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that they were ih a flourishing condition.
With regard to agriculture, however, the
tame, flatteririg assurances would 'not be
gi^en ; and he should not perfonh his duty
if he did not observe that it waslabour^
ing tinder general distress. Without
entering into the causes or details of it,
they were so satisfied of its importance
knd cohnexioD with the other great in-
tereasts of the eduhtry, that it mu6t bp the
eatroest desire of his majesty's ministers
and the House to afford it dlf the protec-
tion in their power. He was aware that
there werS thoto who contended that this
hHief could not be afforded without a
great reduction of taxation, and rigid
economy; but he iitrould ask,, who were
those who were so ardent hi this cause iis
to follow \ip thehr object, without regard
to the kecority of the coiihtry? Some
hnmediate remedy however should be
applied to the distress; and he had no
didubt that such remedt would be adopted.
He might be allowed before he concluded
to congratulate the House thiit the dis-
Afiection which some time ago had shewn
Itself in the manufkcturine districts had
entirely disappeared, and had been sue*
eeeded by perfect tranquillity. This ef-
fect was partly produced iSj the wise
measures of parliament, but in a great
measure, as ne trusted and believed, by
the internal prosperity of the country.
'But, while he stated this, he might be
t>ermftted to add, that in his judgment
those persons must be very superficial ob-
servers of public events, who could not
perceive that there were yet individuals
Who were ready on evenr occasion to
attack the constitution or the country,
and to bring into contempt the established
Authorities of the kingdom. That such
persona unfortunately existed, though
few in number, appeared to his mind to
Admit of little doubt. Some of those
|>ersons were anxious to supplant the
present order of things by some theore*
tical system of thehr owq. Others were
Actuated merely by hatred of what was
established. Fortunatelv, howeveri the
constftutibn stood so firm on its basis,
was so beautffdijr connected in all its
barts, and was sd admirably adapted to
in classea of society, that it was impos-
afM0 bat that ail who enjoyed the bles«
•iog dP fivinjg under it should perceive its



advantages over any other aystem of go-
vernment. So far, however, iroth being
injured by the arrows of malic6 Which
had been directed against it, the constitu-
tion had derived new strength frbnct the
assault; Bxii would, after surviving the
stonns And attacks which it had su&red,
exhibit to the admiration of the world iti
grandeur And stability :

Per dsmna, per asdes, ab ipso
BucSt opes animumqae ferro.

Sir Francii BurdU^ said, that thA very
modest and sensible speech of the mover
of the address, in answer to the Speech
from the throne, had given him very little
to comment on ; as there was little in
it with which he did not cordially agree.
Of the speech of the hon. member who
seconded the address, he should have
been enabled to say the same, were it
not for the topic introduced at the end of
his speech, difiering in tone and temper
both fVom the Speech from the throne
and the address in answer to it. That
hon. member had said, that there were
persons in England anxious to subvert
the constitution of the country. This
assertion was unfortunate, and in contra-
diction to the first part of his speech, in
which he had recommended and praised
the reduction of that large military force,
which there was, indeed, no honest pre-
tence for keeping up. . As to the foreign
politics of the Speech from the throne
he should pass them over very rapidly,
because in our present situation they were
comparatively of very small hnporiance.
Of the territory now m contest, ne would
only say, that he wished heartily it was out
of the Turkish possession, and m the pos-
session of the Greeks. In saying so, be
was convinced that it woula be a great
benefit to the Chrbtian European world,
if an independent state were erected in
that part of Europe by the ffreat and
glorious exertions of that cruelIy-oppres<«
sed people in vindication of their ancient
liberties. He had A short amendment to
propose, which was dictated by no dis-*
respect to the throne, but by a desire to
give the royal Speedi that consideration,
which, undfer the drcumstances of the
country,, was especially due to it. In
ancient times— and, as he was rather old
fashioned in his opinions, in what he
would call better times — better oarlia^
ihentary times—it was the custom ror the
House of Commons to wisn to defiberate
before it resolved : it Was the practice of
our forefathers to undeffatand before they



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27] HOUSE OP COMMONS,

voted, and they held it no disreapeet.to
the throne to postpone, until a subsequent
daj, the consideration of the Speech that
bad been delivered from it. They thus
knew the topics it contained, and those
which it omitted ; and were able to make
up their mmds bot^- upon the one and
upon the other. Since the Revolution,
this usage had been dispensed with ; yet
•till some courtesy was observed towards
parliament by the ministers of the day,
which, perliapc, secured the practicsl
benefits of the exploded system. The
royal Speech was read over*m'ght at the
Cock-pit, to such members as chose to
attend, and its contents found their way
into the morning, or at least into the
evening papers of the day, before the
Houses were convened. Thus, such as
felt aa interest on the subisct could
honestly arrive at a decision. But of late
years even this courtesy had not been ob-
served ; and the House of Commons was
expected to come to an instantaneous vote
of apnrobation of all that the ministers
thougnt fit to put into the mouth of the
soverei^. Now, he confessed that his mind
was neither sufficiently quick nor capa-
cious to be competent to this duty. He
was not able on the instant to embrace
and decide upon all the various topics
just read from the chair. Not having,
therefore, the power of divination, or
the &culty of conjecturing, with any de-
gree of certwnty, what would be the na-
ture of the King's Speech, he could not
be prepared with an amendment to the
adoress ready cut and dried for the oc-
casion. The consequence therefore was,
cnther that the vote was made a mere
formal compliment, pledging no man, or
the House was taken by surprise and re-
quired to give its sweeping and instan-
taneous approbation of tnat, which under
other circumstances, it might be disposed
to object to. In the first case, the ad-
dress was not of the slightest value ; and
in the last, after a great deal of talk about
conciliation and unanimity, the House
was entrapped and ciyoled into an ap*
parentbutmsincere acquiescence. — Under
such circumstances, it was his intention
to propose that the King's Speech diould
be taken into consideration the day
after to-morrow. It was fit he should
observe, that as far as he could collect,
the. Speech from the throne was by no
means such a full i|nd satisfactory state-
mentM the country had a right to expect.
JHaboured under grfevances of ail kinds.



Aidreu on ik$ ISng^M^S^iech



[S8



The people complained, not merely of
agricultural diftress. There were nume«
reus violations of the law and constitution,
in his mind, superior to the sufferings of
the landed interest, which required re-
dress. The constitution was at this
moment, and had lone been, in many im-
portant instances, infringed upon, and set
at open defiance. But, with regard to
agricultural distress, ministers were bound,
not merely in general terms, to declare
that they would observe economy. What
minister, time after time, had not done so ?
The first Speech, after the accession of
the late king, held out a promise of rigid
economy ; and during that whole reign,
few speeches would be found without
such an undertaking, but fewer were the
instances m which it had been perftnined.
The House and the nation demanded more
than the idle delusion. Ministers ought
to point outhow and when they would carry
their fine promises into effect. There was
also a point of omission, very important
in itself, and not at all in accordance with
that anxietv which was so loudly pro-
fessed, of observing the strictest economy.
Not a hint had been given regarding a
reduction of the monstrous expenditure
of the civil list. At a time when the
country was suffisrinff under the severest
pressure— when ministers were plaving
all sorts of tricks (for he could call them
nothing else) with the circulating me-
dium— at a time when they bad succeeded
in depreciating the currency, they added
to the evil and the insult upon the nation
by augmenting the civil list and the
salaries of persons composing or connect-
ed with the government. l%ey and their
ftiends alone throve and flourished amid
the general distress and ruin. Th^ygot
the country into this condition: when
the currency was at the lowest they raised
their expenses to the highest, and then, .
without one thought of alleviating the
sufierines of the people, of their own
heads uey all at once restored the cur-
rency to a fair metallic value, and, while
the incomes of every body else was re-
duced to a great amount| ministers said
not a syllable about redudne their own..
What was this but a most selfish and un-
feeling disregard of the national distress ?
To lessen the salaries of pensioners and
placemen at such a time, seemed fi niea-l
sure so eqi^itable and so obvious, that he
wondered , ministers were not ashamed of
bringing in a bill which put so much money
into their own pocketS| while they took it^'



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aitke Opening tfiheSeuion.



Pbb. 5^ 1822.



[SO



in ' an increased proportion, from the
pockets of the impoverithed people. At
the time when so much was said about r0«
•storing a healthful currency, and about
the soTvencT of the Bank, ministers were
often told that the Bank would be able to
pay, but the real question was, whether
the nation would be able to bear. It was
M in Tain : ministers would not take the
.trouble to think ; the pubUc welfare was
of no consenuence, when compared with
•their.own:.tnough the change they were
about to effisct came home to every pri?ate
familjr in the kingdom, they never dreamt
of weighing the bearings of the measure,
*wilh a view to put the whole population
in the same relative situation. If ministers
were not aware of the consequences, they
showed themselves most mcapable: if
they were aware of them, they proved
themselves most unworthy. Many persons
rattributed to this change, the present dis-
tressed state of the country. That many
mischievous conseouences had resulted
•from it, there could be no doubt; and as
a whole, executed as it had been, it was
-full of iniquity and injustice. The Sing's
ministers had brought it about: it was
their own sole doins, and they alone were
responnble.— Of all the topics introduced
' into the royal Speech, the most prominent
and pressing was certainly the state of
1 reland. It was impossible to look at the
condition of that unfortunate island with-
out the deepest commiseration: a kind,
and industrious, and a generous people
tiid been driven to despair ; and surely it
was fit on an occasion like the present,
that something else should be held out to
them than the sword. Their sufferings
were grievous in the extreme; in some
cases it had been seen they were so severe
that the inhabitants preferred death in any
skape^ to livinff under such complicated
nfseries. Perha^M the noble marquis op-
.finite would again employ his old asser-
tion, about a transition from war to peace ;
bit was not much of what was now en*
dured in Ireland to be attribute to a
transition from a state of independence,
to^ what was miscalled a state of Union?
The gentlemen of Ireland and the people
atlarge had been cajoled and hoaxed into
a belief that the Umon was to be complete
an| beneficial; yet it had turned out a
nie^ parchment union, by whith Ireland
imdbeen so reduced to the last extremity
of distress, as to cause a danger even of
•penpanent separation. Ministers had not
4naie a single attempt to carry into effect



an^.of the idle promises by which the
Irish nation had been duped into a con-
sent to its own destruction and debase-
ment. What were the views of govern*
ment upon this important subject ? It
was clear that something ought to be done
without a moment's delay; and it was
equally clear, that conciliation, as well as
force, ought to be employed. There
were three especial and striking griev-
ances that affected Ireland. The first was
the scandalous pretence on religious
grounds for excfudine men from their
equal and just civil rights. This free and
unlimited participation had been proposed
at the time of the Unioo. This was an
obvious practical evil/ and unless the
meetings of this House were mere matters
of senseless form, it was bound to afford a
speedy remedv^a remedy at all times within
its power, llie next grievance was Uie
manner and mode of the tithing system. In
the year 1782, what was the situation of
Ireland? If she was then distressed, at
least she had an ear bound to listen to the
public voice : she had a parliament, and
under that parliament, though calumniated,
she had enjoyed a surplus revenue of about
a million sterling. Since the Um'on, what
had been the revenue of Ireland, and
what had become of her surplus ? She
was a country enjoying every advantage
which prodigal nature could bestow. She
had, besides, an industrious, and ingenious,
and energetic people— a people as orderly
and as peaceable as an^ people on the
earth, irthe^ were permitted to be so.
If any proof were wantine that they did
not shun labour, it might be found in our
own metropolis where all the severest
labour was performed by the Irish. So
far from being idle, they travelled many
hundred miles, often at the risk of starva-
tion, to procure, by the hardest drudgery^
an honest livelihood. True it was, that
the exchequers of England and Ireland
had been consolidated, but had the mea^
sure improved the revenues of the latter?
It had been said that tlie corruption in this
country was purity itself compared with
the corruption of Ireland : but whether
this were or were not the fact, it was un-
deniable that the revenues of Ireland
were all frittered away, and that literally
a civil war had been long waged against
the distillation of whiskey. Let gen«
tlemen read the statements in Mr. Chi-
chester's pamphlet of the efforts to put
down illicit distillation, and they wduld
find it amply sufficient to perpetuate dis-



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31} HOUSE Of CQMitfONS,

cont^i^f an4 htart b\iroii»« An eiLfoi*
ination into ^e i^tiite of ^^ Excise lawp
in Irekmd might be another and an im-
portaot mode of re^i^C At pretent, the
uohiqppy people w^e Axvf&a, to acts of
detperate retaliation; and were reduced
to 8uph a deplorable conditipny that tb^
were ready to run the haaard of any per-
sonal infliction for the sake of a moment's
respite. The Speech from the throne con*
taioed not ^ syllable regarding Scotland ;
yet, coii)d fu\y man beliere that the people
therp w^re sat^fied ? They werp su wr«
ing un4eir a monstrous evil. The Scotch
were a wise^ a wary, and a calculating
nation; an^ though theysiiffieredy Uiey
were net easily driveQ to desperation ;
yet It was well known by the inquiries of
the Housf, that the system of burghs at the
self election of a litue narrow committee,
engrossing all power and profit— was an
enormous evlL The burghs were to Scotr
land what that House was to the kingdom
at large. The noble lord beneath hips
(A* ^aqoiltoii) had produced irresisti^
pie arguments against this deteplable
qrstem ; mapy petitions had beoo presentr
ed; a^d if be (Sir JF'ranois 3urdett)
had taken no part in the debate
upon them, it was pot bepauae bp
was in^itferent to the subject, but
becfiuse be feared that his internositioii
might injure the cause and lead to
the neglect of their complaints. Tbe
petitionera were much mistaken, if they
thought they could persuade the House of
CommonsyCooDpoiiindedasit wasi to set
its face against a system on whidi it was
itself established. The eountrv pow well
understood the undue and oyerWring in-
fluenoe of ministers in the House of Com*
mens, and that it was vain to e^cpect any
thing from fuch a body* He knew not,
if be ifora indeed ip yfilA and viaionary
in his fiM^o98of i?fbrm as some bad rq>re-
pen^ed 1^ to baj^ bat ef al) refom^^rs the
roost wtfd nnd visioaarjr, in bisTiew, were
those who hoped to el^t, what they ter-
med, ^ oconomipal reform : such persona
expected; that» which in the present con-
atitution of the HoufO, could never be at*-
tained; |hey looked for effiecta without
(causea— ^* for grapea on thorns, and figs
en thisUea ;" for until that House bad been
e&ctually and thoroughly relonned, there
could be no penaaoent and dBcient relief
for the suSsrings of the people of these
kingdofoa* Ecepomical reform was put-
ting the ^rt before the hone, retonn
must precede economy; for ^onomy



44llmf 9^ agKi9i§'s Speech ftt

Cfpld perer piecede reibm. In these
times parties acarcely existed ; or at leant
there was bnt one great and strong dish
tinction between men in this country— -r^
formers and corruptionists. Thesewerethe
two gr»i^ classes into which the people of
Qreat Britain were divided ; ana though
he aokqowledfled, in the fulleat manner,
the indefatigable labours and high merits of
his hen. friend, the member for Aberdeen,
thouj^ he admitted his claims upon the
nation fpr his abUity, industry, and perse-
verance^

** ' ■ Neque ego illi detraiiere«iiiim
^ Hserentem capiti multa cum laude eoronam ^

still he could not flatter himself with any
hope that his extraordinary exertiona
would be attended with any thing like
propprUonate success. His bon. friend
had, iodeedi been tbe^reat practical vefoe-
mer of the day, be had laid bare, in many
places, the bloated carcass of corruption;
but if he looked for efficient economy by
any otl^er mode than a thorough reform
of parliament, he muat aay» that his bon.
friend was ope of the weakest and most vi-
sionary of refor|nera.IfanQblelord(Bbrin»-
ton ] l^ul ootahready given a notice upon tbia
great paramoui^t subjecw it had beeahis it»*
tention to have obsod what he bid to say
that nigbtiwith anintimation that he wonM
briD^ it forward on a: very early day. In
his view, it wtis superior to all other asal-
ters, and ought to take precedence of all
other questions. He became mote ia^
pressed with its absolute necessity etery
hour of the day ; and as tbe great Romab
had ended all his addresses to tbe senate
with the words "delenda est Carthago,^
so he felt disposed to terminate all his
speeches to tbe House of Commons with
the words— .« refoi:pa in parliament.'' At
present his purpcMo was the same» though
his means i^ere diferent ; and in order to
give time for the due and respectful c^
sideratipn of the Speeeh hom the throae,
he should n^ove, as an amendment, tkat
the consideration of it be pos^ned uatil
Thursday next.

Mr^fibMotfif, in ri«ng to second the
motioii, took occasion te express his eiv
tire concurrence in the reasons assigned
by his bon. coUeaffue for postpeniog ai^
reply to the Speedi from the di^one, uaiU
the IjlQuse should have some time to (



sider its merits. His hon. colleague wae
quite correct as to his quotations witlii re-
l^d to the practice of that House in early
times* respecting its replies to kioge
speeches; but evep.after tto Revoluti#0| it



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0l the Qpemng ^he Sei^n.



Feb. 5, 1829.



[34



was tbepMictictfof ibe Hotue, m appeared
from the Jouraate, to take time for the
oontidenitioii of a speedi from the throne
befbf« any mMwer was made to it. This
parciciilany appeared fVom the comhict of
that House during the tdgn of William
Ssd^ and especially won th^ speech from
the tkrone in ISO?, woen tiie country was
io chPOQiiMtaDces somewhat amilar to the
present. The speech of tlie soverei^ did
not on that ocoasion intimate any inten-
tion U> reduce any part of his military
lbrce» wbid» both parties in the House
desired, and therefbre, in Uie i^ply to the
speech, which the House took some time
to coDsidetv they inserted an application
to the king to reduee the army to seven
thousand ror Irdaod and twelve thousand'
fcr England* When the House then evin-
ced so much jealousy of the mihtary power
of tiieir great deliverer fhxn slavery and
superstition, was- it too much to ssy that
some jealousy should be felt as to the ex-
traordinary amount of our military force
at present f It was said that some reduc-
tisn had taken phce b the amount and:
enence of our army smce the last sessions.
Or this, however, that House had as yet
no vegular cognieanoe. But he was posi«
tively assured, that no less than onohun-^
dredfifss eommissions had been, granted
since tbe^ Jast sessions ; and that fact oer«'
tainljr argued nothimp of a disposition to
reduce theoztoence of our military depart^
ment [hear, near, hearlj^ Of itself this
seemed suffldpnt to show the folly of
bUndly voting an address of thanks, wh^e
the House was in tota) ignorance as to
what had been done to relieve the burthens
oB tbe people. It seemed to hhfn no high
com^oienttowhat proceeded from the
throne, 10 say, that it would not beiar re-
fleotibn, and that approbation, if expressed
at aH, must be expressed with unreflecting
prccipitatkm. To postpone, to deliberate,
and then to vote was sorely muoh more
beoooiing the wisdom of parliaoient and
the dignity of the Crown. The intercourse
between a kmg and his p^ple ought not
to be a mere fiurce : it was a spfemnity
which oaght never to be burlesooed^ aqd
it was DOW quite time to have done with
^m sidicnloBS practice of making the ad»
diisss« mere echo of the royal speech, a
nere machine to enable ministers to con*
gratidatetheOMelves on dl'the good things
whick Ihey had put into the mouth of his
najesty. He begged leave to say, that
thKe was no time so fit as the PJ^d^ ^
clianging this absurd custom. The counts
VOL. VI.



try, firom one end to the other, was ndw'
satisfied that a change, not merely of mea-'
sores, butof men, wasabsolutely necessary;
and, without meaning any thing harsh to
the hon. seconder of the address, he (Mr.
Hobhouse) must say, Uiat the hon. gen-
tleman was much mistaken if he thought
that the language he had used would have'
any etSoct upon the people at large. Even
here, it had raised a smile among the*
ranks of ministers, when the hon. gentle-
jnsn attributed the prevailing dbtress and
disafibction to a wish to destroy the go-
vernment, and to overthrow the constitu-
ted authorities. The nation was i^ot afraid
of the revolutionary plunderer, but of the
tax-gathering plunderer, of the man whb
came to drag the beds fVom under them,
and to reduce them to the last stage of
poverty and- wretchedness. [Hear, hear.] ^
He trusted' then that the House would
hear no more of any idle clamour about
revolution. The people now knew well
into whose pockets fell the money that was
extorted from them, and that the greater
part of it was applied to the purposes of
corruption. To cure these evils then he •
bellied tbe great body of the people was
anxious for a change of measures, and not'
for a change of men, as it was indifierent
to them 1^ whom^ the powers of govern*
roent were possessed^ it the country were
well governed. But as to our foreign
politics there was a reason against the
sudden adoption of the proposed answer
furnished by the example or an assembly',
whose general conduct he could not res-
pect, atthoogh it might- and probably was
respected by ministers. He meant the
example of the F^nch chamber of depu-
ties, which iock time to consider of a re-
ply to the king's speech, and had recently
sbiown that they dared dissent horn the
sentiments ^rein contmned. TheHouse'
was called upon by the proposed reply,
to congratulate his majesty upon the peace
whidi at present prevailed m Europe, as
ministera alleged* Bnt he would appeal
to any unbisissed man who heard him,
.wiwt sort of peace that was ? It was, in-
deed, Uie peace'of the grave, but not that
of justice or independeoce; for, what was
tbe condition of Greece, not one word
Bbt^t which appeared in the king's speeeh,
or io the proposed reply to it, altbougii



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