presented a Petition from certain members of the council of the Birmingham Political Union. The petitioners expressed their approval of the original Municipal Bill, and their disapproval of the Amendments made in it by the Lords, and they called on the House to reject the measure in the shape given to it by the Lords. He thought that the country was safe in the hands of the present Ministers. If, however, the present Government should be dissolved, as the Tories threatened, then the Political Union in Birmingham would revive in all its strength, and he should, under such circumstances, consider it his bounden duty to again enrol himself in the ranks of the Union, for the purpose of obtaining for the people their just rights and privileges. The petitioners complained strongly of the qualification Clause of the Corporation Bill, and he quite agreed with them on that point. His own opinion was, that they should not look to the wealthy for patriotism. The petitioners 1399 attributed nine-tenths of the amendment's made by the Lords to narrow, selfish, and aristocratic motives.
§ Mr. Thomas Attwood
supported the Petition, and expressed his regret that Ministers had assented to any one of the Amendments made by the Lords. They should have insisted on the Bill being restored to, its original integrity. He was sure that course only would satisfy the people. He was certain it was the course the patriotic and yet loyal people of Birmingham would approve of. The Tories insanely threatened the people with 50,000 yeomanry. Where were they to be found? If there even was such a yeomanry force in the country, he did not think that the farmers and manufacturers, of whom it consisted, would join in an attack on the rest of the people of England. They were threatened with a Tory Government and a new election. He had no doubt that the result of it would be the addition of 100 members to the present reforming majority. The masses would take an interest in the question now, that they did not last winter. He had said the 50,000 yeomen fit for Tory purposes were not to be found in England. But such a force existed on the banks of the Vistula, and he had no doubt it was to such assistance the Tories looked forward. He cautioned the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) to keep his eyes open, and not to allow a foreign force to deluge England with blood.