HC Deb 24 February 1842 vol 60 cc1018-82

Order of the Day read, and House in committee upon the Corn-laws.

Mr. Johnston

said, that when he had read her Majesty's Speech, he conceived that the system of class legislation was to be at once and for ever abandoned by the Government, and that a measure would have been brought forward which would have had a tendency to promote the general prosperity of the country, and he consequently felt the more regret that a measure should have been introduced which went so far to support the system of class legislation as that which had been presented to the House—a proposition, as he believed, which would please no class of persons except the landowners. He appealed to the past to prove, that the interests of the merchants had been sacrificed to the Corn laws—that the interests of the bankers had sustained great losses from the derangements in the monetary system consequent upon the operation of the Cornlaws—that the manufacturers had been obliged to lessen the number of those in their employment, and that the working classes had been deprived of employment, and obliged at the same time to pay double for their food—all in consequence of the Corn-laws. He regretted the mode in which hon. Members on the other side of the House had sometimes chosen to address hon. Members on the side which he occupied. They seemed to wish to excite one class against another, and to set different interests in opposition to each other, with the view to curb the progress of the extension of political rights. The manufacturers had been accused of being oppressors, and of having designs of reducing as much as possible the amount of wages which they paid. He denied the charge. He maintained, that it was the interest of the manufacturers to pay high wages. Their profits were never so high as when they were obliged to pay high wages; and if they had the choice of the manner in which to conduct their business, they would prefer paying high to paying low wages; for the former was always a clear proof of high profits, and low wages of the reverse. When wages were low, the state of the manufacturer was never prosperous. They were told, too, that manufacturers were protected, and that therefore agriculturists should be protected too. But he denied, that the manufacturers were in reality protected. It was true, that there was a duty upon the importation of cotton goods; but did any one think that, by that means, cotton manufactures were raised in value to the extent of the duty? How could manufactures be protected by a duty on imports, when the articles in question were exported? If the Prussian government were to impose a duty of 10s. per quarter on the import of wheat into Dantzic, did any one think that the value of wheat would be raised in Dantzic to the extent of 10s, a quarter? All would see that the affirmative of such a proposition was a gross fallacy—and that the idea of protection to the cotton manufacturer was just as complete a mistake; the manufacturers did not want protection, they only wanted justice, and that they were determined to have. They would take no protection from, and give no protection to, the landowners. He meant to vote for a total and immediate repeal of the Corn-laws. He would do so because he thought, that the agriculturists required no protection. The Scotch farmers required no protection. In the evidence taken before the agricultural committee of the House in 1836, many intelligent Scotch farmers said, that then no distress existed in the rural parts of their country, that the Corn-laws were not needed, and that low prices for grain were beneficial to the farmer, by compelling the landlord to assist with his capital in draining and improving land, in order to keep up his rents. It was calculated by some of the witnesses examined before the committee alluded to, that 48s. per quarter, by others that 50s. per quarter, and by others that 56s. per quarter, as the price of corn, would be remunerating prices. He was satisfied from the various returns made to the House, that wheat could not be imported under a charge of 50s. per quarter. He presumed now, this was a price which the Scotch farmers considered a remunerating one, and he would ask, why should not the English agriculturist be of the same opinion? Why did not the English agriculturist adopt the Scotch system of farming? Why should they continue a system under which they paid lower rents for a more fertile soil? He believed, that the Scotch farmers were correct in stating that low prices were the best improvers of the land. He had no hesitation in saying, if the same system of farming was adopted in England as that pursued in Scotland, that the same outlay of capital would raise a third greater extent of produce. The prosperity of the years 1835 and 1836 had, as the Member for Dorchester remarked on a former occasion, induced the manufacturers greatly to increase the extent of their works. From the appearance of things at the time, they thought that they were justified in making these extensions; but the operation of the Corn-laws, combined with other causes, had since produced that distress for which he had hoped the Government had intended to apply a remedy. He had hoped that Ministers a could have gone deeply into the subject of the commercial laws—that they would have perceived that restrictive duties and monopoly were stifling the energies of the country. Why was not their foreign trade extended? The world was wide, and were there not millions who were not half clothed, While they were not half fed? Why were they prevented from exchanging the productions of different countries, to the mutual benefit of those countries? The monopolists prevented it. He had hoped that Government would have taken a more enlightened view of the subject. He fully believed that the country would benefit by a free-trade in corn, and under that impression, he would vote for a total and immediate repeal of the laws which prevented it.

Mr. Villiers Stuart

would vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton. It seemed to be generally admitted that the Corn-laws were the cause of an increased price of food. It seemed then to him, that in giving a vote for the continuation of these laws, the deepest responsibility must be felt, and that nothing but a clear proof of positiveé advantages springing from them could justify such a step. He had been in his place during the discussion which had taken place upon the subject; he had considered the arguments of the hon. Gentlemen who had defended the Corn-laws; and it seemed to him that the point which they sought to gain was the maintenance of the cultivation of the soil—a point they seemed to fear they would not possess in all its extent were the Corn-laws abolished. They thought the consequences of such a measure would be the relapse of the soil into its pristine state of uncultivated sterility, and that those who then laboured upon it and subsisted upon its produce would become, instead of wealthy, burdens upon the State. If he thought so, he would support them. He had turned his mind to that point, and he had also considered the manner in which the Corn-laws were framed, with the view of ascertaining whether the machinery of these laws did not apply its power in a manner beyond what was necessary for the achievement of the point which its supporters seemed to have in view. According to the ideas of these Gentlemen, it should be the object of the State to bribe those to cultivate the soil who would not, under other circumstances, do so; and, according to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government, the amount of this bribe was to be the difference in price of corn on the continent, and corn admitted to this country under the restrictive duties. Now there were two parties who were especially interested in the soil—the landlord and the farmer. The Corn laws must, therefore, apply to one or both; and though there might be doubts as to the interest of the farmer in them, there could be none as to the interest of the landowner, as his whole property arose from the fertility of the soil. Now, if he could find that the working of the machinery of the Corn-laws, instead of being applied to the party who might require external influence, only. touched him who needed no such stimulus to proceed with the cultivation of the soil, the existence of such a state of matters went evidently to prove, that although the Corn-laws were to be abolished, cultivation would still proceed. The landowner might, indeed, say he received a part of the bribe in question, but without it he would have difficulty in finding a tenant. He could conceive this plea to be valid, if it were attempted to be tried on the part of the landowner to obtain his present high rents after the duty on corn had been reduced or abolished; but when rents were reduced, as in consequence of such a measure they of course must be, the difficulty, he apprehended, would vanish. He had drawn his best argument against the idea of land going out of cultivation by a change in the Corn-laws, from the speech of the hon. Member for Kent maintaining the reverse of the proposition. The argument he alluded to was, that the soil would not go out of cultivation from a change in the protective duties in grain, were it only on account of the immense produce of the country, and the immense consumption of the country. It was impossible not to see that if the people were properly fed, they would not require a larger quantity of corn than that now consumed. The hon. Baronet the Member for Wiltshire made use of an argument to prove that the price of food had nothing to do with the condition of the labourer, which was on the face of it fallacious. He referred to one of the years of the war, when corn was 6l. 10s. a quarter, and said that no complaint was heard in our streets, and ever' man was comfortable and happy. Why, we were then at war, and we were manufacturers for the world. The consequence was that our army and navy were on an immense scale, and gave every man who cultivated the soil, or was engaged in manufactures, full employment. But even then the poor man was robbed by the high price of food of a certain surplus which would have gone to purchase some of the comforts of life. Nothing but a conscientious belief, founded on the grounds he had stated, could have induced him to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton. One word as to the effect of the motion on Ireland. If, as was argued, the total repeal of these laws would bring ruin on that unfortunate country, he should be the last man to vote for it. But when wages were already so low in that country, surely an abundance of food must have the effect of bettering the condition of the people. To them there was no pretext for applying the fallacy, that a high price of corn brought with it high wages. If there were special burdens proved to exist with regard to the land, he should say adjust them more equally. But his present belief was, that the landlords had not injured themselves in the bargain which they struck with the rest of the community on the score of taxation. At any rate, his answer to their appeal at present was, "You can afford to be generous, and you will have, if it should be shown that you have injured yourselves, to place the question on a more equitable footing."

Mr. Aglionby:

There were many hon. Members who had taken part in that debate, who had avowed themselves the advocates of free-trade, yet expressed their unwillingness, some to vote for the present motion, and others went the length of declaring they should vote against it. He participated in the difficulty which prompted them to make their speeches at variance with their votes. He did not altogether approve of the motion, especially the word "now" included in it; and though he never before supported such a proposition, he felt bound to give his assent to this. The reason which he conceived, justified him in taking this course, and which he trusted would be looked on as a sufficient inducement by others, was the enormous amount of suffering and distress which existed, for which he looked in vain for any remedy except an alteration in the Corn-laws. Had a moderate fixed duty been proposed by the Government, many would have left the ranks of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton to have supported such a measure. It would benefit commerce—at the same time that it would not create such alarm amongst the agriculturists. The distress had, in his opinion, penetrated the whole mass of the community. He was surprised to hear the hon. Baronet, the Member for Wiltshire say, that the operatives were most comfortable—at least, that those Conservative operatives by whom he had been invited to his northern circuit were so. He knew not how those dinners to which the hon. Baronet alluded were got up, but he could only say, that if those operatives were well off, and if they were in the habit of sitting down to good comfortable dinners, their condition was far different from that of the operatives in the county with which he was connected. He held in his hand a report from the committee of the operatives of Carlisle, which was not too highly coloured, or which was inaccurate only in very immaterial points; and they asserted, that their distress was extreme—that they had neither fire in their hearths, nor clothes to cover themselves, and they added this astounding fact, that one-fourth of the population, or about 6,000 persons, earned 1s.1¾d. per week for subsistence, and that, excluding the children under twelve years, and those persons who could not obtain employment, the remainder only earned ls. 9d. per week. The charitable committee formed in that town, composed of all shades of politics—Radicals, Whigs, and Tories; and of every profession, trade, and occupation, having no interest in the matter but to tell the truth, and thus induce charitable contributions—confirmed the statement which he had read. They divided the persons employed at different trades and various occupations, and showed, that there were 1,661 families, which, giving four to a family, would produce the result of a fourth of the whole population living on 1s. 2d. per head for each week. This was a state of things which must somehow or other be remedied. The right hon. Baronet assuredly meant that his measure should alleviate the distresses of the community, or lie never would have introduced it. But in his opinion, it would prove no relief to the consumer, and tend very little to the alleviation of the distress throughout the country. Again, his vote was decided, by his belief that a sliding scale would prove injurious, equally to the farmer and manufacturer. It would disappoint the one by destroying all certainty in the markets, and do no benefit to the latter, because it would not act as a prohibition on the proper importation of corn. The public, again, looked with jealousy and suspicion on those for whom the hon. Member for Wiltshire declared he had a great affection, when they saw they made laws fatal to the general interests, and which only subserved their own. He had not the good fortune to have had any one of his family connected with the commercial interest. His property, small as it was, was derived from land. He, like the hon. Baronet, had a great affection for those similarly circumstanced; he loved the land; but he did not feel justified in keeping up a vast monopoly to the injury of the other classes of the community. They were told, however, that this body had a vested interest in their property. He recollected how much they had paid for vested interests, touched by the measure introduced by the noble Secretary for the Colonies. But he did not see the force of this cry at the present time. These laws were a question constantly mooted from year to year. The farmers might have made due provision for any change in their leases which they took during the period from '32 to the present lime. But as they were not a very provident class, he was sure that their interests would not be disregarded by the mover of the motion. He should support this motion, as it was a system which was fraught with evil, both to the consumer and the farmer.

Mr. G. Heneage

conceived, that those hon. Members who accused the agricultural interest of enjoying a monopoly, took no account of the middling and lower classes of the agricultural body. Though their holdings might be small, they were animated by a spirit of independence which rendered them so valuable to this country. Nothing but their independent spirit enabled them to hold up their heads under the many difficulties they had to contend against; and he believed, that the pauper would prefer his union fare to the scanty repasts of some of these small agriculturists. Attacks were made against the landowners, because they were supposed to be wealthy; but he had yet to learn, that the rich were to be pronounced guilty, merely because they were rich, as, in the time of the French revolution, it was sufficient to put any man out of the pale of society to call him an aristocrat. He remembered, some years ago, that the fundholders, like the landlords now, were the objects of attack, and the sponge at that time was the favourite remedy for the evils of the country. The fundholders were represented as few in number, and living on taxes, wrung from the hard earnings of the people; but it turned out, on the publication of official documents, that the number of fundholders exceeded 270,000. So it would appear, on investigation, that the number of landed proprietors was little short of that amount. Mr. M'Culloch observed, that there were a few individuals who possessed a large interest in land, but he estimated the total number of landed proprietors in England and Wales, at 200,000; and their gross annual income at 30,000,000l., giving an average annual income to each individual of 150l. But as a few had much more than that amount, so many had much less, and were in consequence obliged to live a laborious life; and Mr. M'Culloch stated, there was not a greater mistake than to suppose that the landholders were an extremely opulent and indolent body. He would now conclude, by stating, that as he had voted against a fixed duty on the importation of corn, so he should oppose the present monstrous proposition of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton. He should have had great pleasure in supporting the right hon. Baronet, but he thought his scale not sufficiently high to protect the farmer; and he felt convinced, that the ruin which would come upon the land, though it might be delayed, was certain.

Mr. Horsman

said, my hon. Friend who has just sat down rested his speech on his own statement, and for which he adduced no grounds, that the proposition of my Friend, the Member for Wolverhampton, was to bring poverty and ruin on the agriculturists. One would have thought from what fell from him that we were about to deprive them of their title-deeds, and their estates. That my hon. Friend really entertains these apprehensions, and that his expression of them is sincere, I have no doubt, but the House will feel that it is an assumption without an attempt at proof. Did he touch the point adverted to by the hon. Member for Waterford?-that the Corn-laws raised the price of bread; he neither denied the fact, nor attempted its justification. I am anxious to explain the grounds of my vote to-night, because, though ever since I have been a Member of this House, and even before I had that honour, I have ever held and acted up to the opinion that our whole system of Corn- laws was impolitic and unjust—unjust in its principle, and injurious in its effects—I still feel that the amendment of my hon. Friend is so unfortunately, and, in my opinion, injudiciously worded, that even those who agree most with him cannot vote with him without an explanation. I think it is hard on many of the Members of this House who agree with the principle contained in the amendment, that such difficulties should have been thrown in the way of their supporting their opinions by their vote. My hon. Friend would have been quite right in not ceding one iota of his principle, but the phraseology in which it was embodied should have been a secondary consideration, and should not have been so framed as to shut the door against those who were ready to have assisted him in advancing the principle he fought for. The ground on which I give him my vote is this—I consider that the existing law is based on the principle of protection, and I vote for totally abolishing the law which is based on that false foundation, and therefore ought not to stand. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government has himself now abandoned that principle. If he, then, and the House affirm the resolution of my hon. Friend, that this law be now abolished, I am ready then to enter with him on a consideration of those peculiar claims to compensation which the agriculturists can put forward, and with a determination on my part, which I am sure will be shared by all on this side of the House, to do that full justice to the landed interest which we ask the landed interest to do to the community at large. Sir, the longer this debate has lasted, the more do we see confirmed what was said at the commencement of it by the noble Lord, the late Secretary for the Colonies, that the proposal of the Government had disturbed everything and settled nothing. Speaker after Speaker had risen on that side of the House—all supporting the measure of the right hon. Baronet by their votes—all finding some fault with it in their speeches. The hon. Member for Pontefract told us they all approved of the measure, and, by way of showing his approval of it, he said in the next sentence that he wished the scale had been more liberally constructed, and that he looked on it as a step towards free-trade. The hon. Member for Canterbury, in his very able speech, hailed it as an instalment of justice to the same great principle; the Member for Norfolk, representing the county Members, also supported it, but thought it full of danger to the agriculturists; so do the other representatives of that interest. They tell you they have full confidence in the Member for Tamworth, but that confidence is the parent of sore misgivings; they entirely concur with all he proposes, yet they tremble at the price that concurrence may cost them. Sir, I find fault with the measure of the Government, but on account of the measure itself, and the mode of its introduction. If the right hon. Gentleman had at once proposed this measure as what it really is—a maintaining of the old law, with an alteration in some of its details, with a view to making it more effective and complete, his plan would not have been without its merit, and its improvements could not have been denied; but when it was preceded by such mystery and importance —when such pains were taken to raise large expectations only to create the greater disappointment—I think the course of the right hon. Gentleman was injudicious as regarded himself, and vexatious and unjust as regarded the public. The right hon. Gentleman took five months for deliberation, and the whole result of those five months has been to convince him of what every one else was convinced before, that there is very great and general distress in the manufacturing districts. That fact is attested by all parties now, and freely, and feelingly, and unreservedly acknowledged by the right hon. Baronet. Well, then, what duty does this acknowledgment impose on the Minister who makes it? Alas! he tells us none of it at all. He gives us no hope of even attempted alleviation, but says he shall leave it to the operation! of natural causes. And this is the doctrine of a great Minister to a suffering country. What the natural causes are, to whose operation he looks for remedy, we shall probably learn when the Chancellor of the Exchequer brings forward his budget, and we shall then probably hear that the new mode of alleviating the distresses of a people are by augmenting their burdens. If this was to be the only fruit of the deliberations of the right hon. Baronet, it would have been as well for him at once to have adopted the policy announced by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer to which he is now so reconciled. "The right hon. Gentleman asks me," said he, in a burst of virtuous indignation, "what I would do to relieve the difficulties of the country; I answer him, I would do nothing at all." This was the enlightened policy announced last Session in opposition by the proximate Minister of Finance; and it is that which time for reflection and increasing distress has determined the Government to adopt. But though the right hon. Baronet agrees so well with one of his colleagues, he does not concur so entirely with another; the question is asked, "What is your justification of this Corn-law?" The right hon. Baronet very manfully repudiates protection to class interests, but what says the Paymaster of the Forces? He justifies the law on two grounds—first, that it may secure the landed proprietors in their estates; and, secondly, that it may enable them to maintain their station in society. These are plain, intelligible doctrines, coining from an eminent leader of the agriculturists, they are very valuable; but, coming from a Member of the Cabinet also, the authority is very high. Now, I will not meet them by any reference to selfish or unworthy objects. I cannot impute any such to any body of gentlemen, and I cannot believe that they deserve to be accused of having intentionally and wilfully promoted their own interests in the Legislature at the expense of the community, and at all times I am disposed to deprecate the attempt to advance a party cause by disparaging the character of opponents. I will not, therefore, say, that your legislation has proceeded from bad motives, but I do say, that it has had bad results; those results, in appearance and character, have been a taxing of the poor man's bread to increase the rich man's luxury—depriving the poor man of the necessaries of life, and securing to the rich an increase of its abundance. You forget that to you, with your means and your station, the cost of subsistence forms but a small item in your expenditure; but every penny that you add to the poor man's loaf deprives his children of a meal. The right hon. Member for Tamworth puts it on another ground. He is too accomplished a tactician to advance anything so untenable, and so he has recourse to the old plea of patriotism, and the fear of dependence on foreign nations. I think that plea was well disposed of by the noble Lord, the late Secretary for the Colonies, when he adverted to the fact, that we were a great commercial nation, and an unrivalled maritime power; that we had the most extensive commerce in the world, and the most powerful armaments to protect it. But what, after all, is this danger of dependence to be apprehended? Is it a greater evil than the dependence we now suffer? What says the committee of 1833? The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Dorchester, was a member of that committee; and Mr. Jacobs's evidence on this head was so valuable and so startling, that it was extracted from the body of the evidence, and introduced into the report itself. Mr. Jacobs, after speaking of the produce of this country in average years, is then asked of a scarce year this question:— Supposing the harvest of 1816 was to come over again, whence do you contemplate a supply? He answered,— We could not be supplied from all the world. If that harvest were to come over again, and the next harvest were deficient by one-tenth, we should have such a deficiency as all the world could not supply at any price. This, then, is your state of dependence and risk now, under your present narrow and injudicious system. You cannot grow enough for your own subsistence, but you take care that others shall not have the means of supplying you when you most want it, for you discourage their growing more than they require themselves; and thus, when your hour of need arrives—when hunger and famine are stalking in your streets, you spurn the hand that might be stretched out to save you, and perish in your folly without aid, without sympathy, from your neighbours. But supposing we do become dependent on foreigners, what, after all, is the evil? We must be dependent on some one, and, amid the vicissitudes of climate and seasons, of which the right hon. Baronet told us, it is better to be dependent on the world at large than on one small island—better to depend on the foreign producer, who will sell us bread cheap, then on the home producer, who will only sell it dear. Talk to me of the evils of dependence; the certain and inevitable evils which we daily and hourly experience from being at the mercy of our home monopolists outweigh a thousand times all the imaginary ones which sophistry or selfishness can conjure up to frighten us with. The plan of the Government, being in my view merely a reconsideration of the old law, is only a revival of the former discussions in this House; but some admissions have been made by the right hon. Baronet at the head of it which place the opponents of monopoly on much stronger grounds. In the first place, we have the admission, that the existing protection which we have so often assailed, but which the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends so obstinately defended, is a great deal too high, and ought not to be retained. This is a concession, though to be sure one that is robbed of all its grace by the recommendation of the right hon. Leader to his friends to part with it, only because it does them no good. And so the right hon. Baronet recommends his plan to his Friends by saying,—" You have now a great superfluous protection, and vast unnecessary odium. My plan is one by which the odium will be diminished, but the protection in reality untouched." The second admission of the right hon. Gentleman is, that the agriculturists as a class are not entitled to any legislative protection whatever. That is a doctrine broadly and unequivocally laid down, and cannot be departed from in future. The whole defence of the Corn-law, then, is narrowed to that miserable, and shallow, and untenable doctrine of non-dependence on other countries—a doctrine so narrow and so ignorant, so replete with misery, and starvation, and self-destruction, that it may be called the doctrine of insanity: for what is it but insanity to say, that your millions shall be stinted upon home produce rather than well fed upon the productions of another nation? Is there any other country in the world in which such shocking and disgraceful occurrences could take place as occurred here in 1837? Under the operation of these laws you had distress in the Highlands-a distress unprecedented -thousands perishing for want of bread. At the very moment when representations of this distress were crowding upon the Government, some merchants in London, who had a quantity of wheat in bond, and who found that its being kept in warehouse was an accumulating loss to them, asked permission of the Government to take it out of bond and to destroy it. The permission was given; the wheat was sunk in the Thames under the inspection of the Custom-house officers, and that occurred at one end of the kingdom of which a portion of the subjects were starving at another. What a commentary is this upon your Corn-law! If it had not been for the care of our landlords to make these people independent of foreigners, this corn would have saved many a poor family from starvation. The more I consider this question, and the position of the right hon. Gentleman towards it, the more I wonder at the proposition he has thought it worth while to submit to the House. The right hon. Gentleman had before an unbroken army of champions of the existing law—some may have wished for some modification of that law, but undoubtedly the majority would have preferred the old law to the new one. The right hon. Vice-President was at pains to read to us the options of adverse parties, and to show that the right hon. Gentleman had dissatisfied all. There were some of his party anxious to keep the law as it was; from them he can receive no gratitude. There were others ready to agree to some change, to effect an adjustment of the question, and put an end to agitation: has he pleased them?—just the reverse; he has increased excitement and perpetuated agitation. Was it to check frauds that he interfered?—he denied, or at least made light of their existence. Has he relieved the community by diminishing protection?—he has only touched the scale where it never operated. Has he unfettered commerce and admitted corn as a commodity of trade?-Mr. Meek shows you that your duty is prohibitory. Has he aimed at alleviating distress?—he tells us he does not attempt it. Then, once more, was it worth while to meddle, when meddling unsettled everything, and settled nothing at all? The object I cannot tell, but the result is easily seen. The repeal of these laws has been advanced by their friend far more in one week than it could have been advanced by their opponents in years. You have made the first breach in the works; the first outwork has been carried, and after so obstinate a defence as to betray the weakness of the citadel within, you have sanctioned by your authority the verdict which the public had already passed upon that law. You have exercised the power which you possessed of condemning the old law; you have not the power to perpetuate one like it in its place. But your efforts are not without advantage. Look to the history of this country, and you will see that all the greatest changes in our institutions have been precipitated by an injudicious clinging unto abuses that the public had condemned. The right hon. Gentleman's own career might remind him of this wholesome truth. Fighting the battles of monopoly to the last; he has been inadvertently one of the best Reformers of the age, and, as it has been with him before, so will it be now. These laws are doomed—and doomed, in spite of the majority in which the right hon. Gentle- man finds strength. That majority is powerful—but not so powerful as truth. Can a majority turn back the truth? Can it sanctify monopoly? Can it force prosperity from restriction? You may plume yourself on your strength—you may glory in your anticipated majority, but the right hon. Baronet has found before this, that a minority battling for the right is more formidable than a majority committed to error; and the longer he perpetuates that contest, in which he must be defeated at last, the more calamitous will that defeat be found in the loss of something to his followers more valuable than the law on which "their station in society" depends.

Mr. Cowper

thought, that the immediate repeal of the Corn-laws would produce misery amongst the agricultural classes, and consequently could not support it. But in voting against the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, he was far from approving of the proposition of the Government. He, at the same time, confessed that that proposition was an improvement of the present law; but the fundamental evil of the sliding scale still remained, and whilst that remained some change must be necessary. By that principle the currency was disturbed. A supply from the United States altogether prevented—a supply from Europe and Asia diminished and impeded—and consequent distress caused to the people of England.

Sir R. Bateson

felt himself called upon, as an Irish landlord, to notice some of the observations which had fallen from the hon. Member for Waterford. The hon. Member had accused the Irish landlords of causing the distress of the people of that country by exacting high rents. No man could reprobate such a course of proceeding more than he (Sir R. Bateson) did. His principle had always been to live and let live. He would, however, remind the hon. Member for Waterford, that it did not altogether depend upon the will of the landlords whether rents should be reduced in Ireland. In that country estates were held on long leases for three lives or sixty years. They were frequently also under the control of Chancery, or trustees who had no power to reduce rents. He was greatly astonished to hear the hon. Member for Waterford, or any Irish Member, avow that he would vote for the repeal of the Corn-laws. One of the great sources of discontent among the people of Ireland was the want of employment. There were no manufactures in that country to afford occupation to the population, and if cultivation were abandoned many counties would present the appearance of deserts The price of wheat did not affect the great mass of the Irish population, for the chief article of their food was the potatoe and oatmeal. Cheap bread would be of no use to them, because they could not afford to buy it. Oats was the important crop for Ireland, and he regretted that the right hon. Baronet's plan did not afford greater protection to that article. The manufacturers had no right to taunt hon. Members on his side of the House with being actuated by selfish motives. Those who lived in glass houses ought not to be the first to throw stones. The House and the country remembered the opposition which the manufacturers offered to the bill for limiting the hours of infants in factories to eight hours a day. Would any one work his horse more than ten hours a day? And yet, to his grief and horror, be had heard Gentlemen in that House advocate the system under which children were worked more than horses. When the manufacturers talked of the men who had made their own fortunes starving at their doors, why did they not work the children only half the usual time, and give the others some employment?

Mr. E. Protheroe

said, he had the good fortune to be the representative of a manufacturing borough which had not been visited by distress, and he attributed that circumstance to the great variety of the branches of trade in which his constituents were occupied. Notwithstanding this, however, he, representing the opinion of his constituents, was prepared to vote for the total repeal of the Corn-laws. He was not alarmed at the word "now," and was ready to give his adhesion to the resolution which the hon. Member for Wolverhampton had proposed. If it could be proved that the agriculturists would sustain any injury from the measure, he had no doubt that the nation which had given twenty millions to the West-India slave-owners would fully compensate them. It appeared to him that it was a proper description of the Corn-laws to say that they enacted starvation. It was easy to prove, that the rate of wages had increased in proportion as food had been more abundant. About the close of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, wages rose 10 per cent., and the average price of corn declined 10 per cent. The importance of the home market had been much dwelt on, but those who insisted so strongly on the value of that market, seemed to forget that the manufacturers formed an important class among those on whom the home market depended. It was kind on the part of the agriculturists to show so much solicitude for the manufacturers, but the manufacturers, were quite able to take care of themselves, and had sufficient ingenuity to find the best market, if they were only left to themselves. He did not believe that to provide the people with corn would at all tend to menace the independence of the country; on the contrary, it would be all the better able to contend with its enemies in case of a war.

Sir Howard Douglas

said, at the period of his election, being aware that measures of vast national moment would be brought under the early notice of Parliament, he had determined that on none of those questions should aught of doubt or suspicion rest on the accordance of his views with those of his constituents. He, therefore, had taken care to explain fully his principles and opinions on all matters, relating whether to the agricultural, the commercial, or the manufacturing interests; he had declared explicitly that he was, and should continue, a firm supporter of the "protective" system; but had ever declared his willingness to revise and modify the degrees of protection to each interest severally, for the general advantage of all. He had gone into the commercial history of every country in the world for the purpose of showing that in no country were the free-trade principles thoroughly carried out; thence deducing the certainty of great and dangerous evils arising from the abolition, as to agriculture, as well as other interests, of protection. With these declarations he had offered himself a candidate for Liverpool, and had experienced the honour—he might call it the singular good fortune of being elected without opposition. He had a right, therefore, to conclude that the opinions on which he was prepared in that House to act were agreeable to his constituents. He begged it to be distinctly understood, that he considered himself there, not as the representative of any particular "class," or "interest," but as one bound to consider the general interests of the community. The hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Wolverhampton, had called the attention of the House to the geographical position of these islands as placed between two great continents—the old world and the new; and then the hon. Member represented us as refusing to both, a supply of our manufactures, by shutting out their productions. "Continents" was a term of wide signification, and, perhaps, it would be hardly necessary that he should trouble the House by examining very minutely into the systems on which the several nations of the continent of Europe conducted their commercial relations. He should not then waste the time of the House by recapitulating the heads of the Russian, Prussian, and Danish tariffs; but he should observe that the consumption of the British manufactures by the populations of those countries varied between 3½d. and 5½d. for each individual per annum. It was not necessary, for his present purpose, to occupy the time of the House by any detailed investigation of our commercial intercourse with those countries; he should rather come at once to the position in which we stood with respect to France. It had been said in the course of the present discussions, as well as on former occasions, that we shut our doors against French produce — shut our doors! Had we not twice altered the duties which we charged upon French wines? Had we not opened the ports of our East Indian possessions, and had we not facilitated to the French people the exportation of coals, iron, machinery, and tools? But to us they made no return—no diminution of duty. The fact was, that articles of British manufacture were positively or virtually prohibited, with the exception only of those required for the improvement of arts and manufactures. Eleven pence per annum for each individual composing the French nation, was about the average value of the manufactured goods imported by France from this country. Pass we then to the United States of America; and here he paused for a moment, to refer to the sentiments of the noble Lord the Member for London, previous to doing which, however, he wished to express his regret that that noble Lord was not in his place, entertaining, as he did, the greatest respect for that noble Lord. He respected his abilities and his character, and remembering the relation in which they recently stood towards each other, he could not refrain from expressing his strong sense of the kind and generous manner in which he had been supported by the noble Lord. Though he was the nominee of a different Ministry, yet the noble Lord had, with the weight which belonged to his office, sustained him in his administration of the government of the Ionian Islands—an administration which he rejoiced to think had proved satisfactory to the Government at home, beneficial to the Ionian people, and not discreditable to himself. The noble Lord had said that the manufactures of this country, were shut out from the United States of America, because we refused to take the staple productions of those States. He desired to learn upon what foundation such a statement rested. The facts known to the public, and of which he in common with the rest of the world possessed evidence, could leave not a shadow of doubt upon the mind of any man that this was a statement resting upon no solid basis. What were the facts? In the year 1840, there were imported into the emporium which he had the honour to represent, 1,160,000 bales of cotton; nearly the whole of the cotton used for manufactures in this country came from the United States of America. Under such a state of things it was absurd beyond measure to say that we shut out the produce of America. It could hardly fail to be in the recollection of every Gentleman who heard him, that we had lowered the duty on American cotton to please the merchants and manufacturers of Manchester; that was received as a boon, and in the next breath the Government were told that they were shutting out the produce of the United States. In the course of these discussions, and on many similar occasions, free-trade had been in the mouth of almost every speaker; but he confessed himself one of those who thought that what people called free-trade was a sheer absurdity. It was the opinion of all men who exercised common sense upon political subjects, that a new country exporting raw material to a highly civilized and manufacturing nation, ought in return to take back some portion of its own productions, when converted into manufactured goods. Now, be begged of the House to look at the position in which we stood towards the United States of America. We took their raw material, but they refused to take our manufactured goods. Considerable importance had been attached to a judicious observation made by an American President, when he said, that no country ought to permit itself to depend upon foreign supply for the necessary articles of life, and least of all, for the food of the people. Such was the language now held—such were the principles upon which the government of America was now carried on, but they were not contrary to the principles adopted in the earlier days of Republicanism. The system was unchanged; it was the protective system, and whatever alteration of circumstances might arise, it was the fixed resolution of every successive government in America neither to abolish nor relax their protective system. To support this opinion, he had made brief extracts from the annual message of every President since the days of Washington downwards, and, with the permission of the House he would read them. The first, of course, was from a message of Washington's: it was his eighth annual message, and bore date the 7th of December, 1796. It was in these words:— Congress have repeatedly directed their attention to the encouragement of manufactures. The object is of too much consequence, not to insure a continuance of their efforts, in every way which shall appear eligible. The next extract which he should read to the House was from the eighth annual address of Mr. Jefferson, dated November the 8th, 1808, and was in the following terms:— The extent of this conversion is daily increasing,—(viz., the application of industry and capital to internal manufactures), and little doubt remains that the establishments formed, and forming will, under the auspices of cheaper material and subsistence, the freedom of labour from taxation with us, and of protecting duties and prohibitions, become permanent. Such was the language of President Jefferson. Now, let the House listen to the words of Mr. Madison, in his seventh annual message, dated December 6th, 1815. These were his words:— However wise the theory may be, which leaves to the sagacity and interest of individuals, the application of their industry and resources, there are in this, as in other cases, exceptions to the general rule. Besides the condition which the theory itself implies, of a reciprocal adoption by other nations, experience teaches that so many circumstances must occur in introducing manufacturing establishments, that a country may remain long without them, although sufficiently advanced, and in some respects very peculiarly fitted, for carrying them on with success. Under these circumstances, giving a powerful impulse to manufacturing industry, it has made among us a progress, and exhibited an efficiency which justify the belief that, with a protection not more than is due to the enterprizing citizens, whose interests are now at stake, it will become at an early day, not only safe against occasional competitors from abroad, but a source of domestic wealth, and even of external commerce, He now came to President Monroe, who on the 5th of March, 1817, addressed Congress as follows:— Our manufactures find a generous encouragement by the policy which patronizes domestic industry; and the surplus of our produce a steady and profitable market by local wants in less favoured parts at home. In a previous message, (his first annual message) on the 2nd December, 1817, he says,— Our manufactories will require the continued attention of Congress. The capital employed in them is considerable, and the knowledge required in the machinery and fabric of all the most useful manufactures is of great value. Their preservation, which depends on due encouragement, is connected with high interests of the nation. The same President, on the 3rd of December, 1821, proceeds, in a similar spirit, to say, that— Possessing, as we do, the raw materials in such vast amount, with a capacity to augment them to an indefinite extent, raising within the country, aliment of every kind to an amount far exceeding the demand for home consumption, even in the most unfavourable years, and to be obtained always at a very moderate price; skilled also, as our people are, in the mechanic arts, and in every improvement calculated to lessen the demand for, and the price of labour, it is manifest, that their success in every branch of domestic industry may and will be carried, under the encouragement given by the present duties, to an extent, to meet any demand which, under a fair competition, may be made on it. Again, we find him saying:— It cannot be doubted, that the more complete our internal resources, and the less dependent we are on foreign powers for every national, as well as domestic purpose, the greater and more stable will be the public felicity. By the increase of domestic manufactures, will the demand for the rude materials at home be increased, and thus will the dependence of the several parts of our union on each other, and the strength of the union itself, be proportionably augmented. He would next, with the permission of the House, read an extract from the first annual message of President Jackson, which was addressed to Congress on the 8th of December, 1829:— The general rule to be applied in gradua- ting duties upon articles of foreign growth or manufacture, is that which will place our own in fair competition with those of other countries; and the inducements to advance even a step beyond this point, are controlling in regard to those articles which are of primary necessity in time of war. From the year 1816 to the year 1832, the protective system of the United States was carried to its utmost limit; in fact, protection was overdone, and without abandoning the principle upon which they had always acted, the American Government relaxed the degree of its severity per annum. They reduced by one-tenth per annum a duty which had been (as we understood) 50 per cent. By this act, the compromise act of 1833, the then excessive duties, were reduced gradually until, in June 1842, they should come to 20 per cent. and then be permanent. On the 4th December, 1832, we find President Jackson using this language in his address to Congress:— That manufactures adequate to the supply of our domestic consumption would, in the abstract, be beneficial to our country, there is no reason to doubt; and to effect their establishment, there is, perhaps, no American citizen who would not, for a While, be willing to pay a higher price for them. He hoped the extracts which he had read to the House, were quite sufficient to show that the Americans proceeded upon the protective system, and carried it to as high a point as existing circumstances permitted. Whatever had been done or might be done by us, the United States would not abandon their protective system. Revenue necessities would oblige them to re-augment those duties. For himself, he must be allowed to say that he admired their lofty policy which would not sacrifice independence and power to any considerations of speculative wealth, and he admired the disposition of the French people to adopt that principle likewise. They, too, had their doctrinaires who endeavoured to teach them that it was wise to buy only where they could buy the cheapest; but neither the French nor the United States would listen to such theories. It might be a doctrine of political economy to buy at the cheapest market; but political economy was not always political wisdom; it sometimes became political prodigality. At the late election he told his friends not to inscribe on his banners "free-trade;" that which he wanted was "fair trade." He did not understand that one-sided policy which, under the name of free-trade, pro- duced unfair trade. But fair trade, he confidently hoped, would be promoted by the present Government. He did not undervalue or underrate our trade with the United States. He trusted that the mission of a noble and eminent person would succeed in settling all differences, and in maintaining friendly relations with the United States; that mission would at least show, that her Majesty's Government were determined to attempt this by every means consistent with the dignity of the Crown, and the safety, happiness, and welfare of the people. He now wished to say a few words about the pleasing dream in which the noble Lord opposite (Lord Palmerston) had indulged; of removing all barriers between nations and nations, and resolving all mankind into one family. If the noble Lord, said the hon. Member, had been an unsophisticated country Gentleman, educated under the care of some old maiden aunt, by some tutor of Dominie Sampson-like simplicity, brought up in some sequestered part of the Hebrides, or in some happy valley' of the Principality—well skilled in all the lore of the philosophy which assumes the perfect-ability of human nature; unversed in the wiles of politics, and ignorant of the tales and lessons which diplomacy unfolds, I might have believed him to be the dupe of his own visions; but I marvel that his experience, as a Minister, and, particularly, as a Foreign Secretary, had not awakened him from his dreams. Let the noble Lord be warned by the present political aspect of the world; for national rivalry was never more stirring; national ambition never more wide awake; propensities to war never stronger than at present. It did surprise him to find the noble Lord say, he desired to see the word "protection" erased from our commercial code. He challenged the noble Lord to go along with him, in a comparison, point by point, country by country, and class by class, in connection with this question, and he would engage to prove, that, if all protection were abolished, that the noble Lord could no more raise a revenue to pay the national debt, and the current expenses of the country, than he could fly to the moon. He would ask the noble Lord what would be the situation of the home market, if protection were withdrawn from agriculture? What would become of the colonial trade, if protection were withdrawn from it? He did not hesistate to say, that if, in the present artificial state of the country, loaded as it was with debt, the noble Lord were to erase the word "protection," by any process whatever, he would find it necessary to perform a corresponding operation with the spunge—that of wiping out the national debt, and thereupon blotting out majestic, imperial Britain, from that high station in the rank of nations, to which she had attained by the protective system. An hon. Member had made a declaration in that House, by which it would be seen that he was perfectly aware that the majestic greatness of this nation had not been attained by carrying into effect those doctrines of political economy which were professed and lauded by the hon. Member for Bolton, whom he greatly respected, and whose talents, notwithstanding that he dissented from his political opinions, he admired. In spite, however, of those principles, he would tell the hon. Gentleman, that the little islands which composed the United Kingdom, bounded in space, and limited as they were by stormy seas, but inhabited by a hardy, enterprising, and industrious race, had been expanded into such an empire as the world never saw, by commercial enterprises duly protected. May we ever maintain that great empire in that vast ascendancy to which she has thus attained (exclaimed the hon. Gentleman), in spite of the principles and predictions of those who say that we have pursued a wrong course. I have been reluctantly called upon to take a part in this discussion, and I shall finish by thanking the House for its attention, and by assuring hon. Gentlemen that I shall not often trespass upon their patience. I shall never speak, but when I have something to say. [Ironical Cheers.] I repeat, I shall never speak but when I have something to say, and I shall finish when I have done.

Mr. Cobden

said, the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, (Sir Howard Douglas) would have given still greater satisfaction to the House if he had assured us that he would, when he spoke, always keep strictly to the subject matter under discussion. I must be allowed to say, that my hon. Friend, the Member for Wolverhampton, has very just ground for complaining, that in all this discussion, to which I have been listening for seven nights, While there has been much talk of our trade with China, and of the war with Syria, While there has been much contest between parties and partisans, there has been little said upon the question really in hand. I may safely say, that on the other side, not one speaker has grappled with the question so ably laid down by my hon. Friend. That question simply is, how far it is just, honest, and expedient, that any tax whatever should be laid upon the food of the people. This is the question we have to decide; and when I heard the right hon. Baronet, Sir Robert Peel, so often express the deep sympathy he felt for the working classes, I did expect that he would not have finished his last speech without giving some little consideration to the case of the working man in connection with this question. I will venture to call the attention of the committee to the question of the bread tax as connected with the labouring classes, as it bears upon the wages of labour; and I call upon you all to meet me upon neutral ground While we discuss the interests of those working people who have no representatives in this House. As I hear from the other side so many and so strong expressions of sympathy, I call upon them to give practical proof of the existence of that sympathy with the hard labouring population, and not to delay until they are reduced to that state when they can only receive the benefits of your legislation in the abject condition of pauperism. Sir, in reading, which I have done with great attention, the reports of the debates which took place in 1815, prior to the passing of the Corn Bill of that year, I have been struck with the observation, that all who took part in that discussion agreed on one point of the subject, namely, that the price of food regulated the rate of wages. That principle was not only laid down by one side of the House, but it met with the concurrence of both. Men the most opposite in political opinions I find agreeing upon that principle. Mr. Horner, Mr. Baring, Mr. Frankland Lewis, Mr. Philips, Mr. Western, these who opposed the Corn-law, and those who strenuously advocated its principle, all alike agreed upon the single point, that the price of food regulated the price of labour. So completely did they agree, that one speaker laid down the principle mathematically, and framed a computation in figures to show the relative proportions in which the principle would work, and to what extent the payment of labour would rise or fall in ratio to the rise or fall of the price of food. The same delusion existed amongst the capitalists out of doors. There was a petition presented in 1815, signed by the most intelligent merchants and manufacturers in Manchester, praying that the Corn-law should not pass, because it would so raise the rate of wages that the British manufacturers would no longer be able to compete with those abroad, who had to pay wages so much less in amount. That delusion certainly did then exist; but I have been struck with the deepest sorrow to observe that the minds of many men who bear their part in the discussion now should still be labouring under the same erroneous impression. The great body of those who legislated in 1815 passed their bill in the honest delusion that the operation of the law would be such as I have described. I believe that if the fact, if the true state of the case had been then known, if they had known what now we know, that law would never have been passed in 1815. Every party in the House, and many out of doors, were deceived; but there was one party which was not deluded—the party most interested in the question—namely, the working classes. They were not deluded, for they saw with instinctive sagacity, without the aids of learning and education, without the pretence of political wisdom, what would be the operation of the law upon the rate of wages. Therefore it was, that when that law was passed your House was surrounded by the excited populace of London, and you were compelled to keep back an enraged people from your doors by the point of the bayonet. When that law passed murder ensued. Yes, I call it murder, for the coroner's jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against the soldiers. The disturbances were not confined to London; but throughout the North of England, from 1815 to 1819, when the great meeting took place on Peter's-field, there never was a meeting in the North of England in which banners were not displayed with inscriptions of "No Corn-laws." There was no mistake in the minds of the multitudes upon this question. It was always understood by them. Do not let hon. Gentlemen suppose that there is any mistake in the minds of the working classes upon this topic. There never was, and there is not now. They may not indeed cry out exclusively for the repeal of the Corn-laws; they have looked beyond the question, and they have seen, at the same time, other evils greater than this which they are now calling upon you to remedy; and when they raise the cry of universal suffrage and the people's char- ter, do not let hon. Gentlemen opposite suppose, because the Anti-Corn-law League may, perchance, have run into collision with the masses upon some points, that the people are consequently favourable to the existence of the Corn-laws. What has surprised me more than anything, is, to find that in this House, where lecturers are, of all men, so much decried, there exists on the other side such an ignorance upon this subject. [" Oh, oh."] Yes, I say an ignorance upon this subject that I never saw equalled in any body of working men in the North of England. [" Oh, oh."] Do you think that the fallacy of 1815, which, to my astonishment, I heard put forth in the House last week, namely, that wages rise and fall with the price of food, can prevail with the minds of the working men after the experience of the last three years? Have you not had bread higher during that time than during any three years during the last twenty years? Yes. Yet during those three years the wages of labour in every branch of industry have suffered a greater decline than in any three years before. Still hon. Gentlemen opposite, with their reports of committees before them, which, if they would take the trouble to consult them, would prove the decline of wages within those three years, are persisting in maintaining the doctrine that the price of food regulates the rate of wages under the belief that this new law will keep up the price of labour. Then I am told that the price of labour in this country is so much higher than the wages abroad, that the Corn-laws must be kept up in order to keep up labour to the proper level. Sir, I deny that labour in this country is higher paid than on the continent. On the contrary, I am prepared to prove, from documents on the Table of your own House, that the price of labour is cheaper here than in any part of the globe. I hear an expression of dissent on the other side, but I say to hon. Gentlemen, when they measure the labour of an Englishman against the labour of the foreigner, they measure a day's labour indeed with a day's labour, but they forget the relative quality of the labour. I maintain that if quality is to be the test, the labour of England is the cheapest in the world. The committee which sat on machinery in the last Session but one, demonstrated by their report that labour on the continent is dearer than in England. You have proof of it. Were it not so, do you think you would find in Germany, France, or Belgium, so many English workmen? Go into any city from Calais to Vienna, containing a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants, and will you not find numbers of English artisans working side by side with the natives of the place, and earning twice as much as they do, or even more? Yet the masters who employ them declare, notwithstanding the pay is higher, that the English labour is cheaper to them than the native labour. Yet we are told that the object of the manufacturers in repealing the Corn-laws is to lower wages to the level of the continent. It was justly said by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock that the manufacturers did not require to lower the rate of wages in order to gain high profits. If you want proof of the prosperity of manufactures, you will find it when wages are high, but when wages drop, the profits of the manufacturer drop also. I think manufacturers take too intelligent and enlightened a view of their own position and interest to suppose that the impoverishment of the multitudes they employ can promote or increase manufacturing prosperity. Sir, by deteriorating such a vast population as that employed in manufactures, you run the risk of spoiling not the animal man only, but the intellectual creature also. It is not from the wretched that great things can emanate; it is not a potatoe-fed population that ever led the world in arts or arms, in manufactures or commerce. If you want your people to be virtuous or happy, you must take care that they are well fed. Upon this assumption, then, that the manufacturers want to reduce wages, and upon the assumption that the Corn-laws keep up the price of labour, we are going to pass a law to tax the food of the hard-working, deserving population. What must be the result? You have heard, from the right hon. Baronet, Sir R. Peel, an answer to the fallacy about our competing with foreign manufacturers. He has told you we export forty or fifty millions. We do then already compete with foreigners. You tax the bones cud muscles of your people. You put a double weight upon their shoulders, and then you turn round upon them and tell them to run a race with Germany and France. I would ask, with Mr. Deacon Hume, who has been before quoted in this House, "To whom do the energies of the British people belong? Are they theirs, or are they yours? Think you that these energies were given to the English people that they might struggle for a bare existence, whilst you take from them half of what they earn? Is this doing justice to the "high-mettled racer?" Why you don't treat your horses so. You give your cattle food and rest in proportion to their toil, but men in England are now actually treated worse. Yes, tens of thousands of them were last winter treated worse than your dogs and your horses. What is the pretence upon which you tax the people's food? We have been told by the right hon. Baronet that the object of the law is to fix a certain price for corn. Since I have been listening to this debate, in which I heard it proposed by a Prime Minister to fix the price of corn, I doubted whether or not we had gone back to the days of our Edwards again, and whether we had or not travelled back some three or four centuries, when they used to fix the price of a tablecloth or a pair of shoes. What an avocation for a legislator! To fix the price of corn! Why that should be done in the open market by the dealers. You don't fix the price of cotton, or silk, or iron, or tin. But how are you to fix this price of corn? Going back some ten years, the right hon. Baronet finds the average price of corn is 56s. 10d.; and, therefore says he, I propose to keep up the price of wheat from 54s. to 58s. The right hon. Baronet's plan means that or nothing. I have heard something about the prices which it has been proposed by legislation to affix to wheat. I remember that Lord Willoughby D'Eresby said the minimum price ought to be 58s., and I see by the newspapers that the Duke of Buckingham has just announced his opinion that 60s. ought to be the lowest. There is one hon. Gentleman in this House who, I hope, will speak on this subject (for I have seen him endeavouring to catch the Speaker's eye), and who has gone a little more into particulars respecting the market price he intends to procure for commodities by act of Parliament. I see in a useful little book called the "Parliamentary Pocket Companion," in which there are some nice little descriptions given of ourselves, under the head "Cayley," that that gentleman is described as being the advocate of "such a course of legislation with regard to agriculture as will keep wheat at 64s. a quarter, new milk cheese at from 52s. to 60s. per cwt., wool and butter at 1s. per lb. each, and other produce in proportion. Now it might be very amusing that there were to be found some Gentlemen still at large, who advocated the principle of the interposition of Parliament to fix the price at which articles should be sold; but when we find a Prime Minister coming down to Parliament to avow such principles, it really becomes anything but amusing. I ask the right hon. Baronet, and I pause for a reply, is he prepared to carry out that principle in the articles of cotton and wool?

Sir R. Peel

said, it was impossible to fix the price of food by legislation.

Mr. Cobden:

Then on what are we legislating? I thank the right hon. Baronet For his avowal. Perhaps, then, he will oblige us by not trying to do so. Supposing, however, that he will make the attempt, I ask the right hon. Gentleman, and again I pause for a reply,—will he try to legislate so as to keep up the price of cotton, silk, and wool? No reply. Then we have come to this conclusion—that we are not legislating for the universal people. We are openly avowing that we are met here to legislate for a class against the people. When I consider this I don't marvel, although I have seen it with the deepest regret, and I may add, indignation, that we have been surrounded during the course of the debates of the last week by an immense body of police.["Oh, oh, and laughter from the Ministerial side."] I will not let this subject drop, even though I may be greeted with laughter. It is no laughing matter to those who have got no wheat to sell, nor money to purchase it from those who have. If the agriculturists are to have the benefit of a law founded on the calculation of ten year's average, to keep up their price at that average, I ask, are the manufacturers to have it too? Take the manufacturers of the midland counties, the manufacturers of the very articles the agriculturists consume. Their goods have depreciated 30 per cent, in the last ten years. Are they to continue to exchange their commodities for the corn of the landlord, who has the benefit of a law keeping up his price on a calculation of a ten year's average, without the iron manufacturer having the benefit of the same consideration? I have great doubts whether this is legislation at all. I deny that it is honest legislation. It is no answer for the right hon. Baronet to say that he cannot, even if he wished, pass a law to keep up the price of manufactures. It is no satisfaction for being injured by a Prime Minister, to be told that he has not the power, even if he has the will, to make atonement. I only ask him to abstain from doing that for which he cannot make atonement, and surely there is nothing unreasonable in that request. I have but touched upon the skirts of this subject. I ask the right hon. Baronet whether While he fixes his scale of prices to secure to the landowners 56s. a quarter, he has got also a sliding scale for wages? I know but of one class of labourers in this country whose interests are well secured by the sliding scale of corn duties, and that class is the clergy of the Established Church, whose tithes are calculated upon the averages. But I want to know what you will do with the hard-working classes of the community, the labouring artizans, if the price of bread is to be kept up by Act of Parliament. Will you give them a law to keep up the rate of their wages? You will say that you cannot keep up the rate of wages; but that is no reason you should pass a law to mulct the working man one third of the loaf he earns. I know well the way in which the petitions of the hand-loom weavers were received in this House. "Poor, ignorant men," you said, "they know not what they ask, they are not political economists, they do not know that the price of labour, like other commodities, finds its own level by the ordinary law of supply and demand. We can do nothing for them." But I ask, then, why do you pass a law to keep up the price of corn, and at the same time say you cannot pass a law to keep up the price of the poor man's labour? This is the point of view in which the country are approaching this question; and the flimsy veil of sophistry you are throwing over the question, and the combination of figures put together and dovetailed to answer a particular purpose, will not satisfy the people of England, till you show them that you are legislating impartially for the advantage of all classes, and not for the exclusive benefit of one. What are the pretexts upon which this corn tax is justified? We have heard in the first place, that there are exclusive burthens borne by the agriculturists. I heard one explanation given of those burthens by a facetious gentleman who sits near me. He said that the only exclusive burthens upon the land which he knew of were mortgages. I think the country has a right to know, and indeed I think it would have been no more than what was due to this House if those burthens of which we have heard so much had been named and enumerated. The answer I heard from the right hon. Gentleman, (Sir R. Peel) opposite was, that there was a great variety of opinions on the subject of these burthens. That I could myself have told the right hon. Baronet. As a law is to be framed, founded expressly upon these alleged burthens, it would have been but fair at least to tell us what they are. I shall not enter upon the subject now; but this I will tell the right hon. Gentleman, that for every particular burthen he can show me as pressing upon the land. I will show him ten exemptions. Yes, ten for his one. There is one burthen that was referred to by the hon. Member for Renfrewshire, which is the land tax. I am surprised we have not yet got the returns moved for many months since relative to the land tax of other countries. What are our ambassadors and diplomatists about, that we cannot have the returns of the revenue and expenditure of foreign countries? Our own bureaux must be badly kept, or we ought to have this information already here in London. Being without official information, however, I will not run the risk of making a general statement, lest I should fall into error. I have, however, one document which is authentic, as it is on the authority of M. Humann, the finance minister of France; and he states that the land tax in that country is 40 per cent. on the whole revenue, and twenty five per cent. on the revenue of the proprietors of the soil, so that in France the landowner pays 5s. in the pound, While, in this country you have a land tax of 1,900,000l. not 5 per cent. of the income, and you call for a fresh tax upon the poor man's loaf to compensate you for the heavy burthen you bear. I will tell the Prime Minister that, in laying on this tax without first stating his views on this point, he is not treating the House and the country with proper respect. I have seen, with some satisfaction, that admissions have been made, (and, indeed, it has not been denied,) that the profits of the bread tax go to the landowners. Now in all the old committees on agricultura concerns, it was alleged that it was a farmer's question, an agricultural labourer's question; and never till lately did I hear it admitted that the bread tax did contribute to the benefit of the landowners, on account of those exclusive burthens that are set up as a pretence for its continuance. Ought we not to know what these burthens were when this Corn-law was passed? Having patiently waited for twenty-five years, I think we are entitled at last to a clear explanation of the pretext upon which you tax the food of the people for the acknowledged benefit of the landowners. The right hon. Baronet tells us we must not be dependent upon foreigners for our supply, or that that dependence must be supplementary, that certain years produce enough of corn for the demand, and that we must legislate for the introduction of corn only when it is wanted. Granted. On that point the right hon. Baronet and I are perfectly agreed. Let us only legislate, if you please, for the introduction of corn, when it is wanted. Exclude it as much as you please when it is not wanted. But all I supplicate for on the part of the starving people is, that they and not you, shall be the judges of when corn is wanted. By what right do they pretend to guage the appetites and admeasure the wants of millions of people? Why, there is no despotism that ever dreamed of doing any thing so monstrous as this; yet you sit here, and presume to judge when people want food, dole out your supply when you condescend to think they want it, and stop it When you choose to consider that they have had enough. Are you in a position to judge of the wants of artisans, of hand-loom weavers? you, who never knew the want of a meal in your lives, do you presume to know when the people want bread? Why, in the course of the present debate the right hon. Baronet opposite said, that from 1832 to 1836 sufficient corn was produced at home for the population; and yet, in his last speech, he told us that there were 800,000 hand-loom weavers who in 1836 were unable to supply themselves with the commonest wants and necessaries of existence, even though they worked sixteen and eighteen hours a day. Was it not also of that period that Mr. Inglis, the traveller in Ireland, wrote, when he wound up his account of that country by the emphatic and startling declaration, that one-third part of the population perished prematurely from diseases brought on by the want of the necessaries of life? yet, in that state of things, the right hon. Baronet gravely comes forward and tells us that the country produces a sufficiency of food. I have heard other admissions too; one in particular by the right hon. Paymaster of the Forces, who said the landlords were entitled to the Corn-law to enable them to maintain a high station in the land. [Sir E. Knatchbull: To enable them to maintain their present station in society.] A noble Lord also (Lord Stanley) admitted that the price of food did keep up the rent of land, but did not raise wages. What does that mean, but that the rent of land is kept up at the expense of the working-classes, who are unrepresented in this House? I say that the right hon. Paymaster of the Forces, and the noble Lord, do not deal fairly with the people, for they are giving themselves an out-door relief which they deny to the poor in the union workhouses. It is not merely an extension of the pension list to the landed proprietors, as was said by the Times some years ago, when that paper stigmatised the Corn-laws as an extension of the pension list to the whole of the landed aristocracy; it is the worst kind of pauperism; it is the aristocracy submitting to be fed at the expense of the poorest of the poor. If this is to be so, if we are to bow our necks to a landed oligarchy, let things be as they were in ancient Venice; let the nobles inscribe their names in a golden book, and draw their money direct from the Exchequer. It would be better for the people than to suffer the aristocracy to circumscribe our trade, destroy our manufactures, and draw the money from the pockets of the poor by indirect and insidious means. Such a course would be more easy for us, and more honest for you. But have the hon. Gentlemen who maintain a system like this, considered that the people of this country are beginning to understand it a little better than they did I And do they think that the people, with a better understanding of the subject, will allow one class not only to tax the rest of the community for their own exclusive advantage, but to be living in a state of splendour upon means obtained by indirect taxation from the pockets of the poor? The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) I apprehend knows more of the state of the country than most of his followers; and I would exhort him to bear in mind that there is a wide-spread feeling extending into every part of the country, that upon him, and him alone, will rest the responsibility of the manner in which he shall legislate upon this subject. He has now been in the possession of a great power for many months; he had due warning when be took office, of the course it would be necessary for him to pursue. He knows the existing state of commerce and manufactures. He has had ample opportunities of acquainting himself with the actual condition of the people. He is not legislating in the dark, and this I will venture to tell him, that bad as he finds trade now, he will live (if he follows out the course in which he purposes to embark, to find it much worse. I hope, sincerely hope, that he is prepared for the consequence. He has undertaken to propose a law, which, I am convinced he must be conscious is not calculated to give any extension to our trade or commerce. We have never heard of an honest English merchant coming forward to say that this law would give him a trade in corn. The corn traders alone have been appealed to. The right hon. Baronet tells us that we must force forward this dicussion, that we must proceed at once to the settlement of this question, because, forsooth, he has heard from many corn traders that it is very important that the matter should remain no longer in abeyance. If the trade in corn is still to be left in the hands of a peculiar class of dealers, in the hands of a class who are habitual gamblers, will that be an alteration of the law calculated to amend the situation of those who are engaged in the general trade and commerce of the country? Why should there be corn merchants any more than tea merchants or sugar merchants? Why should not the general merchant be enabled to bring back corn in exchange for his exports, as well as cotton, tea, or sugar? Until you pass a law enabling the merchant to make a direct exchange for corn, as well as for other commodities of foreign production, you will give no substantial relief to commerce. Nor is your law calculated to lower the price of food. You will have people amongst you maintaining the same wolfish competition to raise the price of bread, and you will have capitalists day by day struggling against bankruptcy. For this state of things the right hon. Baronet, Sir R. Peel, will be responsible. I own, indeed, that I heard in the right hon. Baronet's second speech something like an apologetic tone of reasoning; something deprecatory as to his present position, not being able to do all that he would do. That tone would be very well if the right hon. Baronet had been forced into his present position by the people, or summoned there by the Queen, then, with some shadow of fairness, he might resort to the plea that his position was a difficult one, and that he would do more if his party would permit him. But let me remind the right hon. Baronet that he sought the position he now fills, and, though I am no friend, no political partisan of the noble Lord the Member for London, (Lord J. Russell), though I have no desire to see him again in power, governed by his old opinions, this I must say, that the measure which the noble Lord proposed upon the Corn-law, though in itself not good, was still infinitely better than that of the right hon. Baronet. And I beg to call to the right hon. Baronet's mind, that if he is now placed in a situation of difficulty, that difficulty was sought by himself, and, consequently, cannot now be pleaded in extenuation of his present measure. He told us at Tarn-worth, that, for years and years, aye, even from the passing of the Reform Bill, he had been engaged in reconstructing "his party. I presume he knew of what materials that party was composed. I presume he was not ignorant of the fact that it consisted of monopolists of every kind; monopolists of religion, monopolists of the franchise, monopolists of sugar, monopolists of corn, monopolists of timber, monopolists of coffee. These were the parties that gathered around him, and out of which he was to construct his new Parliament. They were fully alive to the occasion. They set to work to revive the old system of corruption. They bribed and they bought. Yes, they bribed, they bought, and they intimidated, until they found themselves in office, and the right hon. Baronet at their head, as their leader and champion. Did he expect that this party had expended their funds and their labour in the registration courts-for there, as the right hon. Baronet himself has stated, I believe the battle of the constitution will henceforth be fought-did he think that they had expended this labour and this money in order that they might come into office and assist him to take away their monopolies? The right hon. Baronet must have known the party he had to deal with, for he had a very old connection with them; and, therefore, I presume he was not disappointed when he came into office, having thrust out men who, with all their faults, were still far better than those who succeeded them. Having thrown those men out of office, and being unable to carry the measures which they proposed, and were ready to carry into effect, I say that he has now no right to set up the difficulty of his position as a bar to the universal condemnation which his proposition must receive in the estimation of every just politician in the country. He is the cause, yes, I say he is the cause of our present position, and upon his shoulders will the people rest the whole of the responsibility. I will now say a word to the Gentlemen on this side of the House who have such great difficulties, such bogglings and starlings at the danger of giving their assent to the motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton. I will say a word or two to the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell), and to my noble and right hon. neighbours, as to the difficulties of conscience which they appear to entertain about a total and immediate repeal of the Corn-laws. I hear on this side of the House, in almost all directions, an acknowledgement of the principle for which 4 and others contend, that is, the principle of perfect freedom in the trade in corn. But there are some of my noble and right hon. neighbours who think that there should be a duty on corn for the purposes of revenue. How can there be a duty for revenue unless it be a duty for protection? I ask my noble and right hon. neighbours who entertain that view of the subject to reconsider it before they go to a division. With that word of advice to those who sit near me, I proceed to make a remark in reference to the little word "now," about which many Gentlemen on this side of the House seem also to feel a considerable difficulty. There are Gentlemen here who think that the Corn-laws ought to be repealed, but they cannot reconcile themselves to the immediate repeal of them. They do not like to repeal them "now." "We admit," say they, "the injustice which these laws inflict upon upwards of 25,000,000 of the people for the advan- tage of a select few; but inasmuch as some thousands of persons have a beneficial interest in this wrong inflicted upon the millions, we cannot suddenly deprive them of the advantage they possess." Now, with all due deference to Gentlemen who use that argument, I must be permitted to say that I think they are showing a very great sympathy for the few who are gaining, and vastly little sympathy indeed for the many who are suffering from the operation of these laws. I would put it to those Gentlemen, whether if it had been in their power, immediately after the passing of the Corn-law in 1815, to repeal that law, they would have given any compensation to the landed interest in the shape of an eight or ten years' diminishing duty upon the importation of foreign grain? No; they would have repealed theta at once. Then, I ask, do they think that twenty-seven years' possession of the wrong—twenty seven years of exclusive advantage—twenty-seven years of injustice to the rest of the community, entitles this interested and selfish party to increase its demand in the shape of compensation? I give the hon. Gentlemen who are near me credit for being quite sincere in their scruples. I have heard such scruples very often expressed before; but I once heard them met at a public meeting of electors, in what appeared to me to be a very satisfactory manner. There was great difficulty on the platform among the Whig gentlemen who were assembled there about the repeal of the Corn-laws, and they were arguing about the danger and hardship of an immediate repeal of them. They were at length interrupted by a sturdy labouring man in a fustian coat, who called out, "Whoi, mun! where's the trouble of taking them off? you put them on all of a ruck;" meaning, that they had been put on all of a sudden. And so they were. The law was passed without notice in 1815, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the people. Then, I say, let us abolish this law, and the sooner the better. I will not trespass further upon the patience of the House. I consider that this question is now drawn within such narrow limits as to depend upon these two points; "Are you, the landed interest, able to show that you are subjected to exclusive burdens? If so, then the way to relieve you is not to put taxes on the rest of the community, but to remove your burdens, Secondly, are you prepared to carry out even-handed justice to the people? If not, your law will not stand; nay, your House itself, if based upon injustice, will not stand."

Mr. Ferrand

spoke as follows:*—Sir, it would be folly, as well as ingratitude, on my part, if I were to attempt to take advantage of the kind indulgence I have already received at the hands of this House. I hope, however, that hon. Gentlemen will bear with me for a short time, when they recollect that during the last ten days I have been made the target at which all the Gentlemen opposite have aimed their pointless darts. I have even been constrained to exclaim when attacked by an hon. Member on this side of the House, "tu quoque Brute;" but folded in the mantle of truth, I have come out of the conflict unscathed. It is true that the hon. Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Sir W. Clay), came down the night after I had addressed the House, and said that if he possessed the ability of replying to me he would not do so, as it might injure his support of the party behind him; lie left me, he said, in the hands of the right hon. Baronet, (Sir Robert Peel), and he wished him joy of of me. The right hon. Baronet shall never have my support, unless I think it my duty to give it; and I shall seek no other reward than an approving conscience. But great, indeed, must have been the services of the hon. Baronet, when the late disinterested, patriotic, self-denying, no patronage Government, did not hesitate to confer on him the same badge of honour, which a gallant officer (Sir H. Hardinge) sitting on the Treasury bench, had only obtained after the loss of limb and blood, and after fighting his way in every battle field, from the fruitless victory of Corunna to the crowning and triumphant one of Waterloo. Next among my assailants came the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) with all the blushing modesty for which he is so much distinguished—with all that tone of positive authority, by which he has become so notorious; he declared that my speech was one of scandalous levity. Fortunately for me, the hon. and gallant Member for Wycombe (Mr. Bernal) came forward and personally contradicted him, and told the House that it was bombastic declamation. That being the case, I shall leave those *From a corrected report. two hon. Members to settle the matter in dispute; and only offer up a fervent prayer that it may be amicably arranged. I now come to the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Brotherton), and I do ask the kind indulgence of the House, whilst I vindicate myself from as despicable a quibble as ever man was guilty of. The hon. Member said that "if he were to judge of my speech and the correctness of it by what he knew to be untrue, he certainly should not value it very highly. He knew that some parts of it were utterly destitute of foundation. He heard me make the assertion that the hon. Member for Stockport, (Mr. Cobden) worked his mills night and day, and that he had made a large fortune by such abominable cruelty; he heard the hon. Member make that statement; and for the hon. Member's information, he begged to tell him that the hon. Member for Stockport never had a mill in his life." Now, I instantly gave the hon. Member my authority for the statement I had made. [" No, no."] I placed my authority in the hands of the House, and said, if the name were demanded, I would instantly give it, but I was met by loud cries of no "by the Gentlemen on this side of the House, which was most generously responsed to from yours. Scarcely had five minutes elapsed before the hon. Member for Salford left the House. I followed him, and said," Now, then, in private, I will give you the name of my authority, the date of his letter, and the place of his abode." I did so. I read to him in private what I had stated publicly in the House. He laughingly turned away, and said, "Ah, but we call them print-works in Lancashire and not mills." In justice to my authority I hope the House will allow rue to read only four lines from a letter which he has written to me since. He says, "I notice in the papers this evening that the rev. Mr. Brotherton contradicted your statement of Mr. Cobden's having worked his mills night and day; but I know he will not deny that he worked his print-works at Chorley night and day." I now come to the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. Leader). He declared that I had made an incendiary speech in this House. What! this from the hon. Member for Westminster, the champion of the liberties of the people! —the Gentleman who asserts that all our legislation here is class legislation, and that the working classes are not repre- sented! Is it in this way that I am to be met by such a man, when I come here and deliver a message from the working classes, and assert in their names in the presence of the assembled House of Commons, that the Corn-laws are not the cause of their distress, but that it is caused by the persecution and oppression of their masters? But what said the hon. Member for Westminster? Why, that if what I had asserted was true, it was my duty to call for a committee. Sir, this House has been in committee many days. I brought my charge before those Gentlemen who state themselves to be the representatives of the Anti-Corn-law League, and which of them has ventured to deny the accuracy of my statements? It is true that the hon. Member for Salford did, but I have shewn in what way; and he was the only one. And what, let me ask, are the people, the working-people of England, to say to this silence? Has it not caused a sensation throughout the length and breadth of the land—a sensation which has destroyed the Anti-Corn-law League, and compelled the leaguers to coalesce with the Chartists? Yes, you feel that the only means of retaining your existence—the only means of agitating the question of Corn-law repeal, is to coalesce with a party who hate you in their hearts, to coalesce with a party who—if you do urge them on to open rebellion, as you are striving to do, I warn you, and you know it is true—will first bury their bayonets in the bosoms of those whom they know to be their oppressors. Let me tell you that there is force and strength sufficient in this country to make you quail before it. I would call the hon. Member for Westminster's attention to a letter which I have received from a poor working man—one of the right sort—a man who gives me his name, and tells me to use it; and perhaps the House will oblige me by allowing me to read a few lines from it [" Read all."] I shall do so with pleasure. My correspondent says, Sir, I hope when you have read this you will pardon the liberty I have taken in addressing it to you. The speech which you delivered on Monday has caused more sensation than any that was made during the whole debate." [" Laughter"] Let not hon. Members opposite imagine that I claim for myself the credit of this sensation—that I arrogate to myself the possession of talents like those which rest upon the Treasury Bench: no—it is not my speech, but it is the truths I have uttered, the facts I have stated in that speech have caused this sensation. Because (says this working man) we all have witnessed similar transactions to those you then related, and many working men have experienced worse treatment than you have described. Nobody has ventured here to deny your assertions. The 'Leaguers' are raging at their exposure. But I should not have troubled you had not Mr. Bernal doubted your statements respecting the Anti-Corn-law petitions. Why, in Leeds, on several occasions, the Leaguers have been defeated by the Chartists at public meetings. The very number of signatures to the petitions prove them to be forgeries. In the township of Leeds, which contains about 7,000 inhabitants, it is said that no less than 43,000 signatures have been obtained, and in the whole borough, (including the women's petition, 23,000) no less than 66,000 signatures or nearly the half of the population of all ages. Besides this fact (I have a rather extended circle of acquaintance) I meet with numbers who are indifferent to, numbers who are positively opposed to the Whig scheme—numbers who are favourable to the repeal, who will not sign any petition whatever. The petitions have been hawked round the machine shops and factories. They have been placed in all parts of the town; men have been engaged to go from house to house with cheap bread petitions. One young man, by name Robert Whitehead, who came to work in the same room as myself the day after the petitions were closed, informed me that from Monday morning to Tuesday noon he procured 850 names, for which he was paid 8s. 6d., at the rate of 1s. per 100. In one yard, which the printed statistics of the borough states to contain thirty-four houses, this man says he obtained near 300 names. This man is a repealer, and a pretty fair informed man, and no doubt could tell how hundreds of sham signatures were obtained. I could fill sheets with incidents which have been related to me, but I forbear, merely assuring these are facts which I can prove. Sir, I have another letter from another correspondent. [" Name."] No, I will not give the name now, but I will give it to any hon. Member who will apply to me when the House has adjourned. He says— In all parts of the manufacturing districts in which I have been, I have heard the working classes declare that it is the truth you have told them in the House, and that if you wanted any to corroborate what you have said, you might have hundreds of thousands to affirm it. I will now put you in possession of a fact in the way and manner in which the Anti-Corn-law League manufacture their petitions. The other day I called upon one manufacturer to ask him to sign the petition in favour of the Ten Hours' Bill. He was in a room filled with power-looms, and he heard me say ' petition;' he instantly said ' Yes,' and went across the yard into his counting-house, and lifted up the lid of his desk, took out a petition, and said, Now you see, I think I have done it pretty well. I have varied my hand as much as possible, and I have put them all down, for I have taken them out of the wage-book.' Now, what think you of the manner in which your petitions are got up? When detailing the other night the misery, the oppression, the plunder, and robbery, committed on the poor by the Anti-Corn-law League manufacturers. I brought under the notice of the House the evils of the truck system. I have since received some further information upon that subject. But before I read to the House a statement which will make it stand aghast. [" Laughter."] Yes, it will have that effect upon any hon. Member who has a heart to feel for the sufferings of the poor. I wish once more to assert, in the presence of this House, that I never did charge these crimes upon the whole manufacturers of England, but I distinctly charge them upon those manufacturers who are members of the Anti-Corn-law League. I have been told by many manufacturers in my own neighbourhood—as honourable men as ever lived, and of whose society I am proud,— I have been told by them, time after time, that they cannot compete with the AntiCorn-law League manufacturers, because it is their practice to pay their mens' wages in money, and not in goods. I will now give a sketch of some cases of the most flagitious nature which are now occurring in an isolated part of Lancashire. "Messrs. Blank and Son "—[" Name."] I again tell hon. Members, that I am prepared to prove every thing which I assert. If any hon. Member will move for a committee, I pledge myself to summon witnesses to prove every word of what I am going to read: but I trust that, under present circumstances, the House will agree with me, that it will not be fair to give to the world the names of the parties— Messrs. — and Son, —, three mills. There is a shop in the immediate vicinity of each of these mills, and each shop is kept by a son-in-law for his own advantage. The work-people are also supplied with coals by the same firm.—Mr. —, two mills The work-people are obliged to procure both food and clothing at a shop in the neighbourhood of the mills, which is kept by his brother for his own benefit,—Mr. —, one mill, close to which is a shop, over the door of which his son's name is placed, who is a minor residing with his father.—Messrs. — and Co. one mill. They have a shop which is kept for their own benefit.—Mr. —, one mill, near which a shop is kept by his son-in-law, for his own benefit, who is also manager of the mill. There are five more mills in this very neighbourhood which have cottages attached to them, and belonging to the owners, and which are occupied by their work-people.

[Loud cries of" Name"]

I do not wonder at these interruptions, for "the flesh will quiver when the pincers tear." In order to make Members aware of the manner in which these manufacturers evaded the penalties of the law, I will state how they arrange matters. On Saturday, the people go into a room to receive their wages. They are paid at the time in money, but instead of retiring by the door through which they enter, they have to pass into another room, in which sits a person who keeps the books of the truck-shop, and to whom the workmen have to pay every farthing that they have expended during the previous week in goods and clothing; and if it is proved that any one of the men has purchased one single farthing's worth of goods from any other shop than that which belongs to his master, he is without one word of explanation discharged. Now this is taxing the food of the poor—this is taxing their provisions, and their clothing—this is your Free-Trade system. It is a notorious fact, that the master manufacturers clear 25 per cent. by the goods they sell to their workmen, and 10 per cent. above the usual rent, by the cottages in which these workmen are compelled to reside. A key is placed in the hands of each man who applies for and obtains work at any of these mills, and it is well understood that that is the key of a cottage built by his master, who will not let it. to him under 10 per cent. above the usual rent, nor give him employment unless he takes it. This then is the glorious system of free trade, under which the Anti- Corn - law League manufacturers stand up in the House of Commons, and exclaim, "before us the landed interest shall fall!" I now come to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay). That right hon. Gentleman said that the Anti-Corn-law League had never used such violent language out of doors as I had used within the walls of Parliament. I will read a few passages which I have extracted from some of the speeches of the Anti-Corn-law League orators, and then leave the House to judge which has been most violent, they or I. The right hon. Member will perhaps permit me to call his attention to the language uttered by an individual at a meeting of the Anti-Corn-law Delegates, in allusion to the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government. I am convinced that, however hon. Members opposite may differ from the right hon. Baronet in political opinions, they will, with a generous and a manly spirit, bear record that he does not deserve the slander I am about to read to the House. Mr. G. Thompson says, alluding to the Corn Law:— Cursed law, doubling the primeval curse, turning the warm sweat of industry into the chill damp of starvation. He denounced that law. It was an impious law. But this wicked man (Sir It. Peel), the law-maker, the landed aristocrat, had virtually monopolized the universal bounty of God, and we starve in consequence of it. Colonel Thompson says, He should himself conscientiously and with integrity advocate the taking a large retribution on the landlords; how many would follow him depended on them, not on himself. My opinion is, that if the people wait till the hon. and gallant Colonel attempts to "take" this retribution, they will have to wait a considerable time. I will now read to the House a speech delivered at a meeting of the Anti-Corn-law League by the hon. Member who has just sat down, and I wish the right hon. Gentleman the member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay) had been present, that he might hear this language. When 100,000 men threatened to come down from Birmingham to this metropolis—for which they received the thanks of the Noble Lord, the Member for London, (Lord J.Russell)—Lord Grey said to the House of Lords, "Set your House in order, for the people are coming down upon you." I think I may also say to the hon. Members of this House, "Set your House in order, for the hon. Member is coming down upon you." The hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Cobden) thus appeals to the passions of the people:— Their metal would be tried in a fortnight or three weeks. He had told them that the aristocracy must be frightened. Were they prepared to make sacrifices and to undergo suffering to carry this question? The time was not far off when they might be called upon to make sacrifices, and to undergo sufferings. The time might soon come when they might be called upon to inquire, as Christian men, whether an oligarchy which has usurped the Government—placed its foot on the Crown, and trampled down the people—how far such an oligarchial usurpation was deserving of their moral and religious support. If they were prepared for suffering they would soon have an opportunity of suffering. When the proper time should come, he would be prepared to set them an example of suffering, to suffer with them. Sir,—when I read that speech I trembled from head to foot. I will detain the House but for a few minutes, in order that I may tell them in what way the Anti-Corn-law League themselves enhance the price of corn. Are hon. Gentlemen aware that, by a calculation, it has been found that no lest than 100,000 quarters of wheat are annually used by these men. [" How?"] How? by daubing their calicoes with flour paste. The country ought to know how these men defraud the people, and they ought to be made aware that it is by tricks like those that they have lost the foreign market, I could undertake to prove to the House, by the testimony of manufacturers of the highest standing in the country, that a system of robbery and plunder was carried on against the people, such as had never before been heard of. It was only the other day that a poor man was sentenced to be transported for seven years, for sending to the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies a quantity of bricks, pretending that the package contained a chandelier. This was a fraud on a private individual; but if the House will grant me a committee, I will undertake to prove far greater frauds practised against the public. I have received the following statement from an individual who, as well as others, is ready to give evidence on the subject before a committee of this House, if required to do so:— Immense quantities of flour are used in the cotton trade, to give a false appearance to the calico." [" Oh!"] I assure the House it is true. I assert the fact, and I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are acquainted with the cotton trade, whether it is not true. My informant proceeds— Some manufacturers use from 2,000 to 3,000 sacks per annum. The calicoes are passed through a machine by which they are stretched in length and breadth: The inter- stices occasioned by stretching are filled up by paste, which is applied by a brush. Afterwards the calico is passed between two rollers, which press or calender it. It then comes out apparently a beautiful fine stout piece of calico. Its real quality is discovered in washing, after both the purchase money and the expense of making it into wearing-apparel has proved it to be a dead loss to the confiding purchaser. I will now, with the permission of the House, read an extract from a letter written by an English merchant, exposing a process which is adopted by certain manufacturers, of buying up all the old rags they can obtain, which are torn into pieces by a machine, thus converted into a kind of dust, and are then mixed with wool, which is eventually manufactured into cloth. This dust, from its nauseous nature, and from its engendering numerous diseases, has been christened by the manufacturers and workpeople of Yorkshire the "Devil's dust." The Gentleman to whom I refer, writes:— Things are worse and worse in Huddersfield; and it seems that all is over without any hope. The trade is leaving this country most rapidly. S— is paying off nearly 200 of his weavers, because the foreigners are sending the same sorts of goods over at very little more than half the price that he has been selling them at. I wish you could get a full account of this shoddy trade; it is monstrous. They now put scarcely any wool into their yarn, only just as much as will keep the devil's dust together. The rags, as you know, are collected from the most filthy holes in London and Dublin, and are brought from the most unhealthy regions, infected by the plague and every epidemic, and of course, they are full of deadly poison. B— S— has had a boat-load of this rubbish, and also buys a good deal of the Dewsbury people. When his goods are made up, the first time they are worn they split up, and then the game begins. Mr. — informs me that B —S— has sent out a large quantity of doeskins,' charged 5s. 9d. per yard, which have proved to be not worth one farthing—not worth tailor's wages. They will all be sent back from America to the manufacturer, with a charge of 5s. 8d. a yard upon them for duty, carriage, freight, commission, &c.; and this, of course, besides the loss of the goods, they' being worthless. If this won't cure him, I cannot tell what will. Mr. — has been on the continent recently, and there he saw a small manufactory of 'doeskins,' all made of wool, no devil's dust in them. The man, before this season, he believes, had never made eighteen pieces of goods in one year. He had then in hand an order for 1,800 pieces, considerably below the price of English devil's dust goods, pretending to be of the same quality. Thus the manufacture is leaving us as fast as it can—thanks to the knavery of our avaricious, covetous, cheating, canting selves. Nothing can show our baseness and deceit more than this. These things prove clearly that our ruin is deservedly brought upon us by our own villany. It is well known that the Sheffielders passed cast-iron cutlery upon the foreigners for steel, until they would not have it given; and they have had to find new countries to send it to, and their former customers have been obliged to manufacture for themselves. Thus our canting, professing Christians, are ruining their own country, and cheating the poor pagans, and all the While blubbering about trusting in Providence,' and are trying to make Parliament believe that they care for the poor! I will only detain the House a few moments longer (the hon. Gentleman continued), While I call their attention to a meeting of manufacturers which was held sonic years ago in New York. The proceedings were reported at the time in all the American papers, and I will, with the permission of the House, give a slight account of it as described by an eye-witness. He says:— It was my good luck to attend a meeting of merchants and manufacturers convened in the Town-hall, for the purpose of considering the best means of protecting the manufacturers of the United States.' The meeting was composed of manufacturers of all grades, and very numerously attended; and a spirit of unanimity pervaded the assembly. Specimens of cloth of John Bull's manufacture were held up to the gaze of the meeting all in tatters, and moth-eaten by the paste. These were compared with their own honest domestic manufacture, and the following resolution was agreed to:— 'That it is the opinion of this meeting that it is the duty of Congress to protect the manufactures of the United States by an augmentation of the present tariff, to prohibit, as far as possible, the importation of foreign manufactures.' I will now, Sir, in conclusion, call the attention of the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Treasury, to a fact which has not been brought before the notice of the House, yet a most important fact. It is this; if the Corn-laws were to be repealed there would be an immense body of industrious farmers and labourers in the North of England not only thrown out of employment, but entirely ruined. That ruin would result from this cause:—It has been for many years the custom of the chief landed proprietors in the North to let pieces of waste land to small farmers and labourers on leases of fourteen, twenty-one, or thirty years, at a small rent, on condition that they shall break up the land, and repay themselves by the sale of the corn which they may produce from it. Now, if the Corn-laws were to be repealed, all these men must be ruined; yet they have as much right to protection from the country as hon. Members opposite have, and they look to the Government to protect them, in order that they may reap some slight reward for their labour. They never dream that they can possess such wealth as those Gentlemen opposite; they say, "Live and let live;" that is all they aspire to. Then why refuse them such an offer? They say" We have let you live—we would scorn to rob you of your own, and it is unjust, cruel, unmanly, nay, dishonourable, and unworthy of the name of Englishmen, to come forward and advocate a measure, the object of which is to plunder the poor." The hon. Member for Manchester, who spoke the night before last, offered his advice to the farmers of England. If the farmers of England look to the political consistency of the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Gibson), they will not place much confidence in that advice; but the farmers of England look to the laws of their country for protection; and when they lose that protection, depend upon it, if they fall, you will fall with them.

Mr. Brotherton

said, in explanation, that every one who knew him would believe hint when he said that he did not use the expression attributed to him in any ambiguous sense. When he stated that he believed the hon. Member for Stockport never had a mill in his life, he meant to use the word in its common acceptation. In speaking of mills the word was generally understood as meaning cotton or woollen mills. He had no wish to deceive the House. Had he made use of any word calculated to convey a wrong idea to the House, he would never hesitate to retract or to explain it; but, in the present case, he could assure them that he made use of the word in the above sense in perfect good faith, and in the full belief that what he stated was true. He had no doubt, if the hon. Member for Knaresborough would give the House the name of his correspondent, that he would be found to be one of his (Mr. Brotherton's) political opponents. He would not return Tailing for railing, and, though he had seen two letters regarding the hon. Member's character in his own neighbourhood, yet he would never deign to make any use of them. He begged again to state, that in making the statement he had done, he had no intention to deceive the House, and with that declaration he left the matter in their hands.

Mr. Cobden

rose, amid cries of "explain." He said that he might state once for all that he did not think that his mission to that House was for the purpose of indulging in gross personalities. He assured those hon. Gentlemen who so ingeniously devised a partisan warfare of so very clever a kind that he would never be driven into personal altercation with any hon. Member, for he felt that to do so would be disrespectful to those that sent him there. He trembled for the dignity of the House when he found language used such as that which they had been listening to. He did consider the dignity of the House in some danger when he found language such as that they had been listening to for the last half hour received with so much complacency by hon. Gentlemen on the front bench opposite, and with such cheers by the party behind them.

Mr. Hindley

felt some difficulty in addressing the House after the very spicy speech of the hon. Member for. Knaresborough, because lie knew that hon. Members were not much inclined after the excitement of a personal attack to listen with patience to the dry discussion of the question before them. He would not notice the assertions of the hon. Member for Knaresborough, but since the hon. Member had proclaimed himself to be the advocate of the working classes, he hoped that in future lie would show more judgment in their behalf; otherwise lie would betray their cause. In entering on the question of the Corn-laws, he did not mean to treat it as a party question. It was not his intention to attack the agricultural interest as a more selfish portion of the community than any other; nor did he wish to argue that the Corn-laws ought to be repealed because of the existing distress. He considered that the arguments for or against the Corn-law were irrespective, either of the prosperity or adversity of the country; and he thought that the agricultural interest might just as well make use of the prosperity of the country as a proof of the benefits of the Corn-law, as the manufacturing interest might make use of adver- sity as a proof of the evils of it. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tam-worth, had not, he thought, looked to all the effects of the existing Corn-law, more particularly to its effects on the condition of the labourer. As illustrative of the evil effects of a rise in the price of corn, he begged to refer the right hon. Baronet to a calculation made by Mr. Nield, the mayor of Manchester, relative to the condition of the family of the working man at Manchester, showing the income and expenditure of twelve of the best paid families and artisans in Manchester, and seven in Dukinfield, in 1836 and in 1841:— The total income of the twelve families in Manchester was the same in the two years, viz. 221. 4s. 2d. a week. Their weekly household expenditure, in 1836, was 14l. 15s. 11d., leaving a surplus of 71. 8s. 3d. for education, saving, and the purchase of manufactured articles. In 1841, their weekly expenditure was 17l. 9s. 8d., leaving only 4l. 14s. 6d. for education, saving, and the purchase of manufactured articles, In the former year, food formed 54 per cent. of their expenditure; in the latter, 70 per cent. The total weekly income of the seven families in Dukinfield was, in 1836, 81. Their household expenditure was 51. 12s. 3d.; leaving a surplus of 21 7s. 9d. for education, saving, and clothing. Li 1841, their aggregate income was reduced to 51. 6s. 8d., While their necessary expenditure increased to 61. 8s. 1d.; leaving not only no surplus for clothing, but a heavy debt instead. In the former year, food formed 46 per cent. of their expenditure; in the latter year, 89 per cent. Now, supposing that a like reduction took place generally, he thought that this would account in a very great degree for the distress in the manufacturing districts. The Corn-law being the cause of the high price of wheat, had of course great influence in producing the distress. He believed the Corn-law to be unjust in principle, and contrary to the laws of God and nature. He contended that the Legislature had no right to act contrary to those laws, and in support of this doctrine lie quoted the opinion of Chief Justice Holt and other authorities. Blackstone said, that on the two foundations of the law of nature and revelation must depend all human law. This was the ground taken by the ministers of religion in opposing the Corn-laws. They considered them opposed to the laws of nature, and therefore believed themselves justified in denouncing them. It was doubling the primeval curse, to deny the labourer the power of obtaining the best return for his labour, To do so was contrary to common sense and justice, and to persevere in this denial would infallibly tend to weaken the fabric of the constitution. He had been much struck with an observation of the rev. Dr. Chalmers in reference to the causes and to the evils attendant on the question remaining unsettled. That rev. Gentleman stated, that he knew of no topic better calculated to create clamour and discontent, and that nothing could be a greater blessing to the labourer than its repeal. He felt surprised that the Vice-President of the Board of Trade did not allude to the effect of the sliding scale in draining this country of bullion during a deficient harvest, because, in his opinion, this part of the question deserved their deepest consideration. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had endeavoured to impress on the working people that low prices would bring low wages. He did not altogether agree with them in this respect, yet he would admit that in all thickly-populated countries the wages of the lowest class of labourers must depend on the price of the means of subsistence? but whose fault was it that this country was over populated? Why could not the labouring population avail themselves of the rich lands of America? He was also opposed to the Corn-law in consequence of the artificial increase which it gave to machinery, and to the improvement of machinery. He never heard of machinery being introduced except for the purpose of superseding human labour, and the manufacturers had almost been driven to favour the introduction of machinery, in consequence of its relative cheapness to human labour. He thought that the Corn-laws had given a great stimulus to the employment of machinery, and from the introduction of it sprung all the distress of the hand-loom weavers—of those 800,000 individuals to whose hard case the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department had referred. In the year 1835, at the time the right hon. Baronet opposite was in power, the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Fielden) bad called his attention to the condition of these 800,000 individuals, and Mr. Muggeridge was sent down to Manchester to inquire into their condition. On that occasion the right hon. Gentleman did not speak; but he voted against the motion, and his hon. Friend and himself divided in a minority of 3 against 150, and the House thus refused to take into consideration the condition of 800,000 hand-loom weavers. If the motion of his hon. Friend had been agreed to, much mischief would have been avoided; for soon after that time great numbers of persons, previously engaged in agricultural pursuit, were brought from distant parts to supply the demand for labour in the manufacturing districts, while the condition of the hand-loom weavers was passed over; and yet hon. Gentlemen opposite at the present day fruitlessly complained of the condition of that body of persons. He was satisfied that if there had been no mills this country might have continued to have grown corn, and exported it in consequence of the lowness of prices, and it was clear that the agriculturists never could have obtained the high prices which they now did. He had presented a petition a few days ago from a labouring man, who stated in it that he could only now obtain for six days' labour what he formerly procured for one day's work. Was not this equivalent to a deprivation of this man's property? What would a landowner say, who had an estate which brought him in a rental of 30,000l. in 1815, only giving him an income of 5,0001. a year at the present time, and this being occasioned by the vicious system of legislation which obtained in the country? He did not find fault with the adoption of machinery, as he believed that it had conferred very great benefits on the community when properly regulated. If, however, the use of it was allowed in manufactures, why not carry out the principle? Suppose, for instance, there was a machine invented for growing corn for the whole kingdom—and this was not more improbable than the invention of the Daguerrotype would have appeared to be ten years ago—if it came into operation last August, would not the right hon. Baronet have been called upon to provide a remedy? The landed interest would not allow the use of a machine which would be in the slightest degree prejudicial to themselves; for that was the case when they prevented the importation of foreign corn. If we could in this country provide goods by machinery, which we could exchange for corn in a foreign market, what was the difference from making corn from a machine? The landed interest said that the adoption of an open trade in corn with foreign countries would be injurious to the labourers and capitalists engaged in agricultural pursuits; they thus, as it were, prevented the working of a machine when employed against themselves, but they never thought of interrupting machinery which interfered so materially with the interests of 800,000 hand-loom weavers. It was said that the agriculturists were exposed to peculiar burdens, which did not fall upon any other class of the community. He entertained that opinion himself three years ago, and was prepared to agree that they should have protection to an equivalent amount, and he had offended, some of his constituents by saying so He had since then more closely looked into the matter, and he confessed that he had great difficulty in finding what they could be. The right hon. Baronet said the other evening, that political economists could not agree as to what were the burdens which fell peculiarly upon land; but he (Mr. Hindley) contended that when the House was called upon to legislate upon a question like the present, it should previously determine what those burdens were. Mr. Macintosh, who was quoted as a great authority on this subject, said that land paid certain taxes which fell upon it, which might amount at the very utmost to about 5s. a quarter. Mr. Tooke, who investigated the subject with great minuteness, said that those taxes could not amount to more than 1s a quarter in the price of corn. Now he was quite sure that the Corn-law league would willingly make the landed interest a present of 1s a quarter upon all corn to get rid of the restrictive system. He really believed that the amount was not equal to this, for the malt tax, and other charges which had been specified, fell upon the consumer, and the only charge which he could find which might be said to fall upon them was the land-tax, which was not more than 1,400,000l.a year; but on the other side there was the probate and legacy duty, amounting to 2,900,000l which surely might be considered as a set-off. Therefore he said that the balance was on the other side. If an article of necessity was scarce, the consumption of it did not so much depend on the price as on the means of the purchasers. If there was a free trade in corn in this country, the price would only become very high when there was an universal scarcity, for the consumers of corn in England were richer than they were in any other country. He felt that a fixed duty was much less odious and oppressive than a fluctuating duty; but carrying the name of duty, which was equivalent to that of a tax, created a feeling against it. Who, he should like to know, could calculate on the effect of a fluctuating duty in the price of bread to a labouring man, for it prevented the article which he manufactured from being sent to the continent to be exchanged for food? He had always entertained a respect and regard for the aristocracy of England, and he wished to see them maintained in all their social relations, and to lead the battle for the liberties and happiness of mankind; and miserable would that day be when the great body of them exercised the power they possessed against the welfare of the country. The inevitable effect of their misconduct must be, that they would be crushed. He hoped that they would pause before they persisted in a course which must be attended with injury to all classes, and he trusted that they would so act for the honour and safety of the country that they would secure by their wise legislation the peace, the happiness, and the welfare of all classes of the community.

Mr. Gill

thought that a total repeal of the Corn-laws would be not only unjust to the landed interest, but injurious to the community at large. He was indisposed to aid in the total abolition of protecting duties upon the importation of foreign grain, because he had reason to believe that all the duty below 5s. per quarter found its way into the pocket of the speculator and the foreign merchant. His reasons for dissenting from the proposition of the right hon. Baronet were—first, because of the immense absorption of capital in this country by the continued high prices of corn for and during the greater part of the latter ten years, which in his opinion was sufficient to account for the want of adequate enterprise and speculation in other branches of our national industry, and consequently for the distress which had been so generally felt in the manufacturing classes of society during that period; and, secondly, because he felt the public would be better supplied with corn under a fixed duty, which would tend to establish a steady trade in corn, and a constant supply in our own ports of corn ready to make up all deficiencies in the crops of home-grown corn. He was bound at the same time to confess he should have preferred a 10s. duty per quarter for the first year, declining a shilling per annum until it reached 5s., when it should become a permanent duty. This he should prefer, he acknowledged, to either the plan of the noble Lord, or that of the right hon. Baronet. He was almost afraid to trust himself to say any *** thing further at that late hour, and he would sit down by expressing a hope that at least we should have a modification of the measure which had been introduced by the right hon. Baronet.

Mr. Fielden

was understood to say that, notwithstanding all he had heard in the course of this debate, he was not one of those who were of opinion that it was better for England to rely upon foreign countries for its supply of corn than upon its own native industry. There was no doubt that at present we did not grow enough corn for the home consumption; though there was an abundance of land and an abundance of labour, which he believed were the only requisites necessary to raise a sufficiency of corn for the people. The agricultural interest had asked protection, and they had had it for the last twenty-six years, the protection they claimed being necessary, as was said, to enable them to grow the corn that was required. But they had not produced a sufficiency. Could they then any longer be considered entitled to protection, now that the question was raised whether they ought to have protection or not? He said they were not so entitled. It was urged that the manufacturers had produced too much, but certainly that was not an argument which could be used against the agriculturists. The manufacturers had produced too much, and that was a fault; but the agriculturists were more in error than they, for they had been producing too little. The Corn-law was so framed that the people could not be supplied with enough of food, and he believed it was the intention of the framers of that law, and the object of those who supported it, to prevent the growth of a sufficient quantity of home produce for the wants of the people. If it were necessary the agricultural interest should have protection, he would have been willing to grant it, even from the year 1815, provided they had given him the assurance that they would grow enough corn; but that assurance was not given then, nor had it been since given. They would not grow enough food themselves, nor would they allow other countries to supply the deficiency in exchange for our manufactures. He asked was it not a disgrace to the Legislature that at this moment there should be located in one spot in this country upwards of 17,000 people who were starving? These people were poor, and therefore neglected and despised; and when employed, what were they engaged in fabricating? Why the articles which were used to ornament the persons of the wives and daughters of the landed interest. Whilst these 17,000 persons on one spot were starving for want of the necessaries of life, what was the conduct of the Ministers of the Crown? Why, the right hon. Baronet came down to the House and told them that he held out no hope for the relief of the distresses of the people, and that if such a hope were encouraged, the expectations of the people would be disappointed. He (Mr. Fielden) contended that the working classes of this country had not been dealt fairly by. In 1834,abill was introduced to this House, the object of which was to throw every working man in England upon his own resources. [Much noise.] He begged to remind the House that this was the first time he had risen to take part in the debates on this subject, and he thought it was only fair that, as the representative of a manufacturing district, he should be heard. In 1834, then, they passed an act to throw every working man on his own resources, and virtually repealed that Poor-law upon which the poor had built their hopes for ages. Was it fair dealing with the poor man, then, after having repealed that law, to enact another law to limit his resources and prevent his obtaining bread? Were they treating him fairly, when they restricted his means of subsistence, and then required that he should pay double the price for his bread that was paid in foreign countries? He considered that he should be doing wrong if he voted for the continuance of the protection at present enjoyed by the landholders, and he should, therefore give his support to the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton; and his principal reason for doing so was, because the landed aristocracy, having thrown the poor man upon his own resources, had totally deprived themselves of all right to a continuance of the protection which they at present enjoyed.

General Johnson

would vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton on the principle that the food of man was not a fit subject for taxation, and he voted in this instance completely against his own interest, as his sole dependence was upon land. He would only trouble the House with one further observation, and that related to what had been said last evening by the hon. and gallant Member for Donegal, who had warned the House to beware of taking away the protection now afforded to agriculture, as the consequence would be to injure the Irish peasantry very seriously. He begged to ask the hon. and gallant Member whether he really was of opinion that it was in the power of the House, by any effort of human ingenuity, to invent a law by which the condition of the working classes in Ireland could be rendered worse than it now was?

Mr. Villiers

rose to reply. He said the House might be assured, after so much discussion, he would not abuse the right which he believed belonged to him to make some reply to the observations which had been made upon his motion. If the length of the discussion and the hour of the night did not prevent it, it would still be utterly impossible, in the state of the House, since the delivery of the speech by the hon. Member for Knaresborough, to enter calmly and deliberately into the question. It was a speech for which he could hardly blame the Speaker; for it was clear that it was one that precisely suited the taste of the House. The House was convulsed with delight at it. It was a speech which cast the bitterest reflections on the manufacturers of this country—nay, more, it brought against them the strongest charges which could be brought against any class of men—a speech which certainly misrepresented most grossly the objects and motives of those who brought forward this question, and so far as it concerned him and his friends; but it was a speech which appealed to all the prejudices of the upper classes—of the landed classes—against the trade and manufactures of this country, and it was received with a degree of satisfaction which he (Mr. Villiers) had never witnessed in the House before. He was of opinion that the striking effect of that speech gave a decided character to the question now before the House, and he must almost think that the division about to take place would rather mark the difference between the views of those who agreed with the hon. Member for Knaresborough, and those who advocated opposite doctrines than the difference which existed on the question immediately before the House. If that speech had been received in silence, or if there had been any indication of dissent or disapprobation of the principles which the hon. Member proclaimed, it might have passed without notice; but he defied any one who witnessed the manner in which that speech was received, not to identify every Member who cheered and encouraged it, with the sentiments it contained. Therefore, he could not but think those who might constitute the majority against his motion, and vote with the hon. Member for Knaresborough, would strictly identify themselves with the sentiments and views of that Member. He was not able to judge of the correctness of all that Member's statements, but he could of some of them. He must say most decidedly and unequivocally, that at least two of those statements were wholly unfounded in fact. One of these was, he (Mr. Villiers) had taken the words down, and the hon. Member must either acknowledge them to be erroneous, or explain them away—that every petition presented to that House against the Corn-law had been paid for. [" No, no."] The hon. Gentleman might deny it, but he had taken the hon. Member's words down. The hon. Member for Knaresborough said, that all petitions presented to that House against the Corn-laws had been procured by means of money. [" No, no."] He said distinctly that the petitions against the Corn-laws had been paid for. These were the words uttered by him. [Mr. Ferrand intimated dissent.] The hon. Member denied that they were. [An hon. Member: " Some of the petitions."] The hon. Member did not say "some:" he said all of the petitions. However, the hon. Member disclaimed that statement. Another statement was, that the working classes were not against the Corn-laws. He knew for a fact that many of the working classes were as strongly opposed to them as the sternest enemy could be. The hon. Gentleman made the statement—he was not warranted in doing so. He had not been mooting this question for some years, without knowing what the feelings and opinions of the people were. He could certainly answer for his own constituents, and he knew that a large proportion of the working classes felt as intensely on this subject of the Corn-laws, as the sincerest opponent could do. It was a foul calumny upon them to say, that they were not opposed to the Corn-laws. He could only judge of the hon. Member's other statements by those which came within his own knowledge, and they were certainly not founded in fact. With respect to the charges made specifically and unequivocally against the manufacturers of this country —of plunder, robbery, and fraud—he presumed the hon. Member was prepared to prove them. He presumed he was in a situation to prove fraud and robbery against the manufacturers of England. [" No, no."] He understood the hon. Member limited his charges to the manufacturers who had subscribed to the association which he had styled the Anti-Corn-law League. He thought it must be obvious to the House and to the country, that such charges could not stop there. There was a distinct imputation, a direct and unqualified charge, by a Member of the House of Commons against certain persons engaged in the manufactures of this country, every one of whose names could be stated, whose circumstances could be ascertained, and the case against them investigated. The hon. Member had made those charges against the manufacturers, and they had been received with acclamation. He could hardly name the Member on the other side who did cheer them. He trusted, in justice to those manufacturers, that the Members who cheered the charges would insist on having them established. Notwithstanding what the hon. Member had said with respect to the motives of those who brought forward and supported this motion, he (Mr. Villiers) felt that he was justified in bringing it forward by the acknowledgment on all hands of the evils which the present law produced, and the sense which the people entertained of those evils. He was justified further by the concession made to this feeling by the Government itself. He received the concession of the Government as an encouragement to those who advocated a total repeal of the law. He accepted it as a sign that the people had established their case against the law, a sign that if they continued to agitate they would eventually succeed in obtaining what they had a right to ask. That alone would be a justification of his motion, and of the length to which this debate had been carried. He was further justified by the manner in which his motion had been met. In answer to the charges against the law, had a single new argument been uttered? [" Oh, oh!"] He should like to hear the original thought, that had been put forth in defence of the Corn-law. What had they had but the old stale argument that less was better than more. That was what hon. Gentlemen relied on most. They had had several candid and benevolent admissions from hon. Gentlemen opposite as to their readiness to abandon the law. One hon. Gentleman said, if he could be convinced that the working classes would be benefited by the change—that was to say, by abundance of food, he would consent to repeal the law. If the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire could be satisfied, that cheap food, or, in other words, plenty of food, would be good for the people, he would vote for repeal, and this was uttered gravely. Another favourite argument was, that we must guard against dependence on foreign countries. Why, they had heard this fifty times, and he believed there was hardly a charity boy in the country who would venture to employ it as against the benefit of abundance which would arise from regular commerce. But it was thought by some, who agreed with him in general principles—that vested interests were in question, and that his motion showed a disregard of such interests. He was not so ignorant or so dishonest as not to well consider the regard due to vested interests, or to show a disregard of the rights of property. But he wanted to know where this ground for upholding the Corn-law on the ground of vested interests was to end? When they had once begun to change, every argument from that source against total repeal was just as applicable to the Government modification. Exactly in proportion as a fixed duty, or the present Government plan did any good by cheapening food, in just the same proportion would it tend to withdraw protection, and throw poor land out of cultivation. If bad land is kept in cultivation by the present law, and that soils are of different fertility, it is clear that a very small change may have the effect of throwing the bad laud out of cultivation, which is the worst thing apprehended by individual proprietors from the total repeal. But there were Gentlemen on his side of the House, who spoke with virtuous indignation of his motion for total repeal, and talked in a fine Conservative strain about the vastness of the capital embarked, and the great social interests that depended upon property in land, and of the tenderness required in dealing with such property, and then talked of an 8s. fixed duty, or a duty that should be more moderate than that which they would support. Why would that have no effect in disturbing capital, and the interest in agriculture, created under the law? Why, what good would it do, if it did no cheapen food by increasing the quantity and is it not that the mode by which it was expected that agricultural capital would be effected? On what land has the largest amount of capital been invested in proportion to the return? Why, the last cultivated or the worst land to be sure; and what capital then would be the first to be effected by a moderate fixed duty, but this very capital which had been invested with most risk. What consolation is it to the man whose land has sunk in value, owing to a low fixed duty; but his neighbour who had a better soil is not affected by the operation of that duty. But if there was a total repeal, the owners of bad land would soon feel the effects of the stimulus that would be given to commerce and manufacture. He agreed with the noble Duke who had left the Cabinet, and had just declared, that either the landed interest had a right to protection, or the people had a right to a total repeal. If the land was to be protected, he said, do not alter the law; if the land is not to be protected, do not attempt it, and do not let there be more agitation on the subject, and repeal the law. That was a manly and straightforward statement, and however much he differed with the noble Duke, he admired the consistency which seemed to prompt him in his course on this question. He could understand those who took up one position or the other. He agreed with the noble Duke that there was no resting place between protection and repeal. Some of the Gentlemen who had argued on this side he did not understand; they denounced the law in the strongest terms, did all they could to excite the people against the law, persuaded them that it was unjust and injurious; yet when a proposition is made to abolish a law so described, they stop short and discover that it is unjust to repeal such a law. He was sorry to hear his noble Friend last night (Lord J. Russell) say, that he could not vote with him, he could only explain his difficulty by supposing, that having undertaken to arbitrate between the parties in conflict, and having offered a compromise of less than the people had a right to demand, did not yet despair of carrying his object. He believed, however, that his noble Friend would, before another year, find himself completely mistaken. He would find the same unreasonableness on the part of those who benefited by the Corn-laws, which opposed equally its repeal and every substantial modification of it; and he would, ere long, see the justice of the people's claim, and the reasonableness of acceding to it. He must say, in vindication of his motion, that he thought it was not an unreasonable one. The argument which had been brought forward with regard to vested interests, was one which might have been urged upon other occasions as well as now; there were many measures to which he might refer, to which the same argument, if it ought to prevail at all, would equally apply. He might mention the case of the throwing open of the trade between this country and Ireland. There was not an argument which had been adduced upon this question which would not have applied to that proposition, and all such arguments was used at the time, have been since found to be fallacious; the measure having been attended with unqualified advantage to both countries. There was another measure which the right hon. Baronet had received much blame for passing—he meant the restoration of the currency to its proper basis. If ever there was a measure which required much time for it to be brought into operation it was that. [An hon. Member. It was gradual]. The Bank Restriction Act, no doubt, was passed but for a year at first, but it was re-enacted so often, that it was looked upon eventually as a permanent act, and he should like to know whether, in repealing that act, many vested interests were not disturbed, and whether existing contracts were regarded? [Sir Robert Peel: That was not a sudden measure.] At all events, the public were very little prepared for it when it was passed, and the currency was very much depreciated at the time. At that time existing interests were not regarded—the relative engagements of debtor and creditor were not protected. Whence this tenderness then for interests so much more questionable. The Reform Bill might have been resisted on the same ground. He said that the Corn-law was a bad law, and he did not deny that interests had grown up under it; but interests had grown up under the old system of representation. They had beard of boroughs being the subjects of settlement, and vet the feelings of the owners of these boroughs, or of the proprietors of these interests bad never been heeded for one moment. He would take another case. He asked what regard had been shown to the vested interests which had accrued under the old Poor-law, when the Poor-law Amendment Act had been passed. What was the answer which was made to the argument raised when those interests were spoken of, and some consideration was claimed, and expectations raised, under the old law. It was said" They are more injurious than beneficial to the poor, and it will be beneficial to them to abolish them." The discussion of that law did not last three months, and he ventured to say that law had made greater change in the vested interests of the poor, however much for their benefit, than any other which had ever been passed. These, then, were cases of vested interests, and he urged them now in defence of the motion which he proposed, and which was said to be unreasonable. He was only sorry for his motion on one ground, which was, that there would be a very large majority against it. He was sorry for it, because there could not be a doubt that all those interested in commerce—in the manufactures of this country—that the great mass of the people did most earnestly desire this law to be repealed; and, because the impression which would be left on every man's mind was, that what would promote all the great interests of the country was opposed by the House of Commons. He would only, in conclusion, give his own interpretation to the motion which he had laid before the House. The right hon. Baronet seemed to desire to fix upon him the opinion that nothing but instantaneous repeal would satisfy him. He did not deny that he apprehended nothing but good from their instant repeal; but by his motion, he meant chiefly to convey that the time was now fully arrived, when Corn-laws should no longer exist in this country; and he now invited the House to join him in that declaration. What he proposed was, a resolution, on which if carried, a bill might be founded, in which any provision might be introduced to prevent any immediate mischief or injustice. But what he wanted to pledge the House to, was to abolish the duties that obstruct the trade in food.

The House divided, on the question that all duties payable on the importation of corn, grain, meat, or flour, do now cease and determine.—Ayes 90, Noes 393; Majority 303.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Bridgeman, H.
Ainsworth, P. Brotherton, J.
Aldam, W. Bryan, G.
Bannerman, A. Busfeild, W.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Byng, rt. hon. G. S.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Collins, W.
Blake, M Crawford, W. S.
Blake, Sir V. Currie, R.
Blewitt, R. J. Dennistoun, J.
Bowring, Dr. Duncan, Visct.
Duncan, G. Oswald, J.
Duncombe, T. Parker, J.
Dundas, A. D. Philips, G. R.
Easthope, Sir J. Philips, M.
Ellis, W. Phillpotts, J.
Elphinstone, H. Plumridge, Capt.
Ewart, W. Protheroe, E.
Ferguson, Col. Ricardo, J. L,
Fielden, J. Rundle, J.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Scholefield, J.
Gibson, T. M. Smith, B.
Hall, Sir B. Somers, J. P.
Harford, S. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Harris, J. Q. Stewart, P. M.
Hastie, A. Stuart, Lord J.
Hawes, B. Stuart, W. V.
Hay, Sir A. L. Strickland, Sir G.
Heron, Sir R. Strutt, E.
Hindley, C. Tancred, H. W.
Horsman, E. Thornely, T.
Humphery, Ald. Villiers, F.
Johnson, Gen. Wakley, T.
Johnston, A. Walker, R.
Langton, W. G. Wallace, R.
Larpent, Sir G. de H. Ward, H. G.
Leader, J. T. Wawn, J. T.
Marjoribanks, S. Wilde, Sir T.
Marshall, W. Williams, W.
Marsland, H. Wilson, M.
Martin, J. Wood, B.
Morison, W. Wood, G. W.
Muntz, G. F. Wood, Sir M.
Murphy, F. S. Yorke, H. R.
Napier, Sir C.
O'Connell, D. TELLERS.
O'Connell, M. J. Cobden, R.
Ord, W. Villiers, hon. C. P.
List of the NOES.
Acheson, Visct. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Acland, Sir T. D. Bateson, Sir R.
Acland, T. D. Beckett, W.
Ackers, J. Bell, M.
Acton, Col. Benett, J.
Adare, Visct. Bentinck, Lord G.
Adderley, C. B. Beresford, Capt.
Alexander, N. Beresford, Major
Allix, J. P. Berkeley, hon. G. F.
Antrobus, E. Bernard, Visct.
Archdall, M. Blackburne, J. I.
Arkwright, G. Blackstone, W. S.
Ashley, Lord Blake, M. J.
Astell, W. Blakemore, R.
Attwood, J. Bodkin, W. H.
Bagge, W. Bodkin, J. J.
Bagot, hon. W. Boldero, H. G.
Bailey, J. Borthwick, P.
Bailey, J., jun. Botfield, B.
Baillie, Col. Bowes, J.
Baillie, H. J. Bradshaw, J.
Baldwin, C. B. Bramston, T. W.
Balfour, J. M. Broadley, H.
Bankes, G. Broadwood, H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Brodie, W. B.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Browne, hon. W.
Barneby, J. Brownrigg, J. S.
Barrington, Visct. Bruce, Lord E.
Bruce, C. L. C. Ebrington, Visct.
Bruen, Col. Egerton, W. T.
Buck, L. W. Egerton, Sir P.
Buckley, E. Eliot, Lord
Buller, C. Emlyn, Visct.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Escott, B.
Bunbury, T. Esmonde, Sir T.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Burroughes, H. N. Evans, W.
Campbell, Sir H. Farnham, E. B.
Campbell, A. Fellowes, E.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Ferguson, Sir R. A,
Cayley, E. S. Feilden, W.
Chapman, A. Ferrand, W. B.
Chapman, B. Filmer, Sir E.
Charteris, hon. F. Fitzalan, Lord
Chelsea, Visct. Fitzroy, Capt.
Chetwode, Sir J. Fleming, J. W.
Childers, J. W. Follett, Sir W. W.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Ffolliott, J.
Christmas, W. Forbes, W.
Christopher, R. A. Forester, hn. G. C. W.
Chute, W. L. W. French, F.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Fuller, A. E.
Clayton, R. R. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Clerk, Sir G. Gill, T.
Clive, hon. R. H. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Cochrane, A. Godson, R.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Codrington, C. W. Gordon, Lord F.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Gore, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Gore, W. O.
Cole, hon. A. H. Gore, W. R. O.
Collett, W. R. Goring, C.
Colville, C. R. Goulburn, rt. hon.
Compton, H. C. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Coote, Sir C. H. Granby, Marq. of
Copeland, Ald. Grant, Sir A. C.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Greenall, P.
Courtenay, Visct. Greenaway, C.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Gregory, W. H.
Cresswell, B. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cripps, W. Grimsditch, T.
Crosse, T. B. Grimston, Visct.
Curteis, H. B. Grogan, E.
Damer, hon. Col. Hale, R. B.
Darby, G. Halford, H.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Hamilton, C. J. B.
Denison, E. B. Hamilton, W. J-
Dick, Q. Hamilton, Lord C.
Dickinson, F. H. Hanmer, Sir J.
D'Israeli, B. Harcourt, G. G.
Dodd, G. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Douglas, Sir H. Hardy, J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Hatton, Capt. V.
Douglas, J. D. S. Hawkes, T.
Douro, Marq. of Hayes, Sir E.
Dowdeswell, W. Heathcote, G. J,
Drummond, H. H. Heathcote, Sir W.
Duff, J. Heneage, G. H. W.
Duffield, T. Heneage, E.
Duke, Sir J. Henley, J. W.
Duncombe, hon. A. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Duncombe, hon. O. Herbert, hon. S.
Du Pre, C. G. Hill, Sir R.
East, J. B. Hinde, J. H.
Eaton, R. J. Hodgson, F.
Hodgson, R. Maunsell, T. P.
Hogg, J. W. Meynell, Capt.
Holmes, hon. W. A'C. Miles, P. W. S.
Houldsworth, T. Miles, W.
Hope, hon. C. Milnes, R. M.
Hope, A. Mitcalfe, H,
Hope, G. W. Mitchell, T. A.
Hornby, J. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Howard, hn. C. W. G. Morgan, O.
Howard, Lord Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Mundy, E. M.
Howard, hon. H. Murray, C. R. S.
Howard, Sir R. Neeld, J.
Hughes, W. B. Neeld, J.
Ingestrie, Visct. Neville, R.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Newry, Visct.
Irton, S. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Jackson, J. D. Norreys, Lord
James, Sir W. C. Northland, Visct.
Jermyn, Earl O'Brien, A. S.
Johnson, W. G. O'Brien, W. S.
Johnstone, Sir J. O'Conor, Don
Johnstone, H. Ogle, S. C. H.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Ossulston, Lord
Jones, Capt. Owen, Sir J.
Kelburne, Visct. Packe, C. W.
Kemble, H. Paget, Lord W.
Kirk, P. Pakington, J. S.
Knatchbull, rt. hon. Palmer, R.
Sir E. Palmer, G.
Knight, H. G. Palmerston, Visct.
Knight, F. W. Patten, J. W.
Knightley, Sir C. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Labouchere, rt. hn, H. Peel, J.
Langston, J. H. Pemberton, T.
Law, hon. C. E. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Lawson, A. Plumptre, J. P.
Legh, G, C. Polhill, P.
Leicester, Earl of Pollock, Sir F.
Lemon, Sir C. Powell, Col.
Lennox, Lord A. Power, J.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Praed, W. T.
Lincoln, Earl of Price, R.
Lindsay, H. H. Pringle, A.
Litton, E. Pusey, P.
Lockhart, W. Rae, rt. hn. Sir W.
Long, W. Rashleigh, W.
Lowther, J. H. Reade, W. M.
Lowther, hon. Col. Redington, T. N.
Lyall, G. Reid, Sir J. R.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Repton, G. W. J.
Mackenzie, T. Rice, E. R.
Mackenzie, W. F. Richards, R.
Mackinnon, W. A. Rolleston, Col.
Maclean, D. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
MacGeachy, F. A. Round, C. G.
Mahon, Visct. Round, J.
Mainwaring, T. Rous, hon. Capt.
Manners, Lord C. S. Rushbrooke, Col.
Manners, Lord J, Russell, Lord J.
March, Earl of Russell, C.
Marsham, Visct. Russell, J. D. W.
Martin, C. W. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Martyn, C. C. Sanderson, R.
Marton, G. Sandon, Visct.
Master, T. W. C. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Masterman, J. Scott, hon. F.
Seymour, Sir H. B. Turner, E.
Sheppard, T. Turnor, C.
Shirley, E. J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Shirley, E. P. Vane, Lord H.
Sibthorp, Col. Vere, Sir C. B.
Smith, A. Verner, Col.
Smith, J. A Vernon, G. H.
Smyth, Sir H. Villiers, Visct.
Smythe, hon. G. Vivian, J. E.
Smollett, A. Vyvyan, Sir R. R.
Somerset, Lord G. Waddington, H. S.
Somerton, Visct. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Sotheron, T. H. S. Wason, R.
Stanley, Lord Watson, W. H.
Stanley, E. Welby, G. E.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Stanton, W. H. Whitmore, T. C.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Stewart, J. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Stuart, H. Wilshere, W.
Sturt, H. C. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Sutton, hon. H. M. Wodehouse, E.
Taylor, T. E. Wood, C.
Taylor, J. A. Wood, Col. T.
Tennent, J. E. Worsley, Lord
Thesiger, F. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Thompson, Ald. Wrightson, W. B.
Thornhill, G. Wyndham, Col.
Tollemache, hn. F. J. Wyndham, W.
Tollemache, J. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.
Tomline, G. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Towneley, J. Young, J.
Traill, G. Young, Sir W.
Trevor, hon. G. R.
Trollope, Sir J. TELLERS.
Trotter, J. Fremantle, Sir T.
Tuite, H. M. Baring, H.

Not Official.

Paired off.

Ashley, hon. H. Westenra, hon. J.
Brooke, Sir A. Butler, hon. Col.
Burdett, Sir F. Sombre, D.
Castlereagh, Lord Fleetwood, Sir H.
Clements, Col. Clements, Lord
Conolly, Col. Heathcoat, J.
Dugdale, W. S. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Eastnor, Visct. Ellice, E.
Forman, T. S. Vivian, Major
Hamilton, J. H. Browne, D.
Henniker, Lord Seymour, Lord
Irving, J. White, L.
Jocelyn, Lord White, Col.
Kerr, D. Listowel, Lord
Lopes, Sir R. O'Connell, M.
Pennant, Hon. G. D. Leveson, Lord
Planta, W. H. J. Pigot, D. R.
Vesey, hon. T. Shelburne, Lord



A'Court, Capt. E. H. Baird, W.
Alford, Lord Cartwright, W. R.
Arbuthnott, hn. Gen. Egerton, Lord F.
Attwood, M. Hillsborough, Lord
Hotham, Lord Ramsay, W. R.
Jones, J. Shaw, J.
Kerrison, Sir E. Trench, Sir F.
Morgan, C. Williams, J. P.
Pigot, Sir R. Wood, Col.
Pollington, Visct. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Anson, hon. G. James, W.
Archbold, H. Jardine, W.
Armstrong, Sir A. Jervis, J.
Barclay, D. Lambton, H.
Barnard, E. G. Layard, Capt.
Bell, J. Loch, J.
Bellew, R. M. Macaulay, T. B.
Berkeley, hon. C. Macnamara, Major
Bernal, R. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Brocklehurst, J. Maher, V.
Bulkeley, Sir R. W. Mangles, R. D.
Buller, E. Martin, J. B.
Byng, G. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Callaghan, D. Morris, D.
Carew, hon. R. S. Morrison, J.
Cave, R. O. Murray, A.
Cavendish, hon. G. Norreys, Sir J. D.
Cavendish, hon. C. O'Brien, J.
Chalmers, P. O'Brien, C.
Clay, Sir W. O'Connell, J.
Clive, E. B. Paget, Lord A.
Craig, W, G. Paget, Col. J.
Dalmeny, Lord Pechell, Capt.
Dalrymple, J. Philipps, Sir R. B.
Dashwood, G. Pinney, W.
Dawson, hon. V. Ponsonby, hon. J.
D'Eyncourt, C. T. Ponsonby, hon. C.
Denison, W. J. Powell, C.
Denison, J. E. Pulsford, N.
Divett, E. Ramsbottom, J.
Drax, W. E. Rawdon, Col.
Dundas, D. Rennie, G.
Dundas, F. Roche, Sir D.
Dundas, hon. J. Roche, E. B.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Roebuck, J. A.
Etwall, R. Rambold, C. E.
Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W. Russell, Lord E.
Forster, M. Rutherford, A.
Fox, Col. Scott, R.
Gore, hon. Capt. Scrope, G. P.
Granger, T. C. Seale, Sir J.
Grattan, H. Shiel, R. L.
Grosvenor, Lord H. Smith, R. V.
Guest, Sir J. J. Somerville, Sir W.
Hayter, W. G. Stock, Serj.
Hill, Lord M. Talbot, C. R. M.
Hobhouse, Sir J. C. Trowbridge, Sir T.
Holdsworth, J. Tufnell, H.
Hollond, R. Vivian, J. H.
Hoskins, K. Vivian, Capt.
Howard, P. H. Wall, C. B.
Howard, hon. J. Wemyss, J.
Howick, Lord White, S.
Hutt, W. Wigney, J. N.
Noes, including Tellers 395
Ayes, including Tellers 92
Paired 36
Conservatives (Ministerialists) 20
Oppositionists 108
Speaker and Chairman of Committee. 2
Cardigan, Meath, Shropshire, Southampton, Thetford 5