HC Deb 11 July 1842 vol 64 cc1307-65
Mr. Villiers

rose to move the amendment of which he had given notice on Friday night. He could assure the House and the right hon. Baronet that if it was an occasion of any ordinary kind, or affecting only interests of a personal nature, he would not interpose or in any manner stay the course of public business. But the amendment he had to propose he moved on constitutional ground, and was one of deep importance to millions of the people. The Order of the Day was to go into a committee of supply. His amendment was, to go previously into the consideration of a great national grievance,—grievance occasioned by a law passed by this House; one that infringed on the liberty of the subject, that fettered him in the exercise of his industry, and precluded the industrious classes from supporting themselves and their families by independent means. The object for which this House exists is to protect the people from being ruled independently of their opinion and adversely to their interests, and, by the powers it possessed, of having a means of compelling the consideration of any grievance when other means were exhausted. The course he was adopting was, therefore, consistent with the principles of the Constitution. He should not, then, repeat those arguments upon the general question of this grievance which he had often advanced before. The country was now familiar with the arguments in favour of repealing the Corn-laws, and, indeed, it was much on that account, and that the reasons yet assigned for their maintenance were so unsatisfactory, that the people now requested and expected that their friends would resort to every legitimate method sanctioned by the Constitution to obtain their abolition as an admitted and undefended evil. He knew that the people who were suffering so severely from their operation now expected this motion to be made. They expected their friends to interfere where any vote of their money was demanded, and to ask specifically for a removal of this grievance. He gathered this from the communications which he received from different parts of the country, and he learnt it also from those earnest and intelligent men who had been deputed from all parts of the country, and were now assembling in this town to submit to the Government and other public men the real condition of the people and the localities from which they came. They implored of their friends to leave nothing untried or undone that could awaken this House to a sense of the appalling and alarming state of the manufacturing districts. They had on Friday solicited their Friends in this House to meet them for the purpose of conferring as to what course would be most expe- dient to adopt, and the result was that they unanimously agreed, and it was carried by acclamation, that this motion should be made; for, having themselves actual knowledge of the bitter sufferings of the people, and being ready to prove that the repeal of this law would immediately relieve them, or greatly mitigate their sufferings, in the name of those unfortunate people they are ready to resort to every legitimate means of obtaining redress. After this meeting had occurred, the noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, had placed on the books a notice for a future day of a motion for a temporary modification of the law. He did not regret that he had done so. He was sure that if the noble Lord could so far alter the law, or induce the Government so far to mitigate its effects, as to relieve in any way the suffering of the people, they would feel deeply grateful to him. But in the present unreasonable attitude assumed by both Houses towards the people, they saw no reason in expectation of the result of that motion, for waiving the right which they claimed to exercise of freely exchanging the fruits of their industry for food, wherever they could with best advantage to themselves, or, indeed, for humbling themselves by modifying that claim, while the obstruction which they deprecate exists for no national or general purpose, but solely for the benefit of individuals who added nothing by their skill or labour to the wealth of the country. By this motion, therefore, they again assert their right to entire freedom in this trade. He said he would not at that moment argue the general question again, but he would, in anticipation of the objections that might be urged to the proposition of repealing a law which had only been enacted during this Session, state the grounds on which he defended that proposition. In the first place, it will be admitted, that this motion has been invited by the Government, by the manner in which they refused the motion of inquiry of his hon. Friend the Member for Greenock. It was said, there are different opinions respecting the causes of the distress and the remedies—the inquiry will be interminable—if you have any specific remedy propose it—if it is the repeal of the Corn-law, why do you not make a motion to that effect? By this motion, then, that challenge was accepted, and it is in the firm conviction that it is the proper remedy for the present evils that it is now submitted. Again, he would remind the House that the present Corn-law contained one provision which was by many considered to be the best one in it, namely, that it could be altered or repealed during the Session. Now this could only be inserted in the act in contemplation of the failure of some object which the bill had in view, or of the occurrence of circumstances that would render it of importance that it should be repealed. He did not know what precisely were the objects of the projectors of the present Corn-law, but certainly if they had in view to remedy the defects of the last law, to increase the quantity of food or to lower its price, so eminent a failure in legislation he never remembered to have occurred. The facts connected with its working were notorious—the price had gradually risen since its enactment, the distress had generally been extended, and all the operations that used to take place under the old law were notoriously proceeding under the present. Again, if any emergency was expected to occur that might render it expedient to repeal this law during the Session, he asked if the state of the country at that moment was not sufficient to call for its repeal? Had not the distress increased in extent and intensity since the passing of that law? was not the country in a most appalling and alarming state? And did not most people refer to this law as its prominent cause, and its repeal as its most probable remedy? The distress could now be no longer called partial; it extended through the length and breadth of the land, in every district and in every department of industry, and it had already reached the agricultural districts. He believed that the only reason why they did not hear more of the distress of the agricultural labourers was, that there were fewer people who had intelligence or leisure to make their sufferings known than in the towns. The only intelligent person usually in a country parish was the clergyman,—and the other day, before a committee, a clergyman from Devonshire was called as a witness, and he gave the most lamentable description of the state of the poor in that county that he had ever heard—indeed, from his description, he doubted if there was a peasant in Europe that could be worse off. They knew that those indications of distress and discontent which they had observed before in the destruction and burning of property had been manifested in Dorsetshire; and he believed in no other county were agricultural labourers more distressed than in Wiltshire. In these places, as in the towns and manufacturing districts, the same account is given of the fearful consequence of poverty in the increase of crime, disease, and death. To official inquiries as to the cause of the increase of death, official replies have been given, that it was owing to the badness, dearness, and inadequacy of food. He believed it was in Wiltshire where Judge Coleridge was on his last circuit, that he was led to remark upon the serious increase of crime—he had a calendar of nearly eighty persons at the last assizes, and he had been led to speculate himself upon the causes of this increase; but upon examining the nature of the ofences it was found that nearly forty-seven were for stealing food and the common comforts of life. The account he held in his hand, which had been sent him, contained a very fair summary of the general state of the country:— Multitudes are out of employment, wages of all kinds are coming down, workhouses are full to overflowing, there is an increasing amount of sickness, the dispensaries are thronged, and the fever infirmaries crowded, typhus and infectious diseases are very prevalent; crime also increases, and many who are without support actually commit offences in order to make the prison an asylum from starvation. The rate-payers are beginning to sink under the weight of parochial taxation. The actual destitution of the poor people is indescribable; life with them is a mere struggle for existence. He could not doubt the correctness of these statements after all that he had heard; and indeed he was led the less to doubt it from observing that none of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, whose constituencies had been alluded to, had ever risen to say one word on the subject, or to deny any statement made with respect to them. Now, he would state one other ground fully to justify the application he was making to this House, which was, that opinions and principles had been avowed by the Government, and adopted by both Houses of the Legislature, since the Corn-law was passed, which had been repudiated or disputed when the Corn-law was passed. He would not weary the House with quoting long passages from different speeches, but he would faithfully give the substance of what had fallen from different Ministers of the Crown in the course of their speeches. It would be remembered that, when the Corn-law was proposed, it was asserted that we ought to legislate with the view of creating dependence upon our own soil; that the Corn-law did not cause distress; and that if the Corn-laws were repealed it would lower wages. Now he would then read what had been said since:—First, That the cost of living was exorbitantly high, and ought to be reduced; that the reward of labour had been gradually declining-, and some relaxation in the cost of living should be made. That the food of the people of this country was insufficient, and that we must expect to be dependent on other countries for a large amount of our supplies. That the area of our supply ought to be extended. That the people are now suffering the severest privations from want, and that 1,200,000 are living on parochial charity. That manufactured goods are now in excess in this country. And, finally, it has been said, that sound principle requires that the people should be allowed to obtain the objects essential to life and comfort wherever they can obtain them with the least sacrifice of labour and money. Was it then wonderful he asked—after all these admissions had been made—after all this poverty had been proved—after it was established that there was food in abundance in the world that could be exchanged for their goods- that the people should believe that those who had uttered those sentiments were sincere, and that after expressing; sympathy for their sufferings, that they would so far act in accordance with their opinions as to repeal a law that made the cost of living high, that limited the area of supply, and prevented people from obtaining the comforts of life at the best advantage? These were then the grounds on which the people applied to this House again to reconsider the law with a view to its repeal, and asked now the Members of this House to attach the condition of this relief to any supply that they should this night vote. This was a right that he asserted on behalf of the people; if it was rejected by the majority of this House, on that majority would rest the responsibility, for against their decision, after it was given, it was useless to contend. He would now move. That, previously to granting any supply, this House would go into committee, to take into consideration the present Corn-law, with a view to its total repeal.

Mr. Fielden

rose to support the motion. The main point, which was admitted by all preceding speakers, was, that the people were starving from want of food. Much had been said about it, but he thought that still it was important to see how it could best be proved, and as he was prepared to prove that there had been causes long in operation to produce it, he would apply himself to a specific illustration of it. He would do this in a manner to show the fallacy of the assertions as to the prosperity that had been said to have prevailed between 1833 and 1837. Activity prevailed, it was true, but not prosperity, and he could show this. The hand-loom weavers of this kingdom, and those dependent on them for subsistence, comprised nearly 1,000,000 people, and when he first came into that House he made known their case; stating, too, that if something were not done to relieve that body from their sufferings, others then employed at better wages would be brought down, and that soon, to the same condition. To illustrate the case, he would take an industrious hand-loom weaver as he stood in 1815, and would give his earnings for the prices paid in that year, and the number of pints of wheat which his wages would purchase at the average price of wheat in that year. He would then state his earnings, and his command over wheat in 1824, being nine years after, and being the year of Mr. Robinson's (now Lord Ripon) prosperity. He would then give his condition nine years after that, being for the year 1833, and up to that date he had proved before three successive committees of that House—that on manufactures, shipping, and commerce, in 1833, the committee on handloom weavers in 1834, and the same in 1835—that what he was now going to assert was undeniably true. He would now trace the progress of the weavers to the present time, which would give another nine years, and the result would show that bones and sinews were now waging a successful competition against machinery and the owners thereof. The price the weaver did his work for would not pay interest for the cost of the machinery. In 1815 the Corn-laws were enacted; the average price of the quarter of wheat in that year was 63s. 8d.; the weekly earnings of the hand-loom weaver in that year were 27s., with which he could purchase 217 pints of wheat. In 1824 the average price of the quarter of wheat was 62s. The weekly wages of the handloom weaver in that year were 13s. 6d., with which he could purchase 111 pints of wheat. In 1833 the average price of wheat was 52s. 11d. a quarter; the weekly wages of the hand-loom weaver were 8s., with which he could purchase seventy-seven pints of wheat. In the week ending the 2nd of this month the average price of wheat was 64s. 3d., and the handloom weaver's wages he would give, from a resolution adopted by the board of guardians of the Settle Union, in Yorkshire, and sent to the Poor-law commissioners, dated the 22nd of June, 1842, and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on the 7th instant, which stated that, In Long Preston township and other townships in the union the poor are employed in handloom weaving, by which good workmen can now earn not more than 3s. per week, with which 3s. he could only purchase 24¼pints of wheat. And thus he showed, and he wished to impress it upon the House and the public, that that honest working man performed the same labour now for 24¼ pints of wheat that brought him, only 27 years ago, 217 pints of wheat. Was not that a sufficient reason why his wages should either be raised, or that the price of wheat should be reduced; and as that House had declared that it could not interfere to regulate wages, the question was, whether it could not do something to bring clown the price of wheat? The advocates of Corn-law repeal said that you could, and he agreed with them. If all duty were taken off the importation of corn it would fall in price. The picture of the condition of the handloom weaver that he bad just drawn showed clearly that the distresses of that people had been gradually coming over them for a long period; that, in fact, it was not a temporary revulsion of trade, but a steady downward progress of an alarming nature. He believed that now those who worked on machinery were brought to the same deplorble state as that of the handloom weaver. Thousands were thrown out of work altogether, and were, therefore, totally destitute, and nearly all had had their wages amazingly reduced, and had no prospect of being continued in employment for any length of time, because those who employed them were placed in such a state of difficulty that they could not continue the employment of their people. The manufacturers who employed great numbers of hands had now less for labour and expenses by 83½per cent, for manufacturing the same articles than they had in 1815, that was, they now received only 16l. 10s. for what brought them 100l. in 1 815; and he could assert, without fear of being contradicted by any practical man, that no manufacturer, with the most improved machinery that he could get, could possibly carry on his works at that rate, supposing the taxation and the measure of value to remain on their present footing. He would give a practical instance in a fact which had recently come to his knowledge:—Within these two years the occupiers of one of the largest factories in Manchester dismissed their hands. The reason assigned was that they could not compete with the better machinery that had been introduced into other factories. They broke up, or disposed of, their old machinery, and set to work to provide the best and most improved machinery that could be made. They laid out 20,000l., as he was informed, in the speculation, began work again on the improved machinery some months ago, and had again, after incurring all that expense, and after making another trial, finally closed their works. He thought that the hon. Member for Manchester, if in his place, could confirm that fact. Effects so astounding must have a cause. The war, which had led to the contraction of a debt of 800,000,000l., terminated in 1815, and you then passed your Corn-law, and repealed your property-tax. The Bank began to prepare for cash payments, and contracted its issues of money. The Corn-law was intended to keep up the prices of corn, and the contraction of the issues was calculated to make money dear, and the effect of those measures was to throw the taxation on the productive classes of the country, and release property from its proper share of the burden, with food at a high price. But, not satisfied with that, the bill of the right hon. Baronet was passed in 1819 to fix the standard of value at 3l. 17s. 10½d. an ounce, the effect of which had been to more than double the pressure of the enormous taxation consequent upon the 800,000,000l. of debt; and now, after all the improvements of machinery and increased power of production, accompanied by great reductions of wages, we had arrived at a state when the pressure could not be sustained much longer. During the last year and a half the losses which he and his brothers had sustained in their manufacturing pursuits were enormous. Having always had a great disinclination to reduce wages, and having exerted themselves to prevent reductions of wages on the part of others, and having contended with their brother manufacturers that it was better to reduce the quantity of work in times of stagnation than to reduce the wages and give out the same quantity of work, they in April, 1841, as they had on occasions before, but without success, set the example to their fellow-manufacturers of working eight hours in the day instead of twelve; and that practice they persevered in till January last; but finding that others refused to copy the example, and finding also that their workpeople wished that, because others worked full time, they would do so too, they considered the matter, and having told their workpeople that a necessary consequence, if things did not improve, would be a reduction of wages, went to work again at full time. They had continued to do so up till now. They had kept the wages of their factory hands at the same prices as before; but they had given for the labour of those hands and of the handloom weavers whom they employed 50,000l. more in the last year and a half than their labour was worth; and any reductions of wages which they could now make would not enable them now to sell the articles which they manufactured, except at a considerable weekly loss, notwithstanding the cotton which they used in their manufacture was never so low in price in any period as it was now; and, therefore, it was impossible that they should go on. He wished to know from the right hon. Baronet what they were to do, and what was to become of the thousands of people whom they employed when their labour ceased? He hoped the right hon. Baronet would give him an answer. The distress during the last five months Parliament had been sitting had gone on increasing, and in his opinion, not one measure had been passed calculated even to mitigate it; but, on the contrary, the tendency of the three Go- vernment measures that the House had sanctioned would be to increase the distress among the productive classes of this country. Two of those measures were intended, and would effect, a fall of the prices of different articles they embraced, and the Income-tax was a direct increase of taxation of the country, which was so heavy before that the prices of the commodity now to be reduced could not sustain it. Correction of the existing evils had been delayed too long, and the repeal of the Corn-laws must now be yielded. That would give at any rate temporary relief, and though he (Mr. Fielden) certainly thought that other measures ought to accompany the repeal of the Corn-laws, he would leave it to the representatives of the landed interest to suggest those measures. No time should now be lost. The people were perishing from want. Famine was abroad, and must be stopped. That was a grievance so great and so pressing that he (Mr. Fielden) was ready to act his part in putting into force the old constitutional practice in such emergencies, of stopping the supplies till the redress was conceded—not from factious motives, but from a sense of duty and the necessity of the case. Those opposed to this course would be the factious party. Were the advocates of repeal sincere? The attempts that must be made to stop the supplies would test them. The only way to support public credit much longer, which all parties were anxious to do, was to repeal the Corn-laws.

Mr. P. Howard

was of opinion that a stoppage of the supplies could not fail to aggravate that distress which it was intended to remedy, and he was quite sure that any motion made with that object must meet with the general condemnation of the great body of the people, and must necessarily lead to embarrassment and confusion in a country where transactions of business were so extensively based upon credit as in England. If the motion now before the House were delayed until Thursday next the hon. Member who brought it forward would have an opportunity of seeing what were the opinions of the House on the subject of the Corn-laws when the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland submitted his proposition to the consideration of the House. There could be very little doubt that the total repeal of the Corn-laws must have the effect of adding agricultural distress to the manufacturing difficulties which unfortunately at present prevailed. A total repeal of the Corn-laws would throw many hands out of employment, and would greatly narrow the home market. Many of the more sensible operatives were themselves aware of this; they viewed their fellow-countrymen who were engaged in agriculture with very kindly feelings; they did not desire to see them thrown out of employment, and they were therefore favourable to a moderate fixed duty. He should vote against the motion, but he was quite ready to give the proposition of the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland his best and most favourable consideration, and he hoped that her Majesty's Government would do the same; at all events he could not vote for stopping the supplies.

Mr. Aglionby

would not allude to the question of stopping the supplies, for that was not, strictly speaking, before the House. He now saw nothing but the repeal of the Corn-laws that would give to the famishing people the relief to which they were entitled. Formerly he had been of opinion that the interests of both the agricultural and manufacturing classes would be best served by a moderate fixed duty; but more recent events, and the alarming crisis that had arrived, had convinced him that nothing could satisfy the exigency but repeal of the Corn-law. He had come to that conclusion with difficulty and pain for he was reluctant to yield up an opinion he had long maintained. What had been the consequence of adhering to the principle of the sliding-scale? Had not the alteration of the right hon. Baronet turned out to be a mere delusion? What party or class would benefit by it? Had commerce? Would labour or would agriculture? The new scheme, it was said, would have the effect of preventing those speculations in the market by which corn was withheld, but was there not a great quantity now withheld in bond? The sliding scale was as injurious to agriculture as to manufactures. He contended, that the House was bound not to separate until they had given that relief to the distresses of the country which the repeal of the Corn-laws would effect, or some equivalent substitute. The state of the handloom weavers, in number nearly a million, demanded consideration. In the early part of the Session he had presented a petition which stated that since Mr. Muggeridge had made his report, lamentable as their condition was even then, the wages of the hand loom weavers had been reduced 45 per cent. Considering, then, that the repeal of the Corn-laws would afford relief, and that no substitute was offered by the Government, he should support the motion before the House.

Mr. Hawes

referred the House to the speech made by Sir Henry Parnell on the 15th of June, 1813, when introducing the original resolution on which the law of 1813 was founded, and quoted the following passage:— If the trade with the continent was again opened either by the retreat of the French emperor or by peace, these restraints would be removed, the existing law would afford no obstacle in the way of importation, and so much foreign corn would come in as would deprive the growers of it of a fair return for the labour and capital they have applied in extending tillage, and they would necessarily by such events be discouraged from continuing their speculations in improving their lands and increasing their production of corn. Now, he would ask, was that a broad national ground for the introduction of such a law? On the contrary, he contended, that a more narrow and selfish ground had never been assigned for the introduction of a great measure affecting the food and trade of the whole country. But Sir Henry Parnell was not the only one who had asserted such a reason. The speech of Lord Liverpool was one of the most remarkable ever delivered on the subject; and his declaration on the 26th of May, 1820, was as follows:— I was one of those who, in the year 1815, advocated the Corn-bill. In common with all the supporters of that measure, I believed that it was expedient to grant an additional protection to the agriculturist. I thought, that after the peculiar situation of this country, during a war of twenty years, enjoying a monopoly in some branches of trade, although excluded from others—after the unlimited extent to which speculation in agriculture had been for many years carried, and considering the low comparative price of agricultural produce in most of the countries of Europe—the landed property of the country would be subjected to very considerable inconvenience and distress if some further legislative protection were not afforded to it, 1 thought the Corn-bill was advisable, with the view of preventing' that convulsion in landed property which a change from such a war to such a peace might otherwise produce. The grounds upon which the Corn-law was supported had entirely changed since then, and his opinion was, that neither the original ground nor the change was justifiable. Lord Liverpool went on to say:— What I recommended was—to pass the Corn-bill (and thus to give a further, and under the circumstances I thought a proper, protection to agriculture;) but I delivered it as my opinion, that if it was not passed then it ought not to be passed at all; and upon this ground, which, whether it be wise or not, is at least intelligible—that I could conceive a case in which it might be expedient to give a further protection to the agriculturist, but that I was persuaded that the worst course which it was possible for the Legislature to adopt, was to hang the question up in doubt and uncertainty; that the consequence of not legislating at all would be, that rents would fall—that a compromise would take place between the owners and occupiers of land-—that the landlord and the tenant would make a new bargain—and that, if after all the distress that was incident to such changes had passed away, a new Corn-bill should be agreed to, it would be most unequal and unjust in its operation. Now, he contended, that the circumstances under which the law had been introduced had long passed away, that the ground upon which the bill was framed had passed away, and that the House was bound now to regard this law upon some loftier and more general principles, and he hoped that hon. Gentlemen opposite would do so if they condescended to take part in this discussion. But he supposed that the singular spectacle would again be exhibited of all the speeches being delivered on one side, and hon. Gentlemen opposite not deigning to answer them, while the nation was plunged in a state of distress. He contended that he had the evidence of one of the ablest and most upright Ministers England had ever seen against any Corn-law, because the grounds upon which he had based it were temporary and transitory, and had passed away. When the law of 1828 was introduced, the report of that able and upright man, Mr. Jacobs, upon the general state of the corn-trade, was in existence, and in the course of that report he touched upon the state of manufactures in Prussia. Let the House compare that report with the account of some manufacturers contained in the report of Dr. Bowring. Mr. Jacobs, in 1826, said, that those Prussian districts to which his attention had been directed were not manufacturing. Some few attempts, indeed, had been made, and a pro- ject had been started for the fabrication of woollens by means of machinery; they were, however, merely attempts. Here, then, was the state of things. In 1826, manufactures were merely beginning amongst those who were now our most powerful rivals; and yet they had neglected the repeated warnings of all who had written and spoken on the subject, and who had clearly pointed out that the manufacturing pre-eminence of England was endangered by her continental rivals. Dr. Bowring stated in his report, that the price of the Prussian cloths was lower; that the' spinning, weaving, and earlier processes of their manufacture were equal, but in the finishing there was a marked inferiority. That great market was once open to England, but the House had disregarded all warnings and predictions, and the consequence was, that in the course of thirteen years a document was laid on the Table, showing that the manufacturing population of Germany was daily increasing and improving in force and power. He thought that fact ought to strike deeply into the minds of all who reflected upon the subject. He could not hope that any thing he could say would affect the policy of the Government; but it was most melancholy and discouraging to see the disregard paid to the statements of such men as Mr. Jacobs and Dr. Bowring, and the slow and almost imperceptible progress of sound commercial policy. There was a time in the history of the country in which these topics were discussed as hotly as now, and what were then the sentiments of a Minister of the Crown? He wished not to undervalue what the right hon. Baronet had said and done; but he thought that his measures were lamentably deficient as compared with his speeches. In the right hon. Gentleman's speeches were contained the principles of free trade. It was true those expressions were not cheered by hon. Gentlemen on the other side; but those Gentlemen supported the right hon. Baronet. In 1732, when Sir Robert Walpole, with a view to improve the revenue, introduced his Excise scheme, he proposed to continue the taxation upon a few articles of general consumption, but to comprehend among the untaxed commodities the principal necessaries of life, and raw materials of manufacture. He regretted to observe that the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had attempted to throw ridicule upon the subject, and had wandered over the world in search of causes for the distress. The noble Lord had singled out China especially; but did our trade with China exhibit any great decrease? Quite the contrary. But if it did, who would be more responsible for it than the noble Lord himself, who had been a party to all the measures to which the original disturbances of our amicable relations with China might be attributed? If there were a falling off in any branches of our trade, he defied any man to say that it was not attributable to the want of fresh markets. These fresh markets could not be obtained without a repeal of the Corn-laws. He did not attribute the whole of the distress under which the country was now labouring to any single cause; but if he were asked how that distress could most readily be converted into comparative prosperity, he should say by a repeal of the Corn-laws. These Corn-laws once abolished, market after market would speedily open in every quarter of the world to the manufacturing enterprise and industry of England. But if those laws were retained at all, it certainly should not be in the form of a sliding-scale. Nothing could be more objectionable, or more injurious, than such a mode of levying the duty upon the first necessary of life. He contrasted the measures of the present Government with those which were proposed by their predecessors in the last Session of Parliament, and asked what the country had gained by the change of Ministry, and delay of a year? Trade and commerce had remained in a state of stagnation, manufactures had languished, the people had sunk into a condition of the deepest distress and suffering. And what, after all, did the Ministry give to the country as the result of its deep deliberations, and as a remedy for the evils complained of?—An Income-tax! which forsooth was to benefit the poor by relieving them from taxation. A more fallacious doctrine was never advanced within the walls of Parliament. He believed that the Income-tax by depriving the poor of employment, would be a deep and lasting curse upon them. With the single exception of the Income-tax, Ministers had not introduced a measure which they had not taken from their predecessors. The Income-tax was theirs exclusively; but every other measure that they had brought forward for liberalizing our commercial system had been filched from the portfolio of their predecessors. He could not look at the present condition of the country without regarding it as one of great danger and alarm. There was this peculiar circumstance in it, which, in his estimation, demanded the most serious attention. There existed at the present moment a degree of suffering amongst the middle classes which was wholly without a parallel in the history of this country. He would not enter into all the causes of that distress; but if he were to point to any one cause in particular, it would be precisely that for which the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) had provided no remedy—he meant the general state of our banking system. That was a source of mischief which the right hon. Baronet had never touched, and scarcely ever alluded to. If the Government pursued its course, indifferent to the distress of the country and to the cause of it, he was satisfied that the time would not be distant when a great change would take place in the political feeling of that class which now constituted the chief strength and support of the ministry; and that measures might be forced upon the Legislature which all wise and prudent men would deplore.

Mr. H. G. Knight

said, the hon. Member for Wolverhampton had the candour to inform the House that this was not his motion, but the motion of the Anti-Corn-law League; but he must remind the hon. Gentleman and his supporters, that the question had been fully discussed already this Session, and that Parliament had come to a decision upon it which they were not likely to reverse in obedience to the dictation of that body. It could not be denied that the distress in the manufacturing towns was both general and severe, but he contended that the immediate and total repeal of the Corn-laws would not diminish that distress—because, whilst it would not produce that immediate demand for our manufactures which alone could afford substantial relief, it would seriously injure the whole agricultural population, and excite such a panic through the whole length and breadth of the land as would produce a stagnation in that home market upon which dependence was still to be placed. It. would excite such alarm, such confusion, that the usual transactions of life would be at a stand, and the distress, instead of being dimin- ished, would be augmented a hundredfold. What he regretted to hear most from the hon. Member for Wolverhampton was, a sentiment which had been echoed by the hon. Member for Lambeth, namely, that the landed proprietors were anxious to prolong the Corn-laws for the sake of what both Members were pleased to term their "private interests," and to support the aristocracy. Now he must be allowed to repeat, that the landed proprietors do not desire the greatly reduced protection which has been left to the British growers of corn, to maintain themselves in any particular station, to retain luxuries which might be given up, but to enable the tillers of the soil, the farmers and agricultural labourers, to proceed with their useful occupations. He had no wish for a larger protection than was necessary to keep the agricultural population in employment, and prevent the poorer soils of this country from being thrown out of cultivation. But, taunted as they had been, he would assert that the aristocracy were as useful a class as any other; that, in his opinion, no community can be well governed, prosperous, or well conducted, in which there is not an aristocracy; that the poor man, in nine cases out of ten, is the better off for having a rich man at his side; and that he is the enemy of his country, who endeavours to set the operatives against the landed proprietors, and the lower orders against the upper. He was not for class-legislation; he did not wish that one class should be served at the expense of another; all he looked to was the welfare of the whole community; and this, he asserted, would not be promoted by an immediate and total repeal of the Corn-laws. As a proof that a total repeal would have the effect of throwing a large proportion of the agricultural labourers out of work, he would mention that, on this subject, he had consulted the best authorities, who, at the same lime, were advocates for a free-trade in corn, and even they had admitted that a repeal of the Corn-laws would bring down wheat, not to 50s. a-quarter, as had been stated by the hon. Member for Inverness, but to 47s. a-quarter,—a price which would not remunerate the cultivators of any but the best soils in this country. Perhaps upon these subjects he was not an unfair witness, and this was his principal reason for addressing the House, because he represented a constituency which was nearly as manufacturing as it was agricultural—he was, therefore, accustomed not to take so one-sided a view of these subjects as was taken by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and, placed in this position, he must say that he thought the measures which had already been introduced by the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government, had struck the balance fairly between the two great interests into which this country is divided; and that more could not be done at present without serious mischief. The hon. Member for Stockport, in the torrent of invective which he poured out last Friday evening, and which operated upon him as a shower-bath, had appealed to him, and asked him what he had to say on the subject of the distress at present prevalent in Nottingham. In answer to that question, he was ready to admit that Nottingham was in a very different state from that in which he wished to see it, but still he had reason to hope that it was not in such an appalling state of destitution as had been reported to the hon. Member. At any rate he could state that Nottingham was not desirous of the remedy proposed by the hon. Member for the borough of Wolverhampton. He had a right to assume this, because, two or three years ago, when the hon. and learned Member for Bolton went down to Nottingham to do a little business in the way of agitation, and had convened a public meeting for the discussion of this very question, the total repeal of the Corn-laws, instead of being received with enthusiasm, instead of being unanimously supported, the hon. and learned Gentleman had been hooted out of the hall. The hon. Member for Stockport had rebuked the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government for having stated that, whilst machinery was, on the whole, advantageous, yet it was sometimes the cause of partial and local distress; but he had learnt, from his connection with Nottingham, that partial distress did, sometimes, result from machinery—for it often happened that a man expended his savings in the purchase of a frame, and that, shortly afterwards, his frame was rendered useless by some new invention, the effect of which was that the purchaser of the old frame was ruined, and had to turn off his hands—and he believed that such vicissitudes were not confined to Nottingham, nor only resulted from machinery employed in the manufacture of lace. The hon. Member for Stockport had asserted that it was a libel on the people to say that there could be such a thing as over-production; but he begged to remind him that such a doctrine was diametrically opposed to the opinions declared by the hon. Member for Inverness, whose speech was eminently deserving of attention. Did the hon. Member for Stockport mean to say that if the Corn-laws were repealed, all the power looms, every species of steam engine, and machinery, might be set to work, and kept at work for ever and ever, without producing more goods than were wanted? He felt assured that it was not by acting up to such opinions that the hon. Member had made his fortune. He was well convinced that care had been taken to proportion supply to demand. For his part he was convinced that overproduction on the one hand, and the monetary embarrassments of the United States on the other, were the two main causes of distress. Whatever the amount of that distress might be, he was convinced that it was increased by such discussions as the present, by exaggerated statements, and inflammatory appeals to the passions of a suffering and deluded multitude. Nothing but mischief would result from the loud denunciations and the predictions of evil which were heard in that House night after night. He must say that, if he was a despotic king, and an insurrection, which had been openly predicted, were to take place, his first act would be to hang the prophet. And when they heard men, who called themselves the ministers of religion, distort the language of the Gospel of peace for purposes of strife and dissension, and suggesting deeds of violence which, otherwise, would never have entered into the thoughts of their deluded auditors, it was grievous to find that they made such a use of the influence which they possessed. But then it was said, will you separate without doing anything for the suffering people? How do you expect to get through next winter, without providing relief? He acknowledged and deplored the distress. He feared that it must continue for some time longer, and if it pleased Providence, for inscrutable reasons, to visit this country with the dreadful calamity of another bad harvest, he might then think that it would be proper to assemble Parliament again, and see what could be done; but he owned he had better hopes: he did hope that the approaching harvest would prove a better measure than any this House could devise; he was persuaded that, as soon as those who held corn in hand perceived that the harvest was likely to be a good one, they would hasten to bring their stores into the market, and then the price of food would be considerably cheapened. With these helps we might hope to get through the time till the operation of the measures introduced by the Government begin to be felt. It was his firm belief that, if those measures were allowed to have a fair trial, the evils which had been so loudly complained of would be gradually mitigated, and that, finally, prosperity would be restored. Of one thing he was certain, that the distress would begin to subside whenever the House was prorogued, and hon. Members opposite had no longer the opportunity of making speeches on the subject.

Mr. Hindley

regretted with the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, that any proposition should be pressed upon the consideration of the House by a body of men out of doors; but he saw in the circumstance of the second visit to London of the Members of the Anti-Corn-law league, the strongest proof of the extreme urgency of the case which they were deputed to represent. With respect to the question before the House, he believed that the distress was not denied by any hon. Member; they ail admitted, and they all deplored it, and he could not charge hon. Gentlemen opposite with feeling less than they on the opposition side did on this subject. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had, however, attributed that distress to two or three causes. The hon. Member for Macclesfield attributed it to the increase of machinery, which, he said, had increased to such an extent, that the manufacturers might not only clothe the inhabitants of this world, but also of another as populous. He wondered it had not struck the hon. Member, when he made that assertion, that they had not been able to clothe the people of our own island; for he believed there never was a period when the people were worse clothed than at present. Another cause of distress was said to be the joint stock banking. Now, the act passed in 1826, and during the years that followed up to 1833, they had never heard a single complaint of the joint stock banks. He begged now to call the attention of the House to the price of wheat during the last twenty years. Having been engaged in manufactures during that period, he thought he had some right to ask the attention of the House to this point. For the four years ending 1820, the price paid by the people of this country for wheat was 252,000,000l., being an average of 63,000,000l. per annum. It would be recollected that during that period the riots in Manchester took place, and he begged the House to remark that during that period the average price of wheat was 78s. 3d. per quarter. For the four years ending 1824 the price paid for by the people for wheat, instead of being £252,000,000, as in the preceding four years, was only 168,000,000l., the average price being 52s. 11d. per quarter. The House would perceive that in those four years they had about 80,000,000l. to spend for clothing; the great part of this sum, of course, went to Manchester, and he perfectly well remembered that in these four years he trebled the capital which he had in business. It was the cheapness of food during those four years that enabled the people, after supplying their necessary wants, to lay out the surplus in clothing and other comforts. For the four years ending 1828, the amount paid for wheat was 182,000,000l., the average price being 60s. 2d. per quarter. For the four years ending 1832, the amount paid was 204,383,000l., the average annual amount paid being 51,000,000l., and the average price 63s. 11d. per quarter. For the four years ending 1836 the amount laid out in food was 149,450,000l., the average price being 46s. 9d. per quarter; and those were the years in which they were told the foundation of the present distress had been laid. The fact was, that in those years the low price of corn left the people 80,000,000l. to spend in clothing and the other comforts of life. Of course, the people in the manufacturing districts got a large portion of this money, and this, necessarily, led to the erection of joint stock banks. For the last four years, the amount paid for food—instead of 149,451,000l., as in the previous four years—was 212,000,000l., being about 72,000,000l. more than in the preceding four years. Of course all this was abstracted from the manufacturing portion of the country; the people having to expend all their means in the purchase of food, they were of course unable to purchase clothing. He thought, therefore, that the hon. Member for Nottinghamshire might safely prophecy from these figures that there would be prosperity for the next four years, should the price of corn be under 50s. per quarter. But what had been the effect of the new Corn-law? Had corn been let out of bond at a period when they would have expected such to be the case? Nothing of the kind. The holders were still looking to a shilling duty, and they all hoped to be able to sell their corn at a time when the revenue would derive but little advantage from the sales. The right hon. Baronet had thrown out hints the other night that it might be of advantage to the holders to let their corn out of bond, and that they might do worse than let out their corn at a 6s. duty. He found that only on one occasion during the last ten years had corn been taken out of bond to any extent before the month of September, and if the right hon. Baronet could bring it before that time this year, he would give him all the credit of doing so. He trusted, however, considering the present distressed state of the country, that the Government would be prepared either to accede to the motion which the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland had placed on the paper, for a 6s. fixed duty, or to agree that corn should be allowed to come in at a Is. duty, whenever the price exceeded the sum which the agriculturists themselves admitted to be a fair average price. In connection with the distress which existed, he could not help adverting to the course pursued by Lord Liverpool with regard to the manufacturing distress of 1825 and 1826. When a deputation came to that noble Lord on the subject of an advance of money by Exchequer-bills, he told them that Government were adverse to such a practice; but he gave them a recommendation to the Bank of England, and the Bank advanced the money to the manufacturers. The consequence was, that confidence was very soon restored, and a sum of not more than 400,000l. sufficed for this purpose. He trusted that the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government would give them some assurance that the price of food during the next year would not be allowed to rise to a price which would exhaust the means of the labouring classes in the purchase of the article of bread alone.

Mr. F. Scott

as the representative of a county in which there were many manu- facturing towns and considerable distress, could not think that that distress had in any extent arisen from the present Corn-laws. Those Corn-laws had recently been modified, and it would be unfair and absurd not to give them a trial. They were supported by that side of the House, not for the sake of their rent-rolls, but for the sake of the labouring poor, who would by their repeal be thrown out of employment and into fearful distress. There was no point more decided in history than that the independence of a country rested upon its supply of corn, and that supply was secured by the present system of Corn-laws. It was remarkable that 200 years ago, the principle of those laws met with able and distinguished advocates. Sir Thomas Culpepper, in 1621; Mr. Hartley shortly afterwards; an eminent writer in 1651, referred to by Mr. Huskisson; all supported the necessity of a country's independence for its supply of corn in a manner particularly applicable to the discussions of existing times. The example of France was one which they ought to ponder upon. She had, during the administration of M. Colbert, acted upon free-trade principles with regard to corn, and the fruits which she had reaped ought to warn them from adopting the same course. During the continuance of the prevention laws the price of grain had been steadier and lower in England than at any other period.

Sir C. Napier

said, that he did not rise to discuss the question of the Corn-laws, and he regretted that the hon. Member for Wolverhampton had brought forward the question. He thought it a waste of the time of the House. He advised hon. Gentlemen on that (the Opposition) side of the House, to give the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, with as little delay as possible, his supplies. AH the country knew that they were dissatisfied with the Corn-laws. If the right hon. Baronet would listen to him, he would advise him to give up the Poor-law bill for the present Session. There were no less than fifty-four amendments, and it was impossible they could carry the measure unless they were to sit not only to the end of summer but to the end of autumn. He advised the right hon. Baronet to take his supplies and send Members home as soon as he could, to watch over the peace and tranquillity of the country, which, he maintained, was in extreme danger at the present moment. He would require the exertions of every hon. Member to preserve peace in their own localities; and he believed, if the right hon. Baronet would follow this advice, that he would very soon see the necessity of opening the ports of this country, a step which he was far more likely to take if left to himself, than if he were compelled to sit in that House till two or three o'clock in the morning.

Sir R. Peel

said, I am grateful to the hon. and gallant Officer for the expression of opinions so congenial to my own feelings, and so conducive to my health. I am glad to hear it admitted by the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the question of the Corn-laws has been fully discussed, and that it is unfair as well as unjust to adopt such a mode of stopping the supplies. I am also glad to hear the hon. and gallant Gentleman add that upon which I would not venture; namely, that such discussions are an unwarrantable waste of the public time. [Sir C. Napier: I only expressed my own opinion.] That may be the case, but in justice to the other side of the House, I am bound to say that in that opinion he does not stand alone. It is argued that the present Corn-laws are as objectionable as the preceding; and the hon. Member for Ashton stated, that under the old system corn was withheld until August and September, when the foreign growers would introduce it in consequence of the duty falling to Is. The hon. Gentleman said that the same objection applies to the present law, and added that if I could show him that the present law was more favourable to the consumer than the former one, I was entitled to some credit for having made the change. Gentlemen on the other side have, however, though I will not say intentionally, adopted a course which in effect prevents my measure from having a fair trial; for whilst any hope exists that Parliament will be induced to alter the law, and that corn might be admitted into this country on more favourable terms, the measure can have no fair trial, for the grain will be held back. I have quoted, on a former occasion, an instance to show, that under the existing law, corn had come in, not certainly in the quantity I wished, but to a greater extent than under the preceding law. The period to which I alluded was the 23rd of June, when there came in of foreign corn 27,500 quarters and of colonial corn 6,000 quarters, making in all 33,500 quarters. The hon. Member for Liskeard said, that I happened to light on a lucky week, but in answer, I stated, that I took the last week in the returns. I now, however, shall quote the returns of a week later, to show that the results are not so unsatisfactory as some hon. Gentlemen would have them believed to be. Notwithstanding the expectation which had been held out respecting an alteration in the state of the law, it appears by the return for the 30th of June, that, for home consumption, there had been brought in from the colonies 5,002 quarters at 1s. duty, and of foreign corn 48,112 quarters. The whole of the corn for home consumption amounted then to upwards of 53,000 quarters. This, then, shows the satisfactory working of the law; and, in addition to this, I am informed that the harvest has already commenced in some parts of the country. The consequence is, a fall of 2s. in Mark-lane, and in other parts of the country there is a similar tendency to a decline of price. This occurred notwithstanding the expected alteration in the law, from which arises a disposition on the part of the holders of corn to keep it back. I repeat, then, that if, under the existing impression that the law is to be altered, such circumstances have occurred, those who hold back with such an impression labour under a great error, and are likely to incur a considerable loss. If they believed that the price would rise till corn would be admissible at a duty of 1s., my belief is, that these parties would have committed a great error, and incurred large loss. It would evidently be most unwise to proceed to condemn the law after an experience of seven weeks; but, even judging from the experience of seven weeks, if you choose to form a judgment from so short an interval as to the effect of a new act of Parliament, I think marked symptoms of improvement are perceptible within the two last weeks. Notices of importation under the existing law from very remote parts of the continent, and the prices given at which that wheat can be imported, combine to show that the unfavourable conclusions drawn with respect to the operation of the existing law are not founded in any experience from which you can draw a safe inference. Considering the motion which was made by the hon. Member for Aberdeen, the motion which has been made to-night, and the motion of which the noble Lord had given notice, I think you may fairly infer, if the law has not operated so rapidly or so favourably as might have been expected, that a part, if not the whole of that unfavourable operation, is to be ascribed to the expectations which these notices have created in the minds of the dealers that the present arrangement would be disturbed. Nothing shall tempt me to extenuate the facts attested by the reports received from various parts of the country as to the existing distress. It is impossible for me to allude to it without expressing the deepest regret at its existence, and the sincerest sympathy with those who are its unfortunate victims. I say at once, that if I could believe that a material alteration of the Corn-law would produce any permanent relief, not only I, but I am sure those who are, like myself, immediately connected with the land, if they were convinced that the Corn-laws were the main cause of the distress, and that their repeal would give substantial and enduring relief, would instantly relax our determination to maintain them. I am afraid that the measures of commercial reform which Government have felt it their duty to propose have had a tendency to increase the stagnation of trade now so severely felt. I think, that even the reduction of the duties on articles in respect to which no difference of opinion prevailed—I am not now speaking of corn or sugar, but of raw materials on which a reduction took place, with satisfaction to the great majority of this House—I say, I believe that in these, as in many other instances, the attempt to effect admitted reforms is accompanied with present, although I trust, only temporary pressure. I think this view is confirmed by a reference to the revenue returns for the last quarter, from which it appears, that on several articles of the Customs there had been a falling off, and on others an increase. It may be interesting to observe the articles on which there has been an increase of revenue, which is a test of increased consumption, and those in which there has been a decrease, a test of diminished consumption. There has been a decrease in the article of wine. We are now engaged in negotiating commercial treaties on that subject, and I beg to say, we have this day received accounts which inform us, that we have succeeded in carrying into complete effect the intention of the noble Lord and the Government which preceded us with respect to a commercial treaty with Portugal. This day we have received word that that treaty has been signed, and negotiations have been set on foot for our amended tariff, of which I will only say, that they are proceeding in a satisfactory train. But one effect of this negotiation, and of the prospect of a diminution of duty on wines imported from Portugal, as well as of the impression which was probably anticipated on the Government and people of Spain, who might be supposed to be awakened to the policy of entering on negotiations with this country, has necessarily been to paralyze the retail trade and lead to a diminished demand for wine, and the holding back of the stock oh hand. I believe it will be more reasonable to attribute the diminution of duty to the doubt caused by pending negotiations, rather than to any diminished power of consumption; but the consequence has been a falling off in the duty on wine of 108,000l. The next article in respect to which a great falling off of duty has occurred is that of timber. The announcement, of an intention to reduce the duties on Baltic timber, and entirely to abolish the duty on Canada timber, has necessarily produced, as was inevitable, some stagnation in the trade. The hon. Gentleman opposite reproaches me with not having made the reduction of duty immediately. In all these matters it is of great importance not to press too heavily on existing interests. We determined not to allow any drawback on account of timber imported at the old duties. Urgent remonstrances were made to us as to the individual suffering, the ruin almost, which would be inflicted by any hasty and precipitate reductions of the duties on timber by a given day; and in consideration of those remonstrances we considered it right to postpone the application of the new duty, rather than return to the bad and objectionable system of drawback. But, while endeavouring to do justice to individuals, we have occasionally improved the productiveness of the revenue to some extent. It was doubted at the time, whether it would not have been wiser to make an immediate reduction; but I think I may appeal to those who were in favour of the general policy of the measure, and even to the hon. Member for Lambeth himself, whether severe distress would not have arisen from an immediate reduction. One of the most effectual means of removing the obstacles which impede the progress of sound and salutary reform is, to prove to the country that you can effect them without ruin to individuals; you will thus make it much more solid and enduring. In the present case, the effect which I have noticed has no doubt occurred at a most unfortunate season of stagnation in trade, and the loss of revenue on the article up to the 5th of July has been 113,000l. The next articles on which a loss has occurred are those of brandy and rum. Here the effects of the uncertainty prevailing as to wine have been felt, and there has been a loss of 31,000l. Let us now look at the chief articles on which there has been an increase, and we shall find they have been articles in no way affected by our commercial reforms. Upon sugar, on which we avowed our intentions, on which a reduction of duty in the course of the present Session was not expected, there has been an increase in the revenue for the last quarter to the amount of 113,000l. On molasses there has been an increase of 34,000l. On cotton-wool, the duty on which I expressed great regret that I could hold out no hopes of being able to reduce, there has been an increase of 96,989l. On tea, another article with respect to which we expressed our intention to make no change, there has been an increase of 16,718l. Comparing the articles on which there has been a reduction with those on which there has been an increase, I own I am afraid that to the tariff itself is partly attributable an increase of the depression now so much to be deplored. After the declaration I have already made with respect to the necessity of votes of money for the public service, of course, this is not a time to enter into a prolonged discussion on this subject. I have already, at a former period of the Session, stated my general views on the financial and commercial policy of the country. I was charged the other night by the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Cobden) with having attributed a portion of the distress under which the country is now labouring to the effect which the rapid introduction of improvements in machinery produces among the labouring classes. I thought I had done all I could to guard myself against being supposed to hold the opinion either that you can impede the progress of mechanical invention; or, that if you could throw im- pediments in its way—looking at the general, enlarged, and permanent interests of the country—it would be politic to take any such measure; but at the same time, Sir, I am quite at liberty, if I entertain an opinion regarding the partial and local operation of improvements of that description, to speak the truth. I stated my opinion that the rapid application of improvements in machinery has a tendency, in certain parts of the country where there is less capital and where the machinery is less improved, to throw men out of employment, and consequently to produce distress. Take what course you will on the Corn-laws, the hope that a country so artificial as this, the seat of manufactures so extensive, can be exempted from partial suffering is, I fear, visionary. The hon. Gentleman said, that the report made by the assistant Poor-law commissioners who went to Stockport was highly creditable, that their opinions were most just. I am not much disposed to quote the opinion of Poor-law commissioners on a subject of that nature, however high their character, however satisfactory the mode in which their duties are discharged; but these gentlemen took the evidence of all the principal manufacturers and residents in Stockport who were capable of giving them an opinion, and if the hon. Gentleman wishes for the evidence of his townsmen, I think he will see I am, at least, fortified by high practical authority in stating that the immediate effect of the rapid introduction of machinery must be to cause partial distress. I will quote no evidence but what is of high authority and given by persons from Stockport itself. Mr. Lawton, one of the relieving officers of the union, is asked— Have the working classes been in distress at Stockport during the whole time of your service, or when did that distress appear to begin, and what has been its progress up to the present time? "He states—" There was no great pressure in the number of applications for relief before the year 1838, excepting under such casual circumstances as the break-down of a mill, or the turn-out of the hands, which have occasionally occurred. About the end of 1838, the applications became more frequent. At that time several of the manufacturers began to introduce improved machinery into their mills, which enabled them to reduce the number of hands. In some cases one man would be enabled to do the work of two by what is called coupling the frames. There has been a gradual increase of distress since that year, a number of factories having stopped work altogether, and others having worked short time. About the commencement of the last quarter, which ended the 25th of December, 1841, the applications increased in a great degree, in consequence of the stoppage of Messrs. Lanes' and Messrs. Carrs' mills, and a large proportion of those now upon our books were thrown out of work at that time. The great majority of the witnesses attribute a considerable portion of the evil to the operation of the Corn-laws, but I am now showing that the great majority do admit also that the sudden application of capital to improved machinery must ever have a tendency to produce a diminution of manual labour. The hon. Member says—"Do not countenance the vulgar prejudices entertained by the workmen." I do not want to countenance them; I wish to state the truth as to the matters in question; and when the hon. Member deals in such lavish abuse of those who hold different views from his, he must allow us, even at the risk of being unfairly charged with countenancing vulgar prejudices, to state the truth, when we are considering this important question, whether the Corn-laws can be assigned as the chief and only cause of the existing distress, and whether their repeal is likely to prove a permanent remedy. I am referring here, not to the opinions of speculative writers on the subject, but to the opinions of gentlemen who are his constituents and townsmen, recorded in a report which he says is entitled to the highest credit. Mr. R. M'Lure, in his examination, is asked— Has there been any reduction in the rate of wages paid in the spinning and weaving mills?" He states—"Within the last two years there has been a reduction very generally; there is no exception to that; if one does it, another must. In the spinning department we have since December, 1839, reduced the wages of labour from 2s. 11d. per 1,000 hanks to 2s. 1d., which has been wholly unconnected with any change in the machinery, or any increase or decrease of production. I have reason to believe that that is about the rate of reduction in the spinning department throughout the town; that 1s, about 30 per cent. The card-room hands and the throstle-room hands have been reduced about 7½ per cent.; that is also since December, 1839. The weavers' wages have been reduced about 9 or 10 per cent. The other bands connected with the weavers have been reduced in about the same proportion. I believe that the rate of reduction in these departments also has been the same throughout the town. What has led to the larger rate of reduction in the spinning department?—Principally the introduction of the self-acting mule, which has been introduced into many of the mills in Stockport and the neighbourhood. We have had self-acting mules in our mill in Heaton Norris since 1834, and have been continually improving our machinery to the present time, by which means we are doing with fewer hands by 100 for the whole mill for the same quantity of work than in 1836, when the mill was first filled with machinery. Well, but the hon. Gentleman said, improvements were very slow in their progress, and that it was almost impossible to get anybody to introduce the better machinery; that patents were taken out of which no one would avail himself. The witness whose evidence I have quoted states that they can now get the same quantity of work done by 100 hands less than in 1836, in consequence of the machinery which has been introduced. I do not say that it would be wise in Government to check the extension of machinery. I do not say that this is not the instrument which will enable us most effectually to sustain the competition of foreigners. I do not say that ultimately and permanently there will not be a vast increase of strength from machinery. I am countenancing no vulgar prejudices, but when in 1841 I see that the same quantity of work can be done in one mill by 100 hands less than in 1836, I cannot help still retaining my opinion that improvements in machinery must have an immediate and local effect, and it is unjust to make such charges against me when I am only with fairness, and I trust with temper, stating the causes which must be sought for to account for the distress. The third witness I shall quote is Mr. Cruttenden, the partner in a well-known firm at Stockport, selected, I presume, as being the most intelligent and enlightened. His evidence is as follows:— Are you of opinion that there has been any falling off in the home consumption of manufactures in this country?—I have no reason to believe there has, if you look to the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. We manufacture entirely for the home trade; and we have not produced as much as we used to do, because the present rate of prices does not remunerate us. By working short time we lost about three months in 1840, and more than three months in 1841. But then during the last few years the number of producers has very much increased, and I believe that there has been quite as much cotton actually consumed in the home market as ever. It must be remembered, as I stated before, that there has been an immense increase in production. Owing to the improvements in machinery a much greater amount of goods can he manufactured in a certain period of time than formerly. By working full time, we ourselves could manufacture nearly twenty miles of calico a day; and when you consider the immense amount of steam power employed in the cotton manufacture, this will give you some idea of the powers of production which are daily in operation, and which must have a tendency to reduce prices. Do you think that the laws affecting trade have contributed in any degree to cause the distress at present existing in Stockport, or in other manufacturing districts?—I do not think they have had much to do with it. I am aware some persons suppose that the Corn-laws have been the cause of our present distress. I believe that the distress has arisen in a far greater degree from the immense increase in the amount of capital which has been employed in the cotton trade, and the consequent unnatural increase in the production of manufactured goods. I shall trouble the House with but one more short passage from the evidence of Mr. Forster, the chairman of the board of guardians, I believe a most respectable person, who formed one of a deputation with which I had an interview on Saturday morning, and who fills the situation he now holds solely from a sense of public duty. He says, What has induced the guardians to adopt so strict a practice in reference to removals?—We think it, in the long run, for the interest of the town, to remove all those who are burdensome, and do not belong to us, notwithstanding the expense which attends their removal. The great improvements which have recently been made in the machinery of factories have reduced the demand for labour; and the present prospects of trade are such, that there is little probability of the hands now idle getting into employment within a moderate period of time. We have to consider many conflicting interests on this point; it is the apparent interest of the manufacturers and shopkeepers to retain the population here; but, on the other hand, our own settled labouring population may be benefitted by reducing the supply of hands under these adverse circumstances; and what weighs with us mainly is, that the rate-payers ought to be relieved, by such means as the law affords, from the burden of maintaining those who are no longer useful to the town. The hon. Gentleman spoke of 30,000l. having been applied to the erection of new machinery. Now, suppose some temporary cause—the fire at Hamburgh, for instance, creates an unusual demand for some description of goods. A person having the command of such an immense mechanical power is enabled to supply the demand, and the advantage of machinery is, that we can defeat foreign competition in any market where there is an extraordinary demand. Compare the effect produced by this machinery with the condition of countries in which there is less machinery and capital, and do not tell me that there may not be very severe distress in certain localities co-existing with general manufacturing prosperity. That was all I said on a former night, that opinion I decidedly retain, and I fear that in this country, even when trade is prosperous, we must still expect that there may be in some districts a great amount of suffering. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham asked me to pay attention to his observations. I did pay the utmost attention I could, but I think most hon. Members must have observed, that it is not very easy to catch what falls from the hon. Member. The hon. Gentleman said, that in 1815 the handloom weaver received 27s. a week, the price of corn then being 63s. 9d.; that in 1824 the price of corn was 62s., and the wages of the handloom weaver had fallen to 13s. 6d.; in 1833 the price of corn was 53s., and the wages had been reduced to 8s. a week, and in 1842 they were reduced to 3s. a week. Now, I cannot conceive that any operation of the Corn-laws can be the main cause of this extraordinary fall. There must be some other cause. Whatever may be the effect of machinery or competition in producing this depression of wages I know not, but when I compare the price of corn in 1815 with its present price, and when I look at the vast quantity of cotton imported, manufactured, and exported, and retained for home consumption,—when I consider the marvellous increase which has taken place in the purchase of the raw material, and in manufactured goods, and when at the same time I look at the rapid decrease of wages, as stated by the hon. Gentleman, at the time when manufactures have been increasing in a most extraordinary way, I cannot, I repeat, attribute this diminution of wages mainly to the operation of the Corn-laws. Here is an account of cotton manufactured since 1831. I have no means of comparing the increase with 1815; but since 1831 there has been a most extraordinary increase in the quan- tity of cotton imported for manufacture and retained for home consumption, and the quantity of cotton goods exported. In 1831 the total quantity of cotton spun was 208,000,000 lbs., and in 1841 it amounted to 337,000,000 lbs. The total quantity of yarn manufactured goods in 1831 was 70,000,000 lbs., and in 1841 it had risen to 138,000,000 lbs. Now, though it might be that we do not take corn in exchange for our cotton goods, yet the quantity of goods exported, for which we receive some sort of return, has been enormously increased, comparing 1841 with 1831, and with 1815 also, when the wages of the artisan were so high, as described by the hon. Gentleman, and when corn was about 64s. a quarter. The increase of the trade, as measured by the imports and exports, has been most extraordinary. I was also taunted by the hon. Member for Stockport for having referred to the necessity of maintaining the public tranquillity. However much we may lament the sufferings of the people, however inadequate our measures may be deemed by way of remedy for the distress, yet it is for the interest of all parties that the Government should maintain the public peace. I said that the people had shown unexampled patience in the midst of their distresses, and I was deprecating appeals to their passions, and the use of exciting language. In this feeling I should expect that every true friend of the working classes themselves would concur. Reference was made in the House the other night to a handbill headed "Murder," in large letters, and I was glad to hear the hon. Gentleman state that he knew that the members of the Anti Corn-law Association decidedly deprecated the issue of handbills of that nature. I think, he said, he knew they were no parties to the issue of the handbill in question; that they discountenanced it in every manner, and had read the expressions contained in it with the deepest regret. I was glad to hear that declaration from the hon. Gentleman; at the same time I think there ought to be a more effectual measure taken for the purpose of manifesting a severance between disseminators of bills of this character and those who profess to have the true interest of the working classes at heart. I was determined to make no reference to this handbill without information, but these facts have been stated to me:— The inflammatory placard headed 'Murder' continues to be issued in a shop in Market-street, Manchester. The placard was still exhibiting on the 23rd of June, at No, 22, Market-street. Above the door of this house there are printed the words, ' The dépôt for the National Anti-Corn-law League.' The printer of the placard, who is the tenant of that shop, is the printer and publisher for the Anti-Corn-law League. About four doors distant from this 'dépôt' was a building in which the Anti-Corn-law League held their meetings. I am glad to hear from the hon. Member that the members of the Anti-Corn-law League express their disapprobation of the exhibition of this placard; and I trust what I have stated may induce them to take steps which may make it impossible for any person to attribute to them any participation in appeals of this nature to a suffering population. In the course of these debates it has been repeatedly said that "something must be done. Let the Government state what they mean to propose for the relief of the people. We look for relief." I advert not to subscriptions; but I trust nothing will be done that shall have a tendency to check their progress. I trust the country will still feel the obligation of contributing towards the funds raised for the purpose of alleviating the existing distress. Yet I am convinced that this is no permanent remedy for the distress—it is only a temporary provision. It effects much good by mitigating the sufferings of the people, and I trust that even those who may disapprove of the policy of the Government will do nothing tending to diminish the amount of these benevolent contributions. It would be perfectly consistent for persons to disapprove of the commercial policy, and yet not to throw any obstructions in the way of the subscriptions which are being collected. I stated in the early part of the Session that my hope of permanent relief for the suffering which afflicts the country consisted in an extension of the commerce of the country. I stated also the general principles on which I thought that commerce ought to be established. I stated, and I am ready now to repeat the statement, that if we had to deal with a new society, in which those infinite and complicated interests which grow up under institutions like those in the midst of which we live had found no existence, the true abstract principle would be "to buy in the cheapest market, and to sell in the dearest." And yet it is quite clear that it would be utterly impossible to apply that principle in a state of society such as that in which we live, without a due consideration of the interests which have grown up under the protection of former laws. While contending for the justice of the abstract principle, we may at the same time admit the necessity of applying it partially; and I think the proper object is first of all to lay the foundation of good laws, to provide the way for gradual improvements, which may thus be introduced without giving a shock to existing interests. If you do give a shock to those interests, you create prejudices against the principles themselves, and only aggravate the distress. This is the principle on which we attempted to proceed in the preparation of the tariff. I admit that we have not applied, and I have stated the grounds on which we abstained from applying, to the great articles of subsistence the principle of buying in the cheapest market. I frankly admit this. With respect to corn, I think it possible, if you repealed all protection, a present stimulus must be given to manufactures; but the time might come when, notwithstanding the stimulus given to manufactures, if the effect of that repeal should be to discourage domestic agriculture, and render you dependent on foreign supplies, you would repent of the measure you had adopted. I do not wish to enter into this argument, but I hope it may be borne in mind that we did reduce the duties on foreign corn to an extent which induced many Gentlemen on the other side to upbraid us with having broken faith with the country gentlemen, and to allege that I was disentitled to the support of those who placed me in office. The duties were reduced more than one-half. I have already stated that I think those who disapprove of the law too hasty and precipitate in their condemnation. I think it is entitled to a fair trial. The period will shortly come when it will be subject to that trial, and in the meantime I deprecate inconvenient discussions like the present, which may have the effect of retarding the attainment of an object so desirable. With respect to sugar, no reduction has been made, but the motion you assign for this is entirely without foundation. I utterly deny that we abstain from reducing the duty for the purpose of conciliating Parliamentary support by giving undue protection to the West-Indian interest. I believe that that interest is one of the weakest in the country; and I deny that our conduct with respect to sugar has arisen from any unworthy motives. To judge properly of the measure introduced by the Government, altering the duties on foreign produce with a view to the relief of trade, you must look at its whole effect. With respect to the enactments of the tariff regarding cattle, what was stated by an hon. Gentleman opposite? He said that three or four years ago he contemplated the same kind of measure, but was told by the then President of the Board of Trade that it would be considered revolutionary by the agricultural interest. At any rate we proposed a measure which, for its reduction of duty, gave general satisfaction to those who ask for a reduction of duty on agricultural produce. At the commencement of this year declarations were being constantly made about the comparative prices of meat in this country and abroad. There were constant prophecies that no attempt would be made to deal with the monopoly of provisions in respect of cattle and meat. In respect to rice, potatoes, fish, and various other articles of subsistence, there have been made most extensive reductions of duty; and with respect to raw materials there was likewise a reduction, such as the advocates of free-trade could scarcely complain of. The effect of all this change could not yet be fairly estimated. But then it was asked, "Do we intend to do nothing else?" We do intend, agreeably to the recommendation of a committee, to permit the taking of foreign corn out of bond, on substituting for it in the warehouse, or delivery for exportation, an 'equivalent quantity of flour or biscuit. With respect to other countries, it will be our endeavour to extend, on the true principles of reciprocal advantage, the commerce of the country. An hon. Gentleman opposite asked, why have we not meddled with the banking laws? What would have been the advantage of such a course? Every day at the disposal of the Government has been consumed in the consideration of the measures I have mentioned, and up to the present time we have scarcely been able to pass more than the first clause of the Poor-law. What encouragement then, have we to introduce a measure which, when introduced, ought to be brought to a practical conclusion? Does the hon. Gentleman think the public advantage would be consulted by tossing on the Table of the House a bill affecting the whole banking interest, and leaving it unfinished? Instead of affording relief, this would only tend to aggravate distress. With respect to the Income-tax, we have been taunted with having done nothing but introduce that measure. We brought it forward as a substitute in part for other taxation, which we thought was pressing more heavily on the industry of the country. We introduced it because there was an absolute deficiency of revenue, and because we thought it desirable, in reference both to the public service and the public credit, that this deficiency should be made up. I thought, and the country thought so too, that it would be wise to make a great sacrifice to supply the deficiency; and never did the country respond with greater unanimity to the demand which was made upon it. Hon. Gentlemen may think the country wrong; but could any Government ever have carried that measure against a decided expression of public opinion? Instead of hostility, there has been a decided expression of feeling throughout the country that the deficiency ought to be supplied; and though I will not contend that an Income-tax, or taxation of any kind, has any other effect than that of curtailing in some respect, the amount of capital applicable to the productive interest of the country, yet I maintain, that as there was a necessity to raise 4,000,000l., the best course to pursue in the present condition of the country, was to levy that amount on the property of the country, rather than on articles which entered into consumption. These are the measures which, with the consent of Parliament, the Government have passed. As I have before said, the Government have entered into negotiations with other countries. A treaty has been satisfactorily concluded with Portugal, and treaties are pending with other countries. I hope, now that we have been able to bring these measures to a conclusion, with some difference of opinion on this side of the House, on account of the alarm given to the agricultural interest, that they will be allowed to have a fair trial; and if they do not prove calculated to increase the prosperity of the country, if they should prove inadequate to meet the distress of the country, in that case I shall be the first to admit that no adherence to former opinions ought to prevent their full and careful revision; but I hope that no precipitate conclusion will be come to, but that a fair experiment will be made, in order that we may see whether they have a tendency to revive the prosperity of the country, and to terminate that stagnation which no person in this great community views with deeper concern than those who are immediately responsible for the Government of the country.

Lord J. Russell

observed that the speech of the right hon. Baronet contained such a variety of observations in justification of his measures and his policy, as First Minister of the Crown, that he could not refrain from attempting, whilst answering that speech, to follow the right hon. Baronet step by step in the course adopted by the right hon. Baronet on this occasion. Let him first remark that he judged from the concluding sentence of the right hon. Baronet that, although he had carried his measures through Parliament, he was not very confident as to their success. That they were brought forward as an experiment, which, if successful, would be a source of great gratification to the right hon. Baronet, but that if they failed, then the revision of those various measures would, at a future period, become necessary. It appeared to him therefore, that the right hon. Baronet and the Government were not over-sanguine that the measures they had propounded would have the effect which it was hoped they would have. But passing that by, the reasons the right hon. Baronet had shown in support of his measures, and why the House should refrain from interfering with the executive, in respect to the business of this Session, did not satisfy him, nor ought they to satisfy the House, that those measures would be attended with the beneficial results which were expected from them. The right hon. Baronet said that those who brought forward motions on that (the Opposition) side, might do that which would tend to prevent the admission of foreign corn. Now, without entering into the question whether those motions were wise, or properly brought forward, he was desirous of recalling to the attention of the House, that until eight weeks after the passing of the Corn-law bill, there had been no interruption of the proceedings of the Government from that side. Until then nothing more than the very natural declaration had been made and repeated that the sound commercial principles announced in the tariff of the Government must finally extend to that most important article, corn. But if he looked back to what occurred under the Corn-law which existed last year, he saw no reason to think that the right hon. Baronet's opinions were well founded; for when the right hon. Baronet attributed it as a great merit in the existing law that 25,000 quarters of foreign corn had come in in one week, and more than 48,000 in another, he would take leave to remind the right hon. Baronet that last year, when the high duty which the right hon. Baronet took credit to himself for having reduced prevailed, during two early months, long before August, the admissions of foreign corn were greater than those stated by the right hon. Gentleman. He found that in the week ending the 6th of April, 1841, the amount of foreign corn introduced was 58,825 quarters, and in the week ending 21st May, in the same year, the admissions of foreign corn amounted to 71,000 quarters; in the former week the duty was 22s. 8d., and in the latter week the duty was 23s. 8d. This quantity had to be set against the 25,000 and the 48,000, introduced in the two weeks under the operation of the right hon. Baronet's diminished duty. This larger quantity having been brought in, be it remembered at a duty almost double that under which the smaller quantity had been brought in—[An hon. Member: More than double]—yes, more than double, so that the diminution of duty was nothing more nor less than a loss to that extent to the revenue. It was no gain whatever to the people. Because it happened now as it did in the last year, that the great bulk of the foreign corn, by the introduction of which the price would be lowered, still remained in bond. The quantity of corn brought in, in the course of a single week of last year, was 1,852,000 quarters, and there were now in bond 1,500,000 quarters, the greater portion of which might be, and probably would be, under the law of the right hon. Gentleman, kept in bond until the prices rose, and the duty became merely nominal. The vice of the right hon. Baronet's law was that which was constantly pointed out during the discussions upon it, namely, that it offered a continual temptation to hold back corn whilst the price was rising, because the dealer had the double advantage of a rising market and a diminishing duty. In holding out these temptations to the speculator the right hon. Gentleman interposed an obstacle to the admission of foreign corn, and continually limited the supply of food to the people. But supposing the best anticipations of the right hon. Baronet were to be realised and a great quantity of corn were to come in next week at a 7s. or 8s. duty, still the country would have suffered—the manufacturing and the agricultural communities would have suffered—by the delay. If they had had the 8s. fixed duty which he had proposed (but which some thought insufficient), corn would not have remained shut up in bond during the last two months, but the quantity now in bond would have been admitted week by week, and month by month, and the people would have obtained a regular supply as it was wanted, while the farmer would not have ran any risk of injury by the corn coming in to lower the market below its proper level at the very time when he was obliged to bring in the produce of the harvest. He could not then agree with the right hon. Baronet that it was owing to the various motions, debates, and speeches made by the opponents of the right hon. Baronet that his measure had not been fully successful. With regard to other articles, the right hon. Gentleman attributed no such effect to the motions and speeches of that side of the House. As to the article of sugar, for instance, the right hon. Gentleman had expressed his satisfaction both with the increase to the revenue arising from the duty, and with the increase in the imports, although upon that article his right hon. Friend, the Member for Taunton (Mr. Labouchere), had brought forward a motion, the success of which would have had the effect of reducing the duty on sugar. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken with great caution as to the probable effects of an immediate admission of foreign corn. He had gone only so far as to say that he could not expect any permanent alleviations of the distresses of the people from such a measure, but that if he could anticipate that a relaxation of the Corn-laws would be attended with any such beneficial effect, he should be the first to listen to such a proposition. But was it not something when they were told such harrowing tales of distress, when the Members for the various manufacturing districts told them the miserable and wretched condition to which the people of those districts were reduced, and when they knew that no alleviations of this distress and misery had yet taken place, was it not something that a measure which promised even temporary alleviation was suggested to them? The right hon. Gentleman had said, and he agreed with him, that it was most mischievous to deprecate public subscriptions, not that such subscriptions could afford any permanent relief, but that they would afford some alleviation to the sufferings of the people. But if it was desirable to alleviate those sufferings by means of alms and subscription, was it not much more desirable to do so (if it could be so done) by law, and to enable the people to obtain relief, not from charity and alms, but from the exercise of their own industry and the produce of their own hands? But this was not the course of the Government to which the right hon. Gentleman belonged. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Corn-law was not the cause of the present distress, and he had entered into details (through which he should not follow him) to show that the increase of machinery and the progress of manufactures had produced the want of employment and consequent distress which now prevailed; but former Governments, of which the right hon. Gentleman was a Member, had not contented themselves with saying that the Corn-laws were not the cause of the distress of the country, they had thought it their duty to consider whether any alleviation of that distress could not be obtained. He was not able to concur in the motion brought forward by the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Bannerman) on a former evening, to place it in the power of the Government to reduce the duty on foreign corn as they might see occasion from time to time. If it Was done at all it ought to be done by the law; but whether by an act of the Crown or by the law, the effect, as far as the people were concerned, was the same in the one case as the other. They knew what had been the effect of the measure of 1826. Mr. Canning, in proposing that measure, said the intention of the Government was to admit a certain quantity of corn free of duty, and such further quantity as it might be necessary to introduce at a certain fixed duty. Now, what had been the effect of that measure? Mr. Canning had told them that one effect was an immediate revival of the demand for labour, that cotton in the markets of Manchester and Liverpool, had risen 5 per cent. The advantages of the measure became immediately apparent in the improved condition of manufactures and commerce. It was true that Lord Liverpool had not, on that occasion, admitted that the Corn-laws were the cause of the distress which it was the object of that measure to alleviate, but he had said, We have seen the price of corn has been gradually rising for some weeks past, and if it continue to rise, that circumstance must necessarily tend to aggravate the existing evils. No person could say, that the amount paid by the labourer out of his wages for bread was not to him a most material consideration; therefore Lord Liverpool thought, that any reduction in the price of bread would materially relieve the distress of 1826. That was the course to which Lord Liverpool, Mr. Canning, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir R. Peel) as a Member of that Government, looked for a temporary alleviation of the distress which existed at that period, and it had been successful. Why then did the right hon. Gentleman not look to that source now? If he refused to consider the who question of the Corn-laws, could he not have said he would be ready to consider the motion of his noble Friend the Member for Sunderland, to admit foreign corn during the interval between this and the next spring at a moderate fixed duty? If the Government would promise to lend a favourable ear to such a proposition, he should say the House might very well leave the question of the Corn-laws until a future Session of Parliament. But they had heard no such intimation on the part of the Government, nor did it appear that it was their intention to bring forward any measure of alleviation. Last year, they were told by those who now sat on the opposite side of the House, that the then Government were not competent to govern—that their measures would not relieve the country from its difficulties, and by the exertions of the hon. Gentlemen opposite that Government had been replaced by another, in which resided that perfect intelligence and unfailing wisdom which were, he presumed, necessary to deal with the difficulties and relieve the distresses of the country. Well, what said that Government—on what did they depend as afford- ing, if not permanent relief, some alleviation of those distresses? "We hope," said the right hon. Baronet, "for a good harvest." Now, without pretending to any such shining abilities as those of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, he still thought the late Government might have consulted the barometer and said, "We depend upon a good and an early harvest" for that was all the Government did. His belief was, that if the measure proposed by the late Government last year had been adopted, and corn had been admitted at a moderate fixed duty, the distress of the present time, if it had not wholly disappeared (which he admitted was not probable), would have been very materially alleviated. But let them look at the distress of the country as it existed—and the manner in which it had been borne. It was stated on a former evening, that a good and an honest man employed in manufactures had said, when he was asked did he think the distress which he suffered would soon pass away. "No, not during the present year;" and, afterwards, "I fear I shall not live to see another, for it is impossible I can support this distress any longer." The exemplary patience and forbearance with which the distress was borne were quite admirable. Men suffered their lives to ebb away without evincing either anger, violence, or impatience—and appeared by their acts as though they were still, as they had formerly been amongst the most thriving of the community. If the people were riotous and seditious, he admitted there might be some difficulty on the part of the House in yielding to any request made on their behalf; but when it was admitted by all parties that they had suffered in this spirit of patience and forbearance, and when it was not denied by the First Minister of the Crown that the admission of foreign corn would afford, though not a permanent, yet a temporary alleviation of their distresses, he thought it was the duty of the House to show some sympa, thy for their fellow-men thus suffering and to adopt a means, affording though it it did the prospect only of temporary and momentary relief. He was one of those who considered that a sound change in the Corn-laws would be a permanent benefit to the country, He did not say that he agreed with the hon. Gentleman who had made this motion—that the total repeal of those laws was desirable. To that proposition he had already given his negative during the present year; and if the first question now—viz., that the House go into committee of supply, should be negatived, he should propose to leave out all the latter words of the motion of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton which touched upon the repeal of the Corn-law. The best motion, under the circumstances, would be, that which the hon. Member himself had made in former years, and which the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel) had made, on bringing in his Corn-bill this year—viz., that the House should go into a committee of the whole House, to consider the act of the present Session in regard to the importation of foreign corn. As to the general measure which ought to be adopted, he retained the opinion he had before expressed; but, in respect to a temporary measure, to meet the present exigency he thought the proposal of his noble Friend (Lord Howick) was the best, that could be adopted. But in the existing state of the country, and after the declaration made that night by the right hon. Baronet, at the head of the Government, he thought the House could hardly refuse to go into committee to consider whether some substantial relief could not be given. He quite agreed with the hon. and gallant Commodore (Sir C. Napier) as to the necessity of going into supply with as little delay as possible; but still he thought this was an occasion, after what they had heard of the distresses of the country, in which they might very well postpone for three or or four days—till Friday or Monday—these votes of supply, which the right hon. Gentleman required. He remembered, that last year the right hon. Gentleman objected to give him the supplies for more than three months, unless he promised, that Parliament should be called together again, immediately after the general election, and within a period of six weeks. He had thought the objection of the right hon. Gentleman a fair one, and gave him the assurance he asked for; but he could not say that an occasion might not arise, in which it might not be just for the House to interfere with the granting of the supplies proposed by the Government. With respect to the particular votes which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to take, he had no special objection to make to them; but when it was stated that because the vote for cri- minal prosecutions in Ireland was exhausted, and that the counsel and attorneys there could not receive their payments as usual 'unless the vote were granted, he did not think that that was a sufficient reason for haste in ordinary cases, and when mere ordinary questions were before the House, much less so when the question was the sufferings of so large a portion of the people. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to the injury necessarily done to our commerce by this propounding of the principles of their tariff, and he admitted, that even the most wholesome and politic measures of this nature would necessarily tend for a time to discourage trade and commerce. But there was another matter which he believed had really obstructed the trade of the country, and tended to prevent the revival of its prosperity; that was the extreme contradiction between the principles announced by the Government, and the measures which they had actually proposed, They had stated the largest and broadest principles; but those principles were applied in the most partial and incomplete manner. The right hon. Gentleman had told them, that he had not applied those great principles to the most important articles of subsistence—that to corn, which he admitted was more important than any other article as forming the chief food of the people, the right hon. Baronet had not applied those principles which, as to commerce in general, he had declared to be the true ones; and the consequence was somewhat singular, though, perhaps, not unnatural. When the right hon. Gentleman's measures were first proposed, both sides of the House were pleased. The one party, agreeing to the principles of those measures to their full extent, rejoiced to see them recognised by the Minister of the Crown, and the other saw no danger to themselves or their interests—an exception being made to the article of corn. But after a time, and after some reflection, the other side of the question presented itself. The one party—those who were for protection—said, "great principles have been propounded, and by a high authority, which will doubtless be applied at a future time to the Corn-laws: and how can we give our confidence to a Government that recognises and announces, as the basis of their policy, those principles of free-trade;" while the other party said, "We are glad to see these sound principles applied to the minor articles, but we want to see them extended to the more important; we are glad to hear the Government declare the truth of those principles; but the people are not to be satisfied with declarations alone." So that although both parties were satisfied with the first promulgation of the measures, both in the end were disappointed with the results, because they were contradictory to, and inconsistent with the first professions made. The Government first declared certain principles as applicable to all commercial legislation, and then shrank from applying them to two great articles of consumption. The objection made by the right hon. Baronet at the head of affairs, to the late Government was, that they were unable to carry their measures, and such was the ground stated to justify a vote of want of confidence. But he wished to know where was the great difference between a Ministry that proposed measures which they were unable to carry, and a Ministry that did not propose measures which they confessed were in accordance with their principles, because they did not expect to be able to carry them? That, in fact, was the sum and substance of the right hon. Baronet's statements in the repeated speeches which he had made on this subject—namely, that he proposed measures which were not in accordance with the principles laid down by the right hon. Baronet—not in themselves excellent—but measures which he could carry with the largest consent of the House and the country. Those, if he had not misapprehended were the words of the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet had to-night done justice to another measure of the late Government, namely, the negotiation with Portugal entered into by his noble Friend near him. He was happy to find, with regard to many measures of the late Government, that the right hon. Baronet had found no difficulty in following in the same course himself. One instance occurred to him on the moment, and that was with respect to the order of their measures. In 1840, he was very much urged to propose a measure or to assist the noble Lord opposite in proposing a measure with regard to Irish registration, to which application his answer was, that he wished to give the Poor-law the preference, agreeing very much in opinion with his hon. Friend the Member for Halifax, that English registration ought to precede Irish registration. But he sustained repeated attacks from the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, and was chid by that noble Lord in his sharpest manner, for not attending to the crying evils of Irish fraud and Irish perjury. The right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury himself declared that he would not consent to a postponement of the Irish measure for the sake of the Poor-law. Now, however, he observed with great satisfaction that precedence was given to the Poor-law, and whenever a question was asked about registration the right hon. Baronet answered, most wisely and most truly in his opinion—indeed, almost as well as the hon. Member for Halifax himself could have answered—English registration ought to precede Irish registration. He remembered a parody made by aright hon. Gentleman not at present possessing a seat in that House (Mr. Herries), in reference to a measure introduced by a right hon. Friend near him, on a remark of a French critic, who, on reviewing a certain book, said that it contained some things good and some things new, but that the things which were new were not good, and the things which were good were not new. That observation he would venture to apply to the measures produced in the course, of the present Session by her Majesty's Government. There were measures introduced when his party were in power, which he could not now count on his fingers, nearly the same as those introduced by the present Government, There was the Poor-law, the Colonial Customs Bill, the Colonial Passengers Bill, the South Australian Bill, the New South Wales Bill, the Justices' Jurisdiction Bill, the principles of the tariff, too, as his hon. Friend near him had truly observed, were laid down by him in the course of last Session. The article of cattle would have been introduced at the same time as the Corn-law, had it not been for a friendly discussion which took place between him and his right hon. Friend near him, the result of which was a determination that this article should be reserved for the tariff. He thought the view taken by his right hon. Friend was just, and it was postponed to the time when the right hon. Baronet and his friends prevented him from having the power of bringing forward anything, but he still had the satisfaction of seeing the same principles embodied in the tariff of the present Government. That was one of those measures which were good, but not new. The Poor-law was another. That too was good, but not new; and there were many others of the same kind. Then came the Income-tax. Now that was new but not good. The same thing might be said of the right hon. Baronet's Corn-law. Such, then, since the right hon. Baronet had thought fit, in the course of his speech, to refer to the various measures introduced by him in the present year, was the view which he took of those measures; and he could not help observing that although perhaps during the last week or ten days rather long discussions might have taken place, still, in the beginning of the Session, and during a considerable part of it, a greater number of days had been devoted to Government business than he ever remembered to have been the case since the passing of the Reform Bill. There bad been motion days, in which hon. Gentlemen had abstained from bringing on their motions: there had been Wednesdays, instead of being set apart for the bills of individual Members, devoted to Government business, He trusted they would admit, with respect to their foreign and colonial policy, and that much-agitated question, which would be brought forward on some future day, the Government of Ireland, no interference had been offered by the Opposition to the Government. He thought it due to himself to state this, because he should be most unwilling to obstruct the progress of Government measures, by which the service of the country might be in any degree injured. Their three great measures, the Corn-law, the Income-tax, and tariff, had passed and had become laws. The present was the occasion, perhaps one of the last occasions, on which the House would be called upon to express an opinion as to whether the present state of the country demanded any alteration of the Corn-laws, or whether they would consent to see Parliament prorogued without making any such attempt; on which question he felt bound to say that, seeing the distress of the country, and believing that a measure with respect to the Corn-laws would tend greatly to alleviate that distress, that if a temporary measure it would give temporary relief, and if a permanent one be productive of permanent good to the trade and commerce of the country in all future years—he should certainly give his vote against going into committee of Supply with a view of moving that the House resolve itself into a committee of the House for the purpose of taking into consideration the Corn-laws.

Mr. Cobden

would not have intruded himself that evening upon the attention of the House, but for the somewhat lengthened allusion which the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government had made to his remarks upon a former evening. He thought the quotations made from the report of the commissioners sent to Stockport quite bore him out in his argument, for what did they go to prove? Why that out of a destitute population of many thousands 100 had been shown to have been thrown out of employment by improvements in machinery. But there were twenty-nine mills standing idle, which could not have been caused by improvements in machinery. He had never contended that individual cases of suffering had not been occasioned by inventions in machinery. All that he contended was, that great masses of people were not suddenly thrown out of work. He challenged the right hon. Baronet to adduce one instance where, in prosperous times, great bodies of workpeople had been thrown out of work by improvements in machinery, so as to cause wide-spread suffering, leading to an appeal to the sympathy of that House or the public. He still contended that it was unworthy of the occasion for a Prime Minister to bring forward the case of machinery, whilst the distress in all parts of the empire was equally great. The comprehensive mode of viewing the subject was to go back to the period of so-called prosperity, and ask themselves how they could restore the state of trade in 1833, 4, 5, and 6. Now it would be found that the activity of that period was caused by great increase in joint-stock banks, and the inflation of the credit system in the United States, coupled with four successive good harvests. The prosperity of those years was factitious, and not real. How then would they find employment now for the people? The joint-stock banks could not be revived; the credit of America was prostrate. It had been stated, very justly, by the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Morrison), that in ten years ending in 1838, upwards of 30,000,000l. sterling had been lent to the Americans. Our exports then greatly exceeded the imports, and this would explain the circumstance which had proved so mysterious to the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, that now we were importing two millions a year more than we exported to that country. The Americans were, in fact, paying us their debt and the interest of the money they had borrowed. We took from them all the cotton, rice, and tobacco we required; but the prices were low, and we could only export the balance after deducting the interest; and the only way in which we could increase our trade in that quarter was by receiving equivalents in corn and provisions, as had been shown by the hon. Member for Inverness. He knew that certain gentlemen from London had gone to America, to try to re-construct their credit system. The scheme was to induce the federal government to consolidate the States' stock into a national debt. But they knew little of the unwieldy and unmanageable democracy they had to deal with. If they went to Washington they would find it exceedingly difficult to pull the wires by ear-wigging the men in office there. Happy would it be for England, if it were as difficult for a few jobbers in the city of London to direct the counsels of this nation as the deputation to America would find it to alter the legislation of that country. Nothing but opening our ports to their corn would give us an increased trade with America. The right hon. Baronet had spoken of the efforts made by the Government to form commercial treaties with other countries. The right hon. Baronet had spoken of Portugal. He believed that we already took three fourths of all the wine exported from Portugal. He did not think the Ministers could produce any great increase of trade by a commercial treaty with that country, unless it lead to greater imports, and he did not think the people here would consume more wine under a new treaty. Then the right hon. Baronet had spoken of Spain. Now he believed that it would be found that Spain took from us manufactures smuggled through Gibraltar, Portugal, and Genoa, equal to the amount of fruits or wines which we took from her; and he did not look for any sensible increase of our trade with Spain unless we took her corn. The truth was, we could not increase our foreign trade unless we agreed to receive those articles which the bulk of our people consumed. We must not be diverted from the real obstacle to our trade which was to be found in our own statute book. We sent out ambassadors and envoys to obtain an outlet for exports, forgetting that our imports were the true measure of our foreign commerce. The Corn-law was, after all, the real impediment to our foreign trade. And what were the objections to its repeal? He had heard it said, that if hon. Gentlemen could only be convinced that it would benefit the people, they would consent to the measure. But how were they to be convinced? They would not argue the question. The authorities were certainly in favour of repeal. They had on their side Adam Smith, Franklin, Burke, Bentham, and Ricardo, whilst their opponents had no great political economists on their side, excepting those of the school of Macclesfield. They were told, to be sure, that the land would go out of cultivation; but that was a mere prophecy, begging the question. They had the best agriculturists on their side, who predicted the contrary. There was Lord Spencer, the late Lord Leicester, and the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Crawford) who had no such fears. The Scotch farmers too laughed at the idea of land going out of cultivation. They consider the land of England could be made to produce half as much more wheat, and pay better rents with lower prices. What said the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, at the late great agricultural meeting at Liverpool. If any one were to predict," said he, "the improvements which I believe will be made in agriculture in the next century, he would be treated as a dreaming enthusiast. He was told that they could not compete with foreigners, but who would venture to say what improvements would take place even in five years? The ancestors of the present agriculturists had competed with foreigners by sending their corn abroad for sale eighty years ago, and why could they not now compete with the Poles or Americans, who had to bring their produce three or four thousand miles? The manufacturers competed successfully, and why should not the farmers? They were told of the taxes and debts, but did not the manufacturers pay their proportions of the debt and taxes? True they were told of the exclusive burdens of the land, but when the landlords were challenged to the proof they fled from the field. But let them look at the dangers of the present system. He was not one who had ever relied upon the argument that land would fall in value if the Corn-laws were repealed. Nothing but injuring trade could lessen the value of land. But he was quite sure, if they pursued their present system for a few years, they would find no customers for their land. What would they do with their surplus labourers? Hitherto they had found employment in the towns. There had been a constant stream flowing from the rural to the manufacturing districts, but let that tide of emigration once turn back and they would have a desolating flood of pauperism which must overwhelm them. Let them recollect that the poor in this country had the first title to their estates, and they must either let them be supported as customers in towns, or as paupers at home. He had listened to the facts stated by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Fielding) showing that the weaver now received only 3s. 6d. for the same labour which brought him 27s. in 1815, and he was surprised that the Prime Minister had not understood the connection between that fact and the Corn-law. Why it must be remembered that the Corn-law fixed the price by act of Parliament at which those weavers purchased their bread, but the Parliament had forgotten to fix a price for their wages. He was speaking in the presence of hon. Members opposite who professed to be governed by benevolent motives, and who had directed their philanthrophic efforts, especially to the advancement of the interests of the manufacturing operatives. He would appeal to the sympathies of the noble Lord the Member for Dorsetshire. He would confess very frankly, that before he entered that House he had entertained doubts, in common with many of the employers in the north, whether those advocates of the short-hours bill who supported the Corn-law were really sincere; but since he had had the opportunity of a closer observation of the noble Lord, he was perfectly convinced of his genuine philanthrophy. He would ask the noble Lord solemnly to consider whether it were possible to benefit the condition of the factory operatives, whilst the demand for their labour was curtailed, and the price of their goods enhanced by law? The only question which every just and humane man, who supported the Corn- law should ask himself was, could he give an artificial value to wages? If not, he might be sure that to give a legislative value to food was a direct robbery. Let the aristocracy reflect upon the disadvantageous ground on which they were fighting the inevitable battle with the democracy—on a question of bread; with the sympathies of the whole civilized world against them, what had they to gain if successful? He believed they were fighting for a chimera. But had they not much to lose? Was ever an aristocracy so endowed? They had the colonies, the army, the navy, the church; and yet they condescended to contend for a slice from the poor man's loaf. Depend on it they were risking everything, even to their titles and rank, in this most disadvantageous conflict. Was it not deplorable to think that they should be about to refuse the repeal of the Corn-law at this most critical moment, even although their very countenances told him that they felt it was condemned? Let them never expect to find another Prime Minister who would take office to uphold such a monopoly. They had killed Canning by thwarting him, and they would visit the same fate upon their present leader if he persevered in the vain attempt to govern for the aristocracy whilst professing to govern for the people. [Loud groans from some hon. Members.] Yes; they had killed Canning by forcing him to try and reconcile their interests with those of the people, and no human power would enable the right hon. Baronet to survive the same ordeal. Something had been said about exciting the people. He had not addressed them in that tone. He had frankly told them that so far as his borough was concerned he did not expect an outbreak of the working class. But he had warned them of a danger which would be far more unmanageable, of the borough becoming a confused mass of pauperism, and the middle class being eaten up by the poor. But let him tell them frankly, that he would not hesitate, in that House or out of it, to put the saddle on the right horse, by telling the suffering operatives that if they were oppressed by bad legislation it was the landowners and not the manufacturers who ruled that House. He did not believe there were 150 men in it who were directly or indirectly engaged in manufactures and trades. They must not be made the scapegoats of their bad legislation. The majority of that House were landowners, and they held the key of the granaries from which the people were fed, and they had the power to give them employment, and he would tell the people that it was to the injustice of the landlords they must attribute their sufferings, so far as they were attributable to legislation at all. He was not disposed to be made the victim of their injustice. They had directed their instrument against the manufacturing capitalists, and had tried to persuade their operatives that they were suffering from the selfishness of their masters. Their instrument was thought to have had a sharp edge, but it had turned out to be a blunt one, and not of the promised temper; it had proved, too, to be a two-edged weapon, that wounded its own party. He would not hesitate to declare who were the parties that interfered with the labour of the operatives. He would, in fact, show that their distress was attributable more to the noble owner of Knowsley than to him at his print works, and that the landowners, and not the capitalists, were responsible for their deplorable sufferings.

Mr. Grimsditch

was understood to say, that there were now in town persons who represented themselves as delegates from Stockport, attending in London for the purpose of procuring a repeal of the Corn-laws. He was unable to say that they were not authorised to appear in any such capacity; and he thought that at all events a repeal of the Corn-laws could now do no good.

Viscount Howick

would not go into the general question of the Corn-laws; but before he entered upon the short explanation of the vote that he intended to give, he wished to say that he very much objected to this mode of interfering with public business. He thought that the practice of moving amendments to the Order of the Day for going into a committee of supply ought to be reserved for cases of extreme emergency; and he certainly thought that in the present instance the House could not be expected to retrace its steps and undo all that it had previously done. At the same time, he felt that the Session ought not to be brought to a close without some attempt to afford relief to the suffering poor by a mitigation of the Corn-laws; and, looking at all the circumstances, he must say that it was his opinion he should best consult the interest of the public service, and even the convenience of the right hon. Baronet, if he regarded the present question as one between those who desired a change and those who were opposed to any alteration. On those grounds he should support the motion, but he could not do so without protesting against the manner in which public business had been interrupted by the introduction of such a proposition. He was perfectly persuaded that, in the decision the House was about to come to, this question would suffer from the injudicious mode of bringing it forward. He believed that a measure founded on the principle of the motion of which he had given notice for Thursday, to admit corn at 6s. duty for a limited time, would have greatly mitigated the distress. The reason for such a measure was simple and easily explained. It was admitted in the late debate, as the hon. Member for Inverness in his able speech had stated, that nothing would tend so much to relieve the distress as a measure enabling America to send over her corn in return for our goods. The existing Corn-law, no hon. Gentleman had yet denied, did operate very injuriously on our trade with America. The price of corn in America was seldom very materially below our prices, and therefore the Americans could not send it here at a profit after paying the duty of freight and charges. He thought, too, that such a measure might very well be adopted by the right hon. Baronet and Gentlemen opposite who had argued in opposition to a fixed duty. They had opposed a fixed duty because they thought that corn could be grown on the continent at such a price as to interfere under a fixed duty with the British fanner. But if the duty were imposed only for a certain period from the present time, that objection would not hold good. The right hon. Baronet, when speaking in reference to the motion of the hon. Member for Aberdeen the other night, did not seem particularly averse to some measure of that sort provided he could see the way to effect it. He took the rate of 6s., because it was the right hon. Baronet's calculation that it was at that amount that the great bulk of the stock now in bond would be likely to be taken out. He also believed that it was not unlikely to be so; but he thought that this probability would be much increased if the Government did something which would en- courage the American corn-growers to send their produce here. The measure he was to have proposed would tend to the advantage of the revenue, and he thought also to the advantage of the agriculturist; because he thought that otherwise a great part of the corn now in bond would be held till the minimum duty came into operation; that was, it would be held just till the moment when bringing it out would be most prejudicial to the British farmer, because his new crop would just then be coming into the market. He earnestly hoped that the Government would seriously consider, whether some such measure as he had suggested might not be adopted by Parliament before the prorogation; but he agreed with the right hon. Baronet that there would be no use in having any more of these debates, which led to no practical result. He therefore should not bring forward his motion, which he knew the right hon. Baronet would oppose; but he must say, that he thought the Government ought to make some such concession to the wants and wishes of the people. To refuse it would be in the highest degree ungracious when they had it in their power to acquiesce, and when they had nothing else to propose. With respect to the prospects of a good harvest, of which the House had been told, he hoped they might be realized, but from what he heard from various quarters he thought that the crop could not possibly exceed an average one, and in many parts of the country would be far below it. From other parts, however, he had accounts of better prospects, but a few days might make a change in all that; and if Parliament separated without taking decisive measures, what would be the distress of the country, and what the responsibility of the Government? Having said thus much, he should not again revert to this subject during the present Session. He should vote with the hon. Member, and in leaving the question he must say that the Government, when they refused any relaxation of the Corn-law, must take the responsibility to themselves.

Sir J. Hanmer,

being connected with a commercial district, begged to say that his opinion of the present Corn-law was that expressed by the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton the other night—that it ought to be replaced by a moderate fixed duty for the purpose of revenue, and no more. Consequently he should feel it his duty to vote for the motion of the hon. Member. He did this merely as a general indication of his opinion, and without pledging himself to any particular course. He felt it to be a duty he owed to the country, placed as it was in so precarious a situation, not to suffer any of those reasons which usually weighed with a Member of that House on other occasions, to interfere with his vote on this occasion, and he should do honestly what he felt to be his duty.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 231; Noes 117: Majority 114.

List of the AYES.
Acland, T. D. Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G.
A'Court, Capt. Codrington, C. W.
Alford, Visct. Collett, W. R.
Allix, J. P. Colvile, C.R.
Antrobus, E Corry, rt. hon. H.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Courtenay, Lord
Arkwright, G. Cresswell, B.
Bagot, hon. W. Cripps, W.
Bailey, J. Damer, hon. Col.
Bailey, J., jun. Darby, G.
Baillie, Col. Dawnay, hon. W. 11.
Baillie, H. J. Denison, E. B.
Balfour, J. M. D'Israeli, B.
Bankes, G. Dodd, G.
Baring, hon. W. B. Douglas, Sir II.
Barrington, Visct. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Bateson, R. Douglas, J. D. S.
Beckett, W. Dugdale, W. S.
Beresford, Major Duncombe, hon. A.
Blackburne, J. I. East, J. B.
Blackstone, W. S. Eastnor, Visct.
Blakemore, R. Eaton, R. J.
Bodkin, W. H. Egerton, W. T.
Boldero, H. G. Eliot, Lord
Borthwick, P. Escott, B.
Botfield, B. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bradshaw, J. Farnham, E. B.
Bramston, T. W. Fellowes, E
Broadwood, H. Feilden, W.
Brownrigg, J. S. Ferrand, W. B.
Bruce, Lord E. Fitzroy, Capt.
Buckley, E. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Fleming, J. W.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Flower, Sir J.
Burroughes, H. N Follett, Sir W. W.
Campbell, A. Ffolliott, J.
Cardwell, E. Forbes, W.
Chelsea, Visct. Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Chetwode, Sir J. Fuller, A. E.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Christopher, R. A. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Chute, W. L. W. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Clayton, R. R. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Clerk, Sir G. Gore, M.
Clive, hon; R. H. Gore, W. O.
Cochrane, A. Goring, C.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Marsham, Visct.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Martin, T. B.
Granby, Marq. of Masterman, J.
Grant, Sir A. C. Meynell, Capt.
Greenall, P. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Greenaway, C. Morgan, O.
Greene, T. Morgan, C.
Gregory, W. H. Mundy, E. M.
Grimsditch, T. Neeld, J.
Grimston, Visct. Neville, R.
Grogan, E. Newport, Visct.
Hale, R. B. Nicholl, right hon. J.
Halford, H. Norreys, Lord
Hamilton, W. J. Northland, Visct.
Hamilton, Lord C. O'Brien, A. S.
Hampden, R. Ossulston, Lord
Harcourt, G. G. Owen, Sir J.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Packe, C. W.
Hardy, J. Pakington, J. S.
Heathcote, G. J. Palmer, R.
Heathcote, Sir W. Palmer, G.
Heneage, E. Patten, J. W.
Henley, J. W. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Henniker, Lord Peel, J.
Herbert, hon. S. Pigot, Sir R.
Hervey, Lord A. Praed, W. T.
Hinde, J. H. Pringle, A.
Hodgson, F. Pusey, P.
Hodgson, R. Rashleigh, W.
Hogg, J. W. Repton, G. W. J.
Houldsworth, T. Richards, R,
Holmes, hon. W. A' Ct. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Hope, hon. C. Rous, hon. Capt.
Hornby, J. Rushbrooke, Col.
Howard, hon. H. Russell, C.
Hughes, W. B. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Hussey, T. Sanderson, R.
Jackson, J. D. Sandon, Visct.
Jermyn, Earl Scott, hon. F.
Jocelyn, Visct. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Johnstone, Sir J. Sheppard, T.
Jones, Capt. Sibthorp, Col.
Kemble, H. Smith, A.
Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E. Smyth, Sir H.
Knight, H. G. Somerset, Lord G.
Lawson, A. Stanley, Lord
Lefroy, A. Stewart, J.
Legh, G. C. Stuart, H.
Leicester, Earl of Sturt, H. C.
Lemon, Sir C. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Lennox, Lord A. Talbot, C. R. M.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Taylor, J. A.
Lincoln, Earl of Thompson, AId.
Litton, E. Trench, Sir F. W.
Lockhart, W. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Lowther, J. H. Trollope, Sir J.
Lowther, hon. Col. Trotter, J.
Lyall, G. Turnor, C.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Vere, Sir C. B.
Mackenzie, T. Verner, Col,
Mackenzie, W. F. Vernon, G. H.
Mackinnon, W. A. Vesey, hon. T.
Macnamara, Major Vivian, J, E.
Mahon, Visct, Waddington, H. S.
Mainwaring, T. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Manners, Lord C. S. Wilbraham, hon. R. B.
March, Earl of Williams, T. P.
Wodehouse, E. Young, J.
Wood, Col. T. TELLERS.
Worsley, Lord Fremantle, Sir T.
Yorke, hon. E. T. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Johnson, Gen.
Ainsworth, P. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Aldam, W. Langton, W. G.
Bannerman, A. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Barnard, E. G. Layard, Capt.
Berkeley, hon. C. Leader, J. T.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Bernal, R. Mangles, R. D.
Bernal, Capt. Martin, J.
Bowring, Dr. Mitchell, T. A.
Brocklehurst, J. Morison, Gen.
Brotherton, J. Napier, Sir C.
Browne, hon. W. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Buller, C. O'Connell, D.
Buller, E. O'Connell, M. J.
Busfeild, W. O'Connell, J.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Oswald, J.
Callaghan, D. Paget, Col.
Carew, hon. R. S. Palmerston, Visct.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Parker, J.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Pechell, Capt.
Childers, J. W. Philips, M.
Clive, E. B. Plumridge, Capt.
Cobden, R. Protheroe, E.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Ramsbottom, J.
Collins, W. Rice, E. R.
Corbally, M. E. Ricardo, J. L.
Crawford, W. S. Roche, E. B.
Dennistoun, J. Russell, Lord J.
Duncan, G. Russell, Lord E.
Duncombe, T. Scholefield, J.
Dundas, Adm. Seale, Sir J. H.
Dundas, hon. J. C. Seymour, Lord
Easthope, Sir J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Ebrington, Visct Smith, B.
Ellis, W. Smith, J. A.
Elphinstone, H. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Evans, W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Ewart, W. Standish, C.
Ferguson, Col. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Stuart, Lord J.
Fox, C. R. Strutt, E.
Gill, T. Tancred, H. W.
Gordon, Lord F. Thornely, T.
Gore, hon. R. Towneley, J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Guest, Sir J. Tufnell, H.
Hall, Sir B. Walker, R.
Hanmer, Sir J. Wallace, R.
Hastie, A. Ward, H. G.
Hawes, B. Wawn, J. T.
Heathcoat, J. Williams, W.
Hill, Lord M. Wood, B.
Hindley, C. Wood, C.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Wood, G. W.
Hollond, R. Wrightson, W. B.
Howard, hon. J. K. Yorke, H. R.
Howick, Visct. TELLERS.
Hume, J. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Hutt, W. Fielden, J.
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