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tbem willingly; bat I cannot now git still and hear it said, that it could have led to results which every man in the country, and every lover of the human race must deplore. No, my Lords, the fault, with respect to that measure, was not in the concessions which were made, but in the delay which took ; that which, done early, would have beneficial, done late lost no small portion of its value; concession was delayed till a system of agitation was established capable of being applied to the basest and the worst of pu rposes—concession was not made on principles of right or justice, or policy, but confessedly to fear and necessity. Let it not be supposed that I am blaming those by whom the concessions were made—far from it. I do not blame tbem for giving way, at least I do not blame them for at length carrying that measure themselves which it was the whole business of their previous lives, to resist. In the circumstances in which they found themselves placed, the course they adopted was the evident dictate of sound policy and wisdom; when they saw the danger approaching, they did what then lay in their power to obviate its possible effects. I heard, with feelings which I shall never forget, the noble Duke opposite, when speaking of the horrors of civil war, say, that he was willing to die, to save his country from such a calamity. It was a declaration dictated alike by feelings of humanity and of true wisdom. For reasons, then, my Lords, which these observations naturally suggest, the views I took of that great and healing measure remain unchanged ; and to the opinion which I then entertained respecting it, I have now to add, that I am persuaded the degree in which it may have contributed to the present discontents in Ireland is solely to be ascribed, not to the adoption, but to the delay in passing it. We are now, however, to deal with a new state of things, and we must deal with them as we find them; we are to direct our energies to the suppression of that system of agitation as applied to the question of the Union, by which the former question, I am willing to admit, was, in a great measure, advanced —that which we might have borne with as the means of promoting a great and legitimate object, we are called upon to resist when directed to opposite purposes. I hesitate not to affirm, that we are bound to support and promote the efforts of those who think, to dissolve the Union amounts
to nothing less than to dissolve the connection between this country and Ireland. I opposed the measure of the Union at the time it was first discussed here, on general policy. I opposed it also on grounds to which the noble Lord who spoke last has adverted—namely, because of the feral means which were adopted for the purpose of carrying that measure into effect. They were meanswhieh would provoke opposition to any measure. There were never worse means resorted to, for carrying any measure than the corruption to which I am alluding —they were means which reflect thedeepest disgrace upon those with whom they originated, and which, to remotest posterity, will blacken the memory of their authors. Inducements were held out both to Protestants and Catholics, involving opposite representations and statements; the Protestants were told, that if that measure were once passed, it would afford the best security to them against the Catholics; and the Catholics were told, that if they agreed to it, and gave their assistance to forward its accomplishment, their own claims would come to be considered by a free Parliament, unfettered by any restrictions hostile to their just demands. Thus were both parties deceived, that that measure might be carried into effect—the Catholics were deceived, and continued in the degraded condition in which they were left at the Union, until a degree of irritation showed itself, that could no longer be trifled with, and till concession became the only remedy. Would to God that the warning voices of those who are now no more had been listened to; what evils might have been prevented—what dangers might have been averted—what collisions of hostile parties might have been avoided—what strenuous and ardent efforts might have been combined in cordial unity, to extend and consolidate the true interests and happiness of the United Kingdom. But regrets of this nature need now no longer be indulged; the present moment demands some decisive and energetic measures, as respects many relations in which we stand; and I rejoice at being able to say, that I concur with his Majesty's Ministers in thinking, that t( execute the existing laws is all that Irelam requires in the nature of restraint. I havi therefore, nothing to object to that part the Address which relates to Ireland; fu' sympathising, as I do, in the grief r indignation which his Majesty has thou proper to express, I the more readily'
cur in that part of the Address, indeed from a persuasion that his Majesty's Ministers are not, and cannot be, indifferent to the state of Ireland; and I trust that Parliament will soon receive from them proofs that they are ready to bring forward measures suitable to the condition of that country. Once more, in recurring to the great and healing measure of the Session before the last, I beg to repeat that I was never of the number of those who expected from it alone the complete and immediate tranquillity of Ireland—there was much to be done in every department of society in that country—there was much to be done to allay the spirit of discontent which every where prevailed and much to be done to remedy the abuses of the government of Ireland—which were rendered inveterate by longduration. The great measure, however, has been passed, and it now remains for Parliament to follow it up in a manner suitable to such acommencement, by which I should earnestly recommend to the immediate attention of the House—measures of internal relief—measures worthy of the policy which opened the Constitution to the Catholics—measures calculated to remove the poverty and distress of the people, and to give strength to the Government. Having now made the few remarks which I intended to address to the House respecting Ireland, I shall direct my attention fo the condition of the empire, but more especially, in the first instance, to the distresses of the people, and to the disturbances to which noble Lords have alluded. I shall begin by admitting, that I believe distress does exist to a considerable extent; and I concur as heartily as any man in the opinion that Parliament should immediately institute an inquiry into the causes of that distress, and without delay adopt such measures as the necessity of the case may demand. When I first read in the newspapers the statement to which a noble Earl behind me has adverted, I hesitated not a moment in pronouncing my disbelief of it. I could not believe that the peasantry of Kent were affected by so bad a spirit, and least of all did I believe that that noble Earl could have been made the subject of hostile feelings by those whom he employed, and who surrounded him as neighbours. However, we hare now the statement of the noble Earl himself which will go forth to the public in such a form as to preclude the continu that subject. J cannot
of the subject without expressing my full conviction, that Parliament will direct its best efforts to remedy the evils which have led to this species of disturbance, and though the people of that country have been driven to commit excesses, I trust that their spirit is yet sound, that they have English hearts in their bosoms, and that when they become satisfied that the Legislature is anxiously engaged in devising means for their relief, they will be restored to a sense of what they owe to themselves, and to society. I fully concur in the recommendation of the noble Lord—a recommendation in perfect accordance with his humane feelings and his high courage—■ that our first duty is, to repress severely and firmly any violation of the law, and immediately to enter upon the consideration of such remedial measures as, under the circumstances, may be practicable. The noble Marquis who moved the Address, seemed to imagine that the distresses in the county of Kent had their origin in events which took place in a neighbouringcountry. —[The Marquis of Bute denied that he had said any such thing, and the Marquis of Camden said, it was he who had expressed the opinion to which the noble Earl referred.] I beg pardon of the noble Marquis who spoke first—I should have attributed that sentiment to the noble Marquis, the Lord-lieutenant of the county of Kent. I really, however, am quite at a loss to discover the grounds upon which he affirms that those disturbances had their origin in the cause which he assigns. I am unable to comprehend why such causes should have affected Kent at all, and, having done so, why their operation should be confined to that county; neither can I understand how the destruction of machinery is at all connected with causes of that nature. The destruction of machinery by labourers is clearly to be attributed to the distress, as they cannot be persuaded that their distresses are not aggravated by its means. But the other outrages which disgrace the county of Kent cannot be so accounted for. They are in all respects contrary to all that we have ever known of the English character. Nor are they occasioned by the occurrences in a neighbouring nation, to which the noble Marquis has referred. The next topic to which I must allude respects the professions of economy contained in the Speech of this day. Of these professions I must say, that they are invariably made in Speeches from the C
Throne, but I hope that, on the present occasion at least, they will be carried into effect. I trust the relief which it is intended to give will be such as to remove the pressure of those taxes, which are at the same time the most severely felt and the least productive. Allusion has been made to what was done in the last Session of Parliament. For those measures of relief, as far as they went, I give his Majesty's Ministers full credit; although I do not think that the taxes repealed were those of which the pressure was the most felt or the most general. But in another respect this repeal has been productive of good. In the expense of their collection, the saving has been as great as in the productive amount of the taxes themselves. But more general relief might have been afforded by the repeal of other taxes; though I have no doubt that the selection of taxes to be repealed was made with the best intentions. What I now look for is a still further reduction. I do not, however, think this a time to discuss such a proposition as that brought forward by the noble Lord on the cross-bench, respecting a different mode of taxation. If the noble Lord means to propose a Property-tax, it will be my duty to give the most decided opposition to such a tax, because I feel that it will increase not lessen our difficulties. On another occasion I shall have an opportunity of pointing out such taxes as, by their repeal, would at the same time afford the most general relief, and diminish to the greatest amount the expenses of collection. As to the measure recommended by his Majesty to the consideration of Parliament—namely, the appointment of a Regency—it is one which I, in common with other noble Lords, urged your Lordships to consider in the last Session. Of that measure I have now nothing to say, but that 1 entirely concur in the recommendation contained in his Majesty's Speech, and I have no objection to make to the manner in which it has been introduced; I can have no wish but that an arrangement may be made that will ensure on the one hand, the unity and efficiency of the Government, as well as the rights and liberties of the subject, during the minority of the successor to the Throne, and on the other hand, the safe succession of the minor, placing theguardianship in those hands which nature and good policy point out. With respect to the next topic alluded to, 1 have no objection to consider it, as
recommended by the noble Marquis who introduced the Address. It is true, as the noble Marquis has stated, that the Speech is understood to contain the sentiments of his Majesty's Ministers. I am also willing to consider the recommendation as to the hereditary revenues of the Crown, as the act of his Majesty himself; and as adding to those many acts of spontaneous generosity and sincere affection for hit subjects which have already gained for his Majesty the hearts of his people. His Majesty deserved the praise in the first instance of the measure; but I will also give his Majesty's Ministers credit for their readiness to bring forward such measures as are most likely to contribute to the prosperity of the empire and to the security of the Crown. I gratefully acknowledge, with the noble Marquis, the considerate disposition in hisMajesty which has induced him to resign wholly to Parliament all those hereditary revenues such as the Droits of Admiralty, the West-India Duties, and other branches of casual revenue which belonged to the Crown. But, my Lords, from the way in which the noble Marquis has stated the matter, it would appear, that he supposes those revenues to be the private property of the Crown, and that the Sovereign has a right to employ them as he pleases, without reference to public utility. Against any such construction it is my duty to prole*?. Those revenues were originally given to enable his Majesty to carry on the government of the country with dignity and effect; and Parliament in contributing to the expenses of the Civil List, is bound only to grant so much as may supply the deficiency of those other sources of revenue. 1 do not mention this, my Lords, with any view to detract from the great condescention of his Majesty, but to prevent an incorrect principle, such as that stated by the noble Marquis, from being adopted by the House. I have now, my Lords, gone through all the topics of the Speech which relate to our domestic concerns, and I must proceed to not the least important, though the least noticed, part of his Majesty's Speech. My Lords, I allude to that part of the Speech from the Throne in which our doubtful relations with other Powers are spoken of. I ajree with the noble Lord on the cross-bench (Lord Farnlr.im) as to the necessity of preparations: but 1 do not agree in supposing that there is an;
for 'Parliament to consider preparations for taking up arms. 1 do not look lor defence to augmented establishments—to an increased army and navy—being convinced that such precautions will bring tipon us the very dangers which we seek, by their adoption,- to avoid. If we were to arm, as the noble Lord has intimated we should, and, as he said, all Europe was arming, if we were to adopt such a policy, in all probability one short month would not pass without our being involved in a war with France. "You see," said the noble Lord, the " danger around you ; the storm is in the horizon, but the hurricane approaches. Begin then at once to strengthen your houses, to secure your windows, and to make fast your doors." But the mode in which this must be done, my Lords, is by securing the affections of your fellowsubjects, and by redressing their grievances, and—my Lords, I will pronounce the word—by reforming Parliament. Through my whole life I have advocated Reform, and I have thought that, if it were not attended to in time, the people would lose all confidence in Parliament, and we must make up our minds to witness the destruction of the Constitution. I tmst that it will not be put off as the Catholic Question was put off, but considered in time, so that measures may be introduced by which gradual Reform can be effected without danger to the institutions of the country. Whether it can be expected that Ministers will bring forward such measures, I cannot say; but of this I am
age is entitled to this privilege
are principles which I must deny, and claims which I must oppose. The right of the people is to good government; and that is, in my judgment, inconsistent with universal suffrage under our present institutions. If suffrage be the right of all who pay a certain tax, then 1 say, that it is in the limit, and not in the extension, of that privilege, that such right consists. I say, my Lords, that preparation ought to be made to revise the Constitution, to extend its blessings, and to secure the affection of the people, to ensure their tranquillity, and to confirm their confidence in the Legislature, and in a King who only lives for the good of his subjects. But I do not agree in the policy recommended by the noble Lord on the crossbench (Lord Farnham). With respect to France, I approve of all that has hitherto occurred, although no one. will say that I would hold out inducements to rebellion. My Lords, I know that all Revolutions are evils In themselves, and I regret that what has passed was necessary. For the peace of Europe, for the honour and safety of the family which has been expelled from the Throne, I regret that Charles 10th could not have made up his mind to concur in the new order of things, to act faithfully upon the Charter which he had sworn to maintain, and to acknowledge the right of the people to that good government, without which, tranquillity and allegiance cannot be expected from them. My Lords, if Revolution could be rendered necessary in any circumstances, it was rendered necessary by what I must call an unjustifiable attack on the liberties of the people. As an Englishman, owing the benefits which I at present enjoy to a similar measure, similarly provoked, I rejoice in the resistance of the people of France to the attack upon their liberties; and I rejoice in the character of their whole conduct, from the first moment when resistance became necessary to the expulsion of the reigning family. In such a cause resistance was necessary, was noble, and I cannot conceive a more heart-stirring scene than that of a people entering upon so holy a contest with courage worthy of the cause, and using victory, when achieved, with such unparalleled moderation. It is gratifying, that in their resistance, there has not yet been one act to stain the purity of their patriotism. In the Revolution
Address, he will find France soon fallingoff from the negotiation, and his measure leading to the result which it is his wish to avoid. My Lords, it was also with regret that I heard the allusion made to the recognition of Don Miguel. I do not wish to speak here of the private character of that Prince, but I do not think the proposed recognition of his authority in Portugal consistent with a Statesman-like view of our relations with that country. Our original situation, certainly, with respect to Don Miguel, was by no means the same as at present. We have lately recognised a new government in France, and as there seems to be in the other country (Portugal) also a government, existing now for some time, with the apparent concurrence of the people, I am not prepared to say when it may be proper to recognise it. But in the passage of the Speech from the Throne, alluding to such recognition, there is something which I do not understand. The recognition is made to depend on the passing of an amnesty. I understood the noble Duke at the head of his Majesty's Government to have said, on a former occasion, when he wished to justify a measure which was complained of in this House, that "non-interference was the principle, and intervention the exception." Now, 1 will ask him, how he can reconcile that principle of non-interference with making this amnesty the condition of the proposed recognition of Don Miguel? If he do so, is he prepared to enforce the fulfilment of that condition? For my part, my Lords, I should certainly rejoice to see the Marquis of Palmella and his virtuous fellowsufferers restored to their country and to their estates; but, I must ask the noble Duke, if this amnesty be made the condition on which we recognise Don Miguel —and if, on the faith of that condition, the noble Duke's companions in arms, who are now engaged in attempting to establish the liberty of Spain, should return to their own country, would this promise of Don Miguel be faithfully observed? If faith be not kept with the returned exiles—if Palmella and the others be seized on their return, what then will follow? Are we bound to maintain the amnesty, to the promise of which we are made a party? Are we bound to go to war for the purpose of enforcing it? Such interference is opposed to all the principles on which nations have ever acted. As yet we have seen nothing to encourage the
expectation of this amnesty. On thi contrary, the last that we have heard c; the proceedings of that Prince (Dos Miguel), was his seizure of the wives tai children of those adherents of Donna Maria who were not accompanied in exi by their families. Before I conclude, 1 should wish, with your Lordships' indulgence, to recapitulate by stating1, tbat is respect to what has happened in France,! rejoice in the successful resistance of the people to the unjustifiable measures of the family which they have expelled; I trust, into whatever negotiations his Majesty's Government may resolve to engage for the new settlement of Belgium, that the principle of non-interference will be strictly adhered to. I regret the distress—the existence of which in this country cannot be denied, and I am satisfied that this House is disposed to consider the best means of relieving it. With respect to Ireland, I concur altogether in the sentiments expressed by the noble Duke woo sits near me; and although, under all circumstances, I cannot give my sanction to the Address, I conceive that 1 fulfil my duty in offering it no opposition.
The Duke of Wellington said, he was in hopes, judging from the first part of the noble Earl's Speech, that he should only have had to congratulate their Lordships on the sentiments which the noble Earl had delivered in commenting on his Majesty's speech, and what had fallen from the noble Lord and the noble Duke. The sentiments of the noble Earl did him the highest honour, and became the rank which he ought to hold in the country as a statesman. They did equal honour to his heart and head, and he (the Duke of Wellington) congratulated the House on their expression, at the same time that he was sorry he could not agree with what had fallen from the noble Earl upon all the points he had touched upon. The noble Earl ended his speech with some observations relative to Portugal, and he would commence by answering them. He begged the House to recollect how frequently his late Majesty had stated to Parliament the inconvenience felt in this country, in consequence of the interruption of our diplomatic relations with Portugal; how frequently his late Majesty had stated his wish to re-establish those relations; how anxiously he sought to reconcile the two branches of the House of Braganza; and how frequently, as he repeatedly told the