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mation, animadverted upon the alledged | awkward situation. When he asked for impropriety of the learned gentleman's military aid, he was told, that he should aiding, hy his counsels, the efforts of the have it, but that he must act at his own honourable baronet to exalt in the coun- peril; and that if any lives were lost, and try a standard of sedition and tumult. bis conduct should turn out to be illegal, (Cries of order, order!)
he might be hanged for it. It really apMr. Ponsonby rose io order, and was peared as if ministers, upon this occasion, proceeding to comment upon the highly as upon a former one (the Waicheren Exunparliamentary language that had been pedition) first resolved upon a coup-deresorted to by the hon. gentleman, when main : But afterwards when they heard
Captain Parker readily acknowledged, that the hon. baronet had actually locked that he had been inadvertently hurried his door and put up the chain, this apinto an expression that could not at all appeared to them a combination of circumply to the learned gentleman, and apo- stances which was not to be foreseen. logized to that gentleman and the House Their coup-de-main had then failed; they for the error he had been momentarily be- began to consider Piccadilly as a fortress, trayed into. He could not, however help and it required many meetings of the ca. expressing his wish, that the House would binei council to determine how it was to adopt the proper course at once, and expel be attacked. sir F. Bordett. The objection to that Mr. Stephen was a little surprised at the seemed to be, that sir Francis would be opinion of his right hon. friend (sir S. returned again ; but he bad too good an Romilly), that as there was no original of. opinion of the good sense of the electors of fence, this Letter could not properly be Westminster to believe that possible. He called an aggravation. His right hon. was satisfied, that when once they knew and learned friend appeared to go the all the particulars of his late conduct, they whole length of arguing, that sir Ě. Bur. would never return him to represent them dett ought not to be in any manner puagain in that House.
nished for the insults offered to the House Lord Porchester thought no language in this Letter. The amendment which decould be too strong to reproach the con- clared it an aggravation of his former duct of the hon. baronet, from beginning offence, would go so far in punishment, to end. He felt himself obliged, there that if the hon. baronet or any body for fore, upon this occasion, to rally round him, should petition for his discharge, this the House, and the authority of the paper would then be taken into consideSpeaker and of his warrant ; but at the ration in assigning the proper measure of same time he thought the calamities which punishment. As to the conduct of the had taken place proceeded as much from hon. baronet in the mode of resistance he the backwardness of ministers as from the resolved on, he was glad to find that no intemperate passions of misguided indivi- hon. member in that House approved of duals. He could not avoid condernning it; and this was a circumstance upon the opinion given by the attorney-gene- which he might congratulate the House ral, that a reprimand from that House to and the country. The hon. baronet might sir F. Burdett, would be like a reprimand have tried the legality of the warrant sain the servants' hall from his own ser- tisfactorily without adopting the mode of vants. He could not see the justice of resistance he had chosen. It appeared to this comparison, or how it could be ad. the other side of the House, that a warrant duced as an argument for imprisonment which did not allow an outer door to be instead of reprimand. It had been asked broken was absolutely nothing. They howwhether gentlemen on that side of the ever seemed to have forgotten thai there House had apprehended any opposition to were many writs for debt in civil action, it, from that which had been stated in the which could not be enforced by breaktery paper, in which the gentlemen on ing doors. These writs were nevertheless, the other side said that he had acknow. noi reckoned as nugatory, nor did he see ledged the right of the House to commit that it would be any impeachment of the its members. In that very paper, how dignity or authority of the House, if their ever, he found fault with a warrant simi. warrant was of the same footing as many Jar to that, under which he had been dr- of the king's writs, which do not justily rested, and, therefore, there was reason to the breaking into a house to enforce them. 77ppose that he would not submit to it. Some hon. gentlemen had said, that they Ine serjeant at arms was placed in a most had foreseen the consequences which had
followed from the vote for the commit-, that his Majesty's ministers, so far from ment of the hon. baronet. But for his deserving reprobation, were, on the conown part, he never could anticipate any trary, for the whole of their conduct, entiresistance to the execution of the warrant, tled to praise. But it had been tauntingly because the whole of the argument against asked, on a former night, whether they that yote went to shew that it would be a call this standing by the King? To this, triumph to the hon. baronet to go to the he should answer, yes. To stand by the Tower, from which he could issue his libels privileges of that House, was to maintain in abundance. It had been charged upon the authority of parliament; and to stand his majesty's ministers, that they had not by the parliament, was to stand by the contaken sufficient measures for the security stitution, and consequently by the King. of the metropolis, as well as that they had Upon the whole, he was convinced that not given to the serjeant at arms a sufficient the ministers had done their duty; and if force to enable him to execute the war. the hon. gentlemen opposite should bring rant. As to the first point, he contended, forward any motion for a direct censure that all proper measures had been taken against them for their conduct they would to insure the peace of the metropolis. It find themselves opposed by an unusually was not to be expected, that the govern large majority. ment, in the expectation of riots, should Earl Temple stated in explanation that have stationed a military force in every he had imputed it as matter of blame to street. If they had so done their conduct his Majesty's ministers that they had not would have been most loudly condemned till Monday placed such a force at the disby the hon. gentlemen opposite, for hav- posal of the serjeant, as he deemed necesing endeavoured to put down the civilsary to enable him to execute the warrant. by resorting to the military power. Sir S. Romilly explained, that he had Great credit on the contrary, was due to
never said that he had foreseen the conthe government for their precautions, as sequences which had resulted actually from well as to the military for the moderation the vote of commitment, but that he had which they had displayed, in the course foreseen consequences from that vote of the painful duty they had to perform. which he did not deem it proper to state As to the charge that no adequate force at the time. was placed at the disposal of the serjeant, Mr. Ç. W. Wynn denied that it had been that had been so often answered, that it stated as a matter of charge against his was strange it should still be repeated. Majesty's ministers, that they had not emThe warrant might unquestionably have ployed the military in the first instance: been executed either on Friday or Satur- The charge was, that the secretary of state day, without any necessity for forcing the being at the head of the civil power, had outer door; and in the end the warrant not employed it so soon as he should have had fortunately been put in execution done, and was responsible for all the danwithout any recourse to military force, or gerous consequences that might have reany effusion of blood. Whilst it was to sulted from the time lost. It would not be be apprehended that lives might be lost said that his Majesty's ministers were unacon both sides in case of executing the war- quainted with the scenes that took place, rant by force, what would have been the as they might have learned them from one opinion of gentlemen respecting the con of their own body. [Lord Westmoreland, duct of government, if ministers had or- who had been assailed with some mud by dered the serjeant to execute his warrant? the mob.7 Ministers were culpable for If it turned out to be illegal to force the having left Piccadilly during the whole of outer door, and that lives had been lost in Friday, in the possession of a riotous cola conflict, would it have been a justifica- lection, who obliged all that passed through tion of the serjeant, on an indictment for that street to take off their hats to the murder, to plead the directions of his Ma- jesty of the mob. A few constables, emjesty's ministers? When a doubt therefore, ployed in time, would have dispersed the existed in the mind of any of his right hon. assemblage of boys, scarcely filteen, en friends, it was perfectly right to suspend gaged in that riotous proceeding. The mob the execution of the warrant, till that that attacked the house of his hon. friend, doubt was removed by referring to the (sir J. Anstruther) might have been dishighest legal authority. From all the at- persed in the same way; as well as that tention then which he had been able to which had assailed the house of the noble bestow upon the subject, it was his opinion lord (Castlereagh). None but boys were
at first concerned in the disturbances; but anxious to answer that he did not regret when it was found that they were left so the vote which he had given in the former to act with impunity, others bent upon instance ; for however enigmatical it more serious mischief joined, and then might appear to others, it was his opinion, their first march was to Downing-street. that except the shedding a little blood, The military were resorted to upon that much good had resulted to the constitu: occasion, but not until the riot had come tion and the country from the whole prounder the very noses of his Majesty's mi-ceeding. He had voted for sending sir Disters.' The serjeant at arms had a right F. Burdett to the Tower, because he to expect that those who supported the thought his object was to overturn the conissue of the warrant, should have pointed stitution, and revolutionize the country. out to him how it was to be executed. If When he had used the words. “ No, no," the serjeant had gone to consult his learn- therefore, it was to shew that he was not ed friend (Mr. Adam), he was convinced afraid that, in case of his expulsion, the he would have received much better ad- electors of Westminster would re-elect this vice than it appeared he had received. sanguinary man; he could use no other His hon. and learned friend had very pro- term, because if he were not sanguinary, perly not considered the question on nar. he might have maintained his principles row grounds of legal analogy, but rested without hazarding the effusion of blood. ii upon much higher grounds. The House He was not to be intimidated ; nor did must have every power necessary to give he think the House would be intimidated effect to its warrant. What other court by any apprehension from a mob. If he had the same power to send its officer to was not aware that he should not carry the search the house of a witness for papers, as feeling of the House with him, he would that House had done last year in the case move for the expulsion of that hon. baof captain Sandon? The House unques- ronet. He should, therefore, vote for the tionably possessed all the powers neces- amendment of the right hon. the Chancelsary to enforce its warrant, and it was with lor of the Exchequer. regret he found these powers weakened Lord Milton meant to confine himself by being placed upon lower grounds than in what he should say to the subject acthose upon which they actually rested. tually before the House. They had two The warrant was an attachment of a crimi. propositions before them, one for passing nal nature, as having issued upon a con- over the Letter without any notice ; the viction declared by a vote of that House. other a resolution, that it was a high ago With respect to the question before them, gravation of the former offence. To the he could not help agreeing to the amend- first he could not give his concurrence, ment of the right hon. the Chancellor of and still less upon the arguments employed the Exchequer, though with a view to by the hon. gent., its author, in recomunanimity, he should throw out the pro- mending it to the House, because, if good priety of substituting for '“ a high aggrava- for any thing, these arguments would be tion of his previous offence," the words, good against taking any steps whatever « that the House had received the paper against the hon. baronet. He agreed that with great indignation.” If his hon. it would be unworthy of the magnanimity friends should agree to a resolution so or the dignity of the House, to be intimis worded, they might pass it with unanimity, dated by any fear of the niob, or by the but at the same time, he must add, that he terrors of a Westminster election. But as had himself no objection to the words of he could not support the motion, so neithe amendment as it then stood.
iher could he agree in the amendment, Mr. Beresford observed, that however because whilst it agreed that the Letter indecorous or disorderly it might be for was a high aggravation of the previous ofgentlemen to interrupt others when speak- fence, it still stated that it was not neces. ing, by expressing the words“ yes," or sary to take further notice of it at present. “ no," the House would excuse him when The Letter either was or was not an age he admitted that he was one of those who gravation of the former offence. If it was had so interrupted an hon. and learned gent. an aggravation, the House should notice (sir S. Romilly:) If that hon.' member it. In evading any notice of the Letter, were then present, he should gladly make the amendment would have the same efan apology to him. The ground of his fect as the motion. If it was not an age interruption was, that to a question put gravation, it was better not to take any by the bon, and learned member, he was notice of it. But as all were agreed that
the Letter was an aggravation, the resolu. the strongest conviction, and a conscienti. tion should be worded in another manner. ous sense of public duty. However painThe House was bound to take some fur- ful the task, whatever sacrifice it might ther steps, which it was not for him to cost him on the score of private feelings, point out. And here they had experience he was still compelled, upon consideraof the embarrassment resulting from their tions of a higher public nature, to perform vote for comunitinent. Had they stopped his duty. It was an imperious obligation short at reprimand, they might have still upon him, which he was bound unanswersomething in their hands. But they had ably and unalterably to discharge, by expended all their ammunition, and had declaring that in his mind the case under inflicted the greatest punishment at once. consideration was one, which was not to If they had stopped short, they might, in be justified. He could not reconcile it to this instance, send the honourable baronet any principle of patriotism, or public spito the Tower. As he could not agree in rit, that one, who professed to be the either the motion or the amendment, he friend of liberty, and the advocate of the should not feel himself at liberty to vote laws, should for four days have continued for either, and should consequently vote a fruitless resistance to the Speaker's war-, against both.
rant, ai the hazard of incurring the loss Mr. Lyttleton thought, that if ever there of several lives. It was the opinion of a had been a question that called for unani- great statesman, now unfortunately no mity, it was the one under consideration. more (Mr. Fox), that nothing could justify He should not, however, travel into the resistance but the certain prospect of ultiextraneous topics which had been intro- mate success. The hon. baronet could duced into the discussion, and by none certainly have entertained no hope or more than by the hon. and learned gent. prospect of being able, by means of a (Mr. Stephen), whose compliments to the riotous nob, successfully to resist the gentlemen on his side of the House, he whole military force at the disposal of the looked upon as insults, and upon whose government; and yet he had, to the observations, considering his age and great disturbance of the quiet of the melearning, he should not animadvert, if he tropolis, persevered in a fruitless resistance had not heard them with a degree of in- for four days. dignation. Notwithstanding the defence Amongst the various grounds of comof his Majesty's ministers, which had been plaint which he had against the hon. bamade by that bon, member, he was con- ronet, he could not pass over his implied vinced that much of the guilt would fall promise to the Serjeant at Arms, to ac
Whatever opinion might company him to the Tower, He had have been entertained of the propriety of lived on terms of friendship with that censuring the former Letter of sir F. Bur: hon. baronet : but this was an act so dett, there could be but one opinion as to wholly unworthy of him, that he must for the latter. No hon, member could doubt ever abjure him either as a private or a that it was an insult to the Speaker, and political friend. Another ground of comthrough him to the House. To tell the plaint on his part against sir F. Burdeto Speaker of that House that he knew the was, that from the first to the last moment warrant be had signed to be an illegal of his ob tinate and unconstitutional rewarrant, was a gross insult, was language sistance, he had been attended in his house which no one gentleman could be per- by the brother of a notorious and arowed mitted to use towards another, far less to traitor. This he could not easily forgive the Speaker of that House. The House him. He was far, indeed, from inferring was therefore bound to express its resent the treason of one brother from the treament at the proceeding; and so strongly son of another. He did not therefore did be feel on the subject, that he was mean, by any means, to say, that Mr. bound to declare that he felt himself call. Roger O'Connor was a traitor. But if, ed on, and was determined to resent it. what was impossible, he had been in the This sentiment he could not utter but with situation of sir F. Burdett, he should slot regret. Those gentlemen who were ac- have associated with any man to whom quainted with the engaging and amiable even a shadow of suspicion could attach; manners of that hon. baronet would give he should not have been attended by the him credit for the reluctance he felt on brother of Arthur O'Connor, that vile this occasion. Whatever he found him- traitor, who employed himself in writing, self bound to say was wrung from him by in a paper published in the English lan.
guage at Paris, the most foul, false, and I amount to an outrage upon public feeling, scandalous libels upon the British govern- it was to say the least of it a great unment and nation : a paper printed in the kindness towards the country. When he English language no doubt with a view to had read the arguments of the hon. barobe circulated for the dissemination of his net upon that committal, kowever he did sedition and treasons, in these realms. regret the introduction of intemperate Was this the manner, by the introduction language, still he was fully decided that of foreign libels and treasons, that the li- through the whole of that argument, and berty or public spirit of the country was in every inference the hon. baronet had to be asserted and animated? All such made, he was correct. With such improceedings of the hon. baronet he should pressions upon his mind, there was no-. frorn the bottom of his heart disclaim, and thing in the conduct or in the arguments was determined to oppose him in every of the right bon. gentlemen opposite to instance. He had bui one word more to induce him to alter his original conviction. add. He had thought that the former He would not directly say, that the reso. Letter ought not to liave been noticed, be- lutions against the bon. baronet were first cause he had a doubt as to the propriety introduced at the will of the ministers, of the proceeding proposed. The House, however strongly he felt the great interest however, was the best judge of its parlia and impatience expressed by them mentary privileges.
He had never a
press and precipitate a hasty decision doubt that it was an offence that might be upon that very serious subject. Believe punished by a reprimand or a prosecuring then, the House chargeable with an tion. But on this occasion le should exercise of hardship against Mr. Jones, vote for the amendment, as the stronger and acquiescing in the correctness of the measure.
arguments of the hon. baronet, it was imSir James Hall supported the amend possible for him to vote for either the moment.
tion of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Curwen) Mr. C. Hutchinson trusted that his pub- or the amendment of the Chancellor of the lic conduct would protect him from the Exchequer. The former gentleman had imputation of speaking disrespectfully of that night called upon the House to rally the Commons of the united kingdom. at that crisis around the government. In Neither could he be supposed capable of answer to such an appeal, he must say, giving his sanction to any attempt at dis. that whilst he trusted upon every occasion turbing the tranquillity of the metropolis, to prove his attachment to his Sovereign or of any part of the empire. Having and country, he still must contend that no thought it necessary to make these preli- body of men in that House could or ought minary observations, he could not acquis to place their confidence in any ministry esce in either of the motions now pro- who did not unequivocally make to the posed, to be founded upon the Letter of country specific declarations in favour of ihe hon. baronet. Since first the discus- that reform which every sound mind now sion upon these unfortunate transactions saw was absolutely necessary, and withwas originated, he uniformly took a to- out which it was hopeless to look for the tally opposite course to that of the right support and confidence of the people of hon. gentlemen who were in administra- these realms. tion. The first opportunity that he had, Mr. Curwen trusted, that, after some he declared his opinion against the com- things which had been said in the course mittal of Mr. Gale Jones. He was not in of the debate, he should obtain a hearing. 'the House when that question was first He was charged with being afraid of the brought forward; but on a subsequent mob. Now, he could assure the hon. memoccasion be deprecated the course pura ber who made that charge, that in subsued, and was one of a minority of 14 who mitting his motion to the House, he was voted for his liberation. Without enter- influenced by no feeling of the kind. ing into any discussion upon the exercise His object was to obtain unanimity. Con. of the privilege which the House had as- sidering the transactions of the last few sumed, he did conceive that the imputed days, he felt it to be his duty, and the offence of Mr. Jones was the most venial, duty of every man who revered the constiand that the exclusion of the public from tution, to support the government. Ho the'debates of that House at that particu- regretted the debate had taken the turn it lar moment, was a considerable provoca- did, and that, instead of confining the dis. tion to popular discontent. If it did not cussion to the specific matter of complaint