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subject of this Bill. To the measure he measure having no other effect but that of had given his conscientious support. He raising a considerable revenue from the denied that it was precipitated through consumers of bread for the purpose of the House, having been fully before them raising the rents of land-[hear, hear!] He during a week's discussion. The hon. congratulated the House on the short delay baronet had referred to the manufacturer's which had already been gained. If it had suffering, but the general support of the not been for the adjournment, for one day, poor felldecidedly upon the landed interest. which he had been fortunate enough to
The hon. baronet should have observed, succeed in obtaining, on a former stage, that he had not been much a resident in at three o'clock in the morning, the citithat part of the country. He did not zens of London would not have had an know, perhaps, that considerable relief opportunity of stating their sentiments to had been afforded to the people during that the House, before this important period in period of distress to which he had alluded. the discussion. The great city of West.
. General Gascoyne repeated his previous minster, where the two Houses of Parlia. observations, and said, that the proof of ment were held, had not even yet been their truth was to be found in the 118,000 heard on the subject. The hurry with signatures and upwards, from that county which the measure had been carried alone.
through, had prevented them from yet Sir R. Peel replied to an observation | having a representative from that great which fell from Mr. Cawthorpe, respect- city in the House. The absence of one ing his not having an accurate knowledge of the members was sufficiently accounted of the opinions of the people of Lanca-l for ; but the other member, the worthy shire, in consequence of his not having baronet, who had always been such a zearesided for some time in that county, by lous defender of the rights and liberties of asserting, that although he had been par- | the people, would no doubt be anxious to tially absent from the county, he would come forward on such an important occahave the hon. gentleman understand that sion as the present; and he must, at least, his great capital had been constantly em- have been on the road from the moment ployed in it, and had contributed to the that he heard of the measure. The dissupport of the people, whose sentiments tant parts of the country had been taken he could not but know as well as any man. by surprise; they thought the subject had
Sir William Curtis rose to present a Pe. | been set at rest last year; and many of the tition, signed by 40,000, and upwards, of towns, from the precipitate manner adopt. the merchants, bankers, and traders of the ed, had not yet been able to express them. city of London. There never was assem- selves. It was not enough, in an imporbled a more orderly meeting; attempts tant question of this kind, in which the were made to introduce extraneous topics | whole community were so deeply intefor its consideration, which the good sense rested, to have long discussions in that of the assembly altogether rejected. It House; it was their duty to give the was composed, said the worthy alderman, people time to express their sentiments. of all parties in the city, Whig and Tory, To every attempt he saw to hurry this High-church and Low.church, Dissenter measure, he should give his decided op. and Non-conformist. The worthy baro- position. net contended that the representatives of Mr. Alderman Atkins said, that so far the people of England should not shut from the signatures to the petition being their ears to the people's voice.
only 40,000, upwards of 40,000 had signed Sir James Shaw warmly applauded the it on Saturday. He had on Friday night temper of the meeting from which the earnestly intreated the House to postpone petition emanated. It was carried with the the second reading of the Bill; but the utmost and most unexampled unanimity. result was known. It really seemed as if
Mr. Baring wished to take this oppora | the purpose of this precipitation was to tunity of saying that he believed a more prevent the petition from receiving three numerous, respectable, and unanimous times the number of signatures that were meeting had never been assembled, than already affixed to it. [No, no,' from dif. that at which the present petition was ferent parts of the House.) At all events, agreed to. He entirely concurred in the he said, it had that effect. The unanimous sentiments stated in that petition. He proceedings which had lately transpired, believed that the measure now in progress fortified the view which he had originally through the House, was substantially a taken upon this subject. This petition, together with those of the manufacturing, tenantry, had no interest in the present districts, should induce the House not to question. He believed the prevailing proceed any further with the measure. sentiment among the tenantry was, that
Lord Luscelles presented a similar peti- this was the landlord's affair, and not tion from Leeds, subscribed by 24.000 theirs, for they could only pay to the persons; and petitions from Wakefield, landlord what they could afford after de. Pontefract, and some other places in the fraying their other expenses. But to talk West Riding of Yorkshire. He said, he of the labourer was altogether ridiculous. believed there was a very general disap- / Whether wheat was 120 or 80s. the quarter, probation of the Bill in the manufacturing | he could only expect dry bread in the districts.
one case, and dry bread in the other; and Sir Samuel Romilly presented a similar they therefore had no interest whatever in petition from Westbury. He concurred it. With respect to petitions from the entirely in the sentiments of the persons Fens, he could not but express his opinion, petitioning, and thought the present one that if any persons were more entitled of the most injurious measures ever brought than others to the thanks of their country, forward in that House. He lamented ex. it was those who made land productive; ceedingly that such an important subject but there happened to be evidence as to should be carried through with such pre- | these fens in the report before the House. cipitation, and that they should appear That evidence was decidedly against 80s.; unwilling to hear the sentiments of the and therefore, if the persons best accountry.
quainted with land of that description did Mr. Whitbread presented similar peti | not consider 80s. as a necessary price for tions from Derby, Great Bedwin, and the protection of the petitioners, he cone Hammersmith.
sidered it conclusive on the subject. Mr. Yorke presented a petition from the Mr. Methuen begged to assure the House, corporation of the conservators of the that the petitions he had presented that Bedford Level, stating their distressed day were not signed by manufacturers state, and praying for an alteration in the alone, but that they contained the names corn laws. It was rather too much for of many land-owners, who were convinced gentlemen who took the opposite side of of the injurious tendency of the measure. the question, to say that they expressed Mr. Home Sumner presented a petition the sentiments of the people. That they from the inhabitants of Croydon against expressed the sentiments of a part, he was the Bill, and observed, that as he had willing to admit. How easy was it to get already brought up one from the same petitions signed in great towns like Lon- place of a different tendency, he could not don? The agriculturists had not the same but regret that while he performed his opportunities of coming forward as the duty, he should have to differ in his opi. inhabitants of great towns. The sense of nion from any portion of his constituents. the people was much divided on this Mr. Calcraft presented a petition from question, and it was therefore a proper the inhabitants of Rochester, signed by subject for the decision of parliament. If 8,700 names. The hon. gentleman de. the agriculturists could be collected toge. | clared he fully concurred in the prayer of ther to petition, the difference in number the petition, and hoped the House would would not be great. The petitioners bad even now find it necessary to pause in redeemed between 3 and 400,000 acres of their precipitancy. land from the waler, under the guarantee Mr. M. A. Taylor presented a petition of parliament, and they now claimed its against the Bill from Poole, which, he protection.
| said, was numerously signed; not by Mr. Baring said, it seemed to be held manufacturers, for there were no persons out by those who favoured the present of this description in the town, but by mer. Bill, that the agriculturists were all on its chants and others, many of whom were side. Now, he would maintain, for he considerable landholders. He trusted, had had communications from various re- that if the House should agree to the Bill, spectable quarters on the subject, that the the people would sit down quietly under tenantry and labourers in general felt no it; but, for his own part, he would give it interest whatever in the price at which the his utmost opposition. The same hon. protecting duty should be fixed-(Hear, member gave notice of a motion relative hear!). - He would repeat it, that the to Wills, and also of another, for a Bill to labourers in agriculture, and even the abolish the punishment of the Pillory.
CONGRESS AT Vienna.) On the motion faction, and he hoped in a manner that for going into a committee on the Corn would prove satisfactory to the whole Bill,
House. Mr. Whitbread did not rise to object to Mr. Whitbread thought the noble lord the Speaker's leaving the chair, but there must have misunderstood the intent of his were other orders of the day on which he question. He had asked if he did not pro. wished to obtain some information. He pose to give some information to the desired to know, if the discussion on the House ; for whatever the noble lord might Corn Bill should last long, how it was have been told by his colleagues, be (Mr. intended to dispose of the question on the W.) did think the time was come when renewal of the Bank Restriction Act, some information ought to be given from And he desired particularly to know what the Prince, or from the noble lord in his the noble lord opposite (lord Palmerston) place, without being called for. From the meant to do in that case with the Mutiny answer he had received, he could hardly Bill? While he was on his legs, seeing the believe the noble lord was the man who noble viscount in the blue ribbon (Castle had been at Vienna ; for what had fallen reagb) in his place, he wished to ask if the from him was but a continuation of that time for making those disclosures which system of evasion which had been prac. had been called for, but withheld in his tised in his absence. It would be most absence, was at hand, and if they might satisfactory to the House that the informa. soon expect him to come down with a tion to be given should come spontaneously message from the Prince Regent on the from the noble lord; but if no communia subject of his late important mission ? cation was to be made to that House be
Lord Castlereagh said, he should be happy fore the Easter holidays, he would certo give the hon. gentleman every informa- tainly move for that which he thought tion in his power, but at present he was necessary. He repeated, however, that not able to intimate to him when any com- it would be best that the noble lord should munication on the subject referred to was give what be thought himself at liberty to likely to be made from the Prince Regent. offer, and it would then be for the House When he should know such a message was to determine whether or not that was to be brought down, he would not fail to sufficiently ample and satisfactory.' give due notice of it. If, before this was Lord Castlereagh replied, that whatever done, the hon. gentleman should wish communications the Crown might have to to obtain information on any particular make, would be made at the proper period; point, he thought it would be best, that he but if the hon. gentleman wished for any should raise some question—that after information in the present instance, he some days had elapsed, he should call for was at liberty to call for it; and he might that wbich he thought necessary. The be enabled in that case to state how the bon. gentleman would certainly under- business of the Congress now stood, and stand ibat, under present circumstances, whether that which the hon. gentleman the explanations which he (lord Castle- might desire should be produced, could or reagh) could give, would be in many could not be given. That which had been respects limited. If, however, the hon. done, had not yet received its full ratificagentleman called for any information tion. Most important questions had been which he might consider desirable, it decided, and the determinations of the would enable him (lord Castlereagb) to Congress had been reduced to articles; state what disclosures he could make but these not having yet been ratified, without injury to the public service. At could not be produced. What had been present he could only say, though the pro- done, had been done (he repeated it) with ceedings were not closed, yet much had the concurrence of all the great Powers, been done ; and it was important to add, and every thing had been satisfactorily that what was done, bad been done with arranged that regarded the peculiar inte. the general concurrence of all the great rests of this country. Powers, who had made every arrangement Mr. Whitbread inquired if he was to un. for upholding those decisions which had derstand, that unless some member moved been dictated by the common interest of for information, the noble lord proposed all. All the great points in which this to remain altogether silent on these great country was especially concerned, had subjects ? been met by all the Powers in a spirit of Lord Castlereagh had not intended to peace, and arranged perfectly to his satis- assert this, but in the present state of
things his communications must necessa. and looking the subject honestly in the rily be limited.
face, with a due recollection of what had Mr. Whitbread wished to know if he was taken place in the case of ihe rents since to understand, that at any given time the 1791, he thought a reduction of one-third noble lord would lay any information be- might very reasonably take place, which fore the House, as a minister, or as a mem would be a most wholesome relief to the ber of parliament?
cultivator of the soil. The House was told Lord Castlereagh said, not as a minister that 80s. was a very fair and moderate certainly.
price, but on what authority did they reLord Palmerston, in answer to the ques-ceive this information ? Look to the re. tion put to him, said, if the discussion on port, and it would be found, that they were the Corn Bill should not take up much to bottom themselves on the opinions of of the time of the House, it was his inten- land-surveyors, who received a per-cente tion to proceed with the Mutiny Bill that age according to the high value they put evening. If, however, the House should upon rents, by which, according to the arbe occupied till a late hour in the commit. | guments held up in favour of the pretee, he was willing to postpone it to a sent measure, the land holders were to fix future day.
the price of corn on the whole population Mr. Whitbread then gave notice, that on / of the kingdom. The true method of proan early vacant day he would raise a ques. | cedure would be to lower the rents, which tion on the subject of the noble viscount's could not fail to produce the best possible mission, which would give the noble vis. effect, and would render the present very count an opportunity of laying before the unpopular measure totally unnecessary. House such information as he might give He was himself a considerable landholder; consistently with his duty.
and from the first moment of his being so,
he had always objected to high rents, as Corn Bill.] The Chancellor of the tending to prevent all good offices between Exchequer moved the order of the day landlord and tenant, and to weaken, if not for the House to resolve itself into a com. in course of time finally to destroy that mittee on the Corn Bill. On the question, desirable attachment which, in his opinion, that the Speaker do leave ihe chair, ought ever to subsist between persons so
Sir Gilbert Heathcote rose to object to it. closely and intimately connected in point He said, that improper motives had been of mutual interests. He thought the preimputed to the landed proprietors; but, sent measure might be avoided by emhowever faulty their motives might have powering the Prince Regent, with the adbeen, the blame was more attributable to vice of his privy council, to stop the imthe Government, who had given their sanc | portation of foreign corn, wheneyer it tion to the measure, when their duty might be found necessary, and by that ought to have pointed out to them that means make the measure a temporary one. they had no right or business to interfere In addition to this, it ought to be the pecubetween two parties só situated as were liar care and conduct of ministers to introthe landed proprietors and the manufac. duce economy into every department, both turing interests; nay, indeed, as appeared | civil and military; and he had not a from the innumerable petitions, he might doubt but by these means the country say between the landed interest and a vast would be relieved from its present pres. majority of the whole nation. But he must sure, without resorting to a measure so unnow call the attention of the House to the popular as the present Bill evidently, was real question, which was this. The Go to the whole pation. He wished most vernment wanted to wind up the expenses particularly to call the attention of the of the war; the sum was no less than landed interest to the melancholy events 20,000,000l.; and in order to prevail on which were consequent on the French re. the landed interest to support them in the volution. He would beg them to recol. measures necessary to raise this sum, mi-lect who were the persons that formed the nisters had thrown out the alluring bait of great mass of the refugees who emigrated giving their aid to this measure respecting to this country on that lamentable occathe corn laws. It was in vain to come to l sion. They would find that the great any fair decision on the subject by the majority of these unhappy fugitives from means which had been proposed; the only their native land were great landed proway to meet the matter fairly, would be prietors, who had brought on the revoluby an immediate reduction of the rents; tion and the direful effects attendant on it,
by rack rents, and treating with contempt , in favour of it. Who were the evidence? the calls of a suffering people, groaning Men whose characters were raised in prounder their weight and pressure.
portion to the rise of land. Every landMr. Horace St. Paul declared, that he holder, he contended, was interested in would not have troubled the House with this, for they would gain considerably in the expression of his sentiments, but for the amount of their rents. If corn was the precipitation that marked this measure raised from 60s. to 70s. the landlord would in every stage of its progress-precipitate gain a guinea an acre; if to 80s. he would he would call it, with respect to the coun. ) gain 21. lls. [A laugh, and cries of Hear, try, in not affording the people an oppor- hear!) The House might be surprised at tunity of expressing their opinions on the this. Gentlemen might laugh within those subject--precipitate, likewise, as it re-walls, but there was but little laughing on this spected the members of parliament, in not subject without them. But he would prove granting them a sufficient time to form his assertion. An acre of land, at a low their judgment-and, finally, he conceived average, produced three quarters of wheat. it precipitate even for the ministers, from If there was an increase of 7s, a quarter, the imputation that might be cast on them, there must consequently be a clear gain of of hurrying it, as if they were apprehen one guinea an acre; and if the price be sive of its justice and policy: and cer- raised to 80s. he fancied that on a fair caltainly such an opinion might naturally be culation he would not be found to have entertained, for the refusal of a reasonable over-rated the profits. As to the argutime to examine its expediency, displayed ment brought forward by certain hon. symptoms of such an apprehension. He members, that the amount of rent made had now risen to enter his protest against no difference in this question, he would their proceedings, and after having given not insult the understandings of the House the most anxious consideration to the sube by dwelling on it; but he would assure ject, he had arrived at this conclusion, that them, that farmers in general were hostile all legislation on the article of corn was to this Bill, because it would afford a prein the present instance unwise and prema- tence to the landlords not to abate their ture ; and, however he might think a pro-rents. He could not agree with those, tecting price ultimately necessary for the who asserted that low prices would profarmer, he would oppose such a law, while duce idleness. He knew that among mawe were still ignorant of the real state of | nufacturers a man might earn as much in the affairs of Europe. At present it was three days as would support him for a impossible to decide on this question; and week; but in agricultural labour the busiil might be esteemed somewhat presump ness must advance regularly, and without tuous to settle a price before we could as | intermission. But who, he asked, supportcertain the state of our currency, and our ed the poor in the great scarcity? Not various relations with other powers. We landholders or farmers, but the merchants were now proceeding in darkness and and shopkeepers-No one, said the hon. ignorance, without even that knowledge to gentleman, condescended, on the first direct us which we might have expected night of debating this question, to mention from its being made a ministerial question. the effect it would have on the quartern But what must bave been the surprise.of loaf. A worthy baronet (sir James Shaw) the House to find that the speech of the had proved that when the average price of right hon. gentleman who so modestly in corn was 80s., the quartern loaf was controduced this measure, contained no infor- siderably above 1s.; and his arguments mation on the subject-nothing new-no- were answered only by the assertion, that thing to instruct. The hon. member next they were calculated io'stultify the underobserved, that the evils suffered last year standings of the House. It had been by the agriculturists no longer existed; said that the people decided on the meathere was now no glut of foreign corn in sure by feeling, rather than reason, How the market, no property-tax, and the war | else, he would ask, could they decide, with America was now terminated; these when their families were starring. He circumstances should weigh considerably prayed the House to pause before they in the decision of this question. The decided on so momentous a point; and de. House likewise should consider who those clared that although a friend to the landed persons were that promoted this measure, interest, he considered the general welfare who the committee were that sat on the of the empire as more important. The bon. subject. Many of them were prejudiced gentleman then enumerated the various