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Corn-laws, and a necessity now had given by anticipation so large generally acknowledged for some a pledge of its confidence at the re-settlement of that delicate and late elections, was still only a Mi. arduous question ; increasing dis- nistry on its trial, and that trial as union between the agricultural and keen and severe as any Cabinet in manufacturing interests ; loud and modern times has been required to general complaints of depression in undergo. It was consequently imall the principal branches of trade, possible even for those whose poli. accompanied by distress among the tical creed led them to place the poorer classes, whichi, making every greatest confidence in the ability, allowance for exaggeration, was and resources of Sir Robert Peel beyond all doubt both real and ex and his colleagues, not to feel an tensive ;-all these causes seemed anxious solicitude when the time to impose upon the ministry which approached for the development of had lately been called to office a those measures of which the prutask which it would require no ore dence of the Prime Minister had dinary resources of statesmanship hitherto refused to allow even the to discharge in a manner commen slightest outline to transpire to the surate with the exigencies of the curiosity of the public. The embartimes. To allay the popular out rassments of the country were becry for cheap food, without with- yond dispute; the capacity of the drawing its due support from existing Administration to grapple agriculture; to impart a new sti. with them was warmly controvertmulus to trade without detrimented, and the disclosure of their plans to interests which claimed protec was anticipated by the different tion, and to retrieve the deficiencies parties in the country according to of the revenue without imposing their respective predilections or innew burthens on industry, were terests, with all the eagerness of problems on the solution of which hope or fear. The only incident the credit of the new Administra- worthy of remark which occurred tion was staked, and on which its previously to the opening of Parexistence might be considered, not. liament to excite public speculawithstanding its present apparent tion and throw some degree of strength, to depend. Moreover, to light upon the forthcoming policy these requisitions of the country, of the Government, was the anSir Robert Peel had, on accepting nounced retirement in the month office, declared himself prepared to of January of the Duke of Buckminister, stipulating only for time ingham from the office of Lordto mature his remedial measures, keeper of the Privy Seal. while the interval thus necessarily palpable that dissatisfaction with employed, of which his opponents the measure projected by his coldid not fail to take advantage leagues for the settlement of the against him, served in no small de- Corn-laws had induced this step, gree to enhance the expectations and the original admission of and hopes of the public, and to the Duke, the uncompromising prepare them to feel a keener dis- advocate of the landed interests, appointment in the event of any into the Cabinet, having been short-coming in the promised mea looked upon as a pledge and secusures of relief. The Ministry, rity to the agriculturists that their therefore, to which the country interests would be adhered to, his
secession at this moment caused son the office of sponsor at the some anxiety to that body. The christening of the Prince of opponents of the protective system, Wales. on the other hand, rejoiced in the “I receive from all Princes and hope that a division was taking States the continued assurance of place, which would tend to weaken their earnest desire to maintain the a Cabinet from which they ex most friendly relations with this pected little satisfaction to their country. views, and deprive it of that sup “It is with great satisfaction port of the farming body which that I inform you that I have conwas so essential to its strength. cluded with the Emperor of AusHow far these expectations were tria, the King of the French, the realised will appear from the events King of Prussia, and the Emperor hereafter to be unfolded.
of Russia, a treaty for the more On the 3rd of February the effectual suppression of the SlaveSession was opened under circum- trade ; which, when the ratificastances of unusual splendour, oc tions shall bave been exchanged, casioned by the presence of the will be communicated to ParliaKing of Prussia, at that time ment. making a visit to England in “There shall also be laid before order to stand sponsor at the you a treaty which I have concluded christening of the infant Prince of with the same Powers, together Wales, and who accompanied Her with the Sultan, having for its Majesty to the ceremonial. The re- object the security of the Turkish cent birth of a male heir to the empire, and the maintenance of the Throne likewise added an interest general tranquillity. to the appearance of the Sovereign, * The restoration of my diplowho now addressed her Parliament matic and friendly intercourse with in the following Speech from the the Court of Tehran, has been Throne:
followed by the completion of a
commercial treaty with the King "My Lords and Gentlemen,
of Persia ; which I have directed “I cannot meet you in Parlia- to be laid before you. ment assembled without making a “I am engaged in negotiations public acknowledgment of my gra- with several Powers, which, I titude to Almighty God on account trust, by leading to conventions of the birth of the Prince my. son ; founded on the just principle of an event which has completed the mutual advantage, may extend the measure of my domestic happiness, trade and commerce of the country. and has been hailed with every “I regret that I am not enabled demonstration of affectionate at to announce to you the re-establishtachment to my person and govern- ment of peaceful relations with the ment by my faithful and loyal Government of China. The unipeople.
form success which has attended “I am confident that you will the hostile operations directed participate in the satisfaction which against that Power, and my confiI have derived from the presence dence in the skill and gallantry of in this country of my good brother my naval and military forces, enand ally the King of Prussia; who, courage the hope on my part that at my request, undertook in per- our differences with the Govern
ment of China will be brought to gret the continued distress in the an early termination, and our com. Manufacturing districts of the mercial relations with that country country. The sufferings and pri. placed on a satisfactory basis. vations which have resulted from
it have been borne with exemplary “ Gentlemen of the House of patience and fortitude. ,
“ I feel assured that your deli" The Estimates for the year berations on the various important have been prepared, and will be matters which will occupy your laid before you.
I rely with en attention will be directed by a tire confidence on your disposition, comprehensive regard for the interwhile you enforce the principles of ests and permanent welfare of all a wise economy, to make that pro- classes of my subjects; and I fer. vision for the service of the coun vently pray that they may tend in try which the public exigencies their result to improve the national require.
resources, and to encourage the
industry and promote the happiness “ My Lords and Gentlemen,
of my people.” “I recommend to your imme The business of the Session was diate attention the state of the Fie commenced in the House of Lords pances and of the Expenditure of the by the Marquess of Abercorn, who, country. You will have seen with after her Majesty's Speech had regret, that, for several years past, been read by the Lord Chancellor, the annual income has been inade. rose to move the Address in reply. quate to bear the public charges, His Lordship, after passing shortly and I feel confident, that, fully in review the preliminary passages sensible of the evil which must of the Speech, called the attention result from a continued deficiency of the House especially to that of this nature during peace, you portion of it which referred to the will carefully consider the best state of the national finances. Remeans of averting it.
duction and retrenchment, carried “I recommend also to your con to the utmost limit which a due sideration the state of the laws regard to the public service would which affect the importation of admit of, had failed in rendering Corn, and of other articles the pro the income equal to the expendiduce of foreign countries.
ture; and it would now be neces“ Measures will be submitted sary to adopt some measure to for your consideration for the meet the great consequent defiamendment of the law of Bank- ciency which had for several years ruptcy, and for the improvement been accumulating. With respect of the jurisdiction exercised by the to the Corn-laws, he rejoiced to Ecclesiastical Courts in England find that the question would be and Wales.
taken into early consideration. “It will also be desirable that Much misapprehension and some you should consider, with a view ill-feeling had, he feared, been ento their revision, the laws which re- gendered by those agitators who gulate the Registration of Electors had endeavoured to persuade the of Members to serve in Parlia- public that the interests of the agriment.
culturist and of the manufacturer “I have observed with deep re were at variance; but he confi
dently anticipated, notwithstand
the country, and which had been ing all the difficulties of the sub rendered still more auspicious by ject, that means would be found the relations it had established bewhich would protect and advance tween the Royal Family and the the interests both of the grower King of Prussia, which were caland of the consumer. After feel. culated to obliterate all recollecingly adverting to the great preva tions of former political differences, lence of distress in the manufac- and to insure the future peace of turing districts, and urging the Europe. The noble Lord obnecessity of instant, but well-con- served, with reference to the other sidered legislation for its relief; he topics contained in the Address, concluded by reading the Address, that it was a good omen for a which, in the usual manner, re country when those who had the sponded throughout to the Speech management of it entertained a from the Throne.
good opinion of the state of the af. Lord Dalhousie seconded the fairs they had to conduct. His Lordmotion, and congratulated the ship adverted particularly to the House upon the happy event which aspect of affairs in China, which had added so much domestic felicity appeared, he said, to have made a to the Sovereign ; which had given sudden and surprising step towards the kingdom assurance that the a satisfactory termination since the line of succession would be pre occasion on which the now Presiserved unbroken, and which had dent of the Board of Trade declared been made the occasion for an un- such a termination to be impossible. questionable proof of the firm His Lordship then remarked upon union which existed between this the proposed alteration in the Corncountry and its most distinguished laws. On this subject he said :Protestant ally. He then went “ He had been glad to hear that a severally through the topics sug- prospect was held out in the Speech gested by the Royal Speech, and from the throne that some propoconcluded by expressing his hope sition would be submitted to their that the House would give its Lordships' consideration for a revimost careful attention to the mea sion of the Corn-laws, and of the sures which would be submitted to duties on exports generally. Of them, as well for the regulation of course it was not a committee of commerce, and the improvement of inquiry that was intended, but the law, as for the alleviation of some measure was to be introduced. the general distress, which was so If such a measure was to be prodeeply to be deplored.
posed, he hoped they would have l'iscount Melbourne expressed nothing to do with the slidinghis satisfaction with the Address scale. Nothing could be more itself, as well as with the speeches absurd and ridiculous; it exceeded by which it was introduced, which, all that we found in romance, all be observed, were extremely pro that we met with in Rabelais. per, and well calculated to pro- (“ Hear, hear.") He did hope that duce unanimity of feeling. 'He that great absurdity would not be could not but concur most cordially continued. There had been a great in the expressions of gratitude for Conservative party, when it was the important event, which bad necessary to deliver some opinion diffused so much joy throughout on the Corn-laws, laying their
heads together, and coming down to pretend that any measures could to the Houses of Parliament--the prevent frequent distress and diffipresent Heads of the Government culty, and great vicissitudes in the and Lord Stanley and Sir James rate of wages, in the mass of Graham-and saying, 'We cannot people exposed to the sudden trantell you what will be done with sitions and changes to which inathe Corn-laws; but one thing we nufactures were liable. Some will tell you, and that is, we will persons were in the habit of attristand by the sliding-scale ; as for buting all these effects to the Cornpledging ourselves to the question laws. He (Lord Melbourne) could of the Corn-laws, that cannot be not do so. He did not believe that done.' He did not know anything the Corn-laws did produce them; more absurd and ridiculous, and they might have some part in prothe sliding-scale must be done ducing them ; but he believed that away with. This rising and fall. the difficulty and distress now exing, with the rise and fall of perienced were inseparable from price, never could consist with the and belonged to a state of manusecurity and stability of a trade facturing prosperity, and were the which was sufficiently uncertain consequence of the great amount of and unstable of itself; they would capital invested in manufactures in never get the better of fraud, but this country. That everything they would increase the uncertainty should be done that could be done of that which was already too un to alleviate it he admitted ; but he certain. As he understood a mea did not think that it should be sure was to be introduced on this held out that alleviation could be subject, he entreated noble Lords effected by great changes in the opposite to reconsider this part of Constitution, or by a change of the question before they introduced those who administered the Gotheir bill. The last topic he should vernment ; which was only to sow advert to was the regret which her a dangerous delusion in public Majesty had been advised to express credulity. It had been supposed at the deap distress in the manu that the measures of reform which facturing districts. Whatever could had been introduced in late years be done by legislative means to had brought the greatest discredit alleviate that distress ought to be upon those who had promoted done with the utmost care ; but he them: but if they had brought could not be a party to any pro- such discredit, it was the conseceedings in Parliament which held quence of the disappointment of out a hope that legislative measures inordinate expectations.
It had could prevent or entirely remove been said that the measure of that distress. He agreed in what Roman Catholic Emancipation had fell from the noble Lord who not produced the good which had moved the Address, that our ma been expected from it, and that the nufactures depended so much upon
Reform Bill had not yielded many the variations of demand arising of the benefits, and had not corfrom taste, fashion, and foreign rected many of the evils contemimportations, and so large a mass plated by the Act. It might be so ; of population were affected by but if they had failed they had those variations, that it would be failed not from their own ill-work. holding out a delusion to the public ing, for they had worked well,