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and example to soften and benefit as he had done before ; and that by society at large. That was pro- not keeping pace with the wareh bably what the right honourable of public opinion, he never could Gentleman meant; but he had not again be at the head." shown that all those same advan, The greater part of the speeches tages of a resident gentry could delivered during this debate posnot be obtained without the ex. sessed very little of originality or inpense of protection. He could not dividual interest, consisting for the suppose that the resident gentry most part of recapitulations and rewould be less wise, less virtuous, productions of the same reasonings less patriotic, less country gentle and statements of wbich a copious men, than before. Was it to be specimen has already been given in imagined they were to be kept the speeches with which the discusas they were, the ornaments, the sjon was introduced. The reply of pillars, the Corinthian capitals of Sir Robert Peel, however, contained the state, by a 20s, duty ? Was some passages worthy of commethere no inherent virtue in them, movation. Adverting to Mr. Roe but were they to be bought? He buck's exbortation tu him to discould not believe it. If the landed card the prejudices of a class, to interest suffered a peculiar grieve show that he did not lag behind ance, let them prove it-- he wanted the age, and to bring forward some some honourable Gentleman to get measure that would stamp him a up and state their grievance. Would great statesman, he said he would one tell him that they paid the tell Mr. Roebuck what he thought poor-rate ? So did he. Would more properly belonged to the true another say that they paid the character of the Minister of a councountry-rate ? So did he. The try like England. « I think it other classes of the community would be more in keeping with paid the same taxes as the agriculs that true character for me to aspire turists; and he believed that the to none of those magnificent chaquota of the manufacturers was as racteristics which he has described, large as that of the agriculturists, and that the wisest and safest if not larger. But they who said course for me to adopt is to effect that they had certain peculiar bur- as much practical good as I can; theps to sustain had no right to and not, after announcing some make that an argument for the great principle calculated to win continuance of this monopoly. If for me a great deal of popularity, they were aggrieved, they ought, to find at last that the practical like other classes of the community, part of the subject was in precisely to lay their petitions before that the same state ia which it was be House, and, exposing their griev. fore I began. It is easy enough ances, ask the House to find a for the honourable and learned remedy for them."
Gentleman to say apply. great “ The people," said Mr. Roe principles,' make mighty buek, in conclusion, “would not change.' But I find that mighty regard this experiment as a mere interests have grown up under the mercantile speculation, but as the present law, and in full dependence project of a great statesman; and on its faith. I find that the agrifailing in this, that statesman must culture of this country produces see that he lagged behind his age, 22,000,000 guarters of wheat every
year, while of grain of all kinds that I am conceding too much. it produces no less than 45,000,000 This is inseparable from the task of quarters. Think what pecu. I have undertaken. I do believe niary interests must be involved in that in a mere party sense it would the production of such an amount have been wiser for me to say, I of grain. Think, too, of the will stand by the Corn-laws and amount of social interests con- resist all change.
Some tell me nected with those pecuniary inter that all the change required is an ests how many families are de- amendment of the averages. But pending for their subsistence and other considerations, other respontheir comforts upon the means of sibilities, press upon those who are giving employment to thousands- charged with the administration of before you hastily disturb the laws affairs. I stated before, and I rewhich determine the application of peat, that in considering this quescapital. If you disregard those tion, the arrangements which ought pecuniary and social interests which to be made consistently with enhave grown up under that protec- larged and comprehensive views tion, which has long been conti- avoiding disturbance of capital emnued by law, then a sense of in- barked in agriculture, and the justice will be aroused, which will clouding of the prospects of worldly redound against your scheme of prosperity and social happiness of improvement, however conform those who derive their subsistence able it may be to rigid principle.” from land-looking again to the
He entered into a detailed ana- state of commerce, to the advanlysis of the operation of his scale tage, when there is to be a supply at various points. He admitted of corn, of so introduciug that corn that the country could not be made that there may be thc least disindependent of foreign supply alto- turbance of the monetary system gether, but he would have foreign of the country, the greatest apimportation supplemental only, proach to regular commercial deal. and not substantial and primary. ings, the greatest encouragement He compared his own scale with consistent with due proteetion to those which had preceded it, and agriculture, to manufacturing and showed by an elaborate comparison commercial industry – having to its advantages over them all. Some consider all these questions, having of his opponents had said, “ Do to weigh their relative and companot disturb, unless you settle ;- rativeimportance, the measure upon give up your alterations, and let which we have determined is that the old law stand.” He felt all which we conscientiously believe to the difficulty of meeting objections be upon the whole the most conby answers which were seized by sistent with the general interest of the opposite side as confirming the country. We did not confer opposite objections:-"If I try to with agricultural supporters for the calm an apprehension here, I see a purpose of insuring their concurnote taken on the other side ; if I rence; we did not permit the abatetry to answer an unreasonable obe ment of it in this particular or in jection there, I am met, not by that, in order to insure its success.” obstacles, but by the intimation of He concluded his speech by dealarm on this side; and it is claring his assurance, that accordwhispered from one to the other ing to the usual practice in this country, reason and moderation thus at once enhancing the price would eventually gravitate towards of corn, you would establish a that which is just.
steady and well-regulated barter, Lord Palmerston followed in a which would at the same time clever speech which concluded the supply your wants and open new debate. He taunted Sir Robert fields for the consumption of the Peel with the general dissatisfac- produce of your manufacturing intion which his measure gave, tes- dustry. Under such an arrangetified on his own side of the House ment, the merchant would make by an eloquent silence. He said, his arrangements for buying a suptwo courses were open to the Mi- ply of corn in those places where it nister--either to have stood by the was cheapest, and would bring it old Corn-laws, in which he would home at a period when he thought have been cordially supported by a that it could be best disposed of majority in the House, or to have both to the country and to himself. taken a bold course in changing the Aboveall, you would extend greatly Corn-laws, in which case he would your commercial relations with the have obtained support from other United States." quarters. It is not given to man,
Adverting to the comparative much less to man in office, to merits of the Whig and Tory proplease all parties. Lord Palmerston positions, he remarked, that there admitted that the proposed law was were larger grounds on which the a mitigation of that which it was doctrine of independence of foreign to replace, but he proceeded to supply ought to be repudiated by show in how trifling a degree ; and the House :-"Why is the earth he asked why agriculturists should on which we live divided into zones be insured against the contingen- and climates? Why do different cies of the seasons, when such an countries yield different producinsurance is not attempted in any tions to people experiencing similar other trade ? the merchant is not wants ? Why are they intersected insured against loss by accidents at with mighty rivers, the natural
The late Ministers had pro- highways of nations? Why are posed a duty of 8s., but Sir Robert lands the most distant from each Peel had almost convinced him that other brought almost into contact that was too high. Without ad. by that very ocean which seems to mitting that, however, he contended divide them? Why, Sir, it is that that the duty should be fixed and man may be dependent upon man. known :- “If a moderate fixed It is that the exchange of commoduty was established, you would dities may be accompanied by the have a complete change in the trade extension and diffusion of knowaltogether; you would have an ledge-by the interchange of muentirely different system of trans- tual benefits engendering mutual actions in the corn market. For kind feelings - multiplying and instead of gambling transactions, confirming friendly relations. It you would establish a sound and is that Commerce may freely go advantageous trade; and, instead forth, leading Civilization with one of the merchant hurrying at every hand and Peace with the other, to rise in price to the foreign market render mankind happier, wiser, on the Continent--for the distant better. Sir, this is the dispensamarkets are hardly touched-and tion of Providence; this is the decree of that power which created However, Lord Palmerston and disposed the universe. But, hailed the Ministerial concession, in the face of it, with arrogant, small as it was, as breaking ground presumptuous folly, the dealers in in removing the intrenchments of restrictive duties fly, fettering the monopoly. inborn energies of man, and setting The House then divided, when up their miserable legislation in- there appeared for Lord John Russtead of the great standing laws of sell's amendment, 226 ; against it, Nature.”
Corn-laws-- Debate on Mr. Villiers' Amendment--- General Character
of the Discussion which occupied five nights-Speeches of Mr.
ing thus by a large majority ciple of a sliding-scale of corn