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fatal as on the Continent. It is not, however, the less necessary to use every precaution against the further extension of this malady ; and the nna sores recommended by those who have had the best opportunities of observing it, as most effectual for this purpose, have been adopted.
"In parts of Ireland a systematic opposition has been made to the payments of tithes, attended in some instances with afflicting results; and it will be one of your first duties to inquire whether it may not be possible to effect improvements in the laws respecting this subject which may afford the necessary protection to the Established Church, and at the same time remove the present causes or complaint. But in this, and every other question affecting Ireland, it is above all things necessary to look to the best mems of securing internal peace and order, which alone seem wanting to raise a country blessed by Providence with so many natural advantages to a State of the greatest prosperity.
** The conduct of the Portuguese Government, and the repeated injuries to which my subjects have been exposed, have prevented a renewal of my diplomatic relations with that kingdom. The state of a country so Ion;; united with this by the ties of the most intimate alliance most necessarily be to me an object of the deepest interest; and the return to Europe of the elder branch of the illustrious House of Brnganxa, and the dangers of a disputed succession, will require my most vigilant attention to events by which not only the safety of Portugal, but the general interests of Europe may be affected.
"The arrangement which I announced to yon at the close of the last Session, for the separation of the Snu-.* of Holland and Belgium, has been followed by a treaty between the Five Powers and the King of the Belgians, which 1 have directed to he laid before you as soon as the ratifications shall have been exchanged. A similar treaty has not yet been agreed to by the King of the Netherlands; but I trust the period is not distant when that Sovereign will see the necessity of acccdiug to an arrangement in which the Plenipotentiaries of the Five Powers have nnanimonsly concurred, and which has been framed with the most careful and impartial attention to all the interests concerned. 1 have the satisfaction to inform you that I have concluded with the Kin» of the French a convention, which 1 have directed to be laid before you, the object of which is the effectual suppression of the African slave-trade; this convention, having lor its basis the concession of reciprocal rights (o be mutually exercised in specified latitudes and places, will, I trust, enable the naval forces of the two countries by their combined efforts to accomplish an object which is felt by both to be so important to the interests of humanity.
"Hegarding the state of Europe generally, the friendly assurances which I receive from Foreign Powers, and the union which subsists between ine and my allies, inspire me with a confident hope that peace will not be interrupted.
"Grntlembn Of Tub House Of Commons, "1 have directed the estimates for the ensuing year to he prepared, and they will in doe time be laid before you. I will take care that they shall be formed with the strictest regard to economy, and 1 trust to your wisdom anil patriotism to make such provision a« may be required for the public service.
"Mr Lords, And Gentlemen, "The scenes of violence and outrage which have occurred In the city of Bristol and In some other places have caused me the deepest affliction. The authority of the laws must be vindicated by the punishment of offences which have produced so extensive a destruction of property, and so melancholy aloss of life ; but I think it rightto direct yonr attention to the best means of improving the municipal police of the kingdom for the more effectual protection of the public peace against the occurrence of similar commotions.
"Sincerely attached to our free Constitution, I never ean sanction any interference with the legitimate exercise of those rights which secure to my people the privileges of discussing and making known their grievances; bnt in respecting these rights it is also my duty to prevent combinations, under whatever pretext, which in their form and character are incompatible with all regular govern* ment, and are equally opposed to the spirit and to the provisions of the law; and I know that I shall not appeal in vain to my faithful subjects to second my determined resolution to repress all illegal proceedings by which the peace and security of my dominions may be endangered/'
His Majesty then rose and retired, attended by several of the Ministers and the Great Officers of State. The Commons withdrew from tbe Bar, and their Lordships adjourned during pleasure. Shortly after five o'clock the House resumed. — The Lord Chancellor having read his Majesty's Speech, which was also read by one of the Clerks of the House, —Lord Camperdown rose to move the usual Address. In commenting on the several topics alluded to in the Speech, his Lordship highly eulogised the Noble Earl at the head of his Majesty's Government for having proposed a great measure of Reform, which had the merit of reconciling the conflicting opinions of various parties of reformers, and had received the almost universal sanction of the people of England. He desired not to enter into any discussion of the measures which it was intended shortly to introduce on this subject; but it was sufficient to know, that, although some modifications might be conceded in the minor details, the whole measure would be the same in principle, and equally efficient as the last. Ministers being convinced that nothing less would satisfy the just wishes of the country. —The Address having been read by the Lord Chancellor—Lord Lyttleton rose to second it. His Lordship strongly dwelt on the state of the public mind, urging that the events of the first French Revolution, or of Charles the first's reign, bad not equalled the excitement and interest that now existed; and contending that such was the state of public opinion that nothing short of the Reform Bill which had been rejected would satisfy the country.—The Earl of Harrowby said, that when the Bill came up from the other House, he should hope it would be one they could adopt. Until that measure came
was ordered to be entered on the Journals of the House.—Lord Ellenborough, in moving for returns relative to the Charter and the affairs of the East India Company, expressed his surprise at the total silence of the King's Speech on that important subject, and stated that a leading point of inquiry would be to ascertain how far the Government of India could be conducted without reliance for its expenditure on any other quarter. — Earl Grey said he could not object to the motion, and that he should be ready to discuss the question when it came regularly before the House; but, as the question of the revival of the Charter was not likely to be brought forward this Session, its mention was not introduced into the King's Speech. — The Marquis of Salisbury asked whether Government intended to bring forward any Bill relative to the Poor Laws 1—The Lord Chancellor replied, that if no other Noble Lord did, he should propose a measure upon that subject.—The Earl of Aberdeen intimated, he should hereafter bring forward a motion respecting the arrangements between Holland and Belgium, if a Noble Duke (Wellington), who had taken great interest in the proceedings connected with those arrangements, declined to do so.—Earl Grey said, that a copy of the Conference would have been laid on the
table if it had been ratified The Earl of
Winchelsea inquired whether it was the intention of his Majesty's Ministers to bring forward any specific measure for the purpose of putting down the Political Unions •— Earl Grey said it was not; adding that Government was already armed with sufficient powers to stop any illegal associations.
Dec. 9. Lord Teynham, after alluding to the tires which had taken place in different parts of the country, and strongly urging the necessity of interference on the part of Government, gave notice that after the Christmas recess he should move for leave to bring in a Bill for the purpose of preventing incendiary fires.
Dec. 13. Lord Ellenborough moved for copies of all Correspondence relative to the recent differences between the Factory and the Local Authorities at Canton. His Lordship spoke at some length upon the importance and advantages of our trade with China. He lamented that the Select Committee and Merchants at Canton had acted in such a way as to give offence to the Chinese Government.—Earl Grey replied, that Government were aware of the importance of the subject—that no step would be taken rashly—that the business was more immediately under the control of the East India Company — and that no objection would be made to the production of the Papers when they were ready, and when Government and the Company had received all the necessary intelligence which they had not yet had upon the subject. The Motion was withdrawn.
Dec. 15. Lord Melbourne moved that a Select Committee be appointed to inquire respecting the collection and payment of Tithes in Ireland. Mis Lordship, after alluding to the various distuibances which had taken place in that country, said, it would be recollected that similar disturbances in 1822 gave rise to the introduction of the Tithe Composition Act, which was at the time satisfactory to a large proportion of the people. The present disturbances, he believed, arose from inherent defects in the system; the mode of collecting Tithes, and the imperfect and partial operation of the Tithe Composition Act. The Tithe of agistment, and the power which was left to the Diocesan of refusing his assent to the Composition which might be agreed upon between the incumbent and parishioners, were circumstances which caused the Tithe Composition Act to act partially, and the sound parts of Ireland to be infected by the unsound portions. His Lordship stated, that a great hardship was inflicted on the poor man, by the numerous calls which were made on him. The bishop, rector, vicar, archdeacon, prebendary, and vicars choral all had a right to call for their Tithes separately, which was harassing to the poor man, though the total-amount was but trifling. None but low persons were employed in the collection of Tithes, who were disposed to take every advantage, and were of course in many instances guilty of the utmost exaction. The motion, after a few remarks from the Earl of Wicklow, Lord Ellenborough, the Marquis of Lansdowne, and Earl Grey, was agreed to, and a Committee appointed.
Dec. 16. In answer to a question by the Earl of Aberdeen,—Earl Grey said, it was the determination of Government to enforce the Foreign Enlistment Bill, and to take no part in the dispute between Don Pedro and Don Miguel. Some vessels, which had been engaged for the service of Don Pedro, had been detained in the river, and the case referred to the Law Officers of the Crown, who decided that the law had not been violated, and they were in consequence released—On the Motion of Earl Grey, the House adjourned to the 17th of January.
HOl'SF. OP COMMONS.
Dec. 6. The Speaker entered the House shortly after one o'clock, and at half-past two the House was summoned to the Lords. On their return, the House adjourned during pleasure; and at four the Speaker again took the Chair. His Majesty's Speech having been read by the Speaker;—Lord Cavendish rose to move the usual Address; which was seconded hy Sir Krancis Vincent.—Mr. Crokcr observed, that he did not
consider the Speech to be very manly and straightforward; nor did he view it as very explicit. They had yet to learn, whether the Reform Bill about to be brought forward was to be another and a more moderate Bill, or the same Bill. As to the " systematic" opposition to the payment of tithes in Ireland, if that remedy were adopted which he thought was hinted at (an alteration of the tithe system), it would shake the foundation of all property, and should have his roost decided opposition.—Mr. Stanley stated, in regard to Ireland, that it was intended to move for a Select Committee on the subject; and that the views of the Government would be submitted to such Committee. It was not contemplated to affect property: it was only sought, as in the case of Reform, to secure property and strengthen existing institutions.—Sir C. Wetherell entered at some length into explanations of the Bristol affair —attacking the Unions and the newspapers with unmingled and indiscriminating censure—inquiring why, if danger were apprehended, the Bristol Gaol Delivery had not been postponed; and asking what would have been said of him by the "manymouthed and venomous Press" if he had not gone there? The Hon. Gentleman complained that the names of the Recorder and the Bristol Magistrates were omitted in the Commission recently appointed. He had put in his claim to be included in it, as a matter of right, to the Secretary for the Home Department, and he had also submitted it in writing to the Lord Chancellor.—Mr. Lamb stated that the postponement of the gaol delivery had never been asked. He would, however, abstain from further comments, on the ground that inquiries were proceeding in Bristol.—Sir Robert Peel having commented upon several of the topics alluded to in his Majesty's Speech, on the subject of Reform, said :—
"When the new measure of Reform shall come under discussion, I, for one, promise to give It the most calm nod dispassionate attention. I wish that I coold anticipate from its success the same tranquillizing and satisfactory results which arc anticipated by the King's Government. I wish that I could believe that the spirit of impatience agiinst all restraint, and the reluctance to submit to any control, which at present pervade and convulse the land, were attributable to such causes as the opposition which we have given to the pro. gress of Reform; and that the triumph, if triumph should betide, over our of position, would bring back the halcyon days of peace and contentment, and restore that spirit of obedience which, under Tory Governments at least, existed to the laws. It is In a spirit of calmness and impartiality that I shall discuss the Bill which the Noble Lord opposite me is aboot to introduce. I trust that it will be founded on more moderate principles than the last; but be it founded on what principles it may, I owe it as a duty to the people of England,— I claim it as a right inherent in me as one of then Representatives—hi deliver my opinions honestly «d boldly span it; and as the Kln», In the eraciom Speech which we have this day heard delivered from the Throne, admits the rights of his subjects, even in confederated unions, publicly to declare their opinions antl to make known their grievances, so I, a lo\al snbject of the Kine., shall expect protection in return for my allegiance; if I should incnr odium and unpopularity by protcctfn» rhat which in my judgment 1 believe to be the real interests of the people of England against •heir wishes and temporary deloslon." —The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that Government, considering the present state of the country, had exercised a sound discretion in calling Parliament together at this unusual season, notwithstanding the public and private inconvenience which individuals might feel from now attending it. WHh respect to the omissions complained of in the Speech, the subjects alluded to must be necessarily brought under the discussion of Parliament, and it did not appear necessary to mention them. A Committee would be appointed on the subject of the renewal of the Bank Charter; one had been already appointed to consider of the renewal of the Charter of the Kast 1 ndia Company. With respect to the plan of Reform to be submitted to the House, his Lordship had reason to hope that it would be suclt as would effectually calm and set at rest the excitement which existed in the public mind, and would give full satisfaction to the »reat majority of •he people of England.—Mr. Hunt blamed Ministers for not having adopted adequate precautions for securing the public peace of Bristol; and ascribed the present distress to the withdrawal of the paper currency, and the evils of free trade. The Hon. Member moved an amendment to the Address, embodying the latter propositions, and suggesting that the Houses should adjourn, to give time for Ministers to prepare a suitable Address. No Member seconded the Motion, and it of course fell to the ground. After a few remarks from Mr. Robinson, Mr. Leader, Mr. Trevor, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Weyland, Mr. Shiel, Sir J. M. Doyle, and Sir C. Forbes, the Address was agreed to.
Dec. 7. The- Chancellor of the Exchequer presented a Petition from Yorkshire, signed by upwards of 140,000 persons, praying for Reform.—Lord Morpeth, in supporting the prayer of the petition, observed that this was the answer of Yorkshire to the allegation that there was " reaction" on the subject of Parliamentary Reform. The immense number of signatures to the petition were obtained in the short space of six days.—Mr. Hume, on presenting a petition from the Western Political Union, praying the House to adopt measures for the diffusion of knowledge, by the removal of many taxes that prevented its extension,
inquired of the Noble Lord (Althorp) whether Government contemplated any proposition on this subject during the present Session—The Chancellor of the Exchequer protested against questions being put to him at this period as to what he might be inclined to do with respect to the removal of taxation; because, to give satisfactory answers to such questions would be to pledge himself at a period when he should be extremely sorry to give any pledge whatever. He should therefore decline giving any answer as to the nature of any financial measures that might be under the consideration of the Government.—The Report on the Address was brought up, and, after a discussion, in which Mr. Hume, Lord Palmerston, Mr. G. Dawson, Mr. C. Ferguson, Lord Sandon, Sir F. Burden, and Sir R. Peel took part, was agreed to and ordered to be presented to the King.
Dec. 8. The House met profirma at two o'clock. The Speaker, Lord Cavendish, Sir F. Vincent, and several other Members, then proceeded to St. James's Palace, to present the Address to the King.
Dec. 9. Mr. Hume desired to know whether there was an intention on the part of Government to take any step towards reducing the increased expenditure incurred during the current year, amounting to nearly a million, in keeping up an extra military as well as naval force. For his own part, he was not aware of the necessity of keeping up such establishments.—Lord Althorp considered it extremely inconvenient to have questions upon the rate of estimates which Government was about to submit to the House, put to him at this period. He certainly did not consider it the proper time to put such questions, and if they were put in due'time, in due time would he answer them. — He would, however, state that it was the intention of Government to propose the Estimates with the strictest view to economy. —On the motion of Lord Duncannon, the House resolved itself into a Committee of Supply, and at the recommendation of the Committee, 78,750f. was granted out of the Crown Revenues for repairs of Buckingham Palace.—Mr. Hume wished to know whether that supply extended to the furniture. — Lord Duncannon said the furniture was not included, but there was a large quantity of furniture in store, which was likely to be appropriated to that purpose.
Dec. 12. Lord John Russell introduced the Reform Bill. The Noble Lord, having commented upon the necessity of a Reform in the existing system of representation, the state and prospects of the country, and the pledges given by Ministers to effect such a change as appeared to them necessary, proceeded to explain the principle upon which the Bill had been drawn up, and the various details embraced by it. The present was, he considered, much superior to the former, inasmuch as it had less cumbrous machinery to work with, and far more conciseness and simplicity of plan. On the subject of the amendments proposed to be made as regards schedules A and B, his Lordship observed, that some of the boroughs which formerly escaped disfranchisement in consequence of the population of their parishes being large, though the boroughs themselves were inconsiderable, would now be placed in schedule A, whilst others would be rased out of it, and placed in schedule IS. The boroughs which would be placed in schedule A, in consequence of this change, were Aidborough, Amersham, East Cirinstead, Oakhampton, Saltash, and Ashburton. Supposing Ashburton to be one of the 56, then the boroughs rased out of schedule A into schedule B were Midhurst, Petersfield, Eye, Wareham, Woodstock, and Lostwithiel. Another part of the disfranchising clauses of the Bill related to the boroughs inserted in schedule B. The boroughs in schedule A were disfranchised because they could have no free election; but the boroughs in schedule B were placed there from an idea of the propriety of not giving to the smaller boroughs such a large share in the representation as they possessed at present, from each returning two Members, and with a view of diminishing the numbers of the House. The opinion of the framers of this Bill as to the first of these points, namely, the propriety of diminishing the share which the boroughs had in the representation, remains unchanged. With regard to the propriety of filling up the numbers of the House, it had been matter of serious consideration with them, whether, as the vacancies occasioned by the disfranchisement of the boroughs had been filled up so far as to give to the House only twenty-three Members less than those which now constituted it, it might not be of greater advantage to leave its Members undiminished, especially as those who objected to the diminution of the House might be conciliated without sacrificing any of the principles of the Bill. The only way left to do this was, by giving an additional Member to a certain number of the boroughs. It was proposed, that of the twenty-three Members who must be provided to fill up the numbers of the House, ten should be given to the most considerable towns in schedule B, that one should be given to Chatham, so as to render that town quite independent of Rochester, and that another should be given to the county of Monmouth. The consequence was, that there would only be thirty boroughs in schedule B, instead of forty-one; and thus in schedule C, instead of twelve Members, there would be twenty-two. Instead of
there being sixty-nine places, as by the old Bill, there would only be forty-nine places returning one representative each. According to the scale now founded on the joint test of the number of houses and the assessed taxes, the thirty boroughs which would come into schedule B would be Eye, Lostwithiel, Westbury, Wareham, Wilton, Midhurst, Woodstock, Malmsbury, Launceston, Hroitwich, Liskcard, Hytbe, LymeRegis, Horsham, Dartmouth, Thirsk, Totnes, Great Grimsby, Arundel, St. Ives, Rye, Morpeth, Northallerton, Reigate, Clithero, Helston, Calne, Christchurch, Petersfield, Shaftesbury. In schedule D, two Members would be given to Bolton, Brighton, Bradford, Blackburn, Macclesfield, Stockport, Stoke-upon-Trcnt, Halifax, and Stroud. By these amendments, it will be seen, that the disfranchising portion of the Bill has been curtailed; that schedule A, which before contained fifty-six boroughs, will now only contain fifty-one; and that schedule B, which contained forty-one boroughs, will now contain no more than thirty. With respect to the census, his Lordship in future proposes to take houses instead of persons, as the test of population cannot be so strictly relied on. On the subject of qualification, little or no alteration is to be made in the spirit of the 10/. franchise, though as regards freemen—and this part of the new Bill is certainly no improvement— the franchise is to be continued to them for ever, provided also they reside within the city, or borough, or within seven miles of the place of voting. Another part of the arrangement, namely, the proposed apportionment of the limits and bounds of cities, boroughs, and districts by commissioners, would be the subject of a distinct Bill.—Sir Robert Peel said, that the new Bill would afford the opponents of the last Bill the most triumphant refutation of the gross calumnies and false charges made against them for the part they had taken. All the suggestions which the new Bill contained had been before ineffectually made at his side of the House.—Lord Althorp denied that the alterations in the Bill originated from suggestions and proposals coming from Sir R. Peel's side of the House. During the recess. Government had not only applied themselves to improve the Bill, but had, wherever objections had been made which did not seem to involve points of any material consequence, adopted them in the spirit of conciliation. The Noble Lord concluded by maintaining, that the principles of the Bill were the same as those contained in the rejected Bill.—Mr. Croker contended, after instancing Aldborough, Northallerton, Calne, and other places, that there was not a single point, as far as schedules A and B were concerned, that was brought