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given them the power to decide in their own case. When the peace of the country was endangered, and a handful of mena faction could stand out against the wishes of twenty millions, it was not to be wondered at that exasperating conduct and offensive language should lead to violent results. He heard hon. Gentlemen calling on his Majesty's Ministers to put down the rioters, and to prevent acts of incendiarism, as if those Gentlemen themselves did not know, of their own experience, that it was impossible to prevent those occurrences which suddenly arose from accidental causes of excitement. They had occurred in all periods of our history, and at no time had they been more frequent than in October last, when his Majesty's present Ministers could scarcely be blamed for them. Why did not hon. Gentlemen near him come forward then to accuse the Government which was then in power. Was it because the objects of the incendiary's rage were then only corn-stacks, and farm-houses, and barns? Were these of no consequence? But now, when an old castle, or rather the occasional lodging-house of a Peer-for it was magnified, to give greater importance to the outrage-when the hem of the garment of the Duke of Newcastle was touched, the Government was held responsible for not having prevented the accident. To make so marked a distinction between outrages upon the property of farmers, and those that were committed upon the property of Peers, did not seem to him to be equal justice to the high and the low. But if the people would take his advice, they would not give to their enemies the triumph of a single pane of glass being broken; and by that course they themselves would triumph more than they could by resenting the exasperating language with which their enemies chose to tempt them. In the large assemblage of his countrymen which he had that day had the honour to meet, there were men as much distinguished for talent and as respectable on account of property as any man in that House; and their sole anxiety was, to preserve tranquillity. He could not, therefore, patiently hear them accused as rioters, and the Government blamed for not publishing proclamations to prevent their assembling. The course which the hon. Gentleman below him (Mr. Trevor) would recommend-that was, to prevent such meetings by the King's proclamation,
would necessarily be to rule by the sword; and if such a course were adopted, it would drive the people to the alternative which they were desirous to avoid. It was to prevent the coming of that alternative that he for one was desirous to put down or to prevent all violence to person or property. Therefore it was, that he deeply regretted the violence which had been offered to the Marquis of Londonderry. But he must, at the same time, protest in the name of the people of England against any such stigma being cast on them.
Mr. Trevor said, that the hon. member for Middlesex had misrepresented him. He had not said that the people of England were bloody-minded; and he should take shame to himself if he had been betrayed into the use of such language towards the great body of his countrymen. What he had said was, that the Peers who had opposed the Reform Bill, owing to the excitement that had been raised by an inflammatory Press, had been exposed to the merciless attacks of a reckless and bloodyminded mob; but God forbid that he should confound with such a mob the people of England. If the hon. Member had seen the attack which was made upon the Marquis of Londonderry, at the door of the Palace-if the hon. Member had heard as, upon his life, he (Mr. Trevor) had heard, the cries of "cut his throat," "murder him"-if the hon. Member had seen and heard this, the hon. Member could not have complained of his having said, that the life of the Marquis of Londonderry had been exposed to the attacks of a bloody-minded mob.
Mr. Charles Grant had heard with the deepest pain and affliction what had fallen from hon. Members in the course of this debate. He had hoped that, after they had brought to a close their discussions upon the great measure of Reform, every one, at least, that was placed in the high and responsible situation of a legislator, would have carefully abstained from saying one word which could by possibility tend to excite the feelings of the people. Sorry, indeed, had he been to find that night that so reasonable a hope had been utterly disappointed. He must say, with regard to the language of Gentlemen on both sides the House, that he had heard what had fallen from them with the most heartfelt regret. He was sensible that the themes upon which hon. Gentlemen had so unsparingly descanted that night, were no
light themes even to advert to. He joined | to, it would fill him at once with the with those who had expressed so strong sincerest pleasure and with the deepest and so just reprobation of the outrages that had been committed, and at violations of the law from which they ought all to shrink with horror, but which became doubly appalling when no other pretence was set up for the palliation of that which never could be justified, than that the great and the noble had performed what they believed to be their duty, and what no one disputed that they had a right to do. But this reprobation would have found an echo in every well-regulated mind, and he could not, therefore, help bitterly regretting the unnecessary heat with which it had been urged-heat which had caused it to be mixed with matters altogether irrelevant, and with topics which could hardly be discussed in any assembly without producing great excitement. If he regretted this, how much more must he regret that Gentlemen could have so far forgotten themselves as to impute to persons in the highest stations, connivance at outrages which could be countenanced only by the most vicious or the most ignorant? He would not suffer himself to be led, even by such provocation, into the use of violent language; but he could not help expressing his regret that his hon. and learned friend, however heated, however irritated, should have so far forgotten what was due to himself, what was due to that assembly, and what was due to common justice, as to have ascribed to Ministers motives which he was sure his hon. and learned friend must see, upon a moment's reflection, could not influence any honourable mind. He did not wish to protract this discussion, and he would resist the strong provocation he had received to enter upon many of the topics which had been brought under discussion. Would, then, the House permit him, for the sake of the dignity of the House, for the sake of the peace and composure of the country, and appealing to the feelings of every honest and nobleminded man who heard him-would, he said, the House permit him to entreat that this discussion be closed and put an end to? He would not have made this appeal but from a strong conviction that the most fatal consequences to the country would result from the prolongation of the debate. He did hope, that there was sufficient patriotism in the House of Com-sive of their political sentiments. Now mons not to allow him to make this appeal that was precisely what happened at Manin vain; and if that appeal were listened chester, at a meeting at which he presided
Mr. Hunt said, that notwithstanding the admonition which the House had received from the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, it was impossible for any man who felt for his country, to sit silent on this occasion. For his part, he would not consent to do so after the language which he had heard from the hon. member for Middlesex. What was the fact? A Member of the other House of Parliament, the Marquis of Londonderry, in coming down to do his duty to-night, as a Member of the Legislature, had been grossly assulted by a cowardly mob. Blood had been shed. A Peer had been wounded. And the hon. member for Middlesex would have it sent forth to the country that all this was accident. Was not that an encouragement to mobs to vent their anger to the utmost upon all those with whose opinions they did not agree? The hon. member for Middlesex did not content himself by saying that the attack upon the Marquis of Londonderry was an accident, but he called the fires at Nottingham trifling occurrences. The hon. Gentleman compared those outrages to the burning of corn-stacks and farmhouses, by a peasantry driven to desperation by hunger. But he (Mr. Hunt) had risen to reply to the right hon. member for Windsor, who, with a great degree of anger and indignation, had accused hon. Members upon the Opposition side of the House of a perversion of facts. He did not think that they had perverted one fact. But he would ask the hon.member for Windsor, did not he attempt to pervert facts? Did he not say, that the letters of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and of the Paymaster of the Forces, had not been addressed to the Birmingham Union, but to the gentlemen who presided at the meeting which voted thanks to those noble Lords? He must say, that that was a perversion of facts. The meeting had been called by the Council of the Birmingham Political Union, who invited other Unions in Staffordshire to attend there. Upon the call of the Birmingham Union, therefore, those other Unions did attend, with banners, bearing the names of the places they came from, and devices expres
to proceed in their mischievous course of reviling and holding up to public vengeance Peers and Members of Parliament. He was perfectly ready to admit, that the
in 1819. The number of persons assembled was nearly the same. But there was one great difference between the two meetings the one held at Manchester did not vote a resolution to resist the pay-people in some parts of the country, and about the metropolis, were in a state of great excitement; but did that justify the Government in asserting that the nation was unanimous in their support? Did not the conduct of the people of Dorsetshire falsify such a statement? and was it not plain enough that, even in the county with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was himself connected, there did exist considerable difference of opinion? And surely no man could call the late election at Dublin an unanimous declaration in favour of the Bill. He had himself lately attended a meeting which separated without personal violence-without breaking windows
ment of taxes. They had assembled only to petition Parliament for Reform, and for a repeal of the Corn-laws. Yet on that occasion thirteen people were killed by the military, and a great number were wounded. But the people at the Birmingham meeting held up their hands, without a single exception, in favour of a resolution to resist the payment of taxes, because the House of Lords had thrown out the Reform Bill. Was not that illegal? It was no business of his to call the Ministers to account for whatever letter they chose to write, but he would take the liberty of asking them, was it wise to write a letter of thankful acknowledgment to the Chairman of the meeting which had passed the resolution? He could not concur with the right hon. member for Windsor, that there was any great wisdom in that. He did not go the length of accusing the Ministers of conniving at the atrocities which had been committed lately, nor of anything which might have been done by the multitude that were assembled that day; but he would remind them, that the meeting at Manchester had been violently dispersed, on the ground that so great an assemblage of the people was dangerous to the public peace. The hon. member for Boroughbridge had accused the Government of conniving at the present riots. Whether there might or might not be foundation for that charge, there could be no doubt that the Press had put forward threats of the vengeance which should be executed upon such Peers as might oppose the Bill. Had they not heard that the Peers were to be put in schedule A, if they did not agree to pass the Bill? and some Latin quotation had been used in the Times newspaper of yesterday,about strike at the face ["quote".] Hon. Members might call on him to quote, but he begged to inform them that he had forgotten more Latin than most of them had ever learned. He made no pretensions to being a literary character. It was a long time since he went to school, and he was not one of those who kept up classical reading he made no pretension to being a quoter of Latin. But to turn to matters more important. A good ground of complaint had been laid against the Government. It was for suffering the Press
unlike the meetings at which other hon. Members in that House had thought proper to attend. At the meeting which he attended, the question on the Bill was put, and the numbers for it were seven, while those against it were 2,000. He did not possess sufficient influence over the people to delude or to deceive them; but the hon. member for Middlesex certainly possessed sufficient influence for that purpose, for he succeeded in persuading them that they would derive more advantage from the Bill than in his conscience he believed would ever accrue from it. No doubt those who collected great multitudes were responsible for their conduct in so calling them together; and those who previously furnished the means of excitement to meetings to be afterwards called, were likewise responsible for results. Did any one suppose that the multitude who followed the hon. member for Middlesex were ignorant of the letters which that morning had been published from the two noble Lords opposite? Would not those letters then be received by the great mass of the people present as sanctioning the proceeding in which they were engaged? He would again say, that he thought it most extraordinary that any Government should have allowed the public Press to run the length which the Press in these days had gone; and if this state of things went on, where would it stop? The right hon. member for Windsor might laugh, but matters might soon become serious. It might be all very well for a time, but sooner or later Ministers would regret the turbulence which it served their present purpose to
meeting to which he had already alluded,, which took place within these few days in the metropolis, though there were 2,000 within the walls of the building, there were from 3,000 to 4,000 persons collected outside the doors, and, even in the present disturbed state of the metropolis, they went home without committing a single act of violence towards person or property-not a window broken-not a word spoken about violence of any sort, and yet it was. anything but a Whig meeting. On the occasion of the meeting to which he was then referring, he addressed the meeting. He thought it necessary to be thus particular in giving an account of what occurred, as the Press had grossly misrepresented him. He told the people of the gross mischief of which the Press was
permit the time might come when it would put their noses out of joint. Really the state of things was alarming, and not easily understood. At the very moment when the Duke of Newcastle's place was being destroyed, the militarywere parading the streets of Nottingham, but would not march to its rescue, having no orders to that effect. Since then a rumour had gone abroad, that the people were proceeding to Belvoir Castle with the same purpose. If they allowed the present state of things to continue and grow worse, they must in the end call out the military, Did he, therefore, advocate acts of violence? Quite the contrary; but he then, and at all times, very much questioned the prudence and expediency of large bodies of men going up to the King for the purpose of presenting petitions-it bore the appear-guilty-he desired them not to be deance of intimidation: and in the year 1816, ceived by any one telling them that the at the Spafields meeting, when it was pro- Bill would not be so good for them as posed that the whole body of those present some people represented, and he added, should go up to the Prince Regent with that if the 107. householders thought proan Address, it would have been agreed to per to refuse paying taxes—which he but for him; he owed it to his own safety, thought would be very wrong on their and to his own character, not to implicate parts-that was no ule for the people. himself in any such proceeding. He had He said, too, don't you (the people) refuse some influence in those days, and he pre- to pay your taxes; and that meeting sepavailed upon the meeting to give up the rated without the slightest indication of a design of proceeding in a body to the riot. See how different was the fact with Palace. He requested the assembled respect to other meetings which took place. people to interest themselves with the Even that very day he heard that a police petition, and he would take care that it constable had been assassinated. should reach the hands of the Prince Regent. He told them that Parliamentary Reform was the one thing needful, and did not encourage them, as the Press of that day did, to break open the shops of the butchers and the bakers. What he said then, and what he continued now to say, was, that the first step was to obtain for the people the privilege of being duly represented in Parliament. At the several meetings at which he attended or took an active part, the people uniformly went home in the most orderly and peaceable manner; and not so much as a single pane of glass was broken. No doubt there was some mischief done in Bristol on one occasion; during an election there was some serious rioting in that place, but that was after he went to bed, having been fatigued in consequence of attending all day to the business of the election. He did not deny that upon that occasion there was much violence, and that blood was shed; but never in his sight was there an intentional breach of the peace. At the
Mr. Lamb: There is no truth in that rumour.
Mr. Hunt resumed. He was glad that the statement was without foundation. Breaches of the peace he should always most deeply regret. But, in times, and under circumstances, who were most peculiarly responsible for breaches of the peace? Why, the Government; and it was now full time that all this sort of work should be put an end to-the Government ought to feel that they had had enough of approbation. They must be very cormorants in the love of praise, if they desired to have any more. He really thought the time had arrived when Ministers might be satisfied with the expression of public feeling to which recent events bad given rise, and they ought now to adopt some means for protecting person and property in this metropolis. He had understood that Commissioners Mayne and Rowan had given directions that no man should be struck on the head unless he were detected in some act of violence,
endangering life. For himself he had no sure-it would have been well if he had fears he had lived to little purpose, if he taken a little time for consideration. The could not venture amongst his fellow- hon. and learned Gentleman would not, citizens unarmed. At the same time if he perhaps, have been so much surprised at should encounter violence from a multi-what had taken place, if he had recollected that, at the moment, it was not probable that the means would be at hand to prevent it. He had very good reason, however, to state, that these outrages could not be continued. The moment their existence was notified, measures were taken to put an end to them. He, however, must say, that the hon. and learned Gentleman took the most effectual way of encouraging those outrages, when, by his speech, he sent it forth to the public, that the Government, by its conduct, connived at such proceedings. Nothing could be more injurious, nothing more dangerous to the peace of the country,than to state that those whose duty, whose imperative duty, it was to prevent such outrages, had absolutely overlooked, or encouraged, or connived at them.
tude, though he had but one life to lose,
Mr. Lamb said, he felt it necessary to make a few observations, in consequence of the censure which the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite had thought fit to cast on the department to which he belonged, for it was evident that his remarks were directed in fact, though not in terms, against that department. In doing so, he would premise, that however severe the language of the hon. and learned Gentleman might have been, he hoped that he should, in the few words which he meant to address to the House, although his feelings were somewhat wounded, preserve that calm spirit, and that cool feeling, which every hon. Member ought to command, in the present state of public affairs. He did not know-indeed, he could not conceiveupon what acts, or upon what omissions, the hon. and learned Gentleman had chosen to cast upon the Home Department the responsibility of certain circumstances which had that night formed the subject of discussion. He, however, would challenge inquiry-yes, the most rigid inquiry -into the proceedings of the department with which he was connected. He thought that, before the hon. and learned Gentleman had entered into a tirade relative to what had occurred at Nottingham-before he made it the ground of charge and cen
Sir Charles Wetherell denied, that he had used the word "encouraged." He had said permitted or connived.
Mr. Lamb said, the admission of the hon. and learned Gentleman was quite sufficient. Such a declaration, it must be evident to all, was exceedingly dangerous. As to an assassination having been perpetrated that evening, to which circumstance the hon. member for Preston had alluded, he had, he was happy to say, received a notification, from which it appeared that no such circumstance had taken place. On that point, so contradicted, he would not dwell-he would build no argument upon it. He would speak only of the general outrages, and these, he would say, demanded, and had received, the prompt attention of Government. He could assure the House, that the utmost vigilance would be exercised for the preservation of the public peace. The proper measures for effecting that object would be taken, without distinction as to persons of any party. With respect to the outrage perpetrated at the house of the Duke of Wellington, no man regretted it more deeply than he did; but it was one of those occurrences which would sometimes happen, in spite of the utmost exertion. Allusion had been made to what he had said on a former occasion, as to large bodies of the people meeting together. He did not disavow the language which he had then used; and when Gentlemen talked