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has done so, his accession to office will justified in making this inquiry as complete the number of the happy family what are the intentions of Her Majesty's who now enjoy the sweets of office. If Government. I do not think that this is they are to be guided by the opinions of a proper moment for a general discussion the hon. Members for Birmingham and of Reform, or to enter into the question Bradford, I am not quite sure but that it what that measure of Reform ought to be. would be better that the hon. Member for I think, however, that this is a

proper Birmingham should be also a Member of opportunity for expressing a strong opinion the Government, in order that that hon. that this Reform. question should not be Member should bear his share of the re- dangled before the public for party purposes sponsibility of the measure of Reform to be from year to year ; but that we should introduced by Her Majesty's Government. know where we really stand, and what the This might have the possible effect of intentions of Her Majesty's Government clipping the wings of the hon. Member for really are upon this subject. The informaBirmingham. In addition to these facts, tion which we have this evening received we have had a declaration from the Go- does not appear to me to barmonize with vernment that it is their intention to bring the statements made by Members of Her in a Reform Bill ; and I think on one Majesty's Government in other places ; occasion the noble Earl at the head of the and, therefore, it becomes necessary that Government intimated a determination to we should be informed by the Government stand or fall by that Bill. Under these what are really their intentions upon this circumstances, the Members of this House, most important question. and the public generally, naturally looked MR. BRIGHT: Sir, I can assure the with the utmost anxiety and curiosity to right hon. Gentleman that I do not feel Her Majesty's gracious Speech for an in. in the slightest degree sore at the censure dication of the measure in question ; and which he has just passed upon me with astonishment must have been very gene- regard to observations which I have made rally felt upon finding the terms in which upon the events which have taken place the subject of Reform has been alluded to. in Jamaica. I am a good deal used to the The language of the Royal Speech is- criticism of the right hon. Gentleman. In

“I have directed that information should be fact, I believe there is nothing which I procured in reference to the rights of voting in have said anywhere - hardly anything the election of Members to serve in Parliament which I have said in this House or in the for counties, cities, and boroughs. When that in- country for the last twenty years—which formation is complete, the attention of Parliament the right hon. Gentleman has not found it will be called to the result thus obtained, with a view to such improvements in the laws which necessary to condemn. I can assure him regulate the rights of voting in the election of that he is very much mistaken if he supMembers of the House of Commons, as may tend poses that I was actuated by any party to strengthen our free institutions and conduce to feeling in anything which I said upon this the public welfare.”

distressing subject. If I had any party Now, I think we have a right to suppose feeling, as the right hon. Gentleman interthat the information of Her Majesty's Go- prets that phrase, I presume I should have vernment upon this subject was complete been rather disposed to have said nothing before the meeting of Parliament. But that would be unpleasant to the Governthere is nothing whatever in the language ment and to the Administration, with whose of Her Majesty's Speech that can give us general policy I hope to agree. The right the slightest intimation of the time when hon. Gentleman might just as well be the measure will be introduced, or enable charged with having made a party attack us to judge whether the information re. upon me, standing, as he does, on the quired is to be given immediately, or to other side of the table, and cheered, as he be postponed until next year. And there has been, by the party of which he is one can be no doubt whatever that the intima- of the recognized leaders. But he charges tion given us this evening by the right hon. me with having prejudged this question. Baronet the Secretary for the Home De- Does he recollect that nearly every paper partment on this subject has contributed which advocates his politics in this country in no degree to remove the uncertainty has been writing strongly in favour of Gothat prevails as to the period when vernor Eyre, and applauding the sanguinthis measure of Reform will be introduced ary transactions which have taken place in by Her Majesty's Government. Under Jamaica ? Does he know, further, that these circumstances, I feel I am fully several speakers, well-known Members of

Sir John Pakington

his own party, have spoken at different granted by Parliament. It has not been meetings in the same sense ? I did not sanctioned and guaranteed by the Assemprejudge Governor Eyre. I took Governor bly and Government of that island, and Eyre's own statement—and I said then there are now many persons in this counwhat I repeat now that there is not a try, I am satisfied—I grieve to say it, I Judge on the bench in the three kingdoms think it is a hideous thing amongst uswho will undertake to say, either in private who do not feel the same sense of wrong or in public, that Mr. Gordon was not and injustice when anything like this hapclearly murdered. The right hon. Gentle. pens if it be inflicted only upon those unman, perhaps, desired further evidence. I fortunate “ niggers, as they would if was content to take Governor Eyre's own white men had suffered in a similar manstatement. If it had been the statement ner. Now, I regard every life among those of some paper in Jamaica, or some paper men—and it is right I should so regard in New York—as news from the West them, every man of them, before the law Indies often comes to this country by and before the sovereigo authority of the New York -- I should not for one mo- Queen—as important as any life in this ment have thought of condemning Gover country or in this House--and it is idle nor Eyre, or even of discussing his proceed to tell me that when I stand on a platform ings. But it was when I saw his own des before thousands of my countrymen, when patch of four-score paragraphs, written with this great question is in the balance, I am the greatest deliberation and the greatest to consider, because they are black, the precision, in which he stated his own share lives of 2,000 subjects of the Queen as in the transaction, that I condemned him ; nothing in comparison with the feelings of and I put it to the House (the country knows Governor Eyre and his accomplices. I tell perfectly well) whether any evidence which the right hon. Gentleman ihat it would has since been received has in the slightest want a very much stronger censure than degree lessened the gravity of the charge his; and I tell those who sit behind him against Governor Eyre. I recollect in this that it will want something more appalling House some years ago, when the noble than their cheers to keep me silent after Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord the atrocities recently perpetrated in JaStanley) sat here as Minister for India, maica. I believe, Sir, that at this moment that an hon. Friend of mine, the Member there is not a civilized and Christian counfor Northampton (Mr. Gilpin), brought for try in the world in which all thoughtful ward a case where an officer in the English men are not directing their eyes to this army shot 500 Sepoys in cold blood. The country, to observe what will be the course noble Lord got up, not to defend it, for he of the Government on this question. I knew that was impossible. He never in agree with the right hon. Gentleman that his life had—and he never will have in the the Government was right in appointing course of his life—a more difficult and un- the Commission, but not that they appointed pleasant undertaking than he had that it too soon. They delayed its appointment evening, to appear to offer some sort of too long. I complained, in one of these excuse for an atrocity unparalleled, I hope, speeches to which the right hon. Gentlein the history of Englishmen. There are man has referred, that my right hon. Friend persons in this country, many of them, who the Colonial Secretary allowed three weeks would have been glad that this matter to pass from the time when he read that could have been hushed up. They have despatch to the time when it was announced not learned, after thirty years of Parlia- to the public that that Commission was to mentary legal freedom existing in Jamaica, be issued. I have understood that there to regard those unhappy negroes as subjects were reasons for that delay with which I was of the Queen of African descent. They not then acquainted. I did not conceive were brought to that country not by their for a moment that the Secretary of State own consent. They or their forefathers had for the Colonies was a man hard and cruel, suffered every species of oppression and and unmindful of the interests of those wrong; their cries finally ascended to whose interests he has been appointed by Heaven, and the people of this country, the Queen specially to guard; and now outraged in their consciences by the con- when the Commission has been appointed, tinuance of that wrong, forced Parliament and when the circumstances have been to give freedom to that black population. before the public, I have no complaint to From the hour of their freedom until this make of him or of the Government. I am hour it has been merely the freedom content now, and leave the matter for the VOL. CLXXXI. THIRD SERIES.]


thorough examination of the Commission. upper and middle classes, the labouring I have no doubt that a thorough inquiry man paid no taxes, with a few trifling exwill be made and full justice done. There ceptions, for what he ate, for the clothes are others gone to that island from this which he wore, or for his house ; and be country, Commissioners appointed by the was sure that the House was not about public. Why, Sir, if such transactions as to stand still in the course on which it had these could take place in the island of entered. He believed that it would conJamaica, and there was no man to point tinue to do all in its power to forward a finger at them in this country, what the interests of the working classes. He might happen in all our other colonies and was sure that every demand which those all the other dependencies of this wide classes might make would be dealt with Empire ? And if law be not law to the in a fair and liberal and generous spirit. negro in Jamaica, how long will law be He did hope that if a Reform Bill came law to the working people or to any of before the House there would be no their friends in this country? I say, Sir, coquetting with such an important subject, that the right hon. Gentleman has allowed, but that hon. Gentlemen would fairly and it may be, an official sympathy for Governor fully speak their minds. For his own part, Eyre to weigh with him in this matter, and he would oppose any measure by which the he has thought it necessary to give me present franchise would be lowered; he notice that he would come down to the had seen the effects of democracy in AusHouse and pronounce a solemn censure tralia, and he hoped and trusted that Engupon my conduct. I tell him that in all land would not adopt a system which at the public speeches I have ever made the other side of the world had had such and they are not a few, as the House deplorable results. He could see no good knows-there are no passages in those result that could be effected by the introspeeches to which I will to my last hour duction of such a measure, and if brought more firmly adhere than to those which the forward he could only again repeat that it right hon. Gentleman has commented upon. should receive his most humble but deter

nothing to mined . condemn myself for—there is nothing in them that I retract—and if the same cir- congratulated the Government on the very cumstances happened again, I would re- modest position which the question of Repeat those passages, and, if God gave me form occupied in Her Majesty's Speech. power, with a more burning indignation in common with the great mass of his would I condemn atrocities which have countrymen, he had had some apprehensions cast & foul blot upon the character of with reference to the Reform question, and English Governors.

the manner in which Her Majesty's GovernMR. MARSH said, that he was glad to ment were likely to deal with it; but those hear the right hon. Gentleman (Sir John apprehensions were in a great degree rePakington) bear testimony to the high moved when he saw the distant and modest character of Governor Eyre for modera- manner in which the matter was alluded to tion, justice, and humanity. He was in the Speech from the Throne. He knew glad that the right hon. Baronet had that men of experience and tried patriotism brought forward the subject, as he himself may have taken the place of the veteran knew that Governor Eyre was remarkable statesman they had been accustomed to; but, for his kindness and humanity to the at the same time, they feared that a shadow Natives of Australia. As to the ques. behind the Treasury Benches might prove tion of Reform, he believed that no Bill fatal to them. Those apprehensions were would be passed that Session, and that not entirely groundless; for there were it would be useless to bring one forward. certain indications which led men to fear For his own part, he was quite satisfied that the Members of Her Majesty's Go. with the Bill of 1832, and with its mar- vernment might drift into the arms of vellous results. Since the passing of that the hon. Member for Birmingham, and Bill a vast number of measures had been that the offspring of this union might be adopted by the House, calculated to im- the ruin of the Constitution. The hon. prove the condition of the working man. Gentleman (Mr. Bright) had told the great At present, the taxation of the country Whig party that if they shrunk from this was so arranged as to lean as lightly as question of Reform they would become possible on the working classes. While extinct. Now, he believed that the Whig an income tax has been imposed on the party would become extinct—that a Whig

Mr. Bright

in England would be as rare an animal | enigma. But this I can tell you, that if as a wolf if that great party listened to the circumstances have been such as seri. the behests of the Member for Birmingham. ously to alarm Governor Eyre, they must He congratulated Her Majesty's Govern- have been circumstances of great moment.' ment on having received into its ranks so He went on to speak of Governor Eyre as valuable an acquisition as the right hon. a man of great courage and of great huGentleman the Member for London (Mr. manity. Although, therefore, I feel it my Goschen); but, while he felicitated the Mi- bounden duty to say nothing which shall nistry, he should condole with the right hon. prejudge the question, either in his favour Gentleman himself. At a meeting in the or against him, I do think it right, in the City the other night the right hon. Gentle meanwhile, to state what is a fact in the man seemed to consider it a case of very case, and that the knowledge of the repuserious hardship that he was compelled to tation which he has heretofore borne should give up his occupation as a merchant, for a not be kept back from the House. The position so humble as that of a Cabinet course which the Government have purMinister of England. Like the Lycian sued has been spoken of both by the right Prince

hon. Baronet and by my hon. Friend the “When Glaucus of his judgment Jove deprived, Member for Birmingham, but there is noHis armour interchanging, gold for brass, thing that has fallen from them which I

A hundred oxen worth for that of nine," think calls for any reply or remark from he might apply to him the epigram of me. They agree on the main in approving Martial

the course which was pursued by the Go“ Tam stupidus nunquam nec tu, puto, Glauce, vernment, though the right hon. Baronet fuisti,

thinks we were too precipitate, and my Chalcea donanti Chrysea qui dederas." hon. Friend thinks we were not quite rapid As had already been remarked in the enough. I am willing not to enter on that course of the debate, nothing more strongly part of the question, but to leave it to the showed the importance of the Session on future consideration and judgment of the which they were about entering than the House. There is one point, however, on fact that up to this only three of the which I wish to set the right hon. Baronet topics touched on in the Queen's Speech right. He says-what has frequently been had yet been discussed.

said that he feared too much influence had MR. CARDWELL: Sir, I can assure you been exercised, and that in the course that I have no desire to continue the dis- which we pursued pressure had been put cussion which has been raised with regard upon us particularly by a certain deputato Jamaica. The object which I have in tion to which he took occasion to refer. view is identical with the course which Her Now, the fact is that when that deputation Majesty's Government have endeavoured to waited on my noble Friend, who was not pursue, and that has been, while insisting able to be present, and was received by upon full inquiry into all matters which me, Sir Henry Storks was at that moment appeared to them to call for inquiry, to on his way from Malta to this country, avoid prejudging any part of the question. having received from me an intimation of I should ill fulfil that intention if I said the purpose for which he was sent for to anything which continued the discussion of this country, and of the appointment which the subject beyond the point to which it has been so much canvassed. has been the pleasure of the House to en- Sir GEORGE GREY: One word betertain it. All, therefore, that I rise to fore the Question is put. In reference to say is, that like the right hon. Baronet the construction which the right hon. opposite (Sir John Pakington), I have Baronet the Member for Droitwich has known Governor Eyre only by the reputa- placed upon an answer given by me to a tion which he has obtained and preserved question on the subject of Reform, it cerin the service of the Crown. When I first tainly never was the construction which I heard, by telegram through the United intended it should bear. The right hon. States, that these deplorable occurrences Baronet said it was very undesirable—and I had taken place, I sent for the Governor entirely agree with him—that the question of Barbadoes, who happened to be in this should be kept dangling before the House country, and asked whether he could give and the country as a party question from me any assistance in explaining what these year to year; and I think he said the transactions meant. His reply was, “I answer which I had given left it in comcan give you no assistance in reading this plete uncertainty whether the Bill founded on the information to be obtained would of the Government (Earl Russell) stated in be presented in the course of the present another place that this Bill would be brought or of the next year. I certainly intended before Parliament before the Easter vacato give rise to no such uncertainty. tion- I think he said he hoped before the What I intended to say, if I did not say it, end of the month. He has also stated, was that until the day for the introduction on another public occasion, that by that of the Bill was fixed, and until the Govern- measure his Government intended to stand ment were in a condition to lay the infor- or fall. Now, that appears to me to be a mation on which that Bill would be founded sound and proper resolution. There has before the House, it was impossible to say been a great deal too much paltering with what the interval would be. As to the this question. But what I am anxious general principles of the Bill the Govern about, and the point which I wish to urge ment are agreed ; but as to its details the on the consideration of Her Majesty's GoGovernment cannot, of course, lay them vernment, is this :-If the measure is to before the House until the information on be one by which they are to stand or fall, which they are acting is complete. Of by which the fate of the Liberal Ministry course, if that information had been com- and by which the domination of the Liberal plete when Parliament met the para- party in the politics of this country for graph in Her Majesty's Speech from the some time to come is to be determined, it Throne would have been in different terms. should be a measure which will be worth That paragraph pledges the Government standing or falling by. Now, there is some to communicate the information when com- reason to suppose, from rumours and from plete to the House. It is intended to utterances out of this House, that this express—and does, I think, clearly express measure-incomplete_ as it is declared to

- the intention of the Government at the be by my right hon. Friend (the Secretary earliest period at which they can do so to of State)—is simply to be a measure for lay a Bill before the House founded on that the lowering the franchise in boroughs and information.

counties. On behalf of a great portion of MR. T. B. POTTER said, he had taken the Liberal party in this country—and I part in the great meeting held in Man- think of no insignificant portion of the chester on the subject of the Jamaica Liberal party in this House-I venture to

The antecedents of Governor say that such a measure would not be a Eyre were laid most fully before that satisfactory adjustment of the great quesmeeting, and every credit was given to tion of Parliamentary Reform. I feel him for his conduct when he was in Aus- satisfied the great body of earnest Retralia. All that the meeting asked was formers in this country are convinced, for investigation, and the deputation to that one of the principal evils of the existEarl Russell, of which he had the honour ing state of things with which they must to be a member, preferred the same re- grapple is the distribution of political power quest. They judged Governor Eyre purely in this country. None of us—if I except by the evidence contained in his own des- some extreme theoretical politicians—wish patches. The meeting wished to do no- to see political power simply distributed in thing condemnatory of him ; they merely this country according to heads of populawished that the name of England might tion; but we all know that there are in be vindicated from what they considered a existence a number of wretched boroughs, blot on the national escutcheon.

which, for some reason or other, were reMR. BOUVERIE : It is quite clear, tained at the time of the Reform Act, but from the very oracular and mystical para- which ought now no longer to be retained. graph which closes Her Majesty's Speech, These are either purely nomination boroughs, that there is to be a Reform Bill. That or else what are still worse — boroughs fact, at any rate, seems to be estab- known to be the sinks of corruption. I say lished. But as the information is not no Reform Bill will be satisfactory to the complete on which that Reform Bill is to people of this country unless it attempts to be founded, I presume that Her Majesty's grapple with this evil. But it is not the Government have not completely made up mere question of the existence of these their minds as to what the nature of that small nomination and corrupt boroughs— Reform Bill is to be. Taking that to be there is at the bottom of this question the case, we had two glimmerings of light something much more important, and that thrown upon this subject in the course of is the question of the distribution of polithe last week. The noble Lord at the lead tical power in this country. Those who

Sir George Grey


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