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by the language of the fierce, the Lord Francis Egerton, believing malignant, and cowardly dema the petitioners to be sincere, found gogue, who had written the docu that 3,000,000 persons had signed ment on the Table.” He could what Mr. Roebuck had called a name the individual, if he were trashy and contemptible petition ; not beneath contempt. But he and he concurred in Mr. Macau. called upon the House not to forin lay's reasons against taking that their opinions from the language trashy and contemptible document of that individual, but to judge of into consideration. Mr. Hawes the conduct of that large class, said, he could not concede power whose conduct had been borne to masses of people, blindly led by witness to by a Gentleman oppo the very men for whom Mr. Roe. site, who had borne so patiently buck had expressed such merited their long sufferings, and the daily contempt. Mr. Hume re-asserted oppression to which they had been some of the allegations in the subjected; from this conduct of petition as undeniable ; and said, theirs he would beg the House to that the best mode of avoiding judge of their countrymen, and revolution was to listen to the not from the hasty wording of the well-founded complaints of the idle and foolish document before people. them. And if he were right, why Mr. Wakley observed, that it anticipate the anarchy described by had been expected that the newlythe last speaker? If the people enfranchised boroughs would return entertained the opinions imputed some very troublesome men ; but, to them, could any physical force assuredly, they never would be in the country at this moment annoyed with men of extreme keep them down? If 3,000,000 opinions, if they took their leaf of should rise up as a man to insist Reform out of Mr. Hawes's book. upon what they considered their He had expected, on a question so just demands, what army that you interesting to the working-class, could raise could avail to keep that it would have been hailed them quiet? But what was it with rounds of Kentish fire and that produced this feeling on the other manifestations of sympathy part of the people? It was a from Members on the Ministerial conviction on their part of the side, who had so often denounced benefits which would arise to the Whigs for harshness towards themselves from peace and obe the poorer classes. The motion dience to the laws. Or let him ought to be granted, if it were put the evils of an aristocratic Go only that the House might have vernment against the evils assumed an opportunity of discovering, that by Mr. Macaulay; when the coun the people were not such santry was distressed, when the Go- guinary monsters as Mr. Macaulay vernment and the people asked had painted them. for a reduction in the price of Lord John Russell, after adfood, the exclusive and aristocratic verting to some inconsistencies body that formed the majority in between the arguments urged by that assembly did everything they Mr. Roebuck, and the description could to keep up the price of pro- given by him of the petition and visions: was there no spirit of its authors, said, it was quite true, rapine in that?
that instead of regulating their
affairs by a public assemblage in The improved representation of
Sir Robert Peel was quite premight be taken advantage of to pared to resist the motion for the effect their ruin. He felt confi. hearing on the ground of his oppodent, that if all the adult males in sition to the Charter, as it was sa place were assembled, and were called ; as he did not mean to made to understand that the present awaken hopes on false grounds. public creditors had obtained their The honourable Gentleman had claim on the faith of the country said that the petitioners only defor a valuable consideration, they manded inquiry ; but this petition would repudiate the project of was nothing more or less than an applying a sponge to the public impeachment of the constitution debt; but he was not so sure that and of the whole frame of our those who had indueed them to society. The petition said it was sign this petition might not mis- wrong to maintain an Established lead them to choose as representa. Church; and, after many other tives men who would call such an statements, declared as a postscript aet necessary for the public good. that the people of Ireland were
entitled to a repeal of the Union. petitioners? Was such a person How could he be justified in lis one whom he could admit to the tening to such demands, or what Bar of the House, to establish the could be the practical result of rights of the labouring classes of hearing four or five speeches at England ? the Bar on such topics? Were What was it, he asked, that the speeches to be made at the gave to the law that influence Bar of the House to be replied to ? over the people which Mr. Roe. Supposing that they failed in pro- buck had described ? ducing their effeet, was the de It was a conviction on the part mand then to be, that he should of the people that it was just. enter into an inquiry with respect Did they believe that, if the peo. to every allegation which might ple of England were in that conbe brought forward ? should he dition in which the petition as, admit that inquiry, or refuse it? serted they lived-did they believe The petition had been charac- that if the spirit of the country terized as not representing the was justly decribed in that memosentiments of those who signed it rial, which stated that Your ho. as a document at variance with nourable House has enacted laws the judgments, with the good sense, contrary to the expressed wishes of of the three millions and a half of the people, and by unconstitutional petitioners; and as a document means enforced obedience to them, which had been imposed upon thereby creating an unbearable dese them by a 'cowardly and malig. potism on the one hand, and de nant demagogue, whom the ho. grading slavery on the other'--if nourable Member in question knew, such (he said), was a just representand from his personal knowledge ation of the feelings of the people was entitled to speak of with dis with respect to the law of England, respect. He knew not to whom would that people acknowledge the honourable Gentleman al that tacit influence of the law which luded—he would take the descrip- gave to the decrepid constable the tion from the honourable Gentle power which he now possessed ? man. And should he permit the Did the House imagine, that the author of the petition, the man high-spirited people of England described in such terms—the man would have that respect for the law who had so perverted to his own which they now exhibited, if they evil purposes
the minds of the in- did not believe that the law was telligent, the industrious, the la- such as guaranteed the rights of bouring classes of England-should property, and preserved the blessing he admit that man to the Bar of of liberty—as a law for the poor the House ?-and he, of course, man as well as for the rich ? would be the man who would The English people had been come forward to defend the alle- contrasted by a preceding speaker gations of the petition-should with those of foreign nations, as not he be countenancing gross de- being superior in patience, in inlusion if he permitted him, the telligence, and in spirit; but what author of the petition which put had formed that character, if not forth an hundred points, the ac those laws and institutions which quiescence in each of which would were impeached by the present be an evil to the interests of the petition ? And on the other hand,
how could he trust to that high Constitution, which could yield no character which was given of the relief, but rather produce an aggrapetitioners, if they had agreed to vation of the evils complained of. such a petition as Mr. Roebuck Mr. Muntz declared his intenhad described ? He agreed with tion of supporting the prayer of Lord John Russell, that if the the petition. people had been deluded in this Mr. Oswald opposed it as deluinstance, they might be deluded sive. again, when they had acquired Mr. Villiers spoke in favour of that power which others might the motion, which went no further abuse. He believed Universal Suf- than a hearing of the case alleged frage to be incompatible with the in the petition by counsel at the maintenance of a mixed Monarchy, Bar. under which the people had ob Mr. O'Connell explained that tained for 150 years as much prac. his vote would be given on the tical liberty, and enjoyment of same side, on the ground of his social happiness, as any form of being a decided advocate of Unihuman government could afford versal Suffrage ; a doctrine which not excepting that of the United he had not heard successfully comStates of America.
bated, either in this debate, or at He concluded by expressing his any other time. sincere sympathy with the present
Mr. Duncombe replied. sufferings of the people, but his The House divided, and there firm resolution not to consent to appeared- ayes, 49; noes, 287 : those momentous changes in the majority, 238.
Lord Ashley's bill for restraining the Employment of Women and
Children in Mines and Collieries-Extracts from the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry - Impression made by Lord Ashley's statement upon the House of Commons-Speeches of Mr. For Maule, Lord F. Egerton, Sir J. Graham, and other Members Leave given to bring in the Bill nem. con. - Rapid progress of the measure in the House of Commons-It is passed with slight opposition-It is introduced in an altered form in the House of Lords. Debates on the Second Reading-Lord Wharncliffe states the inlentions of the Government respecting it-Lord Londonderry moves, that it be read a second time that day six months, but the Motion is not seconded. Speech of Lord Brougham before going into Committee - Various amendments are proposed and negatived, and the Bill passed - Debates in the House of Commons on the Lords' Amendments-Charges against the Government made by Lord Palmerston and Mr. C. Buller-Sir R. Peel vindicates the Ministers—The Amendments agreed to-Bribery at Elections Singular result of proceedings before Committees - General reports respecting compromises of petitions, Mr. Roebuck underlakes an inquiry - He addresses questions to the Members for Reading, Nottingham, Harwich, Penryn and Lewes—Their answers - Mr. Roebuck states his charges and moves for a Select CommitteeMr. Fitzroy seconds the motion- Adjourned debate-Speeches of Mr. Wynn, Mr. Ward, Lord Palmerston, Sir R. Inglis, Sir R. Peel, Lord J. Russell, Lord Stanley, and others—Mr. Roebuck amends his motion, which is then carried without a division-Mr. T. Duncombe proposes a test for the Committee, which is rejectedNomination of the Committee- An Act of Indemnity for Witnesses passed- Presentation of the Report of the Commitiee— Particulars of compromises in the cases of Harwich, Nottingham, Lewes, Reading, Penryn, and Bridport – Mr. Roebuck moves Resolutions founded on the Report-Speeches of Mr. C. Russell, Major Beresford, Mr. Fitzroy, Captain Plumridge, and Lord Chelsea - The Solicitorgeneral moves the previous question—Sir R. Peel states reasons for opposing the resolutions, which are negatived on a division - The Chancellor of the Exchequer refuses Lord Chelsea's application for the Chiltern Hundreds - Lord Palmerston finds faull with the Go. vernment - The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir R. Peel vindicate the course adopted for frustrating the Compromises published by the Commillee-Statement of Captain Plumridge-Suspension of the Writs for Nottingham, Ipswich, Southampton, and Newcastle-underVol. LXXXIV.