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that first great article of food, they mitting to the Income-tax, would were not able to make a great and not find the promise that the important alteration. They had Tariff would reduce the cost of then come to articles forming part subsistence to be illusory. of the weekly expenditure of the Mr. Roebuck blamed Lord John people, such as cheese and butter; Russell for speaking as if the party but, unfortunately, they had found in power alone were chargeable that the interest of the revenue with retaining the high price of was so much concerned that it was food; whereas, the Whig party impossible to make any alteration. were not in favour of free-trade in There was one article, indeed, in corn, but merely advocated one of which they had been able to make those mystifications so common on an alteration-in the article of their side-an 8s. fixed duty. He cattle and meat they had been himself had tried to equalise the able to exchange high and pro- duties on sugar, but Lord John hibitory duties for those which Russell supported a 10s. discrimi. were lower ; but, with respect to nating duty-a proposal very like cattle, they had unfortunately the 8s. corn-duty; for if it would heard the assurance that the people be effectual as a protection, it were not likely to derive present would be effectaal in shutting out benefit from the reduced price of competition. Mr. Roebuck then meat. Another article of great launched out into a vehement consumption was then before them, condemnation of the sacrifices that namely sugar ; an article most im- had been made to the West Indies. portant, considering the improved Of what advantage, he asked, were habits of the people habits which those colonies to us-a set of the Legislature undoubtedly ought barren islands dearly bought with to encourage. He was sorry to the pith and blood of this country? hear that upon this article the Jamaica at the bottom of the sea people must be contented with the —aye, and all the Antilles after good wishes of the Legislature, it and where would be the loss and the proclamation that had to Great Britain ? What benefit been made of an anxious desire to did the weavers of Yorkshire and reduce the price of subsistence. Lancashire derive from these Although Mr. Gladstone had made boasted possessions ? light of the proposed reduction in Mr. Bernal said, he had always the price of sugar, saying that it been taught to believe that the would only amount to id. a pound, welfare of the whole empire deyet even that was an important pended on the prosperity of its consideration in the weekly expen- parts; and he enquired, if Mr. diture of a poor family. Lord Roebuck was prepared in his subJohn Russell could not compre- mersivc projects to sink the East hend the humanity which ad- Indies also with the West? mitted coffee or copper produced Sir Robert Peel interposed to by slave-labour, but refused to pour oil on the troubled discussion, receive slave-grown sugar : it was by suggesting that the House not immoral to encourage the slave- should come to the practical contrade in the one case, but it was clusion to vote for the Governdenounced as inhuman in the other.

ment proposition ; for it was eviHe trusted that the people, in sub- dent that the adoption of either of the rival suggestions would cause on wool, he would say, Yes; and 110 satisfaction whatever. Mr. he would say the same on cottonRoebuck's enforcement of his prin- wool, glass, or sugar ; but if they ciples at the cost of submerging were to make all such desirable Jamaica in the sea, did not need reductions, they would still have to be met by reasoning ; nor would a large deficiency, in spite of the it be reasonable to settle the value Income-tax. He doubted whether of our colonies by asking a dis- our colonies, where we had suptressed weaver what individual pressed slavery, could compete advantage he derived from them. with slave-countries, and the same The proposal which he made was doubt was entertained by Mr. to continue the existing duties for Deacon Hume. "I cannot conone year.

enormous

He hoped he should ceive,” said Mr. Hume,“ that not be understood as precluding the having thirty years ago abolished House from the consideration of the slave-trade, and having now this question in another year. abolished slavery itself, any quesLord John Russell had complained tion of free-trade can arise bethat nothing material had been tween Jamaica and Cuba : Cuba, done with respect to meat ; that with an abundance of fresh and noble Lord had been ten years in rich soil, not only having the adoffice, and yet had never proposed vantage of employing slaves -any alteration in the Tariff. When whatever it may be—but notorihe heard that the apprehensions ously importing the were so great that the price of amount of 40,000 or 50,000 slaves cattle had fallen 25 per cent., he every year ; having, in fact, the thought it was time to interfere. slave-trade and slavery; and as He adverted to this because the the laws of this country deprive noble Lord had talked of his fear- the planter of Jamaica of that ing to offend a powerful interest ; means of raising his produce, I and he wished to contrast the consider the question as one taken course which he had pursued with out of the category of free-trade.” that of the late Government--a The honour of the country would course in which he ran greater be compromised by admitting slaverisk than any Minister ever ran- grown sugar without seeking a (Cheers)—for he saw that nearly concession from the growers. And a hundred of those Members who the late Government had by no had given him their confidence means followed the mode of newere on this particular point pre- gotiation proposed by Mr. Laboupared to vote against him; and he chere, granting concessions first, thought that in adhering to his and asking for equivalent afterresolution, he had given sufficient wards; in Texas they had made a proof that he was prepared to incur slave-trade treaty preliminary to the risk for the purpose of benefit- a commercial treaty; in France ing the people. He admitted that they stipulated for reduced duties the reduction of three farthings on manufactures before making per lb. in sugar would not be a reductions on wine and brandies. small matter, but those questions Lord John Russell said, he were not to be looked at separately; doubted much whether during any if he were asked whether in the ten years which had passed since abstract he would reduce the duty the revolution, any legislative

carry it.

acts so important as those adopted had the pleasure of enabling him to during the period of his administration had been carried out. He The House then divided, when believed that if, when in office, he there appeared for Mr. Labouhad brought forward the measure chere's amendment, 164; against now proposed by Sir Robert Peel, it, 245: majority against the it would have been opposed and, amendment, 81. perhaps, defeated; but now he

CHAPTER VI.

Debates on the State of the Country and Public Distress-Prevailing

topics of the Session-Mr. Wallace proposes a Series of Resolutions and Address to the Queen on the State of the Nation-Speeches of Sir James Graham, Dr. Bowring, Mr. M. Altwood, Lord John Russell, Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Ellice, Lord Palmerston, Lord Stanley, Mr. Roebuck, and other Members— The Debate is continued by Adjournment for three nights-On a Division the Resolutions are negatived by 174 to 49— The same Subject comes under Discussion a few nights afterwards on a Motion by Mr. Villiers for a Select Committee on the Corn-laws-Mr. Fielden seconds the Mo‘ion--It is opposed by Mr. P. Howard and Sir C. Napier-Sir Robert Peel complains of the Obstruction offered to Business by the OppositionHe vindicates the New Corn-lan and Financial Measures, and states his Opinions respecting the Effects of Machinery on the Employment of ihe People, and his Prospects of the Improvement of Trade-Speeches of Lord John Russell, Mr. Cobden, and Lord Howick Mr. Villiers' Motion is rejected by 231 to 117– Lord Brougham introduces the Subject of the National Distress in the House of Lords in moving for a Select Committee-He discusses at large the Principles of Commercial Policy-Speeches of Earl of Ripon, Earl Stanhope, Lord Kinnaird, Marquis of Clanricarde, Viscount Melbourne, and Earl of Radnor-Lord Brougham's Motion is rejected by 61 to 14– The great Chartist Petition is presented in the House of CommonsIls vast Bulk and Number of Signatures-Procession of Petitioners and singular Spectacle at the Presentation, Debate on the Petition introduced by Mr. T. Du:combe who moves that the Petitioners be heard by Counsel at the Bar-Motion seconded by Mr. Leader, and supported by Messrs. Roebuck, Hume, Wakley, Villiers, O'Connell

, and Munta Opposed by Mr. Macaulay, Lord F. Egerton, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Oswald, Lord John Russell, and Sir Robert Peel-The Motion rejected by 287 to 49.

NHREE great measures, each 1842. These were the Corn-Im

involving matters of much portation Bill, the Income-tax complexity and importance, en. Bill, and the Customs-duties Bill, gaged a very large preponderance or New Tariff. A reference to the of the time and attention of the Debates of Parliament during the Legislature during the Session of entire Session will show how

very

REGISTER

, 1842. large a proportion of the discus- parties in the state ; the spirit of sions of both Houses related to one political controversy within the or other of these subjects. And, House concurred with external indeed, when the importance of circumstances, and the pressure each of these measures is con- from without, to make the considered, the extent of their bear- dition and wants of the labouring ings, and the vast mass of details classes, and the laws which affect which they all, but more especially the operations of industry, almost the last-mentioned, presented for perpetually the battle-field between consideration, we shall be dis- the Ministry and their opponents. posed to consider that this Session, It is needless to say, that in the reas compared with those preceding, peated debates which occurred on by no means deserves to be con- ihese subjects, the same views and sidered unproductive or deficient arguments were continually enin practical results. The remain- forced and met by the same aning works which were effected, swers, but the positions mainwith one or two exceptions which tained by either party in these we are now about to particularise, controversies may be easily underwere of secondary interest; and, stood, by reverting to two or three as is commonly the case where no only out of the many occasions on vital party principles are at issue, which the opposing principles of excited little discussion worth com- commercial and economical policy memorating. The Session may, came in issue. in fact, be described as having been One of the most important and almost exclusively devoted to the extended discussions of this dature discussion of economical questions, arose upon a series of resolutions and in various forms and shapes, proposed by Mr. Wallace, as an whether directly in the course of amendment on going into Comdebates upon the Government mittee of Supply. The purport measures, or indirectly on other of them was to affirm the existence occasions, the subjects of commer- of distress, to declare that the altecial policy, national distress, taxa. ration of the Corn-law and Tariff, tion, the manufacturing system, coupled with the Income-tax, could the results of machinery, the in- not afford relief, and to propose fluence of Corn-laws, were ever an address to the Queen not to and anon recurring, and formed prorogue Parliament until inquiry the standing topics of controversy should have been instituted into from the commencement of the the causes of the distress, and Session to its close. The condition until the Queen and the House of the country, now suffering under should have been assured by the a remarkable depression and stage Ministers, “ that effectual means nation of trade, whereby large were secured to provide sustenance numbers were reduced to severe for the unemployed and their desprivations, afforded continual pre- titute families, until their suffertext for the introduction of these ings should be terminated by a subjects, and as the causes which demand for their industry, and had produced these evils, and the wages for their labour. Mr. remedies proper for their removal, Wallace read extracts of letters formed the most prominent ground of recent date from Glasgow, of difference between the two great Paisley, Greenock, and Kilmar.

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