HC Deb 31 May 1842 vol 63 cc1014-8

Messengers from the House of Lords, brought down a request for a conference.

The Speaker

I have to acquaint the House, that the Lords desire a conference with this House in the committee room of their Lordships' House, No. 2, on a subject materially affecting the safety of her Majesty's most sacred person, and the happiness of her people.

Sir R. Peel

I beg to move that this House do agree to the conference as desired by the Lords.

Motion agreed to:—And the messengers informed that the conference was agreed to.

The following Members of the House were appointed on the motion of Sir R. Peel, to manage the conference. Sir Robert Peel, Lord John Russell, Lord Stanley, Viscount Palmerston, Sir James Graham, Viscount Howick, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Baring, Earl of Lincoln, Sir John Hobhouse, Sir Henry Hardinge, Mr. Macaulay, Mr. Williams Wynn, Mr. Ellice, Sir Edward Knatchbull, Mr. Vernon Smith, Sir George Grey, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor-General, Sir Thomas Wilde, the Lord Advocate, Lord Ashley, Lord Seymour, Viscount Mahon, Mr. Fox Maule, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Labouchere, Lord Granville Somerset, Sir Thomas Acland, Sir Robert Harry lnglis, Sir George Clerk, Mr. Villiers Stuart, Mr. Sheil, Sir Thomas Fremantle, Mr. Charles Wood, Mr. O'Connell, Sir Denham Norreys, Mr. William O'Brien, Colonel Connolly, Mr. Patrick Stewart, Mr. Wilson Patten, Sir George Cockburn, Sir Charles Napier, Sir Matthew Wood, and Mr. Greene.

Conference held, and Sir R. Peel reported, That the managers had met the Lords at a conference, which was managed on the part of the Lords by the Lord President of the council; and that the conference was to acquaint this House, that the Lords, in consequence of the recent most atrocious and treasonable attempt on her Majesty's most sacred person, had taken the same into consideration; and had agreed upon an address to be presented to her Majesty thereupon; to which address the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.

Sir R. Peel

said, I feel it to be my duty to propose that this House should concur in the address which the other House of Parliament has adopted, and I anticipate but one unanimous feeling respecting the proposal which I have to make. Scarcely two years have elapsed since I had the painful duty of seconding the proposal of a similar nature made by the noble Lord, and it is with mixed feelings of shame and indignation that, after a lapse of two years, I rise now to discharge a similar duty. I should have thought, that the natural feelings and sympathies of human nature would have been protection sufficient against so atrocious a crime. That our young Queen, seeking for innocent recreation from the cares and toils of business, in the presence of her beloved husband, should be a second time exposed in this country to an attempt like this, fills me with feelings of shame and indignation. If the natural feelings of humanity would not have prevented such an attempt, I should have thought that the burst of loyal affections which had been called forth from all classes of her Majesty's subjects by the first attempt, and of indignation and abhorrence against the author of it, would have constituted an additional guarantee to prevent the repetition of such an atrocity. It has not done so. Yesterday evening, a little before six o'clock, as her Majesty was returning home in the company of her beloved husband, having, I believe, taken the precaution that no other female life should be exposed to danger but her own—relying with confidence in the generous loyalty of her people with a determination not to be confined as a prisoner in her own palace. I say yesterday evening, on her Majesty's return to the palace, a shot from a pistol was discharged at the carriage in which her Majesty was sitting, and I have, at least, the satisfaction of stating that the person by whom that pistol was discharged was immediately arrested, and is now in confinement. There is every reason to believe that this crime had been meditated on the preceding day; at least a person, answering in every respect the description of the appearance of the person apprehended for the offence of yesterday, was observed to point a pistol at the carriage in which her Majesty was seated on her return from church, and was heard to express his regret that he had failed in effecting his object. This person so charged has been committed for the offence of high treason, and is now before the judicial tribunals of the country; I shall, therefore, abstain from any further comments on the offence with which he has been charged, but I am sure I shall be justified in anticipating that the country, from one end to the other, will concur with us in our expression of abhorrence at the crime, and gratitude to Almighty God for the renewed protection of her Majesty from this second attempt on her life, and will offer up an earnest prayer to the same divine Disposer of events, that he will continue to vouchsafe his protection to her, and long preserve a life so justly dear to all her Majesty's subjects. The motion I have to make is, that the House do agree to the Address, (for which see the Lords Report) with the addition of the words, "and the Commons."

Lord John Russell

said: In rising to second the motion, I am sure that there can be but one feeling as to the motion which the right hon. Gentleman has just made. I am sure that the predominant feeling in this House, and in the country, must be that of gratitude to Almighty God for the preservation of her Majesty's life. In the next place, that there should be a second person found who could meditate and commit a crime so atrocious and so cowardly was most lamentable. The only thing we can now hope is, that this crime has been that of a solitary individual, and that it is not the result of a concerted conspiracy. Of this at least I am sure, that when her Majesty goes abroad among the people for the purpose of taking recreation or exercise, there is not one among her subjects who has less reason to fear an enemy in any single individual of the millions who constitute her subjects. Let us hope, therefore, that this may be the crime of one person, and that the voice of abhorrence and indignation that will arise against him will have the effect of preserving the life it has pleased Almighty God to protect, for many years.

Mr. W. Lascelles

said: I wish to state a fact that has come within my own knowledge. I have learnt that her Majesty having reason to apprehend that an attempt would again be made on her life, with that noble and generous conduct characteristic of her, would not permit her usual female attendant to accompany her. Although this might have been understood from what has fallen from the right hon. Baronet, yet as this noble and generous act was performed with respect to a person nearly and dearly connected with me, I could not help stating the fact to the House.

Motion agreed to nemine contradicente.

The Members forming the committee to manage the conference, took up the consent of the Commons to the Lords.

House to present the Address on the following day.

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