionary. Perhaps he had said more and a constituency which might, be 15 than enough on a question raised in" said to have existed from time imme- this tincidental and irregular manner. "morial in this kingdom. When he -But he felt himself called upon by the "hud, on a former this iffi observations made by the noble Earl new constitution, he had been deff to maintain that the measure of Reformrided; but it was a new constitution. eff proposed by his Majesty's Ministers, They had already seen many new sff was a measure of constitutional Re-constitutions among
stoform linccontradistinction to a revõlu-" but that a new consternations;
proposed, for this country, which any well-founded charge of inconsist "would upset all its old institutions," ency in supporting this measure; was not what was expected by the "but if his noble Friend chose to take people of these realms, and it was na- up the cause of some of his friends. "tural for them to be alarmed. He" who now supported it, he would have was not connected with any borough," much to defend, Was the measure nor did he know that he had influence" now proposed what was to be exenough to secure the return of one "pected from the speech in which his "Member. He, had no interest in the noble Friend had announced it; and "matter, except that which every man" was the speech a fitting prologue to "who loved his country, and wished to the plan? It was the greatest of all "live and die under its ancient institu- " humbugs to say that reform would tions, ought to have. But he was ad-" be a panacen for all political evils., "verse to all sweeping reforms, for it was His noble Friend had said that there "impossible to make any material al-" would be little difference between ̧ “teration in any one particular, without his noble Friend and him, and that "more or less affecting the rest. He" they only proposed to do the same in "had been always ready to promote a different way; and was his, noble "reform where an abuse existed, but "Friend then aware of the desperate "then he was for reforming gradually," plunge which he was afterwards to "and for correcting abuses when it be-" take? But he hoped the Commons 46 came, necessary, and when it was "would modify or alter it; for, as it "clear that a pressure existed. We 66 stood at present, it was the most had had the good fortune to pre- "dangerous that had ever been brought serve our institutions unimpaired" forward. He was favourable to re"when all around us tottered. He" form as the occasion called for it; "had seen no less than twenty-six con- "but he did not know that he could "stitutions produced in the course of" ever be persuaded to go to that extent. "the French Revolution, as fast as they "He would not go into the subject "were formed in the prolific brains of" more at length at present. "the French philosophers. We our- "hear, from the Lord Chancellor.) "selves had been great constitution- " might, perhaps, fall under the lash of "mongers. We had prepared a con- "the wit of the noble and learned Lord "stitution for Corsica; and when the" who interrupted him in this irregular "Lord-Lieutenant that was to govern 66. way; but he insisted that, after the "the Island had called his Parliament "eulogium which had been pronounced "together, it had not sat half an hour" on his own measure, he ought not to "when he was obliged to fly, and take" allow the matter to pass without oh"refuge from it in a fortress, from which "servation. (Earl Grey-Hear, hear.) "he was glad to escape, and get on "He repeated, that since his noble "board a British ship. A similar ex- "Friend had chosen to start the discus"periment had been made in Sicily;" sion, he ought to be answered. "and their Lordships krew with what "The Marquess of LANSDOWN—Alsuccess and with what results. It" though he had the means at that time "was the attempting to reform all at "of entering into a discussion of the "once which produced these practical subject at large, yet,, after the allu"evils, and it was, therefore, that he," sions that had been made to his noble "whether the was right or wrong, "Friend near him, (Earl Grey;) and to "was disappointed with this measure." his having started the subject, he "With cautious, slow, temperate reform could not forbear reminding the uoble Earl that he bad forgotten that his "noble Friend had said nothing on the subject until the discussion, had been started by the noble Earl on the other side. (Roden.) The noble Earl had
with reform bit by bit, as abuses" " appeared and the occasion called for "it, he would have been pleased. His “noble Friend (Earl Grey) had said, that " he had not to defend himself against