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of putting down and dispersing such assemblages, he called upon them to look at the Act of Parliament, and to see whether it was or was not easy to act effectually upon it. He repeated that he deeply regretted the commission of such outrages, but he did not regret that the people were not prevented from approaching their Sovereign, and declaring their feelings and wishes.

Lord Stormont said, that his first intention in trespassing for a few seconds upon the House was, to repel the imputation attempted to be cast upon himself and his hon. friends, of being enemies of freedom, but, on consideration, he should allow the remark to "pass by as the idle wind." He would, however, entreat hon. Members for their own sakes, at least, not to betray a disregard of the public safety, by holding up any men as enemies to public liberty. There was one passage in the speech of the hon. member for Middlesex which was a complete refutation of what had been urged in defence of the two letters which had been referred to in the course of the debate, and justified, to the fullest extent, the interpretation which had been given to them by that (the opposition) side of the House. It was quite evident, that a prominent passage in those letters applied to the majority in that House, and to the minority in the other House.

Sir George Warrender said, that though his opinion on the subject of the Reform Bill remained unshaken, still he did not concur in some of the sentiments delivered that night by the hon. and learned member for Aldborough. The assertion that his Majesty's Government connived at the disturbances in the country must have a most mischievous effect. He did not like that such a statement as that should go forth as the opinion of a man of discernment, and one who had lately filled the situation of his Majesty's Attorney General. It was the duty of every government to prevent disturbances; and he should not be doing justice to the individual who was now at the head of the Home Department, if he did not say, that he believed he was most anxious to attend instantly to the preservation of the public peace. The warmth, the zeal, and the eloquence of his hon. and learned friend had, he was sure, carried him further than he intended; and he hoped that it would be understood throughout the country, not only that his Majesty's Ministers did VOL. VIII. {i} {Series}


not connive at those disturbances, but that they, and every individual in that House, whatever difference of opinion they might entertain on political subjects, joined in one common feeling, that of a firm determination to protect the lives and properties of his Majesty's subjects. He confessed that he felt considerable surprise at the speech of the hon. member for Middlesex. That hon. Member began his address in a very moderate tone, but when he spoke of one of the grossest outrages that ever was committed, he spoke of it as a mere accident. He had spoken of a furious attack on a Peer of Parliament as nothing more than a mere accident. When he heard it said that individuals who had opposed the Reform Bill dared not show their noses out of doors, he was filled at once with regret and indignation. It was the duty of the Government, and he believed it would attend to its duty, to protect persons and property, and to take care that every hon. Member, after he had fairly and faithfully discharged his duty, might appear in public without annoyance. He so far expressed his confidence in the present Government as to say, that he believed they would do this; and, therefore, he was opposed to the opinion of those who called for extraordinary measures. He would have the dignity of the Government upheld, not by a military force, to which the hon. member for Preston had alluded, but by the ordinary powers of law. If it were necessary, a commission might be appointed to inquire into the whole of the facts; but he would not resort to any measures of extremity, unless the utmost necessity called for them.

Mr. Hunt said, he did not wish the military to be employed. What he had said was-"If things go on much longer in this way, shall we be able to put the outrages down without the aid of the military?"

Colonel Trench said, he had this day witnessed a procession in Piccadilly, in which he had seen the carriage of the hon. member for Middlesex. It was preceded by a standard-bearer with a white flag,on which were inscribed the words "the King, Commons, and the People." He followed the procession along Piccadilly. When they came to the mansion of the Duke of Devonshire, the mob gave a great shout; and when they arrived at that of the Duke of St. Alban's, they also gave a shout, but it was more feeble. He wished


to go to the Duke of Wellington's, but he | they considered that these individuals were was not able to effect that purpose. When for many hours without food, and that, in he got near the house of the Duke of Welling- all likelihood, they had entered a number ton, he saw a number of respectable looking of public houses, it might easily be imapersons, persons very well dressed, walking gined that their conduct would not be the four and four, and with ribands tied round most quiet or decorous. Under such cirtheir arms he saw those people leave the cumstances, he thought it would have remain body, while those who followed them dounded much more to the credit of the rushed into the gate. Those well-disposed hon. member for Middlesex, if he had enpersons made room for the individuals deavoured to make those people disperse, whom they headed, and who immediately instead of enjoying such a paltry triumph began breaking the windows. The mere as the shouts of a mob, passing through breaking of a pane or two of glass, under the streets and under the windows of the ordinary circumstances, was of no import-Sovereign, could confer upon him. He ance; but this appeared to him to be a had heard, with regret, that while a resoregular and organized outrage. He con-lution was debating in that House, an fessed that it gave him very great pain to hon. Member had gone to another asfind that any set of men could offer insult sembly, consisting, it was said, of 3,000 to an individual whose warlike achieve- persons, where the same question was disments had immortalized the British name, cussed and decided, and that hon. Memand who he believed to be the most upright ber immediately after returned, followed, and honest man that ever ornamented as he understood, by 1,000 people, to the private society or dignified a public station. very doors of Parliament. Such an exOne individual there was whom he could ample, he thought, was exceedingly danidentify as giving orders. This individual gerous, and he thought it extraordinary was a remarkably well-dressed man. He that any individuals should stoop to such looked after the standard-bearer, but him artifices, for the purpose of procuring an he could not find. The well-dressed ascendancy over the minds of the people. people of whom he had already spoken as being present on the occasion, if not inciting to outrage, did not, at any rate, attempt to prevent it. It was a question on a former occasion, whether these processions were legal or not; but he feared that the permission given in so many instances to such processions would take away all doubts on the subject from the minds of the people. An hon. Member had said that, in coming down to the House, no apprehensions appeared to be entertained by the shopkeepers and others as he went along. But as he procceded to the House he was led to form a very different conclusion, for he saw a number of persons busily employed in barricading their windows, and the precaution appeared to him to be very necessary. In conclusion, he must say, that it would have been well if the hon. member for Middlesex had taken the course which the hon. member for Preston had described himself to have taken on former occasions. When he saw an angry mob endeavouring to force themselves into the presence of their Monarch, it would have been more prudent if he had said to them-" Rely upon me; I will take care your petition shall be presented "instead of going through the streets with them in procession. When

Mr. Hume: There is scarcely one word of truth in the statement which the House has just heard, and so far as I am concerned it is utterly untrue. I mean that it is altogether a mistake on the part of the hon. and gallant Officer who has just spoken; I was not in Piccadilly with the procession.

Colonel Trench: I did not say that I saw the hon. Member in Piccadilly; I saw him with the procession in Pall Mall, and when he passed me, I saw him forming part of that procession which I accompanied up St. James's-street and along Piccadilly. I went with what I call his procession, and he, I presume, went to the Levee.

Mr. Hume said, that he went to Mr. Byng in his carriage, having, in conjunction with that gentleman, agreed to take up the petitions of two deputations. He understood that four other deputations had proceeded to St. James's, and were there informed by Lord Melbourne, that it would not be convenient to his Majesty to receive their petitions, and that it would be better to present them through the hands of the county Members. Application was consequently made to him to present those petitions, and he complied with the application. He had

nothing whatsoever to do with the pro- | anticipating any exception which could cession. He was present at the meeting, be taken to it, by saying that he meant to and it was well known to all who were impute nothing but a mistake. In the there, that he was against deputations same manner he explained his application going up. He then said, that it would of the word accidental to a gross outrage. be much better that the Members for the county should present the petitions, and not deputations of large bodies of men. When, however, they afterwards came to him with three petitions, he at once agreed to receive them, and he should be glad to know what would have been thought of him if he had refused them after Lord Melbourne had said they ought to be presented by the county Members. They were handed to him in St. James's Square, he took them down to the palace, and delivered them there. That was the only duty he had to perform; and as to the procession, he disclaimed having anything whatever to do with it. With respect to what he had said as to the attack on a noble Marquis, no person in that House or in the country regretted that attack more than he did. All he meant to express when he before spoke was, that he did not believe it was a pre-immense multitude that had met together meditated attack, but that it arose from that morning, were by the Reform Bill the irritated feelings of individuals, and to have the franchise extended to them, was a mere matter of the moment. and the disappointment of their hopes by the Bill not passing into a law, had been much aggravated by then being told their opinions were changed with regard to that Bill. They met to demonstrate that that was not the case, andproceeded in a body to present an address to prove their unchanged determination. His firm belief was, that the people had assembled with the strongest intention of keeping the peace. The Government had been blamed for not preventing these meetings; but if it had attempted that, he would venture to predict that the day would have terminated very differently from what it had.

Mr. Maberly said, that many of the

Colonel Trench: As to the first part of the speech of the hon. member for Middlesex, I shall return my thanks for it elsewhere. What I have stated is not an untruth, as he has dared to affirm.

Mr. Hume: I thought I fully guarded myself the statement I said was untrue so far as I was concerned. Nothing can be plainer than that the hon. and gallant Member labours under a mistake.

Colonel Trench said, although he was as ready as any man to resent an offence, yet he was fully satisfied with the explanation given by the hon. member for Middlesex.

Colonel Sibthorp said, a delegate from a Political Union, who met him in the lobby, and mistook him for a Reforming Member, had made certain remarks to him which he should not further particularize than, by saying the House seemed to stand in an altered position, when Members were beset by persons connected with political associations, whose object was, to subvert the functions of Parliament. He was ready to accept any situation that might tend to keep the peace, and even to act as a policeman, if the Secretary for the Home Department considered his services of any value.

Sir George Warrender said, that he, as well as all the hon. Members around him, felt that there was a misunderstanding on the subject between the hon. member for Middlesex and the hon. member for Cambridge. He was quite sure that the hon. member for Middlesex did not mean | to apply the denial in the manner taken. Lord Stormont thought, the hon. mem-sation, except that which they had ber for Middlesex ought to retract the adopted. When he heard individuals expre sion. It was due to the character speaking of a body of men, assembled of the House that he should retract it. for a constitutional purpose, as a mob [The call" Chair, chair," was now ready to imbrue their hands in the blood raised.] of their fellow-citizens, he considered it to

Mr. Paget said, the people had been accused of being lukewarm in the cause of Reform, and he knew not what course they could pursue to disprove that accu

The Speaker: The moment the ex-be a gross libel on the people of England. pression was used I felt it was out of order, but almost instantly the hon. member for Middlesex retracted it in the most marked and effectual manner,

Subject dropped, and Petition laid on the Table.


moved the Second Reading of the Liverpool Franchise Bill. He proposed that the Committee upon it should be postponed to some distant day, so that it might be proceeded with after the recess. Mr. Ewart said, the Reform Bill having failed, and this Bill being in all its enfranchising clauses a re-enactment of the provisions contained in that measure, he of course intended to support it, for he considered that part of the Bill as highly valuable to the important community he had the honour to represent; but he could not agree to the disfranchising clauses contained in the Bill, and should feel himself bound to oppose them when the Bill came before a Committee. The extension of the franchise to a most respectable class would have the effect of purifying the old constituency.

Bill read a second time, Committee appointed for that day three months.

NEW WRIT FOR LIVERPOOL.] Mr. Granville Vernon, in moving a New Writ for Liverpool, said, that after the House had come to two decisions during the present Session adverse to the motion which he had now the honour of submitting, he felt himself bound to give some reasons for his pertinacity in renewing the discussion. There were two objects which it behoved every hon. Gentleman to bear in mind-the first was, his own character, the second, that of the House. He was prepared to contend, that by voting for the motion which he should conclude by proposing to the House, that hon. Members would fulfil both these objects. He considered that subsequent events had altered the case wholly, upon which the former decisions were rested. Those decisions, in his opinion, were calculated to establish a dangerous precedent, and were a departure from the privileges of Parliament, as settled by long custom. The facts of the case were, that in a former Parliament, bribery to a large extent was proved to have been practised at Liverpool, but there" That the Speaker be directed to issue was no case where a writ had been sus-his warrant for the election of a Member pended on such retrospective considera- to serve in Parliament for the borough of tions. Where was such a precedent to stop? By what limits could it be defined? If the acts of a constituency in a former Parliament were reviewed in this manner, what was to prevent the House from recurring to more ancient delinquencies? There was no want of cases, and would

the House be prepared to suspend the writs for any such places merely upon the statement of any hon. Member who would declare he believed the same corrupt practices were continued and still in operation. This would be to repose a dangerous and most unconstitutional power in the majority of the House. Hon. Members should also remember, that it was by mere accident that the House had any opportunity of withholding the writ. One of the hon. Members returned for that town (Mr. Denison) had made his election to sit for the county of Nottingham, for which he was also returned, and, but for this circumstance, Liverpool would now have two Representatives. These circumstances, so far from involving the House in any inconsistency by agreeing to his motion, were sufficient to establish the fact, that the inconsistency would be in departing from ancient usage, and if the alternative could not be avoided, it would be better to give up the imperfect incidental votes of the present Session, rather than set them up against unvaried prescription. But he would go so far as to deny that his motion was inconsistent with these previous votes; they were come to, under circumstances when a measure was before them by which it was probable the whole constituency would be amended and purified, and it was argued, that it would be adviseable to delay the writ until that object was effected; now that there was no longer any prospect that great measure could be effected during the present Session, the case stood on a different footing, and the question was, whether they would keep the great interests of Liverpool only half represented during another Session, or allow the issue of the writ. The House, he was sure, would not refuse to listen to the prayer of 1,400 of the most opulent merchants and inhabitants of that important place, who prayed for a full Representation as necessary for a due attention to their interests in that House. He would therefore move,


Mr. Rigby Wason rose to propose an amendment to the Motion just made, and he was sure the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House would be happy to learn that such amendment was strictly in precedent, and was founded on a case

which was supported by the whole of the present Ministers. When this question had last been argued there appeared some difficulty in the minds of several hon. Members, whether the House should interfere with an election after a dissolution of Parliament, but they had at length been convinced, that such bribery and corruption as had degraded the electors of Liverpool ought not to go unpunished, yet the same Gentlemen who had twice before refused to agree to a writ being issued, were now again called upon to vote that these corrupt electors were to have another Member to watch over their interests during the recess. The hon. Member who introduced the question had told the House, there was no precedent for suspending a writ for prior delinquencies: if there was no precedent in favour of it, there was certainly none against it, and, therefore, in the absence of precedent, the House must make one, and he had no doubt that would be founded on the principle of preventing bribery and corruption, by whomsoever practised. The fact, however, was, no circumstances had before occurred precisely similar to the present, therefore no opinion of the House on the subject had been recorded. He believed that most of the hon. Gentlemen who had advocated and supported the schedules in the late Reform Bill did so upon the conviction that the franchise was a trust which might be resumed by Parliament and the Sovereign, when those in whose hands it was placed could not exercise it with advantage to themselves, and for the benefit of the country. It was upon such principles he had voted for these schedules. How, then, in consistency with these principles could hon. Members be expected to allow again the privilege of returning a Member to those electors who had been legally proved to have been guilty of the most gross corruption. He should, therefore, move as an amendment. "That this House will not order any warrant to issue a new Writ for the electing of a Burgess to serve in the present Parliament for the borough of Liverpool until the expiration of fourteen days after the commencement of the next Session of Parliament."

the whole of the present Parliament, for there could be no doubt that the ensuing Session would be wholly taken up with one paramount subject and, no Bill regulating the franchise of Liverpool could be expected to go through the House : besides, he considered that when hon. Members themselves knew they represented the same corrupt interests, to bring in and pass such a bill was hardly honest. A sanction had been given to bribery by nomination boroughs, and the best way now was, to declare an amnesty, and turn over a new leaf, and when they had a Reformed Parliament it was to be hoped and expected all the Members of it would be returned upon pure principles; but should a case of corruption occur then, it ought to be punished most severely. It was said, the House had already come to decisions during the present Session inconsistent with the Motion before it, but hon. Gentlemen who voted upon such occasions must have done so under the impression that the hon. member for Wiltshire's Bill would become a law during the present Session, but as there was now no hope of that he trusted the House would sanction the issuing of the writ forthwith.

Mr. Benett was prepared to vote for the Amendment, and was sorry to hear Reformers attempting to defend a case of such gross corruption as that of Liverpool. Out of 4,300 freemen of Liverpool only 300 were not proved guilty of corruption. How could the House, therefore, when they had a Bill still upon their Table to punish the corrupt electors, send them a writ to to return another Member. He submitted that there could be no practical hardship in leaving that town without a second Member during the recess.

Mr. Gisborne said, that he should support the issuing of the writ, on the principle that the King's writ had issued since the corrupt election complained of, and of the return to that writ-no complaint could be made. If the electors had been found competent to make one good return after the commission of the offence, surely they ought to be trusted a second time.

Mr. Ewart supported the issuing of the writ. The great mercantile transactions of the place required that another Member should be afforded to it as soon as possible. The House ought not to be guided by precedent alone but by expediency, and it was inexpedient to leave Liverpool with only one Member..

Mr. John Campbell said, it would be a great injustice to the merchants of Liverpool if the writ should be withheld after the prorogation of Parliament. The consequence would be, to deprive Liverpool of one Member during

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