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of labour would fall; but the real remu-home market failed them? This showed neration of labour would increase. He how closely the interests of all parties should think that abundance and cheap- were bound up together, and that the preness of food would be regarded as a great sent question was one of difficult solution. blessing to any country, and one which a It was understood, however, that, if not in wise and benevolent legislature would be this, their lordships would in the next ses➡ desirous to confer. This he should ex- sion be called upon for a decision. There pect now; whatever might have been done was therefore no reason for anticipating in those dark times of legislation, when the discussion. Instead of using the word parliament thought fit to declare that "job," he should wish his noble friend to paper and gold were of equal value. avoid all harsh language on the subject, and allow it to be calmly considered. The course his noble friend pursued could only tend to produce angry feelings.

The Earl of Carnarvon said, he was for a free trade in corn as well as in every thing else, but did not think that the question was one which should be discussed in the present state of the country. The noble lord went into arguments which others were not prepared to answer, and which, if they were, ought not to be discussed at that time. He could not acquiesce in the term "job" given to an act of parliament, which had not been adopted until after the most serious consideration. The measure was introduced in one session, and was not adopted until the next. Parliament might have erred, but if there was error, it was not intentional. If, upon due consideration, it should be found that the Corn laws were not consistent with the general interest, parliament would doubtless alter them. His wish was, that the agriculturist and the manufacturer should be placed on an equal footing, and that the Corn laws should form no impediment in the way of free trade. But his noble friend should consider what had been the effect produced by the Bank Restriction act, the operation of which had lasted for twenty-five years. After the operation of that act had brought into cultivation land which was never before cultivated, and had also brought into existence an immense agricultural population, which would be thrown out of employ by the discontinuance of that cultivation, he did not think that their lordships could suddenly rid themselves of all the consequences of that measure, without producing in every part of the country, greater distress than could be experienced by the journeymen carpenters of London; who he believed were as well off as most workmen. He made these observations, to show that it was not the landlords who were altogether to blame with respect to the Corn laws. The present was a period of commercial distress; but it should be recollected, that there had also been a time of agricultural distress. But at that time did not persons in trade also suffer? Did they not complain that the

The Earl of Darnley said, he did not rise in the expectation of correcting the vicious propensity of his noble friend who presented the petition, the only effect of whose language, in returning again and again to the same subject, must be to create discontent; which he knew could not be the intention of his noble friend. With regard to his own opinion on the Corn laws, it was a mistaketo suppose that he had de cided against any alteration. If, however, parliament should withdraw all protection from agriculture, he did not think that such an alteration would be advantageous to the labourer; for if bread became cheap, labour would be cheap also. The question, in fact, was not one of high rents, but whether this country, involved in great domestic and financial difficulties, could compete on the same terms with countries experiencing no such embarrassments. He had thought it necessary to say this much, but hoped he should not be again provoked to notice the subject, until it came regularly under the consideration of the House.

Lord King did not doubt but he should have occasion to provoke his noble friend again and again on this subject, if he was determined to be provoked every time a petition was presented. It was singular enough, however, that his two noble friends took such different views of his conduct. The one thought that he took the House by surprise with his arguments, the other that he used the same arguments too often. Nevertheless they both agreed in wishing him to discontinue his practice of addressing the House. It was certainly kind of his two noble friends to favour him with so much of their advice. He had indeed, got a great deal of advice of late; but he could not help thinking that there was occasionally something in the nature of it, that rendered it rather suspicious. He had been entreated, both in prose and

verse, to cease his exertions. The two noble friends were not only prodigal of their advice to him, but equally ready to give it to the labourers. The effect of their advice was" Do not trust to those who wish to make corn plenty and cheap, but to us who will make it dear and give you little of it."

Ordered to lie on the table.

STATE OF THE CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT IN THE SOUTH OF IRELAND.] The Earl of Kingston rose to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice. He had hoped, he said, that the subject would have been taken up by some one better qualified for the task than he was; and indeed he wished it had been brought before their lordships by one of the learned prelates, to whose province it more particularly belonged. From the reports upon their lordships', table, it appeared, that a vast number of unions of parishes had taken place in the province of Munster, not such unions as that of seven religious houses in the city of Cork, which altogether did not extend over halfa mile; but of large parishes, extending over a distance of fifteen miles. In that large union, there was only one church, and that one church had been built by a private individual, the ancestor of the present lord Massey. In the province of Munster, their lordships would find instances of six, seven, and eight parishes united together, with but one church amongst them all. Now, it was impossible to expect people to remain of the Protestant religion in a place where they had no church to attend, and where they could not even procure the attendance of a clergyman in cases of emergency. He had been told, that no curate had been seen in the parish of Kilbennie for several years, and that the inhabitants were therefore obliged, when they required the performance of any religious office, to send to the rector of another parish five or six miles off. He did not mean, by making these observations, to say any thing disrespectful of the clergy. Undoubtedly, they had done much. Many churches had been built, but they had not funds to build all that were necessary. In moving, therefore, for a commitee to consider the present state of the church in Munster, he was rather addressing himself to his majesty's ministers, in the hope of inducing them to furnish the clergy with the means of building churches, and per

petuating the established religion. The piety and zeal of the Roman Catholic clergymen in that part of the country were truly praiseworthy. They attended their flocks with the most exemplary attention; while the Protestant inhabitants had no person to attend to their spiritual wants. The noble earl, after referring to the reports before the House, for the number of unions in the dioceses of Cashel and Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe, concluded by moving for a committee to inquire into the state of the Protestant church in Munster. In Ulster, he said, there was a church in every parish.

The Earl of Harrowby thought the noble earl had not laid before the House sufficient grounds to induce them to accede to his motion. He had moved for a committee, while the very papers which he held in his hands would, if examined, have afforded an answer thereto. There could be little doubt, that in some cases these unions of parishes had been a great evil; but he did not think that observation could be properly made of those unions which had been effected under episcopal authority, and which must, therefore, be supposed to have been made on good consideration. It was said, that many of these unions were without a single church, and blame had been attributed to the government on that account. Now, the fact was, that the government were not at all insensible to the evils of which the noble earl had complained. That they were not insensible to these evils, might be proved by the single fact, that in the twenty years preceding 1822, 175 churches had been built in the province of Munster, and 122 glebe houses had been given. In the particular case to which the noble earl had alluded, the vicar was not resident, but the curate had always attended. These returns contained all the information that the noble earl could acquire, even if the committee were granted; and for himself he must say, that he thought the granting of a committee would be casting an undeserved slur on the dignitaries of the church of Ireland.

The Bishop of Ferns thought himself bound, as the clerical representative of that part of the kingdom, to say a few words on this subject. He should call on the House to exercise all their indulgence towards him, for he was not much accustomed to addressing public bodies on any subject, and on this subject par

ticularly he was unprepared.

on in Ireland would furnish his majesty's government with the best information as to what measures they ought to adopt with regard to this subject.

The Earl of Kingston insisted that he had made out a case to justify his motion, and that the circumstances stated by the right rev. prelate proved it. He knew a district in the South of Ireland, through which one might travel along the high road for a distance of twenty-two miles without seeing a single church. Although, however, he was satisfied that he had fully made out a case, yet as his object in bringing forward his motion was to point the attention of the learned prelates to the subject, he was willing to abstain from pressing it. His lordship accordingly withdrew his motion.

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Thursday, March 9.

He had none of his Irish brethren to assist him, and the notice of motion had been too short to enable him to send to Ireland for information. Returns of unions, and of their dissolution, and the time when such dissolution took place, had been made, and every information had been afforded, except that which might be expected from the proceeding now going on in Ireland. The noble earl opposite had referred to the extent of these unions, but their extent alone did not furnish any satisfactory evidence of the difficulty or facility of the performance of clerical duties. One parish, he knew, was several miles in length, and three quarters of a mile in breadth, and the difficulty there arose not so much from its extent as its form. There was another parish, of which he had given up the tithes for building a church, and that parish although very small, possessed a greater number of parisliioners than some which were much larger. SCOTCH REPRESENTATION.] Mr. AberThe evil did not lie where the noble earl cromby rose to present a petition, signed seemed to imagine, and the true remedy by between seven and eight thousand rewas, not to dissolve the parish unions, but sident householders of Edinburgh, comto erect chapels of ease, for the accom- plaining of what was most unjustly called modation of those who were at a distance the representation of that city. He had from the church. The fact was, it was presented petitions of the same nature only by means of these unions that the for several sessions; and each year added rectors could be able to receive any pay- strength to the complaints of the petitioners. ment; for although these unions covered It was a peculiar fact, that six persons a great extent of ground, it was seldom belonging to the town council, which enthey had many inhabitants. The rectors joyed the monopoly of appointing the reat present, so far from being overpaid, presentatives of Edinburgh, had signed were actually very poor. Many of these the present petition. In so doing, they unions were so poor, as to leave nothing had afforded an incontestable proof that to pay the rector after he had discharged their sympathy with the great mass of the the claims of his curates. The rector of inhabitants of the city, was much greater Wexford had three curates, and their pay, than their sympathy with the small body although moderate, swallowed up nearly constituting the corporation; and none the whole revenue of the parish. There could be better qualified to form a judg were seven episcopal unions in Cashel, and ment on this subject, than they who were in none were there more than two parishes. aware of what passed within the precincts In Emly there were only two unions. He of the select few, by whom the choice of had once applied to the board of First representatives was made. On the first Fruits to erect an additional church in occasion when he presented this petition, Leitrim, in which there were five hundred he had presented it in the firm conviction parishioners, who complained that they that it was founded in truth and justice; were too distant from the church; but the and nothing had since occurred to alter application was refused, on the ground that conviction. He had likewise preof want of funds; and in another case, sented it, because he believed that the where he had been applied to, he had felt citizens of Edinburgh would prosecute it himself bound to require, before he in- with prudence, firmness, and perseverterfered, a description of the form of the ance in that expectation, too, he had parish, as well as of the number of its inha- not been disappointed. He had also prebitants. After some observations, his lord-sented it, because he was convinced, not ship concluded by expressing his convic- only that it would be prudent and just tion that the survey at present going for the House to grant the reform which

the petitioners asked, but also that it would | effect would deserve and obtain a glorious consolidate and strengthen all that was immortality. really good and valuable in the constitution. By widening its basis, they would give additional strength and firmness to the superstructure reared upon it. In conclusion, the hon. member gave notice, that he would hereafter fix a day upon which he would bring the state of the representation in Edinburgh under the notice and consideration of the House.

Mr. Abercromby said, that when he brought in the bill of which he had given notice, he should expect to meet with strenuous opposition from the hon. baronet. That hon. baronet was intimately connected with those who supported the system of which he complained. He now gave notice that he would, on the 13th of April, ask for leave to bring in a bill to amend and alter the representation of Edinburgh.

Ordered to lie on the table.

Sir G. Clerk said, that as the hon. and learned member had given notice of his intention of fixing a day for the discus- Sir R. Fergusson said, he would supsion of the representative system of Scot-port the bill whenever it came before the land, he should not follow him at present House. The system of Scotch repreinto the remarks which he had made upon sentation, both in boroughs and counties, that subject. He should only say, that was highly disgraceful, and required imhe was sorry that the learned gentleman mediate reform. had not presented his petition, when the representative for Edinburgh was in the House, as he could have gone more ably into the subject than he himself could do. There was, however, nothing peculiar in the representation of Edinburgh which required a particular law to cure and remedy it. The House had no more right to take away the exclusive right of election from the corporation of Edinburgh, than it had to take it away from the cor-nufacturer, he was not inclined to throw porations of Bath and Portsmouth, which equally enjoyed it. Such rights were never taken away from any parties by the House, unless it was shown that they had been guilty of gross corruption in the exercise of them.

CORN LAWS.] Mr. Hume presented a petition from the working manufacturers of Gorbals and other places, in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, praying for an alteration in the Corn laws. The hon. member observed, that although he considered the high price of corn to be almost as prejudicial to the farmer as to the ma

the ports entirely open at once. Whatever was done must be done gradually; but unless something was done, it would be impossible for the manufacturing labourers of the country to obtain subsistence for their families, at the present low rate of wages.

Mr. Curwen said, that if permission were given to import corn into this country without restriction, the result of it would be visible in a few years, in the production of a famine.

Mr. Hume observed, that the hon. member had argued as if the existence of an abuse in one country was a sufficient excuse for the existence of another abuse in another country. He trusted that the House would take the state of the representation of Edinburgh into its immediate Mr. Sumner complained of the interconsideration, as nothing could be more locutory mode of discussing so important disgraceful and unfair. The representa- a subject, which had recently been adopttive for that town was returned by thirty-ed in both Houses of Parliament. He three individuals, and not by the great mass of the property and respectability of the town. The consequence of this was, that almost every man's property in Edinburgh was disposed of, without his consent or knowledge. The government, which was making wholesome reforms in many of our institutions, could not do better than make a reform here; for no where could it be more salutary. He should be happy to see a perfect system of representation established. The interest and the honour of the country both required it, and the minister who carried such a system into

thought that the petitioners had no right to complain at present of the high price of corn. Their language appeared to him very like the language of rebellion. No other construction could properly be put upon the phrase, that the bonds of society must be broken, if the Corn laws continued much longer in operation.

Mr. Bernal thought that no such construction could be put upon the petition in common fairness. It might be that the language of the petitioners was strong; but it ought to be recollected, that they were not gifted with that temper, patience,

and nice discrimination, which were the attributes of the hon. member for Surrey. At that moment the price of meat, bread, cheese, and butter, was excessive. Now, the manufacturers were receiving low wages; and, with low wages, it was impossible for them to obtain the articles of food which he had just mentioned. These were plain truths, which sooner or later must force themselves on the attention of parliament.

Mr. Maberly was surprised that petitions like the present had not been received from every manufacturing district in the country. He was, however, not surprised at the language of the petitioners. All he was astonished at was, that similar petitions were not poured in from every manufacturing district in the country.

Mr. Benett condemned severely the tone of the petition, and he could only understand from it, that a threat was intended by the expression of breaking down the bonds of society. The petitioners were much deceived, if they expected that the distresses, under which they were now suffering, would be alleviated by the repeal of the Corn-laws. Whenever those laws were repealed, that repeal would be followed by a great diminution in the demand for their labour. Mr. Hume protested against the assumption that the petition contained any improper language, still less any thing which could be construed into a threat. He would be the last person to justify the use of improper language; but he thought that nothing ought to deter members from presenting petitions which contained perhaps warm, but nevertheless an honest statement of the effect which the grievances they endured had produced on their minds. He thought that no time could be called improper for such a purpose.

of the people, he must be permitted to deprecate a discussion, which could in no way tend to throw a light upon the subject, but which was calculated to produce asperity between classes which it was most desirable to conciliate. A discussion, if any should take place, ought to be temperate and dispassionate, and, above all, bitterness and asperity of language ought to be avoided.

Mr. Calcraft said, that however desirable it might be thought by the hon. gentleman to avoid discussions on these subjects, it was obviously impossible to do so; and, indeed, when it was considered that upon these occasions alone the House had an opportunity of hearing the sentiments of gentlemen who did not take any other part in the debates, it might be doubted whether it was advisable to discourage such discussions. At least they gave the country an opportunity of knowing the sentiments of members on this subject, and of ascertaining who did and who did not approve of any alteration in the law as it stood. If any evil consequences had been felt, they must be attributed solely to his majesty's ministers', and to the delay which they had occasioned in the settlement of this important question. He had understood that it was to be brought on in the course of the present session, and that the right hon. the president of the Board of Trade was to have submitted to the House his views on the subject. Ministers might have grounds for the alteration which they contemplated. He believed they were mistaken; but as the question must be decided, he thought the postponement of the discussion was extremely objectionable. the ensuing general election, gentlemen would be called on, in almost every place, to state their opinions on this subject; and unless they knew what were the intentions of ministers, it would be impos Mr. Secretary Peel said, he could not sible for them satisfactorily to answer. If think that any advantage could be gained the country could but once know what by discussions like the present, which agi- the government proposed to do, there tated a subject confessed to be one of the would be an end of all discussion; but utmost importance, difficulty, and delicacy. while they abstained from stating that, He was sure that no person in that House, the uncertainty produced the greatest inwished to repress the voice of the people convenience. It was not, to be sure, on any subject. The hon. gentleman difficult to guess from their measures what thought the petition which he had pre- they intended to do. He had no doubt sented was a specimen of fine writing; that the right hon. gentleman meant to but even he thought that they had painted approximate the laws relating to corn as their distresses a little too highly. Without much as possible to those which he had its being supposed that he wished to pre-established on other subjects that he vent any representation of the distresses would place a protecting duty on corn


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