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subject, and that whilst this American tablished by the dictum of the noble Earl, rejoiced at the prospect of Reform in but proved at the bar of that House; England, he ridiculed the assertions that and if it was not so to be proved, he would a Republic must not be the natural and ask, what became of the great principle inevitable consequence of passing such a of British law, that all men are to be Bill.] It would be useless to comment at held innocent until proved to be guilty? length upon the details of the Bill. Like As to the franchise being, not property other noble Lords, he should avoid doing but a trust, he would take it to be a trust; so, because it had been clearly demon- but it was a beneficial trust; and he would strated, both in the preceding debates, ask, whether they were prepared to take and in some of the ablest pamphlets ever every such trust, for instance, the advowwritten, that the whole was one mass of sons of church livings, by so arbitrary and injustice and inpracticability. The dis- unjust a Bill? But then, said the noble franchising clauses it was impossible to Earl, in substance, it is the will of the justify; but supposing them to be tolerated, people, and he had given a history of the there was a striking vice in the enfranchis- period since he entered upon office, by ing clauses. Had the noble Earl shewn, way of proving how calmly and rationally that a delegated Representation was ever the people had determined upon it. The a part of the Constitution ? One of the noble Duke (Wellington) had, to be essential features of ours was, that it was sure, given rather a different version of general, but this Bill, if passed, would this history, and he too would say somemake it almost entirely local. This was thing upon that head. Were the late refurther lost sight of in what he would call turns to Parliament, indeed, the result of the departmental Frenchified provisions ; calm deliberation? What was the fact ? and were they to be duped or frightened was not the exercise of the royal prerointo imitating what had produced one con- gative, which the noble Earl advised at tinued scene of change, confusion, and such a moment of unprecedented excitemisery in revolutionised France ? Rather ment, of all others the least likely to prolet them profit, whilst it was not yet too duce the results of calm deliberation ? late, by her baneful example. The noble Promises of cheap bread and high pay Earl had quoted the cases of the Scotch were held out to a distressed and unemand Irish Unions to justify disfranchise- ployed populace. The King's name was ment. He was afraid it was not easy to used, or rather abused, to an extent before defend all the details of those great mea- unbeard of; and the farmers were told, sures, but their sins were perhaps unavoid- that they should have from the Reform able; they had consolidated the interests Bill, not a composition or a commutation, of the British empire most advantageously; but the abolition of tithes. This might and after all, the noble Earl's whole argu- not have been authorised by the Government on this point went only to justify ment, but it had not been counteracted, or injustice by injustice. He had referred to even discouraged, as it ought to have been. our ancient history to shew, that this Bill He should always think the advice to exproposed a return to the old usage of the ercise the royal prerogative at such a Constitution; but he did not shew how moment, the most unjustifiable ever given or when. He could not do so, for he must by any Minister of the Crown. Ostensiwell know, that when the king, in those bly it was to ascertain the feelings of the times, issued or withdrew his writs, they people, as if that had not been expressed were often petitioned against by the en- through their Representatives in a constifranchised towns; that population and tutional way. Really, by the most induswealth never were the only guides for en trious excitement, by the Press, by the most franchisement, and that writs were often infiammatory speeches, coming from men granted as favours to individuals. The fact who, with the support of Government, was, that the Constitution, in its present, appeared to have its authority; and by all as he (Lord Falmouth) would assert, en- other means that party-spirit could sugviable form, had its proper date in the gest, a popular cry was unnaturally in. events of 1688. Since then it was, that vited and promoted, and the people were the charters had been held sacred, and, as thrown into a state of insanity by the most their Lordships knew, there had been no shameful delusions. What was the reinstance of disfranchisement without a sult? The return of tried, experienced Comproved delinquency--not delinquency es- 1 moners, who had not only by property the largest stake in the welfare of the State, up to entrap the honesty of those who but whose known integrity, talents, and were unmindful that nothing human could long services, were unimpeachable? No! be perfect; but the principal vice was not Sir Edward Knatchbull, Sir Thomas Ac- in the system, it was in the vanity and land, Mr. Bankes, the father of the House presumption of those who lived under it— of Commons and many others, whose that vanity which taught men to despise characters could not be raised by any the admirable institutions they enjoyed, eulogy of his, were rejected; and men and treat the memory and the work of more in the situation of pledged delegates those who had gone before them with the than independent Members were sent up most arrogant ingratitude. They were to support so violent a change. Blindly trifling with the rich inheritance which and recklessly had they gone to their work, their fathers had handed down to them, disfranchising large county-towns against and, like reckless gamblers, were hazarding the principles laid down by the Government upon one desperate throw the rich accuitself, and refusing to discriminate in the mulation of their laborious lives. He was face of all consistency, equity, and reason. one of those who thought it more for the But after all, what had been the immense comfort and happiness of mankind, that majority of votes in these calm deliberate Governments, though necessarily imperelections? Was it a third, or a fourth, or fect, should be considered as settled, than a sisth, or an eighth? Would it be be- that the vagaries of theorists, and the lieved, that notwithstanding the violence wickedness of desperate men, should be and delusion practised upon the people, let loose upon them to work perpetual the majority in the fourteen counties that change and discontent. But did he not had been contested had not been one- know that the British system of Governtwentieth of the aggregate votes. The ment was the best that had existed in any comparative numbers were 16,280 for, and age or country? The noble Earl had not 17,866 against the Bill, together 34,146; even attempted to deny that, and yet would the majority being about 1/21 of the he unsettle it, and with it every thing whole. Upon this fact all comment was that constituted its perfection and security. unnecessary. Then, was there no re-action ? He would ask, was it by such an arbitrary If the last elections were to prove a feel- despotic act as that, that his Government ing for the Bill, were those that had since intended to promote the interests of freetaken place of no value against it? Why, dom? Was it by such legislation as that, every one of the recent elections, Dublin, they would set an example of honesty to Weymouth, and others, had gone against the people? Or was it by such a Bill that, it, and the fact would, ere long, be proved as a part of the State, they would protect beyond a doubt, that the cry for such a and uphold the Protestant Church? The Bill as that was not the result of calm noble Earl had appealed to the right deliberation, but of the most unnatural reverend Prelates, as if he would work upon excitement. Then, if the noble Earl had their apprehensions rather than their connot proved that his Bill was the unin- sciences. He (Lord Falmouth) would not vited, spontaneous desire of the people, believe, that any of them would support was there anything else to justify it? Was such a measure. His own attachment to it to be found in the exclusion of the coin the Protestant Church would not be monalty from every preferment to which doubted, and even if any of that right their talents or their services could entitle reverend bench should be induced 10 them ? He saw near him his most re- vote for such a Bill, he was convinced it spected and learned friend (the Earl of would be from an error of judgment alone; Eldon), whose eminence through a large but the right reverend Prelates knew too portion of his admirable and most useful well the essential connection between the life belied the supposition. He would ap- Church Establishment and the balance of peal to the learned Lord (Brougham) on power in the State, to be drawn into so the Woolsack, who, at least, he presumed, fatal a delusion. They could remind him would not contradict him in that appeal ; better than he could them of the admiraand when he looked to the Right Reverend ble conduct of the Bishops in the time of bench, he was only reminded how super- James 2nd. The Prelates of that reign fluous it was to say one word more on this gave a tone to the feeling of the people, part of the subject. The vices and griev- and taught them to preserve the equipoise ances of the system had been artfully held l of the three estates : not the theoretical equipoise of the noble Earl, but that which upon the subject before the House, if a had proved its value by the test of prac- measure were brought in, really founded tice. They had then shewn, that they upon calm deliberation, he would consider would preserve a Constitutional King, they it maturely, with the sincere hope that he would preserve now a Constitutional might find it consistent with the noble House of Commons; they could not, they Earl's solemn promise to preserve the setwould not, support that unprincipled Bill. tled institutions of the country; and with Well might the noble Earl say, that he his Majesty's Speech from the Throne, introduced it with feelings of unusual recommending that they should be held awe

well might even his powers of inviolate—but he would not vote for the language be suspended, as they had second reading of that Bill-he would not been so unusually at the outset of his consent to destroy the British Constiaddress. He had indeed taken

tution, himself a most fearful responsibility. He The Earl of Rosebery said, that after had said, he would stand or fall by that the very long discussion which this great Bill; and, for the sake of his manly cha- question had undergone, not only in that racter, it was to be hoped, that this decla- House but elsewhere-after the serious ration was to be taken in its plain and usual consideration which every reflecting mind meaning. Such a Bill as that was strange had given to it, from the period of its first ly framed to show his love of liberty. He announcement down to the present moment could not mean to prove his regard for (and particularly as the House must be the freedom and independence of that nearly exhausted with the debates which House by the further intentions which had already taken place within those had been, no doubt erroneously, attributed walls relative to it)ếhe felt that he should to him. A noble Lord had most unhap- be acting in a most unpardonable manner pily given them a foretaste of a Reform towards their Lordships, if he did not, in Government, by saying that it had dis- entering into the views and feelings which carded patronage. Did the dealing out influenced him to support the principle of peerages by wholesale prove, that the this measure, or, in other words, to give noble Earl had scorned to resort to patron- bis vote for the second reading of the Bill, age? He had heard nothing so playfully contine his observations within the shortest severe upon the noble Earl's (Mulgrave) possible compass. In doing so he must own friends as that remark, excepting, in-beg leave, in the outset, to state, that he deed, the slip of the noble leader bimself, was not originally a friend to a Reform of when he had talked of' bartered peerages. the Representation in Parliament; and he But the noble Earl was to stand or fall by mentioned this merely to show, that if he that Bill; and the most charitable wish he had any prejudice to overcome, it was a (Lord Falmouth) could offer him was, that prejudice against Reform. He had, howwhether it were passed or rejected, it ever, after much reflection, been brought might not bring him down in sorrow to the irresistible conviction that this to his grave. There was one part alone measure was called for by the necessity of of the noble Earl's speech that had the times. At this particular period a his concurrence, and it carried with it con- great and specific measure was called for. viction, not because it was eloquent, but His opinion on the question of Parliabecause it was true. The noble Earl had mentary Reform had been for a long time told them, in language which he would not this--either thai Parliament should adopt attempt to imitate, that the House of Peers a certain principle for a gradual but procould not be separated from the people. gressive amelioration of the Representation They were in truth a part of the people, of the people, or, if imperative circumand they could not prove this more strong-stances arose which rendered it necessary ly than by rejecting that Bill, since, if it to entertain the whole question, that it passed, it would be destructive of the real should be entertained under the guidance interests of the people. For himself, he and direction of the Government, and that would say, let them shew him the necessary a full, extensive, satisfactory, and comprereforms in the law, and he would support hensive measure should be introduced. them-let them point out the imperfec- The opportunity of acting under the first tions of the Church Establishment, and of these principles had been entirely lost, he would support the correction. In both and particularly it had been lost during instances he had already done so. Even the period when the late Government held the reins of power. When the dissolution that Government. He would show to their of that Government took place, and when Lordships, if this Bill went into a Com, all the circumstances which led to it were mittee, ibat he was prepared to act with considered, he thought that the new Mi- the utmost impartiality. He would prove nisters would not have acted with proper that he was perfectly free from party respect towards the Crown, nor with good feeling, by giving his best consideration to faith towards the public (whose feelings the different clauses of the Bill, and by opwere fixed, and whose minds were agitated posing such parts of them as he might deem on the subject), nor with a due regard to it necessary to have altered and amended. all the great interests of the country (in He had already stated, that he was no the prosperity of which, peace, order, and blind supporter of this measure because it content were the principal constituents), was introduced by his Majesty's Governhe thought that the advisers of the Crown ment; and he had no hesitation in stating, would not, under such circumstances, have because he never would conceal his opinion acted fairly to the Crown, or justly to from their Lordships, when he rose to themselves, if they had not introduced a address them on any public occasion, that great and comprehensive measure of Re. there were parts of this measure which, form. He must be allowed to say, and he originally, he wished not to have been would say it with the highest respect for there; but he felt that it would now be the character of the noble Duke who was more injurious to withdraw them than to at the head of the late Government, and allow them to remain. There were other with that eternal sense of gratitude which parts of the Bill which appeared to him he, in common with all his countrymen, to be susceptible of improvement in the felt for the great services which the noble Committee. Therefore it seemed to him Duke had rendered to his country, but to be desirable, that the Bill should be carstill he must say, that the noble Duke and ried one stage further, and then their his colleagues might be fairly considered Lordships would be enabled to see in what to be the real authors of the present plan. respect it might be improved. With reBy their decision against the improvement gard to the general objects and principles of the existing system, they left no alter- of the Bill, he would say, that unless pative but the proposition and adoption of Ministers had introduced to Parliament a some large measure like that to which they measure, the great outline of which would were now hastening. It appeared to hiin, be to do away with the nomination that those who did pot, at the present boroughs, to increase the number of county moment, see the necessity of introducing Members, to give Representatives to the a great and comprehensive measure of great manufacturing towns, and the new Reform, either did not mark the very great interests which had grown up in the alteration which had taken place in the country, to make a considerable alteration state of society in this country, or they in the elective franchise throughout the, were ignorant of the best means of effect- country, and to effect a decided change in ing the necessary changes in our institutions. the Representative system of Scotland, Those who described the present measure they would have deceived the Crown, beas one bordering on revolution, seemed to trayed the people, and lost that confidence him to judge incorrectly. He was the more which was now, and he thought justly, inclined to think so when he looked to the reposed in them. That must inevitably sources from which, in these days, revolu- have been the effect of their introducing a tions were likely to arise, and had, in some less comprehensive measure, which would instances, arisen; and he conceived that merely irritate, because it would be of a the course which Ministers had taken was temporary and unsatisfactory nature. the best that could be devised to avert leave such general observations and come revolution, and to preserve the constitution to the consideration of the Bill then before of this country. He, however, could assure their Lordships, and of the most prominent their Lordships, that he was not a blind objections that were advanced against it ; supporter of this measure. He was not they might, he thought, be reduced to actuated, in the course which he was two, which involved all the others. The taking, by any special confidence which first was, that this measure appeared to he placed in his Majesty's Government, those who opposed it to be fraught with or by any personal attachment which he danger; and next, that it was totally might feel towards any of the members of unnecessary. The danger which was prin



cipally apprehended as likely to arise out, he thought that no such state of things was of this Bill was, that it would allow too { likely to arise. Looking to the provisions large a scope to democratic influence of this Bill, and to the experience which in the Constitution, which influence was all their Lordships must have had, with calculated to overturn the weight that reference to those who heretofore had been now belonged to rank, station, and pro- Representatives of large and populous perty, and which was essential to the well-places, he was led to believe, that neither being of the monarchy. With the view, the provisions of the Bill, nor the expehowever, which he took of this Bill, he rience of those elections, could justify any denied that it was likely to produce any one in concluding that individuals elected such effect. It was true, that the measure for populous places, either counties or bowould annihilate the political power now roughs, must necessarily be placed under possessed by certain individuals in this the direct control and dominion of those country, but it was equally true, that it who sent them to Parliament. But when would leave them in full possession of all he spoke thus of delegation, he thought the influence which they derived from that those who opposed the Bill on that property; while, at the same time, he ground, did not act fairly or consistently maintained that it would bring into bene- towards themselves. He begged leave to ficial action a vast amount of influence ask, what were the majority of those and property, which was either wholly Members who were elected for nomination extinguished or overshadowed by the boroughs? What were they, generally power of which he had spoken. 'If he speaking, but delegates ? But there was thought that this measure would produce a great difference between delegation from the destruction, or even the weakening of private nomination, and delegation from the just influence of the aristocracy or populous places. To delegation from landed interests of this country, the main private nomination there was this great tenance of which he thought essential to objection-namely, that the power was not the order, stability, and good government exercised for the furtherance of any pubof the monarchy, he certainly would not lic object, however absurd, but for the exdefend it. But he was of opinion, that the press purpose, either of obtaining pecuniary aristocracy of England would gain as much benefit, or some other personal advantage, influence, if not more, as a body, than which was of importance to the individual they now possessed, by the passing of this who wielded the power of nomination, and measure. 'They would, by the operation most probably injurious to the community. of this Bill, acquire a legitimate influence; It was also advanced as a very great obwhereas the influence which they at present jection to this measure, that it was very possessed, was enjoyed in a manner dis- likely to paralyse the proper influence of reputable and odious; it was wrong for the executive Governnient, and to introthem to desire to retain it, and it might duce a system which would do away with prove destructive of the peace of the all that power which Government now country if they determined to do so. possessed, through the medium of nomiAgain, it had been said by a noble Duke, a nation-boroughs. He could not, however, few nights ago, and the observation was suppose that it would have any such repeated by the noble Earl who had spoken effect. He thought the measure would last, that this measure would be the means rather tend to disembarrass the Governof changing the other House into an ment, by severing it from a description of assembly of delegates. If he thought that influence and power by which it was too the Bill was calculated to convert the frequently assailed, and which Ministers Representatives of the lower House into a could not always meet in a manner conbody of delegates, to be chosen in such a sistent with what they might believe to be manner as must subject them to the sway their duty on public questions, and with and influence of every breath of popular reference to public interest.

The next clamour, or, as would compel them to be general objection to the plan was, that it guided on all occasions by particular in- was not warranted by the necessity of the structions, he would be the last individual case. He was surprised at this objection, to support such a plan-he would be the and the more so when he found that it last man to argue that such a change would was urged by those who belonged to the be adapted to the circumstances, and suit- late Administration, because the necessity able to the situation of the country. But must be notorious to them. The neces.

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