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Sir Robert Peel was gratified, some other mode than that which but not surprised to hear Lord has hitherto been resorted to, and John Russell recommend an una- which has not been successful, for nimous concurrence in the Address. effecting that which would be a His colleagues and himself had great object for the interests of long held the opinion that there humanity and the civilization of was great inconvenience in forcing the world, namely, the restoration the House of Commons, on the of perfectly friendly and cordial first day of its assembling, when it relations with the United States, was without the means of ascer- or, I should rather say, for the detaining the sentiments contained termination of existing differences. in the Address, to pledge itself to Certainly, my noble Friend, in positive measures; and therefore, undertaking at his advanced period they had purposely framed the Ad- of life such a task, has been acdress in a manner which would not tuated only by a sense of public necessarily provoke a collision of duty. The sacrifices he has been opinion. He ought not to refer, called upon to make are great : however incidentally, to the part but my noble Friend has yielded of the Address which Lord John to the conviction we felt, that, Russell had passed over lightly, of considering the relation in which the foreign relations, without bear- he stood the estimation in which ing testimony to the cordial co- his respected name was held in operation which Russia had given that country—there could not be to the arrangements with Persia. a more welcome messenger of the Lord John Russell seemed to doubt views of Her Majesty's Governthe policy of the special mission to ment than Lord Ashburton.” the United States
Lord John Russell had adverted “I think the noble Lord should to several supposed remedies for bear in mind, that some of the the distress, to be propounded by causes of difference between this the Ministers : “ The noble Lord country and the United States have has heard of a plan of general emilong existed; that the attempts on gration ; but that appeared withthe part of various governments out any authority on the part of by means of correspondence to the Government; and I think the bring them to a satisfactory con- noble Lord's experience of the conclusion have failed, and that the duct of a Government might have continuance of the cause of discord led him to know, that because leads to fresh and increasing diffi- certain measures were imputed by culties. Hence it has appeared to the public papers to the Executive, Her Majesty's Government, with it does not follow that they enterout implying the slightest reflec. tain any serious intention of carrytion upon the very able Ministering them out, or that there should who represents this country in the be an authorised reply. The noble United States, Mr. Fox, desirable Lord has also referred to certain to send out directly to that country dramatic reports of interviews a person who has held high sta- which Ministers have had with tions in the Council of this nation, deputations from the northern and who, fully possessed of the manufacturing districts. views and intentions of Her Ma- surprised the noble Lord should jesty's Government, should attempt have spoken with such disparage
ment of the Socialist editor of the so far as concerns the convenience New Moral World. It is true of Her Majesty's Government, we the deputation were received; but are prepared to state to the House still we did not encourage them now the measures with reference to expect the high honour of pre- to the commerce and finance of sentation to Her Majesty. Would the country which we mean to the noble Lord have thought it propose ; and I should have wished becoming in me to decline to re- to state the nature of those meaceive them until I had first ascer. sures simultaneously with the views tained the private characters and which we have arrived at on the the political opinions of those who subject of the Corn-laws : but I composed the deputation? I saw think that there would be disadthe persons who called upon me, vantage to the public interests in and who succeeded in deceiving postponing the consideration of the me sɔ far, that on entering the Corn-laws, and that it would be room I believed them to be a better that Her Majesty's Governdeputation as represented—a be- ment should propose to the House lief which was strengthened by their views relative to those laws the perfect knowledge of the sub- on Wednesday next; and on the ject on which they came to speak; earliest possible day following, disbut I am no party to the publica- close the whole of our financial and tion of what took place. Sur. commercial policy in Committee of prised as I was to find that a Ways and Means." lengthened and detailed report of Mr. C. Villiers did not dissent what passed had been published, I from the liberal generalities which am innocent of any intention to had been uttered ; and he rejoiced derive an advantage from the dra- that the landed proprietary shrunk matic effects of which the noble from maintaining the Corn-law, Lord spoke ; and until I saw that now that its mischiefs were genethese persons were editors of a rally detected. He only wished newspaper, I remained under the that Sir Robert Peel would sepleasing delusion that I had been riously consider a permanent settalking to workmen deputed by tlement of the question. He would their brother workmen to give an
avail himself of the earliest opporaccount of their sufferings." tunity to take the sense of the
It had been his wish to bring House upon the principle of taxaon the financial and commercial tion of food. policy of the country both to- Mr. Escott hoped that Ministers gether ; but he was withheld by would bring forward a measure a consideration of the public in- which should settle the corn questerest. He would, however, re- tion, with a view to the interests deem the pledge he gave last Ses. of all. The agriculturists had sussion, that no unnecessary delay tained a great loss in the separation should take place in explaining the of the Duke of Buckingham from views of Government: “ I do not the Queen's counsels ; but they ask for delay; I do not intend to were not opposed to all changes, postpone the announcement of the though most anxious for a termiBudget, as it is called, to that nation to their present state of period of the year at which it is anxiety and uncertainty, usually brought forward. Indeed, The Address was then agreed to.
Introductory Debate on the Corn-laws on 9th February-Extraordinary interest manifested in the House of Commons, and out of doors— Allempl of the Anti-Corn-law Delegates lo lake possession of the Lobby—They are prevented by the Police — Development of the Ministerial plan by Sir Robert Peel--He proposes a modification of the Sliding-scale-Short Remarks on the Plan by Lord John Russell-It is vehemently denounced by Mr. Cobden as an insult to the People, Debate resumed on the 14th-- Lord John Russell moves at great length a Resolution condemnatory of a Graduated ScaleSummary of his arguments-He is answered by Mr. W. E. Glad. stone - The Debate continued by Adjournment during three nights - Principal Speakers on both sides – Debate unmarked by novelty or originality of views--Mr. Roebuck opposes the principle of Pro. tection in toto-Speech of Sir Robert Peel, who is followed by Lord Palmerston-Lord John Russell's Amendment rejected on Division by 349 to 226.
N the 9th of February, being made an attempt to station them
the day which Sir Robert selves in the lobby. Had this Peel had announced for the de- been permitted, the Members of velopment of the Ministerial plan the House would have experienced for the alteration of the Corn- great difficulty in obtaining adlaws, extraordinary interest was mission. To avoid this result, the evinced, both in and out of the police and officers on duty were House of Commons, to learn the compelled to oppose the entrance issue of the long-concealed delib- of the delegates, and for a time it erations of the Government on was thought that a violent conthis subject, At an early hour Aict would have taken place. The ali the avenues of the House were delegates, however, after some al. thronged by persons eager to ob- tercation, thought fit to retire tain admission; and, as soon as from the field, and stationed themthe doors were opened, a violent selves outside the House, where rush ensued, and every seat in they saluted the different Members the Strangers'-gallery was in a as they passed with cries of “ No few moments occupied. Shortly Sliding-scale,"
Shortly Sliding-scale," “ Total Repeal," after four o'clock, a number of “Fixed Duty," &c. In the the Anti - Corn - law delegates House of Commons the scene was marched in procession down Par- particularly animated. By five liament-street to the House, and o'clock the House was perfectly
crammed. Below the bar were pressions as great, and revivals of
a number of distinguished prosperity almost as sudden and strangers, among whom the Duke extraordinary as those depressions ; of Cambridge, and
and to the operation of natural Members of the Upper House causes he confidently looked for were conspicuous. Shortly after such a revival. Sir Robert Peel wards, Sir Robert Peel rose and briefly enumerated the causes to moved, “ That this House resolve which he assigned the embarrassitself into a committee to consider ment, which had been in operation the trade in Corn.”
He then re
the last four or five years, viz.quested that the Clerk of the the stimulus given to great underHouse should read that portion of takings by the connexion between her Majesty's Speech which re- joint stock banks and our manulated to that subject. The speech facturing establishments; the imwhich he then proceeded to ad- migration of labourers from the dress to the House, was listened to agricultural, to the manufacturing, throughout with profound atten- districts and consequent building tion, marked, however, by mani- speculations; the immense increase festations of keener and more
of mechanical power ; eager attention as often as the action of monetary difficulty prospeaker was supposed about to duced by similar causes in the develope the proposals of the Go- United States, and the diminished vernment. The extreme impor- demand for manufactures tance attached to the statements there; interruption of commerce contained in this address under the with China ; the war-alarm in circumstances which attended its Europe, and stagnation of comdelivery, warrants a larger allot- merce consequent upon it. He ment of space than can usually be did not think an alteration of the afforded to individual speeches Corn-laws could be any remedy within the limits of this work, for some of the evils inseparable while its unusual length prevents from these causes. Extend," its insertion entire. It is hoped he said, “ your foreign commerce that the extracts which follow will
as you may, depend upon it that suffice to present a tolerably clear it is not a necessary consequence and complete, though abridged that the means of employment for view of the statements and rea- manual labour will be proportionsonings which it embraced.
ate to that extension.” The handHe began by observing that it loom weavers were an instance of was difficult to discuss the subject the disastrous effects upon parwithout making statements or ad- ticular classes of those sudden immissions which would be seized by provements in machinery which opponents; but he trusted to the produced the general wealth of reason, the moderation, the judg- the country ; a hard but inevitable ment of Parliament. He would condition. He referred to the not, however, excite the hope that exports to show the working of his measure would tend materially some of the causes which he and immediately to mitigate the named. He said, we were too existing commercial distress, pro- apt, upon comparison of the last duced by a combination of circum- few years at any time, if we find stances, He had before seen de- a decline, to infer that the sources
of our prosperity are drying up: Holland, and Belgium. In 1837, we should extend the comparison the value of our exports to these over larger periods. But even three countries was 8,742,0001.; during a very recent period, the in 1838, it was 9,606,0001. ; in general exports showed an in- 1839, it was 9,660,0001. ; and in
1840, it was 9,704,0001. So that “On referring to the returns, even with respect to those countries I find that in the year 1840 the which are the chief sources of our exports of British produce and supply of corn when we stand in manufactures—I speak of their need of any, which are supposed declared value to all parts of the to be such formidable competitors world, exceeded the exports of of our manufacturers, and with 1837 by 9,355,0001.; that they which the sale of our productions exceeded those of 1838 by is supposed to be so rapidly de1,345,000l. ; that they fell short clining on account of our exclusion of the exports of 1839 by of their corn, it
that 1,817,0001. — a falling-off suffi
a falling-off suffi- the whole there has been a procient, no doubt, to create great gressive increase in the exports of and natural anxiety and appre- commerce. Sir, I cannot, hension; but the causes of that therefore, infer that the operation falling-off will be amply accounted of the Corn-laws is to be charged for if you will refer to the state of with the depression which unforour commercial transactions with tunately prevails in the country at the United States. In 1839 there the present moment."
an export to the United Various opinions obtained in the States of 8,839,0001., whereas in country as to a change of the 1840 the total amount of exports Corn-laws. Some opposed all was only 5,283,0001. ; thus leav. change. Sir Robert Peel believed ing a deficit in the state of our their number very small, for most exports with the United States, in agriculturists believed that the 1840 as compared with 1839, of Corn-laws might be altered with the amount of 3,556,000l. Now advantage. Others demanded imthis fact is sufficient to account for mediate and absolute repeal, rethe falling-off in the general jecting all modification: and those amount of our exports in 1840 as who advocated repeal of all taxes compared with 1839. In the on subsistence, appealed to topics mean time, it is satisfactory to which gave them great advantage. view the progress of our Colonial A comparison was made between trade. In 1837, the proportion the dearness of food in this country of our exports to the Colonies was and its cheapness in others; but 11,208,0001. ; in 1838, it was that led to a fallacious conclusion : 12,025,0001.; in 1839, it was the true question is, not what is 14,363,0001.; and in 1840, it
1840, it the price of bread, but what comwas 15,497,0001. Now let us mand the labouring classes have look at the state of our commer- over bread, and what command cial transactions with those coun- they have over the enjoyments of tries in Europe which are the life. The price of corn is much chief sources of our supply of less in Prussia, than in this counfood. Let us look at the state of try ; but what is the condition of our export trade with Germany, the Prussian people? The eviVol. LXXXIV.