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employment. The measures of under its notice the appalling Government were the best that state of things described by Mr. under the circumstances could be Aldam, Mr. Brotherton, and Sir resorted to. He praised the fur- Benjamin Hall. He thought, howbearance of the people, even under ever, that the prorogation of Parthe efforts of wicked men to exciteliament would tend to hasten the them to excesses; which left to adoption of measures against which Government no alternative but large majorities had voted this the firm maintenance of law and Session ; for if Government were peace.
disappointed as to the improvement After Sir Robert Peel's speech, resulting froin their measuresMr. W. Williams moved the ad- if they found the gloomy anticijournment of the debate, and re pations of the Opposition realized commenced it on the ensuing -..they could call Parliament toevening, by adducing documents gether before the close of the to show the starvation and want year, and, as a last resource, try of employment existing in Coven- those measures which had been so try, and insisting that Sir Robert earnestly pressed upon their coaPeel, having admitted the distress, sideration. And Mr. Wallace's was bound to provide a remedy, motion was at least attended with whereas be pleaded the advanced this advantage, that it enabled the period of the Session, and said, Opposition distinctly to throw on that it was too late to do anything. Ministers the undivided responsiMr. Williams proposed a plan of bility, in the present awful state his own—to admit corn, cotton, of the country, of rejecting those and raw silk, free of duty; to measures while they had them. repeal the Malt-tax; to reduce selves no substitute to propose. the duty on coffee and sugar to He said the Government had made 3d. per lb., on tea to 30 per cent.; some important admissions. They and to meet the reduction of the had admitted that private charity revenue by_reducing all payments was inadequate to the exigency; out of the Exchequer by one-third, that employment alone could efexcepting the pay of common sol. fectually relieve the people: and diers and sailors ; a measure which that an increased importation of he justified on the calculation that the articles on which the duties the Currency Bill of 1819 had were just reduced would lead to added one-third to the burthens an increased exportation of our of the country.
own goods. This doctrine was a Mr. Aldam adduced statistics true one, though the operation on of the distress of Leeds Mr. which it was founded might be Brotherton described the depres. sometimes circuitous : but if it sion and pauperism at Salford, was true of other articles, why, in and Sir B. Hall brought forward such a state of things as the similar statements respecting the present, was it not applied to the parish of Marylebone.
admission of sugar, of coffee, of Viscount Howick could foresee spirits, and above all, of corn? no practical advantage from the For, under the new Corn-law, inquiry proposed by Mr. Wallace; dealers still kept corn in the exbut the House ought not to sepa- . pectation of a rise in price, and the rate without having had brought uncertainty was still such that they
were afraid to order corn from any Mr. Elliće said, that unjust
that total repeal of the Corn-laws
would do some good ; and he terposition of Providence in their should not object to a proper sys- favour for the rescue of the couritem of emigration. The patience try from ruin. Perhaps they looked of the people under their suffer to the approaching harvest for a ings had been much spoken of; remedy ?--if tliey did, they looked, but he could not acknowledge it as in his opinion, to a broken reed: a merit in a people to bear injus. The harvest might; it was true, be a tice with too much patience; and good one; but it could not by any he warned those in high places to possibility be abundant. ("Oh,oh!") be cautious, lest the present quiet The sun of the summer could not should be but the awful calm that repair the injury wrought by the sometimes preceded a storm. rains of autumn. He admitted
Lord Palmerston said, he could that the principles of the Tariff not support the motion, as it was were just; but they had been open to technical difficulties ; but abandoned in so many cases, or he agreed that Government ought their operation'sở postponed in not to content themselves with ob- others, as to leave no hope of pre. jections to the formal motion, or sent advantage to the community. with mere expressions of regret Did Government look to private and sympathy, and laudations of charity?-it wasexhausted; besides, the people's patience under severe it must be withdrawn from the suffering; they should open their fund for the payment of labour. views in respect to practical mea. Did they intend a grant from the sures for the relief of the fearful public money? that must in distress which prevailed: “ It ap crease the pressure on the people peared that, without any steps at large. Perhaps they called on taken, or any assurance given, Par- the Opposition to propose the liament was to be prorogued within remedy ; the answer of the Ope a few weeks : honourable Gentle position was, that the channels of men were to be sent to the coun- trade werè choked, and ought to try for their partridge-shooting, for be cleared ; and that the remedy their grouse-shooting, for their for the distress would be found in pheasant-shooting, for their cock- a removal of the duties upon corn shooting – (Cries of " Oh, oh!” and sugar. America owed you and laughter) — and so to rest large sums'; she could pay you in until February next, as if the corn, but you would not allow country were in a state of the most her. You might gët sugar in perfect prosperity; and that the abundance from Brazil ; yet you Government were to sit during refused it, on the score of some that long period in a condition of mysterious treaty, although there inertness and inactivity, while the was a sufficient treaty already in people were perishing -motion-existence for the suppression of less, stirless to relieve their dire the Slave-trade, requiring only to distress, and without the slightest be executed. He himself, howeffort to remedy the misery of the ever, did not take a desponding country--waiting for they knew view of the future'; he believed nof what events---expecting relief that the affairs of the country they knew not from whence or would be restored. Not that he when--and looking, it would ap- anticipated any great increase in plear, alone to some miraculous in our European comnierce, so effec*
That the pre
tually were nations often blinded met also by jealousies and ill-feelto their real interests by their po ing fostered by the noble Lord ? litical jealousies; which was re In South America, the same hand markably the case with France. was visible in disputes and blockIn Germany, our perseverance in ades. To China he turned with duties upon timber and corn had pain, for he saw there a doubtful begotten manufactures adverse to war against an unwarlike people. ours. We must look then to North In central Asia, to establish an and South America, to Africa, to imaginary bulwark against an ima. Arabia, but above all, to China ginary foe, the noble Lord had and to India. In some of those brought upon us a series of anxcountries, our duties on corn and ieties and losses. Lord Palmerston on sugar obstructed us; but, in would meddle in all parts of the India, the great measure taken by world, engaging in petty wars; the late Government in Affghan- and he left to the present Minisistan had opened a wide field for ters the task of restoring the disBritish commerce.
turbed commerce of India.' Mr. sent Government approved and Wallace's proposition could be promust continue that policy, he in- ductive of no sort of advantage, ferred from the fact, that they had while it would embark the House requested Lord Auckland to re in a fruitless discussion on a vast main at the head of the Indian variety of topics. The existence of government."
the distress was universally agreed Lord Stanley said, that a very in; but the causes to wbich it had narrow view was taken of the been assigned, were various : “ It subject, when it was asked whether is said to arise from the taxation of Government intended to take no the country, from the change in ster. He admitted with pain the the Poor-law, from the Corn-law, existence of distress; but he had a from the currency, from the inconviction that some of its causes crease of machinery, from the mone were beyond the reach of human tary difficulties of the United States, legislation: “He would challenge from the war in India, in China the boldest free-trader to deny, that (which some honourable Members there had been a great aggravation do not believe to be so fortunate), of the distress by the bad harvests from the increase of population, of the last four years. The free from the Tariff and commercial admission of foreign corn might treaties, from the large farms, a benefit the manufacturers ; but division of which is thought adthe consumer would not benefit, visable—from reciprocity treaties; and the loss of capital and wealth one honourable Member attributes could not be made up. Lord Pal- it to the advances we are making merston said, that many a seed had in free trade-others to want of been sown, which had not been education, to deficient facilities for ripened by the summer sun; many emigration, to the denial of unipolitical seeds which have been versal suffrage, to the timber dusown do ripen. The noble Lord ties, and the duties on sugar. All said · We might look to distant these are separately pointed out by markets; we might look to North different honourable Gentlemen, America, but that we are there as causes of the present distress; met by the Corn-laws : are we not to each of which the attention of
a Committee would be directed- dles, fuel, leather ; there was a re. each of which must be investi- duction on coffee, and also on meat, gated, and inquiry taken what al- coupled with the assurance that no terations were to be made, and meat would be introduced. Governwhat obstacles it was necessary to ment had done nothing for the remove.""
immediate relief of the people, but After this speech an adjourn- had refused emigration, a grant of ment was again proposed, and the public money, and alteration of debate stood over to a third night, the Poor-law. Such a course of legisnotwithstanding the remonstrances lation could only end in a change of of Sir R. Peel and other Members the representative system. against so large a consumption of Mr. Ewart having said a few the public time upon subjects al. words in support of the resoluready so often discussed.
tions, the House was addressed by The debate was renewed by Mr. Mr. Cobden at considerable length. O'Connell, who urged the Ministry He argued that machinery does to try the experiment, justified by not throw people out of employthe awful state of the country, of ment; for its perfection and introat once releasing from bond the duction to practical use are too 1,500,000 quarters of corn. gradual suddenly to do so. Before
The resolutions were opposed Arkwright's time in 1767, only by Lord Eliot, Mr. Escott, Mr. 30,000 persons were employed in Borthwick, Mr Childers, and Mr. the cotton manufactures, and now Grimsditch ; and supported by Mr. there are a million and a half. P. M. Stewart, General Johnson, The agricultural districts, where and Mr. Mark Phillips.
there is no machinery, send their Mr. Leader condemned the Tariff people to be employed in the disfor disturbing all the smaller in- tricts where there is. And in terests, and leaving the larger un- cotton-weaving districts and the touched. He urged the necessity Potteries, where the machinery is of enlarging our foreign trade, and simple and antiquated, the people asked what had become of the are in as bad a state as in Mancommercial treaties with France chester. Machinery, therefore, is and Spain ?
not the cause of the distress. He Mr. Charles Buller made a de described the condition of Stockfence of the late Government's port, with 60,000 inhabitants, earnpolicy in India and China ; chal. ing 500,0001. a year ; but in prolenging their antagonists to prove cess of being eaten up by the poor. a single instance in which it had Other large towns are approaching injured the trade of the country; the same state ; and what is to be while they had largely encouraged done with such masses of people ? the growth of sugar and the im- They cannot be left to starve. In provement of the cotton culture in Hinckley, ll. an acre is paid by Índia. But the main point of his the land to the Poor-rate; and he speech consisted in enumerating in begged to remind the landowners a catalogue raisonnée those articles that the common law gives a rate of common food and domestic use in aid of towns whose funds are on which the Tariff does not lower exhausted He called on Sir Rothe duties—bread, butter, cheese, bert Peel (whom he found himself milk, beer, tea, sugar, soap, can- to have supported with his vote