Imatges de pàgina

which he had suggested. It was, that to overturn a great part of the preYorkshire should be divided into two sent system of popular election. Many counties, of which the North and East considerable towns in the kingdom Ridingsshould form one, and the West had a right of representation, so much Riding the other. By this alteration, more limited than that which was there was no reason to apprehend here proposed, that if Parliament that the interests of the manufactu- were to give its opinion, that this was rers would be promoted at the ex- the right principle of representation, pense of the agriculturists of the coun- so far from diffusing content, it must ty, as the West Riding would return inevitably create discontent in many members attached to the

manufactu. parts which were now tranquil. The ring, and the North and East Ridings town of Liverpool, for example, which members attached to the agricultural he represented, contained 100,000 ininterests.

habitants, but only 4000 of these Mr Canning followed the same line were electors; and surely they might as Lord Castlereagh. Admitting the complain if a borough, of which the propriety of distranchising Gram- population was considerably less, pound, he was not fully prepared to should have six times as many elecstate his opinion as to ulterior mea- tors. The noble lord looked to the sures; still his partiality was for pursu- case as a God-send, that enabled him ing that course which, in former cases, to introduce the principle of parliahad always been pursued, namely, mentary reform; he submitted to overwhelming the surviving voters what of parliamentary reform there by an extension of their rights rather was in the measure as an evil which than by extinguishing them altoge- the necessity of the case imposed ; ther. He thought the ground on the noble lord considered that evil as which the

right honourable gentle- the best part of the measure. His man (Mr Tierney) had recommend- own wish was, that, from the example ed the transfer to Leeds was, that it of Grampound, other places should would quell the wild doctrines of the be deterred from similar corruption ; reformers, who constantly clamoured he wished the present case to become about the futility of looking to that a warning, not an example. He earHouse for any amelioration of the re- nestly hoped that this case would be presentative system. Now the ground a beacon to other boroughs, warning of these wild theories of reform was, them to take care that they did not that by diffusing very widely the elec- render it imperative on the House to tire franchise, the interests of the transfer their elective rights to other people would be more equally con- places. suited than at present. If he looked Mr Grenfell and Sir John Newport at the preamble of the bill, he found supported the transference to Yorkthis very principle recognised in these shire ; Mr Davies Gilbert, that to words :-“ The borough of Leeds, in Leeds. Mr Bragge Bathurst enforced the county of York, having of late the views of ministers. Mr Hobyears become a place of great trade, house, representing a class more depopulation, and wealth, it is expe- cidedly popular than any of the fordient that it should have two bur- mer speakers, eagerly declared his gesses to serve in Parliament.” If he support of reform as reform. The looked at the details of the bill, he day of reform was called by a certain found that a right of suffrage was to

ss of politicians “the evil day.”. be granted, so wild and visionary as As far as his voice might reach, he

wished it to be known that he did ed, not that the bill was abused, but not consider it an evil day; he louk- that it was wholly unnecessary. It ed forward to it as one auspicious to did not hence follow, however, that these kingdoms, and beneficial to the great danger might not arise, if gonation--as a day calculated to confervernment had not this preventive Jasting happiness upon all classes, power in its hands. The number at without alloy and without discontent present in this country was 25,000, -as that day, which would restore being an increase on the number in to the crown its true and real dignity, 1818; and of these very few compaand prove to the people of England, ratively were here for commercial purthat they were still in possession of

poses. He was aware that foreign those invaluable rights to which they merchants were peculiarly favoured had so just a claim. It had been re- by magna charta, and some of our presented in that House that there older statutes ; but the practical queswas a certain number of reformers in tion was, whether, in the present cirthe country who called for so much 'cumstances of Europe, and of this that they would not take less than country, so large a number of fothey called for. If it were so, he reigners ought to be left exempt from could only say that he was not one of all control on the part

of government. those reformers. He was one of those He was as willing as any man that who received with gratitude every Britain should still be a sanctuary to concession of this sort ; who were those who had committed acts against grateful for every step which was ta- other governments; but the measure ken by the House in meeting the appeared to him necessary with a wishes and in favouring the just de- view to British objects and British mands of the people of England. security. The law, since peace, had

After a few further observations undergone a material change. There from the noble mover, the bill was was now no presumption against the read a second time. The House, how. foreigner ; he was permitted to reside ever, immediately after went into the where, and to change his residence as Whitsuntide recess ; and when it often as be pleased. All that was reagain met, another topic had inter- quired of him was, to deliver his vened, with which Lord John, find. name at the port where he landed, and ing every mind exclusively engrossed, to sign it before a peace-officer. Every announced his intention to delay the facility of access was then granted, final prosecution of this motion till and he was at liberty to enjoy in its the ensuing session.

full latitude the hospitality of this The Alien Bill formed now a regu- country. It was only when supposed lar biennial field of interest between to be engaged in schemes dangerous the two political parties. In the year to the state that a power was reserved 1818, we have seen an extended dis- of sending him forth as in time of cussion on the subject. Lord Castle- war. Foreign war had indeed ceased, reagh, in moving the bill on the 1st but internal disaffection was still acof June, understanding that it was to tive, and it was impossible to say, that be opposed, found it necessary to state this might not be fomented by fothe grounds on which he judged its reigners. He believed there were renewal expedient. The number of traitors in this day who were ready, in persons sent out of the country under the accomplishment of their schemes, the act, was so small, as to make the to set at defiance every principle of only argument that could be employ- humanity, every sentiment that was worthy of man in civilized society, or found it impossible to recede. It was that was consonant with the charac- generally felt that this bill was one of ter of beings in a human shape. If a the measures designed to promote a fanatical spirit were abroad, which uniform system of police throughout induced men to think that they had Europe ; so that any individual who a right to do acts of murder, that they happened to offend a member of that might advance their projects—if that confederacy which had been denomifanaticism were to be found on the nated “ holy," but which he should continent as well as here, might not always consider most“unholy," would the kindred feelings which inspired be unable to escape from persecution, it, induce individuals, labouring un- by taking refuge in any other part of der its influence, to assist each other Europe. Let the House look to the in attaining their objects, as far as conduct of France at the present motheir means and opportunity permit- ment. Instead of enacting laws for ted them ? Besides, he thought the driving foreigners from her territory, measure was necessary in order to se. she had passed a law enabling them to cure that peace which this country become French citizens, and giving had conquered—to prevent our chathem a full participation in the rights, racter being compromised with fo- liberties, and immunities of the French reign states, which assuredly must be people. Did the House recollect the the case if we received and retained case of General Gourgaud ? Did they on our shores those who had been remember the treatment he received sent away from other countries, or -with what illegality, with what who had fled from punishment. If violence, he was seized and sent out they lived in times when there was a of the country? Did they not call to complete state of peace in the world mind how his person was assaulted, -when there was an absence of any and his papers detained, in defiance of danger that might threaten to disturb law? It was said he made no appeal, the general tranquillity of all states but it was a well-known fact that he -he should feel that it would be a did make one. When this was stated, very natural disposition for all ranks what was the answer of the honourto entertain a desire that this country able Under Secretary of State ? “0," should be allowed to proceed on its said he, “General Gourgaud demandancient system of law, and that our ed to be taken before a magistrate, shores should be left completely open not before the Privy Council.” The to the visits of foreigners. But they Countess of Montholon, on her arridid not live at such a period, and val off Margate, had been puton board therefore the law became necessary. an old gun-brig, and after being treat

Sir Robert Wilson took the lead ed with much disrespect by Mr Capin opposing the measure. He denied per of the Alien Office, was obliged that it was introduced to serve British to proceed, with her child in a dying interests and objects; and he beliem state, in a vessel to Ostend. She was ved, that ninety-nine out of one hun- there received by the King of the dred of those who thought on the Netherlands, in a manner which made subject, were of opinion that it was him blush for England. A nobleman one of those arrangements made at of high rank, who had held a conspiVienna, or during the proceedings of cuous situation under the late French one of those ambulatory congresses government, was treated by Mr Capof sovereigns at which the noble lord per in a manner equally insulting, and had attended, and from which he now was able only through the aid of powerful friends, to spend a few made an animated speech in favour months in this country collecting evi- of Sir Robert Wilson's motion. " It dence which afterwards proved him is no part," said he,“ of my intention completely innocent of the charges to enter into any controversy of fact made against him. He would cer- arising from the cases referred to by my tainly take the sense of the House on gallant friend ; first, because I am not the question.

at all acquainted with the circumstanMr C. Baring Wall made a maiden ces; and, secondly, because instances speech against the motion.

of abuse of power are by no means The Solicitor-General defended the necessary, and rather tend to weaken conduct followed in the case of Ge- the arguinent. The great mischief neral Gourgaud. A motion had al- and malignity of the measure is, that ready been made on the subject, and it is of such a nature that it is liable its not having been followed up suffi- to abuse from misinformation, and ciently proved, that gentlemen on the from the malice of private enemies. other side found themselves unable to Injury and oppression are thus put prove any thing. The gallant gene- in the power of accident or private ral had sent written questions to Har- hostility to inflict. I chiefly condemn wich, the answers to which were in this bill, because proofs of bad intensubstance, that Gourgaud had had an tion on the part of ministers, and of interview with a magistrate ; that wilful abuse of its powers, are unnemany gentlemen had been allowed to cessary. I am thankful for this opsee him ; that he paid but his own portunity of raising my voice with expense, and that at his own desire ; my gallant friend behind me against and that he had no complaint to make the bill of the noble lord, which I reagainst the officers at Harwich. Yet garded always, not with jealousy, but when the case came before the House, with abhorrence, as the most odious the gallant general had never the can- of the deviations in the modern sysdour to state the conduct he had pur- tem of policy from the liberal and sued, and the result of it. The charges constitutional laws of England. The in that case, he took upon himself to noble lord has given it as a reason for say, were every one of them false. passing an alien bill, that there are The circumstance of Gourgaud's vio- twenty-five thousand aliens in the lent removal was necessary, and the country. The reason for outlawing violence attending it was occasioned them was the number to be outlawed. by himself. The other cases were not Because the number of foreigners is before them ; but they would, when great, that forms a reason for violabrought before them, receive a satis- ting the constitution of our ancestors, factory answer. We lost character, it who thought the number that took was said, with foreigners. Yet of the shelter under their wise and just 25,000 aliens, 20,000—he was told rule their boast and their glory. It all—but at least 20,000, had come in- has been said that the Crown has to this country under the operation of the power of sending a foreigner to the alien bill. And, of 25,000, how his own country. Does my honourmany were sent away? Nine persons; able and learned friend say so? Has and the House would sanction the any power in this country—(at least, conduct of ministers in all these cases, is it a general right?)—a right to proif they were before them.

tract its authority, to land the foSir James Mackintosh, after an reigner in a particular place, to throw apology for the lateness of the hour, the unfortunate victim into the jaws

of destruction ? Such a power as he set them. In this he would say that claims for the Crown was not dreamt the people were more wise than their of in the most despotic period of our laws he would, however, say only a history, or under the most despotic part of those laws for the general prince of the Tudors. It was not system was as good as a nation could dreamt of under Henry VII., for he possibly enjoy. required a particular statute. My Mr Lambton entered into an exlearned friend accuses me of reve- planation why the petition from Gerence for my ancestors. I am sorry neral Gourgaud, which he had prethat the conduct of ministers obliges sented in 1818, had not been followed me to regard our ancestors with re- up. He had asked the noble lord to verence, and to look back to their consent to a committee, where proof conduct with regret when contrasted might have been given of the facts with our own. The statute of Henry there stated. The noble lord refused VII. gives forty days to every fo that committee; and he (Mr Lambreigner to leave the country. What ton) did not attempt to bring the matnecessity can there be now for a sum- ter again forward, because he knew mary removal which did not exist it would be of no avail without the then? I do not conceive any answer committee; and he well knew that it that can be given to this. We are le- was hopeless to expect that, when the gislating more sternly, more severely, noble lord had refused his consent. and more suspiciously, than Henry He still insisted that there were ample VII., the Tiberius of our history, yet grounds for the charges which had whose politics never made it neces- been made of harsh treatment on that sary to have recourse to such sum- occasion. mary proceedings.” In the other

After some explanations from Lord House, the question had been argued Castlereagh, the motion was carried with as much learning and eloquence by 149 against 63, forming a majority as bad ever been displayed on any of 86. question : and in the last debate in A more pleasing object was prethat House were the two proclama- sented to the House, when, on the tions brought forward which ordered 26th June, Mr Brougham submitted out of the country all Scotchmen, to them his plan for the national eduwho were then aliens; and perhaps cation of the poor. Mr B. observed many would be rather pleased if they the disadvantage under which he lacould still be exiled in the same way; boured, in bringing forward this plan but, fortunately for us, it is not so, at a time when the most intense attenand they must be content to bear the tion of the nation had been attracted presence of Scotchmen now. His ho- by another question ; but he trusted, nourable and learned friend, borrow- that long afier that question should ing from a speech of an honourable have been determined, and those who friend of his, made in 1818, had ob- were its subjects (illustrious as they served, that at no time were foreign. were) should have been forgotten ers treated with more humanity than he trusted that he should have put it since the passing of this act. He would in the power of the House to do a beadmit it--the evil influence of those nefit to mankind, which would exist laws bad not yet tainted the free and and be widely felt, when those unhospitable disposition of our country- happy circumstances to which he had men—they were not yet disposed to alluded should have ceased to operate follow the examples which had been or to be remembered. Mr Brougham

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