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PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT.
this topic, and seriously called upon the At five o'clock the Lord Chancellor re- House to be alive to the dangers with sumed his seat; and the Speech having which the country was menaced. With been read,
respect to our trade and commerce, he, Earl Manvers rose to move an Address for one, could not see that they were in of thanks. The Noble Lord touched upon that flourishing state which some had conthe different topics of the speech, and
sidered them. In Glasgow, in the West dwelt with much force on the causes Riding of Yorkshire, in Manchester, aud which had occasioned the meeting of Par. other places, there was not only a falling liament at the present season of the year. off, but a total stagnation in trade; the The spirit of tuinult and sedition which distresses of the people in these places pervaded. the country called for the produced disconteui, and consequent disprompt interference of the Legislature, order. The Noble Lord then alluded to and he trusted, that, as that spirit, if not the affair at Manchester : this subject, checked, would prove not only subver. however, said the Noble Eail, requires a sive of the government of the country, distinct and calm investigation : but he but ruinous to the nation at large, their would observe, from all the facts which Lordships would direct their attentiou to had come to his knowledge on this me. the danger; and that no palliative but lancholy event, that the proceedings upon energetic measures would be adopted, in that memorable day could not justify the order to put a stop to the evil designs of conduct of the magistrates. The Noble the disloyal and seditious, thereby pre. Earl next adverted to several of the topics serving the internal tranquillity of the
which are made subjects of censure on country. Thé Noble Earl then moved an Ministers, especially the dismissal of Lord Address, which was an echo to the Speech. Fitzwilliam; ani concluded by moving
Lord Churchill briefly seconded the an Amendment, expressing that their Lord. Address.
ships would take into consideration, the Earl Grey moved an Amendment. He general distress of the couniry; and esconsidered that it was wow loo apparent pecially into the circumstances which took to be denied, that a spirit of disloyalty place on the 16th of August at Manches, and discontent did exist throughout the ter: at the same time pledging themselves country, but he would ask whether it was to support the Laws and Constitution in likely that the desired end would be ac- every part. complished by the enactment of new Viscount Sidmouth traced the proceedand more vigorous laws. He contend- ings of the disaffected and of the Magised that the present laws, if properly tracy' at Manchester, and vindicated ihe and energetically administered, were of conduct of the latter. He adverted to the themselves sufficient to ineet the desired dismissal of Earl Fitzwilliam ; but said, end, and re-establish peace and order he would enter no further into these mat. amongst the people. He would ask, it, ters until the subject should be brought in by adopting more coercive measures to another shape before the House. put down one evil, another equally bane- Lord Erskine denied that a Meeting to ful and mischievous to the liberties of the consider of a Reform of Parliament was people might not be produced ?
illegal ; but even if it had been so, they tended that the only way to effect the ought to have dispersed it by legal restoration of peace and tranquillity ineans. amongst the lower classes of society, was The Earl of Carysfort and the Duke of by a strict and complete reduction of all Athol vindicated the conduct of the Mauseless expenses.
Had this been done? gistrates of Manchester, and the subseHad the prayers and petitions of the peo- quent conduct of Ministers. ple been attended to ? These were ques- Lord Lilford said, he was the advocate tions of importance; and it would be well of thousands, and tens of thousands of if they could be answered in the affirma. their loyal and peaceable fellow-subjects, tive. He was as anxious as any of his who called upon them to put a stop to Majesty's Government could be, ihat the those turbulent proceedings, which infactious leaders, who had anarchy and terfered with their quiet and ordinary confusion in view, and who sought to sub- habits of life. vert all public and established institu. The Lord Chancellor maintained, that tions, should be proceeded against with no man could say that such Meetings as all the vigaur that the law would admit. the Manchester one were legal, when it The Noble Lord dwelt at some length on was held that numbers constituted force; GENT. Mag. December, 1819.
tish Constitution, a monument of glory to called on to investigate the conduct of the the latest posterity.-(Loud cheering.) Magistrates in their official capacity, and
Mr. Bootle Wilbraham defended the con- that in so doing they would be obliged to duct of the Grand Jury, of which he had examine men-oot on oath at the barbeen a member.
men too, it should be observed, who proLord Milton adverted to a proposal that fessed the new system of morality, who had been made to him and his friends, to defied the laws of God and man; perbaps incorporate certain Resolutious with those they would pause before they determised originally proposed to the Meeting at to exercise those functions, by agreeing York, but which had been rejected, as to the Amendment. ( Hear.) He admitted not in unison with them.
that there was considerable distress in the Mr. S. Wortley observed, that the No- country, and if, in our present situation, ble Lord had rejected the support of him it could be done without detriment to the and his friends. For himself he was not State, he would be willing to take of some an enemy 10 public Meetings, and was of those taxes that bore on the lower only hostile to the plans of the Radical classes. But gentlemen should recollect Reformers.
that the exigencies of the Goveromeot Sir J. Mackintosh and Mr. Scarlett spoke must be provided for, and that it was in behalf of the Amendment; Mr. Plunkett much easier to remove a lax than to proin a masterly speech opposed it.
pose a substitute. The Allorney General defeoded the con- It was ultimately agreed that the deduct of the Magistrates, on the ground bate should be postponed. - Adjourued at that the Manchester Meeting was an il- half past 3 o'clock. legal one. Sir W. De Crespigny, on account of the
No. 94. lateness of the hour, moved to adjourn Lord Casilereagh presented certain pa. the debate,
pers relating to ihe Internal State of ine The House divided. For the adjourn- Country, in pursuance of the promise meni 65-Agajost it 453.
held out in the Regent's Speech *. He Mr. Wilberforce insisted that the great then moved the order of the day, for rebody of the Nalion, at least the great suming the debate on the Address. body of the thinking part of it, was sa- Mr. Hume said, that the contents of the tisfied with the steps the Magistrates of letters laid this day before the House, Manchester had taken, and would be dis-, contradicted, in many particulars, bis satisfied if inquiry at the bar was justi. Lordship's statement. From passages in Luted. He koew that the House of Com. the letter of Mr. Norris, it appeared, that mons acted, in many instances, as the the meeting had dispersed before the mili. grand inquest of the nation ; yet when tary charged the populace. gentlemen considered that they would be Lord Castlereagh, in explanation, ob
* These Papers are very voluminous, containing various communications from Lords Lieutenant and Magistrates in what are called the “ disturbed districts,” and furnishing evidence respecting the vocturnal training of numerous parties of men, and the endeavours made to obtain clandestinely supplies of arms. The writers of these communications declare their firm conviction that the objects of those who are now su generally employed in misleading the lower classes are “no other than to reverse the orders of society which have so long been established, and to wrest by force from the present possessors, and to divide among themselves, the lauded property of the couatry." Ii is further stated, that the Radicals do not affect to disguise their diabolical intentions: the fact of their being regularly drilled in inilitary exercises, and of the ma. pufacture and use of pikes by them, is duly substantiated by numerous affidavits; and the result of the information of the several journeys lately made by General Byng is a full conviction, that, notwithstanding the schism among the leaders, any relaxation of the means of suppressing sedition would be attended with fatal consequences. The last Letter of this Officer (who is brother to Mr. Byng, the Member for Middlesex) is dated so late as Norember 18th, and concludes with the following important statement : -"A plan has been adopted to circulate more generally seditious and blasphemous tracts, which is, to send gratis such publications weekly, directed to the servants in Jarge families; which I think worthy of mention, not merely to show how indelatigable the authors and leaders of sedition are in effecting their purpose, but that it may be thought expedient to put the heads of families upon their guard. Six different at. templs have come to my knowledge to seduce the soldiers, but without the least effect : some of them are under legal investigation. I have only further to add, that whaterer disunion may prevail among the leaders of sedition and radical reform, they still unite in the endeavour (though I hope with less success) to excite irritation and discontent ainong their followers, and to intimidate the loyal and well-affected. With a firm belief in the accaracy of the foregoing statement, I consider it my duty to make this report.”
1819.] Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. 549 served, he had never said this was an field bad been suok in the superior imillegal meeting originally; he had said, its portance of those at Manchester. illegality arose out of the subsequent cou- Sir F. Burdett, in a long and warm duct of the meetiog. Certainly the force speech, said, that all tbe arguments of the of 40 Yeomanry were sent in to aid the learned Gent, had shewn the oecessity for Civil Power in executing the warrant of inquiry, instead of suifling it. If any the Magistrates ; and after having done man could identify a soldier who had so, this small force was surrounded by the wounded bim, it was very well for him to mob, assailed by them, and he might say, apply to a Court of Law for redress; but overpowered. This was observed by the what was that to them? What was that Magistrates, and Col. L'Estrange, who to the People of England, who beliered that was with them; by their advice the 15th the Constitution had been violated? The Dragoons and Cheshire Yeomanry were people were perfectly loyal, but the Noble called in to their aid.
Lord bad threatened new infringements The Hon. Grey Bennet had been at on the Constitution. They would no doubt Manchester, and had made particular be invited to a new Property Tax; but the inquiry into the most minute circum- People were deceived if they thought it
He had ascertained, that there would be easing them to lay heavy taxes on were at least 8 persons killed, and 58 were the rich, who were their bankers, and on taken to the lofirmary, and that between whom they might draw for the reward of 300 and 400 persons had been cut down, their industry and talent.—He asked where rode over, and trampled on by the horses. was the proof of mischief among the ReIt now appeared that the Riot Act bad formers The training, he admitted not beeu read till after the attack on tbe (hear!! but how long had they borne people commenced; for he, when the time their grievances ! A rational Reform of inquiry arrived, should be able to prove would satisfy all; and calling hard names that three persons were killed in the ap- instead of granting it, only proved ignoproach of the Yeomanry.
rance and error. There was no ground Sir W. De Crespigny stated some facts for the accusation in bulk tbat the Reof aggravation on the part of the Yeo- formers were hostile to Religion, though manry.
no doubt some might be found who were so. Lord Nugent could prove at the bar of Mr. Wynn observed, that it had been the House, that wine and brandy had said, that meetings of people marching been served out to the troops before they with banners, inscribed « Liberty or advanced to the charge, and many of the Death,” &c. were perfectly legal, and Constables were so indignant at the duty conducted with the greatest order and rein which they had been employed, that gularity. But whatever the Hon. Baronet they broke and burnt their staves, and might assert, he (Mr. Wyon) would as. declared they would never act again. sert that such practices were treasonable.
Mr. Warren said, a few days before the If such meetings were allowed, others Meeting at Manchester, a letter bad been might be held to consider the propriety of sent from Coventry by Hunt, stating the changing the succession to the 'Throne. necessity of making a demonstration by Sir J. Sebright said he should vote physical force. Many thousands had against the Amendment, because he marched to Manchester in military move- thought inquiry would be carried on with ment, with Hunt at their head.
more effect in a Court of Law. He would Mr. Phillips said, that much difficulty gladly vote for Parliamentary Reform, beexisted as to the facts, and that iu his opi. cause he believed it would satisfy nineteen nion called for inquiry.
out of twenty persons in the nation. The Solicitor General said, there existed Mr. Litlleton said he would vote against nothing to warrant the charge that the the Amendment, because the question Legal Advisers of the Crown had recom. proposed for Parliamentary inquiry ought mended to stife inquiry. The principles to be discussed in another place. of the Reformers were, Annual Parlia. Mr. Canning rose amidst cheers of ments, Election by Ballot, and Universal hear, hear! and delivered a brilliant Suffrage, or, in other words, the overthrow speech. There were two grounds, he said, of the Constitution (hear, hear!); and their on which the Manchester question was language was, that the fate of Charles and pressed as a fit subject of investigation : James awaited the present Ruler of the first, as being an attack upon the Constikingdom. Hunt bad presided at a Meet- tution; secondly, because inquiry was deing at Smithfield, at which he had assert. manded by the resolutions of various cd, that the Acts of Parliament since 1800 Meetings. As to the first ground, he were not binding on the country, and that considered that already disposed of; and the national debt ought not to be paid for the resolutions it was curious to obOrders bad been given to prosecute him serve, that all the Meetings in which they crimiually till the proceedings at Smith- were passed, set out with the admission and other such language was held, to in. ter, he wished to refrain from giving an timidate the peaceable subjects of the opinion at present (hear, hear, hear!) but State.
he must be permitted to say, that he saw The Marquis of Lansdown said, if no uothing in the transactions which induced other person would, he should, ja a short him to think that the enquiry should be time, move for an enquiry into the state taken put of the usual channel. He was of those distresses in the country which also of opiuion, that no individual, espebad given rise to' so many dreadful oc- cially a magistrate, should be put upon currences.
bis trial, unless upon bills returned by a The Earl of Liverpool, in an able speech, grand jury; and he must strongly depredefended the conduct of the Magistrates cate public opinions expressed by public at Manchester.
meetings upon subjects like this, whilst The Marquis of Buckingham said, that investigation was pending before the rehe had heard nothing which could induce gular tribuoal. (Hear, hear, hear!) The him to think the Courts of Law were not Hon. Gent. then adverted to the increase open to the investigation of the conduct of our military force ; aud expressed his of the Manchester Magistrates ; and hopes that the measures already adopted therefore he saw no reason for Parliamen. by Governmeat would have had the detary Inquiry. They had seen treason sired effect. abroad ; and the religion of the land call- The Address was seconded by the Hon. ed a farce to delude the unwary. Were Mr. Cust. they to pause before they sought reme. Mr. Tierney rose to move an Amend. dies of these evils, while they were in. ment: he was fully aware of the difficulty quiring into the events at Manchester ? which attended the course he was about They had heard the Constitution threat- to adopt : he felt that he should subject ened with destruc:ion, and had seen per- himself to misrepresentation ; but he also sons threatened, and even murdered for felt it his duty to take this cruise. The doing their duty. Were they to pause Right Hon. Gent. then proceeded to anbefore they found remedies for these swer the arguments of the Mover and Seevils, whilst they were inquiring into the conder of the Address, and to allude to events at Manchester? For these reasons what had been said by them on the subhe should oppose the Amendment, and ject of the recent blasphemous publicasupport the original Address.
tions. He contended that the law, and The House ihen divided for the ori. the religious principles of the people, ginal Address, Contents, 159 · Non- were sufficient to put these down without Conteots, 34 Maj. 125:
any new exactments. So also with re
spect to sedition, there wanted no new In the Commons, the same day, the laws on that subject, if the people could Clandestine Outlawry Bill having been be rendered content, as they formerly read the first time, the Hon. J. S. Cocks, were, with the power under which they agreeing in the sentiments contained in lived. These, however, were not times the speech, and approving the measures for concealment; he might be termed an adopted by Ministers, moved an Address alarmist; he was indeed alarmed at the to the Prince Regent, whieh was, as usual, present state of the country. The fact an echo of the speech. The Hon. Gent. was, the people were taxed beyond bearcontended, that a systematic attempt had ing ; and what was worse, they had not been made by certain individuals to un.
confidence in the House of Commons. To dermine and overthrow the Constitution; satisfy them, the House must do someall the acts and measures of Ministers had thing to reform itself, and regain the conbeen adopted with a view to the defence fidence of the people. With respect to and support of our Constitution and old those who were called Radical Reformers, customs. He was no enemy (he observed) he was a decided enemy to them and their to moderate and rational reform, but the objects; he believed some of their leaders word in the mouths of those persons who had designs of their own, and made the talked of Universal Suffrage, and Annual deluded people their dupes; others of Parliaments, was nothing less than a cant them were leaders from a foolish ambi. term for Revolution. In the meetings lion; and others were so because they which had been held by these individuals, wanted sense to know what they were was it not notorious that they had been about. But unless the people were sufregularly organised, that the multitude fering the most trying distress, these men had proceeded from town to town in would not be able to mislead them. The systematic order, in marching order, with Speech did not allude to the Manchester fags and banners bearing inscriptions meeting at all: the Hon. Moser had, howwholly inconsistent with the peace and ever, adverted to it, and very properly. safety of the loyal and well-disposed part He also must say a few words on that of the community ? On the subject of the most important subject.—The coinplaints transactions which took place at Manches- of the people since the 16 h of Aug. had
1819.) Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. 547 not been a cry for Parliamentary Re. the difficulties at home in the same spiform, but a cry for redress of the outrages ‘rit as they had met those abroad, the of that day. He wished not to prejudge
same result would ensue. He should tothe question : be was ready to grant that morrow lay the necessary papers before the meeting was illegal ; but why, he the House, without the medium of a Com. would ask, after the leaders were taken mittee, and on Friday state the measures into custody, were the military retained that it was in the contemplation of Goto attack and cut down an unarmed and vernment to adopt. It had been stated unresisting multitude ? Mr. Tierney next that lives had been lost at Manchester; observed, that a Noble Lord had lately but many great calamities had occurred been dismissed from his office only be. in the history of the country without recause he had called for inquiry, and bad course being had 10 Parliamentary inattended a meeting for that purpose ; quiry, than which no proceeding could be though he had held the office for twenty
more fatal to the due administration of years, and was universally beloved and justice. Parliament was not the proper esteemed; and had preserved the peace tribunal, and should he be compelled to of the county from the respect due to his answer questions relative to individuals, personal character. The whole of the that necessity was forced upon him. There proceedings evinced that no confidence was no intention to arrest Hunt on the was to be placed in Ministers. An ad- day before the meeting ; and it was ditional military force might be necessary, only his conduct on that day that made though he knew of no instance in which the Magistrates regard the meeting as of the military had been overpowered. The
a treasonable nature. He had beeg ask-' Right Hon. Gentleman concluded by mov. ed, why was the multitude assaulted after ing an Amendment, in substance as fol. the arrest? But it had not been the inlows:- That Parliament having been call. tention to disperse the meeting in the ed together in a season of distress, the mauner that had taken place; as, had House had taken the matter of the Speech their purpose been so sanguinary, they into its most serious consideration; that might have dispersed an avowedly illegal the House deeply reprobated the attempts meeting on the 9th of the same month. that had been made to agitate the lower
Harrison had fled to London to avoid an classes, and would strenuously support arrest; and he must protest against the the principles of the Constitution ; but doctrine that the presence of a multitude the people, at the same time, ought to should prevent the execution of the law. be satisfied that their complaints would A military support had not been granted meet with attention. That the House, till the Constables had stated they could without prejudging the case, had felt deep not act without it. The Magistrates had regret at the events of the 16th of August, nothing to do with the selection of the and that enquiry was necessary, to shew Yeomanry for the service, as that dewhether an illegal meeting had been as. pended on Col. L'Estrange, who conceived sembled, or whether the Constitutional that description of force to be the most rights of the people had been violated. constitutional; and that had formerly been
The Marquis of Tavistock implored the the opinion of the Right Hon. Gent. him. House not to oppose inquiry into the events
self. His Lordship declared that the Riot of the 16th of August. There was a great Act had been read twice, and a third read. contrast between the former and the pre. ing was prevented by the mob.-On the sent state of the country ; when in order 10 subject of Lord Fitzwilliam, Government preserve the balance, the sword was obliged
and he had differed on their sense of pub. to be thrown into the scale. Parliament lic duty, and by repairing to such an as. had done itself no credit by the repeal of sembly, Lord Fitzwilliam had virtually the Income Tax; and he would be ready tendered his resignation.-(Hear, hear? to support such a tax, provided other and no, no!) The King's Commission had taxes should be taken off the poor, and
never been more disgraced than by the useless offices abolished. From the ex
conduct of Lord Fitzwilliam on the day perience of the last twenty years, there
of the Yorkshire Meeting. In the Black could be no doubt of the loyalty of the Dwarf, all the speeches had been described great mass of the population.
as in favour of Radical Reform. -[The ireated the House to grant a full and a
Noble Lord here read several passages fair inquiry.
from the Black Dwarf, descriptive of the The Address and Amendment having opinions of the Duke of Norfolk, and been read;
others present at the eting.]—Though Lord Castlereagh said, he had no doubt the principles of the great bulk of the that Government still possessed that con- people were sound, yet a deliberate con. fidence of the country that had followed spiracy had been formed against the Conthe whole of their ministerial career, and stitution, that if not checked would lead without which no · Administration could to rapine and ruin. But he trusted to the possibly exist. Should the House meet
wisdom of Parliament, to preserve the Bri