HC Deb 04 August 1840 vol 55 cc1254-5

On the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill,

Mr. Hume

said, he would take that opportunity of drawing the attention of the House to the conduct of that House, and to the state and feelings of the people. He exceedingly regretted the manner in which the most numerously signed petition ever presented to Parliament—that for the Charter—had been treated. Had it not been treated in that manner, he thought the present discontents would not have existed. The Reform Bill had disappointed the people. The democratic prin- ciple was not properly represented. He was of opinion that every man who paid taxes, or who was liable to be drawn in the militia, had a right to vote in the election of Members of Parliament. The prisons were now filled by persons who only sought for change in the same manner as the changes of 1832 were produced. He admitted that those who had had recourse to physical force and to the destruction of property ought to be punished; but the greater part of those now in prison were placed there for making use of seditious language, and for attending public meetings. The ministry ought to recollect their own conduct in 1832, and not press so hardly upon those who were seeking further reforms, and who were only pursuing the same course that they themselves had pursued to carry the Reform Bill. He complained that they had nothing whatever to show at the end of the Session. Nothing had been done but enormously increasing their war establishment, and the consequence was, that new taxes were obliged to be laid on the already overburdened people of this country. As the present was the last occasion on which he should have an opportunity of pronouncing his opinion upon the finances of the country, he begged to enter his protest against the policy of the Government. He feared as the House was at present constituted, it would be impossible to expect anything satisfactory from it.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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