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on the country generally. He of Portugal should not be crossed trusted, therefore, that he should by a hostile army; and the House avoid giving dissatisfaction to those would learn with satisfaction that, who were interested in the ques- during the last three anxious tion, when he said, that it was not months, the appearance of the the intention of ministers to bring naval force, which we maintained forward any measure connected in the Tagus, had prevented acts with the Corn-laws in that portion that might have involved all Europe of the session which would pre-in war. In that very force, who cede the adjournment; and he would take upon him to say, that was determined not to be provoked the seeds of safety were not sown, into a too hasty discussion of that and the wisest and best economy question. Certain works had been exhibited ? It was not, therefore, denounced; but he would maintain for the purpose of an unnecessary that the prosecution of public display of the strength of this works was of the first importance, country, that the present naval when the crying evil of the country establishment in the Tagus was was the want of employment for kept up; and there was no braneh its working population ; and, what of the policy of great Britain, that ever might be the sufferings of par- he was not equally prepared to go ticular classes, and however those into, and defend. In regard to distresses might be attributed to Ireland, it was the full intention different causes, he
of his majesty's ministers to bring vinced that the good sense and that subject before parliament, but proper feelings of the country he would not be tempted by the generally would never go to the hon. and learned gentleman into extent to which the hon. and the discussion of a subject, which learned gentleman bad carried his must, of necessity, be brought forremarks, and seriously encourage ward in the course of the present a desire to curtail the decent splen- session. dor of the Crown. The hon. and Mr. Hume delivered a long learned gentleman complained that speech, on the necessity of an immeno reduction had taken place in the diate reduction of expenditure and naval and military departments of taxation, an immediate revision of the state; but what was the amount the Corn-laws, the immediate emanof his objection ? Had Great cipation of the Irish Catholics, and Britain no station to maintain in an immediate reform of Parliathe world? Had not this country ment; and moved an amendment, been forced to carry her army to a which pledged the House instantly remote corner of the globe ? Did to proceed to execute these various not his majesty say in his Speech, measures, and thanked his Majesty that he had been employed “to for having called them together at prevent the interruption of peace so early a period, as to leave them in different parts of the world ?" time to make all requisite inquiries and did the House believe that, in into the estimates before voting the prosecuting that purpose, there was supplies. This amendment, which no necessity for maintaining ex- form required to be moved as a pensive, establishments? It was substitute for the original Address, the duty, for instance, of this coun was seconded by Mr. Marshall, one try to take care, that the confines of the new members for Yorkshire.
It was supported by alderman the dreadful alternations of prosWaithman, sir Ronald Ferguson, perity and adversity which all the and alderman Wood, but was lost in industrious classes have experienced a division by 170 votes against 24. since the termination of the war
The agriculturists did not seem in theyear 1815, and they trust they to be better pleased than their ad- shall discover the means of restoring versaries with the omission of the the agriculture, commerce, and subject of the Corn-laws in the manufactures of the country to the Speech; and, when the report on same condition of prosperity and the Address was brought up, Mr. progressive improvement in which Western said, that the operation of they were steadily advancing anthe Address, as it now stood, would tecedent to that period.”—The prove exceedingly injurious, by amendment was opposed by sir giving the sanction of parliament John Sebright as unseasonable, to the opinion, that the manufae- considering that the whole questurers were suffering from the un- tion of the Corn-laws would soon due gains of their fellow country. be before the House; and it was men and neighbours, the agricul- not pressed to a division by the turists. Now it was most material mover. not only that parliament should do On the presentation of a petition, all in its power to guard against lord Liverpool repeated in the the propagation of such an error, House of Lords the declaration and so prevent its injurious effects, which had been made by Mr. Canbut that the House should specifi- ning, in the debate on the Address, cally pledge itself to an investiga- that ministers were prepared to tion of the causes which had led propose a general measure to this state of perplexity and dis- garding the Corn-laws, but that it tress, and which, ever since the would be unfair towards the counyear 1815, had placed this country in try and towards parliament to a situation perfectly unparalleled. bring it forward before the ChristHe conceived that the first duty mas holidays. It had been fully of the present parliament was, to understood that parliament was undertake the charge of that in- not to meet for business till after vestigation-to undertake the duty Christmas, and that it had been of tracing the eauses which had convoked in November merely for led to such an extraordinary state a special purpose.
It would, of distress for the last ten years. Therefore, be unjust to enter upon He therefore moved as an amend- business which it had been negament--"That your Majesty's faith- tively intimated would not come ful Commons feel it their duty to at present under the notice of
parrepresent to your Majesty, and at liament; and, independently of the same time to express their deep other considerations, the compliregret that the Agricultural classes, cated interests involved in the though not suffering in the degree subject would, of themselves, have they did a few years ago, particu- prevented ministers from entering larly in the year 1822, are yet in a upon it, until they were sure of a state of severe pressure, from the full attendance. heavy burthens to which they ar On the motion of lord Lauderexposed. They will endeavour to dale, an Address was voted to his trace the causes which have led to Majesty, praying him to order his
ambassadors and consuls abroad to ourselves from foreign ports, from return notices, with all convenient the general character of the harvest speed, of the laws at their respec- abroad, ministers would have been tive stations regulating the exporta- unworthy of the trust reposed in tion and importation of grain, and them, if they had hesitated to sethe alterations in the duties for the cure the country, so far as security last fifty years.
could be obtained, against a scarcity 3. On the 24th of November, the of food. If they had waited till House having resolved itself into the 15th of November, when by a committee, “ to take into consi- law the ports might have been deration the Corn 'acts,” Mr. Hus- opened, 'the consequences would kisson stated the circumstances probably have proved most calawhich had led to the order in coun- mitous. From the rapid rise of cil allowing the importation of prices before the first of September foreign grain. He said that, as -their continued elevation subsemost of the gentlemen whom he quent to that period—the condition was addressing had been resident of the crops at home—and the disin the country at the time when couraging prospects of supply from that order was promulgated, their abroad, he had no difficulty in say, own observations, throughout their ing, that the minister, who should respective neighbourhoods, would have hesitated to advise the admisbear testimony to the fact, that the sion of foreign grain, would have state of the harvest had been such as deserved neither the favour of the to justify the expedient adopted by monarch, nor that fair and liberal government: for, in no year within confidence which is reposed in the the reach of his own experience, ministers of the Crown, while parhad there been so much unanimity liament is not sitting. He put it of opinion in the reports of the to the committee, whether it could probable issue of the harvest. It be for a moment thought, that any was in oats, beans, and peas, that man merited to be trusted by the the prospect of failure had been Crown, or supported by parliament, most alarming. On the 4th of who could for an instant hesitate August they exceeded 27s. 3d., to choose between a breach of the and were still at that price on the law on the one hand, or the risk, 11th. Ministers thought it expe- nay, the certainty of famine on the dient to wait during the remainder other. There was another feature of that month, and by the begin- of the case which required noticening of September bats had risen he alluded to the duty imposed on to 30s. The accounts received at the grain admitted, or rather, he that time from Lancashire, and should say, undertaken to be paid the very unpromising appearance thereon. The advisers of the of the crop of potatoes, were Crown, on this occasion, had desuch to excite not merely parted as little as possible from the alarm, but despair and despond- spirit of the existing Corn-laws; ency, and had it not been for they required the parties importing the rains which followed, nothing to pay certain duties——that is, the could have saved Ireland from order in council imposed upon the
In these circumstances, importers the necessity of entering to which was superadded an in- into an engagement to pay a specreasing difficulty of supplying cified duty, provided that duty
should be sanctioned by parlia- that the duty specified by the order ment; and, in pursuance thereof, in council should continue till the bonds had been entered into there- 15th February, when the next fore, the act necessary to be passed averages would be struck, and that, on the present occasion, should not in the mean time, corn should be inerely indemnify the parties who permitted, on the payment of that incurred this responsibility, but duty, to be introduced as it had should give power to
o the Crown been done since the issue of the to recover those duties. Gentle- order in council. If the prices
might differ as to the amount were 30s. in the harvest time, of duty to be imposed; he had could they, at this season of the merely to state, that the amount year, hesitate in adopting such fixed by the order
council was resolution? He concluded by movas a permanent duty, and 2s. ing two Resolutions-one' declaas a temporary duty for the first ratory of the opinion of the comthree months. It was obviously mittee, that the parties advising a case in which parliament should the order in council of the first of not impede indemnity, but rather September, and acting under the encourage and sanction similar con same, should be indemnified; and duct on "like occasions. The com the other recommending the admittee would observe, that the order mission of foreign corn to be perin council did not impose the duty; mitted, on payment of the duties it only required the party to enter specified in the said order. into a bond to comply with the The proposed measure experi, duty, if parliament should think fit enced no opposition from any quarto sanction it. His majesty's go- ter; the agriculturists only protestvernment felt, that it would have ing that their approbation of this been a gross and culpable violation of particular step, which they thought the first principles of the constitu- had been wisely, if not necessarily, tion to have done otherwise, and he taken, should not be construed into trusted that the House would give a deviation from opinions on the them credit for being incapable of Corn-laws which they might forgiving such advice. On the sub- merly have expressed. Sir Thomas ject of the amount of the duty, he Lethbridge gave the measure his would observe, that he thought it full concurrence; but, as he would should not have exceeded 2s. ; for, not have assembled parliament at had 4s. been imposed, there could so unusual a period, for the purbe little doubt, that the importers pose of discussing the general would have waited until the 15th question, so he thought that miof November, and taken their nisters might have delayed their chance of being then able to inc indemnity till the ordinary time of troduce it. In confirmation of meeting. Mr. Whitmore. consithis, he would observe, that of dered the whole matter as a new the quantity imported, 600,000 proof of the absurdity of the exista quarters of wheat, 150,000 were ing Corn-law. It was a law which actually overheld, the owners de- it was found necessary every now clining to pay the duty, of 25., and and then to break, and nobody preferring to take their chance on seemed to think its infringement the 15th of November. . He had unconstitutional. Within three farther to propose to the committee, years it had been thrice broken;
and he could not conceive why a had been engaged, should have law should be retained, which it been explained. seemed to be even meritorious tó Mr. Brogden, on that occasion, violate. The bill having been in- stated, in answer to the alderman, troduced, passed both Houses with- the history and particulars of his out any farther notice.
connection with the Arigna comOn the 23rd of November, the pany; admitting that unjustifiable House being about to resolve itself transactions had undoubtedly been into a committee of supply, Mr. resorted to in the conduct of its Brogden, who, for many years, affairs, but averring his total ighad been chairman of that commit- norance of any thing improper tec, declined the honour of being having been even contemplated, re-elected at present. Among and confirming his assertion by the bubble schemes of 1825, one the fact, that a committee of the had been formed for purchasing very proprietors against whom the and working the iron mines of fraud had been directed, had, after Arigna. Although equally evan- due inquiry, not only fully acescent as most of its perishing com- quitted him, but reported that he panions, it enjoyed for a while, like had conducted himself throughout them, the services of a Board of with strict honour and integrity; a Directors, and the profits of the judgment which had subsequently sale of fictitious shares. In an been ratified by four or five geneevil hour, Mr. Brogden had al- ral meetings of the share-holders. lowed his name to be set down as On the motion that the Speaker a director of the company. It was should leave the chair, with the asserted that the original specu- view of the House resolving lators had agreed to pay 10,0001. itself into a committee of supply, for the mines; that they had Mr. Brogden now said, that, for charged them to the company for
for two parliaments, he had enjoyed which they acted as having been the honour of filling the chair of purchased for 25,0001.; and that the committee of ways and means ; the 15,0007. thus raised by knavery, and, during the whole of that time, had been divided
the direc he was not conscious of having tors and their dependents. Als done any thing contrary to the derman Waithman, who seemed to station which he individually held have marked out these speculations in society, or derogatory to that as the peculiar objects of his parlia- with which he had been honoured mentary castigations had introduced by
by the House. However, for some them into the debate on the address, time back, he had been assailed by and had pointed out the omit- calumnies and aspersions the most ting all mention of the dishonesty unjustifiable and unfounded: prein which they began, and the bank- judices must naturally have arisen ruptcies in which they ended, as against him, both within and withone great deficiency in the royal out the walls of parliament; and Speech. In particular, he expressly though he had repelled them in declared, that, if Mr. Brogden should quarters to which he had access be again proposed to fill the situa- though he had been thanked and tion which he had recently held, applauded for his conduct by those he would oppose his election, until who best knew his characterstill certain transactions, in which he the attacks against him had been