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free trade or a protective policy, but of when subsequently ratified by public opinparties who were generally disposed to ion, so that he at all events has a perfect give their confidence to Her Majesty's right to plume himself on the consistency Ministers, 310 Gentlemen. There were of his opinions--and to the hands of no three other parties— if, indeed, there were man could a declaration of free-trade ponot more—the first including in it all the licy be more fitly consigned. But the hon. various gradations of opinion, from the Gentleman, as I have said, holds extreme high aristocratic and exclusive Whig, down opinions; and in order that the Governto the wildest theorist and the most ex- ment might be placed in a minority on that treme Radical, those parties, in all their question, before we had any opportunity ramifications, comprising somewhere about of bringing forward our measures, it was 260 Members. The third party consisted necessary that a concert should take place of Gentlemen from the sister kingdom, prin- among all the parties to whom I have cipally representing the views of the Irish referred, because, without such concert, Roman Catholic clergy, and holding the the Government would still be in a maextreme doctrines of the Ultramontane jority. My Lords, we are speaking here school-all of them pledged by their decla- of no doubtful question. We have had rations to use their utmost endeavours for some curious revelations made to us by a the overthrow of the present or any other right hon. Baronet a Member of the other Government which is not prepared to act House, who has lifted the curtain, admitted upon their extreme opinions. Further, us behind the scenes, shown us the actors there was a fourth party, numerically small, preparing for their parts, and discussing comprehending from thirty to thirty-five the most convenient phrases to be adopted Members, Gentlemen of great personal in order to obtain that universal concurworth, of great eminence and respecta- rence which was necessary to accomplish bility, possessing considerable official ex- their object, and studiously concerting their perience and a large amount of talent- measures, so as to place the Government Gentlemen who once professed, and I be in a minority. An incident, my Lords, of lieve do still profess, Conservative opinions. almost a dramatic character, interfered Those Gentlemen possess talents wliich with the full execution of that well-conwould reflect credit on any Administration, sidered and well-concerted plan; for when but their numbers, as I stated, are com- these concerted measures appeared ready paratively small. In this state of things for execution, an Amendment was moved it was obvious that Her Majesty's present in another and an unexpected quarter, Government, though they had by far the which placed the matter on a different footlargest party, and were nearly a moiety of ing, and prevented that union of Whigs, the whole House of Commons, yet they Conservatives, and Radicals, which was nedid not possess the support of an absolute cessary for the Government to be placed in majority in that Ilouse, and that conse- a minority. My Lords, the Government quently, if occasion should be taken, if it escaped defeat on this occasion by the should be the will of all the three other falling asunder of the different materials parties to whom I have referred to com- of which that discordant combination was bine in carrying out a movement for composed. We then proceeded to bring the overthrow of the Government--those forward and to submit to Parliament the three parties so combining — whatever financial policy on which we proposed to power they might possess for the forma conduct the business of the country; and tion of another Government — had full after a lengthened debate in the House of power to destroy and overthrow that which Commons, by the union again of all the existed. We were not long to be left three parties, the Government were defeatin doubt as to whether the will existed ed in a House almost unprecedentedly full on the part of those to whom I have al- --a House, I believe, in which there were luded, to overthrow the Government. Be- not more than six-and-twenty Members in fore we had an opportunity of bringing the whole House, who, in one way or the forward any specific measures, notice was other, did not record their opinions. In given of a Motion by a Gentleman holding that House so constituted, the Government extreme opinions- a Gentleman of whom I were subjected to a defeat by a minority of desire to speak with all respect, because nineteen. If we had been defeated on he has throughout consistently maintained some minor and incidental point - if it and steadily supported the same opinions were on some detail of a measure, the when they were unpopular which he did general principle of which was assented to by Parliament-greatly as I should feel great experience and considerable ability, the position of the Government weakened of long practice in public life, and one of by being subjected to a defeat even on a them-I speak without the slightest disreminor matter-greatly as preceding Go- spect of the other peculiarly distinguished, vernments have been weakened of late not only by long experience, but by his years by submitting to repeated defeats well-known moderation and temper, by the and repeated reversals of their policy-in- spirit of mingled firmness and courtesy with convenient as I should have considered which he has on all occasions discharged such a state of things to be-still I do not his duties here, and which is admirably consider I should have been justified by a calculated to conciliate friends and to disdefeat on a minor question in abandoning arm opposition. The noble Marquess to the duties confided to me by Her Majesty. whom I allude was prevented by illness But, my Lords, this defeat was on no minor from attending the summons of Her Maquestion—it was on the basis of our whole jesty; and on the following day, in answer financial policy-let me rather say it was to a further summons from Her Majesty, ostensibly on the basis of the financial po- the Earl of Aberdeen-the other nobleman licy which was to be established in the to whom I refer—waited upon Her Majesty country; but in reality and in truth it was, and received Her Majesty's commands and it was known to be-it was avowed to which he signified his readiness to obeybe-a vote that was to determine the con- to undertake the formation of a new Ad. fidence or the want of confidence of the ministration. My Lords, on what principle House of Commons in the present Govern- that Administration is to be formed, how ment. I need not stop to prove that such that Administration is to be composed-of was the issue really intended by the vote what its materials, and of what views and of the other House of Parliament—such principles, I know nothing. We shall, I was the issue laid before the country; presume, before long, receive from the and on such an issue Her Majesty's Go- noble Earl himself a full declaration of vernment having sustained an unequivocal his intentions and views on these subjects. defeat, I felt, and my Colleagues felt with I remember, and probably your Lordships me, that no option remained for us but to remember also, that on more than one octender to Her Majesty the resignation of casion the noble Earl has declared in this those offices with which She had entrusted House that—the question of free trade exus, but which we were no longer able to cepted—he knew none on which there was perform with satisfaction to ourselves, or any difference of opinion between himself with the ability to carry out our own views and Her Majesty's present Government. and objects. On the morning after we had I presume, then, that it is the intention of sustained that defeat-my Lords, I speak the noble Earl—and I shall believe it until only of the facts of the case, I am not I hear it contradicted by himself—to carry about to argue upon them; something I on the Government, if he is enabled to form perhaps might have said with regard to one, upon strictly Conservative principles, the character of the combination, and the and in a Conservative spirit. My Lords, animus displayed in this settled purpose to how those principles are to be carried out overthrow the Government; but I wish to at present, with such associates and with abstain from all expressions, the use of such support as I apprehend the noble Earl which can by possibility give rise to con- must avail himself of, I confess I entertain troversy or angry feeling-having had a some little doubt and anxiety. But of this distinct declaration of want of confidence I shall say nothing—1 shall abstain from a on the part of the House of Commons, and single expression which can have the effect having ascertained that my colleagues of prejudging the course to be pursued by unanimously concurred with me as to the the noble Earl. This I may say in his abonly course we ought to pursue, I proceeded sence, as I would say in his presence, that to wait upon Her Majesty, and to tender to I am confident he relies, and he may justly Her, in my own name and that of my Col- rely, on having more forbearance shown leagues, the humble resignation of our him by the great Conservative party with offices. Her Majesty was pleased to ac- which I have the honour to act, than that cept our resignation, and signified Her Conservative party has experienced at the pleasure, which was acted upon in the hands of others. I venture to promise course of the same day, to send for and that if the Government about to be formed take the advice of two noblemen, Members be conducted upon Conservative principles, of your Lordships' House-both of them of and with a view to resist the onward pro
gress of democratic power in the constitu- which have gained the acknowledgments tion--in that event, the noble Earl may both of the Members of this House and of rely on having, if not the cordial, at all the country at large. For these reforms events the sincere and conscientious sup- we are indebted to the zeal and assiduity, port of the great Conservative party in this and distinguished talent and thorough procountry. He will find, if the past cannot fessional knowledge of my noble and learnbe altogether forgotten, that at least per- ed Friend who sits on the woolsack, aud sonal feeling shall exercise no influence on for whom, when he quits it, it will be diffiour conduct; and he will find that he will cult, indeed, for any Government to find a be encountered on the part of myself and successor who will not give the country my friends by no factious opposition, and cause to regret the change. I take no that he will be met by no unprincipled credit to the present Government for the combination. My Lords, for my own part, state of our finances; but I think I may I need hardly say that personally to myself take credit for our having done this—for the surrender of office is no sacrifice, and having for the first time broken the apathy, costs vo pain in personal feeling. It would, the dangerous apathy, which for so many indeed, be a deep mortification to me if in years has existed, to the injury of the pubresigning the trust reposed in my hands lic service, in regard to the internal deby my Sovereign, I left the country in a fences of this country. And if we leave less advantageous position than I found it; the affairs of this country in such a state but I rejoice to think that, short as has that there is no fear of hostility from abroad been the period during which I and my —in a state of friendly relations with all Colleagues have held office, that period the great Powers—we leave it also in a has not been without some advantage to condition of self-defence which is partially the country—that period has not elapsed effected, and towards the full completion without some beneficial measures having of which we have laid a ground which I been carried; and that we shall leave the trust will not be abandoned by those who country in a condition of as great peace may succeed us--who, I trust, will not be and tranquillity as we found it. My Lords, neglectful of those great elements of selfI have no hesitation in saying that, in re- defence which we have called into operation gard to the foreign relations of the coun- --the old and constitutional force of the try, we leave it in a more advantageous militia, and the increase of that naval force state--that our foreign relations are in a on which primarily, and in the first inmore friendly and in a more satisfactory stance, the safety and honour of the counposition--than when my noble Friend the try depend. My Lords, we leave the AdForeign Secretary received charge of that ministration with the country in a state, I department; and I rejoice to have this op- hope, of tranquillity, of contentment, and portunity of bearing my testimony to one of prosperity; at peace with all foreign than whom no one has been more unspar- Powers-with increased, if not with fully ingly, and, I venture to say, more unjustly accomplished, means of self-defence and maligned than my noble 'Friend. From self-dependence. Under these circumfirst to last I have had no cause for any- stances, it is no personal sacrifice to us to thing but self-gratulation in having obtain- surrender the reins of office. I rejoice to ed in the Foreign Department the services see that those who may succeed us, apart of one who, without previous political expe- from those personal difficulties which I canrience, has brought to bear an ability, a di- not but think they have created for themligence, and a good judgment on the affairs | selves, have a comparatively easy task beof his department, which reflect the highest fore them. I trust that they will go on in credit upon him, and which I venture to say, a course of social improvement, and that without fear of contradiction, has extorted they will place this country on that footing the applause and admiration of old and ex- on which it ought to stand. I trust that, perienced diplomatists, against whose views with regard to those great measures and he has on more than one occasion had to objects to which I have alluded, they will combat, and successfully to combat. If complete the course which we have successwe look to the department of law, we shall fully commenced; and I hope that this find that greater improvements and reforms! great country will still continue to enjoy have taken place in that department du- security at home, with tranquillity and ring the last twelve months than have contentment, peace abroad, and an intaken place for many years previous— creasing prosperity among all classes of reforins of a magnitude and importance the people, by whosesoever hands it may
be the will of the Sovereign that the affairs , observations said he was anxious to avoid of this great country shall be administered. everything that could give rise to controMy Lords, I have only further to state- versy, or that was likely to create a hostile though it it is hardly necessary for me to feeling. I regret that through a very condo so after what I have said that I and siderable portion of his speech the noble my Colleagues hold our offices only until our Earl did not adhere to that determination. successors shall have been appointed, and I certainly, my Lords, do not feel less until the noble Earl to whom the task has anxious than the noble Earl to avoid everybeen entrusted shall be enabled to present thing that can promote controversy and to for Her Majesty's approbation, and to in- abstain from everything that can excite troduce to this and the other House of Par- angry feeling; and, therefore, I shall avoid liament a Government with which he may, entering upon any of the topics except one in his judgment, feel himself capable of to which the noble Earl has referred. I conducting the affairs of this country. shall not stop to consider how far the Under these circumstances, my Lords, I course which the noble Earl has taken is received from the noble Earl this morning, in strict conformity with that courtesy a communication which I must confess did which it is the custom that a Minister who a little surprise me; because I certainly has resigned office should manifest to one did anticipate, after what has taken place who has received Her Majesty's commands --after the conferences which have been to form a new. Administration, namely, to held between various parties, and the de- adjourn the House to the not unreasonable cided steps which have been adopted to period desired by the latter.
I shall not put Her Majesty's Government at the ear- stop to discuss that question, as I am liest possible opportunity in a minority—I anxious to avoid as much as possible enanticipated that not four-and-twenty, cer- tering upon any topic which can excite untainly not eight-and-forty, hours would pleasant feeling; but I thiuk there was elapse before the noble Earl would be in a one statement made by the noble Earl position to submit a programme of his future which requires
be contradicted now, Administration to Her Majesty. Never- even though the House is to be adjourned tbeless, I received a communication from only till Thursday next; for I think it is the noble Earl in the course of the day, due to the character of some Gentlemen requesting me to move the adjournment of who are not Members of your Lordships' the House to this day week. I informed House, and I may add it is due to some the noble Earl in reply, that I would con- who are Members of your Lordships' sult his wishes, and move the adjournment IIouse, and particularly it is due to the of the House; but that, looking to the pe- noble Earl who has received Her Majesty's riod of the year, and to the inconvenience commands to form a new Administration that would be experienced by many of your – I say it is due to them that some notice Lordships by being detained in town over should be taken of a statement which Christmas-day- though, of course, all the noble Earl made with the greatest other considerations must yield to that confidence, and founded, as he said, on paramount one of providing duly for the facts patent to all your Lordships, and on public service-I would, subject of course some explanations of a right hon. Baronet, to his approval, move the adjournment of a friend of mine, in the other House of the House till Thursday, hoping that by Parliament. Now, I beg to give to that that time the noble Earl would have made statement a most positive and emphatic, such progress in his arrangements as to be though at the same time a courteous, deable to take upon himself the responsibility nial. The noble Earl stated that from the of the public service; but I added that if very commencement of the Session there had he had not made the requisite progress in been a determination on the part of three his arrangements by Thursday, I would parties, whom he enumerated, to overthrow then move—and I am sure your Lordships his Government; and he quoted the speech will concur in the noble Earl's desire—that of a right hon. Baronet in the other House this House should be adjourned from Thurs- of Parliament, to prove that attempts had day to Monday next." My Lords, I have been made to form a combination by which to thank you for the patience with which the Government would be prevented from you have listened to me, and I now move bringing their measures before the counthat this House at its rising do adjourn till try. My Lords, the very opposite of that Thursday next.
statement is the truth.
The part which The Duke of NEWCASTLE : My he did take was announced by the right Lords, the noble Earl in the course of his / hon. Baronet as having been taken by himself and others, in concert with my noble | he has assumed to exist; for he has inFriend, who is now absent; and I think it formed your Lordships with some surprise, is absolutely necessary for me, or for some nay, even reprobation, that the noble Earl one of his Friends—very few of them are who was summoned to Osborne on Saturto-day present in the House--to rise in day, required a week in order to form an his place and to state the real facts of the Administration. I will not now enter furcase. My Lords, I say that the statement ther into a discussion on this subject. We of the right hon. Baronet was this : that have heard before of Prime Ministers who attempts were made by a few Gentlemen were taken by surprise, and found them--himself included—to prepare a Reso- selves, or declared that they found themlution which should combine together the selves in a position which they had little whole of the friends of free trade, and, at expected. My noble Friend (the Earl of the same time, to separate that Reso- Aberdeen), when he appears in this House, lution from all measures of hostility or will be capable of explaining to your Lordeven appearance of opposition to the ships the part which he has taken in all Government. It was for that express these transactions much better than I can purpose that my right hon. Friend's la- do for him; but this I must say, that if the bour was bestowed on the preparation of high honour and reputation of my noble his Resolution; and, my Lords, can there Friend, both as a private individual and as be a more conclusive disproof of the exist- a Member of this House, did not command ence of such a combination as the noble from the noble Earl opposite an abstinence Earl described to have been formed for the from the insinuations which he has thrown purpose of upsetting the Government, out against him-I think the duty in which, than the simple fact, that the very words by the command of his Sovereign, he is which my right hon. Friend framed, were now engaged, ought to have protected him the words which were eventually accepted from charges and imputations of this naand adopted by the Government itself, ture. I rose, my Lords, for no other purthough they did not receive the sanction pose than to say that the statement made and approbation of the hon. Gentleman | by the noble Earl, with reference to the who first gave notice of his intention to existence of a combination for the purpose propose a Motion to the House of Com- of preventing Her Majesty's Government mons on the subject of free-trade policy ? explaining their measures to the country, Consequently the conduct of the Govern- is perfectly and entirely unfounded, and I ment itself proves that these Resolutions was anxious to give it the most positive and could not have had the effect, as assu- immediate contradiction. I can assure the redly they had not the purpose, now noble Earl that if, on any future and more attributed to them. My Lords, I have regular occasion—for the noble Earl must already said I do not wish to arouse con- forgive me for saying that his course upon troversy; but it is due to my right hon. the present occasion has been a most unFriend in the other House-it is due to usual one-but if on a future occasion he the noble Earl—that such a statement will raise any of these complaints, he shall should not go forth uncontradicted. The be fully and fairly met; and if he has been opposite statement is the real represen. deceived, for in justice to him I cannot betation of the case. There was a strong lieve that he is attempting to deceive, the and earnest desire that the noble Earl and facts shall be explained to him. It is most his Colleagues in the other House of Par- important that through such lips as those of liament should produce before the country the noble Earl the country should not be untheir measures; and the course of my right der any misconception as to the views, the hon. Friend, and of those to whom the honesty, and the straightforward conduct of noble Earl alluded as members of a party those who perhaps before long will be enof thirty-five-the course they took with trusted with the duties of the Administraregard to the Resolution moved by the tion of this country. I beg pardon of your hon. Gentleman (Mr. Villiers) are facts pa- Lordships for having detained you with tent to all; and were it not for the broad those remarks. I found myself placed in statement made by the noble Earl to-night, an unusual position; but with the affection I should have thought that contradiction I bear to the noble Earl (the Earl of Aberwas unnecessary. When the noble Earl deen) as a friend, as well as from regard talks of combination, I must say that he to other friends of mine in the House of has himself informed the House of a fact Commons whose characters have been which affords the strongest contradiction drawn into this discussion, I could not to the combination and preparation which I refrain from offering a few remarks to the