HC Deb 11 May 1848 vol 98 cc851-71

On the Motion for the Third Reading of the Removal of Aliens Bill,

The EARL of ARUNDEL AND SURREY said, he had received a letter from a distinguished Member of the ex-Chamber of Peers of France, the Count de Montalembert, an extract from which he was desirous of reading to the House. The illustrious individual to whom he referred said that he had been mentioned as one of those who incited Ireland against the British Government, and he went on to say— Nothing can be further from my language and opinions on this subject. I have always, it is true, felt and expressed the deepest sympathy for the wrongs and sufferings of Ireland, but at the same time I have always professed a sincere respect for England, and a heartfelt interest for her welfare. I hope and trust that for her own sake, as well as for the sake of religion and humanity, England will as soon as possible do justice to Ireland, but at the same time I remain true to the doctrine of moral force as professed by the illustrious Daniel O'Connell. As for the Repeal of the Union, I have never expressed any opinion on the subject. He (Lord Arundel and Surrey) considered it his duty to read that extract from the illustrious Gentleman's letter.

MR. MOWATT, conceiving that the present Bill was totally uncalled for, thought it his duty to move that it be read a third time that day six months. No one could deny that the Bill was a direct violation of the spirit of the British constitution, as well as an outrage upon the public opinion of the present day. The measure proposed to invest the Secretary of State with powers which could only be justified by the most stringent necessity, and that had been fully admitted by the right hon. Baronet who had introduced the present Bill. But yet the right hon. Gentleman had not stated any distinct ground in support of the introduction of the Bill; he had only given them an indistinct idea of the circumstances which led to it. He would not ask the right hon. Baronet to make any disclosures which might be inconsistent with his duty; but it was necessary for him to make out some case in support of the principle upon which the Bill was founded, and which he had heard the right hon. Baronet himself heretofore frequently condemn. Whenever such measures were brought in formerly, sufficient reasons had been given for them. The present measure was directed chiefly against the French; now he thought it was impossible for any of that people to enter into any practicable conspiracy which would have the effect of disturbing or exciting the people of this country. Why, our very language was an insuperable barrier to their attempting to excite by any inflammatory speeches, or even to address at all an English audience, as it appeared to be so much apprehended by the right hon. Baronet they might do. For his own part he thought the idea was preposterous. But even if the most substantial grounds should exist for supposing that there were swarms of dangerous foreigners in this country, associated against its peace and tranquillity, as asserted, he felt persuaded that the ordinary law was sufficient for their suppression. He was aware that a sort of panic had recently seized a large portion of the people of this country; and he believed that, in consequence of that panic, the Government might carry any measure of coercion. He had reason, however, to think that the alarm was now subsiding; and, for his part, he felt ashamed to see a British Government, calling itself progressive, devoting all its energies and attention to the adoption of measures of a repressive character. Her Majesty's Ministers had proposed to them, during the present Session, an Irish Coercion Act, and afterwards a "Gagging" Act, and, at that moment, they had before them an Aliens Bill. It had been stated by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General that no necessity would, perhaps, ever arise for enforcing the provisions of that measure. In that statement he entirely concurred. He believed that it was a silly and a useless Bill; but he nevertheless strongly objected to its principle. He believed that it would arm the violent party in France with a good excuse for retaliating against Englishmen by a similar measure, should they be so disposed. He could see nothing to account for the introduction of such a Bill. It was true that they had had a revolution on the Continent. But for his part he should say, that whatever might be the errors to which that event might have led, he heartily rejoiced at its occurrence; he thought that it was perfectly justifiable; and he hoped that the Government of this country would draw from it a more useful lesson than they had hitherto done. He could perfectly understand the introduction of such a measure by a Tory Government, for it would be consistent with the principles their party had always advocated. But the Bill was directly opposed to the opinions professed by every liberal statesman in this country. He believed it was neither more nor less than an attempt to widen the channel between England and republican France. Her Majesty's Ministers might, however, as well attempt to stop the advancing tides as to stop the onward progress of liberal principles; and as to the outcry against propagandists, why all liberal men were propagandists at the present day, and no persons were more so than our own countrymen. There were no people so prone as English travellers to censure, in the most violent manner, the institutions of foreign States, on the ground that they were less liberal than those of their own country. The hon. Member concluded by moving that the Bill should be read a third time that day six months.

MR. HUME seconded the Amendment. He believed the Government had made a very great mistake in proposing such a measure. He did not agree with his hon. Friend that the Bill would be utterly inoperative. But it appeared to him, that Her Majesty's Ministers were placing themselves in the category of the most retrograde Governments by the introduction of such a measure. He felt it his duty to protest against the Bill, as he had before on more than one occasion protested against a similar measure in company with many Members of the present Government.

LORD D. STUART denounced the Bill as unwise and unnecessary, and said that he had given notice of two clauses which he proposed to add to the Bill if it should pass the third reading, but that he could not consent to let it pass through that stage without recording his opposition to it.

MR. MUNTZ supported the Amendment, and wished it was in his power to throw out such a disgraceful measure. It was said some time ago that there was an old woman in the Cabinet, but he thought that the Cabinet was composed entirely of old women now.

MR. EWART also opposed the Bill. He did not so much regard it as a measure which would prove injurious to foreigners, as one which implied a want of confidence in the people of England, and a want of confidence in the good working of our constitution. He believed that there were even Members of the Government who most reluctantly gave their support to this measure.

MR. FORSTER would support the Bill if he thought it in the slightest degree necessary for the support of the institutions of the country; but he opposed it because he regarded it as altogether unnecessary for such an object, while it would have the effect of leading foreigners to believe that we had good grounds for alarm.

SIR H. VERNEY said, it had been strongly contended by the opponents of this Bill, that we should in no respect interfere with the Governments of foreign countries. Then, why should we not have the power to prevent people from foreign countries interfering in our affairs, and plotting against our Government? Persons who went into any country to which they did not belong, and endeavoured to plot against the constitution of that country, deserved the most condign punishment; and he believed that, in present circumstances, Government would have failed in their duty if they had not taken steps to secure us against the interference of foreigners. Something had been said about the existence of a panic; but the whole conduct of the people of London on a late occasion was as unlike that of the people labouring under a panic as could well be imagined. That was just one of the reasons, however, why Government should be armed with the powers given in this Bill.

MR. DUNCAN had voted against the Crown and Government Security Bill, because it contained a clause which he thought might operate injuriously to the free expression of opinion; but he was quite prepared to support Government on the Bill now under discussion; seeing that, thought it was a somewhat harsh measure, it was nevertheless stated by them to be one which in present circumstances was necessary to the country.

SIR G. GREY had to express his thanks to those Gentlemen who held opinions adverse to the Bill, for the manner in which those opinions had been expressed in the course of these discussions. Nothing could be more fair than the manner in which the opposition to the Bill had been manifested throughout. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment complained that he had not given sufficient explanation ,of the necessity that existed for the Bill; but he thought that when moving the second reading of the Bill he had very decidedly referred to the general state of Europe, and also to the fact that circumstances had come within his knowledge, in the course of the discharge of his duties, with reference to foreigners who were at that time in the country—not foreigners driven from their own countries by political persecution, but persons who had come here for the purpose of exercising influence in the affairs of this country—which justified the introduction of such a measure. He did not mean to say that this Bill was essentially necessary to the security of the institutions of the country; he did not say that were such a Bill not passed he should despair of those institutions. They would ill appreciate the sound, loyal, and peaceable disposition of the people if they did not believe that any outbreak or disturbance whatever, whether fomented by foreigners or not, would be put down by the sound, loyal, and consti- tutional feeling happily so prevalent in this country. But when they looked to what had passed both in England and Ireland, he thought the Government had a right to take credit to themselves for the precautionary measures they had taken, and at the same time to appeal to them as proofs of the necessity of the present measure. He maintained that the loyal and peaceable people of this country had a right to look to the Government, under the peculiar circumstances in which foreign countries were placed, and considering the spirit of propagandism which existed, not on the part of foreign Governments, but on the part of individuals; and accordingly, Her Majesty's Ministers thought they were bound in justice to the loyal and peaceable subjects of the Crown, and for their security from tumult and disturbance, to ask for powers from Parliament—powers not of a very stringent character, and for a limited time only; the great feature which distinguished this Bill from all former measures of the kind being that it was proposed for the preservation of the internal peace and tranquillity of the country. Allusion had been made to what fell on a former occasion from the Attorney General as to the probability of the Bill being inoperative. He had no doubt that the occasions would be rare on which it would be the duty of the Government to exercise the powers conferred on them by this Bill; but if it was known that the Government did possess those powers, and was ready to exercise them upon those who were disposed to abuse the hospitality of the country—if it was known that those who came here for lawful and honest purposes would have the hand of friendship and hospitality extended to them, but that with regard to those who came for unlawful purposes, or on invitation from others living within the realm, to assist in disturbing the public peace, the Government would not shrink from exercising the powers conferred upon them by this Bill, and removing them from the country—if this were known, he had no doubt it would have the best effect, and so far tend to promote the peace and tranquillity of the country. The hon. Member for Birmingham had referred to what had passed betwixt him and certain foreigners on the subject of this Bill. He need hardly say that the foreigners with whom the hon. Member came in contact were not likely to belong to the class of foreigners who would come under the operation of this Bill, or to whom it would in any way apply; but that was no evidence that there were not other foreigners in the country with regard to whom such powers as the Bill contained were required. He trusted that when the Bill became law those Gentlemen who had formed the opposition to it would have no cause to complain that such powers had been confided to the Government; and that those powers would not be exercised in a single case in which they were not able to give the most satisfactory explanation of their conduct.

MR. M. GIBSON was anxious to make one or two observations on this measure, as an explanation of the vote which he felt it his duty to give. He was quite willing to admit, for one, that those persons who imagined that the ordinary laws and statutes of the realm were not sufficient to deter foreigners from committing crimes against the public safety had an ample justification in introducing and supporting this measure; but, for his part, he confessed that he had the greatest difficulty in bringing himself to the belief that it was necessary to add anything whatever to the power of the Executive or to the criminal law of the country in order to prevent aliens from disturbing the public peace. If he was asked how he would punish an alien for interfering with the institutions of the country, his answer was that he would punish an alien as he would punish an Englishman for committing any offence against the laws of the country. He considered that while an alien was in this country he owed a temporary allegiance to the laws; but he considered at the same time that he was entitled to the protection which others enjoyed for their personal security. It might be an extreme opinion, but he could not for the life of him understand why, if they thought it necessary to surround an Englishman with safeguards against the success of a false accusation, a foreigner should not also stand in need of the same safeguards. Was it that an alien, not speaking their language, and having no means of calling witnesses to character, or of exciting the sympathy in his behalf that an Englishman could, had less need of those invaluable safeguards against false accusations than an Englishman? It appeared to him that unless it could be shown that they could dispense with these safeguards with propriety in the case of their own countrymen, they could not dispense with them in the case of foreigners. He would not trespass between the passing of that Bill and the important business that was to succeed; but he could not satisfy his own mind, entertaining as he did a very strong objection to the principle of the measure and to placing an Alien Act on the Statute-book, without at once declaring his opinion; and he trusted that in so doing he had not been guilty of any disrespect to the House.

MR. BROTHERTON had not the least doubt in his mind as regarded the people of this country; and he wished the Government to have the fullest confidence in them also. He would like to see the Government leading public opinion rather than opposing it; and he was satisfied from what he knew of the state of public feeling that if the Government but adopted a liberal course they would be supported by the great body of the people. It was, therefore, not from any distrust of the people of England that he voted for this Bill. He had supported liberal measures in that House for fifteen years; and every man who knew him would say that he had never courted any Government whatever. He never had looked for any favours from Government; and his support had always been independent and disinterested; and, with regard to the course he now thought it his duty to take, it was simply a question of confidence. He had watched the conduct of Ministers many years, and he found that they had always been on the liberal side, though they had not proceeded in the march of improvement as rapidly as he should have liked. He did feel, therefore, that he was bound to give his confidence to men who had hitherto shown a regard for the liberties of the country; and he had no right to suppose that they had changed their opinions any more than he had changed his. When be found that the Government recommended a measure which they believed necessary for the preservation of the peace of the country, he considered it his duty to support it. Though he was in favour of the most liberal measures with regard to the power of the people, he would support nothing that conduced to disorder, or led to anarchy and confusion. He was the friend of peace and peaceful reforms. He set his face against all attempts to effect changes by physical force, as he set his face against war; therefore he gave a vote of confidence to the Ministry on this measure. He was not in the secret as to the necessity of the Bill, and of course he could not know what circumstances influenced the Government; but he believed they were looking to the peace and welfare of the country, and therefore he gave them his support on the present occasion.

MR. COBDEN: Sir, the speech of the hon. Gentleman who preceded me appears to me to be not so much in favour of the measure before us as of the Ministry. This speech has confirmed me in the opinion which I have some time entertained, that we are liable to pass bad measures here, not because we approve of them, but because there happens to be a peculiar state of parties, whereby a large number of Members on this side of the House support the Government in good or bad measures because they had been for fifteen years in the habit of voting for them; and the state of parties on the other side induces a large number of Members to vote with the Ministry because they are not prepared to take the Government themselves; and another large body supports the Administration because they would prevent the other section on their own side of the House from taking the Government at all. I think this a very unfortunate state of parties; because we get rid of all our responsibility, and instead of voting for or against certain measures on conscientious considerations, we are apt to be swayed by the thought of who is in office or who is likely to get into office. I have made up my mind to give my vote independently of all parties; and I believe the country will never have a chance of getting good measures until we totally fling aside the whole distinctions of parties, and decide on measures according to their merits. I am quite sure that the great measure with which I have been connected —I allude particularly to that of free trade —would never have been passed bad we not commenced its advocacy by resolving to regard Whigs and Tories as identically the same; and I beg to say that I shall so regard them in all future questions in which I may take a part. This Alien Bill has been so exhausted by preceding speakers that I need not dwell upon it. One view, however, has not been taken. The fact that Government are passing Alien Bills and Bills for the protection of the Crown and Government, is to me a proof that they are taking the wrong direction altogether—that they are not adopting that which is the best course for strengthening and preserving our institutions. They seem to me not to have profited by the example set on the Continent, where repression and coercion have failed in the purposes to which they have been applied, and Governments have fallen because they have not taken the opposite course of conciliation and concession. Still we see our Government following the old course, resorting to coercion and repression, to Alien Bills and to Crown and Government Security Bills; but we have had no measure propounded to the House and the country which is calculated to increase the attachment of the people to the institutions of the country. I venture to say that the country is looking most anxiously at the present time, not for Coercion Bills, not for Gagging Bills, nor for Bills to protect the people of this country against aliens; but they are waiting to hear from the Government the announcement of remedial measure. They expect to hear that the Government are prepared to put our representative system more in harmony with the spirit of the age. The people of this country are not prepared to see all the world in motion while they are standing still—still less, making a retrograde movement. The country is also looking for retrenchment and economy; and I venture to say that if you wish to maintain the monarchy of this country against republican innovations, you will do more to accomplish that object by cutting away some of that barbarous splendour which belongs to other times, which is maintained at so great a cost to the country, and solely for the aggrandisement of the aristocracy—you will do more to reconcile the people of this country to monarchical institutions, by removing some of those useless and cumbrous appendages of royalty, than by resorting to legislative enactments to prevent the people from discussing republicanism, or adopting such violent measures as the one we are now discussing. And I entreat the Government not to think that there is a passive acquiescence on the part of the country in the measures they are now passing. I have already explained why it is that you have a majority in this House; the feeling outside, I assure you, is very different; and if you want to maintain the institutions of the country, do not trust to coercion, but resort to concessions—to remedial measures; reform yourselves and retrench your expenditure.

LORD JOHN RUSSELL: I wish to address a few words in reply, partly to the observations made by the hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of this Bill, and partly in reference to some observations which have fallen from the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Falmouth, who moved that the Bill should be rejected, complained that the Government had in the beginning of this Session introduced various measures of coercion, were abandoning the principles they formerly professed, and were acting against the constitution of this country as generally recognised. It has certainly been our fate to introduce measures which were intended for the purpose of repression. If such measures were not necessary, then we were not justified in introducing them; but if they were necessary, I think, then, we should have been much to blame if we had refused to perform that which was a duty to the well-affected and well-disposed people of this country, from any fears of such imputations as the hon. Gentleman has thrown out. But I think there are two tests by which such measures may be tried. The one is, whether such as we have hitherto introduced, of which the operation has been in some degree seen, have been successful in diminishing crime and excitement to crime—have been successful in diminishing that state of disturbance and uneasiness which prevailed in one part of the United Kingdom; and the second is, whether those measures have operated with as little disturbance as it was possible to give to the ordinary and usual enjoyment of the liberties of this country. In so speaking, I do not mean to make any distinction, more than the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, between Whig and Tory, because I believe that both parties in these times, whatever may be the character that belonged to some of the parties which existed in former times of our history, are earnestly anxious to maintain those constitutional liberties which are the birthrights of the people of this country. With respect to the first measure we passed, there began to prevail in the course of last autumn a dreadful state of crime in Ireland, making the life of every individual unsafe, driving men from the country, exposing them whilst they were going home from market or from any visit to be waylaid or assassinated from behind a hedge, and, in short, reducing the country to such a state that in a short time none of those who had been possessors of property, or who had anything to do with property, down to the smallest farmers, felt that they could safely inhabit the country. We introduced a Bill which I do not think interfered with the ordinary enjoyments of the people of Ireland, which had not the objection I have heard taken to Acts passed at various times, of confounding the innocent with the guilty—which left the innocent in the possession of every privilege they could enjoy, but provided means of deterring those who were guilty of crime. I rejoice to say that the last accounts we have received of crime in Ireland tend to show that a great change has taken place in the condition of that country. I find with respect to the whole amount of crimes of violence, that in April, 1847, they reached 2,109, and in April, 1848, they had sunk to 1,196; the homicides in April, 1847, were twenty-four; in April, 1848, they were only nine. There are some other instances which are not a little remarkable, Crimes of firing at the person diminished from nineteen in April, 1847, to three in April, 1848; the crime of demand or robbery of arms diminished from sixty-seven in April, 1847, to twelve in April, 1848; the offence of appearing in arms, from sixteen in April, 1847, to seven in April, 1848; and several other crimes in the same way have diminished very greatly. Even in the last month the diminution has been from 1,429 to 1,146. I should certainly not omit to mention that in two of the proclaimed counties, Queen's County and Roscommon, there were no offences against the person reported in the month of April, 1848. I say, then, that whatever language may have been used against the Government for having introduced the Bill carried through this House before Christmas, it is a great satisfaction to me to have been instrumental in passing an Act, of which the consequence has been to afford greater safety to life, and to enable men to carry on their business in that country without the continual apprehension of barbarous murder. Again, Sir, we introduced very lately a measure for the better security of the Crown and Government of this country. That measure the hon. Gentleman very fairly said he had supported in its main features. The main features of that Bill, however, it must be recollected, were features of mitigation. Its main features were mitigations of the law of treason as it previously existed; but it also proposed to do that which no one could well object to. We said that if a measure of that kind were necessary for England, it was no less necessary for Ireland. If it were proper that we in England should be subject to such a law, it was no less fit that the Irish should be subject to the same law. That Act has been in operation but a very short time, yet its success is already very visible. Every one will remember that six weeks ago it was impossible to read any of the accounts from Ireland without seeing that men making a great bravado of their courage, with great emphasis, with great demonstration of what they were about to do, declared that their intention was to make war against Her Majesty and Her Majesty's troops, and to sever Ireland from its due allegiance to this country; and they spared no kind of invective against not only the Crown and the Government, but against the people of England. But, Sir, it has appeared lately that these persons, although they spoke in this way, did so very much because they were in Dublin under the security of that very Government which was the subject of their attacks; and it did happen that when the commander of Her Majesty's troops had not forces immediately at his disposal, in order to protect the persons of some of the worst of those would-be traitors, it appeared that their persons were in danger —not from Her Majesty's troops—not from the police—but they required the assistance of the troops and the police in order to save them from the consequences of those harangues and writings in which they had indulged. But it now appears that these very persons who were so willing a few weeks ago to submit to the penalties of high treason, who declared that either they must put down Lord Clarendon, or Lord Clarendon must put them down—it appears these persons have entirely changed their opinions; it is now the most mitigated treason—the most milk-and-water sedition; it is now so weak a mixture of treason and rebellion it has become quite flat to those whose appetites had been spoiled by the very high diet which had been administered by those persons. Well, then, I say, with regard to that Act, which met so much opposition in this House, that it has been very useful for its purpose, and has had the effect of a good deal curbing this very inflammatory and dangerous language; and, at the same time, I will venture to assert, that it has not diminished or curbed the proper liberty of discussion in Ireland of any measures of the Government. I will venture to say that if any one really wished to discuss the measures of the Government, whatever fault might be found with them —whatever epithets might be applied to their conduct—he would be as fully at liberty to do so now as before the Act was passed. He must keep within certain limits—he must not, of course, use seditious language. Such was the law before the Act passed; such is the law now. Well, then, we come to the Bill now before the House. I certainly cannot speak very confidently of the facts, though, at the same time, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department gives me reason to think that it already appears, if this Bill be passed, that it will have a beneficial effect. What I wish to do now is, to disclaim its being intended against any particular Government, or any particular nation. It is quite untrue to represent it as at all against the French Government, or against the people of France. With respect to the Government of France, I am sure that we have all of us reason to recollect with the strongest feelings of admiration that in a moment of great peril, when no one could say what might be the fate of the members of the Provisional Government, the next day, one of the members of that Government, M. Lamartine, held language to the Irish deputies who went to Paris for very questionable purposes—language which, while it exposed him to the assaults of any ruffians who wished to carry terror and insurrection into this country, was most honourable to him as a man, honourable to him as a Minister, and showed that, whatever might be the risks to himself, he really had at heart the maintenance of amicable relations between these two great countries, whose amity and friendship are of such benefit to the world—whose discord and whose quarrels are full of the greatest calamities to all. I think, however, that after what has happened in different countries on the Continent—after the rapid succession of revolutions we have seen—in the uncertainty that at present prevails—it is right, it is wise, to take precautions against contingencies that may arise. I sincerely trust these contingencies may not occur. I sincerely trust that those who wish to destroy all order, to put an end to all property, and to found the future condition of the world perhaps on some dream of philanthropy, but more probably on some plan of plunder, will never gain the ascendancy either in France or Germany; and that we may not have to dread the evil of the presence of their emissaries amongst us. But still I do think that in the present state of Europe it is wise to take some precautions against the occurrence of such events. I am sure I shall be quite relieved, I shall feel it a great satisfaction, and I have no doubt the whole House will concur in our feeling of satisfaction, when we can say that it is no longer necessary to bring forward any measure of restriction—that our course for the future will be only to consider measures of relief and improvement. We feel, as the House in general will feel, that it is an irksome and painful task to have to bring forward measures like this; but, at the same time, the peace of the country is committed to us—the business of Administration from day to day in the present state of the world is a most responsible task—and, while we feel it necessary to bring forward these measures, we shall do that duty. I most sincerely hope that the present is the last measure of its class that we shall have to introduce, and that the ordinary application of the ordinary laws may be sufficient henceforward to preserve the peace of the country. The hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire has pointed out the course which he thinks the Government ought to pursue, in order to conciliate the affections of the people of this country. With regard to the measures which he has alluded to, we shall have occasion to express our opinions on them when they are brought forward for our consideration by the hon. Member for Montrose and other Members of this House. For my own part, I cannot bring myself to believe that the representation of the people of this country is in such a state as the hon. Member seems to imagine that it is. Without now pausing to discuss whether this House be properly formed or not, whether there ought to be such a number of small boroughs, or whether all enjoy the franchise who ought to enjoy it—questions which it will be well to consider on a fitting occasion—I will say that it is my belief that this House, since it met in November, has pursued a course which commands the sympathy and approval of the country. I believe that the votes of this House and the majorities by which they were carried, have not been owing to any peculiar state of parties, nor do I think that they have unfaithfully represented the opinions of the majority of the people. Neither can I think that the reduction of the royal expenditure, the taking away of what the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire calls "the barbarous pomp of the Crown belonging to past times," and diminishing the appendages of royalty, are the methods whereby Government or this House could succeed in conciliating the general feeling of the people of this country. I believe myself that the people of this country are thoroughly and strongly attached to the institutions under which they live. I do not know that there ever was a time when I perceived such strong evidence of devoted attachment to the Crown of this country. I know that the conduct of the Illustrious Person who now occupies that Throne—that the example given by the Sovereign of this country in every relation of domestic life, and in the discharge of every constitutional duty—have met with that reward which they merit in the confidence and affection of Her people. I do not believe that that which is necessary for the maintenance of the royal office—that which I admit is not necessary for the comfort or requirements of the Sovereign herself, but which is necessary for the due maintenance and dignity of the royal office—is at all grudged by the people of this country. I believe that they wish our institutions to he maintained; and I do not think that any changes that we could propose which would risk or impair those institutions would meet with the approbation of the people. I believe that we should be acting in a manner contrary to their wishes if we were to embark on a sea of speculation—setting everything afloat, and making it doubtful what the future constitution of England is to be. I think that whatever may have been the necessity for violent changes in foreign lands, all classes in this country, from the highest to the lowest, see the advantage of a system of well-regulated liberty, and understand that order and peace tend to the welfare of the working classes quite as much as to the prosperity of all other grades in the community. I believe that the example of peace and order which has been recently afforded has not been lost on the population of this country. They have too much good sense, too much reflection, to believe in many of the idle stories which are put about. Whatever proper retrenchments can be made, let us make them. They are due to the state of our finances—they are due to the state of suffering in which unhappily many of our people are placed. Let every kind of economy that can be safely practised, be practised; let every amendment of taxation that can be well carried into effect, be carried into effect; but let us not imagine that by shaking any of the great pillars of the State, or disturbing the basis on which the constitution of this country rests, we shall be doing good to the country. Above all, let us not be ambitious of the immediate and vile purpose of winning a little applause at the expense of our duty to the State.

MR. BRIGHT: Except the Bill under consideration, there was scarcely any political topic on which the noble Lord had not touched in his discursive address. The noble Lord had talked of the attachment of the people to institutions as they at present existed; but assuredly there was one part of the empire at least to which the remark did not apply. That part was Ireland, where the anxiety for repeal became every day more intense, and where the progress of the movement was witnessed in a new phase by the formation of a Protestant Repeal Association. With respect to the measure more immediately under consideration, ho would take occasion to observe, that from the hour it was first introduced to the present moment, when it was about to receive its third reading, he never had heard an argument in its favour. To say that it ought to be passed simply because the House had confidence in the Ministry, was to talk in the silliest and most childish strain imaginable. To assign such a reason for assenting to such a Bill, was really amongst the most preposterous of all conceivable things. Why, on the same plea, the House ought to support the Government if they were to bring forward ten times as oppressive a measure for our own people, as this Bill of pains and penalties was for foreigners. If the Bill had been introduced three or four years ago, by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, there could be no doubt but that the noble Lord now at the head of the Government would have vigorously opposed it, and treated the House to one of his most able and elaborate speeches in defence of the constitutional rights of the country. The Bill was totally unnecessary. If any danger were really to be apprehended for England, it was more likely to accrue from the presence in her dominions of certain illustrious exiles who had to take shelter here, having found their own country too hot for them, than from a few obscure foreigners who might chance to hold republican doctrines. London was the very last place in the world to which any one would come to get up an insurrection against the Government, or to engage in the practical business of plunder. It was childish to say that the Bill was necessary; and, indeed, the noble Lord seemed to have almost admitted as much himself. Why pass it then? It would have at least two evil effects. In the first place, it would create amongst foreigners a fainter belief than he wished them to have in the stability of the institutions of this country; and in the second place, it would create in the minds of the people at home a belief in the ignorance and pusillanimity of the men who were at the head of affairs—the very men who ought to be best acquainted with the slate of the country, and the most courageous in their public conduct. The people of this country did not complain of the Crown, or of any expense necessary for the due maintenance of the regal dignity; but what they did complain of was, that there was a large expenditure which did not add to the honour or dignity of the Crown, but which did aid, in a very large degree to hand over the revenues drawn from the taxes to the aristocratic hangers-on of the Court. He would take leave to ask the noble Lord whether he thought it essential to the honour of the Crown, or to the preservation of the constitution, or to the upholding of public order, that there should be in connexion with the Court such an establishment as that of the buckhounds, which cost the people of this country a larger sum annually than was paid by the Americans to the President of the United States? Was it essential to the dignity of the Crown that there should be a grand falconer, and other hereditary officers of a mischievous and absurd description? He thought not. If it was true that the proceedings of the present Parliament expressed, as the noble Lord alleged they did, the feelings of the people, all he (Mr. Bright) could say was, that they did not represent the feelings of that portion of the people with whom he was in the habit of coming in contact. It was idle for a Minister to contend that because his majorities were large, he faithfully represented the wishes and feelings of the people. It was well known that there had been periods when Ministers carried everything before them in that House by sweeping majorities, and yet were in a miserable minority out of doors. He ventured to predict that if the noble Lord did not mind what he was about, his Government would ere long die of majorities. The noble Lord had no vision beyond that which was bounded by the two lobbies of that House, and, interpreting everything by majorities, could recognise no representation of public feeling except in the persons of Mr. Tufnell and Lord Marcus Hill. The noble Lord had fraternised with his old enemies. He was now in intimate alliance with the very party with which he had been engaged in deadly conflict all his life. Either the Gentlemen opposite were changed, or the noble Lord was. The hon. Gentlemen opposite could not be changed, for the leopard could not lay aside his spots; and it was clear that it was the noble Lord himself that was transformed. He was sorry for it. Yes, he was. He spoke rather in sorrow than in anger. The noble Lord was infatuated. He was pursuing a course which, whatever effect it might have on his majorities, would estrange from him the affection and confidence of the people, and bring on the downfall, the unpitied downfall, of a Government which he had hoped would have lasted for many years.

SIR J. WALSH could not agree with the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House, in thinking that the measures of Government had proved inefficacious in Ireland. On the contrary, there had, simultaneously with their introduction, been a cessation of those horrible outrages, those premeditated assassinations, which had disgraced that country. There had also been considerable change of tone on the part of the demagogues even in the short time which had elapsed since the introduction of the measure which was aimed more particularly at the mischievous agitation in Dublin. It was quite true that the people of England had recently exhibited great and glorious proofs of attachment to the institutions of their country, and that it would be quite safe to rest those institutions upon that attachment; but were they therefore to expose the English people to the danger of mischievous agitators? Were hon. Members ignorant that there was a class of people in Paris who made a trade of getting up revolutions? And was it not notorious that there was a number of those persons at present in England—persons discountenanced, no doubt, by their own Government, but who, unless kept in check, might probably meet with some encouragement from the mischievous and ill-disposed both here and on the other side of the Channel? Some taunts had been thrown out against the Government, that the present measure had been addressed to the Opposition rather than to their own side of the House. The support which had been rendered to the Government on this occasion by the Members of the Opposition benches was owing rather to a change of circumstances than to a change of opinion on either side. It was impossible to see the storm which was at present sweeping over Europe, and not feel that, however firmly our institutions might be seated, they were exposed to a certain degree of risk; and when this was the case it would always be found that, however they might differ with Government and their supporters on subordinate points, they would be ready to rally round them in protection of the institutions of their country, to which, he was convinced, the majority of the people still felt unalterable attachment.

The House divided on the question, that the word "now" stand part of the question:—Ayes 146; Noes 29: Majority 117.

List of the AYES. Baldock, E. H. Hope, Sir J.
Benbow, J. Houldsworth, T.
Bentinck, Lord H. Hudson, G.
Beresford, W. Hughes, W. B.
Blackstone, W. S. Ingestre, Visct.
Bolling, W. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Bowles, Adm. Kildare, Marq. of
Bramston, T. W. Lascelles, hon. E.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Lockhart, A. E.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Burroughes, H. N. Mackenzie, W. F.
Christopher, R. A. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Christy, S. Mandeville, Visct.
Cobbold, J. C. Masterman, J.
Colvile, C. R. Meux, Sir H.
Conolly, Col. Miles, P. W. S.
Cubitt, W. Miles, W.
Duncombe, hon. O. Napier, J.
Dundas, G. Newdegate, C. N.
East, Sir J. B. Newport, Visct.
Forbes, W. O'Brien, Sir L.
Frewen, C. H. O'Connor, F.
Fuller, A. E. Prime, R.
Galway, Visct. Repton, G. W. J.
Godson, R. Robinson, G. R.
Greene, T. Seymer, H. K.
Halsey, T. P. Sibthorp, Col.
Hamilton, G. A. Sidney, Ald.
Harris, hon. Capt. Smyth, J. G.
Henley, J. W. Somerset, Capt.
Herbert, H. A. Stafford, A.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Stuart, J.
Hildyard, R. C. Sturt, H. G.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Taylor, T. E.
Hodgson, W. N. Walsh, Sir J. B.
West, F. R. TELLERS.
Willoughby, Sir H. March, Earl of
Wynn, Sir W. W. Goring, C.
List of the NOES. Abdy, T. N. Hawes, B.
Anderson, A. Hay, Lord J.
Bagshaw, J. Hayes, Sir E.
Baines, M. T. Hayter, W. G.
Barnard, E. G. Heywood, J.
Bell, J. Hindley, C.
Bellew, R. M. Hobhouse, T. B.
Bernal, R. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Blake, M. J. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Hume, J.
Bowring, Dr. Humphery, Ald.
Boyle, hon. Col. Hutt, W.
Bright, J. Jackson, W.
Brotherton, J. Kershaw, J.
Brown, W. King, hon. P. J. L.
Buller, C. Langston, J. H.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Carter, J. B. Lewis, G. C.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Lincoln, Earl of
Charteris, hon. F. W. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Clay, J. Loch, J.
Clay, Sir W. Lushington, C.
Clements, hon. C. S. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Maitland, T.
Clifford, H. M. Mangles, R. D.
Cochrane, A.D.R.W.B. Marshall, J. G.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Marshall, W.
Craig, W. G. Martin, J.
Dalrymple, Capt. Matheson, Col.
Dashwood, G. H. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Melgund, Visct.
Denison, W. J. Mitchell, T. A.
Denison, J. E. Monsell, W.
Divett, E. Morris, D.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Moyston, hon. E. M. L.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Mowatt, F.
Duncan, Visct. Mulgrave, Earl of
Duncan, G. Muntz, G. F.
Duncuft, J. Norreys, Lord
Dundas, Adm. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Dundas, Sir D. O'Connell, M. J.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Ogle, S. C. H.
Ellice, E. Palmerston, Visct.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Parker, J.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Patten, J. W.
Evans, W. Pattison, J.
Ewart, W. Pearson, C.
Fellowes, E. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Fergus, J. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Fitzpatrick, rt. hon. J. Perfect, R.
Foley, J. H. H. Pilkington, J.
Fordyce, A. D. Power, N.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Pugh, D.
Fox, R. M. Rawdon, Col.
Fox, W. J. Ricardo, O.
Freestun, Col. Rich, H.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Richards, R.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W.E. Romilly, J.
Glyn, G. C. Russell, Lord J.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Russell, F. C. H.
Grenfell, C. P. Rutherfurd, A.
Grenfell, C. W. Salwey, Col.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Sandars, G.
Grey, R. W. Simeon, J.
Guest, Sir J. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Hall, Sir B. Smith, M. T.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Smith, J. B.
Hanmer, Sir J. Somerville, rt. hn.Sir W.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wall, C. B.
Stanton, W. H. Walmsley, Sir J.
Strickland, Sir G. Watkins, Col.
Stuart, Lord D. Wawn, J. T.
Tancred, H. W. Westhead, J. P.
Tennent, R. J. Willcox, B. M.
Thicknesse, R. A. Williams, J.
Thompson, Col. Williamson, Sir H.
Thompson, G. Wilson, J.
Thornely, T. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Towneley, C. Wrightson, W. B.
Towneley, J. Wyld, J.
Townshend, Capt. Wyvill, M.
Traill, G. Yorke, H. G. R.
Tynte, Col. TELLERS.
Verney, Sir H. Tufnell, H.
Vivian, J. H. Hill, Lord M.
List of the AYES. Abdy, T. N. Galway, Visct.
Alcock, T. Godson, R.
Arkwright, G. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Armstrong, Sir A. Granger, T. C.
Arundel and Surrey, Grenall, G.
Earl of Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Baines, M. T. Grey, R. W.
Barkly, H. Halford, Sir H.
Barnard, E. G. Hamilton, G. A.
Bell, J. Hanmer, Sir J.
Bellew, R. M. Harris, hon. Capt.
Bentinck, Lord G. Hawes, B.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Hayter, W. G.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Heald, J.
Bernal, R. Henley, J. W.
Blake, M. J. Hildyard, R. C.
Boyle, hon. Col. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bremridge, R. Hobhouse, T. B.
Brisco, M. Hodges, T. L.
Broadley, H. Hodgson, W. N.
Brockman, E. D. Hood, Sir A.
Brotherton, J. Hope, Sir J.
Brown, W. Hotham, Lord
Browne, R. D. Humphery, Ald.
Buck, L. W. Jervis, Sir J.
Buller, C. Jocelyn, Visct.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Keppel, hon. G. T.
Busfeild, W. Knox, Col.
Cayley, E. S. Labouchere, rt hon. H.
Christy, S. Lacy, H. C.
Clerk, right hon. Sir G. Langston, J. H.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Craig, W. G. Lewis, G. C.
Dashwood, G. H. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Denison, W. J. Lockhart, A. E.
Denison, J. E. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Dick, Q. Maitland, T.
Divett, E. Mandeville, Visct.
Drummond, H. Marshall, J. G.
Duncan, G. Matheson, Col.
Duncuft, J. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Dundas, Adm. Morpeth, Visct.
Dundas, Sir D. Morison, Gen.
Ebrington, Visct. Mulgrave, Earl of
Egerton, W. T. Napier, J.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Newdegate, C. N.
Evans, J. O'Brien, Sir L.
Fergus, J. Owen, Sir J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Paget, Lord A.
FitzPatrick, rt. hn. J. W. Palmerston, Visct.
Fordyce, A. D. Parker, J.
Fox, R. M. Pendarves, E. W. W.
French, F. Perfect, R.
Frewen, C. H. Pigott, F.
Pinney, W. Thesiger, Sir F.
Power, N. Thicknesse, R. A.
Powlett, Lord W. Thornely, T.
Rice, E. R. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Romilly, J. Tollemache, J.
Rushout, Capt. Turner, E.
Russell, Lord J. Verney, Sir H.
Russell, F. C. H. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Rutherfurd, A. Ward, H. G.
Shafto, R. D. Watkins, Col.
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Wawn, J. T.
Sibthorp, Col. Wellesley, Lord C.
Smith, J. A. Willcox, B. M.
Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W. Wilson, J.
Spooner, R. Wilson, M.
Stafford, A. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Stanley, E. Wyld, J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Yorke, H. G. R.
Stanton, W. H. TELLERS.
Stuart, J, Tufnell, H.
Talfourd, Serj. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES. Blewitt, R. J. Muntz, G. F.
Bright, J. Pilkington, J.
Cobden, R. Salwey, Col.
Crawford, W. S. Scholefield, w.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Smith, J. B.
Ewart, W. Stuart, Lord D.
Forster, M. Sullivan, M.
Fox, W. J. Tancred, H. W.
Gardner, R. Thompson, Col.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Thompson, G.
Greene, J. Urquhart, D.
Henry, A. Walmsley, Sir J.
Kershaw, J. Williams, J.
Lushington, C. TELLERS.
M'Gregor, J. Hume, J.
Meagher, T. Mowatt, F.

Bill read a third time and passed.