HC Deb 06 February 1844 vol 72 cc296-326

Upon the Order of the Day being read for going into committee of Supply,

Mr. S. Crawford

rose to make a motion, of which he had given notice on a preceding day. The motion was an unusual one, but it was one which he felt unusual circumstances called for. The ground on which he made his motion, was founded upon the continued refusal of that House to inquire into or redress the grievances of the people, which had frequently been brought before that House by petitions. It was his intention shortly to refer to the several points of grievance mentioned in the resolution which he should propose. Amongst the various grievances which had been stated to that House by petitions, one of the most important was, that that House was alleged not to be a fair representation of the people, and therefore it was said by the people that that House legislated unjustly for the interests of the people—that there was class legislation for the purpose of particular interests, and not for the interests of the whole community. It had been alleged in the corn-plaints which had been brought before that House that various monopolies bad been kept up for the purpose of maintaining those class interests, and that those monopolies were deeply injurious to the interests of the great body of the people. One of those monopolies of which the people most seriously complained, was the monopoly in the supply of corn, which they alleged was maintained for the purpose of protecting a particular interest. Taxes upon corn raised the price of the food of the working man, and at the same time they complained that it prevented the demand for his labour, and therefore, that by those taxes the interest of the merchant and that of the manufacturing public were greatly injured. That great question had been so often presented to their consideration and had been so often disregarded, that he should not then enter more particularly upon it. He merely referred to it as one of those griev- ances which had met with no redress at the hands of the Legislature. Then there were other monopolies which were kept up for the benefit of the colonial interests and to the disadvantage of the people—such as the duty on sugar. There were yet other monopolies, such as those created by the Bank of Ireland and the Bank of England charter, and such others as arose from that conferred on the East India Company. Of all these monopolies the people had repeatedly complained, and no measure had been taken either to inquire into or redress them. But another monopoly which had been frequently complained of, and with the like want of success, was that religious monopoly conferred upon the different Established Churches of the United Kingdom. That was a monopoly which oppressed the people in a great degree, and of which deep complaints had been made. In England the Dissenting bodies complained of being taxed for the support of the Established Church, and of the ascendancy which the Church assumed over other sects. More particularly the people of Ireland complained of the monopoly of an Established Church in that country, maintained for the use of those who did not include more than one-tenth of the people. The people of Scotland also were beginning to complain of their Established Church. The people complained also, that they were loaded with an enormous burthen of taxation, the consequence of what they considered to have been unjust and unnecessary wars, which would not have been undertaken or continued by a House of Commons fairly representing the people. He was not one to say, that the public credit must not be maintained—the interest of the debts when incurred must be paid, but the people still had a right to complain of the manner in which those debts were incurred. They complained also of the expenses in every department of the State—of large salaries to officers, and of an unnecessary number of servants. They complained that the taxation which had been imposed upon the country was so imposed as to press much more heavily upon the poorer than upon the richer classes of the community; for whatever affected the necessaries of life pressed more severely upon the poor than upon the rich. These were all matters which had been frequently complained of by petition to that House, and that House had uniformly refused to inquire into them. The people complained also that laws had been passed materially injuring their rights, and complained that those laws had been passed by a House which did not represent them. As an instance of one of those acts of which they complained, he would mention the Poor-law. They complained, and, as he thought, most justly, that whilst the duty upon corn was kept up, and the price of the poor man's food thereby enhanced, that House had reduced the powers of the poor man to procure food at a cheap rate. He would not enter into the merits of the Poor-law, but he must maintain, whether the old Poor-law should be altered or not, that they should not have infringed the poor man's rights, whilst they kept up laws prohibiting him from obtaining food. Amongst those particular laws which infringed the rights of the people, he should allude to that particular act relating to Ireland which was passed last year—the Irish Arms Act. That act inflicted an injury upon the political rights of the country; it was an infringement of every principle of political liberty, and could not by any possibility have been passed by a House representing the people of Ireland. It was found almost impossible to carry that act into effect. Marking the arms was an operation which would require such a length of time to execute, that he believed the life of the act would be nearly extinct before all the arms in Ireland could be marked; but that evil, serious as it was, sank into insignificance when compared with the arbitrary power which that act placed at the disposal of the magistrates. Such proceedings as those had produced the demand for the repeal of the Union; those arbitrary acts were declared to be not such as Ireland should submit to. The people complained that they had frequently desired that those arbitrary acts of the Government should be inquired into, but that their requests had been uniformly refused. It was needless to go further back than the last Session in proof of that statement; then various acts of the officers of the Government were complained of, but inquiry into all of them was denied. He did not say that the Government was guilty of all the acts charged upon them; but he maintained that they ought to have inquired into them. There were charges affecting the judges—charges concerning the treatment of prisoners in confinement—and charges touching the conduct of Government with regard to the restraining and dispersion of public meetings; all of which the House had unfortunately refused to investigate. Another thing complained of was the enormous establishment of a standing army kept up for the home service. He was not aware of its present strength, but last year there were provided for the service of the United Kingdom 38,000 men; to these might be added about 9,000 constabulary in Ireland; making altogether very nearly 50,000 men. The armed constabulary of Ireland was, to all intents and purposes, a standing army, kept up without the consent of Parliament, and paid without coming to Parliament for the money. The people complained also that a hired police had been now instituted taking the place of the old and constitutional police. The people alleged, that if the laws were just and the Government impartial there would be no occasion for either that great army or that new system of police. Were the Government justly conducted and the laws just in themselves the people would require no coercion to keep them in obedience; it was the want of just laws, and of just principles of government, that rendered coercion at all necessary. The people, therefore, complained justly, that they were taxed to maintain a standing army and a hired police, from which good government would relieve them. But the most important charge of all was that which was brought against that House, of not being a true representation of the people. It had been alleged in petitions presented to that House, that, in consequence of the limitation of the franchise and the small number of electors which returned members to that House, the members returned could not be considered as the representatives of the people. Looking at the small number of electors, compared with the gross amount of the population, he would ask if any man could honestly declare that House to be a proper representation of the people? There was another cause why that House was stated not truly to represent the people, because, from the corrupt practices used at elections of Members of Parliament, which had been proved upon divers occasions, it could not be said to be a true representation of the opinions of the electors themselves. That being the case, and the number of electors being so small as compared with the population, he did not understand how it could be maintained that that House was the representation of the people. These facts had been stated to the House in various ways, and over and over again; the petitions of the people had stated them and sued for inquiry, and the House had received and recorded those petitions, though it refused all inquiry. Those petitions had been recorded on the Votes, and there they had been suffered to remain, the House not having the courage to enter into an inquiry and to meet the charges brought against it. If the House was a true representation of the people, was it not a breach of its privileges to say that it did not represent the people? Yet the House submitted to that charge, receiving the petitions which contained them, and recording them, yet not contradicting them nor inquiring into them. They stood, therefore, in the position of culprits; they were as accused persons who durst not meet the challenge of inquiry, and being in that position they were absolutely and directly avowing themselves to be not the representatives of the people themselves, and that they held their powers not by proper means. In a petition presented two years ago, signed by 3,500,000 persons, it was stated—and the statement was not wrong— That the House was not elected by the people, that its acts were irresponsible of the people, and passed by interested parties. That petition the House received, and the petitioners challenged the House to give them an opportunity to prove their assertions, offering to make the House both the judges and the jurors in their own cause; yet the House would not meet the challenge. They were accused, but they would not face the charge; they denied all inquiry; and were not fit to perform the acts of legislation required, especially that one of laying on taxation, until they instituted an investigation into those charges, and provided some remedies for the grievances of the people. Independent of this, it must be remembered that upon the occasion of the appointment of the Compromise Committee, the House was challenged by the hon. Member for Finsbury, who proposed that no man should serve on that committee who would not give a pledge that he had used no undue means to obtain his seat. What was the result! Only nineteen members voted for that motion. Was not that a proof that the House was not in a condition to deny the charges brought against it? Then, again, the proposed inquiry into the grievances complained of by the Chartists was negatived by a majority of 287 against 49. He did not intend to affirm that the rules of the House ought to be set aside and disregarded, except under extraordinary circumstances; which extraordinary circumstances at present existed, from the causes he bad mentioned. His resolution went to require the House to consider the demands of the people, to consider whether or not there were faults in the system of representation, and, if faults were found in it, to remedy them. He would not depart from the principles which he had declared to be those upon which reform should proceed; but he wanted not upon this particular occasion, to commit the House to those principles. All he demanded was, that they should go into an inquiry, to ascertain whether those principles were right or wrong; or what were the principles upon which reform should be carried out. It might be said, that his motion, if carried, would be a nonentity unless he went further. He was prepared to say what he would do, if the House would affirm his resolution. He would then move, either that the House resolve itself into a committee of the whole House on an early day, or that a select committee be instituted to inquire into the present state of the representation. It might be said that the inquiry would last an immense time, and that the delay of the supplies during that time would be productive of great mischief. But suppose the Government should say that they were ready to go into the proposed inquiry, then he would be ready to vote the supplies for three, four, five, or six months, or for such a time as might be thought necessary for the inquiry. If he could get from the Government any promise of any desire or intention of instituting such inquiry, he would not impede the supplies. It was far from his wish to do so; he would rather induce the Government to do something for the people, Whether a minority of that House could succeed in stopping the supplies or not, was a question that he would not, upon this occasion, discuss. He wanted a majority to go along with him in asserting the principle that the grievances of the people should be redressed before the supplies were granted. It was not his intention at present to go further, if the House would accede to that proposition. He would not say, however, what he might hereafter think it proper to do; but if any individual member would undertake or attempt to proceed in a course with regard to the supplies which should not be supported by public opinion out of doors, and a sufficient number of Members in that House, he was not the man that would attempt it upon his own individual responsibility. He wished to bring his proposi- tion fairly before the House and the public by discussion, and then it would be for ,the Members of that House and the people out of doors to say how far they desired this particular mode of action to be carried out. He should then pursue that course which prudence and judgment under the circumstances would dictate. He was aware that there was an objection to raising the question of a grievance upon going into committee of supply; and, unless that course were supported both in and out of the House, it could not be successful. He did not contemplate repeated adjournments; but he wished that those Members who represented the popular interest should bring forward motions on going into supply, not to overrule the house by a minority, but to get the majority of the House to agree with them; and, though they might be defeated at first, he did not despair of ultimately getting a majority of the Members of that House to maintain the principle for which be contended. He did not charge the present Government in particular with inattention to the prayers of the people; he admitted that other Governments, as well as the present, had been neglectful of the grievances of the nation. He did not think the existing Government more guilty than many other Governments; and he was aware that he should be opposed on this very motion, not by them only, but by the principal supporters of the late Government. Inquiry was his object; and, if any Government refused to comply with the demand for inquiry it then became the duty of that House, as a body, to refuse to go into a committee of supply until that inquiry and the redress of the grievances of the people were afforded. That was the general and constitutional principle for which he contended. He wished the House to recollect their position; they stood there as criminals before the people, whose heavy charges were recorded on its Journals, and therefore, as being incompetent justly to legislate for the people until they redressed the wrongs of the country. He would not trespass longer upon the patience of the House, but conclude by expressing a hope that lie had brought forward this question in a temper and manner not unbecoming. He had no wish to be offensive to any one; but he had thought it his duty, not only to his constituents, but to the people at large, to bring forward the motion, and to state the points he had submitted to the consideration of the House. Having done so, he would now move the amendment of which he had given notice:— That whereas complaints have been made to this House on various occasions, by petition, to the effect that the people are suffering under unjust and partial legislation, and under the effects of monopolies of various kinds, political and ecclesiastical, created and kept in existence for the benefit of favoured classes; that by the taxes imposed on food, for the support of one of these monopolies, the supply is restricted and the price raised, whilst at the same time the demand for labour is diminished and wages reduced, and the profits of manufacturing and commercial industry deeply injured; that the burthen of general taxation has been increased to an intolerable extent, by an extravagant expenditure in every department of the state, and that this taxation is so imposed as to press most oppressively and heavily on the industrial portion of the community; that laws have been passed injurious to the rights of the people, and arbitrary proceedings of Government have taken place dangerous to public liberty; that, in order to sustain this system, an unconstitutional amount of standing army is kept up for the home service, and the ancient constitutional constable superseded by hired police; all which would be wholly unnecessary if the grievances of the people were redressed, and just and impartial government established; it is further complained, that these and other grievances are produced by the bad constitution of the Commons' House; that by the limitation of the suffrage, the long duration of Parliaments, and corruption and undue influences in the election of representatives, this House, as at present constituted, does not truly represent and is not responsible to the people, and therefore does not legislate for their interests; that, notwithstanding frequent respectful petitions presented to this House, the complaints of the people have neither been inquired into nor redressed; that from these causes an alarming state of discontent prevails generally over the united kingdom; it is, therefore, the immediate duty of this House to make inquiry into these complaints; and as this House can have no right to vote supplies except as being the representatives of the people, it is imperatively necessary that the charges brought against its present constitution and competency in the petitions which have been received and recorded among its proceedings should be inquired into, and if found to be justly made, redressed, before this House shall proceed to the voting of supplies.

Mr. W. Williams

rose to second the amendment of his hon. Friend without any hesitation; but had it involved the principle of a small minority of that House engaging itself to stop the supplies against a large majority, he should not be anxious to support it, knowing the vast and important results that would follow should it be successful. The simple object of the amendment was to obtain inquiry into the existing grievances of the people, with a view to their being redressed. The hon. Member had stated generally what he considered to be the grievances of the people, as they were expressed in the petitions which had been laid on the Table of the House. He agreed with the hon. Mover as to the existence of the grievances and the detail he had given of them in the resolution. His hon. Friend had not gone so far as he might, according to examples which were to be found on the Journals of the House. The noble Lord, the Member for London, when he introduced the Reform Bill, stated the object of it to be in these words:— That the people should send to this House their real representatives, to deliberate on their wants, and to consult on their interests; to consider their grievances, and to attend to their desires; to possess the vast power of holding the purse-strings of the monarch, and to lay the foundation for most salutary changes in the well-being of the people. There was nothing so strong as that in the resolution proposed by his hon. Friend. He would ask the Members of that House—and the noble Lord in particular, were he in his place—whether any of those important objects had been obtained by the Reform Act? He believed every honest man must answer in the negative. The people supported that measure; they were ready even to risk their lives, because they believed that it would produce those effects which its promoters stated. But what had been accomplished? Nothing; not a single hope had been realised. A short time ago, three millions and a half of people complained, that they were not properly represented in that House. In 1642, the House of Commons resisted the arbitrary conduct of the King, and committed the supplies to commissioners, instead of being paid into the Treasury; which act not only laid the foundation of putting a stop to the attempted tyranny, but led the monarch who attempted to violate the ancient constitution of the country to the scaffold. Again, William the 3rd, on ascending the Throne, entered into a compact with the people, called the Declaration of Rights. In fulfilment of that solemn engagement, the Triennial Parliaments Bill was passed in 1693 by the Lords and Commons; but the King violated the compact and refused to give his assent to it. The House of Commons—ay, and the House of Lords too, had virtue enough in those days to press upon that monarch compliance with his engagement, and they therefore repassed the bill which he had rejected. Bishop Burnett, who might be considered the best historian of those times, and who best undertood the political movements of that day, said— It was expressly told the King by the Parliament, that they would grant no supplies unless he gave his assent to that bill, and they acted accordingly. "Now, there was nothing so violent in the proposition of his hon. Friend. The first and most important grievance complained of in the amendment was, that that House did not represent the people of this country. He admitted, that it was right for the majority of that House to rule, provided they really represented the people. That House not being a fair representation of the people, his hon. Friend was not only justified in the course he now proposed, but would have been justified in going much further. How did the facts stand with regard to representation? 5,000,000 out of the 6,000,000 of the adult population of the United Kingdoms had no voice in the election of Members of Parliament; yet that House in its injustice threw upon those 5,000,000 of the unrepresented the burthen of at least two-thirds of all the taxation of the country. If any hon. Gentleman disputed it, he was quite prepared to prove the fact to be as he had stated. This was a grievance which the people felt was intolerable. The highest authority in the country, Her Majesty's Prime Minister, in introducing the Income Tax made use of a most remarkable expression, which he would beg leave to quote. No doubt at that time the right hon. Baronet's friends had admonished him against the adoption of a tax that would so severely affect their own pockets, and no doubt he wished to stand well with the class to which he belonged, and seeing how easy it would be to throw the burthen on the backs of the defenceless, unrepresented 5,000,000, he felt he must make out a strong case before he could justify himself to his friends in imposing that burthen upon them. The right hon. Baronet, therefore, used these remarkable words:— I cannot consent to any proposal for the increase of taxation on the great articles of consumption by the labouring classes of the community. I say, moreover, that I can give conclusive proofs that you have arrived at the limits of taxation on articles of consumption. This was a notable declaration, and when he heard it from the right hon. Baronet, he said it exemplified great frankness and manliness of character. What did this important fact prove? It proved that they had laid the great weight of taxation on the backs of the unrepresented 5,000,000 to the very utmost they could bear, and the right hon. Baronet, with that judgment and sagacity which distinguished him, clearly saw, that it would be imprudent to increase the weight where it already pressed so heavily, lest it might break the camel's back, and he, therefore, called upon the higher classes to assist him in providing for that vast and extravagant public expenditure of which they themselves took so large a portion. Looking to the course of legislation in that House, no one could wonder at the dissatisfaction of the people. According to Blackstone, it was only because the people were present in that House at the making of the laws through their representatives that they were bound to obey the laws when made. He should like to know what this country would be without the 5,000,000 of the unrepresented of Great Britain and Ireland. What would be the value of their land? What would be the value of their mines, their manufactures, their ships, their colonies, their commerce? What would be the value of all those without the labour, the skill, the ingenuity of these 5,000,000. Whence did they supply their army and navy? All the resources which constituted the riches and power of this country were derived from those unrepresented classes who were now complaining of the injustice inflicted on them. With regard to the constitution of that House, the origin of all the evil, he must say, so far as regarded the interests of the people and the disposition to alleviate oppression, the Reformed House of Commons treated the people worse than the old boroughmongering Parliament. Every one who read the evidence given before the committee in 1836 must be satisfied that the election which took place in the beginning of the preceding year was carried by means of the grossest bribery, coercion, and intimidation. More recently a committee was moved for by the hon. and learned Member for Bath, with the same view. That hon. and learned Member brought charges against the electors of certain towns for having received large sums in the shape of bribes—a committee Was granted to investigate the facts; but in the progress of the debate it was laid down as a rule, that whatever amount of bribery might be proved against any constituency or Member, no reflection should be cast on either; thereby admitting that the whole proceeding was but a common affair. When Mr. Maddox brought forward a charge against an individual for having sold a seat in that House, Lord Castlereagh declared, that the sale of seats was as notorious as the sun at noon-day; and he now maintained that the same unconstitutional object was still effected by means of intimidation and corruption. At the Harwich election, it was proved before Mr. Roebuck's committee, that ninety-six voters had been bribed with an expenditure of 6,300l., thirty-three having received 3,000l.,. To call a House so constituted a representation of the people was altogether ridiculous. He would instance two boroughs, each sending two Members—Thetford with a constituency of 160, and Harwich with 181 voters, returned four Members; the city of London, with a constituency of 18,000, returned four Members; the West Riding of Yorkshire, with 30,122 voters, returned two; and Manchester, with 12,150, returned two: so that 18,000, the constituency of the city of London, or 42,272, the constituency of the West Riding and Manchester, were neutralized by 341, the combined constituency of Thetford and Harwich. They might call this toryism or conservatism, but certainly it had no pretension to be considered a representation of the people. Without going into too much detail, he could mention seventy-four towns which returned 121 Members, with a combined constituency less than that of the West Riding of Yorkshire, which only returned two Members. Yet they called that a fair representation. Forty Members constituted "a House," who could vote away public money by thousands and millions, and pass laws having the most important bearing on the entire people of the country. There were towns returning twenty-one Members, of which the united constituencies amounted to 2,923, and there were twenty other towns with 154,340 voters which returned twenty Members; the latter being entirely defeated or swamped by the former. He could name other fifty-one Members returned to that House by a constituency of 8,557, who outvoted fifty others returned by 279,618 voters. What could they expect but corruption and neglect to redress the national grievances in a House of Commons so constituted? Who were the high constitutional authorities on this subject? Lord Chatham's axiom was, that taxation without representation was tyranny. Mr. Locke held the same principle; so did Lord Grey and Lord John Russell. In 1831, the year before the passing of the Reform Bill, during the existence of the old boroughmongering Parliament, the expenditure amounted to 47,140,000l.; in 1843, the expenditure amounted to 49,950,000l. being an excess of 2,810,000l. over 1831, both being years of profound peace. Taking a middle period, he found that in 1836 the expenditure was 44,200,000l.; while in 1844 it was 49,950,000l., being no less than 5,750,000l. above the expenditure in 1836, the addition being more than the whole taxation of the United States of America for maintaining every department of the Government and payment of the interest of the public debt. Yet the United States had done that, which no Chancellor of the Exchequer ever could do in this country; they had paid off the last shilling of their debt. It was true they had incurred some debts since; but he would be bound to say, that the newly incurred debt would not long be unpaid. He spoke of the Government of the United States, not of the State Governments. Was it not a most remarkable fact, that the difference between the expenditure of this country eight years ago and at present should exceed the expenditure of that great republic, whose population was equal to that of Great Britain; a republic which was bearding us, raising its crest against us, and from which we had more to dread than from any other quarter of the globe? The taxation of this country was now greater than during any year of the last war. One of the most enlightened men of his day, a gentleman who had proved himself to be well acquainted with the condition of the country; he meant the right hon. Baronet, the Secretary of State for the Home Department—had made a statement in this respect, which he believed was rather under than over the mark. He said, that in 1812, the amount of taxation was 69,000,000l.; the price of gold was 5l. 1s.; in 1813 the amount of taxation was 73,200,000l., when the price of gold, bought with depreciated paper, was 5l. 6s.d. In the first instance, there was a depreciation of the currency, as compared with the standard value of 38½ per cent., and in the second instance there was a depreciation of 41 per cent. Reducing this to the present standard of gold, at 3l. 17s. 10½d. per oz., the average taxation in those two important years of the war, when the greatest exertions were made by this country and foreign nations to emancipate themselves from the thraldom of Napoleon, would be 45,000,000l., 10,000,000l. less than the amount of the taxes of the last year, after twenty-eight years of peace. He would ask any honest man if, after such a statement the people of this country had not just grounds of complaint? These were facts, and he challenged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to dispute them. But, besides the difference in the value of the currency, the deteriorated condition of every interest in the country made the taxation press much more heavily than it did at any former period. Let them take any artisan, mechanic, or labourer, and he would venture to say the average of them would now require more than the wages of two days to pay their taxes, when in 1812 and 1813, the produce of one day would have been enough. Three pounds of iron, two pounds of cotton twist, and four yards of calico would now be required, where one would have sufficed at the former period, and the same observations would apply to every produce of the industry of the country. The taxation last year amounted to 55,000,000l. for the purposes of the general government alone; the people being obliged to pay for their own local government, and the protection of person and property in addition to all this. According to a most important statement of the Poor-law Commissioners, he found that the local taxation amounted to 12,000,000l.; and this, he believed, was vastly under the actual amount. The local taxation of the city of London was estimated at 188,500l.; but he had reason to believe, that it was not less than 500,000l., including charges paid to the corporation, taxes on coal, poor-rates, church-rates, and tithe. But the estimated 12,000,000l. applied only to England and Wales; taking the local taxation of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and including tithes which the right hon. Gentleman opposite had described as a tax, the amount would be more than 25,000,000l., making altogether a taxation of 80,000,000l. on the people of this country, independently of the large amount paid to Dissenting and Catholic clergymen for the maintenance of places of worship, schools, &c. The bulk of that was paid by a population of 18,500,000; for, with all her complaints, Ireland was much better off than England with regard to taxation. The taxation of Ireland did not amount to one-twelfth of the whole taxation of the empire. The taxation of France amounted to very little more than 50,000,000l., out of which, besides the payment of the public expenditure, the clergy were paid, and nearly all those taxes which, in this country, came within the range of local taxation. Such was the disproportion between the taxation of England and that of other countries; and, in order to exact the vast amount from the toil and the sweat of the brow of the labouring millions, it was necessary to maintain a large standing army and a military police; for, without such aid, it never could be collected. And that army had been very much increased. In 1822 the army, independent of the Artillery and some other corps, amounted to 91,750 men. In the last year there were 129,481 men voted. At the commencement of the last Session, the Government told Parliament that they would reduce it by 5,700 men; and yet, before the close, they came down with a bill to add a permanent military force, of 10,000 men, which, if they went to the extent of the power given by the act, would answer to the Prætorian Guard of the Roman empire. He did not mean to say that the Government intended this when they came down with the proposition; but they had established the principle by the bill, and they might depend upon it, that some of their successors would act upon it. They could to-morrow, if they liked, discharge to the extent of 10,000 picked men from the army, and place them on half-pay, and call them the next day into permanent service under the bill referred to. The addition of these 10,000 men made the military force, at the beginning of the present year—and that, too, on a peace establishment—no less than 139,481 men, or 30,700 more than the number of men voted in the year before the passing of the Reform Bill. Now, it was of such things as these that the people complained as oppressions and grievances. They would not endure them. The whole system of taxation was partial and unjust. Those who imposed the taxes always took care of themselves and the order they belonged to. There was not a more unjust and partial system of taxation on the face of the globe. All the despotic countries of Europe imposed the great weight of their taxation on the richer classes; but the tax on land in this country was only 1,100,000l. or 1,200,000l. out of 55,000,000l. The great weight of the taxation of this country was laid on the necessaries of life, as they had been told by the right hon. Baronet opposite last year, those necessaries were taxed up to the last penny they would bear. In proof of this he would refer them to the result of the attempt of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Baring) to add a tax of 5 per cent. on those taxes, and 10 per cent. on the assessed taxes. That right hon. Gentleman contended, that the additional tax would produce 2,500,000l. more, but the produce actually fell short of the taxes of the preceding year. He repeated, that the taxes on the necessaries of life were most unjustly imposed. Look at the duties on tea. Tea sold at 10d., and tea sold at 5s. the pound, paid the same tax of 2s. 2d. per pound. So that the humble inhabitant of the garret, earning perhaps 3s. a week by sewing, and who could get scarcely anything else but tea, paid five times as much duty for the article as was paid in proportion by the rich occupant of the Treasury Bench opposite. Then, too, the commonest brown sugar, which was often mixed up with unwholesome materials, paid the same proportion of duty as the finest refined sugar. Common tobacco paid a duty of 800 per cent., while the duty on cigars, which were composed of the finest and richest tobacco, was only 150 per cent. On the champagne and burgundy, which formed the beverage of the rich, the duty was only 17½ per cent, while the tax on the labouring man's beer was more than 100 per cent. These inequalities were, he maintained, just grounds of complaint, and they were looked upon in that light by the people of this country. We had it on authority, that 10,000,000 of the people of this country were living on potatoes and oatmeal the food of cattle. Such a state of things could not continue, a society had been formed by the rich in this metropolis, headed by the most distinguished of the clergy, for the purpose of relieving the distresses of the poor, and of preventing those scenes of starvation which had recently so frequently occurred there. To them and to the whole community he would address the memorable words once used by the right hon. Baronet, the Home Secretary:— Whenever this country presents the spec- tacle of millions supplicating for bread, then will the people sweep away all titles, and pensions, and honours.

Sir R. Peel

—Sir, I am very willing to admit that the hon. Gentleman opposite is fully entitled to that credit which he took to himself of having discussed that motion he has this night brought forward, with moderation and temper. I think it is impossible for any man who has listened to the observations of the hon. Gentleman not to admit this—and I think, also, that it would not be just to attempt to raise any prejudice against this motion by imputing to the hon. Gentleman the possible design, at any future period, to obstruct the business of this House by frequent and vexatious motions of adjournment. Whatever course the hon. Gentleman may be hereafter advised to adopt—and my confidence in his good sense leads me to hope that unless supported by a very large body of the people out of doors, and by a majority within the House, he would not consider himself justified in pursuing that one to which I have just referred. Of the motion of the hon. Gentleman we must judge by a reference to its own merits; and I am sure that he will admit that I have met it in a corresponding spirit with that in which the hon. Gentleman has brought it under our notice. I take, therefore, this resolution as it is, and I ask the House at once whether, or not, it be for the public interest that this House should pass a vote in favour of it? The resolution, Sir, consists of two parts. The first insists on its being the immediate duty of this House to make inquiry into grievances alleged or complained of; and the second point denies the competency of the House to grant supplies or to perform any legislative functions whatever, by a defect in its constitution. Why, Sir, if this resolution were to be carried, the House of Commons would, to use a quotation of the hon. Member opposite, pronounce itself criminal in the face of the country, and the sooner it abandons its duty the better. This resolution, as well as the speech of the hon. Gentleman, is an impeachment of the power and competency of the House, the remedy suggested for which would be the greatest social revolution which any country has ever witnessed. Sir, the hon. Gentleman enumerates, among the grievances of the people, which he alleges require immediate redress; the monopoly enjoyed by the East-India Company, and the monopoly granted to the Bank of England. He there complains of the passing of the New Poor-law, and considers that it affords a just ground of complaint, and requires, with these monopolies I have named, an immediate inquiry. The hon. gentleman then passed on to the Church Establishment, and stated, that the people of this country were disposed to complain of the existence of the Church Establishment in this portion of the empire, whilst in Ireland he considers it to be a still greater grievance than in this country, in consequence of the peculiar state of society in that part of the kingdom. Even in Scotland, too, says the hon. Gentleman, the people begin to complain of a Church Establishment. Not satisfied with these complaints, the hon. Gentleman even includes in his catalogue of grievances the new police force of the country, and among the various establishments respecting which he prefers charges against Parliament, is that of the old office of constitutional constable of the abolition of which he complains, and of its supersession by a hired force. The Corn-laws constitute, also, another great grievance; and what the hon. Gentleman proposes is, that we should withhold supplies to the Crown until all these various matters—the charter of the East India Company, the Bank charter, the new Poor Law, the Church Establishment, the Corn Laws, and the Constabulary Force—shall have been investigated; in short, until the House of Commons shall have passed a resolution to make one simultaneous inquiry into all these questions—that is to say, the supplies having been voted for the service of the year, from April 1843, until April 1844, the House of Commons shall institute such an inquiry as this, into the entire social state of the three constituent parts of the United Kingdom, and of our colonial dependencies. Such a course of proceeding, Sir, is perfectly impracticable. And does the hon. Member suppose—even if his own views of the state of society justify him in asserting every thing that is contained in his resolution—does the hon. Member seriously think that it would conduce to the remedy of any one of these complaints he has preferred against us, or that it would lead to a satisfactory conclusion of any question connected with a complicated state of society such as our own, that we should proceed to pass a resolution such as this? In the first place, how, let me ask, is such an inquiry to be made? The hon. Gentleman does not mean to bring forward a motion for a committee of the whole House for the purpose of embarrassing the Government. We understand that—we know that such a motion implies a want of confidence in the Government. The House, generally, on such a question, looked upon a motion involving it as representing the views of one party in Parliament in opposition to those of the other; but what the hon. Gentleman proposes is, that before we grant to the Crown the usual supplies for the public service, we shall resolve ourselves into a committee of the whole House, for the purpose of instituting an inquiry into all these various and important matters. Why, Sir, what would be the effect of such a step, even were it possible? Its effect would be to raise expectations we could never gratify—whilst the still more probable result of such a resolution would be a perfect conviction of the folly of the House which should agree to it. But the hon. Gentleman is not contented with affirming the policy of his resolution; he goes still further, and, in the second portion of it, he says, that This House can have no right to vote supplies, except, as being the representatives of the people, it is imperatively necessary that the charges brought against its present constitution and competency in the petitions which have been received and recorded among its proceedings, should be inquired into, and, if found to be justly made, redressed before this house shall proceed to the voting of supplies. And then the hon. Gentleman refers to a petition presented some two or three years ago, and very numerously signed, which impeached the competency of the House, and asks us how we can with decency enter upon the duty of voting supplies for the service of Her Majesty before we have enquired into all the charges contained in that petition. Why that petition demanded a complete and radical reform in Parliament as essential to redress the grievances of the people. The hon. Member who seconded this resolution, stated that there are six millions of adult population in this country, and that only one million of them are represented in the legislature—that the House is guilty of having subjected the remaining five millions to taxation, without giving them, at the same time, a fair and adequate representation in Parliament; and his proposition is, that we shall confer the right of the suffrage upon the whole of them. The hon. Gentleman does not come forward as the advocate of household suffrage, but maintains that the right to possess the franchise shall be co-extensive with taxation. But if that principle be a just one, I confess I do not see how he can refuse the right to the female portion of the community. Though the hon. Gentleman says that it is unjust to subject five millions of people to be taxed without possessing the right of the suffrage, he is obliged to limit his proposition to something less extensive—and excludes females, while on his principles both the male and female portion of the community ought to be invested with the right to vote. The hon. Gentleman appears to say, that they ought. I can only say, then, that the hon. Gentleman comes forward as a more comprehensive reformer than any that has hitherto appeared in this House. But why limit the right of suffrage to adults alone? You subject parties under age to taxation, and you make the youth of eighteen years of age liable to serve in the army, and according to the principle laid down by the hon. Gentleman, if you impose taxation on such a person, you ought, at the same time, to give him the right to the suffrage to an equal extent. Indeed, the hon. Gentleman's proposal is neither more nor less than this, that the whole of the population of this country, and of every part of the United Kingdom, who pay taxes through the operation of indirect taxation, shall, both male and female, have a share in the representation of the people. If the principle of the hon. Gentleman be a just principle, is it possible he can contest this conclusion? and depend upon it, his new House of Commons will very speedily be liable to the same charges as are brought against the present, and that a petition will necessarily be soon numerously signed by females and youths and presented to it, saying—"We are entitled to the right of the franchise"—and the new House, arraigned by hundreds and by thousands of persons, will end in being bound to admit its own incompetency and be exposed to the same charges as are now brought by the hon. Gentleman and those who think with him, against the present House of Commons. From the speech of the hon. Gentleman I should have thought he was contending for a repeal of the Reform Bill—and for a return to the old borough-mongering Parliament; for his argument was, that the infusion of the democratic principle into this House has disappointed the public expectation, and inflicted a heavier burthen of taxation on the country than it had before been required to bear. The hon. Gentleman did not, certainly, bring this forward as a taunt against Reformers—he was not prepared to twit the noble author of the Reform Bill on this account—but he brought his estimates with respect to different periods together, and shewed that, under the Reform Bill, there had been an addition of 10,000,000l. to the burthens of the people. He says that, in the year 1822, the more moderate Parliament of that day had a standing army of only 91,000 men—that you have reformed the Parliament, and the army is now augmented to 137,000, and the taxes also are very heavily increased. It would be a legitimate conclusion from the hon. Gentleman's principles to go back to those happy times when the army was no greater than the amount he states, than to follow the hon. Gentleman in the perilous career he proposes—for his whole argument went to show that economy of the public money, and a resistance to oppression, do not depend upon the constitution of this House, but upon the virtue of the men in it. The hon. Gentleman went back to the year 1692, and says that the House of Commons of that day claimed for the people the right of having frequent Parliaments. William the Third, a powerful monarch, departed from the engagement he had entered into in this respect, and the consequence was, that the House of Commons determined to refuse the supplies till the public faith, which had been pledged by the Crown, should have been fulfilled. But that virtuous Parliament, which, in two successive years—backed, too, by the House of Lords—controlled, and justly controlled, the will of the Crown, had a much less free constitution than the present Parliament enjoys; and I must say, judging from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, I should have inferred that he is no friend to the present Parliament, and that he is making an ingenious argument to show his preference to be in favour of going back to that of 1822—nay, still further, if you have the courage to do so—even to the Parliament of 1692. But again, the hon. Gentleman's condemnation of this present Parliament was somewhat qualified, for the hon. Gentleman, paying a compliment to myself, for which I beg to return him my sincere acknowledgments, said that when it became necessary for us to make a great exertion to equalise the revenue with the expenditure of the country, the present Parliament did, what? Impose additional burthens on the poorer classes, and duties upon articles which, though not of exact necessity, yet in a great measure, partake of that character? No; the hon. Gentleman's charge against the present Parliament was not that they included in their taxation articles of general consumption, but that they were contented to lay an additional burthen upon themselves, instead of trying to lay it on the great body of the people. And they did so—but I cannot see that, in doing so, they betrayed a keen desire to increase the burthens of the people—or that they by any means deserve that blame which could justify these charges against their competency. Take the Poor Law Act, for instance. The hon. Gentleman refers to that law as one great grievance. Did the Legislature pass that Act merely from a wish to make an alteration in the law? Was it without inquiry that we passed the Poor Law Bill? No; commissions were appointed expressly to inquire into every part of the subject, and the great and crying abuses of the late system of relief of the poor were brought to light; and a Government, having no other view with reference to that law than to remedy the evils of the old system, which threatened to destroy the comfort and undermine the private character of the bulk of the population, incurred without flinching great unpopularity by introducing the Bill in which their remedy was embodied. Again, with respect to the charter of the Bank of England, I should like to see how the hon. Gentleman, having obtained his committee, and a resolution to inquire into the subject of the Bank charter having been concurred in—I should like to see how the hon. Gentleman would go on? Is he aware of the inquiries which have already been made upon this subject? Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to conduct such an inquiry? Is he aware that, for three Sessions, one branch of the subject alone occupied the attention of a committee of this House—that another committee was subsequently appointed to in- vestigate it, which did not make its report until the end of the then Session of Parliament? Is the hon. Gentleman ignorant of all these inquiries? if not, how can he come forward and say that into none of these grievances has inquiry been made? If he thinks that the subject of the Charter granted to the Bank of England was not fully investigated, I wish him joy of any inquiry at the bar of this House which he could institute into the whole case of the Bank Charter. And what, I should like to be informed, are we to do with regard to the Church Establishment whilst that inquiry is going on? I will venture to say, with reference to the duration of such an inquiry, that the hon. Gentleman will find such a variety of opinions upon every part of the subject—so much business added to the investigation in reference to Country banks, and to Joint Stock banks—so much discussion connected with the question of the Currency Bill of 1819—that I am sure he would be obliged to postpone ad Græcas Calendas all the other questions which his resolution embraces. With respect to the other questions, the Church Establishment, Reform in Parliament, and so forth, they are subjects to be decided on by the deliberate sense of the House, after full and adequate discussion, by select committees of the House, or by committees of the whole House. These, then, Sir, are the grounds on which I resist this motion. I say that it is impracticable, and that it would be absurd, to pass a resolution pledging ourselves to inquire into eight or ten different subjects, embracing the entire state of domestic society in this country. For the House of Commons to make a public confession of its own incompetency, and to declare itself "criminal," because a petition was presented two or three years ago, charging it with such imputations, appears to me most extraordinary, and I must say, it is equally improbable that the House of Commons will consent to place itself in such an anomalous position. The hon. Gentleman entered into a variety of details, but the House will, I think, agree with me, that this is not the proper time for discussing such matters. The deep importance of the various matters to which the hon. Gentleman adverted I am perfectly ready to admit, but I am not prepared to admit that this House is in a situation to enter upon inquiries into the several questions with respect to taxation to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded. The hon. Gentleman, among other instances of unjust taxation, mentioned the article of tea, and he said it was a gross and scandalous injustice to the poor to lay an equal duty on all descriptions of tea. The House must be aware that there was a discriminating duty on tea, which duty was established from a desire to consult the interests of the great body of the consumers. Why was it abandoned? It was not abandoned as the act of the Government, or from any wish to interfere with the interests of the consumers, but after a laborious investigation by a committee of the House of Commons, which led to the conviction that the difficulty of collecting the duties was so great as to render the imposition of an equal duty indispensable. That was the opinion of a right hon. Gentleman opposite the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, who then held office as one of the Secretaries of the Treasury, and whose opinion had great influence with the Government; and I think I may appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to confirm me in what I say, that if an equal duty on tea was substituted for a discriminating duty, it was not with any view to bear hardly on the working classes, or consult the interests of the Government, but merely to give facilities for the proper collection of the revenue. If you could, without fraud, raise an equal amount of revenue from a discriminating as from an equal duty, the Government would have no objection whatever to apportion the duty to the quality of the tea; but that was found to be impracticable, and therefore it was that the equal duty was substituted for the discriminating duty. Sir, with regard to the article of beer, I think that the comments of the hon. Gentleman cannot have any weight at all events in reference to my right hon. Friend the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, for it was on the advice of my right hon. Friend that the Government consented to abandon the tax on beer, considering it to be untenable as distinguished from the duty on malt. The House seeing in the proposition of my right hon. Friend a means of adding to the comfort of the people at once acceded to it. The House, therefore, agreed to a diminution of the revenue in this particular instance, for no other purpose than that of adding to the comforts of the people; and consequently I deny the charge made against this House, of being inattentive to the wants of the people, and of having no disposition to undertake any inquiry which we think may conduce to the advantage of the people. On all the subjects to which the hon. Gentlemen have adverted, there has been full and frequent inquiries, and that, I say, shows that there is a strong desire in reference to taxation to consult the interests of those on whom taxation falls; but, at the same time, I conjure the House not to lower themselves in the eyes of the country, or injure their character by such a declaration as that we are incompetent to legislate, because a petition numerously signed has claimed for the whole people a right of suffrage, and has branded the House as the unworthy representatives of the nation.

Mr. Hume

wished to draw the attention of the House to the real objects of the motion of his hon. Friend, which had been to a great extent avoided by the right hon. Baronet. He must admit, that some parts of his hon. Friend's arguments did not strike him as being so forcible as others; but he would put it to the right hon. Baronet, whether any time could be so appropriate, and whether his hon. Friend could avail himself of any opportunity more fitting to bring before the House the state of the country, than that he had chosen for the purpose? He could not, therefore, agree with the right hon. Baronet, that this was not the fitting occasion to introduce such a resolution as had been proposed. The right hon. Baronet had not taken notice of the important part of the motion. The first observation of his hon. Friend was, that many of the wishes of the people were neglected and passed by without consideration by the House. Now, was that denied? Did the right hon. Gentleman deny the universal suffering of the people? And, if not, why did not he turn his attention to the subject, with a view to providing a remedy for the evil? His hon. Friend had said, that it was this admitted suffering that formed one of the principal grounds for bringing forward his motion. True, it might be difficult to meet that giant grievance, but look at the extent of the destitution, and the various instances of distress and suffering which occurred daily in a land like this, abounding in wealth and luxury. What he asked, therefore, was, that the House should should turn its attention to that which was the main object of the motion—to bring before the House an exposition of the distress of the country, in order that, if possible, some remedy might be devised and applied. It appeared, however, to be the intention to lie by, as in the last Session, and to trust to Providence for better times, leaving the misery and distresses of the people to relieve themselves. Within the House no remedy had been suggested. Out of the House it had been suggested that the supplies should be stopped. Now, with regard to the proposition for stopping the supplies, it was true that in 1835 he had himself given notice of a motion for that purpose, which he had intended to move; but the circumstances of that period were different from those of the present. In 1835 the Crown was about, to carry on the Government by means of an Administration not enjoying the confidence of the majority of that House. That was, therefore, the proper time to say to the Crown, if you dismiss those Ministers in whom the majority of the House and the country have confidence, we will refuse to vote those supplies, without which the Government cannot be carried on. That would have been to say, "The House of Commons have not confidence in the Government." But the circumstances were now changed. Now the majority of the House is with the Government. How, then, could they stop the supplies, when those supplies were to be voted by the majority of the representatives of the people (so called at least), and that majority is with the Government? Such a thing could not, and ought not to take place. But the second part of the motion, which was the most important, went to declare that the House, as at present constituted, did not represent the opinions of the nation at large, and his hon. Friend had told them that out of doors that opinion prevailed almost universally. It appeared that that House represented not more than one-sixth or one-seventh of the whole adult population of the country. The House, being a representative body, ought to represent all interests and all classes, and he contended, with his hon. Friend, that it did not. He (Mr. Flume) would go further than his hon. Friend, and would say the reformed Parliament, as now existing, had done what an unreformed Parliament would not have done. The noble Lord who brought forward the Reform Bill, said at the time, that the main object of that bill was to ensure to all classes in the country fair representation in that House, and to do away with class legislation. But had that object been effected by the bill? Had it been carried out? No such thing. The suffrage was so narrowed under the Reform Bill, and the number of electors so small, that the bill was, for all its main purposes, a failure. He had hoped, that a full and fair representation would have been given under that bill, but, like many others, he had been disappointed. Why, the authors of that bill, ineffective and limited as it was, had themselves turned round and checked its operation. He did not so much blame the House itself, for the House was, perhaps, better upon the whole, but the electors generally. In many places, the constituencies were of the highest character, and no charge of corruption could be brought against them, but in others the grossest corruption had been exhibited, and they had sent a majority into the House, many of whom owed their seats to money only, and who, when they came there, consulted their own interests and not those of the country. It was because the House was so constituted, and because the great majority of the people found that they were not represented, that so much discontent was exhibited. He was sure the right hon. Baronet could have no idea how the House was constituted. He wished to show, that the great mass of the people out of doors had a just ground of complaint, and had a right to call on Parliament (or at least those who were of his way of thinking) to say, that they ought to take steps to make the country happy and wealthy, and to remove the discontent that now existed, and the danger that was likely to arise to property and person, if the present state of things was permitted to remain. It was bad legislation that had produced and kept up monopoly, and it was time to consider whether it was to be attributed to the acts of the House of Commons or not. He thought nothing could be more preposterous in a country professing to be free, than to have two classes—one free, and the other slaves. He had understood we had abolished slavery in our dominions throughout the world, but to this day slavery existed in England to a great extent. He had seen the other day a definition of the terms freedom and slavery, and he referred to it, as in that definition consisted all his opposition to the present state of things:— To be free (said the writer) was to be in a condition to give assent to the laws of the state, either in person or by those representatives in whose election the people had a voice. And of such freemen, there were not more than 600,000 or 700,000 in this country. Now, what was the definition, as given of slavery. It was;— To be in such a position as to have no will of our own in making the laws by which we are governed, either in person, or by our representatives. That definition was taken from the Times newspaper, at a time when that paper was the best and most strenuous advocate of liberal principles in the country, and when every question of parliamentary and political reform was advocated by that paper. Now, what was the condition of England at this moment? There were between 600,000 and 700,000 freemen, and all the rest were slaves. [Hear, hear!] He was glad to see hon. Gentlemen approved of that description, or if they did not he should be glad to hear from them a more appropriate definition. From the result of an analysis of the electoral body of this country—taking every county and borough in the United Kingdom—it appeared that out of the 658 Members of which that House was composed, 347, forming a majority of the whole, were elected by 180,603 individuals. Or, in other words, one-fortieth of the whole male population of this country returned the majority of that House. There was no part of the whole population of the country who suffered more than the miscalled freemen. He thought, also, that his hon. Friend had not been fairly treated by the right hon. Baronet in regard to the Poor-law. There was nothing in the resolution relating to the Poor-law, but an observation had fallen from his hon. Friend that it was unjust to the poor man to carry out the law as it was carried out. The principle of the Poor-law was, that every man, while he could work, should depend upon himself for support, and not upon others, that was the principle upon which he had supported the Poor-law Amendment Bill, and upon which a Poor-law should be maintained; but the injustice and the hardship was this, that while they declared, that every able-bodied labouring man should depend upon his own labour alone, they placed acts upon the statute-books, that precluded his obtaining employment for that labour; they limited the demand for labour by those acts which prevented the admission of food from foreign countries. They took from the labourer the means of supporting himself at the same time that they told him he must depend upon himself for support. That was the hardship which, as his hon. Friend had said, the poor man had to complain of, and in that the right hon. Baronet had not dealt fairly with his hon. Friend. As he had supported the Poor-law, he intended that every man should have the fullest opportunity of obtaining a market for his labour, and that be should be supported by his own exertion rather than by charity; and the general desire throughout the country was, that the people should be supported, not by charity, but by labour. Hon. Gentlemen who were the advocates of monopoly satisfied their consciences by instituting numerous charities; but the people wanted employment for their labour, not charity. They did not want the sop of charity to the extent of one-twentieth part of what was taken from them by the monopoly. The burthen of taxation fell most severely on the poor man. Of the excise and custom duties nearly one-half the whole was paid by the industrious and working classes, and notwithstanding this they placed an additional burthen on them, by taxing their food for the benefit of others. Now, he would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were the advocates of the Corn and other restrictive laws, whether that was acting like Christians—whether that was obeying the divine precept of "do unto others as you would they should do unto you? "He thought the persons who had petitioned the House had a perfect right to complain under such circumstances. The great evil was defective representation. Let the voice of the people be heard in that House, and all other evils would vanish. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of the difficulty of entering into the proposed inquiry. Why, if there were forty difficulties, might not forty Select Committees be appointed to investigate them?—and if he was told they could not appoint more than four or five, that fact alone was sufficient to show that the House as at present constituted was not competent to discharge its duties. Let them appoint a separate Committee (if necessary) for every grievance. There were many amongst the Members of the other side who would not willingly deprive the poor man of his right. He regretted to see on the other side of the House, the hon. and gallant Member for Lincoln, who he knew, would not withhold from any man his right—for a more highly honourable man than the gallant colonel, was not in that House—and he would say to him, "do unto others as he would they should do unto him." Let him suppose himself placed at the bottom of the scale, would he not try to slide up? Would he not try to better his condition. Then he ought to be anxious to give the labouring man, who was the strength and sinew of the country, and to the artizan that to which he was entitled. He regretted only one part of the resolution—that was that which declared the House not competent to grant the supplies—but in all the other points the resolution was properly expressed—therefore, though disagreeing with that particular paragraph, yet agreeing with the general tenor of the Motion, he should support his hon. Friend if he went to a division.

Colonel Sibthorpe

The hon. Gentleman had said that he regretted to see him (Colonel Sibthorpe) on that side of the House. He had sat in the company of his hon. Friends around him for many years, and he hoped he should remain there a great many years more. With regard to the condition of the country, it had been said by the hon. Gentleman opposite, that wages had been lowered. That was not the case in the county with which he was connected. He had letters from farmers in that county informing him, that the labourers there were fully employed, and that they were perfectly content with every thing but the movements of the Anti-Corn-law League. The labourers in Lincoln were receiving 12s. a week, and in some cases, as much as 15s. a week. He did not concur in wishing his right hon. Friends out of the administration; he hoped they would long remain there, and, above all, that they would keep out the party opposite, who had, during ten years, endeavoured to govern the country, but with so much success, that they had at length been driven from office by the general voice of the country, with that opprobrium they deserved. He had received a letter from a gentleman whom he characterized as a most honourable and intelligent individual, in which he stated, that "Sir Robert Peel had reason to be proud of his position, from the improved circumstances of the country." As to the Anti-Corn-law League and their poison, he would only say, that the members of that body went, round the country like quack doctors, only telling how many they cured, and not caring how many they killed.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the question. Ayes 130; Noes 22: Majority 108.

List of the AYES.
Ackers, J. Gore, M.
A'Court, Capt. Gore, W. O.
Allix, J. P. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Antrobus, E. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Arkwright, G. Granger, T. C.
Astell, W. Greene, T.
Bailey, J. Jun. Grimston, Visct.
Baillie, Col. Hamilton, J. H.
Baird, W. Hamilton, G. A.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Hamilton, W. J.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Harcourt, G. G.
Beckett, W. Hardinge, rt.hn.Sir H.
Bentinck, Lord G. Henley, J. W.
Berkeley, hon. C. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Blakemore, R. Herbert, hon. S.
Borthwick, P. Hodgson, R.
Botfield, B. Hope, hon. C.
Broadley, H. Hornby, J.
Bruce, Lord E. Howard, Sir R.
Buckley, E. Humphrey, Mr. Ald.
Buller, E. James, Sir W. C.
Chetwode, Sir J. Jermyn, Earl
Clerk, Sir G. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Clive, Visct. Jones, Capt.
Clive, hon. R. H. Knatchbull, rt. hu. Sir E
Colborne, hon. W. N. Lawson, A.
Connolly, Col. Leslie, C. P.
Coote, Sir C. H. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Lindsay, H. H.
Cripps, W. Lockhart, W.
Davies, D. A. S. Lowther, hon. Col.
Denison, E. B. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Dickinson, F. H. Mackenzie, T.
Dodd, G. Mackenzie, W. F.
Douglas, Sir H Maclean, D.
Douglas, Sir C. E. M'Neill, D.
Drummond, H. H. McTaggart, Sir J.
Egerton, W. T. Manners, Lord C. S.
Eliot, Lord Maule, right hon. Fox
Escott, B. Meynell, Capt.
Flower, Sir J. Morgan, O.
Forster, M. Neville, R.
Fuller, A. E. Northland, Visct.
Gaskell, J. Milnes O'Brien, A. S.
Gisborne, T. Oswald, A.
Gladstone, rt. Hn. W. E. Owen, Sir J.
Godson, R. Paget, Lord W.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Peel, rt. hot. Sir R.
Peel, J. Stuart, H.
Philips, M. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Plumptre, J. P. Trelawny, J. S.
Pollock, Sir F. Trench, Sir F. W.
Praed, W. T. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Pringle, A. Trollope, Sir J.
Pulsford, R. Trotter, J.
Pusey, P. Turner, E.
Rashleigh, W. Turnor, C.
Rawdon, Col. Vesey, hon. T.
Repton, G. W. J. Warburton, H.
Richards, R. Wood, Col. T.
Ross, D. R. Wyndham, Col. C.
Rushbrooke, Col. Yorke, H. R.
Scarlett, hon. R. C. Young, J.
Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Sibthorp, Col. TELLERS.
Stanley, Lord Fremantle, Sir T.
Stewart, J. Baring, H.
List of theAYES.
Barnard, E. G. Hindley, C.
Blewitt, R. J. Hume, J.
Bodkin, J. J. Leader, J T.
Bowring, Dr. Plumridge, Capt.
Bright, J. Scholefield, J.
Brotherton, J. Strickland, Sir G.
Butler, hon. Col. Wakley, T.
Butler, P. S. Wallace, R.
Duke, Sir J. Wawn, J. T
Duncan, G.
Ellice, E. TELLERS.
Fielden, J. Crawford, S.
Gibson, T. M. Williams, W.