« ÎnapoiContinuați »
triumph which, if good order and tran- Members to have been duly elected, and quillity be maintained, must follow almost the petition against their return to be immediately, and that the only way by neither frivolous nor vexatious. which the people can possibly frustrate Mr. James Grattan begged to ask the that measure consists in breaking the hon. Gentleman, whether it was his intenKing's peace.
tion to lay the evidence taken before the Lord Wharncliffe rose to express the Committee on the Table of the House, great satisfaction he derived from hear- and to move that it be printed ? ing the sentiments of the noble Lord Mr. Estcourt said, that it was not bis on the Woolsack. Assuredly, if any intention to do anything of that kind. thing could tend to impede the advance. Such a course was only pursued when a ment of Reform, it would be attacks on special return was presented, and in this person or property. He hoped that the instance there had been no special return. people of England would understand this. For his own part, he had opposed the Re
LIBERTY or Conscience.] Mr. Ryder form Bill, and how he should act with presented a Petition from Westham, Hailrespect to any other measure must depend sham, and other places, praying that Proupon the circumstances that might come testant soldiers might not be compelled to before that House. But while he made attend or take part in Roman Catholic this declaration, he would again state em- ceremonies. phatically, as he had stated last Session, Mr. O'Connell called the attention of that he was convinced the time had arrived the hon. Member to the language of the when the question of a Reform in the petition. He hoped that it was not inCommons' House of Parliament must be sulting to the Catholics of the empire. He taken into serious consideration, with a hoped that an inquiry would be made view to amend and improve the whole into the subject matter of this petition, as system of Representation. As to the he was opposed to all violations of the precise measure of Reform, there might freedom of conscience, either among Cabe a difference of opinion : but the mea
tholics or among
Protestants. sure which seemed best calculated to in- Sir John Newport said, that the lansure the safety and prosperity of the country guage of the petition, in designating as should have his hearty concurrence. impious the ceremonies of the Catholic
religion, went, he thought, a little further
than the House would tolerate. He should HOUSE OF COMMONS,
certainly oppose the printing of such a Wednesday, October 12, 1831. petition.
Mr. James E. Gordon thought, that the MINUTES.) Bill brought in. By Mr. Poulert THOMSON, to allow the importation of Timber and Flour from the
House ought not to be too lynx-eyed with United States of America into the Islands of Barbadoes regard to such petitions. and St. Vincent's for a limited tiine.
Sir Robert Inglis said, several petitions Returns ordered. On the Motion of Mr. John Wood, for
an Account of the Valuation of Property in the respective had been presented which contained such Parishes in England and Wales, and when made, on which expressions against the Church of Engthe Poor-rate is levied, and the same return of County land as no hon. Member ought to tolerate. Rates :-On the Motion of Mr. ARTHUR TREVOR, for a
Return of all Colleges and Schools of Education in the As these had been received, he thought Petitions presented. Sir Gray SKIPWITH, from the Clergy, the other side.
they ought not to be very scrupulous on Magistracy, and Parochial Authorities of Birmingham, against the Sale of Beer Act; and from the Beer retailers Mr. Hunt said, the hon. Baronet had of the same place, praying to be placed on a level (as re
objected to one petition being received garded the hours of selling) with Licensed Victuallers; and from the Members of a committee at Birmingham because it contained the words “ bloated for an Inquiry into the State of Ireland. By Mr. John clergy;" he therefore ought to be the last WYNNE, from the Inhabitants of Sligo, praying that Protestant Soldiers might not be compelled to take part in
man to object to this petition. Catholic Ceremonies. By Mr. RYDER, from the Inhabit
Mr. Robinson said, it was not an arguants of Hemel Hempstead, for the suppression of the ment in favour of the present petition, Pilgrim Tax (India.) By the Earl of Ossory, from the that others containing offensive expresTithe-payers of Clough, for a change in the Irish Tithe system.
sions had been printed.
Petition laid on the Table. DUBLIN ELECTION.] Mr. Estcourt Sir Robert Bateson presented a similar presented a Report from the Dublin Elec- Petition from Coleraine. This petition tion Committee, declaring the sitting I had been got up in consequence of the
West India Islands.
inhabitants having heard that two British | These were admitted facts, and some officers had been dismissed from the army inquiry ought therefore to be instituted to because they refused to assist at certain show how far military duty was to interCatholic ceremonies at Malta.
fere with a man's conscience. Mr. James E. Gordon said, he had been Mr. Ruthven said, he considered that gratified with the remarks of the hon. the officers were merely called on to permember for Kerry, as the practice com-form a military duty, and they chose to plained of was against that liberty of con- mix their religious feelings up with that science which all persons must desire to duty. To allow this, was not a good way see promoted.
to keep up discipline in the army. He Mr. O'Connell said, if the hon. member considered that every man, whatever his for Dundalk would move for the appoint-opinion might be, should pay at least ment of a Committee to investigate the decent observance to the religious cerebusiness, he should be happy to second monies of the country where he happened his motion. He (Mr. O'Connell) con. to be. sidered it a most grievous case, that two Sir Robert Bateson said, he should move officers should have been expelled from that the petition be printed, for he rethe army for refusing to violate their con- membered, when a similar petition had sciences. He should have felt it a most been before the House some time since, he serious grievance if Catholics had been had not been satisfied with the explanation subject to similar treatment in a Pro- then given by the Secretary at War. He testant country; he therefore hoped the believed there was some doubt about the matter would be brought fully before the propriety of soldiers assisting at religious House.
ceremonies in the minds of some officers, Mr. Wilks considered the case as one he therefore hoped the Government would of extreme grievance, and one which every attend to the subject. man, whatever his religion was, ought not Mr. Frankland Lewis regretted that to tolerate. The officers had only desired there was no member of the Government to be exempted from violating their con- present to give the necessary explanation; sciences, and had been, consequently, dis- be, therefore, entreated hon. Members to missed from the army and deprived of suspend their opinions until they heard support.
from the proper authority what were the Mr. Frankland Lewis said, an explana- actual circumstances of the case. With tion had been given on this question on a respect to the general question, however, former occasion, and, to the best of his he was of opinion soldiers ought to perrecollection, it was, that the officers were form whatever military duties were imnot called upon to participate in the re- posed on them by the proper authority; ligious ceremony as individuals, but only but if they were called upon to bear part for the performance of military duty: they in a religions ceremony, so as to express were not called upon in the slightest an opinion, they should most certainly be degree to recognise the religious part of relieved from that necessity. the ceremony, and were dismissed from Petition to be printed. the army for military insubordination.
Mr. James E. Gordon said, if the right REFORM - POPULAR EXCITEMENT.] hon. Member would examine the evi- Mr. Ruthven, in presenting a Petition dence, he would find that the offences of froin an aggregate meeting of the Freemen these officers was, a refusal to perform a and Freeholders of the town of Galway for military duty connected with the eleva- an extension of their elective franchise, tion of the host, and other ceremonies of took occasion to observe, that he believed the Catholic religion.
that the petitioners would get all their Mr. O'Connell observed, that the cir- prayer if the Reform Bill for Ireland were cumstances occurred at the festival called carried. He was most anxious that the Corpus Christi. All the Catholics of the English Reform Bill should have been place knelt down, but the soldiers were carried, on account chiefly, that he hailed only required to present their arms or to it as an omen of intended improvement in salute. These officers were of opinion that Ireland, for he was sure the people of to salute was an act of idolatry, and they England could not receive any benefits were dismissed the army for obeying their without being desirous that their brethren consciences in preference to a militaryorder. I in the sister country should also have their due share of the good. The rejection benches Ministers who, upon the part of of such a Bill in another place had caused the Government, may explain why the universal indignation, and made it the more noble Secretary for the Home Department necessary that the House of Commonsshould did not interfere upon this occasion, yet I, attend to the complaints of the people. for myself, will take upon me to say, that He, therefore, fully agreed with those who the system of allowing immense masses of thought the conduct of the Bishops, in the people to advance in procession to voting against the Reform Bill, was utterly petition the Throne, must eventually lead indefensible. He must express his sur to confusion and disorder. Sir, I should prise that men, whose whole lives ought not have troubled the House with any to be dedicated not merely to the preach- observations, if the hon. member for ing, but also to the practice of peace, Downpatrick had not thought fit to talk good-will, and charity to all mankind, of the peaceable conduct of the mob. should have so forgotten their sacred But, Sir, what are we to expect? What duties as to have given a vote, which, are we to expect, save that which we are more than all others, was calculated to witnessing every day-when the windows spread dissatisfaction and discontent and property of the Duke of Wellington throughout the country. He was con- are assailed ? I need not speak of his vinced that, after the public-spirited de- services-I need not talk of the gratitude cision to which the House of Commons which is due to him from every Englishhad come two nights ago, and which had man. And then, if he be adverse to this spread such great satisfaction throughout Reform Bill-if my noble relative, the the country, the Reform Bill might now Marquis of Londonderry, who has also be considered as good as carried. He well and bravely served his country, be was convinced that that Bill must be adverse to it—why should they not fearpassed, by the peaceable manner in which lessly and honestly express their opposition the people had conducted themselves that to it? What are we, I say, to expect day, in a procession which, though its when these individuals, their persons and numbers rendered it formidable, was de- property, together with those of other prived of all terror by its quiet, and distinguished persons who happen to hold tranquil, and regular demeanour.
similar opinions, are exposed to the fury Sir Henry Hardinge said : Sir, I am of a mob? What are we to expect when astonished at the assertion that the people we find Ministers—and Ministers of the this day conducted themselves in a peace- Cabinet too-corresponding with Political able and orderly manner. Sir, I say I am Unions ? And as I see a noble Lord utterly astonished at this assertion, when there who has rendered himself famous (I I know that noble friend and relation will not use the other word, for he does of mine, in coming down to the House of not deserve it) by the introduction of that Lords this day, in performance of his duty, Billmhaving seen a correspondence bewas attacked in a most cowardly and tween the noble Lord and the Birmingham dastardly manner, and struck off his horse Union, I am induced now to address by stones, and so severely wounded, that myself to him. In reply to a communicahe was obliged to be conveyed to his tion from the Chairman of the Birmingham residence in a hackney coach. When, Union, conveying an account of a vote of therefore, an hon. Member thinks proper thanks to him having been passed at a to talk of the peaceable conduct of the Meeting, the noble Lord says, “ I beg to mob, I cannot refrain from expressing my acknowledge the undeserved honour done amazement. I do not mean to deny that me, with heartfelt gratitude. This unmany respectable persons, feeling strongly deserved honour was a vote of thanks of in favour of this measure of Reform, may the Birmingham Political Union. And have accompanied the procession in its further, in alluding to the rejection of progress to St. James's. Though I must the Bill in his reply, what expressions did at the same time observe, that such a the noble Lord use? •I hope our dismode of proceeding – such a mode of appointment (or something to the same bearding the King in his palace -even if it effect) will be only for a moment, for it is should not be contrary to the strict letter impossible the whisper of a faction can of the law, is decidedly contrary to its prevail against the voice of a nation.' spirit and its principle. And though, Sir, Sir, I say that this language identifies the there may be found on the opposite Cabinet Ministers with all the Political Unions. I say that the Government are had been cowardly enough to perpetrate thus identified with all the Unions-that it. He also thought it right to say, that they are leaguing with them—and that if there was a continuance of such outthey are under the direct influence of rages, they could not be looked upon in Government. I say that the words of the any other light than as acts of hostility noble Lord do encourage all such meetings against all good government, and that as that he has addressed. I had no in- they must alienate the minds of all sober tention of addressing the House; but, and respectable men from the cause of after the assertion of the hon. member for Reform. He also agreed with the hon. Downpatrick, I could not remain silent, and gallant Officer, that the attack on the when I was told, on, the one hand, that house of any noble Lord was base and the meeting this day in London was peace- disgraceful; but much more base, and ably conducted; and when I remembered much more disgraceful was it, when the on the other, that the noble Lord had attack was made on the house of the expressed his heartfelt thanks to an as- Duke of Wellington, to whom the country sembly of 150,000, as it was said, in Bir- was so much indebted for past services. mingham, at which according to the noble In defence of those outrages he would not and learned Lord on the Woolsack, lan- say one word, either in palliation or guage was used which amounted to sedi-excuse. As to the manner in which the tion and to felony. For my own part, I hon, and gallant Officer had connected trust I never shall be deterred from these outrages with his answer to Mr. coming down to Parliament to discharge Attwood, he would only observe, that the my duty, as my noble friend and relative hon. and gallant Officer had not laid
any was not, and will not be, by any base and substantial grounds to induce the House dastardly attack. And as for bis Majesty's to think that the language which he had Ministers, I shall only observe, that I am used in that letter had led to any breach convinced that it is not the mode to allay of the public peace. The hon. and gallant the fermentation that prevails (as it is Officer had charged him with having cortheir sacred and bounden duty to do), by responded with the Political Union of thanking and encouraging meetings at Birmingham. He would not at that mowhich such language is held as that to ment enter into the question of the prowhich I have alluded, and by designating priety of engaging in such a corresponda fair, and honest, and independent vote ence; but in this case no such question of a majority of the House of Lords—the could arise. Mr. Attwood, the banker of second branch of the Legislature-as the Birmingham, had written to him stating whisper of a faction.
that there had been a great meeting at Lord John Russell begged to trespass Birmingham, at which he believed 150,000 for a short time upon the attention of the persons were present. He would not say House, whilst he said a few words in reply that the meeting was so large as Mr. to the extraordinary attack which the Attwood had represented it, but still it hon. and gallant Officer had just made was a large meeting, and that meeting had upon him. He was not disposed to defend thanked his Majesty's Government for the himself from that attack; because he manner in which they had conducted the made allowance - and he was sure that Bill through the Commons House of Parthe House would do the same for the liament. In such a resolution on the part irritated feelings under which the hon. and of the meeting, he saw nothing uncongallant Officer rose. He was sure that stitutional, nothing inconsistent with the the hon. and gallant Officer must be hurt rights which as Englishmen they possessed, by the occurrence of that day-an occur- and more especially nothing inconsistent rence which, he assured the hon. and with that right which they had enjoyed from gallant Officer, no man regretted more their ancestors-he meant the right of prothan he did he alluded to the attack nouncing an opinion upon the conduct which had been made on the Marquis of either of Government or of Opposition. Londonderry, and to the severe injuries He had therefore thought, that it was a which he had received on his head from a duty which he owed to the people of Birshower of stones. He lamented the oc- mingham and himself, to express his graticurrence of such an outrage; and he tude to them for the vote of thanks which agreed with the hon. and gallant Officer, they had given to his Majesty's Ministers that it was most disgraceful to those who generally, and to himself individually; and he had yet to learn that there had Sir Henry Hardinge said, that he was been anything in the conduct of that not aware that he had used any language meeting which ought to lead him to refuse which the noble Lord could justly comaccepting a vote of thanks from it. He plain of. Certainly he had used none saw no reason why he should say to the which he was disposed to retract. He had thousands who had been awaiting with said, and he now deliberately repeated it, interest the result of this Bill, “ You are that the noble Lord had designated the unfit to be in communication with the legitimate decision of an independent King's Government, and I therefore repu- majority of the House of Lords as the diate your praise." On the contrary, he whisper of a faction. thought that he might notice the loyalty Lord John Russell thought, that he had and good sense of the people of Birming- a right to complain of the conduct of the ham; and he imagined that, when he hon. and gallant Officer, who had coupled stated that the success of the Reform Bill his letter with the attack on the Marquis was only deferred for a time, but was still of Londonderry-an act which was not of certain, he was expressing a sentiment his commission, and for which he could which, so far from leading to tumult, would not be considered responsible. The hon. induce the people to wait with patience and gallant Officer had said, that he was for the reintroduction of that measure to not surprised at these outrages having been which they attached so much importance. committed after his (Lord John Russell's) He had undoubtedly said, and he now letter was published. He put it to the repeated the assertion, that it was im- House whether the language which he had possible that the whisper of faction used, when speaking of the Anti-reformers should prevail against the voice of a as a faction, was not much less strong nation.' It was a sentiment which he than that which was ordinarily used in had expressed on first receiving Mr. Att political warfare, and than that which wood's letter, and he now saw no reason had been used by the opponents of all Reeither to retract or to withdraw it. He form, during the discussions on the Reform thought that the number of those who Bill. supported the Reform Bill, compared with Sir Henry Hardinge said, it was intolerthe small number of those who opposed able that the voice of a majority of the it, justified him in stating that the Re- House of Lords should be called the mere formers were the nation. He thought, whisper of faction. That expression the he repeated, that the Reformers did con- noble Lord had made use of; and from stitute the nation, and that the greater the use of that expression it was impossible part of the opponents to the Bill did for the noble Lord to escape. belong to, and might justly be deno- that expression the noble Lord bad identiminated, a faction. Such being his senti- fied himself with the different Political ments, he could not think of retracting Unions. any expression in that letter. He was Lord John Russell said, that his expressorry that it did not meet with the appro- sion did not mean to include all the Peers bation of the hon. and gallant Officer; who voted in the majority: he only alluded but he could not give up his opinions to to a small and self-interested portion of please that hon. and gallant Member. It their Lordships. was his most earnest desire that the people Sir Richard Vyvyan said: I am not should conduct themselves in a peace- disposed directly to make any charge able and orderly manner at this crisis. If against his Majesty's Ministers, nor any they did so conduct themselves, and would direct attack upon either of them, on aconly avoid all violations of the peace, he count of their corresponding with Political felt confident that nothing could prevent Unions; neither is it the intention of my this great measure of Reform from being hon, and gallant friend to insinuate that passed speedily into a law. He was sure his Majesty's Ministers had in any manner that the country would soon have the wished to promote or sanction by their satisfaction of seeing the two Houses of letters the disturbances which had taken Parliament agree in the expediency of a place in the metropolis. I say, that when measure which he considered necessary the noble Earl at the head of the Governto the preservation of the Constitution, ment, and the noble Lord the leader of this and to the consolidation of its most im. House (although the former, I allow, used portant interests.