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connected with its own power, and scarcity was most alarming. The the renovation of its own prospe, accounts from every part of the rity, than the equality of civil pri- country were all equally unfavourvileges, and the universal equaliza- able; and the consequence was, tion of religions. The exercise of that, in the end of July, and the their influence, moreover, tended beginning of August, the price of to diminish its sources. The these latter articles began to rise landlords were : now taught the rapidly and steadily in every marvanity, of covering their estates ket. In the middle of June, when with a swarm of mendicant voters, the consumption of the preceding whose voices were neither their crop tends naturally to elevate the own nor their masters, and who market, oats were 22s. 11d.: ducould not bring even the advantage ring the first two weeks of August of being politically useful to him they were at or above 27s. 3d.; once in seven years, to redeem the on the 18th of that month they ignorance and misery with which were 28s. 3d.; the 25th, they surrounded him. If the they were 29s. 4.d.; and, by the landlords of Ireland had used the 1st of September, the price had full powers of ejectment which risen to 30s. At the same time, they possessed, the condition of the the most alarming, and apparently lower class of tenantry would have well-founded, apprehensions were been calamitous. In some in- entertained, that, while oats, in stances the power was exercised; many districts, the most important and the Catholic board voted a article of food to the lower classes, portion of its funds for the relief were thus placed absolutely beyond of the paupers whom they had in- their reach, the misery would be in duced to quarrel with their land- creased, and particularly in Ireland, lords, and to sacrifice their homes. by the failure of the potatoe-crop.
The interest and bustle which Even the farmers, though obtaining had been excited by the elections, high prices in one way, were suffer, were succeeded by grave appre- ing much in another; for the violent hensions concerning the result of and continued heats were so prethe harvest. Wheat had produced judicial to the grass, that, on the what is commonly called an aver- richest meadow lands of England, age crop over all England, or, at it became necessary to feed cattle least, where it had partially failed, with dry fodder, almost as in the these failures were too limited to depth of winter. Subsequently, in have any serious or lasting influ- deed, these alarms were dispelled by ence on the general price; but the a favourable change of weather, and heat and drought which prevailed, partly by precautionary measures ; during the months of July and and the national root of Ireland August, both for a length of time, produced a crop singularly abunand with a degree of violence, not dant, instead of one miserably. ordinary in this country, threatená poor : but such were the prospects ed an absolute dearth in other which the harvest held out in the species of grain, as well as in beginning of September. The pulse and potatoes. Barley was high price of 308. for oats, at the far from reaching the extent of an season when they should have been average crop, but it was in oats most abundant, and pressing, too, and pulse that the apprehended as it did, precisely on those districts of the country, and those payment of those duties, if confirm, classes of the community, which ed by parliament. were already suffering so much The necessity of confirming from the languishing state of ma- these duties, and obtaining an aet nufactures and trade, was of ite of Indemnity for ministers who self sufficiently alarming; and the had thus gone beyond the law, fears thus excited were increased occasioned the assembling of the by the accounts which were daily new parliament at a much earlier arriving from the north of Europe, and more inconvenient season than that the demand was every where usual. The same gazette which increasing for that species of grain. contained the order in council,
Bụt although the price which contained a proclamation summonoats had reached by the beginning ing parliament to meet for the of September was above the im- despatch of business on the 14th of portation price, the system of November. On that day, about averages disabled government from an hundred members of the new legally applying any remedy to House of Commons appeared at the threatening evil. Until an the bar of the House of Lords. average price above the importa- . The lord Chancellor, as one of the tion price should have been struck, royal commissioners, addressed the ports must remain closed; them in the following terms :-and the first average that would “My Lords, and Gentlemen of be taken would not be struck till the House of Commons; the 15th of November, an interval “We have it in command from his during which all the calamities of Majesty to inform you, that, as soon a famine might have overtaken as the members of both Houses have the country. From this pros- assembled, his Majesty will declare pect ministers had no means of the causes of summoning the preescaping, except by violating the sent parliament; and as it is nelaw, and taking upon themselves the cessary that a fit and proper person responsibility of permitting import be chosen Speaker of the House of ation without waiting for the ar- Commons, it is commanded by his rival of the quarterly average under Majesty that you return to the which alone it could legally be al- place where you are to sit, and lowed. They very properly chose then proceed to the choice of a the latter course ; and on the 1st of proper person as Speaker; and September an order in council ap- after such choice, that you present peared authorizing the immediate such proper person for his Majesty's importation of oats, oat-meal, rye, royal approbation." pease, and beans, and the bringing The Commons having returned them into market if they were in to their own House, Mr. Manners bond, but imposing a duty, of 2s. Sutton, on the motion of Mr. per quarter on vats, 2s. 2d, per Sturges Bourne, was unanimously boll on oatmeal, and 3$. 6d. per re-elected to the chair. On the quarter on rye, beans, and pease. following day, he was presented, The duty was necessarily made with the usual ceremonies, to the conditional, and was not payable royal commissioners, who declared at the moment. Security only his Majesty's approval of the choice was required from the importers made by the House; and the and holders of the grain to make Speaker, in the customary form, craved and abtained assurance of the interruption of peace in difall the ancient rights and privileges ferent parts of the world. of the Commons of England. “ Gentlemen of the House of Till the 21st, the only business Commons, done consisted in the swearing in “ I have directed the estimates of members. On the 21st his of the ensuing year to be prepared, Majesty himself proceeded in state and they will in due time be laid to the House of Peers, and opened before you. the new Parliament in person with “I will take care that they shall the following Speech from the be formed with as much attention Throne :
to economy as the exigencies of the “My Lords and Gentlemen, public service will permit: " I have called you together at
“ The distress which has perthis time, for the special purpose vaded the commercial and manu« of communicating to you the mea- facturing classes of my subjects sures which I judged it necessary during the last twelve months has to take in the month of September, affected some important branches for the admission into the ports of of the revenue; but I have the the United Kingdom of certain satisfaction of informing you, that sorts of foreign grain not then there has been no such diminution admissible by law.
in the internal consumption of the “ I have directed a copy of the country, as to excite any apprehenOrder in Council, issued on that sions that the great sources of our occasion, to be laid before you, and wealth and prosperity have been I confidently trust that you will impaired. see sufficient reason for giving - My Lords and Gentlemen, your sanction to the provisions “ I have deeply sympathised of that order, and for carrying with the sufferings which have them into effect.
been for some time past so severely “I have great satisfaction in felt in the manufacturing districts being able to inform you that the of the country. hopes entertained at the close of “I have contemplated with last session of Parliament respect- satisfaction the exemplary patience ing the termination of war in the with which those sufferings have Burmese territories have been ful- been generally borne. filled, and that a peace has been “ The depression under which concluded in that quarter, highly the trade and manufactures of the honourable to the British arms, and country have been labouring has the councils of the British govern- abated more slowly than I thought ment in India.
myself warranted in anticipating ; “I continue to receive from all but I retain a firm expectation that foreign powers assurances of their this abatement will be progressive, desire to cultivate the relations of and that the time is not far dispeace and friendly understanding tant when, under the blessings of
Divine Providence, the commerce "I am exerting myself with and industry of the United Kingunremitting anxiety, either singly, dom will have resumed their or in conjunction with my Allies, wonted activity." as well to arrest the
of In the House of Lords the Adexisting hostilities, as to prevent dress was moved by earl Cornwala
lis, and seconded by lord Colville. Other the necessity of retrenchment. The only opposition to it proceeded It did strike him as a most extrafrom lord King, who, mistaking, as ordinary circumstance, that, at a so many do, or pretend to do, the time when, in the minds of all men, real nature and object of a speech there was but one prevailing opifrom the throne, complained that nion as to the aspect of public although it was very well so far affairs, and that an urgent demand as it went, it did not go far enough; was felt by every one that the affairs *and, after expending a great deal of of Ireland should be earnestly and very indifferent wit on the charac- speedily, though maturely, conter of the late parliament, and the sidered, yet that, in the King's dulness of ministers as being the Speech delivered from the throne greatest “ doubters” out of Chan- at this time, the name of Ireland cery, amply compensated for the should never once be mentioned. deficiencies of the address, by mov- He hoped there was nothing omizing an amendment, twice as long nous in it, but it must be confessed as the Speech together, and em- that it was in the last degree surbracing every difficult and dis- prising. It was a singular fact sputable question - taxation, the that, just before the breaking out national debt, the civil and military of the American war, at a moment establishments, import duties, the when all men's eyes were pointed Corn-laws, and the state of the towards America, and when Amecurrency. These topics were re- rica was the word which hung
gularly brought out in it, as an upon the quivering lip of every exposition of the sentence with man who thought or felt at all, which it commenced : we hope neither mention nor allusion was that a steady adherence to just and made to it in the Speech from the Jiberal principles of policy will pre- throne. In a time of scarcely less vent a repetition of those distresses, anxiety, Ireland was omitted in which in the course of the last ten the Speech which had been just years, have repeatedly and severely read to the House. No man living afflicted all classes of your Ma- could believe, knowing what had jesty's subjects.” The amendment been doing in Ireland for the last was negatived without a division.
six months, what was doing there In the Commons, the address now, and what ought to be done having been moved by Mr. Liddel, here, that the King's Speech cona new member for the county of tained no mention whatever of the Northumberland, and seconded by condition of that country.
For Mr. Wynn, Mr. Brougham, fol- obvious reasons, he would not now lowing the example of lord King, enlarge on this subject; but he complained that the speech con- protested against the omission, and sisted of nothing but blanks: he he earnestly expected to hear the had never, he said, listened to a
reasons, if reasons could be given, speech which said so little, and why that omission had occurred. omitted so entirely what it might The most satisfactory proposition have said. Among the omissions his majesty's government could of the speech, of which he had to make, would be some measure of complain, there were two subjects sound and enlightened policy which of paramount importance ; the one, should do justice to Ireland, save the present state of Ireland; the that country from the combined
horrors of civil and religious adopting this or that order of warfare, and protect it in what architecture ? If the House poswere now its weakest points, but sessed the proper feelings of a which, well managed, ought to be British House of Commons--if it its strongest, and which would im- was not quite dead to those impart strength to the whole united pressions by which on other ocempire. As to retrenchments, it casions it had been influenced, it might be said, that, when the esti- should know and feel that the mates came to be submitted to the purest and most ornamental order House, it would be time enough that art and science could invent to discuss this topic ; but, taking and combine, would appear far less into his view, circumstances which gratifying than to see palaces unforced themselves upon his atten- finished, while the people are suftion, and listening to the reports fering from want and starvation. which were abroad, and which Without any wish to excite the were evidenced by certain outward displeasure of those whom he (Mr. and visible signs, he saw one reason Brougham) had now the honour of why no pledge of retrenchment had addressing-many of them for the been made. He alluded to the first time-he nevertheless felt it report that a certain proposition to be his imperative duty, on the might be expected to be made to first night of this new parliament, the House, savouring of any thing to express his deep conviction, that rather than necessity, and entirely the House would best fulfil its opposed to the just feelings and duty to the country, by admitting expectations of the people of this Ireland to a full and free participacountry. It might be hazardous tion of those rights from which to prophecy what might happen in she had been too long excluded, and this House ; but the measure to by reducing the public expenditure whịch he alluded, if carried, would of the nation. be carried with the unanimous and Mr. Canning said, it ought to be loudly-expressed reprobation of the remembered, that parliament was people of England. These were not not called together at this unusual times to trifle with the people. and inconvenient season for purThe distress of the country was ad- poses of general legislation, but mitted to be great: one means of because it was necessary to provide alleviating it could alone be effec- an indemnity for those who, under tual, and that was retrenchment. the pressure of a grievous necessity, The saving the public money, the had been forced to violate the exreduction of the taxes, the cutting isting laws; and if any complaint down the estimates, not merely were made, that no notice of the lower, but as low as the necessities corn question was to be found of the people required, these were in the King's Speech, beyond a what the duty of the government recommendation to grant the inprescribed, and what they must demnity referred to, he would at resort to, if they expected to re- once declare his decided disinclinatain the obedience of the people. tion to state, at this early period of Talk of new palaces while the the session, the opinions entertaincountry is thus situated. New ed by his majesty's ministers on the palaces! Good God ! is this a fit subject of the Corn-laws, and the time to discuss the propriety of way in which those laws operated Vol. LXVIII.