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noble Lord suggested, that his Lordship, on this Bill. The noble and learned Lord account of his infirmities, should take the had said, that a noble Earl (Harrowby) advantage of being seated while address who had addressed their Lordships on a ing the House.

former evening with so much ability Lord Wynford felt exceedingly obliged against this Bill, had admitted that he to his noble friend for the kind sugges- was not opposed to a measure which tion. Entertaining, however, as he did, would disfranchise some boroughs, enthe greatest respect for that House, he franchise some of the large towns, and would endeavour, as long as he was able, enlarge the number of county Members. to address their Lordships in the most re- He (Lord Wynford) did not recollect that spectful manner, and whenever he found his noble friend above him had said any his physical weakness increasing too much such thing; but, even if he had said so, for his present exertion, he would take such an admission would not prove that care to take advantage of that indulgence he was at all friendly to this Bill. which he was aware their Lordships would noble and learned friend had gone on to extend to him. He would now proceed, argue, that his Majesty would not, in step by step, to answer the arguments that future, be able to carry on the governhad been advanced by the noble and learned ment of this country except on the ground Lord (Plunkett) on this subject. That of Reform. noble Lord had commenced by stating, Lord Plunkett begged to correct the that the opponents of the Bill had left mistake into which his noble friend had the principle of it altogether untouched. fallen with regard to what he (Lord PlunHe was certain that if the noble and kett) had said. The argument in queslearned Lord found the principle of the tion, that the government of the country Bill untouched, he left it so, for he had could not be carried on if Reform was not said a word himself about it. The adopted, was one that had been used by the noble Lord had said, that it was admitted noble Duke (Wellington) on the other side, by all that some Reform was necessary. and one to which he (Lord Plunkett) had It was quite true that the question of Re- applied himself in the course of the obform was a question of degree, and they servations which he addressed to their on that side of the House who opposed Lordships last night. this Bill did not, by doing so, mean to Lord Wynford was glad to stand corsay that they were opposed to all and rected, as he need scarcely say that he every species of Reform. If they enter- should be most unwilling to misrepresent tained such an opinion, and if they were his noble friend, and the mistake into determined to resist every effort even for which he had fallen had arisen from the a safe Reform, they would have said so to difficulty of hearing the observations of his Majesty in the Address which they pre- his noble friend on the occasion in quessented to the King at the commencement tion. Considering the high reputation of the Session, in answer to the Speech which his noble and learned friend had so from the Throne, instead of pledging deservedly acquired in that and the other themselves, as they did on that occasion, to House of Parliament, and this being take this subject of Reform into their most almost the first time that he (Lord Wynserious consideration. They had applied ford) had addressed their Lordships upon themselves to the consideration of that any great constitutional question, he should subject, and if the measure which was have been afraid to enter the lists with his proposed by his Majesty's Ministers was noble and learned friend, were it not that not inconsistent with the safety and secu- he confided for success in the justice of rity of the institutions of the country--of his cause. The noble and learned Lord those institutions which he was determined said, that his Majesty had dissolved the late to uphold as long as he had a leg to stand Parliament in order to ascertain the sense on-if such a measure as that had been of his people with regard to this question. brought forward by Ministers, he would Now, he Lord Wynford) must say, that venture to say, that it would not have been to him it appeared that that was the most opposed on that side of the House. But unfortunate dissolution of Parliament that they were not pledged to any specific Re- could ever have been made for the purpose form, much less were they pledged to the of obtaining the sense of the people with dangerous and destructive and revolu- regard to such a question as the present. tionary Reform which was proposed by If they wanted to obtain the sense of the people in the way that it should be ob- senses knew it would never effect-namely, tained, they ought to have waited for a afford them relief from the distresses and moment of calm, when the subject could privations under which they were sufferbe quietly and soberly discussed, and they ing. On the occasion to which he was should not have proceeded to a dissolu- now alluding, a noble Lord, whom he did tion of Parliament in a period of great not now see in his place, and who was one excitement and agitation, when, as every of those Ministers that had advised the one knew, it was absolutely impossible to King to dissolve the late Parliament-he ascertain the deliberate sense and opinion meant Lord Holland—also expressed himof the people. Their Lordships could self against the dissolution of the Parlianot forget the state in which the country ment of that day. Lord Holland then was at the time of the late dissolution of used the following expressions :--The Parliament, and he would assert, that noble Lord states, that at the time of that there never could have been a more im- dissolution there was no irritation of the proper opportunity selected for a dissolu- ' public mind, no material difference of tion of Parliament than that was. And opinion. Why, then, was not that the now that he was upon the subject of that moment for an appeal to the people? The dissolution, he could not avoid adverting • noble Lord then states, that at the time of to the opinions which had been expressed the last dissolution there was great irriby two of his Majesty's present Ministers, 'tability and collision of opinion. Is it in reference to a dissolution of a former not then clear that that was a most imParliament, which took place under cir- proper period for a dissolution of Parlia. cumstances, with regard to the state of ment, when, instead of a cool and dispasthe public mind, that, according to those sionate appeal to the people, it could only noble Lords, rendered it impossible to ob- be an appeal to their inflamed prejudices tain such a fair and impartial expression and passions ?"* Such were the words of of the public opinion as ought to influence the noble Lord, words most truly applicable the decision of the Legislature. He would to the state of things at the period of the just read to their Lordships an extract last dissolution of Parliament. The noble from a speech delivered by the noble Earl and learned Lord (Plunkett) spoke of the opposite on the occasion to which he al- elections which were consequent on that luded-namely, the dissolution of Par- dissolution as having been conducted liament which took place in April, 1807. peaceably and quietly, but he subsequently After the new Parliament met, Lord confined his statement with regard to the Howick, after making some observations on elections in Ireland. He did not know the importance of the subject before the much of Ireland, but he would ask, House, went on to say — Why, then, whether the election in Dublin was an did they take this step? In order that instance of that peace and quietness, and an appeal should be made to the people, good order, that the noble and learned

as it was stated in his Majesty's Speech, Lord spoke of—an election at which the ' while recent events were fresh in their re- influence of persons in official authority 'collection—in other words, during the had been employed in a way that it had • prevalence of that base cry, which it was never been before, and which had been • hoped would have an influence on the remarkable for the rioting and tumults • elections.'* Such was then the language that had taken place at it. Were the of the noble Earl opposite - language elections in England distinguished for which was precisely applicable to the cir- peace and good order ? Had not rioting cumstances under which the late dissolu- taken place at the Dorset election--at the tion of Parliament had occurred. The Carmarthen election-and at several other late Parliament had been dissolved “ dur- elections throughout this country? Did ing the prevalence of a base cry" for Par- not the greatest excitement prevail throughliamentary Reform. That Parliament, he out the country in consequence of the would repeat, was dissolved during the paragraphs which had been published in prevalence of such a base cry, and at a the public Press on the subject? Не, , period when the people had been deluded therefore, denied that his noble and learninto the notion, that this measure would ed friend's observations with regard to the do that which every man in his sober elections were justly applicable to the

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* Ibid. p. 584.

• Hansard's Parl. Debates, vol. ix, p. 620. VOL. VIII. $ Third?



elections which had taken place in this House. But there were reasonable grounds country. But the noble and learned for expecting that the people would not Lord said, that the immense number of seek to acquire any right at variance with petitions which had been presented on this the spirit of the Constitution. His noble subject, proved that the feeling of the coun- friend, however, went on to say, " Are not try was in favour of this measure. Several the people of England to be trusted ?" of those petitions had been got up in the God forbid that he (Lord Wynford) should grossest manner, with several names affix- characterize them-taking them as a body ed to them by the same person, and by --in any other way, than by declaring that no means afforded a fair indication of the there was not a more respectable people opinions of the people. Besides, let their on the face of the earth; but while he Lordships look to the counter petitions made this ready avowal of opinion, he that had been presented on the other side. would maintain, point by point, that they A petition had been presented by the noble ought only to be invested with additional and learned Lord on the Woolsack, from rights in proportion to their capacity of thc city of London, in favour of the Bill, comprehending them. He would not inbut it should be recollected that a coun- trust them, nor any other set of men, with ter-petition, signed by many of the most rights which they were not capable of exrespectable persons in the city of London, ercising. That which they were capable of had been presented against the Bill. They exercising properly—that their Lordships had seen a petition presented from Bond- were prepared to extend to them. If his street in favour of the Bill, but they had noble friend meant to say, that all the heard that night how that petition had been people of England were to be intrusted got up, and how several persons had signed with those rights that were included in the it in mistake. That petition, besides, was present Bill, he for one would enter his signed by only 109 persons, while there protest, and declare, in the name of the were 201 individuals resident in Bond- Constitution, that the people were not to street. It might be said, that some of those be so trusted. No doubt it would be well householders were females; but he did to give the right of electing Representanot see why women had not a right to tives to the upper and middle classes of express their opinions on this question, society-persons too independent to be and he was sure that, in many instances, accessible to corruption. He had no objecthey were much better qualified to express tion that the privilege should be extended an opinion on it than the men.

as far as was consistent with safety ; but peated, that some of the inhabitants had if his noble and learned friend meant to signed the petition by mistake, supposing carry it further, then the point to which his that its object was Reform generally, and noble friend was advancing was, Universal not believing that it was in favour of this Suffrage, to which he never could agree, particular Bill. There were few on his He would refuse the right of selecting side of the House prepared to deny the Representatives to that part of the people necessity or fitness of a constitutional who were not capable of exercising it Reform; but they would rather that their properly; but he was disposed to admit to hands were cut off, than employ them in it all the better and qualified classes, signing a petition in favour of the Minis. although not in the manner laid down in terial Bill. His noble and learned friend the Bill. He considered all who were inhad said, that their Lordships were “sitting dependent entitled to possess the elective in judgment on the people of England." right. He was not, therefore, an enemy Those, he believed, were the words he used. to proper Reform, but he would not give Now, though his noble friend generally that right to persons such as were deemed expressed himself with the greatest clear qualified by the provisions of the Bill. ness, he could not rightly understand what He would confer the right on all who his noble friend meant to convey by this were gifted with knowledge to perceive its assertion. They were certainly sitting in value, and possessed of property to projudgment on the rights of the people of nounce their opinions with independence. England ; and when any petition came to He was convinced that he could show that be presented, requesting concessions strictly these were considerations not contemplated consistent with those rights, he was quite by the Bill, but that it went to level all satisfied that such a petition would meet distinctions between property and no prowith the greatest attention from the I perty-between ignorance and knowledge.

He re

If the argument, he would again say—if the good sense which they possessed at the argument of his noble friend, as to the bottom, would eventually dispel any deluextensive confidence to be reposed in the sion by which they might be misled for a great mass of the community, meant any time. When the agitation caused by thing, it was an argument for Universal wicked people had subsided, their own Suffrage. Sorry he was, that any person good sense would regain the ascendency, for whom he entertained the high senti- and they would return to their accustomed ments of respect that he did for his noble habits of peace and industry. He was friend could advance any such opinions ; sorry to be obliged to advert to the next there was, however, no room for him to point touched upon by his noble friend ; doubt the fact, for he had taken down the he regretted it for particular reasons, but words at the time, and was certain of the as the subject had been introduced, he accuracy of his quotation. His noble felt it to be absolutely necessary for him friend had spoken of the possibility of a to notice it. His noble friend had spoken collision between the two Houses of Par- of the contingency of creating new Peers liament [no, no]. If he had not done for the purpose of carrying the measure so, he would spare their Lordships the under consideration. He was a new Peer observations he was about to make, but he himself, though he had not been made for believed his noble friend had expressed this occasion,

and he did not deny the just his apprehension of the danger of a colli- prerogative of the Crown to reward any sion between the two Houses of Parlia- person of this country with the honours of ment.

the Peerage; but he questioned whether, Lord Plunkett: I did speak of the among recent creations, Peers had been chance of collision, but I did not speak made upon the proper principle of reward. of Universal Suffrage.

ing merit, or of carrying the question of Lord Wynford did not mean to say, that Reform through that House of Parliament. his noble friend had, in express words, If they had been made for the latter pleaded for Universal Suffrage, but the purpose, he would say, that they who mode in which he stated his case had advised the King to make them for that that tendency.

purpose had committed a great violation Lord Plunkett: I beg to set my noble of the Constitution. He recollected his friend right. I not only did not use the Majesty's Speech last Session, and he rewords “ Universal Suffrage,” but have all collected that it appealed to the existing along declared myself openly against such House of Peers, and not to a prospective an absurd and mischievous idea.

body. He fully admitted the just privilege The Duke of Cumberland having moved of the Crown in bestowing honours; but that the noble and learned Lord, in con- it was the duty of its advisers, to counsel sideration of his infirmities, might be against the use of the royal sign-manual allowed to sit down, the Motion was for other purposes than was consistent with acceded to, and Lord Wynford took his the dignity of the realm. He had not seat on the Opposition benches.

the honour of knowing more than two of Lord Wynford was far from wishing to the noble Lords recently called to that put arguments in his noble friend's mouth, House. He had no doubt, and he was merely for the purpose of confuting them. bound to suppose, that they were all entiHe could not hope to derive much credit tled to the honour; but he was disposed to from such a course of proceeding, but he think, that they were not brought there on felt persuaded that he should be able to account of any particular claims they posanswer the actual arguments which had sessed to that most honourable-to that been advanced. He would now come to highest of all distinctions conferred on the another observation of his noble friend's. subjects of any country--namely, the eleHe had stated, that he “ did not see any vation to the Peerage of the realm. He other way of procuring safety to the only, as he had observed, knew two of country" but through the medium of this those noble Lords; to one of them pecuBill. But he hoped that another way liar circumstances gave a claim to the dismight be found without resorting to that tinction. The eminent services of the other expedient. He trusted much to the good long ago entitled him to a seat there. He sense of the people of this country; he had often lamented that he had not been was as old as his noble friend, and had sooner elevated to the Peerage ; and he seen enough of the people to know that I was as happy to meet him in that House as he had been in other places. While he previous period. They should take care not wished to meet his noble friend among to make any dangerous alterations in the them, he wished to see merit obtain its frame of the Constitution, by which England reward; but he protested against the might be deprived of the inestimable advancreation of a great number of Peers with tages of her present position. His noble a view to carry any particular purpose. friend said, however, that notwithstanding His noble and learned friend had referred all this, the people wanted Reform. There to the Peers made in the reign of Queen were a number of persons in this country Anne; and he confessed he did not clearly who made a trade of popular excitement, understand what was intended by the and the people would continue to be excited reference. He did not know whether his until that trade was put an end to. These noble friend meant to countenance the persons only advocated the proposed alterdoctrine advanced in another place, but ations in the Constitution as the specious he considered him to be endowed with too cover of other schemes. He was warrantmuch legal learning and too much know- ed in saying this, and he was afraid that ledge of the Constitution, to broach the the business of change would soon work doctrine that the Sovereign might at out of the hands of his noble friend and his pleasure discontinue the issuing of writs, colleagues. The storm would be raised, calling on places possessing electoral privi- and they would not be long able to conleges to return Representatives to Parlia- trol it. If their Lordships had read any ment. He could not believe that his noble of the publications by the seditious part of friend would sanction such an opinion, the Press, they would understand the force although it had been brought forward on of his remark—they would feel that the high authority in another House. His real radical Reformers only considered the noble friend had mentioned the buying present Bill as a stepping-stone to the and selling of seats, a point which he total overthrow of the Constitution. Others could not pass over without some remark. might have a greater pecuniary interest in He was himself a decided enemy to that the State than he; but he would yield to practice, and if his noble friend brought none in zeal for its welfare. His statea Bill into Parliament effectually to prevent ment as to the ulterior objects of many of it, such a Bill should have his assistance, the advocates of Reform were borne out if that assistance were held to be of any by a paper he had lately seen, called an value; because he was of opinion that the “Address to the Inhabitants of the Town of circumstance of trafficking in seats in the Leeds,” the writer of which, going upon Legislature was a stain on the Constitution the supposition that the people of Leeds of the country. The Irish Parliament had had the power of returning Members to been introduced into the speech of his Parliament according to the Bill, declared noble friend. He was not acquainted with the principles by which he intended to be the Irish Parliament; he did not know to regulated, if elected to a seat in the Legiswhat extent corruption had prevailed in it, lature. He wished that he had the paper but if it were in the state in which it had there, for such was his memory, that be been represented, he was obliged to the had never quoted any thing in his life English Parliament for putting an end to without making some mistake: however, its corruption, and it deserved the fate it he was certain that he was quite correct had experienced. He would not leave a in the essential points of what he was single observation of his noble friend un- about to state. He would, ere repeating answered, and he would address himself the main facts of the address, take occato the concluding part of his speech, and sion to express the high respect he enterthe probable advantages that the country tained for the right reverend bench opposite, would derive from the adoption of the whose interests were connected with the measure of Reform. For his part, he was views of the writer of the paper to which for letting well enough alone. He was he alluded. That projector told his connot for exchanging real good for contin- stituents at Leeds, looking to their electing gent advantages. Justice was equitably him as their Representative, that he would administered in this country; the Army and at once vote for getting rid of tithesthe Navy were well appointed, elevated as that was, he would do away with the prothey had been by the unparalleled success perty of the Church; that he would vote of the noble Duke near him, to a higher also for paying half the dividends of the station than they had ever occupied at any | National Debt for two years, and then

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