HL Deb 31 January 1837 vol 36 cc4-19
The Earl of Fingall

rose to move the Address. The noble Earl said:—Having been but a very short time a Member of their Lordships' House, it might almost he considered presumptuous in him to present himself to their Lordships' notice upon so important an occasion, but when matter for the amelioration of that part of the United Kingdom with which he was more immediately connected came before their Lordships, it was not to be wondered at that he should he desirous of availing himself of the opportunity which was presented to him. He was fully sensible of the difficulty and importance of the task which had devolved on him, to which he feared he was unable to do justice, and he trusted that their Lordships would extend to him the same kind indulgence, the same kind consideration, which they usually extended to noble Lords placed in similar circumstances. His Majesty's most gracious speech commenced with the gratifying statement, that he continued to receive from all foreign powers assurances of their friendly-disposition and regard. It was a subject of congratulation for them to know, that the peace which had been so honourably obtained, which had been so long maintained, and which was so essential to the commerce, the happiness, and the interests of the country, was likely to he preserved. With respect to the civil war in Spain, it was a source of deep regret to see that fine country still torn by intestine divisions, and a war so detrimental and so fatal to human life still protracted; but while they lamented that contest, which, whatever might be the issue, would affect the future destinies of Europe, they could not but be proud of and could not but admire, the gallantry and devotion of their countrymen in that Peninsula with which so many glorious recollections were associated. Events had occurred in Portugal which rendered it necessary to increase the British force in the Tagus. The admiral, however, was there chiefly to take measures for the protection of British subjects and the security of British interests. He was also directed not to interfere in disputed questions of domestic policy; and whatever might be his own abstract opinions, he must say that he did not think England had any right, neither was it her policy, to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries. It appeared to him, that the course adopted by his Majesty's Ministers was a wise and a salutary one, and that in thus acting they had exhibited a prudent precaution. His Majesty's speech turned also on the state of Lower Canada. The state of that colony was a matter of great importance, and had naturally received the attention of the Government; but as the Report of the Commissioners would soon be laid upon their Lordships' table, it would be then unnecessary for him (the Earl of Fingall) to trespass on their Lordships' attention with any further observations upon that subject. His Majesty next adverted to the state of the law, which would claim their Lordships' most particular attention. Upon that subject he would only say, that whatever differences of opinion might exist as to the nature and extent of the reform to be applied, it was admitted on all hands, and he felt convinced, that it was absolutely necessary, that some reformation should take place, and that law should be rendered cheap and expeditious. His Majesty recommended the consideration of measures calculated to promote concord and good will, and when those questions came to be discussed, he had no doubt that concessions would be made in a manner and in a spirit which would ensure the gratitude and conciliate the feelings of those whom it was intended to relieve. It was most gratifying to be assured, that the manufactures and the commerce of the United Kingdom were in a most flourishing state, and that the revenue had not been diminished, though there had been a considerable reduction of taxa- tion. His Majesty concluded with recommending to their Lordships' consideration measures for the amelioration of Ireland. He was happy to be able to state to their Lordships, that notwithstanding the extreme suffering and miseries of the poor, the number of agrarian outrages in that country, had been considerably diminished. He believed he might confidently refer to the reports of the police officers which would soon be laid on their Lordships' table. Outrages had occasionally occurred but he knew that they had been considerably diminished. No one could possibly deprecate more than he did the occurrence of such things; and no one was more anxious than he was to exert himself for the furtherance of anything which would prevent a recurrence of them and promote the good of the country. With regard to the question of Municipal Corporations in Ireland, he hoped that some amendments would take place in their constitution during the present Session, and that some remedy would be applied to the defects in them which were universally acknowledged to exist. The two countries were now inseparably united to each other; and the question was whether the people of Ireland should be considered entitled to the same liberties and the same privileges which were enjoyed by other portions of the empire, or whether they should be considered unworthy to possess them. They had exhibited no disinclination, no incompetency to the management of their own affairs. They said that a reform of the Corporations had taken place in England; that a reform had taken place in Scotland, which had tended to increase the industry and prosperity of the people, and it was only natural that the people of Ireland should feel deeply their degraded state, and be anxious to possess the same privileges and should expect similar results. On the difficult and important subject of tithes, for difficult and important it was universally admitted to be, he would not trouble their Lordships with any observations, the subject having already undergone so much and such frequent discussion, and having been so often alluded to in speeches from the Throne. He felt convinced, however, that the security of property and. life, and the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in Ireland, mainly depended on a speedy and satisfactory settlement of the question. With respect to the question of Poor-laws, to which his Majesty had adverted in his speech, there was a mass of evidence in their Lordships' hands, exhibiting a variety and extent of human misery unequalled, and a degree of patience unexampled. As a constant resident in that country, he had had opportunities of knowing the state of destitution of the poor, and as having been, for a few months one of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of the poor, he had also an opportunity of knowing the extreme difficulty with which the question was surrounded. He felt confident that their Lordships would approach it with an earnest anxiety to relieve the distresses of the poor, and that a due caution would be used, which was necessary to avoid the evils which might arise from an ill-considered system. He believed, however, the time was come when an attempt must be made to relieve, by legal enactment, the destitution which prevailed. He might have, indeed he had, strong and decided opinions upon many subjects, but it had been his most anxious wish to avoid, especially with regard to the state of that part of the country with which he was connected, any reference to any subjects which had not been touched on in the speech from the Throne, and which might be likely to create unnecessary debate or disturb that unanimity which he thought the House ought to preserve in agreeing to an address in answer to a speech from the Throne. Before he sat down he trusted he might be allowed to express his earnest wish, his anxious hope, that this Session of Parliament would not terminate without the passing of some, at least, of those measures which had been recommended in the speech from the Throne. Ireland had been united to England, and he had no wish to see that union weakened, much less dissolved. By the act of Union they had decided that as Ireland had shared in the dangers and the glories of England, so also she should be partaker in her privileges and her liberties. England had commenced towards Ireland a course of liberal, enlightened, and generous policy, which he believed it was the wish and intention of the noble Lord at the head of his Majesty's Government should be continued. They had established civil equality in that country, and abolished religious distinctions. They had improved the moral condition of the people and augmented their power by the important blessings of education. They had increased the number of Representatives, and had extended the franchise. He felt proud on being able to thank their Lordships from that place for these advantages. They should persevere in that course. They should place the Union on a true and permanent basis, and they would see England happy, glorious, and powerful, and Ireland peaceful, prosperous, and contented. The noble Lord concluded by moving an Address which, as usual, echoed the Speech.

Lord Suffield

rose to second the Address. The details of the Speech had been entered into so much by his noble Friend, who had just sat down, that he should content himself with aiming at a general survey. If the condition of a country was to be considered as the best test of the wisdom of its rulers, it was to that test they ought to refer. There was but little danger in affirming that, looking at England, it would be found she was never more prosperous than at present, including both individual prosperity and general welfare. It was impossible not to admit, that the policy which produced the greatest happiness of the greatest number, was the truest and best policy of a state. The industry of the people was never so universally, so beneficially employed, as within the last few years of our annals. The causes of this were many and various. The triumphs of agriculture had produced such an abundance, that the home-grower was ensured the monopoly of the market, while the low price of subsistence, and the use of machinery, had enabled England to compete in the foreign market with foreigners, and not only to compete, but to put competition almost out of the question. Another powerful auxiliary to this happy state was lately coming into play in the new Poor-laws. He had no doubt that their Lordships had glanced at the Report of the Commissioners, and had been delighted to perceive the diminution which had taken place in the poor-rates, and the spirit of order and vigilance which had saved the property, and preserved the tranquillity of the provinces, Their Lordships must have seen that the plans of management adopted, had restored the finances of parishes, had substituted employment for alms, industry and independence for pauperism, and a moral sense of propriety fur a state of degradation. If their Lordships would investigate the progressive advance of commerce and manufactures, they would find it might with truth be affirmed, that it had been alike active, steady, and sound. There was no less reason for gratulation if their Lordships would look to that which was the foundation of the State itself—its revenue; notwithstanding the continued and progressive reduction of taxes, the revenue accounts still showed a surplus of two millions and a half over and above the total of the twelve months preceding. Figures proved themselves; but they, in this case, possessed also the peculiar property of showing that, with the increase of revenue, the comforts, and even the luxuries of life, were proportionably increased. He must now allude to a circumstance to which they must all look with gratification; namely, the removal of that ever-festering irritation, that cause of unceasing agitation—tithes. He was of opinion, that the commutation of tithes had been to religion the greatest of all advantages, and had done more than anything else to remove all discontent and disquietude between the pastor and his flock. The latter would no longer leave the former in disgust from pecuniary disputes, and the doctrines and discipline of the Church would have a fair chance of retaining its own followers; and should Dissenters be relieved from the payment of dues, the justice of which they conscientiously dispute, and from which he (Lord Suffield) must think they ought to be relieved, this kingdom would then inherit all that Government could perform towards the enjoyment of that greatest of all blessings, religious peace. In this cursory view, he feared it could not be denied, that he had rather depicted England and Scotland than Ireland; for, although he was rejoiced, as their Lordships also were, to hear from the noble Earl on his left, that disturbances in Ireland were diminished, and discontent, to a great extent, removed, yet, undoubtedly, they still existed, and he (Lord Suffield) could not help thinking that they arose out of a refusal to place Ireland on an equality with themselves. That was her demand, and he thought the demand a most reasonable and equitable one. See what had already happened. Let noble Lords look to the National Association, that mighty power which he hesitated not to describe as imperium in imperio, which, if acted upon as a precedent like the Catholic Association, on the one side, and the Orange-lodges on the other, like the Conservative associations and political unions of this country, must, should its power be established, paralyse all government, and tear the country to pieces. That National Association was mainly attributable to the denial of Municipal Reform, and of the Tithe Bill. It was a matter of most important consideration for their Lordships, whether it might not become a question of absolute necessity for the people of Ireland to resort to such a concentration of their force, not for one single object, but for their rescue from the distress into which a negligent or a corrupt administration of their affairs had plunged a great, generous, and highly-gifted people. When the danger to the State was manifest and threatening—when there was gross injustice in such combinations, they were, as in the case of the Orange Lodges, without difficulty put down; but he would ask of their Lordships where was the force—where was the machinery—where was the national sympathy to enable them to put down an Association which, if any such ever deserved the appellation, was truly entitled to be called national? That Association could only be dissolved by the most substantial exercise of justice. Turn the scale to whatever side they would, justice alone would secure the sustaining support of public opinion, which in the present height of intelligence was the only aliment on which a Government could subsist. The highest wisdom was but the instruction of the past. Let their Lordships look at Catholic Emancipation. If the stern convictions of the minds which were then at the head of affairs—if the cautious prudence of a right hon. Baronet, then the Home Secretary—if the indomitable courage of the noble Duke opposite, then at the head of the Government, bent before the disorganisation of society which Ireland threatened—if they, with all their principles or their prejudices unconverted, found it impossible to resist the national will, let their Lordships profit by the example before matters were again driven to a like extremity. It was impossible for their Lordships to stem the current of feeling and opinion. Let them see what the national will had already extorted from the reluctant portion of their Lordships' House—Catholic Emancipation, Reform, the extinction of a large portion of the. Irish hierarchy, the Tithe Commutation Bill, the Municipal Reform Bill. Let them learn wisdom from experience. If the great names which he had quoted felt it to be impossible to resist in the case of Emancipation, what was that force when compared to the phalanx which was now drawn up, backed as it was by large majorities of the House of Commons, and by majorities out of the House beyond calculation? It would be a contest in which all the chances of justice, numbers, and activity would be against them. There might be differences in the views which prevailed among Reformers, but in this, all sections were agreed, that an ample debt of justice was still due to the people of Ireland. Upon the subject of a Poor-law there could be but one opinion, a Poor-law that would rescue the infirm and the aged, the orphan and the widow, must be a blessing. Could that, however, be coupled with any expedient to bring into production, by means of capital, and call into play the capabilities of that fine country,—that would be the best sort of "justice to Ireland." He was sorry to have trespassed so long on their Lordships' time, but he wished to be permitted to add a few words before he sat down. There were theorists who suggested changes in the elective franchise and its exercise, and even in the constitution of their Lordships' House. However active and vigilant the minds of the leaders, however numerous the masses on which their theories were brought to bear, he thought it might still be safely affirmed that the sound and stable body of the Reformers of the country were not prepared to risk experiments of so much doubt and hazard. The sense of the country was undoubtedly in favour of reforms, extensive reforms, but reforms however, which should be maturely considered and found practicably applicable to the Constitution. It should not, however, be concealed that the direction and regulation of that feeling mainly rested with their Lordships' House. To reconcile the disaffected, to remove discontents, and to open a prospect of increasing happiness and freedom to the people of this country, was still in their power; but should a contrary course be taken—if seduced by the pride of station and power, or misled by the prejudices of party or mistaken principles, they should oppose their vis inertœ to the active force which was arrayed against them, when that force was addressed to measures which carry with them the judgment and the affections of the great body of the Reformers, their usefulness, their respect, perhaps their very existence, would be endangered. It was because he considered the policy recommended in the Speech from the Throne as being the most likely to promote the happiness of the subject that he had great pleasure in seconding the Address.

The Duke of Wellington

said, it was not his intention, in rising, to offer any opposition to the Address which had been proposed by the noble Earl. He had seldom heard a Speech from the Throne, or listened to an Address, which he considered to be less liable to objection; and it was most probable that he should have said but a few words on this occasion, if something had not been alluded to by the noble Earl who moved the Address in an able speech (which he hoped would induce him frequently to address their Lordships), but more particularly in consequence of what had fallen from the noble Lord who seconded it, likewise in a speech which manifested considerable power. Both those noble Lords had thought it necessary to dwell at considerable length on the subject of the tranquillity of Ireland; and more particularly the noble Lord who had addressed their Lordships last had been pleased to attribute the establishment of a certain body, denominated the National Association of Ireland (to which the noble Lord stated that much of the boasted tranquillity of that country was due), to injustice perpetrated against Ireland by one of the branches of the Legislature. Now, as he had been one of those persons who approved of the line of conduct of which the noble Lord complained, he felt it necessary to defend himself and those who acted with him against the charge advanced by the noble Lord. It was a most surprising circumstance—a circumstance, he believed, unknown in this country until the present time—that it should be thought justifiable to establish in any part of his Majesty's dominions an association, the legality of which was exceedingly doubtful, and to found the justification of such a proceeding upon the proceedings of one of the Houses of Parliament. It was a most improper assumption, and one against the propriety of which he was compelled to protest. In the last Session of Parliament, his Majesty's Speech particularly noticed the tranquillity of Ireland; and at the very time that that Speech was delivered from the Throne, the Association alluded to existed in that part of the United Kingdom; and the author of its existence boasted that it was established with a view to the agitation of particular questions, and more especially of the repeal of the Union. Now, they had the opinion of a former Lord-Lieutenant on this subject; and he had told them that the agitation of those questions was, in fact, the great cause of disturbance in Ireland. And yet, in the face of this statement, the noble Lord had come down to the House that night, and told them that Ireland was in a state of comparative tranquillity. He did not call on the Government to interfere with that Association; but what he did ask was this, that they should call things by their true names. While there existed an association in the country which formed committees, which named its different agents, which raised money, and which appointed individuals to carry into execution its various decrees, he would ask, that such an institution should not be looked upon as the cause of tranquillity in the country, but that its real name should be given to it—that of a creator of disturbance and conspiracy. At the very moment when they were told that the country was in a state of tranquillity, it was notorious that there was one description of property which could not be collected—which, in fact, was all but annihilated—and the clergy could not appear to claim it without the almost certainty of being murdered. And yet, the noble Lord had, this night, thought fit to describe this state of things as a state of tranquillity. He had felt it necessary to say thus much for the purpose of defending himself and others from the imputation which had been cast on them. With respect to other parts of the Speech, he could most truly state, that when his Majesty's Government brought their measures before Parliament, he should come to the consideration of the different subjects they embraced with the sincerest desire to adopt whatever might be proposed, if it appeared to him that they were calculated to prove beneficial to the empire. He now wished to say a few words on that part of the Speech which related to the affairs of Spain. It was well known to their Lordships, that he was one of those who objected to the treaty denominated "the Quadruple Treaty." It was perfectly true that he had afterwards been instrumental in carrying it into effect; because it was his duty, in the situation in which he was placed, to carry into effect those treaties which his Majesty had entered into, whether he had originally approved of them or not. He could not, therefore, now disapprove of the due execution of the quadruple treaty by others; nor would he refuse his assent to the proposition contained in the Speech, or in the Address, that the measures which his Majesty had adopted with reference to the treaty had given satisfaction. If other propositions were made connected with the treaty, it would be their right, as it was their undoubted duty, to consider them calmly and dispassionately. Much discussion had taken place with respect to other members of this alliance, on the subject of their conduct in the execution of this treaty. Now, he must say this, that so far as he was enabled to form a judgment of the treaty (and he knew nothing more than what appeared in the treaty itself), it seemed to him that it had been executed by all the parties who had subscribed it. He perfectly recollected, that when he had the honour of serving his Majesty in the year 1834, he was called on to state whether that treaty should be carried into execution. He at that time declared what he understood was the meaning and scope of the treaty—namely, that there should be no intervention in the internal affairs of Spain. That was his sense of the treaty at that time. It continued to be his sense of the treaty at the present moment; and that, he believed, was perfectly understood by the other parties to the treaty at that period. The explanation was likewise completely satisfactory to the Spanish Government; and all parties were satisfied that no military intervention should be attempted with respect to the internal affairs of the Peninsula. He had touched on this point because he confessed that he was one of those who were of opinion that it would be extremely wrong to attempt to force on the Spaniards any species of government. Indeed, he would say, that to enforce any system of government in Spain was absolutely out of the power, not only of this country, but of any other country in the world. If such a thing were attempted, those who attempted it must take into pay, not only their own army, but the army of the country itself; and he should like to see how the Commons' House of Parliament, or the Chamber of Deputies, would treat a proposition calling on them for a vote of money for the purpose of imposing a government on Spain, or on any other country. He contended that the thing was absolutely im- practicable. His Majesty's Ministers might rely on it that they had undertaken that which they never could perform; and that the sooner they placed themselves on the footing on which they ought strictly to stand with reference to the treaty of the quadruple alliance, the sooner would the object—the pacification of Spain—which they must all anxiously wish for, be accomplished. He felt the strongest objection to anything like interference with the internal affairs of the Peninsula. He objected to it not only on account of its expense, but still more so on account of the injury which it inflicted on the parties existing in that State. To his own certain knowledge, he could say, that three parties had been ruined in Spain by the intervention of his Majesty's Government at different times. Individuals had been ruined, their properties destroyed, their fortunes sacrificed, by the course which his Majesty's Government had pursued. Acting under the assurances of his Majesty's Government, those individuals adopted a certain line of conduct. The Spanish Government was obliged finally to go forward with the movement. Those persons were in consequence abandoned, their fortunes were sacrificed, and their prospects blighted for ever. This made him more adverse to such a species of interference than he should be merely on account of expense, though that also had considerable weight with him. He repeated, that he did not mean to oppose the Address; but, in taking that course, he must be understood as not bound to approve of the employment of any force beyond that which was stipulated for by the quadruple treaty, which treaty Parliament had acknowledged, and to which they all, so far, became parties.

Viscount Melbourne

was glad that it was not the intention of noble Lords opposite to move any amendment to the Address. It was, in his opinion, of the highest importance that the Address, on the first night of the Session, should be received with general concord and unanimity; and that they should approach his Majesty with this feeling—that, whatever might be their opinions on other subjects, at least on those contained in the Speech, there was no difference of sentiment. This had long been the practice of Parliament. It prevailed in 1703 and 1704, when this country was engaged in a great and powerful contest with France. The British Parliament then declared, unanimously, that at least on the subject of that great war, and the necessity of maintaining it, they were all agreed. It was a wise and a sound practice; and it might, with great propriety, be transferred from a time of war to a time of peace, when questions of great importance and deep interest were to be discussed, which required firmness, decision, and unanimity, on the part of both Houses of Parliament. He was very well aware, that though the Speech was conceived in moderate terms, and though the Address was couched in terms equally moderate, yet that they contained some topics which would hereafter create considerable difference, and with reference to which it would be his duty to bring forward different measures in the course of the Session. He should be prepared to introduce those measures to their Lordships' notice, in the same spirit in which the noble Duke said he should be prepared to receive them, and he should consider them with an anxious desire to do what was best for the interests of the country, and the promotion of its real welfare. The noble Duke, although he had declared that he was prepared to concur in the Address, had made some observations on the remarks made by his noble Friends behind him in moving and seconding the Address, and also on the Speech with which his Majesty had been advised to close the last Session of Parliament. That speech stated, that there prevailed in Ireland an unusual, and (as the noble Duke had well expressed it) a comparative degree of tranquillity. His noble Friend behind him had declared it to be his opinion—and he supposed his noble Friend might be allowed to know something of the country to which he belonged, in which he resided, and from which he had lately come—that that country was at present in a state of great tranquillity. The noble Duke had said, there were exceptions to that tranquillity, and he perfectly admitted that the point to which the noble Duke referred, the continued resistance to tithes, formed a very important exception. He perfectly admitted that; and with respect to the subject which had called forth the observations of the noble Duke, he meant the establishment and present existence of that body, termed the National Association in Ireland, he had himself no hesitation in saying, that it was with great regret, and great concern, that he saw its existence. He readily admitted, that he did not think the grounds on which it was founded sufficient to justify its establishment; and he could not but say that there had been proceedings in that Association, as there would be in all such assemblies, of which he, for one, undoubtedly could not approve. At the same time he must observe, when the noble Duke accused that Association of threatening conspiracy and disturbance, that it was the nature of conspiracies to be secret, while the proceedings of this body were open as day, and avowed to all the world. He maintained, in opposition to the noble Duke, that there was nothing in the aspect of that Association which would have prevented Ministers, in the Speech which closed the preceding Session, or which should prevent his noble Friend behind him, on the present occasion, from asserting, that a degree of tranquillity, hitherto, unfortunately, very unusual, prevailed in Ireland. He supposed the noble Duke would admit that England had been tranquil during the vacation; but he was sure if meetings, speeches, and resolutions, were to be regarded as disturbing tranquillity, there was not now a country in Europe so much disturbed as England had been during that period. One noble Lord opposite had lifted up his voice most loudly in these disturbances; and it must be allowed, that the appearance of other noble Lords on the same side, had raised as loud a clamour, and stirred up as much agitation, as it was possible for any party to excite. On this subject he had only to say, that if it really were the case, as was so confidently alleged, that what was called re-action, and a general change in the sentiments of the nation had taken place, it would not be long before that change would be visible, and power would be transferred into the hands of those in whose favour that opinion was maintained. He should only recommend noble Lords opposite, not to be deceived by the sound of their own voices, or to take the loudness of their shouts as a proof of the increase of their numbers. The department of calculation, so important to the existence of a great party, had not been so well attended to by them as some others; and they had been always deceived in their estimate of numbers. He should advise them to be careful how they trusted to those shouts and clamours, and to be certain that this change of public opinion had really taken place before they hazarded any proceedings on it. He could assure noble Lords opposite, that he was told quite the contrary; that their calculations, according to his information, were quite erroneous; and that the numbers of their party were not at all augmented. He hoped this statement would enable them to come to a sounder and safer conclusion, on a subject which all must feel to be very important. He had no wish to say anything with regard to Ireland which could revive the disputes of last Session, but these matters were generally exaggerated at the moment, and the interval of the vacation had afforded time for a calmer consideration of these subjects, than might be given to them in the heat of adverse debates. He thought, however, he might safely say, that according to the estimates made in every quarter, with the exception stated by the noble Duke, the condition of Ireland, with respect to Agrarian disturbances, and security to life and property, was much improved. He looked forward with confidence to the continuance of the present tranquillity, and he thought they were justified in holding out that prospect to the country. The noble Duke had concluded his speech with some observations on the policy the Government had pursued with respect to Spain. The noble Duke stated, that he was originally opposed to the quadruple treaty, which the noble Duke, he was ready to admit, on coming into office, had executed with scrupulous fidelity, and in strict adherence to its spirit. He confessed he scarcely understood some parts of the noble Duke's observations, which were not very distinctly expressed. He believed no new measures had been taken in fulfilment of that treaty, which were not clearly before the world; but, undoubtedly, if any such should be taken, there would be no desire to withhold information with respect to them from that House—no disinclination to submit them to the consideration of Parliament, and to the observations which the noble Duke might think proper to make on them. With regard to the principles entertained by the noble Duke, on the impossibility of forcing a constitution on Spain, or the impropriety of interfering in its internal affairs, he perfectly coincided in them. The present Government, he contended, had acted upon those principles—they had not interfered. A revolution had, no doubt, taken place in Spain, attended with great loss of property, but it had arisen from the circumstances of the country, and was not to be ascribed, as the noble Duke seemed to suppose, to the interference of the British Government. The circumstances in which that country had been placed were more likely, as the noble Duke well knew, to produce a revolution, than any others—the circumstance of a war unsuccessfully carried on, and leading to no happy or desired result. A country was impatient under a foreign war; but it was still more impatient under the calamities attendant on civil war. The tranquillity of Spain depended on the army of the Queen, and the revolutions of that country were owing to the losses and disasters which had marked the progress of the war. He repeated, that there was every disposition on the part of Government to afford all the information they possessed regarding the State of Spain, and the policy which they had pursued towards that country; and when the noble Duke should be in possession of that information, he felt persuaded, that the noble Duke would think better of the policy pursued by his Majesty's Government than at present. No other objects, he believed, were embraced in the noble Duke's statement, and it only remained for him again to express his satisfaction that there was no difference of opinion with respect to the Address to be presented to his Majesty.

The question carried nemine dissentiente.

Address to be presented to his Majesty.